will you survive?

Judging by the media coverage of this global storm colossus, there’s never been a major snowstorm in human history.  They even named the storm “Jonas” for some silly reason.

So now we’re naming snowstorms like hurricanes?  Soon the clickbait mafia is going to start naming light drizzle or a clear day.  “This beautiful warm spring day Lucius is brought to you by Sprint.  Sprint, connecting you to the better days of your life.”  [cricket, cricket, cricket]

Will you survive?  Yes.

But will the media tell you you’re going to die?  Probably.

And yet, because life is complicated, we at TAP are going to help you with all of life’s problems.  It’s what we do.  Please don’t object.  As always, your cooperation is truly, truly appreciated.

– You might never normally buy bread.  But you’ll need bread.  Lots of it.  Go to your local shopette and buy 17 loaves of bread.  If others object that you’re hogging all this rare bread, just tell him you’re buying it for starving kidnapped orphans.  Then, whence in the parking lot, hock all your newfangled bread from the back of your car like it’s coke.

– When shoveling snow, wait until the last possible moment, when the storm’s almost finished and the snow’s at its heaviest and most difficult.  Don’t hydrate at all, don’t wear gloves, and don’t take breaks.  If you start to shovel, but then you take a break, that just means you’re a weak quitter.  And you’re not a weak quitter, are you?

– If you happen to lose power, that means it’s time to immediately panic.  Begin to break down your wood furniture with some tools.  Make a pile of said broken wood, discarded trash, and old tax paperwork in your living room.  Burn this while keeping the windows closed so you can stay warm.  If you start to get sleepy from the CO, don’t worry, that just means your expert hasty fire is warming you effectively.

– If you happen to own a 1987 Honda Civic, you’re required to drive on the road as soon as humanly possible.  Make your best attempt to drive at normal rapid speeds, using no extra caution whatsoever.  Remember, if you’re driving slow over icy roads, that just means you’re a poor driver.  And you still need to get to where you’re going, fast.  You’ve got important places to be, after all.

– If you happen to own a 2014 Jeep Cherokee that you’ve equipped with snow chains, make sure to drive as slow as possible, as if you’re on your own personal Antarctic expedition bound for the Ice Age.  If you exceed 10 mph, all you’re doing is increasing the wear and tear on your new snow chains, or scratching the sweet ass paint job on your immaculate SUV.

– If you happen to remain trapped indoors with your family, pets, house ghosts, friends, or enemies, just make sure to say nothing of value to them at all.  Carry on throughout the weekend staring at your little small screens, and make no attempt to interact abnormally.  Remain calm, the storm will be over soon, and you can go back to staring at little small screens during your normal routine.  In the event of a power loss, have many batteries ready so your small screen can remain alight.  If you run out of fresh batteries, lock yourself in a closet with your screen, and daydream that there’s something on there.

– Buy a shotgun and several shells.  Annotate in your own blood the words, “Die Blizzard, Die” on each shell.  Tonight, well in advance of the storm, walk into the local park and fire off a spread of shells into the sky screaming at the top of your lungs like a fringe barbarian.  Expect this action to scare off the worst of the storm in some type of mystic druid ritual.  It cannot fail.



choosing the right direction

I find it intellectually interesting that just a few days after the country celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King, that we have such a forceful issue dealing with his message. Normally I couldn’t care less, or desire to comment, about a circular firing squad emanating from Hollywood, but I feel compelled today for some reason.

Lots of reasonable people can read these words different ways:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

But to me, when King says he wants people not to be judged off the color of their skin, I’m pretty sure he means he doesn’t want people to be judged off the color of their skin.

Yet today’s professed problem with the Oscars is that they’re judging people based off the color of their skin. Titan-of-Humanity George Timothy Clooney says Hollywood is “moving in the wrong direction“.

But what are the Oscars anyways? The organization has been a panel of white man slime since its existence. For instance, all those old Hollywood legends of how they treated young women didn’t just materialize out of thin air. Which has always kind of made me wonder why so many people take the Oscars so seriously.

What exactly is supposed to happen here? If the Academy doesn’t nominate black performers it’s not diverse? So should they have just thrown in two or three black performers, just to keep the controversy away from the panel?

What about Asians? How many is the Academy required to nominate each year? What about lesbians or gays? How many each year is an acceptable number? Is there a set quota that will scratch the itch of every interest group, racial, ethnic, religious, or gender background? And while we’re at the elimination of gender roles, why do the Oscars even continue to nominate based off male or female categories? Shouldn’t we force the Academy to create a single category for all performers? Or at least create a category for all 17 of these newfangled gender roles? You can really take this craziness down a long road to which there is no end.

So to me, the solution simply comes back to King’s dream: judge by character, and nothing else. Which occasionally, yeah, it might mean no performer of a particular identity gets nominated.

So some of you would make the argument that the Academy is not judging by character, and that if it did, there would be more black nominees. Eh, perhaps, but almost every article I’ve read on this issue mentions skin color first as the issue at hand, and not character. I also get that the business is the business. And in the Hollywood business, if you have an Oscar you’re a freaking legend, and if you don’t you’re not. Which is why the Oscars are so important an issue.

But still, at any rate, whatever the situation, I now offer a few belligerent solutions:

1) Stop pretending the Oscars are a meaningful benchmark

Is this the pinnacle of filmmaking? Why? Because the Oscars been around since 1929? So they’re the true benchmark of success because they’re old? These are the judgmental jackasses who picked Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan and gave a best director award to an acknowledged child rapist. I’m not sure what a proper replacement is, but at a certain point maybe it’s time to acknowledge that the opinions of a bunch of faceless big shots doesn’t equal what’s actually a great performance.

2) Stop going to the Oscars

The one thing I’m very okay with regarding this latest round of shouting is that folks are actually putting their actions where their mouths are. Usually Spike Lee just complains but then goes on like nothing happened. This time he’s not going. Good on him. If you truly believe in something, don’t participate. It removes the element of hypocrisy. As I wrote above, I don’t necessarily understand how Lee and the others are going to get the result they want, but at least they’re showing they mean what they say

3) Create your own benchmark

If you’re a young white/black/etc/etc/etc filmmaker or performer then what’s your definition of success after say 40 years in the business? I submit, if your benchmark is, “I won an Oscar”, you’re missing the point. Just as if a writer’s definition is, “I won a Pulitzer”. Those things might be neat, but they aren’t life and they certainly aren’t art. They’re just the voting intentions of a panel of other human beings. Good movies, literature, art, are all things that transcend silly little voting exercises. Art at its best is composed of the things that define the “content” of our character. If you ask me, if you want to move in the right direction? Forget fixing the Oscars. Create your own benchmark. Create your own dream that isn’t based off an award chosen by others. That’s the right direction to go.


Oh George.

I guess eventually I’ll be banned from Britain

Oh, that Trump dude, he’s so wacky. You never know what he’s going to say next. For instance, he wants to halt Muslim immigration, which to my back of the napkin math means my uncle couldn’t have married my aunt, but I digress.

What I find rather humorous about Trump is how seriously folks take everything he says, even though it’s quite clear that Trump doesn’t take everything he says seriously. The dude’s just talking off the top of his head, but every word he speaks is dissected like he’s thought about it for three weeks. Probably because the media and politicians are used to vetting political statements that took three weeks to write.

Well, Trump and Sanders aren’t like that. Both these dudes are cut from a different mold. Which is part of the appeal that’s kept them in the game. Folks don’t want their leaders to spout something they wrote three weeks ago. It’s fake, it’s disingenuous, it plays the average voter for a fool.

I actually kind of hope we see a Trump and Sanders election. I really do. Perhaps this will result in absolute disaster for the Republic? Yeah, maybe, but when the alternative was Clinton and Bush, I’ll take my chances with these two new nut lunatics. Particularly when 99% of the fringe policies they’re spouting (such as Trump’s Muslim ban or Sanders’ single payer healthcare) have absolutely zero chance of ever becoming law.

The British Parliament should probably be talking about important things, oh say, such as the forthcoming EU vote, federalism of the Union, or whatever. Eh, I guess it’s easier to take on Trump over his Muslim proposal, it doesn’t require them to actually do anything.

Hey you know this Jeremy Corbyn dude’s said some pretty horribly sexist offensive things too. In addition to having some policies that would see Britain conquered by Luxembourg. Maybe he should be banned from Britain?

Either way though, whether you hate these guys or love them, I prefer to let free speech be free speech, and let things get resolved at the ballot box. Except if you’re the British Parliament, in which case you prefer to handle things yourself. And so the birthplace of free speech spent a good portion of the weekend once again showing why the British construct is headed for the gutter.

