Artists Pay Back (The Blog)

June 10, 2011

Adam Sandler doesn’t care about you

Pictured: Adam Sandler not caring

Hey Adam. How’s it going. Just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know I’m on to you. I get it, you don’t give a damn anymore. Not that you really should. Clearly it doesn’t matter.

AT&T couldn’t even phone it in as good as you have in your recent movies. Actually, you don’t so much make movies anymore as you do vacation plans. You call up some of your talented friends (and Rob Schneider), pick a cool location (Hawaii, backwoods retreat, etc.), grab a hack director (whoops, sorry, that should read hack director) and start rolling. Plot isn’t that important, so you just reheat a stale sitcom premise – pretending to be married, old dudes reliving past glories, a twin brother and sister (BOTH PLAYED BY YOU!!) and go through the motions. You just crank out the same man-boy, ne’er-do-well schtick (who, incidentally, is still the smartest guy in the room) and wait for the eight figure opening. Rinse. Repeat.

Of course, this formula is working for you. Clearly. So if it ain’t broke, then don’t ever break a sweat. And I know that when you’ve tried to branch out the results have been impressive as an actor but your core “fans” stay away in droves so the movies are deemed flops. It reminds me of John Cusack back in the early nineties. I was working in a video store when a woman came in to return Say Anything. “Did you like it?,” I asked. “No. It wasn’t funny. And I like when he draws the cartoons.” (Further proof that the influence of Savage Steve Holland CAN NOT be underestimated.) This is how many Sandler fans feel about movies like Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me. (For the sake of this argument, we’ll go ahead and ignore Spanglish and the colossal misfire Funny People and focus on the untraditional roles that are actually worth watching.) It’s too bad, because both of those largely ignored (and often derided by your fan base) movies hint at what you might be able to pull off. Punch-Drunk took the latent (or, sometimes outright) rage simmering in most of your characters and turned it into a tragic portrayal of repression while Reign Over Me amped up the sorrow and loneliness behind the rage.

Of course a case can be made that your movies have always been a high-concept, low-brains premise (rich man-child goes back to school, athletic man-child plays golf, backwoods man-child plays football, and so on) but at least there was some anarchic fun about them whereas, with your recent movies, I sense an underlying contempt for the audience. Perhaps there is a sense of annoyance that when you do something outside of your comfort zone it gets ignored or deemed a commercial failure. Maybe you’re annoyed that your fans won’t follow you anywhere (you’re in good company, Bill Murray and Jim Carrey both suffered through this – though Bill finally broke through to much aplomb while Carrey is promoting his newest cautionary-tale, Mr. Popper’s Penguins.) It feels like you’re saying, “You want me to do dumb comedies? Fine, then dumb comedies ye shall have!”

Maybe I’m reading in to it and you’re just trying to give your core fans what they want. I don’t doubt that you’re having fun and being successful at it – not a bad way to make a living. Still, I’d like to see something better. You’re a smart guy and you can be funny (though this is obviously not based on any recent evidence) so how about a little effort. How about stretching those dramatic muscles or putting some actual effort into a comedy script with a fresh idea.

Or not.

January 15, 2011

Off-Key Songs of Obligation

When the new year started, I made four resolutions:

1. Write more

2. Write more

3. Write more

4. Use more redundancy-based humor

My original thought was to write at least an hour a day. That hasn’t worked out to plan exactly, though I did do a blog post last week so, you know, small steps. I decided that if nothing else, I would at least make a new blog post every weekend. I have very dedicated readers (hi, mom!) and I would like to reward them (her) by putting crappy stuff up more often.

So, even though I really have nothing insightful or humorous to say in particular, I thought, why should that stop me? It never has before. Besides, writers write, right?

Last weekend we made a trip to a nice little local place where they have karaoke on Saturdays. Now I love karaoke. That’s not to say I’m a good singer. I think I’m adequate and I’ve gotten compliments from time to time. I have a limited range that clearly does not include Peter Gabriel (this was found out recently when I Abu Ghraib’ed “In Your Eyes” – I am awaiting a trial on war crimes. I will plead guilty.) It’s more about stage presence (which is really about alcohol) and how comfortable you are belting “Love Shack” songs in front of strangers. See, there are certain rules. Like, don’t sing “Love Shack” songs. Ever. (More on that in a minute.)

