Blog Archives

The Greatest Zombie Story Ever Told

Buddy Christ from “Dogma” (courtesy of View Askew)

I had an idea for a story, novel or maybe even a film earlier today. It came out of nowhere and caught me completely off guard since it happened on the way to a tee-ball game, of all places. But when inspiration comes, you have to grab it, right? And that’s exactly what I’m hoping to do.

The title of this post obviously gives away one of the secrets. Yes, the idea is for a zombie story. What can I say? I love them and never miss The Walking Dead, Dawn of the Dead or even a George Romero marathon on late-night television.

I just can’t get enough.

At the same time, I am normally very critical of my ideas and spend a great deal of time trying to “flesh them out,” pun intended. Few result in anything very interesting, but there are a few that seem to have a little something extra. You know what I mean? Those ideas that get you thinking about book tours, film sets and televised award ceremonies?

This idea belongs in that second category. At least it could if done correctly. The only problem is its subject matter, which is certain to cause backlash, controversy and everything in between.

Isn’t that what normally happens when someone satirizes a religion or religious figure? It certainly did when The Innocence of Muslims hit YouTube last year. And I wouldn’t want anything like that to happen again.

I just can’t ignore the muse, you know? And by writing this post and sharing this idea with all of you, I am hoping to hear if something like this has potential or is too offensive to even consider pursuing. You won’t hurt my feelings if you leave a comment to express your displeasure, but first keep these things in mind:

  1. I am not a heretic or some kind of blasphemer
  2. This is not a criticism of or attack on religion, in this case Christianity
  3. My idea is nothing more than fiction and is not intended to offend or insult anyone

That being said, here’s the thought I had in the car earlier—the premise upon which this story will be built—the question this tale will seek to answer: What if Jesus Christ was the first zombie?

Fire and brimstone! Sacrilege! Did he just say that? You’re going straight to Hell for that one? Eternal damnation!

Now that we have that out of the way—and trust me when I say these are responses I wouldn’t really expect to get from something so harmless—focus on the basic idea. The way I see it—and if I end up really writing this thing—there are a few different approaches I could take.

Here’s the first.

You have Jesus, the Son of God: born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph; raised as a carpenter in Nazareth; minister and teacher beginning around age 30. Only instead of following his normal path—which we all know ended with his crucifixion several years later—Jesus’ trajectory is changed by something unexpected: a mysterious virus.

He becomes a zombie.

I’m starting to think someone else had the same idea (courtesy of MySpace)

So instead of spreading “The Word” and enlisting the aid of twelve disciples, Zombie Jesus spreads the virus and turns twelve followers into the first pack of flesh-eating zombies ever. Ironically enough, that’s kind of what they would have done anyway, given the symbolic eating of Jesus’ flesh during the Last Supper.

Weird, huh?

Approach two does little more than fast forward to the time Jesus is crucified and placed in his tomb. Only the Resurrection is when he returns as a zombie, subsequently appearing to everyone not to reinforce their faith, but to make communion out of them!

I know, I know. Blasphemy.

This is actually as far as I’ve gotten on this idea, and there are a lot of other things to consider. For instance, transforming JC and the Boys into zombies may inadvertently turn the Romans into the “good guys,” unless I can find a way to prevent something even I find rather tasteless from happening. I guess they could also be transformed into the undead, given this story need not run concurrent to religious history. And that would provide some justice after the horror of Jesus’ crucifixion, which the Romans surely deserved.

Still kind of a touchy subject, though?

Although I enjoy writing about controversial subjects—not for attention or financial gain, mind you—I can’t help feeling that this idea may be a little too edgy. On the other hand, it could be quite lucrative for the same reason. Yes, a lot of people would get pissed and there could potentially be all sorts of protests, but only after everyone read the book or saw the movie. An uproar like this would undoubtedly attract the media and before you know it, this thing would be everywhere.

Wishful thinking, I know, but stranger things have happened. And delusions of grandeur never hurt anyone… much.

