So Rank, So Banal

January 18, 2005

What do you do when a really good idea gets rejected? You return to the table with the polar opposite of a really good idea: the excessively dumb idea. An idea so rank, so banal, that its very existence is an insult to consciousness and thought. You bring this wretched display of mediocrity forth as a reaction to your initial rejection. It reveals your pettiness and condescension towards those that deemed it necessary to pass on your genius. If they won't have the steak, they can dine on the hoof. . .

On January 18, 2005 I sketched out my second, and final, submission for a Rose Parade float concept. The design of the previous year had consisted of a collection of family portraits in assorted frame styles. The images in the frames spanned a period of time chosen to match the decades that the city hosting the design contest had been in existence. It was tasteful, nostalgic, and thematically accessible. I labored over that first design for a week before sending it off.  It was rejected for a dancing animatronic cactus.

I funneled my indignation into the second design, which I resolved to make as inane as possible. There would be a group of fat hippos undertaking a new year's resolution of weight loss. They would be exercising under the watchful eye of their new trainer, a buff alligator with shifty eyes. This sad display would take place under a tree where some birds (possibly Kookaburra, this detail was to be decided later) would be laughing at the sad spectacle below them. With this design I could riff on California's new Governator and the narcissistic pre-occupation with self-image that is so deeply entrenched in California culture. It was clearly a horrible design that no one in their right mind would select.

Which was true. It was rejected, as it should have been. God only knows what won.

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