Which is the Better Chapstick: Burt’s Beeswax or Concrete? An Objective/Subjective Analysis.

Burt’s Bees Quiz

Today I went shopping with my grandmother for a Wii (which we didn’t find), bought a wireless-G router for my computer (which works perfectly), installed doorknobs on two of our seemingly infinite number of doors which need doorknobs (one of which does not work), and of course, “worked on Luigiville”, which always includes working on the Bank. I’ve been working on the bank for around seven years and I’m still nowhere near completion. I think it’s like the Black Hole of LEGO designs.

All right, thank God that’s over. Today we’re going over a very fun, upbeat subject involving lip balm, specifically Burt’s Beeswax, the beeswaxy lip balm which smells and tastes kind of like mint or some other similarly “fresh”, “tasty” smell/taste. I bought some to replace my old Walgreen’s brand lip balm, which just wasn’t working for me. After all, you just can’t pay enough for a minty taste in your lip balm. Like I really wanted to pay for tasteless lip balm.

I could tell right away that Burt’s Beeswax lip balm was the kind of ritzy stuff that Bill Gates would use on his lips, because you buy it from Hasting’s, not Walgreen’s like the other kind, and it came in a tin. (Although to be fair, as long as something comes from a store with an apostrophe and an s, as in Bill’s, Furgler’s, or Macy’s, you can tell that it’s definitely ritzy.) After we’d gotten our requisite intellectual book (namely, Urban Legends: 666 Absolutely True Stories That Happened To A Friend… Of A Friend… Of A Friend, by Thomas Craughwell) and our movie (The Sin Eater, which I didn’t watch), I opened the Hasting’s bag, which contained my new lip balm.

It wouldn’t open, even after I’d taken off the transparent cover they put on so that terrorists don’t put anthrax into our nation’s supply of chapstick. My mother also couldn’t open the container. Finally, I decided to unscrew it, which seemed to work better than the other method, called the “Just Yank The Damn Cover Off Method.” Using the new “Unscrew The Cap Even Though There’s No Grooves For Unscrewing” method, the cap popped off, finally letting me get to the balmy center.

I ran my finger across the substance inside, but alas, to no avail. Burt’s beeswax was as hard as concrete:

Concrete Lip Balm

It might as well have been.

I tried to get a good dab on my finger, also to no avail. After rubbing on the substance inside for a long while, I finally got maybe enough to put on a mouse’s lips, assuming of course that mice have lips. I realized that it would be a while before I really got to enjoy the benefits of a designer lip balm with a minty flavor.

Finally, by today my lip balm has gained a certain amount of softness, amounting somewhat to the softness exhibited by the keys on one’s keyboard, so I finally get to taste the taste of mint whenever I put what amounts to Vaseline on my lips. The result? I get the taste of mint whenever I eat, including with salsa, ice cream, enchiladas, eggs, bacon, and Chinese food. It isn’t quite what I expected. But then again, that’s the kind of surprise you get with designer stuff like Burt’s Bees or merchandise from Old Navy: That unique feeling from knowing you just spent an extra forty cents for a tin with bees on the cover, bees that, if they were real and alive, would sting you. That feeling of chicness, knowing that you’re better than everyone else because, dammit, your family can spend extra for special lip balm so hard that you can’t actually use it. That feeling that you’re never going to buy Burt’s Beeswax Lip Balm ever again.

Chapter 6: Otis Meets God

(An excerpt from my novel-in-progress, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Wars.)

Otis was traveling.

Yes, I know, just a moment ago Otis was asleep in bed at his little LAN party with Sara and Sonny and Shita and the others. However, while Sara had her vengeful way with Sonny and while the others licked their wounds after the battle between them and Te Ri Si and Fred, Otis’ soul was moving outward into the vast reaches of Space, because that little lenticular cloud that had moved so quickly out to Dulce to be reconverted into its true form had deposited a single drop of the most potent serum on the ship, a serum which not only led its patient to the gates of Death itself, but which also made its patient live again, a sort of rope tied firmly to this dimension but leading to God’s.

“Ah, hello, I am the Lord God Almighty.”

Otis was not only confused, but also naked as the day he was born. Everybody who goes to God’s realm is; God wants to see how his handiwork has fared on this Earth–every scratch, every blemish, every bruise and cut and missing limb–in the same way an artist reads all the reviews after his stay at an art exhibition, to see how his art has been seen, and treasured, and abused. And, like any artist, God questions, and answers.

