Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mississippi's Finest


Following last week's Thanksgiving break, we are ready to resume the series of Thursday Thrashing letters.

Today's missive goes out to Roger Wicker, a career politician who has managed to see that Mississippi maintain its prized status as the stupidest, poorest and most miserable state in all of America.

Good job Rog, I'm sure when you come up for re-election, Mississippi will still hold that crown.

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11.29.18

Senator Roger Wicker
555 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Wicker,

It certainly makes sense that I write to you today, as the great, prestigious and scholarly state of Mississippi, Home of the Hemp Necktie, is currently in the news.

Naturally this letter should be going to newly elected Grand Wizardress Cindy Hyde Smith, however she has already been crossed off the list of my yearlong letter writing campaign to all the US Republican Senators.

And so Senator your number is up. 

And what a fortuitous number, it is.

After my morning mint julep, I took the liberty of using The Google and to read up on your lifetime of career achievements. If I might say so, finding you was like hitting the Mega Millions Super Powerball of GOP Ineptitude.

You are the quintessential Republican Senator and check off every box of Senatorial Unsuitability. 

And then some.

Let's go back to 2015 when you, a man of no scientific standing whatsoever, were the only Senator to vote against an amendment declaring climate change is real. I mention this because just this week, a staff of credentialed White House scientists found otherwise. 

I can only assume that, like Precedent Shitgibbon, you are one of those people blessed with superior intelligence and despite the hard data, simply don't believe in global warming. 

I'm also going to give you the benefit of the doubt and suggest your principled stand had nothing to do with the vast amounts of money you have accepted from the Oil and Gas Industry. Nor the unlimited guest account they have set up for you at Butchie's Beef & Reef Roadhouse on Route 39, just outside of Biloxi.

"Can I get more melted butter? And a new bib? I don't want to get any lobster juice on my new khakis."  

Of course your hillbilly perspective on climate change is just the tip of the Ignorant Iceberg.

Who can forget that time you asked the Navy to prohibit a secular humanist to serve in the Chaplain Corps and administer to soldiers who might not share your beliefs in a Magic Sky Daddy? 

Adding, "It is troubling that the Navy could allow a self-avowed atheist to serve in the Chaplain Corps."

I hate to trouble you even more, Roger, but you have a full-fledged atheist, a money grubbing atheist at that, currently living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

You don't believe Captain Fuckknuckle is a real Christian, do you? If you're going to buy that jackassery about his favorite book, Two Corinthians, then I'd like to sell you 3BR, 2BA townhome in Boca Raton that just needs a little tender loving care

Also, because I can see from your bio how devout you are, how exactly do you square your silence with your president separating kids from their mothers, locking them in cages, lobbing tear gas (even the safe kind) at women and children and actively aiding and abetting the cover up of a premeditated murder by the Saudi Prince? 

Maybe this Northern Jew is ignorant of all the teachings in the New Testament, but I'd seriously like to find the passages that absolve you of having a conscience.

Finally, since you were in the Air Force for 27 years, I'd love to know how you bit your tongue and stayed below the radar when Commander Jizztrumpet attacked Admiral McRayven, the man in charge of the Bin Laden takedown, and accused him of being some kind of Democratic political operative.

If attacking a decorated soldier like Admiral McRayven wasn't wrong enough, wouldn't you at least agree the President of the United States ought to have laid a wreath at Arlington Cemetery on Veteran's Day!

Let's for a moment consider the consequences if the black president had done that.

I know for a fact, as sure as the cotton grows in Tupelo, you and millions of your Mississippi Minute Men would be scouting the hills, looking for good proper hanging trees.

Best,

Rich Siegel
siegelrich@mac.com
Culver City, CA 90232






Wednesday, November 28, 2018

No mas Illuminati



If you've been following my Illuminati journey you know I have been going back and forth with Roland Kings for the last 6 weeks.

To catch you up, I wired money to Mr. Kings to cover my initiation costs. He claims I only sent him $2.49 when I should have sent $249.

