Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cage Fights: The Answer to Decision ’08?

In no place is a man manlier than when he fights for his life in a cage. You probably know that cage fighting is the new rage in the semi-organized, semi-professional, semi-underground world of fighting, and unless you’ve had your head in a ditch the last few years, you also know that cage fighting is totally awesome. The cage is the great equalizer, the place where all the cheap talk ends and the winner is determined by whoever is the most ruthless, bloodthirsty, and skilled with their fists. In the cage, two enter, only one leaves. A contest doesn’t get simpler than that.

Standing in direct opposition to the glory and terrible spectacle that is the cage fight is some fan-dangled excuse for a decision-maker called an election. In an election, too rich people spend lots of money so lots of other people will vote for them. The “candidates” make wild and impossible promises trying to appease particular sections of the electorate. They spend months adjusting and curtailing their view, only to satisfy what “they” think the majority of people wants. And, when it's over, everyone ends up being pissed off at the person who wins.

I’m in favor of replacing elections with cage fights. I’m sure some of you thought of this after reading the beginning of this entry. I’m positive that you’ll be convinced after I give five compelling reasons for tossing aside the whole election system for the raw, down and dirty brutality that is the cage fight.

(1) Cages fights are cheap. You probably know that candidates in almost any election have to drum up some sort of cash money so they can even begin to run. This has the unwanted effect of excluding many viable and quality candidates, many of which have new and exciting ideas. To be a contender in a cage fight, all you have to do is show up with glass shards glued to your knuckles. That’s a total of $1.59 for the broken glass and the glue. The cage probably costs 100 some odd dollars to rent. And you could pay a Hooter’s waitress to hold a sign. That’s a total of $53.29!!! Do you have any idea what any election costs? Gajillions of dollars my friend. Gajillions.

(2) Cages fights aren’t bogged down by the half-baked commentary of the media. The media commentary on any election is dull and boring, and most of the time delves into irrelevant tangents about some odd thing a candidate allegedly may have done in the past. Half the time reporters don’t even know what they are talking about; they just read the stuff on the jumbo-tron. Reporters also give themselves way too much credit on the effect they think they have on any given election. This would all end with the cage fight. Sure, a reporter could provide some commentary on what she thought would happen or who she thought the winner would be. But in the end the true winner of the contest would be the one who emerges half-dead from the cage.

(3) Cage fights are more exciting than an election. In an election, people stand in line, punch holes in a card, and then are suppose to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In a cage fight, people are packed like sardines next to an old rusty cage and watch two “candidates” have it out in mortal combat. Now, you tell me, which is more exciting? If cage fights replaced elections, we could re-live the glory days of Rome! I’m sure you’ve seen the movie Gladiator. Now, you tell me that show wasn’t totally bitchin’.

(4) In the cage there is truth. Only in a cage fight do you learn what a person’s “real” position is. Candidates in an election only speak half-truths or what they think people want to hear. In no place is a man more honest than when he has his back pressed up against the walls of a rusty cage. Need I say more?

(5) Voters are stupid. I think this reason is pretty obvious. Few brain cells are required to appreciate a cage fight. As for the issues candidates discuss during an election, most people don’t even know what an economy is or what short of international relations the United States has. Even less know that the capitol of this great Country is Rhode Island. Replacing elections with cage fights would solve these problems. Obviously the person who wins the cage fight is the best choice. Right?

Just imagine it! Obama and Clinton in a cage and in a fight to the death. There would be no pulling the race card or talking about women in politics. There would be no discussion as to who is more qualified or capable of answering the phone at 3am. The true winner is the one who emerges from the cage, plain and simple. The winner would then face the geriatric McCain. Then we’d see how vibrant and healthy he really is. Oh yes, friends, cage fights are the elections of the future…

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oprah's Big Fib.

“Why don’t you join a mainstream religion, like Oprahism or Voodoo?” This witty expression is what Professor Farnsworth said to Bender, a robot, after he joined the radical religious sect of Robotology. (From the show Futurama). At first read, one might find this little line amusing. You might even chuckle. In addition to its funniness, I think there’s a subtle and slightly disturbing truth to the line: Oprah mania is running rampant in this country and I don’t think we realize what kind of a problem this might be.

