I Am A Controversial Artist, AMA

I logged onto Reddit and prepared for my evening of, what the millennials will call, blowing minds. It’s true, think about it with your perfectly intact brain, how often do people get to ask questions to a person who essentially pinches the nipples of society.

Yes, I make a living as a controversial artist and as a sport equipment store clerk. The art itself doesn’t pay for anything. It’s ahead of its time so there really isn’t a market for the type of art I do yet, but believe me, like all the great impressions of history, mine will shortly follow whatever meme is most popular at this moment.

Mine will follow Meme.

That should be the title to my memoir. Mine Will Follow Meme The Memoir. That’s a lot of M’s, I like that. If only my name is Melvin McMurtry, right? Mine Will Follow Meme The Memoir By Melvin McMurty.

Holy shit!

That’s a sick title and authorship. Imagine people saying that out loud. That’s art. Making people say weird rhythmic words is a beautiful art form that isn’t often demonstrated in the contemporary art scene.

I’m too many steps ahead looking back, that’s what I feel like all the time.

But imagine someone at a the library asking, “Hi librarian, do you happen to have a copy of Mine Will Follow Meme the Memoir By Melvin McMurty?” OMG, what a weird thing to say.

That came from my brain and I made someone else say it. Art. Anyways, that’s going to be a piece I’ll work on for the future. Make a mental note: reminder, start working on my memoir.

The rumours are true, this is my first AMA.

If you haven’t heard the scoop, AMA stands for Ask Me Anything. It’s an Internet slang for an interview with people who have questions (no such thing as dumb questions?) for revered people like me.

I heard it can get pretty controversial, which is what I’m all about as an artist. I want to push the limit. My hope tonight, as I sit in front of my computer in my black attire and trench coat, is that I would get in such a heated argument with someone from the Internet that I will be banned from Reddit.

I will really know I pushed the limits then. When you get banned from a social media platform, you know you are hardcore. That’s like getting expelled from school, or the mall, or wherever people get sucker punched with ideas. Consumerism, Ah! Economic Stability, Ah! What is more right? Racism or sexism?

I can’t come at it as though I want to argue though. You don’t blow minds by shouting your opinions. You blow minds by flipping someone’s life completely upside down. You allow that person to offer their opinion, and almost bait and switch a conversation on you, but you are smarter than that.

“Hey,” they’ll say, throwing me a softball, “What do you think of global warming?” And I’ll respond, “Oh, I hope global warming happens, I’m trying to cause global warming every day. I use paper towels, I throw plastic bags in the organics bin — I litter!” I hit them with the last thought like a finishing right hook. “I’m all for global warming,” I continue, “in fact, global warming is the only way I want to die. It’s my dream death. My ideal death.” Bam! Controversy.

What a statement I just made, on the fackin’ Internet no less.

Everybody is going to read that. It’s there — forever! People are going to know that I backing global warming.

I didn’t whisper it into someone’s ear like a pussy, I wrote it on the Internet. That’s rebellious. That’s against the grain for sure.

From there, who knows, maybe the guy will think hmmm… maybe the artist is right, maybe global warming is the best option.

Shiiitt! I just started a revolution. A small band of brothers with a very fixed notion that the end of world via global warming is the best scenario. Then the history books are going to trace back the origin of this valiant group and discover, the historians do, that it was I who gave birth. That’s what good art can do, it infects someone’s neural systems and devour the subject from the inside out, like one of those fungus take kills insects from the inside.

Here’s a picture of what I’m talking about:

zombie-ant-fungus-770x554That’s my ideas eating your body!

Yes, I could have gotten a driver’s license, but instead I got an artistic license (see what I did there?) and I must say, I am far happier to have this.

I mean, they aren’t mutually exclusive, I can totally go get my driver’s license anytime. I’m a grown man. In fact, it’s kind of a hindrance on my life for not having one.

Then again, I worry about what a car would do to me and my social life. I won’t get to speak with the people on the bus anymore. People, believe it or not, love it when I spark a conversation with them on the bus.

