Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A celebration of birth

Today we are celebrating.

Not my birthday. I could give a rat's ass about that. You turn 44, big deal. There's nothing special about turning 44. Been there, done that.

But today is special day for Roundseventeen. Because it was on this day 9 years ago, when I was a young lad of 35 that I got an email from my friend Mark Montiero, who said...

"You should start a blog. It'd be a good way for you to vent. And it might even help you land some freelance work."

Mark, as if often the case, was right on both counts.

It's now 1800+ posts later and we're still going strong. In fact, we're closing in on a million page views sometime in the very near future. So, to the dismay of many, the blogging will continue until morale improves.

For one thing, and I know this is hard to believe, this blog has produced more assignments and job referrals than 6 years on Working Not Working and 10 years on Linkedin. Turns out that brutal honesty and a throw-caution-to-the-wind attitude makes for a winning recipe. In fact, this post may be just the thing that lands me the House of Flanges account.

More importantly, the blog has become an important source of therapy.

You see, I don't have much in the way of hobbies. I don't collect tiki mugs or glass eyeballs or paintings of clowns. I don't build ships inside glass bottles. I don't stockpile guns and make regular visits to the firing range.

Though it's hard to tell, my free time is spent working out: swimming, lifting weights, getting on the elliptical in my garage or hiking up the nearby Culver City stairs.

Similarly, I'm hopelessly monogamous.

Oh my wife has offered me the free pass to go off the range but she knows full well there would be no takers. Prodigious ear hair and untrimmed eyebrows reduce that prospect down to zero.

The thing is, I like to write.

Whether it's snarky Facebook comments, unfinished, under-developed screenplays, self published books that go nowhere, or even rambling blog posts directed at my 13 regular readers who have been with me for the last nine years. And for no reason that I can discern have decided to stay with me for the next nine years.

You, in essence have become my mistress.

Whether you like or not.

I'm thinking the latter.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Chiat/Day turns 50

A few months ago I received a rather unique invite.

It came from a producer at Media Arts Lab (an offshoot of TBWA Chiat/Day.) And asked if I would be interested in attending a lunch with Lee Clow, as well as other Chiat/Day luminaries, to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary.

This was an honor reserved for a select few. So naturally, I thought an error had been made. And that someone had transposed the list of People We Like with the list of Fat Bald Guys We Never Want to See Again. But, as you can tell from the picture above, I went anyway.

Damn, I'm glad I did.

First of all, there was so much free sushi. Like an all you can eat raw fish buffet. Salmon, tuna, yellowtail, and those fancy rolls where they combine exotic slivers of seafood together to form one piece of bite size goodness.

Plus, there was wine.
Free wine.

Red, white, whatever I wanted. And when the glass ran dry, a waitress or a waiter, there seemed to be an entire crew at our disposal, would just come by and give me a refill. FREE. I didn't even have to ask. Nor did I have to look at the menu and pretend I knew the subtle differences between a Syrah and Pinot.

If that wasn't enough, I'm told there's also going to be a free commemorative T-shirt coming my way for participating in the affair.

Sheeeeet, it's a shame these 50 year soirees don't come around more often.

Of course, this tongue-in-cheek recap would not be complete if I didn't mention the company I had the pleasure to enjoy. All former partners, in one sense or another.

Rob Schwartz and I wrote spec TV scripts together and even got hired by former SIMPSONS producers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, to write an episode of their show, MISSION HILL. Had things gone a different way (namely had they paid us more money), Rob and I could've embarked on a different career path into television. Considering the demise of the sitcom, perhaps it's a blessing we didn't.

Jerry Gentile and I were partners for a brief period. But were more often found jabbering and playing pool, first at the warehouse building, then the binocular building and then again at the Playa Vista headquarters.

And John Shirley and I were linked at the hip, sometimes like partners in a bad marriage. We fought, we argued, we grew weary of each other's personal ticks. But mostly we laughed and produced the best work of our careers. Work that still brings us each enormous pride.

