Suckmas – The Art of Horrible Christmas Decorations

A few years back I decided that a nice way to pre-game Christmas with my girlfriend would be to head out and take in some of the great, amazingly decorated houses around Denver. I was looking for some real WOW factor, Griswoldian displays that are visible from low orbit. What I found was anything but that…

We headed to Cherry Creek Colorado, I figured the combo of rich people with fewer tethers to reality would make for some epic holiday light viewing. The problem was, we didn’t encounter amazing holiday displays. We started noticing that Cherry Creek had some of the sorriest ass Christmas lights we’d ever seen.

They reminded me of a time I lived off of Colfax near Aurora and one of the corner lots had a light display that was a 2X4 board stuck in the ground and listing at about a 45 degree angle, it wasn’t even straight. The board had a single green light bulb on the tip of it and a string of lights that powered the bulb draped off the top of it towards the house.

It was a pretty lame attempt and I always wondered what kind of a person was responsible for that. I mean, if you’re going to phone it in this badly, why even bother at all? Why exert effort but make the effort so paltry it would have actually been better to do nothing at all?

There’s a line in Watchmen where Doctor Manhattan says “I have witnessed events so tiny and so fast they can hardly be said to have occurred at all” and whenever I see something as sad as some of these lights, I feel like saying “I’ve seen Christmas displays so lame, so half assed, they can hardly be said to be Christmas at all”

The night quickly devolved into the only fun we could have looking at these busted ass displays, namely taking pictures of them and mocking them mercilessly. I have saved some of the real winners(?) and posted them here for your viewing pleasure. And yes, I did nominate one as clearly the worst out of all of them.

Before we get on to specifics, I want to talk about a phenomenon I noticed right off the rip…TREE TRUNKERS.

Tree Trunkers are what you get when you mix the best of intentions with equal parts reality, failure to forecast material needs and an exquisite display of lack of determination.

Trunkers start out thinking they’re going to make THIS happen:

PUBLISHED by catsmob.com

But get really discouraged when they realize an economy string of 150 lights from Big Lots is going to be just a bit shy of the 1,500,000 bulbs it actually takes to festoon a tree in light bukakke. The quickly end up with this –

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The Tree Trunkers shame goes far deeper than just their initial failure though. A self respecting quitter would just rip the lights from the tree in the dead of night and throw them in an ally dumpster like a used sex crime victim, but not Trunkers. The level of their lethargy is such that they don’t even bother to complete quitting. They drop out of even quitting and just leave the half assed monument to their own lack of follow through to stand for the entire season, a sad testament to how much of a sorry ass failure they really are. Seeing a lit Tree Trunker is like walking into someones house and finding a bullet proof trophy case full of bottle caps that say “you are not a winner”.

Even worse, these people have run out of initiative before they’ve even gotten to the part where the realize they need a ladder! i can almost see them trying to get that last strand up higher by standing on their tippy toes as they attempt to cover a tree that’s 2.5 times taller than their house!

Now on to some other dishonorable mentions…

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“Ooooooooooh! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

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Not only was this tree trunker unwilling to get a ladder, he was unwilling to bend over to cover the bottom of the trunk.

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Shit, I forgot my welding mask, how ever shall I safely view this magnificent 10 candlepower display of Holiday cheer?

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Merry Christ-meh… not only that…

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They’re Tree Trunkers too!

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Not to brag, but guess who has 2 thumbs and owns a 20 foot ladder? Aim for the moon there Trunker, even if you miss you’ll end up with a lighting display that reaches the second story.

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From the “I’m not going outside in this shit” files. I’m either looking at an attempt at a semi-festive holiday bow or I’m looking at a domicile that has at least one Hoveround.

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When your decided lack of give a shit meets your lack of foresight in buying an extension cord they will birth this trinity of shit. I nicknamed these three trees the Father, the Son and the Holy Shit this looks crappy. A string of lights is not an extension cord.

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Tree Trunkers plus lack of extension cords equals…a Christmas hammock?

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I call this one the “Fuck It Snake” it’s like a Tree Trunker combined with the Gadsden flag.

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Look at the ridiculous amount of foot prints around this tree. That means that this massively underwhelming display was either the concerted effort of 1 person, who took no less than 60 passes around the tree to come up with THIS, or it’s the collective effort of a whole bunch of people who really, let’s be honest, owe us all an apology.

Whether it’s the best effort of the worst decorator or the aggregate failure of a small group, this shit show is an insult any way you slice it!

And now…the winner!

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I thought it was going to be a stiff competition to figure out who had the crappiest display out of all of them but I was wrong because I hadn’t driven past this mixture of pure, unadulterated hate mixed with a total disregard for the holiday spirit. Let’s have a walk through this utter let down.

First off, what you’re looking at here is something I almost drove by before noticing the faintest red glow from the street. I honestly thought it could have been a cigarette butt at first glance but I decided to get out and look, and boy am I glad I did!

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What you’re seeing is a strand of maybe 25 lights with approximately 15 of them burned out. They aren’t outlining the planter, they were clearly HUCKED into the planter. I imagine a scenario where a couple in their late 60’s were embroiled in a drawn out argument about getting the decorations done before the man stormed out of the house and fired these into the planter, then stormed back inside and screamed “THERE EDNA! YOUR FUCKING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS ARE DONE, YOU GOD DAMNED HARPY BITCH!” before pouring himself a lot of scotch and maybe lovingly caressing the only thing that brings him joy these days, a loaded Smith and Wesson.

Take note of the extension cord draped over the address sign. While it would have been easier to obscure it from sight by just routing it behind the bench on the porch, whoever hung this made a clear effort to put it in plain view. Also notice the pine branches that are thrown on top of the non-LED lights. These are the old style lights that heat up enough to ignite dry pine needles…I have a sinking feeling that the Light Hucker inside knows this and is perfectly ok with the potential fallout.

That nearly imperceptible display of holiday cheer, the total technical ineptitude/disregard for presentation and the inevitable murder suicide that followed the whole debacle undoubtedly makes Fightmare Before Christmas…er, I mean 3250 Whatever Street this years clear winner.

Feel free to send horrible Christmas decorations from your neighborhood to me at incode64@yahoo.com for review here!

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Not Showing Up? Start Shutting Up!

