Inadvertent mashups

I listen to a lot of music on my computer, particularly since I I subscribed to Rhapsody, the superb music-streaming service. But lately I’ve been noticing more and more online ads that incorporate sound clips. It’s not just the banner ads; half the time when I start up AOL’s Instant Messenger, it plays a tiny movie trailer at the top of the buddy list. It’s insanely annoying.

But here’s the thing: Since I’m usually listening to music at the same time, these ads often blend into the song — producing what I call an “inadvertent mashup”. For example, I was just listening to Akon’s “Locked Up”, which includes the following lyrics …

Headin up town to ria / Back with a couple peeps / Caught a blocks on fire / Under covers dressed as fiends / Makin so much money / Ride up smooth and fast / Put away the stash / And as i sold the last bag fucked around and got locked up

… but just as that section ended, I was surfing a page on Wired News with a banner ad that piped out the following, in a chirpy young-phone-operator-chick voice:

Hi, my name is Tina. In the next 30 seconds, I’ll show you how to earn your college degree without ever stepping foot in a classroom!

It blended in perfectly over the phat beatz. That a picture of the ad above, by the way. Has anybody else out there experienced a particularly hilarious inadvertent mashup?

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson