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#goodbye

July 27, 2012 Leave a comment

You didn’t think I would leave without saying #goodbye did you? After all of the time that the #hashheads gave to this blog, I could not dream of leaving things undone. Allow this episode to stand as a series finale of sorts; not like a “House M.D.” or “Seinfeld” series finale, more like a “Harry’s Law” or “Kings” series finale (I mean #Hashtagfairytales is #epic, but it isn’t #EPIC). So my friends, allow me to make a declaration of sorts: When in the course of online events, it becomes necessary for a person to dissolve the creative bands that have connected them to a website. A decent respect to the opinions of any fans or readers that the site has gained requires that they should declare the causes which compel them to this separation.

I hold this truth to be self evident: #Hashtagfairytales has been a hell of a good time for me! I hope that it has been for you as well. But it has run its course. It is time to move on. Does that mean that the domain is leaving? No. http://hashtagfairytales.com will remain alive and well (#cheapplug). This site will remain as I am very proud of the ride that we had. The guest posts, the fun comments, the responses to the #PolloftheWeek; I would be amiss to forsake them. I will leave them to memorialize the joy, the intellect, and the suffering that was had in these pages. #Hashtagfairytales has had the opportunity to react to a few timeless or historic events.

The inception being in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden, #HTFT has had the solemn duty of reacting to events like the passing of several individuals (Randy Savage, Whitney Huston, and Dick Clark to name a few), and tragedies such as the Norway shooting, but it has also had the pleasure of celebrating holidays (Thanksgiving [#gracias], Christmas [#istayinnarnia] and of course the premier of @CutDownPodcast), and introducing items of pop culture (#obscurereference). We experienced together the rise and fall of #TheAdministration (let me save you some time, it was a sham like Mili Vanilli’s singing voice; it was as fake as the Easter bunny or Iowa).  I guess the #bottomline is: I’ve had a good time.

You might ask: Ok then, Why? Why is this #goodbye? Why not #seeyalater? Because my friends, it is time. Everything has it’s time and everything must die. This project that is #Hashtagfairytales has run its course; it lasted longer than a Kardashian marriage (I’m looking at you Kim), but not quite as long as a Kardashian marriage (Kudos to you Khloé). Does that mean that the #hashtag is dead? No, it is still alive, although if it doesn’t watch it’s back the meme will soon take over. I simply mean that this project, this platform, this blog is done. The purpose of this whole thing was to give me a platform. Once again, it is no secret that my goal, my dream, my “rock star job” would be to be an announcer for the WWE, but I ask you, is #Hashtagfairytales going to get me there? It is tough to come to the conclusion that it isn’t.  Did it even extend my name further than my existing circles? It is difficult to face the fact that it hardly did.

One of the hardest things for a man to do is admit that he is wrong, so I face that difficulty and publish it online.

I was wrong.

Drink that in, everyone with whom I have ever had a conversation; it may not happen again.

I was wrong.

Dang, I was wrong, it DID happen again…

And again.

But you get the point. The internet is full of people projecting themselves and creating platforms, how many of them will admit they are wrong? How many will admit that they are barking up the wrong tree?

Let me clarify, I do not regret #HTFT, I simply recognize it as a project that didn’t accomplish my goal. But believe it was a great time and I had so much fun writing it. I cherish each of the readers I have had. Each reader who took their time to invest in me has a special place in my heart. I don’t just say that, I mean it. On top of that, #HTFT truly honed my skill of creative writing. Through this blog I have been able to find my writing voice, but by and large this project is in fact done.

Allow me to quote an author for whom I have the utmost respect, Jesse Rice, author of “The Church of Facebook.” In his last blog for THE CHURCH OF FACEBOOK (I’m not yelling, he just likes all caps), he said this:

“Sometimes you just need to admit you’ve failed and start over. I pretty much failed as The Church of Facebook blogger and that’s okay. I have other gifts. Namely, house plant maintenance. I was inconsistent, my branding was all over the place (as were my topics), and did not have any clear goals in mind. I sincerely apologize to my faithful subscribers who took a chance pressing the ‘submit’ button and didn’t get much in return. But admitting failure clears the road for a new beginning.”

