Chris Brown: rivaling Sean Penn for most punchable face in America since at least 2009

i don’t appreciate a lot about modern pop music (i suppose a “whatever that term means” belong here), and especially not modern R&B, which i generally believe died around the time Marvin Gay, Sr shot his son for the unforgivable crime of “making all those phenomenal records.” but i have to admit there is one current artist that i have learned to appreciate: Chris Brown. not because he’s good at making records, because he’s not, but because his completely reprehensible behavior allows me to judge just how far we, as a society in America, have fallen. by my count, there’s been at LEAST 13 things that should be affecting his current success… and yet this does not seem to be the case.

granted, we do love to cut our artists and athletes and the like slack when it comes to their indiscretions on the grounds that what they produce is so worthwhile or because they represent the team we root for. for whatever reason (likely the fact that his audience is largely female and has seen… generous naked photos of him), Chris Brown seems to be one of those celebrities. so, hey, why not make fun of him for this in the form of a listicle?


Chris Brown's tights, as seen on the cover of Graffiti
i am, however, giving him a pass for his crimes against awkward cartoon characters

01. wearing tights on the cover of his album Graffiti
i know many of our three regular readers probably thought i would start this off with Chris Brown’s obvious “beating a woman” offense, but let’s start with one that might be even more unforgivable to the average American: an incredibly awkward wardrobe choice for the cover of his 2009 album Graffiti. now, i know a lot of guys like the whole “skinny jeans” concept while a lot of other guys don’t (this group shall be known as “normal people), and i have to admit i have never understood the point of wearing INTENTIONALLY uncomfortable jeans… but this goes beyond that, as Chris Brown is clearly wearing tights on this album cover. TIGHTS, people. when you’re Michael Jackson, you’ve earned the right to dress however you see fit, but you, Chris Brown, are no Michael Jackson.

02. severely beating a woman
yes, the most obvious of his offenses. while i am sure that i don’t need to explain to everyone why you DON’T BEAT WOMEN, what’s more inexplicable is how an artist with a massive FEMALE fan base can get away with such things. yes, yes, as touched on previously, all these women ALSO saw that photo of Chris Brown’s exposed genitals plastered on the internet (although a colleague of mine would be quick to label Brown “a shower, not a grower,” and that is where i will leave THAT), so i am sure that there are many women out there saying, “hey, Chris Brown would never beat ME. that Rihanna girl drove him to it!” this is, however, a garbage assertion… and yet beating a woman does not seem to have stopped women from buying his albums. even R.Kelly had the decency to essentially commit a statutory offense.

03-04. wearing that awkward blue sweater and bow tie combo on Larry King to excuse himself for severely beating a woman; also, jet-skiing
all that being said, i would probably be better able to understand it if Brown had made prompt, sincere amends for his wrongdoing (especially considering his tales of being frightened of domestic abuse at the hands of his stepfather as a child), because people DO probably deserve a second chance if they’re legitimately repentant for their misdeeds. PROBABLY. however, some things do not really count as sincere amends, such as:
–allowing yourself to be photographed gleefully riding a jet ski;
–appearing on national television in a powder-blue ensemble that includes a ridiculous bow tie.

see, the former says, “i’m not even distressed about the fact that i severely beat a woman and/or possibly ruined my career,” which is not an image you should project even if you really DON’T give a shit about the former. where’s the mercenary self-interest? the latter, however, says not only do you don’t give a shit about the woman-beating, you insist we all tacitly acknowledge you’re flipping a middle finger at the concept by dressing like a five-year-old on a cable talk show to claiming you don’t even remember what we’re all talking about. IT IS INFURIATING THAT WE ALL KNOW YOU’RE LYING AND YET NO ONE WILL ADMIT IT.

Chris Brown crying
the flood of tears tells us that Chris Brown is discussing how MEAN his record label is to him again

05. crying that his record label was “blackballing” his new album
part of the issue here comes from a) the fact that Chris Brown might not understand what the term “blackballing” means, and b) the fact that this generation of THOSE DAMN KIDS insists on portraying everything they’re going through as THE BEST EVER or THE WORST EVER. i would point out to Brown the artists who went through ACTUAL blackballing during the Red Menace era of Hollywood, for example, but he’d probably just slap on a powder-blue sweater and tights in order to defend himself, thereby forcing me to beat him. ANYWAY, there’s also the fact that a pop star who beats his girlfriend and STILL gets a subsequent major label release (not to mention the fact that he’s released two more albums since that time) is still ahead of the innumerable artists who have committed no such offenses and still find their projects held up in record label limbo for years and years.

06. appearing in the movie Takers
i have talked at length about this awful-to-mediocre-at-best movie (possibly in an entirely necessary listicle), but that also allows me to cut and paste what i wrote there…

“04. Chris Brown, period
one of the curses of a film with an ensemble cast full of “stars” is that you inevitably find one or two who are very famous (at the time at least) and who are clearly included ONLY because they are famous and DESPITE the fact that they are guaranteed to produce a performance that makes me want to gouge my eyes out; in Takers, we have Chris Brown filling this role.

now sometimes that non-acting star is making an effort and we have to admit, “well, he’s TERRIBLE, but we can tell he’s really making an effort, god bless him,” and sometimes, what the hell, the whole concept actually works… but, here, no, Chris Brown overacts in a manner that tells me his position was essentially, “sure, i’ll lower myself to accept a six-to-seven figure salary to appear in your film, but only as long as i am a totally sexy, totally cool bad-ass the entire time!” every time he speaks –hell, every time i see him on screen– my only thought is “why isn’t someone shooting him in the face RIGHT FUCKING NOW?!”

seriously, though, i find his voice incredibly annoying; when i hear it, i find myself considering the merits of suicide.

also, if the fact that he’s a terrible actor who should be kept away from films with a team of attack dogs does not bother you because he’s just SO CUTE or releases photos of himself naked with his junk out or whatever, and you’re thinking, “well, he’s in the film to bring in women viewers” … please remember that this IS a post-woman-beating Chris Brown we’re talking about here, so that shouldn’t work, right? right? i think there’s some gender-based commentary there.

counterpoint: Chris Brown’s character is VERY annoying, so maybe this is all intentional? and it’s a masterful job casting someone who cannot help but be annoying? counter-counterpoint: there is absolutely NO WAY that the writers of Takers are that fucking clever.”

also, he was an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER for this film, which, while certainly meaningless, is both a) insulting to actual producers and b) a possible explanation for why this film was such garbage. AND YET AMERICA HAS FORGIVEN HIM FOR IT.

