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Fonzie of the Week #24: Bricks!

April 11th, 2010 No comments

Let’s cut to the chase: bricks are inherently awesome. They’re unsung heroes who have stood the test of time as silent partners in a multitude of great human achievements including skyscrapers, majestic bridges, and delicious brick oven pizza. So in recognition of their outstanding contributions to human history, Bricks are the Fonzie of the Week.

But even more impressive than the grand historic monuments bricks have helped to create, a single red brick now has the power to send me on a free trip to Cannes. Seriously. Do me a favor, readers. Go to www.brickisthenewblack.com and check it out. (Runner up for this week’s Fonzie is apparently cross-promotion.) I’ve written plenty more about what makes bricks so great on that site, so I’ll save my breath here. Suffice it to say, I’m hoping to harness the awesome power of bricks in order to get a free French vacation. You can help. Go check it out now!

Oh, and I promise, next week’s Fonzie won’t be a sneaky advertisement for another one of my websites. And definitely not another right-winger like Sarah Palin. I know it was all an April Fools joke, but I still feel kinda icky about that one.

Fonzie of the Week #23: Our Next President, Sarah Palin

April 1st, 2010 No comments

Patriots, it gives me great pleasure to declare that this week’s Fonzie – and this should come as a surprise to no one – is Our Next President, Sarah Palin. Oh, 2012, why aren’t you here yet so that President Palin (doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?) can usher in a new era of American prosperity! Readers, have you started thinking about what you’ll do when Sarah takes charge and begins laying the groundwork for our Lord and Savior’s triumphant return? (Because that “green job” you’ve been training for will be a thing of the past once we oust Comrade Obama.) Personally, I’m looking forward to a new life as a burly roughneck working on one of the hundreds of new American offshore drilling facilities. I’m gonna be ripped…drill baby drill!

Like all visionaries throughout history, Ms. Palin has been misunderstood and maligned in her time. But don’t you be fooled by the “gotcha” reporters, and watch out for that filthy “lamestream media” too. I’m not sure what the difference is just yet, but I’m confident that President Palin will explain, when I’m ready to understand.

I don’t get why these stupid libs don’t get that Sarah is poised to truly be the first post-partisan politician. The only sides in 2012 America will be Sarah’s Way or the Highway. And who would choose the Highway over Sarah’s folksy charm? Not me, that’s for sure! And that rugged individualism is precisely why she resigned her Governorship: “finishing terms” and “being a member of government” is just the sort of behavior that the old guard has been perpetrating for decades. She’s thinking outside the box! Similarly, I can’t wait until she declares herself President for Life in 2013. (“Leaving office at the end of your term” is just a typical Washington insider tactic. She’s way above all that.)

And have I mentioned yet that she’s a chick? That should keep the feminists happy. I mean, between the glasses and the moose huntin’, she’s practically a lesbian, am I right? But, you know…a pro-life lesbian with a husband and a gaggle of kids. The lesbian of the future! In President Palin’s America, even lesbians are going to aspire to be trophy wives. It’s what the Greatest Generation went to war for.

Congratulations on being Fonzie of the Week, President Palin! Now you’d better get moving. It’s only two years until you take over, and I’m sure you’ve got lots of preparations to make. What’s that? You’re already working on a reality show? Oh, you are just so radical. Is it 2012 yet?


APRIL FOOLS! APRIL FOOLS! I promise, it’s only a joke. Man, this seemed like a great idea when I sat down to write it, but now I just feel dirty. Happy April, readers. I’m going to go now so I can wash my mouth out with soap for saying such horrible horrible things.

Fonzie of the Week #22: A Google Search for “Joe Biden”

March 28th, 2010 No comments

I found myself in quite a pickle when it came time to select this week’s Fonzie. Originally, I was going to bestow the honor on Google for standing up to China and finally ceasing to censor its search results to the world’s most populous country. It made sense. But then Vice President Joe Biden decided to one-up Rahm “Undersecretary of Go Fuck Yourself” Emanuel and let fly with the dirty words on live TV. In case you haven’t heard yet, Vice President Biden thought that passing the health care bill was a “big fucking deal.” I couldn’t agree more. What’s more, Biden thought he’d share this profound insight with President Obama on live TV. In front of a bank of microphones. In a room full of reporters. Hilarious, but also troubling, because how can I in good conscience not award our illustrious Vice President Fonzie of the Week after this latest spectacle? Even by Joe Biden standards, this is pretty ridonculous.

Fortunately, the creepy internet magic that allows Google to know what I want to search for before I do saved the day, and taught me that the solution was compromise: Google isn’t Fonzie of the Week, and neither is Joe Biden. A Google Search for “Joe Biden,” on the other hand, is Fonzie of the Week, because said search netted me some amazing results earlier this week. If you will look at the photo at the top of this post – a screenshot I took myself – you’ll see that searching for even a portion of Joe Biden’s name brought recommendations both unexpected and yet somehow totally expected. Google guessed (and correctly!) that I was more interested in Joe’s “f bomb” than I was in the man himself. Brilliant.