If you know me you know I never welch on my word. Now I want my $246.51 cents back. And I have dispatched Detective John Shaft to Africa to hunt down my money.



Roland was not amused and ignored my warnings. But I am nothing if not relentless.


And so I tried to reason with him.


His answer was short and sweet.


And I thought I'd give him one last shot.


Sadly he has not responded. 

It appears the game is over. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I really was looking forward to getting my red fez hat.

The good news is if you enjoyed these escapades, there's a good chance you'll enjoy a book I published a little more ten years ago. It's chock full of these shenanigans. 

And it makes a lovely stocking stuffer. 


Mecka L├Ącka Hi, Locka Hiney Ho!!!





Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A day at the park


Winter will soon be upon us. And by winter in Southern California, I mean the mercury might plunge into the 50's. And, if we get an unexpected Arctic Blast, it might even dive into the fatal 40's.

With those kind of life threatening conditions, it's only natural that outdoor activities come to a sudden halt. Particularly in Carlson Park (pictured above), just down the street from my house.

Some, I'll miss.

Like the weekly appearance of the Cirque de Soleil Training group. Every Saturday, the corner nearest my house would be populated by jugglers, flame dancers, tightrope walkers, and gymnasts schooled in the art of Contortionism. Even more fascinating is that the troupe of aspiring circus folk were more than likely lithe, young women in their 20's who would wear very little clothing. Mostly in the form of form-fitting lycra.

ME: "I'm going to walk the dog."

WIFE: "You just walked the dog twenty minutes ago."

Others, I won't miss so much.

Like the 75-strong drum circle.

Or the Carlson Park Summer Theater Company. We used to take our daughters to watch them when the girls were quite young, but the experience never quite lived up to the billing. Half the time a dog was barking. And the other half the time one of the neighbor's car alarms was going off.

No disrespect to the Carlson Park Players, but what you're doing isn't really acting. It's putting on a costume and makeup and shouting really loud. And for the most part, not loud enough.

That leaves the park to the one group who show up religiously, rain or shine. Who are we kidding it never rains here. I'm referring of course to the knife fighters.

They are the smallest, but perhaps most devoted, of the groups who turn our little park into their personal playground. There are usually 6-8 of them. Two, from what I can gather, are the teachers, or sensei. While the remaining 6 pay good money (I assume) so that they too may be learned in the way of the knife.

They thrust.

They parry.

They swing elbows and knees and sawed off broomsticks to defend themselves against the plastic retractable blade.

This goes on for HOURS.

Stick.

Jab.

Deflect.

I am in awe of the dedication.

But more often than not I walk away from my impromptu study of their antics and think that unless I'm missing something on the local news, the odds of putting those well hewn skills to work and fending off an actual knife attack have to be in the zillions.

I went to The Google and discovered that as a somewhat girthy 44 year old man, I have a better chance of landing the lead role in Cirque de Soleil's upcoming ode to Hercules.








Monday, November 26, 2018

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go.


Just wrapped up another gig and thought I'd take time to describe what a wonderful experience I had.

I've done this before. And you might be wondering why I don't get on here and rail against the shitty jobs I've worked on. The ones with shifting strategies, 8 layers of bosses and check-ins on the hour.

I would think the reasoning would be self evident. Because as miserable as those gigs can be, there's usually a somewhat lucrative paycheck at the end of it. Besides I'm no longer in the business of burning bridges, I simply make thinly veiled references to them on my blog.

I signed some fairly lengthy NDAs and won't divulge too many details. Suffice to say, the job took me to a place in Los Angeles that's not often visited. A throwback town from a time long gone. A tiny nook and cranny of a place that can best be thought as Mayberry, RFD.

Only it was considerably less whitebread and considerably more Hispanic. And Filipino. And Asian. And Fijian.

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, check out this storefront Hula dancing studio.


It's also a place with many old timey restaurants. Where waitresses still say, "Can I get you more coffee, hon?" And the coffee comes from a pot, not some fancy hissing machine with steamed Argentinian Yak milk.