Chris Brown's garbage tattoos
luckily, Chris Brown’s douchebag tattoos reveal his true nature to us all when he forgets to cover them with a shirt

07. flipping out on Good Morning America and throwing a chair through a window
now, i already mocked Brown’s desire to not appear remorseful, but i SUPPOSE there’s a “no one knows what happened in that car where i supposedly beat a woman except me and Rihanna, the woman who was covered in bruises for some mysterious reason” argument to be made, which in turn allows a “i have nothing to be remorseful for” position: completely bullshit, of course, but logically allowable. his tantrum on the set of Good Morning America, which included a dressing room temper tantrum AND the throwing of a chair through a window, to say nothing of his actual petulant interview, however, specifically highlights two severe failings:
–not realizing that doing the EXACT thing you’re accused of (flipping out into a violent rage for no legitimate reason) is at the very least evidence in the court of public opinion that you would and probably DID beat a woman;
–not realizing that celebrities get asked about whatever’s big in the news regarding them. you were sentenced for beating another pop star, and yet you don’t understand why people bring “that past shit up?” fucking ridiculous.

also, storming out of the studio without a shirt on? way to keep it classy, Chris Brown!

08. lying about what his album title F.A.M.E. stands for
eventually, Chris Brown released another album after Graffiti; in this case, it was called F.A.M.E., and Wikipedia tells us that Chris Brown claims the title stands for “”Forgiving All My Enemies” and “Fans Are My Everything.””

uh-huh. look, MAYBE other artists would release an album titled F.A.M.E. and be able to pull off claiming one of those explanations was legitimate, but the guy who seems to have devoted his entire life to cursing out the “haters” that dislike him so much (this presumably includes me)? there’s absolutely no way that doesn’t break down to “Fuck All My Enemies.” ABSOLUTELY NO WAY.

Chris Brown winning his ultimate fuck-off
also, i don’t understand why you wear a shirt under your jacket if the shirt’s just going to be open the entire time, but then the world is filled with things i do not understand

09. telling critics to “fuck off” because he won a Grammy
…and this just proves my prior point. you claim your album title references forgiving your enemies, and then, after winning a Grammy, you declare said Grammy to be a fuck-off to all those enemies? i’m not even mad about the fact that people don’t seem to mind that he acts like such a brat. i’m FAR more offended by the incredible logical inconsistency seen here. and again, if we’re playing the insincere mercenary card, it’s at least not a good look when it comes to repairing your image … especially considering you were just awarded a Grammy at all.

10. lamely pretending his references to someone were just general statements
i don’t want to get into the merits/lack thereof of the “slut-shaming” concept because there’s a lot more going on there than a mere debate about whether or not it’s proper to shame a woman for “being slutty,” so we’ll focus on this: if you, Chris Brown, make remarks that seem to be directed to Rihanna (also known as “that woman you may or may not remember beating”) and are interpreted by said Rihanna as being directed at her, and said remarks were NOT about her, the correct way to respond is NOT the “Assumptions! I didn’t say any names so if u took offense to it then its something you feel guilty about” route. this is what we call “protesting too much.” of course, it ALSO doesn’t help to have another thinly-veiled internet conversation later in the month that ALSO seems to include remark regarding Rihanna, but then i don’t think any of us took your denial seriously.

11. getting into a ridiculous public fight with another millionaire recording artist
…and then we have the hilarity of millionaire recording artists Chris Brown and Drake getting into a public fight over the woman they were attempting to slut-shame (okay, okay, we’re not getting into that). first off, anyone you legitimately consider a “ho” is not worth fighting over. seriously. second, you guys are R&B singers (i am including Drake in that) and as such, i have no interest in trying to see you act like tough guys. YOU’RE NOT TOUGH GUYS! you’re not hardened criminals; you sing songs to the ladies! all you’re proving with these shenanigans is that you’re stupid as fuck.

also, please note how the angle at which this is photographed gives Chris Brown sort of a douchebag expression

12. exaggerating the extent of his “injuries” after a fight with another millionaire recording artist
but let’s say the fight was justified for some reason, okay? that still does not excuse tweeting the above image of the heinous injury you received in the fight as a badge of honor. i have cut myself worse than that shaving! granted, i am not the BEST at shaving, but it’s not like i immediately demand the internet pay attention to me because blood came out of me. further, while bottles being thrown CAN result in serious injury (and may have to bystanders), is that picture REALLY showing me such a serious injury? because i have to answer my own question with a resounding “fuck no.” again, Chris Brown, you are an R&B singer. i am not sure what you think you’re accomplishing with your attempts to be a tough guy.

and last but not least…

13. still being alive
usually, when an artist does this much dumb shit, they have the courtesy to die at some point in the near future, allowing us to identify them as “gifted but troubled” and enjoy their catalog of albums without having to endorse the garbage human being that was responsible for making those albums in the first place. yet Chris Brown INSISTS on remaining alive (and apparently fairly healthy), thus denying us the ability to properly place him in the “talented but death” category of musician. this i cannot forgive.

alright, well, that’s enough unnecessary listicles for this week; next week, more of the same? that seems to be the way the summer is going.

in which we’re defending and/or promoting Allen Iverson for no good reason? seems like that’s the plan

recently, the Miami Heat won the NBA Finals headed by one of the great sporting douchebags of our time: LeBron James. yes, i acknowledge that he is a great player and can now shove in the faces of all those who would hate on him (such as myself) the fact that his Miami experiment, with all its poor planning and execution and raising legions against him, did in fact result in him getting a championship. more to the point, however, it came around the time one of my cousins was visiting, and as this kid loves the Heat (because he was raised incorrectly, if you ask me) and by extension LeBron (which makes sense if you’ve already committed to rooting for the Heat, i suppose), this raised the following debates: “are you aware that LeBron and/or the Heat suck” (he was not) and “what’s so great about Allen Iverson,” a debate that seems unrelated to current events. i’m not EXACTLY sure how it came up, but i was probably being insulted at the time.

the thing is, however, that i will ALWAYS defend Allen Iverson, even when this seems like a poor decision. so even though this has NOTHING to do with the recent Finals, i figured this might be as good a time as any for…


so let’s get right to it!

