Logorama

I saw Logorama at Sundance a few years back. Not that short films have much hope of broad distribution anyhow, but this movie was particularly toxic for buyers given its liberal, unauthorized use of corporate logos to hilarious effect.

I'm still surprised to find the movie online anywhere, and every so often I check. It happens to be on Vimeo now, and as always I suggest people give it a viewing in case it gets taken down (maybe at this point if it's still online it's safe?).

Life of a condom

When MetroCard meets GameStop PowerUp Card Jordi Hirschfeld, he looks at me and says, No wonder Jordi Hirschfeld not yet use you. I become confused. Use me for what?

That night, MetroCard tells me many strange things about myself. At first, I do not believe what he says. But he insists all is true. When I start to panic, he laughs. He says, What did you think you were for? I am too embarrassed to admit truth, which is that I thought I was balloon.
 

Simon Rich, son of Frank Rich, is one of my favorite humorists. I wrote here about his great four-part comedic story “Sell Out” a while ago (you can start with Part One), and another of his comic masterpieces “Guy Walks Into Bar” has been atop The New Yorker's Most Popular list for much of the time since they opened their archives for the summer.

The excerpt above is from his short “Unprotected: Life of a condom.” It reminds me of this Google commercial.

The Sims You Left Behind

Comic aside in The New Yorker by Cirocco Dunlap (some of the names of these writers in The New Yorker are just fantastic, aren't they?):

The Sims are angry that you abandoned us, Madame Leader, and they are coming for you. Our new government has created a vast army of Sims controlled by other Sims. We’re strong, and we cannot be killed. Supreme Emperor King Stupidass has found a way into your world and plans to take it over. He has the means to succeed. This is my warning to you, as someone still loyal to your leadership after all these years.

I’m sorry, Madame Leader, but why the hell are you having me “Play in Bed” with another Sim? Now is not the time! Good God, have you heard anything I’ve said? This is your world at stake. Is it that you can’t understand me because I’m not speaking English and I’m grabbing my crotch like I have to pee? Humanity is in peril! Now my naked body is a blur because you have me unwillingly humping the social worker through the wall. How I wish I could stop humping while I’m trying to talk to you.

You know what? Fuck you, Madame Leader. May the Sims destroy you.

Missed connections for A-holes

We made small talk in the checkout line at Trader Joe’s. You said that you literally could not live without the salsa you were buying. I wish we could talk again. You used “literally” incorrectly. It really pissed me off. I wish you could literally not live without that salsa, because then I’d take it from you.

* * * 

At a bar celebrating my friend’s birthday in midtown. You were wearing Google Glass. I tried to mouth, “You look like a moron.” Did you record that?
 

From Ethan Kuperberg at The New Yorker: Missed Connections for A-Holes.

There are already outlets for this type of passive aggressive l'esprit de l'escalier, though. Twitter, Facebook status updates, the Yelp trauma narrative.

Obama to appear on Between Two Ferns

President Obama's appearance on Funny or Die's Between Two Ferns will post tomorrow morning at 7:30am.

Sure, Obama came of age in the dawn of the internet, but it still feels like he's leaned forward on social media more than the average President would have. I'll always think of him as our first intentionally viral President (Bush having been more “unintentionally” viral).

The economics of Christmas

A holiday satire, one that does a good job personifying some of our more prominent online economic commentators:

Open Borders: Why should they stop at Christmas?

By Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

Every year the American government briefly relaxes its stranglehold on our borders to permit the entrance of Santa Claus and his team of reindeer. If this is a good thing on Christmas, imagine how much better it would be if we made this our year round policy? Have you ever eaten in an Elven restaurant? The candy canes are sublime.

While there are some who think that competition with elf workers would impoverish American workers, there is not a lot of evidence to support this. In fact, the toy making of the elves would likely be complimentary to native production. What's more, the wealth generated by elven labor would add to economic growth.

●●●●●

Is Christmas Deflationary or not?

By Izabella Kaminska, FT Alphaville

As we pointed out quite some time ago, there are serious questions to be raised about the deflationary possibilities of Christmas. 

[The rest of this article is free but you must register with the Financial Times. And later, if you want to read this again, you will have to register again. And again.]

