Archive for September, 2011

Street Art and Graffiti

September 30, 2011

One of my favorite episodes of the Adult Swim show The Boondocks is one that some friends and I lovingly refer to as “the Bob Ross episode.”

Mind you, Bob Ross himself does not appear on the show. In fact, the episode, actually named “Riley Wuz Here,” was not even produced until 10 years after the death of Bob Ross.

Regardless, the episode contains a Bob Ross-esque fellow teaching Riley how to express himself artistically. Of course, being the ruffian that he is, Riley translates the expression of ideas into street art.

Now, I know some people will start splitting hairs at this point in the game. They will say things like “that beautifully designed and well thought out mural isn’t graffiti, it is street art!” or “that throbbing penis that was crudely hewn into to the wall of the bathroom stall of the gas station near the Olive Garden right off of I-79 is NOT art in the least, it is horrible graffiti.”

The thing is… well, it’s just semantics. Of course, that’s another 500 words.

Regardless, graffiti and street art are the same thing. Just like how “pro-life” and “anti-abortion” are the same thing. They both mean the same thing, but have wildly different connotations.

Street art sounds like some powerful piece sprayed on the wall behind Starbucks by artist Banksy. Graffiti sounds like some gang symbols scrawled haphazardly on the elevator wall in the Fairmont State parking garage by a wigger that was late for class because he was too stoned to remember where he put his shoes.

I don’t exactly know when that schism happened, but things haven’t been the same. Street art is graffiti that has been raised to a high art form, and graffiti is for poor, stupid blacks. I’m sure Webster won’t agree, but anyone on the street will.

Frankly, I have seen lots of interesting graffiti in my day. Just because something isn’t full of color or doesn’t require hours of meticulous planning and detailed work doesn’t mean it isn’t poignant. Sometimes, just a simple reminder about Big Brother or how much of a slut Brittany is is all that we as humans truly need.

I’d like to bestow upon you a mental image of the greatest graffiti I have ever seen. Imagine yourself in the worst shit hole bar possible. It was called “Club Octane,” and it was a brewing, boiling shit-stew waiting to be sipped by poor and stupid 18-year-olds looking for cheap beer.

The bathroom was exactly as you would expect it. No doors, no privacy, floors that were sticky with old piss.

I went in to relieve myself, and caught a glimpse of the wall. Stuff like “4-20 Fo’ EVA!” and “Worst Bar Penmanship^” was written everywhere. I read as I pissed, a habit that has formed over the years.

In the middle of the patched, punched out and piss soaked drywall read a simple, handwritten phrase. It said:

This drywall is not up to code.

Heavy social commentary, indeed.

 

ghjr

 

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This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Look at me, rubbing it in. It’s almost 3 a.m. and I have work and class in the morning.

But still, I’ll rub it in, telling you how it was so easy to write this, even after a birthday full of shrimp and Halloween decorations.

Thanks, Brian. Your string of 3 is complete.

Send more challenges, guys. I can’t do this by myself, you lazy bastards.

Truly ghjr.

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Camouflage

September 26, 2011

I live in West Virginia. I’m not usually too happy about that fact, especially around election time, football season or any time that I feel the need for some sort of cultural/intellectual experience.

Usually, I am content to write or talk Star Wars and D&D with friends, but those times are few and far between.

Generally, I am surrounded by drunks and rednecks wearing camouflage. Except on Game Day. That’s when the gold and blue comes out.

Now, I figure most of you know what camouflage is. It’s that brown and green pattern of blotches on clothing that usually helps hunters and soldiers stay…. well, camouflaged. I’m fine with that. I really don’t support war, and I could care less about hunting until one of my uncles kills a huge dear and gives my family some venison, but I still grasp the need to hide.

That’s fine. I can deal with that.

However, there is a line. I don’t think a person would need to remain camouflaged while watching football or wandering the streets of West Virginia. Sure, some of those streets are surrounded by woods, but this isn’t Wrong Turn here. Most people aren’t going to need to blend into the roadside scenery.

Also, I can’t really think of any reason a drunken frat boy would need to stay hidden at a frat party, unless he is waiting for his well-placed roofie to take effect so he can have a good time.

Am I right, TKE?

