The Minor Ethicist

pinhead_ethicist.jpgAm I tricking my houseplants by providing them with constant sunlight even in the winter? In nature, they wouldn’t get that much light. Should I provide them with less light part of the year? R.J., Chicago
This is an interesting conundrum, and I admire your not wanting to lie to plants. But when it comes to ethics, we as sentient beings must consider what benefits the majority without hurting the individual. As the more powerful party in the human/plant relationship, you are responsible for looking out for the plant’s well being without deception or manipulation. I say leave it in the sun, even in cold weather, but explain to it that this is an artificial arrangement and that in a state of nature, it would probably be dead. Providing winter sun isn’t ‘lying’ per se, but it is giving your plants an unfair advantage over other plants: explaining that goes a long way towards correcting that disparity. Plus, everyone knows talking to plants helps them grow.
A colleague recently complimented me by saying “Hey, nice new jacket.” I thanked him even though the jacket isn’t new: I’ve had it since college. Was I in the wrong?


Ethical people strive to be as honest as possible. In this case, you lied. Sure, it was a lie of omission, but you knew that your jacket was old and yet you took the conditional compliment (“nice new jacket”) without explanation. I recommend you send your colleague a note—or, since we’re in the digital era, an email—apologizing for the deception. Your jacket may be nice, but it’s not new. Your colleague should know that fact. Who knows, your colleague may still like your jacket, and you just may be able to save whatever working relationship you have with him.
At the end of my ATM transactions, the machine displays a screen that says “Would you like me to print a receipt?” I often select ‘no,’ even though some small part of me does, in fact, want a receipt. Should I select ‘yes,’ even if I don’t completely want a receipt?


Everyone knows the famous F. Scott Fitzgerald quote about keeping two ideas in one’s mind at the same time without going crazy. While this may come in handy in many situations, it’s impossible to convey two ideas to a machine like an ATM. I say take the receipt even if you’re not 100% sure you want it: you can always use it to throw away your gum or write down a phone number.
A few years ago, a former employer made me go in front of the United Nations and lie about a supposed enemy nation’s weapons of mass destruction. At the time, I rationalized that what I was doing was part of my job. Besides, even though the country I was talking about didn’t have any WMDs, most people would agree that it was a pretty bad country. But now that I’ve had some time to reflect on it, I feel like I made a terrible mistake. A lot of people may have gotten hurt because of my testimony (it was pretty compelling: I had props and aerial photographs), and subsequent actions have cost my company untlold billions of dollars. I want to tell the truth, but I’m still on good terms with my former boss and colleagues and I do want a good recommendation for when I’m ready to re-enter the job market. How can I clear the air and my conscience?


Anonymous, you call that question minor ethics? That’s beneath even me. Flip a coin and decide what to do you for yourself.
No ethical quandary is too small for the Minor Ethicist. Send queries to [email protected], and include a photo if you’re hot.


It’s Really, Really Easy Being Greenspan
(Or, Duuuuh, Capital)

I’m Rich, Bee-yatch!: Completely un-retouched first paperback edition cover.
According to today’s EXCLUSIVE report by Keith J. Kelly in The New York Post, Alan Greenspan has just sold his memoir to Penguin, Inc. for between $8.5-$9 million.
You don’t have to be a former Fed Chairman to know that’s a lot of money! Why, you could pay off your credit card debt, your student loan, your refinanced mortgage, and still have some cash left over to buy a Powerball ticket. With those winnings, you might be able to finally vest your stock options and make some real dough! Party like it’s 1999, Greenie!
But what is Penguin getting for its money? Good question. A quick look at Greenspan’s contributions to Ayn Rand’s 1967 essay collection, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal reveals the brilliant insights that made Greenspan indispensable to four administrations. Here’s one from page 96:
Clearly worth every penny.