Before I get into what’s important to know for singers, allow me to talk to the Karaoke DJ’s or hosts or KJ’s or whatever you call them, for a moment. I know it’s your equipment. I know you’re a fantastic singer (in the same way that toddler pageant mother’s are great parents). I know you want to play along. But you’re not allowed to sing UNLESS no one has the stones to sing and you’re trying to get the party going or you’re in a singer rotation of three or fewer people and want o break up the monotony. Otherwise just play the songs and let the paying customers live out their Carrie Underwood fantasies (I just realized that means something TOTALLY different for guys).

Karaoke nights generally run for 4 – 6 hours depending on the bar. This means you’ll get about 10 singers in an hour. You should not be one of them. In a typically crowded bar, 40 o-60 songs means that the people there will sing three or four songs for the night. You’re getting paid to be there, and though I know your interpretation of “Send In The Clowns” always kills, we don’t want to hear it. I’ve seen some KJ’s put themselves into the singer rotation which is astounding to me. It’s like the ride operator at Disney World taking a solo turn on Magic Mountain every hour. You’re there to run the show for us, not play along. If you must, give yourselves a couple of songs (early in the night) and then turn it over to rest of the people. I’m even okay with maybe doing the last song of the night.

Okay, and now on to you, the singer. Here are five things to remember the next time you’re ready to rock up on the mic (and subsequently wish to rock the mic right):

Rule #1 – Song selection – It’s important to note that song selection matters but only if you want to get the people involved. If you just want to sing your Toad The Wet Sprocket tunes and enjoy yourself, then don’t worry about what the rest of the bar thinks. Just do your thing. But if you really want the high fives (see rule #4) or just the fun of getting people singing along with you, then you’ve got to pick the right tune. There are some obvious choices that will almost always work (note that none of them are ballads, this is key):

Then there are the songs that should really be eliminated from every bar in the country. You’re guaranteed to hear at least one at least once in any bar yo go to and they are invariably shout-sung by the worst singers. They may seem like crowd-pleasers but they aren’t and they really just tell us all we need to know about you:

  • Love Shack – Yes, when it’s time for “tin roof – RUSTED!” everyone will sing it with you. This is not validation, but rather some sort of Pavlovian obligation. No one wants to hear this song sung by the shouting girl who managed to get her reluctant boyfriend/gay buddy onstage with her because it would be “SO AWESOME!”

    Rockin' the mic right

    Yes, You Will Survive. Us? Not so much.

  • Summer Lovin’ – This one usually results in 8 – 10 people crowding the stage with a bunch of bubbly co-eds “acting out” the lyrics while the guys play along with faces that read “this better get me laid.” Though there will be one guy who misses high school drama. He’s the one that holds the mike and really emotes those last few verses (falsetto!) while the rest of the guys lean away, teetering ever close to falling off the stage as the song progress.
  • I Will Survive – Though I’m sorry your marriage ended, I’m beginning to understand why.
  • Mony, Mony – Yes, yes, I know why you’re singing it and, we as a crowd, will oblige with the hidden refrain. But we’ll hate ourselves for it after.

Rule #2 – Know the lyrics – Okay, I know it’s starting to sound a little Simon Cowell-esque here  with the first two rules, but they are important. AI is after all just televised karaoke and these rules are universal. It never fails to amaze me how several people in any given karaoke bar will sing a song that they apparently have never heard before in their life. If you have to stare at the screen, you probably shouldn’t be singing. This is especially true if you want to rap. Rap opens up karaoke to people who won’t actually sing. Rap lyrics move fast and if you lose your place (or, often, have no rhythm at all – you know who you are) you just end up awkwardly shouting the last word in each line a second too late (much like the one guy in every rap group who awkwardly shouts the last word of each line a second too late and who is likely the lead rappers cousin).

Bad singers are fine and understandable in a karaoke bar, people who don’t know the words to the song that THEY CHOSE. Flubbing a line or two or missing a mark is fine, but if you’re staring at the screen like it’s scrolling Sanskrit while you laugh nervously and spread your hands at the audience you will get things thrown at you.

Rule #3 – Pander when necessary – This really just an extension of rule #1, but it applies to people who REALLY want the bar to notice them. The right pandering song will garner you some good will and, when you go to sing your next song, people will take notice. This allows you the chance to sing something that maybe won’t go over as well, but the vibes from the previous song will carry you through. This is sort of the same way that Matt Damon picks movies, mixing a crowd pleaser with a ‘prestige’ piece. For every Bourne Awesomeness he puts out a Syriana.