It's a town with just enough charm.

But the best thing about being there was not being there. Because the good people who hired us on this gig were wise enough to know my partner and I do our best work when we're not fighting the 405 or searching for a quiet spot at the Long Table of Mediocrity™.

Put simply, they allowed us the time and flexibility to work remotely.

I'll never understand agencies that don't go this route. Because if you chain me to a desk in a cramped office, I'll procrastinate, I'll dilly dally, I'll find a way to do Trump memes on the job and in a typical 9-10 hour work day, I'll get in a good 20 minutes worth of work.

But when I'm at home, I'll jam with my partner du jour, kibitz, work out, revisit ideas, tweak, noodle and crank out even more ideas at any and all hours of the day.

In other words, the less you see of me, the more you get of me.

Finally, before this gets disgusting saccharine sweet, I can't say enough about the good people who brought us in on this project. Smart. Professional. And respectful not only of how we like to work, but also about the work we put on the table.

Not that these attributes were in any great supply twenty years ago, but they seem be even less present today.













Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Illuminati vs. Detective John Shaft


When we last left the Illuminati saga, I had visited the RIA Pay Transfer Station and gave money to RuPaul, the cashier, to send to my "handler" in Abuja, Nigeria.

His response to receiving the money was, "OK."


He then demanded proof I had actually wired him the money, which I did.


But for some odd reason he wanted to know how much I sent.


Well, anyone who reads this blog knows I'm a man of my word.

But now Brother Roland suspects I don't want to be Illuminati. 


Of course I want to be Illuminati.


He claims I sent $2.49 and NOT the $249. Why would I do that? That's crazy talk.


Knowing that Shaft is hot on your trail is enough to scare any motherfucka. So Roland punches back.




But Shaft is on the case.


And I am not going to rest until Roland Kings sends me $246.51.









Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Wherein we revisit the phenomena of The Caganer


(The following is a reposting of a blog piece I wrote on August 3rd, 2010. I don't do many repostings from the past but I am very busy right now. Plus, many readers of Roundseventeen were not around when I first unearthed El Caganer and may not be aware of its existence. Tis the season.)


I may have in the past spoken harshly about being in the advertising business, but every once in a while I remember what drew me to this crazy business. 

Recently I found myself working on a Christmas promotion. 

I know we're still in the thick of summer, but like the snake who has swallowed a small moose, the process of getting work through the corporate pipeline can be long, slow and excruciatingly painful. 

In any case, without going into too many details about the assignment, I needed to research odd Christmas celebrations. 

And that's when I came across the Caganer

Now you may be asking why is there a man "having an exit interview with Mr. Brown" right outside the Nativity scene? I know I did.

Well, it seems it's an ancient custom from Catalan. Before the kids were born, my wife and I spent two weeks on the southern Iberian Peninsula. Now I wish we had been a little more thorough.

Being both scattological and inquisitive, I gave the Caganer the attention it deserved. All the more enjoyable because someone was actually paying me to do so.

Wikipedia offers several explanations about how and why the Caganer (loosely translated -- 'Shitter') appears in the the typical Catalan Nativity scene. My favorite: the idea that God will manifest when he is ready, whether we human beings are ready or not.

Wow, if the Messiah comes while I'm busy "launching a lifeboat off the S.S. Assitania", I'm going to tell him I need a minute or two.

Monday, November 19, 2018

A cold night in the forest


It isn't even Thanksgiving and I'm about to launch into a post about Christmas.

I figure, since everyone else has jumped the gun on Xmas and ignored the unwritten rules of decorum, why shouldn't I. That makes me the Jim Acosta of the blogosphere.

Here's my 2018 Christmas Story.

Last week, a friend sent me a link to a spot that's currently running on TV. It's a harmless little holiday spot that hardly merits any attention.



Innocuous, right?

Even a little charming. After all who doesn't like Santa Claus and puppies. But it's not easily dismissed when you consider a spot we did for Acura five years ago.



