The Finger
The Force is a Tool of Satan
Press Coverage, Reviews, Kudos and Awards


People say if you can fill a room with an infinite number of monkeys banging on an infinite number of typewriters they'll eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Limit that number to three monkeys and in 14 minutes they will produce THE FINGER: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FLIPPING OFF.

M.J. Loheed, Matt Patterson and Eddie Schmidt met at a small school in upstate New York for "exceptional" students. Sheltered from the cold, uncaring world that had turned their backs on them, these students blossomed in ways they never dreamed of. Loheed found people who also appreciated his love of Greek poetry and his ability to walk through walls. Schmidt found refuge from his homeland in war-torn Central America and learned to control his dangerous heat vision. Patterson, who mistakenly thought he had been accepted to an Ivy League school, had no mutant powers at all, and was beat up a lot. Together, they formed a crack fighting team that saved the world at least seven times from the forces of evil.

At Vassar College they became the founding members of LAUGHING STOCK, a sketch comedy troupe. Since coming to Los Angeles in 1992, Laughing Stock continues to wow audiences at places like The Comedy Store, The Ice House, and an occasional hole-in-the-wall which eventually closes and becomes a Hungarian restaurant.

In 1994, Patterson, Schmidt and Loheed launched one of the most bizarre humor publications on the internet, OOZE ( Each issue of the e-zine OOZE contains a smattering of bogus journalism, ignorant ramblings, and folksy homilies that give you inspiration throughout the day. It's like chicken soup for the bowels. OOZE has been featured on National Public Radio, showcased at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and written about in publications like Hotwired, The Washington Post, TV Guide, Yahoo! Internet Life, and 'America's Newspaper,' GRIT.

At one time or another the authors have posed as fundamentalist Christians to protesting the re-release of "Star Wars" as a Satanic plot, busted moves as the world's worst breakdance troupe, worn Depends undergarments to urinate with freedom in public, and staged elaborate "Pro-Meat" demonstrations where they encouraged the rampant consumption of animal flesh, complete with free Slim Jims and pork chops. Most recently they were "Jews For Jerry" where they told Jerry Springer himself that he was the Messiah. Oddly, he didn't seem shocked.

THE FINGER is the trio's latest triumph¸a book so unbelievably stupid, yet filled with an incredible amount of hard-to-find information. By default, Loheed, Patterson & Schmidt are now "experts" in the field of offensive hand gestures. They expect to find a lot of work with police forensics.


­ Gets paid to edit out the swear words in movies for television broadcast.
­ Had a Ukrainian girlfriend in college who he claims was "not too terribly affected" by Chernobyl
­ Will be getting braces for the second time in his life at the age of 28.

­ Is a professional computer geek.
­ Played "Satan" opposite Julian Sands in the film, "Warlock II: The Armageddon".
­ Has a wide variety of diseases, none communicable.

­ Worked on the TV series "Unsolved Mysteries" but claims never to have met Robert Stack.
­ Co-wrote & directed two short films which played in 10 US festivals and made no money.
­ Has a lazy eye which was surgically corrected by stitching his eye muscle.


S. Herstadt grew up in a high rise condominium overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. She takes many pictures and does not gamble. She chose to forego her lifelong dream to become a showgirl to pursue biopsychology at Vassar College, which has nothing to do with what her current lifestyle or career. She is presently working on a new photo-document of Los Angeles, and takes many photos while driving, much to the displeasure of any passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers.

S. Herstadt:
­ Ruined her portfolio with the rude pictures in this book.
­ Climbed under a house to rescue orphaned kittens and was covered with fleas from head to toe.
­ Is just shy of legally blind.

Herstadt, Loheed, Patterson, and Schmidt were all born in 1970, but not to the same mother.
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Read Reviews of THE FINGER

LOS ANGELES, CA It won't be in Oprah's book club. Comedian Jim Carrey refused to appear in it. Even the book's own publisher, Acid Test Productions, yanked a photo of one of the authors posed as a certain religious deity. Why? Well, when the book in question is THE FINGER: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FLIPPING OFF, people tend to get a little..."sensitive."

THE FINGER is the latest assault on good taste from L.A. based satirists M.J. Loheed, Matt Patterson and Eddie Schmidt, publishers of the irreverent e-zine OOZE ( Their book is a definitive look at the nasty --and, as it turns out, ancient--gesture and its place in pop culture. The authors describe it as "the ultimate self-help's everything you wanted to know about the finger, but were afraid to ask."

Roughly meaning "up yours", the middle finger has long been a threat inferring a rather base violation of its victim. The book traces its distinguished history from ancient Greece, where it first appeared in the Aristophanes play, "The Clouds," right up through current appearances in "Titanic" and "Seinfeld." In the process, every aspect of American life gets tweaked: traffic, sports, movies, family photographs, even "finger food." Want tips on how to improve your technique? Look no further. There's even a section on foreign hand-gestures, so you can "piss people off around the globe."

"We don't really take it that seriously," says co-author Loheed. "But we have uncovered an incredible amount of information you can't find anywhere else." Where else would you find twenty-one variations of the bird, catalogued with helpful illustrations for slow learners? As the book admits in its foreword, "never before has something so thorough been written about something this ridiculous."

But Loheed, Patterson, and Schmidt are no strangers to the ridiculous. OOZE, which has blasted across the Internet since 1994, is filled with bizarre journalism and strange-but-true facts (one column is even written by a professional stripper). The writers frequently put their irreverence to the test, posing as "Jews For Jerry" during a recent Jerry Springer promotional tour, and assuming the guise of fundamentalist Christians to protest the re-release of "Star Wars." "Sometimes we like to confront people face-to-face, just to see the fear in their eyes," says Patterson.

Lending the book its flavor are the equally colorful photographs of lenser S. Herstadt, who worked out concepts with the authors over the course of the last year. Posers include everyone from their parents ("with bags over their heads," she says) to famous celebrities like director John Waters, rapper Ice Cube, and actress Julie Delpy. Although Jim Carrey said no, the authors are undaunted. "Who wants him when we can get people like (pornographer) Al Goldstein," responds co-author Schmidt.

The authors believe that THE FINGER will make a perfect holiday gift. "I can't think of a better stocking-stuffer," Loheed says. "Give it to the one you love or hate...they may not even know the difference. I know my mom wants a few copies."

THE FINGER: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO FLIPPING OFF, by M.J. Loheed, Matt Patterson, and Eddie Schmidt, with original photographs by S. Herstadt, has penetrated bookstores everywhere. The book is published by Acid Test Productions, distributed nationally through Publishers Group West. It retails at $16.95, 108 pages,
ISBN# 1-888358-12-2

Et Tu Artoo?
The Force is a Tool of Satan

What started as a simple article for Ooze #10 has blossomed into an international hullabaloo.

Loosely based on fundamentalist zealot pamphlets of the early 1980's, THE FORCE IS A TOOL OF SATAN makes a case for an international Zionist conspiracy behind one of the most popular movies of all time.

Although it is clearly tongue-in-cheek, thousands of people from around the world have written outraged letters- even threatening our lives for our stand on Star Wars.

TV Guide, PC Pro in England, Some weird Scandinavian computer magazine, a Danish magazine, Australian, Malaysian and more have all reported on the nonsense that is here.

And yes- we will be protesting Episode I - The Prequel is Nigh!

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