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Way Too Much Information about Celebrity White Noise Marketing

Soothing White Noise” It’s what’s for dinner bedtime.

Celebrities trade on their famousness. It’s a commodity of recognition easily monetized courtesy of the endorsement market and the underlying calculus often plays out like this: “Me like that person. If me imitate, me become like them. Then happy.”

 

Now, let’s cut to the idea of where Ambien’s magic ends, and white noise sleep-inducing sounds begin. At the intersection of sleep aids and insomnia is where celebrities’ agents (who get 10% of their client spoils) see an opportunity to interpose their client’s good name between the desperate need for sleep and white background noises designed to promote glorious slumber. So an unlikely marketing scheme is hatched: White Background Noises created by celebrities for their adoring civilian fans. It’s a match made in Tinsel Town heaven. It’s a kind of fan fiction for the fatuous.

 

However well-intentioned this scam was, clinical sleep studies with zealous fans proved that not all celebrity white noises were found to be soporific. Far from the sleep-inducing mantras hoped for, some of these narcotizing sound bites, bit back and inadvertently activated the arousal response in sleepy males test subjects – especially when they heard a loop of sultry-voiced Angelina Jolie cooing “What are you wearing.” After this unintentional “ear porn” the sleep-deprived males perked right up and snoozing somehow didn’t seem so important. This and other streams of counterproductive white background noises were excluded from the app, but they can be heard on bootleg versions of the app found on YouTube.

 

So even though it’s 4 in the morning (in Darwin, Australia, not here in Reno where I am), I’m pleased to present:   

 

 

Top 10 Rejected White Noise Sleep Sounds created by celebrities for sleepless fans:

 

  1. A loop of Tom Petty admitting to the people of Syria, “Well, maybe you do have to live like a refugee”

 

  1. Misty morning rain…bouncing off Tatum Channing’s abs or was it Channing Tatum’s pecs. Or maybe it was Carol Channing’s cheeks or Tatum O’Neal’s teeth. The point is it involved rain, a celebrity body part and it was rejected.

 

  1. An endless loop of Steve Perry just singing the “Don’t Stop” part

 

  1. The continuous sound of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s boots knocking (with some panting in background)

 

  1. The repeated tooting of an “aah-oo-ga” horn…as blown by Monica Lewinsky

 

  1. Morgan Freeman intoning, “My, my, my.” (Apparently the dissonance of a black man making white noise caused subjects to grow bewildered instead of sleepy.)

 

  1. Yoko Ono imitating an air raid siren

 

  1. The soothing and secretive “hiss” of Tom Brady deflating a football

 

  1. The sound of Tina Turner privately dancing

 

  1. Marcel Marceau miming the words to “The Sound of Silence”

 

 

 

Oh, We’re Not Done Yet

 

And, in keeping with growing the $20 billion sleep deprivation relief market, Apple has announced:

 

A New White Noise Sleep App for Weirdos:

Background White noises designed to promote deep & restful sleep in the Loosely Wrapped. These unusual noises seem counterintuitive to facilitating sleep, but they’ve been proven to work in clinical studies (if you’re a little damaged).

 

  1. Endless loop of Oktoberfest Burping

 

  1. A soothing recording of a woman continuously saying, “The Sandman will see you now.”

 

  1. Repeated sound of a cat scrambling to get out of a bathtub with 2” of water in it

 

  1. The piercing “zip” of duct tape being unfurled from its roll.

 

  1. For the Zen sleeper: The sound of one hand clapping

 

  1. Doppler-shifted instructions of a flight attendant screaming, “In the unlikely event of a water landing…”

 

  1. A cacophony of very moist chewing

 

  1. A succession of watermelons dropped from 7 stories

 

  1. A succession of 7 stories dropped from a library

 

  1. Cute kid mispronouncing the word library as “libary” – puts you right out (if you’re weird)

 

  1. Ugly guy mispronouncing February as “Febuary”; and no I don’t know how you’d know he was ugly if it’s just an audio recording. I don’t even know whether or not he’s transgendered. This is just a stupid list I made up before bed, so give me a break before you get all judgey.

