* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we don't have as much money as God but we do have him as a columnist, thanks to first-time contributor Ryan Wolin.

A Column Written By God For NewYorkTimes.com

By:
ryanwolin@gmail.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: God has graciously agreed to write a monthly column for this website. We’re beyond thrilled to provide a forum for Our Lord to share His divine wisdom, sage advice and profound insight into the people and events that have shaped history. It’s sure to be illuminating and humbling for all of us. His Holiness has free rein to muse on any topic He sees fit, completely unedited. This is the first installment of the series we’re calling “God’s Eye View: A Heavenly Perspective on Life.” Please enjoy.

EDITOR’S NOTE: After receiving many, many emails from readers, we’ve decided to give this column a quick editorial pass. In the interest of transparency, we’ll note any changes we make going forward. In the meantime, please enjoy the column. It’s not every day that The Lord puts the eternal glory of life into words.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In an earlier version of this column, God referred to The Twelve Commandments. The mistake has been corrected.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve corrected the frequent misspelling of the word “apossles” throughout the column. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve removed several offensive remarks and offer our sincere apologies to the women of the LPGA tour. We regret the breach in journalistic standards.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve removed the phonetically-spelled obscenities from God’s all-caps rant blasting the WWE’s decision to bury Jack Swagger on the undercard at Summerslam.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve replaced the term “kick-ass” with “regretfully heinous” in the section now titled “The 10 Most Regretfully Heinous Executions in History.” We regret the breach in journalistic standards.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In an earlier version of this column, the list of Moses’ accomplishments included winning the 400m hurdles at the 1976 Olympics. That was achieved by American track star Edwin Moses. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve removed the detailed description of Moses’ heavily perspiring scrotum from the retelling of his walk through the desert. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve fixed the many incorrectly labeled bible verses and removed all quotes attributed to the “Book of Gordon,” which doesn’t actually exist. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve removed all references to The Baconator after learning that God did in fact receive financial compensation from Wendy’s for each mention. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We apologize for the insensitivity God showed when comparing the hardships endured by black slaves to how it feels trying to open a bag of trail mix when there’s no notch cut in the corner. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In an earlier version of this column, God confused the Seventh Commandment with Cypress Hill’s advice to never get high on your own supply. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve kept God’s retelling of David vs. Goliath as written. However, we do acknowledge its uncanny similarity to the Undertaker vs. Mick Foley Hell-in-a-Cell match from 1999’s WWE King of the Ring pay-per-view.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve removed the list of animals it’s okay for people to have sex with. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve amended the rankings of God’s greatest creations so that #1 and #2 are no longer “boobs.” Furthermore, “the human soul” has been moved into the top ten ahead of the saguaro cactus. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this column contained a passage reading “…the human accomplishments I’m most proud of are (google some shit or whatever).” We can all guess what happened here. We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this column contained a photo of God holding hands with Victoria Beckham at the beach. The photo was clearly a piece of shoddy Photoshopping meant to impress male readers, as evidenced by the tiny proportions of God’s head and the fact His body had the same tattoos as David Beckham.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve removed the text reading “Click here for the meaning of life,” which readers thought would link to life-saving wisdom, but instead opened the music video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

EDITORS NOTE: We’ve removed the quotes of John Johnson raving about God’s supreme judgment and wisdom, as research has left us highly skeptical of Johnson’s existence.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In an earlier version of this column, the section titled “The 3 Most Inspirational Humans of the Last 300 Years” was significantly longer. We’ve since greatly pared back the portion on Malibu from American Gladiators.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In God’s account of the crucifixion, we’ve removed the mention of a fourth nail, as there’s no historical record of Jesus “also taking one right in the ol’ bag of beans.” We regret the error.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the section on Hammurabi’s Code, we’ve substituted the familiar “eye” and “tooth” in place of God’s preferred body parts, if only to cut down on the numerous references to male genitalia littered throughout the piece.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s God’s official response to accusations of plagiarizing: “I’ve never even read Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, so how could I steal Dumbledore’s speech from it?” We at this publication won’t take sides. However, when notifying God of the plagiarism allegations, we never specified what book he was accused of stealing from.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In an earlier version of this column, God confused dictator Adolph Hitler with character actor William Fichtner. We sincerely apologize to Mr. Fichtner for attributing his lively performance in Drive Angry to Hitler, while blaming him for the death and torture of 6 million Jews.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To prove His all-knowing powers, God shared His tweet from before last season predicting that the Broncos would win the Super Bowl 24-10. While seemingly impressive, a quick glance at his Twitter timeline reveals He predicted many teams to win by many different score lines. Update: The other tweets have now been deleted.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this column ended with the word “purple” copied and pasted hundreds of times. We suspect this is the result of our agreement to pay God by the word. Which in hindsight, explains His insistence that we perform a quick word count and immediately wire him the money.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve removed the entire column. We apologize to all those who’ve been offended, particularly the NAACP, female police officers, families of those lost in the 9/11 attacks, the employees of Sport Clips, The National Holocaust Museum and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

 

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we like to think we know how to make a movie from almost anything. So does our good friend Matthew David Brozik. When you're done reading his fine new piece, click on the ad for his book "Whimsy & Soda" on the right-hand side of this page, and your sins will be forgiven.

Paying Two Million Dollars To Option “Blank Book” Might Have Been A Mistake

By:
brozik@gmail.com
@spidermensch

Gentlemen, we aren’t going to deny that we might have committed a serious blunder. Paying a substantial sum to lock up the opportunity to turn “Blank Book” into a feature film might not have been in the best interest of the studio. If indeed this presents a problem without a viable solution, then we will, with regret, tender our immediate resignations. Before you make that determination, however, we would be grateful for a chance to explain our thinking and to offer some suggestions for salvaging the studio’s investment.

As you are no doubt keenly aware, in recent years first-run motion pictures have been capturing an ever-decreasing share of the entertainment market. The age of social media and video streaming is blighted by a steady decline in the number of moviegoers. Moreover, three of every four movies shown in theaters is a sequel, prequel, or remake. Charged with identifying and securing the rights to something utterly original, but which would also appeal to so-called “Digitals,” we sent our 24-year-old intern to the nearest bookstore to scan the shelves for a property that could be turned into the next bona fide blockbuster. She asked if she could stay at her desk and visit amazon.com instead, and we agreed that this would be a more efficient approach. So far, so good. Indeed, Kaylee offered to stay awake and online for as long as it would take her to pick a winner.

Unfortunately — and we want to be clear that we’re not blaming Kaylee, whose internship with the studio has already ended — when she brought us a printout of the screenshot of the listing for the item, being pressed for time, as we all always are, we focused primarily on the size of the book — 256 pages in hardcover, which gave us the impression that there would be more than enough material for a 90-minute film — rather than the description, which would have informed us that there is no text on any of the pages. (As a side note, this episode has taught us that there are numerous amateur creatives who prefer to generate material “from scratch,” as it were.) More unfortunately still, we had reached out to the publisher with a generous option offer before we realized that “Blank Book” was a blank book. Our offer was accepted within the hour, without the need for any negotiation. In retrospect, this also should have been a sign that something was amiss. Alas, by that time we had entered the studio into a legally binding agreement.

While simply letting the option expire in six months and putting the whole thing behind us as a learning experience is a legitimate course of action, it feels a bit irresponsible, financially. Better, perhaps, would be to move the project forward, turning the property over to one of the screenwriters under contract and seeing what they can do with it. We’ve made some preliminary inquiries, and we’re pleased to be able to report that Jeremy Renner is “intrigued” by the possibility of playing supersecret superagent “Frank ‘Blank’ Booke” in a three-movie franchise, if the character is sufficiently likeable. Alternatively, we could explore producing a very high-concept film through our specialty “art house” division. Perhaps each page of an actual copy of the book could be filmed and…well, let’s leave that to the director.

But that’s where things stand, for better or worse. Knowing what we know now, if we had it to do over, we likely would have made some decisions differently. We probably would not have spent two million of the studio’s dollars to acquire the rights to a large, but admittedly empty, work in print. What happens next is up to you… and whatever you decide, we will abide by your decision. In the meantime, we will be in our office, sitting very still and certainly not buying anything else. Not even lunch. Skipping lunch today is the very least we can do to start making this disappointing situation right.

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are such romantics that we think the most beautiful love ballad of all time is "Bitch Better Have My Money" by Rihanna. And Anita Gill couldn't agree more. Enjoy her first piece for us.

I’m the Bitch Who Owes Rihanna Money

By:
annie.m.gill@gmail.com

Hey girl! How are you?

Okay, I’m not gonna mince words here. When I heard your song “Bitch Better Have My Money,” I loved it. So catchy! Then I listened to the song another eighty times and I noticed your penchant for repetition on poignant lines, specifically that someone, a bitch perhaps, owes you money. That’s when it struck me. I knew exactly to whom you were referring. I messed up. I owe you. It totally slipped my mind. Honestly! I’m not acting like I forgot and I am certainly not frontin’!

My friends say you wrote it in response to some accounting snafu from a few years back. I don’t believe a word of that. I know you, RiRi. Yeah, I know there’s the line, “Your wife in the backseat of my brand new foreign car,” but I think that’s an allusion to me, right? You let me borrow your Volvo S90 that one night so I could convince my parents I was financially stable. I’ll be honest that the “wife in the car” line tripped me up. But then I remembered our late night run to In-N-Out Burger where I admitted that I would marry my sandwich if the California courts permitted it. You thought I was crazy to buckle up our order in the backseat, but then I proved to you that it wouldn’t spill on your nice car, didn’t I? It’s like I always say: with food, safety first!

Your song alludes to the fact I still owe you money from that night at T.G.I. Friday’s, right? That’s when we last hung out. There’s a line in your song, “Louis XIII and it’s all on me.” We were drinking and we played which monarch from the House of Bourbon would you bang, right? Oh, the laughs we had! I was low on cash and you said you’d spot my cocktail? I think I ordered a Diddy on the Beach? And then we split those potato skins? Man, that was a great night.

On top of it all, you surprised me with that gift of a sheer tank top that makes my nipples super visible. That was so thoughtful! I guess you overlooked my soul-crushing anxiety about being naked, and how I always had to dart to the two bathroom stalls in the high school girls’ locker room to change for gym. Or maybe you’re trying to get me to face my fears about my body. The tank is lovely, nonetheless. I haven’t worn it to work like you suggested, but I did wear it to my girlfriend’s baby shower and they were speechless. Thanks, girl!

I’m so sorry we haven’t hung out since that drink date. I knew you were getting ready for the Met Gala and requested your next dress to be forged with Valyrian steel and unicorn tears (so cool that those things exist for famous people!). I’ve been busy, too. Most of my energy is going into my new business venture: selling wool scarves from a Scottish sheep farm on Etsy. It’s been my dream ever since I went to grad school and realized how financially fucked I was by earning more degrees in the Humanities instead of just becoming an Accountant. That’s when I wondered: what does everyone need? Scarves! But don’t think I’m here looking for handouts. Really, I’m fine. Please don’t think this is one of those friendships with a non-famous friend who mooches. I have every desire to pay you back in full.

As I remember, I owe you $23.72 correct? I’m writing the check right now!

Then let’s put this behind us. Remember when we first became friends? Back at the Good Girl Gone Bad Tour when I accidentally walked into your trailer looking for a bathroom? You complimented me on the Bedazzled fanny pack I was wearing to keep my money and Chapstick and I explained how my jeweled accessory was a double threat — both fashionable and practical. You told me I was the weirdest, most down-to-earth bitch you ever met, remember? Then you said you needed more real bitches in your life and you invited me to come back again with my Bedazzler. That’s when I knew we would be lasting friends. I hope I am still that real bitch you can trust, Rihanna. Because I value our friendship.

Also, would you like to buy a scarf? They’re authentic Scottish sheep wool. They’d make great stocking stuffers for the holidays. Just a thought.

Hugs,

Anita

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we define full employment as doing this web site for free. When you're done reading this latest outrage from Michael Fowler, check our blogroll on the right for a link to his book, God Made the Animals.

