Posts Tagged ‘Mark Twain


Faster Updates

I’ve got less time to post tonight than I did yesterday. Darted to Best Buy after school, got my hands on DCU Online, the massive install is happening now. Woot.

Going to Thibodaux tonight to work the door for our newest production, Crimes of the Heart, starring several friends of mine and directed by the inimitable Daniel Ruiz. Go to for more info.

I’ll do a full review soon, but if you want a different kind of zombie novel, look for Feed by Mira Grant. Friggin’ great.

Mark Twain’s real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. I think we should bring back the name Langhorne. Do you know how many kids I’ve taught named Dylan, Cody, Mason, or some alternative spelling thereof? I have never taught a Langhorne.

I’m just sayin’.


Another crime against literature

Last month, I finished teaching my 11th-grade students what I consider the greatest novel in the history of American literature, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. And I decided I wanted to show the class a movie version of the story. I found a made-for-TV version from the 60s, which I didn’t screen beforehand. (It was in the school library, what could be wrong with it?)

As it turned out, an awful lot. While the film began pretty much in synch with the book, although a few incidents were left out, it didn’t seem anything to get upset about. Until Huck began his journey down the Mississippi River. The next thing I knew, he was encountering the characters Twain named the “Duke” and the “Dauphin.” It is a testament to my students that so many of them immediately realized what was wrong with this.

“Wait a minute,” one of them said. “Where’s Jim?”

If you’ve never read Huckleberry Finn, allow me to explain. Jim is a runaway slave who joins Huck in his adventure on the Mississippi. In fact, Jim is the impetus for the journey — early in the novel Huck fakes his own death to escape his father, but when he discovers that Jim is suspected in his murder, he promises to help him escape to the Free States by traveling south on the Mississippi until it joined with the Ohio River, which Jim could take north. At first, Huck wrestles with his conscience, as he is technically helping with the theft of property (Jim) from somebody who has always treated him well (Jim’s owner, Miss Watson). Through their shared experiences, though, Huck comes to view Jim as a human being and reject ingrained attitudes of racism and acceptance of slavery that he was brought up with. It is, in fact, a masterpiece of American literature.

Of course, that means somebody wants to come along and screw it the hell up.

In the worst case of a crime against literature since Snooki got a book deal, Entertainment Weekly is reporting that NewSouth Books is publishing a revised edition of Huck Finn, in which all instances of the dreaded N-Word have been removed. I am, of course, sensitive to this word, just like everybody else on the planet. I don’t use it and I find its use morally repugnant. But I also respect Mark Twain and what he was trying to do with this incredible novel. Having re-read it so recently, one of the things that struck me about the book is the way Twain used that word to puncture holes in those characters that clung to racist ideals. The first reason most people will give for rejecting this change will be because the word is a period-accurate term, regardless of how modern readers think of it, and that is true. But even more importantly, if you remove that word from the book, much of the power is gone.

Twain didn’t just use that word because it was accurate to the dialect of the time. He also used it to demonstrate just how much it was (and, sadly, still is) used to dehumanize black people. By replacing that word with a euphemism, or even a less emotionally charged racist term, we lose what Mark Twain was trying to accomplish. Take, for example, the conversation between Huck and Tom Sawyer’s Aunt Sally in Chapter 32. Huck (pretending to be Tom for reasons too complicated to get into here) is telling one of his many lies, this one including a steamboat that blew a cylinder head. Sally, hearing about the “accident,” asks a perfectly reasonable question:

“Good gracious! Anybody hurt?”

Huck’s response? “No’m. Killed a n*****.”

Sally’s reply? “Well, it’s lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt.” (Emphasis mine.)

When we got to this part of the book, several of my students were horrified at what Sally said. And dammit, that’s how they should feel, because (in case you can’t figure it out yourself) she’s basically saying here that black people aren’t human beings. There’s no other interpretation. Would it mean the same thing if Huck had used a different word? Technically, yes. Would it have had the same impact? Hell no.

