The Five Stages Of My Life Long Trumpservation


Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Dylan Thomas


Since I have been a big TV watcher for most of my life I have had a chance to observe, though the jaundiced eye of the media, the anything but meteoric rise of Donald Trump from celebrity without a clue to the most dangerous person on earth. My only hope is that his demise will be as meteoric as it gets.

The Famous For Being Famous Trump

I started watching Donald Trump more than 40 years ago, when he used to do the rounds on the TV talk show circuit.
He was sort of fascinating because he had a way of saying nothing at all and making it sound like something. He was also one of the first people in America to become famous for being famous. A complete media construct with a very thin veneer.
In all deference, he had an extraordinary amount of swagger, and a powerful personal brand before anyone even knew what the hell that was. Of course this was all powered by that sense of entitlement that a lot of rich white guys in America have.
But if you were reasonably awake at around midnight and he came on the Tonight Show and you listened carefully, you found that he was like a pilot circling the airport of ideas but never quite landing. The only things he could talk in an informed way about were his real estate holdings, which, of course were really his father’s. He just built crappy buildings on them. On every other issue, he would just jump back and forth like the indecisive buffoon we know today.
This sort of anti-intellectualism paved the way for a lot of other people to become famous for no particular reason, mainly because they were just another variable in the insatiable appetite of late night TV talk shows. And, one could logically argue (in hindsight), a rather potent part of the dumbing down of that country, and my one to some extent.

The Art Of The Deal Trump

I never read this book all the way through. I don’t real much non-fiction, although from what I did read, this may very be classed as a real fairy tale.
But he got out there and pushed the hell out of it, using all his celebrity to keep on blowing smoke up America’s ass and that willingness , coupled with his unrepentant chutzpah, propelled that book into one of Trump’s relatively few business successes.
But this time, he was calling himself a billionaire, and working on his second marriage.

The Reality Show Trump

I have to admit that I tried watching The Apprentice, just so I could get enough of a perspective on it to be able to review it.
Like most reality shows it possessed the stench of faked drama, and he projected the persona of the total dick boss, and kind of reveled in it. This was really the first clue that I started to get that this guy had some real issues with his ego.
It was massive, and I really do believe that all the buzz that this show generated turned him into the total attention junkie we see today.
That’s not to say that the Art Of The Deal Trump or the Famous For Being Famous Trump weren’t pre-cursers to that, but they were mild in comparison to what he projected on these shows.

The Deplorable Candidate Trump

In 1999, Trump attempted to run for President as a Reform Party candidate, but was forced to withdraw under pressure from a lot of real reform politicians who thought he was basically a charlatan.
But he never went away. And he leveraged his celebrity a couple more times in bids to run, but never followed through until 2016.
And we all are living with the result of that last kick at the can.

The Epic Fail President Trump

The election of Trump to the US presidency in 2016, will be filed in in the history of American politics under “Be careful what you wish for”.
For a big long list of reasons, America, or at least half of those Americans who vote, had gotten to the point where they were willing to take a chance of someone who had been hanging around for like ever, who originally wanted to run for president on the Reform Party ticket, publicly supported both Bill and Hillary Clinton, had no real understanding of how the American government functions, had no diplomatic skills to speak of, and whose only claim to fame was that he was one of the most despised and greedy real estate developers in the free world.
And in the ‘Be careful what you wish for file’, they ended up with a president who:
• Has not gotten a single piece of important legislation passed after 10 months in office.
• Has split his own (Republican party), which has shifted the balance of power in congress and the senate
• Has pissed off just about every leader in the world who matters
• Has not been able to complete a single campaign promise
• Has assembled the worst cabinet in the history of the country
• Has refused (twice) to publicly denounce Nazis and other hate groups.
• Made one of the country’s leading anarchists (Steve Bannon) his principal policy advisor.
• Has proven time and again that he has no regard or respect for minorities in America
• Has threatened to bomb a small totalitarian nuclear power back to the stone age
• Has told more lies publicly than any president in the history of the country
• Has placed family members in positions of power in his government
• Has been unable to fill hundreds of key government positions because nobody wants to work for him…
I could actually go on for hours, as many of you can yourself.

