April 17, 2014
The SAT Hates Me & Possibly You, Too

What was your score on the SAT? Wait, before you answer that, just know that I earned a 239 (out of 2400). A 239. That’s a score that brought shame to my family of scholars and public intellectuals. That’s also a score that derailed any college plans I had (both the schools I applied to, Yale and www.freecollege.net, were extremely disappointed and quickly sent back rejection letters; freecollege.net’s exclusion was the biggest blow, because that was my grandpa’s Alma mater) and left me with only one other viable future, which mainly consists of bumming around in search of master thespian Shia LaBeouf (see “Everybody Wears Shoes”). And even though I’m quite excited to begin The Great LaBeouf Hunt post high school, my friends and family have labeled the plan “delusional” and “is Shia LaBeouf that kid fromHoles?” Nevertheless, my score of 239 is perplexing and bewildering and other synonyms for confusing. I mean, I’ve usually been a very versatile student, receiving mainly A’s and B’s and C’s and D’s and F’s, so when I got back an envelope stating that I had I finished in the “lower .16% of intelligence” I was quite embarrassed and shocked. Over the next couple of days, I began to question everything I knew: Was I more stupider than I had previously ever assumed? Do I just not know much about many different things? Should I not have guessed William Taft for every single question? But, deep down, I knew that these weren’t plausible answers. So I started to look closer. And not long after I began my investigation, I came to a disturbing conclusion. The SAT hates people like me: White, middle class and male.

Now, I know that it may be a bit of a bold accusation to underline the SAT as a racist, class discriminating, misandrist organization, but recent statistics prove ample evidence. In 2013, I scored a 239, whereas all other students who aren’t white middle class men scored an average of 1498. That’s a twelve hundred point difference.Coincidence? I don’t know what that word means.

Here’s a clear-cut example of the inequitable playing field: Coming into test day, I had the disservice of years and years of SAT prep classes and insightful test-taking strategies, so when I sat down to fill in the bubbles, I quickly became bored and unengaged by the assessment, because I knew, beat-by-beat, what was going to be on the test. Now, if I was only lucky enough to come from a more poverty-stricken background that couldn’t afford tutors and books and instructional DVDs, I would’ve been so surprised and intrigued by the questions that I would have excelled.

Really, you still don’t believe that I wasn’t cheated by the system? Well, how about this: On the essay portion of the test, I scored a 43 (out of 800). This, if you look closely, is pretty horrible and hard to believe. Especially considering I’m such a wonderful, well-worded writer (example: great alliteration) and I more than adequately answered the prompt, which was: “Do growth and progress make us happy or do they lead to dissatisfaction?” Here’s a little excerpt from my response, you can serve judge to its content:

Of course I thought Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian was far superior to the original. The screenplay is crisp and tightly-plotted, the stakes have been raised and the production design is top-notch. Plus, this time-around, we, the audience, get a much deserved cameo from Cheaper By the Dozen’s Eugene Levy… (For my die-hard readers—and I know you’re out there—who wish to read the rest of my nineteen page essay, aptly titled “Ben Stiller Films in a Post 9/11 America,” you can find it on my personal blog.)

But let us not digress, for there is a far more important task at hand: The SAT’s prejudices towards marginally well-off white men. Has the problem reached epidemic levels yet? Who’s to actually say? But I do know for certain that I’m not the only one affected by their myopic grading scale. I talked to another THS Student, who asked to go unnamed (we’ll call him Calt Borton), that suffers from a very similar story. “I know it’s a conspiracy,” proclaimed Borton, who also scored in the low 200s. “I have this insider at the SAT—he wouldn’t want his name in print so… let’s just refer to him as Cort Balton—he told me that those who grade the tests watermark and deduct points from every single student who is white, comes from an average income family and subscribes to the male gender.”

