By Slade Ham


Is it possible that we give some people too much credit? I understand the concept of “celebrity”, and I understand some people’s fascination with other people. I can grasp how you could become enthralled with an actor or musician’s body of work, or even when someone has a simply superficial attraction to somebody else.

But I do not get Megan Fox.

I’m sure this will generate a slew of replies that 1) will be from women that jealously agree with me, or 2) will be from guys calling me gay. Either way, that’s fine. I refuse to jump on the bandwagon though. I won’t spend five hundred words listing actresses that I think are more attractive either. That would be boring. Instead, I am more interested in how she hit the top to begin with.

First off, I don’t want to pretend that I don’t think Megan is beautiful. Stevie Wonder thinks Megan Fox is hot, and I only use Stevie here because there aren’t any other really well known blind people anymore. Who else knows Andrea Bocelli is blind? Exactly. He would find her amazingly attractive as well though, I’m sure. Still, the hottest person on the planet? I passed a girl in the aisle at Kroger earlier this week that made Megan Fox look like Snuffleupagus. THAT girl needs to co-star in a movie or a have TV show or be plastered on the cover of Maxim magazine.

At the very least, she needs a webcam.

Still, Megan Fox is “The Sexiest Woman in the World” according to FHM. And I’m sure she deserves to be up there… somewhere. She has to lose points though for having “”there once was a little girl who never knew love until a boy broke her HEART,”” tattooed on her rib cage. That’s not something you get inked on your body, that’s something that belongs in glitter letters on your MySpace page. She also has a yin-yang tattoo on her wrist and the Chinese word for “strength” on the back of her neck. I love tattoos on women, but seriously… she, and pretty much every other twenty year old girl with thirty disposable dollars, has an Asian symbol on her back.

That’s not sexy.

It’s obvious to me though that we needed her. That’s the only explanation. Let’s face it; Angelina Jolie fell off the haystack a while ago. I think it was somewhere between Kid One and Kid Six though I can’t pinpoint it exactly. As a people, we needed another “her”. Another Angelina. Someone that guys could lose their minds over and women could claim to be in love with as well. If I could seriously get a dollar for every time I heard a girl say, “I would totally go lesbian for Angelina Jolie” I would actually have enough money to buy both Megan Fox and Annalynne McCord.

But Angelina is thirty-four now and married and has a gaggle of Benetton children. It’s time for a newer model…

And before you try to sway me on this, I’m sure Megan is brilliant and charming and funny and all of that other crap. I’ve read an interview or two with her and she does have some attitude. I like it. I’m just sick of hearing about it. Nobody is THAT hot.

But Slade, she is the PERFECT woman. Why? Let me take a stab at it.

Is it because she claims to be bisexual and says she fell in love with a stripper when she was eighteen? Is it because she supports the legalization of marijuana? And she loves comic books? And Wikipedia says she named her dog after Sid Vicious? Is anybody really buying this? It sounds a little manufactured to me.

But it works, so good for you Megan.

You have taken over the world with bullshit. In ten years she too will have grown up. You can’t take seriously the words of a twenty-three year old actress. Whatever she’s selling is most likely a lie. That’s what twenty-three year old girls sell. It’s not even her fault; it’s just what’s in the inventory.

She’ll grow out of it.

If you’re like me and you’re waiting for the crash, just stay patient until she marries Shia LaBeouf. Give her a decade and watch what happens when Transformers 6 doesn’t do so well because she has popped out triplets, put on a little weight, and adopted her own herd of Malaysian kids.

Dear James

By Slade Ham


Dear Jameson-

I know this going to be as hard for you to read as it is for me to write. You really are amazing. You were there for me right after I went through my break up, without questioning anything. You said you loved me no matter what I had been through. Even though I didn’t want to jump right into another relationship, I thought it might be cool to hang out with you every once in a while. I mean, lets admit it, I’ve liked you for a long time.

