The Shaq Man is a complicated character in our current culture. Much of what is thought about him is untrue, and there is a lot that is not commonly known that is fascinating. In about one hundred and fifty years, it is guaranteed that he will be seen as a folk legend, a gentleman known for being preposterously large and gentle. First known as a sportsman, Mr. O’Neal has recently retired and is pursuing his destiny in other fields. Here are some facts (Shaqts), speculations, and mild exaggerations to help you get to know Newark, New Jersey’s tallest star.

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Recently, I was speaking with my friend about books we enjoyed as children. She spoke well of a book she had read so many years ago that was about a mighty, wild stallion who was captured by humans. They tried to break his fierce spirit every way they knew how, but he endured and managed to live the rest of his days carefree on the range once again, a symbol of spiritual freedom.

I realized while I was listening to her that I had read a similar book, although not that specific one. Not only that, but I had read quite a few books with that general plot! There was one set in the Pioneer Times about a Moonstone Stallion who rescued some little prairie girl who had gotten herself lost from the wagon train. And another story I dimly recall about another white stallion who pranced around, inspiring these children while vexing the austere and practical adults. Of course Walter Farley wrote a whole horrible series of books about the Black Stallion and his Island Stallion counterpart, Flame. Those were just a few I had read as a small child. But obviously, there have been others, possibly a thousand others!

Horse Fiction

Equine literature aimed at children is a very strange genre of fiction. Mostly meant to entertain “horse crazy” little girls. Some of the books were about young girls just like the reader who enjoy being around horses and learning about them, riding, laughing with each other, and friendship. Or they were about wild horses that resist taming, display perfect carriage and conformation, and are far above the intelligence of wily and sinister men who cruelly break horses for a living. These stallions (almost always stallions) refuse to be broken by all! Well, except for the little girl, or occasionally little boy, who manages to tame the horse just by being kind or particularly helpless.

When I was eight years old, I didn’t think twice about the improbability of these plots. For those of you who do not know anything about horses beyond being able to identify one in a photo of various creatures, I will explain a little about how silly these books actually are. You see, the story generally revolves around a wild stallion. A stallion is a guy horse that has not been neutered, or “gelded” as it is called in equine glossaries. They are not really friendly animals, typically. Usually concerned with procreation, protecting a “herd” from other guy horses, and eating grass when he has the time, a stallion has no interest in a little human girl who has twisted her ankle while hiking alone. He certainly wouldn’t express any maternal tenderness.

Horse Reality

Also, wild horses are not beautiful and perfect awe-inspiring specimens. Their manes and tales are full of brambles, they have scars from horse bites and horse kicks, they are often scrawny looking, and their hooves are cracked from not wearing shoes on the hard rock surroundings. It is true that mustang horses that have been made into pets are often pretty, but they have been brushed and fed well. Not even those tamed mustangs are quite what the stories try to describe. Fictional horses have silky manes blowing in the wind, glowing coats kept sleek and groomed by rain I guess, are tall and imposing, perfect in every conceivable way, able to later win shows and races, if the plot decides to go in that direction.

The most outrageous part is how the same book has been written and published probably as many as sixteen times every year. Stupid little girls read this same story many, many times, not even realizing it until one grey afternoon twenty-five years later. I am shocked. I am even a little angry. I could write a story that trite, ridiculous, and horrible! I WILL write it! I know horse-related words! I can occasionally write in an engaging manner! By God, I am going to write the most ordinary story and it is going to be a HIT. And what’s better, I can actually illustrate it.

Readers, read on:

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You know how there are words out there for highly specific emotions? Like adronitis, the frustration over how long it takes to get to know someone. Or liberosis, the desire to care less about things. Is there a word for that feeling you get when you believe that there must be alternate realities that exist closely in space to your own reality, so close that they are ALMOST your reality, and that reality is that your real dad is cartoon buffoon Hong Kong Phooey? Does that even make sense? Great.

Well, since I was a very small child, I have had this feeling occasionally. And as I’ve aged, the feeling has lessened a bit, but it’s still there inside of me, shaping my personality to some extent.

