Category Archives: Lists

Friendships with Corporate Persons

The only upside I can see to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow corporations to fund political campaigns is the phrase “Corporate Persons”.  Every day American corporations are a humanized by the media and their own advertisements.  It’s flat out weird.  The entire concept of giving a big, scary, money-loving corporation the same rights as me is so bizarre I feel like the world has gone mad(der).  Hey, here’s a question, if corporations get the same rights as individuals, can a boy corporation marry another boy corporation?

Rather than discuss the horrors (or merits as some argue) of this ruling, I think it would be more fun to imagine what my life would be like if I actually had to be friends with the corporations I deal with on a daily basis.  I’m not a big consumer, so lucky for me I wouldn’t have as many corporate person-friends as some others.  But here are the ones I would have, and how I imagine our relationship would go.

Boost Mobile

Yes, I’m an owner of a boost mobile piece of poop cellphone.  As both a poor man and a frequent traveler, it helps not to be tied down to a contract.  I usually have my phone on me, even if I often screen calls.  So Boost Mobile would always be hanging out.

Appearance: I imagine a rather surly, methed-out yokel in their 20s.  Androgynous, spaced out (possibly tripping on some psychedelics that are not safe) but for the most part harmless.

Most Annoying Habit: Boost Mobile friend would be like my secretary.  Now, imagine the person described above trying to relay messages to me.  First, half of the messages I get s/he would keep to him/herself, or reveal them only after they were no longer relevant.  S/he’s even worse at sending out messages.  When I send him/her on a mission to text a friend, s/he often screams the message and pretends it urgent, even if it’s not.  S/he also is fond of putting in words or characters that I did not include in my original message.  And sometimes when I give him/her a task, s/he puts up his/her middle finger at me and goes to sleep.

Best Characteristic: I really can’t think of one, other than without Boost Mobile people would have a harder time trying to find me.  Boost Mobile would have no games, no style, no personality and no ability to troubleshoot him/herself.

Boost Mobile’s Twitter: WHERE U AT *3943* URGENT MESSAGE USER CANNOT BE REACHED WTF OMG LOL

Apple

I may as well be surgically attached to my iPod touch and my MacBook.  Because I work inside the internet, my old and tired laptop is my livelihood.  When not hunched over like an ape editing, I am probably walking or biking somewhere and listening to my iPod.  Even when I’m on the toilet I do crossword puzzles on my iPod.  Lovely image right?

Appearance: I think Apple would probably be a sort of sexy, nerdy, smug…oh wait.  It’s this guy.

The guy on the right. The guy on the left and I aren't on speaking terms anymore. But I kind of miss him.

Most Annoying Habit: Well, Mac and I have made the poor choice to mix friendship and business.  So half of the time we have a GREAT time hanging out, listening to NPR and chatting with our other friends.  We also have been known to get rather intimate, though it has yet to go beyond watching porn together.  But, on the flipside, he can be really slow and irritable.  He also is great at distracting me from actually producing any actual work.

Best Characteristic: He’s a know-it-all, and acts like he better than me.  He’s incredibly smart, but he’s very secretive about where he gets his information.  All-in-all a mostly OK guy.

Apple’s Twitter: I command my followers to be really annoying about the iPad.

The Salvation Army

I try not to buy too many clothes; I prefer comfy and familiar clothes that I can pack up quickly to hoards of really stylish stuff.  Hence I always look “good” but I rarely look “great!”  Most of my clothing comes from human-friends or second-hand corporate-friends that deal in as The Salvation Army.

Appearance:  Dumpy, possibly insane Christian.  Overbearing in almost every way.  Her style is questionable, and perhaps unsafe.  Her hair is a mess.

Most Annoying Habit: It’s a tie between her unmistakably terrible odor (my mom says it’s the smell of humanity) and the fact that I know she witnesses for Christ and hates gay people when we’re not hanging out together.

Best Characteristic: She gives almost constant fashion advice.  %99.9 is so far off the mark that I usually just laugh at her.  Like that time she suggest I wear pleated 49 waist pants and a floral blouse.  But occasionally she gets something right, and comes up with a sweet t-shirt or a surprising pair of jeans.

The Salvation Army’s Twitter:  YELLOW TAG- 10% OFF, BLUE TAG- %50 OFF, ORANGE TAG- SOILED

LL BEAN

Though most of my everyday clothing is second hand, I have 3 essential items that all come from the great Maine icon LL Bean: My amazingly light, warm, green and frumpy winter coat, my amazingly light, warm, purpleish-gray and frumpy winter boots, and my used LL Bean bright blue backpack with the name “Arjun” inscribed on it from a previous owner.

Appearance: Definitely a true Mainer, but one of the better looking ones (if there is such a thing).  Fit but sturdy, reserved but practical, and probably staring down at me disapprovingly from a sailboat.

Most Annoying Habit: Sweatshop labor.

Best Characteristic: Definitely makes sure I’m warm and comfy.  Not as concerned with style, but it won’t let me leave the house without a snuggly outfit.  Actually, this kinda sounds like my mom…

LL Bean’s Twitter: This sleeping bag is also a hiking stick, shoe insert, fishing pole, hat and water bottle.

