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#embracethedarkside

August 26, 2011 Leave a comment

“You want this, don’t you? The hate is swelling in you now. Take your Jedi weapon. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. #Giveintoyouranger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant.” Some of you will recognize this as a quote from Emperor Palpatine who was the de facto leader of the Galactic Empire; he said this to Luke Skywalker in the 3rd and final of the 6 Star Wars movies (If you think about it, that sentence makes sense). This quote perpetuates the idea that anger is wrong. I have heard so much—especially but not exclusively in Christian circles—that we ought not get angry and that we ought to forgive and #blahblahblah. Don’t get me wrong #hashheads, I believe we ought to forgive; after all that Alex Pope fella said “To err is human, to forgive divine.” (#Agreed) But we need to get over this idea of anger being wrong.

Some may see this post as taking a stance in the pacifism vs. reactivism debate (I don’t think “reactivism” is a real thing, but it sounds totally legit so I’m using it), but it is no such thing. I am addressing the emotion of anger and some appropriate responses and granted, our discussion may bleed over into the other, but that debate is not a base for this post. I am launching a defense for the emotion of anger and the only stand I am taking is this: Anger is good and should not be repressed.

Back to #StarWars. Anger is painted as a part of the Dark Side, hell Yoda out and out says it while on his deathbed, and though I recognize Yoda as a true American hero and Jedi master, I have to respectfully disagree. Lack of self-control is indeed a part of the dark side, and that seems to be what even Palpatine is really getting at; #giveintoyouranger is really saying, “lose self control.” Either way Luke was angry, and in the same way we all get angry, but he would become Palpatines servant if he—like his father—lost control. Anger is honesty, Luke needed the anger to fuel his resistance to a lack of self-control.

In addition, allow me—my friends—to submit for your approval my theory on Luke’s anger: I think there were two angers working here and one of them (the purer of the two) actually did win; Luke did “give in to his anger.” There was an anger at work in Luke that concerned his rage with the Emperor for his general arrogance and self-righteousness. Palpatine as well as Darth Vader were taunting Luke and provoking him to anger. This anger is natural, but there was a greater anger that was stronger. Luke has a righteous anger that despised what the Dark Side did to his father; this was an anger fueled by love. Anger is in and of itself can be good and healthy, but what we do with it is what can be detrimental and can go wrong. My Biblical amigo Paul said to “be angry but do not sin in your anger.” That’s pretty much the gist of this whole thing, no? If anger is a part of the Dark Side, #embracethedarkside.

I can’t say that the only good anger is that which is fueled by love; I mean Bruce Banner did not #hulkup each time because he had some kind of good Christian-ness about him, he did it when he was ticked the crap off! Anger has its positive results like we saw in the case of young Luke Skywalker and we saw in the case of every HULK comic ever! I know a guy by the name of Louie—his name is really Louis, but no one calls him that; I digress. Another guy (good ol’ JR) and I were giving Louie a hard time one night (it’s what guys normally do); we were kidding around, joshing, and yanking his chain. Little did we know that Louie didn’t like it (I suppose we knew a little, but JR and I are not known for “not crossing the line” so we persisted) and eventually Louie—out of anger—said in not so uncertain words that we were done. Louie yelled at us cuz he was angry. Louie didn’t hit us, he didn’t disrespect us or attempt to hurt us back, he got angry. I made it clear that we were joking and life as a group went on. Louie doesn’t hate us, and we don’t hate him, but JR and I know our limits with him now. A bit of anger actually built a deeper relationship. (But Louie if you yell at me again, I’ll knock your teeth down your throat) (#justkidding?)

Friends, I urge you to be angry. Make your feelings known and plain if to no one but yourself. I will always be a proponent of talking things out. Repressed feelings are like shaken up soda in a hot car, one of two things will happen: 1. When approached incorrectly things will blow up and cause a huge mess that will change things forever or 2. It will eventually settle again, but upon approach it will leave a terrible, unpleasant taste in your mouth…and also lose its carbonation (#analogyking; thank you Millers Analogy Test). Be angry. #Giveintoyouranger. Just do it in a healthy manner.

(First “Pain is good” now “Anger is good?” Whose mind did I just blow?)

(Also, did I just spend forever talking about Star Wars? I think I did.)

(Also, yes Louie, #justkidding)

Alright #hashheads, I wanna hear from you gimme some appropriate times (and responses) for anger.

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#cancelled

August 19, 2011 1 comment

Have you ever really just gotten into a show only to learn that it had been cancelled? I am not talking about The Cosby Show, or Friends, or Seinfeld; those were long-time beloved, tried and true shows. Those shows established themselves as pop culture juggernauts; they were shows about family, shows about friends, and shows about nothing (I suppose #Hashtagfairytales is the Seinfeld of blogs, it’s pretty much a blog about nothing). I mean I miss my #oldschool TV shows like Family Matters, Full House, Boy meets World; pretty much all of ABC’s #TGIF lineup. But I think some of the newer shows deserve more of a chance, we can’t just put em on the air and then cancel them all “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” style; we gotta let em fly.

However we can’t just let anything pollute our airwaves (cue obligatory Jersey Shore reference). I mean seriously, I know I mention Snooki a lot, but don’t get me wrong, they are ALL terrible! The Situation, Pauly D, JWoww, Sammi, Ronnie, Vinny, and that girl who no one cares about are all TV pollution. We need to give some shows a chance, but some stuff needs to be #cancelled! #Hashheads, here are a few Television shows from this past season that have been cancelled and today Jacob C. Howard is Judge, Jury, and Executive Producer! Were these Top Ten shows cut down in their prime as victims of premature cancellation or was it there time to go? What do we say: #toosoon or #goodcall?

10. Tyler Perry’s House of Payne– Tyler Perry has been said to write, direct, produce, and star in the same general things over and over. I can’t say that this accusation is completely untrue, but House of Payne was a fun little show while it lasted. Some racial humor, recycled jokes, slapstick comedy; not too bad, but since we have “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns” still on air, I think canceling this one was a #goodcall! Sorry Mr. Perry!

9. Outsourced-This show was part of NBC’s Thursday Night lineup; they used to call it “Must see TV.” Basically they are trying to recreate the success of shows like The Office and 30 Rock, which are shows that are basically trying to recreate the success of shows like Frasier and Friends. Outsourced in and of itself is trying to recreate the success of an independent film of the same name. I saw the movie and it was really good, I refused however to watch the TV show because it was the same as the movie, but drawn out. Sorry NBC, stick to Parks & Recreation,actually, stay away from re-creation from now on! #goodcall

8. Camelot– This was a re-tooling of one of the greatest “myths” the world has ever known: The Story of King Arthur. I have loved the story ever since I saw The Sword in the Stone back when I was a kid, and Camelot reignited the same love; and we all know #LoveWinsbreh! Camelot told a story of King Arthur from a place it had never been told on television and in movies, a place where the story actually could have happened. Don’t get me wrong, it could have been better, but it needed time to improve. But I think the ultimate downfall for this show came from its limited viewership due to its placement on the Starz network; this show belongs on cable. Hell, I would not have watched it if AT&T U-verse hadn’t given me the Starz Package for free! Camelot should rise again, it was cancelled #toosoon.

7. $#*! My dad says-I never watched this show. It is on the list for two reasons: 1. It contains a #hashtag symbol and 2. It has a bad word right in the title! So based on the facts listed above as well as the fact that Starship Enterprise Captain James Tiberius Kirk otherwise known as the great Bill Shatner (Whoops, did I just drop that name?) was the dad, and the whole show was based on a Twitter feed that had been turned into a book, I find that this show was cancelled #toosoon.

6. WWE NXT– Friends, let it be no secret that I am a fan of “Sports Entertainment,” otherwise called, “pro-wrestling,” otherwise called “gay.” I am OK with the ridicule (though not necessarily the verbiage) but I am just being honest, I am a fan. I am mainly in it for the mythic undertones of the storylines, but also for the grandiosity of production. A little while ago the WWE produced and released a show called “NXT” which was to find the next generation of WWE Superstar. From the beginning I knew only one thing: It was a terrible show. It wasn’t completely “kayfabe” (made up), but it wasn’t completely a “shoot” (real deal), it was some kind of hybrid and I for one have to wag my finger at a company I otherwise look up to and say, #goodcall on that one.

