The least funny joke in the history of time

The least funny joke in the history of time isn’t actually a joke at all.

For something to be funny, there should be some kind of irony, or pun, or some form of actual meaning to whatever the joke is. It doesn’t need to make you think that hard, although it could. You could just say something unexpected or out of the ordinary. It can even be about poop and farts (because poop and farts are never not funny).

[As I typed, “poop and farts,” I giggled. Did I mention I have a college degree?]

But for some reason, 90% of the people I encounter at work seem to have the same joke loaded in the chamber.
“This is the one,” I imagine them saying to themselves proudly. “I’m going to f***ing kill with this joke. When I unleash this category 5 hurricane of funny on this poor, unsuspecting bellman/driver, he is going to laugh so hard he will s**t into the future.”

(They seem to think it’s that good. Why did your face do that weird thing when you read that?)

Unfortunately for them, I’ve heard the joke about ten trillion times. Since the dawn of man, this joke has actually never been funny once. It clearly is the first thing to pop into whomever-delivers-this-atrocity-in-the-name-of-humor’s unrelentingly cretinous excuse for a brain. And rather than trying to find something actually clever to say, or trying to have some kind of real human moment, or even doing something as base as talking about the weather, every single one of you who has ever uttered this irresponsibly moronic verbal-diarrhea-water-balloon has contributed to the continuing problem of society’s decline into mental entropy. You actually drop the IQ of every single person within earshot of this heinious utterance by a good 10 points (at least).

So, if you ever see me, or anyone who will be wearing the same name tag as me within the same city limits that I live, don’t you ever say anything close to the following sentence:

“Oh, Austin from Austin; that’s convinient.”

I will kick you in your damned throat.
That doesn’t mean anything.
I swear, anyone who says this thinks, “There’s a correlation there, so this has to be hilarious.”
And you qualifying it by saying, “I bet you get that all the time,” only makes you worse. And by worse, I mean worse than Hitler.

This is the pain I live with. This is the burden I bear.

On Heaven’s golden shore, we’ll lay our heads.

Should I not wake up tomorrow (DON’T WORRY, YOU HAVE NO REASON TO THINK I WON’T, SHEESH), and my soul awakens in heaven, I just hope every day will feel as good and perfect as I feel right now, in this moment: The hum of the cheap Wal-Mart fan next to my head, my tired body recuperating in bed, the record player permeating the room with analog waves, me glowing with the love of my dear and loyal friends.

I do know that I will probably wake up tomorrow. It will happen just a little later than convenient. I will hate my lunch, because I’m trying not to be chubby and eat right. I will have to go in late afternoon to a monotonous job that in no way utilizes my expensive college degree. My ears will probably still be ringing from the show my band just played tonight. More friends will be far away again, or preparing to go that way. I will, like I have so often lately, heave a sigh or two of discouragement for people I no longer consider friends. I’ll wonder if they feel any kind of remorse, or if I could have prevented whatever happened. I might feel some incredible sinking feeling again. I might not, too. But I might.

These things happen every day.
But tonight, I feel perfect.
I love my band. They work so hard to pull off what they do.
I love my friends. They’re very good at loving me back.
I love that I am awake, breathing and am (mostly) providing for myself.

I love that I feel contentment in this perfect, holy moment.

It’s cool if you keep quiet, but I like singin’.

I posted a long time ago about creating. It’s something everyone should do. Find your big gigantic drum kit.