What makes it even stupider to me is that the editor of this Huck Finn, a supposed “Twain expert” named Alan Gribben, has chosen to replace the inflammatory word with the word “slave.” Which I suppose wouldn’t look out of place, as that word is already used liberally throughout the book, but will it do the job of the dreaded N-word? No. And for one simple reason. The N-word is a racially derogatory term. “Slave” is not.

Although American slaves were overwhelmingly black, they weren’t all black, nor were the slaves of many other cultures throughout history. In some culture or another, slaves have been Asian, white, Christian, Jewish, children, adults, men, women… slavery itself is a dehumanizing institution, and Twain demonstrates that wonderfully in his book the way it is right now. But slavery itself is not a racial institution. Admittedly, for the characters in this book who use the word in question, when they refer to slaves, they’re talking about black people. But the word “slave” is not a derogatory term for someone who is black. The other word is. And for that reason, if no other, this change is utterly inadequate to accomplish the goal of the brilliant Mark Twain.

Fortunately, Huckleberry Finn is in the public domain. This is, of course, the reason that NewSouth Books is able to publish their version –the book is out of copyright and Twain’s estate has no way to stop anybody from doing whatever the hell they want with it. But because of this same law, other publishing companies (Bantam, Penguin, or anybody else) who want to publish an unedited version of the novel will be perfectly free to do so. So when you’re shopping, friends, make sure you get the original version. Make sure that Mark Twain’s message is communicated unaltered. Make sure that you can view history in perfect clarity, so that we can recognize how far we’ve come, and know exactly the direction we need to go.


What I’m Reading: 2010 Edition

Like I did last year, I’m going to keep a running tally of my reading list this year. This includes both prose books, graphic novels, short stories (if I read them independently of an entire book, that is), and audiobooks that I listen to. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, I’ll place a link to this post on the righthand “Blakestuff” column, and periodically update this page with new material. Also, if I happen to review the book either here, for the Amazon Vine program, at, or otherwise, I’ll make the title a link. Because I know you would want it that way.

