Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sheehan Strikes Again

My famous friend Ben Sheehan found a green screen!  Check out his new video, Israel & Palestine

If you missed Ben's other videos, find them here: "Christine," "Global Warming's Good for You," and "I'll Be Watching You (Miss You Coco)"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

See You Next Tuesday (N-Bomb)

See You Next Tuesday is the Boomstick's regular weekly column. Each Tuesday, I bring you the week's most laughable scumbags, idiots, and jerks for your reading and reviling pleasure. See previous editions here.

The subject of today's See You Next Tuesday is:

N-Bombs: Away!

An Alabama publisher has decided to remove every usage of the "n-word" from their edition of the The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  The word, which occurs over 200 times in Mark Twain's Reconstruction classic, is being replaced with "slave" (the word "Injun" is being replaced with "Indian"). Notably, neither one of the replacement words is the preferred nomenclature for a minority, so it seems the publishers have taken it upon themselves to hold a referendum on the lingering appropriateness of racial descriptors. And that's not even my snarkiest comment.

"Whatcha thinkin' 'bout, slave?"
Even a cursory glance over the publishers' comments reveals a gaping flaw in their reasoning.  With seeming equanimity, the book's editor, Dr. Alan Gribben, said
"We may applaud Twain's ability as a prominent American literary realist to record the speech of a particular region during a specific historical era...but abusive racial insults that bear distinct connotations of permanent inferiority nonetheless repulse modern-day readers."
He goes on to say, "The n-word possessed, then as now, demeaning implications more vile than almost any insult that can be applied to other racial groups..."

Wait a minute, "connotations of permanent inferiority?" "Then as now?" Isn't that exactly why Twain chose to use the n-word in the first place, because it connoted inferiority and accurately portrayed the hostility between blacks and whites in the Reconstruction South?  Twain chose the word -- that word -- because it's what people said to each other; it's what really happened.  He didn't make it up for shock value.  And the fact that the n-bomb is still an expression we shroud in euphemisms means, miraculously, that the book's core dialogue can still resonate with readers.

Speaking of racist, how 'bout Asian Mickey Rooney?
Stupidly, Dr. Gribben doesn't argue that the word has become more incendiary or degrading over time; and he doesn't argue that n-bomb's offensiveness is now disproportionate to its literary value.  Instead, Dr. Gribben argues that because the word has not been diluted over time, because the word retains its power to shock and affect readers, it should be changed.  This is exactly the kind of argument you get from someone who couldn't even teach at the real Auburn.

Dr. Gribben claims that replacing the n-bomb will put Huckleberry Finn back on school reading lists, because absent the change, teachers like himself "recoil" to read that word.  You know what else is a word that makes some people recoil? "Douchenozzle." But I have a feeling Dr. Gribben better get used to that one.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dax Flame

Dax Flame is a spastic young high school kid with a YouTube Channel.  His bizarre, awkwardly hilarious videos have provoked somewhat of an internet cult following.  His extreme mannerisms, unidentifiable accent, and ridiculous antics have prompted accusations that Dax Flame is just a character created by an actor, and not a real kid.  Personally, out of a deep empathy for the poor guy, I hope that he really is just an actor, because I want to believe that no one could be quite has hopelessly, pathetically incompetent as Dax Flame appears to be. 

Either way, Dax's series of videos are absolutely hilarious, and I suggest you watch some of them under the guise of Dax being a real boy.  I'll post a few here, but if you open them in YouTube you'll have access to a lot more. 

Ideally, you'll start with a few of Dax's video blogs.  But, if you watch only one, watch this home movie that Dax made called "Christmas Carrols Dead!"  It's no Double Dream Hands, but it comes close in production values.  I don't know if my favorite part is the piano music, the special effects, or just the blazer tucked into jean shorts.  But I do know that if I like action, thrills, and drama, oh boy did I come to the right place:


More Dax:


Thursday, January 13, 2011

But If I Hear One More Samuel Clemens Joke....

