It’s another disheartening week in the media.
Spotify defends its $100 million investment in Joe Rogan, but libraries and schools across the country are being told or asked to ban books.
They’re completely unrelated issues, except for how they’re not.
If Spotify were to terminate its contract with Rogan, that would reek of cancel culture’s excesses.
Rogan could still amass an audience on Spotify just like every other podcaster. Spotify doesn’t need to pay him nine-figures for exclusive rights to his distribution. It’s not censorship when you pay someone to do a job, don’t like what you’re getting for your money, and then go a different direction.
I’ve had that happen to me in the past. It happened whenever a company decided to spend its money on things that aren’t me (or, in some cases, when a company had no money left to spend). I was canned, not canceled. When it was my choice, I didn’t cancel them; I candidly told them I had another opportunity.
What could Spotify spend money on? A tweet Monday from @Eve6 gives a clue; it racked up 80,000 likes and more than 10,000 retweets.
They posted: “our stupid band gets close to a million monthly streams on spotify. spotify pays out .003 cents per stream. 100% of that goes to our former label sony who is a part owner of spotify. this is why i’m mad”
Eve6 continued: “lemme put it this way if instead of getting 300 million dollars joe rogan was also getting .003 cents per stream that he then had to split with a record company that was a part owner of spotify i would be standing in solidarity with joe rogan”
Yeah, those terms wouldn’t involve canceling anyone. And you’d get a ton of people uniting who wouldn’t care if he advocates vaxing, unvaxing, revaxing, or watching reruns of The Vax of Life.
You know who should be worried about being canceled?
Especially black authors.
Anyone who puts a black, Jewish, LGBTQ, or LatinX character in their book.
Anyone who writes about a Nazi in a book.
Anyone who writes about rape in a book.
Anyone who writes about an immigrant in a book.
Anyone who draws a picture in a book showing two people of the same gender sharing an intimate moment together.
Anyone who writes a book about American history — one that’s about all Americans, or all kinds of Americans, or Americans who weren’t in most of our history books when we grew up. Including Native Americans.
Anyone who writes about anything in a book that can make someone feel uncomfortable.
I’m currently re-reading Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth, the book that cemented his reputation as being a self-hating Jew obsessed with writing pornography.
He was none of those things, though that work and certain others did probably cost him a few mentions on the lists of the greatest American authors of the past century. And Sweden never did call him about the Nobel.
Turn to just about any page – any paragraph – and you can probably find a reason to ban this book.
If you’re Jewish, you can probably find a reason (or several) every paragraph that would make some of your relatives, living or dead, uncomfortable.
It is not a book that’s supposed to make you feel comfortable. When my clown friend I mentioned previously asked for a Roth recommendation as she wanted to get into his work, I gave her a copy of Portnoy (I’d much rather give out Roth books than $CMO coins). It should be on the shortlist of funniest books ever written, so it was the obvious choice to share with a clown.
I first started reading Roth in high school, when I wrote my AP English thesis on Philip Roth’s depiction of women.
That meant that my thesis was about two subjects I couldn’t possibly understand: Philip Roth, and women.
My oldest brother, a literature professor and Fulbright scholar, had recommended I tackle it though, and Roth has messed with my head ever since.
I wasn’t ready to read Roth in high school. I wasn’t nearly uncomfortable enough reading Roth in high school, just like I wasn’t uncomfortable enough reading Toni Morrison, or Chinua Achebe, or Franz Kafka. But I got exposed to them anyway, and I have opportunities for my discomfort to grow as I get to understand them better.
We need to grow comfortable being uncomfortable. There’s little growth in constant comfort.
The US Constitution, especially as it was originally written, should make us all uncomfortable. It referred to those who were not “free persons” as three-fifths of a person. There were approximately 700,000 enslaved Americans out of a total population of nearly 4 million in 1790, just after the Constitution was authored and ratified.
The Constitution makes me uncomfortable, but we need to teach it all the more, not ban it from our classrooms and libraries.
It’s hard to find much comfort in where the country is going. Consider this NBC News report of 50 books Texas parents want banned. This isn’t about Texas or the South; there are undoubtedly tons of parents who are my neighbors who are writing such letters here too.
At least Maus is selling briskly after Tennessee parents banned it.
What’s most troubling is that so many of the same people who believe in paying Rogan $100 million to say whatever he wants are okay with banning books full of ideas and idioms and imagery that are brave and bold and beautiful.
While we still have choices to make about who we pay attention to, we have opportunities to be mindful about them.
For me, I’ll take solace in knowing that there is one clown out there who’s a little more uncomfortable thanks to what’s on her nightstand.
