Author: thecopiedwriter

Nothing. Seriously, nothing.

the ennumerated successes and failures of a giant panda in its undergraduate career

1. i made it to the university level despite being a 350lb giant panda.
2. i committed to a 100% vegan diet for more than for years.
3. i founded the now defunct panda student advocacy club.
4. i was not a successful recruiter or fundraiser.
5. i presided over the collapse of the panda student advocacy club.
6. i was the first panda accepted into an historically WASPy fraternity.
7. i consumed a fistful of coke my freshman year.
8. that same year, i listened to dubstep and did not try to become a dj.
9. i have managed not to make friends with djs.
10. i worked as a community organizers for disenfranchised minorities in the region.
11. i fell in love with a girl.
12. i did coke with that girl.
13. i became addicted to coke and that girl.
14. i broke up with that girl and stopped doing coke as often.
15. i convinced my doctor i had adhd.
16. i learned the truth about add on adderall–that add did not exist and that adderall is recreational, mostly.
17. i became addicted to folk music and lacanian psychoanalytic theory.
18. i became addicted to adderall.
19. i switched to a USDA Organic-only bamboo diet.
20. i fell in love with another girl.
21. i learned that pandas don’t fall in love with people as much as they become swept up in a flurry of hormones and drives come mating season.
22. i learned that, as a panda, i’m no exception.
23. i failed to be exceptional.
24. i did shrooms.
25. i called my father while on psychedelic mushrooms.
26. i called my mother while on psychedelic mushrooms.
27. neither answered; they are pandas.
28. i did not use a telephone; i am a panda.
29. i had a lot of sex with a few women, none of whom i liked, all of whom seemed to feel it was “adventurous” or “exotic” to have sex with a panda.
30. i had a lot of sex on drugs.
31. i learned a lot about postmodernism.
32. i can smoke marijuana without becoming mute or paranoid.
33. i have discovered what makes me special.
34. i know what i am.
35. i know i am a panda.

Some Notes on the TKE MLK Party, My Fraternity Experience, and General Racism-Related Stuff

I found this picture on the wall of one of the guys in the infamous MLK Day Party. Now, If I "assumed" this guy, or the organization publishing this kind of content was probably not sensitive to the "interests of black people," many would say I was jumping to conclusions.

I found this picture on the wall of one of the guys in the infamous MLK Day Party.
Now, If I “assumed” this guy, or the organization publishing this kind of content was probably not sensitive to the “interests of black people,” many would say I was jumping to conclusions.

-Facebook Chat-RE: TKE MLK Black-out Party:“Do you think it was racist?”

Define “it.”

“You know, the party.”

Like the idea behind the party?

“Yeah, and the racist frat bros who threw it.”

But those are two different things, right?

“Sort of.”

Sort of. Yeah, that’s my opinion.

“Your opinion is ‘sort of.'”

Yes.

“Stop being a smartass. Should these racist bros be expelled, or not?

Why on earth do you care about that? What difference does it make if they’re expelled?“It sets an example so people will think twice before being racist.”

No, it will stop them from broadcasting “stuff that makes liberals mad” on Instagram.It will force them to repress the overt expression of their prejudices.

They will become birthers.
They will champion “state’s rights.”
They will become paranoid about “voter fraud.”
They will call their negro co-workers “brotha” and spontaneously expect a kind of high-five-to-handshake from them, instead of a standard handshake.
They will enjoy Daniel Tosh, more than they already do.

How the partiers and the frat are disposed of matters to ASU’s PR team and the outside institutional forces with whom they play symbolic power games for the entertainment of the public and the placation of their key donors. That’s not to say none of it matters; it’s to say none of that matters to me.

Quite honestly, I’m glad they were proud to party like it was 1969.
 

“Glad? You’re glad these kids celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 21st century-style blackface?”

I’m glad they took pictures.
I’m glad they hashtagged them.
I’m glad they made it impossible to question the exact intention behind their event.
I’m glad we have a screenshot of how many ‘likes’ they got on instagram.
I’m glad I could lurk their Facebook profiles (before they deleted them) and try to guess how often I passed them on campus.
I’m glad I could see just how many ‘mutual friends’ we had between us.
I’m glad I could see their majors on the ASU directory.
I’m glad I could see their career aspirations on LinkedIn.

