Retro Relapse: A Miles Davis Sunday Experience

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

Technically, I guess this could be considered a review of two things and not just that but how these two things come together. Really though, it is a reflection on an experience more than anything else.

My football team has a bye week and I really don’t care about any other team enough to turn on the television. So I am left with not much to do. Then I came across the bottle of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head sitting in my fridge – waiting for the right moment to crack open. Without any plans other than having planned to sit down and write today, I figured I’d open the bottle and enjoy it while listening to Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” album, the great work that inspired what I have been told is a pretty great beer. Then I figured, I’d kill two birds with one stone and that I would write about the experience while indulging in the experience.

First, the beer is an American stout. Being a fan of stouts, this dark and mesmerizing brew is right up my alley. It has a roasted coffee essence but it is pretty minimal. The beer is rich and robust and has some nice maltiness to it. I pick up other flavors, such as caramel, molasses and some light fruitiness. Physically, the beer itself is very dark, kind of like black coffee. It has a dark caramel-colored head that almost bubbles similar to a good root beer but not as quickly. It isn’t a highly carbonated beer and it is almost, in body and in flavor, pretty close to being a perfect stout.

As far as the album, “Bitches Brew” is one of the most complex and original jazz albums of all time. It is a departure from what the general public expected from Miles Davis and is deemed more experimental and primal compared to what many perceive as his more refined and traditional works. Well, I really wouldn’t consider this unrefined and the fact that isn’t considered “traditional” by many in that time, just goes to show the versatility Miles Davis had as an artist. He was one of the greatest musicians that Planet Earth has ever had and “Bitches Brew” not only solidifies that fact, it shatters the mold Miles himself made and goes on to transcend the incalculable level of greatness he had achieved before this unique album’s release. Sorry if I am selling this hard but I am a huge Miles Davis fan and this album is a vital piece of work not just in Miles’ catalog but in American music history.

When Rolling Stone’s Langdon Winner reviewed Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” album in 1970, upon its release, he stated something so profound that it sums up the album and the experience of listening to it perfectly. He said, “Whatever your temperament, “Bitches Brew” will reward in direct proportion to the depth of your own involvement.”

So what is it like to merge these two things: the album and the stout?

Well, the attitude and complexity of the album is only rivaled by the attitude and complexity of this meaty and potent jazz juice. Upon my first sip, this beer has risen up into the upper echelon of the brews that Dogfish Head offers. I’ve drank a lot of their stuff and there isn’t anything I haven’t liked. They are a brewery that does their own thing and strives to surprise the public, even though they have grown to a position where they could just sit comfortably and collect their profits. Dogfish Head goes way beyond that and continually creates some of the best brews in the world. With Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, they have created one of the finest stouts that I have ever had.

Going beyond that, they have created a stout that from a flavor and body perspective, captures the essence of the “Bitches Brew” album. Throughout history, there have been many products that have tied into other products. This is one of the very few tie-ins that makes a lot of sense and is truly complimentary. The people at Dogfish Head just get it and luckily for us, they also have the palates and knowledge in how to create a perfect compliment to something that in and of itself is already a near flawless piece of work.

Well, the album is nearly over and my beer is nearly gone. I’ll have to do this again some time. I’m sure it won’t be as majestic as this initial experience but it is an experience that I would welcome at anytime. Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew is a beer that Miles Davis would have been proud of. For the rest of us, it is a beer that we can relish in and enjoy with Miles’ most uncommon yet most interesting album.

Retro Relapse: 30 MORE New Taglines For Popular Beers

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

I already did a previous version of this but after covering thirty beers, it dawned on me… there are even more shitty popular beers in heavy circulation out there!

You see, I’m a beer snob. I’m fine with that, as I can’t stomach the mass produced swill that many seem to also not enjoy, other than getting a buzz while watching their pigskin team on Sundays.

Every time I go to a party or a bar that is in the midst of pigskin game watching, I am usually offered up one of these choices. When in Rome, drink swill.. or something like that.

Anyway, I figured that since I am in advertising and marketing, I could use that skill in an effort to come up with new taglines for these really popular brews. Some aren’t even beers but they’re marketed as alternatives for those sissies out there.

So here we go! Thirty MORE!

1. Michelob Amberbock – “Look at me! I only had one dollar. Hey, free Chex Mix at the bar!”
2. MGD (Miller Genuine Draft) – “For the lifelong Rusty Wallace fan.”
3. Schlitz – “Robot saliva.”
4. National Bohemian – “The Oriole fan’s sleep aid.”
5. Stroh’s – “Detroit rain water runoff.”
6. Lone Star – “Everything’s bigger in Texas – even failure.”
7. Old Milwaukee – “The white bread of white bread beers.”
8. Milwaukee’s Best – “If compared to Old Milwaukee, it is TRULY Milwaukee’s Best.”
9. Landshark – “Sharks are cool. These beers are not.”
10. Shock Top – “Proudly sporting the worst logo in the beer industry.”
11. Simple Times – “The hipster socialist’s capitalist lager.”
12. Steel Reserve – “Like staring into the void for millennia.”
13. Rolling Rock – “It comes from New Jersey.”
14. Goose Island IPA – “You think it’s craft but they’ve got your soul now!”
15. Sam Adams Boston Lager – “Must be consumed to Dropkick Murphy’s. No exceptions!”
16. Leinenkugel Summer Shandy – “Refreshing! Like Pixy Stix in water!”
17. Mike’s Hard Lemondade – “Mike’s hard realization that he’s not like the other men.”
18. Twisted Tea – “Mike trying to be harder than hard.”
19. Smirnoff Ice – “The linoleum tile of alcoholic beverages.”
20. Narragansett – “Passable on a really hot day watching baseball outside.”
21. Blue Moon – “The frat bro mimosa.”
22. Killian’s Irish Red – “McCoors.”
23. Carlsberg – “Soccer Budweiser.”
24. Molson Canadian – “Savage goon juice!”
25. Amstel Light – “The wife thinks you’re boring. You’ll show her!”
26. Hoegaarden – “Not pronounced ‘hoe-garden’ and just as disappointing as that realization.”
27. Peroni – “Not brewed with pepperoni.”
28. Tsingtao – “Chinese beer for sushi lovers.”
29. Sapporo – “The Mr. Miyagi of mediocre beer.”
30. Kirin Ichiban – “Dragons, bro.”

Retro Relapse: 30 New Taglines For Popular Beers

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

I’m a beer snob. I’m fine with that, as I can’t stomach the mass produced swill that many seem to also not enjoy, other than getting a buzz while watching their pigskin team on Sundays.

Every time I go to a party or a bar that is in the midst of pigskin game watching, I am usually offered up one of these choices. When in Rome, drink swill… or something like that.

Anyway, I figured that since I am in advertising and marketing, I could use that skill in an effort to come up with new taglines for these really popular brews.

So here we go!

1. Budweiser – “‘MERICUH MOST PURE! YEAH! FERTBALL!”
2. Bud Light – “The renewable resource – piss that makes you piss.”
3. Bud Light Platinum – “High class white trash you can drink.”
4. Bud Light Lime – “I want my Corona, AMERICAN!”
5. Bud Ice – “Wait… there is no ice in this piss? Can you even freeze piss?”
6. Busch – “The St. Louis Cardinals of beer.”
7. Busch Light – “The Memphis Redbirds of beer.”
8. Miller Lite – “That ’70s beer.”
9. Miller High Life – “Goes good with those deviled eggs that have been sitting out since yesterday.”
10. Coors Light – “Magic blue mountains to tell you when it reaches maximum sucktitude.”
11. Mic Ultra – “Perfect for those Gossip Girl reruns.”
12. Natural Ice – “Why am I Hulking out? ARGH!!! HULK SMASH!!!”
13. Natural Light – “SHE-HULK SMASH!!!”
14. Keystone Light – “For those who have a light appreciation for Pennsylvania.”
15. Pabst Blue Ribbon – “It’s a Gainesville Saturday night, up in here!”
16. Yuengling Lager – “Craft beer that doesn’t taste like craft beer.”
17. Labatt Blue – “Tastes like watered down hockey sweat.”
18. Labatt Blue Light – “Tastes like water with a bit of hockey sweat.”
19. Heineken – “Doogie Howser approves!”
20. Becks – “German Budweiser.”
21. Stella Artois – “Whoa! At least I got a good buzz and it’s not horrible!”
22. Foster’s – “Australian for “ass juice”.”
23. Dos Equis – “The most interesting marketing lie in the world.”
24. Corona – “The Taco Bell of beers.”
25. Corona Light – “So good you have to fill it with sixty limes.”
26. Modelo – “Corona in a pretentious bottle.”
27. Tecate – “Premier lucha libre advertiser since 1890.”
28. Pacifico – “It’s like a salty ocean with an “O” at the end of it.”
29. Red Stripe – “Jamaican me not like this beer!”
30. Guinness Draught – “Actually, quite good! The Irish win!”

Book Review: ‘Tiki Pop: America Imagines Its Own Polynesian Paradise’ by Sven A. Kirsten

There are books on Tiki culture and then there’s Tiki Pop: America Imagines Its Own Polynesian Paradise by Sven A. Kirsten and publisher TASCHEN.

What I mean by that is that this book is the bible on Tiki history in the United States, as it covers its genesis, all of its key elements, how it expanded into everything in pop culture and ultimately, how it faded away and then saw a bit of a revival.

Like all books I own by TASCHEN, this is image heavy and presented on premium paper stock. It’s a legitimate art book that truly delves into Tiki history and displays everything that one could imagine from that pocket of Americana.

This book is a very thick hardcover that covers so much territory, even for being chock full of hundreds of images and also being translated into three languages.

I found every single chapter intriguing and well researched. My only real gripe about the book is that the written part of each chapter is kind of short and I felt like it all could’ve been greatly expanded on. Maybe the author can do that in the future, as this has so many great entry points to different parts of Tiki pop that can be expanded upon in many books.

Regardless of that, this is still the greatest book I have ever come across on the subject. Plus, it’s beautifully and immaculately presented. For lovers of Tiki culture, this is absolutely a must own and it’s also really inexpensive for its size and quality.

Rating: 10/10
Pairs well with: other books on Tiki culture and pop culture from bygone eras.

Retro Relapse: 25 Things Guys Do That Make Them Pussies

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

*This is sort of a sequel to the post I did called 25 Things Manly Men Should Do On a Daily Basis. That post was well-received, so I figured that I should follow-up with the other side of the spectrum.

There are a lot of guys out there. In fact, like fifty percent of the population is guys. I’m not going to check the math on that because math is a waste of time and I’d rather allot more time to cooking bacon-wrapped bacon and getting hammered on brewery tours after chopping enough wood to build a town with a moderately sized zoo to house my Kodiak bear army.

Most men do things that make them pussies. I’ve slipped up once or twice in my life, as I am not perfect. Part of being a man is recognizing your faults, conquering them and never doing them again.

It is also a man’s duty to point out to other men when they are not living up to the essence of their testosterone-fueled birthright.

With that, I am going to list twenty-five things that make guys look like pussies and thus, not like men.

1. They would rather look like Jared Leto than a lumberjack with a dead moose over their shoulder.

2. They are a vegetarian or worse yet, a vegan.

3. They drive a Prius or another car manufacturer’s equivalent. A Smart car is a death sentence.

4. Whenever handed a beer by another man, it must be drank. Even if it is a bad beer. Unless of course you have a better beer on hand to share, in an effort to educate your friend’s palate. You should always have a good beer on hand: always.

5. They can’t pitch a tent: an actual tent. There are pills to help with boners and no man should shame another man who suffers from erectile dysfunction.

6. They fold their thumb under their fingers when making a fist.

7. When given the choice of bacon, they say “no”.

8. They watched Twilight with their significant other and then sat through one of the sequels as well.

9. They wear skinny jeans.

10. They use social media as a call for help or pity party or worse yet, they post song lyrics to convey their emotions.

11. They’ve actually voted on an American Idol contestant.

12. They eat their steak (or any meat, really) well-done or worse yet, with ketchup.

13. They refer to Jack Daniels as “bourbon”.

14. They don’t finish a beer. If you order it or it is given to you and you start drinking it, you must finish it.

15. They use the word “cute” to describe anything other than a female.

16. They consider Lil Wayne to be music.

17. They knock someone for drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon but they are holding either a Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Light, Mic Ultra or anything else in this category.

18. They sneer at cigars or pipes but fill their lungs with cigarette smoke or worse yet, menthols.

19. They carry purses or worse yet, they actually call them “man bags”.

20. They offer you a scotch, in attempt to appear manly, and they pull out a bottle of Cutty Sark or Dewar’s.

21. They use umbrellas on themselves.

22. They are too afraid of bugs to kill them or catch and release them.

23. They own a Fall Out Boy record or worse yet, they paid for it.

24. They have more beauty/hygiene products than deodorant, soap and beard oil.

25. They are offended by this post or they are hurt and offended by words in general. Grow up, man up, nut up and develop a sense of humor that doesn’t need to be approved by the girl who keeps you in the “friend zone”.

