Please Note:

Although this blog is intelligent and informative, with an accuracy that's on par with Wikipedia, you may indeed notice that there are both spelling and grammatical errors sprinkled throughout the posts. That is because this blog is unedited and spontaneous, and it is always moving forward. If either of you who actually read it are bothered by the imperfections, let me know and I'll send you the password to edit it.
Happy Reading to you both.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Plume's profoundly personal or personally profound.....

At any rate, what I was trying to say was this:

You know those cute books with beautiful little quotes? Of course, you do, and Plume decided to compile his own inspirational, or otherwise noteworthy, ideas. So, this is the wise Professor's edition, a work in progress gathering random thoughts from day to day. Entries are not forced, so it is updated whenever a qualifying thought appears.

The idea is that, after some time, it will be quite enjoyable to sift through the 'creme de la creme' of your own personal thoughts, at least, those which made the cut. Plume recommends this for all. You may be surprised.

You will find these inserts ranging from Aristotle to the bullshit your friend writes about on Facebook, the website that simulates hanging out with your buddies and doing shit. (no offense, sometimes it great to just hang out.)Here goes:

  • "When I open my eyes in the morning, my mission to become a better person begins, and it doesn't end until i close them....Of course, I take naps." - P.P.

  • "How's this business idea? : Open up a shaolin temple for kids, which would teach them honor and respect. A softer version would be Mr. Miagyi babysitting." - P.P.

  • "Do you notice that we are constantly implementing changes meant to "improve" our way of life, yet we always complain that it was better 'in the old days'?"--P.P.

  • "My mother's never had sex, no matter what you say."--P.P.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some Words About My Friends....

Two years ago, my friend, Thomas Gilmartin, passed away. It was solid evidence to back up Billie Joel's claim: "Good Die Young". He died relatively young and, assuming that a man whose mere presence can make the devil crack a smile isn't bad, I'd call him good. Good enough to have a stone monument placed right in front of his church, St.Francis of Rome, in the Bronx. I'm pretty sure they don't do that for everyone, but for "Gil", it was the least they could do. This is no exaggeration or a case of selective memory, actually, words are too frail to describe what Tommy brought to the table. Trust me.

Well, two days ago this demented helter-skelter, known as life, shanghaied another kindred spirit in his hayday. Doug Teagarden, the poster-boy for unconditional friendship, was erased from my inner circle and now it's getting ridiculous. It's also getting too close to home.

Doug was more religious than most, I'd say. I know he wasn't afraid when his number was called. He was probably sad for those who loved him, because he was considerate, but I'm sure he walked into heaven with a smile.

You know, God, "You couldn't leave him with us for another blink of your infinite eye? What sort of twisted policies are in place up there, exactly? Let me guess......another f--king test!?Everything's a god damn test, huh?(no pun intended)"

Seriously, though, am I the only one who's had it with these sadistic, "mysterious" ways? They're too damn mysterious. Don't get me wrong; I'm a staunch advocate of faith. I even have it inked into my skin, right on my shoulder; it says "Have Faith". (as in salvation, not a tribute to George Michael.), except, I was 18 year old infant when I got that tatoo. At that time, my experiences were saturated with the study(and guilt) of catechism, and my eyes were still adjusting to the harmful rays of life.

I had always figured goodness would shield us from harm, judging from the verbage of the Good Book, I mean. God is pretty straight-forward when it comes to his expectations of us. He's very big on sincerity, compassion, kindness, charity, friendship and all those other qualities that I now realize will get you killed....mysteriously.

Surely, these baffling deeds are meant to teach us a lesson, right? There's always a lesson. Every f--ked up situation has one. Every severe trauma, loss, illness, plague, problem, shame, regret, tragedy, curse, red-light, papercut.....they all have a purpose; they were all meant to be. That's what I'm supposed to believe. But I think it's pretty obvious.

God hordes the cool people for Himself and leaves us with the assholes. He's a cheater who abuses his power for his own pleasure. He's selfish and inconsiderate.

I think he needs to stop making us in his own image and use Doug and Gil as prototypes.

Love you, bro!


( The use of the male pronoun to identify the Lord is simply a grammatical decision and in no way suggests the dude's gender.)

My Letter to Brandy's Mom about the "Family Business"[

You may not recognize the name, but my fellow Reality TV Monks, who find inner piece in the plight of fallen stars, know her well. Sonja Norwood is Brandy's mother and manager. I assume you know Brandy, the R&B singer and star of that long running, second-tier sitcom, "Moesha", and now another tally on the never-ending checklist of celebrities who have no problem granting us full access to their disenchanting lives.

I still can't put my finger on their motives for doing this. Is it just a paycheck in troubled times or simply a sign of adapting to a shift in the climate of television entertainment? Hollywood wants what's hot, but whatever the initiative, Brandy and her brother, Ray J, a reality "dating show" star in his own right, air their boring laundry in an extravaganza called "Family Business" on VH1.

Here's the thing: Brandy is at something of a crossroads in her career after a disappointing comeback album, for which she shamelessy lays blame at the feet of celebrated record producer, Rodney Jergins (until he gives her a reality check of her own), and she's searching for a new angle. She discusses a possible sitcom with her brother, not a bad idea given her past success and Ray's popularity among the opposite sex, that is of course, assuming that American pop culture still has the chops for such rustic television.

She also "guarantees herself success on her new project", a bold forecast but not inconceivable for a seasoned, multi-platinum pop star with a grammy on her mantle. The only problem is that, thanks to legendary hip-hop producer, Timerland, who, for reasons unknown, decided to let Brand New (Brandy's self proclaimed rap alter-ego) "spit" on his album, she's convinced that she should forego her strength as a unique and powerful vocalist and give rap a shot.

I refuse to believe that Timbo, who does have a tendancy to go pop but has still been all around the rap game, is blind to what is obvious as soon as Brand New begins either of the two verses that make up her entire catalog. She is quite below average, even admitting herself that it's a "hobby", and after watching her fumble to catch the beat during her sound check, a skill which is taught in Rap 101 and mastered by any MC worthy of amplifying his/her voice, and amateurishly blaming it on an earlier disagreement with Mom, he MUST have figured it out.

Anyhow, regardless of her unrefined skills, a crude performance, which was hardly captivating but error free, thanks to an accomodating beat box by Timberland, only served to bolster her dream, much to the chagrin of her manager and mother, Sonja Norwood .

Everyone wants to be a rapper, from athletes like Shaq (probably the only successful crossover) or Deion Sanders to deadbeats with nothing to do, like Brittney Spears'baby's daddy, or the kid that played Bud Bundy and any other has-been who finds hip-hop to be some scheme to get rich quick and an easy road to success as a recording artist. I usually find comfort in the almost certain failure of these projects, but this time I must intervene.