I’m doing that. Right now. As we speak.
I graduated from college almost 8 weeks ago. The bottom has fallen out and I’m absolutely terrified. My job right now is driving a van. I get paid hourly and I make tips. I have to begin paying student loans in a few months. And not just regular loans; private loans, because I don’t have any foresight. Whoops.
But if there’s one thing I respect more than anything, it’s someone who actually tries to become who they want to become. They set out to be one thing in particular rather than let the winds carry them to wherever they end up. Personally, I know that the only thing that could ever make me happy and truly satisfied at the end of a day of work is to be a professional musician; salary be damned. I don’t want to be famous. I don’t mind if I never own a leer jet. And if I can only afford a few grams of coke per show, I can get by on that.
(Kidding, mom)
But I’d just love more than anything to be able to pay the rent that way. This is why I have the crappy job I have. This is why I’m not starting a career. I’m living to fulfill an ideal. This is something I was born for. This is why I’m in a rock band. And not just a crappy garage rock meeting of the minds: I’m creating music with a very talented group of dudes I respect. I look forward to every band practice, show, meeting etc. I’ll admit, it’s really hard track of the goal. I keep getting saddened by my currently suffering social life. I keep feeling embarrassed when I tell people what I’m doing with my degree. But nights like February 3 make every single doubt in my mind disappear. I know what brings me joy and gives me purpose that I could never find as a 9-to-5-er in any field.
So when my friends’ parents feel the need  to pity me, or the bigwigs I cart around town to give me career advice, I’m wearing my smirk in the front seat like a badge of honor. If it all caves in, whatever. I’m giving it a shot, and that’s purpose enough for me right now.

At the end, I swear I’m trying.

In 15 hours, I’m crossing the stage in the cap and gown. I’m done being a college kid. I feel like I should have been imbued with some kind of eternal wisdom or something. All I really know is that I’m in debt, but here’s my two cents to every person who was part of the best 4.5 years of my life:

  • To everyone who stayed up with me until 4 am deriving the ins and outs of the universe over cigars or under a meteor shower, thank you for each memorable night.
  • To every one of you who started listening to Neutral Milk Hotel or Bright Eyes within the last 5 years, your efforts are too little too late, and you’ll never be good enough.
  • To any musician who’s challenged me to be better, I am because of it.
  • To every friend who’s kept my chin up, I hope I was there for you in the same way, as I intend to be in the future. 
  • To each person who ever enjoyed dubstep, screw off. 
  • To every girl who was remotely involved with me, thanks I guess? All of you were just really confusing. 
  • To every one of you who enjoyed the song “Pumped Up Kicks” and didn’t view it as a sad record label attempt at capitalizing on indie rock, I give you three hypothetical middle fingers. You’re part of the problem.
  • Also, less reverb. 
  • To each one of you who still believes in the power of hardcore, keep your fist held high my brothers. The reckoning is coming.
  • To every person I went to a show with, thank you for screaming along.
  • To any friend who still puts up with me and actually makes the effort, I love you more than you could ever know, and I’d never have made it to now without you.

So who wants to give me a lot of money?

This isn’t an episode of Survivor.

Everyone is pissed off all the time, and you’re killing me.

Pictured: Everyone.

I’m the type of person that absolutely can’t handle any two people ever being frustrated with one another. Now I’m drowning in it. The past few days, everyone on both sides of every single stupid dispute congealing around me has been driving me insane. Every childish passive-aggressive remark, every egomaniacal action, every instance of devolution: Eye for an eye was thrown out a couple thousand years ago, kids. And I’m not going to be a dad and sit people down and tell them to stop being an angry baby, but I will say that I fully believe every single person I’ve ever befriended is 100% capable of human civility, which is typically considered the bare minimum for acting like an adult. And MANY people I love very much are embarrassing me. Nevermind mere civility, the things people are getting pissy over are trivial at most.

No doubt, I’ll garner the eyerolls of several people, and the “YEAH, YOU TELL ‘EM”s of the rest. I just wish everyone had a little bit more perspective. You’re breathing today. You didn’t watch your parents get murdered and were then forced to join the army that killed your parents. Nobody I know personally was sold into prostitution lately. Your life is fine. The s****y chip appearing on everyone’s shoulder has absolutely no weight at all, and I can’t take it. I don’t mean that in a “I’m so much more mature than all of you” kind of way, but rather with a “All of you are standing on my throat” kind of way. Nobody can say anything without somebody’s infant-level of self-regard deriving offense where none existed. Every minute thought or action suddenly becomes a personal attack. I swear I don’t mean to point fingers, but it takes everything in me to try to let everyone work it out themselves, and I’m absolutely emotionally exhausted. So please, don’t take this as me being a judgmental jerk, but a legitimately concerned friend.

