Monday, March 31, 2014

April Fools Day- a PSA (for your own good)

I posted something to this effect on Facebook and Twitter today, but I felt a topic this serious requires a little more fleshing out. 

As most of you know, tomorrow is April Fools Day. This is a holiday of sorts in America celebrated every April first that involves playing pranks on your friends under the guise of "April Fools!". Of all people, I love a good joke, and a well-meaning, tasteful prank is one thing. However, in years past (especially now that social media is so popular), I've witness the foolishness get a little out of hand.

In case you're a complete troglodyte and couldn't figure out most of these rules for yourself, please take note of the following acceptable and unacceptable expressions of April Fools Day on social media. 

  • Pretend to be pregnant. Seriously. If you have friends who are actually trying to get pregnant, you're going to look like an insensitive tool. 
  • Fake a serious/ terminal illness. Take the amount of insensitivity of the above post and multiply it by forty-four. Then hit yourself in the face with a post.
  • Tell everyone you got laid off. Seriously, this affects more people than you can even realize. It's not funny.
  • Post that you're getting a divorce/ breaking up with your S/O. If this is ACTUALLY happening, it may behoove you to wait until April 2nd to announce it to the world. Or, y'know, just keep that private. Either/or. 
  • Claim that a celebrity/ politician/ public figure has died. This is how stupid internet rumors start. Only you can stop Twitter forest fires. 
  • Destroy anything. For crying out load, don't go breaking things and then cry "But it was just a prank!" No, it wasn't. It wasn't funny, and it wasn't well thought out or clever. It was vandalism, and now you're going to jail. And you deserve it. 
  • Post any story that someone's conspiracy-theorist aunt could interpret as actual news and spread around the internet as gospel truth. Examples of such unacceptable nonsense are:
    • School cafeteria workers caught sneaking meth into children's lunches so they pay more attention in health class! Has the school system gone TOO FAR!?!
    • Secret photos of the NSA spying on the people spying on the NSA! See the pictures THEY don't want you to see!
  • Photoshop a picture of your cat driving your car.
  • Post pictures of cats, in general. The internet LOVES cats!
  • Link a story from The Onion. Seriously, if someone can't tell the stories on the Onion are satire, there's not much I can do for them. 
  • Tell someone you played a joke on them if you see them falling for it. Seriously. After it's obvious you've fooled them, you've achieved your goal. End it. Even if you ignore all the rules above (but seriously though, don't), follow this one rule. No need to let that mess go on all day, especially if it might cause your fooled party to take a rash action. Example:
    • You: "Aunt Myrtle, I was kidnapped! Save me! LOL"
    • Aunt Mrytle: *Calls the cops, the FBI, the CIA, CNN and Al-Jazeera.*
    • You: "April Fools! LOL!"
    • Al-Jazeera: "We're a serious news outlet, WTF is this?"
  • I really can't emphasize this enough: CATS.

The long of the short of it is this: If your joke might hurt someone, please think twice about playing it. Do have some fun on April Fools Day, just don't do something you'll end up regretting. Now, as for me, I plan to....

..wait, WAIT! Fez, wait! No! Fez, what are you doing!?!

Fez, you can't drive! You can't even see over the steering wheel! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Pigeons", the collector's set

As a writer and cartoonist (yes I am, I said so, shut up), there's one phrase that can be really hard for me to hear:

"I don't get it."

That's one of the pitfalls of drawing a serial comic strip. Some readers are inevitably going to come in halfway and even if you provide links to the previous chapters, some will still miss out. Out of context, some of my cartoons can be esoteric, if not downright unreadable.

That's why today I'm assembling the complete "Pigeons" saga into one easy-to-follow post! That, and because everyone needs to be properly educated on the horror of the winged menace. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Civil Rights Update: The elephant in the governor's office

In case you're not from my state, or if you are and aren't very politically involved, there's currently a fracas going on in Frankfort (no, not Germany, pay attention). Kentucky has a constitutional state ban on same-sex marriages. However, last week the Kentucky state attorney general Jack Conway stated that he wouldn't defend the state ban in court. 

This came only a week after a federal judge ordered Kentucky to recognize same sex marriages from other states or countries, which (for the unmarried or uninformed) would grant legally married same sex couples the same state benefits (hospital visitation, filing joint state tax returns, etc) that opposite sex couples enjoy. 

Let's not gloss over the fact that last June the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, allowing all legally married same sex couples the federal benefits that other couples already had (such as filing joint federal taxes). 

(To my readers from foreign countries or those too young to pay taxes, yes, the American tax code is exceedingly complicated. We all hate it, but for the life of us can't seem to agree on how to fix it. That's a post for another day.)

Indeed, it seems like the tide is turning toward nationwide acceptance of same-sex marriage in America. But leave it to Kentucky politicians to make our state look bigoted and backwater- last week Kentucky's governor Steve Beshear said he would appeal the ruling of the federal judge in an effort to deny state benefits to same sex couples, as well as hire an attorney to defend the ban if Jack Conway wouldn't. 

The next day, Beshear showed up at a rally for civil rights in the state capitol. 

Beshear denied that personal politics played a role in his decision. 
Nope. Not at all. 

Okay, Steve. If making yourself look good in front of the conservatives in Frankfort is more important that the basic civil rights of human beings (many of whom are your constituents), you had this coming. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

ADDiaries - Stupid Butterfly...

Since I found out a couple weeks ago that I very likely have ADD, I've had some adjusting to do. Mostly by way of not focusing on my symptoms. I mean, if I do have ADD, then I've probably had it my whole life and I was always able to manage before. 

The annoying thing about having ADD, though, is that sometimes the symptoms are very hard to ignore.