Monday, February 28, 2011

Dance Dance Revolution

     The world can be a tough place to understand. New events happen faster than the speed at which they can be understood and then analyzed by 24 hour cable news networks relentlessly, wondering how these events will affect the party in power’s chances of wearing flag pins vs. letting the terrorists win. While many people subscribe to the theory that ignorance is bliss, there’s no escaping the fact that what happens abroad does indeed change situations here in the greatest country in the world, ‘Murica. So instead of refusing to learn things like the state of economic struggle in Northern Africa, the fantastic and largely incorrect history of Serbia, or where Europe is on the globe, I urge everyone to start paying attention to the world’s events and preparing for them to hit home in numerous ways (gas prices).

     However, it is very hard to understand the current state of world affairs without knowing anything about history. History is, obviously, the usually extremely tedious study of what other people did back before women thought armpit hair was gross enough to shave (see mid 20th century). But it is studied by many very boring and odd loners and one extremely handsome, well adjusted blog writer who find history oddly compelling (also the blog writer’s beautiful and extremely non-vengeful sister-in-law, who might be reading this). The analyzing of motivations of people from centuries long past create a rich tapestry of human actions, many of which remain constant throughout the ages. While many technologies and some lifestyles have changed, human nature has not, which is what makes history such an interesting thing to study. For instance, if you just think “What would I do if I was king of Spain in the late 15th century?” you’ll probably come up with “Kick Jews and Muslims out, and finance an Italian with faulty math to most likely go drown in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean” too. 

"Psh, later, loser." -Queen Isabella, 1492
     Unfortunately, there is no doubt that nobody wants to read a normal, everyday history textbook-style blog post about certain events in the world long past that would help us organize our minds around current events, like the democratic uprisings happening in North Africa. NOTE- These countries (Egypt, Tunisia, Libya) are NOT in the Middle East. That area is Africa, darn it. So in order to avoid droning on and on like some sort of history teacher that I’m going to become, I’ve boiled down the premier theory on how democracy is like grinding at a high school dance.

     Okay. I know that seems like an odd thesis statement, but stick with me. I’ll reiterate- Political revolutions are like school dances. Every modern day nation is made up of two large, often competing bodies- the government and the people, or citizens, it rules over. For the sake of this metaphor, the girl is the government while the guy is the people at large, functioning as one body (which, as we know, is very simplified. Stick with me, for goodness sakes). This relationship is troubled, full of jealousy, and flowing over with angry sex, but for the most part they love each other and are happy to stay together, mostly because the guy can’t find anybody else. Have you seen the global dating scene these days? Everyone’s making rules about who can and can’t leave their girlfriends to come give some new countries a try.

"Ooh, you're a communist dictatorship? Sorry, that's kind of a deal breaker..."
      But for this example, you need to go back to high school. Depending on how far you are from that hell-hole, you may not remember dances the same way I do. Namely, if my mother keeps reading this blog, she probably won’t get the metaphor as well as, say, a fellow classmate whom I've begged to just read my blog please JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE… Ahem. So in order to level the playing field, in high school dances, there is a thing called “grinding”. To cut to the chase, this involves a girl rubbing her butt on a guy’s crotch. Sounds gross, but feels pretty nice. I can’t wait to be a chaperone so I can bust all of these pairs up.

     Let’s cut to the actual metaphor. America, (the first successful commoner-lead revolution) is like the first couple to start grinding. In real life, these people have been dating for a long time and are happy just doin’ their own thing, livin’ life with each other. Everyone else looks at them and is like "That's super weird" but it's kinda classy, you know? They're just off in some strange corner of the gym (world) all by themselves, having a good time with each other. It may have taken the guy about 3 years to convince this girl to leave her last relationship as a part of England, but it was worth it. And you just know the guys (the citizens) in other relationships are looking at this pair with some jealous eyes and saying "I wish my lady would dance with me like that, cause that looks like quite a bit of fun." Meanwhile, all the girls look at the group and at America's lady and say "What a slut. I mean come. on." 

