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What is claimed is: 1. A method of producing an advertisement with thematic content from a television program, comprising: incorporating thematic content comprising a plot advancing element of a television program into a product or service advertisement to form a program-integrated product or service advertisement, wherein the program-integrated product or service advertisement is broadcast in between segments of the television program, before a time slot of the television program or after the time slot of the television program, wherein the plot advancing element promotes the plan or pattern of events or the main story of the television program. –“Method and system for producing program-integrated commercials,” John L. Makowski, et al., (a patent on commercial product placement) U.S. Patent Number: 6859936, November 20, 2001
In the New York Times, a series of indecipherable cartoons about the political process; Forbes as a publication of the left, with environmentalism as its central tenet; and an example of reverse cognitive dissonance: Meatpaper, which along with the magazine, offers its readers the “Artisan Butchery Event of the Year!”
Every type of content has some quotient of participation value. At the bottom of the spectrum are games/shows/movies/events that you watch or attend by yourself, and you have no interest in telling anyone about. Those shows have zero participation value. They could be Perry Mason reruns or shows you watch when you have nothing better to do. At the top of the scale are games/shows/movies/events that potential viewers have predicted to have high participation value. These are events that we look forward to not only watching or attending, but that we plan in advance how we are going to extend our participation. We may plan on tweeting about it or posting a facebook update because we know our friends are there and we are bragging to each other, while at the same time showing off to friends who can’t be there. Think going to the opening of Cowboys stadium, or going to a concert or opening night of a movie, or watching the big game…. The higher the participation value, the shorter the shelf life. The role of the Internet for high participation games/shows/events is not to show them, its to enable the participation. The explosion of Social Networking and social networking enabled games and applications has strengthened this as the internet’s role. Its improving TV ratings of shows with high participation value. –“Sports Ratings Records and what it tells us about the Internet,” Mark Cuban, blogmaverick
My wife and I chose to settle in our Los Angeles neighborhood because it had everything a young family would want: shady, tree-lined streets, charming cottages and bungalows, lots of kids with involved parents. My instant affection for the place was based on all of those domestic details. And one summer several years ago, it turned into full-blown love when I went to my first neighborhood happy-hour playdate….You brought your kids. You brought some food. And you brought your poison…One neighbor specialized in gimlets, another in craft beers, and yet another in cult bargain wines….There was the secret smoker’s club, a group of people who perched on the perimeter, furtively sharing a single cigarette, ready to stamp it out if a kid approached. And then there was the secret pot club, a group of recreational stoners who had more vigilant security procedures. They would collectively disappear entirely, smoke in shifts, and return to the party. I once observed a mother/lookout stopping curious kids from finding the pot smoker’s circle in a side yard by intercepting the kids with a platter of cheese and crackers. Paranoia makes perfect. –“Vice is Nice,” Hugh Garvey, Cookie
NASA’s torture-monkeys; an inanely-obvious analysis of why children love Curious George; two Harper’s Magazine covers with monkeys on them; and “Anecdotes of Monkeys,” Harper’s Magazine , March 1852 (both subscription-only)
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”