It, The Movie

The source of humanity’s irrational fear of clowns is being remade. On September 8th, Stephen King’s classic coming-of-age/psycho-murderer-clown tale will hit the silver screen. And I, despite hating remakes and unnecessary sequels, couldn’t be more excited. The original, mini-series version was enough to haunt my childhood (and adulthood) and with modern film making capabilities, and the talented screenwriting of Cary Fukanaga (True Detective) (season 1) (not the convoluted, disastrous season 2) it’s going to be a nightmare. In the best kind of way.

It takes a special kind of film to be legitimately scary. A decent horror movie will have you shaken in the theater, like The Conjuring” A good horror movie will linger under your bed and in the darkest shadows of your room, like The Witch. A great horror movie will bury itself under your skin. It will eat away at you, and make you fear not just the film, but fear itself. Then there’s the films that go beyond that.

But what is it about “It” that transcends the genre and positions itself with the likes of films like Rosemary’s Baby, and The Step Father? To be sure, It’s not the jump scares and the obscene violence. It’s the razor-sharp allegory that the story tells in the most horrifying and spectacular way. While those other films were so deeply unsettling, that they had me fearing members of my own family and looking over my shoulder in broad daylight, It does something that even they couldn’t do.

Sure, It will get under your skin and have you whimpering at the sight of a red balloon, or a sewer grate, but what separates It from the bunch is that the story is an overtly positive allegory wrapped in a terrific, blood-soaked package.

I submit that underneath the violence, the macabre, and the sheer horror of the narrative, It is a masterful anti-bullying allegory. But, before you accept or reject my theory out of hand, let’s take a closer look.

First, let’s look at the bullies themselves. Bullying, in real life, is typically used as a means of establishing power. By beating others into the literal, or figurative, ground, the bully’s social status climbs. It makes them scarier in many ways to the victims and even the observers. And fear is an effective, maybe the most effective, form of power. Bullies prey on fear. The scarier a bully seems to a victim, the more power they have over them.

Now, let’s look at Pennywise, the killer-clown from the story. Pennywise is simply the manifestation of the fear that bullying creates. He preys on children, and not just any children, the one’s in the self-proclaimed “losers club”. These kids are already fearful, and lack self-esteem and, just like a real-live bully, he feasts on this fear for his own power. He finds out what each child is most afraid of and can literally become the living version of that fear. And as the children’s fear grows, Pennywise grows stronger.

But that’s not all. Much like real-life bullying, the murders and attacks in the story happen, practically, in plain view of adults and bystanders, who are either oblivious, or refuse to help. In the story, dozens of children go missing over the years, and no one seems to be doing anything. In real-life bullying, countless children are victimized, and yet no one seems to be doing anything. One big reason is that bullying has a slippery definition. It takes many shapes and sizes. Kind of like, oh I don’t know, a shape-shifting killer clown?

But if you’re still not convinced of my interpretation, let’s look at the victims some more.

In real life, the easiest targets for bullies are perceived as weak, or have some characteristic that makes them different and isolates them from the group. A bully will find what the person dislikes most about themselves and use it against them. The more obvious the insecurity, the easier the prey. In the story, It is able to identify the greatest fears of each of his victims and become the physical form that fear takes.

Now, let’s look at the children in the story. The Losers Club.  In the club, there’s a stutterer, an asthmatic, a fat kid, a poor girl, and the minorities: the black kid and the Jewish kid. Each of these kids is isolated in the community and each is a victim of the literal town-bully, Henry Bowers, who, predictably, has an abusive alcoholic father. They are all traumatically bullied by Henry and his gang of followers, and it’s here that the fear It preys on finds its way in.

The victims, of course, represent the people in real-life who share their feelings of isolation. In real-life, these people are picked on by individual bullies, entire groups, and even systematically cast out of society. In the film, the characters are picked on by a metaphorical killer-clown.

So, we found parallels between It and the characteristics and methodology of real-life bullies. The instinct to prey on the weak or downtrodden. The use of fear as a source of power. The fluid and indefinable form that the bullying takes.

Then, we found parallels between the characteristics of the victims of It in the story, and the victims of bullies in real life. But again, if that’s still not enough to validate the metaphor, let’s look at some similarities between the long-term effects of bullying and the long-term effects of being tormented by a shapeshifting demon-clown.

Victims of severe childhood bullying, suffer the repercussions well into adulthood. With their self-esteem tragically stunted, some find themselves in abusive relationships, some turn to substance abuse, and some even turn to suicide as a means of coping. It’s also common for them to project their own history of abuse and bullying onto their kids, or people that they perceive as weaker. (See Henry Bowers, the town bully with the abusive father)

These aspects of bullying are covered in the story by the timeline shift to the children’s adulthood. In the story, some have turned to suicide, like Stan who despite being the most skeptical, kills himself out of fear of returning to his home town. Others find themselves in their own abusive relationships, like Bev, who is married to the physically and sexually abusive, Tom Rogen. But It also touches on a totally different, and more difficult to define, repercussion of childhood bullying.

Most of the grown children pretend that It never happened, or that it wasn’t as bad as they remember. This seems crazy at first glance, because I think most people would vividly remember, and appropriately weigh the seriousness of their brother getting his arm ripped off by a sewer-dwelling clown. But, taken as an allegory for bullying, it doesn’t seem so ridiculous. Victims of extreme physical abuse and rape will sometimes repress their memories and look back on them thinking they had overreacted or misinterpreted the situation.

This conversation is one-way, so I get to assume you see the metaphor now, even if you don’t.

But, I said this was a positive movie. So, what solution does the story offer us? What is the real message? What is the positive?

There are several lessons to be learned from “It” that can be applied to both bullying and demon-clown sightings.

The first is that it’s important to act immediately. Since bullies both create, and feed on fear, it’s important to stop it before it starts. Before the bully gets too strong, and the bullied too weak. In the story, the children have all been haunted individually by Pennywise for years, but do nothing to stop it until it’s too late. Luckily, we get to learn from their misfortune. However, applying this in real life is difficult. The problem is that, as I previously stated, bullying is hard to identify and define. In the story, it isn’t until the children meet and realize that they are all suffering from the same thing, that they are even able to give It a name. Identifying and labeling the problem is the hardest part. But once they do, the characters are able to move on to the next step, or lesson, that we learn from the story. And the next step in defeating a bully.

