Monday, July 21, 2014
I have a client. A good client, A cordial and compassionate client. Several projects into 2014, and it's been an absolute joy in conducting business with this firm, as well as the project manager who's called me time and time again for my illustration talents. Certainly, there are quite a few options when nestled deep in the heart of New York City, and I consider myself fortunate to have built such a relationship over the years with this company, that they'd reach out to the Left Coast for their illustrative needs.
And, for the duration of our partnership, the money has been very fair, and predictable in its arrival.
Then the Kings won the Stanley Cup.
Check that, the Kings beat the NEW YORK RANGERS to win the Stanley Cup.
And just like that, a $1400 invoice vanished. Then was resent at the request of their accounting department. Then not processed "ASAP", as they had stated would be the case. Then stalled. Then the check not yet cut ("just one more week", noted an email two weeks after the apologetic ASAP email). I jokingly suggested there might be a few Rangers fans working the assembly line down thar in the money trenches.
Now, I'm beginning to think the comment as less a playful jab, and more of a straight hook bulls-eye.
Seriously! I'm absolutely CONVINCED half of their accounting crew lost big bucks on the 4 to 1 series thump-job. And as the Tweets rain in as Lord Stanley's Cup makes its way across SoCal, their rage increases tenfold. Now comes along an invoice for some artsy jerk from L.A. And their mindset flips from "process"...
... to "revenge!"
I can visualize the yahoos as I type these words, toasting themselves with their Pabst Blue Ribbon or Michelob or whatever those f**ks drink in New York, laughing between drags of their Kool cigs (or whatever the f**k they smoke in NYC), amused at the inconsequential artsy Angeleno gripping that his check is nowhere to be found. As they stumble home to inhabit their century-old, oil-heated, mind-blowingly expensive shithole apartments, they smile in delight knowing I am suffering.
But I'm not. In fact, the joke's on them... I'll be fine. The money will come (albeit tardy a month), and as I wait I shall draw. The chug MeisterBrau (or whatever the f**k it is they drink), while I click my mechanical pencil and go at 'em. The above toon is one of many I have promised -- until the money arrives.
See, accountants get drunk. They've got the creative genius of a clam. Artists don't require alcohol to get a buzz. All they need is talent.
And a reason to use it.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Is the above photo the "ultimate" L.A. hipster pic?
That, of course, is open for an opinion of which not the least involves one's independent interpretation of what "defines" a hipster. My personal viewpoint first resides with an absolute lack of sincerity: a phony blend of unsubtle fad fashion cues mixed with selfish disregard for anybody but themselves. It's their world and they'll do what they want, which is fine most of the time -- until they stumble into a cafe half-conscious from a late night bender, non-clean judging from the stench of Patchouli oil overload to mask their body oder, speak very loudly, begin playing a guitar, and generally assume complete control of a piece of heaven you USED to call a relaxing Sunday morning.
Another personal criteria is an appearance of absolute frivolity. With no real job, possession of a "daddy leased" Beemer or Benz with its compliment fuel card of which magically pays itself off every month, credit cards which also magically pay themselves off every month (must be made of a special plastic, eh?), and secure cache of family friends who can land them a job if needed, what care in the world might they hold?
Save the Earth? The Earth's been here billions of years, and will be here long after we're gone.
Save the whales? Why not... and never mind that fam vacay to Japan last year, which was described in various Tweets as "super awesome" and "this is my fav place in teh wurld EVR!" You know Japan slaughters whale.....right?
Back to the photo. Interpretations may vary, but the "standard candles" are all there. It's got everything required to qualify as the quintessential representation of all that is SoCal Hipster.
I mean, EVERY single ingredient is there:
1. It's from the Max Landis Facebook page (he's above left from the "bear"), who himself is a Hollywood rich kid with nothing better to do with his life but pull sh*t like this all day long.
2. His friends wear beanies indoors.
3. Mocking The Last Supper, which is in line with typical hipster "hate disguised as humor" takes.
4. Every single human(oid?) in that photo appears to emanate from family wealth... which means they lack the necessary mental tools required to fully comprehend, and therefore understand, reality.
5. Opulent surroundings -- luxurious furniture and appointments -- intertwined with cheap take out pizza and 6-pack beer. And, while we're on the topic of "beer"....
6. The chick wearing the King Cobra tee. Doubt she's EVER roamed a mean street in her life.
7. A minimum of ONE (1) person wearing non-prescription glasses for fashion purposes alone.
8. Somebody in a stupid costume that makes no sense in comparison to the content.
9. Blow-out tees.
10. Not one guy appears to have ever set foot in a gym at any time in their lives.
11. At least TWO (2) Tomboy chicks.
12. Expressions of angst.
13. Fake lesbians.
14. Colorful skinny jeans (this is assumed)
15. A repressed gut feeling you'd like to leap into the photo and kick somebody's ass.
Like I said, it's got it all, and it's MY nominee as the ultimate Hipster Pic of 2014.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Last time out, I conceived my vision of the TYT headquarters -- a ramshackle treehouse enclosing a neighborhood club of brats trying to start some shit, but failing miserably. Actually, the illustration was for a children's book I'm penciling, but the concept of TYT utilizing a space of re-purposed lumber and poorly hammered nails for their production meeting perfectly corresponds to their current state of social media outreach -- haphazard and chaotic, with no clear vision or voice. It was, and still is, a poli-social cartoon emphasizing the continuing issue of the liberal media incapable of simply "getting it together".
