Saturday, April 30, 2016

Church: Some Takeaways

I was in my ancestral home of Michigan last week for a little r&Ur. It was nice. Got to do some nice stuff. See some stars for instance. Got to see a couple of those. They’re pretty neat. I recommend checking some out if you ever find yourself where you’re not being constantly assaulting your senses. I also went to church. It was the first time in a long time, and I have to say still not a fan. 

1: Know what religion you are!!!

The church we were at was a Lutheran one. Fine. But halfway thorough the church service they had a thing where they did first communion. I know what you’re thinking. That’s a catholic thing. But for some reason they did it in the wrong church, and I have no idea why. I wanted to stand up and yell, "wrong church idiots", but since I was the guest I decided not to embarrass the church man. 

2: Let’s fucking cool it with the songs

We sang a bunch of songs. I don’t blame the pastor. I can see why you’d want to kill some time, but it's not like these folks were having fun with it. Part of the problem is song selection. There’s way too many. The song book we were working with had 720 different songs. That’s too high. On some level I guess variety might be a good thing, but most of these songs are garbage. The Beatles only have 275 songs. There is absolutely no reason for there to be more church songs than Beatles songs. Pair that down to the best of the best, a Blue and Red album of church songs. Let’s say you sing three different songs a week. 52 weeks a year. I’ll even add two. One service for Christmas and another for Christmas eve. That’s 54 services. Threes songs a session. So all you need is the best 162 songs. I don’t care how you do it, but take the rest of these horse shit songs and throw them the fuck away. Put them in a separate book and burn it. For old times sake. 

3: Don’t be so scary please. 

At one point the pastor took all the children aside in front and talked to them in front of everyone. He asked them what the point of a drivers license was. He let the kids guess for a minute then told them the answer he was looking for. He said it was for identification. He then made a little joke about how he used his to “do adult things.” Okay. Little inappropriate for the kiddies, but I appreciate the joke for the back of the room. I was wondering what this had to do with Jesus until he brought it together in the most horrific way imaginable. He said that Jesus needed identification too, but his wasn’t a drivers license it was his “gaping spear wounds in his side.” Yikes. He then ushered the kids out of there for a Sunday school class that was probably a lot of crying. 

4: Cupholders in the pews


This should be an obvious one. Why has this not happened yet? As a mug I had once said "you don't want to see me before I've had my coffee." That goes for you too G*d! Come on church, let's get on this. 

I don't know if church will take any of my ideas. I certainly don't plan on listening to them in being a globetrotting comedian. But here's hoping, for their own sake, that they take a serious look at a few of these. 

All in all, I give church a D+

Friday, March 25, 2016

Did Sean Hannity Stop Beating His Wife?

A clip of Sean Hannity interviewing Jorge Ramos popped up in my Facebook feed this week. I don’t know why, but I watched it. I have no particular love for Ramos. I don’t dislike him. Just not too familiar with his work. His name has popped up a few times this election cycle as a voice who’s been asking “do you all believe this shit?” in relation to the Trump phenomenon. I used to watch Hannity’s show when I had cable. I’m not a fan of his politics, but used to enjoy the spectacle.
How American is YOUR logo, you commies! Also amazed this doesn’t include a bald eagle or an exclamation point at the end. HANNITY!




