Friday, December 19, 2008



I'm thinking about an art project where I choose 10 citations at random from 10 books in the library and then write an experimental research paper around them. Sources may include an exploration of Irish heroin culture, the December 1989 newsletter of the London Maritime Society, and an encyclopedia of prominent Japanese businessmen. I wonder what I’ll prove. Instead of filling in blank spaces in the web of knowledge this project will bridge gaps that don’t exist. Really, I suppose the only thing any of these sources will have in common (if I make the selection as heterogeneous as I plan to) will be the fact that they were all randomly selected by me for this project. Perhaps their synthesis will offer a glimpse into my subconscious. Or a Dada commentary on the pointlessness of artifice and human creativity. Or a waste of time and paper.

he's so dumb he doesn't even know he's alive

I’m slipping through a dark Wisconsin on a big silver train. My eyelids are heavy and the actresses on all the laptops and portable dvd players seem more beautiful than usual, as if they had just been born. Hair falls in perfect blond ringlets or even sheets of deep red, well-lit faces say improbable things. They’re like ghosts, strange phosphorescent spirits flickering on the laps of those too poor or too senile or too Amish to fly. Real girls are not as pretty and at the same time much more beautiful.
I am surrounded by sleeping women. Diana is dozing off to my left. A girl with an enormous Semitic nose and tight black jeans is spread across two seats on the other side of the aisle. She is still wearing her glasses, as is the middle-aged woman majestically napping in the seat in front of her. I could never sleep with my glasses on, unless if I were quite drunk and didn’t think about it. Even then, they would probably fall off and be crushed underneath me. The middle-aged woman is awake now. She’s wearing a lot of jewelry; her empty coffee cup has a lipstick stain on the mouthpiece. She looks across the aisle, out the window of the strange old man sitting in front of me. She has drawn the worn blue curtain over her own window. A male child stumbles by, corrupting the feminity of the scene. A gay University of Chicago student stands, stretches, and walks off. A sturdy bald man whose elaborate head and neck creases make him resemble a Star Trek alien walks briskly past. I am alone with the sleeping women again. Diana’s mouth is slightly open. The middle-aged woman is asleep again. I’m going to get a crick in my neck if I keep twisting to observe the girl with the big nose. Her nose seems to get bigger every time I look at it. She’s wearing black chuck tailors, and something about her ass seems right to me. I like when the female form seems appealing and complete in and of itself. Am I being clear? When it can’t be measured in inches and pounds. We’re passing through a small town, a little oasis of orange light in deepest darkest Wisconsin. It’s not very big, but it’s probably the biggest town for miles. Farmers come here to buy underwear. We’re further north now—the river is frozen solid. I normally spend my time in the observation car, but it was too full of happy couples. One guy even had a guitar. A woman in her late thirties looks wrong in a baggy blue American Apparel dress (she is just too old for the blasé ironic kissing boys and getting wasted ethos of that dress) and shepherds her three daughters past me to the dining car. Diana is dead to the world. The middle-aged woman seems to have found her groove, as the bizarre mechanical idiom has it. She raises a hand heavy with rings and bracelets to her mouth for a moment. Her shirt is made of some shimmery white material, maybe satin or silk but probably polyester. I’m going to try to sleep.

Let’s look into how breasts are used to sell things. Honestly I’m most interested in developing some sort of metric to classify the degree and type of breast exposure in advertisements for a variety of products, then applying that metric to a variety of ads and examining the results. I guess you could examine it from one direction or the other: either evaluate how people respond to breasts in advertisements, or look into how advertisers use breast imagery. I’d prefer the latter method, because A. it involves the examination of ads rather than a big psych study with a shit ton of participants and B. I find advertisements very interesting in the way they reflect and influence our society. Questions: what sort of breasts (size, shape, etc) and what sort of breast exposure techniques (i.e. exposed skin v. form fitting tops) are deployed for what sort of product and in what sort of medium? Obviously ads for beer, action movies, and other awesome things will feature tons of tits, but commercials for more family friendly products will often feature subtle but noticeable boobage. For example, the box for my parents’ new television features a little color graphic of a happy family of three basking in the high definition warmth of their new idiot box, mom and dad half-embraced (a full hug would of course obscure one person’s view of the television) with Junior tucked between them. Just to the left of Junior’s head, mom’s pink blouse has flopped open a bit, giving interested shoppers a nice view of about three quarters of mom’s left tit.
What sorts of products are most associated with breasts? Have advertisers attempted to create a mental parallel between their product and breasts? Does packaging or logo design reflect this intent?
What about breasts in motion? Can a jiggle sell products that a pleasing line simply can’t? Maybe the jiggle is appealing because it reveals something of the texture of breasts as well as their shape. Can still images be manipulated to create the impression of motion, and hence an impression of texture? Where are the tactile ads? I want to be able to pet that puppy on the toilet paper and cup that tit on the cardboard cut out.

