Monday, February 23, 2009

Kermit THE Bigot

As some of you may know, Sports Quiz was at one time a radio show that was held weekly on the family friendly 99.5 FM WUSR radio station. In this time of peace and prosperity, a cultural favorite was brought on the show as a guest. A Mr. Kermit THE Frog. We, the SQR staff, were delighted to have such a lovable and celebrated icon join us on our program. We danced jigs, played lutes and even engaged in the spanking of the wench around the town square. Our ecstasy was soon halted once Mr. Frog was given the opportunity to speak to the world. He came into our studio seemingly joyful, but something seemed...well a bit off. His presence brought with it the subtle scent of Wild Turkey. He habitually kept on sniffing and scratching his nose, even bleeding slightly from his left nostril at one point. What appeared to be track marks plagued his arms. This...ladies and germs...was Kermit THE Mess. He immediately lit a fat joint upon entering the studio space, and greeted us with the words, "Hey fuckers. I'm the fuckin' frog. It's not easy bein green and all that shit. Thanks for havin' my shitty ass." In our child-like wonder we could not accept such a horrid truth this said moment, so we went with it, making excuses to ourselves as to how and why this lovable character could fall. Directing him to a seat in front of the mixing console, we kept ginger and wide-eyed in the presence of our guest. Upon introducing him after our commerical break, he immediately vomited on himself...and began to laugh about it, not even bothering to clean himself. This is where everything turned ugly. Real ugly. Kermit decided he was going to rant on and on about poison of any race that isn't white. Even presented us with some sound clips from an episode on the Muppet Show where he degraded Rowlf the dog and Ben Vereen for being African American. He even played archival audio of himself reporting from the 1992 LA Riots, in which he made yet another horrendously charged racial slur.

After a few more devastating suprises, and much throwing of fecal material on Kermits part, we ended our time with the Frog and escorted him out of the studio. With heavy hearts, we eventually accepted the sad truth about our dear friend Kermit. The pressures of show biz surely got to him. And from then on, we spoke not a whisper of his name again, although I personally spent many nights sobbing hysterically in the shower. As for how Tyler and Canada handled the rape of their childhood memory, I do not know.

Years past with no word or sign of life from Kermit THE Terrible. The painful memories of that night began to fade, and life moved on...

Until a few nights ago...

I was watching everyone's favorite show about the american household, "Family Guy." Suddenly in a cut sequence, which the show is know for, Kermit is polishing a rifle in the swamp. Along comes a black man in a small boat, asking which way town is. Kermit points the rifle at him and says, "back the way you came."

Seems Kermit is still overcome by his amphibious bigotry. Unfortunatly now, he's being paid to display it on cable television.

Pisses me off, because someone probably heard him on our show, and decided to make a buck off of it. I'm going to go cry in my shower now.

Canada Jackson's Doctoral Challenge Vol. 1

Recently I have been engaged in a pitched battle with what one might consider fate, or destiny, or the cruel and childlike whims of whatever deity might eventually send me to Hell--I have been applying to doctoral programs in the mysterious realm of "philosophy."

Little did I know, however, that for some reason philosophy programs are absurdly competitive. For instance, I saw information online showing that it is statistically more difficult to get accepted into the Harvard philosophy program than it is to get into Harvard law or Harvard medical. We could wonder for days as to why this is the case, but the answer we would eventually come to is that 84% of all philosophers are dicks who don't want to share their toys.

And so with great darkness and woe weighing heavy in my heart, I began the application process. As anyone who has been in my shoes knows, the application process is designed to be awful: time and money consuming on a grand scale, most likely to keep out the shabby mobs of poor people and negroes that are constantly banging on the gates of higher learning. The application process is the boiling oil that is doused upon the unwashed masses from the parapets, and as a person belonging to the general category that includes "poor people and negroes" I was very concerned.

It started with the GRE, which stands for Mostly Useless Test Which Measures Nothing Save Your Ability To Purchase GRE Preparatory Materials and Classes. Somehow, through reverse mishap, I managed to do well. This caused what the Greeks call "hubris."