I mean, it’s natural that I lead them towards a topic where I can return with a hard-hitting controversial respond. Debating with people on the bus is good exercise. It also flexes my imagination, which is what I need to create art. You might even say that strangers on the buses are my muse. Every artist needs a muse and mine are drunk teenagers and drunk homeless people and sober crazies commuting to and from work.

I guess you can say that the bus is like the Internet, except the Internet has a much bigger audience. It’s crazy how technology has come so far. From buses to Internet, what a time to be alive.

You can argue that this is the best time to be alive. But I disagree, because I think it’ll be better to live in the future when my art is appreciated, like how dead artists’ works are worth so much more after they die.

Yep, after I die from global warming, the world will recognize my greatness. It’s a shame I won’t be around to enjoy it. It’s a controversial way of living, like a Jesus, you know? I’m sacrificing myself like a Jesus or a Martin Luther King. Those guys were controversial AF, standing up for their rights. I’m sort of following in their footstep. Just imagine me, “I have a dream death: Global warming!” Yeah, that’ll rattle some feathers, for sure!


What you’ve just read is the second post in a series entitled “A Fan Fiction of My Life by My Number One Fan, Me.” Please check out the first one, called Me, A Doctor, if you haven’t already. It’s simply divine. 

Did you enjoy it? Yes, subscribe to this blog, sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Twitter, stalk me in real life to get the latest update. 

Me, A Doctor

It’s good to see that my father is finally impressed. It’s such a nice feeling knowing that your parents are proud of you. Like, I finally know that.

Now, it was a lot of work. School, I’m talking about.

But boy, to genuinely know that your parent’s life goals are accomplished, hell, there is no better sensation. Honestly, this feeling, uhmm! It’s is like ten orgasms.  

Ten orgasms. And think, it only took one orgasm to make me, a doctor.

I save lives now. I save orgasms.


When you think about it, that’s pretty cool.

On the spectrum of the universe, I’m on the exact opposite side of a cockblocker. I’m on the opposite side of the universe.

Man, that’s almost as good as being a doctor — not being a cockblocker. Is there a word for that? I should know, I’m a doctor.

I always find it weird when a name for something is that it’s not something else. Take the word “non-fiction” for example. Oh I read a book, and it was non-fiction. That’s like saying, I read a book and it was non-good. See? Weird. And for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about and can’t follow along, what I’m saying is we have a word for non-good, it’s “bad.”

What I do like is how we have the same word for different things. Homonymous, they are called? I have trouble saying that word. Look at it: Homonymous. How would you say it? Say it out loud right now: Homonymous. Yeah, you don’t know if you are saying it right either.

I like homonymous, that’s why I think a non-cockblocker should be called a doctor. Same word, different meanings, same mental image. Like when you see someone helping you get laid, that guy is a doctor. He’s a miracle worker. He’s a man of God and science. I like that hahaha! I’m going write that definition in Urban Dictionary when I get home. Remind myself to set a reminder for that. I’ll totally forget, I forget everything.

Anyways, what was I talking about before I got distracted. Oh yes, my happy parents. They are so happy. I can remember the day they told me they wanted me to be a doctor. They made that claim in front of my family and friends when I was too young to even know which part of my body I was standing on. I now know, because I have gotten an extensive and expensive education since. They said, “Elliot is going to be a doctor, because doctors make a lot of money.”

Well, mom and dad, prepare to have a son with a lot of money, because as of today — which I am graduating from doctor school at my university of choice — I start my journey to great wealth.

Now that I’m a doctor, it’s going to be smooth sailing from here. You get pampered if you are a doctor. You aren’t only wealthy, but you are also respected. People treat you well. One way they treat you well is that they have to say a title before your name.

For example, if my name was Kern Eberhart, they will have to call me Dr. Eberhart. That’s good, because Kern is such a bad name. It sounds like a move you make with a piece of heavy machinery. I guess, the word kerning relates to the printing press, and I guess that is a heavy machinery. Wow, did I just prove myself right? Ha, that’s why people like me.

