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Tag Archives: good

Study: Many NU Students Back to Being Horrible People They Were before DM

24 Mar
(via Northwestern)

(via Northwestern)

EVANSTON, Il – A little over two weeks ago, Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon concluded its thirtieth and final hour, leaving thousands of participating students elated, overcome with emotion, and instilled with the motivation and drive to be better students, better friends, and overall better people to and for the campus culture around them.

Now, a recently conducted study reports that all such feelings have completely vanished from the above-mentioned students, leaving them in a mental state virtually identical to that of any given participant pre-DM.

“It’s quite the phenomenon,” said Dr. Waldo Hurphburger, a professor of Sociology at Northwestern and the chief researcher of the above study.  “In a single thirty-hour period, a morally repugnant, despicably selfish student can become a beacon of charitable kindness and generosity; then, in as little as sixty hours later, lose all such kindness and go back to being, in layman’s terms, a total fucking tool.”

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Other Things David Stern Should Veto

12 Dec

The most hated white man in the league since Toni Kukoc

When sports journalists heard about the NBA Commissioner’s probably ill-advised decision to veto a trade that would’ve sent New Orleans point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers, they practically pooped themselves with rage, railing about the end of the NBA with an apocalyptic despair that would’ve made Harold Camping proud. When I heard about the NBA’s decision, all I could think about was the goodness that could be accomplished by extending David Stern’s veto power, trigger-happy finger, and ‘screw it, I don’t care if I ruin the seasons of three teams’ attitude into other walks of life. Here are the fruits of that aforementioned thinking:

1. Rick Perry’s Presidential Campaign
Here at Sherman Ave we love Rick Perry. Oh wait, no we fucking don’t. No one in their right minds could ever stand to be in the same room, much less vote for, that intolerable shitmuffin. It now seems utterly ridiculous that people as intelligent as Mike Murphy actually thought that Perry could win the Republican nomination. Well, they were about as wrong as Custer’s last words. If only David Stern had stepped forward in August to stop this embarrassing shitshow of a campaign from ever launching.

His dreams were crushed by David Stern. M. Night Shyamalan's should be, too.

2. M. Night Shyamalan’s ability to make movies
So The Sixth Sense was maybe kind of okay. But I dare anyone to make it through The Happening without puking in a biological attempt to reject the atrocity from staying with you. Shyamalan made only one or two movies that could ever be considered ‘good,’ and everything since then has been so unbearably atrocious that Shaymalan should be prevented from ever tainting our eyes with such heinousness again. Unfortunately, the good people at Disney (and by “good people” I of course mean “stupid fucktards”) just keep signing off on his movies. Let’s get Stern in there to crush them the way he crushed Chris Paul’s dreams.

3. No Shave November
I’ll be honest, this year I tried doing No Shave November for the entire month, to see once and for all if I could really grow a beard. I can’t. And I’ve got news for everyone else who has tried it: you can’t either. You do look like an atrocious hobo, though. Congrats. Scumbag Steve would be horrified by your hygiene. Now let’s please agree to never do No Shave November again.

4. New Rebecca Black songs

Rosa Parks' personal hero

Katy Perry has no regrets — only love — about going all the way tonight. I have the same feelings about Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Yes, it’s horrible, and yes, it probably shouldn’t exist, and yes, it speaks to some very heinous problems at the base of our modern society, but god damn is it funny. I’m glad it exists, and those two weeks where everyone in America absolutely refused to talk about anything else were just awesome. I feel bad for the hypothetical children I may or may not give birth to in the future because they will never have the experience of waiting at midnight for the release of Harry Potter books or movies, and I feel bad for them because they will never have the experience of going to school on March 18, 2011 (the Friday after the song came out) when everyone everywhere was singing “It’s Friday, Friday, GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY.” For two weeks it was fun to laugh, at the insipid songwriting, at the random rap verse that doesn’t make sense, at the problems with modern celebrity culture, but then those two weeks were over and we all moved on. DIDN’T WE?????

Apparently not. Apparently the ARK Music Factory thought that when 268,000 people disliked the “Friday” video, that meant “we love this, give us more please.” I hate to be the one to break this to you, Patrice Wilson, but when 268,000 people disliked the “Friday” video, it means they didn’t like it. At first, Rebecca Black was sad and kind of funny. Now she’s just sad.

5. Bill O’Reilly’s book about Lincoln
The only thing more ridiculous than the sentence “Bill O’Reilly wrote a book about the Lincoln assassination” is the sentence “Bill O’Reilly wrote a book about the Lincoln assassination that wasn’t true.” Yes. We live in a fucked up world. And while I think we have all accustomed ourselves to Fox News’s ridiculous excuse for news coverage, we don’t need them fucking up history as well. That’s Ross Packingham’s favorite subject!

6. “Ultimatum” by Jeph Loeb
If you’re a normal person, then it probably doesn’t mean anything to you when I say that Jeph Loeb fucked up the Ultimate Universe, but he did, and it is an intolerable atrocity.

Something doesn't seem right...

Quick nut graf: shortly after the dawn of the new millennium, Marvel Comics attempted to reinvigorate interest in their brand by creating an offshoot label, dubbed the Ultimate Universe, where they relaunched characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men as if their 40 year history didn’t exist, and the characters had been created in the year 2000. It worked. The stories were great, and their modern reworking of occasionally anachronistic Sixties concepts had a huge influence on Marvel’s later movie adaptations.

But in the year 2008, Marvel executives handed the creative reins of the Ultimate Universe to Jeph Loeb. It seemed like a sensible decision, as Loeb had won acclaim writing Batman at DC Comics. But whereas Loeb had done well on Batman with a strategy of utilizing Batman’s colorful cast and intriguing antihero sensibility, his plan for Ultimate Marvel was a little more like “destroy everything and kill every character.” His miniseries “Ultimatum” was basically a giant shit all over the Ultimate Universe, whose comics had helped spike my interest in the medium and which I still give to people who mention an interest in comic books, and I can no more forgive him for that than Eddie Murphy can forgive SNL for making one joke about him once.

And most importantly…

My First Quarter Grades
More important than any of the other things combined. I must admit, I got so caught up in college heinousness this quarter that I didn’t exactly get Will Hunting grades. Sure, it’s not like I stayed up past 2 am sequestered in the library every night of reading week preparing for my Ancient Philosophy final, but if Stern could have some words with Morty re: my grades, that would be dandier than Sebastian Flyte.

If that isn’t a convincing reason for giving David Stern a time machine and being done with it, I don’t know what is.

A History of Inflammatory Statements in the United States

13 Nov

There are three things you need to have to be a good President: Personality, cajones of steel, and... Fuck, I forgot

Earlier this week, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry – in one of the most admirable and laudable acts of public and civic service this nation has ever seen – absolutely ruined his hopes of being elected president. In a GOP debate, Perry was enumerating the three government departments he planned to eliminate when he completely forgot the third department. I mean, there are only fifteen, but he still managed to forget one. Surprisingly enough, though, this is hardly the most self-destructive statement that’s ever been issued by a politician. Here’s a list of some other quotes that shattered the speaker’s future like Justin Bieber’s Christmas album shatters what pitiful traces of good there once were in the universe.

1803, Thomas Jefferson
“Sally Hemmings? No, she’s just a slave. And while I do consider her an important part of my life, I think it’s a stretch to call her ‘First Lady.’ Then again, ‘3/5 lady’ just doesn’t have the same ring.”

1822, James Monroe
“Why yes, I do believe this period can be aptly described as an ‘Era of Good Feelings.’ But when it comes down to it, no good feelings will ever compare to those I experienced during the blumpkin I received last night.”

1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (at the Seneca Falls Convention)
“I can in no way deny that this is not the ideal venue for an event of this magnitude. I would’ve looked for a better location, but I was too busy gargling scrotum.”

I just hope they stick that asshole Pickett with an actor like Jeff Daniels

1863, Robert E. Lee (after the Battle of Gettysburg)
“It is my dream that, in one or two hundred years, my actions over the past few days will be portrayed by the ever-mediocre acting skills of Martin Sheen.”

1865, Abraham Lincoln
“Hairspray is sold out?! Drats. In that case, two tickets for My American Cousin.”

1884, Mark Twain
“Hmm. The story of a daring young man travelling down a river with a slave. It’s good, I feel like it just lacks something…aha, I’ve got it! I’ll just throw the n-word in there 215 times!”

1897, William McKinley
“Monocles are in style, right?”

1908, Sacco (to Vanzetti)
“How do you feel about moving to America? I hear there’s a lot of opportunity over there.”

1925, John Scopes
“I’m in Tennessee. Why would I need to teach creationism?”

This cockpit's a little cozy for the two of us.

1934, Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Also, polio. Polio is probably worth some mild trepidation.”

1945, American Military
“We need something that just screams ‘We’re going to bomb you back to the stone age.’ Ooh, I’ve got it! Name it something vaguely questionable but blatantly hilarious. Something like…Enola Gay!”

1961, John F. Kennedy
“We should invade Cuba.”

1969, Neil Armstrong
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for the likelihood of me winding up on the Ohio state quarter.”

1975, Richard Nixon
“Okay fine, so I’m a fucking crook.”

While we're at it, do you think you could sell some of these weapons lying around for some extra beer money?

1983, Ronald Reagan
“They would be satellites that defend us from nuclear missiles. Why are you all giving me that look?”

1992, Ross Perot
“I hereby announce that I am running for president in 1992.”

1998, Bill Clinton
“A handjob? Really? We both know you can do better than that.”

Badasses in History: Miyamoto Musashi

23 Oct

There are very few truths in this world. “Good” and “evil” are almost never that simple. “Money-back guarantees” are usually scams, and, let’s face it, “both fun and educational!” is just a hair away from being a bigger lie than Santa Clause.

Sorry about that. I should have said spoiler alert.

Anyway, my point is that there are very few universal statements. My favorite however is this: Samurais are awesome.

Find me an exception. I dare you. Tell me you have never seen a samurai movie and left wishing to every power you believe in (and some you don’t, just to cover your bases) that you could be even a fraction as badass as a samurai is without even trying.

Like Tom Cruise in "The Last Samurai," but less of a pansy.

That said, let’s meet this week’s Historical Badass.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Miyamoto Musashi.

Musashi was many things, but what he was, above all else, is the greatest swordsman the world has ever seen. That shit you saw in Kill Bill? He was better. The three hundred Spartans? He could have killed them blindfolded. Every trope applied to Samurai applied to this man, but more so. We tell children scary stories about Godzilla, vampires, and manbearpig. They tell their kids about Miyamoto Musashi.

But I should start at the beginning.

We don’t actually know a lot about Musashi’s youth. The best historians can say is that he was born in 1584 in the Mimasaka Province of Japan. His father was an accomplished martial artist and swordsman and his grandfather was the vassal of a feudal lord by the name of Shinmen.

Beyond that, we don’t know much.

What we do know however, is that Musashi was one precocious motherfucker. How so you ask? Well, he killed a man at age 13. In a duel.

“But Josh!” you say. “Surely it was a training accident against another student at his dojo or some shit! No way it was for serial.”

Actually I’m “super serial.” At age 13, when many of us were having Bar Mitzvah’s and worrying about acne, popularity, and pop quizzes, Musashi was fucking killed people. In fact, his opponent, Arima Kihei, was a grown man…and already a samurai.

He was also kind of a douche. Thing is, he had come to Musashi’s hometown and posted a notice that he wanted to duel someone…anyone. Just because. Dude, what an a-hole.

Musashi, being a badass, decided “screw this guy, I’ll fuck up his shit worse than Samuel L. Jackson in any movie ever.” So, teen Musashi went and wrote his name on the notice, and adding (according to reliable sources) several “Yo Mamma” jokes, just to be sure Kihei wouldn’t chicken out.

At this point, Kihei went and told Miyamoto’s uncle about it, pissed that some punk-kid had challenged him. Musashi’s uncle was equally surprised, especially because Musashi didn’t actually have much swordsmanship training under his belt (or gi or obi or whatever samurai call belts).

I’ll take a moment to laugh my ass off and hand the story over to William Scott Wilson, author of The Lone Samurai.

Kihei was adamant that the only way his honor could be cleared was if Musashi apologized to him when the duel was scheduled. So when the time set for the duel arrived, Dorin began apologizing for Musashi, who merely charged at Kihei with a six-foot quarterstaff, shouting a challenge to Kihei. Kihei attacked with a wakizashi, but Musashi threw Kihei on the floor, and while Kihei tried to get up, Musashi struck Arima between the eyes and then beat him to death.

To recap, in a fight of “Samurai vs. kid-who-barely-has-pubes-yet”, Musashi wins… by just running at the samurai with a giant staff. Against a guy with a sword. If nothing else, kid has mad balls.

In any case, Musashi did what any samurai would do in every samurai movie, he uttered some badass one-liner, took the guy’s sword, then wandered off into the sunset.

Four years and many duels later (of which he lost not a single one), Musashi found himself at the Battle of Sekigahara, which Wikipedia will fast inform you as being a seriously important battle in Japanese history, the equivalent of Gettysburg in the American Civil War or the Battle of Austerlitz in the Napoleonic Wars. Or that one episode of Batman where he has to take on the Joker, Penguin, and Two-Face all at once.

Musashi looking his absolute prettiest

That episode was awesome.

Anyway, seventeen-year-old Musashi reputedly killed an enormous number of opponents, escaping the battle without a single wound. Yeah. Seventeen-year-old vs. army? Musashi: 1, Army: 0.

Suck on that, whiny Spartans. A google search tells me that after the battle Musashi drew his sword and slashed it in mid-air, delivering a death-blow to a 450-years later Chuck Norris. Sure, after all I’ve heard, why not?

So, you ask again, how can one dude be this badass? Surely that’s all?

Hush, grasshopper. Bask in the glory that is Musashi.

In the following years, Musashi spent much of his time dueling (again, he never lost. Not once.), defeating nearly all of his opponents—usually masters of various swordsmanship schools—with a single blow.

It was also during this time that he developed what he would explain in his masterpiece, Go Rin No Sho (The Book of Five Rings), as his signature sword-style: Niten Ichi Ryu, which can either mean “two swords, one soul” or “School of two swords.”