Showing strength. There is, of course, strength in numbers. And once the kids realize they are not alone, they are able to assert themselves and stand up to their bully.  They realize that the less afraid they are, the less power It has over them. There is a smaller hole for the fear to creep in which makes them a harder target. They are no longer weak, which makes It no longer strong.

On the surface, It is a creepy bloodbath of a clown-slasher-film. But when we look deeper. When we look beneath the surface and into the sewer system of the film (if you will) we see something greater. We see a brave and powerful message to bullies. We see a huge step forward in the awareness of bullying and the dangers of ignoring it. We see the true strength and courage that exists in all of us when we work together, rather than stepping on the weak.

Or maybe you just like horror movies.

Either way, go check out Andrés Muschietti’s remake of It. In theaters September 8th.

A Transcript from the 2020 Presidential Debate

Cooper: Good evening. I’m Anderson Cooper of CNN, which i’m now obligated by law to say is fake news. We would like to welcome you to University of Phoenix for the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and seventeen-time world wrestling champion Dwayne ‘the rock’ Johnson. Tonight’s debate will be a town hall format which gives voters the chance to ask the candidates questions directly. Both candidates will have two minutes to answer each question. We would like to ask that— you know what? F** it. Clearly the whole world has lost its damn mind, so do whatever the hell you want. Here are your candidates. President Trump, the first question is directed to you and comes from Gina Franklin. Gina?

Franklin: Thank you. These last four years have been defined by political distrust, impropriety and turmoil. How do you plan to fix that during your presidency.

Trump: So, let me say this, let me tell you first of all, these questions are supposed to be unbiased and clearly this is a person who watches fake news and buys in to the liberal agenda, who doesn’t support the truth. Let me ask you this. Where do you get your news from, Gina?

Cooper: Mr. Trump, please just ans—

Trump: I’ll tell you, you see what I’m saying? She probably watches CNN. My answer to your question, which I shouldn’t even have to be answering, but I will anyway, is that the last four years have been a tremendous success. We have solved the crisis in the Middle East, we have ISIS on their heels, we have more jobs here in the United States than we ever did under the Obama administration, health care prices have dropped astronomically and we have begun construction on the wall. So when you ask me about political turmoil, I see that as nothing but words, when I have provided tremendous actions with huge results.

Cooper: To be clear, Mr. Trump, the crisis in the Middle East is far from solved, there have been no documented changes in ISIS activity and fewer than 60% of American citizens are able to afford health insurance.

Trump: Here we go again, Anderson. Why don’t we let my opponent, who has no political experience answer that question?

Cooper: (taking pull from fifth of Jack Daniels) Sure. Go ahead, The Rock.

Johnson: First of all, Gina, that is just an awesome question. Thank you guys all so much for the support you’ve shown me. As president, I will make it my job to listen to the American people, and do everything in my power to T.C.O.B. that’s take care of business. I’m a guy who busts his ass early in the morning working out everyday, and I’ll bring a new energy and new positive vibes to the white house. These last four years you’ve had leadership that’s lied to you, that’s ignored you that’s—

Trump: NO.

Johnson: —That’s spread hate.

Trump: NO.

Johnson: And the American people—

Trump: Wrong.

Johnson: (raises eyebrow at Donald Trump) —And the American People deserve a leader that can be honest and can be held responsible for his actions. Less talkin’ more rockin’. (Finger guns)

Cooper: Thank you… The Rock. Our next question comes from Steve Conan. Go ahead Steve.

Conan: America is completely divided on almost every issue and this has been a catalyst for hateful rhetoric, violent protests, and even racism. How will you solve these issues, and unite us once again?

Cooper: The Rock, you may answer this one first.

Johnson: Steve, once again, awesome question, you really look like you work out, by the way. While my opponent grew up rich and inherited money from his father, I grew up poor and worked my way to the top. I have been a registered republican, and I have voted democrat. My allegiance isn’t with one party, but with the people. I’m literally made of the people, look. This is the people’s eyebrow. This is the people’s elbow. I, Kevin, am the people’s champ. Look at my opponent, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he looks like a big fat bowl of Fruity Pebbles.

Cooper: (spit takes Jack Daniels)

Johnson: What the people need is a strong leader. And who is stronger than me?

Trump: Can I talk now? Can I? Anderson, Can I?

Cooper: (loosening tie) Yep, we can’t wait.

Trump: When my opponent claims, that he will solve this violence that is plaguing the American people, who I love more than he does, he is lying to you. He says he doesn’t stand for hate, but this is a man who made his living off of violence. He is a professional wrestler, do you know what that means? That means that him and another man, and sometimes even a woman, will fight, and this is all true, you can quote me on this, they will fight in a ring in front of a crowd and he gets paid for it. Is that the message you want to send your children? That it’s okay to hit and to kick and to do the People’s Elbow? And do you know what else he’s not telling you? I know this because I have the top people briefing me, he want’s you to think that his wrestling is real, but in reality, and I’m not making this up, it’s not real. He’s acting, or more accurately, lying to each and every one of you. Is that the man you want leading a country that is, as Marvin said, divided? I don’t think so. SAD.

Cooper: So… should I? Or do you want to?

Johnson: I’ll take this one, Anderson. President Trump. Are you under the impression that educated American citizens believe—

Trump: And I’ll tell you what else. He claims to be this strong leader. But ask any top scientist, and I don’t mean fake, liberal, scientist. But ask any real, top scientist and he’ll tell you the human body is like a battery and exercising, as much as this man does, is-just-is-you- It’s-just-it’s bad for you. You wan’t a president who’s going in for knee surgery after every time he travels  because he drained his body? No.

Johnson: So you think you’re stronger than me?

Trump: I know, I’m stronger than you. I’m smarter than you. I’m more successful than you. And I’m a better president than you. Ask everyone.

Cooper: For the record, you had one of the lowest approval ratings of any president, and Mr. Johnson, please keep your shirt on, I feel like I shouldn’t need to say that.

Johnson: (now in slacks and wife beater) Cooper, you better ask the next question before I pound this Jabroni.

Cooper: Great idea. This next question comes from Dan Carlson. Go ahead Dan.

Johnson: Actually, Coop, I have my own question.

Cooper: This isn’t the time for questions—

Johnson: And this question doesn’t concern Gina Franklin. It doesn’t concern Steve Conan.

Cooper: Mr. Johnson, please, you are slowing down the debate.

Trump: See, you let him keep talking but you cut me off, you owe the American People an apology. Losing—

Johnson: And this question doesn’t concern Anderson Cooper, and it doesn’t concern Dan Carlson. This is a question for you, Donald Trump. (rips microphone from podium) IF YOU SMELL-EL-EL-EL-L-L-L!!—

Cooper: Oh please God no.

Johnson: WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN’!? (Rips slacks off, revealing wrestling speedo underneath.)

(Johnson runs across stage and clotheslines President Trump. Secret Service rush the stage. Johnson begins hitting them with metal chair, while simultaneously stomping the ground to create the sound effect. Trump comes up behind him and hits him with a microphone. The blow does nothing but anger Johnson who grabs President Trump, inverts him, and pile-drives him through a folding table that no one had noticed on the stage. Anderson Cooper downs the rest of his fifth of whiskey and throws it into the crowd. Johnson, begins throwing elbow pads into the crowd. The crowd cheers for the people’s elbow. Johnson elbow drops President Trump on the stage.)

Cooper: There you have it folks (slurring his words). We’ll see you on October 10th, at the University of Michigan in Flint for the second presidential debate.

Creep, Directed by Patrick Brice

What is it that makes a horror movie great? Is it masked villains and gallons of blood, like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Is it crafty allegorical storytelling, like It Follows or The Babadook? Is it shocking twists that hide in plain sight, like The Others or The Sixth Sense? While all of these have their merits in the genre, for me, there is one device that sets a horror movie apart from the rest. The insidious overwhelming feeling of dread.

Two of my favorite horror movies are Rosemary’s Baby and The Blair Witch Project. What those two films masterfully create is the relatable, yet horrifying, feeling that something is very, very wrong. While jump scares, ghosts, and monsters do their part in the moment, for me it’s the slow-burning psychological horror that gets under my skin and keeps me up at night. Creep, directed by Patrick Brice, proves that once again, great acting and an undeniable sense of dread are a recipe for a successful thriller.

Creep has a simple enough plot. Aaron (Patrick Brice), a videographer responds to a Craigslist ad offering $1,000 for one day’s work, with the caveat of discretion. Aaron meets the ad’s poster, Josef (Mark Duplass), in a remote cabin, where he explains the video project. The idea is that Josef has been diagnosed with some kind of terminal cancer and is making a video to leave behind to his unborn son.

From our very first encounter with Josef it is clear that something is off. Rather than meeting Aaron at the door, Josef sneaks around and pops up suddenly outside of his car window. Throughout the day, Josef keeps pulling these little ‘run away and then jump out and say boo’ stunts. What you might be thinking is, “didn’t he just say this movie wasn’t about jump scares?”, but here’s why it works.

Director Patrick Brice, uses all the horror movie advantages that come with found footage (the narrow perspective, the breathless shaky camera work, the immersive feeling of being in the scene), but it’s not the manipulative camera work that make the jump scares uniquely successful. It’s the self-awareness and believability of the character. It’s not the film scaring the audience, it’s Josef scaring Aaron. We know why a film would want you to jump when it says boo, but why does Josef?

As the plot unfolds, Josef’s behavior becomes increasingly more bizarre and unsettling. This includes, but is not limited to, pretending to take a bath with his unborn child on camera, donning a wildly creepy wolf-mask, named Peach Fuzz, and drastically and disturbingly overselling the two men’s friendship in a stalker/stage-five clinger, sort of a way.

I won’t delve into the details of the plot too much, but the main tension in the film is whether Josef is simply a strange, lonely man awkwardly and desperately trying to find a friend, or if he’s something much more sinister. The film deftly balances this tension right up until the very last scene.

Creep is as much a character study as it is a thriller. With only two actors, it has a small and personal feel, and is able to pull off a lot with what appears to be a limited budget. My only complaint with the film is the protagonist Aaron (Brice), seems to be somewhat of an incomplete character, who has only a few moments where he comes to life. In fact, everything interesting about the character is bluntly pointed out by Josef in the film’s final minutes. Fortunately, Duplass (The League, Safety Not Guaranteed) is able to carry the load.

Duplass gives the performance of his career (so far) by taking your typical horror-movie-creep, and turning the character into someone as complex and interesting as Norman Bates. Josef, if that is his real name, is a character as outlandish as he is duplicitous, as he is sympathetic. A performance you won’t soon forget.

Will Creep go down in history as one of the greats in the horror genre? I doubt it. But, it offers the unique experience of being darkly humorous, strangely relatable, and deeply disturbing, and had me nervously laughing while I watched through splayed fingers, through all 77 minutes.

Creep is currently available to stream on Netflix.

 

 

 

Films of the 21st Century

Top 25 films of the 21st century:

  1. In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)
  2. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  3. The Social Network (David Fincher)
  4. Inglorious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
  5. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro)
  6. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich)
  7. No Country For Old Men (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
  8. Adventureland (Greg Mottola)
  9. Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton)
  10. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
  11. Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
  12. Lucky Number Slevin (Paul McGuigan)
  13. The Lord of the Rings (Peter Jackson)
  14. Inside Out (Pete Docter)
  15. Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott)
  16. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton)
  17. City of God (Fernando Meirelles)
  18. Memento (Christopher Nolan)
  19. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón)
  20. Superbad (Greg Mottola)
  21. Gladiator (Ridley Scott)
  22. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
  23. Ex Machina (Alex Garland)
  24. 3:10 To Yuma (James Mangold)
  25. Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn)

Top films of the 21st century Honorable Mention:

  • Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki)
  • The Departed (Martin Scorsese)
  • The Town (Ben Affleck)
  • The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)
  • Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)
  • The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
  • Seven Psychopaths (Martin McDonagh)
  • Avatar (James Cameron)
  • The Big Short (Adam McKay)
  • Inside Man (Spike Lee)
  • Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie)

 

Top 10 Comedy Films of the 21st century:

  1. Adventureland (Greg Mottola)
  2. Superbad (Greg Mottola)
  3. Knocked Up (Judd Apatow)
  4. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
  5. Sideways (Alexander Payne)
  6. Seven Psychopaths (Martin McDonagh)
  7. Juno (Jason Reitman)
  8. The Wolf of Wallstreet (Martin Scorsese)
  9. Mean Girls (Mark Waters)
  10. Nebraska (Alexander Payne)

