Winning by adding vs. winning by taking away

Click on the image to vote for Colleen!

As alluded to previously, I decided to enter a contest.

One where I actually had to make something, and a not-unsubtantial something (because for better or for worse, I am no good at half-assing things).

Now, I’m no Orson Welles, hell, in my best ad ho daze, I was no Hal Riney or Mark Fenske, if you want to get technical, but after 20 years making a living in the business, I know how to write a reasonably on-target and entertaining commercial, and how to act in and edit one as well. This video I made? It may not be worthy of being voted up, but it’s hard to see what about it makes it worthy of being voted down.

Only it’s not. Because I know what the voting down is about; it’s about winning by making someone else a loser. That’s the nature of hating. And, as my pal, Pamela Slim said in a very nice email to me about the subject, “Haters really suck, there’s no way around it.”

The reason I know this is because (gulp) I used to be a hater. Or, if not a hater, one of those people who believed there was a finite amount of x to go around, where x = love, happiness, good fortune or anything else.

Honestly? I have no idea who or what to blame for this burned-in rationale. The drill in our house was that you had to earn everything, every compliment, every bit of praise, and yeah, you kind of started from zero each time. I’m sure there was a lot of sound, bootstrap/depend-on-no-one/Depression-era rationale behind this, but damn, it sucked to be me for a long time. Because when you really want to be happy winning second or third place? You really don’t want to be reminded that it could have been first, if someone else hadn’t won it. If you had just worked a little harder, like we know you can.

What’s sad is that I will always have to override that green monster trigger with every instance of someone else’s success. Or maybe it’s not sad; maybe it’s good to have a reminder that a lot of people are still grappling with it, and that the world is still fueled too much by fear and anger (and I’d argue that a lot of anger is just fear in a different Members Only jacket.)

Whatevs, as the kids after me but still long ago used to say. I hope you will go watch the video and vote me up (or at the very least, not vote me down).

Even more, I hope you enjoy my little video, and the effort and goodness of people it represents. All those people in the video who helped me. A whole lot more who either sent stuff I couldn’t fit in (there was a :60 limit, which I went over a little anyway with that fade to black) or had freak A/V problems or just other stuff in their lives that needed tending to.

The good people will win, even if my video doesn’t.

But vote it up anyway, okay?


9/22/08 – UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who supported me, but it just wasn’t good enough. Well, not really; I made it to the final 10, thanks to you, and then nowhere, as the rest of it was on them. Which is neither particularly surprising nor disappointing. Although I still hate losing. Regardless, please do not hold my losing against what appears to be a perfectly good airline. You are now free to move about the cabin, or show them the LUV, or whatever it is that floats your boat. Er…pilots your craft.

Vote here. Thanks!

and now…

VIDEO CREDITS!! (or, “It Takes a Village” Dept.)

In my haste to get out the video, I screwed up URLs, misspelled names and generally screwed up all manner of pertinent info. And the first two people in the vid, Jack & Chris, don’t have titles over their names b/c I am a goddamned artist, goddammit, and I felt like having titles too early would give away the joke. Forgive me; I fully recognize what a colossal pain in the ass I can be about stuff like that.

In order of appearance:

Jack Lyons (@sidereal_)
Chris Ereneta (@cjereneta)
Angie Tapia & Company
David Eckoff (@davideckoff)
Scot Duke (@MrBusinessGolf)
Jon Deal (@zuhl)
Pamela Slim (@pamslim) (and vote for her SXSW panel here)
Mignon Fogarty (@GrammarGirl)
Peter Shankman (@skydiver)
Havi Brooks (@havi)
Karen Putz (@deafmom)
Laura Moncur (@LauraMoncur)
Mary McCauley-Stiff‘s Coffee Mug

And of course, HUGE shout to The BF for purchasing and learning to play ukulele in 12 hours, as well as for sound massaging (mm…massaging…) and remaining on an even keel while I spun like a (bitchy) top.

There are other people who VERY KINDLY sent video, stills and offers of help, but for time and space reasons, could not be in it or, sadly, credited. (Drumroll, please!)

@SeoulBrother (OMG, you guys, I SO WISH I could’ve fit that one in)
Joe Hage (Ditto…so much good stuff that didn’t, I know, I should shut up, already)
John Dickerson (@JohnDickerson)
Dawud Miracle (@DawudMiracle)
Mary Sheely
Elisa Camahort (@ElisaC)
Rebecca Morgan
Evelyn Rodriguez (@eve11)
Susan Bratton (@SusanBratton)
Stephen Hopson
Scott Simpson (@scottsimpson)
Jay Hathaway (@strutting)
Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan)
Postmodern Sass

Dorn Martell
Dani Nordin (@danigrrl)
Dave Hardwick

…and anyone else who, in my haste, I may have forgotten. But this is the Internet, TELL ME, and I’ll add you.


