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Y is my X in my Head?

Y is my X in my Head? published on No Comments on Y is my X in my Head?

You might have noticed that there are an awful lot of things to care about these days. If you haven’t noticed, there are plenty of people that are thoughtful enough to share those opportunities with you. You can start a facebook account where you can hourly be challenged by the knowledge that many of you won’t care, but you can always share if you disagree!

If you would like to enter the advanced field of choosing your own things to care about, try not to be overwhelmed! If you care about saving the whales AND ending world hunger AND dismantling institutional racism AND funding Wikipedia, well that’s some heavy duty caring right there. You’re going to burn yourself out and end up with an anesthetized moral compass and before you know it, you just don’t give a hoot.
And so, as a bona fide public service, I present the Martin EaZee Introductory Guide to Elementary Caring aka Fun with Math. The beautiful part is that you can start out with the baby steps of thinking (which is easy) and work your way up to feeling, which is a little more advanced. Thank goodness someone invented the graph.

The first step in thinking about what you feel is answering the question, what is Important enough to earn my emotional involvement? This is a two-fold proposition, represented by the x-axis (known as the stupidity factor) and the y-axis (aka the harm ratio). See below.

These are of course irrelevant terms without data points with which to define our scale. The minimal entry point in the stupidity scale is, let us say, making a poor choice in shoe selection when planning out the day.

The other end of the stupid scale is, I’m going to say racism.

You can decide for yourself where items such as flat earthism, leggings as pants and kale at McDonalds fit on your stupid scale. I’m only here to talk about the hows, not the whats. So… now that we have set our stupid terms, we move on to issues of harm. My entry level point for harm is hurt feelings.

I know we all say sticks and stones and all that, but anyone that’s ever heard someone say something hurtful and not had it stick with them on some point… well, I was going to say that person is the Terminator, but he learned to make jokes and gave a wistful thumbs up at the apex of his noble sacrifice, so maybe no one is that unfeeling a monster (insert rejoinder about someone you really hate here if you like- for extra credit graph why you hate them).

After hurt feelings I assume we are all good with the idea that genocide is much worse. Like racism, I suppose that we can make the argument that it might not be at the very end of the harm scale, but it’s got to be up there. Certainly higher than hurt feelings.

So you should definitely care more about genocide than the time your partner said you look fat…. In theory. Why is this theoretically debatable? Because of the Brooks Factor. This is the line which must be crossed to engage your emotional center and the line is by necessity a variable. It derives its name from comedian/filmmaker/philosophical font Mel Brooks, specifically his axiom that “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”


We are, of course, at this point beyond basic algebra and in to more advanced physics wherein your commitment to a moral good is inversely proportional to your proximity to the harm inflicted by sustained inaction, but hey let’s not get all Newtonian up in here. Stick to the graphs. So, thanks to the Brooks factor, each person’s emotional attachment grid will in fact have multiple Brooks lines based on the impact to persons within one’s relative awareness.

To engage your emotions for your personal Brooks line, one need think something minimally stupid about you (you’ve got a dumb haircut) or cause minimal harm, like cause you to stub your toe. To get you to care about strangers, the idea has to be incredibly stupid (monkeys at the center of the earth control a covert cabal focused on influencing world governments through hidden code in bagpipe music) or the act incredibly harmful (again, genocide).

I like to imagine a magic unicorn flying through the Brooks line shooting all those things that make the world a terrible place with cartoonishly happy pew pew pew noises. It doesn’t actually change anything, but I feel better for having done it and in the end isn’t that what the whole act of caring is for in the first place? I hope you have enjoyed learning about this system. Why not share it with your friends? You can graph how much they care. Have fun with caring kids, and try not to abuse the power.

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The most insane things I have done because bugs.

The most insane things I have done because bugs. published on No Comments on The most insane things I have done because bugs.

Sorry for the absence, everyone. I had computer problems. Where did we leave off? Oh yeah… bugs are terrible.

