Friday, July 28, 2006

Witz Pickz: N'Sync Being Gay!

It's very rare that an entire generation of cruel, unbased mockery ends up with the aggressors being able to say, "I told you so," but it's finally happened. After years of taunts that, "N'Sync is GAY! N'Sync is gaaaaaay!" Lance Bass of N'Sync came out and announced that he is gay. I found this out via my girlfriend via a washington post article with the headline, "N'Sync singer Lance Bass says he is gay." At first I thought it was a joke. A The Onion article or something, but no-- as millions have been telling him for years, Lance Bass is now also saying he's gay. Now there's a chance that Lance just wants to fit in-- everybody else said it so he wanted to be part of the in crowd. Or maybe it's reverse psychology-- If Justin Timberlake starts singing, "I Want Your Back," "Bi-Bi-Bi," or, "Tearing up your--" ok we'll stop there-- then my money is on N'Sync making a reunion tour based mostly on reverse psychology. Can't you just hear all the high school jocks shouting, "N'SYNC LIKES WOMEN!!!" Which brings us to those "haters."

When I asked the millions of anti-fans who used to call N'Sync gay what they thought of Lance turning out to be gay, they took the Ozzie Guillen defense and replied, "That's cool. There's nothing wrong with that, we just kinda thought that N'Sync was whatever. We didn't mean anything bad by it."

Now that N'Sync is in fact, 1/5th gay, I can only wonder what type of wild attacks will start taking place. When throwing out random insults, stereotypes, or racial/ethnic/sexist slurs turns out to be accurate, people believe what they're saying is right. Britney Spears probably IS a redneck. Christina Aguilera a slut. The Nutty Professor-- funny! There's all sorts of terrible side effects for Lance Bass turning out to being gay. Is that Jew who you know cheap? Maybe! Does that black neighbor of yours like fried chicken? Probably! Did your hispanic co-worker steal from you? It's worth getting your local (racist) white policeman down there to check it out! Ironically, by being gay, Lance Bass might have opened Pandora's Box.

Don't Forget That Jesus Let Judas Screw Him,

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pop Sensibilities: Kelly Clarkson, Morningwood, and Christina Aguilera

Pop music is one of the few things I have encountered in life that is able to be shat on intellectually (as opposed to intellectuals who have been literally shat on-- some guesses of these people are Dante, Plato (at least once), and Ben Franklin (often)) while at the same time causing the critic to be unconsciously tapping his foot or hand in rhythm to the song. Music snobs, hipsters, and many of the elderly would have you believe all pop music is bad (or more likely explain very expansively why some pop music is amazing). While not a huge listener or enjoyer of mainstream pop music, I have selected three songs from over the past year or so that are not only extremely poppy songs, but also great guilty pleasures.

Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
I'm wary of all songs using internet slang in their titles (U, 8, etc), and yet Kelly Clarkson's masterpiece Since U Been Gone has filled my soul with joy time and again. I first heard the song while lying awake in the summer heat at 4am. VH1 was actually showing videos, so I turned it on and watched as Kelly stormed and danced around some apartment, eventually destroying lots of stuff. The trick ending revealed it wasn't her apartment, which was a like lot saying, "tricked ya, i'm a bitch!" but still, I was hooked by the music. The beauty of pop music is that it's always on the radio. You wanna hear a song, and then there it is, no problem. I was never quite able to say, "Man, i'd love to hear The Decline by NOFX right now" and have the 14 minute punk epic come on the air. It seemed that everytime I wanted it to, Since U Been Gone came on the radio, at parties, and in bars. By the end of the school year, I had at least four or five other people that were hardcore into that song, and much air guitar, group singing, and pogo-ing took place. There will always be a special place in my life for Since U Been Gone.

Morningwood - To the Nth Degree
This band is another early morning music video VH1 discovery, only of a very different kind. The song is poppy as all hell, and yet the band is something unusual. There is a slightly overweight aka healthy looking lead female singer who jumps and hops around the stage and her male bandmates. The song is simple verse, chorus, verse style, but was said to be "an anthem for the band," like something to pump them up at the beginning of shows. Luckily, the band's name is Morningwood, so most of the chorus is ridiculously catchily spelled "M-O- M-O-R- M-O-R-N-I-N-G W-O-O-D". If you haven't heard To the Nth Degree, check it out.

Christina Aguilera - Whatever the hell that new song isHoly Christ, I thought I was done hearing or seeing C-Ags ever again, but apparently that's not the case. Other than her voice, I had very little idea when I saw this video that the singer was Genie In A Bottle of Jack Daniels. But the beat was catchy, the lyrics were quick and interesting (or at least quick...), and the following took place:

onscreen: "Ain't no other man...something...something like youuu"
me: This song sucks. It's using cheap catchy word sounds to make me like it.
onscreen: "Ain't no other man...something...something like youu"
me: Damn, this song is catchy! It's using these quick catchy word rhythms that I really like!

Exactly. So if you haven't checked out these three songs, and feel the need to indulge in a little guilty hipster/music snob pleasure, check em out.

L8er Boi,

PS. I'm guessing the Christina Agui-Scare-a-baby song is called "Ain't No Other Man...but that's just a guess...

Witz Pickz: Dead Pigeons!

Ok, so I realized that last post of fake news articles was kind of like a clip-show and not much of a post at all-- if you ignore all the comedic wizardry that is!! (Back in the day, comedic wizards used to be persecuted and burned at the stake in the same way that regular wizards were at the time. It was only recently that comedic wizardry was found out to be rooted in lingistics and timing while regular wizardry is still known to be The Devil's Work.) Unfortunately most clip shows not only have no comedic wizardry, but are just outright infuriating. If I sit down to watch a television show that i've waited a week to see, I don't want to see small parts of past shows edited together via some thin plot usually tied to a snowed in cabin where reminiscing takes place. That's horseshit-- even if Coach does hookup with the philosophy teacher in the end. NOW-- for this reason, I have decided to make up for my clip-show style post with several new posts in the coming day(s). Clearly I've started by NOT picking clip-shows. "But what about a positive pick for once, Witz? You seem to be very negative lately!" Thanks for your concerns, avid subtextual reader, maybe I have been, but not anymore! And you know why? Because:


Now I need to make it clear from the start that I am not one of those people who hates pigeons. On the contrary, I've always been somewhat neutral and even fond of the alleged "rats with wings." Even that expression annoyed me when I heard it and seemed like pigeons were getting a bad rap. In fact, I would say that I enjoy pigeons in the same way that I enjoy So You Think You Can Dance, or Jennifer Garner-- readily available, easy on the eyes, and good for an hour of low-maintenance enjoyment as long as there's some action involved. All of this was true up until about a month ago.

It's amazing how quickly I go from one side of the fence to the other when it effects me. When i'm driving, I constantly get ripshit at pedestrians. When i'm a pedestrian, I jaywalk, and mutter things like, "go ahead and hit me buddy." Perhaps someday I will become a bicycle-user or a motocyclist, so that I can find some redeaming quality about the two that make me not want to destroy them as they weave through traffic, slowing everyone down even more and blocking my FUCKING RIGHT ON REDS AT THE LIGHT. Or maybe I won't.

Regardless, I was all about pigeons until they suddenly decided to take up roost and resident on the rooftop deck of my new apartment building. You see, the rooftop deck was the kicker that put this apt building over the top (much like the love Stallone had for his child in the film Over the Top that allowed him to win the championship arm-wrestling match). But now that I live in the new building, pigeons have taken over the deck which is covered in feces and feathers, not to mention about, oh, a million pigeons. I confronted the manager and was told that there is a "pigeon relocation program" in place, which appears to involve a cage, and an animated Ben Stiller saying, "Come on, do it" over and over again to lure the pigeon into the cage. When I asked how long the program would take he responded, "Well, that's unclear" which translates into, "until the pigeons take the correct but random series of complex angles and complete the proper random synapses of the mind to somehow end up in a 3x3 cage via ONE DOOR. This has been the process under way for the last month until yesterday when it apparently:

STARTED RAINING DEAD PIGEONS! You know that book, "The Day No Pigs Would Die"? Well this was like, "The Day Assloads of Pigeons Died For No Apparent Reason!" I was walking home from work and found a dead pigeon by the street. As I approached my building, I found two more lying by the curb. When I went into the garage, there was a dead pigeon lying by a car. "What fortune!" I thought, and immediately placed a sizable, yet unaffordable bet on a boxer i'd never heard of. The next day, two more different pigeons were dead in the garage, and one more was dead outside. Now, logic might say that someone started poisoning the pigeons...or possibly that my building is ground zero for the avian bird flu in the united states...but I think God's behind this. Because a few days ago, I was really hungry and said, "God, I wish we could just BBQ on the damn rooftop deck!" Apparently, in addition to sports teams, World Leaders, and Miss Universe Contestants, God listens to BBQ dreamers and speaks words of death to pigeons! Which can only mean one thing-- God sweats the barbeque! And why wouldn't He? BBQ's are fantastic! They raise morale, smell great, and give enjoyment to all those involved-- which I can only assume is exactly like Sabado Gigante on Telemundo. Not like pigeons-- those freaking rats with wings.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Witz DOESN'T Pick: New "Comedian" Belt

My goddamn belt thinks it's a comedian. And it's not. It's a goddamn belt. I bought it because I needed a belt that actually fit me and had a gift certificate to The Men's Wearhouse. I didn't have any belts that fit me because nobody ever taught me how to size out a belt which is probably because NOBODY KNOWS. Shouldn't the belt size be listed as the size pants that you usually wear? Say you're a 32-- the belt size would say 32 only have like 4 extra inches on it so you could buckle it up. That would make sense. BUT NO. That's not how the system works. Here's how the system works as best as I've been told by people working in stores:

"You take your belt size and then add like, two or three sizes, and then try it on and see how many holes there are. And if the number holes is between three and four that you can use, but closer to four than to three, than that's the belt for you."

......THAT'S NOT A SYSTEM. That's guess and check and it's what i've done my whole life. But back to The Men's Wearhouse. So i'm in the store because I had a gift certificate for fifty bucks which translated into one shirt and some change. So I bought this belt-- brown, the right size, gold buckle, does the trick. The salesguy tries to sex me up financially, but finally cools off when he realizes all I have is a fifty dollar gift certificate which i've already gone over by five dollars.

"Where else in town can you get a shirt and a belt for five dollars?" the guy asks me like i'm a piece of meat. I avoid my initial response, "any thrift store" and procede to,

"I vaguely recall getting this gift certificate because I dropped seven hundred dollars on suits about six months ago..." I quip back, which shut him up, probably shear moments before he revealed the true nature of my belt. That it thinks it's a goddamn comedian. Which is what this post is about.

The reason my belt thinks it's funny, is that every time I undo or redo my belt buckle, it makes this loud, drawn out farting noise. Like a whoopie cushion, only more believable. And for some reason, this keeps happening at inopportune moments. I'm getting undressed in the bathroom to join my girlfriend in the shower-- PFTH!

HER: Honey, did you just rip ass?
ME: No no dear, just getting sexy naked for you...
HER: ....I'll be out in a second, why don't you just wait and then you can get in....

Thanks belt. And here's an awkward one: Someone walks into the bathroom at work seconds before I flush and leave the stall. Flush, zip, FART, and i'm out of the stall like I have no concept of how the sequence of events should have taken place. You should see the looks I get; grown businessmen staring at me like I might shit my pants at any moment. Pretty hilarious you goddamn comedian belt.

While this belt is my problem, and I foresee many a changing room and bar urinal awkwardness ensueing because of it, it doesn't have to be your problem too. Try out your leather belts before you buy them, and make sure yours doesn't think it's a goddamn comedian.

Keep On Keepin' On,


(Witz Pickz is now on myspace! visit and be Witz's friend)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Witz Makes the Tough Pickz: Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

I've decided to make the tough call between Hiroshima and Nagasaki once and for all. Which city is better both historically and today? I have also decided that to make this decision, I will utilize only The Wickipedia.

Gets way more press than Nagasaki, while simultaneously being mispronounced more. It was the FIRST city ever to be subjected to nuclear warfare, so that's something. It's on the delta of the Ota River which means there is some good, fertile earth in the region, however, said bombing might have voided that benefit. Still, delta's are very good, unless they are the type of plane that crashes or have the last name Burke. Unfortunately, it is on land which is almost entirely flat and at sea level, meaning one tsunami and Hiro-see-ya-later. It is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, but that's like saying Bill Nye is president of the Bill Nye Club.

Currently, Hiroshima is the only city in Japan with an active streetcar system, thanks to streetcar donations after WWII-- think yule log at Christmas. I do like the image of hundreds of Japanese cities all bringing streetcars as presents and looking around embarrassed at each other when they realize what they did. Finally, Hiroshima is apparently known for its version of okonomiyaki which is referred to a "Hiroshima Pancake." Not only the move that Yoko Zuna used against Bret Hart at Wrestlemania eight, Hiroshima Pancakes are a type of food which I can't imagine anyone seriously considering ordering. That's like ordering the Waco Omellette (lots of meat and ketchup inside), or ordering a Hurricane from a bar in New Orleans.

Literally meaning, "Long Peninsula" Nagasaki is well hung, but often given second class citizen status. It is the capital of Nagasaki Prefecture, which is a lot like saying, Fuck your Hiroshima Club, Nagasaki is the president of the Nagasaki CLUB! Nagasaki got rocked by Jesus during the Medieval Era, but had feudal lords which is always cool. US Commodore Matthew Perry (of Friends) landed there in 1853 and made Nagasaki reopen its doors for trade.

Now here's the clincher-- pro or con I don't know yet: Nagasaki was the subject of a 1928 pop-song written by Mort Dixon. Here's a quote from the wickipedia, "The lyrics today are enjoyed for their ludicrous incongruity and their lack of political correctness. The song asserts: 'Hot ginger and dynamite/There's nothing but that at night/Back in Nagasaki/Where the fellers chew tobaccy/And the women wicky wacky woo.'" Wicky Wacky Woo, indeed.

So which does Witz Pick? Tsunami Fun Park or Eastern Jesus Playplace? It's a tough call, but in the end, I think I have to pick Hiroshima. Yes, Hiroshima's streetcar system really works for me, as does its delta with what I can only assume is packed with riverboat/delta-boat casinos. Nice try Nagasaki. Better luck next time.


Losing My Marbles: Confessions of a Childhood Gambling Addict

I love gambling. That's all there is to it. The possibility of winning something for nothing is too enticing to pass up. I also love sports betting. The addition of risk to any match, game, or competition raises the stakes and enjoyment (or stress) for me in a way I can't resist (except when I can). Now, I always assumed that my love for gambling began when I turned 18 and was first able to purchase scratch tickets and bet on the numerous sports I had no business betting on (just because I don't know anything about the Israel Soccer League doesn't mean I shouldn't be placing bets on Jerusalem United...right?). I assumed this was furthered at 21 when I was able to go to casinos and play poker online. Just recently, however, a memory returned to me which proved this gambling began much much further back than that.

When I was eight or nine, my parents bought me one of my childhood staples-- The Marble Raceway. For those of you who were without this glorious toy, The Marble Raceway is a set of interconnecting tubes and track pieces that you could arrange and attach in any number of configurations to create millions of vertical race-tracks with. You would then attach the finish line at the bottom and the starting block at the top, load up the marbles, and GO! The result was a tall, complicated, multi-faceted, mini-golf-esk, racing adventure (for up to 8 marbles, unless you ignored the starting block and just dumped them in...which I think we all did).

Now perhaps all children took this toy to the next levels-- game, and then sport. I don't know. But what I do know now, after thinking back, is that I took this bright shining good thing and brought it to a very dark place-- the seedy world of underage marble gambling. Initially, I began by simply choosing a whole bunch of marbles out of a bucket I had and racing the ones that looked coolest i.e. shiny, single colored, multi-colored (I dug the ethnic marbles), or interestingly flawed (tragic hero marbles). I narrowed down the contenders to around 24, and would run imaginary leagues, divisions, and tournaments with the marbles, giving them personalities and histories. This worked for a bit, but you can only play with your own marbles for so long before you want someone else playin' to speak.

Friends began coming over to play with The Marble Raceway and I would urge them to bring their own marbles. When they did, we would hold races and bet on the winners. What would we bet? The marbles. Marbles would be pre-selected as the prize, and whoever won the bet took the marbles. Occasionally, there would be some heads-up action, where we would each select one of our marbles to race and the winner took both marbles. This idea was later used in the racing game The Need For Speed: High Stakes. They were indeed high stakes for us back in the day.

