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Smart Lite: The Dumbing of a Nation

07/12/2016

Lesser Filled Tatses GooderI wrote something last night about Miller Lite’s new campaign that reads “Tastes different, because it’s brewed different.” It was a light poke at the grammar, but then I got to thinking, how does that happen? No doubt, it’s some ad agency, and then the suits/pant suits at Miller, who sign off on it. I’m sure they’re in a board room somewhere, and someone raised the objection “do we care that it should be ‘differently’?” And, you know it’s someone like me to whom such wording resonates as wrong; it creates a discord in my head that makes me cant my head like a dog does when hearing a whistle of their namesake. It offends my sense of justice. We wouldn’t accept that 2+2 =5 in print or on air; a second grader would call that out as wrong. Why do we accept it with our language? I’ll try to answer the rhetorical later. For now, back to the board room.

I’m sure the rebuke came from one of the senior creatives and went something like this.  “Nah… It’s folksy.  Besides, we’re marketing to people who drink light beer; how sophisticated can they be?” To his/her point, “tastes different, because it’s brewed differently” doesn’t have the same sort of consonance and congruence.  Perhaps it’s more of a philosophical inference as in it tastes different because it’s brewed different, and in implication that it’s brewed to be different.   It’s really a deep message if you read it in that context.  But that’s now why that ad is permeating our airwaves and almost literally* hurting my ears.   This is why:  They think that most of us won’t notice, and those who do, won’t really care.  They think we are dumb, or at the very least, daft. That’s the more deplorable kind of dumb to me, because it’s not coming from an ignorance, but a place of willful disregard for the truth.

Companies, advertisers, children, pets will all achieve to the level we expect, and clearly, we expect too little from our admen (and women).

After a little probing, I learned that TBWA’s Los Angeles office was named agency of record for Miller Lite in September of 2014; this was my the site of my first internship out of college.  Back then, it was Chiat Day, and it was the home of giant minds of advertising like Lee Clow and Jay Chiat.  Knowing the origins of the egregiousness only “ads” to my disappointment.

*for you Mark Korte.

How to Deal with Loss; a Lesson from a Kid-

03/27/2016

We have been dealing with impending loss for a while now.  It’s gotten real of late.  The months have dwindled to days, and the inevitable seems upon us, but it’s not.  We have a 19 and 3/4 year old cat, Indy, who is literally a shell of his former self.  This was a spry 14-pound cat that could reach a feather at the top of a door casing (~7 ft high).  This 14 pound cat is nothing but bones and weighs in at a paltry 5 lbs now.  We’ve been saying he’s on his last days for 500 days or so, but he keeps trudging on.  The cat who could leap higher than my head had problems transitioning from tile to wood.  But this is not why I write.

Categorize this as burying the lead, because the story here is not that we are losing a loved one, but how our loved one is handling it.  Jack is not yet 10.  We’ve been hinting to him that Indy’s days are numbered.  Rhonda’s mom came over today, and we kinda’ said that you probably should say your “goodbyes” to the old guy (the cat, not me).  I said the same thing to Jack at the end of tonight, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen as much reverence from anyone, much less a 9-year-old.  It was truly sweet to see him hug and pet Indy, tearing up as he looked into his hazy eyes for some confirmation.  He got his phone and took some pictures, and it brought me to tears seeing him honor this old soul so much.  This cat was lucky to have a boy like Jack.  Jack has always been good to the critters who have lived in our house and he’s no less good in death.

Indy is not yet gone yet, but he will be soon.  We won’t soon forget him, but I will never forget how my boy handled it.  It’s truly endearing to see the sweetness of soul, especially when your had a hand in creating it.  My tears of sadness swim with the tears of pride for this wonderful boy.

R.I.P. Indy, and thank you Jack for being an example of compassion to us all.Indy 032716 (4) Indy 032716 Cropped Indy 032716 Cropped2 Indy 032716 Cropped

Don’t Roll Like That – My Take on the Rolling Stone Backlash

07/17/2013

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Perhaps I’m a bit contrary this week, but it’s all in defense of our constitutional rights.

I disagree with the outlash against Rolling Stone’s controversial cover showing the architect of the Boston Marathon bombings. Reportedly, several major retail chains have removed the cover from their stores/news stands which all reeks of a libricide (book burning) of days past. This country was founded on inalienable rights, not the least of which is freedom on the press. The last thing we want to do is infringe on more rights in this seemingly rights-sucking culture of political correctness.

Rolling Stone has more cutting journalism than you will ever find in Time, Newsweek or any other major “news” magazines. Just look up any article by Matt Taibbi (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblogi) and tell me you aren’t wiser for having read that.  Most of you won’t, and that’s the real problem with our society.  We are quick to jump on a bandwagon even if we don’t know where it’s going.  The information is out there on the “terrorist” attacks of 9/11, and plenty of more salient info on the “mortgage meltdown,” but we as a nation don’t demand action on those matters.  What we do do (yes, I just said doodoo) is we are quick to rail against perceived injustices or wrongs because we see a Facebook post or a newsclip.

