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Tag Archives: YouTube

An Open Letter to the Dude Living Across The Hall

1 May

Hey Guy,

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. I think we said “hey” to each other once while moving in. And I get that. You’re a private person; I am too; that’s why we live in Plex. And I realize that there comes a time when a private person wants to open up a little, and share that privacy with a significant other, be it a man, a woman, or one of those weird things from Star Trek. And I understand that too.

But I am not writing to you simply because you’re a private person. I’m writing to you because at 3 goddamn 30 in the morning, your privacy has encroached upon my privacy. Specifically, I speak of the Air-Raid Siren which you seem to be fucking nightly. And do not think I am simply being hyperbolic, because even though your room is the furthest from mine of all my neighbors, and even though my door was tightly shut, and even though I was listening to Death Grips through my headphones, I could still hear the cacophonous moaning of your girlfriend.

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10 Youtube Channels You Should Totally Subscribe To (and who they’d be on campus)

3 Nov

LOOK AT THIS! LOOK AT HOW FUCKING ADORABLE IT IS!!!

This list is for those of us like TV too much, but need a quick video in between that Orgo class and your accelerated intermediate Spanish course. Seriously, why did you take Spanish 125? Anyway, that’s where Youtube comes in: your internet salvation from boredom! Here’s a list of some not-all-that-mainstream channels that I promise will entertain you. And if they don’t, you can get fucked like Iowa.

1. Jessie Jay
She’s a new vlogger on the scene with only a couple of weeks under her belt, but her humor is getting much much better and she offers a different style than a lot of the mainstream youtube comedians/-ennes out there. She’s a fun girl from Brooklyn, just out of her undergrad. This is what every Comm Studies majors’ lives will look like in 5 years if they specialize in “New Media.”

2. CiaranObrien89 / FunnyCatVideos
This guy is probably the most awkward person I have ever seen in a Youtube video and it makes him awesome. He’s a personal friend of Charlieissocoollike, who is a pretty established British vlogger. Ciaran’s style is awkward-funny, and though he has less than 5 videos, he’s got comedy gold, and he’s sure to upload more. Basically he’s just everyone in Plex.

3. MattMattMaryMary
Matt and Mary are a couple from Brooklyn who write sketch comedy, usually with Mary playing the part of a mannerless and uncouth crazy. They also have a low video count, considering they have other lives and their filming isn’t vlog-style (meaning little improv). They’d be NSTV meets that freshman from your history discussion section that whispers under her breath that Sporcle was wrong when she mixed up Macedonia and Malta.

4. Shep689
Shep689 is Will Shepherd, though by extension, his boyfriend RJ Aguiar and their roommate Kasey. Though Will started out doing regular vlogs, he started vlogging every single day of 2012 on Jan. 1st. Though not necessarily funny all the time, Shep689 (in conjunction with their site notadamandsteve.com) strive to show that LGBTQ couples are just as normal as hetero couples and deserve the same rights as others. Also Will is a raging nerd (Zelda, Pokemon, Harry Potter). They’d be rainbow alliance and the quidditch club. (Duh)

5. TimWillDestroyYou
Tim Helbig is the younger brother of Grace Helbig of DailyGrace fame. He had an awkward and rocky start to the vlogging world, and some mocked him for leeching off his sister’s fame. However, Tim has come into his own and is starting to establish his own style of humor which is usually awkward and strange. Also he has a teddy bear named Pooky that hates him. If Grace is Willard, Tim is totally Chapin.

6. TeaPartyReport
Susie Sampson heads the Tea Party Report, a mock reporting and street-pollster channel that uses the guise of a conservative viewpoint to deride Romney supporters. She’s obsessed with Stephen Colbert and totally doesn’t get caught every time she blatantly ridicules a fat WASPy man on a Midwestern street. She’s clearly Sir T-Worth, amirite?

7. Vihart
Vi Hart is a self-proclaimed “mathemusician.” Her videos are all educational, but strangely entertaining and fascinating and revolve around recreational mathematics. Honestly, it’s just the nerd in me that likes her. I can’t help myself. She’s anyone that has ever been inside of Lunt ever. EVER.

8. YouDeserveADrink
Mamrie Hart stars in YDAD, which is a pun-filled, built-in drinking game and instructional video on how best to get yourself shitfaced. Grace Helbig edits and shoots it in her apartment in Brooklyn and together they make heinously inappropriate references to ovaries and shitting. They’re probably Sherman Ave if we’re honest.

9. KoreanMommySays
Though finished now, Korean Mommy Says, starred and directed by Vicky Toro of Comediva, was an advice series by a stereotypical Korean mother. Pretty sure this can only be KASA.

10. Coffeychat
Because we needed ANOTHER FUCKING BROOKLYN VLOGGER, MyDamnChannel brought to Youtube Shannon Coffey, a young and new comedienne that gives outrageous and impractical advice and how-to videos. She’s probably more hipster than anyone that says they’re a hipster on campus, which makes her nobody at Northwestern. Or maybe that group of kids that all smoke weed off of Ridge and Davis and you can’t tell whether they’re a theatre or Perf studies or RTVF major. Or they could be HDPS. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THAT IS?

ALSO, Follow Sherman Ave on Youtube by subscribing to LiveAtTheAve! What we lack in copyrights we make up for in heinous!

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.

Make Nickelback Famous (Invisible Listeners)

7 Mar

We are at a point in history like one never before; the world is connected through countless media of communication and infrastructure.  The number of people on Facebook at this exact second is roughly twelve times the number of people who saw “Johnny English” in theaters.  With a more globalized culture, we are capable of forming relationships across the world – even across the galaxy.

And yet, there are still people who suffer.  The number of people who have (presumably involuntarily) seen Nickelback’s music video of “Photograph” on YouTube is rapidly approaching the number of people who live in Romania.  That’s scary.  And the problem is: No one knows who the culprit is.  Nickelback has tragically faded into irrelevance, making their egregious crimes more difficult to stop.

Read the following exchange, which occurred between my son and I.

Me: Listen to this song.

Son: I don’t like it.  Why did you make me listen to this?

Me:  People all around the world are given the same treatment.

Son:  Why?  Why don’t they find the band that made this song and have them tried at the ICC?

Me:  Because no one knows who they are.

Fortunately, with your help, this problem can be addressed.  We must do everything in our power to make their astounding lack of musical talent known to the world, so that they can be arrested and tried for war crimes in The Hague.  We can save men, women, and children all around the world from a brutal and ruthless aural assault.  We need to make Nickelback famous – not to celebrate them, but so that they can be internationally recognized as the #1 band in human rights violations.

It won’t happen without your help.  The government would never do anything that doesn’t forward their economic interests, because no one in the government cares about children.  So please – pass this article along, and more importantly, donate money to Invisible Listeners.  We need it to forward the cause, and also to buy Keystone Light.

MAKE NICKELBACK FAMOUS.

An ode to Northwestern memes

10 Feb

In the great Northwestern University student tradition of never doing anything original ever, we have succeeded in completely ripping off funny Madison students and made our very own Facebook group for Northwestern-themed memes. And even before Madison made their group, Sherman Ave’s very own Evander Jones and Ross Packingham engaged in a daylong meme duel on Facebook, laying waste to the timelines around them with their brutal label-based humor bludgeons. If you were Facebook friends with them and missed out on these two wunderkinds making memes of each other and generally raping newsfeeds everywhere, I feel bad for you. It would be akin to taking Professor Bailey’s Human Sexuality class and skipping the optional after-class discussions.

But even though it’s not original, Northwestern Memes is awesome. I mean, nobody cares if you’re copying someone else as long as you do it better, and we are definitely doing it better. My complete and utter lack of interest in Madison has prevented me from even perusing their meme group, but I can’t imagine it being anywhere as good as Northwestern Memes.

I love memes. Who doesn’t? They’re hilarious. In our modern ADD society, they offer quick, digestible little nuggets of insight and satire about our modern culture. They are the Internet at its greatest, smartest, and funniest. Sometimes they even reference such awesome things as Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, which if you haven’t seen or read Lord of the Rings then you probably aren’t a Nerdwestern Northwestern student.

