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Tag Archives: MLK

8 Historical Speech Titles Rebranded to Maximize Internet Popularity

21 Feb

1. Original title: The Gettysburg Address – Abraham Lincoln, 1863Abraham_Lincoln_seated,_Feb_9,_1864

Why it sucks: If I had to guess the content of this speech based solely on the title, I’d assume Abraham Lincoln gave a reading of the Gettysburg, PA phonebook.

New title: Continue reading

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5 Special Editions of Monopoly That Would Never Sell

7 Jan

                                                                 

Crusades! Advance to the nearest Islam-owned property and claim it as your own.

Monopoly: World Religions Edition

Since almost all pieces end up in Jerusalem anyway, the game should work, right?  Wrong.  The first problem with the game is that the Holy Land doesn’t actually have as much real estate as Atlantic City, the basis for the original version of Monopoly.  There’s West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip…yeah, I think that’s about it.  So the game inevitably results in all the players fighting over a few small chunks of land.  Also, Hasbro showed an astounding lack of foresight by including a small sculpture of Mohammed as a game piece.  But the ultimate downfall of the game is its sheer offensive nature.  There are too many moments in this game that cause inter-player strife.  For example, that awkward moment when the Atheist player buys Mecca…

Anthony Weiner's iPhone - another game piece

Monopoly:  Scandalous! Edition

In this version of the game, players have the opportunity to relive some famous scandals in recent history while simultaneously trying to accumulate enough capital to put Watergate Hotel on a monopoly.  Game pieces include a Silvio Berlusconi, a Minneapolis airport stall, and a hauntingly detailed sculpture of Bill Clinton’s genitalia.  The first Hasbro board game to be rated NC-17, this game somehow fails to appeal to the typical board game demographic – Mormons.  Even with the second edition of the game, which makes a direct appeal to Mormons by adding Newt Gingrich’s numerous divorces to the list of scandals referenced in the game, there still is little to no market for it.  However, rumor has it that a new, more topically relevant version of the game is set for release this spring, focusing exclusively on scandals relating to 2012 Republican presidential candidates.

They replaced Marvin Gardens with THIS?!

Monopoly:  Classic Literature Edition

On paper, the idea here isn’t half bad.  The game could provide younger players with a basic understanding of classic literature while providing older players with an engaging form of mental stimulation.  Each monopoly consists of two or three books by one author, and their respective values correlate to how highly esteemed the author is (ex: Novels by Kate Chopin would replace Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues).  Regrettably, the designer of the game had a pretty skewed perception of “classic literature.”  Instead of featuring authors like Leo Tolstoy and Ernest Hemingway, the game features authors like Chelsea Handler and Dan Brown.  Furthermore, the 4 railroads are replaced by the 4 installments of the “Twilight” series.  And as if that wasn’t bad enough, just wait till you find out that “Park Place” was replaced by “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

PLEASE GOD GIVE ME DOUBLES.

Monopoly:  The Deep South Edition

 The game pieces included in this version of monopoly are quite controversial; among them are Colonel Sanders, Dale Earnhardt Sr., George Wallace, and Nathan Bedford Forrest.  As an effort to slightly veil their excessive racism, they included Martin Luther King Jr. as another game piece, but this sentiment was made obsolete by the rule forcing the MLK piece to serve the jail sentences of the other players.  The game does have its merits, though – if a player can get a series of Motel 8s on the most expensive monopoly (comprised of Baptist Avenue and Krispy Kreme Boulevard), they could potentially make enough money to bribe Cam Newton into their football program.  Yet, the most distinguishing aspect of the game is probably the game-changing nature of the “Chance” cards – nothing can bring down your luck like drawing “BP Spill.  Move back 4 spaces” or “Realize the Civil War did actually end.  Start over.”

Monopoly: A Cultural Revolution!

Maonopoly:  Chinese Edition

It may come as a surprise to find out that, without the basic principles of capitalism, monopoly is not a very enjoyable game.  I can only imagine the frustration one might feel upon landing on Vermont Avenue – or whatever the fuck they call streets in China – and discovering that, along with every other property on the game, it is owned by the government.  Instead of “Community Chest” and “Chance,” players draw cards like “Community Chest” and “Community Chance,” possibly commanding them to take a Great Leap Forward to spaces like “Community Electric Company” or “Community Go.”  Additionally, several other spaces are renamed; for example, “Short Line” is replaced by “Tall-Because-Of-Leg-Extensions Line.”  Beware, though – just because there’s free parking on Tiananmen Square doesn’t necessarily mean the pieces will stop moving.

Things That Suck: Coffee

15 Dec

Coffee: Sir Twattingworth's anti-heroin

Fuck coffee.

I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Not because I’m the protagonist of a Robert Heinlein novel, but because I don’t drink caffeine. I’ll pause a moment to let your mouths fall agape as you shout “WAIT WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTT.”

True story. I’ve never drunk coffee in my life. Okay, wait, there was that one time when I was a curious young four-year-old and my dad let me taste his coffee and I was so horrified that I jerked violently and spilled it all over my Charlie Brown pajama pants. But other than that I have usually abstained from the black stuff. And from Red Bull. And Monster, too. Fuck that shit.

