Back in September 2010, when I was just starting my senior year of high school, I wrote an email to myself through FutureMe.org titled “Questions for the Future.” In it, I asked several questions for myself to answer in 2017. Below you'll find the answers to those questions. Enjoy!
This email was sent by you (me) in September 2010.
Is the Simpsons off TV yet?
No. And honestly, I don’t remember being a fan of the Simpsons, so I don’t know why I would ask this. I guess for posterity?
Did they make an Arrested Development movie?
No, but they did make a new season which was alright. And there’s another new season coming out in 2018. So, kind of?
Is Will Ferrell still making awesome movies?
Not, uh... not really.
Is Conan O'Brien still on? Jon Stewart? Colbert?
Yes, but on TBS. No. Yes, but on CBS. Overall, late night TV is probably worse now than it was in 2010. Sorry, me.
Do you still watch Psych, House, The Event, NCIS, Fringe, The Office, 30 Rock, Communtiy, SNL?
I don’t even know what the hell The Event is, so no to that. I still watch The Office on Netflix (Netflix is a prominent video streaming platform in 2017).
Did they ever make a sequel to Cloverfield?
Kind of, they made it into an anthology series. So not really.
Is the iPad still "revolutionary"?
I’m not sure what I meant when I put "revolutionary” in quotes, but tablets are very popular so it seems like the iPad had an impact. Personally, my phone does everything I’d use a tablet for — and for that reason, I’m out.
Has anything truly amazing happened with technology?
Yes, this happened.
How much money do you have?
Not enough. If you get this answer in 2010, invest everything in Bitcoin. Pls.
How much does gas cost - today it's $2.87?
About $2.50, so cheaper actually. Thanks Obama.
Has the Tea Party destroyed America yet?
I wouldn’t say destroyed, but they certainly haven’t helped.
How’s the whole Israel / Palestine thing?
Was Barack Obama reelected?
Yes. Now please, for the love of God, don’t ask any more questions about the presidency.
Who is the president?
Oh, my sweet summer child.
A few months ago I set up a parody Donald Trump-themed dating website aptly named Trump.Singles. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, didn’t I almost get sued by Donald Trump for owning a website with ‘trump’ in the name? Yes, yes I did. But in the end The Donald cut me a two figure check, which I think means I won the legal battle and I’m allowed to do it again. Plus, that was before he was running for president, and now I think it’s my patriotic duty and God-given right to make fun of Donald Trump.
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The concept behind my Trump dating website was simple: in an effort to breed the most luxurious and intelligent wall-building babies the world has ever seen, Trump.Singles would serve as a place where wealthy people with the last name Trump could meet other wealthy people with the last name Trump. The only downside to Trumpbreeding is that the children would have cartoonishly small hands.
Now, here’s the thing. I often start funny projects like Trump.Singles and never really tell anyone about them. It goes a little like this:
Last week, Fox News’ Fox and Friends aired a segment featuring the website TrumpSingles.com (you may see where this is going) which is an actual, real thing that exists for Trump supporters to meet other Trump supporters without having to worry about the awkward moment they reveal that they’re a Trump supporter.
After the Fox News segment aired, thousands of single Trump supporters looking for love flocked to the internet and searched for “Trump singles.” Well, it turns out that my website, Trump.Singles, was the first result when you Googled that phrase. What’s more, the actual TrumpSingles.com crashed due to the heavy load of horny Fox News viewers, causing even more people to end up on my site in an attempt to connect with other Trump singles as quickly as possible.
I thought it was pretty obvious my website was a parody, but of the 4,000 people who visited Trump.Singles, at least 89 people who filled out the “Sign Up” form apparently had no idea. This led to some great “applications” to join Trump.Singles.
Here are some of my favorite comments that were submitted (and again, these are 100% real):
"Just heard about your website on Fox News. What a great idea. I wish you success." - Joe J.
Thanks Joe! It’s already a success, trust me.
"I have been a Donald Trump supporter since the beginning would love to meet a gentleman that has the same political views for our wonderful country! Trump2016" - Jackie C.
I wish you all the best Jackie.
"i wanna find me a sugar daddy so i can get that trump stump" - Brittany B.
"Go TRUMP or go home!" - Eric T.
I think America is getting ready to go home in November.
"I hope this is legit!!!!" - Suzanne A.
"I am a trump supporter" - Michele V.
I am not a trump supporter. - Nick B
"This is a great idea! I support Trump for POUS. I also predicted he’d win when he first appeared he was running!!!" - Emma B.
If you predicted Trump would be the GOP nominee when he first announced, then you’re far smarter than I am. Also, it’s POTUS.
