A Copywriter’s Blog
Happy St Stupid Day Ben Levy 13, February

This was originally titled “Happy forced outward sign of affection ruining what would be an otherwise sweet gesture causing rising levels of stress and tension in your relationship day” but it didn’t fit.

Or as XKCD puts it: The Valentine Prisoner’s Dilemma

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F You, V-Day Ben Levy 13, February

Happy Depressing Disillusionment Day everyone! Whether you’re just drying your eyes on the receipt of a needlessly expensive dinner, or finishing up some obligatory coitus that didn’t quite live up to your expectations, I hope you’ll keep in mind that while Valentine’s day comes but once a year, you’ll be making up for these financial and emotional fuck-ups for weeks to come.

I know someone is going to ask me how The Wife feels about how I feel about Valentine’s Day. Incidentally, The Wife left for work at 6:45 yesterday, and I won’t see her again till Friday afternoon. I’ll ask her for you then, k?

My hatred for February 14th is well documented, so I’m not going to waste anymore words on it this year. Besides, I honestly can’t do any better than this.

So instead, let’s spend some time doing something equally soul-crushing: playing The Technology Game! Remember:

The idea is to see whether all this fancy wi-fi’ing, blue-toothing, micro-satellite-RFID-emitting gear of ours is legitimately helpful or just a ridiculously expensive set of paperweights.

And now, let’s play last Thursday’s edition of The Technology Game!

I select my save-game file for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, easily identifiable due to the fact that it lists nearly 75% of the game complete after spending 27+ hours playing. I experience a warm feeling of satisfaction as I reflect on how pleasant those nearly 30 hours of enthralling gameplay have been. +7 points.

Until discovering that my 75% complete save file is corrupted.
-700,000,000,000,000 x ∞ points

Total Point Value: (Fuck)Me.

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Hallmark is Trying to Kill Me Ben Levy 14, February

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I explained last year how I feel about this holiday. Short version: not a fan.

But sellers of chocolate and some dead Christian dude demand that on February 14th I make certain overtures to The Wife. So a few days ago I went to get a card.

There were aisles of these things. Rows upon rows of pink, red, reddish-pink, and pinkish-red. And they all, without exception, sucked.

I don’t mean they were bad. No, no. Bad would be an improvement. I mean they flat-out reeked. There must have been about 200 cards there. But really, there were only three:

“Funny” Cards
Front of card: [Sexual Innuendo]
Inside of card: [HAHA, I bet you thought I was talking about sex, but really I meant something completely non-sexual. It's funny because you were wrong!]

Front of card: “This valentine’s day, I thought we could try a new position”
Inside of card: Couple watching TV while sitting upside down on the couch. (This is real. It exists. This one hurt so bad when I saw it that it seared itself into my brain and I’ve been having ‘Nam-like flashbacks ever since.)

“Heartfelt” Cards
Front of card: [Some mush so diabetes-inducingly sweet it would embarrass the writer of a Harlequin Romance novel.]
Inside of card: [Blank. Fucking blank. Because clearly after the profession of love and emotion you just read, no further words are necessary. You get to pay full price for half a card.]

Front of card: My soulmate, this Valentine’s Day we will share chocolate strawberries and bubbling champagne, but what really sustains me is your endless love.
Inside of card: (What you need more? Read the front again, that shit was amazing!)

Rhyming Cards
Front of card: [A rhyme. Not a good one.]
Inside of card: [Happy Valentine's Day!]

Front of card: “Nothing says ‘love’ like a card that rhymes/ Dear Hallmark, please fucking get with the times.”
Inside of card: “Wasn’t that rhyme awesome?! Happy Valentine’s Day!”

And there you have it. That was it. That was the entire 200 card “selection”.

Listen. Hallmark. I know I’m a writer. I know that makes me extra critical. And I know that makes it a little unfair of me to say I could do better in my sleep. (And by “sleep” I mean “while experiencing a medically-induced coma”.) But presumably you employ writers of your own. Ones who specialize in this “craft”. I mean, for the love of shit, you practically MADE UP this holiday. Can’t you do any better than “SEXUAL INNUENDO- JUST KIDDING! LOL!”?

You know, I actually looked through those the most. And here’s why- I was secretly hoping to find the one card that said “Hey Baby, this Valentine’s Day, let’s get busy”. Then on the inside: “No, seriously- it’s Valentine’s Day, you pretty much have to have sex with me. Start stripping.”

That card would have been fucking awesome. I know it’s not for everyone. But you have an audience of millions. Stretch a little. You can’t tell me your writers go home satisfied and hand these things to their wives and girlfriends. Who the hell wants to hand their loved-one a poem that sounds like it was written by a 2nd grader? “Oh my sweet/ you’re so neat/have some candy hearts to eat.” The only benefit is it makes whatever you do next seem fucking amazing: “Oh honey, a ball of dryer lint? You shouldn’t have! This is so much better than the card you just gave me!”

Fuck you, Hallmark. Fuck you and the vomit-inducing cliches you rode in on. I tried to end the pain by slitting my wrists with your crappy cards, but after 20 minutes I had nothing to show for it besides an arm covered in red and pink glitter. So next year, do me a favor:

Either stop writing shit lines, or invest in heavier card stock.

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A Holiday for Us All Ben Levy 13, February

I was originally going to post about how vehemently I despise Valentine’s Day. How despite the fact that I’ve been dating, engaged, or married to the same woman for the last 8 years, I still remember a winged baby’s mocking laughter from my “single” days. But then I realized I was looking at this all wrong.


All holidays are exclusive to some degree. Halloween clearly targets the younger crowd (half the houses I trick-or-treat at won’t even give me candy anymore). Christmas leaves the Jews with nothing to do but eat Chinese food and watch movies. Everyone loves St Patty’s- unless you’re a recovering alcoholic.

But Valentine’s Day, now there’s a holiday in which all have an equal share:

Singles are miserable because they’re single.

Dating guys are pissed because they’re forced to exchange their February paycheck for a gift whose price soars higher in direct relation to the amount of red paint on it.

Dating girls are doomed to disappointment because, no matter how hard they try not to, they will always secretly hope that their man will have something planned for them beyond their wildest dreams. (They will not)

Even the “genuine” guys are bitter this day. Because the most honest, heartfelt gift will still come across as a mere sacrifice to Cupid, as opposed to a spontaneous gesture of love.

So I rescind my bitter view of St Valentine, and his aforementioned day. Instead, I doff my cap and spend my money in recognition of this most impressive achievement: a holiday that all people can truly share. Indeed, Febuary 14th fulfills it’s intention far beyond his (and Hallmark’s) wildest dreams.

It’s an occasion for us all to get screwed.