Friday, June 29, 2007


Growing up in America, I had no idea they even existed. My grandparents would use them as a threat if we kids misbehaved. They said bad children were bought by traveling gypsies and whisked away in their caravans. In the movies, they told fortunes and could put curses on those who wronged them. That was just Hollywood, but as a child we were still careful not to shove just any old woman around -- in case she was a gypsy.

Before I went to Europe I thought gypsies were pure fiction, just imaginary boogymen used to scare children, like werewolves or mormons. But over there, they’re very real; call themselves Romani, and are actually a long persecuted minority. The more you know…

Who Were the Gypsies?

From the article:

A Romani woman, according to traditional mores, must not walk in front of a man who is seated. Romani women have managed to turn this fear of defilement into power. A Romani woman who is wronged can toss her skirt over a man's head (or sometimes her underwear or even just expose her genitals). Skirt tossing defiles the recipient, making him an immediate outcast. He must make peace with the skirt tosser before he can reenter the group. Defilement from skirt tossing is permanent; the only way to remove it is to pretend it never happened. The skirt tosser does just that once peace is made.

That's a creative form of punishment -- it'd make a great episode of Law & Order for sweeps week.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

ET Phones in a Hit

A real life astronomer says that other astronomers might be stupid, dead stupid, for beaming tightly focused radio transmissions to nearby stars:

The fact is, and this should have been obvious to all, that we do not know what any extraterrestrials might be like - and hoping that they might be friendly, evolved enough to be wise and beyond violence, is an assumption upon which we could be betting our entire existence.

Give me $50,000 or I abort my baby!

Wow...this website is...uh, rather bold:

It comes down to this. If we can't raise the $50,000 in the next 3 months, we'll have to choose abortion. We don't like it, and we don't like the nature of our appeal, but it is what it is. We're asking you to donate money to us using the link to your left. Anything you can give would be appreciated.

A new nadir for American culture, or the wave of the future? Begging for money use to be so passé and street corner; but now it’s gotten all high-tech and tres chic -- this fall, begging is the new black.

I actually think this website is a good thing, it’ll help get a lot of stupid money out of circulation. Money that might’ve otherwise bought a snowmobile or jetski and gotten someone hurt. Hats off to you, anonymous pregnant couple!

So that's why I've put together my own plea...

It comes down to this. I’ve got a lot of viable sperm, but I can’t raise them all without your help. I don’t like it, but I have to ask the Internet to give me $5 each. Otherwise, I’ll be forced to flush them down the toilet -- even though I respect life and stuff. I’m dead serious about this threat. Especially since Desperate Housewives is almost on. Please hurry!

(link via MetaFilter)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nation of Retards

Wonkette provides some thoughtful context and analysis to Newsweek’s polling data.

Nation of Retards

How dumb are Americans? A fifth of you think most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Iraq, which makes sense as 41% of you think the September 11, 2001, attacks were an Iraqi military operation. An elite 11% were able to identify the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

If you’ve wondered who could possibly approve of Dick Cheney, it is likely the same 10% who believe the American or British empires predate the Roman Empire, or the 8% who chose “sports utility vehicles” as the one thing that definitely does not contribute to global warming.

Related: I just watched Mike Judge’s Idiocracy; at times it was so stupid and also not-stupid. It’s already getting a cult following on DVD like his Office Space did.

Here’s a litmus test. If this clip makes you laugh, then you should rent the film ASAP. If it’s just weird to you, then you definitely shouldn’t, cause you'll really hate the movie.

It’s almost a dystopian science fiction film, in a way. In the future, people have been dumbed-down so much that the top TV show is called "Ow, My Balls” which only shows a guy hurting his balls. The clips of this show-within-a-movie can be enjoyed on two levels. First as cutting cultural commentary, revealing the poisonous anti-elitism in our society. And also on the level of it being funny watching a guy kicked in the balls.

The 300 / Novelty Parking

#1 Ordering movies at the library...the Seattle library has a great electronic reservation system, but you have to wait your turn. Placed an order in for the violent CGI spectacle "The 300" and got this message: "There are 338 active holds ahead of you". So it took less men to actually fight the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C....than are ahead of me in line.

Seems oddly ironic, like how it cost more money to make "Titanic" than it took to make the Titanic.

