When Troy Saved Its Library with a Book Burning Party

A guerrilla marketing campaign uses outrage to drum up social media and mainstream media coverage, and dramatically redirects the framing of a proposed tax increase to save the local library.

Hoaxing the people you want to support you is a risky proposition. But this time it paid off. (via)

>  13 February 2013 | LINK | Filed in , ,


I enjoyed this simple détournement by LibertyManiacs of Shepard Fairey’s platitudinous brand. Irony vs irony = sincerity?


>  13 August 2012 | LINK | Filed in

Critical Pictograms

Olympic pictograms have been used since the 1936 Berlin games to create a visual system of signs for navigating (and decorating) the games and host cities across language barriers. See this writeup or animated appraisal for a visual tour of pictograms through the years.

This year’s London games use two sets of pictograms: simple silhouettes for utilitarian communication and a more exuberant version for decorative applications.

In 2004 VirusFonts reinterpreted the Olympic pictogram in a series of satirical icons to puncture the heroism and reflect the bribery, political manipulation, drugs and greed behind the Athens Olympics. Last week they released a new set to reflect on the controversies and accusations leveled at the 2012 London games. The pictograms riff on the iconic style developed by Otl Aicher for the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Below, the full set of 2012 Olympukes:


Olympukes 2012 is available for download as a font and is free for personal, non-commercial use.

>  6 August 2012 | LINK | Filed in ,
NewsJack. NewsJackWhat would you put on the front page of the New York Times? Or Fox News? NewsJack lets you remix and edit web pages to create and share your own parody site in an instant. Read more about it here or download the source code from GitHub.
>  25 April 2012 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Real Money for an Imaginary War

Since September 11, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security has doled out between $30 and $40 billion to state and local law enforcement and other first responders for weapons, surveillance networks, tanks, drones, and submarines to police U.S. citizens in the U.S.

The Washington Post has state-by-state database of projects, but this piece by Stephan Salisbury on the sweeping militarization of local law enforcement puts it into perspective:

“So much money has gone into armoring and arming local law-enforcement since 9/11 that the federal government could have rebuilt post-Katrina New Orleans five times over and had enough money left in the kitty to provide job training and housing for every one of the record 41,000-plus homeless people in New York City. It could have added in the growing population of 15,000 homeless in Philadelphia, my hometown, and still have had money to spare. Add disintegrating Detroit, Newark, and Camden to the list. Throw in some crumbling bridges and roads, too.”

It’s not just policing, policy, and policy making that have changed. And its not just another transfer of wealth from tax payers to defense contractors and their shareholders. Driven by fear, cash, and “national security,” America is being physically redesigned.

If You Fear Something, You Will See Something

The Latina art collective fulana produced the image above to satirize an ad campaign on the NYC subway.

>  13 March 2012 | LINK | Filed in ,
Phone Story. phone_story.png Phone Story is a video game for iPhone critical of human rights violations on Apple’s iPhone supply chain. Each level in the game explores a different real-life problem in the consumer electronics life cycle. To win, players must enslave children in Congolese Coltan mines, catch suicidal workers jumping out of Chinese assembly plant windows, and conscript the poorest of the world's poor to dismantle toxic e-waste resulting from obsolete iPhones.

The game is available now for $0.99 in the App Store. Apple has removed the app from the store.
>  13 September 2011 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

Laughing at the Regime

The Moustache Brothers

Moustache Brothers, Burma “Don’t you have dentists in Myanmar?” he asks. “Oh, yes, we do, doctor,” says Par Par Lay. “But in Myanmar, we are not allowed to open our mouths.” [source]

“For 30 years the three comedians have charmed their audiences and irritated the authorities with their mixture of traditional Burmese clowning and topical satire. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese democracy leader, is one of their fans. Like her, two of the Moustache Brothers have already served long prison sentences.” [source]

Egao 恶搞

“The two characters ‘e’ meaning evil and ‘gao’ meaning ‘work’ combine to describe a subculture that is characterized by humour, revelry, subversion, grass-root spontaneity, defiance of authority, mass participation and multi-media high-tech.… For the time being, intelligent satire remains an increasingly popular method of critiquing [Chinese] politics and society right under the nose of the censorship committee.” [source] [more]

The Ministry

“[Popular TV show] ‘The Ministry,’ sends up the nepotism, payoffs and sheer incompetence that are commonplace in the Afghan government.… While frequently compared to the British hit ‘The Office,’ the show has more in common with political satire — more ‘Monty Python meets Afghanistan.’…

The young Afghan writers have all wrestled with ministries at one time or another, and several of the actors work in ministries or in government-owned industries, since acting here is a part-time profession.” [source]

>  8 August 2011 | LINK | Filed in , A resignation letter generator for News International employees composed of automatically rearranged snippets of actual phone hacking resignation statements. Nicely done.
>  20 July 2011 | LINK | Filed in ,

 Keep Calm and Carry On 

Get Angry and Revolt

New Year’s card from Réne Wolf, January 2011 (via)

>  11 July 2011 | LINK | Filed in , ,

The News Aesthetic

Very funny meta-newscast breaking down the style of truth in TV journalism:

With nearly a million and a half views, you may have already seen it. But it’s news to me so I thought I’d share.

>  15 March 2010 | LINK | Filed in ,

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