To remain hydrated, consume at least eight links weekly.


Portraits of people before and after death

The Fred/Alan Archive. (You might know them from seeing the MTV logo ever.) via Vinny

Why good people are difficult. (i.e. Question everything.)

More posts about your relationships means more insecurity.

The genius of 'Idiocracy'

How one chef is making a generation of TV viewers want to be cannibals.


Excellent new Toyota HiLux ad. (via Ant)

Ignorant rap music

Air Sex: The Movie

Documentary about a art forger who did it just to prove he could.

Can you tell me how to get there?

Today I was looking up directions to help people go fuck themselves. 

Because, well, I don't have to explain to you because. Just because, okay? Is that okay with you? Fine.

Well I did it by going to Google and typing in the words go and fuck and yourself. Never in a million years imagining anything would come up. Even with Safe Search off.

But good old Google didn't let me down. It yielded this delicious result that I don't think even the leading SEO experts could accomplish.

Nice work AVN. Very nice work.

The rain beats against our weeks with only links to huddle under.


Dave Dye interviews Dave Trott. (And if you don't know what that means you need to read it right now.)

David Abbott's 1994 memo that's just as relevant today as when it was written. Except maybe it's more relevant because we don't even have a David Abbott to write stuff like this anymore.

Props master tells you how he decides what to go with for lots of great TV shows.

Malkovich becomes every famous photograph.

Tim Hortons turns a regular, everyday house into a working coffee shop. The neighbors must be thrilled.

Soderbergh really wants you to understand the staging in Raiders.


Advertising's not dead. Don't you see, Sam? It can't die. Advertising doesn't exist. It never existed goddamnit.


There's not just one thing.

Living and working in LA means lots of time spent in a car. Lots of time in a car means lots of time listening to podcasts and public radio. Well that's at least what it means for me. Sometimes there some really good shit that comes up on podcasts. This is one of those times when that happened to be the case.

I was listening to an episode of Marc Maron's WTF. The whole things. (Sometimes people skip the beginning because they're not all that interested in Marc's quips about his life. I enjoy them.) Anyway, it was a good thing I listened to the whole thing because part of the intro was Maron talking to Carol Leifer. She's a writer, stand up, author, actress, speaker, everythinger. You might know her work from a little show called Seinfeld. But I won't hold it against you if you don't know anything about her because I didn't either before this interview. And now I know a lot. And I'm completely fascinated with her and want to buy her new book. (And who said ads don't work?)

Back to the point, during the interview she was talking about the stage in her career where she was set to star the show she created. She was understandably nervous.But the story she told was about Jerry Seinfeld dropping by set and calming her down with a piece of advice. It's something I'm not sure I heard articulated in quite the way he did. (Another example of comedians knowing exactly how to boil universal truths down to the perfect statement.) 

He said to her: "There's not just one thing."

Meaning there's no one that that makes someone a someone. It's just another day on another job and you have to try your best. Of course things can pay off handsomely, but it's detrimental to go in expecting everything to be the thing that changes everything. 

There have been more than a few times that I felt as though everything was riding on the thing I was working on. I'll get so wrapped up in trying to make something brilliant and unique and transformative that I'll work myself into a lather and end up with diddly. I'll overwhelm myself with the intended result of the thing rather than the thing.

But of course it's not the case that every brief is the brief that's going to do it for you. There's potential everywhere, of course, but chances are that the half-off all board games radio brief isn't going to be the one that really sets the ad world on fire.

One particular example I remember is back when my Lunchables commercial went live. I thought that was going to launch me into super stardom. (It didn't.) But I was thrilled whenever I saw someone tweet about it, write about it, or make a parody of it. For a brief moment I felt like I'd made something that made it into the culture.

And that stuff is like a drug. Every assignement after that I approached like it was the only chance I had to do something big again. Like if it didn't pan out, it meaning relative renown and acclaim and people talking about my work, then the work was a failure. I was convinced everything was The One Thing.

But it wasn't. And it's not. And things are probably better off that way.

There will be weeks. And there will be links. But the two shall never meet.



Rush Hour. (via @Awooooooga)

The NFL had a rough week.

Probably the worst bedside manner I've ever seen.

Smart man on toilets. Well, on stage but talking about toilets.

Everybody's working for the weekly linkly.


  • Sell! Sell!'s excellent Let's Talk Advertising. It's about defining what's good about work that's universally regarded as good and how no one can agree on that. 



Making the It's Always Sunny pilot.

iPhone 6 and 6+ unboxing. Really tremendous technology here, folks.

A master soba maker makes soba in silence.

A rapper that's a little too transparent.

Regular people with fancy titles doing regular jobs.

Everyone's always going on about personal branding. Saying, "You can't just be you. You gotta be a brand, man!" And what that's done is produce a bunch of nonsense titles that are fun to make fun of. Like Guru or Ninja or Podiatrist. But everyone knows that under those titles is just a regular person doing a regular job that isn't nearly as fancy as their job title.

George Carlin was writing about this ages ago (ages being at least 10 years ago when his book When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops came out). Because comedians are always ahead of the curve when talking about life's absurdities.

So here it is, "EUPHEMISMS: What do you do for a living?" from When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?