The flaw with The Marble Raceway which I must have known at the time, was that 99% of the race was at the start. The starting block was nothing more than a tippable platform with dividers on it that spilled the marbles into a toilet bowl-like tube. The marbles would circle around the bowl before finally fighting their way down the shoot. Usually, whichever marble got into that hole first would win the whole thing. There were very few marbles that were best in the final leg of the race. The race was practically over before it began, with the heaviest marble in the most favorable position winning the race, and yet I either didn't realize it or didn't want to ruin the magic of The Marble Raceway with ideas of science and mathematics.

Time and time again I would place my marble bets on my gut feeling or emotional attachement and race my marbles with reckless abandon and time and time again my sure thing, longshot, or racing team captain would lose for me. Most children lose their marbles under furniture or in the yard-- I lost mine the way millions of people have lost their paychecks, their mortgages, or cars-- at the track.

The adrenaline rush I now feel at a casino or while playing poker or watching two tennis players I've never heard of battle in a tournament I didn't know existed, I first felt while glass and plastic spheres hurdled down a plastic track. Maybe I should have learned something form those days, when only marbles were at stake-- but you know what? Just thinking about that toilet bowl starting block or the "sidewinder" maze in the middle, or the runway ending makes me giddy with excitement. In fact, I think I might just go place some bets right now-- is arena football in season? Lacrosse? Jai Lai?

I Lost All My Marbles But At Least I Got Balls,

Thursday, July 06, 2006

WITZ PICKZ: HOT POCKETS-- A Systematic Defeat of Anti-Hot Pocket (and probably Pro-Hate Crime) Sentiment

Here's the deal kids: No matter what society, your instincts, or name-dropping, freewheeling vagabond types might tell you, HOT POCKETS ARE AMAZING. The reasons are too numerous to not simply indulge in three of them in a simple list setup:

1) For Their Delicious Nature: Hot pockets taste good. That's a fact, and facts are the only things that separate us from the animals...well that and the Sony PSP, but that line is blurring fast my Anyway, whether you go with cheese, three cheese, hamburger, meatball, pepperoni, or even breakfast burrito style, Hot Pockets produce a warm, delectable treat wrapped in a crispy crust. This is because of recent advancements in Hot Pocket Technology. The semi-new (only so much money can be spent on food technology) technology comes in the form of a cardboard heating jacket and "really does the trick" according to 4 out of 5 college graduates. This jacket holds in the heat while somehow technologically enhancing the crisp of the pocket itself. The result is a tasty midnight treat that is crisp and delicious on the outside and warm and halfway decent on the inside. Oh yeah, and did I mention it only takes 3 minutes?

2) Quick and Safe Preparation: The fact taht I can receive cripsy deliciousness in 3 minutes means you should shut the hell up about your Hot Pocket woes. 1.5 minutes on one side, 1.5 on the other and kid, i'm eating the face off that hot pocket. The speed of the preparation is due to not so recent microwave technology which simultaneously cooks, and de-bacteria-fies the product. How can you eat a pocket full of eggs, cheese, and ham?? You might ask. Aren't I likely to die? Well yes, unless you heat it for 3 minutes in a microwave first and observe the hot pocket label that has given comfort to hundreds of thousands of late night (and early morning) snackers.

3) Sense of Adventure: Can you remember the first time you ever ate a hot pocket? I can't either. Hot pockets are rarely consumed during moments of total consciousness. For this reason, hot pockets are an adventure food. Picking up a box of hot pockets in the store, with that foreboding feeling of unease in your stomach and a tiny voice in your head screaming, "I HOPE YOU GOT TUMS," is like saying, "Yeah, i'm gonna have fun tonight." You're reaching out for adventure and choosing life. Ultimately, you're making the decision to live a life of danger and excitement-- to be an Indiana Jones for a night, or a Scrooge McDuck on a world journey to find a missing jewel. This is the Hot Pocket Experience. Grab onto it and never let it go.

As all doubts must now be dispelled from your mind, I will leave you with simply a haiku written by the great haiku travel poet Basho during an excursion into the Mongolian wastelands.

Hot Pocket in hand
Travels are warmed like the sun
Croissant-Pocket next!