July 4, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2017 by hucknuckler

Here it comes.  The busiest day of the year.  The day upon which we are inundated by throngs of tourists descending upon our quaint little mountain hamlet, waving plastic red, white, and blue flags made in China.  The 4th of July.

I used to love the 4th of July.  Truth be told, it was likely my favorite day of the year.  We used to have a pretty cool snowboard jib float (thanks mainly to the vision and executional abilities of Tom Kelly, a true snowboarder’s snowboarder) that would thrill and delight the masses of flag waving tourons who lined Elk Avenue.  There was a bike jump float, too (C.B.M.P. represent), and our ex-mayor, love him or hate him, could be found ski jumping over a pit of fire.  It was a spectacle.  It was a party.  It was a good damn time.

But since the last election, I’m not really so interested in celebrating our current state of idocracy, or entertaining the tourists, specifically the ones that come from red state white America.  I’m not so interested in putting on a show for the Christian bigots that attempt to hide their ignorant racism behind the thin veil of a God created in their own image.  I’m not keen to playing the ever accepting liberal host to guests who continually vote not only against my best interests, but also THEIR best interests, in the name of “freedom”, or greed, or fundamentalist ignorance.

How hypocritical can one be to consistently vote in representatives whose utter disregard for the environment will serve to poison our natural habitat for generations to come, and then vacation in one of the most beautiful and pristine places in the country, a place whose never ending fight to prevent a mine from coming to fruition is critical to its continued viability as a vacation destination?  Do you not understand that you are a human being, and human beings are part of the natural ecosystem, and our willful destruction of said ecosystem will eventually bring about our own demise?  Or are you willing to ignore that most simple of facts in the name of short term profits, profits that will be paid for by the suffering of your children whom you claim to love so much, and their children beyond that?  But hey, someone’s got to fuel the Suburban that pulls the ridiculous trailer of four wheeled atvs, since you’re too fat and lazy to learn how to ride a bike, or how to downsize, or how to stop being so much of an irresponsible consumer.

I understand that we live in a tourist economy.  I understand that my life here is fully enabled by the people who choose to visit this place, although I am working on changing that.  But for the time being, yes, I need the tourists.  It is high time, however, to draw a line in the dust that delineates responsible tourism from willful and neglectful consumption.  If you’re going to drive your Jeeps and atvs and bloated passenger vehicles through meadows being used for scientific research, we don’t want you here.  Because despite what your religion of blind disregard may lead you to believe, science is real, and you are not immune to its effects, regardless of what your greedy and fully corrupted state representatives may tell you.  If you can be responsible, and maybe try to consume a little less, and stop taking that fucking disposable plastic bottle of water with you everywhere you go, then by all means, welcome, and enjoy.  But if you truly believe that you’re not going to survive the bus ride from one place with perfectly drinkable tap water to the next, then maybe you should consider vacationing elsewhere.  Like Flint.

And really, what are you even doing here in Bluetown, USA?  Don’t you hate us, what with our high taxes, community benefits, equal rights, satanic hedonism, and cross-dressing freaks?  Wouldn’t you rather vacation on some oil fouled waterway in your home state?  God knows you hate queers, and you love that home state of yours.  You’re so proud of that flag, and all your sports teams.  Why not just stay there, go to a game, eat some hot dogs, and drink some more of that shit beer of which you’re all so fond?  You’d probably save a bunch of money, and help to defund those damn liberals, what with their free Socialist bus service and free Socialist concerts all the damn time. Because YOU’RE paying for that shit, and Ashley’s gonna need a boob job come high school graduation.

Never mind the fact that the blue states subsidize the federal welfare grab of the red states.  Does that strike any of you as ironic?  Or, perhaps more accurately, hypocritical?  At what point does the brainwashing become self-evident?  Ah, but therein lies the key to running a good cult.  Keep ‘em scared, and keep ‘em stupid.  Propaganda is a terrifyingly useful tool.  And human beings, despite our technological advances, remain unconscionably susceptible to it.  So much so, in fact, that we have somehow managed to reverse decades of progressive policy (Do you know why it’s called “progressive”?  Because it’s PROGRESS.) in favor of a spray tanned reality star king with obvious compensatory issues.

