Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Viva Mehico and Other World News

Sorry for the delay, I took the missus down to old Mexico to try and find us some drugs. No luck. Mexico is so commercial and americanized these days…sort of sad. What happened to you Mexico? You used to be cool, filled with a rich history and a loving, well mustachioed people. You used to be home to drug lords who stood for something. Now you’re just a big bunch of Kobe-loving salesmen with dirty drinking water and suspicious looking dogs.

Aww, I can’t stay mad at you. I will love you forever. Thanks for the hookups on sunglasses and gold chains, my freyn.

Anyway, something major happened while we were gone. Something so devastating it makes Hurricane Katrina look like a water fight in Compton. Something so Earth shattering it makes 9/11 look like a New Year’s Eve party.

I feel crushed. My faith in humanity is gone, maybe forever. I feel awful even bringing it up in the hopes that you, dear reader, have somehow managed to avoid word of this travesty.

But it is my duty to report the unreportable.

Here goes: Apparently, two years ago while attending the University of Florida, leading Heisman candidate and Auburn standout, Cam Newton, CHEATED IN SCHOOL!! MORE THAN ONCE!!

Wait, what?

That’s it? That’s the big news? That is the story ESPN is spending every waking moment to cover? That a college athlete cheated their way through school?

Um…is it possible there is not one person at ESPN who actually went to college? Seems like there has to be at least some guy in the control room pulling the news team aside and saying, “Hey, guys? We might not want to make too big a deal out of any of this…I’m just saying, most college athletes aren’t exactly accurately representing the graduation rates that the University touts…”

There are smart and articulate college athletes. I grew with one and lived with him in college. But for every tall skinny white guy with great “basketball IQ” there are a hundred more that score a 6 on the Wunderlic test (which, coincidentally, my five year old just took and scored a 17. She’s five).

Call me what you want but you know the same thing I know. Watch any post game interview after any NBA or NFL game and then tell me that guy really “got his Bachelor’s in English Literature.”

Why do we all act so shocked and dismayed? Why is Outside the Lines doing a report?

We don’t care if Cam Newton cheated, hell, he can cheat off me if it keeps him eligible. There lies the great hypocrisy in the current state of college athletics. Cam’s grades do not mean a darn thing to anyone who buys a ticket to watch him do on a football field what nobody else can do.

His grades don’t matter to the Auburn athletic program when they hoist their national championship.

They don’t mean anything to the NCAA when his electric style of play generates millions of revenue dollars.

And the grades mean less than squat to the NFL team that is about to make him a millionaire.

So can we please, as a nation, resist the urge to crucify somebody who spends 40 hours a week studying game film and forgets to study for World Religions 302? Can we stop worrying about some poor athlete who takes money to help his family in times of need? Can we just give these guys free laptops so they can quit stealing them? (Side note: Why is laptop theft always involved? What is the fascination these players have with laptops?)

You are probably outraged by my stance in this article, but take three deep breaths and read it again. Think it over. Realize that we are all to blame for creating the monster we now despise. We create a society where winning is everything.

Win at all costs, meaning stay eligible at all costs, even if it means putting your name at the top of the test of some fat white chick who buys you stuff and lends you her car.

Don’t hate the player…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Familiar Conversation

Well, it's been about 2 and a half months since I last posted. Doug has been carrying the Website admirably. I thought I'd at least throw something on the blog before I was removed from the partnership (I don't know if I mean our brother relationship here or the blogging relationship - in any case if I didn't blog soon Doug was going to remove me from one of them.)  Anyway, instead of me doing the talking, I've created two characters. Travis and Hyrum. Depending on their debut success, they may make more appearances on the blog.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rise and Shout the Cougars are Out of Scapegoats

Aggies 31

Cougars 16

Should I really write the rest of this blog, or just leave it at that?

I mean, we already know what happened in the game, right? We know that Jake Heaps peed his pants, twice. We know BYU over-celebrated every tiny thing they did well, like a run play that went for longer than four yards. We know BYU fans and players, in an attempt to represent the early Saints, came to a location as visitors and tried to claim it as their own, then became self-righteously shocked when they were met with hostility.

And most importantly, we know the score doesn’t represent the magnitude of the blowout.