The two are almost carbon copies of each other. Even the editing and music are similar.

To be completely honest, I'm not all that upset about. I chalk it up to coincidence. Years ago, something like this might have burst a few capillaries, but I'm 44 now and have a certain jaded perspective on this kind of crap.

And this industry.

Also, recently, a reader of Roundseventeen accused me of being braggadocious. I'm certainly not going to get on my high horse over something like this.

No, what sticks in between my teeth like left over ribeye steak, is the fact that we spent an entire frostbitten night in the Angeles Crest Forest to shoot this spot. And the Mercedes people seem to have been able to shoot theirs during the much more manageable hours around sunset.

If you know me at all or if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know how I feel about getting home to watch Jeopardy. And can imagine how an all night shoot at 7800 feet of altitude can turn my crankimeter up to 11.

To wit, at about 3:30 in the morning I was fading fast. The lighting crew was setting up an elaborate shot so I made my way over to one of the production trailers. There, I found a comfy couch as well as a plate of delicious craft service goodies. Within minutes I was fast asleep and might have missed the remainder of the shoot had I not been joined by one of the production assistants, who was also not a night person.

Thirty minutes into my deep REM sleep I was awakened. Not by a sound. But by a smell.

My erstwhile bunkie must have helped himself to some bad slices of salami. And the trip down his alimentary canal must have been quite turbulent. Suffice to say, he turned the tiny Airstream into a tiny Toxic Air Stream.

Trust me, I know my way around methane and this was like nothing I had ever smelt before.

In hindsight, I suspect the emission of gas was more than just an emission of gas.

And I can tell you from experience, there is nothing worse than sharting yourself. Although being asleep in a trailer with a total stranger who has sharted himself runs a very close second.

Bah humbug.








Thursday, November 15, 2018

Silence of the Lamars


It's Thursday.

You know what that means.

Another letter. Another doddering, useless old white man.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

11.15.18

Senator Lamar Alexander
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Lamar Alexander,

Six months ago I embarked on a writing journey. I set out to pen a letter to each of the United States Republican Senators. It's not an easy task as each week I am forced to go back over the list and take inventory, just so I don't duplicate my efforts.

To be frank, I thought I had written to you, as you have a very recognizable name. 

To be even more frank, I thought you were dead.

I'm only 44 years old but I seem to remember hearing about you when I was kid. Weren't you around for the Teapot Dome Scandal?

The other thing I've noticed about this continuing effort is that each week there is a fresh new scandal plaguing the Shitgibbon White House. This past week was unusual in that there were multiple debacles. Or as they might say in Tennessee, your home state, "Son, you done dropped the meat in the dirt."

You had:

* The Big Blue Wave

* The Jim Acosta First Amendment Affair

* The disgusting response to California wildfires (more than 50 dead)

* The refusal to attend a World War I Memorial Service in France

* And the indefensible snubbing of our soldiers by not visiting Arlington Cemetery on Veterans Day. On VETERAN'S DAY!!!

I use the word indefensible because it appears that way to us. But, apparently that collective "us" does not include members of the GOP. And least of all, Senators of the Republican stripe. Because to a man, woman and shameless bootlicker, you have all remained silent. 

You'd think by now, two years into Captain Fuckknuckle's administration these staggering indiscretions would just roll off my back like the warm vodka-infused urine coming from a Russian hooker. 

These things make my blood boil.

But perhaps, as the senior senator from the great state of Tennessee, you've got other things on your mind and deserve special dispensation.

You see, I have a friend a colleague who attended Cocke County High School. He's a proud Cocke and a Volunteer through and through. And he is always sending me news clippings from the Newport Plain Talk. 

From what I can tell, it can't be easy governing a state where Moonshining is a course requirement for every high school graduate. 

Or where goats must be fitted for chastity belts. 

Or where the tailpipe of every parked car is vulnerable to a midnight defiling.  

I'm going to let you slide. After all, you've got your hands full Senator.

Or as my friend Greg Collins puts it, "Tennessee, now with 37% more Florida."

Best Regards,


Rich Siegel
siegelrich@mac.com
Culver City, CA 90232







Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ruminati on the Illuminati


When we last visited Nigeria and my Illuminati recruiter, he was complimenting me for being smart. For not just sending money willy nilly to any Tom, Dick or Roland from Nigeria. He also said if I was no longer interested in joining he would not force me.

But I want in. I seriously want in.


But Roland is not keen on my unique solution.


And so the game is back on.




And on...


And of course, he obliges.


So, now it's time to up the ante.



And on that note I will leave you, until next week when actual money is exchanged.






Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Classic cars and classic car stories


Malibu is in the news this week so I thought I'd share a Malibu story.

Recently my wife and I went to Buelton to be with some friends who were celebrating their "44th" birthday. We had a great time. And since we're making a conscious effort to slow things down and not rush everywhere, we decided to take the long way, the more scenic way, home, via the Pacific Coast Highway.

On the way back, we stopped in at Coral Beach Cantina, a Mexican restaurant I had discovered in another lifetime when I was insanely dating a woman who lived way past Zuma Beach. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, now I remember.

As we sipped our humongous margaritas, a beautifully restored 66 Chevelle pulled into the parking lot. The owner got out of the car and looked strangely familiar. I assumed he was some character actor who appeared in a thousand movies but still enjoyed anonymity, like my neighbor M. Emmett Walsh.

On the way to the bathroom, I stopped at his booth to express my admiration for the car. He was more than happy to talk about it. And his 25 other collector cars that he has garaged. As he was going on about his Mustangs, Camaros and El Caminos, I was thinking...

"Was he crooked police captain in Beverly Hills Cop 3?"

"Was he one of the sleazy agents in Jerry Macquire?"

"Did he play Soldier #4 in Platoon?"

I couldn't place the face.

Then the burritos showed up and the waiter told us the mysterious Chevelle owner comes in all the time. Said he used to be coach of the LA Lakers. My mind raced.

It was Pat Riley.

His hair had turned white. He didn't seem as tall. And he longer sported the 28 inch signature waist that was once his early 90's trademark.

I went back to the booth to introduce myself. Not because I was a huge Lakers fan, I'm more a college basketball guy. But because Coach Riley and I actually worked together when he was the local spokesman for your Southern California Chrysler Plymouth Dealers.

"Oh yeah, those," he said reluctantly.

Either Pat didn't want to talk about shitty commercials or he didn't want his chimichangas to get cold, so I wisely made quick departure.

I wonder if Coach Riley has a blog and whether he is writing about our chance encounter.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note: The 71 Mercury Cougar convertible was spotted at a gas station in my neighborhood. It triggered today's memory and is not affiliated with Pat Riley.

I hope my old colleague, and everybody else I know in Malibu, came through the fires unscathed.


Monday, November 12, 2018

The Alternative Worlds of Advertising


If there's one thing I hate in advertising, it's artifice.

It's hard not to turn on the TV these days and see it manifested in so many condescending, offensive, lazy, insipid and hackneyed ways. I'm sure if I turned to my online thesaurus I could run up the score on the previous sentence.

There's so much artifice in advertising it has literally become the baseline. We may not even notice or recognize it. But being of an overly cranky nature, I have.

Let's start where all logical discussions of TV advertising artifice start -- Pizza Hut.

They were not only the first people to stuff their crusts with cheese, shrimp, and garlic-like substance, (idea for Pizza Hut, stuff the crust of your pizza with more pizza.) These culinary genii seemed to invented the very notion of the Bite & Smile.

In fact, and I know this from working on the account at several different shops, on page 38 of the Pizza Hut How to Make a TV Commercial Manual it clearly states,

"...following the excessive cheese pull, the actor or actress, preferably a member of an ethnic group to demonstrate our appreciation for diversity, must eat the pizza and flash a grin exposing at least 22 pearly white teeth."

