Updated: Sep 6, 2021
I was 9 years old when my mom finally let me rent American Ninja from the grocery store.
(I realize that sentence makes no sense to anyone under 35. I don’t know. Pretend this is about whatever Instagram influencer you were into last year when you were in high school.)
It was exactly as amazing as you'd think a Cannon Films feature about an amnesiac ex-con who has been, unknown to everyone including himself, a secret ninja all along would be. Once American Ninja 5 finished its run in 1993, cinema was dead. (“Joe in addition to being the American Ninja also owns a boat,” notes Wikipedia. Suck it, Bergman.)
That was also the last time I wanted to be a ninja, American or otherwise.
You’ve seen just the absolute colossal amount of horseshit that gets slung around if you’ve ever perused job listings or seen what gets shoveled when companies push their services. The creatively bankrupt and tin-eared perpetually honking about ninjas and rock stars and gurus. Good God, the closest I ever got to being a rock star was when I brought Elvis Costello room service breakfast. He was bleary and grumpy. It was the goddamn best.
If you want to know why Wages of Sin exists, that’s why. (The ninja thing, not the Elvis Costello thing. Though if Elvis needs any content marketing, I’m happy to take a stab.) Because I'm easily bored, and I despise when dumb shit is thoughtlessly parroted all day on Twitter, on websites, and by people who say "hashtag" out loud in normal conversation over real beers.
I want to do something better for people who can't abide having their intelligence insulted by typical marketing nonsense. Something with all the substance and character of the grizzled guy at the end of the bar who remembers when drafts were two bucks and can't believe its' $7.50 for a Miller now, but he still shows up every day out of respect for the memory of all the bartenders that moved on to quiet, steady tech jobs, and all his fallen brothers-in-arms who got married and moved out to the 'burbs.
Beyond that, I’ve been fortunate to work with some very cool people over the years whose brilliance and creativity I greatly value. What they all have in common is that they might get down with whimsy, but not a sad focus-grouped, neutered, follow-the-leader whimsy. Do you want to hang out with the kids knocking off early from the office on a Friday to sinking shots for the next six hours, or with the ones who couldn't come up with a good excuse to get out of middle-management mandated team-building happy hour on a Tuesday?
Those are the folks I want to help out. If that’s you, let’s do it. We’ll go be pirates together, not ninjas. Pirates get cool boats and those old-timey pistols and treasure chests. Seems way more fun.
Mission statements can go to hell, but if we had to parse out an ethos, this would be it: We work for cool people doing fun things who will roll with it when we want to write goofy stuff about terrible direct-to-video '80s action flicks because they trust their cool audiences are smart enough to get a chuckle out of it. And with that, there be treasure.