Thursday, March 22, 2018

Down Goes Dean

You know what day it is.

It's time for our Thursday Thrashing.
Today is our tenth letter to a Republican US Senator.
We're already at 20% of our goal.
Time goes fast when you're flagellating our most flagellation-worthy politicians.


3 -22-18

Senator Dean Heller
324 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Heller,

Can I be frank with you?

The truth is, until Precedent Shitgibbon singled you out last year for your possible NO vote of the ObamaCare repeal and replace proposal, I had never heard of you.

I'm guessing the majority of Nevadans, in perpetual search of hookers, alcohol, high paying slot machines and $7.99 breakfast buffets, had never heard of you either.

I mean let's face it you've hardly established yourself as that "unstoppable legislative force from Castro Valley."

Moreover, your reputation as a wispy empty suit was only reinforced when you sat next to Captain Fuckknuckle and donned a shit-eating grin while he humiliated you before your colleagues and a nation of onlookers who collectively thought...

"Who's that dipshit?"   (No offense.)

And yet for all that non-noteworthy anonymity, you sir, are #10 in my Thursday Thrashing series of letters to all 51 Republican US Senators.

A person of normal intelligence might be asking, "What have I done to deserve such an honor?" But I think we can all agree you're hardly a person of normal intelligence. The fact that you are running for re-election is testament to that.

Speaking of the upcoming Nevada Senatorial race, it's my understanding that you will be facing off against Democrat Jacky Rosen. Naturally I'll be pulling for her. Because as one Internet meme put it, "any vote for a Democrat is a vote for a future jury panel on the Trump impeachment."

But I'm not just willing to write a check and voice my support for Ms. Rosen, I want to do more.

I have to do more.  

Because, if I can be frank again, people like you are fucking up this country; adding to our national debt, regressing social advancements, fueling tribalism, supercharging corruption and destroying national institutions like the free press and the Department of Justice.

So, I'm throwing a monkey wrench into the machine.

And by that I mean I'm hoping to siphon off Republican voters, who would vote for you, by throwing another, more qualified, more stately, more dignified Republican candidate into the mix.

Meet Bull Feces.

You may scoff and think you can't run a 50 lbs. bag of manure for the US Senate. I would remind you of that old legal maxim, "in today's litigious society, you can sue a ham sandwich."

Additionally, we live in a special time when technology makes it possible to create and design an entire political campaign right from the comfort of our desktop.

This is but a small sampling of the campaigning I will be doing on behalf of Bull Feces. If I can secure 1000 write in votes in the November election -- that's 1000 votes that won't go to you -- I will consider that a victory.

There is an upside to all this, Dean.

You see while I doubt you can stand toe to toe with Ms. Jacky Rosen in a one on one debate. I'm betting that you have the skillset and the intellectual firepower to hold your own with the Republican challenger.

Or, in the parlance of Nevadan's, I've have you 3-2 over Bull Feces.


Rich Siegel
Culver City, CA 90232

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It's 1933 all over again.

When you grow up in the shadow of the Holocaust, as I did, you do a lot of wondering.

You put yourself in the shoes of those doctors, scientists, artists, writers, lawyers and even soldiers, who lived in Eastern Europe during the calamitous 1930's and you think to yourself, "what would I do?"

I don't know if gentiles do this, although they should, but I do know members of the Tribe do.

And though we are said to be a smart, crafty people, it strikes me as the height of human stupidity for 6 million people to have walked, almost willingly, to their ashen or mud covered graves.

As a student of the Third Reich and all things Nazi-related, I'm well aware of the Warsaw Rebellion and the pockets of Jewish resistance that arose in Poland, Hungary and Russia. Sadly, it was too little, too late.

It wasn't just a great loss for Judaism, it was a great loss for humanity. Can there be any doubt that among those 6 million shriveled corpses there was not one budding genius, who through the dint of hard work and god given smarts, could have given the world a cure for cancer? Solved the mystery of cold fusion? Or somehow marshaled his or her talents to change the course of mankind?

A quick glance at the list of 20th century Nobel Prize winners will provide that answer.

And so when I place myself in those shoes, I ask, how can they not have seen what was coming? How could they resign themselves to inertia? How could they rest on the Sabbath when there was so much evil around them?

Sadly, the hypothetical no longer seems hyperbolic.

