Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Four Whores of the Apocalypse

I have a theory. I have a theory and I’m going to go ahead and try it out here. It all came to me in a dream. Okay, let’s be honest here, it may or may not have been more of a fantasy than a dream, but I’d like to stipulate for the record that it occurred at night while my eyes were, in fact, closed.

You see, this all started with a friend mentioning to me that the Mayan Long Count Calendar ends in 2012 and that it is theorized by others that the Mayans saw this as the end of the world. Of course it’s theorized by others that it’s a random point in the future they thought was “far enough” to look ahead to when putting it together in the first place.

I’m not a big fan of math, so I can certainly understand getting to what I like to call, the “screw this” point, where the Mayan mathematicians and astrologers figured that it was best left to someone else to continue the calendar and retired to their homes for a few beers and some hot wings.

This understanding aside, quite a few people believe that the Mayans knew something and that the world will be coming to an end. If so that means the end of the world is a little over four years away. I, for one, believe it. I actually think the Mayans may have actually overestimated by a few years. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the world ended in the next year or two based on this little theory of mine.

Allow me to explain.

I believe that the Book of Revelations was misinterpreted. I don’t think it was supposed to be the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at all. Maybe it was the context, maybe it was an interpretation problem, but I believe that the end of the world will be ushered in, not by Four Horsemen, but by the Four Whores of the Apocalypse.

My theory, which admittedly was anally liberated and composed after a night where I accidentally lost track of the number of pints of Harp I’d consumed is that we are already in the End Times. The end of the world is upon us and the possibility exists that at any moment, existence as we know it can be concluded.

You see, my theory is this: The Four Whores of the Apocalypse signify the end of the world. When all four appear and unite, Armageddon is upon us. Through diligent research and careful examination, I have identified three of the prophesized Whores.

Pestilence is Britney Spears. She is a virulent and highly infectious disease that can cause an epidemic or even a pandemic. We are all infected with the Britney Virus. She plagues our televisions, our radios, our news programs, our newspapers and our Google. She cannot be escaped. She seemed so innocent and harmless at first, in her White knee high stockins, but she’s taken root and there is no known cure. Britney Spears is the disease that will claim us all. It is a disease of the mind and eventually, we will all throw ourselves from building tops just to avoid hearing one more inane story about Britney Freakin’ Spears!

War is Lindsey Lohan. She doesn’t ride the traditional red horse, but her hair is aflame and she is certainly embodies the color of Mars. I knew she was the devil when I heard she agreed to star in a movie with Jane Fonda. Who better to learn about traitorous warfare from than Persephone her own self? Now she is unleashed upon us and posed to strike. She thirsts for blood and destruction. She binges on alcohol and drugs, lacking the patience to wait for the appointed time, rehabbing only to keep up her human-like appearance. When the end comes, the great war will take place behind the manipulations and contriving of the evil warmonger, Lindsey Lohan!

Famine is Paris Hilton. Never before has someone who considers herself “hot” been so sickly thin. If a plane headed to an eating disorder clinic crashed on a frozen mountain and Paris Hilton was one of the survivors, she would be among the last to be eaten because she’s so bony and emaciated. A few years back when she made that porno tape I was afraid the poor girl was going to crack right down the middle she was so skinny. She is the very symbol of starvation and hunger. I dare say the Hilton family has enough money to feed her. She chooses her appearance because the identity of her true self, not because skeletal is the new Black. When unleashed, she will be the catalyst of the final famine, we will all walk the world looking as sickly as Paris Hilton!

And that leaves Death. The Pale one, the final Whore of the Apocalypse will appear soon and behind her comes the final judgment. Death is the only one of the Whores I’ve yet to identify and I believe that is because she has yet to reveal herself for what she truly is to the world. It won’t be someone we suspect. For instance, it’s not Courtney Love, Madonna or Amy Winehouse. Those choices are too obvious. Look to the other Whores, to their beginnings to find clues as to who the fourth Whore will be. They all start cute and sweet and innocent. They do not begin as antichrist figures, they evolve into their true selves. The world, their celebrity, their power corrupts them until their true identities reveal themselves.

And so I warn you friends, look to Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes and the non-evil Olsen Twin. When one of them starts to turn, when you see the evil seep into their now innocent personalities, know that we are on the brink of the arrival of the Fourth Whore of the Apocalypse and with her, she will bring the end of the world. For what it’s worth, my money is on Miley Cyrus. Sure, her little Hannah Montana bit is cute now, but do not forget that she is the spawn of the devil himself! Nothing is more satanic than the two evils Billy Ray Cyrus brought upon the world: Achy Breaky Heary & The Mullet. It seems fitting that his daughter would be the final piece in Armageddon’s puzzle.

