RL261 - Two Swords In Da Nang

This week, Merlin and John talk about

The problem: "John identified a dutch", referring to a situation on the flight from San Francisco where John could tell that his neighbor was Dutch.

The show title refers to telling people it reminds you of the second time you sold a sword in Da Nang when you are just talking about why you have been in their town before.

When Merlin talks to the air hostesses, of course he wants to be liked. He wants to be liked by everyone! The first thing he will let them know is that he isn’t going to be a problem and if there is a pinch, they can count on him. I’m Merlin Mann and I don’t think she is just a ”waitress in the sky”, like the song by The Replacements. They put out a live record from 1985 or 1986 that is really good. John saw them in 1987 and they were terrible. It was the time when they went drunk in public a lot. At the end of the show, Little Brother Tommy quoted Johnny Rotten at the final Sex Pistols show at the Cow Palace when he said ”Did you ever feel you have been cheated?” because the show was so awful. He said that to reference another shitty band.

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

Nicknames (RL261)

Merlin’s daughter sometimes calls him ”Merl” which he finds very weird. She has it from the comic shop, where the owner’s name is Christian. He is a little younger than Merlin and came up at a time where people would call him Sister Christian, so he told people to call him Chris. Only Merlin’s wife and John call him Merl as a diminutive. John knew a person named Clark and his mother called him Clarky, which is a tough name to put a ”y” on the end. A guy named Sharky started a service renting out vans to touring bands, which was a profitable business. There is a movie ”Sharkie’s machines” starring Burt Renolds. There was a girl in John’s high school with the name of Charkie and he still knows her 30 years later, which you would never have thought. She lives in Seattle, comes to his shows and is very supportive. While John keeps up with a lot of people, Merlin doesn’t know anybody anymore. In 4th grade in 1976 he had Miss Hare who would read all the names at the beginning of the year and if anyone wanted to be called anything else, they should let her know. It was a couple of years after his father had passed away and although he had been Merlin the whole time, he said he wanted to be called Merl as a way to honor his father. That’s what he went by into college, but now it feels kind of weird. Merlin Mann is a really good name and it is Merlin’s real name from his birth certificate. Every 4th boy in John’s age is called John. He was always very nickname-resistant and never got one although he would really have wanted one. Merlin would have killed for a nickname! His uncle called him The Kid.

John’s mom refers to Napoleon derisively as Bonaparte, because her people were on the receiving end of Bonapartism in a way that she mentions with admiring contempt. He is the bad guy enough that she refers to him by his patronym, and she uses it often enough that her son notices it as an odd bit. His mom also has a complete contempt for Appalachian people, because she knew her great-grandfather who was a civil war veteran. People from Ohio like Merlin believe that they are on the top of the Appalachian food chain. John’s people called him Johnjohn from the time he was born, which feels like a nickname from another time. His sister was at some point in time called Susu. John’s friends have tried to nickname him 1000 times, but it usually bounces off. There was a short period in high school where he was called Rad Dog, which was a name someone else gave him. His dad tried to convince John that he was once called Spider, but John didn’t believe him. There was a group of 5 friends in John’s school within a school who were called ”Bourne Again”. They were pretty hilarious and funny nerds and they were a year ahead of him. One day one of them called him Rip-roaring Rad Dog Radical Rocking Righteously Rascalling Reefering Roderick and somehow this group of nerds took it up and could all say it. John found it to be an honor that this group of 5 older funny SWS-nerds had this long complicated nickname for him.

At one time some AV-person was trying to get a movie to work in a class and all of a sudden a scene from the middle of the film came on screaming with full volume with some woman saying ”No Mustard”. After that, they would each say ”No Mustard” 30 times each in a typical school day. Merlin still has stuff today that he started saying in Junior High. He has many of those bits between the three of them in their house. One person says some phrase and somebody else would reply with another thing in a funny voice or a certain cadence. Merlin had somebody in Highschool with the name Patricia Fruw who was called Pattyfruw. You would never just call her Patty.