Online etiquette lesson:

If you’ve been invited to an event and you cannot make it, REFRAIN FROM SAYING SO ONLINE OR ON THE EVENT PAGE. Seriously, don’t fucking do it.

This isn’t directed at anyone, it’s just a blanket statement for those who might not think about this sort of thing. Look, if you’re an event coordinator, that is to say the person who makes shit happen, the worst thing in the world is seeing ANYONE post “Gee thanks for the invite but I can’t make it to this one!” on your event page. Why?

Well, because generally the people who are making it don’t mention anything online, they just show up. For some reason the people who feel compelled to say something are the ones who are NOT attending. I get it, you want to make it known that you regret not showing up, but if you really have to convey this, do it in private to the coordinator. DON’T MAKE A BFD ABOUT IT ON THE EVENT PAGE. When you announce it online it means that the event page is going to be flooded with what seems to be scores of people saying they can’t attend which in turn makes it look like the event is going to suck and discourages others from showing up. Anyone on the fence about showing up is going to go “Looks like that thing is going to suck, maybe I won’t go” so basically you’re convincing other people not to go too which, intentional or not, is a dick move, be considerate.

Follow this simple, easy to remember rule:

“Not showing up? Start shutting up!”

Not to be rude but it’s really that simple and yes, it really is an effective way to help and event not suck, even if you can’t make it.

Sincerely – The People Who Make Shit Happen.

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7 Reasons Insane Clown Posse Is Not A Terrible Band

ICP 1

If there is one thing that humanity has a current and rampant love affair with it’s definitely jerking ourselves off over how accepting we are. White people in particular really love to point out how accepting and totally not bigoted we are (heartland racists notwithstanding)

It’s definitely ‘In’ to tolerate/celebrate other peoples differences. In media it’s very apparent. 20 years ago there were gay characters on TV but mostly as a comic relief or worse, the butt of the jokes. They weren’t characters, charicatures and they were plot devices. Now turn on an episode of Glee and try to point somewhere on the screen without hitting a gay character. And they’re not JUST gay, they have personalities outside of being gay because we’ve moved forward with our thinking.

Want to automatically get on the outs with most right thinking people? Start espousing some racist or exclusionist rhetoric. Unless you’re in a mechanics garage or at a Trump rally, you’re going to receive a poor reception. It extends to nearly all walks of life, systems of belief and nearly every ethos. You can walk into a bar and announce that you’re a vegan, lesbian, gluten free, transgendered hermaphrodite who identifies as a roast beef sandwhich and you’re more likely to get accolades for your “bravery” than confused laughter.

Still though, there’s one group out there that’s still very, very unpopular that people love to get their hate revved up for: The Insane Clown Posse and their followers, Juggalos. I’ll save the perfunctory backstory, if you’re reading this you’re on the internet and you’re already familiar with both of them.

I’m not here to badmouth ICP or their fans, in fact I’m here to present you with a few facts that might change how you see them. I don’t expect you to go out and get a full chest tattoo of the Hatchet Man, but I do know that the points I have to make may in fact put them in a different light and give you at least some appreciation for what they contribute to the world (Which if you’re like most people you probably assume the answer is “Jack fucking shit” beyond some lulzy memes)

I have been an avid ICP fan since a fateful day in the 90’s when my friend Steve put a free promotional cassette for Carnival Of Carnage into his tape deck. He had picked it up at a record store where it was set beside the counter for anyone who wanted a copy. Steve, who listened almost nonstop to WuTang Clan, easily the most pretentious rap group ever, quickly ejected the tape and threw it out the window declaring it the worst thing he had ever heard. Despite his reaction I myself was intrigued. Rap combined with horror laden imagery? Now this was some rap I could get behind!

Since then I have seen them in concert and bought all their albums at one point or another. One thing about being an ICP fan, it’s amllost never a warm reception when you announce that you’re down with the clown. It’s only slighly, and I mean only by an amount calcuable with a finely calibrated electron microscope, less acceptable than announcing that you’re an active member of NAMBLA at a PTA conference.

“But…you’re not [insert general perception of Juggalos here, an idiot, poor white trash, covered in Hatchetmen tattoos, retarded and drinking a 40 while pregnant, etc]” is a common reaction I get when I tell someone I like ICP, as if being mentally defective or on welfare are the only feasible reasons for liking them.

To a degree, I get it. Some Juggalos can be obnoxious, then again so can most Christians, atheists, door to door salemen, tech support agents and midgets. Actually I’ve met a lot of annoying ass midgets…what’s with that? Anyways, the common sentiment is that in order to like ICP you need to be an overweight white guy with corn rows and clown faces painted on your manboobs. I won’t deny that this contingent exists, nor that it exists with such regularity and ferocity that it’s a completely justifiable stereotype but what I DO want you to do is take another, closer look at these clowns, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Here are a few things you may not have known or considered about the Insane Clown Posse.

1. They are a true American success story.

The media is rife with articles about rags to riches tales that are supposed to make you feel good but really, do they make you feel good? A lot of these stories boil down to “The artist struggled for a bit and then the right person noticed them and now they’re making millions of dollars”

Now I don’t know about you, but “Struggled for a little bit then got super rich” doesn’t make ME personally feel inspired in light of the fact that most people struggle their whole fucking lives, work hard and never see the big payoff. Finding out that someone else got insanely lucky and got noticed doesn’t make me feel better about the cosmic lottery. People love to talk about Lady Gaga living in an apartment in New York that had cockroaches as an inspirational “Look how far she’s come” story but in reality she started focusing on music in 2006 and released her first album in 2008, so what, 2 full years of hardship? Yeah, that’s a real struggle.

Gettings noticed by the right person doesn’t mean you’re talented or that you worked for your success and deserved it, all it really means is that you’re lucky. I don’t get inspired by luck, I get inspired by the people who worked their ass off for their stations in life and never stopped working along the way.

No matter what you think of ICP, you can’t deny their work ethic. Not only did they work hard, they suffered hard. Let’s take a look at a few career lowlights that would have been cause for most right thinking musicians to call it quits:

While putting flyers on cars outside of a club for a show early in their career a bouncer at the club forced Violent J to remove all the flyers from the cars and then upon finding out he was in a rap band punched him in the face, giving him a crooked nose to this day. Not many people can boast minor facial reconstruction as a price they paid to make their art.

