Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Bad writing, Brits deflate Donald Trump with a tiny prick, and other tidbits for your delectation. Or not.

All it took was one little prick — as you'll
learn if you keep on reading for a while
Minimus maximus, or, Who says you can’t be the world’s worst writer — and still get a job writing junk e-mails? The following is a verbatim excerpt (except for bracketed matter) from an item that popped up in my e-mail this morning from the American Marketing Association:
Hi [Crank], The AMA Marketing Services Search is a mobile-optimized platform with advanced search capabilities enables [sic] you to maximize the way you engage marketers as they make purchasing decisions….This month, you can receive exclusive access to these 3 bundle packages [sic] if you’d like to maximize your exposure on the site….”
In the old days, we used to cure people of their predilections for clumsy writing by smashing their typewriters on their fingers. These days they wouldn’t even know what a typewriter is, and computers are far too expensive. So I’d suggest that the AMA find the guilty writer and send him or her back to the mail room for permanent retraining.

Prickly Brit Pricks Trump’s Baby Balloon. On his trip to England to visit the Queen, Donald Trump has once again proved himself to be the worst nightmare any host or hostess could have since the Broadway play, The Man Who Came to Dinner.

In case you’re not familiar with that ancient theatrical romp, supposedly based on the obnoxious character of a writer and critic named Alexander Woollcott, an out-of-town celebrity gets invited to someone’s house for dinner. He slips, falls, injures himself and is then forced on to stay on for a month. In the course of his stay, Wikipedia tells us, the unwelcome guest “drives his hosts mad by viciously insulting them, monopolizing their house and staff, running up large phone bills, and receiving many bizarre guests, including paroled convicts.”

And so, on to Donald Trump, who God gave to us undoubtedly because he thought that if he tried just a little bit harder, he could go a lot further over  the top than he had with Alexander Woollcott. 

Trump arrived in Britain where he had only recently upstaged the queen. This time he insulted both the Lord Mayor of London and Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex, aka Megan Markle, by calling her “nasty.” 

Unsurprisingly, Trump denies the latter insult. But no matter how hard he tries, even an incorrigible liar like Trump can’t effectively deny what has been electronically recorded. In one of his most recent interviews on the subject, Trump not only denies he said it, but also seems to be saying he didn’t mean to say what he clearly said, which seems to be, in his mind, the same as not having said it at all. Yes, it's almost as confusing as it sounds. Or as the poet said, "O what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

England’s Trump haters, evidently more plentiful on a per capita basis  than even Trump haters in the United States, of course paraded around with their 20-foot “baby Trump” blimp, which depicts him as a diapered infant holding a cell phone. 

That lasted until a pro-Trump Brit took a sharp object and pricked the balloon with it, causing it to deflate. But a deflated Trump is an anti-Trump symbol, too. The moral, I suppose, is that only takes a tiny prick to deflate a demagogue. And you can interpret that thought any way you want.

Come to think of it, let’s not do lunch. Surely, we’ve all committed the same little white lie, which I’d call "the well-intentioned non-invitational invitation." Variations of it include, “Let’s do lunch one of these days,” and “Let’s have a drink  sometime soon.” Both are really nothing more than  genteel variations of, “Well, nice running into ya. See ya around.”

Now Adweek Magazine reports that the Swedes, who evidently suffer from the same syndrome, have had enough. One beer maker has come up with a contract that makes “let’s grab a beer together: a legally binding contract. So if you say, “Let’s have a beer,” and then don’t get together for a beer, you can get sued.

It all gets managed electronically, with cell phones playing a key role in enabling your wannabe friends to sue your beer-less butt off. So from now on, if you see a friend who you haven't spoken to in a long time, cross to the other side of the street as quickly as you can.

And finally, mothers, here’s another reasons not to let your sons grow up to be admen. This time it involves the once-honorable advertising agency, Leo Burnett, inventors (many decades ago) of the Jolly Green Giant, ho ho ho. 

These days, Burnett seems to have abandoned its former sweet midwestern charm for cutting edge and completely cynical sleaze. In order to attract attention to their outwear client, North Face, Burnett hacked into Wikipedia and replaced images that belonged on various Wikipedia pages with images of North Face products. And then gloated about it in a video. Ho ho ho indeed!

Wikipedia took the images down, and rightfully likened what Burnett did to “vandalism.” Burnett finally apologized, but apologies aren’t enough. They and their client got tons of awareness, by vandalizing an innocent  third party. So both Burnett and their client make money, while an apology costs them nothing.

Seems to me this calls for real punishment. Otherwise they can do it again, and simply apologize again when they get caught. It's time for a boycott of all Burnett advertisers including not only North Face, but also Buick, HDFC Life, Samsung, Brita, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, and General Mills Cereal. Let these advertisers know that if they continue to avail themselves of Burnett’s sleazy services, you’ll buy somebody else’s products. As the saying goes, lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

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