Don’t get me wrong, Oprah is probably a good person. She has worked hard to get where she is today and I think she deserves every bit of her success. I remember back in the mid-90s when her show went head-to-head with the likes of Geraldo Rivera, Phil Donahue, and yes, even the king of smut TV, Jerry Springer. This was the “reality TV” of the pre-reality TV age, and she survived it. Now, she’s pretty much all that remains, and has transformed her show into a money-making empire.

Oprah is everywhere. The great majority of post-menopausal women religiously dedicate 30 minutes a day to watching her show. More time is spent reading her magazine and the books she recommends from month to month. Now, doing this stuff is not all bad. Certainly some people find this entertaining. If that’s your thing, fine.

My big problem with Oprah is that recently she has turned acts of charity and charitable giving into a contest. Again, Oprah’s giving to charity and all her charitable projects are not per se bad; overall people genuinely get the help they need so I guess that’s a good thing. I just remember reading somewhere the following advice: “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them…But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what they right hand doeth, that thine alms may be in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” (See Matt 6: 1-4).

Oprah’s latest show, The Big Give, epitomizes this passage and why turning charitable giving into a contest is wrong. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, the premise is essentially this: A bunch of so-called charitable people were gathered from across the country. From week to week Oprah gives them a charitable task to accomplish, which she, of course, has already organized and endorsed. Throughout the duration of the show the contestants get involved in many wacky and petty, reality-TV induced situations, as they are organizing and preparing the different charitable events. At the end of the show, the contestants are judged, based on their teamwork, their creativity in executing the charitable project, the overall success of the event, and ultimately how “charitable” they were in the project. After each show one contestant is eliminated. None of the contestants supposedly knows it, but the winner of this whole fiasco gets a million dollars…

Does anyone else see a problem with this? This show is essentially the unholy bastard child of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and the Apprentice. Charity, of course, is about giving to others and asking nothing in return. Charity involves giving your time and resources to help out people in need. And obviously we need lots more charity in the world. Charity, however, DOES NOT involve going on a TV show and demonstrating to the world how charitable you are or how creative of a philanthropist you can be. Just like her talk show, Oprah has turned The Big Give into a money making machine. Maybe she’s not necessarily making money for herself, but she is making money for the network producing the show for the gullible masses to lap up from week to week.

Lots of you probably disagree with me on this point, but I don’t care. You probably think I’m a self-righteous jerk for saying what I’ve said, but, again, I don’t care. When someone or something poses as something that is good and wholesome when really it’s not, I feel the need to point out the problem. Nuff’ said.

P.S. Sorry this post is not that funny and potentially offensive. I promise to be funny soon. But as I said in my very first blog post, I’ve dubbed myself the Charles Bronson of the internet, taking my vigilant attitude on the web to make right what’s wrong, and bust a cap in the bloggers who try to make this bloggin’ world their own. Ka-Pow, Sucka!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


This post is dedicated to the Boy Scouts of America, and how that organization almost ruined me forever. Like most lads in this here country, I was involved for a time with the scouting organization, and, for my part, I briefly reaped the benefits of participation. As a Cub Scout, I learned how to build a tool box. I also made bird feeders, flower pots, and other such crafts that were promptly tossed into the trash. I enjoyed it. I even received the coveted “Arrow of Light” award, based on my excellence in Cub Scouting. Things changed, however, when I advanced into the “Scouts,” where my carefree, craft-making days came to an abrupt and traumatizing end…

The primary reason for my downfall, and my eventual self-inflicted expulsion from Scouts, was my complete and utter inability to tie knots. That’s right, knots. My scout leader was a knot Nazi. She knew every knot in existence, even forbidden knots. She loved knots. She dreamt about knots. And, more frequently than I would like to remember, she scowled me bitterly for my knot-tying ineptitude. The first three months of my Scouting experience were filled with knot tying activities, giant alligator tears, and tender little fingers.

