Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Life as a Hole, entry 1

Rich the Mutilator

I got mutilated by a barber named Rich, and I don't mean my hair. Afterwards, I rebranded him Rich the Mutilator, a title only fitting for a man who all but made me weep in a swivel chair.
            Rich is what I call a neurotic narrator. He has neurons in his brain that fire with such ferocity while he tells a story that it actually triggers involuntary jerks and jitters throughout his body. Some may simply see this as an affliction of enthusiasm, but it is inappropriate for certain professionals, namely barbers. Barbers who spend a lot of time with an electric razor. Barbers who administer a straight shave. Barbers who like to tell stories. You could say a haircut with Rich the Mutilator is like a chatty game of Russian Roulette, except you're the only player: it's when, not if.
            In my case, the when came in triplicate. First, while sculpting my sideburns, Rich tweaked at the climax of a story about his high school basketball team and nicked my left ear. When a drip-sized preview of what was possibly to come began to warm my earlobe, I determined that the nick was more of a gash and that it surely called for notice. It received none, however, from my overly stimulated barber whose only concern was the proper telling of his tale, glitchy as it may be. I could not employ a Q-tip in my left ear for two subsequent weeks, a problem for someone who obsesses over wax-free hearing.
        My attempt at silent and tear-free recovery from mutilation number one was curbed by a second mutilation that occurred when Rich got keyed up about a business trip to Brazil and allocated his excitement to the shaving of my extraneous neck hair. The burning sensation imparted by his spastic movements was accompanied by the firing of my own neurons which were constructing much gorier mental images of the straight razor he employed slicing open my jugular vein and spilling rich red blood all over the floor atop my discarded shards of hair.
            The third mutilation, in complete contradiction with Rich's recent Arthritis diagnosis, came in the form of a complimentary massage that felt more like an attempt to obliterate every pressure point in my neck, back, and shoulders. I arose from my swivel chair trembling, scared; a Survivor. I departed without looking in the mirror because I was ashamed of the man that would have peered back, a man who, of his own volition, had chosen an abusive barber, a man who had just paid a mutilator to mutilate him. I thought it better to reflect this masochist back at home, where his guilt-ridden stare could be contemplated in private.
            Physical evidence of mutilations one, two, and three was indeed unmistakable in my bathroom mirror. What gripped me, however, was something else. What caught my attention amongst the bloodstained earlobe, the red and tender neck, the cowering posture of my abused shoulders, was, ironically, my hair. From the ears down I looked like I had just gotten mugged, but the situation atop my head was truly stunning. I had received a fantastic haircut from Rich the Mutilator.
             See, Rich the Mutilating Barber is clumsy, but talented. His haircuts are violent, but handsome. When it came time for my next haircut, I was as torn as the little piece of skin that dangled from my ear, but I eventually made the decision to return to Rich's barber shop and to his swivel chair, where he has maimed me each and every time since. And, each and every time since, I have received a better haircut than the last. Sometimes, the desired result only demands a little mutilation.  


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Two-finger typing and the insert button

If two-finger typing is inappropriate typist behavior, I am a very, very naughty word-processor.

Like most, I learned and was tested on the correct, 10-finger technique in elementary school. I passed all the tests with mostly grit and some cheating, graduated elementary school, then regressed to two-finger typing. I have never looked back, and don't intend to.

It's curious because, in other realms of life, I tend to complicate instead of simplify. In this case of digit usage, however, I have reduced 10 down to 2, and, indubitably, simplified a technique that best operates in its original state of complexity.

I suppose my issues with the 10-finger technique are that it requires more motor skills and also an acquired spacial knowledge of they keys. When I was a kid, I had trouble configuring my fingers in the two disparately sized holes of a pair of scissors, and ever since then I have regularly been convinced that some of my motor skills are, for lack of a better word, retarded. Similarly, my overall spacial capabilities lack a certain direction, if you will. These being true, I can see why I fluctuated from proper typing technique.

An additional and perhaps my most hindering typing handicap is my inability to move my ring and pinky fingers separately from each other. They are partners, and they do everything together. If one is erect, the other is erect. If one is relaxed, the other follows suit. If one presses a key, you can damn well bet the other presses a key. If I hit a "p" with my pinky, I get an obligatory "o" from my ring finger, and vice versa. I can't be having to backspace and delete every time I am "supposed" to be using my pinky and ring finger. What sort of a life would that be? I'll leave the partnership alone and overwork my two index fingers, for this is the way things are destined to be for me.

An important item in this discussion is whether thumbs are fingers. I use my thumb to hit the spacebar, so, if thumbs are indeed fingers, I am a three-finger typist, which is a single step closer to typing righteousness. Thumbs are opposable, so I don't know that they are considered fingers. I'll Google it.

Apparently a thumb is a digit, but not a finger. So, I am a two-finger and a three-digit typist. I'll take that as it stands.

Besides the technical irreverence that comes with being a two-finger typist, there is one additional problem: the fringe keys. The fringe keys are cold, distant locations for a two-finger typist. It's a long journey for the index finger to the p, z, q, and /, one which requires extreme caution. Not only is there a high probability for a mistype, but when the index fingers are at the fringe, the pinky and ring fingers are off the map into uncharted and treacherous territory. Someone like me with clumsy and connected distal digits runs a very real risk of striking those keys which no one ever strikes: the home key, the end key, the num lock key, the pg dn key, the ` key, the fn key. And, the most feared of all, the insert key.

The insert key is evil. It was placed on the keyboard for wicked and malicious reasons, most likely by a malevolent and disgruntled keyboard maker with malice and hatred in his heart. If you're a "proper" typist, you don't care about the insert key, because you rarely hit it, and if you do, you are being proper and looking at the screen as you type, so you can catch the disaster before it becomes irreversible. Good for you. For those of us who are imperfect, we must look at the keys as we type and only occasionally check to make sure the message is being sent from keys to screen. When insert is engaged, irrevocable damage is done to the imperfect typist's typing. When he finally notices, as if on queue, everything freezes; pinky, ring, index, everything. Only his eyeballs are now in motion, repeatedly scanning the disaster that is the sentence(s) he has been obliviously editing, unaware that insert has been obliterating his world the whole time. He wants to punish his pinky, scold it for its incaution, but it looks so innocent, so inoffensive, that he just tells it to be more careful next time. There is always, however, a certain rate of error for an untrained and fringe-occupying digit. It is par for the course in the life of a two-finger typist.    

Friday, September 13, 2013

8-Foot-Tall Multiracial Green Party Muslim Homosexual Albinos: "We Just Want Equality"

The nation's 8-foot-tall multiracial Green Party Muslim homosexual Albinos are speaking out against racial, cultural, political, religious, sexual, and all other types of discrimination they say has plagued them throughout their history.

"Just as any other minority group in America, we think we deserve total equality," said Antonio Muhammad Sage Abbad Gutierrez-McKenzie, revered by 8-foot-tall multiracial Green Party Muslim homosexual Albinos as the leader of the 8-foot tall multiracial Green Party Muslim homosexual Albino civil rights movement.

