The official fast food tier list

Image via debatewise.org

As long as American’s have had a public health crisis, one thing’s been for sure: We do love our fast food. From Burger King to Dairy Queen (I’m too clever, I know), there’s plenty to chose from, and how would any reasonable person be able to pick the best option?

Well, since you’re desperate enough to click an internet article called “The official fast food tier list,” I’ll be kind enough to show you my official ranking system for every fast food place that matters, and I’ll also advise you to please consider immediate therapy.

The rules for the rankings below are simple: the higher tier on the list, the better, the furthest to the left on a tier, is the best place, and the furthest to the right is the worst. Now that you spent actual time in your life, that you could’ve used doing something productive, by making an attempt to sincerely understand how this works, I present to you, the official tier list (now if this isn’t the most exciting moment in your life, you’re an actual liar):

Now you may be looking at this image with shock, or be frighted in some way. But don’t worry, it’s just the truth you’re looking at. It’s glory is truly one to behold. Now, this is based off of taste, restaurant quality, and objective facts. I’m essentially coming down from fast food heaven giving the world its ten commandments on which paper bags filled with grease and meat, that we like to call food, is worth delightfully shortening your lifespan with the most.

First of all, Olive Garden is in fast food purgatory at the very bottom of the F tier, as even though it’s more of a restaurant than a fast food chain, it’s food is pretty much equal in quality to fast food, and it’s the worst at that even.

It’s sharing the room with Starbucks because, well… nobody really likes Starbucks, we just kinda…go there. I mean there’s frappachinos, aka milkshakes, that are placebo’d to make your mind trick you into thinking it tastes like coffee, but even then, you could just get the same quality at a coffee shop where you have to sacrifice the chance of possibly seeing a B-list celebrity in order to get slightly above decent food.

Also, KFC is there because the quality really speaks for itself over there. (It’s not like I wouldn’t eat at any of these places if given the chance, I mean hey if it’s deep fried, how bad could paper towels really taste?)

D tier really is nothing particularly interesting, as they are just equally abysmal restaurants, but their food isn’t as inedible. And as you know from reading this article, I definitely appreciate quality exquisite fine dining™ as I’ve been quoted by saying my favorite food is Pringles.

The pinnacle of capitalism known as the Double Down Dog via foodbeast.com

Coming in at C tier we have food that’s just starting to be palatable, and taking baby steps into my fast food hall of fame. Now, as a person who’s lived in the “Whole Foods” of countries, known as Canada, I’ve been to a place known as Tim Horton’s, and man it’s really…. average, I guess. It’s pretty much Dunkin’ Doughnuts, but with sandwiches, and less doughnuts. But it’s better in quality than all the other places I’ve named so far because, I said so, and most Americans who’ll read this probably don’t know this but, Justin Trudeau has an explosive microchip implanted in the brain of every Canadian citizen, and I can’t risk giving Tim Horton’s that bad of a score at this point.

Other than that, Subway is pretty much just a dream come true for 3rd graders who’ve always wondered what it would be like if they made the food from Lunchables mystery meat sandwich packs into a restaurant.

Also, Mac and Don’s, as your 46-year-old uncle calls it, is pretty much the same as Burger King food wise, except for the fact that you don’t have to hide your shame as much when eating at Burger King, so it’s slightly higher on the list.

Now, at number B (number B?) we have Wendy’s. Now, Wendy’s being the only corporation in human history to successfully appeal to teenagers using advertising, is pretty good. I mean, it’s a solid fast food place, that doesn’t make me have to use one of my sick days after eating it. But personally, I would put Jack in the Box above it, but I won’t because it kinda sorta um…gave near 750 people E. coli in the 90’s…sooo…it gets docked a point in my book.

But A&W is a better burger place than both (I’m pretty sure they aren’t in America, so just take my word for it), and Little Caeser’s is the best fast food pizza place by far. I am willing to fight you on this in a wild western style duel in which one of us shoots after walking ten paces in the opposing directions. I am 100% serious, this is completely not a joke, meet me during High Noon at Town Square you Pizza Hut lovin’ scoundrel.

Zupas logo, via cafezupas.com

Now we’re in the big leagues, the big zone, rookies keep out, this is professional football here. This article is getting too long for me to sound like a human being with sanity, so let’s keep the highlights brief. Jimmy Johns essentially succeeds everywhere that Subway fails. It’s like somebody tried Subway and was like “Hey, this would be pretty good if it were made out of actual ingredients instead of paper mache.”

