These 15 Photos Of Cosplayers Revealing That They Aren’t Unemployed Virgins Or Child Molesters “Might Blow Your Mind”

A popular internet content aggregator asked some of the “best cosplayers of New York Comic Con” to reveal what they did with their days and none of them confessed to jerking off to anime and steampunk all day or spending endless hours arguing online with strangers while updating their Facebook statuses relentlessly. Despite the original article’s authors reassuring me that the results might just blow my mind, these people (who spent an entire non-Halloween day dressed like things they like) all have really boring sounding jobs. Some people might say that this is one of the laziest and pathetic concepts for an article imaginable but experts know that it has received half a million views on its very first day and that its co-authors have already written nearly one-thousand published articles each. Take that, haters.

1. enhanced-6135-1413055576-3I looked up what this was and this woman is either a high ranking UN official in a foreign country or is in charge of college students moving into dorms. Either way it’s outrageous that she’s dressed up as Ms. Marvel!

2.
enhanced-18585-1413055655-1This one was so intensely unbelievable that the photographer actually left it slightly out of focus. But this woman is actually a student when she’s not spending part of her day dressed like a character from, I’m guessing, Game of Thrones or some stupid vampire-themed anime.

3.
enhanced-21274-1413055606-5I’m only blown away that this guy’s sign reads anything other than “pedophile” but there you go. He’s the girl from Pokemon who is also a sales analyst. Is your mind totally destroyed yet?

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This guy went as someone who is really into the number three but he is actually a stay at home dad who is just ashamed of that enough to need to include that he is also an author.

5. enhanced-7972-1413055582-6This spot on cosplay of Jessica Rabbit is actually Joe Biden.

6.enhanced-7953-1413055622-9This one is a little out of focus too but it’s difficult work to take photos using a phone when you’re so geeked at how much these two look like Judge Dredd and his mom!

7.enhanced-18567-1413055572-8I almost refused to believe that someone dressed so extravagantly could possibly be a legal assistant but then I had to because she was holding a sign that indicated as much. This photo taught me that you can’t always judge a book by its cover and that the photographer didn’t cover a lot of ground or do more than five minutes of work because I can clearly see Ms. Marvel from the first picture in the background.

8.enhanced-13771-1413055591-24Does anybody know which longhaired character wears hoop-earrings and dresses in an open plaid shirt with their large purse laid carefully in front of them? This woman is probably doing the best cosplay in the world of whoever that is.

9. enhanced-14699-1413055624-10Since we had one already, you might be a little surprised to see another person that is a student. Well you had better believe that this female Thor is 100% committed to scholarly pursuits when she isn’t fighting Loki and eating thunder or whatever.

10.enhanced-18521-1413055639-13More students?! Outrageous. Who could have ever imagined that there would be so many? Not BuzzFeed, that’s for sure. These three are dressed up as an incomplete American flag or maybe the Andrews Sisters if one of them didn’t realize they were supposed to work a USO tour that day.

11.enhanced-21325-1413055612-8I thought that cosplaying meant you had to get all costumed up as a character. This guy is basically dolled up as himself in stockings and hot pants. Since “the man that rapes me in my nightmares” isn’t technically a profession, he had to write that he was a psychologist because he loves getting into people’s heads.

12.enhanced-1631-1413055572-5Samurai V (for Vendetta) lives with his parents.

13. enhanced-954-1413055577-12And we’re back to student. The only difference is that this person also came to NYCC dressed as their day job. BuzzFeed really screwed the pooch on this one.

14.enhanced-20716-1413055630-11This person is an actor… yayyy. I bet they are really fun to talk to for long periods of time when you’re in a confined space.

15.enhanced-22470-1413055629-3This man came as the big version of the Little Mermaid and didn’t write “future sex partner to the luckiest man or woman on earth” because he’s a class act. Whatever council he’s on is very lucky to have him.

All photos of “New York’s best cosplayers” are courtesy of BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick and more can be found at his awful BuzzFeed article that contains 621 fewer words in it than mine does. 