"We deserve the right to display and celebrate our race, culture, politics, religion, sexual orientation, and physical defects in complete freedom and without resistance or prejudice of any sort," said Gutierrez-McKenzie, a tall, blindingly pasty Hispanic-American wearing a rainbow colored Turban made out of hemp.

"We have a rich history in this country and have helped make America what it is today," continued the freaky looking minority. "We deserve to be allowed on height-restricted roller coasters. We deserve to be able to marry the ones we love regardless of sex or race in an environmentally friendly Mosque. We dream of the day when we can walk the streets without people cranking their necks to gawk at our nearly invisible white eyebrows."

The racial/ethnic/social/political/religious group's appeals for equality remain largely unheard, as the average American has never seen or heard of an 8-foot-tall multiracial Green Party Muslim homosexual Albino. "Those exist?" stated a New York City man. "Well, if they exist then they deserve equal rights, I guess."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On Wanting to Be a Writer, and Why it Might Not Work

I want to be a writer, because all writers are miserable. It would be better if my misery came as part of a territory.

But really, that's why. I want an excuse to be miserable. That's not morbid of me, because everyone is miserable in their own way. Writers can own it though, trademark misery as their own. Who wouldn't want that?

I think writers can own misery because they attempt something inherently impossible for a career. They attempt to convey the human experience in text. This can't be done, precisely because it is experience, and experience is only gathered by our senses. Reading, of course, is not a sense. A good writer may be able to trigger a reader's senses, but it remains secondhand. The goal of writing is an impossible thing, and writers bear the burden of trying it anyway, because they are desperate to be the owners misery.

Why the writer feels the need to convey their human experience (impossible) is a question whose answer far exceeds the faculties of my attempted logic. I only know that it is enjoyable, and impossible. Hence the misery.

Even right now, I am sitting here at 2:13 in the morning (reason enough for misery), and I am thinking how poorly I am currently conveying my "experience" as a "writer." And it holds no matter that I just said doing such a thing is impossible. It's a bit of paradoxical warfare, where my desire to be a writer is deeply embattled against my own writing. Hence the misery.

If all this is true, if the goal of writing is an intrinsic impossibility, it is quite obvious why, almost mathematically, the best writers are also the most miserable people. A really good writer gets very close to the impossibility of relaying human experience. Getting so close with so much effort, all the while realizing the futility of said effort, has got to be invariably miserable. Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Woolfe, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Jack London: all incredible writers. All incredibly miserable people. I want that.

Most of the writers above also had miserable upbringings. I will have to overcome this in order to become a great, miserable writer. I have had virtually no hardship, and I blame my parents for this. Thanks a lot mom and dad, for making my childhood so cozy and nice that I have no misery-fuel to use in my writing.

Of course, all this poses quite a challenge for the aspiring writer. I, for one, could not even figure out which words to capitalize in the title of this, not to mention account for the existential unfeasibility that underlines writing philosophy.

Also, there really are not any great writers named Jeremy. Don't immediately assign insignificance to this. It is a real trepidation. I fear that if my writing ever does approach prominence, it will rebound against a barrier that blocks all those with common, uninteresting names. Just consider the list of authors above. All such writers names. Is this why some writers use pen names? Was Edgar Allen Poe's real name Joe Smith? And would not his writing have been degrees more insignificant if it was? No one cares about a guy named Joe. Edgar, though, now that's a name.

This is what I feel about writers, and why I might not be able to be one.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ducks Nationwide Furious at Teenage Girls

Ducks in lakes, streams, and public fountains far and wide are expressing disgust at the way they are being portrayed by teenage girls across the country. 

According to members of the duck community, most human females between the ages of 12 and 21 have at some point blatantly disrespected the entire waterfowl family by mushing their lips together and flattening their mouths in a way that hideously resembles the perpetual state of a duck bill.

"It's flat out rude," said a duck floating in a pond outside Omaha. "We can't help the way our bills are shaped. Would they make fun of a penguin's waddle? A baboon's butt?"

Ducks are unsure of the origin of "duck face," but have seen enough evidence to deduce that it runs rampant in groups of teenage girls, who apparently find the need to disfigure themselves in duck-like fashion in the company of other females, in "selfie" photographs, or while flaunting an askew peace sign.

"It's embarrassing," added one duck while covering its bill with its wing. "Is that what we look like?"

Some ducks are in fact becoming so self-conscious and ashamed that they are refusing to leave the water where they can hide their mockery of a mouth part under the surface. "Blurghle glughle glugh, blugh glurghle," stated one insecure drake.

Ducks are baffled that they are being ridiculed by earth's dominant species. "They already control our water sources, chase us off their lawns, and eat us," said a duck while munching on some grass, "and now they are making fun of the way we look? What did we ever do to them?"

"They draw us in with food then they mock us with revolting facial expressions," said a mother duck, watching in disgust as a group of adolescent humans fed her ducklings bread while continuously tormenting them with duck face.

Teenage girls are responding to allegations of what's being called "duckscrimination," maintaining that they only make a face that "kinda looks like a duck's face" because it "makes us look cute," and that they "don't really care what ducks think" because "YOLO."

"How do you respond to that?" inquired an incredulous mallard before flying off into the sunset.

Unconfirmed reports indicate a group of rogue ducks are attempting to retaliate against duck face by employing something called "bitchy resting face," an imitation of the expression of the average teenage human female. However, retaliation of the sort seems inevitable to fail, as ducks are allegedly way too cute to pull off such a look.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Area Grandma Thinks Googling is Sex Act

BELLMONT, MS---A local grandmother has become convinced that "the Google" is an amorous maneuver performed during the sexual act of "Googling." 

After watching a local news segment that profiled young couples who Googled each other after the first date, 74-year-old Gail Howerchuk became confident that to be "Googled" is to have had "the Google" performed on you by a "Googler," and that the term she keeps hearing "thrown around by the youngins" refers to something having to do with "knick-knack patty-whack." 

"Boy," said the appalled matriarch, "I'm afraid I just don't know what kids these days are up to in the bedroom."

Howerchuk was visibly disturbed as she recalled various contexts in which she had heard the term used in the past, including being told to "Google funny cats," because the results are "very satisfying."

"Oh my heavens," she said.

She also learned that Justin Bieber is Googled more than 1 million times per day, and that the Google itself is used more than 1 billion times per day.

"Good gracious!" was her response. 

"When I was that age, well boys were gentlemen," recalled Howerchuk. "There wasn't no googlin' or ganglin' or what not goin on. If a young man was interested in a young lady, he treated her like it, and only took her to bed after the 5th or 6th date. And there was no funny business."

After gaining her newfound knowledge, Howerchuk reportedly became curious about "the Yahoo" and "the Twitter," stating "I'll tell you what, if those are sex moves too, I just have lost all track of what's hip." 

At press time, Howerchuk was reported to have been Googling her husband, as she was "curious what all the fuss is about."

Monday, July 22, 2013

SkyMall Magazine Receives First Ever Purchase Order

For the first time in over two decades of existence, the commonly browsed airline catalog, SkyMall Magazine, has sold something.

