#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)

#getonthefloor

April 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Faith is not easy.

But you already knew that.

I just found out.

I haven’t had any recent struggles with faith, and I haven’t doubted God as of late, which is how I confirm my conclusion. My faith in God is strong right now—I might say as strong as it has ever been. You all saw last week’s episode of #Hashtagfairytales, #thatssilly; in that episode, I affirmed my belief and faith in resurrection, the most paramount and silly of all Christian beliefs. It is in my strength that I find my weakness.

Because my faith is at its best, I can truly see how inadequate it is.

Sure I’m good in the belief department. You throw Biblical statements and doctrine at me and I’ll believe them left and right; and I’ll tell you why I do! I say a revised version of the #ApostlesCreed daily; I know what I believe. Mind you, I do not boast in my great faith, but in my lack thereof.

The complimentary statements in Romans 8:11 fully describe my inadequacy:

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”

Dang it! I mean this same Spirit is in me; Yup! I believe that fer sure. But also give life to my mortal body? As in make my life abundant? Like not just make me alive, but make me really live? Seriously? I mean, this fella is in the business of raising people from the dead and I am supposed to believe he is also worried about giving ME a quality life? I mean I believe the words; who doesn’t? But that God cares about what job I have and what friends I hang out with seems a bit below his pay grade. It’s like asking Bill Gates to sell Microsoft Office software at Best Buy, or telling Kim Kardashian to…umm…well, she doesn’t really do much anyway, but you get the point.

Sometimes I feel like praying to God about little things like romantic relationships is a bit petty. God has a busy schedule; I saw Bruce Almighty. There are sick babies and people who have never had clean drinking water. Sometimes when I pray I am not sure I am expecting an answer. Not because HE can’t but because I think He just doesn’t care. (#transparency)

Not too long ago, I paid a visit to a friend’s apartment.  He lives on the 10th floor and given the abundance of my waistline, I typically take the elevator. As I stepped out of the elevator onto the tenth floor, I noticed something extremely dangerous.

I didn’t look down.

I just believed that the floor was there and that it would support me. Friends, I don’t feel comfortable sharing my weight, but let me say it is approximately 12 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models—or somewhere around there. I just believed that the floor would support me.

The floor doesn’t care. But God does.

The floor isn’t all powerful. But God is.

The floor doesn’t know any of my hearts desires. But God knows them all.

I wish I had as much faith in God as I have in the floor.

The philosopher commonly known by his gangsta rap name Mystikal once said, “Danger, get on the floor!” (#Y2K was a good year) I say the same thing; I need to get on God like I #getonthefloor. I mean to say, I need to just step out all undignified and just trust that He will support me. He will hold my weight. He will always be there. #getonthefloor and don’t look down! #hashheads the book of I Peter says it better than I ever could. Pete, take it away: “Cast your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

It’s just true. I am growing my friends; I am learning. I implore you all to take heed to this.  The finals you are stressing over and are studying for are not only your concern, but the are at the heart of the creator. Very God of Very God cares about what college you pick. Your job; He cares. Your wedding venue; He cares. Your small city; He cares.Your house in foreclosure; He cares. Your bank account; He cares. Your broken relationship; He cares. You; He cares.

Question: What do you care about? He cares too.

(Did I quote Mystikal and the apostle Peter in the same paragraph? Only on #HTFT!)

#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.)

#TheAdministration

March 29, 2012 2 comments

What is 3.29.12? Well it’s my grandfathers 88th birthday (#happyburfday). But more so, that’s right #hashheads, you guessed it: a very special Thursday edition of #Hashtagfairytales. Maybe you all were especially good this week, or maybe the stars have aligned just right. Two days of back to back #HTFT? Sounds like heaven to me! Either way, I am here and I am here to address a question I have been asked recently: “Who is #TheAdministration?” Very good question. With my recent suspension but speculation has been looming. Many of you have made the observation, “But Jacob, I thought YOU were the administration of #Hashtagfairytales; you’re the creator right?” Very good analysis. But it isn’t quite the whole truth.

#TheAdministration is an unstoppable force. #TheAdministration is more than I am myself. I am a simple writer—or rather a Record-Keeping and Reporting Specialist (#RKRS) masquerading as a writer—and while I am the creative force behind #HTFT, #TheAdministration is much bigger than that. #TheAdministration is desire; they want more viewers and will stop at nothing to get them. #TheAdministration knew that upon first appearance traffic would take an upswing and indeed it did, when they emerged from the proverbial shadows and usurped my position—the position I created—the position as the head of this blog, as its mouthpiece, I knew nothing would be the same again. #TheAdministration is within. It is within you and within me.

All I do on this blog, is win! But besides that –I write non-fiction. I am a non-fiction writer—or once again a #RKRS pretending to be one. But at times the monotony of real life is a little too much so I thought that I would for once turn it over to another body. I relinquished my Administrative rights to a fictional body, a body with decision-making power over #Hashtagfairytales. But how then could I be at odds with that body? It only made sense for the two of us—the “us vs. them”—to butt heads. I am the creator of #HTFT; I am an immovable object. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Tension; tension that did not previously exist here within these pages.  #TheAdministration is tension.

Tension = Entertainment. That my friends is all that this blog is, and that’s all I want it to be. This blog is for you. I am glad to provide some information to you, and my ideas (I think) are worth 15 of your minutes. You and stop by and engage. You can come through and learn. You can look on and grow yourself. But if you come here and find no entertainment my job is undone. I cannot sell this blog; it has not monetary value. With #Hashtagfairytales and 50 cent I could make a phone call…or a rap album, depending on which 50 cent I have. That is not to devalue this blog, but to acknowledge the fact that it’s value is placed elsewhere. (ALERT: Please do not read the next sentence if you are lactose intolerant) The value of this blog is found in you (#cheesy). The value of this blog is in its entertainment and its interest.

I employed #TheAdministration to do a job. As long as they continue to perform, they will keep their job. #TheAdministration is my boss and they do control the content of #Hashtagfairytales. So I say it clearly, and I say it plainly to every #hashhead who is able to see, hear, or comprehend these words: As for #TheAdministration, it is within you. You are #TheAdministration.

(Did #TheAdministration do their job? What do you think?)

#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!)