Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sorry about your dogma.

If you haven't heard
them yet, download some
Firesign Theatre. You
will thank me.
It happened so fast! It just darted out in front of my argument and--before I could take my foot off the gag--it got crushed by my conclusion.

I wasn't aiming for it. Really.

I know this may not comfort you now, but I want you to know that I did not single out your dogma. Heck, I don't care enough about anybody's dogma to aim for it. It's just that I love blasting through current events, shining the high beams on hypocrisy, BS, and general high-profile stupidity, and sometimes I ding a few of them.

The hate-mail affects me, of course, especially those emails thanking me for denting some other guy's dogma. Let me tell you, those comments bring me little joy. It's still joy. Just not a whole lot of it.

Recently, I've been accused of nicking left-leaning dogmas more often than right-leaning ones, and technically that's true (score to date -- Left jab: 30%, right hook: 16%, floating like a butterfly: 53%, nut-shot to al-Qaeda: 1%).

But that is not because of my political orientation. Quite candidly, I don't have a political orientation. To paraphrase Groucho Marx "I don't care to belong to any political party that would have me as a member."

But I do find that the dogmas coming at me from the extreme left are more inclined to try to stifle my free speech--and my free thought--than those from the right. (Always with the best of intentions, mind you.) While the knuckleheads on the far right are more interested in controlling my sexual orientation and my religious beliefs. And that pabulum is not even worth dignifying with a slap.

Before it happens again (and it will), let me explain the philosophical orientation of FlackOps by quoting Penn Jillette, the wisest person on the planet. "The difference between telling the truth as you see it, from your heart, with passion, and trying to win people over is--I guess the technical term would be an RCH, ..." (look it up) "... just the slightest possible difference. But to me, it's very important."

But Serius, I don't care
what dogma star you pray to.
 For two decades, my team and I launched clever PR campaigns to influence what people thought. And we were very good at it, winning far more hearts and minds than our competition. But lately, I've come to realize that the 20th century PR techniques we employed, while legitimate and effective, hewed too closely to Bernays' early 20th century definition of "propaganda."

So I shifted gears. Rather than trying to "win people over," I now advise my clients to tell the truth as they see it, from the heart, with passion.

And I use FlackOps to call shenanigans on the more blatantly dishonest old-school PR campaigns, (while offering some tips on how to achieve the same goals with more transparent means)--because the Internet is gonna impose transparency on us whether we want it to or not.

Along the way, I'm going to offend a lot of people. Including myself.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. One aside, The Internet will keep us honest as long as the Executive Branch leaves it on. Now that it has the power to turn it off at will, the free speech now currently possible is at serious risk.