Most of all, I’m glad I could see just how absolutely normal, mundane, and boring they all were.

I could imagine working with them on a group assignment having no idea what they thought about me or (if they decided my dress and standard dialect put me in an-“other” category) what they imagined my family members must be like.

I got to imagine being their co-worker in a marketing firm, or worse, one of them my superior.

I’m glad because I don’t feel like I’m being paranoid when I get the “racism chills” from an occasional economics major in deck shoes when he asks me how I feel when he says nigger “like, when it comes up in a song, you know?”

Yeah, bro. I know.

I saw the pictures.

II.

FULL DISCLOSURE:
I pledged a fraternity my freshman year at ASU.

I didn’t make it into the brotherhood–I [was] dropped just before initiation week because 1. was a not very fratty, by any reliable metric developed up to that point, and 2. because I stopped showing up for pledge process-related events, at which my pledge bothers and I were totally, most definitely, honestly (not-)hazed.

We were totally, most definitely, honestly (not) “coerced” into clearing frat complex hallways of beer cans and (presumably-used) condoms. We (never) excavated disposable shot cups from the tar-like composites of vodka, Tampico, Arizona dirt, and watery anorexic vomit that lined the facility’s corridors like a stubborn film–the nearly bio-luminescent traces of a long night-to-be-forgotten and repeated a thousand times over into infinity, crudely scored by the dubstep playlists of yesteryear.

There were definitely (not) enough illicit drugs entering and exiting “frat row”–as it was called then–to sentence an entire Chicago block of black males to multiple life sentences, each.

There was definitely (not) that guy everyone suspected of being a date rapist, against whom no effective claim could be made due to a surprising lack of sufficient evidence and/or outspoken victims of his vaguely suspected improprieties.

There was definitely (not) not a single valuable academic achievement made within the confines of that building that wasn’t a direct result of amphetamine ingestion.

There was also not (no parentheses) a single instance in which I was called “a nigger.” At no point did I find myself dealing with any more “racial insensitivity” than one comes to expect to encounter after being a black male for 19 or so years.It just never happened.

In terms of diversity the frat I pledged was–despite being made up largely of super-privileged, (from what I can tell) mostly right-leaning, and fairly “fratty” individuals–just as, if not more, ethnically heterogeneous than any other organization I could expect to find at ASU.

Hedonism, homophobia, chauvinism, and isolated cases of anabolic steroid abuse aside–when considered exclusively in terms of how racist they were on average–they were generally pretty OK bros, when considered in aggregate, and in consideration of how not-OK  they could’ve been.

What do I mean by “could’ve” been?

There were three or four black guys living in the house of the fraternity I pledged.Next door, was either Sigma Chi (or Sigma Nu, I don’t remember. I was drunk.), and I’ll be damned if I ever saw anyone darker than a buttermilk waffle walk in or out of their doors.

What does that say about frats in general?

Nothing.

Why so much time has been dedicated this one characteristic of the MLK party kids is beyond me.

III.

I was at Casey Moore’s Oyster Pub about a month ago, and a lot of times after that, and a lot of times before that.

One of those times, I was working there as a host/bus boy.

I was collecting glasses from abandoned tables and constructing growing kaleidoscope of dirty pint glasses which were visibly difficult-to-manage with one hand whilst navigating a crowd of Saturday college drunks.

I felt a tap on my shoulder.”Hey, brotha,” he said, “You got a second?”

My face said, “fuck yourself, no,” but I think he drunkenly read my eye-contact as “yes, please interrupt my work to ask me a stupid, obviously racist question.”

“Do you–” he laughed, “and I don’t mean this to be racist–” he stammers, possibly thrown off-guard the Zulu war gaze making its way across my face, onto his blurry retinal screen, and only recently being registered somewhere in his brain-area.

“Do you…like…OK..my friends and I are having this debate,” he says, as his acquaintances grow pale and shrink into their mixed drinks.

“Do I what?”

