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July 6, 2009


last weeks installment :: give me suggestions on where to take it from here....kisses

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Comments (60)

Well done, Ze. Next, how 'bout something perceptive about Michael Jackson? Timely topic. Maybe too timely?

Posted by: M.J. Devlin at July 6, 2009 11:02 AM

What about a TMMTO podcast?

Posted by: Ole at July 6, 2009 11:04 AM

I'd be interested to hear what you had to say on the 24-hour news cycle and its impact on public perceptions. I hear cries of danger and outrage from Fox News, louder and more embittered than anything I ever heard from MSNBC during the Bush years. What's more, FNC is crying out against some of the very things they were championing before Obama got elected. Now the people who, during Bush's reign, told detractors that they had a patriotic obligation support their President are now calling for bin Laden to attack America so as to prove their political views.

Now the networks are scratching their heads about Sarah Palin. They're saying what a boneheaded move she made, assuming that she's going to run for president in 2012. They're all dumbfounded because they won't consider that maybe she's quitting politics completely because it's a freaking madhouse. Ironically, they're looking at her leaving politics within the context of her still being in politics.

Meanwhile, we're having something really interesting going on in Iran. Major changes are taking place that will likely ripple through the Middle East. We were doing well for a while, reporting on what was going on there. Then all of a sudden, Michael Jackson died, and now that's the lead story on all of the news networks. Then again, who am I to say what we as a culture should and shouldn't be interested in?

Posted by: Steve at July 6, 2009 11:59 AM

IMO some of your best stuff is your commentary on the media itself, which is likely what Time needs too, if they want to be honest. E.g. "which might be why so many of us are getting our news from comedians." Hilarious/insightful, classic ze. Keep it up!

Posted by: Seth at July 6, 2009 12:37 PM

This feels enough like The Show to give me that warm feeling in my brain. Keep thinking so that I don't have to Ze!

Current affairs are the most interesting things to hear your slant on. It was always nice when you exposed events relevant to the political system which, nevertheless, got a relatively low amount of exposure in the mainstream.

Posted by: Felix at July 6, 2009 1:01 PM

Potential future topic:
Maybe something about Sarah Palin quitting her job as governor for no apparent reason vs. Mark Sanford *not* quitting despite a very good reason.

Just a thought.

Posted by: Ben Ruskin at July 6, 2009 2:56 PM

Just take it and run, sweets. You're doing great! Go, Ze, go!

Posted by: Paperotta at July 6, 2009 5:20 PM

You don't know me but I know you. Teehee.
I love what you're doing here. Yes I used the word "love".
I wonder how often you hear that word. Shame its meaning must be dulled.
My suggestion! Of what to do from here: Keep going! By combining pieces of news that interest a variety of people and linking them together shows wit and connectivity! (oh, symbolism...)
It also is a means for more people to pay attention. Kudos. =) <--smiley.

Posted by: AlexBTetra at July 6, 2009 6:50 PM

how can we tell you
where to go
when we haven't read this weeks news yet?
>when is the drop dead date for helping? ; )

Posted by: lyn at July 6, 2009 6:53 PM

i suggest you give more visual representation of your material. like acting stuff out and dialogues between you and yourself. or you could do more funny faces...

Posted by: Ian at July 6, 2009 8:33 PM

Yesterday North Korea tested some missles. That makes me think of Fan Death: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_death

Posted by: joshua at July 6, 2009 10:29 PM

Posted by: Darrell at July 6, 2009 10:52 PM

I actually found the world's ugliest dog to be one of the cutest. :)

Posted by: Alex at July 6, 2009 11:07 PM

I feel like this is kind of like a smaller, less zany version of the show, but with more friends.

Posted by: Rasian at July 6, 2009 11:09 PM

I really love this series you're doing, the best since the show. I think you've found a good style for them, although you might try ending them on a lighter note ;)

Posted by: Tyson at July 7, 2009 7:55 AM

By the way, these are great.

I'm glad they seem to be a regular thing.

Posted by: Darrell at July 7, 2009 9:36 AM

I think my sister has the human version of the powderpuff genes. She fluffy.

Suggestions: mmm I need to learn to laugh it off when people "witness" to me and learn not see their bumper stickers and signs that threaten violent things for people. Each day it climbs further up the education tree. It's hit the buzzword crowd now. "Emergent" is not a third world country, it is the new church and they are kinder, hipper, gentler, younger, smugger when they tell me I am going to hell.

