Archive for the ‘Ditties’ Category

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 »

“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 »

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 »

Fake Book on Ombudsmen Generates Fake Book Review

This is a thing – really? Yes, really.

Ombudsmandry Throughout the Ages

by Frank Knarf

St. Albans Press, 341 pp., $55.00

 

In Frank Knarf’s bracingly inconsequential book Ombudsmandry Throughout the Ages, within the span of 3 pages the author tells us everything we’d ever want to know about ombudsmen. How he manged to concoct another 338 pages on such an esoteric topic I’ll never know. This is not an overly long book. Crime and Punishment was a long book. This book makes eternity look like a coffee break. To read beyond page 10 is a crime. To read beyond page 20 is both a crime and punishment. At least the middle section has centerfolds of historic figures like Attila the Ombudsman, Vlad the Ompaler and Donny and Marie Ombuds. Ombudsmandry Throughout the Ages is a tough read. In controlled clinical trials, professional scholars have attempted to “binge-read” the book and in all cases have suffered spontaneous narcolepsy or herniated cerebrums. It simply can’t be read at a sitting and I’m at a loss as to why St. Albans Press decided to publish it instead of the more titillating Hunter-Douglass corporately-sponsored catalog titled 50 Shades of Shades.   Read the rest of this entry »

***The Academy is Losing It***

As movie demographics fragment, Uncle Oscar gets a makeover. But will we still be recognizale?

In a craven attempt to remain relevant, the beleaguered Academy Awards Show has endeavored to reposition itself after last year’s Best Picture fiasco. And in a process reflecting the same mentality that went into assigning the right number of life boats to the Titanic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced some changes to this year’s awards show. As expected, the first order of business was to nominate Meryl Streep for 14 Academy Awards – this despite the fact she’s not been in any movies at all this year. There were other surprise announcements made at the slowly-arranged press conference. The press conference was slowly-arranged, so as to not have damning press clippings refer to it as “hastily arranged press conference.” The press event was held at the Lawndale Waffle House on El Segundo. It’s more newsworthy items are highlighted below:

 
1. The award for Best Foreign Short will be presented to a Napoleon impersonator.
 
2. Announced that Mr. Bob Hope will host this year’s show.
 
3. New category: Movies Unconnected to Kevin Bacon.
 
4. Martin Scorsese will be nominated for being Martin Scorsese.
 
5. Macaulay Culkin to accept Lifetime Achievement Award.
5.5 Jim Carrey to accept Lifetime Achievement Award, but only for his achievements up to 2005.
 
6. Hologram of Tupac Shakur to present posthumous Grammy to hologram of Henry Mancini – wrong on so many levels.
 
7. Telecast will be sponsored by the all-new Chevrolet Corvair: Rear-engined technology that’s safe at any speed.
 
8. La La Land nominated again. This time for Most Gracious Loser.
 
 
It is hoped these subtle changes will inject new life into a telecast that routinely pulled 40 million viewers, but now is seen by fewer than 108, and most of those from the Motion Picture Home for Retired Actors also located in Lawndale. In fact many of its inmates attended the Academy’s slowly-arranged 4 pm press conference because it coincided with the Chicken à la King Early Bird Special. 

12 Uplifting Internet Headlines

  1. Trump to Nation: I was just doing this to get attention. Now I’m stuck being President. Be careful what you wince for. 
  1. Elon Musk to Provide Free Flying Electric Umbrellas to First 100 “Mary Poppins” movie-goers.
  1. Flint, Michigan Getting its Spark Back
  1. Even if You Forgot the Question, Love is Still the Answer
  1. Bend, Oregon Getting Things Straightened Out
  1. Costco Surrenders to Popular Demand: “Alright already. We’ll remain in Christmas mode all year round now. We’ll be like a charming little Christmas village…in a big ugly warehouse,” says Mr. Costco
  1. Moscow, Idaho to Change Name to Trump, Idaho
  1. Shirley MacLaine to be Reincarnated as a Spunky Actress in Next Life: Wait Till You See What She Looks Like Then!
  1. Philadelphia, PA admits Mistake: Will Now be Known as Filadelfia. No word yet on Worcestershire, MA.
  1. Confused Internet Users Admit: So Much Time to Waste. So Little Time to Do It In.
  1. Grilled Cheese Better for the Heart than Once Thought, says Kraft Cardiologist Group
  1. Dogs are Really Just Saying Thank You When They Sniff Your Crotch. So are Husbands.