Some Observations About “God’s Not Dead”

 

If you’ve ever wondered what a movie staring God as a stalking Rube Goldberg serial killer then “God’s Not Dead” is the movie for you. This movie makes so many blaring generalities, stereotypes, and assumptions about life and other religions you can pretty much guarantee that the writers all voted for Trump. I decided to take a peak into the orgy of self absorbed, guilt mongering, bigotry that is the movie “God’s Not Dead” and report my findings.

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Mad powerpoint skills from a college freshman

Summary: First and foremost, lets dive into what this movie is all about with a quick summary. Don’t worry, it wont be too lengthy, it’s a Christian movie so it’s pretty formulaic and predictable. The movie is about a kid named Josh Weaton (pictured above), a freshman in college, who is in a philosophy class with professor Kevin Sorbo.

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Professor pain

Sorbo is the embodiment of a hate mongering, douchebag, elitist atheist who goes out of his way to tell his students to denounce religion. Weaton isn’t putting up with his shit, refuses to write “God is Dead” on a piece of paper, at Sorbo’s demand which sparks a debate the spans the rest of the movie pitting Weaton against Sorbo.

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He didn’t know god had tenure

Additionally there’s a side story about some journalist lady who’s dating an even douchier Dean Cain (who’s mom is also in the mix as a super old lady with alzheimer’s) and finds out she has cancer. Oh yeah, Dean Cain is some kind of TV personality, not really relevant, just meaningless details here.

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This picture pretty much sums it all up

The last thread of this ugly Christmas sweater is this Pastor that continuously fails to get on the road with his church missionary from Africa, he serves as the tool of divine murder later on. We go through the movie following these bland characters until they all end up at the Christian music group concert “the Newsboys”. You can always read more about the story, but I caution you as it is a sporadic and painfully boring mess. This is about as much as you need to know.

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But you don’t have to take my word for it

So what’s the point: This movie gives you an idea of what life as a closet racist, self hating, devil fearing, ultra Christian is like. Here are the highlights.

  1. Everything, everywhere, is always about religion

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How often would you say religion comes up in your day? If you answered all the time you’re either living in the middle east, or in a right wing Christian movie. This movie goes out of it’s way to illustrate how religion, specifically the judeo Christian variety, is forced down everyones throat and either accepted by the good, or rejected by the personification of serpent people. The main character interacts with others that are either completely on board with making religion every part of their waking lives, or have the same conviction about the opposite, trying their dammdest to make sure you know they downright hate religion.

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I’ve got nowhere else to go!

The movie goes to great lengths to insert ultra conservative “celebrities” like the duck dynasty guy (no, I don’t know his name, or which specific one, and I refuse to look it up) who is interviewed while walking out of a church, or the Christian “rock” group “The Newsboys” who are also interviewed before their concert and sway the evil atheist journalist to pray with them before their show.

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Merica and Jesus

This theme is repeated at the university, where no self respecting philosophy professor would bring up personal beliefs, Professor Sorbo downright tells his students to accept the belief that God is dead based on a very out of context and incomplete Nietzsche quote.   Even when Josh stands up to his professor, his girlfriend is super pissed about it and tells him to get over it so he can get a good grade.

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All I ask is that you denounce religion and we can get on with the lecture

The reality: This amount of religious fervor would get you punched in the face. Nobody wants to be beat in the face with fanatical anything, these people are considered quite rude, or members of the Tea Party. Additionally, teachers get fired for pulling shit like this, journalists get fired for having shitty interviews, and students fail when they pursue pointless additional work that takes them away from their normal assignments.

 

  1. Atheist = Evil Asshole

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The world really likes to divide things into a good and evil, or black and white perspective on things. It’s neat and easy. This movie does an amazing job of separating people by Good Christians and Godless Atheistic Heathens. With the rational and characterization in this movie not believing in a God means you enjoy torture porn and host massive orgies where everyone refuses to say “oh God yes”.

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If only

The atheists in this movie are painted as a force of evil, constantly on the look out to shit on any Christian in their vicinity for the hell of it. They are completely self absorbed hate mongers that have no respect for their fellow man, insisting that the archaic belief structure of not only religion, but Christianity, is a waste of time.

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Me again; stop wasting your time!

The Sorbo Professor shits on Wheaton, the Chinese foregin exchange student doesn’t compute it, Dean Cain even dumps his girlfriend when she says she has cancer. The movie plays Athiests as a red cape wearing, mustache stroking, analogy for the struggles of Christians in a Godless world.

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big daddy Cain keeps his pimp hand strong

The reality: Not believing in God doesn’t automatically make somebody a complete asshole. There’s a slew of people that follow the rules and have ethical stances without a religiously based moral code or authority figure. Additionally, even though the Christian world believes the Devil is secretly influencing society in an ever present war between good and evil, the same isn’t true for Atheists. Matter of fact, Atheists don’t believe in God, so it’s not even a good guy, bad guy thing, they don’t care. It’s like somebody going to Europe and talking about how badass the New England Patriots are to a bunch of Real Madrid fans, nobody gives a shit.

 

  1. God is always personified, and Atheists hate him

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One of my big beefs with religion is all over the place in this movie, the personification of a deity. That’s right, everyone refers to God as him and gives him a human like personality and feelings. Before we go on, lets just make it clear right now, if there was a God, IT wouldn’t give much of a shit weather you beat off in the privacy of your own house, or even if you put up little totems of the person who claimed to be IT’s son.

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eh.

The next thing this movie does is takes those evil bastard atheists and pit’s them against God. Going back to my last point, Atheists don’t believe in God, so it makes no sense to have Sorbo pointing his finger in the sky and blaming God for all the bad that’s happening in his life. That doesn’t make him an Atheist, it makes him a Christian with a hang up.

Academia and the “academic elite” are consistently presented as caviar eating, sport coat wearing assholes that go out of there way to tell Christians how stupid they are. You would think they would save a few steps and just give them monocles and handlebar mustaches. It seems like the writer has the impression that becoming a college professor means you have to sacrifice a goat and take part in a pagan orgy to get tenure.

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I remember my first snobby elite orgy

The reality: Although lots of Christians out there think reality is equal doses almighty fighting between good and evil, and practicing religion harder than your neighbor, some things just boil down to dumb luck, coincidence or chance. Atheists aren’t the devil, nor are they possessed by the devil. Science and Academics aren’t trying to disprove God, they are busy trying to prove things.

 

  1. A sneak peak into the racist mind of a conservative white Christian

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Holy shit this movie has some blatant displays of racism and stereotypes strewn throughout the movie. Get ready, cause these caricatures aren’t exactly subtle, or spaced out, you get all of these within minutes of starting this circus of a movie.

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does not compute

We have the over analytical, shy, awkward, calculated, and human robot contest winner that is a Chinese foreign exchange student.

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I don’t care if this is small town America, wear it or it gets the hose again

The Muslim girl, that is routinely condemned and suppressed by her family. Oh yeah, she’s a closet Christian.

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50% of my lines are:  God is good always

The African missionary.

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Merica

The fucking duck dynasty guy, who I don’t care what you think, is the Larry the Cable guy of life.

