The Burning Questions Mailbag, pt. 3

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Welcome back to the Burning Questions Mailbag. Everyone’s favorite recurring segment has returned with a vengeance, and this is the biggest one yet. The people didn’t disappoint and submitted more Burning Questions than ever before, and I’m more than happy to answer all some of them. Let’s dive right in.

Jerry S. asks: What’s the deal with math?

I’ll be honest, this was my question, not Jerry’s. This is what prompted me to revive the BQMB. What’s up with math? Why do all these complex equations and formulas exist? Every single one of them is an arbitrary human construct designed to solve a problem that humans created. It’s all fake. What real world application does calculus have? When’s the last time algebra helped anyone? What’s the point of any mathematical function outside of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division? Who decided what pi is and who decided it’s infinite? Sine and cosine are the fakest, most pointless things ever. Like who gives a shit what the area of an isosceles triangle is? Why do we still teach our children this crap? If you want to spend the rest of your life playing make believe with all the other mathematicians, you should have to declare yourself a math loser in like, fourth grade so everyone else doesn’t have to waste valuable education time on such a nonsensical and impractical discipline. Like the math problem from Good Will Hunting? Why does that even exist? Why are there unsolvable math problems if math itself is 100000000% man-made? Why did we create something we couldn’t solve? Just proves my point that advanced math is illegitimate and clearly something that should be kept in Neverland where it belongs.

pestooneverything asks: Why would Tory Lanez use a stage name when his real name is Daystar Peterson and what would your stage name be?

That’s a great question. As for the first part, you’d have to ask Tory Lanez himself. I tried contacting him, but he’s not returning my calls at the moment. It’s a long story. As for my stage name, I’m not quite sure. It’s have to be something catchy, and probably short. Maybe I’ll just be Brian. I don’t know, needs workshopping. One thing I know for certain, though, is that my nickname would be Mr. Mistoffelees. The nickname to the nickname is arguably more important, and I need to let people know what I’m all about. I think Mr. Mistoffelees gets the point across.

WhiteKong asks: What’s the worst city in America?

There are a lot, and I mean a LOT, of contenders for this. There’s my hometown of Rutland, Vermont. There’s good ol’ St. Louis. There’s my new home of New York City. There’s probably ten thousand terrible cities across this great country. But, in my mind, the big three of terrible American cities are Reno, Nevada, Detroit, Michigan, and Tampa, Florida. Detroit is obvious and kind of sad, but Reno and Tampa are living monuments to the most reviled sect of the American population: white trash. Nevada opened itself up to cities like Reno getting so bad by making the entire state a lawless commune. If you have the opportunity to trick people into thinking you’re just like Vegas, you’re gonna do it. It’s just when you don’t have any of the allure and panache you’re left with a hellhole of epic proportions. And Tampa is like if every stereotype you have of white people in Florida was a city.

ConfusedReader asks: Can someone focus on their career and have a family without compromising on either end?

Welcome to the Dear Abby portion of the program. Friend, I don’t know if you’ve ever read this website before, but I’m about as close to having a family or fulfilling career as I am to curing cancer, and I can assure you I’m not particularly close to curing cancer.

Out of goodwill, though, I must answer. I’d say yes, because people have been wondering this since the dawn of time and nothing about the way we structure professional lives has ever changed, so I’m guessing people figure it out? If you’re super dedicated to your work, a workaholic, or just plain old obsessed with your career, good luck finding someone that puts up with that longterm, but if you’ve got a regular 40-hour-a-week position, I don’t see why not. As long as you make it to little Jimmy’s baseball games so he doesn’t resent you for not being there, I think you can, at the very least, trick your family into thinking you care more about them than that nice promotion on the horizon.

movieman asks: I’m a little late, but I should totally get MoviePass, right?