Another way they treat you well is with respect, and the respect comes from the fact that — yes, you are rich — and that you are now credible.

A doctor knows what he (or she) is talking about. You can say what’s on your mind and people have to take you seriously.That will be such a nice experience, being at a party and Tommy Wong starts rambling about some crazy conspiracy theory, and I’ll butt in with some hard truths. “No Tommy,” I’ll say, “it’s actually us humans that are controlling the lizard people.” And everybody will nod, but Tommy Wong will still go ahead and pull out that smartphone and Google. Then he pulls up some dark web post affirming his theory, but nobody believes it because that post was not written by a doctor. I guess, the moral of that story is that you should not be a Tommy Wong and you should listen to your doctors.

Oh and lastly, there is the saving people part. I find that part quite satisfying as well. Maybe not as much as having everybody address me as “doctor,” but still pretty good. Honestly, okay… I know we were just talking about truths over there in the previous paragraph, but I’m going to lay some hard truths on you right now. Ready? Okay, here it is: I’m not a people person. I’m actually very introverted. I know, right? You think someone who dedicated his life to saving people is going to like people. That my friend, is irony. If a child or a more feeble-minded friend asks you what does irony mean, please use that example. I think it captures that word fully.

Needless to say, it was worth it, mom and dad. I couldn’t be more happy that you steered me onto this path of becoming and now being a doctor. You called it! You guys were gamblers and you put all the chips on that one card and I flipped it over and it was the doctor card (Ace of hearts). You win the game of life. It’s every parent’s dream to have their offspring be doctors and my parents achieved that mission.

I’m proud of them. In fact, I’m probably more proud of them then they are of me. They really stuck to it. At any point, as they watched me studying, could have came over to me, tapped me on the back, and said, “No, that’s enough son, why don’t you focus on your illustrations for a while? I think that picture of your family in front of our sad-looking house is a project worth bringing to life… in completion.” I could have been a caricature artist, but I turned out to be a doctor. It would have been so easy to have that conversation. I think if she said that to me that day, I would have stopped. Then where would I be? Maybe still a doctor. Maybe dead. My mother could have killed me that day. I’m proud of her for not. Killing me would be the exact opposite of wanting me to be a doctor, if it was my parents. They really didn’t want to kill me.

It’s been a really good day thinking about how happy my parents are and how much money I’m going to have and how much respect I’m going to get and how my parents didn’t want to kill me. I’ll have to say, being a doctor is pretty sweet so far!


What you’ve just read is the first post in a series entitled “A Fan Fiction of My Life by My Number One Fan, Me.” Did you enjoy it? Yes, subscribe to this blog or follow me on Twitter to get the latest update. 


Read the second in the series: I Am A Controversial Artist, AMA

Don’t use the brand’s name in vain


Passionate brand loyalists condemn popular child curse words

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. January 6, 2016

Cheez Whiz, the delightful brand of cheese spread, is getting a lot of press recently as a group of brand loyalists have gathered together—from coast to coast like butter toast—to rise against the blasphemous use of the brand’s name.

A survey conducted by the Consumer Packaging Press found that the most common brand name used to cuss is, in fact, Cheez Whiz: 75 per cent of children under the age of 13 had used the name in a way of expressing anger 2 or more times. The second most common is, of course, Fudgee-O, with 40 per cent. In third is Gray Poupon, as in: “Aww! Gray Poupon! We are out of normal mustard!”

Delicatessen and linguistic expert Susan Rumchata said: “It’s not the brands’ fault that they have such hilarious names that blend so well with traditional swear words. The responsibility falls on the parents. They need to understand that at an early age, their children are learning more colourful language—let them—if they need to call out Jesus, let them! It’s more Jesus’ fault than it is the Cheez Whiz people’s.”

It has been well documented that some time ago there lived a guy named Jesus Christ. He was an entrepreneur who made a lot of good bread, wine, and woodwork. But due to his poor business acumen, supply couldn’t meet the demand. Consumers would say, “Jesus Christ!” in vain—a lot of vain—when their orders failed to ship. Not long after the company launched, Jesus Christ Inc. went bankrupt and the founder was crucified.

