Wednesday 30 March 2011

The Best/Worst Of Juice Nothing Artwork


This is what I like to call a “throw-away" blog. As that characterization suggests, it’s a filler piece, put together to fulfil the quota I have set for myself or else I get the hose again. But in my defence, it does have some merit to it. One thing I feel that sets my blog apart from other people’s blogs is that I usually include some fancy Photoshop artwork I made all by myself. Sometimes I am proud of them, sometimes I am ashamed, but either way - they don’t get enough attention. To rectify this, here is an entire blog dedicated to this side of Juice Nothing, which is my way of jumping up and down, screaming “LOOK AT ME OMG LOL WTF FTW”.

This is also the first ever DOUBLE FEATURE! blog for J0, because it is essentially two different blogs with opposite messages back to back. I hope you like it. Or at least read it. Or at least look at the pretty pictures. Or at least think of me occasionally. Or at least pray for me, because I fucking need it. I can't tell if I'm funny anymore.

Part 1: The Best Of Juice Nothing Artwork

Make no mistake, I am very aware that a “Best Of Me” topic comes across as one big self dick suck. But let it be known, I love getting my dick sucked. And fuck you if you don’t like my self-worship. I am officially giving myself permission to be proud of my word-decorations because I listen to Hip-Hop, and those guys talk about how cool they are all the time. Maybe just pretend this is a song? I dunno. Anyways, seeing as my last blog claimed I was John Lennon Reincarnated, I feel like I can pretty much say anything I want now.

Onward, here are my Top 10 Favourite Artworks that I have produced for Juice Nothing thus far:

10 People You Have To Follow On Twitter
10 People You Have To Follow On Twitter
Funny enough, I was originally going to put this one on the “Worst Of List” because it was so thrown together. But I looked at it for a while and it brought a tear to my eye, and a little soft spot grew inside of me. Like a bruise. Or the desire to puke all over my conceited self.
The message should be pretty obvious, but I’ll explain it anyway: Sylvester is “following” the Twitter bird as if it was Tweety bird (geddit? TWEETy? Whatevs), and in true Looney Tunes fashion he is about to fall off of a cliff. Omg, hilarious. I also used the real Twitter font (hint: it’s actually a mix of two fonts) which makes it look more authentic. Basically: It’s not as bad as the majority of other things I have done, which isn’t saying much.

A Song About Rusks
Top 10 Formspring Questions
In all fairness, there was very little editing done to this image on my part. But I love the absurdity of it: A Song About Rusks? A pile of said biscuits lying placidly on a plate? What does it all mean??
Well, it related to a formspring question I was asked by Matthew (my formspring arch-nemesis) which turned out to be one of the most creatively challenging yet memorable entries on my profile. The related blog itself was a bit meh, but the answer I gave is one I am proud of and this image stood out, giving me a sense of joyful panic and victory.

Rockstars Fuck Each Other, Happy Valentines Day
While this blog wasn’t my favourite and was more of a “let’s do something for valentines day” bit, this image is cool for a few reasons. The main one is that it is borderline pornographic, taken from a REAL GENUINE porn image (don’t tell my gran). And if you look closely, I cut it off at juuuust the right place too. However, it doesn’t seem tasteless because the whole thing was sweetened up with the surrounding heart texture, giving one an emo-tug and a hard-on at the same time. Awwww, who says romance is dead?
Another useless fact is that the original image I was using was one of a kangaroo. I have no idea how that came about, but in my mind it was justified it by adding the caption “The only creature I ever loved was a kangaroo. We didn't fuck though.” At some point I realised this was stupid, changed the image, but somehow that caption survived and is still on the blog to this very day - go look. I can’t imagine what people thought that meant.

10 (more) People You Have To Follow On Twitter
10 (more) People You Have To Follow On Twitter
The follow up blog to the image featured in entry 10. And let’s face it: those Twitter blogs are terrible - I know this. What's even sadder is that I will probably make another one, I JUST CAN’T HELP MYSELF.
Regardless, I figured this picture was quite clever (pats self on head). Much like the other Twitter one, it contains a cultural reference: this time to Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds, starring Tippi Hedren (featured in the image). See the original here. However, the joke being that instead of The Murderous Birds, I included the Twitter birds, which once again is OMG hilarious. I used the real Twitter font again, but with a little “(more)” added in, which looks totally rad. I think so anyway.

Personal Appeal From Jared Woods
Personal Appeal From Jared Woods
This wasn’t from a blog per say, but one of the Juice Nothing News items. The post featured me begging like a little child for votes to go towards The Funpowder Plot’s David Lynch music video. We didn’t win anyway, and the over-promotion we used for this was an experiment which I will never repeat again. Regardless, the image is rad, as it's an obvious rip from Wikipedia’s own personal appeal for money, which I did end up donating £20 towards.
But mainly, I am super hot in this photo because you can only see half of my face and I am wearing nailpolish like a girl. Fuck, I love girls.

