Arch Stanton Guest Posting: BACHELORETTE CAST 2018

DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS?!?!?!? It’s time to embrace our/my inner cattiness and get judgy on people far more handsome than me! Let’s ignore all the anti-bully campaigns and make fun of some people who decided to embarrass their parents in public on television instead of in private like the rest of us!

In case you forgot (you almost certainly did), our soon-to-be-unlucky in love Bachelorette is Becca Kufrin won last year with Arie, in the sense she didn’t actually have to marry the most boring human being who ever lived. She was originally selected by Arie to be his wife-to-be, and then he decided instead to propose to a piece of unseasoned-tofu that had developed human trait (she goes by Lauren). So here we are with Becca who gets to try one decent asshole out of a flock of dudes who can afford to take four months off from their “jobs”.

For reference, this is what I said about Becca prior to the last season – “She mentioned her favorite movie is Sister Act 2, and then calls the Sister Act 2 soundtrack her favorite album. Not Sister Act, but Sister Act 2. This is a woman who knows what she’s about, and I respect the hell out of it. Her bucket list includes owning a dog – YOU DON’T “OWN” A DOG BECCA YOU BEFRIEND THEM. Other than her questionable perspective here, she looks like she would like a huge hairy dog, so needless to say, she is my favorite so far.”

Let’s get into our 28 lovable scamps!

Alex: Construction Manager from Atlanta, Georgia. He likes boating, which is the most Georgia thing. You aren’t considered a man in Georgia until you go through the right of passage of being arrested for operating a boat under the influence.

Blake: Sales Rep from Bailey, Colorado. He looks like a douched-up version of Johnny Manziel, which is a true feat. Believes in order to truly be in love, both people need to be independent, which is a roundabout way of saying he is a big fan of Dionne Warwick’s “Two Ships Passing in the Night”.

Chase: Advertising VP from Sanford, Florida. OOHOHOH this dude looks so punchable. He looks like if Zorro was into trying to pick up your mom at a bar.

Chris: Sales Trainer from Orlando, Florida. Looks like if the guys from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” got a hold of Ron Perlman. Originally from New York but relocated to Florida to go to college, Chris personifies the worst America has to offer.

Christian: Banker from San Diego, California. He lists banker as his occupation as if he’s going to trick us into thinking he’s leveraging deals for Goldman Sachs, but he’s really just a teller at a regional credit union. Originally from Mexico and considers himself a natural athlete, but is afraid of spilling something on himself in front of a date. So in other words, probably not that great of an athlete.

Christon: Former Harlem Globetrotter from Los Angeles, California. FORMER HARLEM GLOBETROTTER?!?! That’s gotta be the coolest job of the season. His profile says, “now a professional dunker in LA, Christian hopes finding love with the Bachelorette will be a lay-up” – so does he currently play for the Harlem Globetrotters or not? He’s covering for gaps in his resume.

Clay: Pro Football Player from Chicago, Illinois. I looked up to see if he actually plays for the Chicago Bears (he doesn’t), but he did play for the Eagles, Jaguars, Patriots, Lions and Saints; in other words, he made a real impact everywhere he went. He lists himself as a free agent, but he really means he has yet to accept the reality he isn’t playing football professionally anymore. He notes he doesn’t even curse! Well fuck him.

Colton: Former Pro Football Player from Denver, Colorado. Jesus two NFL players? At least this one is self-aware enough to identify himself as a “former” player. He’s profile is boring, but he used to date Aly Raisman, so we’re watching a real-life slide into irrelevance, starting with “NFL player” to “significant other of former Olympian” to “also-ran on the Bachelor”. He’ll probably do well here since he looks like if Blake Griffin was fully white.

Connor: Fitness Coach from St Petersburg, Florida. His profile states he “had the opportunity to play professional baseball for the Atlanta Braves before diving into his current profession”, like he could have been a highly paid athlete but instead opted to be a trainer at a gym instead. Nice try, Connor .

Darius: Pharmaceutical Sales Rep from Sherman Oaks, California. I can’t tell if his hairline is receding or if he has the biggest forehead on the planet. You could land a F35 on that thing. Says he’s a fun-loving Milwaukeean – why do all these assholes list a city but then say they’re from somewhere else? THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS DAMNIT.

David: Venture Capitalist from Denver, Colorado. David looks like he would be into tickling. I can also tell I will never make it on this show, because every person says they love fitness or exercise, and I could never say that with a straight face. Says he loves guacamole but hates avocado. You know what, fuck you David, fuck you.

Grant: Electrician from Danville, California. Claims he’s very sarcastic – you ever notice how people describe themselves as sarcastic like that makes them interesting in lieu of an actual personality and not the result of some crippling character defect they refuse to address? Anyway, looks like if a fourth grader tried to draw a picture of Matt Damon from memory.

Garrett: Medical Sales Rep from Reno, Nevada. Did you know some animals evolve with their eyes facing forward for depth perception to help with hunting, while others develop their eyes on the opposite side of their skull for greater range of vision against possible predators? Garrett looks like an antelope about to flee a leopard on the Serengeti is what I’m trying to say. He is also very proud of his Chris Farley impression – you know how one dildo always wear an outfit the first night? Garrett is definitely that dildo.

Jake: Marketing Consultant from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Looks like if Lord Farquaad from Shrek melted a little bit after being left too close to an open flame. He rides dirt bike and writes poetry. I will bet money he has fridge magnets with shit like “[drunk] [dog] [eats] [hotdog]”.

Jason: Senior Corporate Banker from Seattle, Washington. “A successful banker with a heart of gold!” (puke). “…rooting for his hometown Buffalo Bills…” (PUKE). “…belting out tunes from his favorite Disney movies…” (asphyxiates from all the puke like John Bonham or Keith Moon). Your mom’s favorite contestant.

Jean Blanc: Colognoisseur from Pensacola, Florida. What the hell is a ‘colognoisseur’, I’m sure you’re asking? I’m going to guess he works a cologne counter at a JCPenny that’s going out of business.He claims he has a large collection of cologne. A French guy who’s really into cologne – what women wouldn’t be into him.

Joe: Grocery Store Owner from Chicago, Illinois. In previous years, there were a bunch of answers to stock dating questions, but this year they just list two or three not-especially-informative sentences. They really robbed us from learning about our contestants favorite books (Harry Potter), music (country) and who they’d eat lunch with (Gandhi and dead grandfather). Anyway, Joe seems like he’ll do well.

John: Software Engineer from San Francisco, California. Likes wine tasting, playing guitar and making his world-famous banana bread. OH YEAH IF IT’S SO WORLD-FAMOUS HOW COME I’VE NEVER HEARD OF IT HUH JOHN. MY MOTHER MAKES THE BEST BANANA BREAD AND I’M SURE SHE HAS A THING OR TWO TO SAY ABOUT WHATEVER STEAMED LOAF OF GARBAGE YOU CALL ‘BREAD’.

Jordan: Male Model from Crystal River, Florida. Do you know where Crystal River, Florida is? It’s near NOTHING, so that means our pal has definitely wrestled an alligator and is familiar with at least one or two types of fraud. I bet Jordan does well until he has to actually say something.

