Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Never Newlywed

If you get married, never go on the Newlywed Game. This is just a little advice that I've started giving out after watching a few episodes this afternoon on GSN. I've watched the show before, but it never really hit me how bad it could be for your newly blossomed relationship. It sounds like a cute idea at first, a way to find out how compatible you really are, and a way to possibly walk away with some nifty prizes. That is until you come to the realization that you may have just single handedly destroyed your new marriage with one word: thighs.

The game is a twenty-five minute test to see how well you and your spouse know each other. The host (back in the 70's it was Bob Eubanks) first asks the husbands four questions about their wives. Then the wives come back in and answers the questions, and if they are a good, loving couple then their answers will match. The next round the men leave and the wives are asked four more questions. The process is repeated, and at the end whichever couple has the most points is declared the best married couple (which is comparable to "world's tallest midget") and wins a grand prize... like a camper or a four night stay in a couple's hotel.

But the Newlywed Game is a harsh mistress, one that brings out the worst in every man and women involved. Eubanks, like Geraldo Rivera, doesn't pull any punches with his questions. They are sharp, provocative, and tempestuous. He could easily ask questions like "What's your wife's favorite food?" or "What is nicest thing about your spouse?" Yeah, that would be the high, respectable, road... but class doesn't get ratings! So, he asks questions like "Which part of your wife's body has gone to the dogs?" and "What about your spouse makes you want to vomit?" Surprisingly enough, some answered both questions with "thighs."

Every once in a while, the spouse will answer honestly, throwing his or her self-esteem out the window. But that's rare. Usually they will say something far worse.
"What is the kinkiest thing in the house?"
Wife: That's definitely the porno magazines that he keeps in the night stand!
Husband: What?! You got the subscription!
Wife: And you read them!
Husband: My answer was shaving cream!


The worst is when the answer one spouse gives totally surprises the other. A question about what you can't stand about the other can end in total surprise and rosy cheeks when the spouse says something the other didn't even know they did. "You fart in your sleep." "I hate her parents." "Every time we make whoopie you get a Sean Connery accent." The other person just sits there agasp. They lean in and say "When?" like they can possibly discuss this on TV. An eerie silence falls over the show as Eubanks awkwardly moves on.

A good number of marriages don't last very long in America. There are so many other factors that cause a marriage to struggle: different religions, social class, a lust for blood of virgins, etc. The last thing new couples need is a gameshow that tests their greatest weaknesses. My advice to you is to stay far, far away from the Newlywed Show.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Manners are Dead

As those of you lucky enough to know me are probably well aware I do not have the best manners in the world. My manners are particularly sub-par when it comes to eating. My uncouth feeding habits know no bounds. I eat with my hands. I talk with my mouth full. I lick the plate. Even being in public can't stop me. Many a time I have been chastised in restaurants by friends, family, complete strangers, and wait staff, all to no avail. I cannot be stopped. I refuse to be contained.

The more I think about this, the more I become convinced that I shouldn't care. After all, table manners are nothing more than capricious rules set down - probably by the French - to keep people from really enjoy food however they want. Let's take licking the plate as an example. Say, for instance, I have just enjoyed a delicious dessert covered in some sort of gooey, chocolately sauce. When I have finished eating the main dessert - it could be anything, like ice cream, cake, pie, etc - I would like nothing more than to consume whatever chocolate goodness remains on my plate, and I know of no better method of enjoying this sauce than to simply lick the plate clean. This is widely frowned upon in good company. I should not lick my plate, especially in public. It reflects poorly on me. People see me lick my plate and say to themselves: "That boy is a pig. He will obviously never amount to anything in life." But when I look at people not licking there plates, I say to myself: "Poor fools, they will never know the simple pleasure of licking a plate clean."

You see I am not bound by the simple rules of dining. There is no reason for me to be. If I follow the rules I only cheat myself out of fully enjoying my food. I lose enjoyment, but I gain nothing. You could argue that I gain the acceptance of the people around me, but I don't want their acceptance. I want to lick my plate. So, following proper etiquette leads only to my ultimate disappointment, where blatantly disregarding etiquette leads to sweet, sweet satisfaction.

There are no convincing arguments for following proper etiquette. Nothing in all my study of philosophy, ethics, and theology has persuaded me to take on table manners. Aristotle never saw fit to tackle the subject in his Ethics. Descarte, like wise, remains quite silent on the issue. As far as I can tell, no major religion has any commandments to follow table etiquette. No where in the Bible is it written: "Thou shalt not use the dinner fork during the salad course." Heck, Jesus broke bread with his BARE HANDS and then fed it to the disciples.

So, I implore all of you, throw off the shackles of table etiquette and enter the promised land of sheer pleasure. If you want to lick the plate, lick the plate. If you want to eat with your hands, eat with your hands. If you want to drink directly from the soup bowl, slurp away. If you want to talk with your mouth full, just don't spray any on me. Maximize your eating pleasure. Do not let the cruel forces of manners and the stares of the unenlightened slow you down. Know that you are not less than them. You have transcended them. They are merely culinary men, while we, my friends, are now culinary super men, sailing above their simple little rules, paying no heed to societies silly little conventions. We are better. We are above. We are beyond. We most likely have chocolate sauce on our chins.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Save Toby

There are alot of "life or death" threats being made in today's society. If it isn't terrorists, it's state judges or lawyers. But these morbid threats on the right to life don't just stop with us humans... they apply to bunnies as well.

The other night my brother sent me a link to Save Toby is a bunny that was discovered by an anonymous man who is now holding him ransom. The catch is that if people don't donate $50,000 by June 30, he will take Toby to the butcher and have him cleaved and prepared for dinner. Cruel? Maybe. Hilarious? Oh yes. I don't know why I didn't think of this myself... the guy has already made almost $20,000! And better yet, you don't just have to donate money, he's also selling shirts and hats that say things like "Only YOU can save Toby!" and "Toby for President 2008."

To make matters worse (and get more sympathy donations) he has a ton of adorable pictures of Toby doing all sorts of things. Toby sitting on a cutting board, in a big broiling pot, reading the Wall Street Journal, etc. This brings the cute-factor up to about a 9. The site gets to the point where you almost can't leave without feeling like you have to give this guy money.

I guess in reality he is extorting the national public. But since no one necessarily has to donate, and yet he is still making a ton of money for nothing, I would consider him a entrepreneur. This, of course, should make members of the SHU community quite proud. I won't be donating any money, but I am considering getting another hamster... and a webcam... and a paypal account. Just for a rainy day.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Jamster and the New Economy

"If you want the Bling Bling Rims, dial 5548. If you want the Burning Skull, dial 5549. If you want to flush your money down the crapper and let everyone know you are a complete tool, dial Jamster today!"

I don't like to rant, but I must say that I absolutely hate those Jamster commercials. They are frequent, they are obnoxious, and they peddle a product that is about as useful as turd under your windshield wiper. And yet someone has to be buying them, otherwise they would have stopped their campaign of obnoxiousness ages ago.

I just don't understand the draw of them. Why would anyone pay money for a background of a spinning hubcap? There is just a warm feeling I get every time I flip open my cell phone and see that "spinner." All is right with the world. Or maybe you prefer pictures of computer generated purple hippos, for a little added anxiety in your life. But Jamster isn't just a one trick pony! No, they have all sorts of asinine backgrounds for you to choose from. Including women with huge butts (because some guys like that).

Certainly more embarrassing, annoying, and pointless, are the ringtones. Ringtones have become something of a phenomenon amongst cell phone users, and with each generation they get more and more elaborate. Phones nowadays can just play an MP3 (that you upload) every time someone calls you. Some folks don't want to answer their phones because they want to hear the rest of the song... this is stupid. But because randomly hearing "Crunk Juice" in the middle of class isn't enough to drive a teacher into retirement, Jamster has brought a new card to the table: stupid catch phrases.

Our world is driven by catch phrases. Anyone who's run for public office, watched TV, or consumed a Coke knows how a simple catch phrase can drive you to take action. If a phrase like "Git R' Done" makes people want to hop in their pickups and chase down some raccoons, just imagine the phrase that you would make you want to kill a man... yeah, that very phrase can now be your ringtone! That's right, because thanks to Jamster you can have crazy stereotypes yell out stereotypical phrases each time someone calls your phone. There are great hits like "Girl shake that ass!" and "Dammmmmn Boy!" and "God Bless America!"

This is probably the worst product sold thus far in the twenty-first century. People already hate it when someone's cell phone rings in a public setting (or at least I do), but now when it rings people think someone else is talking.
Boss: So what makes you think you are qualified for the position of administrative assistant?
You: Well, sir...
*Your unknowing aunt calls your cell phone to ask out over for dinner*
Boss: Excuse me?!
You: I'm sorry sorry that's my-
Boss: Um sorry, but we can hire anyone with such an obnoxious ringtone.

