Friday, July 31, 2015

Repost: They Benefits #5 Jade Helm 15

Continuing the good work over at They Benefits. We're getting to the bottom of some of the farthest reaching conspiracies that have ever been. This week I got to the bottom of the Jade Helm 15 "training exercises." You're welcome.

They Benefits #5 Jade Helm 15

If you want to follow They Benefits on Twitter and Tumblr, please do so.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Repost: They Benefits #4 Obama's Commie Connection

Continuing the good work over at They Benefits. We're getting to the bottom of some of the farthest reaching conspiracies that have ever been. This week we're asking whether Obama has any communist connections. Yes he does.

They Benefits #4 Obama's Commie Connection

If you want to follow They Benefits on Twitter, please do so.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Repost: They Benefits #3 Sandy Hook part 2

Continuing the good work over at They Benefits. We're getting to the bottom of some of the farthest reaching conspiracies that have ever been. I'm really putting myself at risk by uncovering some of this, so I hope it's worth it. Here's the third one. The long awaited part two of the Sandy Hook two parter.

They Benefits #3 Sandy Hook: The Truth part 2

If you want to follow They Benefits on Twitter, please do so.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Repost: They Benefits #2 Sandy Hook part 1

Continuing the good work over at They Benefits. We're getting to the bottom of some of the farthest reaching conspiracies that have ever been. I'm really putting myself at risk by uncovering some of this, so I hope it's worth it. Here's the second one. It's the first part of a two parter about the Sandy Hook shooting.

They Benefits

If you want to follow They Benefits on Twitter, please do so.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Repost: They Benefits #1 JFK

Hello, due to the wild popularity of this blog I decided to start a second one. It's called They Benefits. It's devoted to getting to the bottom of some of the farthest reaching conspiracies that have ever been. I'm really putting myself at risk by uncovering some of this, so I hope it's worth it. Here's the first one. It's about JFK.

They Benefits

If you want to follow They Benefits on Twitter, please do so.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

#TBFuckingT

I got a Facebook message from a lady whose dad runs a car repair shop outside of Detroit. There was a yearbook from Anchor Bay Schools circa a long ass time ago. She was curious who it belonged to.

Luckily the previous owner left some clues. He wrote “Adam” on every single page.






A Clue

So the lady deduced it either belonged to an Adam, or maybe someone who was just a huge fan of Adams.

There were multiple Adams who attended at that time so more evidence was needed.

Then another clue. The person who originally had it was probably in first grade because the majority of the writing was focused in that area. And it probably wasn’t this unfortunate looking kid because his dumb face was crossed out.

Gross. Still gross.

Then the final one led her to conclude that the original owner was a member of Mrs. Gilbertson’s first grade class. Because it looked like someone had singled out everyone in first grade who wasn’t a member of Mrs. Gilbertson’s class as fuckers.


Fuckers. Everyone. 

The only remaining culprit. This handsome foulmouthed devil right here.



Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Left Foot: Bad Medicine

I busted my ankle a while back. I wrote about that a few weeks ago, and in case you’re curious it’s still broken. I don’t know for how much longer. I’m beginning to think forever. Who the hell knows.

Because I have a broken ankle I’ve been going to the doctor’s a lot. That’s what you’re supposed to to do. Unless you’re some kind of wild animal that just goes limping off into the woods and waiting for death to take you.

It sucks. There’s no two ways about it. When I was a kid I kinda wanted to break a bone. Those kids got all the attention and whatnot. I remember I got hit in the face with a hockey stick. Everyone thought my stitches were so badass. Then one day my stupid friend walked in with a broken leg and nobody gave a shit about my stupid chin stitches.
It's important to maintain a positive attitude while recovering.
That was when I was a kid though. If you get to high school without breaking a bone you should probably just not do that until you’re old and ready to do it on the way out. When you’re a kid you just want the attention. You don’t care why you’re getting the attention you just want people to pay attention to you. When you’re an adult the last thing you want is to be treated with pity, and when you're struggling with your dumb crutches that's all the attention you get. One nice thing about having walking trouble is you get to hangout with and learn just how angry the little old ladies are on the bus. If you’re ever sitting towards the back of the bus and curious what the old ladies with canes are saying in the front, they’re angry. And they’re talking about what a piece of shit you are for walking in front of them or not offering to help them.

