Friday, February 26, 2010

Tea Party (with Red Peppers and Dom Perignon)


I am offering, for a short time, limited edition prints of my latest composition. (Click image for larger.) As I am terribly modest about my own work, I can't really explain it to you, so I'll share this review from Red State Art Digest:

At once haunting and timeless, Tea Party (with Red Peppers and Dom Perginon) is a masterwork of unparalleled import. The artist speaks in this kitchen scene to the passions, the fears, the freedoms and the dreams of the modern patriot. A brick of gold, a bong, a refrigerator bedecked with ageless truths, the artist blurs the boundaries between Libertarian and Libertine, offering us a glimpse of a new Age of Reason, where a man can dress as an 18th Century militia member and not be ridiculed for his patriotism.

The review went on with endless embarrassing flattery, but my modesty prohibits me sharing much more. OK, just a little more:

The spicy scent of the peppers nearly wafts from the canvas, reds so brilliant and succulent, while framed in the dual and subtle yellows of melted butter and solid gold, over which the patriot stands guard. Or does he guard his lady, she of the alluring eye and come-hither stance, suggesting a Fox News weekend anchorwoman? She represents truth, and the patriot will protect her.

Colour prints

20" x 16" £6000
16" x 12" £4300
12" x 10" £2800

Lith Prints

20" x 16" £5500
16" x 12" £3800
12" x 10" £2300

(In truth: I saw this old kitchen at the always awesome Plan 59, and it begged to be messed with.)

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gonna Have to Get Those Jason Filters

Was auditioning for a VO for a very cool agency. Sent over the file. Heard back from my contact at the agency. He writes:

They said you sound too professional. They have requested I find them something more "everyman."  I said, "You mean like Jason Bateman?" and they said yes.

I'll try to wimp it up a little and give it some more Bateman. Can't go too far, though, 'cause then you drift into Schwartzman, or God forbid, Alexander.

(For the record, I'm a Bateman fan.)

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The Real Ron Burgundy

You know how it is - you're searching for something on YouTube and accidentally find a time vault item that you can't ignore.

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We Interrupt This Broadcast

Over the weekend, I read what has been widely acclaimed as a pretty good novel by a well-known author. I came away from his book saying, "What a pile of crap. That thing I wrote in 30 days is better than this." But the game of publishing is, in fact, a game, all the more these days when publishers are freaking out about the viability of their industry. I'll keep standing on the sidelines hoping to play, shouting for the coach to put me in, but I'm going to bend the rules now.

Nothing like self-publishing; the ultimate "Bite me!" to the REAL publishing world. Downside, of course, is that no one reads it and you never see a dime, not that most authors make any money anyway. So I decided, "Why not take self-publishing one step further and just say, "Fuck it," posting the manuscript I wrote, in its entirety, here on Blogger? Maybe it'll catch the eye of a literary agent or publisher, or maybe it will expose me for the hack that I am, a risk I have been taking here on this blog for four years. 

Raise your hand if you have a great idea for a screenplay. Raise your hand if you think you've written the killer novel. (It has Vampires in it? Excellent!) We would-be writers and hopeful authors hold on to our "works" as if they are undiscovered gold, clutching them to our chests lest some plagiarist see them, recognize their worth, and steal them. That's bullshit. Throw it out there. See what happens. 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled whatever it was we were doing here.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Right On Time

Walked past a FastSigns storefront last night on our way to all-you-can-eat wings at the local Gator's Dockside and saw this odd juxtaposition. A guy making a big impression with his presentation of a beautiful posterboard from 1998.


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Let's Go Caving!

From the people who brought you Boxing Glove Is a Brain comes this work of epic retardation, featuring a pioneering team of doctors all geared up to explore the uncharted territory that is your vajayjay. Pretty sure I don't want to know about the debris at their feet.

Florida Hospital, Where Vaginal Spelunking is not Just Our Mission, It's Our Passion.

