Friday, November 11, 2016

Oh My God, NO! Part 2: What Do Progressives Do From Here?

So here we find ourselves, facing a President Trump with both chambers of Congress controlled by Republicans.  

Ugh...

The question now is, how do we go forward?  How can us progressives keep moving forward and keep fighting?

Here is my three part plan for how we not only keep fighting, but we win in a complete annihilation of anyone who stands in our way:

1.) Stay woke.  News and politics is depressing right now, and it's really tempting to get away from it all.  Now, I don't recommend only following politics, as that will make anyone insane, but stay aware of what's happening.  Why is this important?  Right now, the Democratic establishment is pushing Howard Dean, lobbyist for big pharma and ex-coworker with Newt Gingrich, to be the next head of the DNC.  Right now, the Democratic establishment is pushing Tim Kaine for President in 2020.  

Yep.

Now, if that causes you to ask yourself, "What the fuck?  Isn't this the shit that they pulled this year that led them to losing to Donald Trump?  Why would they do that?" then that means you're an intelligent, clear-eyed person.  The establishment, however, doesn't think that way: they think that they are blameless in this, and that they still have the right idea.  After all, they've been doing this for forty years; at this point, it's all they know.

We have to fight the Democratic establishment so that they don't keep pulling this bullshit and so that we have a party for the people that can stand up to Republicans who will do their best to destroy the planet.  Right now, Keith Ellison, with Bernie's blessing, is also running to be head of the DNC.  They need our support to help Democrats save themselves.

This also includes activism.  Pick an issue or two that you feel particularly passionate about, and fight for those on a regular basis on every level of government.  Money in politics, climate change, LGBTQ rights, international peace and a whole bunch of other issues have strong activist movements within them.  Join in with them and fight for the change you want to see.

2.) We populate Congress with progressives in 2018.  Thankfully, every two years, we get the chance to remake our federal legislature in our image.  We start now pushing for progressive House and Senate candidates who will fight for us, with emphasis on 'fight'.  As in, not look to compromise and the first sign of a struggle.  If the incumbent in your district is a true progressive, awesome good for you.  If you don't (the vast majority of the country), then we have to defeat that incumbent, regardless of party affiliation.  This isn't impossible; there is very recent precedent with the Tea Party in 2010.  There's no reason why we can't do the same exact thing.  Time to have our own Bizarro Tea Party.  

3.) We pick a super strong progressive to run for President in 2020.  Like Elizabeth Warren, for instance.  Some are pushing for Tulsi Gabbard, another fine choice.  Any strong progressive who runs a left-wing populist campaign will obliterate Trump from the universe, and you can count on that.

Voila, we have a progressive government in the span of only one Presidential term.  Will there be resistance?  Of course, but not quite as much as you think.  Over half of the country actually align with Bernie's platform with regards to the different policy positions.  People are thirsting for progressive policies; they just don't know it right now, because neither the Republicans or the establishment Democrats have offered them.  They'll back someone who is willing to fight for progressive positions.

Don't give up my friends; if we put in the work to make the change that we want to see happen, we will win and we'll win faster than you think.

To that end, I'm going to announce that I will be using this blog to find out who the progressives are in Congress and relate what I find.  How will I do this?  I will go through their policy positions and cross-reference this with their donor lists and votes in office.  I will do one Congressional Democrat every day starting tomorrow.  I'll also make a video going over my findings and posting them.  That way, we can know who we should support, who we should primary and be well informed in doing so.

That's all everyone!  Remember: we will win!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Oh My God, NO! Part 1: Why Hillary Clinton Lost

Well, there's no way that I'm getting any sleep after that fucking debacle, so may as well share some thoughts to get them off of my chest.

Considering that the vast majority of my Facebook friends are liberal, my feed has been filled with heartbreak, frustration and confusion with regards to the fact that Donald Trump is now the President-Elect of the United States.  Many are wondering: "How the hell did we get here?  How could she lose to THAT GUY!?"  I'm going to try to articulate some reasons that I think led her to lose the election to the most disliked candidate in American political history (and yes: she lost it far more than he won it).

