Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DEAR RELIGIOUS FREAKS: (AN OPEN LETTER)

To the fanatics filling my Facebook with your personal dogma,

I write to you in a most respectful manner to ask for two simple things. The first favor I will leave for the end of this writing, which I guess makes it the last favor. But I had to write about it first because otherwise the structure of this paragraph would have been ruined. In any case, the second ( which I guess would be the first favor?) is that you take the couple minutes it takes to read why it is I feel the way I feel, and why I have taken the time to type this letter in hopes that we can coexist with each other in an amicable way.

Our earliest ancestors invented casual narratives to explain natural occurring phenomena like thunder and lightning, or the rise and setting of the sun and moon thus, began pagan religions. By assigning a meaning and purpose to the processes being observed in the natural world, instinctive fear was slowly removed and replaced by curiosity. Curiosity led to observation and testing of beliefs in order to gain understanding. The acquisition of knowledge became an actual evolutionary edge and so began science. It was at this point that religion and science had a long talk, decided to break up, and as far as I know haven't spoken to the other one since, except for the occasional courteous nod.

Fast forward to today. Look at the world around you. The screen you are reading this in was made thanks to science. The cell phone in your pocket, the materials for the clothes you wear, the artificial flavors in the processed cheese snack and delicious corn syrup filled carbonated drink you are surely enjoying, the defibrillator paddles they will use to revive you when you have a coronary, all of them brought to you by the advances in the many modern scientific fields. In contrast, one could argue that even if religion has managed to somehow evolve, it is still pretty hard to quantify a material, tangible effect on the world. So science grew up to become Tony Stark and give you toys while religion turned into that hippie aunt that gives good advice and doesn't know there was any music made after 1973.
 I HONESTLY CAN'T BELIEVE I FOUND THIS PICTURE, THANKS INTERNET

With that said, let me explain a bit about myself. I grew up in a Catholic household and without getting into too much detail had a falling out with the church around the time I was 16. Teenage rebellion and access to information led me to reject any type of dogma and I came to the conclusion that religion was a form of control and that I didn't want any part of it. I decided to learn on my own about different religions because I make it a point to not reject something I don't understand, and the more I read about religions from an outside point of view, the more I disliked all of them.

How could I apply ancient belief systems to my contemporary life? How could I ignore cold hard scientific data while taking text written thousands of years ago as fact? How could anyone for that matter. It was infuriating and pretty soon I decided that this could not stand. The moment someone tried to talk to me about what they believed I would pull out a shield made out of logic and a sword made out of information and promptly delivered a verbal beat down. You did not want to be an unprepared street preacher if I was walking down your way or trying to get in the theater to the movie you where protesting, much less if I was in the same bus you got in to spread the word (All actual "encounters" I had). Whenever someone tried to push religion in public I made it a point to go and debate with them. I once saw a Jehovah's Witness walking towards my house so I ran in and stripped to my OZZY boxers, drew a pentagram on my chest with red lipstick and picked up my ex-wife's black cat so that I could troll them when I opened the door. I had no fear of confrontation because I was aware of information that was tangible and could be quantified, a force that was real and required no suspension of disbelief, I had facts and logic, the religious way of thinking was foolish and erroneous and I was ready to prove it to the world.......

And that's how I became everything I hated about the blind followers of religion I found so aggravating. I was a pusher of my specific belief system and proceeded to preach to anyone around me what I believed to be the truth without an ounce of respect. I had simply replaced my system of beliefs and proceeded to follow the new one without question. I was a blind follower of a new religion I call Anti-theism. And yes, I call it a "religion" because you have to believe and accept it blindly unless you literally sit in a lab and test every single one of the facts you are choosing to accept. It was at that point I realized that the problem has never been religion, but simply the act of blindly following ANY doctrine. Facts change on a constant basis thanks to new discoveries. What we think we know today is what our kids may laugh about and call us stupid for a few years from now. It is just as dumb to take science as the final word of the universe as to being an extremist with religion.
SCIENTIFIC FACT LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

Don't get me wrong, I love science and logic. It is amazing that we have cured so many diseases and that I can now have a Dorito Cool Ranch Taco whenever I want, but science doesn't have all the tools or all the answers. There are abstract concepts in ourlives that are better satisfied trough spirituality.
Hope, faith, morality, the soul, the existence of the divine.... These are things that science can't quantify or analyze or for that matter concretely prove or disprove and I personally don't think they belong in a lab. If we really simplify things, in the end science and religion end up having a very funny characteristic in common. For either of them to truly serve their purpose, they require FAITH.

So here's that second favor. Whatever your beliefs are, whether scientific or religious, keep in mind that the moment you think you are right and your way is the only way, you will be able to sign your name right between Hitler, Bin Laden and many others who also thought they where 100% right about what they believed. And since I assume you don't want that, then please understand that in the end science and religion have always had the same goal. To help us understand the whole foken universe. They take different paths, but that doesn't mean they aren't trying to reach the same place, and if we allowed them to work on it instead of pitching them against each other, we might get there faster.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

REDEEM THYSELF MIAMI.

Kudos to @IvanKinz.

An open letter to the City of Miami.

Dear City of Miami,

You find yourself in a very particular position. You can literally change history by how you react to the actions of the Canadian queef called Justine Bieber. Consequences should not be dictated by the amount of money a person has, or how many retarded fans they have tricked into thinking that what spills out of their mouth is music. You should therefore treat Justine the way you would treat me, or anyone else for that matter, had I been the ass-douche that rented a Lambo and street raced it while gay and high.

The Grim Ripper already foked shit up because it obviously confused this Lambo with the Porsche that Paul Walker was driving and unfairly took the wrong celibrity. But you can't really blame Death for that, it's not like it drives or has to know anything about cars so you know, it was a mistake. But I digress, and it is now up to you, City of Miami. You might be tempted to provide Justine with the best cell in the ladies block, but that is actually a man, so throw his ass in with general population. Don't worry about his safety, there's plenty of videos of him training boxing and watching UFC. I'm sure this vaginal wart can defend herself just fine. Do not process her paperwork faster than usual. I've seen the documentaries and I know there's people in there that have been waiting for processing for literally years.

By simply doing things the way you normally do, and not treating this fermented moose dropping called Justine Bieber better than you would anyone else in Miami, you can make the world a better place and the City of Miami can benefit immensely. Think about it. By keeping Justine in T.G.K. you will definitely prevent her self destructive behavior from continuing. No more damage to hotels, no more countries being offended by a spoiled dingleberry with money, no more wasted tax dollars on charges that get dropped based on income. You will also create a new tourist attraction for thousands of moronic "beliebers" that will line the streets outside T.G.K. to comfort their fallen idol. This will be a great boost to the City of Miami's economy. Can you imagine the killing all the food trucks and arepa carts are going to make while feeding these idiots? That's money in the bank baby!

Redeem yourself, City of Miami. Do the right thing and show the world that there's hope for you yet. It's the least you can do after whoring yourself to the Kardashian's and the Jersey Shore.

Sincerely,

Andy Fokengoodtimes.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SURVIVAL STORY

I haven't written in a while, so I thought I would share this while I get the next couple blogs ready. It's a transcript from a conversation with a really awesome lady friend of mine so sorry about the format. Anyhow, enjoy.

I was working graveyard about 2 weeks ago


They needed me there because I guess they wanted a big guy to work for crowd control so no one would steal stuff and I got stuck with that shift.

Why they picked me, I do not understand, I am the least threatening fool in the book.


THE FACE OF TERROR

Anyhow, it's about 5 or 6 in the morning and all that's left walking around is hookers and drunks, which is entertaining in it's own and makes the night go by faster.


Out of nowhere comes this beast of a woman. She's a freaking Titan, I mean foking The Rock on an evening dress and high heels.

And she is shithoused.


And she is definitely hunting down a Mr. Right now.