I’ve decided however, that the clear, and accurate, translation is “two swords, much killing.” Unlike most samurai (fucking pansies!), who fought with only one sword, Musashi was able to simultaneously attack and defend thanks to his two-sword style.

To put this in perspective, let me explain how most duels worked at the time. Essentially, both combatants would draw their (lame) single sword and proceed to try and fuck each other up, both parrying (blocking, for those of you who don’t speak swordsman-ese) each other and making the whole thing go on for a long time. Like a commercial during your favorite show, it just wouldn’t end.

Musashi, however, could just block with his shorter sword, then tell the opponent a knock-knock joke before cutting the fool to pieces with his other blade.

It was under these circumstances that Musashi easily defeated Yoshioka Seijuro, head of the famous Yoshioka swordsmanship school. Yoshioka’s students, understandably bothered at seeing their Mister Miyagi cut down with all the effort it might take to eat a piece of pizza, all immediately charged Musashi.

There was only one of him, right?

Yeah, they didn’t stand a chance.

After slaughtering the rest of them—and raiding the liquor cabinet—Musashi went on to claim the lives of many, many other posers. Yet even this wasn’t what makes Musashi so god-damn badass.

That honor goes to his duel with legendary swordsman Sasaki Kojiro, known at the time as “The Demon of the Western Provinces.” Clearly, this was not a man most of us would be willing to fuck with. But Mushashi was no ordinary man.

Both men had never been defeated in a duel, but there were some big differences. Musashi was known for being drunk, dirty, disheveled, and really, really rude. Kojiro on the other hand came from a powerful samurai family and was well-regarded by the Japanese elite.

This is a nodachi

Musashi, reputedly, had heard of Kojiro’s skill with the nodachi, which is to say, Big Fucking Sword (BFS for short).

The blade is four feet long. That is taller than a midget. I say that with no disrespect to little people. It is also taller than many children. I am frightened merely by its picture.

Basically, it is a katana on steroids, but sharper and deadlier. I feel safe saying that there really is no deadlier non-firearm weapon out there.

Hell, even if I had a gun I wouldn’t feel that safe going up against one of those things.

But I digress. As mentioned earlier, Musashi challenged Kojiro to a duel. In his challenge, he specified that the duel be held at the island of Ganryu at sunrise. Quentin Tarantino, this is your bread and butter. Michael Bay, please shut up and learn something from this.

On one hand, we have an incredibly skilled, famous noble samurai. On the other, we have a homeless man with a really really sharp sword, who is equally skilled, but also known to be a total dick, and never really gets around to showering.

It’s like Dennis Rodman vs. Michael Jordan. They’re both good, but one dude has a lot more going for him.

In any case, as was his custom, Musashi showed up late—so as to mindfuck his opponent and make them angry or nervous. This time however, he threw in a free extra.

He didn’t come with a sword.

Instead, he showed up with…

Wait for it.

A wooden practice sword that he had carved out of a boat oar.

Yeah. This was worse than an insult. This was Musashi saying that Kojiro was unfit to have even his blood grace Musashi’s blade, the equivalent of…

Of…

I’m not even sure I can think of something insulting enough without resorting to racial slurs or profound queries as to whether a person’s mother maintains virtue and decorum at all times.

Dude could fuck your shit up seven different ways from Sunday

But despite appearances, Musashi had this all planned out. You see, the great advantage of the Niten Ichi Ryu sword style was an incredibly long reach, as well as simultaneous attack-and-defense capability. So when he was making the wooden blade, Musashi made sure it was a few inches longer than a typical nodachi.

Thus, when Kojiro charged in, Musashi immediately used his blade’s longer reach to bring his sword down on Kojiro’s head, smashing his skull and killing him instantly.

And that was it.

Musashi went on to win more than 60 duels in his life. But as he grew older he got tired of winning so much and never encountering a challenge. As such, he retired to isolation in the mountains of Japan, spending years writing about the true meaning of being a warrior.

The result was the book we know today as “The Book of Five Rings” or Go Rin No Sho, which is still studied even today by businessmen and military strategists.

Also, it’s fucking awesome. Among its many gems—I’m not lying when I say it is extremely profound—is a technique so awesome that I feel as if I had looked upon the face of God himself.

Or seen Scarlett Johansson naked. Yeah, I’ll go with that.

Oh, right. The technique. It’s called “Stabbing the Face”:
When you are even with an opponent, it is essential to keep thinking of stabbing him in the face with the tip of your sword in the intervals between the opponent’s sword blows and your own sword blows. When you have the intention of stabbing your opponent in the face, he will try to get both his face and body out of the way. In the midst of battle, as soon as an opponent tries to get out of the way, you have already won. Therefore it is imperative not to forget the technique of “stabbing the face.” This should be cultivated in the course of practicing martial arts.