Totally. Love MoviePass. It’s how I can afford to see all these movies and live in New York at the same time. Really, if you go like, ten times in a year it pays for itself. Wait, what’s that? MoviePass literally ran out of money and had to get a $5 million loan and is now raising prices and restricting access to blockbusters? Yiiiiiiikeessssss. R.I.P. MoviePass. It was a good run that seemed too good to be true every time I used it. Turns out it was. A free tip for every fledgling business owner out there: make sure you have a way to make money. Hard to stick around if you don’t.

Brian asks: Who was the first underwear manufacturer to account for erections?

Wonderful question, Brian. I’m not sure the answer to that, but I do know who has the most comfortable underwear. That’s right, it’s MeUndies! Right now, my readers can get 10% off their first purchase. Just go to meundies.com and enter the promo code: Brian.

DesperateLover asks: What’s the most polite way to ask for nudes?

“Excuse me, can I please have some nudes?”

BlacktopLebron asks: What’s your current All-White NBA Team?

Don’t know if you mean American white or Euros included, but I’m gonna include Euros just because.

Starters

G- Luka Doncic

G- Evan Fornier

F- Gordan Hayward

F- Kevin Love

C- Kristaps Porzingis

Bench

F- Dirk Nowitzki

F- Doug McDermott

G- Kyle Korver

C- Marc Gasol

C- Pau Gasol

G- Matthew Dellavedova

G- JJ Redick

We’re scoring a lot of points, buttttttt defense might be a bit of an issue.

X asks: Now that Dad Hats are back, what will be the next cool hat?

Cycling hats. Trust me, these things are gonna be huge.

AngryPerson asks: Why did you love Mamma Mia 2 so much? I hated it and loved the first one.

Well, you have my condolences. Being born with no taste must have been very hard for you. Mamma Mia 2 is better because it takes the best part about the first one (the music) and puts it front and center. Mamma Mia tried to have a real storyline, when, in reality, this is quite possibly the most far-fetched franchise plot-wise in history. Mamma Mia 2 embraces the absurdity and just gives the audience banger after banger, while Mamma Mia was caught trying to be both Les Mis and Grease, which didn’t work. 2 knows what it is, 1 didn’t. Both are still fire movies, though.

GuythatworksforXboxandisalegitimateInsiderwhothinksIhaveactualanswers asks: What’s going to be the next big technology that changes gaming? Better AI? 8K? Cloud computing?

Just going off my gut instinct, here, but the next big shift in gaming technology is going to be physical gaming. Imagine this- you have a representation of the game’s world in front of you (let’s call it a board), and a piece (or two, or three, etc.) that acts as a stand-in for the avatar, and, using things like random number generators and games of chance, you move your piece across the game board, fulfilling objectives, collecting loot, and competing against other players. I just think that’s where games are going.

Joseph asks: What’s the most annoying fan base?

I feel like I’ve touched on this before, but the five most annoying fan bases are 5. Patriots (I concede we can be very annoying and easily #triggered at times, but when the entire world makes it their mission to #trigger you, I’m sorry if I have a short fuse) 4. Star Wars (they hardcore fans that complain about everything and make me like the movies less) 3. St. Louis Cardinals (like Yankee fans but midwest) 2. Kobe (Kobe is not a top ten player of all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time) and, of course, 1. Yankees. I’m admittedly biased. But that stupid candle-light vigil for Aaron Judge (who hasn’t even Earned his Pinstripes, IMO) is why the entire country hates every single one of those mongoloid losers. There isn’t a more self-serious and self-aggrandizing group of people on the planet. Please @ me so I can tell you how stupid and detestable you all are.

DP asks: Why are you so soft on Kevin Durant?

Because everyone is so hard on him, and it makes me feel smart to go against public opinion, especially when the basis of most people’s argument is the imaginary concept of “loyalty.” Yes, it completely shattered the competitive balance of the league, but, I don’t know. I just don’t care.

FootballJunkie asks: Who’s your top ten skill position (non-QB) in the NFL?

God, just seeing the word football has me fiending something fierce. This is summer is last in my seasonal power rankings- training camp is the longest period of time ever. I just want some regular season action. Feed me Bengals-Colts on Thursday night. Anyway, top ten skill guys, non-QB.