Man I sat down at this computer ready to moan for man but writing that “tits in advertising” research proposal cheered me right up. Some days I think I should be an advertising executive. People need to have things sold to them. Probably good money if you’re smart. Plus it would piss Sam off.
New business cards, maybe just a triple card we could present to clients:
Max Kuehn: Idea Man. Josh Mattson: Grease Man. Sam Walker: Asshole Man.

I’m going to take your advice once more and get a shorter letter out faster instead of laboring over this fucker for another week and squeezing out one more page. I’ll probably be there to watch you open this.


Pretentious title: The Bridge To Nowhere: A Subconscious Research Project. The key to every thesis is a good pretentious title with a colon in it. I Can Count To Thirteen Backwards: A History Of Angry Drunks. End Days: The Apocalypse In Retrospect. Lubricity: A Hodgepodge Of Nonsense.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Heute Auf Deutsch

Maxwell Kuehn
Deutsch 321
Professor: Helmut Müller-Sievers
Finale Aufgabe

Wenn man „Revolution“ hört, denkt man an Unruhe, Unstabilität, und besonders Änderung. Eine politische Revolution ändert die Regierung, eine technologische ändert die Maschinen, eine kulturelle ändert die Ideen—nach einer Revolution ist alles verändert. Aber man muss nur an das Wort „Revolution“ denken, um die größere Kompliziertheit des Konzepts zu sehen: eine Revolution ist eine Umdrehung, eine kreisförmige Bewegung, und deshalb endet sie, wo sie begonnen hat. Eine echte Revolution kann nicht nur den Zustand ändern; sie muss auch diesen neuen Zustand mit dem Alten schlichten, muss die neuen Ideen in die alte Struktur integrieren, um die Änderungen angenehmer, und deshalb dauernder zu machen. Ohne diese Versöhnung wird eine Revolution flüchtig und unerfolgreich sein, und ferner ist sie keine Revolution, weil sie nicht zurückkommt. Diese falschen Revolutionen können auch nach hinten losgehen und reaktionäre Folgen haben, genau das Gegenteil davon, was die Revolutionäre gewollt und erwartet haben. Zum Beispiel, in der französischen Revolution, schmiss das französische Volk den tyrannischen König weg, dann bekommen sie noch einen größeren Tyrann mit Napoleon. Sowohl „Das Erdbeben in Chile“ als auch „Die wunderlichen Nachbarskinder“ handeln von eine Revolution, und beide enden wo sie begonnen haben, aber nur das Letztere ist erfolgreich, weil die Revolutionäre ihre ungewöhnliche Glauben in die größere Struktur der Gesellschaft integrieren.
Als „Das Erdbeben in Chile“ beginnt, brauchen unsere Protagonisten, das junge Liebespaar Jeronimo und Josephe, eine Änderung: sie werden bald sterben. Josephe geht zu ihrer Hinrichtung und Jeronimo bereitet sich vor, sich zu erhenken. Die Gesellschaft hat sie verurteilt und ihre Tode scheinen unabwendbar. Das Erdbeben, eine Art von natürlicher Revolution, ändert diese Unabwendbarkeit—Josephes Hinrichtungszug ist zerstreut, Jeronimos Gefängnis ist zerstört, und die Häftlinge sind befreit. Das Erdbeben zerstört nicht nur Gebäude, sondern auch die ganze Ordnung der Gesellschaft auf den Kopf stellt. Tausende von Unschuldigen sind verletzt und getötet, weil zwei Verbrecher gerettet sind—es ist „als ob das Firmament einstürzte.