Shut Up and Eat Your Gluten

10 July 2014

When I was in college way back in the early aughts, I worked as a prep cook in a restaurant kitchen. It was hard work and the pay sucked, but I learned a lot about cooking and got to practice my Spanish with the rest of the staff, who hailed primarily from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. In the process I learned a lot about the rich and vibrant Central American culture, which turns out to be centered around three core elements:

  • talking about dicks
  • creating models of dicks out of food
  • calling one another gay

Needless to say, I fit right in.

One day a customer came into the kitchen and handed out a few laminated business cards explaining that she had Celiac Disease and could not eat anything containing gluten. At the time I had never even heard of gluten, and years went by before I heard the word again. Then I started seeing food products labeled “gluten-free” on supermarket shelves; I remember feeling surprised that a condition as rare as Celiac Disease could generate a sufficient market for gluten-free foods.

As time went on and these foods continued to proliferate, I realized that Celiac disease could not possibly be driving such a sweeping trend, and I started hearing about the supposed harmfulness of gluten. It made no sense to me, considering that gluten-based foods have been staples of virtually every human civilization, and I figured it was just another fad that would never gain traction outside of the Bay Area (world capital of made-up problems), where it would eventually fizzle out.

A decade and three time zones hence, the gluten-free craze is stronger than ever; there’s even gluten-free beer, for fuck’s sake. I’ve met people here in blue-collar Pittsburgh who swear that giving up gluten made them lose weight, feel better, and shit bricks of solid gold. Naturally, I remained skeptical – until I tried it!

Just kidding, of course I didn’t try it; I’d rather felch a drifter on TV than give up pizza. But I did suspend my disbelief a tiny bit, figuring that if so many people found a gluten-free diet beneficial, there just might be something to it.

Well, science has finally weighed in, and – surprise, surprise – it’s total bullshit. Count it! The gluten-free phenomenon strikes me as very similar to the so-called “paleo” diet in that both are based on pseudoscience and a fundamental misunderstanding of human evolution. This is not to say that these diets are not healthful, but whatever benefits their adherents claim to derive from them are either psychosomatic or simply the product of paying more attention to diet and eating fewer processed foods. When will people learn that eating right does not have to be complicated?

Fuck You and Your Smartphone

20 March 2014

Smartphones are without a doubt among mankind’s most extraordinary achievements; it is impossible to overstate the usefulness of holding all of human knowledge in the palm of one’s hand. Unfortunately, most of those hands belong to mouthbreathers whose misuse of these devices has dropped our collective IQ into retard territory.

On second thought, that might be unfair to retarded people, most of whom can ably perform the basic human function of walking. This activity is rather challenging for many smartphone users, whose desperate need to stare at a tiny screen at all times causes them to swerve, trip, and run into stationary objects. What was once a pleasant stroll through town now feels like being in some kind of Atari game in which you must dodge randomly moving enemies. Just kidding, I shoulder-check these dipshits with everything I’ve got.

Where the smartphone becomes a real menace, of course, is when Sally Shit-For-Brains decides to take a drive down to the Wal-Mart. Apparently driving is now just downtime to be filled with other activities; piloting a multi-ton vehicle no longer requires much attention. At least a third of the drivers I see on a daily basis are yammering away or even texting as they bumble along. Honking at the dimwit who just sits there after the light turns green is now so routine that I expect the DMV to add it to driving manuals. Thanks to smartphones, people can’t even be alone with their thoughts for 20 seconds; instead, it’s “DUUUUH, RED LIGHT, BETTER CHECK FACEBOOK!”

If you’re one of these people, you’re the reason we can’t have nice things. Please die in a fire.



9 January 2012

I’m convinced that football announcers are engaged in some sort of competition for who can say the word “football” the most. Rarely will they just say “ball,” “team,” or “game”; instead, it’s always “football,” “football team,” or “football game,” as in “this football team needs to take better care of the football better if they’re going to win this football game.” Do we really need constant reminders of what sport we’re watching? Is there really some confused soul out there who would otherwise think he’s watching bobsledding?

Speaking of football, last night I watched the injury-plagued Pittsburgh Steelers lose painfully to the Denver Broncos, thanks in part to a good performance by the Broncos’ below-average-yet-inexplicably-popular quarterback, Tim Tebow. Tebow is known for his open displays of his Christian faith, such as kneeling in prayer during games and crediting the lord for his performances. Many have mocked him for this, but I have not yet taken the opportunity to do so publicly. I’d just like to make two points:

1) Tebow, who is 24 years old, has a conception of religion more simplistic and juvenile than that of an average six-year-old . Apparently he thinks of God as a personal fairy godmother who can’t be bothered to stop famine or earthquakes, but will gladly make an opponent miss a field goal if his pal Timmy asks him nicely.

