Saturday, April 3, 2010

RESULTS: The New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest #234


This week's Anti-Caption contest features a cowboy in an old west town pondering the skeletal remains of a horse. Long-time Anti-Cappers may recall a similar image. When the "real" contest was on hiatus for a week in December 2006, Daniel "To-Busy-To-Blog" Radosh posted a "holiday bonus" contest. Instead of a cartoon it was an antiquated black & white photo.
"Mysterious 1870s Wisconsin Photo Sparks Jokes" was the headline of an Associated Press Story about the photo. It went on to say: "It's a 1870s picture of a mustachioed man in a suit and stovepipe hat who sits rakishly on an expired horse in the middle of a dusty, deserted street. The picture was included in a newspaper's 2007 calendar and the response from readers prompted news articles. From there, it took off on the Internet."
Not surprisingly Anti-Cappers jumped on grainy image (pictured right) like flies on dog shit, gleefully providing entries that were stupid, perverted and illogical. The AP story said their were few details about the photo other than that it was taken in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in the 1870's. The story concluded with this: "A Web site sponsored a contest for readers to write the best caption for the photo and about 100 were submitted, including: "Lay still old girl, FEMA's on the way."
The "Web site," of course, was Radosh.net and the cap singled out by AP was submitted by me. (The word 'best" is all wrong, of course.) Remarkably, Daniel gave my cap only a lousy stinkin' Honorable Mention. The winning entry he selected was: "My name is Damien Hirst, and I come from the future!" (Yeah, I know. Go fuckin' figure!) It was submitted by someone calling himself "Pat Broderick."
Last week's cartoon prompted me to recall that one glorious week when the Associated Press recognized the Anti-Cap contest and my humble little Anti-Caption. (I mention this in case you are wondering what kind of dues I paid before being elevated to the exulted status of every-other-week-Anti-Caption-Judge.)
Here than are the winners for last week's contest along with my two-cents. Leave a comment and maybe the Associated Press will one day give you props.


WINNER
"Shit! This happens every time I park overnight in Brooklyn."-- NAMBY (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Because I personally know NAMBY, I almost went with the cap "I should have known better than to park my horse here alone in this neighborhood. [submitted by "Roger McGaugh] but I honestly believe this is better. And if you know anything about Brooklyn [my birth place, by the way] you know there is a germ of truth and a hint of irony.)
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HONORABLE MENTONS
"Will the owner of the stegosaurus with the tiny barrel on its back please remove it from the driveway? It's chewing on the porch post again."-- c1w (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Some of the best Anti-Caps are those that lamely state the obvious and let irony swirl forth like stink from shit. A stegosaurus , by the way, is some type of prehistoric creature. So the story here checks out.)

And a happy fucking April Fools to you too, Damien Hirst!-- boneguy (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This gets props in the off-chance that "boneguy" was refering to the old dead-horse photo mentioned above. Even if not, there are few people who can reference Damien Hirst. Apparently boneguy is into death and horses.)

"Well, tomorrow I'll be sober and you'll still be dead." --dwilk (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I don't want to be baited into elevating every obscure reference just because I want to show that I "got it." Having said that I want everyone to know this is based on a classic line from WC Fields.)

"Aw, dang it! Who forgot to feed the Chinamen?"-- L. Stanford (JUDGE'S COMMENT: It seems underpaid workers from China, consumed with hunger, ate the cowboy's horse. This is a poignant statement about the exploitation of immigrant labor--as well resourcefulness of hungry people. Not funny, but not supposed to be either.)

Well shewt - I thought all that screaming and whimpering was the brakes. Should've gotten the undercoating."-- Damon (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Car owners often assume nothing's wrong until it's too late. This is something I have learned.)
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I see you've been through the desert on a horse with no mane.-- CRC (JUDGE'S COMMENT: "After two days, in the desert sun, My skin began to turn red..." That song was big when I was in high school. This cap sucks but I love that stupid song. Thank you, America.)

“Ah don’t care whut dey say. I still think yer beautiful, Sarah Jessica.”-- Damon (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Another cheap shot from a spiteful, ill-mannered person [not that there's anything wrong with that.] To me she'll always be Mrs. Ferris Bueller and, yes, I think she is beautiful.)
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"Well, Silver, I learned in my Texas textbook that evolution is hooey, so there's no way on God's earth you're gonna convince me to go back and examine the fossil record. Put your horseflesh back on. We're getting out of here. " Richard H (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This is clunky and awkward but it's also topical. I also thought someone had stripped the flesh off the beast. I wondered if someone could make that a cap without being gross.)

"Well, I reckon it's time to ride on up to Cheyenne and git the results of Contest #272 onta the Inter- . . . Aw fuck, not again."
Posted by: Joshua
Better make that:
"Well, I reckon it's time to ride on up to Amarillo and git the results of Contest #272 onta the Inter- . . . Aw fuck, not again."
(Just noticed the Texas belt buckle.)--: Joshua
(JUDGE'S COMMENT: Josh came back right away with a corrected version. He also mentioned the contest. This seems needy and pathetic, which is why he has made it into the winner's circle. Nice work, Josh, now go out and get yourself a life. )

Ah, another empty suit. Welcome to Crawford.-- Jim Cavanaugh (JUDGE'S COMMENT: A dig at W. Not over the top but a bit cunning. Best part: Chimpy would not even know he is being dissed.)

