Friday, January 31, 2014

Now I have a podcast Ho-Ho-Ho

Have you ever wanted to read my blog but thought, "Gee, I sure wish I could just hear this dude say things instead of having to sit here and run up the minutes on my eyeballs. Dang."
Well, that's weird, but okay. Guess what? Today is your lucky day! Today, we (big Thanks to the maestro, PW Fenton) officially launch "The Ridiculously Inconsistent Podcast". Once a month or so, more or less, we'll do a new one and it will serve as a companion piece to this here blog. Not exactly the same stuff, but new and different stuff that also kind of goes with this stuff. It's synergy, something that is suposed to be very important from a business standpoint. Go ahead and give it a listen to learn more (about the podcast, not about synergy)!
Also, it's not officially up on iTunes yet, it will be in a few days. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, go ahead and check it out from here. It's a lousy 6:25 and don't cost nothin'. What, you got somethin' better to do, hotshot?)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yeah, Let's Talk

Yesterday was Bell's annual "Let's Talk" day, designed to be a "first step towards meaningful change and building greater awareness, acceptance, and action" regarding the stigma of mental illness.
Here are the particulars...
Today, let's talk.
Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:
  • Text message sent
  • Mobile and long distance call made
  • Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
  • Facebook share of our Bell Let’s Talk image

I hate this kind of thing. Not the fact that a corporation has launched an initiative to bring attention to and raise money for an issue that needs both of those things. That's actually lovely. Not the fact that it's a pretty blatant publicity grab. I don't have a problem with a big corporation doing something to help people puffing out their chests a little bit. Go ahead and take a victory lap, Bell.
No, what I hate is when corporations tie their donations directly to performance measures that customers have to achieve. Look, you've got $X million in the budget for this? Great. Fork it over. Let's go. Give it to us. I mean, please and thanks and all but don't dangle it like a carrot and sit back watching people engage in a series of stunts for your entertainment. That doesn't seem nice at all. 
"Look! We had more money! Too bad we didn't see a few more of those hashtags, huh?"
Yoplait does this with their foil lid collection and so does Major League Baseball with home runs. I hate those programs too, for the same reason. Especially baseball's "Home Run Challenge" where each home run hit during a certain period equals money donated to the fight against prostate cancer. Why? Because the very real possibility of this happening...
"Wow, what a fantastic catch by Rios! Boy oh boy, he must really like cancer!"
Listen big corporations, you can still have your promotion. You're still entitled to all the publicity and credit you can generate for doing it. All your efforts will be appreciated just as much. Just give us the money, okay?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sick day. No jokes today, Come back Wednesday

The headline and the picture below basically spell out the situation, but yeah, I have no material for you today. I'll be fine after I spend all day today in bed because I am an adult American male and when I get the sniffly wifflies and/or the pukey wukies, lying in bed and moaning is all I'm capable of.
And now, in what I would like to think of as the grossest segue ever, I'd like to invite you to check out my friend Clare's new blog "Puckology" whilst you wait for me to be suitably mended as to be able to render new fart jokes. Don't be deterred by the title, non-sports fans. She goes deeper than hockey. A lot deeper. Check it out.Just don't like her better than me (if you do, don't tell me about it).
I have to go now; I'm in the kind of pain that is surely worse than that experienced by ladyfolk during childbirth.)
Shown here: My stomach

Friday, January 24, 2014

On Richard Sherman and athletes talking about stuff

I didn't want to have to write a post about this because I was bored with this story within hours of it happening and I'd hoped people would have stopped talking about it by now. They (you) haven't so now I feel obligated to chime in. Here goes:
I'd like to think that I did not form an opinion of Richard Sherman and his character based on the brief "interview" with him conducted by Erin Andrews (who never even got her initial question answered) after the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers for a berth in the upcoming Super Bowl. Mostly because I'd like to believe I'm not the kind of person who would do that, but I'm only human and there's all that stuff about first impressions. I do remember watching the interview and saying, "Well, here's hoping you lose the Super Bowl" so maybe I'm guilty. Although I'm pretty sure that sentiment was motivated by the arrogance he was displaying and not his race or character. That's only because I like seeing arrogant people have to eat it and in the world of sports, there's no eating it like proclaiming yourself to be the best and then coming up short in the championship. Even then, the satisfaction would come from it being hilarious and there wouldn't be any anger or vitriol attached to it, and certainly not driven by anything to do with his race. Doing just cursory research on the guy (ie: Googling) reveals no shortage of news articles, interviews and profiles that all indicate that he's a very intelligent person with high moral character, and I'm genuinely pleased to know that. So I'm pretty sure I have exactly zero hard feelings toward Richard Sherman as an individual.
No, the only thing I come away from this with is a sense of disappointment that we can only expect two kinds of responses from athletes: bland, mindless cliches or grating, self-promoting "trash talk". And that makes me sad. You know the cliches:

  • I'm really proud of the way our guys hung in there. 
  • We were really on our game. 
  • We came to play. 
  • A win is a win.
  • It was a total team effort. 
  • I was just doing my job.

