November 30, 2003

Cult Leadership for Dummies

Author's note: This piece was originally intended as an article for Verbosity before the webzine folded in 1997.

In 1978, more than 900 cultists in Jonestown perished after drinking cyanide-laced punch upon the order of their charismatic leader, Jim Jones. In 1993, a tense stand-off at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, ended in tragedy with 80 cult members dead in the wake of a fire of still-debated origins. Four years later, 39 Heaven's Gate cultists committed suicide under the leadership of Marshall Applewhite to shed their earthly "containers" and join a spaceship traveling behind the Hale-Bopp comet.

Certainly, these tragic incidents received quite a bit of attention from the media. Not all cults, however, are quite so lucky. Each year, thousands of cults pop up around the world and go virtually unnoticed by society at large. Sure, you've looked around; unfortunately, none of the cults in your immediate area seem quite right for you. Have all of your options proven either a bit too freaky, or a tad overly-militaristic, or perhaps a little too polytheistic? What is a sensible person seeking alternative spiritual enlightenment to do? Why, start your own cult, of course!

Of course, that sounds like a daunting task. Fear not, loyal readers; Verbosity Magazine is here to help. With these simple steps, you can have your own cult up, running, and noticed in a matter of weeks. So, without further ado...

Creating Your Own Cult in Six Easy Steps

Step One: Come up with some wacky religious belief around which to base your budding religion. People aren't going to follow you if you don't stand out from the crowd -- particularly if you're placed in the position to eventually ask them to kill themselves (which occurs surprisingly frequently in the average cult). For instance, perhaps your cult could believe that Three's Company is actually the holy word of the mighty Rit-tar, sent to encourage men to live with multiple female roommates.

Step Two: You'll need a catchy name, both for yourself and the cult. A good pseudonym will command the respect of your followers, as well as reveal your peaceful and benevolent nature to the world. Try something like "Sunbeam," "Dewdrop," or "Bill G." As for the cult's name, it really should be something that sounds vaguely theistic. For example, the "Church of the Day After" sounds like it might have some sort of religious significance.

Step Three: Recruit followers. Lots of them. It's just more lungs amongst which to disperse the FBI's tear gas when it eventually comes.

Step Four: Now, you'll want to find a compound. A nice ranch in a secluded area of the Midwest works well. You'll want to be close enough to town that you can stumble in and scare the locals from time to time, but far enough away that they can't see your strange and mystic rituals. (You did develop some strange and mystic rituals along with Step 1, didn't you?).

Step Five: You'll need some form of income for your cult; ranch houses don't just grow on trees. The hip, post-industrial thing to do in order to pay for cultic activity seems to be web design. If you feel like that's what your god and/or gods want, go for it. Other means of raising funds include selling children, performing sketch comedy in local senior citizen communities, and theft.

Step Six: At this point, you'll want to begin stockpiling weapons -- just to be on the safe side. Sure, you're a peaceful, benevolent occult figurehead, but some people just don't understand the First Amendment.

That should take care of it! In six simple steps, you now have your very own cult and, if you followed the directions, a dedicated body of followers. Speaking of which, anyone that would like to send online donations to the Church of Verbosity should send their credit card information to our editorial staff at the earliest possible convenience. Thanks for your support. May Bleepo smile upon you in all your endeavors.

Posted by Jess at 12:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 29, 2003

Happy Broomcloset Day!

It's November 29, and that means that it's time for everyone's second favorite November holiday: Broomcloset Day! For those not familiar with the event, today marks the eight-year anniversary of the launch of my other website, the Virtual Broomcloset. So, if you're a fan of computer games about space janitors that reached the apex of their popularity over a decade ago, feel free to drop by and join the festivities.

Meanwhile, I just realized that last night's entry was my one-hundredeth post here at Ye Olde Blog. Thanks to everyone out there who's actually been reading my ramblings on a quasi-regular basis--especially those who have been so kind as to blogroll me. I have to admit that I was skeptical about this whole blogging thing at first, but like the vast majority of the blogosphere, I'm now proud to say that I'm thoroughly addicted.

Posted by Jess at 09:54 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 28, 2003

Be warned that this entry is backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS!

I recently made the terrible mistake of buying a ten-dollar copy of Civilization 3 from the Circuit City bargain bin to kill some time while my wife studies for her upcoming board exams. Needless to say, the game has consumed a ridiculous amount of my time over the past few days--just like Civilization, Civilization 2, and Alpha Centauri before it. In fact, it's gotten so bad that I'm seriously considering asking my wife to hide the CD-ROM from me so I won't be tempted to spend my every waking moment playing the game. If my condition doesn't show dramatic improvement in the very near future, I think I might need an intervention.