I just cannot allow this girl to make that mistake without at least trying to avert the calamity. No Way! Below is my letter to Mrs. Norwood, the ex-district manger for H&R Block turned music business attack dog. I feel that her attention to this is absolutely vital to her daughter's career:

Dear Mrs. Norwood,

I am writing this letter to you in reference to Brand New, Brandy's hip hop alter-ego. I'm afraid I share your apprehension toward this bold career decision.

As a lifelong member of the music community trapped in the limbo of obscurity, with many other talented artists accross the globe, who, for whatever reason, were never given the opportunities that a young Brandy came upon, I must agree with you. In fact, it is extremely blatant that right now, at this critical junction in her career, this is a pitfall and a sure case of "pie in the sky".

Brandy is a wonderfully unique singer who rode her powerful vocal chords all the way to the top and collected a bunch of fans on the way. They are patiently waiting for another classic from her. They know nothing of Brand New, who, to be painfully frank, is a below average rapper. Furthermore, may I add , the fact that she truly believes she can gain mass appeal in a music genre that she considers to be a "hobby" is somewhat offensive to myself and the entire culture of hip-hop and even music as a whole..

Again, I DO like Brandy, the R&B icon. If she indeed carries a burning desire to enter the glorious, champagne-popping, big-rims-buying, gold-teeth-wearing, gun-carrying, pimp/hoe world of rap music, may I suggest the way for her to make a significant contribution, rather than just get her kicks. Many successful R&B divas have set up camp in the rap scene by singing choruses. Ashanti is an example that comes to mind. She is legendary for her choruses and was actually part of a well known crew at that time ( meaning she was included and respected for her role in hip hop). Mary J blige is another example. Her smash hit, "Your All I Need", a collaboration which features her unmistakable pipes and the rapping expertise of WuTang's Method Man, is a wildly popular rap classic that has stood the test of time.

Think about it, why try to fit a square peg into a round hole? Rather than struggle through a recording session with Brandy learning on the job and praying that her fans will understand, something they NEVER do, why not play to everyone's strengths? Why not match the classic Brandy tones with a seasoned MC and let two professionals with proven track records collaborate on a beautiful piece of music.

Please be firm, Sonja. Put away the nurturing mother hat and be the objective, sensible manager who knows what's right. You have a fine understanding of this business, and you know the sharks will smell blood the moment Brand New makes a move.

Thank you for allowing me a voice. I only want what's best for the Family Business.

Thank You
Professor Plumm

How to Write Movies....the unexpected part 2

The original piece, "How to Write a Horror Movie...part one", can be found here:
It is only by the serendipity of a journalistic opportunity to critique films for the New York Examiner, and their submission requirements on the application, that this sequal actually exists. What I'm saying is this: If a add "part 1" to a particular post , it doesn't necessarily mean that a sequel is imminent. Rather, it means that, there were more ideas dancing in my head than I cared to note at the time of writing . It is a friendly reminder to myself to finish off a task. When last checked, my to-do list items completion rate was holding steady at 1 to 3 (or 33.3%), get it?

Horror films are certainly loads of fun to create. Basically you can stay focused on the development of a psycho-killer and the hunt for the hottest, unknown, affordable, grateful and obediant actress who will surely have trouble landing the three shower scenes. The rest of the film produces itself.
As we move on with the tutorial, it is logical that the next genre to learn about is the Horror flick's sequel-infested, low-budget cousin, the slapstick comedy, including the romantic comedy, which incorporates the same model. There are also many other sub-genres and hybrids such as the dark comedy and the action/comedy, each with their own distinctions, however, for the purpose of this polite instruction, we will deal with these two basic types . Actually, most comedies do have a romantic element which is indirectly proportional with the comedic content.

So, as you begin, try to avoid being overwhelmed by the burden of making people laugh. Most of your witty one-liners and silly scenerios can be refurbished and recycled to suit your needs. This reduncancy, which causes a passionate artist to cringe, actually serves you well. The same principle is used by top radio stations when they forcefeed the same song to their listeners every twenty minutes. Eventually people are so familiar with the song, they have to love it. So, have faith. They will laugh.

Your main concern is deciding where you will place on the (funny(x), romantic(y)) graph, where "z" represents the level of booze, debauchery and overall degradation of the female gender and the equation is x=zy. Sorry, too much algebra? Just use this standard method of gauging your film: Would this film do better starring Adam Sandler or co-starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? This will give you a pretty accurate idea of where you're headed; John Hughes or National Lampoon's? Once that's resolved, you're off and running.

Look back to the slasher movie and use the same basic principles to build the characters for this barrel of laughs. If you recall, we wanted young adults, either late high-school or early college, played by highly attractive thespians just short of thirty. The difference between this gang and your screamer cast is that now they must possess a decent amount of skill as a performer. This can be compromised somewhat by long blond hair and a tight body, but, keep in mind, they must deliver jokes using funny and obnoxious facial expressions while displaying a certain brand of physical comedy, albeit unoriginal. These requirements alone call for a superior skillset than the previously gathered group of bloody victims found by scanning music videos and beer commercials. Some tips for a well-rounded cast include:

  • an egotistical jerk, most likely an athlete, rich kid or otherwise over-priveliged bully who plays the villian with an air of arrogance which begs for the revenge which will ultimately find its way to him. He is usually accompanied by a few pea-brained henchmen.
  • a female lead, molded again by the ever-important romance level. For your true romantic style comedy, think angelic and wholesome girl next door and work toward the playboy mansion as you zoom out. Either way, she will begin the movie attached to the jerk described above and will end up with our hero. She, too, should be padded with some girlfriends. Throw in a fluzy or a ditz.
  • Of course, the hero. From the romance champs Vince Vaugn and Tom Hanks to Van Wilder, this dude is the main character. Either a cool customer or a nerd you love to cheer on, he must meet some standards. First, he begins the story at a disavantage when it comes to the jerk, usually by being the new kid in school, often from a lower class neighorhood or by simply being a nerd. Second, he always comes with pals, most likely misfits, like the nerd's clan of...... nerds, or the nerds who are quick to befriend the new kid. This group is important and not to be brushed over. They actually deliver a good part of the laughs. Make one really over-the-top, extra-geeky, hard-up, or even outrageously foreign. They are also there to help the the hero win over his lady.
  • Finally, the adults. Recall the Horror film, where the adults were completely ignorant to what is unfolding and exist to impede the characters as they march to victory. It's basically the same. Popular grown ups used as the butt of jokes and victims of teenage shenanigans are parents, a principal or dean who has it out for the good guys, cops, security guards, you get the idea.

This is a start, now, don't be afraid to completely copy a plot from your favorite laugh-fest and superimpose it over your baby. Soon you will find that these "templates" are passed around often, which reminds me, beer and pot work wonderfully here.

