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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Month End Report: January

Theme: Weirdos on Parade

Number of Individuals Who "Like" GEP on Facebook: 74

Number Who Are Also Facebook "Friends" of Mine: 58

Number of Twitter Followers: 80

Television Series Watched: Louie (Season 1); Skins (Series 1 & 2)

Best R.E.M. Song in 13 Years: "Calamity Song" by The Decemberists



Number of Oscar-Nominated Films Seen: 4

Names of Oscar-Nominated Films Seen: Inception; Toy Story 3; True Grit; Winter's Bone

Number of Oscar-Nominated Films Seen That Will Appear on My Best of 2010 List: You'll just have to wait until February 27th to find that out.

Number of Babies Currently Growing Inside of GEP's List Lady: 1

Baby's Sex: Female

Baby's Name: Quinn

Meaning of Name: According to Think Baby Names: [Quinn] is of Irish and Gaelic origin, and the meaning of Quinn is "counsel." May also possibly mean "descendant of Con," which has connotations for "intelligence."

So I'm Going With: Intelligence

Number of Times I've Contacted My Cable Provider to Complain About My Internet Connection in the Last Four Days: 3

Things to Look Forward to in February: Valentine's Day; the brand-new podcast; the first entry in our new series 100 Characters I Love


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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Profiles in Weirdness: The Socially Awkward Network: Part 2-Bullies, Vandals, and Sex Fiends

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Remember when finding out that that one slutty-looking sophomore you sometimes passed in the hallway on the way to Algebra gave a blowjob to a member of the varsity basketball team in the boys locker room meant being in the right place at the right time? That's the way sexy gossip worked. You had to be sneaky, crafty even. Today's teenager need only log onto his or her Facebook page to find out who is performing what style of sexual manipulation on whoever else's naughty bits. Perhaps you've heard of '
Nassau's Nasty List?" This FB page allegedly contained detailed descriptions of the sexual goings-ons of certain female students at Uniondale High School, most of which, according to the students named on the page, was not true. But, c'mon, these are teenagers. Teenagers lie. Constantly. My great-uncle used to say, "If a teenagers mouth is moving, he's probably lying. Unless he's you, Matt. When your mouth is moving, you're usually eating. Damn, you're fat."

Yeah, my great-uncle was a bit of a bully. It's a shame he's not around to see how technologically advanced bullying has become. He would have marveled at the way the Internet and social networking sites, like Facebook, have made bullying nerds, geeks, drama fags, spazzes and uggos easier and more efficient. Cyber-bullying is a nationwide epidemic, if CNN and Hollywood celebrities were to be believed a couple of months ago before they moved on to some other cause. It doesn't seem to matter how many suicides, attempted suicides, Web page shut-downs, or arrests you hear about on the news, bullying via the Net keeps on chugging along.

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Look at these precious angels. Hard to believe either of these beautiful gifts from God--Taylor Wynn and McKenzie Baker, respectively--could ever do a single thing wrong, let alone, find themselves in police custody for both
cyber-stalking and cyber-bulliying a classmate they hated via Facebook. Wow, that's a lot of cyber-crimes, ladies. Cyber-crimes. Have we entered some sort of Blade Runner-esque future full of neon lights and rain? The term 'cyber-crimes' sounds sexy. What Taylor and McKenzie did to their classmate, however, is anything but:

Taylor Wynn, 16 and McKenzie Barker, 15...created a Facebook page in the name of a classmate - complete with their classmate's head on a "nude prepubescent girl's body," according to the police report...

Next to the doctored photo, the girls added the comment "I am a member of the Itty Bitty Titty Comitty!!...

Another picture on the fake Facebook page showed the victim's head with her mouth opened next to an adult male's erect penis...

Ick. There are tons of these stories too, this is just one of the more recent ones.

And Facebook has provided a new forum for vandals to express themselves. Unlike well-known street artists like Shepard Fairey and Banksy, however, these fringe artists deal in pornography, racism, and dead babies. Dead babies?!

Yes, earlier this month vandals attacked a Facebook tribute to the memory of those who died during the Queensland flood disaster, covering the page in pictures of mutilated fetuses and pornography. Now there's a recipe for gag. This type of cyber-vandalism is apparently pretty popular in Australia, which proves the other point my great-uncle used to make, usually after enjoying a meal at Outback or "accidentally" catching Crocodile Dundee II on cable: "Them Australians, or whatever you call 'em, are all sickos. Just a whole country of kangaroo-boinking, shrimp-barbecuing, knife showing-off creeps."

Closer to home, a crack team of assholes decided to have a go at Martin Luther King Jr.'s Facebook page on MLK Day, no less. I guess that's one way to spend your day off. Predictably, these lowlifes filled the page with "photos that used the N-word and depicted African Americans as slaves and monkeys." These scumbags didn't even come up with any original hate speech. Isn't everybody tired of racism by now? I am. And also, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HAS A FACEBOOK PAGE?