     So this other couple, France, gets it in their head they'll start grinding together. We all know the people in France's position, the second group to start dancing. If America's all classy and keeping it clean, France just gets down and nasty. Imagine America’s lady as the Statue of Liberty. Wearing kind of a toga-ish dress to the dance, yeah, but she’s also got a book to read while she waits, and got some very conservative flat sandals for her feet. Now imagine France. France’s lady is probably drunk off some wine, screaming about how she wants some cake to eat, and her boobs are probably falling out of her sleeveless, strapless dress. The guy won’t stop talking about how he’s totally going to art school, how he just wants bread, and keeps making vague sexual references about he’s going to “storm her Bastille,” whatever that means. He’s weird like that. It's no coincidence that "entendre" is a French word. But France is all over the place, lickin’ each other up and down, it's pretty gross. A really nasty revolution indeed. You might say the French are revolting! You’ll be lucky not to see the guy of France get some head right out there on the dance floor. Yes, I know that image is very vulgar, but a historical pun is totally worth it.

Girl, hike up yo damn dress.

      Since these French people have made such a gross muck up of the dance America started doing so classy, everyone else around the gym decides "Hey we can do that and still be classier than those French!" So they start dancing too, and democracy spreads! But even with the good example that America set, and the bad example that France showed that’s easy to avoid, some girls don’t feel comfortable dancing with their man. These girls usually run the relationship, deciding what movie they’re going to watch on dates, what tie he wore to the dance, and, say, what the price of gas and food was going to be inside their borders. These girls are the type that if they have the resources, they’d build statues to themselves, ya feel me? The guys that are caught in this unhealthy relationship pretend like they’re okay with it, but you just know they keep glancing over to the other couples with sad eyes. Unfortunately, America gets it in their head to be that obnoxious douche to start making people dance with each other even when it's awkward and they're not ready for it, so people kinda think of America as meddling when really, the couple is just trying to let everyone else in on the fun.
'Murrica.

     So there you go. Approximately 250 years of history stacked into blog post about rubbing a butt on a crotch that totals less than 1,500 words. History can be fun, and be full of rambling metaphors!

Doin' the bulldance, feelin' the flow,

Mick Dickinson

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't Stop Believin'

     The American Dream is something that can unite us all. Except for non-Americans. And judging by my reader reports I get from this blog, somebody in France and another in Latvia find their way here at least once a week. But for the most part, we’re all from the great You Ess of Aye, and can attest to the mantra we’ve been told since we knew pooping our pants wasn’t always the best idea (unless a bet is involved)- You can be anything you want to be if you set your mind to it. Now, we all know I’m not going to be a velociraptor, a champion athlete, or a successful panhandler, but that doesn’t mean the phrase doesn’t have some nuts of truth hidden inside it. So in the spirit of Presidents’ Day (I guess), I’ll share some of my ambitions with all ya’ll.

      1. Own a house with numerous secret passages
     I don’t know who I’ll have over, or what they’ll be doing inside of my house, but one thing I do know is that I love the heck out of secret passages. Whether they are used for escape, entrance, avoidance, or plain ol’ surprises and hijinks, my house will have no less than three secret passages. I’ll have to buy a lot of paintings to hide them behind, not to mention all the bookshelves on hinges. I wonder what the market cost to get contractors to put in a swinging bookcase will be. Heck, screw the secret passages thing; I just want swinging bookcases instead of all doors in my house. And they’ll all be triggered by the same book, but in a different spot on the shelves. The book? Common Sense, by Thomas Paine. Because, darnit, I hate those British royalists SO HARD. That's why my favorite amendment is good ol' number three. I ain't quarterin' no troops, shoot.

I'm not sure hiding the fake bookshelf next to the alcohol is such a good idea, but okay.

