The Fourth Quarter: A Marketer's Tale

It's coming to the end of the year, you could either knuckle down and concentrate on your work, or have a boardroom breakdown, it's completely up to you...
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It's coming to the end of the year, you could either knuckle down and concentrate on your work, or have a boardroom breakdown, it's completely up to you...

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It’s that time of year again, when marketing geeks brainstorm in conference rooms, eager to come up with a meme, or a viral video or infographic, that will set the world chuckling so hard it pisses and shits itself simultaneously. That’s right, campers; it’s the end of the so-called Fourth Quarter on the internet.

The fact you’re reading this tells me you may well be “in the biz” yourself. It’s well known that most Sabotage Times readers are chronic masturbators who live in Don-Draper-as-top-boy-football-casual fantasy worlds where horrid realities like public transport, actual sex and rapacious workmates can’t damage their fragile and malformed emotional spectra. Marketers are somewhere on the totem pole below lawyers and estate agents, but just above rapists and Jehova’s Witnesses. And it’s not as if it’s your real job. You’ve got “other stuff” going on, right? You’re a writer. Let me guess; your novel is about an Earth 200 years from now (where the population has been decimated and everyone has a sterile opposite-gender clone-slave who they can fuck, exploit and generally treat like shit with no messy consequences like pregnancy and intervention from law enforcement officers), under threat from a thinking, enzyme-secreting gas cloud that is devouring the solar system. That is, until your hero, D’artagnan Bingemunkle, a nuclear physicist and big game hunter, invents a genetically-modified universally loved bean that, when consumed by living things, causes such voluminous and toxic farts it expands the Earth’s atmosphere and repels the thinking gas (it fucks off to a much smaller neighbouring solar system to have a snack and a think).

It’s well known that most Sabotage Times readers are chronic masturbators who live in Don-Draper-as-top-boy-football-casual fantasy worlds...

After the dust settles, Bingemunkle passes a law that emancipates all the sterile opposite-gender clone-slaves as thanks for their participation in the bean-eating-thinking-gas-repulsion operation, and they go off and build a beautiful new civilisation based on equality and free love that collapses when they all die, cos they’re all sterile and so can’t pass on the knowledge to subsequent generations, and they’re fucked if they’re gonna pass it on to the cunts who cloned them and treated them like shite all those years (who, by the way, didn’t possess any skills whatsoever cos they’d been relying on the sterile opposite-gender clone-slaves to do everything for them and so deteriorated into a semi-conscious starving population of useless twats).

The supreme irony is that the smaller solar system next door, home to a muddy little planet of amphibious scaly sloblike beings, is consumed by the thinking gas, digested and shat out in the form of a gorgeous rainbowland where everyone is enlightened and handsome and lives forever. It turns out the thinking gas is actually a supernatural immortal being whose sole purpose is to cruise the galaxies converting shitty little worlds into radiant paradises. So there you have it. The End.

You’re hedging your hopes against hopes, wondering if that BBC North application will result in a new career as a script writer before your futuristic tale is picked up by a major New York publishing house and turned into a multi-million dollar movie (even though you really want that position at the Beeb, it would be kind of inconvenient once Tarantino started summoning you for lunches in assorted restaurants of renown from Tokyo to London), but for the moment you’re having a day off from your marketing job, pretending to have a cold, reading this on your laptop in bed, where you may well pull off your fourth wank of the day before noon. Not over this article, obviously (I’m an arrogant cunt, but even I draw the line somewhere), over that workmate’s wife you friended on Facebook for the sole purpose of gaining access to her pics and the pitiable self-ball-fondling and dragging yourself around your bedroom all that entails.

So, here we are at the end of the fourth quarter, as you sensible bastards like to call it. Your pseudo-cold/wanking extravaganza is over and you’re back at work, sitting across the conference table from the fat-neck whose wife’s Facebook pics destroyed your tackle the previous day (you’re still quite chafed, and you give it a sly touch while staring him in the eye innocently, just to see which emotion it’ll evoke, guilt or envy), as someone else jots down their awful linkbait ideas on a whiteboard: “The Ten Worst Infographics of 2011”, “Seven Reasons Why Cadbury’s Roses are Better than Quality Street”, “Why Janet and John Could Beat Up Peter and Jane” and “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Gypsy Weddings but Were Afraid to Ask”.

The group are amazed (in reality they’re relieved, cos none of them bothered to think fuck all up for the meeting) but you’re disgusted. You picture yourself retiring to your luxury suite in Copenhagen’s Hotel D'Angleterre for a wank, following a scandalously fine dinner at the world-renowned Noma restaurant, all paid for by Tarantino. Someone asks you a question but you’re busy thinking of the best way to let your bosses at the BBC down gently when the ship comes in, so they ignore you and listen to what the bloke opposite has to say. Probably a load of bollocks about pushing the linkbait campaign out to affiliates and relevant blogmasters, once Sage (her actual name) in graphics has put the creative together in Photoshop and the content developers have come up with some compelling copy and the Web guy (who doesn’t speak English but is ace at ping-pong) has added buttons for Digg, Reddit, Stumble, Twitter, Delicious, Blinklist, Sphinn, Mixx, Facebook, Badoo, Elftown, Buzznet, Ning and a slew of other places people go to distract themselves from the pain and inanity of life as a spectator by allowing themselves the brief illusion of being a contributor, and it’s been proofread and the manager has checked with legal that all trademarks and logos are covered with a disclaimer and the image host domain won’t be crashing anytime soon, and – no, wait, he’s not saying that at all.

The Web guy has added buttons for Digg, Reddit, Stumble, Twitter, Delicious, Blinklist, Sphinn, Mixx, Facebook, Badoo, Elftown, Buzznet, Ning and a slew of other places people go to distract themselves from the pain and inanity of life...

He’s smiling, standing up. Something about a movie script…Tarantino…a massive cash advance…exotic locations…science-fiction-meets-classic-Biblical-apocalypse…the fat cunt!...You come over all heady and weird…heart like a spastic butterfly…he and his wife are flying to L.A. tomorrow…“she’s deleted her Facebook account, finally!”…everyone laughs…paranoia kicks in and you’ve got your cock and balls in a vicelike grip as if afraid they’ll be stolen if exposed…you’re rocking back and forth and they’re turning to look at you, the nosy bastards…then you realise you’re sobbing and pissing yourself and it’s all squirting out through your clenched hands, up onto the table, out towards your neighbours like a nitrogen fountain on another world…chairs scrape back violently…someone giggles…the room is suddenly empty and cold. Brilliant. You’ll get a year on the sick for this one at least. The End.

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