Unlike other forms of insanity I probably have, this one can be traced directly to my mother. For as long as I’ve lived, my mother has always told this story about how she and some of the rest of my extended family took my older brother, then an only child, to see a Hanna-Barbera Icecapades show. While there, Hong Kong Phooey apparently took a liking to her and showed his ardor by sitting on her lap and dragging her from the audience to dance with her in front of everyone. She concludes this oft-told story by saying, “And then, nine months later, Amanda was born.”  Everyone laughs. Everyone always laughs. But once upon a time, I believed her. I was too young to understand that my mom might be kidding, but apparently old enough to catch the implication that Hong Kong Phooey was my real dad.

It turns out that if you start life thinking that you are half-cartoon, it kind of sticks with you, there in the middle, for all of the rest of your life. I mean, I know I am not actually a half-cartoon! Don’t send me to the asylum yet. Anyway, it would clearly have been an actor dressed up like Hong Kong Phooey, not the real poorly-animated dog. It would be like thinking that Santa and Mall Santas are the same thing. No! Regardless, in my idle time, I start to wonder what my alternate reality life must be like, the one where HKP was not an absentee father. Let’s look at my art therapy session.

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There are a lot of celebrities in the world. Thousands of them! And you can’t really always keep track of what they’re up to. Eddie Murphy is super-famous, right? He’s practically an icon: a symbol of a certain kind of popular comedy. But I had no idea that he had so many children. In today’s comic, this discovery takes AlexT and me on a journey of thought from horror to imaginative consideration to unrealistic demands to impatience. We must never forget that children are a burden and time is valuable. Click to enlarge.

alext, comics, celebrity facts, real chats, demanda, fathers day, eddie murphy, children, parenthood, horror, impatience, time

Fred Astaire, American dancing gentleman, is a well-known figure of classic cinema. His films are comfortingly formulaic; you can expect light humor, charming romance, catchy music, and impressive dance routines no matter which of his offerings you happen to be watching. He kept a dedicated team of writers on hand to create hit after hit throughout the 1930s. And indeed, he and his buddy Ginger Rogers starred in these hits, winning awards and creating an on-screen LEGACY.

However, not all of the scripts that came to the table were accepted.

Fred Astaire Plague Doctor

In the year 1935, it was proposed to Astaire and Rogers that they should work together once again in another musical romantic comedy following the patterns of their prior successes. However, this time it would be an historical musical romantic comedy! Plague Year.

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Over the weekend, glad tidings were bestowed upon the saurian actor known as Benedict Cumberbatch and his supposedly human wife, Sophie Hunter, as their baby pod finally hatched. An unknown amount of time had passed since the fertilization of the lady, and now Earth has a new alien prince in its midst. All hail the Cumberbaby!

As always, sneer campaign has been blessed with a sitting for baby’s first formal portrait in his true shape. Yesterday, he was a perfectly scaled miniature of his adult form. Today, he has learned to take on the appearance of a human pollywog. Soon, he will look more or less like a normal human baby.

Don’t be fooled!

The Cumberbaby by Amanda Wood

Congratulations to the House of Cumberbatch!  Long may your spawn rule this planet.

We at Sneer Campaign take our promises seriously. We promised you fine journalism, enticing story-telling, adequate comics, fancy paper dolls, and a modest dollop of occasional egomania, among other things. Today, we are going to make good on some of these promises by giving you a dazzling paper doll of our very own superstar, Dollissa the doll-sized girl! For you see, it’s her birthday today, and we like to celebrate important holidays whenever they turn up on the calendar. And aside from my own birthday, I can’t think of a birthday more important than this one.

Take a look at this doll. You might not know her now, but let me tell you − this is a stunning work of pure accuracy. Our sneering writer owns several of these outfits. And yes, she has three cats that she enjoys lugging around when they let her. And what would Dollissa be without a book, a laptop, a tea, AND a coffee? Unrecognizable is what she’d be!

Go ahead and indulge yourself. Click on this image, print it out, and go to town. Cause Dollissa to have some silly adventures. Here are some favorite activities that you can have your Paper Dollissa do:

  • watch Seinfeld for several hours, then tell her friends about the episode plots she watched
  • play Pokémon cards against her friends; she has about a 50/50 win/loss rate
  • drink coffee, and then another coffee; make sure to have a few!
  • learn banjo for a few days every few years
  • log into IRC, then instead chat with Amandoll on Google Hangouts all day
  • put on the Haircut-cat neckscarf and pick up the other two cats; it never works!
  • sometimes she goes to work! do a little of that

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