Things started looking up when they signed to Holywood Records, that was until The Great Milenko was recalled by the record label HOURS after it was released. Imagine that, you’ve made a new album, it sells 18,000 copies out of the gate and suddenly the people who helped you make it are cancelling it along with all your appearances, your tour and your music video.

Then a silver lining appeared! It turns out the publicity over a clown themed rap band promoting violence and murder was catching on and people were taking note. Increased publicity would have been a god sent and saving grace except…the critics absolutely shat on the album.

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Art and music critics are worthless because all of it is subjective and often the people reviewing the art aren’t a fan of that style and are only using their own narrow yardstick of taste and quality to measure its quality. In an interview with Adam Carollo the band said (And I’m paraphrasing here because I have not been able to locate a copy to quote online) that the problem here is that you have people who don’t like rap, comedy or violent music reviewing it and saying its terrible. If you’re not into that type of music you’re not qualified to make an assessment on it. “If you want to know if our new album is good or not, ask someone who likes our music and they can tell you if we made a good album or it sucked” which is actually a very astute critique of critics. If you spend your whole life thinking only movies like The Bridges of Madison Fucking County you’re going to think everything that’s not an acclaimed drama is garbage and never be able to enjoy an action film.

One critic, who doesn’t really deserve to be cited by name (because honestly, someone who just makes a living shit talking and produces no other content of worth or value isn’t worthy of recognition or publicity) said of the album “with its puerile humor and intentionally ugly metal-rap tunes, the album feels oddly dated” Dated? At exactly what date did you hear ANOTHER rap album by a white duo espousing moral lessons via violent imagery with a supporting mythology behind it? Seriously, have you heard a LOT of that? So much in fact that it’s both played out and apparently reminiscent of a certain time frame? Dipshit.

So what would have been a publicity boost ended up just being a group bowel vacation on their work.

These guys didn’t just work for it, they suffered for it. People love to talk about Lady Gaga living in an apartment in New York that had cockroaches as an inspirational “Look how far she’s come” story but in reality, what ICP went through makes that story look like someone attemtping to compare a tough day selling Girl Scout cookies to being active infantry in the Normandy Beach Landing.

Yes, they’ve achieved success, but they’ve also been told every step of the way that they’re failures, they suck, they’re not going to make it and that they’re stupid. the fact remains, whatever you might think of them personally, you can’t argue with results and if you can’t concede to anything else, you can’t argue that they aren’t determined.
2. They’re underdogs who give outcasts a sense of belonging.

Do you know why ICP has a following of people so devout they’d give Slayer fans a run for their money? It’s because they call out to the disaffected, the people who are rejected even from the reject groups. When society doesn’t want you, you become a Goth, metal head or greaser. When they don’t want you then you start looking for someone else who does.

If you’re like most people out there you’ve probably seen pictures or videos of ICP and their fans. Every year a little after Gathering Of The Juggalos the internet is filled with picture galleries and video compilations of the event and it’s usually a far cry from a piece in the New Yorker, usually it’s the internet equivalent of “Hey, lookee here at them thar weirdos n’ losers!”

Now here’s where the problem comes in. A lot of people (Read as the entire fucking internet) love to get roused by every single internet outrage of the week. You people love to get behind causes where you perceive someone to be a victim or make loud, boastful, self aggrendizing claims of support for underdogs and bullied people. You’re constantly crying foul over minor slights to feminism, race, sexuality and every other flavor of the week wail of injustice because you want everyone to know how tolerant and open minded you are. You want to blow your horn to the sound of your own mind blowing acceptance…except I constantly hear you fuckers going off on Juggalos. So what, this is where your tolerance stops and your unabated hatred and derision begin?

See, you think you stand for tolerance but you stand for the MTV version of tolerance. The fact is most human beings are shitty, hateful people and they really aren’t good at letting that part of their crappy personalities go. No, most people are just very good at suppressing it and then shunting it to another outlet. So you’re a champion of causes for gay, lesbian, transgender, minorities, immigrants, etc, but you still have to find an outlet for the internal garbage you have so why not open the spicket a bit and stand in judgment of a music group? Yeaaaaaaah, you thought you were better than that, funny right?

ICP has found a way to connect with the misfits among misfits and bring them together. A sense of belonging is far more powerful than most things musicians have to offer. They didn’t make a band, they made a movement and they invited everyone who would come. So go ahead and laugh it up. Go find the videos of pictures from GOTJ and guffaw over the overweight kids, or the dorks in makeup, the sluts or the poor losers. Laugh it up motherfucker, but at the end of the day you’re actually worse than any of the bullies YOU hold disdain for because you actually think you’re better. You’re not, you just found an open lane for your ugly, judgmental hatred that still an acceptable place to laugh at people like this. You can’t claim to be a champion of tolerance and then cut it short when it comes to a certain group. You’re still a bully and ICP had the amazing idea to be your antithesis and accept with open arms the people you rejected.

For the record I am not saying Juggalos are any of the things I listed above, I’m saying it’s what the rest of the world perceives them as.

So again when you take away everything else and boil the situation down, you’ve got a group of people who have a vested interest in making outcasts feel loved and welcomed, how could you sneer and shit on that? At the lowest common denominator it’s a very positive thing.
3. They are authentic as fuck.

The same people who will bitch that bands sell out for becoming popular will turn around and give a band shit for being authentic too, like all the people that whine that Nine Inch Nails is a sell out band because a lot of people like his music and he’s not interested in playing clubs for 50 people while living in a studio apartment. Some people think that is selling out. Well, if you’re of that mindset the good news is, ICP is a band that will never sell out, ever.

They own their own label, which means they never have to dumb down their lyrics or write a song because the studio told them ballads were really big (Seriously, Johnny Cash and like every metal band in the early 90’s got fed that bullshit line and fell for it) they call the shots, from their music, to tours, cd art and everything else. And that’s part of why people hate them. They don’t have to appear on a crappy late night show and make a good impression SO THEY DON’T.

Have you ever heard some Holywood actor or director who makes millions of dollars bitching that they can’t make a piece of art their way and think “Hey asshole, you have tons of money, just go make something the way you want to!” well, ICP is the answer to that. They took their money, made their label and gave the finger to anyone and everyone who could have suppressed them artistically.

