Happy Birthday To Little, Old Me.

Blink 182

No one likes you when you’re 23. Or when you’re twice that age and try to make a comeback album.

Twenty-three years ago, I would have been typing this naked.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I’d also be coated in a luscious placenta sheen. Which some mothers apparently eat now? Well, I did always think the baby-breast milk relationship was one-sided.

The nipple (the point) of the matter is that this shiny, literate newborn has grown into a young man. A man with responsibilities, urges and…RECEDING HAIR?! These days I can’t tell what I’m wearing more of: My jeans, or my genes.

What defines a “young man”? I don’t buy whatever it is. A number? A boyish face? A sense of potential? Those are all superficial. So much exists under the surface of age, and I’m not just talking about spontaneous erections under my bag on the subway. And even those are increasingly impotent. In numbers, I mean…

It feels like being in your early-20s is “young” only because everyone older tells you so. (Kids don’t count because they’re preoccupied chirring like invalids to LMFAO on their smartphones.) But to an 80-year-old, 60 is young. At fat and flabby 40, “I like Tupperware!” 30 sounds like nirvana. Or, at my age, you’re convinced anyone younger is jailtbait. If they’re girls or Justin Bieber.

Age, clearly, is relative — both in that it’s merely perception and that aging is based on the DNA of your ugly, questionable family.

Justin Bieber

Age, like gender, is up to interpretation.

Here, instead, is what I perceive about being 23: It’s going to be one of the least contented years of my life. I’m financially threadbare — scraping into my career in a deplorable economic climate, I don’t have enough life experience to romance women with foreign languages or quaint handicraft, and my body is deteriorating like the corpse it will become in a few brief quarter-centuries.

The true dickens is that with each passing year comes society’s greater expectations. At 18, if you were doing anything more than ejaculating you were a genius. At 20, university and a part-time job put you on the right track. Now, at 23, you’re dealing with unprecedented stress in all areas of life and fuckin’ right you are! Get back to work, communist!

Oldness isn’t just that moving target of relativity we impose on younger people. To me, it seems a hell lot more like a light switch. A switch where, once it goes off, you realize life is hard and you’re not going to have that cellulite-free ass when the ride’s over. Yes, I may have more time than someone who’s 45 to make mistakes. (Ones that don’t involve having children, at least. But have you tried the placenta?) Yes, at this age I may have more time to treat my body like a John Mayer wonderland.  But frankly, with foresight as our purgatory, we’re all equal as we await the same dreaded end. And I’m not talking about butts again.

John Mayer

Hi, this is John Mayer reminding you Your Body is a Wonderland is a reference from 2002. No need to wait on the world to change, you old sack of dung.

Nonetheless, we learn at a young age that life loves to secrete stinky problems across our chests. Sickness. Death. Momma likes a man named Juan. Whatever it is, after you hire a less attractive gardener, quality of life is determined by how you go forward.  Do you let burdens of aging weigh on you, then when the light switch flicks, gratingly insist how young everyone is? Or, do you replace your fear of mortality’s byproducts with a sense of humour? I know where I side – skin tags will work great in the wind!

I’m 23 and I’m actually old. You likely are too. But if there’s a day to accept the naked truth, it’s this one.

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Last Christmas…An Appeal From A Very Tender Man

Oh lawd.

I need help figuring out who sings a song. Do you know this track? The one that’s like, “Last Christ-mas…I gave you my heart. The very next day you gave it away. Next year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone spe-shal.”

I can picture the lead singer but just can’t find the name!

He’s got an athletic build, sometimes grizzled face, very tender demeanour.

Wait, oh yeah, that’s it…it’s Jesus!

It’s unbelievable isn’t it? Take those lyrics in. Our Lord and Saviour is heartbroken. We have whammed this man’s emotions, stringing Him along like a cat with a mouse, a priest with an altar boy.

Why does Jesus sing this song and not, say, a sexually confused British boy duo? Good question. But the point is that He does. And, as the environment shrivels and the world economy crumbles, we need to focus on religion and fix this thing. (Vote Republican!)

Jesus hasn’t been much of a talker for the last 1,980 years so it’s pretty unfortunate the one time He reaches out it’s in a pop song. Pop lyrics are never too specific. In fact, finding the meaning of this one is like trying to break into a locked closet. And it smells like a truckstop bathroom?

Nonetheless, I have an idea what this is about. So please stay tuned. The following may seem like it’s my opinion but, trust me, it’s Jesus’. I’m not the most religious, but in many ways I’m on His side. I do believe that if it weren’t for Christ, the world would be unruly, people would be savages and I would be circumcised.

Jesus, hand on head

*facepalm*

Lastly, I always capitalize His, Him and His. What further proof do you need? (Capitalism justifying Jesus — everyone’s favourite.)

So hark this shit, bitches, hark.

*

I (Jesus) am sad because you have Christmas all wrong.

Many people would agree with me here and say I’m right. Mostly, they’d say, because we’re letting political correctness bastardize our holiday. You know what I’m referring to: “Happy Holidays!” The argument goes happy holidays are never such because that phrase is a lie – we all know the holidays exist because it’s Christmas so let’s stop pretending.