Walking boot: Expensive and fucking worthless.
After about a billion weeks of using crutches my doctor prescribed a walking boot for me to use. I’m unable to walk in this thing, but what really gets me about the boot is the price. It was $75 for one. Shoe for shoe this is the most expensive shoe I’ve ever owned.  I know there are shoes that are expensive out there. But usually there are a lot of people that want to buy them and that shoots the price up. These are expensive because my doctor told me I had to buy it. They’re not cool like those shoes that cost a lot of money. They’re just plastic and velcro. There’s kind of a rounded bottom to make sure I don't stomp around and shatter my stupid ankle more, but that’s about it. I’m not paying top dollar because I needed the 2015s with a slightly different FDR silhouette on the side, and I had to wait in line all night in front of medical supply store to get the goods. It’s the most expensive shoe I’ve ever owned because it’s technically medicine. And calling something medicine gives you carte blanche to fuck the consumer to you heart’s content.

The only thing we have to fear is everything. Shit is fucked right now.

I have insurance. The boot isn’t covered by insurance, but I do have insurance which makes me lucky. I am glad I have insurance, and appreciate it for what it’s done. My doctor prescribed an MRI I don’t know what it did or why, but it’s crazy expensive and I didn’t have to pay for it.

Broken brittle bones? Come on down these shitty poorly lit stairs!

That being said, I don’t get some of it. Whether or not people have insurance I think clouds the debate over why we’re paying for what. I’ve been to the doctor five times. Insurance has covered all those. All I have to pay is my copay which is $20. I don’t know what my insurance is shelling out each time, but I can tell you they’re overpaying. They’re not getting their money’s worth because I can tell you that each of these visits aren’t worth the $20 I’m putting out there.

The whirring you hear from the MRI is it just grinding money into a pulp.

Yes, becoming a doctor is important and really tough. I wholly think they should be rewarded very well for what they do. I’m not entirely sure I know what’s been done so far. Every trip to the doctor’s has lasted about 6 minutes. I can’t point to anything my doctor has done that has necessitated more than a thank you and a five spot. The most he’s done is poked my ankle and asked me if it hurt. No offense doc, but I’m fully capable of hurting my ankle all on my own.

Worst part. The very worst. Not only are me and my faithful insurance company not getting our money’s worth. I think we might be getting screwed. Since I’ve been using crutches for the past forever both my shoulders are pretty worthless. By the time I’m walking normally I bet I’ll need to see some kind of arm specialist. And I bet he’ll be just as willing and deserving of my twenty.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

At Least He's Not Asian

There’s been a lot of talk about the whole Daily Show / Trevor Noah thing. My opinion doesn’t really need to be added to it, but who gives a fuck. Might as well add my grain of sand to the beach.

People were happy at first. Because the new guy isn’t white. That’s enough for a good number of people. I wasn’t in the running so I’m not about to cry foul. In those people’s defense us white folk have had a lot of success in the late night talk show department. We were damn near perfect. Joan Rivers blooped a single in there a while back, but promptly got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Perhaps it's time we give up the ball for an inning or two. 

I’ve read a few articles by people who are pissed off by the Noah’s “offensive” jokes. They’ve all kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but I wasn’t really able to put my finger on it as to why.

Then I read this:

“But during Stewart’s 16 years at the helm, The Daily Show has taken on a moral authority and responsibility that simply cannot condone this kind of bigoted and misogynist ... no, who am I kidding. The problem is not that Trevor Noah tells offensive jokes. It’s not even that he routinely breaks The Daily Show's covenant of speaking truth to power in favor of speaking truth to fat chicks or Thai hookers or, as the Washington Post’s Wendy Todd points out, black Americans who give their kids names that Noah disapproves of. The problem is that Noah’s jokes are so annihilatingly stupid.”

That was in either Salon or Slate or another one of those majority white publications that would wag their fingers at other places for having an editorial board as white as theirs.

Diversity is great just so long as opinions remain monolithic. 

Jon Stewart had a show. You’ve grown to like that show. Pretty soon a new guy is going to have a show. You’ll either like it or you won’t. If you don’t like it you can either stop watching it or you can watch it and hate it.

I don’t like how not liking guy who’s on a show makes you feel anything other than ambivalence. There are a lot of shows. You don’t have to watch any of them. What makes you think that just because you liked Jon Stewart that you’re now entitled to love the Daily Show forever? You don’t have a right to be entertained.

