FOOD FIGHT! Ex-UK punk Dave Allen serves up more spotted dick

Here we go again:  Tear-stained digital branding expert Dave Allen dredges up our internet feud from the other day to complain further about being called a dick and a corporate ad man. He definitely prefers DBE (see above), though ‘branding’ is a promotional tactic (e.g., advertising) that his company performs for corporate concerns. A tin of spotted dick for anyone who can spot the difference.

Also curious: For all his hiccuping about the nastiness of my original post about his vicious take-down of David Lowery for his post about NPR intern Emily White’s essay on why she doesn’t feel badly about hardly ever payingfor the music she loves to hear, Allen won’t even acknowledge (let alone explain the purpose of) the brutal ad hominem attacks he uses in his piece. Which is what my original post was almost entirely about. Is Dave Allen still a dick? VOTE NOW! But first, check out the kick-ass cyber-brawl between a washed-up punk rocker and a writer/critic who is definitely no Greil Marcus. Most of this happened on Sunday night.

Follow the jump to see how Allen responded to my first post  with this:

Peter, I don’t quite know where to begin. Exotic business trips? What are you talking about? Do you mean my 3 day vacation in Palm Springs as a guest of a friend which cost me nothing as I actually do not live the high life? My income is no higher than any middle class ad person I would wager not that it’s any of your business. I haven’t actually been on a business trip since attending SXSW this year. And I presume you understand that I reside in the USA not the UK right? As for advertising and image design joining the list as you put it – it’s already happened and I write about that too.

I’m actually happy to be the seething dick when I see someone attack young people. After all I teach many young people at the University of Oregon and I admire them immensely and learn so much from them. I say constant whining about Lowery’s Letter to Emily because I see the same stuff from him over and over. He’s flogging a dead horse which might be a metaphor for both his career and mine. I just don’t complain at length that no one cares any longer about my band and I don’t blame the Internet for it either. And Lowery’s essay is passive/aggressive, that’s why he brought up Mark and Vic’s’s all the fault of the Emily’s of the world not buying artist’s music.

As I said at the beginning of my “scorched earth” rant – you can’t litigate human behavior. Sorry Peter.

And if you think I wrote the headline for SEO purposes then your far more subtle than I actually am. I was simply stating a truth and if it comes across as SEO-friendly then I’m the greatest accidental content strategist on the planet.

I’m just passionate about music and musicians and I’m tired of their complaints, and I’m tired of them blaming everyone but themselves for not finding a solution. But then again, no one is guaranteed an income from the arts.

Litigate the internet? Did someone, anyone, mention civil litigation? Plus also, do you think Dave looks good modeling the bloody shirt of the perpetually attacked young people, who he’ll protect (as an abstraction, at least) with all the sinewy fibers of his British being. Strong stuff, post-wise. And yet, it still wasn’t quite good enough, in his estimation, so he doubled down with:

Ah Peter, having now clicked through to your website I see it is you that is playing the SEO Google bait tricks, not me. I’m happy for you to leave your comment reposted from here on your site, but I would ask you to correct your assumptions about my “business trips.” And using that headline “Famous Internet pedant Dave Allen is a dick” will bring you lots of attention from the Irish comedian of the same name’s fans, I can assure you of that. You also call me a “corporate ad man” and that’s not true either. Yes I work at an agency, no I have no skills whatsoever in advertising, although I have spent 18 years worrying about how people use the Internet. I’m an Interactive Strategist, make of that what you will. Agencies, unlike authors and musicians began adapting to the reality of the Internet’s disruption quite some time ago. You should do your homework before attacking me.

 No advertising skills? Too bad he works in the advertising industry. Also too bad that I was beginning to get into the hot-blooded rhythm of internet feuding. Thus:


1. I live in Portland, Ore., same as you.
2. I don’t care how much money you make, and that’s nowhere near the point of what I was saying, but if you need to marginalize me without addressing my actual argument I guess that’s as good a distraction as any.
3. I’m so glad you’re here to protect the young people. That is so beautiful.
4. As is your admiration of the young people. You’re like Jesus. Only angry and mean.
5. Do you teach the youngsters to reduce their discussions to ad hominem attacks, too? And then to justify their savagery with a shrugged, ‘you can’t litigate human behavior’? Is that another way of saying that ethics are nothing compared to self-interest? If so, I hope you do learn a lot from the young people. The young folks I know are so much more warm-spirited than you are.

