36 Chambers Cocktails

There are only about five different kinds of drinks:

Beer
Wine
Liquor in puny 2oz “shots,” or diluted with soda
The cocktail or mixed drink
Jello shooters

The problem with the first two is that they don’t catch fire when exposed to an open flame. The problem with item three is one of quantity, not quality. Item four varies widely, but even in the cases of Hairy Buffalo and the noble Long Island Iced Tea there’s too much sweetness-just-masking-the-alcohol, too much of a sensation of drinking a mere cold and calculated alcohol delivery system. Similarly, item five is just cheating. That and, whether right or wrong, it’s read as an open statement of lushocity. Ladies, if you’re at a party doing multiple jello shooters and the guys are flocking around you, it’s not because of your personality or even your looks, it’s because they’re trying to plant a pill in your next shot.

Then there’s category six, the 36 Chambers Cocktail.

Christmas Cheer

Ingredients and preparation
Combine one shot of Triple Sec, four shots of either standard or spiced rum, and one tablespoon of gin in a coffee mug. Add three ice cubes and garnish with a sprig of pine.

What it tastes like
It tastes exactly like Christmas.

What it feels like / how it works
This one works by degrees. At first, you admire how “festive” it tastes. Then, you try to figure out whether it tastes “kind of good” or “terrible.” But the joke’s on you because by now the interplay of rum, Triple Sec and gin has ruined all sensation in the back two-thirds of your mouth. I forget what happens after that.

The Rumqui

Ingredients and preparation
Yes, it’s pronounced phonetically like the waste disposal company. Yes, its two ingredients are given away in its name. Just get a short tumbler, a bottle of tequila in one hand and a bottle of rum in the other, and start pouring, it’s not an exact science. You can also make a Rumqui Special Reserve with Patron Silver and Bacardi 151. My good friend Andy came up with the Rumqui.

What it tastes like
Rum and tequila.

What it feels like / how it works
What I neglected to mention above is how much better rum and tequila taste than what you’d expect. It’s like rum and tequila flavor are on far enough apart wavelengths that there’s no interference. This is the brilliance of this drink: You taste notes of tequila and something inside your brain registers that you’re drinking a diluted, standard cocktail drink, and of course you are not.

Crazy Uncle Dan’s Long Island Iced Tea

Ingredients and preparation
A tall tumbler half full of ice. Bacardi 151. Four or five Pixie Stix of various color. Garnish with a lemon for that extra pretension of bearing any semblance whatsoever to an iced tea.

What it tastes like
Kool-Aid.

What it feels like / how it works
This is just the Long Island taken to its logical conclusion. It feels like getting shot in the head in ultra slow-motion.

The College Dropout

Ingredients and Preparation
You will need one fully stocked college chemistry lab, complete with professor and other students. Unlock your drawer. Remove your 250ml beaker. In the rear of the lab there should be a vat somewhere labled “Ethanol.” Fill beaker to the 200ml mark, remembering to measure from the bottom of the meniscus. Eye about the room nervously to make sure nobody is watching you. Drink the ethanol.

What it tastes like
Fear.

What it feels like / how it works
This is one of those things that I’m surprised I’ve never heard of anyone doing before. It is to cocktails what Pulse Demon is to pop music and Chris Crocker is to pop culture: it’s only there to mark a nadir. The worst thing about this drink is of course not the drink itself, not even the fear of being caught, but the uncertainties playing around in your head. “Ethanol is the friendly alcohol, right?” “Ethyl and Ethanol are the exact same thing, and there’s only one of them… I think.” “Which type of non-drinking alcohol kills you and which one only makes you go blind.” The absolute worst thought, though, is that you just know that vat labled “Ethanol” was filled by a TA, and as anyone who’s ever had a paper graded by a TA will tell you, there’s evidence to suggest that most of them don’t know how to follow a simple, well-outlined procedure.

Bottoms up!

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Embracing the Horror: Introduction

The bitter truth about informal logic and argument is that it’s a game played with no referees. Like high school tennis where you have to just trust your opponent to call the balls you hit in bounds when in fact they are. There are two problems here. First, the guy’s honest perception of where the ball landed is probably at least a little off. In the game of argument, even more or less reasonable and fair people like Tony, Kevin and me will often want to challenge a call and at least talk it over with the other guy until we can both agree on where the ball hit. The second problem is that many people are obnoxious jackasses who care more about racking up imaginary “wins” than playing the game, and in fact don’t even really know how to play the game except to just call everything out of bounds.

David Wong wrote John Dies at the End. He’s also an editor at Cracked and runs a website called Pointless Waste of Time. His interests include sociology, gaming and penis jokes. He is my hands-down pick for Revised Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2007 because virtually everything he writes is in its very own dimension of amazing.

I have my favorites: “7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making you Miserable,” “Inside the Monkeysphere,” “Do-It-Yourself Crotch Bulges,” “A World of Warcraft World.” But when I read this, I knew Mr. Wong was truly a man after my own heart. In the words of Maddox, “Readjust your face, because it’s about to get rocked off.”

