The views and opinions expressed in O'Keefe's Briefs(tm) are not necessarily those of The Management. In fact, they are very likely not even the views and opinions of the writer, the typeface designer, god or the President of the United States. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who shares the extraordinary worldview expressed below, and should you, run. Far and fast. The Management would also like to point out that any references or similarities to any persons living, dead, or undead are entirely coincidental since we all know there are no such things as zombies anyhow.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oh! Canada!

I've been thinking a lot about our neighbor to the North lately. Especially now that some recently leaked diplomatic cables suggest a more strained relationship between our two nations than we Southern North Americans may realize.

I suppose, though, the older, more wise, stronger, better looking brother wouldn't notice that sort of tension - being just the tiniest hair self-involved, and of course, assuming himself to be (quite naturally!) a positive, nay beneficent role model. I jest. There really does seem to be some sort of inferiority complex at play here however, so I just want to be among the first to say, "Oh, Canada, I understand you."

I have a feeling that Canada is much like New Jersey or Brussels Sprouts1. We Americans, well North Americans, uh. Ahem. We the people of the United States of America (hey, that's pretty good!) tend to think of Canada as a sort of slow younger brother in need of our protection. This primarily has to do with three things: your inability to pronounce the word 'about'; your over-use of the interjection 'eh'; and your refusal to abandon the mullet as a viable hairstyle. They 80s are gone guys. And if I have to see another one of your god-damned geese it'll be too soon.

That said, while you drive like bats out of hell on our interstates, you guys are just so damned nice! Other items in the "pros" column would be: poutine, the way in which Canadians dominate on the ice2, Vancouver (aka The Couve) is the LA of the North just as Montreal is the Paris of the New World, your side of Niagra Falls - it's all just plain nicer, cleaner, as if Europe and the USA got do-overs. The list goes on and on.

Hell, I bet Canada even smells better, like back bacon mixed with evergreen - fresh and delicious.

I hope one day to visit, or perhaps even emigrate. What with all of this global warming, it's just a matter of time before New York is under water or hot and muggy like Atlanta. I for one am definitely keeping my options open.

Keep a few Labatts cold for me!

1 - All three are victims of bad word of mouth smear campaigns. I'm sure one day I'll write my New Jersey blog, but I just get so angry every time I start it that I can't get my thoughts straight. In short: don't believe everything you see on MTV; New Jerseyans think the cast of Jersey Shore are a bunch of shitbags too. And trust me, properly roasted Brussels Sprouts go fantastically with your steak.

2 - Like the Bob and Doug stereotype, this too may be a pop-culture misconception, though as it's positive, I'll leave it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Your 2010 Kwahanzaakahmas Calendar

There's just over three weeks until the beginning of Kwahanzaakahmas, so to help you plan your festivities, here's this year's calendar.

Monday, December 20 - Twenny

Tuesday, December 21 - Yule

Wednesday, December 22 - The Feast of the Immaculate Concession

Thursday, December 23 - Festivus

Friday, December 24 - Christmas Eve

Saturday, December 25 - Christmas

Sunday, December 26 - Boxing Day

Monday, December 27 - Feast of San Dimas

Tuesday, December 28 - Langeaufwiedersehenssagennacht

Wednesday, December 29 - Ante Penultima Nocta

Thursday, December 30 - Hogmanay Eve

Friday, December 31 - New Year's Eve

I moved Langeaufwiedersehenssagennacht later in the calendar this year, since 10 days seemed a bit too long to say goodbye. No one likes to drag those things out; better to end it quickly like taking off a bandage. Well, relatively quickly. After all I believe it was Boyz II Men who taught us the valuable lesson that It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.

Your match-up for the Feast of San Dimas 2010 is: Saints v. Falcons. Go Saints! (It's mandatory.)

For a longer explanation of how you can celebrate these days go here.1

And just to put it all in one place, go here for the full run-down of what Kwahanzaakahmas is all about.

Have a bitchin' Kwahanzaakahmas and be excellent to one another!

1 - Though, really, as long as you're spending time feasting with friends and family in an atmosphere of bonhomie as they say, it's all good.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Page Added!

You may or may not have noticed that I've added a new page to O'Keefe's Briefs. It's right there up top next to Store. Go ahead and click it to find out what I'm working on. Also, I'll just tell you here. I am currently working on a short story collection. The stories are all connected by their location, think Winesburg, OH. Each will explore a different sub-genre of Supernatural Horror/Fantasy.

What you'll find a the above link is a brief paragraph of narration and a link to the Blog of David Greenberg. This will be a real-time fiction event. Every few days, few weeks, whenever, I'll post another entry in David's blog.

This is the Gothic piece of the puzzle, and what I hope will be the anchor for the collection.

Enjoy and please give me feedback.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ponderous Notions Touching Upon A Year of O'Keefe's Briefs

When I began writing O'Keefe's Briefs last year, I was fully aware that the blog was a form of publication (for lack of a better word) that was already dead. Blogs are no longer meaningful. I blog, you blog, that guy over there has three blogs. Blog blog bloggity blog blog. Blog.

Yet I persist, and one might wonder why.1 I even went as far as to call blogging masturbatory!2 Then there is the fact that while taking the time to point out that blogs are no longer relevant, I continue to blog (even as we speak!), and this may be construed as hypocritical by some. My Twitter feed to the right is another example of hypocrisy3 on my part. It would appear that my hypocrisy knows no bounds!

I continue to wonder what a blog is, in general, and what O'Keefe's Briefs is, specifically. I'm sure there are plenty of people who log on, bang out a post, and go on with their lives as if it were all just a sweet electronic dream. Perhaps I'm overthinking it, but I like to know what it is I'm doing (and hopefully why). I don't, after all, want to waste my time, and to a lesser extent waste yours.