●●●●●

I rode on Santa's sleigh and it was surprisingly comfortable

By Henry Blodget, Business Insider

I have very long legs. The seats are made for jolly old elves. Take a look at all these pictures I took.

●●●●●

Here's what you need to know about this year's big Christmas econ-war

By Joe Weisenthal, Business Insider

[Click to view this 28 page slide show on one page]

Makes a great companion to this list of the 10 least successful holiday specials of all time.

Bob & Carol & Ted & Santa (1973)

This ABC Christmas special featured Santa as a happy-go-lucky swinger who comically wades into the marital bed of two neurotic 70s couples, and also the music of the Carpenters. It was screened for television critics but shelved by the network when the critics, assembled at ABC’s New York offices, rose as one to strangle the producers at the post-viewing interview. Joel Siegel would later write, “When Santa did his striptease for Carol while Karen Carpenter sang ‘Top of the World’ and peered through an open window, we all looked at each other and knew that we television critics, of all people, had been called upon to defend Western Civilization. We dared not fail.”

●●●●●

Noam Chomsky: Deconstructing Christmas (1998)

This PBS/WGBH special featured linguist and social commentator Chomsky sitting at a desk, explaining how the development of the commercial Christmas season directly relates to the loss of individual freedoms in the United States and the subjugation of indigenous people in southeast Asia. Despite a rave review by Z magazine, musical guest Zach de la Rocha and the concession by Chomsky to wear a seasonal hat for a younger demographic appeal, this is known to be the least requested Christmas special ever made.

I'm likely the exception, but I'd watch some of these if they were made.

A holiday tech support masterpiece

Every holiday season, many techies complain vociferously about going home and having to play tech support for all their relatives, especially their parents. Whenever I read the exasperated tweets, I think of this comic masterpiece in McSweeneys: In which I fix my girlfriend's grandparents' wifi and am hailed as a conquering hero by Mike Lacher.

Lo, in the twilight days of the second year of the second decade of the third millennium did a great darkness descend over the wireless internet connectivity of the people of 276 Ferndale Street in the North-Central lands of Iowa. For many years, the gentlefolk of these lands basked in a wireless network overflowing with speed and ample internet, flowing like a river into their Compaq Presario. Many happy days did the people spend checking Hotmail and reading USAToday.com.

But then one gray morning did Internet Explorer 6 no longer load The Google. Refresh was clicked, again and again, but still did Internet Explorer 6 not load The Google. Perhaps The Google was broken, the people thought, but then The Yahoo too did not load. Nor did Hotmail. Nor USAToday.com. The land was thrown into panic. Internet Explorer 6 was minimized then maximized. The Compaq Presario was unplugged then plugged back in. The old mouse was brought out and plugged in beside the new mouse. Still, The Google did not load.

Some in the kingdom thought the cause of the darkness must be the Router. Little was known of the Router, legend told it had been installed behind the recliner long ago by a shadowy organization known as Comcast. Others in the kingdom believed it was brought by a distant cousin many feasts ago. Concluding the trouble must lie deep within the microchips, the people of 276 Ferndale Street did despair and resign themselves to defeat.

So rather than grumble, remember this: your relatives will regard your ability to fix their gadgets and doodads as some sort of fucking sorcery. Rejoice in your power.

Guy Walks Into a Bar

So a guy walks into a bar one day and he can't believe his eyes. There, in the corner, there's this one-foot-tall man, in a little tuxedo, playing a tiny grand piano.

So the guy asks the bartender, “Where'd he come from?”

And the bartender's, like, “There's a genie in the men's room who grants wishes.”

So the guy runs into the men's room and, sure enough, there's this genie. And the genie's, like, “Your wish is my command.” So the guy's, like, “O.K., I wish for world peace.” And there's this big cloud of smoke—and then the room fills up with geese.

So the guy walks out of the men's room and he's, like, “Hey, bartender, I think your genie might be hard of hearing.”

And the bartender's, like, “No kidding. You think I wished for a twelve-inch pianist?”

This piece by Simon Rich is behind the New Yorker paywall, but many of you probably have a subscription, right? The opening excerpt above works as a stand-alone joke, but the piece goes on from there to places unanticipated.

I don't often read the humor pieces in The New Yorker, but when I do, I read the ones by Simon Rich.