NOTES: Before I begin this article, just a couple of quick updates. I am continuing my series on the decline of education and the primary reasons for its destruction over the next couple of months. As mentioned, if something occurs in our culture that acquires my attention, then I intend on posting a blog about that current event. A satirical website that I personally admire has come under attack from the tech and media community and they will not be satisfied until the website is removed from cyberspace. So this blog will be about that subject.
Second, I deleted my Parler Account this week. Since the website was destroyed by the evil tech cabal of Apple, Google, and Amazon, the community is a shell of its former self. I was getting most of the activity on my blog from the Parler community. Now, there is hardly anything of interest occurring on the platform. It is a tragedy but the mission to impact its popularity was accomplished.
Finally, I have an account with the Messaging App Telegram. On this application which is Free and Open Source (FOSS), you can join various groups that provide news and other commentary from intellectuals and public figures. I follow multiple groups that discuss various topics that are interesting to me. My Username is @MisterBlasty. Send me an invite and I will befriend you. All this information can be found on my website.
ARTICLE: There is no comedy I enjoy more than satire. For satire to be ‘evergreen’ (Meaning it remains relevant for decades), it has to be extremely intelligent and prescient. Back in the 1990s, most comedy shows would satirize culture or specified subject matter best exemplified by shows like THE BEN STILLER SHOW, THE SIMPSONS, BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD, and MR. SHOW WITH BOB AND DAVID. You had talk shows handled like satires that were pure junk candy like THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW. You also had satires of talk shows with THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW. But after 9/11, the late night satirical political talk show began taking off. Best represented by the sixteen-year run of Jon Stewart from 1999 to 2015 on THE DAILY SHOW, the satirical political comedy empire was established. With spin offs ranging from THE COLBERT REPORT (which ended when Stephen Colbert took over for the retiring David Letterman in 2014), and two failed one season shows hosted by Larry Wilmore and Jordan Klepper, the empire created by this incredibly influential show has expanded to multiple streaming services and networks where Jon Stewart alums like Samantha Bee (FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE on TBS), John Oliver (LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER on HBO), and Trevor Noah, the replacement for Jon Stewart (THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH) continue to thrive. Mix into the pot the more libertarian leftist Bill Maher who started in the 1990s with POLITICALLY INCORRECT and found a home on HBO with REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER as well as the once powerful satirical news site THE ONION and the amount of satirical television shows and news sites has exploded into our public consciousness over the last two decades. Why did these types of satirical news sites take off? Well, two things happened. The conservative party known as the Republicans, in decline since the Nixon years, somehow got the intellectually deficient George W. Bush Jr. into office between 2001-2009. Right wing news, which became a dominant form of information on the radio, as well as the highly ranked conservative leaning FOX NEWS, were primarily in the nation’s consciousness during Bush's presidency. With the incompetence of the president mixed into the propagandistic aspects of these outlets, it was only a matter of time before all this propaganda and news was satirized. Bring in Jon Stewart and his cabal of correspondents and writers who took advantage of an aspect of the market that was missing: liberal political satire.
As these liberal satirical outlets have thrived, an interesting thing started to happen. After Bush left office and was replaced by the ‘sainted’ Barack Obama, the left-wing politicians started becoming ridiculous in their own way. I watched Jon Stewart for about a dozen years, but his comedic satire started to wear on me around the years 2013 when it was apparent that the current president was not being satirized for some of the idiotic decisions that he made. The focus continued to be on some of the ridiculous conservatives whose arguments actually started to make some sense. I enjoyed John Oliver as a replacement for about three to four years. But he started stating “facts” on his show to criticize conservative ideals when the actual ‘factual’ basis of his claims were disputable. Up to this point, most conservative satirical news sites were cringeworthy and terrible. But a few started to appear that pushed back on the complete control that the liberals had over political satire. The Duffel Blog is the best satire site on the internet related to military issues that has a conservative leaning. The Hodge Twins, a pair of black comedians, have millions of followers on YouTube with their hilarious observations of left-wing culture. But the best of these websites is THE BABYLON BEE. Now that the Democrats have elected their own dementia ridden idiot to the White House, conservative satire is starting to expand bringing about the ire of many leftists who find it impossible that anyone from the ‘right’ could ever be funny. Yet, these people continue to watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC (The Bill O’Reilly of the Left), THE YOUNG TURKS and read THE HUFFINGTON POST and SALON without breaking into fits of laughter.
