Thursday, October 30, 2008

My New Resumé

I am not currently looking for work. Nor do I have a compelling need to update my resumé. I can, however, reduce my resumé to the most essential information you need to know about my working self:

Tim Adkins
Media Guy/Creative Type/Professional Empathizer

Skills:
Can give a very sincere shit about any problem you have and will collaborate with you thoughtfully and artfully to create a solution that leaves you feeling good about yourself and profoundly satisfied with whomever or whatever I have been tasked with representing.

Salary:
Six figures gets you a conversation. Seven figures gets you a meeting. 18 figures gets you my soul for half of eternity. 36 figures gets it 'til the end of all time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Name That Tune

I know this is exactly what Nike wanted bloggers to do for its new Chalk commercial with LeBron, but I'm doing it anyway. Here goes...



What's the name of the song in that ^^^ video?

UPDATE: The answer is "Candyman" from Cornershop.



It took the internet less than 24 hours to answer that one. What'samatter y'all? That's type slow, yo.

Opening Day

With the Lakers-Celtics Finals and the Olympics, there's been very little time for many hoop fans to feel like our lives have been missing anything so far in 2008.

But it has been, like, two whole months since Team USA vanquished the Spaniards to claim this year's Gold.

Thankfully, basketball is back. Are you ready? This guy is:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Be Don Draper

If you don't watch Mad Men, you probably should. If you don't look fantastic in a suit, you probably should. If you don't strut around with supreme confidence, you probably should. If you don't drink and smoke constantly...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Message Is the Message

Yes, I know Marshall McLuhan is spinning in his grave. Which makes this Thursday no different than any other day that someone has invoked or remixed the most famous sentence that ever emerged from McLuhan's typewriter.

To support the title of this post, I'm sharing two clips from my favourite show on anything, C-SPAN's Washington Journal.

Before I do, I want you to put your own personal opinions on these terrifically divisive subjects on the shelf and really listen to what each of the panelists is saying. Taken together, the following clips provide a master class in message discipline.

This one, on both sides I think, is how message discipline is done well:

Washington Journal 10.22.08
Frank Schubert, Yes on CA Prop. 8, Co-Campaign Manager & Kate Kendell, No on CA Prop 8 Campaign discuss California's ballot initiative on same-sex marriage

This one, also on both sides I think, is how tangential elements of your argument can subsume the core of it:

Washington Journal 10.23.08
Crystal Clinkenbeard, No on Colorado Amendment 48 & Bob Enyart, Colorado Right to Life, Director focus on Colorado Amendment 48, known as the "personhood" amendment, defines the term "person" to "include any huan being from the moment of fertilization."

In the case of the second clip featuring the folks from Colorado, Mr. Pro appealed a little too much to the emotions associated with his debate and, though extremely bold in places, he also came off as a lil bit irrational to me. Mrs. Con, on the other hand, raised her hands in defense, but failed to counterattack what she called mischaracterizations with any substantial data of her own.

Having said all that...I hope both measures are soundly defeated. Like the Celtics crushing the Lakers in Game 6. (Yes, I think I'm finally over the NBA Finals.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

How to Save a Life

I don't know much about suicide. But I have an idea about suicide prevention. And I learned it from Rocky IV. Let me share two scenes that explain my theory:





The obvious lesson should be that there is no easy way out; no shortcut home. That what you need to do after you've endured yet another wrist-slitting Monday is sprint up a snow-covered mountain while listening to some super synthy '80s music then beat the crap out of a giant, spiky-haired Russian. It will, undoubtedly, renew your purpose. And, quite possibly, you'll vanquish Communism in the process.

In the event that this John Henry mission leaves you at all unsatisfied, then you can also drink two bottles of wine and pass out at 10:30. That will work, too.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fear Not

I hear talk that there are some people who confess reluctance about voting for Barack Obama because he is not White. (Not White like them, anyway.)

I also hear talk that there are people vigilantly opposed to Barack because they fear creeping socialism. Or an outright move to the furthest, presumably most dangerous realms of liberalism.

And I see a fair amount of exhortations like this:


Obama '08 - Vote For Hope from MC Yogi on Vimeo.

Put it all together and a person can't help but ask, what, really, is the worst that can happen if Barack Obama is elected to serve as the 44th POTUS?

Seriously. What is the worst that can happen?

And, please, be rational. Keeping in mind that there is a system of hard checks and balances (as engineered by T. Jeff and company) and soft checks and balances (as evidenced by the unwavering influence of philosophical hardliners who remain entrenched in the process of governance) that work in tandem to keep the Grand Experiment chugging along.

Granted, we have arrived at a crucial moment in our nation's history where looming executive decisions could forever alter the course toward which we chug.

But, really, what's wrong with backing a smart guy who inspires people to engage in acts that positively impact the greater good(*)?

Why is that something to fear?


(*) "Good" here really does mean "good". Like, your rights to be better off are preserved. Mine are, too. So are all the rights of all our neighbors. And no one is forced to suffer injustice as we preserve those rights or as any of us try to make ourselves better off(**).


(**) "Better off"...well, I can't really say exactly what that means. Something about life, liberty and the pursuit of driving a Cadillac. Or maybe it has something to do with amber waves of grain and purple haze. It's probably not my place to even say. You figure it out for you. I'll figure it out for me. And if we figure differently from each other...well, I'm pretty sure we both retain the right to punch the other in the mouth. Hoo-rah.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Christmas List

I am not asking that any of you buy me anything for the upcoming celebration of the birth of Santa Claus, but if you insist, then please buy me this:

Searching

It's never a good idea to lose someone's phone number.

