Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stupid Internet Stole Our Joke.

As of this writing, the film Battleship, having opened on May 18 to lackluster reviews, has made nearly $300,000,000 worldwide. With average prices just shy of $8.00 per ticket, this means that some 37 million people actually paid to see this movie—some of them, like perhaps the director’s mother,1 probably more than once.

While that number of presumably un-coerced moviegoers is disappointingly high, it should be noted that Battleship did make significantly less than expected among U.S. audiences. It would be hilarious to pretend this means that people have suddenly developed taste (see Figure 1.1), but it is encouraging to see that for now, at least, some brave and discerning portion of the American public remains picky and snobby enough to save its hard-earned money2 to waste on some other crappy movie.

Figure 1.1. We watch stupid shit—possibly because of, rather than in spite of, its stupidity.
See the full graphic at

Battleship, then, has made only around $60 million in the United States against a $200 million budget, leaving film-industry experts who live in houses you aren’t rich enough to even dream about scratching their heads, flabbergasted as to why a child’s game with no sound, movement, plot, backstory, characters, or dialogue didn’t lend itself to a compelling movie.3

Exactly which part of this says “action movie” to you?

The intrepid Bowling in the Dark writing staff anticipated this movie’s inevitable failure several months ago, and had a high-quality, hand-crafted joke lined up about how Battleship’s bombing will make it really tough for us to sell our screenplay based on the most cinematic and tension-fraught of our childhood pastimes—Hungry Hungry Hippos. Things were coming together nicely until we got online to make our usual search for uncredited illustration from folks who haven’t given us permission, and came across this:

Image courtesy of we don’t really know whom.

As best as we can figure it, somebody plagiarized our great idea before we even thought of it, and had the nerve to do a way better job of it than we could.  If you are or know a lawyer who’s familiar with both plagiarism law and the intricacies of time travel, please contact the Bowling in the Dark Legal Attack Fund. We look forward to hearing from you.

1. Assuming she’s alive, of course, and that she survived watching the movie the first time—both of which would make us feel better about mentioning her.
2. For those of our readers who are members of the Occupy movement, we deeply regret the offensive implication that the 1% actually earns their money in any way other than taking it from you. For those of our readers who are among the 1% richest in America, we deeply regret implying that the 99% earns their money in any way other than taking it from you. Everybody but you really is a crook.
3. Apparently, if you’re not paying very close attention, every board game is basically the same as Clue, which ended up being a pretty fun movie, even if it was a bit of a poor man’s Murder by Death.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How to Fail at Marketing, Lesson 4

American athletic equipment and apparel retailer Dick’s1 Sporting Goods—quite possibly the most single most successful non-pornographic enterprise ever to make use of the word “Dick”—isn’t actually failing, per se, with the bit of marketing phraseology that is the topic of today’s discussion.

On the contrary, it may actually attract business in this country, and if it convinces some portion of America to get off our giant fat collective ass and start working out, we’re all for it.2

However, we hope that Dick’s, having missed the boat on our earlier advice about marketing, will seriously consider changing this sales pitch if they decide to expand into, say, India:

Just a suggestion.

1. Hello, random internet browser who’s never visited this site before. Welcome! We’re far too polite to ask you what Google search brought you here in the first place, because we all know that it had the word “dicks” in it. Perhaps this is what you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by, and please leave a catastrophically punctuated message in our comments section, along with a link to your drug and/or pr0n site!
2. We recently bought a pair of running shorts there, and have so far been disappointed with their inability to make running anything less than the Worst Activity in the World.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Irony, Illustrated?

Whether this genuinely qualifies as situational irony is a decision we’ll leave up to today’s honorary guest judge, Alanis Morrissette. No matter what she concludes, though, we thoroughly enjoy knowing that this particular member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars—ostensibly an organization for bright, highly-educated people—couldn’t figure out how to apply a windshield decal so it’d be readable.

Maybe that’s not irony, but it sure ain’t smart, either.

“Well, that’s at least as ironic as a plane crash.
Those are ironic, right?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Owed to the Spell Chequer

author unknown
I halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plane lee marques four my revue
Miss steaks aye ken knot sea

Eye ran this poem threw it
Your sure reel glad two no
It's vary polished in it's weigh
My chequer tolled me sew

A chequer is a bless sing
It freeze yew lodes of thyme
It helps me awl stiles two reed
And aides mi when aye rime

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should be proud
And wee mussed dew the best wee can
Sew flaws are knot aloud

And now bee cause my spelling
is checked with such grate flare
Their are know faults with in my cite
Of nun eye am a wear

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed to be a joule
The chequer poured o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule

That's why aye brake in two averse
My righting wants too pleas
Sow now ewe sea wye aye dew prays
Such soft wear for pea seas

It could be worse. For a while there they were thinking
about renaming the school after Anthony Weiner.