I cannot say that I am gifted in the art of ensuring the survival and prosperity for the common ficus as Mr. Rice may well be, but I can say that I agree with his statement.  I must admit #hashheads, #HTFT was all over the place, in a bit of a quirky way, but a blog needs direct guidance. Upon his first visit to this blog, Graphic designer Nate Davis said this to me, “So. When you said ‘hashtagfairytales,’ I thought you were either going to make up stories in 140 characters, or based on hashtags that you noticed on Twitter.” That would have been a good call Mr. D, but that #Hashtagfairytales was not. But rest assured that Jacob C. Howard is not gone, you will see him again in an online capacity (possibly sooner than you think).

#Hashtagfairytales is and was a medium of entertainment. It may not be streamlined or organized in such a way as to amplify my name, but if this blog has entertained and/or taught any one person. I say, #missionaccomplished. Thank you to everyone who has dropped by. I appreciate it. I will miss #Hashtagfairytales, but I bid you all adieu, and I say with all love and respect possible; with a heart of joy for time well spent: #goodbye.

(“Insert smart ass author comment here”)

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#happyfrigginburfday

366 days.

That is how much time has elapsed since the very first episode of #Hashtagfairytales.

Exactly 12 months.

It was this day one year ago that I asked myself the question: #youcallthatablog. May 9, 2011: the day #HTFT was born. You don’t have to believe me, it was on Wikipedia…of course that was before some jackwagon decided it wasn’t a “world event” and they decided to remove it (I guess you can’t just put anything on there).

Today is #Hashtagfairytales’ first birthday and there is no one I would like to share the first birthday with more than the #hashheads. Those who have been here through all of the ups and downs of #HTFT. As of this writing #Hashtagfairytales has had 4,623 views in it’s lifetime; my assumption is that at least 20 of those are me trying to figure out how this blog thing works, so lets say 4,600.

Now I am no #mathmagician (that’s what they are called right?) but 4,600 views over 366 days comes out to about 12.56 views per day. About 12 and a half people have graced this page every day for the entirety of its life. That doesn’t seem like a lot but let me give you a few statistics that were shared by blogging guru Jon Acuff:

According to statistics, there are 2.4 billion people online around the world.

There are an estimated 450 million blogs online.

If you divide the number of people online by the number of blogs online, each blog should have approximately 5.3 readers.

5.3? I have more than double that daily. It’s all about perspective.

Why did I create #Hashtagfairytales? Over the past year of writing and facilitating episodes I have learned the answer to that: I have a passion to entertain. It is this passion that drives me to want to be an announcer for the WWE (#keepcalmanddreamon); a goal that will be accomplished. At times I succed at entertaining and get 70+ views in a day, and other times I fail miserably (#beinghonest). But I love to entertain.

Do I want 100 views a day? Yeah, of course; what blogger doesn’t? But I am proud to tote my 12.5! #Hashtagfairytales may morph and change, but I am still me and I am still here to entertain. Ideas fail and episodes bomb, but #hashheads remain to the very end.

So to you #Hashtagfairytales, I say #happyfrigginburfday.

And to you Jacob C. Howard circa May 9, 2011 I answer your question: #youcallthatablog?

No, I call that #Hashtagfairytales.

(#Boomshakalaka)

#pickupabook

May 4, 2012 4 comments

With Mothers day coming up this month, it has recently occurred to me: there are few things as invaluable as a mother’s love…and of course by invaluable, I mean valuable. You know, the English language is so difficult (that “mothers love” crap can wait). I work with a lot of people who speak English as a second language and this week I tried to teach a native Spanish-speaker how to pronounce the word “bag.” Sure, easy word for us native English speakers, but in Spanish—I have come to learn—there is no short a sound; her “bag” usually ended up as “bog.” I’m just saying; English is frustrating.

