Saturday, December 30, 2017

Taking Apart the Tenets of American Conservatism, Part Two

I really don't think I've ever hated anything as much as I hate the Republican Party.

A couple months ago, during a sleepless night, I wrote a post ripping the tenets of American conservatism. There was a lot of dogma that I skipped, however, so I'm back to finish the job. Hold on to your butts, folks. This is going to be a bumpy ride on the river of stupidity.

Principle #6. Lower taxes will fix everything, and lead to prosperity for all! Trickle-down Economics for the win! I can't believe I didn't include this one during my original post, because it's basically the purpose of the Republican Party. It took awhile for this tenet to take hold, however; George H.W. Bush famously referred to the policy of cutting taxes for the wealthy and expecting economic growth for the middle class as "voodoo economics." That's because this policy is bullshit--corporate tax rates are 35 percent currently, much lower than they were in the 1950's, when corporations were taxed over 50 percent. Most corporations get out of even paying that--many don't even pay taxes. How's middle class wage growth over  the last couple decades? Oh, that's right, wages have been stagnant since the 70's, despite the constant increase of productivity. Despite no evidence that tax cuts help anybody but the rich, our wonderful President wants to slash the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, I guess so all of his billionaire buddies can buy an extra jet plane or some shit. Republicans will never stop trying to give more money back to their donors, because they have no other purpose as a political party. Scroll down that list and tell me if you don't throw up. Or don't, it's something of a litmus test. The craziest thing about this principle is that Republicans are constantly talking about the federal deficit as though it's the most dangerous thing since great white sharks. What do you think happens to the deficit when you slash taxes for the rich? Hey assholes, they're the ones with all the money. That's baby's going up.

Principle #7. Abortion is evil, and a woman should be forced to pop out as many babies as God intended, come hell or highwater. For a lot of people, this is the only reason they vote Republican. A lot of brain-addled evangelicals vote straight ticket Republican because they think to do so otherwise would be a mortal sin. Of course, the party is perfectly happy to let the poor drown in their own misery, as long as babies are being made and the earth is being filled with more fucking people than it can handle. The real issue here is not the rights of unborn babies, it's keeping women from having any control over their bodies. Let me ask you something: Let's say men were the sex that carried children. Do you think abortion would be illegal? Hell no, it wouldn't! There would be an abortion clinic on every block, and Trump would've had about fifty by now, and the world would thankfully not be full of pig-men like Eric and Donald Jr.

Principle #8. Immigrants/Minorities/Muslims are destroying our American (White) culture and are not to be trusted. Republicans have been doing this since Nixon's Southern Strategy. They stoke racial or religious resentments, because as Roger Stone said "Hate is a more powerful motivator than love." The primary reason for Trump's win last year was racism rather than economic anxiety, despite how many have tried to spin it. From the GOP's view, it is much easier to pass legislation that directly hurts the majority of their voting base if that base is distracted by a bogeyman like illegal immigrants or Muslims. Undocumented immigrants are actually less likely to commit a crime, and statistically speaking, if you're worried about a terrorist incident, you should watch out for white men, who are responsibly for the vast majority of mass shootings.

Principle #9. There is no scientific consensus regarding climate change, and even if there is, humanity is definitely not responsible for it. 97 percent of climate scientists agree that man is responsible for the global warming trend. These are the people who actually study the earth's climate using reason and the scientific method, not your uncle Bob who heard it from Infowars that global warming is a reptilian conspiracy to help China and keep red-blooded capitalists down. We have years of overwhelming data proving this point (the last 12 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998). Yet climate denialist Scott Pruitt is head of the EPA, and President Trump thinks that snow disproves global warming. This is because the oil and gas industry invests heavily in the GOP, knowing that Republicans won't bite the hand that feeds. Misinformation wins, folks! Even the future of the human race loses to propaganda.

Principle #10. The media/universities/science are liberally biased, and therefore cannot be trusted. Ever had a conversation with a conservative about politics and heard the term "the liberal media?" In their minds, the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post are exclusively populated by beret-wearing communists eager to distort the truth in order to push their globalist agenda. This distrust of the media, as well as science, goes back decades; Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich started their assault on reason when they concluded that it was by its very nature contrary to conservative policy. This is where we get the fair and balanced mantra that's been cited by Fox News like some sort of badge of honor. Both sides must be heard, even if one side is plainly wrong. When you seed the seeds of doubt among your base, then they can ignore the facts, no matter how obvious they are. The only the tribe is to be trusted; this is how we get a Congressman saying that Americans "Should get their news directly from the President." That's like getting your news from a man wearing a baby's bonnet and a pair of underwear on his face, and shit, I'd trust this hypothetical crazy over Donald "70 percent of what comes out of my mouth is total bullshit" Trump.

So ends my pointless critique of a political party that long ago lost any credibility whatsoever. I'm sure I changed someone's mind.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Esteemed Critic Reviews The Last Jedi

Luke's milk face.

The Critic once must again log on to the interwebs and let the cretins know his esteemed opinion regarding their big-budget blockbuster detritus, in this case, the latest entry in the now immortal Star Wars franchise. There seems to be something of an internet hubbub centering around the Last Jedi, with many people either exclaiming the film to be the cinematic equivalent of feces, or a very high quality film bringing some much needed character development to a series fairly devoid of it. The movie certainly subverts many Star Wars troupes, e.g., the outlaw with the heart of gold turns out to be opportunistic rather than heroic; the seemingly all-powerful wizard is defeated simply by a lighsaber trick instead of a highly-choreographed duel; yet rather than trolling the audience, as I believe some fans have concluded, director Rian Johnson walks the rather tight rope of making a recognizable Star Wars movie while also making a film that feels different from what came before. The questions raised by The Force Awakens (I've heard these referred to as J.J. Abrams "mystery boxes") are dismissed as irrelevant to the story at hand, which certainly rubs the hardcore the wrong way, for they have spent countless hours of their lives on reddit postulating stupid theories, none of which turned out to be right. Sure, the humor falls flat a few times (Poe's opening your mom joke perhaps the most glaring example), but the sheer weirdness of certain scenes (Luke milking a pregnant sea monster) endeared this film to my heart. The theme of failure runs through this movie--no one's quest is entirely successful, and by the end, the heroes are few. Yet I am truly excited to see what comes next, even with J.J. Abrams taking over the helm for the final film in the trilogy. Hey, it certainly can't be worse than Return of the Jedi (those goddamn teddy bears get me every time). And even if it is, you can be certain that Disney has a Star Wars movie planned for the next one-hundred years, so surely one will check all of your boxes. All hail our monolithic capitalist overlord, Micky Mouse.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Best Force Powers

The Last Jedi is out, and I'm going to see it today, so even though I know all the spoilers and how the internet feels, I will have to withhold my review until later. In the meantime, I thought I'd examine all the best force powers in the Star Wars universe. Let's see if your favorite made the cut!

10. Force kick (shown above). Luke Skywalker is such a powerful jedi that his kicks don't even have to connect to do damage.

