Want some youth culture, with sprinkles, cretins?


youth cultureYouth culture hasn’t done a damn thing since the 1980s. Everyone is a teenage gangster or a Valley Girl bimbo and always has been, according to this culture. Anyone who uses two syllables is a nerd. Conformity as far as the belch of media can go.

It’s bad enough that the “adult” culture (that collection of close ups and tantrums) is a virtual sewer. Now, every moron is a hero and every genius a leper. God knows individuality is a mystery to most at the best of times. It’s like nobody told them they’re supposed to be real people.

Youth culture/loser culture

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam youth cultureThe problem is that this youth culture is also a loser culture. Being a sort of backpack full of clichés is OK.  It’s OK to be a slum dwelling ape. It’s fine to shoot a few people. After all, everybody does it. It’s normal, like most diseases. “Rape culture”, for which you’d have been killed for even suggesting it a generation or so ago, is also OK. What a triumph of human achievement.

It’s also fine if you can’t read or write. You’re a severely handicapped person, financially, socially and legally, but hey, that’s OK. You can and will be ripped off by anyone who can read or write, but that’s fine, too.

This is what the highest level of civilization ever achieved by humanity does with culture on a routine basis – Absolute failure.

You peasant shit, tolerating this obscenity of a culture. The entire culture is created by vermin. It has nothing to offer but more crap and more failure. If you tolerate one second of this garbage, you don’t deserve to be called human.

Is it any wonder that a large number of supposedly human basket cases believe any damn thing they see on any kind of screen? They can’t argue. They have no idea how, or why. They belong in sheltered workshops.

Youth culture and Generation Retard

Gothic Black, Paul Wallis books AmazonGeneration Retard is going to fail, catastrophically. It won’t get up again afterwards. The rust has extended to the brain.

Who cares what delusional “elites” conspire to do anything anymore. The patient is dead and the maggots are cashing in. (These suburban scum are elites? You’re kidding.)

Youth culture goes to a few predictable destinations:

  • College, followed by middle age, followed by nothing much.
  • Blue collar stop/start employment followed by middle age, followed by absolutely nothing.
  • Hood Land, where you’re just a statistic or somewhere to put the bullets. No way out or back, either.
  • It all comes with a soundtrack, a few STDs, and of course marriage, the supposed happy ending which usually ends unhappily in more than 50% of cases.

Nothing new. The myth is alive, if nothing else is. The non-existent nuclear family is still bleating merrily, the “community” (like there is one) is still thriving away in delightful poverty.

What good old days of youth culture? You’re envying the image, not the fact

In the so-called good old days, people scraped a living out of office jobs, blue collar jobs, and other chickenfeed existences.  Things were cheaper and safer. Hippies didn’t kill people. That’s the main reason the not-very-good old days are considered good at all. That’s a lot better than current “youth” is likely to do, though. This generation is already screwed to death.

The 1-5% of people who succeed are the exceptions, not the norm, in this culture. The rest is a form of theft. Fortunately, the rich usually don’t stay rich for long, so that’s something to look forward to, but while they’re there, guess who’s paying for it all.

As for the drugs – What, you ran out of lemonade? Even the stimulants are substandard. The self-destruction is scripted, like a bad soap opera. Ice and coke, the bubbles on the champagne, are nothing. They are destructive, but as “stimulants” they’re just burnout food. DIY liver problems at best, and no more.  If you hate yourself, your money and your liver, they’re great. For all else, consider a gun; it’s cheaper, far less painful and quicker.

Youth culture? If it was a cockroach you’d tread on it. You have a nice soundtrack of nursery rhymes and corpses, so you’re covered for the rest of your life. Literally. You have dead or ex-people telling you how to behave, how to think, and how to react.

No think = No person – No life.

If you’re under the age of 20, one thing you need to know: Life doesn’t give refunds. You can learn that now, or 20 years from now. The choice is yours.

What about your sprinkles, you twitch intelligently? Sure. It’s also known as carnivorous bullshit. See if you can avoid it. Meanwhile – Any theories on how that definition was achieved?

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books


17 reasons why non-writers need to understand writers


Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam

Non-writers are as much of a curse to writers as non-artists and non-musicians are to those arts. They know staggeringly little about the actual facts of writing, the need for continuity and are usually 20 years behind the market. (Sorry for the text layout on this blog. Formatting issue.)

