WTF, America! Apparently they have banned drivers younger than 18 in the greater Chicago area after 11 p.m. on weekend nights. (That this then dismantled a program of teen-aged designated drivers is sad-hilarious.) I spent the vast majority of my 16th and 17th years in Chicago in either Paule's giant boat-mobile or in the backseat of Ajay's slick little number. And we were responsible! For instance, from what I can hazily recall, we usually tried to drink or smoke up while the car was not actually in motion. (Hey, it was the 80s, man.) Anyway, guess such laws make sense in a country where you can come home from Iraq and still have to get someone to buy your beer for you at the 7-11 in Vegas. Update: A reader named Fred writes: "Jason, please tell this 'genius' that is babysitting your blog this week to do a little research before she posts. The law she sarcastically wrote about is a state statute that took effect January 1st and covers the complete state of Illinois, not just the Chicago area. It is an intelligent response to a serious problem of teenage drivers dying from more than just drunk driving accidents.... While I believe in anyone voicing their opinion on something, I believe that they should make sure their facts are correct before they spout off. She didn't bother to check her facts, and that makes you look bad since she's posting on your blog." Oh, wow.
kottke.org posts about Idiocracy
Avram notes that the introduction of a product to the real world based on one from the fictional world is nothing new, citing Holiday Inn hotel and Bubba Gump restaurant chains as examples. While he's coined the term "tlönian" for this phenomenon, based on the Borges story "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius," a commenter suggests "defictionalization," a Google search of which currently places the Making Light discussion as the #2 result, so I'm thinking it has staying power.
Other notable examples of defictionalization: the Red Swingline stapler from "Office Space" (1999) (another Mike Judge movie!), the Buzz Rickson's MA-1, made in black only after William Gibson wrote it that way in "Pattern Recognition," and of course, Spinal Tap.
A Tap-related Polymer Records t-shirt is available at Last Exit To Nowhere, where fine defictionalized goods are sold. I'd wear it just to channel Paul Schaffer's Artie Fufkin as frequently as possible.
And to the snackfood and energy bar manufacturers out there: who among you has the temerity to sell me some Soylent Green?
Idiocracy Mar 07 2007
This is a movie that looks like a home run but ends up being a mishit single just over the shortstop into shallow left field. The concept is fantastic -- that of a future world populated by brand-driven idiots -- and the satire in that direction is solid, but the plot is weak and acts like an anchor on the rest of the movie. Not the great followup to Office Space that everyone was expecting for Mike Judge, but still worth a look for the concept and the graphic design.
The graphic design of the futuristic world Feb 27 2007
The graphic design of the futuristic world depicted in Mike Judge's Idiocracy. I love the signage that doesn't fit on the hospital. (via do)
Mike Judge's Idiocracy is out on DVD Dec 08 2006
Mike Judge's Idiocracy is out on DVD in early January. Hopefully this one will find an audience on DVD like Office Space did. The movie had a very limited release, possibly because Fox didn't really want anyone to see it.