Employment Can Strike Anyone

By:
mfowl4916@gmail.com

You think you’re safe now, living in your grandma’s basement and only having to mow her lawn and water her azaleas for rent. You’ve been able to devote your life to video games, sleep in past 2 p.m., and since the old bird is deaf and almost senseless, nothing stands in the way of your friends coming over to blast music and smoke substances throughout the day and night. But the warning signs are all around you — you’ve seen them on your trips outdoors: “Help Wanted,” “Apply Now,” “Asst Mgr Needed,” and perhaps the most ominous of all: “Start Today.” They give you a feeling in the pit of your stomach comparable to eating an extra-large bean burrito with sour cream. Yes, these not-so-subtle listings, these unwelcome solicitations, these signboard postings in garish block letters, are taunting you. Perhaps someone you know and thought reliable has succumbed to an “entry-level position” or attended an “interview” or “job fair,” and you think: could I be next?

The short answer is yes. The next victim of employment could well be you. Still you wonder, despite the signs, how can this be? With the economy flat or expanding with infinite slowness, with record numbers laid off or disabled and receiving aid to recover from work, with throngs in your age bracket still living at home, and many of those lacking marketable skills to start with, how do so many continue to fall prey to employment? What motivates them? How can they simply turn their backs on a life of leisure? And how vanishingly small are the odds that, once gainfully employed, they can find their way back to a rewarding, nonproductive life of earning nothing at all?

The first thing to know is that employment afflicts all ethnicities and all genders. It can strike the healthy and unhealthy, the old and the young. It usually doesn’t affect those in nursing homes or preschool, but even here there are exceptions. The rich and poor both work, the well-educated and the illiterate find jobs, the sane and the insane punch a time clock, those with two blue eyes and those with one blue eye and one green eye cash a paycheck. People work with their hands, their brains, and virtually any other body part. In brief, anyone may find himself or herself at the mercy of a blood-sucking vampire of an employer, just as Marx wrote.

To avoid the scourge of work, and a life spent in endless toil for starvation wages or an annual salary of up to six figures plus benefits and bonuses, it is above all important to know the right sort of people. Let’s say an invitation to your fifth high school reunion comes in the mail at Grandma’s house. That puts you, if you do the math, in your early 20s. You’ll have a chance to meet again those guys you almost flunked out with in eleventh grade, and finally did drop out of college with, many of whom, if they’re lucky, haven’t worked a day in their lives and still live in their childhood rooms, though sometimes they redecorate. Those are the lucky ones, the ones who have made it to full adulthood while avoiding both the shameful stigma and the physical and emotional trauma of work. You wouldn’t mind meeting them again, to gain their moral support, and to achieve insight in how to live off the largesse of caring family members, using guilt and pathetic pleas to secure major “loans.” In fact, you probably see them every day already, and it’s as if time has stood still for all of you. You’re all still chasing that perfect high, that peak of relaxation, and every man jack of them is due to arrive at Grandma’s house tonight at seven for video games and beer and more.

Not so lucky are your other high school pals, those who got fooled by the curveball the economy hurled their way. They succumbed to part- or even full-time employment, and will tell you all about it at the reunion dinner while you try to scarf the roast beef au jus and green salad without listening. At first they’ll appear normal to you, but after talking to them for a few minutes, you’ll pick up hints that their time is not always their own, that they have fallen into degrading and ruinous careers because, unlike fortunate freeloaders like you, they must now buy things and pay bills, and as a result are destitute. If they’re really far gone, they might even be married and have dependents who use food and clothing on a daily basis. You’ll shake your head in pity to hear it, as well you should.

But be wary. At first their comments will sound seductive. Bill, whom you’ve known since the fifth grade, will talk of reading the stock reports at night, and celebrating his capital gains with a fine cigar in his den while his wife polishes the Waterford crystal in the kitchen. Jeff, in your graduating class and like you a former member of marching band and chess club, now accumulates static electricity in an office and, when you mention that you’re between work projects, suggests that you come in and apply at his firm, where he can put in a word for you. Then before you know it you’ve taken a shower and shaved, purchased work boots, and signed on to drive a forklift for $15.00 an hour. A good steady job with benefits, and you rolled right into it like a sinkhole.

Sure, maybe you start part-time and think you can stop there. Maybe a Good Samaritan will intervene and give you a heads-up on the treacherous path before you. But before you know it you’re hooked on a 35-hour workweek like it was heroin and lolling in the gutter with a new title and a raise. After that you donate your video games to the Neediest Kids of All and even say goodbye to Granny. Worst of all, there’s no turning back, particularly if you land a gold-digging girlfriend, and is there any other kind?

Let this be a warning to you.

 

 

 

 

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