What I Have Learned From 40 Years of Trumpservation

I think the key thing that we can all take away from this man’s illustrious career are:
a) That it’s possible, in a free society, for anyone who can sound like they know what they are talking about to bullshit their way into anything.
b) That intelligence means much less than TVQ or celebrity.
c) That racism in America has always been bubbling under the surface and that Trump cut it open and now its running rampant.
That while the status quo may not be all that desirable, it is, by comparison, a hell of a lot better than the ‘alternative’ that Trump represents.
e) That the old rich, white male in America is really that country’s most endangered species, but is not going quietly into that good night.
NOTE: Contrary to popular belief,. I do not hate Donald Trump…In point of fact, I have no personal feeling at all toward him. But I do despise what he stands for and what little in the way of agenda he is pushing because it is divisive and hateful and it very much appears to be part of a movement or attempted paradigm shift that is doing more harm than good to the US and our world and has been for quite some time.
Trump’s incompetence as a president will, sooner or later catch up with him. The question of how long it will take to undo the damage is another matter altogether.
Peace Out…jim

Jim Murray is a marketer, communication strategist, writer, art director & blogger. His partner, Charlene Norman is a business systems and operational analyst. Their collaboration is called Bullet Proof Consulting, headquartered in St Catharines, Ontario. Bullet Proof is designed to help companies change their thinking for the better, to become more productive and efficient, well branded and successful and better corporate citizens in today’s highly competitive business world. You can get a very clear impression of how we think at

All content and graphics copyright 2017 Onwords & Upwords Inc. All rights reserved.


Why Every Human Being On This Planet Should Be Angry These Days



Sunday, we witnessed another horrendous chapter in the systematic and relentless undoing of America. It took me a long time to process how something like this is still being allowed to happen. But this country, like many others these days, which politicizes everything and learns nothing from the world, which is controlled by greed and managed by fools is now nothing more than a shining example of just how fucked up in so many ways a country can be and still carry on. But everything has its breaking point…everything.

I am weary.

I am worn down by my own human desire to be aware of what’s going on.

I have had my brain fractured by stainless steel paradoxes, lie after lie after lie playing out on 50 million watt lit stage until nobody, including me, knows what to believe anymore.

Everywhere I look I see carnage and man’s inhumanity to man riding roughshod over whole races, whole cultures, whole ideologies.

People enslaved by the greedy and the powerful. People turned into reluctant nomads because the winds of change have become uncontrollable and blow literally from all directions.

I am exhausted from trying to keep track of the ever rising body count in my head as a reminder that life is so much cheaper than it used to be.

I worry, perhaps too much, about the future, but only because the present sucks on so many levels.

I puzzle over the fact that so many people who experience far worse consequences than me, yet do nothing, not even get angry. It’s like their emotions have been syphoned off and all they can do is stare that thousand mile stare and wait on the next catastrophe.

That is not living. That is just waiting to expire.

I wonder about things I have never wondered about before, about prophecies and conspiracies and all kinds of other truths. About the fools who have the power to end humanity and seem more than willing to do it, just for spite, just to feed the monsters in their heads.

I see the rise of despots here, there and everywhere and wonder why human race needs to think in terms of destruction when I know there are beautiful ideas bubbling under the surface of this stagnant pool.

Ideas that will bring us together. That will make us peaceful and help us recapture the humanity that is not so much lost but imprisoned by those who would want us to be sad and obedient slaves.

I am nobody’s fucking slave. I am still free. We all are still free. Our captivity is an illusion… a prison built with bricks of lies that have no substance, by bricklayers who have no conscience, no moral compassand no life to speak of outside of the thin veneer of petty tyranny they believe protects them from the rabble.

