April 2008


I Give Up

Today on Oprah: David Blaine holds his breath.

That’s it. I quit. I cannot write anything funnier than that. I know a few people who can, but their jobs are just getting harder and harder. Dave Barry figured out the formula for lazy humor writing years ago; find something ridiculous, quote it verbatim, add “I’m not making this up”, profit! FARK’s snarky headline writing has narrowed down to 6 or 7 repetitive running jokes. I’ve heard that Bill O’Reilly and Stephen Colbert are now sharing the same writing staff. Why not? When they handed out cans of Brawndo at the ROFLcon and otherwise savvy people drank it, I realized that the era of Idiocracy had already arrived. The existence of the ROFLcon conference itself was an obvious warning sign, but I had to see where it was going to go. Apparently it was a two-day photo opportunity for the guy in the Tron suit. Nothing against him, but if I’d attended, I would’ve dressed as Megabyte from “Reboot” – and nobody would care. The highlight of Craig Ferguson’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner? When President Bush had a joke explained to him. And BoingBoing thinks the sitcom is dead. Well, I do laugh at BoingBoing more than I laugh at “Two and a Half Men”, and most of the time they aren’t trying to be funny.

I am no longer able to separate the people who are taking themselves too seriously from the ones who are not, and I’m beginning to wonder whether trying to point out the absurdities is just the same as Specialist Lynndie England pointing at a prisoner’s genitals.

But it has now become clear: the world will not end with a bang OR a whimper, but with a LOL. And that inside joke at MetaFilter is getting more and more appropriate. “This will not wendell.”

I’m considering major changes in my web presence. Maybe the “Wit” in the blog title is way too high an expectation (although it IS based on my real last name). I have already registered the domain “WendeLOL.com” which redirects here.

I may change my mind tomorrow. Or next week. But today I feel like I am less laughable than the world around me, and that is scary.

UPDATE @ 2:40PM PDT Further evidence: movie in production based on the Krofft’s “Land of the Lost” TV show starring Will Ferrell. Yes, it’s supposed to be a comedy, but nothing in the movie could be funnier than the fact that they are making it.


Mirth Day

So, how am I going to celebrate Earth Day? Considering my usual skill in mishandling special occasions, I thought I’d just take a look at what else is going on…

Hmmm… the Pennsylvania Primary, which in honor of Earth Day will have absolutely no paper trail for the voting. Meanwhile, let’s see which companies on Wall Street will be announcing their 1st Quarter Earnings today… AT&T (which should see a big drop since I cancelled their phone service last month), Corn Products International (makers of ethanol, HFCS, Doritos and most of my awfuller jokes), Ethan Allen, Western Union and Dupont (waitaminute… those companies still EXIST?). In media stuff, “Cloverfield” is being released on DVD, allowing millions of confused theatergoers to freeze-frame and say “Is that it? Is that really it?” and Flight of the Conchords have finally issued a real album on CD.

Recent-historically, today is the 8th Anniversary of the Seizing of Elián González, and I used up all my snarky jokes back then on a now-defunct blog. The Mosaic Web Browser is 15 years old, which is 2Kgoogles in web years. On this date, Oklahoma City was founded as part of the “Land Run of 1889” which was a Reality TV show that bombed because, well, TV hadn’t been invented yet.

Famous birthdays: Emmanuel Kant is 284 years old, theoretically. His famous statement “To be is to do” was years later misquoted by Frank Sinatra as “Doobie doobie doo”. Julius Sterling Morton, who founded Arbor Day as kind of a too-narrowly-focused Earth Day is 176. Vladimir Lenin is 138, and in his Russia, older got YOU. Other birthday celebrators include Vladimir Nabokov (who meant to call her Lola but stuttered) 109, Robert Oppenheimer (who was sorry he set us up the bomb) 104, Eddie Albert (now under the Green Acres) 102, Yehudi Menuhin (if he were alive today, he’d be reporting for NPR) 92, Charles Mingus (all his bass now belongs to us) 86 and Aaron Spelling (who doesn’t deserve ALL the blame for how TV turned out) 85. People still alive to celebrate their birthdays include Bettie Page (85), Charlotte Rae (82), Glen Campbell (72), Jack Nicholson (71), John Waters (62), Peter Frampton (58), Paul Carrack (57), Marilyn Chambers (56), and Ryan Stiles coming in with the low score at 49. Now, would somebody who believes in astrology please try to explain what all of them have in common? ANYTHING? I considered making jokes about each of these people but I have to shut down my Blogomanic 1999®™ before dawn or my carbon footprint will block out the sun (returning us to Earth Day).


While Everyone Else Blogs the Hell out of the CNN Shirts…

The REAL coolest t-shirts on the Web right now are from Retropolis Transit Authority (“T-Shirts For The World Of Tomorrow”) These Old Skool Sci Fi designs are so artfully rendered, everybody will be staring at your chest for all the right reasons.

Page One of Designs features the vivid messages “I Still Want My Robot Car”, “Ask Me About My Death Ray”, “There’s an Art to Rocket Science”, “Having a Swell Time in the Future: Wish You Were Here”, plus product shirts like Volto-Vac and Ray-O-Zap, and Genuine Space Pirate Insignia (your choice of Ray Guns OR Rockets). AND MORE.

