Saturday, July 21, 2012

Growing Up Is Awesome

There will always be people that miss things the way they were back in the day, because they were the best times ever dammit. I'm sure looking back, it all seems like the time of your life; no job, no bills, no planning for your future all the damn time. You saw every single person in your social circle every day, as well as all the people in every other social circle. Every time you had to do anything remotely complicated, there was plenty of people around to hold your hand and protect you from the cold hard truths of reality. Hell, even making your own decisions those days was optional. And while I can to some extent understand people's yearning for the simpler times of their lives, more often than not, the same people that want to be young again are the same people that are unhappy with the way their life has played out so far.

In the more retarded realm of getting another shot at childhood, most people have their own individual tirades about what they would do if they knew what they knew now(You know, like that one song everyone uses in commercials when they talk about life insurance or cars and shit). Naturally, there are some things you could change in terms of actions with direct consequences, but even with the right information you can't really improve your shitty life. Not because of the situation, but because if you were a responsible human being, you wouldn't be relying on a time travel oriented second shot to fix all your problems in the first place.

Being a kid fucking sucks, mostly because: 
-You don't get to dress yourself, and the people that do dress you want you to look as ridiculous as possible, because they resent being your legal guardians.
-Your hopes, dreams, and feelings are taken seriously by absolutely no one(not that this ever changes much when you get older).
-Nothing important happens except for traumatic incidents that will indefinitely shape who you are for the rest of your life. Which is really not good when you consider that some scientists believe our personalities are set by as early as first grade.

Being a teenager fucking sucks even more, because: 
-You can finally dress yourself, but you have no idea what that means and you will screw it up trying to fit in/not to fit in. How people dress in high school is the epitome of trying too hard in an attempt to emulate their friends, idols or role models.
-Your idols and role models are the worst. Seriously, there is no other way to put it. You will go through a very important developmental stage in your life trying to follow the footsteps of people that may not be the most respectable and reliable references for how to live.

                                                   Case in point. 

-You will have friends, girlfriends, and other important people in your life that you will swear undying loyalty towards. You will sacrifice your health, options, and opportunities to strengthen these bonds, and most of them will be gone a few years after your graduate. These studies are all over the place, but most people choose to ignore them because we prefer to think of ourselves as paragons of unwavering friendship.
-You will have a variety of opinions and closely held beliefs that you will fight tooth and nail for. You will rant and rave and research your side of the story relentlessly to prove the things you know are cemented in cold, hard facts. People will come to recognize you as the guy/girl that's all about animal rights, atheism, libertarianism...and that you're really fucking annoying about it. What you don't and won't realize until it's too late is that even your opinions on opinions will change very rapidly over the next few years, and you're going to get all "cynical and skeptical and disillusioned." No, you're just embarrassed about the way you screamed the biological process of a decaying body to a young girl because she said she hoped her grandmother was in heaven.

So no, I don't miss being younger at all, and I wouldn't wanna go back and do any of it over. Being younger is like being a drug addict; you think it's a lot cooler than it actually is when it's happening, and you don't remember what was so bad about it until it's really all behind you. You're supposed to grow out of it. So please, stop romanticizing the past and just leave it where it belongs.

                           And let's leave the libertarianism to Ron Swanson.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rules of Facebookery

Not getting enough attention on Facebook? Do you put a lot of time and thought into your posts, only to have nobody give a shit about them? That probably means you're a normal person and we just aren't that interested in every little thing you do, but we both know you won't take that lying down. If you're a particularly lazy attention whore, just pick any one of these methods and run with it.

1. Pretend to be an aloof hardass. Start telling everyone you don't give a fuck. Post it as often as possible in regards to any situation, no matter how major or minor the given situation is. This is important, because people who don't give a fuck spend every waking moment telling you about how many fucks they don't give on the regular. If anyone tries to point out that saying you don't give a fuck must mean you do, tell them they're trying too hard. Throw in a YOLO for good measure.