 

  1. A guy saying over and over, “Y’know the app sucks, but the list is kinda funny.”

 

Good night everyone. Everybody everywhere. Sleep tight, but not too tight.

 

Apple Announces New White Noise Sleep App for Weirdos

Background White noises designed to promote deep & restful sleep in the Loosely Wrapped

  1. Endless loop of Oktoberfest Burping
  2. A soothing recording of a woman continuously saying, “The Sandman will see you now.”
  3. Repeated sound of a cat scrambling to get out of a bathtub with 2” of water in it
  4. For the Zen sleeper: The sound of one hand clapping
  5. Doppler-shifted instructions of a flight attendant screaming, “In the unlikely event of a water landing…”
  6. A cacophony of very moist chewing
  7. A succession of watermelons dropped from 7 stories
  8. A succession of 7 stories dropped from a library
  9. Cute kid mispronouncing the word library as “libary” – puts you right out (if you’re weird)
  10. Ugly guy mispronouncing February as “Febuary”; and no I don’t know how you’d know he was ugly if it’s just an audio recording. I don’t even know whether or not he’s transgendered. This is just a stupid list I made up before bed, so give me a break before you get all judgey.
  11. A guy saying over and over, “Y’know the app sucks, but the list is kinda funny.”

Good night everyone. Sleep tight, but not too tight.

“Houston, We’ve Got a Problem.” And it’s Hurricane Harvey

From the “Too Soon” Dept.

Nothing but Big Prayers, Big Sponges and a little humor for our inundated Texas brethren

 

          <<<< FNI: Fake News International presents >>>>
10 Abominations for which Texas is incurring the torrential wrath of God in the form of Hurricane Harvey

1. 9 lb. belt buckles

2. Having a city named Texarkana. Not to mention: Texlahoma, New Texico and Louisiexcess.

3. Ignoring little Harvey’s symptoms when he was just a manageable Tropical Depression and allowing him to develop into a full-blown Category 5 Psychotic Event. “The only place he’s calm is in his one good eye,” says Harvey’s mother Katrina.

4. Rampant heterosexuality: Whether it’s in the Garden of Eden or performed bareback on a mechanical bull, sin is sin and will not be tolerated.

5. Not letting us forget the Alamo. Alright we get it! We remember the Alamo although we don’t know why anymore.

6. Having a panhandle. What self-respecting state allows its citizens to live in a panhandle? Where are we – in the housewares department of a Wal*Mart, or in the bad ass state of Texas?

7. Making diners try to eat a 72 oz. steak in an hour (technically not Texas’s fault, but they never should have offered in the first place).

8. Selling 10-gallon hats that only holds 8 gallons of my 10-gallon piranha tank (learned that the hard way).

9. Letting Austin have all the fun

10. A bad job of keeping undesirables from crossing the border. Should’ve started by not allowing Lee “Harvey” Oswald back into Texas when the Soviet Union kicked him out in 1962.

 

HST (Having Said That), Hurricane Harvey’s landfall could’ve been a mistake. Maybe this rain of Biblical proportion was meant for Flint, Michigan. Their water system could use a good flushing.

Image may contain: one or more people and textImage may contain: 1 person, smilingImage may contain: text 

The Burning Man Franchise: A Hot Property or a Study in Clichés

An open letter to the Burning People that run Burning Man,

Some see a magical place of infinite possibilities. I see a vast untapped demographic.

As I formulate this letter on further merchandising Burning Man, my concerns are twofold: 1. Can I properly convey my business plan to expand the Burning Man franchise? And 2. Can I do so without it being a study in clichés? The answer is a resounding Yes (on the business plan) and a definite No (on the cliché avoidance plan).

Burning Man is a very popular anarchical event of infinite self-expression. Its counterculture ethos speaks to the spiritual vagabond in all of us and despite its subversively-tinged sensibility, it has become an ever present fixture in the Mystical-Astrological Complex. And I believe we should tap into that vast reservoir of new-age good-will to decant a new demographic. Not only do we want to grow our natural constituency, i.e., those who dance like no one’s watching. But we also want to target market those who dance like there’s a stick up their ass? Read the rest of this entry »

What Distinguishes Man from Beast? – It’s Laughter.

