Broken Beyond Repair

I hate pros. But I still think it would be cool to be one. Specifically, Eugene”Eubroken” Harvey.

I’ve spent the last two weeks watching”American Buffalo,” immediately followed by”Glengarry Glen Ross”; it’s my little David Mamet film festival. And you thought you had a really crappy Internet connection.

Oh, one thing…

I hate pros. But I still think it would be cool to be one.

Okay, I don’t hate pros, per se, but I should. Why should I hate pros? Why should anyone?

Well, for starters they are like good at Magic and stuff. Secondly, they like try and stuff. Hey, maybe there’s a correlation between trying and being good? I think I just had an epiphany, or some sort of oily discharge, and all y’all were here to bear witness. Thirdly, they are good at Magic and actually try and stuff. All of the above are valid reasons to hate pros, so let’s join hands and hate them together while we sing a chorus of”Hey Jude,” shall we?

But sometimes the lamb slaughters the butcher (although we always bet on the butcher)…

Dear America,

Who the hell is this Eugene Harvey fellow, and what is he doing on Team USA?


The World

It seems like only yesterday when I was proclaiming that Eugene”Eubroken” Harvey was broken. No, not Noel (or is it Noah?) Boeken, but plain ol’ broken. In fact, it was yesterday. Ergo:

“But, damn, is Eubroken plain broken. Expect to see him breaking many more things in the future.”

-Me,”PA States – I’m With Hip Hop,” November, 2000
Throw your hands up at him.

“He’s a good kid…he’s working hard.”

-Dennis Franz, American Buffalo

Coming straight outta CMU, by way of Jersey and whatnot, sveltely incognito, and quietly putting himself onto Team USA is all about being broken beyond repair. Yeah, Eugene is so broken that he simply overflows with brokenness, which inadvertently ends up infecting others in his immediate circle.

“I fear that I’ve somehow been infected by it.”

-Hugo Weaving, The Matrix

See, Eubroken even got Agent Smith, who oddly comes back from the dead in Matrix 2 (and maybe even Matrix 3).

“I hope that I’ve somehow been infected by it.”

-Johnny Mint Box, in some (probably X-rated, or at least NC-17) movie he should’ve been in

See, Eubroken even got Johnny Mint Box, who oddly keeps writing articles even though he really has nothing pertinent to say.

Broken Beyond Repair, he is. And Trevor Blackwell is just friggin’ nuts as well, especially when he gets up on time. And this Brian Hegstad isn’t exactly reveling in a bowl of the un-broken soup du jour either. Are they the equal of Finkel, Forsythe, and Hernandez? Will they bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never ever let me forget I’m a man? Probably, since they are bent, twisted, somewhat mutilated, and most definitely broken beyond repair. It’s enough to start me chanting”USA! USA!” like when Sgt. Slaughter was busy kicking The Iron Sheik’s ass back in the day.

A-tisket. A-tasket. They are broken all to hell in a friggin’ hand basket. Wow, if Alex Shvartsman can’t find a pull quote to place atop Meridian Magic in THIS article, then I’ll be forced to surrender.

Let’s talk about brokenness, shall we? Rather, I’ll kick it, and you bust this, my peeps.

Some guys are rich. Some guys are studs. Some guys are rich studs. And some guys are broken beyond repair. I am none of the above. And neither are you. But, since it’s unlikely that we’ll ever be rich, studly, or rich and studly, we might as well aim for brokenness because, after all, broken is simply a mental state and quite a subjective term, and should be applied generously, paying special attention to those”problem areas”.

“State of mind may I remind you?”

-Nenah Cherry, Buffalo Stance

It’s okay to admit that you bought that CD. Really… Okay, it’s not. Be ashamed.

