Enlightened Conflict

defining serial philanderer versus serial creep

October 14th, 2016

yes no hand statement 




Let me say this about Trump … because of this asshat I have had to have more conversations about guys, what we do and what we say, and don’t say, and why we do the things we do, or don’t do, then I have in years.



trump-not-all-men-are-like-thatOn October 9th I had to walk through what guys really don’t say in a locker room.


And what guys do say <and they don’t say any of the shit that Trump senior & junior imply we do>.


Today I felt the need to define the difference between a serial philanderer and a serial creep.




The Trump campaign is gonna do their damndest to blur the distinction the best they can.


Ignore the blurring.


I am gonna make it simple.


A father, husband, or any adult man knows the one guy you don’t trust around your wife, girlfriend/partner or … well … any woman. They are on constant low level “flirt status’ trolling for anyone who expresses even one iota of interest.

They are the ‘dogs’ who just want to sleep with any woman they can.

That guy is a serial philanderer.



A father, husband, or any adult man knows the one guy you don’t trust around your daughter.

That guy is a serial creep.


That was, and is, simple.




There is going to be a bunch of crap being thrown around to blur the discussion and to attempt to create some random equivalencies in order to attach Hillary to Bill <and inevitably> to Trump on this issue.


As Trump would say … “disaster” of a plan. ‘Poor judgement.’


A wife is a victim of a husband’s infidelity. Period.


A woman, all women, are victims of a creep. Period.


thinking inside head possibilities finiteBill. If we were to judge him thru a 2016 lens, versus whatever year lens we are trying to go back to, yes … he is guilty of .. well … I am not sure what he is guilty of.

He has faced allegations of which none have been proven in court <and the women , I believe, have had their day in court>. He had sex with a consenting adult <that is infidelity and not a crime>. So I guess in 2016 lens he would be viewed as a serial philanderer. But I also don’t remember him ever using the words Trump does nor do I ever remember him treating women in general as Trump does. Nor … which everyone seems to forget … do I remember Bill showing the overall pattern of disdain for people beyond women.


Adultery is adultery. On that issue both Trump and Bill were adulterers and philanderers.

Not a crime. Just a moral crime.


Trump. Here is Trump’s problem. He has been a bragging hyperbole driven lying asshole throughout this entire campaign. For the most part … everyone knows that he exaggerates everything. But. When you listen to the bus “grab & touch anyone I want” tape. And listen to what he says. And you combine it with everything else you have seen and heard … well … you sit back and go … whoa … that’s not exaggeration or sexist stupidity … I believe he actually does, and did, that.


Bill didn’t paw at women. He slept with them as an adulterer.

Trump not only was an adulterer but he took advantage of his position to touch, kiss and non consensually paw at women <while verbally demeaning them>.

That makes him a creep.




I don’t think she can say this <because she would be crucified> but I think she would say thru a 2016 culture lens she would have acted differently back in business context young old thinking smarterwhatever year that was. We view sexual assault <as well as many things culturally> differently now versus then <thankfully I may add>.

But that is a guess.

What I do know is that it is only hearsay that she did anything to the women. She stood by her husband as her husband lied to her. She stopped standing by her husband <speaking out against allegations against her husband> after he told her the truth. That’s kind of what wives do.

They are the last ones to know, the last ones to believe and the last ones left out there feeling & looking stupid. And that is why trying to tie her to her husband’s infidelity is a losing strategy. Women know that.


And to suggest she is an “enabler”? geez. That suggests she was the Madam for Bill’s whorehouse. On so many levels, mostly by simply viewing Hillary through a brainiac thought leader lens, that seems incredibly unlikely.


The biggest problem for Trump continues to be actually his biggest most effective strategy.

False equivalence.


As he did in the debate the other night he tried to diminish his sexist asshatedness by … well … comparing it to ISIS. Well, yes, he looks good in that equivalence.




What he does is to suggest that “well, he did it too” as an equivalence. That may work in 2nd grade but in the adult world individuals are responsible for their actions.




The last thing he, and his rabid surrogates, are masters at is ‘isolating an incident’ to create equivalence. He treats each asshat incident as a solitary event and finds an equivalence to diminish its importance <or heinousness>.

And you know what? If it were just one incident most of us would sit back and go “okay, you really aren’t an asshat … you just showed a moment of poor judgement.” But if you unbundle his isolation techniques and rebundle everything that he does, and has done, he shows an overall pattern of … well … being a heinous self-serving asshole bully who believes he deserves anything he wants … and if he doesn’t get it becomes a petulant rich kid focused on some revenge.