"We are very excited to announce our first ever purchase order," said SkyMall founder Bob Worsley at a press conference last week. "Our first issue hit commercial airline seat pockets in 1990, and now, only 23 short years later, we are reaping the rewards."

The widely recognized in-flight boredom-queller is seen by approximately 88% of all domestic air passengers in the United States, but, up until now, has sold 0% of cataloged items. 

"It's a wonder," said product manager Matt Genandt of the catalog's sheer failure, "that we haven't done a bit better, with products like the 'Solar Moler' Solar-Powered Mole Repeller and the Electronic Feng Shui Compass. These are quality items that pretty much everyone could use."         

Ed Braun, the man who recently made SkyMall history by ordering a pair of Hidden Camera Sunglasses, admitted his decision was due in part to delirium caused by a long transatlantic flight. "I didn't have anything to do, so I just kept flipping through SkyMall," said Braun. "The next thing I know I'm trying to decide between a 'RealRock' Fake Rock Cover and an Architectural Tea Light Lantern. But then I saw the sunglasses, and it must have been the mixture of claustrophobia, airline food, and a lack of oxygen that made me think I have to have these. They were 350 dollars for Christ's sake."

Other items such as the Toilet Roll iPod Docking Station, the Bigfoot Garden Yeti Statue, and the Mademoiselle Haute Couture Floor Lamp have sat collecting dust in the SkyMall warehouse for years. However, Worsley believes this purchase will "open the floodgates" for SkyMall. "And when it does," he added, "we have the 'H2ooh' Aqua Vacuum to clean it up."   


Friday, July 19, 2013

Tour de France Crash Leads to Massive Bicycle Mix-Up

A large crash during the 17th stage of the Tour de France yesterday left more than a dozen riders bruised, battered, and utterly confused where the hell their bicycles went.

"It was pure chaos," recounted American rider Cadel Evans, who agreed to interview despite having a substantial portion of his face mangled into a fleshy pulp.

The colossal accident occurred on a steep descent near the stage 17 finish line in Chorges. The most minuscule of contacts caused two riders travelling at speeds of over 40 miles per hour to lose control and initiate a chain reaction of violent collisions that sent dozens of bodies and bicycles flying through the air, reeling across the asphalt, and coming to rest at the bottom of the hill in a garbled pile of flesh and titanium.

"A lot of guys started scrambling for their bikes, but some just sat on the ground cupping their road rash while rocking back and forth and crying," said Evans of the frenzied scene. "Some guys were just kinda wandering around aimlessly because they had head injuries and were confused. A few ran off into the woods."

According to witnesses, many variously wounded and disoriented riders ended up getting back on the wrong bicycles. "Shit, this isn't my bike," uttered an incorrectly remounted rider, while another surveyed the wreckage wondering "was mine red or blue?" 

"This can't be it, it doesn't match my spandex" and "how did my seat get wet?" were other phrases heard by witnesses in the panicky moments after the crash.

One rider who eventually did locate his bike was reported to have immediately toppled over again after discovering his arms were "contorted into a pretzel." 

Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde was even seen immediately after the crash riding on a children's tricycle that had somehow become incorporated in the collisions. "I felt something was off," recalled Valverde after the race, "and when I looked down I realized I had mounted a Pink Barbie Tricycle." Race officials have urged police to keep an eye out for a missing and possibly mortally wounded young girl, just in case.

This crash came just days after Chris Frumme controversially won stage 15 by soaring over the finish line ahead of his bicycle. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Soccer Quickly Becoming America's Like 4th or 5th Favorite Sport

A recent poll taken by randomly selected sports fans from around the nation indicated that the game of soccer, where you try and kick a ball into a goal, is drawing near to being among some of America's most popular sports.

"It's definitely up there," said one Chicago sports nut. "I mean, football is way better, and so is baseball, basketball, NASCAR, hockey, tennis, wrestling, and motocross, but after that, it's probably a pretty close tie between soccer and golf.

The nationwide poll asked participants to rate their favorite sports according to watchability, athletic aptitude, and, of course, hitting. Soccer was consistently listed in the top ten in all three of these categories, which is really only nine spots away from number one.

"Soccer is darn near my 5th or 6th favorite sport," noted a respondent from Texas. "The way those fellas get up there and head that ball without gettin' a headache is pretty dang cool."

Some of the more traditional American sports fans, however, were a bit irritated at the results of the poll, remarking how "weird" of a sport soccer is, "bein' that they count up instead of down," and "there's no hot beer lady commercials." "Anyone could run around a big field all day passin' a ball back and forth," said a football fan.

Despite such sentiments, the fact remains that a soccer game in Boston brought in 4,037 people last week, which surpasses the average attendance of the American Badminton League, the Field Hockey Association of America, and the WNBA.

At press time, the poll had just been taken in the UK, and the results were drastically in favor of football, with the word 'soccer' not being listed by any of the respondents. The pollers are investigating this unexpected result.

Monday, July 15, 2013

George Zimmerman Considers Quitting Neighborhood Watch Program

Since being acquitted of all charges in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman has stated that he "should probably think about quitting the whole neighborhood watchman thing."

"It's probably for the best," figures the 29-year-old murder suspect. 

On February 26, Zimmerman got into an altercation with, shot, and killed the young African American boy in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. "I just don't think it is sitting well with a lot of people in the neighborhood," he said.

In the short time since the verdict was decided, the internet has been abuzz with reactions to the case, including tweets such as "If that son-of-a-bitch Zimmerman ever shows his face again, I'll stab him in the throat," and "I dare you to come back to the neighborhood Zimmerman, I just dare you." 

Death threats aside, Zimmerman fears that it might be "awkward" if he showed up for work again. "I would feel bad if I made everyone feel all uncomfortable and stuff," he admitted.

Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, disagrees, believing his client should continue volunteering in neighborhood watch programs as "no one will ever mess with that mother fucker again." 

Kid Goes Cross-Eyed, Face Gets Stuck That Way

"Serves Him Right," Says Boy's Parents.

DERRY, NH---Despite repeated warnings from his parents, an area boy kept going cross-eyed, and now his face is stuck that way.

"We warned him," stated Sheryl Mackey, the mother of the now handicapped-looking child. "We told him if he kept doing it his face would get stuck that way. And it did. Just like we said."

"I didn't believe them," said downtrodden nine-year-old Greg Mackey, his eyeballs spastically twitching inward. "I thought they were just trying to scare me."

The boy's Elementary School  is considering expelling the now "special" child in fears that the other students will mock him and also have their faces get stuck that way. "We don't want a school full of cross-eyed freaks," said the school principal.

In fact, the humiliation has already started, according to the boy's father, Richard Mackey. "When we're walking down the streets in our town, people point and laugh. 'Hey, it's googly-eyed Greg!' 'Hey kid, don't lose your nose, you'll have nothing to look at!' 'Hey retard, look over here! Oh wait...'"  

"Of course it's a bit hard, as a parent, so standby while your son is getting heckled and ridiculed into a deep and irreversible depression, but it's what he gets for continually making silly faces," said the boy's father.

At press time, Greg was watching television from just inches away, and when asked why, he turned his grotesque stare and said, "I don't care if my eyeballs fall out now."