This is my theory, cultivated in the proving grounds of my colon and unleashed now upon the world. You feel it don’t you? You know it’s not some crackpot theory of evangelical idiocy as are so many of the end of the world theories. There’s no Kool-aid to drink. I don’t want your money. I’ve said this not to frighten or disturb you, but to simply tell you the truth. And when the Fourth Whore of the Apocalypse appears in the next couple of years, you will know that I am a prophet and wish you’d stopped putting money in your 401k.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Playing Favorites

Someone needs to explain to me the fascination of people with ranking your friends? It certainly seems to be the cool thing to do, but I just don’t get it. If you’re on MySpace, you have a “Top 8.” Depending on who your wireless phone company is you may have a “Fave Five.” The evil empire of marketing manipulators seems to want us to choose and publicize who are most favorite friends and family members are to the entire world.

Want to know where you stand in someone’s life? Check to see where you’re ranked on their MySpace page. If you’re lower than number eight, the powers who be have deemed you second tier at best. And where does this number of eight come from? Was this decision made arbitrarily? Does it have some kind of significance? Why not seven? Why not ten? What’s the significance of eight? Surely it can’t just be a matter of web design aesthetics, can it?

A few months ago when I got onto MySpace I started adding friends as they asked to be added. Wherever they fell is where I left them. I refuse to rank my friends. If you’re a friend, congratulations, you’re in the fold. Your membership in that fraternity grants you the full rights and privileges as all the rest of the schmucks who I like to refer to as my peeps. We are fam-i-ly! All for one and one for all! I go, you go! I love you guys!

What about all these people who feel compelled to rank their friends though? And what about all of these people who care about where they are ranked? Is this really necessary? What’s next? Will we start ranking co-workers on the job? Customers? Will we start ranking family members?

“Sorry, Grandma, I can’t come for Christmas, you’re number nine on my favorite family members list and Crazy Uncle Cleetus, who’s number seven, is hosting a lil shindig, so I’m going there instead.”

“Hey Aunt Muriel, I’m moving you into my top eight family members for giving me that great Christmas gift!”

“Mr. Larson, I’m afraid I can’t work the shift you asked me to, because you’re not in my top eight managers list. Next time, you may want to think about having Mrs. Bell ask me instead. She has candy on her desk which puts her at number four.”

I don’t mind when ESPN ranks different teams. I don’t mind when criteria is set and schools are ranked, or any other tangible entity for that matter. When it comes to the people in your life who mean something to you though, try this revolutionary thing called telling them that they matter, instead of assigning them a number.

When it’s all said and done, if you’re the kind of person who can rank the people in your life who mean something to you, you’ll deserve it when the ones whose feelings are hurt by their ranking find new friends. What a sad day it would be for me, if I could ever separate eight people from those I know as more important than all the rest. So rest assured friends, you’re all number one to me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So. Dumbledore is gay huh?

So, Albus Dumbledore is gay. My initial reaction was, so what? It really doesn’t make a difference to me, but the more I thought about it, the more disturbed I’ve become to the point that it now bothers me immensely. You see, I don’t care about the sexual preference of the character, but I am upset that the author, Jo Rowling, didn’t have the courage to out him in the pages of her books.

This past weekend, in response to a question about Dumbledore’s love life, Rowling was quoted as saying that she’s always seen Dumbledore as being gay. A liberal New York audience, after a moment of shocked silence, erupted into applause. A conservative religious right has been trying to pick its panties out of it’s collective ass ever since.

Simply put, this revelation makes a difference to a lot of people. It makes a difference to people who revel in the fact that a character that they consider to be one of the all time great sages, esteemed with the likes of Yoda and Gandalf turns out to be gay. It makes a difference to those who believe that children should not be exposed to homosexuality, that it is a sin and evil by nature.

It makes a difference.

It is my contention that revealing traits of a character which have such far reaching effects outside of the actual pages of the book themselves is irresponsible and amateurish.

I’ll stop here for a moment to point out that I enjoyed the entire series of Harry Potter books. I’ve read them each at least twice a piece. I admire Rowling as a storyteller. While she has her critics in the world of literary elitist and has endured much snobbish ridicule over her works, I think that her talent for storytelling is undeniable. I am a fan.