Retro Relapse: A Race Rigged to Lose

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2012.

*Also, I haven’t really reposted stuff from my days writing about politics and economics but this is something that got a lot of attention at the time and certain media outlets wanted to feature it, albeit without the colorful language and allusions to substance abuse. I said, “No, hoe! No one censors ya boi!”

*Plus, this is my 100th Retro Relapse post, so I wanted to dig up something special.

What the hell happened last night? No, I am not talking about some sort of development in the 2012 Republican primary, that’s basically over at this point. I am talking about this damn nausea and the monster sized jackhammer wrapped in flashing bright lights and obnoxious dubstep that is blasting through the thin
rock-like structure of my skull right now! Where the hell was that hotel room I found myself in this morning? What was that sticky mass all over the floor and as I woke up in it, what the hell was that that I saw under the bed: a slightly large syringe or a slightly small baster? What the hell was it used for? Do I really want to know either way? What’s with the fucking reggae blaring outside the window, it’s 6:30 in the goddamned morning!

Forty-five minutes later, why the hell am I sitting in the Naples-Ft. Myers Greyhound Track parking lot with my MacBook Pro burning my legs, as I type out this strange train of random chemically
influenced thoughts? My bagel tastes like shit, my head feels like it was raped by a dozen raging elephant cocks in a sexual repressed frenzy and I keep feeling like I need to puke but so far I’ve just had a few dry heaves – I guess I got it all out somewhere on the beach last night. The truth is, there isn’t a better time to write than now.

Reflecting on the events that brought me to this place, I feel that maybe I shouldn’t party so hard during the week. Then again, everything that has come from my seemingly careless actions has only contradicted this theory. You see, every boss in my company is in Mexico this week and therefore I have had no
distractions at the office from an administrative standpoint. No meetings, no meetings about what to talk about in future meetings and no meetings to talk about what we’ve talked about in previous meetings – all of which has something to do with wide receivers and debating over lunch options. I have actually got to
do some real work this week and because of that, have created some pretty amazing shit.

For those who don’t know, I am the Art Director for a major cigar manufacturer, which company is insignificant but a Google search will probably destroy my anonymity. Now considering that my boss has decided to release about eight dozen new brands at this year’s biggest trade show, I am expected to magically pull creative miracles out of my urethra on a whim. I’m certainly not complaining, this is what I do and the pay is sufficient; I’m also allowed certain freedoms at this job that I wouldn’t have elsewhere, which is why I have stayed for so long. This week has been pretty goddamned magical and even if the CEO hates my new concepts, I’m still in love with them and will fight for them as always, until my last breath or another big project that is made to seem more important than it actually is, is dropped in my lap at the last minute with a deadline of three days prior.

Those times when I don’t write a lot are because of the strenuous demands of my well-paying job. Which makes me appreciate the fact that the Republican primary is just about over and I can go back to focusing fully on my real job, as the busiest time of the year for the creative side of this business, is creeping up on me.

Writing about politics doesn’t really have a negative impact on my performance at my job, it actually seems to work in the opposite, as days upon days of conceptualizing something as insignificant to the real world as a cigar band can cause one’s brain to either erupt in colorful vulgar madness or completely shutdown. I do however find some senseless motivation in assisting the universe in putting more nails into Rick Santorum’s coffin and really, setting the bastards of this universe on fire is gratifying in a way that I will continue to do it without money on the table. However, getting a paycheck for it would be nice and ultimately, would be much more preferable than my current line of paid employment, as I could focus on rattling cages full-time.

The opportunity I have been waiting for, fell into my lap a few weekends ago. Now I was instructed not to write about this and I said that I wouldn’t until the election was over. These egomaniacal assholes probably assumed that I meant November but I didn’t specify and since the candidate that they work for is pretty much done at this point, his election is most assuredly over. Now I may look like a devious trickster here and I did give them my word to a degree, which I do hold my word true, but pure unadulterated truth is much more important in this case, as I have always believed in free speech and in transparency. What they wanted me to do was to compromise my principles where those two things are concerned, which immediately threw up a red flag and made me go into the mode of playing along to see what exactly it was that these schemers had up their sleeves.

I was asked to breakfast, early on a Sunday morning at the last minute to meet with important people on the staff of a Republican presidential candidate. I will not say their names or the candidate’s, as I only want to shed light on the situation and who it was doesn’t matter; I am sure this is standard practice amongst the leeches and vampires. Besides, the meeting was quick, as they learned almost immediately that I wasn’t going to play ball for them.

The leader of the group introduced himself to me and as he did, I checked him out on my iPhone to see if he was legit: he was. He immediately tried to butter me up by talking about my website and my work. He said that he respected my stance on the issues and that was why he needed to meet with me. He knew my website stats to a tee and talked about how my articles have reached hundreds of thousands of people through Facebook and various other social media platforms and political forums. He then brought up the fact that I was very biased for Ron Paul and because of that have gotten a lot of support and readership from other Paul supporters. Aha! The proverbial plot thickens!

The leader of the group asked me how their campaign could capitalize on Ron Paul’s “fall from grace” and gain the support of his loyal followers. I explained to him that when Paul was finally out of the race, his supporters would either walk away, write “Ron Paul” on their ballots in November or vote for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. This guy refused to accept that and insisted that there must be a way to win over the hearts of Paul supporters to get behind his candidate. I told him that it would never happen no matter what kind of dirty tricks that he had in mind. The man got pissed and a bit irate at this point, as he stared at me intently between bites of his blueberry pancakes. I had to bring him to the realization that even if you compiled all of Ron Paul’s delegates with his boss’ delegates that the number was still dwarfed by the number of delegates Mitt Romney has amassed. I also made it clear that Barack Obama was going to get reelected regardless of how the GOP contest concluded; this was the point where his face got about as purple as his pancakes.

Calming down and trying to regain his footing with me, this guy said that people can be “persuaded”. He then added that they can “especially be persuaded by the voices they trust”. What this shady bastard was trying to do, in a nutshell, was to get me to write an article calling for Paul supporters to shift their allegiance elsewhere, based off of the fact that Paul is a greyhound that can’t win in a race rigged to lose. What this guy couldn’t see through the blinding light of his massive holier-than-thou ego is that his boss has no chance in hell of winning but that isn’t even the point here.

Now he never asked me to write something but it was heavily alluded to and he told me that there are a thousand writers/bloggers like me out there who would jump at the opportunity to help their campaign succeed. While that could very possibly be true, I am not nor will I ever be one of those soulless creatures out to make a quick buck by surrendering my principles and lying to those whose loyal eyes scroll across my words and thank me by simply re-posting my articles wherever they can.

The breakfast meeting was incredibly short and the guy was a complete jackoff. What I learned from this though, is how the media is bought and paid for at almost any level and how out of touch these big wig Washington insiders really are. This guy has no clue as to how any of this works and if he does, he certainly didn’t show it and only displayed what could be interpreted as pure arrogance and ignorance.

In the end, they got up and left and I was expected to pay my own tab. I guess the part where I tore his business card in half really set him off. His parting words were, “Have fun scribbling on cigar boxes for the rest of your life.” Funny, because ten minutes earlier he told me, “We want you to work for us.” What I now believe, based off of this encounter, is that there are bloggers and writers who do work for them. As insignificant as I am to the bigger picture, this must be true and it is seemingly the job of men like these to round us up and bribe us into making things go their way.

So as I finish this, thighs charred from this damn laptop, I stare out at the dog track, as the sun rises behind me, and wonder if greyhound racing is as dirty as the most important race in America. Do those speedy beasts on that track try underhanded devious tactics to get the edge on their competition or do they just race and hope for the best? Those animals were bred for pure competition and push themselves around that circle day in and day out and truth be told, every single one of them has more heart in their small chests than the vast majority of the beasts in the race to the White House.

Politics isn’t a sport, it’s just a beauty contest where the winner is chosen by how many cocks they fluff and how many corrupt corporatists they can convince to line their pockets. And hell, when that doesn’t work, some of that money trickles down into the pockets of those who can use the power of their words to change minds for the worse. It’s a vile, dishonest and disgusting tournament for jackals that would eat their own for one more go around that dirty track.

The best thing any of us can do, is to choose not to play their game.

Retro Relapse: Bitch, You Ain’t 21!

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

By the title of this piece, you are probably assuming that it is about teen girls trying to sneak into the bar to party with the big boys. Well, you’re wrong. In fact, I am talking about the whole other end of the spectrum. I’m talking about girls in their mid-thirties (or older) that still act and behave like they’re 21 year-olds who have only been able to drink just recently.

C’mon, you know the girls I’m talking about. The ones who show up at the bar, ready to rumble but wearing classier clothes than their early 20s counterparts and order somewhat classier drinks – usually something in a stemmed glass, as opposed to brightly colored fruity shots. They down martinis like a marathon runner grabbing for waters. They dance pretty uncoordinated but do a good job of keeping their balance for the first ten minutes until they break a heel. They also look like a drunk aunt when they hit on the 21 year-old unkempt fellow wearing a hat in a nice club while sipping on a Miller Lite. They are overly impressed with almost any form of flattery. They start handing out their business cards to everyone, even if you aren’t interested in buying a house from them or going to see the dermatologist they work for. Many of them hit a point in the night where they transform into werewolves howling at the moon and shredding everything in sight. Some of them smell like a mixture of Princess Night and cat piss. They are essentially cougars in training that will fail to reach full cougarhood. Instead, they will become the lonely and crazy cat ladies of modern urban folklore.

I get that life is hard and you like to party hard, I’m right there with you. The thing is, when you hit that late 20s mark and going into your 30s, things need to change. Behaving like you did when you were a bar newbie over ten years ago is not only sloppy and unattractive, it is also a clear sign of someone with problems that no real and mature guy is going to want to deal with. If you’re complaining that you can’t find a decent man but you regularly exhibit behavior like this, you are most likely going to continue to struggle with that. No one wants to deal with a drunken mess every time the bar is open. I say this to help and this is coming from someone who has been a drunken mess many times in his day. I’ve also evolved.

You’ve been doing this long enough that you should know your drinking capabilities and your limitations. You should also have enough self-respect to not publicly transform into an insane wildebeest dancing like an epileptic jellyfish while puking on barstools and sweating like a fat man in a buffalo wing eating contest. You’re also making yourself look like easy pickin’s for the date rapists and molly ninjas.

This behavior isn’t going to lead to anything good. Whether it is the quality of man you’ll potentially attract, the DUI you might get or the health problems that will eventually occur, life will never be your bitch. In fact, you will be life’s bitch. The hardcore “fuck it all to hell, let’s party” schtick will do the exact opposite of solving your woes. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have fun and let loose but you shouldn’t make it your life’s mission. You’ve got to have balance and control. And again, you should already know your limitations.

Additionally, all those spin classes mean jack shit when you’re bathing in martinis all night, every night. Also, you are aging really fast. Botox all you want but Joan Rivers looks like a plastic nightmare.

Now being in my mid-30s, I’ve learned the hard way that the body changes and one’s recovery time and ability to bounce back is nowhere near where it was in your 20s. While having a more established life and a real job to go to on a daily basis, I have to plan accordingly. This means no more weeknight trips to clubs or bars out of town, pulling an all night binger, only to have to be back at my desk and functional by 9 a.m. I’ve seen too many people my age get fired from good jobs because they can’t adapt and evolve passed their “party hard” nature.

Earlier, I mentioned the quality of mates one would attract exhibiting these traits. In most cases, women like this take home that young guy, which sounds pleasing to some but ultimately, he just wants to fuck you and will tolerate your bullshit as long as he is getting laid. The truth is, and as you all should know, most of these young guys won’t stick around very long and while the action is good, you’re left empty and back to square one. It’s a cycle that won’t end until you break it. I also see many girls taking home dudes in their 20s that they wouldn’t have even talked to when they were in their 20s. As time goes on, they downgrade their game and bring home guys they previously wouldn’t have given the time of day. And the ones that do stick around are usually emasculated lapdogs that will put up with your shit and take your abuse but they’ll never give you the fulfillment of actually being with a man. In fact, once you cheat on them, in front of them, they’ll probably just put on their headphones and cry to Snow Patrol.

The harsh reality is that there comes a time in life where you need to grow the fuck up or get left the fuck behind.

Retro Relapse: Fuck You, I’m A Beer Snob

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

On the eve of the Fourth of July, I’ve already been freely handed a few beers by a few different people. I’ve had to decline because ultimately, I am a prick and an asshole. More correctly, I am a beer snob.

Sorry, amateurs. Even in the spirit of camaraderie, I just can’t get myself to physically touch a Coors Light, Bud Light, Mic Ultra or any other low calorie Yankee swill that broke ass dude bros chug while pretending they know something about soccer. Sorry, I’m also frustrated with the know-nothing World Cup cheerleaders who just so happen to be in every bar I’ve walked into in the last two weeks. Maybe I’ll write about that next.

Moving on, there is so much beer in the world. There are so many varieties, types and different nations with beer-making expertise. Even if you’re broke as shit, there is still affordable stuff out there. But these guys don’t want to experience anything new. They’re boring-as-fuck individuals that live boring-as-fuck lives and can’t stray too far from the norm because they’re way too comfortable being mediocre. They want their turkey sandwich for lunch everyday, they only fuck missionary style and they are more than content in a collared shirt and khakis picked out by their girlfriend. She’s boring-as-fuck too. She always wears capris and plain unflattering t-shirts. She took her hair out of a ponytail once but that was just because she had to change out her Stephanie Tanner scrunchie.

I don’t hate you people, I just hate your boringness. I hate that you are perfectly fine doing the same fucking thing everyday… for the rest of your lives. I don’t hate Budweiser but I hate the fact that it is goddamned Coca-Cola and it is the automatic default thing for “beer drinkers” to grab because it is the most recognizable. I hate that assholes drink up light beer while eating two dozen buffalo wings. It is a light beer because it is lower in calories. If that’s why you drink it, good for you – this may also make you a chick. But to those of you pounding a case of Bud Light every night while stuffing your face with fatty foods are ignorant fucking assholes. Ignorant fucking assholes with no taste buds, apparently.

Yeah, I’ll drink this shit too on occasion. For instance, one time I was doing manual labor in the Nevada desert and I was dying from the heat, was super parched and felt like I was going to collapse. A friend tossed me a Miller Lite. I popped that motherfucker open and it was the best goddamned thing I have ever drank. It serves a purpose: survival. Also, I’ll grab one of these American flagship beers when I’m at a baseball game and the vendor walks by because I’m too caught up in the game and too lazy to walk all the way to concessions to wait in a long ass line.

To all you hardcore IPA-drinking snobs jumping and cheering at my words, you guys can go fuck yourselves too. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good IPA but it isn’t the only thing out there. Also, many IPAs, by “many” I mean most of them, are way too hoppy. Yes, I also love hops but when it is so extreme that the beer becomes some bitter piece of floral shit, you can throw it in the goddamned dumpster for all I care. In the IPA department, I’m really enjoying Cigar City’s stuff right now: Jai Alai and Invasion to be specific.

Look, life is short. My point is, buy something besides the same crap. Expand your palate and your life experiences. The same goes for you goddamned Johnny Walker, Jameson, Jim and Jack drinkers. Stay away from the 4J’s and try some other whiskies.

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. Celebrate your freedom by being free to choose something else in life.

And fuck your turkey sandwich.

Retro Relapse: Selling Out to Black Friday

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I hate Black Friday.

Truthfully, everyone should loathe it. It is an awful day that shows commercially obsessed Americans behaving at their very worst.

You have people who camp out for a week on concrete in front of Best Buy – just to save $15 on a 12″ television set. You have insane people who will punch each other’s lights out over the last “jerk me off” Muppet doll. People get mauled, they get crushed and they get stomped to death in America’s version of the Running of the Bulls. Let’s call it the Running of the Fools.

The hysteria is only getting worse. Now stores open even earlier. In fact, some open up on Thanksgiving before people are even able to get to their second plate of gluttony. Trust the advertising, screw your family!

Americans watch football, stuff their faces and then shout for glee over every commercial that shows some insane Black Friday deal that you can only get if you drop your turkey right that second and rush out the door to beat the other psychos that sold out their family for a couple fifty cent pillow shams and a $30 phablet that can shit out espresso.

I hate you people; you are the absolute worst and I don’t shed a tear when I hear about your kind getting squished to death trying to grab a limited edition toaster designed by Beyoncé.

I have always refused to participate. Not because I don’t believe in capitalism, but because I believe in what Thanksgiving represents – enjoying time with those I care about and celebrating that time together and eating a fuck ton of food until I hate myself and then go on to eat even more.

Hell, I couldn’t participate in Black Friday if I tried, because I embrace Thanksgiving like a goddamned champion and because of that, don’t plan to move for at least 48-to-72 hours. Additionally, it forces my family and I to have to spend time together because we are all sprawled out all over the house like hibernating bears moaning loudly like cold winos with an empty bottle.

If any of us were to participate in Black Friday, we would lose this annual tradition and quality time with one another. In turn, we would be transformed to serial murderers trying to collect a bunch of pointless trophies we don’t need while throwing away money on them because someone else will acquire the pointless trophies if we don’t.

It’s like the whole point of Black Friday is to be able to say to your neighbors and friends, “Hey, look at me! I’ve got all this shit! I’m fucking broke but I’ve got the most shit! Haha! And I’m glad my children saw me kill a woman to get this Hello Kitty branded thimble! You’re all fucking losers! Ha!”

