"I declare this jacket to be a hero because it prevents a starving Korean citizen from dying of hypothermia...for one night."Sometimes it's easy to look at someone and say to yourself "that guy there is a hero, a goddamned certified hero". You can do it with the firemen who risked their lives or even gave their lives in New York City. You can do it with a soldier who runs into the line of fire to rescue a down companion. You can even do it with those kids who get cancer and all their hair falls out and you just know they are going to die but they don't cry about it like that kid with the glasses you pushed into the snow drift. I always assumed heroism was a universally recognized quality. Apparently North Korea has a different perception than the rest of the world, as I discovered when I read this enlightening article from ABC News.
The honor is not just reserved for the usual suspects, such as top officials or brave soldiers slain in battle. The North's totalitarian regime has given the title of hero to a woman who gave birth to eight children, a woman who donated 500 pigs to military units over 20 years and soldiers who supposedly jumped into a fire to save a portrait of the nation's late founder, Kim Il Sung.
Oh, but it gets much better!
Last week, the country named a 15-ton pneumatic hammer as a national hero for "producing many parts necessary for railway transportation and the industrialization of the country," according to state-run media.
You read that right. They named a hammer a national hero.
I'm a pretty open minded guy though, so I have to take this seriously. What if we've had it all wrong and North Korea is right on the money? What if heroism can be found in random senseless acts of portrait preservation and man made objects? I think we need to take away a few Congressional medals of Honor and give them to some brave potted plants in Michigan that have been providing valuable oxygen to an otherwise sterile Kinkos.
I've drafted a list of "old school" national heroes who need to be stripped of their honorary titles to make room for a new wave of true heroes. I hope to present this list to Congress so that they can take time out from running scared from every grain of salt that gets spilled in the mail room and make our goddamned nation proud.
Lt. Paul "Rusty" Owens and (inset) Holldecker track lighting from "The Green Tango Gallery". Lt. Paul "Rusty" Owens' Congressional Medal of Honor goes to Holldecker Track Lighting Installed in "The Green Tango Gallery" - Shot down over occupied France in 1943, Paul Owens broke both of his legs when he parachuted from his fighter plane. He crawled across over eighty miles of German infested France and swam across the English Channel. The next morning he returned to the cockpit and shot down nine enemy planes. Wow, great job "Rusty", you broke your legs! I broke my leg a couple years ago and I just got socked with huge medical bills. I can also shoot down about 100 of those bug things in the canyon level of Warhawk for the Playstation. I think your Congressional Medal of Honor should be reassigned to the Holldecker brand track lighting I saw installed in this art gallery in Columbus. They provided clean and clear illumination for the assemblage art pieces I saw at the "Spanish Troika" exhibit and they shone about one thousand times brighter than your crappy leg-breaking bravado.
Ensign Allen Johnson's Navy Cross goes to the Old Woman Who Lives by the Grade School and Throws Softballs at Buses - Ensign Allen Johnson was manning an anti-aircraft gun aboard the USS Missouri when his ship was attacked at Pearl Harbor. His arms were shot off by a Japanese Zero, yet he continued to man his gun using only his teeth and feet. His legs were paralyzed by shrapnel when the Missouri's main magazine caught fire and exploded. Nearly dead from blood loss he pulled the trigger of his gun with his tongue and fed new belts of ammunition into it with his teeth until the Missouri finally sunk and he died with it. What they don't tell you is that sadsack Johnson didn't manage to hit a single Japanese aircraft. I could put a goddamned baby in front of a machinegun and he could manage to hit ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOTHING. I think he was practically a traitor. He should have been throwing all that ammo over to other ships that weren't sinking so someone who could hit the broad side of a barn could use it to shoot down a giant zeppelin or something. No, give this Navy Cross to the crazy old woman who lives next to the grade school. She sits on her porch all day screaming obscenities and throwing softballs from a bucket at buses that pass by. Guess what Johnson? She manages to hit the buses! I don't even think she has any teeth, God bless her.