  1. Desperate Times by Chris Eliopoulos (2009), B-*
  2. Under the Dome by Stephen King (2009), A-
  3. Little Adventures in Oz Vol. 1 by Eric Shanower (2010), A-*
  4. Replay by Ken Grimwood (1987), B+
  5. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954), A+
  6. The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures by Dave Stevens (2009), A*
  7. 7th Son: Descent by J.C. Hutchins (2009), A- @
  8. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (1987), A
  9. Star Comics All-Star Collection Vol. 1 (2009), B-*
  10. “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft (1928), B
  11. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002), A-
  12. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (2009), B+
  13. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2008), B+
  14. The Magic Book of Oz by Scott Dickerson (2009), B+
  15. More Blood, More Sweat, and Another Cup of Tea by Tom Reynolds (2009), A-
  16. PVP Vol. 6: Silent But Deadly by Scott Kurtz (2009), B-*
  17. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865), A-
  18. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1951), A
  19. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900), A
  20. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (2001), B
  21. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow (2003), B
  22. “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving (1824), A
  23. Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies by Michael Adams (2010), A
  24. Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis (2008), A
  25. Doom Patrol: Crawling From the Wreckage by Grant Morrison (1990), B*
  26. Doom Patrol: The Painting that Ate Paris by Grant Morrison (1990), B+*
  27. The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason (2008), A-
  28. “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1836), B+
  29. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin (1894), B-
  30. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley (2004), B-*
  31. “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce (1890), A
  32. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (1595-ish), B
  33. “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain (1865), A
  34. Lost Ate My Life by Jon Lachonis & Amy J. Johnston (2008), B-
  35. All the Great Books (Abridged) by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor (2005-Stage Play), A-
  36. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max (2006), B
  37. Reduced Shakespeare by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor (2006), B+
  38. The Zombie Wilson Diaries by Timothy W. Long (2009), B
  39. Lurline and the White Ravens of Oz by Marcus Mebes (2008), B-
  40. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper (2004), B
  41. “Winter Dreams” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1922), B
  42. Blockade Billy by Stephen King (2010), B+
  43. Honor Brigade by Tom Stillwell & Bradley Bowers (2009), A-
  44. Age of Bronze: A Thousand Ships by Eric Shanower (2001), A*
  45. Marvel Zombies 4 by Fred Van Lente (2010), B*
  46. The Toxic Avenger and Other Tromatic Tales edited by Tim Seeley (2007), B-*
  47. Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality edited by Mark D. White (2010), B
  48. Sheldon: Living Dangerously With Saturated Fats by Dave Kellett (2009), A-
  49. “The Far and the Near” by Thomas Wolfe (1935), B-
  50. “In Another Country” by Ernest Hemingway (1927), B-
  51. “The Corn Planting” by Sherwood Anderson (1921), B
  52. “A Rose For Emily” by William Faulkner (1930), A
  53. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (1895-Stage Play), B
  54. Heaven Book V: War by Mur Lafferty (2008), B@
  55. “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” by Flannery O’Conner (1955), B+
  56. Kissyman and the Gentleman by Scott Sigler (2010), B-@
  57. Carrie by Stephen King (1974), B
  58. Unbeatable: Hotter Than Hell (2010) by Matthias Wolf, A-
  59. DC’s Greatest Imaginary Stories Vol. 2: Batman and Robin (2010), edited by Bob Joy, B-*
  60. I’ll Mature When I’m Dead (2010) by Dave Barry, B
  61. Wertham Was Right (2003) by Mark Evanier, A-
  62. Little Adventures in Oz Vol. 2 (2010) by Eric Shanower, B+*
  63. Age of Bronze Vol. 2: Sacrifice (2004) by Eric Shanower, B*
  64. Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne (2004) by John Byrne, A*
  65. The Crypt Book One: The Crew (2010) by Scott Sigler & Various, B+@
  66. Vampire Brat (2001) by Batton Lash, B+*
  67. Haunt Vol. 1 (2010) by Robert Kirkman & Todd McFarlane, B+*
  68. Ancestor (2010) by Scott Sigler, A
  69. The Customer is Not Always Right (2009) by A.J. Adams, B
  70. Atomic Robo Vol. 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne (2007) by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener, A*
  71. Starman Omnibus Vol. 4 (2010), by James Robinson, A*
  72. Hater (2006) by David Moody, B+
  73. “Everything and Nothing” (2010) by David Moody, B
  74. Penny Arcade Vol. 6 (2010) by Jerry Holkins & Mike Krahulik, B+
  75. And Another Thing… (2009) by Eoin Colfer, B-
  76. Dog Blood (2010) by David Moody, B
  77. The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904) by L. Frank Baum , B+*
  78. Sheldon: Still Got It (2009) by Dave Kellett, A*
  79. Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against Television Since 1953 (2010) by Dave Kellett, A*
  80. Drive: A Hero Rises (2010) by Dave Kellett, B*
  81. Beneath (2010) by Jeremy Robinson, B-
  82. Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories (2010) by Zack Whedon, A*
  83. Night of the Living Trekkies (2010) by Kevin David Anderson & Sam Stall B+
  84. The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus (2010) by Fred Hembeck, B+*
  85. “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839) by Edgar Allan Poe, A
  86. Curse of the Were-Woman (2009) by Jason M. Burns, B*
  87. A Teacher’s Night Before Halloween (2008) by Steven Layne, B
  88. Ghostopolis (2010) by Doug TenNapel, A*
  89. Superman: Earth One (2010) by J. Michael Straczynski, A*
  90. Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives (2009) by David Eagleman, A
  91. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010 Graphic Novel), B*
  92. The Lost Hero (2010) by Rick Riordan, B
  93. Stupid Christmas (2010) by Leland Gregory, B-
  94. Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas (2001) by Ace Collins, B+
  95. Full Dark, No Stars (2010) by Stephen King, A-
  96. The Case For Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger (1998) by Lee Strobel, B
  97. Amelia Rules: A Very Ninja Christmas (2009) by Jimmy Gownley, A*
  98. The Curious World of Christmas (2007) by Niall Edworthy, C+
  99. The Great Treasury of Christmas Comic Book Stories (2010), edited by Craig Yoe, B*
  100. Top Cow Holiday Special 2010 by Phil Smith & Paul Dini, B*
  101. Graphic Classics Vol. 19: Christmas Classics (2010), B+*
  102. The Truth About Santa (2009) by Gregory Mone, B
  103. The Starter by Scott Sigler (2010), B+

*-Denotes Graphic Novel or Comic Strip collection
@-Denotes audiobook
“”-Denotes Short Story

Last Updated on January 1, 2010


What I’m Watching: 2010 Edition

Like I did last year, this year I’m going to keep a running tally of the movies I see. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, I’m going to place the permanent link to this post in the “Blakestuff” category running down the right side of the page. I’ll update this every so often, and whenever I happen to review one of the movies (either here, at, or even on the Showcase podcast), I’ll make the title a link. I am, in fact, a man of the people.

  1. Star Trek (2009), A
  2. The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (2008), B+
  3. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009), B+
  4. The Man With the Screaming Brain (2005), C
  5. Re-Animator (1985), B-
  6. Soylent Green (1973), A-
  7. Igor (2008), B-
  8. Dug’s Special Mission (2009), A*
  9. Partly Cloudy (2009), A*
  10. 1408 (2007), B
  11. Pigeon: Impossible (2009), B+*
  12. Vegas Vacation (1997), C
  13. Cat People (1982), C
  14. Psycho Beach Party (2000), B
  15. Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988), D
  16. Planet Hulk (2010), B+
  17. A Charlie Brown Valentine (2002), B*
  18. The Wolfman (2010), B+
  19. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010), B
  20. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010), A-
  21. The Hangover (2009), B+
  22. Surrogates (2009), B
  23. Silver Bullet (1985), D
  24. Paranormal Activity (2007)
  25. Ringers: Lord of the Fans (2005)
  26. Ink (2009), B+
  27. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959), B
  28. The Hobbit (1977), B
  29. The Lord of the Rings (1978), C+
  30. The Return of the King (1980), B-
  31. Clash of the Titans (1981), B
  32. Clash of the Titans (2010), D
  33. Iron Man (2008), A
  34. Office Space (1998), B+
  35. Meet the Robinsons (2007), B+
  36. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (2009), B+
  37. Hancock (2008), B+
  38. Fritz the Cat (1972), C-
  39. The Losers (2010), B-
  40. Kick-Ass (2010), B+
  41. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1968), C+
  42. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), A
  43. Midnight Meat Train (2008), B+
  44. Plan 9 From Outer Space (1958), F
  45. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), B+
  46. The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005), B-
  47. Iron Man 2 (2010), A-
  48. The Grapes of Wrath (1940), A
  49. Cloak and Dagger (1984), C+
  50. The Odyssey (1997), B+
  51. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), A-
  52. The Pixar Story (2007), A
  53. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), C+
  54. Richard III (1995), B-
  55. Miss March (2009), D
  56. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), B+
  57. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), D
  58. Toy Story (1995), A
  59. Toy Story 2 (1999), A
  60. Red Dawn (1984), B+
  61. Day and Night (2010), B*
  62. Toy Story 3 (2010), A+
  63. Muppets From Space (1999), B-
  64. Jonah Hex (2010), D
  65. Monsters, Inc. (2001), A
  66. Zardoz (1974), C
  67. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008), B-
  68. Predators (2010), B
  69. Laserblast (1978), F (MST3K riff), B
  70. Better Than Chocolate (1999), C
  71. Alice in Wonderland (2010), C+
  72. Inception (2010), A
  73. DC Showcase: Jonah Hex (2010), B*
  74. Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010), B
  75. The Beginning of the End (1957), F (MST3K Riff-B+)
  76. Sold Out: A Threevening With Kevin Smith (2008), B
  77. Let the Right One In (2008), B+
  78. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966), F (MST3K Riff-A)
  79. I Accuse My Parents (1944), F (MST3K Riff-B)
  80. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010), C
  81. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), B
  82. A Wink and a Smile (2008), B
  83. Fame (2009), B-
  84. Water Lillies (2007), B
  85. Jennifer’s Body (2009), B
  86. Sex Drive (2008), B+
  87. Dead and Gone (2007), D
  88. Dead Snow (2009), A-
  89. Vampire Killers (2009), B+
  90. Netherbeast, Incorporated (2007), B
  91. The Zombie Diaries (2006), C
  92. Survival of the Dead (2010), B
  93. I Sell the Dead (2008), B+
  94. Saw VI (2009), B-
  95. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), A
  96. The Wolfman (1941), B+
  97. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943), B
  98. Werewolf of London (1935), D
  99. She-Wolf of London (1946), D
  100. Due Date (2010), B
  101. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010), B+
  102. Tangled (2010), B
  103. Tron (1982), B
  104. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), A+*
  105. Prep and Landing: Operation Secret Santa (2010), B+*
  106. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964), F; MST3K Riff, B+
  107. The Adventures of Huck Finn (1992), B
  108. Tom and Huck (1993), B
  109. Miracle on 34th Street (1947), A+
  110. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970), B-*
  111. The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), B+*
  112. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), A*
  113. Frosty the Snowman (1969), A-*
  114. Tron: Legacy (2010), B+
  115. Gremlins (1984), A
  116. Santa Claus (1959), F; MST3K Riff, B
  117. A Muppet Family Christmas (1987), B*
  118. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), A
  119. It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002), B-
  120. A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008), B*
  121. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972), F because I can’t give Qs; RiffTrax Riff, B
  122. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), A
  123. The Polar Express (2004), B-
  124. Love, Actually (2003), A
  125. A Christmas Story (1982), A
  126. Funny Games (2008), B
  127. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (1978), B+*
  128. Destino (2003), A-*
  129. Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (2010), B
  130. Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010), B-
  131. Waking Sleeping Beauty (2010), B
  132. Despicable Me (2010), B+
  133. The Crazies (2010), B-

