Category Archives: website

I Believe I Can Fly

Memes. Oh how I love you so.  You take a clever idea and then make it better and better (and then eventually boring and worse).

A new take on the motivational poster is all over the show. Lots of people are taking the quotes of famous film or television characters and inserting them into the inspiring, typically office-bound, prints.  I’ve seen all sorts…Karen from WILL & GRACE, Jenna from 30 ROCK, Malcolm from THE THICK OF IT, etc…

It’s cute.  But once you get the joke, you get it.

Or DO you?

Let’s see what Clarence J. Boddicker has to say about that.

Poster 1

Poster 1

Poster 2

Poster 2

Poster 3

Poster 3

Poster 4

Poster 4

I hope these have inspired you. Contribute your own in the comments.  And have a great day.

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Filed under comedy, website

The SliceMan Finisheth

Hi World, it’s ILTTAG’s first post of a brand new, fluffy, sweet-smelling year.  Hope the first half of January has been kind to you and yours. On a blog where the whole idea is to look at the little things which make this world a better place to hang out what is good enough to lead with?  Well, it’s early enough in the month of January that resolutions are still a relevant subject matter. Most of us will be at hat point where we are testing out our New Year’s Resolutions, if indeed you were brave or crazy enough to make any.  To be honest…if you’ve still kept yours by the time I’ll likely be done with this post (I’m guessing mid to end of January) then well done, sir or madame! I salute your willpower.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Today’s entry celebrates both my love of pizza, my love of NYC, and the tenacity of a dedicated blogger.

172. Sliceharvester.com  www.sliceharvester.com

The gist is this: a pizza lover and native New Yorker does a top to bottom appraisal of EVERY by-the-slice pizza joint in Manhattan…and the island is lousy with them. If you consider ALL of NYC’s boroughs you actually get past the thousand mark). I only discovered this blog recently because Huffingtonpost reported that he–the author– had finished his gastronomic odyssey.  What a wonderful idea, eh?  Just when you think there is nothing new under the sun, somebody finds a novel approach. And what perseverance! I envy his willpower…and his geographical location. What this blog says to me is that you CAN see things through…you just have to choose more awesome and delicious goals.

Better, more delicious goal-setting

This guy writes in a style which is very more-ish.  He also knows a lot about music…so if you dig on indie rock you’ll probably enjoy reading it on more than one level. I think he’s ALMOST a hipster but he comes across as earnest enough to pass my instantaneous and totally unwarranted judgment.  I mean, I think you can be someone who appreciates kitsch and pop references and mom jokes and still NOT be a hipster douchebag.  Plus, here’s his criticism of someone’s ‘smug’ attitude on a blog he was reading a pizza article from: “I am now 100% certain that whoever is involved with this blog is a total boneroni and needs to get run through a cycle in the douchewasher. I am seriously so pissed.”  So, this guy, who mostly remains anonymous throughout his blogs…but is reported to be Colin Hagendorf…checks out, I reckon. Here’s a big old news article celebrating his reaching of the finish line:  WSJ

I like Mr. Slice Harvester because I can relate. In an early post, he mentions he’s got a band, two jobs (including one where he waits tables at a diner–I was in restaurants for ages!), several side projects AND he was running his blog and printing a zine. Well, shut my mouth next time I gripe about not having enough down time between my day job, my sketch troupe, my stand-up gigs, my wife-being, and my blog-writing to play Arkham City. But, I think an important point to take from his success is also to make your side projects FUN. It’s bad enough working to make a living. But, if you want to exercise your creative impulses too, make sure you’re having a good time.

Immediately, upon starting to read this blog, I had questions.  How does one realistically plan out a task that involves that much chewing and metro-card use, I wondered.  Well, I found that Mr. Harvester started at the northernmost tip of Manhattan and then gradually worked his way down both the east and west sides. Usually, he had one day of the week dedicated to pizza eating.  In fact, he ate 7-9 pieces a day once a week on average.  He also changed up the friends he met every week–which I’m sure helped to keep it interesting and fun. I’m curious about whether or not other foods were consumed that day or if did a sort of Man VS Food style approach of water only…maybe even consumed the day before.

Anyway, back to the SUBJECT contained within the pages of sliceharvester. Pizza.  This isn’t the first time that I’ve written about pizza in this blog.  See here: Pizza Boy and here: Artichoke  I love it. Pizza is always the answer to the question: If you could only ever eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza is delicious, potentially nutritous, the ideal fix for a meal at teenage slumber parties.  It’s just fun!  What other meal gets its own game? (Ok…mabye besides Hamburger Time).  The commercial jingle for this has been in my head all week.

Whilst I am enjoying my daily journey through the backlogs of his blog, it is horribly painful in some ways too.  Each blog post has at least one centerfold of a pic. They are literally mouth-watering these pics..this photographic journalism…this pizza porn.  Even when the review is a bad one, the pictures still look pretty damn good.  Here is a sample. I should mention that this isn’t my pic and is property of sliceharvester.  Speaking of which…a LOT of the pics I swipe to decorate this blog aren’t mine.  I need to sort that out. Do I need to credit photogs or what?  Who  knows this info? What if no credit is listed? Does it matter at all that I make zero cash money from this blog? Help me Google, you’re my only hope.  Anyway, here’s the pictorial equivalent of my own personal longing:

Gah!

I can sympathize with the onus for this quest as I am oft-praising NYC-style pizza and bemoaning the fact that it only seems to exist in NYC.   Though there are some US cities where locally owned pizzerias (non chain) can create a reasonable facsimile to that crispy yet chewy, zesty-saucy, melty-cheesy perfect slice…I have yet to see anything close to resembling the stuff in the UK. I swear, the good people of Manchester must find me to be the most annoyingly patriotic chump.

How shit is this? I live near a take-away that is actually called ‘By the Slice’. By. The. Slice. These humps DO NOT SELL PIZZA BY THE SLICE. They sell terrible terrible terrible whole pizzas…often ordered by the locals with the abomination of tuna and sweet corn as toppings (this is common in England–if you can find it a can, you can dump it on your pizza). Furthermore, they’re  more of a burger shop and fried chicken joint anyway. Sliceharvester has opinions about joints that spread themselves too thin like that.  If you are putting burgers on your menu, you are NOT giving your pizza enough attention. Anything further removed than a calzone at a pizza house is not a good sign.  Anyway, this joint, By The Slice, is a cruel tease.

Recently, I read a glowing review of the place on yelp.com.  The reviewer actually called it the most NYC-like pizza in Manchester.  So, I ordered one.  Here’s what it looked like:

Here it is...

The only thing that reminds me of home about this pizza is the little plastic dollhouse table that they have stuck in the middle of it.

The pizza took over an hour to come–let me remind you, this place is a block away from me–, it was lukewarm, had too much cheese and  not enough sauce, and a spongey moist crust. Heartbreaking.

The only purpose that I can think of for this pizza is if someone had to force feed you something of caloric value because you had so much to drink that you blacked out…they saw that you were barfing even in your black-out state and that you needed something to line your stomach and hence prevent your death. Only then…and if administered in the smallest does possible.

I’m currently reading these blog posts in order and haven’t come across some of my fave shops yet. (I mostly hung out in lower Manhattan when I lived there and I’m only at the Upper East Side part of his journey right now.)  So, I’m hoping we have a mutual appreciation of both Artichoke and Pizza Mercato. I’m curious how much we overlap in what makes a good slice.  We shall see.  At any rate, next time I pay New York a visit, I will hit the travelogue of sliceharvester up again. Maybe I’ll try somewhere new.

In non-pizza related news.  I just HATE HATE HATE people who kick my seat in the movie theatre. I hate it so much I started a FaceBook page. If you don’t like that either–getting kicked repeatedly when you’re trying to watch the latest Pixar film…or chatty morons, or people who leave their phones on…or who smell really bad…or any other level of ill-mannered movie-going behaviour, join up! You are welcome here… https://www.facebook.com/pages/Society-Against-Chair-Kickers-SACK/262865050442950

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Filed under People, Vittles, website

Baby Shambles

So, today’s great thing has already had over 4 million hits on YouTube.  So, there is a chance that you may already be familiar with this little delight.  It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen all week:

169.  Baby Trashes Bar in Las Palmas

Before we begin our dialogue, let’s watch it shall we?  It’s about a baby trashing a bar in the Spanish resort town of Las Palmas–a destination frequented by many British and other European tourists.  The writer/producer/director of this short is Swedish filmmaker Johannes Nyquist.  There are puppets and a baby involved.

Pretty funny, yes?  I am a sucker for stuff like this.  What shall we label this genre of comedy?  I’m thinking that it’s about something real invading the land of the puppet/toy or vice versa–where the puppet or toy enters reality.  Examples that spring to mind include the killer cat scene in Team America, the real-world scene in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and perhaps the interviews of Triumph the insult comic on Conan O’Brien.  Is there already a name for this sort of thing–the collision of the manufactured with the ‘real’?

Does this picture freak you out too? Let this be a lesson to you...don't use Google Image to search for pics of 'real life Sponge Bob'. Thanks for the nightmares, internet.

It goes beyond the humanization of objects/animals.  It’s more than just anthropomorphizing something.  It puts that anthropomorphized thing(s) into a more interesting situation.  What can we call it?  Puppet relocation program? Figures Action? G.I.Go? These are all terrible suggestions.  Please think of something good, dear readers.

Anyway, back to today’s winner, “Baby Trashes Bar in Las Palmas”.  How come it’s so funny?  Without getting too cerebral about it, I think it is so successfully ridiculous because it so wonderfully mirrors real life.  Babies, like drunk people, have very little self-awareness and are primarily concerned with their own happiness and pleasure.  There’s just something uncanny in the way that kid swirls/smells that wine glass and the overturns it on the table…the way she steals food…the way she falls into the table.  In this tow-headed child, we see our own tanked, blitzed, and rat-arsed selves.

Already a hit, the video has already been blogged about and dissected on other better known websites.  As the more culturally sensitive amongst you may have already predicted, some people out there think it’s inappropriate to put a baby in a bra and make her drink juice disguised as beer.  My very own girlfriend was sort of uneasy until I talked sense into her/cruelly mocked her  This columnist asks if the video has gone too far.  Read Here

Well, does it?  Should I be ashamed to find this video so wonderful?  I don’t think so.  I don’t think that what is happening here equates to any sort of abuse.  I do think that there ARE times when we should be more protective of our kids and there are times in the entertainment biz when it’s clear that something is exploitative.  But, I think there’s a difference between what happens in Toddlers and Tiaras, for instance, and what’s going on here.  This isn’t some sad sack Mom dressing her kid up like a prostitute and parading her around just to feel better about herself.  This is a genius bit of comedy/commentary about adults.  I also don’t think there should be a worry about the child and any unwanted exposure.  No one in the world is going to be able to recognize that kid in two years–as they grow they look so different year to year.  No, I don’t have kids, but I’ve seen it happen.  I barely recognize the photos of my adorable nieces that my sister sends.  By the time she’s 3, she’ll have a completely different facial structure.  By the time she’s 10, she’s only going to be famous for this video if she WANTS to be…if she identifies herself and takes credit for it.  This is also why I don’t think Adam McKay’s done a disservice to his daughter for the Funny or Die ‘Pearl’ videos (“The Landlord” and “Good Cop, Baby Cop”–watch them if you haven’t already!).  Who in the world, besides the Family McKay, is going to know what Pearl McKay looks like now that those videos are a few years old?

Anyway, I–for one–am eagerly anticipating the release of the FULL “Baby Trashes Bar…” video (this, apparently, is only a portion).  Here are some promising stills from the continuing saga!

