A Copywriter’s Blog
Dear 2010 Ben Ben Levy 30, December

An open letter to my past. From my present. Which is his future.

What’s up 2010 me? Life’s pretty good, yeah? Working at a Madison Avenue agency, got a pretty sweet apartment, published a freaking book. You did well, man.

I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but the future’s not going to be what you think it is. In about 3 months, you’re going to be laid off. It’s ok though, I’m fairly certain it goes down in history as The Best Layoff Ever. Plus the new job is equally awesome. They have a ping pong table in the office, and free beer on Thursdays. And you get to do some really awesome work. No, it’s not a shop you’ve heard of before, but go to the interview anyway, alright? Otherwise we’ll run into some weird time-continuum thing.

Around the same time as The World’s Best Layoff, you’ll find out they’re jacking up the rent 25%. Fuck that place. Save yourself a few days of shopping around and just move three blocks down, to a one-bedroom with an amazing view, right on the water. Floor to ceiling windows overlooking the river. It’s a good move.

This is supposed to be a letter, so I guess you can’t see me. But if you could, you’d immediately know things changed a lot in 2011. I know you’re in great shape, 2010 Ben. It’s a side effect of working on the New Balance campaign. But man, you know nothing. You’re going to tear through P90X, and it’s going to be life-altering. You’re going to be in the best shape ever. Not just up until this point. For all time. Because if we ever see a workout regiment more intense than 2 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 3+ straight months, I don’t want us to do it.

Incidentally, if you can maybe focus on your middle back while you’re doing those exercises, that would be awesome. I didn’t, and it sort of caused a muscular imbalance that resulted in our back muscles literally trying to tear themselves off the spine. Don’t worry though, after 3 months of PT you’ll be pain-free. Anyway, I know I said not to alter the time-stream, but it may be worth trying it in this case.

Speaking of physical changes, I guess that birthmark thing we’ve always had was/is/was pre-cancerous? So you can go ahead and get that removed. Just a heads-up, 2010 me: that barbecue smell during surgery isn’t someone’s lunch being reheated. It’s going to be your face. But you’ll get a badass scar. I have so much more street cred than you do. Seriously, the ladies love it.

You’ll try to start a bunch of side projects, fresh off your book success. Aside from releasing your book in digital format, they, uh, they won’t be finished. I’m sorry about that. Hopefully I’ll be able to recapture some of your dedication in 2012. I don’t think it’s entirely my fault though. As you can see, 2011 was a crazy year.

Oh, yeah. You’re gonna get The Wife pregnant. Good job.

-2011 Ben

PS- Shit, I forgot to make this shirt, too.

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Life Imitating Art Ben Levy 27, December

One of the side-effects of having skills in real life is that you recognize just how much bullshit movies contain. Computer programmers cannot STAND hacking scenes, for example. And when I was doing martial arts, a lot of fight scenes just turned me off entirely, because I could see the holes in the choreography.

Like flips. You never see people doing backflips in street fights, because it’s actually much quicker and safer to just step backward. Same for those disney-esque football movies, where at the last second the receiver does some crazy flip over the opposing team to score a touchdown. I mean, can you comprehend just how difficult that would be? A front-flip alone is really hard to pull off, but now you’re going to do it in a game, on the fly, when it would be so much easier to just spin around and-

…oh. Oh, wow.

Dude. Wow.

Ok, listen up football. You start doing that on the regular, and I won’t just start watching you.

I’ll buy a foam finger.

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Friday Feature: Dare to Fight? Ben Levy 23, December

This is the coolest thing to come out of Toronto since maple syrup and beaver pelts.

Actually, it’s the only cool thing to come out of Toronto besides maple syrup and beaver pelts.

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It’s gonna be a girl Ben Levy 18, December

People have been asking what I was hoping for. The answer was “a baby.” Honestly, I didn’t really care what gender the kid was- I just wanted it to be healthy. Now that I know, though, all sorts of odd thoughts have beeng going through my head. For example- I suspect there will now come a time in my life where I will be an expert at braiding hair. I don’t believe I ever considered that possible future for myself.

I was mostly expecting to have a boy, because that’s what my family does. I’m only the second or third Levy to successfully bond two X chromosomes. It’s like a really tricky jigsaw puzzle we can’t genetically get the hang of. Or something. But I cracked it, and so The Wife and I will be having a girl. I’m certainly not prepared to raise one. But then I wasn’t particularly prepared to raise a boy either. For example, I suck at most sports. So in this case, having a girl is beneficial. Because when I accidentally teach her to throw like one, it sort of works out.

On a related note, I’ve had this bit of a Louis CK interview stuck in my head on repeat for the last 6 months or so (yes, even before we found out). So I’m posting it here:

Slate: Your identity—both as a character, a stand-up, and a person—seems to revolve around your being a father. What was the core of your identity before you were a dad? How did you define yourself then?

Louis C.K.: That’s a good question. I don’t really remember what it was like before. Whatever I had going on, it was bullshit. It wasn’t important. It’s kind of a nice thing about being a dad. My identity is really about them now, and what I can do for them, so it sort of takes the pressure off of your own life. What am I going to do, who am I? Who cares, you’ve got to get your kids to school.

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4 More Years Ben Levy 15, December

Today is the fourth anniversary of my wedding to The Wife (and marks nearly 11 years together). In honor of that, I thought I’d share a story. Some of you may have heard this story before. I have told it at least a dozen times to people in committed relationship who are scared by the emotions they feel towards their partners.

The Wife and I actually met on a blind date our senior year of high school. We dated long-distance (don’t recommend it) all through college. After graduation- despite never really spending more than two weeks at a time together for the last four years- we moved into a one bedroom apartment.

I think we’d been there a month when the following conversation occurred:

“Honey, I love you. I really do. I love you so much I can’t even describe it. Which is a good thing. Because sometimes, if I didn’t love you so much, I’d have thrown you off our [thirty-second floor] balcony.”

“Oh Baby, that’s wonderful,” she replied, eyes shining with relief, “I feel the exact same way about you.”

And I knew we were gonna be just fine.

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Wanted Ben Levy 12, December

CW seeking AD for committed relationship. Looking for a partner to grow with, and complete one another’s stupid side-projects. All art styles welcome, just as long as you finish projects you start on. Only illustrative and graphical tasks required, I will take care of all other aspects including but not limited to- concepting, words, layouts, publishing, money-making, press-releases, URL-purchasing, shit I’ll even wash your car just please for the love of heaven don’t swear up and down twenty times you’ll do it and then wander off when you see something shiny. I’ve been hurt before. If you answer this ad and fail to uphold your end of the agreement the CW has all every right to stab you to death with a blunt teaspoon.

I wrote this as a joke, but you know what? I’ve got three mobile games, three comic books, two books and at least 6 t-shirt ideas that require visual embellishment beyond my ability. Interested parties apply at

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Post Later Ben Levy 4, December

I got stuff to say, but other stuff got in the way. In the meantime, have some of this:

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Friday Feature: Catvertising Ben Levy 2, December

I truly believe this would be the most successful ad agency on the planet, should it ever be formed. And I despise our entire species because of it.

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