Jack Speaks

Well, the damn blog is up now (thanks Milton!) and so there is no excuse for not writing some drivel or other – got bully pulpit, should use. I painfully drag my aging ego up the tech stairway one step at a time; up, forcing myself to at least try and stay current with last years (or the years before) new communication tools. Typing was a tough one. I avoided it for years. Didn’t take it in high school; avoided needing it much for work.. back in the day a sign man didn’t need to type in order to communicate. Then there was the personal computer. I rationalized why I would never need one. I thought I had a pretty good argument. It crumbled (my luddite stance) slowly over time. First there were ever expanding email requirements for certain work related situations. Then I discovered that inbetween the 95% useless stuff on the internet you could actually use it as a research tool. Then I discovered you could look at naked women for free. Shit. Cell phones came along – no brainer- I got one pretty early, not much after getting the first computer. Communication became more unavoidable over time: tribe, friendster, fiendster… these non-essential communication avenues I’ve avoided. I can only communicate so much. This blog thing, I’ll give it a try, I suppose. I’ve been told that I can tell a story. I have a few. Billboard work has it’s moments of entertaining absurdities as well as the odd moment of terror or catharsis. More later. -Jack

11 Responses to “Jack Speaks”

  1. wyrd says:

    We eagerly await further missives.

  2. Pat says:

    I’m glad you’re finally blogging. I’ve wondered about you guys for a long time. So, tell me, why are the only billboards I’ve seen from you attacks on Apple Computer?

    Do you believe they suck more than Windows and Microsoft?

    Do you think they’re more evil than Rumsfield and Bush?

    Aren’t there much more deserving targets of your energy and wit?

    Seems to me almost every “Culture Jammer” I have come across uses Macs if they’re creative types and Linux if they’re hardcore geeks. So it’s odd to me that you’re doing things to speed the end of this embattled company whose products you use every day.

  3. Take note of our Invalid Stock Value: Abort, Retry and Fail campaign, of which we do a spin off the infamous Windows (DOS actually) Error

    Also note that all art for improvements are created on G5. Frankly, when we see an easy target we hit it.

  4. Pat says:

    Yeah but we’re counting on you to do more than just grab the low lying fruit… so to speak… 🙂

  5. Jack Napier says:

    Hey there Pat,
    The only boards of ours that you’ve noticed are those that relate to you. In 28 years we’ve done a lot of billboard improvements. Only three of them were Apple Ads: Think Dissolutioned (Dali Lama,) Think Dividends (Ted Turner,) & my favorite, Think Doomed (Amelia Earhardt.) Most of the others and all the supporting material, press releases/diatribes/communiques can be found on our website. You can’t have much real interest in our group or what we do since the reasons for our choosing particular Ads/companies/products can be found there. If you were interested in understanding rather than just reinforcing your existing beliefs & then telling us off for being minions of the evil Bill Gates, then you would have explored more tenaciously searching for reasons in our propoganda. Asking if we believe that Microsoft sucks more than Apple is pretty funny, really. It should be obvious that they were paying us (an handsomely) to use our hipster pulpit to attack and shame Apple Corporation. cheers, Jack

  6. wyrd says:

    Way to take no guff. To be honest the first time I came across your work beyond ‘look at this funny picture’ pass arounds was the documentary ‘Culture Jam’, of which you guys seemed to be the only reasonable participants.

    Keep up the hasslin’.

  7. Pat says:

    Sorry, but the only billboards that seem to get press are your Apple ones. Maybe you should really work to emphasize your other stuff. Maybe instead of being so ranty and defensive you should use this as a chance to reflect upon exactly what you guys are creating. After all, isn’t that a big part of what you’d like corporations and advertisers to do?

    I’m not telling you off, I’m just pointing out that your Apple campaign comes off as pretty whack, Jack. I don’t think you’re a minion of anyone. You sure are defensive, though. If you’re truly here to enlighten and you truly believe in your mission why take that tone?

    And don’t tell me you didn’t love the low lying fruit bit I wrote above. I know you smiled at that. If you didn’t, then maybe you’ve finally become one of those harp- like unable-to-laugh ’cause you’re so dam serious types. And geez, man. That’d be a shame.

  8. Jack Napier says:

    Wow. After 27-28 years of advertising improvement work, we need to reflect on what we are creating? Dang. I just wanna have fun & fuck shit up!

    You’ve missed the press on our other campaigns. I can’t blame you for that; after all, why should you spend all of your time tracking our notices. I, however have done just that. Media whore that I am (and by extension the BLF in general is,) I’ve obsesively collected every scrap of newsprint on our group since 1977. After all, we started as and continue to be a media organization. Point being, The Apple hits got no more or less press than most of our other major hits. One difference was the very amusing internal Apple Corp. email whirlwind touched off by our campaign. Many Apple correspondents thought we were Microsoft shills. Some thought our improvements were funny, Others expressed confusion, others were INCENSED that we would poke fun at the Holy Fruit. I guess they all thought that they new what we meant, much like you do. Well, to assume makes an ASS out of U & ME as my sweet ol’ gramma used to say. Conversely, an assumption can be correct, of course. I do believe most of my collegues here at BLF World HQ use MACs as do I. It actually seems to be a better product. (there’s your endorsement, Mr. Jobs – we’ll let you know where to send the check. That doesn’t mean that Apple Corp. as a cult/corporation/concept should be exempt from derision and conceptual assault.
    Why is Steve Jobs any better than Gates? Gates told Big Blue to go fuck themselves before he had much power. That took some balls. Yeah open source is swell & I guess Apple is more inclined to lean in that direction. They are still a company that sold their widget using the dead without consent (Hithcock, Earhardt, Einstein, etc.) and the silly and the compromised (Branson, Turner, Dali Lama, etc.) As Big Jess Unruh the Democratic political boss of Californis in the 60’s said of lobbyists, “..if you can’t drink their booze, screw their women, take their money and STILL VOTE AGAINST THEM… well you shouldn’t be in this job.” Well, the same goes for our kind of work. To address another point of yours, I don’t recall ever declaring our “mission” was to enlighten anyone. If I ever take such an arrogant stance I hope someone slaps me in the face with a halibut. So fuck Apple and fuck all the rest. I have a great sense of humor, but self righeousness is rarely funny. -Jack

  9. > Yeah but we’re counting on you to do more than just grab the low lying fruit… so to speak…

    You REALLY don’t know us very well. You might have to climb to those upper branches yourself. Heights make us nervous. So to speak.

  10. I have no problem with heights, I’m afraid of widths.

  11. That’s no problem, just turn your head sideways.