KNITTING: Obsessed Ep 65

Joseph has a special holiday chat with his wife–historic house expert, stage manager, dancer, and OBSESSIVE KNITTER Sara Stevenson Scrimshaw. Topics include but are not limited to baby sweaters, knit handcuffs, the crafting abilities of Star Wars characters, and marriage. Enjoy!

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The Crumbsucker Curse

TheCrumbsuckerCurse

I love swearing.

When I was in 2nd grade, I attended a small Catholic school. Some kids had been swearing at one another on the playground. In response, the nuns came into our classroom and asked us to list all the words we shouldn’t say.

Again, for clarity, when I was in 2nd grade at a catholic school NUNS ASKED ME TO RAISE MY HAND AND SHOUT FILTHY CURSE WORDS AT THEM.

I raised my hand and tried out every combination my little brain could think of. I even tried out a few fun conjugations. I bleep. She bleeps. They bleeped. They have bleeped. They will have bleeped. They will have been bleeping.

Except I didn’t say “bleep” and thus a great fucking love affair with swearing was born.

Not only do I love swearing, I truly think it’s vital to the human civilization. The delicate balance of society depends on our ability to break the rules every once in a while. Some days, the only thing standing between order and chaos is a good “shithead.”

But even though I’m a fan of the f-bomb and all of our linguistic artillery, I’m troubled by more swear words than I used to be. Many of the classics are fundamentally rooted in sexism, phobia, and general assholery.

I have no intention of giving up swearing. But I want to strive to swear BETTER.

I find myself going to asshole a lot. It’s gender neutral. We all have butts. Asshole is the Batman of swear words. Brutal, efficient, and loved by all.

But sometimes even insults with ass don’t work. If I ever did a TED Talk, it would be called “Kiss My Ass and Other Problematic Insults.”

When you say “kiss my ass,” you’re basically saying, “I don’t like you. I find you untrustworthy. Therefore, I want to expose the most vulnerable, sensitive parts of my body and put them close to your teeth. That will show you.

I also have concerns about douchebag.

Because a lot of the douchebags who say douchebag don’t know what a douchebag is. They’re basically yelling, “You know what you are? I think you’re some kind of hygiene device with water and a hose thing and–I’m going to look it up on Wikipedia!”

I really did look up douchebags on Wikipedia and it was a fascinating read. As always happens when you look at Wikipedia when you should be doing something else, I clicked through to related articles.

I spent some quality time with the long article about bidets.

Let me tell you: Bidets are an overlooked fount of swear word potential.

Wikipedia told me “bidet” is a French word that originally meant “pony.”

My mind filled with the possibilities. I pictured myself back in 2nd grade, on the playground, dodging kickballs and screaming at other kids, “You’re a bidet, Chad! You’re a french toilet pony!”

“Son of a bidet” is also a pretty satisfying thing to shout at say, your iPhone, when it autocorrects “sweat pants” to “swear pants.” (I like the idea of special, magic pants you need to put on before you can swear, but that seems like a lot of fucking work.)

But even with bidet, we can get rid of the gender bias of “Son of.”

We can call people a daughter of a bidet, cousin of a toilet, or, my personal favorite, a child of a butt.

It’s ridiculous, but strangely cathartic. If you can, turn to someone near you and call them a child of a butt. It will improve your mood in no time AND you might make a new friend!

Along the fun lines of child of a butt, I think we can be far more creative and abstract in our cursing.

In 7th grade, I kept having a war of four letter words with one particular kid. One day, I strapped on my swear pants and called him something colorful yet stupid like a “big shit-tool.”

And he responded with this sentence:

“Oh yeah? Well, your mom lives in a Doritos bag.”

To this day, I have no idea what that means, but I still remember it.

“Your mom lives in a Doritos bag.”

It’s sad, absurd, and whimsical all at the same time. It’s like being insulted by a Wes Anderson film.

The Doritos bag memory has encouraged me to be more creative in my cursing.