Going back to the underdogs/outcasts point from earlier, ICP and their fans don’t get a facelift or liposuction to appear younger, they don’t do publicity appearances on Ellen to woo some dumb ass demographic like shitty sycophants. They hold their ground and continue to make offensive, outspoken art on their terms, with their fans the way they want to. That’s part of why people hate them, they are NOT going to meet you halfway. We’re so used to people buckling, giving in, conceding and pandering that when someone has no interest in it we think it’s either stupidity or outright offensive.

The problem is that people like the underdog that is LIKE them, the ugly girl who actually just needed to take her glasses off and get new clothing to be “beautiful” or justin Long playing the unpopular dork who gets a lucky break in the movie and ends up with the hot girl. What I’m getting at is, people love the underdog who really was just a hot stud the whole time. What people really, really fucking hate are the ugly ducklings who stay ugly.

Appreciate ICP for the fact that they’re authentic and will never become watered down or homogenized like so many artists do, it’s worthy of respect.
4. They’re original.

This is a band that didn’t just start playing music and end up popular and then 5 years later was making music for Hollywood blockbusters (Cough, cough, Manson anyone?) these are guys that had a vision, a weird, fucked up vision. They created a mythos, they created a sound, these guys created a type of music combining rap, rock and horror themes that had never been done before. Yes, Horrorcore existed in some small forms but it’s like comparing cave paintings to the Mona Lisa. They turned the volume up and created an entire legacy and built an empire based on an original mythology.

How many more songs in the world do we really need about going to the club? I like “Scream and Shout” and “Telephone” just fine, but they’re still just mostly anonymous songs about going out the club and being sexy. How many more songs do we need by DMX telling us how he’s going to kick some asses for an unspecified offense against his badass character?

Put in an ICP album and actually listen to the lyrics and you’re going to get a story that’s equal parts Johnny Cash, Freddy Krueger and A-Team. You’ll find songs about wicked spirits dispensing valuable (if lethal) moral life lessons, stories about a man who found a bazooka in his grandfathers basement and the ensuing renaissance of the spirit that can only come with surface to air ordance. There are songs about killer hearses, putting your nuts in peoples soup, the joys of sex with full figured women and much, much more. In fact, I’d wager to say aside from the given that there’s going to be talk about murder, you’d be hard pressed to guess what bedlam and anarchy any given album is going to deliver.

I love NIN but I can tell you every album has 8 songs about women being shitty, a song about god and one about the powers that be. If you’re tired of being able to guess what’s going to sex up your ear holes next with outright ubsurdity ICP will deliver.
5. They are in fact musically talented, or at least technically proficient.

You might HATE the style of music they make, but unless you’re an absolutely braindead fool, you can’t discount a genres technical proficiency at what they do just because it’s not what you like. They’re actually talented. People like to debate talent because they equate their personal taste as a yardstick of talent.

This is like saying Wayne Gretsky sucks at hockey because you don’t enjoy hockey. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean your taste dictates their talents. Personally I hate Lord of the Rings but I cannot say it’s a bad movie because based purely on the scope and quality of the cinematography I could not, in good conscience, deny that it’s a masterpiece of film making. Sure, it’s a masterpiece that makes me want to put a bullet in my head out of sheer boredom from the hours of soulful, meaning filled glances between the protagonists, but it is a work of art nonetheless.

You may not be aware but they are in fact hugely influenced by the music of Michael Jackson and stated that the engineering and cleanliness of sound in his recordings was their inspiration to take the quality of thier sound seriously. Sure, it might be a song about nutsacks, but you’d better believe that it’s the most professionally mastered song about nutsacks to ever exist.
6. The lyrics aren’t as dumb as everyone makes them out to be. Let’s shut the fuck up about the “magnets” line.

Their lyrics can be dumb. Yep, that’s true but you know what? So can the lyrics of every other band in the world. Have you ever actually sat down and READ lyrics out of the context of most popular songs? Seriously. Song lyrics are probably some of the worst writing on planet Earth, we give them a free pass because the tune usually kicks ass. Let me use an analogy on this one…

Have you ever eaten just the olives off of a Subway sandwich? They taste like little shit rings dipped in gopher pee. They’re terrible on their own as are a LOT of ingredients in fast food. The thing is, when they’re combined with the larger picture of the sandwich they taste alright. Lyrics are the olives of the music world. They are palatable in the context of a song but if some guy came up to you on the street and said:

“Hello, hello, baby, you called? I can’t hear a thing / I aint got no service, in the club, you see, you see / Wha-Wha-What did you say, huh?” you wouldn’t think he was a poetic genius, you’d think he was borderline mentally defective and needed to change cellular providers.

Stop trying to convince me that any pop music out there is superior in the lyrical department.

Let’s look at a few bands people think are genius and see what their lyrics really look like on paper. Let’s start with the ever amazing “Whole lotta love” by Led Zeppelin which gives us the nearly Shakespearean mastery of the following passage –

“Way, way down inside honey, you need it, I’m gonna give you my love… I’m gonna give you my love. Wanna whole lotta love” (Repeat 43 more times with the Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrr! guitar riff)

Or industrial legends Skinny Puppy who people revere as geniuses but in reality boast the lyrical content that sounds like the result of a Speak N Spell having a stroke with such masterpieces as –

“binge cringe on the fringe sloppy mincing eyedropping biopsy cyclops overlooks
optic options rotton showstopper skinpopper babbler dabbler”

I like both of those bands OK but let’s be honest, is “babbler dabbler” or Robert Plante talking about being some girls “Backdoor man” any more devine word play? If we’re going to start taking the scalpel to every song and judging it based on how much sense or how profound the lyrics are it’s going to be a bloodbath because a lot of great songs have some pretty fucking stupid lyrics. You’ve let all the other stupid lyrics of the world slide, give them a pass on it.

7. They’re in on the joke.

I don’t know why but people really seem to think that ICP isn’t aware of their own absurdity, that somehow a group with that name is taking themselves seriously and doesn’t realize that they’re…well…CLOWNS! I mean come on people, they come right out and admit it, they’re clowns and clowns are supposed to make you laugh. Unless you’re the type of person who is just so rectally water tight that they can’t laugh at some good, crude humor, you’ll get a laugh out of their tunes. That’s what they really want. It’s the one theme that permeates every album, the desire to make you laugh.

In a fucking ugly ass world of hate and anger, isn’t two people who just want to make you laugh and smile enough to cut them a little slack and deserving of respect? I submit that it is.

Post script – If you are in fact at least nominally intrigued to give The Insane Clown Posse another chance, here is some recommended listening –

$50 Bucks – It’s a good song that opens with an unexpected guitar strumming and plummets into a graphic bet between the clowns on who can score more tail in only the most obscene ways possible. https://youtu.be/OK5fPV0dqsw

When I’m Clownin’ – Again, a well mastered song that despite it’s whimsical content, out performs most Holywood produced hits in terms of engineering quality. It’s also catchy as fuck so listen to it twice so it will madden you for the next 24 hours. https://youtu.be/1erjP1P8FCY

Bazooka Joey – Just a hilarious song and worth a listen as the sound of an outgoing mortar whizzes from one speaker to another. https://youtu.be/lbcBJZKp6CM

Fonz Pond – Just a great tune with some very tight audio performances and nuances in the sounds. In fact, a lot of ICPs songs have very layered sounds intigrated into the mix, give it a listen https://youtu.be/sRgaTC9EFAs

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The worst sex moves of all time

Sex is one of those things that people think improves with certain moves. Like knowing some form of dick Ju Jitsu is going to absolutely melt a lovers snatch clean off her body with your awesomeness. People love to think that there are magical moves, a series of actions that will always work. There aren’t, it’s a myth. Part of why people want to believe in moves is because it suggests there’s a sure fire way of delivering the best sex out there. There IS a way but most people will never believe it.

Want to be the best possible lover out there and truly fuck with the eagles? Here’s your fucking move: Give a fuck whether or not you’re good at giving a fuck AND be enthusiastic.

If you care whether or not you’re a good lover chances are you will be. Ask what your partner likes, give a shit and deliver what they want and trust me, you’ll get callbacks.

Back in the day I had a friend who, I will admit, was great looking. Problem is, that was all he knew how to be, it was the only move in his arsenal. Show up, be good looking, get laid. It’s the same with having a big dick, people think that’s the only thing they need to be an awesome lover. Fact is, if you want return business having a nice cock or face isn’t going to cut it. This guy almost never got fucked twice by the same girl because he didn’t think anything but how great looking he was contributed to his prowess as a lover and he couldn’t be bothered to care if he did a good job.

The second thing I mentioned, enthusiasm. If you’re excited as hell to fuck your partner they will pick up on it and be excited too. I mean, don’t blow your load 2 minutes into it, but be genuinely stoked about sex and the fact that YOU’RE LITERALLY INSIDE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING! FUCK! That shit is so awesome.

On the subject of moves, I’d like to take a moment to talk about how most of them actually suck ass (and not in the rim job way) because they are way overrated. Here is a short list of supposedly awesome sex scenarios that are in fact totally fucking worthless:

4. Waterbed sex. Apparently waterbeds are still a thing. I can’t imagine them in any bedroom that doesn’t have a lava lamp and a Nagel painting but apparently the rumor that sex on a waterbed is awesome still exists. As someone who has attempted it, let me assure you, it’s bullshit. You can’t get a good footing for thrust and the theory that wave action will make it easier is patently false.

3. Shower sex. Fuck this whole concept. Right off the rip, unless your woman is taller than you, you’re going to have to adopt some ludicrous crab man stance to get your dick low enough to get up in her guts. This means compromising your already shitty footing just to get your wang in at the right angle. Add to that the fact that water is NOT a lubricant and is going to wash away your natural lube that’s happening down there shower sex is about as sensual as dry humping a water pump that’s shorter than you are while on a Slip N’ Slide.

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Sexy.

2. Fucking against a wall. I’ve gotten several requests for this through the years and let me just say, fuck you for asking. I know I just said listen to your partners needs but let me amend that statement to “listen to your partners needs that aren’t fucking stupid”

So if you want this, I’ve got one of two options, the aforementioned crab stance, which is a pain, or I can lift your legs off the ground and hold you in the air, against the wall. So that means the dude is effectively doing 100% of all the work. ALL OF IT! You just added at least 100 lbs of heavy lifting to the workload! Fuck you and your high maintanence dicking needs, I’m down with extra effort and doing some crazy shit but if I wanted to lift weights I’d go to the gym.

1. The 69. Has there EVER been an idea that people think is more awesome than 69? It’s like the communism of sex moves.

The whole point of getting head, which IS one of the most awesome things in sex, is that whether you’re a guy or a girl, you get to lay back, enjoy the ride and revel in the fact that the opposite genders head is all up in your privates. You’re fucking someone’s face, it just doesn’t get any better than that folks. The problem with 69 is, you’ve taken 50% of that away because now you can’t sit back and relax, YOU have to perform now too. Additionally, you’re not doing THEM any favors because you’re not giving them good head because you’re not concentrating. So you have 2 people who are both giving head poorly and have assholes in their faces. How in the hell is THIS a winning move?

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My First Date: An Experiment In Disaster And Humiliation

The following is an excerpt from the book I am writing but I felt strongly enough about it that I wanted to share it here.

I want to talk to you all today about a very pivotal moment in my life…my first date.

I don’t know how your first date went but mine was, to say the least, a very life changing affair.

My first date was the result of a party at my parents house. My dad was about as social as most un-contacted tribesmen and my mother was a business woman who was born in an age when women’s rights were still busy becoming a thing that existed. The day she learned that she could be self sufficient and didn’t have to take shit from anyone, it was pretty much over for everyone else. She’s not a bitch, but she also isn’t one to take your bullshit either and has an amazing ability to tap into most human beings natural fear of maternal figures. I once saw her cut down a pair of muscle bound gangster wannabees at the mall so low they could have gotten lost in Astroturf.

Basically I’m trying to convey that my parents, when painted truthfully, come across as slightly less partay oriented than American Gothic, so the fact that they were having a soiree was something of a miracle.

One of the attendees was my sisters friend who brought her niece, Annie*. Now, I had never been the “Girls are gross” kind of boy, from the moment I started recognizing shapes I am pretty sure the only one I was truly interested in was the shape of a woman. A while later a close, but still very distant competitor would be cars, but outside of that all others need not apply. Annie garnered my attention in a way that I had never realized possible. I had liked girls before but never to this degree and so I decided: I had to ask her on a date.

Now, I had asked exactly 2 women on dates in my life. The first flat out refused me and the second one flat out refused me and then proceeded to make prank calls to my house for a month afterwards, so I wasn’t batting a thousand by any means. Nevertheless, I was going to give this a shot.

I got Annies phone number from my sisters friend and after about an hour of staring at the phone a few days later, I finally called her and asked her to go to the amusement park with me. Hardly an evening at the top night spots of Denver, I took her to Lakeside Amusement Park.

Lakeside is my favorite park in Denver, partially because it’s all vintage and has amazing Art Deco and Googie architecture and partially because it’s like a Scooby Doo ghost town but with more minorities.

To my amazement Annie said yes!

FUCK YES! I was going on my first date! And yes, I actually said “Fuck yes!” my love affair with profanity stretches back far into my preteen years. For reference, I was in the 7th grade, which for most normal people in civilized society is about as close to hell as we get. I mean, there are other shitty things that will happen to you in life, some of them far worse in magnitude, but nothing beats the 7th grade in terms of misery and motherfucking duration.

I told my hippy friend Eric about the date. Eric was a freak, long before goth, before punk, Eric was wearing top hats and capes to high school, having long hair, reading the Whole Earth Catalogue and ingesting Margot Adler. Ever go to a legitimate Pow Wow and see a white guy and wonder what his deal was? His deal was that he was Eric Baker, a lifetime professional in the field of weird ass fucketry. He was also a mentor to me as he was 26 at the time.

“Don’t do it, she’s a tease and a man eater” he told me. I had no idea what those things were. “Basically, some girls get off on getting guys attention, they don’t plan on putting out and they only gain joy in being mean and hurtful, Annie is one of those girls” he advised me.

The thing is, how could he know that? I asked if he knew her, “Nope, I just know people like her, trust me on this one” I firmly maintained that he was wrong, Annie wasn’t like that and that I’d show his ass a thing or two. “Ok man, let me know how your date turns out” he told me. Fine, Timothy Fucking Leary, I god damned will!

It was time to start planning how this smooth motherfucker was going to knock the socks off the finest specimen of damehood he’d ever come close to ensnaring. First order of business: Clothing.

Clothing makes the man. I honestly believe that how you groom, handle your body and clothe it conveys how you feel about yourself which is why I shower daily, am clean shaven and usually wear a suit, I like to take care of myself. Now, 7th grade Zachary Byron Helm may not have had his finger on the pulse of smoothness like I do now, but I knew I was going to have to dress to impress so I picked out the panty-droppiest article of clothing I owned: A black t-shirt with DEVO hand painted on it. Yep, I wore a home made DEVO shirt to my first ever date.

Now, shit like that might fly among the 2014 hipsters of the world, I’d probably get so much pussy I’d have to open up a wildlife preserve to keep it all straight if I wore a homemade DEVO shirt into a hipster bar, but years ago I pretty much picked out the one shirt that made me look like a special Ed new wave fan. I also had wavy hair, not wavy in the dream boat Clark Gable sense but more like the greasy Charles Manson youth sense. Topping off this snazzy ensemble was a complexion that looked like someone poured bacon grease into a mold shaped like a kid and the fact that my glasses were so thick you wouldn’t just torch ants with sunlight shining through them, you’d go full China syndrome.

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Time to step the fuck out ladies!

We picked Annie up in my moms company van. Most first dates happen with the aid of a parents vehicle. Kids usually feel embarrassed about that kind of thing but come on, you’re fucking underage, how the hell else do people expect you to get around? I remember going to a coffee house as a young Goth and some guy flips me shit “How’d YOU get here? Your mommy drive you?” he mocked “Yeah asshole, I’m 14, how the hell else did I get here? Car jacking?” that shut his ass up.

Anyways, my mom, my date, myself and an Econoline van sallied forth to one of the rapey-ist amusement parks in the nation. The evening was going swimmingly. In the spirit of being a true gentleman I had bought her dinner: only the finest, cheapest hot dogs available would suffice for my date. Give me a break, I was paying for this shit on my wages earned by stitching drapes at my moms shop so 5 star dining was out of the question. The one thing I couldn’t get off my mind all evening: Had I done well enough to get a kiss?

That was it, that was all I wanted, a kiss. A form of validation that to me, in my awkward, gawky as fuck era of my personal timeline that would have been earth shattering was what I wanted, to know that I had somehow performed well enough that another human being, an attractive girl, would want me in THAT way. Was it possible? Was I capable of pulling off such an amazing feat? In fact I was pondering this very question when IT happened. No, not a kiss, something else.

“Hey, is this your girlfriend?” some random guy who just walked up asked me. He was a gangly Mexican teen with one of those pre-pubescent mustaches that looked like a decaying caterpillar had nested and turned black on his upper lip. All in all he looked like something you wouldn’t use as a grease rag unless your goal was to lubricate a tractor trailer. Swarthy AF is what I am driving at here.

“No she’s not” I replied truthfully. Now, the correct answer was “None of your business, fuck off chuckles” but I literally had no idea what was going on. “Do you mind if I talk to her for a minute?” He asked. “Uhm, I guess not” I said.

I watched as the two walked off around the corner. The thing is, I really didn’t know what the fuck had just transpired. I was trying in vain to figure out exactly what business this seemingly random individual could need to conduct in private with my date. Did he know her from someplace else? What the hell?

After about 5 minutes I decided I’d go try to find them because this was getting weird and I was sick of standing around lonely like a dick in a DEVO shirt. I rounded the corner just in time to see Annie passionately kissing Seedy Gonzales on the lips. I mean, these two were making out as though Pancho was shipping off for service in 5 minutes. I quickly retreated back around the corner.

What the fuck was I going to do about this? Do I go fuck this guy up? I mean, aside from throwing a few lucky punches in Sunday school (that’s a whole different story about a completely different shit storm) my fighting career was alarmingly underdeveloped and I wasn’t sure I could take this guy. Second option was I guess I could punch HER but you know, that’s not really a forward thinking solution either. As I was sitting there trying to suppress my reverse peristalsis my mother came along.

“HEY! Did you know Annie is around the corner kissing some guy!?” she asked, clearly offended on my behalf.

“Uhm, yeah mom, I know that…I’m well aware of that…” I said trying to hide that I was in fact heart broken and nearly in tears.

“Well that is HORSE SHIT!” she proclaimed loudly just in time for Annie to return from her episode of getting her face caught in a grease trap. I think she rather quickly realized what we had both seen as the ride home was about roughly as comfortable as exploratory surgery. We dropped her off and I went home to contemplate how one kid could have failed so spectacularly in a priority mission and some greasy Mexican could come in fresh to the game and score.

Now, before we go much further I want to stop and make the statement that this isn’t a “Feel sorry for me story” I don’t need your pity or anything like that. The fact is that despite my overwhelmingly retarded early career with the ladies, years later I finally grew into my features. My early awkward years turned to my advantage as I learned to have a sense of humor which is still my strongest strength. I grew up to learn how to work on cars, computers, write, groom myself and overall become the kind of person ladies want and continue wanting long after I’ve left.

The point of this story is that I learned a few things that I’d like to share with you, one of them being that if you’re still trapped in the shitty limbo of awkwardness that is the inability to close the deal with the opposite sex, have faith. If I had a time machine and could go back and give myself a message about my future or advice to help me through the rough times, I wouldn’t because it would change who I became but what I CAN do is give a good message to you: If you suck with the ladies or dudes, grow up and become someone of value and show them all. Don’t worry if you don’t peak early, anecdotal evidence strongly supports me in the theory that it’s not the paradise you think it is. Being cool in middle school and high school is a continental dollar, get hot and peak later in life when you have your own car, house and can fuck until 4 am and not worry about because you can afford birth control. Being awesome in school is blowing your wad early.

Now, that I didn’t grow up with a litany of jealousy issues or end up as some guy who has a ton of nurse carcasses in his basement is, in and of itself, some sort of miracle. The truth is, I learned a lot that day, pearls of wisdom that would be of amazing value to me later in life.

The most obviously inescapable lesson learned that day was that Annie is a fucking whore. That, unfortunately, was what I’d classify as a single use epiphany, applicable to virtually nothing after the fact. The other lessons I learned, however, helped guide me through a variety of pitfalls.

I went back and asked Eric how the hell he called this score so far in advance of the game.

“Look man, people do things, little things that are indicators. Most people look at humans in the big picture but they don’t pick up on small details. Look for the little details in how people act, from a distance they are like tiny holes in a wall, you can’t see the other side if you’re too far away but get your eyes right up to the pinhole and you can see clear through to the other side and find out what they are trying to hide behind that big ass wall!”

So the lesser lesson was a sociology lecture about learning to correctly profile hazardous human beings. I keep that one with me daily. The second lesson that was a broader one was that Eric had advice, good advice that was from his personal experience. He tried to impart it and I ignored it completely and paid the price. Now, you can’t always pay heed to the naysayers in life, if you do you end up never advancing because people have a true propensity for trying to convince other people not to achieve BUT with that caveat in mind I will say this: If you’re heading down a path and someone going to the opposite way goes “Man, don’t go down that road, lotta fucked up shit going on down that road!” then listen to them. They might know what they are talking about and even if you have to go find out for yourself, at least let their words temper your actions with some caution.

And finally, don’t buy Annie hot dogs, it’s a waste of money.

 

*No, this isn’t her real name, I changed it for the sake of the article because I’m not bent about what happened, it gave me a funny story and I don’t want to be a dick about it years later.

 

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Great people who do horrible things and why you can forgive them.

I just read an interesting article about H.P. Lovecraft, both as an author and an unapologetic racist. It brought up something that I’ve thought about on many occasions, namely that a lot of wildly talented, artistic, creative people who have done amazing things are also, at times, serious assholes.

You see this surface a lot when people talk about celebrities, musicians, politicians and especially famous historical figures. There’s always some intrepid reporter or historian who wants you to rally behind their outrage because they’ve uncovered unnerving evidence that someone who was previously admired is, in fact, a douche.

People become massively disillusioned when they find out an athlete is a drug user, Steve Jobs was an asshole or any other person of elevated importance was in some way a bad person. We want to believe our heroes are not just good at what they did, that they’re wholly good people. This is rarely the case and I submit a different point of view. I personally came face to face with this in my teens after a phone call with one of my idols.

Growing up I was a huge Devo  fan. To me, Devo represented everything I had come to identify with as a socially awkward pre-teen, they were stylish in an alien, toxic waste sort of way, they made music that I thought rocked (I can’t tell you how many times I was asked what kind of music I liked and people mistakenly thought I said “DIO” and then changed their opinions from “Cool” to “EWWW! Those nerds in flower pot hats!?” when I corrected them. For the record, it is in fact DIO who sucks, Holy Diver my ass)

To me, Devo was a musical representation of how I felt about myself. Awkward, weird, wanting to express big ideas but also vastly misunderstood by the masses of people who only appreciated small, dumb ideas expressed by big, loud guitar riffs.

Years later while in high school I decided to try to make contact with the lead singer of the band, Mark Mothersbaugh. Lacking internet or any form of reliable data I decided to extrapolate on a few facts to devise his whereabouts. I knew that he scored some films, and I knew that a lot of musicians lived in Los Angeles. Armed with this information and shooting purely from the hip I guessed that if he was making movie scores he had to own a business and that business probably had  a nod to Devo in its name. It turns out my instincts were spot on because on my first shot in the dark, asking directory assistance for “Mutant Music” in L.A. the operator gave me the number for Mutato Music, Mothersbaughs  soundtrack company.

The operator connected me, I asked for his office and was immediately connected with the lead singer of my favorite group of my childhood.

“Hi, I’m sorry to bother you at work but I am big Devo fan and I just wanted to talk to you for a minute” I started, probably far less smoothly than I remember now.

“Oh fuck. Why do all these fans keep bothering me lately!?” the voice on the other end of the line asked accusingly. I really wasn’t qualified to surmise a hypothesis on why a recent surge in annoying fans had been trending for him, I could only speak as to why this particular, annoying fan had decided to bother him lately.

“Uhm, I just wanted to ask you a few questions…” I sort of trailed off as a few more profanities and lamentations on being bothered at work made their way across the line.

“Fine, just don’t say anything that’s going to make me want to change my number. Don’t make me regret talking to YOU”

The ensuing conversation would be best classified as tense, condescending and curt. Although I was granted an audience it was extraordinarily terse and I hung up feeling like the worlds biggest, most intrusive asshole.