*-Denotes Short Film

Last Updated on January 1, 2010.


Blake’s Universal Rules of the Universe

Since I resurrected this website back in June, I’ve brought back most of the stuff from the old site that was actually worth saving. Oddly enough, though, I actually have had a number (two) of requests from a number (two) of people asking for the return of a feature I called Blake’s Universal Rules of the Universe. For those of you who weren’t around for Evertime Realms 1.0, the Universal Rules of the Universe are short little quotations — usually funny (or at least intended to be funny) that I think explain or reveal a little truth about the universe. Most of them are by me, several of them are quotes by people far smarter than myself, and those are credited accordingly. So I went to the old list, I pulled out my favorites to begin the core of the NEW Universal Rules of the Universe, and from now on, I’ll add to the list whenever something occurs to me. Hope you enjoy it… especially the number (two) of people who wanted me to bring it back.

Blake’s Universal Rules of the Universe!

1. It always itches the most when you can’t scratch it without people seeing you.

2. The word “underpants” is 22 percent funnier than the word “underwear.”

3. If you want your car to stop making that funny noise, just ask someone else to listen for it. A similar rule applies to most computer problems.

4. Timing is everything. Especially if you are a secret agent trying to leap between the spinning blades of one of those unnecessarily systematic deathtraps.

5. The line between “brilliant work of art” and “pretentious piece of crap” is much thinner than many people care to admit.

6. There is nothing so irrelevant that people won’t whine about it on the Internet.

7. The height of one’s waistband has a direct correlation to a person’s age. This is why teenagers wear pants down to their knees and seniors tuck them under their armpits.

8. If you think about something at three o’clock in the morning, and then again at noon the next day, you get different answers. — Snoopy

9. Ninety percent of America, no matter how many times they read it, will always forget that “Spider-Man” is hyphenated.

10. The average morning radio DJ is on the air over 15 hours a week, compared to a television sitcom star, who only gets 22 minutes. However, a morning DJ can survive for years with only three jokes, whereas a successful sitcom star needs at least five.

