Friday, March 31, 2006

Matt's Magical Mix of Music

I know you like me. Ok, perhaps “like” is too strong of a word, but I clearly don't totally drive you crazy, or why would you keep coming back to read my blog? Seriously. Unless you are some kind of masochist or something. I think we can safely assume, then, that you like me, and so I won't feel bad about continuing to talk about myself. See, people often discuss things that they have in common, and this is what you and I have in common: we both like me. And if you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably wish you could know more about me.

Well, today we are going to explore an aspect of my life which I usually keep completely hidden from everybody. For the first time ever, I'm going to pull back the lid and let it all hang loose, so to speak. Hold on to your seats, my friends, because we are going on a wild thrill ride through the depths of..... Matt's iPod! (cue dramatic music here).

I decided to let you in on a bit of my eccentricity by putting my iPod on shuffle and revealing the first ten songs that it pulls up. I must first say that my taste in music is extremely esoteric and diverse. I love all kinds of music that I don't actually have on my iPod. What is on this blessed little device represents only music that I have access to or like to listen to often. Some of it is shamefully shallow and mainstream, some unpardonably unhip and old fashioned. Some of it may, frankly, cause you to question my sexuality. But in the interest of a full disclosure, I will reveal all. I'm not ashamed! Now, oh blessed iPod, reveal to us thy inner secrets!

1.“Santa Monica,” by Savage Garden.
I know a lot of people who hate these guys, but I rather like them and have two of their albums on here. They are a bit cheesy, but I'm a fan. So sue me. This is from their first album and its possibly my favorite track on that album. Thanks, iPod! Moving on....

2.“Bring Him Home,” from Les Miserables
Ok, I knew a song from a musical was going to come up, but this is seriously like the only song from “Les Miz” on here. What are the odds?? There's no reason for me to listen to the whole thing any more as I listened to it so many times in high school that the entire CD exists in my head and can be called forth at will.

3.“All That I Love,” from Martin Guerre
Oh look at that. Another musical. And its written by the same folks who wrote Les Miserables. Well, what can I say? This is an especially sappy love declaration that I usually skip past but its not bad when I'm in the proper mood. The whole musical is like that: extremely dramatic! It really works for me at times.

4.“London” by Third Eye Blind
I really like these guys and have since high school. Nice sound. I'm not as familiar with this song as I am with many of the others on the album, but I'm listening to it now and its certainly not bad at all. “God of Wine” is probably my favorite song on this, their first album.

5.“End It On This” by No Doubt
You see, I'm generally about ten years behind the mainstream, so here we have yet another 90s group. I really like this “Tragic Kingdom” album, and have ever since I heard it (several years AFTER it came out and was cool). “Don't Speak,” is still one of my favorite songs.

6.“Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” - ALW's Phantom
Oh, sure! All the cheesy musicals are showing up. Like Les Miz, Phantom only has this one song represented on my iPod. I appreciate Phantom for introducing me to the musical world, but I kind of consider it to be the Britney Spears of musicals. Sorry, just my opinion.

7.“This is the Moment” from Jekyll & Hyde
Oh man. This is getting embarrassing. I kind of want to stop and start over now. I have cool music, I promise. This is a rather cheesily inspiring little tune from a rather depressing little musical, another one that only has a song or two on the whole iPod. Whats the deal?

8.“Precarious” by Blues Traveller
Another song that came out when I was in high school. I'm noticing a trend. I do rather like the Blues Traveller sound, but I have only three of their songs on here that I listen to regularly. This is one of them. Gotta love that bridge, its fantastic! And anything with a harmonica solo is good in my book.

9.“Over the Moon” from Rent
Yup. I love Rent. Go figure. I never listened to this track until I saw the movie, where its performed so well by Broadway diva Idina Menzel that I love it now.

10.“Fire and Rain” by James Taylor
I really like Mr. Taylor and his smooth brand of folksy music. It really mellows me out, and this song is widely regarded, I believe, as one of his best. I certainly find it catchy. Its kind of making me want to take a pleasant and comfy nap right now, honestly.

Ok, I'm not sure the shuffle really represented my music collection accurately. Just for kicks I'm going to list the next 10 songs, only without any of the commentary. Just so we can see if we get a more accurate view of my collection:

11.“The Animal Song,” by Savage Garden
12.“I Am a Sentimental Man” from Wicked
13.“Concede” by Sister Hazel
14.“Henry V's Theme” from Henry V
15.“Different People” by No Doubt
16.“When You Say You Love Me” by Josh Groban
17.“You Must Love Me” from Evita
18.“The Tusken Camp” from Star Wars: Episode II
19.“The Way She Loves Me” by Tonic
20.“Follow the Music” by Harry Connick, Jr.


