Y’all know that one of my bugbears is how law enforcement and the media alike routinely trivialize and downright ignore the serial murders of people — and particularly women — of color (See also. See also. See also).

Something else I dislike? The pop culture treatment of street prostitution.* Here is a list of things that are not funny: Movies and documentaries and conventions and friggin’ Halloween costumes [warning: sound] that glamorize and/or sensationalize pimping. Also not funny: That the meaning of “pimp” has somehow been distilled to mean “to lavishly adorn” or “to promote.” (I find it particularly disturbing when I hear this word used by authors or even publishing world professionals in reference to marketing newly-published books. It’s gross, and they should know better.)

With that jeremiad out of the way, I’d like to introduce you to the newest addition to my list of Self-Appointed Digital Media Gurus Who Are Also the Worst People in the World Bafflingly Clueless and Tone Deaf (But Possibly Redeemable): the author of How to Market Your Brand Like a Prostitute.**

I’ve had the Cherrysave feed in my Google Reader for a while now, long enough that I can’t recall how I first came across the blog. I think it was via this post about using web fonts in CSS3. Or via this post about the semantic web.

Here’s a question, Kurt — why did you delete those posts? Those were interesting.

More specifically, why on earth would you delete those posts and instead puke up something like How to Market Your Brand Like a Prostitute? From the intro:

Prostitutes are not just coke-addicted sex workers. They are (often) very talented marketers and entrepreneurs. Here’s how to market your brand like a prostitute.

This makes my mother’s backhanded compliments (e.g., on Barbra Streisand: She’s so brave to keep her real nose) seem positively toothless.

Reading on. I really liked Tip Number 3:

3. Get a pimp
Connect with people with connections who can promote your brand for you. Having someone to vouch for you (and discover your work) will increase leads and credibility.

See Why Using the Word Pimp to in the Context of Anything Other Than a Fucking Sociopath Who Exploits Fellow Human Beings Means You’re an Idiot, above.

Anyhow, Kurt, I don’t know why you’ve chosen to take this new direction with your writing, but since you mentioned on your About page that “every person has an amazing and rare piece of insight that would be useful to someone else,” allow me to share this insight with you:

I see that you’re a law school student and that this digital media stuff is apparently just a side interest of yours. So here’s a Feminist Protip for you: Regardless of whether you’re arguing a case or presenting at TED or even just hanging out at a neighborhood barbecue, using prostitution similes in an effort to make yourself sound clever or edgy is not going to win you fans. At best, it will win you uncomfortable laughter.

In an ideal world, I mean. Frankly, people are fucking assholes. Maybe everyone outside of my Imaginary Humorless Feminist Collective thinks shit like this is hilarious. For those people, I’ve taken the liberty of punching up Kurt’s cute little presentation — since, you know, street prostitutes are 18 times more likely to be murdered than their non-sex-working female counterparts and are also a hugely popular target for serial killers.

NOW WITH MORE EDGE: How to Market Your Brand Like a Serial Killer:

  1. Go to where the hookers are

    Self-awareness is key. You need to understand who your audience is, and … where you can hunt them down and “pitch” to them. If you don’t, your “pitch” will surely fail to “kill”!

  2. Be a hot piece of a**

    Package and design matter. Anyone can kill a bunch of prostitutes! It’s the ones who chop them up and dump their gutted torsos in elementary school playgrounds who make the news. [Note: It helps if they’re white.]

  3. Get a partner in crime

    Connect with people with connections who can promote your brand for you. You think Ottis Toole could’ve made it into the pantheon of American serial killers without Henry Lee Lucas? Forget it!

  4. Don’t try to look like a serial killer unless you are one

    If you fake it, you’ll lose engagement from your audience. Remember: You need at least three kills over a period of more than 30 days if you want to be a REAL serial killer. Don’t half-ass it, buddy.

  5. Avoid competitive corners

    Too much competition can drive down prices and make it harder for you to get noticed.
    Did you know that when you cross the Georgia border into Florida there’s a giant sign that reads “Welcome to the Sunshine State, Land of a Thousand Serial Killers”? That’s right — only a rank amateur would “pitch” to an already glutted “market”! Same goes for Southern California. Try someplace like New Hampshire. They haven’t had a good serial killer in like two decades.

*Please note that I’m not talking about sex work in general. I fully support sex workers’ rights, I think prostitution should be legalized, and I believe there are plenty of “normal,” well-adjusted, non-substance-abusing women and men in the trade, etc. etc. But I’m not talking about that today.

**As I was writing this, I had a change of heart once I considered the people in the field whom I wholly despise, such as Loren Feldman (of 1938Media), who is truly in the pantheon of the Worst People in the World. I don’t think Kurt qualifies for this. He’s redeemable. Unless he’s writing shit like this in an attempt to emulate Loren Feldman. Then he goes back on the Worst People list.

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