“And how are you, Otis?” God asked.

“Uh, all right, I suppose, although I suppose I could be better.”

“And why is that?”

“I guess because I’m dead.”

God already knew Otis was going to say that. Duh-he’s God, you know. But he still asked:

“Do you have any questions for me?”

Otis had begun to have this strange feeling that he was beginning to have his questions answered before God had even begun to speak. Answers about his purpose, and a great feeling of calm, as if the weight of the Earth were being lifted from his shoulders. But he still asked:

“What is, ah, the meaning of life, I suppose?”

“Oh, really now, Otis, you must have a different question than that? I’ve been asked that little question so many times, and it is becoming quite cliche, I must admit. Besides, I have already answered that for you.”

Otis began to think. He couldn’t just go on blabbing off to God, you know. Plus, now he knew the Meaning of Life. He had to ask his questions carefully.

“All right. Who’s right–Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, or Mormons?”

“All of them.”

“But if they’re all right, why did they have different things to say?”

“Ah, Otis,” God began, “you must understand, it’s all a matter of location and view. Now, think for a second of the Buddha and Jesus. One fasted and became fat; the other did the same and yet remained thin. Now, if you were to ask Sara and Te Ri Si about sandwiches, would they think of them in the same manner?”

A very abrupt turn of the conversation. Otis thought of Sara’s prodigious girth and moderate stature, and weighed it against Si’s wispy profile and small size. Clearly, Sara would rhapsodize on the wonder of eating–after all, she lived to eat, and was quite willing to let others go hungry, should she be given the chance to take what little food they had. On the other hand, Si fasted often and ate little, so he might have a much different opinion.

“Do you see what I mean?”

“Uh, yes, of course. All right then, God, but let me ask another question.”

“That is quite all right, my son.”

“Why do the people of Africa suffer?”

God remained silent for a moment. “It’s Tim’s fault.”

“Tim?”

“Of course. You know, Tim. Africa’s Messiah. The one Timbuktu is named after. Most of us, me, the fat guy in China, the merchant in Baghdad, we figure out soon that you have to make it painful for women to engage in childbirth, and you can’t have monkeys living with humans, you know. Most of us, in fact, learned the ropes thousands of years ago of these things.

“But Africans have been around longer than anybody… right?”

“Ah, yes, but seniority has its penalties. Tim is currently seeing what it’s like to try to get rid of those punishments–you know, let the people run free, like they do in Australia.”

“But, don’t you rule in Australia?”

“Oh, no, you see, nobody rules down there. Too many kangaroos.”

“So why doesn’t Australia have the same problems as Africa?”

God remained silent for a moment. “You see, monkeys are evil, and Australia is protected anyway by its kangaroos. Nobody attacks a land infested by creatures that carry their young in sacks. Too dangerous. But Africa has no kangaroos, and a plethora of monkeys, not to mention elephants. Mark my words, my boy–the moment the kangaroos die off, Australia will experience a Hell Africa could only dream of. Why do you think we let the Crocodile Hunter die when he did? Because Australia will experience deep pain, that’s why! The endtimes are upon all of you!”

Otis gasped. “The endtimes?”

“Yes,” God said. “The endtimes. Terrorists from Russia and Japan are conspiring. I fear Osama Bin Laden’s ghost is somehow included. They are the first signs. They will bomb your city, and they will leave nothing in their wake. Demons from Hell will scream from their eternal prison through the fiery cracks that slither through the city, your friends will betray you. And your precious dog will die!”

Otis began to cry. His dog, die? It was a truth he could not bear.

“But do not fear, Otis. You and your friends are the four that shall prevail over the evils of the end. You must be strong. And you must not tell them what I have told you, or else you will never see your Felicity again!”

Otis again gasped through his tears. Never see Felicity’s chubby cheeks and big eyes again? No! It couldn’t be!

“And so, you must be quiet.”

“But wait a second, I don’t like Felicity. That’s Sonny.”

God paused again. “Hey, wait, you’re right. Okay, fine, if you tell, Sonny will never get to see Felicity, ever.”

“All right, fine, but if Sonny screws that relationship up I’ll kill the dumb bastard.”

“No. He’s the first horseman of the Apocalypse. You’re just the forth. He’d kick your ass.”

And so Otis returned to his body, as Sonny began to lose his mind after seeing the infinite spans of fat and folds of skin which Sara possessed and which had been exposed to his mortal eyes, and as Sara continued her plots to destroy what was left of poor Sonny, and he felt as if he now had more questions than he had ever had before, and that not only his own world, but a world he could not even comprehend, had suddenly been returned to his tired shoulders.

The High School Graduation Speech I Wish I Could Give

Update (June 19, 2009): I originally wrote this article as a humorous piece to poke fun at an obsessive crush I had on a girl I knew at the time. She still does not like me. I doubt she even remembers who I am. Regardless, I keep this up, as I find it to be funny, and always did. I see no reason to take down what is and always was a sincere attempt at self-deprecation.

The New Face of My Graduation

Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight we are watching a beautiful thing–the passing of many children, many of whom have the exact same Ford Mustang car I wish I could have had five years ago, SAMANTHA, not to name names or anything–into adulthood, a time in which you are always expected to stay at work every day, with no hope of a spring or summer break unless you’re a teacher, in which case you are forced to deal with children, so it seems as if the hassle isn’t worth it. Tonight we also watch me kiss Kaycee, who is sitting behind me and who is just asking for it, seeing as how she is so cute and…No! I mean, ahem, we are here with many beautiful women, including Kaycee, behind me, Kaycee, also behind me, Kaycee, behind me as well, Kaycee, who is also behind me, and of course, Kelly, Caroline, Allie, and many others, none of whom would date me, no matter how much I begged or pleaded. But it is, by far, Kaycee whom I think deserves this ceremony the most; who worked the hardest; who was always the smartest; who was beautiful in every way except that she wouldn’t date me. And then there’s Kelly, but I’ve gotten over her. I know she’ll never date me.

There have been many sad times in my life. One of the saddest was waiting for my cap-and-gown outside school in one-hundred degree heat, getting the sunburn that makes wearing this damned costume unbearable, and watching everybody else cut in line in front of me. Another was beginning to write a blog that nobody read no matter how much I actually wrote. And then there was finding out that I was too late to get a ten-thousand-dollar scholarship, thereby making less money in scholarships (I only get a measly $5000 a year for a $4000 a year college) than Kaycee did. What girl would date a guy that couldn’t get the top scholarship in college, I ask you? Not Kaycee.

Oh hell with it, the rest of this speech is going to be me talking about how much I like Kaycee. I wish I could say I love her, to the bottom of my heart, from her face to her sandaled feet, but I cannot, such as she has never actually said anything more to me than “hi”, and that’s only if I pester her, so I can’t really tell. But I have a longing, deep in my heart, deeper even than the cockles, but not quite down to the loinal regions, for Kaycee. She is beauty incarnate. She is everything that makes life worth living. Seeing her face–even when, no, especially when–she is telling me to give her her space–is why I went to school all these days, and why I wanted to become class valedictorian.

Now, Kaycee is not valedictorian of this class, or however the hell you spell that word, but you have to understand, in order for a peon like myself to ever have a chance of loving the nymph that is Kaycee–even at a court-mandated distance–I must be even smarter than she is. Otherwise, I am not worthy to even kiss her feet, even though that is exactly what I am going to do as soon as I am finished with this speech. She is everything to me, she is beauty, she is wisdom, she is love, she is kindness, she is law, she is the universe and every planet, every star, every meteor that makes orbit around the infinite expanse of the universe. She is the ultimate reason of every law of physics that was ever written by the feeble mind of Man, and all the creations of Universe were put into place so that she could exist–the reason God created the Universe itself. Just for her.

Now, I’m sure you realize most of this speech is hyperbole, and that my obsession with Kaycee is most likely little more than a high-school crush, an insignificant speck in the vast wasteland of my life, littered with sadness and darkness, tinged here and there with the slightest specks of lights, of which much of Kaycee is; but for this moment, she is here, and I am here, and at this very moment my very existence hinges upon Kaycee’s sitting right behind me, within the closest reach, a beautiful butterfly which I will allow to exit my life as abruptly and as haltingly as it had entered it. It is only this moment that matters; and this moment is not merely a speck in many ways; it is a highlight, it is a footing. It is something which gives me stability, and thus life; it would be without the stability of my obsessions that I would collapse in a vortex of my own making, like that of a star which, being too large for the laws of the Universe, collapses into a supernova and black hole, which sucks up all the light around it and loses all light which it once had.

Now, I suppose I’m supposed to get back on track here, to something about this graduation. I will say this: There is little to be said that has not already been said. Awards have been given, most of the fluff has passed away, tests are finished, the year is over, with only a long, long time of passing between this year and the next. What is left is to tie the loose ends, end that which must be ended, and close this year. And thus it is over. If someone else wants to add to that which has already been finished, I ask you to come now and make your peace. To all else, I say: The year is over; thus it is finished.

The Dog That Must Be Fed (every five minutes)

Sissy Eats Hamburger

The little drawing in the corner of this page and every page on “The Luigiian”‘s site, labeled “Sissy The Dog”, is my own. I drew it on Paint, and it is, essentially, my logo, based on my dog, whose name is (you guessed it) Sissy. Sissy is an unusual dog; not as unusual as the picture suggests, but she is quite unusual. There are two types of dogs: One is the stupid type, which runs into doors and doesn’t quite get the concept of slippery floors. The other type is the neurotic dog, which suffers from an inability to get around brooms and sticks and such because it thinks that the objects are going to swoop down and kill it. Sissy, of course, is very much the second type.

She is the only dog I know who actually got her name from her condition. I once knew a dog named “Lucky”, and its owners claimed that it got that name because it was “lucky to have them”. That dog hasn’t been seen in ten years, and the last time anybody saw it was as its owners trucked it out to the badlands surrounding Rio Rancho, whose primary landmarks are shot-up 1970s Buicks and a massive landfill where Rio Ranchoans take the bodies of “Corralenos” (people from the village of Corrales in New Mexico, yes they actually call themselves that word) who they inevitably shoot (because they are all from New York, and all New Yorkers are violent, dangerous criminals from the Mafia, versus people from Corrales who are delusional yuppies). Back to the topic: Sissy got her name because when it snows outside, even if she desperately needs to go to the bathroom, she will not go, because it would get her feet cold. If it’s raining, she’ll run out there and run back into the house soaking wet and get everything around her coated with that stinky kind of musty smell a dog gets when it hasn’t been bathed in six months and just ran out in the rain. And if it’s hot outside, she’ll spend the entire day sleeping under a 1970s Buick we have (which doesn’t actually run anymore) in our backyard. Someday, when Sissy goes to the Big Place In The Sky, we will take this car out to the other 1970s Buicks in the desert, where it will promptly be shot up with a Uzi owned by a man who wants to get ready for the alien invasion he has seen deep within his head.

But Sissy is not afraid of food. She goes outside every fifteen minutes, ostensibly to go to the bathroom; but, whenever she comes back inside, we (my grandmother and I) have been instructed to give her a treat by my mother, and if we don’t Sissy gives us this look, because she knows we’re not doing something we’re supposed to, and faster than you can say “human slave”, I am reaching into the pantry for a dog bone, which I stick in her mouth, and which she runs off with at full gallop. Perhaps you think a dog cannot gallop like a horse; you have obviously never given Sissy her treats.

I get irritated with this, because Sissy (a Cardigan Welsh Corgi mix) is notoriously fat, which my mother treats as a joke, but which I get nervous about, since she is larger than most other dogs, and can scare off Labrador Retrievers. But I didn’t really understand the seriousness of the situation until yesterday. I don’t usually make my burgers, because my mother usually gets them for everybody, and so I think, “Well hey, you know what? If she wants to do it, that’s fine by me, I’ll let her.” Yesterday I did make my own hamburger for once, and as I put the burger together (this one was a truly great hamburger, not Boca Burgers like I’d had the day before, which are decent but just don’t have that burgerness that pure dead cow can give), there was Sissy. She had her butt planted firmly on the ground, looking up at me the way a fox looks at a rabbit when it hasn’t eaten in three days. She had her tongue out, panting, with a huge smile on her face, her eyes looking right at me, her teeth bared, and I realized that if I let even the slightest morsel of food–a bit of onion, or a crumb of bread–fall to my feet, she would probably bite my toes off in her haste to lunge for this food. Behind her would be a long trail of smoke, and as she hit the brakes, her paws would make skid marks across our kitchen’s tile floor.

I should mention at this point that Sissy is pushing fifteen years old.

And so, as I went outside to be with my mother who was watching America’s Funniest Home Videos and drinking her Keystone in the last light of the day, and as she was commenting on how cute Sissy is and how good of a mother she must have been before we got her, I was thinking of that scene and of the kind of dog I had. For I had not a dog, but a wolf, a mother-she-wolf whose life was devoted to the thrill of the hunt, of pouncing on that sliver of venison or bite of cooked ground beef, of sniffing the air for that wounded animal or slow human carrying pork chops. And I came to the conclusion that the wolf of the forest and my wolf of the city shared one other commonality: They probably both ate their young.

Saying Goodbye To Boca Burgers

There are times in your life when you know, absolutely, that you do not deserve what you get. One of those times is when you’re about to graduate from high school, and you cannot accurately or consistently answer questions from “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” The other time is when you go to a party and something bad happens. Neither of those happened to me today (because I am badass), but I know many of you feel this way, because you are not as smart as I am, because I am the greatest human being that has ever walked the earth, excepting Dave Barry, who makes a living via writing about weasels. For those of you who feel that way, I have a story to tell. About myself. About girls. And, of course, about Boca Burgers.

Today I went to a friend’s graduation party. It was wonderful, the sort of party that Ronald Reagan dreamt of, with parents and friends and a cake and presents and high school graduates and many, many vegetarians. It was a good party, one with many presents for the Graduation Girl, one of which included a brand-new Ford Mustang from 2004. And I got to see it all.

Well, not necessarily all, now that you mention it. I came at four, and I left at six, because we were to see “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?”, wherein we got to see a man lose $975,000 in a span of about five minutes. It was a sad thing, really, because he was a Yale graduate. I would have preferred to see him lose more. Damn rich white people.

But anyway, so before that, I had gone to Gardunio’s, a wonderful restaurant, which is called the “Margarita Factory”. It has oodles of old, rusted-looking pipes that seem to connect to massive containers presumably containing margarita ingredients like salt and tequila, and possibly those little worms you get in the tequila, and these pipes reminded me of why I will never drink. It just seemed so unsanitary. I think the Health Board should fine the restaurant, not for actually putting such ingredients in the tanks, but because they were being pretentious for actually thinking this was a wonderful architectural feature rather than proof positive that an architect should never actually drink margaritas while designing a restaurant that serves margaritas.

There I met an old friend, Kori, whose name I could never really remember until now but who always played a mean guitar back in my junior year at the School of Three-Thousand Packed-In Holding Inmates. He was a waiter at the restaurant. He will be going to the School of Twenty-Five Thousand Hippies Either Buying Or Selling Marijuana (namely, the University of New Mexico), just like I will. I don’t think (think) he has ever smoked marijuana (street name “Wacky Tobbackee”) but everybody else probably will have. I know I won’t have, in spite of this blog’s appearances.

I slept for an hour at home. This is important, because I typically stay up till four in the morning, meaning that by afternoon I feel as if I have been hit by a bus. And, so, as I went to my friend Samantha’s graduation party, I felt rested and fearful, the kind of fear you get when you are in love or when you are afraid to go to somebody’s graduation party because you think that everyone hates you. I was afraid because I knew my pastor would be there, and so would Boca burgers, and both are dangerous. You don’t want to be cornered in a dark alley by a pastor, ever, because with only a small cross they can kill most Satanic creatures which live upon our world, a concept illustrated by The Exorcist.

Not that I am, in fact, Satanic. And, of course, you probably aren’t either, I think. And, so, maybe we have nothing to fear from pastors. Maybe. But I’m still going to be wary.

But anyway, when I got to the party, it was as crazy as a party with absolutely no alcohol can possibly get, meaning that the “teenagers” played Cranium, while the adults sat around and talked. And then we had the burgers, which are something only a pastor can stop from unleashing their evil upon the Earth.

Because pastor Mark was at the party, I decided it was safe to eat one. It definitely tasted better than the hamburger patties they serve at school, which are made of cow, and which (of course) taste like cow patties. They also tasted far better than McDonald’s hamburgers, which I think are made of the rats that scurry about under the cases of McRib sandwiches from the food’s inaugural launch in 1989. In other words, they were pretty good, at least as good as a soy-based patty designed to look like a hamburger can get. If I had tried one of the regular burgers, I probably couldn’t have told the difference.

I began to say my goodbyes only a quarter-way through the burger. They were terse and bittersweet: shaking hands; trying to hug a girl who didn’t like me and said she couldn’t shake my hand because she had sticky stuff on it and then attempted to hit me when I tried to hug her; trying to shake a guy’s hand and having him tell me it was against his religion; and so on. I didn’t have a yearbook, but that didn’t matter, because it was probably against the guy’s religion.

As I left, I decided to keep the Boca Burger as a memento of the party, but then, of course, I remembered that they are of Satan, and the only thing that had kept the forces of evil from penetrating my colon was the presence of Pastor Mark. I contemplated what the burger could do to me; would I have Mark sprinkle holy water on it? Would he laugh at me, like everybody does when I tell them the truth about things? I didn’t know what to do, but then Samantha came to the rescue.

“Here, I’ll take that and throw it away for you,” she said, in her characteristic sweetheart voice. So I gave it to her, and I hugged her, and I left, and then I presume that she threw it into the fiery depths of hell from whence it came.

It was hard to say goodbye to that Boca Burger. Even if it was from Hell, it was a memento, one of the last things I will have to remember from my salad days in high school. It will, of course, be hard to say goodbye to Samantha and my friends, too. I will miss them, especially if they do not go to the University of Twenty-Five Thousand Hippies Either Buying Or Selling Marijuana with me. Even if they do, will they not eventually blend in with all of the others, becoming part of the faceless tribe of the twenty-five thousand wearing tie-dye T-shirts? Or will they remain who they always were? They have all been wonderful to me, even when I couldn’t remember their name or what I was supposed to take to school that was worth a thousand points for both myself and their team. They are individuals, they are people, good people, not Damned Rich White People, and not Satanic.

Even when they make me say goodbye to my Boca Burger.

LBN Newsnet Special Report: In Memoriam: Luigiian Republic “Anime Convention”, Part I

Luigiian Seal Circa 2004-2005

The “Anime Convention”, a term used to describe the Luigiian Republic’s legislative sessions, is a moniker which in its homeland inspires disgust, hatred, bitterness, and sadness. It is a name–and a period–marked by disaster socially, economically, and in the international arena. It is also a period which immediately preceded the best times the Luigiian Republic had ever had. In the face of such difficult competition, the Anime Convention withered at charges of inexperience and fervid radicalism. As one famous man once said, “The son of a great man must work twice as hard to be considered half as good.” Or something like that.

By 2007, the Luigiian Anime Convention has lasted for three long years. When it was first begun in the autumn of 2004, its brand-new congress of five distinguished members of the Republic’s highest classes promised great change, as it was preceded by a particularly harsh, dictatorial “Cougar Convention” which outlawed everything Japanese, anything considered immoral, and anything that was considered “immature”, “superfluous”, or “a waste of time.” The new liberals in charge decided to name themselves the Anime Conventioneers, a term describing everything that the old regime despised, to spite the Cougar Convention’s policies.

The first year began August 14, 2004, but the Anime Convention began holding regular sessions as of July 31, 2004, fourteen days before the next legislative session was slated to begin. This gave it time to recover from unusual circumstances during the summer: a volunteer corps had been established to assist in the Iraq War, and troops were just coming back; a slight economic downturn had caused inflation to rise; and the city of Luigiville was just beginning to adjust to the new freedoms it had been given.

Unfortunately, not all was well elsewhere. The normally-astute Governor Justin Depoy committed numerous gaffes in his international work, and adjusting to the new ideas inherent in the Anime Convention meant that many were unprepared for the culture shock. Worse still, the economy continued to suffer immensely, and international relations collapsed.

By fall, things went from worse to terrible, and Governor Depoy caused an international incident when he was accused of inappropriate dealings with the leaders of several other nations. Though it did not hurt him politically, it was a crippling blow to the infant Anime Convention, which now had to deal not only with economic and international woes but also scandal within the first three months of its inception.