However, I’m compelled to side with those who say Rowling is amateurish on this issue. A good author says all he or she has to say in the pages of his or her work. What is left to the imagination should stay there—in the reader’s imagination. Property of the reader to play with in the realm of imagination for all of time. To continually add on to the characters, to give them lives and traits which were not introduced in the pages themselves, is a shame. It rings false.

Had Dumbledore’s sexuality been addressed in the books themselves, then it is part of the lore and the character. The reader is free to make any judgments they may wish to make. Whether those judgments are right or wrong, at least the author has the courage to stand up to them. By announcing to the world only now, after her series is done, that one of her central characters is gay, she fails her audience, her character and herself as a writer.

Rowlingites and Potterphiles seem to be unanimously in support of Jo Rowling’s decision. I’ve read several accounts praising her for portraying Dumbledore as she would any other character and never mentioning he was gay until after the series had concluded, as some sort of lesson to the intolerant that we are all the same. I’m afraid there was no such depth in this outing though. There wasn’t a lesson here about how we’re all the same, because we’re simply not. Everyone is different. Each of us have things about us that make us different from the next person. It is the collection of these things that make us who we are and it is the responsibility of the author to draw for her readership, the character as cleanly unblurred as possible.

It’s even more disturbing that Book Seven was in many ways, a Dumbledore expose’. It is in this book, after his death in the previous book that we really get a feel for man behind the curtain. This book is Dumbledore revealed. In previous books, he had always been something of an enigma. Not so in the series finale. Dumbledore is revealed to us. How can it be inconsequential and irrelevant that a man who preaches about the power and magic of love, chooses to keep his own love secret?

Anyone who’s ever taken any kind of creative writing class can tell you that writing is about making decisions. Being ambiguous only gets you so far, and is a special effect in the world of literature. A writer must make decisions. Rowling chose to not decide until the words had been printed, the money was in the bank and the praises had been spoken. She chose to alter what she wrote by what she said, thus depriving people of the experience of which they thought they had been a part.

Changing a character after a book has been written, changes the perspective of that character and his/her place in the world around them. To change things now, changes everything. If she’d had the courage to out this character’s sexuality, along with all of the other discoveries we made about him in Book Seven, I would applaud her. I am not ignorant. Dumbledore’s sexuality does not threaten me. An author, who can’t seem to let go, who can’t stop telling the story, who refuses to allow the readers to play in their own imaginations with the words she’s written, does bother me though.

I’m less a fan today than I was a week ago. Not because a beloved character is gay, but because a beloved author refuses to let go.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pulling wool

Will someone please explain to me what the abortion issue has to do with electing our next president? This never fails to completely confuse me. The news today is all about how an arch bishop said he’d refuse holy communion to any of the candidates who supported abortion rights. And bam-smack-whirl, we’re in the middle of the whole abortion issue in the political arena again.

Before you tar and feather me, let me say that I do understand it’s the president who nominates the justices to the Supreme Court and that they in turn, can rule on abortion rights issues.
Still though, I have to say that abortion is about the last issue I’d ever weigh a potential candidate's vote on. And before I get too deep into this quagmire, I want to acknowledge my understanding of abortion as a serious issue and one well worth thought, discussion and action. I want to say that my stance against abortion as a major political issue has very little to do with the issue itself, but rather it’s place in the larger picture.

It seems that since Ronald Regan left office, many people have cast their vote for president based on the candidate’s views on abortion. I submit that perhaps we ought to be giving other issues our attention in terms of politics. I believe that perhaps a person’s views on abortion don’t make them either fit, or unfit to run a country. I think that, actually, it’s a pretty poor way to judge a person. In fact, I think its an extremely poor way to judge a person.

I think, if you’re a reasonable person, with reasonable intellect, regardless of which side of this issue you may fall upon, that you can at least look to the other side, though you may disagree with them to the core of your being, and still see that there is intelligence, even if you view it as flawed, behind their reasoning. So many people, so passionate about an issue almost demands that each side have an intelligent argument to put forth.

If we accept that fact, we accept that regardless of our own point of view, our own conviction, our own knowledge that our views are right, that those who disagree with us do so with equal verve and conviction that they are just as right and do so for reasons which they feel are every bit as valid as our own, then we can take the step back and realize that perhaps the arena of law and politics is not the place for this difference of opinion to work itself out. The issue is too heavily divided for there to ever be anything but stalemate on the political front.

