The Harmful Rays of the Moral Vacuum

The Harmful Rays of the Moral Vacuum
Please be advised that for your safety you must exit this blog on foot, calmly and quickly.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Moral Vacuum's Adventures in Internet Journalism

It recently came to my attention that there are internet sites that get many more page views than this one.  I was as shocked by this as I am sure you are, dear reader.  (I know there is only one or less of you, which affords me the ability to give you the personal attention you deserve, including directly addressing you.)

In the course of my day job, I regularly work with the editors of a mostly conservative news and opinion site called  They frequently accept submissions on issues outside of politics and hard news.  For example, a recent piece on my favorite TV show, Mad Men.  I thought it would be fun to write and submit a piece on one of my passions, mixed martial arts.

MMA is illegal in New York State despite being legal in the vast majority of other states.  I wrote a piece in which I explained the sport of mixed martial arts to the uninitiated, and laid out the argument as to why it should be made legal.  If you'd like to read it, please do so.  And tell a friend!  Between the two of us who are involved with this blog, I the writer and you my one reader, we must know upwards of ten people.  Anyhow, from what I can tell, my piece did not go over well at all!

The first commenter questioned whether I was employed by any mixed martial arts promotion, or paid to write the piece.  No, although I wish!  UFC President Dana White, if you're reading this, please call me!  A subsequent commenter made the convoluted assertion that the popularity of MMA is evidence that the worker class is growing more discontented and a revolutionary overthrow of capitalism is near.  No, I'm pretty sure man has had an apolitical interest in combat sports since the dawn of time.

By about that point, the mixed martial arts superfans started to chime in.  These later rounds of commenters chastised me for propagating what is known to superfans as the "Zuffa Myth."  I am not even going to explain what that is, but the short version is that no one outside of the devout MMA community would give a damn, so I used commonly accepted shorthand in describing the history of MMA.

I attempted in a response to explain to those superfans that my piece was meant for people who might not have heard of MMA, not those who care about minute historical details.  So in summation, my piece was roundly rejected by fellow MMA fans, political radicals, and cynics alike.  Also, my own mom, whose response to the piece was "DUDE!  Why are you riding the UFC's jock?!  Strikeforce is putting on much better matches at much cheaper production costs!12@!11"  Geez, I didn't even know my mom watched MMA!  I sure took a beating in my first attempt at internet opinion journalism, but hope to write other pieces in the future.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Feel Better

This music video from U.K. based electropop band Hot Chip will either make you laugh out loud or give you nightmares.  Or both.  It starts out kind of slow, but at about :52 it gets positively nutty.  Without giving anything away, my favorite parts are the flippant response at 2:00 and the way the guy in the center of the stage knowingly and wisely runs away at 3:13.  Hot Chip's video gives new meaning to the phrase "dance battle."

Here's one for those of you who have been living under a rock.  Does anyone remember Insane Clown Posse, the supposed rap group best know for their serial hatred of Eminem and their moronic group of followers called Juggalos?  Not surprisingly they have been dropped from their label.  Undeterred, they independently released an album the first single of which, "Miracles," tackles the hard questions.

The video for Miracles showcases special effects that look like they were done by a 12 year old.  But as bad as the video is, the lyrics are worse.  The song is meant to explain "that without explanation," but is really a laundry list of things with reasonable explanations that confound the mouth breathers of ICP.  The best example is at 1:50... "F***ing magnets!  How do they work?"  But they earn bonus points for denouncing scientists as liars whose explanations for these miracles would just "leave them pissed." Oh, also, apparently there is "magic everywhere in this bitch."  This video has been all the buzz on the internet for the past week or so, and was even parodied by Saturday Night Live.

Bonus information on Juggalos:  They are considered a gang in several states and have been involved in criminal activity up to and including murder.  There is an annual Gathering of Juggalos (so be sure to avoid Cave-In-Rock, Il from August 6th to 9th of this year).  And they show just how nonconformist they are by joining a subculture of people who dress, act and think alike.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Fordham Flip

Since we're now in the thick of baseball season, I thought it fitting to mention a baseball story that has been getting some national attention, and which concerns my alma mater.  Brian Kownacki,
Fordham's shortstop--apparently channeling Willie Mays Hayes--did a backflip over the catcher to score a run.  The video, embedded below, really must be seen to be believed.  For his efforts, Kownacki has gotten mentions in outlets including and The Bleacher Report, which commented "Fordham baseball isn't a big deal by any stretch of the imagination. Located in the East Bronx, Fordham is a secluded university with sub-par athletic facilities. Its basketball gym is the oldest remaining gym in Division I basketball. Across the street is the baseball field where no more than 100 fans will attend games—usually just parents and bored students."  Harsh, but they have obviously visited Fordham.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A proud moment

I know it's been a long while since I have blogged at ya.  But something has come to my attention that is of such grave importance that I couldn't allow it to go without comment.  What has happened?  Oh, it's really no big deal. American society has just reached the highest peak of awesomeness, that's all.  I am speaking, you might have already guessed, about the Double Down, a new sandwich from the chicken wizards at KFC.

The sandwich is, according to KFC nutrition scientists, "so meaty, there's no room for a bun."  I commend them on their efforts at including a bun.  I can only imagine how they toiled thanklessly in some dark basement laboratory trying to fit a bun around all that meat and cheese.  But in the end, you can't fight the inevitable.  And so, KFC was forced to release the Double Down sans bread.

The sandwich, which was released this past Monday, April 12th, is comprised of two pieces of fried chicken (presumably in lieu of bread), two slices of cheese, the Colonel's sauce, and bacon.  For the health conscious, you can get the chicken bread in both grilled and original recipe versions.

This just makes me want to start chanting U-S-A!  U-S-A!  This sends a message to those who would oppose American, from rogue nations, to international terrorists.  You know what that message is?  "We are a people of great resolve.  We invented the Double Down.  Clearly we have no fear of death.  Do you really want to test us?!"

By the way, this thing is still healthier than many other fast food items, believe it or not.  Now that's American ingenuity.