“ Diese Unordnung der Hierarchie der Erde dauert noch eine kleine Weile. Alles wird noch besser für die Flüchtlinge. Jeronimo und Josephe sind wiedervereinigt mit ihrem Sohn, Philipp, und sie verbringen eine perfekte Nacht, zusammen und frei. Diese Nacht ist total anders von dem vorherkommenden Tag, und repräsentiert das Extrem dieser Revolution, 180 Grad umdreht von dem Alptraum, mit dem die Geschichte beginnt. Die Familie ist nicht getrennt, sondern zusammen; die Sonne scheint nicht, sondern der Mond; und die Familie ist nicht in der Stadt, das große Symbol der schlimmen Ordnung der Gesellschaft, sondern in der Natur, wo alles unglaublich friedlich und schön ist. Jede Umdrehung kommt aber immer zurück zu dem Anfang, und die Nacht muss eventuell enden. Der Tag kommt noch ein Mal und Josephe will eine Messe besuchen, und deshalb geht die Familie zu einer Kirche, und zurück in die Gesellschaft. Jeronimo und Josephe glauben, dass eine Revolution passiert ist, aber leider irren sie sich. Obwohl die Stadt physisch verändert hat, der grausame Geist der Intoleranz besteht. In das Erdbeben, das die Familie als ein Zeichen der Vergebenheit und des Segens Gottes versteht hat, findet der Priester, der Sprecher der Gesellschaft, nur göttliche Wut und Zorn, eine Bestrafung für die Verbrechen von Jeronimo und Josephe. Diese Revolution benötigt den schlüssigen Schritt, der Schritt indem die alte Gesellschaft sich ändert. Wenn die zwei versuchen sich der Gesellschaft wieder anzuschließen, kommen sie in Kontakt mit der gleichen Furcht, Ignoranz, und Unduldsamkeit, die sie fast getötet hat, und natürlich sind die erfolglosen Revolutionäre noch verfolgt. Diese Revolution, wie die französische, ist nicht nur erfolglos, sondern hat den gegenteiligen Effekt. Statt zwei relativ zivilisierter Todesfälle, die wir am Anfang der Geschichte erwarten haben, werden vier Leute, einschließlich ein Baby, von dem Mob sehr brutal hingerichtet.
Wenn man diese Geschichte liest, ist es klar, wo unsere Helden irren: sie sollten einfach nicht zu der Kirche gehen, sondern direkt nach Spanien fliehen. Warum gehen die Parias zurück zu den Leuten, die sie erst gestern unrecht behandelt hatte? Die offensichtliche Antwort ist, dass Josephe „ihr Antlitz vor dem Schöpfer...legen“ will, um Gott für ihre Rettung zu danken. Unter dieser Lust, Gott zu denken, aber, liegt ein tieferer Trieb. Josephe fühlt sich getrennt: sie rebelliert gegen die Kirche und die Gesellschaft, aber sie fühlt sich auch als ein Mitglied davon. Sie ist Bürgerin und eine Christin, und gleichzeitig Verbrecherin von bürgerlichen und christlichen Gesetzen. Dieser Zustand folgt zu innerem Konflikt und psychologischer Pein. Mit ihrer Rückkehr zu der Kirche versucht Josephe diesen Konflikt aufzulösen. Es gibt einen guten Ausdruck für dieses Gefühl von innerem Konflikt: Verzweiflung. Verzweiflung heißt zu zweifeln (wie Josephes Zweifel, ob sie der Gesellschaft angehört oder nicht), und zu zweifeln heißt zwei zu sein. Hier finden wir einen Grund für die kreisförmige Natur der Revolution. Der Bruch mit der Gesellschaft teilt die Seele und führt zu Verzweiflung, und man muss die Alte und die Neue zusammenbringen um diese Verzweiflung zu vermeiden.
Es gibt so eine erfolgreiche Revolution, die diesen schweren Auftrag ausführt, in Goethes „Die wunderlichen Nachbarskinder.“ Wie „Das Erdbeben,“ hat Goethes Geschichte auch eine scheinbare Unabwendbarkeit, die die Gesellschaft bestellt hat, und die ein Liebespaar trotzt. Tatsächlich gibt’s zwei davon: die von den Eltern arrangierte Ehe zwischen den Kindern wenn sie noch ganz jung sind, und die von der Gesellschaft geförderte Ehe zwischen dem Mädchen und einem anderen Mann, einem Bräutigam, der „von Stand, Vermögen, und Bedeutung“ ist, aber der nicht von dem Mädchen geliebt ist. Die erste Ehe ist relativ leicht vermeidet; die Kinder sind einfach so feindlich zu einander, dass die Eltern ihre Entscheidung aufheben. Die zweite Ehe ist viel schwerer zu vermeiden, weil die Braut und ihre Bräutigam schon verlobt sind, aber gleichzeitig ist sie notwendiger zu vermeiden, weil die Braut eine leidenschaftliche Liebe für den Jüngling entdeckt hat. Das Mädchen ist zwischen zwei riesenheftigen Notwendigkeiten verfangen. Sie ist tief und leidenschaftlich in den Jüngling verliebt, aber sie hat irgendwem anders ihre Hand versprochen, und die ganze Macht der Gesellschaft drängt sie, diese Versprechen zu halten. Goethe betont die Strenge ihrer Pflicht mit überflüssigen Adjektiven. Sie muss den Bräutigam absolut heiraten; es ist nicht nur eine „Notwendigkeit,“ sondern eine „unwiderrufliche,“ „unabänderliche“ Notwendigkeit. Zwischen dieser Schuldigkeit zu „Welt und Familie“ und ihre unbezweifelbare Liebe kann die Braut nur Verzweiflung finden, solch eine ungeheure Verzweiflung, dass Selbstmord ihr einziger Ausgang scheint.
Wenn ihr ehemaliger Nachbar dem Brautpaar eine Verlobungsfeier auf einem Schiff gebt, ruft sie ihm „Nimm dies zum Andenken!“ und springt ins Wasser. Der Jüngling springt auch und rettet sie, dann schwimmt er mit der fast gestorbenen Braut zu einer Insel. Diese Insel, wie das schöne Tal in „Das Erdbeben,“ ist wie eine andere Welt, ein unglaublich perfekter natürlicher Zufluchtsort von der Unterdrückung der Gesellschaft. Als ob sie in einem Traum, oder vielleicht ein Märchen, sind, finden das Mädchen und ihr Geliebter auf der Insel „gute Leute, ein junges Ehepaar,“ die mit „einem lichten Feuer“ und „Pelze [und] Felle“ das Mädchen wieder ins Leben rufen. Durch diese qualvolle Rettung, und seine eigene Verzweiflung, als er sie gestorben gedacht hat, entdeckt der Jüngling seine eigene Liebe für das Mädchen. In diesem natürlichen Refugium, frei von dem amoralischen Einfluss der Gesellschaft, finden die Nachbarskinder Heilung, Heilung für die Körper und Heilung für die Seelen. Sie sind verändert, neu bekleidet, nicht nur physisch, „von Kopf zu Fuß,“ sonder auch geistlich, „von innen heraus.“ Sie entscheiden sich zu heiraten, und die Ehe, die die Familien originell geplant hat, einzugehen.
Auf den ersten Blick, wenn man daran denkt, diese endgültige Entscheidung zu treffen, was am Anfang geplant war, kann all die Agonie und Verzweiflung die Protagonistin zwecklos und unnötig scheinen. Am Anfang sagen die Eltern, dass die Nachbarskinder heiraten sollen, und am Schluss stimmen die Kinder zu. Warum müssen so viele Leiden passieren, um den originellen Zweck zu erreichen?
Die Antwort ist, dass der Endzweck der Kinder von den Plänen der Eltern in einer kleinen aber ganz wichtigen Art abweicht, und nur durch die Unruhe einer Revolution können sie einen glücklichen Ausgang finden. Wenn die Gesellschaft plant, die Nachbarskinder aus finanziellen, praktischen Gründen zu heiraten, war die erste Erwiderung der Kinder—einfach nein zu sagen—kindisch, oberflächlich, und keine Lösung. Ihre Schlussentscheidung kommt näher an das was die Eltern wollen heran, ist aber auch weiter entfernt davon—sie werden heiraten, aber nicht wegen der gemeinen Gründen der Eltern, sondern weil sie einander lieben. Nur durch diese Doppelrebellion finden die Nachbarskinder ihr Glück. Mit dem ersten Schritt gehen sie weg, dann kommen sie zurück—eine echte Revolution. Eine Rebellion, die einfach „nein“ zu alles sagt, kann nur zu Zweiheit, und deshalb zu Verzweiflung, führen. Man kann die Umstände ändern, aber die Änderung wird immer unerwartet, vielleicht scheinbar kleiner als was man erwartet hat, aber letztlich wichtiger und tiefer sein.