9. Force door shut. Couldn't find a picture of this, but if you can stomach watching Attack of the Clones, watch how many times Obi-wan waves his hand in front of a door to either open or shut it. It seems like all the doors in the Star Wars universe are automatic, so maybe he was just fucking with us. Still, would kind of be a useful power.

8. Force levitate fruit. As an orchardist, I feel like this would be a cool power. To everyone else, I guess you could take it or leave it. It did help Anakin get laid, which was a real miracle of the force.

7. Force speed. In the entire nine movie saga, force speed appears exactly once, despite the fact that it would undoubtedly come in handy daily. Obi-wan even forgets he can do this when he fails to outrun the red laser gate that separates him from Qui Gon. Well, maybe he didn't forget, but he was too tired or some shit. I dunno. I think Obi-wan is kind of an asshole.

6. Force blast-bolt absorb. I guess there is some controversy among nerds whether or not Vader absorbs this blast or his armor does. Well nerds, if the Empire could make blaster proof gloves, don't you think they could put some of that stuff on Storm Trooper armor? Plus, the prequels retconned Vader into the most powerful jedi of all time, so I'm guessing he doesn't need fancy gloves to stop blaster bolts. Duh. Fucking nerds.

5. Force yoga. Pretty much the entirety of Luke's training with Yoda consists of him doing yoga and pulling leeches off his ass. Yoda was definitely senile, so maybe he wasn't really training Luke to be a jedi, he was just putting him through his workout routine. Then again, I don't think I could balance his diminutive green form on my foot while doing a one-armed handstand, so I guess this is a force power.

4. Force lightning absorb. Maybe this is the same power as Vader uses above; if so, he forgot to use it when the Emperor was electrocuting him during his one-armed military press of old Palps. In any case, why does Yoda not teach this power to anyone else? Mace Windu resorts to using his saber when Palpatine breaks out the electricity, and Luke does nothing but roll on his ass and get fried. Maybe instead of teaching Luke how to balance you and a bunch of rocks, you should teach him how not to get electrocuted by a Sith Lord, you geriatric geezer.

3. Force die of a broken heart. Perhaps Anakin was actually constricting Padme's heart with the force, although the above picture would suggest otherwise. In any case, after this confrontation, Padme pops out Luke and Leia and then drops dead. Truly a terrible power of the dark side.

2. Force levitate robot. Okay, so this differs from Force levitate fruit because nobody in the prequels ever uses the force to levitate a robot, despite fighting robots in every movie. Sure, they use Force push, but if Obi-wan knew how to levitate a robot, his battle with General Grevious would've been over in five seconds. Then again, Obi-wan has a bad habit of forgetting force powers, so who knows?

1. Force button push. Remember when Vader uses the force to flip the switch to the carbonite pit in Empire Strikes Back? That was so cool! Darth Maul couldn't do that; he had to use a rock to smash the controls to open that big gate during Duel of the Fates. Vader was truly a fearsome warrior. He didn't even have to get off his ass to turn on the holovision.

Paul Ryan Has Done His Part: What Can You Do for Paul Ryan?

Republicans have just passed a sweeping tax plan that's basically a handout to corporations and the filthy rich and are poised to tackle so-called "entitlement reform" (eliminating the social safety net) next year. So it's been a bad year for anyone who doesn't drive a Mercedes or possesses a triple digit IQ as well as a conscience. Republicans have set us up for a future where the gap between the rich and the poor will continue to widen, while public services crumble and our institutions fail. But wait! House Speaker Paul Ryan has the answer that will cure all that ails America! The cure for a robust economy, says the Speaker, is to "have more babies." Ryan's done his part--he can afford to have as many kids as he wants, after all--and now it's time to serve our masters and pump out more chattel to work for minimum wage and shitty healthcare. President Kennedy once said "Ask not what your country can do for you: ask what you can do for your country." Speaker Ryan has simply updated this famous mantra. Ask not what you can do for your country: Ask what you can do for Paul Ryan.

1. Have more babies to keep the economy growing. People just aren't having kids anymore and there are all of these aging baby boomers collecting social security and medicare. Sure, they're won't be any social security or medicare for my generation, but by all means, let's keep supporting the very generation that's responsible for the state our country is currently in. Sure, it's really expensive to have kids (245,000 for one way back in 2013), yet the more you have the less you miss them when they die due to the lack of affordable health care. Great tip, Mr. Speaker!

2. Don't vote. Republicans don't want you to vote. They know they can rely on racist old partisans to believe Fox News and show up at the polls while all of us Millennials dick around with our cellphones or some shit. 100 million people didn't vote last year. That boggles my goddamn mind. Sure, I've been through a stage of my life where I didn't obsess about politics daily--I call that Time Before Trump--but how is it possible that 100 million people are so apathetic about the fate of the United States that they couldn't even show up at the polls? Cynicism and apathy are the true enemies of America. Besides, of course, the Democrats, CNN, radical liberalism, and all those people who want to take our guns away. Right, Mr. Speaker?

3. Don't listen to the news. Every criticism of the President is fake news. Scientists are full of shit. Republicans know better than economists. Believe Fox News and your Facebook news feed, and you'll be doing the Speaker a real solid.

4. Keep swallowing the bullshit. Trickle down economics is real. Violent crime is rising. Sharia law is being enforced in America. Paul Ryan is not an evil hypocrite.

5. Probably the best thing you could do for Paul Ryan and his cronies is to die before you're able to collect any of those social security benefits or that sweet, sweet medicare. Or just die whenever. The Speaker doesn't care. Empathy is for the other side, and the other side has lost. We've always been at war with East Asia. There is no truth but the Supreme Leader's truth. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Many Reasons Why You Are Going to Hell

I'm the devil and I'll do what I want.

The Christmas season is almost upon us, so in the spirit of holiday cheer, I thought I'd examine why all of us, including you, are going to hell. Let us begin.

1. You're going to hell because in middle school, you made fun of the mentally-handicapped kid who pulled his pants all the way down to pee in the urinal.

2. Hell is your destiny because you were pretty shitty to your first girl friend back in high school and made her cry, like, a lot.

3. Hell, not Heaven, is your final destination because you attended a Limp Bizkit show in the flesh and Stained was their opener, which bumps you down another circle, you demon.

4. Eternal damnation is your fate because you've never been very consistent about lifting the toilet seat before you take a piss. Thanks, ladies.

5. You will never know the glorious embrace of Jesus because you often give your toddler a cell phone to keep him busy, thus condemning him to a life of technological servitude.

6. You're going to hell, boy, because the last time you were in church, you couldn't help but think about boobies.

7. God has forsaken you because you have never repented for all the times you stayed up late to masturbate to Real Sex on HBO, you pervert.

8. Jesus took away your get out of hell free card because you once parked in a handicapped parking space.

9. If you're a Chicago Cubs fan, you are going to hell.

10. If you voted for Donald Trump, you committed a mortal sin and shall never know the pleasures of eternal life, you stupid hillbilly.

11. Remember that one time you got really drunk in a McDonald's parking lot and tried to pull up a bush, and a cop drove past and told you to mind your fucking P's and Q's? Yeah, you're going to hell for that.

