I'm Going To Joke You To Death

Dan Abromowitz, occasionally.
Wrote by me, designed by Cole Mitchell, given humbly to the women of the world.

Wrote by me, designed by Cole Mitchell, given humbly to the women of the world.


Please use my typeface in your next design project!

I’m sitting behind this guy at a coffee shop and I thought this was funny!  Good job, guy!  Way to get your work out there.


Please use my typeface in your next design project!

I’m sitting behind this guy at a coffee shop and I thought this was funny!  Good job, guy!  Way to get your work out there.

Like Twilight before it, The Hunger Games series was a record-breaking smash hit for both print and screen, inspiring scores of cash-in imitators and creating Barnes & Noble sections like “Teen Paranormal Romance.” As the first Divergent movie hits theaters, though, the plucky-female-protagonist-upends-totalitarian-future-society model (“Teen Murder Dystopia”) has officially peaked, and it’s time for something entirely new to shake up the world of young adult fiction. Based on a careful study of teen trends, here are some prototypes for what the next trendsetting blockbuster might look like:

Teen College - It’s Fariah Fairchild’s 15th birthday, and she’s just been accepted to Sprouse University, the world’s first and only all-teen college, where the provost, bursar, and ombudsman are all named Aiden. For Fariah, it’s a dream come true: brilliant tenured teen professors, hunky teen law students (teens studying teen law), and sprawling quads half-assedly maintained by an all-teen grounds crew. But she’ll soon find teen college isn’t all parties and constant statutory offenses: the school’s multi-billion dollar endowment is in jeopardy thanks to heinous mismanagement by university president Shane “Who Gives A Fuck” Fink, her favorite professor’s on the chopping block for turning 20, and 3G on campus is super spotty. Can Fariah survive finals, heartbreak, and the permanent neurological damage binge drinking inflicts on the developing brain to make it to graduation?

Teen Technical College - A little more of a bummer overall, but at least readers will actually learn something.

Teen Neoindustrial Urban Vandalism - If there’s one thing teens love, it’s the work of post-anarchist and mystic Hakim Bey, because his advocacy of temporary insurrectional ontologies to disrupt calcified hierarchy and hegemonic infrastructure just, like, gets it. The year is 20XY. The place is Neo Francisco. Through advances in chronohacking, the Authority has made being teenaged illegal. In the alleys of the Neo Castro, Spyre, teen leader of the all-teen anarcho-graffiti collective TAZ, dreams of the ultimate tag: the Authority’s surveillance tower, jutting from Neo Alcatraz. But more and more warehouse ravers are being chronoblasted into abrupt adulthood, and guerilla urban art installations disappearing from memory. Is time literally running out for Spyre and his anarchomisfits? Super edgy, super marketable, and it even comes with its own guerilla ad campaign built right in. I’m a money farm, Hollywood! I’m a goddamn factory farm for cashola!

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With the death of its founder and longtime leader Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church faces the critical decision of whether to stay the course or turn its national notoriety and love of signage towards some other end. Here are some ways the church could reinvent itself going forward.

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Where you at, Greg.

This year, everyone’s favorite celtic and semitic bashes fall on the same weekend, with St. Patrick’s Day just one headachey day after the Jewish festival of Purim. Good thing they go together like sour cream and brown sauce! Here are a few mindsparkers for fun, family-friendly ways to celebrate old St. Purim:

1. Every year, Irish and non-Irish alike delight in the reading of the Book of St. Patrick, or Megillah, recounting the deliverance of the Irish people from the wicked Persian vizier Haman by the grace of Adonai (and a little bit of the ol’ four-leaf luck!). For a fun twist on the classic St. Patrick’s Day spiel, let kids take turns reading about good queen Esther’s adventures on the Emerald Isle, and have adults act it out, goofs and all. Don’t forget the graggers!

2. You can’t have St. Patrick’s Day without Hamentaschen! Filled with apricot, prune, chocolate, or poppyseeds, these triangular confections – shaped like the iconic hat of the mischievous leprechaun – are the quintessential St. Paddy’s treat. A bake-off is a great way to stoke some friendly neighborhood competition, and in the end, everybody wins!

