Monday, September 30, 2013

A Minute-By-Minute Breakdown of Not Watching “Breaking Bad”

By: Ben Johnson

Have you guys heard of this show “Breaking Bad?” I got as far as the first couple of episodes of season 4 and then decided to stop because it made me more anxious than captivated, and because I am the master of my own free time, and because while I’d like to consider myself a willing and enthusiastic patron of the arts who does not shrink from engaging “challenging” work, it’s a fucking TV show on the fucking AMC network. The Andy Warhol film “Empire” consists of a single static shot of the Empire State Building for 8 hours and five minutes, and is said to be patently unwatchable. I would rather sit through an entire screening of “Empire” than all 62 hour-long, tension-filled episodes of “Breaking Bad.” I don’t care if it “gets really good.” My time is my own to do with what I please. I don’t work for TV shows. TV shows work for me.

So I didn’t watch the finale last night, and I’m not sure I will later. My girlfriend doesn’t want to watch the show at all. It bothers her and makes her life worse. She doesn’t like watching anything that she calls “bad topics” right before bed. I am on board with this decision. Sometimes when she has nightmares, she punches me in her sleep. I deserve to be punched in my sleep a million times over, but I can avoid forcing her to watch something she calls “Breaking Bad Topics” if it makes me more likely to avoid a subconscious haymaker.

Anyhow, here’s my reaction to the last show, broken up minute by minute for no reason:

8:00pm CDT:
When you’re paining interior surfaces, it’s all about prep work. The best thing you can do to make sure your paint applies evenly is to wash the surfaces using tri-sodium phosphate (TSP). Then apply tape and dropcloths, and take the time to do a nice, thorough job of making sure the edges are set and fully adhered. Splurge on a higher-end edging tool and nice rollers. The dinky ones will cause you to take too long to correct your inevitable mistakes, and the goal here is to prep slow and paint fast. For paint I recommend getting a paint plus primer for a more even coat, but it doesn’t really matter where you get it from. Make sure you have an oopsie rag handy, dampened with warm water, before you even crack open that first can. I go: first coat with a roller, then edges, then second coat with the roller, then touch-ups, then a third coat if necessary or if there's enough paint. You want to remove the tape while the paint is still a little wet, so the edges don’t peel. This is what I did to my living room yesterday instead of watching “Breaking Bad.”

8:12pm CDT:
Mr. Kravitz was my high school chemistry teacher, and he was great. Chemistry teachers I think are required to be a little eccentric. He had a very Woody Allen cadence when he talked, and threw puns out like candy. One time in class he and I got on a run, trading chemistry puns back and forth, like seven or eight in a row, and he finally got mad at me and ended it once I said something about “the family Joules.” He was the Cantor at his synagogue and collected Beatles records and was the first to tell me about the butcher cover. His lifelong dream was to be on Jeopardy, which he finally realized, but lost in Final because the category was “Fashion Designers” and he was a weird twitchy chemistry-teaching Beatles-collecting semi-orthodox Jew in short sleeves and a tie who compulsively played with his belly button all day long. He was out of his depth with Fashion Designers. Poor guy.

8:23pm CDT:
Maybe I should rewatch The Life Aquatic, because now that I think about it, it’s probably a very meta film about filmmaking wherein the rag tag group of stylish, Goddard-obsessed idiots goes out on a quixotic quest to make a doomed film for ludicrous personal reasons, and if I watch it that way I might not hate it. Wes Anderson is the Godfather of Nu-Twee and the reason everything is cute all the time now and we can’t buy auto insurance without emptying a bucket of glockenspiels over our heads. But that’s not his fault. At least he made my records worth three times what I paid for them by rebranding them as a must-have of vintage lifestyle-based interior decoration.

8:36pm CDT:
I am getting better at knowing when my dog is about to shit. The trick is to always watch her butthole, and if a little brown dot shows up, it’s go time. Otherwise she is trying to trick you into allowing her to eat rabbit poop. If she's shitting, you get a brown dot and she will walk fast with her nose down, and she will skim along the curb back and forth, back and forth. It is crucial to avoid distractions during this, because she will suck that thing back up in there for another 45 minutes if she sees a squirrel.

8:41pm CDT:
It’s a real pain in the ass to have Matt Ryan as my fantasy football quarterback knowing that my cousin Cal from Georgia is getting all excited whenever he does something. Cal’s Facebook is infuriating. It’s all this Atlanta fan stuff, and it is obnoxious. He’s much funnier when he’s complaining about something like The Grammys or the Miss America pageant. Cal is all about Facebook complaints. It’s the kind of stream of consciousness where you think of a thing you don’t like about something you’re watching voluntarily and your first impulse is to go on Facebook and grouse about it as if you’ve always been an expert in the subject, like “I hate it in beauty pageants when…” I usually find this hilarious, but with the sports stuff it bothers me because I write about sports in a newspaper and I'm justifiably, because I don't ever know what I'm talking about, scared that I sound like Cal. His latest missive, this morning, is on the disloyalty of Falcons fans leaving the game early even though the team almost came back. As if he’s the biggest Falcons fan in the world. As if being the biggest Falcons fan in the world is a good thing. Atlanta’s teams are pretty good recently, and Cal is a sore everything, so the winning is the worst. They are not winning this one, though. I don't care if I "hate" the Patriots or their fans. I care that when they play, I will probably be watching well-played, interesting football without an excess of goofiness. I'm glad for that.

8:52pm CDT:
I called my brother to send my birthday wishes on to his two year old daughter. He sounds like a zombie for the first 15 minutes of our conversation. Like when you wake somebody up and talk to them and they’re not stringing thoughts together or using actual words. He is speaking in this way to describe his day, which I had not asked him to do, but which he is doing out of a weary unconscious sense of duty. Let’s see, I gotta pack up the minivan for the ride home, and I gotta describe my day and narrate what I’m doing to my brother. I can’t make any sense of what he’s saying. I think he’s happy, though. His daughter is adorable. I bought her a copy of my favorite book of all time, with a very nice inscription because I'm trying to be more outwardly sweet. My Mom pointed out that I misspelled “neice” in it because that’s what my Mom does.

8:57pm CDT:
The people who’d insist that “Breaking Bad” is literature and therefore important might say that it’s a character study for the ages. We are witnessing Walt’s becoming, and it is terrifying and oddly inspiring. Real becomings are slow and boring and subtle. Real becomings are quiet, and inspiring only when time is taken to look around and have no clue how you got here or why, and you know only that you are fine, for once, with where you are and where you’re going, and you’ve accepted your limitations. When this dog shits I am going to take her back inside and pour some water in her bowl and make myself a Crystal Light and then brush my teeth. Maybe I will eat a cookie and then have to go back and brush my teeth again.

The Problem With Think Pieces: No One Should Care What You Think

By: Kelly McClure

Have think pieces always been a thing? I can't remember them being a thing a few years ago, but maybe I'm just now noticing that they're a thing because I've become increasingly annoyed by them. Just the term "think piece" is annoying. What does that even mean? Is a think piece different from something else you've previously written because in that thing you previously wrote you did NOT have any thoughts, and this time you did? So many thoughts that you had to organize all of them in a "piece?" Piece of what, exactly? Piece of shit if you ask me? ZING ZANG! The main error I find in the very idea of think pieces is that they assume I (or anyone else) should give a shit about what you think. 

I used the word "should" up there because some people do very much care what other people think. Some people care what other people think about a wide variety of subjects, and they do this because swallowing another person's opinion about any 'ol thing and absorbing it into their blood stream like an Ibuprofen is much easier than squeezing one of their own out of the mildewy, wet rag that lives between their ears. I can imagine the easy breezy freedom in being like "I don't know a damn thing, and I don't ever want to, so whatever you're saying about whatever, that's fine with me too." 

Sadly, or maybe amazingly depending on how recently I've been fired from somewhere, I have the sort of attitude that allows me to so easily think, with rapid fire consistency, "you have no idea what you're talking about," in almost any situation. It doesn't matter if I'm buying a pack of gum, inquiring about pine boards at Home Depot, or sitting in a doctor's office - at some point, during any point, I will have the thought "you don't know what you're talking about." And it's for this reason, I guess fundamentally, that I can't understand why anyone would want to read three pages of someone else's thoughts on Drake, or hillbilly's who twerk on TV while making fart face, or a ham sandwich. 

Now I know that in writing this I'm setting myself up for people to say "well then why should I give a shit about THIS," and AHA! I'll tell you why. As I see it, the only type of writing that will always be of value is 1) Instructional (this is how you make or do a thing). 2) Fiction (here's a story that will take you on a vacation in your mind that you can't think of yourself because you're stupid). 3) Biographical (here's the story of a person's life that I took the time to research so you don't have to - it's probably mostly wrong - but you won't know the difference anyway). 4) Personal essays and social commentary (I am a writer and I have a disease where if I don't put something up for a wide range of people to see, thus separating me from the normy herd, I will have no personal value, and I will die. It doesn't matter if you like it, or even read it. I do this because I always have, and it's what must be done. It would be no different than spending my days moving a pile of rocks from one side of my apartment to the other). 

In order for a person's thoughts on a thing (movie, book, album, restaurant) to be of actual value they would have to hit something like one of the following scenarios:

Movie: "I was the actual first person, aside from the people who made it, to see this movie, and something about watching it caused me to become pregnant and/or have the HIV virus. Maybe think twice before you see it, for those reasons.

Book: "The person who wrote this book died before they could get it to an editor or publisher, and it fell into my hands. Halfway through reading this book I discovered that the person who wrote it, after the third chapter, just copied and pasted various popcorn ball recipes. So I'm just gonna throw it in the trash. This isn't a real book."

Album: "I, through careful listening and research, have found that the people performing the music on this album are not the people listed as the album's performers, but are actually The Monkees."

Restaurant: "I ate the very first plate of food ever served at this restaurant, and it was entirely made of bugs."

Valuable information is valuable because it has actual value, and can then be passed off as a thing worthy of being shared. A person's thoughts on a thing, apart from that whole "here's what I think, maybe you think it too, human shared experience, yadda yadda" are only worth something to the person who wrote it, or the publicist of the person you wrote it about.  In life, most things amount to one person shitting into their hands, and then playing paddy cake with another person who shit in their hands, and it goes on like this, back and forth, until everyone is dead. I guess that's it?


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Long Live MummyDumps And The CradleDicks That “Rock” Them

By: Ben Johnson

Bieber is a TOTAL CradleDick

Is there a word for it? Skinny jeans worn sagging below the butt? I’ve seen it enough times for it to be a mental category of thing where from now on whenever I see it again I take one glance and think “oh right, that’s that thing.” There should be a shorthand for it and/or the young fellas who “rock” this “look,” and who therefore may or may not also say things like “rock this look.” Like maybe the pants are MummyDumps and the dudes are CradleDicks.

I saw another one today. Just now. On the "street."

I realize that ripping on these dudes is pretty hackneyed territory. But I’m turning a corner. I like it now. If you are a CradleDick or if you otherwise have any inclination to do so, you should absolutely wear your MummyDumps as low and, conflictingly, as tight as possible. Do so proudly. Be brazen. Be bold and stupid and glorious.

MummyDumps is not a thing to be worried about. Your parents will not call you in three years to ask if you’ve heard of MummyDumps because they saw it on Brian Williams. It will never catch that amount of on. It will not be semi-acceptable in a professional environment. People everywhere give too many collective fucks for that to happen. It is a thing, enough of a thing to be a thing, but it will probably never be a saturation-level “phenomenon” provided you can (and you definitely should if possible) avoid going places where there are teenagers.

What is it? Why? Wearing tight jeans below where your legs meet your butt makes no sense. It’s pointless. It impedes movement. The only benefit is in the way it makes the wearer look, some forceful quality wholly, puzzlingly separate from “cool.” It’s post-cool. It’s as wantonly unconcerned with your opinion on its coolness as a man in a full clown costume drinking Wild Irish Rose out of a brown bag at the OTB, and therefore it is cool, and therefore it’s also, tragically, the least cool thing you’ve ever seen.

MummyDumps are dangerous and imply danger. As much in the intended “IDGAFYOLO” way as also in the “Warning: person has demonstrably refused to correctly operate pants and therefore is probably unpredictable in other social modes such as volume of public belches and/or unabashedly grabbing your little sister’s tit” way that causes monocle drops and “well I never”s. This danger factor must be like catnip to 14 year old girls whose parents got divorced and who are therefore in an ungentle coming of age experimentation phase wherein the idea of being kind of trashy is toyed with. Step one is defining how untrustworthy of a boy to give a handjob to in the back of a cousin’s Geo Tracker, and MummyDumps and CradleDicks serve as an easy visual reference point. This, I think, is the essence of why this thing is even the possibility of a thing.

Although I’m not big on pushing meaning where it doesn’t belong. They are stupid pants. They are the current stupid pant.

As a teenager I was kind of like the least trustworthy nerd. Danger nerd. I made out with other nerds. I never got a chance to fool around with any girls who’d ever been in a fight. I’d probably consider this a missed opportunity if not for the fact that a grown man in the throes of sexual nostalgia is gross, bordering on totally unacceptable, and I’m 33 years old. I will not go that far. I am totally flaccid as I write this.

But I have turned a corner on MummyDumps.

I wish now, and I also wished as a teenager, that I had the balls to wear something that stupid. I can picture it. I’d ride a skateboard to Kim’s house, and we would smoke a joint and go buy candy with money we stole from her Mom’s wallet, and then we’d shoot her brother’s pellet gun, and she’d tell me her Dad has a real gun and I’d hold it and sneer. If it got cold, I’d warm my hands on my scrotum, like, “fuck you, I’m warming my hands on my scrotum right now,” and my boy Jay (real full given first name “Jay”) would have a BMX with that super low seat thing, and we wouldn’t go anywhere without moving slow as hell, and if anybody ever gave us shit we’d say, “fuck you, you’re not my Dad” and MEAN it.

Later I’d get into club drugs and even later than that I’d get into computers and be one of those infuriatingly laid-back and agreeable smiling tattooed condo owner dads whose wife has a nose ring and probably sucks his dick all the time.

I am WAY off of that track of possible lives. That has to start early. And you have to grow up in someplace like Maine first. I missed it. I grew up in suburban Maryland with a Mom and a Dad and values, in a household which placed a social stigma on any perceived lack of academic rigor. I didn’t even go all the way with my stupidest era-specific pant idea. I had one pair of Jnco big pants, and they were the khakis. They were glorious and stupid, but not glorious or stupid enough to ever merit a trip to second base with a girl I met that day at Spencer’s Gifts. Not MummyDumps stupid.

I see these kids now, and I just smile sadly. I care as little as they do how stupid they look. I care maybe a little bit that I am now so old they don’t even see a human being anymore when they look at me. I care about this until they open their mouths to speak and I’m reminded how utterly devoid of intelligence anybody younger than 25 is. I mean they’re wearing fucking dumpy fucking mummy pants wrapped around their thighs. What the fuck do I care what they think? Anyway, I’ll put $50 on Guggenheim’s Fancy to show and another $50 to place in the 6th at Oakmont, and it’s none of your fucking business what’s in the bag, buddy. I know my rights.

Can I smoke in here?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Balls Occasionally Vol. Five: Manly Lessons Found in Drake's 'Nothing Was the Same'

By: Kelly McClure

For most things in life that are important, there is no guide book. No book of instructions. While there is often a book of instructions to be found for completing a task like getting the color just right on your new television set, or how to achieve the perfect set of abdominal muscles, there's no help to be found, no written set of ins and outs for big picture stuff like how to be a man. But if you listen, there are clues to be found out there in the world. Yesterday Drake released his latest album, Nothing Was the Same, and it is more or less an instructional bible, in the form of a collection of songs, that will walk you through how to perfectly live that life that you only have one of. Let's take a look at each song and unwrap the wisdom to be found there.

"Tuscan Leather" 

"Here's a reason for niggas that's hatin' without one
That always let they mouth run
Bench players talkin' like starters, I hate it
Started from the bottom, now we here, nigga, we made it
Yeah, Tom Ford Tuscan Leather smelling like a brick 
Degenerates, but even Ellen love our shit."  

Always do your best, and be nice to lesbians. Try hard.

"Furthest Thing" 

"I still been drinking on the low 
Mobbin on the low
Fuckin on the low
Smokin on the low
I still been plotting on the low
Scheming on the low
The furthest thing from perfect
Like everyone I know." 

Everyone has problems. Everyone has flaws. Everyone has vices. Just don't talk about them. And if you do talk about them, do it in this way where maybe you have your head in your hands a little and you're just like "oh man." 

"Started From the Bottom" 
"No new n-ggas, n-gga we don’t feel that
F-ck a fake friend, where you real friends at?
We don’t like to do too much explaining
Story stay the same through the money and the fame." 

People will definitely treat you the best when you are in a position to give them something they want, and then when you're not, they will treat you like a douche bag. But over time, you will work your way towards having something that they want again, and when they ask you for it, you can be like "no." 

"Wu-Tang Forever" 

"I just love when I'm with you, yeah, this shit is on ten 
We used to be friends, girl, and even back then
You would look at me with no hesitation and you'd tell me baby, it's yours
Nobody else's, yeah, this shit belong to nobody, it's yours." 

The highest reward to be had in life is where you destroy a vagina in such a pleasing way that the person who the vagina belongs to signs its ownership over to you, so then YOU own the vagina.

"Own It" 

"I said go own that shit
Own that shit, own that shit
Own that shit, go own that shit
Own that shit, own that shit
Own that shit, own that shit
Go own that shit." 

(See lesson above) 

"Worst Behavior" 

"I'm on my worst behavior,
Don't you ever get it fucked up
Motherfuckers never loved us
Man, motherfuckers never loved us." 

Pent up hostility towards your parents, or the people who raised you, can tend to come to a boil during a person's adult years, but a healthy way to process it and let it go is to journal your thoughts, or express them in song. Let them out. Don't hold them in. Begin the healing process in a way that works best for you, and then move on. 

"From Time" 

"Cause I love me, I love me enough for the both of us.
That's why you trust me, I know you been through more than most of us." 

In order to find the person who's right for you to love, you have to BE a person who's right to love. Some people haven't quite put in the work required to be worthy of the perfect love, so it's good to be able and ready to love yourself way more than they could ever possibly, in an effort to get a head start on filling that dark hole within your soul that the both of you, if all goes well, will spend the rest of your combined lives attempting to fill. You never will, but the exhausting distraction of trying will make the days fly by. 

"Hold on We're Going Home" 

"You left your mark on me 
I want your hot love and emotion endlessly." 

Most young men feel that showing emotion is a sign of weakness. What a seasoned man will tell you is that at a certain point it becomes intolerable to hold all of those stockpiled emotions in, and they will eventually come flooding out in a constant, salty wave of so so so so many different kinds of emotions. Get a head start on this happening by being VERY VERY emotional from the get go. Say everything. Say every little thing that ever comes to your mind. Cry loudly in public places while hitting things. Who gives a shit? You do.


"Swanging, eyes closed just swanging
Same city, same friends if you're looking for me
Same city, same friends if you're looking
I'll be here just swanging." 

If your goal is to reach a level of education and success that takes you out of the town you grew up in, and have lived in your whole life so far, but find it hard to meet that goal - simply embrace your home town and become the mayor of good will and high spirits there. Frequent local establishments and make a point to always smile at any new faces you see, and greet familiar faces with a hug. There's no need to go anywhere else. THIS is your home.

"The Language" 

"Fuck any nigga that's talkin' that shit just to get a reaction
Fuck going platinum, I looked at my wrist and it's already platinum
I am the kid with the motor mouth
I am the one that you should worry about
I don't know who you're referring to, who is this nigga you heard about?" 

There is no way for a person to tell that you're cool unless you TELL them that you are.

"305 to My City"

"Tonight was your night, go get you some lobsters and shrimp
You smart and you know it, I get it I get it you outdo these pimps." 

It's important to take time out to reward yourself, and your loved ones, for your accomplishments. A nice meal is a good and practical way to do this.

"Too Much" 

"Guess since my text message didn't resonate, I'll just say it here
Hate the fact my mom cooped up in her apartment, tellin' herself
That she's too sick to get dressed up and go do shit, like that's true shit." 

