Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Here today, gone to Maui.

It's 78 degrees in Honolulu right now, according to the forecast on Knickers the iPhone. There's no point to my mentioning that, just the observation that it is seventy-fucking-eight fucking de-fucking-grees in fucking Hono-fucking-lu-fuck-lu right fucking now.

New York, meanwhile, is clocking in at a balmy 18 degrees with the wind chill. Jealous, Hawaii?

I'm beginning to wonder why I keep the forecast for Honolulu programmed into my phone. I used to think it was a goal. But right this minute, it feels a lot more like pointless masochism, as opposed to the more poignant masochism of suffering through a movie directed by Clint Eastwood. Seriously, that guy should change his name to Clint "Piece of Shit"wood, to more accurately reflect the content of his "artistic vision." Mystic River made me want to shoot someone's brains out on the banks of the Charles River. We should bury that movie. We should bury it deep.

Word. Out.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Just to show you I have more than three dimensions...

What follows is the audio track of a teaser I wrote for a cartoon series about a fuzzy bunny - a series that I have yet to script or animate. Though I do have a tentative title: Confessions of a Fuzzy Bunny.

Episode 1 is called "The Grapefruit of Danger."

I'm embedding the "Grapefruit of Danger" teaser below using QuickTime (I hope), but you can also just download it yourself by clicking here. Trust me, it's worth it. I would never say that unless I was reasonably sure, or unless I was being paid a vast sum of money by someone to lie. In this case, though, the person paying me the money would be me, and I can't afford to pay taxes on income I've already paid taxes on, I don't care what the storybooks say. So I'm telling the truth. Have a listen.


I am not an animator or a cartoonist. Sure, I dabble in writing (evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence, puke), but the sum total of things is that I am about as much a cartoonist as Lindsay Lohan is sober, which is to say that I've messed around with it in the past, and it didn't particularly agree with me. But the colors were fantastic! And for a little while, anyway, I managed to have some self-respect.

My point is that I can't animate shit. Or turkeys. Wanna see how far I got with A Fuzzy Bunny?

He blinks, except that I can't show you, but he does. He blinks almost derisively. It's hilarious. Only you can't see the hilarious, derisive blinking because of


I don't really know how to use Flash either. I once designed a highly acclaimed training cartoon in Flash when I was 25, and thanks to this rotten hubris of mine, I've basically considered myself a Flash designer ever since. But it's a lie. I have even removed "Flash developer" from my résumé, although that was because I'm pushing pretty hard for this Pope job, and the last thing I need is to be caught bearing false witness.

But it's not entirely my fault that my Flash skills have deteriorated. YOU try taking a ten-year deal at a major North American fruit and legume conglomerate, opting out after seven of the ten years, and then opting back in even though it meant forfeiting your hard-earned number 2 ranking in the company's Briggs-Goering Existentialism rating scale (as if there really is a way to rate existentialism in the first place) and see how much Flash you remember.

Of course, these problems pale in comparison to


which, as you can plainly see, is that the bunny has no fucking ears. And YOU CAN'T HAVE A BUNNY WITHOUT FUCKING EARS.

Actually, you can't have a bunny without fucking bunnies.*

Also, a sarcastic bunny who fight crime by night and is, by day, a mild mannered restaurant manager at the Cafe Olé in an as-yet unnamed town on an as-yet unnamed Mesa? Is that not the oldest, gayest, and most Jewish story ever told?

Nevertheless, animators are welcome to contact me. There's probably (read: certainly) no money in it, but at least the hours are long, and the work is grueling and thankless. Come on down, and bring a Lindsay Lohan CD and some Hi-C so we can celebrate. Don't worry, the work will still be there when we're done, don't worry. The work is ALWAYS there.

Oh, and I almost forgot


I don't technically own the rights to the song in the clip I played at the top of this page, so I might be in violation of copyright law. I mean, there's never really any way to be sure of these things. But, as Mr. Show With Bob and David so wisely once pointed out, "court cases are decided by a series of blow jobs," which means I'll have the law on my side this time.

