But did he win?

On Thursday night me and the wife went and saw puddles pity party, puddles the clown is a entertainer who sings and essentially does a pantomime type of show. it is excellent and well worth the money. it was interesting as I assumed wrongly that most of the show goers would be like myself (hipster asshats) but I was pleasantly surprised that most of the crowd appeared to be normal people, this confused me for a minute but then I was reminded by my dear wife that he also was a contestant on Americas got talent, this pulled a interesting idea into existence: did he win?

To understand why I suddenly had this realization you must know about media marketed persuasion. This lens was reveled to me through Scott Adams blog (which I suggest everyone should read) which explains his perspectives and lenses of observation. The persuasion lens is mostly about what action will have the strongest desired result with out very much consideration as to the normalcy or perceived nature of the action. with this lens in place I came to a sudden and interesting idea which was that maybe puddles should have dropped out of Americas got talent.
To understand why you Have to look at exactly what the purpose is for Americas got talent which I will now refer to as AGT because typing it out sucks. So, the purpose of AGT is to sell advertising during a televised nationwide talent show this works because the people who compete are hoping to gain recognition or win a prize. Puddles was the former, he was after the recognition. That being said the nature of a contest is to find the winner, there is only one. One person out of all the others is elevated by the contest its self, all the others although they have a moment in the spot light the spot light is ultimately controlled by the contest. The runners up are remembered briefly but once you are not under that spotlight it becomes a lot harder to be noticed. I understood that puddles was on of the three finalists in AGT, this is a position which most contestants would be excited to find themselves, that close to the end. But this closer to the truth as you only have two possibilities in this situation on is you keep winning and moving forward the other is that you lose. Both of these choices are out of your hands, that is the problem. You don’t have control. Your goal is out of your hands. maybe they like you but maybe not but you don’t have a guarantee.



This is why I believe he should have dropped out, at this stage puddles had clearly established that he was different, interesting and as one of three finalists it is obvious that he has talent. He is in the spot light his goal is being achieved currently but if he left in a dramatic fashion he would both elevate himself above all the other contestants by signaling that he doesn’t need the contest. which would have the effect of removing him from a deathly anchoring point. An anchoring point is basically the largest thing that people associate you with, this association is very important as it is a hierarchical system of memory. Those who have won AGT have had a level of celebrity but they always fall short as the true game of polished industry artist versus scrappy contest winner is clearly decided by who you know or who picks you up (Bieber is the obvious example here) .


the way I would have suggested puddles to take to maximize his publicity, would have been to after being formally recognized as one of the last three, would have been to in my next performance to sing “pressure” by Queen or “the winner” by Abba. Then I would have advised him to feed the hosting network an excuse; claiming that either the stress of the contest or the wish to not stand in the way of the other contestants dreams to win caused him to withdraw. I would also have advised him to do this publicly on the show, in the same character and manner as his regular demeanor would dictate. By doing this he would both elevate himself above the show to a different level of celebrity, he would keep his narrative as there wouldn’t be a bookend to his celebrity like the end of a show, which only a few have transcended. His non-speaking character would also be perfect for this as it could be all pantomime and theatrics which would keep the Network happy at this new revelation. Until they realized that they’re spotlight had been high jacked. I would have advised puddles to have something big to throw out online and on social media like a new song possibly “the greatest” by Sia and a list of tour dates with buyable tickets. This would enable him to hang on to the spot light for much longer than just the mere life span of the contest. and like I stated, a bookending like a televised talent contest really doesn’t keep you in the spot light as the contest moves on, but if you were to pull a stunt like this you would have elevated yourself and created curiosity around your brand and your future instead of hitting the wall of a seasonal show.

This begs the question: did he win?


don’t put people in your canoe if you don’t like their oars in the water

Starting this blog was about expressing my ideas and incites and being a kind of portfolio for consistency. The latter aspect hasn’t been going great but I am starting to understand why. The why has it’s roots in fear. I fear putting myself out there, I fear expressing what I truly want to express. for the risk of rejection. I am attempting to deal with this issue by understanding that it isn’t a reaction to my work that I should be gearing writing towards, but instead it should be simply the former purpose that of expression. But all expression yearns for feedback.

The lesson is;

Quit involving people that take rather then give.

I have had a life time of attempting to change what I do, this is because I am a rational person who sees truth in exercise and in artistic outlets. God was the greatest creator and we were created in his image, so we are creators. The whole way along though I have done one thing that I now realize as a mistake, I invited people to weigh in who have no right to weigh in. these people were co-workers, parents of my kid’s classmates, teachers and so on.

As an artist you have drive.

Drive is attractive.

