Friday, September 29, 2006

Joshua

It seems as though word of my good deeds, philanthropy and big heart have reached all the way around the world. The many stories of my generosity and love for my fellow man have reached the ears of those most in need for my help!

The other day I got an email from a nice gentleman by the name of Mr. Ebede Edward, the Director of Projects Implementation, South Africa Ministry of Mining and Natural Resources. Usually my inbox is full of emails offering me ways to increase my penis size, (not worth it, I’ve tried them all and I’ve actually shrunk! Blast you modern science!) and a variety of sexual products, and I just dump them all in the trash without even reading them. But when I got that email from such an obviously prestigious and important person, (he even calls himself Mr. Ebede Edwards!) I dropped everything I was doing, (scratching my ass) to read what this man had to say. And it’s a good thing I did!

It quickly became apparent to me that Mr. Ebede Edwards needs my help. He started off the email by giving me his credentials, just to let me know what an upstanding and honest guy he is, (he must be, he’s a government employee, those guys are above ethical reproach!) Then he went on to explain to me his situation.

As the head of some kind of official committee to audit his department’s accounts, he and his team discovered something interesting. From what I can gather, (it’s hard to understand because it seems that English isn’t Mr. Edebe Edward’s first, second or third language. But I’m sure it’s because he was so busy and important that he didn’t have the time to write is own email and whomever he was dictating to couldn’t write for shit) the committee discovered a surplus of $14,500,000 in an escrow account, ("escrow" being one of those adult-type words that make things sound more official and legit.)

This is where I come in. I can help Mr. Ebede Edwards and his government get rid of this money properly. See, the money was originally meant to pay off an African contractor, but they guy died in a car accident that was absolutely nobody’s fault. Well, I guess Mr. Ebede and his people put up flyers around South Africa trying to give the money back to its rightful owner, but had no luck, because from what I understand from the poorly-spelled email, they’re stuck with the $14.5 million and can’t get rid of it! How sad for them. I’d be happy to take that money off their hands for them, because that’s just the kind of nice guy I am.

Luckily, it seems that I have the same last name as the dead contractor, so all I have to do is stand in as a relative of his and they’ll transfer the money in my account. Imagine my surprise to learn that I, as a black guy, with a family name (Hutcheson) that was taken from the Scottish slave owners of my ancestors, have the same name as some black guy in Africa with no apparent ties to Scotland! What are the odds?!

Once the money is transferred to my account for holding, it will then mostly be transferred somewhere else. Mr. Ebede doesn’t mention where it’ll be transferred, nor why, but I assume that it’s some matter of national security, and of the utmost importance. Then, for helping the African government move this money around for really vital purposes, they’ll leave 20 percent in my account! I don’t know math, so I haven’t done the calculations, but it’s at least a couple hundred bucks easy!

I don’t know where Mr. Ebede Edwards got my email address from, perhaps the African government keeps very good records of the world’s best bloggers, perhaps he is simply a fan of Eighty-Four Glyde. I don’t know. And it’s not important. Once I discovered that I could help fellow humans in need I sprang into action!

I immediately responded to my new South African friend to see how I could help. He quickly replied, thanking me for my help, and told me that all I had to do was give him my bank account numbers, social security number, driver’s license number, weight, height, blood-type, credit card number and fingerprints. I accepted his thanks as my due and with all alacrity sent him all the info he needed. Now all I have to do is sit back and let the money flow into my account.

Ahhhh, it feels so good to be helpful sometimes, you know?

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Reality is only a state of mind

When will we learn?

As a society we need to wean ourselves off of our dependence of reality television. We need to free ourselves from the oppressive yoke of our network overlords. No longer should we be slaves, shackled in front of our television sets every night, eagerly lapping up the many vile sights and sounds that emanate from our "boob tubes" like the inane and ridiculous patter that spews from the mind of Anne Coulter all the time.

Reality television. Is there a greater oxymoron in the English language? There’s nothing real about it, and it doesn’t belong on television. And it’s sad, because reality television had such a promising life when it was younger. But just like that child who was unable to live up to his parents’ expectations or that most elusive of all traits: "potential," and consequently ended up being sodomized for crack, so too has reality television failed to realize its potential and expected glory.