"I am the paragon of book-learnin'," I thought. "I will have my doctorate before tomorrow noon."

But, lo, does calamity accompany me always. Not long after I began the application process did my trusty computer--bearing my only digital copy of my complete undergraduate thesis--decide to pack up its belongings, don its traveling hat, and limp off to the great central processor in the sky. Furthermore, upon discussions with a few of my old professors, all of the schools I had started applications for weren't really what I should be looking for--in other words, not only would I not get in, but I probably wouldn't find anyone there to help me with the things I'm interested in. So there I was: late in the game, with no helpful technology and starting over again.

Also, this was getting close to Christmas, and I work in retail. Add "working constantly" to that list.

I settled on five schools:
Duquesne in Pittsburgh, Marquette in Milwaukee, Boston College in...Boston, Loyola University in Chicago, and Notre Dame. Only one of which I had previously sent my GRE scores to. So here we have 80 more dollars to send the scores to these places, plus application fees, plus the original fee for taking the GRE, plus the cost of mailing the material so it gets where it has to go on time, and sorry, kids, Christmas is canceled this year.

Today, Loyola let me down easy with a polite little letter telling me I might as well have spent my money on Fabergé eggs and cocaine, and my time on training my dog to burp on command. But all is well, for Chicago is cold and full of gangsters, and I would most likely end up sleeping in a bus station carrying more knives than usual in order to fend off homeless sodomites. All wearing fedoras!

(I admit that most of my knowledge of Chicago has come from various confused stereotypes and possibly dreams I've had.)

And so, children, we regretfully cross Loyola off the list of places I may fail out of in the future. My best guess is that either 1) they read my re-typed thesis, which is the profane ravings of a madman bent on telling Plato to fuck himself in fifty pages, or 2) they somehow traced me back to this blog, and summarily submitted my name to the Hague to be investigated for crimes against humanity.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't tell Mr. Reeve this one

This past Friday in school the class had a Valentine's Day celebration during the last period of the day. This celebration, as it seems common now, was over the top. Classroom mothers came in with enough food to feed triple the amount of kids in the class, a craft was made, valentines' exchanged, and of course "A Charlie Brown's Valentine" was watched. During all of this one of the students had asked me to tell her a riddle. It had seemingly become a custom for me to tell the students riddles during lunch or other free times. They would attempt to solve them, often giving up and asking me for the answer. When C asked me for a riddle I quickly rattled my brain for one that she had not heard and decided to tell her a modified version of a classic. The original riddle goes like this, "what has four legs, but cannot walk?" The answer being a table or a chair. I decided to change the riddle to, "what has two legs, but cannot walk?" Looking for the answer "a statue."

I told her the riddle and i saw her start running it through her mind. She quickly gave up, but before asking for the answer turned to her friend S to tell her. When S heard the riddle she paused for a moment and turned to me and said without missing a beat answered "a paralyzed person." This was not the answer I was looking for, but she is none the less correct.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Books: You're doing it wrong.

This is why I hate my job:

A few days ago I was yelled at by a customer. I was yelled at by a fully grown adult man because my store did not have Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Adventure Number 3. Please let this be for your children, I thought. But no: "I read Number 1 and Number 2 and now I want to read Number 3," he said, as if he could read my mind.

Sweet and merciful Jesus, you grown-ass man, have you no concept of shame? I swear, upon everything that may be considered by any to be holy, that when I am finally elected Emperor of these United States I will make it so grown-ass people who are unable to hide their Pokemon Adventure whatevers like particularly unsettling pornography will have to go door-to-door like sex offenders and pronounce to all and everyone that they are shameless deviants who should be kept away from children and easily lured pets. "Feed them to the bears!" cries Jackson the First, "Feed them to the bears!"

(There will be a bear pit.)

The gall it takes to harass another human being over something that should be carried home in a small paper bag and hidden under a floorboard, knowing that should it be discovered you would have to hang yourself from the rafters with a hastily scrawled note to loved ones saying "Oh God I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm so sorry"! "Monster does the world a favor," reads the obituary.