But if I may get serious for a moment, I actually think that Google and Vice President Biden shed light on a common theme this week, albeit in vastly different ways: freedom of expression. True, Google defended freedom of expression in a much classier way, but our esteemed Vice President also struck a blow for the first amendment – and in a way that probably means a lot more to your average smartass 17-year-old. And think: a bunch of those smartasses are going to be 18-year-old potential voters come November, who might just think fondly on Crazy Uncle Joe and vote Democrat, preserving the majority and possibly giving heath care reform a fighting chance at lasting more than a few months. Ah, Mr. Vice President: your secret plan is genius. I salute you.

Sadly, as I prepare to publish this post, searching for Joe Biden on Google brings less awesome and more predictable suggestions: first on the list is Mr. Biden himself, with his forehead jumping ahead 2 spots, from 5th to 3rd. And it seems that this most recent gaffe, like Google’s presence in China, is beginning its speedy descent into barely-remembered internet history. But I’m proud to say I was there, and that my blog will remember, the day that A Google Search for “Joe Biden” achieved its full potential. And that’s a big fucking deal.

Fonzie of the Week #21: Adam Richman, Host of Man vs. Food

March 12th, 2010 113 comments

Let’s get the basics out of the way, Adam Richman, host of Man vs. Food is the Fonzie of the Week. Why? Because Man vs. Food is probably my favorite show that doesn’t feature nerd-slash-super spies, creepy magical islands or Kiefer Sutherland breaking the Geneva Convention. The show usually follows a simple formula: 20 minutes of Mr. Richman salivating over and/or sampling the most awesomely delicious pig-out foods a single city has to offer, followed by 10 minutes of him attempting an “eating challenge” that involves enough food to feed a large village for a week, or enough atomic heat to power a small city for a day…and sometimes both. Make no mistake, Man vs. Food is why the terrorists hate us. It’s not to be missed, readers.

But really, Mr. Richman is Fonzie of the Week because I think he should be my new best friend, and I’m going to blog that impossible dream into reality. Actually, I’m not even going to call him Mr. Richman anymore – best friends don’t use last names. So, Adam, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to make the case for us becoming best buddies. I think you’ll agree it only makes sense. Here goes:

  1. We have similar backgrounds: Adam has a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama. I have a bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Penn State. True, his theatrical schoolin’ is way more impressive than mine, but that’s okay by me: we have documented proof that he can eat more impressively than me, too. Every hero needs a sidekick, and I’m willing to play second fiddle. Think it over, Adam.
  2. I don’t judge – I keep pace! Let’s face it, Adam basically gets paid to eat tangible years off of his lifespan. The gastronomical feats of strength exhibited on his TV show are not for the faint of heart. They’re not for the strong of heart, either. In fact, they’re generally bad news for anybody who possesses a heart. And still, I’m yet to watch an episode and not think “I’d like to try that.” Eating pounds of food at a time is more fun with a friend, and I’m most definitely applying for the job.
  3. I can make Man vs. Food better: In the episode set in Philadelphia, Adam participated in a cheesesteak-eating challenge with Tony Luke, of Tony Luke’s. And with all due respect to Tony Luke, Jr., who makes a fine steak (and an appreciation that the Travel Channel ventured beyond 9th and Passyunnk), I could have told Adam that the best steaks in the city are actually found at Sonny’s Famous Steaks. And back when I lived in Philly, I was neighbors with its owners! I could’ve set up an awesome challenge for him at a superior cheesesteak joint. And I also would have saved him from putting American cheese on his steak. Yuck. I don’t mind that he passed on the Cheez Whiz (I’m a provolone man), but American cheese on a steak is just plain wrong. I’d be the best thing to happen to that show since Prilosec.
  4. I know CPR. It’s worth noting, since our friendship will be at least partly built on a solid foundation of overeating to crazy extremes. It’s really not really a question of if I’ll need to resuscitate: it’s a question of when I’ll need to resuscitate. I’ll also keep plenty of antacid handy. I’m thoughtful like that.

So, Adam, I think it’s clear what needs to happen here. I look forward to taking up residence on your speed-dial. I know you’ve got lots of friends, but can any of them say they’ve named you “Fonzie” on a blog that has tens – nay, dozens! – of readers? I didn’t think so. Save me a spot at the counter, good buddy. I’ll bring the napkins.

Fonzie of the Week #20: Kung-Fu Jesus

February 5th, 2010 2 comments

“Do to others what you would have them do to you.”

-Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 7:12 (New International Version)

“Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his ass. I told him a year ago. I pulled it out and I beat him over the head with it. […] And when I get home tonight, I’m going to drink a Coors Light. That’s a Coors Light because Bud Light won’t pay me nothing. And hell, I might even get on top of my wife tonight.”

-Current UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar

I’m so stupid. For 30 years now, I thought I had a clue what Jesus was all about: doing unto others, loving your neighbor, all that crap. But it turns out I was wrong! As reported in the New York Times on Tuesday, a number of churches across the country are taking advantage of the growing popularity of “mixed martial arts” and incorporating the sport into their ministries, mainly because it attracts young men who otherwise wouldn’t attend church. As Brandon Beals, the lead pastor at Canyon Creek Church, puts it: “Compassion and love — we agree with all that stuff, too. But what led me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.”

See? Jesus was a fighter. And to think all these years I had him incorrectly pegged as a longhaired pacifist “Prince of Peace.” Can you imagine? I bet Jesus would pull a horseshoe out of my ass and beat me over the head with it for getting him so wrong. And so, in recognition of his uncanny ability to attract the extremely desirable young male demographic (WAAAAY harder than say, walking on water or returning from the dead), Kung-Fu Jesus is Fonzie of the Week. Spoiler Alert: “Strip Clubs” and “Beer Pong” may be next in line if I continue to use this criteria for selecting Fonzies.

Here’s the thing: I understand churches using pop culture trends to attract young people. I was once a card-carrying Alt-Rock Christian Teen. Church is where I learned to play the electric bass and where most of my friends went to skateboard – hell, I was actually on a church Judo team. But I’d like to think we drew the line at bloodsport (Judo isn’t as violent as you might think). And we never kidded ourselves that Jesus would have actually been into skateboards, judo or rock music. It was just what the kids were into, so the church gave us a safe place to do those things. And if they snagged a soul for Jesus in the process, so much the better.

What’s most frightening to me about this particular from of Christian bait-and-switch is that it’s fooling these young men into thinking Jesus was a badass when by all accounts Jesus was actually kind of a wuss. Don’t get me wrong, he’s possibly the most influential person to walk the earth in human history, but the most violent he ever got was throwing a temper tantrum at some money changers. We’re talking about a guy who willfully submitted himself to crucifixion without fighting back and who is literally responsible for the saying “turn the other cheek.” The more I think about it, the more I realize that Jesus generally fit more of a stoner mold: wearing sandals everyday, turning water into wine (sort of like making a bong from an apple), magically making enough food to feed the masses (munchies)…you get the idea. Something tells me that Jesus would have hated Ultimate Fighting but that he would have LOVED Ultimate Frisbee.

What’s really scary about this whole Jesus Fight Club phenomenon is not so much that a bunch of young holy rollers are beating the crap out of each other, but what it means for the culture at large. Think about this for a minute: these guys are managing to make white male American Christians, who were already a pretty troublesome bunch, even more frightening. That’s not easy. What’s more, the poor women who are bound to fall for these guys are screwed. And trust me, these guys are going to be good girl magnets. It used to be that you had to look outside the church to find yourself a bad boy. Now the pews are stocked with blood-smeared kickboxers that you can actually bring home to meet Mom. Hallelujah!

Ryan Dobson is a pastor and a fan of mixed martial arts. He’s also the son of James C. Dobson, who founded Focus on the Family, a crazy right-wing political organization masquerading as a religious ministry. Dobson the younger was quoted in the Times article as saying “The man should be the overall leader of the household. […] We’ve raised a generation of little boys.” I’m not sure what a man’s supposed role as his home’s dictator or a “generation of little boys” has to do with mixed martial arts, but the article certainly seems to imply that Mr. Dobson thinks teaching our young men how to kick the shit out of each other is a good first step towards remedying the problems facing modern Christian men. This can’t be good for their wives, especially if they aspire to more than barefooted pregnancy. And maybe it’s just me, but last the last time I found myself captivated by two men fighting inside of a ring, I was actually a little boy. I’m pretty sure suiting up and hopping into the octagon isn’t going to make me mature any faster. It might make me more apt to beat my wife when she challenges my authority as supreme ruler of our home, though. Way to go, Pastor Dobson!

"Buddy Christ"

I’ve strayed from the point. Despite the inherent dangers of arming evangelical Christians with a deeper understanding of the martial arts, I still think the idea of Kung-Fu Jesus is pretty cool. But keep in mind I’ve also awarded Fonzie of the Week to a computer virus, a Peanuts character, and that guy on the Monopoly box, which is to say: people who don’t actually exist. I think it’s sort of spooky that in his 1999 movie Dogma, Kevin Smith made a joke of the ridiculousness of the Catholic church making over the image of Jesus into “Buddy Christ.” It seemed so absurd at the time. Eleven years later, it still seems absurd, but for vastly different reasons. Sigh.