Boxy but good

Remember Dudley Moore, the ad man who goes crazy in the 1990 movie, Crazy People? He switches to using honesty, and comes up with campaigns like, “Volvos. They’re boxy but good.”

Parisian design collective Maentis is doing something similar in their reimagining of famous logos with a dose of added honesty. Check out their Universal Unbranding portfolio. A couple of examples are copied below to whet your appetite.

BP oil soaked bird




Ikea kitset logo

The Journal of Universal Rejection

NOTE: Blue Mouse Monkey did not make this website! In case you were wondering. Since this is how I format images of our sites on this blog when I showcase them.

NOTE: Blue Mouse Monkey did not make this website! In case you were wondering, since this is how I format images of our sites when I showcase them on this blog.

It looks like a real online scientific journal, with the bland, conservative layout, the excessive line length, the pre-digital font (probably Didot), and that blue bar down the side! Hilarious! (Both the straight-from-the-tube color and the pathetic attempt at adding a decorative element). Not that I don’t like Didot or pure deep blues, but the combination works uncomfortably well in this parody.

Then there’s the journal’s policy: “The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected.” There’s an editorial board of over 20 academics from institutions around the world to do that heavy lifting.

According to the Instructions to Authors, “The JofUR solicits any and all types of manuscript: poetry, prose, visual art, and research articles. You name it, we take it, and reject it. Your manuscript may be formatted however you wish. Frankly, we don’t care.”

You can subscribe to the JofUR for £120 per year. I’m guessing it’s pounds and not dollars because pounds look more exotic and academic and fancy.

The quarterly online archive goes back a couple of years, and each volume is labeled (empty). Except December 2010 (Vol 2, No 4), which is labeled (lost when server crashed – presumed empty).

But really, the best part is the Reprobatia Certa blog. JofUR  likes to share rejection letters. The reasons for rejection are numerous and unpredictable, and often quite funny, especially when the submitter replies:

Editor’s note: We received a submission from Noam Shabtai, The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.

Dear Noam,

We are rejecting your submission on the following grounds: (A) you are not Noam Chomsky, and (B) you live in Beer Sheva, but did not include any beer in your submission. I hope you can see how thorough and agonizing our decision process was.

Best regards,

Caleb Emmons, PhD
Journal of Universal Rejection

Dear Caleb,
I would like to thank you for the thorough review process, and for teaching me how to differ between right and wrong.
After revising the paper, it was submitted and accepted to the journal of universal acception (it is also known as the broadcast news on TV, in case you were wondering).

Best Regards,

I think I’ll send them some drawings. They probably don’t get much visual art. It might be refreshing for them to reject it.

Bang goes the publishing industry

noveller_recentrecent_newsNoveller, the online macroblogging service and “the worlds most popular prose-sharing tool”, celebrated it’s millionth post last week.

“You know, before we came up with Noveller, we had all these friends creating these great 75,000- to 300,000-word works of fiction, but there was no quick, easy, fun way to share them,” cofounder Chuck Gregory said. “To be honest, we were stunned there wasn’t already anything like it out there. It seemed so obvious.”

Those who Novel on a daily basis claim to love the challenge of the utility’s 140-page minimum. “I think everyone has at least one Noveller post in them,” said MIT computer networking expert Rod Baines, who noted that he had just posted a sprawling, nuanced, multigenerational family saga while shopping that afternoon. “And half the fun is just following other people’s Novels…”

There’s more about it at this fine online news magazine…

I’m real! I have business cards!

That was a quote from the chamber of commerce rep who broke up the ‘press conference’ given by not-so-real chamber of commerce reps (I.e. the Yes Men) as they were announcing the COC’s (not really) reversed position on climate change. The ‘reversal’ story made it onto Reuters and several other outlets before it was revealed to be a hoax. A hoax that calls attention to the COC’s official position on climate change.

Full story here.

Survivaballs prepare to storm the UN

The Yes Men are at it again.

Embedded video from CNN Video

21 “Survivaballs” gathered on New York City’s East River and announced they were to going to “take the UN by storm” from the water, since all the land approaches were sealed. Once at the UN, they would supposedly use the Survivaballs to blockade the negotiations and refuse to let world leaders leave the room until they’d agreed on sweeping cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has demanded.

The event was a “scenic and mediagenic way to call attention to what our leaders need to do in the run-up to Copenhagen,” said Bichlbaum. It was also the official inauguration of the Yes Men’s “Balls Across America” series of civil disobedience actions, inspired by the call for direct action on climate change by website

Minutes after the balls began wading into the water, law enforcement swooped in on the protesters by land, sea, and air. In order not to harm their attackers, the balls admitted defeat and waddled out of the water and off the beach. Seven participants were given tickets for trespassing, and one – ringleader Bichlbaum – was whisked away to “the Tombs,” New York’s central processing facility at 100 Centre Street, due to an unpaid ticket for bicycle riding through Washington
Square Park.

Fix the World Challenge

Figuring out a way

Figuring out a way to defeat the logic that's destroying our planet.

The Yes Men’s Fix the World “Identity Correction” Challenge is alive and kicking. You create an account, then choose a challenge, such as Liberate Stupid Footage, Correct an Identity Online, and Create a Special Edition Newspaper. This one sounds fun: Engage in Jobjacking.

Buy an Exxonmobil shirt on the internet, and stand at the local filling station. When people stop for gas,talk to them! For example, “The money from your gas today is going towards helping us defeat the indigenous people of Alaska and exterminate the violent polar bear of the Far North. Thank you!”

Or, for example, become a Wal-Mart greeter. Introduce shoppers to some really weird products….


Do a training at a Trade Show: British Comedian and noted Activist Mark Thomas posed as a public relations specialist at an arms fair, offering to help improve the image of governments and companies who abused human rights. As various high-ranking officials visited the stand, Thomas videotaped their discussions. He devised a hilarious mock workshop on “winning the war of words” in which he convinced an Indonesian general to admit to the use of torture – an admission he would not normally have made….

There’s a Google map with the location of players, and a system for meeting up with like minded players in your area. The FAQs section answers such questions as Can I get in trouble for this stuff? and, How can I hijack a Twitter backchannel?

Oh yes, and the Yes Men’s new movie The Yes Men Fix the World is coming to theaters in the US on October 7th. Can’t wait!

Four Websites for PJM Designs

PJM Designs Home

PJM Designs Home

They’ve been a long time in the making, but now Paul McMahon, AKA PJM Designs, has four new interrelated websites. With Paul’s humorous illustrations, along with some goofy animations and funny noises, these sites show the range of Paul’s talents in a very Paul way. There’s a PJM Designs home page, complete with a talking robot, and a couple of ‘easter eggs‘.

(Note: the Drennons website was not done by Blue Mouse Monkey.)

The talking cop on Calling All Cards

The talking cop on Calling All Cards

There’s Calling All Cards, through which you can peruse and purchase humorous cards Paul has designed.

How Paul makes hens meet

There’s Making Hens Meet, an online portfolio of freelance work Paul has done.

Top Secret Project P.A.R.M.

And there’s Project Parm. That one’s classified, and if I told you about it, I’d have to kill you (using a ultrasonic ray sent back to your computer via the interwebs). But you can go see it for yourself! Check out the Found Photos section – three pages of amazing images Paul picked up off the streets of New Yor…oops.