Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Some cool radio promos. I wrote the QX104 promos during my internship with Astral Media.  I wrote and produced the IPP commercials.   A gold star to whoever can figure out the backing track on the QX ones. ( I didn't pick it.)

QX104 Working Crew Lunch Promos

IPP Commercials

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Poetic Justice System

It’s hard to turn on the news and not get a little depressed. Or Angry. We hear and see about all these crimes being committed that seem to leave us feeling helpless. The laws don’t work, there’s not enough police, the judicial system is broken or overriding social issues; there’s plenty of blame to go around. 
Well, I’m here to propose a new system of justice. One that I believe will create more conversations about the repercussions of committing an offense. It will cost much less than our current penitentiaries, and most importantly, will shed the shackles of helplessness that weighs so heavily on our souls whenever we turn on the news. I call it, The Poetic Justice System. The PJ System for short. 
Here’s an commonplace example of how The PJ System would work:
Have you ever had you car broken into, or worse, stolen? That first realization, followed by denial and guilt for even proposing such a thing, extreme worry at the realization that what you first proposed might actually have happened - a slight sinking feeling in the stomach... sadness... then shear blind rage? 
Did you not say something to the effect of, “If I find that little so-and-so, I’m going to run them over with my car!” 
Well, what if you could? 
Why send this individual to prison, or more likely juvenile detention, where he or she can only progress in their apprenticeship of less than desirable skills and make further connections with societies’ underbelly?
Screw it. Just run ‘em over with the damn car. The same car they broke into or stole.  How many times would it take getting run over by a car for someone to think, “Maybe I should just get myself a bus pass.” Not only that, the victim gets to enact the punishment! 
Of course it all has to work on a scale. The punishment has to fit the crime. The thief who stole your iPod from the dash board should probably only be run over at about 30 km/h.  If they took your jet-black 1964 Mustang for a joyride and kindly parked it for you around a telephone poll- say 55.... that should leave a good enough impression. 
What about those firebugs? Now burning them alive might be a little much- assuming no one was hurt, remember, we have to keep this to scale-  I would propose fire ants. 
A human leg three days after
coming in brief contact with a
fire ant colony
Someone, (not me) forcible insert  a few dozen fire ants up the arsonists’ rectum and then just let the ants do the work. You could sell tickets to this! What would bring a community closer together, than watching the same individuals who destroyed their neighbours’ homes and terrorized their community, convulse in pain as fire ants tear apart their colon? You could even leave a can of gasoline,  a turkey baster and match beside them just to provide an ironic out. Take bets on all sorts of possible outcomes and use the proceeds to pay the deductible from the fires. 
This is the outside-the-box kind of thinking The PJ System brings to the issue of crime. 
In the heat of the moment, a potential criminal is not thinking of the time they’ll have to serve if they are caught, the people they hurt or the fact they are just pissing off every normal person in the city. But they sure as hell will think about what clawing 56 fire ants out of their asshole is going to feel like. 
I’m not going to get into the more serious crimes- drug dealing, rape and murder- but I think conversations involving nail guns and small, tactical nukes are pretty comfortable borders for everyone. 
Of course... Now that I really sit down and take a good look at this... I can’t help but think that no one has built a pyramid in a while. 
Here’s some straps of leather, a stone axe and the quarry's over there. What’s that? You’d rather go for the jackhammer? Well then, right this way. 
The possibilities are endless. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Facebook is for friends

It might seem like I’m a little bit late to the party on this one, but last night I was at the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe for a Canadian Public Relations Society networking event. The event was for students but there was a panel of well-established professionals working in the communications industry and naturally, being the graduating season, the topic turned into finding jobs, what employers look for, Facebook and Twitter and staying on top of the trends.
Something came up that I though interesting and worthy of a blog.
That is, the whole clean up your Facebook thing. As communicators, we are a walking, living and breathing brand. Our job, in a dumbed down sense, is to be the loudest, biggest, boisterous voice in the room, but in such a way that people actually listen and not turn away shaking their heads like we’re the drunk lineman from the college football team at a party. 
My friend Pikey's ass. Not the sort of photo you want
to be tagged in, but one of my favourites.
To do so, we have to have a presence on all the different types of social media, which is a rapidly growing list.
Where I disagree, is the role that Facebook plays for communicators. When Facebook came out, there was nothing really quite like it - unless you count Myspace.  It was the Adam or Eve of social networking.  People could communicate through pictures, articles, videos, and create for themselves an online presence for all their friends to see... 
Notice how I used the word ‘friends’ there?
What I share with my friends is completely different from what I share with the outside world. Part of the reason why I will never link my Twitter to my Facebook- that, and it just screams laziness, but that’s just me.
On Facebook, I’m incredibly sarcastic, enjoy making asinine remarks, provide opinions that are based on little to no fact, simply for the sake of showing off my wit and having a merry old time while doing so. 
This is why Facebook for me is an evening and weekends thing. I use it as a chance to connect with my friends, who for the most part, live miles from me. It’s a place I go to reminisce about my first, and so far, only Shambhala experience, or that time sailing the Whit Sundays in Australia, half blasted out of my mind. It's a tool I use to remind myself what I am, and where I come from. ( I usually do this with a glass of red, but that’s neither here nor there.)
I connect with friends on a level that, as an employer looking at my page, would seem immature. And they would be right. 
It is immature. That’s the point. 
If you want to see my professional side, go to my Twitter feed or my Linkedin profile. That’s where my professional side is. 
Too much weight is misplaced when it comes Facebook and its communication capabilities. It’s great for organizations to connect to their fans, but of the 24,000 people who like your page, how many of them actually regularly connect?
It’s safe to say the just about every organization’s audience is on Facebook and therefore a presence is required, and some organizations use Facebook better than others. I’m a fan of company pages for things that I like, subscribe to news outlets for the convenience, but as a person and a communicator, I do not use Facebook in any sort of professional sense. That’s just not what it’s for, and I think Facebook’s initial success, combined with the need of organization to stay on top of trends, has positioned communicators in a tough spot regarding their accounts. 
We almost have to abandon our friends and our memories. I can assure you, there is no box in my basement containing all my precious memories. They’re on Facebook, and I’m not totally comfortable giving that up for the sake of a job. 
It’s the last bastion of communication between friends. It’s too hard to meet up with friends now a days and share stories or complain about something that happened at work. It’s just not feasible, and by taking that ability to do so away from communicators and using Facebook strictly as a professional tool, it hinders the ability of communicators to be creative and “empty the cup” so to speak.
This dilutes other social mediums that are much better suited for the professional world and kind of makes them seem all the same, and sort of redundant.
To be honest, I really have no problem of a potential employer checking out my Facebook profile, I have my security pretty tight, and to be honest, there are a lot of Alex Whites in the world. Just don’t be upset with what you find when you’re ‘facestalking’ me. You went looking.