Kamil: Social Media Participant from Monroe, New York. This is going to shock you but Kamil is a white guy, which is already the upset of the show. He lists his occupation as “social media participant.” I hope he is routinely shamed on those social media outlets for his trifflin’-ass bullshit of a listed career. I regret previously telling David to fuck off so emphatically when Kamil is the one who really deserves it.

Leo: Stuntman from Studio City, California. I was so prepared to make a joke about he looks like Jason Mamoa, but then it turns out he probably actually does that professionally. There are worst ways to go through life than “Jason Mamoa stand-in”. Prefers to keep his hair in a messy bun – I bet he gives Becca a messy bun hairdo of her own after a night in the Fantasy Suites if you catch my drift. /goes for high five

//misses

///falls down swinging

////rolls all the way down the stairs behind you

Lincoln: Account Sales Executive from Los Angeles, California. Named after Abraham Lincoln, but from Nigeria originally, which seems like an anachronism. Dude has a flat top in 2018, and that means he’s got nothing to lose. A true wild card.

Mike: Sport Analyst from Cincinnati, Ohio. If you are blessed enough to follow @PFTCommenter, this guy looks like the handsome version of him, like if Fabio ran a blog about minor league baseball. He likes festivals, horse races, state fairs and his bulldog, Riggins, named after the Friday Night Lights character. Because of the huge overlap between sports bloggers and Bachelor fans, everyone scrambled to find him after the cast announcement, to which he owned up to after responding, “when did they start letting nerds on this show?” I like Mike.

Nick: Attorney from Orlando, Florida. Wears his signature tracksuit, and proclaims a zest for life and the weekends. How original. Looks like Avicii in a funhouse.

Rickey: IT Consultant from San Diego, California. Wore a fucking bowtie with a track jacket to his picture, so either the ballsy person I’ve ever met, or the worst sense of style on the planet. Hipster fashion! Other than the incredible fashion, looks like DJ Khalid after a few months of Weight Watchers (/finger to ear piece) I’m told DJ Khalid has been on Weight Watchers for a few months already, and looks exactly the same. So let me update – DJ Khalid if the Weight Watchers actually worked.

Ryan: Banjoist from Manhattan, California. To start, you can’t be a banjoist from California. That’s cultural appropriation if I’ve ever seen it. I originally had a joke about how it’d be like if you played ukulele in Massachusetts, BUT HE ALSO PLAYS UKULELE AND IS FROM CAPE COD. Ryan is a tool, and way too tan to boot.

Trent: Realtor from Naples, Florida. Originally from Iowa, I was about to say Trent looks like the most normal person, but he immediately divulges he also models and has been on the cover of romance novels (note the plural!). Those have to be the either the most bawdy or most tame romance novels ever. (On second thought, all romance novels fall into one of these two categories).

Wills: Graphic Designer from Los Angeles, California. Lest you think I could POSSIBLY make a typo (I’ve read things I’ve posted – flawless, every single one with nary a typo or error or grammatical mistake!), his name is actually “Wills”. Wills likes Los Angeles, design and… HARRY POTTER. The Bachelorette editorial staff knows what we all came here for!

My final four – Alex, Colton, Joe, Leo, with Joe ultimately winning by actually losing. Darius. Jason or Jordan seem like good bets to be the season villain.

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Arch Stanton Guest Post: Introduction to Metal

One of my life’s biggest laments is that I am forced to trawl music blogs for good metal music. You see, none of my friends are cool enough to listen to the metal genre and save me from being forced to read idiots complain about music on their blogs. Today, this idiot is going to EDUCATE about music on his blog, in the hopes that maybe he could entice some people into giving metal a chance.

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I understand the reluctance to listening to metal: the obscene amounts of leather outfits, Cookie Monster-vocals, vulgar cover art, band names and song titles/lyrics (cough cough Cannibal Corpse), and a musicality many people would politely refer to as “four douche bags in black t-shirts who can’t play their instruments”. All of these are very fair assumptions and concerns; as I mentioned, I have been subjected to the taint of the metal scene in searching for bands who actually put some effort into learning their instruments or finding a vocalist who doesn’t hate his dad.  This primer hopes to show you some metal bands who still embody metal with singers you can understand with the throbbing guitar riffs that make metal so goddamn awesome.

