Monday, October 29, 2012

Global Warming Is Totally A Hoax

Hurricanes kick it with blizzards like all the time. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with human-induced climate change. In fact, if there is anyone to blame, I'd have to say that it's President Obama. He knew about this Frankenstorm all along and refused to warn ANY OF US! 'Why?' You might ask? Because he hates us all, duh! Now let's all just hide our hands firmly back in the sand until this monster of a storm passes over the more than 60 million people whose lives and property are threatened.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Inspired by this awe-inspiring GQ list, which places Budweiser firmly in the ranks of the 50 Greatest Beers on the Planet, I figured I had to create a head-scratching mini-list of my own. This one ranks another of man's great joys: Hamburgers. Now I know I've expertly tackled this subject before at great length, but GQ helped me come to my senses about how elitist and snobbish I once was. I've since learned to embrace the pedestrian nature of our society, and so here now is the result of my style magazine-induced epiphany:

5.) Famous Star w/ Cheese - Carl's Jr. 

This char-broiled, all-beef patty is already a sensory revelation on its own. But when you throw in melted American cheese--the honey boo boo child of the dairy world--then top it with "special" sauce AND mayonnaise before sandwiching it all between a seeded bun that's preserved well-enough to withstand a nuclear holocaust; that's one holy cow!

Carl's Jr.--even prettier in real life!

4.) Sirloin Cheeseburger - Jack In The Box

Ever since they were shut down several years ago for poisoning people to death, Jack In The Box has been back with a vengeance! Their Sirloin Cheeseburger is a prime example. Not just a clever nickname--it actually consists of 100% Sirloin, which is fittingly one of the closest cuts to the asshole of the cow. I personally enjoy how it's served on a bakery 'style' bun, much like it's a quality 'style' hamburger. 

Studies suggest that you can actually contract Salmonella from staring at this image

3.) Dave's Hot N' Juicy Triple - Wendy's

As America knows full well, BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER! Wendy's validates this incontrovertible truth with their alarmingly oversized triple cheeseburger. After all, why only have one, lonely human-size portion of 'real' beef, when you can have three at three times the price? Diabetes is no joke people. If you don't start getting serious about your meat consumption now, you'll never be able to drain our severely overburdened healthcare system by the time you reach your early 60s. Also, it should be a given that when you think of the late, portly restauranteur Dave Thomas, the first two adjectives that come to mind are 'hot' and 'juicy.'

Now available in 'Merica! Size

2.) Carolina BBQ Whopper ® - Burger King

Who doesn't love the Whopper--vegetarians and people with tastebuds withstanding? I mean it's a flame-grilled beef patty of indeterminate origin, that essentially confirms the existence of God. There's no way you can improve upon perfection, right? WRONG, ya moron! Add bacon, and not the 'real' kind, but that super-sad bacon that has the consistency of a wetted, chewier square of Charmin's toilet paper, then smother that bad boy in a corn-syrupy swath of southern sauce that's defined even more vaguely than a Romney economic policy. Now you're cooking! Just like momma used to make, if momma was an ethically-challenged multinational conglomerate. 

I actually prefer the 'actual,' far less of that silly green stuff

1.) Big Mac - McDonald's

Topping this list of unimaginable greatness...Is there really any question? Did the hamburger even exist before America's friendliest, most health-conscious establishment unleashed this artery-clogging artwork upon the world? The short answer is no. The long answer is of course. But thanks to the ingenius insertion of a curiously-placed interloping third bun, we never looked at the hamburger quite the same again. They put the H.A.M. in hamburger. And does the third bun serve any purpose whatsoever? If that's your takeaway from the Big Mac, you are missing the entire point, not to mention you're far stupider than the billions and billions of satisfied customers that have enjoyed this game-changer since it was introduced over 50 years ago. To put it bluntly: die. Or, in other words, eat a bunch of Big Macs.

Gotta love that 9:2 bun to beef ratio

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Perhaps the greatest line and delivery of modern political sparring:

Bentsen: "I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine...Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

Quayle: "That was really uncalled for, Senator."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bringing The Heat

AJ's Mango Habanero 'Masterspice'
I like things spicy. Real spicy. Unfortunately, most foods and sauces labeled as such fall underwhelmingly flat, aimed at a country with a proclivity for impossibly bland tastes. I'm looking at YOU, Taco Bell 'Fire' Sauce. And Tabasco doesn't even scratch the surface, although I do at times appreciate its vinegary essence. Conversely, the few hot sauces out there that do deliver on the promise of their label often fail to bring any meaningful medley of flavors to the palate. 

Why does it seem as though I can't have my cake super hot and eat it too?