Then, THIS happened, compliments of a blogger named Tumic:
Classic case of sour grape syndrome. If you hate TYT and their supposedly self righteous agenda, then why are you so butthurt about them ignoring you? Why bother asking to contribute to them at all? They're New Age Hippies, pseudo progressives yadda yadda - then why lend your talent to these hacks, right? No - you had no issue with them at all when you thought there was a chance they would accept your art.
Funny that you devote an entire post and cartoon to bashing TYT, trying to call them out as douches, despite the fact that you're the one hurling insults. Do you really think that their ignoring your requests was out of malice?
No. They get a lot of mail, and it's probably hard for them to respond to it all. As an artist who has faced rejection time and time again, sour grapes and acting like a jilted crybaby is highly unattractive to prospective patrons. Grow a pair.
I take Tumeric's words to heart, for in a creepy, mother's basement kind of manner, he's correct. I'm certain those UCLA interns are too busy TXTing their BFFs to concern themselves with a massive envelope full of cartoons. He's probably right that "ignoring" my snail-mail and e-mail submissions wasn't malicious in the least, but rather a network so terribly busy at the present moment that it's difficult to respond to every inquiry.
But alas, Tupac is missing the point completely.... the point being TYT, as stated in the first paragraph, can't "get it together". Not responding to my e-mails and my packet of print cartoons, even with something as sterile as a form letter, illustrates (pardon the pun) a mismanagement prevalent in left-wing media. While FoxNews has their shit in order, running as smoothly and effortlessly as a any propaganda machine in recent memory, the Liberal Left is scattershot. While I'm no fan of Fox, if TYT decided to mimic their strategy, but skew it to the left, they might have something brewing. Instead, they hurl anything they can get their hands on at the wall... and if it sticks, they use it.
One thing Tumor points out, of which I COMPLETELY agree with, is the "targeted approach" in the last cartoon. I should not, as Tuberculosis pointed out, bite the media hand of whom may potentially feed me (he wasn't as eloquent as that, mind you). So, in response to Tubeworm's concerns, I will create a fictitious liberal media platform, called TIT, or The Integrity Tribe. Currently, there is no such network, so bashing said "network" is an exercise in futility and 100% safe. Beginning with the above toon, any future focus upon the circus act also known as the sloppy liberal media shall be directed upon T.I.T.
Time for a little TITy action!!!
Friday, May 23, 2014
An example of what happens when a cartoonist submits snail-mail submissions, email submissions, and a multitude of Twitter and Facebook connections, without so much as a peep in response. No email reply, no "likes", no sanitary "rejection form letter" in the mail.... nothing!
The cartoonist turns on you. What was once viewed as a growing network that might possibly utilize the talents of a social commentary cartoonist for the purposes of extending their reach, is now glared upon as nothing more than a bunch of hipster liberal snot-knockers so enamored with self-righteousness that the simplest of courtesy gestures -- such as responding to an eager cartoonist with a form letter -- is met with disdain, and scoffed upon as a waste of precious time.
A blessing in disguise of a sort. I'm finding it far easier to tear off massive chunks of ultra-left "progressive" bullshit than when I had my proverbial sights set upon the ultra-right.
Face it, New Age Hippies -- you're just "funnier'.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Just let the man be the man.
When he opens a door for you, or wishes to take the task of carrying things off your hands, PLEASE don't pull some "I'm-a-strong-lion-goddess-and
Worse yet, DO NOT mock his chivalry after the fact. Just be thankful the dwindling few who feel you're worth the effort still give a damn.
In the realm of the "New Age Hippie", self-sustenance (with a not too subtle hint of projectionism) has over-written the ingress and egress of social etiquette. Not too long in the past a woman could find herself on a date holding nothing more than a clutch, enveloping her phone, some make-up, and house keys. Money and transportation was the man's problem... and men were okay with that.
Now, if a man as so much hints at flipping the bill, he's due for a next-level flip-out, courtesy of the woman he (up until now) would never dream of NOT treating like a queen. Within moments of "What... is THIS how you're gonna get me to "lose" my Lululemons?! Is THIS your plan", his only "plan" is how to end this date as economically and efficiently as possible... then "lose" her number.
No man enjoys walking on eggshells, thinking that any chivalrous act may be misconstrued as a nefarious plot for cheap sex. A counterpoint: sometimes that's exactly what it is. However, unless it's a blind date, said woman should know enough about the man to gauge his kindness and generosity. If he prefers wearing skin with his Drakkar, loves gold jewelry (on him), and rolls in a dropped Benz -- then perhaps the correction isn't with the man as so much as her choice of the man in the first place.
Let the man be the man. It makes him happy... and makes your life a helluva lot easier.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
The state of Florida is in grave danger of possibly separating from the mainland due to a recently discovered subterranean "cave bridge". Jules Verne-like submarine "strange".
AP -- A recently discovered map found in a chest of collectables, carbon-dated to approximately 1855, illustrates the passage of an ancient submarine passing beneath the northern section of the Florida "penninsula" (noted as Westland on the map). The map appeared to be something of a novelty... that is, until underwater topography of the region obtained from a NASA GPR satellite suggests that, in fact, there may very well be truth behind this mysterious page of parchment -- and with it some real-world fear.
"The areas where this submarine-looking vehicle enters and exits the Florida peninsula, between St. John and St. Augustine from the Atlantic, and Deadman Bay from the Gulf, are noted for their ever-changing, sedimentary coastal sea beds, a fact that might have contributed to a discovery of such a cave bridge being unattended to until now," explains Joe Nigro (I swear that's his name... look him up), a geographic information systems specialist and archaeologist by training. "NASA utilized ground penetrating radar, or GPR, to uncover what appears to be a sea cave that bridges both coastlines, or a 'cave bridge', hidden beneath the sediment".
But the excitement was soon replaced by a growing concern that this cave bridge, length-wise crossing a state already known to be weakly connected to the mainland, might sever Florida from the contiguous 48 in the event of a powerful Hurricane striking the region between Two Saints and Deadman Bay.
The uplift from the low pressure eye might "snap" Florida in two, with the lower half slipping off the continental shelf. It is thought that the drop of the Blake Plateau, on the Atlantic side, would veer the state east in such an event, ultimately leading the land mass to the inescapable depths of the Blake Escarpment, where (according to experts) the entire state may be devoured by the Atlantic Ocean.
But not everybody is convinced of this untimely demise.
Barry "Boon" Dokkes, of the Southeastern States Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, raises concerns about the validity of the map. "Nobody questions that there may or may not have been submarines back in the 1850's. And nobody questions that such a submarine might resemble as such described by author Jules Verne of Captain Nemo fame, who lived in the same period... but Kraken? Come on, people! That's ridiculous! It looks like a cartoonist drew it. This very well could have been a page from a children's book." He added: "So, we're saying that Florida is doomed because of a page from an ancient child's book? I'm not sure Amadeus ever drew children's books, " he confidently chuckled.
We think he meant Nostradamus.
He also noted such a cave bridge might really have been nothing more than a old deep water river. "All the captains needed to know was where the inlets were. Once you're on the river, there's no need for cartography, since it's only taking you to one place."
When asked if a deep water river can disappear in a little more than 150 years, Dokkes smirked and replied "Ask California." When asked if Florida has ever endured drought conditions similar to California, he blurted, "Sure," and promptly ended the phone conversation.
But Sir Henry Hillhurst of the British Cartographic Society, owns a vastly different opinion. "In reviewing the satellite imagery, topographical and geological information of the region, as well as the map itself, I can confidently conclude that no deep water river ever existed where this cave bridge lies. The depth of it is disturbing, extending beyond what we consider to be the thin water table the state currently rests upon".
As for the style of art, Hillhurst noted that the French maps of the era were inferior to those of the British Navy, and routinely employed novices to ink the parchments. As for the Kraken image, Hillhurst exclaimed: "Completely factual. The British Navy has a long and dreadful history with these beasties of the deep." He added that the Blake Escarpment would be a perfect place to run across this most terrifying of creatures, a monster nearly as horrific as the "dragons of the coastal highlands".
Rick Scott, Governor of Florida, ha already alluded to "concerned Floridians" contacting his office, repeatedly asking about that incident where that "dang bunny done saw up in half". Scott's office calmly noted that such an event was nothing more than an old Bugs Bunny cartoon and nothing more.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
AP -- Today, CNN publicly chastised the online Malaysian Times for running a front page cartoon suggesting, utilizing humor aimed specifically at CNN's coverage, that the disappearance of Malaysian Air Flight 370 was the work of alien creatures staging their own reality television program.
"They took a shot at Discovery Channel as well, but that network is widely known for their embellished reality fare. CNN is an entirely different story... pardon the pun," exclaimed Assistant News Director Charlie Mangles, with the kind of disgruntled yet cleverly manipulated dialogue premeditating the possibility of legal action in the near future.
"We've worked tirelessly through all hours, day and night, to offer the kind of overly-extensive coverage only a 24 hour news network can provide," added Mangles. "Certainly, when Jon Stewart cracked his whip at us, it was entirely expected... but the respected Malaysian Times? CNN can only assume it was a diversionary tactic to cover the foregone conclusion that their air traffic system, as well as their airline standards, are amongst the poorest in the world".
He added that Erin Burnett's "Out Front" program was in the midst of creating a two-hour special on this cover-up, and that the front page cartoon in question had been added late for "discussion punch".
Within the mix is Jon Stewart, noted Politcomedian and host of the popular "Daily Show". Stewart had no comment on his name being mentioned at the center of this melee. According to the reporter at the other end of the incredibly short telephone interview, Stewart either seemed "to be in a considerable amount of pain", or "laughing really hard". The reporter wasn't 100% sure of either. CNN later speculated that Stewart had just undergone surgery to relieve a torn shoulder ligament stemming from throwing those blue index cards on his show "incorrectly".