Maybe today isn’t a day for consolation though.
I’ll leave you with another tweet, one recently posted by Michael W. Twitty, author of the brilliant book The Cooking Gene and known as @koshersoul on Twitter.
“I’m a #Black Gay Jew. #VotingRights are under attack,synagogues are being attacked, Nazis are here, #HBCUs being threatened, Black& #Jewish &Gay authors are seeing our books banned under false pretense.some schools will ban discussion of LGBTQ issues. We are hurting. Im hurting.”
We are hurting.
- Why Does Data Privacy Matter (thoughts on Data Privacy Day)
- shiny new NFT syndrome
- Expedia’s Shiv Singh Lands at LendingTree
- Are we confusing remote enablement for remote culture?
- Comscore’s New CMO Wants to Reshape Measurement’s Future
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“We are seeking a talented and ambitious marketing associate to join our team. This individual will report directly to the CMO and support a full spectrum of paid, owned, and earned marketing initiatives for both our brand and our clients. The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in the world of digital media and marketing and in learning the ropes of building a robust marketing department in a fast-paced global organization.”
Via Ted in the community
“Pearl is a national start-up that certifies high-performing homes: homes with efficient heating and cooling, solar, smart home devices, resilient features and much more. Pearl’s certification drives demand for these improvements by capturing their value for resale and appraisal. We are looking for a Marketing Manager to join our dynamic, supportive team to work remotely from anywhere in the US. (We have been fully remote since our founding.)”
Via John in the community
“Halo Collar is looking for a Creative Director to help us manage the rapid growth and innovation of our Creative offering. The Creative leader will report to the CMO and will be responsible for overseeing the design layout and visual impact of all internal and external-facing marketing materials, products and publications. Current initiatives/channels include: brand advertising, website and mobile UX, paid and owned social, influencer and community, packaging as well as all member communications (in App, email, text).”
Senior Growth Marketing Manager
“We are seeking a sharp, quantitative, results-oriented Senior Digital Marketing Manager to own and lead the growth strategy for our team. This is someone who loves brands, consumer-centric businesses, motivated to scale demand for delicious, high-quality meats, sustainably raised, sourced for incredible taste! In this role, you will drive customer acquisition across all paid and organic channels. You have deep experience developing, executing, analyzing and optimizing customer acquisition campaigns, and an impressive track record of delivering marketing efficiency against CAC, ROAS, LTV and payback targets.”
Enterprise Account Executive
“As an Enterprise Account Executive, you will drive net new revenue and expand existing customer accounts. The ideal candidate will be a self-directed, resourceful individual with a hunter mentality who is laser-focused on building their own book of business. You’ll be responsible for building, managing and closing opportunities with managers, directors and executives of large industrial corporations. This individual puts the best interests of the clients first and is excited to inspire manufacturers to adopt predictive manufacturing analytics worldwide.”
Also, check out the Serial Marketers job board.
Other job resources:
- AMA Job Board: Listings from the American Marketing Association (maybe you can also ask them anything)
- Beeler.Tech: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
- Braintrust: A freelance platform where you are the owner and where freelance talent keeps 100% of the bill rate.
- Built in NYC: Jobs at a range of levels and functions, as long as you’re okay working in this quaint, backwater hamlet.
- Content Writing Jobs: Content marketers, enjoy
- Creative Women of Color: List yourself in the database and find talent, via Women Who Create
- Demand Curve: Growth and marketing jobs
- ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
- Gently Ventures: Helps scale businesses by finding the right talent
- Growth Collective: Apply to join this network of notable freelance marketers
- Grace Blue Transitions: A portal for hirers and seekers with resources from this exec recruiting firm
- The Hired Guns: An array of jobs in marketing and related fields at brands, agencies, and media companies
- Hue: Amplifying voices of people in color working in marketing
- Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
- NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
- One Club for Creativity: COVID-19 jobs Board
- #OpenToWork: There’s a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you’re looking for
- Pangea: Hire college freelancers (and college students can get gigs)
- Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
- Questions to Ask for a Marketing Role: What questions should you ask when starting a new marketing role or job?
- Serial Marketers Job Board: Post regular and featured listings and subscribe for updates.
- Startup.Jobs: There’s a section for marketing jobs
- Teal: One place to organize and manage your job search.
- TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
- VC Job Boards: Aleph, Eniac Ventures, Pear, Sequoia, Union Square Ventures
- VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads (but it might not).
- Venwise: Submit your job interests here and get in front of their roster of hiring leads; select “Serial Marketers” under “How did you find us”
Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I’ll share them.
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