What Walt Jaschek Believes. (And Doesn’t Believe.)

articles, Content Writing, Opinion Pieces, Walt a Life

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Part One: What I Believe. 

Originally published as the editorial in Slightly Bent Comics #1.

I BELIEVE in music, I BELIEVE in love. But not necessarily in that order.

I BELIEVE for every drop of rain that falls, one is leaking into my basement.

I BELIEVE before the end of time, the title of every pop song ever released will also be used as the title of a movie.

I BELIEVE civilization reached a peak with the invention of the prescription swimming goggles.

I BELIEVE on of the best titles ever for a comic book is “Mysterious Suspense” (Charlton, 1968), because mysterious suspense is truly the best kind of suspense.

I BELIEVE in the universal, healing power of sarcasm.

I BELIEVE George Reeves (TV’s Superman of the 1950s) was a great actor. So you can synchronize your aesthetic tastes to mine right now, as long as you know mine are correct.

I BELIEVE it’s not what you can do, it’s what you can repeat.

I BELIEVE it’s not what you can do, it’s what you can repeat.

I BELIEVE it would be inappropriate to foist my vegetarian beliefs on others, so if you want to slaughter sentient mammals just to have a heart-clogging bacon-burger, I will give you no grief.

I BELIEVE the glass is half empty and half full. We call this reality.

But I BELIEVE the half-full part is a lot more fun.

I BELIEVE being alive is a caper. We’ve stolen existences from the vaults of the Carbon-Based-Life-Form Bank & Trust and zipped off in the getaway car of biology. I’m giddy about it.

But then, I BELIEVE exuberance should be the default emotion for human beings. We should all snap back to it when not otherwise engaged, like when, you know: working.

I BELIEVE those who can find exuberance in their work are lucky dogs.

Or other lucky domestic pets of your choosing.

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Part 2: What I Don’t Believe

Originally published as the editorial in Slightly Bent Comics #2.

I DON’T BELIEVE I caught your name. I’m Walt.

I DON’T BELIEVE everything I read, which is odd, because I do believe everything I smell.

I DON’T BELIEVE in ghosts, except for Capser, ’cause he’s friendly. In fact, I say this with authority: he’s the friendliest ghost in town.

I DON’T BELIEVE my personal life is anybody’s business but my own, except for maybe a few close friends, family and oh yeah, “The E True Hollywood Story.”

I DON’T BELIEVE in fairy tales. I mean: a pig? Who can make a “house” of straw? A “house” that gets, like, blown down? By a wolf? Yeah, right. Who do they take us for?

I DON’T BELIEVE how good you look! Are those new glasses? And you’ve lost weight! HOW? You must tell me! Treadmill?

I DON’T BELIEVE you should write checks in grocery store lines, unless you don’t have cash or credit cards, and if you don’t have cash or credit cards, please, don’t go grocery shopping.

I DON’T BELIEVE there’s anything more beautiful than a sunset, except for a sunset in the background of a Victoria’s Secrets catalog photo.

I DON’T BELIEVE in government conspiracies. Conspiracies require competence and coordination.

I DON’T BELIEVE you ignore that whole “Wag the Dog” thing, though.

I DON’T BELIEVE in not believing.

I DON’T BELIEVE in spreading bad Karma, hatred, intolerance, paranoia, gossip or flu germs.

I DON’T BELIEVE you paid attention all this time.

But I’m glad you did.

Walt Jaschek means that.

 

Amazing Tech Predictions from 1978, Come True!

Musings, Nostalgia, Technology

“Must…have…now!,” I exclaimed, as I whisked this 1978 Newsweek from atop a stack of vintage, disco-era magazines at a nearby Antique Mall. Cost: $1, same as cover price in ’78! Are you kidding? A deal to reveal… “TV of Tomorrow!”

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I am mesmerized by the meticulously rendered M. Kunstler cover, with its Bruce McCall-like images of a nuclear family at play. But more so, I gasped at the cover’s eerie, uncannily accurate prescience regarding details of Our Modern Digital World.

Hold onto your Roller Derby helmet! This painting predicts:

1. Our ability to summon Uber and other ride-sharing services while tracking driver proximity.

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2. Remote-controlled drones.

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3. The iPhone 10. (You heard it here first.)

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4. Our growing acceptance of recreational marijuana.

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5. The breech at Ashley Madison and revelations of passion gone awry.

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6. The announcement that Will Ferrell will soon start in a tennis dramedy. (True and coming soon.)

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7. Ghost photobombs.

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8. The perennial popularity of vinyl. (Vinyl? Still around? That can’t be right.)

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But, bravo, Newsweek, for this unnervingly accurate, telescopic view of tech today from 1978, the year of “Grease,” “Superman” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Let’s download those films by thought control, shall we?

Meanwhile, there is one futuristic, tech object I can’t identify in the shot.

I mean:

What the heck is THIS?

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Perhaps the future isn’t completely knowable.

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Walt Jaschek is obviously a futurist.

