Category Archives: News

Wow, My Twitter Account Stinks.

By Andrew Blumetti

bird

That little blue bird is the worst.

When you register for Twitter, the odds are really stacked against you, and that little fat-beaked, blue feathery tormenter is pulling the strings, laughing all the way to the bank.

Talk about fowl

That’s more or less my personal experience with Twitter early on.  Upon first use, it was a bit confusing- it lacked the flash and browser-freezing pizazz of MySpace in its heyday, and the alien layout seemed worlds away from the friendly confines of Zuckerberg land, AKA Facebook.  The logo might as well have been a splotch of white bird poo instead.

But as time went by, living in a fast-paced world of retweets, short character limits, and starting every sentence with the “@” symbol didn’t seem as daunting as it originally did. Hey, if Kevin McCallaster could get used to his creepy torture basement and devil-furnace in Home Alone, then I could, suck it up, grow a beard, be a real man and tweet.

Yeah, we all know it’s the blue bird’s nest, but you’ve laid an egg of a nice little group of fellow social networking friends, and much like a comfy long-worn butt-imprint in the couch cushions, you’ve found yourself a sweet little groove to settle into.

Talk about happy endings…  Maybe all it took was time!   Maybe this Twitterin’ thing ain’t so bad after all.

Then Sydney Leathers came and ruined it all…

In a minor attempt at a self-deprecating tweet, I aimed to poke fun at Anthony Weiner’s texting buddy’s follower number comparing it to my modest amount of 172.  I was expecting a far lower number, then, like a bucket of ice cold water right in the face,  it hit home just how many more followers this faux celebrity had over me.

Let me put it this way, if my Twitter account was feeling like Kid N’ Play’s House Party, stupid Sydney Leathers just called the cops to break up the shindig at the best part.

“What you doin’ Leathers?”

THE BAD NEWSThese D-list celebs are milking their head-scratching 15 minutes of fame, with a shockingly high number of Twitter followers*  that will make you barf, only to feel safe, then barf again.

THE GOOD NEWSBy the time you finish reading this piece, most of their 15 minutes will be well over.

(Shameless plug:  You can find me on Twitter:  @99redblumes)

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I (somewhat) proudly present to you…

“TWITTER’S 15 MINUTES OF LAME”

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SYDNEY LEATHERS  (@sydneyelainex)

 

Known For:   Somehow being the trashier of the two parties involved in the embarrassing Anthony Weiner scandal. Since her admission that she and the disgraced politician had a “more than friendly” texting relationship, she’s taken lockjaw to her sputtering fifteen minutes of fame and is shamelessly following it into its grave. 

Because there’s no high roads in Weinerville, Leathers bought a one-way ticket to the dump instead– quickly accepting an offer from Vivid Entertainment and embracing her current career as a wannabe adult-film star.

I’ll also save you the Hostel-esque torture of reading her painful Twitter feed: She hates Anthony Weiner.  So much in fact, she mentions him in nearly every tweet and appeared uninvited to confront him at his concession party following his failed New York Mayoral campaign last week.

Plus, her last name is an insult to cows everywhere.

Current Number of Followers:  6,838

Scholarly Tweet:  “Pretty sure breast implants are the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” (9/5/13)

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AMY FISHER  (@RealAmyFisher

 

Known For:  Being the “Long Island Lolita”- basically the brand name version to the generic Sydney Leathers.  Take a gander, you gander-takers:

1991:   Having an affair with non-heartthrob, Joey Buttafuoco, a man who basically looks like a human version of Zubaz pants, at age 16.

1992:   Shooting Buttafuoco’s then-wife, Mary Jo, in the head at point blank range at her front door, leaving her seriously wounded, as if being married to him wasn’t painful enough.

1993:   Served six years of a 5 to 15 year sentence in prison on charges of “first degree assault”.

2007:   Turned troubled life around and started career as an adult entertainer.

2009:   Signed a deal with Lee Entertainment to become a stripper, doing monthly shows.  Stating she will proudly strip until, her fans say, “Dear, please put your clothes back on. You’re too old.”  Which is so obviously true, it should’ve been done in big giant skywriting.

2013:    Dwarfed me in Twitter followers, but in her defense, she still hasn’t shot anyone else.

Current Number of Followers:  16,361

Scholarly Tweet:  I read today I was a D-list celeb…that is so awsome, D is like 4th in the alphabet…. that’s pretty good… hee hee”  (11/9/11)

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KATO KAELIN (@Kato_Kaelin)

 

Known For:  Being the one guy in O.J. Simpson’s Ford Bronco who didn’t murder someone that June evening in 1994, eating McDonald’s with murderers, never having tied a tie in his life, managing to say the word “umm” more times on the witness stand than me trying to order at Starbucks, looking exactly like a guy named Kato Kaelin should look.

“Kato ate THIS MANY of my Chicken McNuggets!”

Current Number of Followers:  2,358

Scholarly Tweet:  “If the saying” u are what u eat” then how come I’m not Chinese?”   (6/12/13)

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SHIFTY SHELLSHOCK  (@shiftyrocks)  (Spoiler alert:  Shifty most certainly does not rock.)