11. No matter how crappy the DVD is, “scene selection” and “interactive menus” do not count as “special features.”

12. If at any point you become so frustrated you yell, “I know it’s on this desk somewhere!” that is your cue to clean your desk.

13. All you really need is love… but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. — Lucy Van Pelt

14. Real heroes never ask for the title.

15. Hope is like gasoline for the soul, it’s what you need to keep everything moving in the right direction and it costs upwards of four bucks a gallon.

16. In this world, there is right and there is wrong, and that distinction is not difficult to make. — Superman, Kingdom Come #3 by Mark Waid

17. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. — Thomas Edison

18. It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt. — Mark Twain

19. Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea.

20. Fiction is the truth within the lie. — Stephen King

21. The worst part of being alone is the fear that it will turn out to be a permanent condition.

22. The best thing about Friday morning is the knowledge, immediately upon waking up, that in 24 hours you will still be asleep.

23. Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. — Ronald Reagan

24. The same law that gives you the right to say anything you want also gives me the right to ridicule what you say mercilessly. – Dennis Miller

25. This whole country would be a lot healthier if scientists would stop trying to grow human ears on rats and work on ways to make broccoli taste like a Quarter Pounder With Cheese.

26. Blessed are the peacemakers, because what with the high blood pressure, headaches, premature baldness and stomach ulcers, they’re gonna need it.

27. Not all magic is fireworks and fanfare. Sometimes magic is quiet and sneaks up on you. An illusion is what needs all the bells and whistles to make itself appear grander than it really is, which is just a trick that can be explained.” — Bishop Nicholas, The Autobiography of Santa Clausas told to Jeff Guinn

28. The female body is a work of art. It’s smooth, it’s streamlined, it’s curvy in all the right places. The male body, on the other hand, seems to be designated primarily for comedic purposes.

29. The words “full screen” and “special edition” are inherently incompatible.

30. All major airlines believe that the best way to atone for a really terrible flight is to give the passenger a free or reduced fare on their next really terrible flight.

31. Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. — Thomas Edison

32. Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love. — Charlie Brown

33. Remember when the first Austin Powers movie came out? And everybody was doing impressions? And it was funny? Yeah. It’s not anymore. Knock it off.

34. The Fantastic Four without a sense of exploration is like Spider-Man getting stung by a radioactive honeybee.

35. Peace is not simply the absence of war, but it is the presence of justice. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

36. There are two kinds of teenagers, those who think they’re mature and understand the whole universe and those mature enough to know that they don’t.

37. Many words become at minimum 37 percent funnier with the inclusion of a few superfluous letters. For example: “snausages.”

38. October is the only time ABC Family shows The Scariest Places on Earth, even though careful laboratory studies have proven it is 1,462.7 times more entertaining than those Full House reruns they’re so in love with.

39. If you can’t do something smart, do something right. – Shepherd Derrial Book, Serenity

40. The only difference between those who blindly accept everything and those who blindly question everything is that the latter are more likely to have an undeserved sense of superiority.

41. “Hypocrite” is the most overused and mis-used word on the Internet. Second, oddly, is “Chrysanthemum.”

42. After watching DVD for a while, all VHS films look horrible. After watching enough HDTV, you can’t watch regular TV anymore. All technologies spoil us for inferior technology.

43. In life we expect things to happen out of the blue. In fiction we won’t tolerate it. – Ronald B. Tobias

44. There are at least four distinct types of brain damage only demonstrable in the typical North American High School Student.

45. It is possible, in middle schools, for a couple to meet, fall for each other, have a meaningful relationship and break up bitterly without ever speaking fact-to-face. Sometimes this happens in the space of a single class period.

46. If you would not be forgotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin.

47. Ninety-three percent of all stupidity is self-inflicted.

48. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot. – Morpheus, the Dream-King, Sandman #19 by Neil Gaiman.

49. If you’ve got two good legs, one good head and no invalid dependents, you have no one to blame but yourself if you don’t get out of the way of a hurricane.

