Back to the Saloon! This Place is Dead Anyway....

2/23/2009 / | / by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Sometimes you try something new and it works great. Sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes it does fine but everyone seems to grow indifferent about it and eventually the whole thing loses steam....

Last fall, Pomp Culture seemed like the right "next move" for us. We had been a Cubs blog but our coverage of the Cubs was always sketchy at best and we were more inclined to write about movies, beer, music, cilantro, steak, Ronald McDonald. Basically anything and everything that had nothing to do with the Cubs we wrote about. Obviously it made sense to break from that theme and create a new blog without being shackled to covering the Cubs. So Pomp Culture was born, and it was great.

But then something happened....

Once we had the freedom to write about anything, we couldn't. We dove head first into a sprawling ocean of ideas and no one new which way to paddle. Lacking any real theme or direction, the Pomp Culture Collective slowly grew apathetic and despondent.

So what do we do now?

We head back to the Saloon, dust off the barstools and beer signs, kick on "Go Cubs Go" on the jukebox and reopen for business. That's right folks. Thunder Matt's Saloon is back, once again offering you spotty coverage of the Cubs, as well as the same old esoteric nonsense that made Paul Sullivan dig our style.

All of our posts at Pomp Culture have been archived and exported to the Saloon so all of our work over the last few months can be found in one place with the rest of our work.

Chalk up Pomp Culture as another venture that didn't quite work, much like New Coke, or Steve Finley Was Here. Our home is at the Saloon, and that's where we plan to be for the indefinite future.

Time to come home to Thunder Matt's. Thanks.

Underrated: Hamburger Helper

2/20/2009 / | / by Arcturus

There's been a lot of posts here of late espousing fancy recipes and cooking. I've got no beef with that, as I myself am the primary chef in my household. I enjoy cooking culinary delights as much as the next guy, but I feel there's also something to be said for simplicity.

As an income and time challenged American, sometimes there's nothing finer than whipping out a box of Hamburger Helper. It's perfect for nights when you don't have a lot of time to cook and when you're not craving an elaborate feast. It's pretty awesome to think that the ingredients for an entire meal are contained in one tiny box. And if you're craving variety, hell, they've got you covered. Mexican, Italian, and American dishes are well represented in the Hamburger Helper lineup. And just on the grocery shelves is the new addition, Asian Helper! Hell to the Yeah. I made Mongolian Beef for the wife and I the other night. Good stuff, people.

The best thing about Hamburger Helper is that any dope can make it. If you've mastered the basic principles of stirring, you too can make Hamburger Helper. And what meal is more unassuming? All they ask you to provide is dead cow! Maybe some water or milk. Unless you're a hobo, you either have or can easily obtain these ingredients. So tonight skip that gourmet meal, go down to the Pic N' Save and pick up a box of Hamburger Helper. Think how much more time you'll have to read Pomp Culture and look for midget porn.

Why Disney is the key to economic recovery

2/18/2009 / | / by Jordi

The stock market is down nearly 50% since 2007. Hundreds of thousands of people are out of work. Doom and gloom have permeated every crevice of our national psyche.

We need something to pick us up.

We need a symbol.

We need the mouse.

As we all know, Mickey Mouse made his not-so-grand arrival in 1928 in the cartoon Steamboat Willie. Before Mickey's first birthday, America spiraled in the Great Depression. Disney, the mouse, and the economy have been linked ever since.

In the 1950s and 1960s, growth was abound in America and the Disney Empire was riding the wave to prosperity. People were happy, jobs were plentiful, and the Mickey Mouse Show was a staple. Life in America was good and Disney was one of the most trusted and successful names in the nation.

At the height of this boon, the Disney Corporation opened Disneyland, a place where people could live the fantasy and hang out with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and the gang. Disney World followed in the 1970s, and other parks were opened throughout the 1980s and 90s. Eventually, the Disney parks would grow to become part and parcel of the American Dream. They would become an American Mecca, a place all families had to make a pilgrimage to at least once.

It's time to bring those days back. It's time for Disney to again a play a central role in American culture. Although the media environment is much more competitive, our dire circumstances require that Disney again sit at the top of the multi-media magic kingdom.