So there you go: one story idea that could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. All it’s missing now is YOU. If you read this post and notice any kind of reaction within yourself—interest, disgust, joy, hunger, completeness, arousal, nausea—please consider leaving a few comments. And if you happen to think this could make a decent story, I would love some suggestion as to its genre. Horror? Comedy? Thriller? I have no idea which is best.

Thanks in advance for your help and please remember that none of this was intended to offend or insult Christians, Christianity or any other believer or religion on this spinning ball of mud we all call home. But if I did offend someone—especially to the point they feel I deserve no forgiveness—I ask first that they answer this question and act accordingly: What would Jesus do?

And I think we all know the answer to that. 

Bullying Claims Another Victim

How could anyone hurt Amanda? (courtesy of MySpace)

It was only last October that Vancouver teenager Amanda Todd was found dead in Coquitlam, Canada, the victim of merciless bullying who couldn’t take it any more and hanged herself. She was almost 17 years old.

Almost.

The story was all over the news since a month before her suicide, Amanda posted a video to YouTube describing the abuse she’d suffered at the hands of an unknown bully. And like Bob Dylan in his grainy video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” she used flash cards to do it, never uttering a word. See it for yourself right HERE.

What happened to Amanda was horrible and still makes me angry. In the seventh grade, this beautiful girl went online and started video chatting in an attempt to make some new friends. Everyone she met complimented her on her looks, but one particular guy went even further, and not in a good way.

Somehow—most likely by playing on her innocence and insecurities—he convinced Amanda to appear on camera topless. A short time later, he found her online again, only this time it wasn’t chatting that interested him.

It was blackmail.

He told Amanda that if she didn’t “give him a show,” he would send her topless photo to everyone she knew, including friends, family and even teachers at her school. This was a lie, of course, because Amanda soon learned that her photos were all over the Internet. That was likely her blackmailer’s intention all along.

As you might imagine, this crushed Amanda emotionally, causing depression and tremendous anxiety. Her parents tried moving into a new home, but even that didn’t help. Amanda continued to get worse and eventually turned to drugs and alcohol to dull her pain.

A year passed and the memory of Amanda’s abuse finally started to fade, but it simply was not meant to be. Her bully again appeared online—this time on Facebook—and even used her topless photo as the profile picture on his bogus account. He contacted her friends, embarrassed her publicly and sparked even more teasing and bullying at school.

So Amanda ran again. She started attending a third school and sadly, it wasn’t much different from the last. Amanda hooked up with some guy she met online, pissed off his girlfriend and suffered a beating at her hands—and several of her friends’ hands—a short time later.

The attack sent Amanda to an even darker place and, later that night, she attempted suicide by drinking bleach. Luckily, her father was able to rush her to the hospital fast enough to save her young life. And once she was released, he packed up his family again and moved to another city.

If only this had helped.

No matter where Amanda went, her bully followed. He never asked to be her friend directly, but he did befriend everyone she knew. And once he knew enough of them, he shared Amanda’s naked photos and embarrassed her yet again.

I wish I could say Amanda bounced back, discovered who her abuser was, watched him being apprehended and testified to send him to prison. We all know that didn’t happen, though. In actuality, it was quite the opposite.

Her downward spiral continued.

Amanda started to cut herself as her fragile psyche deteriorated and even overdosed on antidepressants, which sent her to the hospital for several days. She returned to the hospital a short time later to be treated for severe depression, this time for teasing and bullying at school. Some classmates found out about her learning disability and laid into her for having bad grades.

And that was all it took. Amanda hanged herself at her home on October 10, 2012, a beautiful young victim of some unknown Internet sociopath, as well as loads of her peers who all need a lesson in kindness and compassion. A lesson that begins with my foot in their asses.

And Heaven forbid I ever get my hands on the guy who tormented Amanda for so long. I wouldn’t hurt him myself, of course. That’s not my right. But I know who is deserving of this honor: Amanda’s father. And nothing would make me happier than delivering this psycho to his doorstep with a big red bow on his head.

Not to mention some power tools. And maybe a blowtorch. But I digress.

Amanda’s suicide was heartbreaking, even more so since her bully was never caught. And now it looks like bullies have claimed another young victim, also in Canada: 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons of Nova Scotia.