If you’ve ever watched one of these shows like Hannity and wondered who they’re for I will tell you. One night I was watching and during a commercial break there were back to back commercials advertising competing catheter companies. I’m not making fun of folks who need catheters, just saying that appears to be the key demographic. So if you watch and don’t get it maybe you’re just at the age where you either don’t need a catheter or are happy with your current catheter supplier. 
He’s always squinting, because he’s trying to figure out whether or not you’re a terrorist. Hint: You are. 
I don’t really care if you’re into Hannity or not. It doesn’t matter. He’s goofy. It’s not just because he’s goofy. There are a bunch of pretty goofy liberals on TV yelling about shit and making asses of themselves too. I don’t like any news that has yelling. I don’t like yelling. I didn’t grow up in a yelling house, and I rarely yell now. It unsettles me and I don’t care for it. My heart will probably explode at one point due to bottling shit up, but I’ll do it quietly. 
I don’t when this started or why, but it seems most of cable news is almost entirely just people yelling at each other. Sometimes there’s a bunch of people yelling about how much they agree on stuff. That’s the weirdest. Anyhow the clip of Hannity and Ramos didn’t feature any agreeing, but luckily it featured a shit-ton of yelling. It also featured a bunch of logical fallacies. It was pretty nuts.  
Here are just the ones I remember hearing after one viewing of one ten minute video. It’s almost impressive:
Loaded Question: The whole video is this. He all but asks Ramos “why do you support rape and drugs?”
Black or white: This is all pundits now. You’re either with them or you’re pro raping a bald eagle while your grandma watches. 
Slippery Slope: If we don’t build a wall then we will immiadely be subject to terrorist attacks 24/7 for the rest of our lives, and I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY WITH THAT DECISION YOU MONSTER!
Ad hominem: I don’t need lectures from you. You’re a liar, because you try to look at both sides, but disagree with me therefore you’re a terrorist sympathizer. 
Anecdotal: Hey, here are some individual reports of immigrants doing bad shit. Because everyone knows anecdote plus anecdote equals data!
Tu quoque: This is a biggie. I can’t be biased jackass, because YOU’RE A BIASED JACKASS!
Appeal to emotion: I’m amazed Hannity doesn’t wipe a tear from his eye to end every show. If you don’t agree with me then I hope you will enjoy living in constant fear in the hellscape you hath wrought. 
HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
Those are just the ones I remember. I’m sure I missed a bunch of others. Let me know which ones I missed. However on the flip side, I guess if you discount conservatism just because Sean Hannity acts like a cunt that would make you guilty of the fallacy fallacy. So be careful out there. 
i don’t know what I’m trying to say with this. But felt like writing about it to flex my 75% of a small college pole-sci degree muscle I don’t get to often. I guess my point is you’re either for having your news browbeaten into you by a jerk or your against America.  
P.S. Quit yelling please. 
P.P.S. Go to https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com to download that sick logic fallacy poster. You can also buy giant ones.

P.P.P.S. Here’s the links to the Ramos interview. It’s pretty gross. 

http://video.insider.foxnews.com/v/4815016183001

http://video.insider.foxnews.com/v/4815041382001

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hey Audi, Go Fuck Yourselves

I’m a bit of a sports buff, and as such I watched this thing I like to call the “Super Bowl” last month. It’s a pretty big football game. But in addition to the sports you also get advertisers showcasing their best. It’s like the 
Super Bowl of commercials in addition to being the Super Bowl of football games. It’s one super bowl all around. 
Of all the commercials I’d have to say that my least favorite was one for the new Audi R8. On a scale of 1-10 I would assign it whatever number goes along with criminal negligence. Because it is awful. Just fucking awful.
It seems kind of silly to complain about commercials. Because who gives a shit. It seems extra silly to complain about commercials for products that are not for me. It was for an Audi car. I am not who Audi is advertising to. Audi is a car company for folks for people that have a lot of money, but who need something more to help get them through the day. It’s cars made almost exclusively for dentists.
Here’s how the ad goes. It goes through a pretty fancy house. There’s a bunch of stuff about space. Astronauts, rockets, and the like. So we’re supposed to assume that the owner of the house is either a former astronaut or some kind of space nerd. 
Eventually we get to see, who we’re supposed to assume, is the owner of the house. A grumpy looking old codger. He’s got some food on a tray that remains untouched. He’s just now realizing that he was in space once and there’s no way in hell that he’s ever going to do anything even close to that cool again so he’s taking it out on whomever made him that tray of food. 
A young lady takes the food away. Either a live-in nurse or some kind of trophy wife. We don’t know. Then some lights show up outside. The angry old man has a visitor. 
It’s what we’re supposed to assume is his son. He asks the nurse if his father has been eating. He hasn’t. Then the son say’s “alright commander let’s go.” 
The son then shows his dad his bitchin’ new car. It’s an Audi (if it wasn’t that’d be a really odd way for Audi to spend all that money). The son gives the old man the keys and as he gets in there’s a countdown. Like a spaceship. He’s settling in and there’s footage from the old man going into space. They drive around as footage from the dad going to space is spliced throughout, and a David Bowie song plays. One of Bowie’s space themed songs. They’re really going for broke on the whole space thing. 
There’s two different title cards that then show. First one says that “shooting for the moon brings out the best in us.” Alright Audi, let’s not get too proud of yourselves. You built an expensive German car. Don’t shit yourselves with pride on that front. You’re not the first, won’t be the last. 
Second title card pops up and it says “the 205 mph new Audi R8.” Which is the most fucked up thing I’d ever seen a car company encourage people to do. It shows that while this old man is driving. The old man we were told earlier in the commercial needs someone to feed him because he’s too old and infirm. And now he’s racing around the countryside at speeds of OVER A FOOTBALL FIELD PER SECOND. Dude probably shouldn’t be driving at all let alone at speeds like that.
The old man’s facilities aside, you can’t encourage anyone to drive at speeds like that. Up to and especially folks needing live-in help. Companies get a lot of leeway when it comes to advertising. There’s always that shit in car commercials where they show someone driving like a fucking asshole and then  remind you that he’s a professional driver on a closed course, so it’s cool. But this is one of the few commercials, advertising anything, where the company uses the most illegal thing you can do with their product as a reason to buy it. That’s as fucked up as that gets. No other industry would ever be allowed to kinda get away with that shit.