“Do you like fried chicken? I don’t mean this in a racist way, everyone likes fried chicken…right?

IV.

I went to a community meeting organized by a group of concerned Arizona citizens who wanted to institute stricter regulations on assault rifles.

The organization was formed by white, middle class, liberal, college-educated people who wear Birkenstocks, in response to the Sandy Hook and Aurora, Colorado massacres.

The people were very nice.

The cookies and the water were free.

The fact the group was not pushing legislation that would make it more difficult to acquire handguns was a point they seemed to stress among one another.”We are focusing on assault rifles, because they are more dangerous–they are made for attacking people.”

I understood their message.

I also understood why they never brought up handgun homicide statistics from the inner-city.

Those were minority problems.

Also, if you ban handguns, how will you defend yourself from minorities who walk around in your neighborhood wearing hoodies?

i flipped through a dictionary and picked a word at random to build a poem around.

Word:

a  -indef.art.

Used before nouns and noun phrases that denote a single but unspecified person or thing: a region; a person.

Poem

i visited a New York City.
i saw a Tao Lin eating pasta
in a vicinity of a Ellis Island
a Statue of Liberty, a 9/11 Ground Zero
a Brooklyn Bridge, and a Empire State Building.
i found a one true Lord and Savior,
and he taught me a Meaning of Life,
and it was a most enlightening experience--
a best day of my life, really.
the McDonald's here is expensive, though.

wpid-1384359778029.jpg

Listening to King Krule the Way One Watches Porn, Pt. 1

A cigar is not a cigar, in this case.

A cigar is not a cigar, in this case of cigars.

I’m writing fiction now because I ran out of opinions. I hope you aren’t mad, and that you keep reading.

A homeless man listening to his [or, an(?)] iPod at the train station bobbed his head to what Danny assumed, for a number of reasons–some of which Danny wondered if they were racist in some way before finally deciding it didn’t matter very much in terms of making the man’s lot in life any better or worse–was four-years-ago’s hottest pop rap single. It was cold and the homeless man was not (more…)

CODEBREAKING: How to Use Content Marketing to Sell Xenophobia to Liberals

snorestopbillboard

The ROI on this content marketing campaign will be insane.

You should have learned after #OWS that anything that mixes politics and hashtags is either:

a) a scam
b) masturbatory
c) basically phatic and directionless, or
d) all of the above.

But you didn’t, and that’s why we’ere here. To begin, a quick primer on the basic principles of the content marketing revolution.

One day, Bill Gates said three magical words. “Content is king,” and everyone else said, “what is content?” The answer was, at the time, “stuff brands put on the internet.” The definition of content, as of the last time I checked AdAge, is stuff a brand puts on the internet that is meant to add value to the lives of individuals within the business’s target market. Because people tend to network with people who share their interests, beliefs, and problems, content that is useful to often gets shared by the user, to other users, who themselves are more likely to do the same than some other person selected from a random sample of, say two million people.

Why do people share useful, value-adding content?

Because it adds value to their own personal brand within their own micro-market niche.

“Heh, I don’t have a personal brand.”

You have an ego, that’s your brand. I’m not going to argue with you about this. It’s true. Take it or take it.

That being said, I’d really like you to share this article on Facebook and Twitter with anyone who says something good about the SnoreStop ad.

———————————————————————————————————
CONTENT MARKETING 101: Calls to Action

If you want your user to do a specific action, you almost always have to ask them directly in the copy.
———————————————————————————————————

Listen to me; listen to me, closely:

SnoreStop doesn’t care about right or wrong, (read: Right or Left (read: wrong or wrong)). SnoreStop just cares about you. And you don’t care about right or wrong, either, but you do care about right or left. But you don’t really care about the truth or falsity of the basic tenants of any ideological as much as you care about the other side being wrong (read: not as smart as you, who simply believes the facts, the figures, the Real stuff.)

Therefore, SnoreStop cares primarily about what you think about yourself what you want your friends to think about you (multiplied by a factor of however many other marks you have in your social network).

