In the past I’ve railed against the Christmas excess, particularly the consumeristic aspects of it, starting well before Thanksgiving (and even before my beloved Halloween). Seeing as how this year some stores (all of them) are opening on Thanksgiving for their “Black Friday” sales, I’m giving up.
That’s right; I’m throwing in the towel. You win. I even wrote a little song for you heartless bastards, just to show I care. Enjoy.
Stores are open, let’s get hopping.
Screw the family, let’s go shopping.
Out into the hurly burly,
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
Black Friday is starting early!
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la-la
Save the turkey and the stuffing.
Human contact we’re rebuffing.
We’ll be loyal Christmas elves
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
All those gifts won’t buy themselves!
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la-la
Fast away Thanksgiving passes.
Lines move like frozen molasses.
Looking for that coat of leather
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
Instead of being all together.
In accordance with Federal law, we are including the following disclaimers regarding the use of My Not So Humble Opinion.
Use as directed. Caution: contents may be hot. Do not insert rectally.
The use of MNSHO may lead to any or all of the following: headaches, upper respiratory tract infection, stuffy nose, sore throat, joint pain, abdominal pain, cough, nausea, diarrhea, fever, yeast infections in women and men, blood in the urine or stool, voting libertarian, pneumonia, and inflammation of the stomach or intestines.
It is not clear whether these mild or serious problems were caused by MNSHO or occurred after use of MNSHO by chance.
Other possible side effects include tenderness, redness, itching, lumps, bruises, muscle aches or temporary limitation of arm movement, running for Congress, fatigue, heavy drinking, change in urine color, hallucinations, night terrors, compulsive behavior, and serious allergic reaction.
There is no evidence that MNSHO causes long-term health problems.
Further possible side effects include: fussiness, tiredness or poor appetite, vomiting, cynicism, seizure (jerking or staring), non-stop crying for 3 hours or more, long-term seizures, coma or lowered consciousness, lack of self-preservation instinct, permanent brain damage, brief fainting spells, not voting, hoarseness, sore, red or itchy eyes, cough, chills, mild rash, and swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck.
Independent civilian committees have not found MNSHO to be a factor in unexplained illnesses among Gulf War veterans.
Please do not taunt MNSHO.
Certain other side effects are rare but possible: deafness, temporary low platelet count which can cause a bleeding disorder, surliness, rapid weight gain, drowsiness, confusion, dry mouth, amnesia, seeing through time and folding space, difficulty maintaining an erection, irritableness, and death.
Because these problems occur so rarely, we can’t be sure whether they are caused by MNSHO or not.
If you have an erection that lasts more than four hours, get medical help right away. This has nothing to do with MNSHO, that’s just some serious shit.
Please do not use MNSHO if you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, are capable of becoming pregnant, are in the process of becoming pregnant, or may someday be in the vicinity of someone who may be pregnant. Do not use MNSHO while breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed. Do not take MNSHO with grapefruit, because only evil people like grapefruit. MNSHO should not be administered to minors or anyone who has at any point been a minor.
Please use MNSHO responsibly.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. One day a year is not enough; we need to be aware every day of those who have served and those who continue to serve.
Today we remember and honor all who serve, and MNSHO would like to pay special honor to the following American heroes:
*Robert Neal Bonsall, Sr., Technical Sergeant, United States Marine Corps
*Henry John Peterson, Private First Class, United States Army
*Robert Neal Bonsall, Jr., Staff Sergeant, United States Air Force
June Ellen Bonsall, Staff Sergeant, United States Air Force (ret.)
Harold Ray Darnell, Senior Master Sergeant, United States Air Force (ret.)
*The Unknown Soldier
*Though no longer with us, these heroes remain in our hearts.
My Not So Humble Mother has been pestering me for a while (okay, a couple decades) to give her a Christmas list so she can get ahead on her shopping. I don’t see what the big deal is, since I don’t think I’m that hard of a guy to shop for. Still, in order to make it easier for her and anybody else who might want to get me a little something, I’m getting this up now with plenty of time for the holiday season. Here’s what I’d like this year, in no particular order:
Australia (H/T to Gene Hackman circa Superman II)
A date with Kathy Ireland
A new wardrobe
A new house
A new car
Three dozen penguins
My virginity (Sorry, no link. I lost that a long time ago.)
World peace (Sorry, no link. We haven’t been able to find that for a long time either.)
$526,817.83 in unmarked bills (so I can afford to pay the butler, the maid, and the gardener)
A map to King Solomon’s mines
Two sturdy goats
A time machine
My two front teeth
The heads of all of those who would dare to oppose me
A recount of the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election (I really don’t care who won; I just want people to shut up about it.)
And just remember, if you’re still looking for that special gift or virtual stocking stuffer, you can get a copy of my book on Amazon for less than a buck!
Just because it will color everyone’s perception of everything I say on the subject, I’m going to get it out of the way right now: yes, I voted. No, I am not going to say how I voted or what I voted on. That’s none of your damn business, but if you’re a regular reader or do a dive through the archives there shouldn’t be much doubt.
Now that I have that out of the way, let me get something else off my chest: I really don’t care if you vote. If you choose not to vote, that only increases the value of my vote by some small, practically imperceptible amount. But I’ll take it. Pennies add up. The fewer people who vote, the more each vote is worth, and I want my vote to be worth as much as possible.
If I were going to encourage you to vote, I would point out that if you don’t vote, you can’t vote “no”. I am a big fan of “no”. It’s something our government doesn’t hear nearly often enough. Vote “no” on as many things as you want, even if you have to vote “yes” in order to vote “no” to government (D.C., I’m looking in your direction, and I’ve got two ounces in my hand as we speak.)