Budweiser: You know why you’re being this. Drinking responsibly is for beer that tastes good, tonight let’s get tanked! Plus these bottles break away to make a handy weapon to stick in the back of that guy who’s been looking at your woman!
Sudafed: Now with a handy recipe for meth on the back so you make sure you don’t accidentally combine those ingredients and become really high and very wealthy ;)
Pretty sure if either one of those companies tired that there’d be congressional hearings. So Audi, as someone who finds himself on roads sometimes let me offer you a heartfelt and sincere go fuck yourselves!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Advanced Catstistics (Or Meowney Ball)

Been thinking a lot about cats lately. Cats and baseball. That’s not really unusual. Those two things plus Star Trek consume most my brain space in general. My wife and I have a cat. His name is Elliott. We used to have two, but unfortunately Gobbles passed away earlier in the year. Before we were cat owners though we were cat placeholders. We fostered cats for a couple years. If you love the idea of having cats, but don’t like the idea of the financial responsibility then fostering is a good way to go. The only problem is that eventually the cats get adopted, so then some piece of shit just walks into your apartment and takes your cat. I never became okay with that.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with baseball. Well over the course of our fostering career we fostered a bunch of cats, and something friends would always ask was always “which cat was the best?” That’s a tough question because the relative bestness of each cat is tough to define. There are a lot of intangibles. Not to mention one’s opinion can play into cat ratings and you don’t want emotion to cloud your cat rankings. It's unfortunate that for too long there hasn't been a clinical numbers based way to look at cats. That’s why I’m proud to roll out these advanced stats to help you judge the cats in your life. (I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure with some tweaking it could help you figure out which one of your kids you should love the most too.)
Here are the stats:
Nibble rating: NR This is how likely a cat will be to playfully nibble. Often overlooked this can be a real important part of any cat’s game. The rating is the amount of time the cat is likely to spend nibbling you. -.999 = Not only doesn’t playfully nibble, but bites in a very non-playful way to .999 = all nibbles all the time. 
Litter Dependent Shit Location: LDSL How likely the cat is to shit outside the litter box. Doesn’t matter what the other stats are, but too high a LDSL can really hamper a cat’s chances of sticking around. Higher the number the worse the cat is at that. Range is .000 = Never shits in the litter box to 1.000 = Always shits in the litter box.
Destruction Zone Rating: DZR DZR goes along with LDSL, but it’s a more all encompassing stat. This not just covers how likely a cat is to shit in the litter box, but how likely you are to come home and have a plant destroyed, stuff from the desk on the floor, food destroyed, or on some occasions finding that the freezer door had been left open for hours and now everything in there has melted. Range goes from 0 = nothing broken, and no time spent cleaning up after it to 150 = holy shit, have we been robbed?
Value Over Replacement Cat VORC: This is the overall amount of value given by the cat. the stat is given in number of extra days this cat is worth over your year. The range goes from -365 to 365. The culmination of  all the other stats. This is the cat’s ultimate rating. This is the stat that shows just how much value that cat has given you throughout the year. A score of -365 means, not only are no days better because of this cat’s presence in your life, but every day is worse because of it. 365 is meaning every day is better because of that cat. 
Gus. AKA Beau Tie AKA Beau AKA Baby Beausey
Beau was the first cat we ever fostered. Obviously he was a cute one there ain’t no denying that. But he passed through pretty quick. So we didn’t get to know him all that well. Impressive stats, but there’s no chance we’d be retiring his number any time soon.
NR .379
LDSL  .079
DZR  .132
VORC 175


Randall was by no means a rookie when he came through our system. More of an aging veteran. Not to say that he was done. He still had plenty of fuel left in the tank, and he used it to full become a member of the family. When he was adopted, it hurt. 
NR  .767
LDSL  .286
DZR  .672
VORC  289
Scotty AKA Feral Beast

Scotty was not a cat in any real sense. It was a trapped beast that was not happy about being locked up in our apartment. It was just waiting for a time to strike, waiting for my wife and me to fall asleep so he could slit our throats. We never gave him that oppurtunity. Unfortunately his game just wasn’t worth it and we had to send him back down. He was fixed and rereleased into the wild of Washington Heights.
NR  -.999
LDSL  -.727
DZR  .899
VORC  -200
Jerome AKA Romster AKA Rome Rome
Now I’m not saying Jerome was a  bad cat. Also I definitely wouldn't say that he was a good cat. He had some jerk tendencies. He would steal food off people’s plates he would destroy things. He had some off field issues with the nip. I’d be generous calling him a troubled talent. Kind of a clubhouse cancer. But good lord did he have some hustle. You can’t take that away from him. I won't let you.
NR  -.323
LDSL  .854
DZR  .425
VORC  173
Teddy AKA Skitters
Skitters was a  special project of mine. Probably brought up both too quickly and not quickly enough. She had a little bit of feral left in her. Probably a little bit too much. But I put in a lot of special. When I first started working with her she would bite the living shit out of me every time I would get even kind of close. Those bites got less and less frequent. Also when she would bite I could tell she wasn't really trying to hurt me anymore. When she stopped drawing blood I knew she was ready for a forever home. 
NR  -.500
LDSL  .123
DZR  .089
VORC  73
Julia AKA JuJu Beans AKA JuJu Da Beanz AKA Da Beanz

Seriously, how fucking cute is that cat? Julia was without a doubt one of the most natural talents we had come through. Small, tenacious, and trouble. We used a spray bottle to discipline her from time to time. One night after she was corrected for biting people we woke up and she had bitten about a thousand holes in the spray bottle rendering it worthless. Truly one of the greats. 

NR .789
LDSL .023
DZR .567
VORC 356
Elliott AKA Eliott 2 AKA Twozles
NR .123
LDSL .092
DZR .132
VORC 122
The older crafty lefty to JuJu Beanz’s fireball throwing rookie. He spent most of his time being climbed on and licked by Julia. Then Julia got adopted and he spent most of his time just sitting there being not nearly as cute as he was when he was getting constantly licked by the other one. Sorry. He was good, but made for a secondary role. 
Diego.
From left to right: Diego, Me. 
From left to right: Diego, Me. 

Don’t let Diego’s lack of nicknames fool you into thinking he wasn’t one of the greats, because goddamnit was he ever. His on lap percentage was through the roof. One of the highest in the modern era. This alone should be enough to cement his place among the best there is. He had a lot of intangibles to go along with OLP too. The kind of cat who really played the game the right way.
NR .344
LDSL .009
DZR .079
VORC 344
Sebastian AKA lil buddy. AKA Ghost Cat

Sebastian started out having a lot of trouble adjusting to the bigs. He spent the first week howling endlessly at night. Waking my wife and me up at all hours. Though he always had a pretty good litter box rating the smell that accompanied it made it seem a lot worse than it ended up being on paper. He was grouchy, he bit, and his lap rating was abysmal. Then he spent some time back down in the minors. We didn’t mean to, but some gentlemen broke into our house and as they were absconding with our possessions they were doubly careless enough to leave the window open and he got out. Poor manners even for people who broke in to take our stuff. That time spent out of the spotlight really helped him work his shit out, because by the time he got back he was at the top of his game. Polite, less stinky, and more playful. Every aspect of him became better. Sometimes a little time spent in the minors is all you need to get your head right. So I broke down Sebastian's stats to before and after time outside.
Before going missing
NR -.237
LDSL .189
DZR .576
VORC 200
After coming back
NR .650
LDSL .034
DZR .078
VORC 365.25
Cody AKA Pink Nose AKA Da Pink AKA One half of The Legendary Purple Boys.
Cody was what you’d call a real character. Truly one of the greats even though he was not all that well behaved. He spent a lot of time opening the freezer door, eating things he wasn’t supposed to, knocking shit onto the floor and just generally being a menace. But there was something about him. Particularly when we got another kitten named Gizmo. The two were a force to be reckoned with.
NR .468
LDSL .090
DZR .899
VORC 302
Gizmos AKA Blue Eyes AKA Little Boy Blue AKA The other half of The Legendary Purple Boys.

The Legendary Purple Boys together
You very rarely talk about Lou Whitaker without hearing the name Alan Trammel. Same with The Legendary Purple Boys. One had blue eyes one had a pink nose. Together they were purple. The Purple Boys. The Legendary Purple Boys.
NR .333
LDSL  .501
DZR .347
VORC 294
So that’s it. Looks like if you’re just looking at VORC (the most all encompassing cat stat) then Sebastian was the clear winner, but that’s not to take away anything from anyone else on this list. Lots of good cats. Lots of heart.
Thanks for reading. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Water Water Everywhere, For The Love Of God Don't Have A Drink

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has had a pretty rough go of it the last while. All of it very deserved. He's fucked up beyond any kind of forgiveness, and should either quit or be dragged out of the governor's mansion in a new tar and feather coat. I know a lot of politics is subjective, but it's gotta be hard to be proud of the job you've done when children are literally being poisoned for years under your watch. So I have absolutely no sympathy for the self proclaimed nerd in Lansing. 
image
In Snyder’s defense, I’ll bet this is cheaper than clean water
Meanwhile while all the blame is being heaped on Snyder, General Motors has been seen putting it's hand it it's pockets and whistling nonchalantly as it walks out the back door. Yeah, Snyder had the idea to save money by giving people poisoned water, but he wasn't the one who spent the entirety of the last century dumping poison into the water. That honor goes to GM. Snyder neglected the situation because the people being affected because they were mostly poor and black, but he's not the one who spent seventy years building up a city, and the past thirty destroying it with malignant neglect.
image
To paraphrase Henry Ford “you can fuck over any city you want, so long as it’s black.”
Since about 1900 (give or take, I'm not looking up facts because this is a blog, and thems the rules) GM made a small timber town into a giant of auto manufacturing. They did this until about the 80s when the folks at top decided “fuck it, let’s get outta here.” Since then GM jobs have dropped about 90%. I'm not anti free trade necessairly.  People moved to Flint and lived in Flint because they had jobs. That's what pretty much the whole city economy was based on. GM moves out (or at least 90% of it did), and everything else goes down the tubes. Houses aren't worth as much becasue there aren't jobs there anymore. People can't just move away becasue they've invested in houses there and now they can't afford to leave them. So not only did GM, but when asked if they planned on cleaning up any of the environmental or socioeconomic mess they’d spent seventy years creating, local legend has it that the board of GM responded by laughing wildly while a pile of money burned as they literally peed on schoolchildren. 
There's a saying round Michigan when GM sneezes, America catches a cold. It was of course coined by a GM chairman. So I guess the update is when GM vomits poison into a water supply for a century the city that GM fucked over without a thought ingests poison. Not nearly as catchy, but what're you gonna do. So let’s destroy Rick Snyder, because fuck that guy, but let’s save some tar and feathers for folks at GM. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 End Of Year Media Power Rankings

2015. What a year. What a year for media. Lots of great shit came out this year. Some I decided to take in. Most I didn’t. Who the fuck has the time to take in everything they put out every year. Who the fuck wants to. Most stuff sucks. And of the stuff that doesn’t suck it’s still probably not worth taking in. There’s already so much good shit out there. That’s what I spend most of the time doing. I’m sure some of the media that came out this year, I’ll end up taking in at some point. Maybe it will even be on next year’s power ranking. I wish them all the best of luck. 
Movies:
5. The Professional
This isn’t the first time I’d seen this one. I watched it for the first time at my friend Greg’s house when I was a kid. We watched it there because he was allowed to watch cool movies and I was not. I noticed it was on Netflix, and couldn’t wait to revisit my old friends Leon and Mathilda. I’ve watched it twice this year. The first time I was little put off by Gary Oldman going full whatever the fuck you call that, but the second time through I was eating it up. 
4. Wild
I have to admit, I wasn’t even eager to see this one. Almost don’t want to describe the movie, because the premise sounds irritating. Lady having a rough go of it decides to “find” herself on the Pacific Crest Trail. Sounds like garbage right? Wrong. Shit load of credit to Reese Witherspoon for really selling someone going through some shit, and showing us this person warts and all. 
3. Best of Enemies
Even as a big dumb liberal I’ve always has a soft spot in my heart for William F. Buckley. Conversely I’ve always thought Gore Vidal was kind of a douche. I was aware of their debates, and the one in particular where Buckley calls Vidal a slur and threatens to punch him in the face. Seeing the build up to the debates, what brought them to be, how each man treated them, and how they brought about today’s media landscape was fascinating.
2. Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country
Definitely my favorite TOS movie. One of my favorite Star Trek movies. Probably has something to do with the fact that this was the first one I saw in the theaters when I was a kid. I’m generally not a huge fan of the TOS crew. They’re fine, but TNG or DS9 are usually my drug of choice, but this has everything I love about Star Trek. It’s funny, silly, heavy handed, and exciting. If you’ve never seen a Trek movie I think this is the perfect one to start with.
1. Serenity

