Category Archives: media

“I had all the ambulance, and I had a pretty good time driving it”

Note to self: Never turn your back on Mindy Jones:

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The Necky is the perfect gift for morons

It’s a little-known fact, but cultural anthropologists routinely catalog social groups not by race, age, or geography, but based on a sliding scale of idiocy. Frantically searching for sunglasses that have been on your head the whole time actually places you in one of the upper echelons — while getting a tattoo of the Louis Vuitton logo on your bicep places you lower down the scale.

Near the very bottom of the list, nestled just under those with “These Colors Don’t Run” bumper stickers and those who drink water straight from the toilet, is a new category — those too dumb to operate a scarf.

Fortunately, one company is well on its way to improving the lives of these nincompoops. Say hello to the Necky:

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This blog is a Consumers Digest super-duper best buy gold star platinum winner

After much scientific inquiry, I have come to the conclusion that there are three things in life that are incontrovertibly fake:

1. The moon landing

2. The female orgasm

3. Consumers Digest

You may have already shared my conclusion on the first two, but the third is slightly more obscure. Here, let’s let Howie Long and his cop hair fill you in on what Consumers Digest is:

Like many who end up buying a Chevy Malibu, you may be confused. Specifically, you may have confused Consumer Reports with the Consumers Digest mentioned in the commercial. The former is a well-regarded, non-profit consumer advocacy publication. The latter is… well, jeez, just what is Consumers Digest?

According to their Web site, Consumers Digest is this:

For 47 years, people have trusted Consumers Digest magazine to identify outstanding values in a complex and often confusing marketplace. Consumers Digest is working to extend that promise to the Internet.

So it’s a print magazine? Well, no. According to Wikipedia, the “communications” firm behind Consumers Digest stopped publishing a print magazine in 2001. So now I guess it’s a Web site?

Well, not exactly:

If you are interested in receiving information on how you can subscribe to our Web site, please write to: Postmaster, Consumers Digest Communications, 520 Lake Cook Road, Suite 500, Deerfield, IL 60015 or send an e-mail to:

Now, some people might think it’s ridiculous to have to send an email to an anonymous address via a Web site in order to receive information on how to subscribe to that Web site. I, on the other hand, think it’s… well you’re right that’s fucked up.

Anyway, there is a button on their Web site that takes you to the official list of Consumers Digest automotive “Best Buys.” I’m no forensic Webologist, but it appears this Web page was built by Mrs. Simonson’s 4th grade class at Mount Sorrow Elementary using the Newberry Prize-winning “My Very First HTML PAGE!!” as a step-by-step guide. Included among the 2010 best buys are the Malibu as well as six other Chevy models, plus assorted models from other car manufacturers. Nowhere are there listed any criteria upon which they arrived at their conclusions.

However, some of the models have links you can click to read the Consumers Digest expert “review” of the model, which includes sentences like this:

If you’re a fan of the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” you know the shocked responses that appear on the homeowners’ face when Ty Pennington and his crew “move that bus” and reveal a newly refurbished home.

I give that sentence a Pax Arcana Golden Viking Dildo Award for Awkward Phraseology and Dumbness.

In conclusion, WTF Chevy? Really?

Consumers Digest [Home… page?]

***Update: I have just sent the following note to the email address supplied by Consumers Digest in order to receive information on subscribing to the Web site. I will let you know how that goes.


My name is Pax Arcana, and I am interested in receiving information on how to subscribe to the Consumers Digest Web site. Please send the aforementioned information along presently.

Also, it occurs to me that there may be a better way to provide potential subscribers with this information. For example, you could post this information upon light towers in every major city. It would have to be laminated, of course, to protect it from the elements. As an alternative, I suppose you could simply post your subscription information on your Web site — but really who has time for all that?

I look forward to your reply. With as much sincerity as I can muster, I am humbly yours,

Pax Arcana


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Panic Face King

According to Boing Boing, there’s a hidden-camera show in Japan called Panic Face King. The object of this show is to induce a look of sheer panic on someone’s face by scaring the crap out of them, while simultaneously making me cry and throw up a bit because I’m laughing so hard.


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Hey there, handsome

Police in British Columbia are hot on the trail of a man wanted for getting all stabby on a lady. So if you live in the western half of Canadia and have boobies, you should definitely be extra careful.

Especially since this is no ordinary criminal, ladies. This one is an H O double T I E with a capital HAWT!


Am I right, chickies?

If this criminal looks anything like his police sketch, I presume his M.O. is to flex his sexy forehead muscles and just charm the pants right off the ladies. And then stab them.

Unusual police sketch [Boing Boing]

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Your Thursday weather report (in which we allude to bestiality)

There was a time, a time before cable. When the local anchorman reigned supreme. When people believed everything they heard on TV. This was an age when only men were allowed to read the news. And in San Diego, one anchorman was more man then the rest. His name was Ron Burgundy. He was like a god walking amongst mere mortals. He had a voice that could make a wolverine purr and suits so fine they made Sinatra look like a hobo. In other words, Ron Burgundy was the balls.


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Cows more stompy, more killy this year

You lookin' at me, guv'nah?

You lookin' at me, guv'nah?