To explain:

  1. Nobody can be forced to read, let alone made to want to read, anything at all, online or anywhere else.
  2. “Engagement” is the key to any kind of content. Modern writing isn’t based on style guides, auditing practices, focus groups or anything but interesting content.
  3. The modern audience actively searches for information. It is therefore fussy about what it reads. Ignore that fact at your peril. Fizzy, featherweight copy can be a major non-lead generator.
  4. The commercial audience isn’t clueless when it’s looking to buy products. Many customers are as knowledgeable as, or more knowledgeable than, the sales people they deal with.
  5. Customers can take or leave sales spiel. In practice, they’ll ignore 90% of what they see, and be fussy about the other 10%. They need hard values in sales form, not sales form disguised, badly, as information.
  6. The “I should know everything I need to know in 30 seconds” thing is now at least 20 years out of date. Less can be better, but more provides, well, more. Lack of information, not too surprisingly, looks like lack of information. Worse, it looks suspicious, like obvious questions are being left unaddressed.
  7. Grammar, schmammar. Making sense is more important than archaic usage. Bad grammar may be inexcusable in some cases, but it’s not like lawsuits will result unless you louse up your sales terms. Grammar is not written under oath, and unless the usage and syntax are actually suicidal, it’s not worth nitpicking.
  8. Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, AmazonPomposity is not an asset in business writing or copywriting. You can be as “corporate” as you like, and the readers will simply edit it out. It’s useless to them. They need applicable, relevant information, far more than mere presentation. Friendly/casual works far better than “we’d like to patronize you to death, right now this minute,” as copy.
  9. You can’t pass off “useless” as a synonym for “professional”, either. Filler is filler, however overloaded with standard phrases. (It also uses up space which could be made much more productive.)
  10. Garbage is garbage. “This exciting, innovative, money-making product” doesn’t mean a damn thing until you get down to cases. A lot of long form direct marketing stuff is guilty of this, and it’s a major turnoff for anyone who’s survived puberty.
  11. Portfolios matter to writers. If your portfolio is full of crap, prospective clients will think you’re full of crap, and you’ll be able to prove it to them with substandard materials.
  12. Non-writers have their own problems. They need to work with clients, sometimes at kindergarten level, but failing to understand what better quality writing can do simply devalues their product. Most competent writers can contribute both subject knowledge and value-based writing options. That usually doesn’t happen. (Just look at what’s trying to pass itself off as copywriting online for infinite numbers of examples.)
  13. Writers, like marketers and advertisers, target They write to actual people in context with subject matter. Non-writers may or may not know the markets or the people. In some cases, they don’t know the products too well, either, where most experienced writers make a point of understanding specific markets. If you’re writing B2B, you have to write to business values, not some damn obsolete image. C level readers don’t need pretty pictures. They want dollar values to their businesses.
  14. Depth of information matters to readers. “Whiter and brighter” isn’t the criteria for buying anything any more. Superior product, better value, clear user/buyer information, and anything along those lines, goes a lot further. (Remember customers do check out competitors. So should agencies. You can learn a lot.)
  15. “We’re not experts”. This cliché, invented in the 90s, has a lot to answer for. Says who? Is the assumption that because you’re a writer/agency, you know nothing about your client’s products? Does it sound plausible?
  16. “Writing like a lawyer”. I’ve been accused of this, and it was in relation to stock market-based materials in Canada. What I was worried about was market disclosure, providing information which may or may not be accurate. Not writing dubious/debatable materials which can be used to discredit a corporate client seemed to me to be a good idea, and still does. Caution is advisable when your client’s image is at stake.
  17. Conformity is death. Writing like everyone else is a great way of being totally ignored. Unique writing is as important as any unique selling point, when you’re trying to get a message across.

The bottom line: If you want relevant, reader-friendly material, acknowledge the role of the writer and allow appropriate input.

Good copy can’t write itself.


Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

Is your business turning into a chicken whisperer?


Previously published on the old blog. Some cheap shots added to maintain my tradition of total intolerance of everything. 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamConsider this as a statement of business capabilities: “Our sales manager can talk to chickens. Sometimes they even condescend to reply and instruct us.”