And of course, there's Lee Clow. Who was always my internal partner. Meaning he lived in my head. Always judging the work and always demanding excellence. And always in the best way possible. Not by demeaning, not by yelling, not by being unreasonable. But by setting a standard. Of finding truth. Humor. And always an unexpected way to tell a story. A Chiat/Day standard that has stood the test of time.

For all that and so much more, I'd like to lift a glass of Merlot and say thank you, Lee.

To which I'm sure he would respond...

"You're welcome, Brian." 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Facebook out pizzas the Hut

I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to digital advertising or social media, I am no Shingy, or Farbo, or any one of a thousand so-called prophets, ninjas or soothsayers.

But what I lack in my knowledge of html, UX, UI, Instagram and Snapchattery, I more than make up for in plain old common sense.

And I like to think I'm well versed in the tenets of good advertising.

So I find myself confused.
Particularly when big companies insist on hosting a Facebook page.

Take Pizza Hut, for example. (Full disclosure I worked on this account several times over my career and it has left a sour taste in my mouth, not unlike their shrimp/pineapple concoction. That's not pizza, that's a buffet table that was accidentally knocked over and fell onto a slab of bread and into a cardboard box.)

The Pizza Hut Facebook page has more than 32 million fans. Or brand engagers as my colleagues like to say. But do not be deceived. There may be 32 million people who liked the page but there are not 32 million people who like their pizza.

In fact, if you were to read through some of the comments, you'd have a hard time finding 32 people who had a positive experience.

In essence, the Pizza Hut Facebook page is nothing more than bulletin board for folks who discovered that anyone can out pizza the Hut.

"Dude, WTF. I ordered your pizza and it was soggy AF."

"Shittiest birthday pizza ever. Thanks Pizza Hut."

And then there was this disappointed "brand engager" who aired her complaints in the form of poetry:

"Once upon a midnight dreary,
I went to bed all weak and weary.
No dinner had I consumed,

my system was running just on fumes.
My kids had pleaded for a pie,
so from pizza hut online we did buy.

But when the hours we counted had reached four,
There came no knocking on our residence's door.

Did Pizza Hut offer any apology? or offer up our next is free?
No response we did receive.

We shall order from them nevermore. Nevermore."

Holy shit, when the masses start whipping out the couplets, the consonance and the iambic pentameter to put a beatdown on your pizza, those aren't Pizza Hut fans those are new Domino's customers.

Mind you, this was all found on the first page of their site. I didn't cherry pick like Devin Nunes going through a FISA application. I just opened the Pizza Hut Facebook page and stuck my hand in and grabbed a bunch of disgruntled customers. Who, by the way, have no doubt read the tales of other disgruntled customers.

In other words, their dissatisfaction will only be amplified. In other, other words, this shit is probably costing them millions of dollars.

So hey, Pizza Hut, next time a seasoned, old-timey copywriter suggests you rethink your digital strategy, maybe you should listen.

Or, not.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Mueller is coming

This is a late, unique Friday afternoon Roundseventeen posting.

I think it's important enough to stray for my normal routine. I just spent a little time digging through the guilty plea entered by Rick Gates, former Deputy Campaign Manager for Precedent Shitgibbon, you know one of the Best People, he so proudly crows about.

This is an admission of Guilt. And details the many dealings he and Manafort had with the Russians, via their proxy representatives in the Ukraine.

I've excerpted the parts I thought were most interesting and annotated it for my own amusement. If you still stand behind this twatwaffle of a president, you are turning a blind eye to TREASON.

It's a bit long, but worth it:

Between at least 2006 and 2015, GATES and Paul J. Manafort, Jr. (Manafort) acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions (a Ukrainian political party whose leader Victor Yanukovych was President from 2010 to 2014), Yanukovych, and the Opposition Bloc (a successor to the Party of Regions that formed in 2014 when Yanukovych fled to Russia).
(In other words, they were working for Russia!!!)
In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016 (during the campaign), Manafort and GATES laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts.
In furtherance of the scheme, Manafort and GATES concealed from the United States their work as agents of, and millions of dollars in payments from, Ukraine and its political parties and leaders. Because Manafort and GATES, among other things, directed a campaign to lobby United States officials on behalf of the Government of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine, and Ukrainian political parties, they were required by law to report to the United States their work and fees.
(In other, other words they were traitors to the USA)
The Party of Regions was a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine. Beginning in approximately 2006, it retained Manafort, through DMP and then DMI, to advance its interests in Ukraine, including the election of its slate of candidates.
Between in or around 2008 and 2017 (After Precedent Shitgibbon took office), both dates being approximate and inclusive, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, Manafort and GATES devised and intended to devise, and executed and attempted to execute, a scheme and artifice to defraud, and to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises from the United States, banks, and other financial institutions. As part of the scheme, Manafort and GATES repeatedly provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants, and legal counsel,  among others.
It is illegal to act as an agent of a foreign principal (not just any country, Russia, our number one adversary) engaged in certain United States influence activities without registering the affiliation. Specifically, a person who engages in lobbying or public relations work in the United States (hereafter collectively referred to as lobbying) for a foreign principal such as the Government of Ukraine or the Party of Regions is required to provide a detailed written registration statement to the United States Department of Justice. The filing, made under oath, must disclose the name of the foreign principal, the financial payments to the lobbyist, and the measures undertaken for the foreign principal, among other information. A person required to make such a filing must further make in all lobbying material a "conspicuous statement" that the materials are distributed on behalf of the foreign principal, among other things. The filing thus permits public awareness and evaluation of the activities of a lobbyist who acts as an agent of a foreign power (again Russia) or foreign political party in the United States.
In November 2016 and February 2017, Manafort, GATES, and DM1 caused false and misleading letters to be submitted to the Department of Justice, which mirrored the false cover story set out above. The letters, both of which were approved by Manafort and GATES before they were submitted, represented, among other things, that: efforts on behalf of the Party of Regions? ?did not include meetings or outreach within the Manafort and GATES did not recall meeting with or conducting outreach to US. government officials or US. media outlets on behalf of the [Centre], nor do they recall being party to, arranging, or facilitating any such communications. Rather, it is the recollection and understanding of Messrs. Gates and Manafort that such communications would have been facilitated.
In short, treason. 
Not a political witch hunt. 
Not a hoax.
Our president is a foreign agent of Russia.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Say hello to my little friend

Thursday Thrashing Letter #5.

The rage is getting hotter.

The letters are getting longer.

So I'll make the intro's shorter.


Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator,

About a month ago, I assigned myself the task of handwriting a personal letter to each of the Republican Senators, who history will record as this century's Vichy enablers to a rising Fascist regime.

That may sound hyperbolic (sorry for using multi-syllabic words) but considering the nepotism, the corruption, the lying, the treasonous dealings with a foreign adversary and the narcissism gone wild, I don't think it is.

Choosing you for this week's letter was frankly a no-brainer.

I want to call you names.
I want to belittle you, if that's possible.
I want to stick my nose two inches away from yours and scream, "FUCK YOU!!!"

But I decided the better way was to speak the only language US Republican Senators seem to respect -- money.

Last week, 17 Floridians, your constituents, were mowed down by a white MAGA cap-wearing murderer with an AR-15, the same kind of assault rifle that the Florida State House Republicans, your colleagues in crime, refused to ban. Or even debate.

Almost all of those killed were students, meaning they had the rest of their lives in front of them. So let's do a little speculative Math, shall we Marco?

Let's say the average age of each victim was 15 years old.
Let's also assume that each of these bright, healthy promising 15 year old kids would have lived to 80.

80 - 15 = 65 years.

These dead students and teachers were robbed of 65 years of life. Or, as Republicans like to think of it, revenue earning potential.

For the sake of this revolting argument, let's say some of those kids would have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, Wall Street brokers as well as a healthy mix of teachers, fireman and office janitors.

So let's assume the average yearly income of these kids -- let's remind ourselves they were kids -- would have been a modest $100,000 a year.

Now comes the interesting part, by which I mean the disgusting part:

17 victims
65 years of earning potential
1105 years of lost earnings

We're not done, Liddle Marco.

1105 Y.E.P.


$100,000 average salary (and this number could easily be doubled)

That's $110,500,000 of accumulative wealth that was not earned, that was not added to our oh-so-precious GDP, that was not tallied in the Republican effort to Make America Great Again.

Over the course of your worthless career, you've accepted $3,303,355 from the NRA.

If you'll permit me one last calculation, if we disregard the heartache, the humanity and the unspeakable loss of life that clearly means nothing to you and your NRA cohorts, that means you've cost us, Floridians and the US taxpayer, roughly $107 million dollars.

So you're not only a poor excuse for a human being, you're an incompetent financially conscious Republican.

OK, now I'll say it, "FUCK YOU!!!"

Best regards,

Rich Siegel
Culver city, CA 90232

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The week that was.

Last week was one for the books.

So much happening. So much tzuris swirling around. So much upheaval that I almost forgot to take a moment to pat myself (and my partner on the back.)

We adopted a dog, who is a thorough pleasure. The problem is she has glommed onto me and won't let me out of her sight. Including the 3 AM middle of the night whining for me to get out of bed and take her for another walk -- the fourth of the day. She's three years old but sometimes has the exuberance of a puppy.

And then there was the shenanigans in Washington DC. It was all happening so fast it's hard to keep up. The Rob Porter Wife Beating Scandal. Precedent Shitgibbon's refusal to take a stand on domestic violence. The Michael Cohen admission of paying Stormy Daniels. The Playboy Playmate Affair. The Mass Murder in Florida by a mentally ill law abiding gun owner. All capped off by the Robert Mueller indictment of 13 Russian agents operating in the states to steal a presidential election.


Buried beneath all this was a text I received from a Chief Creative Officer who often calls on my partner and I to put out a fire, produce some meeting fodder or even produce a pitch. A few weeks ago we were brought in for the latter.

And we were just told that the agency in question (which will not be named) just won the account.

I forgot how much the account was worth. It could have been $10 million. Or it could've been $20 million. For the purposes of this blog let's just say it was $200 million.

And damn it feels good to be on the winning side of a pitch.

It's been said that, "To the victors go the spoils."

But in our case there will be no spoils. We are simply mercenaries who come in, slay the challenges, pick up a check and move on. There'll be no $9 bottle of Korbel champagne, no Sprinkles cupcakes, no bonuses of any kind.

This despite the fact that sometimes we worked past 5:30. Or that our two hour lunches were shaved down to an hour and a half. Sacrifices had to be made.

We're good with that.

Because if we can help one agency win a $400 million account, the word will get around. And chances are we can do the same thing for you and help you win a $800 million account.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Say hello to Occam

I'm ashamed to admit it but I didn't come to Occam's Razor until a very late point in my life, maybe I was 43.

As it is fundamental to any curriculum in logic or philosophy, I should have learned of it in college -- some 20 years ago -- but I have a sneaky suspicion I was stoned, or drunk, or both, at the time.

For those of you who are still unfamiliar, and in deference to the principle itself, I will keep the explanation exceedingly brief.

Occam's Razor is reductionism in action. If I were to boil it down, it simply states that the simplest explanation for a phenomena is quite probably the most truthful.

Anecdotally, it gives us the following:

Occam's Razor asks, if there is a Deep State of Obama/Clinton puppets pulling all the strings of our government, why is Precedent Shitgibbon, President Shitgibbon?

Occam's Razor asks, if Russia was colluding with Hillary Clinton, who it seems single handedly gave them the Uranium One deal, why did they put all their efforts to electing Captain Fuckknuckle?

Occam's Razor asks, if the smartest, brightest most well informed scientists on the planet tell us there is Global Warming does that make the deniers of Global Warming the dumbest, dimmest, least informed people on the planet?

Occam's Razor asks, wouldn't the country with the most guns per capita and the most gun violence per capita want to emulate, or at least learn from, the countries with the least guns per capita and consequently the least gun violence per capita?

