Tuesday, March 29, 2011

State of the Site Address

The currents constantly change in the rough waters of avatarjack.com. Weary readers are jumping overboard at alarming rates. This is my first State of the Site Address and arguably the most important entry I will ever make. Read carefully, one word after the other, keeping in mind each previous word so as to pick up on a message.

I can explain everything.


Just kidding. We're a few posts away from a State of the Site Address, and things aren't quite that bleak—yet. Let's all hope such grim language will not be necessary when the State of the Site is actually addressed.  Be sure to keep in mind the reading tip mentioned above—that part still applies. 

I had originally planned on some pointed commentary on the Dez Bryant (he's a football player for my one female reader) mall incident. I would have exposed flaws in the system. I would have gone after various institutions. I would have toed the line of appropriate racial analysis. I would have left the reader in a general state of discomfort. Shock and spook the reader is what I would have done; enlighten and inspire is what I actually will do. 

I know this blog alone won't keep my readers happy, and you know what they say- Happy Readers, Happy... ok maybe there isn't an applicable saying, but if you the reader are living in a general state of discontent, odds are you'll harbor cynical views towards this site. This is a baseless claim, it may hold water, but still baseless, so keep in mind what the Disclaimer says about the promotional/entertainment aspect of this site. 

Without further Adieu... The Worldwide Happy April Primer

April Fools Day

It's safe to say we all like to be a little silly every once in a while. Even my most repressed readers hailing from the rising power that is the People's Republic of China like to let their hair down every now and again (remember to keep it spiky) as evidenced by their Bill Gates assassination claims in 2003. I'd typically expect a bit more class from an emerging superpower, but why expect tact from a regime that engineers the weather?

This isn't about China's disregard for the environment or human rights. This isn't even about China's curious move to stay out of the situation in Libya, considering they are Libya's biggest oil recipient.  Keep doing your thing, China. I actually look forward to Chairman Hu's global takeover. 

What better way to jumpstart a Happy April than pulling off a general act of foolishness? Sure, you'll think it's a lot more clever and unique than it actually is, but go for it. I promise to laugh when you kidnap me and force me into a snuff film.

Good stuff guys

Go Outside

April is known for its rain showers so you'll likely need an umbrella, unless of course your country waged a war on its rainclouds, in that case just go right outside. If you live in a country with poor air quality make sure to throw on a respirator or gas mask. If you live in Canada, northern United States, Hungary, Germany, the UK, Ireland or the United Arab Emirates you might want to throw on a fleece jacket or equivalent—be sure to keep your selection consistent with cultural norms.  Once you're properly equipped, take that first step out the door and don't look back. Shake hands with neighbors, kiss babies, pet indigenous creatures—have some fun out there. If you've followed these directions, at this point you are walking around and possibly even burning calories, which might be a good thing for my US and UAE readers, who just so happen to boast the two highest diabetes rates in the world. Once you're done spreading neighborly cheer and staving off embarrassing diseases, head back to your computer lab and check for site updates. I could use the hits.

Hmm, I wonder if I should go check for updates...

Write a Letter to an Elected Official (or just any official if your country doesn't have democratic elections)

Do you have a pothole on your street that needs filling? Are you you sick of making 10 cents a day working on government-owned farmland? Would you like to be able to express yourself freely, without risk of public flogging and torture? Would you like to have a second child, but can't due to your country's one-child policy? Well then craft a letter. I'll even give you an example. 

 Dear Chairman Hu, 

I'm contacting you regarding your one-child policy. Is there any wiggle room on this? I have a young boy named Zhang who would be tickled pink by the prospects of gaining a sibling. To obtain this special waiver, I  am willing to sign over the rights of Zhang to the People's Republic of China, effective on his 14th birthday. Once this day comes, you'll have free reign to cripple, maim and disable Zhang as you please, through a lifetime of labor and lab testing.  In the end, you'll do whatever's best for the republic, and that's all I can ask. 