This cartoon was inspired by real life events, a bit of an unusual move for me. If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s that it’s not just spiders that terrorize me. Once upon a time, which is fancy story telling terms for ‘about a week and a half ago’ I had an incident which started out with a clogged toilet, It was that toilet that prevented me from noticing the wasp on the faucet when I went to wash my hands. This left me with a dilemma- do I brave the wasp again to turn the faucet off or do I leave the water running forever? Gathering every single iota of bravery I had, I lunged at the faucet and promptly tore my fingernail down to the quick (boy am I glad I didn’t get stung!). Miraculously, the wasp didn’t move. Not wanting to press my luck, I backed slowly out of the bathroom, which seemed like a brilliant plan until I tripped over that shoe.

I honestly don’t know why bugs frighten me so. I have no enemy more determined to do me in than me. Over the course of the next week, that wasp moved around my sink just far enough to let me know he was still alive and could (I assume) kill me. Sure, you can lighten up on the liquids as much as you like, but eventually you’re going to have to go in there. I thought about hitting it with a magazine, but what if I only made it mad? It could be a mutant super wasp. I thought about catching it under a cup, but it kept hanging out on the edge where nothing could really cover it, so clearly it had the genius of at least Einstein, if not Stephen Hawking,

Finally, I broke out the vacuum cleaner. Thankfully I have a super light super tight Dyson (who did not pay me to characterize it this way, but I wouldn’t say no to a few bucks Dyson reps who may be reading this), which allowed me to get him from a verrrrry long ways away. But even though this vacuum is so mighty that I can tear the nap right out of my carpet if I’m not careful, I had to immediately run it to the closet because what if this adamantine warrior of the miniature set survived and was really really mad about the involuntary amusement park I just ran it through? Clearly the vacuum will need to be quarantined for oh… I think about two years. Just to be safe.

This is part of a larger pattern with me. A laughably irrational pattern. In the past I have:

*Thrown a laptop across the room because a spider crawled across the screen in the dark. My panic as it left my fingertips doubled when it hit the wall.

*Slept under a nest of blankets because I couldn’t force myself to turn off that lamp while that moth kept hogging that space around the switch.

*Gone to the movies just because, the because being that I would assume that spider was somewhere less visible by the time I got home from the theater.

*And of course there’s the ‘I don’t want to look like an idiot’ dance I do every year because I’m really trying to play it cool but I have yet to discover signature scent that bees don’t recognize as ‘pollen’.

Please tell me, oh loyal readers, that I’m not alone in this bugaphobia. Because my shrink and I have been at this make me less insane thing awhile now, and we haven’t even got to the bugs yet.

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Of Nice and Zen

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Boy, that’s mean, isn’t it? “They say the world has lost it’s finesse,” said Andre Braugher in the underrated Bruce Paltrow classic (classic, I say!) Duets. Admittedly (much like Groundskeeper Willie’s stubborn mule that refused to walk in the mud), he had about seventeen bullets in him, so he may have had a point.

If you’re anything like me, (and I suspect millions of you are), you’ve found yourself at odds with the internet writ large once or twice over the past month. As a public service, Martin EaZee is proud to present A (not) Common Sense Guide to Talking to People That Are Not You. AKA the Words and Phrases That WIll Never Be Interpreted the Way You Want Them To.

1. but/however
You just said something that theoretically agrees with the Person Who is Not You. Comity has been achieved. You were so close! BUT… now you’re going to walk it all back and pretend you agree but say something that is probably the exact opposite. Why not just say what you mean?

2. to play devils advocate
“I don’t have a personal stake in this argument and I could just as easily look the other way, but I like to argue for fun and will drive you crazy with sophistry until we are no longer friends, if not blood enemies.” This is what a Person Who is Not You will hear as soon as you drag out that stale chestnut.

3. to be fair
This has never been used fairly. Ever.

4. not all _______
“I once heard about someone who didn’t have the experience you describe, so all incidents unlike what I know are made up for attention. WHY ARE YOU CRYING?!”

5. sorry
It’s not a comma. People Who Are Not You know when you mean it and when you don’t.

6. just saying
We know you’re just saying. You just said it. What you MEANT to say was “I just said something diminishing or offensive but you can’t be offended because it’s only words from out of my mouth.” You might not agree with the assessment, but that’s ok. It’s your right and I’m just saying.

7. How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
I am Iago. I will break up Desdemona and Othello and get ALL the monies. This probably won’t be something you ever say to someone literally, but wasn’t that Iago just such a tool? Don’t be like Iago.

By no means is this definitive or exhaustive. Exhausting maybe, if you have run across these too often. The moral of the story is that not everyone who seems nice is actually nice. The flipside of the moral is that you may be doing your best to be nice but maybe you’re not that good at it. The hole in the moral is that it’s totally pretentious of me to tell you how to think and feel and probably not very nice. The sampler of the moral… is not something I’m going to make.

If there are words that make your brain go splodey, I would love to know what they are. Maybe they drive me crazy too. Or maybe I use them and I didn’t realize I sound like a jerk.


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Now Back to Our Show

Now Back to Our Show published on No Comments on Now Back to Our Show

Ok, I haven’t felt much like updating lately because my goal here at the end of the day is to be above, all other considerations, a humor site. I mean, a comic strip should be funny, right? It’s not like we’re at the New Yorker here

*disclaimer: If any of you are scouts for the New Yorker, I retract and I would be proud to appear in your fine publication


**disdisclaimer: If any of you are White Supremacists who have no use for New York intellectuals or their namby pamby sympathizers, I retract and would under no circumstances appear in that commie rag


***disdisdisclaimer: If you are white and offended that I used the phrase White Supremacist than you are free to go and read the New Yorker, The Guardian, The New York Post or any other publication more aligned with your proclivities. Or you can write and tell me why I’m wrong. Martin is not above intelligent discourse from the fan.

So…. yeah… not feeling funny and I decided to go and lift my spirits by going to see Christopher Titus, my all time favorite comedy legend. For an hour and a half I laughed until my sides hurt

Then I was back here. In the world. Where things are happening.

Things like this.

Or not happening. I’ve been told those things may be in my head. But they seem to be in a lot of friend’s heads as well. So maybe we as a nation lost our minds collectively in some sort of Jungian soup. Or maybe it’s the Matrix, Neo. Or it’s possible it’s the Economy, stupid. I know I feel malaise but I can’t pinpoint the source.

I’m not smart like this guy.


But then, I go to tie my hair up and I can hear something crinkly and I feel something papery and I know there’s something in there. Leaf? Receipt Jimmy Hoffa? I spend a good three minutes trying to comb it out before I realize I still have my wristband from the show on and the paper is rubbing the hair by my ear.

I’m also not smart like these guys.

I’m provided a moment for self deprecation, wry introspection and a moral (just because you can’t find something doesn’t mean it isn’t there and the things you find may be different than the things you sought) as well as a way through my writers block to this very blog entry.

And  when I (re)discovered that paper strip all I could hear in my head was Titus ultimate line from his 5th Annual End of the World Tour, thinking about the loonnnnng buildup to his father’s final punchline.


Funny, a**hole.

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#NotAllClowns published on No Comments on #NotAllClowns

So now that we’re into October, it’s that time of year when we’re hyper focused on all sorts of creepy, crawly beasties. I’m talking, of course, about politicians and clowns (assuming that’s not tautological).

Honestly, what is up with all the clowning around? School campuses across several states have heightened security because of clown sightings and here in Utah, one PD has issued a statement telling people not to shoot random clowns and also detailing the scenarios in which they would (read: We’ll shoot any clown we would have shot even if he didn’t have a stupid red nose). Someone took a shot at a “clown” yesterday in Kentucky with an AR15, but the only problem was that clown was a woman in a white afghan walking her dog. But hey, let’s make sure we keep those second amendment rights strong or clowns… are gonna getcha.

