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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Next Great American Brewer

I first heard of this show last year when they were calling for homebrewers to audition, and until recently I had hoped the project had died out. After watching this all too long promo video for the show, I still wish it had died on the table.

In case you don't know, I had a show that was oddly similar to this one called B.Y.O.B. TV last year.  From what I hear we did fairly well in the ratings - at one point beating out SNL in the Bay Area.  Not saying I believe that (though when was the last time SNL was funny?), but it's a good piece of info and makes me feel good so I'm sticking with it.

At any rate, if you haven't seen this new show promo, hide the sharp objects and go watch it.

Back?  Wipe the bile off your chin there, and let's talk about it.

The obvious complaint I have is that it's fairly close to our show.  Homebrewers competing to be the best brewer by doing brewery tasks, cooking with beer, brewing beer, etc.  It does differ from ours as there are no men wearing lipstick or playing Liars Meat, but the structure and many of the competitions are direct ripoffs.

Ok, so that's out of the way, let's deal with location.  Chicago, they say, is one of the centers of craft beer in the country.  Um ... seriously?  Goose Island is there, and they make good beer, but that's about the sum of it.  Why not do it in San Diego, Portland, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle, anywhere but Chicago?  I assume it's just to be close to The Sieble Institute, but to say that town is the center of anything but blues and knife wounds is just a joke.

During the planning phases of our show, we talked about having one of the challenges that homebrewers have to do is some sort of marketing thing.  After seeing that part of the new show plugged in the promo video, I'm extremely glad we didn't put it in our show.  Who really wants to sit there watching homebrewers pitch their bottle labels to people?  It just seemed like the most boring thing to watch, and I'm very pleased that we didn't make our audience slog through it.  Not to mention that most commercial brewers don't have a say in their brand marketing, so I'm not really sure what this has to do with the best brewer in the country.  I can make a mean beer, but my art has never progressed much farther than putting shorts on stick figures.  Does that mean I wouldn't make a good brewer?

Back out of the actual show for a second and look at the marketing ...

Douche bag new host
Greg from Stone Brewing

Anything about this seem familiar?  Did this show have a single original idea, or did they just take bits from various areas and re-package them with an easy-to-use applicator?

Aside from the content, production value is just as - if not more important than the activities on the screen.  One thing you learn when shooting video is to always check your White Balance (the setting that makes the color white seem like white).  Even in the promo the whites where very yellow in the indoor shots, and when they weren't yellow the shots were dark and poorly lit.  Come on, kids!  You are supposed to be professionals, how do you shoot footage and not have the white balance set right?

To be honest, I stopped watching their video halfway through.  Which makes me feel a bit bad for them, because if they can't even hold my attention in a sizzle reel, how can they hold it for an hour?

No, it's not sour grapes. I don't care that they stole bits from my show.  I'm just sad they took them, squatted over them, and laid cable.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Death on the Farm

R.I.P. Lucretia 
The Madame, trying to lay an egg ...

It was bound to happen, really.  With all the stray cats running around my neighborhood because shitty fucking pet owners can't fix their fucking animals, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. Yes, one of my birds got taken this AM.  Drug into the bushes by a faggotcat.  

I heard them squawking around 6:30 this morning, which is a bit early but I just figured it was due to the mornings getting lighter.  It wasn't the type of sounds you'd expect an animal to make if it was in danger, more like just general "Ok I'm up now" noises.  Though they did sound closer to my room than before ...

Finally I look out the window and see Butterworth just walking around on the grass, with a shitty fucking stray cat right next to it!  I run outside in my bare feets and my boxers - the cat rips out of there and Butterworth is just chilling out, looking at me as if this happend every day for her.  I pick her up and take her to the coop, and then I saw the Trail of Feathers ...

Somehow the coop door had been opened - unlatched and opened - and starting from the front door there was a good 3 foot trail of large feathers, probably wing or tail, then a little break, then another trail of smaller feathers leading to the bushes.  Oh shit ...

A quick examination shows me two chicken feet lying in the dead leaves, obscured by branches and matted feathers.  Fuck.  

Anyway, I buried her by our Japanese Maple tree, and put a clay Fox statue our friends left as a sort of grave marker for her.  Even though she was just a chicken, I had her for about a year, and she was my pet.  I paused to say a few words, but the only thing I could do was tell her I was sorry over and over.  

I don't handle death well.  After my Mom died suddenly, not a day goes by that I don't think of my own mortality and when my ride will end.  When things around me die it's even worse.  I know it's only a chicken, and that things die and blah blah blah, but she was our chicken.  I held that bird every day it was a chick.  When I'd go buy her worms I was exited to get home and feed them to her.  It's sad to have to bury a pet that you brought up like that.  Especially one that got it's back ripped out by a fucking faggotcat.  

Even though Lucretia was the loudest of the two birds, and the one that laid the smallest eggs, she was part of the team, and I feel bad for Butterworth now, as she's the only one left. I'm the first to say that we, as humans, anthropomorphizes animals too much, but I have always been a believer in having two of the same animal so they have a companion.  And I can't help but feel that even a chicken can realize when they are the only one left.  

I'm fucking sad.  And I hate that.  I hate being sad about a bird - it's a bird, a chicken!  Fuck, man, get a hold of yourself!  But in reality, she had more personality than that.  She was a pet of the house, and I will miss her shitty squawks and small eggs.  Her stupid darting head and her knocking over their water feeder because she liked to eat wet dirt.  She was an idiot, but she was my idiot.  