But they are hardly alone.

Who sprays a bathroom with Febreeze and lights up as if they had won the Powerball Lottery?

Who Swiffers a room and acts like they've discovered the mysterious secrets of tantric sex?

Who jerks their head around in whiplash fashion just to get a look at the sexy new Jaguar/Toyota/Nissan/Audi/Acura/Mercedes Benz?

Who throws their wallet in the Hudson River to make some incomprehensible point about insurance premiums?

Who reaches for their Tresiba/Crestor/Lyrica/Rexulti/or Viberzi to treat their Irritable Bowel Syndrome and then breaks into a Busby Berkeley-worthy song and dance?

OK, maybe that last example of artifice was not the best as I fully empathize with the notion of instant colonic relief.

Nevertheless, it's all so overdone and overwrought. It's as if they set out to discover human Untruths.

It's the kind of crap we see 364 days a year. The day we don't see it is the day of the Super Bowl. That's when America is treated to commercials they actually like. You'd think all these Harvard MBA's and C-Suite execs would do the math on that, but they're too busy pimping digital advertising and reconfiguring open office plans.

There's one more advertiser who deserves to be called out by name.

Perhaps you've seen the oddly excited people who populate the Wayfair commercials. I don't know what it's like at your household but furniture shopping is never the joyous, orgasmic experience as portrayed in these cloying spots.

If anything, it's 180 degrees from that. And the simplest addition to our rag tag collection of furniture exacerbates any aesthetic differences my wife and I might harbor. We once got into a fight about where to place a new ottoman and didn't speak or eat together for a week.

Also, if I ever find myself going through their website on an iPad, see they don't charge any sales tax and then reflexively do a fist pump while blurting, "GAMECHANGER!", I will call it quits and would urge any of my friends or readers of Roundseventeen to put me out of my misery.



Thursday, November 8, 2018

Our newest skainsmate


A recount has been called for, but since the Republicans hold all the cards and they're not ashamed to deal from the bottom of the deck, this Einstein will be our newest senator.

From one flew over the cuckoo's nest to the Russell Hart Senate Building.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11.8.18

Senator Rick Scott
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Scott,

Welcome.

Or shall I say Congratulations and welcome. 

Because you have not only won a seat in the US Senate you've earned a spot in my upcoming book -- tentatively titled Mr. Siegel Writes to Washington

You see I've made it my goal to hand write letters to all the US Republican Senators, none of whom are distinct and all of whom strike me as white privileged douchewaffles.

And now you're one of them. 

To be more specific, you are letter #32.

But don't let that low number fool you. I have plenty of fire and brimstone in me. And so rest assured, you, a newcomer to this 'esteemed' club, will receive the same colorful, pungent and humiliating dressing down as some of your more luminous colleagues like soulless Mitch McConnell or spineless Jeff Flake.

Believe me, it's not hard to build up a head of steam in your case, particularly considering your clay-brained, unchin-snouted approach to gun legislation.

Following the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida (where you were governor) that saw teenagers mass murdered on their way to Math or English class, you mosied on up to the NRA donation trough and begged for more money by endorsing Precedent Shitgibbon's call for armed teachers.

In other words, Ricky, the solution to our nation's gun problem is more guns.

What kind of twisted backwards logic is that?

When Russian Politburo officials did a post-mortem on the catastrophe at Chernobyl, did they turn to each other and say, "You know what would fix the core meltdown at this poorly designed and poorly engineered nuclear plant? More nuclear plants."

And when Nazi Party Members took inventory of the Hindenburg, I'm pretty sure those smart Germans didn't turn to each other and say, "You know what our Zeppelins need? Candelabras."

I mean, Jesus Fucking Christ, what is it with you bald-pated horn beasts?

I can only surmise that while other babies were being breast fed you were being raised on a steady diet of turpentine and DDT.

Or, that instead of cleaning your ears out with a Q-tip you opted for the needle nose pliers.