Stop the censure. Increase the awareness. It is not the government’s or private enterprise’s job to raise your children. Discussion is important. Shrouding important issues because we think it glamorizes terrorism is a daft way to conduct our lives. This point is even more potent if you believe that most of the “terrorism” in this country is perpetrated on us by us.

Did RS do this to sell magazines? Maybe, but capitalism is another important tenet in our country’s formation. In addition to our liberties, that, too, seems to be eroding by the day. Rolling Stone has a history of publishing important and edgy political pieces, so this does not strike me as shock journalism.

I haven’t read the article, though none of us have. The issue isn’t set to hit the stands until Friday. A t the very least, read the article before you join in the myopic boycott backlash. Though, that, too, is a right you have… At least for now, anyway.

MONSTER JAM is Back!

01/31/2012
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ADVANCE AUTO PARTS MONSTER JAM is Back!

The 10,000-pound monsters roar into Angel Stadium on Saturday, February 11 @ 7:30pm and into Dodger Stadium on Saturday, February 18 @ 7:30pm.  These shows sell out, so make sure you get your tickets soon.  Save $5 per ticket (up to 10) with code MOMMY!  Expires day prior to event 2/10 & 2/17. Valid in $32 & $22 price levels in Anaheim and $40 & $30 price levels for LA.  Buy tickets at the box office, go to www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-300 to get the discount.

The neighborhood boys got an exclusive sneak preview, and the pictures are below:

Here’s a peek at last year’s event coverage as well: https://thebushreport.com/2011/01/28/monsters-invade-so-cal/ and https://thebushreport.com/2011/02/10/local-boy-makes-good-monster-truck-interview-subject/ 

Don’t miss it!

An Open Letter to The Baseball Writers of America

09/28/2011

Dear Baseball Writers of America,

Before you capriciously award your MVP the the Brewers’ Ryan Braun, here are a few items you should consider when making that decision.

We are all well aware that the Brewers are making the playoffs this year.  Which is to say, they held off a tanking Cardinals team in a division that has hapless teams like the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.  The Dodgers will end up .500 or better this year, which has to be considered an great accomplishment considering their lack of activity in free agency and the turmoil going on in the front office.  And before you malign the NL West, you should know that the West will end up with three teams with winning seasons.  The other two divisions will only have two.

The Dodgers have only one player with more than 20 home runs.  That is Matt Kemp.  In fact, Kemp has as many as the next three Dodgers.  Rod Barajas (who?) has 16, and Loney and Ethier each have 11, or 38 total.  I illustrate this to underscore that Kemp has put this MVP campaign together without any real protection.

Here’s some more statistical morsels to chew on:

Matt Kemp leads his team in each of the 9 significant batting categories:

  • Batting Average
  • Home Runs
  • RBIs
  • Runs Scored
  • Walks
  • On-Base Percentage
  • Slugging Percentage
  • Hits
  • OPS (On-Base Percentage & Slugging Percentage)

Ryan Braun leads his team in only 4 of those categories. The Milwaukee Brewers are 6th in Baseball in slugging percentage; the Dodgers are 24th. The Brewers have 5 guys with sluggingpercentages over .450… The Dodgers only have Matt Kemp. Kemp also leads his team in Stolen Bases and Outfileld assists, and is 2nd in the National League in both of those categories.

Kemp leads the NL in two of the three triple crown categories.  Ryan Braun doesn’t even lead his team in two of those three.  Sure, Kemp will likely lose the Triple Crown, being just points behind Braun and Jose Reyes, but he will also likely win a Gold Glove at his position.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well, if that’s true, then these two pictures should be worth 100+ first place votes.  When you pull the team stats, you see Kemp leads his team in all significant categories.  You see Prince Fielder’s ugly mug three times and Braun’s but twice.

If you want to look at Sabermetrics, the more “Moneyball” way to look at performance, you will notice Kemp is on top in the metric RC “Runs Created” and close to the top on every other category.  The other thing you will notice is there are two Brewers that follow him.  That symbiosis cannot be ignored; clearly, one would not be as good without the other.  So while Braun and Fielder are an impressive duo, Matt Kemp is the more impressive singular entity, and that’s really what the MVP is all about.

The unfortunate thing for Kemp is that Clayton Kershaw is likely to win the Cy Young award.  This award is also given by you silly Baseball Writers of America.  Perhaps, when you enter your voting booths, you will will try justify not awarding Kemp MVP because you are going to award Cy Young to another Dodger.

Also, you egotistic wordsmiths will rationalize that the Dodgers are not going to make the playoffs. Even though MVP voting takes place before the postseason, you keyboard-jockeys have historically awarded the MVP to players on teams with post-season births.  Lastly, the lot of you columnists, correspondents and — ehh hmm — journalist have proven to have political agendas as evidenced by your Hall-of-Fame inductee voting. Players like Pete Rose and, more recently, Mark Maguire and Barry Bonds, will likely never get your votes because of off-field issues. If Selig had his way, I’m sure he’d rather that you scribllers-of-truth throw as little positive attention to the Dodgers’ as possible, since he’s trying to wrestle the team from Frank McCourt.

