not as edgy as you'd think

Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.


Tue 11

Idiot Does Stupid Thing

What Max Reckons Okay, look, yes: I realize some idiot has auctioned his forehead for advertising space, and January is a slow month for the media so they’re all writing articles about it. And yes, of course, some idiotic company is going to pay some idiotic amount of money for it, and that’ll make news all over again. (If you haven’t heard about this, here’s all you need to know: his mother is proud of him because he’s “thinking outside the box.”) Haven’t we already established that the world is engaged in a slow, hapless slide into corpocracy? Do we really need to celebrate every milestone?

Update (12-Jan-05): For a full listing of idiots, check out the hundred or so people currently offering various parts of their anatomy for sale as billboards (thanks to M. Burns for the link). Two items are worth a look, though: first, the “Forehead Ad Blocker” (screens out ads on idiots’ foreheads), and “Watch me bitch slap everyone selling their forehead”. Now that’s tempting.


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Matt St. Amand (#950)

Location: Ontario Onion Field
Posted: 4758 days ago

I wrote to this man:

Dear Homunculoid,

Ad space on your forehead? I guess you don't have anything else more worthwhile going on inside that skull. I hope a Pro Life group plasters an image of an aborted fetus on your head or a hemorrhoid cream maker takes you up on your offer.

You are moving in the opposite direction of evolution.

Matt St. Amand

Pete Clamiston Nessi (#927)

Location: Chicago
Quote: "04dana14na"
Posted: 4758 days ago

Wow, too bad I don't have the money to win this auction.. I'd like to put a big, "PWNED!" on his forehead... It works on so many levels.


Justin Holt (#147)

Location: Rochester, NY
Quote: ""
Posted: 4758 days ago

Not being able to think of anything more clever...I think I'd just have the following inked there forever:


That way, anytime he looks in the mirror, or his mommy looks at him in her rearview mirror both will know exactly what they are getting.

And it could sort of be like college, when you were the first one to fall asleep/pass out and were fair game for the Sharpies of others.

Andrew (#899)

Location: England - 7th State of the EU
Quote: "History never repeats itself; at best it sometimes rhymes - Mark Twain"
Posted: 4758 days ago

Hmm, i dont think he is that stupid, i reckon he knows what he is doing, its such a great scam, its only for a month and its not permanent so 1 month later he is going to be a couple of hundred dollars richer. The only thing he is really loosing is his pride. People are going to pay him to advertise his forehead so really we should be pitying the poor misguided fools who are actually going to pay him hundreds of £ to do this. Really i think he is a smart guy to milk all the money he can get out of this. Though i agree that it is a shame to be a corporate world, but hey, Nichevo...

shabooty (#637)

Location: D.C./V.A/M.D.
Quote: "I will shake your foundation. I will shake the f**cking rafters. Nobody'll be the same -Danny Bonaduce ....& go visit my blog @:"
Posted: 4758 days ago

In terms of advertising via forehead ad space you would think Tyra Banks would be the superbowl of advertising eh?

Apollo (#951)

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posted: 4758 days ago

This fellow's actually smarter than those who signed up for a 2003 campaign They got only $7/public hour to wear the tattoos.

Tyler Ritchie (#832)

Location: Port Angeles, WA
Posted: 4758 days ago

I feel it's important to note that he won't be making "hundreds" of your strange european currency, if the current bid is legitimate, he'll be making 10s of thousands of pounds.

I'm actually a little suprised that this hasn't caught on more... People shell out $20-$40 for a t-shirt that has nothing but a company name on it... or worse, a swoosh. In addition to the company making a huge margin on the sale of the t-shirt, they're making even more in having a horde of brainwashed lub-lubs wandering around giving them free advertising. If someone offered me $20,000 or £10,000 to wear a temporary tattoo, or series of temporary tattoos for 30 days... I would probably say "yes," or perhaps even, "Hell, yes!" For most of the United States that would increase their income by half.

Is it worse to consciously decide to <b>sell</b> advertising space on your forehead, or to mindlessly <b>buy</b> apparell that accomplishes the same thing?

Dryden (#840)

Location: Alabama
Quote: "Exciting Opportunity: This Space For Rent!"
Posted: 4757 days ago

I'm pleased to announce that my Quote space is for sale.

Scott (#354)

Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Quote: "Max Barry tastes like awesome"
Posted: 4757 days ago

21k for a tattoo on my forehead? Where do I sign up? College doesn't pay for itself, and it's not like this is permanent.

For 100,000 I'll strip down and have my entire body tattooed with a corporate logo and go hopping around Naked in busy areas. You can't beat that kind of advertising.

shalini (#717)

Posted: 4757 days ago

i'm with max... there have got to be better things to talk about, such as what exact date in february 'desperate housewives' is starting on, and why the hell channel seven runs 'arrested development' at eleven o'clock on a tuesday night. and 'scrubs' at eleven thirty, for that matter.
i read syrup over the holidays - well done! it's a great read, very visual - can't wait for the film. it's a pity that i missed reading your script draft while it was up...

