I’m on a roll with these “10 Years After” columns, really. I’ve done Pokemon, Ace of Base, and the actual 00’s decade itself. In the aforementioned article about the decade in review I had a section about how far Nickelodeon Studios has fallen from grace and a phrase from what I wrote got me thinking; the phrase in question being “somewhere around the Nickellennium the train derailed and crashed through the side of the Fail Station”. The “Nickellennium” as it was called was part of a whole Y2K marketing thing that Nickelodeon started to ring in the new millennium, and while the previously mentioned quote was only part of a larger joke it actually reminded me of said marketing campaign. I started thinking about Nickellennium.

For those of you who are too young or just don’t remember, Nickellennium was actually a six-hour long movie (no commercial breaks either) that cataloged the thoughts, dreams, ideas, and hopes of kids from around the world as to what they thought about the future. It really was a monumental undertaking and likely the last good thing Nickelodeon has ever produced, but I mean… seriously, putting an 11-year-old in front of the camera and asking him about the future is only going to end in him saying something he’ll regret when he’s in his 20’s. I thought about it and wondered what it would be like to revisit that production a decade later to gauge either how close or how far we are from everything that was said in the film because I’m expecting it to be hilariously skewed towards “THIS MILLENNIUM SUCKS SO FAR”, but mostly just because I’d like to make sure Frank (9, Georgia) cringes when he is reminded “in the future maybe we can talk to dolphins”.

Nickelodeon aired Nickellennium only once (four times on January 1st, 2000) and has never aired it again since. I scoured the Internet for copies of the film (either VHS or torrent) and came up with nothing. Not even a YouTube mashup, just two commercials. I went as far as contacting Viacom in regards to obtaining a copy as well as explaining my reasoning about “you should air it again since it’s been a decade”… but since they are Viacom they ignored my letter completely. I didn’t even get a form letter in return, I guess Viacom doesn’t bother to contact you unless you infringe their copyrights by uploading a homemade iCarly music video celebrating your love interest in Miranda Cosgrove on YouTube (not speaking from experience of course). My last resort was to get in touch with my awesomely cool friends at Everything Is Terrible! to see if perhaps somewhere in their vast library of VHS tapes they had a copy of Nickellennium but sadly they did not. They get a special shout-out anyway though because of the aforementioned amounts of awesome they possess. Buy their movie. I mean it.

By now you’re probably saying “welp Dracophile looks like you can’t find a copy of it may as well not post anything” but that’s where you’re wrong. More wrong than the dolphin guy. Nickelodeon went all out with this year 2000 stuff and they published two books that were essentially Nickellennium without the wacky zany musical interludes about the future and spaaaaaace. One of them is called The Future According to Kids, and you bet your ass I tracked down a copy of that. If I can’t relish in the memories of Y2K by sitting on my butt and watching a grainy VHS tape I can do so with a brightly colored book. My intentions were to revisit the thoughts and hopes of the children interviewed and gauge how close (or far) we are to their aspirations, and damn it that’s what I’m going to do. But first, let’s start with the other of the two books, ______’s Book of the Future, a blank “scrapbook” that you could fill out with your favorite things at the time of the new year and other little odds and ends like “the price of a gallon of gas in 2000” so that when when our SUV’s drink all of the dinosaurs we can look back and say “wow I remember when $3.00 a gallon was cheap!”

I bought a copy of this book secondhand and one of two things was going to happen, either it was going to be filled out by someone already and I could make fun of his (or her) thoughts on the future or it would be blank and I could scribble in some witty banter on my own time. Turns out both are true! The previous owner of this book managed to write his name on the cover… and nothing else. I guess he did that so he wouldn’t forget his name in the new millennium. Anyway, here’s some scans of Danny’s Dracophile’s Book of the Future.

(Click any page to enlarge it.)

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VVnickbook17 VVnickbook18

– Dracophile

As I get fed up with this computer that I’ve been graced with I realize that it’s aging; I’ve had it since mid-2006 and included on its hard drive are backups of folders from as early as 2004. I’m running a system with seven years’ worth of stuff crammed into it and here I am complaining about how it doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to. Go figure, right? I’ve had MSN Messenger for as long as I’ve had a computer because it’s my preferred method of being annoyed by people at all hours of the day. With the use of MSN Messenger you can send files to people and likewise let people send files to you, and in the past I’ve told stories about how people have accidentally sent me pornography instead of what they intended. I’ve had this computer since 2006 and not once have I cleaned out my “Received Files” folder so there’s about four years’ worth of random snippets and trinkets sitting in there… stewing.

When someone sends you a picture via Messenger it’s usually relevant to your conversation, for example “here’s a picture of my new car”. In four years I’ve been a part of many websites and communities and talked to hundreds of people most of whom who have sent me things via MSN Messenger. As years go by I lose contact with these people but the artifacts of our conversations remain on my computer either for eternity or until I delete them, and I’ve deleted nothing. Everything in that folder had some kind of context to it but as long as 4 years later I have since completely forgotten whatever in the hell it was in the first place. I decided that digging through my Received Files folder and finding my favorite bizarre pictures would be a fun way to waste an evening writing and wouldn’t you know — it was. Below are seven pictures that were sent to me from various people with whom I’ve talked to, their context is just as much of a mystery to you as it is to me.

 

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FROM: ??? | DATE: 08/03/06

 

This picture was sent to me by someone in 2006 right in the middle of RFSHQ.com’s lifespan (of me as the Lead Writer at least). It proves that even as far back as 2006 people were telling me I looked like Josh Peck, which is distressing. I seriously thought that gimmick started when I was contracted as an administrator for Miniclip but I guess I was mistaken. The “STARRING RFS AS HIMSELF” blurb next to Peck is pretty hilarious, though, I’ll admit. Over to the right is a still from the very first episode of The Radio F Show (Cereal Time) and underneath that is an MS Paint doodle of an animator named Vozz angrily looking over at Josh Peck, how he ended up in this image is beyond me because while I knew Vozz he wasn’t affiliated with RFSHQ at all from what I recall. This entire damn picture is a puzzle that I have no clue as to what the solution is.

My guess as to where it came from is a shot in the dark. I’m going to venture an educated guess and say that it was made as a joke entry to one of RFSHQ’s annual banner round-ups we did to collect site banners for our rotator script that cycled through user-made images on the homepage and other pages of the site. That’s about as close as I’m going to get, and come to think of it I wonder why we never just made this the permanent banner for the site in the first place.

 

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DP21_Mark

FROM: Mark P. | DATE: 03/07/08

 

This picture is the total opposite of the one above because I actually know who sent it to me and WHY but I don’t quite remember what is going on in the actual picture. The inebriated-looking fellow in the photograph is a friend of mine named Mark and he’s holding a Persian cat named Lillian. I have this picture of him because he doesn’t photograph well at all, it’s one of a few pictures I have of him (the rest being on Facebook). The filename is the reason why I chose this picture because it’s a double entendre; “Weed” is the nickname that is given to that cat specifically but you can’t help but wonder if Mark sampled the real thing with that crazy look he has. He can have a purposefully creepy smile and he takes awful candid shots — that’s Mark! Write your own story about this picture and you may come close to what’s actually going on in it because your guess is as good as mine. One thing is for certain though, Lillian looks like she wants to get away but is too disinterested to do so.

 

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DP21_School

FROM: Collision Cat | DATE: 12/03/07

 

Normally with pictures I know who is in them or at the very least who sent them to me, this one is a mystery in both departments. I attributed the sender as a friend of mine who goes by the name Collision Cat only because A) this picture is of a school setting and everyone is wearing uniforms and B) Collision Cat went to said school. That’s my best guess but I don’t recognize anybody in the photograph and I know for a fact the guy in the middle isn’t CC. It’s a toss up as to why he sent me this, maybe it’s because the guy on the left looks like Alfonso Ribiero? Or maybe it’s because the guy on the right looks like Thom Yorke from Radiohead? If that’s the case how come he didn’t send me a picture where either of the two of them were the subject of the photograph? Who knows. Maybe Pasty Kenan Thompson there in the middle is saying something funny making Alfonso laugh and Thom knowingly snicker because Radiohead is fucking awesome? I wish I could tell you. Instead you can do like what you did with Mark’s picture and CREATE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!

 

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DP21_Hillary

FROM: Cosmic Audino | DATE: 01/07/08

 

Finally here’s a picture that I know everything about! I know who’s in it, why she’s dressed funny, and where she’s at! The only problem is that unless she wore this outfit twice she had to travel back in time to send me this picture! This is a picture, presumably taken in 2007 (?) of GatorAIDS columnist Cosmic Audino. She’s dressed as Dr. Eggman because she’s at an anime convention and that was her cosplay! Is it cross-dressing? Hell if I know but it’s a damn good costume that’s for sure; I’m not here to debate gender-shifting because that’s what I did last article when I tore apart In Focus. This picture was taken at the Holiday Inn in Corpus Christi, TX. The reason why I think she traveled through time is because while I wasn’t there at the convention in 2007 I was there in 2008 and Cosmic was wearing this cosplay because I saw her there that year. I also saw her in 2009 but she wasn’t wearing it because she was performing. I don’t know how cosplays work and if you’re supposed to retire them or what but I think my time travel hypothesis is pretty awesome so I’m just going to stick with it.

 

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FROM: Cosmic Audino | DATE: 07/03/06

 

The girl in the photo above (above this one, moron) took this picture of this… very peculiar looking guy while she was in Japan. This guy, who is making an IRL “:o” face has apparently been playing Pachinko for so long that he hasn’t eaten in weeks, you can tell from the sunken cheeks. On the bright side though he’s got about twenty neon boxes full of Pachinko balls; I don’t know what one does with so many little metal balls but if he’s into airsoft I’m pretty certain he’s set for ammo for a long time or if his house is suddenly burglarized by a couple of kooky crooks he could dump the balls all over the floor and watch them slide around.  Additionally he could pair the trap up with Christmas ornaments and throw paint cans down the stairs for added effect and Home Alone relevance.

Cosmic claims she went to Japan and took this picture but frankly I’m not a believer. Where’s the giant robots? Where’s the scantly clad schoolgirls? And most importantly where are the tentacle demons raping the aforementioned schoolgirls? Hmm? That’s what I thought. This isn’t Japan at all. LIAR.

 

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PENTAX Image

FROM: Steel Pinata | DATE: 07/26/06

 

 

In the wide spectrum of things I really can’t believe how long ago this picture was taken, time flies. Rather than observe the Sonic plushies in the picture I defaulted to Steel Pinata’s laptop over to the side. He still has that thing, holy shit that thing is old! Going back to the focus of the photograph he took this picture when he traveled to Maryland (the state not the magical world full of lambs) and sent it both to me and… well, the girl two pictures above who took the picture of the Pachinko guy. Come to think of it Cosmic is inadvertently the subject to some extent in like half of the pictures in this article, whoops. Anyway Steel Pinata presumably played Ski-Ball a hundred times to bring us both these home. Eagle-eyed viewers may notice that the Amy Rose doll ended up in my possession because it turned up in an album cover of mine seen here.

