Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Moments: The Travis Diaries XXII




"They say alcoholics have moments of clarity. Can't the rest of the us have those too?"
- Travis




For more in the Travis Diaries, check here:

Sex: The Travis Diaries I

I'm a man, DAMMIT: The Travis Diaries II
Love: The Travis Diaries III
Tiger: The Travis Diaries IV
Ambivelence: The Travis Diaries V
Advertising People & Blogs: The Travis Diaries VI
What's Left?: The Travis Diaries VII
Year of the Tiger: The Travis Diaries VIII
She said: The Travis Diaries IX
Dreams: The Travis Diaries X

A Bad Day: The Travis Diaries XI
Svengali? The Travis Diaries XII
My Way: The Travis Diaries XIII





Shit Together: The Travis Diaries XXI




"Get your shit together Travis!"
- Travis





For more in the Travis Diaries, check here:

Sex: The Travis Diaries I

I'm a man, DAMMIT: The Travis Diaries II
Love: The Travis Diaries III
Tiger: The Travis Diaries IV
Ambivelence: The Travis Diaries V
Advertising People & Blogs: The Travis Diaries VI
What's Left?: The Travis Diaries VII
Year of the Tiger: The Travis Diaries VIII
She said: The Travis Diaries IX
Dreams: The Travis Diaries X

A Bad Day: The Travis Diaries XI
Svengali? The Travis Diaries XII
My Way: The Travis Diaries XIII





Agreement: The Travis Diaries XX




"Agreeing to disagree is still an agreement."
- Travis





For more in the Travis Diaries, check here:

Sex: The Travis Diaries I

I'm a man, DAMMIT: The Travis Diaries II
Love: The Travis Diaries III
Tiger: The Travis Diaries IV
Ambivelence: The Travis Diaries V
Advertising People & Blogs: The Travis Diaries VI
What's Left?: The Travis Diaries VII
Year of the Tiger: The Travis Diaries VIII
She said: The Travis Diaries IX
Dreams: The Travis Diaries X

A Bad Day: The Travis Diaries XI
Svengali? The Travis Diaries XII
My Way: The Travis Diaries XIII





Convicted: The Travis Diaries IXX




"I've been convicted of drinking and smoking.
Is the world, somehow that fucked up now?"
- Travis





For more in the Travis Diaries, check here:

Sex: The Travis Diaries I

I'm a man, DAMMIT: The Travis Diaries II
Love: The Travis Diaries III
Tiger: The Travis Diaries IV
Ambivelence: The Travis Diaries V
Advertising People & Blogs: The Travis Diaries VI
What's Left?: The Travis Diaries VII
Year of the Tiger: The Travis Diaries VIII
She said: The Travis Diaries IX
Dreams: The Travis Diaries X

A Bad Day: The Travis Diaries XI
Svengali? The Travis Diaries XII
My Way: The Travis Diaries XIII





Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Consultancies are not inherently creative, so why not a creative consultancy?

A recent story in AdAge recounts a campaign failure at Anheuser-Busch and cites the positioning statement created by a management consulting firm. Click the links for I N F I N I T E W I S D O M 'S take on it - excerpts below:

Bud's Big Blunder: Letting Consultants Steer Brand - 'Drinkability' Campaign Flop at Anheuser-Busch Comes as Marketers Expand Influence of Outside Advisers on Ad Work

AdAge, Advertising, Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light, Budweiser,  Cambridge ConsultingConsultants "can be outstanding at what they do, which is linear thinking and process," said Peter Krivkovich, CEO of independent Cramer-Krasselt. "It's just important for clients to remember that human behavior is not linear."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Obama Slams Walmart Black Barbie Scam!

Black Barbie, Advertising, Obama, Sex, Political Satire, Tiger Woods, WalMartPresident Obama came out today in firm defiance of the Walmart Black Barbie discount scam. "How dare they cut the bitch by 50%", he said. "She's plastic, for chrissakes!". President Obama was pissed.

