30 December 2011

Secular Western Gregorian New Year's Resolution

Over the past few years, meatiocrity (the site you're currently viewing, in case you wound here by accident, perhaps via an entirely innocent search for Rod Blagojevich hair jokes) has focused on providing half-assed smart-aleckery to you, the discerning/unintentional masses. Today I'm happy to announce that in the upcoming year, none of that will change.

But, I'll also be writing more serious pieces. Maybe some reflections or some shit like that. Maybe an essay or a book review. Maybe something funny my cat did. Hahahahaha, just kidding. My cat's not funny at all.

The point is, you can expect an even broader, crazier range of content here. Some of it will be full-assed. There'll be dumb-aleckery, which, trust me, is totally a thing. There will be a lot of it, probably.

Anyway, Happy Secular Western Gregorian New Year, everyone. Drink enough, be safe, and be cheerful.

07 December 2011

You Really Ought to Lock that Down

They finally sentenced Rod Blagojevich to prison today. I assume the reason is that his hair is just too awesome. Or the corruption thing. Whatever.

I'm concerned for Blago. We don't know yet if he'll be sent to a real jail or one of the jails for corrupt white people where there are no prison bitches, just prison personal assistants. He could get shanked with a shiv made from an American Express Platinum Card! I sure hope it turns out to be a real jail.

So maybe Blago definitely, absolutely tried to profit by selling Obama's senate seat. Big deal. He apologized for it! Not until after he'd been convicted and sentenced, but at least he apologized.

So let's have a little compassion. If we don't, we'll be no better than some other country that has a justice system that's more fair and equal in its treatment of all members of society, instead of one that shows leniency on privileged white people. If you won't do it for Rod Blagojevich, do it for his hair.

How to Quit Like a Quitting Quitter

If you're going to quit, be classy about it. Save some face. Have some dignity. Make it look like you always meant to quit, that the circumstances of your quitting are someone else's fault, and if nothing else, always be defensive.

Here's a good example: Herman Cain's "Brokenhearted, but not broken". There's a man who knows how to quit! There's a Fox News commentator just waiting to make crazy misguided accusations about the people who actually get elected! There's someone we can all look up to!

Herman Cain doesn't need to be president just because he kind of wants to be president, which is clearly why every one else is running. He wants a flat tax with a catchy slogan. He wants a make-believe world where politicians aren't crappy and weaselly and exactly the way we'd be if we held power. And if those things would just happen, his quitting would be worth it, even though his quitting is totally worth it anyway.

I think it's shameful that Cain had to quit just because people in the media accused him of being a womanizer. And just because he almost certainly is a womanizer! Such scandal-mongering! It's like when my rival Rosie accused me of slashing the tires on her Subaru Outback just because I cut a bunch of holes in them with a knife.

Personally, I'm inspired by Herman Cain quitting. I'm ready to go quit something right now. Not smoking, obviously. Something important. Like my bid to become president of my community black light badminton club. But if Rosie gets us the cool pinstripe jerseys, I'd be fine with that. I don't need the ego boost of being president, I just want to get my way.

05 December 2011

How to Not Learn from Your Mistakes

You know what's comforting? Not dealing with the unexpected. Not being blind-sided by some new, never-encountered situation. Not having to make a choice about something significant and possibly life-changing instead of simply allowing conditioned behaviors to take over and guide our actions. Not being criticized, not being wrong, and not having to think about even the possibility being wrong.

And right now, with a recession on, an impending presidential election and the resulting million GOP primary debates, and the cancellation of NBC's "The Playboy Club", our nation needs comfort more than anything. Except to cut through the bullshit and pursue a course of action that's a lucid alternative to our current, let's say, "wallowing". But don't think about that! It's not comforting!

We've got an occupation force camped out on our streets. Well, not "on" the streets, but in parks. Anyway, they've got drums and hacky sacks, and some of them are— if you can believe it— Canadians. Even wantonly pepper spraying masses of them has no effect. Don't you remember the good old days when you could go down to Zuccotti Park and split an Olde English 800 with your kid?

The good news is that we can see those days again. If we just ignore the Occupy movement, they'll give up and go home, and we'll have our country back. It worked for the Swiss in WWII.

Ignoring the real issues is patriotic. In fact, the best use for the American flag is as insulation against the cold harshness of the real world. But I think we need to do a little more than simply ignore these crazy protesters and their ridiculous list of demands for greater social and economic equality. We need to make sure we maintain the American way of life by making the same mistakes we've already made.

If we willingly get deeper in debt, buy houses we can't afford, elect unoriginal thinkers (or better yet, incumbents!) to government, and leave it to corporations to sponsor news organizations to regulate our civic awareness of current events, we'll be making the same mistakes that got us into this mess. But this time, we'll know the mess is coming, and that's comforting to know.

