Archive for the 'Assholes' Category

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Adieu, Robert Zimmerman

The latest, and very arguably the most heinous, violator of the Hicks Dictum*:

*Here’s the deal folks: you do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call forever. End of story, OK? You’re another corporate fucking shill, you’re another whore at the capitalist gang-bang. And if you do a commercial, there’s a price on your head, everything you say is suspect, and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink.

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Posted by Michael Dawson | Filed in Assholes, Bad Products | 13 Comments »


Thursday, October 31st, 2013

I 522

If you saw CounterPunch today, you might have noticed this piece about anti-GMO [note that, as usual, they dutifully restrain from calling themselves "anti-corporate food"] activists’ efforts in Washington State to strike a small blow against capitalist Frankenfood. Residing in Portland, Oregon, the urban core to which Washington’s fourth largest town is a [tax-dodging, Republican-leaning] suburb, I have had the displeasure of watching corporate capital’s 3-month-long response to W.S. Initiative 522, a meager little ballot measure that would, in accord with almost unanimous public desire, require grocery-store foods containing GMOs to be labeled as such.

Here’s a sample from the compendium of utter shamelessness that is the appalling and revealing “No on 522″ effort:

Good ole Dan looks like a humble organic farmer, don’t he, what with the blue work shirt and the vaguely ex-hippie haircut and beard?

Dan’s ad is titled “Claims v. Facts.” That carries the usual amount of overclass chutzpah — total, all-out, complete.

Dan’s friends’ claim is that I 522 would raise food prices, and that the proposed rule is unfair, since it carries some exemptions! Of course, the threatened price hike is what? A penny? And the irony of opposing a labeling law from the right because it is too weak would slay Big Brother himself.

As to facts, turns out Dan is actually a corporate farm “operator” (think Dan does much of “his” farm labor?) in Eastern Washington, and also a scion of long-time farm-operator politics.

As for the hilarious pack of right-wing businesses Dan cites as scholars who’ve allegedly thought deeply and dispassionately about I 522, take a special look at the “science” organization Dan cites in his ad. Any group started in 1932 (in what was then known as the Soviet of Washington) that is dedicated to disseminating “credible economic research and policy analysis supporting economic vitality and private sector job creation” simply has to have a rather interesting little closetful of juicy, forgotten secrets. And how about that science? “Credible research.” ROFLMFAO.

As always, the corporate TV assault is working. 66-21 a month ago (and a month ago was already well into the corporate “No on 522″ onslaught) is now 46-42.

TCT, of course, predicts defeat of I 522, while holding out some hope for a small miracle. The election ends November 5.

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Friday, June 21st, 2013

Voyage of the Meager

It ain’t just rockers. Dig this further news from the Cannes Crapfest:

Known for its splashy show intros, Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors Showcase at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Thursday opened on a curiously heady note. Famed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins took the stage to give a lecture, of sorts, on the subject of memes, which he introduced in his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene.” He spoke on how the transmission of ideas and cultural norms evolve in a way similar to natural selection, and how memes as we know them today are creative, intentional mutations.

First of all, Dawkins is even wronger about the topic of meme transmission than he is about the purported “selfishness” of deoxyrobinucleic acid — and that’s saying something. Darwin would never stop vomiting if he were to come back and realize such silliness is being chalked up to him.

And how did dear Richard become a Saatchi shill? How did you get involved in the New Directors Showcase?

Richard Dawkins: I was approached by Saatchi & Saatchi, who had this idea of centring the event around the theme of memes, so they asked if I would get involved and I was rather pleased with the idea.

Check out our rock star pseudoscientist rehearsing his presentation with his Saatchi handlers:


Tell us, Dick: How many works of real science are rehearsed for sponsors? Here’s a meme for you:


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Posted by Michael Dawson | Filed in Assholes, Bad Products, Hall of Shame | 9 Comments »


Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Talk on the Mild Side

reed The latest greedfreak to take a dive onto the sword that is the Hicks Dictum* is none other than Lou Reed, he of the supposed avant garde. According to Advertising Age, visiting on tape at the Cannes crapfest with “Tim Mellors, vice chairman and chief creative officer at Grey Group,” Reed said this:

“Ad people play fair with you. A is A, B is B, C is C.”

Reed is apparently feeling poor these days, whining about not getting enough royalties in the “world of downloading.”

That a human being with pretensions to thought and social conscience could have run through the amount of money Reed has devoured and then turn around and say such howling, sycophantic garbage is yet another notable Orwellian aspect of our late capitalist epoch. Hey, babe, genuinely amazing.

*The words of the late Bill Hicks: “Do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call. Every word you say is suspect. You’re a corporate whore and eh, end of story.”

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Posted by Michael Dawson | Filed in Assholes, Hall of Shame | 7 Comments »


Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Prepare to Vomit

emp Are you an American woman? Yes? Then your main problem in life must be the comparative difficulty of being appointed CEO of a major corporation. So obvious.

And how do you solve this problem? Well, you work harder!

Such is the “feminist” pose about to be launched by the utterly vile creature known as Sheryl Sandberg, whom we TCTers have met before. She is the scionette of a Florida eye-surgery empire who converted her inherited advantages talent and labor into a career as a leading data-scraping executive within the corporate marketing juggernaut.

According to The New York Times, Sandberg is about to unleash her solipsistic “project,” which will apparently be called “Lean In.” The idea is that she will be coaching those who join on how to do what she did. That, of course, was to work hard! [Of course!] And now, all her greatness and effort is becoming a social movement!

“I always thought I would run a social movement,” Ms. Sandberg, 43, said in an interview.

Holy pancakes, Batman, these fuckers are way more gonzo than you can even imagine. Orwell is flat out of a job.

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Posted by Michael Dawson | Filed in Assholes, Bad Products | 11 Comments »


Thursday, December 6th, 2012

“Movement” Marketing

ethan This political marketer with the hippie visage is Ethan Roeder, departing data director for Obama for America. Mr. Roeder has just published a New York Times op-ed titled “I Am not Big Brother.” He doth, of course, protest way too much.

Ethan says his “day job” — he fancies himself a movement organizer, but more on that howler in a minute — is “political data.” Sadly for him, it seems he feels somewhat besieged by public distaste for this job. He is not, he swears, “an all-knowing super-genius.”

But think for a moment, Ethan: Is that really what people hate about marketing in general and political marketing specifically? Do folks think the Ethan Roeders of the world are mad scientists running amok? Or is it more that they know the Ethan Roeders of the world allow corporate politicians to manipulate voters with more efficiency and no more honesty than ever?

Ethan doesn’t ask that question, of course. Instead, he heaps on more hyperbolic straw-man accusations against himself:

If I’m not spying on private citizens through the security cam in the parking garage, I’m probably sifting through their garbage for discarded pages from their diaries or deploying billions of spambots to crack into their e-mail.

If all those things are false, Ethan concludes, then he’s just a humble campaigner trying to help us all “engage” and share our ideas.

Of course, he also doesn’t mention the obverse of the coin with which he fancies he’s purchased his innocence, the assurance that “campaigns don’t know anything more about your online behavior than any retailer, news outlet or savvy blogger.” That flip-side is the reality that modern political campaigns are neither more nor less than ordinary brand marketing efforts, and votes are merely the purchase people like Roeder are hired to finagle.

“[T]echnology,” he says as if it’s some comfort, “is allowing campaigns to finally see through the fog of the crowd and engage voters one by one.”

That one on one relationship is entirely about product-positioning, and zero percent about candidates genuinely seeking ideas and proposals from constituents. (Not that Ethan doesn’t try to sell the latter notion.)

And what about that nighttime struggle? Mr. Roeder is also apparently a principal at a place called, Orwellianly enough, the New Organizing Instutute, where he peddles the idea that the encroachment of political marketing into movement organizing is somehow an advance, rather than a severe malignancy, in movement organizing.

He even has a brand name for his confusion — “engagement organizing.”

Engagement Organizers start with time-tested grassroots organizing strategies, grounded in the behavioral sciences and hardened in the field. We combine these strategies with emerging online tools and technology.

Translation? “Engagement organizers” are people who use marketing research on behalf of their clients, to try to surreptitiously provoke some action that would not otherwise occur. They are the Ethan Roeders of the world.

Remember the talking point?: “Not Big Brother.”

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