Archive for November, 2010


A lot of stuff happened in 1985.   Just to give a perspective on how much things have changed since then, take a look at some of these stats from 1985:

Average Cost of new house:  $89,330

Average annual income:  $22,100

Average Price of new car:  $9,005

Gallon of Gas:  $1.09

Movie Ticket:  $2.75

US Postage Stamp:  22 cents

Dow Jones Average:  1546

Here are some of the significant events from 1985:

  • New Coke was introduced
  • Gorbachev becomes last president of Soviet Union
  • Reagan re-elected
  • Nintendo home entertainment system introduced
  • Microsoft launches Windows 1.0
  • Leaded gas banned in the U.S.
  • Crack cocaine starts to appear
  • Live AID concerts
  • Compact Discs introduced to Americans
  • First .Com domain name is registered

And here are some of the pop culture events of 1985:

  • Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame opens
  • We are the World wins Song of the Year Grammy
  • The Cosby Show is most popular tv show, followed by Family Ties and Murder, She Wrote
  • Out of Africa won Best Picture Oscar while Back to the Future made the most money
  • Madonna launched her Like A Virgin concert tour
  • #1 Billboard Song:  I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner
  • Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley were married

The Most Important Single Event of 1985 was the marriage of Barbara McInnes and Jan Edmondson.

In a leaky condo on Maui that was supposed to be a sunset wedding on the beach that got rained out, we exchanged our vows.  Actually the wedding kahuna said a few words in Hawaiian and could not play the Wedding Song on his broken boom box.  And he had to bolt right away because he “have anuda gig, brudda.”  We signed something that I can only assume was the marriage license.

It is a great first memory upon which we have built 25 more years of amazing and wonderful memories.  Life may have been cheaper and simpler,  but it has only gotten richer and better since that night.   We have two wonderful sons, our health, a beautiful home and each other.  Life is good.  Here’s to 25 more.


Crime and Punishment

I remember a few years after Nixon was pardoned, a convicted bank robber was asked if he had anything to say before sentencing.  His response:  “I’ll take the Nixon punishment.”

It seems punishment for crimes committed by politicians is different from punishment  for you and me. 

The latest episode of how we handle government douche bags is that we will give Charlie Rangel the worst possible punishment for ethics violations, tax evasion and other crimes:  Censure.  Yep, Congress will scold him severely and probably take away his liquor cabinet.

Yet another role model to help us understand how to cope with the day-to-day grind.

By the way, while he was being investigated he was re-elected by over 80% of the people in his district.   It’s a wonderful country.

The Future of Advertising

This article in Fast Company by Danielle Sacks is a must read.  Now that I’m no longer working at the inter-galatic agency I can pat myself on the back.  I say that because in the 90’s I was running around saying “The traditional advertising box is becoming our coffin.”  Of course, I had no idea what it was going to be but I knew that the days of shooting a tv spot in Argentina were coming to an end. 

Rather than pontificate on what is or is not the future, here are a few quotes I took from the article.  While these may seem scary, fear not; there is still a need for bright, productive, creative people.   And if you are adaptive you will do fine.  If not you are done.

“…aware that coding is now prized over copywriting and that a resume that includes Xbox and Google is more desirable than one featuring stints at BBDO or Grey.”

“Marketing actually needs to be useful –‘ use-vertising’ instead of advertising — which means that you must think more like a product developer than an entertainer.”

“…advertising has sat virtually unchanged for the last half-century.”

“…the assembly line has been obliterated–economically, organizationally, and culturally.”

“The irony is that while there have never been more ways to reach consumers, it’s never been harder to connect with consumers.”

“Creating more work for less money is the big paradox.”

“Many CMOs are shunning ‘agencies of record’ relationships.”

“With infinite ad inventory on the Internet, you just can’t have people do media planning anymore.  It’s now being done by a piece of software.”