25 October 2011

The 2012 Republican Candidates as Robots


Are you excited about the potential Republican candidates for the 2012 election? I sure am, and not just because the world will end on 21 December 2012 before they'd ever be sworn in. No, for the first time ever, every single GOP prospect is a robot in disguise (but just barely!)! The following is a list of the candidates and a description of their robotic origins.
Mitt Romney: Repurposed, recently declassified government robot originally designed to infiltrate and take over terrorist cells using good looks and charisma. The project was scrapped due to the failure to rid the programming of a glitch causing the robot to smile creepily all the time.
Herman Cain: Experimental next-generation chatterbot intended to automate pizza orders. The AI evolved and began mocking the economically impoverished people placing pizza orders.
Newt Gingrich: Prototype consensus-building bot scrapped due to frequent overheating, stalling and shut downs whenever consensus subroutines were activated.
Rick Perry: Evangelator 6000, representing an innovation in robotics as it functions despite completely lacking a logic board.
Ron Paul: Steam-powered automaton with miniaturized hydraulic dynamos for movement and an analytical engine with attached gramophone for receiving and transmitting speech. Debuted alongside Heinz ketchup at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philidelphia.
Michele Bachmann: “Pleasure” android designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Malfunctioning by accepting command inputs exclusively from closeted gay men.
Rick Santorum: A fail-safe device created in the 1960s by the Young Americans for Freedom as a defense against moral degradation in the United States. Kept in hibernation mode until its hyper-reactive programming was activated by the combined morphic field levels of open homosexuality, belief in the theory of evolution, and disregard for the sanctity of life.
Jon Huntsman, Jr.: Cheap Chinese knock-off of the Mitt Romney robot.
Gary Johnson: Trans-dimensional drone created by the shadow organization known as The Invisible Hand to represent its interests in the economics of our dimension.

10 October 2011

Butcher’s Block: A Critical Review of Cutting-Edge Art

Artist: Mikenzie, b. 2005
Title: Mommy and Daddy and Me and Uncle Ty-Ty
Medium: Crayon on copier paper
Venue: My refrigerator
Value: Priceless
Mommy and Daddy and Me and Uncle Ty-Ty is a prime example from Mikenzie’s Family Portraits period, demonstrating the artist’s innovative use of color and perspective. Her earliest known works, such as the subversive, abstract mural Doggie (now lost, having been painted over by the authoritarian regime under which Mikenzie works) and the provocative Favorite Shirt, Ruined in which the medium was the artist’s own vomit, tended to show an almost infantile playfulness and exuberance in composition and expression. In contrast, the Family Portraits period is characterized by restraint and maturity, subtly turning societal and cultural norms on their respective heads.
The subject matter of Mommy and Daddy and Me and Uncle Ty-Ty, as with much of the Family Portraits series, is that of domestic life, the family and Americana. Intensely personal— it depicts Mikenzie’s closest relatives outside the artist’s simple domicile—, it is nevertheless a critique of broad cultural values, exposing the childish naiveté inherent in holding on to the vanishing American dream.
Stylistically, the furtive scribbles portray a certain dissatisfaction, a bottled fury which rages against the artificial restraints of a so-called “perfect life.” The vibrant, cartoonish palette simultaneously mocks the advertising and marketing which reinforces the false dream of the nuclear family and celebrates the irrepressibility of life in the face of such manufactured, corporate-sponsored meaninglessness. Lastly, the flattened perspective serves to enhance the sense of shallow satisfaction which comes as a result of pursuing the American dream. Certainly, we exclaim to ourselves and the world, there must be something more.
Indeed, Mommy and Daddy and Me and Uncle Ty-Ty forces us to ask several questions. At what cost do we hold on to such a happy, care-free view of the future? Is it not to find ourselves with atrophied arms and legs, barely able to stand, unable to interact meaningfully with our world, our reality? Do our own lives, lived in pursuit of an ill-defined dream, perhaps utterly lack depth as a consequence? And how do we confront the all-too-human desires for individuality and community, and when does the latter come dangerously close to destroying the former? Brilliant.

30 July 2011

Intellect Loses: A Review of Rob Bell's "Love Wins"

I read Rob Bell's Love Wins on a dare. Before I started the book, knowing I'd write a review, I was prepared to respond with nuanced theological arguments and incisive philosophical criticisms. Having now read it, I'm not going to do that (OK, maybe a little). As inclusive as Rob Bell seems to want to be, I don't think I'm part of his target audience. I'm sure Rob Bell would tell you differently if you asked him, but as someone with a Master's degree in theology, who was an evangelical Christian and who has identified as an atheist for the past year or so, I'm confident saying Love Wins wasn't for me, and here's why:

I found plenty of things about the book I didn't like. Which was it that made me feel outside the book's scope? Maybe it was that it read like a sermon, right down to the bible quote-mining and the word-study on select Greek words, which are subsequently incorporated into sentences as if they'd suddenly become English words. Maybe it was the quasi-pithy statements meant to sound deep or poetic but which came off more as a set of shiny new platitudes.

