The Timeless Art of Debate

The timeless art of debate. At its greatest, it is a showcase of two opposing views finding mutual respect for each other’s perspectives and in the end each walks away not only swelling with pride at the affirmation of their own beliefs, but able to further understand the rationale behind their opponents differing opinions. At its worst, people call each other doody-head and stick their tongues out whenever they hear something they don’t agree with.

Oh, how I wish that second half wasn’t true. Sadly, even though that juvenile behavior is a shameful thing to see displayed amongst first graders, we adults haven’t evolved much past that either. Sure we gussy it up some and cover it in anger, but that’s all just smoke and mirrors to the reality that when we don’t get our way, some of us become assholes.

I’ve recently been noticing more and more that someone, let’s call him Joey, will start a conversation (either in person or on Facebook — that wonderful venue for open discussion) that promotes an idea that differs from what someone else, let’s call her Monica (I may have watched some Friends re-runs recently, don’t judge), believes. The back and forth starts and for some reason instead of staying civil, it turns into an all-out argument where both Joey and Monica are getting defensive and trying to cut down each other’s arguments by calling them unsubstantiated. Why can’t we all seem to remember that, hey, it’s FINE if someone believes something different from you? It’s not the end of the world people and I hate to break it to you, but what you believe is not always the only right answer.

Now, if we’re talking about a fact-based argument then it gets a little murkier, but it still boils down to the same thing: belief. Joey can substantiate his viewpoint and provide BBC links and NPR interviews and whatnot, but if it’s something Monica really doesn’t want to believe then all that “proof” doesn’t mean anything. She’ll just find her own proof or take the ace from her sleeve and point out that not everything that is printed is actually true (shocking, I know) and then we’re right at the beginning again.

I can speak from personal experience. Recently I was giving someone a little industry info that’s been gathered from years of extensive research, investigations and inside information. You know, the things I’ve seen with my own two eyes and talked about with people who were actually on-site. But I was re-buffed, doubted, and scoffed at because what I was saying hadn’t been published in the paper. “How can it be true if it’s not in the newspaper?” was the look I got in return.  Because the newspapers didn’t pick up the story it might as well have been a fairy tale.

Facts are still facts even though they don’t show up in the press. A tree still makes a sound when it falls and no one’s around to hear it.

Since when does public accessibility mean that something must be true? That’s like saying that just because Katherine Heigl has been in movies she must be a good actress. Visibility should not automatically bestow validity. Watch an episode of Friday Night Lights or Almost Human and try to tell me that Minka Kelly can act. Sure, she’s on screen but that doesn’t mean jack. Just because something can be seen doesn’t mean it should automatically be believed. Especially when dealing with the press.

So these debates keep driving and driving and driving themselves towards a cliff where both sides shut off from hearing what the other has to say. That’s when posts get deleted or comments dismissed that have anything whatsoever to do with a perspective that differs. It’s just so incredibly frustrating to talk to people who are hunkered down in their ideals and resist taking the blinders off.

Let’s really think about that metaphor. What if you actually had blinders on that only allowed you to see what’s directly in front of you? Sure, you may like what you see so why change? I get that. But think about how much you’d be missing without any peripheral vision. It’s like our mental peripheral vision is slowly going and we need to get it back before our tunnel vision steers us in the wrong direction.

nifty argument techniques

nifty argument techniques from the ever hilarious Dave Barry — sadly too many people take these ideas to heart

Internet Ease

The debate will never end on the pros and cons of the convenience given to us by the Internet. The world is literally at our fingertips, able to give us answers in a microsecond to some of the most absurd questions you could ever think of. (Who was the assistant manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 1974? What’s the name of that hunky news anchor in Plano, Texas I saw on Anderson Cooper 360? When were China’s terracotta soldiers discovered and which Emperor built them? What is this thing growing in between my toes? What did Ryan Reynolds look like in high school? How many buttons does it take to button a two button suit?) It never ends. It’s all right there laid out in front of you.

That makes life SO easy in so many ways. I can’t imagine what it used to be like when letters had to be put on horses and galloped across the country. Or sending a telegraph hoping it would be delivered on time. I can get a message to China in under a minute now.

Here’s one of the numerous buzz-kills I’ve been struggling with. With all of this information so ready for consumption there’s really nothing that can be hidden from the public eye for very long any more. If anything is even marginally important or an event will be attended by more than 20 people, there’ll probably be grainy pics from a spy cam on the web well in advance.