2.  Be really vague about how good your life is, or be even more vague about future developments. Examples include: "making moves." I don't need to include any more examples than that, because this one in particular is perfect. There's a noun and a verb, no subject. Anything or anyone within your vicinity could be making moves for all your friends know. And nobody's ever going to ask you what moves you're making, because they don't wanna get into a whole thing with you, man. Use people not caring about your life to your advantage.

3. Share as many memes as possible. They never get old, people love them, and you can show off that you clearly have the best taste in comedy. If you're feeling adventurous, just take the same phrasing used in the Condescending Wonka meme(Oh, you spent two weeks over at XX? Tell me about how you've always been into YYing). Alternatively, make your own inside joke memes, because inside jokes are only good if people are around to not get them.

4. Rage out at something insignificant, then suggest the offenders be brutally murdered. Example: All the Android users started making accounts on instagram, those motherfuckers should have their intestines cut out and shoved down their own throats. Assure your friends that you're serious.

5. If you own Apple products, never shut the fuck up about them, include yourself anywhere you might be able to bring them up. Argue with everyone that you know(also people you don't) that your iPhone is the pinnacle of technological advancement. Be as fanatical as possible, your only counter-argument should be "pfffff." If someone brings up a good point, derail the conversation and talk about taking it to the Apple Store to get it fixed/replaced/whatever they do. Be as belligerent and smug as you can.

6. Post statuses that show off how desperately lonely you are. Tell everyone that you want "someone to cuddle with," or "someone that knows you're worth it." If you're dealing with any kind of physical pain or discomfort, make sure you include this information as well, to ensure that your friends know you can't handle a stomach ache without telling the world your story.

7. Take the moral high ground by elaborating every detail of an extremely personal altercation. Include no names, but talk about how much you hate drama, how over this you are, and how their dishonest attempts to start shit will not succeed. The advantage of this is getting your side of the story out first, even if it's the only side people ever see. Because they have no idea who the fuck you're talking about, they will have to believe you!

8.  Late at night, post "Is anyone awake? I can't believe I can't sleep lol how strange it's almost like I'm some sort of insomniac it's like 3 am lol!" Then, like the statuses of people who are also awake, but don't talk to them, or else you'll seem desperate. In fact, if anything you do on Facebook leads to a substantial conversation, you've already fucked up.

Bonus: For The Ladies

9. If you're not the most attractive woman/not in the best shape, develop a reputation for the insanely high standards you have. While making no actual attempts to improve yourself, continue to announce your demands in public on a daily basis. Instead of taking pictures that show you as you are, take close up shots at odd angles to make your entitlement look at least somewhat justified(bump up the contrast to hide those blemishes, all the stress of living a lie must really be hell on your pores).

Bonus: For The Bros

10. If you aren't getting any girls, if your lack of a future is being seen as a "turn-off," then your best bet is to display your insecurity as overtly as you can. Shirtless pictures? Hell yeah. Status about a jam session? Go for it. Did good this semester? Let everyone know your GPA. Make sure you talk about how much it sucks to be hungover, how much weed you smoke, or how hard you hit it at the gym. Take pictures of your car and talk about waxing it. Make fun of people for being way into 90's stuff, then reference The Water Temple, because chicks love pretending to love Zelda. Use the news apps so people think you care about current events, and after that, post a picture of your attempt at a french inhale. Nice.

Remember everyone, there is nothing more rewarding than having a Facebook that is a monument to yourself. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Down With Cynicism

There seems to be this crazy misconception that it's unique or in any way appealing to be"cynical." I'm sure you picture yourself as some free-thinking renegade badass that's too jaded to hold on to hope, and too smart to trust anyone other than yourself. But here's something you might not have picked up on while you were lost in your pseudo-pessimistic delusions:

You're surrounded by cynics just as painfully conceited as you. It's not special, it's not cool, it's not even fucking edgy. Most 14 year old girls are just as cynical as you when they talk about boys.

You're just trying to shit on everyone else's good time, which would be perfectly fine and acceptable if you kept it to yourself and your skeptical friends. But unlike everyone else, you want us to hear/watch you take a shit, because you're convinced we haven't seen on somebody shit on something before. 

