THING 1:Help me help my friend in DC from MetaFilter. An internet forum takes on the Russian mob… no, that’s literally what happened. The dad in Taken could’ve saved a whole lot of trouble if he’d simply paid the $5 MeFi registration fee. THING 2: New Social Networking Site Changing The Way Oh, Forget It by the Onion. This is exactly what you think it is, and you will not regret reading it. THING 3: I knew it was coming, and it still got me. That means it’s like a dry heave, but in a good way:
The perfect soundtrack for old footage of NASA missions? Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” chopped & screwed. This video simultaneously makes no sense and is the most fitting depiction I’ve ever seen of everything about outer space. The glory and horror and striving and solitude — who would’ve ever guessed we’d need an American Idol to soundtrack space travel?
I’ve watched this thing every day this week. I could hammer out 10 pages on it by tomorrow night, but I’ll spare you that if you at least watch it through the 1:53 mark.
Thing: What’s in a Nickname? In Spirits World, an Implied Relationship by Ad Age. Coke. Jack (and Coke). VW Bug. Mickey D’s. Keys to the Beemer. The Big Apple, ATL, what happens in Vegas. A Louis bag and a pair of Chucks. Some brands have earned nicknames from their patrons the old-fashioned way, but the new marketing thing is to try and force nicknames on people, like this is first grade recess and Brand X is telling us we have to call it Musclebutt The Impossible because it climbed up the slide backwards woooooooo.
Corporations have successfully incorporated nicknames before, but only after the nicknames arose organically. Federal Express wouldn’t have changed its name to FedEx if everyone hadn’t already been calling it FedEx for years. Same story with the former Kentucky Fried Chicken. America Online. The obvious difference between these and Keystone Light trying to get you to call it Stones is FedEx and KFC and AOL didn’t force the change, as if they’re Brand Jœhanndreus X deciding to go by its middle name during its sophomore year because college girls seem to like weird names.
Who knows; maybe it’ll work. Seems more like they’re trying to fit in with Sam, the Captain, Heiny, Jager, Bud, Maker’s, PBR, Henny, and Natty. Also we’ve decided we want you guys to start calling us Eng.
Thing: As Australian comedy trio Axis of Awesome demonstrates, all you need to do to write a hit song is use the four-chord progression that’s used in every other hit song. Or just about. Medley us: [NSFW: Three cusses.]
Thing: How Not to Depict a War from the New York Times Lens blog.The Hurt Locker: a deserving Best Picture nom that’s well-directed, -written, and -performed. But true to life? Its reception has been a case of mistaking grittiness for authenticity; seriously, a bomb squad wanders onto some rifles and then downloads sniping mastery from the Matrix, or so it seems? It’s pretty much a literate Call of Duty, or Rambo in Apocalypse Now skins. And the idea that it’s an anti-war movie is MOOTED by the movie’s final scene. In the Times essay, American soliders in Iraq remotely detonate the movie’s bona fides. So to speak.
Heads up, friends: This post is part of ENGINE’s decade-closing blogsplosion. Click here to witness the rest of the damage. The aughties!
It’s time for the exhaustive list of the Worst _____ of the Decade lists.
We try to be positive. But come on. When Pew concludes it was the worst decade in 50 years, and Time drops the 10 Worst Things about the Worst Decade Ever, it’s hard to forget this decade kicked off with Y2K — not just a fail fail, but the biggest fail fail ever — and has only gotten more and more bailouty and wardrobe malfunctionous since.
Would love to list nice things; just filling a void here. Kottke’s already got the best lists list covered. It has some worsts too, but isn’t nearly as horrific as what you’re about to endure Also, Fimoculous has the 2009 list of lists up and running — perfect for those getting the shakes at staring down the barrel of all ten years at once.
Our next entry in our series will be as pleasant as can be. But it’s darkest before the dawn. Wade into the shock and awful.
Using Xmas instead of Christmas was originally a respectful abbreviation that openly acknowledged the speaker’s belief in the divinity of Christ. It’s funny that we assume anything that looks like English’s letter X must imply antagonism or deletion in every language in which it’s used, just because we often use it that way. Sometimes a letter is just a letter.