2.                   2. Domesticate at least one abnormal animal
     I know I already talked about domesticating new types of animals, but I’ve decided I’m not willing to wait till those Ivy League eggheads come down from their ivory towers to train a raccoon how to fetch my slippers and wear a collar. I’m going to take it into my own hands. The only thing I’d want more than a raccoon is possibly a grizzly bear, but I think it could be at least six times more dangerous to approach a wild grizzly bear to slowly gain its trust till it follows you back home. But just imagine being able to take your grizzly bear on walks around the block. Heck, it could take you for rides. Maybe a new ambition would be to invent a grizzly bear saddle. But I’m pretty sure riding endangered animals is illegal in at least 48 states, and there’s no way I’m living in Alabama.

3.                  3. Become a teacher
     Now this is one goal that many people know I have. But what they don’t usually know is what I want to teach. I usually tell them that I’m going to teach high school social studies, like history, economics, and government. Have you ever seen high schoolers in these classes? They’re bored as hell! So instead, I’ve changed my goal. No longer will I assign my dreams to what I’m going to teach, but where. So ask me. I dare you. No, no, don’t leave, I’ll tell you. I’m going to teach at the School of Hard Knocks. That’s right. I don’t care how metaphorical or not real this school is, that’s where I’m going to be taking my talents. Okay, I admit it; I just want to hit kids. That’s what the School of Hard Knocks is, right? (Disclaimer: If it is now four years after I wrote this, I no longer believe in this and would instead love to teach at your school)

Fig. 2.1 of the School of Hard Knocks textbook

4.                   4. Answer a payphone
     Obviously, this isn’t for the glory, or the valor, or even the accolades. This is a very personal thing. I want to answer a phone that nobody has any business calling. When you answer a payphone, you can be anyone you want. You can come right out and tell them it’s a payphone, or you can answer the phone, order a pizza, and get angry when the person doesn’t understand. If you are so inclined, I mean. It’s like a real life chatroom, and you can be SeXyGuRrRlL69 or maybe XXREDNECK24XX if you wanted to. I don’t troll often but damnit, trolling over phone lines is just too beautiful to pass up. Well, I mean dial up internet doesn’t count. Don’t waste my time.

5.                   5. Kick Glenn Beck in the nuts
     Seems pretty straight forward. I’ll give him something to cry about, and that’s being unable to pass his genes on anymore.

His tears fuel my hate-powered nut kicking machine. I've discovered perpetual motion!

6.                   6. Enter a room to applause
     This is the one dream I have that actually has the most chance to succeed. I mean I do hope to get married and commonly enough the reception has little choice but to clap for the bride and groom, mostly for supplying an open bar. But other than that, I want to be slightly late to a class or meeting, only to learn they were all talking about how awesome I am, and decide I’m worth clapping for. Sidenote- I almost said “giving up the claps for” but that’s an entirely different aspiration.

7.                  7. Start a fashion craze
     I have tons of ideas for functional fashion. I call them “functions”… or maybe it should be “fashional”. Those are both pretty much real words, so let’s move on. If you’re anything like me you spend an entire night flirting with some cute girl (or if you’re not like me, a guy) and later that night, finding out (s)he is taken, and in a relationship. Now, how can we solve this? By flat out asking, possibly working it into casual conversation like a normal person? No! By starting a trend of meaningful, color-coded wristbands. Everyone knows the stoplight colors, so let’s apply that to relationships. Girls, if you’re in a relationship, please start wearing red wristbands. It screams “Hey, don’t even try here, go strike out with some other girl.” Single, but not ready for any sort of commitment? Why, try yellow! What about us who are single and desperately lonely? Green! Another idea- get the yellow/green wristbands make them reversible so if you’re getting chatted up by some goober, just flip the wristband on over and BOOM. Not ready for a relationship, buddy.

He's cookin' them Cs like a pound of bacon,

Mick Dickinson

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

White People Problems

    Earlier, I’ve written about the little things that make life worth fist pumping silently to yourself. But as we all know, one cannot go through life in a perpetual state of “Aaawwww yeah”-itdue, and instead must be brought down to earth from time to time. Sometimes, being brought down to earth comes to your life like my fist to your face, but most often it sneaks in like some kind of fun killing ninja. So what are some of the things that make me the maddest for the least reasons?