(The body copy was removed from this ad to highlight the cluelessness from which Florida Hospital's creative team operates. And it was really tiny and pretty standard.)

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

If I Only Had a Brain

Around Central Florida, ads for Florida Hospital have been appearing with this image of a boxing glove that looks like a brain. Or perhaps it's a brain that is simply a boxing glove. I don't know. And aren't brains grey? (That's "gray" for my American countrymen.) What I do know is that this is one of those ads that makes you go, "Gross." And perhaps I'm a little short on grey matter, but this is a confusing message to me. So if a stroke is "a knockout punch to the brain," then is this glove a brain that is going to knock someone out? Or does the glove just represent a stroke? Or does this glove represent that the hospital is fighting back? With a punch from a brain? An outdoor board execution with this same image says "We're champs at fighting back." OK, whatever.

It'll probably win an award.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Don't Be Left out - Order Your Tiger Woods Apology Plate

On February 19, 2010, a long and enduring public humiliation culminated in one historic event - the apology of Tiger Woods at a press conference at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Introducing a defining Tiger Woods collectible that captures a landmark moment in the changing tide of the American media landscape. This Tiger Woods commemorative collector plate celebrates his contrite message of hope that his fans would "find it in your hearts to believe in me again."

Crafted in magnificent fine porcelain, this All-American limited-edition Tiger Woods collectible is available exclusively from The Jetpack Exchange. Featuring an image of his electrifying speech before a worldwide audience against a deep blue backdrop, this momentous Tiger Woods memorabilia signifies the changing power of the public apology. Own your piece of American history. Order now!

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We Are Building a Religion

There's a brand manager over at Frito-Lay's SunChips who just won't give up. Burdened with the 21st Century do-gooder, save-the-planet, share-the-love ethos, back in '07 SunChips was immersed in their "Live Brightly" campaign, complete with fake videos of cool dudes who eat SunChips buying two sandwiches and giving one to a homeless man, who just wanted some cheap, potent wine. Having failed to start a new religion based on "Live Brightly," SunChips is now going the "How Will You Change the World?" route. I won't transcribe the copy from that site, because you can imagine it already. Here are the highlights:
"Small ideas, turn to big ideas, ride your bike to work, greener planet, power to change the world, we can do this!"

Are you puking yet? They go on to explain that SunChips bags are now biodegradable! How awesome is that? Doesn't it make you want to grab a bunch of empty SunChips bags and throw them out the window as you race through a beautiful green space without a muffler on your gas-guzzling SUV, screaming at the bum on the corner to "Get a Job!"? OK, maybe you won't react that harshly. Or perhaps you are susceptible to this bullshit and you now have the urge to buy a Prius and compost your toilet paper. (Oh, did I mention that SunChips are "heart healthy?" Yes! So skip that coronary bypass and just munch away. The heart healthy lie is an essay of its own for another time.)

Remember when Heineken did the same thing, trying (and failing) to create a Universal Brotherhood by "Sharing the Good?"

But as the culture goes, so goes the advertising. (Or is it the other way around?) For instance, during World War II, if your brand didn't "support the war effort," it was basically a Nazi brand and you should be put into a camp in the desert along with those suspicious Japanese. So as we are continually bombarded with talk of our "Planet In Peril" and the need to "Be Good Stewards," we can expect beer and chips to try to jump on the bandwagon. Some good surely comes from this. Then again, some real sharks are born of it, like the "Sustainability Consultant" businesses now showing up in big corporations, teaching grown-ups how to use less paper.