~ Sharing laughter with someone can be a very intimate experience, but with benefits. The benefit being you don’t have to call them the next day. It’s only laughter. You shared a joke, not a membrane. ~

~Robin Williams~

 

Who needs words? I’ve got laughter.

I had gone to the pool simply to enjoy the gravity-defying magic of our buoyant friend water. I anticipated my usual routine: swim for a bit then imagine the pool drained of water while I floated in space, insensible to the gravity of my situation. I hoped to make this body of water not so much a sensory deprivation tank as a sensory augmentation tank. In other words I was crafting an out-of-body experience on the cheap. You see, it’s still fun to play make-believe – even at 56.

 

An Unbidden Epiphany

While I pursued this ersatz meditative experience, little did I expect the epiphany that would soon visit me. No one expects an epiphany. You can’t. That’s why they’re epiphanies. They’re designed to materialize without warning – kind of like my Uncle Leo. Epiphanies are unscheduled wormholes to understanding that don’t telegraph their presence – they shower it on you like a coach’s Gatorade bath. And it is this aforementioned unexpected insight which prompts this essay.

 

The Epiphany

I began my watery meditation ritual by laying out my towel on the chaise and trying to put my iPhone down so I could read my book which, in 3 weeks of lugging it to the pool, I managed to get past the Table of Contents and deep into the Introduction. As I finished my 4th game of online solitaire, a young couple with a baby entered the pool area and took up residence at the far end amidst a menagerie of water wings, beach towels and mini-coolers. They settled in, set up shop and the daddy lovingly introduced his baby girl to the wonders of liquid water. As the attentive father began dipping the legs of daddy’s little chicken pot pie (his words not mine) into the water, the tiny girl squealed in sheer delight. Each dip was a little deeper and more revelatory than the previous. And each squeal was now followed-up by cloud bursts of thunderous little baby giggles. She was experiencing indescribable joy.

 

I would’ve gladly traded places with her if only society didn’t frown on a 56-year old man squealing in delight while being dipped in the water by a guy half his age sporting an Eminem tattoo. As I bore witness to the little chicken pot pie’s celebratory peals of laughter, I experienced an epiphany: that this humorous faculty the baby girl so uninhibitedly demonstrated is what separates us from the animals. We’re the only specie that laughs. Read the rest of this entry »

“Memory Foam” Mattress Memorizes More than Contours

Memory Foam always makes a great first impression, but sometimes it absorbs a little more than you bargained for.  

I always knew my memory foam mattress would have a memory; what I didn’t realize is that it would have a consciousness too.

It was time for a new mattress. The old one had taken on the characteristics of its owner and had also begun to sag in the middle. It was spent from being flipped and rotated 9 ways from Sunday – the mattress and not the owner. The battered cushion had accumulated a decade’s worth of stains making it look like a bad tattoo that was slowly dissolving. So, the wife unit and I (wife unit being an old British colonial measurement of a female helpmate) visited The Illusion of a Bargain mattress store conveniently located at www.HappyMattress.com. Happy Mattress was a Chinese conglomerate affiliated with Sparkle Cleaners and Tasty Restaurant. BTW, be prepared for images unrelated to mattresses if you Google “happy” and “mattress.”

 

Because we didn’t care much for soft mattresses, we opted for a firm California King instead of a forgiving Martin Luther King. And because our bed was delivered during National Mattress Awareness Month (another Hallmark holiday I guess), they threw in some contour sheets and shams. I was beginning to believe the entire transaction was a sham until I laid down on the mattress. Holy Back-to-the-Womb Batman: it was like mother nature was caressing me in her arms.  Read the rest of this entry »

Hardiman Blows the Lid Off Toilet Seat Manufacturers’ Mendacity

Oh sure this lid  looks good down, but try getting it to stay up on its own now that this extra thick seat-fro has been added.

The Jeopardy Lead-in

Contestant 1: I’ll take Unscrupulous Things Toilet Seat Manufacturers Do for $2000 Alex.

Alex: Because they refuse to manufacture toilet seat lids so they can accept a carpet-like lid cover without tipping back toward the bowl and crashing loudly onto the seat, toilet seat manufacturers are known by this term.

