Snapchat Store

I'm sitting in Starbucks working on an ad and boom, an idea hits me. What if there were stores on Snapchat? Yes, you've read that right and I know I read a bit crazy, but stay with me here. Snapchat stores! All of the functionality is already there: facial recognition and swipable filters. As a culture with an embedded desire for speed and proximity, the store would be groundbreaking. To "try on" a shirt, you no longer have to wait in line at the fitting room, you simply swipe right or swipe left to "put back" your item and try another on. However, there are some setbacks to this idea.

Everything below the waist will need to be added into the Snapchat code, therefore reworking how Snapchat already functions. For a code guru, I'm sure this is possible, but in Snapchat's defense, would it be worth the cost? I'm uncertain. What I am certain of is impulse purchases. When an item you want is right in front of you, it is very hard to say no. Just imagine every candy bar you've ever bought at the grocery store; while you're waiting in line and that Reese's just looks so good! See?

Back to my point: I am urging stores to try out a limited time only Snapchat Store. It's worth the experimentation. Also, if you're looking for someone to spearhead the project, I am totally a graduate and definitely available. Thanks.

Bright: What More Could You Have Asked For?

Films define our culture and are a reflection of our views and political climate. They have the ability to transform the viewer’s opinions on particular subjects by execution style and clever scriptwriting. What I appreciate most about films is the new innovation of albums being manifested from the films content. I am going to explore a film that synchronized the screenplay and the music produced in the album.

The movie Bright, written by Max Landis and directed by David Ayer, is set in a world where magical creatures and beings co-exist with humans. The ongoing theme within the film is racial inequality and stereotypes. Bright opens up with “Broken People” by Logic and Rag’n’Bone Man, the first song off of Bright: The Album. The song sets the tone of the film with its leading line, “We similar, but never been the same…” The line echoes how de-segregation is going to influence the story of the various characters.

Bright is about two officers, with wildly different backgrounds, whose mission is to protect a magical wand. The veteran officer is human, his partner an Orc. In this made-up world, Orc’s and humans do not get along. Humans are part of the middle-class, somewhat wealthy side of the community, while Orc’s are typically portrayed in impoverished areas with gang-like postures and attitudes. Ayer is depicting how people who live in indigent areas of the United States generally result to a life of crime. During this scene, “World Gone Mad” by Bastille plays, “When it feels like the world’s gone mad, And there’s nothing you can do about it,” overlays the scene, reflecting the divide.

The Orc officer is not respected by his fellow officers, given that his community is frowned upon and usually reverts to a life of crime. A common phrase repeated to this Orc while he is on duty is, “Do you want to be an officer, or are you an Orc?”  “Darkside (feat. Kiiara)” by Ty Dolla $ign perpetuates the mood of this phrase with, “If you ever call my name, You will find out that we’re both the same…” The Orc was shunned from his community since birth and only found his place as an officer, where he is also ostracized. Like many police officers who come into active duty, they want to see their community cleaned up.

On the flipside, you have the human who is the senior officer to the Orc. He faces a conflict with his co-workers, confronted with two options: get him fired or die with him. The human is torn and eventually see’s the evils that lurk within his department, so he kills his co-workers in cold-blood and, reluctantly, teams up with the Orc. Since the wand is a high priority object, they put their negatives aside. During this time, “That’s My N****” by Meek Mil, YG and Snoop Dog, plays, “I’m on the eastside rollin’ with my Westside n****s….,” displaying their partnership.

The film concludes with the two sharing a mutual respect for one another. What I believe is the most significant, and creatively intelligent execution of the entire film, is the coordination between the screenplay and the album. The majority of films produced either have a score, meaning instrumentals that play throughout the film, or soundtracks, songs that define key moments of transitions or emotionally driving songs that make the scene. The breakthrough in film is that, now, content creators are reaching out to artists to produce new songs exclusive to their film. This is great for the artists because it gives them exposure, and it is equally beneficial for the film because no one else can play that song in their production without referencing the film. Also, on a personal note, I think it creates a unique sense of authenticity for the film and creates a cohesive story.

