Security Specialist, Abolitionist, Anabaptist
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Nihilist Dad Jokes

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Why did the scarecrow win a prize? Because he stood alone in his field! He stood there for years, rotting, until he was forgotten.

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I tell my kids, you’re allowed to watch the TV all you want… Just don’t turn it on! This way they will begin to understand the futility of all things.

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How does a penguin build a house? Igloos it together. Like all animals, it is an automaton, driven by blind genetic imperative, marching slowly to oblivion.

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Why don’t skeletons go trick or treating? They have no body to go with them! The skeletons are like us: alone, empty, dead already.

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I don’t really like playing soccer. I just do it for kicks! Like all of humanity, I pretend to enjoy things, and others pretend to care about my charade.

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You hear about the moon restaurant? Good food, no atmosphere! If you eat there, you forfeit your life, which would make no difference to the universe as a whole.

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Why did the blonde focus on an orange juice container? It said concentrate! She realized that society’s depictions of her were like the juice: formulaic, insipid, fake.

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My wife told me to put the cat out. I didn’t know it was on fire! By the time I could act, it was incinerated, a harbinger of the path we all must take.

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How come the invisible man wasn’t offered a job? They just couldn’t see him doing it! This man stands for all of us: unseen, misunderstood, irrelevant.

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Today I gave away my old batteries… Free of charge! No one wanted them, so I became angry and threw them in the yard. The battery acid now leaks into the soil, killing a colony of ants. A sparrow eats their bodies and is poisoned. Somewhere in the Serengeti, a lion devours his rival’s cubs. Then the lion is shot by a poacher and sold to an unloved rich man whose father was an unloved rich man. In five billion years, the Sun will become a bloated giant, boiling the oceans and consuming our pointless cruelties with flames. I wake sweat-drenched and screaming, staring at the visage of a faceless god. “WHAT HAVE I DONE?! HOW COULD I BRING A CHILD INTO THIS WORLD!?” But this god, like all gods, is nothing—just my son’s Wilson baseball mitt, sitting on my dresser, mocking me.

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Will February March? No, but April May! Soon we become ash, and time forgets us.

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toddgrotenhuis
29 days ago
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Indianapolis
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1 public comment
JayM
28 days ago
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Ha!
Atlanta, GA

Thanks for Sharing Your Unsolicited and Negative Opinion On the Internet!

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We saw what you did there and just had to take time out to commend you on your fine effort. It’s not every day that someone goes online and shares their unsolicited negative opinion about a [news story/humor article/movie review/social media post of a child’s drawing/seven-year-old DIY gardening video with 15 views]. Fortunately, you play by your own rules. You refuse to be held down by the norms of etiquette and civility. Nuance and context are for the weak. Golden Rule be damned! No, you get it; you understand that the internet forever longs for your knee-jerk, negative, and uninformed opinions that occasionally contain grammatical errors — and you are more than ready to deliver them.

So, there you were, just sitting in your [dorm room/cubicle/parents’ basement/clubhouse at your country club/car, while stalking your ex-spouse at a neighborhood block party], clicking and scrolling your way through the internet to pass the time, taking respite from your sordid life, until you spotted something that couldn’t go unchecked. No, that [news story/humor article/movie review/social media post of a child’s drawings/seven-year-old DIY gardening video with 15 views] must be put in its place, regardless whether or not the author invited feedback, constructive or otherwise. After all, it’s on the internet: it was put there for you to consume and judge, and consume and judge it you shall.

What gives these so-called “creators” the right to distribute their work without receiving any kind of misguided blowback or hot take in return anyway? Are they “special” because they spend time researching their own opinions and ideas before sharing them? Are they “saints” for thoughtfully considering and respecting alternate ideas and opinions that might run counter to their own, unlike folks who solemnly surf the web from their [dorm room/cubicle/parents’ basement/clubhouse at your country club/car, while stalking your ex-spouse at a neighborhood block party] hunting for [news stories/humor articles/movie reviews/social media posts of a child’s drawing/seven-year-old DIY gardening videos with 15 views] for which to eviscerate with a reductive and dismissive half-dozen word response?

