Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Episode 27: Dead Merchandise

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I have been waiting almost the entire time I've been producing this podcast to bring you, Dear Listeners, this episode. For this episode contains a dramatic reading of a science fiction short story which inspired the creation of Attack Ads!

It is my privilege to offer Episode 27: Dead Merchandise, brought to you by the kind reposting permissions of both the author of the story, Ferrett Steinmetz, and the editor of the Escape Pod podcast, Norm Sherman, the podcast and publication entity that originally produced and released the audio reading you hear in their episode #396. "Dead Merchandise" is a story whose relevance to the Attack Ads! podcast should be apparent to all. Enjoy!

I will have the fortune to be able to thank Mr. Steinmetz in person, since he will be in Seattle, my home town, late in March signing his new book, "Flex."

Music opening once again from KMFDM, and closing once again from Mistle Thrush.


  1. I am going through your episodes in order and just listened to this one. I'm grateful that you re-posted this story from Escape Pod which I loved at the time it was released! Your discussion in this episode really moved me, when you said that the Escape Pod episode told you that you are not alone in your hatred for ads. You requested that people send you other instances of anti-ad literature. Well I've got a couple!
    I have only had one story published in a "real" magazine, and it counts as anti-ad. Mainly it lambastes those stupid junk-mail sweepstakes, but advertisements are an important part of the story. Here is the direct link to the story as a PDF: ( http://www.processedworld.com/Issues/issue2001/pw2001_95-99_Already_a_Winner.pdf ). It was published in the 2001 issue of the late great anti-work magazine from San Francisco, "Processed World" ( http://www.processedworld.com/Issues/issue2001/toc_2001.htm ), which had various other articles you might enjoy.
    A very early example of anti-ad fiction, which probably subconsciously helped inspire my own story, appeared in one of my favorite books, published in 1979. David Macaulay was an architect who published fantastic children's books about classic architecture, such as "Castle" and "Cathedral" etc. He had a couple of weirder offerings, such as this one, "Motel of the Mysteries" ( https://books.google.com/books/about/Motel_of_the_Mysteries.html?id=dO3vf15Gxd0C ). It is written from the point of view of a far-future archaeologist who stumbles across a cheap 20th-century roadside motel and mistakes it for a lost tomb of the ancient Pharaohs. In this book, Macaulay writes that the ancient empire of Usa was destroyed overnight when a typographical error in something called the "Fourth Class Junk Mail Postage Rate" caused the continent to become buried instantly from shore to shore under a twenty-foot thick layer of advertising flyers. (Hilarious book, I am by no means spoiling the best jokes by revealing that!)
    If you enjoyed these stories, we should get in touch somehow. I created several of the fake ads and spoof segments from the "Extra-Environmentalist" podcast over the years. If you enjoyed my "Already A Winner" story, I would be pleased to help you create an audio version that you could broadcast on your podcast right here!

    1. Hey, Thomas,

      Thanks for the kind words and references! And yes, though I am creating new spoofs for this show to ad levity, more is better! I'll get to your links once I get a breather from work. Your story sounds promising, especially if you help with spots on Seth and Justin's show. That's good stuff!

      I did write the boys at EE to offer my modest voice talent; they are talented themselves, but they sometimes tackle a greater range of characters than their voices can (or should) provide. That was before I stated AA, though.

      Right now I'm resting my voice from the funny because that puts the greatest strain on it; I haven't fully recovered from my bout with pneumonia yet. (You haven't heard those episodes yet, I'm betting.)

      I've got a bit of a comic omnibus planned shortly. I noticed you have a Blogger account. Is there a way to contact you through that, rather than share email addresses over this forum? I haven't quite figured out the Blogger goings on.