Author Archives: Zach

THE END

the-end

When there are no more smackdowns to smack down
Sometimes a smackerdown gets depressed
The road is long and sad
It’s lonesome to be a cowboy

Well, that’s the end of that. After slathering unpainted Spackle over all the holes in the walls, coating the walls in cockroach-attracting toothpaste, and STILL WAITING FOR MY GODDAMN SECURITY DEPOSIT YOU SONS OF BITCHES, the Smackdown has been evacuated. Through a brief six-week moving process, we somehow managed to find strangers to take all our stuff, put the few remaining boxes into a moving van, and set off into the old unknown world.

Me? What am I doing? Well, I simply called my uncle (the king of Austria, natch) and reclaimed my place at the throne. Don’t worry about me readers, I’m at the palatial Hausensplitzervolksfatter on Hefeveisenstrasse, dining on petit fours and romancing various dilettantes. You know how it is.

So there shall be no more smackdown, because there is no longer a Monitor Street. Greenpoint is dead to us — and, by extension, to everyone else. While we’ll miss the coffee shop on the corner that never had coffee and the grocery store closing at SIX FUCKING THIRTY and the rude stares and the dog crap everywhere, and the garbage storms, and the FREEWAY, I suppose all good things must come to an end. I’d recommend you read our other blogs, but I don’t think we have any. See you out in America, readers! I’ll be the one standing under the world’s largest ball of twine, sipping Courvoisier. And pouring some out for my proverbial blog homies. Peace out, kids.

goodbyeIf you haven’t met us, we looked like this

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Obama O’Clock

obama-smoking

First smoker president, I bet

Well, we did it. Not me, I mean. I didn’t do anything except create viral ideas and launch them into the blogmosphere, like any patriotic young American would have done in my stead. Now it’s all over but the screaming — and boy, is there a lot of screaming! The entire borough of Brooklyn (well, everything north of Division Avenue and the BQE, which is as far as I was willing to bike drunkenly in circles in the rain for the last two hours) has devolved into one hugging/honking/shouting “woo” at passers-by festival, which is just terrific fun. There was one black person at the bar, and all the hipsters kept spontaneously hugging her, which must have gotten awkward after Hour Six. But it’s okay to be patronizing when shit is awesome.

Think of it! Although my loudly pronounced prediction that Obama would win Georgia did not, so much, pan out, I am fairly confident that (1) Sarah Palin will be on The View by next fall (2) I am going to get so sick of looking at photos of Jesse Jackson crying and (3) everything is perfect forever.

This was a good night. Beer was half off (yo, Miller High Life for $1.50 within the five boroughs, you can’t even get that kind of deal in Real America), everyone was optimistic, and the most conservative guy in the bar had voted for Obama — but got pissy when people booed McCain, which in Brooklyn places you somewhere to the right of 99% of the population, who are in favor of booing and of throwing batteries at the Democratic caucus because they won’t impeach the other 42 senators and all that. But hey. We’re excited. Look. Barack Obama stands for a better America. An America where anyone can make out with Katherine Heigl, if they want. Our long national hangover begins apace in the morning — when we realize that, despite how bitchin’ this all is, we are still completely fucked — but for now I’m going to bed in a good mood. SO LONG, HATERS! See you in 2012, when the remainder of Obama’s hair will no doubt have turned that sad grey color that most of it already is.

244082katherine-heigl-posters

“I voted for John McCain, but only because I can’t afford the
airfare to Brooklyn to make out with random bloggers”

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Back-to-back action!

Oh hey everyone, welcome to our blog! We used to write in here all the time! And we will again! Soon! Maybe now! Whatever! I have something fucking important to talk to you about!

Oh hey, what’s up, we’re just leaning on this oval.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I bring your memory back to the ONLY adventure TV series made in the United States SINCE 1979. If you didn’t watch the Action Hour back in 2000, when I was 14 and way too impressionable to be watching a show like this on an 11″ TV on the floor of my room upstairs, let me briefly spell out what my weekends were like back at the very end of the Clinton administration for you.