I hate it when people take one small statement out of context and condemn whole groups, but I’m going to do that anyhow. What is dumber is than the folks who have painted Noah as some sort of hate-filled monster based on a few dumb tweets are the jackasses who seems to view The Daily Show as some sort of god-given right. We’ve somehow grown to expect that all shows are some form of community property. They’re not. Never has there been a time where you could spend as much time taking in exactly what you want, and it seems that I’m inundated with opinion pieces about how pissed people are because the remaining media looks like it wasn’t made with them in mind.

Granted, I’m the one spending time reading these stupid opinion pieces. So I guess I’m as big a piece of shit as the rest of them.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Two Ankles: A Love Story

I don't really know how, but I done busted my ankle a couple months back. It would problaby be healed by now, but it took me the better part of a month to realize that I'd done busted it. So now I’ve got a big dumb cast I've got to wear, seemingly until the end of time. You start wearing a cast and you almost forget what it’s like to have a normal functioning ankle. I don’t remember what it was like to just walk.

My dumb stupid broken ankle 


I don't want to be a complete sourpuss about it. There are some good things about wearing a cast and walking on crutches. People on public transportation usually will give you a seat. I mean it is a law so I don’t know how much credit they deserve for this, but who gives a fuck. Legally obligated or not,  people being nice to you still feels good. Also I've had an excuse to sit on my stupid ass and watch a lot of Voyager. Mostly though, it sucks. Worst things about not having two functioning ankles at my disposal that I've noticed so far are these.

Standing. Oh how I took just standing still for granted. I didn’t realize just how tough it’d be with only one functioning leg. I could just stand for hours at a time with not a care in the world. Only have one leg and you’re not just standing, you're balancing on one stupid leg. And it’s giving out on you.

The train. Yeah, it’s great once you get on there and everyone gets up to give you their seat, but getting there is going to be the biggest pain in the ass in the whole fucking world. “Sub” is right in the word subway, so you know right there that chances are it’s going to be below something. And what it’s below is you. It’s probably going to be downstairs. If it’s not downstairs then it’s upstairs. And the thing that both upstairs and downstairs locations have in common is stairs. Usually a fair amount of stairs. Handicaped stations ones aren’t much of a help. They usually just eliminate one set and then leave you to crutch up and down the next.

Drinking responsibly. I have to do this now. There’s no having one too many and just stumbling a little bit. Or waking up with a headache. If I end up having too much booze I just have to lay wherever I am until the morning rolls around and I have my balance back.

Biking. All of this stupid winter I’ve been waiting for some nice weather to get out there and ride my bike. Right before that time came I’ve got a stupid non bike riding cast that needs to go along with me everywhere I go. Fuck you cast. 

Running: I’ve never gone running a once in my stupid life, but I was really thinking about starting when I hurt it. Now I’m just looking out the window at the nice weather knowing how kick ass a runner I'd be by now. Thanks a lot stupid ankle.

Kicking things. You’d think that among the things that are just as easy to do with one ankle as it is to do with two would be kicking things. Not the case. While it’s true that you’re really only doing the kicking with the one leg you very much need the other one to help you not fall on your stupid back and break your stupid brain. And if you think doing shit with one less leg is tough just try that shit with one less skull. Now every time I see a pigeon down on the ground staring up at me I have to excersise some self control and not square up and teach that piece of shit a lesson.

This all sucks. It's only been sucking for two weeks. It will probably end up sucking for another month. So pigeons enjoy the next few weeks, because after that, all bets are off.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Nothing You Valued Is Valuable


I'm currently in Michigan for a couple reasons. In addition to doing some shows I figured I'd also secure my financial future and become wealthy. I planned on going through some old Magic: The Gathering cards and strike it rich. I saw a YouTube video where some guy finds a twenty thousand dollar card going through an old pack and rightly loses his shit. So I figured I'd go through some old cards, find a rare card, lose my shit, and then buy a bunch of stuff.
The more Plague Rats that are in play the more valuable they are. The opposite is true when collecting them.

It didn't work out like that because why the fuck would it. So I took the Magic cards and just put them in their place next to my Marvel trading cards, comics, baseball cards, and football cards--all things my friends and I believed were gonna make us rich. None of these things will actually make any of us rich. The very fact that everyone was told how collectable these things were almost automatically negates their value in the long run.

