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May 27, 2020    Burn Book

Name the Fake, For the Collective’s Sake


Hey guys,

What’s going on? 

What’s not going on?

I know what’s not going on. It’s that we might look at history for guidance and for comfort. There is a comfort in knowing that history is cyclical and the patterns of a recession are all here. What makes the current situation so bizarre is everyone tuning in to soundbites of media “discourse” that isn’t discourse at all. All I can liken it to is two kids getting into a fight on a playground, except this time all the finger-pointing is being done by the news.

I think we’re being gaslighted on a mass level. So, this new article series is going to serve with two specific qualities, because you guys are the ones we need to ride this out. If you’re smart (hey, if you’re saying “I think so,” that’s you too because the smart are humble) AND self-aware (you’ve sensed maybe you don’t have the right to talk right now because people have it so much worse), I’m saying it’s time to go there. Let’s start listing out our enemies. I’ve realized there’s sanity to be found amongst all this madness, but finding it is like being in an Indiana Jones movie, in slow motion, and when you get there, the treasure is missing. That’s what it feels like right now and right now what the world needs is logic. It’s your lifeline in this collective moment of insanity. 

You know how in every discourse there’s a bad guy? I sense we are all confused because where are the scammers? Like the kind selling things that can’t be real? Like $.01/month insurance? Like cars for zero dollars? Like your horoscope for the next 5 years channelled through a urine sample you can send in the mail? Where are those tried and true opportunists now? 

Let’s find our way back to sanityville together, so the real discourse—about a recession—can start happening. We need a who, what, where, when and why to feel sane again. And I’m going to fight for our right to have it even though crack babies are still being born and, I agree, it’s not fair and it’s not right. But the longer we proclaim ourselves “#blessed,” the more time it’ll give the really bad guys the time they need and what it is they’re doing that is bad I don’t know. I do know that under the “pandemic flag” they can do it because we are all looking the other way. For our own sakes. 

Poser and Bad Guy: The ruin-er of pandemic birthdays and Mother’s Days

Ok listen up, bad guy. I knew what you would do. I knew you’d have this pandemic flag to wave as a sorry excuse to not get me the right bike for my daughter’s 11th birthday, and that was legit one month ago to this day. I knew I’d have to order my mom flower’s a whole month ahead of time so she’d get them, on that special day for moms when you always make a ton of money… except this time you got to mark up the shipping for orders over a month out? Yeah, I had your number. But you didn’t have mine. Because you’re a bad guy. Waving the pandemic flag. Well you don’t deserve that flag. You have to earn that flag. My friend Andy had to wait four hours in some customer service line to figure out where his Mother’s Day present was. I ordered my mom’s flowers a month early. It felt so long ago that when I got the thank you text the day after Mother’s Day I didn’t even realize what you had done. Good one there, bad guy. You so got me. Were you some HOA president in a past life? Did you want to re-enact parts of the civil war and be someone historical … like for real? Are you the one causing the rodent cannibalization too because now you need the people to badly hate on… small animals? You’re the guy that robbed us of what we needed so bad: the UFOs. Because that was, like, legit cool. And you’re, like, so not legit.

Why did you have to do that? Why do you have to make the small guys––like the ones not considered conglomerates nor do they have corporate governance–––look bad? Because that’s what you’re doing. When I order a bicycle to ride with my daughter and an off-brand lookalike shows up, that doesn’t have anything to do with a pandemic. When customer support is replaced by chat bots, you can’t use this Covid flag for cover. There are too many little guys stepping up who never stopped caring about who is number one (PS, it’s a word that starts with “c” and ends with “mers”) but you’re making them look bad just by association. You know what? Don’t do it dude, it’s not cool. And you’re not cool. And if you’re going to be the bad guy, just own it and wear a shirt that says, “I Suck.” So at least you can be the bad guy that knows he’s bad. It’ll be your version of authenticity dude.

I always tell people that I’m a 110% or 0% person. And that’s not just about running my branding agency. I like my celebrity gossip, my only check-out brainless-yet-needed for sanity time, to be really dumb. And I am a legit bibliophile, or memoir-a-phile, and that has to be smart. I can tell you the worst kind of poser: It is when dumb poses as smart. And you guys just suck all the time, but during an unprecedented time we can only describe as ‘The Unknown’, you guys can also be the really, really bad guys. I was a germaphobe before it became cool. That’s right, I have two big Phonesoaps, three small ones, a toothbrush sanitizer, literally 80 different brands of hand sanitizer, fabric antibacterial spray, mulberry silk pillows to reduce bacteria that can give you zits, and our number one promotional item at Rock Candy Media is this spray that kills germs and it safe on your electronics. You’re pulling a toilet paper on us. Stop it. It’s not cool unless you were always some sanitizer blessed with rose quartz and labeled under luxury. Those luxury brands aren’t the bad guy. The bad guy is the opportunist except you’re not the Nigerian scammers making every Nigerian I know (yes, I know ones that hail from that actual country) making an entire other country look bad. You’re the Theranos kind of bad. Last I looked, you were making $30 ‘sanitizer’ in .00001 bottles that kills only 70% of germs. Guess what guys? I’ve got rubbing alcohol for that. 

So hey, you big guys charging us a yearly fee for customer service: Step it up. Stop waving the pandemic flag. You’re trying to make us hate on each other like the people we put in office but we’re not going to go there. You can’t make us dumb like you think we are. Why? Because we know you think we’re dumb, and what that makes you? You’re the bad dude, dude. 

Stay tuned for the next poser call-out. In the meantime, I hope you keep on keeping it real. Because I do know what will be our lifeline and what will get us out of this mess: Logic. Right now it’s just too foggy. Let’s land the plane right. And let’s do it ourselves because we don’t need nobody.

Let Your Curiosity Take Control