I am weary. But I am not a fucking slave. I use my words to fight this tyranny. Because someone has to speak for all those who have been muted by the insanity.

This insanity will pass. But only if our collective will is strong. There is more good than evil in this world. Know that is a true thing. Fight for good. Live for others and others will do the same for you.

This is the only rock we have. We have done amazing things with it in the name of humanity. And others have done despicable things in the furtherance of greed.

I do not want my legacy to be anything but “He Went Down Fighting For Humanity.”

I am weary but I’m still here. And so are you, and together we can fix this broken world.

I’m going to keep on shouting. You should try it yourself. Because everything you want in and for this world, everything you believe this world to be in the best iteration, is out there…on the other side of complacency and chaos.


How Social Media Is Helping Turn The World To Shit

Rant #1
One could quite logically conclude by this headline that I am either good at clickbait or that I am generally pissed off about social media.

The fact is that both are true, But it is the latter that I am really going to expound on.
I should also point out up front that one of the reasons I blog primarily on is that I have found beBee to be more the exception than the rule on this issue. This, IMHO has to do with a couple of things. 1. beBee is managed by human beings, as opposed to bots or algorithms and 2. Because of beBee’s size, which is small compared to the behemoths like LI, Facebook, and Instagram, the people there are able to keep closer tabs on things and in many cases prevent a lot of crap from polluting their site.

Now onto the rant.

I believe that something very wrong is happening in the world today and that nowhere is that more obvious than in social media.

Here’s what got me on this topic.

This morning while scrolling through Facebook, looking for something for my anti-Trump (#resist), meme series, I came across a sponsored link for, of all things, a company that sells lock picking technology.

Now think about that for a minute, and forget about any of the other bullshit that may be cluttering up your head. Lock picking! Picking fucking locks. Could be my lock. Could be your lock. Could be my car. Could be yours. Could be my house or my shed where the bikes are stashed. Could be anything at least according to the assholes who paid for this link.

The other assholes, the anonymous ones at Facebook who actually allowed this disgusting shit on the site, and had the temerity to think that I would be interested in this crap…well you can’t get at them can you? I mean who the fuck are they? Just some dipshit millennials working for the big machine who wouldn’t know an obscenity if it pissed on them,

So basically what Facebook, which is really the smiley face of social media, is saying is that it’s OK to buy the equipment you need and learn how to pick locks. This is pretty much an open invitation to the class of people we call ‘criminals”, to order this shit and get better at what they do. Yeah, you really do have to be a life-long learner regardless of your career path.

This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s really not so much about obscene products as it is the effect that social media has had on people in general.
The whole idea that we are so dependent on it, for communication, information and affirmation is kind of sad.

A while ago I wrote a piece on attention junkies. At the times I was focused on younger kids, whose dependence on social media for affirmation was turning them into victims, and even causing them, in the worst instances, to take their own lives.

636268249942475577-2052136067_13-reasons-why-serie-de-tv-soundThere was an outstanding series that I saw on Netflix called 13 Reasons Why, which explored this phenomenon in great depth and with great intelligence.

A lot of people got up in arms about it, because the 13 reasons in question were basically 13 people who were the cause of a teenage girl’s suicide. IMHO, the up-in-arms types really didn’t want to face the truth, not so much about bullying or self-esteem, but about the way so many of us have become dependent on it, and how the weaker-willed among us all can be seriously emotional and or physically damaged by the environments that places like Facebook and Instagram and SnapChat have created.

This is a very serious problem that almost everyone with access to social media has to, at the very least, acknowledge. Otherwise, they can be sucked into the vortex of it and really get fucked up by it.

The Internet, and social media specifically, prides itself on being, among other things, the last bastion of free speech. You hear that descriptor a lot. And if you have a basic understanding of how it works you can avoid a lot of the pitfalls and potential emotional damage. But the reality is that the vast majority of people do not have this understanding and cannot avoid those pitfalls.