Would you say this business has a problem?

Damn straight, it has a problem. The business has achieved total irrelevance, even to itself, and is being run by third party chickens.

We live in an era where any business operation, however important, can be turned into a Rube Goldberg exercise. It seems that everybody’s 5 cents is absolutely essential, even that of chicken-whisperers. Eternities are spent getting things done whether they need doing or not.

How much internal ritual could possibly be productive work? How many largely cosmetic processes are parts of production? How many people do you need to do creative direction or the other pro operational stuff?

OK, all businesses have a few pet executives and other novelty items. Some people do deliver value. The question, in effect, is how many micro managers could any business possibly need? Short answer, none. There are more than enough of these vermin in business to last forever.

Is your aspiring chicken business fossilizing?

Here’s a few symptoms of “business ritual sclerosis” in chicken business culture as they’re usually expressed in job ads:

“Eye for detail”: This is the standard excuse for progressing anything at the slowest, most irritating possible pace. Useful to a point, obviously, but also means the incumbents will insist on proving they know when a comma’s in the wrong place, etc. Unless you’re actually making money out of your grammar, how useful is that?

“Team player”: Gesundheit. Everyone is a team player- to the extent they understand teamwork. Everyone is also obliged to pull their weight in any team and deliver value as an individual. The fact is that teams can be as dysfunctional as their  chicken-brained members. This is a tautology which has become an extremely expensive oxymoron.  Replace this expression with “have a clue”, and you’ll get somewhere.

Qualifications: Qualifications in business tend to come in two forms: Theoretical and practical. The person with the practical qualifications is someone who can do the job, the theoretical person might be able to do the job. Practical people can always be taught theory. The problem with the theoretical person is that they’re likely to turn theory into operations, rather than practical business functions.

Qualifications also have a much shorter shelf life than they did a generation ago, and their relevance is highly questionable in some sectors of business. In context, do qualifications actually add up to delivered business product? If not, why not? Are qualified people being wasted, or just wrong for the work? Or do you just like hiring pluckwits?

Chickens aren’t great communicators, either

Communications: People are required to communicate, but look at how the range of additional operations blows out the frame of reference. The more steps there are in a process, the more “communication” is required, particularly in clucking form, therefore the more likely more misinterpretation will result.

Do you want to work for a chicken business?

Pecking orders: Let’s face it; turning business hiring into a popularity contest has been all bad. When hired, there’s a built-in structure in this sort of business to impair the performance of anyone from the start of their employment. Theses ritual based businesses tend to devalue and/or overvalue people according to social relationships, not talent or business priorities. Therefore the talent, given a chance, escapes, ASAP. Not good for businesses.

The result of all this brilliance is hiring chicken-whisperers, and creating a culture based on awe of the intellects of barnyard poultry. (” Manager-thing know how to use chair!”, etc.) If these symptoms are beginning to even vaguely resemble your business, deal with them now, before your business grows feathers and starts feeling insecure around KFC outlets.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

Some good news – Lost a few files, but updated SMJ is under way and will be published shortly – Like 50-100 pages from now. 

How to beat fake news


Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamThe fake news plague which hit pandemic levels during the US election is still going on, in slightly reduced, but equally nasty, ways. There are ways of beating this disgusting crap, and they’re pretty simple.

Fake news is based on:

  • Attacking other people or groups, directly or indirectly.
  • Appeals to sympathy, prejudice, and political perspectives.
  • Specific features of a “crime” or “event” which mirror hate speech.
  • “News” which just happens to coincide with a recent statement by some public figure.
  • Combinations of the above, in any form.

The immortal Celts in EnglandLet’s not get too cute about this. Bad things happen in this world. It’s just they don’t usually happen quite so conveniently, at all the right times, in conjunction with speeches or propaganda campaigns.

Real news also doesn’t come in cookie-cutter form. It has specific characteristics. Every story is different enough to be an actual event, not a made-up one.

The basic counter to fake news is “Don’t instantly believe anything without corroboration.” There’s usually a lot of collateral evidence to any real story. This is a fundamental principle of real journalism.

