Rand Paul: Opposes Civil Rights But Supports BP's Rights [Update w/Video]

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Update: Just wanted to add the above video. Man, this guy is squirmy. But Rachel Maddow doesn't let the worm off the hook!

Paul: Obama's criticism of BP sounds 'un-American'

Rand Paul is reminding me of a realization I should have had long ago. Most brand destruction is self-inflicted, even if the final blows come from outside. Rand Paul's attempts to clarify the nuances of his "man with a beer in front of the tv" opinions so far appear somewhat ridiculous.

He's part of a wave of newcomers that are popping up at all levels from school boards to major elections that get in on discontent and a devoted core and then immediately show themselves to be unprepared for the job.

Having opinions is all well and good but demonstrating competent leadership is a very different matter.  That's not to say that he can't win but, to do so, he needs to either recognize that his marketing is now in FAIL mode or go hardcore for those who believe that unpolished, oddball statements read as genuine and worth supporting.

Dear Google: Gender Discrimination Against Cougar Dating is Bad for Your Brand [& It's Probably Illegal and Definitely a Bit Evil]

So Google's advertising department is discriminating against Cougar dating services, i.e. sites that help older women and younger men hook up, by kicking CougarLife.com out of their advertising program. In an email message they are said to have clarified that they're against the "concept of 'cougar dating' as a whole".

So somebody with a high SAT score revealed their ageist, sexist prejudice and may have put Google in line for the sort of legal challenges that are a lot easier for a big company to lose than patent cases.

You know, scaring people off with your big d*ck of a legal fund ain't gonna work forever, Google, especially when it comes to social justice issues, i.e., older women deserve it just as much as older men.

So why are high SAT scorers cutting them off? My [ageist] guess is that the 20-somethings overrunning companies like Google don't want to be reminded that their parents are out trying to have sex with people their age. It makes them feel ickey, especially if it's their mom!

CougarLife.com is said to have ads on Facebook with whom they negotiated over ad content. Google, apparently, refused discussion.

Facebook Anti-Privacy Brand Attack Frenzy aka You Know Things Are Out of Hand When Michael Arrington Says They Are

Michael Arrington isn't really known for holding back, though maybe his move to Seattle is a sign he's softening (lol!), so when he says "Media Attacks On Facebook And Mark Zuckerberg Are Getting Out Of Hand", it's got to be a sign of channel oversaturation.

But that doesn't mean this tale is anywhere near an end.

Most people do care about privacy on and off-line, no matter what their age, and Facebook will pay for its privacy games, one way or another. They're well on their way to embedding "untrustworthy" into their public image.

Signs of the Time for Facebook:

Diaspora Project: Building the Anti-Facebook

Facebook's "Evil Interfaces"

Report: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Believe In Privacy

Bend's Beard & Moustache Champions vs. Baltimore's Smiley Face Mob

Jack Passion, World Beard Champion

Jack Passion, World Beard Champion

So how could a goofy Beard and Moustache Championship be any better than a bunch of citizens breaking a Smiley Face world record?

Glad you asked. Though I'm personally not a big face of such contests, Bend, Oregon's campaign in support of the 2010 National Beard and Moustache Championships plays up a fun event unique to the area while also boosting local craft breweries and a "Balloons Over Bend" event. These unique offerings are not presented as a message to the nation regarding Bend's identity but as aspects of that identity.

So Visit Bend's support of this competition with tie-ins to other local attractions doesn't have to bear the weight of a single message such as the "Find Your Happy Place in Baltimore" campaign.  [Note: they could have put out some nicer graphics and done more with the other events but the core idea is sound.]

To me, the Bend events represent happy places, inasmuch as I can say "happy places" and keep a straight face, while Baltimore's campaign is bearing the joint brunt of death by committee and overloading the mule. It's just too much and not enough all at the same time.

Related Brand Destruction Coverage:
Civic Brand Destruction: Baltimore Self-Promotes With a Smiley Face!

Civic Brand Destruction: Baltimore Self-Promotes With a Smiley Face!

