|Many of the pieces pre-"...participatory culture" required some longer/backstory involvement before the pleasure kicked in. "Slow Tetris" obviously not, but most people would have to know something about how Data Diaries or the Boo-Yah counter were made before the light bulb went off.
The critique of Translation Exercise isn't that it isn't per se funny--though it isn't, after the first few lines of dialogue you hear, it gets painful pretty quickly, especially if you like the movie. It's that I have no idea why he did it. Some protest against outsourcing? Then don't outsource! (And/or pay the intern--as you noted.)
Is it to show how imbedded something like Dazed is in American culture, and how mindless that culture is to the rest of the world? (Having a non-American say "throw me a brewski" makes that dialogue sound especially hollow.) But I think you could have made that point with about 10 minutes of the film. Or used some other, worse frat house film--like Weekend at Bernie's.
Linklater's film already undermines itself--it's a fairly melancholy 2 hours, for a comedy--it doesn't need to be deconstructed further, thanks. Paddy's questions about Translation Exercise deserve some answers.
Even the question about Tiger Lily isn't as lame as twhid thinks. Allen chose that Japanese spy film very carefully--it had to work on two levels, as a vehicle for the schtick and as something watchable for 90 minutes. His purpose was entertainment, not torturing an audience in the name of art, but his "translation exercise" is still conceptually more tight. (And I admit I didn't watch Translation Exercise all the way through--if anyone did and can answer Paddy's questions let's hear about it.)