Swear words should be easy to come by. They don’t need to be based on gender, sexuality, or horrible stereotypes to be potent.

You only need two things for a good expletive:

One: It needs to feel visceral coming out of your mouth. Curse words need a good damn mouthfeel.

Two: It needs to feel a little verboten. It needs to feel like something you maybe shouldn’t yell at a nun in 2nd grade.

I don’t have any nuns in my life right now, but I wanted to test out some words with an authority figure who would give me an honest response. So I made a list of visceral yet meaningless words. I called my mother and said them to her.

I worked my way down the list until one of them finally made her go, “Oh, geez.”

And I knew that was one.

The made-up word that made my kind, intelligent, Anderson-Cooper-loving mother go “Oh, geez!” was this:

CRUMBSUCKER.

One who sucks crumbs? Maybe? I have no idea what it means, but it sounds nasty as shit.

If the person you called a child of a butt is still talking to you, try calling them a CRUMBSUCKER right now.

The next time someone cuts you off in traffic, let that crumbsucker know how you feel about it.

When your phone changes “carpe diem” to “carpet denim” seize the moment with a big bellowing crumbsucker.

If you follow me on twitter, feel free to send me a tweet right now calling me a #crumbsucker. I will feel loved and the rest of twitter will be frightened and confused.

Go forth and crumbsuck!

And if in your travels, someone tries to make fun of you for shifting the swearing paradigm, for putting some thought into what you want future generations to shout at nuns in 2nd grade, then just zip up your swear pants and tell that child of a butt:

“Hey, you French toilet pony, your Dad lives in Wes Anderson’s crumbsucking Dorito’s bag!”

And once again, order will be preserved amidst the fucking chaos of being humans.

Thanks, crumbsuckers.

If you enjoy my work, you can check out all the comedy words and things I’m making via Patreon.

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TENACIOUS D: Obsessed Ep 64

Comedy mastermind, Matt Belknap, producer of Never Not Funny with Jimmy Pardo and A Special Thing records, shares how his obsession with the comedy rock band Tenacious D led to his career in comedy. A fascinating tale of fandom, the early days of the internet, comedy in Los Angeles, online mini-golf, moms on message boards, and scat transcriptions!

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A Man and His Spooky Tweets

For almost two years I’ve been doing a series of daily tweets. First tacos, then monkeys, then daily affirmations, then daily etiquette tips, then incorrect quotes, then fake TV shows, horoscopeshorrorwriting tipsholiday tweetsresolution tweets, Hey Girl tweets, Urban Myth tweets, pastry tweets, boring tweets, social media tweets, incorrect facts, slogans, and Conspiracy tweets, and now Spooky Tweets! Enjoy!

You can also follow me on Twitter to enjoy November’s series!

Day One – You get a phone call. It’s coming from someone who could have sent a text or email.

Day Two – Once, as an adult, I shopped at Hot Topic.

Day Three – Sometimes three white guys get together in a basement and don’t record a podcast.

Day Four – If you watch an episode of Doctor Who and don’t have a strong opinion about it, you will die in 7 days.

Day Five – The term “mouthfeel” exists and is in common usage.

Day Six – It’s possible that my home is haunted and I don’t know because the ghost is just a lazy ass.

Day Seven – If you look in the mirror and say your own name three times, you’ll realize you’re a fucking narcissist.

Day Eight – Today is the twenty year anniversary of twenty years ago. Soon we will all die.

Day Nine – Satan is only interested in purchasing your soul if it’s part of a GroupOn deal.

Day Ten – A remake of The Tell Tale Heart but the beating heart sounds like the car alarm on a Prius.

Day Eleven – Don’t be afraid: Zombies are more tired of us than we are of them.

Day Twelve – Ghosts are just dead people who can’t stop buffering.

Day Thirteen – The noise is coming from inside the building. The man has an acoustic guitar and is learning to play The Eagles’ songbook.