And now for my most controversial opinion yet: Taco Bell is, and will always be, better than Chipotle. You heard it here first folks. Now, before you execute me like French Royalty in the 1700s, let me speak my piece: Taco Bell will always be there for you, Chipotle will not. At three in the morning, with only five bucks to spare, and your life is spiralling out of control, Taco Bell will embrace you with admittedly gross warm open arms. And unlike Chipotle, Taco Bell takes risks.

Chipotle is good for when you want actual cuisine which at least mildly resembles Mexican food. But Taco Bell is different. Taco Bell triumphs over all the rest and are like “Hey, what if instead of a taco shell, we use a waffle covered in maple syrup for a taco? Or what if we just use a breaded piece of Dorito crusted chicken for a taco shell, and call it a Chalupa?” They say this as every Mexican that ever died does an Olympic triathlon in their grave. Which is bold of Taco Bell, like you gotta just look at it from the angle of, not a Mexican place, but an American place which parodies Mexican food. And if you do, it gets a whole lot better.

Not like any of that matters, because Naf-Naf is like a pick your own ingredients thing, but it’s with really good Middle Eastern food, so it’s like infinitely better in every way.

Okay, so finally, this article is coming to a close, and you’ll be free from reading this excuse for journalism I call an article. But before that, we must discuss the top tiers. The alpha wolves of the pack, I’m talking – Five Guys, and Panda Express. First of all. Five guys is the Ace of the burger restaurants. It triumphs over every other one, in every argument, no matter what. It’s just too powerful…the Cajun style fries have a level of sodium that just can’t be beat. Five Guys is pretty much the fast food equivalent to the gates of heaven.

But heaven itself? Well young reader, that’s what we call the Holy Land: Panda Express (Pandrusalem). My young and naive reader, you’ve come so far, you’ve read this entire article for some reason, and finally, you’ve reached the truth; there is no other truth but Panda Express (yes this is a cult now just go with it). For those who’ve had the devastating misfortune of never attending one of the SACRED locations of the divine Panda, it is an American Chinese food restaurant which shall not be compared to a mere mortal such as Leean Chin. It had FOUNDED the very staple dish known as Orange Chicken. It has built its empire only upon the foundation of Honey Walnut Shrimp, and I PITY the mere fool who doubts the power of the Sweetfire Chicken, all delicately placed upon a bed of chow mien fit for an Emperor on thy throne. No other restaurants matter; it’s all Panda Express now. Panda Express is the Kendrick Lamar of restaurants; it is the GOAT of eatery. Need I say more?

And, I’d like to sincerely apologize for having anybody read this, as you can tell I have too much time on my hands to be healthy.

Tyler the Creator: A discography

Image via rollingstone.com

(I just want to preface this with the fact that Tyler the Creator’s music isn’t super “PG friendly,” so um… keep that in mind before giving him a listen).

Tyler Gregory Okonma, more professionally known as Tyler the Creator, is an American rapper, producer (like actually a producer, he makes all the instrumentals he sings over) from the musical conglomerate known as Odd Future, will have released his fifth studio album by the time this article is published, and his fans are undoubtedly pumped. But, for all you new fans out there (or even potentially new fans judging how good this album will be), where do you go from here? Whether you just finished listening to the album, or you’ve just overheard your peers talking about him, if you want to know more, you’ve come to the right place. So, here’s a little bit of a timeline of his musical career. (I’m not going to do anything about his personal life, because this article is more about the art, rather than the artist).

In 2009, Tyler released his his first debut project, known as Bastard, it was almost entirely produced on FL studio, and so it is not necessarily considered a real “studio” album; some simply consider it a mixtape. It went on to become critically acclaimed, ranking at 32 on Pitchforks top 50 albums of 2010. It was also very popular for it’s single “French.” The album followed Tyler going through somewhat of a therapy session with his therapist character known as Dr. T.C. (wonder what that stands for), sometimes intervening, and asking Tyler concept questions in order to start off a song. It contains noticeably intense lyrics with lots of devotion to shocking subjects. It also contained many samples from various songs from artists such as Dexter Wansel, Cortex, and Jay-Z.

While the album was very popular at the time, Tyler really did not jump into the mainstream until he signed a record deal with XL Recordings. He then announced his new album Goblin, then promptly released his first single from the album “Yonkers,” on radio, (which came along with a music video where he iconically pretended to eat a cockroach).