Easter Eggs Up Your Ass
Easter Eggs Up Your Ass
Ok, so if you ignore the snake giving birth, you will find yourself enjoying a rather great wood finish on this piece, which was featured on every one of the pictures from my Easter 2010 launch. What maybe you don’t realise, is that it was created from scratch, screws and all, using nothing but filters and whatnot. I consider it good icing on a blog which is one of my most informative, if I do say so myself. And I do say so myself. I just said it, in fact.
Now, if you stop ignoring the snake giving birth, you’ll have to admit - it looks pretty disgusting after all. It kind of sticks with you, I find. Please note the little flies and the veins stretching out. It’s the most relative image to this blog’s ludicrous title, and I hope you have a healthy wank to it.

20 Hottest Girls Ever (according to me)
20 Hottest Girls Ever (according to me)
This blog is another great example of a "throw-away" piece. In fact, the best part of this entire effort was the images, which I based on De Stijl art movement. This wasn’t for some artsy-fartsy I’m-so-educated kind of reason; it was mainly because the style gave decent space to feature a few images of each girl for your perving pleasure.
When creating these, I would drag a picture of a girl onto the template and it would momentarily span all the colours. One of my best friends Lizzie was staying with me at the time, and once she saw this effect she tried to convince me to redo all of them in that style. I couldn’t bring myself to undo all of the work I had done, so instead I used the technique for the main image only. It works pretty well, and of course it doesn’t hurt that it features a pin-up model. Shit, I just bored myself.

You Don't Have To Choose
You Don't Have To Choose
My first launched short story (and definitely not last) was greeted with, well, nothing. Nobody responded to it in any way, which can only make me think that either nobody read it or nobody enjoyed it. NO MATTER, I am proud of it. Proud of the story. Proud of MYSELF. And, of course, very proud of the imagery. They were all quite detailed pieces, took time, and reflected the vibe perfectly.
I chose this specific one as it shows the character Japan (unimaginatively represented as Asian despite no mention of this in the story) with her eyes censored for no apparent reason. Oooh. Mysterious. But what people might not notice is the distorted sickly Patrick in the background, also censored, lying in his bed dying of cancer. Not to mention the smaller green marks which follow on The Machine’s vibe. I love it. I love me.
One little fact that people wouldn't have picked up on is that the original title of the blog was on all of the pictures. Up on the right hand side it clearly reads “Numbers You Don’t Have To Choose”. Just by chance the whole title wouldn’t fit on the Juice Nothing homepage, and when I shortened it to “You Don’t Have To Choose”, it sounded so much better that I kept it instead. The last chapter is evidence of this as well. YOU ARE NOW EDUCATED.

Until It Happens To You: My Paranormal Experiences
Until It Happens To You: My Paranormal Experiences
This was my Halloween blog, a personal bit of writing which accounts my dabbling into the freakier unexplainable side of life. People liked it in all the right ways, and I think the imagery helped secure the vibey I was going for.
The main image itself is my favourite. All of the pieces had the crusty border and the creepy font, but this one’s centrepiece was the best. It was taken from a violent porn picture where one girl was viciously stretching another girl’s mouth open. I positioned it so that you can’t immediately get what is going on, but it still gives me an unsettling feel even though I made it. Total win. And if you don’t like it - you should have seen what I didn’t use.

I Am The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
I Am The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
I was very happy with all the images from the John Lennon blog, I could have used any of them on this list. They all just seemed to fall into place despite following some strict criteria I had set for myself. Which was:
(1) The title of each chapter had to reflect the overall chapter’s message by using a Lennon/Beatles lyric;
(2) The image had to reflect this title;
(3) The image had to feature John Lennon; and
(4) The image had to feature my face hidden somewhere. I doubt many people picked that up, but if you look at each of these artsies, I am always there somewhere.
I chose this image specifically because of its cool psychedelic appeal which came out of nowhere. If you look at the original image it’s so plain and boring despite portraying a more obvious message. It wasn’t looking right, so out of frustration I overlayed some hippie-crap on top, and this came out. It’s almost painful to look at, but for a blog that's heart lay in the 60’s - it’s a trip maaaan.

This concludes part one of our double feature. I am sure at this point you are no longer interested in me trying to convince you of how great I am. Which is why I saved the best for last. Ladies and Gentleman, this is how shit I am:

Part 2: The Worst Of Juice Nothing Artwork

Rule 1 of all good self-worship: it should be followed by self-deprecation. With this in mind, please enjoy the “Worst Of Me” part of this blog, which not only makes me feel stupid and inadequate, but also gives you the platform to mock me. Please enjoy:

Jared Woods' Top 10 Formspring Questions
Jared Woods' Top 10 Formspring Questions
All things considered, this is a rad-ish image. But it’s just a bit too much... me.
“Oh yes, check me out, deep in thought. I am the formspring master. I think about a vast array of subjects without thinking about anything at all. I’m so deep and so cool.”
Sometimes I piss myself off. Often even. That whole blog was just one exercise in narcissism really, not to mention that the thought-bubble’s outline is far too heavy and the neckline of my top is very stretched. OMG, embarrassing.

The Top 20 Naughtiest Musicians, Ever
The Top 20 Naughtiest Musicians, Ever
The images for this blog were a little ho-hum at best, aiming to get the whole “naughty person was arrested” vibe or whatever. But when it came to finding an image to summarize it all, I was stuck. I eventually settled on this man waving his finger as if someone was being naughty. “You’ve been very naughty” he might be saying.
A while after this blog was launched, fellow Funpowder Plotter Ammr Khalifa said “Oh, that’s Bruce Campbell”. And I was like “yeah, obviously” but I actually had no idea. So my stupidity and ignorance of using an image without even knowing who it was, is why this enters at number 9. Whatever. I’m busy.

Dear 2010,
Dear 2010,
I don’t like the style of any images from Dear 2010. I was trying to make a cool calender vibe by using nothing but Photoshop trickery, and in a rush I got halfway there. The worst part is that little fold which appears on the bottom right corner. Pathetic. Wtf. Show me one page that folds like that in real life. It’s terrible in every way. Inexcusable.
I picked May specifically because if you summarize an entire month by saying “Janelle Monae released an album; Picasso sold a painting; and the bassist from SlipKnoT dies...” then it was a very lame month indeed.

That Band vs. Band Thang
That Band vs. Band Thang
Yeah, ok, so I get it. The boxers are symbolic of a music fight right? And because it’s a voting thing, it’s supposed to be clever hey? Something like that? Am I close? I guess my biggest issue is that it’s fucking boring.

Dear 2009
Dear 2009
Open Photoshop. Fill an area black. Slap on a fiber filter and a bevel. Cut out 3 holes to show images through. This must have taken me all of 2 minutes, surely. And much like the 2010 image earlier, this month was chosen due to its content: Lady Gaga breaks a record; Blur play a show; and a solar eclipse takes place. Where the hell was I in all of this?

The Disney Afternoon
The Disney Afternoon
I liked this blog even though it was written so long ago. And the image isn’t all bad, you might not even notice what is wrong with it. What could be? I didn’t even do that much to it - just look at the original.
Well let me tell you. First of all, the bottom reflection is pretty badly done, as they are hard to do correctly anyway. Check out the table that old Gummi-Bear is writing on (bottom mid-right). Reflections don’t look like that in real life do they now? But the main thing that really bothers me is the Gargoyles left wing. The text is actually cutting a piece out of it. That is bad bad designing, a fireable offence, and I just don’t know how that slipped though. I AM BETTER THAN THIS.

That Band vs. Band Thang
That Band vs. Band Thang
The images for this blog were sketchy at best (point proven that this is the second entry from it, the first at #7), but I did feel alright with them at the time. Unfortunately this image contains a huge mistake, can you spot it?
That’s right. 46% + 64% = 110%. A math miscalculation on my part, and due to my messy psd practices, impossible to correct. The worst thing was that other people pointed it out to me, which always hurts the most. Fail.

Writer’s Blog
Writer’s Blog
Ok, what the fuck is this? I mean, at least it wasn’t from a real blog blog, rather a news post, but still... wtf srsly.
My idea was obviously to use something representing “a rock and a hard place”, I found this image, and decided to not really edit it whatsoever. Even worse is the title, a pun on "Writer’s Block", which is so stupid that I’m sure no one else even got it. But instead of fixing it, I made it worse by using a shitty pixelated font which was hardly legible, and missed the apostrophe. Abomination.

Jared Woods' Top 50 Essential 2010 Albums
Jared Woods' Top 50 Essential 2010 Albums
So I had finally finished BY FAR the hardest blog I have ever written. I had listened to hundreds and hundreds of albums; painstakingly put them in order of preference; wrote and rewrote everything I could muster about them; found all the album covers; and even did small treatments on each one. That left one thing to do: the main picture. Only problem is that when it came time to create it, I was completely burnt out and didn’t know how the fuck to summarize a year of music. Any ideas? Please??
I tried to go for a champion "Yeah I Did It" vibe. Found a picture of Rocky, moved it around, blurred it, inverted it, loaded it with shitty filters, said “fuckkit” and then used it. I must apologise. What the hell is that thing? It doesn’t mean anything, and I consider it the only weak point of that entire blog. That said, my original plan was to use Justin Bieber’s face as a joke, so be grateful I suppose.

The Biggest Mistake Of My Life
The Biggest Mistake Of My Life
So this blog in general was pretty much completely ignored. In fact, only one person ever commented on it, saying “you are weird Jared”. Whatever, I honestly love it.
But this image is... I just don’t know. I am so so sorry. I even knew it was bad when I finished it. I took an image of Meryl Streep, liquefied her mouth and burnt out her eyes. I then crudely made a swastika on her forehead and burnt that in too. Done.
It is so disproportionate, I must have purposefully only spent a second on it, otherwise I should quit design right now. Even the shading of dribble (?) coming out of her mouth looks like nothing. I am ashamed. Was I trying to be comical? Was I trying to be scary? Either way, it’s not quite that. Although in my defence, the strap-line does deserve some kind of a point. So that’s 1 point then. Thanks.

A wise man once told me “Jared, they can’t all be winners”. And that wise man was me. And really now, if you can’t trust yourself, who are you going to trust? At least they weren’t a complete waste, as I somehow managed to write an entire blog about them. Now I shall cry for the remainder of the evening. This concludes part 2 of this feature.

One thing anyone can agree with is that practice makes perfect, and so I predict a rise in Photoshop quality for the blogs to come. A lot more porn, a lot more death, a lot more risky things you shouldn't view at work.

And if you think you can do better - you go girl. You show me. You're so novel. What a good idea. You can keep your time to yourself. You don't need date insurance. You can go out with whoever you want to. Every boy. Every boy in the whole world could be yours if you'll just listen to my plan. The teenage guide to popularity.

Thursday 3 March 2011

How To Be Cool (by Jared Woods)

Man, I am so fucking cool, ask anyone. People walk up to me and ask “How are you so cool, Jared?” and then I just walk away. Because that’s how cool I am. Fucking cool mate.

That said, there is a formula to being as cool as me. And as one of the three people who actually read my blog, I am going to share this knowledge with you.

It is as simple as finding out what cool stuff everyone else loves, and then rejecting it. Talk about how uncool the thing is that everybody else thinks is cool. Conversely, you can also find the thing that everyone hates, and then openly embrace it. They just don’t get it. They aren't cool enough.

At some point, something might go from cool to uncool or visa-versa. This is not your time to say “I told you so”, that’s lame. Instead, you must swiflty change your mind and reject popular opinion once again. And if people are all like “but I thought you said...”, just walk away. Because that’s how cool you are. Fuck, you are cool.

In summary: contradict everything everyone says. Be purposefully uncool and be cocky about it at high volumes. Be proud. And talk about your genitals as much as possible in public places because people love that shit.

I hope this helps your shit life. You still won’t be as cool as me tho, due to the following things:

First and foremost, I just launched the blog I Am The Reincarnation Of John Lennon. I think it's one of my best ones, so I hope you read it and love it and believe every word.
I also did a few little tweaks to the site in general. If you’ve been here before, you may notice that the News and the Blogs sections are now neatly sitting within the site. No longer do they pop-out into a new Blogger window, which I think makes for a better user experience. There are a few other things you might not have noticed too, like the favicon next to the web address at the top of your browser, or how I actually did some fixing for the fucking Internet Explorer users (fuck you). All in all, it’s better.
But one of the coolest things is the BRAND NEW SECTION where I list my favourite 2011 albums as they happen. Updated almost every day, I am proud of it. And it helps that February was one of the best months of music EVER, giving us Radiohead’s The King Of Limbs; PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake; James Blake’s self titled masterpiece; Nicolas Jaar’s Space Is Only Noise; and Ghostpoet’s Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam (to name but-a-few).
I pretty much already know what my next 3 blogs will be, but have no idea how long they will take due to:

I have been working very hard, and am proud to say that 3 of the tracks are pretty much 99% written, the 1% being intentional, allowing some room to continue the magic until the very end. The final track is sooo close, but has something wrong and needs a bit of minor surgery. March will be spent practising these songs and making the website, and April will see the vocal recording process happen. Tie up loose ends in May, launch in June or (at very latest) July. That’s the plan anyway.
I am so amped about this.

A few weeks ago, I actually sat down and wrote 6 chapters. This might seem like a lot, but they are pretty short and there will be like a hundred of them. The point is that I have started, and I owe it all to Keith Richards and his book Life, which was amazing and totally helped me out. I realise now that reading Autobiographies will inspire me to write this, and I intend to read nothing else from now on.

Recently, our housemate Sutchy upped and left The East Village, so we have frantically spent all of our resources trying to find a replacement. This has caused more stress and conflict than you could imagine, but we settled on a guy named Henry and things should resume to normal soon. Ammr is working on a big thing for us, Ash is involved with a side project, and Kris has been “slaving away” at the Yes Man video. But between us (me and Kris particularly) another cool idea is being developed and I am hoping something will sperm out this month (maybe?).

I have answered a few new questions, the most notable was another Matthew creation where I had to draw a comic of a Rusk and an Asshole Pengiun having a fight. Look here.
I am currently on 299 questions, and some awesome people have given me 17 new ones to pick from for my 300th. It will hopefully get answered next week, where I plan to do a machine gun session and answer a fuckload of them in a few short days. Thanks guys!

Midnight Mixtape is a website less famous than me, but they often ask me to write album reviews for them. I was more than happy to do so when the new Radiohead came out, and the feedback has been rad. Please read it! It was hard to work with word-limitations and trying to sound professional (and I could have done better) but at least my writings are leaking onto other peoples sites now.

Ok, that’s enough. Follow me on Twitter, I will save your life.

I Am The Reincarnation Of John Lennon

Jared Woods Is The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
Chapter 1
People Say I’m Crazy, Dreaming My Life Away

"I'm not afraid of death because I don't believe in it. It's just getting out of one car, and into another" - John Lennon [Ref01]

By now many people have begun to question my sanity. I guess this is understandable, as I have been known to question it myself. However, I can think of a few people off-hand that consider me to be perfectly normal, and I am hoping that this blog will be the final straw in rectifying this. And why wouldn’t it? It's a rather tall order. "The reincarnation of John Lennon?" one might query. "Well, doesn't that sound a bit conceited, ridiculous, and pretty much impossible to prove?" And that's fair enough.

The truth is, I wrote the original draft of this essay back in 2007. Excitedly, I showed it to a few of my friends, whose response was generally "keep that one to yourself, Jared". That freaked me out. Maybe they were finally realising that there was something seriously wrong with me. In fear, I promptly buried the evidence deep within my porn drawer so that no one would ever find it. I mean, what would people say? What kind of arrogant fuck actually thinks he is the reincarnation of arguably the greatest artist that ever walked our planet? Well, Liam Gallagher for one [Ref02]. And me for another.

Thank God for getting older! Now I don’t give a fuck what any of you think! And weirdly enough, it seems that this attitude has resulted in people liking me even more. Go figure. Now armed with my new found confidence, I introduced the hypothesis to more and more people over the last year, and the results have varied. At very least, I get a lol. At very most (and drastically more seldom) people start to say "well... you do have an interesting theory there". Because I do. I have a fucking interesting theory here. And that is why I am finally going public with the truth. Yes, I am the reincarnation of Jonh Lennon. Touch me if you want. Here is the hardcore evidence:

Jared Woods Is The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
Chapter 2
You Don't Take Nothing With You But Your Soul

The title of this chapter comes from the song "The Ballad of John and Yoko", written by John Lennon in 1969. Think.

Death is a complicated subject. I am sure by now you have formed your own opinions on the spooky afterlife; or your day of judgement; or whatever it is you believe death to be. If reincarnation isn’t on your subscription table, so be it, I’m not here to convince you otherwise. But who cares what you think? What matters is what John Lennon thought. And he definitely had an interest in the topic, the best evidence being the 2 month stint he spent in India, 1968, partaking in advanced Transcendental Meditation taught by the guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. [Ref03]

The Transcendental Meditation book itself has the following to say:

“In order to understand the cycle of birth and death ... it should first be understood that the cause of rebirth is the unfulfilled desires of past life. If a man wants to accomplish this or that and fails to do so before the body ceases to function, he dies unfulfilled. Because of this unfulfillment the inner man (mind) goes to create another body through which that unfulfilled desire of the past life may be fulfilled. Thus it is one's own desire that is the cause of rebirth ... this cycle ... takes the man from birth to birth, and the cycle of birth and death continues..."
- Transcendental Meditation, p110, popularised by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi [Ref04]

Sadly, The Beatles' long-time manager Brian Epstein died whilst they were on their Indian visit, which obviously upset The Fab Four greatly. When asked what Maharishi had advised them to do relating to the passing, John Lennon said:

"[Maharishi] told us not to get overwhelmed by grief, and to -- whatever thoughts we have of Brian, to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is." [Ref05]

So we can say with all certainty that at one definite point of his life, Lennon had a grasp on the concept that our energy was released in death, but still existed on some level. And more than likely, is going to be reused somewhere, as this is the nature of energy itself. [Ref06]

Good thing too, because Lennon did die. On the 8th of December 1980 to be exact. Murdered by the hand of some insane cunt named Mark David Chapman, who shot John 4 times in the back. And as Lennon had established himself as one of the most successful songwriters in history (as well as a political/peace & love advocate) the whole world was shoved into deep hole of grief. I think we are still there to a degree.

(I won’t go into conspiracy theories here, but I urge you to use your Google Machine and read the widely available information on the subject. It's fascinating.)

He was rushed to the hospital, but pronounced dead on arrival. And with that (according to the theory we just discussed) his "soul" shot across the universe, in hope to one day come together with a new host when the time was right. But when is the time right? What is the general opinion on the time it takes for a soul to reincarnate?

Ian Stevenson (a man who is known for his reincarnation research, having investigated thousands of cases in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Lebanon and Turkey) and Karl Muller (a separate lesser famous researcher) both came to the following conclusion:

"The intermission between death in the previous life and birth in new life is usually between one and four years; an intermission of more than 12 years hardly ever occurs." - [Ref07]

On the 16th of October 1984, I was born, four years after the death of John Lennon. Now this is more important than it seems. I mean, I’m not jumping up and down and saying that this proves I caught Lennon's spirit inside of me, but it does prove Liam Gallagher did not. The twat was born 8 years before the death of John Lennon. How is that even possible? If you come away with nothing else, let it be that this man who is making the same claim as me probably doesn’t even know what reincarnation means.

"There's no real such thing as death anyway. I mean, it's death on a physical level, but life goes on everywhere... and you just keep going, really." - George Harrison [Ref08]

Another important aspect of my birth-date relates to John Lennon's birth-date, as our birthdays are exactly one week apart. First of all, a week is such a nice round amount of days, don’t you agree? It sounds so much better than if I had said 6 days, or 8 days, right? That might not mean anything. What does mean something is that this puts us in the same star-sign: Libra. This is generally regarded as one of the more vain star-signs [Ref09], which would suggest that if John did have to choose a host (if it indeed works that way) then it would make sense for him to try and aim for someone who was (a) as similar to him as possible (close birthday, for a big fucking example), and (b) have extremely good looking parents. I fulfil the criteria is all I’m saying. More on this in the next chapter.

Let’s summarize. If you don’t believe in reincarnation, based on the title alone, you knew this blog wouldn’t convince you of shit anyway. But if you do, then I think this chapter somewhat proves that it could at very least be somewhat possible. Unlikely, sure, but if there is a chance - there is a chance. From here, it gets a little more fun.

Jared Woods Is The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
Chapter 3
Got To Be Good Looking Cos He's So Hard To See

You know some people say a dog begins to look like its master? Why do you think this is? Well, I for one have no idea.

But a theory could be that the master's dominating energy is influencing the physical appearance of the dog's inferior energy. This makes some sense to me, because our cells are regenerating and adapting at massive speeds (some say that after 7 years we are an entirely new person, although there is some dispute [Ref10]) and this is happening due to our trapped energy or spirit or whatever. We can support this by saying dead people don’t adapt or regenerate, living people do. It's true! Cut yourself, you will heal. Cut a dead person, they will stay cut. Your energy is sorting you out.

Not to go on about this, but you have to understand there is a very important relationship between our spiritual selves and our physical selves. This isn't a religious thing, it's a scientific thing. Think about how Doctors are trained to give patients hope, because with hope (an emotional thing) chances of recovery are drastically improved - which is well documented all over the books. [Ref11] [Ref12]. The sick get sicker, the strong grow stronger, it’s something that has become such a cliché that it has lost its true meaning.

There are more extreme and urban-legendy type stories based around this. I remember once reading that Aleister Crowley (I think it was) had spent so much time focusing on dark spirits and magick that he felt lumps growing on his forehead much like horns. And by now a lot of us have heard about the boy who regrew toes on his amputated leg because he had witnessed salamanders doing the same thing. I can’t find references, but it should at least further cement the belief of some people.

Ok, now that I have bored myself to tears, I will get to the point. If reincarnation was a fact, and there is a definite correlation between spirit and our physical selves, one could assume that there might be a visible affect. The physical side of the new host would somehow reflect the old one. For the rest of this chapter, I would like to pin point what these would be between myself and John Lennon.

"He had inherited his mother’s extreme nearsightedness, and by age seven was pronounced to be in need of glasses." - Philip Norman
(John Lennon: The Life By Philip Norman - near the end of Chapter 2)

"John Lennon, in fact, had trouble seeing the audience; extremely nearsighted from an early age, he was reluctant to wear glasses in public." - Richard Buskin [Ref14]

The first (and probably pointless) point, obviously refers to the above quotes. John Lennon was short sighted, meaning he couldn't see far. OMG, me too. In fact, I relate to John in many small ways to do with this. For starters, he was very embarrassed of this fact and spent much of his early life not wearing them at all. OMG, me too. Lennon only started to wear his glasses because Buddy Holly was his hero and made him feel ok about it. OMG, I only started to wear my glasses because John Lennon is my hero and made me feel ok about it. Weird.

"In a letter to a Holly fan, Lennon wrote, 'He made it O.K. to wear glasses. I was Buddy Holly.'" - Goldrosen and Beecher, page 159 [Ref15]

Apparently this short-sightedness made Lennon a very bad driver, even crashing his car shortly after passing his driving test [Ref16]. I won’t elaborate on this point, because if you know - you know. I have since switched to contact lenses and feel much better for it, thanks for asking.

A stretch? Yeah maybe. But the idea is to pile up the evidence as to the physical similarities between myself and John Lennon, and here is yet another weak point:

Please click to the above photo. CLICK ON IT. You will notice that me and Mr. Lennon share a mark on our foreheads. Lennon's is said to be either a mole or a birthmark, whilst mine is a scar from chicken pox or something. Coincidence? Maybe. But what is noteworthy is that Lennon quite liked the mark because:

"Buddha was supposed to have had one mole in the center of his forehead, and that was considered in the Oriental Physiognomy as a sign of a very wise man." - Yoko Ono [Ref17]

I won’t point out the obvious relation to Buddhism and their beliefs on reincarnation, but feel free to do it yourself, it's a common discussion. [Ref18]

But all of this is neither here nor there. The heart of this chapter has nothing to do with forehead marks or eyesight problems. It has to do with the fact that I look like John Lennon. Agree or disagree, I wasn’t the first one to note this. I have had friends tell me, I have had strangers tell me, I have had a homeless man tell me once. I have an ex-girlfriend who said it when she first met me and still calls me Lennon to this day, a nickname I love and treasure. I have used John Lennon as my Gtalk profile picture before, and someone asked "is that you?" I said yes, naturally. Be the judge for yourself in the following 6 photos, some people have disagreed, but I have definitely heard it multiple times.

Jared Woods Is The Reincarnation Of John Lennon

None of the photos in this blog were taken specifically for this purpose. They were all picked from my facebook profile, unedited. If you aren’t my facebook friend, you’re just going to have to take my word for it - don’t add me. I haven’t ever tried to look like John Lennon in my life, that would be pathetic.

This chapter is an important one as I’m not relying on your beliefs about spirituality, theorizing about life-after-death or any such assumptions. Whether or not you agree we look alike, you will have to concur that, yes, at least Jared is not some fat bald guy or a tranny making these claims. I am a skinny looking white boy, who wears glasses and has a funny shaped nose. Kind of like John Lennon really.

Jared Woods Is The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
Chapter 4
I'm Travelling On The One After 909

Congratulations on making it this far. So I have covered the spiritual and astrological similarities. I have covered the physical similarities. Now comes the somewhat weirder side of things. This is the part where some will go "yeah... that is kind of strange" while others will go "just another stupid coincidence". Well, first of all, how many coincidences do you need? And, second of all, suck my bum. It doesn’t matter, it is totally worth mentioning, God told me.

"9 is the highest number in the universe. After the number 9, we begin to recycle the lower numbers to make new ones. So, 9 is the largest original number." - John Lennon*

* - Unfortunately, I couldn’t find reputable source for this quote except for a few message boards I refuse to reference. However, I do remember hearing this quote before, I think it might have been in The Beatles Anthology, so I have included it. Apologies, at least I’m honest.

John Lennon was obsessed with the number 9. He felt it followed him around his whole life, and if you look at it, it kind of did. As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, he was born on the 9th of October, one week before me. Weirdly enough, his son Sean shared this birthday.

Brian Epstein (The Beatles’ long term manager) secured their recording contract with EMI on May 9th 1962, and first saw them play at the Cavern on November 9th 1961. Exactly 5 years later on 09/09/1966, Lennon met Yoko Ono.

Out of The Beatles’ singles that made the U.S. Top 10 in Billboard history, all peak positions were covered except #9.

In April 1969 he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. There are 9 'o's in the combined names of John Ono Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon.

Because of this obsession, John used the number throughout his work. Examples include:

When he was eleven years old he painted a picture of himself playing football with a large number 9 on his shirt, which became the cover for his album "Walls and Bridges".

The song "One After 909" recorded originally in 1963, but rerecorded and released on Let It Be in 1970.

The most Avant Garde song in The Beatles' catalogue "Revolution No. 9" from The White Album (their 9th official studio release) which repeats the phrase "number 9, number 9, number 9....." over and over. I love it, personally.

Lennon's solo song "#9 Dream", which peaked at number 9 in the charts when it was released on his 9th solo studio album in September 1974, the 9th month of the year

His albums "Rock 'n Roll" and "Mind Games" each had 9 letters in their titles.

Even when John was shot, he was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital - on 9th Avenue (Roosevelt also has 9 letters, as does Manhattan, the district in New York where he lived and died).

"It's just a number that follows me around, but, numerologically, apparently I'm a number six or three or something, but it's all part of nine." - John Lennon

These references and many more are all over the internet, go read them. [Ref19] [Ref20] [Ref21]

So yeah, that's all very weird and what-not, but what has this got to do with me? Well, if John Lennon's number was 9, and if I really was the reincarnation, then it would make sense that my number would be 10, right?

I once got a fortune cookie that said "The number 10 will always be lucky for you". I was like "ok, cool, thanks" and I stuck it on my cupboard. It was there for ages, I looked at it everyday, until I really started to think about it. And slowly I began to work some stuff out...

"J" is the 10th letter of the alphabet, which is another thing I share with John Lennon.