We underestimate the attachment other people have to our drive. Drive is one of the rarest things in the world, so when we attempt to explain what we are driving towards, people will ether attempt to diminish the worth of drive or people will attempt to suck your drive towards themselves by comparison or by guilt. I worked with custodians as a custodian. but the difference was I still had drive. Being a custodian is one of the hardest jobs to retain your drive during because the very nature of your work is undone every day. This beats the optimism out of you, as we all like to believe that our work lasts. That our work matters. I consider this the least useful job to find artistic encouragement in.

If you talk to other employees about your art you will find very quickly that there are those who want to change the subject quickly.  It’s not that these people aren’t always interested, it is simply that they don’t want a reminder of what they themselves are not accomplishing. Most people have a idea in they’re head of what they are and what they do. And a lot of these ideas are false, if you asked a Ku Klux klan member if they are fair and objective, how would they answer? Of course they would say that they’re fair and objective, anything else threatens they’re whole ideology, they’re self-worth, and identity.  for this reason, you cannot trust people to accurately judge themselves and they’re abilities. It is also the reason people don’t want comparisons. This is why you saw the rise of the anti-hero in cinema. People gravitate towards a more blemished hero because it is easier to reconcile your own blemishes. People don’t want to stand next to a shiny perfect hero because the contrast would be unbearable, this is the same reason people don’t want to stand next to you, when you talk about what projects your working on or the successes you have or even just the struggle to express yourself. Don’t involve these people, generally you will get some polite exchanges but if you continue this discourse it will lead to nothing, or you will take them further into your head as an influence. Don’t do that. Don’t mistake polite conversation for actual interest, it will get you nowhere. Also understand that if most people don’t have the ability to be honest with themselves how much less will they be honest with you. Remember words are cheap, actions costly.

We have diminished the value of art in our western society, most people will not have the same level of care as you do, although it may appear different. In the same way you wouldn’t take free babysitting  from strangers, accept that people have a different level of investment to art then yourself and although we wish everybody could value things equally, we know this is not the case and so we don’t accept free baby sitting or feel it wise to leave our baby sitting in the food court while we take a leak. Don’t lightly accept free advice from people on your art as it is the cheapest of all gifts.

When you talk to people about what you are going to do. There is generally two ways a person can handle this; one is objectively, in which they remain fully ambivalent as it is your project and so isn’t related to themselves. This generally goes great, People who actually don’t care will tell the truth. But this is at least 99.9% of the time not going to be the case no, People will bring themselves into it. they will compare, and if they have any artistic bent in themselves being repressed they will diminish what you are planning in some way, this can be as simple as stating the difficulty or as complex as lateral dis-encouraging. lateral dis-encouraging is when you attempt to mutually share laziness sideways. If you find yourself during your discourse about art with someone, saying something about planning to do something but It’s just so hard. You are fishing for ‘approved laziness’, you are banking that the person will rationalize they’re laziness with yours, which will be a stamp of approval mentally. This is dangerous to you stop doing this you are looking for a way out because you are lazy and creating is risky your lizard brain seeks to minimize both work and risk, fishing like This gets you nowhere, whereas a encouraging hard ass critic will both acknowledge difficulty and press for victory and perseverance.  The other will simply co-op your laziness and you both will get nothing done and feel good in your mutual lazyness for a while. Accept art is difficult and risky, it is easier to work from that posture.


Most people will react to your creative drive selfishly, they will be challenge by it and being reminded of their own short coming and attempt to talk-down-the-value.  This can be as simple as bringing in the other aspects of life into the conversation, the responsibilities that we all have. This is to again rationalize quitting.  In this mind set people talk themselves out of whatever art they could be creating by rationalizing the need to focus on real life. This is the route of the loser and is also dangerous as you can shift your artistic drive to a non-artistic field and this will cause burnout as you are putting so much effort into a non-energy-returning field.  If you attempt to reverse this you will first feel bad Lessing your efforts in this field which could be your job or your daily responsibilities. Also secondly you will be in a very low energy state because of the constant grind. plus the fact these are truly the day in day out activities. Means you can only drop them for so long before the dishes pile up and the diapers need changed so to speak. You must balance your art with life, but don’t forget where you get energy return from which has the highest payout. Don’t forget that art takes work and life takes balance these must both be addressed.

The other way people react is to straight up discount your work. I see this all the time with my friend who has attempted to get artistic work only to discover people are very unwilling to pay for his time. This is because the people who wish to pay him are ether jealous of his skill, or have an art bent and now are challenged by the reminder that art is worth something. If you can always say its worthless you will never feel ok paying for it. meaning if you can discount someone else’s art you can rationalize that it’s not worth your time to pursue it yourself. Many people will not want to pay for art as it is to costly to they’re own views. Do not engage with these people they are time sucking losers who will always balk at paying you. contracts and non-price disclosure clauses are your friends in this area. Don’t take it personally these people don’t always even know they are doing this, it is just they’re lizard coping mechanism.

