Retro Relapse: Full English Breakfast: The Fuel of An Empire

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

*Written in 2010.

It should be no surprise, at this point, how much I love waffles or breakfast food for that matter. So one particular breakfast item that I’d like to talk about and pay homage to, as my homie Greg calls it, is a “proper” full English breakfast. The Red Coats definitely created one of the greatest feats in the history of mankind when they assembled this culinary miracle.

The “proper” full English breakfast is comprised of many fine treats and can be presented with several different options. Generally, it is served with two eggs (I like 3-4 myself), “proper” English bacon (which is different than American bacon), fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms, toast, “proper” English sausage (which is much larger than American sausage) and black pudding. Some versions come with baked beans in tomato sauce, some variation of potato and other vegetables. The breakfast is usually accompanied by “proper” British tea (hopefully free of tariffs).

After discovering this awesome monster of a breakfast meal, I now realize why the Red Coats were so hard to defeat during the American Revolution. I wouldn’t want to fight anyone with a full breakfast in their stomach. It is no wonder why the British were able to nearly take over the entire world. That’s why I am glad that they are now our ally and we have the luxury of sharing our breakfast food with each other. Between full breakfasts in the UK and Waffle Houses in the US, there is nothing our two peoples cannot accomplish.

I’m sure the British swashbucklers used to eat these everyday, no matter what side of the law they were on. Full English breakfasts have been known to quicken swordplay, increase jumping height, enhance acrobatics as well as making someone literally impervious to musket balls. Merlin actually existed and was powered by full English breakfasts and the blood of trolls, whose blood was used to make black pudding before they became extinct. Now they just make black pudding with the blood of pigs and cows; I guess dragons and orcs are hard to find. King Arthur, the greatest warrior king ever, used to bathe in full English breakfasts for hours. Excalibur was forged in the same fires where the first full English breakfast was cooked.

If only the British could properly harness the power of the “proper” full English breakfast, as they did before troll extinction, they might have the power to destroy all evil in the world! If the whole world ate “proper” full English breakfasts, than we’d all be liberated and powerful yet peaceful due to the spiritual balance that the meal brings at the start of the day.

Sorry, I’ve been writing this while drunk on a “proper” full English breakfast. But it could also be the bottle of Scotch I just used to rinse out my liver.

Documentary Review: Spielberg (2017)

Release Date: October 5th, 2017 (New York Film Festival)
Directed by: Susan Lacy
Cast: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma, Richard Dreyfuss, John Williams, J.J. Abrams, James Brolin, Bob Balaban, Tom Hanks, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Oprah Winfrey, Frank Marshall, Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Robert Zemeckis, Cate Blanchett, Holly Hunter, Dustin Hoffman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tom Cruise, Eric Bana, Daniel Craig

HBO Documentary Films, Pentimento Productions, 147 Minutes

Review:

This was a pretty stellar documentary for fans of not just Steven Spielberg but filmmaking and film history in general.

It reminded me a lot of the 2001 documentary Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures, in that this spent a lot of time breaking down most of the key movies in Spielberg’s oeuvre.

Every segment here was rich, detailed and featured interviews with some major directors, actors and producers. But the film also gets into Spielberg’s personal life and how real life experiences influenced his movies.

This was a lengthy documentary, just as the Kubrick one was and rightfully so. In fact, this could have been the length of a ten part, two hour apiece Ken Burns documentary and I still would have been fully engaged.

Spielberg’s career has been long and full of at least a dozen classic films that will be remembered forever. Each segment could’ve been it’s own documentary film and it actually kind of sucks that a few films were mentioned but not given as much detail, most notably A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, the Jurassic Park sequels and some of his production work like Back to the Future.

Still, this is pretty thorough and there is so much to unpack and take away from this. It is one of the best documentaries on a filmmaker’s life and career.

Rating: 9/10
Pairs well with: other documentaries on specific directors but this reminded me a lot of Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures.

The McDonald’s Double Drive-Thru Is Bullshit

*The Bullshit Series started on an older blog but I wanted to bring these articles back here, as I have new installments for the series that I want to release over time. The series focuses on things that I think are bullshit… like filet mignon, Zubaz pants, the Pro Bowl and diets.

