Thursday, January 18, 2007

Distractionfest 2007: fourth day

Get keen, lads! It's time for the fourth day of Distractionfest 2007!

First on our lineup of useless, amusing, (and/or) bizarre offering of the internet: The website of Demotivators, the aptly titled Despair.com. We've all seen those insipid posters which implore you to follow your dreams (so long as your dream matches with the company's vision statement, anyway). Demotivators takes these posters a step farther: whether you find that step amusing, horrifying, subversive, or just refreshingly honest is a decision you will have to make. They feature such 'motivational' sayings such as:

Leaders:Leaders are like Eagles. We don't have either around here.

Motivation:If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing soon.

Quality: The race for quality has no finish line- so technically, it's more like a death march.
and two of my favourites:

Get to Work: You're not being paid to believe in the power of your dreams

Cluelessness: There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.

Many of them work better with the picture that they're correlated with. But I generally find them quite hilarious, and I wager it would provide a welcome diversion for your workday. Go there and spend mad amounts of money to outfit your office and gift your friends. (You can even create your own! (AKMA has come up with one.))

Next up, as a complement to yesterday's lightning-quick tour or roadside Americana, J.R. Daeshner's website (and book) featuring what he calls 'True Brits', doing what they do best. This includes such traditional pastimes as drinking rather a lot and rolling a cheese down a hill, or drinking rather a lot and playing mob football, or drinking rather a lot and going shin kicking. Who says the Brits don't have a wide variety of leisure pursuits? His book is fairly diverting leisure reading (while drinking rather a lot, naturally); it's available at Amazon.com if you would like to read it. (Alcoholic beverages are best procured locally, however.)

But let's take a brief detour back across the pond, shall we? First, we'll glance at Barraclou.com, a photography site run by a French Canadien. Among his treasure trove of photos, you will find a set of pics of Flora, Oregon, ghost town in a verdant, pastoral setting. You will also find a nearly comprehensive tribute site to Dixie Square Mall, a shopping centre which I lived a few miles north of for about five years. There is much that can be said about Dixie Square, little of it good, but it is best known for being the mall that the Blues Brothers drove through during a chase scene in the first Blues Brothers movie. But I think the most amazing thing about it is that it was open as a mall for a mere 12 years, and has sat as a vacant, rotting hulk for more than 25.

The final highlight from his site is a page filled with information about pay phones. Would you like to call the payphone on the observation deck of the Sears Tower? He'll get you set up.

If the reference to the Blues Brothers has you fondly reminiscing of the movie, and especially the chase scene, you'll want to check out this site, which boasts 'Return to Chicago 2005', a movie shot in the locations of the original film, 25 years later, using the same model cop car.

Finally, if the pictures of the vacant interior of Dixie Square Mall intrigue you, then maybe you're feeling a tug in the direction of Urban Exploration (UE). If so, then you need to check out UE headquarters, simply titled: Jinx. Jinx is the magazine of a group of Urban Explorers in New York who explore and document abandoned buildings, subway stations, and the like. They have even scaled the Williamsburg Bridge (and the Brooklyn Bridge, and the George Washington Bridge...). Oh, and they wear uniforms of black suits, white shirts and black ties -- the women wear black cocktail dresses and (I think) heels. They have put out a book (which I read shortly after its release; I would recommend it), entitled Invisible Frontier: Exploring the Tunnels, Ruins, and Rooftops of Hidden New York, detailing some of their exploits -- and also their ideas. You see, exploring old buildings and forgotten parts of the city is not enough with them, they also engage in what they call 'Athenaeum', regular public debate (a cool idea). It goes with saying (I hope) that even if UE is interesting, and Jinx is a good read, I don't necessarily endorse everything they say or do.

Come back tomorrow for our madcap final installment of Distractionfest 2007 - because it's pretty much back to the usual stentorian essays after that.

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Blogger ::aaron g:: said...

I love the art of Despair, Inc.! I blogged about it last year.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 5:25:00 AM  
Blogger Coco The Monkey said...

Yeah, depressories are good stuff. These guys at www.jtcinc.blogspot.com have made similar things called 'emorons' - largely workplace based. Funny stuff - the links are on the right side of the page when you get there.

Thursday, February 15, 2007 11:08:00 PM  

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