Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Best Instrument in a Band?

Lowbrow Answer: Drums
When the most famous musician on your instrument is Animal from The Muppet Show, you've got problems. I understand that drumming takes rhythm, but come on. You're just bashing shit with a pair of sticks. You're basically playing lacrosse against a set of drums.

Music is made up of rhythm and melody, but you're just playing rhythm. You're missing half the artform! I wouldn't be impressed if somebody only put Jelly in my PB&J, or if they just shot a rifle in the Olympic Biathlon. Don't expect me to be impressed here. Lazy bitch.

Middlebrow Answer: Bass
At least you look cool playing this. Bassists always hold the thing way down low at their crotch so if you watch them from far away, it looks like they're masturbating. They also get that hip neck swivel dance that only bassists can do. I tried to learn it once but just ended up giving myself arthritis. Serves me right. I don't play bass, what the hell am I doing trying to learn the hip neck swivel dance?

Of course, the problem here is that you're playing the same five notes in the same octave for every single song. There's a reason basses have fewer strings: they're less interesting. You may look cool while you play it, but you sound like a 4th grader in music class at one of those public schools that's been forced to cancel its arts program and hires an ex-con to teach bass once a month while he's on parole.

Highbrow Answer: Rhythm Guitar
Any band you've ever heard that sounds shitty live; I guarantee you they're missing a good rhythm guitarist. It's the classic Ed O'Brien conundrum. O'Brien is the rhythm guitarist for Radiohead. He doesn't really write any of the songs, but he's crucial when they play live. The rhythm guitarist is like one of the linemen in football: he doesn't seem useful until he isn't there and your quarterback is getting sacked on every play.

Rhythm guitar also generally requires a pretty elaborate understanding of music theory. While the inept lead guitarist is plucking away on some horrendous solo, this guy is playing syncopated thirds in 9/8 time and doing vocal harmony in triads. Not too bad. You can't even walk and chew gum at the same time.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Best Way to Spell "Tiffany?"

Lowbrow Answer: "Tiffani"
Have we really become so smitten with the Apple corporation that everything has to have an "i" in it now? Steve Jobs isn't that great, I promise you. Everywhere I look, it's the iPhone or the iMac or the iPod. The company is like a swarm of locusts, multiplying and multiplying. Soon enough we'll have iDildos, iDrugdealers, and iAbortions.

The most famous person with this name is Tiffani Amber Thiessen. Man, it's gotta be tough when you're big celebrity's claim to fame is "Saved by the Bell." It's like those indie movies you see that advertise by telling you they played at the Tellumca Film Festival or CineFargo. I got news for you. The Tellumca Film Festival averages six people at every screening and CineFargo is me and my buddy Dwayne watching DVDs in my living room.

Middlebrow Answer: "Tiffany"
Okay, so you've got the jeweler on your side. Plus, your name is an old English reference to an epiphany. Classy. Too bad most people in our generation are only really aware of the lame pop singer from the 80's. She ruined it for you. Kind of like how nobody can really be named "Adolf" anymore.

There's something rad about the letter "y." It's like that amazing pretty girl in your class who has sleeve tattoos and wears cute librarian glasses. You don't really know anything about her but you've heard she's the lead singer of a band that's huge in Germany and she creates car designs for Saab. You know what I mean? No? Go out and find one of those girls. Then you'll understand.

Highbrow Answer: "Edith"
Any way you slice it, "Tiffany" just isn't a highbrow name. Sorry, all you unfortunate ladies out there. Your parents spent all their time watching MTV and getting to third base with each other instead of studying enough to know that Tiffany is a fucking stupid name.

It's names like this that make me wish that some of the old school girls' names would make a comeback. Here's my plan for the future:

Out: Tiffany, Brittany, Ariel, Misty, Brandi, Ashley
In: Edith, Gertrude, Edna, Hortense, Mabel, Millicent

Monday, September 21, 2009

Most Legit Type of Cancer?

Lowbrow Answer: Lung Cancer
Let me guess. You're a smoker. Nice job. I'm proud of you. Still feel cool and rebellious now that you're getting Chemo treatments once a week? Awesome.

My favorite part about lung cancer is this notion that people didn't know that smoking was bad for you back in the 50's and 60's. Are you kidding? You're inhaling smoke. What, did people not die in fires back then? How can it not be bad for you? It's like playing catch with a chainsaw and being surprised when your hand gets cut off. Dumbasses.

