Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Death to technology!

I don’t own an iPod. I don’t even know what an MP3 is.
I don’t own a hi-def, flat screen, liquid plasma, 5,800-inch television with picture-in-picture, cup-holders and magic fingers option.
I don’t have a satellite dish system that allows me access to thousands of really important channels like the Home Shopping Network for People Who Really Like Cheese (HSNPWRLC for short) or ESPN 8 (the Ocho), or cool packages like the Sports Freak package (watch 10 different football games simultaneously until your eyes bleed!) or the Movie Buff package (your chance to enjoy every single movie that came out this year, including classics like Codename: The Cleaner, Norbit, Premonition and Are We Done Yet?).
I don’t own a satellite radio in my car and I’m sure I’m missing all types of fine programming, such as Howard Stern asking a stripper if she ever got Chlamydia from her dance pole, and Anthony and Opie listening to people making whoopee in church.
I don’t have a digital radio set up. Which means that I can’t hear all of those secret, hidden stations in between the regular stations I listen to. This saddens me to no end because I can’t help but wonder how many other radio stations there are out in the void of the air waves, all playing 15 minutes worth of commercials, all at the same time! (Has anybody else noticed that at any given time, four of your five car radio presets are commercials?)
I don’t have an iPhone, so I can’t scroll through whenever I want, or balance my bank account or do whatever it is people bought iPhones to do, (I assume that iPhones have some kind of super sweet option or ability that no other phone has, which is why people were stepping over each other to buy the damn things.)
I don’t have the latest video game console. I don’t have the hottest and newest game that looks so lifelike that I actually can feel the gun buck in my hands as I spray the streets of Los Angeles with lead. I don’t have large parties where I invite people over to play games where we have to simulate the act of bowling or fishing.
I have a c.d. player. I own hundreds of c.d.s. True lugging around a big ass c.d. case is unwieldy and heavy, but at least I don’t have to worry about dropping it, losing it or anybody stealing it.
I have a 20-something inch television. It isn’t super hi-def or whatever, but I can watch shows and movies on it regardless, so I guess it’s working. Works well enough for me, anyway.
I have cable. My cable gives me access to hundreds of channels, and you know what? Most of them are pretty pointless anyway. I basically just stick to the Food Network, Cartoon Network and a few other random odds and ends. Of the 300 channels available to me, I watch less than a dozen.
I’ve got a regular radio in my car. Nothing fancy, (though it does allow 12 presets on the FM dial. Classy!) but it gets the job done. I hit a button and I listen to a station. If there’s naught but commercials, I press another button and I get to listen to one of those c.d.s that I mentioned earlier. It’s a good system.
I have a cell phone. A Katana, actually. Guess what it does? It allows me to talk to other people when I want to. Isn’t that amazing? No need for extra bells and whistles. I don’t need to check my email on my phone, I don’t need to listen to the latest uber-digitized mega hit by Timbaland (I don’t think he even has real people singing in his songs anymore, he just uses Stephen Hawking’s computer voice thing. He wants to be this generation’s Roger Troutman, from Zapp.) And I don’t care about taking really grainy pictures that just end up looking like something Helen Keller took with her eyes closed (wait, would that even make a difference?)
I have a Nintendo 64. It came out in the late 90s. I’ve got a good half dozen games, but I play just one: Mariocart.
I am an analog man in a digital world. I don’t try to match my outfit or my mood to the color of the device playing my music. I’m not that shallow. I don’t want to turn my oven on with my phone from 300 miles away. I don’t need a feature that uses dots to represent where my friends are located on some map.
My laptop doesn’t work half the time and I don’t really mind. My digital camera has only 4 megapixels (for those of you that don’t know, megapixels are tiny little creatures that live in cameras and paint the pictures that you take. The more megapixels you have, the better the pictures) and is from Hewlett-Packard (which isn’t known for its cameras). It broke over the summer, but I don’t really mind.
I like it this way. I don’t feel the need to be a slave to technology. I prefer incorporating technology to fit my life, instead of trying to rearrange my life to accept new technology. I honestly don’t need a bunch of different little doodads to make my life any easier or more efficient than it already is.
So, when the day comes that some kind of technology-based disease or sickness arrives on the scene (oh, it’s coming, you’d better believe it!) I’ll be sitting pretty, laughing from my analog kingdom.
I think I’ll go punch Bill Gates in the face now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Breeders’ Summit: The 2007 Accord

Ladies and gentlemen, a great thing has occurred. Never before have men and women come together for such a just and noble cause. You are about to bare witness to the birth of a new, more harmonious world wherein men and women are able to work and live together. Check it.
Back in the early months of this year, a cry went up into the heavens. Men and women everywhere were confused and angered by current events (like Britney going from a sex goddess adored by 98% of the human population to a diseased whorebag that not even Charlie Sheen would touch, Kobe Bryant humping random chicks in Colorado and giving out big ass diamond rings and gorgeous blond teachers banging their young and totally undeserving students) and decided to do something about it.
What they did was this: both sexes nominated 10 of their most lauded and respected members (you might remember all of those stupid banner ads on Myspace asking who was hotter based on their chin or whatever) and sent those 10 people to Djibouti, Africa to take place in the first ever Breeders’ Summit (sorry Friends of Dorothy, you’ll have to have your own summit).
These 20 people represent you, they represent your friends, your lovers and all other people who get down with heterosexual sex. It’s no use trying to argue or fight with the results of the summit. And there’s no reason you should. The 2007 Accord marks a break-through that all breeders can embrace. I was given a press release by the P.R. department involved in the Breeders’ Summit, to share with you. The following is a sample of the rules that have been agreed upon by men and women that you will follow for the rest of your life. The Accord has been divided into three parts, one for men, one for women and one for both. Included are a few of the most important rules. Don’t bother arguing with me about the rules. I didn’t come up with any of ‘em. I’m just the messenger.