And of course out of her peripherals she sees me standing outside the liquor store just jamming to some Red Hot Chili Peppers.

And she stops.

So I foken know exactly what's going to happen, and I figure if I stand still maybe she won't see me since I heard that their vision acuity is based on movement. 

But I must have been downwind because she catches my scent and beelines for the store with her sassiest walk, which I'm sure in her mind was fabulous. To my sober and perfectly aware ass however, it looks like a fight scene starring Jackie Chan as the drunken master.

She gets real coy as she gets close, but that's about as effective as a grizzly getting shy as it runs you down to eat you.


THIS IN HIGH HEELS

And she asks me for a light and if we are still open to buy alcohol.

I'm cornered, I have to help her now, so I hand her a book of matches and tell her that we are a 24 hour store. She gets all happy and says she's going to get herself some booze which I know is not going to be a good idea.

I politely but assertively let her know that although we do sell 24 hours, she seems a bit inebriated and I feel it's best to cut her off. I'm expecting her to get mad and hopefully walk away but of course that would have been too easy!

The beast starts trying to communicate with me, and she slurs something like, "Awwwe, you are taking care of me, my knight in shining armor" in what I can only describe as the accent of a California girl with a mouthful of peanut butter.

By this time RHCP song is over and Usher's "Nice and Slow" is playing.

So now she starts sensually dancing which to the casual observer seems more like she's playing charades with me and the answer is "Shower".

And she proceeds to slowly back that "thang" up towards me. 

That's when I was foken done!

Not only it is a violation of the companies standards of procedure, but I feared that if she made a sudden move I would get stuck between her ass cheeks and I had left my cell phone at my desk.

 

NEVER AGAIN

I did not want to relive the story from "127 Hours" specially because my version wouldn't have gotten a movie deal, so with the skills of a hunting cat I slipped out of the way and silently walked to the phone and called security.

Anyhow, This woman keeps backing up and her ass makes contact with one of the columns that line the store entrance, I guess she thinks it was me so she starts grinding the living monkey nuts out of that beam.

I'm freaking out because she's either going to figure out it's not me and blow up in my face, or possibly affect the structural integrity of the building, but thankfully the security guys get there, at which point I'm no longer the object of her lust and she gets escorted to her room to hibernate or whatever she does to get her rest.


SWEET DREAMS MY PRINCESS

And that's how I survived my encounter with a woman that I'm sure was some sort of alien probe into male sexuality from a giant planet.    
  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

GUN CONTROL

This topic seems to be on a lot of peoples feed lately. I have seen some excellent arguments for both sides of the issue. I have also seen posts and rants so unbelievably dumb that it makes me wonder how that person managed to turn on the computer and type stuff down without their brain hemorrhaging or lightning striking them down purely out of principle. What I plan on writing will probably fall somewhere in between. So I'm guessing I'll make some slightly insightful points, get a headache and then get shocked by static electricity.

First things first. Here's the Second Amendment, From the Wikipedia entry and cross-referenced with Cornell University Law School, as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. 

There it is in all it's glory. 27 words out of which probably only 4 would get you a good score in Scrabble. Really foken simple stuff. I'm no lawyer, and English isn't my first language, but if I'm getting this right, all it says is that in order to ensure the government doesn't go all Hitlery or Staliny on our asses, we are free to own and carry weapons and organize a responsibly trained group of people to handle those weapons to protect the freedom of the state. It doesn't get much simpler than that, and it doesn't leave a lot of room for interpretation, but in that little gap is where lies the problem. Either side of the gun control issue has managed to shove and wedge their collective assholes inside the room where a couple of words may have more than one meaning. Worst of all both those who are against or for gun control scream as loud as they can about their rights and forget completely about their responsibilities. 

And it is that word that would solve the entire gun control issue in my humble but incredibly awesome and definitely right opinion.

RESPONSIBILITY

Let's focus on that. I stand by the right to bear arms and with gun owners since I happen to be one of them. I bought a handgun the moment I turned 21. It was the best thing I could have ever done. Not because it has saved my life or my property or because I'll be ready for the zombie apocalypse or downfall of society but because it materialized the abstract concept of responsibility for me. I held in my hands the power to end a life. I could stop another human being from living with something that fit in my pocket. Crazier than that was that it wasn't available just to me. Knowing anyone can have a gun was both mind blowing and life changing.

On the ride home with an unloaded gun, fully locked inside it's case and in my trunk I realized that if an idiot like me could get a gun, then pretty much anyone could too. I swear my road rage literally disappeared that day. I walked into my house and immediately thought about the many people that came in and out of my place where there now was a foken gun. I thought about both the adults and the kids and what could happen if someone mishandled it. Then I remembered that I normally pissed off my ex-wife once or twice a week, usually inside the house. I immediately went and bought a safe. I consciously understood the gravity of what a gun could do and because of that I have always had a profound respect for it. After 21 years I had just figured out how to be responsible. And the best part about that is that I'm not special because anyone else can figure this out on their own.

With the right amount of education and dedication you can turn a gun owner into a RESPONSIBLE gun owner. The law shouldn't restrict you from buying a gun if you are properly educated and constantly reminded that you hold in your hands a tool designed to end life. Doesn't matter if you have a tiny hand gun, an assault rifle or a foken tank. If you are required to purchase a lock with any gun you buy and you are made to take classes on gun safety before you acquire it and maybe once a year while you own it, and if there are ads on T.V. that constantly remind you to keep your guns locked and the consequences of not doing that, then I guarantee things would be a little different. And if you doubt an advertising campaign would work then please explain to me why people like the McRib Sandwich......... Exactly, that's what I thought.

I'm not saying that this is going to end crime and gun violence. The crooks and scumbags that use guns for the wrong reasons are going to do it regardless of whatever legislation and restrictions are passed. However, we can avoid a lot of tragedies like the recent wave of school shootings if registered gun owners are indoctrinated into responsibility. And yes, I said "registered" because this brings accountability into the picture. As I said, no one is going to stop Thievy McStealsalot from holding up the Quicky-mart if he decides to do it, but if he's using MY gun then it is obvious that I have failed in my responsibility as an American bearing arms to keep my guns secured and can no longer be trusted to do so. And before you start bitching that this is unfair because someone can steal your gun then let me remind you that the reason you have a right to own a gun is to protect the people around you, yourself and your property. It is then painfully obvious that you didn't do that at all, therefore you are a monumental foktard and your argument is invalid.

So in the end, I guess what I'm trying to say is this. Sure, it is your right as an American to purchase and keep a gun, but with that right comes the responsibility of protecting yourself and the American people, not only from a tyrannical government but from the stupidity of those that would try and harm them. You do that not just by keeping a weapon, but by keeping it safely.

As always, thanks for reading and any questions and comments will be promptly ignored as I am completely awesome and totally right.

Good Times.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

O.C.D. (OCARINA COMPULSIVE DISORDER)

Dear members of the jury,

I never owned a Nintendo 64. in the late 90s when it was all the rage, all my friends had one, and the best games where the multiplayer so I never came around buying the system. I probably logged the same amount of hours on Starfox or Smash Brothers as an N64 owner. To this day there's people who will do anything with me except play Goldeneye, so as you can see I pretty much got that console's full experience......

SERIOSLY THOUGH, I'M PRETTY GOOD


Except for one game.

I had always heard "Ocarina of Time" is the best game made for N64. Some have gone as far as to say it may be the best game in that generation of consoles, and some have taken it as far as saying it's the best game ever. But since it was a one player game and I couldn't beat my friends in it, I had no interest. What fun is a game if there's no chance it may ruin a friendship? So I skipped "Ocarina" and moved on to other titles, and as I got older, to other consoles.

Fast forward to last weekend. My friends decided to have a retro game night and have some drinks. We did all the classics. Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, 007. We also had quite a bit to drink, so as a responsible adult I decided to crash in their couch because I may have had some blood in my alcohol system. Now something peculiar about me is that when I drink a lot, I wake up early the next morning, so it's no surprise then that I regained consciousness at 8:00 a.m. next morning while still under the influence.

I started getting bored since everyone was sleeping. I couldn't do a multiplayer game, so when I spotted Ocarina of Time, I thought I should give it a try. Now if you have played this game before, you understand what I'm about to describe. If you haven't, then give it a try, and you will see why things turned out the way they did, and why I ask for a verdict of "not guilty".

Ocarina of time was advanced for its time. The controls are simple, fluid and intuitive compared to the glitchy games back then and even some of the newer ones. The graphics are smooth for an older system and the game world is beautifully rendered, each character has its own pixelated quirks, the uncanny attention to detail seen in the rising and falling of the sun and moon. The music is masterfully composed and adapts to each environment and situation with barely noticeable transitions. But all of it pales in comparison to the story and interactivity. A classic tale of good against evil. The story of an outcast underdog finding his true calling, rising up to the challenge and realizing his potential. Seems pretty standard stuff until you sit with the control in hand. I can't describe why this game draws you in so well, I would guess it is a combination of all the things I have described, but the result is one of the most immersive experiences I have ever had in gaming.

THE BEGINNING OF A MASTERPIECE AND MY JOURNEY TO COURT

That Sunday I played almost 12 hours.

I didn't want to stop. When you read a good book you don't want to put it down because you want to know what happens, but with this game I didn't want to stop because I was the one that made things happen. It was me. I had to take the character from town to town, I had to search for items and go in each quest, I had to fight each enemy and figure out each puzzle. The character was an extension of me. Every game aims to do this. I can confidently say none had done it like Zelda: Ocarina Of Time.
Saying this game is addictive is an understatement. One could even say that its potential to influence the player is quite significant and may affect an unprepared, highly susceptible individual, affecting his state of mind. One could go so far as argue that if said individual allegedly did something stupid and possibly criminal while under the influence of such as strong force then the blame should be placed on the Nintendo company for making such an overwhelmingly good game and that individual should be absolved of all charges.

With that said let me explain the chain of events that brought us here today. After that fateful day of unrestricted exposure to the Ocarina of Time experience while under the influence of a free flowing fountain of Jameson's fine Whiskey I made my way home. I guess if I could be blamed for something it would be that I liked the video game so much, but surely that's not illegal. So when I changed my cellphone's ringtone to "Navi" ( A character in the game that accompanies you trough your journey and constantly warns you of danger), it was only to show my appreciation of the game. Little did I know that the new sound, when I received texts or calls, would trigger the response it did in my state of inebriation.

I heard the first text around 8:00 P.M. Now in the game world, night time is very dangerous. You are more likely to be attacked by monsters so when I heard Navi's voice saying "Listen" I freaked out. I tried equipping the Kokiri sword and Deku shield. Obviously I had neither one, but after extended play, my mind was still in game mode. It seemed logical at the time to acquire these items. I fabricated a crude sword and shield out of harmless cardboard. CARDBOARD. Cardboard is just like thick paper, that's why I believe the assault and battery charge on various police officers are so preposterous. In any case, my phone kept going off. I now know my friends where just trying to find out if I got home, but as stated, I was under the influence of Ocarina of Time's spell so at that point I honestly thought my life was in danger. Each new text or call was perceived as a warning of imminent attack. This is why I ran into the mall with my new gear. I knew I needed some health which is why I began eating everything I could find in the food court and the reason I stole the green woman's dress from that store is because I knew I couldn't face any enemies without the proper magic tunic. This is how much hold Nintendo's masterpiece had on my mind.

So it is with the utmost sincerity that I apologize to the 12 ladies and gentlemen of the mall security team. It was not me that was throwing delicious Cinnabons at you screaming "why don't these Deku nuts hurt them?". It was not me you chased trough the various stores and it was not me that repeatedly jabbed and spin attacked with a cardboard sword giving you countless paper cuts and minor bruises. If you should be suing anyone it should be Nintendo, or may I suggest, the company you work for because of not providing proper training to deal with individuals clearly under the influence of a Nintendo game.


