Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nebraska High School Wrestler the Typhoid Mary of Herpes

Who would have ever thought that the practice of half-naked teenagers grinding their sweaty flesh against one another could pose a health risk? The Minnesota State High School League is thinking it now, as they've banned wrestling until February 6 after tracing 24 cases of herpes gladitorium reported by members of 10 different teams to a wrestling tournament known as the Clash Duals that took place in Rochester, MN December 29-30. There were two teams from Nebraska that participated in the tournament--Valentine and Omaha Skutt--and it's been determined that an unnamed young man from Valentine (naturally) is likely the engine that got the STD train rolling. He should totally mention this incident on his college applications--talk about making an impact in your community!

What's important to note, here, is that for all the stupid names associated with this story (Clash Duals, Omaha Skutt), the coolest one actually belongs to the strain of herpes in question. "Gladitorium"? There's no more badass-sounding disease you can contract, other than perhaps "Thunderdome Chlamydia".

For their part, the School Activities Association in Nebraska--the state that houses the kid who started this whole problem, mind you--has no plans to enact a wrestling moratorium similar to the one laid down in Minnesota. So if you're a Nebraska high school student currently looking to join an extracurricular activity, I heartily recommend the chess team.

Donovan McNabb Donates Soup, Lies

While appearing at a press conference at the Super Bowl media center Wednesday, where Campbell's soup announced it was donating 1 million cans to food banks nationwide, sometime Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and all-the-time Campbell's soup pitchman Donovan McNabb said he wasn't jealous of the success Jeff Garcia experienced as his injury-necessitated replacement this season. If that's the truth, I will personally eat every last one of those cans.

Sure, Donovan. You're probably happy that a 75-year-old man who couldn't get a roster spot at the start of the season as a backup in Canadian disabled leagues and who looks like a turtle ended up making the job you cry about every year look easy. In fact, you probably have Jeff Garcia posters hanging on your bedroom walls...and those knife slashes ended up in them because you're not jealous.

Al Franken to Run for Senate; Tom Davis Not

According to an anonymous senior Democratic official, comedian and soon-to-be-former Air America Radio personality Al Franken is definitely going to run for Senate in Minnesota in 2008. It is being speculated that his official announcement could be made during his final Air America broadcast, scheduled for February 14th.

Is Al Franken out of his mind? What, exactly, has led him to think that he's equipped to hold public office in Minnesota? I challenge him to prove that he's ever once body-slammed Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and/or battled the Predator.

UPDATE (02/14/07): Wonkette confirms that the prophecy has been fulfilled (and they've got a link to video of the announcement).

Molly Ivins, Last Non-Stereotypical Texan, has Died

Columnist and author Molly Ivins, who was a walking contradiction in that she was an outspoken, well-known Texan and not a gun-toting, Bible-thumping, pro-Bush crazy person, succumbed to a lengthy battle with breast cancer Wednesday evening at the age of 62. Although technically she was a California native (she moved to Houston with her family when she was a young girl), Ivins, with her colorful criticisms of the Iraq War, stood as a shining example of everything George W. Bush wants the rest of the world to think Texas (and, let's be honest, America) isn't. If you happen to be a Texan who isn't a yee-haw nutbag, the passing of Molly Ivins ought to make you particularly sad.

(On a side note, I'm concerned that my blog hasn't even been in existence for 48 hours and it already contains 2 obituaries. I hope that blind shaman wasn't right about me being a curse on the world--I've got five bucks riding on that bet.)

Use Girlie Products, Get Girlie Boobs is reporting that the use of some shampoos, soaps and lotions that contain lavender and tea tree oils can disrupt the hormonal balance in boys and enlarge their breasts. Hot.

Some people might say that that's what boys get for using girlie products...but I'll take it one step further and say that that's what boys get for bathing in general. The only way for a man to truly ensure that he is manly is to never wash himself. That's my policy, and let me assure you that the resultant natural man-musk drives the ladies wild.

