Monday, January 31, 2011

Other Fortune Platforms

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0152 . . . OPEN:

A little over a month ago, I posted my first working definition of "Fortune Cookie Philosophy." I have been giving the matter some additional thought since then, and I thought it might be a good idea to write about those musings while they are still more or less on my mind.

Of course, there are similar platforms for conveying the same ideas that you can find in the fortune of a fortune cookie. The first that comes to mind is the bumper sticker. It's even the same basic shape as the fortune. You probably don't find anything particularly profound on a bumper sticker, though. It's probably not a good idea, come to think of it; you probably don't want to be distracting the driver behind you too much at 70 MPH. Which means that you're more likely to find something along the lines of "My Labrador retriever is smarter than your honor student" than "What's hidden in an empty box?"

A platform more likely to mirror the fortune cookie is the button. I have amassed quite the collection of buttons over the years. I acquired most of them at the dealers rooms of many science fiction conventions, and as you might suspect, those do reflect the genre. Like this one from the early 1990s: "Mr. Data, did you just say, 'Oh, Boy!'?" In my mind, though, the passage of a few years would provide a funnier version: "Captain Archer, why did you just say, 'Oh, Boy!'?"

I think one of the best buttons I have seen was one that my brother picked up in England many years ago. It said, "If God had not wanted us to make dirty jokes, He would have come up with a more dignified means of reproducing the species." I love the understated humor, and I have found that it's impossible to read that line aloud in anything other than a British accent.

Finally, we have the T-shirt. Now, there is one big difference with this platform for espousing fortune cookie philosophy. You have just a little more room to express yourself, which can lead to something similar to the T-shirt I saw that begins, "Stop Reading This!" From that beginning, it goes on in smaller letters saying things like, "Seriously, I mean it. Stop reading now. Why are you still reading this?"

Of course, you can still use it to prove that brevity is indeed the soul of wit. For instance, there is the T-shirt that simply says, "Sorry Yet?" The O in sorry is the logo of Obama's 2008 campaign. (For the record, I was sorry as soon as the election results were announced. But if you think things are really screwed up, don't blame me -- I voted for John McCain.)

I have mentioned other platforms from time to time, in the entries with the "fortune-ish" tag. But these are three I haven't mentioned before, and thought were worth mentioning.

JANUSFILES2 . . . ENTRY #0152 . . . CLOSE

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