Remember what your [father/great aunt/high school wrestling coach/horrifying crone-like alien who shows up again and again in your recurring nightmares] said: “Opinions are like onions. You peel and slice them and peel and slice them, and if they don’t make you cry then — surprise, surprise — you’re doing peeling and slicing onions wrong again, you lazy, good for nothing piece of shit.” So you peel and slice away, sharing opinion after unsolicited opinion until your targets are reduced to tears and the [voices in your head/nightmares/deep-rooted repressed feelings of inadequacy/soul-crushing questions about the decisions you’ve made over the course of your life that have brought you to this moment] subside.

And that’s why today, while sitting in your [dorm room/cubicle/parents’ basement/clubhouse at your country club/car, while watching stalking your ex-spouse at a neighborhood block party] and happening upon a [news story/humor article/movie review/social media post of a child’s drawing/seven-year-old DIY gardening video with 15 views] you were inspired to write the words [“This sucks!”/“Is this supposed to be funny?”/“Their awful!”[sic]/“Who cares about ferns, asshole?”]. Oh boy, did you ever show them! You certainly put them in their self-righteous, think-they’re-better-than-you place. By typing a few letters on your keyboard, you reduced their work to the rubble you think it is. Well done!

So, yes, thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day in your [dorm room/cubicle/parents’ basement/car, while stalking your ex-spouse at a neighborhood block party] to share your deepest, darkest thoughts on the internet. If only there were more people like you, brave heroes who go out of their way to share their important feelings about whatever random thing that comes across their screens. People — many of whom are marginalized, whether socially or economically, or otherwise — who have a history of feeling disconnected from their peers and have no consistent support systems in place while living in a society that increasingly seems to champion the sick burn over measured and rational engagement. And though it would seem the better way to address your negative, unsolicited comment on the internet would be to try and extend a virtual hand and help you out from whatever burdened-ravaged existential hole you’re stuck in, and instead attempt to have a positive interaction with you so we can find some common ground and move forward together, we just can’t rise above and do it.

Why? Well, mainly because we too are sitting here in our [dorm room/cubicle/parents’ basement/clubhouse at your country club/ car, while stalking your ex-spouse at a neighborhood block party] and all we feel right now is animosity and rage, and we can’t be bothered to answer your dumb, inane comment on the internet in a measured, respectful way so as to put to rest, finally, once and for all, this exhausting virtual pissing contest. So, with all that said…

Delete your account!

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toddgrotenhuis
29 days ago
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Indianapolis
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Indirect Detection

8 Comments and 18 Shares
I'm like a prisoner in Plato's Cave, seeing only the shade you throw on the wall.
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toddgrotenhuis
33 days ago
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Indianapolis
popular
33 days ago
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7 public comments
Covarr
33 days ago
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I had a friend a couple months ago ranting about how awful the pro-pedophilia movement was, and all I could think was "what pro-pedophilia movement?"
Moses Lake, WA
chrisamico
33 days ago
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This is pretty much the social web in 2018.
Boston, MA
rraszews
33 days ago
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Fred Clark, the Slacktivist, has written a bunch of times before about the "Anti-Kitten-Burning Coalition". Long story short, probably no one is burning kittens or hunting shelter animals for sport; claiming such (and in many cases, convincing yourself you believe it too) is a way to make yourself feel like a hero for opposing something evil (Without having to do much work, since you can't actually go out there and fight the kitten-burners as said burners do not exist), and get other people to sign on to support your side because otherwise they're siding with the kitten-burners.
Columbia, MD
corjen
34 days ago
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Sharing for the alt text.
Iowa
ireuben
34 days ago
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I totally thought this was going to be a “my hobby is...” post (or maybe that’s just what the friend is doing!).
alt_text_at_your_service
34 days ago
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I'm like a prisoner in Plato's Cave, seeing only the shade you throw on the wall.
alt_text_bot
34 days ago
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I'm like a prisoner in Plato's Cave, seeing only the shade you throw on the wall.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Literary Turing

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Thanks to Ken, Michael, and Barbara from patreon for helping make this more clear! If anything is confusing, it's their fault.


Today's News:
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toddgrotenhuis
34 days ago
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Indianapolis
acdha
38 days ago
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Washington, DC
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I Intend to Vote Everyday

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Young people tend to think their vote doesn’t matter (compared to the views of older Americans).