Is this getting tiresome? I think so. No, I know so. And yet we were already outside the pub, coats off, manly fists cocked and loaded, with great oceans of Guinness gone bloody and brutal in our veins :  


I’ve just realized something – you never read Emily’s post. If you had you wouldn’t have accused her of “illegally downloading music” in your Google-bait titled post “Stealing Music Is The American Way.” Stand up for Lowery all you want, call me as many names as you’d like but don’t tell untruths about Emily. Here’s Emily’s NPR post so you can correct your post (he included the url of the NPR link near the top of this entry).

Which, frankly, struck me as sad and desperate on his part. For him to accuse me of not even being up to speed on the very thing I had been inspired to converse angrily about in public? I’m angsty, I know, (we’ll get to that in a minute) but that sort of Sean Hannity style of debate — hurling accusations that are too bizarre to even discuss more fully — leaves me cold. So whatever. And yet I had great fun posting this response:


Funny how your attention to detail grows so much more precise when you’re the subject at hand. I’m looking at the logos of 14 corporate entities at the bottom of your blog, all of whom are clients of the agency for which you work (and which does indeed help promote their wares) and yet you don’t consider yourself a corporate ad man? Are you ashamed of your work? It actually seems kind of cool to me.

And are you seriously proposing that your career as an interactive strategist has not included a working knowledge of search engine optimization? What kind of interactive strategies are you creating? Do they involve actual interaction?

I love the Internet. I can’t wait to see how it continues to alter the media, society and the world. I just can’t understand why churlishness and situational ethics have to define so much of the dialogue about it.

I  I’m all, take THAT, bitch! Not even dreaming that he’d fire right back with this:  


No not ashamed, why would I be? I’ll be honest, I don’t know what “advertising” means in a digital age. I came up through music, started my own label in L.A., graduated to using the web for reaching music fans in 1993, was first indie label to have a website. In 1998 I joined to further my passion for getting music into people’s hands. Napster killed that, but any web company is only one step away from dissolution because of the zero-barrier to entry model of the web. I joined Intel in 2000 to work on music and Internet-connected products such as MP3 players etc and then after leaving in 2002 I found myself in the confluence of the web, popular culture and user behavior. So no formal background in advertising. I am very proud of the mobile-first beer finder I helped launch for Deschutes Brewery at North because it provides value – beer lovers want to find beer, the mobile site provides that for them. User behavior was studied, then we gave them what they were asking for. So yes, actual interaction. Of course I have a working knowledge of SEO. I don’t write post or essays with that in mind though. Just like music, if the content is strong then people will gravitate toward it. If not.. SEO won’t win you followers if the content sucks. As for loving the Internet and waiting to see how it alters media, society and the world – it did that about 18 years ago. It’s now up to us to just utilize its powers for the greater good.

I see a lot of fun-with-semantics and shame-based obfuscation in that argument (does having no formal training in advertising mean you can never, ever work in that industry? As Dave Allen hisself proves on weekdays, obviously not. But then it was all so tiresome and I was so very tired of being tiresome, so I went to bed. Job done! Back to my cheerfully Dave Allen-free real life! But Dave Allen has apparently been stewing this week. So then I woke up this morning (five days later) and found that DA had written me personally on Facebook to say he’d tried to post a comment on my blog, but found that he wasn’t an authorized user (Sorry ’bout that, I changed the settings a few weeks ago to keep out spammers, but accidentally blocked everyone else too)iSo he took to the greater Facebook universe to post yet ANOTHER outraged response, imploring his friends to reaffirm his own belief that he is not, in fact, a dick. Which some of them did, many being careful to insult me/writers/music writers, etc., too.
To wit:
Well everyone, what do you make of this deeply intellectual take down of me? Seriously, I’m interested as all hell.. Try and avoid the misrepresentations of my long-term tenure as a digital strategist and my lifestyle, please focus on what Peter has to say about my character, my work and my longstanding efforts in this critical debate. 
So there it is. Believe it if you need it. I’m going to turn off my computer and go for a run.