I don’t know where people put this on the list of greatest sci-fi of all time, but it deserves to be in the discussion. I don’t know how someone who has never watched Firefly would feel about this movie, but I can’t think of a movie I enjoyed watching more all year.
Honorable Mentions
Trainwreck and The Night Before. (Sorry. You were both good, but not good enough).
Dishonorable Mentions
Jurassic World and Mockingjay Part 2. 
Books
5. Back in the World - Tobias Wolff 
This is a collection of short stories. I love Tobias Wolff. He has a memoir, a novel, a book of essays, and a few books of short stories. They’re all worth reading. His characters always seem to feel like people you know that you’re getting to peak in on for a small window of time. More often than not you’re getting to see these characters as they realize they’re not exactly who they thought they were. 
4. Oryx and Crake / Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
These two are a part of a trilogy, so I guess I should’ve read the last one before I judge the all of it, but I’ve only gotten this far yet. Atwood imagines a plague that destroys just about every person on Earth. The first book has you with one of the last people left. If was pretty good, but I really started to feel engaged when Atwood was fleshing out the world just before the flood in the second novel. I look forward to reading the conclusion in MaddAddam next year. 
3. Watership Down - Richard Adams
I wasn’t sold on the concept of a book about a bunch of bunnies doing bunny shit, but that’s because I was a fool. It’s sweet, but it’s never talking down to you. They’re rabbits with distinct personalities, but avoids anthropomorphizing them in a silly Disney way. They’re bunnies doing bunny shit. It’s sweet and funny I suggest you read it. 
2. In The Garden Of Beasts - Erik Larson
Erik Larson found his way to the power ranking last year for Devil in the White City about the Chicago World’s Fair and one of the most prolific serial killers ever. This year I read his story about America’s unlikely ambassador to Germany between the time of the Nazi’s rise to power and before World War 2. It’s written using personal letters and journals written mostly at the time. So the reader knows just how bad it’s gonna get while the characters keep on hoping for the best. 
1. The Plot Against America - Phillip Roth

This is the first thing I’d ever read by Roth, and I picked a doozy to start with. It’s an alternate history of America in which a rich man with fascist tendencies wins the presidency before America enters WW2. It follows a Jewish family in New Jersey as they try to adjust to the new reality of their country. It’s terrifying in just how mundane fascism can seem until it’s too late. 
Honorable Mention
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance 
Dishonorable Mention
Infinite Jest. Hey Wallace, go fuck yourself you dead pretentious piece of shit!
Music Division
5. Bars Of Gold - Wheels
Now here’s a band that knows how to woo the entertainment press such as myself, by giving me a free copy of their stuff. This has everything to do with the fact that I’m influential blogger, and nothing to do with the fact that I used to share an apartment with the drummer. Made up of parts of the bands Wildcatting and Bear Vs. Shark, so if you like either of those you should check this one out. Great album, great band, and Brandon Moss was a great roommate.  
4. Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
A recommendation from my friend Brad Hagen. Checked these guys out on one of the music streaming services and fell in love instantly. The band’s sound as described by the frontman is a combination of world and indie music. Sounds fucking awful right? But it’s not. 
3. Adele -25
Big year for Adele. I don’t want to attribute all of her success with being mentioned on this list last year, but she was on it before 25 broke all kinds of records. So Adele, you’re welcome. And thank you for giving us 25. It’s a much different album than I was expecting, but not in a bad way. Had I just been given 21 again I would’ve been happy for a bit, but ultimately would’ve been disappointed. First time through I wasn’t blown away. I liked it fine, but I didn’t realize how much I would grow to love it so quickly. 
2. (Tied) Live/Dead and Reckoning
I’m not usually a fan of live albums, and as much as I love The Dead I’m not crazy about all the jam stuff that’s associated with them. Live Dead and Reckoning are the exceptions. Live/Dead is everything that can go right when jamming. A 23 minute version of an, originally, three minute song probably sounds pretty excessive. Listen to Dark Star and then realize that that’s exactly how long that song needs to be. Reckoning is great because there isn’t a lot of live acoustic Dead stuff out there. Though it’s not quite as iconic as Live/Dead it’s great to hear some of the acoustic hits get the live treatment.
1. Grateful Dead - American Beauty 