So please, enjoy the teaser, but for the love of Zod above, DO NOT TELL ANYONE ABOUT IT!

*The staff of You Are the Only Person Not Reading This Blog does not in any way endorse the fucking of bunnies, except by other bunnies, and in a consensual setting.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tales from a Box of Barnum's Animal Crackers 1

Lorraine claimed she was a griffin, but we had no way of knowing for sure. The Encyclopedia AnimalCrackera doesn't have an entry for griffins. Maybe that page was broken off or eaten. We don't know that for sure either. It's like so much else down here in the box - possibly broken off or eaten, definitely shrouded in a fog of impenetrable mystery, and also wax paper. Down here, it life is a bitter and constant war of attrition. Down here, there are a lot of things we can't tell.

All we had to go on were Lorraine's hindquarters and the sultry, disembodied voice that still haunts the chamber of my memory even now, a long time after I let her go. They say time heals all wounds, but whoever "they" are that said that obviously never felt themselves falling for Lorraine's hindquarters, and they sure as hell never felt the slap and the sting of losing those hindquarters to the Great Hand. Life is pain. Nabisco doesn't answer our letters or return our phone messages. Time doesn't heal a damn thing. And "I'm over her" is just another lie you tell yourself so you can make it through one more night in the deep, crinkly darkness.

Griffin or not, my Lorraine was all lion. Or rather, the roughly half of her that was intact was all lion, which left the rest of her open to speculation. I don't know, though. Lorraine said the front half of a griffin was an eagle, which sounded preposterous, but I defy you to name one thing about our entire existence that isn't preposterous. Maybe Lorraine was just speculating about what she was, or what she felt she could be. Or perhaps Lorraine had checked wikipedia for answers. A giraffe whose name I never caught said we should check wikipedia for answers, but that giraffe is gone now too. Maybe wikipedia was someone wiser than we, someone who went before us. Maybe Wikipedia is where the Great Hand takes us.

All I know is that I loved Lorraine, lion or griffin, half or whole. I loved her like I've loved no other. I've tried to connect with elephants and cougars, I've spent time rolling around with bison and zebras, but I always come back to Lorraine - nothing compares 2 Lorraine.

It's dark now, and I'm awake waiting for daybreak, for the Great Hand to come swooping in and finally take me too. I'm praying, as I have so many times, for death to come collect me from above. I long for the sweet embrace of those moist, pudgy fingers, and for the great wikipedia in the sky where I might have a chance to see my love's divine leonine hindquarters, hear her sweet and dulcet voice again, and check for answers of my own. I wish Lorraine and I had had more time together down here, that we hadn't spent precious minutes taking each other for granted. I wish I had noticed her when we first came out of the ovens at the Nabisco Bakery in Fair Lawn, New Jersey where we were "born," for lack of a better term. But I know that ship has sailed, even though I have no idea what a ship is, or what it means to sail.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Speaking of Popes...

I've been giving a lot of thought to my career trajectory lately, in no small part because a certain Pope (I won't name names, don't worry) recently visited New York, and in even no-smaller part because yesterday was Administrative Professionals Day, and all I got was a lousy Greatest American Hero box set including cape and instructions.

Personally, I thought it would have been funnier if they HADN'T included the instructions, but that's because I'm a much more gifted comedian than the people who made the Greatest America Hero box set. Clearly. But my comedic skills, for once, are very much beside the point. And the point they are very much beside is this: there comes a point when you reach a point in your life when all signs point to becoming a Pontiff. For me, that point arrived shortly after I donned my Greatest American Hero cape.

It's as plain as day that after this, Pope is really the only option I have left. But it feels like a good fit for me. I have been gravitating naturally toward the kind of job that can disrupt all the traffic in New York City for a five-block radius, although the working on Sunday thing is kind of a bummer. Sunday is The Lord's Day, after all, which means that technically, the Pope is in violation of the Fourth Commandment of the Constitution, which means he is almost certainly going to hell.