Occam's Razor asks, if it takes fives teams of junior creatives two weeks to come up an advertising campaign and it takes one team of seasoned veterans one week to come up with three viable advertising campaigns, why am I home day drinking and watching Maury Povitch?

Occam's Razor asks, If I religiously lift weights 6 days a week, eat massive amounts of protein, cut down on all packaged food items, why do I still look like the Before picture in every weight loss infommercial?

I could go on, but...

Occam's Razor asks if no one is reading this blog why continue writing this blog?


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thursday Thrashing Week #4

The fourth in our continuing series of hand written letters to Republican US Senators who this week said NOTHING on the Rob Porter scandal and are complicit in the nation's moral devolvement.

Boy, when you can't come out with a forceful condemnation of wife beating, Nazis and out and out racism, you've sunk to new lows.

It's a long letter so I'll dispense with the pre-amble.

Fuck You Corker.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Jig on the Gig

I just finished a series of assignments for agencies/bosses/clients that get it.

And by that I mean they got the most for their advertising dollar by letting me operate at my most efficient.

Others have not navigated the turbulent waters of the gig economy as well. And so, more as a public service to those folks -- and clearly not in any kind of self serving way to myself -- I thought I'd provide some helpful tips to those who engage the skills of a freelance copywriter (preferably me.)

Do your Homework -- I now have a small list of clients, little start ups and renegades that I do direct work for. We've bypassed the big holding company model, the endless meetings, the trapezoid shaped planning documents, and gone straight to "I need an outdoor board." or "I need a mobile site." And then, we give them just that.

I constantly remind these small firms hoping to become bigger firms to watch their money. And to do that, they must do their homework. Know their product. Know who wants their product. Know what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it. Because, and this is where the rubber meets the road, I am not inexpensive. And my meter starts the minute I am engaged. So preparation is everything. I can sit around and jabber with the best of them. But it really is to the client's benefit, and in the long run, mine, if everybody comes to the table prepared. See? I'm already helping your business.

R E S P E C T -- I don't want to come off immodest or holier than thou, but a little respect goes a long way. And this is especially directed at the big ad agencies. Please don't bring me in and tell me I'll be reporting to some junior ACD named Jade or K-Pack or Quincy, who is not only 15 years away from being 44 like me, but who has never done a TV spot or created a campaign from scratch. And furthermore wants to SnapChat his or her way into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

Or, even worse, put me in the hands of someone who is way more contemporary, as well as way less accomplished. Because guess what, then you're not getting the best of what I have to offer. You're getting Mr. or Ms. Hacky's version of what they think is my best to offer. And it won't be. What it will be is a colossal, expensive, endlessly-revised pdf of horseshit -- a literal deck of dreck. You will never want to hire me again. And chances are, I'll be completely fine with that.

Take the gun away from my head -- If I've said this once, I've said it a thousand times. At least since 2006 when nonsense like Five by 5 (Five Ideas by 5 o'clock) was born. Creativity cannot be rushed. Brands cannot be turned around in a day. Big, bold, iconic ideas are not the byproduct of daily check-ins, committee groupthink and a ticking clock.

This point is best illustrated by example.

Last week, my wife found the ideal brisket. It had a big juicy cap of fat on one side. And was perfectly marbled throughout. We carefully hand rubbed the meat and placed it on the Traeger Smoker which was filled with cherry and apple wood pellets. That brisket cooked overnight. Low and slow. It was basted faithfully. I got up at 4 in the morning to give a mid-stall coating of cider/beef broth/and pale ale beer. It sat on that smoker longer than a Nancy Pelosi filibuster. That first bark-encrusted slice was carnivore nirvana. Fatty, juicy, buttery brisket heaven. It was Austin Texas worthy. In other words, it was everything an InstaPot could never be.

That's all I have to say on this matter.

For today.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

End Times in the Cocky Mountain State

Meet William Tapley.

Bill doesn't like to go by that name, he prefers you address him as The Third Eagle of the Apocalypse.

