The McBournie Minute: Famous people holidays are just more fun

I have been critical of people who follow celebrities more than they do the real world–or even their own lives–in recent years, but I would now like to say that I, Bryan McBournie was wrong. It is not wrong to follow celebrities simply because they are beautiful and you don’t want to think about your crap job.

Actually, I think it’s only wrong to do that unless there is a holiday coming up.

All of a sudden, celebrities are making the holidays a little bit more tolerable. First, we have (allegedly) Tiger Woods yelling at his (alleged) wife on Thanksgiving, who is made about his unfaithfulness (allegedly). He then (allegedly) takes off in an SUV, but not before the wife (allegedly) smashes a window with an (alleged) golf club. Woods then hits a fire hydrant and tree (allegedly). Then we Charlie (allegedly) Sheen and his wife (allegedly) getting in an argument on Christmas day, with Sheen (allegedly) holding a knife at one point. I can’t wait to see that episode of Two and a Half Men. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Famous people holidays are just more fun

The McBournie Minute: Don’t let the holidays be ‘The Matrix’ 2 and 3

The holidays are upon us, and that means everyone’s got their hopes up. They’re all filled with Christmas cheer and the thoughts of great things around the corner. They can’t wait to sit down with family next to a roaring fire as everyone dives for presents under the Christmas tree. Then they remember that they don’t even have a fireplace.

Americans usually love to see things go horribly wrong, to watch heroes fall and to say that they saw it coming the whole time. But for some reason, this time of year makes people forget all their experiences and wish for the best, only to have their hopes dashed when the momentous day finally arrives.

Why is this? Because we all let our hopes get risen to unrealistic levels, and it’s the entertainment industry that does it to us–and Norman f&%$ing Rockwell. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Don’t let the holidays be ‘The Matrix’ 2 and 3

The McBournie Minute: Have yourself a merpy little Christmas

Christmas is in the air. Well, that and a strong dose of car exhaust from cars idling in mall parking lots waiting for a space to open up. Yet, for some reason to me it just doesn’t feel like Christmas.

Sure, I can listen to “Blue Christmas” or watch the timeless holiday classic Bad Santa, but where’s the Christmas cheer? Where are the people smiling to each other and wishing a merry Christmas? More importantly, why am I not rushing around to get my holiday shopping done? It just isn’t Christmas because I’m done with my shopping.

I’ve had my own private little Christmas tradition since I have been a productive member of society. I figure out what everyone on my list wants shortly after Thanksgiving, and then I wait until Dec. 23 to buy anything. For some reason this year I didn’t. I’m sorry, America. I went shopping and last week I got everything done. How can you ever trust me after I ruined Christmas? Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Have yourself a merpy little Christmas

The McBournie Minute: Here’s what you can get me, America

As the holidays creep closer, so does our impending economic doom. Last week we learned that the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007 (surprise!), and we find more and more people are looking to save money this holiday season.

This is complete and utter crap.

I realize that the economy is the suck right now, some of my friends have even lost their jobs, but let’s not be so hasty and cancel Christmas. For one thing, it is important for you as a member of society to go out and spend money in the coming weeks, because our economy needs it. More importantly, if you know me, it is important you go out and spend money in the coming weeks on gifts for me, because the economy needs it. Spend as much as you like, America. I won’t mind. It’s just the typical selflessness I am known for. This time, I will just single-handedly save the economy. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Here’s what you can get me, America

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Scrooge (1951)’

When it comes to favorite Christmas tales on the screen, there are probably two. There’s no confusion about the first, because there is only one It’s a Wonderful Life. In fact, Frank Capra’s classic is so expertly wrought that no one has even attempted a big screen remake. The second is a little more problematic, because there have been many worthy takes on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Case in point, we’re actually going to take a look at a few of them this month. In 1984, George C. Scott humbugged to memorable effect in a made-for-TV adaptation. Albert Finney sang and danced his way through the title role of 1970’s Scrooge. Even Mr. Magoo, the Muppets, Blackadder, Captain Picard and Mickey Mouse have taken their shots (with varying degrees of success). But widely believed to be the best-loved and most-remembered version of A Christmas Carol has to be the 1951 edition of Scrooge, with the inimitable Alastair Sim as London’s cruelest miser.

Sim, a veteran of British stage and screen, started his motion picture career in the mid-’30s and ended it in the early-’70s. In between, he appeared in over fifty films, but the role that has given him true immortality is that of Scrooge. Sim is not just one of many actors to play the part — for everyone who has seen the crisply-made black-and-white production, he is the definitive Scrooge. Everyone else, from George C. Scott to Bill Murray, is an impostor. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Scrooge (1951)’

Don’t let Alzheimer’s dampen the holidays!

As the holidays that don’t involve bobbing for little bottles of liquor approach, those of you with elderly relatives may encounter some memory loss (that, once again, doesn’t involve little bottles of liquor).

While Alzheimer’s means that your mom or dad might not recognize you, that doesn’t mean they want to be bored with the same old reintroductions to their bastard grandchildren. Give them the life they’ve always wanted — you know, before you were born.

1) Total Recall: “What do you mean you want to go to Mars,Grandpa? Mars is terrible. How about a nice tour of the rings of Saturn?” Then have your mom try to kill him with a cooking knife. The fun starts when Grandpa’s WWII training kicks in.

2) The Bobby Darin Story: Convince your grandmother that she is your mother and that your mother is actually your sister. Bonus points if you don’t tell your mom whats going on.

3) Clue: It’s murder! And your Aunt doesn’t remember killing the butler in the library with the rope … until you arrange the clues so they point to her.

4) The Alzheimer’s Game: Convince a suggestible older relative that they’ve entered the early stages of dementia by having the entire family reminisce about things that never happened. Will they catch on by Christmas? That’s the Alzheimer’s Game!

The McBournie Minute: Enough with repackaging Beatles crap

I’ll get to my main point in a bit, but first, don’t expect me to be going anywhere anytime soon. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control just named my hometown, Burlington, Vermont, the healthiest city in the country. Sure, I haven’t truly lived there for the better part of a decade, but hey, I’m healthier than you. Now on to other matters.

Paul McCartney, I have a bone to pick with you, and it’s not even about the fact that you’re looking saggier than usual these days. You too, Yoko Ono. Sure, you got the raw end of the deal and all the blame for splitting up The Beatles, but what you’ve done since then is what I’m here about. Ringo Starr, you’re OK with me. For the most part, you’ve kept to yourself and gone on to do other things like “The No-no Song” and you even recently announced you’re not going to sign autographs anymore.

But for the love of Sgt. Pepper, enough with the Beatles merchandise. Every year, some new form of repackaged Beatles work or book or home movie or biography or television special is released. Don’t act like you’re not behind it. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Enough with repackaging Beatles crap

The McBournie Minute: The Irish don’t mind stereotypes

March is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s not because the temperatures start warming up and it seems spring is in the air. No, it’s because every weekend is a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

Being Irish, this is one of the proudest moments I can ever have. People everywhere in the country start wearing green and act like they can find this island nation on a map. They then proceed to drink until the green beer comes back up again. It is perfectly alright for people to dress up as leprechauns, talk in fake accents and wear outrageous outfits, because stereotyping the Irish is acceptable. It is also acceptable to reinforce those stereotypes, by drinking into oblivion. But why can’t other nationalities be more like the Irish? Continue reading The McBournie Minute: The Irish don’t mind stereotypes