Album art to Goblin Tyler’s first studio album via pitchfork.com

When Goblin released, it was noticeably similar to Bastard in a few ways (while also being wildly different, if that makes any sense). First off, it again starts off with a therapy session with Dr. T.C., but this time, instead of Tyler starting off by talking about his depression, or other negative aspects of his life, he talks about how he had gotten famous, and how his newfound fame is now affecting him.

But on the final track “Golden” (fittingly after a song called “Au79”), it’s revealed that Dr. T.C. is simply Tyler’s conscience, along with everyone he had been conversing, and interacting with, throughout the entirety of the past albums. The album goes on to have graphic imagery, and intense language just like last time, but with a slightly more desolate, or moody overall feel to them. And similar to Bastard, his lyrics contain an excessive amount of violence, and well… not PG themes, having songs like “She” which details him being a stalker, to lyrics where he details stabbing Bruno Mars… for some… reason…

The production value is much increased this time around, and again, it was somewhat mixed in reception, as there was a larger audience Tyler now had to deal with, people comparing his dark demeanor to what Emenim had done years before. But nevertheless, his loyal fans loved it, and still continue to enjoy his album to this day. But things started to radically change when he released his second studio album; Wolf.

One of the many album arts for WOLF via
sidewalkhustle.com

Wolf was an intense change in tune for Tyler the Creator, as his music had much less intense synths. He also displayed a vast shift in lyrical themes, with making music with a more relaxed aesthetic along with shifting away from the horror core genre he previously established for himself in his previous two albums. The album also accompanied the single “Domo23.”

This album also uses a very similar, and unique synth throughout every song on the album, which makes for a very positive consistency throughout the album (it’s not used as much on “Trashwang,” but my point still stands). Though there is a lot more calmed down nature to the album, he does in fact still have a little bit of his trap influenced hard lyricism, and background drum kits.

It had received very positive reviews, and generally positive reviews from critics. Craig Jenkins from Pitchfork said, “With Wolf, Tyler, the Creator displays a radical growth as a producer, composer and arranger, even if, as a rapper, he’s still up to some of the same antics. Still, the album contains a few of the best songs he’s ever written.” (Personally, this album is the best album he’s released so far in my opinion – given this was written before Igor comes out, and from the writing of this article Igor has only gotton brief teasers, so I can’t really form an opinion on it yet).

One of the album arts from Tyler’s album Cherry Bomb via genius.com

Tyler then went on to release his third studio album of his, known as Cherry Bomb. It featured a very unique sound, which elevated itself throughout all of the songs of the album, in a kind of similar way to Wolf. But the certain sound was this very intense grainy bass, as opposed to this rhythmic dreamlike synth (okay I’ll stop praising Wolf for a sec). This grainy bass was very consistent throughout all of the tracks, which made this album very unique in nature, and very different from everything Tyler had produced up until this point, as he somewhat refrained from using raw noise like this (which I do commemorate him for on that, and for taking such a risk).

The album did indeed get mostly positive reviews, by critics, but it wasn’t enjoyed as much by the fans as his other works, as it’s never really listed as one of the more popular albums of his, unlike Goblin or Wolf. Tyler even said in an interview that he didn’t really like how poor the reception was of the album by fans, and how he wanted to try something different for his next album (I mean, I liked “Buffalo,” and the song with ScHoolboy Q, but to each his own I guess).

But again on the note of critics enjoying it, Angel Diaz of Complex said in a review that Cherry Bomb is Tyler greatest creation to date. However, the album is bit of a mess in the beginning, and while Tyler’s grown immensely as a producer, his rapping isn’t consistently up to par.” (I actually think that the album gets weaker as it goes on, and the beginning songs are some of the best parts, but alright then).

But things really started to pick up in 2017, with his newest album (of writing this article) Flower Boy.

Album art from Tyler’s Album Flower Boy via genius.com

Flower Boy is (as before IGOR drops) Tyler’s newest (released in 2017), and seemingly most mainstream album. It is VASTLY different from any of his other works and I don’t just mean it uses a unique sound kit, I mean it’s almost as if he’s a different artist entirely. The lyrics feature an infinitely less violent tone, and more of an introspective or “deep” thoughts to them.

