Note for the blog's distant future: In 2025, this changes into an anti-Russian propaganda blog when they violate the 'New Canada Treaty' and invade Minnesota. Also, a really amazing sport called FutureBall, which uses parachutes and fire, is the only thing played in America.
Let's get to our Ten Thangs.
1. Here's my take on the whole "Happy Holidays" thing, by which I mean the necessity to say that phrase instead of something more specific: it's fine. Like a lot of people, the underlying PC-ness kind of annoys me, but in the grand scheme it's a pretty small concession. What really irks me is when you say Happy Holidays to someone, and they respond with a defiant "Merry Christmas. This happens quite a bit in the south and in the north country of New York where I grew up. Here's what they're actually saying:
A) I'm a badass Christian who's taking my country back from the liberals!
B) You're either a pussy Christian or some kind of Jew/Black/Muslim.
C) Both of those categories are bad.
D) I'm more interested in starting stupid fights on the holidays than being a good person.
It kind of reminds me of this guy in college who, when we were at any kind of game, would always reach to take people's hats off during the Star Spangled Banner if they forgot. I'm all for removing the hat. I get that it's a symbolic respect thing, and again, it's a small concession. But I also don't give a shit if someone either forgets to take their hat off or doesn't want to. This guy did it to me twice, and it turned into a near fight both times. Fuck off with your morals, I say. Now, whenever someone tells me to take my hat off during the anthem with anything less than politeness, I have this deep urge to say something like, "I served in Iraq, asshole, what have you ever done?" Which would be both confrontational and not true, and therefore a stupid thing to say. But just once, I would love to see them stutter and apologize. The point is, it's never soldiers or veterans pulling this crap; it's always self-righteous little prigs who go home later and eat peanut butter straight from the jar.
I'M SO ANGRY.
Okay, I'm calm. And who am I to pretend I've never eaten peanut butter straight from the jar? But the defiant 'Merry Christmas' business has happened enough that it's become a thing, and I'd like to see it stop. So I figured I'd use the highly visible and influential forum of this blog to put an end to it for good. You're welcome, America.
2. On a related note, I had a perfect opportunity to make fun of my stepfather Tom yesterday afternoon. He's what I call a reasonable conservative, but ever year, FoxNews starts their 'War on Christmas' bit where they show different things happening around the country that supposedly amount to a unified liberal campaign to end the holiday once and for all. They'll always show some mayor in New Mexico who refused to put up a town Christmas tree, or something, and everybody gets riled up.
Yesterday, they had a guy from the American Atheist's Union, or some similarly named organization, talking about how Christmas trees are offensive to non-Christians and should be banned. I think he wanted them banned everywhere, not just in public. Obviously he was a fringe wacko type guy, but Fox News was taking the angle that this was the secret desire of liberals everywhere. When I came downstairs, Tom was literally shouting back at the kitchen television.
I can't remember everything I said during the 3-minute badgering session, but "they're reeling you in like a fish" and "they're playing you like a fiddle" were two of them. Finally, I got him to laugh and concede. But then I walked away and he started yelling at the tv again.
3. I finally found the perfect video representation for the way Duke's been treating opponents this year:
4. With Louisville's narrow win in the "Beef O'Brady's" Bowl, I'm now 4-0 picking bowl games. At this point last year, I was probably 0-4. Anyway, this proves that I know sports better than anyone, so I'll continue to delight audiences with my picks. Tonight, Boise State will kill Utah.
5. Sad, existential Eli. A symbol of lonely man expressing himself to no one. (This video would have been a lot better without the idiot shouting in the background.)
6. The Yankees got hit with their lowest luxury tax since 2003! This just proves, once again, that the Yankees are the team of the common man.
7. I know I'm a little late with this one, but driving up to my brothers' basketball game last night, I was finally able to listen to "Write About Love," the new album from my favorite band, Belle & Sebastian. And man, it was awesome. It's been five years since their last release, and it was starting to look like their best days were behind them. This, happily, is not the case. The songwriting is really mature and awesome, the melodies are as great as ever, and the lyrics are A++. I listened thrice, and liked it more each time. Here's the opening track. It's got that typical Belle & Sebastian combination of awkwardness and excellence.
8. What other good movies are out there? December is when I usually start making up for lost time and try to see the good stuff that they always release as late as possible so it's fresh in the minds of the awards voting population. "True Grit" is on the list, but I've basically paid no attention otherwise and am very open to suggestions.
9. The UConn women's team has now won 89 straight games, eclipsing John Wooden's UCLA team. This will sound strange, but as a little kid I used to like watching the women's Final Four. There was this one guard from Stanford I was totally in love with. I can't remember her name, but I'm pretty sure they lost in the finals and I was disappointed. Gradually I stopped watching any women's sports except during the Olympics.
Now, though, my sister is an amazing basketball prodigy. She's leading her league in scoring as an 8th grader on the varsity, which is ridiculous, and she's already getting letters from colleges. I saw her play for the first time this year last week, and she scored 27 points in a loss. And let me tell you: she's awesome and really fun to watch. I fully expect to be seeing her on tv some days. So consider me a supporter of women's hoops. Anyway: Well done, UConn. Wooden kinda sounds like a jerk anyway.
10. Watch out for USC basketball. They took down Tennessee on the road yesterday, and they lost by 2 to Kansas (also on the road) a few days ago. They're led by Kevin O'Neill, a good coach who has been at every single school in the country. Or close to it. The actual Division 1 list is Marquette, Tennesee, Northwestern, and Arizona. But he also coached the Raptors for a season in the NBA, and he started his career at North Country Community College, in my home town of Saranac Lake, NY. I've always enjoyed seeing him end up in new places, and in the back of my mind I always root for him because of the SL connection. USC will likely be ranked in the next poll. It's about time the Pac-10 had a decent team.
I leave you with this, my friends. I'll probably see you tomorrow. If not, have an ANGRY MERRY AMERICAN CHRISTMAS.