The first half of the action hour: Jack of All Trades. This is a show where Bruce Campbell is a CIA agent from the 18th century or something, and catches Ben Franklin with whores, and whatever it’s not really all that important. It’s just Bruce Campbell walking around, probably making Evil Dead references, I don’t remember for like half an hour. Whatever. There are Napoleon jokes. It’s on first, so you have to watch it. It’s the same reason I watched Sesame Street when I was a kid — because it was on before Cleopatra 2525! Wait, no, I mean Carmen Sandiego. Wearing some sort of halter corset thing and a bottle blonde.

This took forever to Photoshop — so APPRECIATE IT!
Also, like half the Google Image matches for Carmen are
slutty and from deviantART. Whatever.ALSO FURRIES

VROOM VROOM I’M RUNNIN OVER YOU SQUIRREL

BTW, read the Carmen Sandiego (character) Wikipedia article. Holy dick. Here’s a completely non-fake excerpt:

In the latter seasons of the show, Carmen began to be portrayed as more of an anti-hero than a proper villainess, even teaming up with the show’s protagonists to defeat criminals more unscruplous than herself on several occasions. Additionally, it was made clear that she makes a point of refusing to steal something if the theft will cause anybody harm — a vow she frequently breaks outside this canon.

[Editor’s note: When I started writing this article, I didn’t realize Carmen Sandiego was such a ridiculous sex object for prepubescent nerds, but the Internet has quickly proved me wrong. THANKS, JACKASSES.]

The next show, in case you have some weird style of reading where you skip every third sentence, was Cleopatra 2525!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me FILL YOU IN! stripper goes under the knife for a boob job! There’s an anesthesia accident! She wakes up in the future! The future is inhabited entirely by hot girls and evil, Matrix-style robots. In fact, it’s possible the Matrix ripped off this show. Also, when I say “hot girls” I mean “sorta hot, considering this show was on at 3 PM on Saturdays in summertime during a recession. Also it was the ’90s.”

A standard episode of the show goes as follows: they FIGHT the robots, the robots OVERPOWER them, they run AWAY (probably in slow motion) to their UNDERGROUND CAVE, and then recuperate and make stupid jokes. Periodically, the robots are defeated by doing pole dances and stuff. I’m not kidding. Somebody actually greenlit this. (BTW, if I ever start my slightly exploitative TV network, I will make a million dollars — it’s called the “a bunch of girls making out” network. We’ll play reruns of this show during commercial breaks. It will be on basic cable. I will be so rich. So rich. Explain to me why this idea wouldn’t work. I goddamn DARE you.)

An additional problem with this show: why the hell are they bothering to fight these robots? One of the premises of the show is that they’re the entire human race, and there’s only four characters. And only one of them is a dude, and he’s not even that important… what are they going to do, repopulate the earth? Gross. Come to think of it, this was also a problem with the MatrixMORE PLAGIARISM!!!

But this isn’t what I’m here to talk to you about — I’m here to talk once more about politics! Using Cleopatra 2525 references! (You can tell this is a reasonable transition, because of that clever Bill Clinton segue in the second paragraph!) But only for about ten seconds. I’m a values voter, folks. Shows like this offend me, because one of my values is potential profit value. And the fact that the Back-to-Back Action Power Hour Extravaganzawhatever got shafted so badly is just ridiculous. (Another one of my values: punctuality. I will vote for whichever candidate airs Cleopatra and is on time for all their campaign events. I don’t think that’s so much to ask.)

Did that paragraph feel SHOEHORNED IN to you? Start your own blog where you capitalize whenever you feel like it! Jackass!

P.S. If you’re really into Cleopatra 2525 (who isn’t?) there is apparently a play-by-email RPG. Man, remember when the Internet had crap like this all over the place? That’s amazing. Whatever, bye.

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I’m Running For Vice President

THIS AMUSING BLOG POST BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHURCHSIGNGENERATOR.COM, WHICH GAVE ME A SACK FULL OF $20 BILLS. PLEASE ENJOY A SERIES OF FAKE SIGNS AND SPEND MONEY ON THE INTERNET SHOPPING. DO IT.

Hello, my friends! My mayoral campaign, I’m sad to say, is sort of screwed. Bloomberg’s officially running for a Mussolini-esque third term, and I can’t bring myself to vote for any of those other d-bags — or to run as a Republican. Or a Working Family. My friends, there’s only one way Bloomberg can be stopped from running this city, and that’s when he returns to his home planet in an extremely expensive rocket — after denying for weeks that he’s been building a secret launchpad.