Day Fourteen – All Blockbuster Videos are now haunted by restless spirits that can never pay the late fee on their VHS copies of Titanic.

Day Fifteen – If you look at WebMD, you’ll think you’re going to die in seven days.

Day Sixteen – Once, I went 24 hours without seeing a picture of a cat on the internet.

Day Seventeen – In the future, people will fight to get little blue verified check marks on their tombstones.

Day Eighteen – Once, I left ear buds in my head for seven hours before I noticed I wasn’t listening to anything.

Day Nineteen – The bolts in Frankenstein’s monster’s neck can only be tightened with a little wrench from Ikea.

Day Twenty – Theirs a ghost in your house and it wants to correct you’re grammar.

Day Twenty-One – Once I went three days without asking anyone if they’d seen The Wire.

Day Twenty-Two – I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, vampires, spiders, burritos, discounts. We never stop screaming.

Day Twenty-Three – Before you die your life flashes before your eyes but it’s not in the correct aspect ratio.

Day Twenty-Four – Dance like no one is watching except a sad ghost named Toby.

Day Twenty-Five – Some of the things smartphones have replaced: watches, alarm clocks, mp3 players, books, family, friends, hope.

Day Twenty-Six – The mad scientist’s name is Frankenstein, the monster’s name is actually Chad Lonelypants.

Day Twenty-Seven – If you eat enough candy corn, your colon will turn into a mummy.

Day Twenty-Eight – We will never know which long dead British guy we’ve never heard of was the real Jack the Ripper.

Day Twenty-Nine – The most terrifying Halloween costume is emotional nudity.

Day Thirty – If you make a funny face, your face will stay that way. If you make two funny faces, you will become an animated gif.

Day Thirty-One – Things vampires can turn into: bats, wolves, mist, Diet Pepsi, a turducken, YouTube comments, ebola reporting, money. #DailySpookyTweet

Yours in Spooky Town,

Joseph

If you enjoy my work, you can check out all the comedy words and things I’m making via Patreon.

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An Open Letter From A Ghost

GhostLetter

Dear humans,

I am a ghost and I can prove it. Here goes:

BOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOooooo!

Because all ghosts go BOOOOOOooooOOOOOOooooo, right?

WRONG. Ghosts have no desire to shout weird noises to frighten you. We just want your attention. Like you living humans, we just want to be HEARD. In a way, we’re all going BooooOOOOOoooooo all the time. The internet is nothing but BooooOOOOOOOOOOooooo 24/7.

Besides if we just wanted to scare you, we could say more terrifying things like:

AHHHHHHHH!
or
SON OF A–!

We could also shout terrifying things that are relevant to modern times like:

Not All Ghosts!
or
Technically, it’s pronounced JIF!

That’s right, ghosts are very well aware of animated gifs. We like comparing Benedict Cumberbatch to otters just as much as living people do.

Everybody thinks ghosts are all old-timie. Like we’re all just cartoons wearing sheets over our heads. Ghosts wear a lot of other things besides sheets. Things like:

Spanx.
Star Trek themed bathrobes.
Google Glass.
Some of us are furries.

And we don’t just haunt creepy places like castles, abandoned amusement parks, or the DMV. We haunt any place we have unfinished business.

I know a ghost who haunts a Chipotle because she could never afford the extra guacamole on her burrito.

Most old Blockbuster Video locations are haunted by people who never got a chance to return the DVD of Hotel Rwanda they rented in 2005.

The most embarrassing place for a ghost to haunt is Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I mean, it’s got all the sheets and the whole “beyond” thing. It’s just too on the nose. It’s like a vampire working at a blood bank. It’s just stupid.

But ghosts can’t choose where they haunt. That’s the main thing to understand about us: Ghosts are just souls who can’t move on. We’re basically souls that are always buffering. Do you how annoying that is? We’re like souls operated by Time Warner Cable. We can’t move on. We’re like your mom talking about how much she likes Anderson Cooper. We just will not let it go. Maybe that’s just my mom. She really likes Anderson Cooper.

