stop picking on Bono

Bono is overexposed.  He is a holier than thou.  He is an overbearing elitist out of touch narcissist.  I can’t stand him.  He should shut up and play his stupid overrated crap rock for other soulless crackers and honkeys.  Wait… to say that gives him too much credit.

Shut up.  You are wrong, and here is why.  First off, you aren’t bothered by his music.  You use that a defense for your jealousy.  Yes.  Bono is overexposed.  For a reason.  Yes, he is using his celebrity to save the world.  Does that make him an asshole?   NO.  Jesus, man.  He is literally using all his powers of celebrity and notoriety to make Earth better.  That doesn’t make him a jerk.  Just like it doesn’t make Bill Gates a jerk, or Warren Buffet.  If the worst thing a person does is do great and help people, he isn’t a narcissist.  He is a hero.

He is not the asshole.  You, sir, are the ahole.  See what I did there?  I could have called you an asshole, but I didn’t.  I took the high road, unlike you (asshole!).  It’s probably tough to take Bono seriously, and I get that. We aren’t used to rock stars NOT being douchebags.

Bill Gates walked away from a life of comfort being a zillionaire to spend his time in shithole countries.  HEY… don’t get to holy.  You know these are shithole countries.  Is he a  publicity whore?  No. he is a hero and national treasure.  So is Bono.

*** without telling you too much – one of those people above are me, and NEITHER of those people are Bono.  That last part wasn’t discovered until a week later.


Friday Fives – bert is evil edition

*** update 8.14 – I now have a meeting Bono story, too.  What’s yours?  Proof here.

1. What is the most depressing meal you ever made yourself?

Mac and & Cheese. Generic of course!  What am I all she sudden, a guy who can afford .50 cents a meal?  I worked all through college, but my earnings went to beer and such.  Meals were simply built around my schedule since I worked at at Chinese restaurant in town.  There food was super good.  So, leftover Chinese food accounted for probably 70% of my diet in my early 20’s.

Oh, I have a great and troubling story about our owner at the place stealing and re-cycling, and re-using shrimp.

Going to complain?  To who, the owner?  No.  He is the owner.  To the health department?  No way, if they shut him down I lose my job.  So, we won’t tell that story now.

sorry… back to the Mac and Cheese story.  Focus, man!

Ever made that boxed mac and cheese when you have no butter OR milk?  You know, college days.  So, you have to try and create a passable sauce sluice of tap water and powdered cheese.

Did you know you can take coffee creamer and water and make a milk colored sluice.  It approximates the color and viscosity of milk.  The similarities, however, end right about here.  If you find yourself doing this, and you will, go kill yourself.

 It is right about then I started to really engage in my education because I didn’t want ramen and mac and cheese (and water) to be my end game.  It paid off!  I may not be rich, but approx zero percent of my diet these days includes powdered anything.

2. What’s the best way to start an interesting conversation with a stranger?

I would say the elevator bit.  This trick is especially effective and extra hilarious if you are in a hotel and drinking environment.  You know what?  Never mind.  This is advanced stuff and just look at you.  Go ahead and stick with sitting in the corner quietly and silently.

Plan B – tell them your Johny Depp story.  Everybody loves a good JD story.  Now, that being said, if you don’t have a real Johnny Depp anecdote… you should get one right away.  They are quite handy to have on the spot.

Until you get your own Depp story, try a few of these.  Comedy gold, and all the more reason to appreciate Bill Murray even more.  As for my Johnny Depp story, I ain’t telling you.  Why?  Because the second I tell you the story you are going to go all Carlos Mencia on my ass and start telling the story as your own.

3. If you could insert a single rubber duck into any moment in history, where/when would it have the most profound impact?

I am thinking of going the ‘Bert is Evil’ route and placing it in a historically absurd moment like the Hindenburg going down in that field, Bert showing up with Bin Laden at a madrases or at the Kennedy Assassination.  If you don’t know the ‘Bert is Evil’  bit from the early days of the internet… please stop and take a few minutes.  Someone awesome took the effort years ago, to Photoshop and malicious and evil looking Bert from Sesame Street into every great photographed moment in history.  A la – Forrest Gump, I guess.

 I dare say this was the internet’s very first meme.  Wanna have night terrors?  Click here!  It cannot be unseen, but it is safe for work.  Here is Sesame Streets new ambassador right now.

4. What product do you want that that no longer exists?

Thank you for asking, but I think it is too late now. Last year, Denver based Hostess foods went under.  Well, people went apeshit when this happened and demanded access to twinkies.

It became a national news story.  Well, the drama worked.  Power to the people!  Problem is, I never ate twinkies.  No one did, that is why they went out of business, you dumbass.  Now everyone had this stupid nostalgia for twinkies.  So, someone bought up the brand back to life, bot forgot these.  These are ding dongs, and they are FAR superior to twinkies or cupcakes.  It is a chocolate cake dipped in chocolate.  Yeah, go ahead and have a seat and read that one again.

I also miss the pudding pies from same company.  Nothing healthy here, but SO cool.

5. Who is the nicest person you have ever met?

Moby.  Many years ago I was at a rave with Regan and Trav.  Moby was the host and one of the superstars of the musical era.  Well, after the rave, and the drugs wore off, Moby came out and meeting people.  Just saying hi, hope you fun.  Mind you, this is peak Moby.  20 years ago, he had mojo like Puffy… or bigger.  He was the biggest dj then, if not still today, in all of history.  At this show, he had 5,000 people pay $30 each to watch him spin.

 We were probably too high to cope with getting to our car.  Anyhow, Moby approaches us and says “Thanks for coming tonight, I really appreciate it.  I put my hand out to shake hands and Mody says “dude, come on, we’re good here” and hugs me.  It was a decent and thoughtful and real hug.

Then, sensing that we were kinda besties by now, I asked Moby to sign my ticket stub.  He says ‘sure’ and takes the ticket stub from my hand.  He sees the face value for the show was $40 (or something like that) and he started apologizing profusely.  So, he gives me another hug and then signs my ticket stub, and then with a sharpie draws this whole little super cool and unique cartoon on the ticket stub.  I still have it somewhere around here.

When you watch interviews, you see he comes off very nebbish and ‘aw shucks, y’all’ type temperament’.  It’s not an affect.

*** remind me to tell you another Szechuan story about my sociology experiment where I sat in an elevator all day at the airport and filmed people with a super 8.  People would ask what I was doing, and I would quietly explain ‘sorry, ma’am.  That security camera up there is out.  So, I have to cover for another week.  Please don’t do anything differently than you would if  wasn’t here.

Friday Fives – fate and deities and ghosts and Bono and all that – edition

Do you believe in luck, fate or a higher being?

Yes, yes, and no.  That may be wishy washy, and contradictory.  It’s like how I feel about ghosts.  I don’t necessarily believe in them, but I positively don’t NOT believe in them.  Did that make sense?  If I had to choose, I would err on the side that there are ghosts.  Here is my logic; Einstein said energy can be neither created not destroyed.  The human body is ALL electrical.  Everything that happens to keep you alive is electricity based.  The matrix had an insightful twist on it, that we are just batteries.  There is some truth to that.

Plus, full disclosure, I have had some mild ghost experiences in the past.  Why are we talking about ghosts?  That wasn’t the question at all.

As for a higher being, I am an atheist.  NOT an agnostic.  I know there are a million arguments how there could be no atheists.  I do not believe in a magical, cogent higher power.  Here is the thing, though.  I wish I did.  I would love to believe in heaven.

My buddy Mike made an incredibly insightful point about atheists in a Facebook discussion a few years ago. It sounds flippant at first.  He said “for you to say there is no god acknowledges a god.”  Get it?  He is saying that for me to say “there is no god” means I am at least acknowledging the concept of god.  It’s truly thoughtful, and to that I say this.  I understand your concept of god very well.  So, I am speaking to that.

You may say “how could you look at a puppy or the grand canyon and not see a higher power?”  Easy, I see science and evolution.  It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.  In fact, I appreciate it more than you.  You just think this is god’a magic paintbrush, whereas I see thousands of years of all these things happening to create this perfect moment.

Are you in control of your own destiny or someone else pulling the strings of your life?

