Heads On Sticks & Ventriloquists

The prodigious writings of a tortured genius.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Now usually I don't do this, but go ahead and break 'em on off with a preview of the remix

"Now look, man. Enough is enough, man, on the real. I mean, can’t y’all see that I love y’all? No matter what chy’all say to me or try to do to me, I’ma love you anyway. Know what I’m sayin’? What you need to do is let me go on and do this music. Ya’ll know what I’m sayin’? I mean, what I gotta do? What I gotta do? Give ya’ll all my money? All my cars, my houses, my clothes, what? I don’t owe you nothin’, man. Go get a god damned job, dog. Shit, leave me alone, get a job. You don’t owe me nothin’, I don’t owe you nothin’, know what I’m sayin’? I’m just tryin’ to give ya’ll this music, make y’all feel good, you know what I’m sayin’? That’s all I’m tryin’ to do. Let me do that. Huh, let the R do that. Will ya? (singing) Mmmm. Sex in the kitchen, ova by the stove... (song continues)."

-R. Kelly, "In The Kitchen (Remix)" introduction

R. Kelly is a god among men. His introduction to "In The Kitchen (Remix)" does what R. Kelly does best – celebrates R. Kelly. How does a man get away with a teenage sexual scandal and compose himself in such a steady manner? Granted, R seems a bit shaken as he speaks in the first minute before the song starts, but he decided to man-up, step up to the podium and thrust a fist out for a pound with his left hand and put up his middle finger with his right. The best part is, he’s in the middle of a sex scandal and has just finished berating his haters, and when the song starts, it’s "Sex in the kitchen, ova by the stove"! The whole song is about making food and having sex. This is the man that dominates our pop charts. God bless him.

"In The Kitchen (Remix)" is a great example of another thing that R. Kelly is fabulous at – taking a topic that R likes a lot [e.g. food] and relating it to sex. All of Kelly’s best songs follow this theme: "Ignition" (cars and sex), "Sex Weed" (marijuana and sex), "Remote Control" (television remotes and sex), etc. In "(Sex) Love Is What We Makin’", R demands "sex in the morning, sex in the evening, sex in the noonday, even when you sleepin’". Focus on that last line for a second. R. Kelly wants to have sex with you, even when you’re sleeping. Nay, he demands it. I’m sure that constitutes rape, but that’s the beauty of R. Kelly – laws simply don’t apply. And the women love it. Girls want R. Kelly to have sex with them while they sleep.

R. Kelly loves himself. He is so beyond cocky, that it creates a new branch of obnoxiousness. But you can’t help but admire a man who is so self absorbed that he releases a remix of every song he writes. His cockiness is awesome. It’s admirable that anyone can be so cocky with a straight face. In "Put My T-Shirt On", R stresses the beauty of post-coital clothing options when he woos, "T-shirt looks so damn tight, my triple-X on your body, girl you make it look so right". Obviously, you have to be cocky as shit to not only feature the same drip-drop sound effect in all of your songs, but to release the same song as a series in a story, as documented by the cockiest group of songs ever made by an R&B star in the "Trapped In The Closet" series.

Finally, R does not care about what other people think would not make a good song. He makes the songs he wants and he says the words he wants. And they are absurd. And he gets away with it. And yes, it is fucking awesome. When R pronounces Escalade, he says it like "es-kuh-lah-d", just to fuck with you. When R makes a song called "Feelin’ On Yo Booty", you’d better believe that it will be about just that: "Feelin’ on your bugga-boo-hoo-tee". When R wants to make a cars-as-sex metaphor, don’t you dare for a second think that it will be complicated analogy. You see, when he says he’s going to stick his "key in the ignition" he’s taking about putting his penis in a vagina. Don’t get confused there.

If you criticize him, he’ll throw his voice out at you "so what, I’m drunk, it’s the freakin’ weekend, so let’s have some fun". If R. Kelly doesn’t have sex to his own music I would be really surprised. So haters, R. Kelly is above human. He doesn’t care about any mortal woes. He wants to tap that ass and do this music thing. So just get a fucking job, you bum.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Mixmas

To accompany that best albums of 2005 list, I'm going to post a double-disc mixtape of hot 2005 tracks. If you are a visitor from the year 2004, please listen to this collection of songs... and remember, nowadays it's common knowledge that George Bush doesn't care about black people, so don't feel bad when you say it aloud.

