Click me:

Latest Posts

Who is Fake Stephen Elop?

It’s not me. Though I’ve been accused of it several times.

I take it as the ultimate compliment my colleagues, and security team.  But I’m just not that funny.  And I wouldn’t want to risk losing my job!   Ooops.

Nokia’s controversial CEO Stephen Elop has not one, but TWO, parody Twitter accounts (@ceoStephenElop and @fakeselop). And both are terribly funny. They have thousands of followers and thousands of others too afraid to publicly follow them.

While they’re two separate writers, they have much in common. The ghost writers have yet to reveal themselves, so let’s summon the spirit of Angela Landsbury and smoke these pranksters out.

read more

Here’s What’s Really Going On With FINNBAY

The instant you read Finnbay.com’s tagline, “HELPS YOU NAVIGATE IN THE DETAIL WHEN YOU ARE IN FINLAND”, you should immediately realize it’s just a hack blog run by a couple of bored non-native-English-speaking, Finnish-woman-chasing jackoffs.

Unless you’re NBC News.   Or the half of Finland who believes the site is funded by the Kremlin.

Seriously, funded by the Kremlin??   I’d hope the Russian government could pen a tagline that doesn’t sound like it was improvised by Borat.  And if they wanted to spread propaganda, they might take the proceeds from their €4.99/month subscription and put it towards an editor.  It’s like if the United States dropped propaganda pamphlets on Afghanistan, but locked them in gumball machines that require a quarter.

Here’s how their infamous coming-out letter kicks off:

    “FINNBAY has been the most successful media intelligence in our lives.”

Whoa!  Move over, Time magazine.  FINNBAY (All caps, All the time) is the new king of late night TV.  Let’s see how this letter ends:

    We will continue what we have been doing each day. Reporting the Facts. Because we have the balls.

FUCK YEAHH!!!!  That line has ‘MERICA written all over it.  I like how “Facts” is capitalized.  What’s more factual than a fact?  A capitalized Fact!  It’s twice as truthy.

My guess?  Finnbay.com is operated by two unemployed foreigners in Finland.  A young Turkish guy named Onur Yalcintas, the Borat of the operation who described Finnbay as “Finland’s most sexy English-language website”.  And a guy living in Rovaniemi, Bruce Stone, presumedly the American with “balls”.

Over a year ago they contacted a bunch of foreigners in Finland, myself included, in search of writers.  Seems like many took the bait and even write about their experiences with Finnbay, kinda creepily, here.  One blogger writes a lengthy description of her time as a Finnbay volunteer and concludes her experience was a “waste of time”.

They created a newspaper-style site and pretended to be an accredited news outlet.  They have a headquarters (to an address that doesn’t exist), branches (probably just where their volunteer authors live) and a switchboard (which apparently leads to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone).

But unlike the daily Facts on FINNBAY, this is all just my speculation.  But I understand their situation.  Back in 2002 as a fresh arrival to Finland I launched “The Finland Journal”, a group blog (before “blog” was a thing) full of volunteers.  Unlike Finnbay, we cited our opinions as “opinions” and would never charge a fee.

Being an unemployed foreigner in a strange land is tough and I applaud a team of writers for working together.  Finland’s homogeneous population can often produce a very one-sided media and outside commentary is very welcomed.

So what’s the real issue here?  That Finnbay.com may not live up to the highest journalistic integrity?  That the trusted NBC News, citing an unknown source, doesn’t either? Or that entire nation is up in arms over some bullshit website?

One thing is certain: Jon Hamm’s penis affirms there is no God.

read more

How my book’s cover was designed

My book has a couple 1-star ratings on Amazon. Both reviewers admittedly didn’t read it, but judged the book by its cover…

I have not read this book, but I just have a question for the author regarding the cover of the book. I would like to ask, why did you use brown hands for the guy who is holding the Finnish girl on the cover page? Is that just out of mere coincedence or was there a reason for it??