A Walmart store in Louisiana caused a stir for selling a Black Barbie at half the price of White Barbie last week. The Black Barbie was $3 and the White, $5.93. A spokesperson for Walmart said the dolls weren't selling well, hence the price cut. "Shit I gotta get on the street and get me a black girl", said Tiger Woods. Turned out he had been spending way too much money on white schwag.

But sociologists and analysts are taking issue with the retailers sale and say it sends the wrong message about Blackness. "The implication of the lowering of the price is that's devaluing the Black doll," Thelma Dye of the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem told ABC News. Retail analyst Lori Wachs says Walmart needed to look at the bigger picture. "I think there are certain things companies have to be sensitive about and clearly this was one of them," retail she told ABC.

The Obama administration on Saturday called for a broad overhaul of President George W. Bush’s No Bitch Left Behind law, proposing to reshape divisive provisions that encouraged instructors to teach that white girls are better arm candy, narrowed the sexual curriculum, and labeled one in three American schools as pretty much no fun. It was tough.

By announcing that he would send his sexual blueprint to Congress on Monday, President Obama returned to a campaign promise to repair the sprawling federal law, which affects each of the nation’s nearly 100,000 public schools, and Tiger Woods too. His plan strikes a careful balance, retaining some key features of the Bush-era law, including its requirement for annual body tests, while proposing far-reaching inter-cultural changes. Tiger said it was cool.

For more in Political Satire and Satire see:



Saturday, March 13, 2010

Almost German: The Wild Wild East gets westernized, again

Amerikaner, Buddhist, German, Schnell"Schnell! Schnell! Das Amerikaner ist so farking slow und stupid!" And so went my application for a residence and work permit these past few months. Happily it was granted and the ritual head shaving and uniform issuance will commence next week. Here's how the process works: To get a permit you need proof of govt. approved health insurance and to get govt. approved health insurance, you need to transfer the money to the company through a German bank account, but to get a German bank account you need to have a residence permit and to get a residence permit you need the health insurance and to get the health insurance you need a bank account and to get a bank account you need a residence permit. Hell, I could have just stayed in the US if I wanted this kind of govt. efficiency. But being a student of first world government idiocy, I simply put my head down and acted as if I were going to the DMV in the US looking for a driving license. This strategy worked perfectly. I was also able to find an insurance agent who already had a bank account where I could just walk up to the counter at his bank and give them cash.

"Ja!", now I'm nearly German. I will, however, give the public servants here a few points. They were at every stage, pleasant, courteous and spoke excellent English for the most part. I worried a bit at the final stages in that my agent at Kreisverwaltungsferat (Immigration) didn't speak squat for English and seemed visibly perturbed that I didn't speak much Deutsch - any Deutsch. For image understanding, please roll over here.

No problem. He told me to go back outside, have a seat. and in minutes an English-speaking aide was produced who was like, absolutely happy, to put his linguistic skills to the task, and push through my application. It was all in all, pretty cool. I have now succeeded in going from west to east and back to west again.Back on the grid, kids. Now, to figure out the European VAT tax system. I owe them money already. Hmmm.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Maybe: The Travis Diaries XIV

"Maybe I wasn't in love with her. Maybe I was in love with the idea of her." - Travis

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On My Meds Again In München: The Little Things XIV - Nothing Much Happened (XX) In München Today


