Archive | Parody & Satire

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.): trying to remember what all the fuss about the iPad was all about.

2010: “winning

2011: pretending the British Royal family is important

2012: posting pictures of every frickin’ meal on Instagram

2013: twerking

2014: “binge-watching” TV

And yes, Answering machine messages was the most important creative outlet of the nineties!

YouTube Preview Image

Video here if it doesn’t beep.

Alltop and enjoys their Bebo. From my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures. Originally published in 2010, and updated!

The Tyranny and Creativity of a Word Count

idea too long for social  media cartoon

On the other hand, a really specific (short) word limit can force one to be more creative and improve the text. I love the Blaise Pascal quote: “This letter is very long because I did not have time to make it short.”

In other words, brevity is not only the soul of wit, it takes more time to achieve, sometimes, than much longer pieces of writing.

This post notwithstanding.

Alltop is long on funny. Cartoon by Noise to Signal

Dominus Vobiscum

After the disastrous Papacy of Benedict XVI, all the secret societies decided to go a different way with the new pontiff.

Schematic for RoboPopeThe Freemasons were keen to start putting their new genetic engineering technology to use, and so create some kind of freakish monstrosity that would be a continued impediment to population control. They were shouted down by the Illuminati, who were excited about the possibilities of having the first artificial pope.

The Priory of Sion and the Jesuits were in agreement a change was in order, but they could not agree on doctrinal issues (though the Jesuits had half a candidate in mind); the Vril Society was totally useless, proposing it was now time to introduce their alien masters to the world in the form of a scaly lizard-like beast called Todd.

The Creeping Dread Society felt it was time for some sort of cephalopod to hold the office, and the Skull and Bones felt that this was Jeb’s time.

In the end, they opted for a mixture of approaches — with considerable help from Sony — and the first RoboPope was introduced to the world.

Alltop hopes to one day be a Bishop of Death, and know the Latin phrase for “The Lord be with you”. Originally published October 2010.