Thursday, June 5, 2008

To shreds, you say.

Have you ever been so close with someone that you practically have your own language between the two of you? A lot of us have. My best friend and I have a lot of unspoken understandings and inside jokes that we rattle off to each other all the time. I dated a guy who was as much of a Simpsons and Futurama nerd as I was (even more so) and we were constantly quoting it them to one another. This was awesome, until the relationship was over. We started out like Romeo and Juliet, but it ended in tragedy. We'd been together for a long time and I was still accustomed to saying these things out loud, only now there was no one around who understood what I was saying or why I thought it was so funny. Sure, people will always get it if you say, "D'oh!", but not many are likely to understand when you say you'll take the crab juice. In fact, a lot of these quotes, when taken out of context, can just make you look like a jerk ("Shut up, baby, I know it.") or make people worry that your mind is no longer in mint condition.

So I guess the question is, what happens now? I'm left with all these hilarious things to say and no one around who understands a word of it. Do I seek out another obsessed fan? Or do I learn to not say everything out loud and just waste some time on internet forums with people who would get it? Or even better, do I tie down all my friends and make them watch and memorize all of the episodes so that I'm no longer alone in my geekiness? What do you do with your secret language when you don't have anyone else to speak it with anymore, when it feels like life is just one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead? Ah, screw this. If anyone needs me, I'll be at Moe's.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pop Art & Vinyl Records

I haven't updated in a long time because I have been very busy. Doing what, you ask? Trying to make money, of course! I've been selling off my record collection on e-bay and just recently I opened up a store and decided to also start selling some of my original pop art paintings. They've been going pretty well, so I've been busy painting more. Here's a sample of my work:

My store is called Cheshire Cat Records. I wanted to just call it The Cheshire Cat, but that was already taken. Like the Rolling Stones told me, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need."

Some of the paintings shown here have already been sold, some are currently up for sale. I'm still painting and putting up at least one a day (for right now) so be sure to check back. I do a lot of Marilyn Monroe portraits, as those seem to sell the fastest and right now I've been getting into the spirit of Halloween by painting Edward Scissorhands, Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, etc etc. Hopefully it won't be so long before I update again, and hopefully you'll like what you see here and buy some of my art.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Ten Reasons Why Harry Potter is Good For Your Children

If there's one thing that annoys the hell out of me, it's those people that insist that Harry Potter is leading our children down the fiery path to hell. I'm not going to give you a list of all of the horrible things in the bible (I'll leave that to these guys). I'll just present you with these arguments.

1. Harry Potter teaches against racism without making your kids think about racism. Thrown into a magical world full of people and creatures they've never imagined, children are taught that it's wrong to be prejudiced. They learn how to be accepting of other people and other cultures, without putting it in terms of black and white.

2. The books mature with the audience. Contrary to what one might've expected, the later books took on a much darker and more serious tone than the earlier ones. The subject matter and style grew up with the readers, rather than being patronizing and condescending. The Harry Potter books are suitable for children and adults because the reader is never treated as a stupid child.

3. Good characters die unfairly and bad characters live on happily. Because life isn't fair. Rowling gives the lesson that sometimes people die for no good reason, for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but she isn't cruel about how she hands it down. Kids are taught to accept death, to honor the memory of the fallen, and to understand that just because the good doesn't always win doesn't mean it's not worth it to fight.

4. The movies don't deviate much from the books. In a time when you can't trust anything to be safe from the slimy hands of Hollywood, this means a lot. This is an example of integrity and accuracy. Rather than teaching kids that if they're careless enough to love something, it will be ripped away from them and molded into garbage by careless studio executives, the Harry Potter series has been very delicately made and guided along.

5. Adults aren't portrayed in absolutes. Authority figures are not always trustworthy, governments are capable of being very corrupt, and cantankerous adults that appear to be the very spawn of evil just might be acting that way for very good and honorable reasons. From Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, and Dolores Umbridge-- Rowling teaches us that you can't judge someone before you get to know them, and even then you'd be surprised. People are people, not archetypes.

6. Harry Potter is not trying to recruit your children into witchcraft, Paganism, Satanism, or what-have-you. Harry Potter is not a Wiccan, a Pagan, or a Satanist. Harry Potter has no religious affliliation, and no religion is either promoted or condemned in the series. Children are not encouraged to join any kind of belief system. In fact, it's made very clear that the wizards and witches of Potter's universe are born that way and that there's nothing wrong with being a "muggle" (that's non-magical humans for those of you who haven't picked up a book).

7. Arthur Weasley is amazed with our world. The patriarch of the Weasley family is a wizard obsessed with muggles and technology. While children are peering into this world of fantasy and magic, they are reminded that the real world has got some pretty cool stuff, too.

8. Lord Voldemort was a kid once, too. Even the epitome of all evil is shown to be nothing more than a human gone corrupt with power and hate. There is no Satanic figure, no undefeatable giant. He's a wizard and he has some amazing powers, but he was not borne out of the fires of Hell. He was a mistreated orphan who unfortunately became a prejudiced, violent person.

9. There's no sexism in Harry Potter. Witches are just as skilled as wizards, some even more so. The main female character of the series is the smartest (albeit an "insufferable know-it-all"). Girls kick ass right along side the boys on the Quidditch pitch. Mrs. Weasley is everyone's favorite mom, and she also turns out to be a damn good fighter.