LCToolbox: The Bluffer’s Blogger’s Guide to Breaking Into Magazines

The Metamorphosis: Going from blogger to magazine writer is easier than you think.
After winning the Nobel Prize and marrying Padma Lakshmi (or her male equivalent), the natural goal for any writer—or a blogger—should be writing for magazines. Look around any subway car or hair salon and you’ll see that magazines are the number one information and time-killing medium. Ever since the tragic events of 9/11, a growing number of Americans have turned to magazines to explain their world to them and comfort them in uncertain times. Plus, magazines are great when it rains: try keeping your head dry with a newspaper and tell me what you’d rather write for, Men’s Journal or The New York Review of Books. Plus, if you’re getting gussied up for a Bar Mitzvah or court date, you won’t get free cologne or perfume from a book. Don’t even try it.
But for bloggers, breaking into magazines might feel a lot like alchemy. Turning lead into gold seems really, really hard, but, man, is it ever lucrative if you can pull it off. Here are some tips for all you aspiring magazine writers out there. You can thank us later.
1. Know the Lingo If you’re gonna break into the fast-paced world of magazines, you better sound like you belong. Knowing a few keywords will help you sound like an expert. Here are some helpful terms to commit to memory:

· The Book: Literally, the magazine. This one’s confusing because it doesn’t refer to a book. Think of it as an example of aspirational metonymy: magazine writers and editors wish they were writing books, so they call their publications books. (You, on the other hand, wish you were writing for magazines, so start referring to your blog as a magazine.)
· Front of the Book: Just what it sounds like: the opening section. Nine out ten times, this is where your work will appear. Depending on the magazine, your front of the book piece (remember, this is the front of a magazine, not a book: see “The Book,” above) will run roughly 95 to 100 words, which might or might not include a caption.
· The Mix: Think of this like your iPod playlist—a seemingly random assemblage of content you define yourself with based on trends, marketing, PR, and the recommendations of your friends who are up on trends, marketing, and PR.
· The Feature Well: The deep, dark hole in the middle of the magazine where everything cool and vital is found. Chances are you won’t be asked to write for the Feature Well, but you should know this term anyway. (Usage Example: “Maybe my front of the book story on designer sweatbands can be expanded into the feature well?”)
· Nut Graph: The paragraph containing your piece’s most salient points. Think of this as the pearl inside the muculent guts of your article. The best place to put your “nut graph” is towards the end of the piece where it can be like a little reward for readers who’ve read all the way to the end.
· Kill Fee: This is what you get paid when your editor decides not to run your story. Typically 20-25% of the agreed-upon fee, the kill fee is like a no harm/no foul. With it in hand, you can feel the rush of having written for a magazine (good job!) without having to risk anyone ever reading the piece. Plus, you can try to resell the piece to another publication or—natch—use it on your blog. (Side note: When re-pitching a killed piece, you should definitely mention that it was killed by another magazine, particularly if the new publication is a direct competitor to the magazine that killed your piece: Printing your front of the book—maybe feature well—article on designer sweatbands will be sweet, sweet revenge for the editor who runs it.)

2. Understanding the Masthead If you’re gonna work—or freelance—in magazines, you better know who you’re dealing with. This can be a challenge since magazine job titles are as convoluted and complex as those you might encounter in the House of Lords. Clip and save this skeleton key:

· Editor-in-Chief: This person is in charge. And she’s too busy to talk with you. In fact, she’s probably in Milan right now. And she doesn’t check her email. Her assistant prints out her email for her and she always leaves the printouts in the back of her Town Car. Also, she hasn’t read the magazine in years. Leave the editor-in-chief alone. (But, when talking about your work with friends, always refer to her by first name: see “Bragging Rights,” below.)
· Managing Editor: This person is a frazzled maniac. He will not return your calls because he’s really, really busy. Besides, he’s busy handling the stuff you don’t care about: scheduling, budget, liaising with the art department, consoling emotionally distraught staffers. Plus, he’s super busy.
· Features Editor: This person is too high up to talk to you, so don’t bother pitching him. If you do pitch him, he’ll probably reply via Blackberry while the publicist he’s lunching with goes to the bathroom for the fourth time that hour. He might actually like your idea, but more often than not, he will forget you pitched it and won’t assign it.
· Editor-at-Large: This person is never in the office and, more likely than not, is drunk. Often he’s located in some exotic locale—or at home, sleeping in—yet he’s still working at the magazine because he saved the editor’s life a few years ago. Don’t ever pitch him.
· Senior Editor: This person will still take your calls and she might even assign you a story if she likes your idea. While she’s got the ear of her superiors, the pieces she brings in might still get killed. But she’s cool, you know, so she’ll get the managing editor to cut you a full kill fee. (See: “Kill Fee,” above.)
· Associate Editor: This person is your new best friend. She’s not an assistant anymore, so she can actually get stories into “the mix,” usually in “the front of the book.” (More likely than not, she’ll be the one using these terms.) Best of all, she can usually take you out to lunch and expense it. (Like we said: your new best friend.) Your success depends on her success, so keep your fingers crossed that she gets promoted, like, soon and doesn’t forget about you. (Side note: invite her to your birthday party, set her up with a friend.)
· Reporter (aka, fact-checker): This person will hate your guts. She knows that she’s a better writer than you are, but she’s stuck in a windowless room verifying the spelling of Audrey Tautou’s name without relying on the IMDB. Treat this person with utter disdain—don’t return her increasingly frantic calls, refuse to turn over your notes or tapes, call her by the wrong name (usually whatever name is on the shared email account she’ll be writing to you from)—and she’ll know you’re legit.
· Assistant Editor: This person can be you—if you play your cards right!

3. The Competitive Edge There are a lot of writers (not to mention bloggers) out there and only so many openings in “the mix.” Success in magazine writing depends on maintaining some advantage over the competition. Here’s all you need to know: Never pitch a story unless you’ve seen it written about elsewhere. If another magazine, newspaper, or blog has covered a particular subject, you know that the story’s worth doing. Don’t worry about editors passing on stories that have already run: they’re too busy putting out a magazine to actually read magazines. Besides, when they’re not working 12 hour days, they’re writing their books. (See: “The Book,” above.)
4. Protecting Your Ideas One of the risks of pitching stories to magazines is having your ideas stolen—even if the idea is one you got from another article. (See: “The Competitive Edge,” above.) You cannot copyright an idea, but you have some recourse if an idea you’ve pitched has been stolen: Complaining. Let’s say you pitch a story on a famous Hollywood actor in an upcoming major studio release and you see another publication has also written about her—and the writer of that piece interviewed the star, to boot—you have to use your blog to complain about the theft. Print all your emails to the editor you pitched and any responses you might’ve received. Not only will this get the word out that the editor acted unethically, it will let other editors know that you mean business and won’t be pushed around. Now when you pitch them and they Google you, they’ll see that you’re a professional.
5. Numbers Numbers are an important part of making your article seem important. But you didn’t get into magazine journalism to mess with numbers. You’re a writer—or a blogger—not a NASA scientist. You can achieve the “numbers effect” without actually using numbers by employing terms like “a growing number,” “several,” “increasingly,” “many,” “untracked numbers,” or “a lot.” As long as it seems like some research backs up your findings, you’re golden—increasingly golden.
6. 9/11 You should probably mention this in every story you write. It contextualizes almost anything. (Example: “Ever since 9/11, increasing numbers of consumers have sought sweatbands…”) Plus, 9/11 lends a soupçon of gravitas to any article you may be writing.
7. Lingua Franca Throwing foreign-ish terms like ‘soupçon’ and ‘gravitas’ into your piece will not only make you sound smarter, it will help educate your readers who will feel superior to their friends after looking up your fancy terms and sprinkling them into their conversations.
8. Sources While you’re more than capable of articulating the point of your own article, you’ll need sources to flesh it out and bring it some real world frisson. (See, “Lingua Franca,” above.) Some good sources include: friends, former lovers, your brother or sister, your college roommate, and yourself. If you don’t want to embarrass your source, just employ an asterisk and state that, “Names and identifying details have been changed.” No one will ever know who said what. (See: “Reporter,” above.)
9. Ethics This mostly refers to freebies. You want them, be they free books (referred to as “review copies”), DVDs, clothing, continental breakfasts, or housewares. Some editors frown upon writers taking too many freebies because they might function as bribes. But that usually applies to staff members. You’re a freelance writer—or blogger—so your only boss is yourself. Since you’re the boss, don’t you feel like giving your “employee” a nice bonus? Maybe a new set of sheets? Or some freeze-dried Omaha steaks. Whatever. Enjoy it. You’ve earned it.
10. Contributor’s Photo This is why you do it: To have your image immortalized in the pantheon of professional journalists. (You also do it so that a talent booker from VH1 will call you to appear on Revenge of the Awesomely Sweet Sitcom Bods II, but that won’t happen without an awesomely sweet contributor’s photo.) This one photo may determine whether or not you’ll ever get a book deal or sell a script, so make this photo a good one. You better look your best. Use special lighting. Hold a baby. (Don’t have a baby? Borrow one. An ethnic one.) Hair. Makeup. Designer clothes. Figure out your most flattering angle and strike a pose. (Side note: once you’ve figured out your most flattering angle, you’re gonna have to always appear that way all the time. If you go with the hand to ear thing, you better feel comfortable doing that constantly. Ditto, the surprised, open mouth laugh thing.) Your contributor’s photo will prove that not only have you made it, you looked good doing it.
10. Bragging Rights Another reason you do it. You have bragging rights for as long as the magazine is on the newsstand. This is why writing for a monthly is better than writing for a weekly. Writing for a daily is a huge mistake. The best magazines to write for are quarterlies. Just imagine how proud of yourself you’ll be when you see the quarterly with your article in it on the newsstand month after month after month. This is where your blog comes in handy: Use it to remind people of the article you wrote. Your online boast will live well after the quarterly you’ve written for folds.
11. Getting Paid You’re on your own, sucker. (See: “Managing Editor,” above.)
So, there you go. A simple guide to going from blogger to magazine writer. Now, go forth and turn that lead into gold. When we see you at the newsstand, we’ll be sure to say, ‘Hi.’


Didja Hear the One About the Gay Cowboys?

1_gore_vidal.jpg 2_gliphs.jpgGore Vidal, Historian, Author, Homosexual: "Essentially, since the dawn of recorded human culture, there have been Brokeback Mountain jokes. Some of the earliest examples can be found in Egyptian hieroglyphics. This one dating back to roughly 4000 B.C. shows two men, possibly farmers, talking. One compliments the other on his hair and the other replies, ‘What is this? Brokeback Desert?’ It’s a weak joke, but not as bad as many that would come later."
  The Twentieth Century
3_kearns_goodwin.jpg Doris Kearns Goodwin, Historian, Amusing Chat Show Guest: “Brokeback Mountain jokes really came into their own in the Twentieth Century. Before that time, there were Brokeback Mountain jokes, but they were often of the hack variety, usually referencing chaps or ‘barebacking.’ With the end of the late Victorian period and the normalization of homophobia in the United States, Brokeback Mountain jokes entered their so-called Golden Age.”
  Turn of the Century
4_roosevelt.jpg Here we see President Theodore Roosevelt laughing at a Brokeback Mountain joke in 1908. Some believed that Roosevelt, the consummate outdoors-man and man’s man, had particular reason to be tickled by Brokeback Mountain jokes and editorial cartoonists at the time enjoyed depicting the president making love to his Vice President Charles Fairbanks in a tent.
  WW I

5_ww1.jpgMany consider this World War I era poster dating from 1914 to be an example of veiled Brokeback Mountain humor. Historians of the First World War also cite numerous instances of Brokeback Mountain-type jokes in letters home from GIs, like this one from Private Roger Martin of Ohio:

Dear Mother, Father, Grandpapa, and Suzy

First, I will tell you I am well and doing my part for America. But I am lonely here in the trenches despite the companionship of my platoon. Through scares and some close-scrapes, we have grown into a close-knit group, though not in a Brokeback Mountain sort of way.

  The Teens
6_will_rogers.jpg Will Rogers opened his “Follies” in 1916 with the joke, “I just got back from Brokeback Mountain, and man is my asshole tired!” Audiences ate it up and Rogers’ catch-phrase, “I never met a man I didn’t like” became shorthand for Brokeback Mountain jokes.
  The 1920s

Here we see Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, aka radio’s Amos ‘n’ Andy performing their Brokeback Mountain parody, Brokeblack Mou’tain:

Amos: I’s so broke, I can’t buy me no mo’ alchyhol to sit ’round and be ‘mo shiftless, Andy!
Andy: I’s know hows you can makes some money, Amos.
Amos: No thank ya! I knows what you have in mind, Andy.
Andy: You’s said you’s broke.
Amos: I’s broke, but I ain’t brokeback!
Amos: Oh, Andy. We’s just a coupla drunk, shiftless negroes! Let’s find us some white women and miscegenate!

  The 1930s
8_orson_welles.jpg In 1938 a young Orson Welles makes history when he performs a radio play he wrote based on Brokeback Mountain. His use of voices and sound effects is so convincing, thousands of listeners actually believe they are hearing two cowboys falling in love. Legend has it that dozens of people committed suicide fearing a wave of gay cowboyism. Three years later, Welles and his cowriter Herman Mankiewicz work a Brokeback Mountain joke into Citizen Kane but RKO insists that their reference to “stemming the rose,” be changed to “rosebud.”
9_hitler_mussolini.jpg Brokeback Mountain jokes weren’t solely an American phenomenon. Here we see Adolf Hitler telling Benito Mussolini his best-known Brokeback Mountain joke:

Q. What’s worse than two gay cowboys?
A. Two gay Jewish cowboys.

Historians believe Mussolini did not find the joke funny, but was laughing to be polite since Hitler was his ride home.

  The 1940s
  10_Bing_bob.jpgIn 1946 Bing Crosby and Bob Hope release Road to Brokeback Mountain.
  The 1950s
Here we see a cartoon from the Spring 1958 issue of The Harvard Lampoon. That issue’s cover featured the headline, “Gentlemen, Let’s Leave It To Beaver! (Get It? Get It? Get It?)” This cartoon’s author went on to receive a pilot and a first-look deal with United Artists.
Also in 1958, Tom Lehrer records his minor hit, “I’ll Be Comin’ Around Brokeback Mountain When You Come.”
  The 1960s
12_deputy_dawg.jpg In the 60s, several popular cartoon series made Brokeback Mountain jokes. In 1962’s Brokerock Mountainrock, Fred Flintstone tells Barney Rubble, “I just can’t rock quit you rock,” and in 1963’s Brokeback Dawg episode of Deputy Dawg (pictured), Deputy Dawg and Vincent Van Gopher go fishing together and fall in love.

July 24, 1963, a young Bill Clinton visits the White House with a delegation of the American Legion Boys Nation and meets President John F. Kennedy. Given a few seconds of face time with the president, future president Clinton shares a Brokeback Mountain joke:

Q. How many gay cowboys does it take to watch a flock of sheep, Mr. President?
A. Wanna find out? I’ve always admired you.

14_Lenny-bruce.jpg In 1964, Comedian Lenny Bruce is arrested for his infamous Brokeback Mountain routine at Cafe Wha? in New York:

“Everybody gets Brokeback, baby. Everybody. I don’t care who you are, you get outside the city, you leave behind the wife and kids and go into those woods and… you… become… gay. Everybody, baby. L.B.J. L.B.J. gets Brokeback. It’s a fact. He gets all in that rucksack, snuggles all up in there with Dean Rusk… Oooh, Dean. Ooooh, I love ya, baby. Brokeback President, baby!

He served three weeks in jail for obscenity and “baby” abuse.

