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Archive for ‘Opinions’

Mitt Romney: Really Great at Using His Checkbook

August 28, 2012 By: Category: News, Opinions, Politics


Over the weekend, The LA Times published a piece that was intended to showcase the side of Mitt Romney that doesn’t come across in his robotic delivery, his stiff appearance, and his poorly defined stance on issues of political concern. We’re in trouble from the subtitle:

Friends see a warm, charitable man with a sense of duty rooted in his Mormon faith.

So right off the bat, we know this article is going to offer us no information of value. “Mitt Romney’s friends like him.” I don’t think there’s been a lot of debate in the public forum about whether or not Mitt Romney is cool with his pals. I would like to see the presidential candidate whose friends told the press, “That guy’s a total prick.”

The opening story is a doozy. (more…)

Baby’s First March

October 17, 2011 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Opinions, Politics

Baby and Daddy, fighting the power.

My wife and I took our 10-month old daughter Zellie on the Occupy LA march over the weekend. It was a very peaceful, if somewhat subdued moment of people coming together to express their common frustration with the state of our country. I was pleasantly surprised at the diversity; I know the coverage of Zuccotti Park tends to focus on the punks and hipsters, but every age and walk of life was represented at Occupy LA. I would even say it skewed old. Turnout felt somewhat sparse when I was in the thick of it, but the local news estimated the crowd was between 10 and 15,000 strong, which sounds like a pretty impressive figure to me. Zellie did not seem that impressed, but the only thing that really excites her at this age is bananas.

It was the first march I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve always been more of a complainer than a protestor. My civil disobedience mostly takes the form of snarky Facebook status updates and rambling emails to my friend. That’s not a typo, I really only have one friend. My only real involvement in politics to date consisted of attending the Ralph Nader rally at Madison Square Garden in 2000 (Tim Robbins showed up as Bob Roberts! Don’t worry; no one got it then, either) and making a few hours worth of phone calls for Obama in 2008.

Oh, I also went to see George Bush Sr. speak in high school, but that was for a girl. The President was on a Whistle Stop train tour that whistled to a stop 20 miles from my hometown, and the highly crush-worthy Julie C. invited me to join her family at the station. Under those kinds of circumstances, how could I refuse? You show me a guy who won’t drive 20 miles to watch the President wave from a sweet-looking vintage train with the girl he wants to bone and I’ll show you a guy who doesn’t believe in America. (more…)

Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig Are Not Very Good at Their Jobs

July 28, 2011 By: Category: Greatest Hits, Movies, Opinions

I do not have any interest in being famous. I’d like to be respected. That would be nice. I’d like to make works that people enjoy. I’d like to be wealthy enough to not have to think about how that box of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream bars is going to affect my grocery budget. All of those things would be great. But famous? For the birds, in my opinion. The worst part would be having people bother you all the time. Leave me alone, dammit! I’m just trying to get my legs waxed in peace like a normal fellow!

That’s why I would not want to be an actor. Because the only way to succeed as an actor is to be famous. I mean, I guess you can be that guy who’s in those things that no one has ever heard of. But I would doubt there are a ton of actors striving to be that guy. If you’re an actor, the winning trajectory is to make the most of a small role so you can get better roles in bigger movies where you will be seen by more people and make more money.

Not that it’s all about making more money – I would imagine most actors sincerely enjoy pretending to be other people. But what I’m saying is it isn’t a job that can exist in a vacuum. Sure, you can pretend to be other people all by yourself in your bedroom, but I’m not sure how to turn that into a viable career path. A successful actor doesn’t just love pretending to be other people, he loves pretending to be other people in front of other people.

Unfortunately, along with all that pretending to be other people and making lots of money comes a few job requirements. One of those requirements is publicizing the movies you just got paid a shit ton of money to be in. Sometimes this promotional period can last for weeks. You might have to do one interview after another for a whole day. A whole day! Can you imagine? Like, 20 interviews in a single day, talking about the same thing. You might have to say the same thing 20 times! You will be fed and coddled and you will sit in a comfortable chair and you will almost certainly be treated in a very deferential manner by everyone who talks to you. But you might have to say one thing 20 times in a row! (more…)

Hey There, Starbucks Guy!

October 12, 2010 By: Category: Opinions, stories

Guy at Starbucks (in mirror this morning): All right. Got my Thrasher trucker cap perched delicately on top of my hair. Sleeves rolled up so people can admire the fading tattoos blanketing every inch of my arms. Chain wallet with 10 inch long puffy raccoon tail hanging off the end, like seriously so long and unwieldy that it would tickle my knees if I wasn’t wearing these badass capris? Check .

(Claps his hands.) All right! Coffee time! Let’s do this shit!

Me at Starbucks (in line behind him): You look great!

Swedish Dads Get 18 Months Paid Paternity Leave

September 01, 2010 By: Category: Opinions

I mean, c’mon. 18 months paid paternity leave. 25 work days minimum vacation. 2 weeks worth of public holidays. Universal health insurance. What else? Oh, maybe just a population full of the healthiest, happiest, and most attractive people in the entire world and PURE DOMINANCE of the pop hook! At what point do we admit that they’ve just got it figured out?

Okay, they’re more homogeneous than we are. They have way higher taxes. What else? It’s cold? I mean, you know that money doesn’t make people happy, right? Plenty of happy people who aren’t rich, plenty of miserable people who are. Some brain devil tells us that we would be different. Maybe other people are unhappy being rich, but I would not be. Well, I declare hooey! You would be just as sad and lonely as you are now. The only way money could ever make you happy is if it could buy you a machine that would let you travel back in time and murder your parents before they fucked you up.

The alternative to that kind of machine is a high quality of life. And all those things would go on my quality of life wish list. If it means I’ve gotta pay a little extra for it, so be it. I already give 60% of my income away to charity* ; why not just donate it to building a better society?

* I totally don’t give 60% of my income away to charity.


The Radical, Cutting Edge Fashion of American Apparel

August 19, 2010 By: Category: Opinions

So, American Apparel is going out of business, or whatever. Okay! It happens. Clothing stores come and go, and we all know Dov Charney likes to beat-off in front of his staff, so good riddance to that guy. But here’s what I’m confused about: the media perception of what American Apparel is. I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read that talk about American Apparel as if its clothes are some kind of crazy-trendy design, like Hypercolor or something. Like, from Salon today:

Ultimately, if [American Apparel] and Abercrombie sink, it will less likely be the fault of dubious business practices and “improper management” (although they sure don’t help) than the same thing that affects everybody in the world fashion – plain old changing tastes. There will always be young beautiful people who can get away with ugly tank tops, but frankly any company that’s in the “polyester high waist pleated pant” business has likely been on borrowed time from the get-go.

Am I confused about something? I thought the whole point of American Apparel was that its clothes are super basic and mix-and-match. They sell t-shirts and tank tops and zip-up hoodies in primary colors. Granted, they have chicks in giant, dumb-looking glasses in their ads and what not. I understand that their ads are hyper-stylized and trendy. But the clothing itself? It’s just, like, your most basic definition of clothes, right?

Also, for what it’s worth? I always thought their ads were pretty hot. Even the ones with chicks in giant, dumb-looking glasses. Don’t hate!

A Quick Lesson in Non-Assholery, Molly Sims

August 16, 2010 By: Category: Opinions

Who is Molly Sims? This is, I guess.

Let me start out by saying this story involves two people named Molly Sims and Heidi Montag. I don’t know who Molly Sims is. I know exactly who Heidi Montag is, but I would not think less of you if you had never heard of her. I may think more of you, in fact. If you’re one of those people who spends his/her time reading books and stuff, Heidi Montag is a person who was a jerk on a reality show and then had a bunch of plastic surgery. There was almost certainly a failed stab at music somewhere in there, although I can’t say that with 100% certainty, although of course I can say that with 100% certainty.

Let me be perfectly clear: if Heidi Montag & Molly Sims hang glided into a mountain it would not affect my life in the slightest. I don’t care about either of them, except for in that vague way where you’re supposed to think people should live or whatever. But what I do care about is when people pretend they are not assholes by being even bigger assholes. That is the crime I have come here today to rectify. According to The Huffington Post, Molly Sims had some “harsh words” for Heidi Montag in an interview with Health Magazine:

But Sims dished out some real talk for Montag, who once had ten plastic surgery procedures performed in one day. Sims remarked, “I think Heidi Montag is a really sick girl, something is off. You don’t get F-size boobs. And I’m not judging her. I feel sorry for her.”

First of all, Health magazine? Is that one of those tiny magazines in the grocery store checkout line? That doesn’t count as a real interview! Second of all, dear editors of Health: I know models look really skinny, but skinny is not the same as healthy. Third of all, dear Molly Sims: phrases like “something is off” and “a really sick girl” count as judgments. Also, Molly Sims, there is possibly nothing more disingenuous then the combined sentences, “I am not judging you. I feel sorry for you.” I am not judging you at all. I feel sorry for you that you do not know you sound like an asshole.

The Fifteen Best Old Albums That Were New to Me in 2009

December 21, 2009 By: Category: Best of 2009, Lists, Music, Opinions, Videos


When Jeffrey asked me to come up with some sort of “Best of 2009” list for Awkward, I told him, “Listen, Hot Lips: I’m an old, crotchety douche bag who lives solely in the past… and not even my past! I’m talking about the past of some stinky old hippie who got beaten with pool cues at Altamont! I haven’t seen ten movies in 2009 worthy of recommendation. I read maybe three books that were published this year, only one of which didn’t give me the dry heaves. Albums? Do they even make those anymore? Yes, Jeffrey, I recommend you take your ‘Best of 2009’ project and stuff it into your tear ducts, because I bet that would hurt like a mother.”

When Jeffrey stopped sobbing, he said, “Pretty please.” Now, I’m not made of stone, so I told him I’d toss him a piece I was already posting on my own site: the award-winning* Psychobabble. He said, “Whatever.” So, here’s The Fifteen Best Old Albums That Were New to Me in 2009. Enjoy!

*Awards may be self-administered.

15. I’ve Got My Own Album to Do by Ron Wood (1974)

On the cusp of the collapse of The Faces and his recruitment into the Rolling Stones’ ranks, Ron Wood went into the studio with a few buddies and a few bottles and cut a characteristically sloppy solo record. Surprisingly, I’ve Got My Own Album to Do wound up being more than a bundle of drunken jams. “Am I Grooving You” may be a dumb lyric slapped onto a lazy guitar lick and “Crotch Music” may marry a dumb title with dated jazz-rock fusion, but there are a surprising number of quality songs on this record. Wood duets with future fuehrer Mick Jagger on “I Can Feel the Fire”, getting the record off to a rousing start (although it would turn into an even fierier item during live performances with The Faces), but the ballads may provide the most memorable moments of I’ve Got My Own Album to Do. “Far East Man”, co-written with George Harrison, is gorgeously reeling, and “Mystifies Me”, on which Wood goes pipe to ravaged pipe with Rod Stewart, is a lovely, ragged, countrified love song. Stewart also steps in to give a little boost to the Chuck Berry-esque rocker “Take a Look at the Guy” and mask Wood’s drunkenly tuneless delivery of “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody”, but this remains Wood’s show all the way through. (more…)

The Sexting Revolution

December 03, 2009 By: Category: Opinions

According to an article on the Huffington Post, 1 in 4 teens has sent nude pictures via their cellphones. You know what I think about that? I think once again, we poor Gen Xers are left out in the cold. Our parents got the sexual revolution, and now our kids get sexting. What did we get? Two Live Crew and AIDs. Thanks a lot, universe!

Well, I’m not missing out this time around. I’m hopping on this sexting bandwagon. I’m going to start sending naked pictures of myself to everyone I know. And then they have to naked me back, right? Isn’t that how it works?