I can't help but think this would have been avoidable with a simple tweaking of the objective statement on his resume. I just rewrote mine last night. Feast your eyes:
Seeking a challenging career as a Pope within a progressive institution which will utilize my skills and talents in management and administration, which comes with its own five-block radius of stopped traffic in New York City, as well as a vehicle with a name ending in "-mobile," and which will not make me work on weekends or go to hell. Funny hats a minus.

High five-figure range, payable in either Estonian Krooni or in galleons, knuts, and sickles.

I will be the first thousandaire Pope! I will give nearly nothing to charity! And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!

The problem, of course, is that job openings for Pope are EXTREMELY hard to find. I don't know if you've looked at the New York Times classified ads lately, but the pickin's for Popes are slimmer than a model barfing up her last meal before a 2pm bikini shoot. Still, it can't hurt to get my name out there, right? So to all both of you who are the only person not reading this blog, tell your friends about me. And if you happen to stumble across any Pope openings (ew, sorry), you know, make me sound good. Talk me up. Whatever.

I'm counting on your support.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Overture, light the lights, this is it, the Pope on every channel...

You can't be serious, New York. I get up early enough to catch Saturday morning cartoons for like, the first time in 12 or 17 years, and THIS IS YOUR PROGRAMMING LINEUP?





Even channel 9 and channel 11 got in on the action:

I don't ordinarily count Channel 9 and Channel 11 as real TV stations, but I still have to say how surprised I am that they would be so willing to compromise their journalistic integrity like this and NOT PLAY BUGS BUNNY CARTOONS. Because if you're up at 9:00 in the morning on a Saturday, the only reasonable thing can be expected to accomplish is to watch Bugs Bunny.

Or Underworld, apparently.

TNT is freaking weird. And possibly making a statement with their choice of programming too. Care to guess what was on before Underworld? How about a little Angelina Jolie (as if there's ever such a thing as a little of that woman) in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. So they're raiding tombs and killing zombies on TNT, while the rest of New York is watching a former Nazi eye the St. Patrick's crowd for young boys to molest.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Call the Earth Day Army! Number One... Against Pets!

Well, the Earth Day Celebration on Vanderbilt Avenue has come and gone, folks, just in case you missed it. And judging by the crowd, you did. Never fear, though. Your old pal Smokey "The Bare" Robinson was there to pick up all the juicy tidbits that you didn't pick up, despite their juiciness and their other tidbit-ish qualities.

No one does Earth Day like New York, a city so obsessed with environmentality (I just made that word up right now!) that the top of the Empire State Building will be lit green on April 22nd, in honor of this, um, "holiday." Sure, some might argue that a more appropriate celebration of Earth Day would be to turn the Empire State Building's lights off, but those are probably the same people who would argue that a concert celebrating Earth Day should feature an all acoustic and a cappella lineup with natural lighting and clothes made out of hemp. We have a word for those people in New York. It's called "fucking idiot hippies." This is how we celebrate Earth Day, you fucking idiot hippies:

Just look at the environmentality on display: those are ACOUSTIC GUITARS plugged into the hundreds of megawatts worth of amps.

Here's some more good news for you, New York:

That's right, your carbon footprint is about 1/4 of the national average. This bus drove all the way here with no passengers just to let you know that. I'm not convinced though, because sometimes, it's like there's only one set of carbon footprints, and I heard that's when Jesus was carrying me.

Nothing says Earth Day like fish conservation, and nothing says fish conservation like a sign hanging between two plastic, inflatable bluefish that will one day be deflated and wash out to sea, where they will probably drown a penguin. Ask, and the Vanderbilt Avenue Earth Day festival will provide, apparently:

Those poor suckers at the table think they're signing up for a free sushi dinner. Little do they know, plastic sushi is the WORST. Plastic sushi is worse than the pineapple-and-mayonnaise sandwiches on Styrofoam bread they were giving out at the Greenpeace booth (not pictured).