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Drunken Debate Between Two Men Accomplishes Absolutely Nothing

TEMPE, AZ---After a night of heavy drinking, two men in their early twenties had a discussion that made absolutely no sense on Saturday.

"Dude, seriously," one man argued over and over again.

"Did you fart?" the other pried.

Both men made ridiculous hand gestures and slurred their speech to a nearly incoherent level, according to their friend and designated driver. "The conversation went on for three fucking hours," he griped. "They wouldn't shut up."

Both men repeatedly acknowledged how drunk they were but also how they were pretty much sober.

"Dude, we should order food," one man remarked at the height of the debate.

The dialogue perhaps took its most logical turn when one man asked, "What are we talking about?" and the other responded, "I don't know, I need to go to bed."

"I was already pissed because I had to DD that night," said the sober friend. "Their idiotic conversation made me want to leave without them."

However, after the men repeatedly hugged him and asserted, "dude, you're awesome, no seriously you're a really good person, I love you man," the friend begrudgingly drove the inebriated pair home during which he endured numerous pleas to stop for more fast food.

"Next time I have to be DD, I'm drinking," remarked the friend.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

PETA to Become POTATO and Protect All Living Things 

Leading Animal Rights Group Wants to Broaden Their Horizons, and They Figure an Acronym Change is a Good Start

NORFOLK, VA---Spokesperson Lindsay Rajt has confirmed multiple reports that the non-profit organization PETA, currently designated as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, will soon expand its scope and become POTATO, a yet undeciphered acronym.

"We want to expand our directives to love and care for all living things on the planet, not just animals," said Rajt in a press conference at the company headquarters on Tuesday. "We also would like a cooler acronym." 

Despite not knowing a single thing about any of the roughly 101,600,000 species of plants, bacteria, fungi, and protists that make up the vast majority of life on Earth, POTATO will be determined to protect them. "They may not have a brain, but they still have feelings," remarked Rajt.

PETA leadership admits their work will be full of challenges, namely figuring out how to locate and protect tens of millions of microscopic organisms, or as PETA calls them, "the tiny slimy stuff." The organization has ordered a microscope, and they believe that is a good start. "After all," Rajt astutely observed, "you can't save what you can't see."

"POTATO will strive to make sure every living thing is being  treated ethically," Rajt concluded at the Tuesday press conference. "This includes the lettuce we ruthlessly toss in our salad bowls, the seeds we callously steal from innocent sunflowers, and the mushrooms we murderously tear out of the ground for no good reason. We have also recently learned that our stomachs are filled with millions of enslaved organisms called bacteria that digest our food for us. They must be set free."

When a middle school Biology class wrote to the organization indicating that taking such action effectively eliminates all possibilities for human nourishment and survival, PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk replied curtly, "kids are so naive."

The organization has also repeatedly stated that they are really excited about their catchy new acronym, even though they don't know what it means yet. 
Several possibilities for what POTATO will stand for have been reported, however, including The Pinecone, Ostrich, Tapeworm, Algae, and Tortoise Organization, People and Organisms Together Attaining Total Oneness, and The Peoples' Organization for Totally Awesome and Terrific Organisms.   

PETA membership is reported to have taken a slight drop since the Tuesday press conference. 

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is World's First Book and Weather Forecast

FLORENCE, ITALY---The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, a real thing, has forecasted clouds and a fairly great chance of meatballs for Friday in Central Italy.

Meteorologists at ECMWF (the actual acronym) came to a consensus to include meatballs in Friday's forecast because, according to the Center's actual Senior Scientist Patricia del Rosnay, "there is a virtual 100% chance of meatballs being present in that region on that day." 

"They are a very common food item in Italy, meatballs," concurred an anonymous expert on Italian cuisine. "There will almost certainly be some on Friday." 

"In fact," added de Rosnay, "we are more sure of meatballs than clouds. We are only about 70% sure there will be clouds."

The author of the popular children's book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Judi Barrett, is working on a lawsuit against ECMWF for copyright infringement. "It has turned into a bit of a mess," stated Barrett. "I feel I have been wronged, but there seems to be no conventions in place for suing a weather forecast."

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano was thrilled to report that every city block in the forecasted area is filling up with excited children, especially in the poorer areas. "It is great to see the country's youth standing in the streets, faces in the sky, mouths open, ready for a feast. Even if they don't get it, their excitement brings me joy," said Napolitano.

This comes just days after a confused Slovenian man exclaimed "it's raining men!" after stumbling upon a skydiving exhibition, and just weeks after a woman in Seattle cursed the city's rain by shaking her fists at the sky and yelling, "it's raining cats and dogs!" 

Congress to Pit a Donkey Against an Elephant to Determine Which Political Party is Better

Democrats and GOP Anxious to Find Out How the Animals That Represent Them Will Fare in Battle For Zoological Dominance 

WASHINGTON DC---In a startling attempt to determine, once in for all, which party reigns supreme in US government, members of congress have agreed to let a donkey and an elephant fight to the death in the foyer of the Capitol Building in Washington DC. The two creatures will be angered by electrical prodding and then released into a small pen where they will be forced to kick, stomp, and smash each others' bodies until a survivor is deemed victorious.  

"We have a bit of a David vs. Goliath situation here," says Senate Majority Leader and donkey supporter Harry Reid. "But we all know how that story ends."

Senator Reid's confidence is echoed by Speaker of the House and elephant backer John Boehner. "This really shouldn't be much of a fight. The elephant is going to kick some ass, literally."

Each creature is to be selected out of the wild by members of the political party it represents. A team put together by South Carolina Senator and Republican Tim Scott, aptly named "Red Team," will go on safari next week to capture its contender. "As one of the few African American Republicans in congress, I stepped up to head this expedition," says Senator Scott. "I have never actually been to Africa, but I am confident that my roots will guide me to the most fearsome elephant when we get there."

The "Blue Team," led by Minority Leader of the House and Democrat Nancy Pelosi, will simply need to go to the nearest farm to attain their donkey. "We may be at a slight size disadvantage in this fight," admits Congresswoman Pelosi, "but we will have much more time to prepare our ass."

Members of both parties agree that this fight to the death is the best way to determine which political party is better, especially in the present political atmosphere. 

"We know that with all the scandals happening right now, distrust in government is high," says House Majority Leader, Republican Eric Cantor. "Now is the time for clarity, and nothing is more clear than letting animals determine party dominance." 

California Senator and Democrat Barbara Boxer agrees. "Things have gotten out of hand in Congress," she says. "As much as many of us don't get along, we believe the diplomatic solution is to live vicariously through two docile herbivores that will be driven to murder each other for American politics."

President Barack Obama has stayed relatively quiet about the upcoming battle, but when asked about which creature he thinks will emerge victorious, he revealed that he has begun sketching out an intricate bracket. "I hope to have it filled in by next week," he says. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lana Del Rey Distraught Over the Backwards Spelling of Her First Name

LOS ANGELES --- The winner of a Q Award for her song "Best New Thing" and an MTV Europe Music Award for "Best Alternative Act," American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey is devastated that her first name spelled backwards is A-N-A-L.