The point is ghosts need all kinds of different things before they can go on. Sure, some ghosts need to figure out who killed them, but most just need regular human things. They want to finish that novel they were working on, see their kid graduate from high school, beat the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time, change their twitter handle back to their real name instead of Werewolf MacFartPants or whatever dumb Halloween name they died with. Normal human things!

Personally, my needs are modest. I died in 2006 in a small apartment watching the season six finale of Gilmore Girls. All I need to move on is to see Season Seven of Gilmore Girls. There have been twelve different tenants in my apartment since 2006. NONE OF THEM WILL WATCH GILMORE GIRLS! IT’S ON NETFLIX INSTANT NOW! HELP ME OUT PEOPLE!

So look for us! Pay attention! Unless you’re one of those Ghost Hunting shows. Screw those guys. If a ghost lives in your house and you try to watch one of those stupid shows, we’ll change the channel to a rerun of Project Runway. We will Tim Gunn your asses.

If you ever get the feeling you’re being stared at and judged, there’s probably a ghost in your home. Or maybe you have a cat. If you feel stared at, judged, AND like someone is putting their butt in your face, you are being haunted by a ghost cat. Yes, there are ghost cats. They mostly want their ears scritched, but that’s another story.

Or imagine you live in an apartment. Maybe you have important work to do. But then the lights flicker on and off. You hear a dial-up modem noise for no reason. You feel an overwhelming desire to drop everything and watch Season Seven of Gilmore Girls.

DO IT. JUST DO IT. YOU WILL MAKE A GHOST WEARING A STAR TREK BATHROBE VERY HAPPY.

With sincere thanks,
A ghost

P.S. BOOOOOoooooOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOO!

If you enjoy my posts, check out Patreon and the kind patrons who make them possible. Also, please don’t worry about me, I have actually seen every episode of Gilmore Girls.

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HALLOWEEN: Obsessed Ep 63

Writer, vlogger, and self-professed “dorky goth” Nika Harper joins Joseph to obsess over Halloween. Topics include bats, candy corn, a hatred of the word spoopy, bobbing for things, monsters, and, again, bats.

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The Worst Insult Ever

TheWorstInsultEver

Dear angry people–

It’s come to my attention many of you believe Social Justice Warrior is an insult.

For all those people, here’s an honest question: Do you know what the words social, justice, and warrior mean?

I am of the opinion they’re all GOOD things. Warrior means someone willing to fight for what matters to them. Social justice, or the concept that all members of our society should have access to the same rights and opportunities, means stuff like:

Big corporations paying people fair wages
Cops not shooting unarmed people for no reason
Movies and TV shows not constantly objectifying women

If you honestly disagree with those things and want to insult people who choose to fight for them, here are some other insults you could try:

Fairness Tool
Equality Jerk
Decent Hole
Big Ol’ Human Rights Head
Mister Thinks Murder Is Wrong Guy

Those examples at least have some negative words in them.

I understand you’re trying to make Social Justice Warrior an insult by saying it sarcastically. It’s meant to be said in quotation marks, dripping with irony, followed by a loud “pffffft” noise, and perhaps a masterful mime impression of masturbation. But really ANY good thing can be an insult if you go “pfffft” after it.

You make a lot of money. Pfffft.
You’re emotionally well-adjusted. Pffft.
Your shoulders look muscular. Pffffft.

I tried to get at this issue in a more succinct way when I tweeted this:

I got a lot of angry responses to that tweet explaining why Social Justice Warrior is a great insult. Those responses included several interesting alternative insults including:

Fascist
Imagination Guy
White Knight
(and my favorite)
Mister Slippery Slope

None of those are particularly effective insults either. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Fascist:

This one is pretty good. At least most of our culture agrees it’s bad to be a fascist. A lot of the people who think Social Justice Warrior is a great insult think their freedom of speech is being threatened. I know this because I’ve read 800 blog posts about them losing their free speech. Please ping me if you don’t understand the irony of that and I will respond with some sort of flowchart.

