Thursday, September 07, 2017

Wendy's Bacon Queso Burger: Not Exactly What You Think

Gather 'round children. It's time for the classic tale of the short-lived sandwich from Wendy's. They called it the Bacon Queso Burger and it was available on either beef (hamburger) or fried chicken patty (chicken sandwich). It was the year of our Lord, 2017, and it was a crazy times. Emperor Trump had just come to power, Taylor Swift couldn't come to the phone because she was dead, and OJ Simpson was released from prison.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

This Week In Banal Conversation Topics

Haha! Yes! I also watch television programs!

We're well into the new year (new you!)--so much so, as a matter of fact, that we can basically already consider this year [2017] OVER! More or less. Less is MORE! But for the time being we're just going to hit some bullet points from the week ahead so we can talk about the things that we're going to be talking about around the water cooler at work in order to seem personable despite all of our inner fears of making a real human connection.

Daylight Savings Time
It's so close, that by the time you read this it will probably have already passed. And you will have hour into the future. We're living on borrowed time, folks. Why do we still do this? Is it for the cows? Is it so we can pretend to be Time Lords and feel like we have some sort of tenuous grasp on the ethereal strands of our own withering destinies?

The 2nd Monday The 13th In A (Monthly) Row
Garfields of the world know about these kinds of days. They're almost as bad or possibly worse than being murdered by a guy with a big knife and a hockey mask on an unlucky Friday, because you have to go back to work and wallow in the sameness of your meaningless routine. This Monday the 13th is extra special because it happens after a full moon. I'll start heating up the lasagna now.

If you ask an average American "why do you live?" a great majority of answers will be "to watch sporting events, of course!" And what other pinnacle of athletic competition garners more attention than the NCAA men's basketball tournament? And it's great for advertisers because it's an entire half a month, not just a 3-5 hour Super Bowl event. These highly unpaid "student" athletes make millions of dollars for many people all for a shot at The Big Game. Sure, many will go on to be talented professional athletes, but what about the scrappy point guards of the world who graduate with a degree in Health Teacher or Gym Teacher and have learned no other professional skills? I guess you do a couple John Deere commercials or something and then go play for an international team.

Get your office bracket filled out and prepare to lose to the guy/gal that picks teams based on mascots.

Beware The Ides Of March!
The fifteenth of the month is when "Orange" Julius Caesar was famously murdered by his best friend Brutus. At least that is what I remember based on reading Shakespeare in high school English class. "Shakespeare is cool because of fart jokes, ya dig?" said the cool high school teacher, deeply in touch with what the kids find cool. "What scene is this?" the cool teacher continued while showing the class a series of emoticons.

St. Patricks Day
Yup, everyone is a little bit Irish if it means you can get out-of-control-drunk. This is especially true since it's on a Friday and you don't have to show up at work the next day green-tongued and barely functional. It's also a little bit like Halloween for some reason, where people dress up in weird costumes and girls act extra, uh, promiscuous. Is this a racist/xenophobic/insensitive tradition here in USA?

That's all  I can think of as far as big days this coming week. I guess there's always the weather too. Weather is crazy, right? Haha.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Super Bowl LI Last Minute Preview

Chill out. "Last Minute" is a figure of speech. Did you really think I would wait until the literal last minute to publish a Super Bowl preview? That wouldn't give you enough time to read beforehand and you might miss an advertisement. I mean last minute like doing your summer homework assignment on the final day of summer break before schools starts. Speaking of last minutes, I will bet this sports contest of champions comes down to the last minutes. Get information about this and the full pre-game analysis in my annual "Non-sports-fanatic lambasting of American culture and consumption: A post-cynical view of society and its whims."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Let's Talk About Fall: 2016 Edition

It's Facebook Official: Autumn has occurred. And continues to occur. The equinox has passed and we mark this segment of our orbit around the sun as our fall season. There is so much to cover. At least one fourth of our yearly traditions take place (occur) this season.

"Whatever, just give me the bullet points, filthy blogger," said the rude website reader. "It's new TV episodes season and I have much much viewing to do. Like, I know it's mindless garbage structured around advertisements, but it just helps me relax at the end of the day. And as a HardWorkingAmerican, I just want to come home from my job (vital to the economy) and relax with an ice cold Bud Light Lime, some Cheeto's dust coated Burger King Chicken Fries, and kick back to some good old fashioned network television programming."

