Thursday, July 30, 2009

We Buried Papa. It was Raining.

When you finally kick the bucket, don't leave your current wife (who will bring a date to your funeral) and your son Damien to look after themselves. Damien's going to need some money if he's ever going to get to Rome and rule the world, escaping the abuse of his future step-dad, who is just out of frame, with his hand on your widow's waist.

Accuquote, continuing in their campaign to become classiest advertiser on the web.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

We're All Deranged

If you enjoy satire or if the recent election left you spinning in a dizzy way, you might like Matt Taibbi's book The Great Derangement.

Going undercover in a Texas church, the author gets baptized, fakes speaking in tongues and makes friends with some lonely folks. While I found this technique evilly deceptive, the author balances his right-wing exposé with one as equally indicting of the left. Infiltrating some 9/11 Truth groups, he cleverly debunks their theories with an imaginary scene involving Cheney and crew as they mastermind an impossible scheme to take down the twin towers.

Taibbi is a bastard, but he is a truthful bastard, and this book, while disheartening, is also enlightening. In an outing to the mall with his church friends to "witness" to the masses, he is appalled at the desire of random strangers to unload their troubles on him, surmising:.

"No creature on earth is more inclined to public verbal diarrhea than a modern American; whether it's the AA culture, or the post-Me Generation emphasis on "finding yourself", or all those new-Woody Allens confessing to their therapists, or just too many damn people fantasizing about telling the audience of Oprah what influenced their latest album ("In the fourth track, I'm trying to share the sacred message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama..."), we live in a country where people believe implicitly in their right to bore the living shit out of absolutely everybody within haranguing distance with tales of their miserable, lonely, and inevitably self-deluding searches for personal fulfillment in the emotional desert that is our crass commercial culture."

In between ranting at (and sympathizing with) the hard left and the hard right, Taibbi skewers the process we call government, showing it for the back-room, lobbyist-driven sham that it is, regardless of which party is in power. The paperback edition has a September, 2008 afterword in which the author is even more disgusted at the tone of the McCain/Obama contest than he was with the do-nothing Democrats who took power under Pelosi.

He concludes that this fractured nation, and our ability to pick and choose and create our own customized news tailored to our prejudices and fears, has turned us into haters. We go to the polls to vote against someone, not for someone, and that person we vote against is the embodiment of all that is evil and corrupt - and we do so in the name of patriotism. Whether you're a Texas Christian convinced that Pelosi and Obama are tools of Satan, or you're a 9/11 Truther convinced that Cheney is the evil Illuminati's instrument for a new world government, you're both on the far fringes of reality, and you might do well to shut off your Internet for awhile and stop attending meetings that reinforce lies.

With a new cover by hipster illustrator Shephard Fairey, he of the iconic Obama art.

Crossposted to Radio Free Babylon.

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They Always Die in Threes

No, they don't. They always die - and people start counting again after three.

The fine ghouls of Google, in association with LIFE's photo archive, have updated the Google Image search page to prompt your searches for recently deceased celebrities. They know what you like.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Church of Palm Pre

This series of hyper-detached, striving-to-be-mysterious ads for the Palm Pre cause me to reach for the mute button with Ninja Speed. It's a phone, lady, not a way of life.

And don't quit your acting lessons. There's a weird Indie script headed your way that will be turned into a weird Indie film that no one will ever see.

But this is what iPhone's competition has been reduced to; desperate attempts to seem relevant to a market that has run away from them. It'd be as difficult as selling soccer to an NFL audience.

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OMG, That Was Sooo Hard - A Course in Journalism

The Fringe Right is becoming the New Right, and the "journalists" among them (namely WND, the nauseating, faux-Christian brainchild of Joseph Farah) are bent on proving that Barack Hussein Obama is the Muslim love-child of Malcolm X or a Kenyan Superman engineered by the Illuminati to bring destruction to Liberty and Freedom in order to pave the way for the One-World Government that will rape your women and take your guns and put you in jail to become the lobotomized, branded slaves of the Antichrist. (The raping, of course, will be done by bio-engineered Super Negroes. 666, don't ya know.)