Top 10 Horror Films of the 21st century:

  1. Let the Right One in (Tomas Alfredson)
  2. The Witch (Robert Eggers)
  3. The Babadook (Jennifer Kent)
  4. Paranormal Activity 3 (Ariel Schulman)
  5. The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard)
  6. The Others (Alejandro Amenábar)
  7. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell)
  8. The Mist (Frank Darabont)
  9. American Psycho (Mary Harron)
  10. Saw (James Wan)

Top 10 films of the 21st century that I Could Watch Over and Over Again:

  1. The Social Network (David Fincher)
  2. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Brad Bird)
  3. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
  4. Seven Psychopaths (Martin McDonagh)
  5. Superbad (Greg Mottola)
  6. Chef (Jon Favreau)
  7. Troy (Wolfgang Peterson)
  8. Mean Girls (Mark Waters)
  9. Knocked Up (Judd Apatow)
  10. 8 Mile (Curtis Hanson)

Top 10 Romance Films of the 21st century:

  1. Adventureland (Greg Mottola)
  2. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
  3. Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russel)
  4. Brooklyn (John Crowley)
  5. Juno (Jason Reitman)
  6. Her (Spike Jonze)
  7. 500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb)
  8. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
  9. The Spectacular Now (James Ponsoldt)
  10. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)

Top 10 Sports Films  of the 21st century:

  1. Friday Night Lights (Peter Berg)
  2. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)
  3. Moneyball (Bennett Miller)
  4. Lords of Dogtown (Catherine Hardwicke)
  5. Warrior (Gavin O’Connor)
  6. Creed (Ryan Coogler)
  7. Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood
  8. Fighter (David O. Russell)
  9. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller)
  10. Hardball (Brian Robbins)

Top 10 Animated Films  of the 21st century:

  1. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich)
  2. Inside out (Pete Docter)
  3. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton)
  4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki)
  5. Shrek (Vicky Jenson, Andrew Adamson)
  6. Up (Pete Docter, Bob Peterson)
  7. Wall-E (Andrew Stanton)
  8. Zootopia (Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush)
  9. Monsters, Inc. (Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, David Silverman)
  10. The Incredibles (Brad Bird)

Top 10 War Films  of the 21st century:

  1. Inglorious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
  2. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro)
  3. Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott)
  4. American Sniper (Clint Eastwood)
  5. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
  6. Enemy at the Gates (Jean-Jacques Annaud)
  7. Troy (Wolfgang Peterson)
  8. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow)
  9. The Pianist (Roman Polanski)
  10. Beasts Of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga)

Top 10 Music Films of the 21st century:

  1. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)
  2. Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
  3. Crazy Heart (Scott Cooper)
  4. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle)
  5. 8 Mile (Curtis Hanson)
  6. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
  7. Straight Outta Compton (F. Gary Gray)
  8. Walk The Line (James Mangold)
  9. School of Rock (Richard Linklater)
  10. Ray (Taylor Hackford)

Top 10 Science Fiction Films of the 21st century:

  1. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón)
  2. Ex Machina (Alex Garland)
  3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry)
  4. Avatar (James Cameron)
  5. Minority Report (Steven Spielberg)
  6. The Martian (Ridley Scott)
  7. Source Code (Duncan Jones)
  8. 28 Days later (Danny Boyle)
  9. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)
  10. Signs (M. Night Shyamalan)

Top 5 Found Footage films of the 21st century:

  1. End of Watch (David Ayer)
  2. Cloverfield (Matt Reeves)
  3. Paranormal Activity 3 (Ariel Schulman)
  4. Chronicle (Josh Trank)
  5. Paranormal Activity (Ariel Schulman)

Top 10 Hidden Gems of the 21st century:

  1. Adventureland (Greg Mottola)
  2. Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton)
  3. Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
  4. Chef (Jon Favreau)
  5. Safety Not Guaranteed (Colin Trevorrow)
  6. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
  7. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (Macon Blair)
  8. Punch Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  9.  The Spectacular Now (James Ponsoldt)
  10. Stranger than Fiction (Marc Forster)

Top 10 Obscene-Budget-Action-Explosion-Pump-Up Guilty Pleasure films of the 21st century:

  1. Inception (Christopher Nolan)
  2. Apocalypto (Mel Gibson)
  3. Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol (Brad Bird)
  4. Crank (Brian Taylor)
  5. Furious 7 (James Wan)
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gun)
  7. Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro)
  8. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
  9. Kill Bill (Quentin Tarantino)
  10. John Wick (Chad Stahelski, David Leitch)

An unjust world

Have you ever heard the expression, “If life is fair, then why do roses have thorns?”

Well, I have. I also think that as far as the injustices go, roses having thorns is pretty unimportant.

First of all, roses don’t have thorns because life is unfair. They have thorns because the first roses with thorns were protected from predators which allowed them to survive and pass on the “thorn trait” to the next generation of roses, who passed it on to the next, and blah, blah, evolutionary, blah.

But don’t get me wrong. I believe the world we live in has more than its fair share of things that are unjust, unfair or just plain wrong. Here’s a list of some true injustices:

  • Separating darks and lights while doing  laundry is racist and promotes segregation and unfair biases.
  • People are totally diggin’ sand all day and night, but then, when people finally take sand home with them, they treat it like garbage.
  • Leaving a little bit of milk in the carton so that the next person can have some is a selfless act of generosity and yet it is never appreciated.
  • A girl can say “I only like tall guys” and that’s cool. But, if I say “I only fly first class” then I go broke.
  • We have no problem giving people, who already have food, a bite of our food. But when an ant, who has no food, wants a bite we fucking murder them.
  •  Just because bees are an essential part of the environment, we have to protect them, even though they are dicks, and they are willing to kill themselves in order to inflict a small amount of pain on innocent people. Yet, 10,000 years ago, there were peaceful elephant-sized sloths and humans hunted them to extinction without anyone saying ‘boo’.
  • We have the right to bear arms but not the right to arm bears… Although, on second thought, maybe that’s a good thing.
  • People always say, we should leave a better world for the generations after us, but the people before us managed to evolve from primates. Then they let themselves go generation, after generation, and now primates can beat the shit out of humans, are way better at climbing trees, and have way less debt from student loans.
  • Gangsters can wear Loony Toons shirts and look cool and I can’t even dress nice and look cool.
  • Weathermen, politicians and Siri are allowed to constantly be wrong and answer questions that are different than the one that was asked, and no one really thinks twice. But, if I do that, even only 1/4th of the time,  I get a C on my exam or get fired from my job.
  • You need a license to drive a car, but you don’t need a license to tell people that spiders can crawl in your mouth when you are sleeping.