Anyone who chooses that moniker had better have some serious religious credentials. Or skate perilously close to forced institutionalization. Billy meets the latter criteria.

I became aware of Triple Eagle thanks to my Facebook Memory thingie. Turns out I had written about him 8 years ago when he took to the YouTube airwaves to discuss the temporary blackout during Super Bowl 45.

You remember that don't you? That's when half the stadium went dark because of an electrical outage. Triple Eagle saw something more sinister and contended it was all part of a subtle AntiChrist conspiracy. Fueled in part by the Hyundai Corporation, who aired a whopping than 5 commercials that year.

If you do some Googling and venture a little further into the Third Eagle Rabbit Hole, you'll find all kinds of hidden End Times messages buried throughout the Hyundai spots.

Connecting ad people to the efforts of the AntiChrist was fascinating. Particularly since my buddy Max was a Creative Director at Hyundai and was, at the time, in cahoots with the Dark Lord.

I remember once, Max and I went to dinner and he left me to pick up the check. After he had gone out of his way to order a calamari appetizer, no less. I thought that was sinister and sleazy at the time but had no idea he was an agent of Hades himself.

Fuck you, Max.

Turns out Triple Eagle has been predicting our end times for many years now.

and 2018. (Although with Captain Fuckknuckle at the helm, he's got a good shot his number will come in this year.)

In any case, I decided to do a little digging on Triple Eagle, who has quite a bit to say on any number of topics and can find the handiwork of Lucifer everywhere on the planet. Particularly at the Denver airport.

I'm not a big fan of airports. I don't like flying. And I don't like crowds. But, as my daughter goes to the University of Colorado in Boulder, I actually find myself at the Denver airport quite a bit. And I have to say, it's one of my favorites. It's big. It's clean. It's efficient. Most of all it's easy. You get in and you get out with amazing speed.

That's all ruined. Next time I'm there, I'm sure I'm gonna see penises everywhere I look.

Thanks a lot, Triple E.

Monday, February 12, 2018

From Super Bowl past

Remember this spot from last week's Super Bowl. It didn't get much ink in the USA Today Admeter survey. But it sure was one of the most talked about :30 seconds aired during the Big Game.

And while it had most of America reaching for their remote, asking, "WTF?", it had me reminiscing to another in my long list of Super Bowl non-appearances.

Let's go back to the year 2007.

The economy was booming. There was a Republican in the White House. And we were on the eve of a complete financial meltdown. I had been freelancing at Chiat/Day, who had just won the Visa Credit card account and they were looking for a breakthrough :60 second Super Bowl spot.

So I gave them one.

I couldn't find the actual script, which lives on a hard drive of a computer now buried in the Eagle Rock landfill, so I'll recreate it to the best of my ability.


Open on a shot the FOX broadcast booth at the Super Bowl. Pan down to the FOX broadcast truck, parked just outside the stadium entrance.

A man enters the FOX truck, where we see a full technical crew, multiple TV screens, switchers, routers and all the broadcast gear.

DIRECTOR: Oh hi Bob, whatcha got?

Bob holds up a videotape box.

BOB: I have the new spot Visa, where they talk about how it's taken everywhere, low interest rates and special rewards for Visa customers.

The director looks at Bob and his mood changes.

DIRECTOR: Hey, how many times do I have to tell you not to bring your pet monkey into the broadcast booth?

We see that Bob has a reddish Capucin monkey on his shoulder.

BOB: Pucci's fine. He's not going to do anything.

One of the crew guys knocks over a mug of coffee. It shatters. And it freaks out Pucci the monkey, who leaps from Bob's shoulders and starts scampering around the inside of the FOX broadcast truck.

Mayhem breaks out. And no one can catch the frisky monkey.

DIRECTOR: No, no, no...don't touch that lever......

Cut to black.

Solid black.

After an excruciating 30 seconds of excruciating black.

And silence.

Finally, we hear one of the crew.

CREW GUY: I found my phone.

Cut to a flip phone opening up.

By the dimmest light from the phone, we see the Visa logo on the case of the tape carrying the commercial.