No, I don't think I came out any better with that one. Cheesy musicals, 90s music, and soundtracks from movies hardly anybody likes but me. And Josh Groban! Um.... how did that get there? Er.... I know I said earlier that I'm not ashamed, but lets just forget this ever happened, ok? In fact, I don't even HAVE an iPod! Ahem.... So! I'm just going to go... over there.... now....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Word of the Day: DISILLUSIONMENT

Every time I begin to think that I have grown sufficiently cynical and jaded to prevent any further heartbreak caused from the clash of high ideals with harsh reality, something invariably happens to prove me yet a romantic, quixotic fool with no real concept of life. At times like this I feel like disillusionment is to be my lot in life. I am fated to be continually disappointed by the world because I seem incapable of lowering my expectations.

I feel like I always look for the best in people and give them the benefit of the doubt. The problem with people is that when you extend that much confidence and trust to everybody, you are bound to be let down very often. Perhaps I'm shallow, but I always assume that people are being genuine with me and that what they are saying is what they really think. I must be arrogant, too, because I can't fathom anybody disliking or disrespecting me. It really boils down to an incredulity that anybody, especially people I barely know at all, would waste that much energy on me of all people!

And actors are the worst, it seems. Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that people skilled in being something they are not turn out to often be disingenuous. Not to mention petty, self-absorbed, hyper-critical, gossipy, and false - so very very false. Turns out this is something everybody has known all along about them, and I'm just figuring it out! I know it sounds hokey and bohemian, but I believe in the art of theater and of acting. I believe in the power of it to open minds, touch hearts, inspire, teach, and question. And I want to respect anybody who dedicates themselves to this art, because it is not easy. I want to respect them as fellow artists and rejoice in their success. I achieve this goal only part of the time, I mean I'm not perfect by any means, but I certainly hope I never give in to criticism to the point of undermining and disrespecting a fellow actor.

When I discover that many people I had worked with and known and befriended are not exactly what they seem, its enough to make me question the entire world of theater to which I plan to dedicate my life. Is this what everybody in this business is like? Is this what I'm going to have to deal with? Furthermore, am I, for all my self-righteous idealistic pratter, just the same? Don't I criticize, don't I gossip, aren't I the master of lies? Is theater really what I thought it was, or is it just a glorified ego-boost, a constant game of who gets the limelight, who gets the applause, who knows who and who's the best? And if thats all it really is at the core of it, is it really what I want to spend my life doing? And lets forget about theater for a moment – this is bigger than just this one slice of life. Isn't this how everybody really is? Don't people thrive in this world only by stepping on each other? Don't we live in an age where the economy and politics practically require this? There is no where I can go, nothing I can do where I will not have to face the fact that people, all of us, are cruel and stupid.

This kind of depression often follows my disillusionment. It is an incredibly personal sting, and I feel cut to the very quick. I question who to trust, and what to believe in. I wonder if happiness is an illusion. It is a period of time when nihilism, in all its seductive nothingness, dangles enticingly before my face as if to say, “Come on... Nothing is worth this. Nothing means anything, and everything you believed in was simply a delusion. Join me and expect nothing and you'll never be let down again. Not by your friends and loved ones. Not by yourself. Not by God. Not by anyone.”

But I don't listen. I can't. There is something inside of me, even in the dark times, that glows bright and hot and can't ever be put out no matter how many times my hopes are shattered. It is fed by the good that I have seen people do, by the power I have felt in art as a reflection of humanity, and by the unmistakable faith I possess that we are all connected, that we are all one. When I remember this light, I remember the madness in sanity, in seeing life only as it is and not as it could and should be. I rally once again my idealism around me as a buffer, as a beacon. People will always betray me, I know; and, more terrible still, I too will betray others. But I will love them and myself anyway. I will love us for what we could be, and not just for what we are. And I will not stop loving for fear of pain.

I know that this only means more inevitable disillusionment, disappointment, and depression. I know I will face this pain again, but I do not mind. I thank God for it, and I would not give it up for all the joy in the world. It is only through such pain, I think, that we can take this world of iron and make a world of gold...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Aaaargh!

Ever since starting full time work (or as I call it, killed slowly by capitalism), I've noticed that every other month or so (sometimes oftener if I really hate my job) I just need a day off. I'm not talking about Saturday and Sunday – those don't count! I mean I day where I should go to work but don't. I think this helps me feel like I'm not a total slave to the system and that I'm in control of my own life. This sense of empowerment is illusionary, but it really helps me get through the next two-months of tedium.