Sadly, a great many predators of all stripes from pedophiles to assholes selling lock picking equipment or dipshit anarchists publishing bomb-making instructions, count on that and create new victims on an ongoing basis.
Since this is a rant, I’m really not offering any specific solutions here. Mainly because nothing I say in that regard would be stuff that hasn’t already been said by countless others.

But what I will say is that people really need to get a lot smarter about how they use social media. The amount of scamming, viciousness, ignorance, hate, and anger out there is off the charts, and it used to be that you could actually limit the amount of it you got exposed to.

But with the need to make money hand over fist and the fact that most prominent social media sites are run by algorithms, which means very little in the way of oversight, all the shit you never wanted to have anything to do with will be showing up on your newsfeed with astounding regularity.

And since there are no cybercops to protect you, you have to be your own neighbourhood watch. You have to think twice about everything. I won’t get into how some monumentally asshole-ish politicians are working diligently to con whole countries into thinking that black is white and down is up, but they are out there, and they want you to be their bitch.

Don’t be anybody’s bitch. Wise up. Think carefully before you believe anything you see on social media. Because there is some nasty shit going on out there, and the last thing you want is for some on it to get stuck on your shoe.

Peace out….jim





Zen & The Art of Pool Maintenance

Mur Friday Files Banner.pngThere are nights, mercifully not every night, when you just can’t shut down your engines. Some nights it’s your mind that’s racing, other nights it’s your body that just won’t get comfortable in a prone position..

For me tonight it’s a a little of both, featuring a cramp in my right foot that just won’t go away until I’m too tired to let it keep bothering me. So I have to walk it into submission. But I can’t get back into bed for a while. It’s almost as if I have to keep doing something so that my foot forgets that it’s being ornery tonight and calms down.

So I wander around the empty house. My wife is on some breakneck tour of terrorist dodging in Europe with her BFF, my sister. They are seasoned travelers those two. They need very little in the way of provocation to organize a road trip. For a day, a weekend or a marathon 19 day excursion to Castles ‘R Us.

I don’t travel much any more. I did more than my share back in the day as a photographer. Now I will only go to places where I can bring a good chunk of my stuff and settle in for a week, and hang out by the pool or the lake.

In point of fact we bought the house we bought here in St Catharines because it reminded us of some of the nicer cottages we have rented.

There’s a strangeness about being alone in your house for what has been a full two weeks now, with three more days to go. One of the things I have done is put everything I use on the counters in the bathroom and the kitchen. This is something that would never happen when both of us are here. And the weirdest thing is that I am all for it at that time. But on my own I’m a bit lazy about shit like reaching into drawers to get stuff out or put stuff back.

Another thing I do is eat at odd times, and when my wife is not around I tend to gravitate to meals that are easy to make like burgers and hot dogs and nachos, or meals that can produce leftovers, like Chinese, pizza and pastas.

The nutritional value of this stuff is pretty abysmal. But I rationalize it by pointing out to myself that I am on a holiday as well. A stay-cation of sorts, with pool maintenance and creative work to do.

The Big Zen

That’s the other thing about living in your dream cottage. Pool maintenance.

The pool pump needs to run for at least 12 hours a day, according to Rob the Pool Guy. Somebody has to turn it on and turn it off.

That same somebody has to make sure that the leaves are skimmed off the surface, otherwise they will decay and sink to the bottom and some of them will stain the pool liner. It’s very unsightly.

Also the filter basket needs to be emptied every day, or else it will over fill and clog, meaning big bucks for repairs.

And of course the pool cover needs to be rolled out every night so the temperature of the water doesn’t get crazy cold, and you don’t have to use a hundred bucks worth of propane to get it back up to a temperature that doesn’t give you frostbite when you get in to do your lengths.

Once you see the algae building up, (And yes, I can see that) you have prepare the shock treatment, dilute it in a bucket, and pour it in so it catches the current of the pool and distributes itself equally.