Maybe it was the sentence fragments.
The clipped paragraphing.
Over.
And
fucking
over.

Maybe it was how Bell glossed over ("glossed over" is a diplomatic term for "almost completely failed to mention") the whole history of views— orthodox and otherwise— on heaven, hell and the fate of everyone who ever lived. Maybe it was how he seemed to be writing as if I hadn't bothered progressing intellectually past 8th grade, which I suppose means he was writing mainly to evangelical Christians. Yeah, that's the one.

It's not a problem only with Rob Bell. It's a problem with evangelical Christianity, and the problem is that evangelicals, generally speaking, would prefer not to worry about the life of the mind apart from being comforted that all their questions— and anyone's questions— boil down to a lack of love for God, and/or some kind of pride that can be readily gotten rid of with repentance and not thinking (of those questions) again.

Mark Noll, who is an evangelical Christian, pointed this out in 1994 in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. I quite liked that book, and much like most thoughtful, insightful books written for the evangelical Christian community, it had a wildly nominal impact on the practice of evangelical Christianity.

Judging from statements in Love Wins, my guess is that Bell would say I'd only ever had experience with the wrong view of God, or a broken view of God, shaped by my sins and the sins of others, and that's quite tragic, but there's a better view of God available. Interestingly, Bell defends his own experience of praying the sinner's prayer as inexorably real, implying that he had experienced in that moment, the right view of God. The true view of God.

So, Rob, please don't insult me by thinking you're going to convince me of anything you say in a book, the entire premise of which hinges on a No True Scotsman fallacy. Not OK, guy.

Anyway, that wasn't the review. I was just explaining why Love Wins was probably not written for me. Here's the real review. The true review: I liked Love Wins about a thousand times better when it was called The Great Divorce and was written by C. S. Lewis.

19 July 2011

How to Stage a Protest

Are you a victim of the government? Were your rights tread upon by the democratically elected representatives you didn't vote for because that rerun of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was on? The one where Kim has a giant ass. You know the one I mean. No, no, with the giant ass, where it's just fucking, you know, giant. Yeah, that one. Anyway, fuck the government.

I'm going to be straight with you. You need to get off your lazy ass and do something.

And you know what you can do, Constitutionally speaking? OK, not what I had in mind, but yes, technically you can carry an automatic weapon in the bed of your Ford F650 or send your shih-poo to a psychiatrist or watch the Daily Show. I mean something even more fundamentally Constitutional. Something our founding fathers would have gone "fuck yeah" to. What I was thinking of was protesting.  Here's what you do:

  1. Signs. People love signs. People believe signs. So get yourself down to the Home Depot, get a big old Sharpie or something and some kind of stick and paper or whatever, and whip up something topical. Then, get some photos of people on the other side of the issue protesting. Post these photos on the internet and laugh about how much more clever your signs are.
  2. Nonviolent/passive resistance. Do this when you're upset, but not enough to riot. One example is needlessly bringing a loaded firearm to a political rally. Not to use it, of course. Just to have it. My personal favorite form of nonviolent resistance is resigning from your cushy town clerk position because you just found out that equal rights means everybody. Or the Daily Show thing, like you said.
  3. Hire lobbyists. There's nothing more American than hiring somebody else to do your protesting. Lobbyists don't come cheap, though. I suggest becoming the foreign-born head of an international corporation if you want to get anything done in Washington. Or, form an oligarchy to ensure lucrative government contracts are granted to your industry of choice. It's not as if the government's going to cut spending. They'll just borrow more of that sweet hot Chinese dough (it tastes of wonton!). Oh, except NASA. They might cut funding for NASA. I mean, there's a recession on. We can't afford to invade space while we've got troops in over one hundred countries here on Earth. Be reasonable. We'd be spreading ourselves too thin.
And that's all you need to know to really make a difference in the way this country is run. Protesting is 100% effective in this regard. Nothing else is required.

Oh, and one last word of advice: don't try any of this sitting in a different seat on the bus nonsense. It's not that it's not effective. It certainly used to be. It's just that we the people decided to bail out the auto industry, so it's sort of rude to use mass transit. right now Yeah, back in the pickup truck or sensible hybrid sedan now. Thanks.

13 July 2011

Tums vs Necco Wafers: A Completely Scientific and Unbiased Comparison, Part 1

Tums are better than Necco Wafers. I'll prove it to you with my following Completely Scientific and Unbiased Comparison© (copyright and study subsidized by GlaxoSmithKline, St.Louis, Missouri, USA), since apparently some of you don't take my word as gospel, as I've asked or commanded you do on multiple occasions. The scientific method used in this study will be at least as rigorous as that employed by creation scientists worldwide. Maybe more so. Probably more so.