Disc One

01. The Decemberists - Engine Driver
02. Kanye West - Touch The Sky
03. Kings of Leon - King of the Rodeo
04. Dungen - Festival
How do you pronounce their name "Doon-yen" "Dungeon" "Dung-in"?
05. Augustana - Stars and Boulevards
What can I say? I'm a sucker for radio friendly alt-country.
06. Sleater Kinney - Modern Girl
07. Bear vs. Shark - Entrance of the Elected
I refuse to spell it "bearvsshark". It's a band name, not an AOL screen name.
08. Shook Ones - Bellingham Lads Club
Lifetime reincarnated.
09. Flaming Lips - Mr. Ambulance Driver
10. Dr. Dog - Say Something
11. Bloodhound Gang - Pennsylvania
One of those songs that you have to be in on the joke for. It's funny, trust us.
12. Neon Blonde - Headlines
13. Minus the Bear - Pachuca Sunrise
14. My Morning Jacket - Wordless Chorus
15. Architecture in Helsinki - Maybe You Can Owe Me
16. Islands - Abominable Snow
Not quite as glorious as the Unicorns, but that'll do, pig. That'll do.
17. Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Feel The Illinoise!
18. Animal Collective - Banshea Beat

Disc Two

01. Horse the Band - Soaring Quails
Top Gun.
02. Between The Buried and Me - The Primer
03. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - In This Home On Ice
Hate to contribute to the hype (waaaaaaaay overhyped), but this song is good.
04. Antony & The Johnsons - Forest of Love
05. Ris Paul Ric - Purple Blaze
Ex-Q and Not U lead singer solo project.
06. Bloc Party - Blue Light (Engineers "Anti Gravity Remix)
07. Pelican - Autumn Into Summer
08. Three 6 Mafia - Stay Fly
Fucking hot.
09. The Go! Team - Huddle Formation
10. Hella - Song From Uncle
11. Blusom - The Ticks: Tick, Tock
Random band I found on Second Nature Recordings' website. Really good song.
12. Mountain Goats - Pale Green Things
13. The Game - No More Fun And Games
14. Blacklisted - Crossed Fingers
Picking up where Give Up The Ghost left off.
15. Some Girls - The DNA Will Have It's Say (feat. Karen O.)
Uhh... literally picking up where Give Up The Ghost left off.
16. M83 - Don't Save Us From The Flames
17. Sigur Ros - Glosoli
Song of the year.

Download any of these songs if you are able to. They are good. Also, a little bird told me that a Explosive Bear is uncovering a new tune on Christmas Eve at http://www.myspace.com/explosivebear. I heard it's the best song ever.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Best Albums of 2005 (because you care what I think)

I hate putting these things in some sort of numerical order, because I always regret putting things in absolutes until a lot of time has passed*. Sure I liked some albums better than others and listened to others more than others I claim to like more. But then again, maybe I just take music more seriously than I should. It’s not like 2005 was the greatest year in music history -- no albums came out that I would call one of my favorite albums ever, but maybe I just need more time. Here are my top 15 albums released in MMV. Don’t take the numerical listing of their goodness too seriously, because I’ll probably change my mind in a week.

15. Architecture In Helsinki - In Case We Die
So this year I learned that they call this sort of music "twee-pop". What a fucking stupid name. But this album is good. I kinda got tired of it after too many listens, so maybe it’s not as durable as other albums, but has some of the best pop hooks I’ve heard in awhile. I saw AIH at the Trocodero in October and they were fucking awful. Maybe they can attribute it to being at the end of a long, long tour, but Jesus Christ, it was terrible. Ignoring their live show, this album is very enjoyable. Best album from Australia in 2005 for sure. I still can’t get enough of the song "Maybe You Can Owe Me".