And politicians will use the issue to enrage us. They will wield it about as a talisman against an opponent if it is beneficial to them, but I have to ask, what have any of them ever done about it once in office?

I think that abortion is a fake issue in the world of politics. I believe politicians and political parties use is as a manipulator of hearts and minds knowing full well that they can do nothing, will do nothing, as matters currently stand.

I submit that they do this because the real issues of a presidential election are much more tricky. Abortion is an easy issue. Pick a side and claim the moral high ground over that choice. In doing so, they cement a certain portion of the population who believe as they do.

Health care is not so cut and dry. It requires a plan that can be enacted. Withdrawl from Iraq is not so cut and dry. It’s easy to say either stay or go, but explaining how to go about each is much more difficult and anyone who thinks it’s as simple as making a decision is very sadly mistaken. The economy is not so easy an issue. Assuring Americans of jobs opportunities, low poverty rates, low unemployment, these things require a plan of action as well. Immigration is not an easy issue. Regardless of what you believe, steps must be taken. We cannot continue to keep the status quo. Action, one way or another must be taken and a comprehensive plan that really works for both sides of the issue is needed to make things work.

And there are other issues, of course, that will challenge the next president of our country. Domestic policy, foreign policy, the next president will have their hands very full. Regardless of who becomes our next president, you are fooling yourself if you think that the abortion issue will take precedent. You should be ashamed of yourself if you want it to take precedent.

Again, I don’t say this because I believe abortion isn’t an important issue, I say it because I believe it isn’t an important issue in contrast with the things that need to be done in the business or running a government. This country will not stand or fall on the basis of its abortion policies. The other issues I’ve mentioned, and others too, will have a direct effect on the business of running a government though.

I don’t care what a politician’s particular stance on abortion might be. It has no effect on the way this country is run. I don’t believe politicians will ever control abortion. If it were ever made illegal, it would become like the drug industry, making more money, under the table, from people who don’t have it to give. Making laws about abortion will not change what people do, just how they go about doing it. And if that minor victory is important to you, then you are unjust in your cause.

This is not an issue for politicians. It is an issue for minds and hearts. Take your fight to the place it belongs and force these politicians to start talking about how they will run the government. And then, perhaps, we can separate the wheat from the chaff.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pride before the fall

It’s not easy being a Cubs fan. You have to be equal parts optimistic and pessimistic. You’re always sure that this year will be the year we finally win it all. You’re always sure that this year will be the year they break your heart so irreparably that you can no longer function.

Every spring, we watch this year’s club with the hope of all hopes that we might actually reach and win the World Series. So you’d think that when the team starts playing well towards the end of the season, only a few games away from winning the division and ensuring at least one round of playoffs to look forward to, that the over riding emotion would be joy wouldn’t you?

Not so.

These are the times that try men’s souls. You see. To believe is to be lied to, yet again. These are, after all, the Cubs. They have this way of seducing their fans, reluctant to believe that the heartache might finally be over, into believing that it will.

It’s at that precise moment that they let you down again. It’s not that they try to let their fans down, of course, call it a curse, call it tradition, call it what you will, it just seems to happen.

And so here it is September again, and the Cubs, after this weekend are in position to claim the division and head on to the playoffs. What’s more, they are finally starting to play like we fans thought they would in April. The second half of the season has been a good one for the Cubbies. They are actually one of the hottest teams in baseball right now.

Enter heartbreak. I can’t see it yet, but I can smell it coming. You see, this team is inspiring belief. This team is making us fans think that maybe, just maybe, this could be the year.

And that is dangerous. If history repeats itself, as it’s prone to do, that means the heartbreak will be coming soon. Fans have dubbed this team the Cardiac Cubs. And before it’s all over, they may put a whole bunch of us in early graves, it’s true.

But when you’ve been a Cubs fan all of your life, when you’ve experienced a third of their 99 year World Series draught, when you bleed Cubbie-blue, you can’t help but start to allow some of that hope to creep in. You can’t help but to believe. You can’t help but to be taken in again. You can’t help but commit.

Only time will tell if these Cardiac Cubs are heart breakers, or menders. I freely admit, that most of this season, I have been convinced that this team would not, could not possibly compete with the elite teams of the National League and would be annihilated by the American League should they make it to the Series.