I used to be proud of this country.  I used to think that we were the leaders and defenders of the free world.  But not anymore.  Now we’re just a bunch of greedy imperialist dim wits, addicted to guns, fossil fuels, and mind numbingly bad television.  Education, science, and progress have lost out to fictional deities, “disposable” plastic, and the cast of the Jersey Shore.  It’s embarrassing.  It shouldn’t even be a fight.  But it is, and the smart people are losing, most likely because we engage in responsible breeding, rather than strategies designed to ensure maximum cult propagation.  I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent human being capable of independent, rational thought, thought untainted by prevailing cult doctrine, and I’m completely disgusted.

So I think I’m going to take a year off this year.  I’m going to go ride my bike far away from the multitudes of flag wavers, while you all watch the procession of pickup trucks filled with candy tossing kids promoting local businesses roll up Elk.  Because I’m not in the mood to pretend to like people that vote against my best interests.  I’m not rich.  I’m on Medicaid.  But I’m healthy, I’m not sucking on the teats of big oil or big pharma, and I still serve you with a smile. I enable your vacation hypocrisy, because my LIFE is rich, and full, and abundant in ways that yours will never be.  Most importantly, I don’t believe in your vision of a white, fundamentalist cult-driven United States of America, one led by a science denying sexual predator ignoramus narcissist megalomaniac.  Fuck that country, and fuck you for promoting it.  For people that have become so brainwashed and deluded as to vote and act against the best interests of themselves, and their countrymen, are no cause to celebrate.


MLK Day in Trump’s America

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20, 2017 by hucknuckler

I find it ironic that we are celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a country that recently elected the presidential candidate of the Ku Klux Klan – a candidate who was fêted by his supporters flying Confederate flags, graffitiing swastikas and slurs on private property for the purpose of intimidation, and tossing up the occasional, gratuitous white supremacist salute, all, of course, while hiding behind the guise of Christianity. Because this is how Jesus would want it, after all – the leader of the nation which entrusts its full faith and confidence in His Father, as evidenced by that time honored scripture on our most holy of notes, the TRULY almighty dollar. In God We Trust, indeed.

So tell me, red state republicans, Trump supporters, and religious zealots, why do you get to have it both ways? Are you just in it for the days off? Because that I could understand. And if that’s the case, and you admit it, then at least you’re being honest. But to continue to celebrate the life (and eventual murder) of the man who did more to further the interests of the black community in these “United” States, while electing to office someone who appoints noted bigots and white nationalists to his cabinet, would seem to me to be slightly suspect. While slavery might have ended, officially, at least, now we are left with the unpleasant task of caring for all the familial remnants of those slaves that the early white inhabitants of this country thought it would be such a fine idea to ship over here in order to make life easier, and more profitable, for themselves. The roots of greed and abuse of power run deep in this land. At least now, slavery isn’t restricted to only those of a certain skin tone. We can now all toil for meager pittance in order to keep the uber wealthy that way in this system of economic disparity and inequity, for ignorance knows no race. It is, of course, a much simpler task to rule an ignorant and fearful public than it is to perpetuate the lies of inequality and social injustice on a well educated, informed, and fearless constituency, for such a constituency would not be fooled, and would not stand for it. Keeping the decedents of slaves poor and uneducated doesn’t seem to be working very well for any of us, though. And I don’t think another day off is going to help.

Who is this God of yours, the God who allegedly said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” That doesn’t sound like a God interested in building ridiculously expensive and ineffective walls to keep certain people out of a certain promised land. And what of the Emma Lazarus sonnet that graces our Statue of Liberty:

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Are there inferred exemptions here of which I am somehow unaware? Am I misinterpreting this doctrine? Or are you?

You love your God. You love your country. That talk you can talk. But you seem to have become awfully forgetful when it comes to walking the walk. Because if these sentiments, sentiments that supposedly come directly from your God, and that are emblazoned on a bronze plaque displayed at the celebrated entrance to this country, don’t apply to Mexicans, or Muslims, or women who should be grabbed in the pussy, then there exists a terrible disconnect in your thought process. But hey, if the bankers can continue to emerge unscathed from predatory lending fiascos that wipe out the savings of middle class Americans, and the petroleum executives can continue to pay for their ex-wives’ Mercedes SUVs and country club memberships at the expense of clean air and water, and the pimps of big pharma can keep us drug addled and addicted to the drugs only from which they serve to profit, and the educational system can continue to be marginalized, and educators undervalued, and health care systems dismantled, and social security robbed, so that we can continue to build more bombs and guns to kill people that look different than we do, and more often ourselves, under the guise of “freedom”, and you can rationalize it all by giving the slaves another Monday off in the name of one of the greatest freedom fighters this country has ever known, then you have created a truly exceptional charade. The double standard is mind numbing, which, of course, resonates perfectly with the products of our modern educational system.