Any old way, back to the invaluableness of a mother’s love. Many people are difficult to love; we all have our quirks and…you know what forget it, I can’t do this. Do you want to know what is truly valuable? Mastery of the English language. But how many of us take it for granted? How many of us when typing a tweet do not bother to differentiate between “your” and “you’re?”Allow me to be honest #hashheads, one thing that frustrates me is a wreck less disregard for the English language. Is that to say that I always have perfect grammar, spelling, and punctuation? No, but rest assured you will never get a text or tweet from me that says,

“Dis week is kilin me more than u no. i cud use a vaca. and its only monday smh”

As a matter of fact, it took me 20 minutes to butcher that sentence; I’m just not cut out for that kind of stuff! Don’t get me wrong, I am no Ted Mosby (#HIMYM), but I’d like to think of myself as at least a cadet on the #grammarpolice force . People who hang out with me—or are my friends on #thefacebooks—will know that I am one to…”assist” with grammar, spelling, and all around book-learnin’. I cannot lie, I used to read the dictionary and Encyclopedia for recreation, (some read that and hear, “I’m brilliant;” others hear, “I’m a loser.” Both are at least partially correct) sure, I know off the top of my head how many US presidents were named James. But I’m not asking the same from everyone; I know that English and grammar aren’t everyone’s forte per se; I know that the Latin and Greek origins of our Germanic language can throw many for a loop. I just ask that we all try to #pickupabook!

Go ahead, end a sentence in a preposition if you can’t get yourself out of the pinch you are in. (That sentence wasn’t funny, but the #grammargeeks can see the ironic punch line) I don’t mind a mistake here and there, but let me tell you, if that tweet that you call a deep philosophical truth is riddled with spelling errors, Fred Nietzsche you are not. If your theological revelations/status updates need to be read 17 times in order for the reader to formulate a sensible sentence, then give up your dreams of being a G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, or John Piper (you, still have a chance to be Mark Driscoll though).

Is this in part a scathing warning to our school system? I suppose so. But more so, this goes out to the adults who don’t read Hunger Games because “it’s stupid;” the adults who haven’t picked up a book recreationally because books are too long and boring. Are you one of those people? Here’s how you can tell: Are you reading this? Then you probably aren’t one of those people. The same people who won’t #pickupabook, will likely not read this blog, which is why I can be mean to them! It’s perfectly fine to write mean things about people who don’t read; they’ll never see it. It’s like speaking ill of a deaf person (#toofar?).

Friends, my point is this: strive for perfect grammar; sound out those words that are difficult to spell; remember the lessons you learned in third grade phonics. It isn’t difficult. Above all, May the fourth be with you! (#wordplay)

(The answer by the way is 6: Madison, Munroe, Polk, Buchanan, Garfield, Carter #presidentialfacts).

#suspended

April 27, 2012 Leave a comment

I am excited for May 5th.

I am an alum of Patten University in Oakland, Ca. and on the fifth of next month there will be a Barbeque for alumni and current students. My guess is it will be a fun little shindig; I suppose I’ll see some old friends there. There will be a volleyball game and word on the street is that Christian Rountree—a young woman with a story that is crying to be told—will be there sharing a bit of her story. I am looking forward to food, wiffle ball, alcohol, and loud Banda music. The food and wiffle ball will be coming from on campus, but the alcohol and Banda will be coming from the neighbors…because our picnic is on Cinco de Mayo! (#Fruitvale)

But that is what’s going on next month. I like to think about the future, but if you’ve ever seen my wardrobe, you’ll know that I also like to live in the past. This is why #Hashtagfairytales always shares the #TweetoftheMonth; a time to review the major events of the previous (#plusorminus) thirty days! So #hashheads, without adieu, I give you…

#April 2012:

#suspended- America is a land of opportunity. So much so that if you are a rich dude and you want to be the leader of the free world—the President of the United States; the POTUS if you will—you can throw your hat in the ring; I once mentioned #fiveguys who attempted to do just that. But of course the POTUS is like the #Highlander: There can be only one! (Side note: Is it just me or is #HungerGames remind you a little bit of #Highlander? [#TeamGale]) Anyway, this month, two guys suspended their campaigns in the GOP race for the nomination. Seriously rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich? “Suspended your campaign” did you? No, you lost. I kind of hate it when I hear that someone suspended their campaign, it isn’t like they are going to resume it; although I still get emails from Rick Santorum. C’mon guys, just say you were getting your butt kicked and you give up!