I understand your plight. Who knows what trending hashtags you might miss out on if you don't catch every second of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X? Well, pop in a blank VHS and press record, because it's time to read about:

Pumpkin Spice

Love it, Hate it. The over-saturated flavor Pumpkin Spice has reached a tipping point. The p-spice stock has been on the quick rise over recent years and it's either going to enter the eternal pantheon of autumn indulgences, or it will be dethroned and forgotten like so many flavor trends. I feel we are at a critical juncture for p-spice and it will be immortalized or immolated very soon-like. More than likely, it's here to stay. If that is true then I'm going to need companies to CTFO about blasting it in my face.

Are there other flavors that could fill in for p-spice? Caramel apple, maybe. Apple pie. Who am I kidding. PS4L.


It has come and gone and it left me feeling underwhelmed. That's what she said. This is supposed to be the big "welcome to fall" festival to celebrate the German traditions of drinking beer and listening to polka and eating German food. Except my local O-Fest was charging way too much for a liter of beer and a bratwurst. The wenches were in short supply, but the trendy Americans in Alpine hats were aplenty. Is this kind of cultural appropriation inappropriate? Imagine Germans celebrating American Independence Day by serving $8 hot dogs and $16 tall-boy Bud Lights while wearing American flag clothing and listening to either Kid Rock or, like, John Philip Sousa. Seems weird.


Sports. It's always fun to catch a few football games until your favorite local team loses more games than they've won and you give up hope on the Bengals again and say well maybe next year is our year. More importantly, are your favorite players sitting or standing during the national anthem? What is their message? "I am protesting this great nation, but will continue to fulfill my sports contract in order to make millions of dollars." Honestly, I don't really understand the reasons for this. Is it a display of general dissatisfaction with something about this country or its leadership? Or is it specifically a Black Lives Matter themed protest? Or is it just like you know people like being part of something--a movement--even if they don't fully understand the reasons or results they hope to achieve.

I think it's more that last one. People live their lives and as they get older they're like "this is it? this can't be it" and look for things to make it feel like they might make a difference or are doing something brave or important but it's all really as inconsequential as posting a status on a social media webpage for their friends to see and maybe talk about but still in the end it's a topsy turvy world where we're all striving our hardest to make sense out of anything as this rock we call earth hurtles endlessly through the vaccuum of space.


Can we please just stop? Neither major party candidate is my friend, yet they keep showing up in my Twitter/Insta feeds. Shouldn't elections be like choosing between a chicken sandwich or a hamburger? You'd be fine with eating either one but maybe you want one more than the other based on the policies of the hamburger? Instead it's always a strong dislike of both candidates, but one is maybe slightly less terrible than the other. South Park nailed it by describing elections as the choice between a Giant Douche or a Turd Sandwich.

I've taken some online surveys and they're like "if the elections were today who would you vote for" and I answer "undecided" and the next question is all "yeah, but if you had to chose one today who would it be?" and I'm like damn, neither of these two. I'm voting for Jackie Chan. And that's politics. You have to chose today! It has to be one of these!!! What happened to my voice? This surely isn't democracy. I don't feel represented.

I may do a separate post on voting and these elections on darkblacknetsite.


What will the too-soon/in-poor-taste Halloween costume be this year? There's always something that someone daring tries to pull off and it makes everyone go:

For instance, I don't think anyone was a WTC-w/-airplane in 2001, but it still seemed pretty wrong though slightly amusing in 2002. So who's pushing the poor-taste envelope in 2016? Maybe a Bill Cosby rapist outfit, which: bonus points if you do blackface for this costume. Maybe something Islamophobic, terrorist related. The ghost of a dead unarmed black man killed by police. When did Caitlyn Jenner happen? That seems like more of a Matt Lauer costume though. I dunno, leave some comments down below about what offensive costumes might be out there this Halloween.

Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

Them trees be poppin'. Where are your favorite hotspots for spotting hot colored leaves? I love the sweet decay and look forward to your photographs on social media. There was a poem we read in high school about the changing of the seasons and how we wait to see it happen one proud day but end up missing it because it's a gradual process that just sort of sneaks by without grand announcement. I think it was more about Winter to Spring, but I forget the poem.