So which is it? Do we value and respect people of all races, colors, creeds, sexes, orientations, and religions? Are we all truly free at last? Or is it all just a thinly veiled and well orchestrated lie perpetuated in order that the slaves will smile, enjoy their day off, and continue to say “Yes, massa!” to the lying hypocrites that pull the strings so that they may bring themselves closer to the God that they truly worship, the God of greed, power, self-righteous intolerance, and, above all else, money? Those that live in ignorant fear may let you have it both ways. But not those of us that still have a functioning brain in our heads, a mind capable of rational thought, a consciousness free from the relentless stream of stupidity spewed forth by our corporately controlled media machines. And I know to which group I belong.

I hope you all enjoyed your day off.

Pantera sells the fuck out.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 4, 2016 by hucknuckler

I was at a friend’s house yesterday watching the Broncos’ final regular season game, a game that saw the triumphant return of Peyton Manning, a man whose forehead seems to have grown noticeably since he took his last meaningful snap with the first team offense.  But I wasn’t really watching at all, because I don’t really give a shit about the Denver Broncos.  I was just there for the social interaction, the drinking, and the snacks.  Whilst in the kitchen procuring some more of the latter two, I heard something coming from the television that made me immediately stop what I was doing and refocus.  Pantera’s “I’m Broken” was playing.  I ran out of the kitchen to see what could have possibly predicated one of my favorite metal anthems coming from the idiot box  on football Sunday. And there, staring back at me, was a fucking Carl’s Jr. commercial, a 30 second spot advertising their latest iteration of a low quality, mass produced, fast food cow shit sandwich.  And the accompanying soundtrack was one of my favorite songs, from one of my favorite bands of all time.  This was so not cool.

I immediately began freaking out, spewing f-bombs around the living room like Richard Prior aflame.  Why the fuck was one of the greatest bands in the history of heavy music being used to promote a garbage fast food offering?  Who allowed this to happen?  Who was getting paid, and how much money?  What the hell was going on here?  IS THERE NO STANDARD ANYMORE?  My girlfriend tried to calm me as best she could, reminding me that there were children in attendance at this gathering.  One of the parents half heartedly attempted to reassure me that they had all heard these words before, not that I was planning on stopping on their account, anyway.  Fuck those kids and their virgin ears, this was FUCKING BLASPHEMY.  When the fuck did the surviving members of Pantera sell their music to Carl’s Jr. to market god damned hamburgers?  What the fuck?  These children in their tiny football jerseys had better figure out right now that when Pantera sells out, it’s pretty much over, and we’re all on our way to hell in a handbasket.  Put the toys away, kids.  Shit just got real.

After I blew up about this on social media, a few of my friends tried to comfort me by reminding me that it has happened before, and to the likes of bigger stars with bigger hits.  This was nothing new.  And they’re right, this IS nothing new.  But this isn’t the Beatles, or the once upon a time frontman for the blackest of sabbaths, the now somewhat more feeble prince of darkness, or Alice Cooper selling office supplies, or golf clubs, or even the man who once fronted the PMRC panty wadding band Body Count, and wrote and performed the song that was banned across the land, “Cop Killer”, a song about KILLING COPS, only to later sell so completely the fuck out that he now plays a fucking COP on television, Mr. (considerably sweetened) Ice T.   No, this was MOTHER FUCKING PANTERA.  The undisputed kings of metal in the 90s.  The heaviest, most anti-establishment band of their day (save for the Power Metal album, but hey, we all have to start somewhere.)  How much “fuck the establishment” hatred I have heard spewed from Phil Anselmo’s mouth for war?  A fucking lot, from both packed arenas and clubs where my friends and I were the only ones in attendance.  I’ve crashed house parties with those guys.  I’ve drank Grand Marnier with Vinnie Paul.  These guys are my metal HEROES.  And now they were lending their music to hawk fast food burgers.  The trend is dead, indeed.