For the purposes of this comparison, I've elected to go with the original forms of both products. Tums offers several levels of stronger antacid, as well as an all-mint option, some kind of chocolate crème and a bunch of "smoothie" flavors. Necco Wafers also come in a package of ostensibly chocolate flavors and some "smoothie" flavors as well. Future studies will focus on comparisons of the "smoothie" and "chocolate" flavors. I assume in both cases that "smoothie" means they removed the ground magnesium shards and "chocolate" means "not really like chocolate."


First, I took a picture of the products. For posterity. Here you go, posterity:
Afterward, when I scratched my nails on a blackboard, they left actual chalk marks.
Then, I unpackaged both and sorted them by color/flavor:
Tony Montana's got nothing on me.
Someone's motto is "always be prepared." I think it was Madeline Albright. Or maybe Snoop Dogg. Anyway, in order to "be prepared" and not to contaminate either set of samples, I needed a palate cleanser. This palate cleanser:
I drank most of it back when I was writing my comparison of circus peanuts and giant foam fingers.
I drank one shot before the Tums, a shot between the Tums and the Necco Wafers, and two shots before completing this— I cannot stress this enough— highly scientific and accurate comparison.


I've selected five categories by which to gauge each product on a scale of one to ten Sad Keanus, one being Keanu in Constantine (pretty damn sad) and ten being Keanu in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (pretty great, actually).


QUANTITY OF FLAVORS: Necco Wafers advertise seven flavors. As you may have noticed in the picture, I nearly got only six flavors. In fact, due to the almost imperceptible color difference, I was almost sure I did have only six, and was ready to complain. Tums has only four flavors, but they do have packages with other offerings, like "tropical" fruit instead of just "assorted." I guess that doesn't count as I'm doing this on a package-to-package basis, to keep things scientific and controlled and also to point out that "package-to-package" is a gay joke.


While Necco Wafers technically have more flavors, they don't seem to be bothered with massively disproportionate numbers of individual flavors. Look at all those orange ones! I can't wait to tell you how awful they tasted (SPOILER ALERT: pretty awful). Tums, on the other hand, contains almost even numbers of each flavor. Because of the convenience of those even numbers, creation science dictates that I have to find deeper meaning in it. I'm going to assume it means God wants me to give Tums a good score, so here are the ratings for this section:


Necco Wafers: Six Sad Keanus
Tums: Seven Sad Keanus


QUALITY OF FLAVORS: Like I said, I tried the Tums first. There was a yellow one that tasted like some kind of yellow-colored fruit. The greenish one I think was lime. The red was cherry. By the way, this list is in the order of ascending tastiness. The final flavor, orange, tasted like a creamsicle. I wanted to eat them all, but my roommate advised that it might make me die. All in all, mostly boring flavors, and one good one.


I tried the Necco Wafers next. Allegedly, the yellow ones were lemon, but they tasted an awful lot like yellow Tums. But, they weren't the worst flavor, oh no. That award goes to the orange Necco Wafers. They're the ones I got the most of, if you notice the precarious stack in the photo above. The taste was similar to the yellow ones but with slightly more…I'm going to say "malaise." 


The white ones were cinnamon, because cinnamon is always white and always tastes less like "cinnamon" and more like "plain." As you might guess, the brown ones were touted as "chocolate." They tasted like a Tootsie Roll that's been left in the sun to dry, ground into powder, then reconstituted using talcum powder. As you might not guess, the pink ones were "wintergreen." Never mind that winter is never pink, and neither is green. In fact, the pink/green juxtaposition is why so few people own avocado-colored bathtubs


The only two flavors I liked are the ones I had the fewest of: licorice and clove. I'll go so far as to say that I don't remember these flavors being great, but I like licorice well enough, and this isn't the fake sort from black jelly beans. It's the more natural kind you get with the softer, chewier licorice you can get in New England. You Mainers know what I mean. Clove, the off-white one, was the best of the lot. It's a travesty I got only one and that it was so hard to tell apart from the cinnamon. If Necco Wafers had packaged all clove and licorice, they'd have won this category, no problem. But their crappy flavors out-weighed their good flavors.


Necco Wafers: Three Sad Keanus
Tums: Five Sad Keanus


TEXTURE: This one's easy. Both products are chalky and grainy and terrible. Tums are easier to chew, but I honestly found the crunch of the Necco Wafers mildly satisfying after a while. Either way, nobody's winning here, especially not the consumer.


Necco Wafers: Two Sad Keanus
Tums: One Sad Keanu


PACKAGING: I trust Tums a hell of a lot more than Necco Wafers. Tums has a freshness seal. Necco Wafers has a slightly open roll of the thinnest wax paper capable of surviving printing, packaging and transport. I realize the freshness seal may be nothing more than the calcium-based tablet packaging equivalent of the TSA. Neither makes me any safer; both just inconvenience me under the auspices of safety.


