Feb 152016
 

I used to do this a lot but . . . things happened. Not necessarily bad things or good things, just lots of distracting (in some cases) and random (in other cases) things that all came together in an unfortunate series of things that made it nearly impossible to sit down at a computer to poke my brain so it would spit out other things on a regular basis.

Suffice to say that cobbling together cohesive and arguably entertaining thoughts just wasn’t a thing.

But hey, now this is a thing—

belfie-stick

Good jorb, people.

Clearly, I can’t leave you all on your own for any amount of time. At least the universe had the decency to rain down a Sharknado or three to balance it out.

So in the relatively short time that I’ve been off dealing with my things, other things have changed. In particular, our culture, which is now fraught with “percolating outrage.” You know, that pent-up anger that seems to be simmering right below the surface and often manifests itself in a laser-focused and social media-guided torrent of politically correct backlash to any perceived slight or misstep.

It seems as though righteous indignation is now wielded like a Whac-a-mole mallet, ready to pound down on any vaguely non-PC comment or idea that has the temerity to pop up on the hyper-sensitive cultural landscape.

So I’ve hesitated diving back into our lovely cesspool of pop, intrawebz and things for fear of offending someone (either on purpose or inadvertently) and then losing my job, family, house, car, and/or collection of Joan Jett cassettes while I feverishly try to apologize to everyone on the planet, as well as every entity in the near parts of the Milky Way and their unborn anal-probing descendants. Because that’s the protocol now, right? Say/tweet/post something potentially provocative, apologize profusely, cross fingers and wait for the next distraction to come along . . . .

Unless you’re Bill Cosby, because, you know … rape.

Oops—I used the word “rape”! I preemptively apologize to all the victims of violent crimes, throughout history, now and forever, for using the actual word to describe a particular heinous act in regard to someone accused of repeatedly perpetrating that act. It was not my intention to offend. Mea culpa!

I also would like to apologize to anyone who has had an unfortunate incident with a grape, because that has “rape” in it—that apology also extends to anyone who has ever drank grape juice, eaten a sandwich with grape jelly or jam, or even considers themselves an oenophile. Better extend that to drinkers of grape Nehi, consumers of Grape-Nuts, the late Euell Gibbons, fans of Grape Ape and also the California Raisins, just to be sure.

Sorry if that’s not sorry enough for you.

So anywhoo, other than the possibility that Billy Eichner may now be my spirit animal, here’s what I’ve learned in our time apart:

1. The backstory for the virus that launches “The Walking Dead” and wipes out humanity most likely involves Charlie Sheen.

2. “Social” media is generally a misnomer.

3. If orange is the new black, that might explain why saying you’re going to vote for Donald Trump is so fashionable.

prezorangeDo not adjust your monitor for optimum oompaloompaliciousness

4. Continuing to get angry over the Kardashians is like being upset with the universe itself. Just accept that both are bigger than all of us, no one can really explain any of it, and that ultimately, it’s all mostly large expanses of cold nothing.

5. Speaking of space: Probes have reached Pluto, human missions are being planned for Mars, and you can no longer see John Goodman from the International Space Station.

goodmanNice job, Johnny!

6. Honey Boo Boo had the cultural staying power of … Honey Boo Boo. Who knew? And I think that we’ll continue to be okay as long as these two phrases don’t cross the streams anywhere but here: “Mama June” & “Dating Naked.” [*Although feel free to insert your own “Naked and Afraid” joke here*]

7. There is still no cure for AIDS, cancer or Bieber fever.

8. The fact that any discussion of Hillary Clinton starts with a disclaimer like, “I know she’s the most qualified candidate, but …” tells you she’s about as likeable as Caillou. (“I’m just a kid’s who’s four, each day I grow some more, people hope cancer’s in store … for Caillou!”)

9. Kanye—the Joffrey to Hillary’s Caillou, but without all the Purple Wedding laughs.

10. Playing Cards Against Humanity with your parents, your whore sister and teen-aged sons—all at the same time—will leave you only a little less scarred than Deadpool.

no-mask-deadpoolCards Against Humanity make me wanna shoop!

On the plus side, I’ve also become addicted to 5-Hour Energy and the glorious heart palpitations that come with it, so I’m not sure this is whole thing is going to work out well …

Oh well. What could possibly go wrong?

Jan 012014
 

So the other night, I’m watching TV with my two sons when we notice that on one of our 2,304 channels is “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown.”

“Did we ever see that one?” Zane asks.

“See it? I’ve never even heard of it!” I answer.

And with good reason—as it was one of the less memorable (read: more lame) Peanuts specials to come down the pike. Seriously, the main plot revolves around Charlie Brown having to read War and Peace over his holiday vacation for a book report! It’s like someone said, “Hmm … Peanuts specials are pretty slow moving in the first place, so what can we do to grind it to an absolute halt and suck all the joy out of it? I know! Let’s throw in one of the most dense works in the history of literature! It’ll be awesome—kids eat up Tolstoy!!!”

So we sit through it as a social experiment of sorts, and yeah, it’s as depressing as any Peanuts special—Charlie Brown doesn’t have any fun at the New Year’s Eve party because he’s stuck reading, and he misses out on his chance to hook up with The Little Red-Haired Girl. (Note: During the show, Charlie Brown calls her “Heather,” so at least that Eternal Mystery is solved.) Oh, and if Life—aka, the cruel hand of Charles M. Schultz—doesn’t slap down ol’ Chuck hard enough, he gets a D- on the book report.

After it’s over, we all sort of start joking about how sad it was. Zane asks if anyone has ever done something about when the Peanuts kids grow up, and I suggest that all you’d see is a tombstone for Charlie Brown after he ODs, which prompts the three of us, in our twisted way, to come up with—

The Top 15 Peanuts Specials That Should Be Made

(All illustrations by Zane)

1. It’s an Intervention, Charlie Brown!

2.

Charliebrown5

3. Snoopy Has Rabies … And It’s Fatal, Charlie Brown!

4. It’s the Robot Uprising, Charlie Brown!

5.

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6. Balls, Charlie Brown!

7. It’s Called Lymphoma, Charlie Brown!

8.

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9. It’s the Great Gatsby, Charlie Brown!

10. Don’t Marry Your Cousin, Charlie Brown!

11.

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12. Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow, Charlie Brown!

13. I’m Gonna Kick You in the Peanuts, Charlie Brown!

14. It’s a Tsunami, Charlie Brown!

15. You’re Getting Mauled by a Bear, Charlie Brown!

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And now …. “We’re Waiting For a Letter from the Peanuts’ Attorneys, Charlie Brown!”