Monday, December 15, 2014

christians for michele bachmann

You may have seen the hilarious facebook page, Christians for Michele Bachmann. If not, click that supermega hyperlinked hotlink, like the page, and let the LOLs wash over you. No two ways around it, the folks behind the C4MB page are hilarious.

What's immediately apparent is that it comes across as a partisan skewering of right wing idiocy. With their rants and clever "artwork" raging against Homogays, injecting the marijuanas, libtards, athetards, and any traditionally, if not blindly, liberally championed cause, it comes off as a caricature of the GOP and tea partiers. The viewpoints, the bad grammar, the poor spelling, with the latter two (hopefully) intentional, are so over the top, you can't help but literally laugh out loud at work when reading.

And if you can read their roughly weekly, "this week in creation science" postings, and manage to not even crack a slight smirk, there is something wrong with you.

But where I think they get really clever, is their subtle mocking of the over the top, ironic, and completely hypocritical nature of the modern left. Like I mentioned above, at the surface, it's total GOP nutjob lampooning, and not delving any deeper than that, it's really goddamn funny. 

But beneath the surface, the page furiously spoofs those that blindly worship at the altar of science, for the sake of science, rather than truth. Their fictional studies about the horrors of injecting bindles of the marijuanas are cartoon-like reflections of the work of authors such as Gould, or modern sociology practitioners.

I don't know, I can't stand traditional Democrats or Republicans, and I find the page absolutely, mindbogglingly hilarious. My guess is that the page admins might be Libertarians, fed up with both sides, and the mainstream media's coverage of them.

Friday, December 12, 2014

azul tequila, a review


Recently talking about local Mexican fare with one of my friends, an actual foodie with actual good taste, he suggested I try local Mexican restaurant, Azul Tequila. Having eaten there once previously, and not ever having plans to go back, I was indeed shocked. People that actually appreciate food don't often suggest what I thought was a churched up, sit down, version of Taco Bell; dude knows his food, so a second chance was in order.

He even kindly went so far as to post on my facebook, two different dishes to try, with a friendly reminder to try the hot sauce. I replied, letting him know I would go this weekend. You probably didn't need to know that I replied to his fb posting. But now you do, so whatever. Anyway, lucky us, this weekend apparently came on Thursday, as Heckyeahwoman and I ate there last night.

We went with both of my friend's suggestions: I, the Carne al Chipotle, Heckyeahwoman, the Fajita Poblana. Probably a more accurate description would be me: most of both dishes, Heckyeahwoman: small parts of both. The waiter wasn't sure about the house hot sauce, so he brought a red (actually brownish) one. Bonus points for having a cucumber margarita on the menu. Minus a couple though for it tasting mainly like sugar.

My dish was tasty, but I think that might have been more due to it being covered in a creamy, rich, often cheesy sauce. It was ribeye cut into chunks, cooked with squash, served with a side of standard Mexican-seasoned rice. Enjoyable, yeah, but not in the way I was hoping, instead in the way I have experienced many times over, at every other Americanized Mexican restaurant - natural flavor obfuscated by sauce. (Naturally) fatty meat covered in a delicious cheesy sauce is probably going to be pleasing to the palette no matter what.

The Fajitas Poblana came out smelling delicious, though I think that is true for every fajita ever. Here's the thing about fajitas, and a lot of other things in life: true flavor and quality get masked, and often misrepresented, by accompaniments and garnishes. In this case, the fajita fixings are just a part of whatever you roll with it into a tortilla. These fajitas were made with pork, specifically carnitas, possibly my favorite meat of all time.

The million dollar question: did Azul manage to fuck up the carnitas here, and if so, will it be quite as epic a fuck up as what Shitcun's/Crapcun's/Cancun's passes off as carnitas? Answer: a stuttering "no". The bland, relatively flavorless pork meat was truly the definition of "meh", but not the soggy shitshow that Cancun's presented. So in case you couldn't read what I didn't type, the fajitas, as a whole, and as expected, were really good.