Yeah, so think about that next time you go for an interview! It's about as annoying as those stupid Nextel walky-talky phones. *BUD-BLEEP!*

I have a feeling that the whole cell phone thing is going to collapse on itself sooner or later. There is so much crap out there for your phone it's ridiculous. And with schmucks like Jamster exploiting morons, God will only let this go on for a little bit longer.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Flyers for the Beav

Tonight, in preparation for our last performance of "Prostate of the Union" on Saturday, March 19th, we went throughout Beaver County with 145 flyers. The mission: plaster the hell out of the place. The Dwellers have an uncanny sense of gorilla marketing, and it's a system that usually produces very positive results. This time, we were serious.

Earlier in the day, Ben and I exploited these Staples Copy Center coupons ($10 Off a $10 Purchase) and made 145 black and white posters for the show. We also made 150 programs to cover us for the Seton Hill and CCBC shows. The flyers were made specifically for the sprinkling of the county.

We met at the Dweller Hostel (an apartment house where Joe, James, Christoph and Ben and his wife all live) at 5:30pm and broke into two teams: Alpha and Centauri. James and I made up Alpha, and were in charge of hitting Beaver Falls (including Geneva College), Chippewa, Bridgewater and all areas in between. Centauri was Joe, Ben, and Larry and they were on top of New Brighton, Freedom, Monaca, etc. Two groups on the same mission, with the rendezvous point being the Beaver Valley Mall.

The weather seemed cold, but dry. That is, until we stepped out of the house. The moment the mission actually went underway, what was basically a squall smashed down on Beaver County. It was a white out, and the snow was starting to stick. This was going to make things a tad more difficult, but because James works out regularly, I wasn't worried. By the time we got to Geneva College, snow was everywhere. This made us work quickly, and the fact that the campus was in the middle of spring break made level of social interaction drop down to 0. We hung up a good deal of posters on every telephone poll we could find, many of the polls still had posters from our Origami Trail show!

After getting that finished, we hopped back in Tiger and took a shortcut through West Mayfield to Chippewa. While in Chipp. we went to Giant Eagle, where we had to negotiate with the customer service chick so that she would hang up our poster in their locked community events board. Then we flew over to Wal-Mart, where we found they didn't actually have a community events board. Gamestop, however, was more than willing to take our flyers.

The next stop was Bridgewater, a small maritime town on the Beaver River. There aren't alot of places there to put up flyers, especially at this time of the night, but we did drop some off at a local pizza place and a coffee house/bar/Mac enthusiast. It was while we were in this quaint town hanging up flyers that we were confronted by an overly friendly vagrant:
Vagrant: Hey you guys! What are you doing?
*James and Mike stop taping a sign to a phone poll.*
James: We're hanging up signs.
V: Oh excellent work, can I have a sign, I'll take one for ya.
Me: Here ya go
V: Thanks. Have you been to the bar yet?
J: Yeah, actually.
V: They'll definitely put one in there
J: Yeah, they know us there.
V: Either of you have a dollar?
M: Nope.
J: What for?
V: I need to buy a beer? Can you spare a dollar for some beer? How about two dollars? Two seventy-five?
J: Here, you can have a dollar. But that's all.
V: You guys have a good evening!

Hmm... the vagabond was terrible at haggling. When we got in the car I asked James why the heck he gave the guy a dollar. "I didn't feel bad since I knew where he was going to spend it." Well as long as you can fuel the addiction...

From there we made a call in to Centauri to see how they were doing:
"Alpha, we are leaving Monaca now. Meet us in the mall in fifteen. Centuari out.... bye."

The "bye" sort of ruins the covert appeal of the conversation.

We all reconvened at the BVMall and then worked the stores. It's very effective when we all walk around the mall together, because the chances are good that all of us will run in to at least one person we know. It sort of makes you feel like a celebrity, walking through the mall and having people say "Hey, Cellar Dwellers!" It's a good feeling. And it's an even better feeling when we can hand them a flyer in return and they say "Awesome, I'll see you there!" Word.

Just when we thought our evening was over... we ran into a little (confusing) trouble in the parking lot.

While hanging out by Ben's car, the silver Neon next to him begins backing out. The man in side rolled down his window saying, "Watch out, guys in black coats!" Joe turned to him and said, "Thanks, guy in silver car." And just when we thought the confrontation was over with, Guy in Silver Car yelled "Homos!" and drove off the wrong way in a one way parking lane. "You're goin' the wrong way!" Larry yelled after him. And then we stood and laughed at him for about ten minutes. Yeah, we sure showed him. I think...

