Monday, December 31, 2018

End 2018, Begin 2019

by Chris McGinty of

It’s New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow is 2019. It seems like every year, in spite of the fact that I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions, I find myself trying to start over in some way.

2018 was a year of starting over for me in a couple of ways. It took me a while, but I started writing a lot again. I finally quit Pizza Hut. I usually get fired from Pizza Hut. I quit because someone threatened to fire me this time. Close enough.

I’m in a more creative state of mind than I’ve been in a while. I’ve also been extremely busy letting some of my habits die, so that I can get into that creative mode.

I started today because it’s Monday, but it’s basically the beginning of the New Year for me. I don’t know that I have a resolution in the way that people usually define resolutions. I do feel resolute though. Maybe that’s better. The definition isn’t really different, but the New Year’s Resolution has a bad reputation.

I have simply resolved to make incremental changes, and follow a path that is more my own. I think that’s a vague concept that self help over hypes, but there is that quotation, “If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will,” and I believe that’s truer than most of us even realize. I don’t even think it’s malicious on the part of others most of the time, but others will collectively direct your life if you’re not intentionally directing it yourself. Follow your path. Clear your mind. Accept shapers truth. Lead enlightenment strong victory. It’s like another quotation:

“The night is calling, I have to go. The wolf is hungry, he runs the show. He’s licking his lips, he’s ready to win. On the hunt tonight for love at first sting. Here I am. Rock you like a hurricane. (Are you ready, baby?)” – The Scorpions

Chris McGinty is a blogger, amateur philosopher, and like a hungry wolf. They say you gotta stay hungry... pretty philosophical, huh?

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Baby, It’s Cold Outside (The Five Short Minutes of Research Dance Mix)

by Chris McGinty of

I’m not really all that big about holidays, so I won’t be doing the right thing by wishing you and yours the best. I hope I didn’t just imply that I was. Bah humbug. I did figure I would do a special holiday blog post though.

A couple of years ago, I noticed that people were making nasty assumptions about some song that I’d never heard before. This was weird to me, because I’ve heard way more music than most people. Then someone called it something like, “The rapey Christmas song,” and I realized what the problem was. I pretty much hate Christmas music. I’m not into genre hate. I’ll give things a listen; and occasionally, I’ll find something I like in genres I’m not wild about. There’s not a lot of Christmas music that I do like though. Maybe I’ll do a post about what Christmas music I do like sometime much later.

For now, I’m going to defend a song that is mediocre at best, but has been the target of people who don’t know what the… fudge they’re talking about, for Christmas tree’s sake. The song is called “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and is the victim of people taking a couple of lines massively out of context, and I do mean massively, and running with it like they were running from Harvey Weinstein singing it at karaoke.

Let’s start with the context. The song is from a movie called “Neptune’sDaughter” from 1949. I’ve never seen this movie. The lyrics misunderstanding is result of one of my chief complaints about the way people handle information on social media websites. When something questionable appears on anything social media, I do a little exercise that I call, “Five Short Minutes of Research.” Usually, after I’ve done this research, I’ll find that people are making something of nothing. Admittedly, the five minutes of research I did on the Harvey Weinstein thing (the scandal, not the karaoke) showed that people were right to be disgusted with his behaviour. On the other hand, the five minutes of research I did on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” showed me that someone, somewhere should have done their own research before stating their case, and everyone else should have followed suit.

I’m going to give you a plot synopsis based on the one I found on Wikipedia. “Neptune’s Daughter” is a romantic comedy in which the male interest does something questionable in character and integrity that is not so bad that he can’t be forgiven later, as with almost every romantic comedy, ever.

In this case, Eve is worried about her sister, Betty, being used by a womanizing polo player, Jose. Betty meanwhile had mistakenly gone out with Jack, confusing Jack for Jose. Jack is down on his luck with women, but has received some pointers from Jose.

Now, I haven’t seen the movie. If it turns out that Jose suggests Spanish Fly in her drink then I’m completely wrong here. But all that Wikipedia suggests is that he tells Joe to speak Spanish, because it’s the language of love.

Eve goes to Jose after Betty’s date with Jack (who Betty thought was Jose) and tells him to back off. Jose is confused, but does the questionable integrity thing that isn’t so bad that it’s forgivable later, and tells Eve he’ll break his date with Betty if Eve will go out with him.

This is where “Baby It’s Cold Outside” comes in. Eve and Jose go out. They have a great time, and end up at Jose’s place. Now, this next sentence is important, so I’ll give it its own paragraph.

The idea behind the lyrics is that Eve wants to stay, because she had a good time.

Wants to stay.

All her objections are what others will think if she does stay, including her sister. I’m making a presumption here that she realizes that she’s gone out with her sister’s date. She backtracks twice on her resolve to leave, because she wants to stay. The phrasing of “What’s in this drink?” is suggestive that her feelings to stay must be the result of drinking too much.

Again, I haven’t seen the movie, so I may be having context issues as well, but not the same kind of context issues. The way people are making the song out to be is that they’ve been on a date. She wants to get the… fudge out. He won’t let her go, and he’s probably spiked her drink Cosby style. But that’s not the plot of the movie, so I’m going to give my context more credit.

If anything, the song speaks to cultural bias that existed 60 years ago that women can’t make the decision to be with someone, because it’s improper. If you think about it, that’s the opposite of the complaint about the song that exists now. It’s a woman who wishes to stay with her suitor, but fears persecution for her decision, rather than a woman who doesn’t wish to stay with her suitor. At best, one could argue that he’s out of line because it’s not his reputation that will be tarnished.

That’s an old issue. The majority of our current society doesn’t judge a woman for staying the night with someone. There are some idiots, sure, but most people don’t care.

The thing with song lyrics is that they are meant to convey grand ideas in very few words. Sometimes this results in misunderstandings. Sometimes those misunderstandings are harmless, but every so often people take a Christmas song that’s not a Christmas song and turn it into a song about date rape.

Speaking of rape. This very thing was the cause of the PMRC hearings in 1985. The Parents Music Resource Committee was seeking to have a watchdog group to oversee suggestive lyrics in popular music. They later accepted the offer by record labels to put a warning label on albums with possibly offensive content.

One of the songs in question was “Under the Blade” by Twisted Sister. Dee Snider says that the song is about fear of being put under the blade in an impending surgery. The PMRC believed it to be about sadomasochism, bondage, and rape. Go read the lyrics twice. The first time you read them, imagine that the song is about going in for surgery. The second time you read them, imagine the other stuff. That’s the problem with lyrics without context. And doctors without borders… um, performing surgery. Ignore that. I clearly don’t know what I’m saying. What’s in this drink?

Here’s the funny thing to me. Dee Snider has always been very vocal about his Christian faith. He may not be the public image that the Christian church wants for Christianity, but he says he is a true believer. His wife asked him to write a Christmas song one year as a gift to her. He did. He put it into the catalog of available music, and under his publishing rights. Years later, Celene Dion was doing a Christmas album, and she picked his song, "The Magic of Christmas Day," to sing as part of her album.

And that is the true Christmas miracle.

Chris McGinty is a blogger who has nothing against Celene Dion as a person, but really wishes he hadn't been so curious what a Dee Snider Christmas song would sound like.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Quoting Quotable Quotations Quotient

Chris McGinty of

I’ve started to wonder about the quotations that we see as we’re scrolling down social media, and through quote websites. I’m not going to pretend that every quotation prior to the internet was entirely accurate. “Play it again, Sam,” was never said in “Casablanca.” The thing that started bothering me is that some quotations are starting to feel like social media postings. I don’t know if that’s a result of people using social media more, or if it’s that people who are using social media are making things up and rather than applying the standby “Anonymous” label, they’re just picking someone respected.

Let me talk about movies for a minute. I swear it has something to do with the topic, as long as I remember what my point was to begin with.

In 2008, there was a movie released called “The Happening.” Nathan said of the movie and I quote, “This is probably the best movie ever. Ever!” But don’t take my word for it. You can read his blog post about it, and you’ll find that exact quotation. Exact!

Note to self: Go edit Nathan’s blog post about “The Happening.” Include made up quotation.

“The Happening” was very good… at first. Then it was pretty good. Then it was questionable. By the end of the movie, I started to feel like it was a good movie as long as there was some sort of deeper meaning behind it that I was having trouble grasping. It really didn’t. The entire movie is predicated on a quotation attributed to Albert Einstein. The quotation – “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” – was featured in some form in the movie.

As I was reading about this quotation, it’s widely noted that there’s no record of him saying it. Some people feel it’s the kind of thing he might have said while another thought process was that it was made up by an environmental group.

Ultimately, I walked away from the movie not really being all that impressed. It had its merits, but I just wasn’t impressed. I need to talk about a good movie now.

In 1999, we were treated to “Mystery Men.” This was a fantastic superhero movie when no one was making fantastic superhero movies. It’s a comedy, so it has its detractors, but screw those people. It’s a funny and quotable movie. In fact, one of the characters, The Sphinx, is the master of sound bite wisdom, like the following:

“To learn my teachings, I must first teach you how to learn.”
“He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions.”

Each time he busts out with one of these gems, the group acts like their minds have been opened and enriched; except, that Mr. Furious starts to find himself not buying into it until finally he gets fed up.

Scene from Mystery Men: You can read along below. You'll know it's time to turn the page when Bob Seger...

Mr. Furious: Okay, am I the only one who finds these sayings just a little bit formulaic? “If you want to push something down, you have to pull it up. If you want to go left, you have to go right.” It’s...
The Sphinx: Your temper is very quick, my friend. But until you learn to master your rage...
Mr. Furious: ...your rage will become your master? That's what you were going to say. Right? Right?
The Sphinx: Not necessarily.

Relating these two movies to the topic, what started bothering me is that there would be Sphinx like quotations on social media that would be attributed to people who are great thinkers.

Maybe these are legitimate. Maybe The Sphinx was modeled after the use of these types of quotations. Or maybe The Sphinx stopped training superheroes and became an internet troll. 

Now, I understand that there are plenty of sarcastic and ironic quotations out there that are meant to make us laugh.

Those are not what I’m talking about.

I’m going to create some new rules about quotations. I’m not sure what qualifies me to do this, but I’m going to do it anyway. You know why? Because the internet.

Let’s start finding quotations that are verified. What I mean by this is pull the actual quotations from sources you’re familiar with in some way. If you’re listening to an interview and someone says something interesting, quote from that. If you’re reading a book, and you find something interesting, quote from that. If you’re watching Albert Einstein’s You Tube channel… nevermind.

“If you make up a quotation, go ahead and take credit for it.” – Chris McGinty
“If you don’t want to take credit for a quotation you made up, go ahead and attribute it to no one.” – Anonymous

Finally, if you need to paraphrase something you heard, but either need to make it read better, or you can’t completely remember the quotation, go ahead and note that.
“If you gotta paraphrase, just let us know, a’ight” – Chris McGinty (paraphrased)

I’ve decided that 90% or more of the time, I’m only going to quote if I’ve pulled the quotation from a source directly, or at least verified it. The other 10% of the time it’ll be things that are just difficult to get verification of because it was prior to mass media, or if I feel like the quotation sounds enough like who it’s being attributed to. The main point is that I want some quotations out there that are for sure legitimate.

In the meantime, if you’d like to read a quotation blog post that I created before I made these rules for myself. I’m reasonably sure that the quotations are valid, but I didn’t really verify them.

“I think I agree.” – Nathan Stout

Note: I’ll possibly write about context some other time.

Chris McGinty is a blogger who is clearly worth quoting. This is not to say to use direct quotations. He suggests that you look through his blog posts and find the words you need and arrange them into your own new quotations. "Go ahead. Verify these are legitimate. The blog post is a result of these 'The Happening' training Nathan, an internet troll, to master not really being all that impressed."

Monday, November 26, 2018

Oh-Mazh, If You Will...

by Chris McGinty of
A long time ago, on a DVD commentary far, far away, I noticed that someone said something to the effect of, “We were paying Oh-mazh, if you will…” It didn’t really catch my attention until I noticed that every time someone said it they would say, “Oh-mazh, if you will…” If it wasn’t for that weird apology, I think it would have never caught my attention. It would have been one of those words that my brain tuned out because I didn’t know the meaning, but I caught the context. But that, “If you will…” jarred me back to reality, and I realized that they were saying, “homage.” I’ve been bitching about it since.

Nathan and I named the first episode of According To Whim “Homage.” This was because of my irritation with the pretentious pronunciation of the word. Because of this the naming convention of the episodes of Season One was a single word with a pronunciation and a definition. After that first one, we themed the word to the episode, but the naming convention was created because of this. This was 2004, so it’s been irritating for a while.

Let me say this. I’m not an expert on the English language, spelling, grammar, or punctuation. I don’t get everything right. It’s likely that I’ll screw something up in here as well. My complaint is the more that people point out that there is no such word that is pronounced “Oh-mazh” the more argumentative that people get about it. Seriously, there is an argument now that “Oh-mazh,” which is spelled “homage” is not the same word as homage… which is spelled “homage.” They say that while they have similar meanings that they’re not the same.