If anything, it's the optimists that are the minority. They're the real badasses nowadays, because they have the balls to duke it out with the snarky self-gratifying overly negative self proclaimed army of cynics. 

Let's look at the facts: 

-Cynics are always surprised by something good. They never expect anything to work, and they will never help you reach your goal, usually doubting it out loud while saying something  asinine about "sheeple." They counter this by spending months telling you about all the things in world history that didn't work out, and how little these failures surprised them.

-They get their point across by denouncing the effectiveness of their chosen medium while doing it, making them hypocritical douchebags(Example: Posting statuses about how posting statuses doesn't accomplish anything). Not only does this make your cry for help more identifiable, you alienate yourself from the only people that would try to help you. You know what they call people who cry and bitch and moan when nobody can understand them enough to help? Babies. And at least they have the excuse of not knowing how to speak yet.

-A cynical friend will never be there for you as a friend. They're too busy masturbating to the thought of being the One-Man-Army, the Gregory House, the Lone Wanderer. They don't expect you to ever come through, so they will never come through for you(For more info, google self-fulfilling prophecy).

Conclusion: Get hopeful, get positive, and don't buy into their bullshit. Believe in something and you will never be the tool of a skeptical coward's ego. They want you to feel shitty because they feel shitty, they want you to doubt every idea you've ever had, and they want to see you fail. They don't hate you, fuck...they don't even give you any regard as a human being. Cynics only care about themselves and how you see them, and they want you to not make it just so they have another negative thing to be right about. 

You insecure fucks. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Message To The "Nice Guy"

Okay, give me a minute to clarify, this does not apply to genuinely nice people. This is for every self-absorbed prick that thinks being nice means we all owe you something. 

If this applies to you, then most likely you have said something along the lines of:

-"I don't know why I bother being nice, everyone just fucks me over"

-"Being nice is hard"

-"Yeah? Well where would you be if I didn't do XY for you?!"

-"Maybe if I stopped being nice tomorrow everyone would see what it's like for a change."

You know what I'm thinking every time you spout your cliche bullshit? Being nice isn't hard at all.

It usually feels so rewarding to be nice out of the kindness of your heart, that all that other bullshit doesn't matter. I don't know what the fuck you're looking for, and your argument becomes staler and harder to believe every time you throw a bitch-fit about not getting paraded up and down the streets for being there for someone that needs you or helping out a total stranger. If it's that hard for you to do something without being completely fucking self-absorbed, then don't bother. Trust me, I don't want any help from you, cause from what I can see you "nice guys" throw your bullshit back in everyone's face.

You're exponentially harder to tolerate when you use this tactic as a means to pursue romantic interests. I mean, let's be honest, you hang around your chick "best friend," prey on her insecurities, make her hate each new boyfriend, and constantly emphasize that she deserves better. So...why the fuck would she consider being with you? You're pretty much the perfect embodiment of the shitty behavior that you keep warning her to avoid. And then when she doesn't wanna hook up with you? "Nice guys always finish last, wah wah wah, boo fucking hoo." If your attempts at imitating kindness were only to reach some sort of carnal or romantic end, then maybe you'd have an easier time being the dickhead you always tell us all you could be(or whatever plastic threat you hold against your chest to validate your angst).

An honestly open piece of shit scumbag that does one nice thing from the heart is always better than a saint that's in it for the perks. 

If you're going to make a consistent effort to be a better person and to have a positive effect on the world around you, then maybe you should start by being honest with yourself. If deep down you are an honest, kind, and decent person, then you don't even need to hear me say this, because you know that it's something that comes from within. The true nice people in this world don't need other people to reaffirm the fact that they are nice, they don't need rewards or praise. Unfortunately, so many of you seem to be under the impression that kindness goes hand in hand with justified entitlement. And I hope the world puts you on your ass when your selfish thinking finally breaks through at a critical moment to expose you for what you really are. 