"Green" is now a religion, with adherents so militant and fervent they could qualify as religious extremists. (How many of us now recycle out of sheer guilt?) But if you're looking for meaning and a sense of fulfillment from a bag of chips, you should maybe go talk to a member of the clergy, or a psychiatrist. 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Until We Meet Again

The traditional meeting business has long suffered due to sites like GoToMeeting. Or due to improvements in tools like Skype. Or tools like the telephone. Still, there are the old-school types who prefer to do business the old-fashioned way: at a hotel - in a conference room - with pitchers of ice water and carafes of bad coffee - with stale danish and cloth napkins - with a projector so you can watch a Powerpoint presentation. Don't forget the always clean rest rooms and the helpful staff. Make sure to wear your best meeting clothes. And book a flight. And get a room. And don't party too much the night before the meeting. While in the meeting, take plenty of notes on a pad of paper, because the printed handout of the Powerpoint presentation is not enough to show you are pretending to be interested. If you raise your hand to ask a question, you just might hear, "Let's discuss this more offline," because meeting in person is somehow "online." But "face time," the proponents of traditional meetings argue, "is important." I agree. That's why Skype has video.

Hyatt, borrowing a concept from Demotivators, placed this ad in today's New York Times, hoping you will hold your next meeting with them. Their tagline is "Great Happens," with the subtag "When People Get Together." It's one of those over-the-top pledges that means nothing and promises everything. It's all explained in vague detail at Hyatt Meetings, with nice pictures of the helpful staff setting the conference room table with pitchers of ice water and cloth napkins.

Cute execution. Nice skewer of the traditional corporate poster, except that it's in promotion of a traditional corporate practice. 

Previously in Motivating The Troops with Buzzwords:
There is no "U" in "Team."

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hippies in the Suburbs Eating Lunch Meat

While I like the concept of the couple not happy with their neighbor's overgrown place and the comic tension of the scene, something misses with this Hormel ad. I like the pacing, the dialog, the acting, even the silly punchline of the natural and naked wife in her yard. The spot makes you smile slightly, keeping you interested, until they shift gears and hit you with the pitch voiced by perky girl reading odd copy.

The corporate tag at the end is trying too hard and failing, stuck on at the close in what feels like a template designed by a meddling CMO. "Life. Better Served." Seriously? LIFE? Better Served? Kind of a heavy-handed message to be coming from lunch meat.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Crazier Ideas Have Been Tried

Dear Mars, Inc. This is clearly a parody ad. If anyone thinks it actually came from you, they'd be really, really stupid. On the other hand, if some poor loser smoker decides this is the way to quit smoking, then all the better for you, right? I guess what I'm trying to say is lighten up, laugh, and don't send me a cease and desist.

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OK, Gurus, They Did What You Said. Now What?

Last night I heard a phrase that catches my ear every time I hear it used in advertising, "Log on to our..." It irks me because we don't "log-on to" anything unless it's secure and requires a user name and password. We simply "go" to your website, we don't log onto it.

Anyway, that's a minor and debatable point. This time the ad said "Log-on to our Facebook page." The ad was for a group of regional medical centers, but everything else in the ad was lost to me, as I wasn't listening until the Facebook part. I'm sure it had to do with the chain of hospitals' commitment to "quality care, innovation and helping our community," three bullets that took the internal CMO and his committees 18 months to agree on.

And now they're on Facebook, just like the big boys. They're using Social Media! Just like they've been reading about in every magazine, probably including a very interesting piece in Hospital Marketing Monthly titled something like "Opening the Conversation: 10 Ways to Engage your Patients and Prospective Patients using Social Media." Just like a bunch of consultants told them they should. Just like their incompetent marketing agency pretended to know all about. It probably took them forever to get it all approved and there is probably a rigorous process of checks and edits before anything gets posted on their Facebook page, but they're finally there. And I'm sure someone in HR or Communications sent out a notice, or wrote a nice story in the company's employee newsletter, announcing that "We are Moving into Social Media!" and urged all hospital employees to friend, fan or follow their employer, thus instantly creating the illusion of popularity.

