Tag Archives: parody

Typifying headlines

Whether or not I place faith in the media, I feel I need to know what most of them are saying. In most cases, I do not find it hard to imagine a sample headline message that–while perhaps never to be seen word for word–sums up what I expect from them.

Here are some of the places I read:

Fark: “Dragging junk over prosecuting attorneys’ table in courtroom trifecta now in play. Fark: all perps are pregnant females”

Marketwatch: “Dow squats, strains, groans to reach positive territory”

Coaches Hot Seat: “Give those OVERPAID underworked LAZY upper-case-shirking PUNCTUATION-DEPRIVED fools HELL JOHNNY CASH! Even though YOU HAVE BEEN DEAD since 2003!”

Accuweather: “WIND ADVISORY: there will be slight wind, everyone take cover immediately”

Al-Jazeera: “This is what news looks like when America is not special”

Tri-City Herald: “Contractors to trim Hanford jobs, as usual”

Centurylink: “Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot found, no, really”

Oregonian: “New restaurant boasts pizza crust one molecule thick, competition vows thinner crust”

BBC America: “Americans mostly arguing about guns”

RawStory: “Woman fights to wear colander on head on witness stand”

Ehowa: “New online ammo shop now offering free breast pics with purchase”

Nextdoor: “We stupidly let our cat get out, now we want you to help us find it before the coyotes do”

Salon: “This just in: no matter what it is, whatever you are currently doing is the worst and most racist, sexist, homophobic, immoral thing you could possibly do”

Seattle Times Huskies: “Here’s your recap of everything you already learned from harder working sites”

ODOT Tripcheck: “If you came here, you already know the roads suck right now”

EW: “EXCLUSIVE VIDEO FROM AWARD CEREMONIES: actress gains two ounces…or is it a BABY BUMP?”

Fidelity: “We’ve redesigned our whole website to make it so you’ll have to rediscover all the same old clunky features you know and loathe!”

Yahoo NCAA: “#1 team’s best player pulled over for DWI, status for Saturday’s game uncertain”

ESPN NCAA: “Scientific proof that the worst of anything in the SEC is superior to the best of anything else outside the SEC, because SEC”

Amazon: “What the bloody hell will it take to suck you into Prime? We shall not rest until we have the freedom to charge you an annual fee to buy things!”

Addicted to Quack: “Booo hooo hooooo! We experienced a slight setback of the type that every team experiences, and life as we know it is over!”

Angieslist: “No matter what your search results said, you don’t get shit from us unless you pay; and when you do, shit is what you get”

New Weird Al soon…and Gangnam Style parodies

News has come that on July 15, Weird Al Yankovic will release a new album: Mandatory Fun. Going by the cover, I deduce that the title track will be a North Korean-themed parody of South Korean rapper Psy’s Gangnam Style.

Gods, I hope so. The video should be classic. No matter what, though, any new Al is a must-buy for me.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to distract myself from real estate headaches and associated frustrations through work. In addition to editing a manuscript, this is a good time to become a Gangnam Style parody aggregator. Because looks can be deceiving.

First, of course, the original. It went viral to a level ensuring that, even if you haven’t seen it, you’ve heard of it. My own take: the cultural influence of hip-hop goes far beyond conventional US stereotypes, and this is some of the best evidence for that. It isn’t all gangsters, family dysfunction, and violence. That’s just one very visible (and media-emphasized) manifestation of hip-hop culture. And yeah, it does touch on race. I grew up listening to Irish folk and country music, both of which glorify a whole lot of dysfunction and violence. That’s even more true if you consider alcohol a drug, which I am not sure how anyone cannot. To dismiss rap (the music of hip-hop culture) as One More Reason The Country Is Going To Hell is narrow-minded and media-buffaloed.

Some time back, a band of creative central Kansas brothers came up with Farmer Style. It had me laughing from start to finish, the more so because I’m from Kansas. I know their world. And don’t be taken in by shortsighted Cletus stereotypes enhanced by the gentle drawl I myself grew up with. If I had to guess, one probably got his degree in agronomy, one in animal husbandry with a minor in veterinary medicine, and one in business administration. I’d bet that the sister will end up in accounting or dairy science. These are educated people; they live where they live, and do what they do, because they like it. Kind of like my aunt (bachelor’s in zoology, doctorate in psychology) and uncle (bachelor’s in civil engineering) managing the family ranch. They have the help of my cousins, one who works in IT, another with a master’s in speech pathology.

