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.

Classy.

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!

Classy.

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?”

Classy.

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?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Radio Kill the Video Star, Please

Please, someone just give her the beer before she sings.

Music is not dead. But it is dying. Don’t believe me? Google “Billboard Top 100” and tell me how many “hits” you’ll find that are sure to stand the test of time.

Because I care about music and want it to still exist in a few years, the current direction of the industry alarms me. I want to warn as many of you as I can so we can prepare to fight this growing epidemic together, that one day we might find the cure.

Here is my list of 5 things that are ruining music followed by 5 things that are great about music today.

5 Things Ruining Music

American Idol- I think the concept of American Idol is brilliant. In theory, it guarantees the production of an instant superstar who will spend years at the top of the charts. Yet the show has only produced 3 real stars over the course of 9 seasons (Kelly Clarkson, Daughtery, Carrie Underwood).

Why?

Simon’s go-to insult has always been “That sounded like bad karaoke.” The problem is he is judging a karaoke contest! These are just choir kids singing cover versions of old Elton John songs. The show should be made up of all original material and America should vote for the best artist, not the best singer (the catch there is no one would watch).

So now we have a bunch of really good singers getting record deals instead of really good musicians. The fact is, if any of these singers were good enough to make it on their own they probably would have. But they didn’t…

Also, the method of voting is flawed. The only people I imagine texting a vote to a reality show are 14 year-old girls. The problem with letting 14 year-old girls shape the music industry is that by the time the season is over and the winner finally produces an album, there is a new batch of 14 year olds and they only care about the singers on the current American Idol season.

Justin Beiber- Are we so sadistic as a society that we keep allowing this to happen? If you are reading this, I have to believe there is no doubt in your mind that Justin Beiber is 22 years away from a VH1 reality show about his fight with substance addiction and the lives he has destroyed, including his own, ever since his fame died off around age 21. It is sickening, and we watch with morbid glee. We are worse than the ancient Romans.

Kesha- There is a site called www.mydrunktexts.com that features text messages supposedly sent from intoxicated individuals. Most of them are reflective of the girl with low self esteem who likes the idea of being drunk and always acts more drunk than she is. The texts are all about excessive consumption followed by bad sexual decisions, with everything being laughed off and applauded. STD’s are a badge of honor.

Kesha is the talentless personification of the website. There is no chance of her being relevant in 2012 and her living past 30 is a long shot.

Politics- Musicians are getting worse than actors. Just shut your damn mouths. You are only invited because you provide the entertainment. Only fools want to hear the political views of a drugged out high school dropout who just happens to be richer than 99% of the country. I feel bad for either political party when celebrities take their side, because it forces the members of that party to sheepishly admit they vote the same way as these idiots.

Fergie- The Black Eyed Peas have it all figured out. They looked around the industry and saw that it wasn’t enough to simply put together a bunch of catchy beats and some repetitive lyrics. So they found one of those ugly faced but hot bodied white girls who will do anything to be accepted by black guys. They told her to dress slutty and dance around like a stripper while singing about the world of prostitution. Genius.

So now we all go about listening to their music and saying how good the Black Eyed Peas are and no one will say anything about how awful and untalented Fergie is for fear of it sounding racist or something. Look, she is just terrible. For those of you shaking your head thinking, “You’re wrong, Fergie has a great voice,” go watch American Idol and tell me how hard it would be to find a girl with a better voice. Just accept it: Fergie’s skanky whiteness is the only thing keeping her in the music industry.


Preview for Tomorrow: 5 Things Giving Hope to the Music Industry

The Economy

Terrorism

Kanye West

Marcus Eaton

The Script



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

I don’t have an official post tonight, just some thoughts from this weekend and a picture of Jessica Biel for your Monday morning blues.


1) It wouldn’t take too much to convince me of a BCS conspiracy that involves back scratching, a Virginia Tech loss, scary white guys in business suits and a James Madison University eligibility scandal. The speed with which the media and big conference fans gleefully dismissed Boise State’s BCS title hopes was almost eerie. I’m not saying there is a conspiracy…I’m just saying John Swofford (head of the BCS) at least made a couple of phone calls to Va Tech, just to test the waters.

2) Having said that, settle down. Boise State will win out and will still deserve to play for the championship. Whether or not they can guilt AP voters and coaches enough to get them there is yet to be seen.

3) It sure was fun to watch the BYU Fan chatter evolve this weekend. They turned on Riley Nelson so fast you’d have thought he grew a goatee and walked across the quad drinking a Mountain Dew. But in true Cougar Fan fashion, all my Cougar Fan friends from all over the globe immediately cast the blame on me. You know, because Riley Nelson transferred from Utah State and I cheer for Utah State…clearly this debacle is entirely my fault.

4) Thank you, Oklahoma, for putting a beating on Florida State. Now the Utah State Aggies’ 7 point loss in Norman looks almost like a win and gives me one more week of cautious hope. Now, if Florida State would just do me the honors of beating BYU…

5) Michael Vick almost led the Eagles to a miraculous comeback when they put him in during the second half against Green Bay (actually, the substitution came just minutes after I tweeted my wishes for Kolb to get injured). Oh yeah, before prison Michael Vick was a Pro-Bowl quarterback…maybe we should play him. In related news, apparently Twitter is granting my wishes…so keep your eye on that.

6) Check out our Twitter on the right side of your screen. You can follow us, you should follow us, you must follow us. Please follow us?

7) Back to Vick. All he did was make dogs fight to the death and then kill them in brutal and disturbing ways. Big deal. Can’t we all forgive the guy and cheer him on? I mean jeez, Ray Lewis killed a guy and then won the Super Bowl. Kobe Bryant “raped” a girl and went on to win multiple NBA Championships. I’m pretty sure Ron Artest is actually an inmate from Shutter Island and he won a championship. And let’s not forget Pete Rose. He committed the most heinous crime of all. He BET ON BASEBALL! And even he, the notorious Pete Rose, was allowed back into baseball 167 years later. If we can forgive Pete Rose for that, we can forgive Mike Vick, too.

8) If the Heisman committee takes Reggie Bush’s trophy away will they also ask the NCAA to quantify the millions of dollars they made off Reggie Bush and make them pay it back?

Well this turned out longer than I thought. You’ve been such a good sport, I’m rewarding you with a picture of Eva Mendes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones


I love words. Carefully constructed phrases call to me like great works of art speak to cultured folk or the way Star Trek appeals to losers. In my opinion, the best writers are those who can say in one paragraph the same thing that takes me five paragraphs, like Ernest Hemingway, Chuck Palahniuk or Stephanie Meyer.

Words paint pictures, conjure up memories, express, inspire and hurt. Words evolve, their original meaning taking on a new meaning as cultures change.

Unfortunately, thanks to some very selfish people in powerful places, some words evolve to take on a meaning that renders them completely unusable by a good Christian boy like me.

These are the top 4 words I wish I could still use:

Radical- This word was once used for someone who performed an amazing trick or stunt, preferably on a BMX. Now it is synonymous with some sort of terrorist, as in “Radical Islamists bombed a school bus full of children,” or “These radical right wing nuts sure do love Sarah Palin.”

Gay- Currently, this term is used to reference a person who enjoys sexual shenanigans with a member of their own sex. This word has been hijacked, as the true definition is somewhere closer to a really intense version of “lame.” But saying lame is too freaking gay, so it puts you in a conundrum.

So now when your buddy tells you he went rollerblading by himself at O.K. Ward Park, you can no longer say, “That is the gayest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Instead you have to say something awkward like, “You telling me this makes me feel ashamed to have you as a friend.”

Retard- I don’t know how mentally challenged people got roped into taking away this word, but the word itself has nothing to do with showing offense toward the disabled (which, by the way, is much more offensive! Dis-Abled, are you kidding me?)

Anyway, the correct use of this word should sound something like “Nice blinker retard.”

Nigga- This is a tricky one, because it is technically derived from an offensive term used to insult black people. But now it has evolved into a way to express friendship and camaraderie, almost like saying “amigo.” The only problem is, this term is reserved solely for black people, their white girlfriends and engineering students from India.

Since I don’t fit in to any of those categories, I will never be allowed to utter the phrase, “Heck yes I love Ping Pong, nigga!”

Call me sentimental, I just wish we could go back to a simpler time when people were free to use the words that best suited the occasion.

Oh, and since it has been a while, here is a picture of Jessica Biel



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Not ALL About the Benjamins...

How long have you been in the work force?

Let’s say you have been working for the same company for seven years. Even though it is not the best place to work, you do what you love and you like your coworkers. You are the best at what you do and you are paid handsomely for it.

There is only one problem: Your boss is a huge douchebag. He takes you for granted, he talks down to you, he treats you like he is more important than you because he makes more money, he acts like your input is invalid. He makes you feel like you must constantly be better than anyone in the world or you could lose your job.

Like everyone else on the planet, you fantasize about marching into his office and telling him you don’t need him anymore. You daydream elaborate ways to embarrass and humiliate him. You plan on someday becoming wealthy enough to buy his company and then fire him. You want to ruin him in whatever way you can. You become bitter and unmotivated.

Suddenly, the clouds part and an opportunity presents itself for you to work for a better company doing the same job.

At the same time, an associate of yours comes to you with a chance for the ultimate “screw you” move to play on your current boss. A move that will publicly humiliate him and expose him for the jerk that he is. It might even destroy his business.

If you are only 25 years old and still a little bit on the mischievous and immature side, I say you jump at the chance. Sure, down the road you may regret the decision and feel like you didn’t quite think through all the consequences. Maybe most of your customers are going to be really upset and feel betrayed, but they’ll get over it. You sold a product to them that made them happy.

Most importantly, you got to live out the dream of millions of Americans. You took the chance that was given to you to stick it to your pompous a-hole of a boss.

I can’t fault you for it, Lebron.

Thank you for reminding America what is great about sports. Thanks for reminding us that before it was a business, basketball was a pastime. Basketball is a game, and games are about winning.

Don’t listen to Michael Jordan. 25 years ago, MJ was the solution. Now he is the problem. He represents all that is ugly in sports, and you, Lebron James, are taking back the majesty of my favorite game. I’m excited for the NBA to relearn the concept of team.

Thanks again.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Boise is Not a State



I hate Boise State.

Having said that, do you think Boise State tires of creating a masterpiece every single time they play on primetime? It is getting sort of eerie how the Broncos consistently play (and win) in every year’s ESPN Instant Classic. Last night was no exception, some thoughts from the game:

Uniforms- Both teams debuted new uniforms last night. Brilliant move by ESPN. It gave the game a bit of mystery, kind of kept viewers on their toes wondering, “Is this Arena Football? Is this women’s lacrosse? Am I watching a video game?”

You know how when you use the “Create a Team” feature on NCAA Football 2010 and you create everything down to the finest detail but it never looks quite right? Your team always looks a bit too cartoony. That’s how I felt watching the game last night. It was like some kid won an X-Box Live tournament and the prize was designing uniforms for the BSU/Va Tech game.

Kirk Herbsreit did not share my view as he was salivating over all those young, fit college athletes. Did anyone else feel uncomfortable when his excitement boiled over and he breathlessly uttered, “David Wilson can make any uniform look good.”

Take it easy there, Kirk.

Trick Plays- I love how the media still tries to trot out the old “Boise State is just a gimmick team” routine. The only trick play last night was Virginia Tech’s first play of the game. So now Big Conference schools are pulling out all the stops to beat BSU, instead of the other way around. Face it Big Conference apologists, Boise State beats your teams at your own style of play. Boise is not an upstart, they’re just better than you.

Strength of Schedule- Here we go. Stupid Boise. Why did they have to win that game? Now we have to spend the rest of the season listening to how weak their schedule is. I’m sure we will hear things like “Sure, Boise State can win one big game, but how would they like to play Florida, then Alabama, then Texas, then Oklahoma? That’s what big schools have to do.”

