BrokenJPG

A Copywriter’s Blog
Things Forgotten. Ben Levy 30, August

Of course, right after deciding I would post less so I could write more short stories, I’ve felt the urge to procrastinate from writing short stories by posting. Whatever gets the words out.

Also, my brain feels like it’s on fire. Inconvenient.

I am alerting you to this awesome thing, which Warren Ellis alerted me to. Personally. By posting it on his blog. So, not personally at all.

Anyhow.

It’s about an all-but forgotten language. Which was just discovered. Like, two years ago. Awesome. I love shit like this. Have you any idea how many advances our species have made that we’ve already lost? Of course not. Because we lost them. Still, we know they’re there. Like this language. Or the pyramids. We used to be able to move giant freaking blocks of stone that even our greatest 2010 future cranes would be hard pressed to lift today. And we did it without the computer chip. Or electricity. Or plumbing.

Even with all our technology, there are skills that our ancestors possessed that we can’t match. Insanity.

Living in the Information/Computer Age, it’s nearly inconceivable to me that knowledge, no matter how trivial, can be lost. Which I think is why I’m so fascinated by this article. It’s a comprehensive, step by step look at how modern civilization completely and utterly lost the cure for scurvy a mere 200 years after finding it.

It’s amazing what we don’t know we knew.

Someone should write a story about that.

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Here we go again. Ben Levy 30, August

I thought I’d let you know that posting might be lighter than usual around here. By way of explanation, I’ll share an earlier conversation I had with The Wife.

The Wife: So, I start two and a half weeks of nights [at the hospital] soon. Are you gonna write another book?

Me: Yup. This one will be different though. It’ll be a collection of short stories.

The Wife: Oh yeah? And how many do you have already?

Me: Oh, only about 3. Well, 4 counting the detective story, which will probably go in. But I’ve started about 8 others.

The Wife: And how many will you-

Me: But I’ll need a lot more to fill 100 pages.

The Wife: …wait, you’re serious.

See, The Wife doing night shift (flipping our work schedules and effectively making me single again) was one of the factors that influenced the writing of my first book. Another of the factors was my desire to do something I hadn’t done before. Something I had practically no idea how to do.

Both those things are behind my desire to publish another book. Which is why this won’t be a sequel to my last Totally Appropriate For All Ages And In No Way Infantile literary work. It will be a collection of short stories- something I believe I have conclusively proven on this very blog I have no idea how to write. It’s one of several challenges I’m going to have to overcome to make this happen.

Another is the fact that I spend anywhere from 40 to 40 hojillian (totally a real number) hours a week writing for my real job. Which often means that when I get home and try to fire the appropriate nerve synapses for “lets do more writing” my brain instead sends messages to the “let’s pick up the remote and see what’s on tv” muscles.

So if you notice a shorter post here and there, it’ll be because I’m trying to write elsewhere in my life. BrokenJPG will still update twice a week, and possibly more as I get used to just dropping quick, funny posts instead of long-winded rants about how technology screwed me again.

This is Ben Levy, reminding you that I have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m doing. And it’s worked out pretty well for me so far.

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This guy can’t even handle the walking bit.

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I saved the world. Again. Ben Levy 22, August

This time from aliens. And, having now saved mankind from extinction more times than I can count, I’d just like to say the following:

No thanks to you jerks.

Seriously, whether it’s been zombies, aliens, or evil wizards, the population in danger has insisted on offering no help whatsoever. I’m saving you bums from total annihilation, subjugation, and/or extinction, and not one of you cuts me a break.

Yeah, merchant with the bazooka who refuses to sell it to me for four dollars less than the listed price forcing me to take on a Sherman tank with a handgun, I’m talking to you. Look, it’s not like I’m asking you to pick up the damn thing and join me in my single-handed fight to save the world from an eternity of darkness. Heaven forbid. No, no, don’t get up, I’ll save humanity all on my own. All I’m asking is that you hand me the freaking anti-tank weapon so that I can KILL THE TANK.

And don’t act all smug, Random Civilians. You’re no better. This may come as a shock to you, but I get shot at. A lot. And it’d be just super if you gave me something to hide behind. A place of cover, if you will. Like, I don’t know, your home? Never happens. Instead, I wind up hunkered down behind a wooden crate in the middle of the street because every door -regardless of it being a mud hut or an apartment in a 20 mile high skyscraper- every door is practically welded shut. I’m not asking for much, I think. Just leave the door open so I can duck inside and restock one of the 10 guns, crossbows, wands or other random projectiles I’m carrying. You don’t even have to do anything special. In fact, I’m asking you to remember one less thing when fleeing for your worthless lives. Don’t. Lock. The door.

Honestly, the only people that ever helped me out were those nice elves from Hyrule. Decent folk, those Hyrulians. Hyrulites. Um, Hyranians? Damn good people, anyway. Y’know what they do? They take all their rupees and leave ‘em in pots. Hide ‘em on their front lawn. Bury ‘em in the backyard. It’s great. All I have to do is break some pots. Money in the bank. Then I can buy healing potions, better swords, a magic shield or two. That’s a population that appreciates being saved. Why can’t the rest of you bastards be more like Hyrule?

Of course, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if you idiots would just stop experimenting with bio-weapons and waking evil wizards. Just saying.