10. Parents are portrayed positively. I've heard people complain that Harry's Aunt & Uncle are supposedly teaching kids that authority figures and parents are bad. While their characters are pretty unsavory, there's plenty of examples of good parenting in the series. The Weasleys take in anyone who needs them, Hermione's muggle parents are accepting of the wizarding world, even Narcissa Malfoy makes parenting a priority. Harry idolizes the idea of his parents as perfect people, but eventually learns some of their faults and accepts them as part of them as people. And in the last book, Harry gives a stern talking to to a character who tries to choose adventure over being a responsible father. Brilliant.

There are hundreds more reasons why you and your children should be reading Harry Potter. They're a lot better for you than this ridiculous bullshit.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Tom

Chances are you:

- have a myspace
- know someone who has a myspace
- are addicted to myspace
- have heard of myspace
- don't live in a cave somewhere, surviving off of the moss you lick from rocks, dreaming of the days when there were people to talk to and you weren't so very alone.

If you're like most people I know, you reached that day when, either sick of being told your profile was under construction or maybe just annoyed at seeing his face in your list, you declared Tom a douchebag and deleted him from your friends. Not that he's crying over it. At the moment I'm writing this, Tom has 192,225,858 friends, all of whom I'm sure are very near and dear to him. I checked out Tom's page today, something I'm not in the habit of doing, and was slightly surprised at some of the things I found.

1. Tom is a communist. Well, he's interested in learning about filthy commies, anyway. "History of Communism" is listed among his general interests. Now if only he would redistribute some of his wealth.

2. Tom listens to David Bowie. Or at least, he claims to. He could just be trying to look cool. I don't think he is, since Barry Manilow is also listed in his favorite music, and that is definitely not cool.

3. Tom is a Libra. Now you can finally find out if you're compatible with him!

4. Tom's first hero is Nietzsche. Yup. Tom's deep.

5. Tom watches Desperate Housewives. It's the first listed show in his television section. The man apparently has no shame.

6. Tom's sign up date is 09/02/03. Forget what yours was? Check your blog.

7. Tom is only 31 years old and has more money than you'll ever dream of. Oh, wait, I guess you did know that one.

*Something that occured to me after publishing this article-

As I stated before, Tom has
192,225,858 friends. Wikipedia has a nice little list of countries by population. If Tom had his own Myspace country consisting of the people who remained friends with him, it would be number five on the list. Suck on that, Brazil.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fake Plastic Girl

I was stumbling through the internet the other night when I came upon MorphThing. After getting bored with their selection, I uploaded a picture of a Barbie head. I was so creeped out by how I looked as a Barbie, that I decided to see what some celebrities would look like properly immortalized in plastic.* I will now share these with you.

*I realize that several of these people have been made into dolls before, but I also realize that those dolls are usually really crappy and never resemble the person they are supposed to.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chain of Fools

After opening another Myspace bulletin claiming that some kid somewhere had some disease and AOL would take two bucks off the poor kid's hospital bill if I reposted it, I began to wonder where the hell these things come from in the first place. I know how they get passed around- the psychologically weak can't resist something that says, "Post now- or you deny Jesus and go to hell!" or worse, "If you don't forward this to 20 friends, you'll never find love and your skin will break out in warts!" But seriously, what sorry son of a bitch is actually starting these things? Who writes out these bogus stories and decides to pass them around and waste the time of billions of people? And where's my harpoon, that I might take them down?

And for those of you who get a fair amount of this bullshit from their friends, I recommend these two sites for correcting them. Snopes is a fantastic resource for urban legend debunkery (and quite a fun read) and Break the Chain is dedicated purely to stopping junk e-mail. There sites will assure you and your ever-forwarding friends that little Timmy is not stuck in the well and Bill Gates doesn't give a damn what e-mails you pass on.

(If you send my blog to ten friends, your true love will call you in ten minutes! If you don't, they'll marry that person you really hated in school and have lots of babies and you'll die alone. Better not risk it.)


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Friday, July 6, 2007

Goodbye, Fond Childhood Memories.

Hello again, familiar bitter resentment. Tim Hill, director of the second Garfield disgrace, has gotten his filthy hands all over the chipmunks. The full poster can be seen here.

Jason Lee is starring as the trio's "father", David Seville, which is disappointing, since up to this point I had no beef with him. We were on good terms, Jason. Why did you do this? Are you acting out because you know that I often miss "My Name is Earl", but I am always in my seat a half hour later for the start of "The Office"? Is that what this is about? I can understand you being upset, and please believe me when I say that I really like your show, it's just an awkward time for me. I've got things going on at eight o'clock that have to be taken care of. It's not you, it's me. We could've talked about it, Jason. I mean, participating in the bastardization of a childhood classic just because I missed a couple of episodes? Don't you think you've taken this a little far? I think we should break up. I can't stand by you through this. If you need me, I'll be watching The Chipmunk Adventure, which I still have on VHS. Yes, Jason, I still have a VCR, and yes, I suppose I could've been using it to tape episodes of "My Name is Earl". I guess we're both to blame.