In Parliament’s view, free speech should be handled on a case-by-case basis as determined by whatever the government says, and the ballot box and liberty be damned. And so Britain shall adopt the free speech policies and enforcement methods of Saudi Arabia or China. Neat.

And so I guess eventually I’ll be banned from Britain, for writing something on this blog deemed offensive, or what I say to my friend in the bar. I’ll tell a dirty joke or whatever, and I’ll get tapped on the shoulder, and it’s a Brit MP wearing a $9K suit, and he’s like, “You’re banned, you can’t say that.” But I’ll just shrug, “Eh, you guys are no longer worth visiting,” and then go back to drinking my beer.


Magna Carta – soon to be banned from Britain as offensive to the values of the ruling political elite

hopefully he’ll never be known for Potter

Sorry, Wand Goon Squad, you can’t have him.  He doesn’t belong to you.  Any more than Alec Guinness belonged to Star Wars.  Because both men were cut from the same mold, and it showed in the way they lived, and in their best roles.

alan rickman.jpg

But sorry, Potter was not one of his best roles, and it’s not how he should be remembered.  I’ve never read the books, so maybe Snape is more of a relevant presence in there.  But in the movies (which I was forced to watch) Rickman‘s talents are devalued on a character who’s about as critical as a coat stand.  Even Snape’s death scene in the last film feels like it’s completely wasting Rickman‘s immense talents, like they’re just going through the motions.


Don’t get me wrong, the Potter films aren’t completely horrible, they’re fairly decent.  There are some really, really powerful scenes in there.  But claiming Rickman’s life over them isn’t right.  Guinness didn’t want Star Wars that way either.

So where do we place Alan?  Best villain of all time?  Yeah, maybe that’s a start.  To me, the best villain of all time knife fight might be between Hans Gruber and the Sheriff of Nottingham.  Who would win?  Us, by watching it.

hans gruber.jpg

Just drink in this deleted scene longer clip from the Robin Hood extended edition.

This was the film era where a villain was fun, sharp, cool, even bordering on campy.  But you knew they meant business.  They also had motivations behind their actions.  Both Gruber and the Sheriff’s purpose make sense as Rickman skillfully reveals their character.  Whereas nowadays most villains are just stark-raving-mad-brutal-psychopaths.

And yet, I think Rickman wouldn’t want to be known for these either.  He was always afraid of being typecast and having these two lovely roles ruin his range and reputation.  He did theater, did it superbly, but also painted and was in general (as most like him) a true artist.

But more than anything he was just fun, fun to watch, fun to listen to, fun to see.  And you can tell whether he’s poking at himself in Galaxy Quest or acting in the oh so weird but delightful Alan Rickman Tea Time, that he’s having fun too.

Happy New Year

Today the sun came out for the second day in a row, which is pretty cool considering it spent the previous 11 days hiding behind thick clouds and rain.  The temperature also dropped about 30 degrees, so for the first time this winter it actually feels like winter.

Does this mean we’ll soon see this again out back for my youngest to frolic around in?


Perhaps.  Who knows what 2016 will hold for us.

But I know one thing is solved already, giant squids!  Did you know they saw one just rolling around Japan three days ago?

And in today’s ultra-second-reaction-zone you’re like, oh, that’s neat.  And you unthinkingly move on to the next article.  But then you’re like, wait, what?  Giant squid!

giant squid


Except nobody seems to care, eh, where was the clickbait mania over this dude.  He’s so awesome.

Hey remember all the days where every 8 months you’d see a new search for the giant squid adventure documentary on National Geographic or Discovery?  Finding the giant squid was the nature equivalent of discovering Sasquatch, at least before he sold out to a meat processing ad company.

Seriously, here’s a documentary from 1994 entitled Sea Monsters: Search for the Giant Squid.

Now nobody cares.  Well I care!  We love you giant squid.  Happy New Year giant dude.  What does 2016 hold for you?  What does 2016 hold for any of us?

Will Santa put a giant sloth under my bed, just to open the year for wackiness?  Who knows?  But I’m anxious to find out what this year holds for us all.  Let’s go, friends!

giant sloth

“I have been provided with a prepositioned list of all your naughtiness.”

“Oh.  Uh, …, want to pound some beers creepy giant sloth?”