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Tag Archives: occupy

#GetFuckedCal

29 Aug
Don't ask what the lightsaber's for.

Don’t ask what the lightsaber’s for.

Dear Cal,

I know we’ve only seen each other once before, but apparently the thorough dicking you received during the Truman administration was so great you couldn’t help but ask us to come back for more.

So here we are, yet again, the Gator Bowl Champion Wildcats visiting Berkeley for the first time since the Soviets went all nuclear and since the sad hippie burnout Golden Bears last retained any sense of national relevance.  And this time, Fitz and his 22nd nationally-ranked crew come bearing a message:

Get fucked Cal.

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A (Late) Review of the Kony 2012 Campaign

13 Mar

The Kony 2012 campaign is garnering far more attention than the Romney 2012 campaign, for better or worse.

The more I think about it, the more annoyed I am by the Kony campaign. It’s not because I’m a cold, hateful cynic who hates children. It’s because the video wouldn’t be nearly as viral as it is if people had thought past the initial “Oh my god this man is a subhuman aberration who clearly deserves to be slaughtered in the most slow and painful way possible oh my god how do people even become that horrible oh my god.” And that should be your gut reaction, assuming you aren’t a cold hateful child-hating cynic. Now if you’re rational and logical as well, Step 2 is asking yourself whether you agree with the campaign. I don’t.

Yo, America, remember the last time the entire country suddenly flipped an outraged shit over going to catch a bad guy hiding halfway around the world? It’s okay if you don’t — the target audience for Kony’s video was twelve at the time. Whether or not you support the war in the Middle East today, you know that it had widespread support at the time. Nobody likes people who kill people, unless their names are Dexter or Katniss. Let’s put on our 10-year-hindsight hats.

First of all: does anyone have a post-Kony-killing plan? Because once Kony’s out of the picture, we will have (according to the video) an army of armed, brainwashed, possibly orphaned trained killers. What, pray tell, do we do with them? Yeah, we can return them home — those of them that haven’t killed their parents. But it’s not like we can let ‘em off at the nearest bus stop and pat ourselves on the back — the kids are all fucked up, and kicking their leader out of the picture is not going to save them. If they’ve been brainwashed to think Kony’s the next Messiah, they’re clearly not going to take to a bunch of assholes with a Superman complex trying to save them.

But don’t worry, nobody’s planning on “putting Americans into combat.” If our troops happen to get attacked, we can just tell the Kony Killer Kids that we weren’t actually planning on fighting them. Just stopping them. Problem solved.

As for the campaign itself: It’s been said before, but I’m cynical about the power of middle-class American college students’ Facebook status fads changing the world.* The problem with “awareness” is that it reaches a set point: right now, everyone who’s gonna know about Occupy knows about Occupy. And everyone who’s gonna know about breast cancer knows about breast cancer. At that point, you’re either doing something about the issue or not. Kony 2012 will reach that point.

But, what if “awareness turns into action.” I’m totally on board with them there. So long as you define “action” as letter-writing, calling Congressmen, and pretty much endorsing the message. But if you’re anything like me, you can be aware that you’re an out-of-shape lump of hot cookie bar who couldn’t run 20 minutes anymore let alone 20 miles, make a hearty New Year’s Resolution, plan to multitask on the treadmill with your reading — and still find yourself at Shepard Munchies stress-eating your finals via homemade baked goods and cocoa product. Awareness turns into intention, which sometimes turns into action.

Philanthropy’s easy when all you have to do is type some words on the Interwebz. But as any former philanthropy chair/DM 60-hour-clubber/Camp Kesem counselor can tell you, and as you probably already know, it’s really goddamn difficult to regularly squeeze money and time out of broke overinvolved college kids.** People will forget/“forget” to donate their time, money, and empathy around the same time the Keg starts forgetting/“forgetting” to notice again that your ID belongs to a 5’2” 115 lb Asian.

The viral philanthropy campaign set up by author Parrty Cat.