American companies now put a great deal of effort into boosting their employee's self-esteem by handing out inflated job titles. Most likely, they think it also helps compensate for the longer hours, unpaid overtime and stagnant wages that have become standard. It doesn't.

However, such titles do allow an ordinary store clerk to tell some girl he's picking up at a bar that he's a product specialist. Or a retail consultant. If it turns out she's a store clerk, too, but he store uses different euphemisms, then she may be able to inform him that she's a sales counsellor. Or a customer service associate And, for a while there, they're under the impression that they actually have different jobs.

These are real job titles, currently in use to describe employees whose work essentially consists of telling customers, "We're all out of medium." Nothing wrong with that but it's called store clerk, not retail consultant, and not customer service associate. Apparently, stores feel they can charge more for merchandise sold by a customer service associate than they can for the same hunk sold by a clerk. By the way, if a clerk should be unhappy with his title, he can always more to a different store, where he may have a change if being called a product service representative, a sales representative or a sales associate.

And I hope you took note of that word associate. that's a hot word with companies now. I saw a fast-food employee mopping the floor at an In-N-Out Burger and---I swear this is true--his name tag said "associate." Okay? It's the truth. Apparently, instead of money they now give out these bogus titles.

At another fast-food place, Au Bon Pain, I noticed the cashier's name tag said hospitality representative. The cashier. The name tag was pinned to her uniform. The people who sell these uniforms now refer to them as career apparel. Or--even worse--team wear. I had to sit down when I heard that. Team wear.

Teams are also big in business; almost as big as associates. In Los Angeles's KooKooRoo restaurants the employee name tag say "team member." At a Whole Foods supermarket, I talked to the head of the meat department about ordering a special item; I figured he was the head butcher. But his name tag identified him as the meat team leader. Throw that on your resume. I guess the people under him would have been meat team associates. I didn't stick around to ask.

So it's all about employee morale. And in a lot of companies, as part of morale-building, the employees are called staff. But it's all right, because most customers are now called clients. With those designations, I guess the companies can pay the staff less and charge the clients more.

I'm Not sure when all this job-title inflation began, but it's been building for a while. At some point in the past thirty years secretaries became personal assistants or executive assistants. Many of them now consider those terms too common, so they call themselves *administrative aides.

Everyone wants to sound more important these days:

Teachers became educators
drummers became percussionists
movie directors became filmmakers,
company presidents became chief executive officers
family doctors became primary-care providers,
manicurists became nail technicians
magazine photographers became photojournalists
weightlifters became bodybuilders,
and bounty hunters now prefer to be called recovery agents.

And now everyone wants to be called a storyteller.

O links of fate, thank you for this blessed week.



It's Payback Time (potentially my favorite cancer ad of all time. Done by 4 Creative)

Banner Ads

Crazy Madden Glitch

Labels. They're important. (via Sell! Sell!)

Weakling Linkling



Generic Greeting.

Bissel subway ad. Pretty gross. Pretty great.

This dude knows so much about soda.

If OKCupid did commercials.


The future of creative departments.

There's a lot of talk going on about the demise of ad agencies and "traditional" creative departments. And I'm sorry to say I fall on the side of those saying there will be a day when traditional agencies will have to fold up their MacBooks and turn off the lights.

But this isn't empty rhetoric as is the case with so many of those other pieces. I have the answers. I know the exact trumpet's call that will be the final thwack that brings advertising to its knees.

It starts with the sun, you see. Millions and millions of years from now.

One day the sun is going to get really, really big. People are going to freak out. They'll start hoarding everything and anything they can get their hands on. Bread. Pickles. Onions. Toilet paper.

Dear god don't forget the toilet paper.

But it's not during this time that agencies will go out of business. In fact these will be days full of plump marketing budgets and wild Big Sun Sales. CMOs will be so flush with cash it'll be like advertising is experiencing another 80s. (Can you imagine!)

It'll be an age of creative resurgence. The world's top budding whatevers will take a crack at advertising because the money's so good that no sane man or woman could turn that down. We're talking billions upon billions for the tiniest TV shoot (not adjusting for inflation, of course. You can't expect me to predict the economic fluctuations of the United States of America and the future of advertising thank you very much.)

Creative agencies of course will be constructed any way they want. Some all writers, some all wildcards, some all account people! Because even in a million years no one will quite know how to structure an agency. Pity. But these are questions to span the ages. Top philosophers (they'll also have an agency called Thought) will debate the proper structure of the agency up to the bitter end.

Ah, the end.  That was what I meant to talk about. That's the only time there are any concrete answers to what the perfect structure for an agency would be. 

And that answer is nothing.

That's right, nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. You lose Charlie + Bucket Creative. Because eventually that big sun is going to go all white dwarf and engulf not just the marketing people, not just the earth, but the entire solar system. 

And it is that very moment that the need for advertisers will exist. With no world there is simply no reason to keep paying expensive agency overheads. Some clients might feel the desire to take things in house but that won't matter on account of they're dead. 

The end of the world will probably solve a lot of problems for a lot of industries but I, for one, am happy that this question that has plagued agencies for so long is finally put to rest. 

Unless one of you creatives weasel your way onto a craft shooting out into space. God help the next civilization you encounter.