Somehow Rad Dog percolated out of the Rip-roaring Rad Dog business and went viral among the people who knew him in his High School. There might still be people around who would call him that if it popped into their head, but Merlin won’t, because it does not feel on-brand for John in 2017. It is the nickname of somebody who does a back-scratcher every time he goes off an IHC Mogul. ”The Anchorman” would be a name for John, but it is more something that the people talking about him would use. Nobody is going to come up to John and say ”Hello, the anchorman!” Most people call him by his full name. ”John Roderick” has a lot of syllables to get out, but it kind of makes sense to people and it has a nice rhythm to it. John’s first email address was ten.llihlotipac|dortoh#ten.llihlotipac|dortoh and a lot of people have called him Hot Rod since then, including Merlin. It is even the nickname Merlin has for John on his phone. It does still work, but if someone would come up to John on the street and say ”Hey Hod Rod, I really loved your show”, he would give them the gas-face to that, whereas if they said ”Hey Rad Dog, all the Great Shows!”, he would give them the finger guns. Then JoCo turned them into JoRo and JoHo, but not as far as calling John Scalzi for JoSca. One of his girlfriends once called him for Johnny Rod, but you need a cool car if you are to be called Johnny Rod. There was a local chain of barbecue restaurants in Pasco County and a guy in his English class decided that Merlin was fat, so he called him Fat Boy Barbecue. His names was real plain like John Watson. There was a kid named John Watson in Ancorage, but he was either a member or a brother to one of the members in a Punk band called The Exhumed, who were famous in town for being really bad dudes who would find dead cats and nail them to a cross, although they were just some kids and not the real deal and John doesn’t actually know if those rumors are true.

John's family being late breeders (RL261)

see Family

2017-October: Someone cracked WiFi (RL261)

The encryption that secures WiFi has been mostly hacked in the middle of October of 2017. It is safe to assume that anything you are doing over WiFi right now can be decrypted. John suggests that this is actually an oportunity for Merlin to rewrite the encryption! Every hacker in the world lives for these moments. Merlin has gone into full lockdown mode. He has turned off his WiFi routers, he has turned WiFi off on his devices and as they were recording, his echo was telling him that it can’t find the Internet. His security camera is bleeping red right now and his lights are off because they didn’t see him coming into the room. It probably wasn’t the Russians, but the 4-way handshake is the problem. It is not a situation a la Matt Haughey and Merlin’s garage door is not going up and down, but it would be Vladimir Putin opening his garage door. Imagine the insanity if the Russians would open every garage door in America at once? That would wake some people up! Dogs and Cats sleeping together! Firetrucks!

2017-October: John mixing up Sunday and Monday (RL263)

John had been setting his alarm for the show recording on Saturday night at 11pm. On Sunday morning he texted Merlin around 9am saying ”On it 10?” to which Merlin replied ”You bet!”, but by 10:01 John had noticed that ”Except today is Sunday!”. Merlin felt bad, because if there are any days he would never confuse, it would be Sunday and Monday. They had gone back to their 10am recording schedule, because 9am wasn’t working for either of them. John usually sets his alarm to 9:45am, because that gives him 15 minutes to microwave one cup of coffee and open his computer. Sometimes he doesn’t come all the way awake until Merlin starts talking to him. Merlin thinks that 15 minutes is ambitious, but John likes to fly close to the sun, just so the wax in his wings softens a bit without actually melting. It is a bit like jumping on the plane at the last minute or jumping off the MUNI at the last minute.

In John’s life there is very little difference between a Sunday or a Monday, although he does things for his kid. Merlin’s life is entire described by the 5-day school week and John also went out at 6am in the morning today to get baby ready for school. Because John has an unconventional family relationship, both with his daughter’s mother and his own mother, he might be up a 6am to get baby ready for school on any given day, but he might also be the one who picks baby up from school. He might go to school because there is a field trip that day and he is the parent who needs to go along with the field trip or he might be left completely alone and no-one asks anything of him the whole day. He might have a meeting that day he has to go to at any hour from 8am to 8pm. Everything comes out of a Blunderbuss calendar and they all just work around each other. His daughter’s mother travels for work or has things to do after work. Sometimes she wants time alone to clean up her house and get her life back in order. She has all kinds of normal human needs, too! John’s mom is right in the mix and she gets up at 4:30am, so at 7am she is raring to go. If John would get up at 7am, they would both get so much done before noon. It is her dream son who will get up at 7am and is already digging a hole at 7:45am. Merlin has done that at times, and you can get so much done before sunrise, but it is also a lifestyle, which is John’s mother’s prefered lifestyle. She wants a house that looks East, because she wants to sit in the morning and watch the sun come up while she is already halfway through the newspaper. This sort of randomness in John’s schedule continues onto the weekends. There are Sundays where John gets up at the crack of dawn to do something for the show business. There is no clear pattern in the course of a week and it is anybody’s guess when he is going to wake up in the morning. He does not usually think he is going to record Roderick on the Line on a Sunday morning, but it is not out of the realm of possibility either

Kids need a regular scheudle (RL261)

When his kid was very little, John talked to the pediatritian about his life coming out of a Blunderbuss and about him sucking everything from his larger orbit into a world where his thing is accomodated. What is going to happen with Baby? Children really love a dependable, reliable schedule where everything happens the same way every day. They don’t know they want it, but they want it. They want dinner at the same time every day and they want to do their homework at the same time every day. John thought hard on it and he was thinking back to all the people he knew coming out of a house where the dad was an alcoholic who sat in his chair in the living room with steam coming up the top of his head. There were all the moms that ashed cigarettes on the heads of their kids and asked them to get another 7up out of the fridge while they watched their shows. There were all the kids who lost a parent and went to live with their aunt. John thought that kids surely want to have dinner at the same time every night, but that is not an option that his child is going to have, because it would require that he would stop doing what he does. He can’t do that and it wouldn’t benefit her if he did that.

John’s dad once asked John’s pediatrician to talk to John about the birds and the bees, because he had tried to get him to a brothel and he wouldn’t. The pediatrician was 94 years old and looked like Norman Rockwell had been put in a microwave. He just asked ”John, do you have any questions?” and John said ”No, sir!

Following the weather forecast (RL261)

Merlin is Johnny Clockmouth and always knows exactly what day and time it is. It is one of those things for him where he can’t imagine that the rest of the world would not be the same way. In the same way, John travelling without a bag will blow some people’s minds out there! The equivalent in John’s family is that his mother and sister both independently follow the weather like it is a constant CNN emergency. They both have multiple apps. If you ask John’s mom at any time about today’s high and low temperature or about the 7-day forecast, she will be able to recite it, including the highs and lows for the 7 days. John’s sister knows with the same amount of granular detail not just about the regional weather, but for the whole hemispherical weather. She might not know what is going on in the bay of Bengal, unless there is something exiting going on, but she certainly knows American weather and what the highs and lows are in Denver.

The whole golf stream and the Atlantic circulation of ocean currents are about to flip! The poles will switch and South will become North. The circulating gyre is going to do a flipparoo because of the melting pole ice caps. Right now the cycle comes up the East Coast of the US, hits Ireland with some nice warm weather and makes the Southern Coast of Ireland almost tropical. Then it picks up some cold air and cycles back down along the West Coast of Europe and Africa. It spins clockwise. But when the cold water that is coming down from the poles is extreme enough, it is going to flip the switch and it is going to make it start cycling counter-clockwise. It is going to make the East Coast freaking cold and it is going to screw the pooch. Who knows what that does to everything else! When it will happen, John’s sister will know all about it a long time before anybody else. He is not sure why they follow the weather so obsessively. It was a thing growing up in Anchorage because the weather could kill you, but they have not lived in Anchorage as a family for a long time. Not only do they know what day it is, but they walk into the house and tell you what the 7-day forecast is. His mother told him at 6:30am that she wanted him to do some things outside today because it is going to rain for the next 7 days. The weather is a part of John’s world where he is never at a loss for outside information. He never has to read the newspaper or step outside, because he knows already what the weather is. On the other hand, nobody runs around in his house telling him that it is Monday! Sometimes he goes 3 days without knowing where he is. To his credit, John has the abilty to feel true North in his bones, like a Hawk and a Falcon. If you would blindfold him and spin him around 30 times, his nipples would point North!

2017-October: Litquake in San Francisco (RL263)

In October of 2017 John went to San Francisco for only 24 hours in order to MC the World Series of Poetry at Litquake. It was great! As he was leaving for the airport, he was wondering what to pack and came to the conclusion to bring nothing.