#2 Been mildly irked by these kinds of novelty parking signs lately:

I've been driving around for days looking for a place to park and whenever there's an open spot I don't qualify for it. Really need more hobbies and/or ethnicities, otherwise I'll keep getting these novelty parking tickets.

Anyway, coming into work today I notice one: "Parking for GodSmack Fans Only". Which seems odd, the people who buy these signs are more typically the "World's Best Grandpa" type and less typically into moshing with GodSmack. Searching for a deeper meaning, what this sign really says is, the owner of this house has tragically lost all taste in music.

Basically it's a Handicapped Parking Sign.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bong Hits 4 Jesus – Update

The case of the Bong Hits 4 Jesus banner has just been ruled on

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Supreme Court ruled against a former high school student Monday in the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner case -- a split decision that limits students' free speech rights.

Joseph Frederick was 18 when he unveiled the 14-foot paper sign on a public sidewalk outside his Juneau, Alaska, high school in 2002.

Principal Deborah Morse confiscated it and suspended Frederick. He sued, taking his case all the way to the nation's highest court.

The justices ruled 6-3 that Frederick's free speech rights were not violated by his suspension over what the majority's written opinion called a "sophomoric" banner.

The Supreme Court is wrong, wrong, wrong here. Whether the banner was “sophomoric” or the deepest E=MC-squared Shakespeare NPR shit, the First Amendment protects it. Or is supposed to. If high school students aren’t allowed to say sophomoric things, then how can they say anything at all? We might as well just cauterize their mouths. Which maybe isn't bad idea anyway.

In an ironic twist, the student in this legal case is supported by conservative Christian groups who rightfully fear that the ruling will have a chilling effect on speech – in their case religious expression in schools, such as speech that opposes homosexuality or abortion.

In a second ironic twist, the lead prosecutor against free student speech is none other than Kenneth Starr – famous for investigating Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky years. Back then, Starr was all about saying dirty, dirty things in public. Now he’s all “think of the children” and still a sexually frustrated pervert.

It's indicative of our upside down times, that the highest court in the land is enmeshed in debate that somehow gets Monica Lewinsky; conservative Christians and Alaskan stoners; on the same side. It's the case of the strange bedfellows.

In this court case, free speech is like a plucky Rocky boxing Apollo Creed. He takes punch after punch, getting bloodied and staggering, but refuses to give it up. The final bell rings and Rocky comes out swinging like a man possessed and that's when an asteroid strikes the boxing ring, instantly vaporizing everyone for miles around -- that’s how thoroughly free speech did not win today.

Related: Even Judge Judy has more sense than the Supreme Court

Saturday, June 23, 2007

McDonald's Q&A

McDonald's in UK answers customer questions...*every* customer question.

Such as...

“Are your baconburgers kosher?” asks one curious connoisseur (A: “This item is not kosher”). “I read in the paper that some burgers contain poo. Is this really true? If so, what proportion of burgers contain poo?” asks another. (A: “This is absolutely not true”). “What part of the cow do you use in the burgers cos i heard it was the teeth?” runs a third.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Invention: SalvationBots

I invented this back during the original Transformers craze. Who’s getting left out here? Evangelical Christians, that’s who. A lot of parents I knew growing up wouldn’t let there kids play with “secular” toys because they feared they were a gateway for the devil’s influence. And Transformers didn’t allay their fears any because of those vaguely demonic-looking icons.

I felt bad for my evangelical classmates, who so badly wanted Transformers, but couldn’t have them. So I thought of a way to help them (and make millions $$$ tapping a niche toy market). The answer: The SalvationBots™. Imagine the everyday objects you have around the house: a crucifix, a pillow-sized Bible, rosary beads, another crucifix.

Now imagine that those objects not only help you enter the kingdom of heaven….but…they also TRANSFORM into powerful fighting robots! They’d fight a righteous battle with the evil TempationCons™ armed with FaithBlasters™. Here’s my crude production sketch for Soul Winner Prime™

Anyway, contact me if you want to invest in this. Serious replies only!

P.S. Bonus awesome image from the internet:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Transformers: The Suckening

There’s a Sudanese genocide going on right now in Dufar, so now it’s more important than ever to raise awareness -- of infamous director Michael Bay’s attempt to make a live action movie version of Transformers. Some horrible and incoherent things have already happened, namely Bad Boys II, Armageddon and Pearl Harbor. This summer, like famine victims, the movie-going public may not have much choice. Amnesty International fears the worst, a record-breaking opening weekend.

