Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Tales from the Bench

We are days away.

Not only from my release from Facebook Jail.

This is my sixth infraction and each time my punishment gets easier to bear. For those who don't know, it's a read/write type of thing. You can see what's being exhibited, however you are not allowed to post or answer any texts or messages via Facebook Messenger.

So if in the future -- and this is guaranteed to happen again -- if you don't hear from me, it's probably because I got sent to Zuckerberg Supermax.

Or, I'm watching football, which is also just days away.

I couldn't be happier. But do you know who is really happy? The folks at the NFL Network. They are ecstatic.

I've done a lot of promo work for the NFL Network over the years. Season rivalries. Post season fever. And of course the big Super Bowl. I'd write football spots for free. Just don't tell anyone.

I'm not revealing any state secrets here, but you can imagine how those barren, football-less months between February and August present them with quite a challenge. It's hard to hype a football network when there's no football.

And there's only so many times you can watch reruns of the Ice Bowl.

"'s 12 degrees below zero...Bart Star takes the snap...moves to his right...goes off tackle...wedges behind Kramer and lurches himself into the end zone...Packers win...Packers win...Lambeau Field is going crazy."

Of course, there's the Draft and the Combine. But apart from the odd fashion choices of these new young millionaires and the opportunity to watch big fat men run wind sprints, who wants to watch that?

Well, it turns out, I do.

And next year's combine will hold special interest for me.

You see, I've been doing a little research and discovered that NFL rookies are subjected to a raw strength test. The noobies compete with each other to see who can bench press 225 lbs. the most times.

You can read about it here:

Last week -- and I promise not to bore you with this any more -- I benched 225 lbs. That's more than my body weight. And I did it twice. Not bad for a fat 44 year old man. But not good enough either.

By the time next year's NFL combine rolls around, I hope to be able to do as many reps as JJ Dielman, the last player cited on the list.

Anyone up for a wager?

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

That's a some spicy meatball

If there's one word in the ad business that gets abused in the ad business, it would have to be inspired.

And disruptive. And engage. And ideate. And crushed. Ok, there are many words in the ad industry that have become insufferable, but today I want to talk about inspired.

Back when I was in high school -- and we don't have to do the math on this at all -- our history teacher presented us with a cool project. The school had rented out some primitive video equipment and we (small groups of four students) were going to be given the equipment and the opportunity to make a short film regarding the Revolutionary War.

I was genuinely excited. Particularly since one of the girls in my group was a cheerleader/flagtwirler/pom pom waver.

Surely, this would be my opportunity to impress her, you know because "girls love guys with a sense of humor."


In any case, it was days before the deadline and we had NOTHING. Then I saw a commercial on TV for Alka Seltzer. It was, and I don't use this word lightly, inspiring.

We took this simple construct and married it to the tale of a British Redcoat who, through the Quartering Act, illegally stays at a colonist's house. In the end, he gets heartburn from his reluctant host's meal and complains, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing."

It was a perfectly performed spoof of the commercial and earned us all A+'s. As well a healthy smattering of laughs. Again, to no avail.

But it was also where I got my first taste of the magic of advertising. And I owe it to the writer of that Alka Seltzer spot, and many more, Howie Cohen.

Howie recounts the birth of the iconic Alka Seltzer campaign as well as the events of his storied career on both coasts in his new book, aptly titled...

Perhaps because of my personal connection to the story above and because Howie and I have travelled similar paths from the working class boroughs of New York to the god awful bagels and pizza of Los Angeles, I might have been predisposed to like the book before even turning the over the cover. But the book is a true page turner.

Told in a bright, punchy fast-moving style that includes tales of sex, office politics, disastrous client meetings, Jews, Italians, and more sex. I not only found myself laughing quite a bit. I also found myself wondering how my life could have taken a different trajectory had I stayed in NYC and pursued advertising on Madison Ave.

It is a book I am proud to put my bookshelf.

Wedged between all the unsold copies of my three books, which are also available on

Monday, July 29, 2019

Let's Get Ready to Influence

Creatively speaking, I'm a restless soul.

Perhaps exacerbated by our current political insanity, in which I, and perhaps millions or others, feel unable or powerless to do anything. And so I feel compelled to make with the funny. Or at least what amuses me.

