Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tips for PowerPoint rangers, feminists, and other computer users (UPDATED TWICE)

Several months ago, I spent about ten minutes ranting to my girlfriend and another friend about a briefing I'd seen earlier in the day that was composed entirely IN COMIC SANS. The briefing was delivered by a four-star. A female four-star.

Let's be clear about something up front: I support women's equality, and more specifically opportunity for women in the military. I think it's tremendous (and long past time) that we have female officers succeeding at the highest levels of the armed forces. Furthermore, once you're a general officer, you can pretty much do whatever you want with your briefing slides as far as I'm concerned.

But honestly, if your mission in life was to do harm to the cause of women's advancement in the military, wouldn't you find the most senior uniformed female you could and have her give a BRIEFING IN COMIC SANS?

And let's even just ignore the whole gender/stereotype issue here and get something straight: comic sans sucks. Bad.


My girlfriend sent me this graphic this morning. It's apparently been making the rounds on the internet. I should be getting royalties.
UPDATE: Lil apprises me of the fact that there are people out there who are not typeface dorks (I actually own this t-shirt, and I don't give a damn about the University of Kansas) and will not immediately know what this is about. Go here.
UPDATE 2: Here's an awesome rejoinder from comic sans, as imagined by Mike Lacher in McSweeney's.
Listen up. I know the shit you've been saying behind my back. You think I'm stupid. You think I'm immature. You think I'm a malformed, pathetic excuse for a font. Well think again, nerdhole, because I'm Comic Sans, and I'm the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.
& c.

14 comments:

  1. I have to confess--I had no idea what you were talking about so I looked it up. I think you should write to Tufte.

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  2. Man, it worries me that there are people out there who are vigilant about the scourge that is comic sans.

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  3. I should've said "who are NOT vigilant..."

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  4. For a second I was worried that you were talking about flow charts. That would get me in serious trouble...

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  5. For full context, your post should have noted that girlfriend and friend found (and find) your level of passion of the subject to be totally puzzling.

    Girlfriend and friend regularly use "IN COMIC SANS" as a non sequitur punch line.

    I have made a fatal error in passing along this graphic: you now think your enthusiasm for this subject is normal.

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  6. I completely understand your fury. It may not be "normal" but it is justified.

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  7. There is a WHOLE WEBSITE DEVOTED TO THIS! OF COURSE IT'S MAINSTREAM!

    In other news, see HERE.

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  8. Comic fucking Sans. Un-fucking-believable. Our Armed Forces are going down the tubes faster than loose stool. Don't even get me started on "checkerboard" entrance effects and "dissolve" slide transitions...

    FYI

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  9. FYI

    What, I didn't drive enough traffic your way the first sixteen times I linked to that?

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  10. I thought it was appropriate. I don't pimp my blog. Trust me, the last thing that I need is to exceed my bandwidth quota. That last time that happened it cost me $20, so I had to drink cheap beer for a week.

    Link or no link, that presentation still gets about 20 hits per day.

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  11. Dude, relax, I'm messing with you. That presentation is freakin' hilarious and I encourage everyone to go look at it.

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  12. I'm not quite sure what the general's gender has to do with it, but I sure do wish Comic Sans would be stripped from every font pack on the earth.

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  13. That presentation is hilarious. "Historians will hate the era." Near made me fall off my chair.

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  14. Uh, that second update is very, very funny.

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