Friday, December 20, 2013

Duck Dynasty: Might Want to Read That Fine Print Next Time

Do you know what I love? America. Do you know why? Because we do whatever we want.  “Hey, I want your oil”. . . . So we start a war.  “Hey, you can’t come in here”. . . . So we build a wall.  “Hey, I want to make a show about people who make devices that talk to ducks”. . . . So we create Duck Dynasty.

If you’re not familiar with Duck Dynasty, it’s similar to the Qing Dynasty, but with beards and more merchandise.  But in all seriousness, it’s a show about some guys who make devices that talk to ducks. . . . Seriously.  This is a show. Guys with beards goof around and MAKE DEVICES THAT TALK TO DUCKS, which is kind of a crazy concept for a show, but I’ve seen way crazier.

I haven’t actually ever seen the show, so I don’t REALLY know what it’s about, but it seems to have quite a following, given all the “merch” coming out of the front doors of Walmart. And this following is now up in arms over the people who are up in arms involving a remark made by Patriach Phil Robertson.

In what will go down in history as a one of the most moderate debacles of all time, Phil Roberston unintentionally interviewed with GQ, mistaking it for just a shortened name of his favorite magazine, Good Quack.

In his interview, he said what pretty much everybody who has seen the show assumed he would say eventually, in that he related homosexuality to bestiality and terrorism. While I have a hard time drawing that connection, it seems that the majority of the fans of Duck Dynasty are able to fairly confidently connect those dots.

Because of this terrible mix-up,  A&E, which is short for American and Entertaining (I just described myself),  suspended Phil, releasing a statement saying, “Phil, come on man, you know better than that. I thought we were friends and then you go and do something like this, how could you?”

At the announcement of his suspension, and thinking that there might be an issue with his first amendments being trampled, all the 2016 Republican hopefuls like Sarah Palin, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) jumped at the opportunity to make a stink.

Louisiana Gov. Boby Jindal (R), said, “I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment”. . . Actually Jindal, they have never believed in your version of what you think the First Amendment means. If it were true, people would say whatever they wanted, and it’s clear that they don’t because there are censors. So why don’t you go choke on your version of the first amendment, but only to the point where you think you’re going to die. I don’t actually want you to die. That would be pretty terrible, I’m sure you’re an ok person, just minus the idiot part.

My issue has nothing to do with homosexuality, or bigotry, or rednecks, or Sarah Palin, and is more just a reminder to read your contracts.

If you have a swearing problem and you sign a contract that says you’re not going to swear at work, and you swear at work, you can legally be fired.  They’re not infringing upon your first amendment rights, (which by the way doesn’t give you the right to “say whatever you want”, just to be clear, AKA libel, slander, etc. . .) They’re infringing upon your stupidity to sign a contract you know you’re going to break.

While I agree that Phil has the right to think gays are basically really fashionable terrorists, I also agree with A&E’s right to suspend him for breaking contract. I haven’t read his contract personally, however I think it would be safe to assume that it’s like any other reality show contact in that you can get fired for taking a dump without asking.

I mean, if you want to hate gays, sure, go ahead. You’re an embarrassment, but go ahead.  Just don’t be mad when you realize that your contract that you signed says that you can be fired for making the company you work for look bad.  It’s hard to imagine that A&E would break their own contract and risk getting sued.  It just doesn’t make sense, although neither does a show about duck calls, so i guess we’re well beyond the realm of sensibility at this point.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Movember: Thanks for Ruining a Good Thing

Mustaches.  What was once a sign of a man or a cowboy or a rock star or a creeper in the night, has now become a symbol of bro brahs everywhere trying to make something awesome and natural into something lame and idiotic, similar to Ragnar.

Movember’s slogan is “Changing the Face of Men’s Health”.  Which isn’t bad, although I feel like it should have “into something that makes people not want to care about men’s health” at the end.  Yeah, that seems to be mo accurate.  Did you see what I did there? It’s a terrible pun, and their website is full of them.  It’s quite clear that someone’s job was to look over the copy and insert “mo” into everything.

Moustache becomes mo.
November becomes Movember. 
Bros (which is terrible by itself) becomes mo bros

It’s awful.

A mustache isn’t a tool.  It’s not some fad that you dedicate one month of your sorry existence to.  It’s a way of life.  I grow a mustache because I’m a man, not because I care about men’s health. It’s the opposite.

I actually don’t care about men’s health.  When you have a mustache, you learn to accept certain things about life.  Some of us will go bald, like Scott Hall and myself.  Some will lose a testicle in a terrible rappelling accident.  Ryan, that sucks.  Seriously. I hope you can still have kids. Others will lose a testicle because of testicular cancer, but then will win the Tour De France 7 times, only to have all of their wins taken away because they got caught cheating and used the lame excuse “everyone was doing it”. Cough cough, I was referring to Lance Armstrong cough cough.  Bummer. For those of you who have incorporated the beard and mustache into your daily lives, you get it, and nothing will bring you down. 

