Iran So Far

June 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s a tumultuous time in Iran right now and I’m not going to make light of that with a goofy blog post. However, I would like us all turn to our spiritual and cultural leader, Andy Samberg to see a video he and Adam Levine, the lead singer from Maroon 5, released on SNL a couple years ago after Mahmud Ahmadinejad (Iran’s current president, if you’ve been living under a rock) famously declared that there were no gay people in Iran.

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Advanced Marionomics

June 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve solved the problem.  It will take a while before I can get someone in power to agree with me but it’s been right in front of us the whole time.  It takes care of the health care problem, high divorce rates, obesity, the budget deficit, Middle Eastern border disputes, and even marijuana legalization discussion.  It even provides a periodic self-sufficient stimulus package.

Let me backtrack.

Today I got my NES system working again.  It took some doing but I’m a fighter (like Christina Aguilera).  Since that time, I’ve spent time playing RBI Baseball, Yoshi, and most influentially, Super Mario Bros. 3  (SMB3 for those of us in the biz).

Smb3

As I played the levels in World 1 that I’ve completed a hundred times before, I began to consider the two different playing styles.  Of course those are the players who zip through the whole level instinctively with Zen-like accuracy.  Then there is the tortoise (vs. hare) approach.  The latter, of course, are those who stop and make sure they get every single coin.  These players are painful to watch but generally more successful over a long period of time.  Then it dawned on me, the answer to a lot of the questions we face today were answered in 1984 when SMB3 was released.

I haven’t quite worked out the deets, but if we can just convert our physical world to the world in SMB3, a lot of problems will automatically solve themselves.  First of all, what do we do about rising insurance prices and lack of affordable health care?  Nothing.  Once we have magic coins spread randomly throughout the kingdom that refresh themselves every morning, we won’t need to worry about getting sick because as long as we collect at least 100, we’ll just come back to life if we die.  On a personal note, I would be such a miser when it came to collecting coins if that meant you could come back to life.  I would take all sorts of unnecessary risks, but that’s neither here nor there.  Health care problem solved.

What about the divorce rates I mentioned?  Oh I’m glad I asked.  This concept would escape the untrained eye but to an expert like me, it’s simple.  Mario and Princess seem to be deeply committed to one another.  Mario is committed to Princess because she’s beautiful and being held against her will.  Princess is committed to Mario because, well, she’s imprisoned by a giant turtle with spikes on his shell.  His heroism and devotion probably also help.  Her options are limited, but she loves him the same.  As long as Mario spends his days working to save her, they’re happy together.  There doesn’t need to be any substance in the relationship.  Therefore, otherwise miserable couples will be compelled to love one another because of the quest that separates them.

SuperMarioBros3

Obesity is an easy one.  If we’re always running around trying to jump on bad guys and get to the princess, we might be a little naturally pudgy, but we’ll never become grotesque.

The budget deficit won’t be an issue anymore when health coins are spread throughout the kingdom.

Middle Eastern borders are clearly outlined and numbered in World 2.  End of debate.

As far as those who fight to decriminalize or even legalize marijuana, when the bushes have eyes and dance in unison, you can earn extra lives by matching cards, and turtles throw an endless supply of hammers at you as you try to jump on their heads to kill them, no one will want to do drugs.

Finally, the self-sufficient stimulus package comes in the form of mushroom houses.  All you have to do is walk in and a little man will give you whatever you find inside one of the boxes at no cost to you and presumably no cost to the government.  Thank you, philanthropy.

Unfortunately, the Washington Fat Cats won’t enact this plan.  They don’t have the vision and don’t know the truth.  They’re too old.  We’ll have to wait until someone from my generation is in power and can see the merits of Mario’s wisdom and the ruling powers of the king who gives away whistles and fingers with a P on them that make you fly for a whole level.  Let’s face it, giants of yesteryear, Pong-conomics is a failed etho.

I came up with the idea.  Someone else has to figure out how to do the conversion.  I called it!  No tag backs!