Spicemaster and entrepreneur Anuj Patel sympathizes with my dilemma. As a connoisseur of Indian flavors, he fully understands the pleasures derived from the happy coexistence of intense taste and insane heat. This is why he created his very own hot sauce, harnessing heaping amounts of locally-grown, organic habaneros which he enhanced with the unexpected addition of fresh mangoes. The result is his newly-minted AJ's Masterspice, a surreal explosion of furious fire and serious soul. By introducing the fruit element, your tongue is able to discern the hidden intricacies of the habanero. It is an unfamiliar exploration to be sure, because most sauces incorporating this infamous pepper, fail to temper the initial heat blast with such gentle precision. You'll find yourself enjoying aspects of the habanero that you never even knew existed.

A gentle dollop of this potent elixir added to your favorite dish reveals a subtle sweetness accompanied by the deep, devilish tones of habanero. When the spiciness drops, it drops BIG. But when used sparingly, it's nothing that can't be tackled by less than a spoonful of yogurt or cucumber sauce. 

To me, however, it's not a real meal unless you've broken a sweat. Hyper-heat can be a spiritual experience--meditative even, as you contemplate the pain, dwell in it and let your mind temporarily elevate you to a higher plane. That being the case, AJ's Masterspice is my new guru. If you see it around, pick it up (carefully, of course). With its stunning packaging, semi-serious warning label, and trademark orangish-yellow hue, the bottles are hard to miss. Just remember, you've been warned: if you can't stand the heat, stick with Frank's Red Hot or something.

Hella Habanero

Monday, October 1, 2012

Review: Muse - The 2nd Law

Courtesy of Muse
Few would accuse Muse's newest studio offering--released October 1st--as being their most groundbreaking work. Yet it surely continues the successful formula which they've ridden to the top: kicking serious ass

The gut-busting begins in earnest with Supremacy, a fitting choice for an opener with its guitar scratching, earth-scorching bombast. The stakes are raised almost immediately upon the introduction of a full orchestral accompaniment.  Cue the choir and it's clear that England's favorite hard rock act is setting the controls for the heart of the sun. All of the usual suspects that we've come to associate with the band are on full display, from frontman Matthew Bellamy's operatic falsetto, to the deep, dark riffs  that he so often whips into a frenetic crescendo. It concludes with a twang of whimsical arpeggio, summoning the listener on the aural odyssey to follow.

The voyage veers off-path in a hurry with Madness, their most recent single, and an obvious departure from their tried and true stylings. Decidedly more Pop than Prog, the track finds Bellamy crooning in a sorta futuristic R+ B manner. While not at all what I have come to expect from the power trio, the song is undeniably catchy, beginning with rhythmic electro-bass pulses and building upon itself with purpose as it unfolds. Slowly it gives way to a brief-yet-blistering solo where we find Bellamy channeling his inner May before culminating in a triumphant, emotional climax. It somehow becomes more profound upon sequential encounters. 

Courtesy of Will Ireland/Getty Images
Next up is a dirty little wallop known as Panic Station, featuring a full-on horn section (from the same folks  that brought you the legendary hook in Stevie Wonder's "Superstition"). Bassist Chris Wolstenholme slaps out a driving groove that provides a firm foundation for the intoxicating funk that Bellamy layers on top.  The brass, riffing repeatedly throughout the chorus, melds itself effortlessly into the sonic landscape.  

The mood shifts drastically as the album explores the symphonic grandeur necessary to prelude an olympic anthem. A swinging piano riff emerges, accompanied by the metered cadence of an extended choir and an occasional sopranic flight of fancy. Such is the pomp and circumstance that defines Survival. The official song of London's 2012 games is wrought with such over-the-top delivery that--if  the lead singer's heritage was anything aside from Anglican--we'd have to question wether or not he was putting us on. 

Chris Wolstenholme, Matthew Bellamy and Dominic Howard
The remainder of the album tinkers with the more common trappings of contemporary music, like the dubstep-minded hook in the otherwise pedestrian Follow Me, or the Radiohead-inspired polyrhythms of the melancholic Animals.

Save Me and Liquid State are notable entries. Penned by Wolstenholme and chronicling his struggle with alcoholism, they showcase a surprisingly infectious timbre. As impassioned as his delivery is, the songs are as memorable for what they aren't. Bellamy's trademark wailing has become such a fixture of the Muse sound that these numbers could be mistakenly attributed to another band altogether. 

The chaotic immensity more familiar to the band reemerges in spades for the conclusion of their sixth studio album. The title track is broken down into a two-part suite, as ominous as it is ultramodern. Unleashing a salvo against the insatiable desires of man, Muse continues to weave the thread of social commentary into the core of their music, as they have from the beginning. "A species set on endless growth is unsustainable," we are warned. Begging the question, 'where do we go from here?' If the melodic finale of The 2nd Law serves as any indicator, a rendezvous with post-apocalyptic minimalism is unavoidable. It's not a groundbreaking notion, but that doesn't make it any less provocative.