The Perpetual Princess Principle

One of the most effective aspects of the Disney Corporation has been their ability to manipulate the minds of young children, especially young girls. Young girls are taught through the Disney Princess model that the finer things in life, the royal lifestyle, are all that matters. They are taught that the days they dress like Cinderella and other princesses, their high school prom and their wedding day, are among the most important days of their lives. Before, between, and after these dates, as the girls develop into women, they are instilled with the ideal that life must still be a princess fantasy. They have to attract Prince Charming, that tall, dark, and handsome mate. They must have a modern-day horse-drawn chariot, that high-end sports car or gigantic SUV. They have to live in a magic castle, a huge home in the most luxurious part of town.

Yet no matter how materialistic or shallow this princess ideal might be, it is essential to the American economy that Disney keep following this business model. As a matter of fact, it should be promoted and endorsed, perhaps with the help of government assistance or of celebrities and debutantes such as Paris Hilton or other notorious "party girls". With any hope, a new generation of young princesses influenced by Disney will become shallow teenagers and then materialistic women. Hopefully, they will buy, buy, buy. They will shop, charge purchases on credit, and exercise the best in American gluttony.

During a down economy, everyone saves, even the princesses. Reality impedes their dreams and they are forced to live within their means. We have to change this mindset if our economy is to get back on its feet. We need to push the Princess Principle. We need more princess-based movies. We need to advocate the materialistic lifestyle. We need our women to hit the malls, the high-end stores, and the boutiques. We need mass consumption.

We need Disney.

American Idol Update: Week 1

2/18/2009 / | / by Governor X

Its been a month since American Idol returned, but even with three shows a week they haven't really done anything yet. That changed Tuesday as the auditions and gimmicky Hollywood Week drama are finally over and the karaoke started for real. All is right with the world: Paula is clearly doped up on booze and painkillers and the sexual tension between Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell is as intense as ever. I'm also happy to announce the envelopes full of white powder from Fantasia's fan (she only has the one) have stopped coming.

Tonight's theme is songs of the Billboard Hot 100...of all time. Way to narrow it down. Why even have a theme? On to the contestants. If I understand the new rules correctly, nine of these slack jawed assholes are going home:

Jackie Tohn - ...and they're off. Off to a horrific start too! Jackie sings a terrible Elvis song so poorly I thought a giraffe was dying. To top it off, she looks like she should be buying Skoal at an Albuquerque 7-11 at 3am after pleasuring truckers at the Super 8.

Ricky Braddy - The man with the fauxhawk busts out some fauxsoul. Simon correctly points out he has the personality of a jar of peanut butter.

Alexis Grace - This girl is kind of cute, but three contestants in and I've already had it with white people singing soul music. Who has Paula in the death league? She's babbling incoherently again. Something about big sound in a small body. Her overdose may come before next season.

Brent Keith - First his video won't load and then he sings something called "Hicktown". White trash opera. Live's Shit Town would have been better. FAIL.

Stevie Wright - She was 9 when the show started. God damn I feel old. She could also be Bristol Palin's stunt double. I have no clue what she's singing, but its not bad. Of course the judges hate it. Apparently they're looking for crap. Oh yeah, Fantasia won this contest. They are looking for crap.

Anoop Desai - I'm not sure, but I think this guy played Kumar. The first real dose of AM radio schlock of the night. What 22 year old picks Angel of Mine? One who wants granny panties thrown at him in Laughlin, that's who.

Casey Carlson - Oh joy, a Police song. The Elaine Benes dancing isn't going to help her chances either. When Paula says its bad, you know its bad. She's toast.

Michael Sarver - Big dumb Okie singing a big dumb country song. Next.

Ann Marie Boskovich - Malkovich? She's pretty agreeable looking - unfortunately her song Natural Woman reminds me of a tampon commercial. Ted Danson is in the audience. He'll be this season's crying girl.

Stephen Fowler - How the hell does a guy who forgets the words to the song make it to the contest? Lame. Not as lame as his version of Rock With You though.

Tatiana Del Toro - She's an attention whore, so I'm going to talk about something else. Ryan Seacrest is creepy. His "natural" interaction with the contestants and judges is so freakishly rehearsed its possible he is a robot. A gay robot.

Danny Gokey - Hero by Mariah Carey. Are you fucking kidding me dude? Paula busts out the quote of the night: "I have two words with a hyphen - sold out arenas." Okay then.

Wow. That was a terrible opening night. If you're voting for the worst, then there are plenty of choices for you. For my money it doesn't get any worse than Jackie's tornado bait white trash Elvis homage. If you want to vote for someone good, I don't know what to tell you. Stevie was the least awful singer of the night I guess. Hopefully next week is better.

I have two words with a hyphen - sold out arenas.