Contestant 1: What are Bad Samaritans?

Alex: No.

Contestant 2: What are Russian Oligarchs?

Alex: That too is incorrect.

Contestant 3: What is Eligible for a David Hardiman essay highlighting a detail so minute it can only be seen through an electron microscope or by his very small mind?

Alex: That’s right. That was a tough one. Almost had you there. Read the rest of this entry »

On Censuring Irving Berlin for Overstating the Exceptionality of “Show Business”

The prodigious one fondling his first love – the piano.

If I have any superpowers at all it’s in being a sober arbiter of esoterica. And it is in keeping with my need for precision in these peripheral netherworlds that I take exception to the gross hyperbole contained in Irving Berlin’s scantily-researched claim that ♫There’s No Business Like Show Business ♫. For Moses’s sake Mr. Berlin – we all know full well there are many businesses like show business. How dare this little refugee from Russia emigrate to our shores and tell us what our business is – such chutzpah. However innocuous the observation There’s No Business Like Show Business may seem, I’d like to see Mr. Immigrant Composer make that same claim in Mother Russia – he’d get a one-way ticket on the trans-Siberian express to a reeducation camp where his once-jaunty song would be repurposed into “There’s no Gulag like our Gulag.”   

I believe I can fairly sum up my bewilderment at Berlin’s lyrical impudence by paraphrasing Fredo Corleone when he warned his brother Michael about disrespecting Moe Green: “Irving, you don’t just walk into America’s Jazz Age and start yelling, ‘There’s no business like show business’ without attribution, sources or citations. It’s just not done.” Read the rest of this entry »

On Coping with Temporal and Spatial Imprecision in Early American Folk Songs

 

No issue too trivial, no remedy too irrelevant in structuring my universe.

She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes 
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes
She’ll be coming round the mountain, she’ll be coming round the mountain,
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes

She’ll be riding six white horses when she comes (Hee Haw) 
She’ll be riding six white horses when she comes (Hee Haw)
She’ll be riding six white horses, she’ll be riding six white horses,
She’ll be riding six white horses when she comes (Hee Haw)
 

Most of us feel a mystic kinship to Early American folk songs: case in point, the jaunty call and response song She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain. Traditional ditties like these from the Early American songbook convey a sense of unbridled optimism stretching out over a robust country ripe with opportunity. And yet for all its nationalist fervor and manifest destiny the song fairly bristles with an inexcusable lack of time-space coordinates. More specifically, once the listener realizes an unnamed and otherwise phantom “she” will be coming ‘round the mountain, our first reaction is to wonder when she’ll arrive – when will “she” be coming ‘round the mountain? Our reptilian logic centers are primed for processing the precise locus of this event. And despite our anticipatory curiosity, all we are told is that she’ll be coming ‘round that mountain, “When she comes.” I’m afraid this simply will not do. Although I loathe words that have a “b” followed by an “h”, I nonetheless abhor songs whose feel good, sunny lyrics betray an appalling lack of time and place. Read the rest of this entry »

My Secret Shame: The DQ

Better than Disneyland, and with much shorter lines.

While others write graphically about their soft-serve escapades in steamy lick and tell exposés, my soft-serve affair involves more telling and less licking. Ice cream holds no special place for me. And what little ice cream I do consume is of the rock hard, scoopable variety. Although my preferred ice cream might be a high-cost, high-butterfat product, I’m not a snobby connoisseur of craft ice creams served at micro-creameries. In my world lactose is not something you enjoy. Lactose is something you tolerate – like that thick and sour Greek-style yogurt which has become all the rage with hipster Milklennials. They “partake” of the grassy, Grecian yogurt to inject a little culture into their colon – 6 billion lactobacillus acidophilus cultures.

I’ve always thought cow’s milk should be for baby cows. That’s what nature seems to have intended for mother’s milk. It’s for baby whatever’s; and not meant for race car drivers who’ve just won the Indianapolis 500. But what if the nipple was on the other teat. Suppose there were entrepreneurial cows who froze human breast milk, ground Oreos into it and then served it to their calves? Read the rest of this entry »