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Recently, I had a debate with my teen-aged daughter regarding the concept of a thing being overrated. She’d used the term to describe a TV show that was awful (in her opinion) but very popular, calling it “overrated.” I offered the opinion that something good can also be overrated. I used the movie, Avengers: End Game as an example. Fine movie. Super popular. But an epic? Well, it’s certainly long like one…

My daughter vehemently shook her head. She said all her friends really liked End Game so therefore it couldn’t be overrated. While her definition of the term is certainly valid I believe mine is more accurate. What do you think? Can something good, even very good, be overrated?

Three examples of good but overrated:

In & Out Burgers – This so-called California icon is the textbook example of overrated. No question the burgers are solid. But the fries are plain awful.

Outdoor Music Festivals – People love these things until they actually go. From parking to potty they can be a freaking nightmare.

The Matrix – I love science fiction. I like Keanu Reeves. But I have never understood the adulation heaped upon this interesting but mostly befuddling flick.

Big Bang Theory – This contrived and silly sitcom has some of the highest TV ratings in the 21st century. Yet, the show feels phony as a three-dollar bill.

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steffanpostaer.com

File this under long overdue: I finally redid my website portfolio, making it much easier to review and (hopefully) appreciate. Please take a look. If you’re looking for an exceptional copywriter and/or creative director for a project or pitch, or simply have a special writing assignment requiring a true professional, I’m your guy.

I love fashioning creative business ideas with all the requisite proof points, from emails to manifestos. I’m quick, reliable and will work within your budget.

I grew up on the consumer side but I can and do work in B2B, and on the trickiest of verticals. It’s all on on my new website! Thank you so much for your consideration. I look forward to our collaboration.

Let’s go to work!

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Becoming a monster to defeat the monster

 

After watching the brutal second-to-last episode of Game of Thrones I turned on a news channel to alleviate my discomfort. What was I thinking? Bear with me, I’m going to start in an unusual place…

I’m troubled by the vilification of highly literate and educated people, labeling them “elitists.” Once upon a time, the most learned among us were undisputed and logical choices to run companies and govern nations. Regardless of their privilege and pretense, cultivated individuals were valued above all else. After all, didn’t we want the smartest people running things? Fallible wisdom is better than uncontested brutishness.

The populist agenda would have us believe otherwise. Higher education is for entitled liberals and rogue progressives. Such elitists don’t care about hardworking Americans, they say. Professors and scientists live in ivory towers. They are so out of touch. Learning is thusly framed as a luxury i.e. elitist. Only snobs have the luxury to care about esoteric things like Truth and Beauty.

There are kernels of truth in such notions; that is why they become popular in the first place. Yet, it’s paradoxical. We all aspire to be successful geniuses even as we relish dismantling those who are. The rich are evil. Yet everyone plays the lottery.

We reap what we sow. Populism has become the new normal. Any satisfaction seeing a Washington elite lose the 2016 presidential election has been replaced by something far more depressing and sinister. We have a dumb-ass for a President. And when absolute power is given to a dumb-ass we all get screwed.

That said the other side has taken the bait of outrage, fomenting extremism. As the POTUS has gone low so, too, have they. To fight the monster they have become one, unwittingly or otherwise. The insidious political correctness demanded by the “smart” and “woke” has made speaking one’s mind a minefield. God forbid you do not walk and talk a certain way. You will be shunned. You will be fired. Or worse. The outraged have become an angry mob. Journalism is no longer objective. Media channels are mouthpieces for one side or the other, both equally repugnant. I am as sick of CNN as I am of Fox.

In this crucible of correctness socialism feels like a reasonable idea, an antidote. It is neither. Power to the people is merely a bizarro form of populism, a ploy fronting as a bold idea. At first the Mother of Dragons was the Breaker of Chains, freeing the oppressed and punishing their captors. She was a good idea, too. Spoiler alert: She isn’t anymore. Give anyone absolute power and invariably all goes to shit. An angry mob created this government. Now an angry mob wants to take it out. What is the common denominator? An angry mob. Brandishing their hash tags like Valyrian steel.

I want my leaders to be literate and temperate. I want them to be smarter than me, vastly so. So that they have the courage to forsake righteousness for compromise, to ask for help in difficult matters, to be able to say the three bravest three words of all: “I don’t know.”

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Crazy good…

Nothing suits me more than writing a good manifesto! I know I am not alone. Most copywriters get off on writing manifestos. At least they’d better. Writing such documents is at the heart of what we do, and can do, for our clients.

Most of you know what I’m talking about. For those unawares, a manifesto (aka mantra or anthem) is the bringing to life in words the highest and most noble aspirations of its subject.

Yes, it is advertising copy but in the best sense of the word. Recall Apple’s great script to the modern world: Think Different. Consider the lines that first and forever defined Nike to a generation: Just Do It. We know these iconic tags because we fell in love with the manifestos. Frankly, neither line would have lasted this long, or even gotten out the door, if not for their beloved manifestos.

The power and glory of a brilliant manifesto cannot be overstated. They raise the hairs on the back of your neck. They make CMO’s smile. They win pitches. Most of all they change things: attitudes, behaviors, even lives.

At least the good ones do.

Into these haloed paragraphs we put everything we know or think we know about writing, about persuading, about life. Here you won’t find speeds and feeds, racks and stacks or friends and family. None of that. These are the best neighborhoods in Adland. No trespassing!

May I write one for you? https://steffanwork.wordpress.com/

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Gods of Advertising is on hiatus so I can devote more energy to completing a manuscript as well as writing for my clients. Perhaps you? Services include copy writing, brand manifestos and creative direction. I’m passionate about helping clients develop powerful creative business ideas. This is my portfolio My portfolio

Do you have a writing project you would like to discuss -professional or personal? I am also available to help other writers with their work, as an advisor, editor or mentor.

Connect here or on SM platforms – Let’s have a conversation!

I look forward to hearing from you!