Troubled Loyalist, 
Li Yang

Forgive me Zhang... and good luck
These suggestions could make for a Happy April, but they could also create some unnecessary anxiety. Most of you will chalk this up as yet another failed blog attempt; another heave of desperation that fell well short of its desired goal. I'll agree with you, most likely, but i'll remind you: It's not the destination that matters, it's the journey.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Guest Writer? Thanks, But No Thanks


After carefully considering the prospects of a "guest writing" spot, I regret to inform you I have decided against it. I'm painting a picture here on this blank canvas Google® has so generously provided, and fear the artistic integrity of this picture may be significantly undermined by the presence of an additional writer. I would call it addition by subtraction, but it's just me here, as it has been from day one. With that said, a spot was submitted and in the spirit of full disclosure I will post (heavily edited to protect my interests, of course). 

Young Blogger Left Dead, Guest Writer “Funeral” Zach Remains at Large


I don't bust back, Funeral Z, mainly because I shoot first. 


The history of entertainment has taught us to be wary of the guest contributor. His mere presence is the symptom of a deeper pathology; a pathology tacitly understood by the extender of the invitation (Avatar Jack) and his audience to mean that said inviter (AJ) is losing critical MPH’s off his fastball. Think about it. What artist, at the height of his powers, would offer someone of similar talent and sounder mind a blank canvas to court his audience? I remind you, Jay Leno was but a guest host for The Tonight Show just before Johnny Carson faded into oblivion.

Did Avatar Jack unwittingly coronate his successor? Or is he subconsciously handing over the reins to his prized creation, knowing full-well he was not up to the lofty task he’s embarked upon?

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown

I address this warning to AJ’s limited but burgeoning international readership: Do not be alarmed if this guest appearance turns into a full-fledged Lou Gehrig/Wally Pipp-type situation. It is well within the realm of possibility that this post is the start of 2,130 consecutive blog entries and a prompt, seamless URL shift to AvatarZach3d.blogspot.com. (For continuity reasons, I would humbly drop my “Funeral” Zach moniker.)


***THIS CONCLUDES THE LACKLUSTER GUEST SPOT, MY APOLOGIES. FUNERAL Z HAS FINISHED HIS FIRST AND ONLY CUP OF COFFEE AND HAS LEFT THE BUILDING***


Friday, March 25, 2011

Who's Coming With Me?

Brand names mean something. Avatar_Jack, that's a brand name; Like Pepsi, that's a brand name. I stand behind it, I guarantee it. They know that even if they don’t know me any more than they know the chairman of General Mills. 


With that said, I reserve the right to grow, evolve and adjust this brand as I see fit. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I'm considering ghost-riding this thing off a cliff through a series of ill-conceived twists and turns.  If only Google® had a safety net in place to lift this thing up on eagle's wings before it could crash into a state of oblivion. "Remember that site?" they'll say. "Remember that damned site?" Rest assured, this scenario is highly unlikely and would only be used as a poison pill in the event of an attempted hostile takeover. You keep your distance, you limit your unfounded criticisms, I keep the ball rolling-- it's that simple. The second my approval ratings drop below 95% it's all over. 


Stand Back!


I kicked this thing off with a list of demands. Then I reconsidered, realizing you wouldn't listen anyway; why fight a losing battle at such an early stage in the game? But this is a call to arms, a rallying cry. I'm looking to circle the wagons before I yank back the reins and take this site to the next level. Consider this a line drawn in the sand. Some will leave, and possibly stick to rereading old entries and speaking of what once was. Others will saddle up (or Cowboy Up for you Bosox fans out there) and grow to love the bucking bronco that will become Avatar_Jack2.0. The decision's up to you-- you won't see me campaigning either way. They say a writer's quality declines by 1% for every person he/she worries about while writing. As of this moment I remain at 100%, but that could easily change. 


I'm well aware that this likely reads as a scare tactic, a cheap publicity stunt even, but just know that change is coming. I'm currently considering the idea of bringing on a "guest writer" to spice things up a bit around here. This is still in the exploratory phase and I'm testing out the strategy in a smaller market. 


I'm also considering adding a running fictional segment to the site. Juicy storylines will be carefully crafted. Redeeming characters will be developed and displayed. Plot twists could be subject to reader voting. This may even lead to some merchandising opportunities (start saving up loyal readers!!). 