I took some of my favorite bands and broke them into three different categories – beginner, intermediate, and advanced – so you can dabble to your comfort level, and so I can talk about my favorite songs. No one said this wouldn’t be self-indulgent. The best metal balances a fine line between “fucking awesome” and “this is so corny” – your breakdowns and solos better make up for extended lyrics about love-making orcs. I will point out the corniest shit so you can see metal is not nearly as intense as these dorks tend to imagine themselves as.
(Note to anyone who happens to stumble across this looking to claim ‘THESE AREN’T REAL METAL BANDS, THEY’RE SLUDGE/STONER/GRIND’ – just fuck right off. This is why no one likes metal fans. They argue endlessly about the classification of a band versus, ya know, appreciating them. This is a second reason I don’t have any other fans who like metal – metalheads tend to be the most obnoxious people.)
BEGINNER: These bands each feature relatively crisp vocals and heavy-but-not-alienating riffs and rhythms. Most of these bands have a pretty straight delineation from Black Sabbath, so heavy chords, but not especially fast or oppressive. When I run very, very slowly, these bands are my go-to because the tempo is steady and predictable. In other words, these are metal bands you can get stoned and listen to.
The Sword: From Austin, TX, these guys sing a lot about Norse mythology, which was pretty cheesy until Thor became the guidepost for best Marvel movies, and now Norse mythology is cool! Their bass lines are not the most oppressive on this list, nor are their drums the most overwhelming, or the guitars fiercely intimidating, but all together they have a heavy groove-based style that real geeks me out. They are a direct descendant of Black Sabbath — the music video for “How Heavy This Axe” is a… parody? homage? to Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” video from the 70’s to a T. But check out “Lament for the Aurochs’ from Age of Winters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1h4cbPEfWs) — look at that cheesy-ass French art-noveau style album work! I love it so much.
Torche: I first checked out Torche because I saw a review of their album Harmonicraft called them “bubble gum metal,” and if that description doesn’t fascinate you, well, you probably don’t like metal that much. Or bubble gum. I don’t know your business. It’s hard to describe why that tag fits – soaring guitar riffs that butt up against bass lines designed to pull you into the earth. If you check out Torche, make sure you put your speakers/headphones to maximum-bass, because these guys really embrace the “it goes to eleven” of bass. You will feel it in bones, and that is rad as hell. The vocals for Torche tickle me, because I always imagine lead singer Steve Brooks standing like six feet from the mic as he sings like he’s trying to project to the International Space Station. I saw them live, and that’s pretty much exactly what he does. Listen to “Loose Men” off the Restarter album (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baCPf7W8fgc), but really the Harmonicraft album is top-to-bottom nearly perfect and worth listening to.
Baroness: I would describe Baroness’ sound as naturistic. I know that’s not a word, but it all feels very natural and the type of shit I would listen to on a beautiful spring afternoon walking through a field of blossoming flowers, but like, with a metal band singing about Sherman’s March. We’ll call it ‘vernalcular’, as in ‘vernal equinox’. Roll with it. Baroness’ lead man Jonathan Dyer Baizley’s voice is so great – he’s one of the few who actually kind of sing in different octaves, and he manages to convey real emotion in these songs in way most others on this list can’t. Besides “mad” obviously, they all do that one pretty well. My favorite song of theirs is “Take My Bones Away” due to the coordinated, cresting guitars in the solo, but I would recommend “If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain?)” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHPTd8RrDgk) — it manages to be heartrendingly sad but mixed with an optimism. Gives me chills every time I hear it.
Red Fang: Where Baroness is sincere and elegant, Red Fang is the polar opposite. My favorite song of theirs, “Prehistoric Dog” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VufilzHKTqk) opens with the lines “dogs that howl from outer space” in a music video where they shotgun tallboys and yell at guys LARP-ing in a park. I recommend you watch this video if only merely for the armor made out of empty beer cans. Do not confuse the full awareness of their corniest distract you from the riffs — these dudes bang. Sharp, plodding rifts are the big takeaway here, not that they made a music video devotion to the movie Predator.
INTERMEDIATE: We’re getting to heavier riffs and more growling vocals, but still relatively accessible compared to the depths of the metal genre. I think someone new to the genre can find a lot to appreciate here — I really never fully got into the genre until listening to Mastodon. On that note…
Mastodon: Possibly my favorite band ever, if not Queens of the Stone Age. The band name perfectly encapsulates their sound – heavy, plodding, hairy and mean. They wildly evolved over the course of their albums, starting with leaning on Brent Hinds to snarl through vocals like he was trying to blow down the houses of the three little pigs, but eventually giving forking more of that responsibility to Troy Sanders and Brann Dailor and delving into wacky time signatures resembling those of our Canadian overlords Rush. I am at a loss for what to recommend to a newcomer to Mastodon – do we go with something from Remission, their heaviest and least polished album, or maybe Leviathan, a concept album based on Moby Dick (remember when I said the best metal runs the fine line on corny and awesome?), or maybe Crack the Skye, a seven song masterpiece that essentially involves a paraplegic astral projecting to a parallel universe where he does battle with a cult from the future who worship Rasputin? If I wanted to really get to you like Mastodon I would recommend something off their Once More ‘Round the Sun or Emperor of Sand, far more accessible to a newbie, but no – MARCH OF THE FIRE ANTS (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uShqlufsq5w). I bet everyone who listens to that hates it, but man I want to fight an entire army listening to it. This song should be the soundtrack to Jurassic Park deleted scenes where the T Rex just stomps every person into dust; but as he’s snuffing the life out of Chris Pratt or Dallas Howard, there’s a moment it looks like they’ll escalate, but JUST KIDDING, you are being curb stomped through the crust of the planet. FUCK this song gets me worked up.
