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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

Sci Fi Channel becomes SyFy today

So, yesterday the FedEx man brings me a mysterious package. It was not, alas, a ransom letter or Professor Henry Jones Sr.’s grail diary or a coded message from a secret agent or anything cool like that. It was one of the most bizarre promotional items I’ve gotten in my years of being courted by PR types for coverage of whatever they’re pushing.

Inside the cardboard box was a big plastic box, about six inches along each side, imploring me to “Imagine Greater”:


Never mind that “Imagine Greater” doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue or inspire the mind’s eye. (Imagine greater what?) But what am I supposed to do with this box?

Well, I opened it, of course:

Inside was a DVD containing a two-minute promotional video featuring the stars of Sci Fi Channel shows wandering around the glorious new wonderland that is SyFy. There was also a nice branded pen and flash drive. But the “best” is the little booklet that, when you pull it out:

turns out to have the shape of the SyFy logo cut out of the middle of it.

I dunno why, but that cutout, to my mind’s eye that is now imagining greater, reminds me of Mickey Mouse. Which I’m guessing is not the intention, since Sci Fi/SyFy is owned by NBC Universal, not ABC Disney.

I wonder how much oil went into producing all the hundreds — perhaps thousands — of these white plastic boxes that entertainment journalists all over the country received yesterday. At least you can wear a T-shirt or a ballcap. But there’s absolutely nothing I can do with this box except throw it out.



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