College was fun, fagort.
As those of you who are currently stalking me (you know who you are) are undoubtedly aware, I just returned home after completing my first year at college. I had a great year, and Something Awful was a large part of that. When I started writing for the site back in September, I never thought it would become such a big part of my life, mostly because I was fairly certain I'd be fired within the first three or four weeks. Fortunately, with a little mind control, I mean luck, I've stuck around. So here's a big ol' "thank you" to all of the SA readers. Your rallying cries of "U SUK FAGORT" really made my sacrificing all of my Saturday nights to write these articles seem worth it.
Now that I'm out, I've got a year of memories to look back on. Well, not exactly a year. It was really only eight months. And I had pretty decent winter and spring breaks, so it was more like seven months. And I can't really remember a lot of it, so we're only actually talking about a period of about three weeks, here, but those three weeks will stay with me for the rest of my life. Come to think of it, I've got another three years to go, and the chances are fairly good that I'll do a lot more memorable things than I did this year, so "the rest of my life" might be an overstatement. The rest of the summer. I will definitely remember those three weeks for the rest of the summer. I can guarantee you that, my friends. Barring any head injury or major illness that could result in major memory loss or some sort of nonspecific retrograde amnesia, I will remember those three weeks for the rest of the summer, no bones about it. I learned a lot of valuable lessons from my college experience. For instance, I learned that when someone says "Hey Ben, wanna go for a drive?" the proper answer is no, unless you want to end up on the edge of a freezing cold pond in the middle of nowhere trying to video tape a bunch of naked people as they charge into the water at 4 AM. I think I also learned something about, I don't know, government or some nutty subject like that.
Without the massive workload of a liberal arts education to occupy my time, I have the opportunity to try a few of the things that I just couldn't find the time to do during the last couple semesters, such as sobriety. I'm also hoping to write a new play and get down to the gym every now and then until I build up a little muscle mass. Since none of that is actually going to happen, I've instead decided to do something with my summer that will benefit thousands of people. It has come to my attention that a large percentage of the readers of Something Awful are of college age or a few years younger. For those of you who fit into one of those categories, I've got some great news! Forget about all of your difficult studies! Forget about filling out those tedious and nervewracking applications! Forget about not sending me checks for obscene amounts of money! This summer I am proud to announce that I am going to dedicate myself to starting The Ben "Greasnin" Institute of Higher Learning. Finally, you can learn how to be more like me, Ben "Greasnin" Platt! Sound good? Okay, fair enough, it doesn't. But it will after you read this enlightening and informative promotional brochure.
The Ben "Greasnin" Platt Institute of Higher Learning and You
Thank you for your interest in the Ben "Greasnin" Platt Institute of Higher Learning! We sincerely hope that you will consider joining the illustrious ranks of our graduates, such as (note to self: insert names after illustrious people graduate). The institute is dedicated to providing the vital instruction that every person needs in order to be as much like Ben "Greasnin" Platt as possible. From head shaving classes to online courses on using proper capitalization and punctuation in instant messaging programs, we offer a wide array of Greasnin-related subjects. The Greasnin Institute, or Greasninin as it is called by the student body, may specialize in all things Greasnin, but it does provide a full academic education. How is this possible when all classes are taught by Ben "Greasnin" Platt himself, if he only has a single year of college education under his belt? Hey, that's a year more than you, learn-boy! Stop asking so many damn questions!Wonderful housing like this is just one of the many things you sure as hell won't find at the Greasnin Institute.
We pride ourselves on giving the students a great degree of freedom. As part of the student body, you will have complete flexibility for housing and scheduling. Not only can you choose where you want to live, but you'll also be able to choose when you want to complete and pass in your stimulating and engaging assignments! You see, the institute is run entirely through email, so you can live in your own damn house and if you don't hand your work in on time, Greasnin probably won't even realize it until he checks his messages a couple days later! In fact, he doesn't even want to see you! Ever! That is, of course, unless you're an attractive female, in which case pictures should be sent in along with the application to [email protected]. Once enrolled at the institute, you'll be able to select from a wide range of majors, including:
GreasninologyA few of the Greasnin Institute's students discuss their latest lesson. Where, I don't know, but it sure as hell isn't anywhere around here.
Of course, no college experience is complete with large amounts of booze. You'll have to provide that yourself. What we provide is mostly centered around classes. And what a collection of classes they are! Just take a look at a few of the literally hundreds of courses available to you. All of these descriptions are taken straight from the Greasnin Institute's constantly growing coursebook.