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American Idolatry

June 19, 2009 at 4:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

A bitch giving birth is a beautiful thing, probably.  I haven’t witnessed it firsthand and I’m not quite certain I want to.  Of course I’m a technical guy so I’m talking about dogs.  However, I don’t think I want to see a human bitch give birth either.  I’ll return to this thought later.

American Idol has become a staple of musical talent in the US over the last 5 years or so.  It draws a huge following and very devoted fans.  I would not argue for a second that the talent showcased on this program is quite impressive and beautiful, indeed.  I admire the people who get on the show and can hit the high notes and the low notes.  I don’t know what those notes are called, let alone can I sing any of them on purpose or hold a tune.

american-idol-logo
Even though I am impressed and admire these performances, I generally can’t listen to the music when it gets to the end of the season (or the beginning for other reasons).  It’s too perfect (not the case in the beginning).  It’s the same reason I hate when Christina Aguilera or anyone else does the thing where they hit every single note at the end of a line.  Yes, that’s very impressive, Dirrty.  However, it’s even more annoying.  Stop trying to show off and entertain me.  The cookie cutter sound just doesn’t do it for me.  Just because these people have all the technical talent in the world doesn’t make them fun for me to listen to.  In all honesty, I would rather listen to Bob Dylan, who has never been able to hold a tune in his life but has a very distinct sound and masterful storytelling.

A dog giving birth is a beautiful thing, but I don’t want to experience it.  I feel the same way about American Idol performances.  Give me an entertainer over a technical prodogy any day.

By the way, when I say “entertainer” I don’t mean a 17 year old girl who lip syncs while she dances provocatively.  I’m talking about thoughtful lyrics, a really distinct and cool sound, or at least solid audience engagement.

Today’s post feels less jokey and more pedistolly than in the past.  I feel like Andy Rooney, or Peter in the Family Guy movie, so I will end appropriately.

And that’s what really grinds my gears.

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Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

June 9, 2009 at 9:51 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

I’m all about change.  I keep making obnoxious Colbertesque claims that I can directly change the world.  I even voted Obama in the last general election.  Well, if I’m so powerful, today’s lesson is about something I want to see change sooner than later.

Let me set the scene for you.  Close your eyes and go to your happy place – but first find someone to read the rest of this for you.

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Okay ready?  Thanks, reader’s friend.  Here’s the sitch: You just got home from an exhausting day of work and you can’t wait to just chill out on your couch for the next couple hours watching your favorite TV show.  There’s a marathon tonight.  Incidentally, you’re a weirdo so it’s NCIS.  You can’t find the remote but that’s okay.  The TV is already on whatever channel carries NCIS so you walk up to it, flip it on manually and plop down on the couch for an enjoyable evening.  All is going exactly to plan.  The beginning of the show is great!  I don’t know what that show is about so I can’t give an example of a good opening scene but the picture is clear and the volume is perfect.  It’s a great evening.  Do you still have your eyes closed and your good friend reading to you?  I want you to imagine hard.  Okay so it’s a great evening.  Then the show goes to commercial, exactly as planned.  Unfortunately, the volume of the commercial is about 4 decibals (I think that’s a measure of volume) higher than that of the show.  Your relaxed vibe is ruined and you have to get up off your comfy ass and search under all the cushions for the remote so you can adjust the volume, all the while listening to Jack in the Box’s little people sing to you about mini sirloin burgers (which I am surprised is PC enough to be on TV). 

 

Herding cows the size of schnauzers, but they're cattle

Herding cows the size of schnauzers, but they're cattle

 

 

Alright you can open your eyes again.  Thanks, reading friend.  Why don’t we standardize volume?  I’m so tired of having to turn it up and down from commercials to TV shows.  I imagine commercial producers make them louder so they grab your attention.  However, in my case, the change in volume just makes me want to urinate on their product. 

The shows themselves can even sometimes vary wildly.  Comedy Central is bad about this – especially the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report.  They are incredibly quiet.  Then when you change the channel after they’re over, the sonic boom of the regularly volumed station is almost deafening.

I guess the moral of the story today is that we should standardize volume all across television.  If you agree with me, write your congressman.  They make all sorts of stupid laws.  Why not one that is my idea?