Overall, while this review probably comes across as pretty brutal, I think "meh to decent" is the best way to describe the visit. Note that I am a known and confirmed asshole and really like Mexican food. And "meh to decent" quality Mexican food is actually equivalent to nine out of ten stars for anything else, so I definitely left happy.

So Mr. fancy-pants food expert Heckyeahman, if this place is so shitty, exactly where in the hell do you recommend we eat Mexican in the greater Eau Claire metro area? First, it's not shitty, it was just meh. But easy: Tacos Juanita. And after a year of eating there every goddamn day, throw Taqueria La Poblanita into the mix. And then don't forget La Misma Luna. Those three places are my personal trifecta of good eatin' in Eau Claire.

Friend who will remain unnamed in this blog, if you're out there, and reading this, keep the suggestions coming!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

funny joke

Have you heard the joke about the liberal and the science forum?

Yeah, so a typical liberal walks into an online science forum, makes a childish comment about Fox News, then in the very next post, tells a renowned theoretical physicist that he* is wrong.

And then, wait for it.

Wait for it.

Really, wait for it.

Then gets owned hard.

LOLx1000000000000! Sometimes I just crack myself up.

Guess being closed-minded manifests itself in other places beyond homophobes and racists. Huh, whodathunkit?





*Bonus feminist points for pointing out that the theoretical physicist is indeed the one who is wrong, actually #double-wrong - for being not just a dude, but presumably white! Zing!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

favorite albums of 2014


Alright friends, it is that time of year again: I will once again prove my superiority to you through my taste in music. This year I am just posting a personal "best of the year", with no order.


Self Defense Family - Try Me

This is my favorite album of the year. I hate to pick a favorite, but I am an unabashed fanboy of lead singer Patrick Kindlon, and will likely jock anything he creates. Here, Try Me has the band sounding the same, while sounding wildly different. Kindlon's vocals get a bit more melodic, and the songs can at times be a bit more meandering, but one's attention should never be lost. In my opinion, Kindlon is the best lyricist ever. I imagine he and the band would be dismayed to see this album announced as a (my) year-end favorite, only to be in roughly the same company as the next one, Bane, below, ha.


Bane - Don't Wait Up

2014 brought us a new Bane album, and I imagine that if you're familiar with Bane, you probably know what this new jam sounds like. Fittingly titled, Don't Wait Up, this is Bane's last album, as they will tour extensively, and then call it a day. Where does this one fit in their catalog? Depending on your personal preferences for catchy, modernized throwback hardcore, anywhere, ha. Highlights include Calling Hours with a bunch of guest vocalists, and the tradition of ending the record with generic hardcore platitude gang vocals, but I don't know, I like that stuff.


Emptiness - Nothing but the Whole

Discomforting, atmospheric death/black metal done impeccably well. While this is not usually my cup of tea, this album is far too interesting and compelling to not listen repeatedly. And I find the cover art to be awesome too. Each listen brings something new, as the myriad influences these Belgians employ seem to sneak through in subtle ways. Shoot, I even read one review that mentioned goth rock, and sure as turds, the next listen bought to my ears a goth rock influence in some songs.
 
Jazz June - After the Earthquake

So what happens when a seminal 90's and early aughts emo band breaks up, then reforms over ten years later? An awesome reunion album happens. While I found the music of their first go-round to be generally faster paced, and bordering on aggressive - well, aggressive for 90's poppy emo standards - here, they have mellowed considerably. The once scratchy vocals have grown more melodious, pairing well with the indie-styled/sugary pop, but still 90's emo sound. Embrace the emo revival, fellow 30+ year olds.
 
Black Map - ...and Then We Explode

Speaking of 90s influenced jams, ever have a hankering for a totally dated 90's alt-rock sound, in the year 2014? Yeah? Then look no further than Black Map's debut full length LP. When most people refer to something as "dated",  it's usually slanderous, but there is no way I'm going to disparage this album. Nah, here, "dated" means the comfortable, familiar jams of my childhood and teenage years. If you're going to listen to one new-in-2014 batch of 90's sounding alt-rock songs, this best be your choice. Also, if you like rock, you'll surely find something to furiously enjoy.