I’m also annoyed with certain vague, majestic proclamations regarding Ugandan child guerrillas. Prime example: “It’s bad for the world.” First of all, Jason Russell, this isn’t the persuasive essay you shat out at 3:00 AM your junior year because your coffee machine was broken and Starbucks was closed and you couldn’t stay awake any longer. Support your goddamn generalizations or it’s propaganda. Because, second of all, is it really, truly bad for the entire world? Honestly — somebodyisgoingtohatemeforsayingthis — no. It’s really, really bad. But this half of the world is personally affected by things other than Kony. And y’know, that’s why the Invisible Children sentiment is admirable – most anti-Kony campaigners have nothing to gain. Unlike the satisfaction of getting in shape, or taking vengeance on Osama, or having the kids for whom you raised $1.1 million high-five you onstage after 28 hours of anguished feet, the US and its inhabitants don’t gain anything from killing Kony (another reason our government is hesitant to help). Diehard Ko-pponents have their hearts in the right place. It’s the heads I’m worried about.

One thing I’m unclear about, and I ask this because I truly don’t know: why this plan of action? Our narrator gives us a step-by-step tutorial of how we’re going to stop Kony. But why aren’t there alternatives? They need technology and training – why doesn’t IC ask us to send money to the Supply The Ugandan Army With Necessary Shit Fund, instead of having ten middlemen? Is deploying American advisers overseas really our only option, or can’t we bring people here to train them? Who decided on this plan, and why don’t we have a say?

Sidenote: There’s an imaginary New York Times newspaper at about 22:25 in the Kony 2012 video, with the headline “KONY CAPTURED.” But I’m LOLing a little at the second article’s title: “The world agrees, Kony is the ‘Worst’.” I’m not entirely sure why this is amusing, but it might have to do with the ironic fact that the most vile adjective we can think of to label Kony with is “The Worst.” Was “ruthless sack of diarrhea” inappropriate somehow? And Flipside, could you pleaseplease take this and run with it?

I do admire the campaign for its great methods, and I’m not preparing for sarcasm here. Having only 20 “culture makers” and 12 policy makers = 32 public voices is a really, really good way to approach it. You might wonder why they don’t involve more, but what this strategy does is keep responsibility on a few committed individuals, rather than letting the campaign diffuse.*** The committed public’s gonna focus on pressuring those people to continue advocating. But, on the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if our lawmakers are just waiting for the initial outrage to blow over.

The sentiment is nice. Watching it for the first time without feeling the total emotional rush that I know others felt made me wish I could be less of a cynic and believe with all my heart in happy endings and butterflies and peace. I said the same thing after watching The Notebook.**** But that’s not how humans work. And if we aren’t at least slightly more cautious about running in headfirst without a plan for the lasting repercussions after an intervention is over, we haven’t learned a damn thing.

That said, Kony deserves every profanity in the English language and I hope he dies slowly and painfully.

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*Black with hot pink polka dots and a lacy bow by the clasp which is in the front not the back because I enjoy experiencing my boyfriend’s momentary bewilderment.
**Although for some reason, people in Bienen are the best cookie consumers. Sometimes I feel guilty because I should really tell them to save their money for when they’re starving artists and I’m relying on my non-music degree. But it’s all for the kids… right?
***Sherman Ave’s all about the psych terms. Right, Brother Jürgen?
**** You’re not a bird. Neither of you are birds. Get out of the middle of the road. Stop that nonsense. You’re both neurotic and your sex scene was weird. Shave and move on. Where in this movie am I supposed to be crying? Oh, now you have to go and die together. Does that even happen? You suck.

UPDATED: How to Watch the Super Bowl

5 Feb

Act confused when informed that no team from New York is in the game.

The Game is here! After weeks of buildup and waiting, it’s finally time for the NFL Championship Super Bowl of Championshipness to Decide It All. You probably have some friends who are fans of either the New York Giants Baltimore Ravens or the New England Patriots San Francisco 49ers (those are the teams playing in it, ok?). And there’s a pretty good chance you’ll watch it with some people who are quite emotionally invested in this particular football pigskin gridiron matchup showdown game.

So, in our continuing series of helpful tips, we at The Ave want to offer a few suggestions on how to be as heinous as possible during any Super Bowl party:

• Wear the jersey of a team that isn’t playing and bring an #Occupy sign and rant about how unfair it is that 1% of the teams get 99% of the Super Bowl. Spout various anti-elite slogans, set up a tent, and grossly overstay your welcome.

• Ask loudly and repeatedly when the Puppy Bowl is on. Scoff loudly if anyone informs you that you’re at a Super Bowl party and proceed to attempt to take bets on which puppy will poop first.

• If the host asked everyone to bring a snack to share, make sure to bring plain pita chips with no hummus or dip. Proudly offer them up to replace the main meal and announce that you read on the Internet that pita chips are great for your colon. If anyone goes for normal, good-tasting chips you must glare at them and ask if they even care about their colon health.

• Declare repeatedly that you’re pretty sure the coin toss decides the whole game. Keep asking who won the coin toss and alternatively celebrate or start crying when you’re told.

Be sure to dress appropriately!

• Come absurdly prepared with stats, charts and play breakdowns. Repeatedly pause the game to show everyone what just happened and why it should have been anticipated by the defense. Act like this doesn’t make you the single worst human being ever.

• Complain that the halftime show isn’t gaudy enough. Demand more fireworks.

• At halftime, recoil in horror when Madonna start screaming and peeing with joy when Beyonce comes out. Ask if she’s a real human being or if this means “they have finally arrived.” this is the second coming. Weep openly.

• Attempt to start a debate about whether the two-minute warning should be introduced at the college level. Tell everyone what a difference it would make and unironically declare that Oklahoma would be national champs if there was a two minute warning. Use that as your sole piece of evidence.

• Tell everyone about every single bet you’ve made on the game a minimum of three times. Shout with disproportionate anger or joy every time you lose or win a bet. Try to get everyone else to cheer with you. Call it your DM fundraiser and accuse anyone not cheering of hating kids with cancer.

• If the game is close in the last two minutes, feverishly attempt to convince everyone to pause the game so you can watch the latest episode of Alcatraz Catfish. If they resist tell them they just don’t understand good television and laugh condescendingly.

• Get way drunker than everyone else and belt out every patriotic song you can think of for the entirety of the third quarter.*

• When the game is over, refuse to watch the trophy presentation because the trophy is named after Vince Lombardi and the Packers suck.

• Study for your Consumer Insight midterm for the entire game. In any quiet moment yell “social comparison involves seeing yourself through the prism of everyone else around you!” and then look around for confirmation. If others seem confused, inform them that your midterm is at 10 a.m. on Monday because your professor is a football terrorist.

Bring enough food for 12.

• Live tweet the entire thing. Tag a famous person in every tweet and act offended when they don’t promptly respond. Read every tweet aloud then ask everyone to check on their phones that the tweet sent. Giggle about every tweet you send.

• UPDATED for 2013: Accuse anyone rooting for the Niners of hating gay people and anyone rooting for the Ravens of being a murderer. Say you only root for the London Sillynannies because you aren’t a xenophobe.

Now, if this doesn’t seem to work you can always just try being a fan of Tim Tebow. That usually annoys people enough and is quite easy, assuming you have no moral compass or sense of goodness in the world.

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*This actually makes you the best person alive.

Bitches at Airports: A True Story Rant

18 Dec

What exactly do full body scans entail?

Now, I’m not one to get pissed over travel. I don’t mind long car rides and I don’t mind airplanes. It’s merely transportation, a service to get you from one point to another. However, in light of all the students leaving the comfortable abides of their 80-square-foot dorm rooms and returning home soon, it’s not out of reason to expect some bumps in the road. But God (and Rick Perry) knows that there’s something wrong with America when you encounter all of these at once.

1. The Forgotten Wallet
You somehow get stuck behind the shithole that forgot their wallet. Last time I checked, having your goddamn money and your goddamn ID card and your goddamn nonfat skinny double shot cherry chapstick was an important thing. So maybe you shouldn’t switch from the raggedy hippy knit satchel thing you wear around campus to promote green living to that let’s-kill-all-the-animals Dooney & Bourke purse that could’ve paid Theta Chi’s dues for the year, you hypocritical, smarmy fuck. I’m just sayin’.