OK, that last pic isn’t from the short.  I found it on Google/Tumblr.  Pretty rad though, yes?  I typed in ‘unicorn awesome’ and this is what turned up.  I forgive you for the real life Patrick the Starfish picture now, internet.

If you, like me, have too much time on your hands and are excited for the full ‘short’ to debut on the internet, go to the creator’s FaceBook page.  That name again is Johannes Nyquist.  ‘Like’ the page and you should get updates when it comes out.

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Filed under comedy, Movies, website

The Circle Jerk of Life

As a person who is fond of animals–at one point in my life I even wanted to be a veterinarian–I have, in the past, made the common folly of underestimating them.  People who love animals will frequently assume that all animals do all the live-long day is lie around being all cute– rousing themselves occasionally to perform super-awesome acts of beastliness–like jumping high or running fast or swimming real good.  Humans are great at anthropomorphizing things.  We’ll put a human face/emotions/intentions on ANYTHING!  We’ll turn a choo-choo train into a beloved storybook character.  How much easier is it to do that if the object of our fantasy actually HAS a face and a heartbeat?  It’s understandable to think that animals are nothing but perfect, is all I’m saying.  We see how flawed WE can be and think that simpler life forms are more pure/good.  If you are an animal lover, you might think, for instance, that if you were to fall overboard in the ocean that there is a healthy chance that you would be saved by a friendly pod of dolphins– or that if you were stranded in the woods as an infant you might have been adopted and raised by a wolf pack–or that your pet snake is happy just eating those pre-dead mice you feed it and NOT hankering after your pet chihuahua.  What lovely fantasies we conjure.

Doesn't want to raise you...Only interested in you if you have snacks.

But the truth of the matter is, like everything in the world, animals have the capacity to be dicks.  I’ve known this heart-breaking truth for a while, I suppose.  But I was just reminded of it when I was watching a documentary.  I’m pretty sure it was a David Attenborough one.  Life, I think (which, in The States–for some bizarre reason–was narrated by Oprah Winfrey instead of Attenborough).  It detailed a bunch of killer whales chasing down a humpback whale and its calf.  The killer whales chased them so long and so hard that they eventually wore the mighty humpbacks down and ate the baby whilst the mother could do nothing in defense.  They ate only the tongue of the humpback calf and let the rest of its giant body slump to the sea floor where it would decay–a feast for the sea parasites.

It was sort of terrible to witness.  But the point is–maybe animals are more like people than we thought!  They’re mean when they want to be, heartless, wasteful, and prone to gang violence.

They even play class warfare.  There are caste systems in nature!  Check out these snow monkeys acting like mega-douches…just awful:

Snow Monkeys Are Terrible People!

The thought of animals being immoral with each other doesn’t always have to be bleak and depressing, however.  Sometimes it can be hilarious!  That’s why I’ve chosen a terrific website as today’s great thing:

167. Animals Being Dicks (the website)

animalsbeingdicks.com  Go on…click it!!!!

The website is a collection of ‘gifs’ (compressed video files?  Tech nerds?  A little help?) which illustrate real life examples of animals acting like jerks.  Whether you’re in the market for a parrot pushing a turtle off a high ledge, a dog farting directly in another dog’s face, or a cat using a Roomba as a mobile attack vehicle, this is your one stop shop for animals being complete jagoffs.

What a great idea for a web page.  You just know there’s a treasure trove of these clips out there.  I check in just about every day and there’s always a new entry up if not two…I’m just surprised nobody thought of it sooner.  Animals have been dicks forever!

Check out these historic examples:

Shithead the dog...falsely announced fires.

A llama spit on me once. For real. What a d-bag. I wasn't even DOING anything.

OK...this guy actually might have it coming.

It just takes a leader…someone to organize this stuff for us really, doesn’t it.  So, thanks go out, in this case to one John Williams.  Here is his home page.  Johnlovesyou.com  Thanks for doing this, John!  Your country needed you and you stepped up to the plate.