But to those people I say ‘No! That’s not why you have it wrong!’ Then another group would chime in and say, ‘Of course, that’s because it’s the opposite! We have gotten greedy and are unwilling to share the joy of the times. We must be general and say Happy Holidays!’

But to those people I also say ‘No! That’s not why you have it wrong!’ Then a third populous would pipe up and say ‘Of course, that’s because this doesn’t matter and you, Josh, are the sexiest!’ And to those people I say ‘Yes! But even that is not the point! And this is Jesus talking, remember?!’

What we have wrong is this obsession with the public perception of Christmas. We treat it like a walking, talking celebrity. Who’s going to show up today? Christmas, the nation’s sweetheart, all warm and jolly? Or that slut, Xmas, who just leaked its cock-guzzling porno tape? (Wouldn’t Christmas in Paris be interesting…)

Paris Hilton

Loves Xmas.

It doesn’t matter what you think about Christmas or what people call it. For a huge contingent of the world, December is a spiritual time. While some religions do believe in society’s uniformity, at the end of the day we all go home to our own personal version of Allah, God or Kim Kardashian. This debate over the public name of the holiday has nothing to do with your spirituality, which is a private experience unique to you.

“Happy Holidays!” “Merry Christmas!” The semantic choices of society somehow affect the quality of so many peoples’ Christmas Day, Christmas meal or Christmas watch-Uncle-Brian-find-a-way-to-drop-the-N-bomb-into-grace.

It’s as if calling it Christmas lets people pretend the time has returned where families sat around the fire and felt vague yet magical emotions. I want warm chestnuts just as much as the rest of you, but that’s just as delusional as thinking “Happy Holidays” makes anyone feel special. Both options are awful. (But if you find a way to warm my chestnuts regardless… by all means.)

Most of us can agree on the uselessness of “Happy Holidays”, but if you need more convincing on the farce that is today’s Christmas, look no further than Boxing Day. I get excited by the spectacle too, but it’s a shining star over the holidays’ denigration. (Uncle Brian loves that word.) We have an Advent calendar of rife consumption, where Christmas jolliness lasts a mere day and then we’re back to shopping like it’s the best part. Yeah, sure, honour My birth, but don’t honour how I spent weeks avoiding King Herod trying to kill Me.

Just listen to the lyrics in My song: “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, the very next day, you gave it away.”

When Boxing Day is so casually part of Christmas, it’s regretfully clear the Christmas Spirit and Holy Spirit are at odds. Calling Christmas Christmas in public, which is where Wal-Mart lives, isn’t going to get your god back. And “Happy Holidays”, no matter how passionately proclaimed, simply doesn’t touch anyone’s heart. These two arguments are wrong. The entire premise is wrong.

In other words: Christmas – in the media, in the public – isn’t what it should be, but the solution isn’t in the name. Obsessing over its moniker is a defence mechanism, a lazy way around the true issue of a broken holiday. Be concerned with your private Christmas, not your public one: Enjoy and/or be spiritual with your friends, family, pets and lovers. And lovepets.

Weird Christmas family photo

Isn't this so much better?

As this is Jesus talking, let’s conclude this with a story. A parable, if you will.

So a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew walk into a bar…Wait. Sorry. That’s a joke for select company. Mother Teresa loves that shit.

I apologize. Here we go:

There were once three men who lived in the same land. Each was given his own seed at birth, all were identical, and the men would have to nourish these seeds if they wanted it to grow into a beautiful flower – a poinsettia, in fact.

As their identical seeds began to sprout into identical flowers, it was clear these flowers were going to be most beautiful in all the land. The men shared profound joy in how rewarding and fulfilling having such a beautiful flower was, and would often celebrate publicly in their town square – when the square was not occupied by dirty, unshaven hippies.

But these poinsettias were still young, and needed continued care so not to be spoiled. Unfortunately, as the years went on, the men let weeds creep in that marred the beauty of their plants. Like the stems of the poinsettias, the weeds were green – they loved their green more than anyone in the land, actually – so they could easily camouflage themselves and pretend they were an integral part of the poinsettia.

It was easy to be fooled, but these men still should have been more careful.  Like Kim Kardashian, they were reckless with their flowers.

Then, instead of tending to the plants, or buying an effective weed-control product one could get at Canadian Tire, the men were sentimental and instead chose to remember how great the plants used to be. The men were so good at this nostalgia they practically lived in their memories while their plants got uglier and uglier. These men were also Leafs fans.

At the same time, men and women with other plants moved to their land. They had plants that were just as beautiful as the other three’s, but their plants had different and exotic looks and names. When together, they were often mistaken for Angelina Jolie’s children.

Jolie, Pitt, children

"I saw mommy rubbing Santa Claus' belly in front of the kinara" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Shortly after, the first two men got into an argument about the presence of different beautiful flowers. The first man argued that, now, when appreciating flowers in the town square, they should always acknowledge that all flowers in the land are equally great. He wanted everyone to be included. The second man disagreed. He felt that his flower was there first, so the men’s poinsettias should still be the standard among all flowers.    