The worst part is that I'm not even particularly enjoying playing it. In fact, playing Civilization 3 seems to put me in a bad mood more than anything else. Nevertheless, I feel compelled by some unknown force to keep slaving away at moving tiny little tiles around my screen for hours on end. Now that I think about it, though, I had almost the exact same experience with SimCity 3000. Maybe I just need to avoid the city/empire building genre altogether.

Of course, I still can't help but laugh every time I see Emperor Ghandi threaten the Iroquois city of Moscow with stealth bombers in the year 1926, noting that his words are "backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS!" Some things never change.

Posted by Jess at 11:08 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving!

The lead sentence from this AP article running in the Athens Banner-Herald today:

Turkey and trots are just part of the Thanksgiving celebrations in store today.
Personally, I'm hoping that the trots won't enter into my Thanksgiving Day festivities.

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!

Posted by Jess at 10:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 26, 2003

Best. Comment. Ever.

A couple of months ago, I posted an entry that discussed new technology being tested at Johns Hopkins that would allow doctors to perform virtual examinations using robots. I titled the post "Short Circuit 3" in reference to the 1986 film starring Ally Sheedy, Steve Guttenberg, and a zany robot by the name of Johnny Five--not to mention its slightly less star-studded sequel. Anyway, someone posted the following comment on this long-forgotten entry yesterday:

hi there,

I am the head of Tristar - we own the rights to the 'Short Circuit' series. I know you think I am probably a 'square' but listen up hepcats.

The next Short Circuit film is already in production - Johhny 5 is back and this time he's just as crazy!

Without giving too much away, Johnny 5 falls in love, could it be with a new military Robot called Madonna? (Mutually Assured Destruction of Nuclear Nanite Application). I aint telling.

There are all sorts of hi-jinks as you would expect. Have you ever seen a robot dance the Macarena, you will!

Keep watching the skies.

Posted by: Head of Tristar entertainment at November 25, 2003 11:38 AM

Absolutely hilarious. Oh, and thanks for dropping by, Mr. Blake!

Posted by Jess at 09:18 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 25, 2003

Free Stuff!!!

Did I mention that my department finally got desperate enough for instructors that they offered me my own section of intro to American politics for the spring semester? Well, they did, which means I'm now in the process of developing my own course for the first time--choosing textbooks, writing a syllabus, developing lectures, planning assignments, and so forth.

It's a fair bit of work, but I've discovered an unexpected bonus along the way. I just found out that the publisher whose textbook I adopted is sending me a free selection of overheads, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, and other course supplements to go along with my desk copy of the textbook. How much of a dork does it make me that I'm already excited about the package arriving?

Then again, since it's being shipped to my home address via UPS, I'll probably never see it.

Posted by Jess at 11:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 24, 2003

T-shirts 'n' smut

The "Christmas Field Guide" edition of Abercrombie and Fitch's A&F Quarterly is available now in stores, and while I haven't seen it myself, Snopes provides a rather thorough overview of its contents. No stranger to controversy, it seems that the popular clothing retailer has gone all-out for its holiday catalog, packing its 280 pages with a wide variety of nude, semi-nude, and sexually suggestive photographs. Snopes argues that the catalog could accurately be described as "soft-core porn" due to its depictions of young women and men in various states of undress. As one might expect considering Abercrombie's teenaged target demographic, the catalog has already created a bit of a stir.

Then again, maybe Abercrombie and Fitch is onto something with all the nudity. After all, if their models aren't wearing shirts, they can't be wearing shirts with offensive Asian caricatures on them.

Perhaps the oddest part of the "Christmas Field Guide," however, is the brief primer on group sex that apparently appears underneath a two-page photo spread featuring seven men and four women sitting naked in a shallow pool of water. After helpfully reminding readers that group sex "can involve an unlimited quantity of potential lovers...friendly or anonymous," the crack team of A&F Quarterly researchers delve a bit further into the history of the orgy. Here's an excerpt:

Orgies and group sex were common in the Middle Ages. Promiscuity was popular with both the peasantry and the nobility. Since divorce was forbidden by the Church, adultery was common and socially accepted.
Now, I'll admit that holding a bachelor's degree in history doesn't necessarily make one an expert on the Middle Ages, but I can say with some degree of confidence that describing adultery as "socially accepted" during the Middle Ages--whether common and/or popular--is a bit of a stretch. Then again, now that I think about it, I'm not entirely sure how relevant adultery is to a discussion of group sex in the first place. Sure, the two are connected, but I'm not sure whether they should be used interchangeably in a historical context.