———————————————————————————————————
Full transparency:
All I care about is making you as jaded as I try to be. I think it’s a defense mechanism gone awry. I think it stems from my repressed mommy issues, but I enjoy my symptoms.
———————————————————————————————————

The natural conclusion you should draw from this information, and what you now know about content marketing, is this ad with the war veteran and the half-Iranian woman embracing isn’t intended to make the world a better place.

It’s intended to convince you to try to convince your friends that you are making the world a better place.

That being said, I want you to imagine how you would feel if the male in the ad were dressed like a Saudi Prince.

Would that change your perception of the ad?

Maybe you’d be less turned on by it. Maybe you’d just think Arabs had snoring problems. If you identify with Middle Eastern images, you may be pleased that a brand took the initiative to speak to your demo, or somewhere between confused and outraged as to why the individuals were dressed that way.

Either way, we’re not talking about anything worthy of network news coverage–let alone your Facebook wall. Only really important world events make it there. Yes, like cats, your lunch, and my articles.

Let’s go a bit deeper down the rabbit hole, until we find gold.

What if it was an Arab man, dressed like the man pictured above, and the woman were a blonde in traditional Los Angelan garb (i.e. a bikini and an immaculately tanned body)?

No one–literally no one— would be happy about this.

Ask yourself why.

Hint: It has to do with imperialism and orientalism.

Another exercise:

Does the model actually wear a burka in real life? Ask yourself why or why not.

Hint: She is half-Persian, born in America to an immigrant who probably left Iran at a particularly burka-friendly time in Iranian history.

Another Exercise:

In the ad, her left hand is intentionally made visible, to show off her wedding ring. Why do you think this is? What if she were not married?

Hint: It has to do with imperialism and orientalism.

Hint: This is another snore stop ad. Why aren’t they married? I thought this was a progressive company.

Arch along Curetes Way

Last Exercise:

Why do either have to be dressed that way for this ad to work?

Ask yourself: Who would actually be shocked by a couple in which one of the individuals was a veteran, and the other, a Muslim? Would you be put off by this? If so, there’s something wrong with you.

This ad NEEDS the models to be dressed this way for it to work. The scenario on the billboard is absurd because it reduces individuals to their roles within a warped ideological fantasy in which Muslim = Enemy of America, and American Veteran = America, in order to play with your emotions.

It actually forces you to think like a xenophobe in order to appreciate the ad.

I’m drunk.

Good night.

How 38 Minutes of “Dr.” Phil a Day Can Increase Happiness (If You’re Sad)

Can you believe her mother only pocketed half of her Adderall?

I was kinda sorta watching “Dr.” Phil by accident, by which I mean I intentionally clicked and started watching “Dr.” Phil on YouTube, and I wasn’t sure exactly for whom Dr. Phil is supposed to be an provider of therapy.

I wasn’t sure, that is, until I did the math.

Watch this:

Did you catch that at 0:26?

DAUGHTER: I want to do porn.
MOM: What?! Then you could never be a normal less-than-brutally-sexed-on camera-type model! I have I hopes for you, honey! Also, you could contract HIV.

That was her argument. That’s the kind of parent Kylie lived under for nearly two decades, and whose influence she will continue to be plagued by for the rest of her life.

The whole inventory of her primary formative influences are there, crystallized in the mother’s hysteric logic. Case closed. Don’t even bother bringing in dad. He divorced her, which means he married her, which means he’s an ostensibly functional secret practitioner of auto-erotic asphyxiation who does what he’s told from the safety of his sad, sad cubicle.

You could stop reading now if the following diatribe were about any of these lost souls. But it’s not about them. It’s about you.

FULL EPISODE HERE 1

It’s always about you (read: me (I’m like you, so it’s still you, anyway)).

Watching this, I felt strangely better about myself for not being the drug-addicted anorexic 19 year-old fly-by-night pornographic actress, and even better for not being her equally anorexic and/or drug addicted and/or Olympically irresponsible parents–all three of whom Dr. Phil prods into performing a spectactular suburban freakshow in 5 acts, for which there is a chorus (audience) and omniscient narrator (“Dr.” Phil, himself).

I felt better about myself because I wasn’t them.

This was a shit reason to feel better about myself.