Not only were these two men sentimental, they were stubborn (still Leafs fans, still men). They argued about how to honour their plants publicly for years, decades and so on, not realizing even more weeds were ravaging their beloved flowers. Eventually, their poinsettias grew so unsightly they were barely recognizable from the days that earned their lustre. But the men never noticed; they argued for the rest of time, alive only in their sugarplum memories…

Meanwhile, the third man decided not to worry about how his flower was spoken of. Instead, he took it home where the weeds could no longer reach. He shared his poinsettia’s beauty with his friends and his family but, justly, not his cat.

And over time, the flower not only returned to its spectacular original form, it became even more dazzling than before.

The end.

Note – You probably noticed but, for once, “seed” was not a metaphor for “ejaculate”.

*

Hi guys, it’s Josh again.

Would just like to thank Jesus for sharing His word. It seems He does have some answers, but whether they’ll acted upon is a great mystery. A lot like the Bible. Yeah, you could totally see the similarities between how He speaks and how the Bible was written.

There’s not much more so say about such a perilous topic. You just gotta have faith.

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Britney: Take Out Your Freak

Britney in her music video "I Wanna Go"

The only documented moment where something pointed is actually facing away from Britney Spears.

“Shame on me to need release.”

This goes for both of us today, Britney, both of us. Not that your vainglorious career suggests you know how to share anything other than your vagina.

My release will be in the form of a rant about your new song I Wanna Go. I know you usually prefer the sloppy, teen impregnating kind of releases. Or was that your sister? Either way, sorry to get your hopes up.

It may, at the very least, make you feel better to know this release will still be done all over you.

So, as your song wishes, let’s go.

Here’s a story. It was one of those graceful summer twilights on the open highway and a friend was driving me home. Staring off into the peach cobbler sky, I heard a catchy new song come on. It was the immediately infectious I Wanna Go, which perfectly serenaded the easygoing evening ahead of me. The moment was surely from the teenage music video archives, with me and my friend speeding into the sunset bouncing to a Britney pop ballad. All that was missing was our rainbow-coloured lollipops and supple breasts.

The beat to I Wanna Go was instantaneously endearing, so the only thing to ponder was the lyrics. Pop stanzas are so often fluffier than the clouds that dab dreamy summer skies. In this first listen, all I thought I could fully make out was the chorus and, much like the song’s whistles (which are also usually grating in pop music), they seemed surprisingly pleasant:

“I, I, I wanna go, go, go all the way, ay, ay, take me off my feet tonight!”

‘How sweet, how darling, how romantically excitable!’ I thought (verbatim, surely) as we cruised along. It was a charming chorus sublimely capturing the track’s infectious pulse and high-pitched harmonies. In that moment, every ounce of my 22-year-old metal-listening male self could admit there was nothing better.  My friend and I continued cruising, too masculine to hold hands and hum aloud, yet certainly doing so in our hearts.

Two little girls

I see you.

But I heard it wrong.

“I, I, I wanna go, go, go all the way, ay, ay, takin’ out my freak tonight!” is the correct line.

I discovered this days later hearing the song more on pop radio’s repetitive cycle. It’s a syllable count unchanged, but a meaning terribly transfigured.

‘How trite, how self-obsessed, how wholly immature!’ I thought.

‘How strange that I seem to always think in such queer verse,’ I thought immediately after.

The beautiful implications of the song had effectively been shaved bald – something Britney’s not unfamiliar with doing. “Take me off my feet” is an enchanting demand to a lover. It invites themes of togetherness, intimacy and an exciting love to be shared. “Takin’ out my freak” is an emotionally and sexually selfish description of what I imagine they usually do at Southern family reunions. The words are beyond masturbatory. Britney is looking for a sexual partner but only for her own bodily sensation, only as a means to an end (which eerily sounds like rape, doesn’t it?). It’s exclusionary. It’s alienating.  It’s how you re-gift herpes.

Do you need a more accurate representation for the type of attitude that gets our generation labelled as shallow, thoughtless and slutty? Or, on a lesser scale, what makes clubbing scenes so seedy? It’s amazing what disgusting change four words can have, especially when they’re not even “Rob Ford is mayor.”

Maybe I shouldn’t have been so upset, maybe I shouldn’t have expected any different. This is a woman who has gone from innocent teenage starlet to 99%-naked sexbomb to saggy maternal strumpet. From the face-licking I’m A Slave 4 U to the not-so-subtle If You Seek Amy (F-U-C-K-ME), Britney’s done so much worse than sing that line. And so many other pop stars do this. Why was I so hurt? Why did I so eagerly want to believe Britney grew up? Why did my heart leap when I thought she did? Ms. Spears holds no responsibility to me. But then I realized, unlike any other sex-first songstress, I do know exactly who she holds responsibility to.

Britney with her kids. Credit to Diana Zalucky.

If You Seek Amy, bring protection.

