Gary Dahl, Inventor of the Pet Rock, Dies at 78
It was a craze to rival the Hula-Hoop, and even less explicable. For a mere three dollars and 95 cents, a consumer could buy … a rock — a plain, ordinary, egg-shaped rock of the kind one could dig up in almost any backyard.
The wonder of it was, for a few frenzied months in 1975, more than a million consumers did, becoming the proud if slightly abashed owners of Pet Rocks, the fad that Newsweek later called “one of the most ridiculously successful marketing schemes ever.”
Gary Dahl, the man behind that scheme — described variously as a marketing genius and a genial mountebank — died on March 23 at 78. A down-at-the-heels advertising copywriter when he hit on the idea, he originally meant it as a joke. But the concept of a “pet” that required no actual work and no real commitment resonated with the self-indulgent ’70s, and before long a cultural phenomenon was born.
A modern incarnation of “Stone Soup” as stirred by P. T. Barnum, Pet Rocks made Mr. Dahl a millionaire practically overnight. Though the fad ran its course long ago, the phrase “pet rock” endures in the American lexicon, denoting (depending on whether it is uttered with contempt or admiration) a useless entity or a meteoric success.
More found HERE.
The Internet Ruined April Fool’s Day
The holiday’s jokes are unfunny and misleading. They’re also, often, redundant.
On April 2, 2012, the editor of The Daily Free Press, Boston University’s student newspaper, issued a letter of apology to “the Boston community and whomever else it may concern.” The note addressed a joke the paper had printed in its April Fool’s Day issue—one jokingly describing a sexual assault. “Our aim,” the paper’s editor wrote, with a tone full of contrition, “was to publish satirical material about Boston University as a whole, and we did not intend to perpetuate harmful stereotypes or inappropriately make light of serious issues…. We deeply regret our heartless behavior and did not mean to personally offend anyone.”
Such letters are not unusual; April 2 regrets are, at this point, almost as common as April 1 fools. The apologies come from college professors (“I had my head in April Fool’s rules,” one explained, poetically). They come from police forces (in 2013, a Dutch officer’s tweeted joke about Top Gear closed down a highway). They come from Google executives (in 2013, Google China’s Kai-Fu Lee posted a joke about China’s Great Firewall coming down, which many found more insulting than humorous). They come from other executives (last year, the COO of Electronic Arts, the video game designer, had to apologize for a joking tweet about a switch to Nintendo). The whole cycle of prankery—the effects of April 1’s culture-wide trolling—is as predictable and as unfunny as Black Friday tramplings and sexist Super Bowl ads. Is it at all surprising that people get arrested for April Fool’s jokes gone awry? No. No, it is not.
For a day that’s supposed to be about whimsy, this is a sad state of affairs. April Fool’s Day is, in theory, awesome: It’s Halloween, basically, but with fewer Slutty Pumpkins. The festival (it is not, in the U.S., technically a holiday) has its origins in rituals of the vernal equinox: Ancient Romans celebrated Hilaria when the weather changed from wintery to summery, making people go a little crazy in the process. Today, ritualized fun-making on or around the first day of April is celebrated not just in the U.S., but around the world (in France, it’s “poisson d’Avril,” or “April Fish”; in India, it’s Holi; in Brazil, it’s “Dia da Mentira,” or “Day of the Lie”). Even Saddam Hussein, apparently, wasn’t immune to a little springtime punking.
Or, maybe he was? I read that thing about Hussein on the Internet—and the trouble with April Fool’s is that, by definition, every little fact concerning it could actually be a ridiculous lie. Did you hear the thing about Taco Bell purchasing a famous national landmark, thus creating the Taco Liberty Bell? Or the one about Burger King coming out with a burger-scented fragrance? Or the one about Google’s new “magic hand” smartphone operating device?
More to read HERE.
Just to ruin your damn day! hahahahaha…from HERE.
This Culture War We’re In
How are wars won?
To win a war you don’t need to kill every soldier on the other side. What you need to do is destroy the other army as an organized force. You destroy the ability of the officers to command and the morale of the men. You destroy their perception of the worth of their side and of their own self-worth.
All wars are culture wars. To win you must destroy the values of the other side. (That is one reason why we’re losing to Islam no matter how many times we beat them on the battlefield.) You must destroy their sense of purpose and the values instilled in them to break them as an organization.
That is what the left has been doing to us.
This culture war we’re in is slow and subtle. It’s not always as loud and as obvious as the counterculture was. The purpose of the counterculture was to shatter the dominant culture. Once that was done, the culture could be slowly cannibalized at will until the counterculture became the culture. And then it was no longer about freedom or free anything, those were the disruptive tools used to drive youth recruitment with a facade of anarchy, and it became about conformity and control. This culture of conformity and control is still being sold as ‘rebellious’ when it’s just the establishment.
We no longer have a culture. We have a counterculture that occasionally masquerades as the culture.
But it’s not over yet. A culture war destroys the culture of the other side because that is the source of its values. To completely destroy the other side, its values must be destroyed as an abstract, its organization must be destroyed to prevent those values from being conveyed and the individual’s own values must be destroyed, in that order.
Destroying the values of every single individual is the most difficult part of this project. Destroying values as an abstract idea is the easiest. That’s why the left has made its greatest gains there.
Abstract ideas can be torn down. It’s not hard. Any college freshman can tear down a set of ideas, honestly or dishonestly. Indeed much of the purpose of modern education is equipping students to destroy the ideas and values of their parents (but obviously not those of their educators). What is difficult is using that to destroy the culture that is based on those ideas.
This is not an intellectual debate. People are defined by their values. They gain strength and identity from those values. To defeat them, you must devalue their sense of self. You must convince them that what they saw as worthwhile is really worthless. That will destroy their resistance and individualism.
The left attacked our culture in order to destroy our communities and then finish us off as individuals.
Americans believe that they are exceptional because their country is exceptional. So the left eagerly swarms to argue that America is not exceptional, except maybe that it’s exceptionally bad.
Americans believe that individuals succeed with hard work. Obama and Elizabeth Warren bray that “You didn’t build that.”
Continue reading all this HERE.
Darian Sperry 180 lb (81.65 kg) snatch