Basically, it goes like this.

PERSON A: I think Redskins is a racist name and it should be changed.
PERSON B: You’re limiting my free speech!
PERSON A: No, I’m calling you a racist.
PERSON B: Pfffft. (Masturbation gesture.)

That’s a conversation. Not one to be particularly proud of, but no fascist limiting of free speech there.

Imagination Guy:

Yes, I was insulted for being imaginative. This person’s argument was that Social Justice Warriors don’t matter because social justice is just an “imaginary concept.” Surprising news that one can’t fight for a concept. DEMOCRACY and RELIGION will be shocked to hear this.

White Knight:

I get called a White Knight on twitter basically any time I say something remotely decent about gender issues. The claim is that by having and stating a non-hateful opinion about gender issues, I’m riding in like a white knight to save and/or impress women. This is problematic for many reasons. First off, thank you for thinking that I’m strong, reliable, and valiant like a knight! You basically just called me Superman! Unfortunately, my shoulders are not that muscular.

But the Superman analogy only works up to a point. I say things about social justice because they’re issues I believe affect our culture as a whole. White Knight suggests Superman is just rescuing Lois Lane after she fell out of a helicopter. What Social Justice Warriors are doing is trying to stop a meteor from destroying the entire planet. Lois Lane can, and does, rescue herself.

Mister Slippery Slope:

We’re all familiar with the slippery slope. We shout it anytime something we don’t like is about to happen with all of the calm, intelligent, reflection of shouting “shotgun” when we want to ride in the front of a car.

Marriage equality was supposed to be a slippery slope which is why so many cats are getting married now. Cats aren’t getting married now. That was a joke to illustrate the slippery slope thing. Again, flowcharts can be made available. Also, someone please send me a link to all the tumblr posts of cats getting married that are probably out there.

Happy cat marriage tumblr thoughts aside, I think slippery slopes are at the very heart of the Social Justice Warrior debate.

I think they’re causing the fear that motivates the anger.

If you admit some of the video games you like are objectifying women, you might have to stop playing them.

WHERE WILL IT END THEN? WOULD YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO LEARN TO RESPECT WOMEN? OR PAY THEM EQUALLY? LOOK HOW FAST WE’RE SLIPPING TOWARD TREATING ONE ANOTHER WITH RESPECT AND BASIC HUMAN DECENCY! DAMN YOU, SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS!

Maybe no one from the other side of the argument will find this blog. But if you do and it makes you mad, let me try to help. I’m not being a White Knight. I’m not being Superman. I’m just a person who used to be young and angry, too.

If you’re angry because you think equal rights somehow means taking your rights away, I say let the anger go.

Life is like a video game and the hate is a big, bad, pain-in-the-ass Boss Monster. Try defeating it with a hug, some counseling, some empathy, anything. Just get in there and do your best.

If you disagree with me, by all means, use your free speech. Have a discussion.

And if you’re too angry to even manage that, go ahead and call me names. I would suggest jerk, asshole, or shithead. Or maybe get creative and try out something weird and fun like idiotface, weakshoulders, or dunceburger.

Or you can try to insult me by calling me a Social Justice Warrior.

But that will just make me proud. Because it is the worst insult ever.

If you want to know more about social justice issues and the recent attacks on women in the gaming industry, there’s an overview here. If you enjoy my posts, check out Patreon and the kind patrons who make them possible.

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GEEKS GIRLS: Obsessed Ep 62

Writer, host, and professional nerd Jenna Busch shares her passion about Geek Girls. Topics include how to cosplay as a Geek Girl, spider-man’s crotch, fake geek guys, and Princess Leia’s origin story. Check out Jenna’s website Legion of Leia here!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

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A Man and His Conspiracy Tweets

For more than a year I’ve been doing a series of daily tweets. First tacos, then monkeys, then daily affirmations, then daily etiquette tips, then incorrect quotes, then fake TV shows, horoscopeshorrorwriting tipsholiday tweetsresolution tweets, Hey Girl tweets, Urban Myth tweets, pastry tweets, boring tweets, social media tweets, incorrect facts, slogans, and now Conspiracy tweets! Enjoy!