Lagwagon - Hang 

This new Lagwagon smokes. Even though some of the lyrics come across as written by an angry high school student in 2002, Joey Cape sings the crap out of them. From acoustic, to classic 90's punk, to heavy metal, and everything in between, this album hold its own with anything else the band has put out. I guess the five or so year drought in new material really lit a fire under the band's ass. The cover art is kinda cool too.


Cold World - How the Gods Chill

Dog, a new Cold World album dropped and it sounds just like the last two, kinda like what Bane just did, ha. Sad that the eponymous song isn't even on the album, and is better than any song on the actual album. Still, badass album. 90's kinda hip hop and Biohazard influenced hardcore that isn't as hard as Biohazard, but hard in a growing-up-poor-in-the-PA-sticks sort of way.
 
Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Have you ever been to The Fest? I have and I think Joyce Manor could be considered a "Fest band". They have the sound, one of two official Fest-approved looks (the bearded plaid shirt PBR look; or the skinny, unhealthy, super annoying look); it's the latter for those keeping score. But when you put out a catchy poppy punk album this awesome, it doesn't matter how insufferable your appearance makes you look. Buy this, and sing along furiously the next time they come to your town, and after the show try to talk to you about used wool sweaters and books you'll never want to read. Bonus: the album comes with a CD of the album - a step above the usual download code! Bonus 2: album kicks off with the lyrics, "looking at your face in the dark, you don't even look that smart".
 
Jason Cruz and Howl - Good Man's Ruin

Strung Out frontman Jason Cruz goes semi-solo, then adds a backing band, and then puts out a fantastic album of country influenced, Americana-rock. Similar to the new Mariachi el Bronx album below, in that it's successful punk rockers making much more accessible music. I don't believe the goal was to be more commercially viable, though it is, but I think the goal was to make album(s) of awesome songs in a different style. Mission accomplished.
 
Benighted - Carnivore Sublime

Last time I cared about Benighted, they had just released Icon in 2007 I think, and now a couple albums later, we have Carnivore Sublime. What's the difference here? Benighted no longer gives a shit what you think. Maybe they never did. Their schizophrenic death-grind is ultra catchy, and they have no qualms about throwing in weird singing, the lurking potential to break into a dad-hating nu-metal groove, a rapped verse, or a couple breakdowns into an album full of Napalm Death-y death metal. From the artwork to the music, this album is sick.
 
Mariachi el Bronx - III 

It's 2014, almost 2015 OMG, and Mariachi el Bronx is not your second favorite band, behind Self Defense Family? Lol, get real. It's awesome, ridiculously catchy Mariachi music made by dudes in a punk band. Obviously the Mariachi music is a highlight, if not the defining characteristic here, but for me, Matt Caughtran's vocals are the highlight, the reason d'etre. His lyrics are fantastic, and his singing of them is spot on. 10/10.


Me First & The Gimme Gimmes - Are We Not Men?

The problem I've had with Me First is that often times their albums will contain songs with which I am not familiar. Petty, I know; they do a bang up job every time. On their most recent here, full of hit songs by "divas", there were only a few unknown tunes. What we have is an album of 10/10 cover songs in a catchy, 90's punk rock style, though some of the songs are quite creatively covered. Lead singer Spike Slawson can actually carry a tune, making this a potential favorite of your parents too.


2013 albums I'm super pissed I slept on:

Twitching Tongues - In Love There Is No Law

Dude. I've been rocking this album probably more than anything else in 2014. Yeah, I snoozed, but I've surely made up for that. Very melodic hardcore with fantastic sung vocals. The lyrics can be kind of over the top, but whatever.

Crusades - Perhaps You Deliver This Judgement With Greater Fear Than I Receive It.

An album of grown ass men singing about how they're "mad at religion". Sounds horrible, but when it is set to the sweet sweet sounds of modern punk rock with some sort of "post-something" influence, it's fine with me.

