Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Festivus To All!

Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23rd. It was created by writer Dan O'Keefe and introduced into popular culture by his son Daniel, a screenwriter for the TV show Seinfeld as part of a comical storyline on the show. The holiday's celebration, as shown on Seinfeld, includes an aluminum "Festivus pole", practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and the "Feats of Strength", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles".

In the "Airing of Grievances", which occurs during the Festivus meal, each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year. A great way to bring loved ones closer together in my opinion. What family wouldn’t benefit from a nice, healthy dose of honesty during the Holidays? Seriously.

After the meal the "Feats of Strength" are performed, involving wrestling the head of the household to the floor, with the holiday ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned. The Holidays just wouldn’t be complete without organized physical confrontation, am I right?

Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as "Festivus for the rest of us", a saying taken from the O'Keefe family traditions and popularized in the Seinfeld episode to describe Festivus as "another way" to celebrate the season without participating in its pressures and commercialism. God bless the O’Keefe family – we could all learn a thing or two from you folks, as utterly strange as you may be.

Although the original Festivus took place in February 1965, as a celebration of the elder O'Keefe's first date with his future wife, Deborah, it is now celebrated on December 23, as depicted on the December 18, 1997 Seinfeld episode "The Strike”. God I miss Seinfeld. The only thing on TV these days is vacuous reality bullshit.

The original Festivus holiday featured more peculiar practices, as detailed in the younger Daniel O'Keefe's book The Real Festivus. The book provides a first-person account of an early version of the Festivus holiday as celebrated by the O'Keefe family, and how O'Keefe amended or replaced details of his father's invention to create the Seinfeld episode. If you don't already own this book do yourself a favor and buy it. Daniel O’Keefe – you are my hero and your father is brilliant. You may have been scarred for life by this peculiar holiday created and celebrated by your family years ago, but your pain was clearly the rest of the world’s gain.

Happy Festivus to all!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Name Those Headlines

Remember the "Bid-A-Note" round on the popular 80's game show "Name That Tune"? The host would read a clue to a song, and the players would then alternate bidding as to how few notes they needed to identify the song (as in "I can name that tune in six notes"). Bidding ended when one contestant finally challenged the other to "Name That Tune".

Well, for no apparent reason whatsoever I've decided to create a spin-off of that game right here on my blog. The purpose of my game is to see in how few words you can effectively summarize the top three headlines of the week while at the same time creating a common theme for all three headlines. I'll of course go first because I'm the creator of the game and readers can then chime in with comments to see if they can beat me. But remember the words you choose MUST effectively (and hopefully humorously) summarize the stories, and they MUST all follow a common theme. This week's stories include: 1) The Tiger Woods Scandal, 2) The White House party crashers, and 3) Chelsea Clinton's pending nuptials. Hey - this is my blog - I can pick whatever stories I want as the top three headlines. I never said they had to be the most important stories of the week or even the most interesting. Now on to the game:

This week I can summarize the top three headlines in 9 words.

Mr. Quinsey: "Name Those Headlines"

1) Tiger loses roar

2) Cougar craves attention

3) Dog finds bone

I'm such an asshole. Let's see if anyone else can do better.

Good Luck.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bad Tiger

Am I the only one amused by the subtle irony in the recent Tiger Woods scandal? Dude cheats on his wife then gets his ass beat by said wife with a 7-iron, the very same 7-iron he’s used to become a global sports icon. As he attempts to flee the scene of the scorn-filled beat down she then smashes out the back windows of his pimped-out Escalade with the 7-iron, the very same 7-iron he used to earn the money to buy said Escalade. Oh yes this scandal is wrought with much irony indeed.

A golf club – the tool he uses to hit a little white ball 400 yards on a rope to within feet of a little hole in the ground – it’s what’s made Tiger, Tiger. It’s also what’s given him extreme wealth and riches, fame and notoriety the world over, and let’s face it it’s the only reason he ever landed a wife as hot as Elin in the first place. Seriously - he doesn’t seem to be a particularly nice guy, he doesn’t appear to possess much personality whatsoever, and when he takes his hat off he’s downright ugly. If he wasn’t Tiger Woods “golf god” do you really think Elin would have ever given him the time of day? But no, Elin wasn’t good enough for you, Tiger. You needed some strange so you went out and got your jollies elsewhere (and it sounds like multiple elsewhere’s based on recent developments - ouch). Hey Eldrick – when your fans yell “put it in the hole” you do know they’re talking about golf, right? Just think about how difficult it must have been for that beautiful creature to procreate with your ugly ass. She probably had to take pills just to keep from vomiting. And you had the audacity to cheat on her? But alas, in a swift moment of oh so poetic justice she got even by going meat tenderizer on your adultering ass with a… wait for it… a golf club, the very instrument which created you. She could have picked any number of other convenient objects to do the job: a baseball bat, a candle stick, even a mallet, but no she chose a golf club and do you think this was just a happy coincidence? Well done, Elin. I like your style.

The subtle irony is not the best part of this story however. The best part is that it illustrates one of life's most simple truths: No man no matter who they are (not even a legendary sports icon like Tiger) is above the basic laws of human decency. To put it another way if you cheat on the person you committed to forever there will be a hefty price to pay. Oh but he’s Tiger Woods – just think about all the women who must be throwing themselves at him on a daily basis. With temptation like that how can you really blame him for his indiscretions, right? Bullshit - at the end of the day we all have free will and we are all accountable for our actions, even the great Tiger Woods. He got caught with his pants down and just look at the fallout: His reputation is tarnished forever, his hot wife will likely leave him (if she’s not a doormat like Kobe’s wife), she will most certainly take half his shit with her, and the majority of his sponsors will probably pull the plug on their endorsement deals with him. And it’s all because he couldn’t keep it in his pants. I was at the airport the other day and I saw an advertisement that cleverly correlated challenges experienced on the golf course with challenges experienced in the business world. At the bottom of the sign was a picture of Tiger Woods with that stoic look on his face and the caption read: “Go on, be a Tiger”. Suddenly that slogan seems to have lost all of its luster (there goes your Accenture sponsorship, douche bag).

The moral of this story is simple: Don’t cheat on your wife, it never ends well.