5. Sports Show with Norm MacDonald– I think Norm is a funny guy. He has a dry sense of humor, and he did great as the host of #SNL’s Weekend Update for three seasons! But the guy is not personable, and sports people like people they can relate to. Not to mention Comedy Central goes through shows like snot through a tissue or sand through an hour glass or any guy through Snooki (I don’t mean that in a vulgar way, I just mean sex). Norm, you’ve had lots of shows and I hope you find your niche, however, I gotta say #goodcall.

4. Larry King Live– First off, allow me to correct the false assertion made in the title: Larry King Live? Larry King has been dead since 1997—or at least it looks that way. King had a special way with stars and politicians he asked the questions no one asked, like when he asked Paris Hilton when she came out of jail which was her favorite book of the Bible! I suppose he asked the questions that no one cared about, nevertheless, King is and was a media king and as a communicator I look up to him. The brand recognition in his glasses, suspenders, and oddly vulture-like shoulders makes Larry King the best at what he did and though I really want to say #toosoon Larry wanted a rest after 25 years so I say #goodcall

3. The Cape– The show had a fine enough premise. It was a little dramatic for no reason. It was entertaining and could have been good, but it was completely unbelievable. I watched the show and never missed it, but there were a few things that were over-the-top. The show had a dark theme but campy villains which is misleading and most of all, the “superhero” had no power outside of his cape. Though I like the show, a superhero based on an accessory is never a good idea so I say, #goodcall.

2. Wizards of Waverly Place– Not sure I really got this show, I watched it once (however I watched about 4 episodes this once cuz it was a marathon on the Disney Channel) but from what I understand Selena Gomez is a half-mortal/half-wizard and Justin Beiber is a Canadian punishment for not accepting Norm MacDonald (#nonsequitir). Selena Gomez is an alright kid and the show gave work to “Bug” from 3rd Rock from the Sun, but I gotta say it was Disney’s attempt to provide a Sabrina the Teenage Witch for 2010. That’s a #fail! #goodcall #sabrinaisbetterthanselena!

1. Breaking In– Christian Slater, Michael Rosenbaum, and Trevor from the Whitest Kids U’Know cast. Need I say more? This show was great! It was picked up mid season, not promoted very well, and then dropped. The show was cool overall, but doomed from the beginning. The premise follows a company that is contracted by companies to ensure their facilities are impenetrable and they do so by attempting to break in. Each member of the team had their own talents and personalities which is where the comedy ensued. It deserves a second chance and it was definitely cancelled WAY #toosoon!

(I think I made up for last week’s severe #lackofhashtag)

What do the #hashheads think? What other shows do you think should or should not have been cancelled this season or any other?

#unsolvedmysteries

August 12, 2011 1 comment

This world contains many mysteries, and according to the Lifetime network, many of them remain unsolved. By the way, should we really flaunt our #unsolvedmysteries? I mean we have episodes and seasons chock full of stuff we gave up on…and then re-enacted! Nevertheless, there remain many mysteries: The Bermuda Triangle, the location of the Holy Grail, Stonehenge, how Snooki is still on television, the City of Atlantis; the list goes on.  But moreover, by and large, the biggest, long-standing mystery is: women. Well it was at least, until this episode of #Hashtagfairytales! Women are not much of a mystery, though at first glance to the untrained eye they seem quite the difficult puzzle. Millions of dollars have been invested in analyzing the relationships between men and women and we have emerged with these definitive yet vague facts:

  • Men and women are apparently from different planets (both of which are within our Solar system).
  • Women’s brains function like spaghetti (the zombie community agrees citing the tomato-rich base).
  • Men only have two thoughts: “sex, sex, sex” and “uhhhhhhhhhh.”
  • For women, it’s the small things in life and the thought that counts.

Even with these facts—which I’d have to be somewhat inclined to agree with—there is still some aura of mystery about women. The women know what I am talking about. I will give 4 crisp Lincolns (American money) to any female reader who has never said, “He just doesn’t understand!” (Note:  While I am confident in my statement, allow me to clarify that by “four Lincolns,” I mean 4₵) It is a common fact that men just don’t understand; on the list of our unsolved mysteries, women are at the top, somewhere near “how Perez Hilton is famous.” Or so we would have you think.

