Monday, July 21, 2014

A Better Country Song

It seems almost cliche to say that modern country music is an incestuous cesspool of derivation, regurgitating the same concepts and themes of successful forebearers. 

Not to be condescending, but Toby Keith is literally preying
upon people by exploiting puerile iconography. Image source
The men all seem to have been weened on Jimmy Buffet and are fighting to become his heir, while the women seem to have all been "done wrong" and are playing out some revenge fantasy.

Aggrandizing drinking, eschewing sleeves, organizing super-white synchronized dances, murder (because you're such an "outlaw" in your $300 pair of bedazzled boots), partying, disregard for generalized humanity, emphasis on selfish pursuits, and generalized inappropriate behavior have become constantly rehashed tropes. It's almost like they've discovered a formula they can use to dupe countrified folksy folk out of their money.

Reinforcing socially irresponsible behavior shouldn't be the norm. Songwriters ought to create catchy tunes that will inspire--for lack of a better term--hillbilly dipsh*ts to aspire to something better, a way of life that benefits their community and themselves. Hence, I give you my take on a Country song to make the world a better place:

Now drinking almond milk on a Saturday
Vacuuming without delay
Making sure my kids put their toys away
Representin' equal rights 'cause we're okay with gay.

We respect cleanliness
Are empathetic of others happiness
But worry about the mental healthiness
Of people who think they're blessed.

(Brief guitar breakdown complimented with moderate fiddle work followed by chorus with plenty of echo)

It's important to have class
That's why I put my beer in a glass
Ain't no one I would harass
'Cause we're about playful sass.

(End Chorus)

I put some money away
In my 401K
Down with oral 'cause I'm a generous lay
Respectin' accomplishments of Dr. Dre

In a pressed khaki with my shirt tucked in
I put all aluminum cans in the recyclin' bin
Playin' croquette for the win
But I don't gloat on account a that bein' a sin.

Respect blue collars but I bleach mine white
Don't mistake that for racial spite
Only dumb people cause a fight
The global community to me is pretty alright.

(A little slide guitar twang followed by a banjo solo, then chorus)

It's important to have class
That's why I put my beer in a glass
Ain't never called no one a piece a ass
Understandin' the relationship of velocity and maaaaaaassss...
Best make sure you're well-rounded and uh, enjoy smokin' that grass!

Actual country musicians didn't need to overcompensate.
(Major fiddle breakdown where guys in flannel playing rhythm guitar go back to back and nod vigorously over each other's shoulders regarding how awesomely they are shredding. Maybe some visuals about chubby dudes cannonballing the swimmin' hole. And I take my attache case full of cash off screen into a Crate and Barrel.)

The references to beer and weed alone should net the few remaining record companies a couple of million. But hey, if you don't want to save the music industry, go ahead and ignore the holy grail of Country songs. No, no, I'm not Garth Brooks, it's flattering you would draw that comparison, though.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Only Anti-Drug PSA You'll Ever Need

As part of the War on Drugs, I wanted to enlist and do my part, telling kids why they shouldn't do drugs. No, of course this has nothing to do with any sort of court ordered public service, how dare you accuse me of...Uh, I mean, why do you ask?
I know bears riding horses seems cool, and it is, but it
doesn't really have anything to do with drugs.

So put your kids in front of the computer and let me do all the work of teaching your kids about the dangers of illicit substances. 

Watch out kids! There's a drug behind you! No, really, look behind you, there's probably a drug. Is your mommy or daddy drinking coffee? They're drug addicts. Caffeine is a drug, the anti-depressants they've been popping like delicious candy ever since you were born, also a drug. The whiskey they used to rub on your gums when you were teething, also a drug. When your Uncle Roger comes over and he seems really tired and hungry and laughs at everything? He's probably also on a drug. Your teachers, they are on drugs.