Monday, December 8, 2008

When You Dance You Remind Me Of Sylvia Plath

This blog has sunk to the level of an electronic clipboard. Please enjoy if interested this letter of rec i just wrote for one of my professors.

December 2008

The Faculty of the Slavic Department
Department of Slavic Languages and Literature
Northwestern University
1860 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208-2163

Dear Slavic Department Faculty,

This letter is intended to serve as a recommendation for Professor Seamas O’Drsicoll in support of his third year review. I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to explain why I believe he makes such a valuable contribution to your faculty.

I first became acquainted with Professor O’Driscoll during the Spring Quarter of my freshman year. He, along with Susan McReynolds and Kate Baldwin, was one of three professors teaching Confronting Capitalism, the second half of the expanded freshman seminar offered through the Kaplan Humanities Scholars program. In addition to listening to the many lectures delivered by Professor O’Driscoll to the entire class, I was a member of the smaller discussion section that he led.

Professor O’Driscoll’s lectures were among the best I’ve heard at Northwestern. Faced with the challenge of presenting difficult and complex works and ideas to freshman, he performed exceedingly well. The texts we worked with, such as A. O. Hirschman’s The Passions and the Interests and Chernyshevsky’s What Is To Be Done, could easily have seemed confusing, boring, or pointless in the hands of a less able or enthusiastic teacher. Through his engaging lecture style and finely crafted supplementary materials, Professor O’Driscoll made even the driest texts interesting and relevant.

Lecture took place in the morning, which made for groggy and distracted students, so Professor O’Driscoll would open every class by teaching us a greeting in Gaelic (one of several languages he speaks fluently) and having us speak it back to him. It was a simple and entertaining activity, but I believe it was very helpful in keeping the class focused, engaged, and awake. Once his students were alert and attentive, Professor O’Driscoll proceeded to address his topic in a clear, accessible and informative manner, always willing to pause to answer a question or clarify a point, and always working to show us the real world relevance of what could often seem like very abstract ideas. Highly relevant quotes, clear diagrams, and images mined from the most obscure depths of the Internet were effectively used to support and expand the professor’s rhetorical arguments. Especially complex lectures were often accompanied by a handout with a clear outline and important quotations for easy reference.

While lecture offered Professor O’Driscoll a chance to demonstrate his excellent formal teaching skills and thorough, insightful scholarship, I feel that his best work was done in the more intimate discussion sections. Here he was able to engage with students one-on-one, not only clarifying but also expanding upon the points made in lecture, encouraging us to challenge one another’s conclusions and to find connections between the material and our own lives. Each section began with a clear discussion outline written on the chalkboard, but Professor O’Driscoll was always willing to alter his plans on the fly if the conversation moved in an interesting new direction. By constantly monitoring our grasp of and excitement about the material, Professor O’Driscoll was able to make sure that slower students were never left behind and more advanced students were never bored.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of my discussion section with Professor O’Driscoll was the personal touch he added to what could have been a stale, purely academic debate. He offered us stories and examples from his own life, both in academia and in the advertising field. For example, during our study of Marx, Professor O’Driscoll was able to make the difficult concept of commodity fethishism more accessible with an demonstration drawn from the world of advertising. He invited us to recall commercials we had seen for Coca-Cola and the ideas and feelings they conveyed. By examining the message of the advertisements and our own response to them, we were able to see how a can of Coke can be much more than a simple beverage. Later, when each member of the class was asked to reveal the product he or she most fetishized, Professor O’Driscoll did not exempt himself, sheepishly revealing his desire for a pair of outrageously expensive Italian loudspeakers. Thanks to human moments like this one, Professor O’Driscoll never intimidated the class with his obvious intelligence and energy. He certainly led the discussion, but as a first among equals rather than a stern and aloof intellectual dictator.

