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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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#twittermickjagger

July 22, 2011 Leave a comment

As you are reading this, someone is having their phone tapped by Rupert Murdoch and his papers…allegedly. I am sure you all have heard of #Murdochgate, and the “News of the World” phone-hacking scandal which—by the way—Murdoch says he “doesn’t feel responsible for.” #Hashheads, allow me to quote Bob Dylan: #thetimestheyareachangin’! I hate to sound like an old guy, but times really are changing. In the case of #Murdochgate, they are changing for the worst, but I also must say, times are changing for the better as well. I love the concept of Twitter rock stars! A rock star used to be someone who lived recklessly, and played “that devil music,” but nowadays, if your tweets are compelling enough, you too can be a Twitter rock star.

Let me tell you now, that this episode is not controversial; I just wanna have a little fun…kinda like Cyndi Lauper (#randomreference). Friends, allow my candid honesty when I say, I want to be a Twitter rock star; I wanna be the #twittermickjagger (insert Ke$ha joke here), and I think I am on my way. Last week, I broke 100 followers on Twitter! I know, huge number huh? Granted it has dipped back down to 98 now, but I think I am still on my way. This week, #Hashtagfairytales will give you the Top Ten Characteristics of a Twitter Rock Star (or at least how it works in my head)!

10. #notsoboring– A True Twitter rockstar can talk about anything and it isn’t boring to their followers. @ingridmusic can tweet about her eating cereal and then get hundreds of replies about why Fruity Pebbles are better that Fruit Loops. Kudos Ingrid (as in Kudos Granola bars)

9. #RTme– Twitter has started to notify of Retweets by emails, I imagine that people like @DonMilleris get Retweet emails all day long. He probably has them all go to a folder in his Gmail likely called “People who think I’m cool.”

8. #checkmeout– I usually tweet links to articles that I think are interesting or fun, I also tweet links to #Hashtagfairytales. But Twitter rock stars tweet links to articles other people wrote about them! I can’t wait for my interview by Rolling Stone Magazine; or at least the Christian version: RELEVANT Magazine!

7. #andthewinneris– If I tweeted, “First person to meet me at Downtown Berkeley BART station gets a free #Hashtagfairytales bumper sticker,” I’d likely just end up by myself at “Crepes-a-go-go” with a San Pellegrino, and a Crepe with Nutella. But photographer @jeremycowart offers his DVD “LIFEFINDER” and hundreds jump at it! Meanwhile, my bumbersticker is on a hippies guitar case next to a sticker about a different hash.

6. #millionsandmillions@TheRock always mentioned his millions and millions of fans, and now he has hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, like any good Twitter rock star would. #TeamBringIt, look out, I almost have that many followers (±857,291)!

5. #howcute– All kids are cute. Alright, that’s a lie, but there are lots of cute kids, but the cute kids of Twitter rock stars become rock stars in their own right. That’s why @JonAcuff’s little girls are my spiritual advisors, they are so cute and innocent…at least that what the tweets say.

4. #inspired– Whether it is @RevRunWisdom, @ochocinco, or @BillCosby, when they say something cheesy and inspirational, it becomes a top Tweet. It’s like they publish an obligatory inspirational quote every now and then. Twitter Rock stars can see the true ebbs and flows of life and they share them with the rest of us. Truly, we owe E-40 a thank you!

3. #whatsupbreh– You know you’ve really made it on Twitter when another Twitter rock star mentions you back. When I see Twitter rock stars converse, it’s pretty crazy. Once Donald Miller tweeted a picture of him at @realrobbell’s house; it was like a Twitter Coachella, but better because Kanye West wasn’t there!

2. #readyformycloseup– If you really pay attention, Twitter rock stars’ profile pictures can also double as headshots for their next gig. Look at @DaveRamsey, totally legit picture that could go on the cover of his next book or DVD. Hell, @ShawnMichaels_ profile picture looks like it could be a T-shirt!

1. #check– The ultimate Twitter plateau is a Verified Account. Apparently there is someone somewhere who decides who gets a verified account, and if they do they get a little check-mark on their profile. Although as much as I talk, I gotta face reality, @JacobCHoward is not a verified account, but @Sn00ki is.