This country, our country, has never skirted so close to Fascism as it is currently doing in 2018.


Well, I'm glad you asked.

* We are currently living under one party rule. All dissent has been quashed, see House Intelligence Committee. See spineless Republicans in the Senate and the House.

* The president has said "maybe it's time we had a president for life."  He said it jokingly, the same way Hitler said, we should get rid of the Jews.

* The administration has enabled white supremacists, engaged openly in hate talk and has requested a military parade.

* The administration is calling for the militarization of our schools.

* The Republican party nominee for an Illinois Congressional seat is an official stiff armed, Jew hating Nazi.

* The president engages in nativist populism. His former senior advisor claims people should wear their racism like a badge of honor.

* Our system of Checks and Balances has been replaced by a system of checks. From the NRA, Big Pharma and Defense Contractors.

* The FBI and the CIA are being attacked. See Night of the Long Knives.

* There are "very fine Nazis" carrying torches on our public streets.

* Disinformation is being weaponized. The Free Press (a pillar of our democracy) is being delegitimized.

* The president and his cabinet members are fleecing the taxpayers. Corruption is not the exception but the rule.

* The Rule of Law is being ignored in favor of the rule of whim. "We'll do due process later."

I know the naysayers will stipulate that the economy is doing well and the stock market is going through the roof. I'm not going to argue those points (though I easily could) suffice to say that it is a total shame our once-great nation, a nation of ideals and aspirations, can seemingly be purchased for an $11.79 bump in a bi-monthly paycheck. That's 138 rubles if you're curious.

This is nothing less than the rise of the Fourth Reich.

And I'm not sitting this one out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Invasion of the Boxes

It's happening.

We are under a full scale architectural attack. An assault of epic rectangular proportions. A relentless barrage of hard right angles, negative space and unmerciful geometric tyranny.

I'm not sure that your neighborhood has fallen, but mine is quickly becoming unrecognizable.

Lately, I find myself manufacturing reasons to get in my new car and drive (see earlier post from March 14).

And with camera in hand, I could not help notice the aforementioned trend.

To wit...

This is but a small sampling of the box homes that seems to be springing up around every squared off corner in the neighborhood. 

Call me a Luddite, but I just don't see the curb appeal. 

Years ago, before the turn of the millennium and before we come under the iron-fisted rule of a lying, golf-happy, manure-brained man child, my wife and I did a total remodel of the house. We figured, and rightly so, that staying in Culver City to accommodate our expanding family made more sense than moving to tony and unaffordable Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills or even Cheviot Hills. 

Not to mention the fact that Deb and I would simply not fit in with our new wealthier, upscale neighbors who would no doubt turn their artificially-adjusted noses up in our general direction and whisper behind closed doors...

"Look at they way they dress. And did you see their furniture? Are you sure they're Jewish?"

So we commissioned the services of an architect, a severely modern, hipster architect, who was a joy to work with, but who had mistakenly assumed we were way too cosmopolitan. I will never forget the day he brought over a 3D model of what our new home would like. It had boxes, like the ones you see above, meaning we would have been way ahead of the curve (see the irony?). 

But, the second story was this huge crescent-shaped banana-like structure that sat on top of the boxes like a sore carpenter's thumb. Suffice to say we didn't go that route.

Nor we did we go in the other direction, like this architecturally-challenged neighbor who couldn't settle for one style and decided to have them all.

I don't know what these folks are going for, I'm only glad they're not going for it on my street.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Suck it 60 Minutes

The nation eagerly awaits the broadcast of the Stormy Daniels' interview on the upcoming edition of 60 Minutes.

But citing the hilarious Kim Jung Fun tumblr and the breakthrough work in anecdotal journalism at Roundseventeen, Stormy Daniels, star of pole-adorned stage and besmirched computer screen, has agreed to sit down for an exclusive one-on-one with our editors.

RS: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us about President, David Dennison. You must be extremely busy right now.

STORMY: I am. My Make America Horny Again Tour is going like gangbusters. Last week I featured at Juggalos in Tampa Bay. And I'm scheduled for additional appearances at Mt. EverBreast in Detroit and Pocket Rockets in Sacramento.

RS: So it's our understanding that you met President, David Dennison, at a golf tournament in Reno. Did he know who you were?

STORMY: Yes. He did. I was very flattered. He said he knew all my work.

