the one about intoxicated animals and Zippy dancing like Michael Jackson

this post was mostly inspired by the third story below, but i would be remiss of i didn’t say it was also partially inspired by my old sidekick Cujo, who was prone to trying to cage beers off of people. rest assured that if you were drinking some Guinness around him, you WERE going to have to share a little of it. of course he would just drink it and take a nap, not rampage through a village or anything like that.

but this is not about dogs and beers; this week’s update is about animals getting much more wrecked and being much more crazy. so let’s get to it.

brown pelican
this bird is presumably crashing into something, or else looking for a fish, whatever works for you

kamikaze pelicans baffling California scientists

summation: brown pelicans in California are ingesting domoic acid (through the fish and shellfish they normally consume) and flying around like, well, kamikazes.

descriptive quote: “Scores of weak and disoriented California brown pelicans have been slamming into cars and boats, landing on highways and airport runways, and turning up dead in back yards and parking lots many miles from their normal coastal habitats.”

is this awesome or not: well, if the pelicans ARE actually getting high on bad acid (not unlike some kind of horrible Woodstock-themed mistake), it would be really awesome, except for the part where all the pelicans get killed. or injured or whatever, i just theorize it’s difficult for birds to survive “slamming into cars” or “turning up dead.” especially the latter. and i have to take it easy on the pelicans, because according to my grandmother, i really like pelicans. seriously, she says this; it’s not based on anything i know of, which makes it random and that makes me laugh.

but scientists think that it might not be because of domoic acid after all (see the above link), which not only makes it NOT animal intoxication (and thus should remove it from the update for the week), but also makes it much less funny. still, those scientists claim that birds eating acid caused some wicked mass avian suicide in 1961 and inspired the Birds, so i’m not letting go of the notion that chemicals make mass amounts of birds go crazy unless they make me. although i wouldn’t like to presume that acid makes people commit suicide, because as Bill Hicks would say, acid is for making you realize that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. and not so much for suicide.

elephants elephants ELEPHANTS
this elephant is absolutely living my dream: being an elephant, being heroically drunk, and being removed from a village with heavy machinery. well, okay, that last part might not be part of my dream

drunk elephants kill six people

summation: many years ago (i went with an older story because of the carnage involved), some elephants got drunk on rice beer and then ran wild and killed some people, presumably in some kind of hunt for additional beer.

descriptive quote: “The herd of wild elephants stumbled across the supplies of homemade rice beer after they destroyed granaries in search of food. … “They smashed huts and plundered granaries and broke open casks to drink rice beer. The herd then went berserk killing six people,” a forestry official told AFP news agency.”

is this awesome or not: anything involving elephants is awesome; this is probably no exception. in fact, i should have probably used THIS quote above, because it cuts to the heart of the matter: “”It has been noticed that elephants have developed a taste for rice beer and local liquor and they always look for it when they invade villages,” an elephant expert in Guwahati told Reuters news agency.” exactly. if you’re going to hoard your rice beer and not share it with elephants, what exactly do you expect to happen to your home/village/state of Assam? elephants don’t mess around.

unfortunately, once again, scientists are hard at work trying to disprove awesome claims of animal drunkenness; the search for commentary about drunken elephants has led me to discover claims that they don’t get drunk from eating fermented marula fruit, which is the SINGLE selling point behind my purchase and consumption of Amarula (i mean, it’s sort of tasty, but let’s be honest: i buy it because of my obsession with elephants). they sort of hedged their bets by claiming elephants DO get intoxicated, just on something else (bark filled with beetle pupae or something like that), so i don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish here other than killing off Amarula sales. and that’s not right.

i assume from the crazed look in the eyes of this wallaby that he’s currently plotting on how to get himself well; personally, i recommend the metal game. there’s serious money in that copper piping, you know

wallabies damaging crops in Tasmania poppy fields after getting high

summation: in Tasmania, there’s a massive legal opium industry, which in turn has led to wallabies getting into the poppy fields and getting stoned on opium. and from there, their classy behavior takes a serious downturn.

descriptive quote: “No lesser an authority than the island’s attorney general has discovered that hungry marsupials and thousands of acres of legal opium poppy fields do not mix. “We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,” Lara Giddings told a budget hearing on Wednesday. … “We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high.””

is this awesome or not: seriously is there any debate about wallabies being high on opium and making crop circles being awesome? really? this is not just awesome, this is FUCKING awesome. in fact, it makes me wonder why all the other animals out there getting high aren’t stepping it up to this level. granted, there’s not a lot of animals in cities, but why aren’t we seeing more rats and squirrels going after ground stashes or something along those lines? i’m not disappointed in these wallabies, i’m disappointed in our lazy American animals!

okay, i suppose it’s bad to get wallabies hooked on the hardest of hard drugs, but look at the plus side: if they were on coke, they’d probably be stabbing each other and stealing shit from farmers, but on opium they can just chill out and make ridiculous crop circles. and that’s cool with me.

unrelated note: Michael Jackson has died today (or yesterday, rather) and that’s pretty sad; he’d turned himself into a ridiculous caricature of his former self and he may have kind of sort of fucked some young boys (or molested them or whatever). still, he was the King of Pop and i don’t know if we’re EVER going to see another such dominant pop act, at least not in my lifetime. and Thriller is a top ten all-time album, hands down. and i can attribute all his insanity to the handiwork of his terrible father. so, yeah, this sucks. and here’s the doll picture again in tribute:

janklow and the singing MJ doll

RIP, michael. my grandfather insists that you were a dancer – as in, “[janklow], did you hear about that dancer? he died” – and then sort of pantomimes your dancing. and that is both EXCELLENT and the most fitting tribute you could have. it’s just too bad i couldn’t capture any of it on video.

only the most advanced computer technology could create this post

so recently our hero janklow was at one of these events where a large quantity of used books can be purchased cheaply, with the proceeds going to charity; this is typically an opportunity for our hero to scour the racks for ancient books related to military history that most people don’t care about (case in point: i am mad for Bernard Fall, but most people i know could care less about a French journalist who constantly wrote about Indochina and whom they at best know from him being referenced early in We Were Soldiers) or for replacing books i own with better, hardcover versions of those books. this is terrible nerdy and not at all exciting, but we’re going somewhere with this update, so hang in there with me for a moment.

ANYWAY, one thing that often happens is janklow spotting massive stacks of L. Ron Hubbard fiction, considering buying them to shoot, and then declining when he fills his tiny, girly arms with a load of books he might actually read (or at least not shoot). but this time, i said “fuck it” and grabbed all the copies of Battlefield Earth that were available… for the purposes of shooting them with high-powered rifles as Scientology books have been shot before.

the Irishman’s reaction to seeing this stack of books: “either someone’s done something really mean to you, or you got those books to shoot them.” he’s a sharp kid, that Irishman

sweet Enola Gay, are these books massive! they’re something like 1066 pages, 430,000 words … and perfect for blasting away at. but like all cultured gentlemen, before i shoot something with an evil black rifle, i like to thumb through it and see if there’s anything about the work worth not shooting bullets through. after all, with characters with names like “Jonnie Goodboy Tyler” and covers that depict only the most nonchalant of laser-blasting, there’s GOT to be something good in this book, right? i mean, come on, Neil Gaiman defended it! oh… wait… i HATE Neil Gaiman. still, there’s definitely something to be said for the merits of this book: it has about a million ads for a crazy soundtrack for the BOOK inside it.

seriously, for some reason, these ads are located randomly throughout the book in question

now, let’s be clear: this is not a soundtrack for the movie (even though one of my paperbacks is post-release of the film and the other two paperbacks from the 1980s declared “soon to be a major motion picture” a whopping SEVENTEEN YEARS before the release of the film), this is a soundtrack for the BOOK. but not just any soundtrack from a book! well, allow me to let Hubbard & Friends describe it to you (possibly as i insult it):

“Get the soundtrack of the book Battlefield Earth
You loved the Music of Star Wars. Here for the First Time Ever is the Music of a Book.
Composed by L. Ron Hubbard
On album or cassette”

beyond the fact that i adore the crazy capitalization above, i think it’s worth noting that there’s probably a reason this is the first time ever someone’s tried to make a soundtrack for a book. it’s a terrible, terrible notion … or is it? no, wait, it is.

“Only the most advanced computer technology could create the music of BATTLEFIELD EARTH.”

now, i am not sure what kind of music is on this soundtrack … but it must be awesome if only the most advanced computer technology could create it. which really doesn’t make sense on a couple of levels; beyond the fact that music is about the writing of said music, not the level of technology used to transform it from written notes to auditory enjoyment, it’s even crazier that they are claiming that the most advanced computer technology EVER was used to make it. step aside, Mozart, advanced computers are on the job! no time for space shuttles, devote those computers to MUSIC!

“Alien battles and human emotion are combined into a musical style of the future by greats Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, Nicky Hopkins and others.”

uh… i thought we just agreed that what is most important is the computer technology used, not whether or not anything is the work of the greats? also, Stanley Clarke spells his name Stanley Clarke. where did the “e” go? anyway, i know Scientologists are crazy and everything, but i still cannot fathom what a “musical style of the future” even is … although i would make a joke about it being jazz here, only all the above greats are jazz dudes, so it would actually seem like Scientology was onto something if i did so. damn.

“A music landmark, which has been hailed by critics everywhere as the music of the future.”

WHO ARE THESE CRITICS. I DEMAND TO KNOW THEIR NAMES. no, but i note that there isn’t even a claim that the critics think the music is great, just that they hail it as “the music of the future.” i imagine this translates to something like “well, this shit is terrible, but maybe they’ll like it in the future?”

it’s definitely still a landmark, though, because i think this is the first time someone had the audacity to make a soundtrack to a BOOK; i would say “first and last time,” but i’ll bet some jackass out there has made their own book soundtrack in subsequent years. but while i’m not impressed with anything to do with this book, it HAS made me want to run out and acquire the soundtrack in question, sort of like when i found out that Deion Sanders had released an album … which i then rushed out and bought for a grand total of $0.75. this album, however, has proved more elusive.

there’s really something not right about an America when i can’t easily get my hands on something entitled “Space Jazz”

for starters, i’m not even sure which of these albums is more ridiculously appealing: the left-hand album has the awesome “Jonnie Goodboy nonchalant laser fight” going on, while the right-hand album has the phrase “space jazz.” this is a great phrase and i think i’ll be using it all the time. alas, i can only seem to find drastically overpriced LPs of this album for $50. the Irishman advised me to purchase it and frame it and hang it on my wall, but then we both combined forces to talk me out of buying it. and in the end, this might have been the wisest of decisions.

but whatever, these books are still going to get the hell shot out of them. from this moment forth, i vow to purchase and shoot all the L. Ron Hubbard books i find at my used book sales … unless, of course, the Church of Scientology and/or their wealthy celebrity backers want to bribe me into stopping with a pristine copy of Space Jazz (or whatever we’re calling that soundtrack). any takers?

EDIT: this is the third awesome commercial i meant to post last week; if you have never seen it, you are REALLY missing out. although i admit that it loses 13% of its excellence if you’re not at all familiar with Wanderlei “the Axe Murderer” Silva or Mark “the Hammer” Coleman:

in which YouTube is used liberally to cover up my lack of serious commercial-related work

generally speaking, i don’t like to rant too much about commercials, because a) they’re not exactly stunning works of cinema because they’re meant to be brief moments that sell me a product and b) frankly, commercials have been a touchy subject ever since Dunkin’ Donuts stole my ideas. in fact, i’m pretty sure it’s all been downhill for me since then; it’s sort of like a country-and-western song where i lose my dog and my woman and my pickup, only in 2006 my dog was dead and i had no woman and no pickup. wow… this is getting sort of bleak… so let’s just move back to the topic of commercials.

for some reason, today was spent ragging on commercials, and if such ragging is not shared on the internet, it gets lost to the sands of time. so without further depressing ado, let’s make fun of the two specifically terrible commercials that came up today.

Scientology strikes again

EDIT: actual terrible new Scientology commercial discovered and posted above! enjoy!

this is how ridiculous the obsession with mocking Scientology is with janklow and friends: the Irishman called me today for the express purpose of leaving me a message about this terrible, terrible commercial for Scientology that he happened to catch while watching an episode of Law & Order (note that i completely support Law & Order viewing, no matter what my views on Scientology might happen to be).

EDIT: while i could originally not track this video down – hence the “unfortunately, i cannot track this video down on the internet” commentary – i have discovered it and placed it above. regardless, this remains the description of it that i got over the telephone: “it was sad, and it claimed that Scientology would fill you with the truth.” actually, it almost sounded like he was describing an annoying anti-smoking ad before it became clear as to what the fuck was going on. and now that i have seen the ad… i have to agree with his assessment.

since i didn’t actually SEE this ad since i posted this before i saw the ad for the first time, i suppose that it might just seem like i’m bashing Scientology for being Scientology here, and not really because the ad sucked. but come on: these fuckers made Battlefield Earth! how awesome could a commercial from the same people be?

David Baldacci = STONE COLD

ugh… just terrible. i am not reading any of your books ever, Mr. Baldacci

actually, the above video doesn’t really do the TERRIBLE Stone Cold advertisements that were always running any justice, because it’s a) not very long and b) doesn’t really impress upon you how these ads kept saying “STONE COLD” over and over and OVER. and frankly, this isn’t really just about David Baldacci; it’s about any of these mass-marketed books that are advertised with ridiculous, over-the-top advertisements in hammy actor voices. now, i admit that i sometimes find voices to be irrationally frustrating… but that nonsense is just STONE COLD bad. anyway, you’re also on the list, James Patterson. i don’t care about the Women’s Murder Club! i don’t care about a girl with wings! fuck off!

and in the end, i stand by the following maxim i have thrown out there: “if your book is advertised on television with a shitty ad, then i know you suck as a writer and i will never buy your books.” (i might have also added “you don’t see JK Rowling pitching that Harry Potter bullshit through TV ads, and we all know how terrible THAT stuff is” sometime after that maxim.) good thing everyone agrees with me, thus preventing such writers as Patterson and Baldacci from becoming popular, rich writers! oh wait.

but on the other hand, commercials are not all bad. so let’s not spend all this time being negative. time for a couple of AWESOME commercials!

Jhoon Rhee Taekwondo


seriously, if you grew up in the Maryland area in the 1980s, you probably remember this advertisement. now, kids that didn’t actually grow up in the 1980s might fake their familiarity with the decade by claiming to love Voltron or refusing to acknowledge how terrible the Thundercats were (seriously, what a terrible show) … but they don’t know a damn thing about Jhoon Rhee. i’m pretty sure that i could start singing this jingle to kids roughly my age and they’d immediately respond; youngsters would simply be confused. “taekwondo? what the hell is that?”

still, we all know what the king of awesome ads is:

it appears to be some kind of flea market… that’s some kind of mini mall…

accurate descriptions of Americans must include the phrase “attitudes of entitlement and self-centeredness”

to be direct and upfront about this week’s update: there’s going to be a lot of bitching about Americans and/or my dislike for them. i know, i know, it’s a running theme here and so there’s no need to make an excuse for it, but to be honest, i’m pretty disgusted with them this week. these things happen; let’s get right to the point.

For The ‘Funemployed,’ Unemployment Is Welcome

Michael Van Gorkom, you deserve to be punched in the face even harder than Chi McBride

so you can probably tell from the jump that this is the kind of story that’s going to rub me the wrong way; even if the actual article espoused some sentiment that i support 113%, i would probably still be freaking out about the use of a term like “funemployment.” eh, i’m the kind of person that demands you say “magazine” instead of “clip” when we’re talking about firearms, so you know i like to nitpick about the inappropriateness of such fictional words. that being said, i think this article managed to enrage me more and more with each passing sentence. let’s take a brief tour through the highlights:

“These jobless folks, usually singles in their 20s and 30s, find that life without work agrees with them. Instead of punching the clock, they’re hitting the beach.”
it’s also worth noting that these “singles in their 20s and 30s” are also the same group of people that has no concept of saving for the necessities of their old age, so it’s probably going to be them that finds that having no means of support when they’re retired (and judging by this article, they probably think someone else will be footing the bill for that as well) does NOT agree with them.

Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. … And at least till the bank account dries up, they’re content living for today.
okay, if you’re living off your severance, that’s fine, if maybe irresponsible; the same goes for your savings, because at least you have earned this. but content to coast on unemployment? that’s not what it’s for. or buoyed by your parents “until the bank account dries up?” … okay, listen up, kids: i know you have no conception of working for a living, but your parents probably do. they didn’t save up that retirement money so that you could enjoy not working. and, shockingly, they might not feel that secure in an economy that’s cost you your job.

“I feel like I’ve been given a gift of time and clarity,” said Aubrey Howell, 29, of Franklin, Tenn., who was laid off from her job as a tea shop manager in April. After sleeping in late and visiting family in Florida, she recently mused on Twitter: “Unemployment or funemployment?”
seriously, i have nothing to say here except that this part of the article makes me outraged. OUTRAGED.

As frivolous as it sounds, funemployment is a statement about American society. Experts say it’s both a reflection of the country’s cultural narcissism — and attitudes of entitlement and self-centeredness — and a backlash against corporate America and its “Dilbert”-like work environment.
three things:
01. it’s not frivolous to call this a statement about American society, because it’s completely accurate to see it as such;
02. the bolded part above has been bolded by yours truly to reflect the accurate way to view “funemployment”;
03. the notion of a “backlash against corporate America” is, in fact, just more of that narcissism and entitlement and self-centeredness. yeah, stick it to the man because he wants you to work so that you can afford to pay for things instead of expecting someone else to foot the bill.

still more funemployment
yes, we all get it, not working is more fun than working. what a novel and responsible discovery!

These days, more people than in the 1970s are saying they want jobs with a lot of vacation time … Younger employees today also are less willing to work overtime. And, when asked if they would quit their jobs if they had money, more are answering “yes,” though the majority still say they would continue working.
you mean people want more time off from work, shorter hours, and enough money to keep them from ever having to work again? WHAT A SHOCKING FIND, TWENGE. i’m glad to see all the time you spent writing a book about entitlement has enabled you to make such meaningful studies of Americans. seriously, i could have told you that people want more money and more vacation days without having to write a book or do anything else but go into work. just go ask some employer about the average amount of leave a 20-something employee has currently accumulated sometime.

Flores’ decision to quit her job was initially met by concern and worry by her parents and some friends, but she thinks it’s partly because they simply can’t relate. By the time her parents’ generation reached their late 20s and early 30s, most were married with children.
to be honest, i don’t think the problem is that they can’t relate to you not being married or having children in your late 20s/early 30s. i think the problem is that they can’t relate to you not working and hanging out while expecting your bills to be paid by someone else or, failing that, through irresponsible means (as in, using your savings to have fun instead of, you know, SAVING them).

“We need to figure out how to make companies work better for everybody. Until that happens … early retirements and furloughs are going to continue. People are going to opt out of the system.”
my fault, all these retirements and furloughs are about people STICKING IT TO THE MAN. and here i thought we had a bad economy that had resulted in many lost jobs, including jobs formerly possessed by the turbo-cool funemployed people in this article. oh wait…

But since he was seeking answers, the Mongolian shaman had one for him. On a Post-it, she wrote his fortune in Cyrillic. The last sentence, in a nutshell: Go back to work.
that Mongolian shaman is seriously the hero of this article. ugh. i’d better find something to wash the nasty taste of America out of my mouth…

Creepy Dog Robot Planned For The US Military

there are actually many newer articles on the subject of the Big Dog than the above link, but that one has a great “introducing this fucking awesome robot” title, so i encourage you to explore the internet on your own if that one seems a little out of date.

but that’s all beside the point, which is very straightforward: this is a fucking awesome robot. yeah, it’s a little loud (and that’s probably why they aren’t in a rush to send them over to Afghanistan to battle insurgents), but it storms through the elements, leaps goat-style over obstacles, has the ridiculous ability to not fall on ice (seriously, WATCH THE ABOVE VIDEO) and even makes you feel sympathetic when people are kicking it solely for the purpose of showing off how awesome this robot is. i could watch this video for hours; it certainly makes me feel better about America, which turns out to have some awesome geniuses that made this robot, especially since i just read that “funemployment” article that made me want to vomit. ugh.

the only real downside is that the development of such awesome robots means there is only a very limited amount of time left before we accidentally deep-thinking, self-sufficient robots that come to a full realization of how terrible and worthless human beings are and then, for the good of us all, wipe the whole damn human race out completely. oh well!

bonus section relating to firearms

recently, i purchased a Mini-14; even more recently, i replaced the stock, which was a somewhat-worn wooden one, with a newer Hogue stock which is all black and rubberized and everything. for some reason, however, the responses have been pretty negative so far; “why bother to do that” or “what was wrong with the old stock,” seem to be the typical reactions. perhaps for that reason, even my personal satisfaction is less than total, although that could just be because i have emotional problems, because this new Mini-14 stock is pretty cool.

accordingly, i have decided to throw up some before and after photos of this rifle and let the readership of this website – which would be Smilez and… uh… people who thought the topic behind a name like “house of hate” was something else ENTIRELY – weigh in on the topic. go wild:

Ruger Mini-14 with original wooden stock
before picture; this is how the rifle looked when it was zinging .223 rounds through a couple of fancy motorcycle helmets (and/or being cradled lovingly in photos on the internet).

Ruger Mini-14 with fancy Hogue stock
i also have some new magazines that don’t say “for law enforcement use only” to go with the new look of the gun. oddly enough, though, i find magazines that don’t say “for law enforcement use only” to be somehow unsatisfying.