2. You get behind the fashionista in security.
Sure, you want to look nice, or even sexy (see above paragraph on bag selection). That does not give you a single reason to wear all of that jewelry! I’m pretty sure Jenna Marbles said it quite clearly in a recent video, “Who the fuck are you trying to impress!?” I’m not gonna see your P90X ass ever again, and girl, if you’re doing that shit, you need to realize that a guy doesn’t wanna have the same testosterone levels as you. Otherwise shake off the mountains of bangles and bracelets and rings and toe-rings and anklets and earring and noserings and watches and necklaces and chokers and belts and fuck-fuck-fucks you have laying around your gelatinous body! PUT ON SOME MAKEUP INSTEAD, IT DOESN’T SLOW DOWN THE GODDAMN LINE. Seriously, some of you looked like you were heading to MIA’s wedding shoot.

3. You’re on either the overstuffed plane…
And you’ll probably get the average person sitting next to you, but Jesus this shit will be uncomfortable. No one wants to feel like they’re a layer of apples in your Meemaw’s famous pie. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been folded over and under like some puff pastry under these old people. Thank God I check myself in early so I can pick an aisle or window seat. You’ll also get your fair share of screaming children and pissed of menopausal hostesses.

Does it count as the mile high club

4. Or the terribly empty plane
THIS IS THE WORST ONE. Because god knows, this is the one that those irritable passengers take. “I don’t like flying” is NOT an excuse to FLY ON A FREAKING AIRPLANE WITH ME. These are the people that get worked up and stressed out over every single thing and will not extract their pound of flesh from your innocent face. Even Ryan Murphy’s reprehensible excuse for a show Nip/Tuck couldn’t fix that. Not to mention, this is the flight for those annoying off-duty crew members to take.

Which reminds me of a story.

So I’m already stressed because I got stuck behind a fashionista, but I’ve calmed down with my two hours of gate wait time and a frap from Starbucks (sorry, I’m a pretentious fuck). We board the airplane and there’s this old man that notices practically no one is on the plane. He sits in front of me, which is actually the beginning of the economy plus seating or some shit. Who comes by? The asshole Off-Duty crew members. A pilot and his wife. They practically shove the old, octagenarian man out of the seat and tell him if he wants to sit there, he’ll have to pay more. So he has to sit in his assigned seat, two over from me. Ok. I’m chill. He’s a nice guy and keeps to himself. So I sit in my seat in such a way that I prop my foot up on the back curves of the armrest in front of me. There’s absolutely no way the other person can feel it, and I’ve never had a problem. Until this dickbagel shoves his elbow as far back as he can and bumps my foot. He immediately turns around as I’m reading that ridiculousness called SkyMall and goes, “Excuse me. Take your nasty foot off the armrest.” EXCUSE ME?! NASTY? Could have left that part out man. I have nice feet. My response? “Um… It’s on my side, and it’s not hurting you. But whatever.” And I take my foot off. A few minutes later, my foot wanders back up, because you know, they’re nasty, which clearly means that they’re rebellious and belligerent. He turns around again, but then his wife speaks, “If you do that one more time, I’m going to call the attendant. Take your feet off.” YOU ARE OFF DUTY BITCH, YOU ARE A SAD RECENTLY BOTOX’D WASPY CUNTMUFFIN. TAKE YOUR NASTY COLLAGEN LIPS AND PUT THEM ON A SEVEN DOLLAR VODKA CRANBERRY AND OUT OF MY EAR.

Needless to say, my legs were very uncomfortable for the rest of the flight. Which naturally brings us to:

Handle with care

5. You get the asshole baghandlers.
These guys will ruin every day you have after this flight for the rest your life. Did you really like your matched set of luggage? Did you pay that heinous extra to get Louis Vuitton? Is your life precedent on the careful handling of that unknown designer label garment bag? Well, maybe we should occupy your 1% ass, but afterwards console you, because those baghandlers will get to you first. They’ll scuff it up, burn the side, get tar and grease everywhere and then toss your luggage on the line like Clinton tossed Lewinsky on the Oval Office desk.

All in all, maybe you should just drive yourself to your destination. I hear gas is cheap.