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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”)

#thisonesforyou

May 18, 2012 Leave a comment

As you can see at first glance, this episode clearly could qualify as an #HTFTS. It is not. This is a guest episode. Who is it written by? You. The #hashheads have this one. What is your topic? #Hashtagfairytales…or whatever the hell you want (#excusemyfrench). Friends, I want you to tell me what to do now? As I’ve always said, I write to entertain you, I want to know what you want, but moreso I want to know what’s on your mind.

So, in the comment section tell me: #whatnext? Should I go fiction? Theology? Sports Entertainment? YouTube? Should I just focus on the already existing Cut Down Podcast (posted every Friday [#shamelessplug] available on iTunes)? What should I do? The internet is your oyster! Or just type “Wuss up.” Tell me what you’re thinking. This is an opinion piece…only the opinion isn’t mine. Because to all my readers, #thisonesforyou!

(I want you entertained. What do you want to see? And what do you want to talk about?)

#assessyourself

May 11, 2012 Leave a comment

I don’t normally do this, but in light of the Birthday of #Hashtagfairytales, I thought I could take this week as an opportunity to do something different. #Hashtagfairytales—like most other blogs—is about one thing: the self-aggrandization of the author. That is what this blog has been about. Me. An opportunity for me to showcase me and my thoughts; #hashheads will know, that this was never the goal, but that is nevertheless what it is.

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they must take a step back and look at who they are. You all must do it, you must #assessyourself. This is my time. I love to entertain and have been attempting to do so on this blog for one year. Am I saying that this is it? No, but it is definitely time for a re-assessment of #Hashtagfairytales, its purpose and its function.

No, frills, no thrills. Friends, it is time to take a look around and see what it is about #HTFT that is successful, and see what is simply not entertaining and then I must cut the fat. I don’t know what this means, but I cannot leave you out of the process. Over the next few weeks, I will be taking the time to reassess this blog. I don’t know what I will learn, but I’m kind of worried and excited.

This is about #Hashtagfairytales, because it shouldn’t be about me.

(I the spirit of it not being about me: Congratulations to the graduates of Patten University Class of 2012. #youdidit)

#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).

#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.)