As a result, I love Northwestern Memes. I’m going to break down why I love Northwestern Memes into a list for you. Here’s why:

1. My last three articles have been thousand-word slogfests about coffee and/or Newt Gingrich, and I’m sure you’re all tired of it.
2. Sherman Ave is even better at doing lists than we are at making YouTube videos that get 10,000 hits in two days, so this is pretty much guaranteed to be awesome.
3. I want to write an easily digestible reflection on the easily digestible nature of memes.

See? Wasn’t that an awesome little list? Wasn’t it easily readable? Yes it was. Everybody loves lists, just like everybody loves memes. So without further ado, here’s a list of why I love Northwestern Memes:

Some of Them are Funny
Since Northwestern is full of people who are smart and aware of trends, some students have significant experience with memes, and it shows. Some of these memes would be genuinely funny even by the standards of the greater Internet, just as there are some students here who would be considered hot at any college. Just not many. Which leads me to my second reason for loving Northwestern Memes…

Some of Them are Spectacularly Unfunny
Yes! Hoo ha! Most people posting pics to this group are clearly making memes for the first time. Thus, we find ourselves faced with people who don’t understand memes, people who don’t understand specific memes, people who are just not funny, and people who are kind of funny but are fitting long-winded jokes onto a small meme template. It’s always fun to watch people fail. This is why everyone loves this year’s GOP presidential race.* What’s that? I sound like a condescending hipster? Well, I’m not the only one…

Meme Haughtiness
Some people hate hipsters. I love them. I find them hilarious, especially when the thing they’re being hipster about is silly and meaningless. Like say, the ability to make memes. Some of the very first posts in Northwestern Memes were warnings about how we were in for a flood of bad memes. And we kind of were…but it was still hilarious that people decided to lord their knowledge of the Internet as if it made them intellectually superior.**

It’s All a Giant Conspiracy
Turns out that all these “___ Memes” groups were started by one guy as an advertisement for an all-encompassing “Campus Memes” website he’s making. It’s a conspiracy! As if you didn’t already have enough reasons to love Northwestern Memes, here’s another: it has something in common with the assassination of JFK!

Ah, yes. But as much as I love Northwestern Memes, I do have one suggestion for improvement. Two words: more fucksaws. The memes are coming a mile a minute now, so maybe one slipped by me, but I have yet to see a single meme mention a single fucksaw. What’s the deal, Northwestern? Jokes about Asians are funny enough, but “I’m tired of talking about fucksaws” was probably the last line cut from the “Shit Nobody Says” video. I know the Keg is gone and Lodge is closed and stuff, but c’mon guys. Fucksaws, I tell you.

Other than that, keep on tracking.

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*Sorry, I just couldn’t stop myself from referencing it. I’m done now though. I promise.
**Morson alert!

2011 Sherman Ave Reader’s Poll: Results

19 Jan

With 122 responses and a wide variety of exceedingly gruesome responses,* we were absolutely thrilled with the success of this year’s poll. So, after much anticipation (drumroll please), we present to you: RESULTS!

The hanging chad of our generation

Most Heinous Event of 2011
With 24% of the vote, the winner was: Rebecca Black’s “Friday” Strikes Youtube. This is undoubtedly the most atrocious non-majority victory we’ve seen since November 2000.

Best Place to Find and Enjoy a Hookup
Also with 24% of the vote, the winner was: A Frat House. Notable write-ins include “Baby Bash ski trip concert” and “Deer season in Indiana.” Surprisingly enough, nobody mentioned Sherman Ave HQ…

Favorite Sherman Ave personality?
With 30% of the vote, the winner was: Sir Edward Twattingworth III. We at the Ave have not a shred of doubt that this will result in a power-trip of unprecedented magnitude, but with Sir T-Worth, we’re used to it. Anything less than Putin-esque levels of self-aggrandizement would be a disappointment.

Best Song of 2011
With 15% of the vote, the winner was: “Someone Like You” by Adele. This can easily be understood by anyone who has ever been within a 5-mile radius of any intoxicated Sherman Ave writer. Or felt love.