Of course this affects me directly when I think of movies (mostly Marvel Comics and the like). Back in the day when a great movie came out everyone was absolutely thrilled after its release. We’d memorize all the lines, act out the scenes, put ourselves in the shoes of the heroines and swoon over the heroes (or vice versa depending on who’s reading this). We all would hope for a sequel but we wouldn’t find out about it until pretty shortly before it was actually released. So what did we do after the movie left theaters? We moved on. We found another great movie. That was back then in the PI (Pre-Internet) Age.

Now, what do we do? We want a sequel so we read posts on comment forums about “a source” that says that the studio is definitely thinking about doing a sequel or the writer was quoted as saying at a Comic-Con in San Diego that he has ideas on where the story would go if there is a sequel. And that’s enough to fuel us for months.

Then, when a sequel is actually being filmed there’s the inevitable roll out of unauthorized pictures, authorized pictures, Tweets from the director, teaser trailers, and the list goes on. There are already pictures leaking from the set of Avengers 2 and that’s not coming out for another year.

Hell, Marvel executives have already publicly stated that they have a plan for how they want to shape the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to 2028. 2028! They’re planning movies up to 14 years in the future…and letting us know about them too so we now have years to watch the clock ticking by ever sooo slowly as we await a release date so far in the future we’ll probably have new jobs, new hairdos, new cars, and new kids by the time it actually comes out.

Is it torture to have all this knowledge? The old saying goes that patience is a virtue but I tend to just find it to be a pain in the ass. Then again, the assurance that there is something great to look forward to does make each morning just a little bit brighter. Oh, Internet, how you fool with my heart!

One Crazy Cat

So my cat is “neurologically off.” Note that I didn’t use the word “crazy.” Crazy could mean anything. It could mean that she does silly, unpredictable stuff at the most random times to which every other cat owner in the world would raise their hand and say, “So?” All cats are “crazy” in the cutesy, abstract sense. I get that. I want to be very clear that my cat has gone beyond that barrier into the land of true mental disorder.

Neurologically off is the term I use simply because that’s the phrase my vet used when he was kindly trying to soften the blow that comes when you have to tell someone their beloved pet is “special.”  To be honest, he didn’t need to be so gentle. We already knew that something was a little off. Taking her to the vet was just to get that 100% certainty that she’s not all there.  It pains me to admit that my cat might not be the sharpest claw in the paw. But facts are facts: the lights are on but nobody’s home.

staring at the closed blinds

staring at the closed blinds

She thinks her name is pshpshpshpshpsh (that silly noise us cat owners make when we try to coax the cat to come our way and which I obviously can’t spell). Seriously. No matter what nook or cranny of the house she might be exploring at any given time, if you even whisper that noise she’s there, at your side. I would say she “magically appears,” but that’s not true. She’s kind of a big cat, and clumsy/awkward, so the house always shakes a little when she jumps down from whatever lofty spot she has found herself in and hearing her come down the stairs sounds a bit like a herd of elephants. The cool thing is she doesn’t think it over. She doesn’t assess the pros and cons of her decision or think about what’s in it for her before responding…like our other cats do. She hears that prompt…I’m sorry, her name…and it’s like she’s drawn in from a laser beam.

Also, her depth perception isn’t exactly crisp. Sometimes she’ll saunter up to rub on my leg and miss by a good two feet. Same if she comes in close for a loving “head-butt.” If you don’t meet her more than halfway she’ll totally whiff on it.

Part of her problem, or rather, part of her personality stems from when she was a baby and we first rescued her. She was sick with an upper respiratory illness. Contagious to our other cats but not to us or our dog Rufus. Because of this, she spent several weeks contained in rooms with just my daughter and me and Rufus. She and Rufus became fast friends. Coupled with the fact that Kitten (yes, that’s the best we could come up with for a name) was likely separated from her mother too soon she adapted to Rufus and now shows definite signs of canine behavior.  It’s a hoot.

she likes sleeping in my lap

her favorite sleeping position

What she lacks in mental acumen she more than makes up for in heart. She’s quite possibly the sweetest cat in the world. She gives love to everyone and wants nothing but love (and attention) in return. She doesn’t fall into any of the nasty stereotypes cats are often prone to (the bitchiness, the scratching, the pooping on your bedroom pillow, etc).

