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Faux Outrage

Literally the most important blog in the universe since 2010.

Category Archives: Faux Outrage

Welcome to the first annual so-far-as-you-know Faux Outrage Year End Review (“FOYER”) for 2011!  Not only will this post be a clearinghouse for all of the horrible/awesome stuff I wrote this past year; it will also give you an opportunity to see what it looks like when I write while hopped up on (generic) NyQuil.

The year started out on a serious note when I wrote Mom Homage in honor of the person responsible for 30-40% of the clicks on this website.  Shortly thereafter, I alienated every single old-school, kind-hearted person I know by penning a screed against thank you notes before exposing my general distaste for General Tso’s when it is sold by the pound.

In February, I tried my hand at serious short fiction.  It did not go well.  Lesson learned.  But by the end of the month, I returned to my inane roots and disassembled grocery shopping, or what I call The Least Efficient Process in the Universe.

March brought on the beginning of baseball season and the realization that February is mathematically the worst month of the year.  I dismantled kindergarten logic and pointed folks who were interested to an inspirational video about What Teachers Make.

I lost my grandmother in April and also realized that I have also lost the ability to call anyone I knew without the help of my smartphone. I turned 29, which I decided is the same as turning 30.

In May, self-checkout stations found their way into my crosshairs, as did cereal commercials and poor, defenseless apples.

June is the month that I decided we should stop using the word “overrated” and stop pretending the show Undercover Boss is about the plight of the American worker.  I also debuted the so-far-two-part That Should Be A Thing series in June.

That Should Be A Thing Part I: Open Door Policies
That Should Be A Thing Part II: Parallel Universal

My brain started to melt a little bit in July (it seems), because I started out that month a weird love letter to freedom and a discussion about whether friendship means something different inside a bar than at a lunch counter (if those even exist anymore).  Then I went on to discuss the strange realization that I never put my fan on high and the completely un-strange realization that I am scared of bears.

August started out with a little backwards-looking introspection and even-further-back exploration of the food we (can choose not to) eat.  The month ended with a retrospective of still-helpful shorthand phrases I used to use when the Internet and I were coming age.

September started out pretty serious, first with a frank discussion about (my) (very) low-skilled labor, and next with a poem I wrote on 9/11/2001.  The middle of the month is when I appeared as a guest blogger at Lessons From Teachers and Twits.

Thankfully, things lightened up a bit in October!  I sang the praises of the classic bicycle bell and awkwardly recounted the day when it became clear that I should not be put in charge of counting.  The month ended with a love letter to Halloween, the one day when we pretend that we believe in ghosts and that children can enjoy the company of their neighbors.

More recently, I wrote a defense of the barometer and told a true tale of graphite, art, and friendship.

And finally — just before the end of the year — I got to say “uncle” when my burrito-shaped baby nephew Max was born!

Of course, 2011 also saw a number of additions to the Fictionary:

  1. annexiety  (01/25/2011)
  2. glawing  (05/11/2011)
  3. expertease  (08/25/2011)
  4. fictionary  (10/19/2011)
  5. cropportunity  (11/09/2011)
  6. desirony (12/13/2011)

What a year.

See you in 2012!


In life, they say, you don’t get too many guarantees.  But here’s one, just for you: this blog entry will be the most meta in the history of Faux Outrage.  (And if it turns out that it’s not, I’m counting on you to forget this pesky — and, for the record, completely unenforceable — “guarantee.”)

There is a new faux word of the day today, Fictionary, that only exists because of the very idea of a FWOTD in the first place.  In essence, it is the reason for itself.

fictionary (fik-shuhn-ner-ee)

an electronic reference resource, complied by Zach Sparer on the Faux Outrage website, that consists of an alphabetical list of not-exactly-real words with their completely-made-up meanings and parts of speech, and a guide to pronunciation and syllabification.

