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Ken Baumann

http://kenbaumann.com

Ken Baumann is.

A Tornado of Bullshit: my experience with LaBar Partners Limited – pt. 3

It’s like this: you’re working for a potentially—fuck it, most likely—criminal enterprise, morally criminal if not legally, and details start to coalesce as a guide that saves you from the impending organizational explosion.

I began to feel the details swarm in my first official meeting as LPL’s VP of SEBA. We were in the offices of a major… bottled product conglomerate. The receiving executives were young, fresh faced, their dumb smiles free of the shitjargon that was to blast out of Pontius’s mouth when given some nod, the masochistic invitation to pitch. At this point, if you can’t tell, I’m starting to hate myself.

“The brandlandish—but true!—claims your previous executive product development team failed to recognize have come around—luckily for [COMPANY NAME REDACTED]— and I praise you infamous men for giving it a second look,” Pontius began, advancing past the slide with long-necked giraffe I’d come to loathe.

“The era of terroir tap water is about to begin. You can either claim to own their flavorful pipes, or lose out to your competitors. Who will bottle nether-regions of Brooklyn? Who the Western Addition of San Francisco, The Missionary District? Gentlemen. You already own the glass, you own the distribution… now own the tasting notes for America’s nuanced tap-water economy!”

He advanced the slide again, and the precious mock-ups (hand-drawn?) of “The Taste of America” bottles appeared on the flatscreen.

It is very hard not to palm one’s face in a meeting like this. And this was just one of many. READ MORE >

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October 10th, 2012 / 9:00 am

A Tornado of Bullshit: my experience with LaBar Partners Limited – pt. 2

My wife and I flew into Atlanta.

We were told we had a driver waiting for us by Mackie Wallace who, no shit, signed out on the bottom of our travel itinerary email with Executive Chief of Staff, and so we entered the baggage claim expecting a dude in a white and black suit, holding a paper sign. Instead, we saw pink.

At first, it scared the shit out of me—is this the same guy from the premiere? I stared at him, saw his sign (Mr and Mrss Baumann, misspellings as is), and really tried to figure out if it was the same guy. No. They both had a rough air, kind of dirty. But this gentleman had recently shaven, was a bit shorter. And he looked four thousand times more nervous. He stuttered out a hello, and escorted us outside to the temporary parking. I noticed the guy was wearing leather loafers with a hole near his right big toe when Aviva said, “Whoa.” A white on white on white Bentley—white paint, white leather interior, white rims. I like cars, but I felt totally inadequate for this sort of coach, especially considering that I am not Prince. READ MORE >

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October 2nd, 2012 / 9:42 am

A Tornado of Bullshit: my experience with LaBar Partners Limited – pt. 1

I received a business card.

I was at the premiere for The Descendants and a man in a pink shirt bumped into me. Hard. Oh god I’m sorry, I said. He didn’t apologize, didn’t walk on—he was staring at me. Then I really looked at him; wrinkled pink dress shirt, beard, food in his teeth. In retrospect, I think he had food in his pockets. Movie premieres, and this one in particular, have pretty heavy security, so I thought at worst this guy was just pickled and made eccentric by enormous, casual wealth. Who knows anymore.

Are you Ken? READ MORE >

Random / 9 Comments
September 27th, 2012 / 9:00 am

Invent your monsters sparingly: a conversation with Ned Vizzini

I sat down with Ned on a Saturday. He was feeling rough, having consumed something gnarly at a dinner party the night before in an incredibly storied Hollywood Hills house. Soon after this interview, he was struck with food poisoning. Ned’s a busy guy: his book, The Other Normals, comes out today, and the TV show he writes for with Nick Antosca, Last Resort, premieres in two days. He’s also working on a movie with Nick called Woogles, and writing a series of middle grade novels with Chris Columbus (of Harry Potter fame). And he’s a relatively new dad. Below is a transcript of our conversation, Ned drinking down gut-calming tea…

I’ve known you since you first came to LA, and I wanna know if there was any event in particular that coincided with you starting this book.

Yeah. There were two things about a decade apart. One was towards the end of high school. I was out with some friends, hanging out in the park. And I hung out with a lot of Russian kids in high school. And I had a shorter, more wily Russian friend, who’s in my first book. His name is Owen. I also had a taller, bigger, more militaristic—

A Dolph Lundgren?

In that vein. He ended up joining the military. He’s the person who told me that the US military still trains against the Russians, that when you’re doing an exercise in the military, you’re still—

Fighting the commies.

Yes. And I asked him why, and he said, “Because we’re the baddest motherfuckers around.” READ MORE >

Author Spotlight / 4 Comments
September 25th, 2012 / 8:30 am

from da generous Shane Jones: I have a lot of author copies for Daniel Fights a Hurricane and I want to give a few away. I was thinking a contest at HTMLGIANT where people can win a copy by creating a new kind of weather in the comments section and say what its effects are. I’ll pick three “winners” and send the copies out this weekend. 

if you are on twitter and want more people to follow, start here

Courtesy of Adam J Maynard and a bunch of rad voices: a new My Name is Mud.

For you: a copy of ARK CODEX ±0. Comment to win, and I’ll respond to the winner in a day or so. I have this book at home and it is beautiful.

THE SKY WENT RED giveaway x2 for why

I’m giving away two copies of THE SKY WENT RED WHILE HE WAS INSIDE, a small book produced by Kiddiepunk. The man behind Kiddiepunk and the cover artist/brilliant artist in general is Michael Salerno. This book is made of edited sections from CALL OUT, a novel I wrote. To enter: comment! I’ll randomly pick two people and hunt their e/meat addresses down. Thank you.

Contests / 57 Comments
March 12th, 2012 / 1:54 pm