As a guy who took two econ classes at Oakland Community College, I think I'm qualified to speak to this. Everything we were told was going to have value won't because we were told it was going to have value and acted accordingly. Also we assigned too much value to them to begin with. The value will never be higher than I thought the potential value was going to be. You got little plastic cases to make sure your cards didn't lose value. The fact that all your friends got little plastic cases ensures that there never will be any value. The reason that Honus Wagner's rookie card is worth a couple million bucks has less to do with Wagner and more to do with the fact that it's the only one of about five in existence. It's not because he was the greatest player. It's a valued collectable because at the time it had no value and wasn't collected.

As soon as the interest for baseball cards became apparent, multiple companies filled that void and started making a shit load of them. Part of the reason these cards will never be worth anything is the market flooding these companies did when interest peaked, but it's also that we went from putting baseball cards in our spokes to putting them in non acidic plastic casing. Who's going to pay top dollar for a specific baseball card when everyone who could want one already has it in pristine condition? When the X-Men debuted a second series with five different covers of the number 1, I bought or traded for them all. So did millions of other kids my age. As soon as we got them we put them in polyurethane bags with cardboard backers so they wouldn't get bent. Then thought nothing of tearing open all my ninja turtle toys because what kind of monster keeps all his toys in the original packaging? A rich one. A rich one who has amazing self control, but has never enjoys a goddamn thing.
All five X-Men #1s. Nothing that claims to be a "limited edition" actually is one.
That's another reason as to why everything you spent collecting won't be worth what you think it should be. You spent time collecting it. You'll always inflate the value of what you've collected because you spent the time collecting it. You remember being swindled and swindling and scheming so you could collect as many Lou Whitaker cards as humanly possible. When it's time to sell, you're not just parting with all your Sweet Lous, you're also selling part of your childhood. Selling your childhood to some asshole who wants yours. And he's gonna lowball you, because there's no way he'll put the same value on the time you spent collecting as a kid as you will.
Sweet Lou's Value Over Replacement IRA is pretty anemic. 
That's it really. Just something I was thinking about. I'm pretty sure it wasn't funny, but hopefully it made sense. I'm just trying to say that whatever you collected, whatever you valued, won't have value. Unless you and everyone you know throws them away. Unless of course we're talking about my pogs.

Friday, February 13, 2015

GEICO: Proudly Doing Nothing For A While Now

I've always thought that I'd be good at advertising. For starters I don't have much in the way of a soul. Also I'm good at making vacuous statements that sound like they mean something but really don't. I wasn't sure where to take my talents, but I'm thinking whatever ad company GEICO uses will be the place for me. Of all the shitty noncommittal statements used by companies to get you to buy their stuff, you'd be hard pressed to top GEICO's "proudly serving the military for over 75 years."

That might be the emptiest statement that's ever been uttered in all of advertising. When they say they've been serving the military for 75 years, one can only assume that the company has been around a lot longer than 1940 and that they treated the military with general disdain before then, otherwise they would say it. So WW1 on back, GEICO was (probably, given how they worded their commercial) unsupportive of our nation's military. It could also mean that the company came into being around 1940 so wouldn't have been around to be either pro or con the troops, but who has the time to look a fact like that up?
From what I can tell in the ad, all they're bragging about is not turning away soldiers as potential customers. They've also been serving Nazis, communists, board game cheaters, people who take a penny when not in need of a penny, thieves, and pedophiles for the same 75 years. I'm not saying that GEICO can't be happy about doing special shit for the military, but they give no indication of what they do aside from getting their insurance needs filled. I guess that's something. But they don't say that they do anything aside from taking their money. If they did go above and beyond you can bet your ass that the stupid gecko would be shouting it from the rooftops. Most companies will spend ten dollars to let you know they did something worthwhile with a dime.
So when they're bragging about how they've been serving the military since whenever they fuck they came around, all that's saying is: "you know the military? You like the military? Well guess what, we're not opposed to taking money from them!" It's not like they're bragging about insuring the actual military. It would be one thing if Iraq and Afghanistan were no-fault insurance states and GEICO was just losing their shirt on blown up Humvees and whatnot, but from what I can tell that's not the case.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the military that GEICO doesn't make a habit of spitting in their face and turning them away. It's also good news for the fine folks who work at GEICO, because not serving military personal would make their job harder. Every time they gave a quote they'd have to ask at one point "hey, we'd love to provide you a service in exchange for money, but you're not a military person are you? Because if so I'm afraid I'm gonna have to tell you to go pound sand." What they seem to be saying is that they're proud to do absolutely nothing since 1940. I just don't think not turning someone away based on their profession necessitates a multimillion dollar ad campaign. So to help them out for the next campaign I've provided my portfolio which includes more statements that don't mean a goddamn thing. I await your call.