Obviously change needs to come. Fortunately, over the last few months, the SAT has begun to roll out a list of alterations that would affect the test as soon as 2016. Unfortunately, no where on their itinerary reveals a desire to address the elephant in the room. So where do we go from here? Do we react to the injustice with violence? Personally, I’m a pacifist (meaning I watched all of HBO’s mini-series The Pacific in one sitting), so I don’t believe that to be a proper solution. Do we stage sit-ins and protests? Uh-uh, I don’t think so. Do we write bloated opinion pieces for the school newspaper? Of course not, nobody reads those. Truthfully, the only way to fight this bias—which extends beyond knowledge based assessments—is to just keep on striving for equality with perseverance and determination. And who knows? If we just keep our heads down and work extra hard, someday we may even have a President who is a white male and the product of an affluent background.

March 3, 2014
Everybody Wears Shoes

 Based on an Idea by the Ghost of Shia LaBeouf

It doesn’t take too observant of an eye to notice that many Tumwater High School students are stressed out. Applying to colleges, considering career paths and scoping out a future can be both emotionally and physically draining. Luckily for me, I have none of this worry about. You heard me right. I’m forgoing most of the expected norms of a high school senior because, thanks to a premonition I’ll address later, I’ve already got my whole life mapped out. And guess what, this striking, bold vision includes no such thing as a scholarship worksheet. (I’m sure you’re all just biting at your lips to figure out what ol’ Colt’s got rolled up his sleeve this time.) Well let me tell you: Rather than receiving a higher education or getting a job, I’ve decided to instead become extremely wealthy, a multi-millionaire most likely.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Colt, how on God’s green Earth do you plan on coming into such good fortune?’ To which I reply, ‘By receiving lots of cold hard cash.’ I know. I know. My plan is a bit wacky and definitely not for everyone. I mean, I wouldn’t expect most of my readers to desire extreme riches and a life of comfort and happiness, but in my humble opinion, that sounds pretty nice. Financially, I think it makes quite a bit of sense to be in the upper-percentage of wealth. And emotionally, I believe I would overwhelmed with joy if I was terribly rich.

Of course, this is a dream I’m going to have to defend. I’m sure I have many critics who would label such a goal as illogical and nonsensical. Something that’s nearly impossible to achieve. But let me tell you, this idea, it came to me in the most non-illogical, non-nonsensical place of all: My dreams.

So there I was, shopping at the grocery store with one of my best friends in the entire world, my mother. We were just picking up the usual: Six pounds of bleu cheese dressing and a lifetime supply of egg nog. But then something caught the corner of my eye. I looked down and realized that I was like the old baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson, shoeless. Embarrassed, I glanced around the store to see if anybody else was missing their shoewear, but much to my dismay, I was the only one. I was horrified beyond reason. One thing lead to another and next you know, I’m running around the local Safeway like a chicken absent his head. But then, in a moment of clarity, I saw him. He lowered down from the store rafters, presumably from the heavens Lo and behold, he was none other than the apparition of Shia LaBeouf. ‘What are you doing here,’ I thought inwardly. ‘Shouldn’t you be out pretending to be an artist.’ But he spoke first.

“Hey, bub. Why are you so badly freaking out?”

“Well, I, uh, well,” I stammered in awe of his celebrity, “I don’t have any shoes.”

“What do you want shoes for? Everybody wears shoes.” He waxed philosophically. “Do you just want to be another mindless grunt who wears white Keds?”

“I guess not.”

“Well, then stop worrying about your dang shoes, bub!” Then LaBeouf jumped straight to the point. “Here, have this briefcase full of two hundred and fifty million dollars, all unmarked bills.”

He then tossed me a briefcase full of two hundred and fifty million dollars, all unmarked bills.” I looked at the green dough with a feeling of giddy that had not been presented to my psyche in many a year. But then I realized why all of this absurdity was happening. “Isn’t this just a dream?” I asked the omniscient, benevolent LaBeouf. “Is this not nothing more than a mere reflection of my subconscious?”

He answered with a question. “Is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford running for re-election?”

“God, I hope not.” I said cautiously.