Major Steven Fielding's Extreme Valor Horseshoe goes to the Hat Clint Eastwood Wore in "Two Mules for Sister Sara" - Major Fielding served as a covert civilian advisor in Vietnam prior to the large-scale deployment of United States troops to the region. During a training exercise with the South Vietnamese loyal to the government, the camp was attacked by North Vietnamese. Fielding accounted for over thirty dead enemy soldiers personally and almost by himself managed to repel the attack. He suffered mortal wounds and was transported to a field hospital in Saigon, where he died three weeks later from his injuries. The hat worn by Clint Eastwood in "Two Mules for Sister Sara", however, never stopped being classy for an instant. Whether Eastwood was rescuing Shirley MacLaine from cowboys or engaging in sexually charged banter with her, his hat always managed to exude that quiet and slightly menacing sexuality that he is so well known for. Without the hat the movie might have become trivial, but with the full gravitas of the hat on its side it became a romantic, comedic, and dramatic magnum opus for both Eastwood and MacLaine. As impressive as killing thirty men is, I would rather reward a hat for extreme valor than give the award away to a butcher.
Noam Chomsky and (inset) the real hero, a Harvest Cheddar Flavored Sun Chip. Noam Chomsky's Pulitzer Prize goes to Harvest Cheddar Flavored Sun Chips - Noam Chomsky is well known for his incisive criticism of the media, society, and popular culture. He is often quoted by well-educated writers and his 1983 Pulitzer Prize for journalism was itself a masterpiece of understanding the way journalism can set the agenda for global discussion. He also happens to be a pretentious, left-leaning, communist puppet who parrots the works of Lenin to anyone who will listen. I promise you if he controlled the media and the government he would stop complaining about his sissy global agendas. Some people think he is simply delicious, but I think the most delicious thing available over the counter are harvest cheddar flavored Sun Chips. I would like to give them his Pulitzer Prize in bold cheese taste. They are corrugated crispy wafers of corn goodness, sprinkled with the diaphanous glow of sun drenched cheddary taste. Looking upon them can be likened to looking upon the face of God, but unlike God they are merciful and nurturing, filling my stomach with their sweet kisses of gastrological delight, each bite an apotheosis of my taste buds.
Also Featured - There are literally hundreds of virtually unknown people and heroic objects that I feel should be included on this list. Rather than bore you with every single one I would like to give you the highlights.
- Jerry Falwell's Honorary Doctorate in Theology goes to the semen encrusted sock in my college friend's dorm room.
- Shane Berry's Presidential Academic Achievement Award goes to my Creative Labs Soundblaster Live! Card.
- Stileproject.com's 2000 Webby Award goes to deceased actor George Peppard.
- Kelsey Grammer's 1997 Emmy Award goes to a structural column in the Providence Historical Society.
- Any awards received by Derek Smart go to Coats For Kids.
- Darryl Strawberry's 1988 MVP Award goes to Michael Jordan.
- Michael Jordan's sundry awards will be given to a tire fire in Gary, Indiana.
- Yassir Arafat's ridiculous Nobel Peace Prize will be shifted to underappreciated Machines of Loving Grace vocalist Scott Benzel.
- Mary Lou Retton's Gold Medals for gymnastics will be given to a pair of panties stolen from Britney Spears' luggage by an unscrupulous Lufthansa baggage handler.
- The Sands Casino's Keno Jackpot for August will be collected from retired businessman Dale Clive and given to Koko, the two-legged Chihuahua, who looks so sad in that little wheeled cart of his.
There are so many more I wish to honor. Thank you, North Korea, for showing me the true paths to glory! No more will I endanger my life to help others, from now on I will be a hero in my own quiet and pathetic way. As long as we all do our best to contribute to this wonderful society and hold Kim Il Sung dear to our hearts, we can be heroes too!
You Don't Deserve Anthrax.
Something Awful has received breaking news from the FBI about recent Anthrax scares in the United States. It seems that only cool and popular people are becoming targets of biological warfare, and normal loser citizens like us have nothing to worry about. You can read this breaking story yourself!
"Here's Tom Brokaw. He's important and he was sent Anthrax. Here's Rob Clayton of Lake Lucille, Alabama. Rob is an unemployed welder with two dogs and an ex-wife. He is not important and was not sent Anthrax. Here's New York Governor George Pataki. He's important and he was sent Anthrax. Here's J.C. Wallingston of Hobbstown, Kansas. J.C. spends all day hanging out in the local mall food court. He is not important and was not sent Anthrax. Anthrax was only sent to cool, important people. Not you. You guys aren't nearly cool or important enough to warrant the enormous expense and time it takes to produce Anthrax. So until you become a world-reknown journalist or a major political leader, just shut up about Anthrax already and stop calling us because we're so close to taking the phones off the hook."
That is a load off my troubled mind. Read it folks, it will ease your tension.
Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic follow up to "Baby Got Back" has serious unintended consequences.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.