Thursday, May 29, 2014

The What Are You Even Talking About Guide to Audio Equipment

By: Kelly McClure

I have recently burdened myself with the pleasure of wanting to learn more about audio equipment. I want to learn more about audio equipment so that I can buy THE PERFECT things for my PERFECT home entertainment system. And by home entertainment system I mean the corner of my apartment where I keep my music diddles and album ding dangs.

I have always loved music, but I don't have all that much of it just laying around. I have an iPod stuffed with stuff that I scroll past to get to Beyonce, and I have about two dozens albums that I keep around because they're funny, or remind me of when I was growing up, or are orange/blue/red/swirly. I also have two cases of CDs that my girlfriend has asked me several times to hide in the closet. The reason I don't have all that much music in my possession is because I have previously spent many years as a music critic where I was conditioned to have the response of "EWWWW NO, GET THIS AWAY FROM ME" whenever I was handed an album. But now I want them. I want them all. And I'd prefer that they don't sound like they were recorded inside of a bubble gum bubble filled with farts bouncing around inside of a Pepsi can. 

My system currently consists of:

- Some record player I bought because it looks old.
- Some fancy speakers I was given at my old job and then asked to return and then I guess kind of stole.
- A CD player that a friend gave me a few years ago that looks like something Patrick Bateman would play his Huey Lewis CDs in. It loads from the top and glows blue.

Everything seems to be placed wrong, hooked up wrong, lacking a component that I'm convinced is the top priority component that I need to immediately go spend all the money I have on. And you would think that with the endless pit of information found on the Internet I could easily sit down in one afternoon and get all my hobbyist music playing for leisure concerns ironed out. But all of the information to be found comes from some one who is basically this guy:

I found this guy by trying to Google what the hell a preamp is and if I need one, and now I have so many more questions. 

You absolutely need to watch this video, but as a supplement, here's a transcription:

"Ughhhhhhhhh, hello guyson Youtube. Ahhhhhh howsitgon guys? Ayyyyy gotta wittle project for you today about my Aympliflier for myuh wecord player."

I'm sorry. This was a horrible idea. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Michelle Obama Banjo Solo And Other Personalized Virus Clickbait

By: Ben Johnson

If we can learn one thing from the internet, it’s that people out there want your eyeballs and they will stop at nothing to get them. They will type up any ding dang combination of words and clicky type things they can think of to get you to click on a thing. They, “these people,” which I think might just be the entire country of Russia, plus the editors at Buzzfeed, do not care if the thing they’re saying is a completely made up lie. If you click on it and if getting people to click on a thing can benefit them, they are gonna do it, and they don’t care if you have to squint at the fine print under your idiot cousin’s Facebook post about how Nancy Pelosi is a practicing Satanist and say “wait, a minute, I don’t think is a reputable source of information.”

We here at Total Bozo Magazine aren’t like that. We believe in the truth. Namely, that of course Nancy Pelosi is a practicing Satanist. She’s a congressperson. They’re all practicing Satanists. Maybe they don’t go to like Black Mass or anything, but they do take phone calls from Monsanto lobbyists, so, I mean, come on, who are we kidding. Hail Satan.

Earlier today our own Kelly McClure was taken in by a virus-y clickbait thing that said Lou Ferrigno died in a car crash. It was like a fake USA Today thing, and she was like “my girlfriend loves Lou Ferrigno and will be upset by this news,” and then proceeded as if it was an actual thing. This is excusable. Truth is, for most of us, life is unfolding almost exactly as if Lou Ferrigno had gotten killed in a car wreck in 2007. That might be a little sad to admit, but it’s true. R.I.P. Lou Ferrigno. Then, now, and always. Also: L.I.P. Lou Ferrigno. Then, now, and always. May your gentle demeanor and gigantic muscles power you forever heavenward, amen.

If you’re a Russian guy or an internet computer virus person from Buzzfeed and you’re looking to do an internet eyeballs thing that swindles Kelly McClure or somebody else like her out of the remaining $6.12 in her checking account, I suggest the following truthful-sounding clickbait headlines:

Beyoncé Is A Proud, Beautiful, And Sometimes Naked Woman

134 Signs You Are Slowly Becoming Autistic

Music Publicist Snaps, Tells It Like It Actually Is, Ruins Career, Sleeps Well

David Lynch’s Grocery Cart Is Everything You’d Dare To Expect

New York City Tips For Never Touching A Person

Scientists Prove Peanut Butter Farts Are The Best Kind Of Fart

Some Kind Of A Lesbian-Related Thing With The Woman From Portlandia That You Will Enjoy

Photos Of Cats Dressed As World Leaders

Morrissey Physically Can’t Listen To Music Anymore

Paula Deen Hand Caught In Shuttle Bus Door Yells "Shoot! Dang!"

You’re Not Crazy, It Is That Bad

Clothing Made Of Pizza, Pizza Clothes, Pizza Pants And Shirt

I can think of more if you need them, but that should give you an idea of what you’re looking for here. She’s an easy target. She has to be on a computer all day long. Please Paypal 10% of your swindlings to me at ben at totalbozomagazine dot computer (I lengthened the spelling of this so you won’t spam me with believable emails about Cocoon alien enthusiast conventions that need my credit card info).

Good luck, happy hunting, and 4IGNO 4EVA!

Kim Kardashian and the Case of the Embarrassing Lemons

By: Andrea McGinty

I'm obsessed with the Kardashians. I've watched every single episode more times than I'd like to admit. I follow all of them on Instagram and Twitter. And not just Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe, but Kris, Kendall, Kylie, Scott, the Jenners, their hairstylists and makeup artist bffs, even Rob! And I don’t just care about the gossipy parts of their lives, either. I care about them as people. I care about their health and well being. I cry during their wedding episodes. I genuinely hope they are all truly happy.

On occasion, when I let my obsession slip, the reaction is usually about the same, "What about feminism? What about morals? What about the future of America, our children?!" It is not unusual as an unapologetic feminist to have to defend my thoughts and feelings to people that are constantly trying to call my bluff by catching me in a contradiction, but it's different with the Kardashians. It's different with Kim.

And I know what you're going to say,"but, Paris Hilton?" You’ve got a point, but I think we can all agree that Paris didn't inspire anywhere near the long-term, deeply committed, brutish vitriol that follows Kim. Paris had a brief career in television/music/whatever else rich, pretty people do with their money and connections. She was mocked, she was photographed, and she flitted off into lower level stardom somewhere (probably Las Vegas for club openings, or one of her Mad Men grandpa’s 50 million hotels.)

But people HATE Kim. They truly loathe Kim. They hate her career, her relationships, her family for being related to her. They hate her thoughts and her feelings. They mocked her second marriage and are fucking disgusted by her third. They would have hated the first one, too, but didn't know they could back then. Don't even get them started on "Bound 2" or Vogue, Jesus. They threatened to cancel their subscriptions in the least important boycott of all time.

Why the Kardashians? I mean, how many other obscenely rich celebrisomethings do we let slide for less than contributory existences? And so quickly we forget Season 6, Episode 7 when Bruce takes the girls to a homeless shelter on Skid Row. Eyes are rolled at a whole slew of housewives, but nothing comes close to the hate lashed at the Kardashian clan. And why Kimmy? If is she so horrendous, why don't we just forget about her? What is it about Kim that accounts for her continued haters? Why won’t she fade away into the land of ribbon cuttings and VH1?

IMHO, it's pretty clear. People hate Kim because she had sex, filmed it, people saw it, and it didn’t ruin her life. People hate Kim because she got some fucking embarrassing lemons taken from her and put on the internet, and she turned her lemonade into a Bentley. And before all you “but, Paris” me, yeah, they hated her for it too, but she also fell off. What is there to hate if you aren’t out there everyday rubbing it in our face about how sexed you are and how little you care about it? When I Googled to see if someone else already wrote the same exact thing, I read that Paris didn’t transcend because she kept it dirty in the streets as well as the sheets, while Kim just did the latter. I’m not sure how much this matters, though. I think people hate Kim because she had sex and didn’t go away like she was told.

We’ve been sold sex since the day we were born. As women we’ve had sexy role models shoved down our throats and been told the horrors of dumpy spinsterdom. Barriers were broken down, the media blah blah blah, less conservative, and here we are. My generation has sex and doesn’t feel bad about it. We don’t run and hide and think WWJD. We fuck and we go about our day, and this makes us horrifying. We’re uncontrollable. If you can’t control our bodies, then what can you control? And in this aspect Kim is no longer just an irritating celebrity, but a threat. She isn’t an after school special on how your life will fall apart if you break your chastity pact with your dad, she’s a success. A light hearted, rich as fuck success with the husband and the baby and the perfume deal. When she had the choice she sold her sex for the exact amount she wanted to sell it, no more no less. And for that I think she’s rad, and deserving of respect, and her face on my iPhone case.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Eyes Are Bleeding Pizza Sauce

By: Ben Johnson

I’ve been bombarded in at least a couple of ways recently about the summer festival circuit this stupid Velvet Underground pizza band that erstwhile child actor and current party trash socialite Macaulay Culkin is in, and I want it to stop. It’s killing me. I hate it. Every time I hear about any Pizza Underground anything, my sternum tightens and my blood pressure spikes and my neck muscles double in size. This world is a travesty. We do not deserve to be alive. We are wasting countless minutes of our lives and precious server space on this clown and his stupid clown band. This must end.

I don’t feel this way because the Pizza Underground is a bad idea. Of course it’s a bad idea. Bad ideas are great. I love bad ideas. The Pizza Underground, on the surface, is a fantastically bad idea. It’s also the wrong bad idea. Problem is, I got a better bad idea. They’re called Personal & The Pizzas, and they were covering The Stooges AND The Ramones AND writing songs about pizza back when Lou Reed was still alive to spin in his grave and Macaulay Culkin was busy getting dumped by Mila Kunis. Their music is real and raw and mighty and all kinds of the best, and they will put Culkin the ground, figuratively through sonic explosions of fury and literally through brass-enhanced fist punches (and fake lawsuits).

Aside from the facts, that Personal & the Pizzas are a better band than Pizza Underground, and that Personal & Co. originated and then also immediately surpassed the constraints of the pizza band framework (listen to “I Ain’t Takin’ You Out” and tell me it doesn’t belong in whatever uber-elevated echelon of punk songwriting we’re keeping the Electric Eels), makes more aesthetic sense to do a Stoogoid/Ramoneoid pizza band than it does to rework Velvet Underground into a pizza format. When Iggy Pop sang “last year I was 21, didn’t have a lot of fun,” you can practically hear an entire year’s worth of unsatisfactory pizza rotting in his gut. When The Ramones told us “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue,” the context of “because I just took care of a whole fuggin’ pizza” is implied.

In contrast, Lou Reed wrote erudite songs about heroin, and waiting for his heroin guy, and like, “what costume shall the poor girl wear” and shit. Lou Reed needed people to know he was a poet, and his songs did not eat pizza. His fashionably emaciated songs subsisted solely on stolen honeydew melons and Benzedrine and society pussy, and whatever atmospheric pizzaness might have accidentally spilled on the Velvet Underground via gritty New York-centric depictions of urban decay and debauchery is more than adequately obliterated by the effete Welshman on electric viola and whatever soybean enema agenda he seems to be pushing with his black clad cross-legged aloofness.

The Velvet Underground were great, maybe even the best, but they were not a Pizza-y band. If you want to cover the Velvets and make those songs about a favorite street food, I’d suggest tacos. Tacos are mysterious. You cannot see what's in them and hold them for eating at the same time. They're quantum food. Or, like, crêpes. You could dress up like French mimes and sing Velvet Underground songs about how much you like Nutella on your crêpes. I'm pretty sure that's what Nico was actually doing. Or, fuck, ice cream. I’ve been off booze for over 2 years now, and I am qualified to tell you that ice cream is basically heroin. It’s my wife and it’s my life.

Pizza and the Velvet Underground don’t go together, is my point. And Personal & The Pizzas are a way better EVERYTHING than Pizza Underground is also my point. And another point that's mine is that Macaulay Culkin is a party clown who landed on a funny hustle, and as such I hope he and his band get dragged through the trenches via merciless booing everywhere they go by people who “just don’t get the joke” but actually do get the joke and the joke is we’re all here lining Macaulay Culkin’s pockets with drug money so we might as well have a go at him while we’re at it. You can try that “boo” shit on Personal & The Pizzas, you’re dead meat, friend. They might be dedicated to pizza-centric songs and thiefed riffs, but they ain’t no joke, and if you laugh they’re gonna crush your skull and not go skulking off to cry on their publicist’s shoulder.

Maybe I’m taking this too seriously, but this is serious business. We can’t just let America’s greatest natural resource, rock bands which play songs about pizza, be monopolized by the celebrity party dickhead culture, who will decimate the fertile creative ground of pizza rock with scorched earth oversaturation publicity campaigns. This fucking guy is playing Velvet Underground songs about PIZZA as a means to claw his way back into the limosine where he feels he belongs. He is destroying at least five or six good things, here, most importantly the future of some otherwise pretty with-it kid who doesn't want to listen to Personal & The Pizzas because he's been misled by TMZ to think they're the derivative ones. This should be upsetting to you. 

Nobody’s gonna do this for us, people. It’s fun to gawk at these Pizza Underground losers, but we all have to try our best not to. If we’re going to affect real change in the pizza rock community, we must join together and demand that our songs about pizza be played by regular working-class party dickheads who can’t afford the good drugs. Because THAT is the sound of pizza. This is life or death, people. This is important.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Total Bozo Magazine Species Report: Humans

By: Ben Johnson

Humans. How are we doing? We’re probably not doing so hot, huh? Are we gonna make it? Is it gonna work out? Probably not, huh? What are we even supposed to be doing?

To these rhetorical questions, I answer, rhetorically: not so hot; yeah no; maybe but probably not; like I said, maybe but probably not; yeah exactly; yeah I don’t know.

But let’s make it official anyway. Here’s The Total Bozo Magazine Species Report for Human Beings.

Species: Homo Sapiens


Only extant species of hominid, which is a microphylum of the ape… family? You know what, just read the Wikipedia page for “Human” like I am currently trying to do in order to sound smart. We’re animals, mammals, we walk upright on two legs. We have bigger brains relative to our body mass than all other animals our size. These brains are big and complicated enough for us humans, unique among species on Earth, to have developed consciousness and the use of language.

Evolutionary Background

Biologically modern humans are estimated to have appeared roughly 200,000 years ago, and then… you know what, seriously, just read Wikipedia about this, okay? Humans were apes, and then we came down out of the trees, and we stood upright to see over the grasses of the savannas of Africa, and we eventually got good at walking upright, and we found that by walking upright and staying in groups we could range far out from the trees and go get food, and that ended up being a good idea, so we got less apelike. Then we got good enough at getting food and not dying that we developed language and other behaviorally modern tendencies like 50,000 years ago, which is like really really not that long ago.

Some ingrained survival mechanisms from our evolutionary past that are hardwired into our brains in such a way that we’re probably going to be stuck with them forever include emotions, an adherence to social hierarchies, and certain irrational cognitive biases.


Dominant. Out of the food chain but currently destroying the food web.

Recent Trends

The human brain’s response to behavioral modernity has contributed to human development of tool use, construction, agriculture, written language, mathematics, trade, currency, art, philosophy, religion, statehood, warfare, transportation, etc., each of which happened a while ago. Industry, colonialism, mechanization, combustion, the scientific method, “Western” medicine, atomic energy, rocketry, electricity, technology, and computing are more recent developments. Modern human population levels have exploded recently, commensurate with these advances.

Threats and Threat Assessments

Weather and sea level-related climatological effects of global warming, diminishment of resources including fuel, food, water, and atmospheric oxygen brought about by destabilization of ecosystems, pollution (including nuclear fallout), global pandemic disease, catastrophic extinction-level cosmic events, gray goo, malignant or malfunctioning artificial intelligence, or other possible technologically related apocalyptic scenarios. There is disagreement among scientists about when or if the sun will expand and vaporize the Earth in a few billion years, or in such a case whether humans or another intelligent species would be able to do anything about it, but opinions lean toward an absolute expiration date for life on Earth of about 7.6 billion years from now.

The emotions, social hierarchies, cognitive biases in our brains, and the inherent difficulty of generating effective consensus for species-wide action plans within a population of billions, all create challenges in reducing the effects of human-caused threats to on-planet species survival such as global climate change, the diminishment of resources, and pollution. The emergence and acceleration of these threats have been quite recent developments, and we have not as yet displayed sufficient species-wide awareness to respond to them as quickly and efficiently as may be necessary.

The recent population explosion has both created the ideal environment (high concentrations of mobile populations) for the development of a global pandemic of catastrophic proportions and, through sheer numbers and the generation of genetic mutations of human immunology, lengthened the odds of the species for survival of such a catastrophe.

Humankind’s ability to address extinction-level cosmic catastrophes and technological apocalypses are just now coming into focus. As of now there is theory without much in the way of practice in both of these areas. We’re pretty good at detecting large asteroids with enough of a time frame to do something about it. Comets, coronal mass ejecta, gamma bursts, etc. not so much. Scientific dedication to the prevention of gray goo, malignant or malfunctioning artificial intelligence, and future tech apocalypse scenarios is still kind of fringy due to a lack of immediate necessity, although current trends in internet-based cloud computing suggest the possibility of a computer pandemic which could cause inconvenience, chaos, and even fatal disruption of supply chains on a fairly massive but not (as of yet) necessarily extinction-level scale.

Survival Strategies

The most urgent question facing the long-term survival of the species is whether we’ll develop the capability to colonize other planets (or be able to replicate or “upload” human consciousness artificially in a sufficiently sustainable manner to render species survival moot) before going extinct on Earth. (The secondary question is “If we do so, then what? Just more of this shit except on other planets? PASS.”) To that end, the pace of our recent technological development is as encouraging as the corresponding acceleration in likelihood of human-caused extinction-level threats is discouraging.

The trick facing humans is to increase the amount of available time to spend on Earth while simultaneously decreasing the amount of time it will take to leave it. Theoretically, the incapacitation of applied technology would likely lead to population decreases and a more sustainable ecological equilibrium, which would increase the amount of time humans would have to spend on planet but also increase the amount of time it would take to develop interstellar travel. Similarly, current trends towards technological progress have corresponded with the destabilization of climate and ecosystems which have the potential to reduce the amount of time humans can expect to spend on earth. It’s a tightrope.

Potentially fruitful strategies include:

Population reduction – will eventually happen though one catastrophe or another anyway, could be controlled, but not without significant moral dilemma, not to mention a demonstrated inability to prioritize the potential for species-wide survival contributions made by population segments targeted for elimination. A pandemic might be nice. That way we could shake our fists and go “oh you damn disease” and the survivors would reap immediate benefits. Unfortunately, much of the work of the less hearty and hale individuals who are contributing to species survival might then be lost.

Concentration of resources to small number of individuals who may act decisively to increase odds of species survival – we’re doing pretty okay at concentrating resources, but very poorly at acting decisively to increase our survival odds. In fact, the accrual of material resources seems to correspond with an increase in the value of those resources, which corresponds with the scarcity of those resources, creating an incentive structure which encourages the wealthy to improve their position not just by hoarding, but also by actively diminishing the world’s resources. But they sure as hell are concentrating the world’s resources. To what end we don’t yet know. There’s not a huge amount of evidence that they’re doing anything particularly productive with those resources. There’s some evidence. Just not, like, a lot.

Prioritized distribution of resources to individuals and programs which increase odds of species survival – nope. I mean, yes, the distribution of resources is prioritized. But maybe not to the most helpful things.

Systematic reduction of human environmental impact – we all know this is a great idea. Except China. China’s like “screw you it’s our turn to be rich now.” You can’t really blame China for this, except China is on the same planet as the rest of us. It’s going to be damn difficult to reduce human environmental impact when this runs counter to short and medium-term economic incentives. It’s hard to sell people on the idea that their business could go in the shitter in 50 years if there’s no such thing as food anymore. They tend to respond to this by saying “thanks for the tip, I’ll have to remember to buy all the food.”

Developing interstellar transportation and terraforming technologies – the jury’s out. It’s really, really difficult to travel from star to star. We’d have to make significant advances in propulsion. We don’t even really know how to do this yet. And: we’re not so great at terraforming. So far all we’ve done is turn one planet into a less hospitable planet. Other than that, though…

Developing an ability to replicate or “upload” human consciousness artificially in a sufficiently sustainable manner to render species survival moot – this looks like the most likely direction our current exploration of technology is headed in. Given recent technological developments, it’s not too difficult to imagine humans eventually developing and uploading an entire internet of simulated human DNA permutations into a probe and shooting it out into space. Kind of a “just in case” thing where we don’t survive but we get the next best thing: a computer full of human-like data that does survive.

Abdicating power over our fate to a more reliable deciding entity – maybe we could do this too. Just make up a computer program that can figure out what the best course of action is and then force us to do it, and if it sucks or the computer program makes us all into livestock it’s like “oh well, we had a good run, at least we don’t have to pretend to be interested in anything but voting on The Voice anymore.”



Look, we’re doing okay. It’s likely that a whole lot of us, maybe all of us, are going to die at some point. Maybe soon. That’s likely for every species, though. We might not be as awesome at surviving as cockroaches, but we’re sure kicking the Mountain Gorilla’s ass. Also, before we’re gone forever we might have screwed everything up on this planet, and we might not make it off, but are donkeys so great and helping the earth out? Are donkeys going to develop a space program and get off this planet? No way. They’re donkeys. They don’t do nothing but sit there and be donkeys. And if we don’t make it and we end up ruining this planet, that’s okay. Dinosaurs only left fossilized bones, and that’s only if they were dumb enough to get caught in a landslide or stuck in a tar pit. Depleted uranium rods are a cooler thing to leave behind for the future giant cockroach overlord people to gawk at. They’ll be like “holy crap, they MADE these” and “why did the humans go extinct? It couldn’t just be because they were dumb, could it?”

If you’re reading this, future cockroach dudes, yes guys, to quote our most representative cultural achievement, Top Gun, “the Defense Department regrets to inform you that your sons are dead because they were stupid.” But hey, to be fair, your ancestors are dumb too. All they did was lick up our oven grime and scatter when the kitchen lights come on. We squashed their damn guts out every chance we got, and we’d do it to you too if we were around today because that’s more or less what we’re good at.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Jury Duty is Just Another Dumb Thing That Happens Sometimes

By: Kelly McClure

I have never had to go to jury duty before. In October I got a slip in the mail that was like "Hey, you need to go to jury duty," and I was like "I do not" and filled out a thing to postpone it. I guess I postponed it till now because I'm typing this from a court room. I almost didn't write this at all because my stomach hurts from sitting in one spot and being mad since 8AM this morning, but I've got time to kill, so here we go.

Here's the timeline of me doing the jury duty that I'm still currently doing:

1) Got new slip in the mail saying I have to go to jury duty. Put slip on my desk for a week while considering just throwing it in the garbage.

2) Googled "will you go to jail if you blow off jury duty?" Find that the answer is "yes."

3) Wake up very early in the morning, have a stressful coffee, stressful cereal, stressful shower, and then stressful train ride to this court house that I'm sitting in now.

4) Go through security of court house and then try to go to the bathroom only to be told "Ma'am, these bathrooms are closed." To which I respond with: "Well I better stop peeing then." Go into another bathroom because I felt rushed in my previous bathroom experience and am told that that one is closed too. I say: "You know that other bathroom is closed too, right?" And the janitor says: "Yes, I know that." And then I say: "GOOD." 

5) Sit in a seat that I suspect 100% has bed bugs and eat some apple flavored jelly beans leftover from  Easter.

6) Watch a lady take a selfie of herself sitting in jury duty, and then about 50 more. At one point I look over and her fat face is filling up the phone screen she's holding in front of her and I shudder.

7) Sit and watch the king of the court, or the court master, whatever his title is, go through a 45 minute comedy routine where he basically just treats everyone like a retard. 

8) Sit and listen to another 45 minutes of questions from people who are the stupidest people in this particular room, if not the world.

9) Break for lunch where I go across the street and purchase a pack of cigarettes from Duane Reade, an iced coffee, a weird sandwich, and a pack of orange flavored gum.

10) On way back into court, I accidentally rush the security gate without thinking because I wasn't thinking and the security king juts out his arm and goes "WHOA WHOA! It's not a race!!" And then keeps his arm out like that for a good 30 seconds while blinking at me with his sweaty moon face eyes. I respond with "Well, there's your excitement for the day." To which he says, "Oh no, you wouldn't believe the nuts that we get through here." And then I say: "IT GETS WORSE????" He was unaware of the fact that I was making fun of him because he is a stupid man.

11) I'm still sitting here. I will always be sitting here. 

12) I imagine someone will call my name at some point to ask me a question, and I plan to tell them that I can't possibly serve on a jury because I don't care what happens no matter what. 

CONCLUSION: I'm writing this part from home, and not from the court house where I lived for a full day to tell you that at 4:45 a lady who looks like Margaret Thatcher and has the last name of SUNSHINE came out and dismissed everyone who hadn't been called yet. So I sat in a room all day for nothing. Nothing but my civil duty that is!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Leaving The House To See Acid Mothers Temple Do Flute Time

By: Ben Johnson

Leaving the house always seems like such a hassle. Like you leave the house, you go do a thing, and then you come back to your house. Why not cut out the middle man and just stay home? I like it there. It’s my home. It has my girlfriend and my dog in it. It has a TV and records and movies and books and comfortable places to sit. It does not have any drunk people in Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirts breathing near my face, or teenagers talking loudly and stupidly to each other within various microsecond-long social postures. You know, home. Light switches. Hand soap. Throw pillows. It’s nice.

But last night I went out to see live music because I can’t only just be at home all the time until I die. Being at home too much makes home worse. Being at home makes it dirty, and then you have to clean it. Or you don’t clean it and then you don’t clean it, and then you really don’t clean it, and then somebody comes over and you go “shit” and you spend an entire day of your life cleaning your home just so somebody and their cousin can come and be awkwardly bored there because it is not their home. “Yeah,” you’ll say to this person and their cousin, “that’s a thing I put on my wall because I like it,” and you’ll see, through this person’s cousin’s glazed eyes, how low your home, which you love so much, rates on the general who cares meter.

I went to see the band Acid Mothers Temple play music. At a rock club. In Chicago. In a busy neighborhood people go to often when they’re not at home. It was an okay experience.

Acid Mothers Temple is a psychedelic rock band from Japan. They have been around for a long time. They know what they’re doing. They know how to be a good psychedelic rock band. If you like psychedelic rock bands, you should definitely go see Acid Mothers Temple. That would be a good experience for you. If sometimes you see a psychedelic rock band and you think “I don’t quite trust these guys to take me on a good psychedelic rock journey without sometimes getting all dumb and doing stuff I don’t like,” which is a constant danger with a psychedelic rock band, you don’t need to worry with Acid Mothers Temple. They’ll take care of you. You’ll be in good hands.

I was not on drugs last night. I am not on drugs anymore ever. I mostly don’t know how to get them, and I understand they cost money and you pay that money and then go “whoa, I’m on drugs” and everything’s weird, and then later you are not on drugs anymore and everything is painfully not weird and then also you have less money by a factor of whatever amount you just spent on drugs. I used to be on drugs a lot more often, especially alcohol, and I hated when things got not weird again so much that it made me into an asshole. Like, "How are things? Not weird enough for my specific liking? I HATE THINGS. (glug glug, act like an asshole)" So I don’t do alcohol anymore, and then because of that I don’t really want to do other drugs anymore either. What am I gonna do, be on drugs? With, like, other people around? Ummm, no thanks. I don't trust myself not to be a complete asshole while sober, I'm not gonna do drugs just to give myself an extra degree of difficulty.

But if you like to be on drugs and then experience a psychedelic rock band, or if you don’t like to be on drugs but for some reason also really really like psychedelic rock bands anyway, by all means you should already be a huge fan of Acid Mothers Temple. They do a real good job of going from thing to thing competently and slowly and without being too embarrassing about it. Like at one point a Japanese flute came out, but it wasn’t like “stop everything, guys, because here’s this flute thing we’re doing now that we want you to be extra impressed by” so much as “huh? What’s THAT noise? Oh, a flute. Okay, I guess it’s flute time!” And because flute time is a result of the competence and confidence of an experienced psychedelic rock band such as Acid Mothers Temple and not a bunch of damn kids who think flute time is some kind of an anarchistic political statement they’re making, you’re like “Okay, these guys have earned flute time. I am enjoying flute time. Flute time is good right now.” Then during good right now flute time, you think mind-expanding things like “maybe Pharaoh Sanders isn’t completely intolerable like I thought he was when I was 26.”

Guess what never happens at my house, no matter what? Flute time. And if flute time somehow did happen at my house, it would NOT be good. It would be upsetting. For at least one of the people living at my house, and probably exactly one dog, any plausible flute time in the home scenario would be like, “oh man, it’s FLUTE TIME? That SUCKS.” So hey, I left the house and I experienced a good version of flute time thanks to Acid Mothers Temple, and I learned that good flute time is one of those things that only happens outside. I don’t think I really need flute time to happen all that often and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with this new flute time information, but there we go.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Operation American Spring, The Knowledge Class, and LOLing For the Status Quo

By: Ben Johnson

Let me just be clear about one thing: Operation American Spring is idiotic. Okay? It’s a bunch of gun-toting redneck weirdos with an undefined agenda and a core set of values springing forth from some peripheral belief systems best described as “wackadoodle.” I have not conducted any on-the-ground journalism about this, but I’m still confident in venturing that the only action necessary to completely discredit these people is to ask them questions and let them talk. It is likely they will, in such a case with very little prompting, go on to tell you about the President’s forged birth certificate, or Sandy Hook being an inside job perpetrated by the powerful liberal elite anti-gun lobby, or the non-existence of evolution. I don’t know this, I’m just guessing. That’s my guess. My guess is that these people, and the ways they have come together (or failed to) to express themselves politically, are not to be taken seriously. I couldn’t possibly advocate their stances or what they’re doing less.

So, now that I’ve gotten that caveat out of the way, I love these guys. They are absolutely right about everything they’re saying. According to the above-linked Washington Times post, Operation American Spring’s goal is the immediate (or eventual) ouster of “Mr. Obama, Mr. Boehner, Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joseph R. Biden,” because, says ringleader Col. Harry Riley, “They have all abandoned the U.S. Constitution, are unworthy to be retained in a position that calls for servant status.” My biggest beef with this assertion is that the list of targeted U.S. Constitution-abandoners does not include the Supreme Court. The rest are also a bunch of documented NSA-spying, Guantanamo operating, drone-striking, procedural filibustering, waterboard-approving benders and breakers of both the spirit and the law of the Constitution who, as its designated servants, should absolutely be held accountable for the country not running as well as it should, including, if possible, by such populist means as these Operation American Spring lunatics claim to represent in absurd abundance.

I felt the same way about the Occupy Wall Street movement. What a great, pyrrhic, totally pointless statement. What a great bunch of idiots making totally valid points in the most easy-to-ignore way possible.

