Writing scam of yore


37 Responses to “Writing scam of yore”

  1. pjcamp says:

    Make big bucks in the fast paced world of J. Peterman! Fact Free! No tedious study! No tiresome exercises! No unpleasant bending! Wrestle poodles and win!  Lope over walls! Tease people! Brush them aside as though they were matchsticks!

    Oh, wait . . . I’ve wandered into Mr. Apollo.

  2. Antinous / Moderator says:

    He looks like the guy who runs the gas station in one of those innumerable, interchangeable Bad Girls Die By The Train Tracks movies on MST.

  3. Clearly there was better money in writing short paragraphs than there was in typesetting short paragraphs. *shudder*

  4. justawriter says:

    Apparently Mr. Barrett did have enough going for him to have a literary descendent …

  5. Rich Skrenta says:

    You can make money writing short paragraphs on Amazon Mechanical Turk.  “Write a 100+ world article about X.”  The SEO industry will pay $1 or so per article.

  6. ChickenDelicious says:

    Cory’s got a pretty sweet ‘stache in that picture.

  7. Donald Petersen says:

    I just GoogleMapped 6216 N. Clark in Chicago, and yeah, that definitely looks like the place.

  8. freshacconci says:

    You have to admit, Benson Barrett is an excellent name.

  9. Chuck says:

    You can find that guy down at the local bar, complaining to no end about how Don “tiny little ads” Lapre stole his idea.

  10. EH says:

    “What’d you call me?”

  11. I like to think when I anthropomorphize spammers that they look just like that schmucky guy:  “Great post!  Really, I loved it!  Great informations!”  Thanks, Benson.

  12. Teller says:

    Ship movements. If you’re good, obits.

  13. voiceinthedistance says:

    It’s all right there in black and baby blue:  


    Just, plain facts.

  14. ill lich says:

    Sure, you can make good money writing short paragraphs, but will it make you happy?   The look on his face says “no.”

  15. xenphilos says:

    Ahem, I give you nega-Doctorow.

  16. invictus says:

    Just look at Cory discovering the Vintage Ads LJ community. Just look at it!

  17. nosehat says:

    Ah the Demand Media of yore!

  18. journey46 says:

    Education 101=
    Education of any sort is rarely free in a money based world.
    So why knock or spoof the Benson Barrett’s of the world ?
    (unless the “sell” causes a worldwide financial meltdown)
    Immature human beings need to have their immature brains fooled daily.
    Should the Benson Barrett’s of the world suffer indignity or embarrassment in delivering their message of tough love ?
    Who is or was the real Benson Barrett ?
    Can the contributor do a search of this man and write a story about his life and this particular advert ?
    That would be journalism, not pop journalism.
    The contributor’s effort might even make a good movie like that Hanks/DiCapprio thingy.
    Personally, if my parents had only let me order the Xray glasses or Playboy magazine when I was 10 I think my life may have been very different.
    But probably not.
    I still read Boing Boing everyday and expect journalistic originality.
    So probably not.

    Where are Bukowski and HST when ya need them ?

  19. jeligula says:

    The mustache would not only increase your price per paragraph, Cory, but you would also get more per speaking engagement.   Robert Jordan got nary a nickel for his writing until the advent of the ‘stache.  After that, publishers couldn’t get enough of him. And I have evidence of the fact that had L. Ron Hubbard grew one, he would have retained his sanity.  It’s up to you.

  20. lucero says:

    a Young John Wayne Gacy, before the name change and the advent of contact lenses

  21. Paul Renault says:

    No one’s noticed that the ad copy is ONE paragraph? 

    Couldn’t he have split it in two?

  22. Lobster says:


  23. dainel says:

    This promised dream has actually been realized (many times over). Millions of untrained authors write short paragraphs (blogs), and they earn real money. No training needed. (Skip the editors part). Many small checks. Does not quite add up to worthwhile. Addwords, Amazon referals, etc, does not add up to much. But I would say that for (a lot more than) hundreds, they actually do earn a lot of money.

  24. OtherMichael says:

    Classified ad-writers?


  25. I live near 6216 Clark Street in Chicago, and it is a three story building over a dry cleaners today. And to think that it was for a time the very center of the literary world! It would do even better today, since a Dunkin Donuts has been built next door.

  26. Deidzoeb says:

    Let me guess. The short paragraphs that you write are along the lines of “Hundreds of untrained authors make money writing short paragraphs. Join them. No training needed….” You post that short paragraph in a newspaper and rake in money sent by suckers. You tell them to write the same ad in the newspaper….

  27. jimh says:

    Modern day Yelp reviews, and/or astroturf comments!
    No tedious study!

  28. Greekster says:

    They have this today. It’s called The Examiner and CNN’s iReport. I can’t believe so few see the irony in this.

  29. pjcamp says:

    “Do I need to grow a mustache?”

    No, but you might need a bigger banana.

  30. artaxerxes says:

    Facts FREE. 

    Is the copy-writer too old to campaign for the Rethug nomination? It seems he has many of the strengths required to be a beholden, sold-out, right-wing puppet in the White House.

  31. Outtacontext says:

    The similarity in looks is pretty amazing. No Photoshoping, Cory?

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