It’s easy to overlook Britney as a caregiver for two little dumplings when she’s busier flashing her own. The “I Wanna Go” music video actually features her exposing herself to a child and I’m still trying to figure out if his prepubescent face portrayed arousal or car-crash amusement. As a concerned parents committee would ask, “What if that was your child?” Yes, everyone is entitled to procreate and carry on with her profession, but even single-mom strippers keep their business behind closed doors. Or at least daintily hung neon curtains.

In the game of commercial pop music, there’s a special liberty: Lyrics are interchangeable. Like I said, so many are the fluff of the clouds. People still take in the words, but beat and melody already decide if a song gets played. And, of course, a Britney song is getting played. So, as a mother and a role model to millions more, why unnecessarily insist upon an unhealthy, self-absorbed sexual message? It’s narrow-minded and irresponsible. Semen doesn’t need to be inferred for the words to stick.

As much as she’d probably enjoy it, I don’t think I’m being hard on Britney. She comes from an entire culture of pornographic divas, yes, but this is a new ethical low unique to her. Ms. Spears is a mother promoting whorishness on the world stage without any mind for innocence. The stones being thrown at this prostitute are just!

What keeps her going, I fear, is the typical one of profit-driven demography. Britney’s market is our Gen Y age group in its early 20s. We live promiscuously, or at least try to keep up with the media-enforced expectation of living promiscuously. Britney’s got six to 10 years on us (depending on your age), but she needs to pander to our market because we’ve grown up with her. We are the 12-year-olds who were targeted by the cutesy Hit Me Baby One More Time, so, now that we’re free-spirited young adults, matronly Britney’s gotta get wild too – even if it means whipping out some chewed-up nipples. Sexy!

Britney flashing people in her "I Wanna Go" music video

Long, bits of red, kind of split at the end. Not talking about her hair.

But, Britney: Motherhood should trump the marketplace. If we must have irresponsible promiscuity, leave the topic to the divas who are acceptably doing it. You belonged in that group before, you did, but parenthood is an impasse. Everyone knows your body and responsibilities are now for someone else. Sure, you can cling to your youth and enjoy moderate fame by being explicit, but maybe it’s time to grow up for those who explicitly need you.

Treat this as an opportunity. Your record label will love that catchphrase. Just as you were the first teen sensation of our generation, you have the chance to transform the pop world again. It doesn’t have to be complicated. After all, all I wanted was four words of your chorus changed.  The following may sound silly, but you wouldn’t have learned it growing up around mute Mickey in that club of his: Words matter.

Keep it simple. You can sing about love, womanizing, even sex. Instead just explore real feelings and genuine thoughts over basic sensations. When your children “Wanna Go” into the world, they’ll thank you to know that a journey is ventured with feet, not freaks. (See: Kevin Federline)

I say this all meaningfully but you’ll have to excuse me if it was too harsh at times. I just can’t help shake the feeling that, unapologetically, you’ll do it again.

———————————————————————————

PS. This is a sequel of sorts to an old post of mine entitled The Cyrus Virus. The above critiqued a pop star who needs to leave the genre’s superficial stage, while The Cyrus Virus examines one’s first (mis)steps into the lewd game.

If you’d like to give it a read, check it out here (and add me to FB if necessary for you to read it).

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In The Sweltering Case Of Two Testicles And A Penis…

Three's Company promo

Sometimes things just work out.

Let’s analyze the expression “Three’s Company”.

Many immediately think of the classic TV show where John Ritter pretended he didn’t bang his supporting actresses.  Isn’t that association so old for a phrase so widespread? Let me tell you about a brand new one I’ve experienced this summer.

Toronto has had about a dozen heat alerts, losing out only to most legendary of menopausal women. A sty of stickiness is our urban jungle and careful measures for all have been absolutely necessary. Women wear skirts, outdoor time for children is limited, the elderly don’t leave their houses, and Rob Ford sweats when he eats. Wait, that one’s always.

Now what recourse is there for men? Few of us can stay inside all day and fewer can wear skirts. We can go shirtless, but that does not relieve the area that primarily dicktates our comfort.

Yes, in a sweltering case of two testicles and a penis, Three’s Company.

Balls stuck to legs. BSTL. The phallic pandemic begot by hot conditions. It’s the only time when balls hit a surface and don’t bounce back. If you weren’t born with testicles, just think of naked Aunt Edna rolling around on hot leather. Or, ladies, I also imagine it’s what sweaty braless underboob feels like. That’s right everyone, it’s not all fun and games in mammary gland land!

Then there’s DSTB. Dick stuck to balls. As one of my favourite Twitter comedians, Veronica Gale, once wrote, “My husband and I tried to have sex, but in this heat separating his penis from his balls is like unwrapping a Fruit Roll-Up.” Excuse another sexual metaphor, but she really hits the nail on the head.

When you add BSTL and DSTB together, it’s a breakfast of champions: An old sausage wrapped in two soggy pancakes after the syrup has dried.

Pancakes, whipped cream and a spoon

We're just talking about breakfast, right?

This is clearly summer’s worst side effect, and hot days can even spill into the depths of October. As I write today, we are in the high 20s and even at this temperature I feel too cozy with myself. How ever do men endure?