For example:

If an accident happened, there will be:

  • Actual victims
  • Ambulances
  • Police in attendance
  • Blocked roads and traffic backing up
  • Local coverage, and other coverage, will be around the story.
  • Witnesses saying pretty much the same thing but with different views based on where they were at the time.

A reporter would check with a local hospital to see how many people were admitted. Local police would make a statement, usually not much, but confirming some details.  All of this information is findable in about 15 minutes, if you know where to look.

Defining fake news

Fake news, however, comes with little or no corroboration and some “interesting” sources:

  • None, or barely any of the corroboration as happens with a real news story is present.
  • Fake news tends to be sensational, usually at a well-known person or group.
  • Usual themes are crimes, sex, or something “immoral” by community standards.
  • Allegations, usually baseless but damaging, are normal for fake news.
  • Whatever is reported will come out of the blue, with no real background.
  • It breaks from minor league sources, or sources affiliated with someone or something.
  • Nobody else covers it. It’s standalone, most of the time.
  • Sources are vague or badly defined, and tend to be similar publications in terms of what they publish and why they publish it.
  • A surge of copycat “anger” emerges, everyone using the same phrases and keywords. Trolls will emerge like a microwave timer, right on time to go viral with something that never happened at all.

Pretty damn simple, isn’t it?

Ads_Cover_for_KindleSo are the people who make fake news. These are the panel beaters of fake realities. They aim for the lowest common denominator, which means they can’t miss hitting someone. They’re the self-proclaimed good guys, defending the public from a non-existent threat.

If you check their other “work”, it will be a patchwork of similar sewer-grade “news”. They’re career fakes. Hit any link, with your anti-virus up to date, and you’ll see a sort of Diary of a Wannabe Journalist, big stories and everything, all fake news.

Most of them are paid fakes. Few people would do this if they weren’t paid to do it.

It’s so bizarre that even American media, that bus stop to pornography for morons, expects decent money for it.

Beating fake news

To beat fake news:

  • Don’t simply believe things. Check them out.
  • Who else is covering it? Nobody, or just the usual suspects? Probably fake.
  • How much of the story is real, and how much is pure ranting?
  • Hearsay isn’t news. How much of it comes from those actually involved?
  • Allegations are allegations, not news. Accusations aren’t law, either.
  • Are there other, consistent, bits of information which back up the story?

It’ll save you a lot of aggravation.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books



When society follows media like a sheep to slaughter


Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamNobody should be too surprised that America’s recent history has been very much like a lousy bit of network programming. For those who’ve forgotten, media has always been a role model. Monkey see, monkey go nuts.

(Before we start, this is not going to be a media-bashing exercise in the usual sense. In this case, the people who need their heads kicked are the mindless acceptors, not the mindless purveyors.)

Before America became a sort of extended crack house, the basic norm was a sort of sitcom society. Not too dazzling, but pretty much in the nuclear family, “Honey I’ve just invented the computer/ been indicted/fired/promoted” mode.

The good side of America, believe it or not, actually did and does exist. By global standards, it’s a bit middle class, with a level of occasional extravagance few other countries could ever achieve. This is the real innovation-based, really inspired America, now out of fashion for about 40 years.

Media imagery

Ads_Cover_for_KindleThe whole history of America is based on innovation. Its economy was built on it. This is the nation which first really applied mass production in its modern forms. The entire 20th century lifestyle in its famous suburban image, is derived from America. So, however, and rather sadly now, was the media image of America.

Media image is a sort of social template. Fashion, jargon, and even social interactions come from it like a vending machine. Just think how many expressions you’ve learned from it.

A bit of media psychology at this point:

  • Perceived threats or rewards on a screen generate natural responses to stimuli.
  • Perceived groups are joined vicariously.
  • The tendency is to accept, to some degree, the good and bad values in any media presentation, even a puppet show or cartoon.
  • They associate with those values and the logic of the scenarios.
  • Behaviours are contagious; if others are acting in a certain way, more will do so.
  • People tend to accept group norms, at least to some extent, cosmetically or otherwise.
  • In many cases, the behaviours fill a gap in knowledge, making media a sort of reinforcing tool for actual responses.

Is any of this new? No. It’s a range of findings from the 1950s. Media provides psychological stimuli, extended association with what is seen, and a range of norms, depending on the scenarios.