That's So Gay

Society shaped itself an iron shield, blocking all interferences of homosexual activity. Defining homosexual has subsidized the actuality of sameness. As a culture, Americans programmed an ideology, based on religious beliefs which has labeled affection for the same sex, opposite of kin, as repulsive and against God’s demands. The “penis and vagina [are] instruments of reproduction”(7,70,Katz) and not for pleasure. It is going to take personifying love to attain tolerance.


The American culture boxed itself into a claustrophobic container of mirror-like faces reflecting its own idealistic perception of false reality. “As a social institution, gender is one of the major ways that human beings organize their lives.”(5,55,Lorber) By assigning these gender biases, men and wo-men reside in a social construct that dictates their status, respectability and role in society. Heterosexual men are designed to excel based on their network, strength and indoctrination to their field. They are the hunter; the main source of income and chivalry. “Gender is so much the routine ground of everyday activities that…assumptions and presumptions is like thinking about whether the sun will come up.”(5,54,Goffman) To go against the convention is to surrender status.


As children, these gender norms influence our adult decisions and development. “Western society’s values legitimate gendering by claiming that it all comes from physiology.”(5,56,Lorber) Meaning that a vagina is associated with femininity and a penis is associated with masculinity. However, gender is influential. Whether it is the color of clothing you wear, the make-up you put on (if any) or the accessories you acquire, each item correlates to subliminal gendering. It is not until heavily into teen years that we begin consciously thinking of experimentation with the same sex.


“There is no unique female sexual experience, no male sexual experience, no unique heterosexual, lesbian, or gay male experience.”(6,67,Hubbard) Society has been appropriating color and gender since the nineteenth century. After around the first World War, boys and girls began associating blues and pinks with gender specific categories. America was pigeon-hole-ing the youth and giving them only two option in which to express themselves. Additionally, at the time, sex was described as love shared between a man and a woman. Thus, the ‘experience’ of sex could only be enjoyed or practiced between the two. This recalls a question: “what if we acknowledged the separation of sexuality from procreation and encouraged our children to express themselves sexually if they were so inclined?”

Infants are born with genitalia that determine their sex; norms and societal influences determine gender. “As a social institution, gender is one of the major ways that human being organize their lives.”(5,55,Lorber) Conversely, gender is one of the major ways that men organize communities. By attaining a like-minded following, men came into power through biases. With determination, they gained the right-of-passage by the church to preach these biases, which funneled more money in their institution. Isn’t that so gay?

Public Announcement #1

Read.

Read as if the earth beneath you will go barren, and all is left is written word.

Read as if your loved one will be gunned down if your eyes do not skim the page.

Read as if the very moment your hands takes place on the cover, a new world is discovered, and you, are it's founder.

Whatever you do, please read. We can indulge in conversations about what so-and-so did yesterday or how our coffee wasn't hot enough. At the end of the day, all we've said will be with the wind. Print is not dead.

Reading is crucial to developing our independent thought and autonomy. And please, if you believe that texting is a form of literature, I will do my very best to refrain myself from wishing harmful things upon you. By allowing yourself the time to ingest a novel, you're building your critical thinking skills and reason. I can't stress the importance of it.

I believe that ignorance occurs in most people that don't read. It doesn't matter if you're reading a blog, newspaper, story book or a fucking fortune cookie, just as long as you're enduring some form of narrative that you can muster up a response. There's going to be a time when your phone is dead and you having nothing else but a paper-back mystery and time to kill. It's up to you how you spend that time.

There's a sort of high I get when I'm picking out a new read. By not allowing myself the assurance of a summary, I have the ability to form my own opinions and fully dive into the book. It's an awesome experience, honestly. Now, you might not be an avid reader, but I encourage you to. It will only benefit you, and hey, maybe it'll ignite a conversation with someone you wouldn't expect to talk to.

Drink My Kool-Aid

I am a firm believer in perspective. We can hold our heads up high, cock our shoulders back and perform the ultimate gesture of confidence, however when cast in shadow, even the most angelic things can look satanic. We've been trained from generation to generation to see darkness as the villain. That a gloom and disrupted smile are signs of creep or trouble. It is these signs that have aided in formulating our culture into a cynical society, erupted with violence and ignorance. Perspective is our lacking factor.