Pity Sex - Feast Of Love

Ann Arbor fuzzed out indie pop rock. Stupid catchy music made by hipsters that look like people that I can't stand. My wife said she likes this, so she either does, or she was lying to me, could go either way.


Did you have something not on this list that you think I "like, totally have to hear"? Throw it in the comments.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

what it means to be wholly unnecessary

Don't know about you, but my facebook has been a-blowin' up with Michael Brown stuff. Got a bunch of people that are suddenly law experts, posting and sharing inflammatory and borderline illiterate collections of words, skewering "white people", and police officers.

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin incident, and now with the Michael Brown thing, I may or may not have made a comment to my wife, that the world will be fine without Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Michael Brown, and/or Darren Wilson. Their absence from this world means, or would mean, nothing outside of grief for their family.

In short: the universe doesn't care. 

Anyway, my wife replied with something along the lines of, "Trayvon could have grown up to be a scientist that ends up curing cancer". After cleaning up the milk that I spit in unexpected laughter all over our sick 8 million inch LED flat screen, I just nodded my head in semi-agreement so as not to cause a row. I'm not sure but picking fights with Hispanics, uttering slurs about white people, stealing cigars, beating up older Asian store owners, and rapping about killing and hating while people is hardly the way you prep to become the future scientist that could potentially cure cancer.

I'm not going to deny that Darren Wilson is an asshole, and Georgie Z is scum. I think most reasonable people would agree that this is true. In fact, I'd take it a step further, and list them as unnecessary. Where we might diverge is on the opinions of Brown and Martin. I believe them both to be, as people, wholly unnecessary too. An unreasonable person might insist that is due completely to skin color: mine is white and theirs is black. Obviously that's not the case, as a dude's skin color is pretty low on the totem pole of things that make my hair turn grey/gray. But that's just me.

I don't believe that the world would miss any of the four previously mentioned people. But what about the rioters? I actually would prefer that subsection of sub-humanity to up and vanish. Destroying the community in which you live, which belongs to your family and friends, their livelihoods, in the name of perverted justice, well that's just downright fucked up. Raging and destroying are one thing, a shitty thing, but stealing too? Horrible.

But it's deeper than just rioting and stealing and assaulting and destroying. Uh, no it's not. That's exactly what is happening. It may be part of a bigger problem, or actually part of many. But it's still a problem, not normal, and not OK. Basically this whole chain of events is not OK - from Wilson harassing Brown and Brown possibly looking to brawl with a po, to Wilson shooting him. I think it's pretty clear there is a population in Ferguson that does not want white police officers anywhere near them. If I were the Ferguson police chief, I'd be more than happy to oblige. Refund them a percentage of their taxes every year and let them prosper.

What you may have not heard is that a young African American teenager beat up an older Asian man. Obviously that doesn't sell advertising, so that horribly racist and ageist action goes by without a peep. Michael Brown's hatred for Asian people, and those older than him is a cosmically-sized injustice that I refuse to let go unreported.

In a perfect world, crap like this doesn't happen. But to have good, you must have bad, and I think at least the one thing we can all agree on is that everything related to the Ferguson situation is bad. While the president and democrats are championing this cause as some sort of weird rallying cry to unite and strengthen the democratic base, some mother still lost her son, and Darren Wilson, while not guilty, probably shouldn't be a cop. That, and Ferguson as a political talking point is further dividing the country, nice job.


And then we have the human versions of bowel movements, with actually the same intellectual value as bowel movements, penning exactly what you would expect: shit like this. Want a summary? Blame white people, for anything, every single time. Most black people I know don't feel that way, it's sad that this type of garbage is what gets pushed.







Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Sadness

It's been a week, eh.

Woke up quick, at bout 7:34, checked facebook, and this was the first thing I saw





I'm not making this up, a news station posed a question to their facebook followers about whether or not it's fair that Old Navy charges more for plus-sized clothing.

For real.

What is worse - having an opinion one way or another, or shopping at Old Navy in 2014?

And yep, you guessed it, somebody, somewhere in the comments said this was "a gender issue". I can't even walk out the door and shit on my neighbor's lawn anymore without somebody making it a gender (or race) issue.