  1. Healthy Rob Gronkowsi
  2. Antonio Brown
  3. Odell Beckham, Jr.
  4. Julio Jones
  5. Le’veon Bell
  6. A.J. Green
  7. Todd Gurley
  8. DeAndre Hopkins
  9. Travis Kelce
  10. David Johnson

Mr. Thoughtful asks: What’s a good first anniversary gift to give my girlfriend? She likes adventures and traveling but I have no money 😦

Ahh, the age old question. How to keep my significant other appeased despite the fact that I don’t have the necessary funds to shower them in lavish gifts? A true dilemma, if I’ve ever heard one. A love of adventures and traveling, you say? Hmmm. I think I know just the thing! How about a trip to lovely Reno, Nevada! It’s all some of the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas at half the price! It’s an adventure because you won’t know if you’ll get sick from the used needles on the side of the road or the extreme second-hand smoke inhalation, and it’s traveling because I’m assuming you’re a real person and don’t live in Nevada. It’s a win-win! Or, you could make a bunch of artistic renderings of the two of you in all the places you’d like to go and hide them throughout the house. She might appreciate the effort.

BlacktopGriffey asks: Who’s your top ten current MLB players?

A lot of lists this time, but I’m always game to give definitive player rankings that no one can possibly dispute. I’ll do top ten position players and top ten pitchers.

Position Players

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Mookie Betts
  3. Jose Ramirez
  4. Nolan Arenado
  5. J.D. Martinez
  6. Francisco Lindor
  7. Manny Machado
  8. Jose Altuve
  9. Aaron Judge
  10. Joey Votto

Pitchers

  1. Chris Sale
  2. Max Scherzer
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Jacob deGrom
  5. Justin Verlander
  6. Aaron Nola
  7. Gerrit Cole
  8. Corey Kluber
  9. Luis Severino
  10. Zack Greinke

Briansden69 asks: Remember when you went to the Denver Airport and became indoctrinated by the Illuminati? Whatever happe-

Well, I think that’ll about do it for this edition of the Burning Questions Mailbag. Always good to hear from readers and ease their troubled minds. I’ll keep my brain churning to come up with some more Burning Questions as long as you all do, too. Remember, if you have a question, I have the answer.

 

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Should General Sherman Have Just Burned Atlanta to the Ground and Saved Its People from Heartbreak?

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The Pats beat the Falcons last night. They didn’t just beat them, really. They totally dominated them physically and mentally. It was one of the most pathetic displays I’ve ever seen. Obviously, this was a big time matchup: Sunday Night Football, rematch of one of the most memorable Super Bowls ever, can the Falcons get revenge?, all that. I was really hoping the Falcons would go up big early just to see how they’d handle it. There was never a scenario where the Pats would ever lose to the Falcons, but still. I was curious to what they’d do if they found themselves in the same situation they were in in February. Instead, they completely folded at the first sign of adversity. The fog hadn’t even rolled in yet and they had already quit. It was sad, really. Here was a supposed juggernaut, a titan of offense last season, totally reduced to rubble. All because their offensive coordinator left? Really? The Pats killed them in the Super Bowl, and they just exorcised their ghost last night. Matt Ryan stinks now. Julio Jones is saying the Pats caused the fog in a desperate attempt to not take any responsibility for their horrible season. It’s one thing to blow a gigantic lead against the Patriots then be so scared when they saw those helmets again they completely shit themselves, but to lose at home to the Bills and Dolphins? Yikes. Some idiots out there will probably still take them seriously as a contender, but they could be up 77-0 and I’d still assume they were about to lose. I’d honestly rather be a Browns fan because at least I know what to expect.