I would also like to call for a moratorium on the oft-used and completely fallacious “if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain.” You may as well say “if you don’t pay taxes you don’t get to complain about the debt,” or any number of equally irrelevant couplings. The sad fact is we all live under the same roof and obey the same laws made by the same government, and whether or not someone chooses to participate in the process of selecting that government does not remove their right to complain about it. Complaining is one of the few things we all get to enjoy equally, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or social standing. Putting a price on that is ridiculous.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible for us to have the chance to decide whether or not to participate in deciding the course of our democracy. Certainly that includes the soldiers that have defended our democracy throughout its history, but I want to also acknowledge the others who don’t usually get mentioned.
Thank you to the teachers who have explained the process for generations. Thank you to the philosophers and thinkers who created and sustained a system that has endured. Thank you to the businessmen who have helped our country continue to grow and prosper so that we can continue to have a democracy. Thank you to the artists who have broadened our minds and given us a culture worth exploring and defending. Thank you to the workers who participate every day, not just once every couple years. Thank you to everyone who makes America a place worth voting for.
The politicians? They should be thanking us.
Some of my friends accuse me of enjoying shitty movies just because they’re bad. I would like to set the record straight: I love truly awful movies that go above and beyond, that have a certain something special that transcends simply being a bad movie. I’ve already mentioned Flash Gordon and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (in the same post, no less!), which gives you an indication of just how far I’m willing to go to get my bad movie fix. But they’re more than schlocky scripts, bad dialogue, stilted acting (Hayden Christensen, I’m looking in your direction), or bizarre plots. There has to be something extra, something that just calls out to me and says, “this is a beautiful disaster”. I offer you some of my favorites here.
Howard the Duck (1986) – I’m not going to cry “spoiler alert” at this point, because if you haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy by now and bothered to watch the after-credits scene then shame on you (plus as I’ve already established, we’re well outside the “no spoilers” zone). So yeah, the point is I nearly wet myself when I saw that scene, because I LOVED the original Howard the Duck movie. It was such a train wreck, I couldn’t get enough. Really, what’s not to love? Starring a young Lea Thompson and Tim Robbins (yes, that Tim Robbins) and produced by George “I’ll never make another Star Wars… well, maybe just one more” Lucas, this movie is basically the story of a sarcastic, cigar smoking humanoid duck pulled to Earth from an alternate dimension by a laser beam who has to help fight off an intergalactic evil and save the universe with the help of a singer and a lab assistant. No, I am not making that up. I would try to say more, but really there’s nothing else to say. If that’s not enough to entice you, just wait for the remake (coming soon, I hope).
Popeye (1980) – I was as saddened as anyone by the passing of Robin Williams, and I do not intend to speak ill of the dead. Just getting that out there now, because the truth is I really do like this movie. I just have no idea why it ever got made. What makes this movie fascinating for me is the production value. This really is a great movie. The acting is superb, the make-up is fantastic, the sets are gorgeous. Williams absolutely nails his character, and Shelley Duvall is outstanding as Olive Oyl. Everything looks and feels like a fully realized real-life rendition of a Popeye comic strip. The only question is “why?” There are a few stand out things that make this movie such a beautiful disaster. First, I have no idea who was crying out in 1980 for a film adaptation of Popeye. Second, I have no idea who thought to themselves, “You know what the world really needs? A Popeye musical.” (You read that right.) Third, I have no idea how this movie ever managed to get made, considering how truly bizarre it is when you get down to it. The only answer I can seem to find to any of those questions seems to be director Robert Altman, who had the vision and skill to pull it all off. If you’re into quirky or surreal movies, you need to see this one.
License to Drive (1988) – Ah, the Coreys. Heartthrobs of the 80s, who peaked far too soon, and in my book forever known for their much better roles (a relative statement to be sure) in The Lost Boys. That having been said, this slightly off-beat teen rom-com is still enjoyable, if for no other reason than the shear slow-motion train wreck factor. It’s almost as if you can watch their careers coming to a screeching halt as the movie progresses. The chance to see a very young Heather Graham in her first big movie role (and a painfully awkward one at that) is a special bonus. Come for the flashback, stay for the travesty.
Once again the voting season has snuck up on me, like a thief in the night, which is not surprising considering that we’re voting for congresspersons. I feel it is my civic duty to once again throw my hat in the ring as a non-party candidate for all elections in all districts, to give you, the people, a chance to vote for the candidate you truly deserve.
My opponents will accuse me of being a misanthrope. Well as Dan Quayle once said, I wear their scorn as a badge of honor. I don’t deny being a misanthrope; I proudly proclaim it. I believe that is what makes me the ideal candidate for the office to which you will be writing in my name.
Consider: I am the only candidate you never have to worry about having any sort of prejudice. Racism? Sexism? Homophobia? Religious intolerance? Why bother? I disdain each and every one of you equally, regardless of color, gender, or creed. Let’s face it, folks: you’re so far beneath me that to single out any one of you individually or as a group is pretty much a waste of my time. And you never need to be worried about being embarrassed, because the only person worth sending naked pictures to is myself.
You also don’t have to worry about corruption; I promise you here and now that as soon as I get elected there’s going to be plenty of it. While you’re in the voting booth just assume I agree with whatever you believe, because once I’m elected I’ll follow the cash or the polls, whichever one is more politically expedient.
This may sound awful to you, but I’m just giving you the kind of honesty my opponents are afraid to show you. That’s the same kind of honesty I’ll bring to floor debates, where I’ll simply announce how much I really don’t care about the topic at hand when I can be bothered to show up at all. Most times I’ll be back in my home district, ignoring your complaints and dodging your calls, just like the guy you have now, only I make it look good.
So when you go into that voting booth, don’t think about yourself, think about your family, your friends, your neighbors, your community. (One of us has to.) Do the right thing this time, and give them the candidate they deserve.