What a fucking joke.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Great Red Spots:Animal Spirits and Far Away Places

The first thing I should tell you about Great Red Spots is that you never put a "The" In front of their name, because they really hate that. 

            That XMas Snoopy has been to more shows than you will ever know.

Great Red Spots are a two piece band out of Erial New Jersey, with Joe Musciano on guitar and vocals and Sean Sacks on drums. If you haven't heard them yet, please go to right now and download their free EP, "Choose Your Animal." Then listen to them as I recount when I went to one of their many excellent shows, which I think will embody my feelings about the kind of work these guys do.

I was running late getting was this show at a place called Sampson Farms, this massive open field in the middle of nowhere. My ears have almost been conditioned to instantly recognize the guitar and vocal work from Joey, a unique style that goes well with Sean's precise and superb drumming. The end result is a sound that's very easy on the ears while still maintaining it's inherent complexity. It almost feels like it comes from an emotional depth that isn't easily understood or appreciated, but the layers make themselves apparent the longer you listen.

Their music echoed out into the overcast night sky, and the overall beauty of the sound itself always makes me just stop where I stand for second to take it all in. It was raining on and off quite a bit, but if you are familiar with the former exploits of these two dedicated musicians, you know that's not something that would ever stop them. The delicate electronics were protected by a makeshift canopy of tarps, their cords running like wild veins across the ramshackle stage, and you could tell immediately that Joey and Sean were in their element. You can feel their passion from a distance, you can hear their emotions in every measure, and the overall impression is uniquely positive and contagious.

Friends laughed with friends, hugs and handshakes were exchanged, and ridiculous dancing was done while the rain started coming down heavy. If you fell, someone would extend their arm and help you up, and just for a few brief moments could really let yourself go and enjoy the phenomenal sounds of Great Red Spots.

My three favorite tracks: Ghost Invertebrates, White Dwarf, and Inspirace. But they're all amazing, even Full Moon Puppeteering, which is easier to appreciate if you understand Joey's quirky fascination with interludes.

 Unearthly animalistic, their core emotions interwoven into every track, and a metric fuckton of technical expertise, Great Red Spots are a force of nature not worth missing out on. 

They're on Facebook too(, go like them and they will love you forever.

 Thanks for reading, keep yourself involved in your local music scene, it does make a difference!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why So Sacred, Why So Serious?

I understand that the pursuit of any artistic endeavor is physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. I know you want to sequester and protect your baby of a project more than anything else in the world. You hope that nobody will ever see this personal side of you, that it will forever be sealed away in the portfolios and shoeboxes that never see the light of day. You do not want your expressions to be ridiculed, downplayed, or even stolen. You're protective nature is completely understandable...
...but I'm begging you to start thinking and doing the exact opposite. 

I have the highest order of respect for any artist that has their work displayed in gallery somewhere, I love every last kid in an active and performing band, even if I fucking hate their music. Every person that actually takes the time to put their heart and soul into a creative project is partially terrified of the rejection, but a certain distinction is made when they decide to make it available to the public. Unlike the many people that will talk to you for years about "that tattoo they totally plan on getting," these people rose to the occasion and decided to really and truly express themselves to the world around them, if only just this once.

You say you're afraid of rejection, of the all-powerful force of public perception. Or maybe you just say it's something that's personal, that's only meant for you. But the real joy of making any art is connecting with someone, anyone. So even if I don't like you as a person, even if I'm not into what you're into as an artist, I still respect you if you're willing to put yourself out there.

Every day you keep creating and producing is another day you're still living your life in the awesome aura of victory. Everyday you make excuses and hold yourself back from doing potentially monumental work is another day in defeat. I'm begging you, as a friend, as a fellow artist, and as a human being; don't stop trying, and don't keep yourself from taking those first few steps because you're scared of what people might think. If you're capable of making art in any of it's forms, you have the potential to reach out to people with more than just actions and words, and to avoid this potential connection is just straight up irresponsible. There is no right or wrong way to start, just fucking start and don't look back until you've made something that truly expresses you, and don't settle for anything less.

Thank you for reading everyone, never give up on what you want to be.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sandlot: An Interpretive Analysis

In 1993, David Evans wrote and directed the movie called Sandlot, where Denis Leary hooks up with a midwest single mom a couple years before he got the job as the CEO of GloboTech. Way before he was incorporating AI munitions integrated circuits into militant toys(and tricking us into thinking that's actually a thing), he was attempting to form an awkward relationship with Scotty Smalls as he tries to adjust to a new neighborhood. Smalls goes about his adjustment process by doing the exact opposite of what a person would do to fit in. Luckily, a rag-tag group of baseball playing kids takes pity on him in, their group leader Benny even gives him a new hat and a real baseball glove to replace his fake one(What mom buys their kid that glove? Why did it look like it was made out of plastic?Where do you even find one?). A couple 90's montages later, Smalls isn't killing anyone anymore and he has hilarious misadventures with the gang, because in the summer of 1962 shit just went down that way. It's a very heartwarming movie about friendship, molesting 16 year old lifeguards, and a town where Scotty Smalls is the only person with visible parents.

    Unfortunately, I'm not going to go into detail about the rest of it, because if you've watched Sandlot then you know the story, don't play that game. I'm really here to talk about David Evans, who used the power of allegory with and iron fist, creating an elaborate metaphor for the Cold War. This story is ripe with symbolism that I'm going to attempt to clarify, and even if it's all bullshit by the end, it'll make perfect sense.

1)Mr. Mertle and the Beast: The Soviet Union
The alleged story of Mr. Mertle places him as former junkyard owner that has since cut ties with the rest of society after a conflict with authority. Tired of burglars and thieves exploiting the system (aka the bourgeoisie), Mr. Mertle raises the Beast, a 350-pound English mastiff, to counter the nightly raids. The Beast at this time in the junkyard is the force of the Communist revolution under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin. The authorities (Western Nations) worked to contain the Beast, in order to protect the community(prevent spread of Communism). So Mr. Mertle erects a massive fence(Berlin Wall/Iron Curtain) to contain the Beast within the territories of the backyard(Soviet Union). All of Mr. Mertle's property is showing the effects of Stalin's rule, his home and backyard sporting a dilapidated, neglected mess.
However, the Beast is now a symbol of the Soviet Union's extremely powerful industry, military, and technology. Despite the disrepair, the Beast was a force to be reckoned with, claiming anything that fell within it's territory. And if you lost anything of value to it, then no negotiation can get it back for you, and it's best to consider it lost.

2) The Sandlot: The United States of America
Smalls is introduced to the local kids by Benny Rodriguez(All US Presidents) with a diverse group of kids, all playing the nation's pastime, baseball. Everyone plays to their strengths, constantly improving by pitting themselves against one another, not limited by scores or innings (laissez faire capitalism). Benny usually decides what the group will do, but will always listen to the desires the group(strong republican leaders consenting to public opinion). Whenever a ball is needed, money is pulled together from everyone in order to keep the game going (taxes).

3) The Biggest Pickle of All Time:Loss of American dominance
This is referring to the ball signed by Babe Ruth being hit over into the Beast's territory, which represents the USSR's victories in Vietnam, Cuba, and the Space Race. Benny and the gang become desperate to retrieve it, resorting to all sorts of methods in order to get it back. Benny is the inspiring voice of confidence throughout the subsequent failed attempts (Kennedy's support of the Apollo Program).

4)Bertram:Illuminati influence in US affairs
A moderately talented member of the group, involved without being noticeable, and important without being necessary. His disappearance taking place after JFK's death, with all of his friends achieving their dreams, a selfless form of payment Bertram requests for his services. James Earl Jones(Soviet Union), a blind old man in a sea of rust, the guy who almost beat Ruth(America), the unapologetic mass of gluttony that tells Benny(Ronald Regan) to buy PF Flyers(US Arms) and outrun the Beast(Soviet Arms), because it's much easier to take whats yours by force. The Beast still technically gets the Ball(Nukes), and James Earl Jones keeps the fence(Berlin Wall) down, The Beast mellows out and dies without doing anything cool. Benny gets the spotlight. Smalls becomes voice of baseball(Start of Feminist Movement in the 60's)

5)Squints: NASA and CIA
         A snarky, competitive shitface that has it out for James Earl Jones and The Beast, and he is also convinced that simply talking to them will not work. His ideas frequently put the group in danger, and whenever he's lookout he swears everything is cool, just seconds before everything gets fucked. Whenever the shit hits the fan and it's partially his fault, he panics and runs for help. He is obsessed with Wendy Peffercorn (The Moon), and fake drowns himself to get an opportunity to kiss her(Fake moon landing). I would also like to note that when Wendy is tending to Squints, Bertram is one of the first few to say he looks dead(Illuminati influence over Fake Moon Landing Cover Up). Squints does marry Wendy in the end, having an obscene amount of children (NASA's Project Gemini, a series of flights that put the US ahead of the Soviet Union in the Space Race)

Bonus: Hambino: Metrecal Dieting
        Hamilton "The Great Hambino" Porter is a metaphor for the American sentiment regarding Metrecal, a brand of diet foods that became extraordinarily popular in the mid 60's. Porter goes through some very interesting character development that really reflects the mental and physical anguish caused by early liquid protein diet products. When playing baseball with the guys, he was capable, but obviously mediocre and very out of shape. His transition into wrestling in the late 60's is a display of rising public awareness of the health risks these diets caused. The Great Hambino's career and life ended in August 1977, the year Slim Fast hits the market. As his already lamentable athletic ability fades, Hamilton will slam back shake after shake in his L.A. studio apartment until his heart explodes.

The point of this post? There's gonna be a lot of times in your life when people try to convince you that using symbolism/allegory is deep, complicated, and the sign of a skilled writer. Those people are full of absolute shit, they wanna use what little writing skills they have over you to make you feel stupid. I like to write, but I fucking hate writers that use what they know to argue in favor of their own superiority.  It's extremely simple to find weird connections and point out arbitrary facts, and this Sandlot-Cold War comparison essay is my way of demonstrating that it's not nearly as difficult or impressive as your snobby friends tell you. Conspiracy theorists and doomsayers are always so harshly criticized, but in the literary world their same ideas would be called “Kafkaesque” and brilliant.

Fucking bastards.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Perfect Teeth: The Ultimate Continuity Error

For those of you that are fans of the show Breaking Bad(I know I fucking am), you're familiar with the history and habits of Jesse Pinkman: Former meth user, cigarette smoker, and someone who is frequently in situations where hygiene is not a realistic or primary concern.
"I better floss, just in case I get covered in shit and sleep in an RV tonight"
While his character is not prone to smiling, if you watch the show enough you will notice the man has absolutely flawless teeth. Your dentist does not have teeth like Jesse Pinkman's teeth, people who floss everyday and line their teeth with peroxide treatments don't get to smile like that. No gum damage, no tooth decay, not even some god damn yellow tint.

Very rarely will most tv shows or movies even bother to digitally alter teeth to make them look worse, and constantly seeing these downtrodden, under-dog type characters sporting an absolutely perfect set of teeth always pisses me right the fuck off. Especially when I'm supposed to believe that Aaron Paul has been around the block when it comes to using meth and living with the constant hassle of being one of the best cooks the Cartel has access to. I'm not irritated because the man has nice teeth, I'm angry because they don't even mention the fact that not only is his mouth is completely immune to his character's lifestyle, it's the exact opposite of how your teeth and gums should look when you've done some the hard living that Jesse Pinkman's done.

Even if famous people make a living portraying the lifestyles of people much lower on the social ladder, they will always show you their superiority in their smile.

For the record, I will always be a huge Breaking Bad fan, but every time I see Cap'n Cook's teeth I feel the blood vessels in my head resisting the urge to burst.