  1. Wow, ’tis a pity that I was in a cave when you were looking for help…but then again, you clearly didn’t need my help. However now I can at least try to get you some votes.

    Great work! And so much better than that Ori guy… Good luck!

  2. Thanks, Jared! Yeah, I had a WEALTH of support in the most tangible sense. Truly knocked me over.

    I appreciate any pimpage you can do on my behalf. For someone who calls herself “the communicatrix”, I’m incredibly bad at communicating certain things.

  3. That was HILARIOUS! I love, love, love it!!!!!!!!!! :)

    Voted big ups (plus ups on the comments too). Yeah, I don’t understand the “there will be no goodies for me if I give props to others” mindset. Luckily, I also never indulged that mindset. Just witnessed it. (Thank GAWD my Depression-era mommy found Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung before I was old enough to catch too much of her “hoard it” mindset.)

    I’m thrilled that you got so much good participation from others. Brilliant and wonderful and awesome!

    Now… do you REALLY want to travel that much? I mean REALLY? (I ask b/c I’m about to have to start travelin’ here soon and unless it’s really sweet, I’m betting I’ll be bitching about it quite a bit.)

    ANYWAY… inspiring, as always, CoCo. Really nice stuff! :) Congrats!

  4. e. Haha. Go Obama! And me!

    Bon – Thanks, friend-o-mine. And yeah, I was thinking of you, specifically, when I wrote that thing about the hoard/subtractive mindset. You and Keith both are examples of the right, cool way of looking at things. I’ve never seen or known you guys to be anything but 100% thrilled and supportive of other people’s success.

  5. If we can “pimp” you in any way, we will, ONLY because you deserve it. You make us a happy group with your blog, why not let more witness your uniqueness.

  6. Angie – Now STOP. You are being TOO NICE. Or, as Dan Savage always sez, I’m too Catholic or something.

    Phil – Thank you! For voting and for stumbling. What a mensch!

    Joe – That is a must. When, I don’t know, but a must it is!

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  8. I just created a script that will automatically add 5 votes DOWN to every other candidate for every 1 vote (UP or DOWN) you receive.

    I’m just kidding. I don’t really even know what a script is, but I heard some computer people talking about it and it sounded cool.

    I did, however, give you a big vote up. Add Chicago to your itinerary!

  9. Well I found it entertaining and gave it my vote, the airlines definitely need to get something entertaining beyond the same old, same old crap that they have been tossing around for years.

    You should send it to the other airlines…get them in a bidding war and make them realize there is only one of you, which is very exceptional, and of limited edition (1 of 1).


  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you ALL!!!

    Really, it was all those great clips from other people that made it work, I think. Well, and the ukulele.

    Maybe SWA can fly The BF around with me. I’ll bet some of those flights would be a lot more fun with a little musical accompaniment.

  11. I was more than happy to vote you up, because it was fun, and entertaining, and all that deserving stuff. And I did so even though the odds of Southwest suddenly deciding to fly you to Italy are non-existent. Hope you win.

  12. Abigail – Good luck!

    Jeremy – Well, hell–Italy is somewhere I’d fly *myself* to!

    Barry! – Sorry I missed your comment earlier. Esp. b/c of the ingenious “Create Colleen Scarcity” campaign idea. Me likey!

  13. I loved it!! Voted way up for you, my friend. Great idea, hilariously produced. It would be great if all this fun was rewarded with a win (or something better!). As for those with their sad scarcity mindset, be glad you’re not there (as am I…not that I haven’t spent time in that living hell myself). I’ve always had to be careful with that side in other people. I either hang around too long trying to figure out what made them that way (and I lose track of my path) or I get caught in retaliatory fantasies (and lose track of my path) or I get so sad that there are folks who really live like this (and I lose track of my path). Doesn’t sound like you’re snagged by any of that noise, which is so cool.

  14. Colleen,

    Found out about this via Karen Putz’s blog (Deaf Mom Blog). GREAT video. You got my vote! Are we allowed to vote more than once?

    Good luck!

    Donna Cutting

  15. Thank you, all!

    They’re logging IP addresses and tracking cookies and all kinds of super-secret-spy stuff, so keep it legal. Besides, you know me and honesty and the best policy, etc.

    Fingers crossed it works!

  16. A tad off topic but is the mailing address you have listed a valid one? NO special reason, just asking…

    Not because you have a birthday coming up or anything!

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