Posted in america, art, comics, Current Events, Dark Humor, humor, Internet Culture, society, style | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Nexus Of Magic: A Real Place I Walked To

The other day I visited the most magical place in the world by accident. It exists at sunset between the Triborough and Hell Gate Bridges in the northern most tip of Queens, New York. There, decades of broken glass litter the shoreline and ring with the lapping of every wave. The resulting sound is that of wind chimes, crystalline starlight, and a million tiny bells all serving to create a state of tranquil harmony. No crime committed could be too egregious not to be cleansed by the sounding of the green and brown shards suspended in salt water caressing the stony coast.

A plastic bag arose from the park-side refuse cylinder and was carried almost the entire way across the watery expanse of the East River. We watched with abated breath as it bobbed and weaved over the swirling tidal strait like a massive black butterfly. Hundreds of yards and several minutes passed before it finally landed a few feet from the opposing shore. The infamously swift waters took it from our eyes in an instant.

A boy ran up and grabbed the guard rail for dear life only to bark unexpectedly into the crisp fall air. The dogs in the nearby dirt ring park silenced themselves in awe of the child’s passion and zeal. No quadruped that day could hold a candle to the wild majesty of a young human drunk on the energy of the most special place on our planet. He remained there for some time looking across the water at Manhattan, his barking fit over and his mind calmed by the sound of wind and wave. I looked only for a moment but I could see tears in his eyes.

As we walked away I knew that the plastic bag was being hauled down into the depths of the river, pulled under by its strong opposing currents into the murky underdark. It represented hope and, even though it had failed, we were impressed by how far it had come in its impossible quest to cross the river on a single gust of wind. If only we could be so fortunate and bold in our own lives, a meaningful failure would be enough.

magical nexus

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Take This, Society.

Helvetica
That ought to rattle a few cages.

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Police Stopped Climate Change… Protesters From Protesting.

Over the weekend nearly half of a million people peacefully marched down Sixth Avenue through Midtown Manhattan hoping to make the correct amount of noise required to convince corrupt decision-makers and science-ignorant mongoloids to stop ignoring that climate change was a genuine issue. There was an eerie moment of true silence followed by a wall of sound that came up the streets like a wave of mad energy. They hooted and tooted and blasted the vuvuzelas like insane sports fans who had replaced men kicking a ball with natural resources and breathable air.

What this march showed is that people really seem to care about this issue and are upset enough to stop complaining online and get out into the streets. This makes sense because most rational people would jump at the chance to stop a series of world destroying disasters from taking place. Unfortunately, this particular set of disasters has yet to garner the right sort of attention from the right sort of people. If there was a giant asteroid hurtling toward Earth at four-hundred times the speed of sound, we wouldn’t need a march. I know this because there is just such an asteroid and NASA is already planning to land astronauts on it when it’s in our neighborhood roughly sixty years from now. Meanwhile, climate change is this sort of vague blanket term with no single physical manifestation that exists as a byproduct of making people tons of money. We can’t fix it by shooting totally awesome space rockets at it and that’s a huge problem.

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FloodWS10

The following day several thousand other people went downtown to Flood Wall Street. Dressed mostly in dark blues and aquamarines, protesters assembled at the bottom edge of Broadway near Battery Park and moved north. I had come to gawk with a musician, a knitter, and my main creative partner of the last decade who was in from our nation’s third coast. He had brought a camera and was interested in documenting the goings on while I was content with quietly judging people with my arms folded. Just beyond midday the mood was casual and Vincent snapped the occasional photograph while we meandered through. There was a sequined woman on stilts dancing, a giant flower that hinted unsubtly back at the shooting of Mike Brown, and oodles of the nearly relevant hippie drivel scrawled upon signage that we’ve come to expect. We even saw a man happily handing out bottled water, which I thought was hysterical. The crowd itself seemed genuine in its cause, however, and continued to grow throughout the day. Officers were speckled throughout the crowd and many were smiling and chatting up the protesters. At this point, the most densely populated areas were at the base and thinned out as you went north with the press skirting around the edges. There was a large open space up the block where the NYPD had set up numerous barriers that people seemed to be avoiding. But, for the most part, everyone seemed tranquil and several groups of the crowd were doing call and respond speeches referred to as “The Human Microphone.” It was close to a perfect demonstration. Nobody seemed angry and the area didn’t smell like people had been pissing in the streets– but all of that was about to change.

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FloodWS13

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As the the sun went down and the closing bell neared, the protesters made a push north as they had not yet reached Wall Street. The police had begun bringing in additional steel barricades to keep the protesters isolated just southwest of their goal. By now the tactics honed years earlier at Occupy are common practice for most law enforcement groups when dealing with crowds. Wall Street, which will almost certainly be underwater when the sea level rises as a result of the icecaps melting, wanted nothing to do with the protesters and the police had established a line to keep them from it. Barricades already lined the sidewalk but they continued to bring more in as the crowd surged up the block. The media had predicted this move and condensed here, as did we. Vinnie, a shorter man than some, had to really press himself in and hold his camera high to get much of anything. Tensions were building and random officers trickled as more aggressive protesters attempted to move barricades and encourage others to the front line. We saw a patrolman’s hat fly over the crowd as everyone lined up to face each other. Then, with little warning, someone sprayed mace into the faces of a few protesters trying to make it past the line. This caused light panic, some yelling, and the sea of people swelled before condensing in on itself again. I could see the dancer on stilts just behind the main group holding her ground as Vinnie returned briefly to say he’d tasted the residual misting of pepper spray. There was a light scuffle before the police made clear what part of the street would be theirs.

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Some officers were clearly excited for any excuse to bash someone’s face in while many others genuinely seemed interested in keeping the peace. The same could be said of the protesters as I could see a frantic pocket getting worked up and mad. They would clumsily attempt to move barricades or climb onto light poles and chant angrily. Nobody, however, bothered to take note of the large number of officers assembling on scooters two blocks up. Nobody except for us anyway. Gawking with no objective allowed me to survey to area and I suggested we fall back behind the line if we were planning on having dinner not in jail. De Blasio has proven himself more relaxed about people exercising their constitutional right to organize than the Bloomberg administration but we all assumed it was just a matter of time before things got ugly.

While we debated it, a large group of men in light riot gear reinforced the entrance to Wall Street along with a number of mounted units that made a secondary line with their horses. Private security also showed up in their bad suits and helped orchestrate things while men in much more expensive clothing exited the imposing gray buildings behind the police line, their faces soured by the inconvenience. As the standoff continued, we moved up to Liberty Street where a second group had amassed and were bringing in NYPD trucks and busses. They closed off the street roughly the same time we got off of it. Confused looking tourists lingered as we made our way around the far side of the blockade which was far bigger than we initially realized. The boys in blue were coming in by the van full on Trinity while also closing off any escape routes toward Battery Park. They were literally running in groups of ten to twenty toward the protest. We hopped a train and ate sushi uptown while watching a small blurb about the protest on the news. Over one-hundred people were arrested while I finished my beer. It was a Tiger Gold Medal, imported from Singapore. I wanted something cheap but definitely not domestic.

FloodWSr334

FloodWS543

FloodWS536
–Photographs are courtesy of Vincent Massimino.

Posted in america, Current Events, friendship, Life, politics, science, society, true stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Fond Look Back: Vomit And Strip Clubs

My first time at a strip club was when I was seventeen. My friend’s older brother was a DJ for such an establishment and thought it would be an important passage into manhood for us. I had previously been in a sexually active relationship with a lunatic who possessed a nice body and a cat that I liked to feed corn chips. Beyond that, I had very limited experience with the fairer sex. My friend, Eric, had even less. He would prattle on anytime he was accidentally grazed by a woman’s breast and was dating a puritan. While faithless, he still went to church every Sunday with his girlfriend for six months in the hopes that she would someday take her shirt off. When she finally defied Jesus and did, he threw a party at his house to celebrate. Eric’s disreputable brother seemed incredibly nonplussed by all of this and the next week he invited us over for a real party. He fed us drinks for roughly an hour before his gravelly voice commanded, “Alright, let’s hit it and get you two faggots some pussy.”