It's been a rough week. There have been a variety of pressures at work that made it even less attractive than usual. Its not at all surprising, then, that yesterday when I woke up I decided that in an act of moral protestation I would boycott work. I may or may not have enough sick hours to cover a whole day of absence, but I do not care. There are principles at stake. I'm a man of principles and ideals, especially in regards to this issue (I'm currently in the process of filing for “conscientious objector” status in the workforce). And so to make a long story short, I didn't go to work yesterday.

In keeping with the theme of rejecting any useful or productive activity, I spent the day doing nothing but playing video games. I think I got seven or eight straight hours in. Thats more time playing games than I've had in the last two weeks put together. It actually got a little tedious by the end, but I was trying to prove a point to myself. And anyway, the upshot of it all is that now I'm so sick of games that I won't need to play them for a few days. This is a good thing, because I've decided that video games are bad for me.

No, I'm not trying to say that games are bad in general, just that they are bad for me. Its not because they take up time that I could be using to socialize or write the great American novel. Its not because they make up an inordinately large amount of my monthly budget. The problem is that they make me very very frustrated. I have, on various occasions, thrown the control or keyboard down in rage, pulled at my hair, screamed at the top of my lungs, banged my head on the floor, and otherwise thrown a very unattractive tantrum. The strain has been detrimental to my system; I know my poor heart can't take much more.

I know what you are thinking (because I'm psychic): Why get upset over something so trivial? Its a very good question, I know. Nothing else I can think of produces such a violent reaction. I'm going to a call-back audition tomorrow for a part I have been looking forward to auditioning for since last fall, and if for whatever reason I don't get it I won't be nearly as frustrated as when I fail at a computer game. I just can't explain it.

Imagine this: you are required to climb a tall, rotating pillar to the top a cliff (sounds reasonable, right?). In addition to its spinning movement, the pillar sports huge, very sharp protuding knives that you must avoid in your ascent. One false move, one touch of a blade and you fall all the way down to the bottom and must start again! Imagine you have attempted this climb over thirty times, and you still cannot make it even half way before screwing up. I was in this situation in a game yesterday, and let me tell you I was weeping with frustration and an enormous sense of inadequacy. I mean, if I can't even climb a spinning pillar of rotating knives, how am I going to accomplish anything in this life?

I make it all the worse by screwing myself over so often. On another game I tried playing yesterday (to take a break from the rotating knives) I kept making life needlessly difficult for myself. I kept forgetting to save my game, and I would make a mistake and die only to realize that the last time I saved was over thirty minutes ago. This happened many, many times. On each re-attempt, I would swear to myself that when I made it to a certain point right before the danger area, I would save. Its the logical thing to do. And each time I would once again barge right in without bothering to save and end up failing. Upon realizing that I now have to do the last 20-30 minutes over again, I really lost it. I ran around my room in a panic, pounded the walls, and collapsed on the bed sobbing.

Why do these games produce such a reaction? Am I really judging my self-worth based on my ability to maneuver a little electronic man through various artifical obstacles? Does it remind me that I'm no more adept at guiding myself around the various pitfalls of life? Or I am simply venting frustrations from other things in a non-confrontational way? And why am I so stupid that I can't remember to hit the SAVE button? It takes three seconds!

Anyway, I did end up beating one of the games yesterday, but I was pretty worn out by the time I did. It was then that I got to thinking that perhaps I need to take a break for a while and put my life back into perspective. After all, when your recreational activities cause as much stress as work, there's something wrong with the situation. I used to tell people I played video games “to relax,” but it became very obvious yesterday that, if relaxation is my goal, maybe I should take up yoga instead.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Vocabulary Lesson


In keeping with my personal mission statement to "assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life" I have decided to post an educational blog today. I'm going to present ten wonderfully descriptive and useful adjectives which you can actually use in conversation and writing! Any one of these illuminative words could really spice up your life. Give it a try!

1. affable - easy & pleasant to speak to; approachable.

2. chimerical - given to unrealistic fanatasies

3. dicombobulated - thrown into a state of confusion

4. facetious - playfully jocular, bantering, tongue-in-cheek

5. fictive - of, relating to, or able to engage in imaginative invention

6. garrulous - given to excessive and often trivial or rambling talk ; wordy

7. latitudinarian - holding or expressing broad or tolerant views

8. lugubrious - mournful, dismal, or gloomy to an exaggerated degree

9. prurient - inordinately interested in matters of sex

10. quixotic - caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality.

OK, I hope you took notes, because there will be a quiz later! And some bonus points if you can figure out what all the words have in common... Post your guesses in the comments section!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Where??

Well, the debate is over and the questions of my immediate future have at last been answered. I have been offered a spot in an MFA acting program and I have accepted it. It is done. I'm leaving. My future beckons.

It's a three-year program that emphasizes in classical repretory acting (which means Shakespeare and the like for you non-theater people). The facilities and faculty seem top rate, and the third year includes a working internship with one of a number of prestigious professional theaters. All in all, it seems to be exactly what I was hoping for, with only one exception.

It's in South Carolina. Where's that, you ask? Well, the easy answer is just below North Carolina, but I won't be that facile with you. It's a much more complex question than you think. What on earth am I, who have never lived east of the Mississippi river, going to do on the east coast deep in the heart of the old south? I don't know anything about this state! Before this year, I've never given South Carolina more than a passing thought.

To fix this gross ignorance on my part, I decided to do a little research to see what I could find about this so-called “place.” Here's what I discovered:

1. South Carolina is not named after a woman named Carol, but after King Charles II of England (the son of the guy who got beheaded) because, apparently, Carolus is the Latin form of Charles. If the settlers had not known Latin then the state would have been called South Charlina. And that would have been dumb.

2. The current population of the state is 4,198,068 – give or take a few thousand. That's roughly 1,500,000 more people than live in Utah. It is also significantly smaller in size than Utah. It's going to be a bit more crowded, therefore. It's not standing room only or anything, but probably pretty close.

3. The state's nickname is the Palmetto State. Wow. I assume people from there are called South Carolinans, but only my friend Dai would know for sure. He has an interest in that kind of thing.

4. The state seal was displayed at the top of this post. The state flag is incredibly dull and looks like this:

5. The religious make-up of the state is 92% Christian, which includes 84% Protestants, which includes 45% Baptists. Other Christian (that's us) = 1%.

6. Historically, South Carolina was one of the original 13 American colonies. It was the 8th state to join the Union, which it did in 1788. This means it is very old, at least in American terms. Older than any state I've ever been to, let alone lived in.

7. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union in the Civil War. What a troublemaker. This means I will probably see a fair share of Confederate flags there. Being a red state, part of the “heartland” of grass-roots America, I expect most of the people who own these flags are violently patriotic and fail to see the irony of them possessing such a powerful symbol of sedition and dissent (not to mention racism and bigotry).

As you no doubt have discerned already, I came to my research with a lot of preconcieved notions about South Carolina. After all, this is the site of the grand old south of the past. I immediately think of large plantation mansions, fields full of black slaves, and southern belles in large dresses saying “Ah do declah,” to each other whilst fanning themselves furiously. I wondered how I would live amongst a people who are probably even more conservative and intolerant than any other group of people with whom I have had to co-exist. I assumed that, in South Carolina, men abuse women, people of color are called horrible names, and homosexuals are shot.

It became clear to me very suddenly however that if anybody was acting like a bigot, it was me. After all, I was judging an entire group of people based on some kind of vague pre-concieved notions and not on their individual merits. I was doing the very thing that I was condemning them for – I was stereotyping. Just because they speak with a drawl, that means they are ignorant and prejudiced? How could I think something like that? I'm the liberal! I'm the one who claims to be for treating all human beings with respect and dignity and against treating them unfairly because of their race or lifestyle or place of origin. And yet I catch myself engaging in the same acts of misjudgment and intolerance that I oppose in others. I think this is the biggest problem with liberals, in all honesty. In opposing intolerance and extremism, many people become intolerant and extreme. That doesn't do much for our already struggling cause. The biggest trouble for the liberal "movement" are liberals themselves. We keep shooting ourselves in the feet. I laugh when people talk about a “liberal agenda” because nine times out of ten liberals aren't organized and unified enough to make a grocery list, let alone an agenda. Yes, this is pretty much why the Democratic Party is such a mess, but don't get me started.... I'm straying from the point here anyway.

In the end, I think living in South Carolina is really going to be good for me. If there's one group of people in America that I feel I have treated unfairly in my thoughts and speech, it is southerners. And it will be a good experience to live there and to meet people, individual people, and to make friends and break through these stereotypes and notions that I have about them. In the end, people are people, wherever they are from, and I think this will be a great lesson for me. And who knows, perhaps I will enjoy and even in my own way come to love the Palmetto State. The point is I'm going to give it a fair and open chance. South Carolina, let me shake your hand...