I like to have projects to work on.

Whether it's stringing along a slew of Illuminati recruiters (Nigerian Scammers), making foul mouthed Trump memes that land me in Facebook Jail (only a few more days until my release) or writing letters to all the US GOP Senators (we are moments away from my book's release.)

And so, based on the popularity of my long running (close to 5 years), which seemed to please many, I am embarking on something new -- The IG.

My goal is to return to the endless stream of KJU photos that his publicists regularly provide. Kim is to a camera lens what Captain Ouchie Foot is to a helicopter and a bunch of TV reporters.

Only now, I'm going to turn Kim Jong Un into the world's greatest InstaGram influencer -- The Dear Seeder, if you will.

Why am I doing this? In addition to the reasons outlined above there are some vocational benefits as well.

This will give me an opportunity to master the platform. I have a personal Instagram profile, but not many followers. And frankly it was too random for my own taste. I like the discipline of regular postings. I also like to have a purpose.

By turning Kim -- a man who never fails to make me laugh -- into an Instagram influencer, I am giving myself a platform to combine humor and advertising, a duo that has long since fallen out of fashion in the ad world.

I'm also demonstrating to potential clients and agencies that I'm "hip" to what the kids are putting out these days.

I know this can be hard to believe but there are some folks out there who look at my shiny chrome dome, examine my excessive facial laugh lines and hear my war stories about rubyliths, hot type and the Eisenhower administration, and think, "he might be a little long in the tooth for this assignment." 

Crazy right?

Also, there is the remote, very remote, possibility, that this will somehow make its way back to some of the products being pimped by KJU. That could even result in some project work. 

Or more likely, a cease and desist.

See you on the IG. I'll be pimping at Kimjongpimp.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Dealing Days

We in the advertising industry have been doing those in the automotive industry a great disservice.

And we've been doing it for years.

We've sold in the notion that proper marketing can be viewed in three tiers:

Tier 1: The Brand. This is often manifested in big blowhard manifestos. Chest beating anthems. And mission statements that are brought to life with million dollar productions, European directors who want to make cinema, and blatant boondoggling that will eventually be subsidized by American taxpayers.

Tier 2: The Dealers. This advertising is meant to allay the fears of car dealers, who often look at the esoteric nature of the Tier 1 work and think, "What the fuck is that with the clouds and the koi ponds and the three legged dogs? I'm trying to sell some cars here." 

Accordingly, this work is chock full of the stuff that dealers love, panning shots of the vehicle as it winds its way on a scenic highway, and a lot of blabber about nuts and bolts and active safety measures and horsepower and advanced independent suspension. It's basically a Monroney Sticker put on film.

Tier 3: The Dealership. This is where the local guys, in their Joseph A Banks suits and their dated Hi Karate cologne and their well-rehearsed tag teaming, show the fat cats at corporate how to move the metal. "I got your mission statement right here pal. Take a look at my commission statement. I'm going to Cabo." 

There's a well-established hierarchy here. Truth is, we got it all wrong. The order is upside down. The pyramid needs to be flipped.

If we really wanted to help our automotive clients we'd start thinking about selling cars by putting more emphasis on where people are buying cars.

I know this from experience.
I've purchased two cars in the last year. One for me and one for my daughter.

Let me tell you, all that brand stuff, all that high level thinking, all those late nights and weekends spent crystalizing the planner speak, the data, the focus group findings and the last minute musings of the CMO's wife (or husband), go swirling down the toilet the minute you step foot on the expensively tiled floor of a (INSERT BRAND NAME HERE) auto dealership.

Because the men and women with the keys to the castle are the ones holding the key fobs to the vehicle. If they're not buying into the brand promise, the brand "DNA" and the brand essence, then no one is.

One of these days, some smart agency will embrace this bottoms up approach and reap the considerable rewards.

Until then, next time you find yourself buying a car, practice some deep breathing and enjoy a big heaping cup of dealership coffee.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Mojave, Mecca of the West

One last post from this year's camping trip.

By the way that's a baby deer standing behind our showering tent at the entrance to Grey's Meadow. He was so close I could practically feed him by hand. But there was no way I was going to share my breakfast of steak and eggs alongside 3 strips of thick applewood bacon. Mmmmm, meat.