So, has Facebook made our lives better? I think so. When used responsibly, FB can be a great way to keep up with friends and family. Of course, it's also made it easier for us to kill our children and ex-lovers, drive people we don't care for to suicide, and express our hatred for those who are different from us. You take the good, you take the bad, right? I think I heard that somewhere before. Just don't be a creep on Facebook, all right?


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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Giant Electric Penguin Weirdo Hall of Fame

We've had a lot of fun talking about weirdos this month--grunge poet weirdos, weirdos who think the world is gonna end in 2011, weirdos who let their children drown in the bathtub while they make the perfect fake crème brûlée, etc.--but now, as we bid farewell to another January, it's time to honor some very special weirdos--weirdos who at one time or another have warmed our hearts and filled us to the very brim with unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings. These are the weirdos who deserve our praise, for they are weird without mercy, weird without fear. Ain't nothing gonna stop these weirdos from being weird, and that's why GEP officially welcomes them to the Giant Electric Penguin Weirdo Hall of Fame. Congratulations, weirdos!


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1. Buck O'Brien (on left)

A twenty-seven year old manchild obsessed with his boyhood chum, Chuck, with whom he once shared an experimental sexual experience, Buck O'Brien is simultaneously charming, child-like, and creepy. Mostly creepy though.

2. Spike

A regular caller to The Best Show on WFMU, Spike is a fan of soap operas, doo-wop, and John Wesley Shipp. Weirdest moment: convinced Best Show host Tom Scharpling that he was writing a book, titled Weirdos Exposed, and actually read a passage from it on the air, then a few weeks later admitted that there had never been a book at all.

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3. Mel

Mel is the biggest and, well, only fan of New Zealand's Flight of the Conchords. She is prone to creating erotic paintings of Bret and Jemaine, as well as, making unwanted sexual advances toward the duo, usually in front of her longsuffering husband, Doug.

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4. Gucci Mane

It's really just because of the ice cream cone with lightning bolts coming out of it facial tattoo.


5. Pee-Wee Herman

You can't expect to live in a house full of talking furniture, stammering robots, oddball puppets, and a genie's severed head and not come out a little on the weird side. He had rat-sized dinosaurs living in his walls for Pete's sake! Rat. Sized. Dinosaurs.

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6. Dustin Diamond

Remember when the weirdest thing about Dustin Diamond was that he appeared in every version of Saved by the Bell? Then he starting popping up on Vh1 celeb-reality shows, apparently having become a perfect asshole during his time away from the spotlight, and followed this up with the announcement that he was releasing his very own porn movie--in which, I believe, he performed what is know as a "Dirty Sanchez" upon one of his unfortunate co-stars--and writing a tell-all about his Saved by the Bell days. Diamond has the distinction of being our first multi-leveled weirdo. Congrats. I guess.

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7. Ernest P. Worrell

Why was he always calling everyone Vern? Weirdo Fun Fact: Ernest referred to the viewing audience as Vern because he was, in fact, suffering from early onset dementia. Wow. That fact isn't really that fun, is it?

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8. Anyone who has ever worn a hot dog hat

Congratulations, everyone who has ever worn a hot dog hat. Bet you didn't expect to get recognized today.

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9. Stevie Janowski/Steve Little

Weirder than Stevie's slavish devotion to Kenny Powers is the fact that I still don't know if Steve Little is playing a character or not.

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10. Calvin

The six-year-old co-star of the beloved comic strip series Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin reminds me of myself when I was a child, with his imagination run amok, his tendency to daydream at school, the joy he derives from irritating his father--whether on purpose or as a result of his aforementioned unbridled imagination--as well as his close friendship with inanimate objects, in particular, his stuffed tiger Hobbes. I had a stuffed seal I was quite fond of. His name was Sealy. I assure you, I had a hell of an imagination, naming my stuffed animals just wasn't a priority.

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11. Cassie Ainsworth

You could call her weird and be done with it, but there is so much more to Cassie. She is also anorexic, addicted to several different drugs, occasionally suicidal, and prone to bouts of depression brought on by low self-esteem. I think acquaintance Tony Stonem sums it up best however: "She's thin, she's blonde, she says "oh wow" a lot." Yeah, that's about right.