Now, before I continue let me say that I am sure a litany of factors could have contributed to this rather unsavory interaction. First off, if he had been experiencing a rash of rabid, obnoxious fans bothering him as he tried to go about his day I am sure yet another one was the last thing he needed. If I met him at an art gallery showing I am sure things could have been much better. I was a teenager so my etiquette was outweighed by my excited of having ferretted out his personal information and initiating contact. So my lack of decorum and a likely slew of other bad fan interactions probably played a big role here and is no way indicative of him as a person and I wouldn’t presume to know what he’s really like based on one single interaction.

I did, however, walk away with a few very good revelations:

  1. Just because you interpret a meaning from a work of art that personally resonates for you does not mean that’s what the artist was feeling or intended. Part of what makes art magic, unlike many other human endeavors, is that it’s open to interpretation that makes it more accessible to a wider array of people. You can’t look at the Golden Gate Bridge and go “You know, to me I think that’s a rocket ship” because, no motherfucker, that’s a bridge you dense fuck. You can, however, listen to a song by The Cure and remain reasonably (if erroneously) assured that it’s written about your ex.

It’s great because you can feel any way you want listening to a song, watching a movie or taking in a painting, but remember that the meaning you’re parsing is not always  what the creator meant to convey.

  1. Processing someone else’s art in no way gives you any indication of who they are as a person. I’ve met inspirational figures that were as rotten, bitter and mean as they come and I’ve met writers who produce angry, ranting, hate filled works who in reality were great people and actually really nice. Art is, in many ways, a byproduct. Art is not, contrary to popular opinion, magnanimous creation, it is in fact usually selfish, emotional excrement.

    I don’t mean that in a dickesh way, I mean it at face value. Art isn’t usually something the artist makes because they are loving, giving souls who want to brighten the world, it’s usually something we make because we have demons to exorcise, hate, anger, hurt and despair to let out. It’s emotional excrement. The byproduct waste that must come out of an artist lest they keep it all in and fucking explode.

Artists usually make art because they have to let some things out. If those things resonate with other human beings, make other people feel good or at the very least, give them something to identify with, that’s great but it’s not really always about that, it’s usually more about the artist and any subsequent benefits to humanity are a purely unintentional side effect.

That being said, it was pretty hard to listen to and enjoy Devo for a while after that. I realized that the things I heard in their music were likely more reflections of what I wanted to hear because they were how I felt but in no way reflected that of the artist. I also had a hard time rocking out to music with the knowledge that the lead singer was kind of a jerk to me.

A while later I recalled a sitcom I watched when I was younger where a dad brings his kid to a country singers concert and they make their way backstage with the help of a bouncer who introduces him to the singer. They meet him, he’s wonderful and they leave but the kid realizes he left something in the dressing room, runs back to get it and walks in on the singer absolutely berating the bouncer, insulting him and giving him a ream of shit over letting a fan backstage.

Of course the kid is crestfallen. The conclusion at the end of the show was the father telling the kid, basically “You liked his music before you knew he was a jerk, and yeah he might be one, but he sure can write one great song can’t he?” they agree and continue listening to the music.

Is this a shitty lesson? I don’t think it is.

There’s a pervasive opinion that people who contribute to the world in any way are also responsible to be morally sound, fantastic, upstanding people without fault, that a singer, politician, inventor or visionary must also be the type of person you’d want to be best friends with. We want to see people who do great things also as great people and when evidence surfaces that they are anything less than the epitome of human excellence we start to discount their contributions as worthless because they’ve somehow failed us.

They have not, it our perception that is in fact flawed. People who contribute to the world, be it a song, movie, book, invention, etc never signed up to be great people. The patent office and record studios don’t have a space on the form where you have to provide character references for a reason. Contributors aren’t liable for anything but their contributions. If they’re also great people, fucking awesome, but they aren’t required to be and when they are not it doesn’t in any way change the value of what they made.

The world is full of fantastic people who haven’t done anything to enrich humanity. The worlds also full of fucking jerks who haven’t done anything to enrich it either. If a nice person moves the race forward with something they did, great. If a really sucky dickwad contributes greatly, hey, at least it’s better than just being an asshole who didn’t bring anything to the table at all.

Winston Churchill was infamously drunk, a late sleeper and many other allegations on his character exist but he also put a boot up Hitlers ass so far the Fuhrer could have flossed his teeth with Churhills shoelaces. Do we exclude him from history because he wasn’t perfect? Hell no, we celebrate his greatness and what it means to the world.

When it comes to the great contributors to the human race it’s not who they were, it’s what they represent. Thomas Edison was an asshole, there are volumes of evidence supporting this claim but you know what? As big of a dick as he was, he represents the ideal of creative invention to generations of people.  Decades after his death he continues to inspire people to pick up books, learn and create. Yeah, he was rotten but rotten food makes the compost that grows new and beautiful food.

People work miracles in our world but the greatest miracles are never performed by saints, they’re performed by imperfect, flawed and in many cases, despicable humans.

 

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Why we need to hold off on Star Trek technology for a while

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We should put a hold on all new technology for the next 20 years or until people learn to appreciate the technology we already have. You realize that we have shit they made up in Star Trek, right now…RIGHT FUCKING NOW we have things that were a big deal on the starship Enterprise and people just bitch about them.

We have communicators…FUCKING COMMUNICATORS! They flip up just like the 60’s ones AND are more compact and as an added bonus contain Tripod capabilities, advising of dangerous atmospheric conditions, local geography, they even fucking scan and give us porn as an added bonus. You never heard anyone on Star Trek go “Fucking piece of shit communicator, it won’t download this damned app fast enough! Fucking Gene Roddenberry!”

We have computers…that TALK TO US! We finally got to the point where you can ask a computer, or Google to be exact, ANYTHING AT ALL and it will be like “Whatever bra, here’s your Japanese puke porn where the guy shoots puke up the girls butt and she sprays it across the room like a poop water rocket!” and it doesn’t judge you. Did you EVER even see the computers on Trek deliver that kind of results? NO! Yet all we do is complain that the video is buffering too long and not showing us the Japanese butt puke cannon fast enough. What’s wrong with you people?*

If we could just start appreciating the amazing things we have for a while that would be awesome because I really, really want to enjoy it when transporter technology happens and not have it ruined by consumers complaining that they aren’t able to take duck face pictures or write reviews on Yelp while it’s turning their body into pure energy and transmitting it to neighboring planets, because you know that will happen.

*Yes, that porn does actually exist, it is to say the least, impressive.

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