#NaGriCheeMo- You’ll remember that the month of #Movember was #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). But did you know that April was National Grilled Cheese Month? Neither did anyone else. I suppose if people knew then Coachella would have been much different! I could just see holographic Tupac chomping down on a melty, flakey, homemade, fresh off the griddle, grilled cheese sandwich; because Pac loved his mother***kin Kraft Cheese! (#waitwhat)

#areyouseriousbro- Charles Manson was a heinous individual. He was responsible for pain and murder of many people. He brainwashed people and destroyed their lives. He was a conspiracy theorist who ran from the law and has been in prison since 1971. He was a relentless bigot and he had a parole hearing this month? #areyouseriousbro?! Why are we wasting time on this kind of garbage. Waste of time and money; a bit disgusting. 

In other news, Dick Clark was a beloved television personality and a legendary broadcaster. He was on the air for the better part of four decades. His face has rang in more New Years then I have even experienced. He was Americas oldest teenager and made millions laugh over the years and we haven’t seen a full tribute yet? #areyouseriousbro?! As an aspiring broadcaster Dick Clark is a hero of sorts. My true passion—my dream of broadcasting in WWE—would be nothing without Clark. His involvement (though small) in the Rock and Wrestling Connection in the 80’s truly introduced professional wrestling into the mainstream. And for that Dick Clark, we thank you. (Also, I gotta thank @ZackRyder for the use of his catchphrase: #areyouseriousbro)

#POTUSwiththemostest- In other #areyouseriousbro news, guess who was a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. That’s right, the current POTUS: Barack H. Obama. Fallon has a sketch where he “slow jams the news” and Obama assisted him in doing so. Now of course this was just a chance for the President to push his own agenda and further popularize himself with young potential voters (the show was taped on the University of North Carolina Campus); his part in the bit was nearly purely propaganda. But this was arguably one of the coolest comedy bits that a sitting president has done. But don’t take it from me, see for yourself:

Slow Jam the News with Barack Obama

#TweetoftheMonth:

“April 2012: RIP Thomas Kinkade & Dick Clark; Santotum and Gingrich are dropouts; #POTUSwiththe mostest slow jams the news #TweetoftheMonth”

Audience Participation question: What were other highlights of April that I missed?

(Hunger Games, Dick Clark, Tupac, Zack Ryder, and Barack Obama. Typical #Hashtagfairytales.)

#urbanhipster

April 20, 2012 2 comments

Tupac performed at Coachella.

The episode could just end there couldn’t it? A hologram of Tupac—that was quite lifelike actually—performed at Coachella alongside Snoop Dogg. Who thought I would ever type that sentence? Some saw it and thought it was really cool, others thought it was really creepy.

When I saw the video, I was thinking (I have a tendency to do that every once in a while), “Psh, I remember listening to Pac when he was still alive.” Then it hit me—not a bullet or anything, just another thought: might I be a #hipster? Am I an #urbanhipster? Or what’s more an #blackhipster? You know one of those people who looks down on you for watching “The Cosby Show” because they watched “The Jeffersons” (#NickatNite). One of those of the African American persuasion who says they dislike watermelon because it is “too mainstream.” One of those people who says, “I was black #beforeblackwascool!”

Be-tee-dub, just so you #hashheads know, you don’t have to be black to be a #blackhipster. No my friends, there are black hipsters in all colors. So how do you know if you are a #blackhipster? Simple, you say things that #blackhipsters say. Today on #Hashtagfairytales, I give you the Top Ten things #blackhipsters say.

10. “I wore a bow tie when people still thought that I might try to sell them a bean pie.” (#nationofislam)

9. “When I sported a stocking cap, they were made from real stockings.” (#thanksmom; #datsgross)

8. “I wore Ray Bans back when Steve Urkel was still wearing them.”

7. “I voted for Clinton before ‘voting for the black guy’ was cool.”