11 Signs We’re Writing Too Many List Posts

Content Writing, Humor Column, Musings

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Ah, numbered lists! As content, they’re proven link-bait; they’re merciful on readers’ eyes; and they’re an easy, go-to structure – maybe a little too “go-to” – for me and my fellow content writers. Here are 11 signs we might be addicted to writing list posts.

1. We keep a list of list posts we intend to write.

2. We tell our spouses or partners, “Here are six things you can do to turn me on tonight – and one you’ll have to figure out yourself.”

3. We’d rewrite the title of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” to “Four Weddings and A Funeral You Won’t Believe.”

4. For background music while writing lists, we listen to a Spotify playlist of Franz Liszt.

5. We are bummed Listly.com is already taken. It was on our “domains-to-buy” list.

6. We get a secret thrill when Microsoft Word automatically puts a numeral or letter in front of our lists. How does it know?

7. We spend lunch thinking of “50 New Ways to Leave Your Lover.” But we can’t get further than #22, “Use the Lyft app, Hap.”

8. We try to recall the exact list of reasonsNobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.”

9. We are envious of recipe posts because they by nature get to include ingredient lists. Damn them!

10. Our Bucket Lists include doing a podcast of Celebrity Bucket Lists. (Actually, I’d listen to that.)

11. To see this last, surprising sign, download my ebook… Just kidding. I don’t have an ebook to download. 

Yet.

 Walt Jaschek has #11 on his list.

Walt’s Copywriting Process (Sort of.)

Content Writing, Musings, Process Posts

After decades of writing marketing copy and content in every medium in our time-space continuum, including branded fortune cookies (really,) I have been asked about my “copywriting process.” For visual learners, I try to capture it in this bar chart.

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Aaaaand repeat.

Wow, look at all that red. I guess self-pity is the most colorful kind of pity.

Oh, I’m kidding, for the most part.

But not the whole part.

Walt Jaschek promises more process charts soon. Let’s hope his short-term memory holds out.

Is Paul Blart based on Mel Cool: Mall Cop?™

Comic Movies, Comics, FAQS

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Mel Cool: Mall Cop.™ Copy and layouts: Walt Jaschek. Art: Don Secrease.

Is Paul Blart based on Mel Cool: Mall Cop?

The short answer: not as far as we know or can legally prove. In fact, bless that Paul Blart. Somebody had to be “the” Mall Cop in pop culture. He won.

But here’s a longer Q&A with Walt Jaschek about that, originally published in 2009, when the movie was coming out but more than a decade after Mel Cool: Mall Cop was published.

Q: Are you and your collaborators getting a piece of the action from the new movie “Paul Blart: Mall Cop?”

Walt: No.

Q: Why is that?

Walt: Paul Blart: Mall Cop is not (as far as we know or can legally prove) based on Mel Cool: Mall Cop®, the long-running comicbook and web series created by Don Secrease and me in 1995, even though there was both a Mel Cool feature film screenplay and a cartoon series pilot script floating around Hollywood for years.

Q: What is your reaction to that?

Walt: Existential sadness mixed with raging anger.

Q: Really?

Walt: No, I’m just playin’ with you.

Q: What?

Walt: I’m cool with it. Mel Cool with it.  I’m philosophical about the whole thing.

Q: “Philosophical?”

Walt: Yes. In fact, let me put on this toga.  [Rummages through a box of costumes, looking for the toga.]

Q: [While he does so.] But you just said there was a completed screenplay…

A. [Still rummaging.] There was. Cary Anderson and I wrote the story, based on the comic; Cary wrote the screenplay. Paul Fey produced. It’s a funny script. But in Hollywood, you gotta be your own agent and work the thing on a daily basis. I was in St. Louis, Cary is in Baltimore, and Paul has World Wide Wadio to run.

Q: Quit rummaging.

Walt: [Finds toga, puts it on.] Ah, here it is! My philosophy is, “live and learn.”

Q: All that for that?

Walt: “Live and learn.” To the victor, the spoils. That is, to the first one to actually get a star and a deal and Happy Meal tie-ins, the spoils. Have we gleaned nothing from “Entourage”? Next time we bring a comedy concept to Hollywood, we dig in like a pit bulls on amphetamines.

QYou have more movie-worthy comedy concepts?

Walt: What, are you kidding me? I’d tell you, but…

Q: …you’d have to kill me?

Walt: [stares at him from an angle]  No, but what an odd thing to say.

Q: [quickly changes subject] So: you’re not bitter about Paul Blart and you’re not suing?

Walt: No. I really think it’s just great comic minds thinking alike. The movie looks really funny, actually. Kevin James. He knows from funny.

Q: Any sales of your work in the wake of publicity from the movie?

Walt: We’ve sold one comicbook, one t-shirt, and made about 46 cents in AdSense revenue.

Q: So it looks as if you’re raking in some dough from the whole Mall Cop thing, after all.

Walt: Praise the mall gods. There are mall gods, you know.

Q: We believe you. Um, are you going to leave that toga on?

Walt: Yes. I think it’s flattering to my shape.

Q: Thank you, Walt.

Walt: You’re welcome, Q.

Walt Jaschek has created and co-created other comics, such as those Dang Gnats!