In addition to augmenting our conversation by revealing and discussing his own personality, Professor O’Driscoll showed a clear interest in the mind and personality of each individual student. After only a few classes he had learned enough about us that he was able to use examples he knew would be relevant to us, to encourage brief debates between specific individuals for the benefit of the class as a whole, and to divide us into equal and effective groups. One class period in particular leaps to mind: our task for the day was to parse Ben Jonson’s drama The Alchemist and examine the conflicting economic philosophies behind each character. Professor O’Driscoll divided us into four groups, three of which worked to interpret and explain a section of the play to the rest of the class. The fourth group was a bit more unorthodox, made up as it was out of theatre majors and other expressive people, but well suited to its task: performing a vital portion of the play for the rest of the class. I felt this arrangement was very effective. The actors were able to more effectively engage the material on an emotional and performative level, while the audience gained deeper insight into the characters and the ideas they represent. By knowing his students well and assigning tasks accordingly, Professor O’Driscoll was able to enhance the learning experience of everyone involved.

Professor O’Driscoll’s passionate and infectious enthusiasm for the course material is mirrored in his high level of dedication and competence outside of the classroom. Syllabi and other course documents were always made available online in a timely manner. Assignments were promptly and fairly graded, with ample and constructive commentary and criticism. While I never attended his office hours, I did speak with Professor O’Driscoll several times after class when a concept in class or a comment on a paper was unclear. He welcomed and encouraged these conferences and was always willing to listen to my questions and offer helpful and friendly advice.

Seamas O’Driscoll is a skilled scholar and teacher with an enthusiasm for learning and a willingness to use every available resource and technique to transmit this enthusiasm to his students. I personally feel lucky to have taken a course with him, and I plan to take more in the future. I give him my wholehearted support in this review.


Maxwell Kuehn
Sophomore, WCAS

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Special No Pugs Edition

For those of you who don't know already, my father and I recently embarked on a mission to start shaving the old fashioned way, with a brush, lather, and an straight-up razor blade. We didn't quite go whole hog and buy straight razors and strups, but a safety razor can still fuck your face up pretty good, as you can see in this picture taken a few weeks back:

eat shit and die

My dad's been having more success back in Brainerd, and just today I finally got some of the excellent results he's been raving about. I had a pretty nasty beard. It was so long I was considering growing it out and starting a beard club with Sam, because generally the longer your whiskers are the trickier, and bloodier, the shave.

I was a little worried stepping out of the shower today, but after three passes and one tiny nick, I had the best shave of my life. This photo isn't really high enough resolution, as you cannot actually touch my chin through your computer screen, but if you compare with the above image perhaps you can get some idea of how wicked smooth my face was this morning.

flawless victory
In other news:


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hater n*ggas marry hater bitches and have hater kids

Some major hating from my man Kanye West, it's a pretty amazing rant. Via his blog:
"Yo, anybody that's not a fan; don't come to my show. For what?! To try and throw ya'll two cents in? Ya'll rated my album shitty and now ya'll come to the show and give it a B+. What's a B+ mean? I'm an extremist. It's either pass or fail! A+ or F-! You know what, fuck you and the whole fucking staff!!! I know I shouldn't dignify this with a comment, but the reviewer threw a jab at all the artists. I just wanna know when was the last time you enjoyed yourself. If you can't have fun and lose yourself at this tour it's a good chance you're a very miserable person. I actually feel sorry for you guys. Your job forces you to not have fun anymore. Grab a drink, holla at some nice girls, and party bitch!! You don't know shit about passion and art. You'll never gain credibility at this rate. You're fucking trash! I make art. You can't rate this. I'm a real person. I'm not a pop star. I don't care about anything but making great art. Never come 2 one of my shows ever again, you're not invited and if you see me...BOW!! This is not pop, it's pop art!"

