I haven't been able to write this week.  I've hardly been able to think.  Between a partial failure in my creative pursuits, my frustrations with my financial goals, and the news, I've been feeling overloaded, overcomplicated, and just muddled to the point where I couldn't really think straight.  At times like this, I know I need to just drift away, float off, and just let go.  There are two techniques I use to do this, and neither of them involve drugs.  One of these techniques is meditation.  Closing my eyes, breathing deeply, and allowing everything to settle out.  The other technique involves listening to the music of Jack Johnson.  I just find my Jack Johnson playlist, hit shuffle, and go.  Here are some of the songs that I listen to.  Enjoy. 

"So, what do you think this piece looks like?"

"Well...Um...I think...Maybe it's...It could be...Ahh..."  I had something on the tip of my tongue, but I did not want to say that I thought the piece looked like a giant penis.

"I think the piece looks like a giant penis."

Volume 11 by Hunter Red.  Serialization to begin August 7th at Redertainment.com

What Is Satire?

Satire is a kind of writing that seeks to put everyday things into an absurd context for the purpose of pointing out the inherent absurdity of that thing.  Most satire is directed at political figures, but can also be directed at celebrities, businessmen, athletes, as well as typical ordinary citizens.  Satire is most often used to make some sort of statement that the writer feels is being ignored by most of society.  Satire can be a way to put an issue in a context that is more understandable for the audience.
An example of satire is the Monty Python sketch "The Ministry of Silly Walks".  "The Ministry of Silly Walks", as performed by John Cleese and Michael Palin, is meant to point out the many, various, and often useless departments in the British federal government.  The concept of a department of the government giving grants to people developing "silly walks" is of an absurd nature, while also being a slight exaggeration of things that were being funded by the British government.

Many other sketch comedy troupes utilize satire in their acts.  Examples of this include "It's Illegal To Say" by The Whitest Kids U'Know, the CCCP-1 Episode of SCTV, and the Communism sketch by The Kids In The Hall.
Although often presented as such, a satirical piece of work is not necessarily comedic.  As example of a non-comedic satirical work is Arthur Miller's The Crucible.  First performed in 1953, The Crucible takes many of the elements of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which people attacked as a witch hunt, and applied it to an actual witch hunt.

Other examples of non-comedic satire include George Orwell's 1984, Animal Farm, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and Warren Miller’s The Siege of Harlem.

Weekend Plans

There is something that I, along with many others, will be watching this weekend.
This is something I’ve been looking forward to for a while and am so excited to finally see.
I've seen many various versions of this throughout the years, and have always had a good experience with them.
I remember watching one of these with my father.  Maybe that’s why this holds a special place in my heart
Like many others, this weekend I’m going to get my popcorn, my giant thing of soda, get comfortable, and watch-
golf!  The Open Championship is this weekend, and my plan is to watch eight hours of coverage on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, culminating in the Final Round on Sunday.  I can’t wait.  What are you doing?

Red Review- XIII- The Series

Red Review: XIII: The Series
In 2003, a video game called XIII was released by Ubisoft.  Upon its release, it received a lot of praise from the nerd community, and not just because it contained the voice talents of David Duchovney.  The game was lauded for its conspiratorial storyline, unique weaponry, and cell shaded graphics.  Despite this praise, a sequel to this game has yet to materialize.  However, this is not the end of the story of XIII.
In 2008, a miniseries called XIII: The Conspiracy was produced by the Canadian studio  Prodigy Pictures and Cipango Films.  The miniseries received mixed reviews, and is mostly known for being one of the first projects Val Kilmer did after his long drought from acting.  In my opinion, the miniseries was not that bad, and may have served as a jumping off point for a full run television series.  When the miniseries was released, not much noise was made in the nerd community.  The only way I knew about XIII: The Conspiracy was by way of Salt Lake City Weekly’s Bill Frost.
Earlier this month, Bill Frost wrote of a television series based on XIII.  Again, not much noise was made about this series in the nerd community.  I thought this might be because it is a Canadian series getting rerun on Reelz Channel, which is apparently a channel that actually exists.  Being a voracious watcher of television, and a owner of XIII: The Conspiracy on blu-ray, I eagerly anticipated this series showing up on my TiVo.  Then I watched it.
XIII: The Series sucks.  Hard.  Very.  Fucking.  Hard.  XIII: The Series sucks in every way that a TV series can suck.  The acting sucks.  The plot development sucks.  The character development sucks.  The way the show is shot sucks.  The locations where scenes in the show take place sucks.  The sound design sucks.  The pacing of the show sucks.  The broadcast quality of the show sucks.  This show completely, utterly, and completely sucks.
XIII: The Series does feature Aisha Tyler, playing the role of Special Agent Lauren Jones.  So, if you are a HUGE fan of Aisha Tyler, you might want to check this out.  Other than that, I cannot recommend XIII: The Series to anybody at anytime for any reason.  Not even as something to watch purely as a joke.  Because, if you want to watch something as a joke, there is always Syfy, and anything, ANYTHING, that runs on Syfy, or most any other network for that matter, is better than XIII: The Series.
XIII: The Series: F