Known For:  Being the vocalist for early 00’s one-hit wonders, Crazy Town (this band), a sought-after gig that Sinatra could only wish he’d have lived to see, also a career of rehab reality shows that actually had more legs than his career as a musician.   Dr. Drew sends him a fruit basket as thanks every Christmas.

(Blumes Fun Fact:  Back in 2000, Shellshock’s imbecilic “Everyone PLEASE look at me!” appearance created a worldwide eyeroll so big, it actually tilted the Earth off its axis.)

Current Number of Followers:  2,977 (account hasn’t been used in nearly three years)

Scholarly Tweet:  “Just left the Dentist, fun times….”  (4/29/10)

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SPENCER PRATT  (@spencerpratt)

 

Known For:  Being the less-talented half of “Speidi”, the ultimate portmanteau of 21st Century incompetence.  Aside from being married to fellow reality television star/socialite/plastic surgery guinea pig, Heidi Montag (of MTV’s The Hills fame), Pratt became infamous for ruffling feathers, frequenting social hotspots where paparazzi could find him, growing the most awkward beard humanly possible, and not having to resort to working in clown dunk tanks at county fairs… yet. 

Current Number of Followers:  979,112    (For a comparison, that’s nearly ONE THIRD of the followers Pope Francis currently has.  I’ll wait a minute so you can get Advil for your headache.)

Scholarly Tweet:  Some people say I’m all washed up. Joke’s on them – I haven’t bathed in weeks”  (2/2/13)

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DUSTIN DIAMOND (@dustindiamond)

 

Known For:  Portraying super-geeky Samuel “Screech” Powers on multiple editions of 90’s high-school comedy series, Saved By the Bell.  A squeaky-voiced clod with a terrifying white-guy afro who devolved into more of a bumbling boob-caricature as the series aged.   The scientific term is “Urkeling” his character.

Diamond’s career was truly just a cubic zirconia, as he took a historic header straight down Crap Mountain–  declaring bankruptcy, appearing on a variety of two-bit retread reality shows, failed attempts at music and comedy, along with marital troubles, online harassment, house foreclosure, and a released adult-video.

“Congrats Elizabeth Berkley!  Unless there’s a Showgirls 2, you’re not going to win ‘Most Awkward Career Choice” at the next Saved By the Bell reunion!”

Current Number of Followers:  13,887

Scholarly Tweet:  Sometimes when I’m bored I lay on my kitchen floor and pretend I’m a crumb…”  (7/8/12)

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Blumes note:  Of course this is all in good fun.  In the end, quality reigns over quantity everytime.  I’d take my excellent fellow Tweeters any day of the week over Kato Kaelin’s thousand of nameless cronies.

Heck, at least none of us lived with O.J.  …I hope. 

(*All numbers are accurate as of 9/19/13.)

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Happy Sweet Sixteen Heaven’s Gate Cult! …Why is Your Website Still Up?

By Andrew Blumetti

MARCH 1997- Time really flies when you’re chasing comets.

Nothing ages you faster than realizing something that felt like yesterday has hit one of those milestone anniversaries. 

Over sixteen years ago, while I was arriving home from school, watching VHS-taped episodes of MTV’s 120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield raspilly touting The Prodigy’s “Firestarter” video, out on the West Coast, Nike was unknowingly about to get the most bizarre and macabre free advertising in history.

“Heaven’s Gate”, a religious cult based out of San Diego, founded by lead nutball and perpetually bug-eyed loon Marshall Applewhite, believed that the Earth was about to be “recycled”. 

Now, according to me, this “recycling” means that I’d have to drag the Earth out in a beat-up blue can to the curb on Friday morning to be thrown into a giant truck, but apparently Applewhite thinks bigger than I do.

As far as he was concerned, this giant rock was about to hit its expiration date, and it was time to blast off onto the next plateau.

Michael Stipe + California Raisin = suicidal wackjob

Of course, any other day, the planet being recycled would some pretty sour news for the human race, but rest assured, when life closes a door, it sure opens a window.

Opportunity oddly knocks at the strangest times, and luckily enough, this “recycling” coincidentally presented itself when a comet by the name of “Hale-Bopp” was about to voyage past Planet Earth.

Though in the world of Marshall Applewhite, coincidences simply don’t exist.  He just used common sense… and common sense always tells us where there’s a comet passing by, there’s a freakin’ alien spacecraft following it.

It’s likely Applewhite confused Hale-Bopp with Hanson’s then-fresh single, “Mmm Bop”.  Still, mass suicide seems a little hasty.  Probably.

So, when the rare opportunity to jump on an alien ship comes around, you sure as soup don’t sit around, letting moss grow on your back.  You spend your life savings on alien abduction insurance, spend a sunny weekend castrating yourselves, purchase a crapload of black Nike sneakers, and whet your appetite for some mouth-watering poison as your main course.

Sadly, on March 26, 1997, the 39 members of Heaven’s Gate were all found dead in their large San Diego estate, all victims of a mass suicide; an act performed for their souls leave their “vehicle bodies”, evacuating the Earth and getting a one-way ticket on board that UFO. 

Even Amanda Bynes thinks this is nutty.

In three shifts, the cult ingested a deadly mixture of apple sauce mixed with sedatives and vodka.  Which doesn’t seem too logical– if you’re gonna go, why not sprinkle some poison on freshly seared t-bone steaks instead?  Go out big time!  Go tasty!

They were all found neatly in their beds, dressed identically in all black sweatsuits and Nike sneakers with purple cloths covering their heads.  They also each had $5.75 in their pocket for their travel. 

Talk about being cheap Applewhite! The George Washington Bridge just to get from New Jersey to Manhattan is now $13, so even with inflation adjustments, they really underestimated the price of a spaceship to Heaven.

This is not what Nike meant by “Just Do It” .

Tragic as this was, it was just another sad example of a confused and lost group of souls latching on to a Fruit Loop who preached a bunch of mumbo jumbo their way, ultimately leading to their untimely demise.

In 1978, the People’s Temple Agricultural Project led by Jim “I really look like I’m in 1978″ Jones, poisoned a vat of fruit punch and intimidated over 900 tentative followers (and their children) to commit “revolutionary suicide” in Guyana.

In 1994, 74 members of the Order of the Solar Temple took the same route in Switzerland.

…and of course, we can’t forget the 1993 ATF siege on the Waco, TX “Branch Davidian” compound following a 50-day standoff, which led to the deaths of 74 people including their leader, “The Wacko in Waco”, David Koresh.

All led by the screwiest of screwballs, but Heaven’s Gate, while having the same sad, eventual conclusion, had one major difference to set it apart: Unlike all of those cults, Heaven’s Gate differed due to its presence on the still wet-behind-the-ears World Wide Web.
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Heaven’s Gate and their ripoff Green Bay Packers logo ran a webpage that just screams out “1997” so badly, I’m shocked it doesn’t have Chumbawamba playing in the background.  This thing was one slippery step away from a thrown-together perpetually “under-construction” Geocities page.

Talk about gaudy too… their site looks like Richard Simmons vomited a candy necklace and a milk crate of pinwheels all over your computer’s monitor.

Here’s where things get strange though- in August of 2013, if you fire up your internet browser and type in “www.heavensgate.com” you’ll all too creepily be greeted with this:

Now, I’m not Matlock or anything, but the obvious question here is– How does a cult whose entire crew took a simultaneous swan dive still have a running webpage over sixteen years later?  The world of the internet has changed immensely in that time, yet this relic keeps on truckin’. 

Why do I get errors on Twitter half the time I go on there, and these shaved-head Star Trekkers have a site that is still up-and-running seemingly error-free?

Nothing screams out “WARNING!  WATCH FOR YOUR LIVES!” like Comic Sans.

Above is one of the true gem pages of the Heaven’s Gate website.  This is captioned “How a Member of the Kingdom of Heaven might appear”.  Apparently they figure Jesus spends his day hanging out with extras from the movie Fire in the Sky.

It’s painful to believe 38 people listened to a man who ran a site with a cheesy 1970’s alien on it, and I can’t get one person to listen to my idea of cough syrup that tastes like Buffalo sauce.


This is a note to the media assumed to be read following the discovery of their earthly bodies, explaining the circumstance of events and reasons for their “graduation” from Earth.  It also gives a “how to” of sorts if one wishes to join the three-ring circus in the stars.

Now, call me crazy, but if they figured the world was going kaput, why plan to keep your site running afterwards?  Especially for the better part of two decades! Who’s still signing those checks for the domain name?  Doesn’t seem like the top on the list of priorities an apocalyptic world needs.

Don’t believe all this malarkey they’re preaching?  Think it’s a bunch of hooey?  Aliens, comets and all that jazz?  Sounds like Heaven’s Gate wasn’t playing with a full deck, right?

Well, Old Man Applewhite’s about to drop some freaky knowledge on your sorry tuckus.  Here’s a 1995 statement from an actual extra terrestrial in a HUMAN BODY.  Not a human, but an alien in a human body… like Halloween on Mars. 

We should all start eating some tasty crow, cause that’s concrete proof staring you right in the face.

“Remember folks, don’t drink and cult.” 

So, over a decade-and-a-half later, we look back at a tragic loss of life, and a tragic waste of apple sauce. 

Cults will always be a strange and frightening phenomenon, hard to understand, sadly with a trainwreckish-aspect that seems to follow.  We can only hope to learn from this tragedy and try our best to prevent something like this from ever happening again. 

It just leaves us with a question of why?  Why would people follow a madman to their doom?  We may just never know how lost people can feel when pushed to the brink of desperation.

You can call the members of Heaven’s Gate lost, misguided, or just plain insane, but they never had to live through Speed 2, Papa Roach or My Wife and Kids.  Unless the spaceship had cable- then that’d be the real tragedy here.

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