‘I Would Definitely Recommend It’

I’m absolutely thrilled today to read the first professional review of my book, “Porn and the Pandemic: How Three Months in 2020 Changed Everything” and even more thrilled that it is not only a rave, but that the reviewer, Ashley L. Peterson, understood what I was going for with my presentation of the material.

Check out her review here: https://mentalhealthathome.org/2020/07/08/book-review-porn-and-the-pandemic/

And if you want to pick up the book at a special debut price of $14.95, you can visit the Amazon page HERE

If you are a book reviewer with a following and have interest in reviewing this book, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

I Won the Invisible Blogger Award!!!

I have no idea who sent it because the message was blank, nor do I know the rules. In fact, I’m not really sure it was the Invisible Blogger Award. I just had a sense I won something. I’ve just nominated 12 of you for it! You won’t find the message in your inbox.

Yesterday, I was in an academic mood, so Iwrote a half-decently researched article about the COVID-19 (You have to add the 19 or people are going to be confused which COVID you’re talking about) virus and how the pornography industry was taking advantage of situation of being forced to live Thoreau’s “Walden” in real time. Since then, I’ve had a contest with my 17-year-old son and 40-year-old brother to find obscure, strange and ultimately really funny if you’re way-too-tired videos on the Internet.

We all did this for way too long and the videos are still being exchanged. I won’t give you the complete rundown, but my favorites are involving music, so I’ll tackle just that genre today. If I get a good response, I’ll provide more. I’d also love recommendations to throw back and my brother and son.

So, if you’ve got a few minutes and want to laugh, shake your head, be confused, smile, etc., I offer these music videos for your Sunday.

 

Dead Giveaway — This news story is around seven or eight years old, but it was one of those creepy guys keeps a family in his basement stories. When one of the kids escaped, they ran to the neighbor’s house, where she met Charles Ramsey. He was a hero, and gave the same hilarious interview to four or five national news stations following the capture of his neighbor. For those people who are fans of the Netflix show, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” this is the video upon which its open credits was inspired by. Whoever auto-tuned this had great material as this guy should have done into standup after this because he was a naturally funny storyteller.

 

Shia LaBeouf I don’t know much about the creation of this video as it was just introduced to me yesterday. Since it has 66 million hits, I’m clearly late to the party. Once I’m done trying to avoid my real work for the day (end-of-the-month freelancer mad dash to finish stuff you promised for the first of the month) I’ll find the origin story that must be out there somewhere. I found myself singing this one this morning.

 

Sexy Sax Man – This guy actually became a bit of a minor celebrity when he pulled this viral prank repeatedly in the LA area, ultimately landing one of the joke spots on America’s Got Talent auditions show. The premise is simple. This guy shows up and plays the opening sax solo of Wham’s “Careless Whisper” that we all know. If you want the longer version of any of the clips in this, you can find them online.

 

WTF Are We Doing Out Here – Warning, Adult Language. If you have kids, turn it up loud enough so they can hear it, too. This is a parody video of a parody video by the brilliant MelodySheep, who I’ll talk about more in the next entry. As a former new reporter, this is a question that we all asked ourselves many, many times. Sometimes you don’t report because it’s news. You report because you can’t have dead air, or a blank page in the newspaper. But, some people isolated the funniest part of the video, and put a killer track behind it. I think if you let it repeat and just lean back and close your eyes, it becomes more of a philosophical question. I’m glad I was long done smoking weed when I found this or I would have been mesmerized. And for those who like this, there is a 10-hour version out there.

Garden of Your Mind – This isn’t at all funny, but I love it and wanted to include it. Neither my parents, nor my children, can really understand the power of Mister Rogers Neighborhood. For a little kid hiding the secret he was being abused at the babysitter’s during the day, getting 30 minutes of this calming, reassuring figure after returning home to the safety of my house with my parents, was a helpful transition to my two worlds. This was done by the brilliant digital artist MelodySheep. I urge you to check out his stuff on YouTube. It is absolutely brilliant. I could have filled this post with just his stuff, from remixing Carl Sagan to Willy Wonka, his output is true art. Between documentaries and movies, Mister Rogers been getting a lot of attention lately. If you don’t understand the big deal, it’s OK…but it’s not hype. More than any other media personality, he helped shape who I am today.

Look, a Wagon Wheel – I like cheese, sometimes to my digestive system’s detriment. But how did I get this way? I blame this public service announcement, which played at least 5 times an hour during children’s programming of the early 1980s. Warning, if you were a child of this time period, this may cause flashbacks…and a desire for a grilled cheese sandwich.

Captain Lou Albano – So, to end this mess, we look to a song originally recorded by cult favorite NRBQ in the early 80s. In 1985, the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) released a version covered by Albano with a lot of additional talking between him and George “The Animal” Steele. More novel than the song is the video. If it look rudimentary, it’s because it is. Before memes, before YouTube, before everybody and their brother were slick filmmakers, you had to have some skills. I first saw this video in probably 2000 and it was cutting edge technology for the time.

I’m Wondering if Confronting a Bad Choice from My Past is the Right Choice Today

One of my poor choices of the past found me today and I’m still unsure how to handle it.

I feel like I’ve lived a lot of lives in that I’ve really packed plenty into my 43 years. One of my little adventures that people have found among the most interesting was from 1998-2001, when I was a co-owner, promoter and performer with a professional wrestling company that produced shows throughout New England.