6. “You wear a long white tee that says ‘RIP Lil’ Kiko’ to pay tribute to your lost homie; I wear argyle for the same reason (#RIP Mr. Rogers)”

5. “I sang along to Disney movies when Pocahontas was the closest thing to a black Disney princess.”  (#Tianacankickrocks; #impartcherokee)

4. “Oh, I don’t need to watch ‘The Help,’ my grandmother pretty much lived it.”

3. “I was wearing Vans before they ‘looked like sneakers’ and riding skateboards before Lil’ Wayne.”

2. “I knew Dougie before he had a dance.”

1. “I watched Tyler Perry when he only produced plays.”

Audience Participation: What are some other #urbanhipster quotes?

(Question: Was this episode racist? Answer: No, I’m black; black people can’t be racist.)

(Commence fight)

#thatssilly

April 6, 2012 1 comment

I want “the new iPad.” I’m sorry, I’m afraid that’s an understatement. What I mean is, I have called at least one Apple store every day for a week and checked the in-store availability online (give or take) 7 gazillion times per day (#nobigdeal). For those of you keeping track I did at one time own an iPad, which is why the #HTFT episode released on October 7, 2011 was #SentFromMyiPad. But that was a 1st generation iPad; I want the newest. I know what you’re thinking, #thatssilly. You are right, I mean one tablet is as good as another right? But the resolution of the screen is sooo cool; it has been dubbed as “Resolutionary” with 264 ppi (that’s #pixelsperinch for the #techspec lightweights)!  So I sold my old one and am in the market for the new one, but it is sold out everywhere. Now does it make sense that I’m so obsessed? No? You still say #thatssilly? So did I, that is, before I got my hands on it and decided that I needed it. Once I learned I needed it, it didn’t sound so silly.

But it isn’t just iPads.

Resurrection.

#thatssilly

I mean it is. Pure science tells you that resurrection is silly. At commencement, all things are in a state of decline. This applies to living things and non-living things. You buy the fruit and then they start going sour in the fridge. I’ll build the Ikea dresser, but it’s only a matter of time before #thingsfallapart (10 points to anyone who got the Chinua Achebe reference).  As soon as the baby is born he starts getting older and decomposing. Is this a dark outlook on life? Maybe, but it’s true. Death—we are taught—is inevitable, and once it is encountered, the story is over. Death is the end. It’s logic. It’s common sense. It’s science. It’s reasonable. It’s true. Call it what you will, it’s life.

So resurrection, #thatssilly.

I would agree. It’s obviously Easter season right now; on Easter Christians worldwide and across time have been celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But we have clearly established resurrection is silly. But Christians just keep insisting that this Jesus is what the world needs; what I need and what you need. I don’t think I need to even say it but #hashheads, that is silly.

So then why do I want to see Jesus? Why do I long to see his face? Why do I believe this crazy thing? It’s kinda dumb isn’t it? I mean I don’t know if you have ever seen it put to words, but I believe this: A Jewish religious teacher who said he was the son of God, healed people, preached love and justice, became an enemy of the state, was killed in one of the worst ways possible, came back to life, and floated away into heaven. I really do believe that. That is crazy talk! Only an idiot would believe that right? It’s pure silliness. Before you exit this page because of sacrilege and blasphemy, I am not the first to say that, the first was Paul in a letter to the church of Corinth. “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18)

Friends, today many mourn the death of our savior, and on Sunday (#SPOILERALERT) they will rejoice in his resurrection. I have experienced the living Christ. So this message that would be foolishness, this message that I likely should look at and say, “#thatssilly;” it is the same message that I proclaim today right here on #Hashtagfairytales: Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Jesus Christ and him arisen. Once one’s soul needs Jesus, the message doesn’t sound so silly.

This post was inspired by a tweet from @MarcoAmbriz

(Did I just compare an iPad to the resurrected Son of God?!)

(Does the comparison make me justified in stalking the Apple store? No? Thought I’d try though.)