(You win this round Snooki, but you just wait, I WILL be the #twittermickjagger)

(I know what you’re thinking, kinda weak, but remember “90% and published is better” my friends…or in this case 22%)

#whysoserious

June 24, 2011 5 comments

#Hashtagfairytales has readers from different generations! There are #hashheads born in the 90’s, and readers born in the 70’s; readers born in the 80’s, and readers born in the 50’s; #hashheads are inter-generational! This is something I am very proud of and I wouldn’t change it! However my esteemed colleague Sickboy McCoy (of Bad Blood Bandits) brought something to my attention: Last week in the #fathersdaywinning post, I pulled a few punches; I immediately agreed!

Why? Why did I refrain from being tougher on Beiber? Granted, Justin is a nice young lady, and I respect her music, but I could have been tougher in my list. Why didn’t I take the God-given “Weiner jokes” to the #HNL (hole nother level)? Why do kids like Apple Jacks when they don’t taste like Apple? (#90skids) I know why! I know the answer to all of these questions (except of course the last): I was afraid to offend someone. Maybe I would have, but why? I have a harmless little blog, and besides, what’s a Weiner joke here and there between friends? There is a deeper question that comes up isn’t there?  Cine Veliz founding member and Casting Director Victor Agustin came to the conclusion that people are getting so sensitive, but why? Victor, in accordance with what I told you when we discussed this, I’m gonna try and tackle the question. My friends I ask you #whysoserious?

For most of my childhood I remember that political correctness was not a concern at all. Stereotypes and biases ran rampant everywhere. I mean look at the Power Rangers, the “Black Ranger” was a black dude and the “Yellow Ranger” was an Asian chick…also, chick was an acceptable way to refer to a young lady. The “damsel in distress” was not oppressive to women as far as I was concerned, and even if all black (not African-American) people said “Whatchu talkin’ bout Willis?” at least once in a TV series in the 90’s I was OK!

But once I hit Middle school, people started getting all paranoid! Tinky winky from Teletubbies can’t carry around a purse? Seriously? Why? If that bootleg muppet carries a manbag will it turn your infant into a homosexual? Seriously? And things haven’t gotten any better since then have they? Apparently there are all kinds of people who think that the Jersey Shore cast makes Italian Americans look bad. Seriously? Even if Snookie were more articulate, or ever sober, or a normal color (i.e. not orange) I personally wouldn’t look up to her; how could I, she’s like 4 foot 2 ¾ inches! But either way, there’s no reason to be so sensitive.

I was always the runt of the litter growing up, I was the shortest and youngest in my class; I had/have really crooked teeth, and I run like an asthmatic five-year old little girl! There have always been plenty reasons to make fun of Jacob C. Howard! But my grandmother is a wise lady; she has always had this “je ne sais pa” about her—we today would call it #swagger—that made her walk taller than any man I have ever seen.  I’ve always looked up to her even though now—well into her 80’s—she is running neck and neck with Snookie height-wise. When I would come home feeling dejected and down because of the things people said about me, my grandmother would look at me and in her Freestone County Texan drawl she would just say, “Well, are they right? ARE you slower than a snail?” I would invariably survey what I knew about myself and what I knew of snails and would reply, “Well, no.” She would then say, “Well then don’t worry about it.”

I feel that people are so sensitive for two reasons. The first reason I think people are so sensitive is that they feel entitled. Now don’t get me wrong, I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions and their own feelings, but their entitlement ought to not affect my entitlement or anyone else’s. I am not one for blatant rudeness or even (God forbid) racism, but if I want to make a joke about Mormons and their magic underwear, no one should ask me to apologize, and I should not be labeled intolerant. “Insensitive” comments got Gilbert Gottfried fired from Aflac; Roger Ebert’s “too soon” tweet got his Facebook page deleted (and subsequently restored). Friends, haven’t we taken this far enough? Allow others to be themselves, they may showcase their insensitivity or even ignorance, but they have that right. If it does no harm other than making a person or group look really bad, leave it alone. Just let it go; do what Snookie can’t do when she is within 12 miles of a bar, and show personal inhibition by allowing others to do and say what they like. In the words of the dance instructor/poet C-Smoove “You just do you, and Im’ma do me.”

The second reason, I think, is the biting element of truth that is embedded within sometimes harsh statements. The truth hurts, and some people just can’t take it! We as a society would rather have our black and white answers instead of dealing with the grey areas and facing a bit of truth. A few weeks ago, I stated that “#hashheads love freely and laugh often.” This applies to laughing AT ourselves too. People ought to be able to accept their own foibles and laugh at themselves; somebody might find those foibles loveable. I figure it this way, somebody is going to laugh at you, why not do it yourself? Find the truth and the humor and laugh at it; find the truth and correction and fix it; find the truth and quirk and embrace it!