For Men and Women:
· Whenever a date has been scheduled, the inviter either pays for everything or gets to choose the venue.
· “I love you,” doesn’t always have to be returned. There is no obligation to say it back.
· If both parties are drunk when any sexual activity goes down, then it is considered consensual for both. Even in the morning when you wake up next to Medusa’s uglier sister. No backsies!
· There will be no more dressing to match as a couple. Such uber-sweet activities have led to an increase of diabetes.
· Sex three times a week. Rain or shine.

For Men:
· You have to give up control of the remote 35% of the time.
· When cooking for women, be sure to have more than one item of food. Include a salad, or appetizer. Some sort of chocolate-laden desert is a must.
· When watching a long sporting event, (anything over two hours) an equal amount of time must be given to such channels as DIY, Home & Garden, Oxygen or Lifetime.
· You must watch at least one show that your woman watches, so that you can keep abreast of what interests her.
· Foreplay must take place at least once a week.
· Complement her in a way to make her feel special and unique, at least once a week. (Complements can be recycled.)

For Women:
· Only call your man with an agenda or purpose. Not just to talk.
· Feelings don’t always need to be shared.
· If your man has done something to upset you, you must tell him. Men are unable to read minds.
· From now on, you must check to see if the toilet seat is up or down. Having the seat down is your responsibility.
· You must lose an argument every other week. The previously established rule that women are never wrong has been repealed.
· You must watch one show that your man watches. So that you can keep abreast of what interests him.
· All fashion, talent or beauty-related reality shows must be watched on your own time.

Like I said, these are just a few of the more than 75 rules that we decided upon. If you were a part of the Breeders’ Summit, what rules would you make up?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dr. Gooch’s Guide to Happiness: 101 Ways to Tickle your Fancy

(Featured here is an excerpt of the preface from Dr. Gooch’s award-losing book: Dr. Gooch’s Guide to Happiness: 101 Ways to Tickle your Fancy, published with permission from the author. Any links added to the text are for the benefit of Internet readers. Views expressed by Dr. Gooch are not necessarily those of Eighty-Four Glyde or its parent company the Sheinhart Wig Corporation.)

This can be quite the sad world we live in these days; with wars, lead poisoning, Senators with wide stances and Myspace-induced suicide, it’s no wonder that people feel overwhelmed and close to death.
Death surrounds us and it’s closer for some people than others.
“For those aged 15 years and over, the number of deaths in 2004 of persons who were married was 919,270; widowed, 892,017; never married, 248,424; and divorced, 286,758*.”
In an interesting fact, according to the National Vital Statistics Report with final data from 2004, (the most recent statistics available at the time of this book’s printing) is that in America, you’re more likely to die from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or even Septicemia (a form of blood poisoning) than you would of homicide or even sexually transmitted diseases such as A.I.D.S. Yet, you don’t often see as many people rallying around those causes (actor Michael J. Fox being the most notable exception.) This is because people are not fully educated with regards to statistics and other information. People often fall victim to the Availability Heuristic, which shows a bias in common knowledge based on available information.
Those are facts not often addressed or considered by “John Q. Public” on a daily basis, and I don’t blame them. There are enough things in life for people to worry about, without adding more problems.
Even with many people lamenting these as the “end of days,” there’s no reason why people need to feel stifled or burdened by life. In fact, life should be celebrated and enjoyed by everybody (Except for the poor, diseased and others whose lives completely suck and cannot be salvaged, regardless of how much optimism they have. This book isn’t for people with real problems who should be allowed to be as depressed and as miserable as they see fit. This book is for the rest of us.) everywhere!
It isn’t always easy to turn that frown upside-down. That’s why I’m here. With the steps and tips included in this book, I promise that I can make even the most cynical, pessimistic person out there into Lil’ Miss Sunshine. I have over 50 years experience in medicine and behavioral studies. I have worked with the likes of Dr. Timothy Leary, Dr. Zimbardo and Dr. Mengele, amongst others. My knowledge is vast.
I have taken all my knowledge and crammed it all into this simple and easy to read, 150-page book. I will take you on a step-by-step journey to discover your inner happiness. Topics covered in my book include:
· 43 muscles to frown and 13 to smile, fact or myth?
· How to save money on electricity by smiling to brighten your life
· Alcohol and drugs, the lazy man’s route to happiness
· Is happiness really a warm gun?
· How to brainwash yourself into happiness
· Which religion promises the most happiness
· And a very special chapter by Will “Pursuit of Happyness” Smith

After reading this book, in no time your attitude about life and the world in general will be described by one of these words: bouncy, upbeat, optimistic, cheerful, bubbly, elated or deranged.
When this book first came out, I was speaking at a seminar in Elephant Butte. At the end of the seminar, a gentleman approached me. He was over 300 lbs, he was balding, his clothes looked to have been stolen from the children’s bin at a nearby Salvation Army and he could only afford to buy and wear Gators on his feet. But he was happy! His name was Esten Able, and he told me that reading my book (101 Ways to Tickle your Fancy) had given him a whole new outlook on life. He was feeling better, his health seemed to not be as bad, he had a bigheaded Korean girlfriend and was even considering moving out of his mom’s basement. It was all thanks to me. And those results can also be yours! Just read on my friends. Happiness is just a few chapters away.
Lastly, at the end of the book, if you still aren’t happy with your life, I’ve included a cyanide pill. Because face it, if you’re not happy, you’re just sucking up valuable air.

*Minino A, Heron M, Murphy S, Kochanek K, National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 55, Number 19: August 21, 2007