This Just In

If movies could be summarized in one newspaper headline…

 

**possible spoilers**

The Dark Knight:

Billionaire dresses up as bat; beats up clown.

Psycho:

B&B owner/Momma’s boy linked to dozens of missing persons.

Signs:

Extraterrestrials invade planet that is 70% water despite being allergic to water.

Whiplash:

Rude music teacher ruins concert

There Will Be Blood:

Ambitious prospector strikes oil; drinks local preacher’s milkshake.

American Beauty: 

Gay murderer’s son films plastic bag

Citizen Kane:

Newspaper tycoon owned sled as child

Requiem for a Dream:

Three teens do heroin; ruin everyone’s weekend.

Gran Torino:

Local racist befriends car thief.

A Beautiful Mind:

Schizo reforms game theory.

The Sixth Sense:

Dead psychologist councils local medium.

12 Years a Slave:

“150 years later, slavery is still bad” experts report.

The Lord of the Rings: 

Midget walks barefoot across continent; throws jewelry into volcano.

The Shawshank Redemption:

Interview with escaped convict reports, “Prison not so bad. I’m besties with Morgan Freeman.”

 

Boys and Girls

I’m sure that all of you have read numerous blog posts about the differences between men and women. I think we can all agree that the differences between us are far more complex than the presence or absence of a Y chromosome. The real issue here, and I am aware of how potentially offensive this may be, is which gender is better. I think this is an important thing to discuss. We watch the olympics to certify our athletic dominance over every other country. Don’t you think it would be upsetting to watch the olympics only to be told that although USA’s basketball team crushed Japan 120-56, the real difference was between the countries’ cultures? I sure do.

Let’s be clear. Because I am a man… not the manliest of men by any means, but a man nonetheless, some people might think there are some personal biases in my scoring system. That is 100% true. Everything I am about to say could be considered sexist, prejudice, misogynistic, maybe even demonizing (just learned that word today), or downright unfair. But guess what? This issue needs to be settled, so I don’t care.

Anyways,  I will be evaluating each gender on their ability to perform in a number of categories. These categories are not meant to favor any gender in particular, although in some cases, one is just better than the other. We will start, as most critical debates do, with drinking.

*Disclaimer* Nothing I write for the duration of this post will be politically correct. It is written with the intention of being humorous and entertaining, not to offend or to belittle anybody. I am hesitant to even post it, but I think all of us are mature enough to be able to laugh at ourselves once in awhile. Anyways, please don’t hate me.

Drinking:  Its no secret that men can drink more than women, at least in volume. In addition to being larger and more able to consume liquid in mass quantities, men are cursed with hubris and can easily convince themselves that they can/should drink their body weight in beer. This makes it so men will drink more than women whether they are able to or not. The hubris factor will also result in a few fights, and some unprecedented philandering.

On the other hand, a woman’s drinking ability can be evaluated on a curve. The origin of the curve would start at the first drink. A woman will be careful and have a map of their entire evening drawn out in their mind. If we are graphing, the coordinates of that first drink are (0,0). The next notable coordinate would be (3,3). That’s three drinks, three significant events. This is also the point where the curve  should stop, because after this, well…. shit rolls downhill.  At (6,6) the girl will have minor alcohol poisoning, have lost her best friend and have interviewed at least two candidates for a new best friend. At (8,8) it’s time to confiscate the cell phone, call a cab and call in sick the next day.

Boys 1. Girls 0. 

Locker Rooms:

I’ll wrap this one up quickly. Women’s locker rooms are full of naked pillow fights and girls helping other girls apply soap to the unreachable areas of their backs. I think we can all agree that that is 100% true.

Men’s locker rooms, on the other hand, are full of old men, who are way too comfortable in their skin, walking around naked, blow-drying their junk and invading the personal space of teenagers who are facing the wall and changing with their eyes closed.

Boys 1. Girls 1. 

Bathrooms: 

This one may come as a surprise to a lot of people… but not to those who have worked in the service industry. Although men are far more vocal about their bowel movements and restroom experiences, the girls’ restroom is just down right disgusting. The worst you will find in the men’s room is an un-flushed #2 and maybe the remnants of some bad aim, while in a girls bathroom you might just find every single bodily fluid… ever.

Boys 2. Girls 1. 

Sports:

I’m talking about actual sports, not sailing, cheer leading, air-hockey, baton twirling, fishing, and especially not dance. I will also begin by disputing the whole, “Dance is a sport” submission. Girls say that dance is a sport because it is hard and a lot of guys could not do it. This is true. Through a series of unfortunate events, I was forced to participate in a dance line routine, and it was quite difficult. However, the difficulty of a task does not determine it’s status as a sport. Calculus, throwing a tic-tac into a water bottle from 100 feet away, and  doing 1,000 push ups are also very difficult activities, and a lot of guys probably couldn’t do it, but the fact remains… they are not sports.

Here’s the deal… Men are better at sports. You might think I’m bias and that’s fine, but let’s compare the best NBA player to the best WMBA player. Let’s compare the best MLB player to the best softball player. Let’s compare the best NHL player to the best women’s hockey player. Let’s compare the best NFL player to the best… oh wait…

Boys 3. Girls 1. 

Outward Sexuality:

This has nothing to do with sexual orientation. This is simply a matter of observation. Let’s compare the attributes of the male physique to that of the female. Men’s bodies are hard and hairy and full of tan lines and ingrown hairs. When men work hard they stink of body odor, and to top it all of, they have hairy butts.

The female physique is soft and curvy. Elegant and graceful. Smooth and hairless (typically). When women work hard their faces turn flushed and omit a warm glow… and in the words of my own girlfriend, “Girl’s have boobs.”

Boys 3. Girls 2. 

Dating:

Once in a relationship, men and women behave quite differently. A man’s strengths in a relationship are typically his loyalty and willingness to stand up for his girlfriend. A “good boyfriend” will do whatever it takes to please his girlfriend and do whatever it takes to avoid letting her down. The only problem is that they fail miserably. Despite admirable attempts to listen, take hints, and be caring and thoughtful, we just kind of suck at all of those things.

