Mark Twain was born on November 30th in the year 1835. His name then was Samuel Clemens but he obviously changed it at some point. According to this documentary I watched about him once, he had an exciting life and a complicated personality. I encourage you to go on ahead and learn more about him for yourself. He was also a humorous man, and if anything happened in the world, the newspapers would ask him for his opinion, because he was pretty good about only speaking in quotable soundbites. Later, people would gather these quips into quote books, so that we could always learn from his eternal, universal wit and wisdom. Also, he wrote books and stories.

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I was made to read a few of his books in school — I assume we all were. And I really hated Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I know it was “important” for a bunch of reasons, but I hate books written more or less phonetically. It was a pain. I don’t remember anything about it aside from how much I couldn’t stand how river people of the 1850s spoke. I can see how it was so amazing, or whatever, that he represented people from all classes and how they spoke, but I just couldn’t take it! Anyway, there have been a couple of short stories that I HAVE particularly enjoyed. One is “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut” and the other is The Mysterious Stranger.

 

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I recently had an article about the benefits of procrastination. Aside from being probably the best article I have ever crafted, it is filled with great notions. It’s seriously long, so I imagine lots of you couldn’t make it through the whole thing, with your post-Mtv buzzfeed listicle brains, so I will give you a little summary: I humorously described how to still be productive while feeling guilty that you weren’t producing what you meant to be at that exact moment.

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I still agree with that fully, but today there is a difference. When I had written that, I was still filled with the spirit of not-quite-efficiency. I had “up and at whatever” “can do some things” “go get ’em, someone, maybe, you tiger-shaped stuffed toy” spirit. Today, however, I am just a blob. This is not a depression. It’s just pure laziness. And I think that’s okay. I have believed the horrible things people think about laziness, too. But now, here, in the middle of a good powerful laze, I realize that I may have been being too hasty in my judgment.

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Sorry about bringing up clowns again, so soon, and outside of Halloween Season, and it’s not like I even love clowns all that much! And I’m not even saying that I am obsessed with them, but even so — obsessions don’t understand your notions of there being appropriate times or places. In fact, an obsession wouldn’t comprehend the word “inappropriate” at all, or “creepy” for that matter. And neither do I!

 

 

Anyway, I saw this beautiful gif the other day, while I was living on the internet as I do, and I became mesmerized with a thought. Mr. Rogers was a good man, a saint, and is very definitely a saint in our Sneerholic pantheon. He represents all that can be good in the world and is without blame. You know how we feel about him. On the other hand, clowns are commonly known to be evil, I guess, in these modern times. They are frightening and often up to no good. ALLEGEDLY. There are plenty of kind clowns out there, clowning for the sick and in parades, but every single one of us suspects their motives. Each of us wonders what possibly-literal skeletons are in the closets of their murderhouses. Thanks, John Wayne Gacy!

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I am not a person who is given to complaint — don’t believe anything you might hear from the rumor mill! Vicious lies. In my daily living, I am not about to complain about regular human error. Mostly I am thinking that if I am served the wrong food, because I don’t have any outrageous food allergies or restrictions, I will just eat it because I would rather not waste food. And I guess I would rather not make a big fuss over it. Although I just realized that they probably would let me eat for free so maybe next time, if it ever happens again, I will say something! Witness my character growth in the very first paragraph in real time.

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However, the point of this article is to tell you the story of this one time when I felt WRONGED. I was misled by packaging. So I went after the Kroger corporation in the only way I could figure out that didn’t involve speaking on the phone or to anyone’s face. I wrote an angry letter, just like an old person.

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The human clown is a Halloween costume that take you a lot of miles down the road to Terror Town. Weak-minded people believe that clowns are, by their very nature, terrifying monsters and not actually just kindly people in grease paint or in rarer cases, serial killers. People who have clown phobia will be made uncomfortable no matter how sloppy your attempt is at applying the right make up, so it is a real winner at any costume party. It is a golden standard of nightmare fuel.

However, there has been a “craze” lately where people think that you have to make the clown scarier. Those fools standing on the sides of roads, frightening people by being clowns where clowns are not supposed to be, seem to always be wearing those latex masks of a “scary clown head.” In my very honest and correct opinion, the very attempt to make it scarier makes it LESS scary. Somehow, clowns are the one part of life where I am brave. I just know that if I ever see a person in a scary clown mask, I would want to slap that mask right off of their face and tell them to get a clue. And that’s about when I realized I also needed to write an article about it in order to keep printed copies to hand out in just such an occasion. Today is the day. This is the hour.

My theory goes that all you must do is simply be a clown. It will make people uncomfortable, but it’s a little boring. To bring things to a more expert level, you will want to combine the clown part with pretty much any other thing. But which kind of clown with what sort of thing? Well, there are three general types of clown, so you have plenty of choices!

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My favorite part of Halloween is the discounted candy November 1. You can get a three pound bag of Milky Way bars for a dollar because they have bats on the label. It’s a wonderful time. But for most of you yahoos, it’s about scary things, like haunted houses and horror movies. There’s nothing some people like more than to put on a scary movie, curl up on the sofa, and drench themselves in terror for an evening.