Here are some of the best headlines from THE BABYLON BEE satirizing trans-gender men performing as women in the Olympics.
Satirizing the stupidity of the CDC.
Or making fun of our ridiculous education system.
The satire is having an impact as the liberal media, which has unfortunately always been more akin to censorship than their right wing brethren, (With the exception of Bill Maher who lost his ABC show POLITICALLY INCORRECT due to right wing outrage along with a few lower tier outlets) is calling for the site to be eliminated. Hilariously, many liberals are having a difficult time understanding that the site is satire. Not understanding the joke, SNOPES tried to de-platform the site due to “false” information. The New York Times filed a defamation lawsuit against THE BABYLON BEE that was eventually dropped. But now, there is a much more serious attack. Facebook, which is run by an android that does not understand humor, is looking to define satire in a way that will exclude THE BABYLON BEE from profiting on its platform for its content due to a new definition that the website “Punches Down” meaning that it is not officially satirical. Besides the obvious joke that everyone is “punching down” when dealing with the most sociopathic morons in the universe, politicians, this new definition may actually be taken seriously and enforced. Within days, the useless writers at SLATE decided to make this exact case. The email provider, MailChimp, initiated the first step by suspending THE BABYLON BEE’s mailing list which was quickly reversed when outrage grew over the decision. But these initial actions could lead to a snowball effect which could destroy the BABYLON BEE. Whether you find THE BABYLON BEE funny or not, the precedent that our ‘cancel’ culture is setting involving taking down right-wing sites while using the now famous “Fake News” or “Disinformation” argument should be appalling to you. First of all, satire is always controversial because the best satirists know how to irritate the existing institutions of power. Second, if the liberals are able to get away with destroying THE BABYLON BEE, what happens when the power vacuum switches back to the right? These attempts at cancellation could lead to an even more radical movement than what Trump is promoting which could be even more authoritarian and oppressive than the freedom destroying activities of the last two liberal presidents, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden.
I support THE BABYLON BEE (As well as four other independent journalists which will be discussed at a later date). For 50 dollars a year, you can enjoy their content ad-free while supporting an independent publication. The independent media is thriving as a much needed ‘check’ on the propagandists in the mainstream media and this is a topic to evaluate in the near future with another blog evaluating what has happened over the past 16 months at another point in the near future. If you like the content, I recommend joining and keeping this hilarious site alive. Until next week!
Nothing over the past few years has been more ironic than this news story that was published last week about a North Korean defector who complained about the propaganda in our elite college educational system. After going through tremendous personal suffering to escape the North Korean Communist dictatorship, she had some strong words to the press about the educational system in the United States.
"I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think," Park said in an interview with Fox News. "I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different, but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying."
From later in the story,
“During orientation, she was scolded by a university staff member for admitting she enjoyed classic literature such as Jane Austen. "I said ‘I love those books.’ I thought it was a good thing," recalled Park. "Then she said, 'Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.’ “It only got worse from there as Yeonmi realized that every one of her classes at the Ivy League school was infected with what she saw as anti-American propaganda, reminiscent to the sort she had grown up with.”
The propaganda is so good that Kim Jong Un recently applied to Harvard to learn these techniques.
So what was the primary cause for the intellectual decline of our education system? Why are many of our advanced educational institutions, the government, and large corporations embracing a theory that divides the population of our country into groups designated by race and advances the philosophy that the United States is historically racist? The question is a complicated one that leads to difficult questions. The only comparison I can give is my own personal experience in college that took place two decades apart. As mentioned in my previous post, I attended California State University, Fullerton for my BA between the years of 1995-1998 and Arizona State for my MAS degree during 2019-2021. The stark differences between these two separate educational experiences were vast.
When I started California State University, Fullerton, the Television and Film Degree covered vast subjects. To achieve my degree, I had to take classes in Critical Thinking, Communication and Entertainment Law, Ethics, Television and Film Production including participating actively in student productions and internships, as well as cultural classes revolving around the Language of Film and Creative Writing. It was a cornucopia of diverse ideas that was intended to open your mind to different types of thoughts as well as understanding basic rules and principals on how the industry functioned. One of my required classes was called Visual Communication. What made this class interesting was the professor (I apologize but his name has slipped my brain). He promoted the importance of understanding language with an emphasis on government and corporate propaganda. He also focused on some of the language used by con artists like Jerry Lewis during his annual Labor Day MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) Telethon using Jerry’s own language to show his exploitation of disabled individuals with the primary goal of achieving donations from individuals and socially pandering corporations for the medical industry. Other classes during my junior college years in history or philosophy also dived into open-minded critical analysis of United States culture. The basic philosophy was to understand diverse viewpoints from many different cultures and organizations within the United States and to create the important historical mindset of understanding your culture and country’s flaws and go about improving on them. It was positivism for the future wrapped around a cynical but knowledgeable take on the flaws inside our society.
The 1990s was littered with many of the ideals of the 1960s/1970s individualist hippie culture that embraced the social identity and civil rights movements. But even though many of the criticisms of the United States government, culture and corporate behavior were discussed, the knowledge was provided as a tool to understand and learn from our historical mistakes. As the 1990s went on, Generation X successfully took over the culture from its predecessor with its focus on personal tolerance, individual responsibility for your actions, and a distrust of governmental and corporate institutions (See the band Pearl Jam’s war on TICKETMASTER and the riots in Seattle against NAFTA and Globalism). Generation X was also cynical as hell and distrusted much of the previous beliefs practiced by their parents and grandparents. As the 1970s hippie and social movements started to fade away due to Conservative backlash and evolve in the 1990s towards a new ideal, many of the elite, liberal institutional professors came up with a new idea for the future. This is represented through this quote from the book Critical Race Theory: An Introduction:
“Critical race theory sprang up in the mid-1970s, as a number of lawyers, activists, and legal scholars across the country realized, more or less simultaneously, that the heady advances of the civil rights era of the 1960s had stalled and, in many respects, were being rolled back. Realizing that new theories and strategies were needed to combat the subtler forms of racism that were gaining ground, early writers such as Derrick Bell, Alan Freeman, and Richard Delgado (coauthor of this primer) put their minds to the task. They were soon joined by others, and the group held its first conference at a convent outside Madison, Wisconsin, in the summer of 1989.”
At Columbia, one of the godmothers of the movement, professor Kimberle Williams Crenshaw created The Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies to continue the research on these ideas.
“The Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies was established to examine how social structures and related identity categories such as gender, race, and class interact on multiple levels to create social inequality. The first such center of its kind, the Center’s research projects and initiatives will bring together scholars and practitioners from law, sociology, feminist and gender studies, human rights, social justice, and other fields to explore the relationship of intersectionality to their work, to shape more effective remedies, and to promote greater collaboration between and across social movements.”
As the theory has gained significance in our culture, it has become intolerant of divergent opinions. This is what has led to the demonization of anyone who is ‘perceived’ to say anything negative about LGTBQ issues. It evolved into censoring Alex Jones in 2018 to the out-of-control monster that has swallowed our culture and is ‘cancelling’ people from online society for minor infractions that occurred during someone’s youth. Now, the proponents of this educational theory complain about the United States historically racist roots while ignoring the dangerous, freedom destroying practices of the government and corporations who have used this movement to accumulate wealth, power and threaten individual rights.
The problem is being noticed by economists, conservative politicians, and the brave voices of the medical community that dealt with more censorship over the COVID-19 pandemic than any group of people and are beginning to speak against our government’s actions. Financial expert Charles Nenner had this to say about the United States political system from this article and related to his prediction of the eventual decline of our economy,
“Everybody does whatever they want because nobody trusts the government…I think the left is more dangerous than the right…I see things deteriorating very fast because nobody knows what’s right or wrong anymore in the United States…I think the world will take the United States on because they have no clue what they are doing anymore. This looks the same as before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor because how stupid can you get. In the end, the United States will get its act together, but first, they have to be hurt very seriously.”
Those first three sentences are absolutely important to understand what is occurring. And the education system is absolutely responsible for not understanding the true problems impacting the United States and misguiding the next generation of students into focusing on minor social justice problems while the world crumbles down.
Next week, I will begin my first evaluation of one of my Master’s Classes: Los Angeles Film and Culture. Some of the content from this class is a nice beginning to understand the nonsense that has taken over our society.
Part 1: Why I am Beginning a Long Series of Blogs on our Cultural and Educational Problems?
This blog will begin a long running series of research posts and articles related to our culture. Since the content is going to be expansive and much of this information may be used in a potential future book (After my U.S. Route 95 book is completed and published), this series could run deep into 2022 depending on the information that is found. These research posts will not be on a consistent basis and topics on this blog may still change depending on my interests during a particular period of time or changes that continue to impact our rapidly changing world. With these ‘conditions’ explained, let me give you an update on the research involved with this series.
I am currently in the process of reading two books that make important and sometimes critical comments about our culture. Wonderfully researched, the books are Gad Saad’s The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense and Douglas Murray’s The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity. Non-fiction books that discuss current aspects of a culture usually are never evergreen, but both of these novelists write books that will be appreciated by generations in the future. Murray’s book feels like a 21st Century update to Charles Mackay’s legendary novel Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds written in the U.K. back in the mid-19th Century. The Saad book discusses how personal ideology and the human mind, which is constantly looking for meaning in a complex world, can become fixated on ideas that can have a long-term negative impact on any society if adopted by a large amount of people. Because human beings are complex and we think differently, these sort of utopian ideals usually descend the human race into authoritarian and freedom destroying dystopias. The mind when fixated on an ideology can worship this ‘mind worm’ like a religion and once your brain becomes fixated on it, no amount of common sense or rationality that may question the legitimacy of this ideology will ever be able to convince the practitioner that their belief is incorrect. In fact, the person will often double down and become more radical and ideological when confronted with contradictory facts. I have not begun Murray’s book yet. But when both these books are completed, they will be added into this blog series with reviews likely posted on the ideas discussed.
The much broader aspect of this research involves the ten classes I took to complete my Master’s Degree at Arizona State University between August of 2019 and May of 2021. Since becoming a professor is a personal goal that I wanted to achieve during the golden years of my life (My late 40s to 50s), I needed to get a Master’s Degree to qualify as a high school or junior college teacher so I can work up to being a university professor (Which usually requires a Doctorate). Since my career was in Television and Film Production, there were only a few paths I could take unless I wanted to start the entire college process over again at the Bachelor’s level. An MBA would be good for my personal career, but it required getting another Bachelor’s degree prior to admission to the program. Biology has always been a topic of interest but despite the amazing innovations occurring in biotech, this also required starting again from scratch. I could have gotten a Master’s of Science in Technical Communication. Since I am already working as a Technical Writer, this seemed redundant and pointless. Plus the fact that I live in the Temecula Valley which is not close to any university and getting rejected by University of California, Riverside for graduate studies made getting an online education necessary. Due to the large number of online choices, I chose Arizona State University, the college that got my wife her Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. There were three post-graduate categories I qualified for: Social and Behavioral Sciences (Because my California State Fullerton Bachelor’s Degree is in Communications with an emphasis in T.V./Film Production), Arts, and Communication and the Media. All Art degrees required being on campus in Tempe, AZ. So this route disqualified itself. Social and Behavioral Sciences was intriguing because anthropology and sociology are topics that have interested me since high school. Many of the Social and Behavioral Sciences graduate degrees revolved around “social justice” degrees, something that has never interested me (But will be discussed in much greater detail later), The options in this program were Sociology, Social Technology, Political Psychology, Organizational Leadership, and Geographic Education. The latter option, Geographic Education which is a large part of my current Engineering Design job, decided to no longer accept applicants. So this was disqualified. The middle three options all required degrees that I did not possess even though my personal interest in these subjects was increasing. Because of the need to again achieve a Bachelor’s Degree before entering these programs, these options were out. This left Sociology. On the Communications and Media side (My personal expertise), there were only three options: Communications, Film and New Media Studies, and Digital Audience Strategy. The latter option, Digital Audience Strategy, revolved around SEO and analytics which is something that has never interested me. I am currently learning SEO in the promotion of this blog and felt like a Master’s Degree was redundant. Leaving the final three options, I picked Film and New Media Studies for two reasons. First, the need to understand the media climate and the rapid evolution of the politics in this country is something that every high schooler and college student needs to learn how to navigate. To me, this is an area of education that is likely to explode over the next decade. Second, the degree was a Research degree meaning that I can use the tools provided to write my own books and publish professor approved research. So the choice was made to pursue my MAS in Film and New Media Studies.
In achieving this degree, I read hundreds of research articles related to the subject matter. There will be much more information on these articles as we dive deeper into this series. But to give you a list, these were the ten classes I took to achieve my degree.
Los Angeles: Film and Culture
Hollywood Film Historiography
Cultural History of U.S. Television: Theory and Method
Media Stardom and Celebrity
Digital Media Studies
Crime & Violence in American Film
Media, Technology & Society
While the focus on film took up half my classes (And was only interesting from a mostly historical and in the case of authorship, philosophical perspective, revolving around an industry that is in terminal decline), the other five classes taught many important facts about our cultural and societal evolution of the past 20 years. But besides the 85 to 90% of the interesting ideas promoted in these classes, much of my focus will be on the remaining 10 to 15% which relied heavily on topics of “social justice.” Arizona State University is located inside a very conservative and freedom loving state. So the education I received with this degree caught me off guard based on my previous education at Cal State Fullerton due to the one-sided perspective that the students and professors seemed to promote that revolved around their own personal beliefs. I was used to intellectual debate in my classes. While it still did exist in many of my classes, many of the debates were very one-sided towards a preferred argument that the professor was looking to promote. They were promoting the intellectual perspective for critical race theory. I am going to discuss in this series how engrained this form of teaching is and how in the quest to achieve “equality” or “equity”, what these professors are actually doing is dividing our country into tribes and creating more racism. I can not emphasize how dangerous this form of education is towards the future prospects of this nation.
I will also add in an article or two on a few other topics. Mega-corporations are embracing the concepts of critical race theory. I will dive into their “historic” stance against racism. I also want to look at two industries in decline, Hollywood, and the Professional Sports Leagues, which have both dived deep into this new era of social justice. I will begin my writing next week on the topic of Los Angeles. I hope you enjoy this series. Have yourselves a good week!
MY ADORATION OF DANNY ELFMAN
This was not a topic I planned on writing about. But two things got me thinking about Danny Elfman, the famous rock singer/composer/cynicologist, who appeared on the Marc Maron Podcast WTF last week. First of all, I have a personality that tries to look at everything objectively. I can become a ‘fan’ of any form of art (Like Wes Anderson Movies or “Pixies” Songs) but can also break free of my attachment to these artists when their work does not hold up to the standards that my mind has set for them. Since art really is objective, this can come across as terribly biased and unfair especially when I still enjoy 90 to 95% of the work that they create. Hearing Danny Elfman discuss his long career and a new solo album (Sans OINGO BOINGO) triggered that nostalgia drug inside my brain. So much of my blossoming teenage years was spent listening to all eight of his OINGO BOINGO albums as well as a good portion of his early film soundtracks (During this time, his soundtracks were mostly inside Tim Burton movies). There are only a handful of people I have ever idolized in my life. Stanley Kubrick is one, Steve Garvey is another, and the final one is probably Danny Elfman (With the members of the BEASTIE BOYS coming in as a wild card). My memories of OINGO BOINGO shows came flooding back. But what was interesting were the two memories that my mind decided to fixate on. The individuals
mentioned have had their names changed due to respect for their personal privacy. But both these individuals mentioned were absolutely real and these events did happen.
I saw OINGO BOINGO five times towards the end of the band’s run in the 1990s. OINGO BOINGO was formed as a comedy, surrealist musical troupe called the MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO who made a name for themselves by winning an episode of THE GONG SHOW and playing in front of theaters around Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. Their heyday was the early 1980s in my So Cal hometown, but the band broke into my consciousness because of the 1985 film “WEIRD SCIENCE” where they performed the title song to the movie. This film also taught me that putting a beautiful photo of a woman into a computer can reproduce a real copy of Kelly LeBrock. Despite the dozens of times I decided to do this, Kelly never appeared in my house. Another example of Hollywood films lying to me.
Anyway, I followed the band through my Catholic School years into high school. I first saw OINGO BOINGO during their annual Halloween show in 1991, 1992 or 1993 (Don’t remember which year it was), their rebranding as BOINGO in 1994 and the tour for their new album as well as another Halloween show in 1994, followed by their Farewell tour at Universal Amphitheater as OINGO BOINGO during Halloween in 1995. But the performance as BOINGO at the famous Hollywood Palladium during the Summer of 1994 is one of the most memorable. I went on a date with a girl named Gia from my Catholic School that I adored. During our date at the romantic Burger King (Her choice), I could not even eat a cheeseburger due to the incredible self-inflicted anxiety I initiated on myself which led to severe stomach cramps. Always had this problem on dates throughout my life. I never understood why since I have nothing but the highest respect for women. The BOINGO show went off very well. The Palladium did not have seats so a good portion of the show (Which was over 2 hours long) was trying to move around or find a corner to rest in during the concert. During the encore, I was pushed into a crowd surf. While in the air, some asshole pulled one of my shoes off and threw it into the air never to be seen again. After surfing towards the front and getting let down gently by a security guard, my quest to find my shoe began. But like so often is the case with concerts like this, finding my shoe was impossible even though I scoured the Palladium for fifteen minutes after the concert ended. My date got a kick out of this. To make it even more ridiculous, I was now put into a position of completing our date missing one of my shoes. We walked Hollywood Blvd. where people were giving me high fives for losing my shoe at a concert. We ate dessert and eventually, I drove her home. Not one establishment kicked me out for lack of proper “feet coverings” after I explained my circumstances to them. The result of this date is a lifelong memory of a fun but ridiculous circumstance that led to a sympathetic hug from my date and one of the most disgusting socks that has ever been found on a human body which was quickly thrust into the trash can at my parent’s house.
The second memory is more diabolical. Right before I graduated with my Television and Film Bachelor’s degree from California State Fullerton in 1998, I had a film writing class that was mandatory for graduation. During this class, the professor paired you up with a fellow student so you could review each other’s writing. My fellow student, (Let’s call her Abuela), was never in the class. She would show up for tests, quizzes or random lectures but often would be missing from class 60 to 70% of the time. My professor did not seem to have a problem with that. One day, she wanted to meet so I called her at the number she provided me. I called the number and got an answering machine message. But the message absolutely put me into a state of shock. I was listening to what I believe was Danny Elfman’s answering machine. Or, Danny Elfman recorded a message for my classmate Abuela on her machine. I decided to have a close friend of mine, Aretha, call the number and she heard the same message. Intrigued, we started to gossip about it. Was she a gigantic fan? Does she know him? Does she have some sort of affiliation with him which is the reason for her missing so many of the classes? After she called me back 32 hours later, I decided to ask her about Danny Elfman admitting my admiration for his film composition work and OINGO BOINGO. This was a huge fucking mistake! After this, she would no longer meet me in person and got incredibly defensive lecturing me to not talk about this subject (Danny Elfman) any longer. The last time I saw her, we exchanged scripts at her apartment in Fullerton and I noticed that there was a middle-aged man sitting in the middle of her couch. Not thinking anything of it, I said thank you and went on my way. Fast forward to a year later and Danny Elfman’s MUSIC FOR A DARKENED THEATER PART 2 comes out. After opening up the disc, what do I see in the fucking notes? Danny Elfman thanking his “assistant” Abuela, the exact same girl I worked on my script project with. God fucking damn it! My brain starts to activate. What would have happened if I had kept my big trap shut? Would she have asked me to work on the script at Elfman’s house where I could observe and play with his bizarre doll collection? Who knows what could have happened!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. I don’t know why these memories came flooding back today with such clarity. As a final aside, Danny Elfman is releasing his second solo rock album called BIG MESS on June 11th, his first solo rock project since SO-LO back in 1984. I have heard six songs so far and have a mixed reaction so far. More on this album later in the month. Until next week!
Top Ten Craft Breweries
Before I begin my journey down the rabbit hole of our dark and depressing education system, I want to do another list. Yes, lists are completely and totally subjective. Am I doing this to gain readers? I don’t know. But after having some amazing beer during Memorial Day Weekend, I want to publish a list of my ten favorite craft breweries.
This list is going to have a west coast, California bias. Living in one of the headquarters of craft beer for the entire country (Southern California specifically San Diego County), my list is going to be a little top heavy with these breweries since this was my introduction into this world. I also know that there are going to be many breweries that may be your personal favorite that will be forgotten. Russian River is often ranked as the best but despite the quality of their beer, they did not make it into this list. I also added a few bonus listings of my favorite breweries visited in each state I have visited where I have gone to at least five craft breweries. Leave any that you recommend in the comment box below this article. Let us begin with Number 10 followed up by my favorite breweries in nearby states.
#10 HUSS BREWERY – TEMPE, AZ: Usually drop by here every time I am visiting my family in the Phoenix, AZ metro area. The Papago family of beers, the Orange Blossom Vanilla Mandarin Wheat and the Coconut Joe Coconut Coffee Stout, are amazing.
#9 BALLAST POINT – SAN DIEGO, CA: This one is likely to slide out of the top 10 by the end of 2021 if things do not change. At one time, this was my favorite brewery with an amazing rotating selection and a menu with not one single beer that had any significant flaw. After the major brewer Constellation Brands, Inc. purchased Ballast Point, the beer could be found everywhere but the era of innovation slowed to a crawl. Now that a small microbrewer has purchased Ballast Point (Kings & Convicts) from Constellation Brands, my hope that Ballast Point will stand out again among the ‘greats’ has been renewed.
#8 FLYING DOG – FREDERICK, MD: My only visit to Frederick, Maryland came before this brewery existed and was memorable for the bed bugs in our hotel and a bad customer service experience at Cracker Barrel. But this brewery has made up for it with their occasional special releases which are all fantastic. Now if I could only find them more often in Southern California!
#7 IRONFIRE – TEMECULA, CA: My hometown brewery. These beers have intense flavor and high alcoholic content. A few hours at Ironfire usually ends with me in a happy drunken stupor. This brewery has some of the most powerful tasting stouts I have ever had. A place that absolutely specializes in dark beer.
#6 FOUNDERS – GRAND RAPIDS, MI: These beers are commonplace at my local TOTAL WINE. Founders is always creating new flavors and interesting new ideas with their beers and no matter what bizarre idea they try; the beers always turn out magnificent. Truly one of our country’s best breweries!
#5 ALESMITH – SAN DIEGO, CA: What can I really say about Alesmith? The only reason they are this low is because two of their signature beers, .394 Pale Ale and the Sublime Lager (Named after Tony Gwynn’s batting average in 1994 and the So Cal ska band Sublime) are actually two of my least favorite beers on their menu. Everything else is top notch including their Speedway Stout which has been mixed with dozens of different types of coffee and it works every single time.
#4 CLOWN SHOES – IPSWICH, MA: Another company that is instantly bought whenever I find their beer locally. Known for their amazing beer names (The Exorcism of Rachel Well, The Ballad of Minnie Quay and Advent Party Crasher), Clown Shoes has unique labels and beers that have complex flavors. Don’t let the ridiculous name fool you. This is an amazing brewery.
#3 BOTTLE LOGIC – ANAHEIM, CA: Only discovered this brewery recently. Its reputation has skyrocketed in its few years of existence. Their Fundamental Observation is usually listed as one of the top beers in the state. Would be the best brewery in Orange County if it was not for our #1 selection.
#2 PORT/LOST ABBEY – SAN MARCOS, CA: Continues to be my favorite brewery in the San Diego County area. Everything that comes out of this brewery tastes like liquid gold. They have also created some of the most unique tasting beers I have ever had in my lifetime. If you come to San Diego County, this is a must stop if you are interested in craft beer.
#1 THE BRUERY – FULLERTON, CA: Right down the street from Bottle Logic is the best brewery in the country ironically called The Bruery. Going into this location is only part of the experience. They have hundreds of beers to their name with some specialties climbing into the 20% range. Everything has a wonderful taste and even when the beer is not one of your favorites, the effort put into it can still be admired. All their beer is always better than you think it is going to be. Until proven otherwise, this is the best brewery in the United States.
SOME OF MY FAVORITES FROM NEARBY STATES
NEVADA: TENAYA CREEK BREWING – LAS VEGAS, NV: This can be found in the Las Vegas casinos. For a brewery located in the middle of the desert, the beers are tasty, pure and memorable.
COLORADO: LEFT HAND BREWING – LONGMONT, CO: This brewery has a milk stout that can be found in almost every BEV MO, TOTAL WINE, and liquor store in the nation. In terms of cost, this brewery gives you more bang for your buck than any brewery in the country. How their beers taste so good at such a cheap price is a testament to this brewery.
ARIZONA HONORABLE MENTION: DARK SKY – FLAGSTAFF, AZ: Even though Huss beat this brewery out, this brewery is my favorite in northern Arizona by a longshot. Located in the Old West downtown of Flagstaff, they have wonderful selection and make good use of the fresh snow that lands on the city five months a year.
IDAHO: BEAR ISLAND – BOISE, ID: Idaho is becoming one of the best states for breweries. I would put it into my top 3 in my rankings right now (Behind Colorado and California). This brewery is the one that needs to be visited. That clean mountain rain and river water gives these beers a wonderful, purifying clean taste.
OREGON: GIGANTIC – PORTLAND, OR: If this state ever becomes a place to visit again (Riots and BLM are making it difficult), come to this brewery. Beer culture is one of the reasons to visit downtown Portland. Of the dozen or so breweries in the city, this one stands out easily above the rest.
Please leave your own suggestions in the comments. If you want to follow my on the beer social network Untappd, please send a friend invite to CroatianCritter. Cheers and enjoy the summer!
EXPERT OF SOME