Posted by: boo at July 7, 2009 10:50 AM

Just as when writing a story we get to a point where ideas for further development can be found by reviewing earlier pages, I have a hunch there is a big clue for your next impulses here:


I am thinking along the lines of the "sociological brain crack" that effects us as a culture and delays our assertive action, or worse makes us numb: "I would do something bold to make the world better, but..." (*I said better but!*)


Posted by: Jeano at July 7, 2009 12:24 PM

How about gay marriage rights? This is not my personal soapbox, though I do feel strongly about it. I think it would make a good subject for you because it remains a hot top and many diverse events and opinions get played out frequently around it. What made me think of it is Jenny Sanford's (Gov. Mark's wife) comments.

"Of course I'm not saying that Mark is gay," Sanford said, "but he may as well be. The moral decay in this country has claimed another victim and this time it was my family. Our marriage was perfect until these laws started passing around the country. Clearly the slow dissolution of the sanctity of marriage in America seeped into Mark's psyche until he no longer felt compelled to abide by our vows."

Maybe it's old news--nearly 2 weeks now--but still seems fresh fodder for satire. And it seems these days there's no shortage of material.

Thanks for everything you do, Ze. I'm devoted.

Posted by: Daniel Ari at July 7, 2009 1:45 PM

Um...It looks like that comment ("Gay marriage wrecked my family") was not Jenny Sanford's at all but a satirical invention that was subsequently attributed to her. I was duped because it's just plausible enough--and presses the hot buttons.
The topic may in fact be how quickly fake news and misinformation spreads.

Posted by: Daniel Ari at July 7, 2009 1:50 PM

Ze: loving your videos for Time.com. I searched all over their site for some way to send feedback about your videos and couldn't find any. If there's an email address I can use to share with them how much I'm enjoying "That Makes Me Think Of," please post it on your blog. Thanks!

Posted by: Groovymarlin at July 7, 2009 1:58 PM

That makes me think of Consumerism, The book "'What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?': Jimmy Carter, America's 'Malaise,' and the Speech that Should Have Changed the Country" , Toilet paper a 6 billion dollar industry (according to cnn.com) and the fact that a link to that story is on their home page, Toilets make me think of companies with over 100 million dollars in assets are filing for chapter 11, Assets make me think of, oh wait this is for time.com? Nevermind.

Posted by: Derrick at July 7, 2009 5:20 PM

nice going! your 'think long' reminds me of my friend Zander's work over at The Long Now Foundation. Check it out, you might be pretty interested to see what they are up to over there.


Posted by: omie at July 7, 2009 6:01 PM

This is good. Sharp stuff.

Posted by: Nicholas Quixote at July 7, 2009 9:10 PM

World's ugliest people contests?

Posted by: Gordon at July 7, 2009 9:55 PM

I always think that the stuff that you do that is most powerful is when you get other people to do things. So how can you use this platform to get people to stop watching and start doing, or at least adding some doing to their watching? That is the essential transformation...So can you come up with time-worthy projects? Or is it too serious...

glad to see what you are *doing* as always, it reminds me to add in some more doing.


Posted by: eric at July 7, 2009 10:48 PM

(later) now I'm thinking of historical parallels to today's political events and how they played out then/ how they're playing out now, and how our cultural development dynamics grow and change. My, this sounds like a "compare and contrast" assignment. Now I'm over TMMTO-ing...

Posted by: jeano at July 8, 2009 2:04 AM

Maybe Don’t Ask Don’t Tell… I’m sure you could have some fun with that… in fact, it reminds me of another old running gag/segment. What’s something I like that’s gay? The Military! Would Time let you get away that?

Posted by: snooge at July 8, 2009 8:43 AM

Since you've gone to the dogs (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/go-to-the-dogs.html ;-)
The G8 assembly in Italy think 2° won't make us go to the dogs... what I thought particularly hilarious was the "change" slogan for the assembly. Hommage to the US president.

Posted by: Sarah at July 8, 2009 4:44 PM

I'm sure there's a way you could work Lindsey Lohan stealing the recipe for her fake, makes you look like chester the cheetah, tanner into a relevant discussion involving media and/or politics.

