Tag Archives: intelligent

Things That Rock: Republicans

18 Jan

Good to see you again. Sorry that it’s been so long since I last made you laugh, but I’ve had a tumultuous couple of weeks. You see, ever since I stole away from my monastery in the middle of the night (no, that ‘Brother’ in my name isn’t random) armed only with a box of tagalongs Peanut Butter Patties and a pair of hook swords, I have been mercilessly pursued by a cadre of cyborg zombie ninjas hell-bent on forcing me back to the monastery where I would be forced to eat beets and contemplate Godel Escher Bach alongside the other monks for the rest of eternity. Hell no. But now that I’m safely holed up in a top-secret bunker located miles beneath Ayers Rock, I’m free to write another article!

I'll miss this woman.

Luckily for all you raging optimists, this one is about something that’s awesome, as opposed to something that’s terrible. Even better, it’s about a ‘diamond in the rough’ sort of awesomeness that can be hard to appreciate if you take it too seriously.* In other words: this year’s Republican presidential primaries.

The GOP candidates (or as I like to call them, Mitt & Friends) have been so ubiquitous in our culture these last few months that I’m sure your mind was assailed with a flood of images and quotes and feelings as soon as you saw those words. Maybe they’ve made you angry or sad or scared for the future of America. But hell, they were entertaining, weren’t they?

Yes they were. Especially once it became clear that turds like Michele Bachmann had no chance of making the cut, it was fun to kick back and watch Rick Perry metaphorically poop himself on live TV or listen to Herman Cain quote the Pokemon movie after his past as a serial rapist was revealed.

Here’s how I parlayed the possible terror of these primaries into something enjoyable: Imagine you went in for a routine dentist checkup. You expect it to be as routine and uneventful as it always is when you go in for these appointments every four years, but surprise! Your dentist finds deep rot in some of your teeth. A root canal’s the only thing for it. Shit, you’ve got a nonrefundable one-way ticket to of the most infamously painful procedures ever conceived by doctors. Begin the nervous freakout.

What else to say about the awesomeness of the GOP primaries?

That root canal diagnosis (and the crippling fear that accompanied it on your part) was Bachmann winning the Ames Straw Poll, or perhaps Perry’s entry into the campaign as a veritable behemoth of money and charisma and prayer, plus former pizza CEO Herman Cain making the cover of Newsweek as the candidate to beat. Former pizza CEO! It sure looked like America was headed for an extremely painful procedure, wasn’t it?

But then a few days later, after you’ve spent several sleepless nights tossing and turning over your fate, you get a call from your dentist. He forgot to tell you: they’re going to knock you out for all of it. You won’t feel a thing. And painkillers being what they are these days, you’ll be right as rain within 24 hours.

For me, that brow-wiping ‘wheeeeeeeeeeew’ moment was the poll, one of the first after Cain and Perry and Bachmann had risen and fallen in the ratings like the figures on a merry go round (only if those figures were stupid clowns instead of the usual beautiful horses), that showed Newt Gingrich in first place. NEWT GINGRICH! FIRST PLACE! Good God, this man once impeached a president for infidelity while cheating on his second wife with a woman who ended up becoming his third wife, and later explained his extramarital affairs by saying that they were “partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country.” Yes! And he was in first place to be the Republican candidate for president! I had been almost scared to laugh at the primaries up to this point, like meeting a guy at a party who keeps nonsensically rambling about Clarence Thomas, only you don’t laugh because you can’t tell if he’s joking or drunk. But now Newt Gingrich was in first place! Turns out that guy was drunk and joking! Commence laughter!**

In a gold-in-the-sand kind of way, or perhaps in a we’ll-knock-you-out-for-the-entire-procedure kind of way, that subtle change in viewing the GOP primaries completely transforms the experience from frightening to hilarious. Once you don’t have to worry about finding a house in Canada (my personal Bachmann contingency plan), you can enjoy these video compilations of classic Bachmann quotes (complete with music!) and laugh at the complete absurdity of the existence of ‘classic Bachmann quotes.’ Once you don’t have to watch professional people seriously debate the 9-9-9 tax plan, you can enjoy the ceaseless stream of ridiculousness that is Herman Cain. Once Rick Santorum wins second place in the Iowa caucuses and opens the door to all sorts of Twitter-ready remarks about how Santorum is being spread in Iowa, it’s nothing but joy.