Fake Oatmeal

If you’ve been following the story of The Oatmeal’s problems with their former lawyer Charles Carreon, you are either a huge fan of The Oatmeal, a huge fan of lawyers, or spend too much money online.  As a part of this ongoing argument, the creator of The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, promised to take a picture of himself with the money he raised for charity if in fact he reached the goal he intended to reach.  On Monday, July 09, 2012, Mr. Inman followed through on that promise.

These are pictures posted on The Oatmeal’s website.  These are pictures of a lot of money.  In response to a number of comments about these pictures, Matthew Inman, under the profile theoatmeal, posted this:

I'm seeing a lot of the same questions, so Ill do my best to answer them here.
As you can see, there's more than 4 cents on the floor in the giant FU picture.  I mistakenly thought it was 54 cents, so the actual amount pictured is $211,233.54 instead of $211,233.04. 
Transporting the money:
I had to order the money from Bank of America about a week ahead of time and then go pick it up at a local branch.  I didn't want to take the photo of the money while inside the bank because they only had a tiny room and I felt a bit more secure taking it offsite to somewhere private.  One of my oldest friends happens to be tall, scary, heavily bearded, and have a large selection of (licensed) firearms.  I asked him to come with me and play bodyguard.  We took the money to my office and shot pictures of the photos on the floor.  It took about two hours and we returned it to the bank, where they machine-counted all the bills.   The whole experience was basically like the movie "Bodyguard" except Whitney Houston had a beard and guns and no one got naked with Kevin Costner.
The size
$211k in cash actually wasn't that impressive to look at, even in $20 bills.  I expected this huge crate of money.  It was really heavy though, despite being not as gimungus as I'd imagined.  
Rolling in it
I wanted to take a funny photo of me rolling in it, but the act of bathing in money sounded funny in theory but actually doing it felt really braggadocio, so I tried to just keep it classy and post photos of the money arranged in various shapes.
The drawing
I got a little frame for the drawing of FunnyJunk's mother and I'm hoping Carreon will pass it on to him.  
That's it for now! 
-The Oatmeal

This, as well as not disclosing that it is so, gives the impression that these pictures are real, that these pictures are of the real money that was raised.  I believe that this is not the case.  I believe that these pictures were not of real money.

The reasons for this are many.  First of all, even if you order it, there is no way that a bank would have $200,000 worth of physical currency in it.  It is simply not practical.  If a bank robber happened to hit that bank when it happened to have that amount of money in it, the robbers would make out like bandits.  Even if the individual branch it worth in excess of $200,000, there is no way that they would hold that kind of currency in the bank itself.  We learned that from It’s A Wonderful Life.

Besides that, even if you could get that kind of money together, there are much more practical ways to stage a photo shoot with a large sum of money.  Here is how.

The first thing you need, and probably the hardest thing to get a hold of, is the money.  Now, you could go down to Kinko’s and get a vast quantity of blank pieces of green paper for your shoot.  However, the shade of green necessary for the photo shoot may not be available at your local Kinko’s.  Also, Kinko’s no longer exists.  What you need is the kind of money that they use for movie and television shows.  Prop money.  Where can you get that?  eBay.

Prop money is for sale on eBay.  You can buy bundles of $20 bills, in $2000 quantities with the bands intact, for $29.77 a piece.  For the proposed photo shoot, you would need $200,000 worth, or one hundred bundles.  With free shipping, total cost: $297.70

The second thing you need is the gym bag.  Gym bags can be bought in many places.  Amazon.c om sells them for between $20 and $40.

Here is a blue one, similar to the one in the first picture.  With free shipping, cost $25.95.  Total cost so far: $323.65

The third thing you need is the space you intend to shoot at.  All this requires is an apartment, much like the one you may already live in, with a clean carpet or floor, much like the one you may already have, with no furniture, which only requires that you have a couple of guys to help you move things temporarily.  Having a couple of guys over to your place to help move things may require you to compensate them, preferable with beer.  The cost of beer varies from state to state, and may vary depending on how much beer you buy and how many guys you use.  Let’s high ball it, $100.  Total cost so far: $423.65

$423.65.  That’s how much it would have costs to stage this shoot.  $423.65.  I got paid last Friday.  You know how much I put toward paying off debt?  $500.84.  I could have paid to arrange this photo shoot.  In fact, I would, but getting into a new home is more important to me than staging a photo shoot.