For the sake of brevity, I won't go into the reasons that the basket of deplorables didn't vote for her: those I think are fairly obvious and they didn't cause her to lose the election, as Hillary wasn't going to win any alt-right votes anyway.

1.) She had no message about why she was good.  This is a pretty big reason in my mind.  Here's a question that I wish more people had asked her and held her feet to the fire for an answer: Why do you want to be President?  What do you want to do to move our country forward?  I don't remember anything from her or even her campaign that came remotely close to some sort of positive vision for the country.

Bernie?  I know that he was running because he wanted to have a more just society: lower income inequality, green energy to fight climate change, free and fair elections; his vision was very clear.  We all knew and know what Bernie stood and stands for.

Trump?  I know that he was running to marginalize anybody who wasn't a WASP man, to protect us from the others and (nominally) to enforce economic protectionism.  Do I believe that he's on the side of the worker?  Considering I have an IQ over 85, fuck no.  Is the racism and hatred horrifying to your average American in normal circumstances?  Hell yes!  But it was a vision.

Hillary provided none of that.  She didn't have some overarching grand vision for America and where we can go in four years.  In fact, during the Democratic primary, she even had the position that the progressive positions that Bernie was espousing were too pie in the sky.  For example, she actually said that single payer "will never, ever come to pass," in the Democratic-supposedly progressive-primary.  What the fuck?  Why are you bragging about being more conservative during the DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY!?  To make matters worse, during the General election, her message can be boiled down to: Trump bad.  Me good.  This was because Hillary never really had a vision, or a reason to be President besides the fact that she really wanted to be President.  Hence why she didn't have any sort of energy or momentum to her campaign: her rallies were tiny, the excitement around her was low and her support was very soft, leading to non-scandals like the Comey letter heavily affecting her chances, while Trump was found on tape bragging about sexual harassment and have that confirmed by 12 separate women and still was able to recover.  He had strong, steadfast support while she had none of that.

2.) Hillary is a bad candidate.  She doesn't connect with people at all; when she's in the public eye, her popularity sinks like a stone in water.  I think that it's fair to say this: people hate her.  Regardless of those feelings are justifiable or not (I happen to think that the vast majority of reasons given are complete bullshit), the people at large don't trust her.  It's unbelievably difficult to win an election when you're disliked and viewed as untrustworthy.

If that's the case though, why'd she beat Bernie?  She benefited greatly from having by FAR the higher name recognition early on in the primary, which is always helpful in getting votes, and the fact that many of the primaries were closed, meaning that the much higher population of independents in the country couldn't vote for Bernie in the primary, leaving the vote to registered Democrats, many of whom are party loyalists more prone to go for Clinton because she's been a Democrat for longer than Bernie had (stupid reason, I know, but true).  And this is before the DNC email leaks came out showing that the DNC was colluding with the Clinton campaign anyway.  Long story short, she had every possible advantage over Bernie, including the "neutral" DNC on her side, and still almost lost to a 75 year-old self-identified democratic socialist.

3.)  She represented the establishment at a time that is very pro-populist.  Let's face it: many people in the country are very much struggling to make a life for themselves here in America.  Productivity and profits have gone up very steadily over the last 40 years, while wages have remained stagnant.  A bunch of people are working multiple jobs to make sure that they and their families can survive.  The American people haven't been able to put their collective finger on it yet, but they do know that the folks in Washington, DC aren't listening to them, and they're right about that.  They haven't been listening for some time now, and the people are angry at them for not doing so.  So, when an opportunity arises to burn the establishment to the ground, they did so.  Not necessarily because they like Trump, but because they just want to cause the establishment pain for the pain that they've been feeling for decades now (this applies greatly to the rust belt states that have been hit hard by shitty trade deals).

Trump is a faux-populist; he isn't gonna do a single thing to help working families in my view, but the way to beat a faux-populist is with a real populist, as opposed to the most obvious symbol of the thing that many voters have come to believe is the reason for their suffering.

