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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Caption This 11

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An ape with a cell phone, people laying down at the World Trade Center, and a couple falling out of love… just some of the funny pictures that you wrote the comedy for!  Now, Jersey Joe crowns the winners with the funniest lines in the latest round of Caption This!

THE 411

Name: Caption This

What: online Twitter and Facebook game on @JerseyJoe50’s feed

Location: https://twitter.com/jerseyjoe50

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

Keep and eye on my Twitter feed for another edition.  Also, join me for MATCH JERSEY JOE GAME – every Wednesday afternoon.  Let’s have some fun on social media!

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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Caption This # 9

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Jersey Joe crowns the winners of the latest round of Caption This.  Did you funny line to these outrageous photos make the cut?

THE 411

Name: Caption This

What: online Twitter and Facebook game on @JerseyJoe50’s feed

Location: https://twitter.com/jerseyjoe50

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

Keep and eye on my Twitter feed for another edition.  Also, join me for MATCH JERSEY JOE GAME – every Wednesday afternoon.  Let’s have some fun on social media!

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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Caption This 5

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Jersey Joe and his friends use social media to create hilarious captions for funny photos!

THE 411

Name: Caption This

What: online Twitter and Facebook game on @JerseyJoe50’s feed

Location: https://twitter.com/jerseyjoe50

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

Keep and eye on my Twitter feed for another edition.  Also, join me for MATCH JERSEY JOE GAME – every Wednesday afternoon.  Let’s have some fun on social media!

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Caption This 3

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Jersey Joe has another set of funny photos you wrote the captions for! See who walks away a winner by writing the funniest lines!

 

THE 411

Name: Caption This

What: fun online social media game

When to Play: Every Monday 2pm Eastern

Where: @JerseyJoe50 twitter feed

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS

It’s easy to play.  I post a funny photo, you send in a funny response.  The best lines make it to the next edition of CAPTION THIS.  Join the fun!  Play and along and see some funny photos and lines from your online friends!

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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Caption This

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What are these people really thinking in these funny photos?  Jersey Joe and his Twitter friends play a new online game!

THE 411

Name: Caption This

What: online Twitter and Facebook game on @JerseyJoe50’s feed

Location: https://twitter.com/jerseyjoe50

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

Keep and eye on my Twitter feed for another edition.  Also, join me for MATCH JERSEY JOE GAME – every Wednesday afternoon.  Let’s have some fun on social media!

clown

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] In Search of the Arby’s Meat Mountain Secret Menu Sandwich

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It’s the sandwich lighting up social media – Jersey Joe checks out if all the  hype about the new Arby’s secret menu item – The Meat Mountain is the real deal.

 

 

THE 411

What: The Meat Mountain

Where: Arby’s restaurants coast to coast

Time: Limited time offering

Cost: $10 plus tax per sandwich

arbys meat mountain

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

This is a great idea on Arby’s part.  It all started off, when they posted a picture showing all of the meats they currently have for sale on a bun.  Customers started to ask for the sandwich and someone at the corporate office was listening.  Now, it’s become a win-win!

Arby’s gets all the free social media and web advertising and customers get to try a truly unique sandwich.  This will only on sale for a limited time, but this one will definitely be talked about for years to come.  Skip the diet – and give this at least a try!

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Fails

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Have you been called out yet to take the ALS ice bucket challenge?  It’s the new in-thing sweeping across social media.  Everyone from athletes to celebrities are recording videos of themselves dumping an ice cold bucket of water over their heads to raise funds to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  While the whole thing is based on good intentions, but some of these videos don’t go so well.

 

YouTube has been flooded with videos of people taking the challenge.  Many have tried to one up another by having fire trucks or even helicopters dump the water on them.  As you can imagine, not all of these stunts go as planned.  Even the basic dumping of water from a bucket has had a few hilarious consequences.  Let’s take a look at some of the ALS ice bucket challenge fails…

 

 

Lou Gehrig’s Disease, known as ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a motor neuron disease, which caused the person affected to lose basic motor control.  It causes muscle weakness, trouble speaking, trouble swallowing, and trouble breathing.  Most people affected usually die from the disease in about 39 months.  More than 5,600 are diagnosed in the United States every year and it affects 2 out of every 100,000 people.