They like to claim that Obama has no right to be President, since he, according to them, has not produced a birth certificate that passes their scrutiny, and most of them are experts in old documents and antiquities, of course. So it only stands to reason that any law that Obama passes is not law, since he is an illegitimately elected head-of-state. Soldiers do not have to carry out his orders, since he is a fraud. These people have come to be known as "birthers," and they are not going away anytime soon.

I'm not a journalist, but I can do a Google search and very quickly find the following August, 1961 birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser. Maybe the fine citizens waving flags and shouting shit should go home and do some research, instead of getting all of their "facts" from echo-chambers of like-minded fear-mongers pretending not to be racists. ("Don't call me a racist! Some of my best friends are black!")

I of course can already predict that the birthers will call this a forgery as well; some hastily manufactured, Photoshopped fake ordered by the fast-acting spin-doctor tools of Obama and the One-Worlders.

So maybe, just maybe, there is a dusty old copy of this rag in someone's garage, basement or attic in Hawai'i. How about it, ancient Hawaiians or children/grandchildren of Old Islanders? (White Kansan wives of guest-student Kenyans accepted.) We need to put these idiots out of their misery and let them find a new rumor to hang their hopes on.

Losers never looked so sore.

UPDATE: As expected, the WND Birther Brigade says the above announcement proves nothing.

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Cold Call Carl - No. 10

Like the flight attendant who does magic tricks or the table-side salad maker who flips his salt and pepper shakers, Cold Call Carl has discovered his gift.

Here's the whole "Cold Call Carl" series.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stinging Bing

I'd read nothing but positive reviews for Bing, so I decided to conduct a little test of the Microsoft search engine. A self-serving test, but a test nonetheless.

Yesterday I wrote a post called Swiss Army Airstream. I typed that phrase, without quotes, into Google. The post I wrote yesterday is the third search result for the phrase. Type the same phrase into Bing, and I stopped trying to find my post after ten pages of search results.

Now, I understand that Google might be indexing my blog faster than Bing since Where's My Jetpack? is hosted on Google's Blogger platform, and I also get that Bing might want to take their time indexing Google hosted results, much the way Microsoft's spellcheckers pretended not to know what the word "Google" was for the longest time. This isn't unbiased science, but I have proven, at least for myself, that there's no need to switch from a good thing to a questionable thing.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

And The Girls Will Want to Fondle it, Too

This copy kills me as it speaks to your dad, taunting him to be a man, grow a set and buy a Honda. Ride this onto campus and you've got a guaranteed orgy with random women coming your way in very short order.

Not unlike the power of Axe Body Spray, come to think of it.

Click for bigness

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Facebook Vanity Search Results in Marriage

You've done it, don't lie. You Google your own name or you search for people with your name on Facebook. (There are way too many of me on Facebook, most of them in England, Australia or Scotland.) Well, a woman in Coral Springs, Florida named Kelly Hildebrandt did just that, and now she's marrying some guy named Kelly Hildebrandt from Lubbock, Texas.

I'd suggest the female Kelly keep her maiden name or maybe just hyphenate it to Kelly Hildebrandt-Hildebrandt.

Here's hoping you two have more in common than this. At some point the novelty will wear off.

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Shell Shock Spock

He's been reduced to a one-trick pony for most of his career, but here's Leonard Nimoy getting in some early drama practice on the set of some military training film dealing with the horrors of war.

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Swiss Army Airstream

They collaborated with Design Within Reach to build a very cool, limited edition trailer, now the streamlined futurists of Airstream have teamed up with Victorinox, the Swiss company best known for the Swiss Army Knife. In honor of Victorinox's 125th anniversary, Airstream built a trailer that is very likely hands down their coolest ever.

The unfortunate part of this promotion is that they only built 125 of them. Here's a dealer in Jersey offering one. MSRP is 60K, so that might explain why they only built 125.

