Tag Archives | media

The 70s called

The 70s called

I remember talking to my Grandfather on the phone in 1974. He was in Canada, and I was in the UK.

There was an echo that made it very difficult to hear his voice; I think he struggled even more than I did with managing to talk over what we’d just said, as it bounced around in the cable under the sea. It actually sounded like he was submerged, his voice was so faint and distant. It was still pretty exciting to talk to him, though, especially since I knew he was so far away.

I have no idea what he’d make of my iPhone. He was a practical guy though, so he’d just probably use it, no doubt after swearing a bit about how tiny the buttons were.

Alltop has humor on the line.

Doug the neurotic invents a corollary on his daily commute

Revenge of the chickenOkay, I’ll admit it. I’m freaking out.

I ate at Wendy’s last night, and then I’m reading the paper today — yeah, like I do everyday on the bus — and so I’m reading the paper, and what do I see? Bird Flu! There was another breakout of bird flu in a freakin’ chicken farm in Canada!

Yeah, I know you can’t catch bird flu from a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, but still. I’m just saying that it’s a sign. It’s just a matter of time. That or the polar bears. Where the hell are they going to go when the last of the polar icecaps melt? The motherfuckers are either going to drown or head south and look for a little protein in Doug form. Spicy Doug Sandwich. Did you know the polar bear is the biggest land predator in the world? Yeah, and they aren’t going to catch bird flu. Not to mention the terrorists. If they don’t get me than for sure some crypto-Nazi is going to rendition me to somewhere where water-boarding is like foreplay.

Holy shit! It says here that some of the people working with the chickens caught Bird Flu. Oh God, I don’t want to catch BIRD FLU.

Why the hell is everyone looking so calm? Look at that dude. He’s just listening to his iPod, pretending that we’re not all about to die from an anthrax attack. It says we will right here on page three.

The bus is awfully slow today. I wonder if that’s because the driver is working with the terrorists, or maybe he has the beginnings of BIRD FLU and it’s slowing him down? All these stories keep saying it’s only a matter of time until the virus leaps from poultry to humans. Just like the terrorists. They’re going to do another big attack.


They haven’t, have they? Maybe if the media is really covering a story like this, that reduces the chances of the thing actually happening. What if there is some sort of inverse relationship to disaster and the amount of fear churned up by the media: the more ink and airtime devoted, the less likely there will be a disaster?

Oh shit. What if there was some kind of OTHER relationship, like a corollary to Murphy’s Law? What is that? Anything that can go, will go wrong. No, that’s Microsoft’s motto. Anything that can go wrong, will.

Like, my bus is late. It can be late, so it is late. I’m going to have to run to catch my transfer. Bastards.

What if there’s some kind of corollary to Murphy’s Law? Anything that can go wrong, will, unless the media gives it saturation coverage … in which case, something else will go even more horribly wrong. Not bad. Call it Doug’s Corollary.

Finally, the bus is at my stop. Come on lady, move. I got to run.

Wait! If that is true, what is worse than BIRD FLU?

Dashing now. I’m still fast. Not young enough to fight off BIRD FLU, but still quick.

Oh my God. Ohmygodohmygod, EBOLA is worse than BIRD FLU!

Oh God, I’m going to catch some new strain of EBOLA and bleed out from they eye sockets and shit! It’s going to wipe me out like a —


The End

Alltop is a busload of fun. Photo by Mark Lorch. Originally published in 2007, so you can see how it’s the specific fears that change, not the general tone of the media.

If on a Summer’s Day, a Fridgularity

You are reading a blog posting about Mark A. Rayner’s most recent book, The Fridgularity. You had been hoping to find a funny picture, and maybe a microfiction that played off that image, but instead, you find yourself reading another self-promotional piece about the author’s efforts to sell his satirical tale about the technological singularity.

What kind of man writes a satire about a hypothetical future in which robots — or artificial intelligences — take over from human beings, anyway? Despite your misgivings, you are intrigued, and continue to read. Is this posting going to be self-congratulatory as well as self-promotional, or will there be some merit to it. Will this blog posting waste my time? Make me angry? Or will I find in it a sense of whimsy and humor that finally encourages me to buy the damned book, so this fellow will stop going on about it?

Your finger is about to click on the mouse, and then you see there is a photograph.

panda with camera

This is promising. It is an amusing photo of a panda taking a picture of a young boy. It is in sepia tone, which appeals to you for some reason. Perhaps the story you had originally hoped for will now be forthcoming. But you see instead, a link to a listing of media outlets that has a news story about the author’s book, The Fridgularity: Western News, The Londoner, The Beat, Metro (London), The Daily Political, and others.

You have given this post all the time you are going to, but then you see there is an audio file as well. He did an interview with Al Coombs on CJBK radio, which is possibly entertaining. If nothing else, you would be interesting in hearing what this freak sounds like:

Alltop sounds funny. Panda pic via Imfunny, though who knows where they got it from. The author expresses his regret at ripping off Italo Calvino’s genius novel, If on a Winter’s Night, a Traveler.