Also Harry Potter. There's quite a mania around it, much like certain other things.

Or Lance Armstrong...jerk or not? I need you to think for me regarding that.

Posted by: Amanda at July 8, 2009 5:44 PM

Can we dress up our vaccum cleaners again? Too soon?

Posted by: starstuff at July 8, 2009 8:33 PM

Robert McNamara's death makes me think of Donald Rumsfeld's death. Will the architect of the Iraq war be eulogized in a similar light as the architect of the Vietnam war? Will Rumsfeld one day wax philosophic about the tragedy and lessons of Iraq? Will he be wracked with regret, become a hawk-turned-humanitarian? And will Philip Glass write his soundtrack?

Posted by: Jerome at July 9, 2009 12:14 AM


My suggestion is as follows.

As you know, president Obama and several Democrats were elected for the purpose of changing this country and increasing transparency and honesty in our government. Unfortunately not everyone is holding up their end of the deal and I feel like they are using the excuse of "well the Republicans did it," as their line of reasoning being able to do whatever they want. This following video is of a Republican senator pointing out this very issue while discussion the possibility of auditing the Federal Reserve (which to me should be a no brainer). I would love to see you draw more attention to both the idiocy of how our congressmen/women are acting as well as to the audit of the Federal Reserve.

Here is the link in case you missed it on Digg yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tRQHsXujpo


-Jimmy (Chicago)

Posted by: Jimmy at July 9, 2009 11:36 AM

How about the small business owner?
How about telling people to go and patronize their locally owned businesses?

Just a thought.

Posted by: John Minni at July 9, 2009 12:32 PM

History, I say. Historical references to put current events in perspective, it's particularly helpful in the Middle East.

I've recently read a wonderful children's book called 'A Little History of the World, by E. H. Gombrich, the simplified overview of our journey from caves to computers pulled the present into sharp focus for me.

Posted by: Rob at July 9, 2009 1:54 PM

This is a very fine segment, but I wouldn't have quoted Gordon Brown. For anything. Ever.

Posted by: KC at July 9, 2009 7:19 PM

Notice the banking industry rebundling crappy assets with good ones. That makes me think of collectible card games. crappy cards in with a couple good cards. Ever get a pack with only one good card and its not even really good? ew. I'm glad that one good card isn't one we all have to share cuz we all need to make decks in order to play. Too bad there aren't any health cards, we all need those but only the rich guys can buy all the cards they need. The funny thing is that they keep saying that canada has no health cards but i've played with their deck and it beat our deck every time.

Posted by: varion at July 9, 2009 11:19 PM

That Makes Me Think Of makes me think of a very old kids TV show that I used to love called Make A Wish, where the host would riff on a word, say "Pan" and that would lead him from frying pans to the god Pan to panic to pancakes to pancake makeup and he'd end up at the circus.

I liked that show when I was a kid and I like what you're doing now that I'm an older dude.

(and that makes me think of an old BBC history show called Connections...)

Posted by: Michael Mayhew at July 10, 2009 1:10 AM

I'm so glad you're back!! It is like discovering the show all over again!! I'm not cool enough to 'get' twitter - but I really love to be entertained by your videos! Thank you thank you thank you for making more!! As for where to take it now - could you fit in a mocking yet blatant plug for indie artists in times of recession...specifically your fans with something to show? :) http://www.cafepress.com/WhirledAtlas

Posted by: tish at July 10, 2009 6:20 PM

Are you growing old on me now? It's all very serious and national - I know you guys have your own little circus going on in the states, but I always found a soulmate in humor in you, Ze, so don't forget the odd, simple and absurd parallel universe, you keep making us see. Remember, life's a feast, just dig in...
Groovy vibes from Denmark ;)

Posted by: Sophie at July 11, 2009 1:01 PM

That there is some circular logic bringing us back to the beginning so well that we didn't realize we even started.

Posted by: deb at July 11, 2009 4:20 PM

Media reporting on media is always fun

Whatever you do makes my day all that much better!
Keep it up!