Whatever happened to the good old days of the Sears Wishbook, where the most scandalous thing you'd find between the covers was a middle-aged model wearing flannel pajamas?

Posted by Jess at 12:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 23, 2003

Tales from the Classroom VII: Teachers are People, Too

Much like my parents, I've spent my entire life showing up for everything--appointments, meetings, parties--ten minutes early, and my classes are no exception. Unfortunately, a person can only spend so long writing a lecture outline on the chalkboard and mindlessly shuffling through papers before class starts. Sooner or later, I have no choice but to engage my students in casual conversation while we're waiting for class to begin--that is, unless I just want to stand there behind the lectern and stare off into space vacantly (the merits of which are perhaps underrated).

As an instructor, however, striking up a conversation with the class isn't quite as easy as it sounds. After all, many of the students--especially the freshmen--haven't come to the realization yet that I'm a real, live human being with a wide range of interests and not just that guy who grades their exams and seems really interested in politics for some reason. That being said, I've tried chatting about current events with my students on occasion ("How about that kooky California recall, huh?"), but they tend to interpret such discussions as sly attempts on my part to sneak a few extra unwanted minutes of political science into their days and, in turn, don't appreciate it one bit.

On the other hand, idle chitchat doesn't seem to work all that well either. When I ask my students if they've seen Matrix Revolutions yet or if they're planning to go to the big game over the weekend, I can't help but feel that I'm coming off a bit like Dr. Evil in Austin Powers. "I'm with it. I'm hip." <insert creepy, robotic Macarena>

In a way, it's similar to when I bump into my students in public. When they see me outside of the classroom, their first reaction is usually surprise ("What are you doing at Old Navy?!?"), closely followed by fear, as if I've made a point to come to Chili's during their shift to talk to them about their performance on the most recent exam and not for the chicken soft tacos. Eventually, however, they settle on a sense of novelty as they begin to feel like they've not only unraveled a bit of the conundrum that is their Intro to American Politics instructor (" he likes performance fleeces/chicken soft tacos."), but also discovered my deepest, darkest secret.

As it turns out, when I'm not teaching, I sometimes wear--brace yourselves--jeans and a t-shirt. Scandalous, I know.

Posted by Jess at 06:40 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 21, 2003

Welcome to!

In the past day alone, approximately fifteen people have reached this site by searching for the phrase "Jacko on his backo" and variations thereof. Once again, I marvel at the mysteries of Google--and the capricious zeitgeist of the World Wide Web.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I should get back to Army of Darkness on--believe it or not--American Classic Movies.

Posted by Jess at 10:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 19, 2003

Since too few people are blogging about Michael Jackson today...

Actual headline from the front page of today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Jacko is Backo Atop the Tabbos."

I'll begrudgingly accept "Jacko" and "backo" (mostly out of respect for the "Jacko on his Backo" sketch from SNL a few years back), but abbreviating "tabloids" as "tabbos" is a bit of a stretch as far as I'm concerned.

The Journal-Constitution--yet another reason why the city of Atlanta remains little more than a Delta hub with a bunch of professional sports teams.

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It was a grueling hour and a half, but I passed my oral comps! I shall now consume copious amounts of celebratory sushi.

Posted by Jess at 05:18 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

ABD Dreams

The big day is here; my oral comprehensive exam is at two o'clock this afternoon. As of right now, all I really know about the process is that I'll sit down in a conference room with the four members of my doctoral committee, and they'll ask me a series of questions about political science for a couple of hours. Of course, I would probably know more about it if my e-mail client didn't keep filtering messages with the word "oral" in the subject line as spam.

current music: Talking Heads, "Psycho Killer"

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November 18, 2003

My precious...

Sweet sassy molassy, the extended edition of The Two Towers is an amazing film!

Posted by Jess at 03:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 17, 2003

Baby, it's unseasonably warm outside

In what's already becoming an annual tradition, my wife and I celebrated our make-believe mid-November holiday over the weekend. Basically, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, we set aside a Saturday or Sunday to decorate our Christmas tree, listen to carols, and prepare a holiday dinner complete with turkey cutlets, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and Kourtney's Stupendous Fat-Free Pumpkin Pie(TM). This year, we were lucky enough to add a viewing of Elf to the festivities.