When athletes fall back on this kind of stuff, they're telling us absolutely nothing so there is literally no value whatsoever in hearing them speak. A lot of people who immediately came to Richard Sherman's defense said he he should get credit for being "real", even though what he said was actually a play on the biggest, most tiresome cliche of them all, the modern athlete and how he's not getting his due respect.
See, I'm a sports fan because for me, it's a form of entertainment. I don't expect athletes to raise the children or otherwise heal society. I appreciate it when they don't engage in actual criminal activity but I don't expect them to establish standards for how a human being should live a purpose-driven life. Either way, I don't begrudge them for the money they make. But is it too much to ask that intelligent, thought-out answers in interviews be among the higher standards (jump higher, run faster, throw harder, sign all the autographs, do work for charity) we hold our professional athletes to? I don't think it is. Erin Andrews asked him to take us through the key play that cemented the victory. I'd actually kind of like to hear his thoughts on that (it really was a spectacular play) but he didn't offer them. That's all I really wanted.
Granted, some people are more articulate than others and having a microphone or three thrust into your face within seconds of intense physical activity is weird for anyone. It's not realistic to expect a Robert Downey Jr. level of sophistication, charm and wit under sweaty circumstances like that. If anything, I'm more disappointed in us, fans and other ham-and-eggers who set the bar so low in terms of expectations than I am with those athletes who don't feel compelled to exceed them. We expect all of these people to be role models for kids but we don't expect them to string together a couple of original thoughts? Seems like a disconnect there to me.
I also understand my concern pales significantly to the question that this issue supposedly brings to light, that being a discussion we need to have about how we perceive successful and confident/arrogant black men. After all, the word "thug" was apparently uttered 625 times on TV the following day and Sherman believes "thug" is an acceptable way of saying "nigger", which brings this to mind...
I have a feeling he's probably right about that but I suspect it's less a matter of us being ready to have that discussion and more like this being a slow-flying goose that wound up in front of the jet engine that is the Super Bowl hype machine. Mine is more immediately manageable, I think, but if we're really going to address the big, difficult problem, I'm willing to wait. Meanwhile, there's a young pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays named Chris Archer. I like him because when he's interviewed, you can actually see him stop, think for a second, and then answer the reporter's question. I'd just like to see more of that and less than the other, if that's okay.
More players like this, please

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The National Anthem Singer Show!

Hi folks. Welcome to the National Anthem Singer Show, where we fairly and objectively rank those who sing "The Star Spangled Banner" and sometimes "O Canada" prior to your favorite sporting events. I'm your unbiased host, Clark Brooks. We have some great singers here for you today. Let's get to it, shall we?
First up, let's see, it's Ms. Linda Haverlin of Pocatello, Idaho. Okay, Linda let's see what you've got.
LINDA: Thank you. I'd just like to say that this is such an honor and opportunity for me.
Well, thank YOU, Linda! So before we hear you sing, let me just ask you, how much of an influence has Vanessa Rodriguez been on you, and not just your singing but everything in your entire life?
LINDA: Um, I'm not sure I know who that is...
All right. Sing anyway, I guess. Go.
LINDA: (sings Star Spangled Banner)
Okay. That was fine, I suppose. On a scale of zero to Vanessa Rodriguez, with Vanessa Rodriguez being the best and zero being just godawful, I'd say you're a four. Or 40% as good as Vanessa Rodriguez. It's not good but you have something to build on. So that's it for you.
LINDA: Oh. Okay. Thank you, I...
Get out. Next.
Okay, next up it's, let's see here, Mr. Guy LaPlouf of Montreal, Canada!

GUY: Oh thanks, eh? It's great to be here!
Well, we're pleased to have you here. Before you start singing, did you happen to notice Vanessa Rodriguez out in the lobby?
GUY: Uhhh, no, no I don't think so...
Oh. Okay. Sometimes I just like to check, just in case she decides to come by and check out the show or whatever. It could happen, right?
GUY: Yeah, I suppose so. But I didn't see anybody out there, so...
All right, all right. We'll listen to you instead then. Go ahead.
GUY: Okay then! Well, I'd like to perform the Canadian national anthem of "O Canada", but with a twist; I'll be performing it in French!
I think we've heard enough.
GUY: But I didn't even...
No, no, I get it. "O Canada, our home and tra la la. Je suis croissant and maple-flavored ham." Very nice.
GUY: Those aren't the lyrics and that's very offensive.
Look, I don't like you, I don't like your attempts at fancy trickery, I think your haircut is ridiculous. On a scale of zero to Vanessa Rodriguez, I'm giving you a one. And that's because you're wearing a bow tie and I know those are not easy to tie. Bon soir and vios con carne, mon ami. Who's next? Is it Vanessa Rodriguez? No, of course not. Who is it?

ANNA MAE: It's me, sweet little Anna Mae Daffledecker of Crossbreeze, Oklahoma!
Oh boy.
ANNA MAE: I've been performing on stage since I was five and just this past spring I was the lead in the Crossbreeze Community Players' production of Annie!
Good grief.
ANNA MAE: And now, for your viewing and listening pleasure, I will now perform The Star Spangled Banner, in the style of Christina Aguilera!
Ooh, ooh, ooh. Hold on a second. Do you think you could maybe sing it in the style of Vanessa Rodriguez instead, Anna Mae?
ANNA MAE: (Giggles) I could, but I've never heard of her, silly!
Get out! Get out, get out, GET OUT! I want you to leave, right now! Go! Go back to Oklahoma, forget about Christina Aguilera, study Vanessa Rodriguez and don't come back until your mere presence doesn't make everybody, including World War II veterans, hate America!
ANNA MAE: I'm only 11 and you're frightening me!
I swear to God, I will throw a lawn mower at you if you don't get out of here right now. And if you don't think I have a lawn mower, you just stand there five more seconds AND YOU WILL FIND OUT THE HARD WAY!!!
Well, that's our show, folks. Sorry to say, once again we see that there is a complete lack of Vanessa Rodriguez-like talent out there. Tune in next week and see if that changes, but don't get your hopes up. Good night.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really like Vanessa Rodriguez

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jammin' Monstrously

There's a radio announcer out there who does the ads all the motor sports shows plus some NFL football games. He has this crazy exaggerated growl of a voice that just cracks me up. I don't know his name or what he looks like in real life but I imagine him being 18 feet tall, made out of horses, motorcycles, flying V guitars, wearing a long leather duster and completely on fire. When Satan had an answering machine, this guy would have done the outgoing message on it. I do an impression of him for my own amusement from time to time (a significant portion of my waking hours is spent doing things that amuse me from time to time), and I actually think it's pretty good. Tampa had a motor sports events, specifically "Monster Jam", this past weekend. There's another one in about two weeks and he's been on the radio a lot. As a result, he was on my mind when I got home the other day and found a notice in my mailbox. So I called the automated bill-pay line as that guy and paid my bill. That went like this:

THEM: Thank you for calling the automated bill pay system. Please say or enter your ten-digit phone number, beginning with the area code.
ME: 1-800 ASK GARY and Metro PCS present Monster Jam!
THEM: I'm sorry. Is this a number associated with your account?
ME: Yes.
THEM: Please say or enter your ten-digit phone number, beginning with the area code.
ME: 1-800 ASK GARY and Metro PCS present Monster Jam!
THEM: I'm sorry. I'm unable to access your account.
ME: (presses #)
THEM: Thank you for calling the automated bill pay system. Please say or enter your ten-digit phone number, beginning with the area code.
ME: (enters correct phone number.)
THEM: For security purposes, please enter the last four digits of your social security number.
THEM: Thank you for calling the automated bill pay system. Please say or enter your ten-digit phone number, beginning with the area code.
ME: (enters correct phone number.)
THEM: For security purposes, please enter the last four digits of your social security number.
ME: (enters last four digits)
THEM: Thank you. Your current balance is $64.58. You can either pay this amount, pay a different amount of your choice or set up a payment plan. Would you like to hear these options again?
ME: Pay it all off.
THEM: I'm sorry, I was unable to understand your response. You can either...
THEM: I'm sorry, I was unable...
THEM: (pause) Thank you for calling the automated bill pay system. Please say or enter your ten-digit phone number, beginning with the area code.
...(all the steps necessary to get back to the three options...
ME: I would like to pay off my entire balance.
THEM: Okay. You would like to pay your current balance. Is that right?
ME: YES!!!
THEM: All right. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. I'll wait while you retreive your...
ME: I'm ready
THEM: Okay. Please say or enter the card number.
ME: 1-800 ASK GARY and Metro PCS present Monster Jam!
THEM: I'm sorry. I'm unable to recognize a valid credit card number...
THEM: (pause) Thank you for calling the automated bill pay system. Please say or enter your ten-digit phone number, beginning with the area code.

This went on another 10 minutes or so. Then my throat started hurting so I just paid the bill and went to bed.

Friday, January 17, 2014

I understand, Clark, and I'm on your side

"Yes, the revulsion toward Clark cuts across cultural boundaries." - Jon Greenburg,

People who know me in real life as well as people who have been reading this blog for a while know that whining about my name is something that I do now and then. In reality, it's something I've gotten over for the most part. I mean, honestly, what am I gonna do? Change my name? Of course not. That doesn't change the fact that there is still a dearth of people and things out there representing the name "Clark".
Imagine my excitement waking up the other day and finding an email from my sister in my inbox:
"I’m sure you have heard already, but it was on the news this morning that the Cubs have a new mascot. Clark the Cub. What took the so long to recognize your greatness??"

