Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Devil’s Relationship Advice For The 21st Century “Gentleman”

I’m going to be serious here. Usually when I write blogs or occasionally create a funny “Matt Hunter Says” video, it’s about something fairly light-hearted, maybe a tad controversial that has had some effect on my life or the public consciousness.

But this one isn’t the least bit funny or controversial. Nope, I have no “funny ha-ha” graphics or cartoony music or silly voices for this one.

This deals with the way men are treating women these days. Some might call it “domestic violence”. I’ve seen it in the media, I’ve heard it in music, I’ve seen it going on all around me, both peripherally and close to home. I’ve seen it going on with old friends, new friends, neighbors, and acquaintances…to the point that it makes me sick, and I can’t take it anymore. I’m tired of seeing it, hearing it, and having my heart broken by watching those close to me dealing with it.

Perhaps it stems from the “guido” mentality that has been poisoning our culture thanks to MTV’s “reality” programming. Maybe it comes from the theatrics of the rap/hip-hop culture. Maybe it comes from the constant mantra being chanted all around us that we should all follow our own individual desires and dreams, and put ourselves before all else.

It seems to me as though the traditional morals of courtship, relationships, and the bond between man and woman have been so undermined in the last several decades that nobody knows what they mean anymore. Dudes are putting their status in society on such a high pedestal that as long as they have a fruitful career, their own house, a nice car, a full wallet and a hot girl on their arm, they’re complete. It doesn’t seem to matter to them how they treat said hot girl.

I honestly wonder sometimes if I was the only man in the universe raised with the mentality of being a gentleman. I know deep down that I wasn’t, otherwise I wouldn’t have joined a college fraternity based on that ideology, or met so many friends in my current life who share the same principles.

There’s a mental process some dudes go through. There’s a little devil on their shoulders, who puts ideas into their heads. This little devil sticks his mind-controlling pitchfork into their upper brains, and the pointy, poisonous tip of his tail into their hearts, forcing them to use only a numb heart, a perverted mind (said “upper brain) and an uninhibited “lower brain” (AKA “dick”). They are then forced to heed this advice:

The Devil’s Relationship Advice For The 21st Century “Gentleman”:

“You have a hot girl, right? Why marry her? Why bother forming any sort of emotional attachment, as long as she’s available to pose for you in front of your friends for their approval? Why bother investing the time to engage in or encourage her own interests, get to know her group of friends, or ask her what’s on her mind or how she feels on a given day, when you can just snap your fingers and have her jump into bed with you for your own sexual pleasure? Just throw out a half-hearted “I love you” every once in a while. Maybe buy her a TV, or some jewelry.

If she does or says something that you disapprove of, well, that’s unacceptable. What harm could a little training do? If a dog pees on the rug, rub his nose in it, right? So, if your woman smiles at someone else, stays out too late with her friends, or exhibits habits that are socially unacceptable in your eyes, why not yank the leash a little by calling her a slut? That’s like saying “heel!” If you have an argument and she says something too blunt, why not give her a little slap in the face? Hell, a dog can take a little spritz of water or a shake from a can full of pennies, right? Lets them know their limits. It’s the same with your girl, right? A little reprimand here, a little slap there, maybe a push, a shove, a yank. Nobody has to see it either. Nobody has to tell YOU how to handle things. Best keep these things a private matter…she’s not going to tell anyone. Why would she? You buy her everything she could ever want. You give her so much pleasure just by being with her…she can handle a little pain if it improves her life in the long run.

Oh, her friends are getting a little worried about her? No matter. Just put your game face on, and be sure she does the same. A little make-up will hide that bruise you gave her last night. After all, you didn’t mean to squeeze her so hard. It just happened. Let her invite her friends over for dinner and a few drinks. Make them feel welcome, show them how in love you are, how perfect your life together is. Your little disagreements now and then aren’t THEIR concern, and they’ll go home soon enough.

If she somehow feels the need to express discomfort in front of guests, just make sure she’s good and sauced when she does it. That way, they’ll write it off as “Oh, she was just a little drunk, she didn’t know what she was doing”.

Eventually, her training will be complete. Your life together will be perfect, and all your dreams will be fulfilled. Her friends will have moved on, and you will be her one and only lover forever, because you’ve made sure to monitor her phone and internet use and weed out the bad influences. Who cares if she cries in her sleep at night. It’s not your fault, she’s just having a bad dream.”

-B. L. Zeebub, P.H.D.

Guys, don’t listen to this devil. And Ladies, don’t tolerate his influence. Find a guy who treats you with respect, love and devotion. Otherwise, you’ll end up in situations like the one above. Chivalry is not dead, gentleman still exist. Good women still exist as well. But all of you, heed my warning…that devil is out there.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What's In A Name?

As most of you are aware, my current job entails cataloguing vital records. The deaths, which I previously wrote about, are far more interesting than the births, which are typically unremarkable. But every once in a while, my co-workers and I run across a birth certificate with a name we can’t believe. You know, a name that inspires exclamations of “Why would someone name their kid THAT?!”

In the past few days, we have been indexing a large portion of the birth certificates from 2007, just 3 years ago…and it’s alarming how many wacky names we’ve seen, and how often. So we started taking notes.

Take heed, mommies and daddies to be. Remember that your child’s name will be with them for the rest of their life. A name can be a blessing or a curse upon them. Stop, step back, and think: “Are the other kids going to make fun of this name?” YOU may love it and think it’s beautiful, adorable or clever, but please, for the love of God, think of what it would be like to live with a name before assigning it to your bundle of joy.

Some of these aren’t really too bad. I know a few people who have them, and it makes them unique. But what struck me is how FREQUENTLY they started to appear in the catalog of 2007 births. Some are just plain funny, others aren’t funny until you realize that hundreds of kids were similarly named in the same state during the same year. Take, for instance, “Angel”, which appeared literally thousands of times. It is a “unisex name”, given equally to both girls and boys. I had to chuckle at the possibility of a little league baseball team sometime in the future, where there will be, literally, Angels in the outfield! Common, ordinary names like “Mark” or “John” or “Ashley” or “Lauren” were the exception, not the rule. Thus, I relate a list of “Hippie Names”…

Hippie Names

Phoenix Jewel
Spirit Faith

As if naming a child “Squall” isn’t cruel enough, some parents in 2007 just couldn’t keep a lid on their nerdiness, thus ensuring that their offspring never have a chance of escaping a similar fate. These parents decided that family, religious or traditional names just weren’t good enough. Nope, gotta go with Star Wars, Batman, the Beatles and various video games.

Fanboy Names

Lucas Obi
Bane Wayne
Lucy Diamond
Daisy Peach

Some of the names we ran across were sort of “throwback” names that have been fairly uncommon in recent generations. But there’s a reason they haven’t been too common. They sound like butlers. Nevertheless, parents in 2007 flocked to these old-time monikers. They were EVERYWHERE.

Butler names


And the clincher. Full, actual name, first, middle and last:

Beautiful Imyounique Johnson.

That kid’s self esteem must be through the roof.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Random thoughts

Sometimes, random funny thoughts pop into my head. Well, actually, all the time. Like today, for instance. I was just watching TV, waiting on a load of laundry. Apparently Sunday afternoon is when other people do their laundry too, because every commercial that came on was for a laundry or fabric product of some kind.

I got to thinking, What's with the background music in the Febreeze commercials? Imagine being the singer who got called in for that. "Now,we've got this goofy little beat cued up, and all you're going to sing is "bada da dadada dada DA..."

I don't even remember what was going on in the commercial, because the music was so distracting. Even worse, it got stuck in my head.

My cable remote has a guide feature, to show a grid of all the channels and what's on. I ran across a listing that said "Jimmy Swagga". I was disappointed to learn that this was not the greatest rapper MC name in history, but a lazy abbreviation for "Jimmy Swaggart", a televangelist.

These are the kinds of strange things that I think about.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It is time!