So I quit, and applied myself to other self-improving activities. I dedicated myself to the science of fireworks. I refined my ability to shoot furry creatures with my BB-gun. I learned to the do’s and don’ts of off-roading in my parent’s Chevy Malibu. And, most importantly, I learned the mysteries of love…

I think the Boy Scout program is a waste of time. A great support to my position is the heralded classic of American cinema called Red Dawn. This movie portrays a hypothetical situation, set in the mid-80s, where Communists invade and conquer the United States. The film details the story of a few high school students who ran to the hills amid the confusion of the invasion. After much time, they start to mount a gorilla campaign against their aggressors. Don’t get me wrong, the kids in the movie should be commended for their bravery, diligence, and love of freedom. The only problem is that things would have gone much better if they’d learned some useful skills in Boy Scouts.

I have to point out that all of the kids in the movie were Boy Scouts, some of which even achieved the rank of “Eagle” Scout, a rank for only the best and brighest, and those who couldn't get a date. Their Scouting skills left them wanting, however, when their retaliatory campaign began. None of them knew how to prepare effective fields of fire, or dress shrapnel wounds, or clean and maintain salvaged AK 47s. Nor did any of them know the weak points of the T-55 main battle tank or how to safely throw pineapple grenades. These kids had to learn to fight through trial and error, and, regrettably, many of them didn’t learn from their mistakes in the field.

The Boy Scouts should teach kids the tactics and principles of gorilla warfare, so they can protect our Country from pending Communists invasions. To this day I feel short-changed, knowing that Scouts could have taught me so much more. I often sleep restlessly at night. I worry about what I would ever do if a Russian storm trooper parachuted into my front yard. What would I do? Tie a square knot and throw it at him? Oh the things I could have learned…

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Romantic Capitalism

This post is about the so-called romantic comedy and how 98.327% of them are total crap. Most Americans, as I alluded to in an earlier post, seem to have pretty low standards when it comes to entertainment. Our culture is so soaked with cheap thrills and excitement that when we actually have the time to enjoy a movie we regrettably tend to pick films that were written by Hollywood drunks trying to make a quick score.

All romantic comedies follow the same formula, which could be described in the following manner:

1) Guy and girl meet.

2) Guy or girl says: “Hey, I’m guy/girl. I have this job / political view / abnormality / [insert characteristic here] that makes me different from you. I might also have a secret. You want to hook up?"

3) Guy or girl responds: “Hello, guy/girl. Sure. Can we make out / get it on after a couple of dates and/or minutes?”

4) Guy and girl go out.

5) Wackyness ensues.

6) Wackyness ensues.

7) Wackyness ensues…

8) Eventually guy and/or girl have a problem, seemingly insurmountable and irresolvable.

9) Musical Montage.

10) Musical Montage…guy and/girl are shown, deep in thought, crying, pensively considering the problem.

11) Guy and/or girl confronts guy and/or girl regarding the problem, either at the airport, or a sporting event, or some other unusual or uncomfortable place.

12) Guy and/or girl somehow resolve issue. They are deep in love after 4.5 days.

13) The movie ends.

14) Two-thirds of the men in the audience vomit.

15) Some Hollywood drunk makes 30+ million dollars.

Sadly, much to my chagrin, the fairer of the sexes is lured into the romantic comedy trap more easily than us dudes. To keep peace at home, and to maintain the sometimes fragile equilibrium of the relationship and/or marriage, I have devised a short list of films, in no particular order, that us guys could watch, but only if absolutely necessary.

1) Sleepless in Seattle: This film perhaps set the standard for romantic comedies; therefore, it’s not as terrible as most. Moreover, this film makes references to the Dirty Dozen and the Godfather, two of the manliest films ever made.

2) Fever Pitch: This film has some mildly amusing moments. I’m not exactly sure why this one is on the list. I think it’s because I was “rewarded” after the movie was over.

3) The Wedding Singer / Fifty First Dates: I lumped these films together, just because Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore appear in both. Adam Sandler has his mildly funny moments, hence why these films are included. Again, I believe something “good” happened to me after I watched these movies.

4) Love Actually: I have never seen this film all the way through, only parts on TV. It’s a British film and therefore employs subtle British Humor. It has some funny moments. I have yet to be “rewarded” for watching this film…

5) Whatever romantic comedy gets you some… “action”: Every once in a while, and hopefully only once in a while, us guys may have to bite the bullet. Only do so, brethren, when there is “something” in it for you, or when you’d rather not sleep on the couch.

Well, that’s it for now. May the guises of romantic capitalism swiftly pass you by.