Adult Swim's New Infomercial Gives Actual Shit to Awful Startup Culture
Turn on the TV late at night this week and you might come across an extended advertisement for Smart Pipe, an exciting product that takes the internet of things to its subterranean, sewage-drenched logical conclusion. Don't worry, though: no one actually wants you to share your shit on Twitter.
The infomercial—which, in its sendup of startup culture, hits everything from data harvesting to PR masquerading as journalism to the tech industry's free-market messiah complex—is actually an Infomercial. That is, it's the latest entry in Infomercials, the great Adult Swim series that aims to trick 4 a.m. viewers into believing the freaky short films they're watching are actually some deranged company's paid programming. You may remember Infomercials from the viral hit "Too Many Cooks" or "In Search of Miracle Man," last week's installment.
"Smart Pipe" takes about a minute to hit its stride—you have to convince people you're an actual infomercial before you go off the rails, I guess—but it is very funny once it gets there. About halfway through, the Marc Andreesen lookalike that serves as Smart Pipe's founder tells his origin story, a copy of Atlas Shrugged placed conspicuously on his desk: "My father taught me the value of hard work and big ideas. But he was in the union, and so he grew lazy and was unable to innovate. He died."