Jon of All Trades

Happy Friday: Ducks Fly Together

And we’re back! You know we couldn’t do a week’s worth of blogs without returning to the well of Happy Friday. It’s been officially 5 years and 8 days since we’ve written one of these things, so for those of you new here, you might be wondering why I’m writing in first person plural.

That’s because Happy Friday demands the Royal We. We all experience Friday together, we all pretend like we’re working and wrapping up projects, we all secretly probably drank too much on Thursday night (Denver is notorious as a Thursday night booze town – something I remember from as far back as when I went to Bartending College of Denver, yes I actually did this and yes it was largely useless), and we’re all slacking off surfing the internet together.

So that’s what Happy Friday is. We find a bunch of stuff for you to read and waste time over, you get some much-needed slack off time on the most useless day of the work week, and then we all go get shitfaced later. Sound like a plan?

Sounds like a plan. Leeeeetttttt’s GO.

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Ok, so for a change we’re not going to bury the lede here. Why? Well, 1) We’ve been talking to a psychiatrist for the last two months and we’ve realized it’s important to be proud of our accomplishments no matter what the annoying, naysaying, bitchass voice in our head says, and 2) We’re really fucking proud of this.

Jon of All Trades was selected as the winner of Westword’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Award for Best Denver Podcast. This is amazing to us because it means we won the popular vote, which further means more people voted for our show than for any other podcast in Denver. That’s goddamn overwhelming and supremely humbling. And while it would have been nice to get that lovely writeup that the Staff Choice winner receives, being the popular vote winner is almost better in that regard.

A quick shout out to the actual Staff Choice winner, Changing Denver,  hosted by Paul Karolyi. We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Paul over the last few months, and his show is really fucking good. It’s exquisitely produced, thoroughly vital, and just a lot of fun to listen to. We’re thrilled that if anyone is going to win this award, it’s Paul because the honor is well-deserved. Now go and listen to his show, and learn something about this everchanging city we love, The Queen City of the Plains, The Mile High City, The Napa Valley of Weed, The… Place Where Baseball Is Fun To Watch, And Probably Moreso if you don’t Care About Winning.

Ok, we made up that last one, but it still fits.

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In addition to that shitty voice in our head, you know who else is always naysaying? Kyle. That’s right, we come up with the most powerful tool in singing technology since yodeling… INWARD SINGING. It’s an invention that makes nonstop rocking possible!

But nooooo! Always naysaying! Everything I create! You piece of shit! You create something! LIKE INWARD SINGING! You fucking shit! You sit in your tower! COCK ASS!!!!!!

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In NFL news, because apparently the NFL is something we’re all required to think about 365 days a year now, the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas to play in a market where we can’t imagine anyone possibly giving a fuck about them. So that’s neat. And by “neat,” we mean it’s sort of intellectually interesting to realize you’ve seen a sport at its apex that has clearly begun its descent in terms of cultural superiority due largely to a combination of hubris, greed, and choosing as its leader a ginger-haired know-nothing who has all the effectiveness of a potted plant, with none of the charm or nuance.

Some people have wondered in light of these recent developments, “What happens to the Black Hole?” Here, author Rafi Kohan takes a look back at the formation of The Black Hole for The Ringer, in what turns out to be a very engaging read featuring prominently a man I suspect I would dislike immensely, were I to know him in person.

And as long as we’re chatting on a personal level, as it pertains to The Black Hole… goodbye and good riddance. With the exception of last year, the Raiders have sucked royally since that one Super Bowl where two of my roommates drove to Wyoming to buy beer because it was Sunday and we had run out, and as bad as the team has been, the fans were even worse.

So, tough shit, Oakland, and suck it hard, Black Hole. May history remember you as a bunch of embarrassing, feckless, cosplaying Mad Max rejects who supported a team that neither loved you, nor clearly ever even gave a shit about you.  Your team is deserting you (again), and all you’ve got to show for it as acne from the greasepaint and a closet full of dorky S&M gear. Boo hoo.

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PIVOT!

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One of our favorite short stories of all time is A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor. We read it for the first time in AP English as a senior in high school (Seniors rule!), and it was one of the first stories we ever read that made perfect sense to us right away. Its dark comedy hit us square in the feels, and we wrote probably the best analysis we ever wrote about anything about this story.

We didn’t think it was possible to enjoy this story on any additional levels, but then a recording of Flannery O’Connor reading this very story shows up on Mental Floss, and we fall in love with it all over again, and more deeply. She is someone we count as an inspiration, and it’s always a pleasure to get a new take on her work.

