Announcement: I’m Taking A Hiatus From Updates

Okay, so I now officially fail at the Internets.

I need a break. An honest to God break. A hiatus.

I need to not post for a while.

I have a lot of major things going on in my life right now, and I don’t have the time or the attention span to put into creating quality posts of any sort. When things get straightened out, I’ll be back, and I think, better than ever.

Just… not right now.

I never wanted to be one of those people who couldn’t update on a schedule, but I think after doing this for four and a half years, all but one of those years on a daily basis, I don’t have a bad track record. Everything must come to an end.

But this isn’t an end, just a break.

I promise.

I need to go away and dream it all up again.

Don’t worry — BELIEVE ME when I tell you that the reason behind this…

Is a good thing.

Don’t Panic. We’re From The IRS.

Today is National Income Tax Filing Day, a day of community, where people from every walk of life can come together and share the common bond of standing shoulder to shoulder in the post office lobby. I don’t know much about income taxes, other than no one understands them and they freak me out. Seriously. Every time I start a new job, they give me a W-4, or a W-2, or a WD-40 form to fill out, and it makes me want to curl up into the fetal position on the floor and sob, and the only thing I have to do is mark a “1″ in certain spots.

Like any red-blooded American, I want to do my civic duty to properly report my filing status as accurately as possible to withhold the maximum amount of money from the government without being accused of perjury. Unfortunately, there are two factors working against me when it comes to income taxes. One is specifically designed to work against me, as it’s specifically designed to work against most people who are not criminally insane, (by which I mean “lawyers and politicians”). The other, I’ll admit, is that I am easily confused by anything combining numbers with completely abstract concepts.

The IRS combines both of these factors into one big, scary process specifically designed to make me panic and give them a lot of money, then worry that they’re going to throw me in jail anyway. This is the same thing that makes it impossible for me to perform any sort of financial transaction more substantial than buying gum without direct supervision.

Like, I’ll decide I want to go buy a car. To me, buying a car should be pretty self-explanatory. You go to a store, and you buy a car. Only in this case the “store” is called a “dealership,” and it’s loaded with “salesmen” who are trying to “take advantage of you.” You find a car that fits your price range and your needs, and you tell the salesman that you want the car. The problem comes in when the salesman sits you down in his office for several presidential administrations and starts talking about scary car things like features and options and dealer incentives. Then I get all confused. Then he’ll start throwing numbers out at random, and if he starts comparing it with another car, my brain shuts down. By the time I’m done, I might walk away with three cars. I might walk away with no cars and a 237% interest rate. I might walk away paying for someone else’s car. I have no idea!

I’m also really gullible. If the salesman tells me I need to have something on my car, oftentimes I’ll agree to it just to make him stop throwing numbers at me. That is why I always need to have someone with me who knows what they’re doing when I’m buying any expensive items like a car or a house or furniture or pretty much anything involving a contract.

Contracts are the worst. Insurance companies will list a bunch of policies, and I have no idea what any of them are really for because they all have names like “Balanced Assured Compensation Liability Mutual Licensee Aforementioned Deduction Allowance,” and of course I need every single one. I end up with an entire contract, and I don’t even know what it even covers, but I can rest assured knowing that whatever problem I have, it isn’t included in the contract.

This brings me back to today’s topic, which is income tax filing, a topic that makes me a total neurotic mess who seeks the advice of people who may or may not know what they’re doing. I don’t really know anything or care about income taxes, and therefore I had to fill the bulk of this article with completely unrelated filler. This is a time-honored technique that most professional writers perfect in college, where they are assigned essays on topics they care nothing about, such as the United States Tax Code. They have to answer such important questions as “Is the President of the United States exempt from paying income taxes?” and “Or what?” Both of these can be answered by copying and pasting any relevant section of the tax code, such as:

If an eligible person sells any property pursuant to a certificate of divestiture, at the election of the taxpayer, gain from such sale shall be recognized only to the extent that the amount realized on such sale exceeds the cost (to the extent not previously taken into account under this subsection) of any permitted property purchased by the taxpayer during the 60-day period beginning on the date of such sale.

