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2070 Paradigm Shift
October 10, 2013 10:18 AM   Subscribe

Sam Hyde of the satirical sketch-comedy group Million Dollar Extreme managed scam his way into giving a TED Talk at TEDx Drexel. The results were marvelous.

We looked at the data.
posted by staticscreen (55 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I really dislike Sam and his shtick (he's only got the one), but I thought this was pretty funny and more or less what TED deserves.
posted by codacorolla at 10:22 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Guys, that pat on the back there is for saving the world"

I love this
posted by KokuRyu at 10:33 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


"That student ... was Albert Einstein."
posted by gauche at 10:34 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Argghghgh even in parody form it is too cringey and squirmy. I did cackle out loud at "Albert Einstein" though.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:36 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not funny if he's the only one in on the joke.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:54 AM on October 10, 2013


But I'm in on the joke too, thinkpiece! So there's two of us, Albert and I.
posted by an animate objects at 10:55 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


By the looks in the audience it appears many people got the joke.
posted by basicchannel at 10:56 AM on October 10, 2013


Oh, man, that was.... aweeesoooome.
posted by odinsdream at 11:07 AM on October 10, 2013


Will this be funny in 2070?
posted by mochapickle at 11:08 AM on October 10, 2013


"9/11... look at what they accomplished. With no weapons, and eleven guys who didn't even speak English."

Click.
posted by panglos at 11:27 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think you meant to post in /r/cringe.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:36 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


When does it get good?
posted by clvrmnky at 11:37 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


When does it get good?

I think people that aren't liking this probably haven't watched enough TED talks.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:41 AM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel like it gets good when you've already watched like five or six earnest, smug TED talks about how disruptive capitalism can [easily handwave] our way into an amazing bright, new, young, skinny, internet-tethered future. A friend on twitter called it a Mad Libs of Thomas Friedman talking points, which I feel is kind of apt. If you're not inclined to find that funny, this might not be the sort of thing you find funny, and that's okay too. I loved it.
posted by gauche at 11:41 AM on October 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


No, I've watched my share of TED talks. And yes, I think they're both hilarious and cliched.

But this? This isn't comedy. It's an act of aggression.
posted by mochapickle at 11:45 AM on October 10, 2013


It's not funny if he's the only one in on the joke.

I thought it was very Andy Kaufmanish or Tony Cliftonish. Something ish.

I'm not sure I exactly find it funny either, but I think it's kind of brilliant. I think it could have used some punching-up, but it's pretty solid. I like satire though.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:45 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought it was at its best when he was just spitting out tired TED cliche after tired TED cliche and sort of running through a haphazard list of TED themes which really highlights how self-congratulatory TED is and how it's kind of a back-patting club.

I thought it would have been more effective had he played it straight and taken the sort of aggressive edge off it. The baffoonery detracted from what could have been a pretty delicious sting to TED.
posted by jnnla at 11:52 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I get TedXXX, and the silly sort of futurism it advertises, but I'm not a fan of uncomfortable humour I guess. I suppose I like my neo-liberal satire a little sharper.
posted by clvrmnky at 11:55 AM on October 10, 2013


But this? This isn't comedy. It's an act of aggression.

That's the awesome part.
posted by odinsdream at 11:56 AM on October 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


smug TED talks about how disruptive capitalism can [easily handwave] our way into an amazing bright, new, young, skinny, internet-tethered future.

Man, I better get in line for a talk then. I have this bold new idea to use previously-thought-of-as-horrific-planet-melter Grey Goo to actually melt parts of the planet. It should speed up the process of materials mining, allow for zero pollution (its grey goo after all, it can't be pollution if its the product!), and would finally give the City of London a way of eliminating the Eye Sore.

Currently sourcing funding for ways of limiting the melty part of the planet melting. Expecting a commercial release in Q4 2016.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:57 AM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


What I thought about while watching this post.

My favorite TED talk.

My second favorite TED talk.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:57 AM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think people that aren't liking this probably haven't watched enough TED talks.

I think the people not liking this have probably never interacted with the local intelligentsia who organize TEDx talks. It's like a dumber version of Mensa.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:57 AM on October 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


I started watching this and thought it was going to be lame, but then he won me over all of a sudden with, "Have you ever had sea-cheesey baked potatoes that blew your socks off?! 'Cause you're gonna be." Then I started liking it.

