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[SIC] 182: A Woodpecker's Feather
Vol 4, Number 26
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Lots of stuff this week - thanks to Iolanda, Rob, Jason, Justin, Kevin, Gordon, Celeste and Isaac for contributions. Love you all.
It’s impossible to leave Ukraine out of the issue, so let’s get to it upfront. A few quick links, since better info is obviously available elsewhere / everywhere.
From Iolanda Carvalho: “Hard to escape this theme. If you want to go there... Yuval Noah Harari and his super lucid take on the war.” / The Guardian
The whole TikTok newsletter # 73 is a fascinating deep dive into WarTok / Substack
From Rob Hubbert: “Fundraiser for Ukraine - a lot of great photographers in the mix”/ Have a Butchers
Fed chief Jay Powell says War underscores the need for crypto regulation. / Coindesk via Inside Cryptocurrency
A newly-formed task force called KleptoCapture will seek to prosecute billionaires “whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue this unjust war.” / Quartz
Elsewhere, I finally managed to finagle a talk AND an interview in the same Thursday. [SIC] Talks this week is with the director, producer and showrunner Justin Staple. Aside from being the star of the best episode of HLG ever, Justin’s an old buddy and former colleague. He’s also a fascinating dude to catch up with, for the pure randomness of his associations (check my IG story for a shot of him teaching Tekashi69 about film cameras…). Justin directed the recent DocNYC selection “American Rapstar,” knows his way around LA hype houses and Esports orgs, and was early on NFTs and crypto - so this’ll be a wild one. Tune in on my IG Live @dietznutz - 4p ET / 1p PT today, or in my grid thereafter.
As for “5 Questions For,” it was Uniqlo socks brought the massively-awarded creative director Jason Kreher and me together; in 2005 he was part of the team (led by [SIC] Talks alum Jeff Kling) at EuroRSCG that launched the Japanese megabrand in the US; the idea at first was to do something captivating with a wall of many-colored socks. Since then he’s been one of my favorite correspondents, people to visit in Portland where he lives with his husband and son, and hilarious creative brains. His new website captures his vibe pretty adroitly, and his new job (after winning the Super Bowl helming that Coinbase spot) sounds epic. This is (unfact-checked) his first interview in his new role. Let’s get into it.
Even shoe repair is an aestethic honeypot at Brentwood Country Mart…
=====5 Questions For: Jason Kreher=====
What are your favorite sources of daily information? Do they overlap with sources of inspiration for your work?
I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how I choose to get my news, instead of passively letting it be handed to me by various algorithms. That means paying for reputable sources, and working to make sure I have a balanced diet of things outside my bubble. The most eye opening has been Ground News, which shows who is covering a story and who isn’t. I have not fully figured out a good system yet, so if your readers have any tips I’d love to hear them.
I’ve been reading a lot of Garbage Day lately, which is my (second) favorite newsletter. I love a medium-deep dive into the weirder parts of the internet, and this guy spots patterns and makes predictions that really resonate. I think a lot of what I’m reading is less about inspiring my work, and more about informing the context around which my work will live. That sounds pretentious. I just mean the media and cultural landscape is now more important than almost anything, and I spend a lot of my free time getting to know it.
Judging by your Tumblr, you’re still very active there. What’s it about that platform that’s proved so sticky for you?
The thing about Tumblr is, I have zero obligation follows. You only need to feed yourself what you want to be fed. I follow maybe like, four people who I know personally? I’m only getting content from people producing or reblogging the exact kind of content I want, instead of someone I worked with eight years ago who I feel guilty for unfollowing. I am baffled how people spend so much time and energy getting hot takes and updates from acquaintances who are neither funny nor interesting.
I also love Tumblr because it is absolutely not timely. There will be, you know, trends or platform-specific memes or whatever. But looking at the desperate rush to be FIRST on Twitter just makes the whole place feel like it’s on ketamine. Chill out. Here are some screen shots of outfits from Designing Women. Here’s an mpreg Sonic illustration showing off his bare feet. Relax. Stay awhile.
It’s an average Thursday afternoon. Where do we find you, and what’s keeping you busy?
I just started a new job as the North American CCO of Accenture Interactive. I’m building an agency within to start seriously experimenting with all the new ways there are to make relevant, engaging work. I’m currently looking for creative people who are fluent in what’s next and are bored by what they’re being asked to do. But also no assholes. That last part really keeps me busy.