Cheez Whiz brand loyalists—they call themselves Cheez Wizards—see a clear parallel between what happened to Jesus Christ Inc. and what is happening with Cheez Whiz today.

Cheez Wizards spokesperson and single mother of four Brie Pumpernickel said: “You know what it is? It’s bad PR. You know what kills? It’s not global warming or terrorists or processed-cheese. It’s bad PR. And all that starts with our children. We must teach our children to respect brand names. This will ensure that the brands that serve us continue offering the same high quality products we want. Do we really want to live in a world without Cheez Whiz? I ask myself that every morning after making breakfast for my four Cheez Wizards.”

Safeway jam aisles were literally jammed with Cheez Wizards last Tuesday as a public protest took place. The sole purpose of the rally was to erase the phrase “Cheez Whiz” from the English vernacular as anything other than the name of the product. Anyone of any age that uses the brand’s name in vain will be sentenced to an eternity of dry, whole wheat bread. It’s some kind of hell, for sure.

Rumchata reminds us that there are plenty of lame-ass swear words out there for those moments when you have to curse in front of children: “‘Fiddlesticks’ is always a good one. ‘For Pete’s sake’ is great too. I’ve never encountered a Pete or Peter who was bothered by it. Anything that rhymes with ‘duck’ also works. You know, you stub your toe and you just shout, ‘Duck!’ It’s as satisfying, I’ll tell you that much. People will crouch over though, it’s weird.” She added: “Words are weird.”

What happened when George R. R. Martin finished his first book


How to be successful and create your own ‘Misery’

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published for the 1976-themed issue of the Other Press. January 13, 2016

Young author George R. R. Martin’s first collection of novellas and short stories, A Song for Lya, is being published this year. There is probably not going to be a big launch party. There is probably not going to be coverage from multiple media sources. And there are probably not going to be lineups outside the bookstore. It is probably going to be a modest event with reserved excitement.

For a writer, there doesn’t need to be a big event, because there is nothing more exhilarating than seeing one’s works there, visible on shelves at a local bookstore. It must be the same sensation musicians feel when they hear their song on the radio, or how actors feel when they see their face on the screens.

Yet, at what point does that thrill fade? As artists, your profession is also your passion, right? That’s why when I see an artist with an insipid attitude towards their craft, I wonder: Why pursue this daunting, critical, often thankless, often highly demanding, sometimes soul-crushing, most often a poor return of investment brand of work? Why climb Mount Everest if you dislike heights?

Hopefully, this young Martin fellow can recall that initial sensation of accomplishment for having been published if he continues to write, and will never feel resentful towards any fame or success he gains.

My advice to Martin and to other young writers is to always be carefully aware of the scope of one’s craft—what it will mean to you, and what it will mean to the greater public. If you create something people love, what responsibility do you have to continue delivering? How much do you owe to those who have raised you to such prowess?

I was speaking with Stephen King, another young writer, and we were bouncing ideas around. He had this outline for a novel called Misery. It’s about an author who is captured by an obsessed fan and held hostage in an attempt to get him to write another book. That’s the risk of being beloved; you are not actually loved. I hope King gets around to writing that book soon. I think it’ll be good.

Let’s hope we never do the same thing to Martin. We love his work, but we don’t care about him as a human being. He won’t win us over with his delightful personality or his literary, sci-fi, or fantasy expertise. We’ll respect him for the awesome work he will surely produce. But if we want more, he’ll have to supply it or find someone to help.

Artists need to think of their work like starting a franchise. Books are the business. Understandably, when it comes to artworks, the artists get personally attached, because writing is, in essence, a birthing process. But if they’re not able to maintain their franchise, the artists should sell their rights to their work or hand the reigns to trustworthy partners. Although it would be tough to give their art up for adoption, if the author does not have the capability to raise it properly, would the right thing to do not be giving it up for the fan’s sake?

Watching the Audience: Why I Did Standup Comedy and Why I Stopped

Published November 22, 2015 on Medium.

Public speaking. What an irrational fear. Yet, we are all in one way or another are terrified of it. Some harness that fear and turn it into a skill set. Others retreat into the crevasses of society, taking on jobs and lifestyles that do not demand any formal public speaking. In a digital world, we as humans no longer rely on our voices; we rely on posts and tweets, images, and upvotes. We share our opinions not on soapboxes but in textboxes. We no longer stand up on stage and watch the audience.

I wanted to be an entertainer ever since I was in elementary school, and for many years, I considered it less of a yearning and more of a destiny. The class was my audience and my teachers were my toughest critics. I got as many laughs as I did detentions and it was becoming clear that I had a knack for timing — just not in terms of professionalism.

If you don’t hit the audience with a punch line at the appropriate time, you’ve lost the opportunity, the soul of the joke. A poorly timed joke is just a corny statement. There is no time to wait for a silent break in any conversation. As a thirteen-year-old kid, I knew if I didn’t shout out the funny thought in my head when I thought it was funny, it would be gone, and the world will continue spinning one laugh less.

At the end of my seventh-grade experience, I was awarded the T.A.P. award. Never heard of it? Well, that is because it’s a bullshit award my teacher made in an effort to find something genuine to offer me in life. T.A.P. stood for “Time and Place” as in “There is a time and place for everything, and right now you should be quiet, Elliot.”

I accepted the award with pride, because it was something I earned. I remember looking around the class and seeing other students receive worthless, thoughtless certificates with horrendous compliments written by the teacher. Notable awards I’m making up but might as well have been given: “Most Lovely Shoes,” “The Best Teammate,” and “Genuine Friend.” Ugh! I wanted to vomit. I’ll keep my T.A.P. award, thanks.

My greatest achievement.

Perhaps it was kismet that I got into comedy: first as a fan, then as a hobbyist, and finally as a professional (the term “professional” is used loosely). But the thing about comedy is that it is not something that happens alone; performing comedy is a social act. You cannot tell jokes to yourself.

I really enjoyed making people laugh, but it came with a cost. The label. I sacrificed numerous things to be the funny guy, and one of them is credibility. After a while, people just assumed I was being sarcastic. In strenuous situations like a group project, my ideas would be shunned or taken as an unprompted attempt at humour. Later, once I started taking comedy seriously and told people about it, the intensity of other people’s preconceptions rose. “Tell me something funny!” is a line a comedian will hear often at social gatherings. Because 95% of people in the world think they themselves are funny, they’ll usually require proof that you are in fact what you claim to be. They are the best judges of humour after all. It’s the same way we all look at an attractive person and collectively go, “Yep! That person is attractive. Approved. Carry on.”

If it takes 10,000 hours to become proficient in anything, then I was 1.8% of the way to mastering comedy. An average of five minutes of stage time a week for one and a half years was hardly tenure. I was a Starbucks barista as long as I was a stand-up comedian, and Starbucks is very similar to comedy; after all, you acknowledge your audience and you behave accordingly. No need to think of entertaining, just be yourself. And like amateur stand-up comedy, the customers are not really there for your sake; they just want a drink, and you just so happen to be there.

When I told my friends and family that I have stopped doing stand up, many uttered grievances, sometimes in disappointment that they didn’t get to see me perform — in which they would tempt me to tell a joke — and others times with apprehension. “Oh… why did you stop? (Were you that bad?)”

My mother, who had once found my aspiration insufferable, had now become my number one fan. Passing up an opportunity to be a lawyer was one thing, but giving up on comedy now when so many doors were now closed, left a grave uncertainty in her life. After all, who would take care of her when she’s old if my stupid son is unemployed and not funny? Not Dane Cook that’s for sure. There wasn’t a final show where I bowed out. I just stopped asking for stage time. I told those booking shows that I was taking a break, trying to regroup.