First of all, no they don’t. Say what you want but for every big time Florida/LSU game there are a couple of Florida/Tennessee type games in the mix. This idea that the big time contenders are playing tougher teams week in and week out is always spoken as if it is a given, when in reality it is probably the most exaggerated fallacy in all of sports. Just because a mediocre team is in a conference the media has decided is better than others, does not mean they are by default better than the mediocre teams in every other conference.

Secondly, given the chance Boise State would be licking their chops at the chance to play VTU, Alabama and Florida back to back to back. Believe it or not, Boise wants to be the best. If beating everyone is what it takes they want to do it. Do you know who doesn’t want to play Boise State this early in the season? VTU, Alabama and Florida. Those teams can avoid Boise and let big brother BCS fight their battles for them.

Screw the media. Boise has a tough schedule and they have a target on their backs all season every season. Every conference game for them is just as tough as every conference game for Alabama. Boise is the team that every team in the WAC plays their best game against.

Congratulations to Boise for beating Virginia Tech on the road in front of 90,000 people. Degratulations (new word) to the media for planning to spend the next 12 weeks making excuses for the BCS conferences and explaining away Boise State’s dominance.

In other news, I don’t want to say much about this because I don’t want to jinx it…but dare I say the Utah State Aggies were the most impressive football team from the state of Utah this weekend? Putting up 422 offensive yards against Oklahoma in Norman is no small task. Please don’t get my hopes up, Aggies.

Who am I kidding? My hopes are sky high!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Open Apology to BYU Fans



My dad scolded me.

After reading the last entry about BYU fans my father called me and laid into me like I was late for curfew. He felt I was a bit too offensive and that I need to chill out and recognize that the term “fan” is short for “fanatic” and the fact is there are crazy and passionate fans everywhere. He sternly reminded me that I am an obnoxious Utah State fan, to the point of being arrested for fighting during the Big West Tournament in Anaheim, 2005.

I tried to tell him it is worse with BYU fans because they approach things as if they are God’s chosen athletic program. I told him they transcend normal passionate fandom and ascend into the regions of self-righteous condescension. I even accused the Honor Code as sounding vaguely too familiar…like some sort of plan…I can’t place it but I just naturally reject it…I can’t quite put my fingers on it. He doesn’t listen.

He is right, though. I cannot judge an entire fan base solely from the actions of a few unruly fans, players, coaches or administrators. I have unfairly condemned the group for the works of some bad individuals. I’m like a Jewish person who hates Nazis just because of some of the things Hitler did and said. I’m like a black person who hates whites because of the South. Sorry, individual BYU fan, I’ve been unfair.

My dad and I have a deal. He is coming with me to the Utah State vs. BYU game in Logan on Oct.9. All he has to do is wear Aggie gear from head to toe. He doesn’t have to say anything to anybody and I won’t talk to BYU fans. If after the game he still feels the way he does now, I will cool off some of the BYU comments.

Tonight is the Boise State game. I will be writing a running blog during the game and will post it tomorrow, along with my thoughts from college football’s first weekend.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Maybe We Should Ask God First...



Sure, I was wrong about BYU staying in the MWC and my source looks about as reliable as a T-Mobile phone, but I’m glad BYU made the right decision. Too many people are bagging on BYU’s decision to go independent in football and join the WCC in every other sport. It is the right decision for the One True Team.

Look, if you are a BYU fan, you already suffer from a crippling inferiority complex, coupled with intense short man’s syndrome with a side of douchebaggery. You probably read that last sentenced and shouted “NUH!” before checking your carefully coifed hairdo. You’re BYU! The last thing you need is to continue being publicly humiliated in regional and conference play.

It must get difficult year after year to claim pre season rights to the role of BCS buster only to fall short to a decidedly better Utah, Boise State, TCU, Houston, Hawaii, Fresno State, Nevada, etc. I can only imagine the nights filled with sorrow after having to go back to your message boards and re-read all of your prophesies of the on-and-off the field superiority of your football team.

This move gives BYU fans the perfect out. From now on, they are independent, so they don’t feel obligated to defend themselves during discussions of “conference pride,” or “loyalty” or “honesty and integrity.”

BYU no longer must worry about being constantly shown up by in-state rivals. They can now continue unfettered their quest to be who they want to be: A peculiar people. Not peculiar as in “unique and treasured” but peculiar as in “unsettling weirdoes who think they are better than everyone because God loves them more and therefore they shouldn’t be constrained to mere conference play.”

Now, finally, BYU can showcase itself to the world and spread the message of poor sportsmanship and self-righteousness to the four quarters of the country. Maybe some huge conference like the Big 12 will see how superior BYU is to other mid-majors and select them to join their ol’ boys club.

BYU is now the Dungeons and Dragons nerd asking out the hot girl. He saw it work in the movies and he is sure he has more to offer than all the dumb jocks she usually dates. They are soul-mates. They belong together. He just knows she’ll say yes.

Sorry, nerds. This is the real world. You are not getting invited to the Big 12 in two years. You are one illegitimate pregnancy away from fading into obscurity.

Quiet Dignity.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Europization of College Football

In light of the recent email scandal involving USU, BSU and Karl Benson, my sources remain assured that BYU will stay in the MWC and Utah State will join them. In other news, the following is a recent email thread discussing the future of college football:

(The names have NOT been changed in an effort to expose the not so innocent)

Chris- My solution to college football... they should have 4 BCS qualifier leagues which represent the four regions of the country. Then under each of the "super leagues" you have a tier 2 league that corresponds to each of the regions. The winner of each super league then moves on to play in the BCS championship playoff and the same thing happens with the champion of the tier 2 league. Similar to the European soccer leagues the bottom 2 teams in each of the super leagues would then be relegated (pushed down) to the 2nd tier league and the top 2 teams in the tier 2 league would then be pushed up to the top league.

I think this mode would create more interest as there would be very fun races both at the top and the bottom of conferences. This works really well in EU... any reason (other than money) that this wouldn't be a better system here?

(TBR Note: Chris is the closest thing we have on planet Earth to a traditional French Dandy. He flits around Europe on his Segway listening to his iPod in one ear, dreaming of fine chocolates, powdered wigs and musical theater. Oddly, he remains one of my closest friends. Oh, and he has a strange reaction to Asians, typically yelling something inappropriate like “Naka Naka!” when he sees a group of Japanese waitresses standing around smoking.)