These are the 3 main reasons that I believe that Hillary lost the election to an orange, fascist, bimbo beta male in Donald Trump.  The DNC was shockingly moronic in trying to push Hillary Clinton as their nominee this cycle.

In a way, this election is a bit like a Bizarro version of the 2008 election, where the candidate who claimed he was for the people and had a vision beat the status quo, establishment candidate.  Which actually leads me to my next post: where do progressives go from here?  Here's a clue: #BizarroTeaPary.

Until next time!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Minor Injustice that Causes Me Great Annoyance

Hello everyone!  It's been a while, I know.  I'm working on a couple of ideas for blog posts that I should be posting in a few days.  Before I get to work on finishing the first one though, something came to my attention that made me just want to vent a bit.

I'm a huge movie lover.  Last year, despite not really being able to afford it, I would try to go see at least one movie every weekend.  This didn't happen, of course, and I've been further limited this year by a few separate factors.  However, I still try to go see as many as I can, and I have greatly enjoyed what I have partaken in the theaters this year: "Hail, Caesar!", "Deadpool", "Hardcore Henry", "The Nice Guys", "Captain America: Civil War", "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" and "Keanu" among others, have all been fun romps for a couple of hours.  That being said, the movie that I went to see last weekend blew them all away, and that was the animated masterpiece that is "Kubo and The Two Strings".

"Kubo" is essentially a a Japanese epic that would be somewhat analogous to a kid's version of The Odyssey; a major quest fraught with monsters and magic, centered around Kubo, a young boy who can make origami move with his powers, often channeled through his shamisen, a traditional Japanese guitar-like instrument.  Without giving anything away about the plot, this movie is pure art: from the incredible stop-motion animation done by Laika (just add another to this list along with "Paranorman"), to the great voice work to go along with that animation (especially Matthew McConnaughey, who does a fantastic job just kinda being himself, really), to the truly thoughtful themes and the beautiful, powerful and thought-provoking ending.  The movie made me laugh, think and cry in equal measure while making me feel like I had grown as a person over the course of its 1 hour and 42 minute running time.  Of course, on top of all that, they had the amazing Regina Spektor do a beautiful cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with a shamisen as the lead instrument in the arrangement, which I think does a fantastic job of encapsulating the spirit of the film: both its mournful and hopeful sides.

Here is the video released by Focus Features (the distributor).  It's the single version of the song with clips of the movie interspersed with Regina in the studio:


Try and tell me you don't want to see this movie after watching that.

So, why am I annoyed exactly?  Well, according to boxofficemojo.com, "Kubo" debuted at number 4 this past weekend, behind "Suicide Squad", "Sausage Party" and "War Dogs".

America, this is why we can't have nice things.

I can't speak personally to the quality of "War Dogs" or "Sausage Party", as I have yet to see either of them (I plan on seeing "Sausage Party" tomorrow), but I have seen "Suicide Squad" and I can very comfortably say that that movie has no business being above "Kubo" in ANYTHING aside from budget and amount of stupid moments.  Seriously, what the fuck guys!?

Normally, I couldn't care less about box office numbers: I didn't care last year that "Jurassic World" destroyed "Dope" in sales last year despite "Dope" being vastly superior in every way.  But when an undeserving product of hype and marketing like "Suicide Squad" (which was decent by recent DC film universe standards, but hardly close to the "Guardians of the Galaxy" it was desperately trying to be) has more viewers on its third weekend vs. a fucking masterpiece like "Kubo and The Two Strings" on its first, I can't help but be way more annoyed than I should.

I sure hope that "Kubo" is profitable for the sake of Laika, because I want to see a lot more of them in the future; otherwise this might be their last movie, which would be a crying shame.

Not that America deserves any more greatness from them.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

On a Serious Note

Hey everyone.  If you don't mind, I'd like to bring us to a more serious topic (don't worry; I'm currently working on a larger post for later).  I also apologize for the delay, but you'll be glad to know that I shouldn't be quite so delayed going forward, as the bulk of the cause of those was some technical issues.

Now that that's out of the way, let's continue.

For those of you that don't know, I'm employed by an organization that works to help people that have been affected by disasters.  This includes meeting people that have had fires in their respective homes.  Now, considering that I have been living and working in San Antonio; the seventh largest city in the United States, and one whose economy is hugely based off of service industries and is therefore relatively low income for over a year, I have seen quite a few home fires.  Some in normal homes, some in nice apartments, some in what might as well be shacks that were completely abandoned in terms of healthy living by all but the scummiest of landlords.

For the most part, the fire responses that I have taken part in, while sad, have had people come out unharmed.  Unfortunately, there have been those that I have gone on where the family affected wasn't so lucky; those are the responses that will truly break your heart.  On the worst of those responses, there has been a single constant on all of them.  What is that constant?


These, I'm sure that you all know, are called burglar bars.  You see these a lot in the inner city neighborhoods across the country.  Their intended purpose is to keep those trying to get in the home unlawfully from doing so.  Unfortunately, they have the unintended consequence of keeping people in in time of an emergency.

I'm going to try to write this with all of the dignity that I can muster, so bear with me: Fuck.  Burglar.  Bars.

These things are the absolute bane of my existence.  Every time I drive by a house that has these up, all I see are homes that are potential death traps.  People in home fires have about two minutes to escape; when most of the exits are covered up by these abominations, the people inside have to be really lucky that the fire doesn't come between them and the doors if they want to escape with their life.  On top of that, but remember that the bars are supposed to keep burglars out?  Well, unfortunately, pieces of metal aren't smart enough to distinguish between burglars and firefighters trying to get into the home to save the lives of those who can't get out.  So, not only is the person inside potentially helpless, but help is impeded from coming in, taking away a safe avenue of home entry.

I can understand the impulse to protect one's home from robbery, especially in neighborhoods that are a little less than friendly (which every city has).  That being said, a person living in a home is more likely to prevent their own escape from a fire than they are to prevent a burglary-especially when a burglar can come in with a crowbar and/or a power drill and take the bars out themselves.

If your home already has burglar bars on the windows, I implore you to remove them or ask your landlord if you can do so.  If you're that worried about burglars, get a rosebush and/or cactus and put it underneath the window on the outside; you're just as likely to impede potential burglars and it's easier to deal with sharp plants than it is to deal with smoke inhalation and extremely hot temperatures.

And it'll make me smile too.

Friday, January 1, 2016

College Football Playoff Review: Football 101

Well that sucked.

The two semifinal games were about as exciting as a wet firework.

Orange Bowl: Clemson 37, Oklahoma 17

Cotton Bowl: Alabama 38, Michigan State 0

Ugh.

Both of these games, on paper, looked like interesting match-ups between teams that play very similar styles of football: the Orange Bowl had promise to be one heck of a display of fast-paced exciting offense, and the Cotton Bowl looked like a tough defensive struggle with poetic runs of five yards made possible by pure heart and desire.  No matter what kind of football fan you are, the College Football Playoff looked like it would provide you with some quality drama over the New Year's Eve holiday.


As one could tell from the final scores, neither game turned out to be very competitive at the end.  Clemson and Alabama went into the half, decided to turn up the intensity and subsequently blew their respective opponents out of the solar system.

In the interest of fairness, the Orange Bowl had a very good first half, with the Tigers and Sooners giving each other about as good as they got for the first half.  Deshaun Watson running the zone read run scheme to perfection against Baker Mayfield's improvisation.  The first half was characterized by a back and forth with strong offense and good, competitive defense.  This all changed when Samaje Perine went down with an injury, ultimately killing OU's running attack, and the Clemson offensive line took over and started blowing the Oklahoma defense off the line.  Four yards.  Five yards.  Nine yards.  Clemson started churning yardage on the ground like it was nothing.  In the second half, Clemson outscored Oklahoma 21-0.  Just absolute pure domination.