We're still trying to settle on a good name for the holiday, though. The Seinfeld fan in me wants to go with Festivus, but the Homestar Runner fan in me prefers Novemberween. Any suggestions?

Posted by Jess at 07:28 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 15, 2003

Tales from the Classroom VI: Sonic Assault

As if yesterday's lesson plan alone wasn't enough to make teaching a challenge, about five minutes into my afternoon class someone from outside the building began blaring (on a car stereo?) Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" so loudly that I actually had to speak up in order to be heard over it. Now, I should note that this wasn't just a few seconds of the song as a car drove past the building, but rather the entire three minutes and sixteen seconds--start to finish. Not surprisingly, we never covered that particular dilemma in any of my teaching seminars. Something tells me that Socrates himself couldn't lead a fruitful discussion under such torturous conditions.

Then, as if the scenario wasn't odd enough already, the sonic assault promptly ended when the song was over. It didn't fade out as a car drove into the distance, and no other song began playing when the track finished. It just ceased, as if the listener had gotten his or her "Uptown Girl" fix and was now sated and ready to carry on with the day. At the risk of sounding paranoid, if I didn't know better, I would think that someone was messing with me.

On a more positive note, at least it wasn't "Just the Way You Are."

Posted by Jess at 09:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 14, 2003

Tales from the Classroom V: Jess' Political Grab Bag

Topics on the slate for today's 50-minute discussion:

  • The impact of the economic upswing and war in Iraq on Democratic campaign strategy
  • Howard Dean's decision to opt out of public funding
  • Campaign finance and the influence of money in politics
  • The roles of the media in American politics
  • Debating the "liberal bias" in the media
  • Bush v. Gore: evaluating the 2000 election and the function of the electoral college
Can you tell by the multitude of seemingly unrelated topics covered that we're bearing down on: 1) an exam, 2) Thanksgiving break, and 3) the end of the semester? I just hope my students don't end up with mental whiplash by the time class is over.

Posted by Jess at 07:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 12, 2003

Since I know she reads the site...


Sign courtesy of the thoroughly awesome Church Sign Generator.

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November 11, 2003

Indiana Jones's Diary

With apologies to Helen Fielding, Steven Spielburg, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Renée Zellweger, and my readers...

Tuesday 2 February
176 lbs., alcohol units 3 (excellent), Nazis killed 7 (good), calories 1600 (v.g.).

Artifacts recovered year-to-date:
Noah's Ark
Dagger of Amon Ra
Hippolyta's Girdle
Philosopher's Stone
Spear of Destiny

Bad day at work. Just returned from Lost City of Korma yesterday with Spear of Destiny. Barely had chance to unpack before Marcus started bothering me about overdue final grades from last semester. Says students starting to get upset. Tried to explain that Nazis would use Spear to conquer Europe if not recovered. Marcus made snide comment about tenure review coming up. Didn't hear him complaining when he was mentioned in Life cover story on recovery of Noah's Ark.

Sunday 7 February
184 lbs. (shouldn't have gone back for seconds on chilled monkey brains), alcohol units 10 (v.g. considering party), Nazis killed 1 (excellent), calories ???

Currently in Peking with Dad looking for Helmet of Ying Zheng. Good: local cuisine delicious, not many Nazis around (almost positive bellhop I shot was Nazi, though). Bad: Dad keeps lecturing me about everything. "The dahg'sh name wahsh Indiana." Whatever, Dad.

Attacked by (Nazi?) swordsman in bazaar this morning. Shot him in chest after he finished waving around sword. Ha! That never gets old. Glad nobody has ever thought to do that to me when I'm waving around whip.

Friday 12 February
180 lbs., alcohol units 2 (excellent), Nazis killed 14 (stumbled onto Hitler Youth rally, couldn't help myself), calories 1200 (v.g.).

Finally back in U.S. Didn't find helmet. Marcus isn't going to be happy. Received letter from Willie today saying she plans to be in town on Valentine's Day, wants to know if we can get together for dinner. I've had my heart ripped out before (literally!), don't know if I want to go down that road again. What to do?

Tuesday 16 Feburary
178lbs. (almost back to fighting weight!), alcohol units 3, Nazis killed 3 (v.g.), calories 1800.

