Last week, Apple officially revealed its watch. As an employee at a publication that does some tech coverage, we were all herded into a dungeon where we were forced to pay attention to this nonsense.
I’m typing this on an Apple product. I have an iPhone and owned a bunch of iPods. I like Apple! But, as I wrote in the wake of this watch wave:
Watching an Apple promotional video is enough to make me want to take a hammer to my Apple products and beat on them until I no longer feel shame.
One of the watch things we watched — or in this case re-watched — was a video released last year by Apple. I’m glad we watched. It was one of the funniest things I watched all week — and I watch “Archer.” So I wrote about it. You can watch the video and
watch read the rest of what I wrote right here.
Location, location, location, they say. Well, some folks are currently located on my lawn and need to move.
Also, this week, I moved from the interior pages of Advertising Age, where I reviewed ad campaigns, to the primo real estate on the back page, where I can write about a broader range of topics. (I also got a cover line.) This is both exciting (for me) and frightening (for everyone else involved).
The back page! I’m a back-pager. When I do pick up print magazines these days (yes, I’m part of the problem), the back page is the first page I turn to. It tells me a lot of things about a magazine — and it’s often where they’ll put the funny or weird or interesting stuff. Outdoor Life, for example, had Pat McManus there for decades (maybe they still do). EW puts its bulls-eye there. Runners World has been putting “Why I run” interviews with celebrities and politicians and interesting professionals (but lately seems to have decided on random person that a staffer in New York thought was cool). The Atlantic had a funny word column for a long time, then a funny advice column. Now it’s got an unfunny and mostly ridiculous “One Question” (What was the most important book of all time?) answered by luminaries and academics.
Simon “The Media Guy” Dumenco was nailing down that Ad Age page for the last few years but he got promoted right out of the job and into meetings 24 hours a day. So I get it.
My first topic? Millennials. I didn’t plan on that. God knows the world doesn’t need one more word on the topic. But it was also our 40 Under 40 issue, so I figured I’d do something about the yewts. And I came up with a point of view that anyone who reads me regularly might find surprising.
Millennials are getting older. They’re getting married, having babies and moving out of mommy’s house. And it turns out they’re just people.
Read it! Don’t read it! See if I care!
1.How much did it take me to sell out and start pulling for the Hate-riots of Bill Bellicheat? $500, which I won in the office pool thanks to the final score.
2. Which Super Bowl ads did I think were best and worst? Find out here, my professional review of all the national ads that ran in the Super Bowl.
3. Here’s me flapping my gums about the advertising over on Yahoo Finance.
“This idea is so stupid, I can’t even look.”
The eye-roller. The stop sign. The “Pffft” person. The guy who refuses to say “Yes, but…” and instead says “Let me stop you right there.” Or just: “No.”
Every workplace has one. Every workplace needs one. In a world of yes men, kiss-asses, “we are family” types and the like, there has to be someone who stands athwart the bridge to doom, shouting, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS.”
Don’t want to wait for the audio book? Buy the real thing!
Louisiana words are hard, yall. Even if you grew up there, you still struggle with some of them. If you’re from Louisiana, remember how you felt after years of being tee-tiny and hearing people talk about Nack-uh-tish and then seeing the word for the first time: Nachitoches. CONFUSED! That’s how you felt. Like the world and the English language no longer had rules. Hooked on phonics LIED. (Of course, Nachitoches isn’t English, but you didn’t know that either.)
At any rate, it turns out that Open Road Media is turning Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears into an audio book. Now you lazy bastards who are all like, “I don’t really read,” no longer have an excuse. You can LISTEN to the novel. Someone will read it TO you.
Uhhhhh, as I was saying, uhhhhh. KNOCK IT OFF BACK THERE!
I appeared on CBS This Morning yesterday for a segment about emotion-recognition software being used to test advertising and the like. Why me? Because I am awesomely brilliant, work for an ad magazine and was willing to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday morning.
Here’s a link to the video. (Because WordPress won’t allow me to embed the stupid thing here.)
You’ll notice that when I first start talking, I’m kind of rambling, perhaps losing my train of thought. It’s not because I was nervous. I usually do get nervous for these things, but I was feeling pretty at ease at this point. No, what happened was that Rana’s hair was hitting her microphone. None of us on camera could hear that. And they couldn’t just stop the segment. So after she stopped talking, there were a couple of people immediately off camera and in my line of sight jumping up and down, pantomiming and basically playing a furious game of charades to get Rana to flip her hair off her mic. And I was just trying to remember what the hell I was talking about.
Leon Wieseltier, recently run out of The New Republic as a gang of Silicon Valley nitwits took over and tried to fix it, has a piece in The New York Times Sunday Book Review that starts thusly:
Amid the bacchanal of disruption, let us pause to honor the disrupted. The streets of American cities are haunted by the ghosts of bookstores and record stores, which have been destroyed by the greatest thugs in the history of the culture industry. Writers hover between a decent poverty and an indecent one; they are expected to render the fruits of their labors for little and even for nothing, and all the miracles of electronic dissemination somehow do not suffice for compensation, either of the fiscal or the spiritual kind. Everybody talks frantically about media, a second-order subject if ever there was one, as content disappears into “content.” What does the understanding of media contribute to the understanding of life? Journalistic institutions slowly transform themselves into silent sweatshops in which words cannot wait for thoughts, and first responses are promoted into best responses, and patience is a professional liability. As the frequency of expression grows, the force of expression diminishes: Digital expectations of alacrity and terseness confer the highest prestige upon the twittering cacophony of one-liners and promotional announcements. It was always the case that all things must pass, but this is ridiculous.
I’m sure after reading that bit of succinct and too-the-point prose, you’re just dying to read the rest of it. Good luck with that. You see, Leon is what I’d call a writer’s writer — or, as he’s also known, the “last of the New York intellectuals” — someone much more interested in showing off — his skill, his education or his connections — than getting to the point already. There is, of course, a way to do both without looking like you’re trying to hard to do either. But Leon, who IS a smart guy whose writing I’ve enjoyed in the past, isn’t getting it done here. He also seems to be suffering from selective historical amnesia.