 

The ice bucket challenge is designed to raise funds for research against the disease.  The challenge has so far raised $41.8 million in donations from July 28 – August 21.  They raised $10 million on August 21st alone!  The fundraiser is smashing all kinds of records.  (ALS earned $63 million in donations for all of 2013) and continues to grow.

 

THE 411

 

Name: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

 

What: viral video campaign to raise funds for Lou Gehrig’s Disease research

 

Suggested cost: $10 if you dump the bucket of ice, $100 if not

 

Time: participants challenged are to complete their challenge within 24 hours

 

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS

 

The ice bucket challenge is a great idea, but I just hope that it doesn’t take away from other charitable organizations that are trying to raise funds.  Whether you choose to participate or not, charitable donation is up to the individual giver.  It’s up to you – where you decide your money goes.

[When I’m President of the Universe] Curses!

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I hate “I fucking love science.”  I don’t hate it because of its content (I don’t find any of its posts to be particularly informative nor entertaining, but I’ll let people enjoy what they want to enjoy); it’s the title that rubs me the wrong way.  I have an intimate relationship with profanity.  I love profanity.  Fucking love it.  I tell myself it’s okay to swear like a sailor because I also have a relatively large vocabulary and tend to liberally sprinkle sesquipedalian phrases into casual conversation, but the truth is, I say fuck a lot, probably too much, and it’s why I’ll never be able to hold any job that isn’t theater-related.

Why then, don’t I love “I fucking love science?”  Because it’s precious.  It’s cloying in its “ain’t I a stinker” mischievousness.  There’s a gleeful, twee little poke in the ribs embedded in the title – I imagine the page creator’s thought process went thusly:  “How incredibly urbane to use such a naughty, naughty word to describe my affinity for enlightenment and edification.  My friends are correct to think I’m the wittiest member of our circle.”  Obviously I’m completely justified in hating the title of the page being annoying, so it sticks doubly in my craw to see the internet validate this abuse of abusive language by flocking to the page (13 million + likes.)

Per the rules of memetics (read: BECAUSE INTERNET), everyone now fucking loves everything.  Type “I fucking love” into the Facebook search bar, and you will find a panoply of declared affinities – I won’t attempt to list them all here, but my favorite titles from the first page alone are “I fucking love Norway,” “I Fucking Love Cocaine,” and “I fucking love this.”  Notice, also, how I capitalized all the words in “Cocaine” but not the other two.  That’s because most of the “I fucking” groups take a page from “I fucking love science” and don’t bother to capitalize their titles, even though THAT’S TOTALLY A THING THAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO.  I guess science requires one specific type of smartness, and the ability to clearly convey concepts through language by understanding and following the basic rules of grammar and punctuation takes a different part of the brain.  I don’t know which part because I don’t fucking love science enough.

TANGENT ABOUT FORMATTING, GRAMMAR, AND STYLE
(and an excuse to do an indented paragraph because I think it looks nifty)

I don’t understand people who don’t at least attempt to use proper grammar.  Well formatted, grammatically correct writing is stronger writing.  By taking  three seconds to do things the right way, you’re showing your reader that the words are important enough to you to merit that attention.  I know a few talented playwrights who send out scripts littered with typos, and it feels disrespectful to the actors: “I want you to memorize all these words verbatim, but I’m not going to take the time to proof-read them.”  (I will never write a blog post about your/you’re, there/their/they’re, to/too, it’s/its, because there’s nothing new to be said, but you can probably surmise my feelings towards such egregious faux pas.)  (Also, watch as this blog post turns out to be littered with errata, and I end up eating a healthy serving of crow.)

I’m pretty sure I learned how to curse from Eddie Izzard.  My friend Alex introduced me to “Dress to Kill” in middle school, and I quickly became obsessed with Eddie’s entire oeuvre.  When Eddie Izzard says fuck, it carries no more weight than any other filler word.  A typical Eddie Izzard routine goes something like this: “smart thing smart thing smart thing irreverent thing fucking smart thing absurd thing punchline.”  That’s primarily how I use profanity as well.  It’s like throwing an egg into a Betty Crocker cake mix.  It’s technically an unnecessary extra ingredient, but it makes you feel like you’re cooking, so you mix it in there anyway.

