Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Ridiculously Inconsistent Endorsement

If anybody ever asked me questions about politics, they might ask questions like these:
"Clark, for whom are you voting?"
"Clark, who is the best candidate?"
"Clark, whose side are you on?"
Those are excellent questions, but nobody asked me so I don't have to answer them. And for that reason, the candidate I have decided to endorse is...
Joshua Santos
for Tax Collector

Here's a handy Q and A with A's to answer all your Q's

Q: Is he a Democrat or a Republican?
A: I don't know, but I did find this photo of him...
Pictured (L to R): Elephant statue and Joshua Santos
Maybe he just likes elephants. Or statues of animals.
Q: Who knows?
A: Who cares?

Q: In what county is he running?
A: Any of 'em. All of 'em. He's not actually on any ballots so you're going to need to write him in. J-O-S-H-U-A. S-A-N-T-O-S. Just vote for him. Wherever he gets elected, he'll show up to do the job of Tax Collector, which is collecting taxes.

Q: Is he qualified for this position?
A: Of course he is. Just look at him sitting behind this government desk, made of marble and wood.
Pictured (L to R): Joshua Santos

Q: Whose desk is that?
A: No idea.

Q: Then why is he sitting there?
A: I don't know but look how much fun he's having. And isn't that what matters?

Q: What are his policies?
A: The other night, he told me about a bunch of laws that he plans to change once he's in office. I don't remember what they were and I'm pretty sure that a Tax Collector can't even do any of the things he said, but he said stuff and it sounded pretty good and that's what matters. So, yeah.

Q: But where does he stand on the issues?
A: He is for them. Many of them. Not all of them. Some of them, he is against. He is a reasonable man.

Q: Is he a man of the people?
A: Yes, he is. He's friends with at least two police officers and at least one black man.
Pictured (L to R): Joshua Santos, a cop, a black man, another cop.

Q: Why are you endorsing Joshua Santos in this election for the position of Tax Collector?
A: Let me tell you a little story. I was at an open mic in Ybor City a while back with a bunch of comedians and we were throwing back some brewskis, as is our wont. Joshua Santos approached, drinking a martini. Bright green liquid in a fancy glass with a long stem. Behind our burly mugs filled with frothy amber goodness, we proceeded to hurl invective at him, questioning his virility and manhood, which are the same thing but we questioned both of them. Josh simply held his martini aloft and said "these are $2". Then this happened...
Pictured (L to R): "The 'Tini Boys"
Joshua Santos has the ability to bring us together and provide exactly the kind of leadership we need from a Tax Collector.

Wherever you live, vote for Joshua Santos on whatever day the election is. Because I said so.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The new originality

Things have changed.
That happens over time.
I understand. I get it. I'm okay with it.


I mean, I try to understand. I try to get it. I try to be okay with it.

Still, sometimes I'm thrown a curveball with which I can't quite connect. Apparently, concepts like "100%" and "original", concepts that I thought that by virtue of their self-evident, basic definitions were incapable of being altered, have somehow changed.

Definition of 100 percent:  completely, entirely

Definition of original:1 archaic :  the source or cause from which something arises; specifically :  originator
2 a :  that from which a copy, reproduction, or translation is made
b :  a work composed firsthand
As someone who actually does produce 100% original material every single time I do something, I was thrown when I came across this on Facebook yesterday:
Specifically, what this person was (is) upset about, is this:
If that looks familiar to you, it could be because you may have seen it pop up in an obscure little film franchise known as "Star Wars". Other people posted comments in support of the original poster's complaint, including one who said that that the original poster was a victim of copyright infringement. Against my better judgment, I posed a question:
"How is taking a logo from a movie that's been around for 40 years '100% original'?"
I received a reply:
"Original is when you create your car your own way, a way no one has seen in the cars seen the movie could have been around 1 billion years but if I created a style or a way my car looks doesn't give the right for someone else to copy it just cause they want too, create your own shit!!! Point blank!!!"
To which I responded:
"I guess. But try applying for a copyright, as discussed above, with that design and see how 'original' the lawyers think it is."
That drew this:
"Who cares about lawyers dude! , you'll have to go after the whole car scene! If anything the [sic] should pay h [sic] I mean and everyone else with these type of decals!"
Eventually, the original poster chimed in:
"Because of the fact that although the logo belongs to the movie, the design and concept behind a Star Wars themed car specifically tail light design for a Chevy Spark the exact same year was hand-painted... Those tail lights aren't available in any stores they were custom made... Its original because these aren't able to be purchased anywhere. There is no store or location where you can buy these."
At this point, the absurdity caused my sarcasm to kick in:
"Okay, I get it. Like recording a bunch of songs on a CD that can't be bought in a store makes it original. Got it."
Unfortunately, it didn't land on the intended level:
"Exactly doesn't make it good it just makes it original"

So remember folks, the guy selling mix tape CD's in the parking lot of your local gas station isn't a douchebag bootlegging hack capitalizing on the creativity of others, he's an artist trying to sell his new "100% original" album.
Be sure to catch my next "100% original" stand-up appearance where I'll be... umm, oh, let's call it re-interpreting... 30-year-old Eddie Murphy fart jokes that I've never stolen... err, re-interpreted... before! It won't be good, but I'll be able to defend it as "original".
Eddie can send me a check.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Justice: Meh.