Heroic Women Dedicated to Proving They Can Celebrate Senseless Brutality as Well as Any Man

Did you know that there was such a thing as the National Women's Football Association? I used to not know that either, but luckily we both do now. It's been around since 2000, and for the first two seasons of its existence it was called the National Women's Football League, until those sexist pigs in the "actual" National Football League successfully pressured the organization to change its name. The NFL is crazy to not want to be associated with the female version of their sport--don't they see how profitable the synergy between the NBA and WNBA is working out for all parties involved? NBA's whatever their slogan might be since people stopped caring after Michael Jordan retired!

But the NWFA is dedicated to proving that they're no half-assed girlie outfit like their cute-shorts-wearing, no-attempting-to-cripple-one-another, basketball-playing counterparts. Thanks to the vibrant and trailblazing leadership of team owners like the Cincinnati Sizzle's former Ickey-Woods-Shuffler and door-to-door meat salesman Ickey Woods--and possibly you--by the time their 2007 season kicks off in 73 days, you'll be saying, "What's a Super Bowl?"

(And then someone will remind you that it's the annual championship game of the NFL, and you'll be like, "Oh, yeah, I enjoy watching that," before resuming your rehabilitation from that head injury you suffered.)

Me vs. My Page-A-Day Mensa Puzzle Calendar - 01/31/07

QUESTION: "A popular proverb has been put into fancy language below. Can you put it back into its original form?

"The most highly prized objects are often seen upon arrival as being contained in minuscule arrangements."

MY ANSWER: "All that glitters is not gold."

ACTUAL ANSWER: "Good things come in small packages."

CONSENSUS: That "minuscule arrangements" part gave me great doubt about my answer, but my idiot train got so much momentum from "upon arrival" (thinking that it meant the person's arrival to the object, not vice versa) that it just couldn't be stopped. You're lucky I have no control over my brain, calendar.

Jill Marie Moore is an Awesome Cheerleading Coach

They do things right at Ware Shoals High School in South Carolina. For example, on "college day", when the students are supposed to visit a local institute of higher learning to plan the furthering of their education (boooriiing!), the cheerleading coach, Jill Marie Moore, instead takes two of her best girls to a hotel room so they can all get drunk and have sex with a couple of National Guardsman (yay!).

The married-with-two-kids Moore, who now stands accused of all kinds of cool stuff--like regularly buying alcohol and cigarettes for members of her squad, bringing a cheerleader to the National Armory to distract employees while Moore had sex with her (also married) Guardsman lover, and having sex with a male high school student--is actually in trouble, because some people apparently don't recognize when somebody deserves a parade. The only person in the picture who seems to be on the ball is the Ware Shoals High School principal, Jane Blackwell, who's been charged with obstruction of justice for impeding the investigation into Moore's activities. (At least one person in that town understands the meaning of "teamwork" and "school spirit".)

In case you're worried about the two National Guardsman who had sex with high school students--don't be. The age of consent in South Carolina is 16--which both of the cheerleaders were--so they're in the clear. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sidney Sheldon Definitely Dead; Not Creative Enough to Fake That

Airport novelist and originator of many terrible TV shows and movies Sidney Sheldon died Tuesday afternoon at the age of 89. Despite the fact that, at the time of this writing, no one has broken the news to his website (where, as seen in the image below, Sheldon appears to be communicating from beyond the grave), there's little question that a writer of escapist fiction who once said "I don't think you can fool the reader" would be neither confident nor skilled enough to falsify his own passing.

Kobe Bryant Mad Libs

Due to his one-game suspension for elbowing the Spurs' Manu Ginobili in the face during a game last Sunday, Kobe Bryant won't be in attendance when the Lakers play the Knicks tonight, his only chance of the season to play at Madison Square Garden. Kobe had some words to say on the matter...but really, those words could have been about anything.