2) He’s a virgin. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

What a Christ-humping douche.

We Surrender

22 June 2011

A few weeks ago I saw the movie Confederate States of America, a “mockumentary” that speculates as to what America’s history and present would look like if the South had won the Civil War. It was a fairly entertaining and thought-provoking film, but I must take issue with their depiction of the present-day Confederacy. In the movie, the country is essentially the same as today’s America, with the notable exception of continued slavery (real whip-cracking slavery, not the minimum-wage, non unionized quasi-slavery into which our country is rapidly descending).

I find it highly improbable that the Confederacy would even exist nowadays, much less as a modern world superpower. What has the South contributed to the world since the cotton gin? Answer: JACK SHIT. The states in the northeast and west coast have made this country what it is today, and while these states would still be part of the Confederacy, anyone with half a brain would have left the country immediately rather than be governed by inbred chucklefucks, much as the few intelligent people unfortunate enough to be born in Mississippi move to New York or San Francisco as soon as they turn 18.

There is no question that our country would be much better off today without the South or any of the other red states. They embarrass us with their proud ignorance and anti-intellectualism, denying climate change and teaching creationism in schools. They keep us from attaining financial solvency by generating little revenue and taking far more than their share in entitlement spending, all the while complaining that we spend too much on these very programs. They prevent us from joining the rest of the western world by implementing universal health care, because apparently that would violate their constitutional right to die of diabetes at age 46; besides, where does it say anything in the bible about helping poor sick people? The list goes on and on, leading one to marvel at the fact that a war was once fought to keep these backwaters in the union.

This brings me to an idea I’ve had for some time: why don’t we, the Union, retroactively concede the Civil War? Any state that voted for Bush in 2004 is free to go; if they choose to stay, they must become wards of the state. You know how rednecks like to talk about how the South will rise again? Well, this is your chance, motherfuckers! Let’s see how well you morons do without all of us liberal elitists shouldering the burden. Two conditions: (1) No slavery. This shouldn’t be an issue; as much as many southerners would love to bring that institution back, I somehow don’t see black people having that shit these days. (2) No foreign aid. This will be an issue, as without this condition there’s no doubt that the Confederacy would be in Washington within months, begging for money to repair their crumbling infrastructure.

You won't be missed.







Rap Loopholes

12 March 2011

In the beginning, rap was all about lyrics; beats were simple and image was secondary. The following song exemplifies this aesthetic, and is, in my estimation, the finest display of lyricism in the history of hip-hop:

In today’s rap world, however, lyricism seems to be taking a backseat to production and fashion; consequently, more and more artists are resorting to what I call “rap loopholes.” According to my observations, there are three such loopholes:


Quasi-rhymes are the alchemy of hip-hop, whereby a rapper tries to make two words that don’t really rhyme sound like they do. For an example of the technique, as well as modern rap’s emphasis of style over substance, I present Pittsburgh’s finest emaciated stoner, Wiz Khalifa:

Wiz, we get it: you smoke weed. How about fewer shots of your bong and more actual rhymes? In case you’re unclear on the concept, the following word pairs DO NOT rhyme:

honest/call it

This is some weak sauce, and there’s no excuse for it. There are many options available to the lyrically challenged rapper: he can have someone else write his rhymes, rip some verses off from another artist, or employ one of the following two loopholes, which, despite their dubious artistic merit, at least involve technically genuine rhymes. Which brings us to…


Perhaps the most well-known and most commonly used rap loophole, spelling words out has served as a crutch for unimaginative lyricists since the birth of hip-hop. The fact that seven letters (B, C, D, E, G, P, T, Z) rhyme with one another as well as many words enables mediocre rappers like Dr. Dre to make virtually any two words rhyme. Consider the following verses:

It’s the muthafuckin’ D-R-E
From the C-P-T
On a rhymin’ spree
A straight G
-“Let Me Ride,” The Chronic

From Eazy E to D-O-C to D-P-G
All started from that S-O-B, the D-R-E
-“Big Egos,” Chronic 2001

Don’t get me wrong; I’m a big fan of Dr. Dre, and both of the albums above are absolute classics, but this is some seriously lazy shit. Dre should stick to producing, at which his skills are unparalleled, or at the very least have more talented rappers write his lyrics for him, as is obviously the case in songs such as this:

3)Rhyming a word with itself.