Allen Iverson
after finishing this update, i realize i should have added “infectious smile” to it

13. the fact of janklow being Philadelphia 76ers fan
for whatever reason, i am a 76ers fan; personally, i attribute this to hating Michael Jordan and loving Charles Barkley when i was little. but the side effect is that there isn’t a lot to celebrate as a 76ers fan: Chamberlain’s title team was well before my time (1966-1967) and the one i was barely alive for, the Moses Malone/Dr. J 1982-1983 championship team, is something i can celebrate but not something that’s particularly memorable to me. what have i really had to root for? Barkley, Allen Iverson, and maybe Andre Iguodala (and i do really like Iguodala). let’s just say there’s a reason why Wikipedia has the following stops on the 76ers history:

1.5 The Julius Erving Era
1.6 The Charles Barkley Era
1.7 The Dark Ages
1.8 The Allen Iverson Era

HE ENDED THE DARK AGES! enough said.

12. the social issues involved in Iverson’s 1993 arrest
many of you might not remember this (it WAS 19 years ago, after all), but the short version is this: Iverson and friends got into a fight with a bunch of white teenagers in a bowling alley; Iverson was accused of hitting a woman in the head with a chair; only Iverson and three of his friends (all black) were arrested. Iverson was 17, convicted as an adult for maiming by mob (a Virginia statute designed TO FIGHT LYNCHING), and got a 15-year sentence (10 years suspended). now, i am sure a lot of people think he did the deed (something SURELY not based in race and/or what teams they root for) and it’s certainly not a badge of honor for Iverson to have been arrested. but here’s why i mention it: as Iverson is someone who’s frequently portrayed as kind of a jerk, i have to imagine getting 15 years for a fight you might not have been involved in and which CERTAINLY featured one-sided arrests would make one a little fucking hostile.

11. that Iverson’s casino troubles are either hilarious or of moderate importance
some athletes gamble away thousands and thousands in casinos; some athletes get involved in the most severe of criminal troubles. aside from the brawl we recently covered, Iverson’s troubles, if Wikipedia is to be believed, have been more along the lines of “got into a fight at the Taj Mahal over and overpayment of chips” and “banned from Bally’s Atlantic City casino for urinating in a trash can.” and really, come on, what man among us HASN’T urinated somewhere or into something we shouldn’t have? true, there was that arrest in the 1997 offseason for possession of marijuana and a concealed weapon, but then i think that arrest is mandatory for anyone who wants to cultivate an edgy image. it’s the cost of doing business!

10. that Iverson was conspired against by NBA referees
that’s a sentiment that a LOT of players have voiced at one time or another, with varying degrees of truth being involved, but if Wikipedia is to be believed, this was actually the case with Iverson:

“Iverson was fined $25,000 by the NBA for criticizing referee Steve Javie following a game between the Nuggets and Iverson’s former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, played January 2, 2007. During the course of the game, Iverson committed two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. After the game, Iverson said, “I thought I got fouled on that play, and I said I thought that he was calling the game personal I should have known that I couldn’t say anything anyway. It’s been something personal with me and him since I got in the league. This was just the perfect game for him to try and make me look bad.””

now that’s not THAT bad of a statement, but you can still see why he got fined, and if you’re the kind of guy who doesn’t like Iverson, you’ll sure to presume he’s just whining. but then again:

“Former referee Tim Donaghy supported the claim that Javie had a longstanding hatred for Iverson in his book, Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA, which a Florida business group published through a self-publishing arm of after it was dropped by a division of Random House, who cited liability issues after reviewing the manuscript. In a December 2009 interview with 60 Minutes, Donaghy said he and fellow referees thought the punishment was too light. Before Iverson’s Nuggets played the Utah Jazz on January 6, 2007, Donaghy said he and the two other officials working the game agreed not to give Iverson favorable calls as a way to “teach him a lesson”. Iverson attempted 12 free throws, more than any other player on either team. On 12 drives to the basket, he drew five fouls, three of which Donaghy whistled himself, and did not receive a call on one play in which he was obviously fouled by Utah’s Mehmet Okur.”

Donaghy can probably be discounted in many ways if you consider his history, but considering that his crimes were related to the EXACT thing we’re talking about here, it seems quite plausible. and who doesn’t want to root for someone the man is trying to keep down? especially when the alternatives –say, LeBron James– seem protected by the NBA and its referees, when not outright benefiting from outright flopping?

Allen Iverson
in trying to find photographic evidence of Iverson’s bad attitude, i have found him rolling his eyes a little. success?

09. the level of intensity and/or the “fuck you” attitude Iverson played with
first things first: i like sportsmanship, so i am not arguing for some kind of universal bad attitude to be adopted. that said, you know what you want to see from your millionaire athletes? acting like they give a damn, both about the game they play and the team/city they represent. Iverson was an undoubtedly gifted player, but he didn’t sit back and coast on talent: he played HARD. could you see him declining to come into a game with eight seconds left? or benefiting from the level of flopping we complain about in today’s game? yeah, the latter will be waved away by fans of those plays who claim they HAVE to flop to get the calls they deserve … but we all know that they don’t deserve those calls AND that a true player doesn’t want to get the calls that way.

08. that Iverson’s rap career could have been worse
so back in 2000, Iverson decided to try his hand at a rap career (or side-career, i guess); the result was a terrible moniker (“Jewelz” or “Jewels”), a single that was maligned for its alleged derogatory remarks about homosexuals (“40 Bars,” which was probably more him using inappropriate language than actually ranting about homosexuals, if i recall correctly), and not much else. but okay, let’s look at the bright side: he didn’t pretend being a rap artist or running a music label was his REAL JOB (a mistake made by many an athlete), and he didn’t go the Shaq route of cranking out terrible album after terrible album to the point where there’s a

and speaking of his rap career:

07. the existence of Don Trip’s “Allen Iverson”
for those unaware:

tell me what player’s inspired a better song. for all the times rappers mention LeBron, there’s still nothing better inspired by him out there.

06. janklow’s admitted regional loyalties
granted, Iverson is from Virginia, and i am not; he attended Georgetown, which is not a school i typically root for; he played predominantly in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and although i have family ties to the state, i am not from or residing in either the city or state. all that being said, i would be lying if i said i didn’t always have a subconscious desire to root for the teams and people that represent the Mid-Atlantic, where, as a region, i AM actually from. and since it’s a pretty ridiculous and confused region (to say the least, we don’t seem to know if this is the North or the South), we can use all the positive representation we can get.

