As befits a lady of fine character and refined manners, I would like to begin my first Conceitedly Captioned post by thanking Sam for his delightful introduction to this new joint blogging venture. I would then like to point our currently nonexistent readership in the direction of a fascinating (and short, might I add) Slate article by Patrick House entitled How To Win the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.
House takes the position that if your goal is to win the caption contest, then you must begin by accepting that "you are not trying to submit the funniest caption; you are trying to win The New Yorker's caption contest. Humor and victory are different matters entirely." While both Sam and I recognize the pragmatism of this view (and its potential effectiveness, as apparently House won within months of beginning his quest), I think it's important to state very clearly—as Sam did in an email to me earlier in the day—that "we have to think of captions not just to submit but for the blog....THIS IS BIGGER THAN JUST THE CONTEST NOW" [emphasis mine].
Or, in other non-contextually-confusing words: WE REFUSE TO WRITE AND SUBMIT ANYTHING BUT THE FUNNIEST CAPTIONS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE NEW YORKER ESTABLISHMENT DEIGNS TO RECOGNIZE THEIR MERIT. AND THIS BLOG WILL BE PROOF THAT WE'RE WAY MORE HILARIOUS THAN IS ALLOWABLE IN THE PAGES OF THAT TWO-BIT RAG.
Predicated upon this refusal to kowtow to the taste of lame old white guys plus some guy named Farley, this blog is therefore a way out of the broken, hierarchical system that House analyzes so well. Surely it'll only be a couple of weeks before the readership of Conceitedly Captioned—recognizing our superior hilarity—exceeds that of The New Yorker itself! (Scientifically speaking, this would be at least 1,011,821 people.)
So have we set out on this project with ridiculously hubristic aims? Obviously. But as Franz Kafka exhorted his friend Oskar back in 1904, "A [caption] must be the axe for the frozen sea within us."
Make that sea into Lake Michigan in late January, Franz, and you've got yourself two disciples.