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Jason Toews and fifi (the band)

About the Author

Like most people with my background (I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian working-class family in a Seattle suburb during the 70’s and 80’s; got excellent grades [I won a spelling bee in 4th grade, and I was in the Honor Roll in high school], but was not encouraged to go to college; I spent many of my happiest hours performing in a rock band with some of the other authors of this site; I married and had children while still in my 20’s; I experienced the painful loss of my marriage and my faith in my early 30’s; soon after, I found myself strung out on anti-anxiety medication in the mental ward of Overlake Hospital; I eventually got better and married a powerful and beautiful woman who was our birthing instructor 10 years earlier…), I find it hard to write about myself. I mean, who cares? What possible interest could this minutiae hold for the average reader?

Nonetheless, I want to provide a “bio” for this website – a sort of “About the Author” piece to provide some context for new readers. What to do?

Then it struck me: Perhaps the best way to tell YOU about ME is to show you what OTHER people – people who actually know me – have written about me. What I needed was a reliable source of grittily honest, uncomfortably perceptive character analysis about me, Jason Toews. And what better source for such material than my junior and senior high school yearbooks? Granted, if you’re looking for grammatical consistency, proper spelling, or moderation in use of the adjective “crazy,” yearbook inscriptions leave much to be desired. Nonetheless, it is my hope that these unsophisticated testimonials will accomplish my goal: to weave a tapestry of objective scrutiny and emotional reactions, of sublime banality and accidental profundity, a tapestry that gradually reveals itself to be a beautiful throw rug, or possibly a sweater. One with my face on it.

Jason: Very Handsome

NOTE: All of the following yearbook quotes are genuine. The spelling and grammar have not been corrected.

Yearbook Analysis, Section I

“It’s been WEIRD having you in Health… probably cuz you’re a weird person” – (name illegible), 10th grade

“You sure like to act weird” – Jack, 12th grade

“You are a very nice guy even if some people think you’re weird” – Kristi, 11th grade

“You’r a pretty weird guy but your cute and funny” – Sherrie, 11th grade

“You’ve been a great friend and weird, loud” – Patty, 7th grade

“You are one of the weirdest people I know but that is why you are you’re cool” – Don, 11th grade

“Kim is a Fox-N-1/2… Dan + Kim” – Dan, 7th grade

What Have We Learned?

Jason is a joyful iconoclast, someone who playfully tweaks the nose of authority in all its guises. He is much more than the “class clown,” however. From this pithy selection of quotes, we learn that Jason is also “cute,” “nice,” “cool,” and, perhaps most importantly, “a great friend.” Additionally, we have established that Kim is a “Fox-N-1/2.”

Jason: Proud of his Naked Body

Yearbook Analysis, Section II

“I’m really glad we got to be friends cuz your a real sweet person even though a little crazy sometimes… friends allways” – Yvette, 8th grade

“Even though your crazy your a nice person!” – Jeri, 8th grade

“Even though you’re totally crazy you’re still real nice” – Michelle, 8th grade

“You’re crazier than ever you nimrod” – Michelle, 10th grade

“You are a nice, weird, crazy, strange person. John B. is worse though” – Kim, 10th grade

“You are really a sweet, caring, person and I hope you realize that about yourself because you go far beyond the wild ‘n crazy person that’s on the outside refusing to conform” – Chris, 12th grade

What Have We Learned?

In the parlance of the times, Jason is “crazy,” that much is clear. But what do we mean when we say “crazy”? Significantly, the designation of “crazy” is used only as a modifier to an overriding complimentary statement, i.e. “EVEN THOUGH you’re totally CRAZY, you’re still real NICE” (caps mine). On the one hand, we have “crazy.” On the other hand, we learn that Jason is “sweet,” “nice” (3X!), and “caring.” Reading between the lines, it is clear that these people have a deep love for Jason. Except Michelle, who called him a “nimrod.” In any case, John B. is worse.