14. Horse the Band - The Mechanical Hand
Nintendocore’s finest release their most consistent album to date. It flows like a hilarious concept story about all video games great and small. Sure it’s dumb, but it’s really, really fun. Stand out favorites are "Birdo" and "Black Hole". For the most "Top Gun" moment of the year listen to "Soaring Quails".

13. Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
I don’t care that this album came out in 2004, I didn’t hear it until 2005. Plus it came out in December of 2004, so cut me some slack. Great driving music, even better chilling music. Their singer is great too. Standout track: "King of the Rodeo".

12. The Game - The Documentary
I’m not the biggest fan of the G-Unit or Shady crew, but this album is solid west coast rap all the way. Game has way better flow than parter/ex-partner/partner again (?) 50 Cent, and better lyrics. Playing "No More Fun and Games" on my way to my retail job at the mall reminded me of my days as a gangbanger down in Compton.

11. Between The Buried and Me - Alaska
Simply shreds. I know when people hear "metal" they think of the terrible slow heavy romping of bands like Godsmack and whatnot, but this is the real deal. Adding huge prog elements to hardcore breakdowns and some of the most gorgeous guitar licks to come this way in a long time, makes a heavenly (satanically?) beautiful metal album. Seriously, these guys have some chops. For the second most "Top Gun" moment of the year listen to the last 2 minutes of "Selkies: The Endless Obsession". Tracks like "All Bodies", "The Primer", and "Alaska" make me have to shit my pants.

10. M83 - Before The Dawn Heals Us
The cover of this album reminds me of those cheesy Bacardi-Cola commercials and Blade Runner. These are pretty over the top theatrical synth jams, but maybe I like that sort of thing. Everyone pulls the My Bloody Valentine/Kevin Shields card on M83, which I would say isn’t inaccurate. When I hear "Don’t Save Us From The Flames" & "Teen Angst" I have to put on a silver suit and hop on my hovercraft for a little while.

09. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Say what you will about the hype, I still say that this is a very solid album. Every song is pure pop-dance-rock gold. Everything that can be said about this album has been said, so I’ll just leave it at that. Weirdly, "Blue Light" is my favorite song.

08. Dr. Dog - Easy Beat
Came recommended from my friend Paul, and it is beautiful. While it certainly sounds like the Beatles, it isn’t derivative like all those other modern psych-pop bands. Dr. Dog brings the jam to dinner. Live they are even more awesome than on record. "Oh No" and "Wake Up" are gloriously happy sounding songs – not that the rest of the album isn’t. Try and not be happy hearing this music... it might be impossible.

07. Bright Eyes - I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
Like Bloc Party, certain people hate the shit out of Bright Eyes. And also like Bloc Party, there is an absurd amount of hype surrounding Mr. Oberst. But then again, this album is pretty awesome. This album reminds me of Paul Simon’s "Graceland" so much that I find myself listening to the albums back to back -- not that they sound terribly alike, but they have the same spirit to them. I really like "At The Bottom Of Everything" and love that he made a video that features 1 minute of spoken word. Also, forget about that "Digital Ash..." album.

06. Bear vs Shark - Terrorhawk
I’m a huge BvS fan, so there is a definite bias here. These guys are taking punk (ahem, excuse me, "post-punk", whatever that is) the direction it should be going. This album dominated my summer, hardly ever leaving my car’s CD player. There is a clear maturation and progression from their debut all over this disc, despite titles like "I Fucked Your Dad". Although they have a slight air of goofiness, this band is all business, avoiding cliche hardcore lyrics and cliche punk riffage. Standout tracks: "Baraga Embankment", "Entrance of the Elected", "Heard Iron Bug, They’re Coming To Town", and "Rich People Say Fuck Yeah Hey Hey".

05. Sufjan Stevens - Come On Feel The Illinoise!
Part two in Sufjan’s nearly unrealistically ambitious album-for-every-state project, but so far so good. He can turn the relative mundane areas of life in each state and turns it into beautiful theatrical folk. And hey, if NPR likes him, then I do too. The title track and "The Seer’s Tower" are both incredible songs.