#swaggie

March 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Have you ever been asked what month it is? I would bet no, you haven’t. People always ask if you’ve got the time; they will often ask what the date is; between January 2nd and February 6th people will still ask what year it is; and though the same 7 appear each week, people will even ask what day it is. But no one ever asks what month it is. Especially in a month like this. This month is clearly one of the biggest, and “maddest”   months of the year (#seewhatididthere). Of course everyone knows why; March is known mainly for one thing and clearly that is being Bieber month; i.e. a month belonging to pop sensation @justinbieber! Let us count the ways:

March 28: #Swaggie (a word used in J-Beib’s single) trends worldwide

March 26: Biebers single “Boyfriend” drops

March 25-2: He is Justin Friggin’ Bieber (Note: That is in fact his real middle name; it’s pronounced “Drew”)

March 1: J-money was on The Ellen Degeneres Show AND it was his birthday!

So it is quite obviously #Biebermonth—but you already knew that—and at the end of each month #Hashtagfairytales has a feature called the #TweetoftheMonth. #Biebermonth is no different!

#Biebermonth (March) 2012

#camprepentance- You might remember Harold Camping. I’ll be honest, I was a little hard on him back in June, and in October, and in June again, and June…again, and I had good reason. But I come bearing word of redemption. Camping claimed twice in 2011 (once in Spring and again in Fall) that Judgment day was looming and doom was imminent; Camping was obviously wrong. I had no trouble bringing attention to the inaccuracy of his ridiculous predictions. In the interest of fairness though I need to bring just as much attention to his “repentance.” Camping recently took on the attitude of Christ and practiced great humility. He not only admitted that he was wrong, but admitted that he should have never tried to predict judgment day in the first place. Camping is an admirable dude in my opinion. Wrong…twice, and man enough to admit it! #kudos

#stopkony- If you have a Twitter account, Facebook account, Google+ account (who am I kidding, no one has a Google+), or LinkedIn account, this hashtag is not foreign to you at all. The organization Invisible Children produced a half-hour video that took aim at warmonger Joseph Kony. The video called for action for everyone to do exactly what the hashtag suggests: #stopkony. The campaign spread like wildfire, or like a plague, or like information in 2012 (#takeyourpick) and it wasn’t long before many changed their profile pictures to include a #kony2012 or #stopkony reference. It wasn’t long before the critics spoke out though: the movie exploited filmmaker Jason Russells son, Kony has moved from his place in Uganda; Kony is just one of many like him; the video was too long.

Allow me to speak up a bit. Jason’s son exploited? In the video (for those who haven’t seen it) Russell—who has since suffered a mental breakdown and remains in my own prayers—explained to his son a very real condition of the world. His son wasn’t exploited, he was informed. Should we shield our children from the very real and very true evils of this world? One parent may say we should but it cannot be denied that this only delays the inevitable. Yes Kony has moved from his original base. Does that mean he should not be stopped? I am not sure I understand this argument, “Kony is 100 miles north doing the same thing, the video is complete rubbish” (#getreal). Kony IS just one of many, but do not miss the point, allow him to represent the many, allow him to be the first of many, allow him to be a message to the many, but don’t look at the task as though he doesn’t enter into the problem. The video is too long? Really? #Hashtagfairytales is too long, but half an hour is not too long to become informed on a problem and join a movement that has the ability to save lives. If you don’t have a half hour to watch a video dealing with real issues…free up your schedule.

#babycarrots- Snooki is having a baby. I can only assume that they will come out orange. If I were to get Snooki a present for a baby shower it would be common sense…or maybe #HookedonPhonics If any child will need #HookedonPhonics it will be Snooki’s child. Snooki’s pregnancy is however confirmation, I’ve been thinking that there should be a test that determines qualification to reproduce; confirmed. But I have to say that I am excited about her pregnancy and her impending delivery. It is obvious that history will be made with this child. For the first time in history, a newborn infant will be certifiably taller than the woman who gave it life! In all seriousness I hope the best for Snooki and her child and I am sure that means a lot to her coming from me.

#TweetoftheMonth:

“March 2012: #stopkony; Snooki is preggers; the new iPad; #MarchMadness; #MegaMillions unclaimed; Manning and Tebow traded! #TweetoftheMonth”

(This episode was totally #Swaggie! I think…I’m not sure exactly what that is.)