This movie goes out of it’s way to find ways to pander to the most racist close minded Christians it can find. They aren’t writing a movie, they are writing propaganda to reassure people who burn crosses and condemn their gay children. There’s nowhere in this movie where you can find a positive example of someone that isn’t an overzealous Christian.

 

  1. God’s Not Dead: You Are

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I’m gonna get you heathen

This is by far the only part that can be construed as pretty bad ass, granted, you paint God as a brooding mob boss. For the next few paragraphs, I will switch to what I like to think of as an inside, undercover movie, God’s Not Dead: You Are.

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God forgives… but I don’t

Sorbo goes through the whole movie, talking shit, trying to take God’s territory. Pandering to the followers of the cloth to denounce their deity and try his new shit, philosophy. God was losing territory, his numbers were hurting, so he sent the only man he could, Weaton. Sorbo slowly loses his mind, and his life as Weaton spins an elaborate web of religion around him, taking his wife, his job, and eventually his life.

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Stop trying to make “fetch” happen Josh

The story comes to a dramatic end, when Weaton sets up the pieces for got to knock down, and it all comes crashing down on Sorbo as he looks into the rain and fades away.

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Who’s dead now bitch

Damn, Gods a bad mother fucker.

 

A long and painful sigh

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Sometimes in life you just gotta look at the mirror and give yourself a look dripping with “I fucking told you so”. Some of it boils down to your own personal failures, but sometimes it just boils down to good old fashioned bullshit, or bad luck. Sometimes you’re a victim of circumstance, sometimes people go out of their way to fuck you over. Either way, it’s the end of the day, you’ve settled all your matters and you’re left washing your face off and staring in the mirror thinking about the events making that very familiar face of disappointment with a twinge of acceptance. See, I fucking told you so.

My look tonight has been three and a half years in the making. I’ve poured my heart into my work and I’ve been treated pretty shitty as a reward. This has been pretty common throughout my time in the Army. Service has always been a big part of the military and it’s always been an important part to me, especially taking care of younger Soldiers, but I’ve consistently been let down and fucked over by most of my bosses. Time and time again people use me for their personal gain, giving me work and shit under the false guise of taking care of Soldiers. The thing is, it wouldn’t bother me if the military and it’s leadership were actually geared toward taking care of Soldiers, but I’ve noticed a few things.

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1. Most of the leaders have turned into self righteous, stubborn bastards, with little tolerance for people who tell them the truth. Time and time again I watch as “yes men” get preference and reward, while I’m used to solve problems for the command and told that I’ll be taken care of later. So being diligent, doing your work, and solving problems only gets you more work.  Briefing well, hiding dirt, and not rocking the boat gets you promoted.

Harumph

2. Nobody cares about you or your Soldiers, they want the next rank, the good evaluation, and the problem to just work itself out. Leaders tend to stick to predetermined and unwritten rules which is why change is so slow in the military. So while we preach about the tenants of taking care of Soldiers, everybody is really just out there covering their ass, hoping you don’t make much of a fuss. Real problems and root causes of issues don’t really get fixed, instead, leadership creates a “system” to patch up a symptom and cover ass until the next scapegoat can be identified.

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3. They don’t want you to propose a solution, they want you to propose the solution that they want to hear. I’ve spent almost ten years in the military now, and every boss I’ve had has either not given two shits (making me to work until he’s happy) or has micro managed me to the point of telling me how to copy and paste items on a power point. The catch is, all of these bosses tell me how important it is to empower subordinates and listen to feedback.  A little confusing right?

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4. The military is like a big bully, no matter how much you challenge it or help it, it will still shit on you. Your experience in the military, much like roaming the halls with your musical instrument and calculus books, all boils down to timing. A lot of how shitty or awesome your life is all boils down to your commander or sergeant major. The worse part of this is the fact that, no matter how hard they challenge the system, it will still crush you.

So, lesson learned, people will let you down, they’ll take advantage of you, they’ll use you up. When it comes to choosing between them and you, they’ll pick themselves every time. The only thing you can count on is that familiar look in the mirror telling you you’re an idiot. While, I love training and taking care of Soldiers, holy shit I’m tired of putting up with ego and bullshit from the topside.  Case in point, I’ve worked in the same brigade for three and a half years, and my boss still struggles to remember my name.

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Looking up from rock bottom

A look through your social media news feed of choice will do a good job of showing you the churning ocean of political opinion and activism prevalent in the public these days. Growing up in the 90’s, the biggest scandal was Lewinski’s blue dress, everything else was like farting into a pillow, you might smell the evidence of something happening, but it wasn’t singing and dancing in front of you throughout the day.

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Public forums and social media have made that proverbial pillow disappear, and now, everyone makes their opinions loudly known, talking shit for everyone to hear. Yes, I realize the irony of publicizing that last line on my blog. The point is that I see this internet and social media revolution as a good thing because it gives everyone a voice.

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And allows you to post videos that look like this

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m stationed in Europe and rely on outside perspectives and various news sources to get a picture of what I’m returning home to, but it seems like times are drastically changing. It seems as if the presidential election, is indeed a revolution of sorts, making America Great Again, however, it was the exact opposite of what was expected. People are much more open about social issues, empathy is on the rise, and the failure of the Republican health care plan has shed light on just how willing the system is to dick you down. This is all unfolding in a beautiful way. Let me explain…

  1. Ignorance can still be embraced, but it’s finally frowned upon.

ignorance

While mainstream ultra conservatives are screaming about fake news and liberal bias, the rest of the public gets to sit back and see two warring sides fight for information rights. One side has very clearly embraced facts and a healthy bit of skepticism, while the other has been aggressively hiding behind their long-standing beliefs. In response, the most extreme of conservatives have clung to the argument, or rather insult, of broad political opinion. For example, the phrase of “bleeding heart liberal” or a scoff followed by “millennial”, they all aim to undermine a spot on the political or social spectrum, but do not specifically attack an idea.

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This is what old conservatives picture when they hate on millennials

While us 90’s babies grew up in a world where vague arguments about political ideologies were acceptable, rapid access to information has killed the ability to chant louder than the opposition. Information is everywhere, and it’s everything. Don’t believe me? If you’re under 30, turn your wifi off for a day and tell me how many panic attacks you have. It’s no longer acceptable to blindly follow something without completely understanding it, and being able to defend it. People are wise to sources now, after having to scour through Wikipedia, and fact check, it’s getting harder and harder to trick the masses. So, bad news climate change deniers, flat earth theorists, and religious fundamentalists, you have to actively defend your claims and deny mounting scientific proof and data.

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FAKE NEWS!

The bottom line is that the Internet has erased the previous monopoly on information. While there is still a resource shortfall for the less privileged, and they do get that proverbial fart pillow to the face quite often, access to information has exponentially risen, giving rise to a generation of educated, underprivileged, and under appreciated Americans that don’t like to be lied to, also, they know when you’re bullshitting them.

