Category Archives: Big Brother 101

Powerball Fever (Winning Numbers Included)

1984_01

Multiple annotated reads of George Orwell’s 1984 have taught me all of the mathematical concepts this struggling prole needs to know in order to survive our pre-apocalyptic world – preemptively dubbed the “Tin Foil Hat Era”:

  1. 2 + 2 = 5
  1. The proles (i.e. 99 Percenters) – sex, booze, Cliffsnotes, drugs, Little Debbies, televised sports, People Magazine and the lottery = 100-percent fucked (metaphorically speaking of course, given sex has been removed from the equation)
  1. Proletariat – Hope = Total Anarchy*

*Imagine President Donald Trump with a Purple Crayon

Initially these concepts were immaculately conceived by God Big Brother, who impregnated the first sets of televisions, which eventually begat computers when Big Brother’s wandering eye preyed upon a younger, prettier, albeit more promiscuous medium of its former self. Big Brother’s minions, the One-Percenters, know these concepts as well, which is why they stoked the Hope Machine by adding the Powerball Lottery to its fire, which is currently burning in our collective underbelly to the tune of an estimated $1.5 billion ($930 million cash value, so not quite a billion dollar haul, unfortunately).

You heard me right, suckers: $1.5 billion — the asking price for the western half of Iowa. (For the record: Nobody’s asking.)

The One-Percenters also know that the lottery, like the U.S. tax code and ATM surcharges, is completely rigged in their favor. Even so, Powerball Fever has swept the nation as the proles push their other addictions distractions aside, hit the ATM machines,  and bow and pray before the Almighty Powerball God that He will spit out the winning numbers.

69 coupling in Big Brother's ball, pushing and shoving to be the next in line

69 coupling balls in Big Brother’s ball, pushing and shoving to be the next in line

Tragically, these gateway prayers lead to more dangerous, irrational behaviors and illusions of grandeur that, given the 1 in 292,000,000 odds of winning, the Almighty Powerball God will pick you (and the IRS) to be the Chosen One. This would be akin to thinking that of the estimated 2.2 Christians on Earth, God picked you of all people to run for president of the United States, so you could fuck up Earth,  one of his most disappointing creations — second only to Man. Other symptoms of Powerball Fever include speaking in prime numbers, talking about the lottery in lieu of the weather or that game last night and/or filling out paperwork to run for public jester office.

Although the conspiracy theory side of my brain is convinced the lottery is rigged, the left side reminds me that I was one number away from winning the Iowa Lottery 27 years ago. Having recently finished my two-year tour with Uncle Sam at the time, I was trying to plant my financial feet in the civilian world and recall saying, “If I just had $500 dollars, I could pay all my bills, buy some new pants for work, and have money left over to splurge on libations for my friends.” Two days later, I hit five of the six numbers and won $600. Had I prayed to God for a “34,” I would have won $3.8 million. Both of these numbers have haunted me ever since.

I took my winning ticket to the nearby Super Value grocery store on 42nd and University in Des Moines, and the customer service representative was in a state of shock when he ran my ticket. Without missing a beat he slipped me six bennies, and I was on my way to living the dream. I took my winnings and, as it was prophesied, I paid my bills, bought two pairs of pants for my work wardrobe and bought a keg of Milwaukee’s Best — only the Best for my fellow proles, eh?

I found out later that I was supposed to fill out some paperwork and pay Uncle Sam his cut, since my winnings were over $500. Note:  If you’re reading this and work for the IRS, I already spent all my winnings. Although I’m still wearing the same pants as part of my teaching wardrobe. So if you want your slice, Big Brother, come and take my pants, you Totalitarian Motherfucker!

Needless to say the right side of my brain eventually surrendered to the left, and I decided to purchase the winning ticket of Wednesday night’s drawing. That and I had a vivid vision while paying homage to the coffee gods at Java House. God, dipped in black leather from head to toe, paid me a visit and said that He would give me the winning numbers if I promised to finance a campaign that removed “In God We Trust” from all paper money and replaced it with “You Ungrateful Bastards Owe Me, Big Time!”

Me: I don’t know, that seems like a heavy burden.

God: (looking in to the distance) If you only knew…if you only knew the first thing about heavy burdens…

Me: Okay…okay, what are the winning numbers?

He looked around to make sure that none of the nearby heathens were listening in, bent down and whispered the winning numbers into my ear as I wrote them down on a napkin.

Me: 34!? Are you sure about that, God?

God: Goddamn right I’m sure. Look at Me, I’m God for Christ’s sake.

In spite of the black leather attire, the left side of my brain conceded that God did indeed have a point, while the right side was overcome with giddiness after hearing God use His own name in vain. Priceless, it thought…priceless. After writing the numbers down, I looked up and God had disappeared. I noticed that the rest of my Java Cooler had also disappeared, a small penance for being a billionaire, I conceded.