There you have some basic guidelines for developing a good comedy. By following them, you can develop a very respectable flick, and, really, as long as you double your investment, a review of "not bad" ain't too bad. The comedic model can also be modified to serve as an added side plot in most action/adventure films. Bad Boys comes to mind. The keys are:

  1. The script. Recycle only the choice jokes and deliver them in unique ways.......and
  2. The cast. Besides picking the most talented, It is recommended that you use actors with a sense of humor, rather that a crab-ass. It seems obvious, but until you have to drag a smile out of one, may be overlooked. It also never hurts to find the funniest looking characters you can drag out of a hole. Why not get a head start on the laughs?

Funny shit,take one.

You Need Reality in Your Life.......(part one)

Leave it to the Misses, my beacon of hope, to enlighten me. I’ve prayed. I’ve meditated(sort of), I’ve read countless books, from The Bhagavad Ghita, to “Inspiration for Dummies”, but never have I found a truly effective way to relieve the stresses of life, especially in a recession, until now. My Wife has learned a wonderful technique and she has shared it with me. It was no easy task. I was very reluctant at first, refusing to participate and even heckling the ritual as she practiced. Today, though, I join her in the act.
These days, while times are hard indeed, I carry an air of confidence; a sense of control through the turbulence of life. The key is perspective. Rather than being submerged in your own circumstances and punished by your problems, you need a broader vision. This is what my better half realized. I used to be puzzled, and even pissed off at her composure in the midst of our calamities. What kept her smiling? Well, now I know. My wife’s secret was to study reality. I mean, of course, Reality TV.
Reality TV, not to be confused with “classic TV”; the television of old like sitcoms, news TV, documentaries, ESPN….etc. I mean Reality TV, that mutated offspring, spawned from MTV's Real World and the Jerry Springer model of digging up rocks to expose the arm-pit of society’s debacles that they call their lives, while we hellishly cheer them on. That's what feels good! I don't want to see these Hollywood brats that resent the damn show because they actual have to stop partying for a day and act. No offense to Al Bundy or any other great sitcom characters of our day, but when I'm in a rut, give me, retarded, f___king,, degenerates and,,um, every trainwreck we could find that's dumb enough, callous enough, or plain hard up for cash enough to give us full access to their extraordinary situation. It's basically a freak show, where the freaks are more than happy to oblige and even give us the blow by blow. Yeah, we liked Willis and Kimberly, but we love Todd Bridges and Dana Plato, you know? It's the classic idea of knocking you down to build me up. Perfect.

All right, I said I'd share, but I don't write for TV guide(damn!) so I’m not going into the when, where crap. They are basically heavily concentrated on the elder-statesman of cable, MTV and VH1, but really, mostly every cable channel is riddled with these one hour glimpses into, catastrophe of human intelligence that exists fruitfully within our borders. Only a light channel surf by any remote control engineer with unearth a nice variety for yourself. Then you can begin to feel smarter, more confident and in control than ever before. Once you put your existence to the litmus test of “is my situation f--ked up enough to entertain the masses?” in order to gauge your troubles, life ain't so bad. Here are my favorites:

Relationships- If I ever feel that my domestic life is suffering in any way, I am now well equipped to deal with it. Rather than stress over every minute flaw that I detect through paranoid over-analysis, scared of committing to “the wrong one”, I simply revert to my new method of reflection and things are fine. My favorites include:

  • Tough Love Couples- This one’s great. It starts with the in-your-face relationship therapist, Steve Ward, assisted by his own foremost authority on the sexuality of women, his mom. Steve has selected six messed up couples, all with their own psychotic relationship problems with which I am all too familiar. This is blatant sadomasochism at its best as Steve, who I like more and more each week, almost to the point where I can overlook his awkward relationship with mommy dearest and her phony Double D’s, rips into each cheating, screaming, jealous, dramatic and, oh, quite ready for prime-time, couple. He's ballsy, and weird enough to be amusing as hell when he gets heated; especially since it's not you he's screaming at. You will find new adoration for the old ball and chain after this.
  • Tool Academy- I've never really known what exactly makes up a "tool", except that the girl I'm with assures me I'm not one, but my exes feel differently, who knows? Well this show makes the distinction. A tool is, well, watch the show. The network does a great job at scouring the neanderthal belt for these mullet wearing freaks, mostly dudes, who treat their respective partner, like crap. This show hits the spot when it comes to feeling like Casanova while you and Henriette eat oatmeal pies and watch the idiot box. I'm always critical when a station can't put a solid 10 in front of me EVERY time, given the amount of women on this planet, but considering they needed to cross reference every chick with the aforementioned loser they don't do a bad job on this one, which also has the element of, "Wow, it's actual possible to manipulate hot women!"
  • I Can't Believe She's Going Out with Him. Speak of the Devil. This one is pretty self explanatory, and very cool to watch. Pretty much a character study on a "tool" as decribed above. They don't use the word tool, though, they mock members of the male species for your delight in their own unique way. I enjoy it. It makes a nice 1,2 punch when combined with the Academy; a full serving of testosterone and a shot of confidence that works everytime. See, they find some fool that fits the mold of loser who has happened to seduce a quite attractive woman and appears too good for the creep, despite her glaring lack of individuality and self esteem. Then they present a traditional documentary, showing his blatant bad behavior towards the innocent idiot, while she complains about it to her pack of clones, only to later succomb to his over-the-top cajolery, and all the while a narrator with an English accent, almost from the Robin Leech mold(maybe it's him......too lazy to research that) gives us a detailed account of his exploits as you would hear on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Royal", branding him with regal epithets like King Scrotocles(derived from Scrotum....fool.) or Prince Doushebag. The pie-in-the-face, slapstick comedy comes hard every time this bloke blurts out a word with a "douche/scrotim"-like root and right behind it comes the feeling of inner peace. South Park Zen.
  • 16 and Pregnant. Definitely a far cry from the knee-slapping gem we just discussed, this show is more dramatic; it's more Oprah, in fact, at it's core is the poor man's Doctor Phil, Dr.Drew, ringleader of the awesome RTV show/s, Celebrity Rehab/Sober House(discussed in part two) and Brittany Spears' personal shrink, who is absent until the finale.(not Brittany...Dr.Drew) It tackles the serious and all too common dilema of unplanned, teenage pregnancy, but, true to the magic of this new boobtube therapy, they manage to squeeze the story just right and what you see is a frenzied state of affairs, starting with a pre-pregnancy status report followed by a nine month buildup to a teary eyed crescendo. On this ride to family devastation, which always seems to spare the male culprit, you will usually find a distraught father of or boyfriend of the mother of the impregnatee, a teenage juvenile delinquent(a poor kid who was too excited to use protection or to exercise prevention who is shit on by the girl's family at every turn because, surprisingly, he has no solid financial portfolio built up during the pregnancy.), a hysterical mom (or conversely, an eerily understanding mom;not as fun.), and of course the 16 year old __?___. The blank is to be filled in privately. Heckling is recommended for best results. Believe me, if you are experiencing financial trouble, there's nothing like following a 16 year-old chick through the ordeal of getting knocked up. Following her as she watches her childhood dreams crumble with each month, in front of the world, until all that's left is a screaming newborn staggering out of the gate into this disfunctional world, will soon adjust your perspective on life. You will become sympathetic toward the entire clan, which, in turn puts you in the high ground.
    It's all very sophisticated and that's why you love this shit, stay tuned in and you might catch a part two some time. There are more of these pearls of inspiration. Regretful drug-abusers and behavioral health patients are two more of many groups who can benefit from the soothing remedies of Reality TV.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hold on a minute, VH1, no Michael?.........