It’s was like visiting a Sudanese orphanage–not to help the children, or even to recognize how my privilege obligates me to be an agent of positive change–but to learn how to become more complacent with the humble wage and lifestyle I already live.

On his side of the screen, “Dr.” Phil makes lives worse. On the other side, people more comfortable with normal, socially acceptable spiritual mediocrity, and that’s where the money is.

I have a riddle for you:

A con man walks into a bank with his friend, and they both sit down.
The con man points and tells his friend to take a look at the teller counting money behind the window.
An old lady, with three kids, walks in with a stack of twenty-dollar bills walks in.
The con man makes the same gesture and the old lady.
The friend nods.
The con man and the friend get up leave the bank, laughing together, without talking to anyone. 2

Who’s the con man trying to con?

Are you lost?

Let’s try a different riddle:

There are 5 characters in this one.

1. “Dr.” Phil
2. Porno Girl
3. Mom
4. Dad
5. ___

*The Question is: Who’s Dr. Phil trying heal?*

“Dr.” Phil isn’t treating the girl, and he isn’t treating the parents.
Their lives will not change. They are unchangeable.
They are the kind of humans who will take a week off of doing whatever it is they do to become part of their own 38-minute reality show in which they will definitely be framed as the worst human beings on the face of the earth.

“But I feel like maybe this could be an opportunity to learn truths about themselves and become better people after facing their problems, head on.”

But I feel like maybe you have brain damage.

They are unhealable. They cant get “better”; these people don’t even know what “better” smells like.

Tell me, what would “better” entail?
The daughter stops doing porn, and gets a job flipping burgers? Does she go to massage school? Or does she get a pity-gig as the receptionist at a family friend’s proctology clinic? At age thirty, having achieved a Prozac/Adderall/Ambien/Xanax carousel-fueled psychic equilibrium, will she find a nice financial adviser with whom she, and her counterpane of provocatively placed bird and flower tattoos, can settle down and build a family? Will she not have emotional breakdowns every quarter that will adversely shape the psychological health and worldview of her children? Will her husband exist in a constant state of terror threat-advisory level orange, in anxious anticipation the day she finally snaps, or forgets to take her pills, or cheats on him because he missed a sign that triggered something in the post-apocalyptic landscape of his wife’s inner-world, or…?

And what about her next husband, and the husband after him?

Will the kids just happen to never find this footage, which is publicly available on the first and second-largest search engines in the world…wide web?

I found it, on accident. They will find it on purpose, or worse, their friends will, and it’s off to juvenile detention for Jimmy.

So, now, we have three generations of collateral human decay from one episode of “Dr.” Phil, and can rule out 3 out of the five characters in a riddle.

“Aha! ‘Dr.’ Phil is just trying to sort out his own problems, and he uses these people as fodder for his own personal enjoyment.”

Please. “Dr.” Phil is a pro. He’s getting paid to do this shit. Try again.

“But there’s no one else in the room.”

Are you sure?

How’s “Dr.” Phil getting paid? Is it because he’s performing a valuable service to troubled human beings? Or, is the ad-funded TV network, selling your attention to Dove/Axe, Geico, Budwiser, [Local Divorce Attorney (you’ll actually need him, later down the road)], etc.?

You’re paying “Dr.” Phil because he’s providing you a service. 3

You get to feel “better” (read: not think about your shitty life), and he gets paid, and when you remember that your life sucks, you can buy tide, or All-Natural Organic Whateverthefuck from Wal-Mart, where the workers are so happy, they are the lead actors in the commercials.

Who’s the con man trying to con?
The friend.
Who’s “Dr.” Phil trying to heal?
You.
And, if his treatment fails, you’ll think it’s because you haven’t made the consumer choices.
And the world keeps spinning, and you try to Google the porn video that little girl is in.

Don’t worry.

It’s easy to find.

————–

1. Did anyone notice how much class-A fun the daughter seems to be having?
I’m not at all surprised by it, but I just can’t really make total sense out of it. I am, however, certain that it’s significant.

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Riy4God934c&noredirect=1

3. Ask yourself: Do happy educated people in high tax brackets watch “Dr.” Phil?