"Growing up, I never realized it," said the 28-year-old GQ Woman of the Year. "I actually thought my name was pretty unique. You know, I grew up around a lot of Jessicas, Sarahs, Rachels, and I always thought my name was kind of cool. Now I envy those girls."

Sources say Del Rey realized the banality of her backwards first name name during a party after the 2013 BRIT awards, where she was recognized as Best International Female Solo Artist. She was playing a party game during which the players tried to yell their names spelled backwards the fastest.

"She yelled out 'yer led ANAL!' and started to celebrate because she won," reported a friend who was also at the party. "But when she saw everyone was staring at her, I think she realized it. She was humiliated, but for her close friends and family it was really a relief, because we had been avoiding the subject for years."

According to the agent of the Interscope artist, Del Rey is considering going back to her birth name, Elizabeth Grant. "She really thinks htebazile is a better backwards first name to have than anal. She just wants to clear up her image and get back to doing what she loves to do. No one likes to be the butt of a joke, and especially someone who is certainly not bringing up the rear of the entertainment industry lately. It never hurts to make a change that will cover your backside."

Del Rey has a full touring schedule for the remainder of 2013, and she hopes her concerts won't be misinterpreted in light of her backwards first name hitting the tabloids. "I have been known to show my backside quite a bit when I perform," she says, "and I just don't want people to start making irrelevant associations."  
Man Gets Lost Inside Duvet Cover

CINCINNATI --- An Ohio man became disoriented inside of a dark blue duvet cover Thursday, according to his wife who watched from nearby.

"He got frustrated, then he just went in," said Samantha Dulam, 35, who often chuckles as her husband does household chores completely wrong. "I usually can laugh at his lack of domestic abilities, but this time was really scary. I wasn't sure if he would ever come out of there."

After exhausting both the four-corner and inside-out techniques for restoring a comforter to its duvet, Dick Dulam, 45, decided to venture inside and attempt to fill the empty space with down manually.

"As soon as I got in, I got a little mixed up," said Dulam. "I was never really lost, it was just dark and I kept getting sweat in my eyes. It took me awhile to find the hole and get out."

But according to the only witness, Dulam was indeed lost. "I knew a missing persons report could only be filed after 24 hours, and I prayed he would find his way out before then," reported Mrs. Dulam. "All I could really do was wait. He was definitely in trouble, and I couldn't do anything about it. It was a helpless feeling."

Dulam is currently recovering from the ordeal in his home. "I made a mistake," he says, "but these things would not happen if I stayed away from household chores."

Mrs. Dulam declined to comment. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I am a Calibri man. I like the traditional, easy-to-read look. There is something to be said for sticking to what works, and being tasteful in the process. People that write in Courier are either over-compensating for not having much to say, or they were alive for the invention of the typewriter. Those that choose Times New Roman are boring. Every word processor has a large selection of fonts, I suggest doing some exploring, you might be surprised at what you find. Then there are the fancy fonts. The fancy fonts are only to be used for decoration. If you are writing something lengthy in a fancy font, you are condemning your reader to a bad case of the fancy-pants. Sometimes someone might want to make it look as though their text is handwritten. These people need to stick to their diary entries, and avoid attempting any semblance of professionalism with this font. Some people want to be heard, and they use the bold fonts. These fonts are unavoidable to a reader, even when their message is better left avoided. And then there are the adventurous fonts, the ones you would expect to see embroidered on the side of a boat or marking the spot of buried treasure. These are not meant for everyday use - I mean cmon, look at that capital I. I  am unsure of why some fonts even exist. Who is meant to crack this code? Grow up and use Calibri. Similarly, some people like to use cursive  fonts that are indeed made up of letters, but are impossible to read. I can only imagine tiny people typing this font with their tiny fingers And then there are fonts created in Old England, meant only for medieval presentations of sorts, and making one feel as if they must write in ye olde languages of the nethertimes. Wanted dead or alive: an ol' western font. Some fonts are in all caps. These are the yelling fonts. it is impossible to read this text without yelling and/or getting a migraine. The cutesy fonts make you want to say "awwwwwww." You  cannot use these fonts without wanting to pinch them right on their chubby little font cheeks. A nanny could advertise with this font and be guaranteed customers. Some fonts are disgusting. This one looks like keyboard vomit. Some fonts are horrifying....BEHIND YOU!!! Some fonts are chubby. Some are anorexic. Once upon a time, there was a font so very small that it had to be magnified 20x to become legible. Yeah, I think I'll stick with Calibri.             

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Some houses inspire you. The kinds of houses that have tiny attic windows that you can't see into but desperately want to, because on the other side you expect to find something charismatic, like an elderly woman perched behind an antique wooden desk in a room only big enough for her, her sewing machine, and a lethargic metal fan that keeps her cool during the heat of the day. The kinds of houses with yards manicured to indicate care and indifference all at once, whose inhabitants are rarely seen and thus invented by each passerby. The sorts of houses where each room is an individual, where an upstairs bedroom must be found by word of mouth, where trinkets and ornaments have stories behind them. These are the kinds of houses that have yellow siding that is either the result of repainting or wear, that make you feel reminiscent and melancholy, because their ripened charm reminds you of long forgotten summer evenings at your grandparents' house. You write stories about these kinds of houses. Stories with little girls in white sundresses running in and out of patio doors onto wooden porches, and adults in rocking chairs drinking lemonade out of a jar and gazing at the sunlight reflecting off the mist of the sprinklers. Stories where, outside, the rain is pouring or the sun is blazing, but never anything in between. Stories with characters who change when they move in, who discover a new side of themselves, who find their favorite room before they even know what furniture it will hold. And in these stories, the house means something, something that shifts and is yet unchanged, something that is built on eroding soil but has a solid foundation, something that represents the permanence of home.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I told myself I would write everyday. Today is a day, so I must write, even though I am not in the mood. I have read in so many reliable places that writing every day is the best way to be a better writer. When I put it that way, it sounds obvious. I want to say practice makes perfect, but I hat cliches. I also hate them. Sitting at a coffee shop as I am doing now can be inspiring, but it can also be oddly irritating. The coffee shop - home turf for the "creative" types - is always bustling with people like me, people who think they are different, who think they are the ones who are going to "make it" in whatever dead-end career they happen to be aspiring to. Even right now, I can look in front of me and slightly to my left and see a woman typing a screenplay. I want to go up to her and say, "I am better than you. Stop trying." She may be much better than me, but I want to be the only one in the coffee shop working on my craft so that it doesn't seem so difficult to get ahead. Yesterday, a group of - OBNOXIOUS - young show-offs sat in a prototypical coffee shop circle, two on a couch, one in a recliner, one cross-legged on the floor, all surrounding a hippy-looking glass coffee table, and talked about things at a volume that made eavesdropping a necessity, not a desire. They were all "poets." I was irritated that they were calling themselves "poets." If they were really "poets," they wouldn't be sitting in a coffee shop talking about it, they would be - well, I don't know where poets go. The point is, I could tell they weren't accomplished "poets," they were just people who try their hands at poetry, then sit in stupid hippy circles at coffee shops and brag loudly about the latest reading they went to. Then they watch loud youtube videos with no headphones and piss off everyone around them. I am writing right now, but do I consider myself a "writer?" No. I haven't accomplished anything deserving of that title. If I walked around telling everyone I was a writer, I would be pretentious. The coffee shop "poets" need a lesson in humility. What is poetry, anyway? Here, I can write poetry on the spot:

Here I sit to write words
They do not spell, they say
To whom is not to know
For to find the meaning
would be to know too much
And this is why
sense is lost.