Anyway, seeing the Falcons get murdered yet again had me wondering if the good people of Georgia would have been better off if General Sherman just level Atlanta during the Civil War. As you surely know, General Tecumseh Sherman captured Atlanta then drove to the sea, destroying Confederate supply lines, settlements, industry, and just generally causing chaos along the way. If he had just razed Atlanta right then and there, wouldn’t it have been better for everyone? Like what does Atlanta even have? They obviously have no spirit left thanks to the Pats. Coke and Chick-fil-a? Is that it? I’m pretty sure the visionaries behind those two institutions could have flourished anywhere. They literally have one (1) major championship, so not losing much there. Don’t know what I’d do without all those Hawks highlights. I’m willing to bet Hank Aaron, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Dominique Wilkins, and Julio Jones would be Hall of Famers in other cities, too. Not only are all their teams terrible, but they don’t even have a ton of memorable losses like other tortured cities. Sure, the Super Bowl is the worst loss of all time, but every other big loss is just kind of a loss. Read this. Did you recognize any of those? When you think of terrible, crushing losses, do any of those come to mind? Not really. Which means their teams are bad and forgettably so, which is the worst spot to be. The only real loss would be the Atlanta music scene, which, in all seriousness, would be a huge blow to The Culture (gonna be honest, I’m very white so I’m sure my thoughts on The Culture are really valued by everyone). But you’re telling me Outkast, T.I., Future, Young Thug, Gucci Mane, Ludacris, Migos, and countless others only are who they are because of Atlanta? Please. They’d be great regardless of where they were from.

I know it sounds harsh saying a major metropolitan area should have been destroyed in the 1800s, but I’m only looking out for the people. How much more can they take? How many more losses, how many more terrible performances? I know I would have tapped out a long time ago. Having one of the biggest cities in America be a den of losers is a bad look for everyone. It wouldn’t surprise me if the government stepped in and did something soon.

I’m back Home

After a very long weekend, I have finally returned from my trip to Denver. I know many people been eagerly awaiting me to return to steadily churning out must-read material, and to them I say fear not. I’m back to guide you through this dark hell we call life.

Obviously the first thing on everyone’s mind is my experience at the airport. Did I discover the Illuminati’s dastardly plot? Did I blow the cover off the New World Order’s machinations? Did I find the underground concentration camps? What did I eat there? Well, you didn’t really think I’d bury the lede like that, did you? If you want the full story, you’ll just have to wait. They call that a tease in the industry.

I did spend some time outside the airport, though. I didn’t know this until I got there, but apparently marijuana is legal there. You’d never know because absolutely no one talks about it or advertises it, but it is! (I know what you’re thinking, and no, I did not over indulge myself by smoking the weed all day. I was on a journalistic mission and needed to maintain a clear head) Apparently the people there have been smoking too much pot and destroyed whatever ozone they had left, because the sun was beating down non-stop. It’s like clouds no longer existed. I mean, look at this tan I picked up:


NBA Draft is in a few days, and yes, I am eligible. Don’t be surprised to see my name called at the end of the first round. But yeah, it was hot. And the air was so darn thin. I was out of breath after walking two feet. I had to keep chugging water just to stay upright. Brutal! Who decided to live so high up, anyway? Talk about impractical. Why make a city a mile up? How’d the first people even get all their stuff up there? After gasping for air for a week or so, why’d they stay. If this all sounds like I’m complaining about a beautiful city I willingly travelled to, that’s because I am. They couldn’t put it anywhere else?

Obviously, food is an important part of any trip I go on, and Denver had plenty of good stuff. Literally everything there is smothered in green chile sauce. There’s green chile pizza, green chile burgers, green chile beer. We got sushi one night and even that came with green chile sauce. My favorite place came recommended by the Gatekeeper of Flavortown, Guy Fieri. Sam’s No. 3, an eclectic diner in LoDo (Lower Downtown for all you non-Denver natives) with some bomb green chile sauce. They pour it over some dynamite burritos, and the resulting meal is seriously out of bounds. I don’t know if Denver wants to be Seattle or if Seattle wants to be Denver more, but there was predictably some good craft breweries and food trucks everywhere you look. Some of the  trucks had some pretty crazy stuff. I mean, who puts chicken and waffles on a pizza? Talk about wacky! Only in Denver, am I right? And who can leave the Rocky Mountains without trying rocky mountain oysters? Not me, that’s for sure.

Speaking of Coors Field, the day we went doubled as Meet the Players day. All the fans formed a ring around the field, and the Rockies players and coaches walked along the interior, greeting fans and stopping for pictures. It was a wonderful experience, taking tickets and time away from actual Rockies fans who would have enjoyed this more than an outsider like me. Nonetheless, I got up close and personal with some of Colorado’s best players.

 

 

My friend Charlie Blackmon

 

50-year-old Vinny Castilla

 

Some guy

 It was the thrill of a lifetime, visiting my favorite baseball stadium named after beer. And what a great game we saw, too. It was a pitcher’s duel, not the typical Coors Field 10-9 slugfest. Needless to say, a low scoring game is exactly what I wanted to see!

Before I knew it, it was time to go home. Yeah, I did some other stuff, but you’ll see it one day. It’s good to be back. Will I ever return? Most likely. But, the Brian’s Den Bank is pretty drained at the moment. I’m always open to donations, though. I’ll gladly travel anywhere and give rave reviews about it if I’m paid by someone. Anyway, it was a good trip, and I’ll be presenting my airport findings ASAP.

The Fact that Cleveland thinks it gets a nickname gets me all Fired Up

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As is usually the case, during the eon-long downtime in between NBA Finals games (which, as LeBron James will tell you, are just basketball games. They aren’t the end of the world. When he wakes up tomorrow, he’ll still have more money and fame than you’ll ever have. But, no, he’s not bitter that someone out-Super Teamed him), we’ve been pelted with teasers and previews for Wednesday night’s game 3. And, as the game is being played in Cleveland, they keep repeating the now-tired phrase “Defend The Land.” The Land meaning Cleveland. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a particularly new nickname. Unsurprisingly, LeBron created it in an effort so seem cool to all his friends in hip hop. It makes sense, too. You can’t spell Cleveland without Land. You can certainly see where people are coming from when they say it. But take a second to really think about it.

The Land. How much land is there in the world? A lot, right? So, something that called The Land must be pretty important, right? Maybe some kind of mystical, sacred ground that ancient people travelled to for worship. Or a booming economic or cultural center that dictates trends throughout the world. Or, at the very least, it has to have some kind of political importance. It has to be something, right? Nope, it’s Cleveland. The arrogance of LeBron to think that anyone outside the state of Ohio thinks of Cleveland as anything but a giant dump. I’ve been to Cleveland, so I’m speaking from experience here: Cleveland sucks. Everything about it is bad. The food stinks. The city is ugly. It’s always so hazy. Their sports teams outside the Cavs are horrible, and since there’s nothing else to do in town, the people are so beaten down and defensive about everything. In fact, the nickname The Land is the perfect snapshot of the people of Cleveland: they have such an inferiority complex they latch on to anything that shows it’s “us-against-the-world” and makes anyone outside the 216 area code notice them and acknowledge that they even exist. Cleveland is nothing. Cleveland is irrelevant. Cleveland isn’t The Land. You can’t Defend it. There’s nothing to defend! What, are people going to steal the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame? Not that! What culture does Cleveland have? What contributions has Cleveland ever made to America? LeBron and Drew Carey? Is that it? And you want to call that place The Land? Why? Not every city gets a nickname. What if, in an alternate reality, I was famous enough to create nicknames and I called my hometown of Rutland, Vermont The Land? Or The City? Or if I called Vermont The State? I hope would get mocked endlessly. You can’t just give something of such little importance a nickname like The Land. I don’t know what place in the world most deserves to be called The Land, but I know for a fact it isn’t a sad-sack place like Cleveland. I pray to God that the good people of Cleveland read this and make me public enemy number one, because that would mean I never have to go there again. Hey, Cleveland, you aren’t The Land, you’re The Dump. Boom, roasted. Rant over.