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Comedic Artistry In Amazon Reviews

from the new-artforms dept

One of the more interesting things about the rise of the internet is how it inspires creativity and artwork in unexpected places. For example: the rise of Amazon reviews as a work of art. This “artform” probably really kicked off with the now infamous three wolf moon t-shirt, and a wacky comment left by Brian Govern almost exactly five years ago that inspired thousands of other wacky comments and, voila, virality.

I’m reminded of this as people are talking about another set of wacky reviews on Amazon, this time for a massive and insanely expensive Samsung 85″ LED TV which normally runs $44,999.99, but is “discounted” to merely $39,997.99 (a bargain!) and somewhat amusingly notes that only 3 are left in stock. People have been having a field day in the comments, mocking the price, the features (free batteries with the remote!) and just the general idea that people are buying $40,000 TVs off of Amazon.

A few samples: There’s Cheryl Gustafson’s explanation of what pushes this over the edge:

At first I hesitated to make the purchase, but then I saw the two AA batteries were free with the remote, and I was all in! Having this really fills in that empty space we called a bathroom!

There’s Hans Summers’ play on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or Scott Robertson’s Star Trek reference. But, by far the one that most people are focusing on is the one from James Thach, which starts off innocently enough:

My wife and I bought this after selling our daughter Amanda into white slavery. We actually got a refurbished. It’s missing the remote, but oh well– for $10K off, I can afford a universal, right? The picture is amazing. I’ve never seen the world with such clarity.

Amanda, if you’re reading this, hang in there, honey! We’ll see you in a year.

The story goes on from there, including multiple updates and responses to “concerned” commenters. Comedy is subjective, but it’s pretty damn amusing. That led me to check out Thach’s other reviews, and while there are only a few, it appears that since reviewing that Samsung TV, he’s really jumped headfirst into this new comedic art form, though most don’t come off quite as clever as the Samsung TV (he focuses more on what might be called… “toilet humor” in quite a few of them).

Still, while the humor may be a mixed bag at times, there’s something kind of amazing when you begin to realize that this is even a thing now. The ability to allow people to be creative in all sorts of new and interesting ways leads to creativity and entertainment in totally unexpected places. This is one of the reasons why we tend to think it’s so important to allow for open forums for communications whenever and wherever possible, rather than focusing on top-down broadcast-style models of content production that were dominant last century. No, silly Amazon reviews aren’t any form of “high art,” and many people will dismiss them entirely, but there’s something kind of special in seeing creativity spring up in odd places, and it’s the kind of thing that the internet does so well.

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Comments on “Comedic Artistry In Amazon Reviews”

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out_of_the_blue says:

The internet is all about horrible wastes of time.

First, yes I’m guilty of it right here. My railing is about facts, though: corporatism and The Rich taking over the world, and at the least I’m on the right side. Mike is just here to cheer the wastes of time as such, labels it “creativity”, and not so subtly promotes Amazon, one of his corporate sponsors.

Think the Internet means more competition? Take a look at the graph here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/30/amazon_dot_com_holds_ludicrous_lead_in_online_retail_sales/


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The internet is all about horrible wastes of time.

You really hate successful businesses and people don’t you. (With the exception of your beloved movie studios/executives/overlords of course, who in your eyes are perfect angels where every over-reach, every illegal action, every immoral act is just an anomoly)

Is it because you are such an abject failure in every aspect of life?

Even you are welcome to compete against Amazon. Nothing stopping you, except your own incompetence/ laziness. I know, that is not how you roll, your kind wants everything for nothing.

You do realise that Amazon become successful and popular on the internet by giving the people (you know, the customers) what they wanted, how they wanted it, and when they wanted it.

See, if you could convince your overlord paymasters to take a page out of Amazons books, they could go back to making $200M movies and make a profit (Well, as far as their crooked accounting practices will allow anyway)

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: The internet is all about horrible wastes of time.

It’s almost ironic (and sadly predictable) that the expected moron uses a comment space on an article about people using such spaces in creative ways to repeat some of the least creative trolling in recent memory. I’ll admit Amazon seems to be a new target, even though his objections are as usual wrong-headed and his “source” is a site similar to Techdirt whose editorial opinion he happens to agree with. No primary sources or ideas for this one!

techflaws (profile) says:

The most hilarious review I’ve read so far is Arthur J Bullock Jr’s of Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus‘ dubbed

The Scientist’s Survival Pop Quiz v2.0

which I liked so much that I posted a German translation which of course received the very same non-sensical comments by crazy fanboys who just can’t stand their favourite movie being demolished by common sense.

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