thinglets: sketch comedy

This thinglet comes from Mike Vardy. Mike is the brains behind the Eventualist productivity ideodology "EffTD" (Effing The Dog) and is chief contributor to and its accompanying podcast. Click the links and check out his work.

I’m waiting for the day when the layperson finally gets that sketch comedy is not improv.  It’s pre-written and while there’s room for latitude with a sketch, you can’t just throw it by the wayside for a passable Christopher Walken impersonation when the going gets tough.  No wonder why most people think that MadTV is filled with genius comedic talent.  Until this changes, I’ll just assume that most sketch comedians pretend they’ve done improv when they get adulation from the audience for coming up with such great material on the fly.  If only Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip hadn’t been cancelled - Aaron Sorkin could’ve converted the ignorant flock.  Then again, maybe they couldn’t handle the truth.

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lovehate: Blogging v. Lifestreaming

I suppose there is no mystery to this lovehate. After submitting numerous posts to the on this blogging platform over the past few weeks, it would be hard for me to say that I hated blogs. There are some things, however, that I just don't get. A recent post at readwriteweb indicates that "lifestreaming" is the future of blogging. As much as I would like to think that reading about someone's entire life was interesting - it's not. Sure, something can be learned by examining the ordinary, but that doesn't mean I want to read, or pretend to share, someone's day to day meanderings through their existence. And I say this even though I'm on Twitter and Friendfeed and Facebook and Plurk and Pownce and usually jot a couple of quick notes every day that are more humorous than telling. Suffice to say, someone who has the time and inclination to record their entire life on a blog really shouldn't have much time for an extraordinary life. And when I devote time to reading for entertainment, I better not be reading about someone watching TV in their apartment for three hours.

I certainly don't begrudge someone who wishes to document their existence on the web (there may be something quite therapeutic about it), but surely there has to be some serious editing involved. While I applaud Andy Warhol's vision in making the film Sleep, I sure didn't want to sit through five hours of it. Whenever I hear someone review a film, play or television show and say they loved that the characters or dialogue were "so real", I cry foul. Even the most authentic documentary, unless shot in real time, is only a simulation of reality that someone manipulates. A "lifestreaming" blogger becomes the gatekeeper of their own life with regards to what gets relayed to readers. While the blogger may have had a "real satisfying trip to the bathroom involving a number two", I certainly don't want to hear about it, and most bloggers have the decency not to tell me. This same act of choosing to avoid events that may clash with social mores or taboos turns lifestreaming into more simulation and less documentation. And to be honest, I'm fine with that.

I believe that we are all just stories and when you leave a room, the people left behind speak of you ill or well with others in relaying your history. If lifestreaming turns out to be simply a bunch of people sharing every minute of their lives online, why should I be interested? I'd much rather they lie. I'd enjoy reading of grand adventures. Instead, my fear is that the lifestreaming movement will eventually deconstruct itself into endless posts of "I'm texting from my cellphone to my lifestream about texting from my cellphone to my lifestream." While honest, not too exciting.

Blogging as a means of artistic creativity or to share ideas - great! Blogging as a means of "sharing" one's life with friends - sure, I can buy that, maybe not too exciting to others, but okay. Blogging as a means of documenting the daily meanderings of one's life - I guess, if you want to, but why should I, or anyone, have an interest? The less I know about someone, the more fascinating they become. Just give me the interesting snippets and my mind will fill in the rest.

Lifestreaming echoes the same problems faced by people with webcams on them 24/7. I don't care how cute the young woman is while moping around her bedroom about how her parents or boyfriends don't "get" her, she will become boring: quickly. And the less boring she becomes, the more boring you become.

Love blogging - hate lifestreaming.

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thinglets: I lost my keys - a penny for the old guy

I lost my keys.  It was not easy.
Somewhere between the car and the door or the door and the closet.
Some time after grilled cheese but before meat loaf mashed potatoes.

I lost my keys.  They must be lonely.
They’re not in my jacket pocket, but I’ll check there again just in case.
They’re not in my red windbreaker that I haven’t worn since high school.
They’re not in the sugar bowl, or in the xmas decorations box.
They’re not in the giant vase, but I checked there gently anyway.

I seem to have a problem getting where I’m going,
And I’m wearing out my carpet as the tension’s growing.
This interminable quest has got me on a collision course.
I just can’t satisfy Ms. Suzie Ignition.