IN YOUR DEFENSE, CAN THERE EVER BE SUCH TRAINING?

I want to extend that apology to the fine officers that took the call. By the time you had arrived my phone was ringing over and over as friends and family tried to reach me. That in addition to your sirens and lights made me think I was about to fight a boss battle in my Nintendo fueled confusion. So please forgive all the running around and the very light injuries caused by the cardboard sword and the toy boomerang, which by the way I still don't recall where I got or how I became so proficient with. If I may suggest something though. Should something like this happen again, please go straight to the taser. As we all found out that night together, pepper spray just makes me think a bad guy hit me with a fire spell.

At this point I want to also apologize to all the vendors and stores situated around the fountain in the main courtyard. None of you would have had to see me naked or would have heard me describe in detail and at the top of my lungs all the overtly erotic things I still had not done with "Princess Zelda" if I didn't really believe I was losing all my life points because I was on fire. Please consider taking legal action against Nintendo for all the psychological trauma caused by this incident.
So all in all, I think that if we could all agree that none of this would have happened if Nintendo had not made such a fanfokentastic game as Ocarina of Time, with the capability to influence a susceptible mind such as mine, then we could also agree that this embarrassing episode is really not my fault, and that without the need of jail time I have learned a valuable lesson. So lets just put this all behind us and forget it ever happened and if you bring back a verdict of innocent, I promise to stay out of trouble and lay low, specially because they just announced the new "Grand Theft Auto" and I'm dying to play it.

Good Times.

Monday, August 27, 2012

BLACK BELT IN AWESOME

I've always been a fan of Martial Arts. I'm trying to remember chronologically as best as possible and I would say it all started with old Kung Fu flicks. My entire upbringing was bombarded by ancient fighting techniques making their way to the Americas. I grew up with Ninja Turtles, Karate Kids and Kung Fu the Legend Continuesesessss? Whatever, the point is that from an early age I realized that being born in this side of the world was the best thing that could have happened to me because unlike all those suckers in the East that invented all these martial arts and practice all day long, here in the West I could learn all those techniques in a matter of months by doing regular household chores and listening to 80s pop music as long as I met the right Sensei.

 NO NEED TO PLAY DRESS UP ANYMORE

And so at the tender age of around 12 I decided it was time to start my journey. I found this old Chinese guy that hung out in the back of my middle school in his sweet van and asked him if he wanted to be my master. He was pretty excited about it, maybe a little too much, but I took that as a good sign, and so I was ready to start my training until the cops showed up and arrested his ass. I was pretty bummed for about 10 seconds and then I realized it was pizza night so I went home. I did end up renting a whole bunch of books on fighting techniques from the library and started learning the history of the different martial arts. But even at that naive age I knew books weren't going to be enough to quench my thirst for blood.

My parents always preached nonviolence so there was no way to convince them about the benefits of putting their child in ass kicking classes. I also suspect that they had figured out I was a little asshole so that may have had something to do with it. This put me in a predicament. With no money for lessons I started seeking out people that could teach me whatever techniques they had learned from different arts and wanted to practice with me. Over the next couple years I met friends that had actual training and learned as much as I could about what they practiced. I didn't just ask them to teach me moves, I asked for their opinion as far as how applicable the techniques where, what they saw as strengths and weaknesses, the spiritual side of their chosen art.... actually I learned that shit on my own, I mostly asked them to teach me some sweet moves. I became the punching bag for a lot of them but with all that ass kicking, I actually got pretty decent exposure to Judo, Tae Kwon Do, MCMAP, and Pencak Silat.

I ALSO GOT EXPOSED TO THE BUSINESS END OF A KENDO STICK ONCE BECAUSE MY FRIENDS ENJOY BEATING ME UP.