  1. Progressive people win, because conservative people eventually die off.

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As access to information, and the vilification of ignorance has taken ground socially, our philosophies are changing. It is hard to maintain a conservative mindset, cause frankly, shit changes.   It was easy to tell kids in the 90’s how awesome we were, how the system worked for us, hell that’s why we won the cold war right? This attitude gave us a victory complex where we were all eating McDonalds, and bleaching our hair, but eventually ended up obese with exposed roots and a poor track record. It took us a while but eventually we saw the error in our ways. The people that cling to this mentality make up the aging ultra conservative right, the kind of folks that brag about the good ole days and complain how this generation is ruining the country. It’s the “great” that America thought we were going to make again, but the throwback Thursday posts have only embarrassed us and made us feel foolish.

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Crush’in it.

Fortunately for this country, those people are aging and shuffling to an early grave, thanks ironically to Mc Donalds and bleached hair. No matter how much you beat these ideologies into your kid’s heads, it will eventually die off. It’s hard to talk about how gay marriage ruins the country when you work with gay people, or see them in the media, or they make up part of your social circle. It’s hard to convince the population that taxing the rich will end up hurting the job market, when the economy has been poor for years during the most embarrassing of tax breaks and layoffs.

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Not so much the downfall of America that we were told it was

This social and political shift has led to an awakening. Our education and understanding has started to shift our politically accepted norms, people are calling our representatives out on their shit. The use of blanket statements and prejudices have started to impact everyone, and it’s getting harder and harder to divide people on it. The population that still clings to these mentalities are diminishing, but becoming more concentrated, much like a fart into a pillow. It is becoming harder to divide people on social issues, regardless of your political views.

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But… Greatness?
  1. The political climate change during the digital age has illustrated our lack of discipline and integrity, and it has pissed people off.

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It’s much harder to hide a Pyrrhic victory now that all can see the cost of the campaign. Justification of decisions are now in high demand, especially when those decisions lead to second and third order effects that this country is tired of seeing on news feeds. While the poor have to carefully weigh options and save for contingencies, they’ve seen the over privileged political machine make consequence free errors that affect their lives in big ways. Never before has this been so apparent and downright shocking.   The marches, protests, and anger have bubbled to the surface of a disenfranchised majority.

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Pictured: The disenfranchised majority

While conservatives defend their own platforms, the liberals have embraced social awareness and activism. Nowhere was this more apparent that the stark differences displayed in the tea party movement opposite the numerous marches and protests by various groups after the presidential election. Conservatives are finding it harder and harder to trick the poor that support them because of ideological beliefs. They might want to end abortion, but they don’t want to give up their healthcare and jobs to do so.

This election has made the public demand more of our representatives specifically integrity and discipline. It’s no longer acceptable to make outrageous claims and not be able to prove it. I don’t know if muck racking is dead, but this election and subsequent presidential approval ratings have shown that we’re done with petty issues, but in the immortal words of Janet Jackson, “what have you done for me lately?”

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It was actually easier finding a disapproval chart than it was an approval chart

While some may think we are more divided and weaker than ever before, I think as Americans, this is the start of something amazing. Americans are more educated, caring, and socially conscious than ever before. Just like the 60’s and 70’s were a difficult and divisive time that ended in a huge leap forward in civil rights and American identity, I think this is an amazing opportunity to take the next step. We’ve seen our first black President, we’ve seen women march the streets, and we’ve seen a generation of young adults stand up for one another against oppression. This is the time for unification, ironically against the system that has given rise to it’s own crumbling. So thanks everyone, your stunning display of ignorance and intolerance has spurred the common people to unify against you.

The Definitive Guide to a Bachelor Party

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So you’ve been selected as the best man for a wedding, inheriting a maelstrom of logistical problems and awkward social interactions. None of that matters, that shit is the cake, the icing is the bachelor party, and you’re ready to eat a tub of that shit. You might be socially inept, disheveled, and ill prepared, but don’t fret, I’m here to walk you through this dilemma of yours. What follows has been formulated and handed down through generations of classy bastards like myself to help the dregs of society, like you, formulate a plan amidst the chaos to give your best friend a night of debauchery.

I must admit, each bachelor party I’ve planned and participated in has been of questionable morals and never to be mentioned in polite company. Regardless, you can use the following advice for all kinds… just subtract the things that would make even your father blush.

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That’s when Nelson knew, he’d fucked up.
  1. What does the Bachelor want?

The first thing you do, right after your buddy asks you to be a best man, is stare into his eyes and ask him what he wants for his bachelor party. Don’t thank him, or waste your breath, you establish right there that you mean business. There’s a lot to decide, and you might not have much time to do it. So lets flesh out what the perfect bachelor party means to the groom to be.

Here’s a disclaimer, not every bachelor party has to be the same, do what the groom will enjoy. There’s no bigger buzz kill than forcing some poor bastard onto a stage to get spanked by strippers if he’s uncomfortable the whole time. Get an idea for when, where, and what, the rest can be fleshed out later. This will give you an idea for the unspoken rules, and some guidance on what the limits are. After the scope of the party is determined, the bachelor can sit back and rest while you put together something regrettable for him.   A good way to solidify this is to come up with a theme, determine limits, and get an idea for the price tag.

Agenda

I’m pretty thorough

Helpful example:

When: 2 days in August and basic agenda

Where: New Orleans

What: A night of class, followed by a day of trash

Off limits: Murder… that’s about it

Budget: Make it rain

 

2. Where to?

Location is huge. The bachelor will probably know exactly where he wants to go, but have a few recommendations to help him just in case. You go to places for a reason, so know what he wants out of the location.   Consult the chart below to determine what vibe you want, I’ve made recommendations based on each result.

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2B. Lodging.

You’ve gotta sleep somewhere, so pick something that will fit the budget and allow you to congregate and give you options. There’s some limitations on this one cause, well money and legality is involved.

A). Hotels / Hostel: If you go with a hotel, I recommend getting at least one suite to gather the party in and avoid having to coordinate for a different venues.

A1). Pros: Established practice, can come with amenities, can provide free meals, often includes a restaurant / bar in the lobby, most likely located near entertainment.

A2). Cons: Hidden fees, come with a mixed company (families), higher chance of authorities showing up, decentralized lodging (gotta wrangle the cats), more regulation and rules.

 

B). Air BnB: Recommend a large house with a common area and at least two bathrooms.

B1). Pros: Less regulation, bigger spaces, consolidated lodging, atmosphere, more accommodating hosts, normally less restrictive.

B2). Cons: Host personality determines rules, neighborhood rules, away from the action, could incur transportation fees to get to the party.

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Some Air BnBs are better than others as you can see

C). Camping: Not the best if you want to get into shenanigans, but depending on where you go camping you could find some pretty active campgrounds.

C1). Pros: Cheapest option, access to people and activities (outdoors), centralized location of the group.

C2). Cons: Limited options, hangovers suck in the outdoors, specialized equipment needed.

 

  1. Make your lineup, who the hell is on the roster and what does the Bachelor want?

So you’ve got a rough idea of what the bachelor party is, the next question is how many guys are participating. Just like dicks, Size is everything, more than 10 is difficult, and no matter what she says less than 5 awkward. Take a good inventory of who’s coming with you to get an idea of that this party is going to look like, cause you’re the damn ring leader and you need to be able to talk to everyone. If you don’t know some of the guys coming along, now’s a good time to ask for a quick run down of who the hell these guys are. You’re going to have to be the bad guy here. Look out for the following wet blankets in the ranks and plan for mitigating their effects.

 

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You know who the hell you are

A). The Cheapskate or Scrub:  Always complaining about money and avoiding expenses on the trip. For bigger trips and more grand settings, this asshole is the one who insists on splitting things, sharing rooms, and pissing off the various workers at the party scene (bouncers, bartenders, strippers, and waiters). Mitigate this asshole by clearly defining the price tag expectation up front and getting a commitment early on. Lodging and transportation have the highest potential for a large price tag, make sure you illustrate this to the group.

B). The Choir Boy, The Rat, The Inside Threat: This rotten bastard is quick to throw you under the bus, or vocally object to the scheduled activities. Often times, this guy will use religion or some bizarre moral code to justify being a douche bag, and bringing down your party. Other times, this could be a family member of the bride, which doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to rat out the groom, but you definitely have to treat him like an inside threat. Mitigate this through carful communication and options. I like to set the tone up front and be cutthroat about it, feelings be dammed I will tell you to fuck off with the quickness if your gonna rain on my carefully constructed depravity parade.   Include options and let them know when to bail if they are down to hang out, but don’t want to get in a moral quandary with their significant others.

C). The Brawler and the Bawler: Booze is probably a big part of your planning, these intolerable folk decide to get emotional as their BAC rises. I put both of them together cause both are embarrassing and require babysitting, only difference is that the brawler will get you arrested and in trouble with the law. Mitigate these two toddlers by assigning a babysitter, preferably a close friend, that can cool things down when they get passionate. The babysitter must stay more sober than said problem, and be willing to shell out some cash to calm the situation.

Identify, plan, and mitigate. That’s the name of the game boys. Don’t let one of these guys drop your carefully constructed house of cards.

 

  1. Assign party roles and responsibilities.

This sounds very structured and boring, but I always like to make a game of it, and let the guys own the roles. This takes some of the pressure off of you, the best man, and keeps things focused around the bachelor. Feel free to add more roles, but remember, this can get unwieldy (you know the whole dick analogy), so take caution.

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Some of the players take this more seriously than others

A). Mr. Vice: Responsible for keeping the Bachelor boozed up and full of cigarettes, drugs, or cigars. If the bachelor is a gambler, Mr. Vice has to be ready to find a table, or get him some chips. Mr. Vice should be one of the more dependable actors in your little shit show.

B). Mr. Governor: Responsible for moving the party along, keeping the group together. This is often times the Best Man. Mr. Governor should be the loudest and most outgoing guy in the group, not afraid to make an announcement or get the group moving.

C). Mr. Regret: This is your photographer and scribe. Someone has to keep record of all the depravity that goes down. Your group will naturally have one of these guys, just ask for instagram profiles, or snapchat handles, you’ll route this guy out. Remember the golden rule, you can take all the pictures you like, but nothing goes online with out sober group / bachelor approval.

D). Mr. Wildcard: This guy amps up the party, by throwing curve balls and lighting shit on fire. You’re gonna want a guy with low moral values and personal shame. If your party isn’t noteworthy, Mr. Wildcard needs to step up his game.

E). Mr. Nice Guy: Pick your most handsome charming mother fucker for this task. Mr. Nice Guy makes sure you don’t get in trouble, and finds ways to draw a crowd. For the single guys in the party, Mr. Nice Guy is like a permanent wing man.

F). Mr. Bachelor or King Asshole: Ah, yes, this poor bastard. This is the guy you center all your efforts on. Make sure he’s always having a good time by giving him access to Mr. Vice, Mr. Wildcard, and Mr. Nice Guy. The Governor, Mr. Regret, and any baby sitters are there for support.

Manage your talent efficiently and effectively and you can sit back and watch, waiting for moments to get involved to steer the party. As the best man, that’s your job, see the bigger picture and manage the party.

 

  1. Themes, props, and party enhancers

Look, don’t make this shit boring, you’ve gotta get a little weird and break the comfort zone. Themes centralize efforts and set the tone, props bring people together and focus outsider’s attention to enhance the theme, party enhancers are hired, or volunteered help. I like to add a bit of these flavors throughout the experience to keep things spicy.

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Merchandising, Merchandising, where the real money of the bachelor party is made.

Make up themes that paint the picture for the party. My favorite is Trashy and Classy. You know what you’re getting with that theme over a two day bachelor party. Your whole crew can plan their party accordingly with the snobs getting a little something, and the less sophisticated having a chance to show their strength. It also sets the financial tone, you know you’re gonna have one night where you have to spend money to make up for your lack of fucks.

With a theme in mind, find some props to help create the atmosphere. Shirts to unite the party and make your members recognizable help set a wolf pack mentality. Hats, glasses, beads, cups… they help identify the bachelor party as a center of attention anywhere you go. One of my favorites is to give the bachelor a kings crown and cape, or handcuff him to a radio flyer (so he can pull shit around for you).

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The royal treatment

Most bachelor parties are fueled by shame, regret, and booze, so add some party enhancers to really scale up those metrics. I like to hire a professional photographer to capture the more sober moments. It takes pressure off Mr. Regret, and gives the bachelor some plausible deniability with his future wife. I also like the idea of a hot bartender (topless to be exact) to wet the pallet and set the tone. You’ve gotta find yourself a girl that can keep up with banter, and hold her own, you don’t have time for a topless buzz kill. This can be the wink to your smile when throwing a classy affair, and help you route out potential troublemakers based on the maturity the boys handle her with.

 

  1. Everyone likes a challenge.

The last thing I like to sprinkle into the equation is some challenges. I treat bachelor parties like a real life video game with needless achievements to break the bachelor and make for some good stories. Give your agenda a look and come up with some interesting things to make sure the party is working towards a good time. You can play this in with your themes; for example, I made a list of poker hands for my buddies bachelor party in Vegas. Each hand had a specific thing to take a picture of like; a picture with a bachelorette, shots with his brothers, an element of a strippers wardrobe. The party doesn’t end until he fills up his checklist.

Trials of Nelson

I like to bring some production value to the table
  1. Set the agenda, reserve, and communicate.

These are all the non-fun parts of planning, the logistics. Make sure to reserve your venues early and get buy in from the group. I like to set an event on facebook and invite the party. It gives you a good spot to post info and communicate changes. The agenda doesn’t have to be down to the minute, but make sure you put something together and let the bachelor, and the group, have a chance to amend and change it if needed. As the best man, be prepared to front some cash, and front load the ass pain to make sure everything is taken care of. The logistics big three… Transportation, Food, and Lodging, get that right and you’ll be fine.

Well that’s about it, go forth and conquer. Remember, you’re the man to make this shit happen, you are fucking this chicken, so make sure someone’s holding the wings, and you’ve assembled your tools. Aside from that, go out and make it memorable.