Yes, that took all of 30 seconds, and it makes just as much sense as any poem I have ever read. Maybe I should become a "poet." I could just make shit up and mush words together in a way that sounds "poetic." This whole prose thing is tricky because it has to actually make sense, follow the laws of English.

This is really not as satisfying as it was yesterday. Hopefully tomorrow I will be more inspired.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The idea-less ramble

Writing. Writing, writing, writing. I have been writing all day, but I had to stop writing and come here to write. I plan to write here until I am satisfied. The good news is I have already accomplished more here than in the other thing I was writing. I wish it was always this easy to write. I am finding this very satisfying. The other thing I was writing all day was much harder to write. I told myself I would come here and write without editing at all, in order to actually get some writing done. I have made a few typos, and I will admit I did go back and fix them. But fixing typos is ok, I just don't want to sit for minutes on end deciding how to edit ideas. Ideas are difficult to write. That's why I am writing this, because I have no ideas to write. This is idea-less, and it feel great. Sometimes you just need to write with no ideas. Should I publish this? Then I would be publishing no ideas. Writing with no ideas and publishing those no ideas. Is that productive? Will anyone enjoy it? Who knows? Who cares? I kind of care. I don't want people to think I'm a crazy person. Maybe I am a crazy person. But I don't want other people to think that. But now I already wrote that I might be crazy, and I can't go back and edit that, so if I publish this, people might think, oh he even thinks he might be crazy, maybe he actually is crazy. They will think I am a crazy person with no ideas. No ideas at all. I just stopped to re-read everything I wrote, which is something I told myself I wouldn't do. But it's ok, I am slowly learning how to not edit my writing every 5 seconds. It is important, and I think writing with no ideas, like I'm doing now, will help cure  me of my need to constantly edit my writing. I just stopped to re-read everything again. This is quite the ramble. The idea-less ramble. That sounds catchy, the idea-less ramble. Maybe that's what I'll call this. But I only need a title if I publish this. Still haven't decided if I want to. But now that I have a good title maybe I should. Hmm. Now I am running out of no ideas. For the past 2 minutes I have been writing with no ideas whatsoever, and it flowed perfectly. Now I have no more no ideas and I don't know what to write, except that I am out of no ideas to write about. I am a little scared to stop though, because I am worried about going back and trying to edit this. Here's what I'll do, I'll count to 3, and on 3, I will click publish. Yeah,what the hell, I'll publish it. I'm not crazy. 1-2-3!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Spirit of a Jewish Mother

                Eli's mother hovered forebodingly beside his bed, hands on her hips, her head shaking slowly back and forth. She always had a way of making Eli sense her disappointment from body language alone. He spent half his childhood feeling like a scolded puppy. 
                This time, she had caught him in a rather compromising position.
                "For God's sake, again?"
                 He quickly covered up and chucked the latest edition of Maxim magazine across the room.
                "MOM! Oh my God!" He hoped an exclamation of utter shock would distract her from present circumstances. It didn't.
                "Don't mom me young man. So this is what you're doing with your life now? You just lie there all day and do...this?"
                "God mom, not all day. Just because you're a ghost doesn't mean you don't have to knock."
                That was stupid. He couldn't control himself.
                "Excuse me? Oh yeah, sure! Lock your dead mother's ghost out of your room! Real nice. This is my soul, you know."
                 Eli's mother was dead, and still she knew how to make him feel guilty.  She even looked the same while doing it apart from the pale, partially transparent skin. She wore the same old dilapidated nightgown he saw her adorn every single night of his childhood. He somehow found a brief moment to contemplate ghost clothing. How can an outfit pass into the afterlife? And is that outfit what the spirit is stuck in for the rest of eternity?
                The exchange continued.
                "It's not that I'm trying to lock you out. It's just...embarrassing."
                "Embarrassing for you? What about me? Having a son who treats his body like it's an amusement park! Do you want to give me a heart attack?"
                "...A heart attack mom?"
                She turned her ghost body and started looking around Eli's bedroom - "What else can I yell at him about while I'm at it?"        
                "And what is going on in here? Did you forget how to clean?"
                There it is.
                "I was going to clean up tomorr..."
                "How can you live like this? It's disgusting."
                "Sorry. You're sorry. I'm sorry. Sorry that I raised such a slob.
                "Ok m..."
                "Why can't you find a girl so you don't have to lie here and waste your life away? Is it so hard? You are a handsome, smart boy. I'd even be ok with you dating a Goy if she distracted you from this nonsense.
                "OK mo..."
                "If you're going to continually abuse yourself, you could at least do it to some nice Jewish girls. Not this Maxim garbage. You could at least get the right image into your head!"
                She hovered quietly for a moment, hands still on hips, head still shaking. It couldn't be over yet.
                "And just how long has it been since you've visited my grave?"
                There it is.
                "Mom, how many times do we have to go over this? You're a ghost. You can visit me whenever you want."
                "Oh yeah, sure, but I better 'knock' first, or I might find my son treating his body like it's the state fair!"
                "Can we please, please stop talking about this now?"
                At that, the ghost of Eli's Jewish mother gave one last sigh, floated up into the ceiling, and disappeared. On the way, she used her lifeless, gray index finger to take a quick swipe of his bookshelf.
                "Would it kill you to dust every once in awhile?" 

For the Betterment of Mankind, Part II - The solution

It may be useful to incorporate something into the everyday lives of humans to remind them of their duty as a species to remain incorporated in evolutionary improvement. This would be an evolutionary "challenge," something that would act discriminately to punish those who chose to embrace idiotic behaviors, reestablishing once again Natural Selection as the ultimate ruler of survival in human populations.

There are many species of predator that could act as such a challenge, wild animals that could easily catch, kill, and consume an incautious human. A lion, for instance, could deal almost certain fatality to a human, if the animal so desired him as a meal or perceived him as a threat. In fact, a human is no match for a lion's stealth, speed, and power. A large serpent such as an Anaconda could also easily swallow and digest even a large human if presented one. However,  its inherent sluggishness and lethargy render it unlikely to manage such a feat, assuming the target is mobile and comprising the five senses. A creature somewhere in between the prowess of a lion and the sluggishness of an Anaconda may well be a good match for a human.

A bear, perhaps, stands as the most appropriate middle ground. Bears can be fierce but often cumbersome, lethal but not exceedingly stealthy, and a human may have a fair chance against a bear, if they are paying heed to their surroundings. Certainly, an unwary human in a famished bear's habitat stands little chance. However, humans have the advantage of intellect, and in a situation where the human is in familiar territory and is aware of the possibility of an attack, he has a fair chance of evading an encounter.

