25 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

Or...er...Happy Holidays! Whatever!

I'm off to Portland! Thanks for all of the suggestions!

24 December 2007

"Happy Idea" Chicken

Most days I check to see what search terms have brought readers to the Idea of Progress. Usually they are something like "teleubbies" or "What do tannins taste like in wine?" (which are my top 2 terms). But today I found something kinda inexplicable.

"Happy Idea" chicken.

What the hell does that mean? What could this person want? I can't figure it out. Whatever it was, the Idea of Progress did provide 5 minutes and 25 seconds of reading enjoyment for this person.

Curious, I googled it myself. The Idea of Progress shows up not once on the first page...but twice. Weird.


Reposted from Hometown Pride.

23 December 2007

Blogs of Note

Check out Stories We Tell ourselves About Ourselves. Lotsa good stuff there.


The Idea of Progress will be in Portland, Oregon for the week following Christmas. Posts may be either non-existent or irregular (not in the bowel sense). I've never been to Portland before. Here's what I expect:



-Pinot Noir




-Lots of bikes




Any suggestions from anyone as to where I should visit?

A Somewhat Accurate Guide to Choosing a Bottle of Wine While Knowing Nothing About It

The top search term for the Idea of Progress has been "What do tannis taste like in wine?" for some time now. In light of that, I have come to the realization that people occasionally need help with wine, and don't want to turn to someone or something with a snotty attitude. But the Idea of Progress is here to help. Since many of us will be going to Christmas dinner in the next couple of days, and many of us will need to bring wine to the dinners, how can we choose which one will be good?

May I present the next chapter of the Wine School of the Idea of Progress:

A Somewhat Accurate Guide to Choosing a Bottle of Wine While Knowing Nothing About It

No matter how much you may know about wine, at some point you will be confronted with a selection that you know nothing about. There may be regions you are unfamiliar with, grapes you never heard of, and vintages you are unsure of. How do you know what will be worth buying if you've got no idea of what you are doing?

I've got a few useful tips that I've picked up over the years. They're not 100% accurate, but they've served me pretty well. When I need to buy a bottle, and have no idea what anything is, here are some of the things I take into consideration.

The Label

No, you shouldn't necessarily choose a wine by how pretty the label is. But there's one odd thing I've noticed about good wines and their labels. Is the label a matte finish or a glossy one? For some reason, the chances of getting a good wine are higher when the label is matte rather than glossy. I can only speculate as to why (and this leads to a second tip)--The more the winery is trying to draw your attention to their label, via shiny labels, pretty pictures, etc., the less likely the wine speaks for itself.

The Bottle

Pick up the bottle. Is it heavy or light? Does the glass feel thick or thin? Feel the bottom of the bottle. Does it have an indentation (called the punt)? How deep is the indentation?

Another thing I've noticed is that the more money a winery spent on their bottles, the better the chance that the wine inside is worth protecting. If the bottle is heavy, that's a good sign. If it has a deep punt (all jokes aside), that's a good sign, too. If the bottom of the bottle is flat, that's a very, very bad sign, and I'd generally stay away. The exception to this rule are German and Alsatian white wines (or wines in this style). Their bottles are tall and slender and either green or brown in color. They always have a flat base, no matter how good they are.

The Importer

Some people have a really great job, which is to be a wine importer. Basically, what they get to do is go around and taste wine all over Europe and import the ones that they like. The most well known of these have their names right on the bottle. If you see something on a bottle of wine like "A Kermit Lynch Selection" or "Selected by Eric Solomon," that's a good sign, because they were willing to put their name on the label, signaling that they approve. If someone's name on the bottle, that's always a positive (this typically appears on the back label).

The Region

A good rule of thumb to have is "The larger the region, the weaker the wine." If the wine only identifies itself as "California Wine" or "French Wine," the chances for it to be good are significantly less that one labeled "Sonoma Coast" or "Bordeaux." The reason for this is that if it just says 'California" that means they can source grapes from all over California, from the good, expensive regions (like Napa) as well as the cheap, high producing but inferior regions (the Central Coast). If it says "Napa Valley, that means ALL of the grapes have to come from there, giving you a more focused and probably superior product. This rule holds fast for the entire world of wine.