Baltimore's Record Breaking Smiley Face

Baltimore's Record Breaking Smiley Face - 250 People Strong!
[Photo: PRNewsFoto/Visit Baltimore, Diane Bondareff/AP Images]

Ok, so they hire an ad agency from New York where people aren't as friendly as Baltimore and, thinking that Baltimore is somehow uniquely friendly rather than simply "not being New York", they think that's a selling point, or something.

You're right. I'm baffled.

Cut to press release:

Under guidelines provided by Guinness World Records(TM), Visit Baltimore smiled its way to setting the new record for the world's largest human smiley face last night. The giant grin took form with the help of 250 city residents and tourism professionals donning brightly-colored orange and black ponchos. This event kicked off the city's new "Find Your Happy Place in Baltimore" campaign and was staged outside the Maryland Science Center, overlooking Baltimore's famous Inner Harbor.

Find Your Happy Place in Baltimore is a citywide partnership that begins on Memorial Day Weekend. A special microsite, www.BmoreHappy.com, will launch on May 21st 2010, and will direct visitors to happy stays hotel packages, give them the ability to build custom itineraries based on what makes them happy, and provide details on how to enter a "Sweet-stakes" to win great prizes including a cruise from Baltimore on Royal Caribbean, a trip to Sarasota, Florida for Orioles spring training and a variety of other prizes.

Visitors can even pick up a "Happy Detector" at the Baltimore Visitor Center to uncover hidden codes around the city that will allow them to enter the Sweet-stakes multiple times. The campaign will run through December 2010, coinciding with an exhibition at the American Visionary Art Museum, "What Makes Us Smile," opening in October.

I get it now. You win things!

So what's with the record breaking smiley face that could be easily broken tomorrow (250 people, that's it's for a world record?)? I guess the prizes, like the "trip to Sarasota, Florida for Orioles spring training', make you think about things you'd enjoy doing in Baltimore or in other cities where Baltimore citizens travel. Sorry, but I'm getting lost again.

Which is weird cause this is BASED ON RESEARCH!!!:

The Find Your Happy Place in Baltimore concept is derived from extensive research that shows people are looking to do things that make them happy after the economic downturn. According to the study by Context-Based Research, people are going back to basics and embracing life's simpler things that make them smile and laugh - spending quality time with loved ones, traveling, among others. Visit Baltimore is capitalizing on this national trend with a comprehensive program that promotes those places and things in Baltimore that are certain to make visitors happy.

Wow, that's great! So why am I not the least bit interested in Baltimore at this moment?

Like it or not, this was your first look, Baltimore, and it's not going so well. I like the idea of the Museum show and, sure, Sweet-stakes is a fun title for a giveaway, but you just introduced yourself with a smiley face campaign for a world's record, i.e., a gimmick. And now a bunch of blogger/losers are going to make fun of you cause anybody can do a smiley face.

But what can Baltimore do that's special and about that place? That's where the payoff will be, from promoting real things about a real place that really make people happy. Not from trivializing people's deep desires by equating such desires to a stupid smiley face.

Official Site: Find Your Happy Place in Baltimore

Related Brand Destruction Coverage:
Bend's Beard & Moustache Champions vs. Baltimore's Smiley Face Mob

Pope Steps Up Game, Blames "Sins Within the Church"

In what has had to have been one of the most disastrous brand self-destruction campaigns in history, aided and abetted by powerful brand attacks from a wide range of antagonists, Pope Benedict XVI shows some smarts:

"In a shift from the Vatican's initial claim that the church was the victim of a campaign by the media and abortion rights and pro-gay marriage groups, Benedict said: 'The greatest persecution of the church doesn't come from enemies on the outside but is born from the sins within the church.'"

Such a statement, if followed by convincing action, could go a long ways towards insulating the Catholic Church from outside attacks by making such concerns an actively investigated internal matter.

However, these guys seem to move real slow, Vatican time, it's not the time of ordinary mortals who have somehow learned to travel the world near instantaneously via screens and input devices.

For some, such responses will always be too little, too late, because how could there be a resolution in the face of such monstrous assaults?

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