And…

I think it is strange too that the cover has brown nands, as if to say that all brown men really want to ge their hands on a white woman from the far North. Brown people can be happy with their own too.

Whoa!! What’s wrong with that guy? He capitalized “North”!?

Here’s the final cover…

 

Designing the front cover of “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” was exciting and I wanted to be involved in the process. As a marketer I know the importance of retail packaging. And as a PR guy I know the importance of building buzz. A book’s cover is its first impression. So naturally I wanted something striking and intriguing.

My editor hooked me up with the super talented, and super patient, graphic designer Laura Noponen and basically gave us free rein. My editor never suggested a photographer for the cover. I guess my face would deter customers.

Here was my original pitch to Laura…

read more

My First Week Without a Nokia

Just paid my first phone bill in ten years. TEN!! And AT&T wants $115 of my not-so-hard earned money. $115!! Is this what you people have been paying?? Now I know how they fund their incessant advertising.

I miss the perks of working for a mobile phone manufacturer. Now that they no longer pay my phone bill, I had to ask a friend if dialing a land line is included in my plan’s “minutes”. He laughed. Then I asked him how much it costs to drunk dial foreign countries. We laughed. Oh, how I’ll miss drunk dialing foreign countries.

Also, I haven’t paid for my own phone in ten years. Better yet, I haven’t owned a non-Nokia phone EVER. My first phone, last phone, and everything in between, was a Nokia – another perk of working for a mobile phone manufacturer – I would get a latest and greatest phone every 3-4 months. Or whenever I accidentally broke a phone. Or whenever I threw my phone across the room. Some people throw the TV remote across the room. If you know you can get a free new phone the next day, you often send a phone to get the remote.

I’ve had to learn what a “bumper” is. Apparently when civilians scratch a phone they need to stare at said scratch for up to two years. Insanity!! So people hide their gorgeous iPhone’s in thick, brownish, disease-infeststed rubber from which they purchased from an Israeli-operated shack on level 3 of Westfield mall.

So until the gorgeous Nokia Lumia 920 comes out, I thought I’d kill time with an Android device. I’ve been making fun of Android for years, might as well try it out. It’s like Americans and foreign countries, they don’t have to visit to already hate it.

I purchased a Google Nexus so I can switch to Straight Talk and give my posterior a break from AT&T’s onslaught. Is this what the general public want in a phone??? I could Hulk Hogan the cheap plastic in half with my bare hands. I’ve had easier time putting on condoms than inserting the Nexus’ flimsy back cover.

On the plus side, I need not worry about dropping it, it’s already ugly as snot. In fact, I’ve already put a nice scratch in the glass. It’s obviously not the gorilla-infused glass I’m accustomed to.

And now for the software – Did Google outsource the design of each individual Android screen to a Korean child animator working in silos? There’s zero consistency in the UI. It’s full of buried menus and Windows 95-style icons. The whole thing feels like a dirty apartment, or worse, Symbian. Google and Samsung seriously need to take a page out of Nokia and Apple’s design playbook.

That being said – I’m using my Android phone more than any other phone I’ve ever had. I no longer have to wait years for popular apps to become available. I can multitask without waiting hours for apps to pop back up. And my favorite feature of them all…a notifications center.

Mmmmmm….notifications center.

read more

Top 10 Things Only Americans Find Funny

Americans are confident they are the funniest people in the world. I mean, have you seen something funny from another country? Of course not. So many great comedic Americans like: John Candy, Jim Carey, Russell Peters, Sofia Vergara, Ricky Gervais, David Brent…all Americans. All funny.

But sometimes the American sense of humor doesn’t make home runs abroad. Here’s ten things only hilarious Americans find funny…

 

A Christmas Story
Nothing captures America’s childhood innocense more than A Christmas Story. While being a box office flop, it experienced a resurgence thanks to media mogul Ted Turner, who, during Christmas, repeats this movie 24 hours straight on his network. Americans have literally memorized every line of this, while the outside world has never heard of it.



