Subliminal self-esteem killers

February 12th, 2010 · 60 comments

Not all messages from the beyond come in the form of, say, a Jesus-shaped Cheeto.

“Usually Oprah and her magazine are empowering and inspiring,” says Bek in Cape Coral, Florida — but then she opened her latest issue of O and found this “Live Your Best Life weekend” sweepstakes entry code. “Now I know the truth. They should just mail the magazine in a brown paper bag so I could wear it over my head. *sniff*”

Oprah's secret message

Meanwhile, Matt in Tulsa, Oklahoma was trying to submit a note right here at Passiveaggressivenotes.com. “Then the Captcha widget pulled out its Ouija board and cast its voodoo on my employment situation,” he says. “I almost cried.”

layoff probably

And then, of course, there’s always the bizarrely ominous fortune cookie…

Fortune cookie: "You laugh now, wait till you get home."

Fortune cookie: "It's over your head now. Time to get some professional help."

related: Quoth the Buzzard: WTF?

FILED UNDER: WTF?


60 responses so far ↓

  • #1   The Great Joe Bivins

    I don’t care for threatening fortune cookies. Actually I don’t care for fortune cookies at all. A disgusting cookie with a little note crammed inside…YUM!

    Feb 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   anglophile bang

      The fortune cookie is to cookies as the communion wafer is to bread.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 5:31 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.2   oi bang

      are those really bad tasting? I never head one(wafer).

      Feb 12, 2010 at 6:30 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.3   park rose bang

      I love them, oi. They stick to the roof of your mouth and then dissolve like glue (?). They taste a bit like paper. Great comment from ‘glo. They haven’t really got too much of a taste, more of texture. Plus, it depends upon whether the priest washed his hands or not ;)

      Okay, okay. I’ll admit it. I’m a communion wafer junkie.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.4   oi bang

      I will thumb both of ya then. if they are tasteless like that then glo’s comment is hit on the head(nail? head of nail?? you know what I mean) and you my dear are thumbed for being junkie. :D

      Feb 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.5   park rose bang

      I’m a thumb junkie, too, oi ♥

      Feb 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.6   angelive

      I once had a fortune that said “We predict that by the end of this meal you will be $6.95 poorer, $8.95 if you had the buffet.”
      I nearly fell out of my chair laughing and the waitress passed it around the kitchen and I could hear them laughing all the way out to the dining area!

      Feb 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm   rating: 33  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.7   park rose bang

      oi, I couldn’t resist. This song is called Eu da Christ!, aka, Bad. Also available, the altared mix (da Hostest with the Mostest) by Take a Chancel on Me.

      Your Butt Is Mine
      Gonna Make You Righteous
      Just Show Your Face
      In the Broad Daylight (of the area in front of the altar)
      I’m Telling You
      How you should Feel
      Gonna ease Your Mind
      Don’t Shoot To Kill (commandment number six)
      Come On, Come On,
      Lay all your sins On Me, All Right…

      I’m Giving You
      On Count Of Three (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
      To Show Your tongue
      Or Let It Be . . . (I mean, I know Mother Mary was mentioned, but come on…Oh, and you can speak in tongues, if you wish… but We’re not really into that, especially if you’re taking the Eucharist – too much danger of choking)
      I’m Telling You
      Just open Your Mouth
      I Know Your breath is Gamey
      What You’re About

      Well They Say The Sky’s
      The Limit, and beyond (Paps lives up there)
      And To Me That’s Really True, he’s the only one (apart from me and The Spirit)
      But My Friend You Have
      Seen Nothing
      Just Wait ‘Til I Get Through with you (after you peel me off the roof of your mouth, that is).

      You Know I’m Smooth, I’m
      Bad, You Know It
      (Bad Bad-Really, Really Bad)
      You Know I’m Bad, I’m
      Bad Baby
      (Bad Bad-Really, Really Bad)
      You Know, You Know, You
      Know It, Come On
      (Bad Bad-Really, Really Bad)
      And The Whole World Has To
      Answer Right Now (a chance to be forgiven)
      (And The Whole World Has To
      Answer Right Now)
      Whooooooo! I’m the Holy Ghost!
      (Just To Tell You Once Again)

      The Word Is Out (New Testament. Born Agains every corner)
      You’re Doin’ it Wrong (look there is only ONE GOD – and I KNOW you didn’t go to confession) Gonna Lock You Up
      Before Too Long,
      Your Lyin’ Eyes
      Gonna Take You Right (up to Hotel California…oh wait, we’re doing the Ten Commandments and stuff. Not American 70s Top 40)
      So Listen Up
      Don’t Make A Fight,
      Your Talk Is Cheap (unlike my wine – that’s my blood, we’re talking about)
      You’re Not A Man (that’s me! the wafer! my body!)
      You’re Throwin’ Stones
      To Hide Your Hands (80s again – Billy Joel – WTF!…no, what I mean is Let he who is without sin…)