Wait a second. I think I've made it pretty clear lately. I enjoy VHONE, the cable TV elder statesman and responsible older brother to MTV. It's definitely come a long way since the format was "MTV for boring people". I love the beautiful disaster that is reality T.V and I definitely enjoy their famous, nostalgic lists of different songs, commercials, fads, or news stories. It's a great way to recycle old material and the nostalgia keeps me glued to the set, but I have to wonder who decided the, let's say "Top 100 songs of the 90's".

Think about it, VH1 producer comes into work, jumps on the computer, checks his email, drags all folders that say "top 100 songs of 199_" into the random shuffle program (yes, RANDOM SHUFFLE PROGRAM, like some crappy little program worth 1 cent that puts things in a random order, simple stuff.) Ok, so far he's done 90 seconds worth of work. The list comes out. Is that it? Or is it a bit more subjective? After yesterday, I need to know.

I was watching a list show. It was the top 100 songs of the 90's. I used to hate the 90's, but it's slowly getting further away and more defined. Hey, they got the internet on their mantle! So I tuned in late in the game, number 32, actually. It was Blackstreet, "no diggety". OK. From there, the wife and I start the guessing game. Lists work everytime. As the next few run off, they hit me with Vanilla Ice(figures.), Counting Crows, Eminem, Soundgarden. Yeah. Okay, it's the usual suspects for the 20's, but, again, who makes these lists? After this, I need to know.

Our brains heated up. My wife guesses that #1 will be Nirvana, "teen spirit", which was correct, but she knows the 90's well, plus I suspect she is privy to all things VH1. I guess I'm fine with that pick, it WAS a big hit and it WAS played ad nauseum, but I think there a "Biggie Smalls" thing happening with Kurt Kobain where an early death has cemented him as the greatest to ever stand before a mic. Still, I'm not here to debate their number one choice. I have another issue with this list.

Meanwhile, some names I threw out were: Sinead O'Conner, who was number 10, Mariah and Whitney, 14 and 4, respectively, and Pearl Jam, which placed 11th. Note that it was sorted by song, not artist, but that's trivial. A few long shots I had were O.P.P. by Naughty( 52) and the Fugees(42) and some other names went flying around the apartment(You can click the link below to go see the results), but I had a three-way tie for first place.

In my mind, snubbing Nirvanah, there was a definite trifecta, similar to the "Babe, Ali, Michael Jordan" trinity that heads up every "top athletes" list in ESPN's arsenal. It was Madonna, U2, and the other MJ, Michael Jackson. How does that sound to you? The King and Queen of pop music and friggin' Bono. Do you have a more worthy recording artist in the arena of "best of" as defined by the Billboard charts?

Well, the top 5, besides Whitney and Kobain, were Madonna(a disappointing #5, with "Vogue", another smash hit for the ageless diva in that decade), and U2 (#2), come on, it's Bono and, by the way, the song that grabbed the silver was "One". Finally, the last vacant spot in the top five, at #3, of course,..............the Back Street Boys. Whoa!

That's wierd, we must have gotten up and missed Michael. Which song was it? "Man in the Mirror"? No, that was 1988, the "Bad" album, his third epic release with Epic records.(Surely he swept up in the 80's list, with Thriller and all, but, back to the 90's.) It was probably "Black or White", the 1991 single off his fourth album, Dangerous, which wasn't quite as monumental as his previous classics, but still no slouch. Let's talk about it for a minute, and please listen to this.

The single, "Black or White", was the fastest ever to hit number one. OK? It was multi-platinum. It's video was a huge event. I mean huge. VH1 huge! MJ is the Babe. He's Ali. He's MJ! I missed it. Let me see, Sir Mix-a-Lot was #6 with "Baby Got Back"(You're kidding...SIX, maybe SIX-TY)and Britney was #7(She managed to squeeze into fray because that first video in her schoolgirl outfit came out in 1999)Gotta give it too her. But where's Mike now? Seriously.

I went to the website to see where I took my eye of the ball. Here's what I looked at from 1-30 that I haven't already mentioned:

T.L.C., R.E.M., Alanis, Dr. Dre, Red Hot Chili Peppers, MC Hammer, Destiny's Child, Metallica, Beasties(so they are giving 80's legends a pass in the next decade), Hanson(hold on a second), Celine Dion, Beck, Salt-N-Pepa, House of Pain, Counting Crows, Ricky Martin, and all of their respective jingles. Now, considering it is only one song being judged and not the artist, I don't have a problem with the front 30.

But no Michael Jackson???!!!!!!! Read that list again. Then when you're done putting "Black or White", fully decorated, up against each of these candidates that beat him out, stop and reflect on Michael Jackson as a music icon. Think about the Dangerous Album, early 90's. It was latter-day Michael, yes, but it was Michael. True, no red zipper-jacket and sparking white glove, but the white v-neck T-shirt and black bowling glove. Caucasion Mike, but still, Michael Jackson, "Hee,Hee".

Now, hold tight, and consider this. He didn't even place in the entire list. Can you believe that? Was the guy who hit the "scramble" button too lazy to even proofread the final rankings for blatant discrepencies? According to VH1, the two very successful albums that the music icon, Michael Jackson, produced in the 1990's did not have one single worthy of the top 100, regardless of their accolades. I mentioned "Black or White"'s pedigree, but what about "Remember the Time"? "In the Closet"? "Will You Be There"(the free-willy song!!)? "You're not Alone", "Scream"????
All of these were hits.

If you feel I'm out of line, let me drop a few names on you. These artists rode their farscical tunes passed the "King of Pop", according to VH1, the agency that handles this stuff. Hold tight:

Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch(#47). That's correct, the funky bunch was given an official VH1 accolade too prestigious to include Michael Jackson. Annie, are you ok?

Dee-Lite(#67). "D" like David. "D", lite. Which song? Very funny.

Jameriqui, Kris Kross, and Snow. All past 70, but who gives a shit at this point. Those three and no Michael Jackson! Then I read number 100. Holy Shit!

VH1, the world leader when it comes to monitoring pop culture and deciding what's hot and what's not in music for as long as I can recall, wants me to believe that.............are you ready?...Gerardo and his smash hit, "Rico, Suave" was more deserving of a spot in the "greatest songs of the 90's" than Michael.

