Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tower Defender

Check out the new science fiction novel, Tower Defender, from Joseph Hurtgen!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Letter from Adolf Hitler to Eva Braun, May 12, 1941

Dearest fraulein, Eva,

Mein struggles ist endless! Now it issen dreams that haunten me. Ich haben kammen to believe that Ich bin dreaming of der futuren! In sie futuren, der U.S.A. ist nacht gut. Nacht gut at all! Der orange mann stolen presidency with helpen of Russisch! Diss mann full of lies und is nicht so smart. Diss mann bekamen angry when volk say his hands are schmal! Imagine diss same mann haben access to nuklearwaffe und atomwaffen! Becausen of der futuren dreams, Ich vill attacken Russisch! Iffen I kann conquren Russisch, futuren orange mann will not prevail on hissen own! 

Dein kämpfender Liebhaber [ed. - translation "your strugglin' lover"],

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Names for a Coffee Shop

At You Know, Funny, we know how hard coming up with ideas can be. We were once kidnapped by Russian producers and held hostage in the bathroom of a nondescript apartment until we wrote a screenplay for a feature length technological thriller involving vampires. Did we finish the screenplay? You bet we did! We called it Vampire Bytes, were quite proud of it, and saddened that it never got past post-production. But, the whole point of that is to say that we want to save you the humiliation of using a name that hasn't been properly vetted. You might serve an incredible brew, but without a good name, your business will quickly fall through!

So, here's a bunch of names for Coffee Shops. Use them! They are free. You don't even have to ask. They're yours!

The Daily Grind
Running Latte
How have you Bean
Coffee / Pot (only for states with legalized marijuana sales)
Cafe Fiend
Ugly Mugs
Coffee Office
Coffee Instant
Shapecurrency (after three of these, you get it, right?)
Spoonful of Sigur Ros
No Filter
Black Ice Coffee
Coffee Can!
Day Drippers Coffee
Coffee, Tea, & Pee
Coffee Cult
Bean Scene
Mucho Mocha
Creama Dreama

Friday, March 31, 2017

10 ways to Spot Fake News!

This is the 21st century, the age of unreality. Fake news is everywhere. Heck, this could be a fake website for all you know, it's administrator a Russian-created spambot. So, how can you, a level-headed citizen, sort through what's real and what's fake? Read on and you'll learn

10 ways to Spot Fake News! 

1. Check the comments section of the website you're reading. Are the commenters spelling words correctly? Stringing together complete sentences? Spouting unchecked hatred toward minorities, women, religious groups? While you may occasionally find one or two weird comments on just about any website, if most of them fit into these categories, you've fallen into a quagmire of fake news, my friend.

2. Does the information you are reading support a version of reality widely held as false? Does it support anarchism, Putin, the plutocratic elite? Does the information maintain that Elvis is one of Trump's staffers? Does the article present fascism as a viable alternative to democracy? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, do yourself a favor and unplug for a bit.

3. Alternately, one way to gain assurance that what you're reading is accurate news is if the President of the United States has recently claimed it's fake news. If the President says it's fake, it's not.

4. Has the President advocated a news site, or is the President business partners or affiliated with an editor of a website? You guessed it: fake news.

5. When you look up the author of the article you are reading, do you find information about how they intentionally create fake news to pile up revenue? When a writer boasts about the money they make by creating fake news, that pretty well sinks their ethos to the bottom of the well.

6. Does the website you have found an article on have a merch site? Now, be assured that a merch site doesn't necessarily discredit any of the information on a website; however, the type of merchandise sold is a good indicator of whether you have found a fake news site. Can you buy various items through the website to ready yourself for an apocalypse? What would that be? Oh, you know, assault rifles, bullet-proof vests, muscle enhancement pills, biological safety masks. Don't laugh--or, at least, after you laugh, realize that this is real.

7. You read something about a reality TV show star becoming the president of the US? Sorry to tell you, but that's all real.

8. Does the news you read assert that gun massacres or holocausts never occurred? Fake! Be aware that this piece of advice is tricky. Sometimes fake news, especially news issued from the White (lie) House will claim false gun massacres did occur. Be assured, they didn't.

9. Do you get agitated, depressed, angry, scared, or have other negative emotions while reading the news in question? Sorry to tell you, but that's the nature of the 21st century. 

10. Did you follow the link from someone's twitter, facebook, or other social media post? That doesn't automatically mean that you've found fake news, but it certainly raises the suspect levels a notch or two. Do yourself a favor and unfriend any Russian spambots you might have hanging around on your friend list. What is a Russian spambot? Anything in a bikini, usually.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dear Joseph: Advice for better living

Dear Joseph,
My husband likes to walk around without pants, but demands that I wear pants all the time. I work full-time and he stays at home playing video games. I want him to wear pants, but he insists that I wear the pants in the family. What should I do?