I am legally obligated to inform you that at no time and in no way did the freshness seal of the Tums I purchased, nor indeed any Tums product anywhere, attempt to fondle my junk.




Neither product has especially impressive design on their packaging, so it's a draw their. However, I was able to repackage my Tums based on color, making a soft, chalky rainbow in the bottle. The male-stripper-mesh-shirt thin wax paper of the Necco Wafers tore so horribly that I was forced to eat them all, which is a lot more like a chore than it sounds.


Necco Wafers: One Sad Keanu
Tums: Eight Sad Keanus


INGREDIENTS AND NUTRITION: Necco Wafers are all-natural, even the coloring, which is probably why the colors look horrid and are so difficult to tell apart. Regardless, I think Necco Wafers deserve some credit for being hippie-friendly (they're gluten-free and fat-free, and some are even marked Kosher, apparently depending on which plant they were processed in). Their nutrition facts also give amounts for exactly one roll, which I respect. It's transparent and honest, not like ice cream makers who think I'm going to measure out half a cup of ice cream instead of eating the entire pint and/or half gallon.


Tums have a much lower calorie count, but keep in mind they recommend eating four at a time, at most. I could do the math, but why not just assume that four Necco Wafers are roughly equivalent to Tums in terms of carbohydrate content. So, that's settled.


Tums have the advantage of containing calcium, which certain "scientists" claim is good for you, except that too much of it will probably do bad things to you. Which means that I can indulge my lack of impulse control by eating an entire package of Necco Wafers, but not an entire package of Tums. 


Tums also contain something called "adipic acid," which sounds counter-productive. With all the other "scientific" names on the package, I'm not sure if I should trust their implicit authority and assume that Tums are good for me, or assume some massive, complicated conspiracy behind it on par with God burying dinosaur fossils in faux-ancient layers of sediment just to keep us on our toes. Something fishy's going on, Tums.


Necco Wafers: Seven Sad Keanus
Tums: Four Sad Keanus


TOTALS:


Necco Wafers: Nineteen Sad Keanus, Average Three point Eight Sad Keanus
You don't have to remind us that you're "The Original" Nobody is trying to copy you. I can't stress this enough.
Tums: Twenty-five Sad Keanus, Average Five Sad Keanus
Don't let this victory go to your head. You're still dead awful to eat.


ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS: We can all agree that both products are pretty sub-par when it comes to taste and texture. And even though Tums had more Sad Keanus overall, I think it's important to keep in mind the specific uses for each product. Tums are intended to fight heartburn and act as a calcium supplement. Necco Wafers are on a short list of candies you don't really want to get while trick-or-treating, but at least you can down an entire package. That's kind of a gay joke, too, if you want it to be.


At the end of the day, we've got to pick a side, because that's just how false dichotomies work. So, I'm going with the product endorsed by creation science logic: Tums. If you picked Necco Wafers, the Devil gave you that idea and also you're letting the terrorists win.

22 June 2011

How to Understand Satire

Have you ever read something confusing? Something that wasn't a top ten list or a remixed meme? Something that didn't promise more "after the jump" so that you knew exactly when to stop reading?

Difficult, wasn't it?

It turns out some major-league asscaps insist on writing something they over-pretentiously dub "satire." What is "satire?" Nobody knows. Not on the internet, at least.

And that's why I'm here to tell you that if you come across some so-called "satire," which is supposed to be somehow "funny," just don't read it. Skim it, at most. There's no need to let it serve as a critique of values you hold but haven't bothered reflecting on, or to allow it to irritate you to the point of action.

Yeah, that's the way.

Satire is fucking dumb.

14 June 2011

A Proposal to Deal with the Problem of Gay Marriage

All true Americans know that the number one problem facing our nation is not terrorism. It is not illegal immigration. It is not drug wars, regular wars, declared or otherwise, or wars on poverty. It is not the erosion of freedoms in the name of freedom. It is not health care and it is not taxation.

The most important problem of our day, the problem draining our patriotism like a plague that drains patriotism, is the problem of gay people marrying. And the way to stop homosexuals from marrying is to imprison all of them and strip them of what remaining rights they have.

Consider this: if two gay men were to marry, they would gain all the rights of a heterosexual couple. That means more money paid out by the state to extend services funded by the taxation of all constituents to the impending influx of gay spouses. Allowing gay marriage is potentially economically devastating, especially at a time when we could be bailing out more failing industries or exempting more corporations from paying taxes.

Even more importantly, gay marriage would validate the diabolical institution of gay love, something in which our founding fathers never intended Americans to participate. America is a Christian nation, and even though Thomas Jefferson may have cut numerous passages from the Bible because he didn't believe in miracles, he left in those calling homosexuality a sin. And if there's one thing America should care about above all else, it is the legislation of religious morality without regard for freedom of religious expression.