Mike-Chris has been in Europe all ready too long - comparing the BEST sport in the world to soccer - child pls!!

(TBR Note: Mike is not black, but he is one of those bald-headed white guys from the Midwest who secretly wants to be black.)

Chris- While I don't refute your statement... wouldn't you enjoy seeing a Washington St getting kicked out of the PAC 10 for suckiness and seeing them replaced by a big time non-qualifier team. This would help light a fire under the Baylors, WSUs, and Dukes of the world to get their football programs together.

Doug-Permission to post this thread on TBR?

(TBR Note: Doug is the handsome and thoughtful author of TBR. He reminds most people of a high profile superhero, only with Brad Pitt’s face)

Chris-Yes, but you must also add the picture of the topless Russian woman that Michelle sent to all of you as well

(TBR note: I have not received said picture, sorry, won’t be able to post it here).

Brian- Why would school AD’s and Presidents want this?

(TBR Note: Brian is the soft spoken, high school football coach who eats children. I know, right?)

Chris- As Americans we assume that what ever we do is generally best. Its interesting to note that Soccer in EU brings in significantly more money than any other sport world wide. I believe that part of the allure is the organization (every team has the opportunity to rise to the top). I believe that this would generate more overall interest in college football and generate more revenue to grow the entire pie. The presidents and ADs of competitive programs would gain more money... you are of course correct that people who are not dedicated to winning should be scared.

Brian- How is the money going to be dished out? Will members of a conf still get a piece of the pie or is it winner take all? As well as how would scheduling work? I am all for finding a solution that would give us a true National Champion but this idea would be a massive change.

Lee- I feel like I'm getting a glimpse of Bingham as a French missionary - drinking all the local Kool-Aid, proclaiming it as international truth

(TBR Note: Lee is Mike’s little brother. Like most little brothers, Lee is a nasty little smart a** with devilish good looks and the inability to close the deal.)

Chris- I am all for massive change... Obama's healthcare plan would have worked if politicians hadn't been afraid of going after the real problems. Major change is what is needed. Money would be divided based on the league where they played. If a team like Duke loses year after year why should they have a high share of revenue. If a team like Boise continues to win why shouldn't they receive more revenue. The current system is based on socialist principles as conference bottom dwellers are continually supported by a couple teams at the top of the leagues.

I believe in taking the best from all places, mixing it together and coming up with that which is most valuable. It is akin to the beauty of taking Aggie ice cream, adding in Cache valley milk and "hand-mixing it" and getting a Village Inn shake!

Mike- all I know is that the BofM was found in the USA - and the rest of the world likes soccer/riots/need nets to sleep and not die.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Breaking BYU News

Sources close to Two Brothers Rant have confirmed that BYU will remain in the Mountain West Conference. While the details of the deal remain unknown, sources said that alterations to the television contract BYU has with the Mountain West will be made in order to accommodate a more lucrative TV deal for BYU.

Additionally, Utah State University will be invited to join fellow WAC members Nevada, Fresno State and Boise State as the 12th team in the Mountain West Conference. A 12-team conference will qualify the Mountain West to hold an annual conference championship for football.

Brigham Young University originally agreed to a deal that would move them to independent status for football and they would join the Western Athletic Conference for all other sports. League rumors claim they planned on bringing fellow MWC schools New Mexico and UNLV with them to the WAC, creating a much more powerful conference than the one Boise State left due to annual talk of poor strength of schedule.

When leaks of the deal reached offices of the Mountain West Conference, they immediately made a power play of their own, inviting at least three schools from the WAC (Nevada, Fresno, Utah State) to join the Mountain West.

Because they could not get a guarantee that the BYU deal with the WAC was done, Nevada and Fresno State decided to jump ship and join the MWC. This weakened the conference BYU was trying to create and halted their plans to move.

It is unclear whether the deal will be announced this year and go into effect for the 2011-2012 season or be pushed back another year, but sources have confirmed that this is the deal currently in place for BYU.

TBR will be a guest on The Woodshed Podcast Wednesday, August 25th to discuss these changes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Satan's Little Grocery


I don’t ask much from you, but if this post has any effect on you at all, please share it with someone else. I’m at my wits end and I don’t know who to turn to other than you.

There is nothing I can do about Wal-Mart. Me complaining to Wal-Mart and expecting any action is about as effective as peeing into the ocean and expecting it to poison Nancy Pelosi’s drinking water.

The government tells us certain companies are simply too big to fail. I say some companies are too big to care. Wal-Mart is too big to care and the $300 a month I spend there means less to them than a mouse sneeze means to the Rocky Mountains.

When you walk into Wal-Mart, signs everywhere say things like “Back to Savings” and “Price Rollback.” The signs might as well read “Give us your money and shut your damn mouth” or “Screw you, we don’t care.”

Why doesn’t Wal-Mart drop the façade already and just give the front line geezers each a Colt .45 and a bottle of Jack? I would prefer when I walk in for the old folks to stop fake greeting me and instead pull out the gun and drunkenly shout “Stick ‘em up!”

We are being taken advantage of, people. Yet we trudge in there 24 hours a day like junkies looking for one last hit. Don’t be tricked by the “good deals.” The last civilization to be this fooled by a seemingly good deal ended up with nothing but itchy blankets and strange red bumps on their skin.

All I wanted was a stick of deodorant, a tube of toothpaste and a thing of baby powder. All I wanted was to make sure your face to face interactions with me were as pleasant for you as possible. Is that asking too much?

Since Wal-Mart hates me, they only opened three cashier stations in the entire campus. So I stood for 17 minutes as the eighth person in a twelve person deep line. All three lines were equally long and stagnant. We did not move up ONE SPOT!

All three lines were being held up by those awful “coupon club” losers. (By the way, if you are one of those people who goes to those coupon clubs and then returns to Wal-Mart to haggle with the mentally challenged cashier to save $0.27 on a box of Totinos pizza, no offense, but I want you to die.)