Gettem while they're hot




In summary, the road ahead will not be marked by drastic change, so fear not; consider this a shift from Cheerio's to Honey-Nut Cheerio's. Most love both, but the latter is just a little more appealing. In the end, I have no choice but to do what's in the best interest of the site's long-term viability. Who's coming with me??? (Jerry McGuire voice.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Knut: A Farewell to Paws

I'm sure many of your are expecting an Elizabeth Taylor tribute here on this section of the net today. Given what I produced yesterday, I cannot blame you. Rest assured, E.T. will not be getting any further ink. I will not promote a culture of death on this site.

Classical conditioning might suggest I should focus primarily on obituaries, given the 300% spike in traffic generated by my tribute to our fallen Knut, but I refuse to assume the role of Pavlov's dog- I'm no pawn (not until I get a legitimate takeover offer, that is). Some may say, "Avatar_Jack, you've searched far and wide for a suitable niche, a groove, a voice to call your own, well here it is!!" To that I'd say: Concerned reader- I have thought carefully about what you've suggested, and truly respect and even enjoy your feedback, but I will not seek profit from the demise of man. I will not root for death for prosperity's sake. 

Keep in mind I've chosen to assume the role of voice for the voiceless- that's what yesterday was all about. The traffic generated from covering such a hot-button issue was merely a bonus, not an end game. I rise today to see the situation has further deteriorated. Knut, our sweet ursine prince, is being STUFFED LIKE A DAMNED TURKEY!! This all but eliminates the prospects of a peaceful rest, as many of us have wished for our furry little friend. 
Why Germany, WHHHYYYYY?

I hear Knut's voice telling me not to give up, to continue fighting for justice, to fly over to Germany, take his expired mass of flesh, throw it in a cedar box, cross his paws over his chest, nail it shut, bury it six feet deep and throw a long-stemmed rose over the top. 

Sadly, I cannot follow through on this, dear friend, but I will leave you with this. Germany can take away all of your physical abilities, but remember: They cannot touch your mind, they cannot touch your heart, and they cannot touch your soul. Well, I guess Germany actually can touch your mind, given that they tortured you to the point of brain hemoraging. And I guess they can touch your heart too, given that they ripped it out and sold it on the black market along with the rest of your functioning organs and usable fur. But they have no access to your soul, although I'm sure they are trying to figure that part out as well. 

Knut has truly taken AvatarJack3d.blogspot.com to the next level, and I shall never be able to repay him. It's snowing today, which is odd given the season, but I think Knut might have something to do with that. The somber tone of this site will soon wear off and we'll return to business as usual- Life must go on.

In lighter news, welcome aboard: Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Panama! Feel free to drop a line in the comment section with any questions, suggestions or concerns. 

Avatar_Jack- Out

Glory Days


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Knut: A Story of Exploitation

Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. 


After four glorious years of "second mouse" like perseverance, Knut, Germany's four-year-old celebrity polar bear, has gone the way of mouse number one.


How much do I owe you, @DennisCox? 
 The impossible dream of this site has always been to captivate the masses; to somehow, someway forge a bond between soccer moms and gangsters. I think we can all agree this dream remains just that, a dream. I've shown no signs of being able to pull this off, but the tides are about to turn. As the late, great Knute Rockne once said, "There is no need for me continuing unless I'm able to improve."


What can we learn from the untimely passing of our beloved Knut? What can I say about Knut that hasn't already been said about Barbaro? I can't help but flashback to the sudden death of America's favorite thoroughbred. Both admired by millions, but sadly, both were similarly transfixed to a carousel of greed.  


Knut's brief time here on this blue marble was marred by an incessant hum of exploitation. He was a political pawn and an economic King. An estimated $25,000,000 was made off of Knut and his likeness, ranking him as Germany's most profitable entity since Dirk Nowitzki.  Knut was deprived of a typical seal killing, igloo building life just so we humans could add a 1,598th wrinkle of entertainment. The Berlin Zoo turned what was supposed to blossom into the most powerful, ruthless predator on Earth, into a bottle-fed, croissant-eating dependent, incapable of operating in its natural habitat.