Jason: BMOC

Yearbook Analysis, Section III

“You seem pretty – well – interesting. We should party over the summer” – Sue, 12th grade

“Your a real funny guy and a sweet one… P.S. Don’t Party. It’s Dangerous.” – Paula, 8th grade

“You know your sweet? You know that youre funny? Well I do… partying is dangerous but it’s worth the risk!” – (name illegible), 8th grade

“You’re a mass killer guy. Rock out this summer.” – Tory, 10th grade

“You’ve always been the wild one – the one with the characteristics of a madman!” – Latia, 12th grade

“We all know you get stoned so stay that way” – (name illegible), 8th grade

“You are one rowdy dude!” – David, 12th grade

“I swear you get stranger every year… have a totally rocking summer, get laid high stoned drunk etc.” – Brian, 10th grade

“Try to keep out of trouble with the Lynnwood Police” – Joy, 10th grade

What Have We Learned?

Jason may be “nice” and even “sweet,” but he is definitely no angel! Wild, bacchanalian parties seem to spontaneously coalesce in Jason’s presence, and he is no stranger to the Lynnwood Police. While I’m not saying that Jason partakes of illegal drugs, or that he drinks alcohol to excess… people certainly seem to think that he does. Which should tell you something about what kind of a guy he is.

Jason: Party MONSTER!

Yearbook Analysis, Section IV

“Keep up the good jokes!” – Therese, 8th grade

“Jasonion Institute of Mental and Physical Defiency… You’re a cool guy and I like ‘most’ of your jokes (I say ‘most’ because some were pretty bad)” – Alex, 8th grade

“Next year you’re gonna be a spaztical senior, huh? Groovy! You’re a SUPER GREAT person so stay funny!” – Tamara, 11th grade

“Although some of your jokes were a bit offending to some people, Majority were of good quality” – Sang-Ho, 12th grade

What Have We Learned?

The majority of Jason’s jokes are of good quality.

Jason: Adorable

Yearbook Analysis, Section V

“I am glad I never had you in class” – Mr. Castle

“It’s been interesting in Word Processing. You definitely know how to challenge a student teacher” – Ms. Desposato, 10th grade Word Processing student teacher

“(you are) sort of the Norman Bates of the school” – Mr. Beaman, 10th grade Social Studies teacher

“You have so much potential intellectually” – Ms. Klein, 10th grade Vice Principal of Activities

“Hope to see you next year a very mature grown up senior” – Ms. Davis, 11th grade Librarian

“If there are any more at home like you, please let me retire first” – Mr. Sherrick, 11th grade Accounting teacher

“You are a complete idiot cabbagehead” – Mr. Schlieman, 12th grade English teacher

What Have We Learned?

Unlike the majority of students, who are scarcely remembered by their high school teachers, Jason made an impression. His teachers felt strongly about him; he challenged them intellectually and engaged them emotionally.

Jason: Anti-Establishment Radical

Yearbook Analysis, Section VI

“I’m glad we’re friends. I’m glad we had Algebra together and I think we had a blast on the Illuminati field trip!” – Cinita, 8th grade

“I still remember 5th grade – I thought you were a martian” – Jodie, 12th grade

“I don’t think I could stand English without someone making Mr. Scholl mad. Even though you were only in class half the time. I bet they loved ya in the library or wherever you had to go” – Michelle, 10th grade

“Geometry was real interesting (I think Phillips is going to have a nervious break down)” – Ron, 11th grade

“You really know how to liven up a classroom. Too bad the people in World Civ didn’t appreciate your humor” – Michelle, 11th grade

“It would have been nice if you wore a suit to the awards assembly” – Rafael, 12th grade

What Have We Learned?

Jason made school “interesting” for his fellow students. They counted on Jason to “liven up” their otherwise dreary high school experience. He is the kind of guy that makes things HAPPEN. Jason didn’t wear a suit to the awards assembly because he refuses to kowtow to the MAN! Plus, he thought the assembly was on Wednesday.