If you ever find yourself on the way to Mammoth Lakes for some overpriced skiing. Or even further north to Tahoe for overpriced skiing and gambling, do yourself a favor and stop in Mojave.

It is a town like no other.

There are two seasons in Mojave.

Hot -- when the temperature never dips into the double digits.
Cold --when the residents stay inside and binge whatever it is they binge on.

Mojave is surreal.

And feels like it's straight out of a David Lynch movie. The main drag is Route 14, which is populated by cheap motels, thrift shops and fast food restaurants. There's even a sushi restaurant, though Mojave's location in the high desert makes that an iffy proposition at best.

It is on this occasion, our annual camping, that I permit myself one junk food indulgence at the Carl's Jr.

To the left of Route 14, there is a railroad track sporting long strains of railroad cars. No doubt hauling coal, radioactive waste and tons of child pornography, all the essentials to fuel the current Trump administration.

Beyond the tracks, there are acres and acres of skyscraper high windmill turbines. Thankfully, due to the high desert landscape, they are always turning and churning out power. Otherwise...

"Darling, the wind stopped, there'll be no television tonight."

But the real jewels of Mojave are on the right side of 14. The residential neighborhood bounded by K Street.

Here, wedged between the highway and the airplane graveyard euphemistically called the Mojave Air & Space Port, you will find the most interesting home decorations. Namely wood carved billboards of all shapes and sizes, quoting scripture. Or someone's interpretation of scripture.

We slow-rolled down K street and could not spot one house that was unadorned. As a Jew and an atheist -- no contradiction there -- I find it incredibly fascinating, you know in a smugly elitist way.

At the corner of K Street and Inyo, we hit the jackpot.

I will leave these here with no further editorialization.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Spare me

Just returned from a long weekend camping in Independence, California.

For those not familiar with the geography, it sits on the eastern side of the Sierras, in the Owens Valley. Which is traversed by Route 395, perhaps the most scenic highway in this great beautiful land we call America.

It also happens to be in the heart of Trump country.

Before we embarked on the journey north I told my wife I expected to see at least seven, perhaps more, MAGA caps. To my great dismay, we saw none.

But, while restocking our supply of beer and rum, I did run into some clueless clod wearing the T-shirt pictured above. To be completely honest, I'm not sure that's the exact replica, it could have been some other happy horseshit with the same Neanderthal sentiment.

Which brings me to today's pet peeve, in your face patriotism and the infantile fetishism of the flag.

We are less than a 100 years removed from the fascism of 1930's Germany. And yet we are witnessing the same militant jingoism characterized by excessive flag waving, nativism, white supremacy and angry mob rule ("Send Her Back.")

It's ugly.

It's frightening.

But it's also laughable.

Because it's cheap, paper thin and hypocritical. In the same shabby way that evangelicals tried to lay claim to morality and family values. All, while goose-stepping in time behind their new divinely chosen leader who grabs pussy, bangs porn stars, pals around with rapists, separates brown skinned (same as Jesus) children from their mothers, and openly condones murder.

I'm not familiar with Two Corinthinians. Is there a passage that reads, "And the Lord commandeth thee to smite thine enemies with a rusty bone saw."

In any case, I'm not impressed with the flag waving, the flag wearing or the disgusting flag hugging.

Not impressed in the least.

It'd be great if these testosterone-fueled know nothings paid less attention to the red, white and blue printed on a piece of cloth and paid more attention to the black quill ink printed on our Constitution.

Because it's those words, those beliefs and those aspirations, that makes America great.

Monday, July 22, 2019

We are Experiencing Intestinal Difficulties

Greetings from the Mt. Whitney Golf Club in lovely Lone Pine, CA.

Due to the excessive consumption of gin, bourbon, rum and beer, as well as the mindless eating of jalapenos, habaneros, Red Hot Cheetos, there will be no blog posting today.

Join us tomorrow for our regularly scheduled programming.


Thursday, July 18, 2019

I'm outtahere

There's a lot of talk about American concentration camps these days. As someone who grew up in the long shadow of the Holocaust, I find it appalling. I'm so angry about the situation I can't even talk about it.

