Are YOU "Taking back Christmas"?

Happy Holidays!
(it's the sentiment that matters)
It's time for the "Merry Christmas" vs "Happy Holidays" fight to come back into focus. The cry of "I'm taking Christmas back" rings louder that the bell of the Salvation Army Santa and brings a bigger response.

Who has taken your Christmas celebration away from you and how did mere words accomplish it?

It’s hard to imagine the kind of life where a wish of happiness gets under a persons skin, but it seems like the country is full of people with little else to worry about than their shallow grasp on their faith. If beliefs were deeply entrenched, I don’t see a possibility that their intensely rooted religion, values and celebrations could be so easily taken away.

Who are these villains who are so powerful that they took away your Christmas making you sense that you have to rally support to take it back? Exactly what has vanished and how was the heist accomplished?


Personal Banking: Tellers, please, not so personal.

Welcome to your local bank, I am
so f**king happy to see you.
SO happy, you are amaaazing.
Can I get you a bucket,?
You look nauseous... 

I know that banks have taken some big hits in recent days. 

Some have closed.
Some have been swallowed up
Some have tried to impose new fees and been (rightly) smacked by consumers
Some are just limping along as interest rates continue to stay at record lows.

So we should feel sorry for them, poor banks, bless their hearts. Right?

Um, no let's not. 


FTW - 'For the WIN'? Seriously...Who let that happen?

If you think this should be made
in the shape of a cupcake, you
might be soon offended... read on.
Something menacing is creeping.

It's a little something that might not mean a lot to some folk, but to many the change is unthinkable, and completely misses the potency of the original.

In short, who the fuck signed off on the concept involving the acronym "FTW" as now meaning "For The Win"?


Parents: Your kids need guidance, not a straight jacket.

5th weekend in a row with him making me cram.
My cigarette smoking has gone through the roof...
and I'm out of whiskey.
I've never been one to hover over my children.

And, I've never been one to make a huge fuss at school when I think my kids were being treated unfairly.  I've always believed that not all things in life are fair and that you have to take the good with the bad.  

In short when the situation arises (as situations invariably do) - Sometimes you  have to suck it up, get over it and move on.  


Occupy wall street - You are the 99 percent, probably..

Must be protesters, no Goretex in those tents...
 and how to they get by without carbon fiber
wrapped, kevlar tent poles? Poor bastards.

This rant is directed at the people who are against the Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWSM). 

Not sure of where you fit in the scheme of things?

Well let me clarify:  If you are not the 1%, then YOU  are one of the 99%. 


Sports stars: You're accountable to me, and my kid.

Sure sports folk, do what you want,
we um...we CAN see you, you know?
Someone pull the plug.

End this madness. 

Give my son someone to look up to as he tries to find a roll model on ESPN. “Daddy, did Tiger Woods kill somebody?”. “Of course not buddy you must be thinking of O.J Simpson....or...former Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis, perhaps you have him confused with Jason Williams from the New Jersey, yes son Tiger probably killed someone.” 

Having watched sports as well as The Discovery Channel over the last 20 years it is not difficult to believe tigers are capable of killing, perhaps more than just gazelles.

When did this madness begin, this glorification of demons, this infidelity turned innocuous, drug use turned commonplace? 

When will I have a media machine that will help me explain to my kids that cheating on mommy is not cool? 

Where is Mohammed Ali when you need to explain how going to jail is sometimes necessary, not just something that will cost you a few million dollars when it is time to re-negotiate your contract?

In 1967 Mohammed Ali famously declared, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong..They never called me nigger”. He was consequently stripped of his title, banned from boxing, and vilified. It was a truly reprehensible affair, with the press treating this man like Satan rather than a man of conscience. 

Since then there has been a steady stream of professional athletes guilty of, on their best day, moral turpitude, drug use and general jackassness while the media and their respective sporting organizations have turned a blind eye to this despicable behavior. An hypocrisy that has once again reared it’s ugly head with the actions most recently of Tiger Woods and John Terry.

When did this double standard begin and more importantly when will it end?

In my life, I believe I witnessed the beginning of the end in 1991, the summer and autumn of my discontent. PeeWee Herman was arrested for masturbating in an adult theatre in the late hours of the night. Magic Johnson, 5 time NBA champion and LA Laker great, shocked the world with the announcement that he had tested positive for the HIV virus. 

PeeWee Herman lost everything, while Magic Johnson was named to The Presidential Council on AIDS. George H.W. Bush famously remarked,"For me, Magic is a hero, a hero for anyone who loves sports."
The beginning of the end. 