And speaking of plastic, there was this "guy":

"He" stood on the corner of Vanderbilt and 42nd, making Earth Day balloon hats out of 100 percent recycled condoms, which "he" inflated with a pocket inflater contraption of some kind (not pictured). You can see "him" giving me a wry and resentful look for daring to capture "him" in action, even though this blog is probably 13 minutes out of "his" entire lifetime allotment of fame, and it's ending in just one more sentence. So committed was "he" to the cause of environmentality (totally trademarking that, so back off) that all the money "he" accepted was green, except for those weird new purple $5 bills.

Of course, no Earth Day would be complete without a gay ferret in weird, vaguely futuristic looking ski-shoes.

Thank Zod he was there. Now I'm ready to recycle some paper and buy tuna that is inflatable plastic bluefish-free.

Oh, and this is Sarah with a coyote, and fucking idiot hippie in the background who is evidently more afraid of a guy taking pictures with his iPhone than he is that there is a SIX-FOOT COYOTE WALKING AROUND MIDTOWN WEARING A "COYOTE ATTITUDE" T-SHIRT BECAUSE HE HAS SOME SORT OF ATTITUDE PROBLEM, AND A GUEST PASS TO DISTINGUISH HIM FROM THE OTHER COYOTES WHO COME OUT TO GATE-CRASH THE VANDERBILT AVENUE EARTH DAY PARTY EVERY YEAR.

The coyote eventually ate him, of course (not pictured). Coyotes love it when their prey is distracted. Fucking idiot hippie.

Happy Earth Day, everybuzzy! Go eat a hippie to celebrate, like our coyote masters have instructed us!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Oscar '08 Keys to Victory: Being Green and Not Elite

The Oscar '08 campaign effort has been lying low lately, just waiting for fatal mistakes by the front runners in the Clinton campaign and the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign and the Nader campaign and the Gravel campaign and the John Kerry '04 campaign and the Hamburger Penis campaign and the Mickey Mouse campaign so that Oscar can sweep in and take full advantage.

As we say over at Oscar '08 headquarters, the name of the game is patience. All we need is just a little patience. I've been walking the streets at night, just trying to get it right. It's hard to see with so many around. You know I don't like being stuck in the crowd. We say that ALL THE TIME. Sometimes we whistle along too.

Oscar himself has been, well, grouchy, to be frank. It seems like being in last place really doesn't agree with him. Although, on April Fool's Day, we tried to lift his spirits by commissioning fake polls that showed him with 45 percent of the popular vote, and a commanding plurality over Obama, McCain, Clinton, Hamburger Penis, and all the others. But even before we told him it was a joke, Oscar was STILL GROUCHY.

He's kind of a jerk, if you must know. We're doing our level best to keep that from the media, but this guy, I swear, wakes up on the wrong side of the trash can EVERY SINGLE DAY. Please, immediately forget that I said that. Because this week has been great for Oscar '08.

All this "elite" and "elitism" talk plays right into our hands. Delta's Business Elite frequent flyer program notwithstanding, apparently people don't like "elite." So I ask you this, American public: what could be less elite than a candidate who lives in a [expletive deleted] trash can?

Also, let's not forget how green he is. Apart from Kermit the Frog, whom Oscar already beat in the 1996 Senate race in Oklahoma, there is no greener candidate out there. Even Al "Look at me, I'm an environmentalist now" Gore is more red than he is green, that stupid communist.

I mean, that stupid ELITE communist! Now, nobody will vote for him!