Now, I do not in any way advocate the taking of one's own life. But, if you are legally an adult with all of your faculties intact, and you get snippy with The Help because they do not have your colorful Japanese dog-fighting-for-children comic book, you should immediately attempt to end yourself. But if you failed so terribly at life you will probably fail at death, too. So ask your mom to do it.

Full disclosure: I recently bought a graphic novel (the third League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), but that has tits in it so there's a difference. Plus there's obscure literary references and off-color jokes about Shakespeare. But it's mostly tits.

Full disclosure: if there were tits in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Adventure Number 3 I would immediately resign and retire to my hidden compound at Owl Creek, never to engage society again. But, seeing as we are dealing with Japanland, children+tits+flashing lights=Saturday morning, so gas up my generator and clean my guns, friends.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Yes, No, Maybe

Fourth grade is a rough time for both boys and girls. This generally is the time you become aware of the opposite sex. Cooties are still a life threatening disease comparable to AIDS, but the prospect of not getting a valentine from that certain someone can be devastating. So it is that in fourth grade teachers begin to intercept notes sent between boys and girls in an attempt to swoon the other. Today I found myself in possession of just such a note sent from G to M. No spelling or grammar in the note has been corrected and is being presented in its original format.

"Dear M, I like you alot. So I wrote you a poem. roses are red, Violets are blue, not even the sun is as hott as you. love G."

Nothing like a new take on a classic. I hope the best to G and M in the future.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Asshole Taxonomy presents: "The Neo Nerd."

I have bemoaned, here and elsewhere, that while the Internet is a wonderful invention in terms of its capacity for expanding freedom of expression and thought—and possibly democracy itself—it is also killing us all, dammit. While there is a certain charm in the idea that any dribbling hill person can have an Internet Web Log in which to stammer out the innermost machinations of his or her brain (long Swiss-cheese’d by a combination of Creutzfeldt-Jakob and turpentine cocktails), the Internet is fraught with the same perils of all cultural expansions. Not only does it open up an unprepared West for all the horrid perversions of the Orient, it also allows groups formerly relegated to the outskirts of acceptability and decency a place to congregate, confabulate, and masturbate.

It in this unforeseen capacity that the Internet is mostly responsible for this post’s Asshole: The Neo-Nerd.

“But Jackson!” you might say, as you typically do whenever I need this construction, “Cannot you, yourself, be classified as a nerd? Do you not enjoy an occasional science fiction romp? Are you not highly critical of the new Transformers movie due to your not-so-secret homorobotic crush on Optimus Prime? Do you not wear glasses and work in a book store and contribute to an Internet Web Log that regularly references such things as the Technodrome?” And, after hissing and shushing you because of the possible presence of ladies, I would admit it as so. And yet, while I may be a considerable nerd I am not—and as God as my witness will never be—a Neo-Nerd.

And what, pray tell, is the difference? What makes a nerd fit to walk upright among men while the Neo-Nerd, in a just and sensible society, would be banished to the sewers, forever to feast upon the refuse of the society that shunned it? Allow me first to properly secure my ranting hat.

Nerdiness has become an acceptable part of society. Everything from calculator watches to quoting Star Wars has become a-OK. Comic book movies are blockbusters and nominated for Academy Awards. Lost has made science fiction palatable. But there is always balance in the universe—and as such, some nerds were pushed into a dark wasteland opened up by once-beautiful openness of the Internet. Suddenly there is someone who does want to read your stories about Captain Kirk giving it to Obi Wan Kenobi. Suddenly there is someone who does want to argue with you about why it’s “Elvish” and not “Elfish.” Suddenly there is someone who also likes to dress up like a wolf and…do whatever Furries do. I assume rub each other and howl or something.

There is a Never Never Land, children, and good Lord in Heaven is it eye-meltingly horrible. Peter Pan doesn’t fight pirates and live in a kick-ass tree-house here, kids. Instead he insists he’s a vampire and can’t hold down a job to pay for his microwave burritos. Anyone who claims that it’s a virtue to remain a child at heart hasn’t seen the real world outcome: two physically mature sub-humans dressed as raccoons humping each other.