This is why I believe The Oatmeal’s photo shoot was staged.  You may disagree with me, but think about this: Which is more likely, the $200,000 option or the $423.65 option?


The Sounds Of Independence Day
by Hunter Red

The light pops of the legal fireworks
The big booms of the illegal fireworks
The oohs and aahs of the crowd watching the sponsored display
The faint squeals of the firetrucks and policecars as they tear through the neighborhoods

Then the time comes for my display
The fuse is light, it goes off...
Is that it?
Says the little girl holding the sparkler
Says the apathetic teenager
I paid how much for that?
Says the guy who paid for the fireworks

The sounds of independence day go on
All throughout the night they go on
All throughout the night
Seriously, all night?
Come on, people
I'm trying to get to sleep!
Some of us do have to work in the morning!

A stream is coming from the device sitting next to my bed
A stream flowing through the mountains
A stream of water that never ends
Stream of water
Damn, I have to pee
Wow, they're still setting them off
What a sight

The Cosmo Quiz
Questions taken from the issue of August 2012 Cosmopolitan Magazine.  The one with Ashley Greene on the cover.  Questions provided were originally answered by Ashley Greene.  Now, the same questions will be answered by Hunter Red.
Name: Hunter Red

My favorite part of my body is:
A.   My legs
B.   My butt
C.   My boobs
D.   My abs
E.   Other
Answer:  E, my hair.  It's what has come to define me and what people remember most about me.  Even if they don't remember me or my name, they remember my hair.

I feel most powerful when:
Answer:  I drive.  I LOVE Ruby, my big fucking SUV.

Three words I would use to describe my style are:
Answer:  Bad, Nonexistent, and Unapologetic

The best love advice I ever got was:
Answer:  Don't be afraid to lose, it happens to us all.

The upside to being in the tabloids is:
Answer:  Free plugs for my writing.

When no one is around, I tend to:
Answer:  Do whatever I was doing before.  If you don't feel confident doing it around people, why do it?

The person I would most be able to tolerate in a cramped, long-distance car ride is:
A.   Kellan Lutz
B.   Jennifer Garner
C.   Sebastian Stan
D.   Other
Answer:  It depends.  Who's driving?

I credit a lot of my success to:
Answer:  The work ethic my father instilled in me.

I'm totally addicted to:
A.   Chocolate
B.   Trashy TV
C.   Twitter
D.   Angry Birds
E.   Other
Answer:  B, Trashy TV.  I just love watching TV that revels in it's bad, raunchy, dirty fun.  While I actively avoid all reality shows, I do LOVE watching trashy British soaps, like Mistresses and Skins.

My secret to looking good is:
A.   Always eating healthy
B.   Going to the gym regularly
C.   Washing my face every night
D.   No secret, I'm really am a vampire who doesn't age
E.   Other
Answer:  E, other.  I don't have a secret to looking good, and it shows.

On a first date, I think a guy should always:
A.   Pay
B.   Pick the restaurant
C.   Dress up
D.   Compliment me (Meaning the girl)
E.   Other
Answer: A, B, C, & D.  Also, try not to dominate the conversation while also not letting the woman talk too much.

I wouldn't mind filming an onscreen kiss with:
A.   Ryan Gosling
B.   Daniel Craig
C.   Jason Segel
D.   Liam Hemsworth
E.   Other
Answer:  A, Ryan Gosling.  Not to slam the other men, but Drive was awesome.

Kissing a guy for the first time:
A.   Tells you just about everything you need to know
B.   Is not a big deal
C.   Is far more difficult when the cameras are rolling
D.   Is something I always miss doing, even when I am in a relationship
E.   Other
Answer:  E.  Kissing a guy for the first time is a big deal as it is the first time you are intimate with that person.  That intimacy changes the relationship forever.

If an up-and-coming young actress asked me for advice, I'd tell her:

Answer:  Do not exclusively do what men like or exclusively what women like.  Do what you like, the way that you like it, with little regard for other people's opinions.

I wish I could fix it.  I wish I knew how to make things decent between this girl and I.  I can't.  I just can't.  As a result, I will just leave.  Leave before I fuck things up even more.  Goodbye.

Volume 11 by Hunter Red.  Serialization to begin August 7th at Redertainment.com

What Do People Hate?

What Do People Hate?
Hunter Red is sitting in his office trying to get blu-ray ripper software to work instead of actually working.  The phone on Hunter Red's desk begins to ring.