That’s right; you think we don’t get it? Boy are you wrong girl! I have to let the secret out, I hope the male #hashheads don’t hate me for this, but it must be said: We do understand. You come to us (your brothers) yelling about how your best friend is a total skank (your words not ours) because she likes the same guy you’re “crushing on.” You come to us (your sons) crying about how much you miss us living at home. You come to us (your boyfriends) begging us to notice that you just had your eyebrows threaded. You come to us (your husbands) scowling about how terrible your boss is. You come to us (your mildly-attractive-heterosexual-single-male friends) bad-mouthing your boyfriend.  We often sit there in silence which leads you to believe that we don’t understand. But don’t let that somewhat intrigued-looking, nearly palpable blank stare fool you; we get it. So why then do we just sit there? Why have we nothing to say?

Lady-friends, here is the secret: We get it; we are just too dumb to know what to say! We would have you believe we don’t get it, because we are too proud to say that we don’t know what to say. Sisters, we get it, our best friend actually dated our crush. Moms, we miss you too, but somewhere along the line we learned that we can only whisper the phrase “I miss you” or risk being heckled. Girlfriends, we notice SOMETHING different about your face, but give us a two days (four tops) and we’ll actually be able to put our finger on what it is! Wives (“Wives?” Who am I? Warren Jeffs?), wife, our boss figuratively beats us like a government mule, and we can only imagine how terrible yours is. Out-of-our-league-pretty-platonic-girl, we are quiet for a different reason, we actually like you and are trying really hard not to bad-mouth your current boyfriend in fear that it will hurt our future chances.

I apologize for our stupidity, we love you, and we would love to comfort you and say the right things, but we have this arsenal of pre-cooked responses (I like to call them Sara Lee frozen retorts), that we can’t seem to make fit. Yeah, I agree, pre-cooked is never as good as home-made, even if there are pecans. But that’s usually what comes directly to mind. It’s because we tend to run exchanges like a formula. For example, a lady complains about how terrible she looks to her girl friends just to get it off of her chest; she complains to her boyfriend to get one sweet little compliment, any compliment will do, there just needs to be a sweet, cute exchange (Thanks to LaTosha Tolbert for the example). That is a straight-forward formula. So we have a pre-cooked response somewhere, but we can’t seem to find it. Meanwhile it looks like we weren’t listening, didn’t care, or don’t get it, but as you now know we got it loud and clear, we just can’t seem to say, “You look perfect; I have always liked that sweater. You know I remember the first time I saw you in it.”

Sorry ladies, you’ll just have to face it, we mean well, we get it, but we are dumb as a bucket of nails. To those who disagree with this post, feel free to air your dirty laundry, and once you’re done c’mon back inside to your computer and you can also talk about your experiences (#doubleentendres).

(Not many #hashtags in this episode. Sorry about that, you aren’t here for “Correctly-spaced-sentences-fairytales!”)

 

#iaintneverscared

August 4, 2011 Leave a comment

During the last two weeks of July, I spent a small portion of my afternoons leading a “Discovery Center” for the Kid’s Camp at my church (@OaklandFCC), I know, I’m pretty much a saint. Now before you decide this post has no bearings on your mortal soul, allow me to explain what a “Discovery Center” is; it is an hour session in the afternoon where the children are able to focus on, learn about, and/or practice a particular skill or activity. For instance, there have been Discovery Centers for Woodshop, Photography, Cooking, Legos, Sports, Art, and so on and so forth (The most popular is usually the “so on and so forth”). I know that you’re still asking what this may have to do with you, and I have to say, hold your horses, we are only in the first paragraph, we’ll get there! I led the “Illusions/Sleight of hand Discovery Center” and it was absolutely magical! (#punintended) I really enjoyed myself and I think the kids and counselors did too!

Each day I would perform two simple amateur tricks and then expose how they were done so the kids could do them as well. I would show them one trick that called for a mental prediction—or something along those lines—and one basic card trick every day. I had a lot of fun learning how to do this stuff and even more fun teaching it. Which brings me to my point; for every bit of fun I had teaching illusions, I had just that much anxiety about teaching illusions. I am obviously not a master illusionist—I’m a Record Keeping and Reporting Specialist for crying out loud—so my biggest fear during the past two weeks was messing up a trick; and to be honest, I did mess up a few times, but I recovered with Hugh Grant-esque charm.