Who do you admire? And what for?
I imagine I’m supposed to say something like, “I admire those who will not rest until everyone in the world has access to clean drinking water” but my first thought was there’s this guy I recently found on OnlyFans who is just like, 👀.
What can [SIC] readers help you with?
What is everyone in marketing missing? Brands engaging with audiences in authentic, entertaining ways is so very rare, and virtually impossible to find in a steady stream from a single place. If I want to only make great work that resonates, what’s the secret? If you get it right you will win three $50 gift certificates to Panera Bread and a trial subscription to Blue Apron that expires in March. Good luck!
=====[SIC] 182: A Woodpecker’s Feather=====
The Future Is Not Only Useless, It’s Expensive / Gawker via Motive Unknown
Because?! The Age of Everything Culture Is Here. Anything on social media can become A Thing, so trends take on an unnerving shape and velocity / Wired
Hence: Kanye’s got a clothing line inspired by his MP3 player / Hypebeast
Related? Bimbos are back (but better)?! / Felt Zine
Oh God. Razor made an electric version of its original metal scooter. Engadget
Sports Betting: Pretty Fun, Probably Terrible via Elevator
Also pretty, pretty bad: Larry David Story's HBO doc shockingly canceled day before premiere, New York Post
In addition: Bands are over / Lefsetz Letter
Pay Hikes Fail to Lure Millennials Back to Work in Fed Study Bloomberg
The Atlantic says RIP to the five-day workweek, and along with it, the 9-5 office commute: “In the next decade, U.S. workers will spend about 25 percent of their time working from home… That’s 20 percentage points higher than the pre-pandemic figure, leaving companies with an important choice: sign for significantly less office space, or accept that significantly more of your space will go unused on a given day.” / The Atlantic via Micromobility Report
Oh also: U.S. employers would be better off offering flexible work arrangements and other incentives to younger workers because pay increases aren't enough / Bloomberg
“The unexpected workout trend Gen Z can’t get enough of” (which is, spoiler…walking) / PureWow via After School
Are voice notes killing the phone callI? / The Guardian via After School
Balenciaga has deleted its Instagram posts save for one — the Ukrainian flag, stating it will use this platform to report and relay information regarding the war in Ukraine / Global Happenings
How Lifestyle Changes Affect Luxury Brands / Jing Daily
Tyler Watamanuk on Mike Mills as a self-archivist / Dirt
Welcome to the arts space of the future. From London to Taipei, we go inside three places that are redefining the venue for 2022 / FT
Hollywood talent agency UTA to expand its contemporary art footprint with new gallery in Atlanta / The Art Newspaper
From Iolanda Carvalho: Botto, the decentralized AI/human artist that generates thousands of images, and a community of humans vote to influence, makes its first million. / newatlas.com
What will happen to Russia's treasures on loan in London and Paris? / The Art Newspaper
Entertainment + IP
Gaming is the new music? Epic Games bought Bandcamp / via Motive Unknown
The Blackbird Spyplane ambient corner / IG
Andy Warhol's voice has been recreated with machine learning to generate the narration for the upcoming Netflix documentary, The Andy Warhol Diaries. / Art News via Jing Daily
The Euphoria of Angus Cloud / The FACE
Danny McBride’s Red-blooded American Male. Misplaced confidence is one of the funniest things in the world to us. And no one plays the confident fool better than Danny McBride / Esquire via Elevator
[SIC] homie Xavier Aaronson made a project of photos of his grandma (who seems v.v. chill) / It’s Nice That
From Gordon Hull: You might enjoy this playlist I made. It’s an absolutely swinging garbage 2Step // UK garage/// Nu beat future step /// mix / Spotify
Platforms & Influencers
Eight state attorneys general, are launching an investigation into TikTok and its potential harm on young users. / The Hill via Morning Brew
Meanwhile, the YouTube-ification of TikTok is almost complete / Protocol
So: TikTok's CEO Says He Faces Competitors With 'Bigger Muscles' / Bloomberg
TikTok Made 'Encanto' the First Disney Hit of the Streaming Age / Bloomberg
Why dubbing has become more crucial to Netflix / Los Angeles Times
Also, IGTV is dead / via Protocol
Marketing & Advertising