I'm sure they're patting themselves on the back at this point, delighted that they finally did what they've been hearing about for so long. And now they will sit and wait. And then they will start to wonder, "Was the only reason we did this so that we can post press releases and photos of employee events?" Then the CMO will say to his team(s), "I'm hearing a lot about this Twitter thing. I think we should create a committee to study a Twitter strategy and then recommend some initiatives." And in about six months they might set up a Twitter account, and within it they will post links to their Facebook photos and generic, mundane press releases. They might even hire a consultant who is an expert in Twitter Strategies, who will show them a presentation saying as much.

Everyone's on Facebook now, gurus. And they all have a Twitter account. Are you going to now recommend they be on Google Buzz? You used to tell them they needed a blog, and so they started a blog. Then they abandoned that because it quickly proved to be a pointless exercise in self-promotion that no one ever read, much less commented on. (Hell, even the new media agencies that used to advocate blogs don't bother to update their own blogs anymore.) And the YouTube channel you insisted they create isn't getting any views. And their MySpace page is dormant. (Yeah, you recommended a MySpace "presence," remember?) In their ignorance, they accidentally but wisely declined your urging to open up a shop in Second Life.

At some point, the game is going to be up. The doors are starting to close as everyone tells you, "We already have someone working on that," or "We took that in-house last year." And even you can't fool the laundromat, the local pack-and-ship place or that quirky-cool restaurant you found downtown that they need to hire a Social Media Expert. Perhaps after the speaking gigs dry up and your vast knowledge of how to navigate this "crazy new frontier" is just plain old common knowledge, you will close up shop and start looking for a real job. Maybe the hospital chain will hire you as their New Media Strategist, and you can sit in a cubicle and update the Facebook page and monitor talk of your company on Twitter, where you will be pasting pre-approved 140-character responses to angry customers in between linking to photos of the employees at their recent 5K run.

But you and I know an intern can do that.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Seriously, Not a Good Name For Your Daycare

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Band Names from Google News

Volume XXVI, Number 5, likely.

How you ever gonna get the labels to notice you, little rebels, if you can't even garner a measly following on MySpace or Facebook? Here's the trick: you need to name yourself something unique. And don't just look around your apartment and see something and try to make a band name out of it, because "Girlfriend's Hairbrush" or "Empty Cat Food Can" are just lame names for your group. Go to Google News. There is a daily trove of possibilities waiting for you. Like today. Click the name to see what inspired it.

For more in this series, see here.

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The Tuscany of Canada

Just watch. They have that big outdoor feast cliché happening in a beautiful field of green.

Finally, Michael J. Fox found a job, and so did Sarah McLachlan, who has been milking her ancient sad song in the service of dying puppies for way too long. Not that British Columbia really needs promoting, but they threw together a host of local celebs who urge you to come see their home. But I was sold on the beauty of BC long ago, first by Steve Martin's "Roxanne," filmed in Nelson, BC, then by Robert Kaplan's "An Empire Wilderness," in which after traipsing through a dystopian American landscape, the author finds a true Emerald City in Vancouver.

Never been, but it sure looks nice. I'm sold. I may even have been convinced that my expatriate destination of choice is no longer South Australia. Oh, wait: "According to the International Housing Affordability Survey of 2009, Vancouver was ranked at 262 out of 265 cities in six countries, so it's less affordable than New York (ranked at 251st place)."

I guess that explains the celebrities.

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The consensus seems to be that Google Buzz is too late. Early bird has been there and eaten that. We're all snoozing through the press releases and tutorials, if we even bother to look at them.

We've got all we can handle in terms of platforms to "share" everything with everyone.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

And on The Seventh Day, You Will Get Your Ass Up and Work

Under the job title of "Federal Emergency Relief Contractors / Special Project in South Florida," I found an intriguing call for "Cooks, Dishwashers, Food service workers, Shower operators (sanitizing showers and refilling supplies), Laundry workers, General maintenance people, Administrative assistants, Machine Operators, Project Managers (this is a higher skilled position), Janitors, Laborer, Grounds Maintenance, Washer, Machine Appliance Mechanic, General Maintenance Worker, Laborer, Driver Courier, Parking and Lot Attendant, Shuttle Bus Driver, Truck driver, Light, Truck driver, Medium, Truck driver, Heavy and Truck driver, Tractor-Trailer."