Unlike spelling words out, which is essentially unique to hip-hop, rhyming a word with itself has been a technique exploited by poets and musicians of all genres.  I already pointed out an instance of it in the lyrics of hack “poet” Jim Morrison in this blog’s most read entry. Only in hip hop, however, do we find this device (and just about everything, for that matter) taken to its logical extreme. Back in 1998, Juvenile broke new ground when he realized that he could write an entire song simply by ending each line with the same word:

If you can understand even 25% of what Juvenile says in this song, you should consider a career in linguistics. Nonetheless, it’s apparent that there are very few rhymes in this song. Juvenile subsequently stepped up his game with this classic, in which he cleverly replaced the word “ha” with the word “yeah”:

What a great video; fantastic beats, plenty of ass-jiggling, and hood rats instead of models. This song also includes more legitimate rhymes than does “Ha”; in fact, here I’d argue that Juvenile is applying Euclid’s Second Axiom, which asserts that equals added to equals are equal. In rap, this means that if “wood” rhymes with “hood,” then “wood, yeah” rhymes with “hood, yeah.” You’ve got to hand it to Juvenile for overcoming his lack of talent by discovering the rap loophole to end all rap loopholes.

Stop Consuming These Things

3 November 2010
  1. American Cheese Undisputed champion of disgusting foods, this putrid, sweaty, dog vomitesque substance is a testament to American poor taste.  To call this abomination “cheese” is not only an insult to perhaps the finest food known to man, but also an inaccuracy: it’s not cheese at all, but a heavily processed amalgamation of milk solids, whey, food coloring, and preservatives.  That’s why it’s labeled “pasteurized process cheese food”; I assume “food” is necessary to indicate that one can consume it, inadvisable though that may be.  Why does this stuff even exist?  There’s no shortage of real cheese; in fact, you can buy a 1 lb. block of store brand cheddar for about the same price as an equivalent amount of American.  If you eat this shit, you are a cretin with poor taste. On the bright side, American cheese was the basis for one of my favorite Simpsons moments (from the good old days, of course).
  2. Cool Whip

    As with American cheese, I cannot fathom why this product exists.  Real whipped cream is awesome, and you can buy a can for about $2.50 or make it yourself for even less.  Why would anyone choose to purchase a tub of chemicals that looks and tastes like something you’d use to shine your dashboard?  And please don’t tell me that it’s because some people are lactose intolerant.  Reptiles and birds are lactose intolerant; mammals, by definition, are lactose tolerant.  Like the sudden prevalence of peanut allergies, lactose intolerance is a symptom of our spoiled, pussified society.  As Chris Rock said, “you think anyone in Rwanda is lactose intolerant?”
  3. Tater Tots
    People often debate the relative merits of various types of fries; I love them all.  Shoestring, curly, wedge, waffle, whatever – there’s not much better than a well fried bit of potato, dusted with salt and dipped in 2 parts mayonnaise and 1 part ketchup.  I’ve got a boner right now just thinking about it.  Tater tots, however, are the retarded stepchild of the french fry family.  According to Wikipedia

    “Tater Tots were first created in 1953 when Ore-Ida founders F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg were trying to figure out what to do with left over slivers of cut up potatoes. They came up with the novel idea of chopping up the potato slivers, adding flour and seasoning, then pushing the mash through holes and slicing off pieces of what came out on the other side. Tater Tots were born.”

    So, tater tots are made from pressed potato sweepings; eating them is one step away from eating compost.  Whenever I talk shit about tater tots, somebody always rushes to their defense, in some cases making the absurd claim that tots are actually superior to fries.  To these unfortunate souls whose palates never progressed past 2nd grade, I argue as follows: do you like steak?  Yes?  Well, how about I take a steak, put it in a blender, then glue the resulting shreds together with some sort of food-grade glue?  I rest my case.

  4. Skim Milk
    It’s both amusing and depressing that America is a nation of lardasses despite our obsession with diet in general and fat in particular.  Skim milk is a great example of this pointless and futile obsession.  A cup of skim milk has 66 fewer calories and 8g less fat than a  cup of whole milk; on the other hand, it tastes like ass.  Is this a worthwhile trade-off?  I submit that it is not.  First of all, fat does not make you fat – calories do.  66 calories is not nothing, but unless you’re chugging glass after glass, it’s not a lot, either.  If you do drink a lot of milk, low fat (2% or 1%) tastes decent and has fewer calories.  What really pisses me off is people who order their coffee drinks with skim milk.  Way to save 2 calories there, fatty; you’ll be slim in no time!  In the meantime, enjoy your shitty pseudo-cappuccino.
  5. Partially Hydrogenated OilThis one is not on the list for its taste, which is actually pretty good, but for its deleterious effects on health and the fact that it has largely displaced the wonderful food that is lard.  Lard’s subtle flavor and inimitable texture make it a valuable ingredient, especially for baked goods; nothing beats a pie crust made with plenty of lard.  And it’s really not that bad for you; it has less saturated fat than butter, and in my experience less is needed.  At some point, though, lard became demonized as a health menace.  I’m not sure why; maybe because it comes from pigs, and pigs are fat, or maybe because it has a lot of cholesterol, even though there is no conclusive evidence linking dietary cholesterol to cholesterol in the blood.  In any event, partially hydrogenated oil (e.g. Crisco) became the recommended “healthy” alternative to lard.  Only recently, however, did we discover that the stuff is basically poison: it raises bad cholesterol levels while lowering good ones and there is ample evidence linking it to heart disease and obesity.  There is even some research suggesting that it can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease.  Oops!  The lesson here is never to doubt the glorious pig, giver of bacon, sausage, ribs, and yes, lard.