Maybe she getting a bad rap by being called neurologically off.  I’m not sure what the vet’s agenda was in telling me this, except maybe to explain some of the behaviors we had already seen. But his diagnosis doesn’t make a bit of difference. She’s a part of the family, she’s loved, and she’s perfect just the way she is.

 

The Squirrel Whisperer

It may be a couple of rungs down from Dr. Doolittle level but over the years my mother has slowly worked her way into the role of Queen of the Squirrels within the local rodent community. I don’t know if this has been an intentional plan of hers that she’s been rolling out over time, but she’s been feeding the squirrels in her backyard for so long now that not only are they not afraid of her, they in fact bask in her aura of generosity.

As soon as she graces them with her presence in the morning by stepping onto the back deck for her morning coffee, her robe draping off her statuesque form like a regal cloak of benevolence, the squirrels scamper about her feet, clutching meekly at the bottom of the robe in a silent plea for the peanuts they know she has in her pockets. And as she seats herself on her queenly throne, the frequent flyers of the group gather to sit at or on her feet.  If she doesn’t see them (because she’s on the phone with me let’s say), they ever so delicately tug at the material to get her attention all the while gazing up at her with loving reverence.

I’m hoping for her sake it’s “gazes of love” and not that crazed look so often seen amongst mutated wildlife in B horror movies:  “feed us now or we’ll surround you and chew your face off!”  It’s so hard to tell with squirrels.

I’ve walked down busy sidewalks in major cities and the squirrels there just barely move out of the way of getting stepped on and that’s normal to see, they’ve grown accustomed to humans and live/react accordingly. But my mother’s squirrels (good grief…now I’m thinking of them as my mother’s squirrels) don’t just politely avoid her as they share the yard or the deck for their morning constitutional…oh no…they seek her out! It’s gotten to the point that she’s given them names! I have to admit though, if I had squirrel worshipers, I’d name them too.

It’s the same routine every day. She wakes up, the squirrels hear her stirring in the house, she comes out with her coffee mug to take in the fresh morning air, and suddenly, they start appearing from hither and yon to sit patiently waiting for her to distribute her stash of peanuts. They each vie for her attention, trying to win her favor and earn a precious, delicious nut.  Should she run out and need a refill, no fear…they simply wait for her to return.

Squirrel 2

This would be “Sweet Pea.”

Now if for some reason, the squirrels don’t see her come out because they’re preoccupied doing their squirrelly things (this is usually in the afternoon, well after their morning meet-up)…all my mother has to do is make a noise I can’t spell but somehow involves clicking her tongue. Oh boy, you’d think she had just rung a dinner bell for all and sundry!

And it’s not just squirrels. Oh please. She’s no amateur, my mother. Whenever I talk to my mother in the afternoon, she always seems tired. I know why. It’s because she has so many mouths to feed (not to mention my Dad), each demanding their very own breakfast. At last count, there were 8 squirrels, 6 blue jays, 4 woodpeckers, and gosh knows how many sparrows all awaiting her appearance in the morning.

Oh, and if you think I just mean they’re waiting for the bird-feeders to be filled, you’re seriously underestimating my mother. How dare you! No…this is the motley assortment of acolytes she hand-feeds peanuts to in the morning. The sparrows are spoiled though. Don’t let them fool you, everyone says so. They need their peanuts crushed. The divas.

The ironic thing is that this friend of nature is the same woman who used to yell at me as a kid whenever I tried to touch any form of wildlife whatsoever because she was scared to death that I’d get rabies.

Now I know the truth.  It was all just part of a silent campaign on her part to rule them all and keep the crown as Queen all for herself.

If I were rich…

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this topic (a comment on society really) and I hate to even bring it up, but it’s somewhat important. You’d think it would be a “given,” but sadly it’s all too often overlooked or not even considered.

Okay, here it goes…if you’re of the “affluent variety” and you don’t have secret passages and rooms hidden behind revolving bookcases or ornamental knight armor à la Scooby Doo or Abbott and Costello movies throughout your home , then you really don’t deserve your wealth. I’m sorry, but it’s true. There I said it. That is all.

 

 

Mature Professional Man

What can I say about the world of dating? Times they are a-changing. Whilst perusing the often hysterically funny Craigslist advertisements one day, an ad featuring the headline ‘Mature Professional Man’ grabbed my attention. I clicked on the ad, you know, just curious, hoping not to find my husband using this online name. I suppose I expected a well-dressed middle-aged man in a suit, perhaps with golf clubs in hand, ready to take his date to a ritzy country club. Perhaps a rugged hiker with a twinkle in his eye kneeling down next to his golden retriever puppy or, god forbid, a photo of him standing next to the business he started from the ground up.