But, honestly, as long as they stay in their cold, dark corner of the Internet, I have no beef with the Neo-Nerd. If they stayed on their fan fiction and sword-collecting websites, all would be well. But, being completely unaware of their status as most undesirable, they occasionally venture out into the real world; their skin ghostly white, their sweatpants stained with long streaks of cheeto dust, hair greasy from an apparent abandonment of all tenets of personal hygiene, brains confused by light and three dimensions, compounded by their inability to separate themselves (worthless on virtually all measurable levels) from their MMORPG avatar (ninth level paladin dragon-slaying troll-bashing he-man love-machine). Whereas the Fattie is deluded enough to think that they can do magic, the Neo-Nerd is deluded enough to have a baffling amount of confidence.

You have probably encountered the Neo-Nerd if you are nerdy enough to read and understand SQR. He is the guy who will call you a “fag” even though he himself has never and will never know the love of a woman. He is the guy who will cite his skills at Halo as if they are really worth something beyond the typically advanced eye-hand coordination of the hourly masturbator. If you are stupid enough to engage the Neo-Nerd, he will spend the entire conversation criticizing you and everything you like or enjoy, even though later he will have to call his mother for a ride home. Basically, the Neo-Nerd’s mind and perception is so twisted by lack of reality that they believe their social inadequacies and unacceptability are actually benefits. Like all Assholes, the Neo-Nerd simply, and bafflingly erroneously, believes that they are better than you. Yes, you.

The Neo-Nerd is also incredibly skilled at the art of what we have previously termed conversation rape. Whereas the Fattie was maybe an apprentice-level conversation rapist, the Neo-Nerd will leave you in the shower, fully clothed and in the fetal position, sobbing and knowing that you will never be clean. There is one particular Neo-Nerd who stalks [Demarcations], whom the staff calls [Fat Bitch]. My latest encounter with [Fat Bitch] was when I was tasked with alphabetizing the science fiction series. I was working on our largest series, Forgotten Realms—which, as far as I can tell, is about long-haired people fighting abominable snowmen with crossbows. Because I was touching these books, [Fat Bitch] must have assumed I read them and would also like to talk about them even though I was clearly at work and too polite to put steel-toe to testicles. He stood over me for about ten or fifteen minutes, vomiting endlessly upon me his opinions on things with too many apostrophes and consonants to ever be pronounceable by anyone without a brain disease. Eventually I stopped even my stock of non-response responses (“uh huh”, “right”, “sure”, “K’frrd’nch does sound like a nice place to raise a half-elf”, etc.), hoping that he would get the subtle message that I hated him and wanted him to die. Just when I was about to open my jugular with my pen two more people walked into the section and [Fat Bitch] smelled fresh meat. I finished my section feeling like a helpless coward, not strong enough to protect those poor, innocent people from an hour-long conversation about which guild is the best in a place that is not real.

And so, friends, heed my warning! Should ye be approached by anyone wearing ankle-cuffed sweatpants who is not (A) in the immediate vicinity of a gym, (B) over the age of sixty-five, or (C) asleep, run! Run for the nearest and brightest source of light that is not a Best Buy or an establishment that regularly sells Hot Pockets! God forbid, if one should bite or scratch you, immediately wash the wound with soap, water, and the highest proof whiskey you can find, then fill your pockets with stones and walk into the nearest river or lake.

Remarkably, through this piecemeal taxonomy of individual species, we are quickly approaching a general rubric for Assholes. So far we seem to have two rules down:
1) Whereas the individual has a complete disconnect from reality (e.g. believing in magic, thinking that his or her Xbox Live gamerscore is comparable to carpentry or masonry or being actually able to do anything and be paid money for it).
2) Whereas the individual has a baseless claim of superiority (e.g. a lot of people reading their Smurfs fanfiction, having seen a boob once in Warcraft).

Be sure to tune in next time for more Asshole Taxonomy. Or other stuff. Or maybe I’ll go another two weeks without posting.