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Matthew Newton is a journalist whose writing has appeared in Spin, Good, Next American City, and Swindle, among other publications. He has reported on the decline of sampling in hip-hop; interviewed artists and musicians who survived Cambodia’s killing fields; and investigated the struggles of U.S. military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He has also appeared as a commentator on Austria’s FM4 radio and is editor of the nonfiction anthology Young & Reckless. He lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


In the film Glengarry Glenn Ross, the character of Blake, played by Alec Baldwin, utters an oft-quoted line following the famous ’steak knives’ scene: “A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.” In the context of the film, Blake repeats this mantra so as to burn it into the minds of his underperforming sales force, reminding them that their failure to sell condos and time shares will only result in termination. It’s not so much a morale booster as it is a warning to those lacking the killer instinct required in sales. But on a grander scale, Blake is talking about selling — no matter the product, no matter the price.

I was reminded of this scene while watching a new ad campaign for Coke’s energy drink, called Burn (see video after the jump). It’s a dilemma I think about often, the fact that so much of today’s creative output is subsidized by corporate dollars, and the blurry ethical line this infusion of cash can create among those tasked to produce the work — art directors, graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, animators, etc.

Read the full essay over at True/Slant

Posted by matthewnewton Categorized: Press, The KDU |



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