And you don't want to be like those dumb adults, do you? Can you imagine? Being like your lame parents? Don't make me LOL. (See, kids, you can trust me, I'm cool. I saw The Aquabats back in the 90's. Uh oh, I lost you, didn't I?) No one wants to be like their parents because parents suck, so don't be like your parents, stay away from drugs. 
Maybe just say "yes to taco" singular, lil' guy.
The worst part? Your parents are feeding you drugs at a shocking frequency, just because they tell you that you're sick. Can you believe that!?! Trust me, I wouldn't lie to you. Since when has an internet weirdo lied to you? You know who lies to you, your parents. They lied for years, and are probably still lying about magical beings who deliver presents, money, and candy. So you know I'm telling you the truth when I say that your parents are giving you drugs. 
See? Internet weirdos always tell the truth.

When you get headaches, they probably give you drugs. When you have the sniffles, boom, drugs. Not paying attention in school? Get ready to have a funnel stuffed into your sass-mouth and drugs poured down your attention-deficited throat.

You don't have to "just say 'no,'" you have to remain ever-vigilant against the forces of adulthood! 

Okay, now give the computer back to your parents. 

Hey, parents, aren't drugs great? We can't let these kids know about all the kick-ass drugs, diminishing the supply of good drugs. Screw those dumb kids, let's keep all the drugs for ourselves, right?!? Keep kids off drugs so we can have all the good drugs for us. (Nancy Reagan would give me a rusty trombone if she read that powerful message.)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Clean Talk

Sex is great (Hi, Mom, I know you're reading) for some. but aside from my own personal body shame, I have sensitive ears which make naked slappy time unpalatable. I am an upstanding member of my community, and I can't risk the things said in the throws of passion to permeate the thin walls of my home to dance upon the eardrums of nosy neighbors, damaging my reputation amongst the general populace. All of these vulgar terms for genitalia, the blasphemy, and the garbled onomatopoeia can be offensive when taken out of context. Which is why I would like to urge people to take the "dirty" out of "dirty talk". 

It doesn't have to ruin your flesh-mashing good times. Things can still remain sexy without the overt crudity. We just need to rewire our brain to find "clean talk" as erotic as using "naughty" words. 

Nothing is more vulgar than Donald Trump.
"I find your physical appearance gratifying to my ocular processes. It would be a distinct pleasure to have you disrobe in my presence and copulate with me. Should you be inclined, through mental or physical stimulation, do please send a torrent of blood to create pressure on the corpora cavernosa, elevating it to rigidity. Then bring that reproductive intromittent organ over to me and thrust vigorously into my vestibule."

"This copulation is very pleasurable to me. Would I be a bit drunker, I wouldst ask that you orally lubricate my distal orifice of the alimentary canal before potentially and likely unsuccessfully attempt to penetrate said orifice with a digit or your engorged flesh syringe, but please do recall that I too would enjoy mutual stimulation and, in concert with you, enjoy the act."

"Oh my unspecified deity, this gracious act is remarkably agreeable to my countenance. Oh, person whom I shall refer to as the Spanish term for a parental figure, you are providing an unparalleled journey through gratification. I would appreciate discharging my viscous gland secretion upon your luscious mammaries."
See? Clean talk can be just as erotically charged as using...Who am I kidding. The point was to show that words aren't vulgar, their usage is.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Strain on Our Most Precious Resources

There has been an outbreak of celebrity pregnancies. It seems like a baby plague is ravaging Hollywood. If you've even been a contestant on X-Factor or walked through the background of a YouTube video, get yourself tested for a baby infection. You too, gentlemen, 'cause everybody's gettin' pregnant up in here. 
Remember the good old days when celebrities would travel the world, snatching up already produced babies like collectible shot glasses? Now celebrities are getting pregnant like commoners, yuck. They might be having coupled, non-group consensual sex, ewwwwww. The only saving grace is that those are probably unplanned babies, thank god, otherwise, I'd be afraid PBS had fully taken over Tinsel Town like some sort of puritanical insurgent (it would be the cutest insurgency if suddenly Grover and Snuffleupagus suicide bombed HBO...that is not an endorsement of such a thing, please don't, Grover).
Image source
These celebrities don't know what they're doing, though. This is reckless behavior, not just for them and their Molly-popping lifestyle, but in terms of their eco-system. All of these new celebrity babies are over-populating the entertainment industry. This boom of new celebribabies are going to be a drain on our already-strained, most precious natural resource: fame. 
That's Mr. Peanut over there, he forgot his monocle.