Ultrasound of Winston's fetus engulfed by the shadow of Big Brother's Invisible Hand

Ultrasound of Winston’s fetus engulfed by the shadow of Big Brother’s Invisible Hand

Looking at the numbers on the napkin, I decided to christen my new baby, Winston, an homage to the beloved prole Winston Smith (circa 1984). Like most hipster Millennial offspring, it’s only fitting that Winston was immaculately conceived in a coffee shop.

Winston's first Selfie: "Terrible Twos"

Winston’s first Selfie: “Terrible Twos”

Given the life expectancy of a Powerball ticket is only 3 to 4 days, I thought it best to document Winston’s “Terrible Twos” stage, or midlife crisis in this case. I also thought it would be a good idea to share this publicly, so when I DO win, people will know why I, along with Winston, may have disappeared. Moreover, the latter served as a reminder that the drawing was two days away, and that I needed to cast my superstitious phrase into the world, just to remind God about our agreement:

“If I just had $1.5 billion dollars, I could pay all my bills, buy some new pants for work, and have money left over to buy the western half of Iowa for all my friends.”

Advertisements

Top Ten Bernie Madoff Tips for Investing (An Exercise in Futility)

For a cool $50 billion, Bernie Madoff managed to buy Satan's vacated seat in hell

For a cool $50 billion, Bernie Madoff managed to buy Satan's vacated seat in hell

Unlike trying to find a consistent pattern in winning Powerball lottery numbers, the Late Show’s Online Top Ten Contest winners have become increasingly more predictable in recent weeks. All of the Big Three — Joaquin Phoenix, Paul Blart, and Bernie Madoff – reared their heads in last week’s winning list.

However, I am starting to think the Top Ten Contest, like the Powerball, is rigged. Everyone knows that Big Brother created and rigs the Powerball Lottery to keep the masses distracted from perpetual metaphoric wars, covert and otherwise, and to pump a steady stream of hope into the poor masses — so they don’t rise up and overthrow the government. Duh…

Following suit, Letterman’s producers created the Top Ten Contest to give online readers the illusion that CBS actually cares what we think, or in my case, feeding my illusions of grandeur that one day Letterman’s people will discover me and offer me a job writing for the “Late Show.”

Last week, I incorporated two-thirds of the Big Three in my list of possible entries for the topic, “Top Ten Surprising Items in the Economic Bailout Plan,” but did not submit either one of them to the official contest. Instead I submitted the only vote-getter: “All banking CEOs get to pass Go and collect $2 million, split Free Parking pot and will receive one get-out-of-jail-free card.”

Fast forward to this week, and I refuse to be tempted by the Big Three, however, I have no choice this week since the list’s topic is an homage to Bernie Madoff. Moreover, I’m unwilling to let go of my illusions of grandeur, for this is what compels me to get out of bed every morning – at least I think it’s a bed.

Due to the recent demise of voter turnout among SSF readers, my quest to win the Holy “Online Late Show” t-shirt has devolved from an obsession to an exercise-in-futility. That said, here’s my top-ten list of possible entries to this week’s Top Ten contest. Once again, I’m soliciting your help – or not. I’ve written ten possible entries for this week’s list, and it’s up to you to help me select the CHOSEN ONE from the list (for I can only submit one) that you think has the best chance of winning.

Just think, with your help, all of this could be mine

Just think, with your help, all of this could be mine

This week’s list: Top Ten Bernie Madoff Tips for Investing

10. It takes other peoples’ money to make money

9. Buy stock in prisons

8. Everything I know about investing I learned from Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money”

7. When the Feds come a knockin, start flushin’ the stock down

6. Screw Amway, think Ponzi

5. Avoid brokers with un-fortuitous names like Les Steele, Ben Had, or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

4. When SEC’s not looking, switch Invisible Hand with Invisible Monkey’s Paw

3. Buy low, sell often

2. Trade all shares labeled “Made in USA” for shares labeled “Owned by China”

1. Send me a check for $10,000, and I will send you the real top ten tips

Don’t forget to indicate (in the Comments) which ONE of these I should submit to the Top Ten Contest.

My Funny Prophetable Valentine Haikus

Growing up, I always dreamt of becoming a prophet, until I realized there is not much profit in propheteering — unless of course you’re exploiting dead prophets for profit: e.g. Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ.” Speaking of which, most reputable (at least posthumously) prophets are shunned by society and succumb to untimely deaths (e.g. Keith Ledger). Apparently most people are allergic to the truth and avoid it at all possible costs, fearing they will break out in hives if exposed to the naked truth.

Last night, while celebrating the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin and Aresenio Hall from the stadium seats of my Aresnio Shrine and makeshift Dog Pound (Woof! Woof! Woof!), I started thinking about some of the most influential prophets in my life. Consequently, these prophets made cameo appearances (no charge) in my dreams and recited, in honor of Valentine’s Day, love-inspired Haikus from atop a mountain of garbage in the local land fill (formerly the local dump).

