Archive Page 2

10
Oct
12

You Don’t Know Jack

Today, some friends and I made a trip to Jacks Mountain, about 20 minutes from Lewistown, Pa. The mountain is known by hikers for having 1000 stone steps that snake to the top. Being the consummate blogger that I am, I brought a camera along and snapped some photos.

Obligatory nature photo – check.

OK, screw that. I try to keep this blog humorous or comedy related as much as possible (even if that means being hilariously bad). And it appears that this hike has already been tackled by a fellow WordPresser. So forget the nature crap. Instead, here are some Jacks Mountain related jokes I thought of while marching up a thousand damn steps:

  • Q: If Jack and Jill went up the hill together, then why is it named after Jack? A: Because he’s a man.
  • All steps and no play makes Jacks Mountain a dull hike.
  • You don’t know Jacks Mountain!

It’s fascinating what a little strenuous activity combined with dehydration can do to your mind. But I’m all out of jokes so here’s the rest of the pics:

Cool guys doing cool things.

And lastly, some tasteful graffiti for all you city folk.

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09
Oct
12

Why I Shampoo My Butthole

I recently read an interesting story by Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo. He makes an entertaining yet sound argument against “internet pagination,” or the act of cutting lengthy online articles into separate pages to increase page views for advertisers. Manjoo’s piece, along with his related story about the uselessness of double spacing after a period, lean heavily towards the rights of the internet user. Crusaders like him are fighting for internet rights all the way down to the space bar. But after some thought, I realized his stories uncovered an even darker truth about the creators of web content.

The internet is run by silly kitty cats. Everyone knows that.

See, after reading Manjoo’s articles, my first instinct was to go on my blog and see if two spaces after a period really makes a difference (it kind of does). My initial reaction was to make my own material better and easier to use in the hope of attracting more readers. Which is really quite pathetic.

Manjoo elaborates on his name’s silliness.

Manjoo gets paid for what he does, and he has followers who frequently read his material. So it would make sense for him to advocate usability. After all, he wants to keep his readers happy. Yet the plight of the blogger is a different story. I have no fan base, and my followers aren’t devastated if they miss my most recent post. They don’t give a shit – they are too busy trying to push their own material. The odds of an amateur blogger like myself getting my work noticed on the level of a Slate columnist is nil.

So we resort to petty schemes to get our work noticed. Big HD pictures, minimal text, and crazy headlines (which explains the title of this piece) are useful tactics for gaining page views.  But beyond that, a blog is just a blog. People don’t come here for earth shifting ideas or important news. They skim through WordPress Reader looking for neat pictures, and bypass any post with more than 50 characters (I’m fortunate if any reader has made it this far into my story: if so, click this link).

So congratulations, Manjoo. Not only are you funny and smart and successful, but you have followers who actually read your entire articles, making your war on pagination completely justified and my jealous ranting a bit more childish.

01
Oct
12

Seinfeld and Friends Go for Coffee

It’s fascinating for ordinary folk like me to see celebrities just being celebrities. But that’s exactly what you get with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s new web series that’s not so much about his vast collection of vintage cars or afternoon trips to big city diners, but more in the vein of what made his namesake series, Seinfeld, famous: anything and everything.

Moments of stubbornness involving Larry David were inevitable.

With Comedians, we get a personal look at Hollywood’s most revered comedic figures doing what they do best –  talking, thinking, dissecting, worrying, ranting, complaining, laughing. Seinfeld achieves with this web series what him and former collaborator Larry David originally had in mind for their massively successful 90’s sitcom. We see comedians outside the limelight and in real life. We witness them ponder and construct life into a joke, and we get to marvel at how incredibly quick witted these minds are.

I enjoy Comedians for exactly that reason.  It lacks the rehearsed scriptedness of an ordinary TV interview.  It’s loose, fast and unrestrained, the very atmosphere a comedian thrives in.  We get a glimpse at famous funny people doing something we rarely see: simply bullshitting.  And as much as we’d like to believe that a standup routine is a glimpse into a comedian’s soul (think Richard Pryor, Louis C.K.), Comedians presents something even more honest – living life and figuring out how to make it funny.

The only show I can compare Seinfeld’s new series to in terms of realness is Fishing with John, the long, lost “fishing” show hosted by actor John Lurie.  In each episode, John takes a celebrity friend fishing in an exotic location.  Devoid of any knowledge of how to fish (or host a television show), the episodes typically digressed into what Comedians aims to achieve – unique, honest conversations between talented people.  So honest, in fact, that awkward silences and ridiculous moments were not uncommon (see Tom Waits put a fish down his pants or Matt Dillon and Lurie dance for a good 5 minutes).

Interestingly, this is an ordinary occurrence on Fishing with John.