Women’s weaknesses in a relationship come from their lofty expectations, passive-aggressive war tactics, and cryptic forms of communication. However, their strengths lie in the fact that they get to set the expectations, they are incapable of losing arguments, and ability to control their boyfriend’s actions by withholding sexy-time.

Boys 3. Girls 3. 

The Bible: 

Sorry ladies, but men kind of dominate this category. We got Jesus. We got Moses. We got Noah! We got Adam!! We got Abraham!!! We got all twelve disciples… Beeeyaaahhh!!!!

The girls counter with an MVP worthy performance by The Virgin Mary and a noteworthy showing from Eve, but they sadly come up short. Plus, we all know who sinned first… amiright?

Boys 4. Girls 3. 

Handwriting: 

Girls, with the exception of college professors, have impeccable handwriting. Men on the other hand have abysmal handwriting. Even in the increasingly paperless world we live in, people still have to write things down. In a classroom setting, a female student will be able to look back at her lecture notes and even share her notes with other classmates. Her male counterpart, will perhaps be able to look back at his own notes and read them, but when it comes time to share he will spend most of the time clarifying what he wrote. Example: “Is that a Q or an A?” “Is this a 0 or an 8?” “Is this word dividend or a drawing of a dog eating a candy cane?”

Boys 4. Girls 4. 

Cage Fighting:

Whoa… didn’t expect this to be a category did ya? But bear with me, it illustrates a point. Men are given a clear physical advantage in the “cage fighting” category. They are bigger, stronger, faster and typically more competitive. In a society where winners and losers were determined by the outcome and nothing more, men would dominate this category. But sadly we don’t live in a society like that.

Women gain their advantage in cage fighting by creating an unwinnable contest for their male opponents. If a man wins a cage fight against a woman, it does not make him look good. In fact, it makes him look quite despicable in the eyes of his peers because only a jerk would beat the crap out of a girl. And, if a woman beats a man in a cage fight, she is a hero in the eyes of her peers and has succeeded in publicly shaming her opponent. Therefor, a cage fight between a man and woman, presents a lose-lose outcome for men and a win-win outcome for women.

Boys 4. Girls 5. 

Manual Labor:

Typically, it is the men who do the majority of the manual labor. We lift the heavy stuff. We fix the fences. We build sheds. We know how to operate a jackhammer. We can look at a car engine and immediately know what is wrong with it…. or so I’m told.

Women have men do their manual labor for them. Obviously, that is a better gig.

Boys 4. Girls 6. 

Friendship:

From what I have observed, women tend to have around 3 friends. I’m not talking about acquaintances or people that you talk to on facebook, I am talking about people who you spend your time with, share your secrets with, and would basically consider part of your family. Those are the kinds of friends I am talking about, and of this particular kind of friend, girls have around 3. Usually, one of the four girls in the group is secretly hated by the other three, and is mercilessly ridiculed behind her back.  One advantage that girls have is that the interactions within their friend group are overwhelmingly positive and supportive.

Men seem to have no cap on the amount of friends they can have. Although, unlike women, the interactions within a friend group are almost exclusively insulting. The result is that when a guy actually compliments one of his friends, it is received with suspicion and a barrage of homophobic responses. However, at the end of the day, most guys would defend their friends against any army and would put a friends life before just about anything.

Boys 5. Girls 6. 

Personal Care & Hygiene:

Although women seem to be generally cleaner than men, it comes at a much higher cost. For a man to be clean, he will take a shower, brush his teeth, and put on deodorant. He might shave, but some men can get away without doing that.

A women has do all of those things, plus shave their legs, straighten/curl their hair, shape their eyebrows, put on makeup, take showers that inexplicably last for 45 minutes, paint their nails, put on jewelry… etc. So, women definitely end up looking better, but men have managed to set the bar so ridiculously low, awarding them the point.

Boys 6. Girls 6. 

Originally I was only going to have twelve categories, but obviously I can’t end this contest in a tie. In a debate of this magnitude there are very few satisfactory tie-breakers. However, because the topic of this debate is boiled down to which gender is better at being people, the only way this can end is a seven round, seven heavenly virtues, shootout extravaganza. So, according to the epic poem The Contest of the Soul, by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, and confirmed on Wikipedia, The Seven Heavenly Virtues consist of: Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility. For the sake of word count we will do this rapid fire, with a quick refresher on what those words actually mean.

1. Chastity: Purity and discretion of sexual conduct. Boys 6. Girls 7. 

2. Temperance: Moderation and constant mindfulness of others. Boys 6. Girls 8. 

3. Charity: Generosity and self-sacrifice. Boys 7. Girls 8. 

4. Diligence: Careful nature in one’s actions while upholding one’s convictions at all times. Boys 7. Girls 9. 

5. Patience: Endurance through moderation, resolving conflicts peacefully as opposed to violently. Boys 7. Girls 10. 

6. Kindness: Compassion for its own sake. Trust without prejudice or resentment. Boys 8. Girls 10. 

7. Humility. The courage to take on tedious or unglamorous tasks, while refraining from despair. Boys 9. Girls 10. 

So, at the risk of further offending every reader, and losing all my friends, I present to you your champion. Girls!

Bit Part

I would first like to apologize to anyone who has been checking my blog as of late, and found nothing new. I’ve been focusing my writing efforts elsewhere and  I have also been swamped watching netflix and eating chipotle. Okay, there’s your apology, let’s move passed it.

I would like to take a minute of your time to talk about the little people who have shaped the world… (not talking about midgets). The people I’m referring to are the bit parts that end up becoming famous in their own special ways. Oh, for those of you who don’t speak movie-nerd, a bit part is a role in which a character, with typically less than 5 lines, interacts with a main character. Their roles can be significant to the plot, or just throw away lines, but the point is they are not main characters, or even close. Side note: I’m not talking about extras, who are just in the background and are basically pointless.

1. Glen Coco. It should come as no surprise that the infamous Glen Coco, of Mean Girls, made the list. In about .7 seconds of screen time, Glen Coco won four candy cane grams, as well as the hearts of every basic white girl in America. You go Glen Coco!