Jason: You Are Afraid Of My Ideas

Yearbook Analysis, Section VII

“You do realize of course that as you leave this place, you are entering a cruel, cruel world that won’t put up with your crap” – Shelly, 12th grade

“I hope you are successful at being a garbageman or whatever” – Tim, 12th grade

What Have We Learned?

Jason’s classmates felt protective of Jason’s fragile, sensitive soul. They worried that the “cruel, cruel world” might crush this delicate butterfly.

Jason: Fragile

Yearbook Analysis, Section VIII

“You make me sick you screaming faggot” – John,10th grade

“You are the biggest asshole I know” – Greg, 12th grade

“You arrogant, self-righteous bastard… you’re an ugly faggot” – Gordy, 12th grade

“You are so damn immature” – (name illegible), 10th grade

“Why don’t you grow up, you dick?” – Joe, 12th grade

“I hated being in A.P.E. w/you! You’re a jerk – you argued too much w/me and all my ideas. Mr. Schlieman hates you too… Get wasted and arrested!” – Sandi, 11th grade

“You’re a real spaz” – LeeAnn, 8th grade

“I think you’re a jerk” – Bob, 11th grade

“Sorry about making your face numb that one time and I sincerely hope you regain some feeling in your nose” – Jeff, 8th grade

“When are you ever going to grow up?” – Sang-Ho, 10th grade

“I think that I can honestly say that I don’t like you very much” – Bob, 12th grade

What Have We Learned?

Jason’s tireless battle against the status quo obviously rattled some cages. Weaker minds responded with anger. Hey, the Catholic Church condemned Galileo, and look how that turned out.

Jason: Not Content With The Status Quo

Yearbook Analysis, Section IX

“You have got such a nice tight ass!” – Greg, 12th grade

“Your a crazy guy and you have a nice tight ass. S.M.D.” – Don, 12th grade

“I love you, Jason, and if I can have you, I’ll gladly leave Vicki” – Eric, 12th grade

“You are a suppressed sexual dynamo” – Myong, 12th grade

“It’s been 2 long years since we made love but I was wondering if you still loved me” – Ricky, 12th grade

“Jason, ya know, I think I love you. I think I’d like to bear your children, and climb into those pants of mine your wearing” – Greg, 12th grade

“I’ll never forget that crazy, mixed-up night we shared together – I had no idea you could do something like that” – John, 11th grade

“I hate your gut fag” – (name illegible), 10th grade

What Have We Learned?

Jason’s palpable sexual energy radiates upon everyone in his presence, making a mockery of traditional gender roles. Previously heterosexual men find themselves aroused and confused (and sometimes enraged). Chaos ensues.

Jason: SEXXY!

Yearbook Analysis, Section X

“When I met you this year, I found two people: A nice friend, and a wacko.” – Paul, 7th grade

“I feel that you will sometimes be the subject in a home for the mentally ill” – Paul, 8th grade

“You are probably the strangest person I have ever known” – Paul, 10th grade

“What can I possibly say to relate my opinions about you over the years. The only words that really come to mind is, ‘why?'” – Paul, 12th grade

What Have We Learned?

Four different years, four different quotes, from one man who knows Jason well. Same back at ya, compadre, same back at ya.

Jason: SEXXXY!!

Conclusion

If the above quotes are to be believed, I am both “a nice person” AND “a self-righteous bastard.” I am “sweet,” while simultaneously remaining a “nimrod.” My great “potential intellectually” does not negate my identity as “one rowdy dude.” Sang-Ho wonders when I’m going to “grow up,” while Paul simply asks, “why?”

I am both a “sexual dynamo” and a “screaming faggot.”

I am “weird,” “crazy,” “funny,” “cute,” “loud,” “cool,” “caring,” probably “stoned,” and an “idiot cabbagehead.” Some suspect I am a “martian” while others identify me as an “asshole.” The majority of my jokes are of “good quality.” People want to “party” with me, despite the fact that it’s “dangerous.” I am irredeemably “immature” and, even worse, a “dick.”

You might reasonably ask whether these hastily scribbled notes from 20+ years ago can tell us anything of relevance about who I am today. Take, for example, the predictions regarding my future career or social status, which ranged from “garbageman” to “subject in a home for the mentally ill.” Both predictions are demonstrably untrue. Although I worked for several years emptying the wastebaskets in office buildings, I was NEVER a “garbageman” in the commonly understood sense of that word. I mean, for starters, garbagemen work during the day. Completely different thing. And while I did spend a week in the Mental Health Ward at Overlake Hospital , it was certainly not a “home for the mentally ill.” I was just really tired.

Some of the other quotations, however, bear the unmistakable ring of truth. My ex-wife will confirm that I am, indeed, both a “nice person” AND a “self-righteous bastard.” She said so as recently as last week. Max, my 15-year-old son, often calls me a “spaz.” My father recently labeled me “one rowdy dude,” though he didn’t use quite those words. I think the words he used were “immoral,” “heretic,” and “lover of Satan.” That was just before he cut off all contact with me.

Most importantly, my wife Robin tells me that I still have a “nice” ass, though she’s now hedging on the “tight” part of the description.

Most of the time, however, those descriptions seem to be talking about some other guy. Someone I’m not even sure I would like. The people I work with would probably call me an introvert, if they knew me well enough to call me anything. When I’m writing publishing automation software, or driving my son to school, or signing divorce papers, or navigating my new marriage, or talking to friends who are dealing with their own almost-middle-aged crises… I don’t feel very “crazy” or “rowdy” or even “funny.” Mostly, I just feel like I need a couple more hours of sleep.

On the other hand, I still hang out and watch movies with Paul, Matt, and Eric (and Cami – Hi Cami!).

Jason: Still Hanging Out With These Guys

I still write. I still see a lot of concerts. Not everything has changed.

And somehow, I feel certain that Kim is still a “Fox-N-1/2.”

Epilogue: LittleGreenFootballs

Since writing this autobiography, I have been plagued by the realization that its source material (junior high and high school yearbooks) is woefully out of date. To make it more relevant to Jason Toews 2007, I needed to find a source of current, objective analysis. But where was I to find such a source? Employee performance reviews? My eBay seller feedback? At the beginning of May 2007, I was still searching…

As you may know, my partner Robin is a big smartypants professor. She teaches classes on Whiteness, and leads anti-Racism workshops and other admirable stuff like that. I don’t really know all the details, but I’m sure it’s very high-minded. Anyway, when she talks about racism and sexism, occasionally some folks get kinda bent out of shape. Usually conservative people, for some reason, but I’m not sure if that’s significant.

So, Robin’s name was on a website (no longer available) listing some optional workshops for Seattle Public School teachers. Robin taught a workshop on White identity and social stratification, and other groups taught other workshops, on things like multiracial adoption issues, conflict resolution techniques, and “Working Respectfully with Islamic Families.” A conservative blog found this website and cited it as proof that the “Seattle Public School system is doing its part to make sure American children will be ready to welcome their new Islamic overlords.”

Apparently, the littlegreenfootballs people assumed that Robin taught ALL of the classes, and decided to give her a piece of their collective mind. Suddenly, Robin’s inbox was flooded with mysterious hate email. By the time we figured out where they were coming from, there were over 350 comments on the blog posting. Reading through the comments from registered members of the littlegreenfootballs site, I found pretty much what I expected:

“wtf is wrong with those people?”

“what a perfectly mindless namby panby moonbat solution to a problem.”

“This is sheer diabolical madness. These people are morally insane.”

“This tripe is nothing more than a blatant, modern-day Communist Manifesto.”

“I’m White and I’m proud and if you have a problem with that, go back to your 3rd world shit hole.”

“who’s your androcentric oppressor, bitch?”