According to CNN, Wolf Blitzer will have an update on Stewart's condition, complete with insightful infographics and Ph.D pundits, on his "Situation Room" telecast this evening.
As for The Malaysian Times... no comment.
Monday, April 14, 2014
AN OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA FROM THE VEGANS ALLIANCE
Dear President Barack Obama.
How DARE YOU.
Watching you step into a D.C Five Guys Burgers and proceed to order a herd's worth of cooked flesh as the video cameras captured every second of this moral carnage, nearly forced my raw quinoa to escape my perfectly alkalized stomach. It's accurate that vegans only account for .000000062% of the vote come November of 2016, but WE ARE, sir, a fierce and fiery bunch, and we will NOT, sir, take this spoonful of encrusted lard lightly.
Our movement is growing each day, like moss upon bark within a sustainable forest, and come the '15 campaign, our strength shall be unmatched. Despite radical claims that a vegan diet fails to intake the necessary proteins and vitamins to maintain a high level of cognitive thought and reasoning, our increasing number of members within VeAl are amongst to best-informed, the sharpest of tuned, most well-read, and possess the highest intelligence of any grassroots group. And, as 2018 approaches, any candidate attempting to coat-tail your success may find our pleas to disassociate from you the loudest and most ferment of voices.
We are liberal and would very much enjoy toting our Wheatgrass and Matcha smoothies to the polling stations in November of 2014, after our morning meditation, hike and yoga session, and casting our ballots for the Democratic candidate. Yet, we are at an impasse: We cannot vote for a party which openly supports Ted Nugent's blatantly woodland creature-murdering, flesh-devouring ways; yet, we ALSO cannot vote for a party which supports a President snacking on the dead, hacked, and processed meat of what was once a happy, go-lucky cow who hadn't a care in the world. We also cannot vote for perennial outsider Jack, considering his affiliation with a similar fast food burger chain.
We would openly support the Libertarian candidate.... if we knew who it was.
So, what are we to do? You, sir, have placed us in an unenviable position to simply NOT vote come 2019. As Americans, we are saddened at the prospect of this reality. Yet, our faith in upholding such a devout belief supersedes and and all freedoms bestowed upon us AS American citizens.
But, all is not lost, Mr. President. My friend EarthGoddessDeborahh owns a Raw Vegan restaurant called NOMaste, just a few blocks south of that particular Five Guys location. Visiting her restaurant as the cameras roll would definitely offset the "nearly" indefensible actions on your part that terrible day when you feasted upon the remains of defenseless creatures.
Her number is (202)EARTHGD. Doing so shall reestablish the ever-growing.000000055% of the Vegan vote that just might tip the scales toward a Democratic victory in 2013!
Thank you, and God Bless American
Lion Goddess, Vegan Alliance (VeAl)
Saturday, April 12, 2014
I'm a rotten American. Rotten to the core!
Recently, when news broke that the Australians were considering using their fleet of submarines to help locate the missing Malaysian Air flight 370, a nugget of trivial, ignorant thought raced through my mind at slot car speed:
Australia..... has SUBMARINES????
My apologies for owning such an isolationist mindset, as if the good ol' USA is the only country on planet Earth technologically advanced enough to build a fleet of subs that actually work. Of course, Russia, the UK, France, maybe Japan (if Toyota builds them), and China (from stolen blueprints) all have submarines as well... and perhaps several countries utilizing WW2 hand-me-downs.
I envision Australia as the land of bikinis, barbeques, rugby, jellyfish that kill people, spiders that kill people, and gargantuan hopping mice -- the last one according to classic animation, of which us Americans derive everything we need to know about the world surrounding us. It's a place of fun, free-spirited people with perpetual tans, fantastic personalities, and the occasional decent movie. Many celebrities emanate from Australia, apparently owning a sense of taste and fashion upon arrival. So it's safe to assume they've acclimated themselves to fine dining and designer label while still in Australia, which means Australia has restaurants and clothing stores, too.
Of course, I'm kidding around. Australia is a fantastic continent-unto-itself. One of the great destinations of the world, and a country I'd very much love to visit one day. And, in hindsight, naturally they field a modern, technologically-advanced naval fleet.
For, if they didn't, those box jellyfish wold encapsulate their island nation in a hurry.
Friday, April 11, 2014
With advanced shout out to Jack White -- it truly IS growing harder and harder to be a gentleman, everyday.
It seems, these days, even the simplest of gestures, such as opening a door for an approaching woman, is more often-than-not met with: A) kind of blind indifference likened to that of an interaction between a mortal and thin air; B) a perplexing glance that may or may not suggest the female is seriously considering you might be a serial rapist; or C) the squaking war cry of the post-feminist "angrychick" movement, where the woman fights a never-ending battle against the tyranny of the ever-present sexist pig male who's only being nice as a means to an end... that "end" being the prize inside those Victoria's Secret lace panties and $100 Lululemon yoga pants.
Take note, female race, there IS a D).... the fella is just being a kindly gentleman, and nothing more.