-The Very Best Betsy

Dear Betsy,
There's really one question you need to ask yourself. Do you like wearing pants? If the answer is yes, then you've wasted your time writing me a letter. If the answer is no, it's time to hire a team of ex-military agents to kidnap your husband, take him to a tropical jungle, and put him through a series of life-threatening adventures similar to the video games he loves. Make the object of his jungle adventure to find scraps of materials with which he can make a pair of camouflage pants to protect against political insurgents mucking about in the jungle, sniping at signs of life. After a couple of weeks, if he hasn't been eaten by tigers, have the ex-military agents recapture him and imprison him in a hut, water-boarding him while using hypnotism and suggestion techniques to instill a desire to wear pants in both a literal and figurative sense. Have one of the agents remove one of his molars and leave a mark on his chest with a branding iron. He'll be a changed man when he gets home!

Dear Joseph,
I don't know how to tie things together very well. I've tried to learn many different knots but they are useless to me. I've heard that astroknots are quite useful. Can you please help me learn how to tie an astroknot?

-Brandon Burg

Dear Brandon Burg,
Your best bet at tying an astroknot is to jettison extra weight in your shuttle and boost to maximum throttle.

Dear Joseph,
I think my two sons are selling as well as smoking drugs and running a pornography website. There are floozy looking women coming and going all the time around here and a constant stream of cars pulling up to the backdoor, honking their horns while they wait for one of my boys to go out and hand over bags in exchange for lots of money. I want to discipline them, but they just bought a new house for us to live in and I was able to quit my factory job and can now receive doctor's care for my aching bones form all those years bending over putting sprockets together. What should I do?

-Wanting to contact higher authority

Dear Contact high,
There's an old phrase about learning how to choose your battles. In a situation like you've described, you have to ask yourself what you can live with. Are the floozy women putting you over the edge? Is it just that there's too many floozy women? Maybe you don't want your boys to smoke any drugs? Maybe you are looking out for the floozy women, and are afraid that your boys will have a bad influence on them and cause them to smoke drugs? Maybe you don't like the implications of the boys selling drugs illegally? Maybe it would be better if they became pharmacists in wholesome drugstores that sell more tasteful men's magazines? All the same, it sounds to me that your sons are true Americans, pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, making a living by the sweat of their brow. They may not be doing honest work, but it's honestly work!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Baffle House

I always like my time at Baffle House. Everything is pretty there. I always eat 17 baffle burgers and then wash all the dishes in lieu of payment. I like to eat with Baffle Washington, the owner of Baffle House. He can eat every baffle burger in a flash. Sometimes we scarf down food until we see double. At 4 am, the Baffle Host locks the doors so we drive around town shooting video. I have video of Baffle Washington chucking Bricks from an overpass. No one was hurt in the making of my film. So to recap:

Crystal Vision

It had been over a decade since Kyle last had a crystal vision. At the time he was living in Central Park writing poetry and selling tin-cans to the natives. Though prized as local color, he had not been able to provide for himself financially. Kyle became a businessman, employing raccoons to lift loose change from vending machines in exchange for acorns and shiny buttons. The second crystal vision came much as the first did, quickly and without notice. Kyle entered the trance as he handed a large raccoon a brass button. A giant eagle-headed man appeared before Kyle and spoke in a thick cockney accent. "Kyle! You bastard! Why haven't you replied to any of me message? I've called six times, me joiner! Answer the stinking phone!" Just as the Eagle headed-man finished insulting Kyle's promptness to answer calls, he vanished as if he had never been there at all. Kyle stood motionless as he stared into the sky where the messenger had been, still holding tightly onto the button, which the raccoon bit at. Somewhere far off, a phone rang and Kyle returned to reality. Jumping up from his cardboard box he released the button from his grasp, much to the rodent's pleasure, and dashed off towards the sound of ringing. The man with crystal visions shot like a bullet across the park, knocking over dogs and small children as he sailed toward the unanswered phone, his unanswered destiny. The sound of Kyle's destiny had been coming from a young lady's purse. The woman was beautiful and had the most gorgeous smile Kyle had ever seen. The vixen screamed and smacked Kyle as he plunged his hand deep into the purse. As the woman yelled for help, Kyle found the phone next to a pack of cigarettes. Yanking the phone free, he answered, "Hello? Hello? Are you there?? Hello?" A group of security officers armed with tasers rushed towards Kyle. A particularly fast officer made it to Kyle first, thrusting the taser into his gut, at which Kyle immediately buckled over as the phone dropped from his hands. As more officers crowded around poking Kyle with high-voltage tasers, Kyle could faintly hear the pre-recorded message from the phone which laid inches from his face. "Hello Ms. Vanderblume! We just wanted to remind you that your next appointment with Dr. Smoot is tomorrow at 4:15! Remember to brush so you can keep those pearly whites, pearly white!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Voodoo Shaman

The Voodoo Shaman stood wise and tall like the mighty oak. The feathers from his headdress touched the sky like little fingers which tickled the heavens. His name was Pongo-Motassum and he was the wise one. He had been raised by vampires, but did not bear the curse of the nosferatu. He wore only a headdress of golden ostrich fathers and a long flowing velvet cape. Running and crashing through the brush of the jungle floor he was indeed a mad-man, quick as light from the sun. He spoke no longer the words of man, but instead screamed unrecognizable words to beasts and plants. Every morning he challenged the wildlife, calling in his strange tongue, taunting the beasts. “MEGASSO CHA GOLMBA!” he cried to the boar and the boar did fight him and Pungo did best him. “CHUY DOL SEEMA!” he called to the bear and the bear did fight him and Pungo bested him also. “EM CHUNGA BULOSSA MONTE!” cried Pungo to the mighty beaver and the mighty beaver did fight him and Pungo did bite and gnaw his foe into submission. And once he had beaten his oppponent, Pungo’s vampire elders descended from the lilac branches to feast on the dish which lay helpless on the jungle floor. Like machines, the elders drank blood as Pongo watched from a distance, for Pongo was no Vampire.