Middlebrow Answer: Breast Cancer
As a lover of both women and their boobs, I'm not up for anything that specifically endangers everyone's favorite female body part. That's some harsh shit, cancer. Couldn't you go after the appendix or the toenails instead? You know, more useless body parts? Breast cancer is like that terrorist who has a choice of any location in America but blows himself up inside the Radiohead tour bus. You BASTARD.

I also can't stand the pink. Pink ribbons, pink t-shirts, pink pins. Baseball teams even use pink bats on Breast Cancer day. Kill me. If blue is the color that subconsciously relaxes me, than pink is the color that subconsciously makes me want to stab out my eyes with a rainbow trout and throw myself off the top of the St. Louis Arch.

Highbrow Answer: Throat Cancer
This shit is horrifying. It fucks up your speech, your ability to eat, and can get into your brain pretty easily. Plus the chemo is terrible because it scorches your face and head. Respect to you if you've got throat cancer. If testicular cancer is the Desert Storm of cancers, than Throat Cancer is the Crusades. And you're the Muslims.

Sigmund Freud died of this, so at least you're in elite company. Near the end of his life, he decided he was sick of pain killers and went off his meds so that he could experience true suffering. And experience it he did. It's say he spent the final three days of his life crying out in unbearable pain. Say it with me now: "HARD. CORE."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Best Version of Jet Li?

Lowbrow Answer: American Movie Jet Li
Every movie that Jet Li has done in America blows. Like, literally every one of them. I don't understand how the guy keeps getting work in this country. Think of it this way. If I were a preschool teacher and I cut my students' heads off with a lawn-mower every time they came to class, somehow I doubt I'd keep getting new students. See what I'm saying?

What's amazing about Jet Li's American films is that they're all the same. It's always one rogue prisoner/detective/immortal being against everybody else in a fight to save his family/girlfriend/life/dog. You may have seen one of them. They're all called "Romeo Must Die When He Kisses The One Dragon While Rising To Honor in War."

Middlebrow Answer: French Movie Jet Li
Say what you will about the French, but leave Luc Besson out of it. The dude is responsible for some of the most badass movies of the last fifteen years, including "The Professional," "The Fifth Element," and "Taken." If you don't love all three of those films, do a quick check: I think your balls are missing. Besson also wrote the script for "Danny the Dog," which stars our boy Jet as a slave fighter who goes nuts and kills everything in sight when you remove his collar. Heavy.

"Danny the Dog" also sees Li do some acting against Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins, which is no small task. Acting in a scene with Freeman must be something like fellating Lexington Steele's bone-machine: It's hard, it's famous, and it's black. Of course, Li fails to earn true highbrow status when you start to notice that all his scenes involve him ripping peoples' faces off with his bare hands.

Highbrow Answer: Chinese Movie Jet Li
I don't know if you're aware of this, but apparently Jet Li speaks Chinese. Fluently. Who knew?! The next thing you'll tell me is that he's doing all of his own stunts in these movies. Ha, ha, ha. See what I did there? It's funny because he DOES actually do his own stunts. Get it?

Li's work in Chinese is awesome. I highly recommend "The Warlords," which sees him leading an epic army around China in 1860, destroying everything he can get his hands on. Reminds me of when I masturbate to "Braveheart." Jet Li is like a more smoldering version of Mel Gibson, except he isn't covered in blue face paint and his eyes are thinner.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Best Night of the Week to go out?

Lowbrow Answer: Friday
Kill me. Hordes of coked-out twentysomethings charging out of the workplace and right into a nightclub so they can drink till they're sick and then go home with a douchbag fratboy and fuck till they're herpe'd. And all while spending $17 on every cocktail. Hey, sweetheart. Why not go to the corner store, drink a Forty, and then fuck a hobo. It'd be the same experience you're having now, only $50 cheaper. And the hobo would actually be nice to you the next morning.

The worst part about Friday is that the only thing you can really do is go to a club or a bar. It's too late for a movie, no sports teams are playing, and you haven't left town yet. So every idiot in the city is standing in line at the same five hotspots. Awesome. Just what I want to do after working a mind-numbing job all day with people I don't like; stand in a mind-numbing line all night with people I don't like.

Middlebrow Answer: Thursday
This is only slightly better than Friday. The fact that people have work the next day helps to serve as a seatbelt for the really raucus stuff. Usually you end up actually having a conversation with somebody. How exciting. Of course, the evening is inevitably ruined by the douchebags who see Thursday less as a chance to enjoy a low-key start to the weekend and more as a chance to drink twelve shots of Patron and date rape college juniors.

