Commercialize

Commercialize: (v) to manage or exploit in a way designed to make a profit.

The Erickson Bread Company is coming out with a new product.

It doesn’t seem unique–it’s a tasty wheat bread fortified with vitamins that has the softness and flavor of white bread.

Everyone at the company and in the board room is ecstatic. They feel they have a good loaf which could quickly be considered great if it were advertised correctly.

A debate rages.

In order to present their creation to the public, they feel they need to find the best way to commercialize it–and by commercialize they mean the most favorable and common vehicle to convey typical life being joyously invaded by the new Erickson bread.

It is concluded that it would be ridiculous to show a family sitting around the dinner table enjoying one another’s company, commenting on the bread.

Old-fashioned.

Out of step with the times.

They also rejected the notion of a man wearing a hard hat, seemingly oblivious to the lunch he’s about to eat until he bites into the sandwich and smiles at the tasty bread.

Too much emphasis on a male figure–and who really wears hard hats anymore?

So it is decided that the best way to commercialize the bread is to have an energetic young mother standing at the kitchen counter making sandwiches for her young son and little daughter, who are completely preoccupied staring at computer screen and phone individually. The mother asks them to taste the bread. Without looking up, they nibble a corner–and suddenly their eyes look away from the screens and move to their mother, still with dead stares, and say, “Umm. That’s not bad.”

The commercial ends with the announcer saying: “Erickson’s new wheat bread–claimed by children who are obsessed by the Internet as ‘Umm. Not bad.'”

Commercialize: a decision to give in to the situation of our time, representing ideas in a fashion which may only be applicable for a few months.

Unfortunately, not everything we do in life can be commercialized.

Amen.

 

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Clad

Clad: (adj) clothed.

If you are not clad correctly, you can be considered a clod.

Since we are obsessed with how people look, we become doubly possessed with what people wear. I was always amused by the phrase, “dress for success.”

What does that mean?

If I want to be a successful construction worker, I should wear really tough jeans, a t-shirt and a hard hat. I don’t think that’s what they mean, do you?

If I’m leading a safari in Africa, Bermuda shorts and a pith helmet would be in order. Yet I assume they wouldn’t welcome me into a party in Hollywood dressed that way.

As always, the American culture has defined success as flamboyantly displaying wealth in such a way that you convince others that you’re prosperous. So nowadays it’s not good enough to wear a nice suit of clothes if the designer is not considered rad, and in the hierarchy of the profession.

We have people who do nothing but stare and glare at the garments of those who arrive at to the Oscars, deciding who is best dressed and who should have stayed home, embarrassed over costume.

I’ve coined a phrase which sums up much of what goes on in the daily humdrum of American dialogue: arrogantly irrelevant.

Not only does it lack purpose, but it puffs itself up to believe that being significant is not nearly as important as coming across as contemporary and beautiful.

What am I clad in?

There’s an old-fashioned idea that the best thing to be clad in is righteousness. Of course, then we have to realize that even that righteousness, when compared with greater beauty and deeper mission, can be “filthy rags.”

 

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Album

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Album: (n) 1. a blank book for the insertion of photographs, stamps or pictures 2. a collection of recordings on a long-playing record, cassette or compact disc, which then is issued as a single item.

God, I wanted to make an album.

I was twenty years old and obsessed with the idea.

There was something about the final front cover, backliner notes and the whole idea of being in a recording studio that just rang my bells and clanged my cymbals.

There were a few problems:

  • First and foremost, I suppose, was that I was broke.
  • Second was the absence presently of the major talent to warrant such a maneuver.
  • Third and most pronounced was that I didn’t have a group.

Being extremely immature, I opted to address the third problem while ignoring the other two.

I started a band with members who were just as possessed as I was with the notion of “going vinyl.” We rehearsed for twenty minutes and for forty minutes talked about how much fun it was going to be to be famous. We finally put together the magic number of ten songs, and begged and pleaded with relatives for donations for our project.

We finally pieced together enough money to pay for the first ten hours in a studio, with no idea how we would pay for the rest.

It seemed like a good plan–mainly because we were crazy.

There was a studio in our town that not only recorded records, but had a plant which pressed the final product right on site. We acquired a very reasonable photographer (free) who shot our cover and back cover, and we spent all of our time writing the liner notes instead of rehearsing for the session.

So when we got in the studio and they played back what we sounded like, we were convinced that the tape they had used was warped–causing our voices to go flat.

We got better. Of course, it cost studio time. So at the end of the session, we had a pretty decent record, but owed $723 to get our magical mission released into our greedy paws.

Now, $723 to us was either going to be achieved by killing off all of our parents and inheriting the money, or breaking into the recording studio and stealing our record. After about two weeks of nasty phone calls from the studio, they finally negotiated a deal so that we could pay off our album in installments.

We finally had it in our hands. It was magical. It was the Holy Grail.

It didn’t sell.

So not only did we never pay back the studio, but we eventually had to give away all of our albums to people who kept insisting they already had one.

My fortunes in the recording industry have improved over the years, but I will never forget stalking my first album. It was like the night of your honeymoon, mingled with your first trip … to Baskin Robbins.

Affectation

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Affectation: (n) behavior, speech or writing that is artificial and designed to impress: e.g. the affectation of a man who measures every word for effect

Carlotti loved women with a burning passion that seared his soul with a fire of desire over the fabulous feminine flowers that paraded before him. It was a concoction of tenderness mingled with a ferocity of energy that at times made him feel as if he would be of danger to a young maiden, yet greatly relieved when only pleasure came her way.

Although he felt this bursting exuberance for all the daughters of Eve, it was Darnella, the Lovely, who was the center of his attention, and a fuel to his consuming fire.

Complicating his drive and vigorous vitality was the fact that he was a vampire, so blended with his gentle touch was the uncontrollable desire to not only smell, feel and embrace the object of his affection, but also … to taste it.

But an additional grumbling and growling deep within the confines of his inner being was the awareness that because of an inter-marriage generations back in his family, he was also a werewolf.

How could he take the fragile Darnella and possess her with the entire magnitude of his virility without endangering her with the violence of the wolf?

Carlotti was a man possessed and obsessed at the same time. Nothing could keep him away from his Darnella. He desired to absorb her–not just for now, but for all eternity.

Ladies and gentlemen: affectation.

Or better phrased, a sampling of 21st Century American Literature.