 

License Plates
While European plates are way more James Bond, Americans are more Austin Powers. Who doesn’t love a cryptic joke during morning rush hour?



 

Saturday Night Live
A staple of American television since 1975, SNL has launched the illustrious careers of gabs of comedic actors. The live show is written and recorded in the span of just six days and lampoons American politics, people, and culture, leaving the rest of the world saying, “huh?” and “I do not like this Adam Sandler you speak of”.

read more

The Top 10 Workaholics episodes

Comedy Central’s Workaholics could be the funniest show on TV right now, and definitely doesn’t get the respect it deserves from us comedy nerds. (Probably because it doesn’t involve Louis CK)

Starring three guys we’ll be hearing about for decades, and surrounded by one of the best supporting casts ever, Workaholics is a swirly of pot humor, drunken behavior, college antics, childhood memories, cubicle culture, smart jokes and dick jokes. Lots of dick jokes. Smart dick jokes.

With only a handful of callbacks, you can dive into this show anywhere. But here’s the top 10 places to start.

#10 | s01e02 | “We Be Ballin”

The supporting cast ensures no dull moments. Their ambiguously black-latino colleague, Montez (Erik Griffin, pictured below), always steals the scene.

 

#9 | s01e05 | “Checkpoint Gnarly”

Busted checking out porn in the workplace.

 

#8 | s01e01 | “Piss & Shit”

Not sure if this is technically the pilot or not, but a great episode to start. Surprise drug test at work and the guys need to buy clean piss from elementary schoolers.

read more

Top 10 coolest dudes named Phil

With an title like that, you know “Schwarzmann” won’t be anywhere close to this list.

We Phil’s get little respect. No superhero, or just plain ol’ hero, is named Phil. If you ever see a guy named Phil in a movie, he’s about to get shot. Or he’s gay. Or even worse, he’s straight-but-should-be-gay. And not manly bear-gay either, but metrosexual-gay.

Phil’s are weaselly, annoying, arrogant, short, supporting actors, geeky-but-not-in-a-good-way, about to get shot, gay, or all of the above. On the plus side, we’re often wealthy, educated, possibly royalty, sensitive to women, milky white, funny, having large genitalia, doing well with “the ladies”, or liars.

Though Phil’s hate being Phil’s, we still think our name is cooler than “Caleb”.

But, there are a few shining Phil’s who refused to be reduced down to a common stereotype. Here’s the top ten coolest dudes who’s making life a lot easier for us guys named Phil…

 

10. Phil Margera from Jackass

Bam Margera’s dad who took every prank like a man.



 

9. Phil Lesh of The Grateful Dead

Phil’s are accepted in the hippie community and it’s all thanks to the founder of the Grateful Dead.



 

8. South Park’s Phillip (from Terrance and Phillip)

We Phil’s now have a viable excuse to fart in public.

read more

  • I wanna play video games, but I'm feeling lazy. So for the next hour I'm just trying to solve CAPTCHA codes.
  • I keep saying I'm a hot mess. But I've been saying that for so long, it's no longer hot. I'm a cool mess.
  • When aliens from those new planets visit Earth and ask to, "Take us to your leader", can we get Alec Baldwin to wear his wig?
  • I've been spending more time on LinkedIn lately. There aren't as many jerks, like me, posting stuff about Trump.
  • If you decide to shave your head like I do, you'll immediately look 3 years older. But, you'll look that age for the next 15 years.

Buy my fucking book! (please)


 

Phil’s debut humor book, “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” is out now on Gummerus Publishers.

About Better! Funner!


 

Better! Funner! is a blog written and curated by Phil Schwarzmann. You’ll find funny original pieces, some not-so-funny pieces, plus stuff that made Phil laugh from around them internets. Enjoy!

Better!

Funner!

Better!

Funner!