Recently, I was reading a blog from the New York Times website, and it occurred to me that what I was reading was not, in fact, a blog at all, but a feature article. A fine piece of Op-Ed journalism. It begs the question then, what the hell is a blog? What does that mean anymore, if anything (and further, if it ever meant anything at all in the first place).

I write scatological, satirical, and hopefully, humorous essays, but does that really constitute a web log? This is not my personal journal per se. Often, I have deliberately avoided using the first person in any type of non-fictive sense. So is O'Keefe's Briefs actually a web zine? Sure, I put some work into the design of the site as any publisher should, and is not a blog essentially a self-published periodical after all? I tweaked the template here and there, got my brother to design a handsome logo to stick up top, and went through the trouble of matching the color schemes. What is the point other than branding? At least I now have something to sell other than myself.

I began this project with a post exploring what O'Keefe's Briefs would be. What form it would take. Over the last year, I've certainly refined some of my ideas and developed a few recurring features: Top Ten lists, NeoLogs, and more recently photoshops. We can all look forward to more of the same to come, and hopefully some further refinements.

With an O'Keefeling on the way, I am a bit worried that this will slowly morph into a parenting blog (what not to do). On the other hand, babies make a lot of poop, and poop is funny. So I guess we'll see. There must be middle ground somewhere.

So, again, no matter what brought you here, I hope you've enjoyed reading some of this nonsense as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

Looking forward to another year,4


Coming Soon: The 2010 Kwahanzaakahmas Calendar

1 - Uh-oh. Here I go navel-gazing again. You can probably skip down a paragraph or two, but then you might miss all of the sex and violence. It's up to you, really. Hey! Where did all that blue lint come from? I don't remember being in the dryer.
2 - See, I told you there's be sex if you just stuck with it. Probably not what you were looking for, but now that I think about it, I do like masturbating. A lot. On the bright side, my optometrist's kids can go to private school.
3 - In Defense of Hypocrisy: With the mid-term elections recently passed, and the varying ideologies still battling for supremacy, which sounds far more interesting and epic than it is, there tends to be a lot of name calling. A recent favorite in political circles is flip-flopping. Assuming they mean changing one's mind rather than loudly sauntering about in beachy footwear, I am finding it difficult to understand how this is necessarily a bad thing. Is it an insinuation that the object of the name-calling is lying? Or merely inconstant? Can it not also be an indication of humility? A willingness to weigh new or previously unknown factors to arrive at a new more well-informed opinion? I would rather support someone who is using all available data to constantly refine his or her viewpoint than someone that has it all figured out already. I find that suspect. Even the Pope admitted, eventually, that Galileo was correct.
4 - Some of you more mathematically inclined nit-pickers may notice that it has actually been fifteen months, not just one year. To this I say: Phooey! Count yourself lucky if I don't write another blog like this for another fifteen months.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This Brown Life - Bonus Material

Hey Kids! Here are a few more ways to fight the planet:

Request extra towels every time you check into a hotel. Do this daily.

High Hair. The higher the better. Use lots of Aerosol hairspray.

Buy bottled water. Lots of it. Use it for bathing, watering the plants, your slip-n-slide.

Only drink your coffee from styrofoam cups. Use a new cup every time.

Mow your lawn and your neighbor's. Salt the earth.

Paint trees better colors than Brown and Green; use lead based paints.

Breed like crazy and use disposable diapers. Wear diapers yourself.

Leave the faucet running when brushing your teeth and your hair.

Use only British Petroleum.

Burn your garbage.

Leave the car running when you duck into the theater for any of the Lord of the Rings movies; even better a marathon.

Eat only produce from another hemisphere.

CoalTM: The anachronistic fuel source of the future's past, today!

Why walk when you can drive to your neighbor's house for a cup of bleached white sugar?

That's all for now! Feel free to post your own ideas for Living Brown in the comments section below.

Monday, October 18, 2010

NeoLog CE2010.10.18

When I ran the idea for this new NeoLog past my wife, I asked her if it made sense; whether anyone would want to take the old meat train to tuna town without the guarantee of getting off. She looked at me flatly and said, "It happens all the time," then she walked out of the room.

Great! So without further ado:

Fuckvergnugen - (n) - kind of like a the sensation you feel leading up to a sneeze. To date, most talk about sexual pleasure has revolved around the orgasm. And that's cool n'all, but how do you describe the specific pleasure of hiding the salami? Until now, we've had to rely on the orgasm as the sole motivation to get someone else to bump uglies. I mean, without the promise of the big event what's the point? Let's be honest, fellas, sometimes we just don't have it in us whether the reason be alcohol, rough day, gender, or whatever. (I understand that this does not make the ladies very happy. I'm usually asleep by then, but my source is reliable.) Now you can knock those very sensual boots for the sheer fuckvergnugen of it! Much like the -corporate sponsorship pending- catchphrase of the '90s from which fuckvergnugen derives, sometimes it isn't about the destination, it's about the trip. Enjoy the ride!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Driven to Distraction? Me?

There is the slightest hint of the suggestion of a possibility that I have been spending too much of my time playing with GIMP instead of writing.

So while the Giraffro is proving to be a more difficult challenge than I'd first anticipated, the Oi Bear came off reasonably well I think. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What Might Have Been

I don't really have anything for you this week, so here's an orangutan with a New Wave haircut.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Interesting In Here

One of the great things about the internet is that it helps people feel more connected to one another; even if they don’t actually know each other 1. You can read a person’s blog, and have access to their peronal-ish thoughts. Over time this can develop into a feeling that you actually know the person.

Here at O’Keefe’s Briefs, we feel that we haven’t been as forth-coming as we might have been. We’re using the 'royal we’ for the love of Mike! So in an attempt to help you to get to know us better, we are dropping the 'royal we’ immediately. Especially since it comes off a little bit douchey. A little bit. And so what follows is the first of my more intimate, personal blogs. The unvarnished reality behind the mentality! Ultimately, taken as a whole, what I hope will develop will be an entire system of beliefs, my creed if you will. If you won't, then at least it might give you, dear reader, a glimpse into what it's like inside my head. Enjoy.

Today’s Topic: Time Travel

There are primarily two theories of time travel that are bandied about in popular culture: the Bill and Ted (aka the Terminator) and the Back to the Future. In a nutshell, the first posits that since time travel exists, no alternate realities are created. Everything you do in the past really has already been done, even if you don’t do it until tomorrow; therefore, the time-space continuum remains in tact. See simple. The Terminator variant of this is a little bit more in tune with modern scientific philosophy stating further that one can only travel backward in time, and not jump around. The second theory is akin to that whole “if a butterfly beats its wings in Thailand, there will be a storm somewhere very far from Thailand or something” nonsense. Mainly, it posits that if time travel were possible, then going back could dramatically change the present. This theory also reared its ugly head in one of the Simpsons’ Tree House of Horror episodes.

Even now I bet you know which theory I subscribe to. Gosh, I presented that second theory like Fox News presents anything remotely liberal2. A gold star for each of you who guessed it right. For one thing, Time (with a capital ‘t’) is an illusion; it’s a man-made construct that helps us know to what extent we should be worried about our own inevitable demise3. Also, from what little I understand of sub-atomic physics, string theory indicates that all possible realities exist simultaneously, and we merely experience the most likely reality. And that my friends, just blows theory #2 to well... #2. You see, we already experience the most probable reality or “time line,” so even if we could go back, that would already have been accounted for. Probably. The counter argument would state that if time travel were possible, by going back you might make a different reality more probable. But that is utter tosh! Hogwash.

In considering the present, one must assume that the past is fixed. If the future holds any possibility of time travel, those temporal tourists have already visited, have accomplished what they have, and changed what they would. Those future time travellers are already a fixed part of the past. This is only confusing if you continue to hold on to the idea that the time-space continuum is linear. Then again, that little tidbit may just have compounded the situation. Anyway, recent scientific theory suggests not only up to 11 dimensions to our universe, but a curve to time-space. A curve, not a line. Which is why I put the words “time line” in quotes above and also removed my hands for the keyboard to make air quotes while typing it.

What impact this has on the concept of free will is difficult to say. It seems that if time travel is possible, then free will becomes an illusion. Perhaps what we are faced with is a sort of web of probability such that given the historical past was well as our personal past and the combined pasts of people in our immediate environment, we really have no choice in our decisions. But then, that’s a touch off topic, and far too Dogmatic4.

Finally, one might ask: but if time travel does exist why don’t time travellers make themselves known and share their shiny, futurey technology? I would ask in response: if you could travel back in time, would you give a caveman a flashlight?

Until next time my fellow monkeys. Ook ook.

1 - I’m thinking specifically of my good friend Wil Wheaton here. I follow him on Twitter, and occasionally read his blog. Even though I rarely watched Star Trek (and when I did I was more of a Deep Space Nine follower), I did enjoy Stand By Me, and his work on The Guild was and is superb. Wil: call me, I want to be your friend. I think we, like, totally have a lot in common. BFF!
2 - In a fair and balanced light with plenty of unbiased information for the intelligent viewer to come to his or her own well rationalized conclusion of course!
3 - Well, roughly. You can never really know when that oafish pair of movers will suddenly drop a piano from 20 stories above the very spot you’ve decided to stop and telephone someone who will no doubt need a ton of therapy very shortly thereafter.
4 - Philosophers and theologians have been fighting over this point since Martin Luther nailed his college thesis to the Cathedral Door. The professor gave him a ‘C,’ and asked that he better flush out his arguments. Martin Luther sighed, realizing that this professor was probably a papist and like, just didn’t get it, man.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top Ten Numbers

It would have been easy to just write out 1-10 and call it a day, but I had some time on my hands, so without further ado, I give you:

O'Keefe's Briefs Top Ten Numbers
(Listed in no particular order. Except reverse numerical, and from best to better; if you can call that order.)

10) Zero: I just don't know what to say; I've got nothing - which when you consider it, is exactly the problem with (and beauty of) zero. And let's face it, I'm sucker for that kind of sublimity. Numbers are for counting things, and you can't count nothing. Truth be told, that double negative just confused me a bit, but I am certain that zero is more a representation of an abstract concept than an actual number per se. Oh, well, it's not the last on this list.

9) 6.0221415 × 1023: Avogadro's Number. It has something to do with Chemistry. I'm pretty sure. Also, it sounds like avocado, and who doesn't enjoy a little guacamole every now and then? What? I'm hungry.

8) Ten: Without 10 this list would only go to 9. True story. Another true fact: I considered taking this list to 11, but didn't want to do any Spinal Tap research.

7) 867-5309: Jenny's Phone Number. Call Jenny for a good time. That's what it said on the bathroom stall door, so I thought I'd write it down here for easy reference. Also, now you have that song stuck in your head. You're welcome.

6) 42: The both vexing and perplexing answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. Is it a coincidence that 42 is double 21, and in blackjack you can double down? I think not.

5) 69: *cue triumphant guitar solo*

4) 666: The so-called number of the beast. It looks pretty cool written out, and you can try to convince me that you didn't just throw horns, but I won't believe you. Mainly I put this on here because it's bound to piss off someone who should be worrying about believing what's actually in their bible rather than some arcane, cabbalistic form of numerology. I enjoy that particular irony.

3) i: The square root of -1. They always say there is no i in team, but they just lack imagination. This is what number would be on my jersey if I had any type of athletic ability or inclination. Besides who are They anyway? Who do They think They are? I dare not speculate further; I know They're watching.

2) Pi: 3.141592653589793238462643383 etc... or 22/7. Either way, it's not exact. That's because pi is an irrational number, but then aren't they all? (And no, I'm not trying to imply that all numbers are feminine, you misogynist!) Also, I like to eat pie, and they sound the same. I said I was hungry. Go get me a cheeseburger. Yes fries. Mayo on the side, please. Tangentially, do they celebrate Pi Day on July 22nd in Europe?

1) One: Eins, Ichiban, Numero Uno, no matter how you say it, it's #1. It's only the loneliest number because it's lonely at the top. Though looking back, I guess this is at the bottom. I wonder if counting down to the top of the list negates the whole process. But then #1 is #1 and what could be more perfect than that?

You see, I don't deliberately try to confuse anyone, or even myself. It just kind of happens, like babies or human pee in the cats' litter box. No one knows how or why. Well, maybe someone who's not too lazy to do a simple internet search, but we all know that isn't me. I much rather prefer to make up unsubstantiated facts. It's way easier. I considered making 10 number ten on the list, thus bookending the list with a certain, if I may wax a bit figurative, onomatopoetic1 truth. The problem was that even by mentioning Spinal Tap, I was forced to bump it up the list a bit.

Well, there you have it, O'Keefe's Brief's top ten numbers, and don't think that this was an easy list to concoct. No, sirree-Bob. There was literally2 an infinite number of potential "Top Ten" candidates to choose from. So, if you have a favorite number that for some reason didn't make this list, post it in the Comments section below, and don't forget to share why (especially if it's your PIN).

1 - Onomatopoeia is when a word sounds like what it means, such as boom, or more precisely BOOM!! Here I mean to invoke that self-referential quality in a figurative manner. Philiosophically: it is what it is, pared down to its essential Platonic um... it-ness? OK. I'm lost again.
2 - On a side note or footnote or whatever, I am just happy that I used the word 'literally' in a non-hyperbolic context. Yay me.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Football? No, Not That Kind, The Other Kind

In the US, when you say the word football, one immediately thinks of cheerleaders, or possibly Brett Favre (NTTAWWT). Another image that leaps to mind is of large, very large men (I hesitate to use the word 'obese' for reasons of cowardice) waddling around on a field. Once they manage to jostle one another into position along the line of scrimmage, they pause to catch their breath. Then the smallest of them (a svelte 250lb-er), protected by a core of the largest, yells something akin to the Navajo code, and all hell breaks loose as opposing weebles wobble about attempting to move an oblong ball toward the end-zone. I point out here that, to my knowledge, none of my readers are professional football players, so I can say these kinds of things without fear of receiving the ass-kicking that even I know I deserve.

As some may know, I am a citizen of the world... well, of both the US and the UK (but that's most of it, right?). Since I am not really a fan of our native sport of football, I thought I'd look into our native sport of football. And what lucky timing! FIFA's1 2010 World Cup had just started. To that end, I accepted an invitation to watch the US and England play games simultaneously, yet not against one another. For my first football match I didn't want to be conflicted, and this presented the perfect opportunity. I could route for both teams, and as it turned out, both had to win in order to advance in the tournament.

Armed with my usual zeal for any wacky new idea that occurs to me, I spent two days in the office preparing for the big day. I engaged people in conversations that went far beyond my depth of knowledge immediately after my opening salvo of "so how about those crazy world cup umpires, huh?" A co-worker from El Salvador patiently attempted to explain the Group round to me. I admit I may have zoned out here and there. It seems that my American sensibilities could not wrap themselves around the concept of a draw. What the hell is that for an outcome, anyway? There's no closure. He went on to explain the complex(-ish) mathematics of the Group round scoring that dictate which clubs move on to the next round. I zoned out again, privately coming to the conclusion that perhaps it's not that our American sensibilities demand a decisive outcome, it's that we're too dumb to utilize a more complex system2. Yikes. Thanks a lot Will!

Never one to let a mere lack of information or understanding keep me from soldiering on, Wednesday, June 23rd found me walking up Dean Street in Brooklyn toward a bar at 9:35 in the morning. It was already sweltering. I dearly hoped there would be no more math involved. (Unfortunately, there was; when I returned home later that afternoon, my wife asked me how much I'd had to drink.) Captain3 was already inside muscling his way to the bar which was no mean feat considering that there was what I'm sure was a fire code-breaking number of people packed into the premises. Bloody Marys in hand, we ultimately made our way halfway down the bar where luck would have it, two large flat-screen televisions hung. We were in position to watch both matches, and though three people deep from the bar, it was still with arm's reach. You might say it was cozy in there, and I'm pretty sure I owe more than one girl an apology (or a tip).

I admit that my understanding of the rules is a touch lacking. When people around me began to periodically yell "Off sides!", I was uncertain whether it was a legitimate complaint at poor refereeing or if it was merely a manifestation of that ever-present hipster douchebaggery which attempts to pass for wit. And fails. At any rate, I get the gist of the game: don't use your hands (except if you're a very tall man who is forced to spend the game in a fish-net lean-to), put the ball into the other team's lean-to in any other way you can, and if you're Italian roll around on the ground if anyone comes near you.

I had always thought that football was a boring sport. The field is huge, and the games usually low scoring. I may have come too hastily to that conclusion. A week later my neck is still a bit sore from looking back and forth between the games (now I know how your mom feels). When Clint Dempsey scored the first US goal, the bar erupted and I too found myself screaming with glee. For a second anyway. That goal was discounted, ruled offsides. Interestingly, in the Group round the US had one goal discounted in each game they'd played. And I thought Obama was popular over-seas! Not one minute later, however, England scored what would be their only goal. It would be all they needed. It was rather nice of them to let the US score first though, and England's goal arrived just in time to relieve my disappointment at the offsides ruling. The rest of the first halves was uneventful, and my brother finally managed to wriggle his way into the bar at the break after standing outside, watching the games through the window for the better part of an hour.