The Cotton Bowl, after a quarter and a half of each team feeling the other out, was a demolition.  Neither team could score on the other for the first twenty-two minutes while both were running into the walls of front-seven units that the two teams possess.  It was a matter of which passing game would break out: the Spartan attack featuring Connor Cook, one of the best QBs in the country with Burbridge and Kings, or the Tide's Jake Coker along with Calvin Ridley and his merry band of WRs.  As one can imagine, looking at the score, it was Coker and the Tide's air attack that took control with some impressive game planning by Lane Kiffin.  Cook never did quite recover from his injured shoulder, and when he threw an interception at the goal line at the end of the first half, that was all she wrote.  Alabama took control from that point on and crushed Michigan State for the rest of the game.

There are a couple of takeaways from both of these games: Deshaun Watson looks like the best player in the country; his gravitas on the field led to almost all of Clemson's offensive production.  The threat of him in the run game not only helps his tailback (Gallman was amazing in Orange Bowl), but it also helps his offensive line, because the defense is forced to read and react against that run game, which slows the defensive line down, therefore making them easier to move off of where they want to be.  Without Watson, I'm not sure that the Tigers win the ACC, and they definitely wouldn't be in the semifinal.  He has the most potential to dominate any particular game he's in.  On the other hand, Alabama's front line is an impressive unit to behold.  They held Michigan State's tough running attack to almost nothing (MSU had a a net rushing total of -2 yards until the fourth quarter, when the game was already out of hand), and they got consistent pressure on Cook, especially up the middle without blitzing.  The Spartan QB was constantly harassed and either taking sacks or throwing inaccurate passes to his receivers, who were blanketed in double-coverage.

This leads to the most important lesson of all, which is the fact that football is incredibly simple: whichever team can physically move the other against their will will win the game 99.999999999% of the time.  The most important players to watch aren't the WRs, they aren't the RBs, and they really aren't the QBs.  The most important players to watch are on the offensive and defensive lines.  If one team's line beats the other team's line, that team is going to control the entire pace of play and the other team will be taken out of what they want to do.

For example, Clemson destroyed Oklahoma in the second half because the Tiger offensive line was pushing the Sooner defensive line back four and five yards on nearly every play.  When that happens, the defense can't run downhill to take care of the run game, and is therefore on its heels.  This is the death knell of good defense, as the defense is already unsure of what will happen on a given play; they have to react to the offense by the nature of the offense having possession of the ball.  If they're delayed an extra half second by not being able to run toward the line to make plays, then they are at a severe disadvantage (after all, an average football play takes about three seconds, if that; meaning a half second represents about 18% of the total time of the average play).

This works the other way as well; Alabama was able to crush Michigan State because their defensive line blew apart the Spartan offensive line, and stopped the run before any tailback could get started.  They also prevented the quarterback and receivers from ever getting into a comfortable rhythm (which is nigh essential to a strong passing attack).  The Spartan offense was rendered impotent because the offensive line couldn't hold their position consistently.

Winning the line play is Football 101.  And these two games put that fact on full display.

Given that, as far as a prediction for the National Championship game, I can't bring myself to pick against Alabama and that defense.  As much as I love Watson (and I still think that he's the best player on the field), the Crimson Tide are a stronger overall team.

Alabama 34, Clemson 17.

I hope that I'm wrong.  

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lazy Sunday Enabler Spotlight: Hey Sports Fans

Hey there procrastinators, welcome to another edition of the Lazy Sunday Enabler Spotlight!  This time, we'll be shamelessly stealing the intros of the videos that we will be talking about today...what fun!

Anyone who has spent any amount of time with me can tell you that I'm a sports fan.  In fact, that is some hardcore underselling: I'm a shockingly large sports fan.  The spirit of competition is something that I have always been born with, and sports as a young child was the perfect outlet.  Despite not being entered into many organized youth sports, I made my way by playing pickup games with the kids at school, in the neighborhood, wherever I could find similarly minded people.