Allen Iverson
pictured: Allen Iverson, giving a damn

05. that Iverson managed to somehow prevent himself from going broke
Americans seem to LOVE when a) athletes who earned millions go broke and b) divisive athletes a lot of people don’t like get their public comeuppance. this seemed to be happening in early 2012 when Iverson, who’s made something like $150-250 million from the NBA and endorsements, was reported to be broke, the major straw being a Georgia judge seized the bank account of Allen Iverson in order to pay out a substantial debt for an unpaid jewelry bill amounting to $859,896.46.
this, in turn, let another wave of commentators and angry fans rant about the latest thug idiot athlete who lost all that money he didn’t even deserve. only, as it would turn out, Iverson wasn’t ACTUALLY broke like you and i would be broke:

“However, hold the bankruptcy proceedings. He is far from insolvent, at least in the real world, if not in harmony with his “nothing in moderation’’ lifestyle. Someone who cared a great deal for Iverson and grasped the extent of his habits, loyalties and generosity protected him to some degree from financial ruination, at 36, at any rate.
A person with a firm grip on the situation informs me Iverson has an account worth $32 million, a principal he is prohibited from touching until 55. In the meantime, it feeds him $1 million annually.
At 45, Iverson is eligible to start drawing on an NBA pension that maxes out at 10 years of active duty, or take whatever’s there as lump sum. He will be entitled roughly to $8,000 per month ($800 per x 10).
If at all possible, Iverson will issue a restraining order against himself until he’s 62 or so. At that time, I’m told, his lump sum will be between $1.5 million and $1.8 million, or he can elect to take monthly checks of approximately $14,000 per.”

so yes, he has not been financially careful in every way (32 out of 250 is not that much), and yes, he could STILL manage to ruin himself financially somehow, in some way. that said, how many athletes DIDN’T manage to have someone who gave a damn about them set up that kind of trust fund?

04. that Iverson actually gave a shit while playing on the US 2004 Olympic team
especially considering that this was in the post-Dream Team era of allowing phenomenal basketball talent to play for the Olympic team, this was not, to say the least, our finest hour. in that time, we won gold in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2008, making our shameful bronze finish in 2004 all the more shameful. the team had some undoubtedly great players (Iverson, Tim Duncan, Dwayne Wade, early versions of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James), but played and practiced and did everything else in a half-assed fashion. and the only person to really seem to give a damn about doing well in the Olympics? Allen Iverson:

“”It’s an honor to be named to this team,” Iverson said. “It’s something that you should cherish for the rest of your life. And honestly, this is something that I will cherish even without winning a gold medal. I feel like a special basketball player to make it to a team like this.” … “For as anybody who grew up in the U.S., and was able to be a basketball player in the NBA, you understand the things that your country has done for you and your family,” he said. “It gave you an opportunity to be able to support your family and be recognized as a household name. It was just an honor to be able to do something like that, and I would advise anybody selected to a team like this to take that honor and cherish it. It shouldn’t be a question in your mind. When you get a chance to represent your country, what’s better than that?””

also, considering that LeBron played on this disappointing team, it’s extra points against my cousin’s hero.

03. that one playoff win Iverson and the 76ers got in the 2001 NBA Finals
when you say “the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2001 NBA Finals 4-1 over the Philadelphia 76ers,” it doesn’t sound like much of anything to be proud of. but then you have to remember the following:
-the Lakers were the defending champions, and absolutely predicted to sweep the 76ers;
-this is the Kobe/Shaq Lakers of which we speak (although the feud WAS beginning around this time);
-the Lakers’ loss in Game 1 of the Finals was the ONLY game they lost that ENTIRE postseason

…and to make that loss happen, Iverson overcame a 21-9 Lakers lead AND a fourth-quarter Lakers comeback; scored 48 points himself, an impressive score in pretty much any game; and a 76ers starting lineup of Aaron McKie, Jumaine Jones, Tyrone Hill and Dikembe Mutombo. granted, i will always have a soft spot for Mutombo and his finger-wagging, and he WAS good that year … but that is not an awe-inspiring lineup.

02. that infamous “we’re talking about PRACTICE” press conference
i think we all know what i am referring to:

…to which i can only say, if you can’t appreciate the comedy Iverson gave us there, you must live a sad lifestyle. and yes, i may have launched into an impromptu rendition of this when debating with said cousin earlier. i can’t help it.

Allen Iverson
back when the 76ers came in three sizes: king-size, standard, and fun-size

01. that Iverson 5’11”, even if Wikipedia claims otherwise
yes, i know, other men, some even smaller than Iverson, have played professional basketball and yes, 5’11” isn’t THAT small (it allows you to be listed as 6′ or so in order to help your draft prospects, if nothing else). but i struggle to think of any guys who were that size (Iverson was somewhere in the 165-170 pound range, which is a shade above what a tiny person like myself weighs) playing as ridiculously hard and physically against opponents who tower over them (and who, incidentally, are probably also pretty good at playing professional basketball). to play that hard and that well at that size against that level of competition? how can you NOT respect it?

this, admittedly, was not the most necessary of updates, but sometimes, that’s how it goes. until next time!

people have still not learned about to operate 911, which i guess i should have expected

is it incredibly obvious when i’m cranking these article-based updates out quickly to make up for the fact that the better-crafted updates seem to be taking FOREVER? because, uh, well, if it’s not, i guess i sort of gave away what’s going on, didn’t i? and, let’s be honest, this joke about poor craftsmanship and hasty updates ISN’T EVEN ORIGINAL AT THIS POINT. it’s all around depressing… so here are some jokes? maybe?

um little um turkey
you can also choose to be offended by his constant use of the word “um,” if that’s your thing

man calls 911 over sandwich order

you know, we’ve talked about this. and talked about this, and talked about this, and talked about this. and yet, dear American friends, you still don’t seem to have realized something: calling 911 is NOT the way you resolve your petty bullshit. it’s just not. i know you’re upset, i know you’re confused as to what you can do with ALL YOUR RAGE … but the correct answer is not “calling 911.” to the article!