Ultimately, England won ensuring them a berth in the next round of the tournament. The US game was still going when England strode off the pitch, heads high. As the play clock steadily, inexorably wound down, the bar became quiet, the mood darkened. If the US were to tie, the World Cup would be over for the Yanks; they had to win in order to advance. With regular play ended, there was just four minutes of injury time left on the clock. It happened so quickly, that had anyone present been capable of blinking, that person would have missed it. Dempsey's shot had been deflected. The ball was slowly rolling away from the goal when from out of nowhere, Landon Donovan swooped in to knock it home in the ninety-first minute of the game. The air went out of the room, it was the lightening before the thunder, the calm before the storm. The crowd collectively waited for the referee to take this one away too. That call never came. The remaining three minutes of play passed uneventfully and for the most part, unnoticed. The US had won, as usual, in dramatic fashion. We finished our drinks and ordered another celebratory round. It's safe to say everyone in the bar was exhausted both emotionally and physically from having to endure the heat - a combination of the high temperature, a lack of adequate AC, and the number of bodies in the crowded bar. We consumed our drinks quietly in blissful afterglow. It was almost noon. Bleary-eyed we stumbled out into humid, sunny Brooklyn, victorious.

The weekend following my deceptively successful initiation into the world of football was one of devastation offset only by the elation experienced earlier in the week. On Saturday, the US fell to Ghana, then Sunday morning saw Germany's decisive victory of the English team.

With the US and the UK out of the picture I took a little time to choose which teams I would be routing for in the upcoming matches. Here goes:
I took Chile over Brazil because chili is tasty. I already knew that the Netherlands won their first round match. In the next round I had Chile over Netherlands because I really like chili. I had Uruguay over Ghana because Ghana beat the US, so they suck; however that's where Uruguay stops because, and I can not stress this enough: I like chili. So there you have it Chile all the way to the final. On the other hand I have Argentina over Germany because Germany OWNED the UK and Eva Peron cuts a more dramatic figure on a balcony. In the final block of the Sweet 16 I took Japan over Paraguay because they know kung-fu and can probably kick pretty well. Then I took Spain over Portugal because I prefer the ñ to the ç. From there Spain goes on to defeat Japan to face Argentina in the semi. Finally we have Argentina versus Chile in the final to keep it in our hemisphere with the Argentines taking home the cup mainly because Chile isn't spelled chili. For the third place game, I'm going to throw Europe a bone and call that one for Spain.

1 - FIFA stands for Football Isn't For Americans, obviously taking the view that all Americans live in the US. Which is weird for an international sports governing body based in Switzerland. They even took the time to make their acronym in English, just so we'd understand. Who knew they were such haters! Though I'm sure it will piss off Arizona, Nebraska, Michigan and parts of Upstate New York, I'd like to point out that Canadians and Mexicans are also American. Yes, Brazilians too! And they're actually pretty good at the sport. Perhaps it's due to Switzerland's neutrality and lack of a single standard language that they seem oblivious to the finer gradations of national identity.

2 - This may also be related to how "fear of change" defeats "ease of use" when questioning an American refusal to convert to the metric system. I mean we don't even measure gravity the same way, and I feel that gravity is kind of important.

3 - I've known Jim for quite a while, and I knew him as Captain long before I finally learned his real name. No one could ever adequately explain to me why he was called Captain (a.k.a. The Captain or Cap). I suspect the truth of it is far less entertaining than the "Spiced Rum fueled Star Trek reenactment ending in a brief visit to the emergency room" that I envision.

UPDATE: While drafting this Chile proved that phonetic similarity to a favorite food is no way to go about picking a team. In fact, it appears now that the best way to choose a team to route for, is to wait for me to make my choice, then go against me.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Brief and Concise Guide to the Three Primary Uses of Pornography in a Long Term Monogamous Relationship

When the idea to write this first sprang into my head, I was immediately concerned about how I was going to go about writing a blog about porn. Let’s face the facts; it can be a very touchy subject.

As any writer of fine literature dreads, I, too, knew that one day I would be called upon to tackle this topic, and not because I'm some furry-fisted pervert (or not only, at least). I knew it would be a hard assignment, the research necessarily exhaustive and thoroughly exhausting; however, I could not ignore the fact that porn is pervasive in popular culture. One need only look as far as the latest Lady Gaga video, the half-clad harlots of “Jersey Shore,” or the popularity of PBS’s controversial hit show “Sister Wendy’s American Collection.” It was inevitable that some brave crusader would step forward and speak out. He's off this week.

Much like myself, you are probably wondering where I'm going with this; from which angle I intend on penetrating this titillating topic. There are, after all, so many positions I could take.

Before we dive head-first into this wiry, tangled morass, let's assume for the sake of argument that the actors and actresses aren't victims of mental illness, drug addiction, or some manner of physical or psychological abuse. They are just your average work-a-day Joes and Janes who love their jobs, and are great at what they do. I admit that this may be a slightly rosy position to take, so let's do what we always do when faced with something that just doesn't jive with reality: suspend disbelief. Ready? OK.

On three:

Ahhhh. That's better, now. Isn’t it?

Puns aside and reality blissfully suspended, let’s plow on shall we (OK, one more). As you can likely gather from the title, there are primarily three uses of porn in healthy, long-term monogamous relationships.

First, it is important to understand that the human species is hardwired for variety and that the use of porn allows one to exercise his or her wanton desire for numerous partners without having to violate a valued monogamous relationship or the laws of physics. There are three areas of the brain which dictate how we act and react to various stimuli. This next part gets a little technical, but please try to follow along.

The Ego Region of the human brain loves order, and is primarily responsible for society as we know it. Nothing pleases the Ego Region more than to group individuals into large entities for simple and efficient storage. This is where communism, racism, and other hive-mind drives originate. Conformity, order: anything is normal within a small enough control group.

Meanwhile, the Id Region of the brain (a.k.a. "the pants") is the domain of our inner free-loving hippie1. Forget about society! Forget self-control! Live in the moment! These are the varied and exciting mantras of the Id Region.