If you'll pardon the pun, that spot never saw the light of day. Like so, so many other Super Bowl scripts I have written. It still makes me laugh when I think about it. But then again, I'm easily amused.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Fuck You Flake

We're already at Week #3 in my Thrasher Thursday series, wherein I take the time to write and physically send an old school letter to one of the 52 Republican Senators who are now complicit in our freefall into Fascism.

Today, we're addressing Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.

You might recall, Jeff was the ONLY republican Senator who took Precedent Shitgibbon to task for calling his Democratic colleagues treasonous. The ONLY one. That's how far we, and our standards of decorum, have sunk.

But before we go throwing the Flakester a parade, let's take the time to remember his so-called integrity has the all the lasting power of a snowflake in Tucson. Oh Jeffy loves to make a big show for the cameras, but when the rubber has to meet the road he votes a straight Captain Fuckknuckle ticket.

Frankly I have more respect for someone who makes no attempt at any duplicity. A senator who owns his stupidity and does not disguise his evil agenda. Someone like Senator Grasseley or Cornyn.

They're gonna hear from me too. But first, lets deal with Senator Jeff Flakey Flake.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Front Page

Finally got around to watching the SAG screener of The Post.

I know other friends and family had a less than enthusiastic reaction to the movie, I didn't. I loved it. Despite the typical hamhanded direction of Mr. Spielberg and all the hallmarks of his filmmaking: the soaring John Williams soundtrack, the forced staging and the squeaky clean art direction. Hell, if you're doing a 60's period piece, does every car have to look like it was rented from a local vintage car show?

I was smitten by the subject matter. And no doubt swayed by my renewed love affair with newspapers.

I'll admit I had become a victim of the digital age and did my news gathering via the the internet. That's a fool's game as my Facebook newsfeed -- yours as well -- is chock full of bad news sources. And it's only recently that I've compiled a list of sources that I no longer read:,,, etc.

I pay them little attention. I wish others were more discerning.

Instead, I've renewed my subscription to the LA Times and took an additional one to the NY Times. And having viewed this movie, will probably sign on to the Washington Post.

I'm well aware that these media sources have an agenda. They are not immune from putting a certain slant on what they report. I also believe that after 44 years on this earth I have developed a nose for false claims and half truths.

But these newspapers have something the folks at Breitbart, Fox News and the Gateway Pundit, don't have: Pulitzer Prizes. They could amass 100 million regular viewers and billions of dollars in ad revenue, but Sean Hannity and Steve Douchebaggery from Fox & Friends, will never be asked to don a tuxedo and take home an award for journalist excellence.


And regardless of what Shitgibbon says, standards of excellence matter. Facts matter. And so does trust.

I trust frumpy reporters making $75K a year over spin doctors who go before a national audience and say the president's inauguration was the largest crowd ever.

I trust professional journalists who ask tough questions and document their findings over conspiracy theorists who peddle hate and propaganda.

I trust my eyes and ears over a shithole-calling, pussy-grabbing, phone call-fabricating, cheeseburger-in-bed-eating, race-baiting, FBI-attacking, "Fucking Moron" any day of the week, and twice on a 36 hole playing Sunday.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put on a pot of coffee and see what Maggie Haberman has in store for me today.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A long overdue apology

I went to pick up some drugs the other day.

My wife had caught this nasty bug that's going around so I volunteered to stop at the Rite Aid to pick up her package of semi-narcotic goodies. Particularly since the package included some codeine-fortified cough medicine.

Mmmmm, false euphoric confidence.

In any case, while waiting for the druggist to fill the order, I spied a brand spanking new blood pressure machine. I always love to throw my arm in the mechanical tourniquet and give it a whirl. Mostly because the numbers are always great -- 121/79, or something in that proximity.

On this occasion, it wasn't. I know the reason why.
I think we all do.

Which brings me to my apology.

I am not without any self awareness. And I know that I have been spending a good deal of time on this blog, on twitter and on Facebook, making comments, making memes and making myself heard in this fucking dark period of our nation's history. Furthermore, I know I've been abusing my social media privileges.