Now I’ve been a lifelong fan of horror and one thing I know is that the things people find entertaining in a frightening sort of way are a way of minimally addressing the things of which they are actually afraid. You can talk about things without talking about them. Like how Invasion of the Body Snatchers is about communism or War of the Worlds is about colonialism or The Day the Earth Stood Still was about about the 2016 election cycle (boy that GORT was prescient!).

I’m going to go out on a limb here that’s probably going to get me hung from it, but I’m going to say this clown hysteria is our collective fear about racism coming to a boil. There’s a hashtag floating around out there, #IfISeeAClown. It’s people talking about all the things people say they’re going to do to a clown if they get attacked by one. You know why there’s an IfISeeAClown hashtag? Because people know they can’t post an if I see a Muslim. Or a Black. Or a trans person. Or whatever it is that you hate because they are so different that their mere existence makes you fear for your life.


I’ve seen articles about how sad this furor is making the real clowns. Stephen King went on Twitter and told people to stop it with the clown hysteria already. Cops have told people to knock it off or they’re going to get shot. The Ringling Brothers Clown College have thrown their two cents in. Think about this. We are more aligned as a country for stopping hypothetical clown killings than we are understanding of Black Lives Matter.

My point is that we have to quit dealing with our problems through evasions and metaphor like kids at a fourth grade dance that won’t cross the room to talk to each other because boys are icky and girls have cooties. If you want to talk about racism and otherness, America, let’s talk about racism and otherness.

Get on that dance floor already.

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Rethinking the Obvious (Or Uatu Barada Nikto!)

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In the Marvel Universe there’s a character known as the Watcher. It’s his job to y’know… watch things. Think of him as a peeping Tom with the entire solar system as the bathroom (I know there are plenty of other ways in which you can envision reality as a toilet, but let’s not depress ourselves).

The Watcher is someone who is, above all else, supposed to watch and not get involved. See, he has this Prime Directive that he can’t interfere with developing cultures. Wait…. that’s Star Trek. I’m always confusing the Watcher with Jean-Luc Picard. But still… you get the gist.

Here’s the thing though, the Watcher is about as faithful to his guiding principle as a Star Fleet officer three days removed from his Kobayashi Maru (boy, these genre mash-ups are fun!), and that has a tendency to get him in a lot of trouble with his people. His problem, as I see it, was that he felt too clever by hiding in plain sight. The Watcher lives on the moon, which even mortal man can get to with rockets, to say nothing of reality bending smarty pants like Dr. Strange.

If the Watcher hid in the Sun instead, all his problems could have been averted. You look at people from the one place they literally can’t look at and you’re safe as long as men have retinas.


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Puppies Aren’t Butterflies

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I think we can all agree that puppies are awesome. They’re all soft and cuddly and cute and you don’t even care that they’re going to grow into dogs. Dogs that strew your trash from one end of the house to the other. Dogs that will get sick and need to go to the pet emergency room at 2 in the morning. Dogs that will chew your slippers and then give you the innocent eyes that almost but not quite convince you that the cat did it. All of that is for future you to deal with, and right now Marmaduke is years away.

But even something as fundamentally awesome as a puppy requires context. If someone tells you there’s something wrong with you, then it’s probably a matter of opinion. If everyone tells you there’s something wrong with you, it’s still a matter of opinion. Maybe (just maybe) you’re surrounded by butterflies.

Butterflies, like puppies, are pretty awesome. They’re pretty, they’re graceful, they can fly. But not even the most awesome of butterflies can catch a frisbee. If you find yourself opposed to everyone around you pretty much all of the time, maybe it’s time to leave the nest and find the kennel where you belong.

(as for me, I’m a butterpup, thanks for asking)


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