The tin-foil hat perils of waiting too long

mj laughing last dance

I kind of think it’s fake news: Mr. and Mrs. Baked Potato Head test positive for coronavirus

When I woke up in the morning to a text message from mythical wife lol’ing over this news, I also lol’d.  I took my sweet time getting to my computer this morning, because I anticipated most all of my friends were also lol’ing over the internet, and I wanted to dedicate a slice of time in which I could also lol with them, and hope to see a smorgasbord of ironically topical memes.

By the time I opened up my browser, theFacebook and my email, it was everything that I had expected to be, like a conga line of memes, jokes and all sorts of stuff clowning on the baked potato, and the irony that the guy who had spent the better part of the year acting as if coronavirus was a hoax, wasn’t real, was just diagnosed with it.

It truly is the epitome of irony, and couldn’t have happened to a more appropriate person on the entire planet.

I fully intended on writing about such ironies, and I had already picked out some gifs to use with this image, because the hardest thing at that time was deciding on which of the Michael Jordan laughing from The Last Dance gifs was more appropriate for the ensuing post.

But then this shit called ‘work’ kind of took precedence, and in spite of my want to write about the hilarious appropriateness of a clown who denouncing an illness getting it himself.  And as the day progressed, and I began to hear little bits and pieces and the occasional opinions from others, my friends included, most notably all of the potential conspiracies and the obvious revelations that almost no news that has been reported, has actually come from anywhere but the White House itself, leading to tremendous skepticism of its validity, due to the fact that everyone knows just who currently occupies it.

I am obviously no stranger to conspiracy theories, and I enjoy coming up with wild and outlandish theories on my own, but given the track history of this entire presidential term, I can’t help but have this sneaking suspicion that there is entirely the possibility that this is all one elaborate hoax, in order to politicize the whole situation, discredit the media, diminish the reality of the devastation of coronavirus, and turn the tables into some political strategy in order to regain momentum in the upcoming presidential election.

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Oh, Atlanta #669

It’s funny, when Bubba decided to reopen the state of Georgia, starting with a very auspicious cherry-picked selection of businesses, my first thought was that “hey, this seems like it could be kind of racist, opening up all these businesses that tend to lean towards having mostly black workers and patrons.”  I asked around several people if they thought my opinion possibly held any weight, and the majority of the responses were mostly not really, and that I was more likely the racist for thinking such thoughts.

However since then, the black community has been pretty up in arms about how racist coronavirus is, how it’s a global conspiracy, and other claims, some more outlandish than the others.  But as it pertains to Georgia, when the black community starts echoing the thoughts that I had about how Bubba’s choices of business to reopen the state with, then I feel a little bit validated.

Unfortunately, in spite of the claims of Bubba’s racism, there are plenty of people who are content to do their best to be statistics and perpetuate stereotypes, even if there’s monumental scientific evidence out there that we should all probably still be staying indoors. 

But when Nike releases some new Air Jordans, it’s apparent that even a global pandemic isn’t enough to prevent people from staying indoors, instead choosing to gather in tight crowds and really put each other in the line of fire, all for the sake of trying to get some fucking shoes.

Now before anyone else decides that I’m being racist for thinking that surely not every single person at this Air Jordan release day is black, read the article: Greenbriar Mall.  Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of Atlanta knows that Greenbriar Mall is basically 100% black, save for the few other minorities that have the gumption to open up businesses in a predominantly black mall, but as far as patrons go, it’s basically 100% black.  For context, this is a mall that used to house a Magic Johnson Theater, which were basically only in Los Angeles and a few other sparsely selected jurassic ghettos outside of California.

Either way, this is what we’d ironically classify as “a very Atlanta story” as even in the middle of a pandemic, people still can’t seem to stay away from gathering, as long as Air Jordans are on the line.  Naturally, the internet has had a field day with it, claiming all sorts of racist unflattering remarks, and pointing out why so many people are going out in public when, at the time of this going live was, the shoes were still readily available to purchase online; which then opened up a whole other can of racist remarks and memes.

To some degree, I hold Nike responsible for recklessly (or cerebrally) maintaining the course and releasing these shoes.  Surely they know the pandemonium the releases of Air Jordans tend to do to the sneakerhead community, much less urban, and it’s pretty poor optics that even when people are getting sick and dying out there, they’re content to give people reasons to leave their homes and gather, but that’s just me.

I guess Bubba will be very happy if the black voter base starts taking some more losses on account of them pursuing fucking shoes, but frankly that was probably the intent the entire time when he decided to reopen Georgia.

Not art + design

Because every gym on the planet is seemingly contractually obligated to be airing ESPN on at least one television, I saw this story about how the coach of the Cleveland Browns was spotted wearing this t-shirt that said “Pittsburgh started it,” as commentary over an incident a few weeks ago where the Browns’ Myles Garrett and the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph got into a scuffle ending with Garrett ripping Rudolph’s helmet off of him and swinging it at his head.  Garrett has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for basically assault, and Rudolph was fined a bunch of money for remarks that supposedly started the whole incident which may or may not have been racist.

