Innocent, a bit funny, but an interesting idea. So interesting, in fact, that some people, the author of this strip included, wanted to expand the idea. The idea grew and blossomed until it culminated into a book:
The book is a bunch of really good short stories, narrowed down from even more great short stories that people wrote just for this book. Now, there were a few problems for this book. First, there are no big name authors in this book. No Stephen King. No Dean Koontz. Just regular people who wrote an amazing story. Then there was the selling of rights, ebooks, distribution... The whole thing is outlined here:
So what were the authors of this book going to do? Have a brilliant idea of course! They would tell everyone to buy the book on a certain day off of Amazon.com. If it reached #1 on the top seller list, which isn't hard evidently, they would pick up a great readership and make good money. What day did they pick? October 26th.
The problem with this day? Dear Mr. Beck was releasing his book the same day. No one involved in this project knew. So a huge viral campaign was started, and it was a rousing success. Machine of Death reached #1 on the Amazon book list for the day and a small idea became a huge success! The very core of the American ideal! What's the problem then? Let's ask Mr. Beck himself:
"And I want to tell you that, um…our books are ALWAYS #1. And I find it REALLY fascinating, FASCINATING, that if you go to Amazon.com, Broke is number THREE.
And then, the #1 book — TODAY, at least — is Machine of Death. And it’s a — collected stories about, you know, people who know how they’re gonna die. Haowww!
These are the — this is the left, I think, speaking. This is the left. You want to talk about where we’re headed? We’re headed towards a culture of death. A culture that, um, celebrates the things that have destroyed us."
Evidently, the creation of a novel idea, the hard work of many people, a genius idea that makes use of modern technology and information sharing, and being beaten to the #1 best selling spot is left, un- American, and evil.
Just so you know that this isn't being taken out of context, here's more information: