Tag Archives: history

BQB’s Time Travel Adventures #2 – BQB vs. Hitler

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So, after I visited the 1970s and busted up a gang of ninjas in a disco, thus making all bushes in the future 25% bushier, I then went back in time to the early 1900s with one goal in mind – I would stop World War II from happening.

I arrived in Austria, where a dopey looking young man named Adolf Hitler was sitting on a park bench, trying to draw a picture of his bratwurst (not the one in his pants but the one he was intending to have for lunch later.)

“That’s a fine piece of art, Herr….”

“Hitler,” Hitler said.  “And nein!  I have applied to every art school around and they all tell me my work is nothing but goosenpoopen.”

“Really?”  I said.  “That’s terrible.  Everyone with creative talent should be able to pursue it.”

“That’s what I said,” Hitler said.  “But if I don’t get into art school I will have to go to my fall back plan.”

“What’s your fall back plan?”  I asked.

“To scheme my way into the German Chancellorship, declare war on the entire world and gas six million Jews to death,” Hitler said.

I was shocked.  I mean, I knew the history but still, to hear him say it out loud.  It was disturbing, to say the least.

“That’s your back up plan?”  I asked.

“Ja,” Hitler said.  “Also I might bang my niece.”

“Bang your…dude!”

“What?”  Hitler asked.

“Well,” I said.  “Is there no happy medium with you dude?  Most people who don’t get into art school say, ‘Well, I guess I’ll go be a janitor’ or ‘I guess I’ll go be a plumber’ or some other noble occupation.  I have literally never heard someone say, ‘Well, if I don’t get to do what I want then I’m just going to become the leader of a country and use my power to gas all the people I don’t like.”

“Undt bang my niece,” Hitler said.

“Yeah,” I said.  “I’ve never heard anyone say they want to do that either.”

“Undt I won’t gas all of them,” Hitler said.

“You won’t?”  I asked.

“Nein,”  Hitler said.  “Some of them I’ll push into ovens, or I might line them up against a wall and have them shot, or send them off to camps where they starve to death, or use them as forced labor and work them until they die of malnutrition and exhaustion.”

“Dude!” I said.

“It’ll be a mixed bag, really,” Hitler said. “I mean, ja, most of them will get the gas chamber or the oven but I’ll play it by ear and see how it goes.”

“Hitler,” I said.  “Not for nothing, but why do you hate Jewish people so much?”

Hitler sat back on the bench and closed his eyes.  “One time, when I was but a little kiddenheimer, I vent to lunch at mein school and a Jewish boy he…”

“Beat you?”  I asked.  “Tortured you?”

“Nein!”  Hitler said.  “He ate mein lunch!”

“Umm…”

“Mein sausage!  It was all gone!”  Hitler said.  “He said it was an accident.  He mixed up his bag with mine.  He apologized profusely but at that very moment I said to myself, ‘Adolf, you must really gas all these people and push them into ovens and only then will you get your revenge for your lost sausage!'”

“Hitler,” I said.  “Honestly, it sounds like the kid just made a mistake.  It happens to the best of us.  Sometimes we accidentally offend someone and all we can do is apologize and move on.  Even if he did it on purpose, it’s one kid.  You can’t denounce an entire group just because one member of the group did something you like.  One member of a group doing something wrong doesn’t mean the entire group is bad.  Seriously, what group in the entire world doesn’t have at least bad apple in it?”

“You sound like undt pussenstein,” Hitler said.

“No, really Hitler,” I said.  “You’ve got to listen and maybe I can help you screw your head on straight here.  If you’re just going to start killing groups of people just because one of them did something you didn’t like then you’re going to have to just kill the entire world.”

“Das est mein intention,” Hitler said.  “First the Jews, then the world.  Mein armies vill spread out across the globe.  All vill either obey me or vill be shoved in the oven.”

“Where are you even going to get a people oven?”  I asked.  “It’s not like there’s a people oven store.”

“I’m going to make a people oven,” Hitler said.  “I have some rudimentary designs.  You want to see?”

“Not really,” I said.  “But Hitler, have you considered the fact that on the whole, Jewish people are good eggs?”

“Nein!” Hitler said.

“Good food, good culture, music, arts, inventions, industry, hard work ethic,” I said.  “Historically, the Jewish people bring a lot to the table.”

Hitler began scribbling something on a piece of paper.

“What are you writing?”  I asked.

“A note to myself to have you pushed in an oven when I’m the chancellor,” Hitler said.

I sighed.  “You’re hopeless, Hitler.  Come on, let’s get you into art school.”

At that point, I found Hitler’s favorite art school.  “Das Skoolen Fer Peepzen What Wantzen to Drawzen Not Like Scheizen.”

I brought a thousand bucks back with me, a lot for me even in 2017 but it was like a small fortune in the 1930s.  I handed it off to the Dean and made him promise that he wouldn’t just accept Hitler, but that he’d also heap massive amounts of false praise on anything Hitler made, no matter how shitty it was.  Further, I made the Dean promise to really promote Hitler’s work, get all his friends in the art community to become Hitler’s patrons.  Set the guy up with a good living off of his art so he wouldn’t have to resort to his fall back plan of world domination and ethnic cleansing.

I arrived back in 2017, only to, you guessed it, learn that I had really cocked things up.

“Heil Hitler!  Video Game Rack Fighter said to me upon my arrival to BQB HQ.

“What the hell?”  I asked.  “Video Game Rack Fighter, my beloved nerdy girlfriend!  Why are you in a Nazi uniform?  I’ve never known you to be anything but sweet and kind to all people!  Are you a Nazi now?”

“Ja!” VGRF said.  “Everyone is a Nazi now, thanks to the leadership of Steve Hitler!”

“Steve Hitler?”  I asked.

“Ja!” VGRF said.  “Heil Steve Hitler!”

“Something’s amiss,” I said.  I turned on the TV and found a documentary.  The announcer summed up what happened:

“All hail our beloved World Chancellor, Steve Hitler, who is alive and well over 140 years old thanks to creepy and disturbing Nazi scientific methods!  Steve was but a modest little boy from Austria who used to sit back and dream of becoming a pig farmer.  He would overhear his brother Adolf talk about his fall back plans of world domination and ethnic cleansing and think that sounded like a real neat-o way to make a living. However, he had doubts about Adolf.  He thought Adolf would probably just cock the whole thing up and eventually lose the impending war.  However, when Adolf was accepted to study at an acclaimed art school, Adolf gave Steve his blessing to pursue his goals of world domination and ethnic cleansing.  In fact, Steve was so good at world domination and ethnic cleansing that Nazi historians are assured that Steve was the best choice to run the Nazi party whereas Adolf was better off behind the scenes.  Also, the art school helped Hitler become such a great artist that Hitler drew all kinds of propaganda posters that inspired the masses to become super racist and evil!  All hail the Nazi party and hail that random asshole that helped Adolf Hitler get into art school.  Because of that guy, everyone in the world is either dead or a super racist evil Nazi now!”

“Aww crap sandwich,” I said.  “I guess I know what I have to do.”

I returned to early 1900s Austria and found the version of myself that had time traveled to that time.  I kicked him in the nuts and instantly felt the pain myself.  I told him how his plan to stop World War II works out and he gasped.

After that, we scrapped the whole plan to stop Hitler and went to get some strudel instead.

The moral of the story?  If you try to fix something, you’ll just make it worse, so just shut up and go get a strudel.

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Top Ten Things I Would Do If I Could Become a Time Traveler

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Ahh, time travel.  To dare to surpass the surly bounds of time and space and end up in a different time period that this one.

The experts say that time travel could be reckless!  Every thing happened for a reason even the slightest change could destroy life as we know it.

Meh.  Who cares?  Throw caution to the wind, I say.  When it comes to time travel, I go balls out or I go home.

From BQB HQ in Fabulous East Random Town, it’s the Top Ten Things I’d Do if I Could Become a Time Traveler:

#1 – Change shit.  Like a lot of shit…with reckless abandon for no rhyme or reason.

Give an iPad to a caveman!  Give Napoleon a wedgie!  Kick Genghis Kahn in the nads!

Fart in the presence of Queen Victoria.  Pick a flower from the Jurassic period and plant it in 1702.

Kidnap a dinosaur and ride it into an Ancient Trojan battle.

Sneak into Einstein’s office and move things around without telling him.

Switch out George Washington’s wooden teeth for state of the art dentures.

Visit Jesus at the Last Supper and give everyone Big Macs.

#2 – Bang Hot Historical Chicks

Possible talent includes:

  • Marie Antoinette – Easily bribed with cake.
  • Cleopatra – “De Nile” might be a river in Egypt, but that fine ass Queen won’t be denyin’ this time traveling stud muffin.
  • Joan of Arc – Yes she was holy.  However, she was also a French chick so, you know…
  • Queen Elizabeth – Not the current one, the one that was the daughter of Henry the Eighth.  Her Dad was so obsessed with leaving behind a male heir that he lopped off the heads of many a wife and even changed England’s entire religion.  So yeah, there was a lot of pressure for Lizzy to keep the throne in the family.  In other words, I think she probably could have used a friend with benefits, a little casual fling with no strings attached.  I don’t want England.  I just want that royal booty.
  • Lady Godiva – Total slut if you can get her off that horse.

#3 – Tell Historical People How the World Turns Out in the Future, then Laugh at Their Reactions

“We’ve figured out how to drop contraptions out of the sky that are capable of destroying entire cities.  We have mechanical transports that can be used to move us from place to place.  We’re all super fat, they’ve got pills that can give you boners (sorry, historical people, ‘apothecary renderings that can engorge a man,’) the leader of the greatest nation in the world has talked about his penis in public, and women act like they’re the boss of everyone!  WTF, am I right?”

#4 – Sit in the Back of Movie Theaters from the Past and Shout Out Spoilers

Also works with plays.  “Hey, Lincoln!  Behind you!”

#5 – Visit the Future

There are a lot of questions about the future that I don’t want to leave hanging.

What will future people be like?  Will the world be better?  Will it be worse?

Will there be inventions that people today never could have conceived of?

Will future people think we are awful?

Will the future be worse?  We will regress into a Mad Maxian apocalypse world?

Will the world be run by damn dirty apes?

Will scientists ever invent robot hookers?  (If they do, I’m staying the future.)

#6 – Warn Past People of Upcoming Tragedies

Experts say you’re not supposed to do this, that horrible events, as bad as they are, happened and to change them is to throw off the whole space-time continuum.  Things happen for reasons we’ll never fully understand and who knows if changing the outcome of one event could cause a negative impact on the future?

But honestly, screw all that, because I keep it real and not warning people when you know some shit is about to go down just seems like a dick move.

Warnings I would give include, but are not limited to:

  • “Hey Europe.  Is it me or does this Hitler fella seem like a real turd sandwich?  Better keep an eye on that guy.  Appeasement doesn’t seem to be the way to go.  Maybe, just maybe, if he tries to march into Poland, y’all might want to get together and raise a stink about it.”
  • “Attention all Irish people.  Make your cows and chickens hump more so you can have more meat to eat because some shit’s about to happen with your potatoes.”
  • “Hey, everyone in 2001!  See those dudes with the box cutters about to get on those planes?  Let’s cock punch ’em!”
  • “Archduke Ferdinand, JFK, RFK, MLK…DUCK!”
  • “Hey Titanic travelers, why the rush?  Let’s smoke a doobie and wait for the next ship.  Europe will still be there.”
  • Alternatively – “Hey Captain Buttface!  Iceberg straight ahead!”

#7 – Take famous works from today.  Give them to my past self.   Reap the benefits.

What?  That’s stealing?  How dare you insult me, Bookshelf Q. Battler, writer of such famous songs as “What Does the Fox Say?” and “Baby Got Back?”  Why, I’d give you a stern talking to, but I must cash my royalty checks from sales on my new novel, The Hunger Games.  By the way, did you catch that new movie?  You know, Avatar.  Totally wrote the script for it.

#8 – The same thing as #7, but with inventions.

BQB here.  Inventor of the iPhone, the iPad, the drone, the cronut (half croissant/half donut), social media and Kim Kardashian’s extra strength panty hose.

#9 – Tell My Past Self to Blog Sooner

I really thought blogging was a dumb idea.  So far, I haven’t made any money yet, but what I lack in dollars, I make up in readers.  3.5 readers to be exact.

But seriously, the more you blog, the faster your blog grows.  Start sooner, rather than later.

#10 – Give My Past Self A Lot of Advice

This is actually a serious one, although I wasn’t joking about getting busy with Marie Antoinette.  I can picture her yelling, “Sacre Bleau, Mon Dieux, Ooo la la!” with that big tall hairdo waving all over the place.

But I digress.  I feel like at every point in my past where I was called upon to make a decision, I made the wrong one.  Granted, I have no idea if the other decision would have fared any better, but the path I took led me to working at Beige Corp and owning a blog read by only 3.5 readers, so advice to my former self as to some decisions he ought to change might improve my future.

Then again, I might just end up working at McDonalds and owning a blog read by 2.5 readers.

Sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side because it actually is greener.  Then again, sometimes the grass on the other side looks greener because it is being fertilized by a lot of poop you’re going to step in.

What would you do if you could become a time traveler, 3.5 readers?  Let me know in the comments.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 39

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Cole unwrapped his burger and winced as he saw two big pickle slices sticking out from underneath the bun.

“You know I hate pickles,” Cole said.

“Really?” Rusty asked with a fake lisp. “I thought you loved pickles, big boy.”

“Rusty,” Cole said. “Seriously, man. I need you to dial it back.”

“OK,” Rusty said.

“They’ve been weening me off the painkillers and I’m on edgy and moody as fuck,” Cole said.

Rusty chomped on an onion ring. “Well, a big ass dog did turn your leg into a Happy Meal so, I suppose those feelings are normal.”

Cole glared at Rusty.

“What?” Rusty asked. “That wasn’t even a joke! I’m just saying, it’s normal for you to feel like shit. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t feel that way in your situation. Just let it all out, man.”

“No,” Cole said. “Fuck that noise. Everyone wants to talk about their feelings. ‘Waah, waah, boo hoo hoo, I have so many feelings.’ Like that helps anything.”

Rusty picked the bun off of Cole’s burger and flicked off the two pickles. “Look here, this is a real easy fix. There. No more pickles.”

“Damn it!” Cole said.

“What?” Rusty asked.

“Well now your hand’s been on it…”

“I wash my hands, Cole,” Rusty said.

Cole picked up the burger.

“Although, come to think of it,” Rusty said. “I did take a big shit this morning and for the life of me I can’t remember if I washed my hands after.”

“Enough with the jokes!” Cole said.

“Not a joke,” Rusty said. “I truly can’t remember. That burger may very well be crawling with fecal coliform bacteria.”

Cole shrugged his shoulders. “Fuck it.” He bit into the burger, then moaned happily. “Oh God. Three months of jello.”

“I knew you’d like it,” Rusty said. “And I did tell that girl at the drive through to not put pickles on yours but you know those damn kids never listen.”

Cole and Rusty munched on their food for awhile as they watched Network News One on the TV in the lounge.

“In recent news Vice-President Cheney has announced that he will try really, really hard to not shoot any of his friends in the face ever again,” Kurt Manley said. “The VP added, ‘That was totally my bad, people. Totally my bad. In other news, Senator Barack Obama spoke to supporters on the campaign trail today…”

Senator Obama appeared on screen at a podium. “For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we’ve been told we’re not ready or that we shouldn’t try or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can!”

“Will you get a load of this guy?” Rusty said. “‘Barack Obama.’ Why don’t they just run a guy named Jihadi Al-I’ll-bomb-ya?”

Cole sipped his soda. “I don’t know. He’s a real slick talker. I’ll give him that.”

“What you like him?” Rusty asked.

“I don’t like any politicians,” Cole said. “Republican. Democrat. All the same. When they walk in the room, grab your wallet and hold on tight.”

“Shit,” Rusty said. “You got that right.”

Obama continued. “It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation: Yes, we can. It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail towards freedom through the darkest of nights: Yes, we can!”

“‘Yes, we can,’” Rusty said. “‘Hope and change.’ Bunch of bull.”

“He’s got it locked up,” Cole said.

“You think?” Rusty said.

“Yeah,” Cole said. “The man can talk the paint off a barn door.”

Rusty took a bite of his burger and swallowed. “I dunno. I heard McCain just picked this Sarah Palin lady to be his vice-president.”

“Sarah who?” Cole said.

“Palin,” Rusty said. “Governor of Alaska. Supposed to be a real smart cookie though I dunno, I haven’t heard her talk yet.”

Cole stole one of Rusty’s onion rings. “Really, who gives a shit?”

“Indeed, brother,” Rusty said. “Indeed.”

Rusty wiped the crumbs off his mouth with a napkin, then stood up.

“Got a hot date tonight, dude,” Rusty said. “How do I look?”

“Like you should be a supporting cast member on The Sopranos,” Cole said.

“Oh God,” Rusty said. “Don’t even get me started on that show, Cole. I whacked my TV set for a good thirty-five minutes after that finale because friggin’ HBO made me think it was on the fritz.”

“Where’d you meet this one?” Cole asked.

“Online,” Rusty said. “Internet dating, Cole. It’s amazing. You just log on and it’s like your own catalog of poon.”

Cole bit off a hunk off his burger and chewed. “She’s probably a man.”

“I will hear no insults about the lovely Layla,” Rusty said.

Cole washed down his bite with another sip of soda. “Layla’s dick is probably bigger than yours.”

“Blasphemy, sir!” Rusty said. “You have besmirched my honor!”

“You don’t have any honor,” Cole said.

“Oh, right,” Rusty replied. “Check this out.”

Rusty grabbed the sides of his pants, which were secured by dozens of snap-on buttons. The redhead yanked, the pants broke free and there he stood in the middle of the lounge in his polka-dot boxer shorts.

“What the hell?” Cole asked.

“Breakaway pants!” Rusty said. “You like ‘em?”

“No,” Cole said.

“Check it,” Rusty said. “I put these bad boys on. I take Layla out to the club. We’re drinking. We’re dancing. We’re grinding all over each other. We’re in the mood and…splatow! Off come my pants! No muss, no fuss!”

Dr. Kragen walked into the lounge with a parfait cup in her hand. She spotted a pants-less Rusty and instantly turned around and walked away. “Nope. Don’t even want to know.”

“You really need to put your pants back on,” Cole said.

“Oh,” Rusty said as he looked down at his hairy legs. “Right.”

After Rusty was fully clothed again, the duo continued their meal in silence for awhile. Finally, Cole speak.

“Where is she?” Cole asked.

“Where’s who?” Rusty replied.

Cole slapped the remaining half of his burger down on the paper. “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?” Rusty asked.

“Play dumb,” Cole said. “Don’t play dumb with me.”

“Who’s playing?” Rusty asked. “I’m very dumb.”

“Where’s Sharon?”

“I don’t know, man,” Rusty said. “She didn’t call you?”

“No,” Cole said.

“That’s weird,” Rusty said.

“Stop it,” Cole said.

“Thought she said she was going to call you,” Rusty said. “She probably got busy with something.”

“Knock it off,” Cole said.

“You know how women are,” Rusty said. “They’d forget their heads if they weren’t attached.

Cole pounded his fist down on the table. “Where’s Sharon?!”

A few patients and their families turned around to stare. Rusty waved them off.

“OK,” Rusty said as he put down his burger. “I’ve been dreading this…”

“What?” Cole said. “Come on, man, out with already. Be straight with me!”

“I’ve been straight with you,” Rusty said.
“No you haven’t,” Cole said. “Every time I see you, you got some excuse for her. She’s really busy, she’s sick, she’s visiting her mother, her sister’s got the flu…I was too high to figure it out but now that the doctor cut my dosage I’m getting the distinct fucking feeling that you have been very far from straight with me.”

“Cole,” Rusty said. “I didn’t want to…”

“I lost my leg and my wife hasn’t come to see me once,” Cole said. “I’m not an idiot, Rusty.”

“I know,” Rusty said.

Rusty pulled a piece of paper out of his folder out of his pocket, unfolded it, and handed it to Cole. As soon as Cole looked at it, he felt his entire world collapse. Two words were written on it in Sharon’s handwriting. “I’m sorry.”

Cole crumpled up the paper and threw it against the wall. He pounded his fist on the table over and over. “Fuck!”

The patients and families looked over again. Cole let them have it. “The fuck are you looking at?! Mind your business!”

“That night,” Rusty said. “When the doctors told me you were stable, I swung by your house to tell Sharon and she wasn’t there.”

Cole cocked his head back and stared up at the ceiling in a daze.

“I let myself in,” Cole said. “Found that on the kitchen table. All her stuff was gone.”

Cole remained silent.

“I’m sorry,” Rusty said. “You’ve been through so much. I didn’t want to upset you. I figured it might mess up your chances of getting better. Kept hoping maybe she’d come back or something and it’d all be fine but…that never happened.”

“You call her?” Cole asked.

“Yeah,” Rusty said. “Left a bunch of messages. Just went right to voicemail.”

A few silent minutes passed. Cole kept staring at the ceiling. Rusty kept eating dinner.

“Shit,” Rusty said. “Now I feel bad for telling you about my date.”

“She probably has a dick,” Cole said.

“She most definitely has a dick,” Rusty replied.

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Literary Poop with Professor Nannerpants – Analysis Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Professor Horatio J. Nannerpants, Professional Simian Literary Professor/Semi-Professional Poop Flinger

Oh, 3.5 readers!  Get thee to Europe to see the glory of what once was.  The statues, the brilliant architecture and of course, the fine cuisine.  It’s all so lovely that it almost breaks my heart when I lose control and throw my poop all over it.

Yes, in this land rife with history, there are all sorts of lessons to be learned about history and culture, stories of monarchs who have come and gone.  And you’ll even find such tales written into various antiquities the world over, even in, say, Egypt.

Have you set a goal for yourself, 3.5 students?  Is it a big project?  Perhaps it’s causing you a great deal of anxiety.  In times such as these, I highly recommend flinging your poop against the wall.  I know it calms me right down, though I presume it creates all sorts of untoward feelings inside the poor individual who must clean up the poop.

Oh well.  That’s not my problem, for I am much, much too important to clean up poop.

Not only is life short and full of poop, but eventually, everything you do or say or even accomplish will, as a basic matter of fact, turn into poop.  Such is the point of Ozymandias, the old poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley:

“I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Pardon my French, 3.5 students, but that Percy Bysshe Shelley was one morose motherfucker.  To paraphrase the immortal Ben Affleck’s line delivered in that most seminal work, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, it’s as if someone shit in Percy’s breakfast cereal.

But the man has a point.  The poet speaks of Ozymandias, better known as Ramses II, the mightiest of all Egyptian pharaohs.

Ozymandias believed in himself so righteously that he had himself preserved in a giant statue.  The engraving boasts of Ozymandias’ power and warns other mighty kings to “look upon” his works “and despair.”

Despair about what?  All the broken statue pieces and shit littering the dessert sands?

What is Percy getting at?  The fragile nature of life.  Maybe one day you’ll accomplish as much as a great Egyptian pharaoh, but sooner or later, the poop will hit the fan.  You’ll kick the bucket and all the material possessions you acquired will end up broken and rotting underneath the sand, or dirt, depending on where your shit is doing its rotting.

Now, don’t get Percy wrong.  I don’t think he’s coming right out and saying, “Give the eff up.  Smoke a bone and stop trying because we’re all screwed anyway.”

I mean, it’s still pretty awesome that Ozymandias managed to do so many great things that he was eventually preserved in the form of a giant ass statue.  Sure, you can mock him, but it’s not like you ever did anything that led to your immortalization in a statue.

The lesson?  Do try, for there may be awesome rewards.  However, if you fail, don’t beat yourself up too badly about it.  After all, this is all turning to poop sooner or later.

Is there something you’re trying to achieve, 3.5 students?  Do you worry that one day it will all turn to poop?  Fling your poopy thoughts in the comments.

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Movie Review – The Promise (2017)

Romance!  War!  Fezes!  So many fezes.

BQB here with a review of The Promise.

In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a love triangle forms between Armenian medical student Mikael (Oscar Isaac or “Poe Dameron” as Star Wars fans know him), American journalist Chris Myers (Christian Bale), and French Armenian artist Ana (Charlotte Le Bon).

Both men yearn for Ana’s heart (and cooter) but there’s much more evil doings afoot.  The Ottoman Empire becomes Germany’s ally in World War I.  Now stronger than ever thanks to their German benefactors, the Turkish majority army sets its sights on the country’s Armenian minority.  Armenians are savagely executed, brutalized, rounded up, sent off to forced labor camps and so on.

Although the film is a love story and a war story, it’s much more than any of that.  As far as I know (and perhaps historians/film buffs can prove me wrong), it’s the best, most compelling story of the Armenian Genocide, a horrific chapter in Turkey’s history that should be more well known to the world than it is.

As the film states, the French Navy was able to rescue 4,000 Armenians.  However, a staggering 1.5 million Armenians were killed.  To this day, the Turkish government denies that the Armenian Genocide ever happened.  This sucks, especially since Turkey is a NATO ally.