The Tails doll (no, not the creepy Tails Doll) ended up in Cosmic’s possession and the reason it has tape on its head is quite simple. Back in middle school (ie: like a decade ago) she had a knack for doodling her friends as little anthropomorphized characters. If you must know, I was a sledgehammer-wielding robot fox. Don’t ask. For some reason she drew Steel Pinata with tape stuck in his hair and if she had sent me that picture via MSN I’d likely plaster it up here as well. Instead you can just picture Tails… with tape in his hair.

 

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FROM: Collision Cat | DATE: 11/01/09

 

You ever wonder why we can’t have nice things? This picture is why we can’t have nice things. It doesn’t matter what it is, the Internet — specifically the furry fandom — will find it, drawn porn of it, and then put it in a diaper and make it do a heel click. This was sent to me without any context whatsoever by the same fellow who sent me the picture of the students further up in this article, Collision Cat. From his username alone you can conclude that he’s a furry and over the past few years he’s sent me ironic porn of literally everything (some of which I considered putting into this article but opted otherwise). But then he sent me this. I remember what he said when he sent me this too, he said “here, check this out” and sent me that picture. Nothing more, nothing less. I opened the file he sent me and my heart sank.

“I hate you for this,” I said. “I hate you a lot.”

– Dracophile

No, I’m not about to rip into the (many) problems with the modern-day era of Pokemon. As much as I’d like to do that I don’t even know enough about Gold/Silver/Crystal to even begin to fabricate an argument higher in thought than “it sucks pretty bad”. This article is about a peculiar video of the same name, specifically the November 30th, 1999 episode of the television show In Focus, a religiously-charged broadcast that airs on WVCY TV30 in Wisconsin. This shoddy public access tape traveled all the way from Wisconsin down to the bowels of South Texas to meet me, like a stroke of destiny, in a Goodwill store. I always lurk the VHS section of any second-hand store because I have a knack for the awkwardly cringeworthy and that’s simply the place for the best pickins. Nestled in between a copy of The Land Before Time 45,713 and Popeye cartoons in Spanish lied this VHS — a simple black tape with a homemade type-written label reading “THE PROBLEM WITH POKEMON”. I bought it with a smile on my face knowing this would be superb, and it was.

I don’t know much about In Focus but according to the VCY America website it’s still in production and the hosts are still as hilariously stupid and biased as always. Essentially In Focus is your run of the mill church-based call-in show programming full of “JESUS DID IT” as an excuse for everything and their response to anybody who thinks otherwise is to, quite literally, hang up on them. Pokemon was a “big thing” in the late nineties and as you can imagine these Bible-thumpers were all over this opportunity to tell the world how Satanic and evil Pokemon were because church-going kids were yet again distracted from a boring as hell book by flashing lights and a naturally awesome video game that can only be described as “badass”.

Here’s the opening sequence to the show. It’s going to blow your fucking mind:

After having seen that I want to remind you that an actual human being had to sit down and put that together and someone else thought that was suitable for their show. No less than two people were involved with this monument of fail and for a station that boasts “broadcasting to all 50 states” that means the entire country is going to have to see what you make… and this is the best they can do. You can see what level of crazy we’re dealing with here just by watching the intro. It starts out simple enough with important faith-based issues like “abortion”, “politics” (so much for that separation of church and state, right?), and “faith” (for added redundancy). Somewhere along the line, though, the guy who put this together was clearly so impressed with that “swoosh” effect that he threw in as many possible topics that he could think of and we are left with “law enforcement”, “education”, “news”, “divorce”, “pornography”, “justice”, “creation/evolution”, and my personal favorite: “inner city”.

If you’re keeping track with me than we aren’t even a minute into this show and it’s already spiraled down into insanity and then the actual broadcast starts wherein we are greeted by… nobody because the anchor fails to introduce himself at all until a graphic shows up a full minute later informing us of who exactly is talking. Our fantastical unnamed host runs through a plethora of Pokemon franchise information such as “maybe you’ve seen the recent movie” to the term “Burger King paraphernalia” to basically any other phrase that could be replaced with “if you’ve been living under a rock, here’s Pokemon”.

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“Hi, I made straight D’s in TV Broadcasting 101. PS: Jesus.”

After tumbling through at least 15 different places one may have heard about Pokemon our host Jim gives what is quite possibly the worst handoff in television history to their “local expert”… who apparently is also named Jim and is also a host of- oh wait, no he’s not. Someone just dicked up the graphics. Jim… or shall I say THE REAL JIM states that he’s going to be getting into a lot of Pokemon-oriented topics including “where they get their power” and somehow tries to meld that sentence with an invitation for you to call your friends and have them tune into In Focus as well because, as Jim claims, “it’s going to be a great show”. The end result is an English sentence that sounds like it was translated to Spanish and then back to English until it made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Bizarro Jim (his real name is actually David Brown) is quick to start rambling on about how “new age” Pokemon is in its efforts to replace the Bible’s teachings of morality with… well, Boulderbadges and Thunder Stones I guess; he too never completes that thought. If either of the two of these hosts had any TV broadcasting education whatsoever they must have gone to the equivalent of DeVry University to get said “education”.

David makes no hesitation to rain on everyone’s parade by reading off a laundry list of criteria that someone of equal religious disillusion can use to gauge how Satanic Pokemon (or anything for that matter) is by comparing the media in question to a battery of observations that clearly aren’t impossible or biased in any forseeable way. After this soapbox speech of crazy you’d think David would summarize his point by showing the camera a piece of Pokemon merchandise that broke these magical declarations of the Bible, but no he flashes to the camera an NWO Sting wrestling figurine… then Darth Maul from Star Wars along with some Star Wars books… then some Star Trek nonsense…  then a Marvel Comics Ghost Rider and Venom figurine… then the obvious candidate, a Harry Potter book. Jim tries to step in and make some relevance out of what Old Man River is babbling on about but David goes right back along showing a package of the ill-fated Mythos trading card game followed by Magic: The Gathering until Jim finally tries to summarize his seemingly Anti-Christmas speech by asking David about the Pikachu plush toy he brought with him.

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BOBBY BOUCHER, YOU BETTER NOT BE PLAYIN’ THE FOOSBALL BEHIND MY BACK IT’S THE DEVIL!!

Jim introduces the Pikachu as “cute and cuddly” which gives David the opportunity to start talking about how Satanic the iconic character is and “not to be fooled” by its cute appearance. David goes on a miniature tangent rant about Time magazine featuring Pokemon on their cover which is then revealed to be a lead-in to “magazines devoted entirely to Pokemon”, which is said as David simultaneously flashes a Game Boy player’s guide to the camera… something more akin to a book and not a magazine. David has brought all of these little artifacts into the studio with the sole purpose of blasting them but I feel that he fails to realize that he pretty much bought copies of everything he intended to label as “demonic” effectively adding money into said “new age” companies and further perpetuating their products.

David takes a moment to explain the origins of Pokemon, correctly attributing the name to “pocket monsters” and then linking it straight to Japan. You can almost see the glimmer in his eye as you feel this bizarre wave of xenophobia take over the broadcast; you know David hates the Japanese because earlier in the broadcast he calls Eastern religions “incorrect” — those “Oriental” countries… as he calls them, come on David just be out with it already and say “Chinamen” you know you want to!

David then whips out his trump card, a VHS tape of Pokemon episodes called Psychic Surprise. He is floored to be able to show this and he tells us to get ready for the first clip and they show… wait for it… wait for it… the theme song. They then proceed to meticulously rip apart the lyrics to it and only analyze the parts that kind of resemble anti-Christ doctrines like “being the best” and somehow twisting “travel across the land” as a means of conquering worlds which if these jackasses are paying any attention is exactly what members of their church did to “spread the gospel”, and by “spreading gospel” I of course mean “crusading”. They confuse the marketing term “gotta catch em all” with a demand for kids to ACCEPT SATAN INTO THEIR LIVES.

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Pictured above: The Necronomicon (on VHS).

Basically these winners ignore the phrases in the theme song that talk about “defending the world” and virtues like having courage in favor of blasting only what their agenda-riddled… agenda… can apply to. Reverend Gary Oak (for lack of a better name for David) flexes his Internet prowess by showing the camera that he has printed out a character sheet from the Pokemon website and talks about how Brock is a bad role model because he likes girls; “hormonal” as the paper says. Really? He’s 13 years old and he likes women? Holy shit sound the alarm there’s a kid going through puberty who found out he likes girls! Clearly this is reason for alarm and David cues up his Pokemon VHS tape to specific scenes where Brock is seen macking on the ladies. Utterly disgusting. What is wrong with this young man who clearly doesn’t want to make love missionary style and through a hole in a sheet? For shame, Nintendo, for shame.

Jessie and James cross-dress as a disguise and that’s bad. Brock likes girls and that’s bad. There’s sex in my pokeyman and that’s satan. David quotes his favorite relevant Bible verses to make a point so just to counterpoint I am going to do the same. What, you think someone of my caliber doesn’t know the Bible? Well that’s an inappropriate assumption now isn’t it? Fuck you. And as I quote Ezekiel 23:20:

There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

I’m not going to really explain that quote in detail because it has an air of prostitution with just a hint of bestiality thrown in for good measure but seriously, from a morality standpoint which of those is the lesser of evils? Bad guys being cross-dressers… or comparing cock sizes and cumshots with livestock?

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At least they don’t talk about Poliwhirl’s junk.

The best part of this broadcast, however, is when they open the phonelines to viewer calls. Now normally I’d find hilarity in them sitting in silence for the next 25 minutes while nobody calls because nobody is watching their stupid program but then again we’re dealing with humans here and when humans are in a large group they tend to lose intelligence exponentially so yeah there’s a lot of callers. Despite the assumed intellect of the people calling in there’s such an amazing spectrum represented ranging from insane grandmothers rambling about Stephen King to young children doing their best to defend Pokemon and politely telling the hosts of this show to “suck it”.

The very first caller is a man who seems like he thought his example through but he makes the mistake of saying you should make your children aware of Pokemon so they do not fall for it. David steps in and literally calls BS on that (he says “Yeah, I’m not buying that”) because he knows that a giant turtle that can blast a sea at you has more kid appeal than some dickhead who can simply part a sea and even telling a kid about how monumentally awesome that is will effectively sell him to the dark side for good. More and more people who call in take the same stance much to the despair of the hosts. The second caller is my favorite in the entire tape, perhaps because I can understand what she’s talking about but the hosts clearly cannot. She calls in and acknowledges that the psychic type Pokemon can use telekinesis and connects to the Stephen King movie Carrie, a story of a girl who has pyrokinesis (she sets things on fire with her mind). Jim has no idea what she is talking about and it’s such an epic moment that I felt the need to go through the over-complicated process of transferring the segment to digital video. Enjoy.

