Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Guest Post at the Tarv-Shack



So I'm guest-posting over at Tyler Tarver's blog today.

I feel like Jessi Spano: so excited but so scared (minus the caffeine addiction).

It'd be REALLY swell if you could head over there to check it out.

If not, we can still be friends, but I'm not going to lie, it could be weird. There could be this unspoken tension and then you might resent me and then if we see each other at Outback, I'll say something about the weather but you will TOTALLY know that I'm just trying to be polite. Let's no go through all of that, k? Just go read it.

CLICK HERE TO READ MY GUEST POST....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amusing Ourselves to Death

Remember in college when you took yourself WAY too seriously, were mildly antisocial, and wrote really ominous sounding poetry inspired by Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty Four? Wait...Hold on...Was that just me?

Unnecessary notions of self-importance aside, Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty Four are really, really good books. They have some spot-on ideas about the evolution of society, which makes the below graphic between the two seem supremely prescient concerning Brave New World. 

You may have seen this around the interwebs before, but if not, give it a look.

(All credit for this goes to Stuart McMillen and you can find him at www.recombinantrecords.net. Give it a visit because it's a really smart site with some very intriguing ideas.)




 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The BluePrint: Have a Code


Have you seen those Meth billboards or commercials around?

I know I've mentioned them before, but their purpose is to ultimately prevent people from using meth. That's good, right? I guess, but they're very...hmm what's the word...graphic in how they do it. Above is one I noticed coming back from a recent trip.

I have a few problems here. One, there's no door on the bathroom stall. What. The. Crap. That surpasses creepy and goes straight to Hillbilly. Even methheads, whence walking into bathrooms with no-door stalls, pause and remark how messed up that is. TRUTH.

Secondly, I'm going to wager that if someone is using their body to consummate a non-financial transaction for drugs,  that's probably a road they've been down before. I'm not an expert, but when journeying down the blackhole of recreational drug use, one's virginity seems to be something that falls victim WAAY earlier. Those things just seem to go hand in hand.

So where am I going with this?

Beyond the gritty method, the message this campaign espouses is ultimately good: Have standards. Said a different way, this message encourages us to have a code. Here, it may be very extreme (don't trade sex for meth), but the point remains: Have some set of standards that create boundaries for your life. And that is a point I want in my son's blueprint.

I realize that those of us who identify as Team God already have a code: The Ten Commandments. And it's true, we do. But I think it's fair to say that those rules cover the larger notions of how we should be. Some of the trifling day-to-day dilemmas still beg a sort of legislating.

You may be wondering, "Hey Knox, what are your codes?"And if so, chill out, stalker. Even if this was The View, I wouldn't tell you everything, because not everything needs to be tweeted, facebooked, or blogged about.* But I will note three because I've grown fond of you.

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

1) No straws.
Unless it's a slushy or a milkshake, I can't do it. I don't know why. Using them just makes me feel dainty like Anne of Green Gables or something.

2) No movies where dogs die.
I love dogs. What can I say? Why would I choose to watch a movie that's going to make me sad? It started with Turner and Hooch and I simply won't knowingly break this rule.

Do you KNOW how badly I wanted to see I Am Legend? You don't. You can't POSSIBLY know how much I love my apocalyptic mutant / zombie movies. But once I found out the dog dies, I moved on. Why? BECAUSE A MAN NEEDS A CODE.

3) Never, under any circumstances, tailgate a dude who has been to Nam.
Have you ever read The Things They Carried? If you haven't, do yourself a favor and read it NOW. If you have, genuflect with me. The last thing a Vietnam Vet is some entitled civilian tailgating and honking horns at him.

This is equal parts respect and self-preservation. I'm a self-proclaimed road-rager, but nothing, hear me, NOTHING will provoke me to tailgate someone with a 'Nam sticker on their care. I don't care if they are doing 10mph in a 70mph zone. I don't even care if they are blocking traffic with their yoga routine. I don't care if they are drinking with a straw while watching Turner and Hooch. I WILL WAIT.

So that's a sneak peak at my code. What are some of the rules you have for your code?