View More: http://jacquelinelareephotography.pass.us/bachelor-party

6 Things that always bothered me about Star Wars

SW Logo

This article isn’t a hate marathon of the prequels, or even a critique of the films at all. No, this article addresses some very specific issues I’ve always questioned about the Star Wars universe at large. I could probably write an entire article on the ineptitude of the empire, or even the ridiculousness of the rebellion, however, I’ll avoid the weeds and just focus on the few things that have always stuck out as blaring issues with both sides. Also to note, these lessons and issues identified can work throughout the entire star wars story, including prequels, the orig-trig, and the newer movies, I’m not much of a non-cannon expert so please excuse this if it doesn’t hold true to the novels or comic books. Basically, both sides and all of the characters make the same basic mistakes that would get you killed and/or fired in the real world when leading an empire/rebellion/army/or weapons manufacturer.

***Warning, this article explores some pretty nerdy territory***

  1. The Tactics are an absolute travesty.

Let me ask you a quick question, if someone started shooting at you with any firearm, what is your immediate reaction? If you said find cover and assess the situation, congratulations you may be in the military, police force, or you at least have more sense than the common star wars grunt. If you said, you’d stand there presenting the largest target possible, blankly staring at the threat while shooting wildly from the hip and remaining as stationary as possible, congratulations your bantha fodder.

Bantha-ST

Bruh…

Throughout the universe rebel Soldiers and Storm troopers alike enjoy casual firefights in the open, making no attempt to maneuver on the enemy (using one element to suppress while another advances to a more advantageous position), or even use cover or concealment to increase their survivability. This is most evident in their ship boarding battles, but is even shown to a great extent in The Force Awakens, and Rouge One where storm troopers and rebel fighters go toe to toe in an open arena, shooting the shit out of each other while hardly even taking a knee. Doing this on the modern day battle field is absolute suicide, if you would like an example, look up any “stupid terrorist” video on the internet and feast your eyes as the lone jack wagon firing wildly from the hip like Rambo in the middle of the street gets mowed down in a hail of gunfire.

Stormtroopers

They’ve never heard of the fatal funnel

Additionally, the Empire wields a slew of tools, mainly numerical superiority, or mass, that they can and should throw down the rebellions throats at every encounter, but never do. In the military, we call these tools the principles of warfare (Maneuver, Objective, Offensive, Simplicity, Economy of Force, Mass, Unity of Command, Surprise, and Security) and we base offensive operations on them. One can quickly draw parallels between any modern military with the empire/rebellion and quickly realize why the galactic civil war is at an absolute stand still.

stormtroopers-formation

where the hell are these guys when you need them? maybe a few less formations and a few more patrols.

Some questions to ask of the leadership of both sides… Where is the close air support (Unity of Effort)? We see a little of it in The Force Awakens, meaning, ONE storm trooper calls for ONE air support mission, ONE time. That air support mentioned, by the way, gets blown up by a “squadron of X-wings” (No Security/Air Defense), but that’s it. Where do you see the air and ground integration so vital to the success of the US Army in the Gulf War and the Invasion of Iraq? Did the empire forget they often occupy the entire planet any battle is taking place cause well…. they own the damn galaxy? Isn’t there a quick reaction force, or even heavy gunship support from one of the star destroyers, why do they just sit back and watch their elements get slaughtered? Where is the emphasis on artillery, or even small mortar strikes to break up those rebel/storm trooper teams of Soldiers standing in the open? Why the hell don’t they have machine gun teams, or better yet, armored vehicles that can carry Troops, equipment, supplies, or out maneuver their opponents.

combined arms

they work together, I promise.

Instead, both armies line up on opposite sides of the field, go minuteman on each other, and wait until a resulting melee breaks out. Don’t go pointing out how the empire brings out AT-ATs or AT-STs randomly to turn the tide.   These vehicles show up on the scene randomly, don’t integrate into any kind of command structure or plan, and just aimlessly wander around the battlefield like they’re playing it as a free-for-all. In real life we call this a “shit show” and can often end up with the commitment of fratricide.

shit show

Shit shows come in all shapes and sizes, be weary

The only battle I can really give the Empire credit for dominating is the attack on Echo base on the planet of Hoth. This battle in the very least showcases how a naval blockade supporting a ground assault via armored platform to penetrate a defense and invade a strongpoint was sound, but again, where the hell are the tie bombers and tie fighters to provide air support during the invasion? Tie fighters could have been used to easily out maneuver the rebel snow speeders, with tie bombers brought in afterwards to target the heavy weapons and ion cannon, followed by artillery strikes to obscure the AT-AT advance (as well as suppress the infantry) THEN drop storm troopers. That’s how big daddy America does it, when the hell did that go out of style in military tactics? You better use more than the force if I have air superiority, coupled with heavy artillery and armored warfare.

  1. Why the hell do they even bother with armor?

morestormtroopers

yup, this armor sucks.

This one has a heavy emphasis on the empire with their clunky storm trooper armor, but the same can be said about the ridiculous helmets and bullshit that the rebels try to pawn off as protection. I haven’t seen a single piece of armor in the star wars universe stop, deflect, or even dampen the effect of blaster fire. Hell, even when the characters set their weapons to stun. Not even the goddamn droids, who could literally be made from armor, take more than a shot to any part of their body, without falling to shit like a 90’s era puzzle ball. Say what you will about storm trooper marksmanship, at least when they hit a rebel it’s always fatal (unless your Leia, but then again she’s royalty, both in the universe and our hearts).

leia

Yup, that bikini is the only piece of armor she ever needed.

So, lets look at your standard Storm trooper and do a basic cost benefit analysis.  The situation; he is covered from head to toe in the brightest “armor” money can buy, that encases his whole head, limits his view, restricts his movement, and deprives every sense he has as a human being.

Benefits, he’s somewhat protected from the environment, but not anymore so than say, a regular uniform, aside from that… nothing, no other benefits, he doesn’t even blend in with his surroundings, unless they are fighting in a giant toilet bowl or a snow storm.

Risks, well, he’s a poster boy for sensory deprivation, he’s also probably pissing off every civilian and non hostile person on the battle field cause he looks like an embodiment of a fascist regime with no human features. The awkward shape of the blaster combined with the aforementioned sensory deprivation means his aim is worse than a hung-over college kid after an orgy trying to take a forced and very dehydrated piss. If injured, there is no way to quickly triage, or patch up the trooper because he’s encased in a giant exoskeleton, good luck putting on a tourniquet or applying pressure to a wound.

Alternatives, clothes… yup, just a regular uniform like the officers wear, or just regular body armor, hardened in areas with vital organs, seems pretty reasonable. If you do nothing, you continue to get your ass handed to you. There you have it…. solved, Evan has given the empire the simplest of solutions that could potentially cost less and protect their storm troopers, and it took all of four minutes.

Intuition, yup, my gut tells me to go with something less bulky, costly, and more effective.

No action taken, you continue to get your ass handed to you by damn carnivorous teddy bears.

ewoks

the armor…. it does nothing!
  1. The Logistics and manufacturing are obviously tools of a large military industrial complex.