Metallica: Whatever, you know Metallica. If you can appreciate Metallica, you are halfway to appreciating metal. They are the platonic ideal of metal. Their first five albums (Kill Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, …And Justice for All and the Black Album) will go down as the greatest streak a band has ever had. Suck it, Beatles. Their other albums, uhhh, will be forgotten entirely. You know a dozen Metallica songs, but check out this live version of “Master of Puppets” from 1989 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gtf5-PjqRg) — tell me you don’t get the appeal now. How could a hormonal teen before internet porn get that pent-up energy out before a band who got absolutely loaded every night, fucked every groupie possible and sang about various ways to kill each other told them how? If time travel is every invented, I’m going to a Metallica concert circa 1989, where I will be promptly punched in the face.
Mutoid Man: I was on the fence about putting them in the beginner or here, but then remembered no one reading this gives a shit, and I needed to round out the numbers a bit, so here we are. The vocals here are pretty clean, with some real magnificent odes to Ronnie James Dio throughout their catalog and they lean heavily on a thrashing bass line, but the rhythms are much quicker than most of what was detailed in the beginner part. As my responsibility to detail the corny parts of metal bands who are still kicking ass – “Date with the Devil” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1griB-cC10). Not my favorite song by them by any means, but the riff still knocks you back into your seat. This is the song because I really need to talk about the lyrics — “climbed all over Satan’s daughter / nothing’s ever made me harder” and “came inside of Satan’s daughter / nine months later, who’s the father?” and “i did the walk of shame from hell” — somehow, these lines are still not enough to push this song from “metal” to “corny”.
Black Tusk: You can tell it’s a metal band because they are “black” something for a band name. I would list all of the metal bands that have black in their name, but because time is finite and we are all one step closer to death everyday, I will not waste your time or mine. Black Tusk is similar to Red Fang in the sense they do not take themselves too seriously, with song titles like “Set the Dial To Your Doom”, “Desolation in Endless Times” and “God is on Vacation”, an album titled Taste the Sin and a song that opens with Andrew Fidler yelling, “SIX! SIX! SIX!”. That’s the devil’s number you guys, if you didn’t know, and them singing that means they are HARDCORE. The guitar work here is super riff driven – is it the most technical? No, but you will be headbanging to every song. Listen to “Resistor” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1AV9-K0Lj4&list=PLT3u6m6ilncwOjjbJu78_H9y2yXDxgE9j&index=8) but only because I couldn’t find a good version of “The Ride” on Youtube.
ADVANCED: There’s going to be some screaming, fast rhythms, and bruising chords. PREPARE YOURSELF.
Deafheaven: I have recently come to the conclusion “Sunbather” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylTY9WbMGDc) is one of my favorite songs of all time. Remember when I made up the word “vernalcular”? It describes Deafheaven so well. “Sunbather” is about the time lead singer George Clarke drove through San Francisco suburbs and first understood income inequality; you will not discern this deeper meaning from the lyrics without looking them up. They sift from downtrodden isolated guitars to a wall of sound impenetrable to someone unfamiliar, but this song paints a gut-wrenching sad soundscape reminiscent of the ‘denial’ stage of Kubler’s model of grief, but gently turns a corner into ‘anger’ about five minutes in where we shift from a major key into a minor, suddenly giving a much more hostile edge to the tone of the song. In spite of this, the song resolves itself and ends on an emotional breakthrough with a glint of optimism. This is almost always the first song I play in my car, and yes, I scream until my throat is raw. I. Love. This. Song.
Lamb of God: Originally named “Burn the Priest”, they changed to something with more mainstream accessibility. I don’t know what the point of this move was, because it’s not like mom was suddenly going to check out “Ashes of the Wake” because of the name change. Same thing goes to you, 2 Chainz, previously known as Titi Boi. Lamb of God is probably the most technically proficient and complex group on this list – you many not be able to get past Randy Blithe incredibly blistering vocals, but I like to imagine people can recognize the guitar work Mark Morton puts in (NOTE – I know you don’t). I saw them once in concert, and they dedicated the “Eleventh Hour” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HpBs_ri808) to anyone who served in the armed forces, and are notoriously famed for being aggressively cool to veterans. Anyway, the breakdown here brings the roof in every single show, and how could it not?!? I’m writing this and looking out my apartment window for someone walking down the street for someone to start fighting.
Meshuggah: This is your final. “Bleed” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc98u-eGzlc). The video is gross and disorienting and violent and features bugs and flash photography with the most brutal of riffs and drums and vocals. The first time I heard Meshuggah, I thought it was a Tool b-side until I heard the song opened up like sinkhole to the center of the earth, and I thought, “even Maynard James Keenan isn’t this angry”. Meshuggah is oppressively heavy, fast, technical and organized chaos, and here to fucking disembowel you with their interludes. Solos? Nah, they’d rather blow your head open with fucking lightning bolts through your skull  with their riffs. There is no mercy in Meshuggah. You listen to Meshuggah for one reason, and that is to start a fucking riot.
Anyway, I could go on for hours more with other bands and songs I like, but I have cars I need to flip because I mistakenly listened to Meshuggah without an outlet to use this adrenaline. To reward you for indulging me this far, here’s Baroness and Mutoid Man covering “Purple Rain”, the most perfect song every devised (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5PXu34mYGA).

