JUN 2016 - SEP 2016

16 P 25 / Watch out, Gomer!

Andy, Aunt Bea, Barney, Goober, Floyd, Helen, Otis... Most of the regular cast of The Andy Griffith Show are now dead!

I suspect that this is some sort of curse.

16 P 03 / Ad like mad

Here's an idea; one that is, as they say on Sesame Street, "so crazy that it just might work."

People on YouTube seem to be upset right now about opportunities for ad revenue being removed from videos containing any possible references to content which are deemed to be less than "advertiser-friendly". The videos are still there, and people are still allowed to make videos about these taboo subjects, but no ads may be put in place for them.

The notion behind this change is that advertisers would not want to have their products associated with controversial topics, regardless of the stance being presented in the content. This seems crazy, but it is not unprecedented. In 1990's, Ford Motors reportedly yanked advertising from The New Yorker after one of its ads had been placed on a page opposite a story about Nine Inch Nails and Ford took exception to the printed lyrics in the piece. In this way, advertisers came to exercise a degree of editorial discretion over content. But then, eventually, the media got smart about it.

Have you ever noticed TV commercials for companies like Boeing or CSX or Raytheon, and thought "Who are they advertising to? How is a person sitting at home watching TV supposed to give their business to CSX?" The truth is, media now expects big corporations to pay tributes in the form of ad-buying. A company slaps together a quickie stock-footage commercial and pays to have it air as a legally-sound bribe. In return, the network does not report on any unpleasant doings going on at that particular company.

So how can YouTubers fight back against advertisers who don't want their brands being linked to controversial subject matter, even unintentionally? Give them free advertising.

Whenever making a vid about a verboten topic, the host can give a free shout-out halfway through to a certain product, thus cementing the connection (albeit a tenuous, practically subliminal one) between said product and topic. Making a video about the Zodiac Killer? Be sure to take a minute to extol the deliciousness of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, so that everybody will think "Zodiac Killer" whenever they see it in the store! Exactly what they were hoping to avoid! Keep doing this, video after video, until the company pays you to stop. Then, pick a new product and let the process repeat.

Ransom their good names with your endorsements. Make companies pay a tribute to get you to stop recommending them. Kill them with kindness.

Come on, it'll be funny!

16 M 22 / Poseurs

Just so we're clear: I was sending over-the-top, facetious emails to the Cincinnati Zoo BEFORE that gorilla died. Go find your own thing.

16 M 21 / One decade of social media later...

I decided to merge the two most laughably bad covers of TIME magazine into a single image.

I just wanted to see how it would look. No other reason.

16 M 14 / Just a suggestion

Perhaps it would be simpler to just say, "Letters only."

16 L 30 / Hand over that Pikachu!

If Nintendo was bought out by Disney, there would never be another negative word about Pokemon Go in US media again. As things stand today: it's too big. It's too successful. And none of the profits go to the five big media companies that own 99% of American entertainment and news outlets.

Is it really plausible that the creator of Flappy Bird just decided of his own free will to take the game off the market because he was worried about making too much money? Someone thought he was making too much money alright.

UPDATE: One other type of story there's been a lot of lately is "Person robbed while playing Pokemon Go". Why is this a bad thing? Normally, if somebody gets robbed or assaulted, no one cares. But if it happens when they're playing Pokemon Go, not only is it newsworthy, it's a NATIONAL story! Maybe that serial sniper in Colorado from last summer would be in custody now if he had shot someone looking for a Geodude.

16 L 14 / Pure pulp for non-people

The first issue of OWNLIFE is on sale now!

16 L 05 / Was this really an accident?

At the store today, I saw a can of Coca-Cola with a small, and I'm guessing temporary, change made to their iconic logo. The letters "Co" at the beginning and "ol" near the end were shaded a bluish-gray to accent them. The idea is that, together, they spell "Cool".

Here's the problem: there are four letters in "Cool" and eight letters in "Coca-Cola". That's one half blue and the other half white, making it hard to tell which portions are supposed to be the ones getting accentuated. The "Cool" letters actually look subdued this way, like they're not meant to stand out, especially since the Coca-Cola logo is traditionally white. So, seeing it for the first time, I thought that I was supposed to take note of the white letters... which spell "caca".

After about a century of Coca-Cola existing, didn't anybody stop to think, "Are we really the first ones to come up with something so simple? Is there perhaps a REASON why nobody ever tried this 'cool' idea before?" The best and the brightest, ladies and gentlemen. For the sake of our nation, let us hope this was the work of a saboteur.

16 L 04 / Almost there

It looks like I'm not up to anything right now, but I am. Just you wait.

I'm not kidding, either! Really!

16 K 28 / Turnabout is Fair Use

Have you heard about the trouble that Ford Motors is in now? They got caught taking graphics from a video game and putting them in one of their adverts without getting permission from or paying the original artist.

Believe it or not, I'm on Ford's side here. I think they're totally in the right. After all, what did they do wrong? They're selling CARS, not ART. All they did was take a small portion of something that other people created, then add to it by putting their words over it, and now they get to make lots of money off of it. And if the original artist doesn't like it, they just need to lighten up! That's how Fair Use works now, isn't it?

C'mon guys, don't get mad at Ford. Where's The Fair Use? #WTFU

I gotta go. My sarcasm alarm's gone off again.