Monday, May 18, 2009

New York Magazine Bends Space/Time Continuum to Steal AsiaLife Cover!

(Be sure to turn of the podcast in the sidebar before playing the video)

In a bizarre turn of events, rather than someone in Vietnam stealing a creative idea from another country, it's just been discovered that New York Magazine has completely and totally swiped a cover from AsiaLife Magazine, right here in Saigon. And if that's not strange enough, they've warped the space/time continuum to do it! What's that? They've done what to do what? Yes, I know it seems strange, but as I write this post, I'm also watching a 911 conspiracy film called "Loose change" and all I can tell you is that things are possible today that may have been unthinkable a few years ago - Like New York Magazine reaching their thieving little hands - not just across the entire North American Continent and the Pacific Ocean - to swipe an idea - but through space and time to grab an AsiaLife cover from April 2009 and actually have the damn thing ready for their December 2008 issue.

Shit! Talk
AsiaLife, Dr. Thanh, Idea Theft, New York Magazine, Time Bandits about I" need this damn thing done yesterday"? These guys plucked from the future to get it done in our yesterday which was actually today for them when they did it. Now that's frigging genius. They even won an award for it from the Editorial Design Organisation in February 09! And the Twilight Zone (see video) doesn't stop there. In an even spookier coincidence this particular concept just so happens to perfectly match the I NY campaign that's been a hallmark of the city for over 30 years. Oh what the Internet hath wrought. Nobody knows who's filching what, from where, and from when, even now. Even the recording industry doesn't have enough lawyers to chase crafty creative time bandits. Who we gonna call? Ghost Busters? - But it doesn't end there - oh, no sirree - in yet another warpage of all we think we know but it might be a big Hollywood illusion - get this - The new editor and some other staff of AsiaLife magazine are from ... you guessed it ... New York! Fuck. How the hell did the the NY mag folks know back in 08 that there would be major staff from the city here in Saigon in 09? Cue Twilight Zone intro track: Doo-doo-doo-doo Doo-doo-doo-doo! (See video above) Or maybe they didn't, and that would turn out to be their undoing.

Busted! I
AsiaLife, Dr. Thanh, Idea Theft, New York Magazine, Time Banditst seems you can't know everything in the space/time continuum. And the new, New York staff should be plenty pissed about this too - it makes it look as if they copped an idea from the past, and used it today, which we now know just ain't so. Hell I'm from New York as well and I'm plenty worried. What if gremlins from past New York lives start showing up in my present day and swiping stuff I created just this afternoon? Oh well, fuhgettabouddit, as they say in Joisey. Now I'm caused to maybe take back a few accusations about some other campaigns I've seen here in Vietnam. If people from the past can come steal ideas from us today, maybe Dr. Thahn didn't really nick his commercial from the Chinese - maybe the Chinese came into the future and nicked it from him - they can go into space now, you know. And maybe it's the same with Bono from U2 and the crew from the (Red) aids in Africa campaign - for lack of a good concept in the 90s they just found one in Saigon for a local marketing firm in this century and Oceans Elevened the thing! Jeeziz twice. This could go on forever. We may never see the end of it.

My apologies to all those I may have offended by inferring, or just plain stating that you stole your ideas from stuff that already existed. Now that we understand that we're all under attack by silent deadly thieves from the past in silvery suits, we'll all have to keep our concepts in a kryptonite safe until we're ready to publish. What a bitch the future turned out to be.

Post Script: In what may be one of the more curious instances of creative buck passing to date, the Managing Editor of AsiaLife magazine, Tom DiChristopher, has been all over my email with his objections to my lack of "fact checking" in my journalism. (Fact checking? This is a friggin' blog for chrissakes. When I start covering Watergate, I'll hire some fact checkers!) His particular complaint seems to be that I have inferred that the new New York members of the staff swiped the cover when in fact, what I have written is that New York Magazine nicked the cover from them. Fact checking in a warped space/time continuum is a dodgy business for sure, and what seems to be more technically correct in this case, according to Mr. DiChristopher, is that AsiaLife didn't have anything at all to do with producing their own cover - or so they claim.

As you might imagine, I've gotten plenty of mails and comments from other readers on Facebook, LinkedIn and in my mail, but the one that sums it all up best for me is this one:

"Thing like this you admit fault, say sorry and never do it again. That's what they should be doing."

C'mon New York Magazine, tell 365 you're sorry! I've already let my fellow New Yorkers here in Saigon off the hook.

For more on time bandit idea & business concept filching, para-normal plagiarism, and all out spooky behaviour, check below:

New York Magazine Steals AsiaLife cover from the future!
Dr. Thanh robbed by Chinese Time Bandits!
SDM:Saigon Digital Marketing victim of para-normal plagiarism!
Bono and international do-gooders caught (Red)handed in idea heist!
Saigon Brand Provocateur steals idea from himself!"


  1. WoW......Fuckin WOW !! ..........Yap. I read this one.

  2. Dude, this is Hilarious! keep 'em coming.

    Did You Know that Vietnam computers run Microsoff Nguyendows?

  3. Ngo, I didn't! All along we thought Microsoft was stealing from Apple and it turns out they got the idea from the Viets! Fuck all.

  4. Maybe AsiaLife use Apple Time-Machine?

  5. Artistic license, eh? Someone should sue New York. How dare they nick Asialife's stirringly original idea!

  6. The following comment was left on the LinkedIn Vietnam group on LinkedIn but the discussion has been deleted entirely by the group's administrator. He must have friends at New York magazine!

    I would choose to compliment AsiaLife and say that AsiaLife is in the enviable position of being in the forefront of ad creativity and imagination. The fact that a western magazine would mimic someone else's creative work borders on plagiarism but can also be seen as the ultimate form of flattery. New York Magazine should be a bit embarrassed that its creative team was less than creative.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Posted by Ted Langs 泰德兰格


The Wild Wild East Dailies

D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
Find me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Read my blog: The Wild Wild East Dailies and keep up on our efforts with aSaigon/CreativeMorning.