So after years of refusing to participate in this annual Purge event, I stepped outside of my house because I had to acquire something. No, not a pointless trophy and not just some shit. I had to acquire a four pack of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout.

I sold my soul to the commerce gods, I am aware of this. The payoff was worth it, however.

The thing is, what I sought wasn’t some super HD smart goggles or a smartphone that can make a sub or a limited release doll with a light-up asshole or a special edition hobo-scented candle. What I wanted to get was the very best stout that America has to offer. It is actually something that enhances and enriches life, as opposed to something that just drains it away.

This beer only comes out once a year and in very limited quantities. I hate that they tie it to Black Friday but since it is a Budweiser owned product, the fingers of evil are touching this majestic brew. Unfortunately for me, I could not deny myself the experience of drinking this annual release even though it is on Black Friday.

Reflecting on my decision and having now drank this year’s version of the beer, Bourbon County Stout not only lives up to the hype, it far exceeds it. I actually went into this with the utmost skepticism. I anticipated it being very good but I didn’t anticipate it being a five-star beer.

I’ve had many great stouts in my day but this one takes the cake.

There is a lot going on with this stout. There are slight nuances of barley, roasted grains, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, caramel, fig and charred wood. It is jet black with a thin khaki-colored head, as well as a thick and somewhat creamy body. It also packs a nice punch with its alcohol level but is still smooth as hell and not bitey.

It cost me around $24 for the four pack and even though I’m a bit broke this week, it was a wise purchase. This time next year, I am going to have some extra money set aside so that I can buy their other limited edition beers that also come out on Black Friday.

Now I don’t expect Budweiser to do anything not evil but if they cared about families and the real spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, they should release the Bourbon County beers before the holiday, not the day after. I would much rather stock up on as much as I could get and then share it with my appreciative family members and friends over our epic Thanksgiving dinner. Wouldn’t you rather enjoy this on the biggest day of the year to celebrate gluttonous behavior?

In fact, savoring this brew might make people slow down on Thanksgiving and savor their food more. Maybe they wouldn’t get as full so fast and they would eat less and thus, not hate themselves after going comatose in the third quarter of the Cowboys game.

If acquiring Bourbon County’s beers ever becomes as insane of a task as going to Wal-Mart on Black Friday, I won’t do it. The fact that I was able to walk into ABC Liquor and grab a four pack within ten minutes, made this Black Friday experience okay. If this beer generates psycho levels of hysteria and people will try to kill me for a place in line, I won’t be in that line.

The moral of the story is that people are often times stupid and crazy. This stout was worth taking the risk of having to traverse through a sea of psychos. Luckily for me, psychos don’t like good beer or at least the psychos in my town don’t have good palates.

Retro Relapse: 30 Christmas Gifts for the Grizzly Man

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

Christmas rules December like Hulk Hogan ruled the ring in the ’80s! It is the best holiday there ever was!

That being said, we all love getting presents and those of us who aren’t jerks, love giving presents. ‘Tis the season for giving and all that jazz.

So what should you get a manly grizzly man? If you are not sure, I have compiled a list of stuff. And there are things here that fit all price ranges and types of men.

Sure, it may be a little late but if you haven’t started shopping yet, get out there because this stuff may sell out, if it hasn’t already.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here is the list!

1. A fine cut of premium meat
2. A bottle of good scotch or bourbon
3. Cast iron cooking stuff
4. A stellar axe to cut firewood
5. A spacious tent
6. A sweet rifle
7. A good quality survival knife
8. A nice bow with arrows
9. A solid tomahawk made for throwing
10. A reliable fishing pole
11. Visually alluring flannel shirts
12. Attractive wood for crafting into manly furniture
13. Much needed tools
14. Stylish suspenders
15. A personalized baseball bat or hockey stick
16. A thoughtful item that you crafted by hand
17. A hefty meat carving board
18. Great literature such as books by Jack London or Louis L’Amour
19. A framed poster from a Clint Eastwood movie signed by Clint Eastwood
20. A top notch gas lantern
21. A box of premium cigars
22. Home brewing equipment
23. A big bag of beautiful coffee beans
24. An impressive array of cheeses
25. A pair of satisfactory hiking boots
26. A shiny new waffle maker
27. Exercise equipment or weights they may need
28. A well-kept collection of old baseball cards or stag mags
29. A manly cookbook
30. A musical instrument