So many wonderful advertisements, so much weirdness, savings, and unintentional humor! We've got that Imperial spy bot from Hoth, this item of questionable legality, this thing for those who feel so guilty over snacking they must self-penalize, and even some things of utter worthlessness. On such a day, only an artistic use of MS Paint to highlight the flaws in your garbage will win you a Runner-Up spot.

In the end, I've got to side with my (no longer) secret love of outdoor peeing and go with this guy for the win:

Little Boy Fountain Top Statue - $40 (Normal Heights)

It's great that the poster sees fit to give us a concise history of the Manneken Pis in order to lure potential buyers into a sense of connectedness with the item for sale. Otherwise, it's just an add for a plaster statue of a little dude taking an endless whizz.

It does make me want to go to Europe, however.

Here's the thing: I've never been to Europe. Geographically speaking, I've never been closer than three thousand miles, give or take, from Europe. Metaphorically, the closest I've ever been would have to be Montreal--which looks a wicked lot like any pictures I've ever seen of European streets and buildings. Cobblestones and copper-clad, Old World feeling apartment buildings. I used to live in Boston, where at least the houses are made of brick and stone, but despite the rumor that there's something "European" about Boston (perhaps explaining the hundred-bazillion tourists every summer) the fact of the matter is that the two-hundred-year-long tradition of "America Is NOT Europe" pretty much began in Boston and carries on to this day.
San Diego is extremely far, geographically and metaphorically, from Europe. Sure, there are vestigial traces of Spanish baroque architecture in the whole "Mission" theme of things, but that's where it begins and ends. Basically, having no idea what Europe is like, I instead draw inferences from pop cultural sources. All those hole-in-the wall bars in the UK that look like they've been there since the invention of beer seem to put Cheers to shame; not only does everybody know your name, but they knew your grandfather's name when he used to drink there. France looks like one big, gourmet, eat-until-you burst foodie paradise, and all the bikes I really truly love seem to come from Italy.

As I write this, I become exceedingly doubtful that this story has a point. If anything, there's a slightly cynical moral in there regarding how the average, American guy has a worldview informed by advertising.

There we go, that's actually it! Stumbled on it out of the blue. w00t!

My man, J.B. put it out there back in the '80s that communication was ALL starting to take the form of advertising--a theory I hear confirmed every time I listen to my roommate's glut of sitcoms on Hulu, wherein all communique happens in fifteen second sound bites designed to deliver maximum sensational effect. Most of the time, I think everything Baudrillard said about the birth of the trans-political/trans-aesthetic world is coming to pass. As we enter the hyper-realized world of advertising-as-social-discourse, maybe it's telling that I associate Europe with advertisements for that which is somehow "European." It's telling that I feel some sort of connectedness to a cultural collective--artificially homogenized within my mind--which is based on the static imagery of pop culture, all of which is delivered via the ways and means of consumer advertising.

Fifteen seconds of "MUST HAVE" at a time. That's the Europe I want to go to.

Methinks I shall go throw up a little now, self-disgusted by my own consumerist tendencies....

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Comments

CuddleFish Oct. 1, 2009 @ 4:28 p.m.

LOL You didn't buy it, you just looked at it. Besides, it's about boys peeing. Now there's something you can think about. Boys peeing in Europe and Boys that look like Europeans peeing in America.

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SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 4:32 p.m.

Pike cutely confessed: "my (no longer) secret love of outdoor peeing..."

Pike, on one of my blogs, russl posted this amazing ad site, with a very useful product, surely worthy of your analytical attention:

http://www.femalefreedom.ca

Heehee. Adorable: "manneken pis" A 'wee' laddy, as 'twere.

My cousin and I thought about putting one of these homonculous urinus fountains in her front yard; filling it not with water, but chardonnay--or even funnier, a nice pink zinfandel. What a classy and faux classical way to enjoy a "glass of box," as we call it :)

The neighbors may not appreciate this.

To that I say, 'tant pis!'

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SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 4:39 p.m.

"Metaphorically, the closest I've ever been would have to be Montreal--which looks a wicked lot like any pictures I've ever seen of European streets and buildings."

A big part of my family hails from 'Monreal,' as the Frenchies call it. "Mon" "real"--gotta love that.

Anyway, I've not been to Montreal, but have been to Europe. Relatives who lived in Montreal and have been to Europe say it felt like home, at least as the enviro goes--architecture, the cobblestone streets, etc. AS a cyclist, Pike, and as a mental city planner,you would probably agree that reserving many streets solely for foot traffic can change the psychological experience of a city. This is a big problem in San Diego, OC, and LA. We need to transform some of our city blocks into hospitable squares where folk can mill around, lounge, etc. Little Italy is just screaming for it!

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SDaniels Oct. 1, 2009 @ 4:43 p.m.

PS: I want a nice, big coffeetable edition of Baudrillard's 'America." Lemme know if you ever find one on craigslist :)

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nan shartel Oct. 1, 2009 @ 4:55 p.m.

i want one too...i'll put it right next to my Georgia O Keefes ...er..um..orchids and flowers

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 1, 2009 @ 11:43 p.m.

I want an edition of every book Baudrillard ever read. For my money, he's pretty much the most (if not the only) relevant theorist you can find. Lacan and Zizek still get it done, but JB just keeps getting more and more spooky accurate.

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CuddleFish Oct. 1, 2009 @ 11:44 p.m.

Pike, my dear, check your blog page, you got a little surprise waiting for you. :)

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 1, 2009 @ 11:48 p.m.

PS: I've seen that "pee standing up" gadget before, amazingly enough. Pretty sweet. Puts me in mind of a joke:

After God makes Adam and Eve, he lets them choose the benefits that each will get to enjoy for being male or female.

"Well," says God, "we're getting pretty close to the end of things. Who wants to pee standing up?"

"Oooh!" Adam yells, leaping up and down excitedly. "Pick me! Pick me! I want to pee standing up."

"Very well then" says God. "So it shall be."

God pauses, then says:

"Hmmm, I guess that just leaves multiple orgasms..."

The P-Mate just goes to show you that it was a fair trade ;)

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SDaniels Oct. 2, 2009 @ 10:48 a.m.

"I want an edition of every book Baudrillard ever read. For my money, he's pretty much the most (if not the only) relevant theorist you can find. Lacan and Zizek still get it done, but JB just keeps getting more and more spooky accurate."

I went through a phase where I believed these three to be some kind of triad--long ago. If I had to pick one today, I'd still go with Freud, Derrida, and _ (whoever I'm excited about at the moment). Let's say, Robert Smithson, 70s earthworks artist and sneaky essayist, since I'm supposed to be dissertating about him.

Btw, Smithson and pals loved ads, and put phony ones in mags, incl. full spread phony articles. See "Homes of America" photo and text essay by Dan Graham--he snuck that beauty into Arts Mag, or Artforum as legit. Which it was, but in a different way they thought. Smithson and Mel Bochner snuck an essay called "Domain of the Great Bear" by the owner of a planetarium and publisher of a popular mag, among others--including Harper's Bazaar.

As for Baudrillard, I totally agree about Nostrodomus-like appearance. Simulacrum of a simulacrum of a...Have you seen Paris/Texas, film by Wim Wenders? Pretty good reading of Baudrillardian tenets about cities, freeways, and people.

Speaking of unseemly textual excitement.

"Hmmm, I guess that just leaves multiple orgasms..."

The facility of this particular phenom might not statistically 'hold water,' to stay with our theme.

Just sayin...nothing whatsoever to do with anything to do with moi-meme, or anyone I know or might possibly know in future. :)

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FullFlavorPike Oct. 2, 2009 @ 10:58 a.m.

What? You mean to say that a joke which delighted me as a teenager might not, strictly speaking, 'hold water?' Heretical thinking, to say the least.

As for Paris, Texas, I have not seen this film. At first I thought you were talking about Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 and I was really failing to see how there was any sort of social theory at work therein.

Never heard of Smithson, but I'll try to nullify my ignorance at some later juncture.

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SDaniels Oct. 2, 2009 @ 11:09 a.m.

Pike, you're a young, strapping fish no doubt, with a brain full of serious roe. I'm sure you could nullify my failing grasp of current theory--in fact, I might come to "Depends" (TM) upon that :)

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