Well, I hadn't heard already but my first thought wasn't about overdue accolades. It was something along the lines of, 'Of course it's the Cubs. Of course it's the team that hasn't won a championship in 105+ years (the + symbolizes the season that doesn't begin until April during which the Cubs won't come close to making the playoffs again). Of course it's the franchise that has come to symbolize losing like no other in all of professional sports. Of course.'
Other people sent similar notes and I started warming up to the concept. I grew up a Cubs fan because they were on TV where I lived and while I'm not 100% devoted to them, I do root for them when doing so doesn't conflict with supporting my true love, the Tampa Bay Rays. I love visiting Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs, as it was the first stadium I ever visited. And now, it will have plenty of souvenirs with my name on them, so that's nice. I not only accepted the development but began to embrace it as something not half bad. Then the media and the internet started weighing in:

  • "Widely reviled" - USA Today
  • "As if being a #Cubs fan wasn't laughable enough on it's own. Now we get the rejected cast member of "Talespin" as the mascot." - @PAshleyWalden (Twitter)
  • "The Cubs' New Mascot Is A Nightmarish, Perverted Furry" - Deadspin
  • "Clark the Cub looks awfully happy to be representing more than a century of sadness." - @EliseMichelle (Twitter)
  • "Cubs lose! Cubs lose! with new mascot Clark" - Chicago SunTimes
  • "Clark the Cub: a mascot that is somehow worse than Wally the Green Monster." - @AlanGreenback
  • "The Chicago Cubs Make Clark the Latest Bad Baseball Mascot" - The New Yorker
  • "Finally, a reason for Pierre the Pelican: KILL CLARK THE CUB." @RKallland (Twitter)
  • "Cubs’ fans don’t get a contender, they get Clark" - Chicago SunTimes
  • "Isn't wearing pants" - Everybody

Wow. The last one isn't even a valid complaint. Who would ever wear pants if they didn't have to? Aside from that, even at my absolutely most self-conscious and paranoid, I never faced that kind of persecution and vitriol. Like right now, I'm pretty sure there is only one person who hates my guts but I haven't seen anything in writing. Well, now that I knowg that sportswriters and Twitter users hate Clark, I officially love him. Most of you know that Twitter is the home of some of the most miserable people on earth. The rest of the most miserable people on earth, who may also have Twitter accounts, are sportswriters. I know this from experience. Sportswriters hate everything. If you as a fan think your local team and the players hate you, well, you may be right. I don't really know. But I promise you that your local sportswriters definitely hate you. Mostly, they think you're stupid but they hate you because of your perceived stupidity. They hate writing stories for you, they hate asking players questions on your behalf and they really, really hate you for having your stupid opinions. I don't know why. I love all of that stuff. Maybe it's because I've only been doing it for a few years and they're older and jaded and bitter. All I know is that they're so goddamned negative about everything that I almost feel obligated to push back. I certainly feel justified in doing so.
And it doesn't look like the people whose opinions actually matter on the subject have a problem with him.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I am the worst person I know

I have been known to refer to myself as the worst person I know. Part of that is self-effacing humor but honestly, at the heart of the matter, it's an affirmation and a source of comfort to me. See, if I'm the worst person I know and I'm not out committing rape or robbery or genocide or other attrocities against people, and I've surrounded myself with people who are that much better than I am, I sleep a little better at night. Horrible people doing horrible things are out there but as far as I know, they're strangers far, far away, at least in a relative sense. That doesn't solve any of the world's problems but it helps me confine them in a small box and keeps them psychollogically manageable. Maybe I'm fooling myself but it seems to work so I'm not going to screw with it.

A little behind-the-scenes glimpse: more often than not, the stuff I post here is written days (sometimes weeks, when I'm on a super productive streak) in advance. What you're reading right now was written yesterday (January 14). However, Monday's entry was actually written on the fly. What's ironic about that is that during the exact time that I was putting it together, yet another semi-angry/semi-resigned screed about being frustrated by the behavior of stupid and inconsiderate people, a man was shooting two people in a nearby (21.5 miles to be exact) movie theater, killing a man and wounding his wife, in a stupid fight over the victim's inconsiderate use of a cell phone in the theater. Just like that, one life ends and three others are altered forever, over something that at it's worst, was rude and a pain in the ass. As I was writing, obviously unaware that any of this was happening less than a half hour's drive away, I was having trouble deciding whether or not to use a joke, an offhand and flippant reference to praying for the painful deaths of those who annoy me. I thought the piece needed more jokes but ultimately decided not to use it, only because I decided it didn't work because it just wasn't very funny. I mean mechanically, not in terms of whether or not it was "appropriate". It's entirely possible that I was making that decision at the exact moment the shooting was taking place. This isn't about what is or is not acceptable to be presented as humorous (if the joke had been funnier, I'd have used it), it's about how far... or how close... I am from snapping at that level.
When I'm me at my best, I can't even imagine getting THAT angry over something THAT silly. The idea that not only should someone pay for their lack of consideration with their life but that I should be the one to render that punishment? It is utterly impossible for me to relate to that.
However, I'm not always at my best. A few years ago, I was out running errands with my dog Barkley.

