Blog Archives

5 Things for Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

1. Jack Chick died today. If you don’t know who he is, you probably didn’t play Dungeons & Dragons back in the ‘80s. Chick was a fundamentalist Christian comic artist who wrote tracks presented in comic book form. These railed about the terrible things bringing American civilization directly into the ARMS of LUCIFER HIMSELF, like Masons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, sports, role-playing games, music, bare navels, evolution, peach pits, homosexuality, Halloween, girls wearing pants, critical thinking, and wearing sandals without socks, to name a few. They were, and are, terrible, bigoted, narrow-minded, and thoroughly, deeply hilarious. They never fail to make me laugh every time I see one. So in his way, he brought a lot of joy to my world. I think if Jack Chick was right about his beliefs, he’d probably be in Hell right now, but if my worldview is correct, his consciousness is no more and he is as one with the Universe now as he was before he was born. I think that’s a nice thought. It’s certainly more than he would have ever wished for me.

0046_05

This is laughably inaccurate. When we play D&D, we wear white robes and only draw 2 circles around the pentagram.

Read the rest of this entry

The Return of the Aravan Awards, 2014 Edition

A few years ago, I gave out awards in random categories for the following reason:

…Coming up with a top ten list has to be the easiest writing job in the world. Jot down ten things, come up with superficial reasons for their inclusion, and then explain how blatantly wrong you are as just “a way to get people talking about it.” It’s the ultimate mail-it-in, who-gives-a-shit approach to writing.

So I am TOTALLY in!

I followed it up with the Second Annual Aravan Awards for 2011, then didn’t do one for 2012 or 2013 because my life fell completely to shit and it took me a while to climb back out of it. But now I have, so it’s time to dust off the formulaic and simplistic content generating machine…

THE THIRD SOMETIMES-ANNUAL ARAVAN AWARDS!!!!

The most-coveted shitty plastic trophy presented by someone named Alan Edwards in the entire galaxy.

The most-coveted shitty plastic trophy presented by someone named Alan Edwards in the entire galaxy.

What are the Aravan Awards, you probably didn’t ask? I’ll tell you anyway! The Aravan Awards are completely arbitrary awards in arbitrary categories that I give out for arbitrary reasons. For example, the 2010 Aravan Award for Best Movie I Watched in 2010 went to Pulp Fiction, which did not come out in 2010 and I’d seen years previously but happened to rewatch it in 2010 and it was better than anything I saw that year. So you know what you’re in for. Plus, the awards are arbitrary because I don’t always remember what year something happened, so it’s kind’ve a grab bag of Shit That Happened At Some Point. Bear with me. The Aravan part of the awards name comes from the pseudonym I originally used here until I published my first book and changed the blog over to my real name (OR IS IT?!?!) and I’ve stuck with it because Tradition. And now you can’t un-know any of that useless information.

Anyway, on to the cheap shitty statuettes!

Read the rest of this entry

The Word “Redskin” and What It Means to This Washington Fan

red_potatoes_1337349585

A redskin potato, or a red skin potato. The jury is out.

I’m a fan of the NFL Washington Redskins, in case you haven’t noticed. My first memory of being a live, thinking, and functioning human is of watching a Redskins game in the basement of our house with my father and brother (as they lost to the fucking Cowboys, because of course they fucking did). I inherited my love of the team from my dad and sibling and it’s been part of my life ever since. I’m such a huge fan of this team, in fact, that I can’t watch them play and haven’t watched a Redskins game in its entirety without previously knowing the outcome in years. I know that doesn’t sound like being much of a fan, but I care so fucking much about what is happening that I lose my ever-fucking mind. A first quarter third-down stop by the defense leads me to an expletive-laced tirade about how lame the opposing team is and how I wish them all to die in a cancer fire, and that’s for a PRESEASON game. When they win (rare!) it brightens my entire outlook and psyche. When they lose (often!) it sends me into a bitter spiral of anger and despair. I actually frighten people who have the misfortune to be around me when for some reason I can see the game.