Therefore, and for the betterment of mankind, I propose we introduce bears into society. This will serve a grand purpose, to reintroduce a primal element of Natural Selection into human populations. For without Natural Selection, the idiots continue to reproduce, and our species cannot improve.

This, of course, must be carried out systematically:

Because the United States is the most modern, industrialized nation in the world, its city centers would be the first to incorporate bears. If the goals of this project were being met, or at least if its successes outweighed its failures, bear incorporation could begin elsewhere in the developed world.

It would become legal in all city centers and areas of the US in which bears per capita equaled less than the national average for enough animals to be released to reach that limit. Release of bears would be strictly limited to licensed, federal wildlife officials who were specifically appointed in the management of this project. Specific, mapped points of introduction would be carefully coordinated taking into consideration predicted roaming patterns and habitat usage of each introduced animal, as well as human population densities. This would ensure even dispersion of bears among groups of humans.

Animals to be released would be born of wild bear mothers in captivity, and reared under such provisions until they were able to survive on their own. Thus, the bears would be juveniles at release, old enough to be self-sustaining but young enough to be non-threatening on introduction. This would allow humans in the area to learn the bear's habits before the animal became lethal. Humans who chose to be observant at the beginning would have less chance of an encounter. Only female animals would be released, as to avoid breeding and territorial disputes between individuals.

By growing up in city centers, the bears would learn to live in human areas and to tolerate human presence, which would habituate the animals to human activities and illuminate humans as prey items. Furthermore, naturally occurring bear populations would help keep introduced bears within their desired ranges.

Attacking or killing a bear in situations other than self defense would be punishable by law. All instances of fatality of both human and bear would be thoroughly reviewed by a panel of legal administrators, specially trained forensic examiners, as well as local law enforcement in order to determine circumstances and legality of death.

As to ensure all humans' participation in this project at all times, there would be a strict "no-limits" clause in regard to where the animals could roam. If a bear wandered into a Wal-Mart, college fraternity, or the Jersey Shore beach house, no measures would take place to remove it until it was killed during an altercation or it decided to exit.

Crucial to this project would be to minimize casualties that were not a product of the overall goal. After all, the objectives would not be a drastic reduction in human population size nor to endure copious innocent lives lost. By releasing only enough animals to reach natural, average bear densities per capita, humans would still grossly outnumber bears, and each human's chance of an encounter would remain relatively small. However, the possibility is what would change behavior. One could not completely engross themselves in their fast food burger, bury their head in their mobile device in disregard to the rest of the world, or act otherwise idiotically, because they might get attacked and devoured by a bear. Those that persisted in such a lifestyle would become the individuals most likely to be selected out of the population.

This survival-of-the-fittest schema would drastically increase the overall quality of mankind by producing a human species that was more adept, involved, and aware of their environment. The knowledge that, at every point in the country, somewhere within several miles, there is almost certainly a man-eating bear, would force humans to adapt, to improve. It would force humans to evolve.

For the Betterment of Mankind, Part I - The problem

The defining feature of humans as a species is extreme intelligence. The presence of so many idiots among us, then, is the epitome of irony.

It's true, the idiot is on the rise and can be found in most corners of modern society. Evidence is abundant in your local Wal-Mart, college fraternity, and the Jersey Shore beach house. It has arisen in airports, newsrooms, and city halls, and it is unmistakable on television and the internet. The idiot may be ferociously text messaging on the interstate, boorishly fist fighting at a sporting event, or verbally abusing a Starbucks barista for incorrectly preparing their grande single shot 4 pump sugar free nonfat extra hot no foam light whip stirred white mocha.

Interestingly, humans have exclusive rights to idiocy. After all, there are no idiots elsewhere in the animal kingdom. There are no stupid chimpanzees, no moronic salamanders, and no imbecilic salmon. Indeed, all of these species are less intelligent than humans, but as a collective, and only due to a less evolved brain. In the animal kingdom, the only appropriate equivalent to an idiot is the individual that is promptly selected out of the population. It is the individual that does not survive, the one that is killed by a predator or by one of its own or by other variables in its environment, because it is less fit than others of its kind. And is that not the way it should be? Is that not the beauty of evolution? It is the brilliant simplicity with which the "idiotic" individuals die that so gracefully embodies Charles Darwin's central theory on the evolution of life - survival of the fittest by Natural Selection. In the face of challenges within an environment, variability between members of a population heeds differential survival. It's simple, and Darwin made it clear 150 years ago - the idiots are supposed to die.

Alas, the idiot human does not suffer the same fate as the "idiot" chimpanzee, salamander, or salmon. In fact, the idiot human often outlives the non-idiot human, both in terms of longevity and lifestyle. I return to the the Jersey Shore television show, where exemplar idiots live a lifestyle often dreamed of by the non-idiot. These individuals are rewarded for their unhealthy behaviors, in this case with riches and fame. The more they engage in physical confrontation with others, expose their bodies to copious amounts of alcohol and other harmful substances, and have unprotected promiscuous intercourse yielding more people like themselves, the more success they find in life. This may not seem like a problem, but it is a slap in the face of Darwin. Indeed, any other species cannot take part in comparable behaviors, because each one has its own specific, and prompt, consequence on the overall fitness - and therefore survivability - of the individual. Take a chimpanzee. Say this chimpanzee foolishly challenges a much stronger, more experienced chimpanzee to a fight for dominance of a troop. Defeat for this chimpanzee most likely means death of its injuries - Darwin's survival of the fittest at its height. Conversely, a cast member of the Jersey Shore who demonstrates similar foolishness and who suffers the same end result gets a high-five and a ratings boost. Certainly, the entire, overly tanned Jersey Shore cast may die of cancer caused by harmful UV emissions, or of liver disease resulting from alcohol abuse, but these are only eventualities. Such will not occur before they have had the chance to live auspiciously, reproduce plentifully, and pollute the minds of millions of viewers with incessant bouts of idiocy.

The question must be raised, then, why does a member of the Jersey Shore not have to abide by the same rules as a chimpanzee? Are they not both primates? Are they not both products of thousands of generations of continuing evolutionary advancement? Why are human idiots not enduring their due fates? The answer is a paradox: it is a consequence of intelligence that allows idiots to survive in human populations.

Continuing in the vein of idiots on television, reality TV programs like the Jersey Shore are prime examples of this phenomenon. Despite its noticeable lack of surface value, reality TV is a direct product of human ingenuity. The recognition of our society's attraction to such humans as are found on the Jersey Shore television show has yielded a multi-billion dollar industry cashing in on the promotion of idiots. In this way, we are enabling their idiotic behavior. Such cultural exploitation is strictly human and must be attributed to sheer mental capacity.

Society's attraction to observing idiots on television and elsewhere is widely evident and may serve as an indirect source of their success. However, human intelligence has contributed to this apparent hitch in Darwin's evolutionary scheme in a much more remarkable way. Essentially, humans have manipulated their environment to an extent to which it is no longer evolutionarily challenging. That is, after all, a crucial aspect of Natural Selection. In every other species, environmental challenges, be they predation, competition between or within species, or resource acquisition, are what act on variability between individuals and eliminate those that are not fit to survive. Without such variables, survival becomes easy for all, including those that are less fit. The average, modern human is our prime example. His challenges have nothing to do with his inherent, natural environment. Rather, his problems, the things that really threaten his survival, surround elements of life that he himself has created - automobile accidents, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, war. These are all  elements of a strictly human society, because only humans have the advanced intellect necessary to create them. Even disease, seemingly the only true "evolutionary" threat left to mankind, is largely driven by the actions of humans. Even when it is not, it does not act on behavioral discrepancies, and it does not serve to punish an individual's idiotic behaviors.