The club was within walking distance and looked like it used to be a movie theater during America’s heyday. It smelled vaguely of stale cigarettes but not of booze. At this time in Michigan there was a law that prohibited clubs from serving alcohol if performers exposed their vaginas. The effectiveness of this law should be placed under some mild scrutiny, as I arrived at the front door swimming in a personal sea of orange juice and vodka. The benefit of these alcohol free clubs is that they are eighteen and up (seventeen and up if your friend’s brother works there and sneaks you in). The downside of these kinds of clubs is that they attract a lot of garbage people with poor hygiene and a loose moral code. However, the greasy perverts did not occupy a controlling share of the space. The majority of the clientele were couples, bored soldiers, and the random band of college students. The club itself was dark and predominantly lit by pink neon and the occasional pastel-colored spotlight beaming through the smoker’s haze. Private booths were illuminated by a single bulb covered with a lacy rouge lampshade. In the very back corner was a VIP area with black lights that showcased the dander on my shoulders as illuminated green flakes. It reminded me slightly of laser tag if they replaced all the guns with breasts and changed the music from bad techno to hits from the nineteen-eighties.

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Between dances, Eric’s brother would hustle us out back and encourage us to to smoke and drink with some of the girls. They had a private stash of cigarettes, clear liquors, fruit-drinks and were more than willing to share them with us. I had imagined that I’d feel sorry for them but it all felt very casual and orthodox. I’ve had less comfortable smoke-break exchanges with people I’ve worked with for years. As I watched them work, I realized that they were playing each guy in that room for every dime he had. Someone would make their rounds and report back who had money to spend and what type of girl they might like. The work didn’t seem particularly enjoyable though. Every so often a woman would come back with a story about a man having grabbed her ass or a particularly bad smell a patron was giving off.

When we made our way back to the front of the club, an oversexed Eric was sheepishly eyeing every single woman there. As a cure, the older brother bought him lap dances relentlessly. “This is my baby-brother!” he would yell over the bass. The women always looked surprised and would giggle and say something before grinding their pelvis into his lap like a mortar and pestle. That was the strangest part of the experience for me. It wasn’t the women or the false promise of sex, it was that brotherly love meant using a proxy to sexually stimulate each other. Each time one of them gave the other a knowing nod affirming their sexual gratification, I felt uncomfortable and glad to only have sisters. I refused every dance offered, confident that I was too high, drunk, broke, and bothered to want to participate. Eventually the featured performer, a Canadian actress in the soft-core porn scene, came out and pulled random people up on stage. Tired of me dodging the women, they gave her a handful of bills and she grabbed me. Once I was standing in front of a bunch of hooting men and women, she pushed me to the ground and mimed sex with me before shaking her loins directly into my face. I recall her looking lovely but not feeling very good about myself when I went to go wash my glasses off in the sink. The smudging may have been perceived but the shame was genuine.

She was around later, allegedly doing cocaine with one of the bouncers but I didn’t see any. I chatted her up and told her I felt a little like an asshole when asked how I liked my dance. She laughed and told me that was admirable. At this point I ensured that all of my exchanges with people were exceptionally brief as I was trying with great difficulty to pass myself off as a sober person. I had drank and been drunk before but this was my rookie season in the big leagues of alcohol so I did not yet understand my limits. The conversations people were having were becoming increasingly difficult to participate in and I noticed that time was sort of leaping on ahead without me. Before I knew it, it was time for us to leave.

Eric’s brother brought us back to his dump of an apartment. There his wife was waiting, annoyed that he had brought company. She was a dancer as well and smoked long, thin Capri Super Slim cigarettes one after another. I was attracted to her and Eric hinted at the idea of her giving him a dance and she shot him a look that would have withered any man’s penis. She treated me much better and offered me some marijuana, which I accepted gratefully. This was the decision that ruined everyone’s night. At seventeen, you’ve only a limited number of experiences to draw from so you aren’t always in the best position to make quality judgments. In an effort to keep up with Eric’s brother, I had already gone through half a pack of cigarettes and had enough drinks to put a much larger man to bed early. While I thought this would earn me respect, allow me to reassure the younger readers that nothing is cooler than maintaining composure. Those few drags of a joint were the tipping point. They were the last step over the edge and into a free fall into pain and, finally, insensibility.

