“The robots are already here and they want your clicks.”
“The monetization of the soul, the dilution of the purity of creation, and other things no body cares about.”
“A cynical bastard thinks to much between large gulps of high octane caffeine.”
“A brief discussion about the dangers of nomenclature”
Tim Minchin said on a podcast once, ‘Everyone is a brand, whether they want to admit or not. Daniel Kitson is a brand, whether he wants to admit or not.’
Several comedians nodded in agreement. Many of them shared their concurrence with this point to me after it aired.
What I pointed out to each one of them was that calling oneself a brand is a choice. A very important choice that tells one a lot abut the person making the distinction.
A person sees a cat. They have the choice of either calling it a feline, a kitty cat, or a fine specimen of animal meat. Assuming the cat is in good health, than technically all three of those are correct. Wether the cat wants to admit it or not.
The distinction lies in the person labeling the cat. What can we learn about that person from the three ways they might choose to describe our cat?
Feline: a little stilted. They’re either posh or a dental hygenist. Maybe they host a nature program.
Kitty Cat: They’re twelve. It’s adorable.
A fine specimen of animal meat: Grab the children, lock the doors, call the cops or get the ‘feline’ guy to make a call to his friends in Parliament.
The fact that one does not call themselves a brand is an indication of exactly where they are coming from. And with regard to art, where you are coming from is the whole damn point.
That’s why art can be anything from a Picasso to a toilet bowl. It’s about what went into it (excuse the mental image).
Maybe the guy who made the toilet bowl was raised by his father in Italy and since he was a boy, his papa taught him the spiritual importance of every day house hold amenities.
Every time he molds the porcelain with his bare hands he does it with a passion, an intensity, that is imbued in every throne. He loves toilet bowls. He believes they are the essence of our being on this Earth. He misses papa.
If the guy who made the toilet bowl put that into it, then you might wonder why you weep at the sight of it every time you go to take a shit.
Likewise, when something is made specifically for consumption, as in it smacks of market research, focus group approval (looking at you Stranger Things) it well, just sucks.
You can’t even explain it. It just does. Like when you walk into a hipster coffee shop that just doesn’t feel right. The barista has giant plugs in his ears, he’s kind of an asshole, esoteric alt rock is playing over the speakers, it all checks out. But you feel eerie, like something is off, until you find out that the ‘independent coffee shop’ is actualy owned by Tesco.
So call it content if you want. Call yourself a brand. Read Tim Ferris and study billionaires. Tell me time is money. Have a five year plan and know exactly which direction your career is headed. Study algorithms and marketing techniques. Post on social media not because you want to, but because you have to. Forget fulfillment, get success.
And for God sakes, above all, keep Tim Minchin away from your cat.