12. Are you a Morman? Jew? Muslim? Protestant? Catholic? Straight to hell for you.

13. Have you never watched all seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation? You're banished to the third level of hell, where you'll be accompanied by William Shatner and LeVar Burton. Levar's cool, so it's not all bad, though Shatner never stops talking.

14. Skipping leg day? Jesus don't want no upper body only bros. Have fun in hell's Planet Fitness.

15. Recall all the times you downloaded music illegally through Napster, and later, BitTorrent? You're going to hell for that.

16. Ever pooped your pants? Going to hell.

17. Forgotten someone's birthday? Straight to hell.

18. Listened to a Garth Brooks' record? Hell.

19. Not showered before bed? Hell.

20. Ever missed Jesus's message of love and acceptance because you were too concerned about the sanctity of marriage/lesbian parents/black people/uppity women/ancient religious dogma/the decline of the nuclear family? Oh you? You're going to Heaven. Just kidding, there is no heaven. I'll save a spot in hell for you. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Best Chili Recipe in the World

Stock photo, but looks similar.

This is my contribution to society. Through happenstance, I have stumbled upon the best chili recipe in the world. Behold:

1 lbs of lean hamburger
1/2 lbs of diced pot roast, precooked, or sliced Andouille sausage
3 sliced sweet peppers
1 jar of Kroger hot salsa
4 ounces of spicy cheddar or velveta
1 can of Bush's chili beans
A good shake of dehydrated onions
A dash of tabasco
A dash of generic Worcestershire sauce
A pinch of cinnamon
2 cups of beef broth or beer
Several shakes of generic chili powder
A dash of red pepper flakes
A pinch of garlic salt

Preparation: Cook hamburger in large pot on the stove with onions and peppers until browned. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for one hour. For absolute best taste, leave in refrigerator overnight and then eat next day.

You're welcome, world.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Consummate Politician Apologizes

Hello, my fellow Americans. It's been a while since you last heard from me. I guess that's either good or bad, depending on your perspective, since I typically only talk to my constituents when I have to, i.e., when I'm apologizing. I guess I've done something else that the liberal media considers wrong. Again. Hell, let's get this over with.

I suppose you've heard about Harvey Weinstein. Maybe the transgressions of Louis C.K. have reached your ears. Perhaps the butt-grabbing antics of Al Franken or the underage predation of Roy Moore have caught your attention. Let me tell you something, before CNN gets it wrong: Roy Moore is a good man, no matter how many teenage girls he's kissed. Everybody's giving him shit because he likes 'em a little young, while forgetting that Alabamians picked him in the Republican primary after he said 9/11 was divine punishment from God and homosexuality should be illegal. This is a democracy, people. If the good folks of Alabama want to elect a possible pedophile to the Senate, well, then that's their prerogative. Roy Moore is a god-fearing man who says what's on his mind. You want tax cuts? You want the ten commandments in your schools? Then you better not vote for the Democrat. It's about priorities, folks. The media just doesn't understand this.

Hell, Nancy Pelosi was bending over backwards to defend John Conyers because she doesn't want to give up a House seat. You don't see Senator Franken resigning, do you? I'll tell you what, when Al resigns and President Trump calls it quits, I'll do the same. There are always allegations dogging you when you're a powerful man. Keep in mind, you can't prove anything one-hundred percent. That's science, which I always use when convenient (and discard otherwise).

Even if these allegations were true (and they most certainly ain't), we certainly must redirect the blame on a culture that encourages sexual aggression in men. I was watching a James Bond movie the other day with my son, and we each took a shot of tequila every time 007 committed sexual assault. By the end of Goldfinger, we were both plastered, and that little tot can hold his liquor, let me tell you. What I'm saying is, the standards for sexual harassment were different until like yesterday. A man used to have privileges, is what I'm saying. Nobody batted an eyelash when the district attorney cruised past the mall looking for some teenage T and A. Your preacher could cop a feel off an altar boy and that was just part of being a good Catholic. Nobody really cared, you know? Men were being men. Now the feminists are trying to breed all the God-given aggression out of the human race, and I have to ask, how is anybody going to get a date? Women used to know when I liked them, because my hand was halfway down their blouses. If they didn't like it, they were free to punch and kick and run until I was too tired to chase them. How do you think cavemen did it? You think there was anything consensual about sex back when Barney and Fred were doing circles around their local bowling alley, drinking fermented dinosaur piss? Come on, give me a break.

 My press secretary is looking over my shoulder while I write this, and I know he's going to edit about about 90 percent of it, so what the hell, let's really let loose. I'm sorry I did the things that they say I did, but it wasn't my fault, and I think what's really important is to remember that I'm for tax cuts, economic growth, keeping government spending down, and putting the F in family. The other guy isn't, okay? He's for killing babies, protecting the rights of the dishonest media, giving handouts to welfare mothers, and marriage to the gays. Who cares how many pussies I've grabbed or dicks I've shook. We need to protect conservative values, and I'm the guy who will stand by you and maybe give your daughter my phone number if she looks like she's game. Let's drain the swamp. God bless.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hanging with the Goon

Greetins' an' salutaions, folks, it's been since May since I sounded off on dis here blog 'bout my feelin' and personal man-problems. As you can see from teh above photo, it's only a month out from Christmas, which means I'll be bustin' out my nice blue shirt an' all teh cats one man can handle. Nothin' speaks teh message of Christmas truer than a cat, for it is writtin, second Corthiniosaurs: "Eat, drink, and be merry, and heed teh message of teh feline, for it is paramount amongst God's creatures, and extra special fancy to boot." I think teh true message of Christmas gets lost among all teh commercials, funny hats, an' big ol' bellies swingin' in teh rain. Honestly, has you seen how fat people get right round Christmas time? If you're a chub chaser, tis teh season to go a huntin', specially round Walmart or right outside yur house. If you ask teh Goon, an nobody is, Santa needs to set an example and start eatin' diet cookies and drinkin' diet Mountian dew an' bustin' his ass on teh Ellipetical or whatever it is richies do to keep skinny. Personally, I never has much of a problem keepin' tight and trim. Me diet is on point: a bag of recycled deer jerky fer breakfast an' a sack of leaves marinated in ranch dressin' fer a salad latter in teh day. That's how I keep my ten pack o' muscles.

I suppose I outta weigh in on teh latest controversy evolving our nations President, Mr. Trump. Teh President says he was gonna be on teh cover of Time as teh Person of teh Year, just liek Hitler before 'em, but then tehy said he would have to eat a bag of dicks while conductin' an interview, so he had to decline. I kinda feel liek he should've done it, after all teh stuff he said an did dis year. Our good friend an' resident Alien Hernando got deported fer not turnin' in his DACA papers on time, though he says he did. Me brother Willy has got teh shakes from tryin' to quit Heroin, though he's asked fer help, there ain't no money fer it. There ain't been no jobs comin' to town. Teh orchard don't offer no health insurance, an' since teh Republicans didn't do nothin' to help Obamacare, I don't got many options next year, an' when tehy pass Tax Reform an' take away teh individual mandate, I won't have to get no insurance, which is good, I guess, unlesss I need to go to teh emergancy room fer explosive diareeah liek I've done fer every month teh last few years. I'm jsut pointin' out how all teh President's policies have infected me this year, an' I guess I'm teh lucky one, accordin' to the liberal media, cuz I'm white an male an have ear hair. So far as I'm concerned, he shoulda eaten taht bag of dicks, but whaddya I know? I'm just a simple apple farmer wit a heart of gold.