And the production, don’t even get me started on the production, because you don’t need to… I’m doing it anyways. The production is unlike anything we’ve seen from Tyler. It is very detailed in instrumental design, as songs could be heavily described as grandiose, and orchestral, accompanied by his revolutionized hip hop drum beat, which is while traditional to his work, brings an entirely new feeling to his songs.

His lyrics also have been intensely diverged from the traditional, going from messing around to a point where his friend Taco just starts eating chips in the middle of “Tina” on Bastard, to having the line “How many riots can it be until them black lives matter” on “Foreword.” That is just one of many examples on this album.

Another thing with Flower Boy, and I believe that some change is kind of good, I mean this isn’t really my favorite album of his (in fact I think it might be the weakest of his in Tyler’s discography), but I enjoy him doing new things. There were a couple songs that I did in fact like, and while I do appreciate the production, and effort put into the songs, I just couldnt really enjoy some of them, such as “Pothole”, which featured Jalen Smith, whose presence, and musical style is well… unexpected to say the least.

But nonetheless, the reception was EXTREMELY well, as for one example, Av Club has said that  Flower Boy is the first time he’s been equally as forthcoming in his actual music. His flow has tightened up, and for a man whose voice basically destined him for rap stardom, he’s become even better at stretching his booming baritone into novel shapes, employing a plethora of flows.”

One of the album arts to Tyler’s upcoming album IGOR, via complex.com

So yeah, that’s basically it. Since then, he’s released a couple singles, but nothing really of note (I mean he did the soundtrack for that new Grinch movie, but I don’t really think that’s worth my time, or yours for that matter). But on May 17th, he will have released his newest album IGOR, and from what I’ve seen from the kind of odd, but not very futuristic (pun fully intended) teasers, he’s uploaded to his youtube channel, its gonna be pretty good.

So yeah, if you wanna get into Tyler the Creator, I suggest starting with Wolf, but that’s just my preference, and try not to get put off by his extremely “arty” music videos. They’re um… kinda weird. So if you don’t mind me, I’ll be listening to his entire discography while vapidly refreshing my twitter feed to see if the album has dropped yet. Bye.

The hidden genius of ‘The Eric Andre Show’

Image via screenrant.com

The Eric Andre Show is a satirical comedy following a talk show host known as Eric Andre. It is a high energy parody of most, if not all, late night television shows such as Jimmy Kimmel, James Corbin, Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Trevor Noah, you get the idea.

On the surface, most episodes consist of Eric “““Interviewing””” any celebrity he can find, and by interviewing, I mean the Eric Andre interpretation of what an interview is. Basically his main purpose seems to be as to make the guest as comedically uncomfortable as possible. Many guests such as Jack Black, to Jimmy Fallon to even Wiz Khalifa, suffer the consequences of going on a show where a bad Hulk impersonator would try and start a fight with the guest, as the host sits back and pretends to burn his mouth on a hot pocket.

But you may be thinking to yourself, “What sets this apart from other shows were they mess with, and prank celebrities?” I think I have the answer as to what makes this show so special, and what caused this show to go on for four individual seasons, and still get raving reviews from critics and fans alike.

Screen cap of a “cold opening monologue” segment in the show with Eric’s co host Hannibal Buress via tvguide.com

I believe that one of the things that makes The Eric Andre Show unique, is how Eric purely dissects the comedic process. Many times throughout the show, you’ll notice that Eric makes a mockery of typical tropes that are supposed to be sincerely funny in other shows. A good example of this, is his satirical bit he does at the beginning of every episode, in which Eric gives an opening typical comedic monologue to the likes of the everyday late night talk show host, except for the twist of it getting derailed. He intentionally screws up punchlines, and tells all around poor taste jokes so that his co-host Hannibal Buress can just call him out, or he has an an outrageous visual gag (such as an attempted assassination, or a Scientologist take over) derail his efforts to preform stand up comedy. I think because of how we are conditioned to just see all jokes be well… jokes, that have a traditional setup, then punchline, I think that immense diversion from the normal comic setup is what makes Eric Andre unique.

So, along with this, it seems as Eric possesses a complete, and utter disregard for how comedy is handled in the mainstream industry, as instead of doing a sketch, or a comedic bit for the sake of his audience, he pulls ridiculous stunts and gags, just for what seems like his own enjoyment.

Sometimes, Eric will just bring his insanity out into the streets of New York City, where he does quite literally anything to get a reaction out of people, which surprisingly shows his range as a comedian, as they will ABSOLUTELY NOT stop filming until he does all he can to disorient the people around him.