Rehtaeh is bullying’s latest victim (courtesy of Facebook)

When she was only 15 years old, Rehtaeh was gang raped  by four young men who not only took pictures of her having sex, but also shared them with all their friends. For the next year, Rehtaeh endured nearly endless taunting and teasing at the hands of classmates who also have a lot to learn.

Unfortunately, this amazing young woman with so much potential simply couldn’t muster the emotional strength to cope with all the bullying—and who could blame her? Like Amanda Todd, her relentless abusers got the best of her, and on April 4th she hanged herself.

Rehtaeh didn’t die instantly and was placed on life support at a nearby hospital, but her family removed it yesterday and now I am sorry to say that she’s gone. Another young life snuffed out by bullies and other mean-spirited jackasses.

Something’s got to give.

Prom with Kate Upton?

Suave to the last (courtesy of YouTube)

Suave to the last (courtesy of YouTube)

Los Angeles high school senior Jake Davidson may be “Jewish and 5’9″ on a good day”—his words, not mine—but one thing is for certain.

He also has balls the size of church bells.

Last week, the 17-year-old “dreamer” made a hilarious video, posted it to YouTube, sat back and watched it go viral. What was the video about, you ask?

Okay. My title gave it away.

Jake asked Sports Illustrated supermodel and all-around sexpot Kate Upton to his senior prom this May. And let me be the first to tell you that IT IS AWESOME.

See for yourself right here.

Probably the coolest thing about all of this came Monday night, when none other than Kate Upton herself tweeted a response. Check it out.

She actually tweeted him! (courtesy of Twitter/@KateUpton)

She actually tweeted him! (courtesy of Twitter/@KateUpton)

Few things warm my heart as much as seeing a celebrity come down to earth long enough to interact with us common folk. And since Kate is supposedly checking her schedule to see if she is available to attend Jake’s prom, all the better. One unselfish act could guarantee an unforgettable evening not only for Jake, but also for every guy who sees them together that night.

Incidentally, anyone interested in making some serious money should load up on Kleenex and hand cream—perhaps some back issues of SI featuring the gorgeous model—set up a stand near the LA high school and charge top dollar to every star struck, boner-laden, prepubescent boy who stumbles out of that chaperoned event.

I predict lots of calluses, cramps and carpal tunnel syndrome in the days following Kate’s appearance.

But there’s more.

Yesterday morning, Jake popped up on The TODAY Show and got an even better surprise: a phone call from Kate! And the 20-year-old bombshell had nothing but good things to say.

“I absolutely love the video,” she told the brave young lad. “It was so hilarious and so creative. Thank you so much for doing that. I really appreciate it.”

And true to form, Jake responded with something just as hilarious as his video, at least to me.

Kate Upton Cat Daddy Dance video

It’s over if Kate does her Cat Daddy dance (courtesy of Terry Richardson)

“I’m telling you it will be a great night, great evening,” he promised his potential date. And this is the part that really cracks me up. “I could even get the curfew extended hopefully by my parents maybe.”

Go on with your bad self, Jake.

Unfortunately, though, my man Jake still didn’t get a straight response. Kate has to check her schedule to see if she’s available. Whether or not she actually makes it, she did end her call with something I found cautiously optimistic. You be the judge.

“You seem like so much fun and if everything works out, I’d love to go with you,” she told our pimply Casanova. “I know we’d have a blast.”

Here’s hoping you get your chance, Jake. You’ve got balls, my friend. And they just might pay off in spades…

Balled to Death

Zorbing

This is zorbing. Who knew? (Photo credit: fotoyong)

It never ceases to amaze me how people engage in extreme sports without first considering why they are called extreme in the first place. Take the latest story from a resort in Russia’s North Caucasus mountains.

27-year-old Denis Burakov and 33-year-old Vladimir Shcherbov were visiting the resort and decided to do some zorbing. What the hell is that, you ask? Good question.

Zorbing is named for the company ZORB, which manufactures large, transparent plastic balls that people can ride down hills and other inclines. They look like the balls hamsters roll around in, only these are tremendous and would take thousands of hamsters to fill.

I’m glad no one has tried that yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

On January 3, Burakov and Shcherbov entered a large inflatable ball, which was not produced by ZORB, and started rolling down a steep, snow-covered slope. In a video posted to YouTube, the men can be heard laughing and having a great time, but it wouldn’t last.

Zorb 12

Stuck in the ball (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For whatever reason, the ball veered off course and headed towards a cliff. Attendants were unable to stop the large ball from rolling and sadly, it tumbled over the edge.

Burakov broke his neck and died instantly. By some miracle, however, Shcherbov survived with only a concussion and some minor cuts and bruises. Police are investigating to determine if the “ball operators” should be charged with criminal negligence. And the ZORB company was quick to state that the equipment used did not come from them and should have included several safety features, but did not.

Despite all this, I have but one question: Did operators ever map the slope they chose to use for their ride? If so, then you would think a rocky cliff nearby would be cause for concern. Alas, that was not the case and now a young man is dead.

I guess the lesson we should all learn from this tragic story is this: balls can be dangerous. Feel free to interpret this any way you like and by all means, please be careful with them.

From YouTube to the NFL

Rugland kicks from 60 yards (courtesy of M&F.com)

Need more proof that globalization through technology can lead to some amazing opportunities for totally unknown people?

Then check this out.

There’s a guy in Norway named Havard Rugland who posted a video of himself to YouTube in September that has since gone viral. In it, Rugland can be seen kicking a football in all sorts of different situations, a few of which are on a football field.

Normally, this wouldn’t be all that newsworthy, but there’s more.

Rugland kicks balls for 60 yards or more with almost pinpoint accuracy, oftentimes from seemingly impossible angles. On one occasion, he kicks the ball 40 or 50 yards to a friend in a passing car; on another, he juggles the ball with his feet (think hacky sack), turns quickly and boots it through a goal post at least 40 yards away.

It’s actually quite amazing. Check it out here to experience it for yourself.

Even more amazing is that not long ago, Rugland came to America to tryout with the New York Jets, who need all the help they can get. Each year seems to get worse and worse for Gang Green. Sanchez is transforming into a second or third string quarterback. Tebow’s limited skills are being wasted and worse, he’s being disrespected and insulted almost weekly by his own coaching staff.

English: (center, running), American football ...

Gang Green searches for new talent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.

The latest word comes from an anonymous internet source who quotes Michael Husted, a professional kicking coach from the Jets. Apparently, Husted is now working with Rugland, so things seem to be moving right along for the Norwegian man with the superhuman leg.

“Havard has incredible talent as a kicker,” Husted said recently. “As he continues to refine his technique, he could be one of the strongest kickers in the NFL.”

For the Jets sake, I hope they bring Rugland in soon. Given their questionable offense, I’m sure he could easily become their top scorer.

It’s hard to believe that all this started with a simple YouTube video and produced such positive results. It just goes to show you how being so connected can sometimes be a good thing.

And we need more good things, don’t we?

Psy Overtakes Bieber on YouTube

Gangnam_Style_PSY_08logo

Please “horse dance” your way out of pop culture (Photo credit: KOREA.NET – Official page of the Republic of Korea)

On its Trends blog this past Saturday, YouTube announced that Justin Bieber‘s hit music videoBaby” has just been overtaken by none other than South Korean rapper Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”

The video featuring the flamboyant rapper has been viewed more than 800 million times and receives roughly 10 million hits per day.

Is it me, or is this one of the dumbest videos/trends ever? The “horse dance” itself brings to mind the Macarena, which thankfully disappeared over time.

Here’s hoping “Gangnam Style” fades into obscurity even faster…

Joss Whedon for Romney?

zomney

A still from Whedon’s video

Joss Whedon, the 48-year-old creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and writer of “The Avengers,” just released a campaign video in support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. This may seem odd given Whedon’s past support for Barack Obama, but there is a method to his madness.