I feel lieke I outta wish everyone a Merry Chirstmas cuz I won't be around to post on teh Pointless Venture. There's a secret special mission teh Goon's going on: I won't say nothin' else, but it evolves Mexico, cocaine, an' a load of fermented apples. Just remember, it ain't Christmas witout family, an' family can be anybody, an' sometimes yer family get deported because life ain't fair. Merry Christmas, ya'll, an' have a blessed year.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Let's Bring Back Bulksgiving

It's back, bros. It's that time of year again, the time to start packing on mass like a Walmartian at Ponderosa. Forget your vegan thanksgiving and your gluten-free shit. Bring on the stuffing, bro. Let's get some turkey up in this house. Deep fry that baby if you want. Clean bulking is for natty bros with thirteen inch biceps and a penchant for internet philosophizing. Real men eat a lot. And by a lot, I mean as much as a small elephant.

Now is not the time to worry about your macros or your body fat percentage. It's the offseason, bro. We're going at this shit Lee Priest style, by which I mean we're gonna pack on mass till we're fat as fuck. Dieting is for summer time. That's when the shirts pop off and the babes go crazy. It ain't time for that shit; we're like a bear getting ready to hibernate, but instead of sleeping all winter, we're gonna eat our faces off and lift monstrous weights. Leave your exercise bands and your Fitbits at home with your panties. Real men lift heavy. Real men pack on John Goodman style mass.

Bulksgiving starts as soon as you sit down at that dinner table, and it doesn't end until you've eaten approximately five pounds of turkey, four pounds of stuffing, three pounds of mashed potatoes, two pounds of carrots, and ten pounds of pumpkin pie. Make sure to add enough whipped cream to choke a baby horse--don't skimp on that shit, it helps the pies go down. Give yourself a good hour or so break after feasting, and then start stuffing your literal pie-hole again. Remember, if you want to beat the man, you have to out-eat the man. We're all professional bodybuilders here, if you don't recall. The point in life is to get as swole as possible, and that ain't gonna happen by eating Aunt Petunia's special low-calorie garden salad. Vegetables are for rabbits and people with testosterone deficiencies. Don't let low-T happen to you! Sure, you might get post-bulksgiving diabetes, but that shit goes away after a while. No pain, no gainz.

Speaking of which, there ain't no such thing as lean gainz. Leave that intermittent fasting at the door with the postman; that shit don't belong in my house. If you want to look like a baby grizzly bear, you have to eat like one. Now that don't necessarily mean you have to eat a thousand moths and a gallon of honey with a couple of bees mixed in, but it probably wouldn't hurt. There's a real shortage of sacrifice in this country. Everybody wants to be big, but nobody wanna eat an entire turkey by themselves. Don't eat like a pilgrim, bro. Those guys were the original natty bros--the only things they loved more than Jesus were killing Indians and eating corn husks. They are not to be emulated. There wasn't a Dwayne Johnson or Marky-Mark among them.

So embrace Bulksgiving this year. Live large and prosper. Watch a Rambo movie and then attack that food with gusto. And don't forget the stuffing. Eat as much of you can of that stuff.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Life Is a Bag of Farts

Hey there. I'm back from weeks of meditation, and I've had an epiphany. Stop your endless quest for riches. Cease looking to the heavens for meaning. Don't go to church or find refuge in science. Life, my friend, is a bag of farts. It's time that you realize this.

What's the atmosphere composed of, friend? You might say nitrogen and oxygen, but keep in mind, methane make up less than a tenth of one percent of the atmosphere, which is something, right? Where does methane come from? Well, many places, but farts are one distributor. In fact, cow farts may be contributing to climate change. Think about that the next time you rip one. Your farts are killing the future.

Every time I turn on the news all I hear is the sound of a bag of farts bursting. What is President Trump if not a semi-sentient bag of flatulence? I'd like someone to prove to me that he's not a bag of farts. You want to talk about fake news, hell, I want to talk about the big bag of farts running the country and what we're going to do about it.

You ever have to unclog a sink or replace a toilet? What kind of smell comes wafting up out of the underground? Farts, that's what smell. We walk upon the buried history of our farts every day and never give that fact a second thought. We think that we can bottle up all of our gases, hide them in the subterranean, and pretend that they don't exist, that they are not the natural smell of us and our human doings. Keep a bunch of people in the same room for more than a couple hours, and tell me what you smell. We exude farts like sweat, tears, or blood. You want a prime description of the human condition? Being a human being is like being a bag of farts.

Accepting that you are a bag of farts is the key to nirvana. Suffer no more, friend, for thou cometh from farts, and back to farts thou shall return. Expunge the idea of a sentient being residing within the fleshy bag you call home. States of matter are variable, depending on temperature for their variance. Just because you don't presently look like a bag of farts doesn't mean you won't return to that state. Believe you me, I've seen plenty of folks who are in transition. You shall know them by the fart sounds they make while they walk.

Hopefully I've convinced you. The next time you pass gas, do not hold your nose. Accept that life, like a bag of farts, is transient. Eventually the bag becomes empty. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Who Will Stop Heel President?

Between belittling a Gold Star widow and trying to pass a tax plan that will destroy the economy, President Trump has more heel heat than anybody in America. Who will stop the orange menace? Here are some likely candidates:

The Shield. One of the greatest factions in WWE history has just recently reunited. Unfortunately, Roman Reigns is down with bacterial meningitis, so that leaves only Dean and Seth at the moment. Though they are undoubtedly skilled, there's no way that 2/3s of the Shield can defeat the Justice Department as well as Paul Ryan's queefs. Until Roman's back in action, they better wait to challenge Trump's Authority-backed government.

The New Day. Who better to challenge Jeff Session's racist Justice Department than a beloved trio of sassy black men? I tell you, I can't think of a better spectacle than the New Day performing a unicorn stampede on that little troll's face. However, Trump's threatened to bring back a cyborg Hulk Hogan if the New Day throw their unicorn hats into the arena. Cybog Hulk Hogan is like 3 times as racist as normal Hulk Hogan, and I'm not sure even the Power of Positivity can defeat that much racism.

AJ Styles. The new face that runs the place can hang in the ring with anyone. Look out, Pence, you're going to feel the pain of the Calf Crusher! Despite being a face, I'm not sure how motivated AJ would be to tackle the Trump administration, given that he might be a flat-earther, and those people aren't know for their reasoning abilities. Besides, you have to beat Jinder before you lock Agent Orange in a Styles-Clash.