I can’t compete.

Anyway, let me pretend to totally change the subject so I can subtly bring it back to the main point. OK. Ready? My friends, did you see what Google did today? They were kind enough to bring back the Google from 2001, which is amazing and lets you track down all kinds of fascinating facts. Do you know how many hipsters there were in Bushwick in 2001? There were seven. Lindsay Lohan is still adorable, and her actual website only has 81,000 hits. I think this blog has had 81,000 hits today. Plus it looks like she designed it herself. Good god, the Internet used to be adorable. And have no more than five pages on any given topic.

But here’s what’s important. Try typing in “Sarah Palin”. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Or just click on the link.

Done?

Did you click it? Click it.

Did ya?

ZERO HITS. Zero. 000000000zero. Type my name in. I’ll wait. Check it out — I’ve got some hits, and I’m FOURTEEN YEARS OLD! (In 2001 I was, I mean. Now I’m 13 going on 30! Which, by the way, was still being written then.) Who was she? What was she doing? How do we even know she was a real person? You can tell I was flesh and blood in 2001, my friends, because I played in a chess tournament. (And went 0-7-1, jerks, now who’s the intellectual?!?) WTF. Did Alaska not have computers in the 90s? (Seriously. I’m really not sure.)

Well, fuck that! My friends, from now on, I’m running for vice president. After all, I’m a national superstar by 2001 standards. Just write me in. Or check Cynthia McKinney, because I’m already her VP candidate anyway. Down with everything! See you at the polls. Bring money.

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I Threw Up In My Mouth A Little

You know, I don’t really like to discuss politics. Sure, like most Americans, I guzzle Internet blogs and network news the way my car guzzles biodiesel. The way I drink Gatorade before I go do rugged outdoorsy things on my farm. The way my mortgage guzzles up all my savings. But I don’t really like to talk about politics unless somebody asks. Or if there’s a rally. Or if I’m sitting next to a stranger on the subway who looks like they need to hear my opinion. Thing is that every four years (except ’96 I guess) all of a sudden there’s nothing else to talk about.

John McCain is that wizard guy from the last Matrix movie.

My lovely co-blogger had an interesting experience yesterday, which it’s my privilege to relay to you. (Hopefully you weren’t going to blog about this too, Honor! KTHXBAI) After the barista handed over her morning coffee, she went to get a straw. The barista: “No time for a straw! Run, before you’re locked in!” Confusion ensued. As it turned out, Sarah Palin was crossing the street nearby, or some such BS, and the Secret Service had decided that this necessitated locking the doors at Starbucks for several minutes.

A quick “community moment” ensued. “God, Sarah Palin is just awful,” somebody said, and everyone else nodded and made agreeing noises. Honor’s analysis: “Well, when an entire Starbucks in Manhattan is against you, there’s no way you’ll ever succeed in America!” As New Yorkers, despite the fact that we are probably the most diverse group of people in the world — and the fact that, as a result, we all hate each other with a burning fury that makes, say,  forming an ORDERLY LINE to buy drinks at the BAR you STUPID ASSHOLES, impossible — it’s important to remember that we somehow emerge from this festering rage-stew with this weird left-wing consensus that practically everyone in the city agrees on. That’s why, periodically, we have to broadcast our political views to the remainder of the country so that we can be reminded that nobody else believes in them, not even a little.

In other words, it’s important to occasionally succumb to the urge to get down and throw a little mud. Start calling yourself a hockey mom. Overuse the term “Main Street” in economic analysis. It’s a healthy outlet for urges that would otherwise make me punch babies. But we have a serious problem, ladies and gentlemen. The state of political discourse is cratering, to quote Letterman’s unbelievably awesome seven-minute new-butt-ripping of McCain. Here’s why.

This weekend, Barack Obama will apparently be having a debate with an empty chair, as John McCain will apparently be too busy fixing the economy with his BARE HANDS or something. In the morning, USA Today will run an article saying that Middle America really identified with the chair, which was made of a sturdy mahogany with a subtle grain, and not Barack Obama — who was, if I’ve been reading the news correctly for the last four years, slurring his answers on account of his mouth will be full of pâté and cognac and sleeping with your daughter when you’re not home. Fox may accidentally report that he was wearing a lapel pin with the Iranian flag and set fire to a bald eagle. This shit, in a word, is fucked up.