04. Sigur Ros - Takk
Sure it’s more conventional than previous work, but sometimes Sigur Ros got a little too unconventional in the past, so it works. This is a welcome break from the good but very slow and meandering "( )", letting Sigur Ros take better advantage of their ability to start songs out small and make them explode in epic fury. "Glosoli" gets my vote for top track of the year. Beautiful.

03. Kanye West - Late Registration
One of the best producers in rap somehow manages to make an album even better than "College Dropout". Equally artsy as it is booty-shakin’. While Kanye seems to phone-in his guest appearances most of the time, when he’s working on his own stuff, he brings his A-game. His flow is average for a big-time rapper, but he works it like none other. His production and collab with Jon Brion turned out beautifully. Nearly every track is great, like "Heard ‘Em Say", "Touch The Sky", and "Gone", so I’m just gonna list the songs that are less than amazing: "We Major" (would be an okay Steely Dan song, but is too long), "Hey Mama" (sweet, but kinda boring), "Celebration" (nice beat, but the lyrics are fairly dumb), and all the skits (are skits ever good?).

02. Animal Collective - Feels
Not a huge fan of their earlier more experimental albums, but as soon as they made the transition to glorious folk-pop I was hooked. I’m not gonna say it’s better or worse than Sung Tongs, let’s just say if you took the best songs from both albums and put them together it would be one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard. It’s hard to pick a favorite song, which is definitely a good thing. I’m a big fan of "Did You See The Words" and "Banshee Beat". Did I say this was glorious?

01. The Decemberists - Picaresque
This album just makes me happy to hear. Colin Meloy’s lyrics are brilliant (gotta love that thesaurus). As theatrical as the songs are, the album has a clear heart to it, and it simply exudes mass amounts of joy, despair, and all that other good stuff. The sequencing is perfect as well --listening to this album is like watching a movie. So many good tracks, like "The Engine Driver" and "On The Bus Mall". Perhaps the best song is the 10 minutes of folksy rock about lust, whales, and payback: "The Mariner’s Revenge Song". They are also responsible for the best live show I saw this year.

Feel free to tell me where I’m wrong. It’s what I’m thinking looks right as of this moment. Here's to 2006!

*Case in point: this has already been edited once pretty significantly. Just rest assured that all these albums are worth listening to.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Haiku Time

Here are some haikus (in traditional Japanese format).

When Shaq slams a dunk
does the backboard not shatter
or the ground not quake?

Eddie Van Halen
guitar lord from higher mount
please play "Eruption"

High speed internet
now I see foreign gangbang
with heavenly ease

Haiku in english
that's about Hiroshima
is quite ironic

That's all I have for now. Thank you.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lottery Tickets Do Not Make A Great Christmas Gift

Every year I see the same commercial from the "Penn-syl-vania Lot-ter-y" (sing it), where some jackass is out on a snowy Christmas Eve giving out lottery tickets to his friends. Despite what the commercial states, lottery tickets are actually a terrible Christmas gift. Giving someone a lottery ticket is like giving someone your trash. It's just extra work. Now that you've given someone a lottery ticket for the holidays (take that Bill O'Reilly), you've forced them to turn on the TV and look at a hopeless series of numbers on a piece of paper.

Giving someone a lottery ticket for Xmas is giving them the gift of a fraction of a tinge of hope for a better economic welfare -- "Sigh, a lottery ticket. Oh, what the hell, no harm in watching the lotto numbers". This is why, instead of spending money on lottery tickets, I suggest that you just tell people that, instead of getting them a gift, you decided to pray that they make more money someday. Jesus will sort it out.

Of course, you don't actually want them to win the lottery (unless you are related), because you would feel like an idiot. You're the guy that gave away the winning lottery ticket. Don't you feel good? No? That's what I thought. If I got a lottery ticket as a gift and it actually won. I would give half to the person that got it for me. But that's just me. I'm really, really nice.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

You Don't Hate Napoleon Dynamite, You Hate Other People

Napoleon Dynamite is not funny. Well, not these days, that is. What’s that? Oh, you never thought the film Napoleon Dynamite was funny? Okay, well how about you tell me why you never thought it was funny?