Besides, I think we should spend less time arguing about what to call these camps and more time finding ways of fixing a border crisis that was manufactured by our wotsit-face gammon for the sole purpose of ginning up his hatemongering base of deplorables.

You've probably seen the picture above floating around the interwebs.

It's three Japanese boys interned at the Manzanar Camp at the base of the Eastern Sierra mountains. The boys are staring out past the barbed wire fence towards Route 395, my favorite highway in America.

Suffice to say, it's an area I am deeply connected to. It's where my family and the families of friends have gone camping for the last 15+ years.

In fact, you look over the shoulders of the boys, 3 miles deep and about 7000 feet up the mountain, you can see our campground, Upper Grey Meadows.

That dark patch is a thick grove of oak trees fed by Onion Valley Creek, a fast moving stream of ice cold snow melt.

We are heading up this morning. A much-needed escape from the Constitution-fraying foolishness foisted upon us by a Fustian Fascist Fuckknuckle.

Now if you'll excuse me, we have to pack up the Acura.

"Just leave the sleeping bags. We need more room for the bourbon and rum."

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Photo Funny Wednesday

It's been a while since I've done a Photo Funnies post.

But now that my Senatorial letter writing campaign has concluded and I'm no longer spambaiting a clueless Illluminati recruiter, it seems like a good time to dig into my photo files and share some of the digital oddities that live on my iPhone.

Following a hike, my wife and I went to a bookstore in the newly redesigned Palisades Village last week. The place is too ginchy for my taste. But I did find a way to amuse myself with some clandestine reshelving.

Generally speaking, we're not soccer fans, but we're still enjoying the afterglow of the woman's amazing World Cup victory.

Is there anything better than a well-marbled Tomahawk steak? Yes. Two well marbled Tomahawk steaks. 

When I'm not in Facebook Jail, I get a ton of these random friend requests. I always know it's spam when they're addressed, "Hey handsome." This one claims her name was Mona Williams. But a reverse image search reveals she's actually a porn star. I always reject these obvious  catfish requests. And I always laugh when I see friends and colleagues (on their friend's list) who have taken the bait.

Easily one of the weirdest tombstones -- I have a thing for tombstones -- that I have ever seen.

This needs no explanation, suffice to say the White House photographer responsible for this should be looking for another job.

I forgot why I was looking at hockey jerseys. I only know that I did. I hope the guy's first name was Phil.

This accurately summarizes the sleazy and classless nature of our most shabby president.

And so does this.

And one more.

Finally, to end on a high note. I found this from Father's Day. A perfect hike on the Westridge trail. The only thing that would've made it better would have been if my other daughter was in LA to join us.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

That's how it starts

My youngest daughter Abby has quite a photographic eye and an excellent sense of design, nevertheless I have always said, "one day she will be a writer."

This week she took one step closer to that goal. Though I suspect she doesn't even know it.

You see my little crabapple hasn't fallen far from the tree. She recently wrote a letter to a Vice President at the Popsicle Corporation, a division of Unilever. Seems she had been having difficulty locating their product in Boulder, CO.  And wanted to know where she could find her favorite Cherry Pineapple Swirl Big Stick.

Most people, faced with the dilemma of not being able to locate a frozen sugary dessert treat would move on down the freezer shelf and find a tasty alternative. But my daughter is not most people.

I don't have a copy of the email she sent to the Popsicle Big Wig, but from all accounts it was personal, it was odd and it was funny.

Funny enough, in fact for the Muckety-Muck VP at Popsicle to write back.

Not only did this corporate big wig write back, she also included a very generous coupon for Popsicle products available for purchase in California.

This is how it starts.

When you come to realize that well chosen and well placed words can move people. Can motivate them. Can actually initiate a change in their behavior.

Quick anecdote. When I was a junior in college, I was determined to establish my financial independence. Due in no small part to my father's, how shall I put this, thriftiness.

"Pay for your own damn college, you lazy bum."

And so I worked. As a bartender. As a short order cook. As a dishwasher. I think I even tutored college freshman in Math for a few shekels.

You see by completely weaning myself off my father's income, the financial aid office at Syracuse University would be forced to hand over some money. Or so I thought.