It's important to keep motivated, and keep on yourself about staying active and getting out of the house. Even if you just shower, get dressed, and walk to the mailbox and back - it's better than NOT doing those things. Challenge yourself.  

"Pound Cake" 

"Cash rules everything around me
C.R.E.A.M. get the money
Dolla dolla bill y'all." 

Money is a nice thing to have at the ready, and is ideal to exchange for a wide variety of goods and services. 

As always, please direct any questions, comments, or suggestions to

Unemployment Turned Me Into A Cat

By: Pete Johnson

Not Pete Johnson.
This economy is crazy, amirite? One day you are a busy and involved member of society, commuting and being outside and talking to other human beings and such, next thing you know you are growing whiskers, napping, and licking your own butt all day every day. I know I am.

The first thing I felt when I was laid off and subsequently realized I was eligible for unemployment benefits was an immediate and immense sense of accomplishment. There was no sadness, because I hated my job with a capital “Is today the day I light someone on fire?” There was no shock, because I had moved past working just hard enough not to get fired and moved on to being such a shitty worker that I was effectively daring them to fire me, oh dear god just fire me.

Instead of firing me, they laid me off. I don’t know the actual definition of getting laid off, but for me getting laid off is getting fired only they give you a good reference and then you are still eligible for unemployment. Technically I was being a worthless piece of shit because they could never pay me enough to like my job enough to not be a worthless piece of shit. Thankfully, “couldn’t afford to pay him enough not to be a worthless piece of shit” is, I guess, technically a government approved reason to lose your job and still get unemployment. I could not believe I had somehow managed to pull this off.

There was also no panic. I suppose that’s what unemployment was invented for. It exists so when real working people lose their real jobs that they real care about and really real depend on, they don’t die of what-the-fuck- am-I-going-to-do-now-except-starve-to-death panic. This was a good move, inventing this thing that helps people avoid this panic. It is really nice to be able to go to a job interview for a job I actually want and not just the first thing. It is even nicer to be at that interview and not be desperate with every inch of my body that they will hire me, or at least give me some kind of free snack before they reject me in order to justify the bus fare expenditure. 

So yeah, good move unemployment inventor guy. You did me a real solid there. Except now I am a cat.

I stay at home all day. I have to stay indoors, because I don’t have my shots (money) or the wherewithal (money) to be trusted to go out there. I walk around like I own the place, with an odd sense of accomplishment that could not have come from anywhere besides something I made up in my small mammal brain. When my roommates come home I welcome them warmly until they stop paying attention to me and I wander into another room to lick my own butt. Unless I am napping. Those fuckers straight do not exist if I am napping.

Did you ever look at a cat napping peacefully in a sunbeam and think “oh man, that looks nice, I wish I was a cat?” Well guess what, it IS nice. Any employed person will tell you “naps are the fucking best, good god do I miss naps.” Any newly unemployed person will tell you “naps ARE the fucking best, good sweet holy Moses did I miss my naps before I was laid off from that hellish nap-free hell.”

So it is really not that bad, being an unemployed indoor catman. There is a roof over your head and food in your bowl. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself occupied for free, such as reading books, or licking your own butt. Any solitary activity done for free and with the sole purpose of entertaining yourself to ward off cabin fever is essentially the same thing as licking your own butt, especially looking at the internet.

The only problem with being a cat is that every once in a while you will catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and freak the fuck out. Like, full on, “AAAAHHHHH SHIT I’M A CAAAT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT FUCKING THING” cat in a mirror type freak out. But really those aren’t so bad because everyone has cat in a mirror, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life freak outs sometimes.  Even employed people, maybe especially employed people, have these freak outs. I know because I had them way more often before I was a cat. Now when I have these freak outs I can just get distracted by a piece of string or something until it is time to take another nap.

Still, I have to get out of here before I start actually shoving my asshole in my human roommate’s faces and pooping on the floor. Like any indoor cat, I badly want to escape from this house so that I might have the opportunity to fuck something. Might even one day be grown enough to start a family, who knows? It is a wide world of possibilities out there, and my mouth is starting to taste a lot like my own butt.