"It’s so annoying, all everybody does is quote it all the time."

This is the answer most people give for disliking Napoleon Dynamite. It’s a very revealing answer about the many critics of the film. It represents a discontent more with one’s peers rather than the work of a filmmaker. Let’s face it, you don’t hate Napoleon Dynamite, you simply hate people.

I’m with ya brother, most people are mindless drones. We’re at the top aren’t we? We’re the upper echelon, the top crust on the pie, the filmic bourgeois. See how pretentious that sounds?

Let’s drop the act and go to an alternate universe, where Napoleon Dynamite is a cult underground movie that no one has ever heard of, except you and the rest of the film elite. Oh how you cherish quoting those silly lines with one another, laughing harder when the hoi polloi just don’t get what you’re talking about. The ‘common man’ doesn’t understand when you say to your friend across the room, "Do the chickens have talons?" and you love it. Don’t act like this would not happen, because it would.

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My friend has a "Vote For Pedro" shirt. What he doesn't have is a sense of humor.

Okay, now we’re back in the real world, where every single college student revels in quoting their favorite one-liners from Dynamite’s lexicon. This same thing happened years earlier with Austin Powers, and even before that with every Chris Farley movie. It’s just how things are, my friend. But don’t act like you thought Napoleon Dynamite was unfunny.

The movie was funny. There, I said it. Come out of the closet with me, friend. I think Napoleon Dynamite was a funny movie. It’s the same sort of absurd look at the oddities of midwestern middle class folks that makes it work. You think Stella (http://www.stellacomedy.com) -- with Michael Ian Black, David Wain, and Michael Showalter -- is funny, right? You think Upright Citizens Brigade (http://www.uprightcitizensbrigade.com) is funny, right? Imagine if Stella and UCB were really, really popular and had a line of Hot Topic knockoff t-shirts that said stuff like "We... don’t... have... this... money" or "Everyday I Put 50 Pennies Up My Ass!" – you would hate it.

Of course there are those of you who sincerely did not think Napoleon Dynamite was funny and/or you just don’t jive with the sense of humor in Stella and UCB. This post is not for you. Continue having a disagreeable sense of humor. The rest of you – to use a cliche, you know who you are – ignore the innundation of people saying "You’re just jealous because I’ve been chatting with babes online all day", and be on with your life. The people that quote these lines do it because the lines are funny. These people don’t really have a sense of humor, so they just use the quotes to be accepted. Can’t you let them be? Gosh! Okay, so they are irritating, but my point is that people that quote Napoleon Dynamite are annoying, but it’s them you hate, not the movie.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

7th Annual Lou Bega Awards

The 7th Annual Lou Bega Award!

In 1999 -- the worst year in music history -- my friend and I co-founded the Lou Bega Award, named after the worst recording artist of all time. This prestigious award, given annually each December, goes not necessarily to the artist with the worst song, but to the one which most desecrates the concept of popular music altogether.

Previous Recipients:
1999 - Lou Bega "Mambo #5"
2000 - Baha Men "Who Let The Dogs Out?"
2001 - Afroman "Because I Got High"
2002 - Nelly "Hot In Herre"
2003 - Sean Paul "Like Glue" & his other song(s?)
2004 - tie - every song involving Lil' Jon

This year's inductee is "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani.

This marks a historic moment for the Lou Bega Award. Stefani is the first minority to receive this prestige -- not only as a woman, but as a Caucasian as well.

In addition, for the first time this year an honorary Lou Bega Award is being presented in the catagory of Lifetime Achievement to Jamster. This innovative company has used frightening late night television commercials and obnoxious roll-over internet ads to help launch the careers of 2005 Bega honorable mentions such as T.I. and D4L.

Congratulations to this year's inductees.
Jon Katz, Bill Benz

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

So Much To See In One Panel

I don’t really read the newspaper, it’s a sad fact. I get most of my non-local news online, so when I get the printed paper delivered I always skip to the "Life" section and go straight to the last page. There it is, taking up a glorious full page: the comics (read: "the funnies" if you are over 55). The comics have been a source of joy for me since I was but a lad being reared in healthy suburban Pennsylvania. "Calvin and Hobbes" creator, Bill Watterson, is one of my all time greatest heroes, having created the funniest and most relatable comic I’ve ever read. I often will go online and regularly check my favorite webcomics such as Nothing Nice To Say and The Perry Bible Fellowship. Comics have been a part of who I am for most of my life.