BYU is now reeling. The first thing Bronco did in his attempt to cleanse the team is fire all the black people. I love the explanation given by defensive coordinator Jaime Hill, when given the opportunity to either resign or be fired:

“I was fired.” said Hill.

I’m pretty sure BYU is Jesse Jackson’s white whale, so stay tuned for more on how this whole thing plays out. “Head Coach Jaime Hill” has a nice ring to it, right BYU?

Things weren’t much better in the stands for Cougar fans. The obnoxious hair and face paint guy actually left at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Obviously, he left the stadium yelling inappropriate and disrespectful things, but that doesn’t happen at BYU so I am not allowed to publish the words he was actually saying.


The guy behind me was having a tough time. He got so frustrated watching Diondre Borel make a fool out of Cougar defenders, he actually started shouting, “Hurt him! Kill him! Take his head off! Get him out of the game!” He then turned to his life partner and told her, “Their quarterback is destroying us! We need to get him out of the game!”

If you can’t beat ‘em, hurt ‘em til you can. Then beat ‘em. We’re BYU football! We are the best team in the country! Why does Boise State get all the attention? We’re BYU!


A close friend of mine who was born on the wrong side of the tracks and therefore cheers for BYU snidely said to me: “Why are they rushing the field? Is this their first win ever?”


Maybe it was the magic of the night, maybe I’m getting older…or maybe it was because my fellow instigator, Chris, was not in attendance. I don’t know the reason, but I didn’t respond to any of these guys. In games past I would have made some witty insult toward one of them, they would have become incredulous and we would have come to blows.

But victory has a euphoric effect. I sat and smiled. I said nothing. I just soaked it all in.

Then I yanked my shirt off and ran around screaming. Oh, Joy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

BYU vs Utah State

I will be attending the Utah State vs BYU football game tonight. It is part of a now 8 year tradition to take my wife to this game when it is played in Logan. At this game I have never NOT been in some sort of altercation.

Before you accuse me of being the problem, here's what happened two years ago:

Mormon Red (sense of entitlement): "Can you tell me where the BYU fan section is?"

Me (smiling): "Oh, yeah, you guys are way up there, right behind the band."

Mormon Red (scoffing): "Real nice. Thanks for nothing."

Me (confused): "I'm just kidding you, man. Relax."

Mormon Red (condescendingly): "At least at BYU we pay ushers to help people with this kind of thing."

Me (awesomely): "Seems like a waste of my tithing just because you're too stupid to read your ticket stub."

Mormon Red (Making the "Who Me?" face): "Nuh!"

And he scampered off. But the point is, I'm not the problem.

The name of my antagonist for this year may change, but the general attitude and doucheyness stays the same. And somehow they all sort of look like this guy.

You will be able to find a full report from the game right here. My bold prediction for 2010? For the first time since 1993, my Aggies take down the Cougars.

Final Score 34-24

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Might as Well Facebook It, You're Addicted...

Queen once said, “Is this the real life, is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide no escape from reality.”

Those lyrics define me. My actual existence is spent primarily attempting to validate my online existence. In fact, I’m no longer online, I’m actually “on-life” instead. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Skype, BB Messenger, Google Chat…I got them all.

Well, at least a version of me. The one I want you to get to know.

There is a new movie about Facebook called The Social Network. For me, Facebook more accurately serves as the Antisocial Network. It is a guise for me to feign camaraderie while remaining socially aloof.

Currently, I have 441 friends on Facebook and between you and me I wouldn’t say hello to three quarters of them if I saw them in the grocery store. In fact, I doubt I would even recognize more than half of them. And yet at the anonymous box social they call the interwebs we are all great friends. It gives me the excuse of being connected without the hassle of actually staying in touch. All I have to do is track some key status updates.

And I’m not the only culprit. You are getting just as bad.

Instead of really staying in contact and maintaining close relationships with the people that matter most we group everyone into an easy to manage folder of friends. That way we can advertise our blogs, work on fake farms, announce our weekend plans, complain about work, mass communicate on politics, poke, tag, invite and notify… all from the relative safety of our own space.

We live our lives vicariously through everyone else’s status. We pretend to live well, in hopes that every so often we will do something status-worthy. It truly is narcissism at its finest: Everyone telling their own story, nobody listening.

Here’s one: I recently went to lunch with a friend. As we waited for our meal we spoke superficially to each other about whatever while keeping our eyes glued to our respective mobile devices. While we were at lunch I posted something on my Facebook page and he in turn commented on it. All during lunch. Crazy, right?

Even more strange, my post and his response had nothing to do with the conversation we were conducting at lunch and neither of us mentioned it after the fact. It was so bizarre that afterward I considered tweeting the whole incident.

My wife and I no longer ask about one another’s day. Instead we ask if the other saw what Brian wrote on Facebook or what Liz tweeted.

Try this game. Next time you are in a meeting look around at all the furrowed brows squinting at their Blackberries. The intent is to make everyone else feel we are so busy and important that not only are we only half interested in the current meeting, we are taking care of business going on outside of the meeting as well.

It’s a lie. We aren’t sending emails or looking up important quarterly numbers or whatever. Watch the thumbs. Two thumbs means a game, like Bejeweled or Brickbreaker. One thumb up and down is definitely browsing the web, probably looking at trailers for sale on Craigslist or reading the latest from the AP wire. One thumb side to side means picture viewing and daydreaming about last weekend.

See, we Blackberry-iPhone-Droid users have it all figured it out. Our Facebook-Twitter-LinkedIn-Messenger-MySpace-Skype-Yahoo addiction only makes us appear more connected. In truth our addictions simply widen our bubble, making us less accessible. We are the eccentric recluses of the digital age. We hide publicly, so involved, so everywhere at once that we blend in and eventually…we disappear.

Sorry to quote Queen again, but “I want to break free”. Facebook is taking a back seat to my real life. If you are reading this, chances are you followed my link from Facebook. I’ll stop doing that. It wastes space on your wall. If you come back to the blog on your own, thanks, we love having you here. If, however, you don’t notice anything missing from your “on-life” and forget to come back…I understand.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Hey look at me, I'm wicked hahd core."

If I’ve learned one thing from Hollywood it is this: The city of Boston is way better than whatever second tier crap-town you’re from. That is why I felt obligated to see Ben Affleck’s The Town tonight. Let’s see if I can take you on a virtual trip back through my evening. I’ll try to write this blog the way the movie plays out, all disheveled and abrupt and riddled with plot holes. Enjoy!

First of all, I know prices at the movie theater are an old cliché but something still needs to be said. The 16-year old snack salesman pressured me to upgrade to a Medium Combo (medium popcorn, medium drink only $13.75), when I finally agreed, he then informed me that by purchasing the combo, I also qualify for a discount on candy. That’s right; one of those movie theater-cheat boxes of M&M’s was only $2.75. I didn’t have to pay the regular $3.25 for 26 total M&M’s like the rest of you common trash.

Popcorn, soda and candy in hand, I side shuffled my way past all the other fat losers alone at the theater and found my seat.

*Spoiler Alert* I don’t want to ruin anything for the rest of you, but tonight they showed a preview for a groundbreaking new movie that I don’t think I’ll be able to wait for.

From what I gathered from the preview, apparently there is this strong willed, independent woman who rarely dates because she is focused on her career. She gets matched up somehow with a perpetual screw-up of a guy who never gets anything right. I know what you’re thinking and you are wrong. You can’t be fooled by his devastating good looks, perfect hair, eight-pack abs and leading man charm. She hates him and doesn’t want anything to do with him.

And don’t kid yourselves guys, she might be a bombshell dripping with raw sexuality, but we’ll never know because she wears glasses. So of course he hates her as well.

But, based off the preview, apparently they end up forced to spend time together in a really wacky twist of fate, and hilarity ensues. I don’t want to get my hopes up but I really think they might end up together…(fingers crossed)!!!

Anyway, keep your eyes peeled. It’s called Sleepless in Seattle 1,003 or Hollywood Love Story or We’ve Given Up…or something.

Back to Ben Affleck and The Town.

Ben Affleck directs the movie, so naturally he is in literally every scene. It must have been exhausting for him. In fact, you can tell he was worn out because in a lot of scenes he just sort of gave up on acting. I can’t be sure but I think there was a scene where right in the middle of a heartfelt and gritty soliloquy, Affleck forgot his lines so he just trailed off and muttered “Southie…yeah dis guy…I’m outta da game…curse wehds…whateva…Bahsten.”