It started as a cold sweat and a throbbing in the temples. The room shuddered, pulsed, and shifted as I attempted to use my eyes to examine it. Something was terribly wrong with me. Their speaking became a distant echo as my internal monologue became a clumsy plea to stand up and run to a waste vessel. I know I made an attempt to explain my situation and it might have emerged eloquent and polite or it may have just come out as a garbled mess of verbs and nouns only hinting at the torment and intentions. When I entered the bathroom I ensured that the door was secured behind me as I erupted into a sink surrounded by empty pill containers and grooming items. I could hear someone asking if I was alright through the door and, during a reprieve in vomiting, I assured them everything was going great before falling to my knees and yelling my insides out into their filthy toilet.
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The ride home was long but filled with blackouts that expedited my trip. The passenger-side window was left down as I frequently needed to wretch into the frigid January air and the little coupe smelled pungently of the alcohol I drank earlier in the evening. Once we arrived at my home, I tumbled out of the car and swatted at the door until it swung shut. Eric, fed up, drove off as I collapsed into a mound of snow at the side of the drive. Convinced I was about to get sick again, I paused there for a moment.

I awoke to my father standing over me two hours later. He had gotten up early to plow the driveway as it had begun snowing. He asked me if I had enjoyed myself and suggested that I might want to go inside. It was his practice not to punish me when it was clear I had already done so myself. My joints felt fused into place but I managed to hobble inside where the warm air made my legs and arms feel itchy and swollen. I changed into sweatpants and a clean shirt before crawling under a quilt and falling back asleep. I didn’t make it into work that day because of the hangover and I didn’t work the next four days because I ended up with walking pneumonia. The entire experience taught me a lot of valuable lessons. I learned not to smoke weed after a night of hard drinking and no food. I also found out that strip clubs can be normal or sad; it is all dependent upon your perspective.

Despite having friends that worked as erotic dancers, I never voluntarily visited a gentlemen’s club after that. The closest I ever got was a eight month stretch where I attended nearly every burlesque show in New York City at the behest of my girlfriend. But I eventually stopped going. Maybe I just got tired of seeing breasts. I certainly didn’t tire of the humor and vampire or robot-themed costumes routinely incorporated into acts. That will never get old.

Posted in Dark Humor, friendship, history, humor, Life, religion, stories, true stories | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Hiatus Has Ended

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Image | Posted on by | 11 Comments

YouTube Banned Something I Liked

The humorless democratization of entertainment and politically correct jerk-off festival that the internet has become is really bumming me out. Last week the contentious comedy troupe, Million Dollar Extreme, was banned from YouTube. The channel initially went down on July 16th and has since been officially terminated by the website under allegations of copyright infringement or breaching the community guidelines of decency. This effectively removes hundreds of the group’s videos from online existence. These ranged from scripted and edited pieces of thoughtful irreverent comedy to an impromptu clip of Sam Hyde singing to his mother about how cool she is as she begs him to stop. Nick Rochefort’s prank calls to Craigslist prostitutes and Charles Carroll’s depiction of a homeless Satan are equally and troublingly missing. Going to these videos now yields the text “this video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.”

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The only videos that have survived are fan tributes and exceptionally popular content, like their Williamsburg Street Fashion Interviews and Sam Hyde’s hijacking of a TEDx event. MDE is infamous for this type of comedy terrorism and seems to take special joy making fun of groups that most people would deem off limits, taking more of a scorched earth approach to humor. Nothing and nobody can be considered sacred. They also rarely offer a comforting wink to the audience when satirical elements get uncomfortable or a character says something particularly monstrous. It doesn’t feel safe and, in a world of politically correct labels and trigger warnings, people really like to feel safe. When asked about what Million Dollar Extreme’s response might be to the YouTube ban Hyde said, “I’m planning something big, loud, and ‘legal’ outside the YouTube headquarters. Let’s just say I’m gonna be on national television.”

The democratization of online entertainment that YouTube is so fond of may have helped promote untalented trash and clips of people falling down, but it hasn’t done quite so much for creative innovators pushing the boundaries of normalcy. Last winter, sensitive objectors with no sense of humor rallied together to flag MDE’s content to a point where YouTube placed them under review before allowing them to continue posting again. It is widely believed by the group’s fans that this has happened again with people specifically flagging for the potential use of hateful and offensive language. YouTube’s Community Guidelines state quite clearly that hate speech is defined by any language “which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity.” It also explains that the website is not a place to host shocking or disgusting material and does not want people posting videos of people being hurt or humiliated.