The man loves to get some tail.

I loved these primaries. From a comedy standpoint, there really was nothing better. How can you not love a primary campaign that spawned a website devoted to showcasing animals with Newt Gingrich?

Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to be stuck with Romney vs. Obama for the next few months, two rational, intelligent, and capable men locked in learned debate. Being the heinous renegade monk that I am, I don’t really know what ‘learned debate’ means, but I’m guessing there will be fewer Pokemon quotes involved. I don’t know what I’m going to do for reality TV entertainment. I mean, maybe you can sit through an episode of the Steven Tyler American Idol, but I certainly can’t. But then again, you’re probably a better person than I am, as evidenced by the fact that you’re not currently on the lam from a cadre of cyborg zombie ninjas.

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*Much like the cinematography of Wayne’s World 2.
**And the systematic destruction of any shred of decency that remained in Fran’s.

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The Five Flavors of Motherfucker

16 Dec

Indulge your synesthesia. We’re categorizing the most unpalatable people.

An industrial-size salty motherfucker

Salty Motherfuckers
Let me take you back to the diving board at your local swimming pool. You’d jump, swim to the ladder or the edge, climb out, and then get in line, jump, swim, climb, repeat. There’d be a pretty regular line that formed. But then once, you’d do the sweetest cannonbellywatermelopener dive known to mankind — maybe you’d take a little longer getting out of the water, or you’d stop to bask in compliments from your mom. This is when the Motherfucker would strike. You’d just be getting out of the water when out of the corner of your eye you’d see the kid that jumped in after you swimming to the edge with the urgency of the Space Race, yanking himself out of the water, and powerwalking (or even running, the bastard!) with one greedy eye on YOUR SPOT in line, and the other greedy eye checking back to see if you were gonna try and polite-fight him for it.

As if that weren’t bad enough, if he stole your spot, he’d get on the board and spend ten minutes debating what kind of jump to do with his friends (who were probably hanging on the lane line), while inside you’re screaming, “Accept that any way you flip is going to end up as a belly flop, before I come up there and push you off!” At Northwestern, you can identify these bitchwaffles pulling the same maneuver in the stir-fry or hot cookie bar line. This is why they are Salty Motherfuckers: pouring salt onto a wound is not really dangerous in the long term, but it’s pretty damn agonizing at the time. It makes you want to throw that aforementioned metaphorical salt back into their beady eyes, because it is as harmlessly obnoxious as the Salty Motherfucker.

Even her hair-tests came back positive for motherfucker

Savory Motherfuckers
Hey, remember when Oprah Winfrey had a hissy fit because a closed store wouldn’t reopen for her? Remember when Oprah Winfrey took credit for giving away shit that wasn’t hers? Remember when Oprah Winfrey existed? Yeah. Believe it or not, there are people so pampered that they will throw a tantrum when the Pier1 cashier can’t cater to their every whim by returning an item without a receipt or after 90 days. These are the snarky suburban moms who turn PTA meetings into Attack of the Martyrs Episode III because Little Johnny Do-No-Wrong has excessive allergies, and therefore clearly nobody’s parents should be allowed to bring in homemade birthday cakes. Note to readers: if you are someone who complains about the preparation of truffle shrooms at five-star restaurants or demands compensation for the terrible injuries caused by eating subpar lobster, please put yourself down, because you are irreparably broken and probably in constant pain from your delicate sensitivities. I’d suggest that we make astronomically high maintenance a crime, but then we’d have to arrest them and listen to them complain that their cell wasn’t padded enough.