I'm sorry, Lucretia.  I'm really very sorry.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I'm An Idiot

I am.  Not news by any means, but still as factual as any statement can be.

So I was out in the coop a bit ago, feeding the birds some scratch grains (seed, corn, etc.) to warm them up on this cold and rainy day.  I decide to look for eggs under their perch, which is where they like to lay them.   Open the door, and there is a little brown egg waiting for me.  Hella sick!  I grab it and tuck it in my zippy sweatshirt pocket, thinking enough ahead not to put it in with my phone, but rather in the other pocket with my chap stick.

Shutting the door, I bend down to open the door to the run and toss some grains out when I hear a muffled "crack", and suddenly the left side of my gut is a few degrees warmer than it's counter-part.  Yeah, in that 4 second window between getting the freshly laid egg and bending down to feed my grills, I had forgotten that I had a very breakable and potentially moist item in my pocket.

My smooth move ... 

I'm an idiot. 

This post written under the influence of Brainoil

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Love Hypocrisy

To me, beer has alway been an easy thing to love.  Even easier is to love the beer industry.  If I can't work for Disneyland, I'd want to stay in the beer industry - the people are rad, and the product we push is even more radder.  Perhaps the radderist, even, I dunno. 

When people start pushing their ideas into the stream, it can only invite criticism, which you have to be ok with if you are in the public eye.  Well, as public as the beer industry can be, right?  I mean, being the smelliest hippie still means you are a smelly hippie.  

My complaint this time is this Top 20 Dudes List of Guys That Make Beer and Are Also Hot list that comes out every year.  Why, I have no idea, but it does and it gets attention for about 8 seconds until that old beer can in the yard glints in the Sun, and we all collectively move on to something else.   I'm fine with this, really.  It's fun and you can laugh about it an have a good time, and that's all fine and good, but if you are going to produce a list that ranks a sex from best to worst (which if you are on the bottom of any list, you are the worst of the whole list, right?), then you have to be ok with this same format being used elsewhere.  

What really burns my burners is the women who write this list - I know some of them, and they are really very nice ladies. They know their beer and they hold strong opinons on most everything.  Rad.  Awesome.  But some have been very vocal about sexism in the beer industry.  Remember when that Pink Beer cast it's rose-colored shadow across the beer industry?  And remember when all the women in beer were burning their bra's in protest?  Oh man, a more angry group I have never seen.  "This is bullshit" here, and "This is bad for women" there - even a few "This must have been made by men" comments in for fun.  

And maybe I'm just a shitball, but I'm having a hard time seeing these same women - who once stood up against the wet fart that was pink beer - now dance around in a circle, waiving their hairbrushes at the Moon, and celebrating this Men List like a gift from Heaven.  How can you even begin to be involved with a list like this?  You women have just done to men what ou claim Pink Beer did to you - made you objects.     You want to be taken seriously, and I applaude you for it.  But how are we ever going to take your opinons seriously from this point on - especially when you are telling us how wrong men have been to women in the media?   We can't!  You women have just set back the women's rights movement by at least 20 years.  Good job. 

Hypocrisy is a funny thing.  If you are going to take a hard-core stand on something, then stick with it.  If you want to float the line here and comment on both sides of any issue, then you cannot really be the spokesperson for one side or the other.  Women are beautiful.  We, as men, will look at them.  Doesn't mean we want to sleep with every single one we see.  Do you want to pick every flower you look at?  Women, you have to be ok with being attractive.  Men are.  And don't you want to be more like us?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Facebook: A Threat

In the past few days I have been seriously reconsidering my participation on Facebook.  It's been a long time coming, but I guess I just realized how ... insane that thing is.  Facebook has become a dumpster for our lives that we just keep feeding, throwing the fat that we trim off our lives into it.  Go ahead, go look at your feed.  Notice how 98% of it is all white noise?  Nonsense?  Meaningless gibberish?   Beyond the "I'm eating sausage lol" comments, most of the stuff people post about themselves is literal waste.

Chances are, if you are my friend on Facebook, I have your feed hidden.  Why did I add you as a friend then?  Because I would feel guilty rejecting you, just like I feel guilty in unfriending you.

I use Facebook as a way to gain popularity.  There - I said it!  And it feels good to be honest about it.  In fact, many people post something witty in attempts to be liked by people they have never met, and most fail at it.  Not saying I never do, but I make a small, unlivable wage by being funny, so I kind of am bestowing those powers onto myself to determine what is and what is not "Funny".  And trust me, dude ... you are not it.

My goal now is to get back to using Facebook for what I feel it's good for - keeping in touch with friends.  For some reason there are people out there that want to be in touch with me, and see what I'm doing, and laugh at me for various things, so I ask that you just follow me on Twitter (@majorjipp) - it's just easier that way.

Look, it's not you, it's me.  I'm the crazy one.  I'm the one who just kind of wants to close off a bit of the bathrobe.  So if you go looking for me and I'm not in your feed, please don't feel bad.  It really isn't anything personal.  Plus, I'd bet that many of my "friends" have hidden me already - we have just maintained our FB friendship out of fear of insulting the other.  Why do we do that?  Why are we so afraid to deny someone entry into our lives?  So I doubt anyone really will know or care about this.  But I'll feel a bit less creeped.