Went to dinner with Willie Sunday night. Bad idea! Willie not nearly as tolerable without Short Round there for comic relief. Wonder what Short Round is doing these days. Should probably write him.

P.S. Recovered Relic of True Cross on Monday. Marcus happy again. I'll never figure that man out.

Posted by Jess at 03:14 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dude, I'm getting a yada, yada, yada...

After shopping around for the past couple of months, I ordered a new computer system from the fine folks at Dell earlier today. On the off-chance that anyone reading this blog is also currently in the market for a new system, Dell has some great promotions running for the next couple of days, including a free 48x CD-RW drive, a double memory upgrade, a free 80GB hard drive upgrade, and a $200 instant rebate. By the time you take all of those into account, it's a tough deal to resist.

Posted by Jess at 01:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 10, 2003

Matrix Revolutions: An Eyelid-Flipping Good Time


If we're to believe this cartoon from the campus newspaper, The Matrix Revolutions is so good/bad/long/confusing/whatever that it will in fact TURN YOUR EYELIDS UPSIDE DOWN!

Spoiler-free thoughts on the final film in the Matrix trilogy follow.

I caught a showing of Revolutions last week, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised considering the critical shellacking the film has received--after I got over the fact that my personal theories about the series proved completely wrong, that is. In fact, the ending the Wachowskis crafted to their series was significantly more subtle than I ever expected. On the whole, I felt that Revolutions was a notable improvement over Reloaded--tighter, more focused, and better paced. For instance, unlike the utterly dispensable playground brawl between Smith and Neo in Reloaded, the action sequences in Revolutions actually felt like they meant something to the overall narrative. Plus, speaking of Agent Smith, it was great to see Hugo Weaving chewing even more scenery in the role, bringing his character's absolute loathing of humanity back to the forefront throughout the film.

Nevertheless, Revolutions is not without its own failings. Once again, the dialogue is atrocious at times--especially in scenes prominently featuring Trinity and Neo. Moreover, whereas Morpheus seems like little more than an afterthought in terms of the story's ultimate resolution, the film perhaps dwells a bit too much on such relatively minor characters as the Kid, the Merovingian, and Private Vasquez from Aliens.

That being said, Revolutions remains an enjoyable enough movie. The original Matrix still remains my favorite in the series, but Reloaded and Revolutions don't go so far as to make me wish the Wachowskis had stopped after the first go-around. In the world of big-budget blockbusters, I guess that's all you can ask.

Meanwhile, Jay Pinkerton and David Wong offer a thoroughly hilarious round-up of the various fan theories on how the series would conclude after Reloaded entitled The Matrix Resolutions. Or, if you're really feeling daring, you can check out Galvatron's Matrix theories.

Posted by Jess at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bizarro McDonald's

Yesterday, my wife and I hiked to Anna Ruby Falls in Unicoi State Park and visited the faux-German alpine village of Helen, Georgia. On the way there, we briefly stopped off at a McDonald's in Cornelia to, ahem, "tour the facilities" (don't tell Mayor McCheese). We soon came to discover, however, that this was no ordinary McDonald's. A decidedly non-red-and-yellow color scheme dominated the restaurant, and tasteful art adorned the walls. A two-sided stone fireplace surrounded by leather sofas served as the focal point of the dining area, and a desert case stocked with a wide selection of cakes flanked the front counter. The cashiers were wearing ties, and the cooks were decked out in white chef jackets. Closer inspection revealed a menu--handheld, not up on the wall--that featured such items as ribeye steak, panini sandwiches, and roast beef. I almost expected to see kids jacked into a virtual reality McPlayland and a McBidet in the restroom.

Frankly, I felt a little underdressed in jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt.

Posted by Jess at 07:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 08, 2003

Looking for a digital camera

Last week's beautiful hiking trip in Virginia and this week's adoption of the Notorious K.I.P. have driven home the fact that my wife and I really need a digital camera to capture some of these moments in life. I've been doing a bit of shopping with a possible Christmas purchase in mind, and the HP PhotoSmart 735 has already caught my eye. Still, I know a decent chunk of the people who visit here have significantly more experience than I do with digital cameras, and I'd appreciate any insight you could offer concerning recommended (or unrecommended) brands, megapixels, optical/digital zooms, doohickies, and other thingamabobs. Thanks!

current music: The Vince Guaraldi Trio, "Skating"

Posted by Jess at 08:23 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

November 05, 2003

Vanity of vanities; all is vanity

The weekly Carnival of the Vanities is up over at Wizbang, and it turns out that my "Masked Fisherman" entry made the cut. Now, I just need to get in touch with some high-powered network executives and make this thing happen. Actually, as teedz suggested, I should probably contact PETA first to check up on that whole "fishing with hand grenades" thing.