<the latter does not reflect anything I want in a president>


Bill was a good president who was an adulterer. He also seems like he was a public servant to, and of, the citizens of America <and not sexist>. Oh. And he married a headstrong independent smart woman.


Trump was an adulterer. A creep with regard to women overall. Sexist. And , in general, the worst type of soulless capitalist you can imagine.


Hillary will be a good president who was not an adulterer, did not divorce her husband despite his flaws, has shown no signs of being anything but an ambitious public servant woman … and married an incredibly smart articulate flawed man.


All flawed.


But not all flaws are equal.




As Michelle Obama just said in a fabulous speech yesterday … “Enough is enough.”




“We live in the real world, with real problems that need real solutions.

We need someone with pragmatic approaches that include patience and compassion. That is Hillary Clinton.”


Idaho Statesman, the state’s most widely circulated newspaper, criticized Trump as insufficiently reliable on conservative issues, or unreliable, period.



A presidential candidate can’t say anything, and I truly mean ‘anything’, if its creepy <because no adult wants their son or daughter to be confused in thinking serial-obama-michelle-not-politics-as-usual-1of it as “wow, the guy who is running our country can say it … and think it … so why the fuck can’t I ??!!??”>.

That’s why a presidential debate is … uhm … well … there is no age limit to view it because they are supposed to represent what is the best of us <not the worst>. That’s why words matter.


This horrible Donald Trump event is much bigger than a political event. This is a cultural “education level event.”

Someone on twitter called this election ‘the Sweet Meteor of Death’ but I disagree.


Our first black president changed America. Anyone would be silly to not think that.

Our first female president will also change America. Anyone would be silly to not think that.


And the change occurs in some horrible public ways.


But not all change is equal.


Obama ran against decent human beings who competed based on ideas and hopes … not racism.

Clinton, a woman, is faced with a non-decent individual who is competing not on ideas … and certainly not positivism or hope … but instead is plucking every misogynist and xenophobic and sexist string anyone anywhere could play.


I read somewhere … we are witnessing what Obama’s 2008 campaign would have been like if Obama had been running against a George Wallace.


In this case we are witnessing the Mad Men masculinity campaign against the woman of the future.


This will define who and what we are as people.


I listened to Michelle Obama in New Hampshire on 10/13 <and I am truly speak the truthhonored Michelle Obama is our First Lady>.


“Trump’s comments about women have shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”

“This was a powerful individual speaking openly about sexually predatory behavior.”


“This is certainly beyond the basic standards of human decency.”


    This is not normal, this is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful, it is intolerable, and it doesn’t matter what party you belong to… No woman deserves to be treated this way – none of us deserves this kind of abuse.


“If Trump is elected we’re telling our sons it’s ok to humiliate women.” 




I do not like how Trump conducts his businesses competitively or organizationally … and I do not like how he conducts himself personally.

I do not believe this is who we are as decent people nor do I believe he represents who we are as a country.

And … paraphrasing our FLOTUS … I will not let anyone tell us differently.

the conversation that took place yesterday between almost every man and woman

October 9th, 2016


bar talk


The Trump video created a conversation that I believe happened between 99% of every male-female relationship across America <be it partners, married or friends>.




Do men really say things like that when they are together?


I can guarantee you that question reverberated through some room in almost every living abode and bar/restaurant across America.


Here is how my conversation went.


I can honestly say that I have never heard anything like the things Trump said in his 2005 video within any discussion i have ever had with any group of my  friends in any city or state I have lived in … nor at any age <and I am close to the age Trump was in that video and I cannot fathom a 59 year old man saying those things>.


That said.


I wanted her to know this is not how men talk when they’re together.


Mostly we talk about sports, our work or just end up laughing at other people.




We sometimes tell dirty jokes.


We sometimes say some fairly nasty things about people.


We really do not often talk about our sex lives <other than, of course, we have sex … because no guy would ever admit they were not having lots of sex>.



We never talk about grabbing women by any part of their body.


We never talk about sexual assault <doing anything sexually with a woman with no consent> … unless it is to point out that any male who has to actually assault a woman to have sex not only doesn’t deserve ‘to get laid’ … but should have their balls cut off.


Are our conversations ‘politically correct’? Of course not. We are guys shooting the shit unfiltered.


Is there always one guy who can make us play in the conversation a little ‘lower’ than we are typically comfortable with? Sure. On occasion.