It’s an Oscar-ish movie, though I doubt it will see any gold statues as it was released too early in the year.  Oscar Isaac gets to shine in a non-comic book/sci-fi movie. Bale is an impressive adventurer/man of the world.  Le Bon puts the filling in my Crepe Suzette and is so beautiful that you almost can’t blame Chris and Mikael for stopping periodically during the war to vie for Ana’s hand (and cooter).

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  A must see and it is a movie that does the world a service by shining a light on a tragic part of history.

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Movie Review: Live By Night (2017)

Tommy guns!  Dizzy dames!  Ben Affleck in a white suit mumbling incoherently.

Youse guys better check out this movie if youse know what’s good for youse, see?

BQB here with the 1930s period piece/screen adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s historical crime novel, Live By Night.

Ben “Look At Me, I’m From Boston So I Have to Be in All the Boston Movies, Kid” Affleck stars as stick up man Joe Coughlin, a petty thug/World War I veteran who, despite being Irish, rises up through the ranks of the Italian mob on a mission of vengeance against the rival mobster who killed the maul he loved.

It’s a great premise.  It’s fun to see the past brought to life on the big screen.  Historic films rarely do well at the box office anymore, so it’s great to see Hollywood sticking up for them anyway.

Further, we’ve seen gangster era New York on screen, but its rare to see somewhere like Boston in the thirties.

My main complaint is the film tends to wander.  The whole point of the film is Joe seeking revenge, but he takes a roundabout zig zag approach to it instead of a straight line.  Halfway through the film you start to forget what Joe is up to.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.  Probably the best you’re going to see on screen in January.

 

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Movie Review – Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Sometimes a conscientious objector can still be a badass, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of Hacksaw Ridge.

OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING

This film tells the story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), an Army medic who became the first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Honor after saving seventy-five men during the Battle of Hacksaw Ridge in World War II Japan.

Having experienced too much violence as a young man, the devoutly religious Doss vows to never commit violence and would rather die than hurt anyone, even if that someone is about to hurt him.

Naturally, the Army is puzzled as to why the hell he voluntarily signed-up if he won’t carry a rifle.

His superiors, played by Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington, go out of their way to get him tossed out of the army as they can’t fathom the idea of a soldier who is unwilling to learn how to shoot a weapon.

Will Doss earn their respect in the end?

The first half of the film is a tad hokey.  Lots of war movie cliches mixed in with Doss’ battle with the brass to pass basic training without touching a gun.

The second half is a blood and guts fest. Explosions and gun fire galore. Stabbings, mutilations, flame throwers, grenades, missing limbs, all kinds of gore.

Movies are able to speak with images and the message the director is giving us is, “war is hell.”

Some films and the overall media try to capture what it is like to be a soldier and fail.  Patriotic movies are all well and good but this movie takes us onto the battle field in all of its “Holy shit my friend just got his face blown off and now a guy is stabbing me and holy crap my face is on fire and my leg just got blown off!” butt puckering glory.

Thus, if you want to join the army, make sure you’re joining for the right reasons (not just because a spiffy uniform is involved) and understand there will be many butt puckering moments you won’t be able to even comprehend until you face them.

Further, politicians should consider what soldiers must go through during war time and avoid war at all costs.

That’s the message I took away from it, anyway.

It’s definitely an underdog story as Doss takes heaps of abuse from his unit for his non-violent ways only to prove his bravery and save tons of men on the battlefield.

Speaking of underdogs, Mel Gibson’s career is also on the line here.

You remember Mel, don’t you?

Beloved actor/director. Starred in and directed a lot of great movies. Had a reputation of “Well, if Mel’s in it then it will be good” and then he had some, well, I won’t get into the details but let’s just say some well documented breakdowns.

Since then, he’s starred in some films that were sort of blah.  This is Hollywood letting him at the helm with a big budget and a great script so…I mean the film is fabulous Oscar bait and though I don’t wear my emotion on my sleeve, even I found myself crying as Desmond proved all the naysayers wrong…

…but, it is still hard to get over those nasty rants, Mel.  I don’t know.  You might have to cure cancer or something.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy and worth a trip to the theater for the explosions, but skip the popcorn if you don’t want to hurl once the guts and limbs and assorted body parts start flying.

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Remember the Zombamo – Part 2 – William Travis

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William Travis is a man who believes in himself…perhaps a little too much.

Suffering from delusions of grandeur, Travis borrows big bucks to fund his law and newspaper offices.  (He likes to keep his business affairs separate.)

Unable to pay his enormous debt back, he becomes a pariah in his hometown and is to be arrested and sent to debtor’s prison.

But even when his wife and everyone else tells him to stop believing, Travis keeps believing.  So convinced is he that he is destined for greatness that he hightails it to Texas, where an officer’s commission awaits him.

Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7          Chapter 8

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Remember the Zombamo – Part 1 – Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

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General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna charges into a battle against an army of marauding Spaniards hell bent on retaking Mexico for King Ferdinand.

A cannon blows off the general’s leg.  With death appearing to be a near certainty, the mysterious vampire Isadora makes her way to Santa Anna’s bedside and turns him into a vampire.

Quickly, we learn that Isadora represents, “The Legion,” an organization of vampires who have done the devil’s bidding for ages.

A bargain is struck.  Santa Anna may rule Mexico, but he must unleash Satan onto the world.

Under Isadora’s counsel, Santa Anna takes advantage of the chaos created by a coup to execute the president and vice-president to declare himself Mexico’s chief executive.

The loyal but chagrined Colonel Arroyo gets promoted to General, but is dismayed that the people go along with Santa Anna’s chicanery.

Also…werewolves.

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4

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Remember the Zombamo – Chapter 1

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1829

Tampico, Mexico

The Spaniards had returned for what they deemed was rightfully theirs. An army of nearly three thousand men loyal to King Ferdinand approached with rifles at the ready.

Sitting atop his horse, the middle-aged Colonel Javier Arroyo peaked at the uninvited guests through a spy glass.

“Madness,” the Colonel said. “General, we have no choice but to…”

Before Arroyo could say “surrender,” his commander, the brash, young General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was off, charging his steed towards the invaders with his saber drawn, a battle cry pouring out of his lungs, and a thousand of his own men in tow.

“Dios mio,” Colonel Arroyo said as he drew his sword and pointed it at the Spaniards. “Attack!”

The air grew thick with the scent of gunpowder as shots rang out from both sides. Swords clanged. Blood was spilled, staining the soil crimson.

Before long, the Colonel and the General found themselves fighting in close proximity to one another.

“I find myself questioning your sanity, Antonio!” the Colonel cried as ran his sword through a Spaniard’s gut.

Santa Anna fired his pistol at one Spanish soldier, then, lacking sufficient time to reload, socked another square in the jaw with his bare fist.

“And I question your intestinal fortitude, Javier,” Santa Anna replied.

“My…”

The general’s sword clanged against a Spanish rapier. Parry…parry…thrust! Another Spaniard down.

“Your guts!” Santa Anna said.

“There are too many of them!” Arroyo shouted. “There’s cowardice and then there’s using the head that God gave you!”

Pow! A Spanish cannonball emerged from a cannon perched on a hilltop, tore through the air, and landed twenty feet away, causing a contingent of Mexican soldiers to erupt in an explosion of blood and viscera.

Santa Anna picked up a dead Spaniard’s rifle and fired a shot, opening up a giant hole in the middle of a Spanish officer’s head.

“Fighting to keep what is yours?” Santa Anna asked. “If you think that’s a bad idea, then you’re the one who has something wrong his head, amigo.”

Pow! A second cannonball landed. It was closer this time. Ten feet away. More blood. More guts.

Arroyo ducked just in time to avoid getting his faced smashed in with the butt of a rifle. He returned the favor by jamming his sword through his opponent’s stomach.

“I think its a good idea to live,” Arroyo said.

“And you will,” Santa Anna said. “Trust me, tonight we will celebrate by…”

Pow! A third cannonball landed less than a foot away. It exploded.

The general was on the ground. His ears were ringing. His sight was blurry.

“Antonio!” Arroyo shouted as he fought his way to his fallen leader’s side.

Santa Anna looked to his left. A bloody, shredded leg laid in the dirt. Even with all the pain and confusion, he could tell the limb looked all too familiar.

The general looked down. His right leg was still there. His left leg was not. Scraps of flesh and bone jutted out of the left side of his pelvis where his leg once was.

“Antonio?” the Colonel asked. “Antonio!”

Santa Anna’s eyes closed and he slipped into a deep, dark state of unconsciousness.

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