San Francisco, California

Everything is the thing

I love the big dad energy of this introductory video to mmhmm, an app that lets you customize video presentations in a bunch of nifty ways. But what I like about it is that there’s no sense of “I hAvE rEdesIgned vIdEo FoR tHe 21st CenTurY,” which is perhaps the most annoying aspect about marketing of any kind today. A thing just can’t be a thing, it has to be the thing. The one you’ve always waited for. The thing that redefines All Things for a generation. A thing so perfect and thing-like that will it spread peace and happiness across the globe, quenching the thirst for revenge in your cold, dead heart.

Shoes, videogames, clothes, tv shows, books, music, everything is sold like this. Everything is The Thing—next to my desk right now there’s several books about finance and the economy and ugh each one has to be like “BIG BOOK TITLE: Subtitle that redefines the way we wah about wah.”

I sort of blame Apple I guess? Or maybe too many folks watching reruns of the carousel episode of Mad Men. But what if folks instead read a bunch of Wodehouse books and then went and made their app, or wrote their book, or designed their shoe or whatever, and then went out into the world and said “hi, this is it. i hope you like this thing. bye!”

Wouldn’t that be so damn refreshing?