I have a mustache, not because I want people to be aware that men need to be scared of cancer.  I grow a mustache because I’m telling cancer to go choke on a giant bahama mama from Maverick. I also grow a mustache because when I go to Maverick and choke down that same bahama mama, I don’t want people looking at me, and that’s exactly what a mustache does.  It instills fear into people so that they won’t look you in the eyes. And if they do, that same mustache will give you the courage to punch them in the throat. Hard. A 100% punch, not a 50% punch.

Don’t stare at me for eating a delicious cancer inducing hotdog. Why don’t you go square up in front of a mirror and stare at yourself with those beady judgmental eyes.  I’m sure the taco bell you ate for dinner is burning a hole in your rectum.  Like I even care what you think.

Anyway, all this talk about taco bell and bahama mamas is making me hungry.

For those of you taking part in this movember nonsense, when you find yourself standing in front of the mirror at the end of November, with a razor in hand, just remember this. . .

It’s the mustache that makes the man, not the other way around.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rock Formation Destroyed: And We All Doth Weep

Breaking news, America. 

I knocked over a rock formation and ended up swallowing one. It was an accident that I regretted immediately, especially after I started choking. The approximate age of the stone was at least 200 million years old. 

Please don't fret. I should pass the stone shortly and will put it back where I got it. I promise. Unfortunately I'm an idiot and I didn't record it and upload it to the Internet, so there is no proof of my accomplishment. . . er, I mean accident. 

Next time, I guess. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why I Hate Ragnar: A Story of Truthº and Factsª, as Well as a Lot of Insults.

At the risk of losing some facebook friends and alienating myself from a lot of people, I decided to do this post because I hate ragnar that much.  Sorry mom.

To those of you that run the ragnar relay, I’m going to say good job.  Running isn’t the easiest thing to do and any amount of it, no matter how small, is great.  Even if you’re running 3 miles every 10 hours and stuffing your face with mcdonalds in a crew van while watching your 50 other relay partners run their respective legs.  Keep up the good work.

Just to be clear, ragnar isn’t paying me to say this.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Matt, you should really be a spokesperson for them”, and they actually did ask me (they didn’t), but I had to decline because the idea of ragnar makes me want punch myself in the face.

For those of you still wondering what ragnar is, here is a brief introduction:  Ragnar is a relay race (on foot) that people do in order to make themselves feel like they’re cool and athletic.  It appeals to certain demographics, woo girls, and people who like to be make every activity a social extravaganza.

Pretty simple.

Look, I wouldn’t consider myself a runner.  I enjoy it when I can, but by no means am I good at it.  I just think that ragnar is doing a disservice to the running community.  Selling the expectation that in order to have fun running races, you need to drive 90% of the way and act like a complete jackass doesn’t make the running community look good.  It makes them look like lazy jackasses. 

But matt, not every race needs to be serious.
I totally agree with that.  So stop putting those stupid stickers on your car and acting like Prefontaine.

If I have to look at one more sticker (no matter how insanely genius that logo is) on the back of someone’s minivan, I’m going to lose my shit. I don’t care if you did it.  Nobody cares that you did it.  Take off your ragnar shirt, put your ragnar book bag away and stop it with the stickers. Putting one on your car doesn’t make you cool.  It makes you a target for vandalism.

Some more beef I have is their marketing campaign.

Ragnar’s insanely annoying PR push is, as I said earlier in the sentence, insanely annoying.  Every time I’m on my multi-bi-hourly facebook check, I’m constantly being inundated with stupid ads for ragnar.  At no point did i ever sign up for one, and I’ve been pretty clear about my feelings toward them, so I’m not sure why they pop up.  Does using the word “ragnar” make them pop up, even if I’m using it in a sentence like this:  “I hate ragnar”?  It must be, because I keep seeing them.

And the promo videos. . . . They’re like something straight out of devin grahm’s youtube page.  Enough with the steadicam and shots of attractive people screaming and making hand signals into the camera, looking like they’re having a good time.  Your road course looks like turds.

The only way that running a ragnar is considered awesome is if you run it by yourself.  The one man/woman relay.  Or if you ran it backwards.  I would say that would be pretty impressive as well. If you find yourself passing a baton to some other person in front of you, you are a douche.

At the end of the day, I don’t think ragnar is all that bad.  I mean, I do, I think it’s a cancer in the running world, but I understand that it motivates people to get out and run.  I just think that it is doing it in the stupidest way possible.

