Archive forJuly, 2013



Jul 2013

The Summer Lackluster

The big budget, action-packed summer blockbuster movie is a mystery to Self. Besides the hour and forty-seven minutes of explosions and destruction in between opening sequence and end credits, it’s become nearly impossible to tell one of these movies from the next.

Ironman 3. Shit. What happened to Iron Man 2?

Man of Steel. Different than Superman Returns (circa 2006). But exactly the same.

And now the announcement of a Batman / Superman mega-blockbuster. Something that was surely shouted out at least once during sex at this year’s comic con.

You see, we like stories at Self. Stories and characters and drama and humor. And these movies offer none of that.

Instead, it’s the technology and movie magic that drives these productions, and yes, they do get more and more visually stunning every few years. Why not limit it to just one monster budget, action spectacle every 3 years – just long enough for the technology to really improve upon itself? And while we’re at it, lets make those movies all about the technology, like Avatar did, and quit trying to tell a story.

As we all know, these movies cost a fortune to make. But a good movie, like Frances Ha, which probably cost as much to make and promote as the craft service table on the set of Pacific Rim, has the exact same ticket price, surely helping studios off-set the costs on their cinematic boondoggles.

Now, if only you could pay for the movie you wanted to see based on what it cost to produce – that’s a model that could make going out to the movies a much more attractive prospect. And it just might force studios to only make summer blockbusters, once every third summer.



Jul 2013

Carlos Danger Marketing Mogul

Anthony Weiner is nothing, if not 100% on-brand. From his birth name, to his self-ies (which, here at Self, are usually encouraged) right down to his new pseudonym – Carlos Danger – the former congressman, now mayoral-wannabe has never wavered from his true brand identity – the dick joke. And why should he?

This guy has so much more to gain as a dick joke than he ever could filibustering for New York’s 9th district. Does your kid want to play with the Carlos Danger, Lucha libre action figure or the nerdy, Jewish lawyer from capital hill? With the right licensing deals, Weiner could put his image (his face people, his face) and new name on every lunch box, backpack and skateboard, gracing elementary school playgrounds from sea to commercialized shining sea. Think of the endorsement deals with insurance companies and energy drinks alone. 

The whole thing is a goldmine for the disgraced politician and his wife, Huma Abedin. And while the family  may be facing a difficult time right now, surely a 12 million dollar compound in the Bahamas and some expensive jewelry could mend some broken hearts.

So we say to you Mr. Former Congressman, if you’re game to cash in, we’re game to help. Let’s do this!



Jul 2013

Makers, Meet Your Maker

Attention all you plastic bag crafters, silent videographers, beer-bottle beaders, origami metal workers and everyone else on Etsy: There’s no such job title  as “maker.” And what that job description lacks in reality, is way worse in originality.

These days, every barista with a tumblr account and an allen wrench adds this made-up profession to their LinkedIn profile and has it laser-embossed on their waxed canvas business cards, made by  some other local “maker.” But just because everyone makes something (we all make doodie, don’t we), that doesn’t make each and everyone of us a maker.

The guy who makes cabinets. He’s not a “maker.” He’s a carpenter. Someone who makes statues. They’re a sculptor. You make bread? You’re a baker. These titles help the customer understand exactly what type of services you provide. But if you’re a maker, well, we have no idea what the hell you really do.

About five years ago, our friends over at OMFGCO* coined the term (ok, maybe they weren’t the first, but it was long before this Deard heard it dropped in every coffee shop north of Alberta- Portland, OR reference). And yet OMFGCO diffused some of the pretentiousness by placing a “Thing” in front of their title. They were “Thing Makers.” It was fun and clever. But more importantly, it was apropos, as they actually built many of the “things” they were designing. As the term took on critical mass, these OG “thing makers” used the title sparingly, looking ahead toward the next culture shaper (and that just may be the closest job description to fit the bill, anyway) for when the current hoard of “makers” catches on, and tires of  the over-used job descriptor.

These days there are maker-faires and maker-bots.

A shared office space in town rents exclusively to other “makers.”

An advertising creative, playing a “maker” on the internet, points to his online portfolio…of ads. He makes ads.

Folks, the maker shark has been maker jumped and is making its way out of the building.

So before all you “makers” start tanning chicken skins for a new pair of cowboy boots, consider a slightly more original professional title. Come on. You’re makers. Surely you can make up something good. Something like “free-range cobbler.” But better.


*This blog post officially approved by the Official Manufacturing Company