You know; the usual. Not surprising when you go around stirring up a hornet’s nest by talking about racism, is what I say! But then something really interesting happened: the commenters followed a trail of crumbs to our Paul’s Basement site, and they found the article about our 2005 Launch Party, and they realized that Robin has a partner (me), and, at last, my prayers were answered: A whole new source of unbiased, insightful commentary on… me!

As with the yearbook quotations, the comments below have been reproduced verbatim.

“Here she is at a party. Looks happy, no? It that Robin’s dweeb husband down at the bottom? He looks like Toad from ‘American Graffiti.'” – goodbye_natalie

“You got that right. Here is the dweeb husband’s bio. What a piece to work. I bet they’re a fun couple.” – MarkX

“Yowch. That goes on for a full twelve Page Downs past the point where I lost interest. Mealy-mouthed narcissism for the win!” – Pawn of the Oppressor

“Those folks aren’t even close to having both oars in the water. I sort of feel sorry for them. Disfunctional, almost to the extreme.” – Cartman

“Robin’s married to Jason? ‘He’ must be transgendered.”
Bob in Breckenridge

“Ha! Or neutered…” – Atman

“Neutered? A Eunich? We did that to my Scottie Lilbit when he was 4 weels old, and to this day, he squats when he wee-wee’s, but I still love him!” – Bob in Breckenridge

“Her hubby might too… I’m bad. Sorry.” – Atman

“He’s actually so proud of himself naked that he’s got a picture of himself standing naked that close to another man? Sorry, but that’s just GLBTQI – One of ’em, you pick.” – EC Marm

“LOL! Robin’s married to a cross dresser! Look at the dork! LOL! If Charles was as heartless as I am, he’d forward this entire thread to the DiAngelos for sentimental value. And I apologize to Toad of American Graffiti fame.”
goodbye_natalie

“I think Jason is cute – looks like he’d be fun. And what’s wrong with cross-dressing? Hmmmm? /;P” – Catttt

“All the real men left Seattle in the late 80s and moved to Everett and Tacoma…and possibly, to New Hampshire.”
valkyrie

“Hmmm…nekkid guys, guys in underwear, with a bra on. Is this heterosexist?” – mjazzguitar

“How can you say that? He looks quite formidable to me…. in a *** sort of way.” – Atman

“I think I just puked a little on my keyboard. Time to clean up…”
Cartman

“If Jason’s not a bottom and Robin’s not a top, I’ll eat my hat.”
Catttt

“This woman and her (husband/wife?) are representative of precisely what is killing America. Well, I guess the nasty stains will all come out in the wash?” – Cartman

“And hopefully they don’t have children.” – Killian Bundy

“…of course, the good news is that the new Islamic overlords will absolutely kill them first, without even breaking a sweat”
Killian Bundy

“Man, I cringe to thank what the good Jihadis will do with this couple. I’ll bet their swingers…” – goodbye_natalie

“Actually, I can see a bright side to jihadi infiltration. If it will rid the world of these two, I’ll take my chances in the fight.”
goodbye_natalie

“White Straight Guilt Class. Fricking left coast. Those people make their bed, they will sleeping (men with men, women with women, men with horse, women with dog, etc) in it when their throats are slit by Mohammad. Seattle is gone.”
Austin Conservative

“yea, at least on the bright side i can look forward to the liquidation of these ‘useful idiots.'” – Durendal

“This is what happens when people turn their backs on G-d.”
Ban Draoi

“This trash. This mindless filth. This hollow and vacant post modernist scum sicken me to my core. Collectivist SCUM. All of them. Ever notice the vacant and medicated look in these Marxists eyes?” – Radar

Originally, I had planned to write a paragraph or two explicating these comments; summarizing, analyzing, but… what can I possibly add? Though it pains me, I must give the devil his due and admit that the trenchant insights of the littlegreenfootballs community have shined a piercingly bright light, illuminating the foggy places of my very soul. They have laid bare my darkest secrets, revealing things I have kept even from myself. They have brought me to a better understanding… of me.

Thank you, littlegreenfootballs. Here’s one “Collectivist SCUM” who is forever in your debt.