The best part of the ad was this paragraph:

Workers are expected to do any tasks assigned and work 7 days/week, 12 hour/ day – 40 hours regular time pay and 44 hours overtime pay. They must provide their own transportation to and from the work-site, and will be provided shelter, and all meals. This commitment could be up to 6 weeks or more. Workers will be paid the prevailing wage designated for each area.

So this thing is like bootcamp, or prison, except you get paid. It could also double as a sort of in-patient weight-loss or detox program and stop-smoking clinic, I'd bet.

If I was a Fox Newser, I'd cry out against the socialist nature of this Nazi Work Camp. If I was an MSNBCer, I'd glory in the Peace Corps/New Deal aspect of it all. As an unemployed writer, I see it as a story and two paychecks. Six weeeks of 84-hour weeks and free meals? Maybe a bunch of stories. I'd embed on this one.

I'm gonna apply for Laborer, Grounds Maintenance.

Rolling Stone? The Atlantic?

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Direct Mail Dogs

It's orange, so it looks like the utility company sent it. It's stark, like a utility company would do, but they would probably say "Water Alert" if this emergency-looking card was from them. They would also use their logo. And they would not send it by bulk mail. They'd hang it on your door. But when Grandma gets this, she goes, "Oh noooo! Did I forget to pay the water bill?" Grandma probably won't look that number up online and find the word "suspicious" in a lot of the search results. She'll probably call it, and hear a recorded message announce very firmly (and within the guidelines of the law established to protect consumers from ravenous wolves like ourselves) that if you received a card that says, "Water Update!" please be informed that we are not associated with any city, county or government water agency and that we are a water purification company.

And so you call it again, hoping to hear the name of the company that the hosebag bastard announcer ever-so-cleverly slurs at the beginning of the message. (Thank you for calling "Jaws of Orlando," it sounds like. Might've been "Pureov of Orlando.") Dick Jaws wants Granny to leave her name and address and he will rush a brochure out to her, which will be followed by, what next? Is it time for the rep to come out and do the demo, show Granny how she's gonna die from all the filth and scum that she ingests everyday through the tap? How her untreated water is eating her skin alive, like so much acid and wind and sand? Just for listening to the spiel, I'm sure there's a lovely gift incentive for her. But only if Granny is so off her rocker that she called them after receiving their brochure, which was probably full of scary headlines and ugly, germy pictures, appealing to her hypochondria. But I think by this time even ol' Gramma knows what's up with these rascals. She believes in honest dealin', and these fellas, well, they sorta tried to trick her.

That is a whole lot of hoops you're expecting really ignorant people to jump through there, asshole water purifier people. But as an old, foolish ad man once told me, "Unethical is not illegal."

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Retro Ad: It's Cold Outside. Let Ed Warm You Up.

The Mrs. and Ed are so dying to shed their clothes and have rocking chair sex that they'll let their little girls crawl into the fireplace. Ed sports those gradual tint glasses - and they're gradually tinting - 'cause he's wife so hot! I won't mock Ed's combover. That was very stylish back in his day.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hurricane Houses for Haiti

FACT: Round Houses Stand Up to Hurricanes.

These little cylindrical dwellings would be cheap, I'd guess. And the bonus is that with no corners for the wind to grab, they might last a while and not get shred apart by the storms so common in the area. All you'd need is a section of concrete pipe. Beats the hell out of a tin shack covered in cardboard and plastic. How it holds up in an earthquake I couldn't tell you. Probably better than a tin shack covered in cardboard and plastic.

Background image is actually Haiti. Foreground dwellings created in Google Sketch-Up. Remember Google Sketch-Up? I finally learned how to make a dome from a YouTube tutorial.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

New Tuscany Condos Probably Won't Be Called Tuscan Pointe

In the actual region of Tuscany, I wonder if these two workers pouring a porch on a condo construction job realize that across the world, in the fabled land of L'America, upper middle class white people think that God created Tuscany just for them to imitate.