Try running for running sake, instead of doing it to be social.  I think if you spent some time on a trail by yourself, instead of trying to look good for everyone else, you’d really appreciate what running has to offer. An escape from your every day existence and an avenue to genuinely think about what sort of horrible things are going to happen to you in your next life because of the poor decisions you made in this one.  Say no to ragnar.

PS - $100 to sign up? You’ve got to be kidding me! I’ll punch you in the mouth for $50 and we’ll call it even.

PPS - You'll be running mostly on dirt or paved roads, gulping up the dust and exhaust from support vehicles and destroying your joints.

º Untruths
ª Nearfacts 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Iceland: A Behind the Scenes Look at a North Face Running Shoot

Back in May, Camp4 Collective went to Iceland to shoot some running.  This is a detailed account of what happened.  All true.

Skip and Blake try to figure out how to turn the camera on, while Tim stands by, unwilling to help.
Tim had been trying to get Skip to play Rock, Paper, Scissors all day long.  Skip once again resists the urge to throw rock.
TIm angrily yells at Blake for leaving his ten-gallon pleather cowboy hat in the snow.  Scott and Rory look away as the uncomfortable silence is broken by Blake's soft, tearful whimpers.
Like penguins in a storm, the group huddles together for warmth, while outsiders stand by, trying to get in.
In what will be deemed the "second best upset of the season", Tim Kemple takes the lead in a high stakes race up the hill.  Later, after coming in last, Hal Koerner's leg was cut off per the rules of the race.  When asked about the upset, Tim said "well, i wanted to keep both my legs, and i don't really care for Hal, so i'm glad he came in last".
Tim documenting Hal's triumphant return to fame after completing a very impressive  5 minute one-legged mile.
After hearing Rory call him a "second rate photographer", Tim circles back around preparing to fight, entering what will be known as the "best upset of the season", when Rory gets him in an arm bar in under 5 seconds.
Show Pony doing what Show Pony does best. . . lagging behind.  Carrying lots of bags, but still. . .  lagging behind.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

BF Goodrich: A 26 Day Sausage Party.ª

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in a month long shoot for BF Goodrich Tires.  We traveled around the west filming adventures ranging from kayaking waterfalls in Washington, to climbing rock towers in Utah.  It was 26 days of non-stop filming/editing/driving/running/hiking/lifting/punching/sobbing/vomiting/blinking/winking/eating/barbequeing/flying/crashing/swearing.  Needless to say, afterward, we were all pretty exhausted, and hungry.

During those 4 weeks, I shot a little bit of film on some medium format cameras showing some behind the scenes moments. Below are the shots that I found most easily captioned.  Nothing is staged, including the one where Skip is staring straight at the camera pointing at it.  I swear it’s not staged.  That’s just how Skip is all the time.

Tim stares at the ground, utterly dejected after Anson whooped him good.  That’s what happens when you talk back to Anson.

There are 3,137 rattlesnakes in this photograph.  Try and find them all.
Tim, sneaking up behind the group, getting ready to push them over the edge as a “joke”.  Unfortunately for Tim, I alerted them to his antics before he could act.  Even though I broke one of the rules of journalism (never get involved), I don’t think I could have slept at night knowing that I let Tim get away with it.
Just a bunch of dang ole rocks sticking out of the ground.  Kind of a useless place.
 the BFG truck making record time back for lunch after it was announced that little debbies would be served for desert.
Looking out from the whiterim trail, one can almost see a maze of canyons.  Almost.
Oh wait, there’s one.
Ug, more rock.  So dumb.
Blake, hiking up a bag of balloons.  I never thought I’d see Blake struggle with such a light load.  It was pretty sad.  He’s really let himself go.
Nick, 10 minutes before scuttling his ship into the ground, like the captain of the Titanic.
Matthew McDonald, AKA Chewie, AKA Chwy, AKA DJ Snake-in-the-Grass,  practices his marching skills while he waits for the rest of the party to get to the top.
The setting sun illuminates some really mellow riding.  Seriously, riding a bike here is as easy as it gets.
Oh, don’t mind us.  Just a bunch of shirtless dudes, sweating and grunting.  Nothing funny going on here.  The figure all the way on the right is a ginger.  No surprise there.
Here is Skip not posing at all. Seriously, he was just kneeling there doing his thang and I snapped a quick photo because of how weird it was.  He was like this for about 20 minutes before I took the photo and about another 30 after I took the photo.  Afterward, when I asked him about it, he said that he had fallen asleep kneeling down and didn’t remember a thing.
ª While there were actually girls on this trip, there is unfortunately no photographic proof.  That being said, the hotdog to bun ratio was about 10:1 which easily falls within the guidelines of what constitutes a sausage party.