*This may be one of my codes. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stuff I've Been Up To: Skit Guys Edition



Ok, so this post may smack of self-promotion. So if you despise that kind of thing, then feel free to vacate the blogging premises now.

However, if you are the enlightened and tolerant sort, allow me to get through this and there may be cupcakes at the end.*

Back in '08, I started writing some skits for ChristWay Community Church. They graciously allowed me to channel my weirdness passion into something positive. Someone mentioned to me that I should submit my material to SkitGuys.

I wasn't really sure who the SkitGuys were, but evidently they are to church skits like Twilight is to torture emo vampires.

So I did. And I waited. And I waited. And I waited. I assumed that my skits had been used as emergency toilet paper or that maybe they were a crucial part of a large running joke around the SkitGuys headquarters, much in the same way that Mr. Latham verbally curb-kicked me and my paper on The Great Gatsby in 10th grade.**

At any rate though, I moved on. But soon after that, I was contacted by them and told that some of my stuff worked and they'd like to see more. Long story short, I was able to collaborate with them on multiple things: scripts, videos, and even the Doritos Super Bowl Commercial contest (View here).

Earlier this year, I found out that some of my skits would be featured in a book published by Zondervan, Skits That Teach. These were all very good things and they made me extremely happy.

But they did not happen quickly. Two years ago, when I submitted everything, I wanted an instant result. But this was not to be. Far from it. And that's a hard thing, not so much because waiting is such an affliction, but because our culture has conditioned me to want everything now. Everything is at our finger tips and yet it's getting more difficult to find satisfaction.

But the wait was a good thing because I learned to rely on some other than my drive to self-satisfy.  

So this isn't so much about HEY LOOK AT ME. It's more about remembering what it is like to embrace the uncertainty of an open-ended wait. It's kinda nice.

So REALLY quick, you can click here to see my profile and a picture of me mean-mugging. They have eight  of my scripts available for purchase so far, and a few more on the way. If you have any friends who are church bigwigs or in the market for creative drama scripts, please think of me. I would platonically love you forever.

Lastly, they've finally put up a video I wrote. It's called Interrogation: SVU and you can view the video here and the script here. The video deviates from the script a bit, but they paid me millions*** for the rights, so hey whatever.




* - There will be no cupcakes.
** - PEOPLE DON'T FORGET, CLEVE.
*** - By "millions" I mean under $50.

Monday, August 16, 2010

THINGS THAT ARE AWESOME #3: Tyler Tarver



There are two unbelievably fantastic things that have emerged from the motherly womb of the internet.

The first one is online restaurants menus. This is perhaps the most underrated development of the internet because in a fat culture, this allows resident fat kids to plot and plan out meal choices as though they were shopping for car insurance.  

Who wants to be scourged with the unenviable task of having 3-5 minutes to decide what they are eating? It can now be broken down like the Zapruder film or an episode of LOST.

The second thing is that you can meet new people that you otherwise would never know existed. Which brings me to the reason for this post.

I made an internet friend recently and his name is Tyler Tarver. Let's cut to the chase: Why is he awesome?

Well simply put, he's very, very funny. But more specifically, he is creative and does so in a very natural and refreshing way. When you read what he writes, nothing feels contrived or forced and that is not an easy thing especially when espousing a Christian point of view.

Let's face it, we Christians fall into a few subtypes:
1) Annoying Academic Christian - Likes? Aramaic translations, any exegesis, and obscure biblical references. Dislikes? Humor, the non-enlightened, and fun.

2) Trendy Counter-Culture Christian - Hates SUVs, traditional Sunday dress, and the implication that Christians can only be Republicans. And when I say hate, I mean they will indiscriminately splash you with their piping hot latte (two splendas).


3) Rational Realists - Able to reconcile culture with faith and reasonably interact with all different groups of people. This is the extreme minority.

4) Fundamentalists - (See Video below)





I don't know where you fall, but Tyler falls in the 3rd category.

From the handful of emails we've exchanged and everything I've read on his website, I can honestly observe two things about him: Godly without pretense and a joyfulness that is unmarred by compensation. He has an evident earnestness that is difficult to find and every time I visit his site, I get inspired not just to be creative, but to be myself.

I think a lot of us get caught up in projecting what we think others want to see, but really I think people just want to see something that isn't B.S. (That's bull sweat, Mom.)

The Five Things You MUST Read/Watch from Tyler...

Before I'm Burger
Survivor Audition
Mathemagination
Letter From My 13-year old Self
Meet Rob Bell

Bonus (Because I'm Benevolent Like That)
Rapper's Delight

Give his site a visit and say hello. It's important to support people like Tyler, so they aren't drowned out by people pontificating about dinosaurs,  homosexuals, and bolt-action rifles.

http://tylertarver.wordpress.com/

Friday, August 6, 2010

Five FOR Five: Friday Failures




1. A portrait of athletic elegance...





2. Life imitates art...


fashion fail - South Beach Babe



3. Truly horrifying fan artwork (even in art Angelina bests Jenn)...




4. Neighbors of misfortune...




5. Team Jacob gets weird...


Thursday, August 5, 2010

7 Reasons Why Brett Favre is CLEARLY the Anti-Christ




 

If you are of a certain age and consider yourself of the evangelical persuasion, you undoubtedly are familiar with the Left Behind series written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. The series sold over eleventy kajillion (estimation) books and in the process opened up a brand new corner for evangelicals and fundamentalists to annoy everyone with their speculation and inane arguments about things that don't really matter discuss things.

Without question, the books teased the popular idea of post-apocalyptic life, which is a theme we are seeing proliferate right now in our culture through movies like The Book of Eli, The Road, any zombie movie and the upcoming TV series The Walking Dead due out on AMC this fall. This partially explains the immense popularity. But it isn't all of it.

A good portion of the intrigue was derived from the main antagonist of the series, Nicolae Carpathia who also happened to be the Anti-Christ. This is important because the idea of the Anti-Christ was something often talked about but never really creatively portrayed.

You may think such a detailed characterization is silly given that there is neither much in the way of biblical specificity nor a cultural precedent for something like this. But it doesn't matter because the intrigue in the idea of the Anti-Christ is the driving force.

At any rate, the series raised awareness in the idea of us being near the end times, so naturally, there grew to be a scuttling of speculation about who could be the Anti-Christ. I've heard theories from President Obama to Ex Pres. Clinton and all the way to Silvio Berlusconi and
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These are all obvious speculations, but they all have one thing in common: government figures. This makes sense, because of their proximity to national power. But in focusing speculation on this sector, could we be missing something? 

Listen, I may be wrong here, but I think in the current climate, NO ONE trusts a politician. I'd rather give my dollar bills to the guy at the convenient store with quaking fingers, a vacant look in his eyes and meth sores decorating his body than the governmental types. (That's both sides of the aisles, mind you.)

Athletes though have a bit more cultural currency. How else could someone like LeBron James command the attention of hundreds of millions of people? Athletes are admired for a different reason than civic leaders are and this is the main reason why our relationship with them is more tangled. There are more emotions involved than simply trust. It's a melding of experience and tradition and loyalty and not just the ownership of a single vote.


But still, an athlete? That's ridiculous, right? Maybe. But if you had to name one athlete who is seemingly bulletproof, who seems to always land on his feet and ALWAYS gets the benefit of the doubt, could you name one? I can: Brett Freaking Favre.

First, the circumstantial evidence:
As previously mentioned, the guy is bulletproof. Though among people who know things he is regarded as something of a rascal and skirt-chaser (not to mention the most current and salacious incarnation of this idea regarding explicit text messages he MAY have sent someone), people can't help but like him. Maybe it's the whiskers, maybe it's the way he plays, or maybe it's the Wrangler commercials...

PAUSE
Ok, those Wrangler commercials? What exactly is going on, because if you watch closely, it appears to be 8 on 8 with the one dude going out for a pass. WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE PLAY BACKYARD FOOTBALL WHERE ALL BUT ONE OF THE PARTICIPANTS PLAY OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE LINE?
UNPAUSE

...but whatever it is, people love him. Even when he was in the process of the monumental sentiment rape he victimized Green Bay with, he largely received a pas for it from the media.

