Don’t You Know, Viggo? In America, 3rd Party Votes are Black Magic (A Satire Poem)

Mr. Mortensen, I read that you’re endorsing Jill Stein

You may have friends, but now you’re no friend of mine

I’m the de facto American 2-Party System

And if you’re a REAL patriot, then you’ll only vote within them

I mean, there are a hundred arguments for why voting 3rd party is dumb

Just for whiny-baby ethics voters, sucking on their thumbs

But, aren’t you from upstate New York? Hell, that’s like being half-Canadian

And you’re voting like your Canadian half, not the half that’s ‘Murican

 

You must think that you’re smart, Viggo… reading Camus— speaking Italian and French

But in this Country’s political dialogue, your intellect doesn’t gain you an inch

Don’t you realize that your Stein vote is only a throw-away

And the right time for a protest vote DEFINITELY isn’t on Election Day

I read your published letter that endorses Jill Stein

But, “Speaking truth to power,” won’t earn your candidate Big Bank dimes

 

Viggo, don’t you understand the facts

And how a citizen in the voting booth should act

Trump supporters assert that 3rd Party votin’

Is basically just an indirect vote for old “pay-to-play” Clinton

And Hillary lovers say voting 3rd party only gives a bump

To their sworn enemy— the “racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, pussy-grabbing” Trump

So, basically, if you cast a vote for Stein or Johnson

You’re paradoxically, at the same time, casting a vote for both Trump and Clinton

Though you only vote for one, you’re somehow also voting for the other two

Making your vote, according to the pundits, only work against you

Mr. Mortensen, you better own up to the sad truth, though it’s tragic

Don’t you know, Viggo? In America, 3rd Party votes are black magic


 

My fellow Americans, tomorrow is the big day. Vote your conscience after considering all of your options in due diligence.  Also, if you choose not to vote for some ethical position, that is fine too. This election has done so much to divide us. Never have I witnessed a more fractured USA in my lifetime. Let’s do our best to be kind to one another, even when our political opinions differ.

To Mr. Mortensen, thank you for taking an unpopular stand for your chosen candidate and presenting your reasons in a well-written, and dare I say, truly patriotic fashion.

To read the mentioned endorsement letter, click this link:

Viggo’s Jill Stein endorsement letter

If you are not familiar with Viggo Mortensen, check out the following link as well:

Viggo Mortensen Wiki

As always, thank you to anyone who reads and/or shares my blog. -Luke

 

The Sunday Sermon- Pete Holmes on Not Knowing (the glory of discovery)

This is a hilariously comedic critique of part of our modern condition. Enjoy and pass it on!

As always, thank you for reading and sharing my blog! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar!:) Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke

LAD online tip jar

The Sunday Sermon: A Funny and Motivational TED Talk by Shia LaBeouf

Though this is a comedic and over-the-top presentation, you may find some motivation and sagely advice just the same.  🙂

Have a great week! As always, thank for reading and sharing. -Luke

Mike Pence Signed the “Religious Freedom Bill

Governor Mike Pence RFRA Religious Freedom Bill

Governor Mike Pence RFRA Religious Freedom Bill

Mike Pence signing Freedom of Religion Bill

Mike Pence signing Freedom of Religion Bill

FINALLY all the people in this picture, who were up until now apparently persecuted in Indiana and deprived of religious freedom, in spite of the State Constitution and Bill of Rights of 1851, will be able to worship according to the dictates of their deeply held religious beliefs! Thanks, Darth Pence! You are the Moses of modern day Indiana, setting the captives free from bondage! (in a private ceremony paid for by public dollars) YAY!

Adventures in Picking- I Witness an Epic Battle of Wills at Goodwill- Old Man vs Lady

Besides being a writer and singer-songwriter, I operate three ebay stores to pay the bills and allow for a free-spirited life. I pick things to resell on my ebay stores at all kinds of places, including the Goodwill Outlet Store.

Since you just grab stuff out of the bins at that store, there are lots of people, and new bins are rolled out regularly, it is a recipe for frequent drama between shoppers. I was able to capture a fairly mild example here…

When the new bins were just rolled out, this lady and old man snatched for the same Carhartt coat like ninjas and an epic battle of wills ensued. But, the old man won… I have seen way crazier fights than this at the Goodwill, even to the point that management called the cops.

This is just a reminder to keep it classy when shopping, especially with the approach of “Black Friday” next week 🙂

A Prank Too Far- When Does a Prank Stop Being Funny?

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An interesting phenomenon has developed over the last several years via the reach of youtube- the rise of independent, “professional” pranksters. These are creative people who started out small, and due to their consistent and well-filmed prank videos, have reached a certain level of internet fame. For some, that fame and the ad revenue it produces even makes for a full time personal income allowing them more time to focus on their art of creating prank videos.

If you are into the prank videos on youtube, you may know some of the primary pranksters well. Many of their videos go so viral that even if you aren’t into watching the pranks, you will see the links posted on various social media sites. Other videos become so popular that they are referenced in major news stories nationally and internationally. A few of the “kings” of youtube prank channels are Jack Vale (the Pooter guy), edbassmaster, Roman Atwood, Vitaly at VitalyzdTV, Tom Mabe at MabeInAmerica, PrankvsPrank, The Scary Snowman, Dennis Roady, MagicofRahat, and others. Some of these pranksters have also learned the trick to being one of the “popular kids” as it were. That is, you team up and tell the populace that the other person is cool too. So, some popular pranksters often team-up to do videos and pranks together. It is brilliant cross marketing and pools their creative resources as well.

These viral pranks range greatly in their nature, style of execution, and subject matter. Some are just goofy “fart” pranks pulled off in public spots, stores, or elevators. See Jack Vale’s video’s for the best examples of these.

