A Copywriter’s Blog
An Inconvenient Poop Ben Levy 10, October

Long-time readers know that I do my best to help the environment. That’s the reason the wife and I bought those canvas supermarket bags- less plastic in the landfill.

Then we got a dog.

It poops.

Now we can’t buy groceries fast enough to keep a positive bags-to-bowels ratio. In fact, we had to go out and buy plastic bags, just to keep up.

If anyone has an environmentally friendly solution to this, let me know. Because apparently the hole in the ozone layer, those category 4 hurricanes, and the impending extinction of the polar bear are all due to an adorable little schnauzer-dachshund mix.

You didn’t warn me about that, Al Gore.

Bill, the Ninja Killer Ben Levy 22, September

To understand the horror of the following story, all you need to know is this: I once pitched an idea involving ninjas.

The overall campaign was green-lighted, but the ninja’s were killed. I recently discovered the method used to murder these silent assassins. And in hope of saving future ninjas, I share it with you.

In the hallways of the client the ninjas waited, silently planning to communicate a simple message to an unsuspecting populace. Then they overheard something like the following conversation:

Suzan: Wow, this ad campaign we got from those guys is great! It’s so funny! Hey Bill, check out this ad campaign!
Bill: Wow that’s awesome! I really like this stuff! But…why are there terrorists in this ad?

And just like that, the ninjas died.

NBC is trying to kill me Ben Levy 13, August

I must have been an axe-murderer in a former life. Maybe a child-molester. Clearly I’ve done something horrible. And Fate, not finding a suitable punishment for me in the present-day, has decided to destroy the last fond memories I have from my childhood.

Dear reader, I apologize for what you are about to see: a grown man’s warm youthful memories, callously used as the kleenex for NBC’s programming ejaculate.

What they have done is create the Anti-Rider. This is the perfect antithesis of all that was good about the show. I won’t even discuss the plot here, for fear of spontaneously combusting through sheer hate. Suffice it to say there’s deeper writing in teletubbies porn (never mind how I know, shut up). But look- NBC has graciously found a way to sum up this travesty for me:

KITT happens? KITT happens? Oh fuck you. Seriously, bring me the writer and/or studio executive who thought that was a good idea, and I will gouge their eyes out. With a blunt shovel. That I have dipped in whale urine. And set on fire.

The worst part about this is what they’ve done to KITT. I would have thought a car would be impervious to this sort of career-suicide. I mean, sure he did that stint with Hoff in Germany, but it could have been worse. It’s not like he drove himself drunk. But clearly I underestimated the geniuses at NBC. They couldn’t come up with a good catch-phrase, but they did discover a way to destroy the last shreds of dignity for another of my childhood icons:

What the fuck is that? Why does it have three dicks on its hood? Is it for an automotive bukkake scene? Because that would actually make more sense than the rest of the shit you’ve shoved up KITT’s tailpipe. Did you have to chop it up worse than Joan Rivers’s face? Even if it was based off a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, the real KITT would still be the baddest car on the road today. Oh you’ve got fucking flame decals? He’s got g-damned LAZERS. Which he can use to set your car on actual fire, douchebag. This is not a common list of standard fucking features.

Now listen to me very carefully NBC. Very. VERY. Carefully. There is still a way to salvage all of this. It’s not too late. If you follow my directions to the letter:

Do exactly what you’re doing. Keep the PR machine rolling. Fuck it up even more, I don’t care. Play the first episode. Then, 5 minutes in, have the real KITT burst onto the set, destroying everyone and everything for the next 40 minutes. Sets will burn from his flamethrowers, lazers will punch through the grips and cameramen. In the climactic ending, he’ll launch into the air from a turbo boost, and pop the director’s head under his tires as he lands. Then the camera will zoom in on that one, scrolling LED and he’ll say. “You didn’t really think I’d let them get away with this, did you Ben?”

Then he’d open the door, I’d jump in, and we’d ride off into the sunset. Dun-dada-dun. Dun-dada-dun. Dun-dadadaDA-Dunnnnnnn. Da-dun!

But if it doesn’t happen exactly like that, every NBC exec who’s responsible for this should be corn-holed by a rusty tailpipe.

Oh my God. Oh my god they’re reading. They’re still reading! They’re to the third ‘reading’ in the paragraph! Guys, guys come on. This is it. Someone’s actually reading us. Holy shit. Holy -hey! Hey, “tenth sentance”! God help you if you don’t fit properly at the end of that line. I swear on my kerning if there’s a big blank space at the end of that line because you don’t fit I’ll write you out of this piece myself. Of course it matters! Everything matters! Oh my god they’re halfway through. This is incredible. Is this getting too long? Quick, everyone be concise! Squish yourself if you have to. Don’t look like you’re doing it! God. The point. Where’s the point? Oh my god did we lose the point? Ok, no it’s here. Holy fuck do NOT scare me like that again. We are almost at the end we cannot afford to get lost now. Bring it together people!

