San Francisco Institute of Possiblity


San Francisco Institute of Possibility announces that it will NOT conduct a massive publicity stunt to mock the America’s cup, as that would be redundant.

Sailing sailingSan Francisco, CA, Sept. 12, 2013 –San Francisco Institute of Possibility (SFIOP) Executive Director Chicken John Rinaldi announced today that he is cancelling a series of planned public events to satirize the America’s Cup, as there is simply no lower the race can fall at this time.

“When this whole thing started, it was a very exciting time to do parody in San Francisco.  The SFIOP Board of Directors and I thought of a million ways we could make fun of the Cup race, and the lousy deal the city took to host it, and Larry Ellison and his billionaire cronies,” Chicken John said.  “But as disasters kept piling up it just stopped being funny, you know?  I mean, Ellison’s team was caught cheating after a man died, leading to the New Zealand yacht competing in a race against itself.  How do you satirize that?”

Added Rinaldi, “Oracle’s key sailor is named ‘Dirk de Ridder.’   That alone is pretty funny.  Also, the amount of money the city is going to have to pay for this debacle keeps climbing.  It’s now at, what, $13 million dollars?  That we’re paying so a billionaire can have Dirk de Ridder sail a yacht through our bay?  Being funnier than that for free is just not worth the effort.” (more…)

Support Jane Kim and John Avalos’ advertising free skies law!

Keep this out of our neighborhoods!

Keep this out of our neighborhoods!

The fight to free San Francisco’s skies from advertising has taken a … small … step forward.

But it’s a step.

On Monday the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Economic Development Committee considered a measure by Jane Kim and John Avalos to ban all aerial advertising in San Francisco.  (The measure came out of discussions with the San Francisco Institute of Possibility’s board.)

It should have been a slam dunk – but instead it’s on the slow and scenic legislative path, the kind that doesn’t always get where it’s going.  (Cough cough:  immigration reform.) (more…)

Help us free San Francisco’s skies from advertising!

It's coming to your skies - unless you do something!

It’s coming to your skies – unless you do something!

Look, at the rate things are going it’s just a matter of time before an energy drink hires a fleet of planes to fly around San Francisco pulling messages like “Feel the Rush!” and “Gives hackers the 24 hour energy boost they need to innovate!”

Do you really want that?  I mean, what’s the damn point of living in a city with beautiful views of they bay if those views are constantly blocked by advertising?

You know it’s coming.

BUT … in response to a question by a member of the SFIOP board, Supervisor Jane Kim and Supervisor John Avalos are proposing a ban on “the use of aircraft, self-propelled, or buoyant objects to display any sign or advertising device in airspace over the City and County of San Francisco.”

That’s right:  advertising free skies!  When you look out your window you’ll see mountains, bridges, and coastal waters, rather than hashtags for the social media campaigns of snack food companies!


Top reasons San Francisco was picked to host Super Bowl L in 2016:

  • In San Francisco, a massive half-time show is called "Wednesday."

    In San Francisco, a massive half-time show is called “Wednesday.”

    Steadily increasing rent and home prices will have driven out all the protesters by then  

  • Ed Lee’s displays of personal athleticism
  • We’re the only city that really understands Roman numerals
  • Our opera kicks the Miami cultural scene’s ass
  • Willie Brown knows a guy
  • We can’t lose EVERYTHING to Santa Clara
  • MUNI buses should have gotten rid of the stink by 2015, tops
  • NFL players are really into Burning Man 
  • We offered to give them everything the America’s Cup hasn’t already made off with
  • 20 years of pranks by the Cacophony Society have made us strong and resilient against our foes

The British Consulate cannot help you

Someone here did something very funny.

Someone here did something very funny.

Somewhere in the depths of the bureaucracy of the British Foreign Office, there sits a hero.

He is anonymous:  we will likely never know his name.  But he did something so brave, so bold, so honest, that it touches the heart of any true cacophonist.

This anonymous hero sent out a press release, to everyone in Great Britain, reminding its citizens that the Foreign Office cannot give them the contact information for Sir Paul McCartney’s wife.

It’s funny because it’s true.

“Over the last year, the FCO handled more than a million consular enquiries and supported some 52,135 British nationals in difficulty abroad,” this anonymous hero’s press release began. “However, our consular staff overseas continue to receive a number of enquiries that they simply cannot provide assistance for.”

He then lists some examples.  These are all true. (more…)

Can you spot the John Law quotes?

John Law at the 1991 Burning Man festival.

John Law at the 1991 Burning Man festival.

Three of these quotes were actually said by John Law at Cacophony Society events in the 1980s – while the other seven are statements in support of the Cacophony philosophy by famous thinkers.  Can you tell the difference?

Play our quiz!  The answers are below!

1)       “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

2)      “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.”

3)      “Move the neon smiley face 10 inches to the left!”

4)      “Play is the exultation of the possible.”

5)      “Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good”

6)      “Turn off the flame thrower!  Turn OFF THE FLAME THROWER!”

7)      “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

8)      “Play is the highest form of research.”

9)      “The true object of all human life is play.”

10)   “Clowns go to the left, giant lizard monsters in tiaras sit in the front.”

Ready for the Answers?  They might surprise you!


My favorite Cacophony Prank

Photo courtesy of the Steiff Museum, Giengen Germany

Photo courtesy of the Steiff Museum, Giengen Germany

There are so many to choose from … so many that had photographs … so many that got video taped … but in the end it’s a simple story that does it for me.

The Reverend Al got some big plush teddy bears. Cut open the seam on the back, gutted the stuffing. Replaced it with cement. Sewed the bears back up, and smuggled them into Toys R Us at Christmas. He and Sneery the Evil Clown made tags: Cement Cuddlers. Their UPC bar code came up as a Vienna Sausage. The reverse side of the tag included the following verse:

“Unfortunate child, do not mistake me for a living thing, nor seek in me the warmth denied you by your parents. For beneath my plush surface lies a hardness as impervious and unforgiving as this World’s own indifference to your mortal struggle. Hold on to me when you are sad, and I will weigh you down, but bear this weight throughout your years, and it will strengthen your limbs and harden your will so that one day no man dare oppose you.” (more…)