I should be happy that the internet is doing it’s darndest to up the ubiquity of the word fuck.  I think the idea of “bad words” is one of the more idiotic social conventions humanity has ever inflicted upon itself.   Why is it bad to say fuck?  Words are just air molecules being jostled around in a specific way.  Why is fuck a bad word, but cuff isn’t?  It’s the same consonants and vowel, just reversed.  Shoot v. Shit?  Just a vowel’s difference.  And is crap technically even a bad word anymore?  Growing up, it was decidedly taboo in my household – I remember the first time I heard it said on “Ren and Stimpy,” and it blew my little mind that Nickelodeon got away with a bad word. On TV!

Fun fact I learned from a cursory glance at a Time Magazine article summarizing a book I didn’t read:

4. The ancient Romans laid the groundwork for modern day f-bombs.

There are two main kinds of swear words, says Mohr: oaths—like taking the Lord’s name in vain—and obscene words, like sexual and racial slurs. The Romans gave us a model for the obscene words, she says, because their swearing was similarly based on sexual taboos, though with a different spin. “The Romans didn’t divide people up [by being heterosexual and homosexual],” she says. “They divided people into active and passive. So what was important was to be the active partner.” Hence, sexual slurs were more along the lines words like pathicus, a rather graphic term which basically means receiver.

I love this.  Next time you’re in WeHo and someone disparagingly calls you a bottom, consider yourself part of a proud and ancient tradition of slut-shaming.

TANGENT ABOUT EPITHETS (AND ALSO MY THOUGHTS ON FAGGOTRY)

I grant that epithets can be legitimately offensive and are wildly different from profanity because they carry hundreds of years of painful history with them.  Faggots are so named because homosexuals were considered so worthless, their bodies were disposed of by being tossed onto flaming bundles of wood.  It’s hard to defend the word kike when there are people still alive on this planet who were thrown into fucking concentration camps for their beliefs.  (Wikipedia offers an interesting theory on the etymology and derivation of kike, which I never stopped to consider until this day.  I fucking love etymology.)

So I get it, but that doesn’t mean I agree with it.  I’m ambivalent about kike, but I love the word faggot.  This is a minor source of contention between me and some of my gay friends.  I want the word to be re-appropriated because it’s so much fun to say – there’s an f sound, a hard g, and even a t at the end… what a delightful word to pronounce! – but I will also concede that I came of age as a gay teenager in West Hollywood, where gay slurs are very rarely slung without a soupçon of self-awareness.  Had I grown up in a more conservative (and why is it whenever assholes are being especially assholic they always couch it under the name conservatism?) environment, and had I been forced to truly struggle with my identity, the word faggot would probably carry a lot more weight for me.  Nonetheless, sticks and stones and all that.  The one time in highschool someone called me a faggot in earnest, I merely countered with “yeah, and?” Then I ran because sticks and stones and all that.

There is one more insufferably insipid linguistic trend that drives me f*cking bonkers, and I call it Effete Censorship.

Who the f*ck do you think you’re fooling?

An anecdote.  Years ago in Hebrew School, I had a conversation with my rabbi about chametz foods (these are foods that are not considered kosher for passover.)  I mentioned that as a reformed Jew, I didn’t really believe that God (sorry, G-d) was keeping track of every little thing I ate (even back then I was pretty sure I didn’t believe in G-d), and that the importance of keeping kosher for passover was largely symbolic, a way to remember the suffering of our people and to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy today.  Why then, I wondered (in my best Shalom Alechem-character voice), do we make matzo-meal cookies, cakes, and pizza crusts?  Yes, technically the food is kosher, but doesn’t eating it defeat the purpose of our yeasty abstinence?

Replacing vowels in curse words with asterisks is a the equivalent of a matzo-meal cookie.  It’s telling your little brother you’re sorry for hitting him in the face with a fly swatter but only because mom made you.  It’s the California Roll at a 4-way stop sign.

All I’m saying is go big or go home.  If something on Facebook moves you enough to declare “HOLY SHIT!” (and Upworthy will do that to you, folks) then declare “HOLY SHIT!”  Don’t compromise your message!  And conversely, if you’re worried that people are going to judge you for using profanity, then don’t use profanity!  Open a f*cking dictionary, sh*thead, and learn some new words to express your amazement.  Try, for example: “I’m flabbergasted!” or “This blows my mind!” or, I dunno: “Wow!”