M. Burns (#954)

Location: Vancouver
Quote: "Doughnuts is there anything they cant do?"
Posted: 4757 days ago

If the guy wants to do it its fine by me.
Its also nolonger unique. (check my link) I stoped counting after 20.
Tho I did see this one that cought my attention

Chris (#816)

Location: Quebec, Canada
Posted: 4757 days ago

... Do you guys want to pitch in and buy an ad on that girl's tit for

Kyle (#939)

Location: gosport, england
Quote: "I f you don't make a friend, one might make you"
Posted: 4757 days ago

I think that this person has obviously got some kind of mental problem, not just one on his forehead. How does one go about convincing one's friends/workmates/random people in the street that having "Buy Senokot" or whatever written on their head is cool? Not only that, but i feel particularly sorry for the poor lawyer who has to write up all the contracts and terms for this "thou shalt not wash thy head for ** days, or you are liable to a lawsuit etc." Just makes you want to sign up for law school for a laugh or two.


PS Max, I'm disappointed, ur e-mail reply list continues to extend. I recommend snorting lines of ground coffee and then licking glue.

Kyle (#939)

Location: gosport, england
Quote: "I f you don't make a friend, one might make you"
Posted: 4757 days ago

Just wanna make another post as well, to ask Tyler Ritchie (#832) a question: What part of the wonderful american eduction did u skip to establish that Australia is in Europe. It's not here! Hence why we filled it with criminals. Brings a tear of pride to your eye. Or not. Generally not at all.

Mark McMonagle (#601)

Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Quote: "But it's too late to make any improvements now. The universe is finished; the copestone is on, and the chips were carted off a million years ago."
Posted: 4757 days ago

Im hoping that has the winning bid. That would be a laugh.

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 4757 days ago

M. Burns (Monty, is that you?) -- thanks for those awesome links, which I wish I'd had when I wrote that blog. That's what gets me about these forehead-sellers; they're taking an idea that was repulsive to start with and only of interest because nobody had done it befor -- and imitating it. Well, whoopee do. "Advertising breakthrough," my butt.

Now this other guy, who's selling, "Watch me bitch slap everyone selling their forehead", THAT'S original. I'd bid for that one!

P.S. Hmm, I just realized that thanks to the title I gave this blog, the URL of our comments is "idiot-comments".

Tyler Ritchie (#832)

Location: Port Angeles, WA
Posted: 4756 days ago

And we've played into your comment scheme like a bunch of half-wits...

To Kyle, my was actually in response to Andrew's (#899, not Mr. Fischer)statement "...we should be pitying the poor misguided fools who are actually going to pay him hundreds of £ to do this" I'm pretty sure that weird little backwards L thing is for British pounds... but I might have skipped that day in class.

I've been sporatically since this was brought to my attention for this story of a couple of college students who were selling exclusive advertising space on their shirts to pay for their college education..

I don't really think it's at all surprizing that Mr. Fischer is doing this, nor am I too surprized that people are bidding. I am, however, a little surprized that there haven't been more obscene examples of "corpocracy": municipalities contracting out their bus systems to McDonalds, Coke running public utilites, Matell schools...

Narain (#824)

Location: Los Angeles, right between civilization and a desert
Quote: "NI!"
Posted: 4756 days ago

First it's this, then children start putting ads on themselves, then parents start putting ads on the babies. Then they get into payscales, so the more popular people get paid more for their ads then the rejects. It's inevitable.

Justin Holt (#147)

Location: Rochester, NY
Quote: ""
Posted: 4756 days ago

while everyone's in the spirit...

can i get katie holmes tattoed on my body?

Machine Man subscriber Machine (#957)

Posted: 4756 days ago

Pro boxers have been doing it for years, but on their backs. They usually get some internet casino website put on there. It often rubs off within the first few minutes so they end up covered in black ink. Pro boxing is a peculiar and zany world but it's even kind of retarded in that context.

I'm sure there are new and better ways one can degrade and prostitute oneself to advertising. Anyone got any ideas?

Chris (#816)

Location: Quebec, Canada
Posted: 4756 days ago

Yeah. If you have long hair, you could have bits of your hair sprayed enough to form them in to letters that lead to a company's domain name.

Kat (#299)

Location: My bedroom
Quote: ""The abolition of man is within the reach of science""
Posted: 4755 days ago

This is the best marketing idea yet. Insane, yes, but smart. It's over $22,000. What more if the ad was permanent?

Super (#600)

Location: The Netherlands
Quote: "I'm not deaf I'm just ignoring you!"
Posted: 4755 days ago

"It's calling out to idiot America..."

Eric Ziegler (#678)

Location: Grand Junction, Colorado, US
Quote: "Fun Fact: There is now a Starbucks in my pants"
Posted: 4736 days ago

Hmm, let's say I run into someone with an advertisement on their forehead and, well, punch him in the forehead... I wonder if I would get charged with assault or destruction of property.

Oh well, hurray corporations! Harbingers of humanity's destruction.

Jonathan (#1209)

Location: Niskayuna, NY (USA)
Quote: "Quamquam Max Barry fuit molestus, servi eum non verbererunt."
Posted: 4676 days ago

Somebody's selling an advertisement on their family car for $0.01!

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