In the beginning there were game shows, the original form of reality t.v. Everything was fine and dandy back then. People went on the shows, competed for pointless gifts like Amanda freezers and Cuisinarts, and occasionally did something spontaneous like saying unscripted things with double meanings.

Then, in the early 90s, The Real World arrived, on that most disappointing of channels, MTV, (this ushered in the era of MTV phasing out the music portion of the channel, and focusing on the attempt to shorten the attention span of all kids while simultaneously trying to control what is and is not cool in America. Thereby betraying MTV as the aging hipster of TV Land it really is. VH1, by comparison is actually a better channel.)

The Real World was innovative and interesting. The producers were breaking into new territory with the show and its low-key aura gave it underground, cult status. In my humble and most enlightened opinion, (it is my blog after all) the third season was the best one. There was drama, excitement, pathos, humor and most importantly, there was Puck, the first reality show icon. He got his 15 minutes of fame and milked it for all it was worth. God bless that social reprobate! He made life worthwhile for a short part of my young life. I could forget all about my acne, body hair, webbed-toes, unnecessary third nipple and vestigial tail. I could lose myself in the adventures of the San Francisco crew.

But then the makers of The Real World get a little too full of themselves. They started to think they were better then they were, and got lost in the pretentious artistry of the show. ‘Twas a shame. I couldn’t watch it anymore. Now, the show is most likely in its 80th season or something, and nobody cares anymore. The show has devolved into nothing but pointless sex and mindless gratuity. Normally I would enjoy that greatly, but everything is just inexplicable so much worse on MTV.

There are now, by some experts’ accounts, more than 4 million reality shows currently on t.v. These shows fall into a few different categories. There are the game reality shows, like Deal or No Deal, and Fear Factor. Which, though they suck, aren’t the worse ones.

Then you’ve got the garbage on broadcast channels, The shows where people try to show off talents they don’t have with singing or dancing or whatever. These shows all cater to what I call the LCD, Lowest Common Denominator. Those are the people who fit the stereotype of how the rest of the world thinks Americans live. You know, those hicks in mobile homes, who drink PBR, wear yellow-stained wife beaters and are missing a significant number of teeth. Or the little girls with posters on their walls of the current teen heartthrob and whose memories don’t last past a week. In short, the kind of people who care enough about the singing talents, (or lack thereof) of complete unknowns to "vote" multiple times for that person to win a meaningless title.
I used to think shows like American Idol were the worst kind of reality shows out there, and for a long while this was true. But just when you think things can’t get any worse, along comes: Paris Hilton.

Paris brought about a time of reality shows about rich, spoiled people who don’t relate well to regular people and who need to be taken outside and shot, (or rather, they should get what I call the "Jessica Lynch treatment. And it’s not pretty!)

Shows like My Sweet 16, The Gastineau Girls, that show with the Gottis and that semi-reality show Laguna Beach, are all on cable channels and all make me want to do sit-ups under parked cars just to clear my head. Why do the people who run the networks think that we all want to be immersed in the extremely spoiled, superficial and pointless lives of snobs? Ohhh, they frustrate me so much. Especially because these people get away with so much.

We need a show where random bystanders are paid to go up and bitch slap people like Paris Hilton. We need to give terrorists unfettered access to Laguna Beach and the whole of Orange County. I think the rest of the country would be okay with that.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Unfortunate demise of the American consumer paradise

In my continuing search for up and coming satirical writers, I asked my good friend Tres, The Green Lion, to hit me up with this humorous look at malls. It’s actually kind of bleak though. I think the Green Lion may need some help, or at least he should stay away from malls.
Enjoy!

The most heart wrenching thing in life is to happen upon anyone or something that has long ago served their function or purpose, yet still remains, existing.

