Archive | November, 2010

The world’s first Bieber-loving gangster (that we know of)

30 Nov

Every so often, along comes a story that warms even the most cynical of hearts. No, we’re not talking world peace here. Or even unprecedented acts of human kindness. We’re talking about the world’s first ever Justin-Bieber-loving gangster.

Yes, that’s right – we talking sugary sweet Justin Bieber and the decidedly less saccharine-laden criminal. And no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – this is a mural of the teeny popstar found in the suspected druglord’s bedroom.

Justin Bieber: the gangster's celebrity of choice

In an unusual twist of fate, police found an elaborate shrine dedicated to Bieber in Brazilian gangster Luciano Martiniano da Silva’s house. It seems the hardened kingpin had a soft spot for the little tyke, boasting a hand-painted mosaic and numerous posters of the Canadian teen idol.

Of course, all this begs some serious questions on Justin Bieber’s connection with the criminal underworld. How did these two previously unconnected worlds ever collide? And what could be the consequences of such an unholy union?

It all sets a mind-boggling scene. Did the older gangsters pick on him for his taste in manufactured, pre-teen pop? Or were his underlings forced to participate in a painful charade, performing Justin Bieber hits to his every whim? And was Bieber’s “Baby” his torture method of choice?

Could crime-fighting be Wagner's latest venture?

Although we may never uncover the answers to these vital questions, one thing’s for sure: Justin Bieber is a great leveller. You can have as many heavyweight thugs, illegal firearms and recreational drugs as you like, but Bieber fans simply are not meant to be mob heavyweights. Attempting to mix the two is a little like setting The Godfather to the soundtrack of Alvin and the Chipmunks: the squeakquel. A few ill-fated, squeaky notes from either chipmunk or Bieber would shatter even the most carefully built reputations.

Still, we couldn’t help wondering what miracles these revelations could work for law enforcement teams. Just imagine – would Al Pacino have ever succeeded if he had supported X Factor’s Wagner? And could the Krays ever have built notoriety if they were outed as S Club 7 fans? Yes, planting a few choice tween CDs could be the policeman’s new secret weapon.

Who knows, Justin Bieber’s music may become a blessing in a very well-crafted disguise.


Stuart Baggs: the man behind ‘the brand’

26 Nov

So another week, and it’s another eye-wateringly embarrassing moment for Apprentice candidate Stuart Baggs. Yes, the one-man brand – a self-confessed “adrenaline junkie” who frequently reigns in his “extreme masculinity” – this time took his dubious talents to Germany. And what talents they were.

Yes, anyone who doubted his claims of superior memory and intellect were soon proved wrong. No sooner had the entrepreneur learned to count to zwanzig, than he showed his ability to insert the classic German GCSE phrase “Das ist wunderbar” into any given situation.

Are there brains behind 'the brand'? Credit: BBC

Despite his past grumblings, Germany appeared to bring out the optimist in Stuart. Failed appointments, communication breakdowns and sheer bewilderment were all met with an enthusiastic “wunderbar”. (Sadly the same couldn’t be said for Chris, who proclaimed “I hate the Germans” before even beginning the task. Cheer up Chris – whatever you’ve got against the Germans, surely exporting the Baggs brand is enough retribution.)

And finally, Baggs capped it all off with a rare moment of self-awareness: “I’m sure I look like an idiot to them.” Yes Stuart, das ist truly wunderbar.

Still, these powers of perception prompted us to look further into the enigma that is Stuart Baggs. Who is the man behind the brand? Could his powers of memory really render the written form redundant? And how does he respond to the rumours of his dodgy yo-yo selling past? This is what we found:

  • Stuart started wheeling and dealing as a young nipper, selling yo-yos in the playground. It was the beginning of a career full of ups and downs (sorry, it had to be done)….
  • His classmates clearly didn’t take kindly to his yo-yo peddling, as one of his school pals described him as an “egomaniac”.
  • At the tender age of 18, Stuart set up Isle of Man’s BlueWave Communications, which describes itself as “THE Island’s Communications Company”.
  • His antics on The Apprentice have prompted Ricky Gervais to brand Baggs the new David Brent. Does this mean we will see the boardroom’s first robot dance? We sincerely hope so.

Reluctantly, we have to admit a telecoms company and a David Brent comparison isn’t bad for a 21-year-old. So is there method behind Stuart’s apparent madness? Perhaps, as fellow 20something professionals, we should all take a leaf out of his book? Here’s our guide to doing business the Baggs way:

  1. Don’t write anything down: For Stuart, lists are a sign of weakness – the entrepreneur claims to store all

    Ignore facts and notes: business the Baggs way

    the information he needs inside his head. If colleagues doubt your powers of memory, simply show your pity for their writing habits by throwing around words such as “corporate” in a disparaging fashion.

  2. Facts are overrated: Facts, like lists, are for the weak. As Stuart said, he didn’t get where he is today by listening to information. All he needs is a strong sense of intuition, at its most acute when driving around Brands Hatch for no apparent reason.
  3. Talk about yourself as a brand: Stuart is no mere mortal, but a brand in his own right. When in work situations, talk about your superior qualities as if describing a product. Note: when you start using phrases such as “smooth taste” or “sparkling shine”, you’ve probably gone one step too far.
  4. Tuck your clothes in: Never one to neglect his appearance, this week’s Apprentice saw Stuart start a one-man campaign to bring back the anti-fashion of tucking clothes into jeans. When confronted by Stella for his unusual choice, he retorted: “Well, I’ve got to make an effort, haven’t I?” Our thoughts exactly, Stuart.

Disclaimer: Life in your twenties does not accept any responsibility for “accidental” injuries inflicted by colleagues while adopting the Baggs business model.