Hell, sometimes I get tired of hearing my own voice on the matter of Captain Fucknuckle.

While I'd like to apologize, I'd also like to offer up a weak argument in my defense.

You see, as someone who makes a living by putting words on paper -- more accurately, a computer screen -- I, and freelance copywriters throughout the land, spend an inordinate time in our Herman Miller ergonomic chairs staring at what you're staring at right now.

I'm not complaining, it beats shoveling shit, washing pots in a hospital kitchen or driving a forklift in Compton, California, all previously held jobs.

Here's a little occupational secret, good writing requires lots of good non-writing.

And by that, I mean we live or die by our distractions. Some writers will knit on the side. Others will pick up a guitar between spurts of inspiration. Me? I like to pick rhetorical fights with clueless khaki-pants wearing cretins who often don't know the difference between their there's and their they're's.

It gets my juices going. It keeps me razor sharp. And in a circuitous way, it puts food on my table and inches me that much closer to a brand new Audi S5 with the supercharged engine and the Heads Up Display.

What does all this mean?

It means I'm sorry for being so relentless. So prodigious. And so outspoken about the diseased sack of yak shit that is currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave..

Does it mean I plan to stop?

It doesn't.


Monday, February 5, 2018

On the Nunes Meme

I wasn't planning on writing about the Nunes Meme  -- misspelling intentional -- frankly, I didn't think I had too. I suspect most of the 8 regular readers who show up here are residents of the same political echo chamber and would likewise find a rebuttal unnecessary.

But on the off chance you know, or run into, someone who peddles this horsecockery from Fresno's favorite son, I thought I'd delve in. Because, as it turns out, picking that meme apart is easier than passing the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test.

In a feat of monumental reductiveness Nunes, I should say the Nunes staff, as he has admitted that he never read the 50 page FISA document, has reduced and summarized the warrant to a simple 3 & 1/2 pages.

Allow me to reduce it even further.

His point, muddied as it is, states that the warrant was illegally obtained because it was based solely on the Steele Dossier, a file that he fails to mention was initiated by a conservative Republican outfit before it was resold to the DNC.

Furthermore he states this was done at the behest of people who were conspiring to fool these longstanding judges in order to take down the candidacy of one Donald J. Fuckknuckle. This is laughable, at best. If, as Nunes and his genii colleagues like Rep. Jordan, Gaetz and Gowdy contend, there were some conspiracy to spoil the Shitgibbon presidential victory, why didn't they go to the press with news of an ongoing FBI investigation?

The argument should end right there.

In essence they're saying that Comey, Mueller and Rosenstein (all Republicans, by the way) were smart enough to  fool a FISA judge BUT were not bright enough to leak the story out. To CNN? To the Washington Post? Hell, they could have put it on Reddit.

Which brings me to my second point.

From my understanding, and mind you I only took one Civics course in college, though I venture to say that was more time studying our system of checks and balances than either the dunce from Fresno or Colonel Combover ever did. Getting a FISA warrant is no rubber stamp process. It's not like getting a fishing license. It's a multi-step process that is both rigorous and heavy on Constitutional compliance.

I know this from listening to former federal prosecuting attorneys empaneled by CNN and MSNBC. I'll take their expertise on the matter over a bunch of ex-sorority girls on Fox News, even if they did have the highest cookie bake sales in the entire history of Alpha Phi.

Finally, there's the subject of the warrants, Mr. Carter Page.

Have you heard about this asshat? He lived in Moscow for three years. He was actively recruited by Russian FSB agents. And he was named one of five top foreign advisors to the Shitgibbon team. That team of five also included George Pappadopolous, who has pleaded guilty to federal charges and is now cooperating fully with Bob Mueller.

Ask yourselves this. If Hillary Clinton were president and you found out one of her top five foreign advisors spoke fluent Russian and had multiple contacts with Russian intelligence agents, wouldn't you want him followed? Moreover, wouldn't you be questioning the people who hired this jizzbiscuit?

If all that doesn't tell you enough about this Russian mole, perhaps this will....