So, if homosexual love is a sin and gay marriage an economic disaster waiting to happen, what can real Americans do to save our nation from this infection? I suggest we make a multi-pronged attack on the problem. We'll give it to them from all ends. Hard.
  1. Homosexuals should be easier to identify. Being a true American (that is, not gay), I do not possess "gaydar" and am unable to tell if a flamboyantly dressed man is gay or European. Likewise, I cannot tell if a middle-aged woman driving a Subaru Forester and caring for her dogs as if they were children is a lesbian or Australian. I propose a simple, colorful badge to be worn on the outer garment of homosexuals at all times when appearing in public. Perhaps a rainbow-colored, upside-down triangle.
  2. Homosexuals may not choose to be homosexual. We cannot believe everything science tells us (such as evolution), so can we trust that people are really born homosexual? Nevertheless, the matter clearly requires further study by trained experts who quit their governorships, get easily confused by television cameras or are pretending not to be gay.
  3. Homosexuals may, in fact, choose to be homosexual. If that is the case, and because, as we have established, homosexuality is anti-American, anyone choosing to be homosexual might well be an enemy combatant. And as we know, enemy combatants must be dealt with using the full force of American bureaucracy and advanced interrogation techniques, regardless of the evidence or need to do so.
  4. Therefore, the clearest course of action would be to simply do what Americans are the number one in the world at doing: incarcerate the bejesus out of them. 
The first thing to do is gather all the homosexuals together, perhaps through unrelenting raids on suspected gay safehouses (gayfehouses), which are difficult to tell apart from perfectly normal residences and businesses. Then, we can ship them off to a camp where they'll provide valuable services such as sassily critiquing the fashion choices of celebrities or flinging Koosh balls at television audiences.

Furthermore, because homosexuals are unable to breed naturally and wantonly like heterosexuals, we can simply wait while they die off one by one. After forty years, America could be completely homosexual-free, just like Iran. We could get that number down further if we provide enhanced group showers in which the water is laced with a variety of experimental drugs. Not only could we be homosexual-free by 2030, but we'd know just what chemicals to use on our other enemies in the six or seven non-war military entanglements in which we're likely to be engaged at that time.

I know that some of you will object. You'll say, "But what if a heterosexual couple has a homosexual child?" Simple. We'll round up those parents, too, and determine exactly what they did wrong to produce such a hideous offspring. Through forced sterilization and more imprisonment, we can ensure that fewer and fewer homosexuals are produced by weeding out that particular gene from the population.

What of homosexuals who have adopted children? We redistribute those children throughout the country to families with only one or two children. When those children are of age (the gay-parent kids, not the regular ones), they can be forcibly enlisted in the military to ensure no undue financial burden is placed on their happy, heterosexual families. Plus, we'll need the troops.

We must be mavericks and stand united against the system— a system all too willing to simply stand by and allow gay marriage to ruin our country. I propose that you, dear readers, write your congresspeople and representatives immediately. Picket and protest wherever and whenever possible. The gays, along with the parents of gays, no matter how elderly, gay sympathizers, and any anyone who says the word "gay" just a little too often, need to be separated from society as wheat from the chaff.

Take action, America!

12 April 2011

Statements, None Intended as Factual

Apparently, some internet quack decided to make a clone of me. You might think I'd support that. I mean, twice the awesomeness, right? Wrong. Why would I want to compete against myself for the Most Awesome Dude award?

Anyway, something in the genetic programming must have gone wrong, because my clone is NOT ME. He uses a lot of the same words and phrases, but he's got a whole different life. Turns out he's an OK guy. He's got a job writing copy for spam email subject lines and fortune cookie messages. He's been to France. I'm proud of the little feller, so I thought I'd share some of his tweets so you can get to know him.

He takes music very seriously:

An example of one of his spam email subject lines. I believe he won a spammy for it:

 One of his fortune cookie messages. The FDA made him add the second part:

On the importance of being certain of a pronoun's antecedent:

Transcribed from his pop-culture podcast. Great episode:

No subject is out-of-bounds. He's a rebel like that:

Using super secret spy code:

Predictions about the future of the NBA:

From his poem, "Leftover Candy":

From a review of Radiohead's The King of Limbs, on the subject of the video for their first single, "Lotus Flower":

 Turns out he penned a lot of the lyrics for Arcade Fire's most recent album:

Translation problems during his vacation to France:

On growing up on the mean streets of Burlington, VT:

Mocking his opponent, pre-showdown:

On his own future:

04 April 2011

Love in the Time of Memes

The fact that you're reading this tells me that you already agree with me when I say the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. It's as if someone took those slices of bread, reconnected them with wires so they'd communicate and form a "virtual" loaf of bread, and said to the world, "Let's make sandwiches." And then a million idiots raced to be the first to mash their Bugle©-riddled fingers into a slice of that bread so it could communicate to all the other slices of bread that they had been, in fact, the first person to do just that. And then somehow the whole thing became about Nazis.

