Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Personality

I have one of those funny jobs where being your own person isn’t necessarily a benefit. The people I work with are all very nice and good at what they do, but I get the impression they’re also the type of people who keep Applebee’s in business and kill their nights watching reality TV. They’re boring, but I can’t tell if that’s a result of the work they do each day, or if it’s what enables them to come into work each day and perform. Is ennui the causation or a correlation to a successful office-based career?

Yesterday I went to lunch with a few of these very nice people, to a Subway they frequent because the falafel joint a few shops down was too exotic for their tastes. We got to talking about our co-workers, and at one point they both told me they liked that I had “more personality” than the other people we worked with. Which was very nice. But the truth is my personality is trouble when it comes to the 9-to-5-sit-at-a-desk-and-type sort of lifestyle. I can find creative solutions to problems, but I let basic paperwork sit on my desk for days, even weeks. I can make people laugh, but if I think you’re slow or dull, I will write you off as the sort of boring person who genuinely enjoys chain restaurants and the Real Housewives of New York, Atlanta, Cleveland, and southern Idaho. I skew myself just enough into the positive that I come across as affable and well-intentioned, but I don’t know how possible that would be if I took contracts longer than 6 months.

My dad likes to tell a story about an old friend of his from back when he was a professor. Coincidentally, his name was Joe, too. They worked and taught together, and while Joe was a smart man he wasn’t smart enough to know he wasn’t brilliant. So Joe walked around like he owned the place, denigrating other people’s ideas when he disagreed with them, lauding his own thoughts, and just generally being an asshole. One day Joe is in a men’s room stall and overhears two colleagues washing their hands and talking about what they’re going to do about “the Joe Problem,” and Joe slowly realizes he’s not going to get tenure, which is a death knell in the academic world. Joe ends up bouncing from college to college, gradually becoming more ass-holeish with each failure, until he winds up drunk and jobless, his PhD just a piece of paper on his bedroom wall. Point being that sometimes it’s better to compromise than be your own person. Discretion is the better part of valor, and all that.

Do I have a Joe Problem? Maybe. I’m certainly an asshole. I’m sure I think I’m funnier than I actually am. But I have good personality traits along with the bad, and I suppose that’s what confuses me about “personality” in general. Do I need the bad parts of me to find the good, or are they there to serve as a pressure valve when I get sick of smiling and saying “Yes, sir”? Do we choose who we are, which parts of us are good or bad? Are we shaped that way? What causes me to be me?

There have been times beyond count where I’ve wanted to shut the fuck up but it’s felt like there was a gear twisting inside me, forcing words to spew out before I had time to realize the consequences of what I was saying. The gear’s still there, but it doesn’t have as much torque as before. So maybe a personality is about finding balance, a compromise that allows you to be yourself without distancing people. Maybe, if you put in the effort, who you are is who you want to be.

Then again, maybe I’m just an asshole who hates Applebee’s and thinks wanting is as good as being.

God does Applebee's suck.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why Obama is Hitler

Let me just start by saying that it’s about time someone made this comparison. I’ve grown sick of Obama trotting out his radical and dangerous ideologies. This is a man who we must stop before he invades Poland, or more realistically, Canada, to start what will no doubt be a war that ends with the wanton murder of millions. We can not allow ourselves to make the same mistakes that Western Europe made nearly 70 years ago.


I can’t believe how long it took for someone to realize the similarities between Obama’s evil economic policies and Hitler’s evil economic policies. Some people might claim that economics have never really been an indicator of the moral standing of a nation’s leader, but those people are fools. Obama’s socialist tendencies threaten the very fabric of our nation, just as Hitler’s policies tore the world apart during World War 2. Ignore for a moment the fact that Hitler was a stringent capitalist who detested the notion of government run industry and invaded the Soviet Union, his ally and a completely socialist nation, after realizing that the Nazi ideology would not be able to coexist with Communist ideals. If he had been a socialist, Hitler totally would have been even more evil. Just like whoever leads Sweden now.


And thank God people are finally seeing just how similar Obama’s views on race are to Hitler’s. Hitler’s contempt for Jews is just as terrible as Obama’s contempt for white people. Forget that Obama is half-white. He hates white people. You can tell by the way he supported his friend Henry Gates. How dare he doubt the Boston Police Department? I feel lucky every day that I have not been sent to one of the death camps that I am sure is being built somewhere. And for all of you who say that comparing Obama to Hitler insults the memory of the 10 million people who were humiliated, brutalized, murdered, raped, mutilated, and destroyed by the Nazi regime, I only have one question. Where do you get off?


I am just glad that there are American citizens who recognize that it is their patriotic duty to interrupt town hall meetings to bring to light the startling resemblance of Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler. So please, members of the right wing, continue to form mobs, shout your way to power, and form grassroots militias. Together, we can show America who the real Nazis are.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Origin of Bill Brasky

This is the start of the story about this man:

His name is Bill Brasky.

------------------------------------------

Thunder rumbled in the distance and lightning scorched the air the night Bill Brasky was born. It was in a tiny cabin that Willimina Brasky gave birth to the man who would shape the Earth forever. She had been in labor for 137 hours trying to give birth to the giant of a child before Brasky finally decided to fight the indignity of coming out of his mother’s vagina by punching through her womb, instantly killing her. Bill Brasky is a merciful being, however, and he revived her as soon as he had cleaned off the afterbirth and dressed himself in a robe he made after killing and skinning a bear. He was 45 minutes old.

The legend of Bill Brasky does not end there though, not by a long shot. He grew into a strong boy, and by age 8 he was seven foot five and as strong as sixteen oxen. It was not uncommon to see Brasky beating Paul Bunyan up for fun or calling John Henry a girl while he held his hammer over his head. It was during these years that World War Two broke out, however, and it was not long before Franklin Roosevelt called on the services of America’s most important asset. He begged and pleaded with Brasky, sometimes to join the war, sometimes to give back his wheelchair. Days passed before Brasky finally consented, having tired of constantly hearing the whining of who he would later refer to as America’s most crippled President.

And so young Brasky ventured off to Nazi Germany to end a war he had finally grown sick of. He led the D-Day invasion, killing what can only be estimated to be thousands of Germans with rocks and sea turtles he found lying on the beaches of Normandy. Leaving the bunch of “pussies” (as he called them) that needed to rest, heal, and mourn after the attack, he proceeded to invade Berlin alone. After defeating Hitler’s entire guard with a spear attached to a Nazi flag (Bill Brasky enjoys the irony of murdering an ideals based group with their own symbol), he proceeded to look for the F├╝hrer himself.

It took a day for Brasky to find his scent, but he finally tracked Hitler to a bunker behind the Reichstag. He tied Hitler up before having sex with Eva Braun right in front of him. Afterwards, with Eva lying on the ground, barely able to breathe from the most amazing sexual experience of her life, Brasky untied Hitler, lifted him high above his head, and with a motion as fast as the lightning that struck the sky on his birthday, broke Hitler over his knee. As he left the bunker, his mission complete, Eva Braun called to him to stay with her, for she loved him. Brasky’s silent back was the only answer she received, and with the knowledge that she could never be with the man who had satisfied her more than she ever thought possible, committed suicide. And with that, Bill Brasky turned nine.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Twilight, or, A Plague on Humanity

"Any 'Twilight' fan can tell you that they've been written so well, that they're real," said John Henson, a 33-year-old costume designer who collects original clothing from the film. "It was the second book, 'New Moon,' that made me a fan. It was chapter three, and it was the breakup of Bella and Edward; it hit me so hard emotionally that I had to cancel dinner with friends. At that point I was 29, 30 years old, and to make me cry? That's when I knew Stephenie Meyer was a brilliant writer."
(Taken from http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/07/22/twilight.fans/index.html)

Read that. Let that quote simmer in your brain.

Simmer.

Simmer.

Feel that growing burning sensation? That feeling that maybe you've got a fever going? Good, you're on the right path.

Simmer.

Simmer.

Sim--Hopefully your brain is boiling now, overcome with the complete insanity of what John Henson, male, 33, said about the Twilight series of books. A few things:

1) The fact you're a giant pussy who cries because two fictional characters break up with each other does not make Stephenie Meyer a brilliant writer. It's makes you a pussy.

2) I changed my mind. There's just one thing.

How is this possible? How does a poorly written series of books with universally terrible reviews generate such insanity among people?

I think it's possible that Twilight is part of a global terrorist conspiracy aimed at destroying the US by making women so convinced that the only reason to go through the reproductive process is that your mate meets the qualifications of being:
  1. Incredibly attractive
  2. Devoted to your every whim
  3. A vampire
Now, most men are going to fail to meet those standards. You can see how this might affect the United States come thirty years from now when a whole Children of Men situation is going on. I don't have proof yet to back my theory, but I will report back as I find out more.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Plight of Orcs in Middle Earth

So I was incredibly hungover Saturday and watching The Fellowship of the Ring when I had an interesting realization. Orcs get completely shafted in this trilogy. They’re basically slaves, cannon fodder, or forced to live in dank pits. Why the hell do they let all of this happen?

I know they aren’t the smartest creatures, I mean they get outsmarted by hairy-footed midgets like 342 times, but you’d think that at least one rebellious orc would be like “Hey, fuck you dad, I’m getting an education at Middle Earth Tech.”

Take the orcs that work for Saruman, for example. They spend their time creating a race of new, better orcs for him. Why the hell would you do that? I don’t want to build Joe Jensen 2.0. I enjoy not being outdated. But they’re creating these orcs, and not only are they way sweeter, but from the time they’re born, they start murdering the old orcs, just for the hell of it. I don’t know about you, but as soon as I start working in an environment where the product starts killing my co-workers, I’m out of there.

This is why I generally don’t support the plausibility of evil minions. Like, sure, at first it might seem like a good idea, sort of like joining a company like Enron. Everything’s going well, the powerful entity is doing work on the world, but then shit hits the fan. You wouldn’t try and go back to work for Enron after they imploded, so why would these orcs go back to Sauron after he got his ass handed to him by a dude with a broken sword and allow themselves to be treated like week-old dog shit?

It just doesn’t make sense. Are there no unions in Middle Earth? Elves, men, dwarves, hobbits, eagles, ghosts, balrogs; they’ve all got their shit together. At what point did the orcs think, “Oh, hey, you know what would be sweet? Being the bitches of other people!”

Here is the best answer I came up with: orcs are the victims of an incredibly racist society. Is it okay to enslave them? Yes. Who enslaves them? Saruman, the White. Every other race despises them and considers them universally evil (apparently, stereotyping is cool in Middle Earth). Frodo has a sword that lets him know when orcs are around. You can tell me it’s just a warning that he’s about to be attacked, but I’m pretty sure it’s to let him know if he should introduce himself to the new neighbors or not.

I want to see the orcs stand up for their rights through non-violent protest and throw off the shackles of their oppressors. I would hope Aragorn could be their Abraham Lincoln, but knowing his “decapitation policy” towards most orcs he meets, I highly doubt such a thing will happen. And based upon the success they’ve had so far in liberating themselves, I can only assume that the orcish Martin Luther King Jr. will not be coming around anytime soon.

So there you have it. The Lord of the Rings isn’t a movie about inner strength or badass epic battles, but rather an endorsement of segregationist policies. If you have greenish-brownish-blackish slimy skin, jagged rotting teeth, a predisposition to murder and eat your victims, or questionable hygiene, don’t expect to be warmly welcomed by the people of Middle Earth. Or Peter Jackson.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Geoff and I converse.

This conversation seemed awesome when it happened. We'll see how well it ages.
Geoff

dogs have wheelchairs?

12:52amJoe

http://handicappedpets.com/www/images/stories/denaliSm.jpg

apparently they have whole websites dedicated to them

12:52amGeoff

that dog should just be shot

thats what happens when dogs cant walk

12:52amJoe

sort of like (person's name)?

definitely crossed a line there.

12:52amGeoff

yup

leapt over it

12:53amJoe

won the triple jump championship

12:53amGeoff

olympic jumped it

12:53amJoe

michael jordan doing the doctor j dunk in the all star game jumped over it

12:54amGeoff

i believe i can fly jumped it

12:54amJoe

you might win this one

12:54amGeoff

im trying

12:55amJoe

hmmmmmm....

i want to go with inspector gadget

but i can't make it not lame

nevermind got a better one

batman escaping the police using the rockets attached to his car to leap from the top of a goddamned building to a bridge jumped it

12:56amGeoff

i was gonna use a car jump one too

damn

evil keneival it

12:57amJoe

NO

THAT WAS MINE

damn this wavelength we're both on

12:57amGeoff

its a roommate thing

12:58amJoe

i'm serious about those pink heart tattoos

12:58amGeoff

i already got mine

12:58amJoe

knew i could count on you

justin timberlake making the leap from boy band music to soulful adult contemporary jumped it

i feel like that one was pretty clutch

12:59amGeoff

yup. done.

you take it

that was beautiful

1:00amJoe

yeah i'm pretty proud of it to be honest

i'm glad that we had an entire epic conversation about this though

1:00amGeoff

you should be

ill tell your kids about it

1:00amJoe

i'll tell your wife about it after i nail her probably

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pride

The Fourth of July got me thinking about pride in America and how it’s a really weird thing. If you’re proud of your country, you’re called a patriot. You can wave flags, blow things up, get drunk, and people will be proud of you because you’re supporting your country.

Now, suppose you’re proud of say, your race. Do any of those things fly? Fuck no. I’m pretty sure getting drunk and then blowing things up because you’re proud to be white is considered a hate crime. Weird, right?


And the contradictions don’t stop there:


Things you can be proud of:


Sexual orientation (if gay)

Faith in Jesus
Sports Teams
People who assassinate abortion doctors
Being fat
Not knowing a foreign language

Things you cannot be proud of:


Sexual orientation (if straight)
AIDS
Crystal Meth
Faith in Mohammad
Living in Mississippi
Alcoholism

It’s just odd that some of these things are okay to proud of while others are not. I feel like if people are allowed to go around waving flags about being gay, I should probably be allowed to get drunk in public on a daily basis. I’m a proud alcoholic, damnit.

And maybe I am proud of crystal meth. Harrisonburg, Virginia is the meth capital of the East Coast. That’s right, the entire east coast. Can any state besides Virginia claim that? No. But because of some arbitrary moral imperative, if I get the least bit proud that the home of crystallized methamphetamine is located in the state I was born in, people shun me.

It’s just like when I refuse to be proud of fat people. “Oh, Joe, it’s their life choice,” you might say. Fuck that! No one chooses to be fat. It’s not like those half ton people on Discovery Health wake up one morning and are like, “Hey, I’m going to do something with my life today.” I refuse to believe that being fat is something to be proud of. Unless you’re a sumo wrestler.