Berlin Zoo: TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!



I hate to take the gloves off like this, but at times I will assume the role of voice for the voiceless. Given how far Germany has come as a nation, I trust they will take this as constructive criticism and not an act of war. I'd be more than happy to open up a stream of dialog with a German representative. A free exchange of ideas can only help things, and adding Europe's most prosperous economy to an already impressive stable of readers (USA, Canada, Hungary, China, United Arab Emirates) would be a giant step towards this site's global takeover.


Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Ladies and gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.


Unfortunately, I'm beginning to realize I missed my goal of unity yet again, but that's okaycount me as one less guy who profited from this tragedy; one less guy with his hands covered in blood. 


Rest in Peace, Knut. You will be missed.  




Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yesterday Was a Good Day

Ladies (yes I can say that now; I have reason to believe we've cracked into the previously uncrackable nut that is... the female demographic, meaning we are no longer closed off to 50% of the market) and gentleman, simply put, we've gone global. The initial plan for today was to post an instructional cooking video, coaching readers far and wide through the incredibly rewarding process of Hungarian Goulash production, but things change, and as a wise man once said, "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."

Hold on tight

"Today was a good day," cop-killing gangster rapper Ice Cube once proclaimed. If you'll allow me to play off this ambiguous quote (good by whose standards? Were acts of kindness performed? Were his criminal rackets especially profitable on that day?): Yesterday was a good day.

We've managed to cram an Avatar_Jack flag directly into the fertile soil of two new territories -- Canada and, drum roll please...The People's Republic of China. The way things are going, my readership will resemble a United Nations Conference by this time next week, and quite frankly, my head is spinning like a dreidel in a sandstorm. I'll likely have to consult with a diplomat or two to ensure that political correctness is maintained on all fronts. Was the wacky hairstyle recommendation for my Asian friends offensive? That's a possibility, but remember it's merely a suggestion. As I mentioned yesterday, censorship is a trending issue in Hungary (link), and we all know of China's oppressive regime. Given this, I shall now address the elephant in the room: Neither this site, nor its editor/head writer have any fear and the buck shall stop right here. I'd rather be sunk at sea than be timid and meek. The harsh realities of China and Hungary will be in focus. And Chairman Hu, if you take issue with this, meet me at New York's Plaza Hotel. Ask for Avatar_Jack.

I come in peace

In the meantime, it's back to the drawing board. The bottling and mass distribution of universal appeal remains the top priority. The road ahead will be long; our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one week or even one month, but I have never been more hopeful than I am today that we will get there. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh Readers Where Art Thou

At this point in history, we the blogger are under the gun, so to speak of course. I hate to invoke a metaphor of violence and would love to dial down the rhetoric, but now is not the time. Ladies and gentlemen, the market is saturated. The prospects of this site finding a niche are bleak, but just as every good parasite finds a niche within a fitting host, I too shall find my meal-ticket and latch on for dear life- consider me Avatar_DeerTick.
Hold steady 

Now that we're clear on the dire straits I'm faced with, hopefully you'll be more understanding when I resort to shameless gimmicks and publicity stunts to pull in traffic. We had another two clicks in Hungary yesterday, bringing the grand total to four international web visits, all within the borders of Hungary. I'll likely ride that momentum and cater to my Hungarian brethren in the short term. Considering they are currently experiencing a war on free press, this is to be viewed as a noble cause. Sadly, my US readers will almost certainly flee the site, but diversification is the key. If I slip up and alienate one fan base, I can seek refuge with the other. Who knows, maybe I can find some common interests that will unite us all- only time will tell. 

Have you seen Avatar?