Yes, I have a problem. No, that’s not actually the point of this blog.

Read the rest of this entry

Some Thoughts on Ferguson and Eric Garner

My blog is usually about ephemeral bullshit and inchoate rage about ephemeral bullshit. This post is not like those posts. Ya been warned.

I almost didn’t write this one.

The issues that I’m going to talk about are so politicized, so polarizing, and so inflammatory that I know I can’t even state my thoughts without angering someone, or a lot of someones, or even large swathes of entire political parties. Like yesterday’s post about feminism/gender equality, these issues are emotional and almost immediately cause disagreement. So it would be easier for me to say nothing, except to the people I’m close to who mostly agree with me.

Except I think that’s the coward’s way out. So here we go.

Read the rest of this entry

Some Thoughts About Feminism and Being a Man

My blog is usually about ephemeral bullshit and inchoate rage about ephemeral bullshit. This post is not like those posts. Ya been warned.

I’m a feminist. It seems like it should be a pretty innocuous and easy thing to say – I believe men and women are equal and should be treated the same, and it seems obvious to me that this should be the case and it’s kind of unfathomable to me that there are people out there that disagree but there are – but it isn’t. For some reason the word feminism has been conflated into some amorphous thing that means different things to different people, to the point where successful women will publicly state that they aren’t feminists, because for some people feminism is a movement of man-hating shrieking furies (there are some who do vocally take offense to things like holding a door open for a woman, which is idiotic since I’d do the same thing for a 6’4” 270lb linebacker because it’s about politeness and not the idea that weak woman cannot push door but anyway, these people do in fact exist) while for others it’s about defining which wave of feminism we’re currently in and whether or not women having sex with whoever they want whenever they want are owning their sexuality or merely giving the Patriarchy what it wants because they are being influenced by media portrayals of sexuality and buying into the heteronormative narrative perpetuated by male-dominated industries and on and on (there are plenty of people like this; you can find them in the comments section of Jezebel and other places). In fact, it seems like there are as many definitions of feminism as there are individual people in the world, making the statement “I am a feminist” nebulous save for a vague sense of “I like women”.

So when I say I am a feminist, I am really saying I am a gender-equalist. That’s longer to type and say and includes a hyphen, but I suppose it is fitting since it doesn’t have decades of misunderstanding and bitter recrimination and in-fighting involved with it, so we’ll go with that.

Read the rest of this entry

Heartwarming Thoughts of Spring

Ahhhh, spring. That time of natural and spiritual renewal, when life shrugs off the long cold grip of winter and embraces life anew, reveling in the rebirth and joy that the change of seasons brings. The heart lifts, the trees bloom, and smiles and good feelings towards all creation shine forth from the sense of freedom and reawakening that only Spring can bring. Read the rest of this entry

My Apologies for the Silence

This one’ll be short, actually, not the short where I say this is going to be short and it ends up at 1,200 words which generally isn’t short by blog standards but is incredibly short by my standards, but more like the short that is short because it’s short. And yes it took me 48 words to say “this is short”, because I am still me, after all. Anyway, I wanted to say I’m sorry for the lack of updates and vitriol and whatnot. Life has been uber-crazy lately and my muse has decided to spend the last couple of months in Tahiti apparently. I probably won’t be watching The Walking Dead anymore, because the last 2 episodes I saw broke me. I will write up why at some point but I can’t even muster up the energy needed to do that yet, so it’ll appear at some point. I’ll be back to batshit-crazy-guy at some point. Promise.

Yours,

Aravan, God of Transexuals

What I’m Dreading Most About Season 3 of The Walking Dead

The Magic Woods Ninja.

Sunday, October 14th. That’s when it’s back. The show I love to hate, full of the most dysfunctional group of addle-brained survivors of all time, comes back after an entire season spent on a farm agonizing over morning-after pills, religion, suicide, a woman’s proper role in life, love triangles, and where the fuck Carl has disappeared to and who’s gonna die because of it. Every now and again they put a zombie in it. It was not a good season. Most people agreed that it was slow and awful and dull, until the last episode seemed to make everyone forget about the horrible pacing and stupid arguments and ridiculous thought processes. Zombies! Guns! Impossible headshots and shotguns that never need to be reloaded! And then the big part, the last scene, where everyone seemed to have a collective fangasm and couldn’t stop gushing about what next season would bring. ZOMG the prison! And Michionne! Michionne! MICHIONNE!!!!!!!

Read the rest of this entry

What Chris Cooley Meant to Me as a Redskins Fan

This post is going to be all about football, so most of you won’t care. It’s also going to be about the Redskins, meaning still less of you will give a shit. In fact, it’s going to be about one particular Redskin, so that’ll reduce the potential audience for this post to about one. I don’t give a shit. Some things need to be said.

I’ve been conscious of being a Redskins fan for 35 years. In that time I’ve had heroes, from good days and bad: Joe Theismann,  John Riggins, Darrell Green, Dave Butz, Dexter Manley, Art Monk, Downtown Charlie Brown, Joe Jacoby – hell, I could go on forever. But it’s been a long time since the Glory Days of the Hogs and Gibbs and the Pearl Harbor Crew and the Posse and Fun Bunch and all the rest. In fact, for 20 years now, being a Redskins fan hasn’t been all that fun. There was fleeting success during the Norv era, but that didn’t last, and then came the Bataan March of coaching. Schottenheimer, Spurrier, Gibbs 2.0 (and the last glimpse of success), Zorn (Jesus Christ, I still can’t believe there was a Zorn Era), and now Shanahan. I have hopes for the current coaching staff, I really do. Hope is pretty much the only thing Redskins fans have had to hang their hat on for 20 years. Hope that this year the line can stay healthy. Hope that a quarterback could emerge from the pile and become an NFL-caliber star. Hope that the defense would finally stop giving up 65% of 3rd down conversions. Hope that the young guys could do something.

For 8 years, though, there was one position that I, as a fan, didn’t have to feel hope about. It simply wasn’t necessary, because for this one area, there was certainty. At tight end, for the Washington Redskins, Chris Cooley was going to give everything he had on every play. He was a bright spot, an anchor, one guy we could count on every play even when we were certain nothing else would go right. On the field he was a beast, even if he never got the pimpage from ESPN that others like Witten or Clark or Gonzalez got. Didn’t matter. We, the Redskins fans, knew how awesome he was and how special it was to have him in the burgundy and gold. He was Our Guy.

Read the rest of this entry

Adam Sessler, and the End of an Era

Now that's a face you can trust.

This might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but I am a nerd. A big one. I don’t confine myself to just one or two branches of the Geek Tree either. I am a multidimensional dork. Tabletop gaming? Yep. Live action role playing? Uh-huh. I’ve even added boffer fighting to my repertoire. Comic book fan? Oh yes. I even find myself in the nerdiest of all possible corporate professions. That’s right. I’m an accountant. I am an all-around geek.

But of all of my nerdy pursuits, my favorite is video games. I was a PC and console gamer back when Combat! and Adventure were awe-inspiring. I was jaded before Super Mario Bros. came out (I owned E.T. for the Atari 2600, after all). Video games have been a life-long love of mine, and that hasn’t changed. Luckily, my wife shares this passion with me, and our side-by-side TVs and separate XBox 360s mean that we can both stay up until 5 am playing Skyrim or ME3 and not feel guilty about it. In fact, we’ve been known to apologize for going to bed and leaving the other to game by themselves. It’s our main hobby.

We don’t watch a lot of TV, because that gets in the way of all the multiplayer Mass Effect playing we can do, but there are a few we always catch. Top Shot. Archer. The most obscure one, however, would be one found on the G4 network. You probably have never watched it, because it mostly shows Cops and its teenaged counterpart Campus P.D. No one should ever watch those shows. My wife and I used to watch two of their shows religiously – Attack of the Show, which was about pop culture with a heavy emphasis on technology and other nerdy things and went to shit when Olivia Munn left, and our favorite of them all, X-Play.

Read the rest of this entry