J A R E D W O O D S has 10 letters, which is yet another thing I share with J O H N L E N N O N.

October is the 10th month of the year, and as I have said, just one more thing me and Mr. Lennon share.

And finally, I was born on the 16th of Oct '84, a week after John's birthday. If you add 16 and 84 you get 100. Which is 10 tens.

So as John became aware that number 9 was his number, I have become aware that number 10 is mine - the number after John's. And as John did, I have already begun to slip this number into as many of my works as possible (you might have noticed), because I LOVE IT. And I mean, "One After 909" is "9-10" isn't it?

On a side note, it might be worth mentioning here that John's first two initials were JW for John Winston, as are mine seeing as I have no middle name.

Jared Woods Is The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
Chapter 5
We Are the Eggmen

This is arguably the most important chapter of this whole propsal. To me there is one thing that the spirit of Lennon would find more important than numbers and birth dates and the physical transformation of its host. And that would be artistic merit.

I’m not here claiming that I am half as talented as John Lennon’s left pinkie - because he is John Fucking Lennon, the legend above legends. But the fact stands: I have some ability. I can play guitar, bass, drums and a bit of piano - much like Lennon. I have been known to sing [Ref22], having done so for many years, even occasionally on stage in front of large amount of people. Lennon also did that, maybe you know. I like to believe I can draw [Ref23]. John Lennon liked to believe this too [Ref24]. I have been known to write sometimes (Ref: this fucking blog). Lennon himself wrote three books, namely: In His Own Write; A Spaniard In The Works; and Skywriting By Word Of Mouth (genius titles if you ask me). I have a deep connection to the arts and other artists, as I’ve proven with Art-Pulpitations (RIP) [Ref25], kind of like what Lennon and The Beatles did with Apple Records [Ref26]. And it’s worth mentioning that Avant Garde techniques are still some of my favourite - as were they Lennon’s around 1968.

I don’t think it would be fair if someone on the side of the road was screaming that he was the Lennon reincarnate if he had no artistic value whatsoever. At least I have some sort of a creative and productive side to me, regardless of what you might think about it.

Liam Gallagher, by the way, has absolutely no musical ability whatsoever. His brother did all the Oasis work, fact. Just check their album credits, you will usually find the words "all songs written and composed by Noel Gallagher" because Liam couldn’t do anything.

Which begs the question: what do you think Lennon would say to Liam? I’ll tell you - he would say “you stole my hair and my glasses and my sound, you little fucker”. Because, at very least, I haven’t gone out of my way at any point to be like Lennon whatsoever. I have my own style going. Liam has ripped everything he knows from Lennon, and yet he still doesn’t know that much. If I am indeed crazy, then Liam is a fucking mental case.

This concludes my essay. Allow me to wrap it up nicely for you:

Jared Woods Is The Reincarnation Of John Lennon
Chapter 6
And In The The End...

I’ll never forget the day. I was watching an episode of The Simpsons in 1993 when Homer was part of The Be Sharps Band [Ref27]. The entire episode was smothered in Beatles references, which caused my Dad to laugh hysterically whereas I simply didn’t get it. "What’s the joke Dad?"

He explained to me about this band, the "biggest band that had ever existed". They broke all world records, all barriers and changed the history of music forever. I remember clearly thinking that he had to be exaggerating, for if this band did indeed exist, what the fuck had I been listening to? From that moment, I had a fierce curiosity about The Beatles, and slowly I spent more and more time researching them. But it wasn’t until many many years later that it became a full blown obsession. While my friends will still listening to Norma Jean and In Flames, I was frantically buying every Beatles thing I could get my hands on. I had all of their albums; a ton of solo work from each member; posters; t-shirts; a Sgt Pepper vinyl; multiple books; badges; postcards; matchboxes... you name it, I had it - which is pretty rare for a then 20 year old. The Beatles just spoke to me maaaan. I listened to them pretty much solidly for two years straight. And it was John Lennon who always stood out for me as the centerpiece of the picture, he had a holy vibe to him which I could never fully explain to anyone. His character appeals to me in every way possible. He is my number 1. Bigger than Jesus.

The thing is, I am not so full of myself to believe that the entire soul of John Lennon lives within me. A part of him could be, sure, and a part of him could be living within you too. It's a fun theory which I enjoy thinking about, and it makes some sense. It would explain why I have such a driving desire to be famous. It would explain why, when I landed in London, I felt more at home than I ever did in South Africa. And it would also explain why I love Asian girls so much. Do you have a dead celebrity you idolize? Why do you idolize them? Do you think maybe it’s because...

No. It’s not. To be honest, I don’t seriously believe I am the reincarnation of John Lennon. Hell, I don’t even know if I believe in reincarnation at all. But I do believe in me. Yoko and me. And that’s reality. I know you have your choice of blogs on the internet, and I thank you for wasting your time on mine.

(P.S: I love Oasis)