Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Simpsons and How They Embiggened Me: Season 1, Episode 3

Homer's Odyssey
Chalkboard gag: I will not skateboard in the halls. (They really weren't even going for jokes at this point)

Couch gag: The Simpsons crowd in and the couch falls apart.

Bart's class is taking a field trip and Krabappel implores the children to behave, especially Bart after the incident at the Springfield state prison field trip. Very 90s joke. Schools are prisons. Schools are underfunded and have to go on field trips to prisons.

Otto, who is introduced with the dialogue, "Party hardy equals tardy." Bart asks if Otto has any new tattoos and Otto says he woke up with a new one on his arm. This is a very interesting episode in terms of chronology. Bart states that he wants a tattoo (Otto responsibly says, "Not until you're 14, little man.") but we already know Bart GOT  a tattoo during the Christmas special.

You'll notice that Santa's Little Helper has also not appeared since the Christmas special. That's because the Christmas special was the first to air but most the episodes that follow it on the broadcast schedule were written and completed prior to the Christmas special. Thus, Bart wishing for a tattoo and the complete lack of Santa's Little Helper makes sense. We can all stop sitting on our hemorrhoids now that that's cleared up.

Wendell. Everyone knows a kid like Wendell. When Bart sits next to him on the bus, he states with his hands over his stomach, "Please try not to shake the seat like that." I knew a kid named Danny who was kind of like Wendell when I was in Kindergarten through second grade. Danny had a major problem. He sneezed a lot and every time he sneezed more than his weight in snot came out of his nose. This is no joke. The viscosity of his snot was incredible, too. Even at such a young age and total ignorance of the science behind it, I was impressed by viscosity! I sometimes wonder whatever happened to Danny and his sneezing problem. Hopefully he didn't become the kind of guy who sniffs people's feet as they sleep on the bus. I hate those guys.

A lot of Bart's misbehaving in these early episodes are normal, class clown kinds of hi jinx. Later, Bart becomes a little more criminal but for now, Bart makes jokes about losing his arm right after Krabappel warns the kids not to stick their hands out of the window. She rightly calls it "tomfoolery" because that's all it is this early in the Simpsons' life. This joke makes a reappearance in another episode in the first or second season and it's told by the one-armed arms dealer whose name escapes me.

As the bus drives, we become acquainted with Springfield's landmarks: the toxic waste dump, the Springfield Tire Yard, the Springfield State Prison, and the Springfield Elementary School -  Otto's shortcut.

The animation is pretty rudimentary compared to later seasons. You'll notice the representation of Bart's height changes pretty damn frequently. Also, the students 'extras' look like Schoolhouse Rock characters.

I never knew twins growing up but Sherry and Terry are how I imagined them all to be. Bart's disgusted by the twins kissing him and he screams, getting him in trouble, and forcing him to sing "John Henry Was A Steel Driving Man" to the bus. A weird punishment for the teacher we know in later seasons to be almost completely resigned to utter indifference towards Bart or any of her other students for that matter.

Wendell makes the bus ride without vomiting up until the point Bart points out that he did and, like every Wil E. Coyote cartoon wherein the characters don't fall until they realize they should be falling, Wendell spews.

Notice: this is our first introduction to Waylon Smithers and he's black with gray hair. He's teaching the kids about nuclear power and how they run everything from, "your video games to yummy cotton candy machines." The jokes are very cynical and, for whatever reason, feel very 90s to me. It's very Generation X. My uncle is an X'er and throughout my memory of him he could carry on whole conversations consisting of only Simpsons quotes. I very much associate this early period of the Simpsons with my uncle and dad making little cracks about the Simpsons around the dinner table while we ate In-N-Out. That's an all-American pastime, isn't it?

Smilin' Joe Fission is an animated cartoon that explains nuclear energy. It's drawn to look like it's super old and from the 70s. However, it's hard to separate that parody of animation with the style and quality of animation of these early Simpsons episodes.

It's also the first appearance of Blinky, the famous Springfield three-eyed fish.

Jesus Christ, I've written too much and I'm only 5 minutes into the episode. This calls for Jesus Christ.

Even though Homer is portrayed as a lazy, donut eating, fat ass... Homer seems halfway competent at his job than he is portrayed in later seasons. He does cause an accident and he does get fired but there is something about him in that golf cart that makes him seem like he knows what he's doing. It's stupid, I know, because everyone I ever knew that rode around in a golf cart not on a golf course was mentally insane and terminally lazy. There was a kid on my baseball team whose dad used to ride around on a golf cart. I remember seeing him get pulled over right in front of the Carl's Jr. he was about to patronize on it. It was ridiculous. Why Homer in a golf cart makes me feel he's okay at his job, I have no idea. Maybe it's because he cares how he's perceived by Bart immediately before Bart arrives and as he gets fired. Maybe Homer's early season sentimentality makes him feel like a more competent person overall. 

Lisa reads classified ads to Homer. Notice something; Homer's head is like a goddamned balloon at the top. What was with these animators? There is no consistency scene to scene for any of the characters.

Look at that melon. It's unnatural. It's hard to look at. It's like watching the Afghan rip off of the Simpsons. 

"I've never done anything worthwhile in my life. I'm a big worthless nothing."

"You're right! I'm young, I'm able-bodied, and I'll take anything! Watch out, Springfield. Here I come."

This is still early Simpsons finding its footing. The Simpsons were able to break free of Sam Simon's sitcom formula later precisely because of their early success abiding it. They built audience trust with their ordinariness. Without a first season as grounded in traditional TV early on, we may not be talking about them today.

After two years, this blogging project is back.

Past posts:

Monday, January 30, 2017

New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest: The Greatest Dystopia in the World edition!

Oh boy, folks. Oh boy. That's about all you can say when the guy whose face looks like it broke a hydraulic press takes the place of actually qualified military officials on the National Security Council. I'm talking about Steve Bannon who, for as long as I can remember to, shall go by Steve Badman. Whatever happened to, "I'll listen to the generals?" Turns out he was talking about GENERAL FUCKING HOSPITAL.

He's broken a few hydraulic presses in his day and played a villain in General Hospital. He died of racism on the show. 

There were other things to lament, folks. The Muslim ban is ongoing for countries that don't have any Trump money tied up in them. Saudi Arabia dodged the ban list somehow.

In these trying times, what better way to unwind than another edition of my stupid captions for the world's smartest stupid cartoons?

You're taking your fear of my crippling syphilis a little too far.

Listen, you fucking clown. I'm not serving you. I don't care if you've had a long day. I don't care if you got cream pied in the face fifteen fucking times. You want a beer? You're going somewhere else because I am sick and tired of you dropping dingleberries behind my toilet seat. Jesus. Sit down when you wipe. 

The world is an endless void of terror. Rowing a boat through sand is an admirable act of defiance but we'd get home a lot quicker if we crawled.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Donald Trump Attends A Children's Literacy Fundraiser

"Here, uh, Mr. President... you'll be reading the part of Eric the Elephant. The kids will love it. You know, seeing the Commander-in-Chief wearing an elephant trunk for a nose." Reince Preibus pulled out the trunk from his coat pocket.

Trump smiled and chuckled.

"Oh, sure," he said, "That'll be great. Real great. The best great. The cameras will love it, won't they?" Trump pulled the elastic string and put the trunk over his nose.

"It'll probably get you some better favorables," Reince Preibus leaned in to whisper to Trump. "God knows we need them with this whole wall thing."

"I don't like the way it dangles so close to my fucking mouth." Trump waved it around. "It's too dangly." Trump turned it upright on his face. "My eyes... I don't know. Maybe they're a little cross but that fucking thing was basically in my mouth."

Reince's face went white. "Sir, uh, it looks pretty erect. I don't know if that'll play well." Reince reached over and turned the trunk back to its original dangly position.

"No way, Reince. I can taste the damn thing." The President turned it back to an upright position.

A few of the Children Can Read folks rushed backstage. "Hey, Reince! We're on in a minute! Let's get everything ready."

Reince nodded as he fashioned the trunk back in the dangle position. "Mr. President. Trust me."

"No fucking way." President Trump made it erect again.

One of the producers came back again, barking something into a headset. "Mr. President, please keep it facing downward, just like it does in nature. Okay? Okay?"

Reince made it dangle again.

"It keeps hitting my lips," Trump said. "I've seen elephants put their trunks up. Don't tell me there are no elephants that keep their trunk up. They should if they don't. It makes much more sense. You're telling me they let this thing flop around all day? No way."

He put it back in the upright position.

The producer shook his head.

"Mr. President, I implore you to put it back down. If you go out on stage like that, the news programs are going to have to blur it out. It looks, god dammit... It looks like you have a fucking boner for a nose."

"The news media! Please! They never liked me anyways. They'll blur it out. Whatever! We'll simulcast this on WH.gov right, Reince?"

"Yes, sir."

The producer shrugged. "Okay, you're on in five... four... three... two... one."

The curtain opened up and the audience of three to ten year olds burst out in laughter. The President took a bow.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Movies you don't want to see reviewed by someone who didn't see them: February 2017 edition

Good day! I say good day!


THE GREAT WALL starring everyone's favorite weird-face, Matt Damon.

This movie means business. Matt Damon stars as Billy Chen-Lee Jones, an entrepreneurial college substitute professor who discovers an ancient symbol in the appendix of one of his math book answer keys. He's half Chinese, of course, so he automatically knows that this symbol is a map to the real meaning of the Great Wall. It wasn't to keep out the Mongols! No, it was to keep out an alien race of ghosts called "White People." Billy Chen-Lee Jones discovers this secret and falls in love with a starving laborer at the foot of the wall. She dies, of course, because there is no happiness for a modern hero. He resolves to climb the wall and be the first to ever get to the other side. What was the Great Wall hiding? Billy Chen-Lee Jones discovers it was hiding his personal journey towards a relationship with Christ. It's directed by Mel Gibson and is the sequel to that one fucking movie.

I give this movie one upside down cross.

FIST FIGHT starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day

Movies should never advocate fighting. I hated this movie with every ounce of my being. Two grown men with gainful employment spend all of 121 minutes (because a movie is legally not allowed to be under 2 hours anymore) beating the shit out of each other. Remember that 20 minute scene in John Carpenter's They Live when the two guys have a metaphorical sex scene but instead of dicks and butts, they are just raining down fists on each other? It's like that but sprinkle in a few irritated-Cube looks and trademark Charlie Day confused-face and some Tracy Morgan yelling and... you get the picture. Make sure you watch all the credits. There's promise that a superhero never seen before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe puts on a cape and looks at the camera.

This movie gets one stern talking to from me.

Y'all remember Rock Dog's seminal album, This Lipstick Squirts For You? It was a great rock concept album of the early aughts that influenced a whole bunch of jingles for dog food commercials and was a tail-wagging and eye-opening moment for dog food marketers on how to incorporate sex into advertising to animals. Tragically Rock Dog collapsed under the weight of Fame, his feline drug dealer with whom he maintained sexual relations. He once famously said, "Hell, yeah I'm fucking a cat because a bitch just gives me a litter. A cat doesn't say shit, just puts her pants back on and gets on with her day." It was a low-point of his career. Jay-Z, inspired by Rock Dog's comments wrote 99 Problems. Rock Dog saw this as an insult and the two never spoke again.

Now that I've given you the rundown, which I'm sure you didn't need because Rock Dog was such a big part of millenial culture, let me tell you about the movie. This movie is about Rock Dog as he lived and died. Sure there's a little bit of the same old, same old biopic airbrushing (Rock Dog wasn't really all that involved in the anti-neutering marches of 2003) but all in all, it's about as balanced as you can get for doggumentary on a fucking dog. 

I give this movie one reserved arf and two newspapers to the nose. 

Things only people who identify as introverts and extroverts at the maximally beneficial time will understand

1. Oh, Stalin was an extrovert? Crazy! Me, too. Wait, he was an introvert? Crazy! Me, too!

2. I'M GOING TO RILE SOME MOTHERFUCKERS UP WITH THE FACEBOOK POST. LET'S ALL GO MARCH AND SHIT AND BE ENERGIZED BY EACH OTHER BECAUSE I'M AN EXTROVERT! but, wait. Becky's going to be there? No, no, it's not that I don't like her it's just that I'm a little overextended and while my political beliefs are important to me, I need to take care of myself. I'm going to build a pillow fort and take more online quizzes to build my reality around. 

3. I'm going into Chick-Fil-A and I'm going to make new friends because I love meeting new people. Oh, FUCK! Stop everything. Becky is here and she would totally judge me if she saw me supporting this very establishment she is wearing large sunglasses and a mask in. Better revert to introvert! Drive thru, suckas! AND DON'T SKIMP ON THE SAUCE, YOU NUGGET MONGER.