Here is what should be the final word on the question: shut the fuck up.

Next, we have a diatribe against the vile, racist entity known simply as "brunch". Spoiler alert: NYT content.

No shit, there is an author out there with enough time on his undersized hands to courageously speak out against brunch. While the article, intentions, content, and author's life are all truly unnecessary, I do agree with his point that brunch food is often times covered in sauce that is too rich.


Then the dude from The Strokes found time to weigh in:
In an interview last month in GQ magazine, when pressed for an answer on why he left New York City for an unnamed “upstate” locale, Julian Casablancas, the lead singer of the Strokes, said, “I don’t know how many, like, white people having brunch I can deal with on a Saturday afternoon.”

Prayers, condolences, and all that stuff go out to Mr. Casablancas for suffering the indignity of having to deal with white people eating breakfast later in the day than usual. Must have been truly horrifying.

One time, on my way to Milwaukee for one of my first punk shows, I got lost in the hood. Kinda sketchy, but punk rock, right? Found my way, still in an unsavory neighborhood, parked my car, walked by a porch with a bunch of nonwhites hanging out, menacingly watching me. Then to my terror, a bunch of white people having brunch popped up outta nowhere and that was it, I took off running. Ran back to my car, never to return. #Scarred4Life

Forget climate change, my money is on complaining ourselves to death as what eventually gets us.


Friday, October 31, 2014

telepathy now!

The other day I read this article, and was amused at this particular author's take on telepathy. More precisely, why he wouldn't necessarily want to read the thoughts of other people. You have to wonder, if telepathy was a thing, would it be selective? Could you only read the minds of those you wish, or would your life be a cacophony of tiny voices, driving you to insanity, at the hand of the inane thoughts of the dullards all around you. His Rachel Jeantel example was spot on.

Sure, if telepathy resulted in the latter, you could go to a quantum physics conference, and from roughly eight in the morning to five in the evening, enjoy the most fascinating thoughts from some of the greatest brains in the world. But once the work day is done, and the bar opens, you likely won't luck out and get treated to Feynman-esque thoughts of playing bongos with hookers in South America; you'd be treated to really smart people and their capacity for depravity and minutiae, much in the same way of their capacity for intellectual stimulation. It's a continuum, friends, good with the bad.

Anyway, rambling thoughts aside, this article was meta-linked in the previous article, and it is an abstract of a Harvard research paper about using the internet, and other technology, to telepath furiously. You can tell it's serious because there are many strings of big words followed immediately by capital letters that are bookended with parentheses. I'm not sure what that means, but I'm guessing it's highly scientific and official. Harvard.

I'm sure I've posted here before my layman, layperson, theory of evolution: as humans, we are evolving into a superior race of cat people, #destiny. My wife (an actual scientist) definitely refutes that. Keep in mind that I have absolutely no evidence beyond thinking Orange Guy is awesome. And hope. But shoot, we've seen what happens when you add a little hope to a little bit of change. Wait, that's not helping my case at all. Either way, this telepathy stuff got me kinda thinking - what if?

What if this computer enabled telepathy became part of evolution? Human evolution is accelerating and the limits of bioengineering and robotics are getting pushed every day. We are constantly improving our knowledge and manipulation of inheritance and gene expression. At some point there's going to be an apex, or more likely, a vortex, into oblivion, you asshole humans.

Imagine one day in the not so distant future, finding a lab subject or two and serving them up a sick speedball of Lamarckian inheritance. It may take a couple generations and a little sci-fi leap of faith miracle action, but here (hear) me out. If you could implant a bio-bluetooth chip in the dna of a couple subjects, and hit that sequence up with the right combo of methyl-whatever to turn it on, and get it to send and receive the transmissions, bam(!), Jean-Baptiste Lamarck would no longer be the bastard child of made up stuff.

If and when telepathy becomes a thing, somebody is bound to hone in on my thoughts. And if you've spent any time at all on this blog, (or if you're telepathic) you already know what the next sentence is gonna say.

I'm sorry.