Thursday, March 30, 2006

Conflating Absurdity with Profundity

In the ongoing conflation of absurdity with profundity, an aborted attempt to spend a week at a 24-hour Wal-mart by a college sophomore with nothing better to do for spring break has turned into a national media sensation. [via] I don't care who you are, there's something about this story you will find disturbingly dumb
  • the original idea, because nothing inspires young writers like long exposure to cheap housewares
  • the fact that his advisor, a tenured professor of English, "just intuitively thought, 'This is brilliant!' I wasn't quite sure why, but it just sounded like a really good idea."
  • the fact that his advisor informed local media that the stunt was underway before it was even two days in
  • the fact that nobody at Wal-mart seems to have noticed something was amiss until the second day, and then did nothing about it (though there's a reference in the Des Moines Register article to a frozen debit account; can they do that?)
  • the fact that the guy was "hallucinating" from exhaustion after only 41 hours -- with catnaps! -- and decided to go home
  • the fact that local news media went ahead with the story anyway and that national news services picked it up and even investigated further
  • the fact that the guy now considers his adventure to be a success because of all the attention
  • the fact that we're going to hear more about this non-event because "He also talked with a book agent, has been contacted by New Line Cinema about a movie concept..."
Man, I'm working way too hard for my money. I need a gimmick. And a press agent....

Non Sequitur: They're doing what?
Apparently, some people have been inhaling vaporized alcohol with oxygen, for fun. Six states, the article says, have banned the required equipment, and thirteen more are considering it. Something about alcohol poisoning.... Fun.


Pooh said...

the fact that the guy was "hallucinating" from exhaustion after only 41 hours -- with catnaps! -- and decided to go home

What a piker. I go for longer than that, no catnaps, whenever I go to the Vegas. But I've said too much already...

Ahistoricality said...

At that age, well before I was a serious coffee drinker, I'd be well into my second wind at that point. Hallucinations aren't supposed to kick in for at least three-four days. Maybe it was the "energy drinks" he was pounding?