A really good example of this is from season four, episode five, in which Eric just starts off by going to a car repair shop, and asking the owners how much it would cost to fit a busted up part of his vehicle. While they are explaining this to him, he just starts destroying the car with a crowbar, asking how much it would cost to repair now, with each additional strike he takes to it. And he just keeps going until he gathers a big enough crowd to further the joke, by instead of attempting a payoff to the end of it, he just flips the entire thing, and furthers it into even more insanity, and he strangely acts like he had no idea that this was even happening, and pretends to desperately call for help as “some rough teenagers” destroyed his car.

But even after that he decides to further it EVEN MORE, by asking people why they aren’t helping him with the whole situation, inferring that they’re weirdly prejudiced against him as he says “Hey, I’m a car too ya know!” and just starts drinking gasoline directly from the tank in awe of the enormous crowd he had already gathered. (You can view the clip here).

Now, it may not be for everyone, but you have to appropriate his immense effort, and complete disregard for his surroundings, and for the social embarrassment he gains in his intense commitment to the joke here.

Image via common sense media

One last note here before I send off and finish this article, to rewatch clips of this show ad infinitum on Youtube, as I drift off to sleep tonight; it’s just that this show has a very different energy from what you’d just think at first glance. At first glance, it seems like Eric has essentially gone insane, and had gotten a camera crew to film his raving lunacy. But there’s something weirdly controlled about this insanity. As I’ve mentioned, Eric has this co-host, who is comedian Hannibal Buress, who is somewhat of the really-not-really voice of reason throughout the show. As in, while retaining the same spontaneous humor as Eric, Hannibal has a more “chill” or “subtle” energy to him, as sort of a counter contrast to Eric Andre’s constant energetic actions.

He is the polar opposite, yet ties the entire show together. This is shown in its purest form by one scene, and one scene alone, which was during the time when Eric was giving one of his “interviews” to an unsuspecting guest, Lauren Conrad, and at a specifically, lets just say “tense” moment, when Eric was pretty much making the poor woman feel like she’s going insane, she looks to her side to find any sanity in the one other guy in the room, just to see Hannibal, standing there, completely unphased by the entire situation, and world around him, just chomping at an entire head of lettuce while standing up. Lauren looks to Hannibal, and all he says in his most dazed fashion is “Man you gotta eat the lettuce… it’s like straight up… it’s lettuce.”

And moments like that, to me at least, make the entire show. You might not think it’s funny, you might think it’s too vulgar, or shocking, and you might even consider it the lowest of the low brow, but you’ve gotta admit, it has something special to it that no other show can emulate. And I think that’s what more media these days need.

The world’s first picture of a black hole, and why it matters

Photo via theguardian.com

So, unless you’ve been living a prehistoric, or nomadic life, traversing from cave to cave on a journey for wild boar meat, you probably already know about how a group of astronomers, from something called The Event Horizon Telescope Project, have taken the first ever real, and (somewhat) clear picture of a black hole, from millions light years away, in the galaxy you’ve only heard the name of once known as Messier 87. You see the blurry orange circle, you compare it to its infinitely more interesting looking, not real cgi renditions, and think to yourself, why?

Why does it matter that we just took a picture of an orange circle from far away? Well, my ignorant, yet now thoroughly offended hypothetical reader, there’re lot’s of earth shattering scientific breakthroughs which are the result of this discovery.

Katie Bouman, the main woman behind the image, watching in disbelief at the reveal of the image, via CNN

Well, not only was this photo taken from 50 million light years away
which means, the light we’re seeing in this photo, is from millions, and millions of years ago. And to photograph something so impossibly far away, the team would need a telescope almost the size of planet earth itself, but the Even Horizon team, all came together and connected 8 different telescopes from around the planet, to combine their data to get an accurate image using a technique called interferometry. Which is such obviously a massive breakthrough as it shows that not only is our technology at THIS level, but it will just keep better as the years progress. And who knows what this could possibly lead to, for future generations.

But not only that, but the researchers say that, this whole thing, helps further prove the theory of Relativity, which was first talked about in 1915, by this quite obscure scientist, I dunno if you heard of him, his name was ALBERT FREAKING EINSTEIN, so basically, this means, he predicted that black holes well, exist, and that they have things called event horizons. And there were also tons of equations he came up with, which predict the exact size, and shape, of the black hole, based on its mass, and that’s pretty much what the image revealed. You can read more on this at space.com ( Yeah “space.com” I mean what else would you name it?)