Rome was not built in one day, but the key to remember is that it WAS in fact built. They got it done, and most people would say it came out great- a spectacular showcase of innovation. Over-expansion led to their demise- a fact I'm well aware of. Given this, some will say I should remain focused on domestic interests, but I shall strike globally while the iron is hot. Tomorrow's entry will be all things Hungarian Goulash so sharpen the knives and dust off the old crock pot. Unfortunately, I know this will be a final goodbye for some, if not all but two of you. As I mentioned earlier, finding a niche ain't easy, so don't blame me for trying. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beware the Ideas of March

I trust you've taken my hairstyle comments into consideration and taken the necessary steps to align your looks with my ideals. I know the Disclaimer said this site is purely for promotional and entertainment purposes, but that last post was designed to be taken seriously, especially if you have red hair. I hate to disappoint at this early stage, but why not let you down softly while expectations are still low: the Hair Products blog has been postponed indefinitely. Use your best judgement until I have an opportunity to shed light on the industry.


Our global numbers are nonexistent, besides the 2 clicks from Hungary yesterday. If necessary I'll address the issue at a later date, but this is a good start, he's from Europe. 

"Beware the Ides of March," so says the smug, fear-mongering prognosticator who, don't forget, says the same thing on the 15th of every month, substituting the applicable month to be clever, of course. Ok, that's actually what I do, but I'll stop. Sitting here on these Ides of March, in the year 2011, my perspective has changed regarding this most chilling warning. As the story goes, Julius' hunger for power and respect led to his  stabbing—23 times by over 60 of his adversaries. They say those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I'm afraid we're off to a bad start here. Just yesterday (and in this post's opening stanza), I put some undue pressure on my reader(s), undue pressure that I now regret. Cancel your hair appointments, or go ahead with the alterations—your call. I'll take you as is, unless of course something comes up that needs to be addressed down the road. Getting attacked by 60 of my adversaries is impossible at this point, given that only 3 people are reading this site, but I'll err on the side of caution and tear up my list of demands. Giving you back your freedom is to be viewed as a Good Idea, the following are to be viewed as Bad Ideas. 

Beware the Ideas of March

Daylight Savings Time
First off, it's Daylight Saving Time, we the people added the 's' for speak-ability. Grammatical alterations for convenience sake is a dangerous game. Secondly, daylight is not saved, but rather, it's shifted. This, loyal readers, is illogical. Studies suggest school-going children are put in harms way in crosswalks and bus stops due to the redistribution of precious morning daylight. DST was introduced during WWI to make better use of power: less wattage in homes, more in weapons-producing factories. The war is over, but a war on daylight remains. All I am saying, is give the old way a chance. 

Be strong kids, help is on the way

Major League Baseball
America's most painfully boring pastime officially kicks off at the end of the month. Millions worldwide will embark on a six month journey of watching paint dry. Don't get me wrong, I love baseball, but the obnoxiously slow pace of the game paired with the high-speed nature of our culture is a recipe for disaster, and may be unsustainable in the long term. This past season, the NFL Pro Bowl did a better rating than the most viewed World Series game. That's a serious red flag. Dust off the cobwebs Bud Selig and listen closely: I propose a shift to a six inning game, as seen in Little League. The Little League 6 would add a much need jolt of excitement: starters throwing complete games, closers becoming aces, elimination of late game pitching changes—basically an overall increased sense of urgency. Some will resist, citing the importance of historical stats and milestones. These stats have already been severely compromised by the Steroid Era. We start fresh with the Little League 6 and put Major League Baseball back on the map. 
ZZzzzZZzzZZZ

March Madness
Have we all gone mad? Every March, men, women and children abound become "experts" on NCAA Men's College Basketball. We ramble on and on about teams we've never seen play, and bask in a mirage of glory after Duke beats CW Post in the first round. Tis the season of frauds, impostors, fakes and phonies. Don't try to sell me on your bracket and don't feign despair when all the 1 seeds fail to advance. You know nothing about college basketball and even less about general decency. 

To be avoided at all costs





Monday, March 14, 2011

Reader Improvement Notes

First and foremost, I hope we are clear on the Disclaimer. That is my protection from what has become an overly litigious society—a money hungry pack of wolves in constant pursuit of a free lunch or undeserved windfall. With that said, if anyone would like to approach me with a buyout offer for this site, I'm listening.  If bought out, I'll remain on board as head writer, but you will have control of the creative direction, effectively making me your pawn. You will also have to rewrite the Disclaimer, considering some of its major tenets will be undermined. Until this comes up, I'll proceed with the site, making pages as I deem fit. Now lets talk hair.