I’m sure that back in Arlington, Dimebag is rolling over in his grave.  All the blacktooths in Texas can’t fix this vulgar display of financial power.  And now, I need five minutes alone.  As you can gather, I’m broken.

Whatever, USA

Posted in CB News - The Gadfly columns on September 11, 2014 by hucknuckler

Well, it happened. Bud Light and Whatever, USA came to Crested Butte and took over for a weekend. And get this – no one died. No one set themselves on fire in protest. No one lost their soul. The cops were stoked. Many businesses made much more money than they would have otherwise. And big fun was had by just about everyone, including the haters. But, despite my approval of the finished product, I am left with a sense of disappointment and embarrassment at the way many of the locals portrayed us as a community.

It’s ok to be protective of something you love, be it a person, or a place. It’s ok to doubt that mega-corporations have your best interests in mind, for often, they do not. But the hate and divisiveness that fermented over Whatever, USA, was downright embarrassing. And the hypocrisy? Oh, the hypocrisy. I saw someone who wore Mickey Mouse ears and a “dumbest town ever” t-shirt to the town council meeting on the streets of Whatever, enjoying themselves thoroughly, “local” wristband on their wrist, while other staunch supporters of the event went without. I heard reports of one notorious older town curmudgeon spitting on the PRG production staff during set-up, only to be photographed on the street during the weekend, smiling, wearing the same wristband that others who were always in favor of the event were denied. Truth be told, the wristband allocation and distribution was a nightmare. I don’t know who dropped the ball there, but it was a fumble of epic proportions. Qualified locals were denied, while non-locals got to participate. And the haters somehow found time to stand in line on Friday to make sure they would not succumb to their innate fear of missing out on Whatever, USA.

Someone posted on facebook that the town council members should be shot. I even heard a story of a local super athlete hucking a blueberry pie at the windshield of one of the Whatever busses as it left town. Seriously? Classy. Way to represent our town. Every one of the contest winners and production staff I dealt with, both while at work and while partying on the street, were kind, courteous, and genuinely appreciative. They told me how much they loved Crested Butte, how beautiful it is, and how much they wanted to return at a later date. Most of them were also very generous in my professional dealings with them at the bar. I guarantee I made more money this past weekend than I would have had Whatever been wherever else. But mostly I remember the fun I had, tossing a football in the sand while ?uestlove worked the decks high above on a massive boom box, high-fiving Vanilla Ice before he took the stage to perform “Ice Ice Baby” one more time, and drinking lots and lots of free (albeit terribly watery and flavorless) beer. There was even an awesome local keg party just on the other side of the fence from the Big Mine carnival rides on Saturday night, rides to which we dirty locals were not permitted access, but more than a few of the contest winners saw us and ventured outside of their prescribed activity to kick it and experience the real town vibe. They were up for whatever. I will remember the enjoyment I experienced getting to know both the Whatever winners and the professionals with whom I dealt. Nice people, all. Drunken derelicts, none.

I’ll admit, I was on the fence about this event when the details leaked and the uproar began. I didn’t know what to expect. I worried. I considered rebelling. I yelled at a security guard who told me to get off my bike. Sorry, dude. I even texted the editor of this fine publication that I prayed for anarchy and rioting in the streets. Hey, anything for material. But in the end, the material I came away with consisted of one hell of a party and a good time had by all. It consisted of a nice, fat check to the town. It consisted of a sizable financial uptick for many local businesses. And it consisted of a whole bunch of very nice people descending upon our town and creating a memorable and enjoyable event on what would have been an otherwise ho-hum weekend. Ok, we would have had Beer and Chili-fest, but now we get to have that on Vinotok, which will guarantee to be more of a headache to our local law enforcement agents than was Whatever, USA. Or maybe everyone will get so drunk at Beer and Chili that they will pass out by 8:00, and Vinotok will turn out to be a tame family affair, one without the usual suspects of collegiate intoxication and public urination. I wonder what the over/under is for Bud Light items thrown onto the flaming Grump this year.

