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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)

#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.)

#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.)

#nevertoolate

March 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I am Jacob C. Howard and I am #Hashtagfairytales. I am back my friends, and I will be addressing that whole suspension later on. For now there are bigger fish to fry. I have encountered a few stories this week that have stayed with me. These stories are—as Mike “The Miz” Mizanin would say—Awesome! You’ll remember we have talked about dreams before (#dreamon). I have shared with the #hashheads before that it is my dream to be a play-by-play commentator or ring announcer for the WWE; in other words: a ridiculous dream. I have been developing this dream over at least the last decade and a half, and have had this specific dream since early in my college career…you know, the college career that ended in 2009. So it’s been a little too long right? If my dream were a dairy product it would be far past the expiration date. I should give up on it right? Two huge things fighting against my dream: ridiculous dream, and too much elapsed time.

Enter two men who have a lot more in common that one might think. Moses and Donald Miller. Yup, Moses, as in the old dude who led Israel out of Egypt, and Donald Miller as in the author of best-selling book #BlueLikeJazz. No, Moses didn’t go to Reed College and Donald Miller was never portrayed by Charlton Heston, but they are yet quite similar. They both dreamed ridiculously. First Moses; what if we were to have a conversation about his proposed task? “Ok Moe, so you are going to take the Pharaohs slaves—his free laborers—all 3,000,000 of them and run away to the desert?” How ridiculous is that? No king would give up 3 million free workers. Then there’s Don Miller, he wanted to take his best-selling memoir #BlueLikeJazz and make a movie adaptation. How would THAT conversation go? “Alright Donny, you want a movie to be made about a period of your life? Bro, you’re a Christian, Christian movies are cheesy…Oh, you want your movie to depict true Christianity with all of its struggles? Good luck with that!” Brutal.

Both of those dreams are ridiculous. Freeing millions of slaves in one fell swoop? Pharaohs don’t support that. Making an original Christian movie based on the messy reality of following Christ? The Christian movie establishment wont fund that. Ridiculous! Guess what? I am right. Let’s start with Don this time, there was no money. The people who invest in “Christian movies” didn’t want to invest in that one. Why? It was too much like real life, and we can’t have art imitating life! Sorry Don #toolittletoolate! As for Moses, let me just say this: 80 freakin’ years old #waytoolate! No 80 year old should be going for their dreams right? Pharaoh is gonna give him a heart attack; the heat of Egypt or walking in the desert is gonna cause him to tire quicker, keel over, and pass out. No possible way.

Don Miller and Moses had dreams that were too big to succeed. Too lofty, too ridiculous, and too late…but I would never say that to their faces; I won’t be the one to tell Donnie and Broses. If I did, no doubt they would look at me and say, “Yo breh, it’s #nevertoolate!” (Fun Fact: In Ancient Hebrew that sentence rhymes [#noitdoesnt]). Let me be the first to tell you, the bell will toll on your dream. Midnight always strikes.

But what if Moses gave up? What if Moses decided he was too old to pursue that crazy calling? What if he took on the attitude of Roger Murtaugh and said “I’m getting too old for this sh…”? I’m not a theologian (as evidenced by that #LethalWeapon reference), but my guess is that it would have offset Jewish history as we know it! But he wasn’t too old. Moises didn’t let age get in his way, he stayed the course. 80 years young and he still did what he needed to do. Don’t be fooled, children and grandchildren can’t stand in your way; gray hair wont stop you. Moses accomplished his calling. The captives were set free, and I will tell you that you can do the same.

What if Don Miller and his crew decided that they had too huge of a mountain to climb? #BlueLikeJazz the movie would never be made. But that’s not how the story ends. The people funded the movie…I funded the movie. A Kickstarter Campaign was launched and in three weeks time the movie was funded. The movie that almost wasn’t suddenly was. The dream had come true; dawn had come. The movie that the “Christian movie establishment” has shunned is getting positive reviews pre-release. Money isn’t the issue for your dream, dont let it stand in your way. The story is not over. Just as you think the sun is setting on your dream remember that morning will come again.

Accomplishing your dream is like a cage match (Is that a #WWE reference? Likely). The prize is the dream itself, and you step in the ring with doubt. the two of you enter, but only one can leave. Is your dream ridiculous? Is time running scarce? If so, you’re in good company! Thank you Moses for showing me that it’s #nevertoolate. And thank you Don for showing the world that insurmountable odds are often just unbelievable opportunities!

(Blue Like Jazz the Movie will be available in theaters nationwide on April 13. Go out and see the movie that almost wasn’t!)