So what just happened?

This has happened. David Wong has asserted the following: “If you hold to a radical scientific materialism that determines your entire worldview then you are no longer permitted not to live in a hellish moral netherworld, because all value judgements are devoid of factual meaning.”

“So, what, he’s saying that all atheists are stupid and are basically walking contradictions?” Not at all. It only pertains to a certain type of a certain subtype of atheist, the majority of which, coincidently, tends to chirp to the tune of “ALL CHRISTIANS ARE RETARDED LOL!!!!!”

Anyway, I’m dedicating a whole series of articles to this article of his. I’m not going to argue it’s soundness. I’ve studied enough philosophy to know two things: the Wong article’s soundness is airtight and its argument is basically immaculate, and very few people actually care whether or not an argument is sound or valid.

What I’m going to do is unpack the horror. It is not enough to “ride the horror like a dolphin at Seaworld” or to “embrace the horror.” I am going to ride the horror like your mother after I get three Long Islands in her. I am going to have sex with the horror, and not figuratively either. It is not enough to see through the windshield, through the road, until we see nothing at all. We must get so accustomed to not seeing anything that we forget what sight ever was. David Wong has killed the Beached Whale of Sweet Naivity; I am going to blow up its corpse.

So I’m going to follow with an analysis of free will and determinism. We will learn that they can both be maintained… but at what cost?

Autumnal Hattrick 2007

This is the season that I always look forward to all year and then I don’t do anything.

Halloween

I’m a man of obsessions and as you can read lately I’ve been obsessed with Lynch and Freud again so it should have been the best Halloween ever. I planned on watching Mulholland Drive yesterday but ended up just playing the Marshie Ween game on Homestarrunner. I did discover how much I like Three Musketeers candy bars though.

My friend was supposed to throw this huge Halloween party but it never happened. I made a mix for it and everything:

1) Wolf Eyes: “Village Oblivia”
2) Sunn0))): “It Took the Night to Believe”
3) Portishead: “Mysterons”
4) Massive Attack: “Mezzanine”
5) Deerhunter: “Lake Somerset”
6) The Knife: “We Share Our Mother’s Health”
7) The Birthday Party: “Wildworld”
8) Tom Waits: “Everything Goes to Hell”
9) …Trail of Dead: “Children of Hydra’s Teeth”
10) John Zorn: “The Sicilian Clan”
11) Amon Tobin: “Like Regular Chickens”
12) Liars: “Why Midnight Walked but Didn’t Ring Her Bell”
13) M83: “Be Wild”

It was to be titled, “If You Don’t Like My Mix Then You Aren’t Drinking Enough.”

One of these years I’m going to make moonshine out of candy corn. It strikes me as one of the sweetest ideas I’ve ever had.

All Saints’ Day

I’m drawing a blank here. Just typical pious malarky like Mass and stuff I guess. I’ve developed a greater appreciation for Sts. Paul, Faustina, Therese and Pio this past year, I guess I’ll just reflect on how greatly they beat the plebian snot out of me. And try to get over my terminal annoyance at St. Ligouri. One of these days I’ll learn to respect authority. It’s cost me enough that you’d think I would have got it by now.

All Souls’ Day

Souls are rotting in Purgatory, are you a bad enough dude to rescue them? Hah, no, ‘cuz last time I prayed for those guys I forgot that such prayers have to be fueled by penance and I promptly wrecked my car just an hour later. Am I being superstitious? Maybe, but why take the chance.

I’m just kidding, I’ll pray up a little something for y’all. I still owe the Kingdom a whole lot of money anyway.

The Internet Makes David Lynch Stupid

David Lynch is without a doubt in my mind the most important American filmmaker now living, and probably ever. His knack for utilizing every cinematic element at his disposal– lighting, sound, pacing, frame selection– to represent unconscious thought and explore the weight of mystery and the aesthetic sublime is absolutely uncanny, literally almost unbelievable. Nearly impressive is his frequent ability to comingle heady theory with that which will yield a heavy popular appeal.

Usually, though, Lynch’s short features tend toward the heady end of the spectrum. Take his visceral Lacanian dreamscape “The Alphabet,” for instance. But even here, once all dust of the phallic semiotics, warped take on human sexuality, displaced genitalia and menstration symbolism settles it’s just the age-old lament about how our baby girls grow up way too fast. Lynch has never attempted to substitute theory for feeling.

David Lynch has learned how to make flash animations on his computer screen. This new project of his has feeling in spades. Without further delay, I give you America’s greatest living artist. Enjoy, enjoy.

Confession Time

Hey Kevin, remember how our freshman and sophomore dorms had sinks but no bathrooms? Remember how far you’d have to walk down the hall to get to a urinal? Remember what a lazy slob I was?

Well, I’m glad we had this talk. I didn’t want you going through the rest of your life thinking I never peed where you brushed your teeth. But I’ve got a feeling you always just knew.