Red Dawn changed my life.

16 09 2009

Dear Patrick Swayze,

Wherever you are now I want to thank you for ALL you did… In RED DAWN. What I know about Entrepreneurship and Self-reliance I learned from watching your Leadership of America’s Youth fighting against ALL odds.

And for my friend Andy, Red Dawn was surprisingly relevant for Geography?

5 HIGH SCHOOL MISCONCEPTIONS - Mister Andy Lavender

#5 Patrick Swayze saved us from the Russians.

My geography teacher was a lazy asshole who would get out of teaching by showing tangentially relevant movies. So, instead of learning about Russia or the Cold War in Unit 4, we watched Red Dawn instead. In this propaganda-meets-Road House period piece, Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen fight the Russians, who have invaded and largely occupied the United States in the late 80’s. Part of me wishes that this had happened, as I would be one step closer to a lifelong dream: living in a country where Patrick Swayze is on the currency.

So wherever you are now, thank you.

And thank you for taking baby out of the corner so a generation of girls had something to talk about. Thank you for showing Johnny Utah that a man with a dream only needed good timing, loyal friends and a president’s mask to rob banks and finance an endless summer. Thank you for speaking through Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, which was funny enough, but your pottery scene inspired more comedic parodies than I can count. And some that I’m ashamed to admit watching.

But most of all, thanks for being Patrick Swayze.

- Mister Zach Ward





5 High School Misconceptions

16 07 2008

I think we would all agree, we had some pretty dumb ideas in high school.  Consider this a highlight reel of the misconceptions that were rattling in my head during my high school days.

1)  Blues and jazz, they are good food.

On the outset of high school, I was totally bent on becoming an old man before I turned seventeen.  I had thrift-store stink sweaters and polyester-blend pants, and I was utterly convinced that there was true meaning for me in blues and jazz.  Armed with a series of budget cds with fuzzy pictures of black men in suits, I was totally determined to rise intellectually above my less geriatric peers.  By my sophmore year, I realized what so many had already known: jazz is boring, and every blues song is the same.  I then proceeded to listen exclusively to mix cds with music from 80’s cartoon shows and midi tracks of Mega Man songs.

2)  In cool, liberal areas like New York, I would immediately find kindred spirits.

During high school, I absolutely knew that should I move to an urban area like New York, I would immediately fall in with the cool kids.  I would, no joke, fantasize about meeting with and befriending the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  When I actually did move to New York, I found the same assholes that pissed me off so much in high school, except that these New York assholes decided that the best way to pick up chicks was to be Stroke-esque as opposed to being meat head jocks.  There were similar trends ideologically.  In the South I was surrounded by a lot of dumb, stubborn conservatives.  In the North I was surrounded by a lot of dumb, stubborn liberals.

3)  Drugs and alcohol are meaningless diversions for idiots, and I will never partake of them.

This one is largely the same, except for one major concession: drugs and alcohol are meaningless diversions for idiots, and I will heartily partake of them.

4)  The Oxford Comma is law.

During high school I had to use the Oxford comma in all my essays, reports, and papers because we followed MLA guidelines.  I grew to depend on that piece of punctuation.  In college I would be corrected for using the Oxford comma in any essay, report or paper because most of my graders followed AP guidelines.  Anguish ensued.  Serious, serious anguish.  Apparently I really needed something to believe in after I found that the good ole JC was not cuttin’ it any more.

5)  Patrick Swayze saved us from the Russians.

My geography teacher was a lazy asshole who would get out of teaching by showing tangentially relevant movies.  So, instead of learning about Russia or the Cold War in Unit 4, we watched Red Dawn instead.  In this propaganda-meets-Road House period piece, Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen fight the Russians, who have invaded and largely occupied the United States in the late 80’s.  Part of me wishes that this had happened, as I would be one step closer to a lifelong dream: living in a country where Patrick Swayze is on the currency.

-Mister Andy Lavender








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