Posted by: Max at July 12, 2009 8:36 PM

1) Sa-Sa-Sa-Sa-Something From The Comments.
2) Sign Language (airport signs eg.)
3) Did Delta ever pay you back?
4) Dirty Space News
5) "Do you like Spirograph?" lady.
6) Power Moves? Too much for Time?
7) Michael Jackson. Weird or Just Weird Circumstances?
8) Billy Mays. Loud or Just too much volume?
8) Foamy - www.illwillpress.com
9) Ever since Kent State, is it true there has not been the focus on education in America?
10) Definitely 'Ground Zero' Sept 2011. Your story on ambling down to the waterside park was moving.
11) What do people want to be doing in five years from now?
12) Dances and forms of bodily expression.

All for now. Peace


Posted by: Toonces at July 12, 2009 11:29 PM

Zazaza Ze,

today I stopped by your .com to see what's new with you. I watched "The Show" religiously with my brother; we even sent in a video for the 3-13-07 show! yeah! The new show on Time is great; I've always dug your ponderific current event comedy. Its very rare to find a vlog or news mini or whatever they're called that can challenge us - both how one views current events as well as on a broader philosophical level.

What I miss is the raw vulnerability and 3 dimensions of The Show. The content is awesome on Time but I'd love to see you do something less corporate-smooth again. its that vulnerability and human-ness of your vlog that made us all love you.

Posted by: Denver Porter at July 13, 2009 1:13 AM

Between TMMTO and Hard Times it feels like the old days.

The nay sayers just need something to get out their rancor because they don't see the grand picture.

If you dumb it down it looses it's whit.
Up the obscure and they will scream louder.

Keep drawing lines (that others don't see) between the dots of our current events.

Suggestions? .... "critique" vs. "Critic".

Posted by: Airbedruad at July 13, 2009 7:36 PM

Somehow "that makes me think of" seems more formal than "the show". If feels like there is a distance between you and me. Instead of it feeling like a one on one communication between friends, it feels more like I am being addressed as part of a larger audience. I think the reason so many people loved the show was that you made us all feel connected, like we were your best friend. Maybe it was the offbeat quirky crazy stuff, maybe it was the way you laughed at sexual innuendos, maybe it was the way you had a funky hair day. So, like many art critiques, I can't tell you where to go, I can only tell you what seems different when contrasted with where you have been. Good luck in forging your new path. I'm just thrilled to see you back in videos on the web.

Posted by: John at July 13, 2009 9:02 PM

I loved what you are doing, but I miss three things. The community. You talked in one of your speeches about a resonance that echoed when you were doing The Show. I felt like I belonged to fightclub or something when I found another sports racer. We did things together on the internet. We dressed up our vacume cleaners, made power-moves, hungered for an earth sandwich, etc. Belonging to the community was critical to this experience. I also miss the intimacy. In The Show, it was you and me. You talking in your living room or wherever and me sitting at the computer. In your posts, you treated us viewers like good friends: made jokes, commented and casually analyzed the news, responded to the community. There was no pressure, no pre-tense. If you felt like being silly or somber or whatever, there you were. There was this spark in you that I think only comes from people when they are being themselves. It was so cool being exposed to your world full of its frustrations, ideas, victories, and more. Lastly, I missed the advice. You imparted wisdom which seems to fly back into my head all the time. You challenged us and explained how to battle our neuroses. It was refreshing to walk up not feeling somber and grim about the world's events or about humanity. Instead I got up with more understanding, ideas, and dare I say hope.
But, hey it's your show. What made it awesome is how you did what you wanted. If you think it's time to go in a new direction then I'm right behind you.

Posted by: Captain_Fabulous at July 14, 2009 12:09 AM

That made me think of news and politics
Which made me think about how I don't actually know anything about all those those politicians you said
Which made me think of how I wasn't all that good at school work
Which made me feel a little bad
Which made me question why I felt that way
Which made me think of all the stuff I do know
Which made me think about how people and making the world a less sucky place for people is the most important thing around
Which made me think about my work and about how I can make people have a better day just by smiling at them when I serve them
Which made me think of the impatient lady who practically snarled at me when I didn't know what I was doing very well on my first day and took a little longer
Which made me think of the nice old man who said thank you very much and that I did a wonderful job on my first day, despite dropping his order and having to start all over again

Which makes you think of you, and the news

Thank you for not snarling when you tell me about the news
Thank you for smiling, and making me feel I am doing a good job of keeping up with current events, even though I may need to watch it all over again to before I understand everything you tried to say.