So, if all this isn’t already enough evidence of the extraordinary feat of this black hole, from an entirely different galaxy, millions of light years away, being well, see-able. Then I dunno what to tell you. It might not be super interesting to see a blurry orange circle. But this “blurry orange circle” has extremely extraordinary implications, which will effect the way we view the outward universe for pretty much the rest of time.

And for this, we can thank Katie Bouman, along with many others in the Event Horizon team, but Katie Bouman was a very integral part, as sometime back in 2017, she led the work to create a specific algerithum which was used to generate the picture of the black hole. Before then, Bowman was then a graduate student, earning a PhD in computer science, and artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (a.k.a. MIT). And now, according to the guardian, while Katie is as-of-now, a post-doctoral at MIT, and is due to obtain a position as an assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology, she instead prefers to continue her work with the Event Horizon team, as it is her passion, and there is still much to discover, and much to learn, about this wide world we live in.

What’s going on in West Papua?

Image via theguardian.com

If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’ve probably seen an article or two about what’s going on in West Papua, Indonesia, but most articles don’t give you the full idea, and not many people know the intense situation which is going on. Anyway, let me give you some background here from indonesiamatters.com if you don’t already know.

So, in the 1800s, there was this island called “New Guinea.” The British took the East half, and the Dutch took the Western half, and then it became a part of the Dutch East Indies. Then, in the ’30s, the former colonies of the Dutch East Indies all became independent except for Western New Guinea. But, in 1952, the Dutch prepared the people, for independence, for this remaining colony, and by the ’60s, the parliament of that part of New Guinea (now called West Papua) was formed, and the country created a national anthem, flag, and national seal.

 

Flag of West Papua via freewestpapua.org

Everything seemed to be going well until in 1962 when the Indonesian government started invading West Papua, and tried to push out the Dutch who were staying in the country, taking care of it before its total independence. The Dutch forces successfully stopped the invasion, but then Indonesia went to the Soviet Union for support, and because of Cold War anxiety, the US government tried to help out the Dutch in West Papua.

In August, later that year, an agreement was reached, in New York, between the Netherlands and Indonesia, where the UN gains custody of West Papua until they hold a vote. But, when the vote actually happened in 1969, it was said to be heavily rigged by the Indonesian government, thus making West Papua a province of Indonesia (two provinces actually).

Via worldpoliticsreview.com

Now, according to a paper put out by the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the people, culture, language, and just overall heritage of West Papua is vastly different from the rest of Indonesia, as they are a Melanesian people, more similar to the many different groups within the bordering country of Papua New Guinea, which is VASTLY different culturally and linguistically from the South East Asian culture of Indonesia. The government is said to be trying to force Indonesian culture on the people of West Papua.

This, to some, would be a reason to secede already, but why should we care? The main reason is the deep seeded oppression which is going on within the West Papua region, as  it is one of the longest running modern day illegal annexations/occupations.

There are intense reports of brutal torture as described by a study in 2015: torture seems to be the unofficial form of governance. It is said that the Indonesian regime is not reluctant to use killing, surveillance, and arbitrary arrest to control the illegally occupied West Papua.

An example of this is when graphic footage was leaked to YouTube in October 2010. There are two separate occurring events which were captured in this footage. The beginning shows eight highlanders forcibly stripped naked in front of two Indonesian army soldiers. And while interrogating these terrified Papuans, and calling them “monyet,” “anjing,” or “bajingan” (monkey, dog, bastard), the soldiers kicked their heads with their edged boots, and hit their heads using their helmets.

The soldiers demanded that they would confess to being members of the OPM, which is an independence movement with the overall goal of freeing West Papua from Indonesian control. The latter half of the footage displays two people, with one having a knife to their throat, and another being burnt on his bare skin by Indonesian army men, as so the men would confess the location of OPM weaponry near their town. It was very public, and many people were forced to bear witness.

This is said to be a very frequent occurrence in West Papua, according to that study. Along with that, terrible Indonesian policies which cause environmental damage such deforestation, severely undermines the foundation for West Papuan society and culture.

Via freewestpapua.org

So, it would be evident to say that independence would be a fair option for these oppressed people of West Papua, and that’s what they are trying to achieve now more than ever. According to theguardian.com other Pacific Islander countries, such as Vanuatu, have shown support for the struggle against the oppression. And according to UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) almost 2 million residents of West Papua have signed a petition (which could have had more signatures if it wasn’t heavily kept away by the Indonesian government), practically begging the UN for equal, and fair independence, and self determination for the West Papuan peoples.