Overall, I think that Comedians gives it’s viewers a fresh and rare look that only someone of Jerry Seinfeld’s stature could provide.  With loads cash and Hollywood connections, Seinfeld is surely not doing this for the next great hit.  He is revisiting the idea that served as the genesis of his sitcom more than 20 years ago – that a comedian doesn’t stop working when they leave the stage.  Rather, their job has just begun.

27
Sep
12

7 lists that will change your life forever

As I’ve stated before, the internet loves lists.  So here you go, dammit – thank me later.

6 Bad Dubstep Artist Names

  1. Gertrude Sangria and the Mixers
  2. The Lazy Susans
  3. Average Penis and the Hot Beef Injections
  4. The Robotic Jelly Applicators
  5. Electric Headache
  6. Ole Lumpy and the Digital Brain Freeze

5 Worst Situations to Sneeze In

  1. While whispering “I love you” into your spouse’s ear
  2. While holding a hot cup of coffee
  3. When delivering the keynote address at an anti-sneezing rally
  4. When passing a pack of Seattle’s notorious Whooping Cough gangsters in a dark ally
  5. While driving a truck load of albino, hemophiliac babies to the blood bank on Christmas

6 Songs from the 1960’s Celebrating Freedom

  1. “Chimes of Freedom” – Bob Dylan
  2. “I Feel Free” – Cream
  3. “I’m Free” – The Rolling Stones
  4. “Freedom” – Richie Havens
  5. “Freedom” – Jimi Hendrix
  6. “All Right Now” – Free (Technically the name of the band, but suck it)

5 Ways to Become Blind

  1. Stare into the sun like a dumbass
  2. Stare at satellite photos of the sun’s surface, then gauge your eyes out with a spoon
  3. Drink some tainted moonshine, pee in an African stream, then gauge your eyes out with a spoon
  4. Watch an hour of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
  5. Fuck with Uma Thurman

4 Excuses that always work

  1. “Sorry, I have a church function to attend.”
  2. “I have explosive diarrhea.”
  3. “Tiny spiders laid eggs beneath my eyelids and they could hatch at any moment.”
  4. “I stared into the sun like a dumbass.”

5 Things You Won’t Believe Aren’t Butter (Visual List)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

2 Former NBC Today Show Hosts with eating disorders

  1. Al Roker
  2. Katie Couric
26
Sep
12

What it means to be “weird”

I watched TV recently and came across something strange.  Within the span of a 5 minute commercial break, I saw or heard the word “weird” three times.

Oddly enough, none of it involved Honey Boo Boo.

You, faithful reader, may be wondering what kind of significance the word weird holds within this context, but I must first introduce the culprits.  On MTV I saw a promo for a marathon of “True Life” that promised viewers the weirdest, most shocking moments of the series (though I couldn’t find the actual promo, this casting call basically sums it up).  Next was a Bud Light commercial stating that a superstition is only weird if it doesn’t work.  And lastly was a commercial for Apple’s new line of EarPods, which boldly proclaims “Ears are weird.

Being bombarded by so many weird things in one little commercial break frightened me.  “What exactly does it mean to be ‘weird?'” I thought to myself.  “Am I ‘weird’ for not knowing what it is?!?”

Which is the exact reaction these advertisers wanted from me.  These commercials set out to segment their audience: those identifying with the advertisers are cool and “in-the-know,” while everyone else is weird.  This is classic social conformity.  Think about it: viewers of the Apple commercial are surely thinking “You’re right, ears are weird.  Good thing I bought this new Apple product to fix that problem!”

“And good thing I dropped $500 on a bastardized laptop!”

But I don’t own any Apple products, I’m not that into the NFL, and I’d rather castrate myself with a rusty butter knife than ogle at the freaks on MTV’s various programs.  So does that make me weird?

I’m also the pioneer of Extreme Lawn Care. Does that make me weird, or just gnarly?

I equate this theory to a run-in I had last week at a coffee shop in Pittsburgh.  The barista scoffed at me when I inquired about the taste of a particular coffee brew.  She acted as if I could never possibly be as knowledgeable or trendy as her because I had never heard of some shitty type of coffee that no one drinks anyway.  Nevermind the fact that I drink coffee everyday, my lame Nike Shox and stupid haircut and absence of coffee insight would forever prevent me from being on her level.  Which is basically how these commercials made me feel – not cool or included, just a weirdo.

The point I’m trying to make here is that people today are increasingly identifying themselves by the shit they buy.  It’s no longer acceptable to buy a coffee for its caffeine or own a cellphone that simply makes calls.  The consumer culture theory is more alive and well in 2012 than it has ever been – just look at all those Apple-cult assholes or coffee shop snobs.  Consumers make a statement with every purchase they make, and judging by these commercials, everyone is watching.