Fortunately the distinct smell from the land fill jarred me out of my R.E.M. mode, thus enabling me to recall the Haikus verbatim. That said, here’s a transcription of their 17 syllable sermons from the heap:

jesus_cross_crucifixion1

Crucifixion II: A Cautionary Haiku for You, by Jesus

Hallmarkian lust;
Enjoy sins ‘fore Dad gets home –
I’m already dead.

yoda

Light Saber Envy, by Yoda

Size matters not, hmmm…
You, let libido flow through:
May force be in you.

buddha-bodhi

Alone: Wait, Fast, Think, Then Regret, by Buddha
Underneath Bodhi tree,
Transcended Valentine’s Day.
Damn Nirvana sucks.

big-bro-watching

Big Brother is Laughing, by George Orwell

Ministry of Love
Promotes proles to begat more proles.
Big Brother laughs last.

pastafarian85x115_th

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, by FSM (Our Creator)

Pastafarians
Spread gospel of FSM;
Love is in the air.

Facebook Status Update: Big Brother is Watching You!

Five years ago, the thought of having to wear a GPS ankle bracelet so authorities could track your whereabouts may have been humiliating, but a suitable alternative to prison.

Now, thanks to online social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter, these tracking devices are on the path to extinction as millions of American choose to be voluntarily tracked, preferring a virtual imprisonment over a life of privacy.

Okay, so I’m guilty of falling prey to these temptations — namely for networking reasons, finding long-lost friends, and helping the FBI shave off man-hours as they keep tabs on my subversive humor and satirical attacks on government institutions. I realize that humorists/satirists are somewhere between Jehovah Witnesses and Salvation Army Bell Ringers on the FBI’s watch list, but every minute I give back to the bureau can be better spent tracking down the real criminals: offshore bankers and video pirates.

By the way, did I mention I’m a Conspiracy Theorist? Yeah, you heard me right Mr. FBI Guy; stuff that in your secret computer file and smoke it. Ever since I read George Orwell’s “1984” in eighth grade, I’m convinced that Big Brother is watching my every move. For example, I refuse to use automatic toilets in public restrooms, sensing they are elaborate tracking devices that record your whereabouts and activities via the red lights.

"It always feels like, somebody's watching me..."

"It always feels like, somebody's watching me..."

Therapist Bob said this is absurd, but I’m not about to take any chances and flush my rights away.

And now we’re seeing the trickle down effects of Big Brother as local authorities are getting into the social spying networking game. Just recently a female college student was reported missing in Iowa City after a night of drinking with her real friends. Hmmmm….I’m sure this never happens in a college town, thus raising red flags down at the police department.

Local peace officers eventually tracked her down, claiming they used Facebook to discover her whereabouts. They did not say how they did this, but I imagine they sent her a Friend Request. Nothing like getting one of these in you notification box: “The Iowa City Police Department wants to be your friend: Confirm?”

By the way, if anyone receives the following status update from me, you know something is amiss and should text message the authorities immediately:

T.M. Lindsey is enjoying shopping for women’s underwear at Wal-Mart.”

Anyone who really knows me would know that I would not be caught dead shopping at Wal-Mart. And if I was caught dead, the county coroner, thankfully, would be the only witness as to why I was shopping there in the first place. I’ll plea the fifth on this one.

Then along comes Twitter, for those folks who just can’t leave home without their personal trackers.

I will admit that I have yet to take the full plunge into Twitter, namely because I’ve developed a false Messiah complex and worry that a bunch of my followers will start their own narcissistic pilgrimages into the blogsphere and start publishing their own musings from the basement while wearing pajamas and women’s underwear.

I am not wired to handle this much responsibility.

And in Twitterville, if you are not being followed, you are following somebody else, thus completing the full circle of consensual stalking. Iowa City’s neighbor, Coralville, has gone Twitter, including its police department. Not sure who would intentionally want the police department following them, but I imagine it’s the same folks who actually talk to pollsters when they Break & Enter their phone lines.

But what does the Facebook phenomenon reveal about our need-for-attention culture? On a basic level, isn’t Facebook the mere equivalent of standing at the end of the diving board at the virtual pool and shouting to all of your friends: “Look at me! Look at me!”?

"Are you ready to take the Facebook plunge? Jump! Jump! Jump! ... Jump!"

"Jump! Jump! Jump! ... Jump!"

Are you ready to take the Facebook plunge?

Moreover, Facebook serves as a virtual playground for adults, who can tag and poke each other without fear of having their recess stripped from them. These behaviors, however, serve as naughty gateway behaviors leading to bigger and more dangerous behaviors such as writing on friends’ walls. “Friends don’t let friends write on friend’s walls.”