Friday, February 6, 2015

Often Forgot


When I was just a wee lad I made a scrapbook. It was one of those big photo albums with sticky pages that you unfold the clear sheeting on. I kept pictures in there for a while but I was a little kid. Everything worth remembering had pretty much just happened. Plus I didn't really have all that much I needed to remember anyhow. Also my folks were pretty good about documenting what needed to be documented. When the first Gulf War started I decided to use that photo album and  make a war scrapbook. I was born in the 80s. It wasn't the first time there was a war in my lifetime. America had been giving someone the business for just abougt about my whole of my life up until then, but this was the first time the media really gave the war their A game.

I was pretty sure that this war was a pretty big deal. It was the first real news story I can vividly remember. I remember wanting to do something, but because I was just a little kid I didn't know what to do. My sister drew a peace sign on her trapper keeper. That seemed to work for her, but I wanted to do more. So I decided to document the war for future generations via a scrapbook. I'd thought that this war might be the war that ended all wars. At least hoped it would have been the war that ended all wars in Iraq. Very minimum I should have hoped that Gulf War 1 would be the war to end all wars between a Bush and Hussein. But hey, war mongers gonna war mong, and since it's now called Gulf War 1 it obviously was the war that didn't end much of anything.

So that's what I did. For the rest of the war I went through the paper every day. I went through the front page, back page, editorials, and even some heavy handed shitty political cartoons that I never got. If it was about the war I collected it. By the end I had a pretty solid scrapbook. I was pretty proud of it. I honestly thought that my scrapbook would help people remember what people thought about the war as it was happening.

Battle of Gulf 359
The next year I watched my first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was awesome and I got into that pretty hard.  I taped every episode while I watched them and then rewatched them until the next one came on. I read the shitty novels. I collected the action figures. I was pretty happy with how into Star Trek I was, but I thought I should take my fandom to the next level by documenting it with a scrapbook. The problem was I only had one scrapbook. Instead of asking my parents for a new one I just started slowly replacing the war clippings. Mid way through season six I'd completely replaced every piece of war news with Trek clippings.


No blood for dilithium!
I'd forgotten I'd done this until recently. I remembered and felt kind of shitty. I felt shitty because that's a shitty thing to do. A year or so after vowing to make sure nobody forgot something, I'd pretty much completely forgot about it because of some pop culture distraction. But really that's the most American thing I could have done. I'm forgetful, ignorant, and easily distracted. I will shout from the rooftops about what you're supposed to remember and then I'll immediately forget it myself, and then eventually I'll probably repeat it.

I am America. God bless me.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Home Is Where The Heart Disease Is More Prevelent

They say you can’t go home. That is very much bullshit, because if you can’t then who was it if not me that strode through his boyhood Target last week like a goddamn champion. I went back to Michigan for the holidays and it was really nice.

My wife and I traveled to Michigan by bus which means we got to go to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Couple fun things of note there:



The gentleman in the background there had his hands down his pants the entire wait for the bus. I was floored by this. I'm not a huge fan of people wearing sweatpants in public, but I was about to board a Greyhound so I'll can the high horse bullshit. That being said I don't think it's too much to ask to have someone either wear real pants or stop masturbating in public. Maybe I'm just old fashioned though.

On the lighter side:
This guy sitting on the rope. About five minutes later what you expect would happen happened. I tried to get a picture but was too slow to show him right after he fell and hit his stupid head. If that's all I saw it would have been a successful trip, but there was more. 

While out there we didn’t do a whole hell of a lot. Mostly it was just sitting around and eating while near family. One of the few things that didn’t involve gluttony and sloth was my wife, her folks, and I took a trip to the Henry Ford Museum. If you haven’t been it’s a pretty cool. There you can find a lot of car based history like FDR’s presidential limo:





JFK’s limo: 


They kept JFK’s car in service for over a decade after his assassination. They added a roof to it, and presumably Scotchgarded it.