Sadly, according to theguardian.com, the UN denied the petition after all that, and said that it damaged the territorial integrity of Indonesia. I believe this is a violation of equal rights, freedom, and the democracy on which the very principals the UN were supposedly founded on. Though maybe, in the future, brave governments such as Vanuatu may eventually speak out loud enough, and take action. I believe that it is the UN’s duty, as a global peacekeeper, to find, and create justice for the West Papuan peoples, as they deeply deserve it.

Is a burrito a sandwich?

As you may have heard, there’ve been massive arguments about whether or not a hot dog counts as a kind of sandwich, but recently a ceasefire took place between the two passionate sides, as it was officially stated as one by The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, and with a name like that, you know they mean business.

But now, a hot dog being a sandwich opens up countless opportunities for other food items to be in the threshold of this honorable title. And one of the big contenders of this historic battle, is the humble burrito.

Let’s weigh in the burrito, because for something this important, you need to be in good shape. Anyways, coming in at an average of Chipotle weight, 1 pound and six ounces of pure meat and rice, all the way from the Guanajuato state in central Mexico, it’s covered in carbs but can it take on the Herculean task of being classified as a sandwich? Let’s find out.

So, going on the idea that a hot dog is already a sandwich, as it’s surrounded by bread, we must ask ourselves the daunting question which haunts me as I try and drift off to sleep every single gluten packed night of my life…is a tortilla a kind of bread? And man, oh I did some research, I sure did. I went back into the archives, I unearthed stone tablets of monumental historical knowledge, I needed to make my information reliable, and extraordinary as humanly possible, so I went on lyonbakery.com, aka an Olympian library of gluten-ious facts.

And according to those extraordinarily heroic saints from that website, it’s said that bread, in it’s simplest form, is officially decreed to be a paste of flour and water, cooked over or surrounded by heat. And I don’t know what kind of useless calculus they taught you at Harvard, but according to me, that sounds a heck of a lot like our champ the tortilla here. So, I know what you’re thinking, it’s a done deal right? If a tortilla is a kind of bread, then obviously a burrito is a kind of sandwich?

But you couldn’t be more wrong.

There is one devastating morsel of information we are all forgetting here, it’s that a sandwich has to have an opening; it needs a glorious crevasse rivaling the grand canyon itself in natural beauty, exposing the ingredients of the sandwich to the world almost as if God himself was giving humanity a brief glimpse into heaven above.

And the burrito has no opening, unlike a sandwich of any kind, including the hot dog. A burrito is closed, and it’s just a one and done deal. It’s more or less a shameful sack of delectable ingredients as opposed to a delicate, more pristine and serious sandwich meal.

And thus, the title of the sandwich is just too important to demean it to share the classification with the pathetic loss which is the burrito. I was optimistic at first, but as of now, it seems we may have won the battle, but we lost the war. I’m sorry burrito, we’ll get ’em next time.

Now, as tragic as this tale of woe may seem, there is indeed a silver lining at the end of the rainbow of this gluten packed tale of glory. As some would say; it’s not about the burrito, it’s about the friends you made along the way. That friend being the informative research of that a tortilla is a kind of bread.

Now, with this newfound knowledge, we can now fully state with a clear conscious that a gringas is a sandwich, and has officially, by my sacred decree, has been dubbed thee the noble title of a sandwich.

And if you don’t know what a gringas is, for I have done an expert deep dive into the triple M (Mexican Meal Mythos), and found an official taco encyclopedia of Mexican food in LA) a gringas is a soft flour tortilla filled with cheese, and al pastor, expertly crafted within the great nation of Mexico, along with a sandwich like opening in the side of it making it… a sandwich. Congratulations gringas, you’ve earned your spotlight and solidified your place in the sandwich hall of fame.

 

Should The National Animal change?

When you think America, one of the first images that pops into your head is a majestic bald eagle, as it is heavily advertised as the “all American bird,” and is seen on countless articles of patriotic merchandise. But, what if it changed? It would probably never happen, but here’s why it should.

