Some Back to School Things Never Change (Except for $30,000 Crayons)

Crayola crayons are still a big seller. But this big?

(Update: Since posting this, the pricing of the crayons have drastically dropped from the $30,000 amount I saw.)

In the South where I grew up and still live, there’s a tradition that takes place around this time each year. It’s when grownups say to one-another, “when WE were in elementary school, our summer vacation didn’t end until after Labor Day.”

Now, schools start in early August. I’m sure it has something to do with high school football or building-in snow days for when, in January, schools close down whenever snow comes within a few hundred miles of Nashville.

Anyway, this got me thinking about 64-count Crayola crayons which, of course, made me think about a comparison between the price of such a box in 1961 vs. 2019.

Today, a 64-count box costs around $3. I’m not sure what the price was in 1961, but the purchasing power of $3 in 2019 money would be about 36¢ in 1961. (Which I came up with using a dubious internet tool and should not be used as a citation.)

However, according to the Amazon listing below, there’s been some inflation among one supplier.

Surely $30,211.38  must be a bulk price for, say, 10,000 boxes? Perhaps this is a purchase for an entire school district? But the supplier even has competition. Or, as the fine print says, “Image may not reflect the actual item.”

@R TV Review | The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

I didn’t watch the Golden Globe Awards last night. Come to think of it, I’ve never watched the Golden Globe Awards.

However, I was glad to learn that my favorite TV comedy or musical of the year, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, won the Golden Globe for best TV comedy or musical.

Even better, Rachel Brosnahan, the incredible actress who plays Midge Maisel, won the Golden Globe award for best actress in a leading role.

Here’s the trailer for the pilot of the series. While great, the series really gets its wheels about mid-way through the second season.

The Funniest New Yorker Video Ever (That Refers to the National Magazine Award)

This video is hilarious. Or maybe it’s not.

Wow. This video produced by the New Yorker was posted on YouTube (below) a week ago and has already been viewed 850 whole times. This may not sound like it’s a lot, but it’s hipster-viral.

It’s one of those Freudian things about humor not being funny unless it’s not, or something like that.

Anywho.

For some reason, about 1/2 of the comments on the YouTube video are about how dumb it is.

Those commenters obviously don’t get the joke. They are probably the same people who don’t read poems in the New Yorker because the poems don’t rhyme or make sense.

Or perhaps they don’t understand the way that humor about Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, isn’t funny because of, well, Freudian things.

Whatever.

Me. I like this video because of its nuanced commentary on the value of winning a National Magazine Award. (Spoiler: $2).

Enjoy! (Or not.)

Prediction | Ten Ways Trump Will Explain Why He Didn’t Lose

I didn’t lose, Trump will say in as many ways as possible.

 


(Update, November 9, 2017: I have updated this item due to some news I became aware of after it was posted.)

Note: This was written and posted on November 7, 2016, one day before the end of the presidential campaign from Hell. For the record, I voted early for Hillary Clinton and would have voted for Robert Mugabe if my choices were limited to Donald Trump and him. I feel confident about two things: Trump will win Tennessee, so my vote will mean little in the Electoral College.


Ten Ways Trump Will Explain Why He Didn’t Lose After He Loses

  1. I didn’t lose. The Trump brand is yuge. The most valuable brand in the world. More than Coke and Apple put together. I know about these things.
  2. I didn’t lose. The campaign was a yuge profit deal.
  3. I didn’t lose. Historians are already saying I was the best presidential candidate ever.
  4. I didn’t lose. I spent half of what Hillary spent, and I would have won had the election not been rigged, so that’s winning. The Electoral College should consider that — the one who spends the least money should get bonus points from the Electoral College.
  5. I didn’t lose. The election was rigged by the media, the Republican Party insiders, the Clintons, Obamas, and Democrats, the FBI and CIA, ISIS, every newspaper in the U.S. except the one in Las Vegas. Readers Digest screwed us.
  6. I didn’t lose. I ran so that I could mention a Trump property whenever I spoke in a city where one was located. That way I could write off the visit as a marketing expense.
  7. I meant to lose. That’s how I didn’t lose.
  8. I didn’t lose. I’m going to sue everyone who didn’t vote for me and the damages I’ll win are going to be yuge.
  9. I didn’t lose. The Electoral College lost its accreditation, and now the election is decided by Trump University.
  10. I didn’t lose. Every Trump Hotel is booked solid for the next century and a half.

Dreamland’s Rhonda Gets the Conversation Started

Rhonda represents the marketing manager who frequently attends conferences or workshops about various forms of online media.

PP-Utopia2

Netflix is streaming the Australian TV comedy Utopia (due to copyright issues, it is titled Dreamland in the UK, Canada, and US). While it is not a parody documentary (mockumentary), in some ways it is similar to The Office with over-the-top clichéd characters representing the spectrum of incompetence one finds in any bureaucracy of workers — especially within a bureaucracy that is comprised of lots of people who don’t actually know what the goals of the organization are. Shows like this work because there are always a character or two who actually do understand the difference in the substance and the fluff of any organization. It is through their eyes we see the world in which they exist; the world that can, at times, remind us of our own.

Like Silicon Valley, the HBO comedy about a tech startup, the/Dreamland writers are spot-on in capturing the techish-marketing-buzz-speak vocabulary of the mid-2010’s. The creative key to both shows is having the purpose of the organizations be recognizable and somewhat accurate to viewers who work in those fields, while having the personalities and interactions of the characters be recognizable universally.

As you can see from the clip below, Rhonda represents the marketing manager who frequently attends conferences or workshops about various forms of online media. She returns to the office enthusiastically and doggedly drawing priorities away from important projects to superficial online projects.

She is awesome.