All of the kids who call in do so to defend their interest and believe it or not for kids they raise some mature points that the hosts of In Focus blast down with the type of logic that belongs to preschoolers. Eric, the very first young caller, skips no beats in pointing out that David has been incredibly exclusive in his choice of Pokemon to attack noting that he’s stuck primarily on the psychic types and absolutely none of the others. He challenges David on live television asking where Pikachu gets his “occult powers”. David’s response? He hangs up on the caller, badly rehashes some nonsense about fighting, and they take the next one. The next kid who calls, Casey, insists that it’s not a bad game because it teaches responsibility and says that you have to take care of your Pokemon, to be a good keeper in other words. I was rooting for Casey to take it home for us and tell David where he can shove those anti-Pokemon pamphlets but her argument quickly falls apart and they kick her off the show as well. Mark, another caller, flat out acknowledges that the bad guys are the ones who cross-dress so he asks “why would people want to do that if that’s what the bad guys do?” David is taken aback and once again has to drudge up the same “BUT TEH GOOD GUYZ HAS TEH OCCULT POWARZ SO DEY BAD TOO”.

Forget what I said about Iesha though, because a caller named Jason is my true favorite caller. The first thing he says is that he is disappointed with the Poke-bashing. Jason notes that it’s a passing fad and then goes on to question what the difference is between the violence and antics depicted in Pokemon compared to those in Looney Tunes, raising a bunch of questions in the process and effectively bringing the roof down on WVCY’s fun house. Jason summarizes his call by saying that claims from shows like In Focus are indoctrinating parents to stifle the creativity of their children by blocking them from otherwise harmless media. David tries to quickly pick up the pieces claiming that Looney Tunes never have “occult” powers and that Bugs Bunny never cross-dresses. You can see where David just made a mistake because Bugs Bunny cross-dresses as a disguise gimmick in a number of cartoons and Jason jumps on that immediately. David, defeated, arrogantly declares that it’s clearly different because Bugs Bunny is an animal… somehow making it okay? Jason doesn’t say it but come to think of it isn’t Pepe Le Pew a lot like Brock in that all he does is chase after women? You know what, screw it. Here’s another video just because Jason is my hero. Godspeed, Jason.

In summary these religious nutcases are just that, religious nutcases. They’re looking for a reason to be crass and belligerent and to rain on people’s parades by injecting one book of fairy tales into another and claiming that their stories supersede those of all others. They claim that kids being mean to younger siblings and begging for Pokemon cards from their parents is a sign of falling for Satan but I say that’s simply a phenomenon called BEING THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. Replace “Pokemon” with any other fad in the history of forever and you will have the same exact stories of bullying and average pre-teen mentality. These people are just butthurt that no sane kids except for Moral Orel think that Christ is radical enough to warrant the attention that everything else popular with kids gets. Party poopers will always be party poopers and so long as the First Amendment covers this insanity then people like the fine folks at In Focus will be able to talk out of their asses for an hour each week about whatever topic they feel is brainwashing kids into worshiping the Devil be it Harry Potter, Pokemon, or the entire decade of the 1990’s.

It gets better, though. The wonderfully inept company behind this production, Logos Communications (Logos pronounced “low-goss”), said that they have a pamphlet of information about Pokemon available for a “minimum” donation of $5. That seems a little steep for Xerox’ed copies of “ITZ TEH DEVAL” but just for the hell of it I sent Logos a “donation” of $6.66 and asked for their “Problem With Pokemon” information. We will see how that goes. During the credits of the show they say you can have a copy of the broadcast for $20 meaning somebody paid twenty bucks for this damn thing and I got it at a Goodwill for ten cents; that’s a bargain, folks. I should also mention that even though this was taped a decade ago I still tried calling the phone number to the show and it rang. And rang. And rang. Somewhere out there is a lonely telephone in a television studio ringing, and nobody is there to answer it… and that’s kinda scary if you picture it in your head.

– Dracophile

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PS: Their phone number is 1-800-733-8830.

2010 is important because it means that quite literally the worst decade in the history of decades, the aptly named “Double Zeroes” (named as such because it fails twice as hard as regular decades), is over and perhaps mankind can move on from such crippling things as terrorist attacks, an emo economy, and Luke Wilson advertising AMERICA’S NEXT 4G NETWORK and focus on the more (de)pressing matters like even more terrorist attacks, an economy so emo that it now combs its hair over both of its eyes, and more than likely Whoopi Goldberg advertising the inevitable “5G” network.

I kid; I have high hopes that the 10’s will turn the world around because seeing “10’s” gives me a mental picture of a monster truck completely destroying everything, doing a backflip, and bursting into flames while the judges literally shit their pants and hold up cards reading “10” while tacking all of their other score cards onto the end of it trying to give Grave Digger a score of “10,987,654,321” (that’s almost 11 billion points folks, beat that Maximum Destruction). At the very least if the Mayans are right with their 2012 nonsense then this decade won’t even have a chance to turn bad so think of it like that, it’s always great to stay positive!

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Pictured above: The next decade.

Time and other magazines have already covered the obvious bases of what sucked last decade, things like 9/11 and idiots from the 1980’s and 1990’s “futurefucking” our economy by giving lots of loans to lots of financially irresponsible people (they blew it on Pokemon cards). This article is about the nuances of the last decade that I personally can’t wait to never see again until VH1 goes and creates I Love The New Millennium or something so I can hear what Michael Ian Black has to say about the New Kids on the Block reunion album. Oh wait — they already did.

 

19_Internet

As hypocritical as that sounds (because I am using the magic of the Internet right now), yes I am sick and tired of the Internet — the “new” Internet specifically. When the World Wide Web became commercially available to the masses thanks to America Online there wasn’t much you could do except browse text and look at pictures on your 14.4K modem. Want to read an article online? Great, just fire that modem up and get busy reading with the added bonus of not letting anyone be able to call you! But if you want that JPEG picture of the boobie lady to load you better break out the Monopoly board and play a few rounds while you wait. The early Internet, or rather “BAAACK IN MY DAAAYS”, was pretty bland and boring; minimalist if you wish. Most websites displayed in Times New Roman, the “page not found” error screen was just a wall of gray, and watching “streaming video” required you to view the newest National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation trailer in a forum avatar-sized QuickTime video. Oh, and Bejeweled was called Diamond Mine. But you know what? I kind of liked that.

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That took about ten minutes to load back then (the MSN.com logo I mean).

I liked the moderately rugged look of tables embedded on a website, I liked those old “web rings”, and I liked the simplistic nature of the media. The Internet functions the exact same way it used to back in 1995; it’s mostly for the exchange of textual and graphic media except things are bizarrely over-complicated and needlessly intricate now. Perhaps Flash and CSS have made the Internet “easier” or on the other hand maybe they’ve completely driven web developers mad by adopting new regulations and stylistic compatibilities non-stop. Do you want to know the only thing I hated about 1990’s Internet? Comic Sans MS. I hated and STILL hate that font. Do you know what I hate about 2000’s Internet? Let’s just say sticking Comic Sans MS on the pages would be an improvement.

 

19_VideoGames

I may have missed the “golden era” of the arcade, and the Atari 2600 for that matter, but I at least had the pleasure of being able to enjoy the rebirth of video gaming after Nintendo saved the market’s ass thanks to the mistakes of Atari and equally as guilty third party developers. I got an NES when I was pretty young followed by a Sega Genesis and ultimately a Super Nintendo (and a Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation too). Back in the days of Atari games were not about pretty graphics, they were about playability and fun. That yellow block on the screen was an adventurer and that thing that kind of resembled a duck was supposed to be a dragon. You knew this only because the sticker on the cartridge showed your guy fighting a dragon in a hedgemaze; there were no ducks and ducks have no reason being in a castle anyways. That’s called context clues, people. With the advent of 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit gaming graphics were allowed to be prettier but many developers still focused on keeping games enjoyable and fun; case in point is the original Super Mario Bros for the NES. By the standards of NES graphics when Super Mario Bros 3 was released, the original was butt-ugly but retains its playability to this very day because it’s an inherently fun game.

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Pictured above: Adventurers.

Somewhere around the turn of the millennium people started getting the idea that video games were more about appearances than having fun playing the games themselves. Halo may be a game with beautiful graphics (that’s arguable but bear with me here) but the game plays like a sack of rocks that was basted with the fetid bathwater of an incontinent stroke victim and left to get tangy for a few months in the back lot of Nickelodeon Studios (more on them later), and a lot of modern games today suffer from this problem. People don’t buy games to see something visually pleasing, they buy them because they want to be engrossed in a mesmerizing and enjoyable experience; good graphics are a bonus if the primary goals of playability are attained. If Master Chief had a raw turkey for a head, half-rendered alligator feet, and borrowed the gun models from Goldeneye 007 people probably wouldn’t care so long as the game was addictively fun to play (not to be confused with “addictive” in the sense of “I need to play this for fifty hours to get this achievement”). Enemies in Goldeneye 007 had cubes for heads and levels consisted of paper-thin doors and the same 8 “owch I’ve been shot” clips but people didn’t care because that game was about 48 different kinds of fun to play. It’s a sad time for gamers everywhere, especially the new ones who never got a chance to properly appreciate the classics in a time when pretty pixels weren’t everything and just assume that hoity-toity cutscenes and blocky gameplay is to be expected.

 

19_Nickelodeon

If you are reading this article and you are kind of similar in demeanor and demographic to me then there is a good chance that Nickelodeon was a pretty big part of your childhood. Watch, I’ll prove it by saying one word. Kel. Did I just make you think of orange soda while getting the theme song to Kenan & Kel stuck in your head? See? Nickelodeon was an awesome television station in the nineties with a plethora of memorable series and production bumpers. I have yet to run into someone my age who doesn’t melt into nostalgic bliss when I start to acapella the All That theme song or when, in regards to their guts, ask “Do-do-do-do you HAVE IT?” If you were a kid and existed in the 1990’s you watched Nickelodeon, it’s as simple as that. You watched shows like Rocko’s Modern Life and Are You Afraid of the Dark and told Fox Kids where they could go shove Eeek the Cat and Goosebumps. You wanted a piece of that Aggro Cragg and you wanted it badly enough that you’d be willing to play bungee sports while Mike O’Malley screamed commentary about you not being able to catch Velcro-covered soccer balls flying at you in excess of 50 MPH.

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CO2 cannons, glitter explosions, and police lights are naturally occurring phenomena on this mountain.