And then I woke up, literally and spiritually. That night I learned something about myself. I don’t want to be another “mindless grunt” that responsibly plans their future; From this moment on, I will spend the rest of my life loitering around Safeway, waiting for LaBeouf and his briefcase.

February 21, 2014
Be My Valentine

Originally published February 7th, 2014:

This time of year—less than a week away from Valentine’s day—always makes me a little sad. It seems that everywhere I turn, love is in the air. Only reminding me that I’m alone and dateless for this very special holiday. Exactly why, I’m not totally sure; I mean, I’m charismatic and charming and handsome and so humble. It must be that I have too high of standards. Maybe the dream girl I’ve been holding out for is too specific and unrealistic. Who knows? Actually, how about this: I’ll give you a breakdown of my imaginary sweetheart and you can be the judge.

Before I become too superficial, I would like to point out that my ideal Valentine should, on top of everything else, have a warm personality and wonderful sense of humor and blah blah blah. O.K., know that we’ve included that little disclaimer, let us get onto the good stuff. First off, I would prefer a slim build. And don’t worry, it’s not a total vanity thing. I mainly perceive a nice, fit body as a life extender and chance of survival enhancer. Also, she must have very nice skin, hopefully covered in beautiful orange and red scales. Plus, nice long pointy teeth are a must. Oh, and that tail! I’m a sucker for a nice tail.

But, regardless of how arousing and sensual this may read, the aforementioned imagery is just empty descriptors, meaningless and a dime a dozen. The feature that sets my dream girl apart from the pack is something that’s very specific and hard to come by. (Trust me, I’ve been looking.) She must have a patch of neck fat folded behind her head, giving off an intimidating appearance that scares off larger, more violent predators. (Honestly, I get goose bumps just writing such titillating words.)

My worst fear (other than fear itself) it that I’ll never find her. I’ll spend my whole life on the prowl, and end up alone and miserable and have no one to blame except for myself and my Match.com profile guru. But I just feel that if I were to settle for anything less, say your typical “January Jones” type, than I’d be even more downhearted. I’m in such a dilemma! In moments like these, my mom always tries to cheer me up by saying that “there are plenty of fish in the sea.” But that never really eased the pain. Probably because I’m not attracted to fish. I’m attracted to frill-necked lizards.

February 21, 2014
Who Wore Him Better?

Originally published February 7th, 2014:

With the Golden Globes behind us and the Oscars less than a few weeks away, the Hollywood award season is in full swing. And along with recognition for some of the year’s most acclaimed films, that also means red carpet fashion. Some of it’s good, some of it’s bad, but nothing is more interesting then when two celebs wear the same John C. Reilly on their shoulder. Because when it does happen, we get to ask the question: Who wore him better?

Mad Men star January Jones (pictured left) was probably “mad, man” when she saw her unique fashion sensibility occupied. While Diane Keaton (opposite of left, right?) of Something’s Gotta Give fame, presumably thought “hey, something’s gotta give” after noticing Jones also sporting the Boogie Nights actor as an accessory.

February 21, 2014
Super Bowl XLVII Recap

Originally published February 7th, 2014:

Written By Syndicated Sports Writer Carl Hensley

East Rutherford, N.J.—Played for a MetLife audience of 50,000 screaming morons who actually believed the outcome of the game mattered, Super Bowl XLVII kicked off to a slow start.

After a quick five minute first quarter, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks were stuck in a scoreless draw. But things quickly changed a minute and a half into the second quarter, when Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning broke into the score box and gave his team three “free” points. “I just thought it would benefit my team in the long run,” Manning told reporters after the game. “Truthfully,” he smiled, “I didn’t think anybody would notice.”

But manager Pete Carroll (former punt returner of the Philadelphia Eagles) and his Seahawks were quick with a response, thanks to a twelve yard touchdown run by Marshawn “Where’s the Beef?” Lunch. Lunch would finish the game with seven yards and a touchdown.