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Sunday? More like Man-day. Ben Levy 22, August

For this day, I have done all things manly. I have mounted shelves with power tools, consumed barbecue, and pleasured a woman.

And of course by “pleasured a woman” I mean “unloaded the dishwasher while The Wife watched TV.”

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Also, a bull.

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Silver Lining Ben Levy 15, August

You know what I suck at? Hanging things. I know that makes me a terrible man. I’ve already discussed at least one other stereotypical man-thing I suck at, so this should come as no surprise to you people. Still, on the face of it, hanging a freaking picture, or a shelf, shouldn’t be that hard.

Suffice it to say that I am both unerring and utterly incapable of finding a stud. Utterly incapable, because I’ll tap on the damn wall all day and never hear a difference in the tone. Unerring because as soon as I put the nail or screw in the wall, there’s the damn concrete support beam there, laughing at me.

And I never find it first. No no. I find it second. So you see, I’ve already measured everything, and put one hole in the wall, and now I have to move it. And remeasure. And put another hole in the wall. And then fill in the first hole.

All of which is a somewhat long-winded way of explaining that I was pretty relieved when I got the call from work asking me to pitch in on a Sunday. At least I got to put off hanging those damn shelves for another day.

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This piece of genius is brought to you by ad shop Wieden & Kennedy. It elevates a generic car sale TV spot into something wonderfully sublime:

Alas, PETA had some things to say about it. Below I have transcribed- based on absolutely nothing, and created completely out of whole cloth- the conversation that took place between PETA and W&K:

PETA: We saw that spot you did. With the monkey. We don’t like seeing animals in ads. Do the ad without the monkey, or we’ll complain loudly!

W&K: I see. So you’re saying the ad would be better without a monkey?

PETA: Yes!

W&K: No monkey at all?

PETA: NO! No monkeys should appear in advertisements! It’s cruel!

W&K: Hmm. Ok, we’ll make sure no one sees a monkey in our TV spot from now on.

And then they ran this ad:

I really hope it wins something at an award show. And that they put PETA down for partial credit.

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Levy’s Laundry Law Ben Levy 9, August

I have come up with a new theory: Laundry is the litmus test of how well you’re handling life.

I’m not saying people with empty laundry hampers and perfectly organized sock drawers are normal. Far from it. If you don’t have any dirty laundry in your house you’re either a g-damned freak or a nudist, and either way I’d appreciate it if you didn’t sit on my couch.

Here then, is my scale of Life Handling, as it relates to Laundry:

Empty Hamper
If you have a totally empty laundry hamper, seek immediate medical attention. At the very least you have OCD. At the worst, your body is merely a fleshy shell through which the Devourer will seek to enter our world.

Half Full – Full Hamper
Clothes are worn, and clothes are washed. The Cycle is maintained. Your shit, as they say, is together. You handle life well.

Clothes Exceed Hamper by 50%
The average hamper is about 3 feet high. If you’re clothing extends to 5 feet, you might be having a difficult time handling life right now. Keep in mind that this does not mean you’re failing at life. You could be perfectly happy in life. You could be a super successful and well-respected porn star. You’re could be the Old Spice Guy. But if your laundry has built to this point, life is starting to get away from you.

2:1 Laundry/Hamper Ratio
This is generally when people look at your laundry basket and declare that “there’s a problem”. As your clothing is now somewhat higher than the average male, it is hard to argue with them. In the game of life, you are now losing.

What Hamper?
At this stage, the tower of garments collapses in on itself, reducing in height but completely obscuring the hamper beneath it. For comparison, this is the average state of a college student’s laundry. Now ask yourself if a college student has a handle on life. Yes, exactly.

The Laundry is the Dresser
At this stage you’ve exhausted anything that even resembles clothing, including those oversized team-building exercise t-shirts and your girlfriend’s v-neck which you were trying to pass off as an indie undershirt but everyone knew better. At this point, all pretext to having a handle on life is gone.

This law is still a work in progress, and I’ll refine it as new evidence comes to light.

It should be noted that right now, The Wife and I have two (2!) hampers at a “2:1 Ratio”. I was feeling pretty bad about this, and complained to a friend of mine. He replied with the following:

“Amateurs. [My girlfriend and I] have two hampers, plus a canvas hamper with three compartments, plus two laundry baskets that double as hampers. All full to the brim. And we usually keep our clean clothes in the dryer.”

Congratulations, buddy. I’m naming the last level (so far) of Levy’s Laundry Law after you.

Pagan Laundry
If and when the amount of Laundry Holding Receptacles in your domicile outnumber the total amount of bodies inhabiting said domicile, and all of them exhibit Stage 6 of Levy’s Laundry Law, and any wearable items left to you can be found in your Dryer, your life has outpaced you to the point that you might as well be declared legally dead.

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Funny how that works out Ben Levy 8, August

The good news is a shit ton has been going on in my life. The bad news is that it leaves me very little time or energy to write about it.

For the last few weeks I’ve felt like I’ve almost started to get the hang of writing here again. So I’m not just gonna phone Monday’s post in. None of the multiple posts I’ve started are ready, and the super short story I wrote yesterday is pretty damn good. Which means it’s worth making great before I share it here on the site.

I’m going to give myself the extra day and hopefully get the time I need to write something decent about one of the seventy bajillion (that’s the technical term for “many”) things that are going on. I appreciate your understanding about this, and the fact that I slept with your girlfriend/wife/sister.

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