You can also follow me on Twitter to enjoy October’s series of SPOOKY tweets!

Day One – The Lizard People are a rumor created to distract us from the true agenda of The Llama Monsters.

Day Two – Tupac’s Hologram is still alive.

Day Three – Crop Circles are emojis made by aliens who have no eyes or mouths.

Day Four – The moon landing was not faked, but every single tweet about the super moon is a government scheme to destroy twitter.

Day Five – Every October, the government adjusts their #chemtrails formula to include an aroma of #PumpkinSpice.

Day Six – Walt Disney’s frozen head is secretly directing Star Wars Episode VII.

Day Seven – Michael Bay’s entire career is an elaborate ruse to prove a lot of 80s cartoons were kind of shit in the first place.

Day Eight – Bigfoot only exists in profile which is why all the photos of him look like he’s modeling something on a runway.

Day Nine – The only rational explanation for the continued existence of Orange Julius is the Illuminati likes fruit smoothies.

Day Ten – Why do humans only have two middle fingers, but I often need to flip off six things at once? Who is responsible?

Day Eleven – Lawmakers are pushing a new bill that says you’re not legally married unless Bill Murray shows up at your wedding.

Day Twelve – You never see Chris Pratt and Chris Evans in the same place. They’re two different people. BUT WHAT IF THEY SHARE ABS?

Day Thirteen – The government is secretly run by compassionate reasonable people, you blind fools.

Day Fourteen – The earth has been invaded by a sentient life form called KALE. It wants us to eat it and we’re all falling for it.

Day Fifteen – The hosts of The View can see you through your television set.

Day Sixteen – If you are anywhere near tinfoil, the aliens can’t read your thoughts. The aliens fucking hate Chipotle.

Day Seventeen – If you listen to the free U2 album backwards, you will still be pissed off about it.

Day Eighteen – Ghostbusters 3 was already made in 1997 and it was so bad we all just forgot it existed.

Day Nineteen – Why is it that #TalkLikeAPirateDay and #BeAnnoyedByTalkLikeAPirateDay always fall on the exact same day?

Day Twenty – Close examination of the rocks will reveal drawings of the little Ikea man assembling Stonehenge with a tiny wrench.

Day Twenty-One – There are ghosts in airports that force people to suddenly stop walking in the middle of the goddamn terminal.

Day Twenty-Two – If viewed from space, it’s clear that all major cities were laid out by Freemasons. Super drunk Freemasons.

Day Twenty-Three – The US government plans to start collecting taxes via Kickstarter so you can’t complain when your rewards are late.

Day Twenty-Four – There is no rover on Mars. Every single picture is just Nevada with an Instagram filter.

Day Twenty-Five – The iTunes user agreement you all signed says Bono has the right to come to your home and try on your sunglasses.

Day Twenty-Six – If you look at an Apple Watch wearing Google Glass, you will immediately shit a Samsung Galaxy.

Day Twenty-Seven – The band Pink Floyd does not exist. It is a massive group hallucination.

Day Twenty-Eight – Mad Men is actually a very long Ken Burns documentary.

Day Twenty-Nine – Hallmark invented holidays, trees, the concept of guilt, bad copywriting, and Wal-Mart just to sell greeting cards.

Day Thirty – There’s been an i in team this whole time.

Yours in Secrecy,

Joseph

If you enjoy my work, you can check out all the comedy words and things I’m making via Patreon.

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JIM HENSON: Obsessed Ep 61

Drummer, podcaster, and awesome guy Tony Thaxton joins Joseph to obsess on Jim Henson. Topics include the insanity of the Rainbow Connection, the annoyance of Miss Piggy, the metaphorical size of Mr. Henson’s balls, and much more.

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