From what I can tell, the Airstream devotee is not unlike a Mac cultist. Once you go Mac, you never go back. And once you go Airstream, you'll feel like a gypsy derelict in anything but. I took the Mac plunge and I am considering getting a voodoo doll of Bill Gates for my desk. I am willing to sell my creativity (for a while anyway) to Airstream.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer Airstream a great deal: in exchange for this trailer, I will create a blog devoted to how awesome you are, with pictures and everything. I will also tweet about your greatness incessantly, or until such time as I feel I have paid off the 60K. I have plans to make my new Airstream blog really fun, so if you could also give me a couple extra hundred thousand in cash so I can quit my job and travel the country, the blog will be much cooler. Who wants to read about how the trailer sits in my driveway? When you deliver my new Airstream Swiss Army Limited Edition Caravan of Badness, please include a 17" Macbook Pro. Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

And like every good business worth their shiny stainless steel skin, Airstream is on Twitter. Three. Times.

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Casting Beans at Grandmas and Other Stuff

I had the opportunity to join Bob Knorpp, John Wall and Bill Green for a serious discussion of marketing news last night on the Beancast. These guys take their marketing seriously, and Bob provided a required reading list that amounted to some 10,000 pages, all of which I devoured half an hour before the show in a futile attempt to act like I knew what I was talking about.

Had never met Bob or John, but it was great to finally put voices to the words they write daily. I have been "collaborating" with Bill for at least three years, and it was nice to actually get to speak with him. I'm fairly certain I contributed little of much use to the conversation, but it was good to be in the company of people who are all over social media trends, agency news and the eternal battle of Apple vs. Microsoft. At times I felt like the shade tree mechanic visiting with a group of top Porsche engineers in a glass and chrome complex in Stuttgart.

I stand by my comment that if you regard Facebook as "indispensable" to your life, then you need to get a life.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Sneaker Pimps

No, not the cool kind, the other ones.

Unless you're just of the telemarketing mindset and you only care about converting 2% of your contacts, then you need to request link exchanges in a more personal style than this:


I'm glad that I came across your site You have some very useful and interesting content there. I will put a link to your site from my site, if this is fine with you.

I help run a store called [lame replica sneaker store dotcom] it's not really a big one, but it's getting there. Please have a look. If you could possibly place a small link of my site, that would be really great.

Have a great day and hope to hear from you.

When you start off lying to me, it will be hard for us to ever establish a good relationship. Clearly, you know nothing about this site, and you obviously sent this email to thousands of other bloggers. A more compelling way to prove to me that you really did find some "useful and interesting content here" might be to reference an actual post. Further, if I start driving traffic to you by providing a link to your cheap shoe store, what are your tracking mechanisms and how will I be compensated if one of my clickers buys your cheap, ugly knock-off shoes? Maybe I'm just one more tool to be ripped off by you, the way you're ripping off Nike and Puma and Reebok with your lookalike shoes?

You see the links over there on the right panel? Those are people with ideas and stories and content I don't mind being associated with. Maybe someday I will entertain the notion of an ad or two for a product or service that I use and appreciate, but I'm not running a link farm for your lameness.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Musical Interlude

I'm on the road to Miami and am therefore unable to even fake being clever, thoughtful or worth reading. I can, however, provide you with some music for your browsing pleasure. I never mind getting this song stuck in my head. Just open another browser window and allow this song to serenade you as you waste away the hours seeking celebrity gossip and humiliating videos, tweeting and checking your Facebook, fooling your overlords that your work is really hard and you'll meet that deadline, but it may require some overtime.

Once in Miami, aside from useless meetings that will infuriate me ("face time" we call it) I intend to photograph my brand new Construction Orange Plaid Nation t-shirt on Miami Beach sometime tomorrow morning. So there's that to look forward to. Woohoo.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Belinda Will Bedazzle Your Bra

Not just for strippers and show girls anymore, now you too can enjoy the luxurious feeling of jewelry in your butt crack.

Belinda is a focused businesswoman, and she took the extra step to wrap her vehicle with this classy advert for her unique brand of jeweled underthings. See some of Belinda's creations here.