Not one of the cashier lines were moving. Not once did someone in some sort of manager role come out and do the right thing. It’s not brain surgery…or even cooking ramen, right? Just ask the coupon clubbers to step into a “special saver” office and then gas it. Problem solved.

Look, I’m not heartless. Coupons are great, they save money, they help families stretch the dollar, they drive competitor prices down, etc. But the lady with the REI shorts and hip glasses and Banana Republic pullover can probably afford the extra twelve cents. Her Lexus was not brand new, but I don’t care what you say, a 2009 Lexus SUV is still a reliable automobile. I sincerely hope she accidentally dips her Totinos pizza in her discounted Clorox Bleach and her stomach eats her body from the inside out.

Complaining to Wal-Mart did me no good. I was told by one old man to go see that lady over there. That lady over there told me to find someone in that area. Someone in that area told me they didn’t have the staff to open more cashier stations, even when I pointed out that that lady over there had a name tag that said “cashier”. They “understood my frustration,” but “Unfortunately, there was just absolutely nothing they could do for me”.

My eyes were opened. It finally dawned on me. I felt like an 18th century African guy who finally realized he probably wasn’t on a 10 day luxury cruise. We are slaves to Wal-Mart, and until liberal college kids from the North convince the President to come to our rescue, we will remain under our master’s watchful gaze.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Funeral For a Friend (Sort of)...

Those of you who know brother number 2 of TBR also know that he just moved to Gonzaga to start his new life as a law school student. He bought a Mac Book and a satchel bag and he is ready for public transportation. He's dating a man named Bruce.

Fitting, I think, that I should write this touching song dedicated to the life he once lead and the man he hopes to become. Click on the video for this musical masterpiece. The lyrics are found below.

video

Goodbye little bro
Though I never liked you as kids
You had the strength to hold the ax
When you were nine years old.
You chased me round the basement,
And you whispered it to my friends
You said you were gonna chop me up
And watch me bleed to death

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing if I would share
All of my presents
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
You went to law school long before
Your legend ever did

Skinniness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Junior High created a superstar
Tackle was the position you played
You topped out at eighty pounds
Everybody still laughed at you
All the people had to say
Was that Adam was 6 foot two

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing if I would share
All of my presents
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
You went to law school long before
Your legend ever did

Goodbye Little Bro
Though I never liked you as kids
You had the courage to spike your hair
With a mullet down the back
Goodbye little bro
From the young man you looked up to all your life
Who sees more than just your red granny glasses
More than just our Little Bro

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing if I would share
All of my presents
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
You went to law school long before
Your legend ever did

Went to law school long before
Your legend ever did

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fantasy Football Drama



With the upcoming Fantasy Football season (as well as the NFL season, I forget sometimes they are linked), I was forced to send the following email to my long time Fantasy league (I basically just copied a letter I sent to a former girlfriend and replaced some of the words):

Dear League Owners,

I wish you’d understand. I’m just an ordinary man. And I know one day you’ll see, nobody has it easy. I still can’t believe you found somebody new. But I wish you the best…I guess.

I will be joining Jimmy in the ranks of retired league owners. Until Jimmy did it last week, I didn’t realize retiring from fantasy football was something you could do. Let me state it clearly: I have decided to take my talents to South Beach.

I know what you are thinking: Much like Magic Johnson, Doug is being forced to retire early from the game he loves so much. That is true, but unlike Magic, my retirement is not the result of a brief (but deadly) venture into homosexuality.

Please consider this email my official retirement. John Stockton style, not Brett Favre style.

I just have lost track of who to cheer for every time I watch a game, and I don’t have the skill set to keep track of the waiver wire or to even really know what the waiver wire is, exactly.

Typically my season goes like this: I don’t do any research before the draft other than buy a fantasy magazine on my way to the draft. Then, in an effort to be crafty, I end up drafting crappy players with hopes they will all have surprising seasons. They never do so by game 3 I lose interest and whoever plays me gets an automatic victory because I forget to make lineup adjustments due to bye weeks.

That’s just not fair to you guys. You deserve more. You deserve a better man in your life. We are growing apart. We never talk anymore, like we did in the old days. We used to have such fun, now I feel like we’re just letting the world go on below us and we are lost in time.

It’s my fault. I was mistaken. I thought my passion for Aggie sports would translate to passion for Aggie Fantasy Football. It didn’t work, and now I’m left sitting here with nothing but memories of broken dreams and empty promises.

I’ve loved my time with this league, but I’m just not cut out for it. I’d rather spend my time waiting for another episode of the Woodshed Podcast or reading blogs about politics or swimming with Derek or overhearing one side of a phone conversation about a big business deal. Those are the memories I will cherish. The essence of you.

But those memories are my past. This is my future. I need to spread my wings. You are suffocating me. I want to be with other fantasy football people and I just feel like a traitor when I’m with them. It’s not betrayal. We never agreed on anything!

Look, let’s not pretend this was something it’s not. We were just having a good time, hooking up, whatever. But now you want me to make a commitment and I just don’t feel ready. It’s not that I don’t like you, I do, but I don’t see myself with one person forever. I’m not you; I could never be like you! I don’t want your life! My dreams are in the stars, I won’t settle for the moon.

I’m sorry. Please, don’t cry. You won’t be able to guilt me out of this decision. I feel free. I feel liberated for the first time in a long time. I know you’ll find someone new. I hope we can still be friends. I hope Mandate still happens without any awkwardness because of this. We have a lot of the same friends; it wouldn’t be fair to either of us to leave that group.

Don’t you dare look at me like that! Stop accusing me! You don’t like my actions? You don’t know where I learned all this? You want the truth? I learned it from watching you, okay? I learned it from watching you.

I didn’t want this to turn into a fight, so I am just going to say goodbye. I will always think back on our time together with a smile dancing across my lips.

Hey, we’ll always have vampires in the Denver Village Inn and topless parking lot football. Never forget me, I won’t forget you. In my dreams, you still love me and we stay together. But it’s time to wake up now. It is time to wake up.

I will always think of you guys and our time together with fondness.