So what lesson did I take away from my 5 minute television experience?  Either buy the right things, or forever be weird.

… or learn to enjoy television without experiencing the episodes of delusional paranoia that blog writers like myself suffer from. That works too.

16
Aug
12

Time.com caught amid second plagiarism scandal (sort of)

I learned two interesting facts while browsing the internet today: 1) Soliciting sex from 14-year-olds is widely regarded as illegel, and 2) Time.com recently published this blog.

Go ahead and read that blog.  Seriously, click the link and read all of it.  Savor it, take it all in, and then savor it some more.

Now go ahead and read this blog.  Notice any similarities?

Ok, for those too lazy or illiterate to read those links, I’ll sum up my point here: Time.com contributor Jon Meacham recently posted a blog explaining the importance of Mitt Romney’s upcoming vice presidential pick, and he used failed VP picks from the past like Thomas Eagleton and Sarah Palin to illustrate his point.  Now that’s all fine and dandy, except for the fact that I wrote the same damn blog all the way back in April!

I see how it is, Mr. Meacham.  What, is the internet just some vast, unregulated frontier where everyone’s ideas are at jeopardy of being stolen and manipulated?  Oh, just because you’re the executive vice president of Random House publishing, a Pulitzer Prize winning political commentator and former editor of Newsweek, you think it’s acceptable to steal some lowly blogger’s idea?

Meacham is seen here describing how to stealthily rob ideas from unemployed WordPress bloggers.

I always knew I couldn’t trust Time.  Despite its name, I learned that carrying a Time Magazine in your pocket is not a reasonable substitute for wearing a watch.  And is it simply “Time” or “Time-Life,” anyway?  And where does the “Lifetime Channel” factor into all of this??  If only they would settle on one shitty name so I could figure out which address to send all my hatemail to.

Even though it’s difficult to type while standing up, I’m not going to take this injustice sitting down.  No sir.  Think of how easy it is to catch plagiarizers with the power of the internet.  Look what they did to Jonah Lehrer – they caught that mofo redhanded.  And who is that other popular columnist that recently made headlines for plagiarism allegations?  None other than Time Magazine’s own Fareed Zakaria!

Zakaria illustrates how to massage the creative teat of anonymous internet bloggers.

That’s right people: Time Magazine has been operating under a culture of theft and lies, and I possess the half-assed evidence to prove it.  While none of my words were technically lifted verbatim by Meacham, my idea can be seen in his writing plain as day.  I’ll let Time sum up their views on idea theft from their statement released after the Zakaria controversy:

Time accepts Fareed’s apology, but what he did violates our own standards for our columnists, which is that their work must not only be factual but original; their views must not only be their own but their words as well.

Now I am no expert on copyright law, but I do know how to jump to conclusions and get angry when I feel that I’ve been slighted.  So, WordPress Nation, reread the aforementioned blogs and tell me if I am justified in feeling slighted.  And while you’re at it, be sure to rereread this blog and relish in its unique blend political commentary and witty humor.

14
Aug
12

A how-to guide to creating internet memes

Memes are taking over the internet, and for good reason.  They are funny, topical, and easy to make.  Essentially, they remove the time and effort required for crafting a good joke and turn it into a neat, pre-made joke package that anyone can use.  Also, they are a reasonable substitute for following the news – just check your Facebook news feed for memes addressing all the top current events.

So, as a fan of both the internet and things that make me go “Ha,” I recently set out to discover the secrets to creating the coveted internet meme.  Here’s what I found:

Step 1: Wake up and eat.  A good meme won’t make itself.  Crawl out of your parents’ basement and eat some Doritos, because sustenance is key.

Step 2:  Determine a subject.  Memes must be timely and topical.  Refer to the front pages of Yahoo and Reddit for what’s trending now.

Step 3:  Examine other memes.  The inspiration for your meme must come from others before it.  A good meme must be immediately recognizable and cannot stand alone.  Creativity is not wanted here (or in any of these steps, for that matter).

Step 4:  Choose an image.  The photo or movie still that you choose must have no relevance to anything, whatsoever.  Don’t worry – meme-savvy internet goers will get the joke even if you don’t.

Step 5:  Add a caption.  The caption must have a cynical, snarky tone.  Feel free to make your joke mean-spirited or hurtful.  Remember, this is the internet!

Step 6:  Post your meme.  Social networks like Facebook and Twitter and content sharing sites such as 4chan and Reddit are always solid go-to’s.  Meme creators who commonly starve for attention will be sure to find it on these sites.

Step 7:  Look outside.  It is dusk now, and the realization that you just spent an entire afternoon creating internet memes will begin to set in.




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