Mostly Links – 28 November 2014

It’s Christmas advert time, there’s no need to be afraid as Mostly Links takes a look at the best and worst of the web. Thank God it’s them instead of you.


We’ve all seen this year’s John Lewis advert haven’t we? I jolly well hope so because frankly these days it’s not acceptable to start the Christmas season without it. It’s an odd affair this year, better than the shoplifting snowman but less visually sumptuous than the bear and the hare. You need to be able to accept that an eight-year old boy would (a) be quite so inseparable from his penguin and (b) be looking at canoodling couples on benches and be thinking ‘Hey, a bet my penguin wants in on that kind of snogging action.’ And of course having decided that his penguin needs a bit more romance in his life, thinking that the next perfectly acceptable step would be to buy him a wife.

I’m rather baffled that people are apparently clamouring to buy Percy the Penguin toys. When I asked  whether the toys were the real penguin that you see for most of the advert or the [spoiler!] ratty looking toy one that you see at the end, I was told it was the latter. Seriously overpriced tat-buying public, what gives? If I’m going to be buying a penguin from John Lewis this Christmas I want one who eats fish fingers and helps me put up the Christmas decorations.

The whole advert is basically Calvin and Hobbes, if Calvin and Hobbes were 300% more mawkish. I’m not saying it doesn’t work.  I cried when I watched it of course. I’m only human and John Lewis can play my heartstrings like a fiddle soon as look at them. It’s no Anxiously-Looking-Forward-To-Christmas-Boy’s-Jiggling-Leg-Being-Stilled-By-His-Newspaper-reading-Father but then what is?

Sainsbury’s tries to get in on the much-talked-about-Christmas-Advert action with their First World War themed advert. Perhaps there’s a mud-splattered Tommy soft toy to accompany it.

Elsewhere on the internet, the groundbreaking podcast Serial have confirmed that they will be back for a second series having successfully crowdfunded the money to do so. Oh, and there’s a new teaser trailer for Star Wars. Not that people on the internet are that bothered about Star Wars.

Finally as today is Black Friday in the US, enjoy this trailer of 1940 film Black Friday. In it we’re told that Bela Lugosi was hypnotised in order to make him believe that the scenes he was shooting were true. Lugosi, we’re told “actually experienced the terror of suffocating to death in a closet.” That’s an excellent bit of high quality bullshit and I think it should be used regularly in modern trailers. Tell me that George Clooney really thought he was floating off into space. Or that Tom Cruise genuinely believed he was stuck in an endlessly repeating timeloop in an alien-infested dystopian future. I’ll enjoy myself ever so much more.