Meanwhile, perhaps this should serve as a reminder to all of humanity that we are not alone in this world.  We are all connected with our fellow living creatures and even the elements.  For there is nothing under the sun that is NOT a dick.  Whether it be:

The Wind: I am STORM! MISTRESS OF THE ELEMENTS! AND I'M GOING TO EFF UP YOUR HAIRDO!

The Wind!:  I really do hate the wind sometimes.  Unless you’re flying a kite or need an airborne seed swept away somewhere, what is it good for?  It’s all in your face…making it harder to walk…blowing crap into your eyeballs and totally destroying that meticulous hairstyle you were trying to work.

The Sea: Hey, I built this city for yo--oh crap. Thanks a lot, Poseidon!

The Sea!:  The ocean has swallowed so many of our fine towns and eaten so many of our boats and sailors.  Yet that is never enough.  It continues to erode our shores and thanks to global warming we will probably all be under it one day soon.  I better learn how to use a fork as a comb, ala Little Mermaid.

And Beyond!: Look at this...even intelligent life from the outer stretches of the universe disappoints. Yeah, thanks for the wang graffiti. Buncha interstellar jerkoffs.

And Beyond!:  You think you can escape earth’s gravitational pull (gravity is also a jerk) and find some utopia where there are no bellends?  You are wrong.  Real aliens don’t want to come down here and make our old people happy like the ones in Cocoon.  No, they just want to do flybys and draw penises in our lawn.

It’s one of the great truths in this world.  Everyone/thing is a dick.  Or…at least has the capacity to BE a dick.  It’s learning the coping mechanisms that helps you get by in this life–schadenfreude is a great coping mechanism as animalsbeingdics.com proves…  And hat ownership…that helps too…when the wind blows…

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Filed under Nature, website

The Ability to Patent Good Ideas Before Other People Do

I haven’t been particularly good of late as far as posting regular blog entries goes.  so, let’s jump-start this dead battery of a blog page with a cracking good ‘great thing’.

You know what it’s like to have creator-envy?  There are some things that I could just kick myself for not thinking of first.  Jalapeno and cheddar bagels, Angry Birds, typing the word ‘Boobies’ into a calculator.  Those concepts are all relevant to my interests and given the right time/place/level of consciousness I MIGHT have thought of them first and made my mark on society.  Today’s great thing is a terrifically simple blog idea.  I hate the fact that the idea wasn’t my own.

163.  The Daily Superpower

This page is soooo my cup of tea.  Funny, clever, and comic-book related but with a wide appeal (read: I can share my mirth about it with non-comic nerds and they too will find it amusing).  I am incredibly envious of the creative lightning that struck here.  Not only is it a gem of a website but the author doesn’t even have to think of all of the ideas himself (readers get to play a part by suggesting powers for him to draw.)  On this site here, it’s me–ME that has to think of happy things to blog about all the time.  It’s frickin’ exhausting being such a positive Pollyanna.  Yes, great things to write about are all around us…but sometimes you just want to start a new game on Scrabble for Facebook instead of writing about them.

Alas, today’s great thing isn’t my baby–it’s that of genius Kevin Delger, a Minneapolis-based artist.  A bit more about him is available at this database:  mnartists

If you haven’t sussed it out already, The Daily Superpower portrays a different unusual/humorous power for every weekday (working weekday, that is–he’s only human after all).

Simple concept, right?  After some soul-searching, as near as I can tell, the only things that would have stopped me from creating this blog are the following:

1. I didn’t think of it first

2. I can’t draw.  (Even thought his process involves starting with another illustrator’s artwork, I believe you still need a certain skill level to accomplish what he does here.–check out the ‘process’ link on his page to learn how he creates these.)

3.  I am lazy.

Here are a few samples:

The ability to make bugs huge...