Arch Stanton Guest Posting: Brave Citizens Clash Against the Bloated Bureaucracy

If you happened to have missed the latest edition of the New York Post, which as red-blooded patriots, I am sure you did in favor of a more reputable publication, the Wall Street Journal or the Weekly World News, you missed a report of citizens grasping liberty from the jaws of governmental overreach (https://nypost.com/2018/04/28/snooty-dog-owners-hijacked-nyc-park-for-private-kennel-club/). To summarize, these proud citizens recaptured a public Tribeca dog park from a neglectful city hall who had presumably let the park lapse into disarray.
Our soon-to-be-celebrated private citizens channeled their inner revolutionary and put on their best Boston Tea Party outfits and installed a lock on a public dog park, charging an annual fee in order to take care of the park with twenty-two rules, while barring the unruly dogs from entering. When the New York Parks Department was pressed on how such a mutiny could occur under the watchful eye of Big Brother, they responded it “flew under the radar,” probably because they “never received any complaints.” There were never any complaints due to the unyieldingly fair and nonpartisan guiding hand of the free markets, dictating that a small park run privately is far preferable to another strongfisted government agency.
Lest you think these Galt-ian New Yorkers were anything but burgeoning patriots, the article notes a local was turned away with her poodle puppy – no stereotyping or prejudice to be found here! Some of these other “iron fisted rules” (the article’s term included “no food, no children under twelve allowed, and no socially inept dogs permitted”) – if we add in a cocktail bar, this sounds like pooch paradise to me. The fees generated by the park were used to pressure wash the blacktop (New York sounds like a wonderful place to live) three times a week, as well as general maintenance, repairs and supplies – surely the red taped-lined corridors of City Hall could have done better! Oh wait, they didn’t notice for at TEN years. (New York Secretary of State information reveals this non-profit corporation was incorporated 10/03/2008).
One interviewee, Vladimir Lenin Liwah Lai, remarked, “why would I pay for something that should be free?”, forcing a tear down Ronald Reagan’s cheek – of course, assuming Ronnie was even capable of shedding tears. This blight on society was countered by proud denizen and Dog Owners of Tribeca leader, Shirley Jaffe, who responded with, “we were quite happy not having Parks involved all these years. No one wants this.”
My heart swells with pride, like hearing the Star Spangled Banner during the gold medal ceremony during an event the Canadians were originally predicted to win, hearing about these courageous and gallant citizens wrestling liberty away from the haughty clutches of a bloated and indifferent bureaucracy. A hearty cheers to you, friends!

Arch Stanton Guest Post: A Sampling of Northern Maine Vernacular and Stories

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Last fall, a bird hunting expedition returned me to my ancestral homeland, Aroostook County, Maine. To the rest of the planet, Aroostook County is only notable as the largest county by land area east of the Mississippi River and for being the place in northern Maine meteorologists point to in order to make the viewer feel better about whatever “blizzard” or cold temperature you are subjected to wherever you are reading this. Outside of the exceptionally cold place on the national map, northern Maine does not border the ocean, which seems to be the only thing the rest of the country things of when they think of Maine. The County (see, everyone in Maine refers to Aroostook as “The County” as a way to make themselves feel important, instead of an American backwater populated by disoriented French-Canadians) is pretty much known for being mostly unpopulated woods and, uhh, potatoes? People get REAL fired up about their potatoes should someone say anything about Idaho.
So my dad and I flew to the blooming metropolis known as Presque Isle. The airport in Presque Isle would best be described as an abandoned middle school in a Scooby Doo mystery. From there, we drive west into the Northern Maine Woods, a 3.5 million square foot plot of land so notorious no one ever bothered to name it. When people say they are “in the middle of fucking nowhere”, clearly they have never been to the Northern Maine Woods. These woods are almost entirely owned by logging companies, but with some beautiful lakes and an endless supply of wildlife to shoot at, they lease out small plots to locals to build cabins. My uncle and his best friend both live and work in Presque Isle, but make the hour or so trip west into the woods at least once a week, if not more, if only to smoke cigars in this cabin and complain about Fox News. OF COURSE, these cabins now have cable, and OF COURSE they are perpetually tuned to Fox News.
I rarely get a chance to visit the County because, if it wasn’t clear, this is not the easiest place to get to. Me going up for my first hunting trip as a drinking adult was a big deal to many of my dad’s friends, many of whom would remark about what a little “pissant” or “anklebitah” I was the last time I met them, assuming you can call it that. Before long, everyone had a solid buzz tied on and the lingo of the woods quickly stood out to me in the sense that I had NO idea what the fuck people were saying or talking about roughly 25% of the time. This a loose recounting of some of the more memorable stories or folksy sayings, all of which are obviously not verbatim and merely my memory. Apologies to anything I got way out of whack, but I assume most of them don’t (can’t?) read so I don’t anticipate many issues.
– “Half-fucked like a fox in a forest fire”  — I’m not going to lie, I immediately rotated this into daily usage. It is down right poetic. That said, I don’t really understand why a fox would only be half-fucked — the fox’s home is being burned down, and he likely needs to scamper immediately to safety or risk becoming another friend Smoky has to bury. Sounds like he’s full-fucked to me, which alliteratively makes WAY more sense as well.
– One of the cabins around the lake my uncle’s cabin is on was owned by two “outsiders”. By “outsiders”, I mean they weren’t originally from the County, but boatbuilders from further south on the coast. This father and son pair has the most impenetrable accents I have ever heard in my life, and I went to an Alabama Crimson Tide home game one time. I DO know whatever they said absolutely killed everyone else. The son, Eric, and the father, Slick, both had brought their dogs and went out separately in their own pick-ups this particular day. Being that we are so far from literally anything (the closest logging factory (is that a thing?) is roughly a 45 minute drive on unpaved dirt roads, assuming you’re at the camps and not in the hills further west), everyone has a radio in their car on the same channel should you get into some shit and need assistance.
So we’re somewhere no one else is, and Slick clicks on the radio, “eh ah Eric I’mma slipped on sum gravel an’ neehd a tow”. Slick proceeds to pinpoint his location. “‘membah when weah wi’ Quarrel an’ when’ wes’ on tha’ split roahd wid the fahlen treehs wi hadtah cut tah go dawhn in da ravine dere, but insteahda goin’ dawhn, I’m uppa wahs but to dah narth passa crick Schooner fishes outta…” This procedure for a few minutes with more arcane and personal records that ensure no one will ever find him; my uncle tells us we are nowhere near him. Eventually Slick finishes with an “ovah.” A long pause ensues for minutes. Eric clicks on the radio and in the most annoyed tone barks: “Slick I havant a fachkin’ clue where ya are.”
FYI – Slick painted a mellow picture of what had happened when he “slipped”. He had rolled his pickup onto its side. Slick was in his late 80s, and just climbed out the other side. Slick is far more of a badass than anyone you know.
– “Since Christ was a cowboy” — this was frequently used in reference to the last time I had seen most of these guys, which made me feel disorientingly old. Also, I’m no Old Testament expert – Disillusioned Dilettante may want to weigh in here – I don’t recall any stories of Jesus roping cattle.
– Someone punctuated a story with, “and that’s a thing my old man taught me – don’t jerk it more than once a week.” I have no recollection of the context or what the fuck this story could have possibly entailed, but I do remember spitting out beer laughing.
– Bird hunting season is the last week of October into early November and, as noted above, it gets very cold very early in the North Maine Woods. A way the more familiar hunters would assuage me of my supposedly obvious guilt over shooting a grouse (think a fatter, dumber, less aeronautically-gifted pheasant) was by telling me “you did him a favor”, or “he was about to be up to his tits in snow, he didn’t want to be out here any longer anyway.” I laughed most of the times because the infliction and accent really sells it, but one guy told me this in the most straightforward and serious tone as if this bird really was appreciative of being blasted by a shotgun.
– Another Eric and Slick story: a bunch of us were crowded into someone’s cabin, and Eric was telling a story about something or other, and Slick kept chiming in to clarify details. Eventually Eric snapped, “SLICK STAHP FACHKIN INTURRUPTIN’ ME”. Slick responded to this indignity by scowling at Eric, standing up, and making his way out of the cabin. Eric called out to him meekly, “well fachk I dihdn’t say ya hahdta leave.” This was also met with riotously laughter.
– These cabins were all cozy and well-furnished, but still cabins isolated miles from the conveniences of modern life, even by north Maine standards, so a common question to fellow hunters is asking what the first thing they’d do when they got home. The answer is typically shower, or shave, or eat something they had a taste for but were unable to due to their location. Someone lobbed this question to a neighbor, who smoothed out his handle-bar mustache and responded, “gonna fuck the old lady. After that, probably take off my backpack.”
– The cabin I stayed at sits on a secluded lake full of any type of wildlife Maine has to offer, including moose. One of the cabins nearby was partly owned by a guy who had been married most of his life but had been widowed. He recently remarried and much to the derision of the other guys there, had brought his new wife into the woods. I didn’t hear the comment preceding his response of “smarten up, you’re an Arlo now – start acting like it!” This was also met with a chorus of laughs. Don’t act shocked when a bunch of guys who hang out in the woods all time don’t meet the modern expectation of social tolerance.
– As mentioned before, all the “roads” are really just frequently traveled dirt roads carved out by logging companies to transport wood, with many of them narrowed due to overgrowth, if not completely overgrown. Driving a pick-up is not a status symbol, it is an absolute necessity. If you go often, you WILL get your pick-up stuck, regardless of the horsepower or control or how careful you.
Despite these conditions, there are hundreds of miles of traversed paths where you can drive to hunting spots. Obviously, you are very secluded once you remove yourself from the main drag leading in and out of the woods. This didn’t not stop people from bitching ENDLESSLY about the “GODDAMN TRAFFIC” like its the 405 in Los Angeles. This incredible traffic was identified as more than two logging trucks and any sighting of other hunters in their trucks.
I look forward to returning, assuming they never find this (seeing as how NO ONE finds this, I should be okay) and don’t banish me for life. This is only a sampling of the stories I am comfortable even attempting to recount – one night I was told a story that was almost certainly mostly fabricated but with enough details to be realistic, involving a Canadian strip club, a bar fight at said strip club, accidentally smuggling a gun into Canada and liquor in America (or vice versa) through the high security checkpoint mostly consisting of a piece of twine, being lost in 3.5 million square miles of woods drunk in the middle of the night, and a long, surprisingly well-written letter to the editor of Penthouse. Go ahead and add your own flavor to that framework; I promise it does not even come close to what I heard.