Final exams may be over at Northwestern, but I know there are a bunch of other poor unfortunate souls out there who still have to cram months’ worth of learning into their skulls before exams. As a result they may, in all their mortal vulnerability, be tempted to turn to the evil that is caffeinated beverages. I am here to hold up my hand and say the same thing I would say to anyone planning to read Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666: Don’t do it!

My body is like this temple, in that it is a temple.

That’s a picture of a temple. I included it in this article because, like the Baha’i Temple, my body is a temple. When I stay up till four in the morning writing a six page essay about what Henry David Thoreau would think about the Weather Underground, I do so simply on the sober strength of my own fucking willpower. I understand that if you start thinking about this metaphor, some obvious contradictions might jump out at you like the T-Rex face in my old dinosaur pop-up book. But I’ll remind you that most temples have alcohol in them. You can put wine into a temple without damaging it, and Christians have done so for ages. But something tells me that if you shot lightning at a temple to “give it energy,” you would really just blow up the temple. That’s my visualization of inserting caffeine into a human system.

Shoot a temple with lightning and it will never be intact again. Give me Red Bull and I will never sleep again. I have enough trouble as it is. The first time I stayed up past midnight on a day that wasn’t New Year’s Eve, it was all over for me. Once I crossed that threshold, it became impossible for me to ever fall asleep before midnight again. At night my productivity goes up, and I suddenly remember all the Grantland articles I wanted to read and all the episodes of Dragon Ball Z that I wanted to watch that I somehow forgot about during the daytime. Before I know it, it’s 2:30 and somehow the knowledge that I have to telemarket for three hours the next day doesn’t stop me from looking up YouTube clips of old Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches until my eyelids finally take executive action and shut themselves, only to be jarred awake hours later by an alarm just in time to swallow a mouthful of Cocoa Puffs before huffing it to my French class with all possible speed. No rest for the weary, and I am nothing if not weary.

I am not alone here. I have friends who drink coffee like it’s water. As a result, they go to bed at midnight and wake up at six every day. They think they’re fully functioning modern human beings. I think they’re more like zombie robots in danger of falling apart at any second. I don’t want to see that happen, so I’m finally coming out against the horrid black stuff.

She is hot. Coffee is awful.

That’s a subjective take on the general suckiness of caffeinated drinks, so I’ll throw in an objective approach as well. I feel like I shouldn’t have to mention this, since it is as inherently obvious as the blueness of the sky or the hotness of Kate Middleton, but caffeine is gross. Coffee is gross, and everybody secretly knows it. I’m not just talking about the people who pour mounds of sugar into their mugs to deaden their sorry souls to the fact that they’re drinking liquid poop. I’m talking about everyone. We all seem to have agreed to forget that coffee is disgusting, the way we all agreed to forget that George W. Bush was appointed President by the Supreme Court.

And not just coffee. Red Bull is gross too. I admit, I’ve tasted it a few times, and I’d sooner hang out with Michele Bachmann for a few hours than repeat the experience. But even if I hadn’t been capable of offering this personal testimony of awfulness, surely the list of ingredients – which looks like something Walter White might cook up in his basement to pay for chemotherapy – would probably be convincing enough. 4Loko actually tastes kind of good, but it’s illegal, so that’s a given. I won’t even talk about 5 hour energy drinks until they make better commercials. If my RTVF roommate could make a better commercial than the one you put on TV, you probably don’t deserve to exist, let alone be talked about in the valuable Internet real estate that is this website.

Would you rather drink coffee or eat poop?

I realize that this anti-caffeine argument is difficult. Sometimes the AP curriculum makes it seem as if the College Board just assumes that every AP student is injecting caffeine into their eyeballs (Either that or no one told them about the existence of time-consuming extracurriculars, but either way they’re a bunch of douchemuffins who gave me too much homework in high school). Then there’s the necessity of being a hipster in order to have any social currency in this hyper media-literate world. That means you need to read Pitchfork regularly and wear clothes originally designed for girls Europeans, but it mainly means that you need to spend a majority of your time in darkly lit indie cafes sipping black energy so you’re wide awake and prepared to unleash a shitstorm of ironic Tweets the next time Bon Iver releases a workout video. Caffeine has been so prevalent in our society for so long that we just accept it as a given fact of life. But the fact that people in the Eighties were accustomed to the idea of nuclear Armageddon didn’t make it okay. Nuclear holocaust is never okay, and neither is coffee, and don’t let Henry Kissinger tell you any different.

Society seems to have ordered its priorities like this:
1. Work
2. Sleep

But that is so, so wrong. Our society has forgotten the value of sleep. Let me tell you, there was one Saturday earlier this quarter when I slept until 3 pm. It was the greatest day of my life. We all need sleep to recuperate from the horrid heinousness of everyday life, and coffee prevents that. It sucks. Finals suck. Life sucks too. But you just need to get over it. Do it all natural or not at all, that’s my motto. Sleep well, my friends.

(And for those of you wondering about the fate of my aforementioned Charlie Brown pajama pants: They did not survive their encounter with coffee, and were promptly retired to the dustbin of history. The world is a worse place for it).