Web 2.0: Bringing back the "Not because we ought to, but just because we can" ethos of Web.1.0
I've been surprised by the media's mostly polite reception of the New Yorker's decision to start offering animated versions of their cartoons online, especially given what an unequivocal disaster they are. Of course, it's possible that I've just missed that discussion (it's also possible that there hasn't been one because most people aren't reading the NYer online, despite a recent and vastly improved redesign, and despite great Online Only offerings such as Dan Baum's still great New Orleans Journal, but as far as I can tell, there hasn't been much of one.
The animations are by Jim Cox and Michael Fry (the same guys who did DreamWorks' "Over the Hedge"), and they lend actor's voices to cartoons that never needed them in the first place -- presumably in order to 'leverage' old content into new formats, in this case as downloadable podcasts. (You can subscribe to them for free on iTunes.)
I'm looking at my New Yorker Cat Calendar right now --May has a cat in a suit sitting at a desk in an office, and he's asked someone on the phone in that inimitable italicized, disembodied one-line: "Can I call you back? I'm with a piece of string." The only way that line is funny is if you don't have to hear a human voice delivering it. I hope they leave this one alone.
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