Geesh, we are getting heavy today.  I have a dog dying on me this very minute and you are getting all philosophical on me.  I do believe I am in control of my own destiny.  I also acknowledge that outside things beyond my control impact that.  I believe it is called the ‘Butterfly effect’.  That how a butterfly flaps its wings on the other side of the Earth could impact me.  I could go much more into my thoughts on that if you would like, but I feel you understand me.  Oh.. it is also called ‘Indra’s Net’ by Hindu’s.  That concept is like a spider web that shows anything touched anywhere impacts everything else.  See the pic above. That is maybe why I am so fascinated by Mandalas.  They are my connection to myself, and everything else out there.

What are your lucky charms if you own any?

I have this necklace I am wearing that I call my lucky necklace.  However, that is absurd.  I don’t feel bad or good things have happened as a result of my possessing it.  However, I still make sure I have it every day when I leave the house.  It is a rune of my birthday month from the Mayan calendar… or some such nonsense.  It is my physical connection to Mexico, which is my spiritual happy place

Is the world really just a stage and are we merely actors on that stage?

No.  What kind of stupid shit is that?  That is some twilight zone thinking.  I get that we are small on scale, and our lives will be ultimately insignificant… but I don’t believe there is some grand puppet master directing things – be it god, or society, or the Pentaverette.

Describe what happened on your “luckiest” day (positive or negative).

Just two days ago I had a seriously amazing and epic day.  I was in San Francisco, which made it awesome to start out.  San Fran is such a cool city.  One of the great cities of the world.  I was at a business conference with my wife, and they had the street shut down for performances.  Huey Lewis was playing all his hits right there in front of me.  That awesome twist is that everyone he was supposed to be playing for was in business conferences.  So, it was just me and a couple hundred other people.  I took this pic with my phone.  Shows you how close I was.


So, that was pretty great.  Always appreciated Huey.  He makes great music and always seemed like a decent and regular guy.  Plus, his 80’s album ‘Sports’ still holds the record for most number 1 singles on an album.  Wrap your head around that.  Most #1 singles from a single studio album isn’t Michael Jackson, or the Beatles.

So, after seeing Huey (and already feeling like I am having the best day ever) I run into Bono.  I am in a huge ass conference room the size of a football field with all these tech companies pimping their wares.  I enjoyed it.  I noticed a disproportionate amount of excitement out of the corner of my eye… so I investigate.  I pride myself on this kind of situational awareness.  It’s how I got bum rushed by Sen John Kerry and his goons once.  That is another story.

So, I see a few people gathering around and taking pictures of someone.  Who could it be?  Huey Lewis?  Sean Penn?  Billie Joe Armstrong?  They were all there for the conference.  It was Bono.  Thee Bono.  That Bono.  He wasn’t at a booth, or anything like that.  He was just walking around as a participate.  He has no crew, no entourage, and no body guards.  Just this lady.  I take a pic of him taking a pic with someone.  Then, he walks right by me.  Do I leave him alone?  I don’t want to be a stalker ahole, but when will I get this chance again?

bono and some lady

So, I tap him on the shoulder and ask if I can take a picture.  He smiles and TAKES my phone.  He takes two selfies of us together, one even at a cool and arty angle.  Those pics are below.  That is me***, with Bono.*

me and Bono 2013

So, I am walking on air.  Truly, this has been one of the great and fun days of all time…. And this was just two days ago.  That night, we have tickets to go see Green Day and Blondie for free.  That concert was so amazing I wrote about it here, on my music site**.  I also got free food all day from the conference.  Here is what made it bonus fun.  It wasn’t even my conference, it was the wifey’s.  I was just glomming on for the free hotel room in San Francisco.  But, I work for a major major tech company, so I was able to weasel a pass to all the events.

* turns out it probably wasn’t Bono.  Just some weirdo he cruises around and soaks up the adulation the world has for Bono.  Thing is, I am a big fan of U2.  Seen them four times.  I have also met a lot of rock stars.  There was no reason to believe this wasn’t Bono.  I mean, intuitively – yes.  Why the hell would Bono be cruising around a tech sales conference?  Why wouldn’t he have body guards?  I am telling, though, this guy looked 100% like Bono.  It was still a great day, but I am a little sad that maybe it wasn’t Bono after all.

** that piece isn’t up yet.  it is written, and I am editing it. I should have it up some time today.  update to the update – that piece is up now.

*** this is the first time in ten years, and over a thousand posts, that I have ever posted a picture of myself.  I am pretty cagey about that stuff.  You will also never find my real name anywhere on here.