With a Love that will echo across the universe,

Doug Chambers
Owner, Derek’s Bum Fetish

PS- Fall is coming and bringing with it the return of real sports, we at TBR will be posting much more frequently.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Eat. Pray. Puke.



If one more person “finds themself” I’m going to lose it. Sudden moments of profound enlightenment are freaking gay. I’m tired of life being so poignant, with that one moment where it all comes together and the faint African drums start to get louder and the tribal singing ascends to that burst of understanding and emotion. I’m sick of everyone going to Africa, India and China for answers. Those countries don’t have the answers, they just have less technology.

Facebooking everybody about your spiritual journey is not the best first step. Tweeting your every move makes you uninteresting. Blogging your innermost thoughts and rants is basically telling the world, “Hey! Look at me! I need you to validate my existence!”

Do you want enlightenment?

The next time you look in the mirror and see a unique and special butterfly just emerging from her cocoon, remember this: It’s all been done.

They have stores dedicated to your one-of-a-kind look. Your “personal statement of style” is mass produced by skinny Chinese kids clinging to life for one more week. You want to go to China to find yourself? Pick up some outfits on discount while you’re there.

Oh, you’re in a band? You play underground music that the mainstream just isn’t ready for? Wow, that is super legit. Guess who else does that? 3 billion other nerds.

Your philosophies on the meaning of life are not yours; you stole them and are now trying to pass them off as unique. Nietzsche, Voltaire, Hobbes, Jesus, Plato, Socrates, Confucius and the rest all said it better than you ever will. Please stop trying to play it off as an original thought.

Speaking of Confucius, would liberals, hippies and hipsters please stop claiming him? The guy ran a school whose foundation was the teaching that government should be run only by men of high moral standing. None of this “his personal life doesn’t matter” bull crap.

To be fair to the left, though, the right needs to back off their assurance that Jesus would be on their side. I mean, I know saying stuff about selling all you have and giving it to the poor is pretty vague…but it seems he was less concerned about personal wealth. You never know. My gut tells me that if someone were to ask Jesus what side he takes when it comes to politics, he would probably respond with something silly like, “My Father’s side.”

Quit trying to find yourself. You aren’t even looking in the right place. Conforming to the standards of any group, whether it is conformist society or non-conformist group, is still conformity. People conform for one reason: security. To make them feel there are other weirdoes just like them out there. It doesn’t help them find themselves; it helps them lose themselves to the comfort of community. It helps fight off the loneliness.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Because I Have Been Given Much...

...I too must give. And by "give" I don't mean performing acts of service or donating money to poor people, I just mean I'm going to give some advice on TV shows.

Although the below video may be my favorite thing of all-time to watch repeatedly (every aspect of this is hilarious - white boyfriend pushes large black girlfriend who may or may not be a transvestite, shifty friend who looks like one of Fat Albert's Gang sits atop the swing set watching the action, lady loses weave thereby transforming into Biz Markee right before your eyes), there are some other things I love to watch.



Some people are born to paint. Others are natural born singers. I have been give the ability to critique TV shows, and just like the world would be incomplete without Mozart's music, Picasso's art, or Hemingway's writing, I feel I need to leave my mark on the world with a list of recent TV shows to watch before you die...at least shows to watch if you plan on dying within the next year, as there will likely be more shows to watch before you die if that is in another 70 years or so.

The shows are (in random order):

- Lost. But if you are lying on your deathbed and realize you only have time to watch some of it and not the full series, you only need to watch seasons 1, 2, 3, and 6. In those first three seasons, you are still mystified by the island and intrigued by the cast. In seasons 4 and 5 when they get into time travel and everything, you feel a little cheated and start blaming the writers/directors for laziness, and just keep hoping Kate dies. You have to watch season 6 (or if you're really in bad shape, just the last episode of season 6) to find out how it ends.

- Arrested Development. Although the lack of a laugh track caused the majority of TV watchin' hillbillies to "not get them jokes," this is the funniest show ever produced. Please stop being a dick and just agree to be in the movie, Michael Cera. I realize "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" looks like film making at its greatest and you have a hard time tearing away from epic films like this, but please do it for the fans.

- Dexter. It makes you feel a little more normal for all those times you've thought, "If I were to murder someone, here's how I would get away with it." It just appeals to that little serial killer in all of us.

- Prison Break. But only seasons 1 and 2. After that, you're like, hmmm...they've now broken out of three prisons in 2 countries, are saving the world from a secret organization, and the main character is doing all this with a brain aneurysm. The first two seasons are entirely improbable, but wildly entertaining. I think trying to figure out just exactly what race the main character is adds to the whole intrigue. He belongs to the same race as Carlos Boozer and Shane Battier.

- Mad Men. It's tricky deciding if you want to watch this one with your wife. On one hand, she will appreciate being a woman in 2010 rather than a woman in the 1960s. So she won't get so mad at you when you ignore your children and shirk all responsibility every so often to watch a football game when she realizes women used to have it worse. On the other hand, you will never be able to work late again without getting assaulted with questions about where you were and who you were with. Watching Don Draper's bad ass-ness will make you want to entirely change your attitude at work.

Promising shows still to be watched in their entirety before consideration: Breaking Bad, Flight of the Conchords, Eastward Bound and Down, The Sopranos, and Entourage. Any input is welcome on these if you have seen them.

Shows on the bubble that didn't make the cut: The Office (British and American - British for its difficulty in understanding at times, American for turning into a pile of crap after 3 seasons), Modern Family (still too new for full assessment), How I Met Your Mother (too much potential to start getting sappy as he starts nearing the meeting of Your Mother), The Soup and Tosh.0 (I just can't see justifying a talk show as a great series - although they are both hilarious. Tosh.0 more so than The Soup lately).

So, now when you have that talk with your doctor about how he's "sorry, you only have a week to live and probably won't even refill this prescription, blah blah blah" and you are trying to decide between getting things in order spiritually, passing wisdom and memories on to your children, or watching some good TV...I hope you will at least consider this list.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Movie Making History



I need you to pay attention to this one. I am about to make a statement I thought I would never make. The type of definitive statement that leaves me vulnerable to second thoughts, ridicule and ninja attacks. But I am going to make it anyway.

