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Selected Media Fads Through the Ages

Von Willendorf venus statue, circa 24,000 bce

24,000-22,000 BC: chunky fertility goddess statues (pictured at right: notice the prominent and large brains.)

10,000 BC: cave painting

4,000 BC: ziggurat construction

3,000-1,250 BC: pyramid raising (later revived by Mesoamericans and I.M. Pei)

1480-1700: Witch burning

1500s: homoerotic sonnet writing

1600s: pirate singing

1700s: pamphleteering

1760-1762: spreading syphilis

1790s: opera

1800s: novel-writing

1900-1914: being optimistic about the future

1919-1922: cutting up pieces of paper and pulling them out of a hat, also, painting

1925: jazz music

1927: soap-based radio

1933: burning books (mostly in Germany)

1951: find-the-commie (kind of like peek-a-boo, but with Senators)

1964: screaming (usually Beatle-related)

1966: TV

1976: disco

1977: DIY pet rocks

1982-1988: taking odds on Reagan-related nuclear holocaust

1987-1997: making answering machine messages (see below)

1998: web sites about your cat

1999: cappuccino drinking (related to dot-com bubble)

2000: looking forward to the future (this didn’t last as long as the previous fad in this genre)

2003: Friendster

2004-2005: blogging

2006: MySpace

2007: Facebook

April 2008: Twitter

2009 (Jan.-Aug): talking/writing/broadcasting about Twitter in MSM.

2009, Sep. 15: Blogging (again, briefly, but only about Dan Brown’s latest “masterstroke of storytelling”

2010 (Jan.-Feb.):getting really excited about the release of the iPad.

2010 (Mar.-May): trying to remember what all the fuss about the iPad was all about.

Answering machine messages: the most important creative outlet of the nineties!

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Video here if it doesn’t beep. (via)

Alltop and enjoys their Bebo. Originally published September, 2009.

WTF? Harper ditches Summit on Climate Change!

So let’s be clear about this. A hundred world leaders gather at the UN to discuss climate change, and our PM decides to meet with the mayor of New York instead?

Lest you have any trouble deciphering the hidden message, Harper is saying: “I don’t give a shit about this so-called climate change thing.” He’s not even going through the motions.

And yes, the magnetic Environment Minister Jim Prentice attended all day, and Harper went to the dinner, but that’s kind of like sending Forrest Gump to take notes at the Mensa meeting, and then coming for the post-chess whiskey tasting. It might be more fun, but it certainly isn’t taking the endeavour very seriously.

(Obviously, I have no idea what happens at Mensa meetings, though I’m sure they’re more interesting than climate change conferences held at the UN. Even so: Shame, Stephen Harper. Shame!)

At least one journalist took notice:

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If the embedded video craps out worse than Harper, you can find the story here: Bob Fife calls out Stephen Harper for not showing up to UN climate change meetings. Also, you might want to check out this page, which has another report by Fife linked under the video screen.

A special thanks to Scott for alerting me to this one.

Alltop and have no idea where Canada is.

Piles of fun

Little Billy Treepanning, destroyer of nannysLittle Billy Treepanning was in big trouble. This time he was going to get more than a “time out” and no dessert.

This time it was serious.

Not only had he vaporized the third nanny in as many months, sold Lazzie for scientific experimentation, and destroyed much of the Plexiglass Nebula, he’d used his father’s imported Klaas Natu hemorrhoid cushion for his silly costume.

Alltop and loved vacationing in the Plexiglass Nebula. Photo via Strange Ink.

Listen to my new novel, Marvellous Hairy

Marvellous HairyIf you’d like to join me for the podcast of my second novel, you can find the listing of them as they’re released at the Marvellous Hairy website. While you’re there, sign up for my newsletter to catch all the news as it happens.

The first episode (which is about twenty minutes long and covers the first two chapters) can be found at my other blog, on my author’s site. I’ve added the second episode now too. You can also subscribe at iTunes, and soon at

Or you could just go get your own copy to read yourself. Just sayin’.

Alltop and are also humor monkeys.

Why it’s hard to take TV news seriously

Now, I know it’s unfair to tar every TV news report with the same brush, particularly as the clip I’m going to show you comes from a Fox News affiliate. But still, it does kind of speak to the medium. I can just see how this went down in the newsroom:

Reporter: There’s this great story about a bear terrorizing this lady.

Producer: Can you get pictures of the bear? I don’t want a god-damned story about a bear without video of a frickin’ bear.

Reporter: No problem. I’m sure we’ll be able to get pictures.

Producer: Okay. If you’re going to waste the whole afternoon with a camera crew, we have to have pictures.

Reporter: Don’t worry. There will be a bear in the story.

You can find it here if the embed thingy doesn’t work. At least the report finally answers the question: “does a bear scat in the woods?”

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Alltop and also enjoy going in the woods.