However – What is new is applying this range of known factors to a whole society. On a societal scale, the effects can be horrific.


  • The normalization of crime as a way of life – It is, for career criminals, but now it’s a whole media industry, from CSI to The Sopranos. Add behaviours.
  • Greed is Good to the Wolf of Wall Street – A norm which has turned the financial sector psychotic, and is seen as smart business.
  • The Me Generation – A generation of lawyers and accountants, a litigation mad phase in America.
  • The “evil” crap – Any excuse to be a jerk, as defined by Hollywood, TV and some pretty iffy pseudo-psychology. It’s a form of wanking, wearing suits, etc.
  • Dumbing down – The “nerd” theory which so rabidly devalues intelligence, information and innovation has also been responsible for America’s loss of direction in the sciences. America’s intellectual property is worth more than the GDP, and the US is still fretting over the Super Bowl.
  • The Flintstones Effect – Turning everything in to a sitcom, with asking the boss for a raise, and the entire worn-out idiom still oozing along.
  • Youth culture – This so-called youth culture is old enough to be a grandparent. A soggy attempt at the 1980s, with the same boring nursery rhymes and sloppy patches. No innovation at all.

Media as an excuse

It’s all well and good to bleat about decency, good people, etc. and the rest of the social shopping list that never happens. Humans are wired to respond to humans, real or not. If you see people doing something, on a screen in real life, your response is going to be largely automatic.

Paul Wallis books, sydney media jam

This book is all about creative ideas. Nobody has yet died of reading it, but it’s a pretty tough call for those not familiar with working with ideas. “Passive voice”, eh?

Media also certainly doesn’t provide any good role models, examples, or much in the way of constructive values of any kind. Why would it? Those things are hardly fashionable, or even comprehensible to some people. Media is a business; it does what sells, and it’s not paid to make “uplifting” materials.

Meaning people rarely if ever see positive roles, situations, or anything else. Quite the opposite, they see stress, and prefer to relate to the people who aren’t stressed. The bully is always in charge, so that’s the best option. The nutcase megalomaniac is running things, so that’s the safest place to be.

Pretty damn predictable, isn’t it?

OK, there are the excuses. Now – Is it any wonder that an entire nation has turned redneck? No reliable information, no positives, no healthy society to aspire to, and a collection of cretins making billions per year out of the situation. Add the lousy wages, the go-nowhere career paths, the corruption, the health black hole, pitiful core education, the apelike animalistic employment culture, and the disenfranchised poor, and you have a true catastrophe waiting to happen.

Now ask yourself – Do you really accept any of it? If so, it’s probably only because you’re stuck with it. Some people, however, do it the other way round. They accept, and are therefore stuck with it.

The problem is that the usual psychological reactions are the default, normal, unquestioned reactions. Whatever two dimensional load of  half-baked crap slithers into view, it’s what they do.  They’re typically all over the old low grade FOMO and Emotional Intelligence stuff, like missing out on nothing and being a total hypocrite was a life goal.

They go to “meetings” like they go to church; they have to believe in whatever they do, because they accept the basic premises as dictated by media imagery. These excuses are lethal at both individual and social levels, and they’ve made the US a very sick place indeed.

Acceptance of anything is a form of trust, reluctant or otherwise. On what basis would you say that the media image of anything is trustworthy? Because it is just an image.

You may be surprised to learn that in the past, back in the late 1950s, media psychology was about positives. A future, fun, freedom, a happy life, and things to look forward to.  Media was breaking down barriers, promoting positives.

Black America in particular made more progress in that era than ever before… or since.  It also went straight backwards when all the “street” crap became saleable to a tween audience. Try telling anyone in marketing in America that not everyone in the US is a teenage gangsta, and they simply won’t believe it.

The Big Disconnect – Media reproducing itself.

That’s also a good example of the high disconnect between any socially positive information and “media” as we now know it. The image is making itself. Innovation in marketing is relatively rare, and the usual pattern is to stick to the script, however insane.

Call the 2016 election campaign exploitative, sick, nuts, whatever – It’s an accurate reflection of the psychology of media at its worst. Change that, and things will improve, probably drastically.



Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

I’m rebuilding SMJ, but have to track down my files first. Don’t hold your breath.