By the end of the year, Governor Depoy had lost his momentum, the Convention had been vilified, and the economy festered with no end in sight to a far-reaching recession. Students began to stumble badly in the Republic’s standardized tests, as their parents lost thousands in the ailing stock market. As the year continued, it became clear that situations were going to reach critical mass as the Convention limped to the finish line on May 24th, 2005. Yet the Republic’s new lease on life in the freedoms which the Anime Convention had both borne and protected through this rocky first year, whose trials and tribulations would have been lethal to any other group other than the plucky Conventioneers, gave them a lease on life that would last for years to come–and still lasts to this day.

Luigiville Circa 2004-2005

You know what the Internet needs? MORE FREAKING PORNO.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. I came up with the idea after seeing a photo on some random chick’s webpage:

Random Internet Chick

Meet “bhjayalaxmi“. She’s 22, she’s from India, she’s interested in computers and the Internet, and if you seriously think that this is her picture, you’re an idiot.

You know, there’s nothing more irritating than the Internet. We’re talking about a medium that is so hyper-saturated with women stripping for cameras, dumbasses doing stupid things for cameras, dumbass women doing stupid things and stripping for cameras at the same time, and random-ass advertisements with women in bikinis that it’s literally getting difficult to remember the Internet as the single greatest revolution in communications in recent human history.

It’s incredibly degrading as a human being to know that there is technology that allows people as far away as China and Japan to conference with Europeans, Australians, and Americans, and do it at the same time with all of them, and that technology is used so I can see some random chick’s buttcrack. What’s worse is the fact that Internet people gobble this crap up. Whatever happened to not checking out other chicks anymore once you fell in love with somebody? Oh, I guess that such niceties as love and respect for people flies straight out the window when there’s random sexual gratification to be had. Call Andy Warhol, it looks like you can get your 15 minutes of fame, as long as you have a great big ass and whatever kind of nasty belly fat or ugly face the next wanker wants to take a good, long look at.

What’s even more irritating than this trashy porno, which is at least only accessible to those who look for it, is dating websites. Talk about kindheartedness, these sites have the ability to get you hooked up with chicks you don’t even know or have ever even seen via the tremendous power of the microprocessor, only they have the decency to put a massive right-column advertisement right on whatever site you’re viewing and make it take up 1/4 of the entire screen so that you can see it real good. Who cares about video games when you can date other obnoxious anime nerds right on the Internet, so you never have to leave your house again?

And of course, if you want to read about something, the Internet’s got you covered. How about… uh… books written by sex-desperate anime fangirls talking about their favorite dog-eared manga character having sex with a robot? I know I (unfortunately) saw something to that effect somewhere. Or maybe not, it makes no difference. On the Internet, it’s probably there! Unless, of course, it’s fun to read. Dave Barry? Nah. Rich Kyanka? Of course! There’s nothing funnier than posting links to websites that show animals having sex or putting newborn babies back into their mothers. Yeah! Talk about some real edgy Internet humor!

Seriously, though, the Internet has some use… maybe. We have good video games on the Internet. There are beautiful pictures circulating, maybe some good anime here and there, hell, even a couple of great books so you can read a chapter or two for free without even buying the book. It’s just a shame that the rest of it is so vile. For every good website out there, there’s about five slimy ones, all written by the same fat balding loser, skanky fatass, or business major looking for a buck from dummies so ignorant that they literally pay money for a “24 hour striptease”. You want a striptease? Get a girlfriend, loser, or at least don’t pay money for it. There are at least five places I know of that feature naked women. For FREE. Maybe not 24 hours a day, but if you need that, what you’re really looking for is voyeurism. Get your head out of your ass.

And how about if some decent writers put their work on the Internet? I’m serious here. Readers of blogs should not have to go to sites like this just to read something written coherently. I’m not even talking funny here, just written with decent grammar and spelling. I’ve seen foreign exchange students write English better than most of the American bloggers I’ve seen. What does that say about America? That we’re all a bunch of stupid ignoramuses? Oh wait. Well, I guess you guys can take that, but truly, if somebody else from America doesn’t start writing well on the Internet, I’m moving to Canada. Like Hell am I gonna fight in Iran so that American bloggers can prattle on like idiots all over the Internet and embarass the entire United States of America.

And that’s about it; didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, although if I did, and you’re a functional illiterate blogger, you deserve it. See you guys later.