Arch Stanton Guest Posting: Teen Vogue Takes On “Capitalism”

Earlier this week I stumbled across a primer on “capitalism” by beacon of critical economic journalism, the Wall Street Journal…the Economist…Teen Vogue (https://www.teenvogue.com/story/what-capitalism-is). Yes, Teen Vogue is now branching out from “Cardi B’s Fashion Nova Collection”, “5 Hottest Prom Trends”, “Beginner’s Guide to Coachella”, and “Your Weekly Horoscope” (I swear these are all currently on their front page) to instead tackle THE REAL ISSUES, like capitalism versus competing methods of economic systems, despite our Dear Reagan having concluded this debate when he karate kicked the Berlin Wall down. Seeing this blasphemy being forced fed to me and our nation’s youth (really, one in the same), I had to take a look at this bullshit. You’re not going to believe this, but it’s not very good, poorly researched, and of questionable journalistic integrity. Let’s review some of the more pertinent sections:
“Capitalism is defined as an economic system in which a country’s trade, industry, and profits are controlled by private companies, instead of by the people whose time and labor powers those companies.”
This third-grade-presentation-ass introduction includes a hyperlink to merriam-webster.com, and already has misattributed the quote. Per the hyperlink, capitalism is defined as “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market”. Hmm. That seems a bit less biased than the one our revered author Kim Kelly manufactured. One sentence in and we have identified a fabricated definition and the writer’s biased opinion. Certainly this will improve!
“The United States and many other nations around the world are capitalist countries, but capitalism is not the only economic system available; throughout history, other countries have embraced other systems, like socialism or communism…”
Interesting how she chose to refer to these other systems in the past tense.
“CNN recently reported that 66% of people between the ages of 21 and 32 have nothing saved for retirement.”
This CNN (FAKE NEWS) article cites a study completed based on 2014 Census data, or, shortly after the Great Recession, so the statistics are dubious. With one Google search, conflicting information was identified, including the New York Times saying Millennials save more consistently than previous generations (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/26/business/retirement/millennials-retirement-saving.html) and Fortune stating 1 in 6 Millennials already have over $100,000.00 invested for retirement (http://fortune.com/2018/01/24/millennials-saving-money/) and further stating Millennials have shown to be more rigorous in investment planning than their parents. Again, this was ONE search before we disproved this notion.
“The millennials Salon spoke to expect to see a grand societal shift in their lifetime, either toward socialism — a political and economic system in which the means of production are collectively and equally owned by everyone — or toward a sort of dystopian Mad Max nightmare in which resources have dwindled, rich plutocrats own everything, and ordinary people need to band together in small, autonomous communities to survive.”
Lots to unpack here! The shift towards socialism is a very fair and understandable point to consider. As many capitalist nations continue to expand social programs in order to care for their poorest and most disadvantaged, there is a legitimate discussion to be had here. For the record – I am not arguing against these programs. But the thought of shifting towards ever-growing government agencies responsible for my well-being… isn’t this more of a reason to save and fend for yourself?
And the second part – whooo boy! If Mad Max manifests itself in this world, all the Baby Boomers will be dead in a month, and the rest of us will be hanging out at Burning Man Plus.
“…socialism has become increasingly popular among young people in the past several years, following Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders’s underdog run for president and the authoritarian creep of the ultra-capitalist, anti-socialist Trump regime.”
Oh, so young people are just getting into socialism the last few years? Not Baby Boomers in the free-love era of the 60’s? Bernie was popular for the same reason Donald Trump was – he wasn’t Hillary Clinton (and the free college for everyone thing too, people seemed to like that). I don’t even know where to begin an approach on “authoritarian creep” and “ultra-capitalist”, but I can agree with Trump on the anti-socialist thing. A first time for everything!
Hey wait a second — isn’t this article supposed to be defining capitalism? So far we’ve spent three paragraphs with made up definitions and questionable statistics, but I still don’t understand why I’m supposed to hate capitalism! That is the point here, correct? There is still SO MUCH left here.
“You have probably heard the word “capitalist” floating around in the past couple of years…”
You maaaay have heard about capitalism, the agreed-upon best approach by countries and economists around the planet to managing a global economy, or in, ya know, middle school, since that is the target demographic for this article. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather look at pictures of ‘nose art’?” (again, a real article).
“The origins of capitalism are complicated, and stretch back to the 16th century, when the British systems of power largely collapsed after the Black Death, which was a deadly plague that killed off up to 60% of Europe’s entire population. A newly formed class of merchants began trade with foreign countries, and this newfound demand for exports hurt local economies and began to dictate overall production and pricing of goods. It also led to the spread of colonialism, slavery, and imperialism.”
Very nuanced, this Kim Kelly! I wonder what else we can irrationally extrapolate? Let’s see… humans domesticating animals has led to the Middle Eastern crisis. Prove me wrong. The Treaty of Westphalia has led to the explosion in the popularity of the Fast and Furious franchise. The Taco Bell I had last night led to the diarrhea currently plaguing me. Okay maybe the last one is true.
Kelly notably stands up for “local economies” of the Middle Ages. I imagine these local economies were basically John Cleese dressed as a peasant woman in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” stacking mud. At the direction we’re heading, we can logically expect the writer to conclude with a defense of Chinese tariffs, deconstructing NAFTA, and #MAGA since she is so concerned with “local economies”. Remember, we’re free to conclude anything we want!
“The death of feudalism — a hierarchical system often seen as oppressive that kept poor people bonded to their masters’ land…”
Feudalism wasn’t so much “oppressive” as “you have a sword, and all these people keep trying to kill me and rape my wife – if I work for you, will you use your sword?”. History can be fun!
“By the 18th century, England had converted into an industrial nation, and the dawn of the Industrial Revolution saw an explosion of manufacturing overtake the island. It is within those smoky factories and flammable textile mills that our modern idea of capitalism — and the opposition to it — began to fully flourish.”
People were VERY MAD about having more individual freedom and the ability to earn higher wages! Why you could say they were furious they didn’t have to, uhh, stack mud (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx7zI1W_5JI).
“A capitalist nation is dominated by the free market, which is an economic system in which both prices and production are dictated by corporations and private companies in competition with one another, and places a heavy focus on private property, economic growth, freedom of choice, and limited government intervention.”
Are you guys as turned on as I am right now?
“Generally, those to the right of the political spectrum tend to be pro-capitalist; those on the left veer toward anti-capitalism.”
Damn! She makes a great point here that could never be assailed. People on the left are rarely interested in the continuation of capitalism. People like Hillary and Bill Clinton (estimated net worth: $111 million), John Kerry ($200 million), Al Gore ($200 million), the Kennedy Family ($163 million), Diane Feinstein ($53 million), and Nancy Pelosi ($30 million) all have stridently fought against capitalism!
“How does capitalism impact people? The kind of impact that capitalism has on your life depends on whether you’re a worker or a boss.”
No fucking shit.
“The more profits your company brings in, the more resources you have to share with your workers, which theoretically improves everyone’s standard of living.”
I may be wrong (note – never the case) – but was that something POSITIVE about capitalism?!?
“The problem is that many capitalist bosses aren’t great at sharing the wealth, which is why one of the major critiques of capitalism is that it is a huge driver of inequality, both social and economic.”
Ah, shit.
Notably absent of the effects of capitalism are: global decrease in poverty, infant mortality, large-scale conflicts, and global increase in vaccinations, life spans, health, education, literacy, democracy, which has had a ripple effect in countless other aspects. Were these deemed not important, or did the University of Phoenix journalism degree make it difficult for you to find these?
“They view it as the only sensible way to organize a society, insisting that alternatives like socialism, communism, or anarchism are doomed to fail.”
I love this. “Guys if only communism was given a fair chance! Anarchy has never been truly attempted by any modern government!” Unrelated, but I was recently blocked on Twitter by @SocialistParty after responding to a tweet about how USSR was never truly socialist because Stalin was not a true believer with “are you sure that’s THE ONLY reason?”
“They also believe that the competition between companies benefits consumers by making products more affordable…”
Have you noticed any positives brought about by capitalism are phrased as unfounded opinions whereas the negatives are firmly stated as beyond reproach? But again, we’re critiquing someone free-lancing politics for Teen Vogue, so what did you expect?
“Anti-capitalists view capitalism as an inhuman, anti-democratic, unsustainable, deeply exploitative system that must be dismantled.”
This is cited with a link to counterpunch.org. If you click to their homepage, the current trending article is, “When Zionism Rubs Up Against Reality”. I don’t believe I need to further prove the validity of this statement.
“As German Communist philosopher and economist Karl Marx — perhaps the most famous opponent of capitalism in history…”
…until Bernie showed up mumbling like Steinbrenner from Seinfeld.
“The essential anti-capitalist argument is that “the hallmark of capitalism is poverty in the midst of plenty.””
This quote is attributed to Jacobin magazine. If you were hungover staring at the girl sitting in front of you during your European History class (note – definitely not a biographical circumstance), Jacobins were a party during the French Revolution who turned a noble revolution into the Reign of Terror where they got reeeeeal flippant about the use of guillotines. Again, I don’t think we need to spend more time addressing the credibility here.
Unrelated, but when people talk about bloodthirsty monsters from history, we always hear Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, but everyone always leaves out Robespierre. I got you buddy, you and your estimated 16,500 executions in Paris in less than a year.
“Capitalism and socialism are generally seen as polar opposites, and discussions of either system are often framed as in opposition to the other. There are many forms of socialism, but at its root, socialism is an economic system in which a whole community — not just bosses or private companies — control the means of production equally. It assumes that people are naturally cooperative.”
Our writer has clearly never tried to get a drink at a busy bar on a Saturday night or been stabbed in a Walmart parking lot on Black Friday.
“In a capitalist country, the focus is on profits over anything else; in a socialist country, the public is seen to be more important, and social welfare is a major priority.”
This is the final paragraph. She prattles on a bit about Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands and how well socialism has worked for them. And – FINALLY – China and the Soviet Union (as well as Cuba) are addressed. Granted, that’s it. No mention how sensationally the Soviet Union failed, no mention how China, despite being the largest socialist country in history has far greater economic disparity than the US (https://www.ft.com/content/3c521faa-baa6-11e5-a7cc-280dfe875e28), and Cuba, who only suffered half a century of dictatorship and public executions as a result of their shift to socialism.
So what was the point of this article being on Teen Vogue? Aside from “no one else would publish it” (YES I KNOW I’M BITCHING ON A BLOG WHATEVER), it really only exists to pander to easily manipulable teenage girls into… “The RuPaul Drag Race Queen Are All “Team Eureka’s Knee”” – I GOTTA read this hold on.