The Store

Never buy wine in a supermarket. With the rare, rare exception, they all suck. Stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's are a little bit different--they specialize in wine, and will have someone there who can help you out. But don't buy wine in a supermarket, unless you are buying champagne (since they often will carry Veuve Cliquot or Moet & Chandon). Go to a wine shop, or to a Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Or even Costco, who generally have a few good items there. Places like these will provide someone who works there, who generally knows their wine, or at least knows something about their stock. Ask these people. If they're not any help, follow the above rules.

Following these rules will not guarantee you a superior bottle of wine, but they will give you a fighting chance. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment below.

Good luck!

Number 3 with a bullet!


Being technologically savvy, I have just now figured out how to transfer photos from my cell phone to my computer. This will provide a cornucopia of opportunity for allowing others to view the world as through the eyes of the Idea of Progress. We will begin with one that I've been saving up for such an opportunity:

Please file this under perhaps they should have read this out loud before they chose the name.

22 December 2007

Tres Cool!

20 December 2007

Ho Ho hack hack hack!

Do you think that Santa would bum smokes off of the naughty kids?

From snarfd.com.

19 December 2007

Quote of the Day (2002 Edition)

"Tom Cruise is becoming the Scary Flaming Eye from "The Lord of the Rings," and I fear that nobody can stop him."

Cintra Wilson in Salon from 2002.

Press Conference with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D- VT)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you who made it to this press conference today, despite the weather.

The Idea of Progress has left the city. Now, now, I don't want anyone to panic, he hasn't gone far. However, he discovered yesterday that he lost out to Bells On for the prestigious 2007 Drysdale awards. It seems some people felt the the Idea of Progress was not the Least Influential Political Blog out there.

No, he didn't take it well. He also received a letter rejecting a short story of his for publication in the local alternative weekly.

He did feel the story was inferior, that is to be certain, but the sting of such rejection felt twice in one day was enough to send him away to, as he said, "find himself."

He will return soon, he said--after a period of rest and reflection.

Now, I will take any questions from the press.

17 December 2007


Ron Paul's supporters raised $6m yesterday in a 'money bomb,' which essentially means everyone donates money on the same day (yesterday was the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party).

In related news, a roommate of the Idea of Progress paid him the $35 she owed him for last month's cable bill.

13 December 2007

How to Pose

12 December 2007

You Heard It Here First

As 2007 is waning, we are left wondering: What will the trend of 2008 be? Who will be the new Don't Tase Me, Bro? What will be the next musical trend? Who will be our new hero for the year?

You have come to the Idea of Progress for such answers, and the Idea of Progress will deliver.

2008 will be the year of Huey Lewis and the News.

Workin For a Livin.

I Think I Need a New Drug.

The Power of Love.

And the Official Theme Song of 2008:

It's Hip to Be Square.

If you don't believe me, I'm sure you can take the word of Patrick Bateman from American Pyscho on why even he, a serial killer, is a Huey Lewis fan:

For more information on how to make 2008 your Year of Huey Lewis and the News, please visit lewisnews08.com or for those of you on Facebook, please visit Huey Lewis is a Golden God.

And if you need any further reasons, please check out what Johnny Yen discovered about Huey Lewis's news.

Enjoy a little Power of Love to brighten your day (the extended Back to the Future video starring Doc Brown!).

Proof the Geeks Have Won

"w00t" has been awarded Word of the Year by Miriam-Webster dictionaries.

I hope next year the winner is "teh."

09 December 2007

Quote of the Day

“J.F.K.’s speech was to reassure Americans that he wasn’t a religious fanatic...Mitt’s was to tell evangelical Christians, ‘I’m a religious fanatic just like you.

- Jon Krakauer, quoted in the New York Times.

If you haven't already had the opportunity, I'd recommend Krakauer's excellent and frightening book Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, which tells the story of the Mormon church, which is more interesting and disturbing than you might think.

