Jenga has always made me uneasy, so dramatic are the results of a failed move. I prefer to lose discreetly. For some reason, I feel much differently about this video stunt by Caterpillar, in which giant 600-pound Jenga blocks are carefully plucked by various models of the company’s Cat line. The video, which features the best use of Grieg since The Social Network, delightfully shows the familiar yellow machines grabbing the blocks and lopping them on the top of the stack, blowing out tense little clouds of dust with each fateful drop. Since the set features just 27 blocks, half the game’s regulation 54, nature quickly takes its course.
The video’s presumptive point is to show the durability of Caterpillar’s machines as part of its "Built For It" campaign. But the inadvertent result may be to make us much more demanding of our high-concept publicity stunts. Next I would like to request the Boston Dynamics robots play an oversized game of Connect Four. What do you think, Google?
TODAY IN SLATE
The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?
Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.
Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution
Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.
Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.
Lena Dunham, the Book
More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.