(Kardashians you got off easy this time, Snookie welcome to #hashtagfairytales)

#backtobasics

June 3, 2011 5 comments

I don’t know if any of you #hashheads noticed but there have been moments in the last few posts that were a little deep! I mean I’ve gotten all introspective, and then I start getting into financial talk, and I think for a minute there—if I’m not mistaken—I even went on a bit about pain. Now don’t get me wrong, #Hashtagfairytales is indeed about that fine middle ground between the serious and absurd; the deep and the funny; the grave and the joyful, and I want to keep it that way, but this time, I want to take that to a different level.

I used to do this thing on the Twitters, where I would sum up the month in one tweet. I stopped doing that, and I don’t know why; I enjoyed it and I had a real knack for it. If there were a mojo for 140 character summaries of the month, I would’ve been the Austin Powers of it; if there were an Olympics for it, I’d have been the pre-Kardashian Bruce Jenner; if there were a Super Bowl for it, well, that’d be a little ridiculous wouldn’t it?  But here I am with a larger platform; I can sum up the month in one blog post, and so I will. But wait, there’s more: I’ll be back at it on the Twitters too! That’s right friends, I am going #backtobasics!

Once a month on the ol’ weblog, I’ll highlight three of the top subjects of the month, and then include the #TweetoftheMonth. Mind you all, I draw on a few top topics, so don’t expect to see a monthly summary tweet containing your nephew’s piano recital, even if he did play “Fur Elise.” But enough introducing it, here we go!

May 2011:

“Ohh Yeaaaah”- In May we said goodbye to Randy Poffo better known as Macho Man Randy Savage. This guy was one of the most flamboyant superstars that has ever graced the squared-circle, and he knew how to entertain an audience. Whether as a face or a heel (that’s good and bad guy respectively for all the marks who aren’t exactly hip to the kayfabe lingo), Macho man was a true well-rounded entertainer; he was royalty of the ring, a master of the mic, and king of the costume! Mach paved the way for peeps like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and he will be missed. Cheers to the man who made millions #snapintoaSlimJim, the one and only “Macho Man” Randy Savage!

Gov. Horndog- Now we go from one macho man to another; Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife of over two and a half decades Maria Shriver have separated. Aww geez, now who of us has hope? If an actor/politician/known-womanizer can’t make his relationship work who can? The biggest break in the story was word that he fathered a child with his maid. Seriously Arnold? A child with your maid? Couldn’t you have just given her a normal work perk, like a Christmas bonus, or a week of no Arnold-underwear? Also, this is a bit backwards; a Kennedy is cheated on? That’s like Lord Zedd beating the Power Rangers (#throwback) or a Kardashian doing something that takes skill; it’s just bass ackwards!  The story is weird and pretty gross (the child he fathered by the mistress was born with a week difference from Schwarzenegger’s child through Shriver), but here we are. But we can’t judge to quickly, maybe he almost got a part in that upcoming film “Horrible Bosses” and the last 14 years was just research.

You still here?- Speaking of judgment, Judgment day was about two weeks ago, and doggone it if I didn’t feel anything. Family Radio co-founder and President Harold Camping predicted the rapture was to happen on 5.21.11. I don’t wanna call the game too soon, but I think this was a false alarm. Camping predicted raptures to take place 5.21.88 and 9.7.94, so I gotta hand it to him, maybe he just figured, third time’s a charm, but to the dismay of some followers, and to his own chagrin, this was a #judgmentdayfail. He is giving himself another shot though, he has updated his claim stating that Judgment day was extended to 10.21.11, and I think I have the perfect tagline for the Billboard:

“Judgment Day is October 21, 2011: For real this time”

To borrow a phrase from my grandmother, “That Harold Camping has got a one-track mind and it’s going the wrong way!” I get it Camping, Jesus is coming back, we all need to be ready for his return. Sure, let’s focus on that! Love your neighbor? Naw. Help the widows and orphans? Psh. Pray for your leaders? No thanks. Care for the Earth God has given us? Don’t think so. We’ll just study numerology—or as I like to call it, eeny-meeny-miny-moe—to figure out which one day we ought to focus on instead of focusing on living like Christ every day. Great plan.

#TweetoftheMonth:

“May 2011: RIP Macho Man; Hello #hashtagfairytales; Schwarzenegger split; false Judgement day; @donmilleris gets engaged!

 #backtobasics

(Man, two Kardashian insults in one post? I was bangin’ on all cylinders…like a Kardashian!)

(Make that three)