All in all, I'd give that little analogy about a "B." And if that analogy was confusing, that's because so is the Internet. Confusing and awesome.


If you're not familiar with how the Internet is confusing and awesome, you're doing it wrong. You have got to get into memes, friend. They explain everything. Allow me to elucidate:

How many memes are there? OVER 9000. FACT.

What does a meme do exactly? IT CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGER. LULZ. FACT.

Can I start my own meme? NO, ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US. FACT.

How do I respond to a meme? 1) DANCE LIKE A FAT LONELY NEW JERSEYAN, 2) TURN DRAMATICALLY LIKE A HAMSTER, 3) SNEEZE ADORABLY LIKE A BABY PANDA, 4) FLY LIKE A SPAGHETTI MONSTER, 5) WITH A LIBERAL INTERPRETATION OF WHAT A VENN DIAGRAM IS, MAKE A VENN DIAGRAM. FACT.

I think I've been PRETTY CLEAR about memes. If you need a "super technical" explanation because you're a "übernerd," here goes: Memetic is a language composed entirely of clichés and idioms. As it originates with so-called "new" media, it could be said that it is composed entirely of "new" clichés and "new" idioms. The Memetic vocabulary expands rapidly, although many terms become archaic rather quickly due to a lack of popular usage. Memetic is unique in communication because the sender never encodes any message and the receiver never decodes any message; rather, the code is the message itself, thus replacing any meaningful communicative connection entirely with synthesized noise.

Ergh. Glad that boring stuff is over. It's so much like thinking, which is exhausting to say the least. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go explain to everyone why they're wrong all of the time. In my earlier analogy, it's like they're using fucking potato bread or something. I mean, OMGWTF is that?

21 February 2011

How to Destroy the World

Hey everyone, not sure if you've heard yet or not, but it turns out this world is the best of all possible worlds! So when you think about how shitty it is, at least take comfort in the fact that it is not quite as shitty as some other worlds. Things could be a lot worse.

Of course, nobody wants to come right out and say the world's not shitty. It's just the best in comparison. Anyway, the reason I found out about this best of all possible worlds thing is because Christians needed a way to explain why evil exists in a world created by a good and loving God. Makes sense, right? God just made the best world He could. Say what you want about Him, but at least He always tried His hardest.

Now, Christians also go on about some other worlds. There was the world— this world, but different— before things got fucked up, and there's also a world after this world (for some people, anyway) which is, apparently, a vast improvement. That's Christian cosmology for you— it's worlds all the way down!

So, there you have it. This is the best of all possible worlds, with the exception of when it started our and also the next world. Wait, that can't be right. Maybe it's the third best of all possible worlds?

Erm, I suppose what I meant to say was that if you want to talk about a wholly good and powerful God and an world of evil that didn't start out that way and won't end up that way, in the scheme of things, this is sort of the worst of all postulated worlds. Wait, that can't be right either, can it?

There's probably something else Christians say that can help out here. Usually, they didn't have a purpose until they believed in God. So God purposely made a world containing purposelessness so that people required God for meaning and purpose, because simply existing wasn't purpose enough.

Maybe rather than the best of all possible worlds or the worst of all postulated worlds, this world is the least necessary of all existing worlds, since God doesn't need anyone to tell Him why He exists. Wait, that can't be right— why make something unnecessary?

Look, everyone, I was just trying to bring you some good news, but this has become more complicated than I expected. I thought this was the best of all possible worlds, but it might just be the worst of all postulated worlds, or it might not even need to exist at all.

I wonder if Christ on the cross thought to himself, "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds?"

17 January 2011

How to Fix Comedy

You know what's a problem with Americans? They like humor and comedy and laughing. And they're self-conscious about their weight. That's another problem with Americans. But seriously, humor almost always consists of making fun of someone. If I wanted to feel bad about myself, I'd just go to church.

Self-reflection is a real drag. Who wants to honestly assess their own flaws? Not me! That's why I don't do any of that Daily Show, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Colbert Report, South Park crap. I only watch Chuck Lorre comedies.

You see, the reason Chuck Lorre comedies are the right kind of humor for America is because they allow us to laugh about how much of a fake douchebag Charlie Sheen is, or how fake fat the guy from the one show that's on before Hawaii Five-0 is. They're not true to life, seeing as one uses a re-tooled version of the Frasier set, and the other a re-tooled version of the Drew Carey Show set, so I know neither location actually exists.

Furthermore, since neither of the actors is on a reality TV show like Celebrity Rehab or Biggest Loser, I know that Charlie Sheen isn't actually douchebag and the other guy isn't actually fat. Those are just the completely relatable sitcom characters they play. And that means I can trust the humor in a Chuck Lorre comedy to be based wholly in a fictional universe without even a tenuous connection to reality. It's pure entertainment, and isn't that what the Brooklyn art crowd is pretty much all about, and isn't the Brooklyn art crowd the ultimate authority on authenticity?