Hidden compartments

Rolling pin forearms

There.  That’s all I want to show you.  Do yourself a favor now and put the site on your bookmark tab.  Here’s a link to the actual site.  Go on, click away and be delighted:  http://dailysuperpower.tumblr.com/

Anyway, like I said before, the author takes reader ideas for potential material so let me know if you send any in.  I  might send these along.

–Hangover-proof

–The ability to repel all clothing stains (I so wish!!!  I am a stain magnet.)

–Fingers can dispense condiments–gravy, ketchup, chili sauce…

Funny…those all seem SORT of linked up, in a way, don’t they?  Imagine the nights out you could have if you were hangover proof, stainproof, and could milk your own hand for gravy.  Unstoppable nightlife machine.

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Filed under Comics, Hobbies, website

The Kitten Whisperer

Well, 2010 is just about done and dusted now and I can’t think of a better way to close this decade but with some adorable pictures of kittens as captioned by a six-year-old girl.

As if pictures of kittens weren’t enough…this video also provides hilarious narration!  How is this different from the mirth provided regularly by icanhascheezburger.com you might ask?  Well, whilst the captioning featured in ICHC is more considered–some even featuring recurring jokes and an ongoing drama about bucket theft and ceiling cats, this is just pure stream of consciousness style humor.

For example...

I gotta tell you, this kid is priceless.  And I’m not really the type that fawns over children.  This might seem odd, I know.  When people are around me, they always assume that I’d be just great with kids.  This is because I’m an immature moron who still reads comic books and poses action figures on my desk.  They think that because I’m tons of fun that I’d be absolute magic around the wee ones.  But it’s for those very reasons that I don’t think I’d be a great Mom at all…or even a particularly effective babysitter.  Last time I watched my god-daughter, she hit her head on furniture not once but TWICE!  I’m way too easily distracted.  I don’t want to share my toys.  I’m easily bored.  I have no child-care knowledge.  And most importantly, I don’t have that biological pull towards children.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my nieces, they are both whip smart and stupidly cute…and if I’ve met YOUR kids, I probably like them just fine too.  But those kids have homes to go to when they’re through visiting.  I’m the sort of person who when let’s say, for instance, someone brings their six-year-old to work–whilst everyone else is cooing and asking how school is going and looking to engage with them on their level, I’ll barely look up from my desk.  If anything, I’ll just hope and hope that they don’t come over and bother me whilst I’m watching The Rachel Maddow Show on my lunch break.

My friend Paul hit the nail on the head the other day when we were discussing our similarity in this area.  He said that it’s because you have to change your levels of engagement.  Your conversation style has to change and you can’t really be yourself anymore around kids.  That, in itself, can be a bit draining.  And he’s right.  I can’t even use swears when I’m around them.

I think I’m destined to be the old lady who keeps your frisbee if it comes over to my lawn.  Not to be mean…just so I can play with it.

But this kid can hang out for a while if she wants.  It’s amazing!  I’m not even related to her, so I don’t have to feign interest at all!  Please enjoy this video of Maddie Kelly…a six year old verbally captioning photos of kittens from a picture book.

157.  Kittens Inspired By Kittens

Am I right?  What a stitch!  It’s no wonder that it’s made Time Magazine’s list of “50 Best YouTube clips”.

Now how did this little nugget of fried gold wind up on the internet in the first place?  Well, from what I can suss, her Dad works for an ad agency Fallon.  Watching his daughter goof about with a picture book of kittens, he manages to capture her on film and he posts it for the world to see on YouTube.  Fallon, of course, concerns itself in the monitoring of trends and on their own blog, they analyze the public’s delight with this clip.  You may read it here:

FallonBlog

Here’s an excerpt from their post:

The success of “Kittens…” (and hundreds of goofy vids like it) often flies in the face of much of our well-produced, branded, and strategized factory “virals”. So what gives? Is “viral” still just a roll of the dice – particularly for brands? Do we embrace the more-faster-cheaper ethos that drives the users? Do we recruit 6-year-olds to generate ideas for us? Do we get her to replicate the magic – this time for a brand? And it makes me wonder, if we had pitched “Kittens…” to a client would they ever have approved it? And if a client would’ve approved “Kittens…” would they have added too many brand mandatories that would slow down its “viral” appeal?