Pete Johnson is the brother of Ben Johnson. His twitter consists of retweeting something Ben wrote about once a month.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Balls Occasionally Vol. Four: Your Beard and What it Says About You as a Sexer

By: Kelly McClure

The air is beginning to have a nip in it, and what perfect time than now, and the diving off point of said nip, to begin growing hair on your face? Having hair on your face - either your upper lip, chin, chin AND neck, combo of upper lip - chin - neck - and sides of face, does so much more than just keep your face (and neck down into the chest region) warm, it protects your skin from getting infected by food debris, and also confirms/re-enforces you as a heterosexual vagina ONLY loving male. But what does your beard say about you as a lover? Let's take a look at a few and find out:

A view that is widely thought and shared among women is that the skinnier a man is in frame, the more sizeable his cockadoodle is. It's also widely known and shared that a common grooming practice for men is that of shaving their pubes to make their member seem larger. How can these things be tied in and related to beards? We don't know. 
The beard that this young coal miner above is sporting tells the world that his penis is a hard worker, and smells very bad at the end of the day. He may need a lamp to find what he's looking for in the bedroom, but he'll be damned if he'll accept his daily wages until he finds it.

Matching a beard to your eyebrows and your hair, in perfect color and texture harmony, shows a lady that you like everything to be the same. Keeping things the same with your clothing and facial hair choices is nice, but it's better to add in some variety when it comes to making sweet love on wednesday night at 6:45PM, after you've washed your hands.

Crafting the lower part of your face to look exactly like a vagina is smart. This subconsciously gets the message out there to the ladies that you know what a vagina looks like, and you know that you want one. Or rather, you know that you want to get one. Shit. You know what we mean.

Take notice of the differences found in the faces of the two men in this picture. The guy in front has a beard. The guy in back does not. The guy in front is in front, and has a beard. The guy in back is in back, and does not have a beard. Notice that the guy with the beard is smiling, and the guy without the beard is like "I wish I knew what sex felt like."
Sometimes it's common for men who are a tad overweight/fully overweight to grow beards, but you know what they say ... the fatter the face, the fatter the peener.

As always, email with questions, suggestions, or concerns.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Total Bozo Magazine Manifesto

A young Ted Kaczynski, who would later write the last big pre-internet manifesto

Still nobody has figured out the internet. Still.

Sure, some people have figured out their own specific version of the internet pretty good. The guy from Amazon seems to have a fairly firm grip on his idea of the internet. Mark Zuckerberg has his whole thing sussed. And so, presumably, does Johnny Google, or whoever the Google guys are. These people have two important things in common: 1. They’ve used the internet to enlist large numbers of people in the task of more effectively selling themselves to themselves on the internet, and 2. They’re billionaires. That’s how we know they’ve figured things out. If you have a billion dollars, people tend to think you’ve done a few things right.

I also mentioned something these internet people have in common is they’ve all figured out ways to get people to sell themselves to themselves on the internet. Amazon has recommendation algorithms. Facebook has preference algorithms. Google knows everything you’ve ever done. All of these mega-successful web-based businesses are designed to show you to yourself when you go on the internet, and they make gobs of money from this.

You know who else is filthy rich from the internet using roughly the same idea of selling people to themselves? Certain content providers. And more power to them. They worked hard for it. They deserve it. It's not the only way, but the easiest way to measure the value of a thing is by the amount of money that somebody is willing to pay for it. $300 million (see links) is a LOT of damn money. $300 million is, like, rent for a whole year times infinity.

And so the question arises: who’s getting that money? The interns? The freelance contributors? The staff members? Probably not a HUGE portion of it. Probably most of that money is going into the pockets of the people who own the business. Which is fine. They started it. They own it. What they do with the money it generates is their prerogative.

We here at Total Bozo see all this happening, and it bothers us. Mostly because we don't own anything but a name and an idea, and we don't suck. 

(Let’s not beat around the bush, "we" means Ben Johnson and Kelly McClure

At least we like to think that we don’t suck. We realize we’re wrong about that, we’re just saying what we like to think. Everybody, especially including us, sucks. It’s just nice to think that we don’t suck. If it meant having to suck at being a website a little more than we’d like to imagine we currently do, we would probably not scoff at having a hundred million dollars or two. We figure we could suck just as well as some of the other $300-million-plus-valuation content providers do. And we actually have somewhat of a plan to get there that involves some fairly easy concepts.