I know what you’re thinking (I mean of course I do, I practiced mental prediction), “Someone who has the courage and bravery to start their own blog must be afraid of nothing; any idiot cant just put his thoughts out there, it’s the internet, it has standards!” Granted, I have been known to quote Bone Crusher (The rapper, not the Decepticon Transformer) in saying #iaintneverscared (even though it’s a double negative), but that’s all for effect, I do have fears. The #hashtag ought to truthfully read #iamscaredtheappropriateamountonaregularbasis. Friends, this episode of is all about fear, and my genuine hope is that I can be candid and honest with you, my fellow #hashheads.

There are tons of things to be afraid of, I once saw an episode of Maury—you know, one of the three episodes in a year that are NOT about Paternity test results—that documented strange fears and the people who were overcoming them. There are the people who are afraid of clowns (that’s a common one), but there are also people who are afraid of aluminum foil, or sunflowers, or long words (that one’s called Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia; I know, what a cruel, mean, tongue-twister). America’s first President George Washington was afraid of being buried alive; he even requested not to be buried until he’d been dead for two days.

But allow me to share one of my biggest fears with you all—my palms are getting kind of sweaty as I type this. I fear my own inconsistency. Let me tell you all right now, this isn’t some ethereal, theoretical fear that I’d be afraid of in the moment or “I think” I’d be afraid of, like a faulty chute while sky-diving or being sat on by Kirstie Alley, inconsistency is a fear that I have seen. I have been flaky and I know it. There are a few people reading this who are probably thinking, “It’s true, he flaked out on me.” As a matter of fact, let’s just be frank, to learn of my inconsistency, go ask Geoff Branagh, or Sickboy McCoy; ask Leif Utler or Emily Lindquist; ask Pinkie Howard-May or Jared Ray Cano; ask William Bynum III or Sergio Acedo; ask Marche Simon or Jeff Kaetzel; ask my family, my friends, my co-workers, loose acquaintances—the list goes on and on—people will tell you, I have let them down. I have let plenty of people down, this is a very small percentage. I have been flaky, I have been inconsistent.

People have depended on be before and I let them down, and dagnabbit if I haven’t gotten really good at it! This isn’t just some catchy thing to say for a minorly popular blog, I mean it; I have been flakier than the crust of a good peach cobbler. I dont like that about myself, I’m not proud of it, I don’t like to say it, but its true. I once told you all that #istayinnarnia, let me tell you also that #istaylettingpeopledown. This is why I can have this fear. I feel like the character Left Ear in the movie The Italian Job, he said he didn’t mess with dogs because, “I had. A bad. Experience.” I have a fear of inconsistency in the same way! This is my biggest fear when it comes to #Hashtagfairytales; I would hate to be inconsistent. I have posted every week on Friday and I would hate to fail on that. But it’s more than a hate, it’s a fear. I am afraid to miss a week. I am afraid it’s going to somehow happen without my permission and without me knowing, like I’ll be blindsided by my not writing for a week. I know that part of the fear is illogical, but I guess I’m really afraid of talking myself out of it against my better judgment.

So far, I have written through an extremely busy week at work and having a friend in town staying at my house; a week full of meetings at different places; a week of manual labor; the week of my mommy’s birthday; and of course Judgment day. So I suppose I’m doing a pretty good job, but that’s all part of the fear. I’m doing a good job which leads to the first step in my downfall: complacency. First I get complacent, and then inconsistent, I don’t want that! I think it is appropriate to quote the late President Franklin Roosevelt in his famous quote on fear, “I’m just afraid that I may not have the strength to do this job.” (What? Did you think there was a different quote on fear from FDR?)This sums up my fear, granted he was talking about beating Herbert Hoover in the 1932 elections, but Presidential elections and this blog, as far as influence, it’s pretty much the same thing right?

Friends, this particular fear has been established within me and I have seen its ugly side and it is this fear that pushes me…like the Batman. Batman uses his fear to drive what he does and it has been the same with me. My inspiration is my downfall. I have invested money and time in promotional materials for this blog. I know that that is kinda geeky, but I did. I have #HTFT business cards and I place them randomly throughout my day to promote your blog. I have felt like taking a week off, I mean frankly, I have gotten less views as of late that I used to and that’s been discouraging (that’s when you all give me that pity “Aww”), it’s made me feel like if I didn’t write would anybody miss it? Maybe you would and maybe you wouldn’t but I am going to try my damndest NOT to find out!

(Two Presidents and the Batman all in one episode? I like it! If only I hadn’t ruined it with Maury)