4. I'm going to take this online test on BuzzFeed 100 times until I get AMBIVERT because that's in fucking vogue right now. And fucking Becky got it but I know she cheated. I better hire a hacker to figure out the complicated algorithms BuzzFeed uses to make sure they even have an AMBIVERT setting. I bet they still think the world is as simple as intro, extro, and per. This is Trump's America. Shit changed.

5. But in the end, we all know that we're just assholes making blog posts.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The FEMA camps in our hearts

Breathe it in, friends. These are last hours of Obama's presidency, and while the FEMA camps that were supposed to enslave Texas and install death panels as our governor never came maybe, just maybe, their lack of arrival reveals something even more sinister: the FEMA camps in our hearts.

Our hearts refused us happiness while the economy recovered, it refused us solace in the band-aid approach to fixing healthcare that was the ACA, it refused us the fortitude to not make a #ThanksObama joke no matter how lame or forced it was. Friends, our hearts were the conspiracy theory. Our hearts were the FEMA camps.

You have to read conspiracy theories as non-believers read the Bible: metaphorically. No, no, no, no Jade Helm wasn't a plot to take over Texas. Jade Helm was a metaphorical attempt to take over Texas. What it really was was a training exercise to protect Texas.

No, no, no, no there weren't death panels written into the ACA. The death panel talk was just a condemnation of a society that was obsessed with death. The ACA didn't need death panels, anyways. All you needed to do was get someone to steal a pizza in Texas and ol' Rick Perry would shoot him up with drugs that made him shit his pants ten times before he actually died. 

No, no, no! That was no terrorist fist bump the President and the First Lady partook in. That's just what it would look like if two terrorists gave each other a fist bump.

Trump may have said, "I'm sending investigators to Kenya," but what he meant was, "I could fucking care less about this shit but you people are eating it like it was dog shit from heaven." 

Look, I'm no "snowflake." I don't fly off the handle on Twitter for the whole world to see every time someone does a spot-on impression of me. Every time a Trump person says to give him a chance just like Republicans gave Obama a chance, just remember every day of Obama's presidency was called into question. His citizenship was questioned by the very person who will be our President tomorrow. 

I'm under no illusions about the office of the Presidency. I know that the arc of the United States Presidential universe bends towards sub-mediocrity. I know that we tend to worship the office based on its best examples and treat its worst as aberrations but we forget the more numerous middles. I know that a lot of my liberal friends are licking their wounds and pretending that Trump stands alone in the history of the United States. 

It just ain't true. Just remember, a Lincoln sandwich has two pieces of bread that go by James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson. 

I'm not saying it ain't going to be bad. It probably will be. But just ask the kids getting bombed daily in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya what they think of Obama. I'm saying this as a person who voted for him twice. If we are to get things done, we should at least be truthful to ourselves.

Make art, folks. Appreciate art. Consume art. Buy art. Art is all we are as a people. That's all we say to each other. The same people who shout "Death to America," secretly watch the Sopranos and listen to Britney Spears. The guy who voted for Trump lives in the same country as the guy who voted for Clinton. We're all in this together. 

Today I am saying, fuck President-Elect Trump. Tomorrow, I will be saying fuck President Trump. Probably. I don't know. I don't make promises like politicians do. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

13 things only people who click this link will read

1. On the days I don't wear socks with my shoes, I can feel my feet wish they were hands.

Art by Jack Arambula, words by yours truly

2. Eating & Reading is a commentary on rampant global consumerism and the decision one has to make between self-discovery (reading) and putting a down payment on pooping (eating).

4. You won't believe what happens next...

5. Nothing happens.

6. Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing will publish my next book, Invasion of the Weirdos, this year. 

7. I'm currently working a two things: the sequel to Bangface and a new road trip to Hell novella called The Pasternaks.

8. As of this moment, President Obama is still our President.

9. Pence is still Vice President Elect and working on his exit as the keytar-ist for the Chuck E. Cheese family band. 

10. Donald Trump is giving a crazy straw the ol' Trump Try.

Photoshop by Elizabeth Jackson

11. By the way, I own TrumpTry.com and I'm trying to figure out what to do with it.

12. How does BuzzFeed do it?

13. This whole article is obviously filler. How do you fill filler with more filler? Let's take notes.

Nintendo Switch

It's tough being a fully grown flesh troll who still partakes in gaming. I moved to Texas almost 7 years ago. In California, I was just an occasional gamer at least at the time I moved. Moving to Texas brought out the King Nerd in me.

I was bored. I was alone.

I played the hell out of Resident Evil. I played a ton of Street Fighter 4. I watched a lot of Metal Gear Solid 4.

HA! I made funny MGS4 joke!

I've always been a PlayStation loyalist but there was always something missing.

That something, friends, was a motherfucking Mario machine.

I've always loved Mario games and being a PlayStation person has relegated me to only playing the classics on my RetroPie and watching YouTube videos of other people playing Mario. I've never been intrigued enough by Nintendo hardware enough to ever buy a system past the GameCube.

I hated the motion control gimmick of the Wii. I also hated Nintendo's total lack of support for their prior systems. Microsoft and Sony's prior gen systems live at least a year or two after the new gen comes out.

I'm excited to see the Switch. I won't get it at launch. I'll likely never get it at all. But something is pulling me more this time. You tell me what you think.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Young Pope: Jokes aren't telling, they're just jokes SPOILERS

Here are a few discombobulated thoughts on The Young Pope.

Scroll past this picture of Diane Keaton, the picture of Jude Law, and the image of the Young Pope to read my spoilery stuff.

Spoilers incoming

Spoilers incoming

Spoilers below

Ever since I learned McNulty in the Wire was played by an Englishman, I've discovered I can't see Brits do American accents. There's something about the mouth movement that I can't place but it's a huge tell right away. Idris Elba's accent for Stringer Bell was pretty good and didn't suffer from the same visual cue as the Jude Law and Dominic West's did but it would drop off in consistency. 

Shows on HBO have started to take themselves incredibly seriously. Was there ever a moment of levity in Westworld? It's like House of Cards. Everything means something, every action is melodramatic, ominous, and dark. The Young Pope does not seem to suffer from this. It is a dark and ominous show, sure, but the jokes are there and they are funny. They also serve the darkness and mystery of the show. I think dramatic shows are too scared to do humor too often. The Young Pope excels. 

There was one time, years ago, I was smoking a cigarette outside of BookPeople on my break. A co-worker came up to me and asked me if I was killing a Bishop. I looked at her dumbfounded. She pointed out that if you didn't ash a cigarette, you were killing different members of the Catholic hierarchy. Get to the filter and, presumably, the Pope eats shit. Now, I don't know if this has any bearing at all because I have never been able to confirm this anecdote on the internet (please comment if you have any insight) but the show focused a WHOLE lot on the old-as-God-himself's cigarette. It was burning, un-ashed, all the way to the filter. This was no accident. Why? Because certain shots had the cigarette in different states of smoked but whenever there was a close up of his face and the cigarette, the ash was all the way to the filter without breaking. 

It was a good premiere. I'm intrigued. There's an absurdity to the seriousness which is another huge plus for me. It seems to be focused on hubris, populism (with the elevation of very low-on-the-totem-pole Sister Mary and the promises of upward mobility to whoever the priest was who was taking confession), and narcissism. I don't know where it's going and if Westworld is any indication, it could crumble in the next two episodes. So far, it's good.

Let's give Andy Borowitz the old Trump Try

Honestly folks, we will never defeat Trump if we continue to share and like "satire" by Andy Borowitz. Andy Borowitz's sense of humor about Trump is almost as bad as Donald Trump's sense of humor about Trump.

Trump Try (n): A self-serving and dishonest attempt at doing anything. 

The New Yorker should stick to New Yorker humor. You know, the kind that elicits a nose in the air and a, "harumph," followed by a, "Waiter, please! I was told this was would be a locally sourced souffle." I don't even know what the Borowitz report attempts to do.

This is funny because this could have been a toaster.

One side of me thinks that it's a cynical attempt by the New Yorker to get in on the fake news click bait money train because, I swear to you, 90% of my friends who share this shit think it's real because the New Yorker posted it. The other 10% have no sense of humor.

Well, in a show of honesty... I'm going to give ol' Borowitz a good old fashioned Trump Try. I'm going to read his articles and see if they're funny with you as my witness.

Seriously, go grab a bowl of cereal. Doesn't have to be dairy milk. It can be hemp. Just do it and start eating. Now read this line.
In an official statement, the karaoke machine said that it was withdrawing because it “did not want my participation at the Inauguration to in any way be construed as an endorsement of Donald Trump.”  - from Karaoke Machine Backs Out of Performing at Inauguration 
Did milk squirt out of your nose as you laughed away the pain of a Cheerio becoming lodged in your nostril by the humorous brilliance of Mr. Borowitz? Probably not.