3. A little something for the adults: on St. Patrick’s Day, we’re supposed to drink until we don’t know the difference between the righteous Mordecai and the wicked Oliver Cromwell. Time to break out the Manischewitz and green food coloring! For party games, put Irish twists on old favorites: how about Bobbing For Potato Pancakes, Pin The Shamrock on the Old Chassid’s Lapel, or Irish Dreidel.

4. When most people think “St. Patrick’s Day meal,” they think “corned beef and cabbage,” but did you know that dish originated in the US? This year, why not experiment with some traditional Irish recipes, like Irish lamb stew, soda bread, kreplach, blintzes, shepherd’s pie, latkes, colcannon, gefilte fish, kasha, knishes, bigos, schwarma, schav, kubbeh, kishkes, halvah, tsimmes, or matzoh ball soup.

5. Learn a little Gaelic! “Shalom” means hello, goodbye, and Catholicism. “Claddagh” means Zion. “Diaspora” means nothing to you, with your gameboy and your Macklemore, why should you care.

6. Don’t forget to have your guests wear green, the color the Irish were historically required to wear so as to be readily identified.

7. One of the commandments of St. Patrick’s Day is the giving of mischloach manot, baskets of food and goodies.  Set up an arts and crafts table so everyone from grumpy old Hyman to wee little Seamus can decorate their own “pot o’ gold,” thereby participating in Repairing The World, or Tikkun Olam.

For the perfect end to a perfect night, sacrifice a lamb in remembrance of the old temple. Next year in Jerusalem!

(Originally posted on HappyPlace)

In a Skype address at SXSW Interactive last weekend, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hinted that “upcoming material” would soon be leaked to the public. As a true patriot and a believer in information freedom, here’s what I hope WikiLeaks finally brings to the public:

Presidential dream journals - I refuse to believe Washington doesn’t retain extensive records of the nocturnal musings of its top men, to be studied for out-of-the-box fiscal strategies and psychic impurities by a dedicated staff of psychoanalysts, medicine men, and somnonauts. How did FDR fly in his dreams? How did Taft? How utterly depraved were JFK’s sex dreams? How about Nixon’s? Did Washington dream about his teeth falling out? Did Woodrow Wilson dream at all? The public has a right to know.

More numbers - Why is America falling behind in math and science education? Simple: because China has more numbers than we do. The government cannot continue to hoard our nation’s precious numbers. They belong to our children, and our children’s children.

Who shot JFK - Seriously, we give up. Just tell us. This isn’t fun anymore.

Nudes - We got half a billion of these, I bet. If you’ve got nipples and email, the NSA’s got you. Just release all of them. Probably a boatload of Olympic athletes in there. Probably Angela Merkel. Certainly John Kerry. Racy polaroids of Lady Bird Johnson from way back. Not only would it expose the scale of the surveillance state, it would permanently dynamite standards of decency in the information age. When everyone’s naked on the internet, no one is.

Beth in Graphic Design’s phone number - Beth with bangs, not lazy eye Beth. She won’t tell me it.

Deleted Anchorman 2 jokes - I know they’re releasing a whole ‘nother version with 763 unseen jokes, but if they have that many other jokes, how many more did they leave out? With a few simple algorithms, we could create randomized cuts of Anchorman 2, producing more versions of Anchorman 2 than there are particles in the known universe, and I would never have to watch anything else again.

Game of Thrones Season 4 - In a flagrant abuse of executive privilege, Obama recently strong-armed HBO into giving him the new season a whole month before the rest of us find out what happens to Danny Dragonman, Tiny Tim, and Jack Frost and his Night Buddies. The president already has the nuclear codes; with spoilers, his power is essentially unlimited. This is not what democracy looks like.

Money - The government doesn’t want you to know it, but they can print more money any time they please, as if we needed another reason to sack the bums in congress. Isn’t it about time we wikileaked some cash so hard-working Americans can print a buck or two at home and afford a nice steak dinner? It’s just common sense.