Rule #4 – Seriously, this isn’t American Idol – Most likely when you sing the rest of the bar will be doing any number of things, what they probably will not be doing is paying attention to you. If you can hit rule #2 and 3 successfully, you can probably get their attention, but otherwise, the crowd will be:

  • Talking
  • Picking their next song from the catalog
  • Drinking
  • Watching TV
  • Ordering more drinks
  • Eating
  • Playing pool/darts/foosball
  • Walking past you to go to the bathroom
  • Walking past you to ask the KJ how much longer till it’s their turn

Basically this is how dinner theater performers feel.

Don’t let this bother you and just go with it. You’re not there to be discovered (oh, and that guy is not a talent scout, I don’t care how nice his business card is). Unless you’re really good (you’re not) or really bad (a distinct possibility), no one cares other the people you came with and they only sort of care and want to make sure when it’s their turn that you sort of care too. You’ll get the applause at the end and, in the true sign of a good performance, high fives on the way back from strangers. When others are singing, just make sure you applaud at the end.

Rule #5 – Know your talent level – Really this means to not take yourself too seriously. Chances are you’re not as bad as you think…or as good. Most karaoke singers fall into a comfortable middle ground. You’ll circle around the right notes and pitch, though probably be a little flat. You’ve (hopefully) heard the song enough to stay on tempo and verse, and it’s time to just get up there and tear it up. You’ll always get your “if things had gone right, I’d be on tour” singers who will actually make you stop thinking about your next song or how many more shots it will take to get your boyfriend to duet with you on “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (three, by the way) and take notice. And of course you’ll get the “my parents/guys who want to sleep with me, always tell me how great I am” singers who destroy some Britney Spears song and leave the stage to thundering applause from the single guys (ironically, Britney Spears herself is in this category.) For the rest of you, don’t take yourself so seriously. If you are closing your eyes from the power of the emotions, or making sweeping hand gestures, or (god help you) putting one hand to your ear, you better make it ironic. Smile when your voice cracks and throw your hands up in triumph at the end. Make sure we know that you know that we know.

January 8, 2011

The Ways in Which I Have or Have Not Loved A Woman

Filed under: Advice,Love,pop culture — artistspayback @ 1:22 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stamp of (Love God) Approval

When I tell you to think of the great lovers of women, who comes to mind? Casanova? Sure. Don Juan? Fine, if you like swarthy. Fabio? Lindsay Lohan? All fine examples, but I’m talking about an absolute authority on the subject. Someone who not only has mastered the art of loving women but could teach a class on it to those not as adept at loving the fairer sex. You know who I mean, right? Think pasty, pock-marked Canadian. YES! Bryan Adams, he of the hit song Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman? (And make no mistake that the title is indeed a mocking indictment of your own prowess, I get the feeling he thinks you have not really, really loved a woman. Bryan is a cruel teacher.)

I myself was under the impression that I had loved a woman, maybe even more than once, until I went through Mr. Adam’s masters course on the subject. Herewith a detailed breakdown in the ways I have loved a woman (yay! me) and ways in which I have clearly missed the boat.

To really love a woman…

You gotta know her deep inside – Um, okay, uh, yeah. Deep, check, like the deepest, you know what I mean? MOVING ON!

Hear every thought – See, he says ‘hear’ which is important, because I have heard I think a passing percentage (let’s say 82%) of every thought. Now whether I ‘listened’ and obeyed/reacted/implemented said thoughts is another matter and one which Bry-man never covers. So I’d say another check goes here.

See every dream – I’ve heard about the dreams. Sometimes I’ve gotten in trouble for the way I’ve acted in her dreams. But actually seeing them. I’m not even sure that’s possible outside of Leonardo DiCaprio movies (and those weren’t even invented when this song came out) so either Bryan has future sight (quite possible), or he’s loving on a level we can barely even imagine (well, duh). Either way I have not really loved in this sense.

And give her wings, if she wants to fly – I bought her a Red Bull once or twice, so checkity-check.

You find yourself lyin’ helpless in her arms – Okay, yes, and I’m not proud of this. And though I hate to disagree with Master Bryan, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a turn on for her either. Maybe it is integral to really loving her, but I don’t recommend going fetal in her lap while a ruffian hovers nearby and she laughs derisively. Um, allegedly.

