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demongin.org - Return of Return of Ganon

Return of Return of Ganon

Spring returns to Maryland; Teju Cole, Zynga and the Clash spring to mind.


Friday, March 23, 2012 | Journal, The Limbs of Osiris

The President and Mrs. Coolidge were being shown [separately] around an experimental government farm. When [Mrs. Coolidge] came to the chicken yard she noticed that a rooster was mating very frequently. She asked the attendant how often that happened and was told, “Dozens of times each day.” Mrs. Coolidge said, “Tell that to the President when he comes by.” Upon being told, President asked, “Same hen every time?” The reply was, “Oh, no, Mr. President, a different hen every time.” President: “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”

from Wikipedia's page on the "Coolidge Effect".

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society are the following observations:

  1. Some people do not realize that Zynga is a Ponzi Scheme. Here's an excerpt an early morning rant by Yours Truly on the topic of OMGPop's recent $200m acquisition by Zynga:
    The mobile games industry, if you haven't noticed, is all about forecasting outrageous profits while pretending that the staggering losses associated with the development and support of all but the highest profile titles are outliers that could not have been predicted and were beyond anyone's control ("I don't get it: we projected 5000% growth for SuburbVille in 2012, but it actually somehow managed to lose money!") .

    In short, Zynga is an undisguised pump-and-dump scam, and I'm happy for anyone who can find a way to get paid off of it...but the only thing that any Zynga acquisition means for mobile game devs in general is that some larceny-hearted pitchman will have one more tale of meteoric success to throw into his next 5000% year-over-year growth forecast.
    If you Google "zynga" and "acquisition", you will find no shortage of stories about Zynga's dodgy (some might say "impossible", others might opt for the more charitable "inscrutable") finances and bizarre acquisition strategy.

    Here's a fact: Zynga isn't just a one-trick pony and a really, really bad investment opportunity, it's also a parable about the resurgence of good, old-fashioned pump-and-dump bubble economics in the post-recession era.

    Tell a friend.

    • 2012-03-26 UPDATED TO ADD: take a gander at this article over on Gamasutra. It's the same concept as Zynga, but with smaller numbers (and more transparency).
    • 2012-07-27 UPDATED TO ADD: here are two fun Kotaku articles whose titles say it all: Zynga Stock Suddenly Drops 41% and Zynga Insiders Dumped Lots of Stock Before it Tanked. My favorite part of either article is this part:
      Zynga CEO Mark Pincus dumped $200 million worth of stock this past April, three months before his company's stock suddenly tanked last night, according to a new report.
      Pincus dumped that $200 million worth of stock right on the heels of the obviously bogus Draw Something purchase which inspired me to write the above post about how Zynga is an undisguised pump-and-dump.
    • 2013-06-02 UPDATED TO ADD: just to bring it full circle, here's an excerpt from Edge, re: Pincus' ouster/lateral demotion and the fate of OMGPOP:
      Zynga's stock price has dropped by two thirds in less than 18 months, and 20 per cent of its workforce has been shed in the last year. Its disastrous purchase of Draw Something creator OMGPOP for $200m in 2012 – the studio was closed within the year – combined with the stagnation of its Facebook endeavours and the rise of mobile, has seen it eclipsed by surging rival King.com.


  2. Jokes occupy an odd place in the human brain. Specifically, jokes are almost impossible (for most folks) to recall or inventory by rote.

    If someone said, for example, "hey, tell me all the jokes you know about sex.; now tell me all the jokes you know about God; now politics; now dead babies; now gay jokes; now fart jokes; go racial for a while; how about dick jokes, etc.", not only is it unlikely that you would be able to recall them in order, but it is very likely that they will start to come back to you in no particular order and for no special reason several hours after you first tried to recall them.

    A thing I like to say is that I have forgotten more jokes than most people will ever know. I don't believe that's true, but I like the way it sounds when I say it.

    I also like the way it sounds to say that Jokes have an associative quality--each one has hooks, and those hooks are hooked into other concepts at seeming random--and they tend to break free and tumble loose at odd, frequently unpredictable times.

    If anger, as the Poet alleges, is inextricably linked to wit, then what I think I like is the idea that my experience of life and jokes is characterized by assorted (half-)witticisms bubbling to the surface at random, bringing just a little bit of pent-up, deep-abiding rage up for air when they do.

  3. Thinking "constellationally" is thinking magically. Or, if it's not magical thinking, it's close enough that anyone yammering on about the important distinctions between the two is monologuing purely for his own benefit.

    In what its author desperately wishes was an incendiary rebuke of the lazy dialectics of a complacent and patronizing First World gentry, award-winning novelist Teju Cole observes of award-winning NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof that "[h]is good heart does not always allow him to think constellationally."

    If speaking credibly in New York's opinion pages and (more importantly) cocktail parties means that I've got to submit to some random dude's sui generis mystical overlay for whichever arbitrary natural/social phenomena, then I am A-OK with being banished to the geo-political kiddie table with the rest of the people who have spent enough time with self-obsessed dickweeds like Teju Cole to know that the only correct response to their effusive, undergraduate Hectoring is to roll one's eyes and give a few lazy tugs on an imaginary, mid-air dick.

  4. Spring is Most Definitely in the air. The dog and I have been sleeping with the windows open, listening repeatedly to London Calling and just now I saw two flirting birds chase one another across the rusty bank of condensers on the lower roof of 3 Bethesda Metro Center.

    Oh, that and I can't seem to go 15 minutes lately without someone telling me something about some kind of fucking.