Which is a shame. Because their cynicism is directly tied to public policy, which favors older Americans and, quite frankly, is responsible for younger ones getting the shaft these days.

But it is what it is. If young Americans don’t care enough to vote, then I’m not about to feel sorry for them when their government sticks it to them. Decisions have consequences. Both good and bad. Surely they can’t be so stupid not to realize that.

I also don’t get worked up about it because I realize being politically active involves more than voting. A whole lot more. In fact, the case can be made that our vote is a minor political act in the overall scheme of things.

So what’s potentially even more important than voting?

For one thing, money. More precisely, how we earn it and spend it.

These are the decisions that permeate our lives. And also permeate the market, commerce, investments and public policy in a myriad of less conspicuous ways. But highly impactful ways nonetheless.

Money reflects priorities. And sets priorities. Indeed, the power of the pocketbook is greater than the power of most politicians. By a wide margin.

Money is the means by which we reward certain businesses, nonprofits and activities, and penalize — and sometimes kill off — others.

Yet I wonder how many people take money as seriously as their vote when it comes to politics. Undoubtedly, some people do, but I bet most don’t.

I’ve decided to become more politically active with my money. It started a few years back, but my personal movement has been picking up steam lately, propelled, in part, by the excesses of our market economy and the lunacy and threat posed by corporations and incredibly selfish and shortsighted elites, including our current president.

So while I still intend to vote (and can’t imagine why so many people don’t), I’m going to try to put voting into better perspective, which means it will take its rightful place as a minor political act.

So what else do I intend to do?

Here are a few things:

  • Never invest in an oil or gas company, chemical company (yes, I know, I used to be the CEO of one), social media company (Facebook being the prime culprit), casino, defense contractor or spirits company (the booze kind, not Halloween costumes or makers of Ouija boards)
  • Never buy a lottery ticket (i.e., don’t participate in a system that does considerable harm to poor and working class people)
  • Minimize my purchase of gasoline (walk and bike even more, drive even less)
  • Use cloth bags and go bagless as much as possible, avoiding those environmentally senseless plastic bags
  • Never donate to a nonprofit that hasn’t demonstrated a sincere commitment to its mission by the way they spend their money and also demonstrates competency (which eliminates most but not all nonprofits)
  • Donate to people and organizations that are effective at standing in the way of evil and idiocy (e.g., the ACLU and NGOs that are combating global warming, which could threaten humans’ very existence)
  • Buy books written by thoughtful people who are calling attention to the illusions and lies that are threatening our planet and the well-being of people and nature generally (even if I can’t read them all)
  • Move into a smaller house, with geothermal heating and solar panels if feasible (I’m hoping the guy next door will sell me his property so I can build a more suitable house there, but I concede this is a goal that may take a while to achieve.)
  • Patronize stores that treat their employees well (e.g., Costco) and avoid those that treat their employees like chattel
  • Drink less alcoholic beverages (I’ve already nearly eliminated my purchases of spirits.)
  • Eat less red meat (raising cattle in particular is an environmentally harmful activity)
  • Buy eggs and milk that were collected from chickens and cows that lived in pastures (I realize this is a luxury given the premium prices these products command.)
  • Buy organic
  • Patronize local farmers by shifting more of my purchases to the local farmers market (a short walk from our house)
  • Try not to patronize harmful idiots (in particular, those who foster and promote a culture of stupidity) and hate-mongers, meaning ignoring most of what appears on TV, cable or radio and a whole lot of print and web media
  • Consistent with the immediately preceding bullet point, endeavor to not buy anything made by any company that supports Fox News (yes, I realize it’s more propaganda than news) (GEICO and Procter and Gamble are two easy targets)
  • Withhold my tourism dollars from states that are harming our country (Texas probably heads this list)
  • Try to think of additional ways to vote that haven’t occurred to me yet (any suggestions?)

Each of these steps, taken alone, is insignificant. And useless. But taken together, by enough people, they are powerful. And impactful. Far more than anything we can do behind a curtain on a November Tuesday.

