Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sheet For Brains: Fast Political Humor

Picture #3: This is the version I settled on.
There's just something so stupid about these guys!
The internet makes us funnier and smarter! A thought that might have taken all day to circulate among a few friends can now make it into the world in a few minutes. There it competes with a gazillion other thoughts, and a ideally a few of the best ... or at least of the funniest ... bubble up to the surface!
This morning, I glanced at an article about the KKK and noted someone's comment that they had sheets for brains. This struck me as apt and funny; it expresses a truth compactly and surprisingly. A quick google search didn't find a whole lot of prior funnys on that subject - I'm sure it's been said before, but there was room in Ideaspace for me to make a my small contribution.
The concept boiled down to three short words: "Sheet For Brains". I chopped out everything unneeded, even the plural on "Sheet", so that the result would be more quick and economical.
Usually I work on in MSPaint, because it's free and easy. If I did this for a living I suppose I would go buy something but so far Paint has been enough; my hangups are almost always about ideas, not about tinkering with the images.
Picture #1: My 1st try just didn't look stupid enough. Also,
the cross bugged me, since most Christians aren't racist fools.
To illustrate the idea, I searched for things that communicated the idea "I'm KKK And I'm Stupid". There was an awful a lot of material, but most of it was old black-and-white stuff; I wanted something more contemporary. This is where figuring out how to search on the date of an image might be helpful.
Picture #1 had some interesting hate flags in the background but I think they just complicated the idea; also use of the cross by racists is really abusive and I didn't want to contribute to it.
Picture #2 had a cop watching the fools as was his job; I couldn't airbrushed him out but it was more work than I needed.Another problem with #2 was figuring out the color for the text, since the natural space to put it on had several different background colors.
Picture #3 has a couple of really stupid looking Klansmen; the one of the left just looks completely clueless and the one on the right looks resigned to his fate. AND the text fits between them nicely, so we take in the words and the image at the same instant! Too often, I have to use a caption above or below the image, or word balloons, all of which have their place but they change the pace of the joke.
Once I settled on the composition, I signed it "rewinn" real small; I don't want to mess with the joke but I am also vain enough to want credit, however hidden it may be!
Picture #2: I liked the idiocy of the eyeholes,
but I didn't want to include the cop in the background,
he's just doing his job.
The next step is to put it out there. Often I save the image in two sizes: 300 pixels wide and 500 pixels wide. This is because Facebook seems to present images posting opportunities in those two sizes; if you put a 500 wide image in a 300 wide area, the sides appear cropped.
I posted the image in a few likely Facebook places - it's important to go only to groups where you've been invited, and where people will appreciate the joke; spamming people will get you banned and you'll deserve it!
I also post this item into my Flickr stream http://www.flickr.com/photos/rewinn/8489752510/ and connect it to a few relevant Flickr groups.
Then I hop over to Twitpic http://twitpic.com/photos/rewinn and upload it with a couple of tags so it goes into relevant tagstreams - again, don't spam or it will end badly.
Those are my basic publication channels, except when I feel like blogging about an image here. All in all, the joke is presented to a few thousand willing viewers with almost no effort on my part; it the joke works, they pass it on. If it flops (and let's be honest, most jokes flop the 1st time) sometimes there's feedback so the next effort is better!
This process is way way different from the way I used to learn about writing and used to discuss ideas. I don't know where it is all going, but it seems to be better than the ways I learned in school!

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