07 December 2007

Gettin' around

Ron Paul supporters have purchased a blimp for his campaign. The Idea of Progress took a look at what modes of transportation that the other Republican candidates are using:

Mitt Romney - Horse and buggy

Fred Thompson - Rascal scooter

Rudy Giuliani - Firetruck used in 9/11, because he was there, you know, on 9/11

06 December 2007

Best of Craigslist

Latin King at East Bank Club - w4m - 25
Reply to: pers-499860386@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-12-05, 3:46PM CST

Considering EBC is such a high-end health club, I was stunned to see a Latin King gang member there. Furthermore, I was even more stunned to find me attracted to such a thug. How did I know you were a Latin King? Well, maybe the Latin King tattoo in old english gave it away! What were you doing at EBC? Have you been to prison? And most importantly, are you single??

original post

A few words for Mitt Romney

"Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone."
--Mitt Romney, speaking today, Thursday December 6th.

Mitt Romney, shut the fuck up.


Combining ideas like 'freedom' and 'religion,' and making them sound inseparable, is as asinine as telling someone they're either with you or against you. The concepts, while often intertwined, are not the same damn thing. And more often then not, religion is used to extinguish freedom, often under the maxim, "If you're not with us, you're against us."

Shut up, Mitt Romney, and go back to that hole you crawled out of.

Wow, am I angry.

05 December 2007

Gift Ideas for the Idea of Progress

Looking for a holiday gift idea for tIoP? Wonder Sauna Hot Pants!

Several things to note:

-The word 'long' is inside the word HOT

-Both models look like they are being forced to wear those things at gunpoint (especially the guy--look at his expression)

-A commenter on Boing Boing (where this was found) mentioned that they look like "Still-suit shorts for summers on Arakkis," which if you get means that a) you probably found it as funny as I did and b) are giant nerd.

(the Hot Pants were discovered by Monica), who graciously allowed me to post about them.)

I don't get Google

I spend a good ten minutes crafting the finest picture of a whale clad in trousers that the world has ever witnessed. I label the file "Mr. Splashy Pants." I label the post "Mr. Splashy Pants." I use the name 'Mr. Splashy Pants' about a dozen times in the post.

Go to Google images, there are no pants-wearing whales to be found. My whale is not present. Google "Mr Splashy Pants" and my blog does come up--on page 13.

But not that image! Instead, it's the cover of an album I posted six months ago! No splashing or pants or whales to be found! What the F (as the kids say)!

Least Influential Political Blog???

I'll show Grant Miller who's least influential...Mark my words...

03 December 2007

Monday News Feed

-Larry Craig, the gift that keeps on giving, has been accused by eight other men of engaging in dirty deeds with them (sex!). Before I even got to make the joke, it turns out that one of these men was Mike Jones, the same male escort that the Rev. Ted Haggard was busted for, and yes, they did have sex in a men's room. This is what I call reality stealing my material.

-Gillian Gibbons was pardoned by the president of the Sudan for naming a teddy bear Mohammad. She will be heading home today, according to the press, missing out on all of the fun fatwas and riots. Interesting side note- according to her MySpace page she is a Leonard Cohen fan, so she's cool in my book.

-Sound familiar? A new report released today shows that Iran halted their attempts at making nuclear weapons back in 2003. Hmmm....accusing a country of seeking weapons of mass destruction, and then it turns out we were misled by the administration. So...in what way is this not like Sadaam and the WMDs?

30 November 2007

Perhaps they should have read this title out loud

From pbjellayfish.

Isn't Young Love a Beautiful Thing?

If I was making a major Hollywood movie....

-It would star the Official Character Actor of the Idea of Progress, Zooey Deschanel.

-It would involve robots, or zombies, or perhaps zombie robots.

-I would cast Dane Cook, only to have him butchered onscreen by a zombie robot.

-I would play the zombie robot.

-It would be rated G.

-It would make children cry.

-It would make you cry.

-I would make sure to fill it with as many expensive products as I could, in hopes of getting freebies. Such products would include Bentley automobiles, Rolex watches, and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

-It would be six hours long. There would be no intermission.