Am I misrepresenting the humor displayed in the piece? I don't know because I couldn't find anything humorous in the whole thing! I think the humor is derived from the fact that even non-thinking and non-feeling machines are refusing to play at the inauguration. It's a funny thought, I guess. It isn't a three paragraph joke.

How about this:
In an attempt to quell that controversy, Putin said late on Sunday that he would instead serenade Trump by singing the Bette Midler classic, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”  - from Putin to Sing at Trump Inauguration
I.... I can't even... Gah... I don't know anymore. Is that, like, a gay joke or something? I can't even tell because this shit is so incredibly lame. It's bad because we all can rightly criticize liberal funny people for being too smug and nose in the air. But... this? Is this even smug? Or is it smug by virtue that it's in the New Yorker? Is it even funny? Or is it just funny because I know Borowitz agrees with me on politics in a broad sense and it's labeled satire? I just don't get it. There is literally no comedic merit in anything he writes.

“I was terrified,” Vasily Dmitrovic, who lives in St. Petersburg, said. “They broke down my door. My wife was screaming. They would not leave until I handed over ‘Mamma Mia!’ ” - from Russia Bans Meryl Streep Movies
Only to continue with:
In an appearance on state television, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered no reason for the ban, other than to say that Streep was “overrated.” - from Russia Bans Meryl Streep Movies
Seriously, folks. This has to stop. This is like going to the doctor for a prostrate exam and after it's done the doctor starts by saying, "Here's what I found..." He turns around, starts scribbling, and leaves the room never to come back. You know there's supposed to be more to this sentence but the doctor's gone and you still have his latex glove up your butt. AND the nurse is showing the next patient into your room. There's no joke there and there sure as shit ain't a goddamn joke in the Borowitz Report.

“Based on these tweets, this particular four-year-old has a loose grasp on reality, lacks all impulse control, and is potentially very dangerous.” - from Intel Chiefs Say Trump's Twitter Account Hacked by a Four Year Old
Okay! Let's all slap each other's back at this golden revelation of humor! So poignant! So fucking pointless!

This is funny because my shirt is the number 8 and if you think about the proximity of 8 to both 6 and 9 numerically, you will laugh because 8 is kind of close to 69. 

Do yourself a favor. You can read the Borowitz Report all you want but the second you share shit like that for your friends to see, you reveal yourself to be a virtue and intellect signaling wiener boy who wants to show off their degree to all of their high school friends. That or you believe it's true. We all have a fake news problem but we all also have a terrible satire problem. Just because it's "political" and "not true" doesn't make it funny. If it's "not funny" and labeled as "satire" it's probably "The Borowitz Report."

When it comes to making fun of Trump, we're all just trying to get it right.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book Review: Being Nixon by Evan Thomas

Being Nixon by Evan Thomas is an extraordinary portrait of our most infamous president. Evan Thomas goes deep into the story of Richard Nixon's beginnings and works hard to write the story of a complex person rather than a one-dimensional crook that we are so used to in the States.

From reading this book, you start to realize that Nixon became so paranoid with power and was so quick to anger and exaggeration, that his team never had a clear picture of what they were to do. This left openings for the more criminally minded in his inner circle to orchestrate the Watergate break-in. Evan Thomas does not absolve Nixon of guilt in any way. Instead, he takes pains to meticulously explain the circumstances surrounding Nixon and the paranoia that consumed him.

Being Nixon also goes through great lengths to unpack Richard Nixon's growing up. He was a hard worker rather than naturally intellectually gifted. He abhorred elitism and disliked the rich. He was petty and his pettiness drove him to more.

Too often, we judge the Presidency as a sacred seat; only giants can sit there. So, we remember the great Presidents, of which there are only a handful, and mythologize them the same way we mythologize religious figures. When there is an awful President, everything about them is bad. We take pains to point out how the system worked to cut off the cancer. It's just not true and it's not fair to the humanity of the people that hold the office. Being Nixon is the first attempt at writing about Nixon as a man rather than as solely a political figure that I've read and it's a page turner.