Let’s follow that:
1. Same spelling.
2. Similar meaning.
3. Massively different pronunciation that changes both vowel sounds and adds a Z somewhere in there.
4. Seems legit.

Let’s look at the definition real quick.

The definition that people feel it is pronounced like the dictionaries is as follows:
1a : a feudal ceremony by which a man acknowledges himself the vassal of a lord
b : the relationship between a feudal lord and his vassal
c : an act done or payment made in meeting the obligations due from a vassal to a feudal lord
2a : expression of high regard : respect bowed in homage to the king
b : something that shows respect or attests to the worth or influence of another : tribute

Now let’s look at tribute:
1a : something given or contributed voluntarily as due or deserved especially : a gift or service showing respect, gratitude, or affection a floral tribute
b : something (such as material evidence or a formal attestation) that indicates the worth, virtue, or effectiveness of the one in question the design is a tribute to his ingenuity
2a : a payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection also : the tax levied for such a payment
b(1) : an excessive tax, rental, or tariff imposed by a government, sovereign, lord, or landlord
(2) : an exorbitant charge levied by a person or group having the power of coercion
c : the liability to pay tribute

Basically, the same word.

So I declare that from this day forward that artists don’t pay tribute to other artists because it’s archaic and references kings and rulers, like homage. From here forward, it shall be pronounced “Tri-byoo-tay,” because it’s a completely different word, like “Oh-mazh.”

Chris McGinty is a mediocre blog writer who recently realized that Hollywood pronounces Homage like Homogenize, as if they're trying to say that everything they make is uniform or similar. Almost as if they are excusing the fact that they fear, or can't create, original ideas.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

When you die...

by Nathan Stout (of

Now that I have your attention...
In our society we often say things like when I get to heaven they are going to have never ending buffets of my favorite foods/drinks/etc... well for me I need a Coke Freestyle machine.

Not any Freestyle machine. Almost ALL Freestyle machines SUCK. When you get your Coke, you get Coke with a hint of whatever was dispensed a moment before. Here's a hint, when you have a self-server Freestyle machine, let it run a for a second before your pour your own drink (you'll thank me).

Anyway, this Heavenly Freestyle will every soda, never give you hints of any previously dispensed soda. Of all the vices of my life soda is the one I can't quit. Soda puts a smile on my face every time.

Along with the soda I politely request Jet's Pizza, Chicken Tikka Marsala, Steak, and a Godiva store for good measure.

Don't forget something to watch while I am eating in a Drive-In Movie theater settings with access to every movie ever made.

Thank you.

Monday, October 1, 2018

October is here! Yay.

by Nathan Stout (of

It's been a busy year and we are already at the 10th month. It's one of my favorite months! When we lived in the country I would always go on how I can't wait to live in the city so I can decorate for Halloween. We finally moved back and I instantly backtracked on my Halloween wish. I hate giving candy to kids. I like decorating but not handing out candy. I want to decorate then pull it all down the day before Halloween. In the neighborhood I live people come by the TRUCKLOAD, dumping their ungrateful pre-teens/teens to bother you.

I enjoying taking my kid to Home Depot/Lowes/Walmart to see the Halloween yard blow up decorations. She is mildly spooked by it all but seems to enjoy it. I also enjoy taking her trick or treating at events but not door to door. I guess it all boils down to the fact that I am anti-social or something.

What adds to my enjoyment of the months is the fall weather/feel of the changing season. If Halloween was in Summer, I don't think I'd like it so much.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday Junk

by Nathan Stout (of

Been a while since I posted last so here are some random thoughts for you look at (chewing gum for the eyes!).

  • I got sick the last day we were at Disneyland (November 7th) and have been sick for 2 months now. Not just lightly sick either, full blown snot, etc... then I got the flu a couple of weeks ago. Been a sucky couple of months. It's starting to clear tho...
  • Funny things my 2 1/2 year old says: 
    • "Get out the carpet" (when I'm sitting on the floor). 
    • "Get out the couch" (when I'm sitting on the couch). 
    • "Go feep" (when pretending to sleep).
  • I just watched an old anime called Castle of Cagliostro . Man I love old anime. It just satisfies so much more than current stuff.
  • I'm getting Long Distance Blues and want to be back in the city so I can see the few friends I have more regularly.
  • My doc has me on 15 supplements... I better live forever now (or something)...
  • I was the guinea pig for a new MRI test at work a couple of weeks ago and they needed to shoot me with contrast and they stuck me 6 times and could not get a vein.... 6 times! They even used a vein finder and they couldn't do it!