Arch Stanton Guest Posting: Most Incomprehensible Features by Rappers on Pop Songs

Following our last post that somehow featured two astonishingly bizarre feature tracks by respected hip hop artists on tracks to be featured on songs with music videos for middle school boys to masturbate to on TRL, I remain hinged on this odd subtopic of modern music. Which coked-out music producer thought these combinations were what was really necessary to put these albums over the top? I am to believe that someone thought this Christina Aguilera album was destined to failure unless Wu Tang Clan affiliate Redman made a PG guest verse about how rowdy he is? The 80’s are remembered as a time of excess (Reagan be praised!), but the 00’s brought us Virginia Beach drug-dealing-banger duo Clipse on a fresh-off *NSYNC Justin Timberlake single. Let’s begin our voyage there:
Ah yes! Back when Justin Timberlake was trying to act like a normal human being, who hangs out in front of a 7-11 popping and locking with his multi-ethnic group of friends. When do you think Justin Timberlake was last in a 7-11? Remember – he was originally from Memphis, and moved to Orlando to form *NSYNC. I don’t doubt that this was a thing he did, but dude’s been famous since like 1996; AT LEAST twenty years.
But this post isn’t about pop stars and their shopping destinations for slurpies and roller-cooked hotdogs. Pusha T and No Malice, the members of Clipse, who you may remember from 2002 hit “Grindin'” about drug dealing in a refreshingly unglorified way compared to the preceding 90’s, show up on this Justin single to lend credence to the notion he was definitely the coolest member of *NSYNC (as if there was any real doubt – was anyone thinking Chris Kirkpatrick was anything but a nerd in over his head?) In what is certain to be a recurring trend, the members of Clipse fart out some half-assed lines, just enough to make sure that check clears – Pusha rhymes “glow” with… “glow. No Malice mercifully ends this experiment with eight lines concluding with, “the name Malicious and I burn every track / Clipse and J Timberlake – now how heavy is that?” Dude, that is the least heavy shit ever. Pusha had to feature on like a dozen Kanye tracks to redeem Clipse’s integrity. To be fair, this song bangs, because anything with Pharrell-produced tracks is going to be good.
In the seasonal effort of Katy Perry to appropriate every culture from the world and history, this video features white people as Egyptian pharaohs, but with, like, neon and shit? I’m sure there’s an interview that I’m definitely not going to look up or read where she claims this is her voicing her support for the Egyptian people during the Arab Spring uprising against Hosni Mubarack; just assume this is truth, don’t doubt it, it’s real because I am typing it and it’s on the internet, and that’s enough for your mom, so it should be good enough for you.
Juicy J was a member of Oscar-winning Three 6 Mafia from Memphis (this is absolutely true – Katy Perry can’t even win a Grammy but Three 6 is out here winning in different fields. Never fuck with Memphis.) Juicy J is also notorious for screaming about spending $30K at a strip club and how everyone should SHUT THE FUCK UUUUUUUUP at the end of “Same Old Song” by the Weeknd. Juicy J can rap like a monster, but should not be your go-to when looking to capitalize on liquid assets.
Looking ahead to the coming songs, this has got to be the best song and verse here. One line goes, “she can be my sleeping beauty, I’m gonna put her in a coma,” which is not very progressive in light of the #MeToo movement. I’m sure Katy Perry would have strong opinions about this if she had ever listened to this part of the song before. On that note…
If you remember, this is a video about a sexually-frustrated diabetic’s nightmare, with Katy Perry pantomiming fucking lollipops, cans of whip cream, gummy bears and anything that could be even remotely identified as phallic. Katy Perry has a target audience, and it is me. You can judge all you like, but I know what I’m about.
Snoop comes out with the most remarkably half-assed verse in the history of hip, with almost every line coming it at under five or six syllables. The most technically-proficient line is probably, “bikinis, zucchinis, martinis, no weenies” which starts kind of on topic for the song (titties being the theme, if you didn’t watch the video or remember Katy shooting whipped cream out of her boobs), and then goes to two completely unrelated subjects that are at least lyrical consonances. Looking back from today, where Snoop has his own show with fellow ex-con Martha Stewart, it’s hard to remember that he was massively respected artist who ran with Dr Dre and Tupac in their primes. But such is life for hip hop stars – you remain credible and are shot in your prime, or become white suburban moms’ favorite “hippity hoppity” star.
(I would trade places with Snoop IN A HEARTBEAT.)
This is, without a doubt, the most inexplicable pairing in music history. Seriously, find me two more unrelated artists, at their primes, who decided to get together, and put it in the comments. The only acceptable pairing I would even consider would be when Metallica wanted to piss their fans off (again) and release an album with Lou fucking Reed. I would read a 10,000 word longread on the oral history of how this came to pass; namely, how many commas were in the check he got for the nine lines in this song? Do you think Taylor Swift tried to give notes on his verse? Do you think Kendrick read them? Do you think they’ve ever met in person? I could go on.
This video has Lena Dunham in it; I apologize for subjecting you to that. The good news is Kendrick’s verse is right out of the gate so you don’t have to fuck around with the rest of this tragedy of a Avengers-but-for-famous-and-beautiful-white-girls video. All in all, either Kendrick Lamar actually tried, in which case, God bless him, or he didn’t at all, which makes the case for him being a savant because the lines aren’t bad but… it’s on a second-rate Taylor Swift song. Do you think he has all of Taylor Swift’s albums? Do you think they are Snapchat friends? Do you think he’s ever in Nashville and thinks, “I should call up my dear friend Taylor for dinner this evening!” Jk, Kendrick Lamar’s never been to Nashville.
Nope, I’m afraid I prematurely blew my wad and now find myself in a sticky situation, because what the actual fuck is Future doing on a track with Ed Sheeran. There’s no way he was notified everyone’s favorite-Olive-Garden-waiter-in-training was going to be on the same track. Like the last Taylor Swift song, our featured guest bangs his verse out early and pretty strong if we’re being real, but the real gem is the two of them “making eyes” at each other in a Lamborghini in what looks like 80’s Miami, which is preposterous. Although – Future did get with Ciara, so maybe we shouldn’t sleep on Future’s ability to bed beautiful superstarlets.
Anyway, I really just need to address this Ed Sheeran situation. It sounds like he’s trying to rap here. Excuse me – trying to “rap”. His lines are a bit quicker, he makes some rap hand waves through his verse, and really looks like he wants Future to like him. In all of the infinite and still expanding universes, there is still not a single one where Future likes Ed Sheeran. If you watch the video (I recommend it! It’s a pretty good song actually!), you can definitely tell Ed was on set with Taylor, and definitely worked up his best good guy impression to swing a date with Taylor, to which she laughed hysterically, and told everyone on set how funny Ed was, and he joined in the laughing to try and cover how hurt he was she thought he was kidding, and then he went home and sadly masturbated. True story.
No hate here, this song fucking bangs.
Every Fucking Track Ludacris Has Been on Since 2004
Ludacris needs to fire his agent. He has featured on FORTY-SEVEN TRACKS according to Wikipedia. This list includes the greatest track of all time (“Yeah” by Usher), some great tracks (“One Minute Man” by Missy Elliot, “Oh” by Ciara, “Sugar” by Trick Daddy, “Tonight” by Enrique Iglesias, “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled, “Gonna Break Your Heart” by Taio Cruz), two dozen forgettable ones, some real tragedies (“Baby” by Justin Bieber, “How Do You Sleep” by Jesse McCartney, “Glamorous” by Fergie, “Holidae Inn” by Chingy) and, I swear to you this is true, but a track with future United States Senator Kid Rock next to R Kelly. Remember when being associated with an alleged kidnapper, cultist, pedophile and piss-enthusiast was enough to preclude you from partaking in politics? (NOTE – this has never been the case).
Dear Ludacris’ agent, learn to say no sometimes. I am sure Luda is doing just fine with his Fast and Furious residuals that he does not need to keep cribbing lines for whatever bland white kid middle America preteens are currently swooning over. “Word of Mouf” was great though.
Goddamn, ODB was the best. Remember that time he was being filmed by MTV cameras lamenting how hard it was to feed his family as he was zonked out in a limo taking him to cash out his food stamps? We never deserved him in the first place. RIP Dirt McGirt, aka Ason Unique, aka Knifey McStab, aka Big Baby Jesus, aka Little Billy Clinton.
Anyway, ODB is in typically ODB fashion here – wildly animated, flailing his arms, jumping up way too close to the camera and grinning with his grill showing more lens flares than a JJ Abrams’ move poster. His first verse(??) is him introducing the song, asking if various locales are in the house, including, ahem, Sacramento. (Sacramendie?) His verse is, predictably, all over the place, talking about how all the “brothers should hit it from the back and front” and then goes into what has to be the most unforeseen reference to Donny and Maria Osmond of all time. ODB CONTAINS MULTITUDES. I am fighting the urge to turn this into a celebration of ODB right now. Perhaps another time.
A deep cut from way behind the arc! I had almost forgot about this, but ya boy never forgets a good song. The song is pretty ordinary Michael Jackson fare – some “yeeehees”, “sha-mon-aa”, pinched testicles and universal lyrics that apply to every person to have ever lived. Michael knew what he was about NOT diddling kids get your mind out of the gutter we are professionals (NOTE – I am not) and this is a serious piece of investigative work (NOTE – it is not). Biggie’s verse is remarkably dark for a pop song; it’s almost like a guy who named his albums “Ready to Die” and “Life After Death” with songs like “Suicidal Tendencies”, “My Downfall” and “Everyday Struggle” may have been going through shit emotionally. If we want to try our damnedest to find a silver lining here, at least he didn’t suffer much longer…?
I feel pretty bad about that.
This track is the first to work in an n-bomb; apparently rappers are wont to avoid the word in half-assed verses on corny pop songs by goofy white people. Biggie goes on about feeling alone, and how he would feel alone even if he wasn’t rich and famous, along with serious paranoid tendencies about trusting people. You have to imagine Michael angrily moonwalked out of the studio and onto the Ferris wheel in his backyard over a guest artist taking his bubbly pop song and adding real life shit to it. Biggie was real as hell before being real as hell was a thing in hip hop, and we salute him for somehow making a Michael Jackson song a bummer.
Who the fuck is Estelle? Kanye obviously felt the same way, because he has a short verse in the intro of the song, and then bombs out a peak-Kanye verse a dozen lines longer than the next longest listed here. The main artist here shambles around a bit in between Ye appearances, and during the second, Kanye proceeds to move from behind her, to next to her, to in front of her, to basically boxing her out of her own music video, which – did you expect less from Kanye? You knew what you were signing up for when you asked Kanye to pop in on your song. Anyway, this is a Kanye song now, just ignore it being here because no one ever heard of Estelle again but you recognize this song anyway.
Leave any good or unusual postings in the comments so I can tell you why they suck and how it reflects poorly on you as a human being.

