When Comments Are Art

So, if you didn’t know, there’s this kind of spontaneous performance art that sometimes happens when people get together on Amazon and start leaving spurious product reviews. Sometimes it’s because the product itself is transparently ridiculous (BIC “For Her” ballpoint pens, Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer). Sometimes the product is just a convenient window for commentary on some sort of larger current-event issue: after the debate in which Mitt Romney famously claimed that he had “binders full of women,” commenters started leaving bogus reviews on office supply products, complaining about the lack of women included with the binders.

And sometimes the reviews are just a kind of offbeat collaborative fiction project. I actually bought Robin one of the “Black Dragon T-Shirts” based at least in part on the stellar reviews:

From reviewer O. de Frias:

“This is, without a doubt, the best black shirt with an angry monochrome dragon perched on two natural pillars on a cliff that I have ever seen. I know that when I get married, this is the undershirt I’ll wear. The amount of awesome displayed on your chest canvas while wearing this shirt, obviously a shirt given to man by Zeus himself, is currently impossible to calculate using our current mathematical constructs. We actually need to devise a new form of mathematics which we should call Wurm Theory in order to parse the data.

I’m going to explain to you what it’s like wearing this shirt. Each separate occasion merits a new stage of awesomeness being unlocked.

First wearing – You hear Sean Connery’s voice command you to be the greatest. Whether you want to or not, while this shirt is on your back you will comply.

Second wearing – The best theme song of all time is instantly created for you and sung by the dragon on your shirt which, contrary to what you would assume, has an awe-inspiring singing voice.

Third wearing – You ascend to a higher level of consciousness.

Fourth wearing – The “what came first, the chicken or the egg” riddle is conclusively solved.

Fifth wearing – Zeus reveals his master plan and the meaning of life.

Sixth wearing – You get like, $0.20 off all your Starbucks purchases, and some places even let you take the cup you used the day before and knock an additional $0.05 if you use that.

PROS: Dragon on your shirt, Sean Connery finally gets some steady work again
CONS: Some of the independently-owned Starbucks don’t let you do the used cup thing.”

Amazon not only tolerates these sorts of shenanigans, they’ve actually given their blessing by compiling a list of some of the most popular “funny reviews.” People! Sometimes they’re just the greatest.

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