I went a little Dead nuts this year. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I kind of go through phases where I won’t listen to a Dead album for months, and then that’s all I’ll listen to for a while. Well I went all in for a while during the summer. American Beauty is not just my favorite Dead album, but up there with Abbey Road in that it’s as close to being a perfect album as there is out there. If you aren’t affected by the song Ripple you’re dead inside and I don’t want anything to do with you.
Honorable Mentions
Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs, Lorde, and two Meghan Trainor songs.
Dishonorable Mentions
Every other song on the Meghan Trainor album, and every song by Justin Bieber I that someone told be about by saying “no, it’s really good! I swear he’s matured as an artist.” No he hasn’t. He just added some dumb flutes or recorders or something. 
TV Division
5. Mad Men
Just started watching this show this year. I don’t know why I resisted for so long, but the whole idea just never seemed like something I’d get into. Turns out that a show that’s been on for years and has won multiple awards isn’t too shabby. Haven’t watched the part two of the last season yet, so I really like Don and co’s chance of making this list next year. Hopefully if they make this list two years running they won't have to be so mad. 
4. Daredevil / Jessica Jones
It’s probably not fair to rate these as one. So let’s just call it a tie. I liked them both a lot. Both received a shitload of acclaim as well as a bunch of people bitching about how heavy handed and cheese they could get. Yeah. They’re shows about folks with superpowers cleaning up the streets. It’s gonna get silly sometimes. They did some great stuff too. Daredevil had some of the best fight scenes I’d seen in a long time. I’m glad the era of the shaky cam is going away in favor a week choreographed fun to watch fight. Jessica Jones is real well written with characters that you almost immediately care about. That’s rare. Especially when I watch a lot of TV when doing other things. Ignore all the think pieces that tell you how “important” it is. It’s not empowering. It’s good. Or maybe it’s empowering, who gives a shit. I don’t know. I do know it’s really fun to watch. 
3. American Dad
Don’t know why I decided to watch this one. I think I remembered a real funny Christmas episode, and I wanted to rewatch it. After the injury I really got a chance to get some work done on my Netflix queue. A lot of people just automatically shit on it because it’s a Seth MacFarlane joint. And if you’ve seen Family Guy or the other one, you probably don’t think it’s worth giving a shot. But it is, and if you refuse to give a good show a try, then go fuck yourself. More for me. 
2.Black Mirror 
If you’ve heard about this show, it’s the fact that this is the show where the dude fucks a pig. Yes. He does. It’s pretty nuts. But aside from the pig fucking this might be one of the best crafted shows of all time. Each one shows you what a nightmare technology has become or can be. It’s smart and terrifying.
1. Game of Thrones 
(Even though this didn’t happen, it still gives me goosebumps)
This season didn’t start out as being my favorite, but good gravy they really grabbed me by the balls towards the end of it. I’d say this is the best show on this list, and I can’t get enough of it. I sometimes wonder if one of the reasons I like it so much is that I’m forced to wait a week to watch each new installment instead of shoving them all in my head at once like a goddamn monster. I’m watching them like the creators intended and also I get to process each installment before starting the next one. It’s certainly the only show on this list where I get angry that I’ve finished it, and have to wait until next season. 
Honorable Mentions
Scrubs, Fraser, The Sopranos, & The Wire
Dishonorable Mention
Making a Murderer. (Just kidding haven’t watched it yet.)
Well. That’s it. The media I enjoyed the most this past year. Anything I should have taken in but didn’t? Let me know. I’ll probably ignore it so I can Deep Space Nine again. Happy 2016 everyone.