Posted by: Charlie at July 15, 2009 8:06 AM

Thought this might be up your alley (if you haven't seen it already)...Auto-tuned news:

Posted by: Sarah at July 15, 2009 11:58 AM

I bet your videos are the only thing on Time's site that get any type of audience.

That fact aside, just keep doing what you do best. Your social and media commentary is unmatched by anyone, and always makes me feel at home.

But I still miss the old days, where you would be eating pretzel sticks during our "conversation."

Posted by: Wink at July 16, 2009 11:35 AM

Hey Ze, maybe work on some sort of connection to your past episodes? A running gag/theme of relating what you think of to a past political figure to add some historical context? A song as done during The Show?

Speaking of songs, have you heard this guy?


Posted by: Astor at July 17, 2009 1:29 AM

I just found your Hard Times videos on youtube after having been absent from this site since The Show. I have to say this series on Time is incredibly refreshing in comparison to the crap that has become increasingly popular on youtube. I hope you continue to do this series and I salute you sir!

Posted by: Nik at July 17, 2009 1:37 AM

This is a comment about the next comment which never seems to come... and I have to wonder if that is something that the media does to... Just play the BIG story for awhile while we think of what to do next... cause the ratings weren't so good with what we WERE doing... Right?

Any individual entity that pretends to understand the rules that guide this place... is under an illusion... (Ze-Frank 200*-04-11-3:45)

Posted by: FoxyCow at July 25, 2009 1:02 AM

structure each video around one thing, as ballast. the scattershot, Connections like structure is wonderful and you should keep that as much as possible, but i think having simpler titles and more obvious overall topics would make it easier for me to share the videos with people i know.

same level of complexity and thoughtfulness and randomness but structured around more of a central thread or hook - like a pop song in structure.

aw shucks i'm practically telling you to dumb it down when i don't really mean to : [

Posted by: striatic at July 25, 2009 3:31 AM

the murder of dr. george tiller, the abortionist, made me think of the aborted life due to suicide of dash snow, the artist. something about creativity, etc... but then that made me think of harry patch, britain's last survivor of WWI -- suriving death... life and death -- then there's always sarah palin's aborted attempts at being... a human? a politician? a mother?

just some thoughts. you in l.a. now? how's the feature coming along?

Posted by: Sara Cooper at July 27, 2009 11:48 AM

Long time fan, first time commenting. I would love to see you discuss the "birthers", those individuals who don't believe Obama is American. Keep up the awesome work.

Posted by: Andy at July 27, 2009 7:54 PM

dead simple ze. heath care. it's amazing that obama is working on this with all the economic / foreign (chose a word; relation or conflict) issues that he has on his plate. there are so many competing parties, different sides and big money involved, that even as a educated, try-although-it-makes-me-sick-to-my-tummy/cry current events follower, i'm confused. think for me. or for you.

Posted by: justin at July 28, 2009 12:59 PM

Last week was the twe....BUFFERRING...nty first annual worl....BUFFERRING....ds ugliest dog cont....BUFFERRING....est wher---

Damn you to hell Time dot com!

Posted by: PodeCoet at July 30, 2009 3:57 AM

Zefrank, I'd just like to say I love your work. I wish you'd make slightly longer pauses for me to gather my thoughts and reflect on your highly poetic delivery of facts, but I can only say: don't stop making these, if you have the choice.

Posted by: CotR at July 31, 2009 12:15 AM

Long time fan, first time poster.

Loved your show, so it's good to see you with this same timing and appraisal of hot topics on TIME. But I can't help but feel that for a new outlet, maybe the delivery should change.

Do you still need those editing breaks? What if you delivered your speech like a monologue instead? I understand that the whole point of the editing is to reinforce the disjointed nature of your thought-stream, but what I once thought was a help during the show I think is becoming a distraction. Seeing your TED lecture made me think that you're a pretty good speaker, so why not give it a try?

I don't think it would be too pompous of you to deliver more of a spoken editorial. I love the breadth and depth of your comments, especially when you reach back in history, pull out the quotes, etc.

What I'm saying, ze, is that I think you could get a lot more straight in your delivery and material, and still be really, really entertaining. You and I could get a LOT more serious.

Posted by: Scott at August 9, 2009 1:37 PM

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