A Connecticut man knows how he likes his sandwich, and so does the 911 dispatcher who took his call on Wednesday afternoon complaining about how it was made. “I specifically asked for little turkey, and little ham, a lot of cheese and a lot of mayonnaise and they are giving me a hard time. I wonder if you can stop by and just…” he said when he called 911 from Greatful Deli in East Hartford on Wednesday afternoon.”

i would like to believe that when this “Connecticut man” trailed off, it was because part of his brain realized, “hey, i probably SHOULDN’T be calling 911 about some random bullshit regarding poorly-constructed sandwiches,” but that would take me into the dangerous realm of “thinking well of the average American.” in truth, he probably trailed off because he was deep into a fantasy involving a team of policemen smashing into the Greatful Deli with one of those should-be-used-by-the-military-but-now-the-police-have-them-for-some-reason armored trucks and beating the owner and employees until their batons are slick with blood and- well, i’ll let YOU decide how this sick, sick man’s somewhat sexualized revenge fantasy ends.

“But, here are the highlights: The dispatcher remains calm and manages to calm Rother McLennon down, all why trying to make him realize that a sandwich, no matter how much it differs from what he asked for, is no reason to call 911.
“You’re calling 911 because you don’t like way that they’re making your sandwich?” the dispatcher asks.
“Exactly,” he said.”

a noble effort, dispatcher! but one that was sure to fail (and to confirm the worst about that mysterious trailing-off earlier), as evidenced by the fact that he seems to have had no qualms about proudly claiming “exactly” in the fact of the question.

“With that settled, the dispatcher offers some advice: “So, then, don’t buy it,” she said.”


“But McLennon, who seems to be a regular at the deli, tells her he’s not just calling about this sandwich. He also fears that they won’t make his sandwich to his specific request in the future. “I mean, I just want to solve this the right way,” he said. “Her sister made it, but she left. They are playing games with me, so I was just wondering if you could come by,” he said. “I just want it resolved and I want to be able to come back here and get the regular sandwich that I ask for.””

okay, there are issues developed here that are outraging me:
01. you’re a REGULAR at the deli you’re calling 911 regarding? was there no middle step between “constantly purchase sandwiches” and “immediately report these sandwich craftsmen to the authorities?”
02. when you say you’re concerned that they won’t make your specific request in the future… does this mean you intend to return to the establishment you called 911 on? because i will confirm this: if there’s a surefire way to convince a deli NOT to make your requests correctly in the future, it’s to try and call the police regarding how they make sandwiches.

“The call ends with more advice to the caller. “In the future, just don’t buy the sandwich,” 911 tells him. “I’ll look at it before I buy it,” he said. Tila Azinheira, who owns the deli, said the man placed a phone order for 14 sandwiches and they made them the way he asked. Then, he did not want to pay for them. Azinheira said the deli told the man they could not take the sandwiches back because they were special orders, then he used the deli’s phone to call 911.”

USED THE DELI’S PHONE TO CALL 911? did he yell, “GIVE ME MY SANDWICHES OR I’LL CALL THE POLICE” and point angrily at a phone in the corner, and then feel compelled to call the police when the deli didn’t back down for some mysterious reason like “because they’re adults that know you don’t call 911 over sandwich construction,” or was this one of those things where he had to ASK to use their phone and they let him, and then he called the police on it? THIS IS INFORMATION I NEED, NBC CONNECTICUT.

“McLennon called the deli on Thursday to apologize and tell them that he would be coming back in the future for more sandwiches, the deli owner said.”

…because there certainly won’t be any semen or saliva or anything else tasty in those sandwiches now!

“No information was immediately available on the man’s age or his hometown. Police have not filed charges.”

let me just say this: the longer these 911 abusers go without LEAST getting publicly mocked in a courtroom, the longer people will think it’s okay to use 911 in this way. IT IS NOT OKAY, AMERICA.

um little um turkey

“anti-Semitic Elmo” handcuffed, removed by ambulance from New York’s Central Park

okay, to start, there’s actually no need to throw the quotes around “anti-Semetic Elmo” there, because that’s ABSOLUTELY a correct depiction of events. yes, i understand that he’s not an OFFICIAL Elmo, but i also believe that everyone else would realize that as well. but to the article!

“A man who haunts Central Park dressed as Elmo, the lovable Sesame Street character, was handcuffed by New York City cops yesterday and whisked away in an ambulance after he launched into one of his trademark anti-Semitic rants.”

so i understand that even in the case of a crazy Elmo who hates Jews, there are still serious First Amendment issues that must be respected, and i am not saying otherwise, but as someone in this story is clearly mentally disturbed (hint: it’s the guy dressed as Elmo who’s been ranting about Jews in the middle of a park in order to become a walking stereotype of every crazy guy in a television show or movie ever), i have to ask why he hasn’t been carted off by ambulance before now. but now he has!

“The unidentified man, who police say was not arrested, was removed from the vicinity of the Central Park Zoo, where he has alternately posed for photos with park visitors, screamed curses, and launched into diatribes about assorted Jewish conspiracies.”

one, is it hilarious or depressing that this guy poses for pictures with the park visitors? either he’s been doing this so much that he’s known to be a park fixture and people are actively going out of their way to see him and get pictures, which would qualify as depressing, or random visitors to the zoo think he’s just another NYC fixture and figure they might as well get pictures, which is also a little depressing, but also a little funny, because, you know, CONFUSED MIDWESTERNERS HA HA HA.

“For instance, last week the man was filmed loudly complaining that he was not making money because “the Jewish cops” were harassing him. He also suggested that parkgoers [sic] read “The International Jew,” a notorious series of anti-Semitic pamphlets distributed about 90 years ago by the auto magnate Henry Ford.”

well, don’t you think that Jewish cops will harass you if you spend your time standing in the park screaming about Jewish conspiracies? i mean, it’s not like you’re going to make yourself seem like an innocent victim in all this. also, the lack of explanation regarding the Elmo costume leads me to believe that, well, you’re even MORE fucking crazy than the average crazy asshole who spends his free time ranting about Jews.

“”If you start your own business in this city, Jews will harass you,” the man announced. As her friend videotaped enraged Elmo, a young woman remarked, “That is the scariest Elmo I’ve ever seen in my life. Oh my God.””

which raises the real question: this woman has seen OTHER Elmos that could be described as scary, and this guy has topped him? because i’ll tell you this: i have not seen this guy, but if i HAD, he would have been the ONLY scary Elmo i have ever seen. the rest of them all want hugs! and for you to learn about things! and they all love you! okay, phrased like that, i admit it sounds a little scary.

