Category: The McBournie Minute

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The McBournie Minute: Your favorite Christmas song sucks

I was on the last leg of an eight-hour drive to Ohio back in September, looking forward to looking at anything but flat, straight, boring road. My wife was scanning the radio stations, because we’re the last people left who listen to terrestrial radio, when she came upon Christmas music. A station was playing nothing but Christmas music. Let’s remember this was September. I had a sudden urge to steer the car into a tree, but we were in Ohio farm country, it could have been hours before we saw tree for me to hit.

In my seething rage, I thought back to the column I wrote about Christmas songs last year, and I’ve been waiting to reread it ever since. (That’s right my complaint about hearing the same songs is itself a repeat, get over it.) I’m still really proud of it, and I think it’s way better than any “Christmas season gets longer every year” type of rants I could muster up this year. And judging from our site’s daily hit counts, a lot of you out there probably missed it last year, anyway.

So we now take you to “Your Favorite Christmas Song Sucks.” Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Food nostalgia must die

America is the eating champion of the world, and we have been for 72-years straight. No one can eat like us. They don’t even come close. We compete against each other to eat the most hot dogs, pies and other healthy snacks. We have entire TV network dedicated to the cooking and enjoying of food.

We’re also adventurous eaters. As a country, we enjoy more variety of food than any generation before us. No one thinks twice if you say you’re having Vietnamese-Cuban infusion for lunch, and mouths water at “innovations” like waffle tacos or pizza with a Doritos crust. But with all this looking forward in food, we seem to find ourselves looking wistfully at the past.

It’s a terrible trend. Don’t believe me? Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: I’m over life on Earth

I spent the week of Thanksgiving seeing family and friends out in Ohio. We drove some 18 hours in all, which means there was a lot of radio time during the trip. It’s easy to forget this, but it you’re outside a populated area, radio stations come in only three flavors: pop, classic rock and country. And they all play the same songs for their respective genres.

This meant I heard a lot of Taylor Swift, who apparently has a few very popular songs out right now. I learned to memorize that “Bang Bang” song, and had ample opportunity to reaffirm my dislike for Ariana Grande. It’s a good thing for sexuality, otherwise pop songs would have nothing to say.

As you can imagine, I had an urge to drive into the nearest tree. But I had a lot of time to think, so I thought about less lethal ways to get away from pop songs. What if I could go into space? Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Neil deGrasse Tyson sucks at movie reviews

For a long time, science wasn’t really cool. Now it’s all over your Facebook news feed, right up there with baby pictures posted by some girl you talked to at a party once in college. There’s a cultural movement in the country encouraging scientific literacy, which is a good thing. Every movement needs a face, and for this one it’s astrophysicist and cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Even if you don’t know him by name, you recognize his face. He’s been everywhere in recent years, most recently, he hosted the reboot of Cosmos. He’s a smart man, he’s got personality, and most importantly, he’s really good at explaining complicated scientific theories and principles to the masses. He’s knowledgeable and likeable, and he does important work.

So why the hell is he talking about movies? Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: How not to suck at beer, running

I run. There, I said it. I don’t marathons or anything, and I try not to brag about my accomplishments. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen one of those “26.2” stickers on a car and given serious thought to plowing into the back of them. I don’t even close to that far on my best day, so I figure I should just keep it to myself.

I was amazed when I first started at how strong a connection there is between the world of beer and running. For example, there’s a thing called the beer mile. A lot of people out there who are otherwise active and healthy people really seem to enjoy getting plastered at the end of a race. Runners will say that they are really into beer because it’s got all the nutrients you need after a long run, but really, it’s because they spend so much on beer that running is the only sport they can afford. I have run in a race almost entirely because there was free beer at the end of it. It was my first race ever.

But there’s more of a connection between beer and running than just working hard and playing hard, they also both encourage judging hard. Here’s how to not do that. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Who’s ready for some ballot issues?

If you live in America, and if you’re not getting bombed right now, there’s a good chance you do, tomorrow’s a big day. Not only is it Taco Tuesday, it’s also mid-term election day. That means you get to go to the polls, wait in line, then check off the name of the person whose crazy ads offended you the least–if you feel like going at all.

But honestly, choosing our leaders isn’t as important as the ballot issues that are coming up. These things rarely have the kind of publicity as the people crazy enough to want to hold elected office. Plus, ballot issues don’t have egos they need stroked by public approval every few years. The only time you hear about ballot issues is when some faith group gets involved (read: anything related to abortion or marriage equality).

So to make sure you’re prepared tomorrow, here’s a quick overview of the ballot measures you may see tomorrow, and how to vote on them. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Halloween costume don’ts

Halloween is here, and the good news is that it’s on a Friday this time around. That means that you can go out in public wearing your costume on your way to a party and not get any more looks from strangers than usual. The bad news is that it’s on a Friday this time around. That means you have to rush home from work (this assumes you have a job), eat, then don your costume and hope to make it to your festivities on time. Basically, you’re not going to have much time for a super-involved getup.

In a situation like that, you pretty much have to half-ass a costume. You’re just not going to have time to get into really complicated costume and get your makeup on and everything. This is how a woman feels every day, the difference is you don’t have to shave your legs, too.

When you’re rushing, it’s easy to make some bad choices for costumes. Luckily, I’m here to help. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Pumpkins bring out the worst in white people

Folks, it’s time for the white community to do some soul searching. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about: the Keene Pumpkin Festival in New Hampshire. This past weekend was a terrible one for residents there, as college kids used the event to party and then riot for no reason other than there is nothing else to do in Keene, N.H.

Beers were drank, bottles were thrown, cars were flipped, bros were arrested and riot gear was dawned. An estimated 30 people were injured in the weekend-long riot at what was supposed to be a peaceful and family-friendly gathering of the mostly white population of Keene.

It’s safe to say that white people have finally taken the pumpkin spice trend too far. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: In defense of Christopher Columbus

This is one of those weird holidays. Some people have it off, some don’t. Some people think it’s a terrible day to celebrate, some don’t. I believe Christopher Columbus was the original American. Here’s why. (Originally published Oct. 8, 2012)

Years ago, Columbus Day was a major holiday for the Italian community. Think St. Patrick’s Day, but with less puke, more mustaches and the same amount of Catholics. It’s probably still celebrated that way in some areas of the U.S., but it’s just not the big deal it once was, in part because we figured out that Columbus wasn’t the first European to find the New World, that honor belongs to the Vikings, most likely.

It’s a strange quasi-holiday. Some people have it off, most people don’t, and no one is sure how to celebrate it. I never had it off as a kid, but I heard tell of a time, also known as When My Parents Were Kids, when Columbus Day meant a long weekend, even for students. Since then, a lot of people have said, “Hey, this Columbus guy didn’t really ‘discover’ America, because there were civilizations living here long before he showed up.”

Well, hippies, here’s why it’s an important holiday, particularly in the U.S. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: White House intruders you’ve never heard of

The hot new trend in Washington, D.C. is to hop the White House fence. It’s the federal equivalent of running on to the field during a baseball game, except the security is in better shape and more heavily armed. But lately those in charge of keeping the presidential mansion safe have gotten heat for some big failures.

Most notably was Omar Gonzalez, a mentally ill veteran, who got into the White House and sprinted into the East Room, before an off-duty Secret Service agent tackled him. A guy wearing a Pokemon hat hopped the fence a week earlier. And in June, a toddler squeezed through the fence and wandered around before she was wrangled in.

But there have been even crazier breaches of White House security that have happened in recent decades. We’ve just forgotten about them. Continue reading