This is what pure happiness looks like: Barkley, taking a ride.
She was my favorite pet of all time and I still absolutely ache over how much I miss her. She was 100% pure goodness and a true source of joy in my life. She was also a daddy's girl and nothing made her happier than just spending time with me. So we're out running errands and some ass, an old man, pulls out in front of us, causing me to swerve drastically into another lane. I caught up to him at the light and yelled at him through the passenger side window. He yells back, telling me to go fuck myself. I lost my shit. The light turned green and I started chasing him. We got off the main road and were racing through a neighborhood, squealing tires and all kinds of unsafe driving. I didn't even know what I would do to the old man when I caught him but I knew it would be really, really bad. I was going to punish his ass, right in front of his wife or whoever the old bag riding with him was. I don't know why but I happened to look at Barkley and saw that she was terrified. She was sitting there, being a perfectly good girl, because that's what she was at her very essence, but the look in her eyes was unmistakeable. She was confused and something that she loved, taking a ride, was now a scary ordeal because of me, somebody she loved. My heart instantly broke into a million pieces and I stopped chasing the old man immediately. I pulled over as he drove on and sat on the side of the road for about 10 minutes, petting Barkley and apologizing to her, but mostly trying to comfort me. I have never felt like more of a failure than at that moment. After all, she was just a dog and the only things she could offer me were her love and trust and I had betrayed both over... what? Some jerk who I allowed to make make me angry? What if I'd gotten her hurt? For that matter, what if I'd caught the old man and hurt him or his wife? Pathetic. Of course, she recovered fully and quickly because, again, she was a dog and made of pure goodness but the idea that I had caused her even slight anxiety because I lost control of my emotions just destroyed me. I don't know if that was my first big step in the softened-up softie I'm (d)evolving into today, but I haven't had a similar incident since and it still hurts when I think about it, so yeah, probably.
The whole point is that I'm the worst person I know and I'm pretty much okay with that.

Monday, January 13, 2014

More stupid people problems

I would have to say the toughest thing about my job is dealing with the stupid people. I realize this makes me unique from everybody else who has a job by about 0%, with the only exceptions being certain sects of monks who are bound by a vow of silence but those guys don't show up in the census.
One of my favorite things about life is how we all know the stupid people are out there but none of us are them. We can point them out in a crowd, we can mention them by name (many of them are our friends and relatives) but none of us are actually stupid. The stupidest person in the world can be in the middle of doing the stupidest thing they've ever done and they'll be looking at someone else, shaking their head sadly and thinking to themselves "look at that idiot over there".
These are the people who make my job less than a pure joy. Specifically, the argumentative stupid.
I work in customer service, which is not as bad as it might sound initially. I like helping people solve problems. Better yet, my employer affords me the resources to do so. It's not a bad job at all. I sincerely enjoy it. But every now and then, I get someone who calls for help and then wants to argue with me. This is something I simply can not comprehend. Let me give you an example:
CALLER: Hey, when is the thing?
ME: It starts at 8:00PM.
CALLER: Are you sure? Because I read something on the internet that says it starts at 7.
ME: Yes sir, I'm sure. That event definitely starts at 8.
CALLER: Well, then why did it say 7 at
All right.

  1. You called me with a question. If you felt like you already had the info, why did you call?
  2. I don't work for How should I know what they publicize or why?
  3. I'm here, at the place where the thing is taking place. I think I have a better handle on the situation than I presume that was a factor in why you called me.
  4. If you don't think I'm a credible source of information, why did you call me?
Sometimes these people will argue with me about directions, as in how to get from where they are to where I am and all I want to say is, "Well, I'm here, proving I know how to get here, and you don't, so...". Of course, I can't say anything like that or any of the stuff up above. I don't want to get fired and I don't want to upset anyone and mostly I don't want to get fired. This puts me in the position of having to argue without arguing, also not to be condescending. I have to because it's my job to impart the correct information and if I don't argue, I won't be doing that. I'll be failing to provide the service which I'm paid to provide. It's difficult and happens enough to cause frustration, which if unchecked, can come out in dealing with people who aren't stupid and argumentative and don't deserve to be treated as such.

So what do I do about these stupid people? Eh. Nothing. I just complain about them on this blog every now and then. It's cheaper and more effective than therapy and unemployment.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Gettin' in Da Club - part 2 of 2

Not so fast, would-be club member.
After repeated phone inquiries which resulted in un-returned voice mails, I guess The Exclusive Wealth Club does not want me as a member. And it's not because of what I wrote here on Wednesday; all my phone calls were made before that was published. Something else has derailed my attempt to join this club. Something in the timbre of my voice, perhaps? Maybe my lack of education and upbringing shows through in my manner of speaking. Could it be the fact that I'm black? I'm not, of course, but they have no way of knowing that. It certainly couldn't have anything to do with my wealth, because who makes more money than comedy writers?
All right, besides whoever all these people are, I mean
It definitely can't be because of my lineage. The Brooks name is one with a long, proud history featuring exceptional men excelling in a variety of disciplines...
Uncle Mel
Cousin Garth
Cousin Derrick
I have no idea. All I know is I'm not getting in, which means I wasted all the interview preparation I did, which means I'm just going to have to pretend that would have gone something like this...

Hello Mr. Brooks. Thank you for your interest in The Exclusive Wealth Club!
Hey, I'm just thrilled you returned my call! Although, I don't know why that should be such a big deal as it's nothing more than the least amount of common courtesy, something that one wouldn't necessarily equate with exclusivity and wealth, right? Ha ha!