      But They Say The Sky’s
      The Limit
      And To Me That’s Really True
      And My Friends You Have
      Seen Nothin’
      Just Wait ‘Til I Get Through (you know, like into the wafer and the wine. This transubstantiation takes time . . . )

      You Know I’m Smooth, I’m
      Bad, You Know It
      (Bad Bad-Really, Really Bad)
      You Know I’m Bad, I’m
      Bad Baby
      (Bad Bad-Really, Really Bad)
      You Know, You Know, You
      Know It, Come On
      (Bad Bad-Really, Really Bad)
      And The Whole World Has To
      Answer Right Now (a chance to be forgiven)
      (And The Whole World Has To
      Answer Right Now)
      Whooooooo! I’m the Holy Ghost!
      (Just To Tell You Once Again)

      Who’s Bad?
      (Well, I’m thinking Michael Bolton, Huey Lewis and the News,
      Those Sodomites and Gomorrahans… well, we showed them! Wait!
      )
      Who’s Bad?
      Eu da Christ, man
      Eu da Christman,
      You Bad
      (In my Divine wafer-like judgment, I also think this parody is somewhat lacking and that the writer will no doubt go to Hell in a hand basket where she will have to listen to Huey Lewis on rotation for eternity)
      That’s Bad.

      *This song was followed up with Transubstantiation Let Me Down, (But I’m Left Here). It was a hit in the U.K., but barely caused a ripple elsewhere.

      Feb 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   Fanboy Wife

    Spooky!

    Feb 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Ethnic Avenue

      The scariest part is that they’re cooking your food.

      “Wait till you get home, the effects don’t kick in right away.”

      Feb 12, 2010 at 11:13 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #3   jfruh

    I had a fortune cookie once that said “You think it is a secret, but it has never been one.” Haunts me to this day!

    Feb 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   park rose bang

      We know, we know.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 9:08 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

       
    • #3.2   Canthz_B bang

      jfruh, your secret will be safe. Just leave $100 in a brown paper bag at the base of the first water fountain at the north entrance of the park at 10pm tomorrow night. Keep walking, and don’t look back.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 10:42 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #4   Pterosaur

    “You laugh now, wait till you get home.”

    You’re dining in the restaurant, and they already have your address from all the deliveries.

    Is the delivery boy planning a theft? Or good old-fashioned TP and egging of the house?

    I guess you should’ve tipped better.

    Feb 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Mark bang

      Yes, you should always tip your waitstaff, they don’t even make minimum wage.

      And make sure you close the toilet lid when you flush, otherwise the fecal mist will get all over your toothbrush.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   ashley

    it depends on what state they are in, in WA they do make minimum… with tips they make can around 20 bucks an hour

    Feb 12, 2010 at 3:47 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   park rose bang

      Trying to head this one off at the pass.
      The only thing oi forgot was fæcal mist. Also, ashley, read down to the gigglebrax failure thread. All comments so short and pithy it’s kind of fitting for a fortune cookie entry.

      Feb 12, 2010 at 6:20 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #6   Geek Goddess

    My cookie said “Help, I am being held prisoner in a cookie factory”.

    Feb 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm   rating: 22  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   famine

      Mine said “Be a smart cookie – vote for Marcia Brady!”

      (had to edit – forgot my Brady trivia for a moment and put Jan at first – oops!

      Feb 12, 2010 at 4:36 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.2   infant tyrone bang

      GG,
      Whatever the Traffic will bear ?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4NNkrKVCzM

      Feb 12, 2010 at 6:38 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   Nikki

    Best fortune I ever got: “You will be hungry again in one hour.” It came TRUE!!!!

    Feb 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm   rating: 22  small thumbs up

     
  • #8   Palomon bang

    Penn and Teller explain a great practical joke you can arrange with waitstaff in a Chinese food place:
    Work into dinner conversation how you found a small lump on the back of your head and are not sure if you should get a doctor to look at it.

    When the cookies arrive, open the right one and read: “That Lump Is Cancer.”

    Hilarity will follow.

    Feb 12, 2010 at 7:06 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #9   Adam

    I really like the last fortune. Everyone could use that advice in some capacity.

    Feb 12, 2010 at 9:10 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   matt

      I could have done with that fortune message last year, dammit. i had to get myself sectioned and pumped full of antipsychotics before i believed anything was wrong. A simple fortune message would have made things so much easier!