He didn’t have a hotel arranged yet and wanted to get one on his phone when he was at the airport. At the airport he discovered that the hotels he normally stayed at in San Francisco were like $600 and he did something that he usually never does, which is download an app that said Last Minute Hotels. He got a hotel named The Bijou in an area that was described as Union Square. Merlin laughed out loud when he heard it, because Union Square means Tenderloin, which is the one neighborhood in the country that has not changed one iota since 1972 and still looks like an R. Crumb drawing. It is not actually funny and what is happening in 6th street is shocking for people who come to town. It is not just sad to see so many people sitting on the street, but Merlin doesn’t even want to tell John on a family podcast about the extreme, heronimous bosh-esque human missery that is happening on a scale an order of magnitude greater than John thinks. There are people shitting on the streets, shooting up, running up and down the streets, screaming and crying. It is very bosh! John finds it remarkable that the headquarters of Medium, Uber, Twitter and a dozen other tech companies are right there on Market.

As John arrived there were big fires outside of San Francisco and the whole city was shrouded in the dashed hopes and dreams of hundreds of thousands of people. It looked a bit like Tatooine where everything was orange and super-weird. The ashes of Sonoma covered everything and the air smelled like a camp fire, it was a strange time for John to be there. Seattle had big fires up in British Columbia this year as well. That smoke did come down over Seattle, but those fires happened mostly in untouched forest and had just smelled like a burning forest, while the San Francisco fires smelled like burning towns.

The Bijou he stayed in had a craft cocktail bar in the basement where a bartender with a handlebar mustache was playing 2Pac. As he went up to the desk to check in, the receptionist asked if John wanted a quiet room or a normal room, which is an unusual level of candor. John took a normal room, but on a high floor. In the course of the night, John was able to hear at least one person who screamed almost continuously for 2 hours and at some point around 4am, six shots fired into the air maybe 2 blocks from Market. In the morning he could see a swarm of techies on their little hoverboards on their way to work. How in the world does this even work? Those people are commuting in, they don’t live in the Union Square area.

In John’s hotel room, a square of the carpet had been cut out and replaced with a new square from another carpet, probably because the old carpet was impossible to match or had faded so much. It was not a wear-spot, but more like if somebody had cleaned a salmon in there. John checked the bed and it was nice, clean and new-ish. He called to the reception and asked for some non-feather pillows and they scramled because they didn’t have any. Then it seemed like the manager went over to Coles and just bought two, because eventually someone came upstairs with two fresh foam pillows. John realized that in the last several years, most of the hotel rooms he had stayed in were paid by someone else. Other people would invite him to come to a thing and they would have a room ready for him. Those hotels are usually of a class that he won’t book for himself, like the Kabuki. But this time he was in the kind of hotel he had stayed in for 20 years and it felt like coming home. He sat there and listened to the people screaming in the street and he looked at his little patch of carpet. The bathroom had not been restored and it still had a bathtub with the tile around it. It was on 6th floor, but the windows opened all the way and there was a fire escape. He hung his blazer and and his tie on a hook, and in the morning he put the blazer and the tie back on and went out into the world like Willy Loman who wears every part of the buffalo.

John went to his show in the evening. The morning after he did a podcast with a friend (called The GrottoPod, see GR37) and he met another one of their mutual friends (Adam Savage) at his man-cave for a little while until he got on a train back to the airport. At no point did he have anything in his hands. He was wearing a jacket, but it was not even an overcoat, but a blazer. When it was time to get on the plane, he was back to being ”last on the plane”. What does he care? They can’t do anything to him! He went over to Sbarro and got a lasagne, just because he can! He was staring at the gate agent calling his name three times because he was still eating his lasagne. Nothing mattered! He was a free man! When John was on his first trip to Europe he got robbed about halfway through. He had a backpack with everything you can want and he spent a week in deep mourning over his lost socks. He lost a carton of cigarettes and his walkman. That period of mourning ended suddenly when he realized that he didn’t have anything which was really liberating. He was travelling through Europe with nothing for about three months. He just washed his clothes in his sink! He probably smelled terrible and looked terrible, but he was a student. Compared to the French hipppies who stayed at the same Youth Hostel he looked pretty groomed.

Merlin used to pack like he was not only a different person than he is, but like he was 2-6 different people. Right now he wears the same type of clothes every day: he will wear jeans and a t-shirt with a long-sleeve shirt over that. When he prepares to get anywhere, he turns into Diana Ross and is bringing evening gowns for events that he has not yet been invited to. He is bringing changes of socks that have absolutely no association to how often he actually changes his socks. He has never needed to change his socks more than once a day, but he goes on a 4-day trip and brings 11 pairs of socks. When he goes to a warm climate he sometimes forgets that he needs more bottom-layer shirts than he thinks, which is the only time he has less than he needs, but otherwise he usually overcompensates. What John was describing was very brave and Merlin is impressed.

John also knew that the two people he was going to see on Friday were not the same people he was going to see on Thursday and unless somebody drove past him on Castro after seing him Thursday night, they weren’t going to see him Friday. Not only did he wear one outfit, but he wore a bright orange blazer with an orange plaid tie. Basically he was telling the world that if there is a delay of his flight, he is the guy in the two-day old orang blazer. He did bring a phone charger in the pocket of his blazer, though, and the hotel Bijou had provided a tooth brush and some other things. He rolled back into his house at more or less the same time than he had left it, but on the following day. He took his coat off like fucking Mr. Rogers and thought about what’s next. It was pretty good!

On the plane: https://www.instagram.com/p/BaKaXNIF5ja/
Mancave: https://www.instagram.com/p/BaNPbUwFpa4/
Tenderloin https://www.instagram.com/p/BaVATMtl_Iu/
Wildfire sun https://www.instagram.com/p/BaLiRcCl0rj/

Merlin has a guy in San Francisco and will always give him $20 when he sees him. They know each other. Around the time when Merlin’s daughter was a baby the guy was confrontational, violent and real scary while Merlin was really sensitive to his scaryness. They even had yelling matches! John has met him when they were on their way to the local Taco Bell Kentucky Fried Chicken (see RL60) and John wouldn’t let Merlin go in there, but would make him go up to the dirty hands Dim Sum place (see RL49). The guy was sleeping there by the ATM. They had a confrontation with him, roaring at each other a little. Then, something happened, he got picked up, cleaned up, medicated and they would have conversations. They would talk and he was funny and had a sense of humor. He was even kind of literate, like he had been a professor. Then you don’t see him for a while and think ”was that it?”, but yesterday he was on the train again, being pretty rough and confrontational and dropping som f-bombs.

John’s mom adopting struggling people (RL261)

John’s mom adopts people who are struggling and tries to get them in touch with their families or find them housing. She has a kind of string for these guys that she is caring for during the course of her daily routines. John has brought people home and has bought them plane tickets. Once in a while she’ll lose one when they die or they spin out. They go from clean with a job and an apartment through a whole process of getting back on medication and getting back into the world, all the way back down to sitting in front of the supermarket. If we have learned anything from the movie ”Trading Places”, it is important to realize that maybe you haven’t fallen hard enough yet to be vulnerable to future falls. There is a lot of mental illness with no cure and there is a lot of monitoring and managing.

John meets a Dutch on the plane (RL261)

On his way home, John was sitting next to somebody on the plane who was unfriendly to the stewardess and fairly curt with John. He was transscribing things from his phone onto a notepad, he was wearing a polo shirt and was probably John’s age, but when he looked at him, it was just like ”What’s up, dad?” The flight attendat asked what he wanted to drink and his reaction was ”what?”. He kept working and said one other curt one-word reply to the stewardess. He hadn’t spoken to John at all during the first half of the flight until John turned to him and asked ”Are you Dutch?” The guy turned to John excited and replied with ”Yes, how can you tell?” From that point on, he could not stop talking and talked to John for the entire rest of the flight. They talked about the political situation of every single country in Europe. They talked about Brexit and their opinion about it from top to bottom. They talked about Trump from top to bottom. He had opened right up because John had recognized him as Dutch. There was a little bit in his accent and it all came together, of course he was Dutch!

He lives in a town on the coast that John had been to, so they had all that stuff in comon. That was the place when John was in the sand, the cement gravy boat of suffering. He had probably been 3 miles from this guy’s house. John didn’t bring that story up to him, because it is always weird when somebody from Europe tells you where they are from and you say you have been to their town, but in reality you were just passing through. Saying to somebody you just met that you walked through their town on your way to Istanbul is sort of like pulling up next to somebody in a bar and ordering a really complicated uncool drink before you turn to the guy next to you who got a boiler maker. It is one of those pregnant remarks that is begging the other person to ask you questions about what you just said, like ”Oh that reminds me of the second time I sold a sword in Da Nang”. John will usually just say that he was passing through as a tourist on his way somewhere, which is perfekt and John’s version to ”I’m a ceramicist”, where you can ask further questions, but you can also lay it down. You are not on the hook to ask John about sleeping on a beach. Most people will not follow up and instead tell more about themselves.

This guy was very Dutch, an executive of a multinational company with headquarters in America that you would recognize the name of. He had been trapped in San Francisco by the fires, because 80 flights had been cancelled and he was only flying to Seattle with John to get on another flight to Schipool airport in Amsterdam the following day. It was very enjoyable to interact with him, but there was a ”Two swords in Da Nang” moment, because John had of course developed a good report with the flight attendant. When she asked, ”Whay would you like to drink, sir?”, his answer was ”Well, I better don’t get another Ginger Ale because I already had two and that is my limit”, or whatever dad-thing his dad would have said. John just ejaculates that stuff without even thinking about it. Something like ”What do you recommend?” or ”What’s the house special here?” She’s heard it all! At some point as a reply to something he said ”Oh, I travel without luggage, so it is no problem for me!”, which is like being the ”I don’t own a TV”-guy. They both looked at him, but neither one followed up on it and John didn’t press the issue. When it was time to get off the plane, he went up and stepped off the plane.

Flying on the West Coast (RL261)

Several years ago John had made the commitment to himself to see the entire West Coast as one contiguous urban area. If somebody in Portland said ”We have a literary festival, why don’t you come down?”, he would never say ”Ahh, it’s a 2 hour drive”, but he just said ”Yes!” When somebody in San Francisco asked him if he would MC the World Series of Poetry at Litquake, he said ”Yeah, it is a 1,5 hour flight that costs $150, yes I will do it!” and if someone said ”Hi, I’m your girlfriend and I live in Los Angeles, would you come down here 14 times a month?”, he would say ”Yes, it is a 2 hour flight and costs $160” and so John got into this habit. Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles can all be reached with Alaska Airlines. John is still mobbed up with Delta, but he wouldn’t take United if his city was on fire and it was the only way to get out. John is agnostic about American Airlines and he likes Virgin, which was purchased by Alaska although it is still its own thing.

Back in the day you could upgrade to 1st class for like $50. John had been an Alaska MVP until Jason Finn got involved and told him he needed to be on Delta because Alaska didn’t go to Bahrain. The face on the tail fin is not Leonard Breshniew, by the way. In the past they had 10 different little things, like a totem pole, a little girl, a lady, a miner with a pick-axe, an eagle, and different other things that were evocative of Alaska. That face is supposed to be an Inuit in a hood of a parka, but it does not read as a hood and the whole thing does not translate to a young audience. It looks like Breshniew as the MGM Lion, and it is sort of what happened to Colonell Sanders: He has turned into a thing where you don’t even recognize anymore that he is an actual dude. In the 1970s living in Alaska was very evocative and back then the man in the hood had not been cartooned to the degree he is now and you could see he is in a parka.

John visiting an event with Richard Branson (RL261, merge with previous story from RW61!)

John went to an even with Richard Branson earlier this year where Richard Branson was doing his thing. He travels everywhere with 8 stewardesses dressed in 1960 Stewardess outfits, like super-tight pencil skirt and pillbox hats who will just roll into a venue before he gets there and situate themselves around the room. He sat up on stage with the temerity to talk about income inequality and how men in business need to get hip to feminism and promote women in executive positions. As you looked around the room, you could see a cognitive disconnect because none of these airhostesses are more than 26 years old and they were not chosen for their super-human ability to serve drinks quickly. John enjoyed talking to one of the nice airhostesses. Her job was to be an exclusive airhostess on Richard Branson’s jet when he flies around the world.

John now follows her on Instagram and her pictures are by the pool in Dubai and Johannesburg and everywhere. Wherever Richard Branson goes, he carries this full complement of 6-14 attired airhostesses. The gal definitely knows Kung Fu, is able to pick locks or can throw a knife. She had a British accent and could be like the Bomb Guy. At one point Richard Branson digressed and said ”Alaska Airlines bought Virgin America from me earlier this year for an undisclosed large sum, but when they were negotiating with me, they promised they will keep it Virgin, because the brand equity is just insane, but as soon as they closed the deal, they told him they lied and will turn it into Alaska”. Branson said that Virgin is one of the great brands! What was Alaska thinking? But then he shruggs and says that it is busines and the audience was all meant to go ”wow, he just TED-talked the shit out of us and I will pay my female executives the same that I am paying my male executives”.

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