Simply put, there is something about Favre that people just have a heard time resisting. This charisma makes it extremely difficult for people to see him for what he truly is, which is kind of a big thing for the Anti-Christ.

I know, I know.  Still not even REMOTELY enough to convince a reasonable person of Favre's demonic birthright. But behold, the HARD evidence:

The following seven points are biblical prophecies concerning the Anti-Christ. Consider them and consider how they pertain to Favre.

1. He will oppress the saints... [Daniel 7:25; Rev 13:7]
Some read this as saints of the church, but I think we all know that it actually means the New Orleans Saints. A 3-3 record against the Saints may not scream "Oppression", but don't let the disparity of win differential confuse you. The man has 1,593 yards and 14 touchdowns to 4 interceptions when playing the Saints, and when paired with Favre's propensity to share the pigskin via the interception, such a TD to INT ratio is very eye-opening. I would consider that a considerable oppression.

340 yards 3 touchdowns, 1 interception

215 yards 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

270 yards 2 touchdowns, 1 interception

308 yards 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

150 yards 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions

310 yards 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions


2. He will try to change the calendar, perhaps to define a new era, related to himself [Daniel 7:25]
Of all the things Favre has perpetrated lately, the most obnoxious is the waffling on whether or not he will retire. I think most semi-intelligent people understand that he's posturing because he hates going through training camp. Cool. I get that. 

But that's kind of the way everyone else does it and it's how things have always been done. But Favre doesn't seem to care. Understanding this, we can see how he's managed his career so that the typical offseason calendar doesn't apply to him. 

Most certainly, he won't be the last player to do this, but he is a pioneer of sorts. And by "pioneer", I obviously mean "antichrist."

3. He will rise from obscurity…a “little horn” [Daniel 7:8]
When I say "Kiln, Mississippi" do you think of a bustling hot bed of commerce and population diversity? Your answer should be no. After the most recent census, Kiln's population was pegged at just over 2,000 people. Obscurity, little horn, boonies, East of Bumble; these are all ideas apropos of Kiln, Mississippi.

Similarly, the University of Southern Mississippi isn't exactly the womb from which multitudes of NFL players spring forth. In the ten years preceding Favre, only 4 players were selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft. The idea that Favre came from virtually no where has been an essential element in his myth and it is completely true. While he was renowned enough to be selected by the Falcons in the 2nd round of the draft, very little was expected of him in terms of production as an every day player. That is, until venerated executive Ron Wolf traded for him and inserted him into the Packers lineup.

4. He will be worshiped by many people [Rev. 13:8]
The unabashed love and admiration for Favre is unparalleled in sports. His game film is the equivalent of gridiron pornography for some (I'm looking at you, John Madden). But it isn't just limited to media types. His status in Green Bay prior to his relocation was like that of a demi-god. 

But it's not just regional. After Favre was traded to the Jets in '08, the next day saw a new record of jerseys sold in one day. The previous record for one day sales was 900 by the Cowboys' Tony Romo. Favre's new record? 6,500 jerseys sold.

And if you think those sales numbers are skewed because it's a New York market, Favre again dominated in 2009 after signing with Minnesota. This proves two things: 1) the adult male dress code is only getting schlubbier and 2) Favre resonates with fans on a national level.

5. He will not answer to a higher earthly authority; “He will do as he pleases”[Daniel 11:36]
This relates well with the soap opera that unfolded with Green Bay over the impermanent nature of his retirement. But beyond that, Favre was notorious for challenging play calls he received from coaches.  

Most demonstrably though, Favre clashed with Vikings head coach Brad Childress late in 2009 in a game versus the Carolina Panthers. Childress planned on removing Favre from the game in an effort to preserve the 40 year-old quarterback's health. Favre refused, heated words were exchanged and Favre, doing as he pleased, defiantly returned to the game.

