March 8, 2018
To the Research Committee of the American Association for George Plimpton Studies—
by Ian Dreiblatt
Recent months have been exciting ones in the burgeoning academic discipline of Plimpton Studies, as you know. Researchers have uncovered a steady stream of ever-more surreal commercials starring Paris Review founding editor and endearingly bemused sports commentator George Plimpton.
Vital publications have appeared in Plimptonic discourse through several of its iterations, including Intellivisionism, which critically examines the TV commercials Plimpton made for Mattel’s doomed home gaming venture, Intellivision, and Kernel Theory, which contemplates the will and its manifestations through the lens of Plimpton’s later-eighties TV spots for Pop Secret popcorn.
Today, amid news that Plimpton’s surviving family are selling the New York apartment where the Plimptons lived and legendarily partied, we present several new findings in these areas.
Firstly, we are pleased to announce the discovery of what certainly appears to be an Intellivision commercial directed by David Lynch:
As it is almost certain that David Lynch never directed an Intellivision commercial starring George Plimpton, current research is seeking explication.
Additionally, we are pleased to report the discovery of previously unknown Plimptonalia in this commercial for the Intellivoice Module, a technology so impressive and compelling that nobody ever cared about it for even one second, ever.
Plimpton’s sheer, existential confidence here—a believing qua affect—creates a brilliantly human antipode to the simulated robo-speech of the Intellivoice Module, which can only be described as lovably cockamamie.
In this video, we see perfect evidence for the ancient wisdom, oft-repeated, that “no one can play a rich guy at a typewriter quite like George Plimpton”:
Researchers within the sub-field of Plimptonological Dialect Theory are currently attempting to learn whether the phrase with which Plimpton begins this last video, “Read any good microwave popcorns lately?”, ever seeped from Plimptonois into mainstream spoken English.
Further research into standard unpopped-kernel ratios and Reagan-era microwave wattage is similarly ongoing.
Thank you for considering these preliminary findings. We welcome the scrutiny of the scientific community.
The Subcommittee for Research into Plimptonian Audovisual Residuum
PS Why “Pop Secret”? Is it, in fact a secret? And then why are we meant to think we’re putting a paper sack of gel-smeared kernels into a radio-cooker? If it is a secret, then whose secret is it, and, just as importantly, from whom? The enquestionments are endless.
Ian Dreiblatt is the director of digital media at Melville House.