The video that hit YouTube Sunday is an obvious parody that encourages voters to choose Romney because he is most likely to bring about a zombie apocalypse. Check out this excerpt:

“Mitt Romney is a very different candidate, one with the vision and determination to cut through business as usual politics and finally put this country back on the path to zombie apocalypse. Romney is ready to make the deep rollbacks to health care, education, social services, and reproductive rights that will guarantee poverty, unemployment, overpopulation, disease, rioting — all crucial elements in creating a nightmare zombie wasteland. But it’s his commitment to ungoverned corporate privilege that will nosedive this economy into true insolvency and chaos. The kind of chaos you can’t buy back: Money is only so much paper to the undead. The 1 percent will no longer be the very rich — it will be the very fast.”

If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend that you take a look. Whedon’s talents obviously extend beyond the Big Screen, and Obama supporters are sure to love it.

I know I do. Nice work, Joss!

An End to Bullying

Victim of bullying Amanda Todd

When I was a kid, and despite the fact that I was larger than most children my age, I sometimes fell victim to bullies. Granted, this mistreatment never lasted long because I always fought back, but such is not the case these days. The technology boom of the internet, webcams and cell phones have opened up a whole new world in which bullies may operate, and sometimes the results can be fatal.

Two years ago, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly broadcast his gay tryst with another student on the web. While this may not seem like bullying, at least not in the traditional sense, it did cause irreparable harm to Clementi. And in his mind, the only solution was to commit suicide.

Something similar happened recently to 15-year-old Amanda Todd of Coquitlam, British Columbia, a beautiful young lady with potential that will never be realized.

In the seventh grade, Todd flashed a man online while using a webcam. A year later, the same man tracked her down on Facebook and sent the topless photo to all her friends. No matter where Amanda went, and regardless of which school she attended, she was persistently bullied and teased by her peers. Last month, Todd posted a powerful and thought-provoking video to YouTube detailing her struggles with bullying.

And last Wednesday, Amanda took her own life.

Suicide of Tyler Clementi

The public outrage generated by Todd’s death has brought new and much-needed attention to bullying in all of its forms, particularly cyber-bullying. Fortunately, the man involved in Amanda’s case has been identified as a 30-year-old man from New Westminster, B.C. He now faces charges of sexual interference with a minor and sexual assault, which is little consolation to Amanda’s parents.

To make matters worse, and to further insult a young girl who already paid the ultimate price, autopsy photographs of Todd’s nude body were leaked on the internet. There are even people making jokes about her and saying things so lewd and disrespectful that I dare not reproduce them here.

The time for bullying to end is NOW. Our young people are the future, but only if they live long enough to see it. And personally, I hope Amanda Todd’s bully burns in Hell for what he did.

Zumba booty call

Top Photo

Alexis Wright: Zumba teacher and more (courtesy of Seacoast Media Group)

The Houston Chronicle just reported on a prostitution business in Kennebunk, Maine, home of the Bush family compound, as in George H. and George W.

29-year-old Alexis Wright operates a Zumba dance studio there that apparently doubles as a full-service sex joint, too. More than 100 alleged “johns” frequented the establishment and the local population is very curious to see who among them have answered the Zumba booty call.

What is most interesting about this story is that Wright videotaped her sexual encounters. Authorities discovered more than 100 hours of video footage, as well as thousands of screen shots on seized computers.

Now Wright faces 106 counts of prostitution and violations involving privacy, tax evasion and a number of lesser charges. She of course pleaded not guilty, as did co-owner Mark Strong Sr., who himself faces 59 prostitution counts.

According to investigators, Wright’s clients include local professionals, law enforcement officials, well-known townspeople and even a celebrity. It should make for quite the juicy gossip once the names of these depraved individuals is released.

And who knows? You might even find some interesting YouTube videos to view soon!

Anti-Muslim film incites more violence

A shot from “The Innocence of Muslims” (courtesy of Time Magazine)

Anti-American Protests Over Film Expand to More Than a Dozen Countries – NYTimes.com.

“The Innocence of Muslims” is a low-quality film that has offended radical Islamists and incited violence throughout the Muslim world. The movie depicts the prophet Muhammad as a sadistic and violent person obsessed with sex, especially with young people. Its anti-Muslim sentiment has resulted in retaliation against Americans living abroad, including an attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.