50. Heroes are like the stars. They’re always there, you just can’t see them until it grows dark.

51. The candidate most deserving of your vote is whichever one promises not to run for re-election until, at earliest, May of the next election year. This two-year election cycle is absolutely ludicrous.

52. As soon as you conceive of a bizarre pairing of two different fandoms, someone on the internet will write a bad fanfiction about that very thing.

53. Outside of medical professionals, teachers have the highest germ exposure of any major profession. They basically work in giant Petri dishes.

54. Everyone dreams of quitting their job. No one dreams of being told, “We’re sorry. Your services are no longer required.”

55. A teacher never feels as appreciated as the day after a sick day when the students had a substitute they didn’t like.

56. “You’ve got to love what you do in life. If you’re not doing what you love, you’re doing the wrong thing.” — Muppeteer Jerry Nelson on Episode #105 of The Muppetcast

57. Everybody is annoying once in a while. Some people just make it a lifestyle choice.

58. Having goals in life is important, but they should be specific goals. For example, wanting to become so famous that you are a category on Jeopardy is a good goal. Unless one of the answers is “in a hail of gunfire.”

59. If at any point in your day, you turn to a complete stranger and say, “You’re not a cop, are you?”, the time has come to re-evaluate your life choices.

60. The more entertained you are by the people around you, the less what you’re doing seems like work.

61. Anyone who complains about free pie should have it shoved in their face, the video of which should be immediately uploaded to YouTube.

62. Over 96 percent of all newly-purchased GPS devices, on their first use, will direct the driver to a place he already knows the way to blindfolded, just to “see if it works.”

63. Whether it’s a movie, video game, or potential mate, no amount of pretty can make up for an utter lack of substance.

64. Sometimes, you just have to shut up and let your friends be stupid, because you know if you tell them they’re being stupid, they’d just be stupid anyway.

65. The kindest prank the universe will ever pull on you is give you good news, then tell you not to tell everyone… yet.

66. When you’re dieting, willpower is your friend. A nasty, dirty friend who will club you over the head and abandon you when you need him the most, but not before he steals your wallet.

67. Teachers have to keep in the relative ages of their former students in mind at all times. One of the most uncomfortable phrases a human being could hear would be, “Welcome to Hooter’s! Oh… Mr. Smith… it’s you…”

68. Everybody deserves, just once a day, for someone else to somehow make them feel significant.

69. Students and teachers often disagree, but both demographics will rank “as soon as the bell rings on Friday afternoon” as the best time of the average week.

70. Illegal downloading is wrong. But Disney making people who want a digital copy of Tangled, Tron: Legacy or A Christmas Carol pay for a 3-D version that will look like crap on their home television sets in order to get the digital copy is not going to convince anybody of this.

71. If I buy something from your website, you don’t need to start sending me your paper catalog. I no longer need paper catalogs. I have the internet.

72. Kids should get tokens for naps they don’t want to take, which would be redeemable as adults for all those time we wants naps and don’t have the time. Also, I’m sleepy.

73. People who flip out over the first announcement of many are probably the same ones that quit reading books after the first chapter if they don’t already know every damn detail.

74. The next time you think to yourself, “such a small detail can’t possibly make a difference,” stop and FIX IT. Because yes, it can.

75. If someone is basing their plans on your availability, and that availability changes, TELL THEM. Or don’t be mad when you show up three hour late and they’ve eaten your dinner and are waiting to hit you in the genitals with a baseball bat.

76. When you kick your good friend Sleep out the door far too early five days in a row, don’t be surprised on a Friday afternoon when he mugs your ass and leaves you for dead.

77. If you sit in the middle of the aisles in a bookstore, reading books you have no intention of buying, when the bookstore itself has kindly provided numerous desks, tables, and armchairs, then you forfeit your right to complain if a paying customer “accidentally” kicks you in the face when I’m leaning over you to reach the latest Rick Riordan novel.

78. Sometimes the express lane just isn’t fast enough. Stores should have a “Super-Duper Express Lane” for those customers wearing anxious expressions and buying nothing but a bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

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March 2023

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