If everyone were operating under the guise of humility that we’ve been shown, no doubt our problems would diminish instantly. We don’t have to assume everything is an attack. We can give people the benefit of the doubt. We don’t have to be a walking embodiment of outrage. I love each and every one of you, and believe that you have the capacity to chill out.

If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

Nobody actually has slapped anyone yet, be that figuratively or literally. And if you feel like you have been, I can guarantee you you’re being childish. Put your big girl panties on and do something significant.

Love people.

This isn’t directed at any individual person. If you don’t feel like it applies to you, move on. Only the guilty catch an offense.

Self-destruction’s oh so romantic.

I’m laying in my darkened room right now. I grabbed my computer to check my email, facebook, etc, since I couldn’t sleep, and the glitter from my drums caught my eyes. I caught myself using my computer as a light to just stare at my drums. For like, 5 minutes. I’m like an idiot distracted by lights.No matter how many times I’ve seen them and beaten the crap out of them, I still can’t get over just how beautiful I find my set of drums. It never gets old.

I will beat you again. Soon.

I hope I feel the same way about my wife should I ever get married.

(Except I’ll probably beat her significantly less)

-Fear and Loathing on Long Island

Backwoods Nation

Mitch McConnell thinks we’re stupid. Bummer, dawg.

So America is going to collapse, if you haven’t heard. We can either raise the debt ceiling and try to cut our debt down before reaching our new limit, or we can get the adrenaline-rush of an economic version of Synecdoche, New York (an arduous, painful experience lasting for what seems like years). Republicans don’t want to raise the debt ceiling, because then it’d make them seem like they support government spending; never mind the fact that we’re absolutely toast if we don’t. So stick to your guns or save the country: Which will it be? The Republicans answered: “BOTH. WE CAN DO A CONVOLUTED POLITICAL SHELL GAME.”

And I’m not putting words into their mouth, though that’s obviously not a quote by anybody.
Mitch McConnell (whom Dan Carlin has said is the best evidence for the need of term limits in the Senate) presented the following plan to save the country: Congress can have a vote on not raising the debt ceiling (which the Republicans would win), and then Obama can veto that. That way, the Republicans wouldn’t look like they had anything to do with raising the debt ceiling.

Not only is this retarded (it’s a sociology term), but they aren’t even trying to do this behind closed doors or anything. McConnell has been touting this plan to the public since he thought of it, and this is the leading idea for when we get to an ideological stalemate (which we’ve been at since the last congressional election). What the plan implies is that the voters aren’t even watching. They can pull this kind of crap in front of our faces and expect party-dedicated voters to reelect them when the time comes.

What’s worse is that it involves everyone sticking to their ideological rulebook. With independents higher in numbers than they’ve ever been, old politics represent fewer and fewer people. Politicians are doomed to always be at least 10 years behind social and economic evolution (and at least 20 behind intellectual evolution). Reaganomics are a terribly outdated idea, and the right wing isn’t entirely made of concentrated hate. Can we move on as a species?

So in the short term, raising the debt ceiling is the only option we have. Obviously, this shouldn’t be a short-term decision since it’s been looming on the horizon for quite some time, but Congress hasn’t been a good steward of their time lately. If we’d get rid of the Bush tax cuts and quit funding undeclared wars around the world, we might not even have to worry about this mess. Regardless, if this is our only option to save our economy from collapsing, why cling to the rulebook to make it look like you’re doing the opposite of what is good for the country while secretly saving it?


Look like a bad guy. Secretly save the world, albeit in a coarse, unintelligible way: Brilliant! Do it right in front of everyone’s faces: MAGNIFICENT.

Sorry kids.
I just get pissed when a politician calls us on our stupidity as a body of voters, and they end up probably being right. Humbug.

Hang on to what you used to know.