Be it tile, paint, furniture, real estate, food or drink, we will somehow attach this image to any item named Tuscan: A Sunny Afternoon Feast spread out on a Big Oak Table Outdoors with a Rolling Hills Countryside Background while a Gentle Breeze Blows through a Renaissance Romance. Ah, yes. People will pay for that image. They will pay more than whatever you're selling is worth.

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The Perplexed Passersby of Google Street Views

You see them at street corners waiting for the light to change, or walking down the sidewalk, or washing their cars. They turn to look, and even though they're blurred out, they all have the same curious look about them. (Click for the large.)

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The Apology Ad

My first car was a Toyota, a hand-me-down Celica from my Dad. It wasn't mine for very long before I fell asleep at the wheel and rolled it on I-5 in San Diego early one morning. I promptly replaced it with another used Celica, this one a little newer and with one more gear. Since then I've owned two more Toyotas and there's one in the driveway right now. I've been a loyalist I suppose, and have always trusted the company to make long-lasting, reliable vehicles. If I could afford to, I would pay way too much money to own one of the original Land Cruisers, before Land Cruiser got all snotty and shiny and became the preferred truck of snotty, shiny women carting their kids to school.

So now they're recalling how many cars? 8 million? And deaths can be attributed to some manufacturing flaws? How do you rebound from that? Toyota is all over the news in the most embarrassing way a manufacturer can be in the news, with many wondering if they'll ever recover from this blow. In Japan it is being seen as the prelude to the country's post-industrialization era. And while I agree with the company's policy of public apology, (very Japanese of them) I don't like this spot much. They want to "restore your faith in our company" says the voiceover guy who received the following direction: "We need you to sound like you're very sorry, like you're almost crying, like a married politician who got busted having an affair."

Nonetheless, I don't know how you could've done this ad better. They tell the story of a company with a heritage of quality that majorly fucked up and is now working like dogs to fix their fuck-ups and get out of the doghouse. Well, you might've given your voiceover guy a little less simpering wimp intonation and let him read it differently, but whatever, voiceover guys are a dime a dozen. They can easily replace the audio track. 

When you search Toyota on YouTube, you'll find the company has bought the top listing. Another wise move. And leave it to the YouTube comment "community" to let Toyota know how they feel:

" can not hide 20 deaths and call your product HIGH QUALITY."


"Remember Pearl Harbor!"

I can see a day when this bad season is behind Toyota and they are back in form, winning our trust again, but it's going to take something really awesome, like an electric car that goes 500 miles on a charge. Or a jetpack.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Don't Get All Bent Outta Shape

A new logo for Indy.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Our Annual National Feast and Holy Day of Obligation

Pardon us, world, but this is our religion, and this morning even the space shuttle decided not to take off in deference to the Mighty Game at Hand. And we don't care if you prefer your silly soccer that you jokingly call football over our game. You WILL watch our game. And your commerce shall cease as all your eyes turn this way to marvel at our ability to put on a giant show.

By now you should know the back stories. There's a guy who is helping survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Or maybe there are a bunch of those guys. There's another whose uncle recently died, and on his deathbed he told his nephew, "You must win the Super Bowl or my soul shall never be at rest." And he gasped his last and gripped the nephew's hand, pressing a special heirloom trinket into it, which the young player now keeps in his locker and kisses before every game. There's the quarterback hand-picked by God himself to deliver a city from its trials, and anyone who's ever been to Indianapolis knows what a trying city it can be. Then there's fate, destiny and many titles to be bestowed on various players by washed-up-jock columnists and cliche-spouting talking heads. Someone will be the MVP, another will play with more heart and soul and grit and temerity, (they love that word and once they love a word, expect them all to use it) and another will be carted off the turf, giving a guilt-freeing thumbs-up to us all as we applaud his sacrifice on the field of battle and the temerity with which he played the game, perhaps this being his very last, tragically. Now let's get back to smashing heads and finding out more about the breast cancer of the second string defensive end's mother-in-law. 