Stalin is quoted as saying something akin to “wars are won in the factories”, I’d like to think there’s a little more to it than that, but he’s got a great point nonetheless. So, lets dive in, where the hell does the rebellion get all of these weapons to arm their troops, uniforms to give their Soldiers, fuel and ammunition to continue the fight, and parts and maintenance to sustain their ability to project power? I know these are very boring questions for you arm chair generals out there, but guess what, it’s why America is so damn good at warfare.

logistics

boring but necessary pretty much sums up life in the Army

Case in point, why was WWII such a remarkable feat by the US? Cause we managed to project an army across a damn ocean to sustain a rapid push East into Europe, while simultaneously rebuilding a navy and projecting a similar sized army West into the Pacific that’s why. Russia had a huge part in the victory, however, our unique capability to both produce and sustain a very long logistical train far outweighed Russia’s ability to conduct warfare along their internal lines. That’s what makes a superpower mother fucker.

holy shit

Holy Shit.

So, back to the empire and rebellion, how the hell is the rebellion able to do this across multiple planets when a majority of the planets are owned / blown up by the empire? Why do they have so much trouble squashing a centrally controlled rebellion that has to rely on bouncing from base to base and garnishing support from the local population?

MainGalaxy

I’ve seen bigger

My recommendation for the empire is simple, taxes and sanctions. That’s right, tax the shit out of the corporations actively selling the rebellion weapons of warfare. Also embargo and impose sanctions on systems that supply the rebellion in terrorist activities. Ultimately the loyalty of a system will go to whoever takes care of it, so why even target the rebellion kinetically, why not just go for a smear campaign and focus on cutting out the financial support like modern day armies target insurgencies? Follow the money, and kill it at the source.

The empire owns the media too, why not just put out propaganda while slowly crushing the industrial support of the rebellion, and watch them crumble? These solutions wouldn’t even take long, it takes a lot of resources and knowhow to get supplies through the vacuum of space onto another planet, just cut of the resources, or target the suppliers. Then build roads and hospitals and shit and ask what the empire can do for you. Bam, now cruise control your way to a fat empire retirement on a sunny system in the outer rim.

propaganda

  1. The rank structure makes absolutely no sense.

Who the hell is in charge? Please, someone, point to the most junior Soldier on any star wars battlefield, then show me his team leader, squad leader, and NCO or Officer in charge. The best example you can find is in the Clone Wars animated series where they at least try to give the storm troopers some kind of chain of command, but then for some reason it jumps from a sergeant, to a captain, to a damn general. Also Jedi and rich folk are Generals too. Don’t believe me? Ask Lando “General for no goddamn reason” Calrision.

stolen valor

Not my general…

It’s not like he’s a General of a Cloud City detachment or something, he’s just a damn General, that’s it, no questions asked. What exactly is he a general of? At least Solo and Skywalker have some experience in leadership before they earn the title, and hell I’ll buy it from Leia cause she was royalty, but what the hell is up with these other generals coming out of the woodwork? Even Han asks about this when he was thawed out of his carbon ice nap saying how everyone was having delusions of grander. He’s abso-fucking-lutely right.

It also seems like every battle is led by these so-called generals, with no plan, or semblance of any kind of command structure. Gangs of New York had more organized fighting than any of the battles in the star wars universe. The movie avatar, laid a better campaign plan than any battle of star wars… Fucking unobtainium, ponytail sex, the Tree is alive! Avatar. I HATE Avatar, but dammit, at least their military action made more sense to me than whatever the hell the ewoks did on the forest moon of Endor.

  1. Communication has got to be a pain in the ass.

Look, I’ll make this one very easy; just make one part in any star wars franchise where they explain what the fuck R2-D2 is saying. Just one part where they say something stupid like “thanks to this nifty techno-ear implant, I can understand all languages instantly” I don’t care how campy and stupid it is, at least then it makes sense. If not, you expect me to believe that Luke can have a full on conversation with R2 fucking beeping. No. Chewbacca, shut the hell up until you can explain what your growls and screams mean. It makes no sense, and I hate having to sit there and pretend to know what “oom tee-dee” means every time someone wants to buy a droid from a space-gypsy. Just lie to me, give me a reason to believe they can magically understand each other, shit, just say it’s the midichlorians, I don’t care, give me something to work with.

Babel_Fish_diagram

They get it.
  1. Star fighter design, or rather, the shitty star fighter design.

Modern fighter aircraft are built around giving the pilot situational awareness. That can be through a slew of things like, radar, sensors, interfaces, and cockpit design. Take the F-16, whose bubble canopy sophisticated electronics, and radar allow it to be one of the premier aircraft in our arsenal. Hell, check out the A-10, whose hardy cockpit is built around a kickass mini gun that is made for close air support, allowing it to go all Leroy Jenkins and come home safely.

a-10

times up, lets do this…

Notice how the canopy is one of the higher points of the hull allowing the pilot to see all around his position on the aircraft.

In the star wars universe, I couldn’t begin to tell you what the hell any of the fighters had in mind when building their spacecraft.  Hands down, the dumbest of all designs is the TIE fighter. What the hell is going on here? What asshole thought about a star fighter then said “yeah, give it a tiny view port only looking forward, then slap huge solar panels on each side”. If you don’t understand why that’s a problem go ahead and black out all your car windows except for your windshield, then tape on two refrigerator boxes on the sides of your hood and drive around for awhile.

tie

let’s hope those rebel scum are coming straight at you there Ace.

The rebels don’t fair any better, I can’t point out more than about two or three fighters that can actively see anything behind them, let alone more than direct left or right. Hell, look at the damn millennium falcon, it’s cockpit is on one side of the craft, how the hell can you get a sense of the 98% of the craft you have to your left side? Any design/engineering team making these crafts for a government or rebel faction would be fired instantly.

MF

clear on the left?  clear on the left? fuck it… it’ll buff

The A-Wing and Y-Wing are probably the best designed star craft, however one is too small and lacks the protection to let it go toe to toe with even the most basic of TIE fighters, and one is to large and slow to let it take on an active fighter role. This leaves us with the X-Wing, which seems awesome until you realize you have about 180 degrees to work with… in space, where anything can kill you from any direction.

x-wing

Dammit Carl, you told me you had my six.

This leads me to my next point, what the hell is up with the rebel radar, you know that display that looks like a jacked up tie fighter with the “asteroid” arrow that skirts around the screen that some how lets our good guys know where a TIE fighter is floating around? That gives absolutely no situational awareness to the pilot or gunner, and doesn’t give any other info aside from, well, an arbitrary arrow. The other award winning design is the TIE fighter’s interface that gives you four big stupid crosshairs and a line/wire depiction of your target that floats back and forth until you get a lock like a damn hand held side scroller from the 80s.

TIE_target_FF7

I have you now…

What exactly is it locking on to? To my knowledge the pilot has to move the craft, or a gunner has to move the lasers to fire on a target, meaning there is no lock… it’s a dumb laser that you have to move to your target, not the other way around. Why not invest in giving your pilots a heads up display, or in helmet display to more accurately place blaster fire. Even Kiowa (helicopter) pilots mark the cockpit window to anticipate the impacts of their guns; you can at least give the poor bastards a sharpie.