Click — it is a picture of his penis. Not sure what it says about me, but I was instantly taken back to a Seinfeld episode with Elaine declaring: “He. Took. It. Out.”

Mature? Professional? Well, maybe he’s a professional (although a professional what I don’t know), but he’s certainly not mature. What made it even worse (or funnier depending on your viewpoint) is it was a serious ad. There was no “Ah-ha, gotcha!” moment. This man was genuinely earnest in his quest for a suitable mate. And all the while you’re reading about his more mundane and appropriate attributes, you’re faced with an up close view of his penis. I mean, I suppose he thought it was important.

I guess that old book from years ago entitled “Everything Men Know About Women” featuring entirely blank pages is spot on: Men do not know what women want. It’s definitely not a close up shot of your bait and tackle. I thought this was something that could go without saying but I guess in this day and age a woman has to specifically mention things like this. Do men really believe that all of us women are sex-crazed nymphomaniacs obsessed with viewing grainy, blurry pictures of men’s packages?

woman screaming

just so we’re clear, here is the typical reaction you get

To my knowledge, there has never been a romance novel written where a woman saw a picture of a man’s penis and instantly fell in love and knew that was the man she just had to marry. Sorry guys, but most women seeking a romantic encounter and perhaps even a long-term relationship with someone they meet online, a photograph of his penis is not the first thing they want to see. A picture of his bank account maybe…. You failed, MPM.

So Mature Professional Man, let me make this easy for you (it’s okay to take notes):  1) Women want men who treat them well. This should be a no-brainer but after MPM messed everything up I can’t make any assumptions about what guys understand. 2) Women want chivalrous and smart men. 3) Maybe most important for those of you wondering why your online dating career hasn’t taken off yet; Any woman worth dating is not going to send you a message because you have a nice penis. But then again, what Mature Professional Man worth dating puts an ad like this on Craigslist?

Call me old-fashioned. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong (wouldn’t be the first time). Perhaps one day we will live in a society where women choose their lifelong companions based on penis shapes and dimensions. It may become trendy for women to carry specialized tape measures with them. When they meet a nice man they can use it to say, “Sorry, but before we go any farther I’m going to need to measure you.” and reaches into his zipper without anyone on the street paying any mind at all. Just another girl-meets-boy encounter. These tape measures could be carried on the hip in a fashion-accessorized, blinged-out holster and have voice notifications and alert ringtones made by Nokia or Samsung.

Surely this is not the most outrageous prediction one could make about the future of society. There have been worse prophesies. And worse inventions. Watch, I just gave someone an excellent idea and years from now I’ll be kicking myself for not patenting the damn thing.

Many so-called reality TV shows have already started down this road. Shows such as Millionaire Matchmaker, The Cougar, Momma’s Boys, Temptation Island, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette illustrate how real-life romance isn’t cutting it anymore. Romance, it seems, has been unseated and replaced by more base and dubious motives, most of which are far removed from the traditional concept of love. Society is clamoring for more drama, more sex, more prizes, more to win, and more to lose if it doesn’t work out. Romance is turning into a competition not an act of love. While these TV shows might be moderately amusing, they portray a perverted view of “reality” as far removed from real reality as Barbara Walter’s ego is.

Okay, I’ve got a fantastic, sure-fire hot property, and I’m pitching it to the network honchos first thing Monday morning: Get ready for the newest, hottest, dating drama coming this fall! Get heated up and tune in for (wait for it) … Penis Wars! – Ladies, get your fashion-accessorized tape measures ready, because there’s sure to be some amazing things to measure here on Penis Wars! Sound absurd?

Well, who could have predicted that Naked and Afraid would ever see the light of day? Wait a second … Did you say ‘naked’? As in naked nudity? Oh, right. Nudity sells itself. It was Hogan’s Heroes and F-Troop I was thinking of that would have been hard sells to the network brass.