But of course. Now, I should start by asking what your interest in The Exclusive Wealth Club is?
Ah yes. Well, you see, my good man. I feel as though it's time for me to take the next bold step in personal and professional development and that exclusivity and wealth will be key components of that development. Plus, a lot of my friends are jerks and I could certainly use an upgrade in that department. KnowwhatI'msayin'?? (extends hand for high five which is not returned).
Uh-huh. So personal gain is what you're seeking.
I guess if I had to boil it down to the basics, I  wanna get freaky in mansions. That's what I'm really talking about. I wanna get freaky in mansions in Europe with girls who, when you're done getting freaky with them, go out and stand on a wind-swept veranda where they look incredible instead of arguing with you about who pays what in terms of bus fare.
Mr. Brooks, I don't think you understand what the club is really all about...
Oh! And also on a helicopter! It can be just once, but that needs to happen. It doesn't have to be a great helicopter. It doesn't even have to fly. It could be a fire truck, actually. With or without sirens. Whichever is classier. Probably with sirens, huh?
Mr. Brooks, this is as much about what YOU bring to the club as it is what you can get from it. Our members are influential, powerful people. They're the elite, the upper crust of society.
Hey look, I'm a guy with a wide variety of interests and talents. I write, I act, I mess around with music. I know about sports. Any club would be better for including me, not just the ones where members get together to have sex on fire trucks.
I don't think so, Mr. Brooks. Thank you for your interest but we are not going to consider you for membership at this time.
So that's it? I'm out? Aw damn.
I'm truly sorry. Perhaps we will meet again under different circumstances.
Oh, you can count on that, pal. Count on that!!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Let's get Shorty!

"I don't care to win awards" - Prince
"Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for" - Clarence Darrow

Those two quotes are philosophies I honestly believe in and try my best to live by. Sure, I've campaigned for awards before but that was just for fun. I do what I do and honestly don't care if somebody thinks it should be commemorated with an award or not. However, my pal and Raw Charge editor John Fontana has nominated me for a Shorty Award, which "honors the best in social media". John nominated me for, in his words, "fantastic writing on multiple sites; humorous, entertaining, awesome". He's talking about my coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning at Raw Charge, the stuff you find here on the purple blog and profound wisdom nuggets like these on Twitter:

"It's nice to know that the girl I'm going to ruin when I have my mid-life crisis is probably in high school by now."

"I can't figure out how to buy one of those grocery check-out separator bars."

"Having cleaned my crock pot, I now feel like I can accomplish anything! Well, good night everybody."

Naturally, I don't believe there's even a slight chance of winning. And because of that, I can't think of a valid reason not to try. And so, here is my official plea to you to please vote for me to win a Shorty award. In doing so, you'll join the following luminaries who have already pitched in...

Jeff Hickmott ‏(@jeffie2k) I nominate @clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because...the ladies love him. Oh, and he writes stuff.

Raw Charge (‏@RawCharge) I nominate @clarkbrooks for a shorty award in #blogger because of his engaging, entertaining approach and versatility and persistence

Tina Robinson (‏@TJ_hockeyfan426) I nominate @clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because...he covers Tampa Bay hockey AND he can be funny too!

Clare Austin ‏(@CAustinRC) I nominate @clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because he's already won the trust of our octosquid masters.

BigBadEd ‏(@BigBadEd) I nominate @clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because he's the Bombdiggity.

Allovimo (‏@Allovimo) I nominate @clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because...he's fantabulously awesome.

P.W. Fenton ‏(@pwfenton) I nominate @clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because... he gets pissy when he doesn't win.

LightningShout (‏@LightningShout) I nominate @clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because he's a few bricks shy of a load and funny as hell.

Su Ring (‏@Motley_Su) I nominate @clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because... he ROCKS.

Bees (‏@LoveBees) I nominate @Clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because he never fails to make me smile. And would much rather be a veloceraptor

John Fontana (‏@Johnny_Fonts) I nominate @Clarkbrooks for a Shorty Award in #blogger because of his fantastic writing on multiple sites; humorous, entertaining, awesome

See? We've got some momentum here. Now is the time to join in by casting your vote between now and February 18. The awards ceremony is April 7 in New York. And if we somehow manage to fall short, look how many of us can all be disappointed and bitter together!

Gettin' in Da Club - part 1 of 2

The other day, I was on line and I stumbled across this club...

Woo wee, son!
That's right, it's the Exclusive Wealth Club, Inc.
My first reaction was something like, "AH, HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!"
But then I thought about it a little more, and aside from having a name the Little Rascals might have come up with after Spanky and Alfalfa each found a nickel or something and a logo that must have taken several minutes on Publisher to design, this sounds like it might be a pretty sweet club. Besides, it's hard to come up with a good name these days, what with so many things having been around for so long and taking up all the really good names that describe an organization, its members and what it's all about. "The Excelsior Douchebag Society", "The Kill Us First When You Poor People Finally Get Fed Up Enough To Do Something About It Association" and "Ye Mystic White People That Even Other White People Hate Krewe" are probably all taken. Regardless, you shouldn't judge it by the name; take a look at that logo. Those are lions, a two-headed swan AND a crown! They also have an official Facebook page. You think Zuckerberg lets just anybody have one of those?
Who's in charge of this club? This guy...
You may know him better as The Governor from "The Walking Dead".

Just kidding. Those are two totally different guys. One has a band of yokels who are easily manipulated by a measure of charm and bullshit following him around and the other is a character on a television show.