-The trailer would feature a voiceover from the "In a world where..." guy. The voiceover for the trailer would begin, "In a world where..."

-Bono would make a cameo appearance.

-He would be killed by a zombie robot.

-It would be the same zombie robot that killed Dane Cook.

-I would still be playing that zombie robot.

-The zombie robots would also be ninjas.

-The movie will be called Mr. Splashy Pants.

-It will gross $10 trillion on its opening weekend.

-It will open next summer.

28 November 2007

Mr. Splashy Pants!

Greenpeace has been running a Name the Whale competition in which people can vote for what a particular whale will, cleverly enough, be named. The names are mostly boring, like "Kaimana - means 'divine power of the ocean' in Polynesian" or "Sedna - is the name of the Innuit goddess of the oceans." However, somehow someone got another name into the running.

Mr. Splashy Pants.

Not only did someone get the name in, but he or she then sat at their computer and voted for it for hours on end. Greenpeace eventually caught on that someone was trying to, in the immortal words of Chicago's own Richard J. Daley, "Vote early and often," and removed the votes from the guy with too much free time on their hands.

But someone had posted the current results to Reddit and Boing Boing, and of course, then everybody know about it, which drove people to the Greenpeace site in droves. Guess which name they all voted for?

The ballots are still open until Dec. 7th. Greenpeace has had a really good sense of humor about this, and for a more detailed (and much funnier) description of the above events, I heartily recommend reading the blog post that 'Richard' posted on the Greenpeace site. Really read it, it's hilarious.

And to their credit they left the name in. Currently it's leading it's closest competitor by something like 74%, so it looks like a done deal.

Somewhere out there there will be a whale. And that whale's name?

Mr. Splashy Pants.

OJ is Innocent!

Or so he plead today. And I for one believe him. Because if we can't believe in OJ's innocence, what can we believe in?

27 November 2007

Okay, I said it was over, but there's one more

Please check out how Johnny Yen celebrated The Idea of Progress Day.

I'm done now. Honest. But that was too funny not to share.

The Final Word on the Idea of Progress Day

I would like to thank each and every person who participated, in some small way, in the Idea of Progress Day. A merry time was to be had by all, and much cheer and goodwill was shared with the land and its people.

And now we move on to other things in life...for yes, my friends, there is more to life than the Idea of Progress Day. The future may seem bleak and foreboding, with no goal or purpose, but remember this: It is only 363 days and 3 hours until the next Idea of Progress Day. I trust you will have time to prepare for next year.

The Art of the Idea of Progress Day

I would also like to commend McGone for his fine, albeit unlicensed and therefore highly illegal bobblehead:

As well as The Guv'ner for this fine illustration/award. It is HER birthday on Thursday, so visit her and share the love.

The Best Part of The Idea of Progress Day

The sock puppet I received from Monica. It's her birthday today, so go visit her blog and wish her a happy birthday!

26 November 2007

What Are You Doing to Celebrate the Idea of Progress Day?

Many of the Blogonetosphere 2.0's finest have been celebrating The Idea of Progress Day. Here are some examples:

-I have already mentioned Katrocket, who gets a second mention for being the first to post today. She has made a point of celebrating in several different ways, one of which being going commando today.

-Splotchy has written a poem in my honor. He has also proposed that I am in fact a Russian mathematician, or at least disguised as one.

-Pistols at Dawn has awarded me some kind of award. I am unclear as to the nature of the award, but not only will I accept it, but I will also speak at the awards dinner.

-The nefarious McGone has created a bobblehead in my likeness. As we have not discussed the licensing of my image, this only presents further proof of his depravity. He must be stopped.

-Monica has made me a sock puppet, although she is unable to photograph it as of yet. I anxiously await its unveiling.

-Valerie has apparently silkscreened t-shirts. I want one, spelling errors or not.

-Suze contemplated People Magazine's error in accidentally awarding Matt Damon 'Sexiest Man of the Year' over The Idea of Progress.

But the day is far from over. Have I missed your celebratory act?

