11 Points

11 Points Inbox-O-Rama, Number 12
written by Sam Greenspan

I'm really an awful communicator. One of the worst. Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that my inbox had 3,500 pieces of e-mail in it. So I stopped whatever it is I do to sort them into folders. As I was doing it, I was mortified how many good e-mails people have written me about 11 Points that I've just let stagnate forever in my e-mail swamp.

So now, I am fully resolved to write back to all of them (soon). And also, while I was digging through my e-mail, I figured it would be a good time to dust off the old Inbox-O-Rama concept and respond to 11 e-mails publicly.

These are all e-mails and comments from readers. Also, as before, if your e-mail is featured here, and you e-mail me your physical address, I'll eventually send you some 11 Points stickers. Last time my girlfriend sent them all out for me. She's a real hero.
  1. In response to my list of the 11 Greatest Parodies Of We Are The World, Sam from Cincinnati, Ohio, writes:
    You missed "Don't Walk" from SportsCenter:

    Well, the reason I missed it is because, somehow, I'd never seen that. If I had, I can guarantee it would've made the list. It's instantly one of my favorite This Is SportsCenter commercials of all time, just behind the one about the kid who they drafted to the show right out of high school. (I'm thinking a list of the 11 Best This Is SportsCenter Ads could be a good one to write soon, too...)

    A few other people sent me other "We are the World" parodies... but, sadly, those were all ones I intentionally excluded from the list. It's rare that I have 13 or 14 good choices for a list like that -- usually I have eight good choices and spend two hours trying to find three other entries that are worthy -- so some cuts actually had to be made.

  2. In response to my list of 11 Gorgeously Ironic Misspellings In Protest Signs, I received several dozen furious e-mails about how I only used right wing protesters... and this e-mail. Which I will share, from Ben:
    Between your misspelled protest sign list and your love for Arrested Development, I instantly thought of you when I saw this one:

    I think Obama better get on that.
    I agree. I watched a video on ESPN.com where he had time to fill out a NCAA tournament bracket (and brutally misspell Syracuse in the process)... he should easily be able to squeeze in time to get the band back together.

    And by "the band," I of course mean Dr. Funke's 100 Percent Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution.

  3. Speaking of "Arrested Development", ToG wrote me and asked:
    What do you think about the 3rd season of AD?
    I recently re-watched the entire series (in a small window on my computer screen while I did other stuff -- much as I wanted to I couldn't bring myself to spend an entire day on the couch) and found myself getting somewhat frustrated with the third season.

    See, I absolutely love a lot of it. It's hilarious. I laugh out loud more at those episodes, even now as I've seen them a dozen times each, than at most of the others. But I get frustrated because of the desperation. Watching the season is like a time capsule back to the time when I'd wake up every morning expecting to see a news headline "FOX Cancels Arrested Development." And the show reflects some of that desperation -- the Narrator and characters spend so much time pandering to people "Please watch! Tell your friends!" that it gets to the point of holding back some of the creativity. Worse than that, it pisses me off about the show getting canceled all over again.

    If I could make a recommendation to anyone who didn't watch "Arrested Development" when it was on and has made the wise decision to watch it on DVD, it's this. Don't watch them all in one session. Don't watch them all in one week.

    One of the things that made "AD" great for me (and my friend Steve, with whom I would deeply analyze every joke of every episode) was the week in between episodes. That gave me so much time to rewatch them, catch all the jokes, pick up all the thick plot points, catch the subtle touches, see what the Internet was saying that I appreciated the episodes exponentially more.

    The same thing is happening for me now with shows like "Lost" and "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia". Having the week to process and stew makes me like those shows all that much more. So, if you're watching "AD", reach down deep, dig up some discipline, and, at the very least, give yourself two days between episodes where you rewatch, analyze, and read about the subtitles on The-OP.com. Really savor it. You know you're only getting 53 episodes, so truly enjoy them. Because all of them (except, arguably, the one with Martin Short) are amazing.

  4. I'm always glad when my 11 Photos Where Black People Were Awkwardly Photoshopped In or Out leads to someone sending me a new example. I got this one from Aparna:

    That's a great one, created out of a stock photo by the American Petrolium Institute... and it definitely would've made my original list.

    Of all the rewarding things that have come from doing this website, becoming a go-to guy for awkward political correct Photoshopping is one of the absolute best.

  5. A question from Patrick:
    I was curious as to how you built that website? What program did you use?
    Well, for better or worse, I'm old school and build everything from scratch. For the design, I hand code all of the HTML and PHP using an older program called Homesite. (Still one of the best HTML text editors ever.) Now that my PC died and I've become (sigh) a Mac guy, I have made the transition over to Dreamweaver. It's going so-so.

    I make all the graphics in Photoshop, use PhpMyAdmin to save time on most of my MySQL database design and that's about it.

    I've tried to use Blogger, Movable Type and Wordpress in the past and just get far too frustrated by them. The entire customizing process is just too obnoxious and painful... I'd rather spend the time creating exactly what I want than trying to learn an awkward template system.

    Of course, if you're not a giant, raging nerd, all of the above is a moo point. (Like a cow's opinion.) Then you may be stuck with a Wordpress template. (But please customize the hell out of it. Otherwise it's like going to a tattoo parlor and ordering one of their stock designs.)

  6. I got this from Kristen, in response to my old 11 Best News Bloopers and Screw-Ups Ever:
    You need to do another list of news bloopers, like this one. It's even from your hometown of Cleveland!

    Ya know, just when I think the people of Cleveland can't do anything dumber, I see a clip like this... and they totally redeem themselves!