One of my favorite stories actually happened while practicing Tae Kwon Do with a Marine fresh from bootcamp and MCMAP training on my birthday. We where doing some light sparring and my mom came over to tell us it was time to cut the cake and all that fuzz. I should have listened to my mama, but I didn't so we went for one more round and I got my two front teeth kicked out by accident. I grabbed those suckers, cleaned them up and shoved them back in place and spent the rest of my birthday at the emergency room high on morphine and getting my lips stitched up. Good Times.

So after years of dipping my toes in the proverbial water, I find myself in a position where I have both the time and means to actually practice a Martial Art. I have decided to start Gracie Jiu Jitsu and I'm pretty excited about it. I always like putting some sort of teaching in my writing but honestly I just wanted to share this with whoever cares. I guess the lesson is that it is NEVER too late to go after whatever you are passionate about and when you want something you should work towards it no matter what. Good Times.

 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!

Yesterday I finished the "Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins. I myself had no idea until recently, but apparently these books have been around since 2008 and have received very positive reviews. The series even stayed in USA Today's best sellers list for 135 weeks in a row. Yet I had never heard of them. The books never came up in conversation with friends, I never saw any pop up ads for them online and the dumb-dumb box never asked me to run to my library and buy the paperbacks. If it wasn't for the fact that a movie was made there's a very good chance I may have never known these books existed which is a little sad. However, thanks to some Hollywood executive who I'm sure doesn't care about the money and only cares about the work, the series was adapted into film.

As if by magic the entire world became aware of the existence of these novels overnight. The universe has made sure I can't go one day without hearing about how great they are. According to the intertubes, "The Hunger Games" film set the record for the third best opening weekend box office sales of any movie in the U.S. with a bling-blinging $152.5 million. I have no doubt that a large chunk of people went to see it because they where fans of the written work, but the reality is that the majority of movie goers where there because of the marketing campaign behind it. The media made it trendy!

Now don't get me wrong, I think it's fantastic that there's some much exposure to what I consider a pretty good work of fiction, but it makes me a little sad that the reason it's receiving so much attention is not because of the merit it deserves but because someone decided that they could make money off of it. And this has always been an issue for me because I don't like people telling me what to do.

The position I'm taking is a difficult one to defend because when this stuff happens pretty much everyone wins. The author receives both fame and fortune, the work receives exposure, fans get to see the adaptations of something they cherish, everyone makes money, everyone gets what they want, everyone is freaking happy... except me. Because I found out about "The Hunger Games" from media specifically designed to MAKE me like it, then I have a creeping doubt in the back of my head as to whether I truly enjoyed the work or if my feelings where tainted by the greedy hands of the advertising industry.

It sounds pretty paranoid to think that some TV ads have enough power to sway the way we feel about things. If you are anything like me (for your sake I hope you are not, but I just needed a good transition), you could probably argue that you have never run out of your home to buy something just because you saw a commercial for it, and although that's probably true, I wouldn't start patting yourself on the back just yet. The advertising industry makes between 300 to 680 BILLION Dollars a year. Go ahead, take some time to wrap your head around that number and the implications behind it. This money is not only spent on filming and printing advertisement, a good chunk goes to research to find the most efficient way to have an effect on the public. There's actually mad scientists figuring out ways to trick you into getting crap you don't need and they are pretty good at it. The companies with the highest marketing budgets tend to make the most profit because advertisement works. One commercial may not get an immediate reaction from you, but constant subliminal bombardment, brand recognition and psychological manipulation will definitely do the trick and that always makes me wonder.

I understand that in the way I see the world is a combination of nature and nurture so it can be argued that my opinions aren't truly my own, but they do belong to me, and so I have decided to make a stand against the huge monster of advertisement.

Thank you for letting me know that things exist oh puppet-masters of marketing, but I will stand my ground and decide WHEN, HOW, WHERE and WHY I will enjoy something. I will give things merit according to my own point system and not the ratings you manipulate because when we let you "guide" our tastes we end up with crap like Fifty Shades of Justin Bieber at Twilight featuring Kanye West and this cannot be tolerated anymore.