You know that baboon in the Disney movie "The Lion King", who says "It
is TIME!"? Well, I have this strange feeling that such a moment is coming for me. I don’t know when or where, but I FEEL it. I feel it in a way I’ve never felt before. Will it
happen at WWU Alum/Fiji Islander weekend this year? I do not know, but I know God sent me to college up there in the first place to meet some of the best friends I’ve ever made and probably ever will make in my lifetime…and together we're gonna figure
some shit out. I've had this weird premonition in dreams lately...that ...something big will happen. Birnam wood to Dunsinane, paper to fire, Wile E. Coyote to rocket, rum to Coke, Moses to Mount Sinai, Mexican to taco, etc. Something is going to come together. Minds, ideas, and plans are going to come together.
Austin, Texas is a great city. I consider myself lucky to live in it. But I’ve had a rough time here. I have family here who have supported me and helped me out in ways I can never repay them for. I’ve met a lot of cool people. But I’ve had a lot of bad experiences too. I can’t for the life of me find a job that allows me to use my unique talents. By unique, I mean weird. For a city that boasts the slogan “Keep Austin Weird”, there sure aren’t many profitable outlets for weirdness. Jobs I do manage to snag are usually temporary, and they pay me just enough to get by, or in a lot of cases NOT enough to get by. They are either pleasant but don’t pay enough, or pay enough but are sheer torture.
I had a conversation with my dad on the phone after my car accident a couple of weeks ago. He asked me “Are you still smiling”? He always tells me that… “keep smiling”. He’s told me that since I was a kid, almost as long as he’s called me by a nickname I’ve never understood and never will, “Binky”. But he had never posed it to me as a QUESTION before. “ARE you STILL smiling?” I thought about that question for a second…and I realized that no, I’m not. I feel as though I’ve been living in constant worry for the last two years, the very state of mind that everyone from Jesus to psychologists to Bob Marley tell us all NOT to be in.
I am known by most as a cheerful person. I keep my head up, and I don’t give up. But in the comic strip that I draw, “Bill and Buster”, the title characters have evolved into reflections of two sides of myself. Bill, the side of me that overthinks everything, and worries too much, and Buster, the carefree, spontaneous and impulsive side. I once read a great quote that describes me well. I’ll paraphrase because I do not know the original author or context: “I’m really good at solving other peoples’ problems, it’s my own that I have trouble with.” I’ve been too much like Bill lately.
Another quote that gets thrown around a lot is “The night is darkest just before the dawn”. Well, I can’t think of any time darker than now. The country I live in is in turmoil, my life is worrisome and lonely, it seems like I am living in a world that just won’t cheer up.
Well, here’s the deal, World. You’ve gotten to me. You’ve dragged me down. But you know what? Long ago, I thought about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I wanted to be someone who could use my God-given talents, no matter how unusual they are, to make other people happy. Not to PLEASE everyone, not to make everyone agree with me, but to help them, as my dad says, to “keep smiling”.
I’m done with worrying. I’m done trying to solve everyone else’s problems. I need to focus on ME, and I need to take these strange dreams I’ve been having seriously. I’ve got some money, some good friends, and some talent. Before I grow old and have the option to regret lost opportunities, I need to harness the power of those resources. It is TIME.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Death Be Not Proud. Death Be Hilarious!


It’s not a pleasant thing to think about. None of us, young or old, want to think about our expiration date. It could be tomorrow, it could be 80 years from now. We don’t know. All we have is the faith that our belief in God will grant our souls eternal life, and in the meantime, we make the best of our time on Earth.

But this post is not about religion. It’s not about how to live life, either. It’s about unpleasant ways to end it all, or have it all ended for you. My current job involves vital records…public information archived by the State of Texas, and amended when necessary. When a person is born, it is recorded. When a person dies, it is similarly documented. The information for these events is readily available to the public, but very few people ever get to see the big picture.

I do.

Birth certificates, for all practical purposes, are boring. Another baby born…big deal. Every human being is born, and rarely is there anything unique about it. Everybody pops out of their mothers’ womb and exits the vagina the same way their fathers’ sperm came in. That’s biology. That’s life. That’s the way God made things. Every creature on Earth is born, and every creature on Earth dies.

But HOW do they die?

Most die of natural causes at an old age. Heart problems, cancer, and various vital organ failures are not pretty, but once a person gets past age 80, they’re pretty much par for the course.