RS: He could have been just smooth talking you.

STORMY: That occurred to me as well.

RS: But?

STORMY: He was familiar with my entire filmography. He said he really enjoyed my starring role in Pussy Sweat. He thought the acting had a unique energy. And that my performance was riveting. In fact, he said he enjoyed the movie so much he went back and watched it again. And again. And then again, 5 hours later.

RS: Would you describe your relationship with President, David Dennison, as intimate?

STORMY: You know I can't talk about that. But I can say this, intimacy is kind of relative. Particularly considering my line of work. And the fact that I have had non-intimate relationships with 12,397 men. Oh wait, 12,398, there was this really cute guy working the counter at the Circle K when I was getting gas this morning. (WINKS)

RS: Let's put it this way, did the relationship go beyond the one night at the golf tournament? In other words, did you see President, David Dennison, after that?

STORMY: I did. Not many people know this but he was extremely curious about the biz and said he wanted to come to a shoot.

RS: He wanted to come to a porn shoot?

STORMY: Yes. So I invited him down to the set of Porking with Pride 2.

RS: You're telling us the President of the United States of, David Dennison, came to the set of Porking with Pride 2?

STORMY: Yes. Now keep in mind I wasn't in the original Porking with Pride 1, so I really wanted to do a good job, you know for the sake of the Porking with Pride franchise. So I really brought it, if you know what I mean.

RS: And did he enjoy it?

STORMY: He did, but then he disappeared to the bathroom for about 20 minutes and when he returned he looked bored. He sat down with his iPad. I think he was playing Words With Friends.

RS: We don't know how this is all going to end, but if your allegations about President, David Dennison, pan out, there's a good chance your films could end up in the presidential archive or the Smithsonian Institute. How exciting is that?

STORMY: Wow, I hadn't really thought about...(PHONE RINGS) I have to take this call.

A three minute PAUSE. Stormy comes back.

STORMY: I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to cut this short. My friend Venus Uranus was going to feature at Starbutts, but she came down with strep throat. I'm gonna sub in. Thanks again. You're a doll.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Your garden variety idiot Senator

Today's edition of the Thursday Thrashing takes us to Colorado and junior Senator Cory Gardner.

Perhaps because of yesterday's official announcement that a House seat has flipped in favor of Democrat Connor Lamb and because the Stormy Daniels affair has the potential to reveal criminal violation of Federal Election laws, the tenor of today's letter is not quite as volatile as it has been in the past.

My wife says, if I ever want to get return correspondence from these pasty white assnuggets I ought to turn it down.

I hate that she's right all the time.


Senator Cory Gardner
B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building
WashingtonDC 20510

Dear Senator Gardner,

Today, I find myself in the unusual position of heaping a little praise on a Republican Senator. For the past two months that has not been the case.

You see, I have started a Thursday Thrashing series for readers of my blog I invite you to scan through the past two months and witness the abuse I have rained down on your colleagues, including Flake, Corker, McConnell and that tin-foil hat-wearing Ron Johnson.

But last week, you did what few US Senators dared to do. You stood up to administration's draconian attitudes towards pot and told our perjuring little Attorney General to chillax and roll himself a phat one.

Good on you Cory.

But before you go running down the hallway and start waving this letter in Senator Corker's face, "Hey, that bald Jew from California thinks I'm a winner", let's do a little chilling of our own.

Because it's my understanding that when presented with a reasonable gun control bill that included the NICS Fix (National Instant Criminal Background Check System), you parked your fat Colorado ass in front of it, like a bloated steer napping on a railroad track.

I don't know what I find more repulsive.

Your objection to instituting universal background checks for gun ownership and thus preventing loonies, convicted murderers and terrorists on the No Fly list from obtaining weapons of massive flesh destruction.

Or, the fact that your hesitance stems from some arcane, twisted reading of the US Constitution. "Oh (insert fake alligator tears) we have to be very careful not to trample the inalienable rights of law abiding citizens."

Fuck You, Cory.

I'm a law abiding citizen and I don't want to have to look over my shoulder every time I step into a school, a mall or Dodger Stadium, where the visitor parking is a clear violation of my inalienable rights.

Since when did we get so high and mighty about looking into people's background before we allow them to make a major purchase?