And of course Willam Taft’s presidential limo:


While on the subject of fat people from the midwest. The Henry Ford, being a large space in Michigan has couches roughly every twenty-five feet. Every one is occupied by people tuckered by the twenty-five foot trek from the last couch. 



I did get to see an original copy of Thomas Paine's Common Sense. I've loved Tom Paine since high school so all snark aside it was beyond badass to see that. 


Speaking of badass I also shot guns for the first time in my life. I would say "learned how to shoot a gun" but I really didn't. I was in a spot of northern Michigan that has a low enough population density where you can pretty much just pick up a gun and shoot any which way without worry. So that's about what I did.



I was a little conflicted. On the one hand I've always had an issue with guns. They kill a shit load of people. Most people who have them don't need them and are more likely to shoot themselves or someone they love than they are a criminal. On the other hand MY GOD I FEEL LIKE THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON ON EARTH. YOU TALKING TO ME? YOU TALKING TO ME? WELL I'M THE ONLY ONE HERE. WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE TALKING TO?


So clearly both sides of the issue make a very valid point. 


Well, that was about it. Thanks for checking in. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 End of Year Media Power Rankings

This is the time of year for year end lists. Otherwise they'd be too early or too late. I've always liked the idea of ranking everything that came out over the year, but I've never been the kind of person who took in that much media group any given year. I'm usually listening, watching, or reading the same things I have for years. Not to say that a rookie can't find their way into my heart throughout the course of the year, but by and large im rewatching the same things I've seen a hundred times. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Everyone gets all crazy about all this new stuff, but there's something to be said about media that not just captures your hear, but then occupies it for a good portion of your life. So I don't do an end of year ranking of new media, I do an end of year media power rankings. Some of these books and movies have been out for years whereas some were just out this year. They're ranked on how much I enjoyed them over the course of 2014. This was a tough year, and and some that were ranked highly didn't even make the list. Like every year though I just appreciate everyone who competed. I assure you the process to determine this was both fair and incredibly scientific. 

(I decided not to include any standup, because if I read one more non-famous comedian's analysis of a famous comedian's special I will probably blow my brains out.) 



TV Division

1 (Last year's ranking: 5) How I Met Your Mother 




With the finale of Breaking Bad 2013 was the year of the crime drama. 2014 saw the close of one of the best sitcoms that's been around for a long time. How I Met Your Mother was in it's day just about the funniest thing that was on TV. The past few years were defineitely not the prime of this show. The last season was hit and miss. The finale was mostly miss, but finally sitting down to watch this show that I'd spent so much time with was satisfying even though the last episode was anything but. Also there is something to be said about a finale that pisses you off. It means you've invested so much time and energy in it that, good or bad, it really means something to you. So I choose not to focus on how much better the last season could've been, but how much I truly loved the first four seasons. 

2 (Last year's ranking 2) Firefly




Last year Firefly was number 2 because it's a great show. Firefly remains a great show so it remains number 2. If you don't like it then you're probably a bad person. I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. 

3 (new to the list this year) Game of Thrones



This show went from something I was sick of people talking about, to something I promised I'd check out, to something I becasme obsessed with, to something people around me were sick of hearing me talk about. If it continues being this awesome then I don't think I'll stop talking about it anytime soon.watch it then talk to me about it please. 

4 (new to this year) 24: Live Another Day




When I heard this was coming I'll admit I was pretty nervous. Yes, I loved and still love most seasons of 24, but it's been a while. I wasn't sure Jack Bauer would still have what it takes to be at his bad assest. Luckily there was no need to worry. This wasn't the best season by a long shot, but goddamnit it was good. Usually if 24 is gonna suck it's gonna happen in the second half of the season. Live Another Day fixed that by just not having a second half the season. The writers played the same tricks the've played and over played throughout 24's run, but when they do it well who gives a shit. 

5 Star Trek: Voyager




I watch some incarnation of Star Trek a lot. It's probably the media franchise I've spent the most time and money on throughout my life. Voyager isn't my favorite among them, but it's not awful. If you pick and choose what episodes you watch and when you begin to realize how great this was when it was on it's game. It's hard not to watch the show and wonder what could've been. Janeway deserved a better show, but there are still some great episodes in there. You should watch them. 