Now, forget the obvious. Forget the fact that "Black or White" went # 1 on the billboard in 1991 while Gerardo's horse only never broke #3 on the HOT RAP charts in the same year. I love rap, but, first of all, I wouldn't consider Gerardo rap. They just had nowhere else to put that crap. Second, this covers all genres, so mathematics would suggest that songs which couldn't climb past #3 in its own genre in one of the 10 years covered really shouldn't be in running. Regardless, I don't care if it was the "top 100 songs by a one-hit wonder from Ecuador with 'Rico' in the title", everyone of Mike's jams beat Gerardo's entire catalog!! Just considering that Gerardo also placed on the top 100 flash in the pans and Blender's top 50 worst songs(what?), it gets more proposturous.

I am well aware that we are deteriorating as a culture and I'm ready for "Bob" from "The Real World" to bring home an emmy, but who compiled the list and why did Mike get railroaded? I checked the 100 list for the 80's, where "Thriller" and "Bad" most surely bullied the entire field like Tiger Woods in his red shirt, and found only "Billie Jean" at a disappointing #4 and "Beat it" at #21. No "Thriller", beat out by Tone Loc, Falco, Wang Chung......and 95 others.

I'm pissed, and not only because VH1 failed as an entertainment officianado and was exposed as a lazy charleton, getting fat and sleeping at the desk while they bank on nostalgia. I want to know why! In one fateful blow, I was transformed from Pat O'brien to Bill O'Reilly, and I'm not talking sex scandals. Your in the "No-Spin Zone", VH1.Why is he not on that list? Is it like the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame shunning a home-run slugging steriod monster for breaking the law?

Why? Because, as far as I know, Michael jackson was exonerated of those charges in a court of law. Period. So, does an accuser have the power to destroy the legacy of a man? Is VH1 within their rights to blacklist a musician for "off the stage" behavior? Are you serious? Who would be left?

I don't care what the verdict was in the court of public opinion. We all play by the same rules, whether we like them or not. There is no asterisk next to "Not Guilty", or is there? The guilty until proven innocent model is definitely exercised in this country, but this is so blatant, regardless of your personal opinion, this is wrong and it's a gorilla in the room. I hate gorillas in the room.

I doubt I'll get any answers from the network, but if you hear something, please let me know. In the meantime, I am boycotting these idealistic moguls with a hidden agenda of character defamation who are tearing down a man's hard-earned legacy and uprooting the deserved place in history he has cemented!

Just Kidding!
I'm hooked, but I have my eye on you Michael Jackson haters.

What was hot? what was not?.......why?

What's New

It's hard to believe that I've completely turned the corner onto "Adult St". Of course, I'm more seasoned, mature, wise, experienced and enlightened in areas which previously confused me, but I feel as young as ever; I still got swag, and I'm getting better looking by the minute. I'm just afraid that my evolution has come at the expense of being "au courant", you know, hip, trendy, in the loop.

In New York, it usually takes a ten minute stroll down any city street to spot what's hot and if you're still unclear, a quick glance around your local bodega or Chinese variety store will do. You could bet, as soon as the fashion world leaders announce the new seasonal fad, it will land on a five dollar rack in this town, that is, as I recall.

I don't know if there is a communication breech between Parisian designers and Taiwanese sweatshop managers or I've lost the ability to sense style, but I see nothing, no acid wash, two-tone, black hats with your borough written in red, Frankie say shirts, Fat Laces, Lee and LeTigre, Camoflauge, ear-muffs, timberlands, jams, Kangaroos, eight-ball jackets, Kamakaze shorts.........or maybe, I've reached that time in life when it's more fun to just reminisce over the past. Is that it?

The period that would be considered "my time", starting when I first began to give a crap about such things and ending when I stopped caring and settled down with the fashion de Target(tar-zha'). That would be around 1985-2000, an era which was marked, for me, by Hip Hop music, a fad machine in it's own rite. Hip Hop originated many symbols of the times; It was a culture, and still is, only today it is fully commercial. It's basically a brand name, and naturally, it is marked by expensive brand name clothing like Ecko or Fubu. It's so lucrative, a successful rap artist's natural progression seems to include a clothing line; look at Russell Simmons' Phat Farm, Roca-Wear by Jay Z, Wu-Wear and all of that.

It's all a byproduct of "Bling" Hip Hop which is associated with the southern, Cash-Money record label for their invention of the word. duh. Master P, Little Wayne and the rest of the crew loved platinum jewelry and gold teeth(grills). It's not necessarily their influence alone that sent the price of fashion soaring. It's the other "them", you know, the money makers behind the scenes. The corporations have marketed hip-hop to the point where they decide what's hot. Then Ecko, Fubu, and the rest, can supply insanely over-priced products and the public will have no choice but to pay for it. They don't even have to worry about being creative. As bad as that sounds, you could still say rap is a sign of the times. So today,for a pretty coin, we've got pre-selected styles. We are also taught how to dance and act "hip-hop". I honestly believe you could walk into a barber-shop and ask for a "hip-hop cut" without receiving a second look; that's how it is.

In my time(oh, boy, here we go, "old man"), styles were born in the street, often out of necessity before style, then mass produced halfway around the world and distributed like the penny press. There was something cooler about that.

Look at simple long hair, the classic statement, which manifested as the afro and turned into braids or the infamous gerrycurl. These styles needed to be maintained by wearing a stocking cap over them while you slept, which became the famous du-rag. To this day, you couldn't find a NYC bodega that doesn't have a few in stock.

Another widespread symbol, style, or whatever you'd call it, is saggy pants. Everybody wears jeans which hang obnoxiously low, off the back, much to the chagrin of parents. This lovely tradition, as they say, began in prison where the belts are immediately confiscated and the clothing is over-sized.

Some other beauties, the origins of which I do not know, are: Kazels (those big, gaudy glasses that The FatBoys made famous), name buckles, multi-finger rings, and Ferrari glasses. All of these items, as I said, were found for a fin on every corner.

Sneakers, namely Puma and Adidas, early on, are the one constant, and for some reason, it's always been somewhat important to go name brand in that arena, unless you care to be ridiculed, or as they say, "snapped on".

And, on that note, since we're having such a great time, let's talk about speech. Feel free to add to the list. This is no fun alone, but remember, this is before the country went crazy, so in that spirit, don't just copy from an "Ebonics" dictionary. These are just the words that were/are cool to say because we said so. OK, let's compare notes; This is what I got:

  • Words meaning "cool"(ex. "I like cars. They are "cool") -- let's see, there's Fresh, Fly, Dope, Hot, Fat(I mean, Phat), Def, Ill, Nice, Cold, Bananas, Nasty
  • Words meaning "very"(adverb) (ex. " They are "very" cool)-- Mad( like Mad Fly ), crazy--, wild--, stupid--, dumb--, funky--
  • Words meaning "money" (ex. I make a lot of "money")-- Bank, Bread, cake, cheese, dough, donuts, cheddar, guac, green, loot, lucci, coin, benjamins, dead presidents, coupons, paper, toast, knot, grip, stacks, slips, funds, pocket, debit
  • Words meaning "hang out" ( ex. I'm just "hanging out" at the park)-- Lounge, chill(out), cool (out), ill, earl, flex, mack, bug(out),
  • Words meaning "car" --- whip, ride, carriage, "house"--- crib, pad "girl" -- chicken(head), bird, mommy, shortie, girlie, female, hottie, dime, caramel "cannabis" -- herb, bud, broccoli, lettuce, cheeba, trees, salad, piff, skunk, herb, smoke, weed, babaze, el, elbow, blunt, j, twist, blaze.

    Your input below

How To Write Movies (part 1, Horror)

I love the cinema. I love film, video, made for TV, 4x3, wide screen16x9, all of it. For me, there’s no better way to squander 2 hours, give or take. It’s the ultimate sign of saying, “Calgon, take me away.” If you should find yourself accompanying me to what comedian Dane Cook refers to as, “a cinematic adventure”, there are some things you should know. Please, take no offense to my idiosyncrasies, to reiterate, I love movies.

These slight quirks include arriving ten minutes early to catch the fantastically breathtaking previews that have me gaga over every crappy flick to ever grace (or disgrace) the theater and leaving AFTER the credits have rolled; I actually like to know who’s responsible for what I’ve just seen, I'm odd like that. There are other petty things like heckling the bonehead characters or outwardly vocalizing my theories as to.....the plot. I laugh obnoxiously in comedies, scream during horrors, and play detective throughout a suspense. I let it be known if the movie sucks and, conversely, I will forcast various award nominations. I apologize for these habits. but I DO enjoy motion pictures.

Now that I’ve proclaimed my commitment to these productions, I would like to be of service to those up and coming screenwriters. Those who share my passion for the art and even surpass it. This group of enthusiasts represent the future of the film industry and I feel an obligation to lend a hand.

With that, I’ve put together some guidelines, divided by movie genre, which I find essential to creating that blockbuster. Remember, I am no movie writer. I could not imagine myself completing such an arduous task. I can only report on what I see as a student of the silver screen. Today, I will give you the basic outline to create the idiotically frightening, Horror Film.

OK, you begin with an idea; I assume you at least have an idea. If you cannot conjour up a single figment of your comotose imagination, then perhaps screenwriting isn't your thing, in fact, as an avid admirer of the Hollywood cash crop, I beg you to seek an alternate profession. So, assuming this, you are ready to create your masterpiece. Now, since a true artist who breaks the mold is usually numb to the braindead masses and would never take such a piece by me seriously, my second assumption is that you want a hit! This means the zombie majority will love it( get it? Zombie,horror....forget it.). They're a fickle group and they expect certain things to be in place to stimulate the proper cursory reactions. Trust me, I've done the research.

Horror films. Many independent film-makers enjoy making Horror films, most likely because they lend themselves to the low budget(b-rate) look. Think of Friday the 13th, Halloween and Elm St.; all of these classics were b-rate movies that struck fear into the masses and look at them now....still as crappy as ever but there are hundreds of them.

The first thing on the checklist, obviously, is a killer, Freddy, Jason...etc. What would the movie be without an evil, ruthless murderer, but there are some other basic guidelines to consider while filming that box office smash.

For starters, your main character should be young, I mean high school or early college age. Yes, it is true that younger, freaky looking children, boy or girl, make for pretty good leading characters, but only if they are possessed by the devil, wanted by the devil, or just a plain f--kin crazy. If you are fine with further saturating the movie scene with these overused plots, see The Omen or Good Son, otherwise, go with the high school/college student played by a very attractive, relatively unknown actress/actor in their late 20's and give em a group of friends using the same model; bosomed babes and bristly boys.
These friends, which usually include but are not limited to: a boyfriend(or ex), or a love interest that kicks the story off as a total stranger and ends up nothing short of a soulmate, obnoxious pals, a best friend or couple, are vital the action. Even a hip teacher or school janitor may squeeze into the fray, although usually the adults tend to feel that the supernatural terroism the group is experiencing is all in their mind, due to stress or a trace of mental illness requiring a psychiatrist.
Parents are insensitive to missing children who aren't their own and cops need to be hit with a severed head to convince him to check things out, regardless of how many close friends swear that there is trouble. Then, apparently, the protocol is for one, out of shape, gumshoe to investigate. I wonder how many police deaths this will lead to before it is amended? For the most part, those over 30 are usually valiantly ignorant and end up dying gruesome, unsuspecting deaths; usually due to their own ignorance.

Now, you have your main character and her crew. It is a good idea to send them on a spring break road trip. This brings the victims together away from home, extremely engaging toward strangers who may do them harm, nightmarish harm. They will be extra cocky, just like any group of drunk, tough-as-nails frat-boys; perfect for slicing them open and wearing their face. As you move forward, this bunch will serve two major functions:

1. First, they will form a teenage investigation team with a knack for paranormal research and deduction that would turn Molder and Skully green with envy. Of course they are introduced as your average kids,(approaching 30)afraid of his their own shadow. It isn't until later that they morph into a fearless team of detectives. That is, those who make it that far, you see,
2. This group also serves as victims of the killer. One by one, starting with the most obscure, perhaps the boyfriend's cocky friend while having sex with another female student or the science teacher who meets his fate while "trying to help"; a casuality of his own intrigue. Minorities, sadly are also offed early. Hey, I can't explain that, all I know is I can't remember the last Spike Lee slasher film. What can I say? Hollywood is a rascist, f---ing place.....and that's another post.
Regardless of the sequence, this orderly extermination of adolescents is actually the magic of horror films. These poor souls must be killed in originally brutal ways. The measure of creativity and gore is your barometer of success. This is for you to create. This is only a guide.

So, you have a killer on the loose and your heroine’s disciples are being picked off, one by one. These bloody, hair-raising murders eat of a chunk of the picture, and horror fans, those demented souls, love it. Soon the cast will be widdled down to a few die-hards, maybe only two or even just the main character. I will assume the latter, a girl, who usually bears the grunt of the investigation anyway, and with great authority, I might add. Any survivor besides this one is simply a loyal soldier tinkering with death.
After the initial encounter with the slayer, a scene which portrays the lead as the screaming young girl you expect her to be, she progressively gains composure and analytical acumen with each kill. By utilizing trusty resources, mostly newspaper clippings found either on the library’s micro-film database or by otherwise snooping around where she shouldn’t be and, of course, more recently, the good old web, she uncovers a wealth of information on the attacker and the crazy s--t that's happening. Armed with this knowledge she stares down the evil which torments her. The squeamish young teen now has no fear. Retreat is not an option. She will push on to the darkest, creepiest corners of town; boiler rooms to basements, she is fearless.

Eventually, a showdown must take place between murderer and heroin(and friends). There are some near deaths, some actual deaths, and even resurrections until untimately good prevails, well,sort of, remember, every great scream-writer will grant the twisted killer a pardon, and one of the last scenes should indicate in some way that this teen-slicing villian has another murder spree in him. Eventually you'll finish with the champ huddled in a blanket, bloddy and disheveled, with her depleted clique, exhausted and relieved. Don't bother with trivial points like having her explain to the police what in God’s name just took place. That will be revealed in the following sequel, or ten.
The killer will return in part two, which usually opens with your protagonist in some sort of mental facility or, at least suffering from serious trauma. She will probably be a pill chugging insomniac, or an alcoholic. Whatever the extent of the post drama, it shouldn't stop her from jumping back into the action.
Some alternate endings might be to pull a last minute murder of the main character. It's gorey and sneaky. Horror fans love that because they don't play by normal Hollywood rules. It matters not what actors or characters are available for the next insert. Remember the criteria? Nowhere did it mention "star studded", actually, any prior success, by rule, disqualifies.

There you have my time tested template used to make a great horror flick. A couple of other points to remember:

1.Old men, sometimes homeless or otherwise eccentric and isolated from society, carry great knowledge.
2.The high school kids are quite proficient when you need them, like if being chased by a killer who can smash a windshield with a right cross; tried that lately?
3.Be sure to show character at the bathroom sink with a mirror above it. This is a perfect place for the killer to appear, or so she may think.
4. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope on bravery to the point of being oblivious.

There are many other guidelines for creating a good horror film, this is only a rudimentary outline. In the next insert we will discuss action movies and the ever popular romantic comedy, for which you will need to contact Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, or Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, or Vince Vaugn. Renee Zelweger and Hugh Grant are some other possibilities. Have Fun!

Weekly Reality Check

Reality Check

Tough to Love

Damn I love Reality TV and "Tough Love Couples", as I mentioned in my last report, is the best show running right now, receiving the baton from " Sober House ", the beautiful disaster which showed us exactly how worthless celebrities actually are when the training wheels come off. Yes, "House" was rich programming that taught us valuable life lessons like: "Never take anything these pathetic prima-donnas say seriously, especially the imbeciles that love to give their mindless opinions during election time" and made it crystal clear to us that, "Alcohol is not going to kill Dennis Rodman!".
Now, we enjoy a journey into the deranged world of relationship drama which should quiet your own domestic quarrals, at least long enough for my man Steve to wreak havoc on the show's 12 guinnea pigs. Steve is the show's host and my nomination for most entertaining TV personality of the spring.*
*(Are we finally ready to admit that this group of amateurs filling reality rosters in bulk have to be considered entertainers? Are they talented? No. Are they an abomination? Yes. But, now that we've opened the TV studios to the public, it's time to own up. Take away the accomplishments and the last names and what you have are this country's TV stars. 90% have less talent then Kato Katelin, the out-of-work actor who slept on O.J. Simpson's couch, but every once in a while you get a character that brings more to the table than a crippled waiter, and Steve Ward is that.)

Don't get me wrong. The guy's a jerk and it's only a matter of time until he meets the same fate as Joey Greco, you know, the host of "cheaters", the show that exposed cheating spouses. Joey and his camera-weilding goons liked to get in close and taunt the perpetrator with disparaging little comments, that is, until he got shanked. It was a classic moment in the annals of Idiot TV. Lucky for us, Mr. Ward has no problem following suit as he sabotages these volunteer's relationships by uncovering their lies, all while cusing them out and consoling their partner. It's exactly the type of thing that gets you knifed in real reality, especially when the guy is "fat steve", who got hit in the face with every dodgeball that ever crossed his school's gymnasium during his 4 years, and who now gives advice on intimacy with mommy. Still, as long as I'm not the hot-shot frat boy whose blubbering to his old lady in front of the world, I love the guy and I can't wait to see who's next on his "hot seat."

I'm referring to the portion of the show where he decides which couple did the worst during the show's challenges, which range from a sex shop visit(designed to expose shortcomings in their bedroom) to a phony interrogation that was obviously staged well enough to squeeze out full confessions about fidelity. I know, I know, honesty is the best policy, but some things are better left unsaid....for the greater good. What do they say? "Good judgement need not be rational." or something like that.

Anyway, TV star, Ryan found out his own version of the concept when he came clean to his French girlfriend, Xcel( probably spelled wrong, sorry) about a sexual relation he had with another female "friend". Well, actually, Steve did his very best to pull it out of him and, once he say daylight, broke the story wide open, but that's what he does. It's no excuse for spilling the beans. He was weak, and so, his TV career is ended.

Ward told them in the very beginning; they will break up or get married. Something tells me the best is yet to come.


This is my food-channel gem that scrapes up three chefs, personal chefs to line cooks, from the far corners of the globe (well, ok, from New York) and asks them to present a three course meal, in timed rounds and with ingredients chosen by the network, to three judges. It's an awesome show with very exciting production, considering.

The problem is they jumped they shark, or should I say,the snake. Yeah, when they must resort to throwing rattlesnake in the basket, regardless of its place as a delicacy in some elite circles, it's a reach. When top New York chefs jump out of their skin when they see the thing, it begins to feel like Fear Factor. It's not Chopped from "The Temple of Doom".

So, while I do agree that throwing chicken, cheese and tomato sauce in the mystery basket isn't too exciting, watching someone gut a python belongs on a different cable station. If they can't keep the show entertaining without inviting a special needs chef to battle a trans-gender chef to a monkey brain cook off, it wasn't meant to be.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bank of America piles on.............

Ever wonder what it feels like to be tied up and gagged? buried alive? or otherwise helpless and insignificant? I know how it feels. I imagine it would be similar to standing trial for rape and murder when you know you're innocent, but the media has you in the electric chair already; Except, I can't get an hour with Barbara Walters to tell my side of the story. I could only write a stupid blog. Here's my nightmare of a story; it's cut and dry....and f--king nuts!:

On a specificly documented date in January, at a specificly documented time, I deposited exactly 44 $20 bills into a Bank of America ATM. That's $880, $20 shy of my February rent, which I finally managed to pay in the first week of March. Why so late?........................Because it was never credited to my account. I was robbed by an ATM. It might as well has pulled a gun on me!

Now, if you think the amount of money this pirate theif of a company jacked from me is insignificant, then i apologize for wasting your precious time on such a trivial matter. For the rest, believe me, there is no possible way to describe the overwhleming feeling such a catastrophie brings, not with words.

Besides the unbridled rage, which hijacks any robbery victim's thoughts with revenge filled daydreams, I could do nothing to help my cause. Any thoughts of appealing to the banks sensitive side were short lived. There is no such side to this entity, regardless of their friendly commercials. They are all business; their electronic tellers are flawless and they want their money. What about my money!?

As if the depletion of my funds isn't horrible enough, I committed some blatant snafus which made the grand theft possible and torment my conscience with relentless feelings of self-loathing:

Numero Uno, my dumb ass didn't keep the reciept! Moreover, my old lady gets the privilege of reminding me how she warned me to hold onto the damn thing, only to have me crumple it up and toss it in the trash. I don't remember that, exactly, but it sounds about right. I never keep receipts and I won't apologize for that. If I kept every proof of sale I ever received I would go mad. There is no chance that I would actually organize them, NONE.