However, I wasn't exactly blessed with a world of athletic talent: even as a kid, I wasn't anything special in that arena (I was quite bitterly disappointed when I was voted "Most Intelligent" by my fellow members of my 3rd grade class instead of "Most Athletic").  So, in order to compete with the more athletic kids, I used the skills that led to my "Most Intelligent" designation: if I had to catch up to a faster kid who was running away from me, I would use an angle to beat him/her to the spot and catch them.  If I had to avoid an run away from a faster kid, I would very my running speeds to keep my adversary on their toes, on their heels and flat-footed as I ran past them whilst they were in an uncomfortable position.  I would subtly hint at running one way, then cut hard to the other way.  For a couple of years, getting into high school, I could get away with this.

Tricks like those only last so long though, and my lack of athleticism caught up to me rather quickly.  However, my love of sports persisted, but more so through the mental aspect of the game.  Strategies, positions, routes, plays; all of these different decisions throughout the entire game leading to the drama of a great finish fascinated me further then the simple athletic ability did.

Recently, due to a few factors, my favorite sport has become basketball.  Seeing as how basketball, on the face of it, depends so much on individual athleticism, this might come off as a strange love of an unathletic, skinny kid with no game.  However, basketball is a sport which is, at its heart, built around percentages: more specifically, getting the best percentage chance to score on every given possession on offense while the defense tries to put you in positions where the percent chance of a made basket drops or the chance of a turnover increases.  All of this occurs within a series of mini-plays that take the period of time that the shot clock encompasses.  Throughout these mini-plays, there are many aspects in action: which is the best player to get the shot?  From where should said player get the shot?  Do you want to give the ball to that player immediately and therefore, decrease your chances of getting a turnover while also decreasing your chance to get an easier shot, or do you want to go for more of the high-risk, high-reward style of quick passes to find the right shot?

Don't believe me?  Check this out then:




 That would be one of my favorite videos (for obvious reasons) from a little channel called BBallBreakdown.  This channel features Coach Nick as the host breaking down, in his opinion, why a certain team won a game; how certain full offensive schemes work; training techniques for improving the skills of players; and interviews with players and coaches about the finer details of their crafts.

This is a very simple idea, and not an altogether original one even.  Why, then, is this channel the one I'm talking up?  Well, like it does in basketball, it all comes in the execution: Coach Nick is a fantastic analyst of the game in ways that TV color commentators could only dream of.  This is due to four things: relatively slick production values (always nice), he can speak from a place of experience as a coach (at what level, I'm not too sure, but the concepts remain the same), he has a gift for expressing complicated ideas in ways that the average viewer can understand, and-most importantly, I believe-he doesn't treat his audience like it's made up of laymen; he speaks to them as potential future coaches, which helps to separate him from a crowd of would-be Kenny Smiths.  This last point is especially helpful to my enjoyment of the breakdowns, as I appreciate being treated as someone who can be trusted to understand what he is talking about over game footage, or figure it out quickly enough to continue following.  It's like an English teacher realizing that you're at a stronger reading level, so the teacher gives you The Lord of the Flies while the rest of the class gets Hop on Pop; it feels good to be trusted to be smart enough to understand something beyond the basic mechanics.  Consequently, I always feel smarter after watching one of his videos, and the more I feel like I learn about basketball, the more I enjoy it.  The clever gentleman has created a cycle of positive reinforcement for sports nerds.  So.  Freaking.  Brilliant.

If you'd like more proof, here is Coach Nick's two part series in which he breaks down his favorite offensive system, the Triangle:



There is a lot more goodness on his YouTube channel as well as on his website.  The website not only has extended versions of the videos on his channel, but the companion articles are just as juiced with basketball goodness.  If you're interested in basketball, or just want to learn more about it, I highly encourage you to check both out.

Are you in?  I know that I am.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Lazy Sunday Enabler Spotlight: Time For Pre-dinner Snack!

Hello fellow awesome folks!  I hope that you're feeling as awesomely as I am!

This will likely come as no surprise to anyone, but I love me some YouTube.  Truly.  One might even say that it's...

...sorry.

No I'm not.

Anyway, over the last eight or nine years or so, I've spent what could possibly be an unhealthy amount of time on the site that made web videos truly mainstream, bringing the medium out from the teenage boy-niche into the lives of everyone who had access to the series of tubes.  Of course, most of those used this portal of creativity and communication to watch short videos of kittens doing mundane (though, admittedly adorable) things.