Many of you have at one time or another wondered if you were, or had the ability to become, broken. In all likelihood, you can become broken, but there is a price to pay for such elevation in mental capacity; that price is the burden of understanding what brokenness entails and making sure that you can (and will) live up to the principles set forth by such luminaries as Eubroken. For once you become broken, there is no turning back. Brokenness is not a new car that you can trade in when it loses that”new car smell.” It’s not a girlfriend that you can simply dump when she loses that”new girlfriend smell”; it’s a part of you. As Eddie Murphy said best (back when he was still funny, mind you):”You keep that [danger Will Robinson – bad word alert] forever, like luggage.”

“You don’t know why it’s there, but it’s there.”

-Jim Carrey, Man On The Moon

As much as people think that they can tune in levels of brokenness, or turn it on and off at the flip of a switch, they cannot. Brokenness becomes you and you become brokenness. There is no separation of church and state here – it is what it is; you are what you are. Although there are some that seem to be in command of their brokenness, such as Jon Finkel – who can seem entirely broken one day and totally human the next, it’s just a well-executed bluff; a bluff that oftentimes leaves others thoroughly perplexed and utterly astounded.

“When he’s bluffing, he plays with his little gold ring.”

-Joe Mantegna, House of Games, and also a David Mamet joint

Some people believe that brokenness is nothing more than an attitude. To some extent they are correct; it is an attitude. But it’s also much more than something that can be projected in the way one walks, talks, or otherwise conducts himself in the company of others – it’s an altered state of consciousness; a state that cannot be explained. You have to see it with your own eyes; essentially, you have to be it with your own self. No one can tell you when you’ve reached a state of perpetual brokenness, you just know. And then you become immune to being at the mercy of others because you are living on a different plane.

“He said ‘I’m going on my own,’ and he was free.”

-Ed Harris, Glengarry Glen Ross

Can this altered state be attained through practice? No. Meditation? No. Can it be handed down from father to son as if it were the deed to a tract of land? No. Those who do not vigorously seek brokenness are those who can and will achieve brokenness.

And now, for those who are completely lost (which should be everyone except those who are reading during an acid flashback), the be-all, end-all Guide To Becoming Broken Beyond Repair:

1) To become broken, one must embrace their inner”anti-brokenness,” for only in accepting that you are not broken can you realize true brokenness.

Admitting that you are not (at the present time) Broken Beyond Repair is the first step to enlightenment. Upon admitting and embracing your inner”anti-brokenness,” one will instantaneously feel as if a great weight was lifted from one’s shoulders. To annihilate your inner scrub, one must first learn to appreciate that only in making peace with said scrubbiness can one move onto the next level.

2) To become broken, one must ignore any and all aspects of”false brokenness,” which can include, but are not limited to: Savage topdecking skills, opponents mana screws, favorable matchups, and/or Intentional Draws.

Understanding the signs of true brokenness is an art form unto itself, which is often muddy and difficult to navigate. There are often conflicting signals of psuedo-brokenness that can manifest themselves as legitimate signs of brokenness. Identifying and appreciating these false signals is the next step in the journey, and a step that is ripe with adversity.

3) To become broken, one must realize that broken is as broken does.

Events will transpire that are simply broken. Attempting to control these events has led to the downfall of many apprentices of brokenness. Realizing that brokenness can at times be utterly random is understanding that brokenness cannot be turned on and off, yet must be allowed to”happen” is the next step of one’s journey.

4) To become broken, one must be willing to suck. A lot. For a very long time. For only in extended bouts of suckiness can one comprehend true brokenness.

One cannot truly appreciate brokenness until one has suffered through the long and arduous undertaking of suckiness. To fully appreciate brokenness, one needs to see, first-hand, how the other half lives. For only in sorrow of suckitude can we truly experience the joy of things that are broken.

5) To become broken, one must disregard any and all ideas that do not lead to brokenness. These may include ideas from people who are not, nor ever will be, broken. If one is unsure of another’s brokenness, or their ability to someday become broken, one should ask said individual one question:”Who let the dawgs out?” Therein lies your answer.