Thursday is great because you're buzzing on anticipation for the weekend. It's like, you ever notice how the day before Christmas is better than Christmas itself? All the presents are under the tree, Santa is on his way, your Uncle Dave isn't drunk and hitting on your mom yet. December 24th is the best day of the year, just like Thursday is the best night of the week.

Highbrow Answer: Tuesday

But wait. Nobody goes out on Tuesday night.


Just about the only thing happening on Tuesday nights are chess clubs or library readings, both of which give me an intelliboner. The last thing I want do to with what little time I give myself away from my studies of the Protestant Work Ethic is rub up against legions of drunken blonde chicks in some dank nightclub that charges me $40 to get in. I'm pretty sure that's what hell will be like, why would I want to do it while I'm still here on earth?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Best Place to Keep your Blackberry?

Lowbrow Answer: In Your Hand
Has anybody besides me noticed that there is a fighting number of people who carry their blackberries around in their hands? Like, all night. Like, the whole time they're out. Like, they never put it down. I'm talking mostly about women with this one, which is weird because traditionally it's men who like to carry useless shit around in their hands. You know, like guns or NFL tickets or their cocks.

Is your ridiculous little network of digital friends so important that you're utterly terrified of missing one "I LUV YOU, LOL TTYL BRB OMG" text? Let me tell you a little secret: the people texting you are lame. Which means, if you do the math, so are you. By carrying a blackberry around all night, you're basically announcing to the bar: "Please come talk to me until somebody I like more tweets about something stupid." Hmm, what an enticing invitation.

Middlebrow Answer: In Your Pocket
If you're going to carry one, at least have the common courtesy to hide the thing while I'm talking to you. I don't whip out a canvas and some oil paint and start crafting an impressionist work while you tell me about your family, so don't whip out your blackberry and start texting your roommate while I tell you about my irrational fear of clowns.

The bonus of keeping your blackberry in your pocket is you get a little magic every time somebody calls if you have it set to vibrate. Basically, what I'm saying is, it you're talking to me and I suddenly start smiling, it's not because you're funny. It's because my phone is buzzing in my pants and it makes my tinkie-winkie happy.

Highbrow Answer: What's a Blackberry?
Technology blows. Why do I need to keep in constant touch with friends? They only distract me from musing on the philosophical irrationalities of religion. Why do I need to be able to check sports scores every minute? It only stops me from furthering my study of Kant's early work. Unless somebody invents a machine that can detect proletariat lifeforms and eliminate them, I'm not interested in technology.

I'm also sick of corporate shitheads trying to make stuff sound cute by giving it childish names. It's a personal computing device and you're calling it a "blackberry?" How obnoxiously adorable. What will they think of next? Maybe we can start calling the Iraq War a "Playdate in the sandbox," or referring to genocide as "frown removal."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Most Legit Form of Childhood Trauma?

Lowbrow Answer: Divorce
Boo-hoo. My parents don't love each other any more. My world is ending.

Yeah, join the club.

With more than half of American marriages ending in divorce, this doesn't impress me anymore. It's more common than Meryl Streep getting nominated for an Oscar. So don't come to me with your doe eyes, trying to explain how hard your life is because your parents hate each other. Maybe if your father tried to stab your mother with an Alaskan Salmon I'd be impressed. Until then, shut up and stop whining.

Middlebrow Answer: Near-Death Experience
Everyone has that one friend who was run over by a trash truck when he was five and just barely survived. Or who fell from a sixteen-story window and landed in a dumpster. These experiences will often give you really cool, really harrowing lifetime problems like you can't close your eyes without hearing the roar of plane engines or your left knee clicks out of joint every time you try to run.

The biggest problem with this one is that while it may cause some emotional trauma, it also gives you a cool story to tell for the rest of your life. I'm sure falling into the alligator pen will screw you up for a while, but it will also give you a badass set of scars from when the thing clamped down on your chest. It's hard for me to give you trauma points for something that will get you laid as an adult.

Highbrow Answer: Abusive Parents
This one will fuck you up nice and good. You'll spiral into an endless shame cycle, you'll have problems interacting socially, and you'll likely end up in drugs or prostitution or jail or all three. Now THAT'S what I call trauma. If divorce is the "Bambi" of childhood traumas, then abuse is the "Requiem for a Dream."