2. Steven Glansberg. Poor Steven has no lines in Superbad, but has still managed to become the poster child for people who do any kind of activity completely alone. His character is portrayed as a young man who eats dessert by himself at whatever school Seth, Evan and Fogal attend. He is mentioned when Seth (Jonah Hill) says, “So I gotta sit here and eat my dessert alone like I’m fuckin’ Steven Glansberg?”  I like to think after graduation he went off to college and made tons of friends and never had to eat alone again… but hey i’m a glass-half-full kind of guy.

3. Dylan Toback. Also known as “the shusher” from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In the episode “the anti-social network”, Dennis is shushed by a stranger at a hip, new dive bar in Philly. Enraged, about being shushed so rudely, the gang sets out to find the perpetrator, but they end up following a trail of lies, gin bars and catfishers.

4. Boba Fett.  Probably kind of stretch to include Boba Fett in a list of bit parts, mostly because he is like the coolest character in Star Wars. However, he is a man of few words, awesome words, but few all the same, so he’s making the list. If you have anything to say about it, just remember, “You can run, but you’ll only die tired.”-Boba Fett (obviously).

5. Chris Gardocki. More commonly known as the guy who makes Will Farrell lick white dog shit in the movie Step Brothers. Mr. Gardocki has a small, but effective role in the film, and was the cause of one of my own personal favorite lines, “I got a bellyful of white dog crap in me… and now you lay this shit on me?”- Brennan Huff.

6. Rex. The name Rex may not ring bells for many of you, but he is personal hero of mine. You may remember him as the ultra-patriotic martial arts instructor from Napoleon Dynamite. In his scene he is wearing American flag, parachute pants, which begs the question: Would anybody want a roundhouse kick to the face while he’s wearing those bad boys? Forget about it. Oh, and don’t forget, “At Rex Kwan Do, we use the buddy system. No more flying solo.”

7. Dr. Delcavoli. You may not recognize this hero’s name, but you can go ahead and thank him for quite possibly the greatest 47 hours and 32 minutes of your life. Dr. Delcavoli is a renowned oncologist, known for his savvy, but not for offering services covered by major health insurance providers. However, the most important thing the good doctor ever did was oversee the treatment of a man named Walter White. Could you imagine a  version of Breaking Bad that had Walt dying of lung cancer after two seasons? Well thanks to Dr. Delcavoli you won’t have to. “Remember His Name.”

8.Reginald Ledoux.  *spoiler alert*. Reginald Ledoux is an absolutely terrifying character from the universe of True Detective. He is a primary suspect in the Dora Lange murder case, and during his short time on camera, is clearly up to some nefarious activities. His only lines are creepy incoherent rambling before Woody Harrelson basically just blows his head off. Personally, I thought Mr. Ledoux was a pretty awesome villain, but maybe that’s just me.

9. The Wicked Witch of the East.  We basically only see the bottoms of her shoes, but if not for her, the Wizard of Oz would have been an entirely different story. She was the tyrant responsible for enslaving the munchkins and  turning the Land of Oz into kind of a bummer. But, just like so many dictators before her, she was finally stopped when a teenage girl’s house landed on her. I think that’s how Joseph Stalin died too, but I’m not 100% sure.

10. Bonnie Grape.  Probably the butt of every yo’ momma joke for poor Gilbert Grape. Bonnie Grape is the morbidly obese, housebound mother in the 1993 film, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. I’m not sure what the character breakdown was during the casting call for that role, but I imagine when Actress Darlene Cates was offered the role of the “fattest lady ever”, it probably stung a little bit. The good news is that the actress later lost some of the weight, I assume by eating exclusively subway sandwiches. Oh, by the way, if you haven’t seen this movie, you may be wondering if it was, in fact, Bonnie Grape who was Eating Gilbert Grape. The answer to your question is yes, but only metaphorically speaking.

Honorable Mention:

  • Squeeze Toy Aliens.   “The Claw.”    Toy Story.
  • Chazz Reinhold’s Mom.  (No lines)    Wedding Crashers.
  • Lunch Lady Serving Sloppy Joes.  “I know how you’s kids like ’em extra shloppy.”     Billy Madison
  • Creepy Shusher Lady.  “Shhh”     Shutter Island
  • Admiral Ackbar.  “It’s a trap!”     Return of the Jedi
  • J. Walter Weatherman.  “…And that’s why you always leave a note.”     Arrested Development
  • Jesus Quintana. “Nobody fucks with the Jesus.”     The Big Lebowski
  • The Gimp. “muffled nonsense.”     Pulp Fiction
  • Guy Who Likes To See Homos Naked. “Home is where you make it.”     Joe Dirt

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Throughout human history, there have been countless cases of a small minority of people ruining something great for everyone else. We see it all the time, but there was one recent example that compelled me to write this post. It came about when a full-size, one ton pickup truck pulled up next to me at a red light. The truck was comically large and probably had enough towing power to transport the Statue of Liberty. A passenger in my car, who shall remain nameless, said, in reference to the truck, “He must be compensating for something.”

We all laughed at this comment, but it sort of rubbed me the wrong way. Just because this man drove an enormous pick up truck did not mean that he was using it to compensate for his lack of size or girth in other areas of his life. Maybe he just needed it for work, or he rented it to move some furniture into his new house. I felt bad for the man, and any other large pickup truck drivers who have been the subject of presumptuous claims about the correlation between automobile size and shortcomings regarding male genitalia. Sure there have probably been more than a few cases of Ford F-350 drivers who were anything but well-endowed using the trucks as a method of compensation, but does that mean that they should ruin it for everyone else?

This got me thinking about some other examples of perfectly good products and activities that we can’t utilize because people get the wrong idea. Allow me to share a few that I came up with…

Ski Masks

The ski mask is a prime example of a practical invention being ruined by a few bad-apples. Growing up in Minnesota, I learned that cold weather is not something to be taken lightly. In December and January, THIS YEAR, I must have heard about 30 state-wide announcements warning citizens that if our skin is exposed outdoors for more than 14 seconds, the only way to save our lives is to immediately amputate our entire faces. Okay, kind of an exaggeration, but still, the winters here ain’t no joke. 

Personally, I trudge through the streets of St. Paul wearing a winter hat, a jacket, a sweatshirt, gloves, glove-liners, long underwear, the warmest jeans I can find, wool socks and winter boots. And guess what America? I am still freezing my face off. Not a figure of speech, literally freezing my face off. Now, I know what you are thinking. Why don’t you just wear something that covers your face, like a ski mask? Well maybe it’s because, in this day and age, anyone who wears a ski mask is immediately presumed to be in the process of committing some type of heinous crime. 