However, kitten and cat videos have never been the YouTube genre for me.  That being said, there have been a great many different videos and especially channels that I've found to be supremely entertaining.  And I've decided that I would like to use this blog to highlight a few of them.  Maybe, you might find something that you didn't know about before!  So, without further adieu...

Today's channel: Regular Ordinary Swedish Mealtime

The concept of the cooking show has been almost as old as the concept of the television itself.  The first truly famous entry into the genre being "The French Chef" starring Julia Child, which debuted in 1963.  Over the past 50-or-so years, we have seen numerous different incarnations of the cooking show, including an entire network devoted to them, with very few alterations made to Child's original formula.

This changed, though, as online content started to vary beyond flash animation; one of the benefits to the internet, YouTube included, is that it allows for some true freedom of expression, which leads to innovation into how to present older genres in new ways.  The cooking show is, of course, not excepted, and has had a few separate incarnations on YouTube specifically; my absolute favorite of which is "Regular Ordinary Swedish Mealtime" (ROSMT for short).

ROSMT is based on a very simple premise: making relatively normal food using epic, badass methods and coupling that with lots of over-the-top screaming and exaggeration.  This is due, almost entirely, to the fact that the original episodes were done as a parody of Epic Meal Time (who, of course, are just as exaggerated), and the creators of ROSMT got such a good reaction to those videos that they just decided to continue on...much to my delight!

ROSMT is my favorite cooking show on YouTube for two reasons: one; the creators get how exaggeration humor is supposed to work, and two; they are fantastic with comedic timing.  To the latter's point, the majority of any given episode of ROSMT is done with furious pace: they introduce the dish that Niklas (the main character/cook) is preparing, go through the ingredients, describe the preparation process, have some scene with pre-dinner mayonnaise (it's good for you!), a scene with the terrifyingly evil Mr. Fox, eat the meal and sign off in about three to five minutes per episode.  That is a lot of material to cover in just a couple of minutes, and the ROSMT crew do this by have a very quick pace to their episodes.  That being said, while most of the episode is very snappy in order to keep the laughs going, there's invariably one scene in every episode that has a much slower pace to it.  This scene serves to not only allow the viewer to catch a breath, but it also changes the natural rhythm of the episode, which keeps the viewer on his/her toes, which allows for better comedy (after all, a big portion of comedy is being surprised).  The pace of the show is perfect for what the show entails in both concept and especially execution.

As to the channel understanding the nature of exaggeration comedy, this is best made clear, I think, by comparing it to what the show was initially a response to: Epic Meal Time (EMT).  While I would never, in any way, classify EMT as a bad series, I would say that ROSMT is definitely the superior show.  Both perform exaggerated versions of cooking shows, but ROSMT understands that what makes exaggeration humor work is that the task being completed in such a ridiculous way needs to be absurdly mundane by comparison.  In EMT, the cooks are all acting like ridiculous frat boys, and in doing so, they make incredibly huge, possibly death-inducing dishes with burgers inside lasagna inside a BBQ pig (the last episode, in fact).  However, this fits exactly within their characters, as these are exactly the kind of dishes that dumbass dickhead frat boys would cook in real life (maybe not quite to the extreme that they go to, but very similar in spirit).  What they do fits in with what their characters would do naturally, so that contrast that draws the laughter out in this case isn't quite as strong.  Whereas, in ROSMT's case, everything that they make is a normal meal, so the head chef screaming incoherently while destroying his property and ingredients in the manner of a viking is far more unexpected and ridiculous, which leads to more and bigger laughs.  There's an episode where he cuts pork with a friggin' longsword.  That's amazing no matter who you are.

So there you have it: one of my favorite YouTube channels in the world: ROSMT.  Here's a sample episode (just in time for Christmas):


If you liked what you saw, please continue to watch more; creative entertainers should be rewarded!


Take care, and remember: always have a pre-dinner mayonnaise; it's good for you.