Jon Cena. If there's anyone who can hang with a trash-talking President, then it's the true face of America, Jon Cena. During his long WWE career, the original face that runs the place has gone over nearly everybody without much challenge. Though he's in the twilight of his career, Big Jon can still bring it. He is on a break to film a movie, though, so maybe when he gets back we'll see Trump's spine shatter from the force of an AA.

Charlotte. Whoo! Ric Flair and Trump have a few things in common, namely a flair for tall tales and divorce. I see a feud in the mix! Maybe the Queen can turn heel (sort of?) and take out Ivanka, leading to a mixed match where the first family tap out to duel Figure-Eight Leglocks. Oh who are we kidding? Trump will probably make an allusion to menstruation and how it attracts bears as a reason not to get his ass kicked.

Stone Cold. Picture this: Vince reignites his battle of the billionaires feud with the President, citing Trump's treatment of Linda (who has just resigned her position as head of the Small Business Administration due to some scandal which probably has a basis in reality). Stone Cold agrees to be the referee. The winner has to resign their position (win-win!). Trump wins after paying off Shane to attack his father before the match starts. However, Stone Cold stuns Trump out of nowhere and accidentally paralyses the Commander in Chief, leading to the ascendancy of Mike Pence as President and the transformation of the United States into the Republic of Gilead. So... yeah, there's no easy way out of this, America. Not even wrestling can save us.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Weightlifting: Training the Lower Body without Squats or Deadlifts

Due to the back injury I wrote about earlier (which seems to involve my sacroiliac joint), I've had to lay off of heavy squats and deadlifts for the time being. To prevent becoming the thing in the above picture, I've had to find alternative methods for training my legs. Since I train at home, the leg press isn't an option. Here's what I'm doing instead:

Split Squats

Also called Bulgarian split squats for some stupid reason (I believe a member of the Bulgarian weightlifting team was messing with people and attributed his success at the Olympic lifts to this exercise, which is ridiculous), this exercise can be quite challenging if you've never done unilateral training before. You'll find your dominant leg handles squatting easily, while your other leg will have a bit more trouble. I avoid loading my back by using a pair of dumbbell like the above picture. To compensate for the lack of heavy weights, I do higher reps, usually 4 sets of 10.

Lunges are a basic movement that everybody has probably done at some time or another. Shorter steps will increase tension on your quadriceps, while longer strides will stress your glutes more. Higher reps are recommended. Can be hard on your knees, though still easier than leg extensions.

Leg Curls

Leg curls stress the hamstrings, unlike leg extensions, which target the quads. I usually don't go over sixty pounds with these, at least at this point. 4 sets of 8-12 reps, like everything else.

Leg Extensions
Leg extensions get a bad rep because they put a lot of sheer force on the knee joint. For that reason, you shouldn't do them with heavy weights. I usually use about fifty pounds per leg, just aiming for a pump.

Calf Raises
Never really did these, and my calves are a paltry fifteen inches, so I decided to start working on them out of vanity, which is the best motivator. Doing these for 4 sets of 20, three times a week.

Other than these, I usually do some side leg raises for my hips. Hopefully, the above routine will help me retain muscle mass while I wait on my back to heal.  

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Your IBS Is Your Fault

Hey, you. Guy with three hot dogs in his mouth. I got a message for you. Your irritable bowel syndrome is your fault.

No one's making you cram two eggo waffles, a plate of chicken alfredo, and a bucket of animal crackers in your pie hole. Nobody forced you at gunpoint to sprinkle tabasco sauce all over the jalapeno scrambled eggs you ate for breakfast. That McDonald's value meal you just devoured? Pretty sure that wonderful amalgamation of soy fillers, trans fats, and carbonated soda didn't crawl down your gullet on its own accord. Naw, man. You put that stuff in you.

Cap 'n' crunch isn't made to be eaten three times a day. Diet coke was originally designed to clean coffee pots, not the lining of your stomach. That blockage in your intestinal tract was not put there by God. Just because you can eat a whole pizza doesn't mean that it's a good idea. In fact, if you've ever considered eating a whole pizza, I can assure you that good ideas come as frequently to your brain as the nightly cloud of dementia comes to the current President of the United States. Stop putting garbage into your mouth, dumb ass.

So you had a cleanse the other day. You drank spring water and ate nothing but graham crackers like some 19th century prude. You still don't know what a vegetable is, or how to cook anything other than refried beans, but your Medusa's nest of an intestine is feeling somewhat better. Your bowel movements are beginning to resemble the droppings of a large, herbivorous mammal rather than the shit-water of a man dying from dysentery. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking about how good a bowl of Skyline chili would taste right now, followed by two or three chili cheese coneys. Let me tell you a secret that only folks from the Natty know: Cincinnati chili is recycled hobo shit. You can't digest it--it's already been digested. It's impossible, like a unicorn or a skunk ape. Don't try it, you can't do it. You just can't.

I once lived like you did, if you could call what I led a life. I dined on cases of Miller High Life mixed with bathwater bleach and ammonium nitrate. I ate the carcass of a dead animal, no matter what condition it was in. Once, just for the hell of it, I chewed up all the plastic in my house. What the dog ate, I ate. The stomach pains I suffered through were the stuff of legend. Sometimes it took weeks for me to poop. Other times, it just took a second. Underwear was a scarce resource. You can't wash the unwashable. You just have to throw it in the trash.

So don't tell me about your IBS, bro. Pull those hot dogs out of your mouth and get a grip before you find yourself eating gravel and tree bark. If I did it, you can do it. You can do anything.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Conan Brothers Q&A

RealAmeriKKKan asks "What do you guys think about all those loser football players kneeling during the national anthem? If they don't like it here, they can just get out!"

Dave: Been a while since we had a true moron ask a question.

Arnold: That's not true, Dave. Usually we just ignore them, but I feel that this one's query deserves an answer.

Dave: Let me ask all you hard-ass patriot motherfuckers something: What do you think black Americans owe this country?

Arnold: Oh my god, Dave, what are you saying?

Dave: I know it's impossible for a sociopath to put his or herself in another person's shoes, but all you Trump supporters out there, just try for a second. Imagine you're a black American. I know! The horror! Let's think about your history. Americans stole your ancestors from their country and enslaved them for two-hundred and fifty years. When they finally gained their freedom, they were treated as second class citizens that were often lynched, beaten, or unfairly imprisoned if they stepped out of their designated social arena. While things improved after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, racism and systematic discrimination continued, even though plenty of white people like to pretend that prejudice ended with Obama. "They got their black President, now I don't want to hear about racism!" these people screamed, even though the election of a black President resulted in a massive racist backlash that ultimately manifested itself in Trump. With a noted racist sitting at the head of the DOJ, and a police culture that continues to treat blacks like dead men walking, what do African-Americans owe this country? Honestly, jack shit.

Arnold: Well spoken, white man.

Dave: I find that patriotism is too often used as a shield against criticism.

Arnold: Yeah, I guess that sounds about right.


IntellectualHorseMan3000 asks "Do you assholes ever read anything besides muscle rags?"

Arnold: Cereal boxes. Craiglist ads for pool boys. Stuff on the internets.