Listen up, guys — and you especially, MPM — if you take away nothing else from this entry you will still have been served well by heeding this one piece of advice: Stop posting pictures of your penis! Present yourself with a little bit of class. Dust off what remains of the etiquette your mothers taught you and flaunt for us (just to be totally clear, not your penises). We want to see that indomitable, innate charm rise to the surface. There’s no woman out there that will look at your profile and turn her head in disgust because you showed her your chivalrous behavior. Show your junk and you run that risk more times that you would like to think. So, just be a gentleman. I know you can do it. Oh, a nice shirt and tie doesn’t hurt either!

This ain’t no kids’ ice-cream

The success or failure of certain inventions is often unpredictable and sometimes the reason they rose or fell is way beyond my understanding of mass market consumption. Why is the shake weight still around? What is the reason behind the phenomenon of Candy Crush when there are literally dozens of other games that do the exact same thing? Why did it take so long for the Snuggy to become a thing? The collective consciousness of our culture can certainly influence the waxing and waning of devices regardless of if they’re useful or not.

With that I introduce to you what I consider to be the next great revolution in the culinary landscape: wine ice cream! Put down your adult sippy cups (another fantastic invention) and take note. I’m not talking about wine-flavored ice cream—what’s the fun in that?—I’m talking about an ice cream that not only tastes like a frosty cabernet but is also alcoholic. Score!

What took so long, world? Why is this just getting popular now? I could have been using this product, as I’m sure millions of others could’ve been, for years. Thankfully, Mercer’s Dairy has listened to the needs of the masses and taken a bold step in delivering the next best way to get a buzz on while watching Netflix.

The ice cream doesn’t seem to be some crappy blend of slush and artificial flavors that banks on the allure of alcohol to fly off the shelves. It actually looks like it could be good. Don’t believe me? Think I’m just trying to find a way to rationalize buying six pints at a time? Check out the list of awards it’s recently won:

  • 2011 Trends & Innovations Award
  • 2008 Wine Ice Cream World Taste Champion (Okay, so who knew there was even a contest?? Be honest here!)
  • 2007-2008 American Package Design Award
  • 2007 Winner of Best New Product

Not too shabby, huh? Give the Merlot, Chardonnay, Port, Zinfandel, Riesling, and Cabernet a whirl and let me know what you think. This could make you a superstar next Thanksgiving when you put a scoop of this on top of your aunt’s apple pie. Or it might just help you through those post break-up blues a little faster as you sob your way through a pint. Hmmm…I’m thinking it’s milkshake time myself!  Sorry, gotta go! Hey, hon! Where’s the blender!?

click for more info on wine ice-cream

click if you want to check it out yourself

Guilty Pleasures

I like to think that I’m somewhat intelligent. Somewhat being the key word here. The books I read, while plenty entertaining with rich plot and interesting, complex characters, lean a bit more towards the literary than the commercial side.  I have nothing against glittering vampires or convoluted S&M with rich bachelors; they’re just not my thing. I also enjoy movies and shows that require at least some brain activity to understand. If it’s starring Larry the Cable Guy, chances are I won’t be buying a ticket. I’m far from Mensa worthy, but I do need more.

Then again…we all have our guilty pleasures or vices or whatever you want to call them and mine would have to be Looney Tunes cartoons. I love them! Like, love them. Not the new cartoons that are a full half hour and computer generated.  Oh no. I’m a fan of the old school Looney Tunes, the ones that lasted four minutes (six tops), were hand-drawn, and featured all the favorites back when they were all voiced by one guy.

Bugs Bunny playing tricks on Elmer Fudd. Pepe le Pew courting a poor bedraggled female cat unfortunately streaked with paint (I always enjoyed Pepe’s consternation when the tables were turned). Daffy Duck spraying spit everywhere. All brought to hilarious life thanks to the vocal genius Mel Blanc. He was the premier cartoon voice actor and launched all of these characters into legendary status.  Check out Mel Blanc’s biography some time (who knew he voiced Barney Rubble??).  A man of 1,000 voices indeed.  If the character isn’t voiced by him, I’m not interested.

In fact, I hate the new Looney Tunes show.  It shouldn’t even be considered true Looney Tunes. It’s a pale reflection of the original. I cling firmly to the old, majestic pieces that used classical sonatas and overtures to set the tone. Hell, most of what I know and love of classical music and opera today comes straight from watching these cartoons. They’re short nuggets of pure fun and tomfoolery. I love them so much that, thanks to Boomerang, having them on the t.v. is one of my primo weapons against nighttime anxiety on those occasions when I just can’t seem to shut my brain off from the stressful things I was faced with all day.