Meanwhile, here are some videos that are still available on YouTube:

Things White People Don’t Understand

Man Throws Up & Pukes & Barfs On Toilet Pooping

Inside the Ku Klux Klan

“Execution” Went Wrong

The Star Wars Kid

Posted in art, Current Events, Dark Humor, humor, Internet Culture, society, true stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Some Anti-Vaxxer I Know Gave Birth To A Mutant

In a country where a television network previously called The Learning Channel can have a programming lineup filled with shows about about fat illiterate families that yell all the time and people who didn’t even know they were pregnant, it probably isn’t incredibly shocking that there is an anti-vaccination movement in America. However it may be surprising to read that the movement has become popular enough to create a resurgence in diseases like measles, meningitis, mumps, and whooping cough (a disease that immediately makes me think of gold panning prospectors and people losing their jobs as slaves to the cotton gin). Despite overwhelming data that vaccines do not cause autism and avoiding getting vaccinated can be flat out dangerous, these people are convinced they are the gatekeepers of some hidden scientific knowledge.

But the dangers of the anti-vaccination movement always seemed like this distant thing surrounding an intangible group I had no direct contact with. That is until someone I knew who actively avoided vaccinating themselves and their children had a intensely weird looking baby. I had previously spent months arguing with her about various fad medical miracles and the risks of not getting inoculated but, just when I thought I had made some headway on a topic, she refused to speak on it any further. After her first child, she became convinced that traditional medicine was a farce and that all she needed to be healthy was eat organic foods and avoid GMOs. While I insisted that she see at least visit a general practitioner, it was her assertion that God would protect and bless her family.

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A few months later it was pretty clear from the initial viewing of her second bundle-of-joy that God had blessed her with a spectacular dud. I am aware of that being an incredibly insensitive thing to say but it was truly breathtaking, and not in the good way. The colossal and potentially hydrocephalic head has its mass focused unusually high. This creates an oversized load for an already feeble neck, so the cranium bounces around a lot. The fingers are formed but not separated so both of the hands are lumpy orbs of singular flesh. The eyes bulge out and appear too old and tired to be those of a child. They are also widely spaced and black as anthracite coal. It is not what I would call a handsome baby. It looks more like something witches would summon out of a bubbling cauldron than the result of love-making between two human adults.

This was all well documented on the infant’s social media page. Some of the first images of it were in a neonatal intensive care unit where the mother added the caption that it was the baby’s “personal limo.” The thing received more CT scans in the first 48 hours of being alive than I have had in my entire life. Yet everyone seemed content to just pray and hope for the best. Nobody acted like anything was the matter or as if avoiding traditional medicine might have contributed to any of the health issues in some small way. Of course there is the possibility that this baby’s deformities could have absolutely nothing to do with improper prenatal care, avoiding vaccinations, and not having a medical practitioner examine the mother before the actual birth. But there is also a chance that this family’s passionate ignorance helped to ensure the birth of a human-amoeba hybrid and not a healthy baby girl.

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It didn’t take long before I got really tired of people commenting about “how cute” the baby is when this thing was clearly a disaster. I’ve complained about the phenomenon before, but things felt different this time. I eventually went completely insane and started posting anonymous photos of the poor creature on websites in the hope that somebody could tell me what was the matter with it. I needed to know if it was some genetic snafu or if this person had ensured this breathing cataclysm through their personal hatred of science. They named it after a flower and have yet to publicly acknowledge exactly what is wrong with it. I want to know why it has skin mittens and if it is going to suffer from mental deficiencies. I’m curious as to what its life will be like and if any of this could have been prevented.

In the end, I know I’m a vile monster for worrying so much about this. It isn’t my family, my life, or my business. I should be like everyone else and just say “congratulations on your offspring” and hope that it leads as happy and healthy of a life as it can before it suffocates in its sleep like the Elephant Man. But there is this thing in the back of my skull scraping away at proper etiquette and begging me to get to the bottom of this. Just having doubts about her ability to properly care for a child is terrifying. The quality control for parents is appalling. A woman in my neighborhood smothered her eleven-month-old son last week. Then she put him in a white silk suit, placed him in bed, and posted a bunch of photos of the body on the internet with captions like “RIP, Tinkabutt.” It was all over the New York news.

Of course I know that not every angry parent is going to resort to murdering their child and that my now ex friend probably isn’t responsible for her infant’s maladies. But there is a piece of me and that will never know for sure and that bothers me. I don’t want to be some internet hall monitor but social media has really become a stage to showcase bad parenting and general idiocy. Almost any moron can have a child and every single one of them has the potential to ruin it. But that is sort of the name of the game. It’s just much more difficult to remain idle when someone makes dangerous choices for their offspring. There is a almost a subtle joy that comes from witnessing a person you don’t like destroy themselves by eating too much fast food or abusing steroids. You think to yourself that there is a hint of natural selection remaining in humanity’s perverted relationship with evolution.

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But nobody wants to see a child suffer. No one feels vindicated when idiots produce a baby and then raise it into an ignorant and unhealthy child. However, we allow people to do it every single day with zero repercussions. If I were President I would solve the wealth inequality gap, because that’s obviously the bigger problem. Then I would form a coalition that would employ people to go to Jenny McCarthy book signings with giant ice-cream scoops to rescue infants from all expectant mothers before it is too late. Once the program received the necessary funding, they would hit up ICP concerts, Tea Party rallies, and every Walmart in existence. Eventually I’d like to just have them patrol the streets in purple squad cars on the lookout for people in oversized Tweety Bird shirts, talking too long about celebrities, or using incorrect grammar. Those scooped-out babies would receive the finest schooling available and be given to a loving family. Meanwhile, their mothers would get free tuition for two years and a chance to see those babies again if they can pass a basic intelligence test of my design. The test would be short but a single incorrect answer would result in a failure.

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Of course it’s easy for me to tell other people how to raise their children when I haven’t bothered to have any of my own, and I can almost hear all the angry parents cursing my name as they read this. However “don’t tell me how to raise my kids” isn’t a fair rebuttal when you’re doing a shitty job. I haven’t the slightest idea of how strict you should be, if spankings actually work, or how to effectively get a child to use the big boy potty. But I do know that you should vaccinate it and that you should see an obstetrician before any of that other stuff is even a concern. This isn’t about personal preference; it’s about public health and common sense. There is no place for anti-intellectualism in a progressive and thriving society.

Posted in america, Current Events, Dark Humor, humor, Life, science, society, stories, true stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Literate Animals

Jean Cocteau said that the worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.

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I bet that’s true.

In hopefully unrelated news, Katie Fox was the big winner of the hat and doesn’t even look remotely stupid in it. We all dodged a bullet there because I would have still posted a photo if some really ugly person had won it. I would have done it and you would have to learn to live with it.
You Monsters Are People Winner

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Air Conditioning Doesn’t Build Character

I have been carrying around a sweater with me all summer because this country has an egregious and unhealthy obsession with air conditioning. Air conditioning doesn’t build character or make you a more interesting person. It just encourages you, an almost thirty-year-old college graduate, to stay indoors and argue with adolescents on XBox Live while intentionally trying to make them angry for your own amusement. It transforms balmy summer days into intolerable hellscapes that make us scurry our pudgy pink flesh from one climate controlled environment to another. While an article against conditioned air might appear to be one of the most trivial series of complaints in existence, consider that the average US household owes roughly twenty percent of its annual power usage to cooling. That’s a lot of money and wasted energy when you could just wear an old wrung out shirt that you dunked in the sink for free.

Twenty years ago air conditioning was nearly ubiquitous in the United States but relatively unheard of in places like China or India. Since then, the number of American homes equipped with A/C has actually doubled and it has become almost commonplace in developing countries. That’s a lot of units when you consider just how many people live in places like China and India. Experts are anticipating energy consumption to reach, if not surpass, ten trillion kilowatt-hours every year just for cooling. If that sounds like a huge number it may be because it is. And that’s sort of ludicrous for a luxury item that contributes directly toward global warming while simultaneously increasing the cost of the very energy used to run it. We are tempting fate to an alarming degree here.

Airconditioning

But it’s not exclusively a problem relating to the environment. It can also be a quality of life issue for individuals. Like many people, I used to work in an office building as a slave. I primarily commuted by motorcycle during the summer months and, after moving to New York, rotated in walking. It was nice to have the time outside but, for the first three hours of every day, I would shudder and quake as my normally easy flowing vital fluids would coagulate inside of my body as a result of refrigerated air. Some days were so cold that I couldn’t even think straight. I would forget to do all of those little things that keep a business running smoothly. Things like adding exclamation points that help to saturate an otherwise bland corporate email with false positivity and reassure coworkers that you aren’t upset with them (even though you usually are). That’s the sort of mistake that could ruin a professional relationship forever. Strong hot coffee served to thin out my blood enough to push it around my body and keep me conscious while I wasted the day fixing spreadsheets and occasionally jotting down creative ideas on company time. This was not, however, a permanent solution as I became increasingly lethargic as lunchtime neared. Meanwhile arguments would usually spring up about the thermostat depending on what people were wearing and who had most recently been outside.

