Pota­to sal­ad sat­is­fies these and all oth­er doomed attempts to sys­tem­atize humor, which might be the only way to under­stand it: It is humor-shaped and per­fect­ly opti­mized. If it was ever whim­si­cal it isn’t anymore—there is too much mon­ey, too much poten­tial, tied up with this sal­ad. But this foun­da­tion of whim­sy has cre­at­ed cir­cum­stances in which more cap­i­tal is equat­ed with more humor, which is too hor­ri­ble an idea to even joke about: It is a tran­scen­dence that is out of our con­trol, a vil­lain, an invad­er, an awak­en­ing of The Old Ones, a Dire Event, or at least a Por­tent. What’s fun­nier than $37,115 for pota­to sal­ad? $47,115 for pota­to sal­ad, ha ha. What’s fun­nier than $47,115? $100,000. With every new dol­lar it feels more urgent to a view­er that he attach his name and his dol­lars to the thing, which is now obscured entire­ly by noise—a fee for ensur­ing that you’re in on the joke.

Adding yet anoth­er lay­er of humor/horror is Ian Bogost’s sell­ing his daughter’s paint­ing of the Kick­starter pota­to sal­ad on eBay.

(via The Pota­to Sal­ad Kick­starter Is the Sci­ence Fic­tion Vil­lain We Deserve — The Awl)