Monday, November 26, 2012

Short Story: Exit Through the Sofa

I wrote a short story, and it's below.

Exit Through the Sofa
by Stephen Schumacher

I was sitting in my leather recliner watching my Samsung television. A flat-screen plasma. Its trim dark like a horse and sleek like Samsung television. I could tell the lamp in the corner disliked the television since its light reflected on the TV's screen, lowering the picture quality. The television never seemed to mind.

My television decided to put on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which isn't my favorite unit. However, I never was one to actually watch shows. I enjoy listening to the pictures, closing my eyes and feeling the screen's light on my skin. I'm often in the sun during the day, which is too warm, and the television light is much cooler and soothes my sun sores.

I could feel the earth tilt slightly off axis as I noticed something emerging from the sofa like a scarecrow from a corn field. First the feet, then the torso, then the head and hands. The man stood up tall and looked less like a scarecrow. I studied his grey, button down shirt tucked accurately into his horse black suit pants, which were held up efficiently with pride. I couldn't tell if he was wearing shadows or shoes on his feet; the lamp had turned away leaving only the Samsung to shine on him. Either way, his feet looked kind.

I realized the man was Christopher Meloni, because he told me this.

"I'm Christopher Meloni, the actor," he reported. His cheekbones were wise, forehead healthy and his nose nodded at me with approval, "Thank you."

"For what?" I questioned both him and his nose.

"You looked away long enough from the screen to allow me to get out of the TV, but I left through your sofa instead." This made sense to me. The sofa looked like it would serve as a decent door.

"Have you been trying to get out for a while?" I asked.

"For years. But people always watch my show."

"Is it harder to exit televisions when they have glass on them?"


He may have just been a scarecrow.

*Follow me on Twitta - @StephenSchu*

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Political Social Media Updates and Honey Boo Boo Commentary: Which is Worse?

Theo from The Cosby Show (aka Sir Waka Flocka)
I avoid submitting politically themed posts through Twitter and Facebook. Not only is this a safe call, but also I'm not very smart. I'm middle ground or average when it comes to intelligence. The one, true gift God has given me is the ability to quickly memorize information and sound like I am more intelligent than I really am. This "knowledge hoax" doesn't get past the Intelligent Elite (a legitimate, professional group of academics who gather twice a month at Yale University to snootily share chili recipes and braid each other's ponytails), but my ploy tricks more than it should. I'm also very loud and enthusiastic, which helps me manipulate and intimidate others with much higher IQs. As Sir Waka Flocka Flame once said, "Play your strengths."

This is why I don't generally comment on things political. Such an action would make me crumble like a dry turd in a deep political discussion. I do, however, have a decent political knowledge. I know the three branches of government (House of Congress, Executionary, Green Day), but I am not a wizard on the subject matter. Now, if we discussed owl jokes, Old Navy commercials, running and my amazing hair - I would be Debate King (same thing as Prom King and Scorpion King). Regardless, my self-kept political "intelligence" and lack of desire to vocalize it doesn't mean political posts aren't justified. A friend of mine recently posted the following statement, which got me thinking:

The only picture ever seen of the Intelligent Elite at Yale
"HI HATERS. You're instantly getting blocked if you post how much you hate political commentary on FB. I'm sure one day your knowledge of Honey Boo Boo and Taco Bell's new, upscale menu will pay off." (@jpollitt)

This gentleman is hysterically right, but I can't agree completely. You have to look at this argument on two ends: 

1. Individuals should subject themselves to material to increase their knowledge on topics of real life importance.
2. People enjoy Facebook and Twitter for its entertainment value - not educational benefits.

The fact is most people are stupid with a big helping of ignorance - and they go back for another plate full of ignorance every meal....especially when it comes to politics. One sided banter gets old quick - and the majority of the general public completely ignores anything that isn't supporting their beliefs. 

Ready for combat
What's more interesting than these ignorant individuals are those I know who are very politically intelligent. So informed on every topic that when they are running full speed you feel like a turd sewn to a garbage can lid. These Political Wizards (Grade 2C in the Intelligent Elite Officer Rankings) are the ones who DO read the oppositional pieces. They may completely disagree, but they utilize their time to put biased thoughts aside and read to become more informed - even if it's garbage. Undoubtedly, coming out of your comfort zone of beliefs is tough, but hiding behind a self-created barrier doesn't help you grow as a person.

However, I've never viewed Facebook and Twitter as mediums to be particularly serious. If you looked at my profile on Facebook right now, you would see a cover photo of the main female cast of The Hills, a picture of me in tiny shorts and nonsense updates about owl and owl related combat. I've written PLENTY on the idea of not taking social media too seriously, but I'm not the same as everyone else. Many people do use Twitter and Facebook to stay informed on issues, and both mediums are legitimentally used by business with great success. Sadly, sometimes seeing a person's adoration for a poopy show like American Pickers is much more fun to be judgmental about than any politically driven comment.

The Real Housewives of Miami
I become more irritated with comments complaining about everyone talking about a trending issue - whether politics, football or horse dentists. What's super crazy is social media sites provide you with ways of ignoring specific topics - you can "hide" updates; "unsubscribe" from specific people; "unfollow" users; and the ever-so favorable "rid yourself of your Facebook/Twitter account and shut the fuck up" option. These are your choices for having any attempt at finding a happy medium between economic solution discussions and Real Housewives of Miami commentary. 

My suggestion? Only "Like" Facebook pages about pizza and only follow Twitter accounts which link you to Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp videos.