15_buckley_vidal.jpg In May 1968, Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley debate Brokeback Mountain jokes at a forum sponsored by Commentary magazine. Buckley famously tells Vidal, “Sir, if it ain’t Brokeback, you’d be cautioned not to fix it.” Vidal responded, “What’s broken, Mr. Buckley, is the system. But perhaps I’m making a Brokeback Mountain out a molehill.” Later that week, Buckley sued Vidal. Vidal counter sued and the cases finally made it to the Supreme Court in 1975.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong makes the first Brokeback Mountain joke on the moon to fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin: “Buzz, maybe we can start a little ranch up here, have a life together. Just like in Brokeback Mountain.”
  The 1970s
  At a press conference for his 1970 comeback fight with Jerry Quarry, boxer Muhammad Ali taunts, “I’m gonna send that white boy back to Brokeback Mountain!” He also recited the poem:

He will go down in two, or, Ennis, I’ll quit you.

16_Nixon_hope.jpg In 1972, Bob Hope shares a Road to Brokeback Mountain era joke with President Richard Nixon. Some historians believe the missing 18 1/2 minutes on Nixon’s White House tapes may have been one long Brokeback Mountain joke made by Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.
17_Blazing_Saddles.jpg Mel Brooks releases Blazing Saddles in 1974. The film contains a record number of Brokeback Mountain jokes, including the famous scene in which Cleavon Little complains that he hates beans, just like “those Brokeback-ass crackers.”
18_jack_lemmon.jpg Jack Lemmon literally phones in a Brokeback Mountain joke at a press conference for The Golden Globes in 1975. Bob Newhart later sued him for phone gag copyright infringement.
19_redd_foxx.jpg At the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast of Frank Sinatra in 1977, Redd Foxx accuses Dean and his former comedy partner Jerry Lewis of being gay cowboys: “I know what you white people do in the woods. Can’t fool me! You stem the rose!” In the video of the proceedings, Lucille Ball is seen doing a spit-take.
20_carol_burnett_dick_cavet.jpg Carol Burnett appears on The Dick Cavett Show and wonders, “Can two women go Brokeback? Or would they just move in together, adopt some cats, and start an organic herb garden?”
  The 1980s
21_marlboro man.jpg

In March 1980, Marlboro unveils a series of print ads that many perceive to be a veiled Brokeback Mountain joke: “Come to where the flavor is.”

1982, Wilson Bryan Key, author of Subliminal Seduction released Media Sexploitation, devoting an entire chapter to Marlboro’s “gay cowboy ads.”