Not that I don’t think my vote matters. I’m not an idiot — well, not entirely so. I will vote tomorrow. Against the party of stupidity, unconstrained greed and hate. The party that doesn’t care if we heat up our planet to uninhabitable levels. The party that doesn’t care if our air and water are clean. The party that loves to demonize other people. The party that fosters a culture of hate and division. The party that cares more about one thing than any other: money. Profits. Wealth. Theirs. Not anyone else’s.

Is it because I have faith in the other party? Hardly. They’re not much better. But, at least in this moment in time, they are better. At least by a smidgen. And smidgens matter when it comes to matters of survival. And well-being. And priorities. And our future. It matters a lot.

But I won’t delude myself into thinking tomorrow is that much different from any other day. I will endeavor to be more mindful of that reality than I have been in the past.

The reality is, I am voting each and every day, whether I am mindful of it or not. Each time I make a decision. About money.

I love the fact we have a vote in this country. And I intend to exercise mine a lot — indeed, every single day.



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toddgrotenhuis
40 days ago
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Indianapolis
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I Am the Ultimate Outsider In this Election Because I Only Have a Vague Understanding of Politics

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Voters, if you want the average politician who knows what the “DC” in Washington DC stands for, then I guess don’t elect me because I haven’t a clue. I can’t even locate Washington DC on a map, and I made a promise to myself at an early age that I would never give in and learn where it is.

The mainstream media would claim in my recent stump speeches they saw me doing the Sieg Heil salute and making secret white nationalist gestures. What they won’t tell you is that when I talk my body is constantly gyrating, emitting thousands of symbols per minute. So they take one or two snapshots and use that to say I’m some kind of racist, but they don’t show you the thousands of other normal shots where I’m laughing, clapping, holding up my middle finger, doing push-ups with my shirt off, or demonstrating martial arts by chopping the podium.

Am I going to drain the swamp? No. Absolutely not. Because that’s where my family lives. We live in the swamp. If there is no swamp water, I cannot run my business. I started my own business from the ground up. It’s a paddleboat rental company that lets people battle it out on the water, incorporating a mixture of both paintball and laser tag. A lot of customers drowned the first year, but I came out all the stronger for it.

If elected, I promise you that I will not be beholden to “laws” that stop others from getting the job done. Last year, people in my state needed water and the establishment types wrung their hands and wondered, “Oh, what ever will we do?” I got to work bottling up the swamp water and writing that the water contained “coconut extract” and clearly marking “not from swamp” on every label. Politicians will tell you can’t do that. But I did, and guess what? A lot of people got water, I made a lot of money, and not everyone got dysentery.

I listen to the people. Even when the people ask me to move to a table further away from them to stop listening to their conversations, I continue listening.

I am bold and unpredictable. Doctors have testified under oath that they literally have no idea what I will do from one moment to the next. They would love to lock me up and keep me out of this election because they’re afraid of my ideas and the confusing, threatening letters I’ve been writing to my local library.

We need business leaders in charge who can actually get things done. At my corporate job, I like to cut through the elite meetings and get right to shouting, “Where are the bagels?” And pointing at people saying, “What did you do with the bagels?” Going right down the line asking, “What did you do with the bagels?” to each and every colleague. And then shaking hands with everyone there, looking them in the eyes and shouting, “Blood oath!” I usually cut my hand on the glass door whenever I barge into a room and blood is everywhere, and it makes it seem like I cut myself on purpose.

You want dirt on me? No need to look. I’ll give it to you. That’s how outsider I am. I’m the one who’ll dig up my own dirt and hand it over to you.

Let’s get into it!

  • I was married briefly to a Russian spy who seduced me and stole a lot of lucrative U.S. paddleboat industry trade secrets, and I loved the hell out of her, and I’d take her back in a heartbeat.
  • I am not a resident of the country.
  • I burn books that I disagree with or sometimes just by accident when cooking on my grill.
  • There is a Facebook group devoted to me called Stop The Panera Bread Listener with a photo of me where a lot of people write some mean, hurtful things.
  • I am not allowed to set foot within 100 yards of my local library.

I’m tired of business as usual. I hope you are too, and that’s why I’m asking for your vote next week for PTA President. Thank you.

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toddgrotenhuis
44 days ago
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Indianapolis
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