For example, instead of Madison Square Garden, he could have been talking about a certain hotel room in Eagle, Colorado.... Instead of "playing basketball", he could have been referring another sort of rigorous physical activity....

And instead of his elbow, he could have been talking about his penis.

"I've been waiting to ____ here, it's always been a fun place for me to ____ here, and I'm surprised. Shocked, by it, actually. I unintentionally ______ [that girl]. What do you say, it's a ________. You unintentionally ____ people with _____ every once in a while. ...I haven't seen a precedence for this. There's unintentional _____ that take place in a ________ all the time. I'm blown away by it. It makes no sense."

It does now, Kobe.

Feigning Interest

Do you like dirty movies? If so, you are a disgusting pervert who should seek psychological counseling immediately.

Do you like movies that, while not sexually explicit, make you feel kind of dirty for watching them? If so, I urge you to enjoy the above music video. It's called "Feigning Interest", and it stars Josh Hopkins, who the internets tell me has appeared in films and on television.

I'm Pretty Sure This Guy is Jesus

Everybody's all up in arms because this guy, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, says he's Jesus. Personally, I think he's talking sense. Here are three reasons why I believe him:

1) He says so. (Duh.)
2) He's got "Jesus" right there in his name. (I've got "Johnny" in my name, and I know for a fact that that makes me more likely than anyone who isn't named Johnny to be Johnny Cash and/or the guy from The Dead Zone.)
3) He also calls himself the Antichrist and has the number "666" tattooed on his forearm...which I think we can all agree are pretty Christ-like things to do.

Case closed.

Me vs. My Page-A-Day Mensa Puzzle Calendar - 01/30/07


"Joe likes Kate but not Elizabeth. He likes Andy but not David, and he likes Sam but not Roger. Using the same logic, will he like Dick or William?"

MY ANSWER: "Dick (shortened name)"

ACTUAL ANSWER: "Dick (Joe only likes nicknames)"

CONSENSUS: Everybody knows that Joe likes Dick.

Too Old for MySpace, Too Young to Not Care: Metroville's Vague, Half-Assed Reason for Being

Really? MySpace? We're all still doing that?

For years, I've proudly considered myself simultaneously too intellectual and too cool for MySpace, viewing it as a virtual (literally) (hey, neat--"literally virtual") wasteland for inattentive, illiterate teenagers with astonishingly poor taste in music--even relative to their own age group (people finally come around to acknowledging the reality that Creed has always blown and shall blow forever, only to raise the flag of Hinder? That godawful mess might as well be called "Sons of Creed (A Tribute to Nickelback)"!)--and no Thunderdome in place to handily sort things out ("Two illiterate teenagers enter--one illiterate teenager leave...and experience much-needed personality adjustment when confronted with sobering reality of having been forced to commit violent homicide for the entertainment of others"). Had the website come into existence just a couple of years earlier, I shamefully admit that I would have most likely maintained a MySpace page of my own to this very day (and it would have been awesome!--all with, like, awesome bands and awesome pics of me and my friends going crazy cuz me and my friends are the craziest!--HINDER RAWKS!!!), because the fact is I've always longed for a personal space on these here internets.

My first attempt to bring that dream to life (back when I was an optimist and actually maintained dreams with no sense of irony) occurred around 2001 (it might have been 2002--I drink), when I started a page on Blogspot--which some of you young'uns might not know was an early version of Blogger, the very website you're looking at right now. Small world. That page, called "Johnny Anonymous", would grow to include about two posts (one of which was an abandoned attempt by the author to humorously reimagine the individuals met during a recent stay in court-ordered rehab (remember how I mentioned that I drink? I used to do so while driving--high-five! ["high-five" not to be imagined as spoken in a fake Kazakhstani accent]) as superhuman crimefighters) and be viewed by as many as one (1) person worldwide before being abandoned.