There will be those who attempt to lead those who have chosen the path of brokenness astray. At times, they will appear as allies, and may even claim to be broken themselves. One must be wary of those who would claim to be”only trying to help,” for more often than not, ruin lies at the end of the path that they would lead you down.

6) To become broken, one must NEVER own a Camaro, wear a jean jacket with an Ozzy patch, have (or befriend anyone with) a mullet, date a girl named”Candi,””Bambi,” or”Shante,” chew on a toothpick or straw, wear bell-bottoms, tight jeans, or spandex (unless you’re a female, then spandex is a prerequisite – and don’t wear a long shirt that covers your ass either, dammit!), wear T-shirts with the sleeves cut off, carry around a clear bottle to spit snuff into, brag that you once snuck into a movie theater to see any Hulk Hogan or Jesse Ventura movie, bitch about how lucky your opponent was when they trounced your ass, claim to have been in a band that was THIS close to making it, spend any time in a bar bragging about how great of a football/baseball/soccer/hockey player you were in high school, lie about the number of sexual partners you have had (tip: no one will believe any number over ten, so don’t even go there), utter the phrases”don’t even go there,””imagine that,” sucks to be you,” or”I shot JR,” watch”Survivor” or any other”reality” show, wonder if Justin really loves Britney or just wants to hit it and quit it, recite any lyrics by Nelly, Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Snow, or Culture Club, think that women like Pamela”hit me again but this time with feeling” Anderson or Jenny”I want to be respected for my mind” McCarthy are in any way at all attractive, deny that you have touched yourself, be caught lustily staring at any Magic card with artwork depicting a female, spend more than ten minutes hanging out in a fast food restaurant’s parking lot, own (or be spotted in) a car with a booming system, and finally, one must never, ever, purposely unleash Bad Times on Becky.

Every so often, a great brokenness occurs seemingly at random. Rest assured that this brokenness is not random, but perfectly predictable if one knows what to look for. The above list can give one a very good idea of what will not be observed when dissecting said random brokenness. When the random brokenness is compared with the above list, one will see that not only was it not random, but entirely expected.

7) You do not talk about broken.

Discussion of the above rules will only serve to unleash strings of appalling evil upon anyone who would be searching for brokenness. Legend has it that one person divulged said list during a High School Commencement speech and was found, within one hour of said speech, naked and incoherent at a kitchen table, with a Serpent Warrior and Parallax Wave in hand, mumbling”Comboriffic! Comboriffic!” While brokenness can be likened to nirvana, one must never take its powers lightly, for the Physician’s Credo of”Do no harm” does not routinely apply to those who would take the obligations of brokenness with anything less than the utmost importance.

There can be an addendum to the above ideas, but it’s such an advanced concept that I am quite wary to include it. However, I feel that many of you have the capacity to handle whatever brokenness may throw your way, or at least are now more receptive to confusing and/or contradictory tenets. Well, here goes, but if your head explodes, implodes, or otherwise comes apart, don’t say I didn’t warn you.


8) For one to achieve complete and utter brokenness, one must ignore each aspect and ideal set forth in the Guide To Becoming Broken Beyond Repair.

There were seven ideals set forth that were necessary steps in becoming broken beyond repair, and the irony of casting laws in stone, only to have said laws acknowledged then ignored, should not be lost on anyone. But brokenness follows its own guidelines that are not easily drawn nor erased. While the rules may be there to be observed, it is in the complete and utter disregard for the exact rules that form the foundation of brokenness. Weird, huh?

“Mrs. Wyzurich makes the most attractive Santa Claus dolls out of empty Ivory Snow containers.”

-Bobcat Goldthwait, as his mother

“What are you talking about?!”

-Bobcat Goldthwait, as himself, replying to his mother

And that’s it. I’m fairly certain that if one were to follow the rules and ideas discussed above, then one would undoubtedly become, and forever remain, Broken Beyond Repair.