#Britannica

The Administration has charged one of its own once again with the task of writing this week’s episode of #Hashtagfairytales. I am the head comedy contributor for #HTFT and am responsible for many of the jokes that you see here from week to week. To be honest with you, though I am the head writer for comedy, I am not one of many words. That creative fella from last week is big on elegant words (not so much on humor), and Jacob C. Howard will often make my jokes into long drawn out stories (which often flop), but I’m more of a one-liner type of guy.

For this reason, I have been #trolling the internet to find material from which to build quality comedy just for you #hashheads since the beginning of #Hashtagfairytales. I will be using this skill to build for you a #topten list; not a Jacob C. Howard Tor Ten List that has a paragraph of explanation for each item, but a real #topten list. This week: #Britannica!

So here we go, the top ten responses to Encyclopedia Britannica ending the print editions!

Top Ten

10. “They are giving up? Now THAT I can relate to!” –Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

9. “I didn’t even catch their 2 hour press conference.” –Lebron James

8. “Good. Britannica was the Goldman Sachs of Encyclopedias!” –Greg Smith

7. “They’re probably going to re-release print editions as the ‘Lin-cyclopedia Britannica!’” –Jeremy Lin

6. “What will I read for bedtime now?” –Congressman Ron Paul

5. “Oh, so it was like Google but in book form?” –Justin Beiber

4. “Guess all 3 of the people who still used them are on their way here now.” –Wikipedia

3. “That’s hot.” –Paris Hilton

2. “F***in’ Paris Hilton! That’s what’s wrong with today’s culture!” –Jon Hamm

1. “If Snooki is in the business of writing books, then we want out!” –Encyclopedia Britannica

Thank you Encyclopedia Britannica, you will be missed!

(Top Ten and no chasers! No Frills, just thrills! Sorry Jacob C. Howard, I’d say The Administration wins this round. Wouldn’t you?)

#stateofthehashtag

As head of the creative direction and a representative of The Administration of #Hashtagfairytales, I have the pleasure of saying this on behalf of The Administration: #Hashtagfairytales is in the place, and of the quality that it should be “Freshly Pressed” by the blogging site WordPress. Jacob C. Howard has been at the helm of the proverbial #HTFT ship to this point but has recently been suspended for grammatical misconduct; I say with or without him you as the reader are in a good place and #Hashtagfairytales is not going anywhere. Generally speaking we The Administration are in full support of Mr. Howard but some things must be acted upon. In his absence it seems best to us to deliver to the public—the #hashheads as you have been called—an address to clearly divulge the direction of #Hashtagfairytales. So without adieu, I give you the #stateofthehashtag.

Why is this blog here? The mission thereof is as follows: “…To consistently provide honest (often humorous; sometimes risky) high quality episodes with respect, love, sensitivity, and appreciation for the issues and most importantly the readers who choose to invest in the blog via their time; #HTFT belongs to them.” This mission is stated on the #AboutHashtagfairytales page. This blog is here to provide quality humorous content to people who may be looking for it. We are into being funny. Even in serious episodes, we are committed to humor. For instance: Why are there gates around cemeteries? You give up? Because people are dying to get in. Funny right? I also know a naughty limerick or two.

The heart of this blog is Jacob C. Howard; let us not villianize him. While planning this blog Jacob wanted to provide ten things. Each episode, guest post, #HTFTS, #PolloftheWeek, tweet, and status update posted on behalf of #Hashtagfairytales is crafted with these ten things in mind: consistency, quality, humor, investor (reader) appreciation, respect, honesty, sensitivity, humor, love, and risk. With each post Jacob—along with The Administration—continuously question how each piece of content delivers all ten of these things. Often, we knock it out of the park like the 2010 San Francisco Giants, other times, we hit a foul ball like the Oakland A’s (#ihellaloveoakland). There are days that #HTFT gets 60+ views, others that it gets 2, more where it gets 14, and a handful that it gets 0. These days contribute to the artistic direction equally. Because of the days that there are zero views each single view matters so very much. They matter to Jacob C. Howard and they matter to The Administration.

I said that the heart of this blog is Jacob C. Howard, but I also say that this blog is the heart of Jacob C. Howard. Do you want to know the thing that really gets Jacob’s blood flowing, the thing that gets him up in the morning, the very thing that pushes him to write? It is his cardio-pulmonary system and taking care of it is important…but also he really likes to write this blog. The creative direction is important and it may sustain a few changes in the coming months, but my friends, it will endure. Let this stand as an announcement directly from The Administration of #Hashtagfairytales: WordPress, you are being placed on notice; this blog is sustainable and it has a heart that will not quit. The #stateofthehashtag is strong, it is faithful, and it is unshakable.

God bless this blog, and God bless every nation on His green earth!

(I understand it is the custom to write an “afterglow” comment or question of sorts: Do you support The Administration of #Hashtagfairytales?)