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November 28, 2008


How do you come up with captions? Where does your Mojo come from?

Well, after being involved in the process for a week, I have identified at least one approach that works for some people.

I remember years ago a friend ending one of his statements to me with you know, in a stream of consciousness kind of way.I thought, What in the hell is this guy talking about?I knew what stream of consciousness meant, but how did it relate to our conversation? It finally dawned on me that the guy was kind of kicking me in the jewels with his you know reference, figuring he was talking way over my head. (Well, he was about a foot taller than me.)

About a thousand years ago there was this VJ on Public Television here in Ontario, known as Rainer Swartz, who often used a stream of consciousness monologue during his show. At the time, I loved it; just letting the words flow out like some kind of coffee house poet from the 1950s. I even applied this technique myself as I tried to write poems or lyrics to songs

I fear that many FOD capologists use this technique when they come up with captions.

It would work something like this:

First of all they clear their minds of all logical thought. They sit in a silence place, enter a meditative state, and just let the ideas flow. Peering at the monitor with penetrating eyes, scanning all of the photo details and just taking it all in becomes part of this process.

The trick is to write down the ideas as fast as they flow.

When they have at least three ideas, the editing begins. These masters take each of the ideas and scratch out a few words, write them out again and then connect the three with commas or bridging words. Presto – they have created the mother of all captions.

Now, they may not make a lot of sense, but in their view, they are off the wall and exceedingly funny. The more bizarre they are the better.

I tried this, just for fun,  and came up with this gem.


Say what?

Here are some actual FOD entries that fall into this category.

After giving him head, George then took his head in the literal sense and ate him for dinner.

Hey pardner, wanna see how much wood could a peckerhead pecker if the peckerhead could see pecker?

Richard Gere found a way to get The Chanting Monks to do an american gig

After losing out to Devil's Tower as the location for the finale of Close Encounters, Satan's Ass fell into obscurity as a lame tourist trap.

I am not trying to be critical here because, in essence, that’s about how my own ideas spill out. I try to use the Ekard Tolle/Deepak Chopra mystic approach to thinking by allowing silence in my mind to produce creative solutions to tasks. Sometimes ideas literally jump out from this silence –it may be a word to hitch-hike an idea on –or it may be the phrase in its entirety.

But it works.

Yesterday I was listening to CBC radio (truckin’ off to pick up my daughter at university) and David Foster was being interviewed. Foster has won 15 Grammy awards  as a composer and producer. A very creative guy!

One of his statements struck me like a bolt of lightning.

Here’s what he said  -, ideas and creativity “come THROUGH you, not FROM you.”

And that, my friends, is precisely what FOD creativity is all about. You’ve just got to let the ideas flow, throw out the gibberish, edit the good ones and mine the gems.  You know, in a stream of consciousness kind of way!  Why not give it a try!

BLOG COMING SOON: Why I’m Slowly Turning Into a Dog

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