Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to keep your political enemies even closer

All of us are constantly looking for ways to estrange our friends and family, but sometimes it seems like an uphill battle.

It can take years to make all of them upset with you and even longer to make them too angry to ever speak with you again, in preparation of winning the Powerball.

But with the advent of the Internet, it's possible to enrage perfect strangers and your loved ones, often dozens and even hundreds at a time.

Sound too good to be true? Nope.

Thanks to free sites like Facebook and Twitter, it takes literally just one beer too many to post something so offensive that it can even get you fired from your AFLAC duck voice job... or get you, your underwear pic and unfortunate last name all kicked out Congress.

 This guy goes together with the Internet as perfectly as peanut butter and cigarettes.

But what if you are picture-shy, have a normal voice and aren't looking to necessarily get fired just yet?

This is where most people forget one of the most unchanging and powerful truths of all time:

Whatever you believe about politics and religion is right and everyone else is wrong.

Also? They are stupid and quite possibly bad people.

Seriously... they're like... "punch a nun and the entire basket of puppies that she's carrying" evil. They probably don't recycle either!

They want to take away all your rights, even the ones you don't know about, and turn America into an oligarchy. Or anarchy. Something ending with "archy" is the thing.

So, with the 2012 Presidential election coming up, this is the perfect time to anger and alienate a solid 50% to 75% of people you know and even strangers, all who are thankfully similarly addicted to their computers and Internet.

A couple useful pointers:

Do NOT actually engage anyone in religious or political discussion. This a rookie mistake! Always speak in absolutes and only mention their viewpoints in retrospect as stupid and/or evil. Examples:

WRONG - Why exactly do you think lowering taxes would help the economy?

RIGHT - If you understood the first thing of Keynesian economics, you would already know how your argument is completely flawed and idiotic! Also, you obviously ate paste as a kid and would elect/marry Hitler if you could.

One of the only drawbacks of tearing someone down on the Internet is the inability to actually yell, throw things or use real life special effects, like punches and explosions.

This flaw in written communication has been known for some time and small modifications in how and what we write have had be made to try to compensate.

One tried and true method is TYPING IN ALL CAPS. Another is to only type in caps for SOME of your most IMPORTANT words.

This is surprisingly useful for gently and subconsciously reminding your reader how flamingly stupid they are for not already understanding things as correctly and clearly as you. Try it. Trust me, it WORKS.

Another useful method of paring down your Facebook friend's list closer and closer to double digits is to "get involved", "support your candidate" and "try to make a difference".

In the old days, this often involved giving to charities or volunteering our time in our own communities.

But again, thanks to the Internet making this a smaller world and bringing us all closer together, we are much wiser now and understand that there are so many amazingly colorful and different types of people out there that we hate and would never, ever want to be with in the same room.

For years, those who already knew this had to tell other people they were stupid/evil from a distance by using bumper stickers. Fortunately, this is still a booming industry, but we no longer have to swerve in and out of traffic and cut people off to share our viewpoints.

Imagine forcing them all together at once every single day to sit in a classroom while you write about how wrong they are on the blackboard. Awesome, right?

Now imagine them being so addicted to social media and making the mistake to keep you in their newsfeed that they DO IT ON PURPOSE. That's right... DO it ON purpose.

(Dangit, I put the wrong words in caps.)

Try some these handy conversation stoppers:

  • Have you already read all 72 Bible verses about Melchisidek? Good, 'cuz you're GONNA.
  • Have you ever seen a crudely photoshopped picture of your favorite candidate with carefully thought out arguments on how he is retarded and probably stomps on baby bunnies? No? How about 14 pages of them in a row? Enough to make you wonder if your mouse scroll is broken? Well, get ready!
  • Have you ever seen food before? Well look at mine! THIS IS WHAT ACTUAL FOOD LOOKS LIKE. YOU'RE WELCOME.

Now look... both I and the group gathering on my lawn with pitchforks will be the first to admit that I too am a complete narcissist. Fortunately, I work hard to balance that out with heavy doses of utter, rambling nonsense.

Which brings us to the worst kind of self righteous updates: DIET AND EXERCISE ones.

Oh, you went to the gym 3 days ago? And the next day? And yesterday? AND today? Wow! That's very inspiring, but were you also aware of the fact THAT NOBODY CARES?!?!

