June 30, 2009
So, in order to try and promote my coffee-table book, "Why Every President Sucked: America's Undying Pursuit for a King," I have decided to write a satirical song for each president detailing the historically true, sucky action I cover in the book. Here we go.
#1. George Washington
Lyrics can be found on the YouTube page itself.
June 29, 2009
This documentary film from 2005 chronicles the lives of several troubled black boys from the projects of Baltimore as they are swept to Kenya for a year of personalized education. The movie is fascinating, and also ends up being a huge PSA for charter schooling in this country. One of the many poignant moments in the film for me was when one of the children was proudly touting his strength, struggled to remember a name, and then likened his strength to that of Frederick Douglass. Growing up, I remember learning about a whopping total of three men each year during Black History month. One was Frederick Douglass. One had a dream. And the other farmed peanuts. With the election of Barack Obama, the expectations for children like these in Baltimore just skyrocketed. Praise the Lord.
June 25, 2009
A few years ago, my 6'7" tall friend Matt was visiting and got a headache. He asked for some Tylenol. I gave him two. He looked at me and said, "Dude, I'm 250 pounds. Give me four." I had never thought about that before. I just had "Take 2 Tylenol" ingrained in my head ever since I was a kid. My wife and I are currently on the same antihistamine for our allergies, and I remembered that story this morning. So, I ran to check the bottles, and sure enough, each of us are getting 180 mg each. So, the question remains: Is she getting twice the proper dosage, or am I getting half?
June 24, 2009
My wife and I typically try every new soda flavor and candy concoction that comes out. I know that sounds disgustingly obese, but they're actually quite rare occasions. More than half of our taste tests end up being new flavors of Mountain Dew, which have been testing each summer for the last decade or so. Yesterday was Dew-Day. Now, Mountain Dew has arguably tried more new flavors in the last 10 years than every other major soda company put together. And the only one that has really stuck for me has been Mountain Dew LiveWire (orange) released in 2003. That has become a summer staple at our house. Mountain Dew Pitch Black (grape) was good too, but due to unpopularity (and likely brand cannibalism) is no longer made. The only other one you non-dew connoisseurs may be familiar with is Mountain Dew Code Red (cotton candy-mediciney). Nearly half of the new flavors in the past decade have been cherry as well. The only thing I can think of is that they know how creepy Code Red tastes, and are trying to find a replacement. None have worked so far. Then last year, Mountain Dew released three flavors charged with ginseng, and in true dewmocratic form, let the nation pick the winner. The nation did right, choosing Mountain Dew Voltage (blue-raspberry), the best one of the three, but it's still not good enough to buy. So, yesterday, I'm walking down the aisles of my local Wal....independent organic grocer, and shreik with glee as I see two new Mountain Dew flavors. The taste test was held last night. Mountain Dew Fuel Horde Red, ANOTHER cherry mediciney version. What's the deal? The second was Mountain Dew Fuel Alliance Blue, a wildberry concoction that is pretty close to Voltage, and unnecessary. So stick to Dew in its green and orange forms. And now you now the rest of the story.
June 23, 2009
I'm taking it a step further than last week, and claiming that movies are inherently greater than books. I know what you're thinking. Books allow you to imagine. Well, movies can too. It's just that the director too often uses the visual dimension to give stuff away, and make it easier for us. But, they don't have to. What if they could do what great books do, but by using a whole new realm of visual communication, too? Shakespeare wrote his plays to be acted. Cadence. Delivery. Eyebrows. Movement. All adding up to more than the words alone. And movies can go even further. The narrator now has the control of your eye. Giving you new perspectives, clues. Video is simply a broader medium than the written word. There's more that can be done. I've seen glimpses of it already. And as directors get better about using it, it's going to be amazing.
June 22, 2009
A man voices his opinions on economics, public policy and freedom. And when they don't agree, we hear, "He's fat, was mean to Michael J. Fox and was addicted to pain pills!" Is the idea here that if I can prove the evilness of the man himself, then that proves the inherent wrongness of his ideas? Because Karl Marx was an anti-Semite, and according to some historians, an adulterer. Does that dismiss socialism as a valid economic concept as well? If the character of the believer disqualifies the content of the belief, I'm not sure we're left with anything.
June 19, 2009
June 18, 2009
I once played drums for a college youth group in Peoria. One day, the married youth pastor gave a sermonette on how great sex was, and how much we should all look forward to having it. A great message to Christian teens trying to control their celibacy until marriage, which was likely 5-10 more years away. Perhaps he was intentionally trying to preach against the stigma that all churches think sex is bad. But, I think we need to be very careful not to promote sex as the ultimate human experience, either. I mean, c'mon, an animal can do it. I have never been in the midst of an amazing spiritual experience, and thought, "boy I'd really like to have sex right now." Nor have I ever been in the midst of an intense musical experience, or an act of charity or a deep conversation and had that desire either. You know the story of Jesus and the woman at the well? After having this transforming encounter with her, the disciples came back from buying food and tried to get him to eat something, knowing that he must be as tired and hungry from the journey as they were. But he replied, "I have food you do not know about." There is a spiritual reality that satiates all lesser desires. And that is the ultimate we should all be shooting for. Sex is good. But, it's comparatively overrated.
June 17, 2009
June 16, 2009
Every Flight. Baby Free. I'm sort of surprised an airline hasn't tried this yet. Being stuck within 15 rows of a screaming infant on a flight is just about the most torturous experience we face in our lives. And when it's the preamble or the conclusion of a vacation, it's unbelievably annoying. I'm sure an airline would be scared of alienating new families, who then could become used to using another carrier, once past the infant stage. But, if I could know that there would be 0% chance of me hitting the baby lottery on my next flight...I feel like an airline could gain a lot more than they'd be losing. And I think those very families who would have to fly Southwest for a couple years would come back, too.