Last week, I bought myself a pre-owned car at an Audi dealership in Ontario. Since they were offering attractive rates, I did the financing through their office. The process took me more than two hours.

And it included some very rigorous investigation. Before handing me the keys, they wanted to know:

* My social security number

* My income

* My mortgage payments

* My favorite cut of beef (rib eye)

* My preferred news sources (NY Times and MSNBC)

* My inseam (an embarrassing 31, thus accounting for my beer barrel appearance)

And guess what? I gladly provided all the info. And did so without whipping out my pocket Constitution or checking to see if my Habeus Corpus had been unlawfully trampled upon.

Because I wanted the car.
And because I had nothing to hide.

Isn't that the same logic used by law and order Republicans who push the stop-and-frisk procedure?  If I were the cynical Doubting Thomas type, I'd say there's a little hypocrisy going on here, Cory. I might even suggest it has something to do with the color of one's skin.

Normally, I end these letters with a barrage of insults and a volcano like eruption of anger. But I'm gonna let you off easy today. Because my daughter goes the University of Colorado. And because I'm still enjoying the afterglow of my new car purchase.

BTW, for handing over all my info and for being so cooperative, the dealership threw in free floor mats and coupons for 10 free car washes. 

Maybe the gun folks could consider something similar.


Rich Siegel
Culver City, CA 90232

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

High Octane Promotion

Those in my inner circle are shocked.

For weeks now they have heard me musing and pining about the inimitable Audi S5. They have watched me angst over its high price. And swoon over its inordinately high horsepower. And because those in my inner circle are in my inner circle they knew this process, this anguishing, this never-ending push and pull could go on for months.

Even years.

But I short-circuited all that. Perhaps because I just turned 44 and perhaps because I have come to the recognition that the needle is quickly approaching the center of the record.

And so, two weeks ago, after another session of gazing at certified pre-owned (a fancy term for used) Audis on everything from Autotrader to Carvana to to Cargurus, I finally spotted the make and model and mileage and price I wanted.

As the Siegel luck would have it, this particular car, was not in nearby Santa Monica or easy-to-reach Beverly Hills. But all the way out in Ontario, where the In and Out Burgers are situated at every other exit and golf cap wearing, tooth-missing trumpsters lurk behind every corner.

Nevertheless I made the trek into the Inland Empire.

After a quick test drive I told the salesman - who knew full well I didn't drive 100 miles NOT to close a deal -- that it was time to talk turkey.

They came down a little off the sticker price but not much. So I pulled the old walk out the door routine. Then, before firing up the Lexus for the long fruitless drive home, I decided to go back in to use their bathroom. That's when I got tag teamed by the whole sales staff. Long story mercifully short, we came to an agreement.

And now this 335 HP supercharged beauty is sitting in my driveway.

Do I love this S5?
You're damn right I love it.
It's by far the most lavish, most indulgent thing I've ever bought for myself.

Of course, now I have to pay for it. And by incorporating it into this blog I have essentially turned the vehicle into a self promo piece. So I plan to write off about 8 months of payments on next year's tax returns.

Take that Precedent Shitgibbon.

Also, I'm available for your next gig.
Make sure you inquire about my new discounted Pay For The Audi Day Rates.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

On craftsmanship

Years ago, and not under the best of circumstances (having just been fired from Chiat/Day), I had the opportunity to work with one of the finest craftsmen in our industry. An art director and an artist whose reputation precedes him and his not insignificant hair, the great John Doyle.

He convinced me that it would be worth my while to make the 53 mile daily commute, from Culver City to Irvine, Ca, behind the Orange Curtain. To work on an iconic automotive brand -- Jaguar.

Inside joke notwithstanding, I took the leap.

Apart form the generous salary (more than I was making at Chiat), the free dry cleaning, the complimentary gym membership, here was a chance to work with Doyle and fashion a distinctive ad campaign for a brand that was singular in every sense of the word.

Moreover, it would be an opportunity to ride the coattails of an art director who has graced the pages of every award annual and had literally written the book on craftsmanship. Thus elevating my superficial and sophomoric portfolio and giving it some much needed class.

Sadly, the brain trust at Jaguar was more interested in moving metal and spitting out crappy ads for their even crappier $199/month X-Type, a car that in no way deserves to wear the leaper badge. One cretinous marketing genii even suggested we attach some type of jingle or musical signature to the Jaguar brand.

