Monday, December 21, 2015

The War on Christmas

*NOTE: New post coming 1/4. Things are slow around here during the holidays anyway, so no sense in breaking our backs over something a ton of people will miss out on while spending time with family and friends. Plus, we're busy spending time with our own family/friends. Have an awesome New Year and we'll see you in 2016! Man, have we got some awesome stuff in store for you. ~B&B*

War... War never changes. We laughed at them when they said they were waging a War on Christmas. We never took them seriously. But in the year of our lord 2015, well, that was when the bombs began to drop.

It all started in 2005 when Santa's elves, under strict orders from workshop president Elf W. Bush, sold elf-made weapons and artillery to Iraqi insurgents as a way of financing the production of Christmas toys. And so when the bombs began to drop on the North Pole, they were emblazoned with serial numbers traced straight back to their very own workshop.

There were massive casualties. Frosty the Snowman was melted by napalm. He's now nothing more than chemically unstable melted snow pooling in a bucket. The Grinch was wounded badly in combat, having taken a bullet straight to the aortic valve. He needed an emergency heart transplant in order to survive, but unfortunately the donor heart he was given was two sizes too small, and he died of massive heart failure.

The reindeer were the next to go. Do you know why they call him Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? It's because he got his goddamn nose blown off by an IED.

Yule logs were incinerated in their beds while they slept, and chestnuts were burned by the millions in giant extermination furnaces. But they didn't get it the worst. No, the mall Santas got it the worst by far.

These poor, drunken minimum wage employees were systematically yanked from shopping malls all across America, tortured until their bodies could take no more, and then murdered in an attempt to find the real Santa. This was especially tragic, because as we all know the average mall Santa is a scrawny homeless man just looking to make some extra booze money, and is most definitely not a jolly fat man looking to spread magical joy.

Santa wasn't the only one facing a massive manhunt. Terrorists were also scouring the country for the big cheese, the commander-in-chief himself, General Jesus H. Christ. For his protection, Mr. Christ was kept locked up and secure in his private fortress, deep inside of a child's mouth. For you see, it's often said that Jesus can be found in the smile of a child.

Meanwhile, the real Santa set out to retaliate for the loss of his elves and his reindeer by dropping bombs of his own over Baghdad. In the span of one night he murdered 5,000 innocent Iraqis and mutilated another 2,000, and to this day no one's quite sure why be bombed an entire city without doing any research whatsoever on where insurgents might or might not be located.

Santa's fatal flaw, however, was having his location tracked through, which is a really cute website that shows Santa's geolocation as he delivers presents, but it also allowed him to be easily traced by terrorists and blown out of the sky by a surface to air missile that agonizingly incinerated him and the comically idiotic Labradors he had trained as last minute reindeer replacements.

With that, Santa and his army of elves had been decimated.

Now set to deliver the final blow, the terrorist insurgents searched high and low for General Jesus, but they could not find him. No, for they were so stupidly looking for a dark skinned Middle Eastern man, and as we all know, Jesus is white. And so, completely unnoticed, blue-eyed blond-haired surfer Jesus grabbed his lamb and just surfed away to safety, never to be seen again.

With Jesus gone, exchanging presents and assembling for family dinners was outlawed by congress in 49 states, meaning that people could only exchange gifts or cook big dinners in Alaska. However, they often died of hypothermia or dysentery on the long trek there, and eventually gave it up altogether in lieu of sitting at home quietly, starving, and just overall being miserable.

And so in the end... that's how ridiculous it sounds when people proclaim that there's a "war on Christmas". Look, Christmas isn't going anywhere anytime soon, angry politicians aren't desperately trying to pass laws to ban it, and no one is looking to burn down your Christmas tree KKK style. And even though some people make a public Grinchly stink out of the holiday and get way too much press coverage for it, either of us have yet to meet anyone who's genuinely offended by being wished a Merry Christmas and reacts with fiery, seething rage.

So to those who celebrate, we hope you have an awesome Christmas, and to those who don't, well, hopefully you at least get a free day off of work, and in that case who the hell can complain about that?

Cheers and stay merry, folks,

Music: Charles Murdoch
Beer: Aspen Brewing Independence IPA

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Wheel of Outrage

It's no secret our society has become increasingly impatient. In a world where you can sext your other half, Skype with your aunt in Mexico, and snap a selfie of yourself on the toilet all at the same time, it's no wonder we've become so efficient at using our time. But unfortunately, that impatience has spread to other facets of life, which brings us to today's topic: the fleeting beast of public outrage. It's just amazing how we the public can be so dramatically outraged by something... only to not do anything about it, forget it entirely five minutes later, and then move onto something else to be livid and worked up about.

