Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014, The Year X Went Extinct and Everyone Celebrated

Hello friends, I'm back after a long hiatus. I've poured my creative juices into the podcast section of our Bald Don't Lie multimedia empire, but found that I still have enough left over to put some coherent thoughts into print.

What's brought me back to my keyboard is a burning desire to raise awareness of some societal ills that must be dealt with. I cannot sit idly by anymore, and I implore you to share this message with the masses. Together, we can make a difference. Below is a list of sayings, people and practices that must be retired for the continued improvement of civilization. Why? Quite simply, we can do better.

  1. Inserting "Gate" Behind Any Scandal: When the Patriots were found to be taping practices, it was Spy-gate. When the Saints' defense was maiming opponents for financial reward, it was Bounty-gate. The fact is adding "gate" doesn't even fit. Watergate is an office and residential building along the Potomac River, made famous when it was bugged by associates of President Richard Nixon (a fellow Duke grad). The next time someone affiliated with the NFL does something ridiculous (just refresh espn.com), ignore the urge to add name + "gate". We can do better.
  2. StrollersWikipedia defines an externality as the cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur the cost or benefit. The effect can be positive or negative. A classic example of a negative externality is a car alarm. The device may dissuade a would-be thief by engaging an extremely loud alarm or voice command, if you purchased your alarm system from Darrel Issa. However, the new classic example is the stroller. Looking back to the last century, we saw the stroller evolve from the large pram type to small and now to the SUV equivalent strollers sometimes found today. While they provide utility to the child, who can snack, nod off or just take it easy and the parent, who doesn't have to hold the child or deal with a fatigued kid after a long day, the rest of us are left footing the bill. Strollers are in the way on the subway, sidewalk, grocery store, airport and basically every area of the urban environment. Do us all a favor and get one of those reverse baby back packs and/or buy your kid a matching pair of Asics. And if you have to use a stroller, buy one of the small fold-able ones, please. 
  3. Mitt Romney, Presidential Candidate: The New York Times, even in these dark times for print journalism, is still the standard bearer when it comes to daily print media in the US. Working by their motto "All the News That's Fit to Print", the Times is still the apex for journalists and those that want to be informed. That being said, on October 14, 2014, Josh Barro tells us why 2016 may be Mitt Romney's year. Let's put all politics aside, and just get back to the theme of this article, We Can Do Better. Who knows, maybe Hillary Clinton is feeding this to the press? I'll leave you with this question, how would you like the task of  exciting the Republican base or any moderate voters to vote for Mitt given his personality and 2012 performance. If Mitt throws his hat in the ring again, I predict the Tea Party will be bidding on rights to the moveon.org domain name. 
  4. Using the Term Hashtag in Spoken Conversation: Throw in LOL, SMH or whatever abbreviations you use in text messages or Twitter. There's nothing wrong with using abbreviations when you're texting on the go, depending on your audience. There's also nothing wrong with participating in and utilizing Twitter as the incredible, real-time information source it is. Do yourself and all of us a favor, use the appropriate language in the appropriate setting. Never is it appropriate to use the term hashtag, unless it directly relates to a Twitter. 
Honorable Mentions:

Monday, June 30, 2014

How to Ensure You Have a Great Time at Your Next Wedding

Each year, as the temperatures rise and the flowers start to bloom, gardens aren’t the only things that begin to fill up. You’ll notice that your refrigerator begins to accumulate wedding invitations and Save The Dates like a FIFA official collects bribes.

Dry clean that suit, shine your shoes and start browsing the Target registry, because it’s wedding season.

However, not all weddings are created equal. Sticking with the soccer analogies, some are attending a World Cup in Rio, while others are like attending the World Cup in Qatar. You can have A LOT MORE fun in Rio than in Qatar. 

So what do you do if you get stuck at a wedding where you don't know anyone or the DJ is older than half the Supreme Court justices? Or say you're at a wedding with a bunch of friends, there's an open bar and a live band, and want to spice things up a bit? 

The Answer: Work the below game into your evening. Gather some friends (or comrades if you don’t know anyone at the wedding. There’s bound to be someone else who didn’t go to college or high school with the wedding party) and compile points by meeting the below challenges. You can play as individuals or in teams. The games begin when you take your seat for the ceremony.

3 Points
  • Remove shirt at any time
  • Touch older woman/man’s behind
  • Discuss the founding fathers with a stranger/new friend/fellow patriot
  • Audibly shout over the crowd in another language
  • Convince guest to name their future child after you
  • Eat off a stranger’s plate
  • Photo bomb the wedding party (additional point if the photo is taken by the wedding photographer)
  • Give a guest a nickname that sticks (Bartender, two gin and tonics, one for me and my new friend, Big Country!)
  • Yell, “Wrap it up!” during a speech
  • Blow in a stranger’s ear
  • Pretend you’re blind
  • Defend despicable person prevalent in recent news cycle (…but Donald Sterling provided so much affordable housing to the LA community)
  • Use a fake accent all night
  • If there is a shuttle from the hotel to the venue, diver the shuttle post-wedding to a liquor store or greasy spoon
  • Text message a stranger’s parent from their phone (Mom, we’re so moved by today’s ceremony, we’re hopping on a plane to Vegas tomorrow and eloping. Don’t even try to stop us!)
  • Ask a stranger how long they think the marriage will last (So as a photographer you probably do a lot of weddings, and you can probably get a good sense of how the couple feels about each other. What about these two? How long you think they got? Five, seven years?)
2 Points
  • Dance with woman/man older than 40
  • First person, after the wedding party, in the buffet line for dinner (I couldn’t wait any longer to get my mitts on some of that prime rib. Come to Poppa!)
  • Do a shot with a stranger
  • Shout audibly above the crowd
  • Be in the middle of a dance circle
  • Enter tentative business deal with guest (With my industry knowledge and your venture capital connections, there’s no way we aren’t millionaires, sipping vodka and eating caviar at the 2018 World Cup in Russia!)
  • Purposefully mistake a guest for a celebrity
  • Lead chant or slow clap
1 Point

  • Photo bomb
  • First name basis with bartender
  • Selfie with bride and/or groom
  • Catch garder/bouquet
  • Bum a cigarette
  • Tell completely false story about yourself
  • Get sports details wrong (Yeah, Tom Duncan, just another one of those ACC one and dones who didn’t care about the “college experience”)
  • Shake head in disgust in response to a toast
  • Order two drinks for yourself
  • Be the only person on the dance floor (Why would they play music during dinner, if they didn’t want people to dance?!)
-1 Point

  • Go ten or more minutes without a drink
  • Shake hands with someone (mix in a bow, raise your glass, dap ‘em up, go in for a hug, be creative!)
  • Not participate in a group dance

When you’ve retired for the night, sum up the points and crown a winner. Also, add challenges unique to the wedding you’re attending. So your friends are getting married on a cruise? Two points for each bottle of liquor you smuggle on the ship! Have fun with it!