Movies Division

1 (not ranked last year) Guardians of the Galaxy





This movie is nothing but fun. Why doesn't that happen too much anymore? Why can't you just go and have fun at the movies. I'm sick of sitting down to watch a movie and having it be a gritty portrayal of real life. I'm familiar with real life. I often find it plodding and redundant. As much as I loved the most recent Batman movies you'd be hard pressed to label them as fun. Guardians puts a smile on your face in the first ten minutes and makes it stay there for the next two hours. Plus Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon should get all the Oscars this year. That's not hyperbole that's a cold hard fact.

2 (not ranked last year) Blue Ruin




I really only watched this movie because I kept on seeing the poster on my Apple TV screen saver. I was curious, it seemed to have good reviews on Netflix so I watched it. One of the most tense movie watching experiences I can think of. Even though there's not a whole lot of dialogue I spent the whole movie genuinely worried. When it was over I was relieved that I didn't have to be in that world anymore. But there's something to be said for a movie I wasn't really invested in to pull me in that completely. 

3 (not ranked last year) Django Unchained




If this list was the most bad ass movies I saw this year then this would be number one. I don't think this will end up being my favorite Tarantino, and the scene where he tries to act was almost bad enough to bump it from this list entirely, but what's good about this movie is fucking great. 


4 (last year 4) Serenity




I think every year that Firefly is on this list Serenity will also be. It's hard to watch one without watching the other. Particularly since the show was cancelled without much notice this serves as a perfect sendoff for a great show. 

5 (last year not ranked) Star Trek: Generations

I didn't much care for this movie when it came out. It's not the best Star Trek movie that's been made. It's not the best Star Trek movie with the Next Generation cast in it, but it's a lot better than you remember. A good sendoff to the TOS crew, and a great start to what I thought was going to be a great run of Next Generation cast moives. It didn't work out that way, but it's still a much better movie that I admitted until this year. 

Books Division


1 Y: The Last Man - Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra




I'm not the type of guy who cries a whole lot. Nothing wrong if you're the kind of wuss who does, but that's just not me. When I first read Y: The Last Man I wept like a baby while reading the last book. Having read it a second time and knowing what to expect I assumed I'd handle the ending better this time around. I did not. It's hard not to immediately be carried away into a world where all the men on Earth have died suddenly died except one. Even if you're not a fan of comics I can't imagine anyone not just loving all ten books in the series. Check it out, you'll thank me. 

2 The Stand - Stephen King




I'd never read anything by Stephen King. I had heard of the guy of course, but I guess I always just dismissed him as not for me. I was a fool and I'll admit that now.  I don't really know why I decided to finally read one of his books, let alone the longest book in his catalog. I opted not just for The Stand, but the extended version. I guess King thought the original 800 some page version was just wasn't enough so he beefed it up to just shy of 1200. Well holy shit. There's something to this King character.  One of the most unsettling, scary, funny, readable books I've ever come across. Even though the last third doesn't quite deliver the same punch as everything else, it still instantly became one of my favorite books. 

3 World War Z - Max Brooks

By no means a new entrant. I've read this book a few times, and now that I've read it another time I already can't wait to read it again. I've never been a huge fan of the zombie genre. After having read World War Z I thought I'd get more into it, but the opposite ended up being true. Max Brooks paints such a realistic, far reaching, relevant, and vivid picture that shows like Walking Dead just seem silly. The fact that Walking Dead is a bad show doesn't help though. 


4 The Night In Question - Tobias Wolff

I love Tobias Wolff. He's probably my favorite author. He's at least the author I've read the most. His catalog isn't huge, but I generally read something by him at least once a year and have for the last bunch of years. He's written novels and memoirs, but this book is a collection of short stories. All his protagonists are so flawed, but relatable that it's hard not to immediately see yourself in his characters. The last story in the book, Bullet in the Brain might be my favorite thing that's ever been written. It's what made me buy this book to begin with. I heard Wolff read it on an episode of This American Life. I went out that day to buy this book. I read that and then bought the rest of them right after. 

5 Devil in the White City - Erik Larson

Another new entrant to this year's list. My wife had told me a hundred times that I'd love this book. Turns out she was right. He made a nonfiction that reads like a novel. Using what must have been a shitload of research Larson tells the stories of the folks who built the 1893 Chicago World's Fair as well as a monster who used the pandemonium surrounding the fair to murder a whole lot of people and a number of other folks who helped shape and were shaped by Chicago as it entered a new era. 