A little over a year ago, following a several-years-long stretch as an audience-member-only (though a particularly devoted one) of the worldwide web, I threw my hat back into the ring in a big way, starting my honest-to-goodness (that's three hyphenated three-word phrases in one sentence, which must be some kind of record) very own website from the ground up. I didn't use a hosting site like Blogger this time around; I did the legwork and paid the fees required to own and maintain a standalone, independently hosted website--a website I decided to call WordKick, apparently because I like things that sound kind of gay. At the time, I thought that my quest to be a part of the internet had come to a satisfactorily conclusion with the formation of WordKick. I happily and (semi-)regularly posted to the site for months...before an unsettling realization began to seep in:

Maintaining one's own website is hard.

I'm an American--I want immediate results without effort. In light of these parameters, WordKick presented a problem. The rate of my posting decreased with each incident, as I grew increasingly bored with the requisite gruntwork of reformatting the site and frustrated by the inherent contradiction that in order to do what I wanted to do on the internet--write (a.k.a. be hilarious)--I was forced to do the last thing I wanted to do anywhere--work (a.k.a. be boring and totally non-hilarious). By January of 2006, it had become depressingly clear to me that was not long for this world.

Miraculously (or at least I thought it was at the time), just as I was preparing to abandon my dreams of being an online presence, I stumbled across an article in the Boston Globe about an upstart website that was specifically tailored to people who serious about writing on the internet but didn't want to bother with the technical aspects of maintaining their own platforms. The site was called "Gather", and its owners--based in my hometown area of Boston (hence the writeup in the Globe)--were purporting it to be essentially a "grownup alternative" to MySpace. The user-friendliness of MySpace without the associated mouth-breathing moron appeal? It seemed to me as though Gather was heaven-sent, so I kicked WordKick to the curb and joined up promptly.

I've been on the site for over a year now, and in that year I have experienced just enough intermittent satisfaction with it to prevent me from acknowledging a disappointing reality about Gather...that is, until right now: Gather isn't a grownup alternative to MySpace in the sense that it fosters more intelligent content; it's a grownup alternative in the sense that the stupid people who populate the site are simply older on average than the stupid people who populate MySpace. Despite the occasional shining star, Gather often seems to be nothing more than a MySpace for infirm, delusional, (and sometimes really, really crazy) middle-aged rednecks...with less features. As fortuitous as I thought it was that the aforementioned Boston Globe article reached me in Los Angeles, I had failed to consider the possibility that news of Gather might also reach Deliverance country, both literally and figuratively...and boy, did it ever.

As my dissatisfaction with Gather has grown, I've been disturbed to notice that not only has MySpace's popularity not begun to wane, as I had once predicted it would, its ever-growing web has actually started to ensnare people that I respect. When the invitation went out for my high school reunion last spring, it included a link to an organizational MySpace page where potential attendees could keep track of the event's planning stages as well as browse the individual "MySpaces" of former classmates...and this latter feature led me to the stunning discovery that just about everybody I was friends with in high school was on the site. These weren't just the underage, uninformed dregs of society I was seeing share their favorite music at bone-chilling volume and wax poetic about why things suck; these were intelligent, fully functioning adults--several of whom possess advanced postgraduate degrees, making them way smarter than me. And it's not just faces from the past that I see on MySpace; friends and colleagues whom I see in person on a regular basis are also making little virtual homes for themselves on the site at a growing rate...and just about every time one of them joins, I receive an invitation to follow suit.

Is it inevitable? Will my snobbish contempt for MySpace ultimately prove ineffective in the face of the site's seemingly all-encompassing magnetic pull? People much wiser and more productive than me have fallen into lockstep with MySpace Nation--does not that mean that the writing is on the wall?

Perhaps. But I'm not bowing yet. And as I find myself once again a man without a website, I turn--in a bit of inadvertent poetic symmetry--back to the place from which I once came to begin anew. Blogspot may have changed its name and grown up a little, but so have I. Now that I'm getting my own blog going on the site again, however, one thing is sure to remain constant:

I will be talking to absolutely no one.