That's the kind of low-brow thinking that would earn a position in today's presidential cabinet.

All water under the bridge, right?

I thought so.

And frankly hadn't given that missed opportunity a moment's thought in a very long time. Until last week when I was cleaning out the mess in the shelving unit that houses my printer as well as all the other detritus of a failed career.

That's when I found this:

(Hint: It's the newspaper equivalent of a test drive)

Let me apologize in advance. This is a poor repro of a poor repro of a comp that never ran.

Furthermore I have no expectation that you would read the rather lengthy copy that I now wish I had the opportunity to tighten and rewrite.

I only present this only because this is the type of ad Doyle and I wanted to do for the brand. The fact is you don't have to read the ad. The copy acts as a graphic element. It informs the reader that Jaguar is no ordinary automobile and that this is a brand that can, and is willing to, make a statement.

In other words, it's brand behavior that reflects the brand. A self evident truth that doesn't appear to be very self evident these days.

I remember presenting this ad, and five others like it, all with 1000+ carefully written words, all pinned to a foamcore board in a huge conference room. I was reading the copy and barely made it to the second paragraph, before one crusty old English SVP, who had the remains of his oily fish and chips lunch stained on his tie, interrupted...


Weeks after that, I quit and went freelance.

Monday, March 12, 2018

It's all about that advertising

About a year ago, I changed the dynamics of this blog and signed up for Google's ad program. Essentially, allowing Google to use this scarcely-seen blog as a media platform for garbage-y banner ads.

Since that fateful decision, I've earned a whopping $103.79.

Clearly, unlike my fellow tribe members, I was not meant to be a media mogul. I must be doing something wrong and probably should spend more time listening to Gary Vaynerchuck and less time snickering about his bloated self-motivational missives and asinine wool caps.

At first, it appeared, I had no control whatsoever about the products and services Google decided to advertise on my site. There were ads for carpentry tools, pine-flavored toothpaste, and Vietnamese river cruises.

It all seemed so random.

My guess is the Google software was collecting data from my readers and catering the ads to their eclectic interests.

Then things changed.

I started noticing more and more ads related to websites I had been visiting. Hence, you might have noticed more ads from Nest, Barking Dog Control devices and oceanfront real estate on the Oregon coastline.

This is a phenomena we're all too familiar with. You go to Amazon to order a slimming Spanx tank top to restore your once shapely physique and the next thing you know your Facebook feed is swimming in Spanx ads.

"Tired of your fat feet? Try our new Spanx socks and get those EEE puppies into shape."

Well, you know me, I can't pass up a good opportunity to mess wth my reader's heads, all 8 of them.

A few weeks ago I embarked on a purposeful mission to start browsing bizarre and telling websites. Knowing full well that paging through their sites would trigger a flood of odd and questionable ads on RoundSeventeen. See photo above from, purveyors of the world's finest lingerie fashioned for men.

I didn't stop there.
I went on to look for:

Mobile petting zoos.

Ball gags.

Japanese wall decals.

International Nicholas Cage Fan Clubs

KKK Sheet laundering services

The inter web is a fascinating place. And has something for everyone. Including, it seems,  writers with way too much time on their hands.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bitch at Mitch

Thursday Thrashing, Week #8

I'll spare you the intro and get right to it...


Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
WashingtonDC 205100001

Dear Mitch,

About two months ago I embarked on a mission to write to each of our Republican US Senators and offer them my personal review of their performance. It's sort of like YELP. Of course, with the dire direction our country is going in (porn stars/WH defections/money laundering/ Russians/and more porn stars) it's more like HELP.

This is now the 8th letter of its kind.

With you being the ranking majority Senator, you'd think you would have been the first to receive a letter. That honor went to Bob Corker.

In fact, perhaps due to my early senility or perhaps due to the hot lava like rage I feel towards your Tennessee cohort, I've actually penned TWO letters to Corky, who flips and flops more than an oxygen-starved mackerel on the deck of an Alaska fishing boat.

A long-winded way of saying, Mitch, you just don't merit my respect.

Truth be told, I had given serious thought to writing all 52 letters and purposely not writing to you; the Merrick Garland treatment if you will.

But, here we are, so permit me to unload on the piss poor positions you have taken on the pressing issues of the day.

On Russian election interference, you stated...oh wait you haven't stated anything.

On the House Intel Committee debacle, uh...again nothing.

On Stormy Daniels, nothing.

On the breakdown of DACA talks, nothing.

On the recent Florida school shootings, nothing.

On gun reform, nothing. (No wait that's not true, you mentioned gun control and then said bank reform was more important.)

On the Rob Porter wife beating violence, nothing.

On the porous WH security clearance passes, nothing.

On the president's refusal to issue Russian Sanctions, nothing.

On shithole countries, nothing.

On the president's personal attacks on fellow Senator John McCain, nothing.

On Kelly Anne Conway's violation of the Hatch Act, nothing.

On the bogus Nunes Memo, nothing.

On Charlottesville, nothing.

On the failed rescue of Puerto Rico, nothing.

I'm sure you are aware of the meme concerning your indifference to such suffering.

But personally I find the whole turtle sticking its head in its shell to be tired and hackneyed. Moreover, it's wrong. Because it connotes a moving, breathing organism that still possesses life.

But like ethics, morals and sense of duty to country, you have none.

I prefer to think of you not as a turtle but as a large, muddied sedimentary boulder pressing down on the neck of America. Suffocating the country with nothing more but the unmoving forces of gravity, until the lifeblood of democracy and liberty no longer flow freely, leaving nothing but a dried up corpse of a once great nation.

That'll be your legacy, Mitch.

Have a great day Senator.

Rich Siegel
Culver City, CA 90232

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Everywhere you ever were.

As some of you might know, last week I had the great honor of attending a Chiat/Day mini-reunion lunch with Lee Clow and some of my ex-partners. I'm guessing that fired off some long forgotten brain synapses. Because yesterday, a name popped into my head that hadn't been there for a long time -- Ed Grover.

Chances are, you don't know that name.

There's also a good chance that you might have seen Ed, but still don't remember him, as he was a character actor in many films and TV shows.

Even if that's not the case, I'm betting the house you'd recognize Ed's familiar voice. Ed was a voiceover guy and did hundreds of commercials for Visa, Apple, Pepsi and Nissan.

I had the great opportunity to work with him on Nissan. Even though I was the one at the mixing board, with the red button in one hand and a fistful of stupid direction in the other, Ed had all the power. He literally taught me how to conduct a voiceover session.

He'd enter the booth, often with a briefcase in one hand. Slip on his reading glasses. Go through the copy. With a red pen in hand. He would fix all the punctuation mistakes. And suggest edits. A professional, through and through.

Ed also had a unique way of delivering a voiceover.

He'd put on the cans (headphones) and fold his arms over his chest before projecting into the microphone. I would learn he did this because it makes the voice eminate from the deepest part of his diaphragm. That could have been some crazy California eccentricity, but it worked for Ed, so it worked for me.

We rarely did more than 7-8 takes.
He was that good.
And that left us plenty of time to shoot the shit.

Ed could tell stories. He had traveled the world and seemed to have a tale for every continent.  He was a student of the martial arts. He worked with the great stars of his day. Oh and he built furniture. If I heard the story of his imported teak credenza with the hand tooled rabbit joints, once, I heard it a thousand times.

Sometimes Ed could be a pain in the ass. But he was always a joy to listen to.

Because he lived wide. Wider than most.

I don't know if copywriters get to work with colorful characters like Ed Grover. You don't need a VO guy for banner ads or page takeovers or Instagram scavenger hunts. But I'm glad that I did.

I looked Ed up on Google and found out he passed away in 2016.

Rest in peace, Ed.

That's a wrap.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Pearls before swine

Gotta give it up to my buddy Andrew Schaefer and his agency for their newest spot featuring Kobe Bryant, Kevin Hart and Bill Nye. It's for Nike. And the spot, for running shoes, hinges on the notion of the Earth coming to a complete standstill. You can see it here.

I like this idea.
I liked it even better when we presented it to Energizer, albeit with a different spin, more than a decade ago.

Every creative person I know has had this happen to them. It's infuriating. And can make the blood boil. I just happen to have a not-so-popular blog wherein I can vent my gripes and get it off my significantly barrel-shaped chest. And damn if I'm going to let this self aggrandizing platform go to waste.

