Friday, December 25, 2009

I DID see it.

Exactly how many years has that M&M commercial where Santa Claus faints been around? As best I can recall, it has always existed. The company has been using it as their Christmas commercial since the beginning of time, it has never not been.

Maybe the ad agency gets a little stir-crazy toward the holidays, and don't feel like coming up with anything new.

"Dear Corporate-

The only thing we've been able think of is a commercial where the candies can't think of any new ideas and decide to duck out of work early for the holidays. You should probably just use that same commercial instead.

See ya after New Years!

-The Ad team."

Or maybe that commercial is too good, and no one can top it. Like some kind of advertising zen riddle, it drives haggard creative teams year after year to try and find an idea that's just as cute, quick, and funny as what they've already got. Even now, some ambitious young ad exec is collapsed on his desk, surrounded by crumpled drafts.*

*And you just know the guy who wrote that commercial comes back every year to lord it over them.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Whooom, kssssssh!

I've always been bothered by the statement: "You have WAY too much time on your hands."*

It's a cliché that gets trotted out whenever you put time into something that has no direct commercial value, or isn't something that society arbitrarily regards as valid.

It most commonly follows phrases like:

"Check out this light saber I built!"

"I finally got a Playstation 3 platinum trophy!"

"I finished my costume for (insert your favorite fantasy/scifi/gaming con)"

But the sentiment is so common among stupid jerks that you'll hear it in all sorts of situations. I think what it really means is:

"I am not capable of doing what you did, and would like to invalidate your work to make myself feel better."

Fortunately there's an easy comeback that cuts these people to the quick:

"Yeah, I should really be spending my time watching reality tv, like you and the rest of the boring people."

*And it's a stupid comment anyway. I don't sink my time into rediculous things because I have too much time, I do it because I'm crazy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

We got movie sign!

The boundless heavens serve as a back-drop for the MAIN TITLE, followed by a ROLL-UP, which crawls into infinity.



This is AWESOME!

I have totally always wanted to write an OPENING SCROLL for a movie!

How sweet is this? I can write whatever I want in BIG LETTERS to make it all DRAMATIC. I wonder if they'll do the STAR WARS things where the text CRAWLS INTO INFINITY!

Okay, okay. I gotta be cool here. Can't blow this cause it sets up the whole movie.
Here we go . . .

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base . . .

Haha! No, not really. That's STAR WARS. I was just messing with you. Sorry, had to do that. Okay, for real this time . . .

The world is changed; I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth . . .

LOL, no that's FELLOWSHIP. Oh man, I did it again. It's just so much FUN! It almost doesn't matter what you write, everything looks cool in BIG LETTERS against a star field.
Here, check this out:

War has come to the world of the setting! The dark forces of an ancient evil are amassing at the FORTRESS OF WHATEVER!*

With his dark army of basically-zombies-even-though-they're-called-something else, and his elite guard of slightly-harder-to-kill-dudes, the BAD GUY seems unstoppable.

Until . . .

One OTHER GUY, as foretold by an ANCIENT PROPHESY, emerges to fight back against the BAD GUY, and probably unite everyone or something. But first he must seek out the MINOR CHARACTERS to help him get, make, or reforge some kind of THING, like a sword or wand!
I don't know, maybe it's a MACE of DESTINY!

Will he succeed? YEAH, PROBABLY!
But it's gonna take nine more films for you to see how!


*I mean if you're going to name something "Mount Doom," you might as well.

Friday, December 4, 2009

(A Parody of the) Open Letter from Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg

It has been a great year for making the world more open and connected, allowing both pictures and videos of adorable kittens to flow freely though our culture. Thanks to your help, more than 350 million people around the world are using Facebook to share their lives online, all the while filling my pockets with some serious cash-money!

To make this possible, we have focused on giving you the tools you need to share and control your information . . . all your information, every last bit in fact, because apparently you guys have no common sense whatsoever. Starting with the very first version of Facebook five years ago, we've built tools that help you control what you share with which individuals and groups of people. We've also removed the fields we originally included as a joke, like "social security number," "combination to my safe," and "places where I am most vulnerable." Our work to improve privacy continues today, because it has to, you people are dumb enough to put almost anything on the internet.

Facebook's current privacy model revolves around "networks" — communities for your school, your company or your region. This worked well when Facebook was mostly used by students, before anybody's stupid mom joined and spoiled the party.

Over time people also asked us to add networks for companies and regions as well. Today we even have networks for some entire countries, like India and China, just in case you wanted to share something with only a very specific billion people. (While we were at it, we also created networks for Antarctica, the Moon, and Hogwarts.)

However, as Facebook has grown, some of these regional networks now have millions of members and we've concluded that this is no longer the best way for you to control your privacy. Almost 50 percent of all Facebook users are members of regional networks, so this is an important issue for us. If we can build a better system, then more than 100 million people will have even more control of their information, and they'll immediately join a facebook group protesting the addition of that control.

The plan we've come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone. Of course you can already do that, so really what we're doing is removing some of your options! I guess by "simpler" what I meant was "less robust."

We're adding something that many of you have asked for — the ability to control who sees each individual piece of content you create or upload. Now you can write what ever you want into your "20 Things" post without the 'rents ever finding out about the bad stuff! In addition, we'll also be fulfilling a request made by many of you to make the privacy settings page simpler by combining some settings. If you want to read more about this, we began discussing this plan back in July. But then if you weren't smart enough to figure out a single page of privacy settings, you're probably not much of a "reader," are you?

Since this update will remove regional networks and create some new settings, in the next couple of weeks we'll ask you to review and update your privacy settings. You'll see a message that will explain the changes, which you won't read, and take you to a page where you can update your settings, which you won't do. When you're finished not doing that, we'll show you a confirmation page so you can make sure you didn't bother choosing the right settings for you. As always, once you're done you'll still be able to change your settings whenever you want, not that you'll ever bother or even think about it again.

We've worked hard to build controls that we think will be better for you, plus easier for our legal defense to hide behind. We'll suggest settings for you based on your current level of privacy, but the best way for you to find the right settings is to read through all your options and customize them for yourself, which unfortunately requires a level of motivation you don't dare aspire to. I encourage you to do this and consider who you're sharing with online, idiot.

Thanks for being a part of making Facebook what it is today*, and for helping to make the world more open and connected. I'm gonna go take a bath in some money.

Mark Zuckerberg (with some minor editing by Sam)

*A place to play Scrabble while you're in class.