Fumpy loses faith in Craigslist Musicians, and is kind of a jerk.

Even if you don’t really know what I’m talking about, you can probably still sense my frustration.

Craigslist posting:

drummer for some skramz (San Marcos)

Date: 2011-07-02, 1:44AM CDT

I’m a 22 year old drummer that is dying to play music in the vein of Touche Amore, Loma Prieta, Raein, Ampere, etc. That real chaotic 90’s screamo sound with kind of post-rock-ish Explosions in the Sky elements.
Drug free. I have my own pro-level equipment. Currently don’t have a practice space of my own, but that may change in the next coming weeks.
Let me know if you’re interested.


From: Sedaris TheBand
To: Austin Norman

Hi i wanted to know, what is it you like about those bands is it just the technical crazy difficult side of the songs? Or it the way they are singing in them.


From: Austin Norman
To: Sedaris TheBand

Both and neither?

I wouldn’t like a band just because it had screaming in it.
And it’s not just technicality. It’s the 90’s screamo aesthetic and ethos. I just love that sound and stuff.


From: Sedaris TheBand
To: Austin Norman

ah so its the look, and style?


From: Austin Norman
To: Sedaris TheBand

No. Not at all.


From: Sedaris TheBand
To: Austin Norman

well ethos means character so the character and asthetic would mean character and look, so that must mean attitude and look, and if that is wrong what is it then, because i am having trouble here.


From: Austin Norman
To: Sedaris TheBand

No. Aesthetic refers to artistic sense of what beauty is. There’s a common artistic bent to all the bands I mentioned, along with others like Saetia, Daitro, Amanda Woodward, Hassan I Sabbah, Hot Cross, Orchid, etc.
I’m admittedly looking for something pretty specific, so if you don’t already know what I’m talking about, you’re probably not what I’m looking for.


From: Sedaris TheBand
To: Austin Norman

Ah but beauty is in the eye of the beholder is it not? and that depends take a listen before you judge


From: Austin Norman
To: Sedaris TheBand

You still have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.
First thing’s first: I probably don’t want to be in a band with anybody who has to look up aesthetic in the dictionary, and then try to argue a point using a retarded cliche.

Furthermore, I won’t be in a band with anybody who uses cliches.

Next, it’s kind of obvious what I’m looking to get involved in based on my craigslist ad. This video you’ve shown me is not anywhere close to anything I’d ever like to play in. And if you’re resorting to continually trying to convince somebody who’s very obviously looking for something else, you’re probably desperate.

Let me help you: This music is terrible. I really do hope this is a joke. If not, you have a very disappointing life ahead of you, including failed marriages and resentful children. If this is your idea of good, please sell everything you have now so that people like me won’t have a chance to use you as comedy fodder in the future.

Please leave me alone.

Happy Birthday Sonic the Hedgehog

Dear Sonic The Hedgehog,

I hope you had a wonderful birthday yesterday. You deserve it, big guy.
I don’t often get the chance to nerd-out about you, since I am about the only person on the planet who ever dove headfirst into the Sonic mythos when I was a kid.

It’s Austin. I don’t know if you remember me. When we were both kids, you and I would spend hours together. I’d watch Sonic the Hedgehog every saturday morning. During the week, I moved to the Sega Genesis, where I’d mumble what few profanities I knew under my breath while you would refuse to land on those god-forsaken floating platforms in the Flying Battery Zone. Those were good times. Every day, I’d finish my homework and then try to help you stop the illogical plan of madman Dr. Robotnik (although he’s pulled a Prince in recent years and started going by Eggman, presumably to stay relevant). I truly don’t know what he would have gained by roboticizing all the world’s animals. Him being a scientist, it’s easy to see that he must have left a huge negative impact on the ecosystem. When the environment inevitably got depleted, what would he have used to fuel his ridiculous ships with tremendously obvious weakpoints? Where does this man get his funding? And why did he only go for the smallest animals in the forest? I shudder to think at what would have happened had he used bigger, actually dangerous animals.