Proceed with caution, as it can be very difficult to discern the difference between motherfuckers and simple guidos

Sour Motherfuckers
They’re assholes and they know it. Anyone who is inexplicably, selfishly, mercilessly malicious should have both their tongues and their genitals removed without anesthesia. Humans have hearts. If you suck as a human being, you do not deserve to contribute to the gene pool for fear that your children will grow up to be the kind of Motherfucker that does terrible things to people without even having to rationalize them. Examples of Sour Motherfucking include using someone who cares about you, sabotaging someone’s lab, lying about an STD, ruining others’ reputations, and touching children where they should not be touched. To be clear: Tucker Max’s shocking shenanigans usually fall under the category of harmlessly unpleasant Salty Motherfucker. The despicable bitch that somehow wound up in your sorority who ran for Recruitment Chair so she could put the freshmen down is a Sour Motherfucker. It’s all about the motives.

Ross Packingham's image of the perfect woman

Sweet Motherfuckers
These are the breed of superhumans whose perfection we will never attain and therefore must criticize. They are effortlessly attractive, intelligent, accomplished, athletic, stylish, polished, and well-spoken. They do not trip over their words. They do not trip over anything. They are the parents who jog with strollers containing the adorably well-trained future polite society of Icelandic Snow Owl benefits. And you know they’re probably good in bed. Arguably the worst Motherfucker, these cuntmuffins won’t even give you the decency of visibly fucking you over so you can hate them. If you express your certainty that there is something “off” about them (the possibility that they are actually a robot), you will almost certainly be met with shock from the believers in the tenured reputation of the android, who will shun you as either insane or jealous. Sweet Motherfuckers are more like aspartame than sugar: fake, carcinogenic, and typically lacking in caloric content. Breathe, fellow fuckups of the world: at least we’re more idiosyncratic.

This Evanston Councilman hasn't smiled in over 17 years

Bitter Motherfuckers
The Evanston City Council says one of their most frequently asked questions is: “What’s up your ass?” Since they cannot diagnose it themselves, Sherman Avenue will: They are Bitter Motherfuckers, the species of Motherfucker so filled with regret that the only thing left for them to do is to ensure that everyone else ends up unhappier than Edward Scissorhands trying to masturbate; that is to say, as unhappy as they are. But it’s not limited to the former premed/prelaw students who resent that their focus and initiative (translation: staunch denial of their own humanity) during their college days allowed them a very comfortable life in WASP’s nests. Other Bitter Motherfuckers include Denny’s waiters, certain unsuccessful starving artists, and (understandably) anyone working in retail on Black Friday. The best way to deal with these Motherfuckers is to maintain high levels of happiness in spite of their best efforts. Yes, it’s hard to do when they’re busy removing kids’ rights to trick-or-treat, cohabitate like sardines, or party like it’s Y2K. But there is no better revenge than the confidence of knowing you have a hopeful future and a pleasant present. Schadenfreude, bitches.

Ask not what heinousness can do for you. Ask what you can do for your heinousness.

Other Things David Stern Should Veto

12 Dec

The most hated white man in the league since Toni Kukoc

When sports journalists heard about the NBA Commissioner’s probably ill-advised decision to veto a trade that would’ve sent New Orleans point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers, they practically pooped themselves with rage, railing about the end of the NBA with an apocalyptic despair that would’ve made Harold Camping proud. When I heard about the NBA’s decision, all I could think about was the goodness that could be accomplished by extending David Stern’s veto power, trigger-happy finger, and ‘screw it, I don’t care if I ruin the seasons of three teams’ attitude into other walks of life. Here are the fruits of that aforementioned thinking:

1. Rick Perry’s Presidential Campaign
Here at Sherman Ave we love Rick Perry. Oh wait, no we fucking don’t. No one in their right minds could ever stand to be in the same room, much less vote for, that intolerable shitmuffin. It now seems utterly ridiculous that people as intelligent as Mike Murphy actually thought that Perry could win the Republican nomination. Well, they were about as wrong as Custer’s last words. If only David Stern had stepped forward in August to stop this embarrassing shitshow of a campaign from ever launching.

His dreams were crushed by David Stern. M. Night Shyamalan's should be, too.

2. M. Night Shyamalan’s ability to make movies
So The Sixth Sense was maybe kind of okay. But I dare anyone to make it through The Happening without puking in a biological attempt to reject the atrocity from staying with you. Shyamalan made only one or two movies that could ever be considered ‘good,’ and everything since then has been so unbearably atrocious that Shaymalan should be prevented from ever tainting our eyes with such heinousness again. Unfortunately, the good people at Disney (and by “good people” I of course mean “stupid fucktards”) just keep signing off on his movies. Let’s get Stern in there to crush them the way he crushed Chris Paul’s dreams.