American, Munich,  Catholic,  Dog Poop, Crocs, le Corbusier, Architects, Meds, Salsa, Chips, Wisconsin, Jalapenos, Gourmet, Jay Leno,   02.06.10 - 9:12am - Better start the day out with exercise. It's cold outside. After a few weeks of near springlike weather the lion of winter came back in and reaffirmed his dominance. "You're not getting off this easy", he said to the displaced American via Vietnam who had almost made it through his first Bavarian Winter. [Photo: The photo is from Paul Himmel, 1955, at Gallery h5,6, in Munich. If you click and enlarge it, you can see my reflection in the glass taking the photo. My head begins directly below his, uhh...] - 10am - 80 push-ups and 360 sit-ups. That's the general routine for an hour. And I've been doing this for as long as I can remember (with a few months off for lazy spells now and again), three times a week. But will it prepare me for my day? I've got big plans. I plant to eat well, do a little blog work, eat some more, do a little shopping, and then probably, eat. Hmm? More about the food later. - 11:05am - This week I received a piece of mail from the Catholic church, asking for a donation of course, but what I wondered more, was how the church got my name. It was addressed to me at my current address and I don't recall giving my name to any singing nuns this winter. I guess God can see all. And so it's my first trip today to see if I can locate this church, which, according to Google maps, is just a few blocks away. A little lunch and we'll be off. - 12:17pm - TAmerican, Munich,  Catholic,  Dog Poop, Crocs, le Corbusier, Architects, Meds, Salsa, Chips, Wisconsin, Jalapenos, Gourmet, Jay Leno,   he snow flurries are whirling up a storm outside and I take a second to go out on the patio and enjoy. Marvelous. But what's not so marvelous is the little plowing machine that comes down my walk inside of the hour to plow away what has fallen. Sometimes German efficiency can be a little much and for me, this is one of those cases. I won't even get to have the fun of trudging through even a few inches because by the time I get downstairs it will all have been swept away. Pity. - 1:05pm - A letter from someone the night before makes me smile and I spent a few minutes to craft a response. I was recently told that the term soulmate was another word for taskmaster and I'm beginning to see some logic in that. My response to the letter could wait. But it doesn't. - 2:07pm - Snowtime! I don my trusty Timberland hoodie, a good coat, a Bayern FC scarf, gloves and my ever present Crocs. What's that you say? Frigging Crocs? Yes. Crocs. The BavariAmerican, Munich,  Catholic,  Dog Poop, Crocs, le Corbusier, Architects, Meds, Salsa, Chips, Wisconsin, Jalapenos, Gourmet, Jay Leno,   ans have come up with an ingenious fleese-lined version that believe it or not, got me to Amsterdam last month. They're also accepted at art galleries, which is where this photo was taken. Since I injured my ankle in Paris last September, Crocs have been a godsend. My good friend RC will certainly have a field day with my perpetual flaunting of this fashion faux paux and all I can say to a guy who insists on using only two initials to address himself is, FU. - 2:23pm - Hitting the streets in search of St. Somebody's I head down to where I thought I saw it on Google maps. I don't know the name of the actual church, because all the letter said was 'Katholische Pfarrgemeinde', which means Catholic Parish, so I'm off with my own instincts in tow and an ear for bells. One of the hallmarks of Munich is the constant chiming of church bells and with the population being almost totally Catholic that can be both beautiful and bafflinAmerican, Munich,  Catholic,  Dog Poop, Crocs, le Corbusier, Architects, Meds, Salsa, Chips, Wisconsin, Jalapenos, Gourmet, Jay Leno,   g at the same time, especially if you want to try following the bells to a church. They're all over the place. - 3:02pm - The good thing about this walk is that it takes me into a quarter I've yet to explore. Oh, it's still blocks and blocks of not really quaint apartment buildings but at least they're ones I haven't seen before. And then I see it - a tall modern bell tower of certified 1960s construction. There are really two kinds of churches in Munich, pre-war and post-war and you don't have to be an art historian to understand that the pre are much more charming than the post. This one is certifiably post. - 3:43American, Munich,  Catholic,  Dog Poop, Crocs, le Corbusier, Architects, Meds, Salsa, Chips, Wisconsin, Jalapenos, Gourmet, Jay Leno,   pm - Welcome to St. Bernhard's. It's not the address I was looking for, but it's good enough. It's a Catholic church (as if I could have stumbled into a mosque in Munich?) As you can see from the attractive sign out front, they don't seem to discriminate over dog varieties as the one on the sign is almost certainly too slim to be a St. Bernhard, but under no circumstances should whatever your breed of dog, poop on their lawn - snow covered or not. - 4pm - Inside is nice. I had not been in a church since last fall and I took a second to just sit and contemplate. Churches all around me and I never go in. Must be something far back in my Catholic upbringing about that. The