My keys no got.  Got no keys must find.
Not in the container rotting at the back of my fridge
Not in my R2D2 ceramic piggy bank
Not in corner cupboard with the big pot
Not under the WELCOME mat that I don’t have, oh well, guess I should get me one.

Maybe my keys are in gay Paris at a bistro o’erlooking the Seine.
Wining and dining my sweet Adeline in a bottle of bubbly champagne.
Maybe they’re jetbound for Shanghai on a mission for the CIA
Unlocking mystery forcing the enemy’s hand ‘til they ambush a somehow surprise him and
knock him out with a simple tap on the neck with some foreign object that looks rather ineffectual…

"Do you expect me to talk?"
"No Mr. Keys I expect you to die."

I lost my keys.  How metaphoric?
Between the idea and the reality, between the notion and the act... are my dishes.
Between the conception and the creation, between the emotion and the response... is my laundry.
Between the desire and the spasm, the potency, the existence, the essence, and the descent… you’re gonna need a bigger boat.

For thine is the kingdom (Life is very long)
For thine is the kingdom (Life is)
For thine is…
Life is…
For thine is the…

So this is the way the world ends.
So this is the way the world ends.
So this is the way the world ends.
Not with a bang, but with a thinglet.


Lost Keys

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lovehate: Thing Killers - Of Winglets and Segways

Remember Ginger?

In 2001, Dean Kamen had a secret project (sometimes also known as IT) which caused tumultuous excitement around the tech world and media in general. No one knew what IT was? Some speculated on it being a new kind of engine or a futuristic anti-grav platform. Instead, it was the Segway. With much hype and hoopla Kamen predicted that the Segway "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy". Essentially the Segway was to be the car "killer".

Now, some seven years later, Toyota has released the "Winglet Personal Transporter" which is being trumpted as the Segway killer. If the Segway was Ginger, let's call the Thinglet Maryann. They're both nice to look at, but ultimately they're bound to always being an afterthought while Gilligan, the bumbling auto industry always manages to screw things up while remaining the star of the show.

From 2001 to 2006, 23500 Segways were sold. Now I don't know how many millions of cars and trucks were sold in that same time, but of all the threats to the automotive industry, I don't think the Segway was high on their list. If the Segway was supposed to be the car killer, I don't even think it could be accused of attempted assault (even though there was a battery). That the Winglet is being touted as the "Segway Killer" is kind of like Martin Prince saying he could beat up Millhouse after Millhouse got his butt kicked by Nelson. When Ford was pitching his version of the "horseless carriage" in the early 1900s, I somehow doubt he was calling it the "Horse Killer".

Seemingly every week there is some report of the iPhone, iPod or Blackberry killer. The web has frequent reports of Digg, Facebook, Twitter and Google killers... and it's not Cuil. Apparently, depending on which blog you read, the new Windows killer might be Linux, OSX, or even Adobe Air. Did you know that Dyson was preparing a Roomba killer?

I suppose I'm just wondering if using term "killer" with regards to new products has jumped the shark... oh, sorry "nuke the fridge" has become the "jumped the shark" killer. With all of this attempted killing going its strange the authorities aren't involved. Who'd have thought Ice T being a "cop killer" wouldn't involve his music or bullets, but instead a slow inside job through his sub-par acting skills on Law and Order.

I've already got the new Winglet Killer. Now, while I admit the 3 mph cruising speed is a little less that than the Winglet's 3.7, my product (project name: Skipper) does not require gasoline or an electric charge, does not use any fancy gyroscopes for balancing (we've achieved perfect balance without handle bars), and we don't have factories filled with workers stamping out a carbon footprint across the land. With some clearance from Steve Jobs on naming parameters, I am boldly announcing the Winglet killer as the "I walk".

As for thing "killers"... HATE them.

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lovehate: Energy Drinks

Can everyone just please take a nap!

Why is everyone trying to be awake 24/7? Haven't we all been ridden off the road by enough Speedball Tuckers on a west coast turnaround to know that sleep is a good thing? With Tivo and torrents, there's no such thing as missing a television show anymore. There's no film you have to see within the next two hours at a theater. There's no work needing to get done that can't be misdirected by a well-needed sick day. Yet every day people are looking for increasingly ridiculous ways to not sleep - forever!