After 24 hours, you throw in the Pool Shark, this is an amazing little gizmo that’s kind of like a Roomba for pools. The net result is that you get to look into a crystal clear pool and think. Wow, I made that happen.

There aren’t many things in life that have given me the sense of satisfaction that taking care of this pool gives me.

I do some of my very best thinking when I am engaged in the myriad of activities that pool maintenance entails.

I was a little concerned about it when we first moved in. It kind of felt like a bit of an albatross. But my sister hipped me to the zen thing. She doesn’t have a pool, but she’s great friends with her next door neighbours who do, and she says she often goes over and does some maintenance, just for the zen.

I thought that was amusing, until we got the pool set up in the early summer and I had to start learning how to do all this stuff. Then I understood.

The Zen Contagion

A few of the people who know me best have told me that my writing has changed since I have moved here, that it’s not as urgent or cynical. And I can’t disagree.

But sitting here tonight and thinking about it, I can safely conclude that the pool and its care and feeling, definitely has something to do with it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could take that same zen-like attitude and apply it everywhere? Maybe that’s what’s happening and I’m just starting to become one with it. Who knows?

Peace out…Mur

Jim w Camera

Jim Murray is a marketer, communication strategist, writer, art director and blogger. His partner, Charlene Norman is a business systems and operational analyst. Their collaboration is called Bullet Proof Consulting, headquartered in St Catharines, Ontario. Bullet Proof is designed to help companies change their thinking for the better, to become more productive, efficient, better branded and successful in today’s highly competitive business world. You can get a very clear impression of how we think by reading our business blogs at

All content & graphics Copyright 2017 Onwords & Upwords Inc. All rights reserved.


Charlottesville…Hopefully the Wake Up Call America Needed.


I came home from a networking event last night. My wife, Heather, was down in the family room watching CNN. She looked at me with eyes that had been crying and told me that she had been watching some news stories about the domestic terrorism that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia on the weekend.

My wife is one of the best and most human people I know. I am very lucky to have her. But she has been around the block a few times, and what she had seen rocked her, as I’m sure it did many of us, right to her core.

We talked about it a bit, but there was very little I could say other than to express my hope that the widespread coverage of these horrendous events and the complete absence of any sincere condemnation by the so called president would be the wake-up call that the country needed to start the process of getting rid of this racist, fascist regime, and replacing it with something much more “American”.

I have been, in my own way, contributing to the resistance movement in the US. Because as someone who grew up right next to and in Buffalo New York I have a deep love for that country and a deep concern with what is going on down there.

It’s easy to put this all on Trump. He’s such a big target. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

Trump is just the manifestation of a great divide between the left and the right in America that probably can trace its origins back to the 1950s, and has been growing ever since.

Today’s America is chronically dysfunctional, because this political divide has turned into a battleground. Nobody listens to anyone who doesn’t share their point of view. And nobody really seems to want to.

But this weekend, IMHO, a group of disgruntled, ignorant, bigoted white guys carrying Nazi and Confederate flags and armed to the teeth, constructed a narrow bridge between this ideological divide.

And it is my most sincere hope that this can be built into a turning point where the left and the right can find some common ground and come to the realization that the only way to get things back into some semblance of control in their country is to unite around common causes, and start talking to and listening to one another again.

I wrote this poem this morning as kind of a prayer and a hope.

Because I don’t want to lose hope, and I don’t want anyone who wants this world to be a great place for humans to live to ever give up hope.

Because contrary to what a lot of people might think…hope is, indeed, a strategy. And these days it’s possibly the best one we have.

Promise to The SunJim Murray is a marketer, communication strategist, writer, art director and blogger. His partner, Charlene Norman is a business systems and operational analyst. Their collaboration is called Bullet Proof Consulting, headquartered in St Catharines, Ontario. Bullet Proof is designed to help companies change their thinking for the better, to become more productive, efficient better branded and successful in today’s highly competitive business world. You can get a very clear impression of how we think by reading our business blogs at

Jim w Camera


Content Marketing…Let’s Suppose, For A Few Minutes, That It’s All Bullshit.