I was put off then by the general tone of the backlash to the Occupy movement. It seemed like a bunch of rich white guys in suits, born into privileged social networks and not understanding how somebody else could not be, hollering “get a job, it’s not that hard.” I could easily imagine, through overheard whispers, the general eyeroll sentiment of chuckling exchanges of Wall Street Businessguy “commuter horror stories” in elite private lounges. I saw the conservative corporate media’s functionally accurate but irresponsibly incomplete portrayal of the protestors as largely disorganized, off-message children possibly more devoted to getting laid in tents than to any stable, consistent, or workable political ideology.

The backlash to this current outcropping of populist American political crazies rankles just as much. Yeah, these guys are nutbags. Of course they’re nutbags. You’d have to be a complete maniac to get up off of the butt you are currently sitting on in relative comfort and go all the way to some public park in Washington, DC with the goal of removing the seven or so most powerful operators in your democratically-elected government because of any reasons. That is a patently nutbag activity. Crispus Attucks, regardless of his actual level of participation in political agitation or mob violence, was a nutbag to be anywhere near where British soldiers were standing with guns. Now he is a famous dead nutbag instead of an unfamous, still-dead, non-nutbag who saw what was going down near the state house and said, sensibly, “look at all these angry crowds gathering in this public square; now is probably a very good time to go grocery shopping.”

I realize the “American Patriot” imagery in invoking Attucks is a little on the nose with the self-conception these Operation American Spring zealots are trying to promote. My point is that history is written by the winners, and those winners get to turn around and say, “We were not the nutbags. The other guys were the nutbags. We were just reacting justifiably to the oppressive nutbaggery of the other guys.” The constituency of Operation American Spring are not winners in any sense. So we get to laugh at them. But that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. The current operational power structure of the U.S. Government runs in many ways (de facto and de jure) directly counter to many of the precepts set forth by the U.S. Constitution, allowing of course for interpretation.

This is completely unsurprising, since the Constitution is a document written almost 227 years ago, when there was no such thing as an assault rifle or Nebraska and it was legal to own a person or beat your wife. The Constitution hasn’t even been altered since 1992 (the 27th Amendment, which was first proposed in 1789), which is insane. The world and the country are very different now compared to 1992. The Constitution is, by design, a not particularly responsive document, open, by design, to interpretation. To swear to uphold it is to accept responsibility for a certain amount of latent hypocrisy.

But these nutbags are right when they say that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

Also, who am I to label these people as nutbags? History is written by the winners, so I must be a winner if I get to decide who’s a crazyballs crazyman and who’s not. I must be one of these “liberal elites” they keep railing against, doling out legitimacy privileges only to whoever I see fit. I must be a part of some special Knowledge Class who gets to decide what political agendas are valid based on what I am told in The Atlantic or The Economist. I must be someone who has access to the “correct” information. If these people are nutbags, and I’m saying they’re nutbags, and tweeting #LOLnutbags on Twitter, and closing my shutters on the nutbags outside, then I must have a fairly comfortable life inside of these shutters. Me and Rachel Maddow both.

Maybe what the backlash to Operation American Spring is saying isn’t “those guys are borderline racist (or other example A, B, and C of an instantaneously problematic stance) wacky radical right wing gun guys” so much as “I’m fine with the way things are, and I’m not one of those people who isn’t.” And this is how political change is stymied in the current era. Divisions are reinforced naturally when resources diminish. Divided population segments are more likely to say “we deserve whatever resources are left because of (any reason, in the example of the OAS backlash because we are the smart ones and they are not, in the example of OAS because we are real true patriotic Americans and they are not)” than to band together with the other divided segments and demand more resources for everybody

(Here I am implying that total U.S. household wealth divided equally among the U.S. population right now is $243,000+ per person, which I don't know about you but I sure don't have that kind of cash, and maybe something in the vein of giving that money to places that are more helpful than the current places it is located might be a helpful way to fix all the problems there are)(I mean $243k PER PERSON, holy shit, holy shit)

So that’s why I’m not going to denigrate the efforts of Operation American Spring. I’m with them. I agree with them, fervently, especially with their most basic underlying assumption. We should not be getting screwed over by the powers that be to the extent that we currently are. None of us should be. I’m just probably not going to go out there and join them. They are armed to the teeth, and I don’t trust them to replace any of the people they’d prefer to remove with anybody better. Because, yes, they are delusional psychos, and because more importantly they are not my delusional psychos.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hawaiian Shirts Make Everyone and Everything Better

By: Christopher Forsley

Illustration by Cameron Forsley

I'm not Hawaiian and I don't often wear shirts, but, from this day forward, I'm going to wear Hawaiian shirts and only Hawaiian shirts. Mark Twain said that clothes make the man and that naked people have no influence on society. I disagree. Naked people always have an influence on society. I've been naked in society and influenced a cabbie to reject me, an old lady's heart to fail, and a firefighter to hose down my fire-crotch. But I agree that clothes make the man. Tight jeans make the man infertile. Dresses make the man less manly. And Hawaiian shirts make the man both classy and comfortable.  