I must say, though, that I find it heartbreaking that Wile E. Coyote will always be remembered for his failures instead of his true artistic talent and creative brilliance. (Yes, this is how much I’ve analyzed the cartoons.) He truly was an innovative thinker. He painted fake roads, train tracks (so real that even trains were confused), and used tricks of visual perception to make a flat boulder look like a tunnel. Wile E. constantly rebelled against modern convention and thumbed his nose at the laws of physics on numerous occasions. He built rockets for god’s sake and catapults and plucking mechanisms. All for naught, but the genius was there nonetheless. Suuuper genius.

I also find it sad that Marvin the Martian never once got to blow up the Earth. Had he succeeded it would have sucked for us, but imagine his point of view. Never once did he get to reach the one goal he set for himself in life. It’s tragic really.

While all of those characters have a special place in my heart, my absolute favorites are the Goofy Gophers. Remember them? Perhaps a little further down in the Looney Tunes canon, but they had a style all their own. Snobby and pretentious? Yes. But charming, genial, accommodating, and well-mannered to a T, their prissy aristocratic accents capped off what I found to be a hilarious pair. I loved it. “Shall we hit Elmer Fudd on the head with this hammer?”  “Why yes, let’s.”  “Indubitably.” Classic!

Maybe my love of Looney Tunes isn’t a guilty pleasure. Maybe the characters are complex enough and “deep” enough to rationalize my love of them. Or maybe I’m just a grown woman who loves cartoon animals chasing each other with dynamite. You decide.

 

looneytunes3

Independence Day

As myself and other Americans celebrate the 4th of July, let’s all take a moment to solemnly remember what the holiday is really about.  Sales.  Wait..what?  Yes folks, sales.

Because it seems that every notable and/or meaningful holiday is accompanied, nay overshadowed by a parade of sales with a varying degree of discounts to be had. Now July 4th apparently doesn’t rate as deep of a discount as say…Thanksgiving, but it is right up there with Labor Day and Veteran’s Day, so I guess that’s something.  And as we all flock (not me, I’m staying home) to the stores or car lots to take advantage of these “one day only, limited time, while supplies last, buy one get one, 30% off deals!” let’s rejoice with a resounding communal cheer:  “Yay independence!”

 

July 4th

British Invasion

I would like to bring up something that amuses me to no end.  Okay, okay, I’m easily amused.  What can I say?  Anyway, the U.S. is on the cusp of celebrating the Fourth of July—a holiday that reaffirms the independence our forefathers fought valiantly to bestow to their future generations after escaping the clutches of British tyranny— yet we sure do seem to copy a lot of their stuff these days.

It seems like every show, movie, and game an American station airs is some knockoff of a British version. We copied the “…Got Talent” series. We re-vamped Being Human (even though ours sucked). We re-imagined Sherlock Holmes and Family Feud and Life on Mars and House of Cards and The Office. We even got The Weakest Link from them! Is American originality so far gone that we must import all the good ideas from England? Seems like it. Can’t say as I blame the producers really. It’s good stuff we’re talking about here. After all, they came up with Doctor Who. Which by the way has garnered a significant American fanbase (myself included).

When we do try to come up something on our own, something patriotic, what do we get? Jersey Shore. Teen Mom. Party Down South. And a host of Bigfoot hunting, river monster seeking, Honey Boo Boo inspired reality show detritus.  Okay, so maybe our thievery isn’t necessarily a bad thing after all. The last thing we need is yet another show about the nation’s pride in gluttony (10 pound stacks of pancakes and banana splits made with a full gallon of ice cream). The list goes on too. Check out all that we’ve “created” based on a British template.

It’s not just media either. We welcomed their music with open arms, which is great because it rocks. The Beatles, Dave Clark Five, The Animals…there’s even this thing called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, a genre of music specifically targeting British metal bands that have influenced American ones. More examples, should you be interested, are here.

And what about the food? Brits get a lot of grief about their food, but I don’t buy into that negative hype. In reality we’ve stolen their fish & chips with gastronomical glee and taking in a daily tea is becoming more and more popular each day with those who want to be “hip.” Scones haven’t quite made their mark on this side of the Atlantic yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were all the rage after this kale fad fizzles out. And I for one would welcome it. I love scones.

I can’t help but find it funny that for a country that once rebelled passionately against being anything at all like England, we sure are doing a hell of a  lot to mimic them now.

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