I fear Hollywood is going to corrupt a relatively sweet part of our 1980s childhood. Transformers invoke a time when good and evil were clearly delineated; when any household object could transform into a fighting robot -- for no apparent reason. In short, Transformers are innocence itself.

A lot of us in the 80s grew up as latchkey kids. And our parents gave us the Transformer toys instead of attention and love. In my mind, Optimus Prime was basically my dad. He was strong, dependable and could always drive me to soccer practice, since he was a semi. And like most boys my age, I used to put a blond wig and dress on Megatron and pretend he was my mother. Megamom would always tell me how proud she was; and would bake delicious cookies with her shoulder-mounted fusion cannon.

[Megatron, pictured left. I must've blocked out any memory of his protruding codpiece and unfortunately located trigger. Jesus, is that wrong!]

If I had one of those decals on my body that would change into a robot face when rubbed, you know where I’d put it? On my protruding codpiece. More Than Meets the Eye indeed.

Back to the movie, below is why I fear corruption. Will they keep the artistic purity of the original Transformers?

From the movie production notes:

[Producer] Don Murphy had wanted to retain the Bumblebee character’s original Volkswagen Beetle form, but Michael Bay changed him to a Chevrolet Camaro, and the other Autobots also became GM-owned vehicle lines, as part of a tie-in deal. The alternate modes of the Decepticons were supplied to Bay from the U.S. army.

Bumblebee is not any goddamned Camaro … he’s a Bug…a yellow, possibly retarded VW Bug. Which apparently doesn’t square with the lucrative GM tie-in deal.

They were just toys, not exactly Shakespeare, but the source material was abundantly clear: Bumblebee was a Bug. Bee, bug, Beetle. The world made sense back then.

How can this movie be anything other than a 96-minute commercial for GM? Why not take the endorsement deal to the next level and make the genocidal Decpticons into Hondas: “The Ruthless HondaBots want to destroy planet Earth – only the GM Autobots (TM) can stop them with 0% APR financing”

Real Transformers Movie Tagline:

On July 4th, Our World...Will Be Transformed.

Alternate Transformers Movie Taglines:

Your Expectations for Enjoyable Movie Entertainment…Will Be Transformed!

Heartless Robots…Ultimate Evil…Michael Bay’s Production Company.

On July 4th, Michael Bay is going to Need a Newspaper…When He Takes a 96-Minute Dump All Over Our Childhood Memories.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bad Money

Today's financial advice, don't accept payment in any of these...

The World’s Worst Currencies

Especially shocking is the Zimbabwean Dollar's 3,714% inflation rate. Lesson for all grocers: Robert Mugabe's out-of-state personal checks are simply no good, even with appropriate ID.

(via Boing Boing)


Always seem to be childless themselves. And not because a parent would be too sympathetic to ever kidnap another’s precious litle child – parents aren’t kidnappers because it makes them suckers to be giving away free babysitting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mandaeans – the Most Deeply Screwed Religion

I never even heard of them, but Harper’s had an interesting mini-article on these ancient people of mysterious origins. They only live in a small area on Iraq-Iran border (prime vacation real estate!) and only right on a major river (for reasons noted below). There were only 60,000 left there in the 90s. maybe 5,000 now. Oh yeah, and they don’t care for Jews, Christians and especially Muslims who also happen to completely surround them. And their religion prohibits them from carrying guns or participating in violence.

In short, Mandaeans are in serious trouble, like Dodo-level trouble or Shaker trouble, but without the handmade furniture.

Quotes from the Harper’s article:

[Mandaeans] live, or lived, on the Iraq-Iran border; who knows how many are left? They are old, older than Islam; who knows how old? Some say they are heretical Jews, some say one of the Nazarene Christian sects, some a branch of Gnosticism or Manichaeanism: some say they came from Ceylon.

They believe they are the descendants of Noah's son Shem. All the other peoples of the earth descend from the union of Noah and a demon who disguised herself as Noah's wife.

They dislike the Jews, whom they call "an evil nation" founded by the renegade Mandaeans Abraham and Moses, a people whose husbands abandon their wives and lie down with each other. They believe that Jerusalem was created when seven evil stars slept with their mother.

They say the Christians have secret rites in which they worship a female donkey with three legs. And Jesus is a false Messiah.