Image taken from Smithsonian’s National Zoo

First off, how many countries already have an eagle as their national animal? Well, a lot more than you’d think. According to animalsake.com, here’s a list of every single other country that uses some kind of eagle as one of their national animals:

  • Zambia
  • Serbia
  • Russia (has a mythical two headed eagle, but still)
  • Poland
  • Nigeria
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Germany
  • Egypt
  • Austria
  • The Philippines
  • And most recently; South Sudan

I dunno, me personally, I think America could use something more unique, more unlike the rest, something that really encompasses what America is, and what it’s all about.

Well, Benjamin Franklin had a pretty good idea, according to history.com, Benjamin Franklin proposed that: as the turkey is a greater “bird of courage” and more “truly American” it should replace the current national animal. And frankly, I agree.

The bald eagle, also isn’t exactly native to America, as it can be seen soaring over many parts of Canada, and bits of Mexico, while the turkey almost exclusively resides within the U.S. of A.

Map of bald eagle distribution across North America, courtesy of Birdsnsa.com

And we don’t even celebrate the bald eagle! Now, if only there was a holiday where we celebrated the greatness of our national animal, or even had a tradition where the president pardons that said animal. Maybe we could call it “Thanksgiving!”

I mean, the pins are all already in a row here. It’s almost meant to be at this point. And I know what you might be thinking, what kind of country eats their national animal? Well, Australia eats kangaroo steaks, so it’s not that out of the ordinary.

So, anyway, that’s why I think we should ditch the eagle, and get with the turkey for our great national animal of the United States.

Toki Pona, the world’s easiest language

As you know, languages have existed pretty much forever. They‘ve obviously changed greatly over time, but one thing about language is consistent throughout the entire world – there are many. There is an estimate of over 6,500 different languages spoken all around the world, thus it’s difficult for everyone in the world to easily communicate. Many countries even have multiple official languages, spoken at a national level by equally large amounts of people. Like in the country of Ethiopia, the languages of Amharic, Tigrinya, Afar, Oromo, Somali, and many others are all spoken on a regular day-to-day basis. And that’s just one country out of over a hundred and ninety.

But what if there was a way we could all communicate using the same means of communication, what if there was a written, and spoken form of communication, that anyone could easily pick up and use? And what if that form of communication was personally tailored to be easily pronounced, and spoken by people of any linguistic background? You’re probably thinking of Esperanto, but no…this isn’t Esperanto, this is better, it’s called Toki Pona! Why is it better? Well, here’s why: According to OxfordDictionaries, Toki Pona was a language created back in 2001, but it wasn’t really used, or even heard of, by a wider population, until in 2014 when Sonja Lang released the book, Toki Pona: The Language of Good. After the book was released, Toki Pona was practiced and spoken on dedicated online chat rooms, and at occasional community meet-ups.

But what even is this language, and why should anybody really care? Well, they should care because Toki Pona is personally crafted to be the easiest, and most realistically potential universal language that could unite the world. And, it’s really easy to learn as the entire language only relies on its 125 root words (and 14 phonemes).

But how does that work? With only 125 words, how would you say…anything? Well, it’s because according to the official book of the language, it’s how you use them. If you were to see a table, you would call it “a table” but what if in your language, there’s an incredibly limited vocabulary, well, then (in Toki Pona’s case) you’d call it a “Four leg wood.” Or, what if you spoke Toki Pona, and ate a hamburger? Hamburger? Don’t you mean “Round meat food?”

Toki Pona is just like that, and it’s surprisingly efficient, as you can add on as many of the root words as you like in order to make the object, or thing you’re describing more efficient. An actual example of this language is the phrase “waso telo” which are the Toki Pona words for “water bird” which means seagull, there’s also “ilo toki” which means “talking tool” which usually refers to a phone. Toki Pona thus heavily relies on context.

Toki Pona also only uses 14 Latin letters which are, “a e i j k l m n o p s t u and w,” but the language also has an official script called Sitelen Pona:

which has a very original design, and somewhat resembles the Ancient Mayan alphabet.

But along with having a Latin alphabet alongside its traditional unique Sitelen Pona, members of the online Toki Pona community have adapted the to Arabic, and Korean script, making it even more easy, and accessible. But for me personally, I think the best way to learn it would be to learn the symbols, because once you learn what those one hundred and twenty five symbols mean, and just get over that hump, that’s it, you’ve learned the entire language, there really aren’t that many rules.

So, anyway, I hope you try and learn about this language, and possibly get a bit closer to us all kind of understanding each other, so goodbye, or in translated Toki Pona: Not hello!