What's that? You think humor ought to offer some form of critique on the current social situation or the human condition? I think you need to stop hating America so much. The laugh tracks in Chuck Lorre shows tells us when to laugh together, united. It's in the pledge of allegiance. Read it, you probable terrorist.

Comedy and humor that require thinking are too difficult. Entertainment's not meant to be hard. I'm trying to escape reality, here. I don't want any kind of subversion that causes me to examine my own life and attitudes. I don't want to have read enough books and experienced the broad range of popular culture and general knowledge necessary to enjoy an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Just let me laugh at a punchline I can readily anticipate.

I don't want to celebrate an unexpectedly good outcome to an absurd situation; just let me ignore the absurdity. I don't want to face my problems; I want to laugh at impossible fictional scenarios that resolve themselves in half an hour or in a full hour if it's the season finale and the show's already been picked up for another season. I don't want to think to laugh; I want to drink Coors Light, have a McRib (for a limited time), and laugh once I know everyone who was paid to record the laugh track mistakenly thinks something that isn't a joke actually is.

ANYWAY, I recommend shows on all networks and television stations, as well as all films, if they claim to be comedic, be produced by Chuck Lorre. Or Judd Apatow, if I'm feeling like something R-rated. Those guys know what Americans really want and really need: an opportunity to distract ourselves from thinking too long or too critically about our own lives, and the chance avoid laughing at our world and our selves with any semblance of honesty and authenticity.

10 January 2011

How to Fix Journalism

The media is the real problem in America. Consider how they handled the recent shooting in Tucson, AZ: rather than verify reports, they worried about who was going to be first to break the story. Which reminds me, if you had money on NPR, congratulations. I did not see that coming.

Not only did multiple network news sources incorrectly report Representative Giffords death when she was in fact, only gravely injured, but even Twitter and blogging communities— which you can always trust for accurate breaking news— got the story wrong. What's more, all coverage from all sources has been biased in one way or another. Simply despicable.

I know about this all too prevalent bias because, luckily, Glenn Beck has exposed the intent of the liberal media to blame this tragedy on Sarah Palin. Fortunately, the Huffington Post posted an infographic showing how this tragedy is really the fault of inflammatory rhetoric by Republicans. A Fox News report details the inflammatory rhetoric used by the New York Times in reporting the story about the Huffington Post infographic. Jon Stewart called out Fox News for their part in disseminating violent rhetoric in their report on the New York Times report on the Huffington Post infographic about Glenn Beck's coverage of the way various news sources reported the tragedy. Stephen Colbert called out Jon Stewart for his abusive words against Fox New and also for being short. At this point, my grasp on the series of events gets a little murky.

The point is that media is the problem. According to trusted sources, all trusted sources are biased in their reporting. I think we can all agree that that alone is enough to make a normal citizen with a normal mental disorder want to go on a normal shooting spree. The really bizarre thing is, why Safeway?

So, what do we do with the media? Clearly all this bias and causing national tragedies has got to stop. If they'd just objectively leak hundreds of state secrets like Wikileaks, we wouldn't have to have this discussion. But I think we all know that's not going to happen. How can we stop all this negative media influence?

We can't tell the media what to report or what not to say; that'd be a violation of the freedom of the press. Fortunately, there's nothing to stop us from declaring media organizations and personalities enemy combatants and pretending to give them secret trials so we can get on with hooking up a car battery to their genitals.

The media is responsible for just about every aspect of the most recent tragedy. It's almost like they pulled the trigger themselves. After all, there's no way a single individual could think up that kind of twisted plan; they'd need the resources of Rupert Murdoch and the dramatic sensibility of, say, a Snooki to pull off that kind of rampage.

The media caused not only our most recent national tragedy, but others before this as well. Think about it: where were you when the media reported that Kennedy had been shot? What about when you heard about 9/11? The War Between the States? That Bristol Palin lost Dancing With the Stars?

All of these stories were brought to us by media organizations, the reports filled with bias and violent language. But after recent events, how can we trust them? How do I know that they didn't just stage the moon landing to justify continued funding for NASA so they could eventual cause the Challenger disaster, all to silence a maverick schoolteacher?

That, my friends, is why we need to round up all purveyors of so-called "news" and ship them off to a detention center somewhere so they can be treated harshly and without regard for human rights. They haven't been honest with us. They've caused tragedies and brought us painful news. They need to pay for that.

It's time to make the media responsible for the crimes they may have caused others to commit. Let's get them in our crosshairs, take aim, and take them down. While we're at it, I've heard that Jesus guy is hanging out with some pretty unsavory sorts, so we'd better get him, too.