But now? Now I’m starting to buy it. Now I’m starting to believe. Now I’m starting to hope. Now I’m starting to think that this could really be it, the year we win it all.

Pride comes before the fall.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Playing to Win

Cheating seems to be the big topic of the week. Bill Belichek and the Patriots were cheating by stealing signs from the defensive coordinator of the Jets last week and probably countless other teams in the past.

And now everyone has their collective panties in a bunch on the topic. And after the fiasco with an NBA referee fixing games for gamblers and Hank Aaron’s all time home run record falling to Mr. Cream and Clear himself, Barry Bonds, I suppose we’re all ready to jump on the hoodie-wearing football coach and lump him in with the rest.
I guess I have a problem with that though. While I definitely consider what he did to be cheating, I feel very strongly that it does not belong in the same category as the other two examples.

Barry Bonds took performance enhancing drugs that have very likely prolonged a career that would have ended due to injury or slower reflexes a few years ago. He made his body do things that it couldn’t have done otherwise and I think it’s a shame that he broke Hank Aaron’s record.

Fixing a game, when you’re supposed to be the unbiased arbitrator of that game is heinous. When athletes work so hard, in a game where having one more win could mean the difference in seeding, or even winning a championship or not is cheating of the highest order.

Signal stealing though? In baseball it’s a time honored tradition. Some of the very best managers in the game routinely try to steal the other team’s signs. And to think that Bill Belichek and the Patriot’s are the only NFL team who’s doing it is ridiculous. Is there a specific rule against doing what he did? Yes. Is it wrong? Yes. Is it cheating? Yes.

But I submit that it’s a “wink-wink” rule and it’s “wink-wink” cheating in a sporting tradition where finding unfair advantages is almost as time-honored as the players and sports themselves.

The baseball Hall of Fame is filled with pitchers who threw spitballs and otherwise doctored the baseball they were throwing to make it dance. Some domed stadiums are rumored to turn the air conditioning unit on while opponents are batting to make hitting home runs harder. George Halas, one of the founders of the NFL was known to bug the visitors locker room and listen in before games and at halftime. Paul Brown, another NFL founder used to take his team into the shower and turn them on full blast so old man Halas couldn’t hear what was being said.

Visitor’s locker rooms have been painted pink because it’s a soothing color and holds down aggression. The rims at various basketball stadiums are “hard” or “soft” depending on how good the home team is from the perimeter. The grass in the infield is longer if your infielders are slower, shorter if they are quick.

I’m not condoning what Bill Belichek did and in his place, I wouldn’t have done it. I want to win playing by the rules. I want to beat guys, like him, who bend the rules to their own liking. I want to do it better the right way than they do it cheating.

There is a way to handle this that doesn’t involve taking draft picks from a team, suspending the coach or fining him. In baseball, if you’re suspected of stealing signs, you take a hard one to the ribs the next time you come up to hit. The Jets, who caught the Patriots cheating last week, will play them again later this season. And the honorable way to handle this situation would have been to give them the football equivalent of a hard one to the ribs.

I haven’t heard a single person complaining about the Jet’s tattle-tale. There was once a point where that would have been the greater of the two crimes. Maybe it says something good for us that’s not the case anymore, but I don’t agree.

There is cheating, and then there is cheating. Both are wrong and both against the rules, but one way feels like a snapping of morals, the other a bending. I think there’s something to be said of gamesmanship or whatever other euphemism you’d like to give the creative little cheats that coaches use against an opponent. I think it’s a part of the games themselves, so longstanding and so well embedded that it’s hypocritical to now pretend they are on par with performance enhancing drugs or game fixing.

There is an old saying that comes to mind, one I’ve always loved. It goes like this:

On Winning- It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game

On Losing- It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.

On Playing the Game- PLAY TO WIN!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

On Farting

One of my favorite stories about farting goes back a couple years to when the Cubs traded pitcher Greg Maddux and closer Ryan Dempster had this to say on the subject:

''We've been sharing locker space for three years,'' he said. ''It's kind of weird not having him there to talk about golf or talk about pitching, farting on each other, whatever it is.''

The ritual of farting on a friend is a time honored tradition amongst men. It is a ritual that is passed down generation to generation, father to son, grandfather to grandson, crazy old uncle to nephew.

There’s really no way for a man to show another man that he truly cares for him than to fart on him.

I think about my own friends and how we may be sitting around when all of the sudden one of them not only rips one, but feels the need to fan it in my general direction, spreading the wealth, if you will. Is he trying to make my eyes water? Sure. Is he trying to make me gag? Of course. But the underlying message in that fart, the true purpose of it is to say, “hey…I love you man!”

There may be no more sacred ritual in the cult of the male than the fart. Even when you are farted upon, if it’s a really good one, no matter how disgusting it smells, you can’t help but respect the farter for his creation. And there is no greater sense of pride a man can take, than the feeling of knowing that he has crafted a truly magical fart that causes his friends to run and evacuate the area.

It is incumbent upon a man to be able to produce farts of such magnitude that his friends must put aside their bravado and run for fresh air, while the farter sits back and basks in the glory of his noxious fumes. Perhaps in the days of the caveman men proved dominance and that they belonged in the hunt, but the hunt is no longer a part of our world, so we shown our strength and power through the gas we expel in the presence of others.

Look no further for proof of this fact than the way a man loves to fart on his woman. Obviously, she does not respect him and will never give him a high five for a really great fart. She will run. She will tell him how immature he is and that he should grow up. But deep down, in a place she would rather not speak of and will certainly never admit to, I believe her heart swoons, she gets a little dizzy (although that could be caused by the fumes), her stomach is filled with butterflies and she thinks, “That’s my man! He has proven his manliness to me with this horrible eruption of sulfur-like gas and I love him now, more than ever!!!”

Or, of course, maybe not, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. Yes, the fart is a truly amazing and inspiring thing. It is, perhaps, the ultimate form of male bonding, even greater than sports and scratching! They are often dismissed as disgusting and gross, but every man knows there is nothing more magical, that a truly heinous fart.

I remember feeling bad for Ryan Dempster, the author of the above quote. He will never again come back to the locker after a particularly rough game, when he gave up a game winning home run to some guy from the other team, the weight of a loss on his shoulders, frustration brimming inside him, only to be farted on by Greg Maddux making everything, somehow alright.

And so I say to you, enjoy your friend’s farts while you have them men. You never know when they’ll be taken away from you, or traded to the Dodgers.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Ninja Substitution Rule For A Better Tommorow

Dear Friends,

Do you ever feel left out when your black friends are calling each other the n-word and throwing it around like it’s nothing, and you have to sit there not being able to use it back? It sucks doesn’t it? I mean, you know it’s wrong to throw the n-word out there being the pasty-ass cracker that you are, but it seems so exclusionary when you’re in a social setting and everyone there gets to use it but you right?

Well no more! I refuse to be isolated and made to feel like I’m not part of the crowd! I refuse to be discriminated against in such a callous and malicious way. I refuse to feel awkward when someone throws a rap CD on or while listening to Chris Rock do standup!!!!

So I propose this and I urge you all to adopt this policy and spread it around the world. Make it so prevalent that soon, everyone forgets that the n-word ever existed as a term of brotherhood and all the cool people in the world use this new, improved, and all inclusive replacement word: NINJA

That’s right? Who’s my ninja?

Where my ninjas at?

Yo ninja, how’s it hanging?

And just think of the song possibilities! Wouldn’t the Geto Boys classic rap, featured in the movie Office Space have been better if Ron Livingston could have sung along:

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta
A real gangsta-ass ninja plays his cards right
A real gangsta-ass ninja never runs his fuckin mouth
Cuz real gangsta-ass ninja don't start fights
And ninjas always gotta high cap
Showin' all his boys how he shot em
But real gangsta-ass ninja don't flex nuts
Cuz real gangsta-ass ninjas know they got em
And everythings cool in the mind of a gangsta
Cuz gangsta-ass ninjas think deep
Up three-sixty-five a year 24/7
Cuz real gangsta ass ninjas don't sleep

I mean, I don’t flex nuts! But I could never properly explain that to a bitch until now! Now, that I’m putting forth, what I like to call, The Ninja Substitution Rule, I can tell all the ho’s I want to how I don’t flex nuts!!!!!