So needless to say, it was an interesting evening. Certainly a productive one, and I can't wait to see the fruits of our labor next Saturday, March 19th at CCBC.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


You can't really attack the right to "freedom of speech." It's one of the best things about our nation. You have the right to say whatever you want, agree with people or disagree with people. We can write news articles that uncover dirt on our government without having to worry about being beheaded or tortured. But that also means that I have the right to make fun of people... specifically those on 'Free Speech TV,' a public access station found on Dish satellite systems.

I've never seen a more paranoid, radically left, socialist, tree-hugging, loud-mouthed television station in my life. Oh wait, I used to watch MTV. Besides MTV... and CNN. And Oxygen... this takes the cake. "Free Speech TV", with the lovely subtitle 'What Democracy Looks Like,' was discovered one evening by my brother, who enjoys surfing through the more obscure channels filling our satellite guide. He first told me about it because of the Gay and Lesbian news show they had on there: up to date information and news on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. Because there are so many.

I finally got my taste of "democracy" when I watched a show on there the other evening called Arsenal of Hypocrisy. The show was a basement-produced documentary about how NASA and the United States government plans to take over the world. Nope, it's not April 1st, this show was dead serious. It wasn't really even a show, it was just one guy (whose name thankfully escapes me) sitting in front of a camera on a tripod talking away. He was looking slightly to the left of the camera, just to create the appearance that this was an interview, and he wasn't just some crazy conspiracy theorist. Occasionally he would splice in clips of missiles launching into space or cover to a book he just referenced.

How is NASA going to take over the world? How is Bush working with NASA to take over the world? Well really it's quite simple. Through a combination of the Missile Defense System (AKA Star Wars) and taking complete control of THE MOON, Bush should have this thing under his belt buckle by the end of his second term. Just in time for him to take over D.C. and become the compassionate conservative dictator of the entire Earth. That's what this bloke is saying. Apparently Star Wars will allow America to attack anywhere on Earth, and stop missiles from attacking us... okay, that was understood back when Reagan proposed the idea. But because we can do this, we will be able to launch rockets and ships into space and set up a new colony on THE MOON. Once we control the moon we will be able to position it and control the earth's gravity... therefore controlling go GETS ON AND OFF THE EARTH!!! Because, in case you didn't know, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people trying to get off the earth. Unfortunately they keep drinking poisoned Kool-Aid and never quite make it.

The guy knew his shit. Maybe because that's exactly what it was: shit. My favorite part of the entire program was when he threw a splash screen up that said "According to my internet research..." That's when I just smiled and nodded my head. He had based this entire show off of a few "space" books from the library and research done solely on the internet. Because all political and scientific revolutionaries do ALL of their research through Google. The books he mentioned were such winners as "Mining the Sky," and all featured covers with sweet illustrations of space stations! He should have thrown in a Where's Waldo book and this whole thing would have made a little more sense.

I'm glad there are TV stations like this... where crazy folks can get on and spout off until they are blue in the face about whatever the hell they feel like. The best part about all of it is that it's always the left-winged wackos. You don't see any "crazy" gun-totin' 'Publicans on there yelling about Canada harnessing the power of Affirmative Action to conquer the solar system. But hey, I'll be tuning back in... it's more entertaining than MTV.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Did I Really Study Norse Crap

In college, being an English major, I spent countless hours studying old works of literature such as Beowulf or Sir Gawain and the Green Night or any number of Greek plays. In class we dissected works like these from every conceivable angle. We had endless conversations on the meanings of the tiniest line of dialogue or the smallest puncuation. Now why did we spend all this time in looking at these works? Because they are Literature and, as such, are seen as invaluably deep and important. But how do we know these works are real literature, works of art? Often they are one of the few works from a particular culture or time period to survive to modern times. Still, this does not mean they were ever meant to be great. As far as we know they were intended to be pieces of disposable entertainment, which somehow, through some quirk of fate - usually involving medieval monks who loved to copy things - managed to survive, while the 'real' works of art perished. As far as we know, Beowulf was the Con-Air of Norse culture. We only think it's great because we still have it, while the Norse Citizen Kane has been lost forever to the dust bin of history. So, for years, we may have elevating crap to the status of art.