Ah, the Washington Redskins. Remember how mad you were about that a few months ago? Yeah, we don't either. It's amazing, isn't it, how quickly we forget? We're just glad the heat has finally blown over and the Washington Redskins can go back to sucking ass again, quietly and in peace.

And let's not forget America's favorite nerdy, anorexic Bond villain, Martin Shkreli, the guy that hiked up the price of an AIDS medication by 5,500%. Last month, people were absolutely furious at him and wanted his head on a pike... Now, though, not so much.

It's like the world's worst game show, Wheel of Outrage. Every time we spin the wheel, we find something else to hyperfocus our rage on, while simultaneously forgetting everything else we were so mad about.

It's wacky fun for the whole family! Who knows what we'll be mad at next?

And it's not just the quickness in which we change and redirect our scorn. The other funny thing about public outrage is how quickly it can turn in the opposite direction. Like, how one minute we absolutely hate someone or something... and the next minute we just can't get enough of them. We're looking at you, Chris Brown, you woman-beating-piece-of-shit.

Now, if you'll excuse us, we've got to go check Tumblr out to see what the outrage du jour is. It's been like 5 minutes and we are way behind on what everyone's pissed off at right now.

Cheers and stay livid, folks,

Beer: Lawyers, Guns, and Money (Crazy Mountain Brewing)
Music: Highly Suspect

Monday, December 7, 2015

My Black Family

Visiting family for the holidays is always interesting. For me, Bryan, it's especially interesting, because on top of visiting my white family and my Mexican family, I also get to visit my black family. Yes, that's right, there's a whole side of the family that is 99% black. Now let me clarify, I am not in any way black. Nor do I, uh, make like some of my more embarrassing light skinned brethren and pretend I'm black.

In a nutshell, my aunt married a black man and they had some kids. Those kids found black partners and had some kids of their own. Then those kids found some black partners and had some more kids. Yeah, they start early. My 40 year old cousin is already a grandma*. But that's neither here nor there.

*Interestingly enough, 40 Year Old Grandma is the name of my upcoming Indie folk/noisetronica project

They don't really gather with the other sides of the family, and up until now I had only met a few of them individually, so this holiday season was the first time I had ever met them all together at once. We drove to their big, shared house, in which I helped my 92 year old grandma, who's recovering from a nasty fall, move in. She's going to be living there now.

And I won't lie, it was such a trip. First off, the entire house smells like weed. And I may not smoke it, but I know what it smells like.

"Dave's not here, man."

Also, I was pretty surprised to see that they looked a lot like me... well, if I was darker, had the ability to grow bitchin' facial hair, and/or had the ability to grow a killer afro. Side note: in high school I wore an afro wig to my school ID photo shoot as a joke, and apparently it fit my face so well that they didn't even question if it was my real hair.

So afros look good on us. And really, I can see the familial resemblance. Which is kinda cool. However, talking to them is a little weird. It certainly brings out my inner awkward white guy, if only because they talk so differently to my parents and me than they do when (they think) they're alone.

So it was, well, interesting to overhear that and then sit in silence as they would come back into the room and ask us politely about Denver or about our drive up. It's a culture shock, to say the least, but we appreciate them taking us all into consideration, as I don't know how my mom would handle getting asked to "move her stank ass" so they could get into the refrigerator and fetch her that cup of water she asked for.

And of course, there was also the awkwardness behind the small talk of what we all do for a living. Having that conversation with one of my cousins was just beyond anything I had ever experienced.

And mind you, when I was telling him this (they don't even have a computer in the house), I kinda felt like I was presenting myself like this.

But that's not the surprising part. No, the surprising part was me reciprocating the question.

Meanwhile I'm thinking THIS.

I mean, call me sheltered, but I was pretty happy never having known someone that had been shot, much less a family member, and in a drive by at that. He was so nonchalant about it, but clearly thankful to be alive. And no, he's not in a gang. He says he was mistaken for someone else in the dark who was gang affiliated. And I'm not naive. He just doesn't seem the type. What a horrifying thought, though. Most days I squeal like a little girl when I'm listening to my headphones and the cord gets wrapped around a door handle and yanks out my earbuds. I couldn't imagine going through that.

So yeah, I visited my black family this year, for the first time ever, and it was a hell of an experience. But affinity for the n-word aside, they're a great bunch of caring people that have taken in my grandma when no one else would or could (I certainly can't. My house is all stairs, which is like a limb-breaking minefield for a 92 year old woman).

Let's face it, these folks would not be hanging out with me if we weren't related. But they're a blast to spend time with, they're really kindhearted, and they don't judge my nerdy, awkward whiteness or remind me that I'm not nearly as cool as I think I am. And isn't that what family's all about?

So tell me about your weird ass families.

Cheers and stay classy, my n...eighbors,
Bryan (and Brandon)

Music: Fenech Soler
Beer: Upslope Christmas Ale