Buy-Buy Cyber Monday: America’s Dumbest Named Consumer Holiday

Holy Eff! It’s Cyber Monday! Have you already blown a mouse—because today is the busiest online shopping day of the year? 131 million people are expected to shop online today in this fake, made-up holiday/celebration of all things Internet-consumerism.  Yes, the brick-and-mortar world wasn’t going to take first place with the manmade “Black Friday”—where people sacrifice all dignity to line up in the middle of the night outside of Walmart and punch each other in the face to get a few bucks off a Tickle Me Elmo doll.

First of all, the prefix “cyber” is some antiquated term from the 1990s, pulled from some Matrix novel about a futuristic utopia. It’s as ridiculous as having an Internet shopping day called, “WWW.Wednesday.”  Named as such, are we supposed to put on our virtual reality glasses and enter into the virtual marketplace where we our sensor-gloves can pull things off the online Target store shelves?

A little history of the word, “cyber”: Sci-fi writer William Gibson coined the term in his 1984 novel Neuromancer. Gibson used the buzzword “cyberspace” because he felt it was both “evocative and essentially meaningless.” The non-ironic phrase “Cyber Monday” only came into our vernacular in 2005 to persuade consumers to shop online. (Bye-bye.) It entered into the American lexicon via a press release from online retailers’ group Shop.org. Even in 2005, the word “cyber” was already an Internet verbiage relic.

According to the New York Times: “The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.”

So basically, it was a dial-up modem and a retro-futurism term that brought about today’s second favorite annoying shopping holiday. Why is Cyber Monday needed? Because Americans get anxious when they feel like they’re missing out on a bargain and aren’t spending cash the very minute the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are devoured.

Interesting fact found in Salon: the term “cyber” first appeared in the 1940s neologism cybernetics. It’s derived from the Greek word kybernetes, or “steersman”—which in English can translate to: the science of control. So have a happy Cyber Monday everyone! You bunch of online shopping sheep.

Why Aren’t You Watching ‘Orphan Black’ Right Now?

Look, I know you’re probably at “the office” and “really busy,” but those excuses are not going to cut the mustard this time. You have all ten episodes of the first series of Canadian sci-fi potboiler Orphan Black to watch. I don’t care that the second season isn’t coming out until next year. Get on this.

You’re telling me you’re not tripping over yourself to get hooked on a show about a secret clone experiment gone awry, stolen identities, murder, deceit, and the ultimate mystery of what it is to be a person? Surely, you jest. Perhaps it would sway you to know that the fearsomely-talented lead actress, Tatiana Maslany, plays ten different versions of “herself,” all with different spot-on accents. Also, she’s quite attractive.

Okay, I’ll make you a deal—you watch the opening scene of Orphan Black below, and if afterward you don’t immediately call the cable company to figure out whether you get BBC America, I don’t even know what we’re going to do with you. Enjoy your reruns of Full House, you poor, deluded soul!

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Watch the 14-Minute SciFi masterpiece ’88:88′

Earlier this month, we shared our love for Makeup and Vanity Set’s 88:88, the soundtrack to Joey Ciccoline’s film of the same title. Both the film and the album transport you into a bygone cinematic era that’s at once reminiscent of its predecessors yet entirely unique and thrilling. What we love so much about the film is that in its 14 brief minutes, it manages to capture the essence of the science fiction films you grew up with and love, rife with glowing hypnotic visuals and ever-present looming suspense. The film draws you in piece by piece as it builds to its crescendo, like a rope you’re following that when completely unraveled just leads to another door. We went more in depth with the synopsis in the previous post but the best bet is to just to watch the film and discover the story for yourself. Until yesterday, only the trailer was available to watch online but now, thanks to Ridley Scott’s, Your Film Festival, you can watch the entire short in its entirety as many times as you wish.

And although this past weekend most of us found ourselves staring up at the flawed world that is Prometheus–making it safe to say that Scott’s filmmaking has seen better days–it appears that he has been up to something pretty fantastic in support of new and emerging filmmakers. Your Film Festival is a YouTube competition curated by Scott but it’s up to you to vote! 50 filmmakers are now in competition but once the votes are cast, the top ten storytellers will get the chance to open the 2012 Venice Film Festival. From there, the Grand Prize Winner will receive a $500,000 grant to create a new work, produced by Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender, and a first-rate team . So, for whomever wins the final round, this will be a life -changingly huge deal. All 50 works in competition have their own something to offer but we’re convinced it’s Ciccoline’s  88:88 that really takes the cake.