TAX TIP: If you don’t owe the government any money, you can file up to three years past the deadline, but if you do owe the government money, trained IRS agents will kick down your door and take it from you.

Everything You Ever Needed To Know About Easter

March came in like a lamb, bounding and bleating and eating all the grass in our yards until we got fed up and cut off all its hair to make coats because March went out like a lion, raining all over the place. March contained no holidays meriting free days off work, although, in my opinion, the release of the Watchmen movie should have been considered. If only our country was run by former comic book nerds. At least they would have the sense to understand that Bruce Wayne would make a far better Treasury Secretary than Lex Luthor.

Directly following March naturally comes April, or unnaturally comes August, but since this isn’t a leap year I’m going to stick with April. April brings us the elusive holiday Easter, which falls on a different Sunday every year, ranging from the beginning of March to the end of May, given certain astrological calculations based on the positions of the stars and the mood in the air and the groundhog seeing its shadow on the day that Jesus died on the Cross. The Bible is not quite as specific about Easter as it is adamant that Christmas is to be celebrated on December 25th. Apparently two different Ancient Roman Bureaucrats were keeping records at the time.

DATE ON JESUS’ BIRTH CERTIFICATE: December 25th, 0 A.D.
DATE ON JESUS’ DEATH CERTIFICATE: The First Sunday Of The Third Trimester Of The Second Shepherd Moon Following The Super Bowl, Carry The Remainder, And No Less Than Six Weeks After The Groundhog Sees Its Shadow, 33 A.D.

Not much is known about Easter as it is not a highly publicized holiday. Christmas gets roughly 147 billion different songs on constant rotation everywhere you go from the beginning of August through the end of December. Christmas gets a slew of television specials and movies aired so aggressively some of them need a government mandate limiting how many times they can be shown on television each year. Easter, on the other hand, gets one song by obscure progressive rock band Marillion, a movie by Charlton Heston, and another by Mel Gibson.

I can’t recall much about the Charlton Heston Easter movie except it probably had something to do with guns, or maybe apes. I do happen to remember that easily influenced Christians blamed Jews for the death of Jesus Christ because Mel Gibson’s Easter movie told them to, even though the Bible explicitly states that it was all God’s fault. In fact, according to the Book of Matthew, Chapter 26, Verses 39 and 40:

39Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me.”

40God looked down and whispered “No.”

In response to the outrage over his negative portrayal of Jewish people in his movie, Mel Gibson expressed his sincere regret with a drunken, anti-Semitic tirade. There’s much more to Easter than the irrational hatred of Jewish people, though. There’s also bunnies. Since Easter takes place in the springtime, it’s been largely associated with bunnies, chickens, ducks, eggs, green pastures, blue skies, yellow sunshine, and whatever occurs in nature that can be associated with the color pink. (Strawberry Nestlé Quick?)

In the weeks leading up to Easter, parents can take advantage of the opportunity to frighten their kids by taking them to the mall and having them sit on the lap of a man in an anthropomorphic bunny costume because that is slightly less creepy of a holiday mascot than an emaciated bleeding guy in a diaper. This is the Easter Bunny. Unlike Jesus Christ, the Easter Bunny would steal chicken eggs and hide them to antagonize farmers, who would send their formidable armies of confused toddlers to retrieve them. As far as I can tell, this is the basis for the Easter tradition we still honor to this day of sending our college students to tropical paradises to have uninhibited, drunken sex for a week straight.

Most importantly, Easter is the last chance to get worthwhile holiday candy until Halloween. I highly recommend Brach’s Bunny Basket Eggs. These are basically pure cane sugar packed inside hard candy shells. These are so rich that most people eat half of one and put the other half away for later, but I can eat an entire bag of these at a time because I am an advanced candy eater and have been eating candy products for so long I will probably die from diabetes before I’m 40, but that is the sacrifice Jesus was willing to make to save the world from sin.