Here’s one more incident of utter brokenness (although which side of the fence it’s sits on is up for debate) for all y’all to compare and contrast:

Before you die, you must set up shop at a flea market (or”swap meet” for those of you in the city, the city of Compton). Take all the crap you have in your cribbo, bag or box said crap up (and if you happen to be married, I’m virtually positive that your wife will have accumulated an infinite supply of completely worthless paraphernalia), and offer it up to the world.

If I never again hear”Will you take a dollar?” or”Ooh, that’s so cute!” it will be too soon. If I never again see a pack of wide-eyed blue hairs picking up every piece of glassware and/or pottery and examining it as if it were the goods from inside the Ark of The Covenant, it will be too soon.

Hint: The crappier your stuff is, the more people will want very much to possess it. That in itself is an element of brokenness.

Hint: When a blue hair picks up some random piece of absolute crap, affectionately fondles it, tells everyone within earshot of just how adorable it is, fondles it some more, and then asks”How much?” the only answer you can give that will get ol’ blue to remove it from your custody is,”Um, it’s free.” Don’t get sly and try to beat her down for two bits ’cause, she ain’t tryin’ to hear dat.

Hint: People will enthusiastically give you money for crap that you have been way too lazy to even bother throwing away.

Conclusion: People are stupid. And when you can utter a statement like that without feeling a need to justify it, then you are on your way to becoming broken.

I think it has something to do with just how much blue they have in their hair. Or something.

If there’s anything people need more of, it’s outright worthless crap. One can never have too many teacups and saucers. But don’t even get them started on the fact that gas is like two bucks a gallon.

Hint: Expect this, often:

Blueness: How much is this?

Shavedness: Ten bucks, beeyotch.

Blueness: Ah, they go for two bucks brand new.

Tip: Don’t bother to mention that the item in question just happens to be about ninety years old, because why would that matter to someone who thinks blue hair is technology and borderline broken beyond repair?

Tip: You’ll overhear a lot of”mise well” (apparently the blue ones like to use tech terms), but don’t bother craning you neck to get a glimpse of Flores, speeding past on one of those skateboardy things with handlebars, ’cause it won’t be him. Hi, I don’t even know what those things are called. Just how old am I again?

Rain and forty-five degrees goes down a little easier when you’re set up directly across from an insanely appealing woman, even if she does have a framed picture of Mankind for sale. And even if that pic stares at you for five hours. And even if you considered going over and buying it simply for the perverse pleasure of smashing it into oblivion. Appreciating the juxtaposition of Eros and Mankind is some sort of brokenness, though which sort is still in question.

I almost put the moves on with the super-tech line:”Hey, baby, I’m Friggin’ Rizzo!” But since I’m married, she’ll have to go through life without me. At least she’ll have that astonishingly retarded representation of Mankind to keep her warm on those lonesome nights. A bottle of vino, a warm fireplace, and a pic of Mankind…is that not broken unto itself?

Dear After-Church Crowd,

Would all of you do me a favor and just die?


Johnny Mint Box

What does the Swap Meet From Hell have to do with Magic? Nothing. What does the Swap Meet From Hell have to do with Broken Beyond Repair? Everything. And when you realize precisely why it is not only pertinent, but a textbook example of all things broken beyond repair, then you will be on your way to self actualization, or at least brokenness.

“Can I get an ‘Amen’?”

-James Brown, The Blues Brothers

I’ll leave you with this bar pickup line that I always wanted to use, but never had the occasion to kick. When you are in a bar and checking out a rather arresting woman who just happens to be wearing way too much makeup, bust this on her:

“Why would you take such a beautiful face and [bad word] it up with all that [bad word]?”

Now that is a line that will forever be broken beyond repair. Someone please use that line and let me know how it went, since it’s both a compliment and an indictment, and the responses it might get would be the stuff of legend. Perhaps. Either way, just for using that line, you will take a necessary step into the world of being Broken Beyond Repair.

Republicans: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Democrats: If it ain’t broke, make it better.

Magic Players: If it ain’t broke, break it.


-intro, Arthur Baker, Breaker’s Revenge

John Friggin’ Rizzo