The page itself is short but sweet, approximately twenty-some comic strips, each about three panels long. Rarely do I find them terribly funny, but I read every day, constantly pulled in by endless story arcs ("For Better or Worse", "The Phantom") or the simple nonsense and puns ("Frank & Ernest", "Real Life Adventures"). It takes approximately one bowl of cereal of medium to small sized bits (i.e. Rice Krispies, Cocoa Krispies) to be consumed to have enough time to read the whole page.

Generally the comics are not very good, usually falling somewhere in the ‘mediocre’ range. A classic example of this is "The Lockhorns" who should really just get a divorce – their behavior is not healthy towards each other or themselves. "The Lockhorns" are one of those special comics that have been locked in the constraints of a one panel daily comic. One panel. Imagine having to tell a joke in one panel. I respect you if you willingly give yourself room for only one punchline and you make it actually funny. I think Wise and Aldrich, creators of "Real Life Adventures" do a very respectable job with the one panel format.

The obvious king of the one-panel is Gary Larson’s "The Far Side", discontinued the same year as "Calvin and Hobbes" (may they both rest in our hearts forever). On the opposite side of this spectrum we would most likely place "The Family Circus" as the worst of the one-panels. "The Family Circus" just sucks.

But that’s not what I’m getting at here. Throughout my life there has been one comic that has caused the greatest amount of interest in my mind. Just like serial killers are arguably the most interesting people on earth, if only for the fact that they are so bizarre that you can’t bring yourself to look away. I’m talking about a trainwreck of a comic strip. An abomination. You can’t take your eyes off of it, you constantly dig deeper into it, wanting to know more. You want to know why – why was this created, O Lord?

"Marmaduke", bane of my existence. How did the world overlook this beautiful example of a self-contained world completely devoid of humor?

For those not in-the-know, "Marmaduke" is a one-panel comic strip about a huge great dane that constantly dabbles in mischief and causes prodigious amounts of stress for his owners, the townspeople, and the neighbor (a shameless rip-off of Mr. Wilson).

An example:
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Seriously, that dog sucks. Marm’s creator is a gent named Brad Anderson. I don’t know how he did it, but he’s been able to keep his comic in syndication for some time now. Every year, my newspaper has an event where you can vote out the worst comic and vote in a new comic. Somehow, Marmaduke does not get voted out of the paper each year. Which means that people think that Brad Anderson is doing a better job than other cartoonists in the newspaper. It’s no secret that Marmaduke has a fair share of fans, but why? I’m not one to judge other people’s taste (a lie), but I really do not comprehend how people can be a fan of that dog. Here is an actual Marmaduke fan. Why?

For years – nearly a decade now – I have pondered why the family did not simply put Marmaduke to sleep. Were they PETA activists? Why did they let that dog cause them so much emotional strife? Do you know how many times Phil, Marm’s owner, had to pay a bill – or even worse, was arrested – because Marmaduke stole a furrow of sausage links from the local butcher? Mr. Anderson, simply continued to print out identical strip after identical strip of this tripe. No one was turned off by the fact that Marmaduke was a huge asshole.

My friend Jon and I have a theory that if you replaced every text-line in the strip with "There goes that fucking dog again," the comic would still make sense, 100% of the time. Let me demonstrate:

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Now, with the caption replaced:

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Sure the words are different in every Marmaduke comic, but the joke is the same. How did Brad Anderson get away with this? Why didn’t the family get rid of Marmaduke? They seemingly had no reason to keep an animal around that caused them great emotional distress. It’s almost as if the family needed to have Marmaduke around for some reason. Then it hit me – the family does need Marmaduke. You see, without any doubt, Marmaduke is a genius.

Let me explain.

