March, 2010:

Zone Xtreme (not a real show. still somewhat xtreme.)

If you had the chance to electrocute someone to death on television to satisfy the bloodlust of a studio audience, would you do it?  French documentary “The Game of Death (Le Jeu Du Mort)” says, “Yep, you probably would!”

The documentary led 80 participants into thinking they were shooting a French pilot for a new reality TV series called Zone Xtreme (not a real show). In the fake show, fake “contestants” played by actors were forced to answer questions. If they answered incorrectly, one of the participants would be asked to give the contestant an electric shock. No shocks were actually administered; the actor contestants pretended to get electrocuted. Egged on by the beautiful TV hostess and an apparently bloodthirsty studio audience shouting “Punishment!,” only 16 of the 80 participants stopped before reaching the final, lethal 460 volt shock. People apparently kept up the shocks even when the contestant appeared to be dead or unresponsive.

PUNITION!  PUNITION!  All I can picture is that informercial hosted by Shooter McGavin in Requiem for a Dream.  Just rapid cuts and text flying all over the screen and chanting and people getting electrocuted to death.   “This… drives… most… people… crazy.”  Only 16 out of 80 people stopped!  Like, just ignore the fact that you’re killing an innocent person and the moral implications that come along with that; at the very least, wouldn’t you be afraid that you’d be convicted of manslaughter?  With videotaped evidence?  On the other hand, maybe the participants were just living out their Emperor Palpatine fantasies.  Puissaaaaaaaaaaaaance illimitée!

This does not bode well for the human race.  Only one man can get away with electrocuting people while still being an ok dude, and that man is Dr. Peter Venkman of Columbia University.  You may remember Dr. Venkman’s case study wherein he analyzed the effects of negative reinforcement in relation to ESP ability.  Using a set of specialized playing cards marked with various shapes, he asked his test subjects to focus their ESP ability and guess which shapes were present on the cards.  If they guessed incorrectly, he administered an electric shock.  If he wanted to bang the subject, he’d tell them that whatever they guessed was correct and charm the pants off them.  Following his work at Columbia, Dr. Venkman went on to pilot the Statue of Liberty using an NES controller and fight an evil painting with happy slime.

But back to The Game of Death, the French documentary that for a few minutes made me upset for mankind, and then just made me think of movies that featured people getting electrocuted (The Green Mile, Faces of Death IV, Ernest Goes to Jail).  Would this fly in America?  Wouldn’t we be all, “Git ‘r dun” and then try to overthrow the maniacal game show host?  We’re Americans!  We’re not gonna let some fake game show host tell us who should live or die!  Like, “Let’s roll,” or some shit! Right?  Guys?

FUCK!  C’mon, this is ABC News!  The most American Broadcasting Company we’ve got!  They basically proved you can create your own Nazi army with $50 and an important looking electro deathbox.  We’re so done.

Oh hey guys, come read my catblog.

Did you know that black cats are adopted less than non-black cats? This article and a flyer outside my apartment promoting the awesomeness of black cats told me so. People think they’re satanic agents of evil! I found this strange since I adopted a black cat months before the article or the flyer existed, and never assumed that she had a mysterious past filled with Slayer concerts or path-crossing bad luck experiments. Also, I’m not a racist. All I thought when I saw her at the shelter was “KITTY” in a high pitched squeal that threatened to shut off my air supply if I didn’t stuff her in a box and bring her home with me to love forever and ever.


Margot is an awesome cat. She enjoys making pigeon noises, waking her owners up at 5:00 in the morning by biting their hands and feet and pretending that a one bedroom apartment is actually a jungle full of prey that look like power cords. People that usually say, “Well, I’m not a cat perso–” have their sentences interrupted by an unstoppable urge to crawl around on the floor making “woodgie woodgie woo woo” noises at my cat. Her response is to either playfully swat them in the face or take a dump so large that it unravels the fabric of time and space. Did you know that kitten poop smells like a rotting turkey carcass that was kept in a sweltering garage for six days? Neither did I! The vet assured me that this was normal, to which I replied, “Sister, if this is normal, I’d hate to smell abnormal in your topsy-turvy world ahahahahahahahaha.” Oh, how I laughed.

But pet ownership is no laughing matter. I thought it would be a laughing matter, and that Margot and I would just laugh and laugh until we forgot what was so funny in the first place, but no. Having never owned pets besides a handful of stupid goldfish that I won at county fairs as a kid, this was news to me. My parents didn’t believe in fish food. “Fish don’t need fish food, just feed them breadcrumbs,” they would say as tears quietly rolled down my face at the sight of another malnourished fish floating at the top of its bowl. To this day I don’t understand their logic. Perhaps they were members of the 12 Pound Box of Breadcrumbs of the Month Club that they couldn’t figure out how to cancel, or they reasoned that a fish covered in breadcrumbs is delicious, so clearly a fish can get its daily serving of vitamins and herbs by feeding it breadcrumbs. Either way, they killed all of my fish, and I’ll never forgiv– oh wait, I just forgave them because my cat is pouncing on the ironing board and it’s adorable.

Cats have their own doctors, just like people. When I first took Margot to the vet, they put her through the proverbial “cat’s meow” of tests. The vet was all, “We’re going to test Margot for feline AIDS. Do you know what feline AIDS is?” I replied, “Is it like regular AIDS, but for cats?” Stymied by my vast intellect, the doctor nearly handed her lab coat and stethoscope over to me. “Yes, that’s exactly what it is.” Margot does not have CATAIDS, which is a huge relief. There’s a good chance she has a slight case of the pica, though, which is a cat disease that makes chewing on paper both all-consuming and hilarious to her. On one hand, the apartment looks great because we can’t keep loose sheets of paper laying around. On the other hand, on the rare occasion that we accidentally leave a receipt on the table for more than 5 seconds, she grabs it in her mouth and hoards it under the bed. Possibly for income tax purposes? She can’t read so I don’t think that’s the case.

Cat Ownership Fun Fact – cats can be unreasonable jerks and don’t care if you live or die. “Margot, stop eating our food!” we yell as the cat shoves her face into anything that features the faintest smell of meat. “FUCKYOU,” she meows. “Margot, we’re trying to sleep, and while dangling a string over your face and watching you attack it is an adorable game at 7:00 in the evening, it’s now 3:30 in the morning,” we say as the cat jumps into bed with a shoe lace in her mouth. “IDON’TFUCKINGCAREMRAHHHHH,” she coos. She has this really cool feature where she takes all of her toys and string and sheets of paper and brings them into bed in hopes that we’ll play with her. All night. Every night, until we say, “Enuff Z’Nuff,” and throw her out into the hallway. Thankfully she thinks this is also a game, and patiently waits for us to wake up at a reasonable hour so she can make her next move (which probably involves getting her claws sharp enough to behead us).

But those are the only annoying things that she does. Most of the time she’s just sleeping or rubbing herself on the furniture or climbing up my back like I’m a ladder that leads up to the back of my own head. I’m not a creepy cat person who owns cat calendars or cat aprons or doormats that say, “HURRRCATS” in huge letters, but I’m probably not very far off… sorry to end this so abruptly, Margot is out of breadcrumbs.