Years ago, when Chiat/Day used to bring me in on freelance projects, I was asked to work with Jerry Gentile on a big Energizer Bunny project. They wanted to get back to doing something spectacular with the Energizer Bunny. They were looking for a blockbuster, with big production value and Super Bowl type humor.

We came up with what we thought was something groundbreaking.
Or I should say, ground-staking.

The Earth had literally stopped spinning on its axis. 

As a result, there were tidal and gravity-related consequences.

Physical anomalies that would lend themselves to a cinematic progression of vignettes, involving:

Old men spilling their soup.

Kids flying off swings.

Tug of war teams falling in mud.

Surfers losing their waves.

Cars smashing into each other.

You get the idea.

I'm sure the script was chock full of funny bits of business.

I don't have the script anymore, but the resolve ended with a man in the North Pole who was in charge of maintaining the Earth-spinning apparatus. And the AA batteries on his remote control had failed.

Enter the Energizer Bunny. Some slop about long lasting batteries. End on logo. Jerry and I go to Cannes pick up a ton of awards. Cash it all in for big bucks.

Of course, that's not the way it happened.

That's not the the way it ever happens.

It's why I drive a car from 2007. And I never replace my T-shirts until they literally fall apart in the dryer.

Monday, March 5, 2018

South by South Worst

It's that time of year again.

It's SXSW.

Time to boondoggle it down to Austin, Texas, throw on a lanyard, eat some BBQ brisket and bathe in the digital genius that festival lovers just can't seem to get enough of.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know it's also time for me to break out the Bullshit Generator and concoct satirical forums and panels that SXSW goers will be attending with pollyannish zeal and revolting optimism.

Here are a few sample's from 2015:

Maximizing your brand's inner potential, presented by Plaxo, Foursquare and Google+
Tuesday 9:30 AM Presidential Suite at the Austin Ramada

Elf Me 14, the Return of America's favorite photo upload phenomena.
Wednesday, 10:00 AM at The Austin Comfort Inn Wedding Banquet Room

Going Long, a discussion with the industry's remaining three 45-year old copywriters
Thursday, 6:00 AM at the Austin CVS

This has been a running joke on RoundSeventeen for longer than I care to remember. So this year, when the lines between parody and reality have been inalterably blurred, I thought I'd do something different. I thought it'd be fun to cherry pick REAL panels and forums from the SXSW schedule.

Because, in all honesty, I don't know if I could put a finer point on the festering bullcockery that has a stranglehold on our business.

To wit:

Fashion Retail and Social Justice in a Red State
March 9, 2018

Modern fashion retail mirrors the modern world, with consumers more conscientious than ever and the call for social justice as a daily imperative. Hello Holiday cofounders Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik and Megan Hunt built their business on the bet that, even in a red state, the risk of being politically controversial could be worth the reward. Entrepreneurship can, and does, intersect with activism and politics. Today, the professional is political. Here’s how to do it right.

"Yeah, I just came in your store to buy a belt."


AI: Transforming Luxury, fashion and Beauty
March 9, 2018
Four Seasons Ballroom

From detecting fashion and beauty trends through social media to AI-enabled stylists and personalized chats, artificial intelligence (AI) has become the new customer service for fashion and beauty brands. This panel will explore the future of AI for luxury, fashion and beauty; the panel will also discuss the ethics of AI and the talent and infrastructure necessary to integrate AI into fashion and beauty.

"Yeah, I was at this other store. I'm still looking to buy a belt."


Using Analytics to Improve the Patient Journey
March 9, 2018
Austin Convention Center

The health care ecosystem has evolved to become enormously complex, and data has become the linchpin for making sense of it all. Using sophisticated analytics, health care organizations can merge and transform disparate data sources into a single coherent view of patients. This creates a much more complete view of patients and their individual journeys. By creating this single view, health care providers can create a common clinical and financial language and understanding across stakeholders.

"Yeah, I've been shopping for a belt but couldn't find anything and now I've got a migraine."


I know I may be the most cynical asswipe on the planet, but that's just Day One!!! 

We are mired in self importance.

We pretend to be rock stars or industry celebrities.

We have an artistinally crafted kale burrito in one hand and an undrinkable IPA garnished with a pine cone in the other.

We've gone from selling computers, cars and shoes to peddling customer journeys, data driven experiential psychobabble and out-and-out maggot-infested marketing manure.