Somebody said we were allowed to think out loud. Pardon the mess.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

A message from your Creative Director, Lord of the Flies

I've never been one to buy into the rubbish that "character" doesn't matter in election of leaders. The divining of "Brand Character" follows the same metric for me--it imbues a moral sense into the practice of commerce and builds true customer loyalty. I do, however, disagree with those seem to portray character as blind loyalty or blindness to truth. Character is shown in the grace and humlity with which we all recover from our inevitable imperfections and failings. And, how readily we are willing to admit them, rather than gloss over them or commit sins of ommision. Anyone who practices "customer service" knows this to be Gospel Truth. And "Truth," as someone once said, "Will set you free.

Yes, negative advertising works. And, no, all negative advertising is not "Bad." But context--a moral calibration like the legend or mileage ruler on a map--must be ever present, to preclude your wandering from a central shared standard of decency. The challenge comes in what you are advertising against--is it narrow standards of ethics and interest and gain, or a broader shared standard of wrong and right.

Credentials and committees don't make you ethical. Principles do. Those principles have to make sense. You have to apply them consistently or rethink them if you can't stomach their implications. And the easier you make them, the less they matter. The slickest way to make yourself look ethical is to narrow the definition of ethics so that it won't interfere with what you want to do. But that won't make you ethical. It'll just make you an ethicist.
The problem comes when your country or your company ceases to function accountably and predictably because of the use of those tactics. You reap what you sow. Your ulcers and the permanent crick in your neck from looking over your shoulder are your legacy. You die an insignificant, petty failure when you'd really hoped for more. You "destroyed the village to save it." Ironic, huh?

Over the rest of the campaign, we're going to attempt to go for the jugular with words and pictures; to try and simplify things into their basest and most brutal essence. Neither side is immune.

That is all.

Friday, September 03, 2004

I like Disc 9, Track 4: Woodstock Morning, Shades of Porto-Let®

The Scentstories player and disc themes work much like a music CD player. Just insert one of the themed discs and push play. The player then rotates through five scents on each disc, one by one, with a new scent every 30 minutes. The player shuts off automatically after all five scents have been played. You can stop the player or skip through the scent tracks at any time. Together, the Scentstories player and disc create a new-to-the-world scent experience.
I'm sure this is what Edison was really shooting for. Starring Shania Twain as spokes-aromatherapist. No foolin.

Link via Boing Boing, of course.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

For you yung-uns out there... you know exactly why everybody is so impressed by that nice Martin Luther King Jr. fella.

Mr. Zigzag Zell and his friends used to talk just so about uppity folk like Dr King what wanted a piece of that Mr. Schwarzenegger's Amercan Dream.

You just had a trip in the wayback machine to 1962.

Why, sure, some say, "he's a Democrat." Sort of. He's the Dixiecrat version, class of '48, pal of Strom. A guy who said of Lyndon Johnson--and other supporters of the Voting Rights Act: "He sold his soul to the negroes." Miller's right, the Democratic party did leave him. 50 years ago.

Now, here's the problem: Those weren't Democrat eyeballs rolling back in ecstasy at the Garden, nor "liberal" fists pumpin the sky, cheerin him on as he made enemies of the state out of the 50% of the country who currently don't buy that George Bush is Alexander the Great and George Washington rolled into one. Swing voters just love that kind of stuff.

Desperation makes you do unwise things. The BC-04 OODA Loop is cut.

Seems these guys agree:
Eric Zorn-Chicago Trib has transcripts of Miller's just-short-of-clinically-insane interviews on MSNBC and CNN right after his speech.

William Saletan goes nuclear: this is no longer just an ordinary election, he says, it's "becoming a referendum on democracy."

NewDonkey: "Not since Pat Buchanan's famous 'culture war' speech in 1992 has a major speaker at a national political convention spoken so hatefully, at such length, about the opposition. At the dark heart of the speech was the same old tired litany of lies and mischaracterizations about Kerry's Senate votes on military spending and weapons systems that BC04 has been retailing for many months."

From a time machine, Zell Miller himself criticizes his speech. Here's what he had to say in 2001: "John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington....John has worked to strengthen our military."

Andrew Sullivan: "[Miller's] speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric....The man's speech was not merely crude; it added whole universes to the word crude."

Jonathan Cohn in the New Republic: "It was one of the most vile political speeches in recent American history, every bit as offensive as Pat Buchanan's infamous call in 1992 for "religious war" and, perhaps, a little more disturbing. Buchanan's speech, after all, was an assault on decency. Last night Miller declared war on democracy."

Matt Yglesias, who was in the hall when Miller spoke: "I don't believe I've ever heard a more disgusting speech delivered in the English language. The fact that I couldn't see a single person on the floor who seemed to feel anything less than the utmost enthusiasm for that lunacy was, well, a bit disturbing."
Links via Washington Monthly

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