September 9, 2008
Now that public reports have surfaced about Kim Jong Il's absence from official state ceremonies in North Korea amid serious health concerns, I am finally at liberty to announce that Kim Jong Il tried to travel the Oregon Trail at the same time as we did, and his current health problems stem from a debilitating case of dysentery, a failure to invest in spare parts for North Korea's wagon, and the unified refusal of Indians to help him find wild fruit. We passed his party of high-level party functionaries on the side of the road and it was a pathetic sight. Kim Jong Il did not make it to the end of the Oregon Trail as we did. They flew home from Boise, Idaho. His operatives are under orders to hack together a cheap Photoshop job with him at the end of the trail where they just put his head on top of K.'s body, but now, dear readers, you know better than to buy that shit.
I intend to write an itinerary so anyone who would like to travel the Oregon Trail can follow our route, but I may not get around to it. Google seekers of the future may feel free to email me if I don't.
Football season is here, and that is a fine thing. However, while watching the day's games, I saw a series of beer commercials touting "drinkability" as a new word. Our cultural discourse is eternally an optimistic child on the way to school, and "drinkability" is the flash of a pervert's trench coat. I used to believe that we, as Americans, would stand up and reject things like "drinkability", but now I am older, and resigned that frat boys are already using "drinkability" in term papers and preludes to date rape, and it will be in President Palin's 2011 State of the Union address.
I am resigned, but not surrendered, for today I am proud to announce the first official What Jail Is Like Fellowship Program. What Jail Is Like Fellows will defend cultural discourse through the creation and use of compound German words to describe every-day situations. It is a documented fact that Germans communicate with each other exclusively through compound words: weltschmerz, schadenfreude, so on and so forth. These words, absorbed into our cultural discourse as a whole, have proven tremendously useful in the past. However, it has been ages since a new German compound word has crossed over, and situations are still emerging that require their use. I have an opening for two What Jail Is Like Fellows to create and propagate German compound words, and one What Jail Is Like Fellow to slander the first two Fellows and persistently argue that this ought to be done in another language.
Applicants for the first two positions should submit German compound words to encapsulate the following emotions:
1. The sense of hearing a song you like in a commercial, and feeling your emotional attachment to the song calcify.
2. The sense of feeling old because you have heard a song used in a commercial that was popular when you were in high school, and now advertisers are using it to sell products you associate with old people.
3. The sense of being in a store and feeling haunted because you have heard a song from an album you loved some time ago, but the song itself is not one of the album highlights, so you are struggling to place it.
4. The sense of relief upon listening to a very good new EP or single by a band you had once enjoyed, but whose recent work had led you to believe they lacked the inspiration that had made them great, and were therefore lost to you.
Needless to say, the Fellowship Program is unpaid and probably does not qualify for academic credit of any kind, but I will be happy to send emails on behalf of Fellows urging immediate recognition of their work by scholastic or professional organizations.