I very rarely ever wrestled. I just didn’t have the interest nor commitment to train. I enjoyed writing the scripts and serving as a bad guy “manager” for those wrestlers who were not good at working the crowd. We can get into the pathology of me actively trying to get crowds to boo me another time, but for a short while, I was considered one of the better talkers in the area when it came to eliciting a negative reaction from the audience. I’ve included one of my headshots and a photo where I was trying to help one of my wrestlers to his feet because, well, they’re funny as hell two decades later. I don’t completely shun that time of my life and it’s important to highlight that.

Anyway, this morning I was watching TV and my son was going through old New England wrestling videos on YouTube. Years ago, I had a DVD that showed some of the things I did in wrestling, so he’d seen me before and wasn’t specifically looking for me on there.

He called my attention to a video he found from 1999. It was called “Josh Shay promo” and was one I have never seen and didn’t realize a tape existed. This misspelling of my name in the title kept it in hiding all of these years.

This particular show was not one I promoted. One of the wrestlers who worked for me pulled together a show as a fundraiser for his father, who was well liked in their Rhode Island town and had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Both he and his father asked me to be on the show because they knew that I could rile the crowd up with some dark references to his cancer early in the show. They also knew I wouldn’t have a problem “getting what came to me” at the end of the show when a 300-pound wrestler would jump on me from the top rope, and then the father would run into the ring and put a foot on me to make the pin. It was illogical because neither the father nor I were wrestling, but would send people home happy.

I got to the show about three hours early because I thought Rhode Island was much further. When I ran into my wrestler friend and his dad, we briefly went over the plan and then he told me I could go downstairs to wait at the American Legion hall, because that’s where the “locker room” was set up.

Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 4.57.02 PMIn reality, it was the bar at the Legion hall, and since it was a Sunday afternoon, the bar was open, serving its regular members. The locker room was really the men’s bathroom and the performers stuck to one side of the basement that had a lot of tables and chairs to wait.

Now, I was 23 at the time, but had been drinking – often heavily – for six years at that point. I knew that I’d never performed under the influence before because I was usually heavily involved in the planning of a show. That day, I was just a performer, and didn’t have anything too athletic to attempt, so I figured it was OK if I got a buzz.

Fast-forward three hours – and around 8 beers a couple shots – later and I was far drunker than I intended on getting. When it came time to go upstairs to do my nasty promo, I may have had a little trouble walking…but I don’t remember.

Later I was told that I gave one of the most venom-filled-approaching-inappropriate speeches most had ever heard. The workers appreciated it for its rawness and the crowd was full of genuine disdain…but I don’t remember.

I faintly remember the end of the show, when I took the big splash from the top rope and the father pinned me.

A few times over the next year or two I was reminded of that promo by some of the people who were there and how I probably crossed real-life lines the audience wasn’t ready for. A wrestling crowd expects a live-action stunt-filled cartoon show that doesn’t challenge their values. I heard enough reports that I crossed that line.

So, this morning, my son finds this promo and asks me if I wanted to watch it with him. I hadn’t thought about this show for years, but the entire situation flooded back into my mind in the blink of an eye.

Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 4.56.18 PMI told my son the truth. I was drunk, don’t remember what I said, was told it was too much, and that I think I’d be embarrassed. He took his iPad into his room and watched it alone. He told me later, “That was really pushing it, but you did get a good reaction.”

In the eight or nine hours since that’s happened, I have felt tempted to have him play the video for me, but it gives me a real bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. There I am, in the early years of a drinking problem that would turn into full-blown alcoholism trying to pretend to be an asshole, only to legitimately come across as one.

I like seeing a car crash as much as the next guy, but I don’t know what would happen if I watched this. I’m not afraid I’ll return to drinking…in the three days I’ll be 5 years, 2 months sober. I just don’t want it to be a black cloud over my head for a few days. I could say it might serve as a reminder to stay sober, but I don’t really need those reminders anymore.

There are things that I actively avoid, like a large box full of trophies, plaques and certificates I was given in the few years leading up to my downfall when I was a magazine publisher and city councilor. When I clean the garage and see them, it gives me a sick feeling. I still debate tossing them in the garbage, but it seems almost disrespectful to just throw the Key to the City away.

I don’t think seeing this video would be a real trigger for me, other than seeing something I wish had never happened. If it were someone else, maybe it would be entertaining, but I don’t think there’s any bad drunken behavior of mine that I’d laugh at on video, even it’s 20 years old.

Anyway, it’s certainly not life or death. I’m sure I’ll forget about it in a few days. I’m just surprised that it’s stuck with me all day.

Your Alarming Porn Statistic For June

We all know porn is huge on the Internet, but with all of the percentages and millions of people doing this or that, it’s easy to just let those numbers fly by. I stumbled upon a fascinating website that ranks the popularity of the Top 50 websites in the world.

Based on statistics that came out on May 1 this year, The Top 5 are exactly what you’d expect: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo. Odds are you use one or more of those sites every day.

So what are the next three most popular websites in the United States? Pornhub, Xnxx and XVideos – all sites that deal ONLY in pornography.

That means that there are three porn sites that are individually more popular than Ebay, Twitter, Wikipedia, Reddit or Instagram.

Think about that for a second. All of those people you see taking selfies and posting them to Instagram or who say “I gotta retweet this”… well there are even more people than that at home watching porn, with a decent percentage getting addicted.

Another site, XHamster, ranks at No. 17, just above Netflix. That’s right. There are four sites that stream pornography that are more popular than Netflix.

Four of the Top 20 websites in the world are nothing but pornography. When you see a list of popular websites, and there isn’t any porn on it, know that whoever is presenting it is ignoring the porn and call them out on it. Ignoring the porn is how we got here.