SHMOOZE NEWS: Branding Hurts. If You’re a Cow. Or an Artist.

Not gonna lie: been feeling sluggish in Smartyland of late…

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Post-Shutdown politics just seem like a joke.  A totally unfunny, badly told joke.  (Oh, btdubs: for the opposite, go here.  Directed by me!)  And frankly, I can’t help but think, those dudes in DC don’t deserve to be shmoozed over…

SATP vanilla iceBut wait!  The clouds are parting!  This week arch-angel Russell Brand descended upon us with his famously curly-cued eloquence, and ARTICULATED WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WHOLE SYSTEM (in the UK, in the US).  It’s so awesome, y’all!  I know he can be polarizing, blah blah, but as Gawker says, he “may have started a revolution last night.”  Let’s hope so.  The whole thing is fabu, but if you want a quickie, start at 8:30.

So few people beyond Al Gore talk about the climate crisis like it’s an actual crisis.

SATP asimov worldBut also… it matters that — as he points out — he’s mostly disregarded as a serious thinker because he’s an actor.  Yes, for shame, he’s done some dumb projects, sure… but who hasn’t?  Heh.  It’s really no excuse for trivializing the worth of his ideas off-screen.  Makes me think of this New Yorker article about Banksy: most people didn’t trust a random old guy in a park to be selling Banksy originals, as indeed said old guy did last week, so many pieces of art remained unbought, even at a five-hundredth of the actual value.  But that’s the thing… there is no “actual” value, is there?  Context is a bitch.

SATP helen mittensAs the article points out, there are things that are “easy to evaluate without a reference standard,” (like are you or aren’t you sick) and then there are things that aren’t.  Like art.  And beer.  And YouTube vids.  And actors’ capacity to observe the world with a keen eye.


SATP complex carbsOff-Brand, this was a big week for more NSA spying drama (the Snowden repercussions continue to repercuss) so lots of countries are mad at us, and a big week for Obamacare’s foes to take the form not of old white Congressmen, but rather techie limitations.

SATP obamacareYeah, it’s a monumentally ambitious site and it’s glitching and everyone wants them to bring in the awesomest tech superheroes they can find (hint: the ones who helped get Obama elected) to save the day and our president feels bad.

Talking about tech!  It’s pronounced JIF, apparently.  Final answer.

SATP wasting time techAlso talking about the digital world, there was some ubercool stuff going around this week re: branding, beyond Russell, I mean.  From the annals of What if Brands Were Honest, we get this.  From the land of nascent artists talkin’ the need to brand oneself vs. the need to safeguard oneself against the onslaught of such advice, we get this.  And from the world of disruptive advertising we get a behind-the-scenes on that insanely awesome Carrie publicity stunt.  Enjoy!

And Happy Halloween weekend, all 🙂

SATP halloween fb

3 thoughts on “SHMOOZE NEWS: Branding Hurts. If You’re a Cow. Or an Artist.

  1. Russell Brand’s rant that people shouldn’t vote because all sides are equally corrupt repeats the thoroughly discredited argument of Ralph Nader in 2000 that Bush and Gore were equally corrupt. Enough people bought it to cost Gore the election. We ended up with the irreversible disasters of the Iraq war, the Halliburton energy strategy, denial of science, and a terrible Supreme Court. Does anyone still think there was no difference between Bush and Gore? NOT voting is the problem, not VOTING. Sure, the world’s messed up, but everything he said about the need for a socialist revolution was not only said but lived out in the last century. Some of the smartest and most caring people I know are actors, but if you’re going to act the firebrand, you have a moral obligation to learn something first.


    1. I actually think his point is that VOTING is neither the problem nor the solution. He’s British — I don’t take his voting suggestion that seriously, and obviously we all engage how we see fit — but I do take seriously his aggressive approach to calling out the crap we’re focussing on instead of the crap we AREN’T. Seriously, climate change and economic inequality needs a firebrand voice speaking its truths, and I’m thrilled he’s showing up to do it!


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