This brings one very interesting question to mind: What if the same thing happens to us? What if the only work that survives from our culture of say the last 20-50 years is total crap, but since later cultures don't know about our better cultural contributions they think the stuff is brilliant? Imagine, if you can, that the only works to survive centuries from now are: A DVD of Mr. Nanny, a Vanilla Ice To the Extreme tape, a few episodes of Family Matters, and a bunch of Archie comics. Now, centuries from now, one of two things would happen. Either our culture would be dismissed as incredibly crass, inane, and ridiculous - which, sadly would not be far from the truth - or these works would be assumed to be the pinnacle of our art and they would thus be lifted up to lofty status and studied ad naseum by musty academics.

I know that it's bizarre to imagine a class taking a serious look at the gender dynamics and buried metaphysical depths of Mr. Nanny or looking at the heroic archetypes in 'Ice, Ice, Baby', but, who knows, maybe we've been doing the same thing to Beowulf all these years. All these theoretical future academics won't know that most people now think Vanilla Ice sucks, that he was only popular for a brief period of time, or that he is widely considered a joke. They won't know that 'Ice, Ice, Baby' actually samples from a much better Queen/David Bowie song - although, as he once hilariously explained, he did change the beat from ding-a-ding-a-ding-ding to ding-a-ding-a-DING-ding. They won't know this so they very well could compare "Stop, collaborate and listen" to Homer's appeal to the muse at the beginning of The Odyssey. Then again, maybe Homer was nothing more than a Grecian Jerry Bruckheimer.

Do, you see the problem here? Can we ever really be 100% sure we are reading something great, or do we just have to rely on what everyone says? What if everyone says something's great just because we assume it must be? After all, shouldn't there be some sort of cultural Darwinism where the great survive while the lame perish? Maybe, but we just don't know. I want to believe that Homer was always great, just as I would like to believe Beowulf was always great, because I enjoy both immensely - then again I enjoy a lot of cheesy crap too. I guess what I really want to say is: If you happen to get in time machine and travel hundreds of years in the future, don't be surprised if Urkel has become one of the greatest cultural figures of all time, because maybe a Norseman would feel the same thing about how we view Beowulf. Who knows, maybe "Do you got any cheese" will rank with "to be or not to be". You know what, I'm strangely OK with that.


Friday, March 04, 2005

profesional cons.

hey joe here,

consider this

mid 20's , crap job, unfullfilled dreams.

what would you do if you were in that situation,

it has been suggested by nameless sources that L.A. is the place to be when all life fails. and well that sounds so reasonable in this situation, however , as i usually do, i've constructed a list of pros and cons, about making the left coast pillramige and here they are in no paticular order, ( okay , in order that i thought of them,)

pro. sunny all the time

con. earthquakes

pro. earthsquakes, i think it would be fun,,,,,once

con. gangs

pro. gangs (finallly aceptance, and i'd only have to kill a few people)

con. an entire society of fake plastic faces

pro. an entire society of fake plastic breasts

con. the only acting work i'd probably get would be in porn

pro. see above

con. gengus

pro. i do have friends there

con. expensive

pro. it's warm all the time who needs an apartment

con. i'm not jewish

pro. i'm not jewish

con. i might not make it

pro. i might make it a little bit, ( guest spot on days, or contestant on price is right)

con. i'd have to be a waiter somewhere till i got my break

pro. i'd have alot in common with the other waiters

con. unlike now, there'd be no chance in someone recognizing me in a mall

pro. i would never know that cuase i wouldnt be able to afford to shop at the mall

and finally

con. ( i'm too lazy to think of another con.)

well thats about it

on a brighter note, b.h.s extended my contract for next years fall play, so someone write one for me,

joe eoj

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Check the PROSTATE

This Friday is the opening of the Cellar Dwellers' brand new sketch comedy and improv show! This is our first new sketch show since November, and it's going to be awesome. We have a collection of over 12 hilarious skits followed by an hour of unrehearsed, unpredictable theater improv. You've heard me sell shows on here before, and each time I've said that the show will rock... it has! So you will definitely want to hit this up...

Friday, March 4th at 8:00PM
Allied Health Auditorium, Building 6
Community College of Beaver County, Center Twp PA, 15061


Let's run down the list of skits (just as a little preview of sorts):
The Future’s So Bright I have to Wear Camo
Thunk Tank
BoGo Breaking My Heart
The Feud, the Proud, the Donivans
Thursday’s at 8 or 9
Sticky Situation
Family Dollar Tree
Tobacco Field of Dreams
The Cruelest Cut
You’re Welcome
Hot Steaming Coup
Bob’s Big Surprise

Yeah it's gonna rock. So you should probably check out our website, get directions, and come and see it. If you want to make reservations, leave a comment and I'll get a hold of you. We have more performances of this show around the corner, but since each one is different, why not see them all!?