But here’s the thing. I didn’t know it was gonna turn into something serious. You’re here all the time. Do you know how much of a headache it is to wake up to you every morning? I vaguely remember going to bed with you, and then I roll over every morning and there you are, poking me in forehead and making ringing sounds in my ear. Plus, I’m an individual, and I like making my own decisions. Here lately though you’ve been making all of those for me too. You can be argumentative, you interrupt my shows sometimes, and you’ve cost me a friend or two. You want to do all the driving every night after we’ve been out too, and I’m sort of protective of my car.

You’re just so fucking demanding sometimes. “Go here. Do this. Tell this person to fuck off. Pay attention to me. We’re not gonna leave yet are we?” Does any of that sound familiar? It should, you said it. I’m just saying, we can’t go on like this…

And don’t take this the wrong way. I mean, it’s not all bad. I do love the way you taste. And you don’t get jealous like the people in my past relationships. That’s definitely a bonus. They would get mad when I called someone else at 4:00 am… you encourage it. You almost make me do it. And you are a much cheaper date than I’m used to. You and I can hang out for pretty much the whole night for about $30. Granted the nights I’ve spent with your 12 and 18 year old sisters cost me more, but for the most part you don’t want me for the money.

I guess what I’m getting at is that we don’t have to “break up”. You just have to let me hang by myself some nights. Just a little space. Gimme back my keys, and lets take it slow. There were a lot of things I wanted to do this past week alone that I couldn’t – all because you wouldn’t let me get out of bed in the morning.

And no, I’m not doing this because anyone asked me to. All my friends like you. They do. I just need a little break is all. How about we take a few days to ourselves, and then I’ll call you. I mean after all, I do love you. And you love me. You’ll get me back… just let me have my moment alone, okay? I never stay mad at you long. It probably won’t even take me a few days. I may even call you tomorrow. Or later tonight even. Keep your phone on.

Love –


By Slade Ham


A friend of mine called with a free ticket to see a sneak preview of District 9 the other night and I naturally took him up on the offer. Free? Of course. I had plenty of time to get there before the movie started. “By the way” he says, “they’re not allowing cell phones into the theater to make sure no one leaks footage, so unless you feel like sneaking it in just leave it in your car.”

No worries. Being without my cell isn’t a sensation I’m comfortable with, but I’d rather leave it in my car than with some minimum wage Edward’s employee. I pulled in, parked on the side of a strip center parking lot, and walked over to the theater. Even on the worst day, two hours of things blowing up never ceases to put me in a slightly happy mood, and a lot of people exploded in the movie. A LOT.

It was a welcome reprieve. I definitely needed the distraction. By nature, I operate on anything but an even keel. Things are either remarkably smooth for me or incredibly testing. I rarely seem to have long stretches without volatility. It keeps me on my toes. This was one of those stretches where my month’s schedule rearranged itself a thousand times, dates fell out, other dates moved, unexpected bills popped up, and personal stuff wouldn’t get out of my head long enough for me to deal with the rest of it. One of THOSE days…

But I just watched people blowing up for two hours. I walked back through the night air stepping a little bit lighter than when I walked in. Hakuna matata. I could not be happi-

Where the fuck is my car?

Are you kidding me? I walked over to the patio of the café next to where I parked and approached the way-too-flamboyantly gay manager. I say that because you need a visual to understand exactly what I was dealing with. I had essentially walked up to a thirty-something year old woman on a power trip, cleverly disguised as a male panini cook.

“Did you have a car towed from here in the last hour or so?” I ask.

“I couldn’t tell you,” he said.

“Meaning you don’t know? Or you are not at liberty to? Or what exactly? Because it looks to me like you face a wall full of windows that look directly at where my car was parked, and I would think that you would remember, I mean I know I would, if a big tow truck showed up in the last hour or so and hauled off a blue car.”

“All I know ith they have camerath all around here, and if you leave the premitheth they can have your car towed,” he lisped. “Maybe you shouldn’t have parked there.”

“Wow. Really? A man in a box that watches video footage and calls in tow trucks? That’s the story you’re selling? Or… maybe it was you. Can we just admit that? Maybe YOU called because exercising power makes you feel validated somehow? Maybe screwing up another person’s day makes you feel
better about the fact that you still wear a name tag to work? Am I close here?”