Randolph Pentagardner

Randolf Pentagardner wanted desperately to have seven daughters simultaneously by seven women. “They must at least,” he thought, “be born in the same cut off time for fall eligibility to enter school.” He imagined the throng of beautiful daughters. All half German-English and the other half a medley of world culture. His head spun: “I’ll have a coca-cola commercial of diversity for a family!” The girls he would groom from the earliest conceivable age to be a perfect basketball team. He had thought for a while of adopting but he needed filial love to inspire the girls to professional level athleticism. Randolf turned his home into a basketball gymnasium. He had the ceilings raised appropriately. He hand painted the 3 - point line as well as a precise portrait of Zwanfano, the deity from outerspace who had inspired him with his passion in a prophetic series of nights experiencing open visions of his beautiful daughters executing a perfect triangle offense. Zwanfano had brought in his legal representative to assure that he would recieve 3% of any profits Randolf accrued from merchandising. “A small price to pay!” Randolf thought as walked the streets of New York City. He would go to bars for the next three months to carry out his mission. A glimmer of remorse entered Randolf’s heart when he thought about Zwanfano. “Will the basketball team of my daughter’s eclipse the joy I had with Zwanfano?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How to be Awesome

Being awesome isn't all that hard if you're already awesome. If you're not awesome yet, then being awesome is quite difficult, if not impossible. Those that are awesome tend to become more awesome, while those not awesome tend to pull further and further away from awesomeness.

If this comes as a revelation, then I'm sorry to say that I've just learned what side of awesome you're on.

But here's the crucial thing to realize: there are many paths to being awesome.

If you aren't awesome now, it probably means that you've just got a lot more work to do than some to reach your goals.

I'm now basically going to list out a bunch of directives that should be followed rather closely in order to achieve your awesome goals.

1. Conceptualize awesome. People get where they are going because they had a destination in mind.

For me, this means to keep writing--to write in such a way that I would if I were being paid well to do it.

2. Think of small goals that will help move things along in practical ways.

Example: solve my outlining problem by coming up with a solution for needing to be able to visualize argumentative/narrative structure. This has always been a problem for me. I sometimes fantasize about having a crazy big wall to write everything out on. But I'd want to use hieroglyphs. Pictures can say so many things at once.

3. Try to focus on longterm achievement rather than short term gratification. This can be somewhat curbed by allowing for small ways to find short term gratification, so long as it is in service to the longterm.

4. Don't worry or think much about how far away from being awesome you are.

5. Enjoy your life one breath at a time.

6. Remember that a good summary for what you will do in a lifetime is revealed by your actions today.

7. Don't get angry, get motivated.

8. Don't worry if some of your work doesn't fall in line with your original goals. You're working at it after all.

Example: This post isn't funny, yet it's posted on a website ostensibly devoted to humor. I guess the irony of that has its comical element, but I can sympathize with fans biting their nails at Bill Murray as he takes on role after monotonously unfunny role. I truly apologize. Four years of working on a PhD in the humanities has its way replacing mirth with girth.

9. Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine . . .

10. man

11. go to heaven

12. Don't concentrate on lists. They are usually full of bogus, if not outright questionable material.

13. Don't consult the internet for as much as you have been. You should start to think of the internet as mostly being a list full of questionable material.

14. Watch out against substituting a little mistake for a bad mistake. Why not do something excellent?

15. Laugh more.

16. Enjoy your favorites. Don't let anyone take your favorites from you--especially yourself.

17. Learn as much as you can.

18. Don't worry about money but try to eat healthy foods, get good rest, and stay away from drugs and too much alcohol.

19. Write to the people doing the things you want to do. Try to learn as much as you can from them.

20. Forgive Michael Jackson for his weirdness. What will happen when you're famous, working to help out poverty stricken African nations and you discover your hidden love for golden military duds? Reconsider all those times you've chuckled at Jackson now before it's too late.

21. Pray

22. At least one time, set your alarm for 4:45 and force yourself to get up and work on your craft.

23. Wooden Pterodactyl sets hung from the ceiling

24. blah blah black sheep

25. go to Paris just once! See the lovely buildings there. Eat a salad ruined by anchovies. Realize that you should have memorized your credit card pin number before your trip. Try to stay away from the gypsies that have been seemingly multiplying since the sun started setting.

26. marry someone who enjoys you

27. make sure to eventually return to your pursuit after you've quit in disgust. Trails can be resumed.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Watch a beautiful scene from saw... slightly altered.