Brian is the creator of Vegan Dogfood. He founded this site out of contempt for excessive consumerism as well as a futile effort to reclaim culture from the 1990's blood-soaked talons. Brian is too cool for Facebook but too ugly for Instagram, so follow him on Twitter @Brjyan
We are in a post-The Young Pope world now, people.
This is the second article in a series dedicated to exposing the hollowness and inadequacies found throughout—the pontifically named—Peak TV as well as suggesting some better streaming options available to stave off that gnawing ennui of yours. Check out my first list of alternatives to overrated shows like Orange is the New Black, here.
People in general are getting a bit better at detecting bullshit TV. Everyone is slowly coming to the realization that just because it airs on HBO or Netflix, doesn’t mean that a series is automatically good. But with content-mill after content-mill depending on your clicks to sustain their existence, the pressure is on to crank out as many glowing internet reviews and ripped-straight-off-of-Reddit fan theories as possible in a desperate attempt to quash any dissent from analytic viewers.
So until it is legal to physically strike anyone who utters the phrase “Golden Age of Television”, I will continue to list all the reasons why pretty much every flag-bearer of the Prestige TV genre should be dismissed from your queue. Take my advice and you will be free from having to figure out yet another shitty app just to watch oh, I don’t know, Game of Thrones but in space this time?
Listen, there might be some spoilers. I’ll try to limit them to only the shows that I‘ll be talking shit about though. Shows such as…
And hey, just because we don’t have a budget, a staff, or any sort of journalistic scruples to note doesn’t mean that Vegan Dogfood should be held any less accountable if one of our stories lays a turd. It’s like our new not-in-the-least-bit-sanctimonious slogan that I just thought up says: “Democracy Dies in Darkness”
So with that, here are the six stories we updated for the summer of 2017, with links to their original articles.
Naming those RARE occurrences when someone else’s desire to make money actually turned out sweet.
The perfectly idealized person should have no use for any possessions that are not vital to one’s existence. I could probably find some douchebag Nietzsche quote to back that up if you wanted me to but I think we’re beyond that as a society, yeah? Still, even the staunchest proponents of minimalism find themselves with at least a few extra accouterments taking up space in their geodesic dome/tiny house/place where they’ve been exploiting squatting rights laws for the past six years. I have named those rare occurrences, when the superficial actually turns out (begrudgingly) awesome, White Hat Capitalism.
Remember when someone took twelve years to make a movie and it was just okay? I mean, it still won all of the awards it was supposed to—the film industry is too mathematical for it not to—but I have to disagree with the folks over at Roger “we gave Gigli three stars” Ebert dot com’s assessment of Boyhood as “indescribably moving.” And not just because calling a thing indescribable is, itself, technically a type of description.*
Can you imagine the decade-long boner that this director had to have for himself, though? Just going to bed every night, knowing that in ten years he would be blindly issued a rubber stamp of approval by the fucking Methuselahs who vote on this shit. That all he needed to do was show up with a camera every so often and pay Coldplay some royalties. Think about the 4,383 days he spent believing he’s creating this haterproof time capsule, and that anyone who doesn’t want to look like an uncultured knave would have to nod along because it’s indescribably fucking moving!
A commie bastard’s guide to navigating workplace treachery.
Greetings, comrade! Pull up a seat and stay for a while, won’t you? I know it can be taxing promulgating the ideals of Marx and Weber to the bootlicking masses—wage slaves, eerily content under the crushing weight of a capitalist leviathan, easily placated by mantras of picking themselves up by the bootstraps (boy, we communists sure enjoy a strangely boot-centric lexicon, don’t we?) Well, fear not! Vegan Dogfood is a safe space for all proles to commiserate.
We, like you, would like nothing more than to overthrow a system that perpetually invents ever-changing constructs meant to devalue your ideas and commodify your labor. Also, like you, we’ll still be clocking in for our awful day jobs tomorrow and paying off our cars. But hey, just because nobody’s occupying this or that anymore doesn’t mean we have to take it all lying down! Throughout this article you will find a list of malicious workplace situations and their corresponding defenses for that next time you find yourself on the business end of your place of business.