Page Two of Designs offers identity shirts for Space Cadets, Certifiable Mad Geniuses, Faithful Robot Companions, members of the Retropolis Ladies’ World Domination Society, and those who just want to remind the world about Gravity, The Light Speed Limit (Not Just a Good Idea…), KLAATU, Trees (yes, there will still be tree-huggers) or just say “The World of Tomorrow: If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now”. AND, yes, MORE.

Also check out their “Vintage Futurism” Magazine Cover Designs.

BRILLIANT! (in all definitions of the word)

Save $5 from their exorbitant prices by using coupon code “GRANDOPENING5”.
I receive NO fees or kickbacks for promoting this, but I can be bought.


Slartibartfast, NPR News

I stumbled over a 3+ year old list of the Top 10 NPR Names, based on the phenomena of NPR News reporters being less concerned that their names are difficult to spell or pronounce than those employed by more commercial American news outlets (or maybe their names kept them from being employed elsewhere) resulting in a wide assortment of long, colorful, often quite ethnic monikers (it really is surprising they didn’t kick out the blandly named Bob Edwards years earlier). The list predates the hiring of Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who a new consensus says is the best NPR name ever. So, let’s do an up-to-date, totally subjective alphabetical list, including contributors to NPR, PRI and any other Public Radio entity I’ve ever heard of, with my re-interpretations of the names that may border on (or cross the border to) ethnic offensiveness. But, having grown up Wittler – or as most commonly mispronounced, Hitler – making fun of names is a way of life. Is that all? Of course that’s not all! Click Here.


Someone asked me for “good fancy-dinner-party wisecracks for a Trustees’ Dinner”

“You’re a Trustee? Honey, I wouldn’t trust you as far as I can throw you…”

“I’ve heard they’re sparing no expense for the menu… flying in fresh In N Out Double Doubles – Animal Style!”

(College Trustees, right?) “I like how each department made a table centerpiece… the Science Department did a fun one with a burning effigy of Ben Stein… no wait, that really IS Ben Stein.”

“So how many of you guys are wearing breakaway tuxedos for the post-dinner orgy?”

“It’s so great to get away from all the bitter people and spend some time with the elitists…”

This is why I haven’t been invited to A Dinner in over 10 years…


Yes, I know I’m not posting enough

but I wish Google would quit serving ads offering “Blogging Tips” or asking “Need to Create a Blog”? Which now that I’ve written this, they’ll just do more of…


Listing to One Side Again

Sadly, there is one entire category of blogs that was totally overlooked in the Time.com list: Mental_Floss, Neatorama, Yes But No But Yes, Damn Interesting, Miss Cellania, Presurfer, Deputy Dog, WFMU’s Beware of the Blog, the sometimes NSFW New Sheldon Wet/Dry and Everlasting Blort, Bedazzled! (which has wisely split its NSFW content off into a separate blog) and several others I have visited in recent days but can’t recall but will retroactively add to this list and make believe they were there all along. What does this motley crew of motley cruisers have in common? two things, really. First, they all contain fascinating content or links to such content that is not newsy, not geeky and almost never makes me scream at my computer. (I can’t think of any of the Time.com 25 that I had ever seen before that hasn’t moved me to scream in the past month) And second, I believe “Miss Cellania” has contributed content to all of them (you can’t hide any longer, MissC, I know “madamjujujive” is another one of your aliases).


#874,362 in the Time Top 25

Let’s face it, if this blogging non-effort had made the Top 25 in Time.com’s First Annual Blog Index, or even the 5 Most Overrated Blogs, my head would have swelled to a truly unsustainable size and I would have joined the short list of those killed by blogging. But there are a few notable things to be taken away from this unfortunate invasion of the Blogosphere (I said it again!) by one of the deader or the dead-tree media…

#1 Ace of Spades HQ: Am I surprised that the one token RightWingNutPajamaPolitiBlog on the list would do the best job of hyping the list to its readership and pumping up its standing on the list? (over 2300 votes so far averaging an 8-out-of-10 rating) Don’t you just hate rhetorical questions? By comparison, the HuffPo has 1500 votes and a 5 rating, Kos has 1200 and a 6. Or maybe Time.com’s vote counting system was made by Diebold.

#2 (and it was #1 for a while until the ShockAndAweTroops hit) Indexed: Here’s a tip to all you struggling webcomics artists: put your site in blog form so you can kick ass in more than one category.

Geewhiz, my beloved MetaFilter has only gotten 550 votes? Here’s a hint, kiddies, you CAN vote on EVERY ONE of the 25 blogs listed, even though that would give Time.com 25 pageviews and encourage them to keep breaking up lists into this annoying format (Hey, even one of the blogs on the list was annoyed by the format, but then, that’s in its mission statement). You can even rate the “5 Most Overrated Blogs” although the results will not be seen by anyone but Time.com insiders who will use the data to determine their future editorial position on LOLCATS. And it appears to be letting me vote more than once on the same blog, but again, you never know what happens to your vote after you make it…

And there is a mistake in the “Your Votes” list that the ULTIMATE in either (1)stupidity, (2)irony or (3)Freudian slippage: “Regret the Error” (the blog about journalistic mistakes and corrections) is mislabeled with the name “The Dullest Blog in the World”. Okay, my head has now esploded. UPDATE 4/8/08 1PM… They finally fixed it, but in the process reset all the votes for “RtE” to zero… but the dozen or so votes they’ve gotten since the reset ranks them higher than the 200 or so before. Go figure.