Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Interview with the boss

by +Tina Cruris

After almost 3 years and over 400 posts, we figured it was time to really get to know the crew which keeps Slap the Penguin running. We thought it only fair to start at the top, especially considering that our esteemed leader is celebrating a milestone birthday today.

Happy 40th Birthday
Slappy Birthday, Ian C.
We have been surreptitiously asking Ian C. a whole bunch of stuff over the last few weeks, trying to find out what really makes him tick. These are the results...

Who is your favorite penguin slapper?
That's easy... Me.
How did you come up with the name Slap the Penguin?
Penguins are awesome and cute and nobody would ever want to slap one (I would hope). I wanted an ironical title that is memorable and a double entendre all in one. Then it came to me, Slap the Penguin just popped straight into my head. Plus I was a fan of Drop the Dead Donkey waaaay back in the day and the name sounds kind of almost similar. Except for the dead bit, dead penguins aren't cute, unless you are a hungry seal.
Were you funny in school?
I was funny in school, but I was too shy to get up and demonstrate that fact. There were already a couple of class clowns so I let them get all the glory. And all the detentions.
What music do you like to listen to?
I enjoy a broad spectrum of music, with the exception of most chart stuff. And country. And R&B. I grew up listening to 80's synth pop and naturally progressed to things with a  goth edge. Then in 1989 I discovered Nine Inch Nails and a whole new genre opened up for me. I was still listening to a lot of late 70's intelligent punk/post-punk like Wire and Joy Division, and spotting a lot of their influences in the music of the early 90's, and I am still hearing it 2 decades into the 21st century. 

Who is your hero?
That would depend on what day you asked me, and what definition of the word hero you are using. "To a New Yorker like you, a hero is some type of weird sandwich..." - Donald Sutherland, Kelly's Heroes.
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
World Peace? 100 facebook fans? $1 million... I don't know, I am not very good with hypothetical questions.
What 3 things would you like to have if you were stranded on a desert island?
World Peace? 100 facebook fans? $1 million... I don't know, I am not very good with hypothetical questions.
After some thought... my laptop, electricity and lightning fast internet.
Do you have any pets?
2 kids, 2 step-kids and a guinea pig called Gizmo. I wanted to call it Guinea Weasley, but it wasn't my decision since it's not actually my pet, and it's a boy guinea pig anyway. Some people just don't understand or appreciate high frequency humor.
High Frequency Humor? What exactly is that?
High Frequency Humor (HFH) is how I describe those elements of humor that not everybody picks up on. It can be a subtle pun, a homophone or a made up name which carries a relevance to the theme of the post. Other times it could be 'photoshopped' visual humor or an image caption. Some of my favorite posts have examples of HFH and I get a great feeling from writing and publishing them. Sometimes when people don't pick up on the high frequencies of a post it hurts.
Only those on a similar warped wavelength generally get HFH and I refuse to explain it or point it out to readers. If you want to have a joke delivered and then explained to you, watch an Austin Powers movie. Ladies and gentlemen, Exhibit A:
Robin SwallowsRS: My Name is Robin Swallows.
AP: Swallows - that's an interesting name.
RS: Maiden name's Spitz
High frequency humor would have stopped there and left the viewer to get the punchline, or not. However, Myers continued and delivered the punchline, rendering the joke humorless and borderline insulting.
AP: Which is it, baby, Spitz or Swallows? 
Be honest, did you get the joke before you read the punchline? This is more blatant than high frequency humor, but the principle is the same. Next time you read an STP post, really read it. Look at the pictures and read the image captions. You don't know what you might be missing. 
What is your favorite homophone?
Tell me about yourself.
Really!!! That's an unimaginative question, (Brad). OK, male, 40, 6'3" 210 lbs. Married for 10 years with 4 kids (3 girls, 1 boy). Full time manager of a really popular liquor store with way too little time to manage a successful satirical news blog on the side. Born in Cardiff, Wales and moved to Cottage Grove, Minnesota about 10 years ago to be with my wife. Is that enough?
What's your favorite movie?
All time favorite, probably Blazing Saddles by Mel Brooks, but it varies daily depending on my mood. There are maybe a dozen movies which I have rated 4 stars on Netflix, so on any given day, any one of them might be my favorite.
Who is on your freebie list?
I assume you mean the list of celebrities with whom a one night encounter would be forgiven by a spouse, considering the innumerable odds against it actually happening. My top 5 would include, in no particular order, Tina Fey, Kate Beckinsale, Isla Fisher, Emma Stone and Kirsten Dunst.
Tina Fey, Kate Beckinsale, Isla Fisher, Emma Stone and Kirsten Dunst
I wonder if his wife knows about this list... She does now!
Coffee or Tea?
What do you get if you multiply six by nine?
Trick Question...42.
What is your favorite pizza topping?
Does beer count as a pizza topping? I don't eat pizza, I dislike both cheese and tomato. And also garlic, so I can't even just sit quietly and nibble on the breadsticks. 
Xbox, Wii(u) or PlayStation 3?
No Sega or Atari option? Has to be PS3 then. I have all 3 systems in the house. The kids love the WiiU, the Xbox sucks (even with Kinect) and I spend way too much time on my PS3. And NO, I will not be an early adopter of the newly announced PS4 or Xbox One.
What games do you play on the PS3?
It varies. Recently I have been playing the Mass Effect trilogy, and Crysis 2. I have a whole bunch of Lego games, which I find relaxing and strangely addicting. I like driving games when the mood suits.  
What first motivated you to become a penguin slapper?
Short answer... MONEY. 
Julie and JuliaLong answer... I had just watched 'Julie and Julia' the movie about a women who blogs about doing Julia Childs' recipes every day for one year and how she got a book and movie deal and made lots of money. That prompted me to start a blog which was just going to be a journal of life events. Then I had this great idea of making a commentary blog like a late night chat show monologue which I called 'My Twist'. This developed into 'My Twist News' as I started satirizing the news. Then while on a writer's block/burnout break, the domain name lapsed and I had to find a new name, hence 'Slap the Penguin' was born. 
So far the MONEY has not been forthcoming, but one day someone will recognize our talents here and recruit one/all of as comedy writers. 
Would you be willing to answer questions from STP readers and random visitors?
What a great idea, of course I would. They could submit their questions either in the comments section below or to and we could append them to this page with my answer. 
Thanks, Ian C., for taking the time to answer our questions and letting the STP visitors get to know you a little better.


Anonymous said...

High Frequency Humour and Money?

I am tuning in ...

Ian C - Slap The Penguin said...

Is there any other reason to bare your soul on the internet than money?

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