So it is with a heavy heart that I tell you today: I am suspending my political blogging activities and catching the next flight to Washington, where I will remain until I have personally resolved this election. (Note to Secret Service wiretap agents reading this: Not in the way you’re thinking!) This is not a time to be a blogger — it’s a time to be a leader. P.S., see me on Katie Couric tonight! I’ll be wearing rouge. Don’t tell Dave, ‘kay?

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Dress to Impress Success

Did you know that the workplace includes a system of complex dress codes?

Yeah, that’s right, that’s what we’re talking about today. Put down your ironic T-shirts and internet porns and pay some attention.

These are confusing rules! Let me give you some examples. I was asked to wear “business formal” one day, so I wore a sweater. Everyone else wore a blazer. Dammit. But on the west coast, I don’t think business formal even has to include pants. I try to dress like Brendan Fraser every day, and we all know that’s not really the way to go.

Only the finest suspenders will do.

Brendan Fraser is just trying to be Indiana Jones anyway. So, with that in mind, I’m proposing the following set of Harrison Ford-based guidelines, and they shall heretofore be used in every American workplace:

Casual: “Day At The Beach”


Business casual: Indiana Jones-style unbuttoned shirt with stains
[also I don’t have any other shirts]

For more formal events, I recommend the following ensembles:

  • Semi-formal: “I want my family back”
  • Business formal: Full Indiana Jones costume with fedora and whip
  • Formal: Indiana Jones professor outfit with tweed blazer and effeminate bowtie
  • Black tie: “Air Force One” — just wear the normal formal outfit, but pull the tie down and screw with the collar a little
  • White tie: “Bruce Willis in Die Hard Crawling Through An Air Conditioning Vent”

Can we all agree this would be a huge improvement, and make everyone better-looking to boot? Besides, it’s not easy to get them mixed up. Imagine showing up for a state dinner wearing an effeminate bowtie! You fop! Meanwhile, everyone else in their ripped, sweat-drenched tank tops laughing at you. And STARING. You probably should have read our blog more.

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Sarah And Me

Well, every other blog has already posted about Sarah Palin. All of them. Even my mom posted about it. [No link for you, suckazzzz!] And I don’t need to point out some of the more obviously hilarious shit, like the fact that the Sarah Palin action figures are male, or that the media really isn’t very good at their jobs, or her apparently legitimate LinkedIn profile. No, I have something way way more fucking important to tell you.

I’ve tried to keep this to myself, but I know Sarah Palin. And not the way America knows her warm, moose-gutting smile from the small-town life we all participate in, and not the way that she knows Jesus or whatever. I mean, we met. For a brief period, I like to think that we were something special. And not in a gay way.

WARNING: This story is, for once, entirely true

Do you remember when Into The Wild was published? Well, I do. I was ten years old, but already starstruck by the majestic beauty of Hatchet. This wasn’t the book Hatchet, but the mediocre TV movie with all the bearfighting. I couldn’t read the book, because throughout most of the ’90s I was illiterate because of brain parasites, etc. In fact, I only knew about Into The Wild because I met Chris McCandless at a press conference shortly after it was released. At the Barnes and Noble inside the Stuckey’s in my Massachusetts hometown, his smile dazzled me and his tales of the Arctic lit a fire in my soul.

I was so impressed with his charisma and pallor that I promptly started hitchhiking to Alaska, like in that famous eight-episode sequence from Malcolm In The Middle. A variety of friendly truckers gave me rides across British Columbia, putting me through various trials, each of which I passed with youthful vigor, aplomb and spontaneity. After weeks of this foolishness, I reached my destination: beautiful Wasilla, Alaska, then a finance boomtown with over 400,000,000 residents, and a downtown with skyscrapers, and unbelievable amounts of relevance. Due to my own inadequacies, I was unable to obtain gainful employment and was forced to take a position as a newspaper boy, one of millions struggling to start a new life in this fast-paced metropolis of opportunity.

One of the quieter neighborhoods in bustling Wasilla.