In November of last year, Tina Fey was awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Humor.  I caught it's re-airing last week in a rare, accidental channel scroll past PBS because I just moved and I'd already packed up my cable box and I had to manually surf regular network television like I live in 1976 or something.

Tina was the 13th recipient of the prize, but we won't let bad omens get to us.  She was also only the third woman to be recognized, but that's not shocking because a) Mark Twain was as sexist as he was racist, and b) everyone knows girls just aren't that funny.

The whole event was a who's who of current SNL cast members, which was just fine by me because I fantasize about the green room at NBC the way most girls fantasize about the break room at Seattle Grace.  Since PBS loves to give away programming for free, you can watch the entire event here.

Anyway, watching this tribute made me think back on some of my favorite Tina Fey moments, specifically during her award-winning NBC sitcom, 30 Rock.  I relish any comparison to Tina, but the best indication of our kindred spirits occurred during a 30 Rock montage where Tina's character, Liz Lemon, goes out on the town.  The following two clips are the best approximation I've ever seen of what I'm like in the dating world.  Except I'd probably have a side ponytail by the end of it.  Enjoy:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowdog Millionares*

Georgia is appropriately mocked for how panicked we get at the first sign of inclement winter weather.  Here in Atlanta, we're particularly big pansies about the cold.  Public schools don't hesitate to make high schoolers practice football in full pads in 98 degree August humidity, but a sprinkling of snow shuts the whole city down.  We just don't like the stuff.

So, in honor of a snow day that shut down my office, I'm posting a video I made two years ago when a similar snow day shut down the University of Georgia.  Most conscientious law students used the extra day to study and begin their outlines; a few friends of mine decided to go trashcan-lid sledding instead.  You decided who made the right move.  And please, turn on the sound.


*The title "Snowdog Millionares" was super relevant and topical in March 2009 when I made this.  If I'd made it today, I would more likely have named it "The Snow-cial Network."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

See You Next Tuesday (Ski Vacation)

See You Next Tuesday is the Boomstick's regular weekly column. Each Tuesday, I bring you the week's most laughable scumbags, idiots, and jerks for your reading and reviling pleasure. See previous editions here. 

This week's See You Next Tuesday are people who interrupt their regular blogging to make lame personal announcements.  This is to say nothing against bloggers who exclusively write personal blog diaries, because they garner a readership that enjoys and expects that content.  But when a blog devoted to another subject takes advantage of having a public platform by deviating into uninteresting, unexpected private matters, they let down their cultivated reader base and pretty much annoy the crap out of everybody.

Let me give you an example.  It's like if my Boomstick, which is usually devoted to law, politics, zombies, etc., went silent for over a week and then when I came back, I wrote an entry like this:

Hey guys, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  I'm sorry for the hiatus, but I've been pretty busy.  I went skiing in Park City, Utah!  On the slopes I looked like this:

That's not really me.

But back in the cabin it looked like this. 

We had an awesome 80s Hot Tub Time Machine party, which I kind of overdid because I get really excited about costume parties and stupid excited about the 80s.  Don't believe me?

Su Su Sudio
Then I went snow-mobiling with my boyfriend, but our shuttle got in a car accident on the way up the mountain.  Other passengers were freaking out, so I tried to calm them by telling them Andrew was a doctor.  In the end, everyone was okay, but they sure were mad at me when they found out he was a dentist! 

"Anybody got any loose teeth?"
The whole trip was even more amazing than I expected, because at the top of the mountain, Andrew proposed!  I was totally shocked and surprised.  But now we're engaged!

 Then we ate steak with our friends and got real drunk. 

That Indian guy in the background was so excited for us.
And that's why I haven't been blogging!

Because that post would've been gay.  If I'd seriously done that, you guys would've been like  "Alison is so annoying," and, "I used to think the Boomstick had integrity, but no longer."  And that's why this blog post is today's See You Next Tuesday.