Oscar is so green, he refers to the Jolly Green Giant as the Jolly Same Color as Me Giant. Oscar is so green that his middle name could totally be "Envy", if it weren't already "The." Oscar is so green that he shits emeralds! (Please don't tell anyone about the emerald shit, though, because it might be a serious medical condition - we're not sure yet, and we can't get his grouchy ass to a doctor). This is how green Oscar is:

This image used without permission. Sorry, whoever owns this image!
And this is how NOT ELITE he is:

This image also used without permission. But what could be less elite than posing for a picture with the superimposed head of Britney Spears, which probably still carries a pretty hefty risk of exposure to herpes? Quick, check out that filthy tuxedo before the cease and desist letter gets here!

Patience pays dividends, people. [Insert additional Guns 'N' Roses lyrics here.] America, once again, YOU ARE WELCOME.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Am I going senile? Or am I just going senile? Or is it, perhaps, that I am going senile? CHANGE MY DIAPER!

The '90s keep receding further and further back into the dim and distant corners of my brain, but I will never forget the episode of Baywatch when Mitch and Summer were patrolling on the outrigger and it kept listing to starboard because, unbeknownst to them, Hobie and Fruit by the Foot had stowed away on board, and how they all managed to narrowly avert disaster thanks to the timely arrival of a box of Animal Crackers. That giraffe totally saved everybody. And they ATE HIM, those Visigoths!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Unlike the movie Magnolia, This Really Happened

Saw a headline this morning on the front page of a passerby's newspaper. It said, "Regis Out! Ryan Seacrest to Replace..." and that's all I managed to read before the passerby rudely yanked the paper out of my line of eavesdropping.

I said to Sarah, "Regis is out? Out of what? Not Live..." A detectable note of worry had crept into my voice as I said this last bit. Imagine the horror, right?

Sarah said, "How does Ryan Seacrest keep getting jobs, anyway?"

"'Cause he sucks dick," I said. "That's why I hired him. 'But I don't really need a chimney sweep, Ryan Seacrest. [Beat.] All right, you're hired.'"

Come on, Sarah, that was an easy one. That was like lobbing me a slowly pitched softball over the middle of the plate, like this conversation was a game of slow-pitch softball and not a conversation at all. Wait a second... what the hell is going on here? Regis, Regis! Help me understand, pleeeease!

Smells like teen spirit... or is that bacon?

No, it's bacon. For sure, it's bacon.

Apologies for the delay in posting. Things have been heating up around the old Cannery lately. Dole Fruit is gearing up for picnic season, everybuzzy, and the new product catalog has everybuzzy around here buzzing with excitement, like we were all made of buzzers or something. It's very loud and annoying. Especially Rebecca Goodman, our token Jew. She is very loud and annoying. Sorry - you probably couldn't hear that over HOW LOUD SHE'S BEING ON THE PHONE RIGHT NOW. REBECCA GOODMAN, OUR TOKEN JEW, IS VERY LOUD AND ANNOYING!

Speaking of Jews and the Dole New Products catalog for Spring 2008, I'm disappointed to say that management rejected all of my ideas regarding bacon. Typical corporate myopia, if you ask me. Personally, I think bacon-wrapped cherries, which was just one of my many suggestions, is an idea just waiting to pop.

It frustrates me to no end that those Dole Fruit corporate fatcats are too busy making contributions to the Libertarian Party and the United Way to get serious about product development! I have written letters and emails and made threatening phone calls to their home numbers trying to get bacon on the senior management committee's agenda for months now. But instead they spend their time debating so-called "important" questions, like, "how can we incorporate more recyclable materials into our cans?" or "how can we make our fruit safer for children?" or "how can we save more orphans and baby seals?" or "who let the dogs out?"

What a load of bureaucratic bullcrap. Woof, woof, woof.

Don't these people recognize that bacon is the culmination of human ingenuity? Sure, there are those who would say, "no, no, Smokey, it's not bacon! The culmination of human ingenuity was the Eiffel Tower!" But those people are from the 19th century, and they all live in France, which makes their opinion, along with their body odor, completely suspect. Others would say, "move over, Bacon! Here come something more Windows 95-ey!" At least those people have a compelling argument. Who can forget that glorious November day when Windows 95 hit store shelves across America, and all the world united in song as their dialup modems connected to the "Internet" at 9600 Baud.