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Weekend: Because I Didn't Know What Else To Write About

I don't mention enough what great friends I've had in my life. I spent some time this weekend with a few of them. My friend Ben and I drove up to Salt Lake to watch Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story which turned out to be a pleasant experience all around. In addition to being extremely funny and a snappy dresser, Ben is always good for some old-fashioned erudite conversation. Our topics of discussion range from science fiction novels to theater and art, from nerdy games to thoughtful social criticism. We enjoyed the film immensely. I love going to the Broadway theater in SLC because the audience always seems to be very engaged in whats going on. There was a lot of hearty laughter all around us at the wacky, rather dry humor of the movie, and that really added to the experience.

Afterwards, we felt like going someplace nice-ish to eat, so we drove around downtown Salt Lake looking for culinary options. He nearly embarassed me to death when we pulled up along side two girls in a sports car at a red light. I know Ben well enough to expect that, in a situation like that, I really don't know what to expect from him. Fortunately, he was able to control himself and merely gave the girls “the eye” which I don't think they noticed. If he had rolled down the window and said something to them, he would have officially been a “scrub” (according to the definition given in that great artistic song “No, I Don't Want No Scrubs”) plus he would have made me blush furiously. Thanks for sparing me that, Ben.

We ended up at a rather quaint Italian restaurant which tried very hard to create a doting Italian mother atmosphere. They take you through the kitchen before seating you so you can meet the cooks. The walls are filled with black and white pictures of “the old country.” It was quite crowded, which is usually a good sign. While impressed with the atmosphere, Ben and I found ourselves a bit disappointed with the food itself, and especially with the length it time for us to get it. Still, the wait provided more fruitful time for us to discuss issues of great import, so we didn't complain too much.

Something rather amusing happened before the night was done. After dinner, we were scheduled to pick up our friend Say Jay at her cousin's house in West Jordan or someplace like that and bring her back to Provo. As the co-pilot, Ben was placed on the phone with first Say Jay and then her cousin in order to receive correct directions to her house. Ben ended up on the phone with the cousin, a complete stranger to us, for long stretches of time while I drove to the next turn or exit, etc. To pass the time he began to chat with her in quite a Ben way; i.e., slightly flirtatious and sarcastic. I encouraged this by feeding him some lines in this manner:

Ben: So what kind of cousins are you two? First cousins? Second cousins?
Matt: (whispers) Kissing cousins!
Ben: Kissing cousins?
(Both boys laugh hysterically)

Such nonsense seemed ok because we assumed that the cousin was Say Jay's age, single, and receptive to such funny shinnanagins from two attractive and ultimately super nice boys. Indeed, nothing in her responses over the phone indicated this assumption to be incorrect. We were enjoying ourselves immensely (except that I really had to pee). Imagine our chagrin, then, when upon arrival Say Jay's cousin turns out to be an older, very exhausted looking mother of a newborn baby sitting next to her husband! Ben later expressed to me his mortification, which I shared.

I have suddenly realized that this is one of those stories that loses most of its appeal when it is described. Trust me when I say that, at the time, we found it very funny.

The rest of the weekend was spent in various fun ways. I spent most of Saturday filming a no-budget movie I have a part in. That was fun. Saturday night my brother was working and my roommate was shaking his groove thang in Salt Lake so I was bored out of my mind. But I watched “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and ate snacks before crying myself to sleep.

On Sunday I spent some time at grandma's and a lot of time with my roommate, who I will miss dearly when I have to leave. We watched “The West Wing,” which only has a few episodes left before its over for good, and thats very sad. It was, as always, extremely good. Then my friend from high school Will called me and it was great to hear from him.

All in all it was an eventful weekend.

I never wanted my blog to become a glorified journal. I guess it is today. Here's some poetry to mitigate that a bit, courtesy of my dear friend Oscar Wilde:

Each man kills the thing he loves, by each let this be heard.
Some do it with a bitter look, some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with a sword.

Some kill their love when they are young, some when they are old.
Some strangle with the hands of lust, some with the hands of gold.
The kindest use a knife because, the dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long, some buy and others sell.
Some do the deed with so many tears, and some without a sigh.
For each man kills the thing he loves, yet each man does not die
.