But somewhere around the “Nickellennium” the train derailed and crashed through the side of the Fail Station. The cast of All That grew up and that was the first thing to go prompting Nickelodeon to try and find a replacement cast and fail miserably on all counts. You know you’re in for a ride when you’ve exhausted so many potential cast members that Jaime Lynn Spears shows up next in line followed by “that fat kid from Malcom in the Middle“. Kenan & Kel also grew up and left the station, a crisis answered by taking Drake Bell and Josh Peck from The Amanda Show (wherein Amanda Bynes also left to become an actress in teen drama movies) giving the world Drake & Josh, a tolerable show that’s okay to watch but leaves our generation yearning for someone, anyone, to barge into the scene and ask “Who loves orange soda?!” After X number of teen dramas and a slew of failed cartoons modern-day Nickelodeon has only one shining relic that they feverishly hold onto, a terribly god-awful animated series that emerged from the bowels of Hell itself at the turn of the millennium. Spongebob Squarepants. THIS IS YOUR FUTURE, WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?

 

19_SocialNetworking

Mentioned earlier in the article, the notion of “social networking” encompasses the general ideology that everybody needs to have a Twitter and a Facebook and a MySpace and a LiveJournal and their own Wikipedia article because everybody is important and everybody has something of merit to say. The truth is, no, no you do not. Some people need to understand that their existence is pointless and that they need to shut the hell up, because nobody cares to know that you were just charged for 2 packs of Ramen instead of 1. Much like Roastmaster detailed in a previous article here, Twitter is the bane of the Internet. It is the omega. Twitter is aiding in lowering both the usefulness of the Internet and the average intelligence of people one tweet at a time. MySpace is having a similar effect in regards to the number of 16-year-old camwhores taking upskirts of themselves, and Facebook users being guilty of being pretentious college students who post a picture of them in their military outfit right next to an image of them having a penis drawn on their drunken and passed-out body.

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Want to be notified of facial graffiti when passed out? There’s an app for that.

These social networking websites only aid in perpetuating a kind of belligerent narcissism making people think they’re some kind of special celebrity that deserves attention and fame when in reality no they are not. They are a talentless wage slave at a Wal-Mart with no special abilities or merit of any kind and while that’s not a bad thing it is a bad thing that an overabundance of ordinary people are claiming to be newsworthy; Reality TV is bad enough as it is. I write for this website, this article will be read by about 50 people total most likely, and I understand and accept that. I don’t expect to be stopped by someone within the next 15 minutes and be asked if “I’m that one guy from that one site” even though my resume of credits, appearances, and projects is worth at least a passing mention. Prior to the 2000’s if you had your own self-promoting website it was because you actually spent some time learning how to assemble a website and use code, or you simply had personal access to the Internet in the first place which was an expensive commodity. That was then, and with the advent of free providers like GeoCities (Rest in Internet Peace?) and widespread networking websites this is now. Everybody and their dog (literally) have a Twitter. Unless you are taking strides to work and make yourself known in a serious manner you are nothing special.

 

19_MiddleEast

At the risk of sounding completely xenophobic I’m just going to be out with it, the Middle East is an example of how religion screws things up and in general the extremists who perpetuate the stereotype of Muslims and the such need to shut up, grow up, and quit crashing planes into buildings or trying to blow buses up. They think by doing so they’ll be greeted with 72 virgins in their version of Heaven. Really? Is that Heaven for you? 72 awkward first times with inexperienced lovers in exchange for taking your own life and the lives of others while the victims of your pointless “attack” theoretically go on to a Heaven where, you know, they could nail any supermodel who ever lived? What if those virgins are all World of Warcraft players? What now? Great work.

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72 of these await you if you steal that Disney cruise ship and crash it into The White House.

I’m tired of hearing about the Middle East. I’m tired of hearing about the quagmire of a war in the Middle East. I’m tired of hearing about how it’s apparently our responsibility as a “democratic” nation to spread democracy to other places when the places in question have a bigger problem with mindless teens with no direction in life blowing up a van outside of a school apparently under the impression he’ll get laid at least 72 times by people of a dubious origin. Think of it like American teens being told by Hannah Montana or The Jonas Brothers to kill their parents, they’d believe her. It’s not our business to screw with the Middle East’s agenda because their shit was broken before we went in there and guess what it’s still broken even after a hefty application of red white and blue duct tape. The Middle East may have been where life began on Earth but honestly right now it’s in a state of disrepair so bad I think the best option is to kinda cover it up and focus elsewhere. Just put a big ol’ snowglobe on top of it and see if that magical ecosystem can spawn a new breed of life all over again. Maybe people will evolve to have bombs already inside of them at birth! Or maybe the dinosaurs will come back instead. On second thought, we really need that snowglobe cover now. I want dinosaurs in 2011.

Here’s to 2010, and here’s to a new decade. Don’t let me down.

– Dracophile

Good morning! If you’re reading this then it’s either Christmas Day or it’s sometime after Christmas and you’re just slow in keeping up with the site! Because I’m in charge of the content for this website that also kind of means that I’m in charge of the holiday-themed content as well, since it’s all grouped into the same general category of “moderately funny stuff”. Last Halloween I put out Afterlife TV (Revisited), a serious look at Ghost Hunters… and because of a personal emergency I missed Thanksgiving and/or Black Friday (and even Cyber Monday) so now it’s really crunch time for me to pull something out of my ass for Christmas (and likely New Years as well). I’d be lying to you if I said I had a single ounce of a clue as to what I want to write about this holiday season because I don’t, so we’ll just see how that goes. New Years, though, I’ve got that under control: a quick retrospective of this crappy decade appropriately called “The Double Zeroes”. :3

But that’s beside the point, I’ve got a whole week to ponder over this wacky and pathetic decade, it’s all about the jolly red fat man today so I should get busy talking about Christmas…

Eilertsjul

Maybe we can talk about music?

I thought about it, and I had quite a few ideas for Christmassy articles that I could write. I could write about how commercialized of a holiday it has been and how people needlessly trample others so they can buy crap like Zhu Zhu Pets and either give them to loved ones or sell them on Amazon at 500% markup. I could also write about how pristine and innocent people try to portray Christmas even though in reality family meet-ups end up like a horribly bastardized version of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation minus the five million house lights and Randy Quaid. I could even stoop as low as making fun of crappy holiday tie-in products… but all things considered that would really just take the wind out of everyone’s sails if all I did was sit around and be cynical about Christmas.

I’m 21 years old and Christmas has become less of an actual holiday to me and more of a kind of, well, “chore” in a sense. It’s one of those things that just lose their luster the older you get so no I am not going to bash Christmas. In fact I’m going to devote the rest of this entire article to Christmas memories of years past, stories of a less hectic and chaotic time when all you looked forward to was running to the living room and opening presents; not opening presents and then praying you never get the credit card bill for all of that stuff or having Vietnam flashbacks of standing outside of Best Buy at two in the morning waiting for that cheap digital camera.

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Pictured above: CAPITALISM!!

When I was in elementary school, and I mean early school like first grade or even kindergarten, we always had a half-day on the Friday that started our Christmas break and on that day we had Christmas parties that began extravagantly in kindergarten and then by the time we were in 5th grade it was just punch and cookies and resentment all around because we just wanted to get out of class and go play Pokemon. In the middle of my kindergarten Christmas party we had this little “musical chairs” kind of roulette game where we each had brought a small cheap toy all wrapped up and then passed it around in a circle until the music stopped (it would be the only time they turned that damned Christmas music off the entire day, too). I sat next to my friend William Henry and when the music stopped we all opened our gifts. Some kids got army men, some got cowboy stuff, and some got toy guns (it was 1993). I ripped open the paper to a bag of dinosaurs and internally said the kindergarten equivalent of “bad ass” (which actually is still just “bad ass”), and William Henry tore off the paper to… a farm playset. After seeing everyone else with tanks and jets and guns and me with my sack of tyrannosaurs and velociraptors, he was devastated and started crying… but not that quiet sobbing, no this was a full-on fury of vocalized tears expressing his distaste in rural entertainment of the plastic variety.

I’m not actually sure what happened to William Henry or his farm set, I just remember him leaving the classroom because I’m fairly certain the teacher took him to the office because I can’t think of any other place a teacher would escort a student who bursts into a fit after seeing toy cows and hay.

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DO NOT WANT

It doesn’t make a bit of difference where I work because I always end up being the guy who has to wear all of the costumes for whatever occasion because usually it just so happens that they magically only fit me. I’m not sure how this curse was bestowed upon me but it might have began with me seizing the photo opportunity to molest a giant inflatable Sonic the Hedgehog outside of a GameStop in Las Vegas one day because it just so happens I had to wear a giant Sonic the Hedgehog suit when I got my first job… at a GameStop. My friends refuse to let me live that down to this day. What goes around comes around, yeah? I’ve had the miserable experience as dressing up as a vampire for the DVD release of Twilight (I wanted to make like Dracula, the real one, and step into the sunlight when I had to wear that crap) and in the spirit of this article I have been Santa Claus before.Yes, I’ve worn a giant red suit with frills and a hat and a big fake beard and walked around a Blockbuster Video giving kids candy canes and carrying around an unwieldy red bag stuffed full of bubble wrap.

It’s one thing to see Santa Claus jam out on the Guitar Hero kiosk, but it’s another to see ol’ Saint Nick start taking out endcaps of merchandise with his bag of “toys”. By that time I pretty much hated my job at Blockbuster pretty good and was angry enough that I was working on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (seriously who the hell rents movies on Christmas just go to the Redbox if you really must) so being able to be on the clock and just screw around as Santa Claus was easily the greatest day I can ever remember at work there… however arriving 15 minutes before my boss one morning only to see her stumble up to the door hungover was pretty funny in retrospect as well. I handed out candy canes and adopted the jolly persona instantly; I played Expert guitar with middle schoolers who initially came in to cause problems and probably steal things but decided that rocking out with Mr. Christmas himself was pretty much the awesomest thing ever. Somewhere out there on someone’s MySpace there’s a picture titled “…::: Me AnD sAnTa PlAy MeTaLlIcA!!1 :::…” and it’s yours truly in a Santa suit and some little punk in a Faith No More shirt both holding Guitar Hero guitars.

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Lesson learned: Never tempt the karma god.

But what’s a Christmas nostalgia article without a story of the greatest Christmas gift ever? We all have one of those, that thrill of opening a present and almost exploding in glee. I’m sure throughout all of our Christmases we’ve opened at least 100 presents from all sorts of people, maybe even more than that if you’re older or just have a lot of little gifts, but rest assured there’s always that one single gift that we remember throughout our lives. Travel back in time with me, if you will, exactly 11 years ago to 1998. Yeah, the Pokemon train is totally full speed ahead at this time but do you know who else decided to put his snout in the way during the last few months of that year? A little purple fellow named Spyro the Dragon. On Christmas Day in 1998 I unwrapped a gift that was a brand new PlayStation console. The second gift I opened was a copy of Spyro the Dragon, and to be honest I was just about done after that; I wanted to play my game and be left alone the entire day… mostly because I had just unwrapped a brand new video game console and then of course once I started playing the game the second reason was because I was infatuated with the little guy. I’m not going to say I went all Nintendo 64 Kid over the console but I can’t say I wasn’t excited because the PlayStation pretty much owned (and I had gotten a Nintendo 64 two years prior) and now I had a dragon game to go with it!