Then my Australian mate Paul turned me on to Battler Style, a parody by two Sydney DJs. If one didn’t know they were broadcasting professionals, one might have imagined them a couple of exaggerated-accent yahoos just like those they’re having fun with. While I’m laughing (as the DJs themselves cannot help throughout the video), I’m noting that it’s both good music and highlights a real aspect of Australian culture: a mix of mockery and pride. In Australia, a ‘battler’ is a member of the working semi-poor, getting by in some way or another. You might not see many of them at the Sydney Opera House, but they too are Australia.

At that point, I got to digging around on my own. Gunman Style is an Asian-themed parody of Western movie themes. A Westerner myself, I understand the white hat/black hat mentality they’re laughing at. This too is good music, an elongated variant of the original done by guys with squirt guns. It takes smarts and talent to produce stuff like this, in much the same way as Snoop Dogg is such a savvy and instinctual businessman.

I found this, a video-only parody of the original by a Navy/Marine Corps medical outfit in Afghanistan. Even though it doesn’t include parody lyrics–probably because they would have gotten in trouble–just the visuals are funny as hell. Somewhere in Afghanistan, there was an officer staff that understood a valuable thing: you don’t have to be a raging jackass in order to lead. Things like this keep morale alive in places where the reality varies from uncomfortable to awful. The best part is the one outside the Sani-Cans, finishing with one guy in the head.

Then there’s a Korean parody in English making fun of Kim Jong Un, and very effectively. Even if what it refers to is a humanitarian tragedy, I for one couldn’t help but laugh. Just the right mix of cheesiness and truth.

This one, making fun of Mitt Romney, busted me up. I like the fact that the lyricist stayed completely off his religion, which many people did not. It’s a little dated (though it might not end up being so), but watching the people dance with croquet mallets, it’d be hard not to laugh. And after doing that, here’s one that made fun of both parties for the 2012 election, but made more fun of the incumbent.

You can probably find more if you dig around YouTube, but I think this’ll do. If you know of any more great ones, feel free to drop a link into a comment.

Amacomedy

There’s a new trend: the hunt for the silliest possible items on Amazon, and the large-scale posting of product ‘reviews.’ I probably shouldn’t participate, seeing as I have a professional presence there, but I guess I see it this way: if having a sense of humor is a bar to working somewhere, not sure I want to work there to begin with.

My plan is to collect them here as I find them, so that if people want, they can bookmark this post and come back to it any time they need some pant-peeing mirth. Without further ado:

Save Your Marriage–How to Stop Divorce (credit to old Eps Fez crewman Gary)

Passion Natural Water-Based Lubricant–55 Gallon (credit to my nephew Vann, thank you!)

Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer (credit, if memory serves, to dear OrionSlaveGirl, thanks!)

Accoutrements Yodeling Pickle

Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gal.

Uranium Ore

Playmobil Security Checkpoint

Filexec 3-Ring Binder

Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable

Bic Cristal For Her Ball Pen (this one is kind of famous)

Unicorn Mask

The joy that is “Weird Al” Yankovic

Alfred Matthew Yankovic dominates the field of parody music so completely that Bob Rivers (who is very funny) is barely worthy to help set up the stage for his show.  He has been doing this all my adult life.  There is a combination of friendly kidding, social commentary, and an absolute performer’s ethic about Al that makes him fundamentally appealing on every level.

If you ever get to see him in concert, it’ll be a superb expenditure of your entertainment dollar.  It’s not just a concert; it is start-to-finish entertainment.  Al crawling around on the stage singing “Like a Surgeon” while his chunky drummer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz stands out front topless except for a silver cone bra? If Madonna has any guts at all (and I suspect she does), she would laugh herself to tears and be in danger of wetting herself to see it.

Anyway, Al’s working on a new album.  He decided to parody Lady Gaga. Evidently Her Highness did not approve.  Well, it’s always worse if you don’t laugh along.  So Al just put the song “Perform This Way” out on Youtube for us all to enjoy.  And if you think I would deny you a link here, then you think I am very mean:

“Perform This Way” by “Weird Al” Yankovic

I believe few of my editing clients have the faintest idea how much of their work has been reviewed or edited to the sounds of Al.