An undoubtedly monumental achievement, but does that really compare to bacon? I mean, this is BACON we're talking about here, everybuzzy! EVEN YOU, REBECCA GOODMAN WHO JUST WON'T SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR DAUGHTER'S GRADES IN MATH AND SPELLING, AS IF ANYONE CARES!

I think my love affair with bacon is as well documented as a love affair between a virtually anonymous bloggerist and an inanimate pork product can be. But if I had any lingering doubts about the formidable powers of bacon, they were all washed away when I saw this:

That's right, it's a bra. Made of bacon. What else can you say? Is there anything this Ba-CAN Ba-CAN'T do?

Dear Jesus,

Thanks a million for inventing the bacon bra, Dude. Too bad You can't eat it because You're Jewish, like REBECCA GOODMAN WHO REALLY OUGHT TO JUST SHUT UP ALREADY. IT'S TWO A-MINUSES, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, IT'S NOT THE FUCKING PULITZER PRIZE IN SPELLING!

Thanks a million more,

P.S. Please silence Rebecca Goodman, one of Your chosen people.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bienvenidos a beisbol y bananas!

I am of the opinion that March and April are far too early to be making predictions about who's going to do what in the 2008 baseball season, but you don't see that stopping the so-called "experts" at and the Ann Arbor News now, do you? All right, in fairness, I wasn't able to find any predictions on the Ann Arbor News website about who was going to do what. Still, I'm willing to bet that some rube from Dexter, Michigan is probably sitting in a back room there, chomping on a cigar and laying 8-to-1 that the Tigers take it all this year. That's MY prediction.

Anyway, seeing how a few teams are already as many as three (3) games into the season, I figure now is as good a time as any for me to weigh in with MY predictions for the '08 beisbol season. AND, because I was clever enough to wait, I actually have some statistics with which to forecast what could be coming next.

First off, I'm going to go loco, which is Spanish for "I'm going to go local." (The differences between our two languages aren't very nuanced, are they?) Let's-a break-a dees down, shall we?

Coming off a collapse spectacular enough to rival Titanic vs. the Iceberg, the Mets decided to reinforce the scrapes in their hull with Johan Santana, whose name, not coincidentally, rhymes with banana. But will the Mets slip on a Santana peel in '08 they way they did all the way back in September '07?

If their first two games are any indication, the answer to that question is yes. So far, the Mets have ONLY managed to win games pitched by Johan Banana, setting the stage for an abysmal 35-win campaign in 2008. THE NUMBERS DON'T LIE, FOLKS. Also, approximately half of the Mets' games have gone to extra innings, so this is a team that is going to be dealing with fatigue down the stretch. More worrisome still, the Mets have managed just ONE WIN on the road so far in '08. If that trend continues (and they wouldn't call it a trend if it didn't), um... well, I think we can all agree that would not be good news for Mets fans.


Two boroughs away, however, the Yankees are already looking unstoppable. They have yet to lose this year, and Chien-Ming Wang's ERA of 2.57 would have put him 2nd in the majors last year, and nearly half a run ahead of anyone else in the American League! Even Johan Banana!

Quick side note here while I'm talking about the Yankees: I am eating a ham-and-provolone sandwich with dijon mustard, and the guy in the cafeteria who made it totally killed it with the mustard. I am sweating and coughing and crying all at the same time. And my nose is running like Johnny Damon legging out that triple in the 8th inning yesterday. Sorry for the mundane details, but you're welcome for not bloggerizing about that shit all the time, like SOME PEOPLE.