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We’re sure writing such a great story wasn’t easy for Ms. O’Connor and must’ve taken a lot of time, but the important things in life take time and end up being worth it. We mean, it’s not like she had to spend 17 whole days on it, or anything. That’s asking too much. For anyone.

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Anyone who’s known us for any length of time knows how much we despise The Sex Pistols. We recognize this might seem like a grand contradiction considering what a shameless boner we have for punk rock, but The Sex Pistols sounded like bullshit, were bullshit, and you’re bullshit forever if you liked them. Fuck the Sex Pistols.

Yet, in the grand tradition of us annoying ourselves into eternity, we found this interview with John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) that’s equal parts interesting, infuriating, dull, and hilariously awful. We couldn’t stop reading it, and if punk history and/or loathsome takes in defense of President Trump are of interest to you, this link is right there.

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We started writing a long-ass preamble to the next link, but we realized none of it mattered. Here’s the pertinent part. You will self-select whether you click it or not.We love the movie High Fidelity. Here’s nearly 4,000 words about its soundtrack. That proposition either excites you, or repulses you.

If it repulses you, congratulations, you’re normal. Please proceed to Red Robin and enjoy their Bottomless Steak Fries®.

If it excites you, please email me and come to my house where we can drink obscure beer, look at our (admittedly paltry) record collection, and become best friends.

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There’s a scene in the movie Neighbors where Seth Rogen asks Zac Efron who Batman is to him. They’re both drunk and stoned, and they’re about to have a sword fight with their pee. Despite this painfully banal description, we enjoyed this movie.

For Seth Rogen, Batman is Michael Keaton. For Zac Efron, it’s obviously Christian Bale. For some, Batman will always be Kevin Conroy. Errrrr, what?

Kevin Conroy was the voice of Batman on Batman: The Animated Series, regarded by some – ok, my former colleague and always best friend Lee S. Hart (aka Jason) – as “the best Batman.” And why is this Batman so badass? Well, maybe it’s because his show is governed by rules, guiding principles and general storytelling philosophy that’s more than 150 pages long.

Need to figure out how to write a Batman story? (Pubic service announcement: Please don’t. Affleck is doing enough. If you want to develop a neglected comic book character, take a crack at rebooting Darkwing Duck, (which ruled in its own way) Consult this document. It’ll be hard to go wrong here. Also, don’t put nipples on the Batsuit.

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My favorite Denver Nuggets team of all-time was the 2012-13 Nuggets. Remember? The Ty Lawson/Andre Iguodala/Danilo Gallinari/Kenneth Faried/Javale McGee Nuggets? Those guys ripped and were so much fun to watch. They were a 3-seed in the playoffs and got destroyed by Steph Curry and the Warriors. I then jumped on the Warriors bandwagon and haven’t looked back. They play fun basketball.

The Nuggets, by contrast, fired George Karl, blew up the team, hired Brian Shaw (who sucked), fired him, and now seem on the verge of watchability again. Here’s a fun article discussing why. Nikola Jokic passes, FTW!

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In my professional life I’ve given a lot of trainings aimed at making people better speakers, more intellectually nimble, and, SURPRISE!, building empathy with whomever they’re talking to. I have concepts in here that are well worthwhile that I’m not going to spoil because why would I do that in this throwaway article?

But! What I can share with you is that one of the videos I show to demonstrate how impromptu speaking can go wrong is poor Miss Teen South Carolina standing next to AC Slater at the 2007 Miss Teen Universe competition. While I fear my use of this video is both mean-spirited and probably sexist, its value cannot be overstated in proving a pragmatic point that otherwise would be challenging to make.

So, you can imagine my excitement once someone finally grafted a proper ending onto it.

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This is a supercut of every grunt from the show Home Improvement. It’s more than 14 minutes long. If you make it through all 14 minutes, congratulations, you’re extremely stoned.

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It’s WrestleMania this Sunday and while the event is approximately eleventy billion years long, I would be remiss in not including a preview. So here’s the finest pro wrestling writer on the internet giving a preview.

I will be wearing this shirt. No, I’m not kidding about that.

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And finally…

Happy Friday, heathens. Enjoy your weekend, and see you back here next week for a brand new edition of the AWARD WINNING Jon of All Trades Podcast. Thanks for indulging in this week’s time wasting goodness.

Jon [at] Deftcom (dot) us

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