"its great" - Steve W.
If it’s already great, then what is Trump trying to do again?
"No comment." - Sharon P.
"your domain names. .com and .org are jammed solid
watched on f and f this morning
couldn’t get on" - Craig S
So my website was the third Trump Singles site you tried using? Craig…I’m so sorry.
"Want to join and have you become President." - Lester B.
Nick Butler 2016 - Lester B.
"I’m black.." - Michael M.
Look, my African American!
"I am a patriotic American that wantsthis country to be great again. I want to meet somebody that will snuggle on the couch with me as we watch the election results roll in and celebrate when Mr. Trump crushes crooked Hillary." - Betty S.
Betty is looking for the man of her dreams. Literally, because what she just described will never happen.
On one hand, I feel bad for these people. On the other hand, it’s pretty damn obvious my website is a joke. Right next to the form they filled out, it says:
Unfortunately, none of the people who submitted an application to Trump.Singles was actually a member of the Trump family, which means I had to deny their application. I didn’t want to break their hearts too bigly, so I delivered the news in a way that would seem familiar to them: I wrote the rejection email as Donald J. Trump.
This is that email. Read it in Donald Trump’s voice.
That’s it. If (and when) I receive some responses to that email, I’ll be sure to update you all. In the meantime, if your last name is Trump and you’re looking for love, feel free to check out Trump.Singles.
Last week, I filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to start an independent expenditure-only political action committee (or superPAC) named Don’t Approve This SuperPAC. Despite pleading with the FEC to not approve my superPAC by literally naming it “Don’t Approve This SuperPAC,” they went ahead and approved it anyway.
You read that right, I have a superPAC. Like, actually. Don’t believe me? You can check out the superPAC’s website at DontApproveThis.com.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, I have the actual power to actually collect and spend unlimited amounts of actual money to influence the American political landscape.
I know what you’re thinking: “Wow! This is impressive! This must have been really difficult to do!”
Nope! Turns out it’s superEASY to start a superPAC. It took me 15 minutes to fill out the Statement of Organization form, which officially lists me as the “Unpaid Intern” and “Chief Con Man” of Don’t Approve This SuperPAC. Once I finished the application, I thought it might be difficult to find a bank who would open a public funds checking account for an organization with “Don’t Approve This” in its name. But, thanks to the great people at Trustco Bank, I was able to open a new account in less than 30 minutes!
“But Nick,” I hear you wondering. “How much did all of this cost?”
It’s true. There is a cost associated with starting a superPAC, and I’m not proud to admit that I paid it. In order to start a superPAC, you have to buy a stamp for the envelope you send your application in -- and that stamp will set you back about 49 cents. It’s a small price to pay for the power to collect and spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the American political landscape.
As we move forward, I’m going to give some thought to what candidates and issues Don’t Approve This may advocate for (or against). In the meantime, I urge you all: don’t donate to Don’t Approve This SuperPAC.
Don’t Approve This SuperPAC
Unpaid Intern & Chief Con Man
A few years ago I engaged with North Korea in direct, high-level conversations on one of the the most secure international communication networks known to man: Twitter.
Back in 2010, North Korea launched an official Twitter account, @uriminzok. This was the first presence the secretive nation had on social media, and I thought, “Wouldn't it be fun to get North Korea to tweet at me?” So, using Google translate I simply asked: “What is your YouTube account?”
One day later, North Korea responded -- they sent me a link to their YouTube account.
So, North Korea tweeted at me. As far as I’m aware, I’m the only American to have ever been tweeted at by North Korea. Which is admittedly very, very strange.
The tweet almost certainly put me on an NSA watchlist. Around the same time, the spy agency began collecting data on social connections of US citizens to track “connections between intelligence targets overseas and people in the United States.” This tweet gives me a direct connection to North Korea, so I’m probably on the “people to keep an eye on” list. It also gives my Facebook friends and Twitter followers a second degree connection to North Korea ... so, you’re probably on the list too. My bad.
A year after this tweet, I discovered that a Japanese blog -- which has since been deleted -- had looked rather extensively into the exchange. They wanted to know one thing: “Who is Mr. Nick Butler?”
This screenshot is the only remaining image of the blog post. Luckily, I sent excerpts of the post to a friend on Facebook shortly after discovering the article. The Facebook chat is still archived today (which is slightly unsettling), so I can share some of the things that were said in the post.
Ultimately, the blog looked at my brief exchange with North Korea and my background, noting my Twitter profile described me as “the senior editor of MovieViral.com,” concluding that I was a “movie lover.” The post also noted that I like politics. It went on to examine whether or not I had a “special relationship with North Korea.”
