As a professor of American studies, I have tracked the creative minds behind popular culture. Whatever they produce — whether it is a film script, a comic book, or an ice cream flavor — must go through countless revisions before it is deemed ready for public consumption, digestion and excretion.

I first became fascinated by the rough draft process in 1986 during my research on the so-called "soft" drinks prevalent during the Eisenhower administration. The epiphany came when I stumbled upon a prototype can of Herr Doktor Pepper. Mesmerized by the can and all it represents, I immediately aborted my soda project, went on sabbatical, gave up prostitutes, and dedicated my entire self to hunting down rough drafts, the original versions of everything from Mickey Mouse to The Sound of Music to Jennifer Lopez’s Grammy dress.

The results of my toils — some two hundred rough drafts — are now in a book, Rough Draft: Pop Culture the Way It Almost Was. If you don't buy it, you are shitting on the past fifteen years of my life.

Sincerely,

Cardigan W. Phillips
Professor of American Studies
Suffingham College

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