The Idea of Progress Day Update

Katrocket has written a fine post about her method of celebrating today's international holiday. As she is in Toronto, it officially makes her the first recognized international celebrant.

Katrocket, I salute you. And I'm wondering how you found that picture.

The Idea of Progress Day, part 2: Mississippi

9:56am EST
SOMEWHERE IN MISSISSIPPI - The Idea of Progress Day is about more than the Idea of Progress. It's about Ideas. And Progress. And Of.

Today's first stop in the whirlwind world tour was Mississippi. From an undisclosed location, The Idea of Progress has sat down with Trent Lott (R-Miss). The Idea of Progress told Senator Lott, "Look, I don't like you. And today's my day. So I think it's time for you to quit.

Mr. Lott saw the logic in this and agreed.

Back on the plane. Where will the Idea of Progress strike again?

Happy Idea of Progress Day!

I want to wish you a Happy Idea of Progress Day! I would like to thank the folks who made this possible.

Google, thank you for providing me with the space for my blog.

Jesus, thanks for being my homeboy. I'll see you at the party tonight. Don't forget the beer! (Jesus is my buddy from Jalisco)

And most of all, I would like to thank the brilliant mind of the Idea of Progress himself. Without, you, I''d be nothing.


Stay tuned today for updates on the worldwide celebration. I am about to get on a private jet to be flown to an undisclosed location for the first of many celebratory parties today. Stay tuned.

21 November 2007

The Idea of Progress Has Retroactively Awarded Himself "Sexiest Man Alive"

I'm sure the selection of Matt Damon was simply a clerical error.

FAQ's about the Idea of Progress Day

There has been some disquieting speculation of late in regards to the upcoming international holiday The Idea of Progress Day. I would like to use this opportunity to clear up any potential misunderstanding.

-The Idea of Progress Day is not the birthday of the Idea of Progress. That is May 11, and there will certainly be fanfare when that date rolls around. Last year the Idea of Progress attended Looptopia and was underwhelmed.

-The Idea of Progress Day may be considered a religious holiday for tax reasons.

-The Idea of Progress Day may be celebrated in a manner that you see fit. If that involves alcohol, so be it.

-The Idea of Progress Day was created on November 13th, 2007. There may or may not have been alcohol involved.

-The Idea of Progress Day is currently searching for a corporate sponsor. If you are interested, please email the Idea of Progress.

-The Idea of Progress Day is, in the words of Katrocket, "the self-proclaimed holiday of a megalomaniac."

20 November 2007

The Idea of Progress Knows Where You've Been

There has been a lack of comments of late here at the Idea of Progress. There could be many reasons for this. I feel that many readers may perhaps be spending their free time preparing for Thanksgiving. With the holiday only 26 hours away, there is still much preparation to be done.

Perhaps many of you have been shopping for Christmas presents. Thanksgiving hasn't occurred yet, but that hasn't stopped the decorations from being...er...decorated, and the holiday sales to begin.

Perhaps you've tired of the ceaseless attacks against the Idea of Progress from the International House of Blogcakes.

There is a possibility that you've abandoned blogs altogether in protest of the mockery of this year's Sexiest Man Alive (no, the award went to Matt Damon. Maybe if the Idea of Progress was friends with Kevin Smith, he would have received it this year, but no, all that he had to go on was his incredible sexiness, which apparently isn't enough these days).

Perhaps you've been abducted by Jehovah's witnesses, and then violated by Scientologists.

Perhaps you're writing your novel.

These are all possible reasons.

However, the Idea of Progress knows where you are. You've been preparing all week for Monday, November 26th. You've been preparing for The Idea of Progress Day. I know you've been fine-tuning that blog entry, putting the finishing touches on that sock puppet, stocking up on all of that cheap whiskey.

The Idea of Progress understands. And he approves.

19 November 2007

BREAKING NEWS: McGone Releases Threatening Video


CHICAGO, IL (Reuters) Suspected JC Penny model McGone escaped from federal custody earlier today in where he was being held in an undisclosed location. Authorities believe that he is headed back to the heavily guarded International House of Blogcakes compound in rural Illinois.