Either way, camouflage outside of the woods is fairly stupid. However, people continue to think it is a fashion statement or a display of redneck pride, like Rebel Flags.

In recent years, people have even changed the color scheme of camouflage, rendering the pattern more useful for hiding in a crowd of sorority girls and gay men than in a cluster of trees. Newer color schemes include dark blue/light blue/white and dark pink/light pink/white.

Now, I really cannot understand the function of these patterns, other than pointing out the stupidest people in a crowd with just a quick scan of the room. I suppose the bright pink camouflage can help pinpoint which girl should be cut away from the herd and tricked into a night of hot sex. Not saying that only sluts wear pink camouflage. Just women stupid enough to fall for the lamest pick-up lines and not think through the implications of sexing a random guy that she met in a crowded hallway outside a college classroom.

Regardless of my harsh words, I still understand that most people won’t stop wearing camouflage any time soon. I bet they would if they were literate and smart enough to understand when they are being insulted.

And to think, these are the same people that buy multiple cans of spray paint just to give their pick-up trucks a stealthy, homemade layer of camouflage. I won’t see them coming when they try to run me over for this post.

 

ghjr

 

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This is not included in 500 word limit.

Thanks again to Brian Ornduff. This is the second of three challenges in a row that he submitted after I started randomly threatening people on Facebook.

I may have the next two posts already figured out, but you bastards better submit more challenges. Check The List to see what has happened and what will be happening soon.

Truly ghjr.

Nikola Tesla

September 23, 2011

I know a little about Nikola Tesla. Not much, but enough to know a bit about his life and a few of the amazing things he has done.

Frankly, I think most of the things I learned about him were made up and talked about in the movie “The Prestige.” I’m not really sure how accurate it was, but David Bowie as Tesla? I can get behind that completely.

Regardless, Tesla was probably the greatest inventor in history. Remember the guy that invented fire and the wheel? NO ONE DOES!

But Tesla? Good God! The man invented radio (not that hack Marconi), Tesla coils (naturally), bladeless turbines, electric cars and ROBOTS! TESLA INVENTED ROBOTS! (well, not in the “Futurama, running around and drinking” sense, but you get the idea.)

Some time in the late 1800’s, Tesla invented the induction motor, which was the first motor to run on alternating current (AC). Of course, this really pissed off that old stodgy bastard Thomas Edison, who was a huge proponent of the less efficient direct current (DC), which has always been inferior to AC but could run motors of every kind. Of course, AC could travel longer distances, and Edison went bankrupt. Score one for Tesla.

Soon after that, Tesla started to go totally insane. He dreamed of a world in which giant Tesla coils covered the land, generating free electricity that was then pumped into the Earth’s atmosphere and could be harnessed by any person on Earth.

For free. Sounds like ol’ Tesla was a pinko commie, right, Butch? I don’t care if he was, frankly. Free energy would probably push the world into the first stages of paradise. Before you know it, all the Africans would have free U.N. supplied water filtration systems that pumped non-stop, ceasing the rampant spread of AIDS throughout the world. No more AIDS. Thanks, Tesla. Score two for Tesla.

Now, although that future was completely and undeniable possible, Tesla wasn’t always thinking so peacefully. Tesla had been working on a number of weapons in his life. One of them was even referred to by Tesla was a ‘death-beam.’

It’s a simple idea, really. Create a death ray capable of destroying fleets of ships. I mean… he wanted to blow those things up 10,000 at a time.

From 250 miles away.

It could have stopped millions of soldiers dead in their tracks. The idea was that each country would have one, and no one would go to war.

Tesla… you are as stupid as you are brilliant. People suck, and they’ll kill each other no matter what. Ten points from Tesla.

Lastly, Tesla claimed to have invented a device that could calculate the resonant frequency of any object (READ AS: building), produce that frequency and rip the building to shreds. Colloquially, we call it the “earthquake machine.”

A couple of guys trashed the Twin Towers with 2 planes. Imagine what man could do with a machine that destroys buildings AND fits in his pocket. +5 internets to Tesla.

 

ghjr

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This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Thanks to Brian Ornduff for the challenges.

Thanks to Fairmont State University for the lack of sleep.

Thanks to Great Lakes Brewing Company for “Nosferatu.”

Without these three things, this post would not have been possible.

 

Truly ghjr.