There’s something weird about dissecting the appeal of this clip to such fine detail.  Don’t get me wrong…I get that pop-culture analysis is sort of what I do on this blog too…But, I worry about too much experimentation/social study when it comes to kids.  The closest I ever came to being a Mom was with my dogs…just in the sense that I was responsible for their care.  And this Fallon blog post reminds me of how I used my dog Wolfie  for a science experiment in high school.  It ended unhappily for both me and the dog.  I had won a science award the year before for using his olfactory senses for a sort of consumer reports experiment I did with various saran wraps.  I won’t bore you with the details.   Anyway, all the judges loved Wolfie’s involvement and I thought I’d use him again.  I had wanted to be a veterinarian at that point in my life and I had been reading in DogFancy how it was becoming more and more important for owners to take care of their pets’ teeth.  So, I thought I’d test a specially marketed dog toothpaste over a human toothpaste over baking soda and water and of course a ‘control’ portion of Wolfie’s mouth where I didn’t brush at all.  To start out, we made an appointment for him to have his teeth cleaned at the veterinarian.  I wanted a blank slate and I was assured that it was an uncomplicated procedure.  Well, didn’t he just have a heart attack on the table due to an allergic reaction to the anesthesia.  I was crushed and I’m still not entirely over it.

So, I guess, what I’m saying, Mr. Maddie’s Dad Kelly is, don’t take your daughter to get her teeth cleaned.  That makes sense, right?

Plus, to be honest, overanalyzing this is only standing to make it less funny.

Like the FunnyOrDie.com videos featuring Adam McKay’s daughter, Pearl…it’s probably best to cap the fervor the nation has with the wee girl before it gets out of hand.  Pearl starred in a grand total of two videos.  As much as I want to see dozens more of these videos by the adorable Maddie Kelly, I think McKay’s two video maximum was a wise choice.  At least until she gets old enough to start and manage her own YouTube page.  But, let’s enjoy the sensation of “Kittens Inspired By Kittens”  while we can.  This handy link takes you to some of the spin-offs that the video has inspired…and boy are there lots.  Some are even worth watching!:  KnowYourMeme

Anyway, Happy New Year everyone!  Double head!  I’m her Mom!  Nooo she’s not.  (I’m finding the video entirely too quotable and will continue to torture my colleagues with an insufferable amount of repetition all throughout 2011.)

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Filed under comedy, People, website

Sage Savage

And now, for a very special episode of ilovethingsthataregreat.com

There has been a saddening trend of gay suicide recently.  Gay youth has always been a very high risk group for self-harm and suicide.  It’s easy to see why.  Though the LGBTQ community is adept at finding the rainbow in every storm and modern life is indeed trending toward tolerance for us queers, you’ll still often see sudden but widespread periods of violence against gays.  Some pockets of America are slower to change than others and the two steps forward one step back nature of the fight for civil rights often calls untoward attention to gay people who might otherwise just be minding their own business thinking optimistically that we’re all just marching merrily towards equality.   Noticing this recent spate, the articulate, pithy, and wise Dan Savage has come up with a beautiful idea and today’s great thing.

150.  The “It Gets Better Project”.

 

A Real American Hero

 

If you haven’t been reading Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” sex-advice column, you are missing out on a highly amusing, informative, and culturally relevant (google ‘Santorum’ and you’ll see what I mean), way to spend fifteen minutes of time at your work desk every week.  Savage is also the author of several (mostly autobiographical) books.  You can always find the “Savage Love” column at The Onion’s AV Club.  Here’s a recent edition where Savage takes some time to talk about the “It Gets Better Project”.

It Gets Better

And, if that’s not enough, here’s a link to an interview with Savage about it on ABC News: ABC

Though Dan Savage started this campaign directly in response to the recent gay suicides that have been covered in the media, this is an important message for anyone who is bullied anywhere ever.  You don’t have to be gay to appreciate the near-univeral message of ‘yes, highschool is tough, other kids can be huge jerks, but hang in there because life after school gets better.’  Kids get picked on for any number of reasons: too fat, too skinny, no boobs, has boobs, glasses, haircut, ethnicity, first name, last name, likes, dislikes, family situation, eats boogers, doesn’t eat boogers, whatever.

But, perhaps the one thing that sets gays apart is that, unlike other targets of bullying, it’s institutionally approved to harass homosexuals.  Like race, it’s an attribute that can’t be changed.  Yes, some people are bi and some people have more ‘fluid’ sexuality, but what I mean is that ‘ex gay camps’ are complete bullcrap.  You can try to smother away your queer leanings, but like an X-Man trying to ignore their mutant ability, you’ll just wind up burning down a shopping mall with your pyrokinesis.  Can you imagine if institutions like religion, the military, and public schools all denied rights to another minority group?    People would be outraged.  Well, good people would be outraged.  There will always be a-holes who think that bullying is actually OK or even righteous when it’s directed at LGBTQ folk.  Polite society makes it  OK to dislike gays if your religion says that being gay is a sin.

The thing is, these things don’t happen in a vacuum.  The violence is always provoked…Just not by the gays who are receiving the beatings or bullying.  Sarah Silverman’s short video for the project puts this point across very well.

The “It Gets Better” YouTube channel is brimming with user videos just waiting to give kids who are at the end of their tethers pause…and show them the light at the end of the tunnel.  Here’s the original, which obviously sets the bench-mark:

Here’s one with two cute lezz (‘lezz’, I’ve decided, is now going to be the pluralized short form ‘of  lesbians’) from everyoneisgay.com.  Their video entry features a staple of YouTube videos…lip-synching to a pop track whilst posing to the camera.

If I were going to make one of these (I haven’t yet), I think I’d talk about what it’s REALLY like to come out.  There are stages that kids need to be aware of.  Knowledge of these stages is important if you want to be an educated and self-aware, meta-gay. Here are the stages:

1.  First of all, it takes a lot of your time, obsession, and energy to come out–especially if you were brought up with religion or in a less-progressive community.  I was raised Catholic.  So, you can imagine.  I had a few, quite literally sleepless nights, and then, when I finally built up the nerve to come out, it was to a priest in a confessional.  For real.  Then I chose my best gay friend to tell, then my sister, then my Mom, then my Dad, then my best friend from highschool, then pretty much everyone else all at once.   So, non-stop stress and soul-sweating crises were  followed by rushes of great relief.

2. Once that is done, it’ll be all you want to talk about. Sorry straight friends.  We won’t have a conversation about anything BUT either the homosexual experience or how the world is unfair to us for at least the next two years.   What’s that?  You’re just back from Machu Picchu?  That’s nice.  Another girl looked at me in a bar the other day, what do you think that means?  Did you see that Portia De Rossi is gay?  Wow!  I’m marching in the dyke march on Saturday.  Want to come?  Hey, where are you going?  This stage will also be the point in your life where all the minutiae in life becomes super important drama.  You will think your life is a soap opera over the next couple of years.  You’ll also probably act like a bit of an idiot.  A lot.  Especially when you’re drinking.  Be careful.

3.  Then, you’ll relax about it a bit and start calling the younger generation of gays that are at the bars, with all their frenetic just out of the closet energy, ‘baby dykes’.  They soon become slightly annoying.  Why can’t they all be cool and collected and confident like the rest of us?

4.  Finally, you’ll stop feeling ‘different’ from other people.  Yes, you’re unique…but not just because of your sexuality.  That’s just a part of you, not the whole of you.  Hopefully, you’ll still remain active in the fight for civil rights, but you’ll face the challenge as a human being instead of as an ‘other’.

At least that’s what it’s all felt like for me.  So, buck up kids!  Your float in the pride parade awaits you…

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