“I don’t have to explain mythelf. You need to call thith number.” He then produced a phone number and address written, I swear to God, on a hot pink Post-It-Note.

I had thus far done a really good job of not committing what would certainly be misconstrued as a hate crime. I grabbed the piece of paper and fired off some clever parting shot that was followed up by a “whatever” from the gay guy. “You’re right,” I think to myself. “Whatever. I’ll just call a cab and get a ride to the tow yard and get my car back.”

And then I remembered my phone was in my car.

It is 10:00 at night and I am standing in a parking lot in a part of town nowhere near where I live, with no car, no phone, and no phone number for anyone I know because I rely solely on technology to keep track of my contacts . Fuck.

Anyone who has ever traveled with me, either here or overseas, knows I navigate by what can only be called “the Force”. No rules, no maps, sometimes no game plan at all… I just close my eyes and pick a direction and go. And it generally works. I did exactly that that night. I just started walking. I needed a cab but didn’t have a phone or even the number for a cab company. One will show up, I tell myself. Watch. I need money first anyway. I have twenty dollars in my wallet. That’s not going to get my car out.

Then I walked into a gas station, pulled out my last $200, and walked back out the door at the exact same second a cab pulled in to get gas. I climbed in the backseat and handed the driver the address. It could have been a scene from a movie. A really stupid, boring movie, but a movie nonetheless.

The cab took my twenty and the towing company, which is essentially just a legalized theft and extortion ring, took my $200. I drove away trying to figure out the right way to look at it. On one hand I managed to resolve the entire issue in under an hour with none of my usual tools at my disposal, AND I pretty much made a cab show up with my mind. My luck, or whatever it is, held out long enough to get me exactly where I needed to be as quickly as I could have possibly gotten there.

On the other hand, I ended up paying $213 to see a free movie.

Nice one, Karma. Nice one.

I want a rematch.

He’s dead. We get it. The parade will go on for another month or so and then new evidence will surface surrounding his death. A month later someone will come forward with some story that opens up more controversy that can be talked about for two more weeks after that. Like Reagan or Anna Nicole, celebrity deaths annoy me. Another body in the ground. Let it be.

North Korea is still acting crazy and Iran is in the middle of an amazing revolution. We lost a good one, now let’s get back to the real news.

He had an amazing solo career that spanned four decades. He donated ridiculous amounts of money to more charity organizations than I could ever begin to list. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He invented the moonwalk. He also may or may not have molested a thousand little boys and he slept with a monkey for part of his adult life.

None of that swayed me either way. I have had his entire discography on my iPod for a long time and neither his past nor his death will make me listen any more or less. I just like the music. Now that he’s dead though, everybody seems to want to voice their opinion in his defense. This is my plea to stop that.

It’s not that I think its okay to joke about the death of a human being, but this is Michael Jackson. I don’t mean it’s okay because he was weird, and he WAS weird. That part I get. I’m guessing that fame can make you lose it a little bit, especially on his level. Independent studies show that I have somewhere between 12 and 15 fans, and that makes me turn my phone off and hide for a week straight sometimes. I get the weirdness.


The jokes don’t make fun of a person, the jokes make fun of an idea. A character. The concept of “Michael Jackson”. On the inside most people have a little kid that loves to tell tasteless jokes. How many Dead Baby jokes can you rattle off right now? I’m guessing more than one. I’m also guessing that you can dish out an even longer list of Michael Jackson jokes. My personal favorite:

Why does Michael Jackson like to sleep with twenty nine year old boys?

Because there’s twenty of them…

I’m sorry, but that’s hilarious.

Not one person was ever upset by that joke prior to yesterday. Nobody stepped up to defend him before June 25. So please, please, please don’t act incensed now. Let people get it out of their systems if they want to be childish. It is ultimately a victimless crime. I promise that Michael doesn’t care.

But, Slade, you should have some respect for the family for God’s sake! How do you think it makes them feel?

The family is dealing with the hurt that comes from losing somebody close to them, not the injury of a few words uttered by the faceless millions that have never met the man. Whatever his shortcomings were, Michael Jackson changed lives. Certain songs of his will always have a very important place in my life. I still correlate the Dangerous album with particular memories of my father, and I will never get a chance to say thanks for that.

In the meantime, a joke or two from people you know that comes across as tactless should be tolerated. It doesn’t make them bad people. It makes them human. That’s how we cope with a loss sometimes. But it’s not directed at Michael himself. It’s directed at the media-created caricature that we knew as Michael Jackson. It wasn’t really him. He wasn’t just oxygen tents and ferris wheels and face masks. Those things are funny. Those things deserve to be made fun of.

As for the rest of him? Well, I didn’t know that part. It is intact and lives on in the memory of those that did.

I, however, will go on the way I always have. The only thing that has changed for me is that it is now official that I will never see him perform live. Nothing else will change. My childish friends and I will still tell immature jokes about him and I will still play Remember the Time at full blast when I am in the privacy of my own car on long road trips when no one is watching.

R.I.P. Mike.

Now can we please let it go?

The Germans amuse me.  The Berlin Zoo, for the second time in as many years, witnessed a living, breathing, supposedly intelligent human being circumvent the security surrounding the polar bear enclosure.  To call this Darwinism is not only obvious, but an understatement.  This is stupidity on a brave new level.

Not to mention, it makes Hitler’s whole “the Germans are the Master Race” argument look more than a little off.

But back to the jumper.  For starters, if you haven’t seen the story, this woman didn’t simply fall over a ledge.  To even get to the ledge she had to first climb over another fence and through a brier patch full of thorny bushes.  Only then could she jump into the moat full of polar bears.  I wish I could say that this was a case of writer’s embellishment on my part, but there are pictures.

And she’s the second one.  The guy last year justified his jaunt into A POLAR BEAR ENCLOSURE, by saying that one of the bears “looked lonely”.  That transcends any dictionary definition of stupid.  Both of these people, that guy and the fat lady from this week, must have been possessed.  That’s what I have to believe if I am going to retain any hope or faith in humanity as a whole.  I have to assume that they were manipulated by some God or devil or puppet master type person like David H. Lawrence’s character in Heroes.  It could only be for the amusement of some higher being like in Jason and the Argonauts.

NOBODY does that on purpose.

Do they?

I admire the people that tossed life rings down to this tubby pile of bear food.  They are better people than I am.  I couldn’t have done it.  I can’t throw anything straight while I’m laughing, and I definitely would have been laughing.  She jumped into a bear cage.  It’s not the 100 Acre Woods.  They don’t live in trees and chase balloons and eat honey with their pig friends and that little gay kid.  They are real life bears.  They eat people.  Raaaarrrrrr!  Her, and the Grizzly Man, and that lady on the Russian talk show they keep replaying on Real TV…

Diving into a pool full of wild animals will come back to bite you in the ass every time.  Pun intended.

The Berlin Zoo said that it has no intention of making changes to the existing security measures at the display, and they shouldn’t.  If you’re going to lock up animals in the first place, your only job is to make sure that the animals can’t get out.  People getting in should never be an issue.  If it is, they’re only doing us a favor.  Why doesn’t this happen more often in the United States?  With the government picking up the tab for just about everything lately, we could do with a little population control.  112th trimester abortions for those not smart enough to run with the rest of the herd…

If I sound negative, it’s because I truly cannot get over the fact that these people willing attempt to swim with polar bears during feeding time.  The funniest part of it all was that the Berlin police issued the woman a citation for trespassing.  That should stop her the next time she thinks about jumping in a cage with live bears.  As if the fang shaped holes in her ass cheek won’t be deterrent enough, they wrote her a ticket…  Hey lady.  Quit your bleeding and sign here on the line.

Her punishment is the fact that she has to walk through this world with an IQ lower than some hockey scores.  Let her walk away, and say a silent prayer that the bear managed to bite through her ovaries.  The rest of us don’t need her stupid little babies running around our planet.

I know this… I will never not pull for the bear when these kinds of things happen.