1. Be transparent. We want money. We want to grow and become a thing that seems like it should be worth a shitload of money to some idiot in a board room somewhere who routinely says things out loud like “Look at these NUMBERS!” That is what we eventually want to do with Total Bozo Magazine, and it’s been done before and it can and will be done again, and we want a piece of that action, and we see no reason to be coy about it.

2. Streamline. Let’s say instead of a fancy office somewhere full of unpaid interns, instead it’s just a website where if you write or do something good your thing gets put up on that website. We take pieces instead of pitches. People write or do something, we put it up if we like it. End of process.

3. Do things that are as good tomorrow as they are now. The internet is full of disposable, attention-grabbing things. Lists. Celebrities. Sports. Politics. “Hot takes” and “fresh narratives” on whatever current non-issue has been drummed up in order to sustain the hot takes and fresh narratives industry. Like for instance the whole “Indian American Miss America Controversy,” which if you’re reading this in 2015 is a thing that happened once upon a time that otherwise intelligent people actually decided to talk about. Let’s avoid all that. Let’s try to be human and think human thoughts and say human things, and only mention Miley Cyrus if she’s doing or causing something in our lives. Or at least let's try and have a sense of humor about ourselves if and when we fail, instead of always having to be THE authority on What Color Shoes We Think Andy Samberg Should Be Wearing (purple, duh, to match the oft-strangled head of his likely circumcised penis). Let’s be a place you could go for that.

4. Encourage each other. You know how people are fucking crazy in the comments section of anything ever? They say “the person who wrote this article doesn’t know what the fuck they are talking about.” You read these comments and the knock on them is always, “Why would you bother saying that in a comments section instead of just not reading things like this from now on?” This is a valid question. But also valid is the larger frustration of the person in the comments section. “This does not represent my point of view on a subject I care about!” the person is saying. “I feel as though I have been duped into reading this by a misleading headline and now I have given this article a few minutes of my life that I can never get back, and this happens to me often, and I have some weird sense that it’s all only so I can be told about the new Grand Theft Auto game yet again, and because I’m not as strong of a communicator as the person who wrote this article, I am frustratingly unable to articulate this! It’s like I’m frustrated about being frustrated!!” This point of view is completely, maybe even centrally, valid, even if it comes out as “kill urself bro.” Well, what if everybody ever, even “kill urself bro” Guy, had a chance to express their point of view to a larger audience than whoever happens to come across a comments section? That would be great. We should encourage that.

5. Invest in each other. Let’s say every time you write something that goes up on a website, you own a little bit more of a chunk of that website. Say one basis point. 0.01%. Which is not much for a website that is not worth anything, but for a website that somebody eventually pays $300 million for, it’d be worth $30,000. I bet even Bill Murray would write a dumb thing in 20 minutes for 30 grand. Either way, it beats the hell out of the regular $50 freelance money you'd get from Brooklyn Vegan for your thinkpiece about the Eagles Reunion Tour that got rejected by GQ. Let’s say instead of killing yourself writing about shit you don’t care about, like the Eagles Reunion Tour, on the off chance it earns you some chump change you can pay for food with, you really delved into something personal and true, and got it up on Total Bozo, and you’re now a partial owner of Total Bozo. Wouldn’t you want to share Total Bozo with other people from then on? Wouldn’t you just retweet the shit out of everything we do? Wouldn’t you love to be a part of the Total Bozo family? We bet you would. We think that kind of a thing would just take off like a supersonic airplane full of hot cakes.

If you read that and you thought “that’s a hell of a lot of ambition and pretense from a place that publishes 1,000 word diatribes about ALF,” then you’re right. You should write something to that effect and then send it to us at all-one-word Total Bozo Magazine at gmail dot com. If we like it, we will put it up, and if we prove you wrong someday, the fact that you wrote that about us might be worth a year of college tuition. And if not, all this will just be a loud, visible failure that eventually gets us staff positions at or whatever other "hot" thing exists in two years. So it’s pretty win-win.

Let’s do it, you guys. Let’s figure out the internet. Let's sell ourselves to ourselves, but let's own ourselves too.

And by all means follow us at @TotalBozo