But this isn’t a post about the incident, because when the day is over, I really don’t give two shits about an organization that somehow thinks organized dog death fighting is a lesser crime than kneeling during the national anthem.   No, I’m more incensed over the fact that on the aforementioned t-shirt, is an actual signature on it from a supposed “art + design” company as if printing a t-shirt with three words in the Garfield font (Cooper Black) is remotely anything considered art or design.

This is the kind of shit that really makes me jaded towards the creative industry as a whole.  A bunch of hacks out there that take the most low-effort bullshit, slap a logo or take credit for it, and call it “design.”  And when challenged, comes a deluge of bullshit about minimalism or simplicity.  And then there’s legions of like-minded sheep who think it’s the most innovative idea in the world, and then it goes viral and people actually benefit from it.

Amazingly, the “company” that signed this shirt that I could easily plagiarize in 2 seconds, appears to be an actual company that actually makes all sorts of Cleveland-centric apparel and merch, almost all of which is 78,000% more creative and contains actual design than Pittsburgh Started It.  But because they’re an actual company, they do have the audacity to try to monetize their low-hanging fruit, and to no surprise at all, are selling these bullshit shirts for $28 a pop.  But realistically, even if it was some individual who calls themselves a studio, they’d still try to sell them for $35, because they’re broke-ass poor and trying to capitalize on going viral.

Naturally, people are buying them because they clearly have way too much money.

Either way, if I had more than 0 readers, I’m sure I’d inevitably be accused of being jealous that someone out there is making money on such a low-budget idea.  And they’d be entirely right, because I would love to make actual money on such little effort.  Why the fuck can’t something controversial and nationally known happen for an Atlanta team, that I could easily make into some sort of meme, call it design and cash in on?

Avengers: Endgame and the obnoxious evolution of hype

Disclaimer: I may or may not say things that might be interpreted as spoilers for the movie.  But then again considering the fact that I am still offline, it could be weeks or literal years before anyone other than myself sees this post.  Always good to maintain good brogging etiquette though.

So mythical fiancée and I went and saw Avengers: Endgame today.  It’s been two days since the formal release date of the film, but because Hollywood ticket sales data is weird and loves to fudge things to make profits sound way more impressive than they might actually be, it could be anywhere from three to four days since other people of the mostly public world has been watching it.

Typically, this is the type of film that I don’t exactly make such an effort to see so immediately after its release.  Frankly, I didn’t even see Avengers: Infinity War in theaters, and didn’t actually watch it until it started to be available for home releases.  But as a person who was raised heavily on comic books, and as someone who actually read the actual Infinity War/Gauntlet/Crusades comic book arcs, it was still something that I’d be interested in, and despite the fact that I’m not exactly a opening night/special screenings kind of seeker, I’ve still kept up pretty well with just about all of the films of the general Marvel Studios Phase 1 series.

However, because the world is so connected and locked into the internet these days, and damn near everyone is attached to social media in some way, shape or form, I felt somewhat of an urgency to watch Endgame on the earlier side of the spectrum, solely for the fact that I recognize that the citizens of the internet, be it through news and pop culture websites, or through social media itself, are completely incapable of not spoiling things, and waiting to watch anything runs the serious risk of having anything and everything spoiled for you, by people on the internet who just can’t shut the fuck up.

So, we went and watched Endgame.  2-4 days after its initial release.  And it was good.  A solid film that tied up just about every loose end that was unraveled throughout the last 11 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Lots of comedic moments here, some very serious moments there, some slightly eye-rolly fan service moments occasionally, and a few nods to the actual comics, which nerds like me probably recognized.  As I said, it was a solid flick that was fairly enjoyable, and didn’t feel like the three hours that many bemoaned was going to be a test to all viewer’s constitutions.

But do I think it lived up to the hype that the internet artificially created over the last few months?  Absolutely not.

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Go home, Atlanta’s full – really

Every now and then there will be some article about how the traffic in Atlanta is amongst the worst in the country or the world, or an article about how the housing market within the city proper is gradually climbing into San Francisco-like ascensions.  And then inevitably, like people flocking to the supermarkets for milk, bread and toilet paper at the news of oncoming snow, there will always be someone whether it’s through Twitter or any social media outlet, or in a comments section who says “go home, Atlanta’s full” or something of the like.

But then on the eve of the Super Bowl, which is being played in Atlanta this year, the city actually did become full; to the point where even the local NBC news outlet had no choice but to drop a headline that, Atlanta was full.  The meme became reality to where it had to not just be acknowledged by the media, but integrate it into the headlines.  And to prove that Atlanta was full, 11 Alive provided time-lapse video evidence of the clusterfuck of humanity that converged into Downtown Atlanta.

It looked like a more ghetto version of Shinjuku Station whenever the lights turned green and suddenly hundreds of people would cross the streets, filling up every inch of space in the process.