Tell her that she’s really wanted – Yeah, I’ve done this. Nothing wrong with letting her know how important she is as a part of your life. I can get with that as a necessary part of a true loving relationship.

Then tell her that she’s the one ’cause she needs somebody to tell her that it’s gonna last forever – Okay, now you’re just being a pussy.

Let her hold you ’til you know how she needs to be touched – I’m not sure that I’ve done this. There seems to be something logistically amiss about the logic though I can’t put my finger on it. And I really don’t want her putting her finger on it.

You’ve gotta breathe her – Oh yes, at night while she sleeps. What? It’s romantic. Right?

Really taste her ’til you can feel her in your blood – Oh, Bryan. When have I not?

You can see your unborn children in her eyes – This one seems a little creepy to me. Not sure visions of floating ocular feti (er, fetuses) is something I really want to witness. And the fact that I might just reinforces my belief that I should never move my eyes above her breasts. Ever.

You got to give her some faith – Sweet Jesus. Religion. I’m in trouble on this one.

Hold her tight – Oh yes, Bryan, hold her tight I do. Very tight, so tight she will not escape. The real, manly-man-of-power kind of tight from which she can barely move. Tight, yes, and because it is so masculine it is with not even a hint of tenderness.

A little tenderness – Aw crap.

You gotta treat her right – Man, he really preloads the hard stuff doesn’t he.

And it’s just that simple. Quick and easy path to good old woman loving. If you’ve done all of this, Sir Bryan assures that ‘She will be there for you, takin’ good care of you’

Though I fall short in a couple of categories, I think I did okay. Sure I’ve got some things to work, but it feels good to know that I am on the path to hardcore loving. With tenderness. And babies in the eyes. Or maybe I should check with that other paragon of lady-lovin’ for a second opinion. Speaking of, where is Scott Baio these days, anyway?

February 24, 2010

The Final Word on Super Bowl Ads

Why is this the “final word?” Because it makes a better title than “Super Bowl Ads – I Should Have Written This Two Weeks Ago.”

Anyhow, I thought I’d put together a quick breakdown of the Super Bowl ads from this year’s contest between the New Orleans Saints (THEY WON!) and the Indianapolis Colts (WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!) Surely you watched the game because, as you may have heard, the Super Bowl broke a TV viewership record that had stood since the dark days before DVR’s (we did have -shudder- VCR’s with timers!), before cable (well, okay there was cable but we didn’t have it yet), before the internets (which meant before accessible porn) and before puberty (well, okay there was puberty but I didn’t have it yet). Back then M*A*S*H* was the most watched show ever (SPOILER ALERT – the chicken was a baby).

So, back to the Super Bowl ads. I have been in the field of Advertising for nearly twenty years and I work on the creative side of the biz, so I do have some authority in this area. Here is my expert analysis:

They sucked.

Okay, yes, the Betty White one was a pleasant surprise and I liked the little kid slapping the dude over his bowl of Doritos (though the production values and off-beat editing bothered me at the time, I later found out it was a “viewer-submitted” ad – who is their agency again?). The Letterman/Leno one was also fun, but really the rest? Lame.

I’m not the only one who felt this way. I heard lots of grumbling about the lack of “good ads” this year. But here’s a little truth. They mostly sucked last year too. And the year before that. And so on. In fact, they really haven’t been great in many, many years (and even then, it’s not like there weren’t more than a few clunkers, but the ratio was better). There are probably numerous reasons for this, but not the one that you’re most likely thinking – that the creative types have lost their mojo. That may be a valid thesis if not for the fact that great/entertaining/stunning/poignant ads debut all year long.

Part of it is that, with expectations so high and with the unattainable fantasy of previous years to live up to, failure is almost inevitable. But there are additional reasons they fail that have nothing to do with heightened expectations and everything to do with laziness. Here are a number of ways they go astray all of which can be avoided.

Why They Failed

  • GET ME AN ANIMAL – Yes, for a certain segment of the population the math is simple. Monkey In A Suit = Hilarity. Or maybe just get some sort of rodent, rodents are funny, right? People love dogs, lets put a dog in there. Sure there have been some great animal-centric ads in years past (cat wranglers is one of my personal favorites) but it shouldn’t just be lazy shorthand. When you have a crappy ad concept and you throw in a monkey, do you know what you get?  A crappy ad. With a monkey.
  • DEJA VU – Or “Hey, it worked last year, let’s do it again.”, Go Daddy, any of the Budweiser Clydesdale ads are all just variations on a theme in the worst way. I don’t expect much from the first two, but come on Bud, you’re better than that.
  • GUYS ARE EMASCULATED DORKS – Much like the “get me an animal!” line of lazy thinking is the whole “let’s just do something where some doofus gets reamed.” I’m not saying that most guys aren’t idiots, I’m just saying that the basis of comedy is surprise and you’re not going to catch anyone off guard with this tired angle.
  • WHEN IN DOUBT, HIT SOMEONE – Yes, slapstick is funny. This is especially true for men (known in scientific circles as the Three Stooges Phenomenon), yet somehow it’s become such a crutch in so many ads that it’s no longer guaranteed to work. The idea is to use it as an exclamation on a funny concept (see: Terry Tate Office Linebacker), but not always as the joke itself.
  • JOKE, JOKE, JOKE, BLAH… – At some point it became almost mandatory for ads to go for the comedy (which is why we see so much of what’s listed above with a heaping helping of desperation sweats). But it doesn’t have to be the case. Look no further than at what is often considered if not The Greatest Super Bowl Ad Ever, at least the ad which kicked off the whole “I watch the Super Bowl for the ads” craze in the first place. Apple’s 1984 spot. Was it funny? No. Was it memorable? Well it was 25 years ago and it’s still mentioned every year. And, that kids, is the whole point of advertising – creating a memorable impression.

How They Can Succeed Next Year

But I’m not just here to complain, I’m here to help. As I said, it’s not that the creatives have no idea how to put together good commercials, they just seem to follow the same over-traveled roads above as soon as someone says, “okay, Super Bowl ideas…GO!”

There are good commercials out there and they’re currently airing in heavy rotation. If you’ve been watching the Olympics like me (yes, I even enjoy curling) you may have noticed something. There are some really good ads running. In fact, there are three in particular that are better than anything produced during the Big Game. They’re not all funny. They don’t have a need for some doofus guy. And, thankfully, there’s not a monkey in sight. They’re just well thought out and nearly pitch-perfect for their respective companies.

These four ads highlight areas where the Super Bowl ads failed and how they can succeed in the future.

  • YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE FUNNY – It’s okay to put together an ad that’s serious if it really nails the target. Advertising can be emotional and even in a male-dominated event like a football game this can still work. My favorite spot running during the Olympics is the P&G “Always Be Kids” ad. This one nails the emotion, the set up is great and the tag line is true. And it all is in perfect sync with the brand. It should be noted that this ad has faced some criticism both mostly valid (hint: the kids and the snow have have the same predominant pigment) and mostly moronic (what about dads, huh?) but I still stand by it as a great commercial.
  • COOL VISUALS ARE A PLUS – I love the Nike ad “The Human Chain.” It takes a unique visual approach, adds the perfect song (which has extra heft what with LT’s appearance and his subsequent release) and furthers Nike’s eternal Just Do It campaign. Technology makes almost anything possible and let’s not forget this is a visual medium – take advantage of it.
  • USE CELEBS PROPERLY – Hire a big name for your ad and the rest takes care of itself, right? Wrong. If you’re going the celeb route, make sure it works. Sure snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler isn’t a household name, but she resonates with the Olympic crowd (especially those “hip young viewers” advertisers crave) and she’s starring in a memorable AT&T ad. Okay, so the ad may not exactly say “AT&T” (full disclosure, I couldn’t remember who it was an ad for) but I remembered it and that’s a good start.
  • WHEN FUNNY WORKS, IT REALLY WORKS – The best ad running on any TV anywhere right now, is the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” ad. THAT is how you do funny, people. If you’ve seen it, you’re nodding in agreement. If you haven’t click the link. Okay, back at me. I’m on a horse.

August 13, 2009

Fashion Help: Selecting The Right Ed Hardy Wear For Your Special Occasion

Filed under: Advice,Fashion — artistspayback @ 6:12 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s a big day for you. You’ve been waiting for this event for months.

Or no, perhaps this is some last minute occurrence that is your best chance to make a great impression. Something that may catapult you into the next level of your life.

Whatever the case, there is one thing for sure – nothing will suffice other than the finest clothing. Clothing that screams for respect. Screams for attention. Screams for recognition. And perhaps just screams period. 