Pictured: The backbone of an evil, robotic empire.

But this letter isn’t just to congratulate you on making out of the teen years. I worry about you. The symptoms are all there: You’ve lost a lot of weight. You’re starting to constantly hang out with the very people you used to fight against (and I’m pretty sure one of them uses a gun [also, shame on Sega for giving the only black person in the Sonic universe a freaking gun]). Your face isn’t even the same anymore. You start coming up with these bonkers ideas, like teaching children in an incredulously high-pitched voice, or trying to have interspecies relationships with underage girls. Never mind the pedophilia; I’m pretty positive that bestiality is a crime in 32 states (and a felony in 16 of those [moreover, why is it not a crime in more states?]). What happened to that Sally girl you were so fond of? Wasn’t she like a princess? Like the daughter of an exiled king, which would kind of make for two metric-craploads of a better story than whatever the heck you think you were doing in that game? Or even Amy. She’s actually been in the video games with you the whole time. What, are you gay?

I mean, if you are, that’s cool. We can still hang out.

Wait, no we can’t. Nevermind the presumably-repressed sexuality. You’re a terrible example to Tails. When you boys set out, I was so proud at how good of a role-model you were to the youngster. Now, it’s almost depressing. You’ve abandoned your trusted companion several times, the worst of them being to join some retarded band with your “brother and sister,” whom I, being well-versed in the mythos of the Sonic universe, had never even heard of. Thus, Sonic Underground was born. This was the cartoon that was to replace Sonic the Hedgehog, an actually decent show (DON’T YOU DARE CONTRADICT ME). Come on! You were the same Sonic who fearlessly took out the Mammoth Mogul when he merged with the Master Emerald. You bravely re-imprisoned Ixis Naugus in the Zone of Silence. Time and time again, you saved the Freedom Fighters from imminent destruction. Now you give us this ****:

What a mess.

This makes me glad your mother is dead.
Yeah. She’s dead. You didn’t stop to think about that, did you?
According to the theme song from Sonic Underground, you had one, and you and your remaining “family” made a vow to track her down. And you never found her. So she either died because you were too busy making crappy music, or she was already dead before you met these two clowns and started smoking meth in your tour van, and any semblance of her presence on the show was the low-Nielsen-ratings-producing product of a drug-induced rage.

You had a van. You’re the fastest thing on the planet and you rode in a van.

Your other friends are doing so well. Remember that meetup you had with Mario? WHY ON EARTH CAN A PLUMBER KEEP UP WITH THE FASTEST THING ON THE PLANET. You’re out of shape. While you waste time in the Middle East or fighting some stupid medieval hoopajoo (both of those actually happened, and I killed one panda for each sin in those two games, which is why there are no more pandas), your friends are getting faster than THE FASTEST THING ALIVE. IT WAS PASSIONATELY SUNG IN THE THEME SONG OF YOUR ACTUALLY-GOOD TELEVISION SHOW FOR 2 SEASONS.


I’m sorry. But Ixis Naugus (for the 100% of the people reading this who never opened a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book) was evil and awesome. And my dreams were dashed.

Even the comic books are getting bad now. Ken Penders, you were the last bastion of Sonic’s integrity. I’ll pick up a Sonic comic book at a bookstore occasionally just to see if my old hero has gotten any better. The books are 10-15 pages long (where they used to be 24), and the art is nowhere near as good as it used to be.
(And it DID used to be so much better. I went back to see if my memory had played tricks on me. I wished it did.)

I’m asking you as a friend and former admirer: Please stop doing this to yourself. If you truly want to lift yourself from this terrible goop of despair (dibs on the copyright for that term), please just make Sonic Colors over and over again. That was the first good thing you’ve done in years.

I wish I was writing you on better terms. You’re a douchebag.
I love you.

With remorse,

-Austin Norman

PS: Currently listening:

Wouldn’t it be so wonderful if everything were meaningless?
But everything is so meaningful, and most everything turns to s***.

This is what you do to all of your fans, Sonic. We want you back.