The ‘Content Marketing Is Bullshit’ Hypothesis

no_bullshit_sign_by_topher147-d8aphr7This is not just my opinion. But a reflection of a whole school of thought on this issue.

What if it turns out that content creation through many forms of social and business media is just a well planned and well executed conspiracy for sites that run on content to obtain tons of it for free? I’m not saying that this is the case. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume that it is.

Here’s a scenario for you to chew on.

Let’s say I was somebody who owned a big content based site….like LinkedIn. What would then be my course of action if I wanted to get my slice of this freshly baked bullshit content marketing pie?

1. Hire a writer/strategist to come up with a bunch of well reasoned crap about how content is the new key to reaching and creating customer engagement, because
a) The customer has changed in terms of how they perceive traditional advertising, ie, let’s say, they no longer trust it, and…
b) This change means the old methods are no longer valid or at the very least can’t be counted on, so….
c) Anybody who wants to effectively reach their customers, or at least have a chance of reaching them, needs to start cranking out the content.

This content needs to demonstrate and dimensionalize expertise, make cogent arguments for your product or service vs your competition, and tell stories about how much your customers love you, how you go about making whatever it is you make, and how your employees are all fine upstanding citizens of the world.

Of course, none of this is quantifiable and we’re not actually selling it directly. We’re selling it to the digital marketing community and positioning it as a way for them to make big bucks by taking their clients into this brave new world at a tidy monthly fee-based remuneration.

2. Don’t forget to mention that this applies equally to B to B and B to C customers as well, because we really don’t want to close any doors by being selective about how we run this con.

3. Make sure that everybody out there running a major content dependent site understands what’s going on …so send them a copy of our rules so we’re all reading from the same playbook.

4. Support the digital marketers by keeping any promotion simple and vague. Promise without promising. Threaten without being menacing. Lure without showing anyone the actual worm on the hook.

Badda boom. Badda bing. In four relatively easy steps you have re-positioned the entire advertising business, and by re-positioned I mean, made it seem archaic and irrelevant.

Now all that’s left to do is the PR job that will separate the ‘old school’ advertising and marketing from new world of digital Untitledstuff.

And if we do it right, nobody will even notice that their effective reach has been diminished to an ungodly degree, and the amount of work they actually have to do to maintain this pathetic ROI has increased to an ungodly degree as well.

Yeah…that should get the content flowing just fine, and we’ll be happy to publish it and offer you all kinds of other stuff that will make you the kings of your universe, fully engaged with all kinds of people who have fallen madly in love with you thanks to the wonderfulness of your content. All 16 tons a month of it.

Why It’s Hard To Spot The Bullshit

social-media-logosMost of us are involved in many forms of social media and probably have been for quite some time. It’s innocent enough: we post pictures and talk about our lives and chat with old friends etc. But all the while, we are simply being trained to be good providers of free content to these sites.

It makes us feel good and it almost totally removes the burden from these sites to provide their own content. It also gives these sites a great sales pitch to advertisers who have also been bullshitted into believing that these are the places they need to be in the 21st century.

It’s all so elegant and innocent and people-focused that the last thing you would want to believe is that it’s some sort of big fat scam.

Las Vegas Comes To Mind

The thing about stepping up and voluntarily becoming a provider of content in this hypothetical gargantuan bullshit scheme is something that Vegas casinos call House Rules.

This means that no matter how skillful your efforts, and how diligent you are about tossing good content onto the table, your actual chances of winning are relatively miniscule. Probably about 1% if you’re lucky.

j0289350Sure it happens. I mean you have to have to have something to show for all your effort. But the big wins are few and far between, and frankly most of them are either in the digital realm already or, ironically, by brands who have the benefit of strong ‘old school’ marketing support.

If you are a small company, you become your own perpetual motion machine. This is fine if you’re a real writer, because you write all the time anyway. But if you’re not, it can very quickly become one of those things you hate doing. And as that hatred takes root in your brain, you do less and less and fall further and further behind the curve. And your precious 1% starts to shrink.

If you’re a big company, you have to pay big bucks to keep to this content flowing. And the digital marketer you hired to manage all this bullshit keeps chanting the mantra…”it’s a process, not an event.” But at some point you have to justify this expense to somebody, even if it’s just yourself. Hmmm. I have been in meetings where this has been challenged…it ain’t pretty.

The Reality That Nobody Talks About On Line

This is quite simple actually. Because the single most important thing about bullshit is that its a self-contained universe, that, in this case, has nothing to do with the real world.

The customer, the marketplace and just about everything else in the real world has not changed to anywhere near the extent that the digital marketing community would have you believe.

I was recently talking with an associate who is one of the smartest digital marketers I know, about what was important in the digital world and his answer was quite simple…SEO. The rest is all bullshit.

People still search for stuff the way they always have. Through search engines. That’s why the search engines are so big and generate tons of revenue. The social and business media sites are big too, but one could easily make the argument that they are not the land of milk and honey they would have you believe they are.

In order to understand that in a way you can relate to, just think for a few minutes about what all the effort you have been putting into content management has actually created for you.

Sure they tell you it’s a marathon. But how many people do you know can  actually run one of those and finish it?

At The End Of The Day, It’s Just Marketing

I’m a marketer and I know good marketing when I see it. And if you believe you can fool a lot of people a lot of the time, hey, why not? The digital world, like any other marketing world, is just working to establish itself in the long list of media choices that we have today.

And if you look back through the history of marketing, anything new that showed up was usually based on some sort of bullshit. At least until it proved itself. And if it didn’t…well it just didn’t get to exist for very long.

Hypothesis Complete

I hope you enjoyed this little romp into the world of ‘what if ‘ as much as I did writing it.

Just be careful going forward, because a lot of the promises being made in the digital world at this point time are not based on anything a sane and savvy marketer would call real evidence of performance.

Maybe they will some day. We live in hope.

Jim Murray is a marketer, communication strategist, writer, art director and blogger. His partner, Charlene Norman is a business systems and operational analyst. Their collaboration is called Bullet Proof Consulting, headquartered in St Catharines, Ontario. Bullet Proof is designed to help companies change their thin king for the better, to become more productive, efficient better branded and successful in today’s highly competitive business world. You can get a very clear impression of how we think by reading our business blogs at

Bulletproog Blog Sig

A Story About My Friend, Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

I have made a lot of friends over the years, in the advertising business, in my consulting business and on line as well.

One of the best online friends I have is a guy named Phil Friedman.
We met back on LinkedIn, before life went to hell for writers there when they stopped issuing notifications.

The thing I liked about Phil was the he was a real writer. There are a lot of people on social and business media sites who write. But relatively few who are real writers, and by this I mean writers who make their living transferring words and ideas from their heads into various forms of media and getting paid for doing it.

I am one of those people myself and I immediately recognized that Phil was the real deal.
As I followed his work, I also realized that not only was he an excellent writer, he was a real person of integrity, and by that I mean that he refused to suffer fools. You might even say that he was pugnacious in this regard, Really skillful writers don’t really fear too much and always welcome criticism, providing that it is well reasoned and actually makes a point.

The other thing that I came to realize was that he was using his writing to help other people with theirs. He would not just write articles about the boating industry, which is his main area of expertise, he would write about all kinds of other things.

In this regard, he and I were a lot alike. We both like the idea of giving back and using whatever skills and insights we have acquired along the way to advise people coming up on how to get better at writing or whatever their passion happens to be.

As our writer-to-writer relationship developed, we started chatting offline and decided that it might be fun to write something together. This was done mainly in the spirit of showing others with whom we were connected (in The Lumpy Kingdom at that time) another way to create solid posts.
So we started a collaborative series of posts which we call He Said He Said. To date, we have done 29 of these posts, which included an interview with Javier Rica, one of the founders of beBee.

We have had a lot of fun doing this, and don’t really see any end in sight for these columns. One of the reasons that these posts have attracted a substantial amount of views and engagement has to do with the fact that we do not edit them. We write them quickly so as to simulate, as closely as possible, a real time conversation.

But the thing that really makes it work, is the respect we have for each other as professionals.

And this brings me to the bigger point. Over the three years or so that I have known Phil and followed his writing, I have noticed that he has picked up more than his share of assholes (aka trolls), somehow seem intent on denigrating whatever ideas he is communicating in his posts.

I have picked up my share of them, as I’m sure most of us have, but Phil’s trolls are a little different, in that they don’t come and go like most trolls do. They stick around. They are like irritating little mosquitoes in your tent. They buzz and buzz, actually saying nothing of consequence, but their persistence can be both really irritating and, in a way, detrimental to your posts.

Phil’s trolls tend to have a holier-than-thou attitude. It comes across as a strange form of jealousy. But sadly for these trolls, they are not the intellectual equal of Phil. And though Phil always tries to be respectful, the constant badgering that these clowns do, will eventually get to anybody. So Phil lashes back at them. And while it makes for an interesting albeit weird comment stream, it really does tend to be a distraction.

After we both moved to beBee, the trolling continued for Phil and he had no recourse but to start complaining to Javier about it.

Sadly, the upshot of all this was that Phil, who is arguably the most popular English language blogger on beBee, was demoted from his brand ambassador status, and his two trolls were banned from the site. (IMHO, tossing the baby out with the bath water).

But then about a month later, one of them was back under a modified name. I’m sad to report that this guy is Canadian (definitely atypical), and seemed to have a rather unnatural attraction to Phil. He believed that Phil was a fraud. Which of course made him a crazy. This same guy also believed that I was too bitter and twisted and that my personal brand was fucked beyond repair, which, of course made him a pompous ass, especially when he had no personal brand of his own to speak of, wrote very few posts and spent most of his time trolling Phil full time and me occasionally.

Last night I got a Beezermail from Phil, (the Beezers are myself, Phil, Don 🐝 Kerr and Kevin Pashuk ), with a link to Phil’s latest post where he outlined his brilliant boat in a box idea.

The comment stream on this post was polluted by a couple of people one of whom was Phil’s pet Canadian troll and the other was from some guy in New Zealand, whose comments on both Phil’s and my posts are starting to show signs of ‘trollness’.

Fortunately, Javier has been following this and caught it. I admire the generosity of Javier in giving Phil’s troll a second chance, but when the showed up again, I let Javier know that it would probably be just a matter of a couple of weeks until he reverted to form and would have to be banned again.

Sure as hell, that’s what happened.

Why I Wrote This Post

I wrote this post so that people could really understand that Phil is not a drama queen of any sort. He is a damn good writer. He’s a really smart marketing person and knows, probably better than anybody I have ever met, how to create positive engagement on social media sites.

He has never, to my knowledge, attacked anyone. But he has had a steady stream of attackers over the years. I for one, admire the skill with which he deals with them.
The quality of Phil’s writing and the integrity he consistently shows is something we could all file under good role models to have.

Social media tends, in its way, to reflect the real world. The real world is becoming a more lawless place than it has been in my recent memory. It’s my hope that this lawlessness and chaos does not find its way here in any way that damages this site or victimizes anyone who belongs to it.

We need civility more than ever these days. And we need people like Phil, who have great ideas, communicate them extremely well and engage people in a positive way.


Jim Murray is a communication strategist, writer, art director, blogger and beBee brand ambassador for Canada. Charlene Norman, Jim’s partner In crime, is a business systems and operational analyst. Their collaboration is called Bullet Proof Consulting, located in St Catharines, Ontario and designed to serve forward thinking businesses in the Niagara and Golden Horseshoe regions of Southern Ontario. Web site coming soon.