Either way, save your hatred and vitriol for the mine, good citizens of Crested Butte. That’s the real wolf at the door. That’s the mega-corporation that’s not to be trusted. In the meantime, I’m going to keep frequenting the Brick Oven for their amazing selection of high quality craft brews. I’ve had enough Bud Light for a good while, at least until the weather turns hot once again. But as for the next uber-rich watery beer super corporation that wants to throw a ginormous party in my town? I’m up for whatever.

Long Lake Losers

Posted in CB News - The Gadfly columns on September 11, 2014 by hucknuckler

I spent the 5th of July recovering, as did many of you, before deciding to make my first venture of the year up to Long Lake for a late afternoon float with my special lady friend. Once there, I was fairly annoyed at what I found.

First off, whilst inflating my trusty pleasure vessel, the Flying Wasp, we were greeted with the incessant barking of a filthy, male, yellow lab. Baby attempted to placate the beast by hucking a small stick or two into the lake, but the lab was not to be calmed. It barked and barked and barked as I pumped up my craft. I muttered more than once during the course of this experience about the beating I was going to administer once my task had been completed. The teenagers next to us stated that they believed the lab to be a gypsy dog. Whatever it was, it had no collar, it would not stop barking, and it was smart enough to get the hell out of there once I was done devoting my attention to the Wasp.

We subsequently launched our skiff, and once on the water, the lab returned to bark at some newcomers, including a nice little Mennonite girl who was surely not going to provide the discipline that was so desperately needed. Gypsy lab was incomprehensibly annoying, but gypsy lab was smart. It knew who to bark at, namely, everyone but unoccupied me. I watched from the middle of the lake as the group of six or so stared at gypsy lab, not one of them attempting to shoo it away. Eventually the dog moved on to bark at new and different groups of people as they arrived, or as they left. There was no owner in sight. Everyone just looked at each other, asking, “Is this your dog?”, as the barking continued. A facebook post later confirmed that this was not the only day this scenario had played out, nor were we the only ones to have come to hate this dog. I imagined the life of gypsy lab, wandering from town to town, seeking out lakes to swim in with people to bark at, people that might even throw sticks, but people that would not dare to confront him with a show of force and run him right out of town.

Even other canines didn’t like gypsy lab. I watched as he barked at one group with two black dogs that clearly did not share the doggie bond with him. They ran up to him and snarled, as if to say, “Shut up, beat it, you’re annoying ALL of us!” Gypsy lab was not to be deterred, though, and the barking endured.

During the floating and accompanying cacophony (it’s a good damn thing the Flying Wasp has a bumpin’ system and powerful one paddle motor), we happened to gaze upon the shoreline and see a medium sized cooler that was overflowing with trash. About this time, we also happened upon the honorable mayor of Crested Butte, on his own dinghy, and we wondered together if someone had actually been so brazen as to leave a huge pile of trash at the lake. We shared a Mission Brewing Dark Seas Russian Imperial Stout that seemed overly appropriate for the occasion, seeing as though it was a Christmas gift from his excellence, and considering our current state of lake faring. Throwing the aforementioned power plant of the Wasp into gear, I set a course for the offending scene. Once there, our fears were confirmed. Someone, someones, really, considering the sheer volume of litter, had been inconsiderate enough to leave all of their empty beverage containers, including the cooler, at the lake. I disembarked and hauled the trash back to our base of operations, where I was further dismayed to find additional refuse stuffed into the dead tree that once grew there. Here is a picture of the sum total of all the trash that I hauled out of Long Lake on Saturday with the help of the mayor:

Long Lake trash

Long Lake trash

There were bottles, bottle caps, lots of cans, plastic bags, cups, cigarette butts, chapstick, paper towels, foil, and the cooler. It’s a fucking disgrace. Who the hell is responsible for this? Tourists? Local teens? Perhaps the same ones that saw fit to trash the Farris Creek area? Parents, you had better start paying attention. I feel this to be beyond the possible scope of adult behavior, but who knows? Whomever is responsible has no place here. I am appalled, disgusted, and embarrassed for them and their ilk.

There is a serious problem at one of our beloved local treasures. I do not expect to go to Long Lake and be harassed by ownerless, relentlessly barking dogs and piles of trash left by thoughtless morons. If that’s your dog, you had better put it on a leash, since you have obviously failed miserably during the training portion of its life. I won’t hesitate to shut it up for you should the opportunity present itself, but I believe the dog to know better. And if you or someone you know are responsible for littering and leaving piles of trash at Long Lake, or ANYWHERE inappropriate, you would be wise to cease and desist or say something to the offending party. Being a shitty dog owner or a selfish, inconsiderate, litterbug douchebag is no way to go through life, especially not here.