SallieMae

Oh the sordid, twisted web of a relationship I have with my primary loan agency, SallieMae.  Basically my college forced me to use this evil organization (instead of other more responsible loan companies) to pay for my obscenely expensive college education.  I’ll be paying off SallieMae for the rest of recorded time.

Appearance: A big, fat man in a pin stripe suit with a cigar in his mouth laughing evilly, mixed with a really unhelpful woman with a Florida accent wearing a headset who refuses to speak proper English or make compromises.

Worst Habit:  SallieMae is the worst friend ever.  She waits until I get paid for working, then she takes all of the money to her house and sits on it.  She’s one of those friends who has too much money, but still requires more and refuses to share any.  She’s constantly suggesting that I may have made a big mistake, despite my insistence that she shut the fuck up.  She’s also constantly screwing over a bunch of my friends.  She comes from a family of companies, many of whom are awful, some of whom are OK, but none who are as evil and sick as Sallie.

Best Characteristics: She paid for my life in college.  However, she constantly rubs this fact in my face, and when I compare her to some of her international brothers and sisters I just want to kick her in the genitals.

SalliMae’s Twitter: GIVE ME UR FIRST BORN CHILD 2MORROW OR ELSE.

Report Card: Gay Folks from TV Land

Ah, television.  The best place to go to find mind-numbing, soul crushing shit.  I don’t watch much TV, and what I do watch I watch online (I can’t stand commercials).  But as much as I may try to deny it, Television is one of those pieces of media that works like a fun-house mirror.  Those greedy cunning folks in the television business take what is out here in the real world, and reflect it back through the tube after adding drama, adventure and witty comebacks.

And of course, types and classes of people are subject to this regurgitation as well.  Ever since All in The Family featured a homosexual character in 1971, gay men and women have been popping up like pretty rainbow colored daisies on all types of shows.  Though there are more and more appropriate portrayals of gays and lesbians on TV every season, some of them seem to come up with some pretty hefty thorns that stick in the side of gay progression.  So here’s my review of the best and worst portrayals of gays on TV.  I know that I have left a lot of characters out, but like I said I don’t watch a lot of TV.  I have heard about good characters on shows like Firefly, Veronica Mars and Dr. Who, so if you watch any shows and feel someone deserves a mention, leave a comment about them.

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1.  Ellen Degeneres, Ellen.  Grade: B-

Since I’m only reviewing fictional characters, I’m talking old-school Ellen, not the talk show The Ellen Show.  I loved the sitcom, and watched it pretty religiously when I was in middle school.  The character Ellen wasn’t a far cry from the person actress Ellen Degeneres projects, bumbling, silly and hilarious.  It wasn’t until close to the end of the series that Ellen’s character came out, and in my own (and most critics) opinions, it’s what killed the show.  Ellen went from a show about a single, awkward woman and her anchoring friends to a show about a lesbian trying to come out of the closet.  It lost its funny, even though at the time it was a pretty daring and admirable move.  The best part came from the reactions of Ellen’s various friends, particularly Paige, Ellen’s best and surprisingly homophobic female friend.  But I think the biggest asset a gay television character can have is to live a life in which their sexuality is a part of a whole.  So Ellen lost a few points for drawing so much focus to her characters gayness.  Her grade would be lower if she hadn’t spent so many years being one of the smartest, funniest and most together gay people in the media.

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2.  Oscar Martinez, The Office.  Grade:  A
God bless Oscar.  He deserves better than what he gets.  Oscar was outed in the worst way by his boss on the episode The Gay Witch Hunt, and since then would have had several giant lawsuits in his hand were any of the events on The Office real.  But Oscar is a great gay character, intelligent, kind, generous, and most importantly extremely normal.  He is not flamboyant like some of the other characters flunking characters on this list, but what I truly love about him is that he’s not overly butch either (this can be said for most of the passing characters on this report card).  Too many television writers seem to think that if your gay character isn’t going to have limp wrist syndrome, then they must wear baseball caps and play sports.  Sure there are plenty of (very sexy) gay men who are super macho, and a large portion of those aren’t even pretending to be macho.  But I think the largest group of men, particularly those Oscar’s age, are like him, not lisping but also not burping and farting.  Oscar has struck that balance I want in a long term partner.  Though I don’t think I could tolerate an accountant.

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3. Lieutenant Jim Dangle, Reno 911.  Grade:  B-

Jim Dangle might be considered the main character of the fiercely funny fake cop show.  It’s always hard to grade characters from shows so offensive, because part of the gimmick of the show is making a mockery of the gay stereotype by portraying it to its fullest.  So yes, there is a lot about Dangle that could be seen as negative if you don’t get the humor: his taste for musicals, his to reveal his nutsack through the leg of his shorts.  But all being said, Dangle has somehow managed to become the leader of the group of fuck up Reno police. And though he is hopelessly stupid, he is perhaps the most intelligent member of the bunch (this is also true of the lesbian character Kimball).  The way I see it, the writers on the show (one of which is Thomas Lennon, who plays Dangle), have walked an interesting line:  they manage to make fun of the gay stereotype while also allowing the character to break the most detrimental and perhaps most prevelant stereotype: that gays are only able to be background characters, comedic or tragic supplements to the main story.
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4.  Felix Gaeta, Battlestar Galactica. Grade:  D