12. This guy:

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Congratulations to all of 2011's inductees. We'll see you next year. Now get home safe.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Profiles in Weirdness: Utah

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Utah wants to make the Browning M1911 semi-automatic pistol its official state gun and, surprisingly, certain individuals are displeased, feeling that with all the mass shootings of late, proclaiming a gun as an official symbol of the state and its citizens is in poor taste. Lawmakers, however, have been quick to dust off the old shopworn cliche, "guns don't kill people; people kill people" (convieniently leaving out the "...usually with guns" part), believing this makes it OK and/or normal to have an official state gun. Sure, the gun's inventor, John Browning, was a Utah resident in the early 1900s, but so what?

Also, just a quick note on the whole "guns don't kill people" thing. Guns do, in fact, kill people. I mean, yes, human beings have to load the gun and pull the trigger, but the gun is doing most of the heavy lifting. People don't throw bullets at people, right? A bullet is only effective when it is shot out of a gun, correct? No, I'm asking. I haven't been around a lot of guns.

The argument that Utah should hold off on choosing a state gun until after America has dried its collective eyes and had time to come to terms with the shootings in Arizona because doing so now, while everything's still raw, would be seen as insensitive is dumb. Utah should hold off on making the Browning M1911 Utah's state gun because having a state gun is just weird. Oddly enough, a state gun wouldn't be the weirdest "official state" thing Utah has got on the books. Utah claims 24 state symbols, including a state tree, state cooking pot, and state folk dance, among others. Here now is a list of a few other state symbols of Utah:

-State Animal: Rocky Mountain Elk

-State Fruit: Cherry

-State Chair: Easy

-State Time: 11:45 AM

-State Cooking Pot: Dutch Oven

-State Vegetable: Spanish Sweet Onion

-State 'Friend' from the Show Friends: Joey

-State Clown Type: Rodeo

-State Ninja Turtle: Donatello

-State Hymn: Utah We Love Thee

-State Metallica Song: Seek & Destroy

-State Adam Sandler Character: Opera Man

-State Favorite Feature on a Man: Lips

-State Osmond: Merrill

Oh, Utah!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Profiles in Weirdness: The Socially Awkward Network: Part 1-Murder, Drowning, and Make Believe Quiche

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I love Facebook. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I do, and why should I be? Is it still considered "cool" or "hip" to shun FB? I don't think so. Face it, if you don't have a Facebook profile in 2011, you're nobody, better off dead, a blight on the face of God's green Earth.

OK. Maybe not. Perhaps I'm being a tad hyperbolic. I have a tendency to skew that way sometimes. But, c'mon, Facebook is the norm these days. What other service makes it possible to "friend" classmates who barely knew you existed in high school and find out what club openings they'll be attending throughout any given week? Where else can you build and maintain a small farm and not end up in financial ruin? How would I know what culinary delights my aunt in Baltimore was pretending to cook up in Cafe World without Facebook? In a world without Facebook I'd never know where my high school art teacher went on vacation, what classic movie monsters my co-workers are most like, or where the next meeting of the North Carolina Society of Twi-moms was going to be held. I depend on Facebook for all kinds of things--birthday reminders, chatting with old friends, cyber-stalking--and without it, well, I don't know what I'd do.

Of course, without Facebook we never would've become acquainted with the
Devil of Detroit Street. You remember her, right? She was the young woman in Trenton, MI who carried on a one woman campaign to ruin the life of a seven-year-old girl with a terminal illness, creating a Facebook page with pictures of the girl's head accompanied by a set of crossbones, as well as, images of the girl's mother, who had died of the same disease some months earlier, being embraced by the grim specter of Death, who is, incidentally, wearing a t-shirt for some reason. Death doesn't wear a t-shirt! C'mon, man!

So, some people use the Facebook for dubious purposes, fine, but surely this isn't the norm? Right?

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Meet Karen Ann Rooney, a 63-year-old woman from my neck of the woods. One afternoon, back in 2010, she took to Facebook to excitedly announced her engagement to William Jenkins. The bulk of her friends were enthusiastic, filling her Wall with congratulatory messages. Her ex-boyfriend, Peter Moonan, however, was nonplussed. In fact, so nonplussed was he, he traipsed over to Rooney's house and shot her to death before turning the gun on himself.

Tragic, but it gets worse. As I mentioned earlier, I've got a big ol' hard on for Facebook and I'm not the only one. People all over this great land are obsessed with this thing. Some of us can regulate our obsession though, maintain our buzz, if you will. Other people,
like Shannon Johnson of Colorado, cannot. On the morning of September 20, Johnson drew a bath for her 13-month-old son ("the water level was a little higher than usual, but she apparently figured it was safe") and then popped over to the other room (!!!) to check out what her peeps were up to on Facebook. After commenting on a few of her friend's updates--most likely with witty bon mots like "OMG, gurl, you sooo crazzzy," "LOL," and "OMG! I Heart Bruno Mars!!1"--she checked in on her son, found him happily splashing away, and returned to Facebook to cook up some pseudo-quiche in Cafe World. She returned to the bathroom a little while later to find her child face-down and motionless in the tub. Johnson now faces up to 43 years in jail.

43 years? She left her child alone in a tub to make fake meals for no one! To be fair, I've never played Cafe World. Maybe it is so ignore-your-bathing-baby-in-the-other-room fun that once engaged you can do nothing but ignore your bathing baby in the other room and whip up ersatz foodstuffs for hours on end. Probably not, but maybe.

Next time: We haven't even scratched the surface! There are more weird creeps waiting in the wings. Bullies, vandals, and girls for sale are coming soon.


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What the WTF?!?: Feelin' Kinda Clown-Horny

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We've all, at one time or another, laughed so hard we've ejaculate--admit it, ladies!--but did you know it was possible to laugh the spooge into you? Israeli researchers have found that women who've undergone in-vitro fertilization procedures and then been entertained by a "medical clown" for 15-minutes are more likely to become pregnant. Yep, clowns aren't just for circuses and scaring the piss out of people anymore. Clowns can now play an integral role in helping childless couples become childful couples. It's true! The internet said!

In a study of 219 women undergoing IVF, Israeli researchers found the odds of success were greater among women who were entertained by a professional "medical clown" right after they had the embryos implanted in the womb.

Overall, 36 percent became pregnant, versus 20 percent of women who'd had a comedy-free recovery after embryo implantation.


Conversely, women exposed to a Dane Cook routine following the procedure experienced an unrelenting desire to punch themselves repeatedly in the uterus, while a handful of women forced to watch Jeff Dunham's Spark of Insanity special immediately jumped out of the nearest open window to their deaths. Women exposed to the comic stylings of Larry the Cable Guy felt compelled to pursue a Masters Degree and those shown the first season of Mind of Mencia in its entirety made a vow to leave the United States upon the birth of their baby and never return.

So, yeah, looks like clowns are your best bet, ladies.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Bloody Sunday: Beetle Bailey's Brother Revealed

We all know that Lois Flagston, of Hi and Lois fame, is Beetle Bailey's sister, but did you know that the perpetual private also has a brother? Longtime fans of the mediocre strip may have been aware of this buck-toothed moppet's existence, but I wasn't, until I opened up my Sunday funny pages at the breakfast table this morning (We had homemade banana and Nutella crepes topped with warm strawberries. Thanks for asking) and saw this:

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Chigger? Beetle Bailey's brother's name is Chigger? Are Mr. and Mrs. Bailey so psychotically obsessed with creepy crawlies that they felt unnaturally compelled to name both of their sons after insects? How did Lois escape this terrible fate?

Also, this is a chigger:

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And this is what they can do to human foots:

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How do you name your kid after something that gross looking that can so something that gross looking? What kind of sick son of a bitch names his kid Chigger? Ugh.

But we don't want to be all insults and chigger-bitten feet here at Sunday Bloody Sunday, so for the first time in this feature's history, I think, we're going to feature a comic strip we did enjoy this weekend. This rare bit of Sunday Funnies greatness comes, not surprisingly, from Mark Tatulli, the sick mind behind the always enchantingly strange Lio.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Profiles in Weirdness: Jersey Shore Super Fans

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It's good to be passionate about something. If human beings didn't have hobbies or distractions that we visited from time to time, we'd probably go insane. My life would be empty without movies and comic books, just as yours might if someone took away all of your Star Wars action figures or the VHS copies of the She-Ra series you keep under your bed. Reading, model-building, stamp collecting, international travel, bird watching, sports betting, smoking: these are just a fraction of the extra-curricular pursuits that make life worth living. It can't all be working and family! It can't be! We've got to make time for our passions.

Of course, some passions are stupid, like,
this young lady's. She loves the Mtv "reality" program Jersey Shore. How much does she love it? This much:

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This makes my soul hurt. In a world full of noble pursuits, Daniela has decided to devote whatever spare time she has to a television program about four misogynists, three foul-mouthed slutbags, and an orange-tinted, pickle-sucking cave troll who live together in a wood-paneled hovel on the New Jersey shore and spend their entire summer listlessly and lovelessly humping any vagina/penis that wanders into their bleary-eyed field of vision and perpetrating a negative Italian-American stereotype that has most regular, hard-working, non-orange Italian-Americans longing for the days of The Sopranos and the Godfather movies. That's what Daniela likes, nay, loves. But don't take my word for it:

"Everyone knows I am obsessed with all things Jersey Shore. I own a TEAM SNOOKI tshirt and I also have a Jersey Shore poster in my room. My life REVOLVES around Jersey Shore. If i win this dinner with Ronnie my dreams would come true and I would absolutely die inside SO EVERYONE HAS TO ATTEND. YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND."

No, we understand. You're sick. In your brain.

For those of you don't know, Jersey Shore's Ronnie is famous for being the guy who repeatedly cheated on his girlfriend, Shore castmate Sammi, and denying it until an anonymous letter spelling out each and every one of his indiscretions was passed along to said girlfriend. Don't worry, as of Season 3 Episode 2, they're still together. Yes, apparently when you are a respected member of the Jersey Shore elite, you can treat your lady like a pile of dog vomit and continue to expect her undying devotion along with your nightly hand-job, or as the guido community calls it, a "nighty-night fist pump." This is who Daniela wants to break bread with at some point. My soul just vomited.

Here now is a list of passions GEP deems far more acceptable than a passion for the Jersey Shore program. Feel free to choose a new one from this list, Daniela. In the end, we think you'll be a whole lot happier.

-toy trains
-Big Band music
-ironic t-shirts
-crime scene photography
-butter churning
-Disney World pin collecting
-gasoline huffing
-Harry Potter fan fiction
-knitting sweaters from hairballs
-Precious Moments figurines
-upskirt photography
-heavy/death/black metal
-Nazi memorabilia
-drawing
-marijuana

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Food Porn Friday Weirdos on Parade Edition: Pizza topped w/ various items from McDonalds

Pretty gross. What's grosser? I would probably eat a slice. Or two. Or the whole thing. I'm so ashamed.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Morning Music: Das Racist "Rainbow in the Dark"



Start your 2011 off with a little something from one of our favorite records of the last year. (WARNING: Video contains thrusting pubic hair) Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Profiles in Weirdness: People Who Think the World Will End on May 21, 2011

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Sorry, Roland Emmerich, but you got it wrong. Anybody who's anybody knows that the world is going to end on May 21, 2011. It's all there in the Bible kinda not really. Who are you to question what the Bible probably doesn't actually say but maybe, Mr. Emmerich? In the censored words of Mr. Cee-Lo Green, forget you!

I kid, Roland Emmerich. People who think the world will go kaput in 2012 because the Mayans said so are just as nutty as the ones shouting about Jesus's return in 2011. Some are claiming that the recent rash of mysterious bird deaths are a sign that God is ticked off at us. Really? The Dude who flooded the whole planet that one time has been reduced to killing birds to get his point across? The instantaneous death of a flock of annoying birds seems like more of a blessing to me. Birds, with the exception of the Arctic-dwelling, flightless ones who appear to be wearing cute lil tuxedos, are obnoxious. Go ahead, kill 'em. Strike 'em down.

Other groups, like the geniuses over at Family Radio Worldwide, have what they would call undeniable proof that Jesus is up there in Heaven gearing up for His big return. He's updated his iPod with some killer jams, packed a bag with some clean socks, and is ready to pluck the righteous up from this world and bid the rest of us a fond been-nice-knowin'-ya. Family Radio's literature (available at their Web site to read and treasure forever in your heart) offers some of the reasons why they feel the End is inevitable:

--"Just before the flood Noah was instructed by God that in seven days the flood would begin (Genesis 7:10-16). Using the language of 2 Peter 3:8 that “a day is as a thousand years,” it is like saying through Noah, who was a preacher (2 Peter 2:5): “mankind has seven days or 7,000 years to escape destruction.” Since 2011 A.D. is precisely 7,000 years after Noah preached, God has given mankind a wonderful proof that Judgment Day will occur in the year 2011." (from "Another Infallible Proof")

--"...no sign is as dramatic and clear as the phenomenal world-wide success of the Gay Pride movement. In the Bible God describes His involvement with this dramatic movement. Re- member, each and every word in the original languages of the Bible came from the lips of God." (from "Gay Pride: Planned by God as a Sign of the End")

--"God gives us another piece of interesting and significant time information that further demonstrates the accuracy of May 21, 2011, as the date of the rapture. On April 1, 33 A.D., the Lord Jesus was crucified to demonstrate how He paid for the sins of those He came to save. Exactly 722,500 days (inclusively) later, the rapture (May 21, 2011) will occur." (from "We Are Almost There!")

I left out all the math equations. I hate math. If math skills are what it takes to be truly worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven, I'm screwed.

And just look at the contempt Family Radio Worldwide has for the year 2012:

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What's your beef with 2012, FRW? Harsh.

But, fine, let's say the Rapture does, in fact, occur on May 21, 2011. The Bible has already informed it's devoted readers that Jesus will return like a thief in the night and that no human being can ever actually figure out the date, but, fine, the Family Radio gang has cracked the code. What if something goes wrong? That's where Pastor Toney Hensley's how-to DVD "What to do if You Miss the Rapture" can help.

Wait. How do you miss the Rapture? What, were you in the bathroom? Do you not get raptured if, yes, you lived a life of pure good, but you aren't dressed properly? Is there a dress code in the afterlife? These are things we've got to know, people. I guess this is a must buy. I'll check and see if it's on Netflix.

Hope to see you soaring naked through the skies on May 21, everybody. Until then, stay off my lawn!

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Night Trailers: Red State Teaser


Whether you are a fan of Kevin Smith or not (I very much am, by the way), you've got to admit the teaser trailer for his forthcoming horror film, Red State, is pretty damned intriguing. If you haven't been listening to Smith's Red State of the Union Q & A podcast series--and you should, since GEP picked it as one of the 10 best pods of 2010--get on it and get excited. I, for one, can't wait to see this thing.

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Profiles in Weirdness: The Kurt Cobain Poet

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Do you remember where you were when you heard Kurt Cobain was dead? I don't. That might sound like blasphemy to some of my contemporaries, but there you go. I don't remember where I was or what I was doing. I may have been in the kitchen eating a peanut butter sandwich; I may have been in my bedroom beating off on that fluffy blanket depicting two Canadian geese in flight that my mother dutifully washed every week or so, never mentioning the fresh islands of crust dotting the landscape. I just don't remember. Does this mean I felt nothing at the loss of Cobain? Of course not. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nirvana's Nevermind changed my musical life. Before Nirvana I listened exclusively to Michael W. Smith, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and classical music. I was also a devoted radio listener, a fan of the Euro-pop techno and party rap that littered the FM landscape at the time. It was Nirvana, in conjunction with REM and They Might be Giants, that turned me on to a world of musical possibilities I never thought possible. Within a three weeks of purchasing REM's Automatic for the People, I, with the help of my mother, owned every REM cassette that came before. Same with Nirvana. I bought the Bleach tape at K-Mart one week after receiving Nevermind as a reward for straight A's on my report card. It was a pretty exciting time in my musical development. I started grabbing everything I could get my hands on: Juliana Hatfield, The Lemonheads, Primus, Smashing Pumpkins, etc. I was obsessed. Still, I couldn't tell you where I was or what I was doing when I heard Kurt Cobain had blown his brains out. I remember watching the footage of Seattle teenagers gathering together and lighting candles on Mtv, Courtney Love reading the suicide letter, but other than that, I'm blank.


Whether or not you remember where you were, Cobain's death was a great loss. I had heard rumors that he was working on stuff with Michael Stipe shortly before his suicide, so I was bummed about that, but I never mourned in any significant way. Probably listened to my Nirvana albums, watched my VHS copy of Unplugged a lot. I wanted a sweater like the one Cobain wore on that show and my mom got me one for Christmas. Several years later, my horrible ex-girlfriend would throw this sweater in the garbage without me knowing. It is one of the many reasons I dislike her so much to this day.


But, yeah, Cobain was dead. I liked his music, it changed my life, and he died. Oh, well. Billy Corgan was still alive and not a freakish ego-maniac yet, right? At least he wasn't vocal about it. Things were going to be OK. Some people, however, worked through their pain in, um, different ways, like the focus of today's profile. His poem, featured on my second favorite Web site, Failbook, is a moving (i.e. weird) tribute to Cobain, a man he refers to as his "hero." I'm not sure what part of Cobain's life he is so fond of--the heroin addiction, the repeated suicide attempts, the failed drug rehabs, his marriage to Courtney Love, etc.--but Cobain is his hero, so, all right. Now, I don't make a habit of poking fun at people's attempts at poetry--hell, I wrote some pretty awful poems when I was a young man, though, to be fair, some of them were required for a creative writing course, I mean, I had to write them or I would fail the class--but this weird, bad poem begs to be mocked, so that's what I'm going to do, right now.

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Let's take a deeper look. Don't worry. This is all for science.



Heroin burns on a silver spoon,
Under "Automatic Peoples" early moon,


Starting with a reminder of Cobain's well documented heroin use seems like a no-brainer. Nice job, guy. And the spoon is silver. Kinda seems like a judgement, but, oh well.


And I can only assume he is referencing REM's Automatic for the People, which is not a Nirvana album. I guess he may be referencing Cobain's admiration for REM, but that doesn't explain what "'Automatic Peoples' early moon" could possibly mean. Any thoughts? Send them to giantpengy@yahoo.com.


His letter wrote, scrawled with pain,
Left behind his life of fame,


'Written,' not 'wrote.' Sheesh! And, from everything I've heard, Kurt wasn't all yippee-skippy about his "life of fame." That "life of fame" may have been a big reason he took the blast to the head.


The Spokesman bleeds within his room,


Worst line ever? And I do mean in the history of all poetry.


A crying child, a mother's gloom,
A generation, searching for blame,


...and creating a ridiculous murder mystery in the process. Depressed people kill themselves every day. They aren't all elaborate murders masterminded by Courtney Love.


The 90's had courtney and lost Cobain.


Lowercase "c" on Courtney. That's a bold statement. Or a typo. I'm gonna go typo.


Shattering pages on the cold april day,
We learnt of his refusal, to not "fade away",
Sensitive, depressed, disfunctional, bore,
Hear all his bibles at a good record store.


His "bibles?" Really? Ugh. That is probably the real worst line in the history of poems.


And are you calling your hero a bore here, dude? That's kind of harsh. I think you probably mean bored--as you probably also mean dysfunctional without knowing it--but I guess bored doesn't rhyme with store, so you made an artistic decision, like, you know, describing Cobain as a some kind of "dull, tiresome, or uncongenial person." Good for you.


Blonde bearded angel in a mainstream shame


ARGH! That's the really real worst line ever! Though "Mainstream Shame" sounds like a pretty good title for a Nirvana song. What it means here, I don't know. I think it might have something to do with the confused, profoundly awful final line of the poem...


Turned into a product, While they sold out his name.


Well, Paul, it's a good thing you came along and restored Cobain's good name with your wonderful poem. Ugh.


I'm sorry, but I've got to go with Nate on this one. Read the rest of this article.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stop Already: The War on Coffee

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If you watch as much TV as I do, you've probably seen the new 5-hour Energy commercials in which a guy (or sometimes a gal) wakes up in his bed groggy and disheveled, accompanied by a whiny inner monologue in which he (or she) glumly moans about his (or her) lack of energy (or, in the woman's case, her TV-appropriate obesity). The sleepy individual then shuffles through a sparsely furnished kitchen, shunning the coffee maker and groaning about how difficult it is to brew a pot of coffee and how long it takes and blah blah blah. But then, there it is, a time-saver in a can, or, rather, a weird little bottley-shaped container about the size of a human thumb with the silhouette of a man running either up or off of a cliff printed on it. "There's my precious 5-hour energy," the bleary-eyed man or woman sighs with relief, cracking the seal and downing the energy-laden concoction in a single gulp. After this, an announcer breaks in to give the viewers some specifics on how 5-hour Energy is going to make boring old coffee its bitch. Finally, we get a last glimpse of our previously half-awake avatar, who is now either dressed for work with a smile full of promise stretched across his face or sweating her disgustingly fat ass off on a home elliptical machine, because she doesn't need to get to work; she's a woman after all.

How dare you, 5-hour Energy! Where do you get the nerve taking on coffee like that? Coffee is an institution. You are a mere, as nobody I know has ever said, flash in the pan. You're a Trending Topic: important today, maybe even tomorrow, but lost in a sea of Justin Biebers and #whatifSantawasAsian a week later. You are a blip on the timeline of time. When the end comes to this planet the only things that'll be left will be caffeine-addled cockroaches and you want to know where those roaches are going to be getting that caffeine? That's right! Coffee, bitch!

Look, I know Americans love their Monsters and their Rockstars and their Four Lokos. I drank a Red Bull once. I had a rough night and work was not going well. I knew by lunch that if I didn't do something drastic I'd be finishing out the day face down on my keyboard snoring softly and dreaming of kitties, which is what I dream about most of the time. Kitties and being chased through abandoned malls. Anyway. I strolled down to a nearby drug store during my break and purchased a Red Bull soft drink and polished it off in a couple of swallows. I remember being repulsed by the flavor, but dammit, it did the trick. I don't know if Red Bull gave me wings, as the charming British cartoon characters promise in the ads, but I was able to stay both awake and alert during the remainder of the work day, which was great since I utterly hated my temp job at the time. Wait.

Alls I'm saying is that I get it. Americans like to be alert, awake, positively seizure-ing with energy. But to suggest that 5-hour Energy be the new coffee is not only ludicrous, but downright treasonous.

For one, coffee is delicious. I drink decaf almost exclusively, so I don't even use coffee for the same reasons many Americans do. I like the taste. I like it black with a couple of sugars or maybe some flavored creamer like a French Vanilla or...you know what, the possibilities are endless. You can do so much with coffee. You've got mochas, frapps, capps...hell, you've been to a Starbucks! I don't gotta tell you! What can you do with a 5-hour Energy other than toss it down your throat pipe and wait for the burst of chemical-energy it provides for, I guess, 5 full hours? How is that a good time? Coffee gives life pizzaz. 5-hour Energy means you've given up on the pomp and circumstance and just want the prize. That's a sad way to live, man.

But, OK, let's say your beef with coffee is the time factor. "Coffee takes too long and I want my caffeine now! I'm the equivalent of a whiny little baby with a poopy diaper!" The truth is, coffee doesn't have to take forever. Ever heard of setting your coffee maker the night before? I know, it's like were living in Jetsons times! You can actually set your coffee maker to come on before you even wake up in the morning. It takes the tiniest amount of effort. I used to have a coffee maker that was super easy. All I had to do was tell my wife to do it. Amazing!

There is another way to get quick, delicious coffee too, in fact, it's the way I do it every morning and the way endorsed whole-heartedly by this blog. Feast your eyes on this baby:

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Say hello to my coffee maker, ladies and gents. This is the magical machine I use every morning to make my various coffees and teas. It is, quite simply, my favorite machine in the house! This Cuisinart single-cup coffee maker uses things call K-Cups, which come in
so many varieties, it boggles the mind. It takes less than a minute to brew, the coffee is delicious, and clean up is a snap!

If you've got to drink this 5-hour Energy swill to face the day, fine. That's pathetic, but there it is. But don't buy into these ads that try to promote 5-hour Energy as the logical next step in the evolution of energy-providing liquids. Nobody--and I mean nobody--is gonna take coffee down. It's versatile, easy to make, and frequently delicious. So, do us a favor, 5-hour Energy ad wizards, shut your faceholes and just

STOP ALREADY


Read the rest of this article.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Profiles in Weirdness: Crystal Harris

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No, Giant Electric Penguin has not become the latest spot for hardcore online smut (fingers crossed for 2012!!!), this is simply a snapshot of model/singer/frequently naked person Crystal Harris. Not only is Harris Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month for December of '09 and the voice behind
this moving musical performance,* but this vivacious 24-year-old with her whole life ahead of her is also Hugh Hefner's fiancee. For you youngsters who don't know, Hugh Hefner is the founder of Playboy magazine, an early porn publication that sadly neglects spread assholes, which can be quite beautiful when photographed the correct way. Also, 'Hef,' as he is known to most perverts, is 84 years of age, making him 60 years older than the young woman pictured above. And he looks like this:

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I know what you're thinking: "Hey, that guy doesn't look half bad for someone teetering precariously between life and everlasting death." OK, so he's got kind eyes, but imagine this, young lady readers out there: Crystal Harris probably has sexual intercourse with this guy. Sure, Grandpa has a sweet smile and a pocketful of Starlight mints, but that doesn't mean it's fun and/or sexually enticing to feel this fleshy sack of brittle bones slide on top of you in the dead of night and hear him whisper/wheeze into your ear, "How 'bout some sugar, darlin?" Creepy.

But, anyway, Crystal is engaged and in love, as illustrated in this recent tweet: "Hef and I are TRENDING on [Twitter]!!!! WOW!!!" Excited about being talked about on Twitter is akin to being excited about the undying love you feel for an undead pornographer, I guess. Hey, I'm curious, what exactly are people saying about Harris and Hef's magical tale of romance on Twitter?

"Hugh Hefner's fiancee on their 60 year age difference: 'I don't notice the age difference', but she meant 'I can't count that high'" (@kellyoxford)

"It's great to hear Hugh Hefner is marrying his 24-year-old girlfriend, because we could all use an appetite suppressant this time of year." (@ClaireWlkWright)

"I'm convinced that Hugh Hefner's bride to be doesn't want a kid because she would have to change two sets of diapers!" (@SpencerGraves)

"Question of the Day: Would you go out on a date with Hugh Hefner if it required one tongue kiss?" (@jenniferquiroz)

Being a Trending Topic isn't the same as being universally adored or having your position as Hugh Hefner's (sugar-free) arm candy coveted. It just means a whole lot of people--most of them painfully unfunny--are mocking you mercilessly.

Crystal, I'm not here to judge. You marry Hugh Hefner and become his fourth wife. You iron his smoking jackets and watch those crusty old black-and-white movies he enjoys so much. As long as you are doing it for love, I give you my blessing. Just stay out of the Grotto. I hear it is ripe with venereal disease.

*May cause severe bleeding from ears.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Begins...

It's 2011 and things are jumping off gangsta-style at Giant Electric Penguin. Not only will we be bringing you all of your favorite regular features, as well as, a brand-spanking new podcast that will make all of our past podcasting efforts sound like putrid hunks of rotting goat shit left in the sun to curdle and stink, but each month in 2011 will have a super terrific special theme, starting in January with...

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Weirdos on Parade!

In the coming year prepare yourself for Bond-A-Thon, Puppet Palooza, True Crime A-Go-Go, Pizza Party, and many, many more amazingly exciting theme months. Whoa, I can hardly wait and I already know what's coming!

2011 at Giant Electric Penguin is going to be off so many chains you'll swear Michael Vick had something to do with it!

Wait...what?

Read the rest of this article.