Seen in Altamonte Springs, Florida this weekend.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Put Her in the Backseat and Drive Her To Tennessee

Just got back from Tennessee, where I wish I was still. I can't say I missed blogging for one minute. Here's a shot taken during what photographer Ross Halfin calls "God's Light" one evening. Not a single thing was done to this image in Photoshop. Straight from the camera to here. (Click it for the big, screensaver version, free of charge. Hurry while supplies last.)

I'm so enamored of Tennessee, I even love their state flag. Understated, tasteful.

We didn't watch TV for a week, only checked Internet for emergency work emails and only on the computer that had a barely passable connection via Verizon. AT&T was out, as was Sprint. No cell phone service. We just hung out on a porch in the woods in the north central mountains of the state, went swimming and boating (Where's My Jetski?) in a lake and had three great meals a day, no between-meal snacks.

And yes, I've posted this cringe-inducing video before, but it's always worth a second look, especially since Prince sings about Tennessee. In that funky Prince way.

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Off The Grid

Like a dumb American, I will join many other idiots on our fine Interstate system tomorrow and travel some 700 miles to a faraway land where the water is said to be clear, the air clean and the inhabitants friendly, if a bit confused. Once the dreaded drive is completed, the aim is to relax.

While I'm sure the inhabitants regard themselves as the mainest of mainstream America, (we will be in one of their red counties) they have been bypassed by the likes of AT&T and other carriers. And when the inhabitants see iPhone commercials on their teevees, do they say to themselves, "Wish we could get that," or do they say, "Stupid phone. Who the hell needs that thing?" I'm guessing the latter. So, it might be fun to do as the Romans do and just use the stupid phone as an iPod and mindless time-waster. (Wolfenstein 3D is a fun app.) Or maybe I'll set it down and read a book.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sanford's Options

I don't know who is managing Governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford's public relations, but he's really blowing it with the wishy-washy statements. First he confesses in a weird ramble, then he confesses that his confession wasn't exactly true, now he refuses to speak to the media.

I've drafted two statements for you, Governor. Quit being a clown and choose one.

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Jack Smith - Adsmith

The thing I like about Jack is that he always stands by what he believes.

It's a one-off, I'm pretty sure.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

This is a Lot of Work for a Free T-Shirt

You know how when a band gets big, the people who followed their earlier tours get all bent out of shape, saying things like, "Oh, you don't have the bootleg video of the Portland show? I was there, man! You guys aren't real fans!" That's how I feel now as one of my favorite groups hits the road for the third year in a row. I covered their previous two tours and met up with them when they were down here in O-town on what they called a "working weekend." (Drawing pictures in a public park downtown is hardly working.) I've had the opportunity to work with them professionally and they are a fun bunch who don't give you a lot pf pushback. Or maybe they're just so good with their people skills that when they give you pushback you don't even realize it.

I'm talking, of course, about the mentally challenged children of Plaid, a not-for-profit ministry in downtown Danbury, Connecticut. Led by a former punk rocker who had a vision of providing shelter and guidance to wayward urchins who'd been turned out on the streets, Plaid seeks to bring hope and healing to a hurting world. And I believe that children are our future.

This time, the Plaidiators will focus on the central states, taking in Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Branson, Memphis, Jackson and New Orleans. I will follow with interest the Branson portion of their journey, as I have experience in that region, experience I don't like to talk about unless there is someone standing nearby ready to sedate me.

And this time, the Plaid Summer Tour is different. They have sponsors now. They even got their vehicle supplied by Ford. This time instead of a giant church van, they'll travel in a Ford Flex. That's really cool. And sponsorship means the swag will be better for the bloggers who took the time to write about the trip.

It's a mobile exercise in new biz development. This is no cold call journey. The Plaid people have it all planned out: seeing new places, maybe landing a client or two, meeting the friends from Twitter and blogs they've never actually met in person. If they're swinging through your town, you'd be well-advised to buy them a beer and hang out. Until they start kissing your cheek and rubbing your leg. Then it's time to go because the weird stuff is about to happen.

Follow along starting July 20th.

I'm ready for my swag now.

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