need more stuff?

Archives for February, 2010

February 25, 2010

And, indeed, most movies stink to this day

Jim Donahue

Picture this: The year is 1960, and you're an advertising executive. You've been given the campaign for a movie produced by Mike Todd Jr., in a new process called Smell-o-Vision. In this amazing new cinematic wonder, various odors will waft through the movie theater, keyed in to visuals on the screen in Scent of Mystery: a load of bread, flowers, a pipe, etc.*

It's a groundbreaking idea--a true milestone.

So you sit down at your desk, determined to compare Smell-o-Vision to earlier breakthroughs: The first moving pictures. And the dawn of sound, of course.

Suddenly, it all comes together, and you've got the most amazing ad line ever:

FIRST They Moved

THEN They Talked

NOW They Smell

No, I'm not making this up:


*Since Mike Todd Jr. is not John Waters and this is not Polyester, there is no dog poop.

(Via the Mobius Home Video Forum, where I nabbed the image.)

February 22, 2010

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #229

al in la

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon.
Anti cap 229 judges in bed.jpg

Rules & Tips

"At least 5 of us are going to need you to provide us with your best oral presentation skills, if you know what I mean." -- Glenn
"You're here early." -- Francis
"For a second there I thought I'd walked in on the proceedings of the SEC." -- Lugar

For more Honorable Mentions and a Judge's Comment for each, visit al in la's blog

February 12, 2010

This Post Is Not Yet Rated

Jesse Lansner

There's been plenty of discussion on this blog regarding how the contortions involved in media self-censorship often transform what would otherwise be a simple report involving the use of foul or abusive language into an impenetrable thicket of euphemisms that leaves the reader at a loss to understand what the hell actually happened and who would supposedly be offended.

Of course, sometimes the meaning is perfectly clear, as in this example from – you guessed it – The New York Times:

Otherwise it may take a practiced eye and ear to realize that a popular Anglo-Saxon expletive is acceptable in a PG-13 movie as long as it is only heard once and does not refer to a sexual act.

Short of rendering the word in question as f--k, its hard to see how A. O. Scott – or, more likely, his editors – could have been clearer about the word in question while still keeping the article suitable for a family paper. Well, unless he just wrote out fuck, since, as he just noted, even as prudish a body as the MPAA is okay with 13-year-olds hearing the word in a non-sexual context, and it's not like anyone under 13 (or 30) is going to read this article. [The one part of Scott's phrase that doesn't help to clarify anything is his reference to an "Anglo-Saxon expletive." Pace anyone who still says "pardon my French," all of the popular expletives come from the Germanic side of the language.]

But Scott does give us a clue as to why newspapers still engage in this charade:

It is easy to scoff at that rating only if you have never received angry letters from parents or grandparents appalled by profanity.

So journalists, like movie producers, keep their language clean not because they're worried about what children might hear or read, but because they're concerned about what adults might worry about what children might hear or read. Which means that until the members of a profession that claim to stand up to presidents and CEOs show their willingness to stand up to Grandpa Simpson, it looks like I'll have plenty of things to post here.

February 8, 2010

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #228

Harry Effron

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon.

•Last week's results. •Rules and tips.


First Place:
"I guess you're wondering why I called you all here today." -- Alan Weld

Second Place:
"Lordy, but I'm proud'a today's haul. Bagged and stuffed myself a squirrel, a coon, a porcupine, 'n' a cowboy. Gurgle." -- Daniel

Third Place:
"I'm cornered." -- mypalmike

Honorable Mention:

"Which one of you shit behind my desk?" -- Austin D

"Gol-durng it, somehow I gots to get all four of you into town, and I can't leave the porcupine alone with the baby, the raccoon alone with the porcupine, or the squirrel alone with the raccoon." -- Trout Almondine

"Which of you rootin' tootin' cowpokes has been stealing the post-it notes?" -- TG GIbbon

Yay references!:

"On the telegraph, nobody knows you're a squirrel, raccoon, porcupine or baby." -- Richard H

"The raccoons here are obese." -- jf

February 1, 2010

The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #227

al in la

Submit the worst possible caption for this New Yorker cartoon. (Limit 25 words per cap, five caps per person.)

anti cap 227 window washer.jpg

Rules & Tips

Caption: Can you ask the CFO to come in here with a mop, please?
Anti-Caption: "Ms. Wagner, I seem to have a nasty stomach bug....I just soiled my chair and the floor through my overalls. Can you ask the CFO to come in here with a mop, please?"-- m ham rant

No Mr. Bond, I expect him to try. The bastard is standing there like a statue.--CRC

SUPER BOWL BONUS: al in la has left a comment for every Anti-Caption submitted last week. Click here to see for yourself!

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2