By Paul Ford
All absolutely 100% guaranteed true.
Even Keebler's spokes-elves couldn't save this fudge cracker. Intended to be "packed" in a briefcase or lunchbox, the first
and only TV buy featured boy scouts and businessmen holding up packages to the camera and proclaiming, "I'm a Fudge Packer!"
Informed of their mistake, embarassed brand managers immediately pulled the product. (1982)
A "Clue"-derived board game based on the Kennedy Assasination. While the premise was fine ("It was Oswald with a repeat-action
bolt rifle in the Book Depository." "No! It was the CIA with Multiple-repeat weapons behind the Green Fence!"), making light
of a presidential assasination was not well-received in the marketplace, and the product was quickly dropped by major distributors.
A rubbery, sculptable gross-out goo marketed to kids. Sales dropped 99.96% after AP News revealed that the product's main
ingredient was the surgically-extracted ejaculate of Chinese political prisoners. (1996)
Grape Fantasy Carbonated Beverage
The print campaign for this purple beverage featured 5 handsome, dangerous-looking men, standing over a half-dressed, bound,
blindfolded woman. With her free hand, she held a cylindrical can shooting forth frothy soda. The tagline: "All women have
Grape Fantasies." Immediately discontinued. (1980)
Marketers intended to tap the publicity over colonic-advocating celebrities like Princess Diana with this non-prescription
home colonic kit. The market was unprepared. The campaign, featuring cartoon spelunkers crawling through an animated colon,
wielding mops and buckets, met with derision. After brisk initial sales, Hi, Colonic! bottomed out. (1995)
Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some
There is a Facebook group.
You will regret following me on Twitter here.
About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit
things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.
If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am
glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.
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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford
Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose.
As a hobby I write.
Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out.
Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley.
Welcome to the Company.
“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”.
Forgot to tell you about this.
“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”.
An essay for TheMorningNews.org.
People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately.
Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford.
Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford.
Nanolaw with Daughter.
Why privacy mattered.
0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford.
It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so
that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So:
Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand
below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every
Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came
unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...)
That Shaggy Feeling.
Antilunchism, by Paul Ford.
Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford.
I'll have no one to blame but future me.
Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford.
(1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and
the historical fallacy.
The Moral Superiority of the Streetcar.
(1) Long-form journalism fixes everything. (2) The moral superiority of the streetcar. (3) I like big bus and I cannot lie.