A Tourist Primer

Posted in CB News - The Gadfly columns on September 11, 2014 by hucknuckler

A CB Tourist Primer

Dear tourists: Hi. Welcome, or welcome back. It’s July, and you’re all here. Seeing that this is not your usual, familiar habitat, I felt it prudent to offer you something of a primer, or refresher, to ease your transition into our high altitude way of life, thereby ensuring mutual peaceful coexistence and lasting friendships with good time bro-brah vibes for all. I know it can be hard to acclimate and adjust to new environs, and I feel for you. I want to help. So follow along closely.

1. We don’t care what kind of car you drive. We don’t care how many condos you own, or which television stations, or how much money you have spent on ridiculous material possessions. We care much more what trails you have ridden, or hiked, and how much you enjoyed them. We care if you were blown away by the wildflowers on Lupine, or that you hiked the peak, or that you finally pulled that little step-up move on Lower, or Upper, or Upper Upper, or Middle Upper Lower for the first time. We want to hear about how much fun you had seeing that one band, or riding the lift with your bike, or how many fish you caught yesterday. These are the things that have true meaning to us here. Things that stoke your soul. Your Mercedes SUV, not so much. Bragging about that superficial crap just reveals your insecurities and makes us doubt the consistency of your moral fiber.

2. Don’t drive like a douche. Don’t speed. The speed limit in the town of Crested Butte is 15 mph. There are countless children and adults wandering around on bikes and on foot, and they’re not looking for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to be ripping down the street as they emerge from the blind side of that parked car. Respect and yield to cyclists and pedestrians. Better yet, park your damn car and BECOME a cyclist or a pedestrian. This town is very friendly to and convenient for both. We all ride bikes, or walk when we can’t remember where the hell we left them. And don’t drive drunk. There’s just no reason to in a town with so many free busses and a cheap taxi. Leave the car at home. Get in the mix. Then you won’t ever have to fear my brutal heckling of your decidedly sub-par parallel parking display.

3. Instead of bitching that there isn’t enough room for your $5,000 carbon fiber mountain bike(s) on the bike rack of the bus, try pedaling that rig up the rec path. It’s really scenic, there are informative plaques and benches that will give you an excuse to stop and rest, there are no cars, and it’s a good little physical activity that will make your next beer taste all that much better.

4. ATVs are pointless, and have no place in modern society, unless you’re a farmer/rancher, or are operating a ski resort. You do not look cool on, or in, an ATV. Buy a Jeep, or learn how to ride a dirt bike.

5. DO NOT EAT THE WEED FOOD. I’m serious. Take it from someone who has enjoyed marijuana in its various forms for many, many years. You do NOT want to mess with those edibles. I’m going to ask my friends on the EMS team to keep a running tally of how many tourists call 911 on themselves this summer after ingesting a retail weed snack. Keep in mind that I am in no way trying to dissuade you from enjoying our newly legalized trade here in the great state of Colorado. Buy some top quality buds and a pipe or some papers, and toke up. Hell, we’ll lend you OUR pipes, so long as you’re not sporting any lip herp. You can even come check out my Buddha vaporizer. It’s the shit. But truth be told, most of us locals don’t even dabble in commercial edibles. We can’t handle them. And if we can’t handle them, YOU can’t handle them. Stick with the smoke. Don’t be that 911 guy.

6. ENJOY! You are in a very special place. You probably already knew that. That’s why you’re here. RELAX. If the lines are too long for you, try coming back in just about any other month of the year. We love to take good care of our guests, but you sure do like to all show up at the same time. Breathe. Nourish your soul on the trail, in the trees, in the river, amongst the flowers. Then come tell us about it on a deck, over dinner, with your morning coffee, or on the lift. We love to hear when you truly find yourselves here, when you really start to get it. Because when you get it, you get us, and we can all just get along famously.