3. No Shave November
I’ll be honest, this year I tried doing No Shave November for the entire month, to see once and for all if I could really grow a beard. I can’t. And I’ve got news for everyone else who has tried it: you can’t either. You do look like an atrocious hobo, though. Congrats. Scumbag Steve would be horrified by your hygiene. Now let’s please agree to never do No Shave November again.

4. New Rebecca Black songs

Rosa Parks' personal hero

Katy Perry has no regrets — only love — about going all the way tonight. I have the same feelings about Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Yes, it’s horrible, and yes, it probably shouldn’t exist, and yes, it speaks to some very heinous problems at the base of our modern society, but god damn is it funny. I’m glad it exists, and those two weeks where everyone in America absolutely refused to talk about anything else were just awesome. I feel bad for the hypothetical children I may or may not give birth to in the future because they will never have the experience of waiting at midnight for the release of Harry Potter books or movies, and I feel bad for them because they will never have the experience of going to school on March 18, 2011 (the Friday after the song came out) when everyone everywhere was singing “It’s Friday, Friday, GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY.” For two weeks it was fun to laugh, at the insipid songwriting, at the random rap verse that doesn’t make sense, at the problems with modern celebrity culture, but then those two weeks were over and we all moved on. DIDN’T WE?????

Apparently not. Apparently the ARK Music Factory thought that when 268,000 people disliked the “Friday” video, that meant “we love this, give us more please.” I hate to be the one to break this to you, Patrice Wilson, but when 268,000 people disliked the “Friday” video, it means they didn’t like it. At first, Rebecca Black was sad and kind of funny. Now she’s just sad.

5. Bill O’Reilly’s book about Lincoln
The only thing more ridiculous than the sentence “Bill O’Reilly wrote a book about the Lincoln assassination” is the sentence “Bill O’Reilly wrote a book about the Lincoln assassination that wasn’t true.” Yes. We live in a fucked up world. And while I think we have all accustomed ourselves to Fox News’s ridiculous excuse for news coverage, we don’t need them fucking up history as well. That’s Ross Packingham’s favorite subject!

6. “Ultimatum” by Jeph Loeb
If you’re a normal person, then it probably doesn’t mean anything to you when I say that Jeph Loeb fucked up the Ultimate Universe, but he did, and it is an intolerable atrocity.

Something doesn't seem right...

Quick nut graf: shortly after the dawn of the new millennium, Marvel Comics attempted to reinvigorate interest in their brand by creating an offshoot label, dubbed the Ultimate Universe, where they relaunched characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men as if their 40 year history didn’t exist, and the characters had been created in the year 2000. It worked. The stories were great, and their modern reworking of occasionally anachronistic Sixties concepts had a huge influence on Marvel’s later movie adaptations.

But in the year 2008, Marvel executives handed the creative reins of the Ultimate Universe to Jeph Loeb. It seemed like a sensible decision, as Loeb had won acclaim writing Batman at DC Comics. But whereas Loeb had done well on Batman with a strategy of utilizing Batman’s colorful cast and intriguing antihero sensibility, his plan for Ultimate Marvel was a little more like “destroy everything and kill every character.” His miniseries “Ultimatum” was basically a giant shit all over the Ultimate Universe, whose comics had helped spike my interest in the medium and which I still give to people who mention an interest in comic books, and I can no more forgive him for that than Eddie Murphy can forgive SNL for making one joke about him once.

And most importantly…

My First Quarter Grades
More important than any of the other things combined. I must admit, I got so caught up in college heinousness this quarter that I didn’t exactly get Will Hunting grades. Sure, it’s not like I stayed up past 2 am sequestered in the library every night of reading week preparing for my Ancient Philosophy final, but if Stern could have some words with Morty re: my grades, that would be dandier than Sebastian Flyte.

If that isn’t a convincing reason for giving David Stern a time machine and being done with it, I don’t know what is.

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