Frankly, when I knew that the Super Bowl was coming to Atlanta, not that I have a tremendous amount of business in the city anymore now that I’ve moved back out to the ‘burbs, but I knew that anything within two weeks of the Super Bowl was a definite no-fly zone for going remotely anywhere near the city if it could absolutely be helped.  And seeing video evidence of just how full Atlanta became, just a night prior to the Super Bowl justified everything I thought was going to be the case, and made me very glad that I no longer worked or lived remotely anywhere within city proper limits.

Needless to say, it’s still hilarious to me that the meme became reality, even if it just reached critical mass on one of the numerous nights in which people flooded the city.  But it’s official, Atlanta was full; now everyone go home.

The Family Guy effect for sports

I’m not even going to pretend for two seconds that I’m a hockey fan.  The biggest importance of hockey in my life is Al Michaels’ call of Do You Believe in Miracles? from the 1980 Olympics when Team USA upset the Soviet Union in one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports.  Otherwise, I know and care very little about the sport, personally considering it fourth-tier in the hierarchy of professional sports.  I know a lot of names of players and teams mostly through osmosis of ESPN and other sports outlets I keep my ear to the ground with, but really I’ve given no shits about the NHL ever in the history of my life.

However, it hasn’t been lost on me that over the last few years, the Washington Capitals have had some difficulty in overcoming the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Something like the Penguins winning three straight playoff matchups against the Capitals, en route to winning the Stanley Cup each time or something or other.  A cursory search shows that that the Penguins won seven consecutive playoff series against the Capitals since 1995.

This stigma had been amplified over the prior two seasons, with the respective stars of both squads, Alexander Ovechkin of Washington and Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh in the primes of their careers, as well as the ever-prevalent and pervasive presence of social media for all the fairweather and casual fans to blow shit up more than others might want.  And as had been the norm, the Penguins ended the seasons for the Caps, and went on to win Stanley Cups each time, while fans in the DC/Virginia/Maryland area bemoaned the seemingly endless curse of DC sports.

When I noticed that the Caps and Penguins were on yet another collision course in this year’s NHL Playoffs, I talked a few times with a close friend who is an actual hockey fan, and a Caps fan no less.  And as a DC sports enthusiast, he’s pretty much been there, done that as far as the low expectations for sports teams in DC, regardless of their records or the hype.  Whether it’s the Redskins, Nationals, Wizards or Capitals, we’ve all seen them ascend to contention, only to fall from grace, perpetuating the stereotype with each crushing defeat.

We basically talked about how it was about to be another year, another Caps jobbing to the Penguins, and to prematurely begin engraving the Stanley Cup with this year’s Penguins personnel.  And then the Penguins went on to win game 1 of the best of seven, further reinforcing the feeling of déjà vu of another Caps shortcoming and another DC sports team, collapsing.

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Just when you think the NBA couldn’t get any dumber

It was naïve of me to think that the Houston Rockets attempting a million three pointers when it was apparent that nobody had the NBA Jam fire code running was the dumbest thing to happen in the playoffs.  After all, the NBA Finals hadn’t yet occurred.  And much like tempting Murphy’s Law, something worse must occur.

Obviously, I didn’t watch the vast majority of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but thankfully I watched the part that really mattered.  Where Cavaliers guard JR Smith corralled an offensive rebound on a missed free throw, with the score tied at 107 with five seconds left, but instead of calling for a timeout or attempting a game-winner, he dribbled it out to half court and let time expire – much to the abhorrent dismay of his teammates who clearly understood the situation better than he did.

Despite the fact that Smith alleges that he thought a timeout would be called or he was going to get fouled, the fact of the matter is that he clearly was not aware that the score was tied, and that he could have very well won the game, had he even bothered trying to get a shot up or passed it off to someone else who could.  Commentators quickly and often, pointed out claiming to have heard that immediately after the gaffe, Smith claimed to have “thought we were ahead,” which is mortifying that a guy would lose track of the score, in the NBA Finals.

This isn’t really a big deal if the Cavaliers won the game, but naturally they lost in overtime, magnifying the incident fifty times over, as the sole reason why they lost.  And this isn’t an instance where a player could politically correctly state that the team lost as a team, because LeBron James scored 51 points and JR Smith’s brain fart is what denied the Cavs a chance to even win in regulation.

Bottom line is, JR Smith is an idiot.  He’s a bonehead that somehow managed to lose track of the situation in the most critical part of the game in the most critical part of the season, in the NBA Finals.  Regardless of if he actually knew the situation and was hoping for a time out or to pass the ball off, or he did in fact forget, neither changes the fact that he’s an idiot.  His excuse that he was waiting for a timeout or that he was going to get fouled is weak, because as the ballholder, he himself could have called for a time out, several of tenths of a second faster than the coach could have, but he didn’t want to take accountability for that decision.  Or, despite the fact that when he snatched the offensive rebound, he had the ten-foot tall Kevin Durant up in the air and could very easily have gotten up a fairly uncontested shot at close range up and made a game winner, but again, no accountability assumed there either.  Neither of which are any better than simply having forgotten the score at the most juncture of the game.

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