He may already be wed to the woman of his dreams, or currently dating somebody he's had his eye on for some time now, long before YOU arrived on the scene. Perhaps he's old school, and understands that a woman should NEVER open a door if there's a man around to open it FOR her. It's not that he thinks you're weak, nor incapable of understanding exactly HOW a door "opens"-- he's merely trying his hand at knightly chivalry. A hand, by the way, you just went medieval on with the verbal equivalent of a Gatling Gun, peppering him with bullets of disregard and disdain, leading him to question whether or not chivalry is an obsolete social trait within modern society?
The answer: yes.... and no.
Individuals brought up correctly, raised within a household of common courtesy and respect independent of socio-economic status, WILL say "thank you". It's the norm, for with them there is no agenda, nor ulterior motive -- it's simply an act of courtesy and nothing more. To the "Guarded Warriors" (I like to call them that... drives them nuts), their retaliatory strike is a kind of preemptive suit of armor -- protect BEFORE the need for protection actually arises. Perhaps the man really does view the female as a trophy for him to win, and if that is indeed the case his intentions will, soon enough, become all too obvious. But, if this is NOT the case -- if the gentleman is merely "being a gentleman" -- then you've offered that man one more reason to simply no longer care about common courtesy, about being kindly and generous to the female world, about being "the knight".
Perhaps being "the dragon" is a less hurtful solution?
Congratulations, Guarded Warrior. He just became the monster you thought he was, when in fact he never was.... until YOU arrived.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
CUDDLES THE EASTER BUNNY FINDS HIS WAY INTO THE FOX NEWS HEADQUARTERS, AND BUMPS INTO MEGYN KELLY:
Cuddles: Yo, blondie. I got a beef wit ya.
MK: Good God. Are you REALLY a 6 foot talking rabbit... with a Jersey accent?
Cuddles: Do people take your word as almighty law of the land?
MK: Of course.
Cuddles: Well, if dat can happen, so can I. Anyways, you said Jesus and Santa are white, which would signify -- and stop me if I'm wrong here -- dat YOU think they both exist.
MK: Yes, they're both white. And yes, they both exist.
Cuddle: Hate to rain on your existential parade and all, but if they exist, and you're standing in front of me havin' a conversation, then I must exist too, right?
MK: I think you're confusing existentialism with inductive logic.
Cuddles: I'm a 6 foot cigar-chompin' bunny wit problems. You gonna argue wit me?!!
MK: My mistake. Yes, that's existentialism.
Cuddles: Now, do I exist or not?
MK: I seem to be clear in thought, and I haven't had an "episode" since the bleach incident... and I'm on my medication, haven't smoked weed in a week, and I haven't had any Absinthe since Tuesday. So, concluding that I am currently in my natural and normal "FoxNews Blonde" state of being... then YES, I think you DO exist.
Cuddles: I could be Cenk Uygur in a bunny get-up.
MK: No, no. Liberals aren't THAT bright.
Cuddles: But YOU just said a 6 foot talking bunny rabbit is REAL.
MK: Well because you're standing here talking to me.
Cuddles: I said hi to Dana Perino jus' a moment ago. She ran out of the building screaming in terror.
MK: Did you throw a shoe at her?
Cuddles: Talking bunnies don't wear shoes.
MK: Oh.... then I can't imagine why. You seem nice enough.
Cuddles: I said hi to Chris Wallace. He threw a rock at me.
MK: Oh, that. It's just a little thing he's got with O'Reilly about re-enacting David and Goliath.
Cuddles: O'Reilly in a bunny suit?
MK: He does that sometimes.
Cuddles: Now DAT'S weird!
MK: Yeah. I know, right? That IS weird. But, we love him unconditionally.
Cuddles: You DO remember you're talking to a 6 foot talking bunny.
MK: Of course. I can see you. What's your point?
Cuddles: There is no point. Happy &*%$# Easter, Megyn.
Ben Stein KNOWS law. Ben Stein KNOWS finance. Ben Stein KNOWS Bill O'Reilly and FoxNews. And most importantly, Ben Stein KNOWS how to call attention to himself.
Just not always in the most favorable manner.
The poor are lazy, jealous, and drunk, eh? Yes, it must have been nice as a child, with your father being an economist and presidential advisor. I'm absolutely POSITIVE you found your way into Columbia University (and later Yale) based purely on your intelligence, and not upon the coat-tails of your rich, famous daddy. Growing up with food close at hand, toys and gifts accessible at your leisure, traveling to far away places, and never hearing your parents at each others throats about money problems must bring a certain level of comfort and confidence to a young boy. It must fill your mind and heart with a positive, can-do attitude... knowing that, if you fail, your plummeting self shall fall upon a bed of money and new opportunities courtesy of longtime family connections.
And as you progress into adulthood -- never quite understanding what it's like to lay in bed, in the midst of a bad case of insomnia, staring at a ceiling you're not 100% certain might still be above you a week after rent is due; never gaining the full grasp of how fortunate you are that eating once a day is by choice, rather than by necessity; never experiencing how devastating the word "no" can be when so much is riding on "yes"-- I can see how your mindset can be skewed toward the poor owning a flawed work ethic and a jaded attitude for the "system".