Phyiscal abuse to children is so gnarly that even criminals can't stand it. Most people who are caught for this and are put in prison don't last a week because the other inmates tear them to shreds. Anything hardcore enough that prison inmates kill other prison inmates over it is definitely valid. Plus you get mega-points from people like Adorno and Heidegger and Arendt who basically argue that the only true human experiences are ones that cause suffering and pain. Nice job.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Best Kind of Bicycle?

Lowbrow Answer: BMX
Hey, idiot. I'm sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but you're riding a bike that's way too small for you. You look like some a cartoon character the way your legs are spinning at 900 revolutions per minute. Having pegs on your wheels is only cool when you're ten years old. Cut your hair, stop drinking so much Monster, and quit buying shirts made by skate companies. You look ridiculous.

The only place that these are even any fun is halfpipes and street courses. And I don't know if you've ever been to one of those, but they suck. It's basically a hundred kids standing around in baggy pants and drinking Mountain Dew, watching three kids with actual talent do their tricks over and over again. What the hell's the point? I don't go to Las Vegas to stay in my hotel and read Hardy Boys novels, if you understand what I'm saying.

Middlebrow Answer: Mountain Bike
Okay, I'll admit it's kind of cool that these things have better suspension than the NASA Mars rover. And sure, shredding the side of a mountain is far better than peddling along the sidewalk in whichever whitebred suburban yuppie-ville most people call home. And yes, the thick tires awake memories of watching Monster Trucks when I was a lad. Gravedigger was my favorite. Fuck you if you liked Bigfoot.

The thing I can't stand about mountain bikes is the people who ride them. Every single one of them eats powerbars instead of actual meals, is from Boulder, Denver, or Vail, has had dreadlocks at least once in their lifetime, wears Kavu or Teva sandals to social events as if they were dress shoes, and drives a Subaru Outback or a Nissan Xterra. If at least three of those things apply to you, I know a place where you can get a great string of rope to hang yourself with. I hate nature kids.

Highbrow Answer: Road Bike
Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

This sport rules. It's a massive chess match on wheels. At 50 mph. Along picturesque roads in beautiful places like Spain and Italy. I'm getting a sports boner just thinking about it.

Still not convinced? Watch the Tour de France. And I don't mean the highlights. Watch it. The whole thing. They ride for 6 hours a day. They endure horrible weather conditions. They don't get any breaks for meals. And the thing lasts three weeks. It sounds like the first Iraq War.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Best Sketch Comedy Show?

Lowbrow Answer: Saturday Night Live
While the current cast is in pretty good shape, this show has had some rough patches. For every Andy Samberg, we've had two or three Joe Piscopo's. Even when Tina Fey was the head writer, the last 30 minutes of the show have always been unwatchable. SNL is like that super hot girl in high school; everybody talks about wanting to hook up with her, but once you do, you realize she has bad teeth and smells kinda funny.

The worst part about this show is the host. What a moronic idea this is. Let's take ten talented sketch actors and make them pander to the horrible, grade-school theater abilities of some hack movie star or professional athlete. I don't understand it. Chris Farley never stopped by Yankee Stadium to play catcher against the Red Sox for a night, why should Derek Jeter be on SNL?

Middlebrow Answer: Monty Python's Flying Circus
Monty Python started it all, rolling out sketches like "Argument" or "The Ministry of Silly Walks" to an unsuspecting 70's television audience. To this day, I pee blood whenever I watch "Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge." Eric Idle is my hero. All of them are my hero. The whole country of England is my hero.

The only problem with Monty Python is, of course, the accents. Ask any American about Monty Python and they'll inevitably give you their best Austin Powers English accent while reciting instructions for igniting the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Kill me. The only people worse than uninformed Monty Python fans are people who wander around quoting Borat and giving two thumbs up.

Highbrow Answer: The State
The State was on MTV in the mid-90's when MTV was actually worth watching. You know, back when they programmed counter-culture shows like Beavis & Butthead and Buzzkill, and actually played music. Nowadays it's just softcore porn for 13-year-old girls with overactive sex drives and a weird love of Spencer Pratt: "I hope I meet an abusive, dickhead rich boy after I get MY first set of breast implants!"

The State wasn't on for very long because it didn't seem to really care what anybody thought of it. There were so many cast members that the show was basically a bunch of friends trying to make each other laugh for thirty minutes. And I'm okay with that. The last thing I want is art trying to pander to my needs. Real art is supposed to spit in my face and tell me to go fuck myself, not hold my hand and ask me what I want for breakfast.