Harsh Criticism

When you’re someone important such as an Internet humorist or President of the United States, every once in a while, you have to respond to harsh criticism. Unless you’re a FoxNews pundit, like Bill O’Reilly or Glenn Beck. Then you don’t “respond” so much as you just shout at your critics to shut up and cut their mics if they don’t. However, when you’re an Internet humorist, you don’t get any harsh criticism because no one really cares about anything you have to say, so you have no choice but to make up some harsh criticism of your own.

Q: In your January 7th article about some guy named Rod Blagosomethingorother who only people in Illinois cares about, you reported a glaring inaccuracy. You mentioned that the town of Jenkinsburg, GA was momentarily commandeered by a man calling himself Jorgo the Wonked. I have lived in Jenkinsburg, GA my whole life, and to my recollection, nobody named “Jorgo” ever “commandeered” this town. He was actually narrowly voted in because we felt he’d do a slightly better job at running the town than his opponent, who was a goat. Please correct this error.

A: In all honesty, I didn’t think anybody would catch that because I made the assumption that the town of Jenkinsburg, GA probably didn’t have working Internet, or newspapers, or electricity. Thank you for bringing this oversight to my attention. In the future, I will do my best to research important facts about small towns before publishing an article, such as whether or not they do, in fact, have working Internet.

Q: On January 28, you said that Wintember used to be one of your favorite months, but I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing. I can’t find it on any calendar.

A: Wintember is actually a three-month period consisting of September, October, November, December, January, February, March, and Winter.

Q: In your column about Groundhog Day, you reported that the tradition was based on the observance of Candlemass, a gothic heavy metal band. The celebration that the tradition was based on was actually called “Candlemas,” with one “s,” like “Christmas.” What I want to know is: Is it “Groundhog Day” or “Groundhog’s Day”? Which is right?

A: Actually, Candlemass is a doom metal band, not gothic metal band. I felt the average reader, or “layreader,” might not be familiar enough with the more obscure subgenres of heavy metal to automatically recognize doom metal as opposed to the more common gothic metal. Gothic metal includes of bands like Type O Negative and Lacuna Coil, whereas doom metal consists of bands most people have never heard of.

Q: Back in January, you wrote something about William Harrison being a grizzly bear. I don’t mean to question the extent of your knowledge of American history, but I’m fairly certain that I don’t know who William Harrison was.

A: According to Wikipedia, William Harrison was the ninth President of the United States of America, serving I’m pretty certain sometime before 1980, when the order, dates, and names of the various presidents get confusing for anyone too lazy to care. Upon taking office, his first order of business, during the critical First 100 Days, was to get sick and die. This led to the ratification of the 25th Amendment, which states that the current between two points is inversely proportional to the resistance. Wikipedia lists nothing to dispute that William Harrison was, in fact, a grizzly bear.

Q: IN UR MUSIC HISOTRY COLLUM U WROTE THAT BENJIMAN FRANKLIN INVENTED RECORDING EQUIPMENT DISCOVERED AMERICA PAINTED TEH MONA LISA AND INVETNED THE INTERNET, YOUR WRONG HA HA AL GORE INVENTEND THE INTERNET STUPED!!@!

A: Based on my memory of high school American history, Benjamin Franklin lived for at least 300 years and pretty much invented everything because pretty much all they talked about was how great Benjamin Franklin was.

Q: I believe I discovered a misquote in your awesome and completely accurate criticism of Debbie Schlussel last week. You quoted her as writing: “And we all know what happened after they drank he purple Kool-Aid.” Shouldn’t you have typed “the purple Kool-Aid”? She doesn’t need any help to look like a terrible writer.

A: You’re right, but unfortunately, I didn’t actually type out the quote. You see, computers have this cool feature. All you have to do is highlight a block of text and press CTRL+C to copy it, and CTRL+V to paste it somewhere else, and as long as you properly attribute the block of text, it can fill word-space without being considered plagiarism. This tip also works really well for college papers. So anything I quoted appeared exactly as it was originally written.