I wonder what I would be if I didn’t stop. Would I be booking my own shows, headlining after performing at local bars and clubs for seven years, or would I just be another comedian like so many other comedians, spending my day in the back of the bar, waiting for my five minutes — still working at Starbucks during the day. I look back and I can’t image my success, which as someone who thought that entertainment was his destiny was a little heartbreaking. I was a carpenter in a world without lumber. I couldn’t help but ask: What happened to me?

My first paycheck as a comedian. 50 big ones! (Photo taken in the Matrix where I’m famous)

There was a moment on stage, I remember; I had my audio recorder on a stool with a notebook full of notes, usually one random word followed by another, tracking the order of my set. I remember looking down at the list and reading the next word on it “Living room.”

I loved wordplay and comedy allowed me to explore it in the weirdest ways. “Living room” was one of those words that had so many meanings, but is so dramatic in a literal sense. It’s like how a scarecrow is actually there to scarecrows. The punch line of the joke comes after a ramble about how ridiculous the notion of a living room is, because “every room you’ve ever been in is a living room.” Bam! Comedy in my books. However, when I told that joke that day a part of my inside was dying. I guess I wasn’t in a living room anymore. Har har!

I stopped performing standup because I didn’t have any conviction to what I was saying. I stopped performing stand-up because what I was saying was irrelevant. I stopped doing standup because I didn’t want to waste people’s precious time with mindless wordplay and frictionless jokes. I wasn’t a good comedian because I wasn’t tackling any important issues. I was twenty years old and I had nothing to fight for except my own pride. Pride came in the form of laughter and applause. That is not what a comedian should do, that is not what any public speaker should do.

Public speaking, including comedy, is an act of influence. When an entertainer steps on stage they should bring more than their good looks and charms, they need to have something worth saying, something they are passionate about, something worth sharing. Jokes are delicious. Jokes are tasty. But jokes are cheap. It’s not hard to get a good laugh, but to be able to connect the laughter with something tangible, something genuine, well that is priceless.

I stopped doing standup because I didn’t have a reason to talk. It was elementary school all over again, but now I understood what my teacher was talking about. Time and Place.

Nevertheless, the time has changed and the place where I choose to communicate is not on stage in front of an audience, but instead in the written world, where I can pretend to have some proficiency in articulation.

There is little fear when we communicate online, the same way I had little fear when I spoke up in class. The consequence is light and so we continue to speak into the void. Sometimes people get annoyed, i.e. my teachers. Other times it’s so ephemeral that it goes unnoticed, i.e. my ramblings at the bar. Nevertheless, when we have something to say, we should make sure we are doing it at the right time and place. We should watch our audience and make certain that what we have to offer is more than reminding everyone that they are currently sitting in a living room. Although it’s hard to argue that it is an important reminder, sometimes.

Totally Real Food Review: Happy Lucky Dragon Smiling Restaurant


Chinese food that you eat with your mouth

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Originally published in The Other Press.

The 7-Eleven of Chinese restaurants, Happy Lucky Dragon Smiling Restaurant never closes—not even for New Year’s Day or Christmas—making it a perfect last option for desperado foodies.

Located in the same complex as Money Mart, Lust Factory Adult Store, and Subway, Happy Lucky Dragon Smiling Restaurant’s parking lot is usually empty due to the swiftness of its neighbours’ clientele. This means you can stay as along as you want at Happy Lucky Dragon Smiling Restaurant without worrying about your car being towed. However, crime rate is up 12 per cent in the area, so be cautious—nevertheless, most of the crimes are just hate crimes and crimes of passion.

Inside Happy Lucky Dragon Smiling Restaurant, you’ll find chairs to sit on and tables to eat food on. The chairs have four legs and some have rips in them. This gives you an exclusive look at the browning inners of the cushion. The wallpaper is different from my home, because I decided at the last minute not to decorate it with water-stained flower patterns. But I think it’s pretty cool seeing the deterioration of the wallpaper; it reminds me that even though life is short, you can live long enough to see wallpaper get ugly. I think that’s beautiful. It’s like watching your grandmother do stuff, and you’re just like: “Oh grandma, just get out of the way. I’ll do it for you.”

Once I was done admiring the décor, I chose to sit by the window, offering a perfect view of the parking lot, which with my imagination kind of looked like a tennis court, but instead of tennis players there was just a lunatic.

The service was nice. The server was also the cook, which I believe should be how every restaurant should work. Imagine how nice it would be just to tell the cook what you want to eat and then he or she would just run back into the kitchen, which is pretty much right beside the table, and cook it for you. It’s like eating at your mom’s house, but without the resentment or guilt for not cooking the food yourself.

When the food arrived, I ate it with my mouth. It tasted hot. After a while it tasted cold, but some say there is no such thing as cold, and that cold is really just an absence of heat, so I guess it just tasted normal after awhile, which was okay.

Overall, Happy Lucky Dragon Smiling Restaurant is not the worst. If you end up there after an argument with your spouse about where the two of you should go for dinner on your anniversary, you should be happy that you are still alive. Happy Lucky Dragon Smiling Restaurant lives up to its name and reminds us of what it’s like to be a happy, lucky, dragon smiling at a restaurant. Few other restaurants are that honest. Maybe White Spot.

Post-apocalyptic fantasy picks

Graphic by Joel McCarthy

Who would you choose to survive with you when it’s all over?

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. Sept 23, 2014

It’s moments before the end of the world and you have a shelter large enough to fit five people. That means now is the time to draft your top picks. These elite individuals will help you survive on a planet that is no longer safe for humans or celebrities. Zombies, earthquakes, and rival survivors are coming for you, so you better make the right choice. Here are mine:

Brad Pitt: If you don’t take Brad Pitt right away, lord knows your competitors will. Don’t wait! Draft Pitt as early as possible. Not only is he the perfect specimen of a Caucasian male, he also proves to be a game changer in post-apocalyptic scenarios (source: World War Z). There are two rules when the world ends. Number one: you don’t talk about Fight Club. Number two: you draft Brad Pitt first!

Jennifer Lawrence: Why is Jennifer Lawrence my second pick? She’s not only a radiant superstar, but she’s also a super survivor. We saw her survive the Hunger Games. We saw her survive a leaked-photo controversy. We saw her survive her climb up the Dolby Theatre stage to retrieve her Academy award. Moreover, Lawrence is totally a perfect candidate for any post-apocalyptic reproduction initiatives.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: In modern times, Arnold is arguably the most successful human being in the world. He’s a bodybuilder; he’s a politician. He has several memorable catchphrases; he has an illegitimate family. There isn’t anything the Terminator hasn’t done and there isn’t anything he can’t do—except for enunciating words properly. I’ll grab Arnold as early as possible, because if you don’t, you can say: “hasta la vista, baby” to your chances of surviving.

Les Stroud (Survivorman): I know you might go camping occasionally and think of yourself as a Wildman, but let’s be honest, sooner or later you’ll need some help. Picking Les Stroud will not only guarantee a good honest living off of natural resources, you’ll also have terrific home video of your post-apocalyptic experience, which you can then share with your grandchildren and in-laws during family dinners and holidays.

Seth Rogen: Think of the most ideal person to be with during the end of the world, and Seth Rogen will naturally come to mind. Not only will he give you are reason to live with his mirth-filled, bellowing laughter, he’ll also transcend composure with his stoner demeanour. Just ask Jay Baruchel who he wants to listen to Backstreet Boys in heaven with, and you’ll know that everybody—including Baruchel—wants it to be Seth Rogen. So don’t hesitate, he might not seem to be a priority pick, but believe me, he is.

And for the Wild Card, I choose Will Smith. Although he was disappointing in the ominously titled M. Night Shyamalan movie After Earth, he is still a formidable choice because of two things: his resiliency in I Am Legend and his drive in The Pursuit of Happyness. Plus it’s totally a race, equality thing. You don’t want to live in a weird secular world, right?

Well those were my top five picks and one wild card to survive with me in the post-apocalyptic world. Sorry if you’re not included. Remember, it’s every man for himself, and every man needs a Seth Rogen, so good luck! Meet you at Terminus.