So I guess that's when it got good for me. YMMV
posted by Pecinpah at 12:00 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


You're a hard worker. I know because you're at a Ted talk.
posted by mattbucher at 12:02 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sort of curious what the process was of Hyde getting accepted to speak in the first place. His bio on the site is easily fact checked as being total bullshit. I guess the easy answer is that TEDx doesn't care as long as there're people willing to pay 100 dollars a seat and institutions will to pay however much to license the TED name.
posted by codacorolla at 12:11 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's so great about this is that he clearly went into this with a goal of ramping up the crazification factor logarithmically. I suspect he assumed at some point he'd be yanked off-stage. Maybe at the sea-farm sea-salad. Surely at the kill-all-the-old-people... no? Definitely at the 9/11 was the best worst idea. No??? You can see him laughing his way through in a sort of "ohmygod I cant believe they're still allowing this, are you fucking kidding me" kind of way.

They even kept him around for a Q&A! WHAT THE FUCK.
posted by odinsdream at 12:12 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


At the very least, these sorts of shenanigans are useful to inform (or remind) people that TED and TEDx are so so so so so so not the same thing.
posted by blue t-shirt at 12:19 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Because TED talks are much higher quality.
posted by blue t-shirt at 12:19 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


But this? This isn't comedy. It's an act of aggression.

They hate us for our nostrums.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:33 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought it would have been more effective had he played it straight and taken the sort of aggressive edge off it. The baffoonery detracted from what could have been a pretty delicious sting to TED.

The Yes Men did it.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:38 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


"...they're sexualizing young girls. And it's getting to the point where even I have a problem with it..."

I don't know how he kept it together for that but could barely keep it together for "...teaching java coding to African refugees."

If you force yourself to watch, his shtick is pretty good.
posted by gagglezoomer at 12:39 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I admire him for his chutzpah, but it's pretty tedious to watch. For one thing he keeps cracking himself up.

It reminds me of the time TED tried a bit of self parody, and for me that's when TED jumped the shark.

Yes, I said "jumped the shark" because it's useful so there.
posted by zardoz at 12:43 PM on October 10, 2013


"Sodastream will do for soda what 3D printing did for assault rifles."

I would not have been able to deliver this line.

If for some reason you want more of this kind of thing (it's hilarious but so hard to watch) you can check out An Inconvenient Anime.
posted by edeezy at 1:05 PM on October 10, 2013


(13 minutes in) "Can we get the original 18 minutes back on here?"
posted by yeti at 1:39 PM on October 10, 2013


(talking with hands moving in random patterns) I don't know if other people found the TED phenomenon to be the same way, but I completely fell for it. I fell for it because the 1% of TED talks that are really awesome made their way onto my intellectual friend's timelines:

[powerful visual aid: some kind of bar chart of intellectual friend's timelines]

And we're talking: promising cures for cancer. Why people won't pay $.99 for legal music downloads. Stuff that is both really profound and immediately understandable, like the first time that adjunct professor at your community college explained macroeconomics and you suddenly just GOT why gas is so high.

And your worldview changes, and your paradigm shifts, and you think: "How can I get more of this?"

So then you subscribe to the podcast.

[picture of iTunes]

(scattered, knowing laughter)

And after you listen to about 10 of these, you say "What is this shit?" Third world death rituals, another tired rehash of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and more three-point sermons about things that are either obvious, completely beside the point, or both, delivered by people who remind you of your high school principal...
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:30 PM on October 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


At the very least, these sorts of shenanigans are useful to inform (or remind) people that TED and TEDx are so so so so so so not the same thing.
posted by blue t-shirt at 3:19 PM


repeated for emphasis. TedX is a franchise, with none of the cachet or quality control (and none of the multi k$ ticket costs) of the real deal. Almost anyone can host a TedX conference, so punking an obscure one is not some grand achievement.
posted by Popular Ethics at 2:39 PM on October 10, 2013


I actually don't like TED much either, to be honest, because I think that the format has surpassed the content, and people expect all academic work to now be TED-ready (TEDy?). A lot of academic work is incremental movement in a particular sub-set of a sub-set - that's fine and necessary in some fields. Not everything is going to be accompanied by soaring music and a poignant one-liner. This is neither a universal nor insurmountable problem, but it's irritating.

The format also lends cachet to a lot of ideas which are neither monolithic nor cut and dried. I think that this is where the neo-liberal cheerleading criticism comes from: these just-so stories are appealing and easy to accept, and therefore are easy to powerpointize.

