Because Sometimes You Just Wanna Be Silly!


And this video is silly and hilarious AND about dogs, which is the best combination ever.

Just to be clear, the people who made this video adore their dogs and didn’t force them to do anything they didn’t want to do.  The two dogs are best friends and apparently had great fun making the video since they both loved all the attention.  The owners practiced how to use the cutlery in advance and pretty much let the dogs run the show in terms of interpreting their responses.

The video was shot in one take with no cuts!  Amazing.

Let’s All Go To The Lobby To Get Ourselves A Treat

Remember that ad campaign from the 1950s?  The one with the animated boxes of high-caloric snacks parading across movie screens?  Innocent at the time, it now seems slightly sinister when you realize just how much crappy stuff folks were pounding back with each tub of popcorn or cup of soda.  Of course, the serving sizes were smaller than today’s gargantuan servings, but it’s the demented joviality of an ad telling us to consume junk food that really seems so odd.  Or maybe it’s just the sight of a dancing bag of popcorn that gives me the creeps.

In these days of cultural and medical sensitivities, it’s an interesting and hilariously horrifying exercise to look back at the ad campaigns of the Mad Men era.  These were the Wild West days of advertising, where just about anything was acceptable to push a product down our naive little consumerist throats.  Hey!  It was the 50’s and early 60’s, a seemingly golden time of prosperity and peace, and the rising middle class.  We were buying into a lifestyle and, as they have always done, advertisers were hell-bent on luring us into consuming their products.

Some of the most prolific and bizarre ads – at least to our modern eyes – were the smoking ads.  Using movies stars to promote smoking was a popular technique, including stars who would be future presidents.

Even doctors were getting into the act.  After all, if your doctor smokes, how could it be bad for you?

Babies have always been popular vehicles to sell products, even cigarettes.

Really, Mom.  Just light up the damn cigarette!  It’s either that or scream at your kid.  Who knew that cigarettes could prevent child abuse?

Of course, companies have been using babies to sell products for decades.  Here’s an even earlier example that expounds the health benefits of beer for both mother and child.

And we ALL know how good sugar is for babies, right?

Whew!  And if you survived all the smoking, drinking, and junk food consumption, who knows what shape you’d be in when reached your Golden Years?  Not to worry.  The advertisers had a solution for that, too.

From cradle to grave, the Larry Tates and the Don Drapers of the world were looking out for us.  Of course, that kind of silly, obvious advertising would never work on us today, now would it?




Social Media – Love It Or Hate It?

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with social media.  It’s like crack, luring me in with the promise of a better tomorrow, until I realize that I have totally wasted today on Twitter, or Facebook, or Goodreads.  But is it really a waste?  I’ve stumbled across so much fascinating information by using social media, discovering all kinds of interesting articles, blogsites, and websites on history, pop culture, politics, and the arts.  I rarely surf the internet anymore.  Rather, I follow the specific links I find on Twitter or Facebook.  Even better, I’ve discovered people.  Wonderful, funny, intelligent people, including writers, publishing industry professionals, and readers, from all over the world.  Some have even become friends, and how utterly cool is that?

So it seems that what I have to do is manage my addiction and use social media to enhance my personal and professional relationships, and support my work.  To that end, I’m reading a couple of really good books that deal with social media.  One is a fabulous how-to book by Kristen Lamb, entitled We Are Not Alone.  This is a social media guide for writers, and it deals with the big questions about social media and why people – not just writers – need it.  The book also provides a nuts-and-bolts guide for setting up your own social media sites and accounts in clear language that is truly helpful to techno-peasants like me!

Kristen writes for Who Dares Wins Publishing, an independent publishing company created by Bob Mayer and Jennifer Holbrook-Talty.  Bob Mayer is another great resource for writers and anyone aspiring to get published.  He uses the skills and mindset he learned as a Special Forces soldier to teach writers how to conquer fear and bring discipline and positive change to their professional lives.   Bob is also a really good writer and an all-around cool guy.  Along with Jenny Crusie, he wrote one of my favorite books, the hilarious Agnes And The Hitman.

And you know how I found out about some of these folks?  Through social media, of course.  I even follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

How about you?  Social Media:  a positive vision of the future, or the bane of our existence?