That’s why God made Ed Hardy clothing. (And by ‘God,’ I mean of designer extraordinaire Christian Audigier {and by ‘designer extraordinaire’ I mean the dude who just takes Ed Hardy’s designs and prints them on hoodies and shoes and crap}).

So what do you do? You want to impress but is this a ‘skull with eagle’s wings protruding from it’s fiery visage’ moment or more of a ‘menacing jungle cat preparing for attack’ situation? Should one have prominently displayed cartoon cutlery or not?

What exactly is a well meaning douche to do in this situation?

Relax. I’m here to help.

Here is your situational guide to Ed Hardy clothing:

Baby’s First Day at the Beach:


It’s a momentous day in the life of your little pride and joy. So what better way to commemorate the day than this jaunty yellow number inscribed with the timeless toddler sentiment: “Love Kills Slowly.”

No worries of drowning here, your baby will be cool as an iceberg and we all know icebergs stay (pretty much) above the surface.







Wedding Day (Female):


Something old, something new, something borrowed, something KICK ASS!  Thats the motto for the modern blushing bride. Sure, you can go out and buy a “wedding dress” and get a “veil” and look all “pretty” for your “special day” – or you could tell the world who you really are.

Think about it, you may only get married three or four times in your life, do you really want to do it in some fusty old gown? Hell no, you want this to be truly special and you want everyone to know that you are dedicated to the one you love by wearing this bridal dress that boldly declares you are “Dedicated To The One You Love.” (And note that the non-specific pronoun allows you some wiggle room. You’re welcome.)

And, it’s bejeweled for that extra helping of class and elegance.




Wedding Day (Male):

BeautifulGhostThere she is, the beautiful woman who bore your illegitimate child standing next to the father who told you to get your ass up there and don’t even think about trying to back out on this again. As they begin walking down the aisle and the ushers close and bolt the doors behind them, you smile.

You know what else is smiling? The entrancing skull gracing your fashion-forward bicep-enhancing Ed Hardy wedding tee. Why is your skull smiling? Maybe because it pukes lightning. Or it could be the joy of pink, flower-festooned hair that gracefully cascades and ensconces its bony features.

Why are you smiling? Well, because, uh, actually, that’s a good question. Why are you smiling?





Baby’s Birth:

PantherBirthYou’ve got your cigars. You’ve attended to your wife/girlfriend/chick-you-knocked-up-because-condoms-are-for-pussies every day and night for nine months (as long as it didn’t interfere with a major sporting event or wet t-shirt contest.) And now, you are ready to witness the miracle of your child being born. And Ed is there to wrap you in his comforting, 100% cotton embrace.

Naturally, you can’t wait to greet your baby sporting your Panther Collage shirt. This retina-numbing assault of awesomeness has a tender image at its heart – which is an actual heart gripped in eagle’s talons with an arm jutting out of  the superior vena cava promoting, um, peace from, uh, panthers…okay, maybe the symbolism escapes me but your baby will ‘get it’ (and will subsequently be crying harder than most.)

Even better, if you get any afterbirth on you, it will either blend in seamlessly or work to enhance the overall look. You, your baby, Ed Hardy – you three peas in a pod of lifetime responsibility and badass imagery.



Day In Court (Restraining Order):

BattleThey can restrain you. They can tell you that 200 yards is your “court-enforced distance.” Certain public places may be off limits. Fair enough. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show up for your day of reckoning rocking a bold vision of pure unrestraint.

The battle for independence that rages on your back is one even the mightiest gavel cannot silence. The eternal struggle of the righteous eagle (the symbol of all that is good and God fearing plus flight!) pitted against the evil viper (slithery, satanic, deadly, lisping) as they writhe and grapple over a tongue-wagging, eye-bulging skull that can only represent one thing – eye strain.






Bar Mitzvah:


Today your nephew becomes man. Big deal, every day when you leave the house you become THE man! Still you are ready to celebrate the youngster’s achievement resplendent in your Ed Hardy finery.

And there is no finery finer than a crazy-eyed tiger fighting his way through a baptism of flame, er, maybe a bris of fire. Why is that tiger so wild eyed? Well, fire hurts and he’s pissed.

But you’re not. Sure, your shirt may depict an endangered species engulfed in flame, you will only be showered with adoration.

So who’s the man now, Mordechai?

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