A system that's making it increasingly difficult to find additional (and needed) credit for both individuals and small businesses alike. A system that finds new and interesting ways to reward the selfish and criminal. A system that intentionally slants the playing field to favorably slide abundance to the side of the excessively-abundant. A system that loses billions (i.e., JP Morgan Chase) on bad investments, then shrugs its shoulders like it just dropped its pet rock down a storm drain and nothing more.
Yes, Ben Stein.... you'll SHOW US!!!
How to be an asshole.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
LOL at politicians. Who needs reality TV when we've got THESE fellas.
I've said it all too often -- Republican or Democrat... it matters very little. The key term is "politician". The Statesmen disappeared in the waning moments of the 19th century. By declaration of Lord Byron, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
You may be a family man. You may be a God-fearing man. But, if you're a ladies man, and you own a degree of power, you've got it made!
Unless there's a camera nearby.
Aaaaannnd something called "the internet".
I'm wondering if these politicians who continuously finds themselves on the wrong end of an aperture setting -- while both their proverbial pants and third leg lay the wrong ways vertically and horizontally, irrespectfully -- actually KNOW that automobiles no longer run on steam? Do they understand, albeit one would think a "given", that the sun does NOT revolve around the Earth (despite what Kate Mulgrew says). Perhaps we should tap them on the shoulder and whisper, "Hey, that's not a tiny window... that's a television set".
Are you kidding me? This is way too much fun. And, if we employ a little dose of brain matter to the mix, we can increase the fun factor sevenfold.
We can spread a rumor that Bugs Bunny has risen from Toontown ("Roger Rabbit" being a documentary) and has declared FloriDUH to be cut from the union via one massive saw, just like he did in his cartoon. Watch in delight as the FloriDUH lawmakers scream in horror and push legislation the place NSA taps on all Warner Brother cartoon characters.
By way of good ol' Twitter, we can lay waste to the Texans in the House by grass rooting a phony campaign by a fictitious Native American group, declaring the name "Cowboy" to be morally unsettling due to the deaths of so many Hollywood indians over the hundreds of westerns produced in the past century, and to suggest a responsible alternative name: Cattlers.
Mississippiippii (?), the cesspool of former power boss Trent Lott (how they remained so poor despite his influence on Capitol Hill continues to confound me). We can lay a stinkbomb rumor on StumbleUpon that, due to federal budgetary concerns, a bill will be introduced to limit the number of recurring letters in the name of a state to "2", thus forcing Mississippi to become "Misisipp".
Which sounds a lott like "misstep" or "mishap", and that's a whole heaping helping of apropos if you ask me.
It's like a high-concept version of America's Funniest Home Videos, only scarier. Still littered with idiots doing stupid things.
But idiots we elected.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
At times I wonder... if I truly manner at all.
When Descartes exclaimed "I think, therefore I am!", he presented such words not knowing what I know. Not feeling what I feel. Not uncertain of what I am quite uncertain of at this particular moment.
Take heart. This is not "that" kind of post. In fact, it's all about a figurative Post-It Note.
My life is fine enough. I have plenty of friends, and some fantastic business opportunities ahead. But there are times when things just simply don't go one's way. And sometimes, many of these things happen all in a single day. When that occurs, which is more often then I'd prefer to admit, it lends itself to a bit of reflection.
Since middle school, and well into my adult life, I've found myself in a perpetual "no man's land" of social interaction. Many of my friends in school were of the popular variety: class president, hot babe, cheerleader (at my high school, "hot babe" and "cheerleader" didn't always travel hand-in-hand), opponent-crushing jock (baseball only... we positively sucked at football), etc. Between the bells, I'd conversed freely with the populars, hung out at lunch with them, and was, for the most part, generally one of the group.
For the most part.
Yet, as the weekend approached, Saturday party lists were being jotted and scribbled feverishly in the midst of another boring American History class. Best friends would bang heads, wondering who should and should not be invited. The populars would divvy out marching orders, and exclaim with complete certainty. "This is gonna be the best party EVER!"
I'm sure it was... if I'd been invited.
Only on Monday morning did I learn of the incredible party at so-and-so's house. "Wow! Did you see what (so-and-so) did? Dude, he totally digs her".
I'm sure it would've been a sight to see... if I'd been invited.
Knowing somebody doesn't necessitate a solid friendship, let alone a friendship at all. I realized this in the most embarrassing manner possible as high school ended and my collegiate life began. I won't dive into elaborate detail as to what happened my freshman year at Cal State Nowhere (Northridge, or CSUN, for the non-Angelinos), for it still hurts a fair amount just typing the words of this sentence. Let's just say it involved a childhood pal, pledging a fraternity, a false sense of belonging, and the proverbial rug being pulled from beneath my feet at the height of my confidence. Weeks of pledging, monthly dues, mandatory assignments, hampered grades, two long road trips, and a ton of fun. And in the end, as the fraternity set up shop for its ceremonial initiation in the living room, the surviving pledges gathered in the garage, confident of their future brotherhood. I couldn't wait. Already I'd been blabbering to neighbors and co-workers about purchasing a Greek hoodie once initiated, which now seemed an inevitability. As the frat prez circled us, he dropped a bombshell: there are still two cuts to be made! One was a guy named Carlos, who'd worked his tail off as the unofficial supply sergeant of both the pledge class and the fraternity. He, understandably, was devastated.
The other, was me.
As I made my way to to my car, I couldn't help but wonder how much of the 12 week pledge period was a flat out lie. I'd done nothing wrong... but had I done enough "right"? Was it simply about the money? No, I wasn't the coolest freshman on campus, but as I peered back at a house now off-limits to me, I could count no fewer than four remaining pledges who deserved initiation less than I. Yes. It hurts a fair amount. It's also fair to say I lost a fair amount of trust for human beings at that exact moment, and that mentality has followed me ever since.
It's also, I think, the beginnings of my superstitious nature of not discussing anything in my life in great detail to anyone until it's a sure-thing.
To this day, I carry the notion that I'm simply not as integral to the lives of others as it appears. I'm like a Post-It note within an appointment book. The words inscribed upon the note are inconsequential, for the note can be placed, re-placed, or simply mis-placed, without a drop of permanent ink touching any page within one's organized life. I try to make the best effort possible for people I know and care about. In return, it appears, the effort is rarely reciprocated. Appointments, re-scheduled. Lunch dates, cancelled. Business opportunities, disappear. I'll admit, more often than not I defend neither my name nor my honor as fervently as I should. When a person cancels on me based upon weaksauce reasoning, I really SHOULD call them out. When I feel I'm being marginalized, I SHOULD let my feeling be known.
Sometimes, I shouldn't let ANYTHING slide. I just, well.... do.
I can be opinionated at times, but never wholly negative or dark. I'm a realist -- and I comment on what I observe, rarely sugar-coating my words. I take a shower every day. I wear pleasant-enough deodorant (if your consider Axe "pleasant"). There is no gi-normous wart on my nose, nor am I grotesquely hideous. Sometimes events DO unfold in my favor, at which times I'm pleasantly surprised and grateful. And, there ARE people in my life who care as much about me as I do about them. Just, in my eyes, not nearly enough.
As people predictably disappoint. As business opportunities vanish into nothingness. And, as I sit here writing this blog, I have three of my own children's book (wait for the Hollywood catchphrase) in various stages of development, untethered to a flaky client, a teaching gig beginning in September, and fewer blondes in my life than two months ago... but that last note is for a separate blog post.
Yet, as I step back several paces and observe from a distance, many of these disappointments were, in fact, nothing to begin with. The people. The jobs. The opportunities. When viewed from a less subjective position, rear their ugly heads to reveal to surprising truth -- it is not I who is the Post-It note... it is THEY who are the Post-It notes. The perpetual flakes and ego-laden wannabes. The too-good-to-be-true opportunities that were already dead in the water before they left dry dock. The fast, cheap chatter of feather-light promises of which cannot hold the weight of air itself once slight pressure is applied.
I'm a trusting soul, and one who, in my 40's, is still waiting for an extended winning streak. I've learned to be guarded with talk of upcoming success, which makes it seem I'd rather not discuss my life at all. And, I've learned not to place a job opportunity on my whiteboard until it's a solid "go".
Unless it's the illustration job that's been delayed a month and a half.
Or that children's book project the client keeps placing on hold.
Or the cooler than awesome client branding gig that was "promised" as a sure thing.
Perhaps I should lose the whiteboard altogether and instruct people from this point forward to put up, or shut up.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
I said I wouldn't do it. I was rather proud of myself for not doing it.
Other were proud of me... for not doing it.
I'm doing it!!! I can't help it.
Facebook is an integral part of life for many of us. Those who don't get out often to lead normal social lives. Those who CAN'T get out to lead normal social lives. Those who are too busy or dead-set focused on projects to get out and party it up. Whatever your blend, Facebook, along with Twitter and Instagram, are nice to have around when a surrogate is necessary to feel connected with the world beyond your little box. Most of the time, these apps perform their task admirably. Of course, it has less to do with the service, and more to do with "friends" of yours sharing that service with you.
Yes... "friends". The word "friend" is (alongside "hate" and "love") perhaps one of the most consistently mis-used and misunderstood words in the english language. Speak to somebody at a get-together -- they're now your friend. Bump into Steven Speilberg at Whole Foods -- he's now your friend (and also now goes by the moniker "Stevie Baby" for some unknown reason). Share floor sweat at the Yoga Shelter for the Spiritually Awkward -- friend!
These are not friendships. They are, at best, acquaintances and nothing more. A friendship takes time to mold. Loyalty must be proven, and trust must be built, none of which can be accomplished over a latte and a chat about Rumi. Yet, many in society use this term as freely as the air we breath. But, when faced with adversity, this "friendship" falls to pieces, not sturdy enough to bear the weight of a wayward feather as it topples and disintegrates like a three-legged chair built of coffee-stir sticks bound with carmelized raw sugar.
Case-in-point. Yesterday, I snapped a pic of an event I honestly thought I'd never see: a man using a red gasoline canister to refill his stranded... PRIUS!!!?? I posted it, with some snarky haiku about the douchebag thinking it runs on ions. Many found the post slightly humorous. Save, that is, for one. We'll call this person SG asa reference. I read the comment, had absolutely NO idea what SG the FacebookFriend™ was going on about (I don't think that's a noun yet, so I'm taking it with a ™). The following comment, I handed the individual a couple of positive props and carried forth with my day.