In a video released to the press this afternoon by "readers" of his so-called "blog" McGone, clad in a floppy hat and with his face hidden behind a Guy Fawkes mask is viewed saying, "I will not sit idly by and watch The Idea of Progress Day go on as planned. This holiday has the potential to be the single greatest event in human history, and the iHob will never allow it to occur. I would speak in iambic pentameter, and may do in the future, but for now, I choose to speak in the manner of a James Bond villain! Death to the Idea of Progress!"

The Idea of Progress could not be reached for comment. The Idea of Progress Day is an international celebration that occurs annually on November 26th.

More on this story as it develops.


Associated Press

CHICAGO, Illinois- (AP)
Maverick billionaire and suspected inventor of Head On,"Fancy Pants" McGone has escaped from the holding cell where he was currently awaiting trial, charged with assault with deadly puns and second-degree illustration. Although authorities will not comment on where the proprietor of the International House of Blogcakes was being held or the manner of his escape, they warn that he is armed with a laptop and to be considered extremely dangerous.

More on this breaking story as it happens.

16 November 2007

Spam Poetry by "Simone R. Varner" [WARNING- R Rated]

At last you've met a gal that's hot
You wanna hump her moistened twat.
She looks so sizzling, she's so nice!
But would your penile size suffice?
Not sure she will yearn for more?
You need a dic'k she would adore!
But how to get it long and thick?
Your only hope is MegaDik!
You'll get so wanted super-size
And see wild craving in her eyes!
Your schlong will bang her poon so deep, Tonight you'll hardly fall asleep!

(You have to give them credit for trying.)

14 November 2007

How to Celebrate The Idea of Progress Day

There has been disquiet in the abode of the Idea of Progress lately, and only today have I figured out the source of that malaise. I don't have a holiday. There is no Idea of Progress Day.

Until now.

I hear by declare Monday, November 26th The Idea of Progress Day.

Mark it on your calendars. I already have in mine. How does one celebrate the Idea of Progress Day? I'm glad you asked. To begin:

-Dedicate your blog entry on November 26th to The Idea of Progress. Perhaps you can speak of the first time you were illuminated by the wit, the candor, the brilliance, of the 305,517th most popular blog on Technorati.

-If you artistically inclined, perhaps create some sort of artwork dedicated to the Idea of Progress. This may range from the brilliant illustrations of the despicable McGone over at the International House of Blogcakes to the inspired renderings of Splotchy.

-You may take an Idea of Progress-themed photograph for the occasion, and display it. Draw inspiration from the lovely and talented Katrocket.

-You could write an Idea of Progress-themed novel. Katarose, also lovely and talented, is over 20,000 words into her novel that she began two weeks ago. She hasn't specifically told me this, but I feel that it is more than likely about the Idea of Progress.

-If you'd like to decorate your home, or perhaps dress up in Idea of Progress-themed costumes, this may also be appropriate.

-Keep in mind, this is an international holiday, like Bloomsday or Shark Week, so readers in Canada, Australia and other fine lands take note: You are invited to participate as well.

So begin making plans. The Idea of Progress Day will surely be declared a federal holiday, leading to a five day weekend (since Thanksgiving is the week prior), which means much partying!

November 26th! It's only twelve shopping days away!

Friendly Communication

At work today, we received an email message that was unintended for us. The message, unedited and unaltered except for the email addresses, is as follows:

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve [mailto:steves____@__________.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:12 PM
To: ed@
Subject: ____________: cnbc interview

This is an enquiry e-mail via http://______________.org from:

hey mike,

just saw you make a complete asshole of yourself on cnbc.
go back and see what reagan did by lowering taxes in the
80's after the peanut farmer left the office. then you said
"theres nothing better then taxing the dead
millioners." hey asshole, the families of those dead millioners
are the ones paying the taxes you stupid moron. let me
tell you why bush came into office with such a surplus.
maybe b/c clinton, which is another asshole left the military in ruins.
maybe if he didn't 9/11 may not have happened you stupid
fuck! by the way mr. buffett that fuckhead uses every tax
lopehole to not pay more taxes. by the way if you fuckers
want to pay more taxes then give all your money to the
gov't and maybe you can fix all the bridges in the united states....
then again maybe we could capture osama with your help. you
stupid fucks

proud to be from a wealthy family


My coworker Ed responded with the following message. I couldn't have said it better myself:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed __________ [mailto:____E@_________.org]
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:25 PM
To: 'Steve'
Subject: RE: ___________: cnbc interview

Whoever you are, if this is really your email address, I think
you misdirected this email to us.