Q: Ha ha! You’d think she’d proofread her articles before submitting them for publication!

A: Yes, and not only that, but also bear in mind that this is all just opinion for the purpose of satire!

Blozor Does Debbie

If you enjoyed the movie Watchmen, your mother deserves to be raped.

This is not my opinion; this is something that Conservative columnist Debbie Schlussel stated in a recent review of the film. (To read it, simply enter the words “Debbie,” “Schlussel,” and “Watchmen” into the nearest Google Search Engine.) Now, I am going to extend the basic journalistic courtesy from one columnist to another by refraining from using terms like “total whack job” or “completely [BLEEP]ing insane” to describe her. I shall refrain from suggesting that Schlussel’s shallow and ignorant shock value statements are nothing more than an apparent attempt to replace Ann Coulter, who faded into obscurity after becoming a voter liability. I am also not going to use words like “shallow,” “ignorant,” or “shock value” to describe Schlussel’s statements. Such insinuations would be beneath me.

Nor am I going to point out the obvious fact that the name of her syndicated column, “Debbie Does Politics,” is a play on the title of probably the most famous pornographic movie of all time. To imagine her saying something like “Oh, Senator Hardwick, what a big caucus you have!” would certainly be below my journalistic standards, and I am not going to stoop to such levels in this column. No sir!

I would much prefer to avoid negative remarks such as these, which I must emphatically state, for the purpose of clarification, cannot be considered libel if they’re either matters of opinion or true facts. For instance, it would be a matter of opinion to state that I think someone who named her column after a famous pornographic movie is probably not the most qualified authority to dictate what is and is not obscene. It would also be a matter of opinion to state, if it wouldn’t be absolutely beneath me to make such an accusation, that she obsesses over the movie’s few brief displays of non-sexualized male genitalia with a passion that would make a person wonder if things are all right for her at home.

It would be closer to fact to say that Schlussel’s review of Watchmen reads like a poorly researched junior high book report on a book she didn’t read, or that she writes professional sounding statements that only a fourteen-year-old girl could generate: “Wow, isn’t that cool that they got it wrong on purpose? I’m so amazed at this ‘high-brow art’ of deliberately getting dates and timelines wrong, you know, just to be ‘artistic,’ and get the drooling of the critics. That is sooooo genius. Like way totally cool.” On second thought, that may be going too far. I’m sure there are many teenage girls out there who are far better writers than Debbie Schlussel.

Debbie Schlussel jumped on the chance to insult an incredibly popular movie with a large cult following to get herself noticed with about as much tact as a schizophrenic ripping her shirt open on a busy street corner and shouting “I SEE PENISES!!” She feigns outrage at the abundant graphic violence against convicted felons and child killers throughout the movie, despite commenting on the upcoming Tarantino film Inglorious Basterds that, “I’ll never be disturbed by seeing Nazis hacked to death.” She says nothing to condemn the brutal slaying of two lesbian lovers depicted in the movie, so long as no one has to explain to their child what a “lesbian” or a “whore” is. If one wanted to be so bold, one might conclude that, it’s not the violence or gore that Debbie Schlussel has a problem with as long as it’s directed toward those she deems worthy.

Her original review of the movie received a lot of attention from people who had major problems with it, the most glaring of which being that it was written by an idiot. (Ha ha! That is simply some good-natured ribbing from one humorist to another, and certainly in no way intended as a malicious comment!) This prompted Debbie to write an entire second article to address the apparent fact that her mind had snapped like a dry twig.

For her encore, she whips out her thesaurus leaving no synonym for “moron” untouched and enthusiastically calls for the mass genocide of everyone who enjoyed the movie: “The e-mails they send me and the comments they make … reminds me of the blind statements of followers of Jim Jones. And we all know what happened after they drank he purple Kool-Aid. If only this movie could achieve that result, it would be the most fantastic exercise in natural selection ever conducted in America.”