I didn't decide to dedicate my torso to Hawaii's finest garments overnight. Rather, it was this morning while slurping up oatmeal and watching James Bond in Casino Royale (2006) that I made my decision. This Bond, Daniel Craig, is my least favorite. He's blond and brainless. But his first Bond flick, Casino Royale (2006), ranks among the franchise's best. . . and, along with the poker sequence where Jeffrey Wright does the best Felix Leiter since Rick Van Nutter, it's because Craig wears a Hawaiian shirt. It's the shirt that provides him with the class and charisma he's naturally lacking.
Sean Connery, unfortunately, didn't wear Hawaiian shirts, but, unlike Craig, he didn't need to. His natural charisma and class allowed him to conjure the character of Bond with ease. Craig isn't so lucky. In his second Bond film, Quantum of Solace (2007), he didn't wear a Hawaiian shirt and, as a result, the film is tied with Die Another Day (2002) as the franchise's worst. It's impossible for Craig to play Bond with the natural class and charisma Connery displayed in the likes of From Russia With Love (1963) and Goldfinger (1964), but if he would make Hawaiian shirts a permanent part of his wardrobe, I think he could compare with the Connery of Diamonds Are Forever (1971).  

Hawaiian shirts make everyone and everything better. Craig is a better Bond when he wears a Hawaiian shirt, and Bond flicks are better flicks when the viewer wears a Hawaiian shirt. Why do you think Hawaiian shirts are so popular with cubicle workers? It's because it makes their mundane, enslaving existence, if not better, more bearable. It transports them out of their white-walled hell and into a paradise where hula-girls dance naked on the beach and the waterfalls flow with rum.

They're also the most comfortable shirts. And what's more important than comfort? Absolutely nothing. While most shirts are made from sweat-encouraging, bacteria-nurturing cotton that changes shape and looses comfort as time goes by, Hawaiian shirts are made from the sparkling silk of the best-bred silkworms which ages like fine wine. The longer you own and wear such a shirt, the more comfortable it becomes. 

Because Hawaiian shirts age like fine wine and evolve alongside your waste line, they're an investment. Most shirts are like cars: they lose half their resale value within a year and need repairs shortly after. But Hawaiian shirts are like gold: they are treasures that have, since the beginning of time, acted as a safeguard against inflation and currency depreciation. Used clothing stores like Buffalo Exchange are always eager to buy Hawaiian shirts, and any good pawnbroker will give you a loan if you offer a Hawaiian shirt as collateral. 

Do you think it's a coincidence that our greatest pop-culture icons all wear Hawaiian shirts? Ace in Ace Venture(1994), 'Hi' McDunnough in Raising Arizona (1987), Tommy Vercetti in GTA: Vice City (2002), Tony Soprano in The Sopranos (1999-2007), Chunk in The Goonies (1985), Raul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971, 1998), Dale in Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers (1989), Tony Montana inScarface (1983), Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High(1982), Nick Nolte in jail (2002) -- we love these characters for a reason.

We don't love them because they wear Hawaiian shirts. We love them because they are the type of people that wear Hawaiian shirts. The guy with the Hawaiian shirt is a guy you can trust. He'll get you into trouble but then get you out. He's the guy with the hottest chick and the fastest car. He'll always offer you a drink and a joint. He's the sharpest shooter and the wittiest of wits. The guy with the Hawaiian shirt is happy. He's the guy, every time you wear a Hawaiian shirt, you get to be.

The Forsley Brothers (Christopher and Cameron) come to Total Bozo from, where they are also awesome.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Everything You Can Learn About (Rose Byrne) in Fifteen Minutes

By: Kelly McClure

Rose Byrne is a pretty lady. What else? Rose Byrne is that pretty lady from Damages. Personally, that's enough, but I bet there's more! Here's what can be learned about Rose Byrne in fifteen minutes.

1) Rose Byrne is from Australia. I did NOT know that. Already we are learning so much about Rose Byrne.

2) Her parents did extremely normal things. The minute I read what these things are, they fell immediately out of my head. Business things. Finance?

3) Rose Byrne has been in a film with Nicholas Cage. It was a science-fiction film called Knowing and I bet it was GREAT. 

4) In 2013 Rose Byrne was in a film with (REDACTED) called The Place Beyond the Pines. I saw this film but I don't remember what part she played. Something in the back of my mind tells me she played a B-Word.

5) Rose Byrne now lives in New York and I have a mind to find her and then look at her.

6) Rose Byrne played a flooze in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. I forgot about that. I used to own that movie on DVD but I think my last roommate stole it because I don't have it anymore.

7) Rose Byrne describes herself as having "wild taste" in music. According to IMDB she likes: Pat Benatar, Fleet Foxes, and Elvis. I think someone made that up. I can't imagine someone making a list like that. Making a list like that is similar to saying your favorite food is beans. 

8) Rose Byrne enjoys reading and doing crosswords. Me too, aside from the crosswords part. 

9) Here's a quote from her on New York: "I'm in love with the city. You can impress an Australian with a city, but you can't impress them with a beach." I'm not sure how to take that. I'm not sure what that means.

10) Here's a quote from her on working with Glenn Close in Damages: "We're great friends."

11) There is a site called WikiFeet that I just now learned about. It's a site about feet that I'm assuming is for sex reasons. Here's Rose Byrne's page on that site

12) Rose Byrne has a sex scene with Seth Rogen in her latest film, Neighbors. I'm sorry, Rose Byrne.

13) Rose Byrne has killed for love. hahahahaha. No she hasn't. Or has she? 

14) When you Google "Rose Byrne scandalous" nothing scandalous comes up.

15) I'm thinking about Rose Byrne. Are you thinking about me, Rose Byrne?