This revelation struck me as I entered the wholely unremarkable destination of a mall. These mammouth structures of unified instant gratification peddlers have long since past their prime. The time has drawn nigh for these entities. However, I believe, we should honor their last hooray for glory while accepting their inevitable fate of oblivion. Once upon a time, malls maintained a comfortable monopoly on the core fabric and connectivity of our society. They provided a stage on which one could perform for the world (showcasing your fresh pressed lastest threads). They would tantilize us with the most unexpected gifts (running into the resident stalker). Taught us how to hone our interactioin capabilities (how many numbers did YOU pick up/give away?). And allowed us to share our fervor of capitalistic living (punching out the other guy during the tickle me elmo sale).

Sadly, those days are gone, never to be seen again. Malls are dead and we killed 'em. Lines of unbearable length have fallen before the mighty "CLICK" of the mouse! Looking to put on a front and go trolliping to get into the other sexes pants? THAT'S what Myspace is for! (Only optional if you're married) Can't find that have-to-have-it-or-I'll- just-die item, search Ebay. Nothing to do and have a few hours to kill? Ok, got me there, thats why they're still around.

To kill time. And buy something while we do it.

Face it. We, as a society, are outgrowing malls. It hurts but growing seldom feels great (graduation notwithstanding and even then the forlorn looks of realization of having to face the real world were ever present) or helpful. Those who claim I'm ranting and have no clue of what I'm taliking about may be right. This was the first time I've stepped into a mall in years, but I've heard of them and their plight often.

If you feel I'm unjustly foreboding the doom of malls, please, keep it to yourself. You're from the same stock that maintained the roller rink and disco would forever be center stage in society. Shame on you! If you 're not and you've been gifted with insight beyond sight, take a moment...honor malls...their gifts to us...and grin at their grim, grim fate.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Josh’s Guide to Being a Super Hero Part II: (The return of, revenge of, son of, strike back of Part I)

A few weeks ago was the first half of the guide to being a super hero. I hope nobody decided to go out before reading the rest, because this is the important stuff.

The Name

Your super hero name is vital. It identifies you and should strike terror into the hearts of your enemies. There are two schools of super hero naming, either one is a viable option. There’s the more traditional school of naming that puts man/boy/girl/woman at the end, and some kind of adjective or noun in front. So you could be Footman, or Greasywoman. It’s up to you, (side note: anybody have a clue as to why there’s a hyphen in Spider-Man’s name?)

The second school of naming involves putting “The” in front of some random word that either describes who you are, or what you do. The “The” is actually optional and can be dropped. Examples of this style include The Punisher, The Wedgie and Dental Floss.

There are some exceptions to these two schools, naturally, as well as some people who have combined the two, i.e. The Batman. But whatever you do, keep it simple, people won’t want to ask The Really Super Guy With Lots of Cool Powers for help if it takes them too long to say it. And don’t make the mistake that Fabolous, Ludacris, and other rappers have made. Spelling is important!

The Uniform

This is vital. Something tight-fitting, or loose? Boots, or shoes? Cape or no cape? Hood or mask, or nothing? All of these questions need to be addressed before you appear in public. There’s nothing worse than a super hero who appears to save the day in a different outfit everyday. Nobody will recognize you. Other things to consider are: chest insignia, a belt or pockets for gadgets, hats, complementing colors, perhaps a light wrap or jacket, gloves, breathability, a one-piece or multiple pieces and material. With this last one you want something durable, many a super hero has had to leave a fight early because of a rip in the ass of his or her uniform.

And the rest

So you’ve got your origin, your powers, your uniform and your name, now all you’ve got to do is figure out where you want to set up shop. Most super heroes choose large cities and other urban environments where there are a lot of people, some specialize for a certain group of people and might work out of a jungle or forest, and others just go anywhere in the world where there’s danger threatening innocent people. The choice is yours.

Once you figure out where you’re going to go, you should be all set with the basics. Extra options like sidekicks, teammates, secret headquarters and arch-nemeses can be figured out as you go. The point is to do what you’re comfortable, because a happy super hero is a useful super hero.
Now go out and battle evil or something!

Stay tuned for my next Guide To, where I give lessons on being a successful secret agent. Or maybe a cobbler.
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