We don't have a Mike here, but perhaps you intended this
for a specific member of our organization?

We certainly appreciate you expression of views, however
crude, which is, of course, your entitlement as a citizen.

Best Wishes, and have a really happy day!


13 November 2007

The Best Use of a Clown in a Bankruptcy Commercial Award Goes to...

I was reminded of this fine commercial by Bubs over at the Sprawling Ramshackle Compound.

I'm proud to say that my friend and colleague Kate plays the frightened woman in this spot. She told me that the guy who played the clown came to the shoot directly after playing Othello at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. I didn't learn any fun facts about Erik Martin.

EDIT: He was playing Othello, but not at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre...my mistake

The Idea of Progress Presents a Personal History of Comedy, vol.I

This is the single funniest thing I've ever seen. And I don't mean that ironically.

Most of my life I've been a night owl. When my family got cable TV, this didn't help, because now instead of reading books or watching UHF television, I'd watch Comedy Central until all hours of the night. They played reruns of Saturday Night Live then, and I was watching it one night when the following sketch came on:

(There's some sort of extra stuff at the end of this clip, so after 1:55 you can just shut it off)

I had never heard of Andy Kaufman before. This was a few years before Man On the Moon came out, and I had no idea what to expect.

I laughed so hard at this that I woke my mother up, who knocked on my door to find out what all of the racket was all about. She was not amused.

One day I hope I can create something as dadaist and hilarious as this.

What is the funniest thing you've ever seen? Don't cop out with a joke, post a link instead, and do someone a favor.

09 November 2007

08 November 2007

The Idea of Progress Has the Answers You Seek

Grant Miller asks, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

And the Idea of Progress responds.

"What is the sound of one hand clapping?" is what is referred to as a Zen kōan, which is a story or phrase designed to shed wisdom in a way that can't be explained logically. It is perhaps the most famous of all kōans.

But what is the answer? Does it have one?

Yes it does.

The question would typically be asked by a monk of a neophyte. The correct answer is to raise one hand, palm forward.

One hand clapping.

(And believe it or not, I didn't have to look that up)

EDIT: Reading the Wikipedia article on kōans, I was reminded of another famous one (and my favorite). A monk asks a novice, "Does a dog have the Buddha-nature?" and the novice responds, "Woof!" (Technically, he says "Wú!" which means 'none' or 'nothing,' but also sounds like a dog barking)

The Idea of Progress Has the Answers You Seek

There's a reason that you are on the internet. You seek answers. You desire the truth. And the twisty path of the Blogonetosphere 2.0 has led you to the doorstep of The Idea of Progress.

What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

Pull up a chair and allow me to explain this to you. Would you like to take notes? Okay, I'll wait...no I don't have a ...oh, great, you have your own pen.


What came first, the chicken or the egg? This actually has an answer, and that answer is the egg.

See, the way evolution works is that a species undergoes genetic mutation, causing its offspring to demonstrate characteristics different from its mother or father. At some point, the species that was a genetic step behind the chicken became pregnant, and the egg it laid contained what would become what we think of as chicken, which differed in some small way from its mother.

Make sense?

In short, the genetic forerunner of the chicken laid an egg, which contained the first chicken.

Therefore, the egg is first.

I know. I just blew your mind.

07 November 2007

Words I Have Heard for the First Time

Today's word: mobisode.

They're putting up Christmas decorations on the Tribune Tower right now

It's November 7th. Christmas is 47 days away. That's like decorating for Halloween in the middle of September.

Next year I'm doing my decorating in January just to get the jump on everybody.