13 Foolish Ways To Spend $10

Our favorite comedy troupe, Cook St. croppedKS PosterProductions, is currently in the home stretch of a 30-day KickStarter to fund their short film, Bunco. With just a few days left, they are only $2,550 short of their $16,000 stretch goal.  That’s just 260 more donations of $10!  If you would like to donate, here is the KickStarter link.  If you would rather spend $10 on something else, here’s a list of where you shouldn’t allocate those funds. Continue reading

The Autumn of our Discontent

Six weeks ago, at the beginning of September, I was doing what a lot of people do, which is convince themselves that they are excited for autumn. That the long, sunny days and warmer temperatures of summer would no longer interest me because sandals and shorts are the wardrobe of a boy; men, or at least the handsome ones, wear pants and a jacket, possibly even a dashing hoodie.

In autumn, I told myself, even the women become more attractive, more nuanced. It becomes less about skin and more about scarves; it’s eye color, it’s how they hold a hot chocolate, it’s how the palms of their hands interact with sweater sleeves. Summer? Summer’s just a superficial sex market where everyone’s wearing skirts and there are sundresses and people are tan and curvy and everyone’s drinking and wow I just realized that living in Miami would make me unstable and I would never use commas. Continue reading

Radio Free Romney

“Don’t…stop…thinkinnn about tomorrrrrowww!”

A few weeks ago, politician/adulterer Bill Clinton sashayed to fervent applause as he approached a podium from stage right at the Democratic National Convention. He then spoke, and speak did he, delivering a 45-minute endorsement of President Obama that went into great detail about the reasons and statistics for re-election. His overall presence, forever folksy and comforting, was arguably the highlight of the DNC. What you may not have registered throughout this whole spectacle was the song playing during Clinton’s entrance and exit:  Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” … i.e. ‘thinkinnnn about tomorrrrowww,’ i.e. his 1992 presidential campaign’s theme song.  A subtle touch by the convention organizers to summon potential nostalgia, all-the-while suggesting, and I cannot be totally sure about this, that Clinton (and by extension, Obama) is focused on making the United States a great country again, but not just for us— no no no — also for all those adorable little kids and grandkids we have.  What debt ceiling, amirite?

This only proves what we already knew: political campaigns need to create a brand like any other business. And if you want to brand something, overplay a song. Ask the 90’s Bulls teams. Ask Garden State.

[Tangent #1:  Political branding still works on us (e.g. Shepard Farey posters) and I do not understand why. We are the most informed (often against our will) humans in all of history. This gives us a certain savviness as a culture; someone starts talking about politics and the conventional wisdom is that it’s ‘all just a bunch of pre-packaged bullshit.’  Every election year, it feels like we are just watching a magician saw his assistant in half–we know how the trick is done, but we want to analyze how this particular magician sold it. We armchair-quarterback the art of illusion. Consider Romney’s career-changing ‘47% Video.’ Much of my reaction was ‘what a gaffe!’ instead of ‘what a terrible thing to say.’ Just think about how often people say that Obama is a ‘gifted politician’ (which he is), an utterly backhanded compliment (which it should be) …we are basically just saying he is a great liar, correct?]

[Tangent #2:  We hate ’em, but we have to choose between ’em. Those that run for political office understand this paradox, Ron Paul included. Everyone that has ever tried to sell anything to anybody understands this; we loathe the general spirit of advertising, but still gotta choose between Bud Light and Miller Light every weekend.]

So anyway, Bill Clinton, way back when, used Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” to help frame his overall message, to give his policies a jingle.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, remains a man without a soundtrack.  Continue reading