J. C. Mogensen

Reality with a Healthy Dose of Humor

Ramblings

The Greatest Generation

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (1)

In 1996 I turned 20 years old. Being 20 is awesome because you're too young to realize that you're a complete idiot, which means that you find yourself doing really dumb shit like trying to set a new land speed record on a 1973 Honda CB350. Luckily, hitting my twenties in the mid 90's meant that I had what is arguably the greatest soundtrack in the history of ever by which to score my mortality-taunting stunts. I got to thinking about the good old days recently and, after unbiased reflection, can declare without hesitation that there will never be better mix-tape fodder than what the 9-ot's delivered.


 

 "Warp Factor: Holy-Balls, Mr. Sulu."

 


It's not there wasn't any good music in the years preceding or following the 90's, it's just that, by comparison, those years were an auditory wasteland. If you did the math, you know that I was born in '76 - the height of the disco craze.  The 70's gave us the only music white guys could dance to until Hannah Montana's dad invented line dancing. It was also when great bands fizzled out (The Beatles) died (Lynyrd Skynyrd) or were just getting warmed up (AC/DC – who can also count as having died in the 70's). There was some good stuff, don't get me wrong, but for every Led Zeppelin and Queen there's at least three Cat Stevens or Bee Gees. The 70's also gave us The Eagles, a band who put forth the ridiculous notion that drummers should sing lead and Neil Young, who is exactly as melodious as the squealing power steering belt on a 1983 F-150, so, I guess, fuck the 70's.


The 80's were better, but only just. There were some great acts, but the bad ones were some of the worst ever. Anything by Metallica (except The Thing That Should Not Be because it's stupid) or Guns 'N Roses, that song by Phil Collins where he watched some guy let some other guy drown and then totally called him out on it by singing the song to him in concert, and Michael Jackson's Thriller – completely awesome, but we also had to listen to White Lion sing about crying kids, and pretend that The Cure didn't make us want to fall deliberately into the warm eternal embrace that darkness brings. It was a mixed bag, is what I'm saying. I can sum up the 80's by saying that a junior high classmate once tried to convince me that Stryper was a kickass metal group and not just a bunch of jerkoffs dressed like bumble bees singing about Jesus. Fuck the 80's.  


 

 "Whatta ya mean 'Christian Rock is an oxymoron?'"

 


I really can't speak much about the music from this millennium since, other than new releases from the bands I already know I like, I pretty much just stick with NPR for the most part. I'm not gonna trash the 60's either because, well, I mean, Motown was cool and that's about it.


Which brings me back to the 90's. With a ridiculously over-priced Pioneer home entertainment system kicking out a weird mix of tunes from its thirty-two disc changer, my friends and I were primed for a good time. One of my roommates worked at the unfortunately named Jahnke Foods [ˈyoŋ-kē] and brought home several cases of expired All Sport which we immediately mixed with cheap vodka. We would fire up Super Mario Kart on the old N64 and, between gulps of our candy-colored libations, dished out the most vile video game trash talk ever heard while Sublime, Alice in Chains, The Black Crowes, Nirvana, Megadeth, Stone Temple Pilots, Dave Matthews Band, and Sarah McLachlan played on random. The cops actually showed up one Wednesday afternoon because the neighbors had reported a domestic disturbance. When I answered the door, the cop asked me if everyone was OK. I was trying to think of what we might have done for the couple next door to sic the fuzz on us when one of my roommates screamed, "I will rip you head off, fuck your eye socket and use your hollowed out skull as a toilet if you shoot one more goddamn turtle shell at me!" to the other one. We were given a warning.


Was there shitty music in the 90's? Of course there was, but it was also when bare midriffs hit their pinnacle thanks to Gwen Stefani. Hair metal had been bludgeoned to death by "Alternative" - a category that encompassed everything from Ska to Grunge, Metal got meaner and the local top 40 station played music that was mostly good.


 

 Yup

 


I got married at the end of that decade, had a couple great (but strange) kids, and finally decided what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I still miss the 90's. And Super Mario Kart. And All Sport.


At least we still have Gwen Stefani's abs.



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The Greatest Joke Ever

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)


There are good jokes and then there are great jokes. Then there's this one. I heard it in 6th grade and it remains the best joke I have ever heard. I take no credit for coming up with this, I just wrote it down. Enjoy.


Purple Gum Wrappers


Little Johnny has just finished his breakfast and is getting his things together before heading out to the bus when his mother notices that he has a strange look on his face


"What's the matter?" she asks.


"I'm just wondering what the deal is with purple gum wrappers," he answers.


"No child of mine will speak such filth! I have no son, you leave and never come back," she screams at him while shoving him out the door.


Shocked, Johnny does as he's told and, having nowhere else to go, gets on the school bus. Shortly before arriving at school, the bus driver notices the sad look on the boy's face and asks what's wrong.


"I asked my mom about purple gum wrappers and she threw me out of the house," the boy replies.


The bus driver slams on the brakes and yells, "Out! Get out of the bus! You can just walk your disgusting self the rest of the way and don't bother trying to get back on after school because you are banned from this bus."


Little Johnny finally arrives at school, but he is late for class, having had to walk part of the way to school.


"Why are you late, Johnny?" his teacher asks.


"The bus driver made me get off the bus after I told him that my mom threw me out of the house for asking about purple gum wrappers."


The teacher is appalled. "And for good reason. March yourself down to the principal's office right this second. I won't have that kind nastiness polluting my class."


Again, Johnny does as he's told and goes to meet with the principal. The principal, a kind older man, asks Johnny why a normally good student such as himself would be sent down to the office first thing in the morning.


"Well, I asked my mom about purple gum wrappers and she kicked me out of the house, then I asked the bus driver and he kicked me off the bus. The teacher asked why I was late and I told her it was because the bus driver kicked me off the bus for mentioning purple gum wrappers and she sent me here."


"And now your filthy mouth has gotten you banished from school," the principal adds. He ushers the boy outside and tells him to never come back.


Johnny wanders aimlessly for a while until a policeman pulls over, wondering what a young boy is doing walking around town during school hours. Johnny explains the events of the morning and, like the other adults, the policeman is revolted by the boy. He tells him to get in the squad car, drives him to the city limits and tells the boy that he will be shot on site if he ever returns.


After waking away from his home town for hours, a limousine pulls alongside and a tinted window rolls down. "Young man, what are you doing walking all alone out here in the middle of nowhere?"


"Well, I asked my mom about purple gum wrappers and she kicked me out of the house. Then, the bus driver threw me off the bus for mentioning it. My teacher asked why I was late for class and, when I told her about it, she told me to see the principal. The principal kicked me out of school when I brought up purple gum wrappers and a policeman that stopped to see why I was out of school told me I would be shot if I ever came back to town after I said something about purple gum wrappers to him. I have nowhere to go and I don't know why what I did was wrong," he said, sobbing. "Please mister, why is purple gum wrappers such a bad thing to talk about?"


"Son, I'm the governor and I can see that you didn't mean to do anything wrong. Unfortunately, I'm up for re-election and my opponent would have a field day if he found out that I was talking to you about purple gum wrappers. It pains me to do it, but I'm going to have to escort you to the state border and banish you forever."


After walking for days, Johnny hears the sound of a helicopter. When it lands, a group of men in dark sunglasses and nice suits step out and Johnny can see a person he recognizes form TV inside. One of the men walks over to Johnny, gets his full story and relays the info over a walkie-talkie. "Are you sure, Mister President?" he asks, the man nods.


"Step in to the chopper," the man tells him and Johnny does. Inside he takes a seat next to the important man.


"You've been making quite a fuss with this filth of yours," The President tells him. "After convening a special session of Congress, we, as a nation, have decided that there is no place for you here. You will be put on a cargo plane and flown to China. May God have mercy on your disgusting soul." No one says anything else to the boy. He is given an injection that makes him pass out.


He wakes sometime later on a busy street loaded with shops selling items he doesn't recognize. He wanders for a while, trying to get information from the locals, but none speak English. Finally a shopkeeper asks him, "Rittle boy, why you ahh arone?" in an offensively stereotypical accent.


"My mom, the bus driver, my teacher, the principal, a policeman, the governor and the President all kicked me out for asking about purple gum wrappers. Do you know what the deal is, sir? If I could just find out, maybe they would let me come home," Johnny pleads.


The shopkeeper is quiet for a moment, then says, "Across street is very wise man. He tell you ancient truth about gum wrapper."


Johnny sees the old man that the shopkeeper is referring to and rushes towards him. But, before he can reach the old man, BAM!, he's hit by a bus.


The moral of the story is: Look both ways before you cross the street.

 

 

 

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How Hard Could It Be?

Posted on December 22, 2011 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Steps to becoming a famous author:

  1. Write a book
  2. Build a swimming pool in the shape of your initials for rap video bitches in gold thongs to congregate in.


 

 Based on extensive research, this is accurate

 


If only it were that easy.


Stephanie Meyers gets a lot of shit, mostly because she writes a lot of shit, but if there is a silver lining to her success it's that more people are reading and writing. Of course, that's probably because they have the same "Hey, I can do that" reaction as people looking at abstract expressionist paintings and thinking that their toddler is the next Jackson Pollock. The point is that whether or not they're made up of a combination of thinly veiled Mormon morality and her unfulfilled sexual urges, she wrote a book, got published and made fat stacks, yo. That alone is both inspiring and depressing because, A. if she can do it, I can do it, and B. if she can do it and I can't then I must be a worse writer than the person behind Twilight, which means I've brought shame upon my family.


I don't wanna rag on old Stephanie "Mary Sue" Meyers too much. After all, writing is hard and finishing even one book is a praiseworthy accomplishment, no matter how damaging it is to the world-view of young girls. Even the South's favorite book, the Bible, took forty people to write. "But there are 66 books in the Bible," a megachurch pastor will argue. Yeah, but a lot of those are written by the same person. (Seriously, 1, 2 and 3? You couldn't come up with better titles for your sequels, John?) Writing is an act of love that keeps you away from family, fishing and friends*. If you do it because you want to get rich then you've already doomed yourself to failure.


No matter how long the list of tips for aspiring writers is, they can all be boiled down into one word: write. I read once that the first book a person writes should go immediately into the round file after completion because it will, without exception, be terrible. That sounds awful and I don't know why anyone would spend the months, or years, it typically takes to write a novel only to toss it once it was done. Not me, I said to myself, my first book will be awesome. Then I went through some of the unfinished stuff I had cluttering up my hard drive and realized that the three novels worth of partial projects hiding in there should be quarantined to keep them from infecting the rest of my files with their super-charged mediocrity.


It takes a lot of practice, but if you do it for the right reason the process will be a lot less tedious. I may never get a six figure book deal and I may never get interviewed by Jon Stewart, but I will finish my book because I love the time I spend with the imaginary friends I've created. I just hope that if I keep at it, maybe, just maybe, someone else will enjoy it too.


Not to change the subject, but does anyone know where you get rap video bitches from? Is there an agency or do they just show up when you need them most, like fairy godsluts?

 

 You need penicillin for what she leaves under your pillow


 

*Ranked by order of importance

 

 

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Battle of the Space Captains

Posted on October 12, 2011 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (1)

I was originally gonna try and write something inspirational and uplifting about overcoming adversity, dealing with disappointments and setbacks and handling rejection. While ruminating on the topic (thinking up smartass things to say) I started asking myself the obvious question, "How would Captain Kirk handle things?" This logically led the follow-up query, "What would Han Solo do?" Inevitably, I finally found myself asking the most important question of all, "What about Mal?" In an effort to soak up the sweet traffic from what I hope will be a nerd flame war, I decided to abandon the original subject of this post and focus instead on these three space captains and work out which is truly the best.


No! We can not 'all just get along!'


 

This is not a matter of which ship would win in a fight. That would be the Enterprise. It was made to get Kirk from one fine piece of space ass to the next and mess up whatever happened to get in the way. It's the iPhone of interstellar travel - sleek, smooth and so easy to drive an Asian can do it. The Millenium Falcon, on the other hand, is indisputably cool but gets sucked up by the Death Star's tractor beam faster than contraband Cheetos at a Weight Watcher's meeting. Serenity is the newest of these icons and the kind of Firefly class transport death trap that'll be with you till you die, but it barely stays in the sky half the time and isn't exactly well-equipped for any thrilling space battle heroics. It's more of a planet-hopping cargo van than anything.

 

No Contest



Before we get into their differences, we would be remiss if we didn't talk about how similar these fellas are. You could make the case that Han was just a more piraty version of Kirk and that Mal takes those attributes that made Han awesome and cranks them up to "kickass." The biggest difference between Han and Mal is that Mal definitely shoots first. Now, onto the chicks. Mal has a thing for whores, Kirk never met a strange new hyper-colored vagina he wasn't willing to boldly be the first man in and Han's attraction to a certain gold medal bikini wearing princess who likes to tongue kiss her twin brother is problematic, to say the least.

 

The sexy side of slavery



Their captaining styles seem similar on the surface, but there are some important differences. Kirk set the standard for running a badass battle ship and, unlike the other two, his crew doesn't seem poised to mutiny at any second. He also doesn't hesitate to toss out the rule book and sacrifice red-shirts in the name of beating the sweet baby Jesus out of whatever species he just discovered. Han is the one that barely squeaks by as a captain since, even though he does have his own ship, his crew usually consists of just one sasquatch. Despite the fact that we never actually see Han get into a fist fight, I think it's safe to assume that he could hold his own should problems arise while enjoying a pint at the nearest galactic pub. Mal rivals Kirk when it comes to being eager for a tussle, the problem is that he gets his ass handed to him more often than not. Everyone on Serenity knows that Mal is in charge and they will rescue him if they have to, but they aren't above being openly insubordinate every chance they get.


One more picture of slave girl Leia. Because I can


 

It's a hard thing choosing the winner but I'm gonna have to give the trophy to Mal because he's almost as much of a captain as Kirk, but more of an outlaw than Han. Kirk comes in a close second because, even though he went out of his way to get disposable members of his crew killed off, he was always in control. Other than the times he was giving the Skywalker twins and their entourage a ride, Han Solo was never responsible for more than just a single skunk ape and himself. Kirk is the one I would rather have in charge if I was in space (as long as I wasn't on an away team with him) but Mal is the one I'd rather serve side by side with. I like Han - his shiftiness is a big part of his charm - but I wouldn't trust him any further than I could throw an Ewok. No matter where you fall, I think we can all agree that none of these guys would take any shit from that candy-ass Picard. His ship is really just a glorified cruise liner despite being able to transform into a flying saucer and he'd rather talk to his enemies about their feelings than leave them in a pool of blood breathing snot bubbles. Pussy.

 

 

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It's Bad, But I Like It

Posted on July 26, 2011 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

So, I like crappy music. I mean, I don't exclusively like bad music, but I do like music that I know in my heart of hearts is complete and utter crapola. Everyone gets uptight when questioned about their choice in music, probably because it says a lot about the person, and there's nothing wrong with that. Unless, of course, you're an ICP fan in which case you should leave now because you don't belong here with the rest of us. By 'here' I mean anywhere with electricity and indoor plumbing.

 

I feel like I should admit that I occasionally find myself humming a song by the Black Eyed Peas or even *shudder* Nickelback. To make this confession even worse I'm gonna go ahead and come clean about the fact that I don't really care for The Beatles. Also, I hate The Doors. Lest you think that I simply have awful taste in tuneage, I want to mention that I do have a whole heap of music that is shut-up-and-listen-'cause-here-comes-the-good-part fantastic.

 

Before you assume that an occasional fondness for music that is the aural equivalent of a donkey-punch is my only personal flaw, I am going to step in and say, "Wait, I'm not done yet." You see, I also love terrible movies. Take the Transformers franchise for instance. I grew up on that stuff and had high hopes when I heard there were making a real, live movie a few years back. But they are just awful. The plots are ridiculous and I'm pretty sure Megan Fox is functionally retarded. Not to mention that they turned Bumblebee into a freakin' Camaro! He's supposed to be a Bug you jerkoffs, ARRGH!  And yet I've watched all three with a smile on my face.

 

My point is that I like this stuff with the full knowledge that it sucks and I like it sincerely. When I belt out the chorus to The Final Countdown in the shower I don't do it ironically, I do it because that shitty song will ROCK YOUR FACE OFF! I don't get the 'so bad it's good' thing. I'm more of an 'it's bad and it's good' kind of person. Maybe that's why the whole hipster thing bugs me – pretending to like something just so you can point out how terrible it is seems like a lot of work.

 

So the go ahead and sing We Built this City in your car on the way to the latest Nicholas Cage movie. I'll only pretend to judge you.

 

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