Hunter Red-  Oh shit.  Do the feds catch on that quick that I'm ripping off copyright law.

The phone continues to ring.  When Hunter picks it up, he is not met by someone from the feds, it is someone Hunter did some freelance work earlier this year.

Grand Shaw-  Hello, Mr. Red.
It is Grand Shaw, a Republican state legislature representing Utah's 30th Senatorial District.  Hunter served as a speech writer for Senator Shaw during this year's session of the Utah State Legislature.

Hunter Red-  Oh, hello Mr Shaw.  I'm surprised to hear from you.
Grand Shaw-  Why?
Hunter Red-  Because it's no where close to the legislative session, and you hold a general contempt for liberals, such as myself.
Grand Shaw-  Yes, but I like the way that you put the words together in a way that makes me sound smart, which is why I'm calling you today.
Hunter Red-  What do you want?
Grand Shaw-  I'm starting to put together my campaign for the fall.
Hunter Red-  You're only starting now?
Grand Shaw-  Well, I'm facing off against someone from the Democrat party, and you know what a joke that party is.
Hunter Red-  True.  Nationally and locally, the Democratic Party is a fucking joke.
Grand Shaw-  I don't know what you mean by Democratic Party, but I do feel the same way about the Democrat Party.  Anyway, I need a quick statement that can serve as a rallying cry for my supporters.
Hunter Red-  Is this for a web ad, a TV commercial, or-
Grand Shaw-  No, it's for one of those automated phone call recording message things.  I forget what they call it.
Hunter Red-  A robocall?
Grand Shaw-  Yeah, that's it.

Hunter Red takes a to rub his eyes and breathe deeply before speaking.

Hunter Red-  Mr. Shaw, you have a telephone at home, correct?
Grand Shaw-  Yeah.
Hunter Red-  And you've received calls from telemarketers on it, right?
Grand Shaw-  You mean those weasely sons of bitches that just wanna get my hard earned money, yes I have.
Hunter Red-  Have you ever received a call from a telemarketer, but instead of an acutal person on the end of the line, there was a recording.
Grand Shaw-  Yeah.  Gosh darn, that just bugs the living kajigger out of me.
Hunter Red-  Mr. Shaw, most people don't like politicians.  Most people think lower of politicians than they do telemarketers.  Most people don't like it when a telemarketer calls them and all they hear is a recording.  If people don't like it when a telemarketer robocalls them, what makes you think that people will like it when a politician telemarketer calls them.

There is a short pause.

Grand Shaw-  You gotta point there.  So, what do you think I should do?
Hunter Red-  Mr. Shaw, you are a Republican, and I am the type of person who wants to see the Republican Party in it's entirety go down in flames.  So, unless you want to give me money to come up with a good idea, I think you should do the robocalling.
Grand Shaw-  I'll give you $10,000.

Hunter Red is visibly shocked by Grand Shaw saying this.  It takes him a moment, but Hunter finally says-

Hunter Red-  I really like it when a politician personally talks to me.  Whether it's through his office or from himself, a personal touch creates a connection between people that is hard to forget.  I propose that you go out and talk to people.  Not in a formal, structured environment, like a town hall debate or a TV interview, but at a grocery store, as a city festival, or out getting coffee.
Grand Shaw-  I don't drink coffee.
Hunter Red-  Frozen custard then, or whatever, go out and talk to the people face to face.  Actually talking to people will make it more likely that those people will talk to other people about you in a more positive context.
Grand Shaw-  As opposed to a cold, impersonal robocall.
Hunter Red-  Exactly.

There is a short pause.

Grand Shaw-  Okay, where would you propose I do this.
Hunter Red-  How about at the Whole Foods downtown.
Grand Shaw-  Where all those hippies shop?
Hunter Red-  They have gelato.

There is a short pause.

Grand Shaw-  Okay.  I'll be there.  Ten AM, Saturday morning, see you there.
Hunter Red-  See me- What?

Grand Shaw has hung up the phone.  There would be a dial tone, but we live in the digital age where such things have been eliminated.  Hunter Red sits as his desk staring at his phone before hanging it up.  Hunter Red rubs his eyes and breathes deeply again, before saying-

Hunter Red-  His money had better be worth it.

Then a chime is heard coming from Hunter's computer.  The chime tells him that an email has been sent from Grand Shaw, informing him that they amount they agreed on has been sent to Hunter Red's account.

Hunter Red-  Oh look, it is.


There it is.  The relationship I was trying to develop with this person is over.  Done.  Finished.  Finished because of me.  Because of what I did.  Me.  Fuck.