Fortunatley for the audience, Madmen star Jon Hamm is also in the movie and he delivers an inspired performance, making the movie fairly entertaining.

If you’ve seen the trailer and have an IQ above 7, you probably have guessed the entire plot of the movie. Ben Affleck plays a “hahdenned” criminal with a “hwaght a gold.” He wants out of his life of crime and he finds a socially responsible do-gooder chick to help him see the light. She does community service and drives a Prius, so be ready for her self-righteousness.

Jon Hamm is an FBI agent and he is after him. Credit here to Affleck’s directing, they don’t spend a lot of time trying to convince us of Jon Hamm’s humanity and multi-layered cop-greed. Hamm is just a good guy who wants to take down bad guys. It is actually very refreshing. Even though you are supposed to cheer against Hamm and hope Affleck makes it out, you can’t help rooting for Hamm. It’s like he deserves it for saving the movie.

Anyway, the movie ends about a half hour after it should, but don’t worry if you doze off, there is absolutely no twist. However, Boston is a really tough town. People there would be better than you and me if they could just get out. Boston holds them down, though.

Oh, and Ben Affleck’s character was a big time hockey player and got drafted but he was too much of a “hahdenned townie” so he got kicked out, so there’s some Mighty Ducks thrown into the mix for fun.

The End. Now you know how I felt after watching it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Break in the Clouds

Yesterday we reviewed 5 things that are ruining music. But hope is not lost. Here are 4 things (technically 6 things) that are great about music:

The Economy/Terrorism- I will actually confess that I could be wrong on this one but I hope I am right, for my daughter’s sake. The reality is the longer people suffer, the more stripped down and vulnerable their art becomes. This causes musicians to finally revolt against the establishment and write honest lyrics. Not “Hollywood Honest”, which is what everyone tries to do, but real honest.

I want to see a revolution in the music industry where we turn away from the formula of:

-Hot, slutty girl with edgy lyrics
-Digitally enhanced vocals
-Repetitive dance beat
-Music video glamorizing promiscuity
-A trip to rehab

Kanye West/Eminem- Love these guys or hate them, they produce their own completely unique sounds. For all his wackiness, inappropriate behavior and racism, Kanye is open and self reflective of who he is and what he struggles with. He admits to being an arrogant and disrespectful prick who usually makes the wrong decisions. The conflict between his real self loathing and his false self adoration created by fame comes through in his music and as much as I would like to, I cannot hit “skip” when Kanye comes on.

As for Slim Shady, in the past he has turned away from what made him great. HE released albums that lacked the power of his earlier work. I’m glad to see on his new record Recovery he goes back to his angry yet contemplative self inspection. When Eminem is at his best he is the Best. The problem is he is not consistently at his best.

The Script- I hate the “underground band” kids who claim they’ve been following a band since before they were popular and they know all the stuff they did from their old days and blah blah blah.

But I have been following the Script since before they were popular and I have all their unreleased stuff and their stuff from Mytown and blah blah blah.

Look, if you don’t know who the Script is, go buy their album The Script and then tell me they aren’t brilliant. Their mix of old sound and new is what gives me hope for music’s future. My 5 year old daughter loves when we listen to this album and I’ll bet my 54 year-old father loves their sound, too.

Marcus Eaton- I went to high school with a guy named Marcus Eaton. Back then he was just the dude who was really good at guitar had longish hair. We would go watch him perform at small events. He would sing covers of Dave Mathews and stuff like that.

Fast forward to present day. I went to a Marcus Eaton concert recently, complete with groupies and teamsters and everything. For two hours, this guy I knew from high school played all original music. He was entertaining, he kept us moving and clapping our hands and feeling good about life. He played like 43 different instruments, he did some odd looking dance.

There were no red carpets or limousines or E! True Hollywood Stories. It was just a guy, his band and his catchy and original music. And there was the feeling you get when you get to decide something is good, rather than having Simon Cowell, MTV or Z103 tell you it is good.

And it is not just Marcus Eaton, because there are more Marcuses out there. I guess what I am trying to say is if you are like me and you want music to be good again, you just have to know where to find it. Mostly you have to go Underground. I have become what I despise, the Underground, unreleased, non-sell out fan kid.

Does anyone know where I can get skinny jeans, a scarf, the soul of a poet and a beanie cap?