The Sounds of Real America are back.

Your response to the first three SORA prints was enthusiastic, so here are two more gems. If you ask me – and you did, obviously – these are even more amazing (read: bleak) than the original trio. Each print is 11"x14" on archival card stock, suitable for framing, wall mounting, or use as an improvised weapon. Only 20 of each design in the series will be available. To recap:

Fans of Gin and Tacos on Facebook are familiar with CAPSLOCK ED, a magical being who blog-only readers met briefly in Campaign of the Damned. He tends to post in series like "10 Things Grocery Stores Don't Want You to Know" (which was an actual "news" headline on CNN) and his latest bender is an ethnographic study of Americana called Sounds of Real America. It's a poignant study of the things one can only experience in the Real America, not in any fancy city or ivory tower university. It is the sound of the salt of the Earth living the simple life and experiencing things that only America can offer.

Reader / graphic designer Pauline Vassiliadis took it upon herself to surprise me with her visual interpretations of the SORA series. Being a fan of her talent and her appreciation for the absurd, my heart nearly exploded with joy when I saw the designs. I've decided to offer a small number of them to you, the readers. They combine my words with Pauline's aesthetic, capturing the essence of Real America in the process. Hang one of these babies on your wall to bring the magic of Muncie, IN or Macon, GA into your home.

SORA 1 and 5 are $40 each and $60 for the pair. Please get in touch with me (message the G&T Facebook page) if you're interested in these and you already purchased the first three – I'll cut you an even better deal on these two. BE THE FIRST KID ON YOUR BLOCK TO COLLECT ALL FIVE, AND THEN YOU WILL DEVELOP SPECIAL POWERS AND GET LAID.



Use the button below to purchase both at the 2/$60 price.


So apparently in the mid-1980s Wendy's restaurants took the idea of the corporate training video to the next level and set the basic how-to rules of the workplace to music. The results are more Eighties than Tony Danza and Ronald Reagan doing jazzercise with Max Headroom to the beat of a Roland 808 drum program.

These videos are pure, concentrated Eighties. The "hot drinks" song is stuck in your head now, right? I wonder what became of that singer/actor. I can only hope that he wakes up every single day thinking about how much he accomplished here.

The funny thing is, this strikes us as exceptionally cheesy. But it's remarkably, even embarrassingly, effective. How many of the rules for pouring and serving hot drinks do you remember right now? I bet you remember all of them. Would a 3-minute video of some actor in a Wendy's uniform reading the rules have held your attention? Would you have retained anything? Of course not. These are the moments in which I realize that Children's Television Workshop (the producers behind Sesame Street) are some of the most brilliant minds in the history of the medium. They've mastered all of the necessary techniques to mesmerize viewers: bright colors, singing, and rhyming. We're not so different from four year olds in some ways.