      Feb 13, 2010 at 1:48 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #10   Canthz_B bang

    I have a halo over my head. I’d better call a saint.

    Feb 12, 2010 at 10:47 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   RandyinReno

    Time to get some professional help… *IN BED*

    Feb 12, 2010 at 11:45 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   AuntyBron

      Ah yes! Any Chinese fortune will make sense if you add the words “… in bed” at the end. I’ve also found adding “… on a bicycle” to be effacacious.

      Feb 14, 2010 at 10:14 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #12   laurie

    “Bad luck and misfortune will infest your pathetic soul for all eternity.”

    Even being from a cartoon show I watched as a child it’s still the only fortune I remember.

    Feb 13, 2010 at 12:50 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   park rose bang

      That’s what happens when you buy your yearbook.

      Feb 13, 2010 at 12:59 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #13   farcical aquatic ceremony

    That the contents of O magazine are “enriching and inspiring” is what’s sticking with me. From the way Oprah features herself on every cover of her magazine I was sure that all it contained was pages of “Me!Me!Me!Me!Meeeeeee!” typed over and over, accompanied by a fragrance derived directly from her grotesquely swollen ego.

    Feb 13, 2010 at 12:53 am   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   aaa bang

      Not enriching, empowering. Usually the positive words don’t make a difference, but O wants you to feel like you can do anything, not actually make you capable of doing anything. Because that would make you grow a brain and buy a better magazine. :D

      Feb 13, 2010 at 6:53 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #14   Folksy McBride bang

    Oprah is, first and foremost, a futuristic thinker.

    In a recent interview, she stated her strong beliefs that by the year 2209, all domesticated dogs will not only be walking on their hind legs all the time, but that they will also be wearing clothes whenever they’re in public.

    The interviewer, Naomi Wolf, wrote that Oprah was so passionate about these prophecies that her eyes were welling up with tears as she laid them out.

    Feb 13, 2010 at 1:43 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   park rose bang

      New look my friend? So it all worked out in the end? It always does. Even though the future is yet to arrive, you can’t say a wolf is domesticated, though. So what was Naomi wearing and was she upright?

      Feb 13, 2010 at 7:45 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #14.2   Folksy McBride bang

      It might have been Naomi Klein interviewing Wolf Blitzer.

      The only thing that pokes me in my mind’s eye is the sight of Gore Vidal doing Vidal Sassoon’s hair.

      (Is there anything that that coffin-dodger can’t do?)

      Feb 14, 2010 at 2:27 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #15   aaa bang

    My favorite fortune cookie fortune?

    “You’ll soon receive an offer you can’t refuse.”

    :c

    Feb 13, 2010 at 7:00 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   LordOfThePants

      “You shall soon reach the end of this sentence”

      Feb 16, 2010 at 11:50 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #16   Monzo Matic bang

    I don’t get how the Oprah one is passive aggressive, or even a self-esteem killer.

    Explain please?

    Pretty please with sugar on top?

    Feb 13, 2010 at 7:07 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   anglophile bang

      read the code

      Feb 13, 2010 at 7:12 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.2   infant tyrone bang

      Hmmm,
      Maybe “Bek” in Coral Gables was only what the freight forwarders call an “intermediate consignee” and #16 was the “ultimate consignee”…

      Feb 13, 2010 at 8:27 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.3   TheOldSchool

      IT,

      Thank you for your insight. It made me laugh.

      However, as much as it tickles me whenever shipping terminology is inserted into a thread, I do have to say that I think you’re erroneously implying that there’s an unambiguous correlation between “inattentive” and “ugly.”

      Still, your effort is entirely deserving of a thumb.

      Feb 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.4   infant tyrone bang

      TOS,

      You are correct about the faulty implication.

      In hindsight, I offer the proposition that since “the code” is abstract, weightless information, and since it apparently had a negative impact on “Bek” self-esteem-wise and a negligible impact on Monzo Matic comprehension-wise, it can be considered as what export licensing bureaucrats at DOC and DOS foppishly refer to as “dual-use technology”.

      I wish I had noticed my logical lacuna before posting but I trust that the above buttressing will serve as not only a cosmetic patch but a solid base from which you or others may extend this verbal edifice/artifice.

      The question occurs to me whether the Oprah artifact or information can be said to have been passive aggressive prior to glo’s response @ #16.1 (which collapsed the state vector?). I doubt it was intended as such and I also doubt it was intended to be a “self-esteem killer”. I can’t help seeing a parallel to the quantum physics idea that the nature of experimental data (wave or particle, e.g.) depends on the type/nature of the observing apparatus. In Bek’s case, perhaps “UGLYZZ” was just random noise until she decided to interpret it with her “self-esteem meter” ? Thoughts ?