  7. In response to my list of 11 Businesses Selling Two Hilariously Unconnected Items, Nick sent me this photo:

    In case you want to light up a smoke while you settle in to read a dog-eared copy of "Wuthering Heights", I guess. Also, with their fine selection of old coins and pornography, you could light up a Parliament, read someone's margin notes in "Crime and Punishment", flip a buffalo nickel up and down like a turn-of-the-century grifter AND see who "Juggs" is "thanking for the mammeries" this month.

  8. Danee sent me 11 questions, and I decided to answer them all. Questions in italics, my responses in plain text.
    1.  Do you think 11 Points could ever become your primary source of income?

    I don't know. At various different times I think yes or no. Right now I'm a little down on it -- my traffic has plateaued, albeit at a pretty nice plateau, for basically a year now. I'd probably need to dig up another 500,000 readers per month to get it to the point where I could completely live off of it. And I'm a little stumped on how to make that happen.

    2.  Did you vote in the last Presidential election?

    Yes, I've voted in the past three. I voted for Obama here in California which, of course, is kinda a throw away. If I was less scrupulous I'd register to vote with my parents' Ohio address, where my vote would actually mean something.

    3. If you could have your own band, what would it be called?

    Either the Zack Attack, The Moe Szyslak Experience featuring Homer, or DJ Tanner.

    4.  What would your first move be following a mythical World Series title for the Indians be?

    I'm actually not sure how I'd take it. I think I'd just be confused. I've never cheered for a team that's won a championship. I think that history of disappointment is actually part of my identity on some level.

    5.  Why the hell did you drive a Jeep anyway?

    I've always loved Jeep Wranglers. And I got one in my mid 20s because I figured I wouldn't be able to get one once I was a real adult. Maybe as a second car one day. But not any time soon.

    6.  Do you carry a wallet or a money clip?

    I have a wallet and vigilantly protect its thickness. At no time are more than five plastic cards allowed to be inside of it. I hate thick wallets.

    7.  Who is your least favorite author?

    I don't know that I have someone who I flat-out dislike, but I have some raging negative opinions toward the For Dummies and Complete Idiot's Guide lines of books.

    8.  Why won't Nintendo stop adding stupid features to new versions of the DS?

    It's classic Nintendo. They're never satisfied with the good hardware they make... they always need to concoct some dumb ass add-on that no one likes. From the old NES robot to the SNES mouse to the N64DD to the Wii controller Motion Plus and biorhythm sensor, they have an endless reputation of being clueless about peripheral add-ons.

    9.  Lists of 10 are for cowards, so what does that make someone who makes lists of 12?

    A masochist. The average 11 Points list takes me four hours. I did that for almost a full year before I had any real readership because I'm certifiably insane. If someone wants to do 12 point lists, I wish them the best of luck.

    10.  Your lousy date foray at a Vanilla Ice concert made me wonder:  What ever happened to Coolio?

    A few friends of mine had him do a paid cameo in a web video a few years ago. Apparently he still has a disproportionate ego. So I don't see anyone wanting to put up with that to try to relaunch him.

    11.  Have you noticed the bizarre resemblance between the lead actor in A Serious Man and the main guy on The Big Bang Theory?

    I just don't see it. I don't even know if he looks more like Leonard or Sheldon. I feel like this last question might've been a bzinga.
    That was good. It's been a little while since I did one of those.

  9. An absolute present from Chris in the U.K., off of my 11 Photos of People Totally Ruined By Sex in the Background list...
    Just in case you were thinking of running an update of on your '11 photos ruined by sex in the background' list....I attach a photo someone took of my sister in university here in the UK....My sister is in the centre of the photo with her friend.......Notice the couple in the background.....

    I'm happy to see that going on in England too. Completely inappropriate drunken public groping should not be bound by the ocean.

    On a related note, I've gotten a few comments asking what I meant in the 11 Sexual Activities That People Don't Count As 'Having Sex' list when I said that manual stimulation activities end with words like "job" and "blast." To clarify the "blast" one, check out number 11 on my list of 11 Sexiest Items For Sale at the 99 Cents Only Store.

  10. And, from Nikki, another variation on that, this one a MOVIE ruined by something sexual in the background, unlike a photo ruined by sex in the background:
    Did you know there's potentially a penis in "Teen Wolf"? Check out the guy in red behind the dad in the bleachers around 0:36...

    There are a few versions of this on YouTube and it generally looks like, while his pants are unbuttoned, it isn't full nudity, just underwear. Either way, it's still a fantastic hidden background gem from "Teen Wolf". Right up there with this weird one from "Back To The Future Part III".

  11. This was a comment from Nancy, in response to my 11 Best Deep-Voiced Boyz II Men Monologues list:
    As a black woman I totally agree that it is a ridiculous concept that my boyfriend would attempt to do a "romantic gesture" which involves my hair. It's a weave and it's considered one of the wonders of the natural world, something to be marveled at and admired at a distance lol. Although honestly do white woman appreciate a good wash and condition on a date??
    I don't know about white women, but I can speak on behalf of white men here... I would absolutely love for someone to wash my hair on a date. It's very rare that I get the full shampoo treatment when I get my hair did, but I absolutely revel in it. There's nothing better.

    If I was on a date and the girl said, "Dinner was great. Now how about we go back to your place/my place/the abandoned salon where the sexy teens got killed 25 years ago tonight and I'll wash your hair?" I wouldn't find it creepy... I would drop down onto a knee and lock her down on the spot. I love having my hair washed. And I probably thrash in ecstasy like an Herbal Essence chick when I'm getting it washed.

Yup, this is your writer.

This post was originally published on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 06:15:00 AM under the category Misc.

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