Unleash The Snark!
How shall I phrase this? I’ve been to the mountaintop?
It was Minnesota. No mountains.
Have I been to the Promised Land? It’s Minnesota. Some may see it that way.
But I think I may just have to fall back onto a well-used Hollywood cliché…
I’ve been to see the wizard.
In this case, the wizard is a St. Paul-based poet entrepreneur (poetpreneur?) with an extraordinary track record in business of telling people things they don’t want to hear.
That man is Dan Hill. A former academic with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing/Poetry, and a PhD in English, Dan Hill is the world-renowned master of facial coding, which he performs with his company Sensory Logic.
What is facial coding?
Let’s call it measuring human emotions through facial expressions in order to understand people’s reactions to various input. (That input can include advertising, even radio commercials.)
Dan’s system for judging human emotional reactions through facial cues has put all kinds of businesses on his client list at Sensory Logic. That includes more than 100 of the world’s top 100 advertisers.
His groundbreaking book, Emotionomics, has been an Advertising Age Top 100 must-read book for the year, and has been translated into a dozen or so languages.
Dan Hill is a certified smart guy. So why is he seeing me?
Hello, shameless self promotion!
Dan and I were introduced by the great Jerry Lee, legendary radio station owner, President of SpotQ Services (for which I’ve done some consulting), crime prevention philanthropist, and all-around extraordinary human being. (Jerry Lee was knighted by the King of Sweden. I mean…how did I end up in such illustrious company?)
Dan was writing a book and was looking for contributors. He talked to Jerry Lee, and yours truly somehow ended up on the shortlist.
That’s how your relentless scribe became a contributor to Dan’s first satirical business book.
It’s called Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide To Office Lingo.
This book is created in the vein of so many classic works, ranging from Henry Beard’s The Sailor’s Dictionary (a personal fave) to The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (deemed one of The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature, and Dan’s inspiration for this volume).
Blah, Blah, Blah is funny, it’s biting, and it’s something unexpected.
It’s a public service.
The idea for Blah, Blah, Blah developed when Dan was having conversations with important business types who each told him, separately, that about 25% of corporate managers are bullies.
This idea seems reflected in the book’s dedication: “This book is dedicated 100% to the wonderful people we’ve known on the job, and 10% to treacherous people who made writing this book so cathartic.”
Dan told me he thought of turning to satire as an effort to encourage reforms in the workplace.
The resulting book is funny enough that it has received genuine, out-loud laughter from The Fabulous Honey Parker.
(If you know anything about comedians and comedy writers—both groups to which Honey belongs—getting them to laugh at all is a project. They’re always analyzing the jokes, and they’ve heard more jokes, good and bad, than normal, healthy people.)
Here now, a few Blah, Blah, Blah definitions that passed the Honey Test…
TALENT: The assumption that corporate life reaches Hollywood standards, when it’s really more like Vaudeville.
ANTICIPATION: The naïveté that precedes Anticipointment.
THOUGHT LEADER: A person who possesses neither any original thought nor the propensity to lead.
SEXUAL INNUENDOS AND HARASSMENT: While innuendos involve pointless body-part references that belong in a bedroom, not a conference room, harassment may become the catalyst for mandatory training whereby (some) male employees learn that “harass” isn’t actually two separate words.
BORDERLINE DECISIONS: What leaders with borderline personalities do best.
I confess, that latter definition is mine. Accordingly, I’m honored to have moved the needle on The Fabulous Honey Parker’s Laugh-O-Meter.
Anyway, all this to say, Dan’s business is fascinating. And his new book is funny.
Feel free to buy it here. If you read this as text only or your links are disabled, copy and paste https://www.amazon.com/Blah-Snarky-Guide-Office-Lingo-ebook/dp/B09BWPQGGJ
It’s available in Kindle and Paperback. I have both. I recommend paperback for the full and fun, book-like effect.
And I get paid not one thin dime for any of this. No fat dimes, either.
For me, as a writer who has had to battle corporate jargon in daily life, it’s just about knowing that this effort at sanity and public service is out there, chipping away at the deeply ensconced criminality of intellectually illicit institutionalized lingo.
Also, when you read Dan’s preface, you’ll find a link to bonus material.
So there ya go. No hard sell on this one. It’s just good work by a good man whom I admire, and I’m honored to have been part of it.
(Thanks for the referral, Jerry Lee. And thank you loyal reader Rod Schwartz of Radio Sales Café for the invaluable introduction to Jerry Lee.)
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in Park City
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.