Happy Friday # 1.6 From Down Town

Is there a mashup of "Down Town" and "Up Town Funk"?
Is there a mashup of Petula Clark’s “Downtown” and “Up Town Funk”?

It’s Friday and the start of a three-day weekend, which means nothing when you’re between jobs, but exciting for the rest of you! But it should be a good weekend, with college football, DVD commentary and the usual Labor Day bbqs! But first we have some minor league baseball, some major league baseball, and Willie Nelson. So jump in and let’s ride this whiskey river.

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It’s time for college football, which I’ve grown to like much more than professional football, especially since Roger Goodell turned the whole thing into a farce. However, I will still root on the Broncos every week, yes even the bye week, shut-up. With that being said I appreciate humor and the previews from people not wearing orange tinted glasses, so I am fully on board with Drew Magary’s run down here. Normally I oppose internet comment sections, but Deadspin is generally the exception and I recommend reading them here, at least the first thread.

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This week we lost horror master Wes Craven, best known for Freddy Kruger and Scream. His first film was The Last House on the Left,  which I watched with a girl on our third date. I would not recommend this as there is much rape in the movie. The mood, and that relationship, weren’t the only things Wes Craven was good at killing. He rejuvenated the horror genre when he killed Drew Barrymore in the opening scene of Scream. Oh, uh, spoiler alert? Here’s a great look at that scene and a nice ode to the nightmare maker.

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Patton Oswalt has a great bit about the magic of cursive. At the 33 minute mark of this, but I recommend listening to the whole thing. Magic or not, many believe cursive is a dead art and most would blame computers for this, but some believe it’s actually the ballpoint pen that has led to this decline, but it has contributed to an increase in awful homemade and infected tattoos. And the history lesson is more interesting than that of inline skates.

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Burning Man (ugh) may become a permanent community. This sounds like the worst place in the country. Like a Boulder, Colorado on steroids. Because I don’t have much faith in the artistic hippy types that flock to Burning Man, I don’t see how this community is going to sustain itself and last. If I was a betting man, I would say this community, and festival, collapses due to either too much or too little MDMA. At least we’ll have all the hippies rounded up in a single location.

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Speaking of festivals, they are one of the largest users of port-a-toilets. With these convenient vessels come many fears. From the basic disgust factor, to the possibility of it being tipped over, to dropping your fill-in-the-blank into the hole, there’s a multitude of reasons to attempt to hold it. Well, let’s add another fear, being in one while it is moved across festival grounds. The real kicker is the last line, “It does happen quite a bit to be honest – I’ve done it a few times.” Well shit.

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I don’t know about you, but I could use a pallet cleanser. Here’s a mesmerizing video of the Blue Jays hitting home runs set to Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” Baseball and Johnny Cash, if they used any team other than Toronto, this would the most American clip since Hulk Hogan’s Titontron entrance video.

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Back in the day when we would get the Scholastic book orders, there were always two titles I would beg my mother to get: the latest Garfield anthology and the most recent Guinness Book of World Records. I’m not sure exactly why I was so interested in the Guinness Book of World Records, maybe it was a weird desire in knowing obscure facts like who the tallest man was, or just seeing the gross pictures of that chick with the longest fingernails. I never once thought about the people in that book as anything other just weirdos. Never ever considered the motivations of those who made it into the book for some stupid feat. Apparently there a few psychological needs involved in doing something stupid like riding a unicycle. Makes me wonder if I’m normal or abnormal for not having these desires. Maybe I better do something just in case. Nope, too lazy.

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In my youth, when I wasn’t reading Guinness Book of World Records, I was playing NBA Jam, like most kids my age. I usually played as the Charlotte Hornets, just hitting 3 pointers all day with Muggsy Bogues. The game was fun because it was so preposterous and goofy. Unbelievable dunks and balls on fire were accented with phrases that would make Stu Scott proud. There was one man responsible for putting those perfect little additions into the game and he talks about that experience here. Also, I’m now inclined to purchase MLB Slugfest to listen to more of his great banter. But I’ll probably just dig out NBA Jam and waste time with that, also why I won’t make into the Guinness Book.

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The world of minor league baseball is expansive. With every major league team having two or three affiliates it can be easy to go unnoticed. So how does a team stand out? Goofy promotions? Yes. Unusual name and mascot? Double yes. But where do these things come from? For most teams they come from the marketing company Brandiose. They make it sound like it’s an easy thing to do, but when I actually try I find myself just looking around using whatever I see. Like Stephen King suggesting a lamp monster. Wait, how about the New Salem Lamp Monsters? Yes, that’s good. I don’t see a problem.

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Sometimes celebrity endorsements are perfect, like Air Jordans or Brett Farve and toothpaste for the sensitive (still won’t keep him from crying). But these are nothing compared to the forthcoming Willie’s Reserve line of pot. With the growing legalization of marijuana it was only a matter of time before we got such things. But that is really only of one of them gems of this GQ interview with Willie Nelson. We also learn who he was smoking with on the White House roof. Hint, afterward they munched on peanuts straight from the farm.

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Now, your terrible tattoo

That ball looks under inflated
That ball looks under inflated

Welcome back, football season.

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