So, if you writers want to “maintain” some journalistic integrity, you should award the National League Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award (MVP) to the player who is most valuable to his team.  Clearly, Matt Kemp is that man.

Sincerely,

Disgruntled in L.A.

p.s.  Shouldn’t you change the name of your organization to “Baseball Writers of North America?”  After all, we have some contingencies north of the border, don’t we now hosers?

Coronodo Speed Festival 4-Pack Giveaway

09/20/2011

Speed Festival

You can support your soldiers and military personnel, and celebrate the need for speed at the same time. Coronado Speed Fest is the highlight of the Fleet Week San Diego, and features a full-fledge car enthusiast experience.  Watch vintage cars from around the country race around a 1.7 mile track made from the runways and taxiways of the military base.

The Speed Fest runs this weekend, Sepetmber 24 and 25, and is held at the North Island Naval Air Station (NAS), and parking is free.  Keep reading for your chance to win 4 tickets courtesy of Chevrolet!

One of the big draws of Speedfest is the the opportunity for fans to walk through the garage area and watch as race cars are put through final inspections before hitting the track. You can tour the race car pits and mingle with the crews and drivers like a VIP.

car show at fleet weekThere will be car shows featuring makes & models spanning the decades including categories for Shelby, Chevy, Olds, Buick, Pontiac, Corvette, Ford, T-Bird, Chrysler, Plymouth, Mustangs, Street Rod and Customs.  There will be several car clubs representing their brands as well. Of course, there will be a “vendor village” so you can score the latest in technology (or novelty) for your car.

You don’t just have to be a auto voyeur… Chevrolet will have some of their hottest, newest models available for interactive test drives.  The hot, new Chevy Camaro, and the sexy “topless” Camaro Convertible, and the brand-new, sub-4-second 0-60 time Corvette GS Convertible will available for the Ride & Drive event (drivers must be 21-years of age or older).

You can also preview some of the other Chevys, including the Chevy Volt, Corvette ZR1, Corvette Z06, 45th Anniversary Camaro SS and the 565 horse-power Cadillac CTS-V… That’s merely five ponies shy of the Ferrari’s flagship 458 Italia.

Tickets are $35 each, but admission is FREE for all active duty and active reserve members and their direct dependents, and for children 12 and under.  It can also be free for you… just leave a comment below for your chance to win a Family Four-Pack to Coronado Speed Festival.  Visit the home site for more information, or to purchase tickets:  CORONADO SPEED FESTIVAL.

Leave a comment below for your chance to win.  Winner will be announced on Thursday morning, 9:00 a.m. PT, so get your comments in.

Ultraluxe – You Dig it The Most

09/03/2011

One of my favorite scenes in my favorite movie is when Vincent (Travolta’s character) tells Jules (Samuel L. Jackson’s character) about the nuances of Europe, namely “you can buy beer in a movie theatre.”

I’m here to tell you first hand that buying beer in a movie theatre is the single most significant happening to happen to film since sound.  I’m not sure if I’ve told you TheBushReportians, but I led a charmed life before.  I worked in a capacity with a company that had me going to movie/press screeners and premieres so often that I got bored with it.  The one thing that was constant was they would serve you food and drink before the movies.  Let’s just say that after a few Amstel Lights, Charlie’s Angels was one the best movies I’d seen all year.  We saw Our Idiot Brother, and after a couple IPAs, I was moved to tears by Paul Rudd’s performance.

Now, here’s the rub.  Ultraluxe theaters at the Gardenwalk in Anaheim… wait for it… sells beer in their theater.  Not just any beer either.  They had a Stone IPA, an Arrogant Bastard Ale and some other quite potent potables.

Too boot, their theatres are all digital.  That’s something you’d think all theaters would be at this point, but not so much.  Don’t listen to film auture posers who tell you that film is the only medium. It’s the old medium.  Digital is the way to go for a consistent, crisp picture that doesn’t degrade over time.

Ultraluxe is also home to the only D-Box theatre seats in Orange county.  D-Box seats are motion coded to the scene you’re watching (English please?).  The seats move with your film and sound emanates from beneath you.  Let’s just say if you were to see the shoot-out scene in Heat in a D-Box seatyou might need a motion sickness bag.  The movements are actually pretty subtle, and you can control the intensity with settings on the armrest, but after watching a scene with it, the same movie seems rather hollow without it. It’s an $8 premium, but you get an assigned seat which,  motion aside, almost makes it worth it.

So that’s my pitch for Ultralux.  They have great, all digital theaters and are the Orange county exclusive theater for D-Box.  Sure, all their seats are comfy, they validate parking, and the staff is nice as kittens, but the real reason to go is “you can buy beer” in thier movie theater.

You heard it here first… Now, does anybody know where I can get a Big Kahuna burger?

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