 

Write your Representative

Write your Representative

 

 

PS – I realize that’s not what makes sonic booms.

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Mayor Schmayer

June 4, 2009 at 1:32 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

So I was in the shower singing “Welcome to Atlanta” by Ludacris to myself when it occurred to me how strange and variable the position of mayor is.  Of course the line that sparked this line of thought is when Jermaine Dupri exclaims, “make my own rules, Bitch.  Call me the mayor.”  Of course I have the edited version memorized so instead of “bitch,” I just leave a pause.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.  The real issue I want to discuss (since this is first and foremost an educational blog) is the variability of the stature of mayor.  For example, the city of New York City is a city that I’ve never even visited but the city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, I believe, is still someone I’ve heard of.  Then of course everyone knows before that it was the once Presidential hopeful, Rudolph Guiliani.  Although I’ve only visited Chicago a handful of times as of right now, I have also heard it repeated enough to know that Mayor Daley is the big man in the Windy City.  These are obviously people with some clout and some weight to throw around, even considering Presidential runs.

Conversely, you hear about towns in South Dakota or Kansas all the time that have elected a cat or a horse or some other animal as the mayor of their town of 38 to make it on CNN as a freakshow story for their 11 minutes of fame (I shortened it because they’re stupid).  As a sidenote, I think these towns should consider an ape or some kind of monkey instead of a cat or dog.  It just seems to make better sense to me.

See? Monkeys can do people things like kickbox!  They'd make great mayors.

See? Monkeys can do people things like kickbox! They'd make great mayors.

Even towns with populations of over 50 don’t give their mayors so much clout sometimes.  For example, as a freshman in high school, my mayor, Mr. Dunkirk, was also my Geometry teacher.  Mayor in my sleepy town of about 7,000 is seriously a part-time job.  A few years ago, way after Larry the Cable Guy was already cliché, I remember a candidate running with the slogan “Git R Done.”  There were signs all over town.  I don’t think he lost by all that much.  Interestingly enough, the last mayoral election here was decided by just one vote.  No joke.

At any rate, since Mayor Sniffles and Mayor Daley get the same title, I’m thinking maybe we should consider changing the title for either the smaller communities or of big cities.  Maybe we could develop a complicated system of titles based on city population, perhaps using a series of Latin prefixes and suffixes.

Other Famous Mayors:

Mayor Quimby

Mayor Quimby

Mayor Adam West

Mayor Adam West

Mayor McCheese

Mayor McCheese

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

June 1, 2009 at 1:40 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

You may recall my last post that I mentioned I have impressive powers of influence.  I may have misspoken.  However, entirely as likely as the idea that I was mistaken is the reality that I really am incredibly influential in public policy.  Well, I figured the best way to start influencing public policy is to make a list of things to change, so I whipped one up.  Then, because I’m as wise as I am powerful, I’ve decided to share that list with my adoring spontaneous audience.  Just for fun I’ve also included my reminder to myself of things not to change.

Things to bring back:

The hokey pokey

Recreational plastic surgery

A budget surplus

The days when girls listed their first and last names on Facebook instead of first and middle (if you’re worried about employers checking it, just put your profile on super private)

A funny Adam Sandler movie

50 Cent

Saved By the Bell

Wade Pacak

Sexy

The Slinky

Beanie Babies

Super Mario Brothers 3

Seinfeld

When rappers could produce a song without “featuring” someone else on the track

Face to face communication

Singer/songwriters

Arrested Development

The days when the old man Six Flags mascot just danced (no speaking)

Newspapers (this one is preemptive)

I’d also like to go ahead and put in a request to Lipton for regular sparkling tea

Superman being cooler than Batman

Chumbawamba

The flutes are the key!

The flutes are the key!

Things I will not bring back:

Boy bands

Dinosaurs (I saw Jurassic Park)

2001-2008 (politically)

PCs

Rubik’s Cube

Dial-up Internet

Limp Bizkit

Update:  About 12 hours after posting this entry, Wade Pacak called me for the first time in a couple months.

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