Dave: Arnold thinks a book is something you use as a weapon or as toilet paper in a pinch.

Arnold: Actually, brother, I have just finished an excellent science fiction novel called Blindsight by Peter Watts. It's a first contact story set in a high tech future where baseline humans are redundant and vampires have been brought to life by the miracle of genetic engineering. The aliens are nicely alien, and the big twist of the novel has a certain Lovecraftian horror about it. The main theme of Blindsight is consciousness, and whether or not it is an advantage or a disadvantage to an intelligent species. I probably read it in a week.

Dave: So that's what you were doing in there all night. I figured you were twisting the bald headed moose or whatever.

Arnold: Well yeah, I was probably doing that too.

Dave: So do you think we qualify as conscious beings?

Arnold: You don't. Half the time you speak, I can tell it's the machinery underneath that's doing the talking.


GamerBait asks "So what have you losers been playing?"

Dave: Besides the skin flute?

Arnold: Enough with the masturbation euphemisms. Prey is really good, and a nice companion to Blindsight.

Dave: It's basically System Shock 3, although I've seen a lot of people comparing it to Bioshock which makes sense, I guess, since the Shock series has been defunct for a long time now.

Arnold: Talos, the space station in Prey, is probably the best fully-realized environment in gaming. It really feels like an actual place.

Dave: I feel like the horror angle is due more to the initial weakness of your character, rather than the alien design, though every time a Phantom walks by making those creepy sounds, I shit my pants.

Arnold: Yeah, and they're not even much of a challenge. I do agree, though, Prey is refreshingly difficult on normal, though not Dark Souls hard.

Dave: Nothing is Dark Souls hard. Not even the game of life itself.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

New Music: The Ringer

An old Theme Park Mistress song about a cereal killer/accordionist. Enjoy.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Taking Apart the Tenets of American Conservatism

Hey look, two assholes.

Good ol' fashioned conservative values are something we constantly hear Republican politicians harping about. If something is bad, then it surely doesn't adhere to the principles of conservatism, which were handed down from God to Ronald Regan at the summit of Mount Rushmore. Accepted as gospel truth by a good portion of the electorate (by good portion, I mean the handful of people who vote in this country), I thought I'd turn a critical eye toward sacred dogma, because it's 4:30 in the morning, and I'm pissed that I'm awake.

Principle # 1: A smaller government is always a better government. I don't think there's any truth to this, and it doesn't make sense if you give it more than a second of thought. America is the third most populous nation on earth; over 326 million people live here. That seems like a whole lot of people to govern! It seems reasonable that you'd need a considerable federal government to deal with a population of that size. Well, maybe they mean that the federal government is too powerful, and more power should be returned to the states. Crazily, it appears that our ancestors fought a long and bloody civil war over that very subject, and the consensus of that war was that federal power supersedes that of the states. In any case, a large state government is required because a lot of people live in the states. There are 39 million people in California, the largest state by population, and 585 thousand in Wyoming, the smallest. That's still a lot of people in Wyoming, though, isn't it? Still, they probably shouldn't get any electoral votes. They're responsible for Dick Cheney, after all. Remember that guy? He was like an evil George Costanza, and he was still better than any of the maliciously useless member of the Trump administration, which is looking more and more like a mentally-challenged version of the Legion of Doom.

Principle # 2: Free-market capitalism is the solution to every problem, ever. Sure, if you are the majority owner of a powerful corporation, then yes, less regulation will probably be good for your business. If you're a small entrepreneur, well, maybe not, because with less regulation, that powerful corporation we were just talking about could easily drive you out of business. If you're a wage slave like most of the population, then free-market capitalism probably isn't helping you out much. Corporate profits have soared over the last decade, while wage growth remains stagnant. You see brain-addled politicians like Rand Paul cling to this tenet like the hem of Marilyn Monroe's dress even in circumstances when it's blatantly obvious that capitalism is failing us, such as our health care system. "Obamacare is socialism! If we let it, the Market will find a way!" screams Paul, even though we allow hospitals to charge patients ridiculous prices which then get passed on to insurance companies, who in turn pass the expense back to the consumer. That's free-market capitalism at work, folks, and that's why your insurance premiums are sky-high and yet you still have to pay a fortune every time you visit the doctor. Really, every time Rand Paul opens his mouth I hope he'll just projectile vomit over anyone he's speaking to, since his words are basically repulsive nonsense at this point. Fuck you, Kentucky! You're also responsible for Mitch McConnell, a failed human-turtle hybrid so riddled with hypocrisy, it's a goddamn miracle he hasn't dropped dead from lying out of his asshole.

Hey, there's old Mitch. What a fucking bitch.

Principle # 3: Christian values are American values, and when we abandon them, we lose our souls. I don't really think Republicans believe this one; they're just pandering to evangelicals, which are a decent portion of their base. I mean, would the party of family values really nominate Donald Trump as their Presidential Candidate? Donald Trump thinks a family is something you evict and then sue until it goes away or dies. He's been married three times, and he had to buy his third wife in some Eastern European country, and it's fucking obvious that he's a shitty husband and she wants to kill him. Getting back to the subject, Christian values are all over the place. You've got denominations that think women shouldn't speak and that homosexuals are an abomination, and then you have Pope Francis, who thinks Trump is a dumb ass and that maybe the Catholic church should like, lighten up a bit or something, man. This country was founded on religious freedom, and the hallowed founders, who've been mythologized by conservatives to the point where they sit on the right hand of God himself next to Christ, insured that America was a secular nation with a clear definition between church and state. So the next time some so-called Christian starts moaning about whatever moral crisis we're apparently suffering through, tell them to shut their ignorant pie-hole and stop shitting all over the Constitution, which currently allows queers, unwed mothers, and atheists just as the founders intended (hah, yeah probably not, but fuck those guys, right?).

Principle # 4: Let the people have all of the gunz! The gun lobby is one of the most powerful in Washington, despite the fact that only 36 percent of Americans own guns. Republicans think that you should have a gun on you when you go to the movie theater, when you attend school, and when you're taking communion at church. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos thinks that we should have armed guards in public schools to shoot bears, for Jesus's sake. Guns are as American as apple pie, type two diabetes, and big, bouncing fake titties. What are the consequences of letting people have all the gunz without requiring any training or reasonable level of vetting? Why, gun violence levels that are 25 percent higher than the average of any other developed country. Every time there's a school shooting, you should call your Republican representative and thank them for not taking all the gunz away. Sure, little kids had to die, but isn't your AR-15 more important? Remember those Christian family values!

I'm part of teh gunz lobby.

Principle # 5: Our god-level military is the only thing keeping us safe in a dangerous world. The United States spends more on defense than the next eight countries combined. Yet Trump thinks our military is weak and wants to jack-up spending by 54 billion. This supports my theory that conservatives are fucking terrified of their own shadow. A lot of people will say "Well, we are a superpower, why shouldn't we spend a ridiculous amount on our military?" I dunno. Look around you, buddy: can you think of any other area where that money might be better spent? I dunno, maybe health care? Public infrastructure? Education? What are our priorities as a country? To be big, dumb, sick, and well-protected? Shit, I answered my own question.

So yeah, I think I'm done here. I'm about to fall asleep in my chair. Hopefully I don't dream of Ronald Regan.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Weightlifting: Training Around a Back Injury

I've had a sharp pain in my lower left back for some time now. It's not terrible, but it's fairly constant. Because I've always had a strong back, I think I've gotten careless and lifted too often with a round back. My injury seems to be lessening after doing a few things:

1) Cutting out problem exercises. One of my goals was to deadlift 600 lbs this year, but I've had to lay off heavy deadlifts for the time being. One armed deadlifts are a good temporary substitute because the weights handled are relatively light, and although the motor pattern is slightly different, it is similar enough that you're still getting deadlift practice, as well as improving your grip. I've also stopped low bar squatting--it was the worst exercise for my back pain. High bar squats and front squats can be done with a minimum of pain, so I've continued to squat.

2) Working the back directly. I've always gotten the majority of my lower body volume from squats and deadlifts, but I think that was a mistake. Good mornings hit the lower back directly, and after performing them for a couple weeks, they've become a necessary part of my training. I do good mornings with a heavy dumbbell for reps instead of a barbell, because the movement feels more comfortable with a dumbbell.

3) Remembering to tighten your torso before lifting. Before a squat, deadlift, or press, make sure to flex your abs and tighten your back. Doing so will prevent an injury due to bad form. This is common sense, yet I've certainly gotten into the habit of just getting under the bar and unracking it.

4) Foam roll. Lying on the floor with a foam roller under your spine can alleviate sore muscles and elicit a couple good back pops. A massage would probably be even better, but we take what we can get.

That's all I got.  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Meet the Deplorables, Eight Months in

Pointless Venture thought we would check back in with all of those humble souls who voted Donald Trump President of the United States. What do the deplorables have to say?

Bret Adkins, 27 years old, formerly employed at Borg Warner, favorite hobby was jerking it to big diesel engines.

Current Whereabouts: County jail after arrested for selling heroin.

Evaluation of Trump's Performance: "Big D's sure is fucking over a lot of those Washington homos, ain't he? Heard he rustled a few feathers for not criticizing white people when Black Lives Matter terrorists ran over a white girl in Charlotte. White people should have the ability to protest just like all those whiny minorities. Met a solid bro who was jailed for speaking German and cosplaying in a Stormtrooper uniform. When I get out, I might meet with his gang and burn some crosses and shit. Trump will protect our rights! Go big D!"

Candice Lawrence, 35 years old, professional house wife, favorite hobby was gradually letting herself go.

Current Whereabouts: Parents' house after husband left with secretary.

Evaluation of Trump's Performance: "I'm a little disappointed, to be honest. I thought Ivanka would have a bigger role in President Trump's White House, but her Jewish husband is hogging the spotlight with all his Russian meetings. Really think Ivanka could've done better--if she had to marry a Jew, then why not one that looked more like Paul Rudd than Jessie Eisenberg? Oh my, that's the wine talking. Please don't print that."

Anita Dooger, 40 years old, employed at In His Holy Fire church, favorite hobby was producing offspring.

Current Whereabouts: Walmart, loading up on toilet paper and paper plates.

Evaluation of Trump's Performance: "I think President Trump has done a wonderful, blessed job. God's wisdom has influenced his hand! Trannies are no longer allowed in the military, and Muslims better watch their backs! I have felt liberated to express my support in public for the crucifixion of homosexuals, which is a wonderful thing to share, let me tell you. President Trump will turn this nation back into a haven for Christian values!"

Bretfart1942, 22 years old, formerly employed at community college dining hall, favorite hobby was trolling for the lols.

Current Whereabouts: Mom's house, taking a break from the crushing pressure of two classes a semester.

Evaluation of Trump's Performance: "Honestly, I was hoping the whole system would just crash, and all the bitcoins I've mined would make me king of the wasteland, but things haven't quite proceeded as planned. The feminists are still working hard to undermine my masculinity, and President Trump hasn't done as much to rein them in as I would have hoped. Still, I've gotten plenty of lols from his presidency so far (have you watched a White House press conference? It's like a masterclass in internet doublespeak), and I only imagine they'll continue. Trump 2020! Pepe forever!"

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Diary of Mitch R. Singer

Somewhere over the rainbow, where skies are blue
Gangs of nazis drag people down the street, fat, fetid man-boys clad in sweat pants and army surplus camouflage. Spittle flies from their lips; when they speak, nothing comes out but haggard squeaks, mice-like squeals of discontent and fury. I sit around the table, nestled indoors, while my family sings for my thirty-second year. Thirty-two years seems too long--I feel as though I have crawled through sewers for eons and wandered dead woods for eternities--but I wear the sad face of acquiescence, smiling the toothy-smile for fate. One of the gangs has decided to beat a man in my front yard. Everyone keeps singing, even though his screams pierce through the thin glass and reverberate in these long halls. "Happy birthday to you," they say. Indeed. Happy birthday to me.

In the orchard, the smell of rotten apples in the air
One hand rises up while another comes down. Into the sack it goes, a fecund piece of fruit. After a while the weight of the picking bag hangs around your neck like a yoke. Around I go, a busy beast, my labors quiet and mechanized like the efficient piece of heavy equipment I have become. When the bag is full, it is emptied with great care, its contents as beautiful as any painting in a museum. I stare and become mesmerized by the red stripes, the splattering of color across pale, white flesh. Sometimes I can't help myself and eat as many as I can. Under my boots the failed droppings of the harvest melt into the earth, releasing an odor of vinegar that seems to linger for months, far after the memory of picking has faded. It is a pleasure being a tool, a senseless, yet useful, thing.

Outside my house, looking at the night stars
I come outside with a piece of birthday cake. It has white frosting and red and blue sprinkles. My neighbor has a huge American flag strung up on a pole in his yard. A night breeze rustles it, sending waves through the stars and stripes. I spot a hole in a white stripe the size of a bullet. There is shouting and chortling, and the gang that was out earlier walks down my street. There are about five of them, ugly boys, gangling or overweight. One of them sees me watching with my birthday cake and shouts something crude about my mother. It is strange; nights like these feel limitless, as though I could be any person if I only reached down into the depths of my history and pulled out a face to wear. A smile cracks my visage. The fork in my hands has ragged prongs, as though someone has taken the time to pull each of them into twisted metal teeth. "Happy birthday," I say as they stop and watch me approach. Happy birthday to each of us.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weightlifting: Hypertrophy Macrocycle Conclusion

I've been working with block periodization for four months now and have just concluded my hypertrophy macrocycle, during which I focused on multiple sets of eight reps with variations of the competition lifts. Working with lighter loads and higher reps has been more of a challenge than I predicted, but I'm confident that all this work will pay off in the coming months as I transition to a strength macrocycle and then finally to a peaking block. Let's go over how my training progressed, reviewing how I succeeded and what I could have done differently.