Rather than helping a homeless person, we instead settle for mocking them and blaming them for their misfortune. Comparatively, in our black communities, rather than admitting to placing them in a bottomless pit of welfare checks and slums, yes, I mean you fellow white people, we'd rather tell them to "stop bitching and get a job", "it's your own damn fault your kids in a gang," and even better, "I don't want my daughter with THEM." To stress my point more generally, we've surrounded ourselves with a catalog of excuses that shield our truest intentions. Perspective these days is nothing but a fogged mirror.

Like most posts, I never leave you with just a rant. I have, what I trust to be, an achievable solution. It's only one thing that must be done each day. This is going to be cliché, but follow along with me. Take a look at their shoes. No, don't imagine yourself in them. Preferably, imagine the steps they took and where they could have traveled in them. Make yourself a story about it. If it happens to feed your cynical side, fuck it, as long as you at least take a sip of my kool-aid, and feel an inkling of perspective. For now, you're welcome. Good luck.

Nature's A Bitch

We're a lot smaller than we appear. We have giants the size of Yao Ming and buildings that look like they'd reach the tip of the Himalaya's. However, these objects and people are only specks, maybe not even visible, when seen from the stars. As a culture, we walk around with a god-like mentality. That what we say is law and for those beneath us; plants, critters, the unknown, should adhere to our living conditions, needs and wants. I'm here to say that we are full of ourselves. We can make seemingly great feats, such as reaching the moon or stimulating brain cells, but we will never have the capability to alter the inevitable.

Our planet is dying and it's our own fault. Is it the un-recycled cigarette buds? The crumpled paper with our lost thoughts? Or trillions of cars creating toxic fumes? Honestly, it's all of the above and more. I fall criminal to almost any and every fault. The epidemic we face today is ignorance. Not facing these issues and making them a priority decreases our chances of continuing the homo sapien species. We see it in everyday life such as when we'd rather avoid a threat rather than dealing with it head on.

Global warming is not something we can avoid, however. I'm not saying I have a solution, but I do have a radical vindication. We can have periods of rest. Of complete disconnect and travel. Ask yourself how often you think about "escaping and enjoying a day to yourself." More than likely it's a recurring dream. Make this dream a reality and take the day to put down that cigarette, turn off your car and go for a walk. I trust that if we, as a culture, as a society, can accomplish this at least once a month, we could potentially extend our stay. Nature is a cruel bitch, but that's only because we pissed her off.

Waiting On The Sun

The air was moist and cold. My windshield was misted from the rain being kicked back from the cars ahead of me. There was a sort of fog that engulfed the parkway. Given the circumstances, I more than likely should not have had my camera in my hand taking the photo, but I couldn't help myself. Moments before the image, I thought to myself, "What if someones breaks give out and they lose control down the parkway? What if there's a secluded puddle that someone unfortunately hits and goes skidding across the road? What if that happens to me?" With no radio and a dead phone, all I had was scattered thoughts and downtime on waiting for the next moment to capture. It occurred to me then how heinously some people drive when the weather takes a turn for the worst. Favorably, my father was a great driving coach.

I recall a time when my dad told me to get in the Jeep, right after a big sleet shower. Keep in mind, my Jeep has 32" tires and are super meaty, so rain is my greatest enemy. He took me to an abandoned area that had pockets of rain and sheets of ice. No doubt the worst circumstance for driving practice. Anyways, I took pistol (driver) and he instructed me to start driving. Almost subsequently, the Jeep began to glide. I gripped the wheel as tight as I could, white knuckled, and my eyes were scanning the foreground attempting to find some balance. I felt a warm hand on my shoulder, and it was my dad telling me to calm down and try again; we weren't in any danger of crashing. Because of that day, I became a much more experienced driver and am more attentive to the road. Given the number of accidents per year, it makes me wonder if other people are as encouraged by their guardians to practice this safety.

Each year, approximately 1,259,000 accidents happen due to rainy or unfavorable weather. Is it because of the lack of training or anxiety from driving that makes this happen? It's unknown. However, I believe that not only did my dad's guidance teach me a supportive life lesson, but it strengthened our bond. Parents need to tutor their children in the worst circumstances so that they know how to react in the time it happens. Could parents save the road? Possibly.

