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October 17, 2012 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Last week, The Onion revealed it is taking on TED with Onion Talks. The first episode is up: Compost-Fuelled Cars: Wouldn't That Be Great?
posted by yellowbinder (59 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Heartworm"?
posted by boo_radley at 4:08 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Onion talks will probably be much better than TEDx talks. Probably better than the average TED talk.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:09 PM on October 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I am having a hard time believing this is better than anything.
posted by fusinski at 4:11 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish The Onion would stop screwing around and at least put out even one Joad Cressbeckler clip before the election.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:12 PM on October 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


I love this so much. Whoever produced/wrote this definitely has the same chip on their shoulder as I do. "I'll be your visionary -- and you -- do the things I come up with." I know this guy.
posted by brianwhitman at 4:14 PM on October 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


Fuck was that just so damn pitch perfect,

I need some booze and some convincing not to send that to the people I know who will appreciate the vision behind compost-fuelled cars the most.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:15 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Car Of The Future
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:16 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow is that ever incredibly unfunny, but then, it's the Onion, so good job I guess.
posted by item at 4:18 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is, given what a fantastic idea this is, it raises the question: Who is keeping the compost-driven car from becoming a reality? I don't mean to speculate wildly, but there's a pretty clear line to be drawn from Big Oil to the lack of composting automobiles.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:21 PM on October 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Of course, there have been trash powered cars for 60 years or more.

That said, I'm a fan of this. And in ideal 'no true scotsman' style, it feels like it only mocks the TED talks I hate.

(Full disclosure: I know the folks who run all power labs.)
posted by poe at 4:22 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


we're already half-way there
posted by philip-random at 4:24 PM on October 17, 2012


And, really, what is oil itself, but million-year-old trash.
posted by MikeKD at 4:24 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't mean to speculate wildly, but there's a pretty clear line to be drawn from Big Oil to the lack of composting automobiles.

Follow the smell. Duh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:33 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am all for take-downs of vapid start-up techno-utopianism (hyphen-hyphen-hyphen).

But the joke started wearing thin about halfway through. The first rule of sketch editing is "get out while it's still funny!"
posted by zjacreman at 4:34 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, in the realm of The Onion having been killing it lately, Horrifying Planet is fantastic for those of you who like BBC nature documentaries.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:34 PM on October 17, 2012 [14 favorites]


The Car of Tomorrow (youtube mgm cartoon animation texavery)
posted by JHarris at 4:35 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


No no no, they should go with silage, the indescribable power of a 20 foot high fermenting pile of cow candy must be good for and extra 20 mph!
posted by sammyo at 4:36 PM on October 17, 2012


If you're in the NW, you can catch CHAD Chats too.
posted by nímwunnan at 4:37 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The first rule of sketch editing is "get out while it's still funny!"

The most violated rule ever.
posted by mullacc at 4:40 PM on October 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


60 years? The first trash-powered car appeared in 1885!
posted by mbrubeck at 4:43 PM on October 17, 2012


I came here to make a pithy reference to the movie Slapstick Of Another Kind. I don't remember a damn thing about the movie other then the name, the fact it has Jerry Lewis, and a story point which involved cars that run on Chickenshit. Haven't seen it since I was like 12 when it was on TV one afternoon. Looked up the movie just to confirm my reference (don't want to make a fool of myself after all), and it mentions nothing about Chickenshit powered cars.

So what movie am I remembering?
posted by mediocre at 4:44 PM on October 17, 2012


Very worthwhile target, but better production values are needed. Maybe Onion TV spent too much of their annual budget on Sex House already
posted by Bwithh at 4:48 PM on October 17, 2012


I wish The Onion would stop screwing around and at least put out even one Joad Cressbeckler clip before the election.

Hell, I ain't too proud to say it: I'd like to see Joad Cressbeckler do a TED talk. Now you can put that in your pipe and smoke it, you durned high-gradin' cottonmouth.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:50 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


First season of Sex House could have been so much darker, but they pulled out at the end, sadly. Hopefully, the sequel Sex Cult goes global.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:51 PM on October 17, 2012


So what movie am I remembering?


Shouldn't questions go on the green?
posted by sammyo at 4:52 PM on October 17, 2012


So what movie am I remembering?

Shouldn't questions go on the green?

You answered yourself!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:58 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish The Onion would stop screwing around and at least put out even one Joad Cressbeckler clip before the election.

BRING BACK HERBERT KORNFELD
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:00 PM on October 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


It was a little too close to a real TED talk to be really funny.
posted by Area Man at 5:13 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


The first rule of sketch editing is "get out while it's still funny!"

And now for something completely different.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:15 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Huh. I didn't know that there was a "reunion episode" of Sex House until I saw it as a related video here. It seems unnecessary and anticlimactic, after the totally weird and dark place Sex House had gone to.
posted by roll truck roll at 5:15 PM on October 17, 2012


Meh.

Definitely a target worth taking down a peg, but this Onion video piece suffers from the same problem of the Onion News videos: Overacting. It is always immediately obvious that the person you are watching is an actor playing a role, and that sucks all the funny right out of it.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:17 PM on October 17, 2012


I was actually thinking of making a single link Onion post with their recent George W. Bush Returns To America After Spending 4 Years In The Himalayas, so great, now I can add it here as a comment instead
posted by growabrain at 5:18 PM on October 17, 2012


First season of Sex House could have been so much darker, but they pulled out at the end, sadly.

We know for a fact that Frank did not pull out. Twice.

And the reunion was pretty dark without being all "purgatory/alien/haunted" wackiness.
posted by FJT at 5:20 PM on October 17, 2012


BRING BACK HERBERT KORNFELD


Just had to pour one out. RIP

MOURN YA TIL I JOIN YA
posted by graphnerd at 5:20 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm in a masters program that is overall quite good, but it sometimes succumbs to the kind of behavior satirized in this video. I often felt like the only person getting impatient with this lazy-visionary-lifecoach behavior, but this video makes me feel a bit less alone (and a bit more entertained).
posted by yorick at 5:24 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


BRING BACK HERBERT KORNFELD

It is one of history's cruelest ironies, that Tha H-Dawg did not live to see the actual Republican presidential candidate talking about binders full of women.

Accountz Reeceevable 4 Lyfe, yo.
posted by mhoye at 5:38 PM on October 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


This is pitch perfect satire of TED. I love it.
posted by gagglezoomer at 5:40 PM on October 17, 2012


No no no, they should go with silage, the indescribable power of a 20 foot high fermenting pile of cow candy must be good for and extra 20 mph!

with soundtrack by Pat Metheney
posted by hal9k at 5:42 PM on October 17, 2012


BRING BACK HERBERT KORNFELD

Mr. Tin.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:47 PM on October 17, 2012


I thought the Sex House reunion episode was rug-pullingly perfect. Everything that seemed horribly and thus meaningful in the whole season - gone! The insights we thought we had into the characters' motivations, and their ultimate shared humanity in the face of cruel fate - disappeared! It's all dumped right back into celebrity trash TV, and that makes it all the more horrible.

My scoutmaster says I could expand this into a full essay for my beanplating merit badge!
posted by echo target at 6:05 PM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Put me down in the "TED definitely needs to be taken down a notch and this is a pretty damn good parody of TED" camp.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:10 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


It could have just been the quality of the sedgegrass that grew around my compound in the 70s, but I could have sworn that Mother Earth News had published plans for a manure/compost fueled car. The methane from the composted mixture was used to power a fuel cell (Welsh Physicist William Grove developed the first crude fuel cells in 1839--wikipedia).

Oh, disclaimer: IANAC, so I have no idea how feasible this is, but since I don't have a shit-powered funny car in my driveway, I'm guessing there are problems of scale.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:26 PM on October 17, 2012


Before Onion Talks, there were CHAD Chats.
posted by Philipschall at 6:46 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sex House was pretty good. The arc in the first five episodes was fantastic. The reunion episode was unnecessary.
posted by flippant at 7:01 PM on October 17, 2012


My favourite was Municipal Lake Dredge Appraisal. I don't know why, but everything, right down to the VHS distortion, the set that's pretty obviously a gym auditorium, and the middle aged man living a life of quiet despair made it a dead-on parody of local cable time-filler.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:08 PM on October 17, 2012


The part that perplexes me is it says Episode 1 and I have no idea how they would make Episode 2.
posted by RobotHero at 7:13 PM on October 17, 2012


Grimgrin: "My favourite was Municipal Lake Dredge Appraisal. I don't know why, but everything, right down to the VHS distortion, the set that's pretty obviously a gym auditorium, and the middle aged man living a life of quiet despair made it a dead-on parody of local cable time-filler."

I was pretty disappointed to learn that the creators of that series didn't really go through tremendously great efforts to recreate that look -- they supposedly just added some background noise and a VHS filter in After Effects (and had an actually-low budget to shoot the thing). In the AMA they did on Reddit, they expressed surprise and confusion about the amount of praise they got for "recreating" that public-access look.

However it may be, Lake Dredge Appraisal is one of the most surprisingly funny things I saw all summer. I never really knew my life was incomplete without a deadpan Antiques Roadshow parody, but there you go...
posted by schmod at 7:49 PM on October 17, 2012


Blazecock Pileon: "First season of Sex House could have been so much darker, but they pulled out at the end, sadly. Hopefully, the sequel Sex Cult goes global."

This has been discussed on other forums, but I'm inclined to agree somewhat: The reunion episode of Sex House is by far the darkest one of the series. They're not the same people.

It's a lot subtler than the rest of the series, but nothing in the reunion show makes any sense. The characters all have entirely new (and terrible) personalities.
posted by schmod at 7:52 PM on October 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


As parody that was pretty similar to the Ayn Bran video posted yesterday. It has a single, very mildly funny point, it gets to it a third of the way in and then just beats it to death for the remaining two thirds.

Also, I wanted both of them to be a lot funnier than they were because I agree with their points, however safe, easy and tepid those points are.

Actually, no, I don't think most TED talks are like that, I think irritable people like to pretend they're like that. But still. Y'know. It's fun to bag on TED talks because they do come across as pretty self-satisfied.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:42 PM on October 17, 2012


Cars that run on burning garbage can never be as cool as the ones fueled by exploding dinosaur corpses.
posted by straight at 12:32 AM on October 18, 2012


This was great. Reminded me of one of my favourite Onion articles.
posted by hydatius at 1:00 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"some of you will have two jobs... and still have time to do the job you already have."

so perfect...
posted by ennui.bz at 4:55 AM on October 18, 2012


George W. Bush Returns To America After Spending 4 Years In The Himalayas

I thought this would be magical and lo, it was!
posted by winna at 5:13 AM on October 18, 2012


Local News: Metafilter Poster Doesn't Get Joke But Laughs Anyway Because All His Friends Did
posted by tommasz at 5:23 AM on October 18, 2012


Definitely a target worth taking down a peg, but this Onion video piece suffers from the same problem of the Onion News videos: Overacting. It is always immediately obvious that the person you are watching is an actor playing a role, and that sucks all the funny right out of it.

You know, almost the exact same situation occurs with me when I watch the "real" news.
posted by nTeleKy at 7:36 AM on October 18, 2012


Fans of Sex House should read the Marxist analysis of it over at Jacobin. It highlights how it's different most other parodies of reality TV by sympathizing with the participants and their treatment by the producers; i.e., it sides with labor against management.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:40 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


If anything, this might be a bit too deadpan for the Silicon Valley crowd...
posted by schmod at 9:44 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was actually thinking of making a single link Onion post with their recent George W. Bush Returns To America After Spending 4 Years In The Himalayas, so great, now I can add it here as a comment instead

I find it even funnier that this is not from the Onion: George W. Bush Whiles Away the Time Painting Pictures of Dogs

Maybe Mitt can get him to do a portrait of Seamus.
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on October 18, 2012


Episode 2: Loudness Equals Power
Episode 3: Ducks Go Quack, Chickens Say Cluck
posted by yellowbinder at 11:38 AM on October 31, 2012


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