Dinner at grandma’s house could wait, and I actually took my game and memory card with me to her house and kicked my uncle off of his PlayStation so I could run around and breathe fire on Gnasty Gnorc’s butt.

DP18_Spyro

“We’re gonna be best buds, Draco!”

If there was a single moment that I’d consider to be the definitive idea of “Christmas” to share with everyone to get/keep them in the holiday spirit it’s that. It’s unwrapping that game and likely making an IRL version of the “:3” face and having your life’s interests basically spelled out for you like a giant sign in the sky. If there was a point in my life where you could say I officially earned my title of “Dracophile” it was precisely 11 years ago to this day, and that’s my Christmas story (speaking of which I’ve been watching that annual A Christmas Story marathon on TBS this year, like I do every year). With that said, from me and everyone else here at GatorAIDS.com we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! Stay warm and drink plenty of hot cocoa!

– Dracophile

Being a part of a band comes with a lot of choices and decisions. First and foremost there’s a name that you have to agree upon followed of course by the kind of music you will be performing and recording. If you can manage to get through all of that without killing each other then the last hurdle to leap over is the name of your album and what to put on its cover. There are literally thousands of terrible band names and equally as many if not more terrible album covers. This article is a showcase of those covers.

But first before we begin, and also so that nobody can point a finger at me and say that I’m being an arrogant jerk, here are two album covers from two different acts I was a part of. Both are pretty bad in their own respects.

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The Wink Martindale 3000 – The WM3K is Who We Are

Everything about this group was meant to be a gimmick from the start. That’s me on the left pictured with a close friend of mine who was an accomplice of most of my misadventures during the early 00’s. The Wink Martindale 3000 was no exception to the rule and was a novelty that initially portrayed itself as a generic rap/hip-hop performance group complete with the hand symbols flashed above to seal the deal. The end result, compounded with red-eye and Casey looking like he’s screaming at Godzilla over to his left, turned out to be a complete trainwreck of a cover design that in the end turned out just fine in the context of the group. Also, “Are” appears in the album title twice.

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Radio F – No More Lonely Nights

Radio F is a group that saw many names and many incarnations of content production. All of the songs contained in all four of the Radio F music albums were trance beats composed with the help of MTV Music Generator. Originally this album was titled On when it was released in 2002 (or 2003, I don’t quite remember) but picked up the name No More Lonely Nights in its 2007 redesign and re-issue. The new title and accompanying cover art was a throwback joke to a very hazy and very confusing time I spent associating with people who had “interests” in Sonic the Hedgehog things. At the time an Amy Rose upskirt shot seemed like it would be pretty hilarious until we realized a while later that it was in fact an Amy Rose upskirt shot we used as an album cover. Regret soon followed.

Those are my two contributions to the world of bad album covers, now here’s the rest provided by the good fellas over at ZomicWeb.

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Francisco y Fernando – Vamos a la Playa

I can’t say I’ve ever heard of this duo but there’s a certain cheesyness that applies to their album cover of Vamos a la Playa (literally “we go to the beach“) that I absolutely adore. I can’t quite put my finger on it but there’s an air around the image of them (badly) Photoshopped onto the beach that just makes me giggle. It may have something to do with the fact that they’ve literally made a journey out of something as mundane as going to the beach or it could just be how depressingly uninspired they look to actually be at the beach. Francisco has an expression that seems to imply a sarcastic “yay” and Fernando appears to be trying to make the best out of his predicament of having gone to the beach with a person who clearly doesn’t want to be there.

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Black Sabbath – Sabotage

Oh, what? Did you think this article was going to be restricted to just sketchy foreign bands or something? No, no, and “oh hell naw”; Black Sabbath is not invincible to the realm of terrible album cover art and Sabotage embodies that notion tenfold. Look at this album cover for a few moments and see if you can guess what I’m going to point out. I’ll give you a hint if you haven’t guessed it yet; it’s not the cheap fog effects and it’s not their clothes. Do you give up? It’s the fact that apparently nobody involved with the production of this album knows how a fucking mirror works. You’d think that perhaps someone at the record label would have said “hey whenever I look in the mirror I don’t see the back of my own head” but I guess not. Maybe they’re all secretly afraid of mirrors and believe that once they turn away the reflection of them still continues to gaze forward.

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Mike Crain: Karatist Preacher – God’s Power

Here’s an album cover that’s so bad it transcends the ranks of terrible and somehow defaults back to “holy crap that’s awesome”; it’s a preacher breaking a stack of cinder blocks with the palm of his hand in a church. Go on, let this sink in for a while because it’s one of those things that only happens once in a millennium. I’m pretty sure this is an album full of hymns and other nonsense but just imagine what it would be like if he sang about kicking the Devil’s ass with karate and substituted every instrument solo with the sound of concrete blocks being smashed and broken with distinctive “HIYAAAA” sounds in the background. Whoever came up with the idea for this cover and the idea for this persona (or both if it was the same guy) deserves a goddamned medal.

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Freddie Gage – All My Friends Are Dead

If there was an award for Most Depressing Album Cover Ever this would win it every consecutive year. Lots of people like to give credit to Linkin Park for inventing the genre of depressing “emo” music, but guess what Mr. Gage here beat them to it by about 30 years with All My Friends Are Dead. The text under the picture reads that it’s an album produced by a ministry devoted to the victims of drug abuse among younger users. I’m just going to toss this out there with the possibility of sounding like a total D-bag, but if these addicts seek help from you and still end up dead… maybe you’re not doing something right? Maybe you should focus less on an album to remember them and focus more on, you know, not letting them die from overdosing and other terrible things?

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Paddy Roberts – Songs for Gay Dogs”

There’s not a whole lot to see in the minimalist approach that this album cover shows so there’s a pretty good chance that I may actually only be putting this here on the merits of its name alone. How can you even tell if your dog is gay to begin with? I’m pretty sure all dogs sniff each other’s butts so that’s a terrible rule of thumb to go by; the only way I can think of finding out would be to purchase this album and put it on and see if your dog either runs away or starts dancing to it akin to half the production bumpers shown on Nickelodeon in the 1990’s. Dogs don’t wear tight leather nor possess the capability to grow suspicious-looking facial hair and they also lack the ability to wear pastel clothes and only go to trendy “in” bars named “Six” so there’s no other way to tell unless you own this album, and that’s a genius marketing move.

And while we’re here, remember that thing I said about “not a whole lot to see” on this cover? I’ll just say this, that chair is clearly away from everything else and is facing a wall with nothing on it. Use your imagination.

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The Handsome Beasts – Beastiality

Obviously the little gross-out face plastered smack in the middle of that album cover is my own doing and wasn’t there to begin with. It’s not actually censoring anything because that guy’s fat rolls are doing that for us (*shudders and cringes*) but, you know, his pants are clearly off so I just did it out of common courtesy. Unlike our previous candidates which included simple things such as forced enthusiasm at the beach and not understanding how a mirror works this cover has a lot of things wrong with it. From a morality standpoint, I mean, hello? That dude’s either about to pork pork or he’s already done so and is ironically posing next to the “Please Do Not Feed Animals” sign. Every single stereotype one might have about someone who is into this kind of stuff is encompassed in this single photograph: this guy is fondling livestock, he’s about 300 pounds past the “tolerable in public” limit, and he’s got ugly greasy hair that you could wring out and cook french fries with.

I have to stop myself here before I go too far with things, so I will just share this one final thought. For a band who is clearly trying to sell something based on shock value they could at least make sure they spelled “bestiality” correctly before emblazoning their fucking album cover with it.

– Dracophile

So help me God the next person that comes up to me and asks me what I think of “James Cameron’s new furry movie” is going to get punched right in the temple. I’m going to say this once and I’m going to say it nicely: the tribal characters, the Na’vi, in Avatar aren’t furries. They are hardly even in the same boat as furries. To quote the great Dr. Evil, they’re the Diet Coke of furries — just one calorie, not even enough. I feel kind of stupid here, really, like I’m some kind of professor of furrydom which is not only a terrible job title to begin with but also something that hardly applies to me. I have no doctorate in Furry; if you want to put it into some kind of silly and drawn-out educational joke let’s just say that I took a couple of classes for a few weeks and dropped out because I didn’t like the classwork. Are you even still with me here? I think I may have lost everyone when I went off on the Dr. Evil/college humor.

This is not an article white knighting furries nor is this even an article to glorify Avatar because in my opinion it wasn’t even that great of a movie. The point of this article is to try and either debunk or at least shine some kind of new perspective onto the Na’vi tribe of Avatar and exactly how much they aren’t furry.  In an environment of media critics where everybody keeps referencing the Na’vi as furries I’m pretty certain that the average movie-goer who’s minimally Internet-savvy and has only vaguely heard of this “furry” business is going to get the wrong idea of things. Those three articles I linked to are only the tip of the iceberg; after you read this article go to your favorite search engine and search for “James Cameron Avatar furry” and see for yourself. No- wait; actually don’t do that, don’t ever do that because I’m afraid of what might be out there.

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100% YIFFY

It’s a pretty stupid flaw and it’s one of the biggest faults of mankind but humans are pretty dumb and will believe anything that is placed in front of them that they simply assume is from a credible source rather than look into things and/or ask questions to find out more. People generally don’t question enough, and that’s what’s leading this stupid tagline about furries around with the film. UGO, an entertainment conglomerate that has a boner for buying companies and completely screwing them over (see: 1UP.com and the late Electronic Gaming Monthly), has a sizable portion of people’s attention online who are looking for entertainment news and gossip and whatnot. Cracked is a moderately well-trafficked humor website popular among college-aged people and as for Vanity Fair… I’m pretty sure they are a fashion magazine or something. Honestly I don’t know who the target demographic is but one thing is for certain – Vanity Fair loves them some furry gossip. Yup, they sure do.

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Above: Totally furry.

Before I even begin talking about the Na’vi let me first try and give you the CliffNotes version of “furry”. If after reading the Vanity Fair article your first assumption is “holy shit that’s disgusting” then you’re correct in 99% of the scenarios that I can think of that involve some magnitude of “furry”. If someone comes up to you and simply states “I’m a furry” not only is that weird but it’s also pretty vague and leaves a lot of open space for you to plug in tidbits from here and there to come up with a mostly correct Frankenstein of facts that will then incorrectly carry over to Avatar once you see the term “furry” used to describe it in an article online. A “furry”, simply put, is a term used to describe a person who has an online avatar — I mean a character — that is based on the human figure but given animal traits (think Bugs Bunny or something like that). Generally they are completely animal and the only resemblance to a human is their general body structure. The Na’vi in Avatar have some animal traits but not to the extent of what would normally be defined “furry” and if after all of this you still want a better definition on this nonsense, then read this previous article I wrote here.