Aaawwww yeah-itude

1. Forceful Earbud Withdraw
     Music is everywhere in today’s culture. You can’t walk down a street or across a campus without seeing people in their own little world, provided by small white earplugs. Now, I’ve got no beef with this occurrence. If I was a small town Midwestern mayor, I’d still allow Kevin Bacon to stick those things in his ears before punch-dancing his way into the hearts and minds of the other teenagers.

"I thought this was a party! LET'S IGNORE EACH OTHER!!!"

    Heck, I’ve been known to wear the darn things from time to time, mostly mowing or on a run. Both things that require me shirtless… Ladies. Anyhoo, with earbuds comes the cord connected to your mp3 player (iPod) of choice. I know I’ve already done a blog on what science should study, but I swear those cords possess some skeleton key to the laws of physics. They manage to be far too short whenever the area is clear, yanking them out of my ears at the slightest stretch. If you’ve never had this happen to you, you may not understand true frustration. One second you’re rocking out to Journey or Foxy Shazam and for an instant, your ears feel like they’re being ripped off, only to leave you back in the real world, hearing yourself pant for breath.
    Earbud cords have the magical ability to gain ridiculous amounts of slack in the presence of branches, lawnmower handles, and door knobs. They apparently have the innate power to lasso themselves around any and every object in your path. Now, not only will you have to chance hearing a stranger begin a conversation, risk missing that awesome guitar lick, and hope your ears stayed on your head, but you’ll also have to untangle the cord from whatever object it wrapped itself around. Ignoring the world around you has its risks, no doubt.

2. A Lack of Thanks
     Everyone knows I’m a prideful man. I require others to refer to me as “your royal sex machine.” Heck, it’s even on my business cards. So it’s going to be a reach of the imagination to understand that even if I wasn’t prideful, I’d still get mad at people not thanking me for things.
     There’s no doubt that everyone has sneezed. A good sneeze should be included on a list of life’s simplest pleasures, if such a thing exists. Common courtesy tells us that we should tell the sneezers “bless you” after whichever hysterically loud sneeze they choose. If I don’t get told bless you, I don’t mind as much. Chances are they’re busy or think I’m weird for sneezing during a funeral.
           
     Let me digress for a second. Is there any better place to sneeze than during church? The bless yous actually have some weight behind them. I’m going to snort pepper before I meet the Pope. That’d be like a get-into-heaven free card.

"Please stop doing that." - Pope

    But if I take time out of my busy “try to see down the girl in front of me’s shirt” schedule to respond to your sneeze, the least you could do is thank me. I don’t care how heartfelt the thanks are, as long as they’re spoken. No, a nod and a murmur don’t count. I can get that from cats, and they’re buttmunches.
    More than sneezing, I expect thanks for holding open the door for you. Most likely, I’m taking a few seconds that could be better used mistyping my Facebook password three times to make your day just a little bit better. Why not say thanks for me not being a complete poopface?

3. The Jerkbag Slide
     If I expect thanks for holding open the door, then you can bet I’d appreciate it if you held open the door for me. But we’ve all been there. Some jerk knows you’re right behind him yet decides he’ll just slip into the rapidly closing door instead of pushing it even the slightest bit more open. I call this maneuver the jerkbag slide. You just know that in that buttmunch’s mind he’s playing the Indiana Jones theme song and wishing he had a fedora to grab at the last second. The worst part of all this is that the door will shut before you, the sexy, respectable member of society, can realize what happened and spit out a sarcastic and/or passive aggressive remark.

4. Brown Belt with Black Clothes
     You’re a grown ass man. Get a reversible belt. Figure it out.

Lifesaver

5. Receiving Way Too Much Change
    I value my pocket space very heavily. I need tight jeans to show off my tight butt, and that doesn’t leave much room for spare change. So when I have to break a bill at some extremely small number, say .06, I get very aggravated. Now I have to carry 94 cents around with me until I get home. But as I’m very absent minded, I’ll probably buy something else with 20 cents at the end, and break another full dollar. It’s a no win cycle. But I refuse to be one of those people who buys a single stamp with their debit card, which makes me angry in a very different way, but I’m not quite sure what that way is.

6. The Press Conference Text
     Technology is a wonderful thing. These days everyone is within reach of an almost instantaneous message, whether it be email, phone calls, or texts. Unfortunately, some members of society fail to grasp the prospect of other forms of communication and rely solely on text. The most annoying text in existence is what I call the press conference text (or PCT for short): “Where are you? Where are you going? How’s your day? Why don’t you have a job? Are you planning on getting one? Are there any horse socks?” If I get a text like this, I answer those suckers the way they asked. “At home. Nowhere. Good. I’m an illegal immigrant, so no. Is anybody listening?” But, of course, the mini-reporter who has your number is bound to get mad at your lack of detail. Just call or email me. Jeeze.

OH GOD SOMEONE CALL ME

America.

Mick Dickinson

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How Sweet It Is

       This was going to be the best day of his life. Greg’s package had finally arrived, and after checking the contents, he made the decision to finally carry out his plan. Placing the box under his arm, he confidently strode out the door.
       Not so confidently, he strode right back in to grab the smaller, much more important box from his desktop. In this new box was the secret to happiness for the rest of his life. He placed the small, velvety box inside the larger package, which he situated back under his arm, and once again strode out the door. This time with a medium amount of confidence.
      Driving to the park, he glanced at the package on his passenger seat often, smiling and laughing at his reflection in the mirror between looks. Greg could not have told you how long that trip took: he felt as if it was both the shortest and the lengthiest trip he had ever taken. Arriving at the park that would stick in his memory forever, he got out and pulled the package out with him.
       His jaunty, excited steps took him to a bench near the middle of an open area. The graveled path was at his feet, and he watched as joggers passed by. He did not know how long the wait would be, but Greg was a patient man, and was willing to sit, hand on the parcel, until it was time.
       Luckily, the sun was still high in the sky when he saw her. The only woman that mattered in his life right now was jogging toward him, headphones in her ear.
       “She’s beautiful,” Greg said reverently. He pulled out the large swatch of purple from the package and put it on. Hiding behind a tree, he looked through the hole at his more important box. Opening it, Greg saw the stunning diamond ring he had picked out earlier that week.
       The time was now. Greg could hear his beloved’s footsteps crunching the gravel. Greg re-adjusted his mail-ordered fruit costume, took a deep breath and spun around the tree.
       The jogger stopped short, confused. Greg got down on one knee and out of the mouth hole of a giant piece of purple fruit he said, “I think it’d be grape if you married me!”
       His beloved looked into the costume’s great big white eyes, confused. “What is this?”
       Greg grew hopeful. “Is that a yes?”
       “Of course not. Who are you?”
       Rising from his knee slowly, Greg said “Baby, I’m just a man who loves his puns.”
       Just then, another man in a bright red costume rounded a tree some distance away. Yelling, he called out “It’d make me the appliest man in the world if you married me!”
      Another man came out from an even further tree, and yelled even louder to make himself heard through his bright orange costume- “Orange you glad you didn’t say yes to these bozos so you can marry me?!”
      The jogger turned in a circle. She looked at each becostumed man, screamed and sprinted back the way she had come.
       Greg turned to the two other men. “Oh nice going, you fruits, you scared her away.”
       A voice from just behind Greg spoke, “Oh darnit.” Greg turned to see another man in a cantaloupe costume. “I didn’t get to tell her what I thought of her melons.”