On dozens of occasions Marmaduke has actually hailed a cab and told the cabbie where to drive him. A dog that can pick up a cab? Genius. In another strip, Marm is seen wooing a bitch (female dog) with a bouquet of roses. The reader can only assume that Marmaduke knows not only how to purchase a bouquet of flowers, but is also aware that roses are an aphrodisiac. These are not the signs of a normal pup, my friends. Marmaduke is cunning, able to outsmart the butcher and get some flank steak. Marmaduke is intelligent, often seen behind the wheel of Phil’s car. Yet another time, Marmaduke can be seen parading about with three small dogs on his back! This proves that Marmaduke knows enough about physics to accurately place the canines on his backside without them falling (dog’s are very awkward with balance). Not only this, but Marmaduke was also able to explain to the "normal" dogs exactly how they would be able to ride on his back. This is mind blowing! Marmaduke is the smartest animal on earth!

Here we can only infer that Marm is listening to music for enjoyment purposes, a trait of intelligence and sophistication:

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Here we see that Marmaduke is having spousal issues and is able to show humility in front of what we can only assume are his illegitimate children:

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The phenomenon that is Marmaduke’s incredible intelligence, leads me to my next theory. I’ve never seen Phil at work, which leads me to believe that he collects the cash from Marmaduke’s inevitable and numerous television appearances and booming sales in life-size Marmaduke plush dolls. I bet Phil even charges people to pet Marm. It suddenly occurs to you that Phil is a greedy bastard.

But why would Brad Anderson make Phil seem like such a nice guy? Why would he make Phil seem like the one on the receiving end of the pain of his relationship with Marmaduke? The answer: (buckle your seatbelts) "Marmaduke" is an autobiographical account of Brad Anderson’s life. In other words, cartoon Phil represents cartoonist Brad, who in real-life, actually lives with a hyperintelligent pooch. Brad Anderson decided that he would create a comic strip about the troubles of living with a giant/genius dog, because he wanted to make more money off of his dog’s personality. So, what seem like the playful tendencies of a big dog are actually passive-aggressive attacks on a cruel owner by an underappreciated prodigy.

Marm does not want to be on TV or be treated like a circus freak. He feels lost, and emotionally abused. In many cases, people gifted with intelligence can become loners – rebels – when faced with an unloving upbringing. Marm sometimes wishes that he didn’t have the intelligence that he possesses. Ignorance truly is bliss. Marmaduke may be one of the greatest testaments to the broken spirit rising from the ashes as a sublime phoenix lighting a passage for the disenfranchised.

I never actually voted Marmaduke out. Each year, the opportunity would come around, my pen hovering above the checkbox. The newspaper stares at me, and I at it. Each year, I had the power of suffrage, the most important right in any democracy, to remove Marmaduke from my local newspaper. I never once voted to get rid of "Marmaduke". It was my secret. I would vote out a different comic like "Luann" (terrible) or "Herman" (I don’t get it). I wanted "Marmaduke" to stay. I needed Marmaduke. I loved analyzing why it was so bad. I loved having my "There goes that fucking dog again" theory proved right every day. In a way, Marm was able to prove his point to me. He suffered under the tyranny of Brad "Phil" Anderson, and he no longer wanted the people of the world to suffer like he did. Marmaduke built up my self-confidence. Marmaduke would undergo any amount of pain and criticism for me, even if I was the source of that pain and criticism. Marmaduke, if you can read this (I assume you can due to your high level of intelligence), I was wrong – you aren’t the bane of my existence... You are my bastion.

Of course this is all speculation and I could be wrong.

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I've decided that I want to leave my legacy on the literary world; a scribe for my generation in the post-second-millenial world. Basically, I want archaeologists to dig up the internet hard-drive storing the information of my blog out of the post-apocalyptic rubble of Philadelphia (having there actually been an apocalypse, presumably nuclear) and turn it into classic literature that will be read by high school freshman for years to come. Also, for this to happen, all of the other information on the internet must disappear so I suddenly become infallable. Please delete your blog and burn your journal.

Hello space-age archaelogists, nice radiation visors. Did you get them at Kohl's?