Receipts are trash. Get gas, rip up receipt; store clerk hands you receipt, rip it up, toss it; BUT, IF YOU JUST HANDED OVER all of your liquidated assets to a damn robot, YOU MAKE DAMN SURE you get that receipt!!!!....and you keep it until the transaction is verified. This is what I didn't do, so now, I'm screaming that I'm innocent while I get tossed against the wall of a holding cell like a bowling ball.

Second, I failed to see the necessity to actual check to see if the transaction was accounted for. Can you blame me? I didn't have the time to go all the way to my computer, click the 3 times, and look at the number on my account summary. Who wants to go through all that? Besides, my landlord was nice enough to inform me that my check was bouncing around his office like DoubleD's in a jumping get what I mean, and he only charged me 50 bucks. Of course, this caused a beautiful financial landslide of late fees and humiliation from which I am still slowly emerging, dirty and bleeding; saying, "What the fu-k was that?".

The worst part is nobody believes me. You're probably skeptical, and the pea-brained zombies known as the bank's customer service, who play hot potato with my phonecall the second they realize I'm a customer needing service, are too ignorant to form such opinions. Even after talking my way to a "manager", I found no satisfaction. It very difficult to cold-call a brown-nosed geek, who put in years of corporate ass kissing to shamelessly climb to his prestigious middle management position, and convince him to shave off his annual bonus by cutting into his "ATM malfunction budget" with no evidence.

I fear the spirit of the 60's revolutionary has been engulfed by evil corporations. The only thing I can think of is to start up a club where lost souls fight each other and turn it into a terrorist group who will help me blow up this "bank-robber"'s headquarters. I think i'll use soap to make the explosives. I'll let you know how that plays out.

In the meantime, keep that damn receipt!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Stupid Scholarship Sites, and Stupid Me (the death penalty debate)

Wow! I'm not feeling too competent right now, on a day which began with a plan to write about Mother's Day, Mother's Day.
I'm not sure what exactly triggered my burning desire to complete my schooling, but, by noon, I was knee deep in a search for scholarships. Good ole' internet, it was loaded with sites which locate scholarships. You know the routine; do a search and get back a list. I thought I'd hit the essays. Hey, I'm a f___ing pro, shouldn't be a problem.

I found one. I had to write about the death penalty by using a known book on the subject. 750 words, blah, blah, blah, no sweat. I found a book, skimmed through it and began to wield my trusty pen (keyboard, actually), convinced that I had what it takes to snatch this $5,000 prize.
My only problem, as you know, is the word count. I am such a profound scribe that I often struggle to contain my ideas, leading to a verbose piece of work which is confusing to the simpleton.

At any rate, I answered the toll by manifesting, from thin air, exactly what was required, and, when it was complete, I looked upon it and it was good. I had the winning paper. A weight has been lifted. I will go back to school, just like Thorton Melon, and I will show my resilience in hopes that others will follow. It's never too late....................or, so I thought. I edited my final draft
and hit "send". I received confirmation:

thank you for your submission, winners will be announced December 19th, 2009.

HaHaHa............, just missed it. I want to ask why the f--k they'd have that submission page up and accepting essays, but it's kinda like reporting your cocaine stolen. I'm the cannabidiot that didn't check anything passed $5000!!!!!!

So, since I have no other f--king use for this piece of crap, I present my BS paper on Capital Punishment:

Bedau and Cassell's book, referenced above, is basically a collection of eight essays on capital punishment, written by judges, lawyers and other intelligent beings. Four of them are against the death penalty while those remaining go the other way. It’s not that this book was groundbreaking, actually, some of the essays were very average, and four of them, in my opinion, were very wrong.

If this were a book report, I would begin picking each point of view apart, but it isn’t, and I’m on a word count. So, I’ll simply say this: The arguments in which I found merit came from both sides, and vice-versa. Some would take this to mean that I have no backbone, or I was a flip-flopper,. But I'm just open minded and without ideals as defined by U.S. Politics.
Consider Lou Pojman, a professor from the U.S. Military Academy, who stirs up images of Col. Jessup from Guantanemo. It seems his essay might have been inspired by the writings of Hammurabi, as he states that lethal injection is "too good" for the perpetrator off a heinous crime. Pojman represents the vigilantes of society, out for revenge, I mean, retribution. Personally, I don't mind Charles Bronson smacking thugs in the face with a loaded tube sock after his wife was victimized, or The Crow, Desperado, or any other renegade who feels the need to close a painful wound. Avenging wrongs should be kept personal and involve some planning and diligence, enough to bring satisfaction. Perhaps we should allow the victim’s next of kin to do the honors, in whatever manner he/she chooses, of course. Lethal injection is too nice.

On the other side is the ACLU's arguments. For one, there's the DNA situation. As you know, some decades ago, we began solving and prosecuting crimes by matching a person’s DNA to that of the crime scene. This breakthrough was more precise than fingerprinting, although, it also highlighted mistakes. For a while, it appeared as though nobody on death row was guilty. That is a powerful image. I find it extremely difficult to support any mandate that would kill an innocent human being, but that’s an inherent flaw in our judicial system, that is, before we incorporated the use of DNA. Besides, who’s to say that an innocent man, falsely accused of a wretched crime and disgraced before all who knew him, wouldn't welcome an eternal nap as he deteriorates in a cage. The reality of that situation is, of all the people outside his cell, the executioner will be the most compassionate.

Then we see the debate held on another front, namely the church and specifically the belief in an after-life. I’m not sure who benefits here, but the idea is: If a person who believes in God, or is religious, condemns a man to death it is not considered to be an absolute termination of his life because, after the pain, his spirit lives on, and can be saved. The adage is that damnation, not death, is the ultimate judgment and can only be imposed by The Deity. However, when a secular individual brings the death sentence upon another, he is, in effect, playing God, since he believes that this is the final curtain call.

The religious argument is profound, but very complex and undefined. We see the quagmire such an argument causes when we look at the country’s abortion debate. I believe we’ll determine the definite value of Pi before religious zealots and church-hating atheists reach an agreement on morality. What if the judge is religious, but the guilty party is not and neither was the victim, but the victim’s mother is always in church. Do you see the problem here?

Forgive me for not solving the Death Penalty puzzle in 700 words, but I’m exhausted from dealing with the energy crisis and the recession, to which I’ve proposed electric cars and printing more money, respectively. Don’t expect this book to do so either, although it has invited 8 more opinions to the party. Great! That’s 16 cents.

So, until we hammer out a fair and balanced solution that will honor each citizen’s personal mores and satisfy our hunger for a political and spiritual debate, I suggest you don't bring it up at your local watering hole, and, please, don’t find yourself accused of murder in Texas.
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