“…and here’s some footage of congress.”

April 17, 2010

"Part chocolate. Part peanut butter. All hero." This  describes neither Iron Man nor Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

"Part chocolate. Part peanut butter. All hero." Note that this describes neither Iron Man nor Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Way back in a past blog life I was a lot more candid, with less concerns for pesky things like coherence, honesty, and decency. I occasionally mine old gems from blog 1.0, and one I never really let go of was “unformation.” Richard Saul Wurman, creator of the TED Conference coined the term information architecture as the idea of designing information to be meaningful. Unformation, in contrast, indicates the antithesis of information architecture: presenting of information in a manner so insipid that it does more to erode inquiring minds than engage them.

Foot Locker ad: "Don't criticize. Nike hypersize. Foot Locker."

"Don't criticize. Nike hyperize. Foot Locker." Well, at least it rhymes. It's about as meaningful as the cricket rule book read to a parakeet, but it rhymes.

Case in point: advertising. Sheer abundance of consumer products has pretty much killed off any sense of need, though it could be argued that the mere existence of advertising demonstrates the absence of need. Regardless, it’s become painfully apparent that advertising doesn’t really need to mean anything, it just needs to convince you that it might mean something. Parents groups raise concerns about children being over-exposed to sex and violence on television. What abut the side effects of long-term overexposure to utterly nonsensical advertising?

Employer: “What makes you qualified for this position?”
Interviewee: “Work. Money. Ecstasy.”

Teacher: “What is the capital of Montana?”
Student: “Montana: Part state. Part nation.  All America.”

Man 1: “Who are you voting for in the next election?”
Man 2: “Change I can believe in!”

Hm. Perhaps that last one was a bit too…topical.

For those unconvinced, lets do some comparison between “actual” news and fake headlines from The Onion. Telling the difference is tougher than you might think. The headlines below present the growing difficulty of separating real life from satire:

Christ’s final dinner portions grow with obesity crisis

Report: $14 Trillion Spent Annually on “looking cool”

Biden on Health Care Reform: “This is a Big F—ing Deal!”

Consumer Product Diversity Now Exceeds Biodiversity

California opens massive garage sale in Sacramento

Apple Releases Revolutionary New Laptop with No Keyboard

I had always believed that comedic satire had the advantage of speaking honestly and freely about how bizarre and chaotic reality really is. What’s becoming painfully apparent, however, is that it’s not about searching for weird or slanting stories toward the weird; real life is and always has been weird. It’s just unfortunate that news media has to work so hard to make things meaningless.

…and now The Onion presents: “what I hear when I watch CNN

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One Response to ““…and here’s some footage of congress.””


  1. […] blog subject matter have absolutely nothing to do with each other, it’s a tad hypocritical to bemoan nonsensical marketing slogans when I haven’t the slightest idea what “Extroverted Introversion” is supposed to […]


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