sun streams through the window blocks that must certainly have been inspired by le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut in France. [Photos: On the right, le Corbusier. On the left, the much more rational, German interpretation.] I make a few photos and it feels nice to be inside with no one else. A good place for prayer. I light two votive candles, for two people who can certainly use a prayer or two and it's back out to the American, Munich,  Catholic,  Dog Poop, Crocs, le Corbusier, Architects, Meds, Salsa, Chips, Wisconsin, Jalapenos, Gourmet, Jay Leno,   place where any dog can't poop. St Bernhard's. I had to laugh. - 4:32pm - Walking back I made a point to find the Lidl store I had seen on the way here. Lidl and Aldi are the two big discount groceries here and when you're on a budget such as I have been on these past few months, the word discount takes on a necessary meaning. - 5pm - Friday had been a payday and I had not seen a payday in quite some time (the holidays were just cold) so that meant it was time to get back on my meds - back to my addiction. And what might that be? For some people it might be drink, or drugs, or even something more sinister, but for me it's simple. My addiction this year has become food, and that means good food. Friday's trip home had covered the basics, plus a stop at le fromagerie (or the Kase shoppe in German) for a stock up on cheeses but today would pick up on some things I had missed. Important things. Like plastic wrap. Baked beans. Tortilla chips. Salsa. And backup coffee. - 5:27pm - But wait a minute! Chips and salsa ain't gourmet! What's up with that? FridaAmerican, Munich,  Catholic,  Dog Poop, Crocs, le Corbusier, Architects, Meds, Salsa, Chips, Wisconsin, Jalapenos, Gourmet, Jay Leno,   y's meal saw me enjoying two wonderful huge scallops, each stuffed with a prawn and wrapped in bacon and then drizzled with a balsamic and wine reduction, finally topped with a roasted almond, shallot and basilico relish. Mmmm. So now I want the chips. For anyone who has ever lived outside their culture for a time you will understand that sometimes, the simple becomes exotic, especially when you can't get it. And for those of you who can gorge on American junk food all you like, you'll think I'm just an idiot. Fine. I can live with both. My wife used to say that it was amazing that I could enjoy a meal at Charlie Trotter's and a frozen pizza just the same - with the same level of happiness. And so that's how I felt this weekend. Like I could enjoy any food I wanted, but at the same lAmerican, Munich,  Catholic,  Dog Poop, Crocs, le Corbusier, Architects, Meds, Salsa, Chips, Wisconsin, Jalapenos, Gourmet, Jay Leno,   evel. The level that celebrates being able to have it as opposed to being able to have what you can when you're on a poor budget. - 6pm - Leaving Lidl with a cheap brand of salsa and nothing in the yellow cheese section, I decide to hit Tengleman on the way home to see if I can find any yellow cheese from which to make a queso for my chips. Plenty of Germans in Wisconsin, but apparently no Wisconsonites reciprocated back to Germany - good luck finding a slab of cheddar, or god-forbid, Velveeta to make your savory queso. - 6:22pm - Tengleman's is a midline grocery that has a real meat counter, decent cheese selection and a bakery on premise. And so the search for yellow cheese commences. And jalapenos. Ha! I'm looking for a jalapeno in Germany, like trying to find lieberkase in Mexico. Idiot. - 6:46pm - The search resolves itself somewhat in that I find a 'cheese-dip' sort of thing at the deli, and I laugh but take a little can of olives that claim to be held in jalepeno creme - maybe I'll just throw the olives out and use the creme mixed in with the cheese dip? - 7:15pm - Home again with a ton of provisAmerican, Munich,  Catholic,  Dog Poop, Crocs, le Corbusier, Architects, Meds, Salsa, Chips, Wisconsin, Jalapenos, Gourmet, Jay Leno,   ions, I turn on CNBC which happens to be running Jay Leno's shows from this week so I got my Merican thing going. Yeah. I put away all the food and make a rush for the chips. But how to make the queso? Pour a 1/2 a cup of the salsa into a small sauce pan. Add two slices, yellow 'burger' cheese they call it. Turn off halogen heat after mixing, or the fucker will burn. Wait 5 minutes. Stir. Bring to slate table and eat queso out of pot with chips. Watch TV. How damn American. Put stupid dip in fridge. Olives were not in any jalapeno whatever. Put olives in jar. Later. - 7:46pm - The rest of dinner is a gnocchi gorgonzola and that goes down good. Cleanup time. This and the requisite emails take hours. - 10pm - I promised good ole RC that I would do a guest post for his blog, and I had taken some care to go to a Munich bar and shoot the photos of it. - 12am - Here's the post. - o2.06.10 - 2:30am - I received the most coherent mail I have received in a long time from the person I have spent nearly the last year with. It doesn't answer any questions and in fact it raises a lot more. And tomorrow (or today) is another day. I looked out off my balcony at this time and I saw the walk. The walk that says you can turn either way, and still be in the snow. Something about that, for sure.








Thursday, March 4, 2010

Infinite Wisdom Lives

Our first assignment for our company, Infinite Wisdom, launches an iconic German Brand to America. We feel good.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/27850600/b-a-Press-ReleaseGood News. Infinite Wisdom is now real. Our first project will launch the KINZO AIR brand of aerodynamic office furniture in the US. KINZO AIR combines kinetic origami with intense workplace studies to not only increase efficiency, but to do it in an elegant and streamlined fashion. Bau+Art Berlin represents and Kinzo Architects Berlin, remain, Kinzo Architects Berlin. Our thanks to the folks at KINZO and Bau+Art Berlin. Infinite Wisdom is now one step closer to nirvana. Here's the press release:


b+a Press Release

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Soulmates: The Loose Canon Manifesto IV


Soulmates never lose

Soulmates always win

Soulmates only come

Soulmates never go

And there can only be one

Soulmates pave over roads that others trample

and when the dust has settled only your soulmate will be there

Soulmates cry

Too much sometimes

Soulmates don't discern the difference between physical, spiritual or ethereal love

They are all the same, like tense in the Chinese language

Soulmates squeal with delight

And don't always need to talk to say why

Soulmates see

But are blind in helpful ways, to the others faults

And soulmates fight,

not with each other but with anyone else who tries to destroy their union

Soulmates live

Soulmates die

But never without the full knowing to the other that it is time to go

And then soulmates wait

In heaven

Because that is where they can live

in peace




For more in the Loose Canon Manifesto see:

Grace: The Loose Canon Manifesto I
Hope: The Loose Canon Manifesto II
Dreams: The Loose Canon Manifesto III

Soulmates: The Loose Canon Manifesto IV

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Warren Buffett: The Random Search Effect V

Advertising, Advice, Berkshire Hathaway, CNBC, Foreign Direct Investment, Oracle of Omaha, Warren BuffetKnown as the "Oracle of Omaha", Warren Buffett is also known as one of the world's most successful investors, due in large part to his sensible and frugal approach to the discipline. When asked by a reporter on CNBC recently, what investment is best to own (a fairly stupid question at best) Buffet replied, almost off the cuff and as if anyone should know:

"The best thing to own of course is your own talent. They can never take that away from you." - Warren Buffett

Touché Mr. Buffett. That should strike fear in the hearts of those who have no talent whatsoever.


For more in the Random Search Effect series see:

To be continued: The Random Search Effect I
Children & Unselfishness: The Random Search Effect II

Your Inner Fire: The Random Search Effect III
Mystery Google: The Random Search Effect IV
Warren Buffet: The Random Search Effect V

The Wild Wild East Dailies


D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
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