22_muppet.jpg The Muppet Show airs a segment called “Furback Mountain” in 1981 featuring Fozzy Bear and Rowlf.
The January 5th, 1981 cover of Time magazine features a picture of President Ronald Reagan and wonders, “Are We All Gay Cowboys Now?”
Lawrence Fishburn appears as Cowboy Curtis on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse in a 1988 episode entitled “Brokeback Pee-Wee.”
25_lyle.jpg Dana Carvey debuts his character “Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual” on Saturday Night Live in 1989 in a skit called “Effeminate Heterosexual Mountain.” The skit is such a hit, every subsequent episode of the show contains a retread until Carvey leaves the show in 1993.
  The 1990s
26_letterman_carson.jpg David Letterman appears on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1991 and suggests the two of them go fishing after Carson retires. “That would be weird,” Carson replies. “Yes! Weird!” Ed McMahon says.
27_vilanch_whoopi.jpg In 1994, social critic Francis Fukayama declares “The End of Brokeback Mountain jokes” in his book The End of Brokeback Mountain Jokes and the Last Man. That same year, Whoopi Goldberg and Bruce Vilanch confer on some cutting edge Brokeback Mountain jokes at a dress rehearsal for the 66th Annual Academy Awards.
  In its October 13, 1997 issue, The New Yorker finally publishes Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain” for the first time. Centuries of gay cowboy jokes finally make sense.
28_sex_city.jpg Sex and the City debuts on HBO in 1998, featuring a groundbreaking fifteen minute pun-filled riff on Brokeback Mountain including the following gem from Samantha played by Kim Cattrall: “Sweetie, you can never be too thin or too Brokeback.” Kristin Davis’ character, Charlotte, replies, “You are so bad!” And they all order more $14 drinks.
29_al_gore.jpg Al Gore claims to have invented Brokeback Mountain jokes in a 1999 interview with 60 Minutes‘ Ed Bradley.
  Times of Crisis
31_crouch.jpg 30_wtc.jpgStanley Crouch, Author, Pugilist: “After the tragic events of September 11th, many felt that the Brokeback Mountain jokes had to end. I remember at the time Graydon Carter declared ‘the end of Brokeback Mountain jokes,’ and it did feel like the end of an era.”
  On December 9, 2005, Focus Features releases Ang Lee’s film version of Brokeback Mountain. Americans regain their ability to tell hack Brokeback Mountain jokes again. First the bloggers, then the late night chat shows, then the President, then Willy Nelson. Somehow everyone understands that if they stop making Brokeback Mountain jokes, the terrorists will win.
The New Yorker
publishes William Haefeli’s Brokeback Mountain-themed cartoon in its December 26, 2005 issue.
Then, on its February 27, 2006 issue, they bravely make a Brokeback Mountain/Bush-Cheney joke on the cover.
  Someone mocks up a parody of Brokeback Mountain and Back to the Future and puts it on the internet where Brokeback Mountain jokes grow like kudzu—gay cowboy kudzu. Then someone else renders Brokeback Mountain in Lego—gay cowboy lego. Brokeback Mountain jokes enter their Silver Age.
  The Future
33_kreskin.jpg 35_jonstewart.jpgThe Amazing Kreskin, Psychic, Trivial Pursuit Answer: “No one knows what the future holds for Brokeback Mountain jokes, but with Jon Stewart hosting The 78th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 5th, we can only guess. A self-effacing joke about going on secret fishing trips with Tucker Carlson? A joke about how muscular and gay the Oscar statuette looks? Not even a psychic can know. But in a sort of Manhattan Project for Brokeback Mountain jokes, a group of comedy writers and scientists are working around the clock to develop newer, better, funnier gags—including gags about the word ‘gag’— in time for the Academy Awards telecast. The future of Brokeback Mountain jokes looks bright and is in no risk of bottoming out— like Jake Gyllenhaal. Get it? Get it?” Get it?

Exciting News From Your Favorite Blog Multi-Media Company

Hey Everybody, Jake here, Mega-Publisher Extraordinaire.
Can you feel it? Wait. Wait. That! Wait for it… Wait for it… There, that! It’s our amazing low culture redesign!
You’re probably asking yourself, “Self, why would one of the internet’s best websites redesign? I mean, why ditch the ‘shallow’ content and all that other stuff? Why mess with perfection? You don’t know? Are you even listening to me, Self? Why do you hate me? Why won’t you just look me in the eye and say my name? What’s my name, Self? Will! Will, I am, of the Black Eyed Peas.”
Well, while you talk stuff out with yourself, I’ll explain. We’re redesigning low culture for the best reason possible: to make money! Lots of fucking money! Boo-ya! We’re not ones to count our chickens before they’re grilled on little wood sticks and served with dipping sauce, but since we’re all friends here, we’ll tell you all about it.
· First up: our book deal. We recently received a “nice” contract from one of America’s leading publishing houses (trust me, you’ve heard of it) to pen low Blows: The low culture Guide to Hack Humor, Knee-Jerk Politics, and Jokes About Celebrities Who Get Fat. It’s due out in November and don’t worry, you’ll still get awesome content at low culture since we farmed out the book writing to a college kid we know.
· Next: low culture TV! Okay, not quite TV per se, but broadband on the website of a major entertainment company. We’re platform agnostic so to us, broadband is just as good as TV. Or phones. Or God…or whatever. Like I said, we’re agnostic.
· Finally: Novelty Record. We’re gonna live out a lifelong dream of creating a novelty record of skits, songs, and awkward silences. And because we’re old school, we’re pressing it on vinyl. If you’re interested in selling low culture‘s Songs For Young People in the Key of Francis Scott Key, contact Rick at our distro (or through Forced Exposure).
So, there you go, the next phase of low culture. This one column right here…do you feel it? You bet you do.