Oh my god they read to the end. Oh…oh god. Oh, that was better than sex. Someone get me a cigarette. Seriously.

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Yesterday I attempted to turn on the bathroom light. There was a fizzy pop, then the room became only a little less dark. Two of the three bulbs over the mirror were dead.

I have replaced nearly every light in my house with eco-friendly twisty bulbs (didn’t do it in the bathroom yet). Partially cause I like mother earth, and partially because the twistiness is a visual novelty to me. But as I stood there, in my towel, in the near-dark, I realized that eco-friendly lightbulbs are for pussies.

If you really want to save the environment, don’t replace any bulbs in your house at all. Sure twisty bulbs save energy, but you know what saves even more? No bulbs, that’s what. I took a shadowy shower that morning secure in the knowledge that not only had I won an environmental victory, but a victory for all lazy men as well. No more climbing up ladders to change lightbulbs. If your domestic partner doesn’t like it, accuse them of not doing their part to save the environment. And while they’re at it, they can get you a beer.

After all, the more you drink, the less energy the fridge has to expend cooling bottles.

Dear George,

If you F*CK up the new Indy Movie like you did the first three Star Wars movies, I hope an army of Fedora-wearing Ewoks pee on your lawn.

Love, Me.

Inspired by this news.

Coming Clean Ben Levy 6, April

When I was younger (like 10), I took forever in the shower. We’re talking 60+ minutes, easy. Al Gore once came to my house to discuss an entire rainforest I’d killed due to my excessive water use.

As I got older, my shower time grew shorter. But I’m still conscious of the time I spend showering, particularly when I’m running late.

That brings us to one particular morning last month. I was running behind schedule. Trying to gauge how much time I had, I checked my clock- 8:23. I set myself the goal of being done by 8:30. One hasty lather-rinse-repeat cycle later, I jumped out of the shower and checked the same clock again- 8:21.

There is only one sane conclusion: I showered so fast I went backward in time.

I’ll leave you all to consider that. I’m about to go end Nazi Germany before it ever happened. If all goes well, my dripping wet physique and this little rubber ducky will be the last thing baby Hitler ever sees.

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Elephant and World leave citing “irreconcilable differences”

TV LAND- It’s not surprising that Animal Planet, a network that’s been around for over a decade, decided it was time to update it’s logo. What is surprising are the circumstances surrounding that change.
Previously, spokescreatures for the station said they wanted to try a new logo that would show how “fresh and exciting” the new line-up would be. However, anonymous insiders have now told us the true reason for the change: Animal Planet is an alcoholic.
“In the beginning, it was a new logo. Hell, it was a brand new network.” said Kristen Lynman, the Elephant’s spokeswoman, “Animal Planet used to be all about the work. But lately it seems like it’s been nothing but parties.”
According to anonymous sources, “Animal Planet” has been drinking for years. It finally reached the point where Elephant and Earth weren’t willing to deal with it anymore. Rather than risk a scandal, the network decided to just unveil a new “streamlined” logo.
“I think most people will see through it pretty quick,” said one network executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “I mean, look at him there. Look at the ‘M’. If you ask me, Elephant and Earth were the backbone of this station.”
While there has been no official response from the network at this time, it seems pretty obvious that the logo has seen better days.
“Look at the ‘M’,” repeated our source, “This….this is like the Britney Spears of typography.”

Hollywood is trying to kill me Ben Levy 18, February

I ran across this on IMDB. It details the intended rape of my childhood. If they actually built a time machine, went back to 1987, found my old GI Joes, and forced them up my tiny, white, 4-yr old asshole, it would still not be as complete a rape as this…this… giant cinematic dildo they intend to wreak upon the earth.

This shit is so wrong, I can’t possibly write about it without wanting to kill. And so I will liberally sprinkle this posting with the sacred, hallowed imagery of my childhood. Know, dear reader, that each time you see a pic, it means that which follows is a detail of unspeakable foulness. We begin…

This is what IMDB had to say about it:

Stephen Sommers will direct (here’s hoping he reigns in the CG), from a script by Stuart Beattie. The story is set at Brussels-based GIJOE, an acronym for the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, and revolves around an international co-ed force of operatives who use high-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil org headed by a Scottish arms dealer.