I am not one of these people. Real life and actual people scare me far too much as it is. Remember the fad last year where people would dress as clowns and try to lure people into desolate wooded areas? As I write this, I have a stoma, which means my digestive system ends abruptly and prematurely at a hole cut in my abdomen. I don’t need your David Cronenberg. I use my entertainment to escape, so I watch sci-fi and comedies, funny-bad movies and just plain crazy stuff. Maybe even the occasional romantic comedy, because if there’s one thing life sorely lacks, it’s happy endings. What I’m saying is, I’ve never been much for horror movies. This upsets people I converse with to no end, as they say things like “You’ve never seen ‘Saw?’ Man, you gotta see it! It’s the best!” I usually counter by insisting they experience the overlooked genius of “Battlefield Earth,” because I want them to hurt. I’m petty.

So here now are my reviews of four classic horror films that I have never watched, nor plan to. I glean my information from Wikipedia articles, animated gifs, and recollections of any friends with a few minutes to spare.

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It is a statement of fact when I announce to the world here that dogs 100% love Halloween because they are animals that enjoy being dressed up in ridiculous costumes. Our four-legged friends excitedly wag their tails when they see their human companions lunge toward them with doggy-sized clothes. They yip in ecstatic delight and dance their paws in place when they see fabrics sewn to fit their quadruped shapes that then showcase these proud little companions to be some sort of dog-related pun, or the star of some television show that the dog does not appreciate OR even watch at all! Dogs love being made into laughingstocks, there only as spectacles for human snickering – the tune of which either sounds misguided, derisive, or full of pity (dogs can tell the difference). I mean, even going to a costume site will display for you, one after the other, the expressions of pure canine joy as they pose for the camera in yet another adorable, cutie-wootie, charming little outfit.

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Oh wait, what am I talking about? Dogs obviously hate being dressed in anything like clothing and endure it only because they think they are being punished and will do anything to get back into your good graces. These friends of humankind are long-suffering little heroes, designed to help people and be true pals. People, of course, are mostly undeserving of such unconditional love, and throughout history have beaten the dogs, and submitted them to every form of cruelty, interspersed with occasional treats, food, and shelter. OCCASIONALLY. You could say that dogs have had it a lot better lately (ignoring all of the cruelty they are still subjected to at the hands of modern-day monsters, as seen daily via viral videos designed to make us weep), but then… then we notice an increase of popularity of Costumes for Dogs.

 

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A fondness or craving for sweets is the definition of “sweet tooth,” according to the internet, with help from Google.

Many times in my young life, I have heard people excuse their penchant for sugary treats by referring to the fact that they possess such a “tooth.” I have news for everyone. It’s not a good excuse. Pedophiles aren’t excused from child-touchery because they are fond of it, nor should people be excused of their sticky, disgusting habit out of fondness for sugar.

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Modern film-goers are often found to be of the opinion that black and white movies are “boring” for reasons that I cannot fathom. Perhaps they require color and bright flashing lights and cgi effects to keep their attention. Maybe they accidentally caught a drama from the 1940s when they were young children, at an age when ANY drama will seem dull and agonizingly slow. The people who feel this way, and there are a dismayingly large amount of them, can’t begin to imagine how boring and terrible silent films must be. No color AND no sound?? Actually, these people probably dismiss the idea of ever watching a silent movie so quickly that they don’t even form an actual opinion on the matter. If you are one of these people, then please read on. I hope to open your rapidly moving eyes and special little minds to a few gems.

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Truthfully, the silent era created great masterpieces in comedy, action/adventure, drama, mystery, tragedy, and so on. Many of these movies are so entertaining based on the incredible stunt work alone that you forget that movie-making was in its infancy and there would not be a dependable computer involved in the process for almost a hundred years in some instances. Yes, the make up was thick. Yes, they did over-act in a strange manner, but these people were used to stage acting in front of live audiences and Vaudeville, and old acting habits were probably difficult to overcome. If you give them a chance, you can see past the old-timey fashions and unusual activities and casual instances of appalling racism to see that these people are still people, and just like movie stars should be — most of them are quite easy on the eye. They might be older than your great-grandparents on the timeline, but if you can suspend your beliefs on matters of actual age vs movie age, or if you can even imagine yourself to be alive in those 1920s and seeing these films as they were released in the cinema — you might find it a more welcoming experience than you would have otherwise.

But I am not here to explain to you the entire history of the silent screen. No. It is Halloween time, friends. And you all love scary movies. Lucky for you, the silent films did their part in creating some of the creepiest imagery of all time. There is a lack of bared bosoms and painfully realistic gore, but they did quite fine with what they DID show, and also with what they only implied. Also PS the film quality makes everything kind of spooky and horrifying on top of everything else. So stand by, Sneer Friends, while I watch a few select films one by one — most for the first time ever — and become increasingly scared because I am a wimp.

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The thing about podcasts is that I’ve never really wanted to listen to people just discussing things. I don’t watch talk shows, I can’t stand listening to people read, and I can listen to people speak for about 50 – 100 words maximum, depending on the topic. So it was hard for me to believe that I’d ever want to get into podcasts as A Thing.

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I tried a few. When friends started podcasts, I would dutifully listen to one or two episodes to show my support and see if I’d want to keep going. I couldn’t! It never felt quite right. Sorry, friends. And really, it’s only so much that I can listen to anyone talk about anything, unless it’s Amandoll, about everything.

 

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