Aside from the fact that the word Gay is built right into his name, Felix Gaeta is a terrible portrayal of a gay man.  He is whiny, nerdy, traitorous, weak and easily intimidated, and not to mention extremely annoying.  He spends much of his time singing sappy songs in a tenor voice as a way to show his longing for another life.  It wouldn’t be so bad if there was another character who was admirable and gay, but Gaeta (and the murderous lesbian captain of Pegasus who is on a handful of episodes), seems to be the only surviving gay person from Caprica who likes other dudes.  I don’t think that all gay characters need to be good people or likable, but if you’re only going to feature one I feel that there ought to be plenty of redeeming characteristics.  Gaeta is at least smart, and able to organize apparently, but he’s doing it all for the wrong reasons.  Check out this blogger’s in depth post on Gaeta’s sexuality.

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5.  Sharon Tyler, Wonderfalls. Grade:  A-

Wonderfalls was a sadly shortly lived show that was about a young girl working at a Niagara Falls gift shop who receives creepy, confusing messages from inanimate animal figurines.  It was created by the same person who made Dead Like Me, and I suggest you go rent it if you can.  Sharon is the main character’s sister, and is outed in the first episode.  Sharon is not the most likable woman, she is uptight and condescending.  But unlike Gaeta, she is still a strong, realistic character.  She is a lawyer of international law, and quite witty and loyal despite her bitchy tendencies.  The only problem is the woman she ends up dating, a somewhat typical bullish woman who rides a motorcycle.

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6.  David Fisher, Six Feet Under. Grade:  A

This may be my favorite show of all time, and features one of the most complex gay characters to ever be on television, David Fisher.  No other show I know of has so delicately portrayed an effeminate gay man.  David has a subtle gay-sounding voice (an incredible acting job on Michael C. Hall’s part), is obsessively neat and a sometimes sex addict.  However, even with all of these traits, he does not come off as a caricature.  Quite the opposite, David, like all of the characters, feels like someone you know.  Even more, most of the first two seasons and much of the last four focus heavily on David’s sexuality.  David comes out of the closet, and has a hell of a time of it, but it is not pathetic or comedic or tragic, it’s a delicious blend of all three.  David is the character people who know nothing about gay people should study.  He will show you the issues many gay men realistically go through as they are coming out, and trying to live a happy life in the messed up and beautiful world.  My favorite David moments come in the few brief times he is without his partner Keith (who is an excellent example of a realistic gay person who can be extremely unlikeable), when he is dating around.  The creators of the show have fun making complex, yet realistic gay characters with whom David mingles in extraordinary, unpredictable ways.  David, I don’t love you, but I love what you stand for.

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7.  Jack McFarland, Will & Grace.  Grade:  F


“Jack is unashamedly vain and self-absorbed, with an adoration of all gay icons, particularly Cher, of whom he has a rare doll. (He met her once, although he mistook her for a drag queen and declared, ‘You’re not that great, Mr. Sister. I do a better Cher than you.’ It was only when she slapped him and exclaimed ‘Snap out of it!’ that he realized and promptly fainted.) He would also meet Cher in a dream where she appeared as God (complete with an entourage of ‘dancing fairies’). When Jack asked her if she was God, Cher replied, ‘That depends on what bathhouse you pray at.’ He is a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, particularly lesbian character Willow Rosenberg. He also collects clippings of celebrities’ hair, including a complete collection from the four main actresses on The Golden Girls, as well as Broadway icons Bernadette Peters, Betty Buckley, Idina Menzel, and — as of season seven — Patti LuPone.

–  Wikipedia

Jack, see me after class.

Hope you enjoyed my list.  Feel free to leave a comment with grades for characters I left out!  Oh, and check out a story of mine that a wonderful British chick posted on her fascinating blog right here.  She was kind enough to post a story of mine about disappearing donut store employees, and the other writing she has posted on there is prime.

Coming up: The sleep study part III, an update on my where-and-whatabouts, and some talk about a couple new, more organized blogs…

A List of Things I Heard While Waiting For A Computer to Free Up, Standing On The Balcony of the Hostel in Cusco On Valentine´s Day, One Day After Friday The 13th

  1. Maria, Roxanna y Diana, trying to figure out how their new MP3 player works.
  2. A man´s voice on the radio singing in Spanish.
  3. Yanapay, the lowly hostel dog, tic-tacing across the cement below.
  4. Fernando´s footsteps, creaking on the floorboards, and gate he is opening creaking as well.
  5. A dog barking somehwere.
  6. Thunder coming from the left and far off.
  7. Some sort of rhytmic cooing.  (A mechanical pigeon?  A porno?)
  8. 3 dogs now, all fighting.
  9. A bee buzzing.
  10. A pigeon warbling, and another one flapping.
  11. A cat jumping from one roof to another.
  12. Taxis honking, like sonar around me.
  13. 4 different birds singing, like sonar around me.