In summary, because there is no longer a viable evolutionary threat to exploit human idiocy, the species cannot improve. In part II of this commentary, I will suggest that, perhaps, it would be useful to reintroduce that element of threat into human populations.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rap line analysis

I often find myself in debate with a friend over whether or not rap music is indeed music. The arguments are always the same: I maintain that music requires harmony, melody, and musical instruments. My opponent usually declares the existence of some sort of raw musicality, wherein the sounds of someone banging two rocks together could be considered musical. I respond with an explanation of the difference between noise and music, followed by sarcastic applause for their entirely accurate comparison of rock banging and rap music. The argument usually terminates at that juncture in a mutual exchange of "to each their own," and maybe that's how it should be.

However, sometimes the dispute drags on and morphs into a ping pong match of verbal insults aimed at each others' music tastes. It is at this point that I am forced to bring out my completely air tight, irrefutable winning argument. It is as follows: rappers, without question, come up with some of the worst lyrics in the history of lyricism.

In an endeavor to prove this point, I will now fire up Google and illustrate some examples. Then, for fun, and in an effort to provide even the slightest benefit of the doubt to past and future debate opponents, I will attempt to explain, even rationalize, a selection of some of most heinous usages of the English language I can find. But mostly, I am just going to make fun of them.

Be warned, some of the following will definitely be offensive. Just remember, these lyrics have earned their writers millions of dollars - there must be something good about them, and I'll try to find it.

Dr. Dre - "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang"
"Never let me slip, cause if I slip, then I'm slippin."
What I really want to do is start with the title of this song. For length reasons, I will refrain except to point out that a "G thang" is not a real thang. I mean, thing.

Apparently, this self-appointed 'doctor' (I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to call yourself a doctor without the proper credentials. Besides, now anyone with the last name Dre can never become a doctor without infringing on trademark laws) does not quite understand the concept of cause and effect. It goes without saying, doctor, that if you slip, you are indeed slipping. There is no need to spell this out for us. Never unnecessarily repeat yourself, because if you unnecessarily repeat yourself, then you are unnecessarily repeating yourself.

If I'm forced to try to rationalize this, I suppose our doctor could be pleading to not let him physically slip, let's say on some ice, because he doesn't want to hit his head, because that often leads to a more metaphorical slip, like a mistake or blunder caused by head damage from the initial slip. Who am I kidding? This sentence is simply nonsensical. Not a good start.

LFO - "Summer Girls"
"When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet, Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets."
Ok, I'm all with it for the first part. A "sip" of alcohol makes you "buzz like a hornet," because you are buzzed from the alcohol, and hornets go 'buzzzzzz.' I decoded that part pretty easily. Where the confusion sets in is in the second part, where, out of nowhere, the rapper finds it necessary to display his knowledge of the profession of William Shakespeare. Is this a rap about drinking or Shakespeare? Stinging insects or poetry forms? I certainly don't see the association. And where does this guy get off calling Shakespeare "Billy?" There is no way to be sure that was even his nickname. And if it was, this rapper certainly does not know him personally. Where are your manners, LFO?

Again, I'm hard pressed to find any semblance of sense in this (I'm getting the feeling such will be a regular issue throughout this process). Perhaps the rapper was in fact drunk when he wrote this, and while describing his current situation in the first part, his inebriated mind took over for the second part. This is the only thing I can think of, and the average running speed of an adult African ostrich is 43 miles per hour.

Kanye West - "Two Words"
"I live by two words: f*ck you, pay me."
I could write a whole essay on the irony of an eighteen-time Grammy Award winning millionaire film and fashion mogul who doesn't know how to count. But I'll leave that for now, and instead point out the unlikeliness of "f*ck you, pay me" resulting in any monetary success. The only profession I can think of where saying "f*ck you, pay me" would actually get you any money is prostitution. In fact, any John would likely respond to that statement with, "Ok." Regardless, I doubt Kanye West has made his fortune working as a prostitute. Kanye, I'm really happy for you, Imma let you finish, but you live by one of the worst mottos of all time.

I'm not going to try and rationalize any of this. This guy's a moron.

Snoop Dogg (before he became a lion) - "California Girls" (a Katy Perry song, which makes everything that much more relevant)
"Bikinis, zucchinis, martinis. No weenies."
Mr. Dogg, if you're going to randomly throw a member of the summer squash family into the mix with hot chicks and booze, why not at least add some ingredients that belong with it? Why not bikinis, zucchinis, martinis, and tortellinis? Still rhymes, and tastes delicious. How about bikinis, zucchinis, martinis, and Charlie Sheenies? I mean, he is just the kind of guy who would be creeping around a bunch of girls in bikinis drinking martinis. But I guess that would violate Snoop's "no weenies" clause - unless he's talking about cocktail weenies. But who doesn't like cocktail weenies?  Alright Snoop, what's going on here? This is quite the loaded lyric.

My rationalization is that he was high as a rocket ship when he thought of this. He probably giggled for 20 minutes after writing the word 'weenies.'

Lil Wayne - "Barry Bonds"
"I don't go backwards, and I don't practice, and I don't lack sh*t, and you can get buried, and suck my back b*tch.
This guy really needs to work on his insults. Maybe I will "get buried" Lil Wayne, maybe I'll get all buried in my comforter at bedtime. And no, I won't suck your back, not because it is insulting, but because it is a very strange request. And also you weren't specific enough. Your back is very large, and there are many different parts like vertebrate and shoulder blades. Maybe instead of asking people to bury themselves in their linens and suck non-specific body parts you should go backwards and learn what a run-on sentence is, and then practice it, and then lack one less thing, and then people will be able to understand you, and you will continue to make millions, and less people will wonder why.

Here are a few more lines whose idiocies are very apparent and require no explanation whatsoever:
"Rock star, flier than an ostrich." - Juelz Santana
"We from two different cities, Minnesota and Philly." - Freeway
"First family will gradually lift that a** up like gravity." - Lil Fame
".38 revolve like the sun round the earth." - Jay-Z
"I like them black, white, Puerto Rican, or Haitian, like Japanese, Chinese, or even Asian." - Chingy
"Thirty-two grams raw, chop it in half, get sixteen, double it times three. We got forty-   eight, which mean a whole lot of cream. Divide the profit by four, subtract it by eight. We back to sixteen." - Foxy Brown
"I'm an animal, half man, half mammal." - Jay-Z
"You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe (x3). You a stupid hoe, (yeah) you a, you a stupid hoe. You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe (stupid, stupid). You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe (stupid, stupid). You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe (stupid, stupid) (stupid, stupid)." - Nicki Minaj

These people make millions.