It won’t be long before Facebook goes below the neck and launches an adult version that begs the status update question: “What are you wearing right now?”

T.M. Lindsey is not wearing women’s underwear at the moment.”

Keep your hands off my drugs, Big Brother

This year, despite the fact I’m not even remotely religious, I’ve decided to give up Responsibility for Lent.

Why not? When in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, might as well do as what Jesus would do, eh?

Why responsibility, you ask?

For starters, responsible people, ever since the beginning of time, have always been getting the short end of the snake. Just ask Eve. (Ba-dum-bum—Ching! I couldn’t resist, which is not a good sign that I’m going to successfully resist responsibility for 40 days.)

If you need more anecdotal evidence that the Responsible are always getting screwed, read “The Book of Ecclesiastes” in the Old Testament. And if you’re still not satisfied and need a more reputable source, I suggest you look up “Responsible People Are Eternally Doomed” on Wikipedia to feed any empirical doubts you may have been harboring. Trust me, it’s there. I should know because I added the entry late last night while the Wiki-Police were off chasing my soon-to-be irresponsible brethren. God I can’t wait for Lent to begin. Oh the Sinful Places I will Go.

Now I’ve been responsible my entire life, maybe too responsible for that matter, but I stared responsibility down the other day for the last time (an epic battle indeed) at a nearby pharmacy while trying to purchase a box of Suphedrine, or what I call Suphadrain, from the certified Pusher behind the counter.

"C'mon and pick a drug. Any drug."

My Local Pusher: "C'mon and pick a drug. Any drug."

This showdown was brought about by the fact that I live in Iowa which has, among several other states, been vying for the celebrated title of “Meth Capital of the World” on the reality show “America’s Top Meth State.” While California has taken an early lead, drawing on its eternal life-line to Mexico for the new and improved Methamphetamines, Iowa is pushing its per capita argument on the judges as homegrown Iowa fans fill the studio audience and initiate a challenge cheer:

We got meth, yes we do;
We got meth, how about you?

The California contingency fires back:

We got the most.
We got the most.

Iowa’s chances of bringing home the Meth Capital title were seriously hindered a few years ago when Gov. Tom Vilsack signed one of the toughest anti-meth laws in the country, which bans over-the-counter sales of anything and everything containing pseudoephedrine, including pseudoephedrine.

As fate would have it my beloved Suphadrain falls into this category, because it contains a key ingredient for meth that had sent Mom and Pop Meth Makers all over town inconspicuously buying large quantities of Suphadrain.

Cashier: Do you know how many boxes of that stuff you have in your cart?

Meth Head: Oh, you mean these? There are only 200 boxes. My sinuses do overwhelm me during these troubled times.

Cashier: I hear you. Trust me, you’re not alone. I’ve had several people in here just today buying 200 to 300 boxes of Suphedrine.

Meth Head: ‘Tis the season.

Cashier: We can’t seem to keep the stuff on the shelves. Have I nice day.

Meth Head: Oh, I will now. Thanks.

Once again, thanks to the irresponsible folks who discovered a cheap way to get high and cut sleeping out of their busy schedules to make time to make more meth, I have to jump through several bureaucratic loopholes to get some sinus relief.

Now I have to go through The Man, Big Brother, to get my Suphadrain fix. After showing one of his Pushers my driver’s license, who enters the information on a computer to make sure I don’t have too many meth-purchasing priors on my record. Worse, I feel like the Pusher is undressing my intentions with his eyes, wondering why I bought the 96-count box, when I could just as easily have bought the 24-count.

Meanwhile the sinus pressure continues to build exponentially in my head as my skull slowly expands to epic Elephantitus portions. It was only then that I truly understood what the Elephant Man must have felt like every day of his life.

This is me perusing impulse buys at the drugstore while waiting for my Suphadrain fix to get filled by the neighborhood Pusher

This is me perusing impulse buys at the drugstore while waiting for my Suphadrain fix to get filled by the neighborhood Pusher: "I am not a Meth Head, I am a human being with a sinus problem."

What our nanny government fails to realize that if there is a will, there is a way. People who have hit rock bottom and need a cheap escape, albeit temporary, will try anything to get high. It won’t be long before we’ll have to go through the same inquisition to buy Suphadrain to buy glue, whipped cream, paint thinner, Depends diapers (don’t ask), perfumes/man juice, and the list of other potential mind-altering drugs goes on.

In the meantime to avoid the hassle and humility of buying Suphadrain from one of The Man’s dealers, I’ve decided to take the cheaper and easier route by cutting out the middle man and going straight to the source. Now I just buy meth from unlicensed dealers and cut out the pseudoephedrine to help ease my overwhelming sinus pressure.

This is me after a quick Suphadrain fix

This is me after a small dose of Suphadrain

I can see myself quickly getting addicted to sticking it to The Man.