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.

Consider:

  • 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.

Regressionism, or how to stop living and start worrying


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamRegressionism is now fashionable. It’s the last refuge of the total loser, the escapism of the ignorant, and the curse of humanity. Trump didn’t start this. It’s been around throughout history. It’s also the intellectual maggot’s rear end of human existence. The longing for a non-existent past, wedded to a disgusting dishonesty. Most of the people who market this Nostalgia for Nobodies crap don’t believe in it any more than you do. It’s business, like anorexia, diabetes, and about as healthy as both combined.

Regressionism prognosis, aka boredom incarnate

Regression from the all-time highs of human civilization can only go one way. Exactly where it shouldn’t go; down the drain/sewer/monologue. We have a situation where literally anything is plausible, based on some sort of spiel from the vast gap in understanding.

This is also business; it’s all about doing the demonstrably insane in the name of money. Call it religion, call it finance, call it obscene. Take one more look, and you can see it’s inevitable. Train people to be grotesque, and they’ll be as grotesque as they know how to be, because that’s literally all they know. Society has been churning out the no-think citizens like French fries for decades.

How else could you convince people to eat toxic food, breathe toxic air, pay a fortune for toxic education, and call nursery rhymes with kitchen appliance backing tracks music? How else could you believe people who’ve spent the last few decades hating the public are somehow going to save it?

Regressionism is nothing new. It's been around since Candide was written.

Regressionism is nothing new. It’s been around since Candide was written.

Regressionism is turning in to a way of life, globally, mainly because it’s being presented as a credible option. There’s no need to recite the endless examples of people who have never heard of basic rights or anything else in that range of products.  To regressionism, god is a spreadsheet and an expensive career path to nowhere but more of the same. That’s the reality for so many people, and much as that sucks, they understand it better than a nebulous future they can’t see.

Consider a world where nothing is possible and being a human being is simply irrelevant. You’ve got it. This is Snowball Earth, for any kind of progress. It’s buried under the glacial ice of a middle class ideal which even at its best barely aspired to be much more than a commercial for itself.

Regressionism vs Progressive

Progressives please note –

Delivery of change has to be tangible, clearly marked, and accessible.  

Above all, progress has to be inclusive and credible.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam,It can’t be just another damn ideological billboard for nothing. The brand  image of the remote know it all, completely wrong or not, is hardly reassuring to people who don’t even know who you are.

The bad habit of ten dollar words (you can get change out of ten dollars, remember?) which simply make people feel left out and looking stupid is no great asset, either. Tell someone trying to find something to eat that they should “consider personal imperatives in an existential context” and you deserve to have rocks thrown at you.

To quote one of the most useful questions ever asked – “Who needs it?” Who needs progress? Everyone. Do they know why they need it? Obviously not. Get the damn act together, and prove it.

 

Regressionism weaknesses

Regressionism does have a built-in self-destruct. The other lesson of history, that thing you’ve been trained to ignore, is that it never lasts beyond a cut-off point. The cut-off is when the regression is made obsolete. The culture of the 80s, for example, crashed when digitization came in.

That’s good news. It’d be easy to replace this tedious load of senile, smug dysfunction with damn near anything that delivers. All you need is something which makes money and provides any kind of financial or other practical freedom.

Regressionism has another fatal weakness. It fights progress, which is also inevitable. Eventually, it’s out of step with any kind of functional reality. Bottom lines don’t take prisoners. The same people now promoting regressionism as a cure for everything  that makes life worth living will be the first to jump on the bandwagon of the next wave.

Are regressionists stupid? No. They’re facile, two dimensional, and utterly useless to anyone but themselves. That, in fact, is the formula for success in regressionism, banal as it is.  In this game of historical poker, low cards can win, if there’s enough of them, and unfortunately for humanity, they know that.

They’re also totally disloyal, untrustworthy, and self-serving. You wouldn’t trust these people anywhere near your toilet. They support nothing but themselves. If progress delivers for them, they’re all in favour of it. Regressionism, like disco, will be gone in seconds the minute some hard cash shows up.

This will end, probably sooner rather than later. Regressionism has a very short shelf life, even when based on nothing but profitability. The only reaction possible now is change. Whether it comes in four years or eight years in the US or anywhere else, the Dunkin Donut phase is now running.

The pity of it is that humanity always seems to do everything the hard way. It would be easy, now, to create a very comfortable, safe, clean world. Even poverty, humanity’s worst and most relentless enemy, could be wiped out. All that needs to happen is someone doing things right. Any bets on when that’ll happen?

Meltdown coming? Bet your farce.


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamCheck out the Western world, 2016; aka no functional societies, no sanity, no ideas. As America asks “How red is your neck?” (now required for public office) and Britain staggers deliriously to a total lack of direction (a big improvement on being a super power) we can say that Western “culture” has oozed down the drain to meltdown stage.

The media babbles mindlessly about WASP elites. They’re barely qualified to be cat food, but what the hey. The “progressive” media (nice going, idiots) dabbles in everything but the working machinery of human life, while the dumb but organized nutcase media focus on disinformation – And it works.

2016 US elections, sydney media jam

Who needs reality anyway, when you’ve got American media?

I have to say, nothing in years has matched the drab, certainty of another self-inflicted American disaster on itself. Call it Takeover Day, call it Makeover Day, call it Fakeover Day, there’s already a market crash. That’s before anything else happens.

This is the fabulous Western world, home of toxic fast food, non-existent health and education, and wars that home deliver themselves. If you’re actually insane and rabidly in favor of anything, it’s the equivalent of a Nobel Prize to the super-dumb.

Formula for a meltdown? Take your pick.

There are several ways a global meltdown could happen:

  • World War 3 – Now unfashionable, but arguably better than the slow genocide of Western politics and economics. Unlikely, however, since everyone but America seems to prefer to be alive but not broke and insane.
  • Terminal financial crash – As though all those geniuses could figure out a way to do that. The most likely total trash scenario. Wars can only kill you; financial crashes may you pay for them, too. Remember to get your receipt.
  • Multiple wars – A dull, predictable option, but a great way of ensuring global peace is just an expression. Eventually, they’ll run out of people, and even people pretending to be people.
  • Massive plague – Stylish, chic, and perfect for the People Who Refuse to Understand Everything.
  • Toxic air – A likely scenario, but not marketable until you can actually see the toxic air, like in Beijing, Delhi, South East Asia, etc. This option therefore has fewer sponsors.  The good news is that the world will be like Beijing in a few minutes.
  • Death by imbecile TV and useless porn – Not believed possible until 2016, this is a very efficient way of making the world great for some future species.

Alternatives? Not really. Can you believe the collection of lost KFC buckets in corporate, financial and political power could possibly find a solution to anything? Just grab a packet of something mildly xenophobic, outdated, and useless, and wait for your choice of meltdown. Bet on the result – How can you lose?

www.sydneymediajam.com

America in times of madness


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamIt’s election year, 2016. Get up and read the latest totally false insanity. Watch America turn itself in to a hideous joke. Wade through the deranged social media crap. Read some poor bastard who thinks there’s any sanity left.

In times of madness, it’s reality which is made incomprehensible. If you’re prepared to believe anything at all, what use is reality to you? It’d only get in the way.

America’s relationship with reality is a sort of vague acquaintanceship. America seems to go shopping for reality. If it’s not in stock, they get something else, like a matching catastrophe.

America accessorizes catastrophes like some sad little fashion advisory:

  • Wall Street
  • Big Oil
  • Big Pharma
  • Big Education
  • Big Politics
  • List of corporations which budget for breaches of law in the billions
  • Poverty
  • Crime
  • Health
  • “Education” – You think?

It’s one hell of an ensemble. Imagine going to a red carpet event wearing dead kids, rotting garbage, and a large amount of designer diseases. Then imagine proving that your sanity is as good as your fashion sense.

  • In the 1960s, America went from Camelot to Vietnam.
  • In the 1970s, it went from Vietnam to Watergate.
  • In the 1980s, from Greed is Good to turning the country in to a crack house.
  • In the 1990s, to war again, with happy, sparkly contractors and more wars.
  • In the 2000s, from 911 to venal oil companies owning blocs of politicians.
  • In the 2010s, it went to a hysterical nuthouse swimming in massacres, pandemics and toxic waste.

American ValhallaThe fashion sense hasn’t changed much. Wearing nutcases as your national mascots is now top of the line style, with the rest of the baggage.  The most deranged statements are now accepted as fact, with no need for proof of any kind.

The really scary thing is that all those decades of total failure have taught absolutely nothing. Nobody seems to be thinking about how much worse it can get. …And it will. This tired, neglected edifice is already rotting to the core. The big ideals don’t fit in to very small minds. The people who created the problems are expected to fix the problems, when they can barely get out a press release without a major disaster.

The other side of the equation is just as bad. You can’t do the basics when the basics are too hard to understand because you’re too pitifully educated, and too lazy/stupid/pig-ignorant to understand them. The public is its own worst enemy.

Hey!Fresh new disasters are the likely result of this hideous descent in to total failure at all levels. How many gibbering maniacs does it take to achieve total failure? How many absolute fools does it take to destroy a nation? We now know. All these guys do is mass produce failure.

The real worry is 2020. How will they ever top this? Genocide? Nobody would notice, and anyway, they’re already doing that with health. Plagues, ditto. Already have plenty of those. Wars, too. Having made the world safe for plutocracy, they seem to have run out of options, as well as ideas.

It’s going to be hard to beat the rabid lunacy of 2016 with mere mass national self-extermination. The sheer stench of this election will be remembered for a long time. About all they could do is dismantle the country entirely. Don’t be too surprised to see the official rebirth of the Confederacy, (originality isn’t much in demand) a war with Texas (at least it’s closer), and some really crappy talent shows, (what a surprise).

How unexpected. The working theory is this:

  • Freedom attracts greatness.
  • Greatness creates wealth.
  • Wealth attracts parasites.
  • Parasites destroy everything that provides them with their resources.

Here’s another thought:

Screw this.

You have nothing to lose by telling it all to go to hell.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

95% Reading ease, 100% Passive Voice! Ha!


 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media JamIf there’s one thing writers hate, it’s being told how to write. The “no passive voice” crowd in particular are annoying.

Passive voice is defined by dictionary.com as “A verb is in the passive voice when the subject of the sentence is acted on by the verb. For example, in “The ball was thrown by the pitcher,” the ball (the subject) receives the action of the verb, and was thrown is in the passive voice.”

This is narrative form, telling a story. For some reason, passive voice is a big no-no by those who seem to think active voice is better. Active voice is defined as “When the verb of a sentence is in the active voice, the subject is doing the acting, as in the sentence “Kevin hit the ball.” Kevin (the subject of the sentence) acts in relation to the ball.”

OK, fascinating baseball analogies aside, this is “the cat sat on the mat” as the definition of good English usage. Well, is it? It’s dumbing down, in any language.

I’d love to say I did this deliberately, but it was accidental. I got 100% passive voice on the Flesch Readability Statistics, with 95% readability. Read ‘em and weep, guys:

passive-voice-2

To clarify: Passive voice, the big no-no, scores 95% on readability ease. Why? Because it works that well.  The Flesch scale is one of the standard definitions used for readability. It’s derived from a range of elements, including numbers of syllables in words.

My article was a business article, hence the blurring of the content, which was done under contract. The reading scale is 4.2, pretty low and the article was about dentistry. It was pretty straightforward, about dental services, in which cats don’t need to sit on mats. It was a simple narrative about those services.

(My highest grade so far is 18, post-grad level., which was done for Innocentive some years ago.)

Now the rant, fully justifiable in my not very humble opinion:

Great writers weren’t told how to write. Shakespeare didn’t have a style guide, and apparently few qualms about using passive voice. Imagine Brave New World, A Room of One’s Own or Candide in active voice only; hideous, cumbersome and out of step with the content.

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?