I don’t have a coda for this post (if we’re being honest, you shouldn’t ever expect a clean ending from me in one of these things; endings aren’t my forte, which, by the way, is pronounced as one syllable, like FORT, because it’s French and means strength.  If you pronounce it FORT-AY, you’re saying the Italian word for loud.  Maybe I’ll expound upon similar vexations in another post…), so instead I’m going  throw a little introductory paragraph down here:

Hi, my name is Brandon Baruch, and this is my first post on Been and Going.  I’m gay and was raised Jewish (neither defines me, but my writing is more offensive if you don’t know that.)   My goal for this column is a mixture of rant and anecdote, and also I want to coin the portmanteau “rantecdote” and then make that a thing.  A lot of my writing will be about words and language unless I find something else that interests and/or irks me.

Fin.

Fin.

[Images from the Id] – George Carlin Once Said….

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Images from the Id – George Carlin Once Said….

This week has been a treasure for bloggers- from the idiotic thinly veiled commercialism of Ellen Degeneres at the Academy awards and stretching the Samsung Ads to infinity to, in my case, the unwanted critical assessment of an image on Facebook. In the first case, I leave it to the individual. I found Degeneres’ performance, to say the least, sub-par for a host of a major award presentation. Don’t get me wrong, I still think she should have gotten The Best Actress Award for her performance as Dory. I don’t think anyone was better that year.

Maybe it is a new form of humor which I plainly don’t get. It is shallow and blatantly deifies the pseudo-gods in the audience. Watching her, “Samsunging” herself and the audience was a little like watching reruns of Dancing with the Stars for the fourth time, knowing the outcome. Watch out Apple here comes Ellen. Stuffing Harrison Ford with pizza had about as much interest as frying eggs in a super slick green skillet. I admit this could be a thing of personal taste ( I do like my green skillet) and we do not need to bring Bob Hope back from the grave but this  “new” style of comedy lacks depth and loses my interest quickly. I am sure the Good Morning America crew enjoyed giggling their way trough the show because they got a lot of (I was going to say “free” but I am sure it was payed for somehow) promotion but their show is pretty much the same. Remember what George Carlin said,”Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that” and I think I am average.

Awhile back at the fort, I fell into a “Facebook Trap”. A Facebook Trap is one of those things you do on Facebook and know you shouldn’t have. I have “friends” who tell the world their whole life. “I am going out of town for 2 weeks my house will be empty with no one home”. In my case I made the mistake of giving a critical opinion of an image a friend posted and “said” he wanted criticism. Don’t believe anything you read on Facebook, except ”I am going out of town for 2 weeks my house will be empty with no one home.” This guy is/was a friend and a professional photographer. We have had a mutual respect and admiration for each other’s work. Well, I wrecked that by not realizing this is Facebook. He really doesn’t want criticism in front of all of his “friends”. To make it short, I should have kept my “mouth “ shut. It ended up with my using scientific facts to support my stance how the type of light was impossible and he berating my use of science, which he inferred no one understood or believed. The point is don’t offer criticism. unless it is asked for and never on Facebook. Remember what George Carlin said,”Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that” and I think I am average.

This weeks Photos

Croc 1-001

Croc The title photo is pretty straight forward. It was taken at The Saint Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoo.1/350 sec, EV no override, ISO 200,f 5.6, 300/450 mm, Minimal processing and cropping in Lightroom 5.3

Lieutenant 1

Lieutenant – A 11X14 print of this won First Place this week in the Monochrome Category topic “People”. It was taken at Olustee Florida during the Same reenactment as last week’s photo.The challenge was the shadow of his hat. I used the camera’s flash at 50% as a fill flash to bring out his eyes. Processed in Lightroom 5.3 then Nik Silver Effects Pro 2 Antique Plate 2 for the effect. 1/90 sec, +1 EV, ISO 100, On camera flash 50%, f 8.0, 112/168 mm (Good for portraits), This was over exposed for the shadow and overall expose controlled in Lightroom 5.3 Use RAW files.