I did the first interview with the Wall Street Journal EVER conducted from Dial House. It was for a quick blurb about the Naturist series but
I did the first interview with the Wall Street Journal EVER conducted from Dial House. It was for a quick blurb about the Naturist series but I was so excited about the bizarre context we were in, I couldn’t stop talking. When he asked me how I define “Selling Out” I kept him on the line for about an hour. I spent more on long distance during that one interview than my hosts had spent on anything in a month. After he finally got off the phone, I followed up with this email.
There was some trepidation when we (VICE) did the first DOs & DON’Ts book with Warner but I decided not to worry about it until we actually saw them censor jokes. If it ain’t broke…
Besides, when Hüsker Dü went to Warner the band made it clear they weren’t going to be shoved around and Warner said, “We don’t want to get involved. Do whatever you want.” The result was the inexplicably beautiful “Don’t Wanna Know if your are Lonely” but with way more ears than SST could have ever provided.
So, after Warner’s legal team sees the book, all they said was, “Why’d you put a black bar over this guy’s eyes?” They had me take black bars OFF people’s eyes. They said, “Look, it’s obviously satire and they’re in a public place so there’s a ‘reasonable expectation of being photographed.’ Don’t worry about it.” That’s why, when I was looking for a publisher for this new one (now called Street Boners) I went to Warner first (now Grand Central publishing).
So yeah, it’s only selling out if
1- The company does something evil like push cigarettes on kids or refuse to make
Benadryl cold medicines ephedrine-proof.** I never really have to worry about stuff like that because none of those companies would ever come near anything I’d like to do.
2- The company gets involved with your content and makes you take stuff out you wanted to stay in. I’ve been dealing with this one for 15 years and the only way to know which sponsors do it is to start the project and see what they say. The second they kill a joke, it’s time to go.
*After I said this to Gee Vaucher, I asked her who she would have problems with as a sponsor and she said, “I have a lot of problems with a lot of things.” Classic. (I should mention Gee’s views are light years from mine on this subject.)
** The ephedrine-proof reference is a big, long thing I discovered while reading Methland. Apparently, making
Benadryl cold medicines wherein you can’t possibly get the ephedrine out is pretty simple. Pfizer refuses to do so however because a) even a few dollars is too expensive for them and b) ending meth addiction is bad for Benadryl cold medicine sales. It feels strange reducing the author’s multi-chapter explanation for this into a few sentences but you really ought to get the book and fill in the gaps yourself. It will scalp you.
[UPDATE: To be clear. you need pseudoephedrine to make Sudafed, Actifed and Benadryl. Pfizer could easily make it impossible to get the pseudoephedrine out of Sudafed but they won't.]
Anyhizzles, here’s the article and the commercials it’s talking about.
VICE FOUNDER STARS IN TEVA’S ONINE ADS
By Andrew LaVallee
One of the founders of Vice magazine wrote and stars in a series of online video spots for Teva that spoofs nature TV shows.
The first episode of the series, called “The Naturist,” breaks today and shows Gavin McInnes as an incompetent outdoorsman giving wilderness advice. He treats his bee stings with poison ivy. He inadvertently starts a forest fire. The animal trap he sets successfully captures…a rat.
“I just always loved watching those nature shows, and I’ve never seen them pariodied well,” he said.
Mr. McInnes pitched the idea to New York agency Decon, which also works with Teva. The sandal maker was looking for a way to promote new shoe lines to a younger audience. “This generation that’s really sub-29 is showing minimal interest in the outdoors,” said Joel Heath, global marketing director for the Deckers Outdoor-owned brand. A traditional campaign “was going to fall on deaf ears,” he said.
The first three spots will air online over the next few weeks, though Teva may extend them into next year if they perform well. Mr. Heath wouldn’t say how much the campaign cost but noted that it was a fraction of what the company would’ve spent on print ads in magazines it’s worked with in the past.
Mr. McInnes is better known as one of the co-founders of Vice, a hipster magazine famous for its scathing Dos and Don’ts section. Articles in its August issue include “International Libations: Which Country Produces the Sloppiest Drunks?” and “Something, Something, Something, Detroit: Lazy Journalists Love Pictures of Abandoned Stuff.” He’s no longer affiliated with the publication, instead working on films such as “A Million in the Morning,” about a movie-watching championship, and an upcoming documentary about a boy’s art club in Essex, England.
The company didn’t hold Mr. McInnes back and egged him on at times, he said. In one spot, where he sets a larger-than-expected fire, Teva suggested pyrotechnics for a more vivid explosion (his upstate New York home, where the videos were shot, is still recovering, he said).
“I think the truth is that lazy advertising is done,” he added. “And a lot of people are saying, ‘Let’s hook up with freaks who do videos for a living and then we’ll sort of put our stamp on it and do it together.’”
The blogosphere had plenty to say about it all but as usual, the most thoughtless comes from the embittered PC nerds at Gawker. They’re so hurt I didn’t blow Obama, they see everything else as “ignorant” and even getting knocked the fuck out by an MMA fighter becomes “Fighting a minority.” Huh?
(photo of author)
What, is this guy in the Squirrel Nut Zippers?
[UPDATE: Oh shit, that's not the guy. This is the guy.]
What happened to reporters by the way? They used to be Lester Bangs and Legs McNeil. Now they’re just half-assed Louis Skolnicks?
Here’s an idea for one: How about everyone at that site at least try something, once? Try heroin or maybe get arrested or set up a threesome at least one time. They’re supposed to be imparting a tiny part of the New York experience to the rest of the world and they’ve all lived about as much as Stuart Little.