(With apologies for seasonal timing):
"Just remember our motto here at Fort Dachau, 'Arbeit Macht Frei.'--
TE (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Google the references here and you'll agree this Anti-Cap is so brilliant you have to do research to get it. Very nice TE. I would have picked it as the top winner but it's a bit too obscure. [Live by the sword...])
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"So, you're Calista Flockhart's horse."-- Lieutenant Macaroni (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Another skinny girl, long face reference. Hate them when they're too big. Hate them when they're too thin and wonder why they hate themselves [and you])

Hey, Bones. Ed Hardy's on the phone inside. He wants to do a T-shirt with your likeness on it.-- clannish (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Hardy makes baseball caps costing $80. I know this cause I got one for free and almost tossed it 'til I found out the price. It does not have a horse skeleton on it but I am familiar with his work.)
We're organizin' a posse. It seems the T-Rex exhibit escaped from the mu-zeum agin!"--Lieutenant Macaroni (JUDGE'S COMMENT: I too thought it looked something from a museum. I often give props to that which validates what I feel.)

Here's another banal caption: As the new sheriff in town, I'm going to ban al in la commentary. But don't quote me on that. JohnnyB (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Wow! Guess I hit a nerve with a previous comment. Apart from having no creativity, wit or sense of irony, JohnnyB seems like a particularly fragile person.)

We've got to find his collar. alinla is in a panic that it's going to wind up on the Mets.--B. Baller (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Mention the Mets and mention me and you get an Honorable mention even if your cap sucks.)
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"What's the problem, Karen? Jesus was a carpenter and he came back from the dead."
-- dwilk
(JUDGE'S COMMENT: A nice Easter themed cap that is both obscure and tasteless. For what it's worth, I always thought Karen & Richard had a hell of lot more talent than Barry Manilow.)
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"Hmm...There aren't any black people here...I wonder who could've done this?"
Hed
ley Lamarr (JUDGE'S COMMENT: An Anti-Cap classic with a twist of racisim signed by an old actress whose first name was also the nick-name given to girls who eagerly preformed oral sex (At least at the college I went to). Nice work, H.L.)
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"No, Mr. Bones, I suspect you'll remain tied"-- Roger M (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Not at all funny but at least he's paying attention. Many of us search for a possible "Mr. Bond." cap with every cartoon. I could not come up with one for this time, so I tip my hat to Rog.)
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"Mescalito, you crazy bastard! ¿Cómo está usted?"--C. Castaneda (JUDGE'S COMMENT: Our first foriegn language classic. I will assume it's funny.)
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Crazy Horse, you crazy horse! What the fuck happened? Rob (JUDGE'S COMMENT: This is so bad it's good. I mean that in a good way.)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Posted by Tim H:

al in la,

I will notify my Pulitzer Prize-winning brother -- an Associated Press Special Correspondent -- of his obligation to give me and my fellow Anti-Capsters our "props."

In the meantime, you can read his latest dispatch here.

Richard Hine said...

Al -- this week's winner deserves props from AP!

Anonymous said...

That bit of racism was courtesy of Hedley Lamarr, the racist villain of Blazing Saddles fame, not to be mistaken with Hedy Lamarr, the similarly-named actress of classic cinema.

Anonymous said...

Posted by Tim H, again:

al in la,

I believe the quote about "tomorrow I'll be sober, but you'll still be ugly" (and variations on the theme) are usually attributed to Winston Churchill.

Although, it is certainly in the spirit -- or, spirits -- of the great W.C. Fields.

Anonymous said...

Al,
If you're only the every-other-week judge, looks like they'll only get judged every-other-week.

Anonymous said...

Took a re-read of all your comments to remember that I was Roger M, so thanks for the props on my terrible entry. U-raq, Dude. Keep this thing alive

james said...

Thanks again for your comments.
Nice story about the AP - the legend of alinla continues to grow.
Now, would someone please post the
new contest?

james said...

Also, my kids laugh at me when I tell them Karen Carpenter had the
sweetest voice ever.

jmtanzer said...

You're right, I am needy and pathetic. However, if you're ready to scrape the bottom of the barrel, I am available for alternate-week anti-caption judging. --Joshua

Anonymous said...

Super batch of judges' comments this week. How much of this shit do you really know? Or are you just Googling it all. Either way I'm impressed.

Anonymous said...

You are apparently new to the contest. It is because of his uncommon range of knowledge that alinla enjoys his status as every-other-week judge of the anti-cap contest. His word is unquestioned by loyal followers of the site, except, ot course, when he somehow overlooks my entries in favor of lesser ones.

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