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I made a Cheezburger picture. Lowest point of my life.

The source of this “Avatar is a furry movie” nonsense began at ComicCon 2008 when the film was being promoted only by showing a silhouette of one of the characters of the film; in the shadow the pointed ears of the tribe were visible as was the tail. Whenever somebody sees ears and a tail out of context the first thought usually prompted is “oh snap a furry” and most of the time that’s a safe assumption. If you saw somebody at a Wal-Mart wearing cat ears and a fluffy tail not only would that probably not be anything out of the ordinary you’d likely assume, wait for it, “oh snap a furry” because the ears and tail have now been put into context. The Na’vi kind of resemble cats at first glance but the longer you sit through Avatar (and trust me this will be a while because the film is a near three hour time vampire) the more you will begin to see them less like cats and more like the extra-chromosome-packing and really tall offspring of Nightcrawler from X-Men and the Blue Man Group.

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See? Basic math.

There are other movies out there that fit the bill for “furry” from the get go, and here is one of them:

Now that you’ve graduated from the first class of “How to Spot a Furry” you may go forth and use your newfound wisdom to enjoy Avatar as a movie that plays as a very thinly veiled white guilt allegory to the Europeans kicking the Native Americans out of their land in the name of economic development, the way it was meant to be enjoyed, and not as cannon fodder for those terribly scary “furries” looking to get their jollies.

But expect them to be there anyways.

– Dracophile

eBay has had this new thing on their homepage for a while that contains a bunch of various odds and ends at “deep discount” prices and free shipping. It’s called the Daily Deal and it’s basically an excuse for people to liquidate their inventory of mindless artifacts that they can barely give away let alone sell at MSRP. Every so often something actually worthwhile will show up like an overabundance of copies of Halo 3: ODST (if that’s your thing) but usually the Daily Deal is the victim of crap like Rock Revolution with it’s guitar and drum controllers for $14.99. Keep in mind shipping is FREE so whatever poor sap was cursed with a back-stock of copies of that terrible game is willing to lose money instead of keeping the boxes around. You could build a fort with all of those and then have a pretend band full of guitarists and dummers banging on miniature drum sets that have no less than 20 drum pads. Think of the possibilities!

I can say with a clear conscience yes I have purchased things from the Daily Deal. I bought a copy of V: The Complete Series from the 1980’s and a camera tripod. I won’t, however, find myself buying any of the following pieces of crap passed off as a “deal”.

7 Port USB 2.0 Hub

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Don’t be distracted by the non-complimentary LEDs.

It seems kind of random of me to start an article with a 7-port USB hub that looks pretty ordinary if you ignore the fact that it resembles a cassette tape with teeth but that’s exactly what this seller wants you to think (no, not the teeth thing, the ordinary-looking thing). Answer me this, have you ever seen a 7-port USB hub before? Ever? No? Why is that? That’s because it’s a stupid idea considering most people don’t have a USB device for every day of the week. This mass-produced (and cheaply made) overseas “knock off” USB hub is an accident waiting to happen. The original listing for this item basically encourages you to try and burn your house down all while being distracted by the pretty lights.

“Perfect for connecting USB 1.1 and 2.0 peripherals such as […] USB 1.1 hubs!” Seriously? I thought seven ports was about four too many but are there people who are seriously considering plugging hubs into hubs with the end result resembling something like the Griswold Family’s Christmas lights in Christmas Vacation? The fact that these things light up for no apparent reason (and have this marketed as a “Feature”) makes me feel like someone is going to try and attempt this only because the seller suggests them to do so. You have to plug these things into an AC wall outlet which means that if you buy a bunch of hubs you’re going to need a bunch of surge protectors or wall outlet splitters to accommodate all of these damn things.

“Sale” Price: $8.49

Superman Inflato-Suit

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HELLO LADIES.

Around Halloween (I’ve been collecting crap deals for a while I guess) eBay started listing a bunch of costumes for kids in the Daily Deal line-up. This one was my favorite. Having worn an inflatable costume in my lifetime I know how cumbersome and not-fun these things are to wear but of course this has likely been dumbed down for a child’s Halloween costume. The fact remains that you still have to walk around with a little jetpack-looking thing on your back that makes a whirring sound implying that you’re either a robot or you are stealing somebody’s laptop by trying to hide it in your ass. If you look closely the “I’m a computer thieving robot” device is actually hanging off of the little belt and does a pretty good job of not blending into the costume and makes Superman look more like someone who isn’t expecting a call but wants people to see his cool phone and less like someone who saves Earth from bald white guys with shiny green crystals.

I understand that the kid posing for the picture is doing his best to look like Superman but his costume is making him look like somebody who put his windbreaker on backwards, tucked it in, and then had time to spare to make his hair look like Bizarro Alfalfa. Great job, Superman.

“Sale” Price: $11.00

Soft-N-Fleecy “Wearable Blanket”

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You can’t copyright the idea of wearing a robe incorrectly.

There are omens meant to warn mankind of destruction and the end times and the Bible does a decent job of trying to warn people (if you believe in that) but here is something out of left field that likely wasn’t expected or interpreted in Jesus’ time: an off-brand Snuggie. The world has basically come full circle when the best idea someone has is to repackage a Snuggie under a different name which in and of itself is just a douchebag wearing a robe backwards because he is either drunk or assumes that he’s just in a really nice hospital. Whenever people make counterfeit televisions and iPods they take great strides to make their product appear identical because there’s a solid chance someone is going to be paying more than $12 for it and the piracy business is all about maximizing profit while narrowing costs to an extreme but seriously, a fucking Snuggie?

What’s the point of painstakingly making your box look exactly the same (albeit with confusing picture captions) when all anybody has to do is just hang their selection of bathrobes facing the other direction and call it a day?

“Sale” Price: $11.99

Day By Day Wall Clock

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It’s Sunday-Thirty.

At first glance this looks like a clock and by assuming that you are correct, it is indeed a clock. There is a theory in communication studies known as “expectancy violation” wherein if someone does something you aren’t expecting, in your bout of dumbfoundedness you attempt to seek information to find reassurance in whatever just happened. This clock is kind of like that; it takes your expectations about what a clock does and violates them in all the wrong ways. Just look at it now that you know something is wrong with it. It has only one hand and seven sections, if the days of the week weren’t there you’d assume whoever made this clock had no previous knowledge of what a clock was actually supposed to do let alone the inner workings of how one functions.

I think I understand the appeal of this clock, perhaps it’s for people who sell Avon out of their garage and don’t really have set times for their job, but for anybody else what good would this serve? This clock is only approximately correct at two times of the day and both times start with “12”. Everything else is a shot in the dark. If you had company over and they asked you what time it was and all you had was this stupid clock if you said “sometime between Monday and Tuesday” they would think you were acting like an ass until they looked for themselves to discover that your clock really doesn’t tell time and instead exists only to aggravate people who clock-in at their jobs instead of logging into Tupperware.com at some unknown hour in the morning.

“Sale” Price: $11.03 (and three cents?)

Vibrating Wizard Head Massager

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I don’t ever want to know what kind of toy this is.

I don’t know what this is but it’s one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen. Is it a model of the Merlin virus – or is it a MERLIN SPIDER? Either way if you found yourself in a dark alley and this was coming towards you twitching and scuttling around you’d be too scared to even shit your pants. I don’t trust that this is a head massager at all because I’ve seen a million products labeled as “massager” and while most of them looked like a cock none of them looked anywhere close to this monster. This looks more akin to the baby doll head robot from Toy Story, and quite frankly that was the stuff of nightmares. I wouldn’t trust putting this thing on or near your head because I believe that the second you do so the little copper legs will latch onto your face and the Merlin top will bore its way into your skull and turn you into a very magical zombie.

If it’s worth anything, this terrifying piece of torture is being sold by the same people selling the Snuggie knock off. I don’t even want to know what this is an imitation of.

“Sale” Price: $9.99

– Dracophile

LiveJournal fads are a dime a dozen and if you’re somewhat new to the Internet then replace LiveJournal with MySpace, and if you’re still greener than that then replace MySpace with Facebook, and if you’re still confused as to what I am talking about then just go away because there is no possible way you will take anything funny away with you after reading this article. Seriously, just go back to Google and idle at the wonders of what the Internet may have in store for you. Go on, click “SEARCH”; don’t be afraid it won’t bite, it’s only Google. “Only Google”, you know, since they can probably see what you’re doing right now with their satellites and Google Maps vans that have taken about 30 pictures of your house with their cameras; they know more about you than the CIA does. Get out your tinfoil hats.

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Encyclopedia Dramatica knows how it’s done.

For the rest of us who are enculturated with the… culture… of the Internet this article is for you. Having been online for over a decade I can remember a time when I once had a LiveJournal, at least learned how to use MySpace, and have a Facebook account. The one thing they all have in common aside from idiotic comments and modifications to your profiles are annoying fads that your friends “tag” you in and force you to fill out. It might be a list of the 100 most banal questions you’ve ever read to calculate your “sexy score” or it may be a list of 20 different “your five favorite” questions but regardless you know what I am talking about. In this article I will be doing my own “Your Life Playlist” meme to identify the official soundtrack of my sad sad life and my thoughts on the selection of songs for the different moments therein.

The instructions are simple; all I have to do is copy a list of “events” in my life and click Shuffle on my music playlist and write down whatever comes up. I’m not supposed to skip songs or omit tracks but if it lands on something from a video game soundtrack or a spoken-word album I will click Shuffle again just because there’s probably nothing funny about video game music or stand-up comedians unless of course I find out some asshole is going to play the Super Mario Bros theme at my funeral or if Jim Gaffigan is going to tell Hot Pocket jokes at my wedding.

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I live in the bottom left somewhere.

Opening Credits:
Butterflies
– Toad the Wet Sprocket
With a song that opens up talking about looking at the ocean and asking your father for a nickel (and later massacring moths with a moving vehicle) I honestly couldn’t think of anything more incomprehensible for an opening to my life. Since most movies open with a song relevant to the theme of the movie what the hell is this even supposed to mean in the wide spectrum of my life? I’m fairly certain if I asked my dad for a nickel out of the blue he’d ask me if I was trying to by weed off of him.

Waking Up:
Get It on the Floor – DMX
Considering that I have owned my computer since early 2006 the only reasonable explanation I can even think of for having this song is because it was part of a video project from the late RFSHQ (specifically The Show Must Go On, I think). Regardless, it looks like Windows Media Player likes to add whatever it finds in my Limewire folder so this is apparently the story behind the journey this song made to be in my life’s soundtrack because whenever I wake up the first thing I do is get in my truck and “ride in this motherfucker” while singing about people getting their dicks stuck in things and saying the word “nigga” a copious amount of times. Bark bark.

First Day of School:
Hello My Future Dance Mix – The Lounge Lizards (aka Dracophile)
Is it fair that one of my own songs turned up as a result in this meme? Furthermore, I think the more important question is what does a song about a lonely 11-year-old from New Mexico (cue HOT GUITAR LICKS) who wants a girlfriend have to do with school? I’ll tell you: absolutely nothing. Strangely enough Michael Blount (the person who unknowingly performed the vocals for this song) makes a key point mentioning that he’s “in the 6th grade in New Mexico” (again, more HOT GUITAR LICKS) so maybe there’s more to this than I originally thought…

Falling in Love:
I Want More – Chumbawamba
You see, at first to anyone who hasn’t heard this song may assume that this is a peachy song about wanting more in a relationship (and you can make a sex joke if you want) but if you’ve actually heard the song and know what it’s about, it’s about getting your face kicked in “oh so nicely” by the wonderful lads at Tearoom England, a story told in the chorus between stanzas of Chumbawamba-esque gibberish that makes absolutely no sense in any context or language. Perhaps at some point in my life when I fall in love it will be in a pub where I will be getting my ass handed to me in a takeout bag. I should be paying attention.

Fight Song:
Triangle Man (Cover) – Radio F
And again here I am showing up to crash this party. Firstly, I am aware that the original song by They Might Be Giants is actually titled Particle Man. This crappy cover version was performed by myself and RKPTJg on our spoken-word album from 1995. What I’m more intrigued about, though, is how appropriately this song fits into this category. Understandably the law of probability states that at some point in this article a song has to match up somewhere, so I guess now is as good of a time as any. Particle Man is a charming little diddle about various wrestlers who fight each other (and Particle Man never wins). What I’m taking from this track is that somewhere along the line in my life I am going to get beaten up by Universe Man and his watch with minute, millennium, and eon hands. I’m willing to bet he’s going to smash me with a pool cue at the Tearoom England, too.

Breaking Up:
Nightingale Song – Toad the Wet Sprocket
If there’s one thing this article is teaching is it’s that I should probably pay more attention to Toad the Wet Sprocket because thus far they’re apparently twice as important as DMX and Chumbawamba. Nightingale Song is a short ballad that leaves a lot open for interpretation but strangely enough if you wanted to read into it enough there’s a possibility that it discusses, in the wide spectrum of the world, the insignificance of a failed relationship. By my count this song should have played about 3 or 4 times now. Toad the Wet Sprocket is going to make a crapload of money off of my loveless life.

Prom:
Monkey Developers – Digital Droo
For some reason I do not recall my prom being as awesome as this song implies it should have been. 🙁

Life’s OK:
Brak’s School Daze: Gym Class – Andy Merrill
So it’s not exactly a song but I’m not going to pass this one up. Andy Merrill was the voice of Brak on the Williams Street (then known as Ghost Planet Industries) shows Cartoon Planet and Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. The album this track is from is a collection of Cartoon Planet skits and songs and the entire reason I bought it was for Brak’s diatribes and pointless stories and his songs about plants and dating. Hearing his story about a gym teacher who apparently only said “hey buddy, hey baby, hey boy” and any combination of those 4 words and subsequently making a D in gym class makes me smile every time. Yes, yes life will be okay because Brak’s mom baked him a cake out of excitement.

Mental Breakdown:
Set Adrift on Memory Bliss – PM Dawn
If there’s a movie being made about my life I am going to see it for this scene alone because I really want to see how someone can make a mental breakdown montage with this slow and peaceful track about someone’s dream girl. This is not an insanity song by any stretch of the word. This is a song you listen to while you’re on the beach and I’m fairly certain the music video for this very song takes place (surprise surprise) on a beach. A beach of crazy (and Hawaii).

Driving:
All I Want – Toad the Wet Sprocket
By this point you’re probably assuming that all I own are Toad the Wet Sprocket albums. This unprecedented string of events is indeed hilarious but in actuality I only own the CD single of this song and their album Fear. I think Windows Media Player knows I am writing this article just for the hell of it so I think it may have become sentient and is purposefully trying to screw with the results here. Truth be told I can sing a pretty good cover of this song (while driving), so be prepared to see a lot of this in Dracophile: The Movie.

Flashback:
St. Louis is Listening – Soul Coughing
Soul Coughing is a weird band with even stranger vocals. I can see them providing the soundtrack for me becoming a deranged dragon molester hellbent on toppling over every magazine rack at the local Wal-Mart (hey I’m INSANE here) but not for a flashback unless of course we’re in Family Guy and someone arbitrarily makes a reference to something being “as bad as that one time Dracophile knocked over the magazine racks at Wal-Mart”. Strangely enough Set Adrift on Memory Bliss, a song that’s actually about reminiscing and dreaming, was stuck with psycho duty.

Getting Back Together:
Millennium – Robbie Williams
It’s worth noting that since I am skipping spoken-word tracks and video game music one of the two tracks that didn’t make it to this spot was the Russian Roulette skit from the Whitest Kids U Know album. Just throwing that out there because it eventually settled on an uppity pop song from the late nineties made popular because it was a song that referenced the year 2000 and had idle mentions to “running out of time”, but of course later mentioned waking up and seeing sarcasm in someone’s eyes. Yes, my ex-girlfriend from earlier in this movie, I should have seen the sarcasm in your eyes when you stabbed me in the back or insulted me on a number of personal levels. Oh well, it’s Hollywood I suppose; I get a manufactured happy ending to my life unlike the harsh reality that is “IRL”.

Wedding:
Back 2 Good – Matchbox 20
Back 2 Good is a song that speaks to me on a personal level. It’s a slow song about people in a bar people who cheat and hurt each other hang out but don’t want to talk about it and know why everyone else is there. It’s a sad song about sad people living sad lives, and honestly I couldn’t think of a better song to play on what is most likely a day that will A) never happen or B) be incomprehensibly depressing anyways.

Birth of a Child:
Roses – Outkast
Inappropriate songs have a way of showing up at the best of times in this thing. I’m assuming that from what this song implies about my newborn child it will be a girl named Caroline; a stuck-up prissy bitch who gets whatever she wants half of the time, and the other half gets her cussed out or coming up short, even though she needs a golden calcul- wait a second am I just transposing the lyrics of this song into a sentence in this paragraph to make a point here? You can actually quote Outkast songs word for word and make a coherent sentence? That’s strange; maybe the Black Eyed Peas should be listening.

Final Battle:
Put Your Socks on Mama – Andy Merrill
Here’s Brak again, but at least this time it’s an actual song and not a spoken-word track. I don’t know what this track was going to be if I had just passed and gone to the next song, but I decided that the most climactic point in my life should be accompanied by a song whose only lyrics are “put your socks on mamma, now.” Imagine for a second any kind of high-tensity scene in a movie where someone is evading bad guys, disarming a bomb, or saving a box of puppies from a burning building. Now replace that orchestral score with Brak screaming about putting socks on his mother. That’s an Emmy waiting to happen right there.

Death Scene:
Feed the Gods – Rob Zombie
Judging by this track I am going to have a completely metal death scene. I’m picturing flaming hellfire dragons, Satan wailing on an electric guitar, Zeus firing lightning bolts all over the place, and basically anything else that happens in a KISS concert to transpire. I’ll be running with my box of rescued puppies while the demon ghost of Saddam Hussein opens fire on me with four AK-47’s duct taped together and Osama bin Laden tries to crash a hijacked plane into me (that’s what Saddam is riding on) while Hitler himself tears through the fiery terrain of Hell on a Panzer tank covered in “Vote for Bush” bumper stickers and firing out buckets of ninja stars. And there will be dragons, too. Speaking of dragons in an ironic turn of events the playlist for this section settled on a track from the original Spyro the Dragon video game soundtrack. It would be pretty ironic if he killed me. Hey, speaking of things that are ironic…

Ending Credits:
Ironic – Alanis Morissette
My whole life is basically one big joke with a punchline that I don’t quite understand (it must be from a Coen brothers movie). Dare I say… it’s ironic?

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Now available at Wal-Mart. By the magazines.

All in all I’d say that my movie is going to be pretty awesome. You should see it, if not for me for all of the Michael Bay explosions. Yeah, you heard me right. Michael Bay. Explosions.

– Dracophile

Last time on “Don’t Put That In Your Mouth” I defied my own intuition in regards to Chocolate Mix Skittles and went ahead and put them in my mouth. That was a bad move and clearly I do not learn from my mistakes; this time around I will be putting the Jelly Belly “Bean Boozled” jelly beans to the test. Compared to Jelly Belly the Skittles are small potatoes because when Jelly Belly makes purposefully bad flavors they do it with a precision unrivaled by anybody else on the face of the Earth (keep in mind I said “on purpose” there, otherwise virtually every single candy that comes out of Mexico would be on this list – it’s not their fault they substitute sugar with chili powder, I think). I have formerly gone toe to toe with some of Jelly Belly’s off-key flavors when they had those special Harry Potter beans, and much to my horror they have seen new life as Bean Boozled beans; beans with the ability to hide amongst the good flavored ones and bite you when you least expect it. Dear God, these are V beans!!

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My scanner from the 1990’s is scared.

Even the box art is bizarre. In the upper left corner (the RED one nur hur) there’s a picture of a pear crossed with a skunk with an exploding rectum (which is incorrect according to the back of the box, see below). I’m intrigued already, how about you? Below that is a plum which looks suspiciously like a butt (there may actually be a butt flavor I’m not 100% sure) and a pepper grinder, some people might like a little extra pepper on their butts… you know, to kick it up a notch. Like Emeril. In the blue square we have a berry and a toothbrush; the last time I saw a pairing like this was probably on that pro-brushing-your-teeth-all-the-god-damn-time show Timmy the Tooth. Finally in what I call the “loser square” there’s popcorn and a broken egg… which are basically two flavors so gross and interchangeable if this were a contest they would win by default.

So, like I previously stated, this is a terror I have already experienced firsthand. I think the criteria I held them to will uphold quite nicely for this article so I will be carrying them over. However all of those beans were in the Harry Potter promotional package so they had their own colors and patterns; in this new assortment they all are meant to look like existing flavors so I will be tossing out the “Appearance” category and running on these three instead:

  • Smell: This is basically how I’m going to tell them apart from the real beans, if you smush one in your fingers it’ll smell like whatever the flavor is.
  • Flavor: This is a judgment of how bad (or possibly good?) each of the beans taste initially.
  • Aftertaste: This is the flavor they leave lingering behind after I’ve either swallowed them, spit them out, or gone into cardiac arrest.
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Where we’re going, we don’t need eyes to see.

Like I said the whole purpose of these beans is for them to masquerade as existing flavors so you don’t know which one you are eating until you put one in your mouth. This unwieldy practice dates back to them making Cinnamon and Very Cherry the same fucking color and ruining many childrens’ afternoons because of it. Looking at these I see ten of Jelly Belly’s most popular flavors and right next to them I see ten flavors someone in the R&D department came up with when he wanted to get fired from his job. Unlike the Chocolate Mix Skittles, which I said may have been explained by a simple mix-up of paperwork going to the M&M’s and Skittles factories, there is no explanation for Jelly Belly to hide behind with these flavors. They made them because they hate you, they want you to suffer, and they want you to know that. They are mean enough to make something as innocent as a peach turn into vomit the second you bite into it and frankly that’s a cruel joke that I wouldn’t even play on somebody I really hated. Not even Mark Wahlberg. There is a special place in Hell for whoever thought this was a good idea.
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Friend or Foe? (Or Buttered Popcorn, aka Terrorist.)

Skunk Spray
(top row, far left)

Jelly Belly doesn’t even fuck around here. They skipped all possible “kiddy pool” flavors (Kiddy Pool — urine and chlorine — would have been a great idea) and went straight to a flavor that I’m fairly certain not even die hard furries are going to enjoy and when speaking about a community that encompasses every possible fetish under the sun and then some, that’s saying a lot. A lot a lot.
Smell: It smells of rancid coffee. I’m already regretting this article. 1/10
Taste: I can’t even describe this, I am seriously trying to hold it down but I just dry heaved over the trash can several times. Steve-O from Jackass has done less humiliating things than this. -Furries/10
Aftertaste: If you want me to be honest with you I don’t even know I just started eating Licorice beans to make the pain go away. ???/10

Rotten Egg
(top row, second from left)

You know what’s funny? This is a loaded bean design. It doesn’t matter which flavor you get because I know Rotten Egg is meant to be bad, but so is Buttered Popcorn. You lose either way, so what’s the point of putting this recursive bean in your mouth? I don’t know, you tell me.
Smell: If I told you it smelled like “bad eggs” I’d just be reiterating the name of this bean, so instead I will just say “sulfur”. 2/10
Taste: They’ve gotten better at this since the last time I ate one of these. It tastes horrible. Why do they have to be so good at this? 0/10
Aftertaste: After recollecting myself and refraining from hovering over the trash can any longer the “smell” of plastic grocery bags weighed heavily on my tongue. 2/10

Ear Wax
(not pictured, those are two Coconut beans)

Ear Wax, Cafe Latte, Coconut, and Baby Wipes all look the same to me. There are neither of the first two in this box. The gods of Internet comedy have shined their light down on me.

Booger
(top row, middle)

I find this bean the most personally offensive because it is disguised as a Juicy Pear which is a flavor of Jelly Belly that I can consume my weight in. I am fairly certain after this portion of the article I will have the equivalent of a Vietnam flashback whenever I see my (former) favorite flavor bean. I guess it is time I get a new one.
Smell: It smells suspiciously of some kind of overgrown weeds. Not “weeds” as in “420” but “weeds” as in “I probably should have sprayed Weed-B-Gone on those plants before they turned into tentacle rape monsters”. 5/10
Taste: It tastes exactly like the way it smells plus a copious helping of both sweet and salty. I think I know how it feels to be violated by a product of Japan now. 3/10
Aftertaste: It’s lingering aftertaste is iden-tacle (see what I did there?) to the above two scores, just minus the sweet. 2/10

Baby Wipes
(top row, far right)

Last time I did this article I believe this was called Soap but that flavor was so bland and overshadowed by the other monstrosities that I hardly remember it and since I don’t make it a habit to eat soap whenever I’m bored I don’t really know what to expect. Alternatively I can make a bunch of jokes about me being a potty mouth or something, but that’s not as funny. “Buttwipe” is a pretty funny word though.
Smell: It smells like baby powder and soap, you know, like a fucking baby. 7/10
Taste: This is honestly the first bean that is manageable for me that didn’t make me want to immediately empty my stomach and void my bowels. It’s kinda dry but not at all unpleasant. 6/10
Aftermath: I FEEL SO FRESH AND CLEAN, SUCK IT ORBIT GUM. 8/10

Pencil Shavings
(bottom row, far left)

I write a lot. I also color a lot too, with expensive Prismacolors nonetheless! I know a lot about pencils and now that I have actually physically written the phrase “I know a lot about pencils” my life just seems so much more futile. Maybe by the time we are done with this article it will have spiraled down into my memoirs and ultimately my last will and testament.
Smell: I want to say it smells like wood shavings but it doesn’t. It just smells like burning waffles and I don’t know if that qualifies as “sheer terror” or not. I’m leaning towards “no”, though. 5/10
Taste: It tastes nothing like pencil shavings. I can’t quite put my finger on what the hell it is exactly, but it’s not bad… but not that great either. 5/10
Aftermath: After tasting kind of like a toothpick it just turns into a generic sweet taste. I dunno, I guess they were too busy testing Horse Testicles flavored beans that they forgot about this one. 5/10

Toothpaste
(bottom row, second from left)

I don’t know about you but I fail to see how Toothpaste can be considered a bad flavor. It certainly is pretty strange, but after listing Skunk Spray and Rotten Egg on the box before it the appeal of Toothpaste just seems a little lacking I guess. I’m beginning to think that whoever wrote up the ideas for these flavors just wrote down things that he saw in the bathroom while he was doing his business. Then he did his business and wrote that down too.
Smell: I’m going to go out on a limb here and quote the virtually unknown Code: BS and scream “IT SMELLS LIKE TOOTHPASTE”. 8/10
Taste: Would it be below me to say that a very cool and refreshing hybrid of spearmint and peppermint is *gasp* good? How is this not a regular flavor? 10/10
Aftertaste: You know that awesome “cool” feeling you get when you breathe in after eating a mint? Yeah, it’s kinda like that. 10/10

Vomit
(bottom row, middle)

The buck stops here. Not only does the buck stop here, it also…

  • (if talking about a male deer) …craps itself until its intestines fall out, turns inside out, and forms a black hole. The universe subsequently dies.
  • (it talking about an American dollar) …does exactly what the economy is doing right now: backflips off of a diving board made of George W. Bush’s cock into a pool of Dick Cheney’s slobber and shotgun pellets.

I don’t even have to eat this bean for me to tell you how indescribably painful it is. This entire article has been a cakewalk compared to this single bean. I sampled this bean when I wrote the Harry Potter article and back then it was so offensively colored it basically screamed “IT WOULD NOT BE IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO EAT ME”. The Harry Potter beans were an experiment in camouflage. Animals usually don’t eat the extravagantly colored plants because those are usually poisonous; if you opened a box of Harry Potter beans and avoided all of the beans that were colored really strangely you would never run into anything gross. This is not the case this time because now Vomit is disguised as an innocent Peach bean.

DP13_disguise-300x268

YOU SON OF A BITCH.

Smell: I’ve seen things, man. Remember that thing I said about Vietnam flashbacks? I’m having one. It’s that same putrid smell that I sincerely wished I’d never ever run into again. 0/10
Taste
: No more than two seconds in I was hit with that same literally vomit inducing taste that I so keenly remember. Previously on RFSHQ I commented that it had a “sweet” kick to it. There is nothing sweet this time around, it is gut-wrenchingly sour and has some kick of god knows what that makes your skin crawl. -Infinity/10
Aftertaste: Like disgusting old rotten spaghetti. I couldn’t take it, I started eating all of the Toothpaste beans I had laying around (there were a lot in the box) to get rid of it and not even that fully worked. -10/10

Moldy Cheese
(bottom row, second from right)

You know, by this point I really do know it’s all downhill from here. “Bad cheese” doesn’t even have the same psychological impact as “vomit” does as a name, there is no contest here. It’s also worth mentioning that when this color bean isn’t pretending to taste like Taco Bell it’s Caramel Corn which by itself is another gross flavor. Jelly Belly doesn’t have very good luck with their popcorn related flavors which is probably because popcorn was never meant to be a fucking jelly bean.
Smell: I let down my guard and wasn’t expecting anything and instead the sharp jab of… something… burned my nostrils. It smells vaguely of the Booger formula. Cheese tentacle rape? Oh god, oh god it’s the Kraft Mac & Cheese dinosaur. HE’S COMING TO GET ME WITH HIS CHEESY APPENDAGES. 1/10
Taste: I’m pretty sure I have graduated from whatever school all of those young nubile Japanese girls go to. You know, the one where they all get violated. This isn’t good at all. It’s definitely not cheese flavored, I don’t even know what the hell this is… but it’s not cheese. Off-brand Cheetos taste closer to cheese than this. -5/10
Aftermath: I am fairly upset that I ate all of my Toothpaste beans all at once. If role playing games have taught me anything it’s that you gotta string those recovery items out and make them last a long long time. 0/10

Black Pepper
(top row, second from right)

Black Pepper is the last bean of the article and also the last one that I have previously encountered. I was dumb enough to let Booger, Rotten Egg, and Vomit fool me a second time into thinking they hadn’t changed so I’m not falling for that again. Fooling me four times in the same article? Who do you think I am, George W. Bush? (Also two Bush jokes in one article? I have sank to even lower lows.)
Smell: This is really kind of unprecedented but it smells very similar to how I described it on RFSHQ all that time ago. I said something about “rubber sealant” and that’s what I’m getting here. It’s not bad, it just smells industrial. This is a robot jelly bean… I am having really bad deja vu… 4/10
Taste: It tastes more akin to some kind of potpourri than any kind of peppercorn that I have ever inadvertently eaten. It’s almost reminiscent of Christmas, and it’s almost December, ya know. 4/10
Aftertaste: The spicyness kind of sneaks up on you here, it waits until that Bath & Body Works flavor is out of your mouth and then kinda gets you;  it’s not a bad surprise though. I’m hungry, who wants barbecue? 3/10

DP13_aftermath-300x225

Above: Half-eaten beans, futile attempts to get rid of bad flavors, unattained dreams.

It’s scary how much these flavors have advanced since the last time I sampled some of them. I made a joke last time about wondering how they tested these flavors for accuracy and now I am even more worried about the sanity of the poor lost souls whose job it was to try these flavors. Last time I chalked it up to taking a shot in the dark and just hoping the end result was somewhere remotely close to what the box said the flavor was, but this time I really don’t know because they IMPROVED on vomit and I am at a loss for words because of that. I mean theoretically I think we all know how they could have tested that but that tiny sliver of my soul that has some flickering hope in humanity that says otherwise is being smothered by the other 99.99% of me that is imagining someone in a flavor laboratory wearing a lab coat with a popsicle stick in one hand, a spoon in the other, and a bowl of suspiciously disgusting liquid on the table in front of him.

I think I am going to go sit in the corner and cry now.

– Dracophile