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Four Years of Cinematic Genius

      Everyone has different tastes about everything. Some people believe that nuts belong in brownies, and some people even believe Kesha should be allowed to survive. But aside from deserts, music, and physical attractiveness measures, possibly no other category has as many differing opinions as movies. But I’m here to solve your problem and tell you that there is only one kind of movie that will be forever described as the best. This genre: high school movies.
               
     Sure, they have possibly the worst scripts, acting, and directing of any other films shot in the history of cinema, but darn it, you can’t help but love ‘em. High school movies take every memory you have of those four years, and just poop right on it. No matter what your school was like, this one is more high school-y. Your school had kids playing Frisbee before classes start? Well movie high schools have a hacky sack circle at any given time. One just has to hope that your kids will not grow up watching these movies, lest they think that high school will provide even a slight amount of the events portrayed. Take a look at Billy Madison. Even if the high school was shown for about three minutes, young Mick Dickinson gathered in his eyes a learning center filled with sitting on a hill, experiments involving liquid nitrogen (Chlorophyll? MORE LIKE BOROPHYLL), and elaborate pranks involving manure in lockers. Much like the fat elementary kid, I couldn’t wait to go to height school. Also like the fat elementary kid, I didn’t know that it was pronounced “high” school until I was in eighth grade, and realized that freshmen weren’t that much taller than me.

I always live by Billy's message- "Cherish it."

     All of high school movies might as well be titled “White People Problems.” These plots make the viewer feel better about themselves, as in the case of She’s All That. If I got to go to the prom with Freddie Prinze Jr. I wouldn’t care if he only did it on a bet or not. Also, coincidentally, how many rec centers are on the brink of destruction in this country that we don’t know about? And since when do so many contests with cash prizes get held in random activities? The viewer can offer as many logical solutions to every problem, only to watch the characters continue acting like a twenty something writer’s hazy pot-fueled ideas of teenagers. This may sound like it'd be frustrating, but everything works out in the end, and it teaches people a valuable lesson. That lesson? "It all works out in the end, no matter how much stupid stuff you do."

    Speaking of ideas of teenagers, I’ve graduated high school now, and I still don’t look anywhere close to Luke Perry. I was expecting to have crow’s feet by junior year, and yet I still can’t even grow a legit beard. I’ve gone to high school plays. Obviously they can’t have real high schoolers portray the movie’s high schoolers, that’d just be silly. We’d have chaos. It’d be cookoo bananas.

Luke Perry, 16
     In most high schools, there is undoubtedly a popular group. Now, I’m not quite sure what goes on in these things, as often enough, I was that one who would be in the locker. But if I’ve learned anything from movies, these popular kids did nothing but host school-wide parties when their parents leave for unexplained and widely suspect reasons. And they’d have a separated keg for non-alcoholic beer. Because high schoolers love the taste of beer but just plain hate getting drunk. Also, in back bedrooms, exes hook up. And in high school movie world, locks don’t exist. This is good because it allows the girlfriend to discover her boyfriend’s philandering right before his ex takes her bra off. We wouldn’t want that to happen. Beyond raucous, almost always busted parties, in high school there are always two popular guys, who are more popular than the other popular guys- Black Token and Fat Comedy Relief. These two guys, or Blond Jerkbag and Brown Haired Lesson-learner are friends, yet the biggest rivals in the entire school. They both have dated the hottest girl in their grade. Well, the hottest one that doesn’t wear glasses. She’s not popular enough.

Wow you're ugly.
      High school movies are among the most optimistic creations coming out of Hollywood these days. No matter how many fingerless gloves the school weird kid may own, a Saturday full of detention will always give him the courage and ability to ask out that fiery redhead. No matter how poor you may be you can always hook up with that really rich guy. Because really, isn't that what all poor women want? Even if said poor woman has a two story house and two cars?

   These movies are the best because of the great range that can be portrayed in their characters. Need a stereotypical bully? Well just call up Billy Zabka, get his blond butt in your movie. He’ll attempt to murder whichever protagonist you want. Need a well rounded, inoffensive, believable character? Well then… Uh…

He knows it cause he lived it,

Mick Dickinson