*Written in 2015.

The McDonald’s double drive-thru is bullshit. It is a clusterfuck of biblical proportions. Seriously, whose idea was this? I’d like to meet them.

Okay, let us look at this objectively and in theory. In theory, in a perfect world, this is probably a fairly decent idea. It allows McDonald’s to process orders more quickly because obviously they are struggling financially and need more money. But really that is only the real benefit I see.

And what good is processing orders, or really just taking orders, at a faster rate considered more efficient when the split line has to merge back together?

Okay, the idea is actually crap in theory.

Here’s the real problem. McDonald’s really overestimates the logic and patience of human beings. They also overestimate their acceptance of change and learning new things.

One, people are generally morons. Two, people resist change. Put both of those things together and you get the mess that I have to deal with every time I just want to grab a Sausage McMuffin and a shitty iced coffee because I am too lazy to make my own breakfast.

What I usually deal with is people who aren’t sure where to split the line because the arrows are just suggestions and not a law punishable by Mayor McCheese and Officer Big Mac.

So we get impatient dickheads who swerve out of the long line violently and cut several cars to get to the second lane before the suggested traffic split. It creates tension and road rage. People who try to follow the rules and be orderly are fucked over by self-absorbed pricks who can’t wait an extra few seconds for a McFlurry.

Then when the cars are supposed to merge back together, people don’t seem to understand how this works. I constantly see people yelling and beeping their bitch horns because they are already pissed off and think that the other person is trying to cut in front of them again. People don’t understand that the line should merge back together in the sequence of completed orders. If you finish your order, you are in front of the other person still talking into the monitor. It is pretty simple but it is still over many people’s heads.

Also, McDonald’s is squeezing this concept into every location possible. The two McDonald’s locations closest to me don’t really have room for it. It is really hard to navigate in limited space, especially when other people trying to just move around the drive-thru, who aren’t in it, can’t get through or have to enter the drive-thru traffic because they are stuck just trying to get out of the parking lot.

A double drive-thru doesn’t need to be rocket science but it is because people don’t know how to use it, even after a few years.

And the worst are the assholes who aren’t paying attention and hold up their half of the line, allowing people to cut in and screw up the sequence of orders to be picked up.

This article doesn’t need to be long, the point has been made. But apparently there are “studies” that claim McDonald’s bullshit drive-thru experiment works. They are probably the same “scientists” that claim that clowns aren’t terrifying. Hence, they are on McDonald’s clown-loving payroll.

I could just park and order inside but then again, people don’t know how to form a line there either.

I think line forming was the first thing I learned in school.

Fast food should be convenient. McDonald’s has now made it the equivalent of trying to board an overbooked flight.

TV Review: The Comic Book Greats: Episode 12 – Spotlight on Whilce Portacio (1992)

Released: 1992
Created by: Stan Lee
Directed by: Rick Stawinski
Music by: Rick Stawinski, Rob Stawinski
Cast: Stan Lee (host), Whilce Portacio

Excelsior Productions, Stabur Home Video, 52 Minutes

Review:

Well, this is it, the final episode of The Comic Book Greats. There was one more video released after this one but that was a “best of” compendium of all the episodes. I’d also like to review that one but it’s not up streaming anywhere that I can find. If it does become available, at some point, I’ll check it out and let you know how it is.

This series really did go out on a bang, though. I didn’t know what to expect from this episode as I never saw it and I also haven’t seen much with Whilce Portacio in other interviews. But I have always liked his work, especially the stuff he did on X-MenX-Factor and his own creation for Image Comics, Wetworks.

Portacio is very engaging and had a good rapport with Stan Lee. Lee seemed genuinely fascinated by Whilce and his backstory, especially regarding Filipino culture.

Whilce also does a good job at the drawing table, discussing his technique during his creation process. Like the other Image guys that had videos before this one, I think Whilce would make a good teacher.

It’s kind of sad that this is the last episode of the series, I feel like there were a lot of other greats that the series could have showcased but this final episode was pretty darn good and a solid end to the series.

Rating: 8.25/10
Pairs well with: other episodes in The Comic Book Greats video series.