Saturday, February 21, 2009

Satire Report Blocked by the BYU Gestapo

Well well well. Turns out the Stasi/Gestapo BYU site blocking censors finally got me. It's probably because all I put up is extremely offensive, full of swears, pornographic and just not aesthetically pleasing. Not enough fluffy bunnies and oatmeal raisin cookie recipes.

I feel honored to be blocked by BYU. I think it means I'm edgy. My content is crazy edgy. I'm sticking it to the man, not because I am trying to, but because the man believes I am. How cool is it to stick it to the man without trying? I would have to say, pretty cool.
This episode of censorship reminds me of a story of two of my friends in high school. I don't think it's fair to say we were good friends, because I for one, was entirely opposed to something they held dear. Censorship. They were two goody-two-shoes girls who loved reading. I asked them on one occasion what they thought of The Catcher in the Rye. The response I got was unexpected. "Oh, that book is terrible. Nothing but swearing and taking the Lord's name in vain. I crossed out all the bad parts though," one said. I figured that she owned the copy, but then the other had a sudden outburst, "Yeah, we check out a lot of books at the library, then we cross out the bad parts with permanent markers and turn them back in." Wow. I was shocked. It was one thing to edit something for yourself, but editing public property? Yikes. And they were dead serious.
So, ever since then I've been even more skeptical of censorship. It probably doesn't help that I also have read Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Animal Farm, and seen Equilibrium. But, at the same time, although BYU might like to think it's got some amazing system for burning books and blocking blogs, it doesn't come close. As it turns out, my blog wasn't targeted like I thought. BYU just blocked any external links on facebook. If you type my blog in your browser on campus, BYU permits it. So what it really comes down to isn't a competent diabolic censor trying to stifle free speech and kill my superhero creative juice, but just an inept system that blocks indiscriminately. I bet it would even block a link to a Helping Hands Service site that was linked to facebook. Oh silly BYU.
I will however, continue to promulgate the fact that I was blocked by BYU. I will wear it like a badge of courage. Maybe I'll even post in the corner somewhere, "This site was blocked by the BYU Gestapo." That would work better for me than a good Zagat's rating. But, on the other hand, people who see that might be disappointed when they see all of my kosher content. So, I'm going to have to post more pictures of cloven hoofed animals. Maybe I can get another little badge that says, "Content on this site not Kosher in any way, see look at all the pork products." 
PS - I'm sorry to my Jewish friends.

Here is an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe:


3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

And a picture of something fluffy:

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Pity the Fool: Horror Movie Antagonists

Zombies, chainsaw murderers, monsters, goblins, the undead in general - are they really that bad? Should they really ever make us afraid? I mean, in the movies you see a guy with a hockey mask and a limp slowly trudging towards his victim. The victim, on the other hand is running as fast as they can, yet somehow, the bad guy overtakes him or her. Is the viewer missing the part where the bad guy puts on his jet pack and flies over to the victim to kill them? I would say yes. It's movie magic. The film makers are pulling for the bad guy. The more inevitable they make the fate of the victim, and the more death, blood, and gore, the better.

But, on the other hand, the directors aren't just hiding the jet packs, or teleportation devices that always put the antagonist in the prime position to win, they make the victims stupid or so overcome by fear and adrenaline to do anything even remotely sensible. You've seen it plenty of times. This beautiful, but very trampy girl is running from the slasher and she trips, and for some reason she can't get up for another 15 seconds, or however long it takes for the slasher to get to her. And, sometimes, just to drag it out a bit more, she might make an effort at getting up, then the director will have her slip again. If she tries to find a weapon, it won't be the gun that's only a few feet from her, it'll be a stick or a pebble or something. And, if she actually does grab the gun it will slip from her hand, be out of ammo, or in some way, her shooting will miss or backfire and kill her or somehow help the bad guy.
In these movies the bad guy is invincible. Not only do the directors love the idea of unbeatable evil, but it isn't too bad for the hodgepodge actors playing the bad guys who don't have the skills or looks to be real actors. They don't have to speak, they rarely have to even show their face, and if that weren't enough, they don't really have to walk in a straight line. But, unlike some people who get freaked out by these kind of characters, I pity the bad guy. Sure he's a sociopath, but deep down, all he wants is a real job. He wants to be hosting Ripley's Believe It Or Not instead of Dean Cain. He wants to be Batman, not some mentality retarded zombie undead guy no one likes who gets burned, drowned, clubbed, and tries to kill everyone all the time. Why does the director allow him to be invincible? Think of it as the only plus side to an otherwise meaningless career. It would either be undead monster or sanitation engineer. 
Look how sad he is. You gotta feel for the guy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Strapped for cash: Using homemade barter currencies

Given the current economic climate, a lot of people are strapped for cash. More often than not, this poses a problem. However, it's not a problem for Mrs. Margaret Maylindropper of Altamonte Springs, Florida. For several months now she has been without cash, but has managed to stay afloat by paying everything from her bills and mortgage to her gasoline refills with meatballs.

"I make a zesty meatball. They are extra tender and juicy. No one can resist them. Some people want my meatballs more than cash. In fact, some of the neighborhood kids have set up lemonade stands and the girl scouts just wait outside my house with cookies in hopes that I'll buy some with a bag full of meatballs," said Mrs. Maylindropper.
Mrs. Maylindropper is not alone. Her other neighbor, who chose only to reveal himself as Fred, has also switched to a barter currency. Fred offers foot massages and pita bread. One foot massage is equal to two pita breads. Unfortunately, his pita bread isn't as desirable as his neighbor's meatballs. And, his gas company has claimed his foot massages aren't really that great.

"Look, I'm doing what I can. I can't please everyone all the time. My hands get sore. But hey, I think it's a better idea than what I was going to do. I was going to do face painting and body art," said Fred.

Many in the community are relieved that Fred chose pita and foot massages instead. Melanie McGruber had this to say, 

"Last Halloween he tried to paint me. He had a roller and a can of spray paint and asked what I wanted to be - either a mermaid or a fence. I just couldn't decide, so he made me into a merfence."

The resourcefulness of this community is suburban Florida is commendable. Perhaps the country could learn a thing or to from Mrs. Maylindropper's meatballs and Fred's pita. If you don't have money, don't sweat it, unless, you're using that sweat to make meatballs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Best Onion Moments

This story about monkeys is probably my all time favorite.

What the little girls says at the end is wonderfully quotable.

I never leave home without one.

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited for the sequel.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

10 Ways to be Successfully Lame

Here is a list of 10 ways to be successfully lame:

1. Rake up your neighbor's leaves, put them in your yard, and then leave them there all winter.
2. Write a blog post describing 10 ways you can be successfully lame.

3. Tousle your hair with gel or wax into some random position just because you can.
4. Don't go to a friend's party because 'You don't feel like it,' or because you want to go to another party with a bunch of random people you don't know or care about.

5. Abscond with someone's forks and don't give them back for a month, and never, at any point claim responsibility even when they know it was you.

6. If you have a name other than Bill, rename yourself Bill.

7. Make a habit of smelling your feet all the time. If they smell gross, do it again.

8. Shoot down anyone's idea of fun (This includes any time anyone suggests anything that does not involve chilling).
9. Lease or buy a car way out of your price range (Preferably an import). Hock family heirlooms if possible.

10. Don't read this.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Delayed Thank You.

Lepers, I said lepers. 

Nine out of ten lepers agree that you should thank Jesus when he heals you. However, as history shows us, only one in ten actually does. However, the page seems to have turned back for three of the unthankful lepers as of 2:30pm today. As it turns out, they have indeed finally expressed gratitude for their new lease on life, albeit nearly 2000 years later.

Jim the leper, one of the original ten healed by Jesus, had this to say:

"At the time, I was just so awestruck. One minute I had no fingers and couldn't feel my lower extremities, and the next minute I was dancing like John Travolta, or actually like myself, although Travolta did a good imitation years later. I meant to thank the man who healed me, but I guess I just got caught up in the moment."

Another of the three, Bill, who also had that same 'caught up in the moment' feeling said, "I honestly didn't really think about it. At the time Jesus was on his first tour, so I didn't think much of it. But, after about 1500 years I started to think, 'Well even if you didn't know the guy you should've said thank you' and then, earlier today I realized I still could thank him. There's always time to be appreciative."

However, the third leper Bobby, had perhaps the most poignant remark when he said, "Let this be a lesson to future lepers who are healed. Don't wait two thousand years to say thanks. Saying thank you completed me, more than the healing ever could have."

The lesson this reporter got was, better late than never.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Living with Awkward

Awkwardness. It happens. Some people say they relish in awkward moments. Some people are bothered by them. Either way, it happens. In ancient Greek folklore there was a goddess of awkward. Her name was Awkne. She managed to bungle things up whenever she spoke, acted, or even thought. And, whether or not the ancients were right, her awkward ways never left us.

However, for those who try to create awkward situations because they lack the wit, charm, or intelligence to maintain a conversation or be funny, I disrespect you. For those of you who are clever enough to make awkward situations just to watch other people writhe in anguish and confusion, I salute you. For those of you who just endure awkwardness as an occasional fact of life or as a constant companion, I feel for you.

I am not a fan of people who, because they feel uncomfortable or just cannot stand long silences randomly yell out, "AWKWARD!" It shows immaturity, and really ruins any semblance of normalcy the moment might have had. Guess what? It's okay to be quiet sometimes. It's also okay not to always know what to say. That's why we have the expression, "goes without saying" and the other, "there aren't words to describe it."

I do however, like to keep people on their toes. I like to get under people's skin sometimes. Tact is fun, but if you live your life as a superficial, single-layered, prude, your life isn't going to amount to more than a mess of pottage. So, I have on more than one occasion, taken someone aside and asked them a random, deep, thought-provoking question or done something absolutely zany and off the wall. I may or may not really know the person, but that's not the point. The point is to get a reaction. To see if the person is real. To elicit a response that is multi-layered and unpredictable. It is, in a way, a method for checking one's pulse. To see if they are indeed really human (Because if they are robots, we must know or we could all be dead).

And, lastly, for those of you who have to deal with awkwardness on a daily basis as if it were a genetic disease, I'm sorry. But, on perhaps a more positive note, you could be daemons, or the offspring of a God, being neither God, nor man. I am saying, in no uncertain terms, that you could in fact be a direct descendant of Awkne, goddess of awkward. And, that's not too shabby.