I think it sometimes lets us play in some ‘taboo’ space which we know is bad but we sense it is harmless to see what it feels like.


<note … most of us will admit it doesn’t feel that great>


Is there a limit to the ‘low’? Absolutely. It is actually like a rubber band. Most of us are willing to get stretched a little within a guy group dynamic … but only so gun control guyfar.

There is sometimes that one guy who takes it too far and you will actually see everyone else pull back and go way back into the safe zone.

Most of us actually get creeped out when it gets too low.

Most of us recognize when harmless discomfort turns into dangerous discussion wherein we become complicit in accepting the unacceptable simply by permitting the discussion to continue.


Suffice it to say … there is no complicit culture of misogyny running rampant through the bars across America where men coalesce to talk about the shit we guys talk about.


Most of us have sisters, mothers, nieces, female friends and loved ones who we would not only be horrified if they ever heard us say these things … we would be horrified if someone said these things about them.



Some guys, fewer than you may think, have no filter and have no sense of what is right versus wrong <and, yet, they are neither a psychopath nor a criminal>.


Do we let these guys show up and have a beer with us and joke around some? Sure.


Do we let these guys play with is on our teams? Sure.


Do we let these guys around any female we like or respect? Never.

trump talk brain

Trump does not represent 99% of males … morally or behavior wise.


And while it was probably good that this conversation took place across America between men and the women they care about I absolutely hate that asshat Trump for suggesting that what he said was ‘typical locker room banter.’


I would suggest that other than some posh golf course locker room he has padded through, on his chubby little feet, toward some urinal so he can fondle his dick … he hasn’t visited a real locker room … well … ever.


We men are certainly not saints when we get together and some of the things we say would make an angel blush … but we do not represent the kind of sin Trump just laid upon us all in that video.

premium chocolate is good … why isn’t the advertising?

May 11th, 2015

chocolate answer


“If there’s no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not going.”


Jane Seabrook


“It’s not just what you say that stirs people.

It’s the way that you say it.”


Bill Bernbach


“Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”


Judith Viorst







This is about advertising … chocolate advertising as a matter of fact.




It is also about bad advertising for a great premium chocolate product.



Why is it bad advertising?



David Ogilvy stated my issue today the best:
“There are very few products which do not benefit from being given a first class ticket through life.”


chocolate swirl

It is a premium chocolate, Dove, which asks us to take an economy class ticket in Life.





To be clear.

Common everyday chocolate … the lower end cost stuff <lower priced but still tastes great> … kind of gets it communicationwise … they are playful and entertaining and market themselves as part of everyday fun and everyday people.



But premium chocolate?


Yikes. Ok. Double yikes.



It’s kind of like they lose their mind over thinking the psychological attitudes tied <tenuously I may add> to chocolate and the things they want to attach to their brand.





Therein lies a huge challenge.


Everyone who thinks about ‘brand building’ <which is a crazy & bad topic in and of itself> needs to be very careful about what they ‘build with.’ Brand builders tend to start building with things they want rather than things that are.






I am all for aspirational … but some pragmatism is healthy.



Which leads me to chocolate.


And Dove.







While it seems like there are gobs of chocolate brands and choices most of the products that people see are really manufactured by the same two companies.


Milky Way, Twix, Three Musketeers, Dove, and M&M are all Mars products.

Kit Kat, Reese’s, Whoppers, Almond Joy, Mounds, Kisses and a whole shitload of others are Hershey products.



On a side note … in doing some research I found out a fascinating factoid about Mars & Hershey:chocolate hersheys-vs-mars


Hershey and Mars have a long history between them – actually allies before becoming big rivals in the industry.

In The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars, Joël Glenn Brenner details the little known trading of information between the two companies during World War II which changed the chocolate landscape forever. Hershey sent technology and information to Mars (for M&M’s) in order to help them manufacture for the military, but Mars “exploited the opportunity.

“Few people outside the industry are aware of this part of M&M’s success. Neither company is quick to advertise it. But the truth is, the histories of these two industry rivals are closely intertwined,” and goes on to make the bold claim that, “one could argue that Mars would not have succeeded without Hershey, and vice versa”


The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars
Joël Glenn Brenner







I will invoke the Pareto Principle … suffice it to say about 80% of what is sold is made by 2 companies.


This is called “the illusion of choice.”



The next part of the ‘illusion of choice’ is that while there are some quality differences <albeit they are mostly taste/texture differences> the largest part of price differentiation is created by how a brand chooses to market and package the chocolate.


chocolate packaging

After quality packaging has been designed … this puts a lot of pressure, or heavy lifting, on the marketing & advertising to drive foot traffic <thru attitudes> to the package.