“After having his Elmo head removed, the costumed, middle-aged man was placed into an ambulance and apparently brought to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for observation.”

…because ripping the head off Crazy Ranting Elmo is SURE to make the whole thing less scary for the children.


so some time back i had vowed to replicate a RIDICULOUS post i made YEARS ago involving some He-Man figures; it’s one of those “look back and witness how half-assed this house of hate thing used to be” moments of time that i figured would take up some space, what the hell… i mean, be a comedic and meaningful look at our distant past. on the thing is, i seemed to have lost track of two things:

01. the photos i used to make this ridiculous mess;
02. the actual text, which i believed to have been saved as an HTML file somewhere.

HOWEVER… it turns out that i was overlooking the folder storing #01 this entire time, and even more pathetic, #02 was discovered to have been saved as some INCREDIBLY half-assed text file with a name that had nothing to do with the content. i can actually thank the Windows 7 search for this, because it repeatedly hinted to me that said text file contained the content i wanted while simultaneously showing me NOTHING of the sort during the search process. so, without further build-up, because it’s not like this is going to prove to be funny years later, here we go! actually, though, i should explain some things to make sense out of this all:

01. there might be some characters appearing in this (dabassi, fistofury) that won’t make sense without some mild understanding of why exactly this site is named “house of hate”; the reason is NOT actually my unending hate for everything. i don’t really think this is necessary for the lame jokes to function, so i won’t go into some massively boring explanation here. suffice to say that’s what all that’s about;

02. i legitimately cannot recall why this is a retelling of myself and dabassi smashing up a modem. i mean, okay, i can figure out VAGUELY what’s going on, but i don’t remember the specific events that led to this ridiculous post;

03. i gussied up some of the language here, but this MAY mean that some bits seem very dated and some bits seem oddly current. DEAL WITH IT. also, there may be a commentary track of italicized observations? who knows!


okay, here’s the thing: i have a large amount of toys from the 1980s because i don’t throw anything out, ever, a hoarding trait i learned from my father. however, i can’t FIND any of these toys on command because they were just thrown into random boxes when i packed them away over time. or, in other words, as i found them randomly wedged in places and then jammed them into “temporary” boxes. here’s an example of what i mean: somewhere in space and time, probably in my parents house, i have that original Megatron toy that’s like a P-38 that turns into a sniper rifle. but i could NEVER find it in a pinch because, well, see the preceding part of this paragraph.

…with one major exception: my ridiculous collection of He-Man figures, including two copies of that most awesome of He-Man toys, Stinkor. they’re all in one central location, where they have been kept for years, with the exception of He-Man himself: i once had (and maybe still have) a Battle Damage He-Man, and yet, he is nowhere to be found. this is no great loss if you consider the fact that He-Man fucking sucks.

so, without further ado… the He-Man Re-Creation of Janklow and Dabassi Smashin’ Up a Modem.


Skeletor, in the role of janklow
in the role of “janklow” … Skeletor
(because janklow is a horrible monster and all)

Hordak, in the role of dabassi
in the role of “dabassi” … Hordak
(because dabassi is also a horrible monster, etc, etc)

Fisto, in the role of fistofury
in the role of “fistofury” … Fisto
(see, that’s a joke based on Fisto’s name. yes, i know, puns are INCREDIBLY beneath me and the average reader, but come on, when else am i going to reference this action figure?)

(also, i will admit that the original version of this SORT OF defended the use of puns, which is mainly weird because i sincerely despise the use of puns. perhaps there was a weird “narrator persona” at work back in the day?)

and now, on with the show.

dabassi and janklow meet; THE STAGE IS SET FOR ADVENTURE

dabassi: hey, janklow, what’s going down?

janklow: same old, same old. my rock monsters suck total ass and it’s one thing after another until i just wish He-Man was dead. what’s up with you?


dabassi: well, i got this new cable modem that looks a hell of a lot like a big-ass combination lock. but really, it’s a cable modem.

janklow: cool, high-speed internet access!

(i’ll be honest: even to this day, 2012, i STILL couldn’t get cable internet at my home if i wanted to, so i still kind of have the “cool, high-speed internet access” reaction to them. that said, it’s not like i wrote this piece PRIOR to the introduction of such things. however, i was (and still sort of am) known for my half-assed internet connection at the time)


dabassi: well, except this damn thing doesn’t even work at all and it even went into my PC and wrecked all those photos of She-Ra i drew mustaches on! i hate it!

janklow: that fucking sucks! doesn’t anyone believe in quality control anymore? let’s smash it!

(did i remove a reference to TPS reports from this part? i think i did)


dabassi: take that, you modem bastard!

janklow: i’m gonna smash it with this glow-in-the-dark hammer i have for some reason!

(that glow-in-the-dark hammer comes from some INCREDIBLY lame third-rate knock-off of He-Man, or at least just a lame third-rate action figure. but as a child, i would save the weapons for He-Man and dispense with the garbage figures)


BATTLE CAT (and battle cat’s purple velour friend) COME OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE

(Battle Cat’s purple friend being, of course, Panthor, an answer i confirmed with a heated Google search for “skeletor panther”; this methodology seemed about right AND revealed the following Yahoo! Answers exchange, which sincerely cracked me up, which sincerely may indicate that i have some problems:

-What was Skeletor’s panther name ??
-Top answer: panthor was its name

why was the guy asking the question so excited about this? also, i don’t know why Battle Cat looks clean and Panthor filthy, beyond to say, “eh, it’s the velour”)


dabassi: oh, shit, Battle Cat! and friend!

janklow: they say these hills are filled with ghost cars. oh, and Battle Cats. oh, and the friends of Battle Cat who are not so much green and striped as purple and velour-covered and not striped at all.

dabassi: i’m scared, hold me!

janklow: only if you hold me!

(do we all get the Simpsons reference there? because sneaking that kind of thing in makes the comedy seem like something the common man can relate to. WE’RE ALL IN ON THIS TOGETHER)


dabassi: ah! we’re done for!

janklow: i never thought i’d be killed by a large purple cat. in a car accident? yes. by a bear? god willing. but by a large purple cat? NO!

(as you can see, i’ve been shouting out the awesomeness of bears and their attacks for YEARS now)


dabassi: hey… the cats are gone… we’re saved!

janklow: but… how?

