Hamburger Helper Album Cover

Hamburger Helper Wins April Fools

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, you think April Fools Day on the internet sucks. I get it, most attempts at authentic humor by major brands fall flat, are completely annoying, or even potentially harmful. And Paul Ford is right when he says, “As the number of users (of a service or product) increases, humor opportunities approach zero.” It’s true, laughter does not scale. And most attempts by major brands to appear to be authentically funny on funny day, just end up not being that funny.

However, that doesn’t mean all attempts aren’t funny, or at least enjoyable, even by the most jaded of internet denizens. Comedy is hard. Very hard. But if it’s good it doesn’t matter the size of the audience. This year, General Mill’s Hamburger Helper bucked the trend by dropping a surprisingly great mix on SoundCloud. I love this. Yo Glove, turn up!!

Farmer’s Toast

Before most of us sit down to gluttonously gorge on our Thanksgiving Day feasts, we should take a moment to thankfully reflect on all hard workers who plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve and sell our food.

Farmer’s Toast (Godspeed The Plow)

Come all jolly fellows that love to be mellow,
Attend unto me, and sit easy;
A pint when it’s quiet, come lads let us try it,
For thinking can drive a man crazy.

By plowing and sowing and reaping and mowing,
King Nature affords me a plenty;
I’ve a cellar well-stored, and a plentiful board,
And my garden provides every dainty.

I have lawns, I have bowers, I have fields, I have flowers,
And the lark is my morning alarmer.
So you jolly boys, now, here’s a health to the plow,
Long life and success to the Farmer.

Let the wealthy and great roll in splendour and state,
I envy them not, I declare it.
For I eat my own hams, my own chickens and lambs,
And I shear my own sheep and I wear it.

Were it not for my seeding you’d get but poor feeding,
I’m sure you would all starve without me.
I’m always content when I’ve paid my rent,
And I’m happy when friends are about me.

Draw near to my table, my lads if you’re able,
Let me hear not one word of complaining.
For the jingling of glasses all music surpasses,
And I love to see bottles a-draining.

For here I am king, I can laugh, drink, or sing,
And let no man appear as a stranger.
But show me the ass who refuses a glass,
And I’ll treat him to hay in the manger.

This song was originally published as a broadside in the early 19th century, the verses can be found on plates and mugs produced at the time. Nobody knows who wrote it, but he was probably not a farmer.

Faithful Friends Who Were Dear To Us, Will Be Near To Us No More

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is probably my favorite Christmas song simply because of its emotional ambivalence. It resonates closely with so many of the feelings I have around the Christmas season. The lyrics open up that uneasy longing for that unattainable ideal of Christmas that so many of us want. The holidays can be hard.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It may be your last
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Pop that champagne cork
Next year we may all be living in New York
No good times like the olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows
From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

My emotions during the holidays weigh heavily. Christmastime brings a contemplative melancholia that I actually revel in, and there is a wistful type of comfort in accepting this. In knowing that the season is steeped in nostalgia and want for a better time and place. In accepting that my memories will grow a little dimmer with the passing of the year. In acknowledging that our world can be unraveled, changed, and built back up with little of our own control. In understanding that friends, family, or loved ones are gone from our lives – for good. I feel akin with the folks who recognize that Christmas can be complicated, emotionally irresolute, and inherently blue.
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Video Of The 2012 Gävle Goat Going Down In Flames

Well it looks like my prediction was wrong. Last night, just before midnight, the Gävle Goat went down in flames. Much like last year’s video, I scraped a live webcam of the blaze and set it to some holiday music for your viewing enjoyment/horror.

NYMag has a great interview with Eje Berglund, the representative and chairman of the committee that oversees the Gävle Goat.