Here's the original post, including the article he's responding to.

I'm Back Attacking the Mic

No need to worry, I already got my "Revenge". Now that it's after the win, my platinum plaques are my friends. You know who's back to bootleggin' again, but I got paper to spend, so that's gonna come to an end. I'm gonna show 'em how to attack with a pen. I'll get my victory win, I show it happened again. Because I'm back, that's right I'm back
-Chamillionaire "Guess Who's Back"

This blog may be on the verge of dieing, but if it does I'm going down with it. I abandoned my fellow hater's in a time of need, and I'm sorry. You see my friends, there is so much hate in the world, but we need so much more. The Beard Review says "up the beard ratio" (truer words have never been spoken), but i say "up the hater ratio". For that purpose this blog must push on. I promise to not abandon this blog again, and I'll try to post as often as I can. So with that said I leave you with this.

Thursday, May 1, 2008




Tuesday, April 15, 2008



Saturday, April 12, 2008

Big Trouble In Haters Ball

I fear this blog is in its dark age. I have lost total faith in it and I believe that only one man can resurrect it... Jack Burton. I recently had a hideous high ankle sprain that put me completely out of commission for three days. In those three days I watched Big Trouble In Little China about five times. This movie catapulted into my top ten in one short week. It has everything, action, comedy, suspense, romance.... and above all, Jack Burton. Jack starts by driving a load of live pigs to San Francisco Chinatown to be butchered. On the way he speeds through a heavy rainstorm while talking on his CB radio while eating a massive wall martish looking sub. When he arrives all hell breaks loose. Today my pal Ryan Petagno and I mounted a 102 inch antenna to my car and hooked up a CB to it. After watching this movie you may be inspired to do the same.... So if you ever hear somebody on channel 19 rambling on about nothing in particular claiming to be Jack Burton it's probably me. So there it is... I refuse to believe that the internet can be as fun as cruisin' up the road with a CB in your hand harassing truckers just for the hell of it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bang Bang Boom

So our professors in my crazy honors freshman seminar thing (where we learned about the history of modern thought and read a shit ton of books and wrote a lot of papers) asked us to design a t-shirt for the group. I came up with this beauty:

And my well-meaning, very Irish professor Seamas O'Driscoll emailed me back suggesting as kindly as he could that I should change my motto to something a little less pessimistic.

You know what? I don't think I will.

Monday, February 11, 2008

He...... Defected.....

I must apologize for my lack of posts, I have brought disgace to myself, my family, and the Shaolin temple. In this post I will attempt to draw hate away from myself to another prick. I don't know if anyone has noticed but it appears as though the janitor (Kurt Hukriede) has defected possibly to another blog. It reminds me of MGS3 where every third character defected away from or to the motherland: Russia. I guess I don't have much else to say... oh, scratch that. I got a hookah for an early b-day present; it's pretty sweet. If anyone has never tried smoking a hookah I would highly recomend trying it.

The tobacco is as sweet as fresh nectar and it as smooth as silk. I will go to bed now, farewell.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Early In The Eveing, Round About Supper Time

This blog has been lacking in hate lately. Let's try to rectify that.

1. 3 out of the 5 psychological studies I have participated in have deceived me. I am now super-paranoid that I am being deceived at all times. Fuck you, psych grad students, for toying with my trust.

2. Word on the street is that my next paper in my Humanities class will be a personal polemic against something that pisses me off, in the voice of the Underground Man from Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. I need something I can rip into for 1800 words. Right now I am torn between people from California, people from Brainerd, and myself. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I participated in a psychological experiment today. I was deceived, but at least I got $3.75 out of it. It is a little complicated, so bear with me.

