Friday, September 12, 2008

I love my

Mom. And really, who doesn't have supreme respect and affection for their life-giver?

Well, mine was a pain when I was a teen. I'm sure yours was too. My mom gave me hell for being the typical punk kid, poked and prodded at my anti-establishmentarianism, responded with ample friction to my angstful epithets, always had a smart-alec rejoinder awaiting each opinion.

Since then, I've been pulled kicking and screaming into the realization that yes, my parents were in fact accurate most of the time — and directed me away from wrong, toward a productive future. I would like to think they succeeded.

So then, what do I receive recently but the following email from my lovely mother but a letter to the editor of her local newspaper. It's something I just HAD to share. Oh how far the tree hasn't fallen from the apple:

Someone, please pinch me. I think I'm living in Bizarro World.

In the past week, I witnessed a group of people who told another group of people that having a political candidate cheered as a celebrity was laughable, but it was worth spending a lot of money on a TV commercial so America could see how ridiculous it was — thus turning a political candidate into a celebrity.

I listened to a group of people give speeches campaigning for AND against themselves to thundering applause. Was the applause for or against them?

I have witnessed a group of people — who not so many years ago, rallied around Dan Quayle when he told us about the dangers of a world where a well paid, intelligent, single woman having a child would cause the morality of the country to crumble — cheer a family on stage, accompanied by a young man who got a new suit, a shave, a haircut, and a free vacation to Minneapolis for the sole reason that he got a young girl pregnant.

I listened to a presidential campaign make an official announcement to the world that the teenage daughter of one of the candidates was unmarried and pregnant, then curse the reporters who did their job and reported that announcement.

I witnessed a candidate push personal views about abortion by bringing a special needs child into the discussion, then that same candidate's campaign people cried foul when people discussed said child, and whether the candidate had special "parental obligations."

I watched and listened to quite a number of people who have finally been motivated to vote in this 2008 presidential election, not by a candidate with a military background, but by a candidate who "hasn't really focused on the Iraq war" (and by that, I'm assuming not much focus on the volatile Middle East either).

I actually heard a few well known people say that because Alaska is near Russia, an Alaskan can have foreign policy experience. I live in Southwest Florida. Cuba isn't far away. I'm checking my qualifications with the Pentagon in case there's an opening.

I watched a presidential candidate announce his VP choice and heard people say "who?", because this person is completely unknown to the people of America. I listened to people from that campaign, who are extremely mad at those reporters who were earning their income by reporting, tell us that this candidate owed the American media (not the Japanese, Italian or Brazilian media, but the American media) no answers. That candidate, they said, only had an obligation to answer to the American people. I have a list of questions. I searched "the Google" and found her number. I keep getting her VM.

I pinched myself. I am awake. We are in Bizarro World. Up is down. White is black.

I guess this is why our parents back then (certainly no one does anymore) punished their kids in the first place — so they would NOT grow up to be like themselves.

And this time, it didn't take. (Mom, I'm extremely proud of you ; )

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cheat-Ass Olympics =

the PERFECT Branding Opportunity

Doesn't make sense? Then just read:

The esteemed Chinese Olympic Committee — you know, our "backward" counterparts from la frontiere
Communiste, who couldn't possibly be interested in the Western science of sports-cheating — decided to deep-six the world's swimming records with, lo and behold, physics.

But what would drive them to do that, you might ax yerself, considering everyone in the pool benefits just the same as his or her opponent?

Simple — it doesn't matter who wins that meet, or to be candid, any meet at all. No, neither the flag above the podium nor the national anthem streamed through the crap P.A. afterward is any bit material.

Because no matter what, no matter who wins, to the Beijing Olympics belong the spoils. And I'm not the only one who thinks as such. So reports Howard Berkes of NPR in a recent article:

"It's physics and it's not sports, but it makes sense," says Christine Brennan, a veteran of 13 Olympics and an Olympics columnist for USA Today. "You make a deeper and a wider pool, and you ... give all of those waves and all of that splashing and all of that moving water a chance to move away from the swimmers and get out of their way, which makes them go faster. It's as simple as that."

WOW. More world records? More athletes walking away with more gold medals than previously recorded? Hmmmm, so that means "Beijing 2008" is displayed more times for the rest of Olympic history, across all media, than any marketing/communications budget could EVER afford.

Pretty sneaky, sis.

That means these accounts will populate the Sports Illustrateds of the world, the Almanacs, the history books, and naturally, the next 12 Summer Olympics programs for the remainder of the foreseeable future.

So I'm going with at least 48 years of free publicity (because, let's face it, it's printed historical matter), courtesy of the planet's largest nation, in an exponentially growing population.

All of the sudden, a lightning bolt flashes. This brand strategy — despite your political or athletic proclivities — is absolute BRILLIANCE.

"Let's get ourselves printed in record books throughout eternity by simply deepening and widening a swimming pool." The return on investment is immense.

Fifty years of positive branding? Just add water.