I love football. It's a fun sport. But I hate the Super Bowl and what it has become. I will probably laugh at a few commercials and cringe at others that involve Danica Patrick and that smarmy GoDaddy CEO. But as in the past, I am not engaging in what has become as much a part of this game as a sad old band playing their greatest hits at halftime, the business of reviewing Super Bowl ads. That will be handled on countless blogs by more accurate and fairer reviewers. I will enjoy some wings and beer though, I'm pretty sure. My country expects no less from me.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Unemployment Will Make a Man Do Weird Things - Part 2

Regular readers of this blog know that I'm a huge fan of Google Street Views. So I decided to tour the country and see every state capitol building. It was fun. Here is a record of my trip, with an original track by the insanely talented Fred Leo of Atlanta, on which I provided the whistle. I hope this little half-minute lark goes a long way toward healing the deep divisions that threaten to tear our country asunder, but I'm a realist, and some of these state capitols are hideous monstrosities of architectural incompetence, built by stupid people in stupid states where all the opinions are stupid. So there.

More Google Street Views nonsense.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Bridging the NASCAR Gap

While the Republicans hash out who they want as their nominee for the Senate race in Florida (Charlie "I Swear I'm Heterosexual" Crist, or Marco "I'm the Cuban Reagan" Rubio) one hopeful Democrat challenger is a South Florida Congressman named Kendrick Meek, and Kendrick's team has a brilliant idea. They're going to bring a little color to NASCAR. Meek is sponsoring a car in the Daytona Nationwide Series Race and wants you to join him and his family on Pit Road.

Why do I like this? Let's be honest, NASCAR has avoided blacks forever, and I'd bet for the most part blacks have avoided NASCAR. It's a redneck sport, truthfully. (Oh, come on. You know it is, even if it has been reaching out to include bikers and football fans, or the younger, full-sleeve tattoo set. Do a Google image search for NASCAR fans and let me know what page you get to when you finally find a black person who isn't the President.)

Meek's district includes Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood. It will be fun to watch him mingle with the crowd, many of whom will be overheard murmuring, "He's very articulate."

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

About That Tim Tebow Anti-Abortion SuperBowl Ad


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I've Found The Secret

Having deluded myself into thinking I've written a really good book, I'm now facing the harsh reality of literary agents having zero interest in it. I do my research and make sure I'm sending to the right types of agents, but for the most part, their comments can be summed up as, "Not for me, but thanks for thinking of me. Good luck and keep trying. And sorry about this form letter." It's the market, I've decided. (It's easier for a writer to think that than to think that his/her writing is simply crappy, unsellable dross.)

Here's what I should've written.

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Art Works

That's the mission that the new National Endowment for the Arts chairman chose. And now he wants a logo that "represents the three meanings of the phrase: the creations of artists, the effect of art on audiences and the contribution of artists to the economy." So, as usual, the client wants a logo that says way too much. To help get you started, I've created a sure contender in Microsoft Word.

But that might be a little too sophisticated. Maybe you can create some sort of figure that represents a sculptor, and the sculptor is making an appreciative audience. Out of money.

Proposals for the design must be submitted by e-mail to the endowment by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Feb. 26. Find all the guidelines at the Endowment's site. Winner gets a $25,000 grant.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Cold Call Carl - No. 11

Click for the larger and more legible.

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

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McComedy Central

In this homepage screenshot of Comedy Central's site, I've highlighted in blue everything that is not about McDonald's. I suppose by midday the background image will be of lunch.

While this is a rather exaggerated example, this is how it's done, New York Times. I know you don't want to be this cheap and lowbrow, but you're never going to get people to pay for news online that they can find elsewhere for free, as Newsday's debacle should've told you.

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