Most Mouthgasms per Bite
With 33% of the vote, the winner was: Hot Cookie Bar. Notable write-ins include “your mom” and “Pippa Middleton.”

DAMN YOU HIPSTERS FOR RUINING THE BEANIE FOR ME!!!!

Best Coffee Shop
With 52% of the vote, the winner was: Kafein. This would probably not go over well with one of the respondents who wrote in the answer, “Hipsters are sub-humans.” Ross Packingham intends to use this landslide victory as a clear mandate to bring his Buddhism-influenced beat poetry to Kafein’s stage, supported by Brother Jürgen and Eleanor Kinkervoss on the bongos while Evander Jones attacks the chastity belt around his waist with a chain saw. Sadly, it will only the fourth-most heinous act on stage at that week’s open mic.

Best Place to Get Intoxicated in Public
With 27% of the vote, the winner was: Cozy Noodles. Among the many notable write-ins were: “Barnes and Noble,” “10am MENU class,” and “sidewalk.”

Best A Cappella Group
With 26% of the vote, the winner was: There is no such thing as a good a cappella group. A ruefully valid statement indeed.

Best Movie of 2011
With 29% of the vote, the winner was: Harry Potter 7.2. Notable write-ins include Twilight: Breaking Hymen and Pippa Middleton, both of which feature Morty Schapiro and Kate Upton in starring roles.

Best TV Show of 2011
With 17% of the vote, the winner was: How I Met Your Mother. Apparently people identify with drunken assholes frittering away the golden years of their lives chasing after unsatisfactory one-night stands. Far and away, the most heinous write-in was: “Is The Hills still on? I pick The Hills.”

Please Describe Morty Schapiro in 10 Words or Less
This one was actually too much for us to emotionally process. Top answer: “Why limit it to fewer words than his penis length?” Maybe once Ross Packingham’s poetry career takes off, maybe he’ll compose a sonnet using only these responses and youtube video comments.

What’s Up the Evanston City Council’s Ass?
With 35% of the vote, the winner was: a 14-inch dildo made of molten gummy bears. If that’s not already true, it can certainly be arranged.

Ever wonder how I got the name "Packingham?"

What is your Gender?
With 58% of the vote, the winner was: Female. AWWWWWW YEAHHHHHH!!!! Hey ladies, how’d you like to spend the night with the fourth-most popular Northwestern-centric blog? No?** Haaaaaaave you met Manua?

What Brings You to Sherman Ave?
With a staggering 70% of the vote, the winner was: Facebook. Needless to say, notable write-ins included “Pippa Middleton” and “all of your fucking Facebook posts.”

In conclusion, a huge thank you goes out to everyone who took this poll. We couldn’t do it without you. We hope that you were pleased with our unnecessary heinousness in 2011, and we will do everything in our power to take it to the next level in 2012. Most importantly, we’re comforted to see in the responses that the people who read Sherman Ave are just about as fucked up as the people who write for it.

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*Allowing for a standard error of approximately 69%.
**Fun Fact: The first time Sherman Ave was ever used as a potential pickup line occurred in line for the bathroom at an off-campus party. It was not successful.

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).

Interviews: A Zombie

11 Dec

Turns out, zombies are real. And we have one in captivity.

Mr. Nibbles struggles with a brain addiction and chronic back pain

This is an interview with an actual zombie, who was born, raised, died, and raised in Haiti. On Sherman Avenue’s latest manatee-hunting excursion, we found a zombie, named him Mr. Nibbles, and took him home to be our new pet. This interview was conducted through the bars of his cage (in the bedroom of Sir Edward Twattingworth III), as we fed him centipede brains from Plex and Cheerios from Hinman.

Sherman Ave: Tell us, Mr. Nibbles, how did you become a zombie?

Nibbles: Well, it started out when I went to the Bokor to get some pot.

SA: What’s a Bokor?

Nibbles: Our resident witch doctor. You know how whenever American thugs want to cut a bitch, they cut the bitch? Haitians just go see the Bokor and he curses the bitch. He also deals things.

SA: So what was different when you went to buy from him this time?

Nibbles: Well, I told him that my last trip had been more painful than teaching wildcats to play sports. So he gave me something new to try. Said it came from pufferfish.

SA: What did the pufferfish stuff do?

Nibbles: It knocked me out. I apparently looked pretty dead.

SA: How long did this go on?

Nibbles: Long enough to be buried alive. Can I have some more Cheerios?

SA: Not until you’re done with the interview. What was being dead like?

Nibbles: I wasn’t dead, I was just unresponsive.* When I eventually came to, I felt worse than freshmen sorostitutes on a post-Keg Tuesday morning, and I had a mad case of the munchies. Basically, the Bokor had knocked me out and then given me a dose of datura, which is just your run-of-the-mill potentially toxic hallucinogen.

SA: Can you describe the effects of datura?

Nibbles: Well, it walks a foggy, fucked-up line somewhere between hallucinogen and near-death experience. I’d done it before I was zombified on it. You kinda mumble around tripping massive crusty balls. Side effects are extreme suggestibility, amnesia, diaphragm paralysis, and sometimes aggression. There are Youtube videos of state school Motherfuckers immortalizing each other’s bad decisions on datura. But essentially, you’ve just been roofied by the Bokor.

SA: So in a stereotypical zombie, the drooling, moaning, slurring, limping, and aggression is probably because of the datura.

Nibbles: Exactly. And because zombies are pretty complacent most of the time, they usually get put to work in the field. But I’m sure there are Bokors who get more creative with their zombie slaves.**

SA: Do you identify with the common stereotype of a zombie?

Nibbles: I mean, in some ways. I definitely lost a lot of brains due to asphyxiation while I was buried alive, as a lot of zombies do. I think that oftentimes that disappointment that you’ve just died a little on the inside manifests itself in the aggression caused by the datura. You just want your brains back in whatever way you can, and you end up trying to nom on anyone normal in the area.

A huge part of zombification is the mental adjustment. When you’ve been buried alive and you wake up feeling more fucked up than the lovechild of Tom Cruise and Charlie Sheen, a common question to ask is, “What’s wrong with me?” But the question never comes out right. You end up with something like, “Hn wclch trchk blm nnnnng?” And when the answer from your friends and family is “HOLY FLYING FUCK, I THOUGHT YOU DIED,” at some point you do start believing you’re a zombie. It’s like your crotchety black uncle who’s convinced he’s a Democrat because he’s a minority, despite his right-wing stance on every fucking issue on the platform. It’s like having anorexia and participating in the Stanford prison experiment. There’s this impossibly perfect standard of what a zombie should be, and you have zombies becoming someone else to try to fit into those roles.

SA: So what you’re saying is that you felt pressured by the cultural expectations of zombies.

Nibbles: Yeah. I started hanging around graveyards, I lumbered around slower than the frustrating Motherfucker in the dining hall who’s obliviously in your way when you’re hauling ass to the cookie bar line, I didn’t say anything but “NNNNNGGG” for a year or two. I mean, what kind of a word is “Ng”? The stereotyping and idealization of zombies in the media is a dangerous cultural phenomenon, and it goes unquestioned and unreported. Every time you watch a George Romero film, I beg you to please remember that not every zombie can tear the limbs off of a pair of dumbass lovers trying to make a kamikaze run for their lives. And not every zombie wants to.

SA: Are there any portrayals of zombies in movies that you’d like our readers to watch?

Nibbles: Yeah. There’s a Spanish foreign film*** called Rec, off of which the American piece of shit Quarantine was based. If you’re going to watch a zombie movie, Rec is significantly more heinous. Please honor Latin America with the concession that this movie might be the one thing we don’t do as well. Also, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. Hanna-Barbera gets enough zombie facts right to be legit.

SA: Thank you. Nibbles, I think this concludes our interview. We really appreciate your input on the subject. It’s been a heinous time.

——————————————————————————————————————————
*Like the side door of Annenberg.
**Interactive question for readers: What would YOU do with a zombie slave?
***There are subtitles. Get over it, you’re reading things right now. But apparently they mistranslate the foul language, so whenever you hear the word “mierda” you’ll have to either get off your lazy ass and onto Spanishdictionary.com, or rely on whatever AP Spanish remains accessible behind the stacks of quotable South Park episodes in your brain. See? You knew being bilingual was good for something. You can power trip over your ability to point out inconsistencies in the translation of profanity.