Comedian Steve Miller does a very funny bit about reviews of national parks on Yelp. I was reminded of that the other day when I saw that a friend of mine "checked in" at the Hillsborough County Courthouse. 
Did you even know that you could rate the county courthouse?
Did you even know that the hallowed halls of local justice, where trials are held and other judicial matters are settled is a crummy joint that's only worth a lousy two and a half stars?
Two and a half stars! 
"I'll judge YOU, judges."

I didn't read the reviews, but I can just imagine...

Brian M. of Tampa: Let me start with the location. I get it, the whole urban-downtown-hip-chic aesthetic, but enough already. The architecture of this particular location with the high ceilings and a spacious lobby gives way to rooms with stately wooden paneling and no windows in them (wtf?!?). The whole thing sets off a heavy (and frankly, pretentious) "This is a place of authority where serious business is conducted" vibe. If that's what they're going for, okay, but it isn't very fun.
Also, what does a statue of a juggling mermaid have to do with the legal system?

I was there to argue my side in yet another dispute with my ex-wife, who is simply the worst. In spite of that fact that anyone with eyes could see (hellooooo!) and my well-presented argument about how my being two years behind in my child support payments is a form of protest and therefor protected by the First Amendment, the judge actually ruled against me!
Oh hai, Hillsborough County. I didn't know you could overrule THE CONSTITUTION!!!!!!

In fact, in addition to needing to pay all the past-due child support, I was given an additional fine ($200!!!) and sentenced to eight weeks of anger management training just because I threw a snake at her (my ex, not the judge).
Not even venomous.

Overall, this was an underwhelming experience and I do not look forward to going back yet again for the fifth time for similar bullshit. One star for cleanliness, one star for ample and convenient parking and a half star because they validate.  

Friday, September 09, 2016

Still too soon... but just wait

Sunday marks 15 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Here's how some are choosing to observe the occasion:

Walmart under fire for 'disgusting' 9/11 tribute

Troll couple slammed for cosplaying as the Twin Towers on 9/11

Mattress Company Condemned for ‘Tasteless’ 9/11 Commercial and ‘Twin Tower Sale’

Ouch, guys!
'Under fire!' 'Slammed!' 'Condemned!'
Too soon. Too, too soon.
But hang in there. Eventually, and I don't know when exactly, but 9/11 will be at least as much fun as a cruise ship running into an iceberg, with more than 1,500 people dying as a result:
"Weee! I'm plunging to an icy death! I wanna go again!"
And at that point, your favorite fast food chain (always happy to do their part when it comes to killing folks) may even sponsor you!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Plugnellas County!

Hi, people who live in Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, Clearwater, Dunedin, Gulfport, Indian Rocks Beach, Largo, Madeira Beach, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor, St. Pete Beach, Seminole, South Pasadena, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs and Treasure Island (and everyone else, for that matter but especially those of you in Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, Clearwater, Dunedin, Gulfport, Indian Rocks Beach, Largo, Madeira Beach, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor, St. Pete Beach, Seminole, South Pasadena, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs and Treasure Island).

Hey, how are you? How's it going? Seriously, I want to know.

But before you answer and I lose my train of thought, and whatever level of general interest I'm pretending to have in your welfare, just let me tell you about a couple of things that will happen within the confines of your county of Pinellas that you can and should attend so we can hang out:

Schnitz and Giggles
Friday, September 9 at 8PM
Stilt House Brewery
625 US 19 ALT
Palm Harbor, FL
September 9 is National Wiener Schnitzel Day. Even if you're not such a fan of very thin, breaded and pan fried cutlets made from veal that you feel an entire day is needed to celebrate them, you've got to admit the fact that such a day exists and allows for the creation of the pun that is the name of this event is pretty great. Plus, all of these things:

  • It's free
  • Stilt House Brewery produces a wide variety of delicious craft beers
  • Food from The Red Line Food Truck will be available
  • The event is hosted by CJ Hernandez and will feature performances by
  • Becca Childs
  • Daniel Figueroa
  • Bill Kirkpatrick
  • Jeff Klein
  • ME!
Man, that sounds pretty great. If I wasn't already going, I'd go.

And then on Saturday...
The Last Big Bash
Saturday, September 10 at 6PM
Kymatic Studios
2436 Emerson Ave. S. 
St. Petersburg, FL
The first time I heard about Kymatic Studios, I couldn't figure out where in St. Pete it was located so I put the address into Google Earth and found this:
Naturally, my reaction was "I'm not going there! It looks like a place where they paint cars." Naturally, I wound up going anyway. I walked in and there was loud music and weird lights and girls with hula-hoops. At one point, the emcee announced, "Hey, we had a case of flip-flops delivered here today. We don't know why. We're pretty sure it was a mistake because we're in a warehouse and this is the warehouse district. But if you want to buy some flip-flops, come and see me because we're selling them for $2 a pair." This made me an instant fan for life. That, and the fact that everybody there was and is so friendly and accommodating and supportive. I've performed there dozens of times, once doing what amounted to a residency of six weeks in a row. It's my favorite place in all of St. Pete. I love Kymatic Studios!
Well, their landlord is putting the screws to them, raising their rent substantially in spite of not providing basic services that any tenant would expect. There's no air conditioning and that big garage door on the front was broken for most of the summer, turning the place into an oven. As a result, they have to move. This show is a fundraiser to help them find a new home. The future is uncertain but they're optimistic. I'm sad that this is happening but truly honored that they've invited me to be a part of what they're billing as "The Last Big Bash". This massive show is scheduled to go until 3AM! Check out the line-up:

  • 6:30-7:05 Chuck Terzian - Music
  • 7:10-7:20 Traci Penokie - Poetry
  • 7:25-7:55 John Clark - Music
  • 8:00-8:10 Clark Brooks - Comedy (Me)
  • 8:15-8:45 American Songbox - Music
  • 8:50-9:00 Todd Stimmell - Comedy
  • 9:00-9:20 Cocoa Bella - Music
  • 9:20-9:30 Topaz Hooper - Poetry
  • 9:30-9:50 Sierra Amora - Music
  • 9:50-10:00 Danny Figueroa - Comedy
  • 10:00-10:30 Jonathan Blake - Music
  • 10:35-10:45 Cali Poetik - Poetry
  • 10:50-11:10 Zig Zag - Music
  • 11:15- 11:25 Jander Gray - Comedy
  • 11:40-12:10 Dead is the Cat - Music
  • 12:20- 12:30 Elijah Henry - Comedy
  • 12:40-1:10 Graveyard Groupies - Music
  • 1:30-2:00 Shifted Grimm – Music
Kymatic happens to be smack in the middle of the 2nd Saturday ArtWalk so that'll be happening too, with Kymatic showing and selling artwork.
All of that for just $5!

But yeah, what's up with you?

I'm never going to play Mobile Strike

I'm posting this because apparently my multiple refusals to click on all those ads that constantly pop up on my phone are not enough and whoever is in charge needs to know
Never ever!
Do you hear me? NEVER!!!
I don't care how many cartoon Arnold Schwarzeneggers you throw at me, it is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

At my wake or funeral or whatever ceremony that takes place to commemorate my passing (I don't expect to be involved in the planning of that event), people may gather at some point and regale each other with the exploits of my life and one of those people may say, "Did you know that in his whole life, not once did he play Mobile Strike?" To which someone who didn't know me that well and never read this blog post might reply, "Did he want to?" "That's the thing; he never did!" That's how much I don't ever want to play Mobile Strike.

What's the big deal? Why not play the game?
Good questions with multiple answers.

1) I'm already playing a game. When the ads pop up to tell me to download another game, I'm already playing Tetris Blitz. I'm enjoying Tetris Blitz a great deal and ads for Mobile Strike hamper that enjoyment. Have you ever been eating dinner at home and seen an ad on TV for some restaurant that caused you to stop eating and go immediately to that restaurant? Of course not. That would be stupid. 
Oh shit, throw my salad in the trash. I've got to go!
Leave me alone and let me enjoy Tetris Blitz in peace.

2) To my own admitted (sometimes) detriment, pushing me to do something, even if it's the greatest thing in the world, is going to have the opposite of the desired effect, which is to get me to do that allegedly greatest thing in the world. The more popular something is, the less likely I am to want to participate.
Never seen oneogy, let alone trilogy
Why? Because I'm some hipster elitist douchebag snob? No! I just resent things that lots of people enjoy.
Okay, so maybe I share some traits with hipster elitist douchebag snobs.
At least I don't look like this though.
3) I'm pretty sure Mobile Strike is not that great of a game. Here's what's promised:
And here's what shows up as sample game play in the pop up ad:
Build a tower?!?
We're under attack and you want me to do carpentry?
How does building a tower qualify as "NONSTOP ACTION"? Where's my giant gun? How much mayhem and carnage can I create with a hammer and some two-by-four's? Build a tower? That's grunt work. What's next after I clear this level, the Hang-Around-With-A-Bunch-Of-Goofs-In-The-Motor-Level achievement?
Been there, done that.
In closing, if you're reading this, Mobile Strike Inc. or Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, please leave me alone. I'm never going to play Mobile Strike.