A man who contracted a then fatal disease cheating on his wife and jeopardizing the life of his unborn child a hero, while a man practicing the safest sex lost upwards of 50 million dollars?

From that moment on the world has been treated to an onslaught of sex and drug scandals in the land of sport, rarely resulting in anything but a slap on the wrist and a forgive and forget attitude from the media and fans of these giants. 

I guess I shouldn’t expect media condemnation when the media includes people like Marv Albert.

Albert an NBA and New York Knicks commentator had his own issues in 1997 when he was tried and convicted for biting a woman on the ass during an extramarital affair that included his proclivity toward cross-dressing. Despite losing his job at the time Marv Albert can still be seen and heard on NBC working  Christmas Day NBA games as a commentator.

For anyone who has seen the recent documentary Tyson, it will come as no surprise that Mike Tyson is a good boxer and if the media had there way a slightly confused man. Slightly confused? A convicted rapist and famous ear biter (twice) is just misunderstood if it means a big money fight on HBO.

Basketball seems to bring out the best in everyone. Michael Jordan, the best player of all time, was embroiled in a number of sex scandals. I would elaborate but because he was Michael Jordan I don’t even remember these. No one with such skills could ever be held accountable for his actions and since the media deemed this forgettable behavior I will choose to forget it.  Kobe Bryant on the other hand is a rapist, I mean defending champion and MVP, no rapist. 

I get so confused.

While this behavior and wink-wink mentality with the press is certainly an international affair it seems the USA just does it best. Their national pastime, baseball, has been haunted over the years with allegations of drug use. Not fun drug use, though cocaine ran rampant through the professional ranks in years past, but performance enhancing drugs that have seen its most celebrated achievers breaking records of yore while juicing themselves up with steroids. Mark McGuire, who first broke Roger Maris’ record for home runs in a single season recently “apologized” for his drug use though did so while the media was tearing Tiger Woods apart and the spotlight was focused elsewhere.

And yes the media and news outlets did have some fun with Mr. Woods but he will be welcomed back with open arms. He sells newspapers, Buicks, and Gatorade. 

Additionally he has said the three magic words that make everything okay or a minor infraction at worst: “Sorry”, “God” and “Therapy”.

Brendan Byrne, is a freelance writer, and impossible mix of sycophant and misanthrope. He truly is horrible,  if he walks into your city/town grab the pitchforks and torches. Until then, he will drink rather than monetize his blog, and tempt us with his "past the deadline angst" we trust he could have finished two days earlier. He hates himself for living with a French woman, and is a confirmed serial monogamist, but loves it when women contact him at


Movie scores: they're doing it wrong.

Yeah Barry, what's that
song the kids are listening to?
We should totally add it
to the soundtrack.

I miss the good old-fashioned film score. Where did it go?

More and more in recent times, filmmakers are letting us down. I don’t want to hear a trendy play list when I watch a film. I want Ennio Morricone. I want Bernard Hermann. I want Johnny Greenwood.

Cleaning up after the Party

I was wrong. 

I thought the party that started when the returns were broadcast from the last election would carry us right through 2012.

Now I realize it’s time to call the Tipsy Taxi, send the celebrators home and get to work getting the stink out of the joint. We can start with the Republican National Committee (RNC) who I hold responsible for turning this victory celebration into a drunken brawl.


Do They Make Kid's Shows to be Shitty on Purpose?

I'm AWESOME - Dora said so.
Have you ever sat down to watch Dora the Explorer?

Not just put it on to gets the kids to stop screaming. But actually sat down to watch it through the lenses of adult experience and hard won common sense?

If you haven't, take some time one day to do it. It will, of course, probably drive you to stab yourself in the frontal lobe with a grapefruit spoon in a suicidally futile attempt to remove what you just saw.


The three letter demon that pays

THAT's why I don't make any money,
I don't have the cash key... dammit
The letters “S”, “E”, and “O” --- in that ominous order --- make up the science that has adulterated the art of writing in its pure, undefiled form. And funny how we quality-conscious writers have embraced it with iniquitous passion...if only to tide ourselves over until the next temptation comes.


BADaptation, MADaptation, SADaptation.

Do it again... just with
more, oh I dunno...use
of product placement, maybe?.
Is nothing sacred any more?

Film is an art form about expression. It’s a way of shredding your demons on family, death, society, mortality, humanity. But this expression, this personal honesty, is completely lost if the work is not your own, or does not speak strongly to you. 

You can not express yourself through expressing someone else’s work.

Hyper Smash