Marty Gets Mugged
Wednesday, January 8th, 2003, 4:20 PM
When the first pictures of the newest products in the Bungie Store leaked to the internet, there was a hue and cry from certain segments of the hardcore Bungie fanbase. "Mugs?!?" they shouted. "Mugs for coffee and tea? I wanted a full-scale Master Chief costume with magnetic boots and a working input jack for neural implants and AI constructs! I wanted a fully-functioning Warthog running on atomic power! I wanted a bagel slicer shaped like a gold Elite with a working plasma sword that chops the bagels in half!" Well, all those products are in various states of research and development, so all is not lost...but we detected the faintest sliver of dissatisfaction in the ranks and we wanted to counter that by discussing why these mugs are in fact the coolest thing since the venerable Beef Stick.
Having worked in advertising for nearly twenty years, composer Martin O'Donnell knows a thing or two about being unfairly maligned, so we thought he might have some insight into the mug situation. I retired with Marty to the Ivory Tower, his recording studio, to get his side of the story.
So, what do you think about the new mugs?
[pensive silence] I like the new mugs. It's gonna take a lot to replace the O'Donnell-Salvatori mugs, but that's more for sentimental than structural reasons. The new mugs are so solid and look so good and feel so good in the hand that I'll certainly be using them. One can never have too many mugs.
Do you have a favorite?
I have to say the Satisfy Your Grunty Thirst mug is my fave, mainly because I was there when that line was improvised by the Grunt. The food nipple grunt has always been a favorite of mine. Good actor, good actor. [sigh] Too bad he's dead.
Previous articles on Bungie.net have explored the virile, erotic nature of your work. Would you say these mugs are "manly" or "feminine?"
I'd have to say they're quite manly on the handle side, but...but there's this comeliness to the shape. So perhaps they're a little of both. Perhaps they're hermaphrodite mugs. No, I wouldn't say that. Stop typing!
How would you rate the importance of a good mug to your music?
It's indispensable. As you know, I don't think you ever see me walking around the office or coming out of the studio without a mug in my hand.
Is there anything special about these mugs that maybe doesn't come through from the little snapshot on the site? I know you've enthused privately about the ability to wrap all four fingers around the handle.
[nods] It has good balance. I prefer the three-finger method, but it is possible to get the pinky in there. Except for Matt Soell, who can only get one and a half of his fingers in there. Good balance. There's something unwieldy about the four-fingered hold. I still like the three-finger with the pinky balance. But that's just me.
What would you say to someone who is perhaps questioning the aesthetic worth or usefulness of these mugs, people who say mugs are old news?
I would say "Let them drink cake."
You can hold fourteen fluid ounces in these mugs. I suppose it's only fair to all the Marty O'Donnell fans out there to ask: what fluids do you plan to hold in your mugs?
For the majority of the day it's strong coffee, black. Towards the end of the day it's tea, also black. Not pansy British tea with cream or milk in it. Not all British tea is pansy, just the white British tea.
Do you have an affinity for any particular brand of liquid refreshment?
I like Seattle's Best, but we have to drink what we have here, which is Microsoft swill. I'm not that big a fan of Starbuck's. I like Seattle's Best better. And tea, if you wanna know the tea, I like Twining's English Breakfast tea. I also like the stuff they have here; it's not Microsoft, it's some other nice English brand. I don't go for those herbal teas. Just eat a plant.
Looking through the history books, you can find lots of famous composers who died drunk in the gutter, but not so many who lived to a ripe old age sipping decaf. Do you think the fresh, exciting nature of these mugs will change that?
I think that if more composers had mugs like this, they'd live longer and healthier lives. I'm going to recommend them to all my composer friends.
So now you know what a world-famous award-winning composer thinks about the new Bungie mugs. But celebrity endorsements can only take you so far. For those of you who are still on the fence about the value of these mugs, we remind you of two important facts:
All profit from every purchase at the Bungie Store goes directly to our Community Fund for bigger and better support of our fan community. To you it may seem like "just buying a mug," but to us it's a cash injection that will fund the next Bungie FanFest, or indeed the global pizza party that will ensue when we take over the world.
Even a person with cabinets filled to bursting with Bungie-themed mugs can appreciate the fact that these mugs represent the first flowering of long-overdue activity from the Bungie Store. This is the first drop in what will become a torrent of new product in the months ahead. If you choose to defy Marty's wise admonition that one can never have too many mugs, take heed anyway; pretty soon we're going to be selling something that you DO need.
2003 shall be the year of the Bungie Store. Keep a wary eye upon it.