Or, that while some students were preparing for their college SATs, you were still trying to navigate the opening questions on the MCA, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. (number 3 is the camel, Rick)







I don't know where this dain bramage comes from.

I only know that now that you're in the US Senate, you're gonna fit right in.

Welcome home, Rick.


Best regards,


Rich Siegel
siegelrich@mac.com
Culver City, CA 90232









Wednesday, November 7, 2018

God bless the Illuminati


I hope you are enjoying this Illuminati rabbit hole as much as I am.

When we last spoke, Roland Kings, my Illuminati "handler" told me there were no secret handshakes. I think he's holding out on the good stuff. Naturally he kept hounding me to wire him money but I know how to stall and keep the correspondence going.



Roland doesn't get many takers to his scam emails, so he obliges.


He's also curious about this rival offer.


So I muddy the waters even more to keep him guessing.


You would think a picture of a Corgi playing the saxophone would make him scratch his head and start to wonder if I was goofing on him, but you'd be wrong.




So it's time to take it up a notch.




This seems to have set him off.



For two days, I do not hear from Roland Kings, official Recruitment Officer for the Illustrious Illuminati. I feel like I have lost a friend, albeit a scamming, lying, fuckwad who is only interested in getting rich off the labor and dreams of others (sounds like our President.) 

But when all seems lost, it isn't.

Tune in next week for the continuing adventures in reverse Illuminati scamming.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Questionable Art of Self Promotion


It's a slow news day.

I don't want to write about politics. Because I wrote about politics yesterday. And today, at least 60% of the nation will be on pins and needles and ayahuasca awaiting the results of today's elections.

So I'm going to turn the attention of today's post on myself.

Last week, I made the mistake of posting the piece I wrote about Chiat/Day's 50th anniversary on Fishbowl. For those of you not in the industry, Fishbowl is a forum where ad people from every stripe of the business can leave their anonymous comments, anecdotes and gripes. But let's be honest, since it's anonymous, it's mostly gripes.

Well one unnamed Fishbowler, an Associate Creative Director, no less, took issue with my blog piece, writing:

"Rich has a habit of taking bragging to an embarrassingly high level. I'd expect someone of our pedigree to be a little more nuanced."

Wow, I know I should just let that go but the truth is I wouldn't know where to find the High Road on a map, so let's take apart this anonymous comment.

And let's start with the notion of pedigree.

Dear sir/madam, we work in Advertising. With a capital A.  In the pecking order of artistically inclined people, we are the Dalits. The Untouchables. We're not authors. Or painters. Or artists. We don't write books. Or compose music. We don't contribute to Western Civilization in any way, shape or form.

We make TV commercials. Outdoor boards. Full page newspaper ads.

Actually, we don't even do that anymore. We make banner ads. We takeover web pages. We gamify, crapofy and shitofy ideas that no one wants to play, see or have any part of.

Exhibit A.

So when you say pedigree, I say cover up those tatted sleeves, fill in those ear gauges and take those Capri linen pants down to the Goodwill store because we're not rock stars and this year no one is going to Cannes.

As far as your assertion that I brag. Or even brag excessively. I beg to differ.

In fact I took the liberty of running the entire blog, all 10 years worth, through the Narcissicon 9000 and found Roundseventeen to be only .0038% braggadocious, noting the repetitive and distinctively self deprecating:

281 mentions of ear hair 

457 mentions of expanding girth

97 mentions of ungodly sartorial sense

193 mentions of excessive drinking (Mmmm, bourbon)

395 mentions of writing banner ads for Harry's House of Catheters

In other words, or in the 2,138,963 words that have been written here, I have gone out of my way to take the wind out of my own sails. I'm not saying there haven't been a few humblebrags, but I'd suggest they are few and far between.

But allow me to make one boastful remark. 

You see, if I take issue with something or want to voice a contrarian opinion or even to throw a little professional shade, I don't do it anonymously. I have the balls to put my name behind my convictions.

That's about as pedigreed as I get.