Just reading this fills me with such hate, its nigh indescribable. I won’t even try. I’m just going to count the ways this is wrong:

  1. GI Joe is a real AMERICAN hero you bastards. They’re more American than hamburgers, and yes I damn well do appreciate the irony in that statement. So take your “globally integrated joint triple redundant acronym” and stuff it.
  2. Look Mr Beattie (or as I shall henceforth call him, satan) you didn’t get the movie’s name right, so I don’t expect you to follow canon. But that “scottish arms dealer” is Destro. He never lead Cobra (except for those three times when he did). Cobra Commander leads Cobra. You might have been able to figure this out by the fact that his title is Commander. But I’m probably expecting too much.
  3. Last time I checked, there’s no Brussels in the US. Now I’m a true American, unlike Mr Somer and Mr Satan, which means my tenuous grasp of geography is so terrible I still believe the world is flat, and that countries are color-coded when you fly over them. But even I know Brussels isn’t in America. See point 1 of this list.

Ahhh….that’s better. I’ll level with you, I actually found out about this a week ago. But it’s taken me this long to be able to write about it without simultaneously spitting Hate and Rage (Hage) all over my monitor.

Let’s look at the cast list shall we? Hmmm….Dennis Quaid is General Hawk? Insert generic rant of hate here. First off, Hawk did next to nothing in the series. He was there mostly to scream at Flint, who was the actual leader. The one leading people into hails of bullets. He also scored with Lady Jay. Did you ever see Hawk score with Lady Jay? No. Therefore, Hawk doesn’t need to be in this movie, and neither does Quaid.

Flint’s not even in this travesty. Ok, who is included in “the film that must not be”. Snake Eyes? I hope you all die horrible, horrible deaths.

“But Ben,” you’re saying, “Snake-Eyes is the best character of all time! He could save this movie! The mighty power of the uber-ninja is just strong enough that he could save the entire world (from this film)!”

Yes gentle reader, that is true. But look at who’s playing him. No don’t look, that was rhetorical. The guy is crap. If it was Tony Ja, then there would be the vaguest possibility that it would be ok. That those going to the theaters would not rip out their seat cushions and attempt to swallow them whole as a means of making the pain stop. In fact, I know they picked the wrong person to play Snake-Eyes because unless they picked the re-animated corpse of Bruce Lee himself, there is no person on earth bad-ass enough to play Snake-eyes. And any of you who said Chuck Norris? You’re dead to me.

In conclusion, Hollywood is clearly trying to kill me of a massive coronary. Why else would they do this? We have a GI Joe movie, you heartless bastards, and it isn’t half bad. Not enough Snake Eyes for my taste, but still. What you’re doing is terrible, unnecessary, and has to break at least four tenants of the Geneva convention.

In a way, I feel horrible for staining the Broken JPG with this filth. It’s like trying to warn you of the apocalypse- no matter how early you’re told, you can’t avoid it. Seriously, I just looked it up, the four horsemen are plague, death, pokemon, and a live-action GI Joe movie set to air in 2009.

The coolest hoodie I never bought Ben Levy 10, February

Today in urban outfitters, I found this. This is awesome. The picture doesn’t show why it’s awesome. In fact, it doesn’t show much of anything. Had the fashion photographer snapped their digital shutter on a pile of steaming dog poop, it would have intrigued you more than this photo.

But I digress.

This is a hoodie with various ninjas screen printed on the torso. In general, it is hard to go wrong with ninjas. Upon holding the garment up, I discover it is a “full zip hoodie”. For the uninitiated, this means the zipper goes from hem to forehead. In most cases, this is retarded, because why would you ever want to walk around in a cotton cocoon? But in this case, the hood had eyeholes. Ninja eyeholes. This garment was literally a ninja suit, festooned with ninjas, that granted the wearer the ability to gird themself in darkness at the pull of a zipper! Genius! That is at least three times the ninja any other garment in my wardrobe gives me. As if that were not enough, a loop was sewn inside that had a pair of nunchuks screen printed behind it. Just so there’s no misunderstanding, it came with nunchuk holders. Everything I’ve done in life up until now has been in anticipation of this moment. It was a medium-the exact general size that I myself am. I must own this article.

From here the story goes downhill. It’s not because I already own a fair number of hoodies. And if when fully zipped my face started turning blue, well I’m sure that’s an ancient camouflage technique. No, the real reason I didn’t get the hoodie is because I’m Jewish.

As a (semi)-devout Jew, there are three ways that I commonly practice my religion. One is to keep kosher, the second is to refrain from doing work on the Sabbath, and the third is to refuse to spend more than $45 on a hoodie. And I am a much sadder and less invisible man for it.