They call Muhammad the "son of the butcher," and believe that he is Mars, the planet of violence, and the lord of the end of time. They say that he "propagates a shout that is not a shout."

They say that Socrates was a Mandaean.

They recognize all the major figures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but believe that all three members of the fun-loving monotheistic club are big phonies. But there is one figure Mandaeans revere: John the Baptist (you know the Baptism guy, Baptistised Jesus). And to this day they baptize almost everything…i.e. they dunk it in water, often, to bless it…babies, horses, the food they cook -- and they require dunking in flowing river water. Sanitation be damned.

They are baptized, with total immersion, once a week, and also baptized when they have been polluted: traveling among Muslims or foreigners, or forced to accept food or drink from them; eating fruits or vegetables that have not been purified in running water; being bitten by an animal; having quarreled with someone; contact with blood, whether from a nosebleed or menstruation; having touched a Mandaean who was in a state of pollution:

They cannot drink water from a tap or a bottle, for that "cuts" or kills the water. Only free-flowing water, from a river or spring, is alive.

In conclusion, Mandaeans have to live surrounded by free-flowing water…in the desert. Encircled by people who they hate…and who hate them. In a country that has descended into full-scale civil war…without weapons of any kind. And they don’t accept children from mixed marriges or converts...not that people were lining up to join anyway.

7/30 Update: from the comments a fascinating 7-min video on the Manaeans: video link

Friday, June 15, 2007

Advertising Twofer

Advertising #1

New TV commercial implies that some people somewhere may, perchance, be using search engines to find the porn they like, perhaps. Other people of course, not you or me.

Advertising #2

Kellogg’s to Stop Advertising Junkfood to Kids

The Kellogg Company announced today that it will phase out advertising its products to children under age 12 unless the foods meet specific nutrition guidelines for calories, sugar, fat and sodium.

Kellogg also announced that it would stop using licensed characters or branded toys to promote foods unless the products meet the nutrition guidelines.

The voluntary changes, which will be put in place over the next year and a half, will apply to about half of the products that Kellogg currently markets to children worldwide, including Froot Loops and Apple Jacks cereals and some varieties of Pop Tarts.

Children shouldn’t worry; Kellogg’s will keep beloved Tony the Tiger. Until the vet puts him down. One morning he’ll be eating a special bowl of Frosted Flakes and just start to get very sleepy. It’s all completely painless and up in tiger heaven he can frolic forever with Toucan Sam and the Smack’Em Frog.

There, there. It’s for the best, you’ll see.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bad words happen to good people

Did you know “bastard” use to be a really, really bad word and “nigger” not so much? Do you want to know how “fuck” got so bad throughout history? Do you want your mouth washed out with a bar of soap? Well, do you young man?

Just wait until your father gets home, or let the Explainer, explain it now:

Fuck has always been an offensive word, though its exact origin is unclear. It's related to words in Dutch, German, and Swedish, and the etymological meaning has to do with moving back and forth. The first known evidence of the term is found in an English and Latin poem from before 1500 that satirized the Carmelite friars of Cambridge, England.

Related: Slur Power

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chuck E. Cheese: an Investigation

Going into this weekend I was very excited. After 20+ years, I was finally going back to Chuck E. Cheese’s and as I remember it, that place was so frickin’ awesome! Mom lets you drink gallons of pop, and run around between the sweetest video games ever, and then thrash in the giant ball pit!

In reality, the place is now lame and sad, even though nothing has changed since the 80s. CEC is now a publicly traded family-fun-product mega-corporation, but they never forgot the basics: like keeping the pizza sub-Pizza Hut inedible. It’s simply horrible. And the portions are so small too.

The one thing that’s improved since the 80s is that they serve beer, in an environment of shrieking and corporate shill-itude, beer is so desperately needed like rain in a desert.

And do you remember the life-size animatronic stuffed animal band? Well it’s still there up on stage singing Happy Birthday and other royalty-free songs and it’s still incredible creepy. Occupying the uncanny valley between familiarity and horror.

At this particular location, the Dog Drummer robot was missing a hand but he still rhythmically shook his arm to flail his imaginary drumstick. Maybe to teach kids with severe disabilities – that if they work hard and believe in themselves, that they can pretend to accomplish anything.