Others are also very simplistic in nature, but always have a great payoff, such as the Scary Snowman videos.

Hey, fake farts and people getting startled have always been and will always be funny. Video pranks will vary from those simple and relatively harmless versions all the way to some very potentially dangerous ones. Some pranksters have also made a real effort to use some of their pranks to benefit others or have done social experiments to raise awareness of some important issues. I applaud the noble efforts of such pranksters to use their art form in the service of helping others to whatever degree they can.

But, there are two other categories of prank videos that I would like to address. Actually, the two have some overlap. That is, pranks that can potentially (or likely) cause harm to the public and pranks that waste the resources of emergency or police services. I was inspired to address this issue after seeing several of those types of videos being discussed by people on Facebook in the last few weeks. It seems that there is a one-upmanship battle going on between the royalty of youtube pranksters. The nature of some of these pranks is getting more ridiculous and/or dangerous. Please know, I am not a “fuddy-duddy” that doesn’t get a kick out of a ton of the pranks I see. Yet, in day to day life, I am not a prankster myself. Since I don’t like being messed with personally, I don’t dish it out either. But, due to the rise of the “professional prankster” some of them think that saying, “IT’S JUST A PRANK!” after doing something crazy in public somehow puts them “on base” from any repercussions.

As a disclaimer and qualifier, I do not condone violence against another person merely over words or insult. I do support defending one’s self when you believe that you are in immediate danger, are being actively and physically intimidated, actually attacked, or are defending another person who is in one of those situations. I would assert that some of these pranksters are going too far and becoming reckless in a way that is dangerous to themselves and others with some recent pranks.

Since I have enjoyed watching youtube pranks for years, I have tried to hold back on being too judgmental on some “iffy” pranks that I have seen online. But, the first one I saw from a major prankster, in this case Roman Atwood, that I think definitely crossed the line is the one below:

The “Drive-by Shooting Prank” is just reckless, stupid, and dangerous. If you noticed, one person actually shot back at Atwood’s vehicle toward the end of the video. Atwood is lucky that the shooter was a poor shot and no one else had a car handy to chase his SUV down in to return real fire. Here are my main points of contention about that prank:
1. Going to a potentially high-crime neighborhood where people are already on edge and making random people think they are really being shot at is just negligent, unthinking, and lacks compassion. I would like Atwood or any other prankster who thinks such a prank is funny to consider what it would be like to walk out your front door, your small child in tow, to what you think is a real drive-by shooting pointed in your direction. Would that just be “ha-ha” funny? Would that just be all good after your and your child were terrified? I know there was not a small child apparent in the video, but I appeal to Atwood’s sensibilities (if he sees this blog) knowing his is a father.
2. The prankster his or herself could actually be injured.
3. The people who believe they are being shot at may assume that they know who is shooting at them: a neighboring gang, a person who they have had trouble with before, etc. and take revenge. Or, they may just go looking for a person who was driving the same kind of vehicle as the supposed shooter to get back at them. That is the type of thing that can happen in the real world.
4. Likely, police or emergency services are called because of such a situation. That wastes resources paid for by taxpayers at large for ridiculous reasons. It also can create a potential investigation that could falsely implicate an innocent person.

The recently posted video just below, “Killer Clown Scare Prank,” inspired a lengthy discussion on Facebook last week between quite a few people. (Graphic scenes)

That Killer Clown video is another example of a prank gone too far in my opinion. Many of the comments on Facebook had to do with the assertion that the person commenting would have reacted violently or shot the “clown.” Some of that may have been hyperbole, but I would say the majority of the people commenting were being literal. I myself live in a state, Indiana, which has a substantial amount of people who carry a concealed pistol, myself included. It would be reasonable in my opinion, especially in a city like Indianapolis with a crazy murder rate, to fire at a person who you believe is trying to attack you with a hammer, ax, knife, etc. It is inevitable that one of these pranksters engaging in highly irresponsible pranks will eventually be seriously hurt or killed. With so many real tweakers and violent people out there, as an individual on the street, you can’t just not act in a situation because there is a 1% chance you may be the target of a prank. Several pranksters have even been punched or slammed to the ground after doing a prank when they faked stealing a person’s property or said something highly offensive. Again, I don’t condone a violent reaction to words. But, you can’t expect to say crazy things to random people in public and not get hit eventually. Of course, it makes for great video and lots of “clicks,” so getting hit may be worth it to some pranksters. See the following for an example: (language warning)

Last, I would mention pranks that demean people. Even if done under the label of “helping” these pranks are in poor taste. Sure, people can do whatever they want for the most part and should be able to in making videos. But, I can also share my thoughts. In the following video, helping needy people is done in a way that is demeaning at the same time. If you’re going to give homeless folks money, do it in a way that doesn’t involve apparently blowing money out of your ass guys. Just because the homeless will take the money any way they can get it, does’t mean you should force them to grovel for money from your butt (of course, it isn’t really, but that isn’t the point)

In Atwood’s defense, he has fed the homeless and given money on several occasions in previous videos in much more tasteful ways (see the link below). And, he and his team have made tons of great prank videos as well. He is actually one of the best all-around pranksters online. Though, the push to get more and more sensational has to hit a wall at some point.

It is my hope that responsible pranking will continue. But, I implore youtube pranksters to mix in a bit of common sense and refrain from doing obviously dangerous pranks and/or pranks that waste police and emergency services. To my surprise, Roman Atwood, the prankster from the “Drive by Shooting” prank recently discovered a prank that was too much for even him. But hey, stealing gas when it’s over $4 a gallon could get you killed anywhere…

Thanks for reading and sharing! For a bit of comic relief, enjoy this classic SNL skit that relates to this blog perfectly 🙂

SNL Prankster Skit with Christopher Walken