Before I do, though, I want to remind you that yes, I have seen The Godfather, The Godfather II, Fight Club, Braveheart, Gladiator, The Matrix, The Departed, The Sting, Ocean’s Eleven, A River Runs Through It, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Mary Poppins.

I’ve seen them all, yet I’m still going to say it:

Inception is the greatest movie ever made.

Not “one of the…”

Not “in my top ten…”

Seriously. THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE.

I left the movie theater with the chills. I left feeling like I had just attempted 8 simultaneous Sudoku puzzles. I left feeling disappointed in every other movie I have ever seen for not trying hard enough. I came away upset with myself for accepting mediocrity for so long.

Some movies make you cry because they are touching. Some make you cry from a sense of honor, courage or sacrifice. Some make you cry tears of sadness when witnessing human suffering.

Inception made me cry the way dropping out of the womb makes a newborn cry: I simply felt the newness of a life and reality I never knew existed. I didn’t know they could make movies this good. I didn’t know this quality of writing, directing and acting had even been invented.

Go see it.

Look, you’re not getting it. Go now. Leave work and go to the matinee. Pay twice though, and stay for the second showing. If you don’t love it, please stop reading the blog. In fact, if you don’t like it, I can’t imagine that you are literate enough or even have the basic computer skills required to read this blog, so…never mind.

Go see it, come back and tell me what it did to you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dear Raja

I would like to issue an open letter to Raja Bell for being possibly one of my favorite players of all time...mainly due to the video clip below.



Dear Raja,

Words cannot express how happy I am you are coming back to Utah. Even greater is the way in which you came back. As a Jazz fan, I have resigned myself to never beating the Lakers in the playoffs. Now, regardless of what happens in the playoffs, at least Utah can say they stuck it to L.A. for once.

By blowing off your meeting with Kobe "Brokeback" Bryant, thereby showing no interest in the Lakers, you have made me a lifelong fan. It may have just been a decision based on the fact that Utah could pay you more than L.A., but I like to think it's because you have as much hatred for the Purple and Gold and No. 24 as I do. I have watched this video of you clotheslining Captain Underbite more than my wedding video.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had brought up the possibility of looking for a new team to cheer for this year. It seemed every team was making big free agent moves this off-season to better their chances at a title - with the exception of Utah. I was only a little excited about Al Jefferson as I felt it was simply a lateral move when Carlos Boozer left. And when Utah drafted Gordon Hayward...well, let's just say they could've drafted Gordon Lightfoot and I would've had the same reaction.

But now, with you on the roster, dear Raja, I will watch cheer for Utah louder and prouder than ever before, for no other reason than hoping for that .001 percent chance that you will recreate your manhandling of Sister Bryant.

Thank you, Raja, for ringing my Bell.

Sincerely,

TBR

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's All Good



President Obama has seen a consistent drop in approval ratings, to a point where he is approaching George Bushian standards only a year and a half into his reign. Those polled cited various factors that led them to express disappointment in the current administration:

“A major campaign promise Obama made was to reach across the aisle and teach both sides the value of compromise. I didn’t realize compromise meant those that disagree with him are wrong and need to see the light. Any candidate could have said that.” --Clark Douglas

“I voted for Obama because of the stance he took against George Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina…but this oil spill is a bigger disaster and Obama has done even less than Bush!” –Mike Sandalwood

“I’m against the Patriot Act, I think it’s unconstitutional. So when President Obama reinstated the Patriot Act, I guess I was just very disappointed.” --Sarah Manuella

“One of the platforms he ran on was job creation. I thought he was talking about creating real jobs, not just government roadwork jobs.” –Dave Largent

“I voted for Obama because he is black. Sure, he ran as a junior senator with only three years on the job, with no previous leadership experience. And yeah, someone that unqualified would never be on the ticket if they were white. So what? I know his inexperience is showing, and he has basically sold out the American spirit to kowtow to the rest of the world. And maybe he has done a pretty crappy job so far…but come on. He’s black. Black people are cool.” --Name Withheld (The first person ever to be honest about why they really voted for Obama.)

Personally, I think these voters are all being a little too harsh. I mean, before President Obama was elected we had that whole mortgage crisis and that has been solved. We had the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and those are seeing a reduction in troops…uh…someday.

Plus, George Bush created that whole Global Warming fiasco but look around you; does it feel like the Earth is heating up anymore? Clearly Obama has cured Global Warming. You know, Obama has done such a good job fighting Global Warming, it is almost as if Global Warming never really existed…

Anyway, many Obama voters have a growing concern that their needs and the needs of the country are not being met. They feel President Obama is absolutely not following through on the promises he made to be elected. In response to these concerns, the White House recently issued the following video explaining their side of the current state of the union:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sunday Conversations


The following is an excerpt from a recent Instant Message conversation between the writers of Two Brothers Rant. We are discussing some of the flaws in The Dark Knight:

DC- Oh, uh...I have this random sonar thing that is totally unethical and listens to everyone's conversations...and somehow I can recognize the Joker and he's in a building with an elaborate scheme. Also, he knows about my sonar and is expecting me to find him. But it's all ok because I'm Batman and uh...I don't know… I'm doing this for love or honor, or something.

AC- Oh, hello commissioner. I hope I'm not bothering anybody, but I was just in here at the crime lab looking over some documents and evidence to put together an air tight case. "What's that you say Batman?" Commissioner says, as he turns around, only to find Batman has disappeared like a thief into the night (or daylight in Batman's case)

DC- The prisoner in your police investigation won't cooperate? Give me some time with him. I'll rough him up while you guys watch...but he'll get the better of me and say things like "This is a problem your muscles can't fix." and I'll get embarrassed and act like a roided up head case. I'm Batman.

AC- And if all else fails, I'll read a poem to the prisoners regarding the line between right and wrong and who the true hero of Gotham City is. Followed by blowing something up and randomly falling off my motorcycle and getting injured. I’m Batman.