We are living in the Golden Age of TV. That is, if you’re some cornball who actually talks like that. Yes, while every hour long tragicomedy that graces the small screen isn’t necessarily the life-changing mega event that people might have you believe, television as a whole is just a lot better than it was last decade. You guys do remember when TV used to just suck, right? It got so bad that we started to grade shows on a curve—hence, Lost.
We seem to have the opposite problem now though. Because each new show that comes out has a writer attached who used to work on Breaking Bad, we just assume it’s going to be worth watching for a whole eighty hours of our lives. It’s kind of like how an artist would get recognized by the Louvre for one painting and then, whatever he’d throw together next, museums would just exhibit that shit anyway, even if it was a literal toilet.
The trend of binge-watching doesn’t seem to be helping much either. Think about it. Instead of having a week in between each installment to ruminate on whether or not that thing you just watched had any actual value, you are presented with the instant gratification of the next episode with no time to assess the show’s merits. Well, not until Netflix reminds you of your crippling ennui, of course. And so, much like Netflix, when it comes to these five shows I have to ask: Are you STILL watching??
Author’s note: to fully represent all of the malicious inner workings of these shopping-oriented house parties, I interviewed several women who’ve attended them as guests. Their anonymous testimonials are referenced throughout this article.
Connie breathes down your neck as you scan the pages of her kid’s holiday gift catalog. In your periphery, two other coworkers scurry off to eat lunch in their cars. A cold sweat envelops you now as you wonder… have popcorn tins always been this expensive? Even the tea light candle thing is like fifteen bucks—damn!
We’ve all been in this situation in one way or another. You’re either the one being detained in the break room, forced to buy gross toffy or you’re one of the Connies of the world, enslaved by an overwhelming pressure to out-parent everyone else in the booster club. Both people in this situation are dealing with impossible, irreconcilable guilt:
Connie could not take the catalog to work, leaving it up to callous chance (and her neighborhood’s generosity) as to whether or not her kids can raise enough money for band camp.
You could not buy the working class mother of four’s $20 friendship bracelet assortment and just keep on being a douchebag your whole life.
One thing though is clear — someone is exiting this transaction as the sucker. What a shitty, exploitative business model, right? What other shopping experience has so many interwoven expectations and potentially hurt feelings?
What if I told you there is an even more insidious sales tactic that makes school fundraisers seem as innocent as a lemonade stand?
Labor Day is over but if you’re like us then you‘re probably desperate to squeeze as much summer out of the next few weeks as possible, before September ends and all of Twitter makes the same bad Green Day joke. That means BBQs, camping, and of course backyard games! Cornhole, though relatively uncool, has occupied the top spot of outdoor activities ever since lawn darts were made (probably rightfully) illegal. A close second would be bocce ball, but is somehow even less cool and infinitely more expensive. I recently heard of a game called kubb, which is a Viking Age leisure activity (cool) played with wooden blocks and various lengths of rope. However, much like disc golf (thoroughly non-cool) the vast majority of kubb players are balding men named ‘Mike’ and therefore can also never be considered cool.
Is there any quicker way to tell if your neighborhood Mexican restaurant is bullshit than if the food there is described as zesty? How about chalkboard wall menus detailing various brunch specials? Or perhaps the mere presence of brunch specials at all? For what purpose are there rotating taps of craft beer? Surely we all know at this point that Modelo is the only acceptable non-margarita beverage for Mexican cuisine. Look around you. Is that an all-white wait staff? I guess she’s kind of tan—nope, nope. This place is boojie as fuck. Taco Tuesday used to mean something, dammit!
Scientists have recently found a correlation in the brain patterns of teenagers and republicans. As it turns out, conservatives tend to have larger amygdala, the parts of the brain responsible for the majority of our survival instincts like fear and disgust, but also community and emotion. While people on the left generally have a more defined anterior cingulate cortex, the brain region most closely associated with coping, delayed gratification, and the ability to look at multiple solutions. This also happens to be the region of our brain that matures the slowest—not fully formed until age 25 or so—mainly due to the inherent dangers our species faced before this failed social contract of ours.
So in order for early humans to stay alive long enough to have children of their own, their brains needed to be hyper aware of anything that could potentially kill them; anything that could sap their resources; and all of the things that could take away their stuff. It’s not until we reach adulthood that the grey matter in our brains expands and the constant fight-or-flight triggers presumably subside.