Now that I have seen the ads for Supreme Master TV in the back of both the Economist and Businessweek(near the ads for offshore bank accounts), I decided that it is time I write about it.
The ad I first saw was the one in the Economist. It had the headline “What’s New and Exciting On The Internet” next to a picture of a blond Asian woman looking skyward. The ad was promoting a satellite channel that provided spiritual, and uplifting programming.
After doing a little searching around, I found out about Supreme Master Ching Hai – who Time magazine describes as the Buddhist Martha Stewart. An apt description.
Not only is Ching Hai enlightened, but a marketing maven who runs a chain of vegetarian restaurants, a clothing line, sells paintings and has a satellite TV network.
By all accounts, quite the character.
Also: is there a lot of weird stuff on satellite TV?
I have long had a real thing for homegrown African movie posters. They are the kind of thing where they just throw the branding away and go with what they feel. And I can appreciate that. I saw a book full of these posters once at Book Soup, and was instantly enthralled. The loving renders of Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Woody Allen and various Nigerian stars appealed to me with their honesty. Plus they color and the way they are drawn looks really cool.
Anyways, the particular case that I wish to discuss is regarding an example that I found on a page of African movie posters(it’s in French, so if you don’t read French you are pretty much SOL or you can go to Google translator). It is a poster for Jean Claude Van Damme’s 1989 blockbuster “Kickboxer”.
We see that instead of the standard issue boxing gloves normally favored by kick-boxers, he has on his hands rags embedded with shards of broken glass. Is that Ghanaian style kickboxing?
I guess in Ghana it’s not really kickboxing until you suffer multiple lacerations. That’s just how they do it. It sort of reminds me of the time when a kid at my school got into a fight with the Japanese foreign exchange student on the basketball court and the foreign exchange student went over to the side of the court and picked up a broken bottle. I was like, “Psst, normally around here we punch – or more realistically – just clumsily grapple each other. No need to send him to the hospital for a silly basketball dispute.” Every country has their own rules I guess.
So it’s this type of local touch that really makes these posters appeal to me. I guess its the same reason that Turkish ET will always have a special place in my heart.