After reviewing my tweet, North Korea’s reply, and my subsequent reaction, the author of the article concludes that “Mr. Nick seem to be extremely normal American,” but went on to say, “Mr. Nick North Korea's support is indescribably creepy.”
Well, there you have it folks. My support for North Korea is, according to at least one Japanese blog, “indescribably creepy.” But definitely not as creepy as the guy North Korea follows.
Nick likes politics and does not, in any regard, support North Korea. Like Sometime Weekly on Facebook and Twitter.
(Please note: I’ve altered names in this post to protect individual identities.)
This may come as a shock to a lot of you, but I’m not the only Nick Butler in the world -- in fact, Nick Butler is a pretty common name. In the early 1900’s, one guy named Nick Butler was the President of Columbia University, ran for Vice President of the United States, and won the Nobel Peace Prize. He pretty much knocked me out of contention for the “Best Nick Butler Ever” award. Given the commonality of my name, last year I hosted a Nick Butlers “Meeting of the Minds” convention on Twitter (only two other Nick Butlers participated).
Well, it turns out that one of me is a high-ranking official in a well-known British company that has a lot of interest in the dealings of the British government. As such, you can imagine that this Nick Butler would have a number of ties to both houses in Parliament. Normally, this would be of little interest to me, as I generally don’t follow the lives of other Nick Butlers. However, back in 2012 I received an email which was a bit mysterious. It was addressed to me and seemed innocent enough. But I just didn’t understand it:
Then I looked at the email address… @parliament.uk… what? Then I looked at the name in the “Sent” line… Lord Barnes… what? Then I looked at the confidentiality clause at the bottom of the email.
UK Parliament Disclaimer:
Wait, what? Why the hell did a member of the House of Lords just email me asking if I know who Nicole Wade from British Petroleum is? Something isn’t right. (Also, I’m realizing now that by sharing this story I’m breaching the disclaimer above, whoops). So, I responded honestly:
Robert responded two hours later, with a brief message that, too this day, remains the most British thing anyone has ever said to me:
Now that we were on first initial basis, I responded with a brief messaging saying it wasn’t a problem and as an American student studying political science it was a thrill to receive an email from a member of the House of Lords -- even if by accident. We exchanged a few emails chatting about politics. He described himself as a socialist guru and questioned how far right American politicians really lean. Then he took a shot at George McGovern for how badly he was “drubbed” in the 1980s. Finally, he complained about the current state of politics in the United Kingdom saying, “...and now we want European levels of public service at American levels of taxation!” It was all very entertaining, but our two day stint as international pen pals ended as quickly as it began. Or so I thought.
Three months later, I receive another email:
No, Robert, I can’t help. I have even less of an idea of what you’re talking about than you do. At this point I’m wondering why anyone would let you handle your own emails. Seriously, you shouldn’t be blasting out emails left and right to people who share the name of whoever it is you’re trying to reach.
In any event, I responded saying he had yet again reached the wrong Nick Butler. To which he replied (again) in a very British manner, “Oh dear so sorry.”
I responded with a quick email saying (again) it’s not a problem and it’s always a thrill to get an email from a member of Parliament as it’s something I can tell my friends about. I figured that was the end of our bizarre relationship which, at this point, has basically become me telling him I’m not the Nick Butler he’s looking for and wishing him luck. But then I got another email:
Woah, wooooahhhh. Robert, I’ve emailed you like 5 times. You’ve got to be more careful making jokes like this. One screenshot sent over to the British tabloids and you’re in a world of trouble. Think before you act, you’re a Baron for Christ’s sake -- you can’t be joking about bribes with people you don’t know!
But luckily for you, we share a sense of humor (or “humour”) so it isn’t that big of a deal. In fact, I’m fired up! You’re dishing it out, so I’m gonna send one back your way! I reply to his email with a quick response:
Then I wait.
And I wait.
And I wait.
Nothing, no response. No “haha,” no “LOL!” Nothing!
Lord Barnes throws me an alley-oop, I slam dunk it, and then he goes radio silent! The hell is that Robert? I thought we were on first initial basis? Do you know how awkward it is for me to have emailed a joke about a bribe to a Lord of Parliament and then have them completely ignore me for the rest of time, Robert? I have to live with that. How am I the one feeling like I did something wrong? I’m not a member of Parliament, you are! You shouldn’t be joking about bribes!
Alright. Well, that’s it. That’s the story about the time a Lord of Parliament offered me a bribe -- and then I offered one back to him and he totally ignored me.
I hope you’re happy, Robert. I hope you’re happy.