Remember how you spent tokens in games and get tickets you could redeem for prizes before leaving? Only now the exchange rate really stinks, like post-inflation Argentina or the Weimar Republic stink. 6,000 tickets will earn you a $6-7 off-brand Lego block set.

But here’s the catch: the most tickets you can ever get from a token is 20 -- if you roll a perfect game of skeeball. More typical is 1-2 tickets per game: so at a quarter for a token for a ticket, it’ll cost you $1,500 to take home your own set of ”Lay-Go Blocks”; half that if you’re lucky; and only $75 if God himself came down from the clouds to grant you the power to play supernaturally perfect skeeball.

All the video games are all old, many were broken. I spent my tokens playing the hottest, freshest game in the place: Off-Brand Ultimate Fighting from 1996. The graphics were not quite good enough to see a fighter being decapitated, but still good enough to make my 6-year old opponents cry when I beat them, which was every time.

Another thing I noticed, was the décor included severely out-dated band parody posters on the walls. And by parody I mean they took a known band and put Chuck E. Cheese characters in place of the humans. Two that struck me as inappropriate for different reasons:

#1 Public Enemy – Chuck E. as Chuck D. that part kinda makes sense, but the whole “Fight the Power” and “Fear of a Black Planet” thing didn’t seem to mesh well with the CEC corporate mission. Also today’s four to ten-year olds don’t appreciate a finely crafted pop culture reference from 1988.

#2 Michael Jackson - from the “Bad” album. They have the CEC Dog posing in a leather jacket as the King of Pop and it’s called “Bad Dog”. Sure the Dog has one hand and MJ wore one glove, that part is fine; what’s not fine is the whole infamous pedophile on the wall of a children’s restaurant thing.

That does not make any sense, unless it’s like supposed to be a wall shrine to the most famous Chuck E. Cheese’s regulars.

Besides making money, CEC seems designed with a secret agenda in mind: lay the groundwork for today’s children to become tomorrow’s gambling addicts. The flashing lights…the games of chance…the tokens—these kids are at least 2 decades away from having home mortgages, but they’re already guaranteed to lose them at some future Indian casino.

With the ticket exchange rate, kids learn that the house always wins. And like Vegas, they learn that what happens at Chuck E. Cheese’s stays at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Which probably explains the Michael Jackson poster.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Good Planning

I never knew Kurt Vonnegut had a website. When he died back in April, the site opened with just this simple, yet powerful image*.

Which is great, because a lot of website owners just die without updating anyone. Right when demand peaks for an update (oh no I heard a rumor, but it can’t be true), there’s just nothing.

But with Kurt, you knew where you stood because he was a planner. He drew out this little doodle. He scanned and uploaded it, and made arrangements to get in posted when his day came. As a fan and reader, I appreciate the consideration.

Tupac was considerate in his own way too, fans wanted music, and he obliged by giving them those posthumous albums. Hardest working man in show business.

*BTW, I think the open birdcage image is symbolic or something – like a symbol that someone on staff better feed his hungry cockatoos, or at least unlock their cage and give them a head start.

Update: In a similar manner, Andy Rooney has prepared one last commentary to be aired in the event of his demise. In life, no aspect of society escaped his curmudgeonly observations from politics to to pop trends to telepathic squirrels, now Andy gives viewers a piece of his mind regarding his recent lifestyle change.

Did you notice that I’ve recently cast off the mortal coil? I wonder why they call it that? The mortal part makes sense, sure, but there’s no coil as far as I can tell. And no white lights either. There were just some doctors and my grown children weeping and then nothing. Why is that?

I think this whole dying business has gotten really overrated; and yet we Americans can’t seem to stop doing it! Talk about peer pressure, just like we can’t seem stop buying Britney Spears’ albums or those latest raps.

I never understood the appeal of them, they sound like someone tried to make music, but then gave up. And I’ll tell you, incessant harp music isn’t much better. Everyday now – I mean what ever happened to resting in peace?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Familiarity trumps superiority

This article is in reference to consumer decisions, touching on something we all know deep down, but don’t admit: familiarity trumps superiority.

But maybe in other aspect of life too – whereas one is familiar with their parents, one wouldn’t trade them for new, improved super parents.

Or would they?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Meat Math: Agnus = Anus

Jack in the Box Ads Called Misleading

LOS ANGELES — The parent company of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's fast food chains sued rival Jack In The Box Inc. on Friday to stop TV ads that it says suggest Carl's Jr. and Hardee's use cow anus to make Angus beef hamburgers.

