Aug 15, 2008

Joker’s 20 on 20 -- Where's My Jetpack?--

From the depths of humid Babylon comes a blog that floats above many others as it pursues the excellence in freedom of speech and thought. ‘Where’s My Jetpacks?’ constantly offers a wide variety of things to laugh and/or think about. The veritable variety of random shit Jetpacks writes about is reason enough to check the blog. If you need another reason, say I forced you to.

To continue with this series here’s 20 questions, 20 answers, a couple of comments and 0 editing. Enjoy.

1. The best barbecue starts with?

Charcoal or wood. If you're cooking with propane, you might as well be indoors. (With no offense to Hank Hill.) Those fancy aluminum grills you see at Home Depot for about $1,000? That's nothing but an outdoor kitchen. Fire isn't fire unless it can burn out. Half the fun is the wait for the coals to get ready. (And using an umbrella if you have to when the rain kicks in.) Maybe it's not true, but I like to think that wood-smoked food tastes better, carcinogens be damned.

Maybe it's bullshit, but I'm buying into it. I've had good barbecue with great wood (please no cock puns) and I think it makes a hell of a difference. Besides, the experience is half the meal.

2. What commercials piss you off to no end?

The multinational conglomerates who are "trying to make a better world" although you can never tell from their commercials just what it is they actually do. (GE is the exception) Beautiful spots, always, but always ethereal. Or the oil company spots where BP, Exxon and the rest are assuring you they are doing all they can to find wind and solar power. Bullshit. Whatever the politicians are saying about energy, look for the oil companies to mimic those talking points within 2 weeks. Also, Free Credit Not because the jingle gets stuck in your head - that's just effective advertising. The singer for those ads isn't a singer. He's a struggling actor who's lip-synching. He's actually a French-Canadian - and his website and all his work are in French. I wonder if he even knows what he's singing. I also hate the old lady in those spots. She scorns the group with a shake of her head, as if she's pissed at them - for what, you never know.

Oil phenoms are true masters of spin... which makes me not like spinning that much.

3. If you had a finishing maneuver, what would it be and what would it be called?

Triple back-flip with a full twist, landing on my hands and then springing up to my feet. It would be called the "No fucking WAY did that guy just do that!"

4. Top 3 infomercials of all time?

A) Remember the weasel who sat on the beach? Young guy surrounded by hot bimbos - greasy, spiked hair - super sales dude - always driving some exotic car to one of his giant mansions. Never told you what he did, but you could be rich like him. For a solid half-hour, he'd just tell you how awesome he was and never tell you what you were buying. You were riveted by his assholedness.

B) Anything with Ron Popeil. Nevermind that most of his products were useless contraptions you'd never want in your kitchen, whose sole functions could easily be done by any other utensil, he just was such a hyper-salesman you had to watch.

C) Not sure if they qualify as infomercial as they are usually just :30s or :60s, but the Video Professor amazes me. Who doesn't know how to email? Or use MS Word? This guy will sell you a video to show you how to do those things? Hello! It's not 1995 anymore. But this guy is still in business, so maybe there are a lot of clueless people still out there.

Viva la Ronco and my personal favorite is The Juice Man. Fucking classic.

5. What do you think of outsourcing services?

I understand the necessity from a corporate standpoint: No benefits, cut them loose when you don't need them without fearing any employment law violations. From my perspective, as a freelancer on a long-term assignment, it's working out just fine. I have to find my own health insurance and I don't get a day off, but I'm making more this way than if they hired me formally. Every industry is hurting - and I think the wave of the future is independent collaboration/telecommuting. Hopefully, there's enough work to go around. If we're talking about farming out SEO to India, I think that's a mistake because of the language barrier. Art Direction to South America, on the other hand, makes a lot of sense. Cheap, good work.

6. What is the craziest military story your dad ever told you?

As a Captain in Vietnam, Dad left his position (a radio was malfunctioning, or something) to report to the commander some needed bit of battlefield info. Upon returning to his position, the guys he'd been dug-in with were found to be mere parts.

I can't even begin to think of a comment for this one except... wow.

7. The world would be a better place without?

Greenland. Kidding. The world would be a better place without liars, cheaters and thieves. That includes, of course, lying advertisers and lying politicians, but also cheating boyfriends and thieving girlfriends. Or, to put it another way: let's get rid of the asterisk.

Hey, Greenland ain't that bad.*

*I totally agree there shouldn't be asterisks in life.

8. What got you into blogging?

In a previous career life, I was part of an agency blog. The lead blogger put no thought into what he was posting. It was random links to random bullshit for the sake of Technorati ranking. I was getting frustrated as my posts (which I thought were insightful, fun and witty) were being buried. I warned him that if he kept it up, I would start my own blog. He kept it up, so I did. What keeps me going is that my blog is a place to be me, to be creative and to write what I want to write.

Well we try to get technorati scores via random musings and cock jokes. not half bad.

9. What's been the best day of your professional career?

A 7-camera, 4-hour, 1-take documentary field shoot in Missouri on which I was director/producer. The finished product took top honors in a state broadcasting awards competition. Also, any day spent creating storyboards or editing music is awesome.

10. In the political spectrum define each of the following in one sentence and obviously focusing on this year:

Barrack Obama
Barack Obama is a gifted opportunist who has marveled America (and the world) with his silver tongue, allowing us to feel good about ourselves as a nation because we want a black guy for President.

John McCain
John McCain is a life-long opportunist with a willingness to slither through the slime of Karl Rove.