Finally, there is the Superego Region which acts much as hands operating hot and cold taps. A bit more Ego... oh! oh! oh! Too cold! A bit more Id... ah! ah! ah! Too hot! The moderation of these humours (Egosterone,the Ego hormone, and Idodine, the Id hormone) is the primary and most vital function of the Superego Region. It's only when the Superego Region falls asleep in the bath, so to speak, that we find ourselves in trouble. You see, the Superego Region knows that stable, respectful and honest long-term monogamous relationships are an integral part of society as we understand it2. As you can imagine this greatly pleases the Ego Region; however, the militantly libidinous Id Region refuses to be pacified by 'rules' and 'laws' which some other people made up, seemingly at random a very long time ago, and apparently without consultation or consideration of their own Id Regions. It has mantras for Pete's sake! So the Superego adjusts the taps, and you pop in a DVD or log on to that website (no, not that one, pervert, the other one) and exercise your individuality without harming society by irrevocably harming that cornerstone of society known as a long-term monogamous relationship.

The next use is somewhat related, and acts more as an unexpected benefit. Now, anyone using porn necessarily, eventually feels the need to relieve his or her less societally-oriented urges (as described above), and is, therefore, bound to suffer some physical detriment. All actions have consequences, and it is common knowledge that one who participates is such behavior will go blind. Rather than an immediate effect, this takes a gradual toll on one's eyesight. Allow me to explain how the gradual loss of one's eyesight over time can be a good thing.

Take as given that doing that causes deterioration of one's eyesight over time; that the Id Region will assert its individualistic, free-love ideology as long as you live forcing you to continually attempt to pacify it for the good of society as described above; and that we all become less attractive over time. I propose that this can only be a boon to your long-term monogamous relationship! How? Read on. Imagine a night in the future, decades from now. You and your partner have just finished dinner. Perhaps it's your anniversary, perhaps a birthday, it really doesn't matter what the occasion might be. The sun will be down soon, and the early bird special will be as digested as it's likely to get. You turn down the lights, take off your glasses and clothes, and suddenly, blurry, nearsighted romance is in the air. It can be noted that this effect can be duplicated and is, repeatedly, every weekend through the use of alcohol and dim lighting such as one might find in your local discotheque. The bright side in this case is that you don't wake up the next morning with better eyesight.

The final benefit of porn is strictly anthropological. It is, to date, simply the best method devised for finding new ways to surprise your lover. By their nature, pornographers are creative people. If the mind can conceive it, it's been put to film3. Who wants to make the same movie over and over again anyway? With proper forethought, one can explore a vast terrain of copulatory options. It is important to note here that not all surprises are necessarily good ones, so be judicious in the practical application of your research. To that end, I recommend perusing your lover's collection of pornography in order to avert any potentially disastrous miscues. If your lover does not have a porn collection I recommend that you a) share yours, b) look harder, and c) both.

1 - Little known fact: gray matter smells exactly like patchouli and bongwater.
2 - And we don't understand it very well, except that it is likely better than anarchy. Probably.
3 - See Rule #34. Additionally, by film I mean any of a variety of video recording methods, be it digital or analog.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Tweet!

New tweet up on Twitter, just follow @DonWrite! Or look to the right in that box over there. Wait... I think I'm doing this wrong.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

NeoLog CE2010.05.08

It's time once again for our favorite futurey feature, the NeoLog. I'd like to thank our friend Jenn Hughs for reminding me to post this one via her recent Facebook status update about losing two years of photos thanks to a mandatory software update. So without further ado (or lube) I give you...

iBone (n) - The phallus of Apple Computers.

As in:
Gawdz! Jobs slipped me the old iBone again! My computer crashed, and now I have to download a third party program to get all of my music and playlists back off of my iPod. Why didn't they make this revolutionary external storage device capable of two-way read/write?

iBoned, an iBoning

You know you liked it.

Post your iBone stories in the comments section! You are not alone, I assure you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This Brown Life

Seems to me, lately, that there is a lot of talk about 'Greening' your life, living Green, Green Green Green, etc. ad nauseam. Well, since today's Earth Day, I thought I'd weigh in on why you're wrong, they're wrong, the whole damn world is wrong.

What the hell has the Earth ever done for us? Seriously. Here's what: The Earth has created an environment in which a nihilistic, parasitic organism such as man could evolve. If there's anything wrong with the Earth or its "environment" it's the Earth's own damn fault. Clearly the planet is suicidally apathetic. Why else would it allow us to persist? Using mankind as a metaphoric microcosm, I ask you: If you had a potentially fatal tumor wouldn't you at least try to cut it out? At least?

Back in the literal macrocosm, one wonders why it is the onus of the individual to fix the Earth's woes. Listen, science got us into this and only science can get us out. No, that's not strong enough; science must get us out of this. If the Earth can't be buggered to bother with its own well being, some qualified professional ought to. I mean, isn't that what they get paid to do? Really, it's all Charles Darwin's fault when you think about it. If he hadn't invented evolution, we'd still be able to ask god for help, but no, now we're all on our own out here, drifting in 'Outer Space,' at the mercy of a terminally depressed planet. Fantastic. Thanks a lot science.

So, while the scientists spend their time trying to undo the damage caused by one of their own (Darwin), I encourage you all to strike out at the planet. We are too dependent on the planet for our own survival and the Earth knows it. It's trying to kill us, so I say we strike first. Like the Cobra Kai Dojo's motto goes: Strike first, strike hard, no mercy!

So please, print this out, twice. Make photocopies and stuff them under cars' windshields. Buy a sketch book, buy three and doodle your heart out. Buy a book, read half of it, then throw it in the gutter. Keep hard copy redundancies of all of your email, ebooks, and electronic files. Throw your old computers in the regular trash. Do something! Live brown! Act now before it's too late!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

and we have a winner....