Music Divison 

1 (Last year 1) Adele - 21

 2 (Last year 3) The Beatles Abbey Road

3 (Last year 4) Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

I keep on waiting to get sick of these three albums. Hasn't happened yet, don't know if it ever will. All three remain bunched up at the top and I gotta tell you I don't see that changing any time soon. I have weeks worth of music in my iTunes library and still I listen to one of these three just about everyday. I sincerely hope I find something to usurp these, but they ain't gonna go down without a fight. 

4 (Last year not ranked) Hozier - ST 




A new entry to the end of year power rankings. I don't know if this is a passing fling or if Hozier is here ot stay. Regardless, music is generally what I'm the most closed minded about. I almost never seek out new stuff. When a friend is insistent about me checking something out I will, but I won't be happy about it. If I'm out and hear a song I like I'll check it out. Usually that'll result in me listening to it a few times and then forgetting about the band forever. I downloaded a Hozier song assuming that it would be same with this character, but I listened to the whole album and it was real solid. So I kept on listening to it, and I plan on continuing to listen to it for the foreseeable future. Rest of the list, you've been warned. Hozier just fired a warning shot across your bow. 

5 (Last year 2) Jay Z - The Black Album



Down a few spots from last year, but I wouldn't hold that against old Hova. He had two spots in last year's power rankings plus Magna Carta Holy Grail dropped with a shit ton of fanfare so there was bound to be some backlash in this year's rankings. Given that there's only five spots, so to be awarded any position is extremely difficult. Don't let his position on this year's list fool you, Jay's looking to make another strong showing in 2015. 

Congratulations to everyone who made the power rankings this year. If this is the second year in a row that you've made them then extra special congratulations are in order. There was some fierce competition this year. Lorde made a strong push to be a newcomer to the music list. Meat Loaf again was a close number six. I felt sick leaving him off, but that's just how the chips fell. Prison Break should've made the TV list given how much I watched it, but I had to take some points away due to the fact that it wasn't a very good show. Enjoyable, but not very good. That being said it was a fun year for new and old media alike, I hope you enjoyed reading about it half as much as I enjoyed taking it in. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

FIGHT MIC! 2014-2014

Six months ago I was a man with a dream. A dream born on a bar patio. I had a dream to run a show. Not just any show though. A comedy show where, before comics performed, they would box each other. That may seem a little sadistic to uninitiated, but nothing could be further from the truth. The idea was born when I was hanging out with some comic friends and thinking about how great it would be to watch them all get punched in the face. If only there was a place that would allow such a thing.
Either a promotional flyer or evidence. 

Due to some good fortune, and some terrible decision making on the part of Rebecca Trent of The Creek and Cave I was able to make that dream come true. FIGHT MIC! was on. For two whole shows my dream came true. During those shows I learned a lot. Though many were very excited to talk matchups they were much less interested in actually taking part. I learned that some people are reluctant to punch their friends in the face. I also learned that some people are all too eager to punch their friends in the face. Both of these facts should have given me pause. Neither did.

There were some great matches those two shows. But there was one big challenge that FIGHT MIC! just couldn’t overcome. That was the fight with common sense. You see FIGHT MIC! was a great idea. And like most great ideas it was actually a really bad idea.

Kurt Cobain said “it’s better to burn out than to fade away” before he proceeded to burn himself out. And that’s what FIGHT MIC! has done. For two glorious shows FIGHT MIC! burned hotter than any show could ever be expected to, and now it’s time for it to rest.

So to FIGHT MIC! and to everyone who made it possible, I say goodnight and good luck.

FIGHT MIC! 2014- 2014.

Special thanks to: Rebecca Trent for enabling. Andy Sanford and Bob Hansen for being accomplices. And to the brave warriors who made it possible: Benel Germosen, AJ Thompson, Robbie Collier (a lot stronger than he looks), Chelsea Hood, Chelsea Taylor, Evan Jones, Evan Davis, Chris Waelti, Nick Naney, Peggy O’Leary, Lauren Vino, Owen Straw, Justin Flanagan, and Brett Osinoff. You’re all champions. Unless you lost. Then less so.