Well, apparently another FacebookFriend™named FM (see that I'm no longer using the overused term "friend") decided to chime in with an extended sermon about yoga people, electric cars, hippies, and a ton of F bombs. I didn't notice it until later in the day. The problem is, SG viewed it first, and was clearly offended. How do I know this? Did SG counter FM's post with a comment or two? Did SG call me or message me, asking me to kindly delete the noted comment-of-disgust? SG was tagged in the pic, and can very easily have un-tagged themselves. Did SG do that? Nope.
SG sent me a curt FB message, about us having our "ups and downs". About not wanting to be rude, but "I'm going to unfriend you", then finishing off the note with "Take care" as though our real-life friendship is over, as well. I read it, and for the life of me couldn't understand what in the blue Hell SG was talking about. It HAD to be the Prius post, right? I doubled back to it, and there I found FM's expletive-fest adding color and flavor in all the wrong ways. You know, like icing a chocolate cake with puree-d sardines.
The very first thing crossing my mind was "But WAIT!!! Those aren't my words". This was the requisite knee-jerk reaction were are are prone to, and much of the time we wrongly commit to this reaction as our main course of "action". But this time was different. I took a breath or two, and uttered these exact words:
"Oh well. Their loss."
And just like that, I no longer cared, and in hindsight, I'm wondering if I ever did. I managed to see through the facade to reveal a hyper-sensitive, overly indulgent, quasi-stable human being. Yes, I can be cynical, slightly caustic, and a bit jaded at times. I'm a realist. I don't live on a steady diet of plastic joy, padded friendships, indulging self love, and the Bible-replacing rummagings of Rumi (Gumi the Sage, perhaps.... look him up on Facebook and you'll know what I mean). In addition, we we're NEVER really friends to begin with, but acquaintances and little more.
A true friend who actually gave a damn about the relationship would have extinguished all options, from un-tagging themselves from the photo to a comment rebuttal to a "please make FM go away" message -- which I did, by the way, soon after discovering it. Yet, SG's hyper-sensitive freak out mode jetted into Mach 5, and before I know it, not only do I have one less FacebookFriend™, but it appears one less real life "acquaintance" as well.
But that's why we call them an acquaintance. We know them, but not particularly well, as they appear and disappear with very little discernible alteration to our daily lives and happiness.
There. I did it. Now, for some coffee.
C'est la vie
Saturday, March 22, 2014
In what is being both lauded in the archaeological community as ground-breaking, and within the yoga/spiritual warrior/incessant Facebook poster (YoSpiWarInFaPo) community as heresy, a group tending a sanctioned dig outside the city of Istanbul, Turkey had found a sealed chest amongst several other artifacts. And within that chest, several dozen letters of communication and an illustrated parchment paper.
The letters belong to Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, better known to yoga people worldwide as Rumi. The letters, according to the IFBS (Institute for Finding Buried Shit), reveal a figure long lost within the annals of history, Jabba ad-Gīn Mozzarella Gūmī.
"He appears to be Italian in origin, not of Persian descent as with Rumi", according to Larry Esfandyar-
Farrokhzad of the IFDS. "We believe he was younger than Rumi by quite a few years, and born from his father's side of the family." Esfandyar-Farrokhzad also believes Rumi, a seriously deep thinker, cared very little for his hard-partying, frequently drunk brother (the partying expressed in several letter, and the drinking from the spilled wine over many of the correspondence). Though Gumi did attend Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico in Naples (noted as one of the first modern public universities in Europe.. and a place to find a good party), the lack of mention of any forwarding correspondence noted in any of Gumi's writings suggests Rumi viewed Gumi with disdain, and rarely (if at all) wrote back.
But the controversy lie not in Rumi's actions (or lack of) toward Gumi, but what he did with the letters after receiving them.
"During the inspection of the frayed parchments, one observer who teaches yoga part-time began to cry and then rushed out of the room. She could be heard mumbling, doubled over in a fetal position in a corner, 'This can't be happening. This is so crazy and nutty, I need space...'. We thought was sick or injured. As it turns out, many of the great sayings annexed to Rumi might have been lifted indirectly from Gumi's letters themselves", states Esfandyar-Farrokhzad.
As the team poured over the letters, connections between what appears to be drunken banter on Gumi's behalf, and the perfectly pitched words of Rumi loved worldwide, began to reveal themselves.
"This is so wrong!", chortles Deboraah Saucerass, Lead Lion Goddess of YoSpiWarInFaPo. "I mean, can you believe it? The IFBS know nothing of the spiritual awakening and self-love Rumi delivers our warrior nation with each and every Facebook post. I personally have attended his love sermons in Malibu, and I can personally tell you his words come from a strong heart and devoted mind... not from some letters sent by his half-brother!"
When mentioned that Rumi died in 1273, over 741 years ago, Saucerass ran out of the room in tears, doubling over in a corner in the fetal position, muttering "OMG. Then who did I give my credit card info to???"
More information about this incredible discovery, and many of the unaltered musings, can be found at