This is where she states that if you enjoyed the movie Watchmen, “maybe your sister should be fed to dogs and your mother raped and your brother should have his arms sawed off.”

Someone should remind her that it is just a movie, and as such, it doesn’t pose nearly the same threat as the blind followers of her destructive hate speech.

The Cultural Music Preservation Society

We here at the Cultural Music Preservation Society, (or SHASTA, for short), have become alarmed at the number of really good songs from the past several decades that may not be preserved to drive future generations crazy.

First, let me explain the purpose of the Cultural Music Preservation Society. Our, (myself, and a whole slew of non-existent people), non-profit organization spends an annual 3.9 billion federal (“taxpayer”) dollars researching which really good songs from the past few decades should be preserved for decades to come. (This is not true. The federal government, outside the IRS, has no idea that I even exist, and could not care less which songs get preserved.) (The federal government probably has no idea that these songs even exist.)

In short, we are a society dedicated to the preservation of cultural (“really good”) music. This brings me to the point of today’s column. I have found that if the public isn’t informed by someone at least pretending to be associated with the federal government which songs are good or bad, the public will go about doing extremely public things like listening to really bad songs performed by artists like Michael Bolton or Nickelback. This may have been what happened to Iron Butterfly’s classic Sixties hit “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” which was a good song, but unfortunately contained upwards of 14 minutes of drum solo. Even with the drum solo edited out, so the song was shortened down to less than three minutes, classic rock radio stations still wouldn’t play it because, without the drum solo, the song makes absolutely no sense. If every single person in a particular city called up requesting “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” one day, the deejay would simply make up a request for a more “reasonable” song. (“And it looks like U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel has just called in with a request fooooooorrrrrr… uuuuuuuhhhhhh… ‘The Monkees Theme,’” the deejay would say.)

I’m not saying that “The Monkees Theme” is a bad song. I’ll even admit that I sometimes sing “The Monkees Theme” while sitting in front of my computer, waiting for my brain to make up important facts about members of Congress. (“We’re the young generation, and we’ve got something to say,” I’ll sing, followed by, “I wonder if I could turn THAT into an important fact about U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel.”) Anyway, after long, difficult, and pain-staking research, we here at the Cultural Music Preservation Society have come up with a list of songs that we believe should be preserved:

  1. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson
  2. “If You Go” by John Secada
  3. “All She Wants to do is Dance” by Don Henley

I’ve decided that Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” should be culturally preserved. After watching various groups of people do the “Thriller” dance on YouTube — including a U.S. Marine, about 500 different wedding parties, an entire Philippine prison camp, and Darth Vader and four Stormtroopers — I started wanting to learn the “Thriller” dance myself, all 14,794,932 moves of it. You never know when it might come in handy, such as a spontaneous diversion during a mugging or hostage situation.

Also while avoiding any productive work by watching YouTube videos for “research purposes,” I came upon the video for the song “If You Go” by John Secada, whom I vaguely remember from the Nineties as having a name that sounds suspiciously like a type of insect. The video depicts an orange John Secada running down an orange highway to a yellow church where his golden girlfriend is getting married to a brown man, then it cuts to a yellow John Secada singing in front of a yellow car at an orange gas station. After a while, I found myself kind of cheering for John Secada, hoping that by the time he gets to the yellow church, the constipated look on his orange face goes away so she’ll see that she really loves him, and they can have little goldenrod children together, if the people staring at them angrily on the bus don’t eat them first.

Finally, the song “All She Wants to do is Dance” by Don Henley. It sounds sort of like what would happen if Skynet sent a group of cyborgs back to 1985 with a mission to terminate new wave music, so instead of trying to kill Sarah Connor, they formed Hewey Lewis and the News and released this song. It’s about a woman who could easily dance straight through the Third World War. If Godzilla attacked the local disco lounge, all she’d want to do is dance, dance, dance. If Godzilla asked her on a date, all she’d want to do is dance, dance, dance, and make romance. I feel that this song should be preserved so future generations will look back on us and laugh at what horrible songwriters we were.