And to make matters worse, the protests and violence seem to be spreading. Now more than a dozen countries in the region have joined the fray, including Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.

The film was directed by 55-year-old Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, a Coptic Christian from Cerritos, California. A non-profit Christian group known as Media for Christ applied for the permit that led to the filming of “Desert Warriors,” as it was originally known.

The strangest thing about this film is that all of the actors and crew members involved were misled by Nakoula. The true intent and purpose of the film was never revealed to them. And like those offended Muslims out there, they are not happy.

I must confess that I find all of this very disconcerting.

US president Barack Obama has confirmed that the US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was killed in an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Here is the statement in full.

Ambassador Stevens died in embassy attack (courtesy of Getty Images)

Sure, I can understand why Muslims might be upset and offended by an anti-Muslim film produced in America. We don’t have the best reputation in that part of the world and it seems like Americans are consistently targeted, kidnapped or killed when they travel there. Some have even been beheaded by fundamentalist Islamic groups, like reporter Daniel Pearl. They don’t like us and, as much as I hate to admit it, many of us don’t like them. I chalk most of this animosity up to 9/11 and all the wars our government has forced us to fight to protect our oil interests, but that’s another story.

My main issue is this: IT IS A MOVIE! And if you’ve watched the trailer available on YouTube, then you know it’s not a particularly good movie. It is low-budget, has terrible actors and could use some decent sound editing. I seriously doubt it’s the type of film that could convince viewers that Muslims are evil or inferior. If anything, I found myself disgusted by the film itself rather than the content. It certainly doesn’t deserve all the publicity it’s been getting because honestly, it sucks. None of that matters, though.

What does matter is that this film isn’t representative of how Americans as a whole view Islam or those who practice it. Instead, it is the interpretation of one individual, who may or may not have had the support of a fundamentalist Christian organization. In this country, we have freedom of speech and respect the right of all citizens to express themselves openly and without fear of persecution. It is unfortunate when the people expressing themselves are total jackasses, but the same rules apply to them, too.

Of course, it’s not the film as an expression of belief or opinion that bothers people. Muslims are angry because of the way “The Innocence of Muslims” depicts Muhammad and makes Islam look inferior to other world religions, most notably Christianity. I can understand and certainly sympathize. I might not appreciate a film that made agnostics look ridiculous, but I assure you the worst I would do is find another movie to watch instead. Or badmouth it to my friends later, only in an “it really stunk” rather than an “it insulted my beliefs” way. I don’t care what other people think because I choose to believe what I like. It’s called freedom, baby.

The Passion of the Christ

There are all sorts of analogies I could draw at this point. Do you remember when Mel Gibson‘s “The Passion of the Christ” was in the headlines back in 2004? Everyone was up-in-arms about excessive violence, historical inaccuracy and, most importantly, anti-Semitism. But I don’t remember any Jewish people bum rushing the movie studio to murder crew members or burn the place down. And that’s exactly what happened in Libya when Ambassador Stevens was murdered this week, on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks no less.

In terms of “The Innocence of Muslims” being insulting to Islam, I now apply the same logic to another truly offensive and shocking film: “Showgirls.” I am certain that strippers everywhere, as well as actors and filmmakers, truly despise this sorry attempt at entertainment. Of course, occupations like these don’t compare to deep-seeded religious beliefs, but I’m sure you see my point.

“The Innocence of Muslims” is just a movie. A very bad movie.

I am and have always been a firm believer in social justice and the right to protest, so by all means, get out there and organize, my Muslim brothers and sisters. Your voices should be heard. All I ask is that you leave all the violence and destruction behind. It does nothing but eat away at what little tolerance and understanding still exists between our different cultures. There is enough animosity already, don’t you think?

If you must avenge this insult and send a message to the film’s creator, though, I have a suggestion: make your own anti-Christian movie and post it to YouTube. Just do me one favor first.

Throw some money at it to hire some decent actors. That way you can add insult to injury by producing a film that doesn’t suck as bad as “The Innocence of Muslims.” I know I can’t wait to see it.

%d bloggers like this: