2-Pack: Funko Alien Action Figures
- WTF? Action figures? YesTF, action figures
- Each twosome gets you one Alien and one of your choice of the following: Spacesuit Ripley, Chestburster Kane, or Facehugger Kane
- “Approximately five points of articulation” like in ye olde days
- If that new trailer got your Alien jones flowing again, relive the magic with these classics
- If that new trailer seems like a desecration of your beloved Alien, affirm the supremacy of the original with these classics
- Either way, if you want us to sell more geek toys and stuff, buy these; if you want us to sell more headphones and knives, don’t buy these
- Model: 4421, 4422, 4424, 4425 (of course, those numbers won’t do you much good in Google, but at least they’re simple and logically sequential)
All Is Not Lost
Look, we’re not going to lie to you. Over this past year, every news cycle has felt like an alien parasite bursting from our chest. It’s been hard to keep our mind on our work. 2016 hasn’t been amenable to thinking up zany ways to peddle consumer leftovers.
But it helps to remember something Daniel Kahneman says. He won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics, the first Nobel laureate ever trained as a psychologist. When asked what scientific insight he thinks would make the most difference if it were more widely understood, Kahneman said:
“Nothing is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.”
It’s called the focusing illusion, and it’s a pretty simple concept: whatever you’re paying attention to seems more influential, even more causal, than it actually is. That’s why the president gets credit or blame for so many things he actually has little influence over. When you’re worried about money, it seems like money would solve all your problems. When you think about how shitty the weather is where you live, you’re sure you’d be happier if you lived somewhere where the weather was better.
The focusing illusion is why marketers pay so much just to get your attention. If some two-bit online store can catch your eye with an uncharacteristic deal on some retro-style Alien action figures, that’s more than half the battle. If some insurance company can drum their name into your head by plastering it on the stadium where your favorite team plays, you’re more likely to respond to their sales pitches positively later.
And when you’re punched in the face with the news about (INSERT DEPRESSING 2016 EVENT HERE), it feels like the world just keeps getting worse.
The facts, though, point in the other direction. Around the world, fewer people are in extreme poverty. Fewer people live in war zones, and fewer people are dying in those wars. The U.S. murder rate is at its lowest point since 1965. More people are vaccinated, educated, nourished, and enfranchised than ever before.
In 2016, ebola was eradicated from West Africa. With the end of Colombia’s civil war, the entire Western Hemisphere is at peace. Wolves are back in Europe. Salmon are spawning in New England rivers. Green sea turtles, giant pandas, and manatees are off the endangered list. Global carbon emissions have stopped growing, and the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has started to shrink.
The Chicago Cubs won the World Series. For most baseball fans, it was a miracle that showed that anything could happen. For St. Louis Cardinals fans, it showed they could survive the baseball apocalypse.
And hey, there’s not an alien parasite clinging to your face, so you got that going for you, which is nice.
Of course there are reasons to worry, to mourn, to fear the worst about people. There always are. But there are just as many reasons to believe in the ingenuity, the energy, and the good will of people working together.
Whatever 2016 threw at you, expect 2017 to pile on even more. Just remember, nothing is as important as you think while you’re thinking about it. With the possible exception of an alien parasite bursting from your chest.