Think about it. When is the last time you saw a person wearing a full-face ski mask and they weren’t trying to rob, rape or murder somebody? I would love to have been able to wear one when I walked to class this winter, but unfortunately, the full-face ski mask’s reputation for protecting my skin from the violent Minnesota weather is preceded only by its reputation for effectively concealing my identity while I hold up a Super America. Don’t believe me? Wear a ski mask to work tomorrow and see what happens.

It is truly unfair that because of the choice of wardrobe in a few dozen bank robberies, I am faced with the choice of being profiled as a criminal, or stage-5 frostbite. I say during this winter’s polar vortex, we take back the full-face ski mask. Who’s with me, Midwest?

 

Conversion Vans

Conversion Vans are large vans, often used for commercial distribution, but are sometimes used by the public for standard transportation. The advantages of conversion vans include durability, seating capacity and ample room for cargo. You know them as rape vans. That’s all I am going to say about that. 

 

Clowns 

Clowns are yet another example of a nice idea, gone horribly, horribly wrong. Dating all the way back to 2400 BC, clowning was done for the simple purpose of introducing some humor and joy to the otherwise miserable medieval existence. They were invented to take peoples’ minds of the fact that they were poor, sick, starving, and didn’t have 4G wireless internet access. Their sole intention was to spread joy, but somewhere along the way, they changed from a source of comedy to giving off sort of a psychopathic serial killer/ nightmarish-evil-monster cannibal  type of vibe. I blame Stephen King. 

 

Chatroulette  

For those of you who do not know what Chatroulette is, it is a website that pairs two users at random for a webcam-based conversation. At any point in the conversation either user can simply click “next” and will be paired with another user at random. I like to belief the purpose of the website was to overcome geographical or socioeconomic barriers and create friendships and love connections that would otherwise be unlikely. The random nature of the video chats allowed for people from all woks of life to converse with anyone else, anywhere, at any time… It was beautiful. 

But, like most websites that are open to the public, Chatroulette was extremely susceptible to online sexual perversion. What was once an vitual melting pot of cultural diversity and social exploration, is now populated almost exclusively by deviant masturbaters. The result of this change in user base is that now, if you go on chatroulette, everyone automatically assumes you are a big weirdo.

 

Chainsaws

Chainsaws, at least within the city limits, have picked up somewhat of a bad rep. The innovation of chainsaws is undeniable. The power and functionality of a chainsaw deserves a profound respect, even from those who know almost nothing about them (like me). I am sure that chainsaws have revolutionized the construction and the Lumberjacking industry (I don’t actually know if lumberjacking is the name for that industry,I am a naive city kid, but you get it.). The problem is that I unintentionally overlook the marvelous engineering and innovation that went into the invention of chainsaws, and immediately jump to murder weapon. This may just be a personal issue for me, but when I happen upon a person using a chainsaw, no matter the context, I assess the situation using the following check-down process of elimination. 

1.  Is this a serial killer?   2. Is this a crazy redneck?   3. Is this a crazy redneck serial killer?   4. Am I in Texas, and is this a chainsaw massacre?   5. Something about Tony Montana from Scarface.   6.Is this a law-abiding, tax-paying American, who is simply doing some type of construction or yard work? 

See, the problem here is that despite all the good that chainsaws have done for the world, it only took a few bad apples to force me to reason passed five, dangerous, probably irrational, alternatives, before assuming the chainsaw user is just a regular, non-murderer, type person.

 

Unquote

Being quoted has to be an amazing feeling. To have your words echo through eternity and effect the lives of those who come across them, would be an exceptionally rewarding experience. I often like to speculate on whether these philosophers, celebrities, athletes and government officials spoke these words with the intention of them being quoted generations later by people who never even knew them. I also wonder how upsetting it would be to Einstein, Plato, Warhol, Jordan, Marilyn Monroe, and any other frequently quoted person to learn that their words of infinite wisdom were mostly being used by teenagers who quote them on their Facebook pages when they feel a little philosophical or down in the dumps.

Personally, I hope it does upset them. Personally, I think it’s bull-crap that those individuals with bonafide celebrity status have completely monopolized the quote market. Is this not America? Is this not a land of equal opportunity? It doesn’t seem fair to me that the incoherent ramblings of some nut-job like Marilyn Monroe can be quoted for eternity by misunderstood teenage girls, but my insightful quips and life-changing advice will fall upon deaf ears. Well, I plan to change this social injustice by simply quoting myself.

So, if you ever find yourself looking for some inspiration, or you need something to quote in order to effectively kick off your commencement speech at graduation, here are some quotes from the not quite as famous as he probably should be Jacob Guenther. (keep in mind that most of these are just me tweaking common sayings and quotes to be way more awesomer)

“There are very few things more glorious and more rewarding than watching the sun rise. One of them is sleeping in.” –Jacob Guenther 

“I’ve heard it said that the best things in life are free, but I disagree. You know what kinds of things costs exactly $0.00 plus tax? AIDS, Cancer, starving to death, being mauled by a grizzly bear, hypothermia, I could go all day. You know what kinds of things you have to pay for? ATVs, sweatshirts, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and a subscription to HBO.” –Jacob Guenther

“Sure, when life hands you lemons you make lemonade, but don’t get too comfortable with that notion. Because guess what, one day, life might just hand you a gator, and if you sit around trying to make Gatorade you might just get your leg bitten off.” –Jacob Guenther 

“Finish your dinner, there are starving kids in district 12.” – Jacob Guenther

“I never understood how people treat women as objects. What are people doing with objects these days?”-Jacob Guenther

“The early bird gets the worm, but the late bird gets half-off appetizers at Applebees.”- Jacob Guenther 

“Stop blaming illegal immigrants for taking American jobs. This is America, stupid, we don’t want to do those crappy jobs anyway.” – Jacob Guenther 

“If Jesus had been born in 1990 and started saying he was the son of God we would have just prescribed him some Adderall and told him to shut the hell up.” –Jacob Guenther

“There are two kinds of people in the world: Elton John fans and members of Al Qaeda.” –Jacob Guenther

“You can spend your whole life trying to be unique and original, but at the end of the day you are still just a hippie.” -Jacob Guenther