The History Of Music

Music has existed for as long as I can remember, which easily dates back to at least 500,000,000 B.C., when the very first Neanderthals picked up their clubs and beat them rhythmically against the heads of other Neanderthals to produce the sixteen-minute psychedelic hit “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”

Some time later, God created the universe and nothing musically happened for a while because God sent His Chosen People to wander around in the desert being persecuted, and no one felt like singing about it since angsty rock wouldn’t be popular until the early 1990′s. Later, David wrote the Book of Psalms, (a Hebrew word, meaning “more than one Psalm”), which recommended praising God with instruments such as the “psaltery” and the “lyre,” which are, clearly, made-up words.

Not much is known about the development of ancient music directly following the Biblical period of recorded history, which spans from the Creation of the Universe through the End of the World. The Middle Ages were littered with wandering minstrels traveling the hillsides, singing ballads of brave knights and fair maidens until someone would throw a shoe at them and tell them to shut up. Eventually people decided to give various musical concepts names like the note, the tune, the tone, the chord, the powerchord, the bass, the treble, the flat, the sharp, the flarp, the scale, the rhythm, the timbre, the tenor, the baroke, the lute, the pitch, the whistle, and the electric slide.

Applying these terms and many more, classical composers spent the next four centuries composing music that, as near as anyone can tell, did not contain the slightest hint of a guitar solo. Instead, orchestral musicians would perform these songs using instruments with comical names like the “oboe” and the “bassoon.” (“Look at that oboe player! What a bassoon!”) Some of these pieces are still played to this day on that one station at the bottom of the dial that no one listens to because each song is over an hour long and followed by several more minutes of dead air while the deejay wakes up.

The classical period produced many composers with names like Fritzhanz Lupidus Van Halen II, and peaked when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Symphony No. Infinity” was bumped from its Number One spot on the Billboard Charts by Ludwig Kamikaze Beethoven’s immortal masterpiece “Symphony No. Infinity Plus One.” Toward the end of the 1800s, the pioneering spirit of the American West was captured with sweeping orchestral compositions that expressed such important aspects of frontier life as “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”

Fresh off the heels of the classical period came the big band era of the 1920s because people decided they wanted to dance to their orchestral music without looking like some sort of twit. Big band possessed an incredibly upbeat sound created by a rhythm section and about 50,000 horn players, or “hornists” as they’re called in the music world. Big band fell out of popularity with the onset of the Great Depression when nobody felt like dancing anymore.

Following the Great Depression, music split into two major categories: “jazz,” a highly technical form that borrowed many elements from big band except that you couldn’t dance to it, and “blues,” which stripped music down to its basic components of one guitar and a four lines repeated over and over. Jazz and blues combined to give us the music we know and enjoy today, namely: rock, pop, classic rock, heavy metal, dance, R&B, rap, country, folk, bluegrass, ska, punk, new wave, funk, synthpop, bubblegum, alternative, ambient, golden oldies, Motown, world beat, techno, disco, grunge, opera, nu metal, progressive rock, and the electric slide, none of which anybody’s parents ever liked.

Modern recording equipment, created in the early Twentieth Century by genius inventor Benjamin Franklin, who was already quite old when he discovered America and when he painted the “Mona Lisa,” makes the creation and distribution of music easier than ever before. Beethoven, for instance, only wrote maybe ten songs in his entire lifetime, and you had to lug an entire symphony orchestra around with you if you wanted to hear one of his songs, say, while you were driving. Modern artists can easily double that output on each album, and you can listen to it anywhere, whether you want to or not. By the time Benjamin Franklin invented the Internet in 1996, people had grown tired of the recording industry gouging (literally, “poking with sharp sticks”) prices and started “downloading” music for “free.” This upset a great number of Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and deregulated the music industry, forcing musicians to compete by creating music that no sane person would ever want to hear, a trend that still continues to this day.