The more restrictions you put on writing, the more restricted writing is likely to be in terms of expression abilities. If you want great writers, don’t lumber them with ridiculous rules and conventions. This is like “no consecutive fifths” as a no-no in music; it’s rubbish. There’s no good reason for not playing consecutive similar chords, just that theory.

Some expressions need to be beyond cats sitting on mats. Just because you’re simple minded, apparently to the point of obsession, doesn’t mean writers need to write simply to please you. Creative writing isn’t about you. Commercial writing is about delivering a message, not cheering up people with nothing better to do than bitch about usage.

Not all concepts are simple; many have to be qualified or otherwise explained in context with statements. Passive expressions convey wider meanings, far more so than active verbs.

How do you have a story without a narrative? No storyline, just current verbs?

The cat sat on the mat.

The mat did nothing.

We waited for more information.

Or:

Bill shot George.

George fell down.

We waited for more information.

Descriptive, isn’t it? Real attention-grabbers, packed with background and contexts, not. These things don’t even have situational contexts, unless someone has cheated and put in some narrative to explain things like who Bill and George might be.

No other info but this step by step, plodding slop. I can understand it from a writing perspective – It’s a great way of writing a 2000 page novel where 20 would do. It’s inefficient, but it looks like you’re really writing, when you could write crap like that in your sleep. You could get the cat to do it, in fact.

These dumb sentences are just continuums. They go as far as a specific action, and no further.

Point made? I think so.

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books

For those wondering – I’m still trying to publish on SMJ. Very irritating, but getting on top of it at last.

The Bohemian Equations


 

the bohemian equations

The universe. Full of equations. Look at the image and see where comprehension stops. Then become a consultant.

Yes, if you’re in the arts, trying to escape the arts, or wondering why the wallpaper is running your life, I have some endearing little tips expressed as equations and rational statements which can be used to really annoy people.

These statements are in the form of equations, so desiccated little pseudo Bohemian bastards can pretend to understand them and to reduce the strain of self-expression on real Bohos in real time. They may be sprinkled in “conversations” and other spiritual enemas for that rich inner glow.

 

A selection from The Bohemian Equations:

  • Suits + art = Crap.
  • Valley girl comedians + media = Fascism.
  • Plagiarism + Lack of talent = Celebrity.
  • Politics + anything = Disasters for generations.
  • Money + mediocrity = Megalomaniacs.
  • Cliché + salary = Career.
  • Religion + morons = Genocide.
  • Trolls = Losers.
  • Business culture + anything = Absurdities.
  • Skank science + press releases = Class actions.
  • Finance sector + anything = Negative dollar numbers.
  • Culture + 21st century = Farce wipes.
  • Future + Ignoramuses = 21st century so far.
  • Millennials + world = Get a better travel agent, for god’s sake.
  • Management science + world = Verbose diseases.
  • PhD + rigor mortis culture = Get a cat instead.

Like all good mathematical formulae, the products of these equations can be used to derive further equations and perhaps accidental consciousness:

For example:

Crap + Fascism = Valley girl suits doing lousy comedy.

Irrefutable. Impeccable. Endearing. Wearable.

Paul Wallis, Live Lazy and Love It, AmazonYou can see how valuable these equations are in daily life. So when you’re, like, hyuck,  goose-stepping on down to your next comedy gig, leaving frustrated sewers wherever you go – You can be reassured by these equations that your next load of crap will be like “whoa ho bro”, ‘n other really interesting stuff that you do.

(Sorry for using your entire vocabulary in that sentence guys, but, y’know, hard to avoid.)

Using The Bohemian Equations

Obviously, elements in The Bohemian Equations can be almost anything, but – You need to know the properties of the elements to make more advanced equations. There’s a real risk that you’ll commit that terrible crime of crimes, knowing what you’re talking about, but…meh… Not like they’ll remember it 5 seconds later or anything, is it?

For example:

Farce wipes – verbose diseases x trolls = 21st century management science.

Elegant, eh?

Make your own Bohemian Equations. Inflict them on defenceless societies. Gloat. Better still, make an app….

 

Paul Wallis, Sydney Media Jam, Paul Wallis books