Okay, I can tell some of you still doubt how top notch this club is. Let me give you some evidence via photograph...
Those are some blinged up graphics, yo! You've got to go back to MySpace circa 2003 for that level of class!
Check out this video...

Did you see those girls? Those are the kinds of girls you get to bang if you're a member of The Exclusive Wealth Club, even if you ARE a girl. Ha ha! Just kidding; you ain't getting in the club, bitch. Not on your own, anyway.
Speedboats, mansions, private jets, waving at unseen people as you get off of private jets, parties in the daytime with the world's best bald deejays, windy balconies, horse statues, yards that can only be viewed from a helicopter? It's like being a damn James Bond villain!

And lastly, when pictures and moving pictures can't paint a picture, you count on words. Words like these (straight off the official club Facebook page):

What is the Exclusive Wealth Club?
I don't know. Talk to me, papa!

Over the years The Exclusive wealth Club has managed to combine the best features of a private club, with the infrastructure of a Private Mansion Equity Destination Club. Many members own luxurious beachfront homes, play tennis or golf at the best country clubs and facilities, dock their yachts in the most coveted marinas, explore the most spectacular locations, and dine in the world's top gourmet restaurants. 

And luxurious bangin' in all those places? Oh yeah, I think so!

Our members treasure the ultimate luxury of having a private mansion paradise to share with other like minded members. An air of casual elegance best describes the feel of EWC events. The natural beauty of the locations and the ability to have a safe haven away from the hussle and bussle of everyday life, while meeting and sharing it with new friends is the ultimate allure of EWC Membership.
See? Also, when you reach this status you don't have to worry about how to spell words like "hustle" or "bustle". Those are poor people words. Let some slob with a name tag worry about spelling those shits correctly.

Generations of members have forged a strong community and connection to preserving this unique EWC lifestyle. Membership is offered by invitation to those who share a common vision and value a community that holds privacy to the highest degree. Being exclusive yet inclusive to like minded individuals offers an private club like no other. 
Need I say more? An private club like no other! "Generations of members" of a club that started in 1986. Who can cram multiple generations into 25 years? Exclusively wealthy people, that's who!

That does it, I'm joining this bitch.

NEXT: I attempt to join this bitch

Monday, January 06, 2014

Network: 2014

The 1976 film "Network", starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden and Peter Finch was a satire about the media, particularly television, and the role it plays in our lives. If it were released today, it probably would have been a completely different movie. It might not have even been a movie.
It might have been a blog.
Like this:

"I'm the mad prophet of the internet!"

November 27, 2013

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's no one anywhere that seems to know what to do with us. We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our computers while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don't go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and computer, and my steel belted radials and I won't say anything." Well I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad. I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crying in the streets. All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm a human being. God Dammit, my life has value." So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" I want you to get up right now. Get up. Go to your windows, open your windows, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Things have got to change my friends. You've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"


Jeff said...
Ok WTF????!!!!!??

Tyler said...
Decaf maybe?

Carol said...

Mike said...
Srsly, WTF????????????????!!!!!!????????

Howard said...
Because you people, and sixty-two million other Americans, are listening to me right now. Because less than three percent of you people read books! Because less than fifteen percent of you read newspapers! Because the only truth you know is what you get over the internet. Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of the internet! The internet is the Gospel, the ultimate revelation. The internet can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers... The internet is the most awesome God-damned force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls in to the hands of the wrong people

Diane said...
"You people"? SMDH

Kevin said...
Here we go. Somebody's always got to tyr to bring racism into everything.

Jeff said...
^^^ spelled "try" wrong. A three letter word. Dumbass.

Kevin said...

Howard said...
I have seen the face of God.

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Diane said...

Mike said...
OMFG! Russians have dumpsters for rent! Howard was right! LMFAO!

Kevin said...

KevinSucks said...
^^^ sucks

Kevin said...

Howard said...
You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here, you're beginning to believe that the internet is reality and your own lives are unreal. You do. Why, whatever the internet tells you: you dress like the internet, you eat like the internet, you raise your children like the internet, you even think like the internet. This is mass madness, you maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing, WE are the illusion.

Max said...
What is this blog supposed to be about anyway? I'm lost #lost

Howard said...
This is not a psychotic episode. This is a cleansing moment of clarity. I'm imbued, Max. I'm imbued with some special spirit. It's not a religious feeling at all. It's a shocking eruption of great electrical energy. I feel vivid and flashing, as if suddenly I'd been plugged into some great electromagnetic field. I feel connected to all living things. To flowers, birds, all the animals of the world. And even to some great, unseen, living force. What I think the Hindus call prana. But it's not a breakdown. I've never felt more orderly in my life. It is a shattering and beautiful sensation. It is the exalted flow of the space-time continuum, save that it is spaceless and timeless and... of such loveliness. I feel on the verge of some great, ultimate truth. And you will not take me off the air for now or for any other spaceless time!

Carol said...
This blog is about how Howard needs to up his meds!!!! LOLLOLOLOLOLLOOOLLOL

Mike said...
Hey Max, we don't use hashtags here. Go back to Twitter, idiot.

This blog is about Kevin and how he sucks.

Diane said...

Kevin said...
Eff this. I'm done.

Howard said...
What is finished... is the idea that this great country is dedicated to the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It's the individual that's finished. It's the single, solitary human being that's finished. It's every single one of you out there that's finished, because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. It's a nation of some 200-odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter-that-white, steel-belted bodies, totally unnecessary as human beings, and as replaceable as piston rods... Well, the time has come to say, is dehumanization such a bad word. Because good or bad, that's what is so. The whole world is becoming humanoid - creatures that look human but aren't. The whole world not just us. We're just the most advanced country, so we're getting there first. The whole world's people are becoming mass-produced, programmed, numbered, insensate things...

KevinSucks said...
Kevin sucks.

Comments are now closed for this post.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Shame or something like it

The other day, I needed to talk to my sister about some fairly serious, unpleasant and sensitive family business. I called her in the morning and got her voice mail, where I left a message for her to call me back. When she did, it was later that afternoon and a co-worker with a well-earned reputation for being nosey was nearby working on something or other. I didn't want Nosey all up in my business but I also didn't feel like trying to whisper, figuring my sister wouldn't be able to hear me but Nosey would. No sense in fighting the battle on that level so why bother. Instead, I decided to let him have the info, but after I rendered it toxic for him...
"Hey, so listen, I have to tell you something but you need to know there's somebody nearby who's probably listening to every word I say."
Rather than jumping through all the hoops necessary to keep my conversation private, I figured it would be easier (and more fun) to just treat him like an asshole before he could do the asshole thing that he inevitably would. You know, pre-emptively. He can't even defend his as-yet uncommitted crime with "Hey, I'm not listening!" without revealing himself as exactly that. Granted, none of this stops him from listening in or even sharing it, but hopefully the fact that he knows I'm on to him, and that I'm probably not the only one, ruins it for him, at least a little bit. Some people have no sense of shame, and in those cases you have to try to find some other way to make them feel shitty about the shitty things they do. Not to teach them a lesson, because those people aren't worth trying to salvage by teaching them stuff, but simply as a form of punishment.
You see, you have to crawl before you can walk, but if somebody chops your legs off, it's hard to do either of those things.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

So that was 2013

Let's see;
I survived an ailment that I thought was going to kill me in my sleep, I helped Peter Pan get his boat back, I continued to collaborate with some great writers with The Unbelievables and at Raw, I published a book, I threw a party to celebrate the publication of said book, I bought and moved into a new home, and I finally committed my first real wedding.

Those are all pretty cool and significant things, things that one could look back on with a real sense of pride and self-satisfaction.
Then how come my fondest memory of the year was that time a blind girl's wheelchair tipped over and I was able to see up her skirt for a second?
Oh well. Here's to next year.

Happy New Year

All through the house, 'twas the eve 'fore '09,
All the creatures were stirring, man, woman, bovine.
The mission was simple; an epic pub crawl,
to down as much booze before hearing "Last call!"

To get myself psyched up, I listened to rap,
And put on my favorite backwards baseball cap.
The car keys were hung by the tv with care,
Cops don't like drunk drivers, no mercy to spare.

I would be walking, no, stumbling more apt.
And wouldn't come home home 'til my wallet was tapped.
When out in the yard there arose such a ruckus,
I looked out the window and said "what the fuck is..."

But my query was cut off, halfway out my throat,
When I saw parked in my yard what looked like a boat.
A salty old pirate came scuttling out,
"I'm Captain Morgan!", he announced with a shout.

"You've been invited to come join my crew!"
That pop that you heard was my mind when it blew.
I couldn't believe it. My brain playing tricks?
Or another dumb prank by my friends, who are dicks.

That's when he called out to the rest of his gang,
"Come show yourselves", and their names he then sang;
"Now, vodka! now, whiskey! now, Thunderbird vino!
Some applejack brandy with San Pellegrino!

Margarita, Rumrunner, Long Island Iced Tea
Fuzzy Navels, Martinis, now come follow me!
Budweiser, Michelob, Miller Lite, Coors!
And other shitty domestics, if I didn't mention yours!"

This was amazing, my best dream come true,
Of course I would join this fabulous crew!
But before I could answer, what to my eyes did appear?
Great, big, ol' wet spots on my jeans, front and rear.

I said, "Uh-oh, this ain't right. What is the matter?"
And found my hand submerged in a bowl of warm water.
I raised up my head and I looked in a mirror.
On my face, penned in Sharpie, it said, "Insert balls here".

The crew and the Captain were laughing at me.
"Oh gross", one of them said, "He slept in his own pee!"
I squinted my eyes so I could focus on them
And saw no captain or ship; just my own so-called friends.

While they took turns laughing and being disgusted at my state,
I mumbled "Izzit NewYear?" They said "Dude, you're too late."
It turns out I got drunk, passed out hours ago.
Slept right through the damn thing, missed the whole Dick Clark show.

I couldn't believe it, the whole thing was a dream
Never should have mixed tequila with Baileys Irish Cream.
I pulled myself upright and promptly puked up some beer.
and said "Keep laughing, you assholes. I'll get you next year."