I'm basically six weeks overdue on getting a haircut, but rather than biting that painfully awkward bullet of forced conversation, I'll simply justify the overgrown look, right here in this vacant, condemned lot that I call my website. Here's my angle: It's NFL Draft season. What mane name immediately comes to mind? That's right, Mel Kiper Jr. If I can stay the course, come draft day I'll be a novelty, and may even get invited to a Draft Day event. That's the type of grandiose thinking that will keep me out of that beauty salon. 


Without further adieu... The Most Appropriate Hair Style by Hair Color and Race
(Males only, if requested I'll do a female list, but something tells me it's not gonna happen.)

 **Note: For brevity's sake, and for the sake of getting this awkward post out of the way, I will be leaving some stones unturned. I understand there are certain environs that call for certain hair styles (business settings, hair bands, goths, etc.), but this will be a generic version.**

This time I'm serious, without further adieu... The Most Approriate Hair Style by Hair Color and Race

Brown/Black Hair, Caucasian 
If you fall into this category, listen closely: Stop playing games with your hair. It's over, take this as your cease and desist.  I don't want to see any spiked bangs, I don't want to see the perfectly cut and combed-straight-forward bangs, basically I don't want to see any bangs at all. I want to see that hairline. Do you have a widow's peak like Mr. Kiper? Ok great, let's see it. I also don't want to see the bed-head look. Snap out of it. Here's what i DO want to see: That classic side part, from left to right (from your perspective (sadly, the opposite is trending)) is what I'm looking for, a timeless classic. You have to respect the classics, keep it simple, throw some product in there if you have to (we'll cover gels, combs, brushes, shampoos and conditioners in depth in a later entry). 
Nice hair bro!

Blonde Hair

I thought about suggesting an Ivan Drago type buzzcut, or a Zack Morris mid-length wavy blend, but there is really only one way to go—LONG. Grow it out, think Pat Tillman, Bret Michaels, or more famously, Fabio. These visionaries are (or were, in Tillman's case, RIP) certainly in the minority, but there's a reason they're famous. Take away the luxurious strands from any of these guys and see what you're left with; Tillman is still an American hero, but the other two are rendered useless. 
Keep up the good work.

Red Hair
SHAVE YOUR HEAD. The important thing here is the daily upkeep which consists of a twice daily lather and shave. A little product to the eyebrows, a little bronzer, and you'll have us all fooled. Nobody wants to see a Mad Magazine cover boy look-a-like, or a Carrot Top, it just makes things awkward. 


What color hair do I have...?

Asian

Everything I suggested for the Brown/Black Hair faction, do the exact opposite. I want to see spikes, bed head, waves, twists, turns—I'm looking for innovation. You'll need some length, you'll need various gels and sprays, and most importantly, you'll need an imagination. If you find yourself in this category, have some fun, wow us. 

Dare to Dream Big

African American

If you find yourself in this category, I'm sure you've struggled with which direction to take. Do you go with the close shave, the total shave, the high top fade, the Afro, the short dreds, the long dreds, the cornrows? Do you "snatch these braids out and put that $*** in a perm"- Snoop Dog? While I was decisive with my previous selections, I will leave this one open. The correct answer is all of the above. You have so many options, who am I to limit you to one? 

Thinkin Perm?

So there it is, read carefully, reassess, see if you're in accordance with my standards and make the necessary adjustments. I'm looking for a very specific look from my readers, we'll discuss reader workout plans and diets in later posts. Remember to look out for my hair product review article. 

Avatar_Jack- Out

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Disclaimer

This site is intended purely for promotional and entertainment purposes. All information published herein is gathered from sources which are thought to be reliable, but the reader should not assume that the information is official or final. Coming posts are views of Avatar_Jack and Avatar_Jack alone. Views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Google ®. Avatar_Jack writes this under no duress, with no outside influence from a greater body, ie. puppet master.