All in all involve people who fuel your fire and give actual good feedback, who don’t co-oped laziness and who will understand the worth of art. Others can be won over later but it is too much of a time suck, to attempt to sway other’s beliefs about art, simply focus your energy at getting better.

homer on simple Saturdays

welcome to simple Saturdays in which I showcase some element of design that is battling outside of its weight class and deserves to be recognized.

homer shirt

today we have the have the-homer-they-fall shirt from Bartlegs. This shirt is a deep pull  from a classic Simpsons episode in which homer has become a boxer of sorts. Besides a great use of limited colors which are all crisp and joyfully underwhelming, there is something artistic to this design, I want to draw attention to two details that make this shirt what it is, first is the neck line of homer

homer snow

If you compare these two pictures you will see that his neck shape has been exaggerated for the tee shirt this thin neck has the effect of making homer even more helpless as you mentally fill in the blank for his body type from just this outline. You might not have ever seen this episode of the Simpsons, but you don’t have to: as it tells a complete story. The second feature (which is the stroke of genius) is homers eyes.  homer eyes

They are not completely even, the right one is staring right at you while the other is more in line with the assumed line of sight. This has been used as an effect in the Simpsons show for a while always low-key, but there is a depth of genius to the effect. If he had both eyes forward, we would have felt more saddened by the incoming pain. But because we are not sure if he mentally even understands what is going on it is funny, much like Charley Chaplin there is a level of charm that this disarmed nature exhibits. we view this interaction like a Greek tragedy more about the interaction of life then the abuse of a character.  all this conveyed by purposeful disarrangement of two dots. a simple vehicle to carry you to a larger idea. which is


This shirt MAY be available here

On the dangers of moral norms being informed by media

Art reflects life and life reflects art.

but art doesn’t fear life, but life fears art

as it sees the possibility of being measured by it.



by this I mean that art doesn’t change after it’s formed, it can lose relevance but indeed after it is made it doesn’t shift. Whereas life can constantly shift and does. This is the problem with a truly media centric moral code. as we see more and more the power of independent life being placed into the hands of those who create art. In this case I am using the descriptor; “art” loosely.  I am speaking of course of mass media, (mostly television media) It is this reflection that we must be wary of. as it manipulates while operating as a norm. but it is only skin deep as the reality of this world is much more complicated and yet simpler, as you only know your own perspective where as in media you can be shown several different perspectives. In media you are put into a forced perspective; as you the viewer cannot choose what you know and don’t know, you know only what you see. You adapt to the perspective that the director or writer wishes you to hold.  this is the first truth to understanding the power of media.

  • You are given a perspective, you do not choose one.


Now in listing out these points I appear to be taking some great issue with media, as if I am going to be wearing a tin foil hat. This is not the case as I simply am arguing for a greater responsibility for the viewer. People will always input into your life, it is up to you to decide what is done next. The main issue I have is the mass consumption of something artificial that over time I feel inhibits your own abilities.

In media you are aware of whatever the perspective shows you and therefore you have more than a first-person perspective. This becomes a problem however because dishonesty becomes a trope. Take most shows there is lying. But we also are made aware of a pending climax between the liar and the person lied too.  We are aware of it in the show, we know the moment of the lie because there is a laugh track and other events previously show that the character will be unable to follow through on the lie. If we didn’t have this preloaded information we would simply see a lie. This isn’t the case though. And it affects us.  We start doing this thing called rationalization. Rationalization is what the preloaded conditions of the lie create, a scenario where we know the lie will be diffused what ever problems could come will be diffused because of our acceptance of the events around the lie. This acceptance of a TV plot seems normal enough but it creates a habit of rationalization.

This is a complex idea

And here are three main points to clarify

  • A show engages in multiple perspectives and uses it to rationalize or diffuse a lie or other choice. This is accessorized by a laugh track or other artificial audience sound.
  • We accept rationalization because there is a story that makes it seem harmless.
  • We shift this into our own lives rationalizing choices because we can fabricate a likely story (excuse) of events could exist to make our choice morally acceptable.

and therefore you can see rationalization occur beyond the vision scope of an actual person. Another word’s; the perspective can shift and rationalize and then shift back where you and I cannot. A simple way to do this is to attempt to see the movie or show only through one character’s viewpoint. Once you start seeing this you realize that the tools to rationalize are largely fictional, meaning in media they exist but in real life rationalization is only through your perspective. And in that is a huge bent toward error as unlike shows and sitcoms you have only your view and a great deal of assumption is shackled to that perspective. And assumption is the mother of future fuckups.

We will tell ourselves whatever lie we need to, to continue our own agenda in the adversity of moral laws.