Check out great sketches from The State here and here.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I'm in New Hampshire.
Leave me alone, prole whore.
Back on Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Best Confederate Leader in Civil War?

Like the Civil War? Find out the best movie on the subject here.

Lowbrow Answer: George Pickett
"Okay, men. Here's the plan. We want you to run across that mile of open field. Then we want you to hop over those four or five fences. Then we want you to scale the large hill where the enemy is hiding and take it over. Now, they have more guns than we do, and are fortified in an elevated area, but we're pretty sure you can take them."

"Hahahahahaha. Wait, are you serious?"

What the hell was Pickett thinking on this one? It makes less sense than a harlequin pony on a midnight train to Halifax. See what I mean?

Middlebrow Answer: Stonewall Jackson
This dude is terrifying. He was basically a one-man wrecking ball during the early parts of the war. He made huge gains for the South at Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredricksburg, and almost single-handedly won Chancellorsville. The guy was invincible. He could have taken on the Uruk-Hai army from the second Lord of the Rings with nothing but a staple-gun and still come out on top.

He was invincible, alright, to everything except bullets from his own men. Jackson was wounded by a few of his own soldiers in 1863 and died 8 days later. You have to feel shitty for a great hero when he dies in a wussy way. Imagine Mel Gibson choking on a ham sandwich at the end of Braveheart, or Russel Crowe stubbing his toe and dying from the infection at the end of Gladiator. Okay, that one isn't so bad. Stubbing your toe sucks.

Highbrow Answer: James Longstreet
You know you're doing something right when Robert E. Lee calls you his "Old War Horse." Getting a nickname from somebody awesome is even better than actually being awesome. I'll know I've made it in Hollywood when Johnny Depp starts calling me "Sparky," or Martin Scorsese dubs me "His go-to guy." Ahhh, dreams.

Longstreet was so badass that he didn't even take Lee's shit. When Lee began planning the tactics for Gettysburg, Longstreet openly disagreed and warned against failure. He was later branded a traitor by the South for his confrontation with the great general, but who the hell cares. It's the South. The only thing down there are homophobic rodeo clowns and illiterate hunting dogs.

Best Island Nation?

Lowbrow Answer: Japan
Has anyone else noticed that Japan is basically an immature eleven-year-old girl on Angel Dust? Look at the culture of that place. Everything is bright and neon and Hello Kitty and faux schoolgirl and what the hell is going on over there? Many teenage girls sell their used underwear to business men. It's trendy for adult women to dress like 5-year-olds. The most popular pornography is in cartoon form. I feel like the whole country is run by toddlers who still think boobs are funny.

And guys, what's with all the dolphin and whale slaughtering? You're supposedly one of the most technologically-advanced countries in the world; it shouldn't be too hard to see that you're wiping out your own food source. Plus, come on, dolphins are amazing. If you're going to wantonly kill an entire species, why not make it something useless, like deer or golden retrievers?

Middlebrow Answer: Madagascar
Of the 10,000 plants and animals on this island, only 10% are found anywhere else in the world. Suck on that, global ecosystem. If you live here, you are considered "Malagasy," which is awesome. You sound like a character from Mortal Kombat: "Malagasy wins, Fatality." And lemurs are amazing. I don't care what you say. Take your lemur bashing and get the hell out of here.

Any credibility the island earns, however, is blown to shit when you consider the animated movies of the same name. Who the hell came up with these? Listening to David Schwimmer provide the voice for a pathetic giraffe for two hours feels like the torture you'd get in one of the lower circles of hell. The only thing cool about the movies are the penguins, and they're the one animal that you won't find in Madagascar.

Highbrow Answer: Svalbard
Svalbard is the northern-most inhabited place in the world. The average summer temperature is 41 degrees. The largest city is Longyearbyen, with about 2000 people. There's a period of three months where there is no sun at all. Move to this island, and I guarantee you'll be free of anything lowbrow. Somehow I can't envision the girls from "The Hills" living here.

The leading cause of death on Svalbard is Polar Bear attacks. Umm, awesome. That means that by living there, you're basically guaranteeing yourself an epic and gruesome death at the hands of a wild animal. Bad ass. None of this bullshit cancer or AIDS where you're plugged into machines for months on end. Fuck that. I want to go out quickly and painfully. Why be buried in the ground when you can be eaten by a polar bear?