The war on drugs never had a chance when civil servants dose themselves with the most legalized drug in the world several times a day. Wouldn't it have been great just once to have the DEA bust someone not for the coffee the cocaine was hidden in, but the coffee itself? Hell, even Coke, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper were all started up as energy drinks alongside Simpson and Son's Revitalizing Tonic.

What started as a decades-old taboo of amphetamines and methamphetamines with catchy monikers like speed, uppers, ups, hearts, black beauties, pep pills, capilots, bumble bees, Benzedrine, Dexedrine, footballs, meth, crank, crystal, ice, fire, croak, crypto, white cross, and glass has been modified, sterilized, homogenized into a social norm that few, if any, frown on.

Now, instead of pill bottles, we package bug-eyed hysteria in aluminum and call them "energy" drinks, but the names haven't changed that much with Amp, Battery, Beaver Buzz, Bawlz, Blue Charge, Blue Ox, Boo Koo, Bungee, Cocaine (in an ironic example of true-to-life branding), Crave, Crunk, Diesel, Emerge, Enviga, Full Throttle (for all those who can't stay awake at a Nascar event - okay... that'd be me), Fuze, Hustler, Jolt, Kick, Kore, Lift Plus (because a lift isn't enough), Monster, Mother, No Fear, NOS, Piranha, Red Bull, Red-Eye, Redline, Red Rooster, Red Thunder (okay, enough with the "red" already), Spark, Superman, Talon, Urge, Vault, Vixen and Wired.

And to make sure the drink sales don't go stale, we have been introduced to the realm of the triple-caffeine threat of guarana to produce little numbers like Burn, Celsius, Dark Dog, Demon, Freek, Guru, Hiro, Jamba, Josta, Naked, Pep-G, Pilotsfriend (wait a second... are they serious... do we really want pilots kiting in from Morocco with three cans of this stuff in their system), PimpJuice (now in purple), Pit Bull, Rehab, Relentless, Respect (those are what teachers call the three Rs), Rip It, Rockstar, Shot, Socko, Steaz, Volvic, and Xtazy.

I thought it couldn't get worse. I was wrong, and, unfortunately, not under the table and dreaming.

Let's caffeine-infuse other food like snack crisps, sunflower seeds, chocolate chunks, gum, mints and lollipops. Let's add a quick pick-me-up to non-foodstuffs like breath spray, tongue strips, soap and body wash. Surely they haven't caffeinated air itself and sold it via an inhaler: WRONG!

I'll be perfectly honest. I have absolutely nothing against drugs. I just wonder what is that everyone has to do RIGHT NOW!

Apparently the single word name brand holds a lot of cache around the "Crank" Drink fountain. And while I have no doubt there are reasons someone might want to, nay, even feel they have to stay awake, I HATE ingested Energy.

Although I'll have to admit that I take advantage of a single name product that keeps my mind clear all day long: Sleep.

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lovehate: love and hate

This lovehate marks a first for If you've been listening to the podcast, I have been asking for written or recorded submissions of lovehates or thinglets. The following lovehate comes from Mike Vardy (a little bit more on Mike later). Mike's also indicated he would "eventually" record this submission, so if you listen or subscribe to the podcast, keep an ear open. If you're interested in writing or recording something, click my e-mail link under the profile on the right.

Love.  I love love.  Now, for those of you that know me from my site, you may be surprised by this.  I mean, I do come across as - well - cross on more than one occasion.  But if you really think about it, love is one of the preferred emotions when pursuing Eventualism.  Just like that Thomas Edison song, "Love Grows Just Like Rosemary Grows", he points out that love takes time to grow.  Yep, love is eventual in nature.  Whether you're pining, succeeding in getting out of The Friend Zone, or just getting old together through sheer determination and toleration, love is a work in eventual progress.  It also, like rosemary, goes great with lamb chops.

Hate.  I hate hate.  It just comes on - really fast.  Hate just gets done.  In fact, the reason you don't hear the term "hate at first sight" is because the first person that proclaimed it was killed by the other person he hated immediately afterwards.  As a result, it never caught on for fear of instant death.  Hate is also absolute.  The colour gray doesn't exist in hate.  The only colour that seems to come through is red.

Mike is the brains behind the Eventualist productivity ideodology "EffTD" (Effing The Dog) and is chief contributor to and its accompanying podcast. Click the links and check out his work.

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