Many people die much earlier. Here comes the funny part.

Accidents happen, but the deadly ones are usually preventable.

Take, for instance, a man who met his end by opening the door of a moving vehicle to retrieve his baseball cap. He was the driver! Needless to say, his official cause of death was listed as “Impact with pavement.’

Another death listed as a vehicle accident was given this brief explanation: “Motorcycle vs. tree.” The tree, presumably, emerged victorious.

Metal workers need to be careful on the job. The explanation for one occupational demise said: “Fell in vat of molten aluminum”. I’m not sure what they did for the funeral on that guy…did they have to shine him up for the open-casket viewing?

A young child’s death was listed as an accidental poisoning: “Fell in bucket of Pine Sol.”

One man was burned to death. The description for that one could only happen in Texas: “Allegedly burning cactus, clothes caught fire.”

Thousands of people die from drug use and abuse. In the unfortunate case of one individual, smuggling them was deadly as well. Cause of death: “Accidental Recreational Drug Ovedose”. Explanation: Ingested balloon containing cocaine.

Murder is bad any way you look at it. But if you’re caught in the act, as one man was, expect to join your victim in the hereafter. A Mexican man died of “multiple gunshot wounds”. Explanation: “Shot to death by military police while murdering his wife.”

Suicides happen all the time, but in some cases they don’t go according to plan. One person’s cause of death was listed as “Severe head trauma”, and the explanation was as follows: “Apparent suicide attempt: died upon impact with floor after rope broke.”

One fellow met his end from a gunshot, but not from a murder or suicide. Instead, his death was listed as accidental, explained as “gunshot wound to nose”. Careful when you’re cleaning those guns, folks…always keep the muzzle pointed in a SAFE direction!

Drinkers: when the bartender cuts you off, take their word for it. Otherwise, you might wind up like the guy who died of “Acute ethanol intoxication”.

And finally (for now), it must be noted that the wording of some death explanations is at times redundant, and typos are common.

One such listing was a double-whammy of an unfortunate name and a redundant wording: Bambi Dick died of “Accidental death, apparently in accident.”

A routine vehicular accident isn’t funny in and of itself. But if it happens on a “Pubic highway” (Note the absence of the “L”), well, that just gives it a whole new meaning!

As long as people keep dying in unusual or humorous ways, this post is sure to become the first in a series. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Roughly 6 years ago, back in the good ol' days of college, one of my fraternity brothers took a film class. One of his projects was to make a short film, and he could do whatever he wanted. He decided to do a parody of martial arts/ninja movies, and relate it to everyday life on our small middle-of-nowhere Missouri college campus. He had a ready and willing cast of characters at his disposal, nearly all of them within the Kappa Chi Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta. Cast as the protagonist was talented actor and artist Jared "Crackpipe" Krichevsky. Non-Fiji Dan "Danimal" Binning, a close friend of ours and a theater major, was cast as a ninja master. I appear as, essentially, myself, reprising a real conversation I had with Krichevsky after a long, sleepless night involving a bunch of drunken revelers who interrupted my sleep before a big test. (I appear again in a later, much funnier gag in which I happen upon a fight between Krichevsky and another fellow Fiji, Mike Zumwalt.)Other Fiji brothers appear as a gang of ninjas, and still others did voice work in post-production. The voices are deliberately out of sync on purpose (to simulate American-dubbed Japanese movies). It has nods to Kurosawa, Looney Tunes, "The Matrix" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", and while it's just a student short film, I think it still holds up 6 years later, and gives me fond memories every time I watch it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Advertising and Women

Of all the things about the American media that bug me, I don’t think there’s anything more destructive than the portrayal of women in advertising.

Sex sells. It always has, and it always will. But it’s the KIND of sex that is being sold that disturbs me. Billboards, commercials, print ads, and even the packaging on stuff we buy all seem to agree that an attractive woman must be about 5-foot-six, have a size 2 waist, enormous breasts, no ass and long, blonde hair (or in some cases brunette, that’s not a set standard, it seems.)

I don’t have any problem with that at face value. It obviously works, otherwise nobody would notice it. I don’t have any problem with the women, either. They’re good looking and someone probably paid them a lot of good money to pose for an ad. But the subtext when you see all this advertising with the same types of women is that all women look like this, or SHOULD.

Women feel pressured by it. They want to look like the hottie on the billboard or the women in the “buy this thingamajig for your girl on Valentine’s Day” ads on TV. Men feel pressured by it. They want to HAVE the hottie on the billboard. She may be a complete bitch, she may be psychotic, she may a vapid airhead, or she may be a quality girl with a great personality, a good heart and the type who would make a wonderful wife and mother. But nobody knows, because she’s ACTING. She’s POSING. It’s not HER they are selling, but her IMAGE. But lo and behold, if you walk into a shopping mall, a grocery store, or even the local Kwik-E-Mart, you can find products designed to make women look like this advertising model. Magazines scream “Lose weight!” “This season’s top fashions!” “Fabulous hair!” “Makeup tips!” “This celebrity used to be a toad like you, but look at her now! See how she did it!” Clothes are designed to cover as little of the female body as possible, or to accentuate certain aspects of it.

Women pressure one another to fit the archetype. They pick on each other and give each other “advice”. They figure that the closer they get to the perceived pinnacle of perfection, the more men will notice them and other women will accept them.

Well, folks, I’ve got news for you. Most women don’t look like that archetype. Most men, at least mature, real men, are not that picky. If we were, then every male friend I have who is married or in a relationship would have that type of girl. They don’t! Women and men come in all shapes, sizes, colors and varieties, because God made us that way.
Think of the world as a candy store with the members of the opposite sex representing different candies. Some people go right for the chocolate, some want a flavorful, long-lasting gum, some go for the sour stuff. Some choose a lollipop, or refreshing mints, or chewy gummi bears. How boring would it be if EVERYONE chose the same thing? In both candy stores and sexual relations, some people stay loyal to the same brand for life, some try a few different flavors before deciding, and some devour everything in sight until it’s bad for their health.

But I’ve analyzed it to death. The point is, ladies, don’t be pressured by what the media tells you. You’re beautiful in your own unique ways. Tall, short, fat, skinny, blonde, brunette, it doesn’t matter. God made you unique, and men love you for it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Favorite Super Bowl ads of 2010

I usually do some sort of blog entry about the Grammy Awards every year, but I passed this time. The entire show was a train wreck, and some great artists were robbed. Screw the Grammies!

Anyway, I thought I'd weigh in on the Super Bowl. First of all, congratulations to the New Orleans Saints! It's nice to see the underdog win, and win BIG. Big EASY, in this case. A team who has never been to a Super Bowl, let alone won, was able to topple Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis a considerable margin. "Who Dat" indeed!

It wasn't the best year for ads, but it was better than a lot of recent years when they were mostly lame movie trailers, local ads, network promos and cop-outs.

As usual, Anheiser/Busch (Budweiser) had the most ads, but most of them were pretty forgettable. One of them is in my top 5 list below, though.

# 5: Budweiser: Clydesdale and Longhorn
There's always at least one clydesdale horse ad in Budweiser's Super Bowl campaigns, and this one turned out to be their best ad of the night.

# 4: Hyundai: Brett Favre
It may be wishful thinking that ol' Brett Favre will ever make it to a Super Bowl again, but it's hilarious that after all the jokes that have been made about him, he was willing to make fun of himself.

# 3: Coca-Cola: Mr.Burns

"The Simpsons" may not be as funny as it used to be, but I thought this Coke commercial was great. It's hard to make Mr. Burns a sympathetic character, but they managed to do it. Also notice that the Simpsons themselves only make a background cameo.

# 2: Doritos: Dog Collar
This and all of the Doritos ads this year were commissioned by independent filmmakers in some sort of contest. They were all good, but this one was by far the funniest!

# 1: Denny's: Screaming Chickens Across America
Denny's did a series of 3 or 4 of these "screaming chickens" ads. Because of free Grand Slam Breakfast promotion that's going to take "a lot of eggs", chickens freak out. This one was the best, solely for the gag with the chicken in space. In space, it's said that no one can hear you