      Thylvester the cat (not Schrodinger’s) has a thumb-thing for you, too.

      Feb 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #17   Monzo Matic bang

    How did I miss that??? haha thanks

    Feb 13, 2010 at 8:04 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   TheOldSchool

      What did you miss?

      Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.

      Feb 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #18   Q

    So *that’s* how Oprah builds up her self esteem club. Gotta kick them down to build them up, I guess.

    Feb 13, 2010 at 8:30 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   Bek

      My point exactly.

      Feb 14, 2010 at 10:05 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #19   infant tyrone bang

    Is it important that Matt’s actual (first, intended, Plan “A”) submission to PAN was considered less worthy than a juxtaposition of 2 random words ?

    Feb 13, 2010 at 8:30 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   Folksy McBride bang

      i.t.,

      I’m guessing that it’s not unimportant. I’ll be curious to hear what the boys down at the lab have to say.

      Feb 15, 2010 at 3:16 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #20   Escape Goat

    I would have though that “layoff probably” was actually the office Big Brother monitoring my job’s “acceptable use” policy. Why give me the internet and then snatch away all the fun of it!?

    Feb 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Folksy McBride bang

      Ordinarily, I’d say that any man who could be nearly brought to tears over the words that are displayed on a captcha widget deserves whatever karmic misery he gets — but, given the fact that Matt is in Oklahoma, I’d be inclined to argue that surely the lad has been tortured enough.

      Then again, I could be easily persuaded to just sit back and watch the crybaby suffer.

      Oh, for heaven’s sake. Why quibble?

      Get me a pair a pointy, steel-toed cowboy boots and I’ll aid the others in meting out his penance.

      “Someone get Jesus some shit-kickers! He’s gonna stub his toe on Matt’s thick skull if doesn’t ditch those fucking sandals!”

      Feb 14, 2010 at 2:54 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #20.2   infant tyrone bang

      Gospel according to Matt:
      I shoulda stayed down in the boondocks of Enid
      with that girl from the small motel.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIjUaxP7PPE
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nYhDvktiJo&feature=related

      Feb 14, 2010 at 9:19 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #21   utu

    I’m pretty sure those fortunes are from joke fortune cookies you can buy for parties and stuff. They really shouldn’t be on here seeing as how they were meant to be funny.

    Feb 14, 2010 at 3:27 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   Folksy McBride bang

      Damn, I sure do miss those joke fortune cookie parties that people used to have.

      We’d read the fortunes and the roll on the floor laughing our asses off … naked and writhing.

      Feb 14, 2010 at 4:44 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #21.2   anglophile bang

      …in bed.

      Feb 14, 2010 at 8:10 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #21.3   infant tyrone bang

      …and after the others went home early, the cool kids would switch from regular to hot sesame oil and really fuccook each others’ brains out.

      Feb 14, 2010 at 9:18 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #22   anglophile bang

    To me, the most WTF-y thing about all these is the megalomaniacal altering of “Give-A-Way” (galling incorrect in itself, but so ubiquitous one can hardly complain these days) to the horrifying “Give-O-Way”.

    My hand itches to slap the copy writer.

    Feb 14, 2010 at 10:05 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   Geek Goddess

      Here ya go, glo (goglo?):

      http://www.pegasushealth.com/Products/Skin%20Care%20&%20Itchiness/Banitch.htm

      Feb 14, 2010 at 4:14 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #22.2   Folksy McBride bang

      GG,

      I know the economy hasn’t rebounded as quickly as we had hoped, but I’m not yet at the point where my dollar needs to be stretched so far that I’m using horse remedies on my skin.

      ***
      Directions for Banitch use: 5g per 100kg bodyweight daily divided between 2 feeds about 12 hours apart. A higher rate may be used in more severe cases and if the animal will take it. 1kg will last an average 500kg, 16.2hh horse about 40 days. The use of other agents such as molasses and/or a sandwich to improve palatability is recommended and the formula should be introduced very gradually building to the optimum amount over 5 or 6 days to accustom horse to taste.

      Feb 15, 2010 at 3:25 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #22.3   Folksy McBride bang

      Just say, “Naaaaaaaaaay.”

      Feb 15, 2010 at 3:26 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #23   tokr

    Did no one say this yet? The fortune cookie was fucking delicious! As was the communion wafer of my childhood.

    Feb 16, 2010 at 1:59 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #24   Really, Amazon? That's the best pick-up line you could come up with? | PassiveAggressiveNotes.com

    [...] Of course, you don’t have to be a sentient being to fall into a similar trap. [...]

    Mar 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     

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