Put more simply, the Fictionary is a new feature here at Faux Outrage that will act as a clearinghouse for all past FWOTD’s.  Each of the past FWOTD as well as other blog-centric terms (e.g., “FWOTD”) are defined.  In addition, there are links to the fleshed-out blog posts for each faux word.  You’ll be able to access the fictionary at any time by clicking on Fictionary! link in the top-right corner of the blog, right next to the aptly named HUH? and WHO? links.

There are 10 entries in the fictionary so far.

Check it out!


clicky, clicky!

This Wednesday, I will be guest blogging at Lessons From Teachers and Twits!

The blog belongs to (is the child of?) Renée Schuls-Jacobson, a woman who I encountered first as a teacher (as an 11th grader in 1998) and later as a twit (at any number of Camp Seneca Lake reunions).  I will link to the article when it is published, but in the mean time, you should check out her blog and make yourself at home.

Spoiler alert: The Wednesday guest post is a (pretty much true!) story of a life-changing, less-than-stellar classroom experience.

See you then!

Thanks in part to a link from Lessons From Teachers and Twits, this little blog o’ mine has surpassed the 1,000 view mark in under two weeks.  While this number does not include the plethora of times I’ve checked the site for one reason or another, I have no idea what the total would look like if you removed all of the visits from my mother and other folks who are duty-bound to read my ramblings. 

So, thank you!  Thanks to everyone who’s clicked through as a result of my (annoying) Facebook posts, who randomly typed into their address bar, and especially to the one poor soul who somehow found this blog by searching for “inspecteur gadget” on Google.


nar·cis·sism (noun) :: inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.

You will find that reading this blog is like reading Ayn Rand’s Anthem backwards on Opposite Day.  (Reverse, alternate universe spoiler alert!) The first thing you will notice is “EGO”  and the pages following will be littered with “I”.  (Even now, I am thinking about how surprised I am at myself for beginning my first ‘real’ post with a reference to Ayn “The Looter” Rand.)  Frankly, I think author (“me”) and audience (“not me”) should be honest about the nature of the Faux Outrage relationship.  I am writing this because I love myself, and you are reading this because you are bored (or are my mother).

There is almost no other reason to start a blog other than to shout, atop the highest mountain, that you are in possession of two stone tablets and there is so much the world simply must know if it is to survive.  So, to that end, feel relieved knowing that you know that I know that this is, above all, a vanity fair (lack of fried dough notwithstanding).  Of course, the only thing more painful than being overtly narcissistic is the irony (“I”-rony!) of recognizing my own narcissism and unapologetically discussing it.  “Look at me!  I recognize that I recognize I constantly recognize myself!”

Seriousness Alert: That said, regardless of my self-love-related reasons for starting Faux Outrage, I can honestly (earnestly!) say that I believe we owe it to ourselves to document that which might otherwise be lost.  We spend so much time enveloped in our minds and so little time translating our firing synapses into readable, recordable language.  Without getting too grim, I’m reminded of neuroscientist David Eagleman, who observes that death occurs in three stages:  “[T]he first is when the body ceases to function, and the second is when the body is put in the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”  When we consume art and media, and when we reference the work of others, the creators live on (in perpetuity, if they are lucky).

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve started this blog because I love myself and I want to live forever.

The first thing I would like to do on this blog is disclaim all responsibility for what is about to happen.  Chances are, if you are reading any of these primary posts, you made me do this.


Evil, Accusing Monkey

Now, I know this is an uncomfortable realization, and I know that you’re trying to wiggle your way out this responsibility at this very moment, but it’s time to accept the simple fact that that since the day of my birth, you have done at least one of the following:

1. Explicitly made the following statement: “You should start a blog.”
2. Casually indicated that you enjoyed reading what I have written.
3. Said, in my presence, “That’s funny!” or “That’s interesting!” or “Zach, are you honestly still talking?”
4. Smiled at me in a way that could be interpreted as you appreciating something — anything! — about what I have said.
5. Said something, at some point, to anyone, about anything.

But, don’t worry.  I can handle this.

Has it come to this?  (Yes, it has.)

A blog? (Yes, a blog.)

Really? (Uh huh.)

Really?! (Really.)

Welcome to Faux Outrage.

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