Going into the half, the Seahawks were able to hold onto their four point lead over the Broncos.

As for the half time entertainment show, Bruno Mars’ performance was pretty tame and unnotable up until he took off his skin costume and revealed himself as 80s pop star Prince. Judging from crowd reaction, many found Prince’s slowed down, acoustic version of “When Doves Cry” to be quite poignant and heartfelt.

After a lackluster first half, both teams knew they had to improve quickly if they wanted any shot at the trophy. “Do you know what happens if we don’t win?” Broncos coach Dane Rodder said to a bunch of thirty year old men sitting in a circle holding hands, “we still get millions and millions of dollars.”

The Broncos returned to the gridiron with rejuvenated spirits, but were struck with a thirty minute game delay at the fault of the Seahawks, who became lost in the locker room hallways. With the time loss, the referees made an impromptu decision to forgo the third quarter, stating that “the fourth [quarter] is the only one that really matters anyway.”

Before I write about the fourth quarter, I need to point something out; Because of a faulty contact in my eye, I spent most of the remaining minutes in the bathroom messing with my irritation. So while I’m not exact on all the small details, I still was able to pick up most everything from crowd reaction. At one point there was a loud cheer for a “Where’s the Beef?” touchdown, but I heard that was called back because the Seahawks had twelve men on the field. Other than that though, it seemed pretty quiet. All I really know for sure is that the Broncos kicked a five point field goal as time expired to clinch the victory. Luckily though, a kind stranger in the bathroom showed me a nice technique for removing my eye contact.

February 21, 2014
Pope XVI: A New Hope

Originally published March 15th, 2013:

Following his recent departure from the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI has been living his golden years to the fullest.

Spotted at a number of high profile clubs around the Los Angeles area, the once-highly beloved man of God is “having the time of [his] life.” Adding, “I should’ve quit a lot sooner!”

Nevertheless, it’s not all fun and games for the eighty six year old: Benedict has also been hired to direct the new anxiously awaited Star Wars sequel.

“I grew up on the Star Wars franchise, and it just means the world to me.” Benedict also proclaimed that “this is definitely the most important things [he’s] ever been put in charge of.”

When asked what to expect in the new film, he simply put “more Jar-Jar Binks.”

February 21, 2014
Charles Darwin: A Biography

Originally published October 25th, 2013:

Charles R. Darwin (1802-1882) was a highly influential British scientific explorer and multiple winner of People Magazine’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ (1834, 1845, 1880).

Originally planning to be a doctor, Darwin attended Cambridge University, earning his doctorate and being voted “Most Likely to Die of Bird Flu” by his fellow classmates. But after the course ended, he decided that his time would be better suited not in the medical field, but rather traveling to an exotic land to stare at plants.

Darwin’s journey began in 1831, when he and a small team sailed 500 miles west of South America onto the scarcely populated Galápagos Islands. His breakthrough came when he noticed that the animals and plants best suited for the environment where the ones most likely to survive (because obvioubsly). It would take him five years to come to this realization. It would have taken less time, but because of his dreamy good looks and world renowned beard, his fellow female explorers often distracted him.

After over twenty years of further developing his theory, Darwin published “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” in 1859. The study was extremely controversial upon its release, because many found the title too long. But over time, his ideas became much more highly regarded, mainly due to the fact that the book’s name was shortened to “The Origin of Species.”

Darwin died on April 19, 1882 in Westminster Abbey. To this day he is best remembered as Britain’s first and only sex symbol.

February 21, 2014
The Ten Most Common New Year’s Resolutions

Originally published December 18th, 2013:

10. Watch more books and read less television.
9. Stop setting unrealistic goals that can never be fulfilled.
8. Purchase a home gym set and then shamefully neglect it.
7. Now that the buzz has died down, finally make a Harlem Shake video.
6. Finish off payment on Cheers DVD box set.
5. Volunteer more regularly, like once a year.
4. Begin preparation on New Year’s Resolutions list earlier.
3. Learn how to count.

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