It is not generally known to most Americans, but one of the more insidious provisions buried in the Affordable Care Act was the requirement that all Official Fan Clubs report their membership totals to the National Technical Information Service on September 30 of every odd-numbered year. The most recent OFC report has just been released; I thought I would share some of it, as you are unlikely to see these figures published anywhere else.
This post focuses on the very smallest fan clubs, of those who bothered to report. Here are the top dozen (or bottom, as it were). Total membership is in parentheses.
• People Who Still Care About Don Draper Club (1)
• Hair Club for Trumps (1)
• We Just Can’t Get Enough of David Spade! Gang (1)
• The I Have Mixed Feelings About Tom Brady Club (2)
• I Love It When You Put Me on Hold Club (4)
• The Letter P Is NOT FUNNY Librarian League (9)
• Wesley Crusher Fan Club (13)
• Toothbrush-Sharing Cooperative of Eastern Massachusetts (16)
• We Watch Boxing and Football Without a Shred of Guilt Club (18)
• Frozen Lightpole Lickers of The Upper Peninsula (19)
• Cubic Zirconia Investment Club (22)
• The 100 Billionth Person Appreciation Society (23)
• Vegans Against Cruelty to Shredded Wheat (28)
One of these highly-exclamatory logos belongs to a now-tired brand from the late 1990s and early 2000s. The other belongs to a multinational technology company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California that delivers e-mail and spam.
With respect to the need for exclamation points to get people excited, Patrick Armitage of the web publication Marketing Land remains a skeptic: “In my experience, the exclamation point doesn’t actually say, ‘This is awesome!’ It’s a warning sign that says, ‘Caution: We’re overselling the crap out of this!'”
Indeed. I might also cite F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose thoughts on the topic capture the essence of this decade’s Bush campaign: “An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”
So far the joke has been on us, as we try to endure all the yahoos running for President. What a piece of work is man!*
* Hamlet, Act II, Scene II.
I’ve always been fascinated by the similarites and differences among languages. Consider for example how this common expression is said in various tongues:
- English: The king is dead.
- Dutch: De koning is dood.
- Danish: Kongen er død.
- French: Le roi est mort.
- Italian: Il re è morto.
- Turkish: Kral öldü.
- Nyasa: Mfumu wafa.
- Maori: Kua mate te kingi.
- Hmong: Tus huab tais yog tuag.
- Nashville: Elvis has left the building.
One more nugget from Google Translate:
- 王 is the Chinese symbol for king.
- 猫王 is the Chinese symbol for Elvis — literally, cat king. (It’s true.)
That’s it for this edition of Just Saying. Thank you very much.