A Second Helping Of Feiss (11/20/02)

Fame's a goofy thing, is it not? Take, for example, the phenomenon of Ellen Feiss, an Apple switcher who has worshipers all over the world based entirely on half a minute of camera time. Thirty measly seconds of rambling about half a paper getting chomped on by a wayward Wintel, and suddenly the girl's an international superstar-- with web sites devoted to her, articles about her in such notable publications as The New York Times, even lookalike contests and Feiss-o-lanterns. Fifteen minutes of fame for a thirty-second investment? Gotta love that thirtyfold return.

Interestingly enough, Ms. Feiss's fame appears to be growing despite her near-total lack of exposure-- or probably because of it. With only those thirty seconds to represent her, Ellen has a mystique vector not unlike, say, that of Greta Garbo and her notorious demands to be left alone. The very fact that her fans can't see any more of her, can't know her beyond what she offers in those mere thirty seconds, is largely responsible for Ellen's mounting fame.

Well, that and the fact that a lot of people think she was stoned.

But will the mystique take a hit this week, when Feiss fans get another dose of their idol? Faithful viewer Dave spotted a note over at MacNN reporting that the Feissian silence will finally be broken this Friday. The Brown Daily Herald has apparently been advertising that its November 22nd issue will feature "the first-ever published interview" with Ms. Feiss; here's hoping that the interview appears online, or else we're going to have to schedule a quick road trip down to Providence to pick up a copy. For, you know, research purposes.

So will she finally address the hotly-debated issue of her onscreen pharmacological state? Only time will tell. For the record, we've heard some reports floating around the ether that Ellen's red eyes and spacey demeanor were attributable to a head cold and the liberal ingestion of an over-the-counter cold remedy to alleviate the symptoms during the commercial shoot, and not to the illicit use of wacky tobacky. Who's to say? Other than Ellen, that is-- and say she might, when this interview hits the stands on Friday.

Whatever her answer, of course, people will continue to believe what they want to believe, and the Legend of Feiss will live on. Why do we anticipate that copies of this Friday's Daily Herald fetching disproportionately high prices on eBay?

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The above scene was taken from the 11/20/02 episode:

November 20, 2002: Surprise, surprise, surprise-- all that talk of an Apple-AMD announcement at COMDEX turned out to be nothing. Meanwhile, Brown University's daily paper scoops the world on an Ellen Feiss interview, and the Segway is finally available for pre-order-- will buying one put you in Steve's good graces?...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3851: Much Ado About Bupkis (11/20/02)   And that, kiddies, is why grizzled veterans of the harrowing rollercoaster ride known far and wide as the Apple Rumor Twisty-Turny Death Plunge(TM) rarely ascribe anything other than entertainment value to fifth-hand rumors whose original source is credited as "word at the show."...

  • 3853: Salvation: Pre-Order Now (11/20/02)   Back when it was still a top secret mystery product known only by the code names of "Ginger" and "IT," investor Steve Jobs called its advent "as significant as" that of the personal computer, and the product itself so insanely great that "if enough people see the machine you won't have to convince them to architect cities around it..."

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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