I sat down at a table opposite another dude. We were given the following rules:
1. One person will be player A, the other will be player B.
2. Player A will receive 10 quarters. He may keep as a many as he wants, and put as many as he wants into an envelope.
3. The quarters put in the envelope will be tripled and given to player B.
4. Player B may now divide up the quarters as he sees fit and send as many as he wants back to player A, keeping the rest for himself.

For those of you keeping track at home, the most equitable situation would be for player A to send all 10 quarters and for player B to split the resulting 30 quarters in half, resulting in 15 quarters per person.

Experimenter dude let us sit and discuss strategy for a minute. We both agreed to do the most equitable thing, and also acknowledged that even if we were planning to screw the other guy we wouldn't have said it. The experimenter returned and held out a tupperware with two slips of paper in it and told us each to draw one. We were instructed not to open it in order to avoid "awkwardness." We took our slips and my counterpart was escorted to a separate room.

I opened up my slip and discovered that I was player A. I was a little bummed about this, because I had wanted to count up my 30 quarters and toy with player A's fate in my head. As it was, I just tossed all 10 quarters in and sent it off.

As I was waiting there, I noticed that there was an animal-themed word find laying on the table. Of course I started to fill it out. I was so busy circling "PARAKEET" and "WHALE" that I barely had time to push the word find aside when experimenter guy came back in. I'm not sure why I tried to act like I wasn't doing the word find. There's a psychological question for you--was I worried that I was breaking some kind of rule? Was the word find even supposed to be there?

In any case, the experimenter gave me the envelope back from player B. Lo and behold, it contained only 2 quarters. What a shithead, I said to myself. Keeping $7 in quarters all to himself. Then I realized that I very well might have done the same thing and I felt a little more understanding.

The experimenter asked me to move over to a computer on a nearby table, where I completed a little electronic survey about my feelings, rating statements on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). They were all "I feel betrayed by the other player" and "I hope something bad happens to him/her." I think my feelings of "Eh, it's $3" were pretty well conveyed.

THEN I played a little computer game, vaguely reminiscent of the Jack Attack from the excellent computer trivia game You Don't Know Jack. I was given four categories of words: self (I, me, my, mine, self), other (their, them, they, other), respect words (worthy, strong, respectable, etc), and disrespect words (weak, despicable, disrespectful, etc.). Before each round I was given a set of one or two categories (self, other and respect, self and disrespect, etc.), and I was only to press the space bar when those words came up, ignoring the other words.

After a few rounds of that, experimenter guy showed up and explained that the other player had felt guilty and had sent me some more quarters. The envelope he handed me this time had another 10 quarters in it.

The experimenter typed in some password and a filled in another survey, this one all about if I forgave the other player for his transgression or not. I pretty much did. Then I did some more word association reaction time games, and then worked on the animal word find some more.

I got pretty paranoid about the word find. I was certain that it was the true focus of the test.

Other guy came in with experimenter dude and we were debriefed. As it turned out, both slips said "player A" on them, and we both got only two quarters back, and then got 10 more when "player B felt guilty." In some other trials, the participants will not get the extra 10 quarters. As someone who just took his first Intro to Psych exam, I can tell you that that's your independent variable right there.

I guess the hypothesis was that IF you didn't get any more quarters and IF you indicated that you still forgave the other player, you would do better on the "self/disrespect" rounds than on the "self/respect" rounds.

Then, for "ethical reasons," we both got 15 quarters. I plan to use it to launder my sheets.

My sister and her roommate Elise, who sit around all day and talk about psychology, were skeptical about the validity of the experiment. I still think it should have been about the word find.

P.S.: The wet shaving supplies arrived the other day and yesterday I did my first wet shave. Conclusion: it felt cool, but I did not get a very close shave. I think I need some practice. For now, check out this hilariously insulting "Are you a straight razor guy or a safety razor guy?" Jeff Foxworthy-style page from, your one stop shop for all your shaving needs. It makes me (a "safety razor guy") sound like a squealing ninny.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Raisin' and Razin'

Do you see that pointy house in the middle there?

I am now contractually obligated to pay the rent there for a year, starting next October.