For example … M&M’s and Dove Chocolates are both manufactured by Mars but Dove is branded as a smoother, elegant, high end chocolate and M&M’s are more of an everyday chocolate, good for any type of person or event, with a lower price point. The packaging reflects that decision as well as the marketing we see.






To the horrendous Dove cranberries tv commercial.



In the ad there is this ‘mysterious woman’ … conveniently with a bag of Dove Chocolate Real Cranberries … who leads a man on a sexually charged scavenger hunt through a library.



In the end he finally catches up to her … they sit … and, of course, they share the less than ordinary pleasure of Dove chocolates with real cranberries with each other <after that it is all your imagination …>.


———dove chocolate cranberries

Dove Cranberries<scavenger hunt>:







This is crap. I mean this is really shitty advertising <for an amazingly good chocolate>.

I am embarrassed for the chocolate itself.




So women have to be mysterious … and men have to pursue … and chocolate has to be romantic and associated with couples and … well … what crap.



This advertisement is utter garbage.



Dove should be embarrassed.

I hate stereotyping.



I hate trite.



I hate mindless drivel.



How they think this advertising either :


a> Lures people into buying Dove

b> Enhances their brand in any way

is beyond me <and my pea like brain>.



How a Dove chocolate-covered cranberry commercial depicting a woman seductively leaving clues around a library so that a man can ultimately discover her eating chocolate will build some meaningful mystique <and more importantly … value> into the Dove brand seems ludicrous to me.





They must think we are stupid.



The Mystery section sign? Really ??!!??


As if we didn’t know she was trying to be ‘mysterious’?



In a library? Really ??!!??


So that we know a Dove chocolate eater is a reader and hangs out in libraries?


<note: if she was truly high end wouldn’t she be in some swanky exclusive bookstore and not some random public library?>



Using clues <phrases> like … “mystery”, “take the leap”, “free your mind”, “live your fantasies”, and “heating up”? Really ??!!!???


As if we need everything spelled out to us?




What crap.



How about describing and depicting the chocolate-eating experience without relying on seduction and romance?

chocolate makes


How about implying we eaters of premium chocolate are smart enough to know its good shit and not have to try and use some imagery that demeans us intellectually?



How about saying something about Dove that stirs us … makes us truly feel something.



For god’s sake … if I can’t do that with truly great tasting chocolate, like Dove, what the hell can I do it for?




I am not offering any solutions today.





Ok … I will.


1. I could argue that you could use the first quote I used upfront –If there’s no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not going … and create a pretty fabulous fun communication piece relevant to the audience in an elegant high end way.


2. I could argue that you could use the 3rd quote I used upfront … Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces … and create a pretty fabulous fun communication piece relevant to the audience in an elegant high end way.


It seems like both of those off-the-cuff ideas could create a pretty fabulous tv commercial which taps into the inner insight of chocolate lovers>..






All I am suggesting is that premium brands deserve premium advertising & marketing. They deserve smart insightful and thoughtful advertising and marketing.



As Bill Bernbach says … the advertising deserves to be something that stirs people. Say something about Dove chocolate that makes me feel something … truly FEEL something.



To be clear.


Dove has even tried borrowed ‘elegant’ interest:



Dove with Audrey Hepburn <kind of>


I said kind of because apparently they used a stand in and thru computer recreated Audrey Hepburn






Borrowed interest is always tricky … really tricky when the borrowed is a dead person.


This attempt doesn’t really work either.





I know what they are trying to do:



– Associate the chocolate with elegance <thru Hepburn>

– Make chocolate desirable <thru Hepburn>

– Make this brand of chocolate ‘okay to buy & eat’ <if Audrey Hepburn eats it than it is okay>



They are all viable things to say and suggest.


But, geez, could you have possibly done it in a way that kind of makes me feel something other than ‘interesting execution’?



I admit … this whole Dove discussion reminded me of my Gevalia coffee rant < http://brucemctague.com/generic-coffee-or-advertising-a-commodity >.chocolate moment



Why do premium brands play ‘down’ intellectually when they should be playing ‘up’?



Elegant doesn’t mean it has to be trite or vapid.



Premium doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining.



Great chocolate deserves great advertising & marketing.


What I have shown is not it <Dove chocolate should be embarrassed … their chocolate deserves much much better>.

Enlightened Conflict