Please Remove Head From Ass

Some of the bravest people I find in New York are the bikers. With cars moving from lane to lane and people bolting across the street to make the green light rush, it's a shock that there's not more biking accidents. Their heads are on a constant swivel, not to see where they're going, but to make sure they can see where everyone else is. When people say New York's a jungle, it isn't just a metaphor.

The city is understandably busy. If you want to cut time, you need a way to beat traffic and dodge and weave your way through the crowds of people. The only happy medium is grabbing a bike. I don't believe there's much emphasis on how dangerous it truly is. Recalling back to my previous post, pedestrians have little to no care in the world when crossing the street. When a biker see's that they have the right away, via the bike lane, they assume, like any other biker in the bike lane, that the area will be clear for their passage. I cannot count the numerous amounts of times I've seen pedestrians almost taken out by a biker.

The moral of it all is to know your place on the streets. Look both ways and pull your head out of your ass.

Is Society Dead?

Recently since I've turned 21, I've been exploring the bar scene. I've tried everything from local bars to high-end bangers in clubs. During these adventures, I've also found myself spending considerable amounts of time in the bathroom. What I've gained from these experiences is insight into the bar nightlife culture.

If you've never had the opportunity to visit a dive-bar, make it a priority on your list of things to do. A dive-bar scene is typically low key and filled with trinkets and odd games. I found myself playing life sized Jenga with strangers. A couple of splinters later, I found myself a great group of drinking buddies (oh and some Instagram followers). The pace is moderate and you can feel the sense of community from member to member. It's as if you've signed up for an exclusive club that everyone gets into, but only genuine people actually apply for. Though the atmosphere is chill, the real excitement is in the stalls.

Once painted white, the stalls of At The Wallace have been scribbled on, marked and plastered with anything from political banter to signatures and tags for exposure. The peace sign and heart captured me instantly. Not because of the vibrant red, but because of how I've been feeling about society recently. Empathy has been broken and shattered. However after seeing these markings, it's given me hope. Yes, a brick wall with names I don't know and people I'll more than likely never meet, has sparked a glimmer in me. The peace insignia develops a chance of humanity, from person to person, while the heart shows love and appreciation for your neighbor. They're more than just spray painted graffiti, they're a combination of what it means to be human.

Text-and-Response

Isn’t it strange how connected we all are? Unknowingly, we all collectively power a light source that illuminate’s sidewalks, alley’s and neighborhoods. Made from wood, plastic, metal and copper, this freestanding poll is the sole median of connectivity. With its many running lines, it hosts power to many other light poles. This is one example of a shared experience. This experience is accompanied by benches and atmosphere, depending on weather conditions. This single light source has become a meeting place for friends, passers-by and strangers. Thus, a community is built from a simple experience. There must be more to paying your monthly electric bill.

With these bills and everyday expenses, it’s difficult to imagine how the function of them pays off. Electricity is a commodity and necessary in our growing society. However, for arguments sake, is it really a necessity? Through the glowing screen of our handheld devices, it has dampened our truest form of communication, speech. Ever get caught in an awkward conversation? Surely. We’ve adjusted ourselves to this program called “text-and-response”.  With a text, you have endless time to think of a response, in your mind, well enough for a follow-up response. It is your duty as the receiver to either dodge the conversation or keep it alive. Over text, it is easy to not respond, almost intoxicatingly easy. If you don’t want to hang out with someone then you don’t respond and claim that your phone was dead. When in public, it’s not as simple.

The art of conversation truly is a mastery. Although technology and electricity has given us the power to connect with nearly anyone in the world, it’s limited us to connecting with our own neighbors. Light poles are more than freestanding sources of light, they are the last form we have that creates a pocket free experience with friends and strangers alike.

Sandy Hook Promise: Evan Response

Goddamn goddamn goddamn! Purely astonished. BBDO New York is incredible. Just four years ago a 20-year old used a Bushmaster X-15 handgun to take the lives of 20 children and 8 adults. A week from today, those lives will be remembered. In an initiative to end gun violence, the Sandy Hook Promise Group hired BBDO New York to create a powerful advertisement. With years of experience, it is no surprise they took the opportunity and ran with it.