(yes, this is all taking place on top of an ancient, soiled notebook on top of what appears to be a CD rack. i… i have no explanation for any of this. also, what the fuck is WRITTEN on that soiled notebook?)


Boba Fett: hey, guys, i saw those cats trying to maul you or take your wallets and candy or something else not good, and i thought i better chase them off using my bounty hunting skills.

dabassi: wow, thanks.

janklow: didn’t i tell you that the Fett Man doesn’t even remotely suck?

dabassi: yeah, i think i heard that someplace hilarious.

(so there’s two dated things going on here. for one, i know nerds have ruined the whole Boba Fett thing, but fuck it, i was four when Return Of The Jedi came out, and i have ALWAYS thought Boba Fett was cool. he’s one of my long-owned and much-treasured action figures, and he was purchased because i was little, not for nerd cred. also, yes, we’re making a Family Guy reference there, but note: a) this was before cancellation/return/slow descent into repetitive tedium and b) fuck it, that shit about “no matter how sure i am, i never risk the Fett Man” remains funny to this day)


Boba Fett: so, now that they’re gone, what do you guys wanna do?

dabassi: well, we could catch the Oakland-Baltimore game. Ray Lewis is like defensive poetry in motion on the field.

janklow: good plan. LET’S GO OAKLAND!

dabassi: man, they SUCK this year.

Boba Fett: yeah, i mean, they’re BAD.

janklow: man, fuck you guys. your favorite teams all suck too.

(yeah, this was right after the Oakland Raiders took that SEVERE post-Super Bowl tumble into a world of crushing all my dreams. let’s move on)


so was that ridiculous enough for you? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? probably not. maybe next time you will be!

“clearly, i need structure in life” … not to mention the kind of firepower that can stop a slow-moving animal from taking my beer

the secret downside to legitimately working on non-random-news-story updates is that you fuss over them so long that just when you think you’re making some progress, you realize you’re once again very far behind the incredibly demanding “maybe do this update thing once a week” schedule you set for yourself. i have to be honest: this was always easier when it was a handful of people posting once a week (some may remember that’s how the schedule gotten changed from “whenever the fuck i feel like it, and maybe never, because eh, whatever” some years back) because it was like a competition to actually CREATE something. clearly, i need structure in life.

i WILL admit that, in this light, the cows do look particularly fierce and the police officer does look particularly ineffective

police say roving Massachusetts cows drank some brews

yeah, yeah, cows these days, they’re out of control and they want our beer. actually, i have two major beefs with this story, and they’re actually not so much cow-based as they are based on the title of the article:
01. in the ACTUAL article, which you can reach through my graciously-provided link there, the title is “Police say roving Mass. cows drank some brews.” really, we needed to abbreviate the word “Massachusetts” in the title of the article? and before you say, “well, it’s a long word…”
02. …the event apparently took place in “BOXFORD, Mass.” (again with the abbreviation), which means it was Massachusetts cows doing things in Massachusetts to residents of Massachusetts. which means it’s entirely unnecessary to even identify them as Massachusetts cows at all, unless there’s something specific about Massachusetts cows i should be aware of?

but anyway, the events in question:

“Police in Boxford say a roving group of cows crashed a small gathering in town and bullied the guests for their beer.
Boxford Police Lieutenant James Riter said he was responding to call for loose cows on Sunday and spotted them in a front yard on Main Street.
Riter says the herd soon high-tailed it for the backyard, and then he heard screaming.
He says when he ran back there, he saw the cows had chased off some young adults and were drinking their beers.
Riter says the cows had knocked the beer cans over on a table, and were lapping up the spillage. He says the bovines even started rooting around the recycled cans for some extra drops.
Riter says the cows’ owner eventually grabbed some friends and herded the cows back home.”

i’m actually willing to believe that cows can push people around (they’re large, and there’s probably not much the average man can do to them if he’s not currently armed with a firearm of a sizable caliber) and that they hunger for beers (i knew a dog like that). what i find perplexing is more the following, aside from the aforementioned beef:

–that this would be called “bullying.” it’s not “bullying” when a polar bear tries to eat you; that’s just a bear being a bear. i know we don’t want to pretend that a cow is somehow a fearsome animal, but maybe we could say “attacking?” any animal can attack you, even if it’s totally ineffective.
–that there was a police officer –hell, a police LIEUTENANT, even– responding to a call for loose cows? in Massachusetts? what the hell is going on here? it’s not like this is Wyoming, where television gives me the impression there’s 13000 animals to every man and the local police is a single man solving everyone’s problems (including, presumable, loose cows).
–that these punkass “young adults” couldn’t flee from oncoming cows WHILE clutching their beers. i guarantee i could pass that challenge, you young punks.

ultimately, this is, as far as i am concerned, a harsh indictment of Massachusetts residents, in that they’re apparently such a nanny state up there that their young men aren’t packing the kind of heat that could stop a cow and are too sissified to even carry a beer and run at the same time. may your respective god have mercy on all our souls if former King of Massachusetts Mitt “Mitt” Romney becomes president.

adding insult to injury, the CBC adorned this story with a photo of a moose, as if the fact that children were tricked into eating moose shit is the fault of the moose. oh Canada, when will you learn?

students tricked into eating moose poop by school staff

you know what the most shameful part of this story is? that it didn’t take place in America. the Canada i know is a clean, friendly place where Canadian national treasure Scott Thompson can roam the streets freely (which is to say, my vision of Canada is basically 50% Toronto and 50% that scene in the Untouchables where there’s some Mounties and Sean Connery in a gunfight with bootlegging gangsters). if i saw Scott Thompson wandering unprotected in MY state –and i live in a fairly well-kept area– i would immediately be concerned for his safety. Michael Moore has taught me America is comparatively out of control! conversely, when i think of a combination of “low-brow jokes” and “people tricked into eating shit,” i think of GOD’S AMERICA. so the fact that this came from the CBC News stuns me.

“Some parents are furious after learning their children were tricked by school leaders into chewing moose droppings on a class canoe trip in Manitoba.”

now, i know this means “a group of parents,” but doesn’t it KIND of sound like they’re saying some of the parents whose kids were tricked into eating moose shit don’t really mind that much? “yeah, i know my son was tricked into eating unwashed fecal material that came out of a moose, but come on, that shit’s funny!” and the word ‘shit’ there even works on a couple of different levels!

