Remember the CueCat, the digital media punchline to end all digital media punchlines? The device was introduced by the Dallas Morning News way back in the dizzying late-1990s when a feverish hysteria over the magical World Wide Web was turning the shaggy inventors of “slow and cumbersome” online streaming services into billionaire sports team owners. The CueCat was nothing less than one of the worst inventions ever, and it was Dallas’ very own daily that owns the dubious honor of having invested millions in one of tech history’s most buffo footnotes, a device that really only functioned as a way to avoid typing a link into a browser window.
Well, we can rag on the DMN for the CueCat all day, but perhaps their error was not in their own idiotic vision but in being suckered into trusting someone who was selling them an idiotic vision (after all, this kind of suckering is very much a Dallas specialty). The salesman in this instance was a man with a name, J. Jovan Philyaw, that feels straight out of a Peter Sellers film. As Central Track tells us, Mr. Philyaw is a rather colorful character. After CueCat, he went on to help ruin Radio Shack. He has also peddled magic crystals, planted fake historical artifacts, and claims Mark Cuban is responsible for his divorce. At some point, he changed his name to J. Hutton Pulitzer, a move which allowed him to dabble in a bit of self-reinvention.
So who is J. Hutton Pultizer? Well, in his video biography (also above), he kind of sounds like the main character in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, that is, if that film had been written and directed by Ben Stiller. Brace yourself, the video is completely mental and, well, kind of hilarious in a unsettling sort of way. Here’s the tiniest taste of the bizarre brand of self-aggrandizement you are in store for in the video:
“A further testament to Jovan’s genetic instinct to survive, four generations of grandfathers on opposing sides in four major wars created 50-50 odds on both sides against the world ever seeing Jovan’s creative work.”