Sweet Betty Boop on a pogo stick, if you post one more shirtless "before and after" pic, I swear I will invent a way to punch you through Facebook.

Remember, status updates are supposed to just be a quick way to relieve others of having to insincerely ask "How are you? What have you been up to?" It is very useful in that respect.

We're just not used to real life people answering those questions by loudly blurting out, "MY DASH SAYS IT'S 101 DEGREES. THAT'S HOT!"... , "LOOK AT THIS PASTA I ONCE ATE"... or "OBAMA IS A MUSLIM!"

We used to have to work up to that in conversation, gradually applying both reason and alcohol.

So when Zuckeberg is snuggling himself to sleep tonight, wrapped in a blanket of sewn together $100 bills, just remember how much we all owe him.

Now, get out there, dust off that keyboard and MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Curiosity has gotten the best of me

It is difficult to not wax philosophical in the face of such spectacle.

While England spent over $15 Billion toward and was in the middle of a world sporting competition, the world's New England spent just a 6th of that to artfully set 2,000 pounds of our most advanced technology onto the surface of Mars.

This, after a mere 350 million mile trip in less than 9 months.

One could easily be constantly drawn back to imagining the wonder and exhilaration of the first person to eventually stand and look out across the red planet.

We simply cannot shake the fascination, the compulsion, for one of us to finally be there, to stab the ground with our flag.

It's the same compulsion that drove us to the almost 9 mile high peak of Everest and the almost 7 mile deep trench of Marianas.

How long have we dreamed of walking on Mars?

From Gustavus Pope's novel from over 120 years ago to any one of our many modern day CGI driven tales, it is almost certain that far more years dreaming are now behind us than remain before us, when it will become reality.

Most agree manned missions to Mars will land in less than 25 years. Most of us will almost certainly live to see it happen.

It easily rivals the world's collective focus on the much nearer but equally enchanting, barren and desolate lunar orb, back in 1969.

For that next one, half a century apart, the world will again come together to hope and pray for its passengers' safe journey, but this time we'll hold our collective breath for 6 months to a year, instead of just 4 days.

But what ultimately drives that adventure? It surely is far more than a craving for notoriety or accomplishment. It is not merely something we would do, it is something we must do.

The attendant sense of curiosity is insatiable. The sense that it is something we have an obligation to see and learn from. The unspoken feeling that we might even find some kind of answer.

Answer to what? What is it we're looking for?

And will it ultimately far outstrip the passion, sense of accomplishment and contentment of the countless combined who've already traveled there, aided alone by fiction?

Is it possible for a man to travel to every corner of the globe or even the solar system and yet still go to his deathbed empty, unfulfilled and thus overfilled with regrets?

And is it equally possible for a forever nameless, unsung man who has never strayed more than 20 miles from his slum in Calcutta or jungle village in Uganda to have already experienced far more color, wonder and awe than one who has been said to have seen everything?

Could such a poor soul have already seen immeasurably more beauty, satisfaction and adventure in the universe, deep within himself and his faith in God, hidden openly in the embrace of a woman he truly loved and the shared laughter and compassion of his few friends and family?

Maybe. It seems today, almost anything is possible.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Flying talons of death

With the 2012 Presidential election rapidly approaching and other critical matters like the recent Chick-fil-A / gay marriage protests, I didn't have to go far to find something serious to talk about for this newest blog post:

My dog (again).

You know that famous old saying "I need a mentally unbalanced puppy like I need a hole in the head!"?

Well, this isn't really a saying... but now, thanks to their knife like claws, you can have both!

I discovered this seconds after stumbling to the bathroom mirror last night while yelling, "oh god, what just happened?!?!".

Corgis are the 11th smartest breed in the world and so our older, non-insane one knows when I say the words, "do you want a..." that it signifies "treat" and will bark excitedly in response.

The younger one is actually equally or even more intelligent and only needs to see me looking their way and ask the word, "do...".

He then knows this is his cue to strategically and carefully LOSE HIS FREAKING MIND.

Now I know that this can then be followed by him flying magically 15 feet from the corner of the room, over the older dog and onto my head while making sound effects like a Tasmanian Devil attacking a bullhorn.

If you've never had your temple punctured before by Velociraptor like talons, have you considered adopting a puppy?

Words to no longer say around Oliver: "Do", "You", "Want", "A", or "Treat"

I hope this at least heals up nice and ugly... I heard chicks dig scars.