    Now that's good eatin'!

  6. Macro Beer
    To all the frat boys drinking Miller Lite and the hipsters drinking PBR who crowd good beer bars: FUCK YOU.  Go drink your swill at some shithole that doesn’t have Stone on tap.  Feel free to call me a snob, for on this matter my snobbery is fully justified; there is absolutely no good reason to drink cheap macro beer.  First of all, it tastes like nothing at best and urine at worst; I can down a few bottles of Hopslam and fill your glass with something better than Corona.  But it’s cheap, you say?  Well, allow me to retort.  If you’re just out to get drunk and cost is your only concern, then liquor offers far more alcohol for the buck and doesn’t require consuming liter upon liter of 4% ABV bathwater in order to catch a buzz.  Furthermore, though more expensive, good craft beer often packs considerably more punch, mitigating the price discrepancy.  For example, my local beer store sells a case of Bud Light for $15; at 4.2% ABV, that works out to $1.24 per ounce of alcohol.  The same store also sells the fantastic Founder’s Dirty Bastard for $39/case; at 8.5% ABV, that works out to $1.59 per ounce of alcohol.  When you look at it this way, cheap beer doesn’t seem like such a great value. 

    Honorable mentions: non-dairy creamer, Wonder bread.  Suggest more in comments.

Danica Who?

11 June 2010

You know what pisses me off?  The fact that I know who Danica Patrick is.  I don’t give a flying fuck about racing and can hardly name any good drivers, let alone anyone as mediocre as she is. But every time SportsCenter covers a racing event in which Danica Patrick competed, the main story is how she did (poorly, invariably); the winner is barely mentioned.  They do the same thing with Tiger Woods, but there’s an important difference: Tiger is the greatest golfer of all time.  At the time of this writing, Patrick has been in 89 races; she’s won exactly one of them and has zero titles to her name.  From 2005-2009, her IndyCar ranks were 12th, 9th, 7th, 6th, and 5th; she’s currently ranked 11th in the 2010 season.

So why is she famous?  Because she competes with men?  It’s  driving; why shouldn’t women be able to compete with men? (Then again, you could say the same thing about chess, in which women have their own competitions and titles.)  And don’t say it’s because she’s attractive.  Anna Kournikova, who also sucked at her sport, is attractive.  As for Danica, maybe she would be considered attractive around the trailer park in which she was probably spawned, but the bitch is downright homely:

Get me a six-pack and a paper bag, stat!

Sure, she looks passable in the magazine spreads she’s done and those godawful GoDaddy commercials, but she must spend hours in the makeup studio before those shoots.  Those makeup artists are so good that they could have meathead Maxim readers jacking off to me.

Finally, what the fuck kind of name is Danica?  It’s like her redneck parents were trying to decide between Danielle and Jessica and just said, “gawrsh, how ’bout both?”  This is an example of the increasing trend among white people to give their kids ridiculous names.  Just look at this list: the top boy name in 2009 was “Aiden.”  Are you fucking kidding me?  And it doesn’t stop there.  Look through the list and you’ll find lots of names that fall into one or more of the following categories:

1) Last names: Madison, Carter, Taylor, Connor.  These are last names.  Enough said.  Often overlap with…

2) Occupations: Porter, Cooper, Hunter.  What’s next, “Janitor?”

3) White trash names: Hayley, Kayla, Cailyn, Kadence, Bailey.  As you can see, the girls tend to get stuck with these.  If you want your daughter to be a stripper, just give her one of these names, which often feature…

4) Misspellings: Natalee, Ashleigh, Allisyn, Jakob.  Great way to make everyone think your kid is stupid (and they’re probably right).

5) Pussy names: Aiden, Tristan, Brayden.  Giving your son one of these names increases tenfold his odds of ending up on the business end of a gloryhole.

Where did this trend come from? These retarded names are even more obnoxious than the ridiculous names black people give their children, which at least can often be original and amusing.  Parents, when it comes to names, don’t try to get cute; remember that you’re not the one who’s going to have to live with the name for the rest of your life.  Keep it simple and classic: Tom, Bob, Al, Mary, Alice, Beth, etc.  There are plenty to choose from.