Actually going outside on an oppressively hot day after having spent four full hours in an arctic cavern with florescent lighting is somewhat similar to developing a severe mental illness inside of a microwave. The heat boils your brain while your eyes fail to adjust to the natural lighting. All that cool air has done is make the normal summer climate feel like a stifling vomit-inducing furnace. The first breath of warm pollen-laden air is so incredibly unpleasant that you have to ask yourself why you bothered to come outside in the first place. It’s a miracle that people don’t just contort themselves into a screaming ball whenever they leave the building. We literally feel disoriented and sick when exiting the icy grasp of an office building or restaurant for the midday heat. It’s like the sun is exercising its own personal vengeance upon us for forsaking its cosmic glory by partaking in artificially conditioned air.

The truth is that it usually isn’t all that hot; sitting around in cold air has just fooled your body into thinking it is. Unsurprisingly, I have not noticed any of this when I work from home or at locations that just use fans. The reason for this is that our bodies have evolved to deal with this kind of thing if we give them the opportunity. Air conditioning in the home was designed to make those few uncomfortably hot hours during the worst days of summer bearable. It was not designed to act as refrigeration for fat people who never go outside. It should be used in hospital burn wards and to keep astronauts from being cooked alive by solar radiation. It should not be used to preserve your flesh and keep you indoors while you gorge yourself on snacks and watch marathons of television shows with your spouse/eating-partner. The only time I’d ever want to be subjected to non-stop conditioned and purified air is if I am living inside of an iron lung or trying to colonize the Moon. Here’s a good rule of thumb. If you are finding yourself sweating while stationary, drink more water. However, if you find that water is insufficient in cooling you down or you start to feel shaky and sick, then it might be an okay idea to turn on your A/C. But let’s not just give up the ghost once it hits two degrees above your idea of the perfect temperature. The official temperature at which a fan starts losing it’s cooling effectiveness is when it’s above 90 degrees Fahrenheit indoors (33 degrees Celsius) and even hotter outside. At this point, you might be contributing to rolling blackouts but can still switch on the A/C nearly guilt free. Below that, some shade and a fan should almost always suffice. And don’t act like they don’t do the trick. In South Korea, superstitious types believe that the power of indoor fans are enough to kill people while they sleep. It is called “fan death” and has led to all Korean fans to having timers. It is also acknowledged by the South Korean government to be a genuine health concern. Look it up before I get further sidetracked.

Airconditioning_bevins

I wonder who even decided that it should be the same temperature year round and that the seasons were just a big inconvenience. Do children still chase after ice cream trucks and play in the park or are we past all of that? We should be saving air conditioning for the important stuff like biological laboratories, microchip production, industrial facilities, mining operations, and making sure server rooms don’t overheat. As for our individual comfort, I do not believe we are gaining anything by attempting to maintain an unchanging indoor climate. With the exception of those poor few living in the most sweltering places on the planet, nobody’s life is being enriched by air conditioning in the home. Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m some great twentieth century author in my muggy New York apartment with the ceiling fan whirring reassuringly overhead. But other than the occasional abuse of stimulants and alcohol, the overall lack of wealth, and the infinite hours wasted on my art, there are few similarities. The oldest thing I occasionally write on is a PC from the start of the new millennia, I’ve never once done a stint in prison or mental institution, and I know that I will eventually lug that stupid air conditioner over to the window and turn it on. But I promise not to do it until I am so immobilized by the stifling summer heat, that all sense of shame has left me. That is my pledge. I solemnly swear not to be some milquetoast wonder who contributes to the subtle downfall of society and nature (like my neighbors) by perpetually running my air conditioner because I am too timid to experience even the most subtle changes in weather.

Posted in america, Current Events, Dark Humor, Life, science, society | Tagged , , , , , , , | 27 Comments