British authorities cast down their crumpets and rang their local constabularies this week to report that the cows are going bloody beserk! Four people have been killed by rampaging cows this summer alone, a situation I’m sure Fox News will blame on Britain’s perfectly good health care system. Oh, and dogs. Librul, librul dogs:

Cows have been thought to be generally docile, and this remains true, the National Farmers’ Union emphasised yesterday. However, the NFU pointed to the fact that at least two of the four deaths involved walkers with dogs, which may be a factor in turning cows from placid cud-chewing bystanders into potential killers.

“Cows can get aggressive in the presence of dogs, especially if they have their calves with them,” Robert Sheasby, the NFU’s rural surveyor, said yesterday. “They see the dog as a threat, and take exception to it. Cows are generally placid and docile, but when a mother animal feels the protection of her offspring is at risk, temperaments can change.”

Only 18 people have been killed by cattle of any kind in the past eight years, so the four dead this summer are statistically significant at least. My theory is that the cows finally found out what’s in a Cornish pasty. Mincemeat is made out of fruit, but something called a pasty is made out of meat? Makes a lot of sense, British people.

Hoofed and dangerous: Britain’s killer cows [Independent]

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White people walk like this. Black people walk like this

earlAs a white male, I suffer a lot of indignities in my daily life. For one thing, banks and mortgage companies and auto dealerships have for years pestered me with offers of low interest loans and other enticements. I am also plagued by incredible social pressure to keep my lawn immaculate and my khakis well-pressed. Because I’m also tall, my coworkers and employers always assume I possess abilities like leadership and common sense — often moving me up the ladder into positions I am not really qualified for.


But according to Slate, it appears black people may have legitimate gripes as well. This slideshow demonstrates how, in the 1970’s, advertisers first started adding targeted groups to their general market campaigns. The idea was to create advertising collateral that complimented the general campaign, but spoke to black people in a way they would understand.

Or, more specifically, the way a bunch of white advertising executives thought black people would understand, a practice known as “puttin’ hot sauce on it.” This practice, pioneered by “vice” advertisers, became so dominant that soon black neighborhoods were covered in jive-talking ads for everything that’s bad for you:

A recent study uncovered a 1973 document that showed that “Kools made a specific effort to market on buses and subways, since blacks disproportionately rely on public transit in most major cities, in hopes that Kool would ‘cover the top 25 markets in terms of absolute Negroes.’ “

Meanwhile, the inside of every Volvo is rife with ads for mayonnaise and asparagus. And every fourth McDonald’s commercial features a sassy-talkin’ black lady. Won’t we ever come together as one?

Have Mercy! [Slate]

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The AP owns what you say

Father Scott

It’s no secret around these parts that the traditional media has had some problems with new business models. I’d start linking to Pax’s various posts about this, but I don’t have a free 13 hours to do so.

Via comes this story of a man who would like to reproduce his own quote for a news story, and all the AP is asking is for $17.50 to do so.

The Microsoft-Yahoo search deal was big news this past week, and I took plenty of press calls about it, including from the AP. But to quote what I told the AP, I have to pay them $17.50. For the record, I love APs reporters and am always happy to serve as a source. The reporters at the AP have nothing to do with the absurdities of AP’s business side. The business side declares that if I want to quote myself from that article, using the AP’s online form, it will cost me $17.50.

Well that seems reasonable. I once had a heated discussion with Pax about the unending battle between cake and pie (cake wins, natch). Jaelynne later asked me about it and as I opened my mouth, Pax took my wallet and pulled out bills for every word I spoke. Then he pushed me on the ground and kicked dirt in my face, which seemed unnecessary.

Oh but that’s not all. You want to update your Facebook profile with a favorite quotation from one of our founding fathers? That’ll be 12 bucks.

From an article in The Laboratorium:

The Associated Press has become so deranged, so disconnected from reality, that it will sell you a “license” to quote words it didn’t write and doesn’t own. I paid $12 for this “license.” Those words don’t even come from the article they charged me 46 cents a word to quote from (and that’s with the educational discount). No, they’re from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Isaac McPherson, in which Jefferson argues that copyright has no basis in natural law.

In summation: You have to pay to quote anyone who said anything; and you don’t have to pay the person who said it, but rather some other company who is just delaying its demise. Also: Being in the media sucks and you should get out now if you haven’t already been laid off, or you can just wait until your corporation gets swallowed up.


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This sandwich makes me think of penises

Pax Arcana

I consider myself a virile man of the American heartland. I stand astride large boulders and wipe the sweat from my brow with palms dirty from the long day’s labor. I squint my eyes in the noonday sun and hold doors for ladies. I eat ribs — bones and all.

Still, there’s something about this new Burger King ad that’s got me all twisted up inside. I can’t put my finger on why, exactly, but every time I see this advertisement, my mind drifts off and I start thinking about penises. Big ‘ol penises, to be exact.


Some might call it “subliminal advertising,” but I’ve never put much stock in fancy book learnin’ or armchair psychologizin’. To me a man should just say what he thinks and give you the straight truth. There’s right and wrong in this world, and there’s black and white. And there’s a lot of penises. And I’m hungry. For a penis.

Burger King Shuns Subtlety in Ads for ‘Super Seven Incher’ Sandwich [Gawker]

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