DC- Just so you know, I can fall ten stories and immediately scamper off into the night, but low speed motorcycle crashes nearly cripple me (but only sometimes, usually I can take it).
By the way, recent happenings in TV and movies make me think executives had the following conversation at one point: "You guys know what was really good? The 80's. Let's just redo the 80's, but with fancy special effects and better trained martial artists."

AC- Seriously.

DC- How the heck did Batman get those fingerprints off the bullet hole in the wall? And once he had the fingerprint, what did that lead to? I’m confused.
AC-If I remember right he reconstructed it. How do you reconstruct a bullet and fingerprints? And furthermore, was there any question who did it? Isn't that the point of Batman? He already knows who the bad guys are. One clue might have been that painted face lunatic running around blowing stuff up and shooting people. I knew it was him, even w/out the fingerprints to strengthen my case

DC- Is Joker going to be sitting in court and the prosecution will lose because they don't have an airtight forensics case? It's like "well, he announced his reign of terror, a bunch of people saw him carry out his reign of terror, he was caught in the middle of his reign of terror...but I'm afraid we are going to have to drop charges cause we can't get a solid fingerpr---, Oh, thanks Batman, this reconstruction of yours came in the nick of time."

AC- Yeah, but what kind of weight would that reconstruction hold in court. “Where did you get that fingerprint Batman?” “Well, I shot about 12 bullets into a wall, then I took the bullet out of the wall, ran in under a computer thingy and synthesized fingerprints. I can make that bullet belong to anyone! Hey, I could make a case against Abraham Freaking Lincoln for that murder w/ my print synthesizer!”

DC- He could solve all sorts of crimes with that technology. He probably knows who shot JFK.

AC- Just think about real life scenarios: There's a traffic accident at lunch time at Batman is just walking around with a notebook looking for clues. Sort of just in the background looking for things. It doesn't really make him superhero-ish

DC- Jotting down notes on his little brown clipboard...making clever observations. Hitting middle age, kind of getting a little older, a bit lazier, sort of chubby.
AC- Sitting there in briefing meetings at the start of shifts and the Lt. says, "Well, what do you have for us Batman." Then Batman stands up with a little extra flab in his suit to review the clues and everyone chuckles. Batman says, "Don't you know who I am? I once took down the Scarecrow and the Joker!" But no one would really believe him b/c they would think those are made up villains

DC- He loses his self confidence and start showing up with sweaty armpits and a 5 o'clock shadow. "I rode my Bat Bike here today." "Sure you did Batman" snicker the younger guys.

AC- So they start using him undercover. Think about it, it would be nothing for some drug dealer to see a guy in a bat suit ask you to sell him some drugs. So you do it, and suddenly the sirens are blaring and the new hot shot detective says, "Well done, Batman." Then the movie ends with the echo of a voice saying "well done ,Batman" as he wipes away a tear, buffs off his Batman Logo, then in his own voice, not the actual music, he goes Dun-Dun-Du-Dun Dun (Batman music) then he runs off into the night By the way, there was a girl w/ Turrets at Chili's yesterday.

DC- Was she yelling swears?

AC- Yeah sometimes, she yelled Cheater a lot

DC- CHEATER! Do turrets people type their swears too?

AC- I don't know. But it would be funny to have deaf turrets, cause they'd yell words that don't sound quite right in that deafy accent. CHEATUH!!

DC- lol

AC- Are you really laughing out loud?

DC- Yeah. For the first time I typed that because it was the best way to respond to what I did when I read "CHEATUH!" and thought of a deaf kid yelling it.

AC- I'm going to start saying LOL instead of laughing. Like if someone tells me a joke or if something funny happens, I'll just dead pan "lol"

DC- Mine was the world's second sincere LOL (the first time someone typed it they had to be sincere, right?)

AC- Yeah that's probably true. I don't think the first person that used IMHO meant it though. I don't think they actually considered their opinion to be humble

DC- I thought it was “In my honest opinion?” Which is redundant as well, I guess. So which is it? Is there a dictionary?

AC- I don't know. That could be something though, a text/chat dictionary. It could be pretty funny. I wonder how long until words like cuz and tonite are accepted as real grammar

DC- lol. ur so fne

AC- OMG B Nyc!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Generation


Driving to lunch the other day, I was listening to a hip, young radio station. Usually I listen to sports talk radio, but since I would rather listen to deaf kids trying to harmonize than the Doug Gottlieb Show, I went with the standby music station.

A caller requested California Girls, which I thought was a strange request from the 15-year-old girl calling in. I didn't mind, though. The Beach Boys were a staple in my house growing up, and you can never go wrong with a classic. Instead of the high-pitched shrills of Brian Wilson, however, came a funky new Katy Perry song featuring Snoop Dogg.

Like a slap in the face, I realize I now have a "generation."

I started thinking about other defining icons of my generation that are now unheard of:

If you've ever zig zagged Bo Jackson up the field in Tecmo Bowl, you're from my generation.

If I tell you Girbauds were once the hottest thing and you don't have to Google "Girbaud" to know what I'm talking about, you're from my generation.

If I tell you it's best to start your trek in March as a banker, but not push it at a gruelling pace or Zeke might come down with Typhoid - and you know exactly what I'm talking about - you're from my generation.

If you still consider Mossimo to be a classy brand that you buy in upscale department stores, and not the generic, cheap brand at Target, you're from my generation.

If you've ever had Fruit Stripe gum and still remember the song from the Dunkaroos commercial, you're from my generation.

If you used to wear overalls with one strap undone, you're from my generation.

If you could answer any...and I mean ANY...question correctly in Saved by the Bell Trivia, you're from my generation.

If you see No. 23 on a jersey and immediately think of Michael Jordan and not Lebron James, you're from my generation.

If you ever anxiously awaited for the new Beckett to come out to assist you in trading cards (baseball, not Pokemon) with your friends, you're from my generation.

The list could go on, but I'm not sure I want it to. I still like to think I'm one of those rad guys that's down with it. But then I realize I'm just another dude looking back at my glory days saying things like "rad" and "down with it."

Oh well. I'm going to go play He-man versus Thundercats with my action figures now.