Yeah. So.... don't think of this post as "disjointed." I prefer something more along the lines of "postmodern."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hamlet Pictures

Due to an incredible stroke of good luck on my part, I get to do Hamlet again every Tuesday for the next couple of months! I'm very excited about this, as I found that I missed the experience much more than I thought I would. For historical interest, I have decided to post a number of pictures from last semester, courtesy of Fallon. This way I'll have an easy place to look back and remember...
Here we have the whole cast in the van, singing along to "All I Want For Christmas Is You."




From left to right:
Chris Clark (Claudius/Ghost) Spencer Green (Laertes/Player) Matt Haws (Hamlet)













David St. Julian (Horatio/Player) Laura Sorensen (Queen Gertrude) Debra Moses (Polonia/Gravedigger)





Our patient Stage Manager, Becky! And Fallon (Ophelia)






Most of the cast in costume at the start of the show.




Chris Clark as the Ghost of Hamlet's father. How on earth am I supposed to take this spirit seriously??




Hamlet and Gertrude








Fallon scaring the crap out of some little kid with her demonic eyes.








A number of shots of the cast.



















Seriously. Good times, man. Good times.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How I Feel Today

I feel as though I'm coming off a funk I've been in lately. The last week or so I've been up and down, though mostly down. I've had this sore throat and runny nose and gunk for over a week now and though it hasn't really been bad enough to interfere too much in my life its certainly been annoying. Plus there's been a lot to think about, a lot of unexpected changes coming my way and I'm not at all sure how to handle them. Plus the Oscars were pretty depressing. But mostly I found myself regressing into uncertainty and doubt and fear and shame, which were once my constant companions and who I have only begun recently to live without. At times fear clenched my heart and drained me of all my power, like some kind of kryptonite. I felt apathetic and pessimistic. I was overwhelmed by the odds. I wanted to give up on everything.

No more. Today I feel full of energy and drive, like I can do anything. Once again I remember the choices I made long ago not to meddle in “what ifs” or “if onlys,” not to regret things that I had no control over, to take what life has given me and enjoy it to the best of my ability. I've remembered my commitment to being honest with myself, proud of myself, to love myself. I've reclaimed the power to stand tall and speak out, to say what is left unsaid, to challenge and expand minds, and to be the voice for the voiceless.

If this sounds like the mantra a superhero would spout before he took off into the light of the setting sun to fight evil, its because I'm feeling like a superhero today. A Man of Steel! A Boy Wonder! Watch me go higher and higher until, at last, I touch stars....

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Job Openings #1

Bored with dull corporate nowhere jobs? Looking for excitement, a chance to travel, meet new people, and be part of a success-oriented and motivated team? Then you should consider an exciting career in anonymous henchmaning!

The recent boost in the evil villian market has left a huge demand for capable, detail-oriented, and above all totally obedient legions of henchman. This new opportunity can offer excitement and job fulfillment like no other industry. Common duties involve: setting up and running a complicated underground lair, patrolling sensitive areas in highly predictive patterns, half-heartedly guarding important prisoners, and assisting evil masterminds in their plots and eventual escapes.

If you are physically fit, combat-able, and utterly incapable of thinking for yourself, then anonymous henchman may be the right job for you. Our introductory packages include a three-month internship with a disreputable evil organization, followed by assignment to a cutting edge base of operations for a major villian. All expenses are paid, and all living arrangements are provided. And, for a limited time only, receive this complimentary tote bag as a sign-up bonus.

Benefits include full health and dental coverage, lots of down-time between plots, sick and vacation days, a generous 401k plan, and a possibility of advancement.

Employment with an evil organization requires complete anonymity, as a security precaution. Your identity – your name, personality, emotions, and memories – will be removed for the duration of your service. These will be returned to you upon completion of your tour-of-duty, if in fact you actually had any of them to begin with.

While unlikely, there are number of potential risks associated with the life of a henchman. These include, but are not limited to: being ambushed and stripped of clothing, killed for the amusement of bored supergeniuses, used as a test subject for a new evil device, destroyed in the self-destruction of evil base, chafed from ill-fitting uniforms, and, most commonly, shot down mercilessly by enemy agents who never miss and never think twice about taking your pathetic, anonymous life.

So what are you waiting for? Don't let this fascinating career opportunity pass you by! In three months, you could be working for a distinguished employer such as the Galactic Empire, Jabba the Hutt, Lex Luthor, the Joker, Goldfinger, Dr. No, Dr. Evil, Dr. Doom, Dr. Octopus, Microsoft, or Anne Coulter! Your friends will be so jealous when they hear about your work day. Nancy may have closed an important sales deal, but you helped hold the free world for ransom! Sign up today!!