Authentic Brands Eyes Push Into Clothing, NFTs to Boost Reebok / Bloomberg
PUMA Becomes PUMA.eth on Twitter for the Metaverse. Puma, the world's third-largest sports brand, changed its name on Twitter from PUMA to PUMA.eth — turning its name into an NFT / Cointelegraph via Jing Daily
How ad agencies are responding to the invasion of Ukraine / The Drum
Kia has co-opted the music of Wave, the first DJ to exist entirely in the metaverse, to portray its brand as one that can unlock creativity / The Drum
Leon Bridges and denim brand Wrangler are dropping a two-part NFT collection that will combine virtual items and in-person experiences / Jing Daily
How Modelo is using Mexican-flavored experiments in a push to become America's No. 1 beer / Fast Company
Motorola added support for the Cherokee language to Motorola devices that support Android 12. / Fast Company
What Creators Get Wrong About Text Marketing / Trapital
From Kevin Johanessen: Is this [Sony Bravia’s “Colours”] the most elegant, quietly affecting video spot ever? / Youtube
Another rhetorical from Kevin: Are there other ones which have clearly inspired a direct copy of the idea?[lIke this iPhone one]? / Youtube
ESPN: has rebranded The Undefeated to Andscape, and will expand the scope of its coverage beyond sports / Sports Business Journal
In the first 24 hours that the company integrated Wordle into its website, visits to the page were about equal to the total monthly audience for the entire NYT site / Puck News via Morning Brew
Confessions of a $15-dollars-an-hour content moderator at Pornhub / The Verge via Splice Slugs
A Comprehensive History of the Rise and Fall of Playboy Magazine / Cool Material via Elevator
Why Nordstrom Is Expanding Its Retail Media Network / Ad Age
Gizmodo, Jezebel, Kotaku and More Go on Strike / Variety
An annual selection of the best in visual journalism / WPHNA.org via 1440
Metaverse & Web3
This Social Club [Friends With Benefits] Runs on Crypto Tokens and Vibes” / NYT via Dealbook
FWB founder and [SIC Homie] Trevor McFedries’s mix for Herb Sunday / Substack
The most visited place in Decentraland (a third of the platform’s 600,000 users) is the casino, specifically what the platform dubs “ICE Poker.” Bloomberg via Future Party
A video platform, Shibuya, that will leverage NFTs to finance and make decisions regarding the plot of an upcoming animated series called White Rabbit. With Shibuya, Artist Emily "pplpleasr" Yang, who is already a legend in the NFT space, is building something akin to Kickstarter and Netflix on Web3 rails. / Medium via Inside Cryptocurrency
These women are staking their claim to Web3 and the metaverse / Fast Company
It’s not just gamers and crypto dudes buying digital fashion. / Vogue Business
How to get in the Sports NFT game / Coindesk
Why marketers can’t afford to be skeptical about the metaverse / The Drum
But what are the rules for celebrities promoting NFTs? / Wired
Brands are building their own digital country clubs / 2pm
From Justin Staple: Super LTD and Decrypt Studios Take GAMESTOP: RISE OF THE PLAYERS Documentary to the Moon for a Metaverse Screening / Business Wire
Food & Drink
When You Could Get a Three-Course Meal and Coffee for 25 Cents in New York / Hyperallergic
Can We Move Beyond Food? Discover Magazine via Motive Unknown
Will “invasivorism” be the next step in the sustainable food movement? / Reasons to Be Cheerful
Top 5 meatless meals and promos/ Ad Age:
Want to be smarter in meetings? Open a window / WITI
The Punk Strategy Guide to the Logical Thinking Process / Forte Labs via Motive Unknown
From Isaac Dietz: This Greenwhich mansion is being demolished to make way for a golf course. Pop by with your demo team / Demolition Depot
Buy a home in Maine, get $40K for your student loan debt / BI via 1440
Amsterdam is Going to Build a New District Out of Wood / The Daily Upside
What $1mn buys you in prime property around the world / FT
Things to Do
Jonas Mekas: The Camera Was Always Running. The first US museum survey of the avant-garde filmmaker, poet, and artist Jonas Mekas at the Jewish Museum in New York City through June 5. / Hyperallergic
Sign up for the PSFK Metaverse Primer seminar (free) on March 11 / Retail Innovation Week
Get the New Issue of Hamburger Eyes / Hamburger Eyes
Angelenos, got check out [SIC] homie Vivian Rosenthal’s wild breathwork night Monday / Instagram
Watch [SIC] homie Suroosh Alvi’s Short doc fest / VICE