A Modest Response to Incompetence

As Israel contemplates its next move following the barrage of missiles and drones launched by Iran directed at the Jewish State, I would like to suggest that there are better responses than to capitulate back with a better, more accurate, and deadly bombardment. No doubt, Israel is more than capable of achieving such a mission knowing that Iran has nothing like an “Iron Dome.”

When Iran launched over 300 varied munitions at Israel, most of them never even made it into Israeli airspace, while none recorded hitting a target. Israel should see this outcome as a golden opportunity to think outside of the box when it comes to a proper response.

Rather than returning fire, they should simply turn this into a graphic design/marketing field day that involves creating graphics and merch mocking Iranian technology and weaponry as impotent and shoddy. That’s right, return no fire, but simply post photos and reels on various social media outlets of Israeli citizens wearing t-shirts, hats, and drinking from coffee mugs that poke fun at Iran and their feeble offensive.

Further, Israel should invite its best graphic designers to submit their ideas as the face of this new “war” campaign. They can save millions of dollars for every weapon that isn’t expended and directed at Iran; spending only a pittance of that amount in this much cheaper campaign that will be just as effective while sparing the lives of innocent civilians.

Perhaps this suggestion has more credence to it than the simple, light-hearted appearance suggests. Considering Israel is responsible for over 33,000 deaths (and counting)—most of them innocent bystanders—as a response to the 1,200 lives it lost in the Hamas attack on October 7, 2023, choosing not to fire back (for once) at an incompetent Iran might be a smart, and well received public relations gambit.

For the time being, let’s consider a few possible slogans for this campaign until the graphic designers bring something to the table…

Iranian Weapons: rubber bands not included
Iranian Weaponry: We’re having a going-out-of-business sale
Iran: $50 million spent, 300 launched, 0 hits
April 2024 No Hitters: Ronel Blanco & Iran
Hey Iran, thanks for the fireworks show

Image by Despair.com

A Rogue Campaign for NWC

Here’s a couple drone videos I produced with Northwest College in mind. In particular, the ideal audience would be for those beyond Wyoming and Montana (where the majority of our students come from)—and especially for those to the farther outreaches that are east and south of our little campus.

My funky music via Garage Band.
Winter finally arrives at Northwest College in 2020.
A gorilla billboard for Interstate 80 just beyond Laramie.

A Case Study in Higher Education Ambivalency

A small modification to NWC’s current logo.

While Northwest College wrestles with all things related to the problem of diminishing state funds and enrollment, several ideas are being tossed about the campus designed to offset these critical times of financial crisis. Almost every proposed solution has to do with cutting or merging positions by means of reorganizing or diluting in such a way that cutting and merging are facilitated.

Sadly, as we consider how to keep on doing what we’ve been doing with less, one idea that hasn’t received serious consideration (to my knowledge) is the idea of renaming/rebranding the college—a college with a name so ambiguous, so easily forgettable that it would never be missed.

The idea of “Northwest” in its name for the college came from a time when the school (or any of the other junior colleges) never looked beyond its own state’s borders—a time when the target population was mostly Wyoming based. But, as we know the times have changed, and relying on a student population that is Wyoming based is extremely short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible.

Think about it, “Northwest College.”

Is that in Washington somewhere?

No, it’s in Northwest Wyoming.

Anything else in the area that would be more unique, more recognizable in terms of association?

Well, there’s this place called Yellowstone National Park.

Is there any other institution of higher education using that moniker?

Nope.

This has innocently turned out to be a ripe textbook marketing-identity case study (or nightmare). The current school name is so timid regarding its location that when the college updated its logotype back in 2004, they added “Wyoming” underneath the school’s name. Might as well have attached the zip code too.

Even people in our own state often refer to us as “the college in Powell.” And, when they do use a name, they still get it wrong in saying “Northwest Community College.” Hell, one of my students used that old name in a short essay he wrote the other day.

Yellowstone College. It’s a slam dunk, a no-brainer, but you know, that would cost money in rebranding and whatever else associated with such a deliberate and obvious change. Nevermind that when the college moved it’s website and email address from www.northwestcollege.edu to www.nwc.edu, there was plenty of reprinting of various forms, letterheads and business cards to keep our printshop busy in the year that followed. Basically, we’ve gone through dress rehearsals like this before and barely blinked.

Saddest of all, the college used to be called Northwest Community College up until 1989. As near as I can tell, sometime before that a movement evolved (clearly “movers and shakers”) and managed to get the school renamed to Northwest College (sans “Community”). Supposedly that made things a lot better. Talk about failed rebranding testimonies.

As gutting of the institution’s public relations office continues—from nine staffers in 2010, down to six in 2018, nothing would boost enrollment numbers more than a name associated with one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. What other institution of higher learning is more entitled given the East Entrance is just over 70 miles from our campus. Instead of explaining to the whole world where and what Northwest College is, Yellowstone College would wipe away all of that unnecessary, utilitarian, and no-one-is-listening-anyway language.

Nevertheless, like all of my ideas, this one is also a bit too bold for our milquetoast institution of higher learning. So, as long as we’re keeping “Northwest College,” perhaps we can at least poke a little fun at ourselves by printing up some of those bumper stickers that ask, “Where the Hell is Northwest College?”

Postscript: Along with the gutting of the public relations office, just over a year ago the financial crisis was also the rationale stated for the sinking of the student newspaper which did as much—if not more—to promote the college.