Agent of Change

A Blog by Cory!! Strode, who really should write something interesting here.

Archive for the month “March, 2017”

Crackers

I saw a list on line of someone Top 10 crackers. I am stealing the idea and doing my own because I can. Letterman retired, so was can ALL do top 10 lists now.

  1. Triscuit – They have a bajillion flavors now, from rosemary and olive oil to Mountain Dew, but I don’t care. Plain old Triscuits are awesome. When I was in 6th grade, we bought them for sleepover movie nights thinking we were classy, now I buy them because they are the best way to eat cheese.
  2. Pretzel Thins – Pretzels you can stack shit on? Awesome.
  3. Saltines – When I was a kid, my dad would crumble about 40 or so of these in his soup in order to eat it. It wasn’t until my 40’s that I realized you didn’t have to do that. Still, if I am tired and hungry, there things are edible, take no thought, and taste just good enough that you eat them.
  4. Graham – You can lie to yourself and say they are healthier than cookies. I won’t call you out. They also were created as a health food, so they have always been a lie. Most of you buy them now only to make s’mores, which is a damn shame.
  5. Teddy Grahams – These saved my son’s life numerous times on long car trips because if he had a baggie of these, he’d be quiet while I listened to the radio or tried to figure out where the hell Cedar Rapid is on the damn map.
  6. Goldfish – These saved MY life on long car trips so that I didn’t lose my mind and start eating the dashboard out of hunger and boredom.
  7. Pita chips – These are sold to us as healthy (they’re BAKED! Wait, all crackers are baked…) and you eat them with hummus instead of some industrialized cheese product.
  8. Ritz crackers and their assorted generic knockoffs – When you want a rich golden brown color and more fat with your saltines.
  9. Animal crackers – These used to be in the top 3, but somehow in the last 20 years, they make them with extra “who gives a damn” so that they don’t taste as good as they used to. Or, I’m am not a child any more. Either way, I buy a box or so a year, and half way through, I realize why I never buy them.
  10. Bagel Chips – The loudest food in history. If I am eating these, it’s because I really don’t want to hear a damn thing you’re saying, but am too polite to wander away or to tell you to shut your pie hole.
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What I saw today and how I reacted

On my way into my office today, there was a woman breaking up with her boyfriend/significant other/ whatever over the phone. Loudly.  With emphasis.  And she kept repeating “I don’t care!”

That’s the gist of it, isn’t it? When it’s over, one of the people just doesn’t care.  It doesn’t matter how they got there or what happened, they have reached a point where they no longer care.  I have been snarky at times with my ending things with the phrase “I think we’re done here”, which Thom Lange says should be on my tombstone.  (Children?  Make a note of it.)

Oddly, I have never gotten to a point where I just don’t care. I have gotten to the point where things need to end, I have gotten to the point where, for my own mental well being I have to walk away, and I have gotten to the point where I realized that when you take the “L” out of Lover it’s Over.

But I do care.

When I ended my last close friendship, I said Goodbye. The person said, “No, good night” and I replied, “Goodbye.”  It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t that I didn’t care, it was just…I thought we were done there.

When it’s over, it’s best to just snap it off and walk away. No amount of arguing, yelling or anything else will bring it back because….someone just doesn’t care.  I felt bad for both people in that conversation, but I felt worse that it had to be done over the phone.  It’s probably also why I’ve had the idea of telling the people you love how much they mean to you infusing all of my thoughts today.

Much love to friends old and new, and no matter how upset I get, I do still care.

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My thoughts on the passing of comics giants last week

I don’t think a lot about my passing. I won’t know about it, it will be for others to deal with. But in reading the stories about artists, writers and others who have passed so far this year, there are a lot of “Oh, I loved their work.”

The ones that stick, however, are the ones where you read about how kind someone was. How he was friendly to everyone, about how she loved to show people how to do something, about they quietly gave to help others. Vonnegut said that you need to be careful what you pretend to be, because it’s who you become.

So, in 1999, I decided to pretend to be kind and to love unconditionally.

The people in my life have flaws, we all do, but I chose to think of them as their best selves. Not the disagreements we have had, not the times when they fell short, not the times when communication was messed up, because those things don’t matter to me.

Let me repeat that for those in the back of the room: THAT SHIT DON’T MATTER TO ME!

They may be too busy to talk to me for long periods of time, or they may forget things we had planned, or they may screw up, but other than the momentary annoyance, it doesn’t matter because I will always see them as their best selves. Guess that’s why I have forced myself to learn to forgive and love unconditionally. It doesn’t come naturally, and I struggle with the bar I have set for myself.

I’m gonna keep being kind. And I hope that is what people remember me for, but all I can do is keep doing it and hope that I live up to it.

Much love to those who have lost someone recently or long ago and that you remember them as being their best selves.

Because dammit, that is who they are.

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Late Night Wars 2017

I am going to write about something I am interested in that isn’t comics, fiction or emotional truth. Late Night Television.

Sorry, kids, they aren’t all going to be deep thoughts.

Back when the big Late Night Wars happened, Leno took over the Tonight Show and Letterman moved to CBS. For the first couple of years, they traded the #1 spot back and forth, and me, being a huge Letterman fan, was happy to see that Dave showed he could work at 10:30, which was an actual concern at the time.  However, the OJ Simpson trial started and Leno went all in on it.  He did tons of OJ jokes, had bits like “The Dancing Itos” and the like, while Letterman found the whole thing vile and refused to mock it.

Letterman was asked later about it and he said that he couldn’t make fun of a situation where two people were brutally murdered. He took the high road, and Leno pulled out ahead in the ratings, where he stayed until his disastrous 9 pm show.

With Leno and Letterman both being pushed out the door due to their age, the Late Night scene shook up. On ABC, you had huge Letterman fan Jimmy Kimmel, on NBC you had Jimmy Fallon who sees his version of The Tonight Show as a comedy hour and the interviews are a vestigial nuisance, and Steven Colbert struggled a bit moving to the late night talk show circuit.  He had great interviews, struggled with his comedy bits and really just seemed like he was doing someone else’s show.

Until January.

Much like Leno, he has found his breakout, and that is mocking Donald Trump. Last night, I don’t think he had a non-Trump joke in his monologue, opened with his “cartoon Trump” bit, did a Trump segment for his second comedy bit and then interviewed Anderson Cooper about covering Trump.  AND he is now beating Fallon in total viewers and is slowly catching up in the 18 – 49 demo.

Fallon’s interview with Trump, where he made it seem like it was all in good fun is REALLY biting him in the ass, as it is cementing him in many people’s minds as a shallow goofball, and his “Party game” aspect of his show is starting to wear thin with both viewers and (according to what I read) publicists, who want their clients to push product, not play beer pong.

It’s gonna be interesting to see how it all shakes out

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