My last complaint about this boils down to resourcing (yes again), why waste resources developing and implementing different variants of star craft if you are going to use them the same way. For example, explain how the rebels use the X-Wing, A-Wing, and Y-Wing differently. The nerdy ones out there will at least point out that Y-wings have Ion cannons and can act as bombers for the most part with better shield generation, while the X-wing and A-wings serve as air (space) superiority craft. Now nerdy ones, point out an example in the star wars cannon where they do this in the slightest. I’ll wait.

1porkins.png

Stay on target? how bout some god damn backup!?

That’s right they don’t. The damn wings are always all mixed up doing the same damn thing. So why waste all those resources, training, and tailoring to have a bunch of different fighters, when you can just have a multi role that does the same thing. Hell, an X-Wing was responsible for blowing up both death stars, with a little help from the falcon each time, but the crushing blow was always dealt via proton torpedoes (which an X-wing can carry). The empire is just as guilty, why invest in making fleets upon fleets of your shitty TIE fighter, then reserve a few “elite” squadrons of advanced fighters? Why not invest that survivability and experience throughout your fleets and allow younger pilots to fall in behind the more experienced more protected ones? That’s a lot easier on your logistical footprint, and manufacturing needs. Even training is easier, when you just have to worry about one kind of cockpit, and one set of weapons and communication.

Look, I still love these movies, and I still enjoy watching the endless conflict between these two loveably inept factions, but I think fixing some of these errors and making the empire something truly terrifying would help the series immensely. Imagine a battle unfolding where a sudden and violent ambush from a rebel company decimates a supply run, but then has to react to reinforcements of storm troopers with TIE bomber support and a massive artillery barrage. They attack not because it fits conveniently into the action arch of a movie, but because they are cut off from supply, trying desperately to fund their war effort or stop the empire from threatening and exploiting innocent people. It adds drama and suspense far greater than two sides that appear equal in footing and abilities simply exchanging blows based on loose and ambiguous ideals. That is infinitely more of a reality of a conflict worthy of our emotional investment than say some teddy bears that make traps out of logs.

 

Working out like a CMF

Ok so there you are, you’ve watched “Fight Club” for the first time in a long time and you’ve decided that you have to work out and get back in shape. Congratulations, you’ve missed the whole point of the movie, and you’ve decided to better yourself. The good news is that you’ve taken the first few steps to fixing yourself, admitting you have a problem, and you acknowledging how shameful you look in the mirror. Save yourself from buying a bunch of Crossfit bullshit and gym apparel and follow my guide to fitness to learn how to work out like a Classy Mother Fucker.

notapullup

Author’s note; this is not a God Damn Pull up!

Establish Goals

You don’t want to start a journey without deciding where the hell you’re going, so take a damn minute and actually write out what you want to accomplish. I don’t care how trivial or stupid you think this is, it’s absolutely vital that you identify your goals and write them down. This keeps you loyal to your goals, keeps you honest, and gives you a reminder of why you are going through physical pain. I like to establish different goals for different areas of fitness, for example, my current workout goals are below.

By April –

  1. Body – weight between 165 and 170 lbs
  2. Strength – big three, squat (315), deadlift (365), bench press (275)
  3. Conditioning – 2 mile run time under 13:30
  4. Balance – Free-standing handstand pushups

Make sure you make realistic goals, nothing is easier to blow off than an unrealistic goal. Also be honest with yourself in your assessments and your performance. Do research on what constitutes the exercise and the standards of the goal.   Nothing screams gym douche bag like someone flailing away and slamming weights with little to no understanding of what the exercise is supposed to be.

An example based on the goals above.

  1. Body weight, measured first thing in the morning, empty stomach, daily, record weekly.
  2. Strength – Pause sets, squat: hip crease below the knee; deadlift: overhand grip, straight back lift to lockout and controlled decent; bench press: bar to chest and back to lockout back remaining on the bench.
  3. Conditioning: Run on track, not treadmill or road (with GPS).
  4. Balance: lockout free stand position, down to 90 degrees, back up to lockout.

Make sure you’re honest in your assessment… don’t be an ego lifter, you’re only cheating yourself. Maintain your classiness by knowing when to drop weight, ask for a spotter, and when to sport gym accessories. If you don’t know the real function of a piece of gym gear, don’t use it, also, wrist wraps are for pussies and ego lifters.

Make it work with your lifestyle

Much like your disgusting sexual fetishes, make sure you’re able to maintain your real life while you’re attempting to attain your goals. It’s all about planning, give yourself time, schedule it, and follow through. Again, much like your depraved sexual fetishes, I’d recommend trying everything at home before you involve a strange place and strangers. Don’t get a gym membership yet, just buy a couple of dumbbells if you’re a novice, and get better at home before you go making an ass of yourself in public. Don’t just talk about this plan, make it a part of you.

Find a buddy

Misery loves company, and nothing breeds excellence like competition. I could tell you a number of clichés but at the end of the day, I just prefer good ole fashioned shit talking. Also, some of your goals will probably require spotting, and running is much less miserable when you have a buddy around.   Ultimately it’s somebody else to rat you out when you try to cheap dick a goal. Oh yeah, share your goals with your buddy you anti social bitch. Class it up a notch, and choose an adventurous jog, or a goal to participate in an adventure race, make the workout interesting and keep each other wanting to try harder.

Program

Remember that metaphorical journey I mentioned at the beginning of the post? Well coming up with a program is like putting together a road map for that journey. A program isn’t just a series of random workouts (read crossfit) it’s a comprehensive plan for attaining your goals. The program is how you work towards and track progress while you’re working out. I’m no fitness expert, but I’ve been pretty successful at attaining my goals. With a little research and dedication you can do the same.

Example time…

Progressive overload (adding weight every day/week) emphasis on strength

Week 1

Day 1: Squat/clapping pushup superset (5×5, 15-20); weighted body weight pull-up, dip, incline sit-up; barbell complex reverse curl, shoulder press, sit-up (pyramid); Preacher hammer curls, single arm triceps extension (6×3).   Evening run 1 mile

Day 2: Bench press / Pendlay row superset (5×5); weighted step ups, incline pushups, incline sit-ups (superset 6×3); Barbell complex, lunges, overhead squat, sit-up (6×3); Dumbbell curl, dumbbell row, bench dip superset (6×3). Evening run 3 miles

Day 3: Dead lift (5×5); pull up, dip, incline sit-up pyramid; curl bar reverse bicep curl, skull crusher (6×3); Push/pull dumbbell pushups, jumping lunges (6×3). Evening run 2 miles

Day 4: Recovery

Get the point? Put something together that works towards your fitness goals, put it on paper (note cards are convenient and less douchey like than a whiteboard) then follow that shit.

If you’re a beginner, here’s some good exercises to look up and work into your routine. For God’s sake, look up the exercises and understand how to do them before you try to stack up a bar and permanently injure yourself for time. DO NOT do more weight than you can handle, and don’t reference crossfit for how to do anything.

Get Strong: Lift heavy shit correctly

-Dead lift

-Squat

-Bench

-Shoulder Press

-Pendlay Row

-Plyometric exercises (clapping pushups, squat jumps, tuck jumps, ect)

Get Fast: Push hard at max effort for short durations

-Body weight and weighted body weight exercises (pull-up, push-up, sit-up, dips, ect)

-Short sprints

-Hill runs / stair runs

-Interval training (sprints coupled with anaerobic exercises)

-Box Jumps

-Jumping lunges (with weights)

Look good naked: build the glam muscle and shed some pounds

-Mix in the big four (Bench, Deadlift, Squat, and Shoulder Press)

-Weighted sit-ups

-supersets (2 or more exercises, back to back, no rest in between)

-Focus more on triceps than on biceps

-Don’t skip leg day

It’s about health, not numbers

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your bench is, it’s about self-improvement and health. No matter how hard you work, nothing will beat a crappy diet or poor discipline. There’s so much information (and misinformation) out there so do your homework before you go nuts. Ultimately looking good is a great feeling, but feeling great is a good life. As a last note, remember, a workout is great, but its about your lifestyle. If what you plan isn’t something you can live with, change something to make it something you can live with (quit drinking or eating shit food, wake up earlier to schedule workouts, whatever). There’s nothing classy about failure, so set goals, take initiative, and get after it.

CrossFit; the fitness regiment of Millennials

I honestly don’t know how to start this entry, I’m at a loss for words, instead please just picture me giving the hardest eye roll and groan possible.   CrossFit is the selfie of our generation. You do it strictly to show people how awesome you are, it’s the only thing keeping your ego together, and it can be quite dangerous if you do it wrong. CrossFit perfectly embodies the millennial generation. It’s self absorbed, based around ego stroking, and tells everyone they’re special. I’m writing this today, not to discuss the merits of fitness or a pro and con list, no, I strictly want to discuss my hatred for this fitness program. Why do I hate it? Well besides the comprehensive list begins, it’s because CrossFit is slowly creeping into the Army and making it a pain in the ass to explain the merits of nutrition, exercise, and preventative care to young adults. It also gives everyone that they are experts in form, even though CrossFit puts very little emphasis on form. Instead of science and experience, I have to explain why their pseudo bro science and emphasis on “work capacity” don’t exactly translate into excellence. That’s not all, but before we go into detail, lets look back to the early millennium, when the world was a more innocent time.

 

Where did it all begin?

CrossFit (XF) started as a fitness regime based around user and trainer submitted workouts, mainly on it’s online forum. Trainers would look up the WOD or Work out of the Day, and post it up on a white board for their “Box” XF for gym. The XFers came to the gym, and did whatever, some chose to do the WOD. Realize, the WODs were posted online in a Forum, so it wasn’t just the XF Boxes that had access to it, everyone did. Most of the workouts were based on high intensity interval training and plyometrics. I must admit, I actually used some of the exercises back in the day because they focused a lot on strength, agility, and body weight exercises and didn’t have the emphasis on heavy lifts performed to failure.

 

What it has become

XF went from small communities and users sharing workouts, to a massive conglomerate of gyms, accessories, chalk dust, and ego lifting. The number of Boxes across the US blew up and the demand skyrocketed. Slowly, but surely, XF became the hipster of the fitness community. Because of the massive growth, quality became scarce, there was more emphasis on working out in the Box, and everybody decided their workouts were really important to showcase on facebook and instagram.

 

Commercialism of the Program

I mentioned the WOD used to be something user submitted, it was basically a community of people challenging each other, mostly things that could be done at your local park. Now, it’s a centrally controlled program for everyone (nobody) that requires a lot of special equipment and for some reason timed. Emphasis is placed on the products you use, what you lift with, performance enhancers, and supplements. This was never a part of the original site. If you don’t think this is something that XF emphasizes, my question would be why the hell did Rouge equipment get so popular? Why the hell does everyone where knee wraps, wrist wraps, and spandex? Why the hell are there so many damn bumper plates!? Ever wonder where pre-workout became popular? This culture of commercialism has made your local gym an 80s ski movie where only the coolest kids have the most swag to help permanently injure themselves.

 

The Culture it has spawned

XF has created a following that rivals the vegan diet. Everything they do is based not on self improvement, but on ego and the chance to talk to people about how awesome Crossfit is. This is apparent in their damn white boards. The fucking whiteboard is where they write their workouts. Keep in mind, they don’t write a workout that is tailored to a group, instead, they use their own arbitrary weights, reps, and goals on the board. So if you’re a beginner, trying to work out with a group or a buddy, fuck you, get ready to do overhead squats. If you can’t do an exercise, just fake it for time and be happy if you’re tired. The problem is there is no emphasis on form, or focus, the emphasis is do it as fast as possible. Do you know what happens when you pit unqualified individuals with heavy weights, complex movements, and rush them through a series of exercises? A high injury rate with random results. Instead of recognizing this and tailoring packages to meet specific needs or goals, the XF culture just says you have to work harder and track your results. Keep in mind, these results are based on time, not strength, not repetitions, not weight, not form. So what do you get out of all this. Fucking Ego Lifting. People pushing way to fast, with no idea how to do it, to try to beat the clock. There’s no rules, there’s no standards, just post your video and brag, don’t worry about real excellence or self improvement. Those rubber plates, that’s just so you can drop it at the top of your set and let everyone know how bad ass you are for finishing half the exercise. Yes, that’s right, every time you see a XFer drop weight… they just did half the exercise. Look it up, deadlifts, overhead exercises, all that stuff… the other half of the exercise is controlling the weight down. But what’s the fun in that?  It’s like doing a curl, then throwing the weight forward.

 

The fight for relevancy and standards

One of the underlying problems with XF is the lack of standards and certifications. Why ask a real personal trainer, when you can ask a certified LVL 1 XF trainer? This guy has to be legit right? Well no, that course is a weekend long. So now, we have a watered down program to meet the masses, based on a theory, with poorly educated trainers. Another means of searching for relevancy is the damn crossfit games. Why play real sports when you can be the best time trial runner right? Even in the games though, standards are flexible, and poorly defined. The games showcase some decent feats, washed out with painfully executed, and disturbing displays of stubbornness. Because of the aforementioned culture, instead of correcting these “athletes” they showcase them and tout them as what defines the XF mentality.

 

The results

What is the result of ego stroking, douchebag culture with poorly defined standards? The fucking kipping pull-up.   This one exercise clearly illustrates the result of doing crossfit. The pull-up is considered the king of body weight exercises, so naturally XF uses it regularly, they even go so far as to emphasize the muscle up. Of course more pull-ups are better than less pull-ups, so how do we start doing more pull-ups? Kick your body up and swim up the bar like a God damn dolphin. That’s right arch your back kick as hard as you can and just fly up that bar. Guess what, that’s no longer a damn pull up. But no, don’t tell that to a XFer, cause they’re too busy telling you how they can do thirty of them, and how you have no clue what you’re talking about cause you can’t even do a muscle up, it’s functional ect. These are the same people that will arch their back, pull their head back and bounce the weight off the ground during a dead lift, then tell you how that was their personal record. The only thing I’ll leave you with is the question, what about CrossFit is functional, when have you ever had to pick up a balanced load for time?