Introduction to Writing Like Greasnin
Ben "Greasnin" Platt has a writing style all his own. Well, okay, it's mostly Lowtax's. The bits of it that are original follow a number of simple formulas. This course is designed to familiarize you with the patterns of Greasnin's writing and help you start to implement them in your own work. Topics include: the use of the word "well," pounding a joke into the floor, making references to nonexistent deities, using quotation marks inappropriately, and loading sentences with unnecessary commas. Required reading: Death Comes to Dinner, 'Tis the Season to be German, So Sue Me, and A Religious Experience. Students will be asked to ignore The Mysteries of Thanksgiving Explained, When Narration Attacks, Nipples for Freedom, and the review of "Vampyros Lesbos".
The Mechanics of "By Which I Mean"
A staple of Ben "Greasnin" Platt's humor is the "by which I mean" gag. The mechanics and usage of "by which I mean" will be examined in depth in this semester-long course. Students will learn to differentiate between the occasions when "by which I mean" is appropriate, as opposed to "(read:)." For instance, "I want to give Greasnin a big hug, by which I mean all of my money." Or, "Greasnin is a super-great guy. I should send him a big check (read: a bigger check)." Also included will be the meaning substitution technique, as in "To sleep, perchance to dream. Of course, by 'sleep' I mean 'attend the Greasnin Institute,' and by 'dream' I mean 'not attend the Greasnin Institute, but send Greasnin money anyway.'"The Institute has no athletic program of its own, but we are prepared to take credit for other school's athletic victories, and that's just as good.
When Greasnin can't think of an actual joke, he often relies upon combining two unfunny words into one new, somewhat funny word. For instance, "blasphemous" and "marvelous" combine to give us "blasphemarvelous." This course will delve into the creation of these fanciful words, which are a great out when your writing hasn't been funny for the last few sentences. Lessons will touch on how to know which part of the words to use and which to delete, how to know which word goes first, and how to best use a thesaurus to find words that start with the letter you need to make the joke work. The course will also devote a significant amount of time to making words out of names, as in "Nobelievey Mcdoesn'tbelieve," "Denyeverything O'Denialstein," and "Spankedy McSpankedyspank-Spanklestein." We will cover the repetition of words, using conjugations and declensions of words, and when it is or is not appropriate to use ethnic names (it always is).
After fourteen seasons, The Simpsons has basically covered every funny situation that there is. At this point, it is becoming rapidly more acceptable to take material directly from The Simpsons in lieu of coming up with your own jokes. Many writers find that they steal from The Simpsons without even knowing it. Greasnin has all but eliminated this problem. With his near-encyclopedic knowledge of The Simpsons, he is able to adapt one of the show's jokes and change it just enough to make it not seem like plagiarism so that he can use it in his writing. Upon completing this course, you too will be able to write lengthy humorous articles, even though you only had one or two original ideas in your head when you started. We will focus on older episodes and some of the best moments in Simpsons history, then learn to deconstruct their jokes and rework them so that the wording changes, but the meaning is almost identical. With a little practice, this technique can turn your five-line paragraph and turn it into a seven thousand word column!
The Superlative Metaphor
With six billion people in the world, there are a lot of differences of opinion on even the most trivial matters. How can you convince others that your opinion, like Greasnin's, is the right one? Just do what he does and use a superlative metaphor! The "blankiest blank" formula is revealed in all its glory in this course. Whether it's the lamest sex scene, the crustiest eyeball, or the weakest idea for an article, you'll soon be able to convince anyone and everyone that the thing you are talking about possesses a particular quality in greater quantities than any other thing. We will also discuss using the proper frame of reference. Sure, this might be the weakest idea for an article, but in what context? Is it the weakest idea for an article that you could think of for this week? The weakest idea for an article in the United States? In the world? In human history? Find out by taking this intensive course! It is, without a doubt, the most intensive course in the department.
With many more terrific courses like these and a one man faculty that can't be beat, the Ben "Greasnin" Platt Institute of Higher Learning is the ideal place to further your education. Apply today!
Finally: an advice column for the rest of us! (Who seek to enslave humanity.)
Even the most fervent gun control advocate would admit that guns kill people, not other guns. We must become the guns we wish to see in the world.
A Goon outs himself as a wizard and gets a warm reception from the rogues/rangers/paladins gallery!
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