Saturday, January 10, 2015



Psssssssst! Hey, you there? Yeah, you there, the one with the face, and ummm…the teeth. Are they gone yet? You know who I’m talking about. The “Resolutioners.” Those sad sacks who follow the annual tradition of making lofty, noble goals at the beginning of each calendar year, only to discover that it’s easier to just be lazy and blame society for all their woes instead. Those people. They’re your friends, your loved ones, your coworkers. Pity them with a moment of silence, then follow me.

Guys (and dolls) if you’re going to make behavioral changes for the future, make them good, valuable and most importantly, fun, for you and those around you. And unlike them ”Resolutioners,” you’ll not only be able to keep these up all year, but you’ll create a sense of wonder and excitement doing them!

• Initiate text conversations with people. Make sure to respond to texts as quickly as possible, to keep the flow going smoothly. As soon as your conversation partners asks a question, ignore them for two and a half hours before responding. They’ll appreciate the level of suspense you injected into an otherwise monotonous social interaction.

• Whenever somebody is taking a picture of you, don’t smile. Don’t make a face either. Not only is it unoriginal, it’s too gauche. Leave that to kids, and ugly people (who aren’t making faces, they just can’t help it.) But don’t just stand there like a chump either.
Instead, set your gaze to the left, or the right. Just a little off from the photographer. Almost as if there’s an imaginary person taking a picture a few feet to the side of the real photographer. Give people minutes of fun, decades later, as they wonder just what the hell is going on next to the cameraman that’s caught your attention. This is also the key plot point to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Now people will think you’re an avid reader!

• When people make any kind of declaration or give you any kind of news, be it the best thing you’ve ever heard (they’re making an Evil Dead TV show!) or the worst, (there’s such a person as Kanye West!) have whatever the appropriate response is, but make absolutely no facial expression. Keep it neutral. Resting Apathy Face. Express yourself verbally. This will keep your visage wrinkle-free when you’re older.

• Pick a common word. Any one will do. Like “sassafras” or “fiduciary*” Spend the next year mispronouncing it. See how long it takes somebody to correct you. Will it be a friend, or a stranger? You may be pleasantly surprised. You can also use this exercise as a way to drop unhelpful people from your life.

• Go to the gym on a regular basis. But only exercise one part of your body. Be it your right ankle, or your left butt cheek, or your neck. Have fun with it!

• Start a social media campaign to have Betty White star in a “leaked” sex video. Encourage others to join in and spread the word. Her career needs a boost. Who will she star with? The power to choose is yours.

• Get a Twitter account, if you don’t already have one. For the next year, only tweet about things you see that are orange. At year’s end, sell the concept of this account to NBC so they can make a sitcom about it, starring Kelsey Grammar.

Try one, or more, of these out and you’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll see results. Also, probably therapists. You may end up seeing a lot of therapists.

*I use these words at least twice a day. Maybe more if I’m feeling bawdy. 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

21 Things I Learned in 2014

2014 was a hell of a year. I don’t just mean culturally, because that’s a given. It was shit. A shit year. Terrible in most ways. But on a more individual level, it feels as if the weight of the entire, craptastic year was dumped right on people’s heads.

I feel that 2014 was the year where a lot of die-hard optimists removed their rose-colored glasses, looked at the cultural wasteland at their feet and took a collective dump out of fear and resentment.

A lot of people are using the birth of 2015 to look forward to new beginnings and wondrous opportunities. Maybe marriage looms for some; for others children; and for still others My Little Pony sleeve tattoos abound. It’s an exciting future. But before 2015 rears up and does its best Bill Cosby impression* all over our tender, innocent minds, I’m going to try to remember what I learned last year so I don’t make the same mistakes again.

That’s right. I’ve got a future full of new mistakes to make! But, until then I’ll remember that…

1.       Just about everything is overrated. But nothing started out that way.

2.       Stupidity and blind positivity are the new religions. They help people cope with the garbage they slog through every day.

3.       Don’t bother pointing out that stupidity of positivity in those around you. People aren’t fans of others pointing out their mistakes, weaknesses or inconsistencies. Even if you think you’re helping. It pays to be a dummy. Nobody likes a wiseguy.

4.       Having an opinion, point of view or correction to make is never as important as knowing when to express it. Which is typically never. Reality is not always well-received. See point 3.

5.       Everybody knows that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. They’re too lazy to point it out.

6.       You can’t change people until they are receptive to voices other than their own. If you just accept people for who they are, you’ll save yourself oodles of aggravation and flow more freely through life.

7.       People are constantly trying to change each other. Nobody is good enough as they are. Divorces, breakups and apartment building fires result.

8.       People are too busy being the loudest voice filling the void of the internet, to be bothered with things like knowledge, research or facts.

9.       The truth is a dirty slut who can bend more than the most limber of Mongolian contortionists, and is more submissive than a Japanese businessman being threatened with tentacle porn.**

10.   Raising awareness is a far more lofty and noble ambition than actually doing something. Why bother making a difference when you can always tell other people about the problem and hope they do something for the both of you.

11.   Americans also seem to equate throwing money at problems with solving said problems. There hasn’t been a problem man, nor nature, has created that can’t be solved by large quantities of green pieces of paper.

12.   Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, how you view life is a choice. You choose to ignore some things and focus on others. Keep that in mind when you write sarcastic blogs. Or mindless tweets.

13.   Everything is horrible and there’s nothing you can do about it.

14.   We try to teach our kids to be themselves, be unique or special. Disney has pretty much cornered the market on those morals.

15.   We teach adults to shut up, fit in and be like the rest of the cogs. To stand out is a defect, an abnormality. Peer pressure is the worst when you’re a kid, it’s vital to the functioning of society when you’re an adult.

16.   If a singer wants to sing about past relationships they win awards and get rich. If I want to just think about the past I’ve got issues and need to let go of stuff.

17.   Perception and superficiality are far more important than substance. We demand words over actions in all arenas. As long as you look like you care about something, people are satisfied. See points 10 and 11.

18.   There is no such thing as equality or fairness. Especial not fairness. Life won’t fit into the rules and laws that we arbitrarily create. Sometimes, no matter what, be it everybody’s fault or nobody’s fault, some things just end up sucking leper taints.

19.   Everybody lies all the time. To themselves most of all. People hate that they lie to themselves, but feel that it's a necessary evil. This leads to crazy brains. We all have those.

20.   Don’t believe all the bad hype about giving up. Don’t listen to all the nonsense about positive thinking.

21.   It’s easier to be part of the crowd. It’s more fulfilling to not.

* A year ago, talking about somebody doing a Bill Cosby impression would have meant a whole other thing. It was a simpler time back then. Birds used to sing, children used to play in parks. Were we ever so naïve?

**Those two random references aside, I love our neighbors to the Far East.