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Archives: Jun 2009

Michael Jackson isn’t dead

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

Gassssssssp! Did you hear? Oh my sweet snowmobiling Lord, did you hear? Michael Jackson is in a coma! And now he’s dead! No, wait! He’s still in a coma! No, he’s dead now! Wait! Back in a coma! Sorry, I was reading TMZ before, and they’re not credible. Gasp! Entertainment Tonight says he’s dead? Oh God! Sob!

Seriously, I can’t believe how little coverage there’s been of Michael Jackson’s death. Newspapers only printed small obituaries in the back section. None of the TV networks provided live helicopter footage showing the hospital’s roof for two hours. Not a single person posted on Facebook or Twitter, claiming to be his biggest fan despite having never mentioned him before. You’d think at least one person would post “Michael Jackson is dead” with a frowny face emoticon next to it, but none of you did that, and neither did 700 of your friends. Weird.

Seriously though, to that one person who earnestly tried to link the lyrics from “Burn The Disco Out” to how Jackson died? Very amusing.

I wasn’t a big Michael Jackson fan, but I understand people’s pain. He was a man who touched a lot of people over the years. He touched people everywhere: On the radio, on MTV, and sometimes in person. His talent allowed him to touch everyone, from the eldest gent to the youngest child.


I’m stealing wireless internet from deaf people

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

I’ve done plenty of bad things in my life. I’m no better or worse than the rest of you. When I was a little kid, my friend and I threw Cheetos off a highway overpass until a guy got off at the next exit and chased us down the block. When I was a teenager, my friends and I would drive around shooting bottle rockets and roman candles at pedestrians. Yesterday, in a fit of rage during a Twins loss, I called Ron Gardenhire a fairy.

I’m not proud of these things. I know motorists prefer not to be showered with bright orange snacks while speeding down the freeway at 70 mph. I know pedestrians tend to dislike having fiery sticks of explosives aimed at their fragile buttocks. I know Gardenhire is married with three kids and has brought us four division titles in seven years.

My only defense for these atrocities is that they were tremendously enjoyable at the time. Tremendously. Very funny stuff. Very amusing. Downright hilarious. The work of a brilliant and incredibly handsome human being, if I do say so myself. To be honest, I might do these things again tomorrow.

Regardless, these acts were still wrong. Other than being poor, extremely bored, and handicapped with genes from a very dysfunctional Irish lineage, there’s really no excuse for me doing those things. An opportunity arose to do evil, and I took that opportunity for all it was worth.

The reason I’m mentioning all this is because I recently did something else incredibly wrong that I wish to atone for. I’m not quite sure how to admit this, and I’m even less sure of how to explain it, but lately I’ve been stealing wireless internet from deaf people.

Dressing for job interviews

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

It’s a tough job market out there, and many people are unemployed for the first time. The world has changed since you graduated from college, old timer! Things are different now. People younger than you are running the show, and they don’t share your love of Pontiac Trans-Ams, Tom Selleck, and marijuana that is low in THC levels.

As such, we’ve put together this helpful reference guide for how to dress in job interviews. It’s written by Pultizer Prize winning journalist Paul Ryan, who has been out of work for six months and has not been hired for any of the nine jobs in which he’s been interviewed.

Pay attention to details
It’s not just the core outfit that gets you noticed. Sometimes little details can seal – or break – the deal. For ladies, don’t wear heels if you have trouble walking in them. For gentlemen, try to avoid items that make you look like a gigantic queer.

Thomas McDougles, executive vice president of Poonland Bank, remembers an experienced banker whose small snafu ended up costing him the job. “He was dressed very nicely,” said McDougles, “but part of his tie had a light shade of purple in it. As soon as I saw him, I thought, ‘This is Poon Bank, not Poof Bank.'”

Send your children fake greeting cards

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

The other day I received a greeting card in the mail. This was an odd event for me, because I generally dislike people and specifically avoid having friends just so I won’t have to read greeting cards. You wouldn’t believe the amount of time this saves me at Christmas. While everyone else is sorting through boring, thoughtless, corporate-approved balladry and trying to erase images of their friends’ hideously ugly children from their mind, I’m doing more interesting things.

Many years from now, when death comes and announces it’s time for me to be banished to hell, I’ll have 30 extra minutes from not reading greeting cards. And since I live in Los Angeles, I will use that extra 30 minutes to assassinate every reality TV “star” I can find before I croak. I may not be able to brutally murder all the cast members of The Hills, but I’m betting I can get at least 60 percent.

Regardless, I received a greeting card yesterday, and since it’s not my birthday and there aren’t any major holidays on the horizon, I figured it must be a mistake. My mail carrier makes lots of mistakes, but I enjoy opening things, so I usually just read other people’s mail regardless. Did you know my neighbor has nearly $24,000 in credit card debt? It’s true!

‘Sex in school’ is a good headline to attract readers

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

I recently read an article in the newspaper titled, “Single-sex classes get passing marks.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of high school kids having sex in their classes. Even if it’s just the single kids.

I mean, I’d totally watch it if they videotaped it for public access channels like school board meetings, but actually being there in the room would be awkward. Even if the students are attractive – which, let’s be honest, that’s pretty likely considering they’re 18 years old – it would still be tense and weird. And since they’re teenagers, they probably don’t even have any good moves for me to steal.

Plus, we’d have to close the door and windows for privacy, and then the room would get all warm and uncomfortable. Everyone would be sweaty and tired, and wouldn’t have the energy to do much. And really, is there anything worse than doing something you enjoy at school? You could take a film class where you just watch cool movies all day, but because you’re at school, it’ll still seem lame.

What? No, I didn’t read the full article. I like to just read the headlines in newspapers and let my imagination fill in the details. Really? So “single-sex classes” just means they put boys and girls in separate classes? Oh. Well, I don’t like that either. That also seems like a bad idea.