The best way to make consumers think you don’t put cow anus in your burgers? Start a high-profile lawsuit saying that you definitely, absolutely do not put cow anuses in your hamburgers—none what-so-ever – Carl's Jr. serves 100% anus free beef patties. Hardee’s and cow anus -- just forget you ever heard those words together. Let us not mention Carl Jr. + Hardee’s + Anus ever again.

CKE Restaurants Inc. sued Jack In The Box in U.S. District Court on Friday over an ad in which executives laugh hysterically at the word "Angus" and another where the chain's pingpong ball-headed mascot, Jack, is asked to point to a diagram of a cow and show where Angus meat comes from.

They never come flat out and say Hardee’s is buying up millions of ground up cow posteriors, so what’s the problem here? Perhaps the hot-dog industry is jealous that other companies are moving onto their turf?

"I'd rather not," the pointy-nosed Jack replies. The employee asking the question traces a circle in the air with his pen while pronouncing the word Angus.

Pssst -- Anuses are circular. Pass it on.

CKE claims the ads create the misleading impression that Jack In The Box's new 100 percent sirloin burgers use a better quality of meat than the Angus beef used by Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. CKE claims the spots confuse consumers by comparing sirloin, a cut of meat found on all cattle, with Angus, which is a breed of cattle.

Carl's Jr. is known for running controversial ads -- including one featuring a scantily clad Paris Hilton washing a car while eating a burger-- but claims the Jack In the Box ads go too far.

Carl's Jr. is taking the high road on this one – spokesman confirms Paris Hilton would definitely not put her mouth on any unsavory cow anus.

"They're not being funny," chief executive Andrew F. Puzder said Friday. "They need to stop misleading people about what Angus beef is."

It was a little funny like in a schoolyard way. Angus sounds like Anus. That’s pretty darn close. But now a million-dollar CEO says it’s not funny, so it can’t be funny anymore.

Puzder said that the company asked Jack In the Box to drop the ads, but that the chain refused and pointed to a Carl's Jr. TV spot suggesting Carl's Jr. milk shakes were superior to those served by competitors.

Puzder said the comparison was not valid because the Carl's Jr. ads did not suggest that Jack In the Box shakes were made from milk that came from an unsavory part of the cow.

Semen, right? He’s a Chief Executive of a major, major company and we're to assume he’s talking about bull semen here. What other “unsavory cow part” can be milked? I mean WTF Corporate America, we pay you millions to press release like a sailor? Maybe it's old-fashioned, but I‘m going to take a stand and say that bull shakes are just wrong – even if they're on the 99-cent menu -- and even if they're delicious.

In the end it’s hard to know which side to be on. Hardee’s, Carls’ Jr. and Jack in the Box – they’re enemies, but they also find common ground too, in their common dedication to serving substandard food as quickly as possible.

I think it's because they’re all second-tier fast food chains so they have to peddle in outrageousness to get “edge” and attract the youth demographic.

The top-tier fast food companies (Wendy’s, McDonalds, Burger King) don’t go this way. They don’t need to. They’re confident in who they are and their slogans are uncontroversial platitudes like “I’m Lovin’ It” or “Eat Food Here”. They got to reach the broadest customer base and can’t risk offending grandma by showing Parish Hilton pevically mock-thrusting a car-sized pile of fries.

Related #1: This kind of ad war reminds me of the fabled Tuna Wars of the early 20th century between purveyors of canned pink tuna and canned white tuna. They had competing slogans:

For white: Guaranteed not to turn pink in the can!
For pink: 100% Unbleached tuna fish!

Related #2: McDonald’s New Workplace Posters

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Littlest Gestapo

At a friendly BBQ this weekend, our neighbor off-handedly calls his 4-year old daughter the “Little Gestapo” because she likes to tattle on younger children and stop them when she thinks they’re breaking rules.

We all laughed because it was so incongruous to compare his adorable blond tattler to the most notorious secret police in history. Then we all had a drink. Then we laughed again, because our neighbor’s daughter is also German.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Spam King is a Local

One of the world's ten most prolific spammers, ever, has been arrested in Seattle. A dubious distinction for the city which promises so much, but just seems to give the world spam and flannel as fashion.

Spam King