With a world of directors to choose from, Henry-Alex Rubin took the position. Rubin has directed all sorts of commercials ranging from Gatorade’s Derek Jeter Departure to Volvo’s Live Test in Spain, featuring wild bulls and superb truck handling. Rubin’s approach to commercials is, as he told ItsNiceThat.com, “[making] something so authentic that people watching might feel something, despite it being an ad.” He however was not the only person present when creating the Sandy Hook Promise advertisement. He was accompanied by BBDO’s Art Director, Martins Zelcs, a true oddball and insanely talented guy, along with his Copywriting counterpart, Bryan Stokely. Of course, there are more to be named, but I’ll keep the list short.

SPOILER ALERT: I’m going to ruin the ad now, so if you haven’t seen it yet, watch it here: http://www.bestadsontv.com/ad/83492/Sandy-Hook-Promise-Evan

What blew my mind was the hidden shooter throughout the entire, I’ll say, mini-film. The blond haired loner is strategically placed throughout the entire mini-film. The narrative is too strong I think to consider it solely an ad. The foreground follows the story of a young boy bored in the library, like any other student. He decides to deface the desk and writes, “I AM BORED” in scratchy pen markings. In frames to come, he acquires a secret admirer, and the two share dialogue via pen scratches. While this love story is escalating, the shooter, prior to committing his crime, is sharing his own narrative in the background. As the days pass, the boy writes, “WHO ARE YOU?” When he goes to check the next day, the library is closed and he feels as if the world will crumble if he does not meet this mystery woman (or man?) Meanwhile, the soon-to-be shooter is being bullied. It’s the end of the year now and it’s yearbook signing time, woohoo!! A classic pastime. The boy writes a cryptic message, using the same scratchy handwriting as he did on the library’s wooden table, and a girl responds; his mystery woman. As they connect, a young man enters the gymnasium doors, drops a bag and cocks a gun. The children run and the background narrative plays, revealing the shooters involvement in the mini-film.

This storyline is so ridiculously strong that I dropped my headphones and shouted, “HOLYSHIT!” There wasn’t a single instance that I even would have suggested that the shooter existed in the mini-film; until he walked through the gymnasium double-doors. With the use of authenticity and sequence, BBDO really brought this story to life. Two for you BBDO!

If you wish to support this initiative, visit http://www.sandyhookpromise.org.

Kohl's "Give A Little More"

With Christmas around the bend, it's no surprise that retail stores are flooding the commercial video waves with new advertisements. Christmas is a time for stores to flaunt their new products, boast about their latest deals, and make every joke possible about the spirit of Christmas. If you are unaware of Ol' Saint Nick, click the red button on your remote and within seconds you will be educated. The commercials I believe do Christmas justice are the lovemarks. Rather than using the holiday as a crutch to hold up their “exclusive” deals, they keep with the reminiscent emotions of family, togetherness and, above all, love. Kohl’s “Give A Little More” has made them a forerunner in the festivities. They have to thank the two powerhouse agencies Huge and Anomaly.

Huge and Anomaly are credited for Kohl’s “Give A Little” tv spot. What I love most about the commercial is that it doesn’t scream Christmas. Of course, it uses the characters like elves and reindeer, but they aren’t the core idea for the ads. Instead, the big idea is sharing love to your family during the cozy holiday. What is more Christmas than love? In one ad, a woman, assumed to be a mother, is tackling the demand of Christmas dinner. Elves see this as an opportunity to help Mom out to ease her burden. As they are dressing themselves for the job to come, her son walks into the frame to grab a drink from the fridge. Now, if it was me, being the horrible son I was in my teens, I would have grabbed a sliver of food and been on my way. The opposite happens here in the commercial. It emphasizes the power of Christmas by inspiring the teenage boy to ask his mom if she needs his assistance. That gesture doesn’t only speak to the intimacy of the holiday, but the genuineness of it as well. So, the mom cheerfully agrees and the elves share mixed responses.

After I saw this commercial ad, I had to write about it. I visited Huge a while back in the Spring semester and had to follow their work. Anomaly, a recent nugget I found while looking into California-based agencies, blew me away with their work as well. No wonder they were chosen to work together.