Benghazi - We know you have it, Obama. Give it back.

New emoji - The old emoji are inadequate. They make me sick. When I look at them I want to puke and scream everywhere. Every morning there aren’t new emoji is a morning I don’t get out of bed. Why isn’t there a pot leaf emoji. I want to die.

Pvt. Manning - The unjust detention of Pvt. Manning cannot be allowed to continue. For her patriotism, she deserves to be leaked, so she can be printed out and stapled back together in a non-extraditing nation.

Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb - Do we even know? I never remember this.

Precrime reports - If I’m going to commit a grievous crime in the future, and a bald lady in a milky pool has already whispered about it, well, heck, I’d want to know!

The steps to the Forbidden Dance - Outdated puritan values have kept this vibrant expression of life and love from the public for far too long. The embargo needs to end, now more than ever, as this dance might just hold the key to saving the rainforests.

Unreleased Bush paintings - Nobody cares anymore whether or not he’s a war criminal, because George W. Bush is an artist now, and the world deserves to see all the weird, flat, limp renderings he has to offer. The man is revising his legacy, one dog painting at a time.

Unreleased Cheney ocarina demo tracks - See above.

(Originally posted on HappyPlace)

A run-in with the law can be a harrowing ordeal, but with a cool head and a few simple tips, you can get off a lot easier than you otherwise might. Here’s how:

1. If an officer fails to read you your Miranda Rights, you’re allowed to call him “Miss Miranda Wrong” for the rest of the arrest. Use this to defuse tension.

2. Tailor your approach to the type of cop you’re speaking to. Motorcycle cops are surly and love hard drinking, fast women, and the open road. Bike cops have tremendous core strength and can leap vast distances. Horse cops love unicorns. Traffic cops are sad.

3. Always be polite and submissive. Address officers as “Sir” or “Head Honcho” or “O Great And Terrible Police-Christ.” Offer to wash their feet and give water to their camels. Curtsy often and low.

4. Under no circumstances should you pet a police dog. They are officers ensorcelled in the line of duty and they find it absolutely humiliating.

5. If you’re stopped by an officer, always ask, “Are you detaining me?” Then ask, “Are you debossa me?” They’re not the boss of you.

6. Once arrested, nothing you say can help you in a court of law. You might be tempted to try to trick your arresting officer into a game of Riddle-Me-This or guess at his secret name, but play your cards wrong and you’ll lose your freedom and your firstborn.

7. Many cultures believe getting arrested is very bad luck. If you are going to be arrested, wear red and place a coin under your tongue.

8. When asked, always give a fake name. Even if you’re caught in the lie, most cops are aspiring novelists, and will let you off for providing them with a particularly piquant character name. Freebies: “Darleen McClusky,” “Cantor Parish,” “Sir Leslie Port-Cavendish.”

9. It doesn’t matter how many times he tells you to stop; it is illegal for a cop to make you hit yourself. Yes, it’s your fist, but he’s moving it, and he knows it.

10. You do not have to submit to a search unless the officer brings a warrant, or hard rock band Warrant, or kills it on an a cappella rendition of “Cherry Pie,” in which case you’re legally obliged to provide the stomp-claps.

11. Undercover cops can lie about being cops even when asked directly, but blood will tell.

12. If the cuffs go on, try yelling, “This is all a big mistake!” They might think it’s all a big mistake and let you go. If not, hey, A for effort.

13. Be white.  If you can’t be white, be the president.  If you can’t be the president, be Will Smith. Good luck!

(Originally posted on HappyPlace)



Back in 2008 or whenever – psych, it was less than a year ago! – The Purge took the world by storm with its schlocky, stalk-y, Hawke-y twist on the “one crazy night” genre pioneered by The Hangover, The Hangover II and Project X: Teen Hangover. Trapped in a futurific cyber-house on the…

Way way back I had a blog where I reviewed movie trailers, called danreviewstrailers for some reason.  It was a wild lark and a fun time, and now it’s back.  Check it out, ‘cause the movies is a beautiful thing.