When there were only a handful of networks and cable outlets the celebrity population was at a healthy growth that matched the media landscape and when it became too much of a stretch on the industry, the Illuminati would send Phil Spector or Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken to free up some space for some child actor. But then, along came the internet which disrupted the balance and a vacuum arose. Desperate to fill that vacuum with their own legacies, celebrities have started to try and fill the hole with their own litters. 

Unfortunately for them, while they were waiting for their novelty-spawn to gestate in their silken wombs, the rabble are absorbing the attention meant for our anointed. By the time the sacred celebribabies are old enough to ascend to the throne, agencies and audition rooms and casting agencies will be some sort of apocalyptic hell-scape with lesser-humans dueling to see who shall ascend to occupy the fragmented envy-and-admiration places of our collective hive-minds. 
This is my new favorite statue. It's in Norway. I now have a new
dream travel destination. Fight them babies!

What kind of world is awaiting these unfortunately-named, human celebrity accessories? Is this a natural escalation from the trend of purse-dogs and in a few years we'll be faced with roving packs of overly-privileged infants whose parents lost interest after a few nanny's quit? Will we have to have game show hosts reminding us, the general populace, to have our celebrities spayed and neutered to curb the rampant celebrispawning? 

Tis a brave new world through which we wade, my fellow commoners. Maybe Julian Lennon is the only one who can help us transition this new crop of diluted talent into natural lives of obscurity, not based on attention.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vi Estas Merdo Kapon, Dio

Tonight I was in the middle of writing a hilarious post about awkward sex talk (hi Mom), and paused to go to a rally for a seven-year-old child with a brain tumor that will murder him just by growing and following its nature, and so it felt gross to return to making jokes about absurd adult squishy situations.

He is going to die. There is no potential for recovery.

It's the saddest thing I can imagine, having to watch in frustration as you or your child slowly withers to debilitation and dies. Sorry to put that in your brain. But when you're confronted with unfathomable circumstances that push you down the steep, slippery slopes of depression into an inescapable chasm of despondency, the only logical response is to drag others into your ball-pit of sadness.

The rally was beautiful, an entire community gathering to give him a special moment of positivity to help define his life. I don't know the family or the child or his friends or family friends, and I'm not self-aggrandizing enough to think may participation meant anything. But there's a universal frustration over an uncontrollable injustice and profound sadness of an all-to-soon death with which we can all sympathize and empathize.

Who knows what happens after death. I hope this child, who has lost the use of his legs and is going blind in one eye because an inoperable tumor is swelling and crushing his brain, gets the chance to see a Heaven, saunter up to the gates, demand to see whatever God fits his belief system, and gets to ask, "Kion diable?" Because I assume they've all adopted the universal language of Esperanto in Heaven, (Google Translate has an Esperanto translation option in case you're not William Shatner, the star of the only all-Esperanto language movie, Incubus.) And either get a satisfactory answer, or karate chop that deity in its "mysterious ways" if there's some vague, ephemeral answer.

Hopefully, there's a reason for all of us, some deity waiting to explain the divine providence behind things like premature, agonizing death, or at least some sort of justice. Otherwise, "Vi estas merdo kapon, Dio."

Monday, July 7, 2014

Be a Human Thesaurus

The most frequent question when you meet someone and there's a lull in conversation is, "What do you do?"
Even adrift in space, alone, as a skeleton no meat
on those bones, it's not too late to breath fire on a
torch to help others see you in the darkness of space.
Image by the great artist Donathon Crew

People take that to mean "what pays for your lifestyle?" Or, "What do you do for a steady paycheck that will hopefully allow me to judge you in a way that makes me feel better about my menial cubicled existence?" But there are plenty of things that the collective "we" do outside of the narrow definition of a drunken party-goer.

This weekend alone, I was a landscape artist, unwitting exhibitionist, cook, bartender, pharmacist, critic, juggler, inadvertent perpetrator of avicide, sub-amateur botanist, chauffeur, sex object/deluded narcissist, personal stylist, maid, and of course a wino.

People who are self-defined by one characteristic are suspect. If you meet someone and, if before you can burp a question in this person's general direction, that person aggressively forces you to confront their one, self-defined characteristic, that person is probably going to be annoying. "Hi, I'm Phil, I'm an anti-Gluten activist and will bring every conversation back to that." Yuck.
Image Source
I knew someone who grew a big bushy beard and dressed in ironic t-shirts and called himself a "street artist." Instead, he was reduced to a dismissible stereotype, a hipster, because his entire personality was wrapped up in this image he was trying to project.

We are, each of us, a human thesaurus. (Oh, that's good, I should make that into some poster using religious symbols to spell the words.) 

Okay, maybe that baby is more than just a baby.
Granted, this hypothesis of mine doesn't work everywhere. "What are you in for?" "Is that all I am to you, a number defined by one flippant act of delinquency? Maybe this is my third strike, did you ever think of that? Maybe I needed more structure in my life and am here voluntarily." Yeah, doesn't quite work in prison, but hopefully you're not a prisoner. Or babies. Babies are pretty much defined by being a baby.

Maybe I am the person who farted in the elevator and stood facing the back wall so I didn't have to face the disapproving looks of fellow passengers. So what? Can't I also be the person who just donated bone marrow to the 10 year-old cancer patient? Yeah, feel bad, don't you? Well, no, I didn't donate bone marrow, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't have. I am more than the elevator farter!
Image Source
There's a world of things you and I could be outside of the confining pens of labels, if only we'd allow our brains to reconcile more than one thing at a time.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Give Me Freedom or Give Me Pickles

Today in the United States of America is the celebration of Independence Day. The day where the US declared its independence and eventually achieved that independence thanks to a proxy war between England and France (Not because Washington was a master strategist, it was because England and France hated each other more than Russians hate happiness).

Yes, let's recognize the sacrifice made by (racist/sexist) visionaries, but don't ignore the idiocy of patriotism. "I LOVE MY COUNTRY." That's meaningless. You might as well be saying, "my government is better than your government." And what's the government approval rating in the US? So essentially patriotism is a willingness to blindly ignore horrific things that were done and are being done under your flag in lieu of feeling special because of a happenstance of birth. An accident of geography means you're better than someone born in a different longitude? There's no inherent greatness based on your citizenship. Go to a Walmart to see that truth.
You know how I know that patriotism is stupid? The music sucks. That simple. John Philip Sousa is annoying at best, that marching band hack. No one buys a Sousa album and blasts it in their car. It's the same reason I don't go to church anymore.

You, on the left, you couldn't find American
flag socks? And you, on the right, no American
flag hat? Must be Communists.
I dare anyone to be patriotic this coming Tuesday at 3AM when your fellow countryman lights off a leftover super loud firecracker on your street.

I'm not against the US either. A lot of good things and people and landscape and ideas are made there. I just don't like when people wrap their identity in something to the point where they can't accept criticism about that thing. 

Tribalism is a plague that needs to be eradicated.

That said, nothing would make me happier than to be a spokesperson for Patriot Pickle, the "All American Pickle." Didn't know that pickles could be flag-waving nationalists, did you? Well, Patriot Pickle, fine purveyors of pickles to the food service industry, knows that if you're going to suck down a pickle, it better be an all American pickle. "Taste the xenophobia, Patriot Pickle." Or, how about, "We put the green in the red, white and blue, Patriot Pickle." 

Come on, Patriot Pickle, this is literally the most thought anyone has put into your product since you rocked the industry by introducing Red Hot Pickles. Let's swim in the brine together. 

Some people spend their day off work going to the beach, playing frisbee golf, having picnics, partying, wrestling bears, or whatever it is normal people do to recreate, but me, I badger wholesale picklers into minor sponsorships or sending me just one bucket of Kosher pickles (c'mon, Patriot Pickle, I will never shut up about your product if you hook me up with a small bucket of pickles., hit me up.)