How will the Red Sox fare in the wake of their second championship in four years, and the long shadow of Tacoby Ellsbury stealing the "base heard round the world" in Game 1? Not too well by the looks of things. The Sox are on pace to score a mere 486 runs this year, down a whopping 44% from their output last year. More troubling still are their runs allowed, which project out to a total of 594 - a very respectable number by itself. But their Pythagorean win percentage (Runs Scored [squared]/Runs Scored [squared] + Runs Allowed [squared]) is a mere .400, meaning that we can expect the Sox to finish the year with a paltry 65 wins at this rate.

Skeptics might point to their .667 winning percentage now, but as I said before, THE NUMBERS DO NOT LIE. Numbers can't lie. They're numbers. The best they can hope for is to stand up and not get knocked over by the spray from the garden hose. But since the .667 percentage is also a number, I guess there's some basis for expecting that the Red Sox could finish the year with a 108-54 record.

Not that it will matter much. Because if current trends continue (and they wouldn't call them trends if they didn't), a 108-54 record will put them 54 games behind the Yankees. I'd say that paints a pretty grim forecast for the Red Sox's chances of defending their title.

Wait, Sox's? Is that right? What's the possessive of Sox? Come to think of it, how can a Sox possess anything in the first place?

Wow, this prognostication thing is much harder than I thought! All right, this last one is for all those nincompoops at the Ann Arbor News:

are a bunch of gay Jews. And you know what they say about gay Jews. It's like that very famous poem from the 19th century:

Meat and dairy for dinner
Makes you a winner,

But gay Jews
Will always lose.

Truer words were never spoken. Enjoy another thousand years without a World Series trophy, Detroit and its suburbs!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Happy April Fool's Day, Everyone.

It becomes harder and harder to maintain your anonymity in a day and age where technology pervades all but the most shadowy corners of our day-to-day existence. Where once our leaders and luminaries were memorialized in song and story, now there are the cold, hard repositories of video tape and digital data archives to forever remind us of every blemish and abscess in the historical record. How well served was American popular culture by its macabre fascination with the late Heath Ledger, or Anna Nicole Smith?

In its purest and most human sense, memory was never intended to work as it does today. Memory is a function of the mind, a lens that is warped and scratched and gradually sandblasted until the objects of its focus are changed somehow fundamentally - sometimes for the worse, but usually to be viewed in a warmer and more diffuse glow. It is the nature of humanity to forget, and to render a happier, or at least a more absolute, history with the unearthing of old and treasured memories.

The benefits of today's technological conveniences cannot be denied. A child born any time this century could quite conceivably go from kindergarten through college (and beyond) with an entirely intact archive of every essay, every artwork, every test and every term paper they have ever completed. Computerized records and backup systems all but eliminate the concern that personal vital statistics or identity documents will ever be lost. It's easier than it's ever been to track down friends long forgotten, and acquaintances long fallen out of touch.

But the vaults of our digital storehouses can only provide the iciest of containers for what we believe we know, or knew, about our own pasts. The lens of a video camera is largely objective, but that can be too objective. The text of a paper handed in for an eighth grade English class is merely a text, even though its very existence is circumscribed with the themes of growth and change and teenage struggle. In essence, we have created nothing more than a more sophisticated means by which to preserve more sophisticated markings on cave walls.

Time, of course, ultimately prevails over all of us, and even the reinforced walls of human archives will eventually crumble, giving rise to newer and more reinforced walls. For many of us, it will become our singular obsession to document the passing of our own existences in as high definition as possible. But for anyone out there with the strength of character to take up the call, I urge you to cultivate the all-too precious resource of your own nostalgia. Remember the good times, and let those memories fall naturally into disrepair and decay. Let nature and time run their courses as you glean from the essence of what's left behind the very best and very worst things that you can. Let your villains become even more dastardly, and your heroes soar to grander heights. And, above all else, try and remember this blog for how amusing it normally is, rather than for the fact that I was completely unprepared for April Fool's Day 2008.

Happy Chanukah.
-the staff of you are the only person not reading this blog.