Especially when she volunteered it.

Especiallier when she already teased you about why you hadn't called her.

Especialliest when she has a cute sister she might (heavy emphasis on might) be trying to hook you up with.

*Resumes what is now a three-day search*

EDIT: Found it. Um...now what do I do?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"You have one ___ message."

There is a voicemail message currently residing on my work phone that was left for me two Septembers ago. Which should tell you three things:

1) I'm a pack rat.

2) I've been collecting paychecks from the same place for a while now.

3) It's one helluva message.

Actually, it's not necessarily the message so much as the person who left it. The guy's surname is Teodorescu and with his accent from wherever it is that he comes, the message begins with him saying what sounds like "to the rescue".

Which is fantastically silly. And never ceases to crack me up.

Especially on those days that feel like they last a week. Or during those weeks that feel like they last a decade. Or during those decades...

Lord, I hope I don't spend 10 years in the same place.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Scissor Me

No, this isn't about South Park.

It's actually about coupon cutting.

And a woman who might be the best who ever did it.

NPR's Morning Edition reports. Circa yesterday.

(Oh, but if you want to see that episode of South Park again, go here. Season 11. The D-Yikes episode.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hero

I. Am. A little bit slow.

(You knew that already, but you probably would like a reminder, no?)

I bought Nas' "Untitled" album when it was released earlier this year.

(May? June? I don't remember. It was a while ago.)

And I listened to it. A few times. It was cool. Didn't change my life. Or even qualify as leaveonrepeatforamonth. Just another record. Among hundreds of others mountaining up in my house.

Couple weeks back I saw it on my work iTunes and decided to give it another listen. It sounded better than I remembered. A little more cohesive. Like it really wanted to say something. Like it wanted to be more than just another piece of sonic detritus filling the pop culture trash heap.

And I think it does. Really. On the strength of one song, "Hero."



It should have been the epicenter of the album, but managed only to rise to the level of lead single. Which is less than the same thing. And which is no one's fault but Nas'.

It's clear that Nas wanted to explore his own iconography while explaining one recent controversy he's been linked to--and he did--but he didn't construct the story that deserved be told. Not exactly.

Verse 1 is the rise of Nas. 12(?) bars of straight autobiography looking at where he is and where he came from.

Verse 2 is...more of the same. With a little bit of reflection on how his idea of what's really good has evolved.

Verse 3 explains how his album came to lack a title and lays out the intent behind his original choice of a title.

Verses 1 and 3 are vintage Nas. Verse 2 is...dope...but mildly superfluous. We got enough braggadocio in verse 1 and could have used a lil more heart in verse 2 than Nas delivered. Less about Nas and more about how Nas thinks the world has changed in correlation to the way he himself has changed. That would have been the ideal connector between the first and third verses. Instead, we got clever redundancy. What we deserved was a full story where the artist contemplates his own journey, the state of the world he inhabits and the political ramifications of his efforts to express himself. Two out of three ain't bad. It's good. Which is less than great.

I lived with the song for three days before arriving at that conclusion. During that time, I fell in heavy like with the beat. The elements are so simple that when taken apart, they might make your average okay-hater cringe. But the way they are assembled is just shy of brilliant. Somehow, Polo layers a poor man's Bomb Squad of a drum break under a potentially cheap sound effect then sprinkles it with some Keri Hilson-ness, some Storch-y keys, and some marching band. It really worked for me. Perhaps because it sounded so dramatic. But I digress. Way too much here.

The point of all this (there is one, if you can believe it) is to commend a good effort. After re-listening to that song--and to the rest of that album--I came to appreciate the thought Nas put into it. It's not Illmatic. But nothing ever could be. (Nor should it be.) It is a good album. With some flashes of greatness. Rather, near greatness. Like "Hero."

Time may be more kind than I've been here. Or not.

It is worth saying that an old MC still has some fire to spit. And that he maintains his sense of purpose. Even if his storytelling abilities have faded a little.

He is still very good. Heroic, even. But not quite great.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Playing Hooky

There is a pretty famous Englishman who theorizes that public schools often kill creativity. Here's his argument:



Personally, I think he's on to something.

Which is, in part, why I played hooky from work today. Sorta.

Early this week, I got an e-vite for this event.

Which was quite timely as I had just finished reading this collection of mini-essays.

Since Friday is normally my work-from-home day, it presented the perfect opportunity for a field trip.

So I took one.

Naturally, I learned some cool new stuff. Notably from the guy who runs this organization.

Then I wandered DC a lil bit. Checked out a couple book stores. Furniture stores. And some sneaker spots, too. It was, after all, a truly blue sky autumn afternoon in the nation's capital.

Now I'm home. Getting caught up on email. Flirting with some of the "work" I missed this afternoon. And I'm thinking that I've stumbled onto a new rule that would make Sir Ken (the guy in the video up there ^^^) proud.

Everyone should play hooky from work once a month.

It does a body--and a spirit--good. Lotsa good.

The catch, though, is that you probably shouldn't simply sit at home and watch The View. Or ESPN Classic. Or a My Name is Earl marathon.

This rule should have a clause that you have to do something that inspires you. Doesn't really matter what it is. Or even what it inspires you to do. Just that it gets the neurons in your brain firing. That's all.

'Cause the thousand paper cuts of death that await you in the cube farm don't actually need to succeed.

No matter how important that TPS Report is.