I highly recommend it. If you think politics has gotten dirtier, this book will show you that you're wrong. Politics has always been dirty and 2016 is no aberration from the norm. It is the norm.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump Watch 2017: The Jeff Sessions Secession Session

Trump Watch 2017 in no way intends to be factual. You have to say that now or the fake news police will come fuck your face off. Trump Watch serves the sole purpose of me getting blocked by Donald Trump on Twitter or called out by blond ol' frog face.

A lot has happened since I decided to write about the Jeff Sessions session (more like Jeff Secessions, right?!). We learned that Donald Trump and Barack Obama share a bed to piss on. We learned that Donald Trump hates vaccines We learned that we are probably in the middle of another Russian intelligence operation that undermines our investigative journalists so that nothing is real and all news is fake news. Oh, wait. Did we not learn that yet? My money's on that one. 

Things are weird, folks. I don't know what to say. I'm a dyed in the wool liberal but I can't tell you how much fake news is spread in my liberal bubble. Now all these folks are running around screaming, "SOURCES! SOURCES! WHERE ARE YOUR FUCKING SOURCES YOU FASCIST?!" but just four years ago they were posting memes of Ted Cruz's face with text that was written by a Democrat's wet dream. They were posting People magazine interviews of Trump stating he'd run as a Republican because Republicans are stupid. This is so blatantly stupid but what's worse is that smart people believed it! And shared it! And saw that just because there was a citation to an existing magazine, it must have been verified by somebody else

Look, much of that report might have some footing in truth but I'm going to sit back and wait to really find out. Until then, I will make endless pee-pee jokes about Donald Trump. Did you hear he likes watching girls pee-pee!? Oh, man! That guy! President (elect) of the United States, everybody. 

Let's get to Jeff Secessions. He was in Congress and Al Franken choked him up on some lies. It was magnificent. There was a laugh track and everything. 

Republicans asked him softball questions like, "What color is your pubic hair?" and, "Do you think it's hot to watch people pee on places Presidents have slept on?" Sessions got through that swimmingly with both answers being, "Yes."

It wasn't until the Sessions caught Obama peering through a Capitol Hill window that he got tripped up. Sessions was all, "Oh, fuck. It's the outgoing President!" Everyone in Congress turned to look and Sessions got his scoot on out of there. It was a close one but let me predict this, Sessions is going to be whatever the hell it is he was nominated for (Generous Attorney). Republicans will confirm him in lockstep with Ol' President Pissy Pants's desires. 

I've been living in Texas for awhile and our government's ridiculous magnetism towards anti-intellectualism and conspiracy theories (Jade Helm, remember that?) had to have been just a minor slip up of our collective sanity, right? Nope. Turns out it was the future. 

Texas has long been the future of America. Now the rest of America can finally be scorched by the heat. 

Good luck, everyone. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The New Yorker cartoon caption contest: the addition edition

I want to slap the shit out of you.

Isn't it kind of weird that this wave looks like my idea of what fascism is and could be seen as a poignant metaphor in my cultural critique of America? Too bad we're all going to fucking die.

Now is not the time to remind me that you told me I shouldn't put the cat in the microwave.

I'm not going to sit here and be ignored all fucking day, oppressor.

I invented fake news and I'm why Trump is President

I bet you can't even find the first recorded instance of internet vandalism that has lasted over 10 years. It's the part about being recruited after dinner and a movie over a glass of wine. It was totally innocuous and an experiment as to whether my vandalism would last. 

I was with my brother. I told him, "Look, all you gotta do is add a citation to an existing book and nobody will know or care."

Then I forgot.

Photoshop by Elizabeth Jackson

I didn't just do this to Phil Jackson. I did this to Putin as well. Putin's didn't last. It was also a very benign change. Probably something about how he drank milk with Boris Yeltsin while Boris lounged in a hot tub. It was a little over the top but it did have a citation! It was sourced, dammit!

Fast forward a decade and more
and I get a text message from my brother. I was lounging around in a hot tub, drinking milk with the future autocrat of the Republic of Austin. I completely forgot. Wikipedia caught the vandalism sometime in the past decade.

But the damage was done. The information was out there and it spread its tentacles everywhere. Now people think Phil Jackson, a guy who has to make one of his championship rings a cock ring just so he can wear them all at once, was recruited over a glass of wine.

The similarity between Mike Pence and Rat Thing was first noted by RJ Velasco.

Do I regret my youthful indiscretions? Yes.

I'm sorry, America. This is why Trump is President.