Meanwhile, to change the subject completely, my wife and I adopted a dog yesterday from the local animal control shelter. He's a black cocker spaniel puppy, and we've named him Kip. You can see his official mug shot from the shelter here. Sadly, our beloved 19-year-old cocker spaniel, Milo, passed away a couple of weeks ago, but we're looking forward to making Kip a part of the family.

Posted by Jess at 05:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 04, 2003

Must-Be TV: The Masked Fisherman

masked.gifI've been kicking around this idea for the past few years, and with both reality television and extreme sports soaring to new heights of popularity by the day, it seems like the right time to unleash my idea for an extreme fishing show--The Masked Fisherman--on the world.

Here's the setup. Our host, the enigmatic Masked Fisherman, is an anonymous angler/munitions expert. His identity guarded by his trademark black ski mask, the Masked Fisherman travels to a new lake at an undisclosed location each week with his faithful camera crew. Once there, he sets out onto the lake in his souped-up pontoon boat, searching for the perfect fishing spot using all the latest high-tech fish-finding technology. Then, after he's searched out the ideal location, the fun begins--unless you're a fish, that is.

Here's where the show diverges from most televised fishing shows. Unlike conventional fishermen, the Masked Fisherman doesn't trade in rods, reels, lures, bait, and all that non-extreme rubbish. Instead, he fishes the way that God intended: using small-scale explosives. Drawing upon the impressive munitions arsenal housed in his tacklebox, the Masked Fisherman will rely on his trusty hand grenades. When he pulls out the pin on the first grenade, the show's signature tune--Blur's Song 2 (also known as "the woo-hoo song")--will begin blaring. The Masked Fisherman will then throw the hand grenade into the water, followed by several more, the explosions causing dead fish to float to the surface by the dozen. Once his work is done and the song has ended, the Masked Fisherman will simply use a fishing net to collect his catch. The end result? In less than five minutes, the Masked Fisherman will have caught more fish than most televised fishermen do in a career.

If Jesus was the Fisher of Men, then the Masked Fisherman is THE MAN of fishers.

That's far from the entire show, however. Naturally, the conservative local game wardens aren't going to appreciate the Masked Fisherman's extreme stylings. Therefore, the show will end each week with a Dukes of Hazzard-esque car chase in which the Masked Fisherman attempts to elude the local authorities. Circumstances permitting, this chase will of course include the Masked Fisherman jumping his vehicle (the Masked Fishervan) over numerous bales of hay and broken-down bridges. Once he's escaped with his catch in tow, it's back to his top-secret headquarters to scout out a location for the following week's episode.

Of course, the show will be shot in grainy black-and-white with frenetic MTV-style editing to make it look more X-TREME--er, extreme. Now, if I can just figure out a way to incorporate some bikini-clad models into the show format, I think The Masked Fisherman is ready for SpikeTV. Or at least ESPN2.

Posted by Jess at 09:30 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 03, 2003

Here I come a-wassailing

One of my favorite times of year is officially here; Spinner has started broadcasting its annual slate of Christmas music stations. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I'll probably end up listening to at least an hour or so of Christmas music per day over the next two months. Sure, that would probably drive a lesser man insane, but I'm confident that I'm up to the task.

current music: Frank Sinatra, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
current mood: holly jolly

Posted by Jess at 04:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 02, 2003

Home, where my thought's escaping

There's not much in this world that I love more than the smell of decaying leaves in the crisp autumn air.

My wife and I are visiting my parents in Southwest Virginia this weekend--the first time in months that we've spent any significant amount of time outside of Athens. We were a couple of weeks late for catching the autumn leaves at the height of their color, but it's still beautiful. We went on a gorgeous six-mile hike to the Stoney Creek Falls in Dungannon yesterday (photographs forthcoming), briefly dropped by my alma mater, had dinner at the incomparable Ridgewood Barbeque, and got home in time to watch my other alma mater beat Miami in a great football game. Quality time was spent with my parents and my beloved cat, Ringo. Much homemade fruit salad was devoured. Dr. Enuf was quaffed. What more could I ask for?

I've missed being home.

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