6. He will appear to survive a fatal injury [Rev. 13:3; 17:8]
Favre survived a car wreck in college that, by all accounts, should have been fatal (Link here. Under heading College Career, 3rd paragraph). He flipped his car three times and thirty inches of his small intestine had to be removed. Less than six weeks after sustaining these injuries, Favre led small-time Southern Mississippi to an upset over #13th ranked Alabama.

7. His name will be related to the number six hundred and sixty six—but not necessarily in an obvious fashion [Rev 13:17-18].
Consider the following instances in which Favre crosses paths with the number six:

-Drafted 33rd overall (3+3=6).
-In his sixth season, he won the Super Bowl
-Born in 1969 (upside down 6, 6, upside down 6)
-His full name (Brett Lorenzo Favre) has seventeen letters (1-7=6)
-He's been voted MVP 3 times and an All-Pro 3 times (3+3=6).
-Finished with 656 collegiate completions.

I think we can all agree that it seems PRETTY obvious that Favre is indeed the Son of Perdition. I just wish he would get on with it already.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More Than You Really Needed To Know About Beards...

Let's get some things straight: I'm not a beard supremacist. I have but one rule as it pertains to facial hair policy: No ladies. No budging there, amigo.

Other than that, I'm straight with most every other choice.

My logic is, it's your face. It's your freak flag. If you can't grow facial hair in relative freedom than what freedoms do you truly have?

So when you read the infographic below, it isn't that I feel that unbearded men are girly or dishonorable to the greater masculine aesthetic. I mean, look at me. I do the beard thing because the wife likes it and what the wife wants, THE WIFE GETS.

I just thought it was interesting, because I GUARANTEE that this is the only scenario throughout the rest of human history that Karl Marx and Kimbo Slice will be categorized together. BOOK IT.

Online Schools
Via: Online Schools

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Modest Proposal For Ambulances...



I had this revelation today. The roadway protocol for emergency vehicles is broken.

I was on my way to the post office and approaching a red light when an ambulance approached with it’s lights on. The red light was a modestly busy intersection, so there was some hemming and hawing of the vehicular nature which resulted in 2 things:

#1: The ambulance took a REALLY long time getting through the intersection. If I had been the one calling 911 and my face was on fire or my elbow had fallen off, I would have been PISSED.

#2: This hold-up made me miss the red light, thus relegating me to sit through another round of traffic signals, which is obviously the main problem here. (I’m kidding.........OR AM I?)

To be clear, I don’t blame the ambulance. I realize that the standard emergency worker procedure is to try to avoid creating new emergencies while on the way to aid in other ones. But in doing so, the ambulances are hamstrung by their having to tippy-toe through traffic. They have to go really slow because the rest of us cattle don’t know what to do, so we freeze like old people on a Kiss Cam or fat kids when the ice cream truck jingle is audible

Are you shaking your head in agreement? You should be. Are you wondering if I have a solution? OF COURSE I HAVE A SOLUTION.

The basic issue is lack of clarity. There is no standard uniform principle of action. Do I stop? Do I swerve? Do I salute? Ambulances have to creep around vehicles because they don’t want to be liable for accidents. 

The solution? Make them invincible. Make them out of the indestructible material of airplane black boxes and Angelina Jolie's lips and let them run wild like the bulls of Pamplona.

Think of it like Mario Brothers. When Mario is normal or even fireball spitting, he can be mortally harmed by his arcadial antagonists. This would be the average ambulance.

But when Mario finds an invincibility star? HOLY CRAP! Bowser and the Koopas flee and Mario bounces through like an Italian plumber should. This would be the Black Box / Angelina Jolie's Lips Ambulance.

When the lights go on, INVINCIBILITY. Move your vehicle or get discarded like semi-digested food from a bulimic.

When the lights go off, just another ship in the proverbial ocean.

Door ding me and I will kick you in the Adam’s apple.

Door ding me because someone’s sternum got dislocated? MY BAD.

Am I saying this will cut down on accidents? No. But that’s why you have insurance. And think of the excitement of hearing an ambulance and watching civilian cars scatter like hetero dudes after a Twilight movie ends.

PROBLEM SOLVED.


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