June 2008

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(Ad Age)

Oh goody.

As someone who works in advertising, and has worked in advertising for well over a decade, this is simply very, very funny.

Ever since I can remember the award shows have been dominated… well, not “dominated”, but something darn close… by ads that were not quite “real”.

Frequently establishing very successful careers for their unscrupulous submitters.

And I’ve certainly had that opportunity, too.

You see, in the “ad world”, our clients routinely kill good work. Sometimes even insanely great work. Work that is not only way, way better than most of the crap you see on TV, and in magazines, but ads that would win us awards, and actually make our client’s product/or/service fly off the proverbial shelves.

Stupid clients.

So why didn’t I do it? Because I don’t cheat, that’s why. And neither do the vast majority of people in the ad industry.

But, alas, some do.

And so now these numbnutz at Saatchi NY and Epoch Films have gotten caught with their greedy little paws in the liquor cabinet, and it’s all the talk of the Ad World.

Now can we please stop giving out awards to FAKE ads already?

There are way too many of us who work in the real world. We actually have these things called “briefs” and “strategies”, and after we work our asses off we have to have our concepts approved by these people called “clients” before they run. Oh yeah, and then they have to actually RUN. And with the client’s permission.

And once, in Sheboygan, in the middle of the night doesn’t count.

Getting work through THAT spanking machine, and emerging on the other side w/something great is worth awards. And, more importantly, it’s worth our respect. But this kind of concept-in-a-vacuum, ad-school fakery should deserve nothing but our scorn. Shame on these charlatan creatives, and shame on the judges. Because we all know full well that they knew exactly what they were giving an award to, and why.

It’s high time this blatant brand of award grabbling be recognized for what it is: cheating.

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In Defense Of Common Sense

Dear Senators and Representatives,

This is an open letter regarding the “Housing Bill” you are currently considering in the Senate. And I have a message from your constituents:


Sure, there are a lot of people who are “upside down” in their mortgages, dealing with rising monthly payments, facing foreclosure, and some are even walking away from their homes…

But there are a lot more of us who aren’t.

It may surprise you, being politicians and all, but the majority of us out here actually passed second-grade math class.

And we know that buying a house is a big deal. A very big deal.

We know for instance that borrowing multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars requires more than a passing glance at a multiple-page contract. And, crazy as it sounds, might even require a lawyer.

We know that if a mortgage payment surpasses, say, the 50% mark of your monthly take-home income, then it *might* not be such a good idea.

A heck of a lot of us out here heard the term “adjustable rate mortgage” and thought, maybe, just maybe, that it might actually “adjust” at some point down the road.

Our supernatural spidey sense also told us that people with 5 maxed-out credit cards, 2 past bankruptcies, and make 40K a year *probably* shouldn’t be buying a 500K home. In fact, they probably shouldn’t be buying a home at all.

Some of us were actually alive, and paying attention when the dreaded “Tech Bubble” burst, way, way back in 2001.

Some of us lost money.

So, naturally, some of us had a sneaking suspicion, too, that “No Money Down!” might just not be the brightest of ideas when it comes to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. Especially hundreds of thousands of dollars that aren’t yours.

And we raised an eyebrow when “Flip This House!”, the reality show, debuted across the country in 2005.

We raised another one when “Flip That House!” appeared on a competing network in 2005.

However, we were fresh out of eyebrows by the time “Flipping Out!” debuted, on yet another network, in 2007.

You get the point.

You see, a whole bunch of us saw this whole thing coming from a mile away.

And we did something crazy.

We DIDN’T jump on yet another get-rich-quick bandwagon.
We DIDN’T over-extend ourselves and buy more house than we could afford.
We DIDN’T sign multiple-page contracts without reading them.

Most important of all, we DIDN’T take on unnecessary risk and expect the Government, via our fellow citizen’s hard-earned tax dollars, to bail us out.

We continued to rent.

We did what some would call “the right thing”. Even though that was merely being fiscally responsible. And just barely, at that.

Call it what you will, we did it.

And you know what? We vote

Look. Don’t bail out these selfish idiots. Especially the banks.

And unless someone was absolutely, and provably defrauded, you must resist the urge to come swooping in like some super hero savior. Simply let the market do what it does best: work.

America can’t afford foreclosure relief.

No matter how many sob stories make it into our glorious 24-hour news cycle. Resist the urge with every pandering, political bone in your body.

Sure, it may temporarily “depress” housing prices, including some of those who weren’t directly involved in this whole mess. But remember, when we see a 30% drop in price of a house that was twice as expensive as it should be, is still 40% too expensive.

The truth is, despite all the whining, the market is still over-priced. Everywhere.

But perhaps the real reason for your concern is that you’re seeing your property tax coffers shrink across the country? Well, much like the infamous home owners and their home equity lines of credit, buying boats and plasma TVs with phantom equity, perhaps you politicians shouldn’t’ve have budgeted on a bubble either. Eh?

So please, if you can, suck your crocodile tears back into your reptilian tear ducts, and stop this bill. Stop this insanity.


Because if you DO bail these people out, even a little teeny, tiny bit, you will have not only done the wrong thing. You will have made doing the right thing no longer necessary.


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I’m writing this post in the brand-new-ish Microsoft Word 2008. But just barely.

The good news is Microsoft really kicked some ass with Office 2008, and made it better (mostly), sleeker, and “Mac”-ier. And most of the reviews out there say essentially that.

The only problem is that Word (the only program of the bunch I use every day) doesn’t work with Mac’s “Spaces” (a feature I use every minute).

It’s so bad it essentially renders Word 2008 unusable.

When you switch Spaces, you “take” a part of Word with you into the other Spaces; be it the main window, the formatting palette, or the menu bar. And when you click on any of these, you get zoomed back to another space, with another piece. And try-as-you-might, you can’t seem to get them back together again.

Like Humpty-Dumpty.

This is too bad, because almost everything else about Office 2008 is hat’s-off to M$oft. And 6th sense about these things tells me that the ball is in their court on this one.


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And they’re taking the case!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the situation (long-winded spew here), I essentially asked my NYAG to see if the ‘ol Get-Out-of-Your-Cell-Contract “net legend” -where if you don’t have a WRITTEN contract, you’re only liable for ONE year-… was bullshit or not. Apparently not. Or maybe. Whatever.

Proof, here:

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It just occurred to me that some of you might want to see the “legal forms” I filled out concerning my challenge of Tmobile, and their evil insistence.

Of course, some of you would rather see a snuff film than legal documents. And that’s okay. You don’t have to partake. However, it is just 2 simple pages… frankly, a surprise coming from Government. Enjoy.


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