By the time my senior year rolled around, they came up with bubkus. Naturally I was outraged and took pen to paper, writing a 1500 word essay detailing my plight as an onion-skinning prep cook at a local gastropub. The colorful and pungent piece covered half a page in the Daily Orange, the student newspaper, and effectively shamed the Financial Aid office before the entire student body. Sufficiently enough that they re-reviewed my case.

Within a week I had a check for a good part of my senior year tuition. Words have consequences.

Now my daughter's journey has begun.

One day she will look back on it and write the story of her beginning. And the critical role played by a Popsicle Big Stick.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Book Covers, Part II

It's time for another episode of Rejected Book Covers.

Two weeks ago I shared one of the many covers in contention for my upcoming book. One roundseventeen reader thought it was incredible and would be incredibly hard to top.

I also took the liberty of soliciting private opinions from some trusted souls in the ad business.

If you didn't get a private email asking for your opinion, it doesn't mean I don't trust you. More than likely it means my wife was nagging me to take out the recycles. Or beckoning me to come to the TV.

"You're not going to believe what he did (or said) now."

A clear reference to Captain Ouchie Foot and our continued descent into Stupid Fascist Hell. By the way, this picture of our "Christian" vice president visiting American concentration camps has got me spitting mad.

Six of the Nazis pictured above, Senator Marcia Blackburn, Senator Cornyn, Senator Graham, Mike Pence, Senator Thom Tillis and Senator Mike Crapo (hiding in the back) are the subjects of my book. And deserve all the fiery derision I can muster. Fuck these assclowns, who "were only following orders."

I digress.

But only slightly.

Because that sentiment, that rage that bubbles inside me every goddamned morning, and occasionally oozes, lava hot, from my fingertips, was the inspiration for today's rejected cover.

I love this rendition.

It reminds of the great editorial illustrations that graced the front of The New Yorker or the NY Times Sunday magazine. It's simple. It's clever. And it's guttural.

Maybe too guttural. Perhaps it's because I'm currently sitting in Facebook jail, but I'm a little sensitive to the notion of community standards.

And can also see running into problems with the Amazon people so I shelved this one.

Moreover, I've deluded myself into thinking the new book will have a life beyond the bookshelf, or more accurately beyond another cardboard box stuffed into my already stuffed garage.

I like to think of Nancy Pelosi and the DNC purchasing thousands of copies. And further like to picture enthusiastic interns and operatives handing my book out on the steps of the Capitol building, causing a national stir and a great awakening in the GOP.

It would be a shame if all that never came to pass because someone took offense over a middle finger cartoon.

I mentioned I was delusional, didn't I?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

A $5 Hollywood Story

Yesterday I bench pressed 200 lbs.

Or two bills, in the vernacular of the iron head.

That's not bad for a guy of my advanced age (44). On the other hand it's not great for a guy of my advanced girth. But in my defense I just got started with my heavy lifting routine. And this, the starting, is the more interesting part of the story.

You see I had been shopping for a squat rack/weight combination for several weeks now on Facebook's marketplace. I didn't see the need to drop serious money on new equipment when slightly used weights would certainly suffice.

Turns out lots of people are selling their Olympic weights sets. Almost all of them live in faraway places like Cucamonga or Valencia or Thousand Oaks. Moreover, it seems, many of them have gnarly looking pitbulls who guard the weight sets or just happen to photobomb every picture.

In any case, I balked. That is until two weeks ago when I spotted an ad from a fellow selling 275 lbs. worth of rubber coated weights (the better kind) as well as a tree to store them on. He wanted $225.

Perfect I thought.
More perfect, the guy lived on the border of nearby Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.
Even perfecter, I recognized the face and the name of the gentleman who no longer had a use for the equipment.

Out of respect, I'm not going to divulge his name. Suffice to say he is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in Hollywood. A household name to anyone who owns a house, particularly if in that house you find a flat screen TV.

Even though I'm a civilian with a very limited IMDB page, I've been in Los Angeles long enough to know that people like this don't deal with people like me. They have assistants. And if they're high enough on the food chain, their assistants have assistants. So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself exchanging direct Facebook messages with this industry titan  to set up a place and time to seal the deal on some slightly used gym equipment.

My wife was dumbfounded by all this and insisted on going with me to make the pick up. She was certain there was a mix up and that we'd be going to a Public Storage facility to meet a PA named Crystal or Brittany or Jazz.