But I write today not wearing my secret weapon. My Camelot’s Sword. Or, perhaps more accurately, not wearing the right sheath for my sword.

I am not wearing Saxx underwear.

Go ahead, stick your hand out and introduce yourself to Saxx. Once you discover how soft and dry Saxx keeps its goods, you’ll be happy to shake what it has to offer. Saxx are boxer brief underwear that contain two polyester/spandex mesh panels separating package from thigh. It leaves your sack feeling like the sack it is, and not like a congealed elephant fetus.

The titular play on words is painfully obvious, but the benefits are so subtly delicious. Starting as a pitch on Dragons’ Den, the Dragons turned it down, and that’s probably all the evidence you need to know absolute power corrupts absolutely. What idiots. Do they not have penises? Well, I know one of them doesn’t. Poor Robert.

Of course, Saxx went on to win the “Armchair Dragons” bursary of $50,000 reserved for viewers’ favourite pitch that wasn’t accepted. That’s because everyone else can’t pay people to waft their genitals with olive branches. And of course, Saxx took off and had $120,000 in sales in its first year.

When my girlfriend got me Saxx for my last birthday, it was the only time in our relationship I was ecstatic to stop being naked…it simultaneously became the first time in the relationship she was ecstatic. Once I slid them on, they seduced every intricacy of my sensitive climate. It was like the mesh panels were barely there, yet I felt so protected from ever again feeling the insatiable need to do the splits. In fact, I wore them to a check-up days later and the doctor refused to look at my crotch because he knows Saxx cures cancer.

I don't want to steal photos from Saxx, so this is an interpretation of what wearing them feels like.

I didn't want to steal pictures from Saxx, so here's a visual approximation of what wearing a pair feels like.

And that story is how this blog applies to everyone reading: If you’re a man, treat yourself. If you’re a woman, you’ve got a chance to give a guy the best package he’ll ever have. Note the double meaning of that sentence – it honours splendiferous duplicity of mesh-paneled testicles.

Men will never have to worry about a hot day again and, on such a day, women will ne’er fear hearing the shlllp of unraveling of his Fruit Roll-Up. Girlies, even if you aren’t planning to get personal with his package, his mood and comfort will be so improved that he’ll likely buy you nice things. And we all know you want nice things!!!

That brings me to the only downside of Saxx – you actually might need your significant other to start footing bills because, after buying them, you may not have money left. They are expensive. The price on the Saxx website is $24.95 for one pair and that’s just for the basic. The Saxx Underwear Co. has “ultra” products that are almost $30 and “pro” products that are closer to $40. This is gourmet genital girdling.

Indeed, I recommend Saxx as a treat and it’s why I am not wearing my pair today. Saxx demand a thoughtful laundry cycle so that the best days get your best pair. (Yes, a double entendre again!)  That way, the next time the humidex hits 49, you’ll breeze through it and be home in time for a great blowjob – one comfortable for both parties.

Now that’s splendiferous. Just don’t call that word out as you climax.

PS. This is not endorsed by corporate Saxx, just real ones.

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Rob Ford Is Post-Gay

Rob Ford via The City of Toronto from Toronto, Canada (11-007-167 Uploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hates bikes, not dykes.

You may have heard Rob Ford missed Toronto’s gay pride parade.  I say that facetiously because I know you heard. The news was widespread like the spray of a half-naked man’s watergun. And penis.

Ford has always been transparent about his dissonance with the loud and proud community, yet many were still surprised by his absence. Indeed, if there was one gay event for him strap on a smile for, maybe it was this one. It would have been classy, and it’s not like he’d have to strap on anything else.

Why did he miss this, his city’s most famous parade? Why did he treat it like a Facebook invite where you hit the ‘maybe’ button knowing damn well you’re not going to attend?

Was it because, with his love for cars, he would be insulted by all the day’s rear-ending?

Was it because you can’t spell “gravy train” without “gay train”?

Was it because when people call him a fat faggot he fears they’re speaking literally?

(That was harsh. Harsh like tax cuts.)

No, no and no. I think our mayor, the city’s best citizen, is on the cutting edge of urban identity. I think, like any great mind ahead of its time, we have dismissed its prophecy as nonsensical belligerence.

I think Rob Ford is Toronto’s first post-gay straight man.

Rob Ford holding finger puppet

Visionary.

In case you don’t know, let me familiarize you with what it means to be post gay, or a post-modern homosexual. About a month ago, The Grid (formerly Eye Weekly) published a gay Torontonian’s personal essay on a new breed of homosexuality. In an aptly titled “Dawn of a New Gay”, the writer argues that in Toronto his people’s political fight is over. Today’s urban homosexual holds a good job, owns a nice house, dates publicly, and does it all with sexual preference as an afterthought. I am a man who does this, this and this, and I happen to be gay. As long as those activities don’t include having a wife, you’re in the clear.

A timely point is made throughout the article that amid this unprecedented equality in-your-face events like Pride are politically vacant expressions of an antiquated stereotype. Or as I like to think of it, Pride is a muscular, screaming-in-falsetto, cock-twirling ghost of itself. It’s like what Casper the Friendly Ghost would be if he grew up. Hey, we all knew that ghost was destined to goatse.

In the rainbow of these revelations, I realized Ford is conversely a brilliant ghost of Christmas future. After eating all of the future’s Christmas turkeys, he has returned to our land to teach us what straight people must become. Learn from him as he refuses to wave his flag beside over-the-top caterwauling twinks. Learn from him as he instead uses solemn silence to show how progressive he is. Gandhi reincarnate, is that you?

Ghandi

Gandhi contemplates how, in his next life, he'll never go on a hunger strike again.

Ford smartly realizes that if an increasing number of gays no longer want to celebrate their lifestyles, straight people have no business doing it for them. The future is now, and quiescence is homage to generations of successful equality campaigns. Straight people have to accept that, as well as the reality that Ford is actually honouring the heroic work of social activists more than any straight person ever has. Correspondingly, just as Black History Month faces growing dissent because it emphasizes difference between races, Ford knows Pride divides our world in the same way. That’s why you certainly won’t see him celebrating Black History Month either!

Ford will hopefully inspire his city to be just as reticent. We can then unify through inaction and live as if the gay liberation never happened, which is exactly what the liberation fought for. I mean, gays love paradox – that’s why they’re gay, right? Dream of it now: When a man decides to wear a dress and a woman shaves her head, no one will want to know why. Dream of it now: A city just like our prophet mayor’s utopian homeland, Etobicoke.

Blue and black boxes

Don't just privatize your garbage, privatize your life!

All Ford wants is what post-gays want, which is also what our dads want. A place where men and women carry on quietly and be expressive only in the privacy of their own homes. Anything else would be uncomfortable for all of us. Why wouldn’t that be perfect? Our dads are pretty cool dudes.

Positively, Ford will be the champion leading our city full circle. It’s no coincidence that the circle is a classic metaphor for the infinitude of God himself – who Ford and his good friend Stephen are very close to, by the way. This is the transcendent, forward-thinking world our mayor is trying to bring us into. But who’d expect you hippies to notice? What, with your marijuana criminal records and escapist cottages. Maybe if you stayed closer to reality, to Toronto, you’d realize Rob Ford is taking us places we’d have never imagined.

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Graduation: A Promotion Our Employers Couldn’t Even Handle

Female graduate

The white background is heaven, because we're dead.

Graduation is liberating.

You finally gain control over where you’re headed, how fast you go there, and which friends you leave behind forever (peace, Joe Casciaro!).

To figure out what you want from these decisions you have to make like you do in the shower and self-examine. Cradle, cup and caress yourself. This isn’t something to be touched upon lightly.

I myself have found a lump – a lump of harsh truths. Only now, in the solemn wake of completing an arts degree (well, a Bachelor of Journalism…but a BJ is an artform), do I see how ineffective that degree will be at establishing me in the workplace of my greatest dreams, or even just my average “Why does grandma have a jetpack?” dreams. It’s not to say I feel held back, I just feel on par with everyone else. Was more than $20,000 in tuition spent on a distinction in mediocrity? (I got honours!)

It’s a bleak question and I feel bad for asking. I’ve seen enough inspirational movies to know somewhere there’s an impoverished man who would drop to his knees in crying slow-mo euphoria because he got his university degree. Likely an idyllic Puerto Rican with nine siblings, no father and a dream. As he cries rain would pour from the heavens exposing his tattoos and impressive build through his soaking wifebeater. You know, symbolizing the harshness of his turbulent past and furthering the stereotype that Puerto Ricans wear wifebeaters to everything, even graduations. Epic.

But the world is not sensitive to this fictional man. Probably because he is fictional. Instead, the rampant question is the aforementioned one about the efficacy of our degrees. Many blogs and articles have wrestled with that query, and they do it well. It’s not going to be what I talk about in this blog; I just need to set the stage for my tangent. I am making like an undetected cancerous lump and standing out!

What I want to discuss is less how working professionals perceive us (which is what all the worry is about), but about how, in this epidemic of unsure paths, I am starting to perceive them. Yep. I’m turning the tables — just like how Jesus angrily flipped over merchants’ tables at the synagogue because he was unemployed.

Angry Jesus

"I'M SICK OF WRITING COVER LETTERS!!!!!"

Once we enter the workforce, whoever holds that prestigious job in your field is who you are supposed to revere. As much as you’re told to be unique, you even have to model yourself after this king/queen of the hill because he/she is the success story. This doesn’t just apply to jobs predicated by artsy fartsy degrees like my own — which are called artsy fartsy because a waft of fart gets you a pass — it applies to all disciplines.

But how many of these peoples’ success stories are similar to what ours could be? Any established pro with that elite job ascended the ranks well before the recession and probably before the internet – when combined, easily the two most destructive influences on the corporate, large-sized, high-paying workplace. Outside of terrorists and hippies, of course.

I’ll make like Harper’s good twin (because he’s the evil twin) and explain that further. The breadth of computers and the internet has allowed workers to become multi-capable in ways previously unimaginable. In a thriving economy, it’s a beautiful thing. But in a recession, it justifies massive downsizing. In the environment of shrinking businesses, you need to possess more skills than anyone ever had while being willing to take less pay for it. In other words, the smaller it is, the more multi-talented you have to be, and you’ll still get less credit for it. It’s a common reality, really…

If we thought the baby boomers hadn’t fucked us up enough with their oil, global warming and perpetual warfare, the recession did happen. Many jobs disappeared, and the ones that stayed got exponentially more stressful. But we carry on and respect our elders. It’s like what I always say, you can default on your mortgage but you can’t default on love. :)

If companies weren’t throwing around cash like Diddy Dirty Money before, it certainly isn’t happening now. Entry level jobs are sparse, and getting anything higher is like winning a  really depressing lottery. What’s aggravating these matters is that the baby boomers aren’t retiring. Because of the recession, those old suits with already sizeable pensions figure it’ll take five extra years of fulltime to afford that lakefront retirement cottage in the Muskokas. Check yourself old people! Every 20-something has to pinch pennies to afford the gas up to Wasaga – our proud seabed of drunken teenagers; and as we graduate and realize this debt, Diddy Dirty Money isn’t the only one who’s “Coming Home”.

Diddy Dirty Money and his hoes

Wait, is this what he meant when he said his home was a duplex?

Now tell me, how does this famine compare to the advice we get from these pros we’re supposed to emulate? Their ‘how I got started’ stories involve so much ease you’d think they got their degrees in lubrication. Hell, some of the best in the business didn’t even need degrees to get hired.

It’s something you’d never hear today: Being allowed to slide your way into your company lube free. Then, once you were in, you were in. The business had room for you to grow large within it. It wanted you to do it. Your package of benefits expanded like the endless economy and you built life in this fertile oasis. Yeah, you worked up a sweat and pulled some creative moves ­– enough to feel proud and like you deserve the great climax of your career – but it was smooth. So many conditions were just right.

Look around. Our generation’s career climate is a desert. Companies offer opportunity as a mirage; there are too few spots to handle everyone. This isn’t a plea for pity, but an appraisal of the footsteps we are told to follow. And these old footsteps are on an entirely different beach, kind of like comparing those of Muskoka to those of Wasaga.

I’m not chastising those who came before us for taking advantage of a good, virginal situation. We all would have done the same. I’m just trying to combat the shriveling insecurity graduates face when they try to imagine how they’ll get the job done. The accolades of yesterday are not comparable to the ones of today. It’s like a guy bragging about how often he got laid in the ‘70s. We all could have been sex machines if we weren’t worried about AIDS! Definitely think about that every time you look at an esteemed professional.

So keep your head up, work hard and remember that you’re spending years as someone’s underpaid aid because the rest of the world has AIDS. Good luck everyone.

Young man against sky

The sky's still the limit...but there's barely any oxygen up there. Just STDs.

Uhh. Wait, that’s an awful moral. What else can we take from this?

Just don’t be intimidated by the elites of your workplace. They may strut around with an attitude like they’ve done it all, but in your shoes they’d be even more clueless than you. These years will be ones that earn us more character than savings, but if you do move up it will be unprecedentedly well earned.

Alternatively, if you fail to ascend the corporate ladder and instead realize in 2020 you got lost in the abyss of this 21st Century jobforce quagmire, just go back to the basics of your university graduation. You’re still completely free; liberty is still yours. Yeah, remember that and hold it close. Then call up those friends you told to fuck off and ask if they know anyone who’s hiring.

Love you, Joe.

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When We’ll Be Dads

Long-haired dude with daughter

We know how abuse affects a child's development, but nothing of long hair and soul patches.

On a day like today, I try to picture the father I’ll become. Not that spending a beautiful Sunday unshowered and “private browsing” warrants thoughts so noble, but hey, I need dreams to replace the wet ones now.

Okay, I’m sorry. I swear I won’t be such a dirtbag. I want to be a good dad. But I don’t think many guys my age could ever promise to censor themselves. Vulgarity is special and important to us, like a prostate.

See, when I think of having a teenage daughter, I imagine embarrassing her in front of her friends and saying something like, “Kids, your mother is what we all used to call a ‘sex bomb,’” and waiting eagerly for the high-pitched “ewwwwww!!!” so I could laugh maniacally. Then I’d go upstairs, blast the song “Sex Bomb” and privately browse the body of said hot wife.

Maybe I’m waiting for a hormone switch to change my behavior, like how it famously does in women. Ladies, its sexual affect on you is outstanding: Late-20-somethings start to want less phallus more fetus, 30-somethings want the phallus back, and 50-somethings act like they never got it in the first place. Oh, and is it just me or is it hot in here?

Yeah, I could have something similar. As I get deeper into my 20s I could replace dirty talk with RRSP conversations, in my 30s I’ll replace porn with fibre and by the time I’m 50 I’ll replace any dirty thought with preliminary signs of dementia. Is it just me or is it hippopotamus in here?

No, I think shit will be different for us, tomorrow’s dads. And I’m not just talking about the fibre. Our demeanor is unprecedentedly loose (still not talking about the fibre). I can think of two reasons for that, like the two scoops of raisins that go into Raisin Bran. Okay, I’m talking definitely talking about the fibre, I was the whole time.

The first reason why fathers will be more laidback is the phenomenon of our teenage years. Long ago, you’d be a boy running in the fields until you were 14 or 15, then you’d become a man at 16 and get to work making knickerbockers or something. Today, we run on the fields of our football video games until we’re 25, and during that time it’s acceptable to be all sorts of silly. Guys now have added approximately 10 richer years of “being fun” over previous fathers. That might sound frivolous to some, but I think being a fun parent is essential to connecting with your kid. It may take longer to learn responsibility, but since we’re waiting longer to have kids the fun-to-responsibility level should balance out. I mean, how good is it when we see new parents let their kids smoke weed as long as they’re doing it at home, right?

Hash pipe by qr5

Children of tomorrow may think this is a soother.

The second reason for complaisant dads is the influence of our own dads. I feel like it’s a common tale, and one that I get from my father, where he says “My dad wasn’t like this when I was a kid, so I wanted to make sure I was.” The fathers of two generations ago are notoriously remembered for being emotionally unavailable factory workers and war vets. Our fathers still generally have those hard-nosed traits, but to a much lesser extent. Now, as Gen Y goes through the same conscious and unconscious response, we’ll pretty much be open-hearted, fun-first fathers. And I’m talking about paternal fathers, not priests. They’ve tried the “fun with kids” thing and it didn’t go too well.

So we’ll be dads who like to relax, laugh and be emotionally transparent. When you consider which traits are best to establish a connection with someone, it makes me really excited what sort of bonds we could all establish with our kids. I just get scared when I think of where to begin in disciplining them. The only beating and spanking they’ll know are the kind that exist in the jokes I make.

I’m even far too mellow to yell, and similarly a lot of new dads will probably continue as part-time potheads. Maybe childhood obesity is such a problem today because dad keeps insisting on going to McDonalds.

So what do you do when you’re a stoner father or, if you’re like me, and just act like one? I have no idea how you’d keep the house tranquil and likewise guarantee your kid doesn’t turn into whiney, spoiled fan of whoever the 2025 Justin Bieber is. One of Britney Spears’s poor daughters?

As I picture grossing my teenage daughter out to my own delight, I can equally see a temperamental son yelling “Fuck off!” and me, lazy on a couch, being like “Heyyyyy, come onnnn , don’t say thinnnngs like that.” Then he’ll run upstairs and listen to Ludacris’s 42nd album (have you noticed Ludacris doesn’t stop making music? It’s really weird) while snorting a line of coke. And my wife will find me such a sad and meagre man that she’ll leave me for a 60-year-old because he knows how to hunt and provide for his family. Then they’ll eat venison together and laugh at the mention of my name.

I digress. But perhaps that will be our generation’s archetypal downfall as fathers. Great guy, but just way too passive. Although you could have said the same about Ghandi, and people love that diaper daddy!

Ghandi

Ghandi contemplates what he'd do with a shit-faced teenager

When our offspring are parents they’ll then tell their kids they had too much freedom, too much friendship with dad.  He never kept them in line. They were able to do way too much coke, even meth sometimes. The pendulum will swing the other way from there. This next generation of fathers will try to harden themselves, reinsert a stricter household hierarchy and make their children feel like there are conditions to be met to earn love. To easygoing me, that just sounds like a great reality show where toddlers compete for love immunity, backstab each other and get voted out of the house for not being good enough at finger-painting.

The parents will still be thinking all those dirty thoughts, though. In my experience, everyone does. I was at a family event yesterday and an older cousin, a 40-something dad (so not a stereotypical baby boomer dad or Gen Y-er) asked his mom of 74, my aunt, if his dad got her anything for her birthday. My uncle infamously does not give or ask for gifts, so the question was in jest. My uncle was smart back to his son though, mysteriously saying “Oh, she got her gift yesterday.” And my cousin shot back, to his dear old mom who had been beleaguered after climbing many steps days before, “So that explains why you’re limping, mom!”

Yowza.

Whether they’re crippling mom with sex or not, there are pros and cons to each type of dad. Fathers of old were stones, and ones of the future will be stoners. It sobers one’s high briefly to think we may not be better fathers than our past ones, we’ll just be different. That’s simply in regards to fathering style though. Minus Rob Ford’s kids, I can guarantee we will have a higher population of dads who aren’t racist, homophobic or sexist, and ones who understand why the environment needs to be protected. That’s an important and priceless improvement for the world, only rivaling other progressive inventions like half-flush toilets. How sweet are they?

Thus, it’s more of a ‘win by default’ way that we’ll be the paternal leaders of a better world for our kids. I’m okay with that, it’s how things have always been. Except for a few anomalies, one dad will always be better than the next because one world will always be better than the next. These are the rules of a socially progressive planet. It’s how all of those dads – including us, the ones to be – all manage to be the best dad ever.

God bless Communism.

Wait. Happy Father’s Day. That’s what I meant.

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