I can’t do this alone though. As influential and popular as I am, I alone cannot elevate the use of The Ninja Substitution Rule and make it prevalent throughout popular culture without your help! You must immediately embrace The Ninja Substitution Rule and make it a part of your daily vernacular. At every available opportunity you must greet friends and family by saying, “What’s up ninja?” You must be responsible for letting your ninjas know who they are and for teaching them The Ninja Substitution Rule. It is also your responsibility to ensure that The Ninja Substitution Rule is being enacted properly. For instance, don’t underestimate the importance of pronunciation. When indoctrinating your African American friends to The Ninja Substitution Rule, it is advisable that you over-pronunciate the word ninja until they are completely comfortable with the fact that you’re not trying to slip one past them. It is the advice of this counsel that, in this setting, you say, “What’s up niiiiiiin-JA?” We advise this protocol after preliminary testing of The Ninja Substitution Rule resulted in several beat downs and must insist that you monitor the usage of The Ninja Substitution Rule amongst your ninjas for this very reason.

The goal of the Ninja Substitution Rule is to promote equality amongst all, and to eliminate the very harsh reality of vocabulary segregation, which has become an extremely difficult problem for white suburban kids who simply want to sing along to their favorite rap songs, but cannot due to racially explicit language. Eventually, we foresee a point where the word ninja will replace the n-word in all instances where it is used in the context of being one’s friend, associate, compatriot, ally, comrade, buddy, pal or acquaintance. By the year 2010 our goal is to have an n-word free society where we all can live in harmony as each other’s ninjas.

Finally, we would be remiss if we did not mention, in this politically correct society in which we live, that we have the full support of the Ninja Community in our efforts. In a statement, Ninja spokesperson Hattori Hanzo was quoted as saying, “On behalf of ninja’s everywhere, I fully approve of the usage and enactment of The Ninja Substitution Rule. I feel that in this small way, we members of the Worldwide Ninja Community can help promote peace and put an end to verbal segregation. Furthermore, that bastard Johnny Depp, in recent years has made stupid fucking pirates out to be cooler than ninjas, which any dumbass knows couldn’t possibly be true, and so we encourage the usage of The Ninja Substitution Rule as a reminder to all that ninjas are in fact and always will be cooler than pirates. I mean, you never hear anyone calling someone else a butt ninja do you? No, but butt pirates are everywhere!”

Mr. Hanzo’s statement went on to bash pirates for more than 4 hours and so we could not print it in it’s entirety, but we hope you get the basic gist of it.

So, in closing, I will say that you are all my ninjas. Spread the word of The Ninja Substitution Rule, good luck and God bless.

Your ninja,

Albert A. Riehle
Director and Founder
The Society for an End to Vocabulary Segregation

Tip Off

Once again, I have decided to unleash myself upon the unsuspecting masses on the internet. I've decided that the various nooks and crannies of the internet where I have been hiding are too small to contain me and so here I am, and I have to say, I'm looking forward to writing here, under my own name for anyone to read.

A bit about myself is probably in order and so I'll tell you that I'm 32 going on 12, I'm obsessed with all things Star Wars, I live and die (mostly die) with the outcome of the daily Cubs game, unless it isn't baseball season in which case I'm content to live or die with the Bears, Notre Dame football and Duke basketball. Before you ask, I don't recognize pro basketball as an actual sport or I'd live and die with the Bulls too. As it is, pro basketball died the day Michael Jordan flicked his wrist on a beautiful follow through to the shot that beat the Utah Jazz in the finals in 1998.

I'm an avid reader and am always in the middle of a book. I go out of my way to read things that won't impress people because I hate people who read impressive books. Mostly because they usually do so to make witty comments about the impressive books they have read which in turn makes me want to find out exactly how far I can put my size 11.5 foot up their ass.

Of course it would vary from person to person, but I'm willing to do my part in the name of science. If you're lucky, I'll publish my research on the matter here someday.

I enjoy good wine, beer and cigars but not necessarily in that order and very rarely all at once, but only because mixing beer and wine is a bad idea. This, I learned in my last scientific experiment which I called The Great Wiersperiment, but in retrospect turned out to not be so great after all. Many bottles of Harp and various bottles of Merlot were sacrificed in the name of science, although some have accused me of blatant alcohol abuse.

My main ambition in life is to win the Mega Millions lottery, buy a tropical island full of beautiful native women who can easily be convinced that I'm some sort of king, worry about nothing other than an occasional rainy day which may interrupt my satellite feed, and perfect the art of laziness.

What follows will be, at times, witty, sarcastic, cynical and hopefully will make you laugh, cry and once in a great while, even cause you to dance naked while howling at the moon.

I hope you enjoy and look forward to writing here. As Dylan Thomas so eloquently wrote:

“I hold a beast, an angel and a madman in me, and my enquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, downthrow and upheaval, and my effort is their self-expression.”