…yes, it’s the American in me showing. i’ll try and keep things moving.

“Karen Eyolfson, whose 13-year-old son was one of two students to bite into the droppings, has pulled her boy from Walter Whyte School, saying the trust between staff and students has been broken.”

ma’am, there’s no need to couch this in such polite terms. if they were making your child eat crap in some manner WITHOUT a level of trickery, it would still be wrong. one does not need to have a lack of trust to be victimized by the consumption of shit.

“It happened during a school trip on May 25. Two Grade 8 teens from the school in Grand Marais, Man., were given the poop but told they were chocolate-covered almonds. Three staff members have been disciplined for not stepping in to stop the joke played on the students with moose droppings.Three staff members have been disciplined for not stepping in to stop the joke played on the students with moose droppings. “He dug into a bag and popped one in his mouth. As soon as it hit his mouth somebody tells him, ‘You just ate moose shit’ and the whole group of people started laughing at him,” said Eyolfson. She said it was a parent chaperone that offered her son the so-called almonds from a sandwich baggie. But the principal of the school, a resource officer and her son’s teacher all watched it happen, Eyolfson said.”

most disappointing? that they yelled out “you just ate moose shit” RIGHT AWAY instead of letting him eat it a little bit. although i suppose i should assume it’s pretty easy to IMMEDIATELY tell the difference between “chocolate-covered almonds” and “mouthful of moose shit” even one bite in. still, come on, guys, let the joke develop!

also, as a true connoisseur of profanity, i LOVE the fact that the CBC News uses the phrase “moose shit” in their article without shame. god bless that Canada!

“When her son ran off to wash out his mouth, a 13-year-old female classmate who didn’t witness the incident was also tricked by the same adults into eating the droppings, Eyolfson said. The girl got it stuck in her braces and was humiliated, said Eyolfson.”

alright, i agree, that’s incredibly awful … but you know, being tricked into eating moose shit is kind of humiliating whether or not said moose shit gets stuck in your braces. especially if you’ve eaten it in public as part of a public joke at your expense. and ESPECIALLY if teachers and parents and the like are all in on this joke.

“Even though it was a parent who played the joke, the staff members are still responsible, said Lord Selkirk School Division superintendent Scott Kwasnitza. “There’s certainly an expectation that they will protect our children and this, this didn’t need to go as far as it did. And the staff should have intervened in a timely fashion,” he said.”

in keeping with my day of intentionally misunderstanding Canadians, i know what he means, but choose to believe the sentiment is “i mean, tricking ONE kid into eating moose shit is funny, but one kid is enough. two kids? too far!”

“Kwasnitza said three staff members have been disciplined, but he wouldn’t reveal the nature of the action taken against them.”

please let it be that they had to eat moose shit in front of children, please let it be that they had to eat moose shit in front of children, please let it be that they had to eat moose shit in front of children…

“An international anti-bullying expert is shocked by the incident.”

yes, but really, is an “international” anti-bullying expert NOT going to be shocked by something like this? plus, what’s her advice?

“Rosalind Wiseman, a Washington-based author on bullying … said the school division should order the staff involved in the incident to take anti-bullying training-“

“a tragic event has happened here in Canada, truly. in order to make this right, i need to be given money so that i can explain to everyone involved why it was wrong of authority figures to trick children into eating moose shit in public!”

okay, let’s wrap this up on a classy note:

wait, so in a story about an incredibly ridiculous crime, THIS is the stock photo they resort to? see, now i get what all those dudes were saying about the effects of corporate money on America

handless man arrested for throwing boulder

wait, what?

“Albuquerque police arrested a man who speaks only Swahili and has no hands on charges of throwing boulders through the windows of a KFC restaurant.
Martin Ventura, a KFC employee, said in a criminal complaint that Koffi Mbairamadji, 46, chased a woman into the restaurant Friday and was then punched by another customer who tried to protect the woman, KOAT-TV, Albuquerque, reported.
Ventura said he believes that’s why the man later returned to allegedly break the windows.
The complaint said Mbairamadji allegedly used his wrists to throw a rock the size of a volleyball through a window and then tossed a brick through the drive-through window, KOAT reported.
“All this glass is all over, and it’s like, ‘What the heck happened?'” Ventura said.
During his arraignment Monday, Mbairamadji said through a translator he was brought to the United States by the United Nations two years ago. There are limited details about who he is or where he’s from, KOAT said.
Police said there were no injuries in the incident.”

so someone threw a volleyball-sized rock into a KFC, and this warrants the arrest of a man who doesn’t speak English AND who doesn’t even have hands? shouldn’t he be the only guy NOT suspected of throwing the rock? although as all true Americans know KFC is awesome, i have to admit a police response of “lock up a foreigner for this heinous crime” is probably appropriate.

but let’s get to my true objection: calling a volleyball-sized rock a “boulder.” is this a) unacceptable or b) outrageous? or maybe both? first, we turn to Wikipedia:

“In geology, a boulder is a rock with grain size of usually no less than 256 mm (10 inches) diameter. While a boulder may be small enough to move or roll manually, others are extremely massive. In common usage, a boulder is too large for a person to move.”

so even if you dismiss the “no less than 10 inches” part on account of the “citation needed,” please note that “common usage” tells us that a boulder is “too large for a person to move” … especially if that person has no hands. and if you don’t dismiss it, well, a volleyball has a mere circumference of 65–67 cm. but that’s just Wikipedia, where any number of anti-internet-news dudes could make it LOOK like this wasn’t a boulder. so let’s turn to Merriam-Webster:

“detached and rounded or much-worn mass of rock”

so, okay, i SUPPOSE this volleyball-sized rock means the exacting standard of “mass of rock,” although i still think we all know this doesn’t pass the smell test that says we all know what’s a boulder and what’s not.

plus, here’s the real point: this story involves the following things WITHOUT getting into the rock specifics:

–a suspect who speaks only Swahili, HAS NO HANDS, and claims “he was brought to the United States by the United Nations,” something that isn’t clarified AT ALL;
–a crime of woman chasing followed by face-punching followed by KFC vandalism;
–a KFC employee who can witness a large rock smashing through a window and then claiming to be CONFUSED AS TO WHAT happened.

THERE IS NO NEED TO TRY AND MAKE IT MORE EXCITING. this is your lesson for the day, random UPI writer.