For my two squat days, I started off (as I did with all of my lifts) with 60 percent of my 1 rep max for 4 sets of 8. My first squat day was low bar squats, and my second was high bar. I probably should have started with front squats and high bar squats, which was the change I made after two months. The loads for the back squat variations are too similar, which made recovery difficult. I didn't do any assistance for my squat in the end, though I started off doing weighted step ups and pistol squats. I train in a basement, and I don't have access to a leg press or any other machines, so other than lunges or hack squats, my assistance options were limited, and honestly I didn't feel that I need them. 5 sets of 8 reps on the back squat pretty much drains me for the rest of the day. I went from doing 245 for 5 sets of 8 to doing 265 for 5 sets of 8 in the high bar squat--62 percent of my high bar max (390) to 68 percent. Looking at my record log, 275 is my 8 rep max in the high bar squat. Approaching your 8 rep max for 5 sets is good progression.

On deadlift day, I started with just 3 sets of 8 reps, using 295 lbs. Four months later, I was using 330 lbs for 4 sets of 8. So I went from 58 percent of my 1 rep max (510) to 65 percent. You can probably get away with using lower percentages with the deadlift because it is such a taxing lift. I plan on starting out with 70 percent in my strength block, just like everything else. We'll see how I progress. Had I more time and a less physical job, I would've added straight leg deadlifts as an assistance exercise.

The bench press had the most variation of all of my lifts. I cycled through incline benches, dumbbell presses, military presses, and paused bench presses. The close grip bench press was my only constant. I went from doing 185 lbs for 4 sets of 8 (70 percent of my best close grip, 260) to doing 4 sets of 8 with 210 lbs (80 percent). I felt like my bench form improved a lot and that I gain muscle in my pectorals from doing close grips. Looking at the percentage I ended up with, it's obvious that my max close grip bench press is greater than 260 lbs, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do 4 sets of 8 with 80 percent. My best wide grip bench is 290, so hopefully that has went up.

I'm pretty content with my progression during my hypertrophy macrocycle. I added weight, volume, and improved my work capacity. Although my weight didn't seem to increase (hovering somewhere around 195, 196 lbs), my body composition changed for the better. The next three months will be devoted to a strength macrocycle, with the fourth month changing to a peaking block, after which I will start the whole thing again, provided I see some decent results. I'll post my strength program some time next week.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Detroit Rock Stars I'd Rather Have in Congress Besides Kid Rock

Yes, Kid Rock is your fat redneck uncle. He'd be great in the Senate, right?

Kid Rock is thinking of running for Senate. This is the world we live in now, a world where the writer of "Bawitdaba" can say he's considering a political career, and we all have to take it seriously, because Donald Trump is President, and there is no God. Here's a list of rock stars from Detroit that I'd prefer to Robert Richie.

 Don't eat the mic, Iggy.

1) Iggy Pop.

I have no idea what Mr. Pop's political affiliations are, but I have to imagine he's something of an idiot-anarchist. I can see it now--the Godfather of Punk enters the Senate chambers clad only in a pair of ripped jeans. He has a jar of peanut butter in one hand and some shards of broken glass in the other. He stares at Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and asks "What the fuck happened to that guy's chin?" Then he starts gyrating and smearing the peanut butter over his torso as he dances on broken glass.

Winners: Anarchists and gutter-punks who need a hip replacement and Uncle Sam's support.

Losers: Anyone expecting any sort of coherent position on any issue whatsoever.


2) Jack White.

Professional musician and professional weirdo Jack White has always been something of a prickly character. He looks like Tim Burton and Jonny Depp's love child, and he has a fondness for taxidermy and beating up other rockers. Like Kid Rock, he is also something of a musical chameleon, switching from garage rock to alt-country to juke-joint blues. Unlike the Kid, he can actually play the guitar, although his voice sometimes sounds like a goddamn cat in heat.

Winners: Indie rockers, dead-animal enthusiasts.

Losers: Lovers of bananas and haters of guacamole.

Looks like he's about to rob a convenience store for a Mountain Dew and a carton of Menthols.
3) Eminem.
I mean, if you're going to pick a white-trash dude from Detroit to serve in the upper chamber of Congress, why not Eminem instead of Kid Rock? He's a bigger star, better rapper, and far greater innovator than the guy who wrote a whole fucking song over Sweet Home Alabama and Werewolves of London like that was okay or some shit. I'm sure Marshall Mathers has some perspective on the opioid crisis and low-class living, and despite his many beefs and crises over the years, he always seemed pretty intelligent to me, at least compared to Kid Rock.

Winners: Dr. Dre, trailer-parks, your teenage self.

Losers: Insane Clown Posse, your mom, maybe your children's children.

Looking good, ghost of Sonny Bono.

4) Ghost of Sonny Bono.

Flesh and blood Sonny Bono was a member of Congress, serving in the House of Representatives. Now that he's dead, why not shoot for the Senate? Sure, he might not get anything done, being dead and all, but if you're going to elect a Republican, why not a dead Republican? That's a compromise that I can live with.

Winners: The American People.

Losers: Kid Rock fans.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Shit Paul Ryan Has Been Dreaming of Since Drinking out of Kegs in College

Never forget.

Paul Ryan has been dreaming of cutting Medicaid since he was "drinking out of kegs in college." Here's some other shit the third man in line for the Presidency has been dreaming about since he was enjoying a college education paid in part by a federal aid program (Oh the hypocrisy!).

Mr. Speaker has been dreaming of a threesome with Ayn Rand, Ronald Regan, and Barry Goldwater since that one time he got really drunk in college and almost fucked a trash can.

Paul Ryan has been dreaming of internment camps for poor people since he read Atlas Shrugged and concluded that the world is divided into makers, takers, and candlestick bakers.

One of the leaders of the Republican Party has been dreaming of a lithe black man clad only in a pink thong named Shamoose every third Wednesday of the month for three years and is considering visiting a witch doctor to figure out what the fuck is up.

Mr. Ryan sometimes dreams of a 200 lbs bench press but he knows he will never possess the strength of a fourteen year-old boy, let alone a strapping sixteen year-old.

Sometimes, late at night, Paul Ryan dreams that he cannot hear all the suffering he has wrought. On nights like these, only a drink concocted with copies of the Fountainhead and the Holy Bible blended together with animal fat and virgin's blood can ease his troubled mind. Afterwards, he sleeps like a baby, though he'll awake early in the morning to vomit out a cud of half-digested paper.

Paul Ryan dreams of a version of Harry Potter where Voldemort wins, and all of Hogwarts is put to work building a magical version of Auschwitz that is powered on centaur blood.

Paul Ryan dreams of sleeping an entire night without letting out any bed farts.

Paul Ryan dreams of sitting on Donald Trump's face until he suffocates. This dream is usually followed by another where the President takes a huge crap on the Speaker's chest and then makes him eat it.

Paul Ryan will occasionally have a dream where he is a Batman villain. He always starts the dream as either the Joker or Bane, but by the end, he's turned into Calendar Man or the Mad-Hatter, and Batman always beats the shit out of him, quite literally.

Paul Ryan dreams that someday, he will be a real boy, but then he remember that he has no soul and Pinocchio was just a fable.