In the crowded stations of Wasilla, where the packed trains left every twenty minutes for Milwaukee, New York and Terrifying Communist Russia, I plied my trade with issues of the Wasilla Daily Courier (circulation: 200 million). “Daily Courier!” I would shout, with the vigor that poverty and starvation brought to me and so many of my compatriots, “please, sir, just 25 cents for a Daily Courier!” It was particularly difficult to make sales on account of I couldn’t read the headlines.

And so thousands of frustrated commuters brushed by me without so much as a fare-thee-well, hurrying to Communist Vladivostok to buy whale futures and shares in igloo distribution firms: these were headier days. But the town shuddered under the potential yoke of a potential Russian invasion, and we all shuddered with it. But who was I to complain? The constant fear sold newspapers, and only our ineffective Mayor Stein was there to defend us. A weak line of defense he was, yelling across the Bering Strait, suitcase in hand, begging for a Terrifying Communist trawler to ferry him to sunny Siberia. In our beds, silently, at night — we quaked with terror.

In 1996, after a year of this backbreaking labor and mind-rending fear, I met Sarah Palin. At the time, she was only a City Councillor (one of 752 that represented each of the massive city’s many districts). Still, even the meekest of salarymen had a good excuse not to stop and talk to a knee-high newsie such as myself. But she did. “Excuse me, young man,” she said, kneeling so as not to dominate me with her 6’7″ frame, “but have you had anything to eat today?”

It wasn’t long before we found true love.

Being a good sport, Sarah posed frequently for informal portraits such as this one.

Living in a small apartment in a fifty-story high rise in Wasilla’s Skyscraper Heights district (the site of which is today an empty, mouldering parking lot next to a derelict walrus factory), we each worked toward our respective goals. While I struggled to get a job where I didn’t breathe coal dust in the dark corners of locomotive platforms, Sarah plotted against Stein. While we slept, she knew, Stein was making clandestine phone calls to the Communist premier, negotiating the handoff of Alaska to Russia in exchange for 3% of ANWR revenues, gross, plus 22 points on the antique stores dotting the Alcan Highway. She shook with fury while she slept and moved with a stunning quickness while awake, faxing out press releases and calling the editors of the Courier to insist that they denounce Stein. The newsroom, which was by then entirely in the pockets of the whale industry, declined with bald-faced bravado.

In other words, Sarah was an uncompromising ideological badass, fighting for all that was right. I guess that’s what finally drove us apart. For awhile, she was content to teach me the ways of her home; to date, I can kill a polar bear from over ten thousand feet away, with my bear hands. [Oops! I meant “bare.” — Zach] I loved to learn. But there was a problem. Like most East Coasters, I was an ardent believer in Communism, and Godlessness, and Doing The Wrong Thing, and Mandatory Abortion, and Didn’t Enjoy Shooting Guns, and I thought that All Small Towns Should Be Fired Out Of A Cannon Into Space, and Hated Trucks, and Mandatory Gay Marriage For Straight People Also.

Of course, one night our disagreements became more than academic. “Goddammit, Sarah,” I shouted in a fit of pique, “if we don’t confiscate 92% of the pre-tax earnings of middle-class Americans, how will we fund the Welfare Baby Higher-Taxes Space Program For Transgender Welfare Babies?”

“Get out of my apartment,” she replied. “I thought you’d fit in here in Alaska, but it turns out you just loved my innovative hairdo!” Dejected, I packed what few possessions I had into a steamer trunk and headed back to New York City, then and now an isolated backwater with no relevance to the way that the country functions. Since then I’ve led a paltry and middling life, never matching the vigor that Wasilla — and Sarah — had filled me with all along.

The test rocket had to be scrapped somewhere over the Pacific.

Of course, Wasilla is a quieter place today. Since the 90s, it’s shrunk to house only a few thousand residents. The skyscrapers were taken down, packed up and relocated; to Shanghai, mostly. I often think back on those days with Sarah, or pause briefly at my desk to compose to her a typo-ridden letter. Still, the responses never come, and the threatening knocks on the door from her staff are ever-louder. I think of how much better the times were then… Ah!, but those were Wasilla Days, the sort of days we shall never see again until we’re carried away in Heaven’s merciful chariot. Until then, dear friends, adieu. Mon cherie Sarah, adieu!

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