Monday, December 28, 2009

Fuck Me and My Terrorist Toothpaste

As I stood there with my pants around my ankles and some random fat man’s hands probing my body, I was reminded why I hate terrorism so very much. Yep, fuck me and my 3.5 oz terrorist toothpaste. That’s what the eyes of the burly TSA security woman said to me as she confiscated my hateful tube of Crest and directed me to the touchy feely fat man behind the “privacy” screen.

So, some Nigerian Muslim guy just tried (and failed) to blow up a plane a few days ago, as most of the TV-viewing public already knows. Our response was to put into place a few more knee-jerk reactions that will do absolutely nothing (or as close to nothing as you can get) to prevent future attacks. What the reactions will do is give officials and politicians an answer to the question, “What are you doing to prevent future attacks?”

The answer is, apparently, “We’re going to make people shit their pants.” That’s right, potential terrorists, you’d better be prepared to wear a diaper on your suicide mission, because passengers on international flights can no longer move around the cabin during the final hour of a flight. You’re going to look incredibly dumb when your Huggies are being stripped from your charred, martyred remains. Good luck with those 72 virgins when they hear about that.

However, the truth is that everyone on international flights had better hope they don’t have any sudden diarrhea attacks or possess small bladders. If you make any sudden movements, you’re likely to be dogpiled by flight attendants. (And good luck holding it in at that point.)

The point of terrorism is to instigate fear. So, what’s the best way to react? Well, according to the governments of the world (including that of the U.S.), the answer is to act more fearful. In essence, the proffered answer is to “let the terrorists win,” as good ol’ George W. had often advised us against doing (even as he continued to promote being fearful, letting terrorists know that they’d definitely won).

The media doesn’t get a pass, though. They’re just as responsible, if not moreso, than the governments for keeping the public fearful.

Here were the two potential spins the news media had the option of taking on the recent incident:

  1. “There was an attempted bombing on a plane, but it failed. Homeland security is looking into correcting the errors that led to it even being possible. In other news … ”
  2. “A terrorist got on a plane and would have killed us all if not for his bomb malfunctioning! The heroic pilot landed the plane despite the commotion in the cabin behind him, which wasn’t likely to affect him anyway since he was safely separated from it by a secure door. We’ll be interviewing every passenger at least twice over the next few days to find out what things sounded like from every seat in the plane, and we’ll ask each of them if they ever feared for their lives when they saw the crazy terrorist on fire in the airplane cabin. We’ll emphasize irrelevant details -- like the fact that two of the entirely alive passengers are newlyweds, and two other passengers were returning to America with their newly adopted daughters -- so that you can get a feel for how incredibly tragic the situation could have been (but wasn’t). We’ll also interview our panel of expert talking heads about whether they think the possibility of every single plane exploding via terrorist attack (if we aren’t vigilant) is now closer to 95% or closer to 100%.”
The media chose option No. 2, as you can tell by the fact that I bothered to write it all out.

On a final note, it seems like we’re truly going overboard with all of the security measures when they still allow me to carry on my cell phone, with which I could (apparently) scramble all of the plane’s instruments and crash it straight into the statue of liberty -- simply by turning it on mid-flight.

There’s an app for that.

-- SPG

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What Daffodils Have To Do With Rectal Bleeding

Living in American society (and likely the society of any first-world country), I can't help but feel overwhelmed by the countless number of prescription drugs available to people out there. It seems like if you have a relatively harmless problem, they have a horribly named drug to remedy the situation.

Do you have a restless leg? Try Tramadol to chill that fucker out. Penis feelin' a bit down? Cheer that dickhead up with a dose of Cialis. Have you felt a bit depressed, lately? Cry me a river; you live in a first-world country. Call me after you've visited a poor African village and witnessed things that people can reasonably feel depressed about. (Or try Prozac, if you think that'd be easier.)

What's noticeably missing from that list? How about cancer? Or AIDS? Or Parkinson's disease? Why are drug companies and scientific research firms spending so much money making sure old guys can get boners and Hummer owners don't get sad when there are still plenty of killy ailments left on the to-do list? I mean, seriously, we cured having short eyelashes before we cured cancer ...

No, don't keep reading yet, reread that last sentence and let that sink in. (And then watch this depressant commercial.)

Granted, maybe it's simply harder to cure those deadly diseases, but another possibility is that maybe it's simply easier to make money off of the more mundane cures. Otherwise, wouldn't it have struck the penis-pill guy, "Whoa, whoa, whoa ... whoa. Do you guys wanna divert our resources to researching a cure for cancer? Hey, Phil, give those restless-leg guys a call and have them come over. We can discuss leukemia with all of the time we're saving not having sex with our wives because our dicks don't work and we can't control our lower appendages."

And seriously, what's with the horrific drug names? The late-night ad wizards are coming up with names like ShamWow, Snuggie, and Ab DOer, while the best you assholes can come up with is Lipitor, Paxil, and Zyrtec? Really?

How about instead of Prozac, call it SureSmyle? Or instead of Levitra, why don't you just name it PeppyPeePee? There are much better (and more inherently descriptive) names for your drugs. I wouldn't have to Google your product's name if it were called iLash eLonger.

But then, I guess you guys are trying to fix the problem of having fucking dumb names for your drugs by showing us 20 commercials a day preaching your products to create brand awareness. However, I don't understand how anyone could watch one of your commercials and come away thinking, "You know what I need some of? Whatever that was. Gotta get me some of that!" You know why we don't think that? Because two-thirds of your commercials are comprised of a list of side-effects.

Sure, the side-effects are all juxtaposed against images of clear blue skies, throwing Frisbees to dogs, and running through fields of flowers, but that doesn't fool me. I'm still fully capable of both seeing those images and hearing some fast-talking guy try to tell me as quickly as possible that I might go permanently blind and/or die a painful death as a result of taking your drug. The commercials try to make me think happy thoughts during the list of side-effects, but the only thing they've achieved is that now whenever I see a flowery meadow, I think of blood leaking from my anus.

And that's what Daffodils have to do with rectal bleeding.

Oh, and by the way, Latisse (the eyelash-growing drug) can 1) give you dark eyelids, 2) change your eye color (and not in a super-cool way, like brown to blue), and 3) make you grow hair in non-eyelashy places. So, you know ... good luck with that. (Source)


PS. Here's one more funny drug commercial:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Men and the Orgasmic Lie

I recently came across a humor column that I wrote for my college newspaper, the University of Arizona's Daily Wildcat. I wrote several humor columns during my senior year, but this one was one of my favorites for several reasons: 1) They commissioned artwork for it (shown at right), 2) I got to use some fairly vulgar language, 3) I actually got hate mail for it from someone who doesn't understand sarcasm, and 4) my mom sent copies of it to family members, which I think was probably a tad embarrassing for her, considering the content.

No. 3 was especially funny, because his e-mail to the editor (which, incidentally, never was printed in the newspaper) was forwarded to me, and its point was basically, "Geeze, this guy is a misogynistic prick! I can't believe he definitely feels this way in reality, since this clearly marked humor column obviously reveals his true mentality. If you women reading this not-at-all-oblivious letter to the editor want a real man who won't disrespect you like this author, and definitely understands sarcasm, please feel free to contact me at"

Anyway, without further ado, here's my five-year-old column in its original form.

Men and the Orgasmic Lie

To say that men aren't aware of and sensitive to the complexities of the female orgasm is a gross oversimplification. We completely understand your frustration with your elusive orgasmic friend. The truth of the matter is that we just don't really care about stuff, and your orgasm counts as stuff.

There are other stereotypes about men's conceptions of women's orgasms that need to be dispelled, once and for all.

First off, I need to point out that I can definitely tell when a girl is faking an orgasm and when she's not. I could tell that my old girlfriend, for instance, was most certainly not faking anything when she would moan throughout the night over at my next-door neighbor's house. They sounded like they had an awful lot of fun over there. They still do, now and then.

If you girls fake your orgasms, us men will simply pat ourselves on the back and figure, "Hey, mission accomplished." Even if we know it's a fake, we'll still be relatively content with a job well done. Imagine the similar scenario, when you guys ask if you look fat in certain outfits. Of course you look fat, but we don't tell you that. We lie, you know it, and everyone's still happy.

And to say that the female orgasm is "elusive" is greatly exaggerating the situation. My friend, the male gynecologist, told me that "women have orgasms all of the time during sex; they just don't want to let us know about them so they can make us feel bad about ourselves. It's one huge mind-fuck."

The same gynecologist told me that women often needed cuddling and talking before sex to get excited enough to reach orgasm. I asked him whether leaving a woman alone in a room for a few hours with a Furby would do the trick. He said it was worth a shot.

While it may be true that I made up both the gynecologist and his quotes, I don't think his nonexistence detracts from the meaningfulness of his observations of women any more than Santa Claus' nonexistence means I shouldn't get Christmas presents.

Some people claim that men can cum without an emotional connection. I strongly object to this notion. I cry when I masturbate. If that's not an emotional connection, I don't know what is. Admittedly, this may be due more to my onion-peeling fetish than any intense feelings I have about stuff.

Women are also under the impression that men think women who masturbate are dirty. Of course we do! So please keep doing it, ladies.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with women masturbating, and there isn't a man alive who thinks there is. We all support the role of masturbation in a woman's life, but strongly suggest they document the experience with a video camera. It is also recommended that they add a soundtrack with a good bass-line.

Women definitely should not be ashamed to talk about this most noble of pastimes with men.

So, there you have it, ladies. Men are more understanding and sensitive about your predicament than you thought! We understand that it's not always our fault when you don't reach orgasm. More often than not, it's because of your genetically defective erogenous zones. And, hey, who are we to make fun of how God himself screwed you ladies over?

-- SPG

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm not afraid of anything! (Except ... )

For most of my life, I've never really been afraid of much. That's not me trying to sound super macho or anything, it's simply the truth. I can get startled, don't get me wrong, but very rarely am I scared.

For example, I'll jump my fair share in a slasher movie, even when I know the jumpy moment is coming. The bad guy is never dead the first time he's "killed," everyone knows that. When the protagonist leans over the villain to make sure he's dead, you know with absolute certainty that the bad guy is going to wait for a bit, and then jump up and suddenly be right back to his good ol' slashy self. He'll probably knife a few more faces and then get dropped into a vat of acid or something, anything that can give the audience closure via complete certainty that the bad guy is irreversibly dead (until the sequel, wherein they "explain" how he survived the acid and then hope you just forget about it). And despite being in total anticipation of that jumpy moment, I still jump.

No, the true force of my statement is that I rarely get afraid. I've never been afraid of financial ruin, not finding love, or dying. A lot of people don't get that last one, and I don't get why they don't get it.

I'm an atheist, so according to my world view, when I die ... I'm done. That's it. A lot of people would intuitively think that means I have plenty of reason to fear death. If I die and don't have heaven -- or anything -- to look forward to, how could I not fear death? Well, I've never really come at it from that angle. For me, I'm either alive or dead. If I'm alive, I'm alive, so why worry? If I'm dead, I'm dead, so I obviously won't be worrying about anything. Where does the worry come into play?

This non-fear of death may very well be the death of me. As an example, if someone approached me in an alley with a gun and told me to give them my wallet, my first instinct would not be to give them my wallet, it would be to try to figure out how not to give them my wallet. It's the principle of the matter. This guy can't get away with being a prick and taking my wallet, so how do I make sure he doesn't get away with it? Here are some scenarios that I've come up with ahead of time to apply in stick-up situations, as needed:

I'm serious, I'd probably try to do one of those two things. (Apparently I'm a face-centric combatant.) And I'd say that in about 75% of those scenarios, I end up super dead. But knives and guns just don't really scare me. I mean, I guess I can say that now, but when someone's poking me in the heart with a knife, who knows, right? I'd like to think that I'd be like, "Hey, stop it dickhead!" and then karate-chop him in the face. (Or her, I suppose. See what a politically correct society has gotten you, ladies? All of you are now knifers.) It's much more likely, however, that I'd be like, "[Girlie scream][gurgle][dying soliloquy to beautiful woman][dead]."

So, I guess if you're a girl who wants a guy that would put up a fight, that's me. It's also helpful if you want a guy likely to be dead by the age of 30. (Life insurance! Cha-ching!)

I'm not going to let myself get away with this superhuman anti-fear thing, though. I do have a pretty damn wussy fear -- insects. Not all insects, of course, just the killy ones. Spiders and scorpions, mostly. ("But Shawn, spiders are arachnids and scorpions are anthropods." Shut up.) For fuck's sake, look at this:

Why would God create such a face-hugging, bite-off-your-skin, lay-eggs-in-your-ear-and-then-when-they-hatch-its-babies-eat-your-brain kind of creature? Not cool, God. Way not cool. Apologize.

So, I think for a mugger to actually be able to get my wallet, they couldn't do it with guns or knives, but they actually might be able to do it with spiders or scorpions. Like, if they had a scorpion in a clear box and they were pissing it off by poking it with a stick through a ventilation hole or something, and they said, "See? Look how pissed I'm making this little bastard. Give me your wallet or I'll throw him on you. He'll be all crawling on you n' shit and get under your shirt or in your pants and just fuckin' stinging everywhere." My response: "Here you are, sir. And if you give me your home address or that of a trusted middleman, I'll go ahead and ship you my belongings from home, as well. How long do you need with my credit card before I cancel it? I can't cancel it? Fair enough. Have a good day."

Even worse, what if he had a gun that shot spiders? That'd be my kryptonite. Holy hell, I just found a picture online of a guy who actually made a spider gun:

That guy is a super asshole. Seriously, click on that picture to zoom in; there are fucking spiders in a fucking spider-shooting gun. I hope he feels like Alfred Nobel after he created dynamite and saw all of the pain and suffering it would likely bring, ultimately leading to him creating the Nobel Peace Prize to make him feel better about himself. (Wow, that's two Nobel Prize mentions in only a handful of blogs.)

I'm just happy that we're decades away from the kind of technology needed to manufacture some sort of knife made of scorpions ...

(NOTE: The above picture is not what a scorpion knife would look like. A scorpion knife would be made of hundreds of angry, stingy scorpions, and when you're stabbed with it, the knife will come apart and they'll be crawling all over you inside and out and tearing you up. I just wanted a picture, so that's what you get.)

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