The two above reasons are why I liked Hyde's take-down despite not liking Hyde very much. When he's mocking people who aren't really hurting anyone and exist in their own miniature world (like when he went on a homophobic rant at a Twitter poetry jam, or his anime convention video) I think that it's really just mean (as in unkind, spiteful, unfair) and petty. When he's taking down a bunch of self-important assholes and grifters I think his act works.
posted by codacorolla at 3:18 PM on October 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


So, the idea is that quote-endquote "real" TED couldn't be punked this way because they check references, unlike TEDX? And... that makes it better how?
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:53 PM on October 10, 2013


But this? This isn't comedy. It's an act of aggression.

Wow!
posted by elpapacito at 4:09 PM on October 10, 2013


Reggie Watts was much more entertaining, but he wasn't punking anyone, just mocking them and having fun.
posted by edheil at 4:43 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Trash economy. You use cubes of trash as money. Everybody becomes rich, it's a gold rush!"
posted by edheil at 4:43 PM on October 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


The guy sounds like kind of a huge douche. Not just for purposes of this prank but in general.
posted by edheil at 4:53 PM on October 10, 2013


Yeah, Hyde's a gigantic asshole.
posted by edheil at 4:55 PM on October 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pollution and war, fix it. NOW!
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:52 PM on October 10, 2013


Intially funny to see. I guess he will improve over time, it is quite hard to elicit a laughter, even harder to be humouristic. Social critique while making people laugh, the hardest. Fly over their head critique of society while making people laugh...OMG soo hard.
posted by elpapacito at 5:52 PM on October 10, 2013


"It would be pretty badass if people never stopped growing and old people were like 30 feet tall. Anyway thanks for coming to my TED talk."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:58 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It gets good @10:01:
Close your eyes. Everybody in this room, close your eyes. I'm not gonna do anything weird or s… s… sensual with you.

Close your eyes. We're gonna change some minds, right now.

Everybody close your eyes, OK? Close 'em. Seal 'em up. Seal 'em up good.

You, especially you. I want those eyes closed. Get on it. Make sure your friend has their eyes closed, too.

Now look.

This is a pivotal moment, a pivotal moment, in human history. Right now, in this room, Dreexel [Drexel] University, TEDX! NEXT X! This is the time… to be doin' this.

Take this moment and breathe deeply, OK?

Neurons are firing in your brain, right now. You're more alert. You're astrally projecting. You're getting a little bit high on the sound of my voice. I have a nice timbre to it. I know that I'm a good public speaker.

[Cut to video of audience members giggling.]

You're drinking bullet proof coffee, and you don't even realize you're getting all JAGGED UP in the head listening to my presentation. You're gonna remember this forever.

2070! FUTURE. NOW. WHHHAAAT?!

WHHHAAAT?!
LOL
posted by mistersquid at 8:44 PM on October 10, 2013


It gets better at 13:07.

Now, 2070. Due to the massive birth increase, we're gonna have a shortage of milk.

What this means is the Neo Earth Good Government League is gonna have to genetically modify all humans - male and female - to lactate once a month. Once every month, you're gonna be going to a lactation processing center, where they'll hook you up to all kinds of weird things.

Now, due to some fluke, about 3% of the population produces milk, uh, about 500% as much milk, so they're gonna have to be farmed, constantly. And its very painful. But they're gonna be rounded up by FEMA, and their milk will serve the greater good.

posted by allkindsoftime at 10:04 PM on October 10, 2013



Reggie Watts was much more entertaining yt , but he wasn't punking anyone, just mocking them and having fun.


That Reggie Watts talk is A M A Z I N G...thanks for that!
posted by jnnla at 12:09 PM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Onion Talks do a much better job of this, imho.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:25 PM on October 11, 2013


That Reggie Watts talk is A M A Z I N G...thanks for that!

I saw him in a very small venue (100 people) at Rifflandia in Victoria last year. It was fucking incredible.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:42 PM on October 11, 2013


Yeah, wow, this dude seems like a total piece of shit. OMG, liberals weren't "open minded" enough for your homophobic rant about "faggots", the joke is really on them, hahahaha JFC.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:55 PM on October 11, 2013


btw, my advice would be to not watch that video if you're actually gay, at least if you like your blood pressure where it is.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:06 PM on October 11, 2013


anyway, sorry for the derail and happy International Coming Out Day
posted by en forme de poire at 5:24 PM on October 11, 2013


This guy is such an asshole. I read the exchange he had with the organizers and was just disgusted. I mean, really, he's pissed at TED for being self-congratulatory? What the hell is he?
posted by carolinaherrera at 8:38 PM on October 12, 2013


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