Arch Stanton Guest Posting: Mark Zuckerberg vs. Congress

As I am sure you are aware, America’s vengeful nerd king faced off against a board of Senators who we were very pleased were able to avoid asking about “how to download the wifi” or to explain what memes were. The purpose of this hearing was… to, ahh… well, it was never made abundantly clear. I guess the Cambridge Analytica stuff? Don’t fret, because our Senators made sure to really rack Zuckerberg over the coals by giving him the authentic Facebook experience — a confused cluster of septuagenarians complaining about things they don’t completely understand. At one point, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS, 66 years old) became perplexed after Zuck mentioned using cookies to track Facebook users. “Oatmeal cookies, I hope, because this Fixodent has not been living up to the hype promised to during “Murphy Brown” reruns,” the Senator attempted to follow up.
Zuckerberg also had to explain how Facebook makes money (“we run ads”) and had to stave off a cranky Bill Nelson (D-FL, 75 years old) who complained that Facebook was showing him ads for chocolate BUT NOT THE KIND HE LIKED MR. ZUCKERBERG HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS. As embarrassing a display this was by a group of technologically illiterate Baby Boomers, we still should applaud how far we’ve come since Ted Stevens (R-AK, 83 years old at the time of the following comment) referred to the internet as a series of tubes. I have a hunch this piss-poor line of question was some combination of ignorance and sympathy for a company responsible for $11,510,000.00 of lobbying in 2017 and at least $3,100,000.00 in the first quarter of 2018 (https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000033563). Democracy is great!
During this hearing, everyone’s favorite-birthday-reminder-tool and Farmville-venue’s stock price closed up 4.5% at $165.04 for the stock’s largest rally since the Cambridge Analytica news broke; if you were curious what the markets thought of the hearing, they suddenly remembered the person largely responsible for the sophistication of the modern internet is facing off against a panel of senile poor people.  Lest we remember this hearing as a humiliating expose for the lack of knowledge by the people running almost every aspect of our lives, let’s hit some of the other pertinent items from the Senate Apple Care session:
– Zuck admitted Facebook personnel had been working with Mueller in response to claims of Russian tampering.
– We learned the value of constant monitoring and monetization of your identity is worth roughly $12 to Facebook (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pFX2P7JLwA). Oh wait, our Senators didn’t touch on that.
– We undercovered how Facebook dredges your phone whether you give them person or not in order to find everyone you’ve ever met (https://gizmodo.com/how-facebook-figures-out-everyone-youve-ever-met-1819822691). Wait, we didn’t get there either.
–  We learned Facebook uses shady and aggressive tactics to lure inactive users back, and does not delete their data even if you disconnect completely from the service (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-01-31/facebook-really-wants-you-to-come-back). Whoops that didn’t get addressed either. I’m starting to think this was a waste of everyone’s time!
– Facebook told us how it is bad for your mental health (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/15/facebook-just-admitted-that-using-facebook-can-be-bad-for-you.html) and answered for internal emails stating their growth-at-all-cost model with the direct line, “maybe it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.” (https://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanmac/growth-at-any-cost-top-facebook-executive-defended-data?utm_term=.mpkooznj3l#.cdYjjvJAmk). No? Didn’t touch that one either?
– They said they would at least be developing software capable of identifying fake news and hate speech in the next five to ten years, at which point that software will be grossly outdated. Was Zuckerberg pressed on who is the arbiter of “fake news” or “hate speech” (which, just a polite reminder, is still protected under the First Amendment as free speech).
Geez it looks like the most-punchable-face in Silicon Valley got out of this hearing scot-free. Just kidding! Look at the little baby-man sitting in his big-boy seat!
Zuck