Congratulations to Sean O'Keefe, winner of the O'Keefe's Briefs first annual logo contest. As you can see the logo inspired an overall yet subtle redesign of the site. Hope you like.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Top Ten Months

It seems that the big thing with blogs these days (by which I mean since the inception of the form) is top ten lists. This I attribute not to the popularity of David Letterman’s recurring segment, but to the unpopularity of Jay Leno’s… well, any of his segments really. Better one thousand mediocre top ten lists than another insufferable1 headlines segment.

To that end, I offer you O’Keefe's Briefs's first top ten list:

The Top Ten Months of All Time (in order of Topness)

1) May: The perfect Spring Month. The weather is never too cold, most days are warm and balmy. Flowers are blooming. We have the very first Barbecue Holiday of the year: Memorial Day, which is coincidentally also the kick-off of beach season. Cinco de Mayo ushers in Frozen Margarita season, and then there’s May Day for all my Commies. And most importantly, my birthday. IMPORTANT REMINDER: there are only two months left, so get to shopping.

2) October: Ahh, the return of crisp Autumn nights. I love the smell of the air, the sweet tang of decaying leaves. The free candy. And of course, cheap hurricane season rates in the Caribbean.

3) December: Kwahanzaakahmas. I like presents. Giving them is ok, getting them is awesome. Denuding pine forests to decorate our living rooms. The lights, the baubles, December is the best winter month.

4) June: Just about the best of the Summer months that count (explanation to follow). Bloomsday is on the 16th and since it’s a more literary version of St. Pat’s (see March) fewer people celebrate it; which in turn makes it fun and, racially, guilt free.

5) November: With fall in full swing, it’s starting to get just a bit nippy out there. Man, that phrase always makes me think of boobs. Combine my love of boobs with my love of turkey and it’s pretty obvious why November ranks so high on the list.

6) September: This is where the year starts to take a turn for the worse. Summer is over: back to school, bitches! Even after being out of school for lo these many years, I still get a little queasy in September. Labor Day, the lesser of the two Socialist holidays (figures union guys thought this one up: a day celebrating workers on which no one actually works), it marks the end of Barbecue season. Good bye, flame grilled meats. See you in May when things get awesome again!

7) January: What better way to start off a New Year than hung-over in the bed of a total stranger? This is balanced out by the Superbowl or playoffs, if you like and watch Football. January is ultimately a nonentity.

8) February: This short bastard-month you just kind of feel badly for; so badly, in fact that every four years we give it an extra day. Sorry you suck, February, here’s an extra day; try not to make that one suck too. You know it will anyway. It’s also home to the Hallmark holiday, St. Valentine’s Day. A day dedicated to making men in relationships feel inadequate, and everyone who is single just feel lonely and unloved. I mean honestly, there must be something dreadfully wrong with you if you can’t get a date for V-Day. Black people have every right to feel angry that this month is African-American2 History Month. I vote we change it to June. (Juneteenth anyone?)

9) April: T.S. Eliot sure got this one right. April is the cruelest month. Still cold, very rainy. It’s telling that the very first day of the month is dedicated to the worst kind of fuckery. About the only thing going for April is that it’s not March. That and I got to use the word fuckery in a sentence.

10) March: This month flat out sucks. Period. Yes, you get St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness which is all well and good until you realize that St. Pat’s Day in America only reinforces negative stereotypes of the Irish diaspora. We are not all alcoholic, 1890s style boxers. Most of us can handle our liquor- which is more than I can say for the rest of you amateurs who come out and drink until you vomit cheap green beer all over the sidewalk. The weather in March is the worst of the entire year. Is it snow? Is it rain? Nope: ice-cold sleet and lots of it. Great. This month is so bad I considered writing a whole blog just about March3.

So you might have noticed that I seem to have skipped, ignored, or just plain forgot about July and August. These are the summer months, after all, and what isn't great about summer? Theoretically, nothing. I'll give you a moment to puzzle out that double negative.

I neither skipped, ignored, nor forgot about these two (and I use the term loosely) months. I deny their right to exist as such. Well, Don, you might be saying aloud to your computer screen, that just sounds like they are #11 and #12 on your list. No. Because in practice, these months are pretty great, seasonally speaking.

Here is why they don't appear on this list as also-rans, addenda, or apocrypha. They represent the first and second worst kinds of hubris, respectively. Both kinds fuck up the system, and what is a calendar but a system for keeping track of how long we reasonably expect to live?

Hubris you say? System you say? Reasonably you say? I do.

I'll start with the system, so you can see how the hubris fucked it up. It seems that after June, whoever created the first calendar, I believe it was Hammurabi's younger brother Stevedave (whatever it's academic, go google it yourself if you're really that interested.) Anyway, Stevedave got kind of lazy after June, so he was like "OK, I'm decimalizing this biotch, and I just have to name the last four months. Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten. I know! I'll Latin it all up and add -ember on the end because I like fire. Great! Sept-ember, Octo-ember, Nov-ember, and Dec-ember.' Over time, saying Octoember started to piss people off. It just doesn't roll off of the tongue, so it got shortened to the more palatable October that we know and love today.

Enter Julius Caesar. He really had no head for numbers, but he did have a huge ego. So big in fact, that even his best friend stabbed him in the back for his utter douchebaggery. Too late, though. He decided to stick a new month smack in the middle of the calendar so that all of the other months could admire it. And he called it July in honor of himself. Jerkwad.

Most people were able to rationalize the new month this way: It's not really a month, well, not a real month. We'll just take it off, and come back in September. This, not coincidentally, is how summer vacation started. July threw the numeric system off only if you actually counted it. So, the other ten real months lost a few days here and there, but for the most part, people ignored it. Likely because that shit is too petty to worry about while you're on vacation.

Not entirely deserving of my denial of it's right to exist; that is, until you consider what it inspired.

Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus, the lesser gifted scion of the family business, decided that since his adoptive father (and grand uncle) had a month named after him, he too wanted his own month. Very original thinking there, junior. But where to put it in the calendar? After December and before January so as to give everyone another month off, create a winter break, and preserve the relative cohesion of calendar? Nope. He put it right after July. How sweet, BFF together forever. Well, that smooth maneuver pretty much boned whatever lingering hopes Stevedave's numeric system had for any iota of rationality.

Thanks a lot, Caesars. Your salad sucks by the way. Anchovies are bait; you don't eat the bait!

Yeah, so there you have it. I can only hope that I in some way honored all of Stevedave's half-assed work on the calendar.

NOTE: Given the subjective nature of this list, it is possible to argue any or all of the above assertions. Please do. Just know you're wrong.

Thanks kids, see you next time. Also, don't forget about the logo contest. Deadline April 1; details in previous blog.

1 - Interesting syntactical side-note here: in this case the ‘in‘ prefix does not indicate the negation of the word it modifies (think infamous), but rather is used to indicate a greater magnitude. i.e. – causes more suffering. A lot more. And don't even get me started on the Jay Walk! Honestly, without Kevin Eubanks, who else besides Jay will laugh at his jokes? *You may submit answers to this and any other rhetorical questions in the comments section below.
2 - I for one don’t like this term because when someone says African-American, they really mean black. Just ask a Dutch-descended South African or an Egyptian. See? Africa’s a big place, so let’s try to be more specific about our generalizations. I mean, honestly, how are we supposed to get past our racial stereotypes if we can’t be more precise about exactly how different we all are… oh, wait. What was I saying?
3 - Sean argues that unlike May, at least March is an action verb. Huh. Thanks for that.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Logo Entry #2 (and 3): Sean O'Keefe (again)

OK, so Sean has a little time on his hands, but he's putting it to good use. Here are two more he did. I'm posting them together as they are a variation on a theme. Did I just hear the dull thud of a gauntlet hitting the ground?

Here's the first:

And a variant:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Logo Entry #1: Sean O'Keefe

And the first entry for the Logo contest:

Sean O'Keefe's -

Nice work, Sean! And thanks for that.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Logo Contest

Like the title says, in honor of the first six months of O'Keefe's Briefs, I am conducting a logo contest. I've been working on tricking out the page bit by bit, and a logo is the next stop on my track to world domination! If the golden arches have taught me anything it's that childhood obesity is a terrible thing, but also that branding is important. So if you are a graphic designer, artist or photographer/shopper I encourage you to make my logo! This will not be a juried competition, nor will it be objective; the one I like, I choose. I will post all entries right here, so everyone can see your work, and of course, standard voting will be enabled just for fun! All work will be credited.

I know design competitions are a cheap way in which companies get free work from already starving artists. That's why I thought it would be a good idea! I promise, however, that I will not hire someone else to rework your idea, if I think it's good and want to use it, I will ask you to make any necessary changes. Also, since I don't make any money from O'Keefe's Briefs, except for voluntary donations (hey, it's worth a try!), you can be sure that I am not unduly gaining from your hard work. I know rights are a tricky thing, and I'm no intellectual property lawyer, so let's say the artist will retain rights to the work, and in his or her divine beneficence has allowed limited use of the work on the website www.okeefesbriefs.com only.

For you pixel counters, we're looking at 730 wide. Height can vary, but let's not get carried away.

You may be wondering what the prize will be (aside from the fame you will no doubt accrue having been bestowed such an honor.) I am still thinking about it, to tell the truth. Let's for the moment say dinner on me. Not fast food certainly, but don't expect white tablecloths either.

Also, because I'm a fickle hypocrite, I may just decide to use them all, and rotate the logos from time to time. If that happens, the reward structure may change depending on the number of 'winners.' I may just contact a bar and have a happy hour for the artists!

Drop me a line if you're interested, have any questions, or just want to send me your design. YOU MISSED THE BOAT.

DEADLINE: 4/1/10

Saturday, January 23, 2010

NeoLog CE2010.01.23

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be an ongoing series of posts: NeoLogs. As I am sure you are aware, English is a living language. This means that its usage, vocabulary, syntax, etc. are changing everyday. Every year the OED adds several new words to the dictionary, making them 'official.' I for one would rather not wait for a bunch of dusty old British academics to finally decide on a word's ubiquity of use and understanding. Language's primary purpose is after all, to facilitate communication. And thanks to the pervasive MTV/video-game induced ADD of current (and what I can only assume future) generations, the quicker we can absorb new terms and jargon into our vocabulary the better. (You just read that sentence right? You understand it as I intended, correct? It is a mess grammatically speaking according to what we were taught in school. First of all it begins with a conjunction. And more importantly I used 'quicker' instead of the cumbersome yet correct 'more quickly.' There are likely a plethora of additional ways in which I have butchered the English language on this blog that I haven't even noticed. You catch my drift.)

In this series I will proffer new words and/or phrases I think will 'make it' in the future. This is why I chose to name the series NeoLog. It's short for neologism, a fancy word meaning 'new word.' I shortened it and messed with the capitalization because I thought it looked more futurey (of or possessing the quality of a futuristic nature). And there you go our first NeoLog! Joy. I wasn't even intending that. You see? That's how quickly the future happens. Let's see how long it takes those OED guys to catch up to that one.

Also I have written the date in a format which I hope will be used in the future. (See? It's also futurey.)

Since we all love the internet (Biblically speaking) I offer you the first official NeoLog: Web-rash.

Web-rash (n) - the first known and documented STD of the internet. Web-rash is the tenderness and/or chafing of the naughty bits and neighboring regions caused by excessive over-consumption of adult-oriented material on the internet. "Sorry, honey, not tonight. You were gone all weekend and I was off today, and well, I seem to have a touch of the web-rash. I tried putting lotion on it, but that only made it worse."