The Best Things About Northwestern

29 Aug

After reading through the rest of this freshman guide, you may be wondering, “What have I gotten myself into? Isn’t heinousness a bad thing? And how awkward are tits, exactly?” Only experience will answer you, but here are three reasons why you shouldn’t drop out before you get to campus:

Unbridled Nerdiness

Chances are, if you’re going to Northwestern, there is at least a small inner part of you that is a massive dork. And now you can let that part fly free, like a glorious bespectacled eagle. I’m pretty sure it is literally against Northwestern policy to dislike Harry Potter.

Continue reading

I’m sorry I made fun of Rebecca Black

14 Aug

And it was fun, fun, fun, SO GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING FUN!!!!!

When Rebecca Black’s “Friday” video first debuted, I was among its harshest and most persistent critics. Even this esteemed website pounced on the unabashed heinousness of the video. I was quite proud of my ability to completely and totally eviscerate that power-tripping adolescent at any turn.

“Oh, today’s Thursday,” I’d say, a sly grin stretching across my face. “Wonder what day tomorrow is? Better ask that hoe Rebecca Black, amirite guys?!”

Got a laugh every time. And as Rebecca’s 15 seconds of infamy faded away, I worked tirelessly to resurrect it. I showed Brock’s Dub to everyone I knew.

“MY HAND IS A DOLPHIN!” I bellowed originally. My friends found it equally hilarious, I’m sure, so I continued to mock the video.

But the fact of it was, I was always mainly mocking the video itself. My hatred was never aimed at the girl involved; I assumed she was likely just a 13-year-old who had been sucked into the collective p-trips of her parents and that excruciatingly talented producer/rapper whose name I am too disgusted to Google. We’ll just call him Fat Usher.

So as I mocked and lawled and gleefully took part in the collective national destruction of Rebecca Black, I did it with my true hatred directed at the adults who had put poor Rebecca in that position. As her Good Morning America appearance demonstrated, while she is outrageously far from being a professional-caliber singer, her voice is not THAT horrendous. Anyone would sound less than prime while belting out the lines “my friend is by my right, heyyyy.”

Kids these days...

Yet today I regret that I did any of it. Even though I meant only to emotionally cripple her parents and Fat Usher — who I know were listening to my every critique, lips trembling — I must admit that I have contributed to the bullying of an adolescent girl from another state. And I had promised myself I would stop doing that.

That bullying culminated this week in the news that Rebecca was leaving her school and being home schooled due to the incessant teasing by her schoolmates.

This, my friends, is too far. If we have become a nation where untalented little children can’t spend thousands of dollars on music videos, post them on the YouTubez in the hopes of getting famous, and go on a nationwide tour of talk and morning shows without being teased by their peers, then we have lost all that makes America great! This kind of mean-spirited behavior is probably why Pippa Middleton is still British.

And I know what you’re thinking: “But Rebecca Black got to touch Katy Perry!” And while this is certainly true, it doesn’t mean that she isn’t still capable of having feelings. Russell Brand probably touches Katy Perry often, and it’s hard to imagine a world in which he doesn’t cry himself to sleep every night.

So, cut the crap America. Specifically, cut the crap you students of Rebecca Black’s school. There’s a fine line between good-heinous and bad-heinous, and those kids just obliterated the line like Michele Bachmann obliterates the line between hot and terrifying on a daily basis.

Amateur attempt at photoshopping with spare "bullying a 13-year-old time"

There are plenty of other things to do in life besides bully Rebecca Black. Like Photoshopping yourself into photos you weren’t originally in! Or tweeting with the hashtag #replacebandnameswithpancakes! Or listening to Demi Levato’s new song “Skyscraper”…you can just feel the pain in her voice.

But the bottom line is this: go live your lives Sherman Ave readers. Live them well and heinously. And for Yahweh’s sake, LEAVE REBECCA BLACK ALONE.