But no, we keyed in our code, passed through the security gate and came face to face with the man who will forever be responsible for my rock hard pecs. Truth be told, he couldn't have been nicer. He was funny, charming and according to my wife, "a lot better looking than I thought he'd be."

Here's the best part.

Having loaded the last of the plates in the trunk of my Lexus, I cracked wise, "...all I need now is a Speedo and a tub of coconut oil." 

We returned to his garage where I then whipped out my wallet and peeled off a stack of twenties I had just retrieved from the ATM. I handed him eleven crisp twenty dollar bills. I was $5 short. Shit.

Debbie offered to grab her purse and get the remainder of the balance. She came back from the car empty-handed. "Sorry, I don't have a five."

It was at this point, and not a second earlier, that he said, "Ah, don't worry about it."

Keep in mind this is a man who has made millions and millions of dollars writing thousands and thousands of jokes. But for my wife and I, none will be funnier than that.

We went to buy 275 lbs of weights.

We came away with something better, a story.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

About nothing

If you read this blog with any regularity you know I like to make fun of people. All people.

I make fun of Republicans, the low hanging fruit on the tree. But I've also taken potshots at Democrats. And quite a few at Libertarians. They're no longer on the tree but have fallen and are rotting at the base of the tree, covered in fungi and looking eerily similar to that mop of faux hair that sits on Rand Paul's head.

I make fun of religion. All religion. But take particular joy at mocking the inane musings of my own particular tribe. Come on, talking snakes? Burning bushes? Parting seas? And murrain?

What the hell is murrain?

Plus, you're going to tell me the Lord of Lords, the Host of Hosts, the omnipotent force that rules over vast stretches of space and time that the mind cannot even fathom, is going to have a kinnipshin if I add some zest to my salad with a few bacon bits?

I don't have time or energy for that.

"Please pass the lobster roll."

I make fun of advertising people. All advertising people.

No one is spared. Holding company executives who take home 8 figure compensation packages but tell bootstrapped employees, "there's no money for raises." Whiny art directors and copywriters who have convinced themselves they're changing the world and want to bookend their Cannes Lions with a nice Nobel Prize. Or two.

And I make fun of planners and strategists. Perhaps even to excess. For a stretch of two years or so (in the pre-Trump era), every 5th blog posting seemed to be about delusional planners.

But by far the biggest target of my derision is me.

The reasoning is quite simple.

At 215+ lbs. I make for quite a can't-miss target. Also, if I write something mean about myself, there are no consequences. No one can put me in Blog Jail. Or curtail my blogging activity in any way.

The other reason is my solid belief in self-deprecation. It's become somewhat of a lost art. And frankly, it's what brands ought to be doing more of.

Over and above all that, after 44 years on this earth I've cultivated a very pragmatic philosophy. And tried not to make the mistake of conflating what I do, or have done, with any importance.

As my former boss Steve Hayden put it so eloquently in a graduation speech I posted several weeks ago, "I can make a decent living twisting some words into clever phrases? Cool."

Or as it was put so perfectly (at 1:52) in this Seinfeld clip that is in current inter web circulation.

I love that.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Flights of fancy

This is a picture of Dulles Airport in Washington DC. We'll get to Dulles in a minute.

But first let's flashback to Captain Ouchie Foot's Fourth of July Clusterfuck.

It was a glorious day of rain, thunder, lightning and the flaccid display of military hardware including two aging tanks and two armored vehicles. In other words the equivalent of Luxembourg's armed forces.

Topping it all off was another word salad speech given by our president from behind an unsqueeged shower door. My wife was in fits. "How hard is it to squeegee the god damn glass?" she yelled at the TV that was momentarily tuned in to Fox News.

The speech was an instant classic. What Gettysburg was to Lincoln, what going to the moon was to Kennedy, beating down the British and capturing their prized airports will be to Precedent Shitgibbon.

As mentioned yesterday, I am currently serving time in Facebook Jail. And so I could not share my thoughts on the matter. Thankfully I have this platform where I can still count on the readership of 8 loyal followers.

I started simple.
And economical.
And graphic.

