F.A.T. chance for Wikipedia

Here it is, the 6th sign of The Apocolypse. Wikipedia has become a dumping ground for corporate p.r. (complete with logos):

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Forth & Towne is a brand of clothing stores that is owned by Gap Inc., which also owns the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy brands. Forth & Towne focuses on women over 35 who grew up with the Gap brand, but have “lost touch” with it.


The brand was announced by Gap Inc. in September 2004, and has a planned lauch date sometime in Autumn 2005. At that point, Gap Inc. will begin a test phase of the new concept with four stores in the Chicago area, and one in New York . If successful, the company plans to add at least 50 additional stores in the United Kingdom, France , and Japan by the year 2007.

History??? What kind of header is that? It’s not even open yet, just a store that Gap plans on opening and it merits an entry in an encyclopedia? Not in one that wants to maintain its hard-won credibility.

Lest you think the Book of Revelation reference too heavy-handed, check out the number of search results returned here. There are no coincidences.

Oil for Chocolate?

m and m guyYou know it, you hate it, the writing is inane, the point of view insane. It’s the BP “Oil for Chocolate” ad:

Announcer: “What would you rather have, a cleaner environment or your car?”

Talent: “…asking someone to give up their car… that’s like asking them to give up chocolate, it’s just not going to happen”

Ummmmmmmm, no. Asking someone to give up their car is NOT like asking them to give up chocolate. If it were, the environment would be cleaner toot sweet. And the the m&m guys would have a price on their heads.

A Rove by any other name

Today’s Doonesbury is grabbing a lot of ink for using President Bush’s nickname for Karl Rove. We just don’t buy the explanation:

Why did Garry Trudeau use Karl Rove’s “Turd Blossom” nickname in Tuesday and Wednesday’s “Doonesbury” strips?

“Given that I’m writing for a general audience, I try not to use crude or vulgar language gratuitously,” replied Trudeau, after E&P e-mailed him several questions this afternoon. “But in this case, I felt that [President] Bush’s nickname for Rove was illuminating. ‘Turd blossom’ has so many connotations, none of them flattering. It’s a small masterpiece of nastiness.”

About 10 to 12 newspapers pulled or edited the “Turd Blossom” strips, according to an Associated Press story. Trudeau is OK with the pulling part, but not the editing part.

In today’s “Doonesbury” comic (which can be viewed here), an aide tells Bush: “Sir, we’re still getting pretty beat up on the Rove revelations. We can’t get traction on any other issue. It’s just the leak thing 24-7!” Bush responds: “Yeah, I know. Karl’s sure been earnin’ his nickname lately.” Aide: “Boy Genius? I’m not so sure, sir.” Bush then calls out to Rove: “Hey, Turd Blossom! Get in here!”

Does Trudeau think many newspaper editors and readers are aware that “Turd Blossom” is a real nickname for Bush’s close advisor, not one made up by the cartoonist?

“My assumption was twofold — that many people already knew it, and that most others would infer it was real from the way I teed it up,” said Trudeau. “I also felt that those in the latter group would be as tickled to learn of it as I was.”

This story is being covered by every major news source under the pretense of controversy: “About 10 to 12 newspapers pulled or edited the “Turd Blossom” strips, according to an Associated Press story.” That’s out of 1400 papers that carry the strip, or less than one percent. So why is this really a story?

Because America loves a good poop joke.

The cartoonist did say he was careful to limit himself to a couple of “Turd Blossom” mentions. “Twice seems enough for readers to enjoy,” he observed. “I don’t want to push my luck.”

Indeed, two turd blossoms in two days is generally considered a satisfying number, or at least one to aspire to.