Posted in 2014 with tags , on May 10, 2014 by hucknuckler

I went to a burlesque performance in the city the other night. It was admittedly amateur burlesque, as I have seen more professional burlesque performances, but I’m beginning to learn what “burlesque”, at least in its amateur connotation, really means. It means stripping. For fat people. One plumper after another got up on stage and peeled away layers that would have been much better left on. There was no choreography. There was no discernible skill. There was just one Jenny Craig candidate after another getting up on stage and getting down to pasties. Some had small tits. Some had big, floppy tits. But none of them had any tits that I particularly wanted, or needed, to see, because there was so much other stuff going on I couldn’t even focus on the tits, and by “stuff”, I mean flesh. Listen to me when I say that if you’re showing me your tits, and I don’t particularly care, there’s a fucking problem.

Watching the show with me was my girlfriend, a performer herself, and certainly a more tolerant and patient human than I. When I expressed my displeasure at the eye candy, or, more accurately, eye liver and onions, being displayed, she told me, “Burlesque is about the acceptance of ALL body types.”

“Great”, I replied, “I’m ready to see some of the OTHER types now.”

But wait, there’s more. It wasn’t just chicks. There were fat DUDES, too. Apparently this is called “boylesque”. Dudes with spare tires and guts and bad hipster beards going down to their tighty whities, or pinkies, or whatever the fuck was covering their junk. It was not sexy. It made me want to start a new sub-genre called “brolesque”, which would involve frat-boy types doing much the same sort of thing, dancing poorly and stripping badly, but brolesque would be funny. Boylesque was not. Boylesque was just awkward and weird and uncomfortable.

Another thing the “performers” of both sexes shared, in addition to their aversion to exercise, was their apparent propensity for wandering into tattoo shops while under the influence of alcohol or other poor-decision-inducing drugs. I don’t know if this particular craze is unique to the Denver area, or has swept through more of our country in perpetual decline, but nearly every single person, man or woman, who got up on stage, and many in the audience, and on both sides of the bar, had seen fit to adorn their bodies with untold numbers of random, unrelated tattoos of decidedly questionable quality. And I’m not against tattoos. While I sport no ink of my own, I can certainly appreciate and admire quality skin art. But like everything else in life, just because you CAN do something, it doesn’t mean that you SHOULD do it. For the money these people spent on the 30-some random little tats scattered around their person, they could have gotten a quality sleeve, or at least a decent tramp stamp. But once again, common sense seems to have escaped them.

We took it all in, figuratively (not like the performers took in their pre-show extra value meals, which would be literally), from a bar table. Seated with us were a nice couple visiting from Canada. I felt bad for them. I felt embarrassed for the side of our country we were showing them, not that there are a whole lot of sides left to be particularly proud of. I wondered what they were going to tell their hockey playing friends once they got back to the Great White North. “Mon dieu! You should have seen it – it’s not just the gun culture and the consumerism and the lack of health care – they have fat people stripping, and badly at that! Save yer loonies and twonies and just go to Muntreal, eh!” And just in case you think I’m exaggerating, our Canuck table-mates not only left without saying goodbye, they left TWO FULL PINT SIZED DRINKS at the table before running out onto Broadway to gouge out their eyeballs. Those poor kids. All they wanted was a little American entertainment, and now they’re scarred for life.

There are the two full drinks that the Canucks left behind before they high-tailed it outta there.

These are the two full drinks that the Canucks left behind before they high-tailed it outta there.

So if you’re thinking of performing, be it in the genre of burlesque or otherwise, here’s a tip. I’m no stranger to the stage. Guess what I do before I play a gig. I PRACTICE. I know people are going to be looking at me in a critical light. I try to ensure that I’m not going to make an ass of myself. I might even lift a weight or two, because even if you’re playing music, people are still LOOKING at you. I like to be both aurally AND visually appealing. But for Christ’s sake, if you’re a solely VISUAL performer, think about bypassing the next McDonald’s you see and walking the extra block to the gym. Especially if you’re a fucking STRIPPER. Even if you call yourself a burlesquer, or boylesquer, or whatever – face it, you’re stripping. Would it kill you to break a sweat for your art? The performance should build to a climax, not deteriorate into depression and self-loathing. Show a little pride. Buy a bike. It’s a great way to get around the city, you’ll save tons of money on gas and cabs, and the fitness benefits are a wonderful bonus. You can thank me later by showing me your new, hotter body, because I like my burlesque on the sexy side, not the super size.