Figuring out how to get the handle behind George's fingers is the latest self-taught trick I now have in my photo manipulation arsenal.

But, being a copywriter at heart, I turned to something more copy driven.

Then, I married copy with visual, and went for something with a pop culture (Better Call Saul) reference.

If not for my wife nagging me to go for a hike and later knocking out more banner ads for Harry's House of Catheters, I could have manufactured airport memes all day long.

But later in the day, I was chatting with my former Team One colleague and now the self proclaimed Greatest Copywriter in the World, Mike Folino. And he blurted out the best idea of all.

Instead of telling you the idea, I'm going to show you. Because upon hearing his stroke of genius, I, and then Mike, sprung into action.

As of this writing, the producers of Hamilton have not responded. Which is sad because the window on this golden opportunity is closing. 

Come on Lin, do it for Dulles and for all the other airports that were liberated from the tyrannical rule of our 18th century British overlords. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

A letter from Jail.

My Dearest,

Once again, I find myself in jail.

Facebook Jail.

Incarcerated for the crime of sedition and speaking thoughts that were not meant to be thought. Or spoken.

As you know, I am no stranger to this forsaken place. Indeed the memories are fresh and still inflict much pain.

Who can forget my first detainment? 24 hours in the hole for calling Earlene from Buckatunna, Mississippi, a "toothless, meth-smoking, Jew-hating hillbilly." That was a mistake on my part. And I'll never forget the embarrassment I felt when days after my release, Earlene sent me a photo of herself, proof positive that she was not toothless and had a limited smattering of back molars and incisors.

You'd think I would have learned my lesson. But the temptation to violate Facebook Community Standards is far too great. Which explains why Facebook Jail recidivism rates are off the charts.

Not long after the Earlene Incident, I was in hot water again with the Zo-Zo. This time for praying a pointy meteor would fall on the house of Senator Steve Daines, one of the dimmest congressional representatives in the upper chamber.

That infraction bought me 7 days in AdSeg.

Johnny Social Media Law doesn't fool around. Last week's transgression merited a full 30 days in Timeout. And I must admit, I still don't know what I did wrong.

I simply took a tragic photo of two immigrants face down in the waters of the Rio Grande -- a photo that had gone viral around the inter webs -- and attached a comment Precedent Shitgibbon had made about the Democratic debates, "Boring." It was nothing more than a juxtaposition to illustrate the heartless nature of the beast I call Captain Ouchie Foot.

Naturally I appealed the sentence. But Zuckerberg in all his wisdom has designed a review process that has all the efficiency of a Soviet era built toaster oven.

And so I have nothing but to serve out my harsh sentence. And subside on an unsatisfying gruel of Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram. The days will be long. I will continue to produce my memes but they will not be seen. Or Liked. Or Hearted. Or given flaming emojis.

If I were a religious man, I'd say this was all part of Big Sky Daddy's plan. This is my fate. Perhaps the time away will yield some healing. Perspective. Tranquility.

Of course, I'm not religious and see this as a twisted manifestation of political correctness gone wrong.

Suffice to say when I come back, the rhetorical and satirical knives will be sharper than ever.

Fuck You, Facebook.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


Tanks are very much in the news today. Particularly since Captain Ouchie Foot is going to roll them through DC in a show of his virility and excessive testosterone. And in obvious compensation for his less than impressive artillery.

All of which reminded me of a spot we shot for PlayStation oh so many years ago.

The director was Doug Liman, who had just come off Go and was prepping for his next film the Bourne Identity and the kickoff of the very successful Jason Bourne franchise.

I'm pretty sure Doug agreed to shoot our little shitty commercial as preparation for dealing with live ammo and ordinance.

The spot was shot in a day up at an artillery range near Valencia. We rigged wires to "launch" the targets, hot dog cart, piano, etc. But we used real live explosives to obliterate them. Then we enhanced the shot in post.

The resolution on this pre-HD spot sucks. But it should be obvious that as shooting commercials go, this one was a blast.

Happy 4th of July.


Last night I was notified my Facebook account had been suspended (again). This time for juxtaposing the picture of the drowned father and his daughter with the commentary from our heartless president, "Boring."

That violated their standards. But this cartoon, which appeared thousands of times didn't?

Fuck these Fascists.