Democrats are the party of "We have no moral center but at least we aren't the Republicans."

Republicans are the party of endlessly repeated talking points, regardless of how untrue they might be.

The fact that Iowa and New Hampshire get to decide the fate of the country is a ridiculous system that needs to be reformed.

Political Race
It's manufactured by the media. Isn't it odd that every election year we have a really close, down-to-the-wire race?

Rove scum... sounds delicious doesn't it? As for the political race, it does seem it always becomes a race no matter how obvious it should be. As for how the victors are decided........ I just don't see how delegates should be more important than people.

11. Five songs whose lyrics everyone should learn by heart.

Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam - because not even Eddie Vedder knows what he's singing on that song.

Comfort Eagle by CAKE - It's a very clever statement on where we are as a country and what we in advertising do.

Tears on Many Waters by Radio Free Babylon - It's a warning for America; a reinterpretation of the writings of John of Patmos.

Living For the City by Stevie Wonder - Dated though the song is, the inner-city is still an ugly place that is not much better than when Stevie wrote about it. Don't listen to the edited version. Find the one where the cops call Stevie the N-word.

Solace by Aaron Sprinkle - a very melodic and thoughtful rocker.

12. When do you think personal jetpacks will be available to the public?

In the year 2156. Or never, whichever comes first.

13. In a game of Truth or Dare with your clients, what three Truth or Dares would you tell them?

1. I dare you to accept what I'm presenting, as YOU are the CLIENT and I am the AGENCY. (Bitches.)

2. Truth: Is it true that you are really just a frustrated Creative?

3. I dare you to do 5 shots of Cuervo and then record some VOs with me.

90% of clients are frustrated creatives and a client VO while they're hammered would be fucking priceless.

14. If I had a band, what would you call them?

Why So Serious

Oh HELL yeah! :D he he he, giving me ideas here.

15. Effective advertising begins with:


Amen to that.

16. You are allowed to create three new laws in the US, which would they be and why?

Public castration for those guilty of child molestation and rape. Reasons obvious.

Ban lobbyists. Think about that. Money out of politics.

Legalize weed. Create a great tax revenue and free the overburdened prison system of a bunch of people in prison for nothing. Redirect some of the money being spent on this front of the "war on drugs." Plus, I want to see how RJ Reynolds and Winston-Salem package and advertise it.

Money out of politics... we can dream can't we? honestly, no lobbyists, no bullshit, just the search for a better way of life. Is that too much to ask for nowadays?

17. A Jetpacks bumper sticker says this:

The future is now. And we're still waiting.

18. What is the gayest product you use?

Tongue scraper.

19. After a long workday, you want:

To jump in the pool, drink a beer, change into comfortable clothing, eat some good homemade food, hang out with my wife, watch something mindless (that isn't Reality) and then spend more time with my wife drinking beer. (Or wine.)

20. If you could ask me anything you wanted, then ask away.

Are you sufficiently jaded yet that you have considered a career in something that doesn't involve selling your soul?

I'm not selling my soul at the moment, just not fulfilling my dreams as fast as I want to. I have a set list of goals I need to accomplish and I do admit that I hope to one day not have to put up with the mindless reality that advertising is. I think that in theory we have a great job but that in practice it falls painfully short of where we should be regarding quality of work and satisfaction and I can't help but point my finger mostly to clients who overthink things or simply don't trust the people they pay to develop advertising instead nurturing a relationship where we do it the way you want it rather than the best way we think it should be done. Other industries I've considered? International marketing, teaching, literature, or full business. Will i do any of those? My level of frustration shall forever dictate how much I'm willing to endure because right now, though I'm not in lala land, I do get great writing material and the motivation to do real creative things. Sorry, went on a rant there, but in essence, have I considered doing something different than this crock? Of course I have. I think most people in advertising eventually want to do something else. If they do it or not is a whole other ball game.

Many thanks for the answers and may jetpacks never arrive so we can fly with your batch of crazy shit. Cheers man


Me said...

My Truth or Dare???

I dare you to approve an ad and not change a fucking thing.

This will never happen. Period.

Thinking In Vain said...

YAY! Jetpacks. :)

I love that bumper sticker. And, of course, reading the answers and comments. :)

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

Another fantastic interview, Joker. You could have a whole new career in journalism (If you didn't care about $$, that is.) Thanks for the input & insights, Jetpack. Your dad's story--whoa. And, can't BELIEVE video prof is still selling those things. Proves power of infomercials.

Make the logo bigger said...

Like Jetpacks said also, Joker didn’t ask the same 20 questions of each person. He obviously reads the blogs and tailored the questions accordingly.

(Unless he has an intern read the blogs while he goes out drinking, then forget what I just said.)

Joker said...

@ Me: I have way too many Truth or Dares... could this be a new series??? Think about it.

@ TIV: Glad you're enjoying so much hun. I agree that the bumper sticker is awesome and love how each blogger's personality is coming through.

@ Ad Broad: Darling, I don't care about millions. I just want to make a decent living, to able to guarantee my family is ok and to be able to occasionally splurge. I honestly don't see what people need that much money in the first place. Then again, I could always spend the cash to visit people and see the world... In that case then yeah, bring on the money. But if I can make ends meet and live comfortably, I'm good. :)

@ MTLB: I wouldn't let an intern have that much fun, I'd make them do clippings. :D But trying to reflect the questions on what you guys write, what interests you and what I think could either be interesting and random answers or areas I consider you to excel at.

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