Warm clothing is making a comeback. Hide your body shame in billowing layers of thick comfy clothing. What's in fashion this fall? I really don't know. Hoodies are probably still cool, right? And LLBean Duck Boots with thick wool socks. Do you have the perfect flannel shirt for picking apples on the orchard? And like, are we still doing skinny jeans or can we go back to comfortable Brett Favre Wranglers. 


Thanksgiving is the holiday when Europeans tried to escape the tyrannical religious rule of England and bring tyranny and religion to the Americas, freeing the local heathens from their primitive ways. In return, the primitive "Indians" showed the Europeans how to "not die" in America. Then they celebrated by eating a Turkey with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce and enduring relatives that you love like family even though they're crazy. The way we do Thanksgiving now is nearly identical to the way they did it back in, like, uh, 1621? The main difference in 2016 is headphonejackless iPhones and:

Black Friday

They didn't have Blizzle Frizzle back in the dizzle. I know, rite? How did those pilgrims and noble savages get their HOTTT DEALZ? Can you imagine if the natives already had Wal-Mart and 100" LED 4K UHDTVs? The Europeans wouldn't have even needed small pox blankets, they could've just trampled everyone to death to get the score on cheap Chinese consumer electronics. But on the for realz, what are are the hottt dealz this season? And when will stores start offering turkey dinners to people foregoing their families and waiting in line Wednesday night to get the first deals at 12:01AM Thanksgiving day?

What else is going on this fall? Pumpkin flavored beers are off the hook. Anything you want to talk about? Leave it in the comments or ignore everything forever whatever I don't care.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Pepsi Cola 1893: New Old-Fashioned Soda Pop For The Cool Kids; A Tasting And Review

I've got another confession to make and it's not a Foo Fighters song. (Foo Fighters cover band Goo Gighters?). The cold hard truth is that I've been figuratively sitting on this review for literally months. Deletes, re-writes, procrastination, fear. In fact, by the time this is published this soda might have already failed in the free market economy and been scrapped by PepsiCo for something more tuned-in to today's soda drinkers.

The trouble has been that I want to write a comprehensive review, but soda pops come with so much baggage. I would have to start at the beginning of soda in America to really convey my great and well-reasoned points. I would have to cover the entire history of beverage marketing for this article to really make sense. And this includes The Cola Wars--no small topic in itself. And then I would have to examine current trends in culture and lifestyle choices. You guys, I have a 200-level college course about cola trapped in my head. Sure there are a lot of familiar faces/students taking my class just because they loved me so much in my "Gossip Girl & Modern Ethics" course last semester. But can you begin to see how daunting a simple cola review becomes?

So I will write this abbreviated review with the understanding that you have a firm foundation in the cola market and are familiar, in general, with pop culture (get it?!). (In case you're wondering, I read Freakonomics, so yes I am as knowledgeable as an actual economist)

Well, anyways. Let me dig out my tasting notes from May 20, 2016 and get back into this review. I could just buy new cans and re-taste for today's review, but (spoiler alert) nope, no thanks.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Cracker Review: Nabisco Triscuit Smoked Gouda Flavor

Attractive three-quarters view of the box of crackers


For many of us crackers are an important part of daily life. From breakfast to all-day snacking to hosting outrageous and/or classy parties/sorties, crackers are there for us. Remember when you were a kid and you were sick? Your mom gave you crackers. Remember when you wanted to eat a brick of cheese but felt socially embarrassed to just go for it? Crackers.

Crackers aren't usually expensive--maybe a few dollars for a box--but there are so many varieties that you'll never try them all. Even such a small investment can be a huge risk when it comes to crackers. What if you don't like the flavor? There is so much that can go wrong. The possibilities for failure, like varieties of crackers, seem literally endless.

That's why I'm here. To taste your crackers for you and then give you an indication as to whether or not it's worth buying and eating that variety of cracker. But the decision to do so is still up to you! That's the beauty of free will. Or is free will an illusion? I'll have to ask my psychic what she thinks.

There's one thing that I don't have to ask my psychic about, though, and that's a question of how thorough this review will be. The answer is: quite so. A secondary effect feature of a rambling incoherent thoughtful and thorough review is length. Thank Al Gore (inventor of the Internet) for jump breaks. Click on, brave reader, to the full review!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

American Idol Finale, Finally

For the last fourteen years we've enjoyed fifteen seasons of the hit tv show American Idol. From Bush to Obama, Al Qaeda to ISIS, Nickelback to Bruno Mars. It was a post-9/11 world that needed a lift--a distraction from the burden of life. At least 5 different girls you knew just opened her own cupcake shop. Pinterest didn't exist yet. How did we live? How will we live now that Idol is over? Is music dead?

I wanted to write this retrospective as soon as the final episode aired, but I was unprepared. I had to go through Kubler-Ross' 5 stages of loss. I think I'm still stuck in "Denial" though because as Ryan Seacrest signed off for the very last time he dropped a naughty littler teaser: "goodbye...[pregnant pause]...for now. Seacrest out."

This makes me feel like American Idol will come back, albeit in a new form. It's like the furniture store that is "going out of business" to drum up sales even though they have no plans to go out of business. It makes me feel dirty in my guts. Like they took advantage of my naivety and fomo.

Every season for the past 8 years I say "this show is stupid. It's a drawn out show filled with ads and mediocre talents singing music I don't care about. I'm not going to watch it anymore." And I was finally fully committed to not watch anymore until they announced it would be the final season. So...bookends, and all that--I watched. How many other Americans out there are just like me?

My prediction for the New American Idol 2.0: it'll be web-centric and get stars from youtube/vine or maybe even release their own social media platform that you have to get if you want to audition or vote. The old model was stale. Kidz are into webz and appz.

And so here we are now--wow, a week later--with no Idol to watch. Sure, but there's NBC's hit show The Voice, right? No. That show is terrible. It's basically a bromance between Maroon 5 and Blake "The Turtle" Shelton. Just kiss already, you guyz. And Carson Daly, bless his heart, was never quite the same after MTV's TRL. It's depressing to watch him try to pretend like he's not dead inside. What happened to that show with Jessica Simpson's husband, you know, that 98Degrees guy? And all the contestants had to sing without musical accompaniment.

Irregardless, or without respective, let's get retrospective already.

Many Idol winners and runners' ups went on to do great things. Not cure-cancer-great or land-on-Mars/Matt-Damon-great, but have-songs-on-the-radio-great. Heck, Season2 finalist Clay Aiken was almost a US Congressman. And Season5 contestant Katherine McPhee has been in television shows, including a starring role in NBC's terrible show Smash. And she managed to be and stay hot, which is really important--and probably in poor taste to mention because of her public struggles with an eating disorder.

List of winners (unnumbered, ordered by season):
Kelly Clarkson
Ruben Studdard
Fantasia Barrino
Carrie Underwood
Taylor Hicks
Jordan Sparks
David Cook
Kris Allen
Lee DeWyze
Scotty McCreary
Phillip Phillips
Candace Glover
Caleb Johnson
Nick Fradiani
Trent Harmon

Even if you've never watched American Idol, some of those names probably have you like "oh yeah." For instance, country superstar Carrie Underwood. And if you are a superfan and watched every episode some of those names have you like "huh? who?" For instance Caleb Johnson?

Other notables to come out of Idol who have songs on the radio:
Chris Daughtry
Katharine McPhee
Kellie Pickler
Clay Aiken
Jennifer Hudson
David Archuleta
Adam Lambert

Yeah I dunno. All top 10 contestants from the past 14 years are probably still doing music somehow, but in a way like "This weekend at the county fair, American Idol runner up, Jax, opens for Chicago tribute band." Jax (the girl that printed leopard spots on her face) actually has a new song slated for a 2016 release called "I don't like your shoes." Jax is Ke$ha-Lite af.

Then we also had terrible singers on American Idol that got famous for being so bad. Remember William Hung (She Bangs) or the pants-on-the-ground guy?

Okay and so did you know that "American Idol Controversies" has its own Wikipedia page? It's pretty long, too. twss. In fact, I'll just link it here because summarizing is hard.

Was One Direction on American Idol, or did Simon Cowell create them some other way? I'm getting tired of writing about this. My brain would be okay if it never thought about American Idol again. I can't even remember what happened during the long protracted three night finale at this point. Some guest musicians. Past judges popping in. Songs. Ford commercials. A ton of Ford commercials. Ford is the Hulu of cars. They're going to build a huge factory in Mexico. So much for American jobs. #trump. J.Lo continued to be insufferable. Actual quote (paraphrased): "ooooh i'm sooo sad, i'm getting goosies for the last time. waaah"

The state of television is terrible. They should do a new show that's like American Idol, but instead of sing, the contestants solve crimes and the winner gets their own CSI/NCIS/whatever spinoff show.