“…there is too much excess:  too many people, too many of the wrong kinds of people, too much bloat, too much inefficiency.  And this is an industry that has laid off more than 160,000 people in the past two years.  The carnage will be awesome.”

“Marketing in the future will be like sex.  Only the losers will pay for it.”


Weekend Shallow: Just Because You Are Famous

Gwyneth Paltrow proves that just because you’re famous does not mean you can sing.  I admit to being a Gleek.  Each week it moves toward being another High School Musical but then gets into the whole “celebrate the differences” thing in cool ways and saves itself

Gwyneth is actually a pretty good actress (notice I did not say “actor” which is somehow the current non-genderized nomenclature for both sexes.) especially in all those period piece costume epics about British royalty that my mother loves. 

But she really needs to leave the singing to her husband.

Television Geography

If you’ve ever wondered what television show best describes your state then take a look at Thinking Pseudogeographically, the blog by Kent State Human Geography Professor, Andrew Shears.

As a resident of Washington state I wonder about Frasier, which is all about life (sort of) in Seattle, not the state.   On the other hand, Northern Exposure (for Alaska) was filmed entirely in the state of Washington.  I wonder why he didn’t pick the new Sara Palin reality show for Alaska?

United States of TV

Midterm Election Debrief…sorta

The folks at CitizenTube which is the news and political blog of YouTube did a nice job of recapping ” the top 10 most-viewed videos, sourced from all videos categorized as “News & Politics on YouTube which are a mixed bag of official campaign videos, user-generated content and videos from interest groups.”
  The top ten list shows that the videos were Republican sponsored videos, including three from the great state of Arizona.  Two of them were from the nutty and oh so fun Jan Brewer who got re-elected Governor based on her awesome views on immigration.  I’m still hoping Arizona will secede.

The second part of the CitizenTube article shows the top ten most viewed political channels on YouTube.  Number one was (drum roll) Christine O’Donnell.

What Did I Learn From The Midterm Elections?

1.  Say it loud and say it often.  The winners were the ones who spent gzillions of dollars.  Ok, not all of them, right Meg?  But if you could have tv spots and robo calls every ten minutes you can drown out the oppostion.   Mostly though you just needed to show clips of your opponent taken out of context and beat their brains out with them.

2.  Be a Patriot.  A lot of money came from organizations that used words like Freedom and Democracy in their name.  They figured out ways to game the system so we couldn’t know who the individual contributors were.   It strikes me as a bit hypocritical to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to candidates you love and yet not want anybody to know who you are.  I mean if you are so proud of these candidates and what they stand for why wouldn’t you want everybody to know?

3.  Be against something.  Over and over I saw campaigns that were all about how bad, ugly, stupid, unpatriotic and irresponsible the opponents were.  It was never clear exactly what they stood for, only what they were against.  Every opponent caused war, recession, floods, poverty, foreclosures, bad behavior, obesity, big government, small government, socialism, facism, global warming and the firing of all the losers on The Apprentice.  Whatever you do, don’t be for something…it will just come back to bite you in the ass in two years. 

So, we have a bunch of new people in Congress.   I have no idea what they stand for or what they plan on doing.  All I know is they are against stuff.   Welcome to the Congress of NO.  We can look forward to even less getting done in the next two years.   And then we can look forward to even more negative campaigning.   And so it goes.

A Quick Visit to Crazytown

Ok, the mid-term elections are done…sort of.  We still have a few hanging chads out there and undecided races that I hope are not decided by the Supreme Court.   I really have no idea what any of the candidates’ ideas or postions were.   But I can tell you that they all felt their opponents were worthless pieces of sh*t.   So America really didn’t vote FOR anyone.  They voted AGAINST people.   Are you feeling me Thomas Jefferson?

So, in the interest of cleasing myself from the election experience I want you to feel the love and paranoia from the Quaids.  Randy and Evi are now in Canada safe from the star whackers and planning a run for office in 2012.

Randy and Evi Quaid’s bizarre interview: The Quaids warn of “star whackers” and schemes –