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Battle Red Bag, vol. 14: Battle Red Bag May Stick To Certain Types Of Skin

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Jumping right into the bag.


I don't know if you're familiar with the song "Fire" by Arthur Brown, but if you're not, you should be. This song hit #2 on the Billboard charts in 1968. I demand commentary on on this on your choice of subjects, possibly including other weird high-charting songs, what a more recent video of the song might look like, and what percentage of the relevant population had to be on drugs in 1968 for this song to hit #2.

I can't decide if my favorite part of the video is the weird "I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE" spoken intro or the headgear that is actually on fire. It's definitely one of those things. Sadly, I think a remake of this song/video would fall well short of the original. There would be too much reliance on CGI flames and special effects, despite the fact that the simple insanity of the original is what makes it so fascinating. A new version would probably resemble the Jay-Z/Kayne video for "Run This Town." (Also, someone would suggest auto-tuning the song, which would suck. Brown's questionable voice makes the song that much better.)

As for what percentage of the relevant audience was on drugs, clearly the answer is "all of them."


After the jump, the rest of the bag. There were a ton of submissions this week (and thanks for that). This time around, we cover the meaning of life (sorta), ultimate BRB cage fighting, the age old question of pirates v. ninjas, movie trilogies, movie technology, the Texans (briefly), EPL (again), Archer (of course), and some other stuff. (As always, if your question is not here this week, it will be here next week.)

Carter Liles

If you could describe the meaning of life in 1 word, what 5 words would NOT be considered?

1. Snooki
2. Coprophagia
3. Cats
4. Internet
5. Prolapse

Tailgate Andy

In the matter of Pirates v. Ninjas:

1. Which are cooler?
2. Who would win in a one on one fight?
3. Who would win in a fight between all of the pirates versus all of the ninjas?

I think it's a sign that I am getting old that I had no idea that "Pirates versus Ninjas" (abbreviated "PvN" by the type of people who make bloggers look like Steve McQueen circa 1968) was a thing. Live and learn, I guess. Anyway, to answer the questions:

1. Ninja --- which, apparently, is the correct plural form because Japanese does not have a grammatical number --- are far cooler. Anyone old enough to have played with G.I. Joes knows this to be indisputable: Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes were scientifically proven to be amazingly bad ass, while Zanzibar and (to a less-piratey extent) Shipwreck were complete jagoffs. Also, real life pirates were disgusting and rapey.

2. Assuming (a) that the pirate knew a fight was going on (i.e. that the ninja didn't just slip on board the ship and cut the pirate's throat as he dreamed of not having scurvy) and (b) we are talking about a pirate who had access to firearms, I suppose I'd pick the pirate. Then again, the ninja would probably not engage in such a fight, since part of being a ninja is the sneaky, middle-of-the-night dishing out of throat cuts.

3. Ninja. They were all about some sabotage, so I imagine there would be pirate ships inexplicably sinking, large shipments of poisoned rum being delivered, and a withholding of all citrus so that scurvy could take its disgusting toll. Also, smoke bombs.


What is the best movie trilogy where the 2nd and 3rd movies sucked ass?

The first one to pop into my head when I read the question was the Major League trilogy. Part 1 is fantastic, but parts 2 and 3 are, respectively, bad and Bakula. As for what is the "best" of this kind of of one-would-have-sufficed trilogy? I think it's a toss-up between The Matrix and The Karate Kid (and, no, I don't consider The Next Karate Kid to be a real movie, at least not as it relates to the LaRusso trilogy).

The Matrix Reloaded decided, "hey, you know how the first movie focused on "what is reality?" as its central premise? What if we scrapped that and, instead, just blew some stuff up, replaced compelling conflict with weird albino twins, and made everyone talk like Morpheus (because people love metaphysical rambling in the middle of an action film)?" Then, six months later, Revolutions came along, and it was so bad, it made Reloaded seem good by comparison.

As for Daniel-san, The Karate Kid was one of the greatest movies ever for people born between 1972 and 1979. We were willing to overlook the fact that the tournament was all kinds of flawed and screwy (or that there's no way Ali (with an "i") was going to fall for Daniel in real life); none of that mattered when this montage kicked in:

The Karate Kid II, Part II, however, was ridiculous. For one thing, Miyagi told Daniel in Part I, "No such thing as bad student; only bad teacher." Then, in part 2, we find out that the dickhead in Okinawa who hates Miyagi and failed to learn the spiritual lessons of karate was taught by . . . wait for it . . . Miyagi's dad. Plus, Ralph Macchio was 24 when this movie was filmed, and his role as high-school-student Daniel-san becomes something of a stretch. The Karate Kid, Part III, then takes the plot absurdity to a whole other level, with some crazy millionaire friend of the Cobra Kai sensei wanting revenge on Daniel and Miyagi because John Kreese had fallen on hard times after Daniel won the All-Valley tournament in part I.

Not that you asked, really, but here's my Top Ten for these trilogies:

T-1. The Matrix
T-1. The Karate Kid
3. Major League
4. RoboCop
5. The Bad News Bears
6. Cruel Intentions
7. The Sandlot
8. Jurassic Park
9. The Mighty Ducks
10. Porky's


Ok so I was compelled to rewatch No Country For Old Men after the mini-debate sprang up in the comments of the last bag article. See, your list was inherently broken for not having Anton Chigurh in your top 5 or even as an honorable mention. I'm wondering if you have seen the movie.

Question 1. Have you SEEN No Country For Old Men? In what was does it sexually stimulate you to not include him on the list? Because there must be something going on here.

Yes, I have seen it. I generally like the Coen brothers, and I loved Fargo, but No Country didn't do it for me. That was due in large part to the ambiguity.

Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against movies and television series that leave some ambiguity. I thought "The Sopranos" ending was brilliant (and not all that ambiguous, actually). But, in No Country, the ambiguity serves no purpose. We're supposed to assume that all the "good guys" died, even though they only explicitly show one of the deaths (unless I'm forgetting one). Thing is, there's no upside to the ambiguity, no payoff for the mental game of "well, what if they lived?" (Contrast this with, say, the ambiguity in Inception where the entire point of the movie changes depending on whether you think it was all a dream or just partially a dream.)

Additionally --- and maybe this is just me --- I don't get why Llewellyn kept the money in the same briefcase. I mean, if I found a bunch of cash that wasn't mine and I wanted to keep it, I'd at least change the container it was in so that no one could say, "hey, jerkface, that's my briefcase full of money." If he does that, then the transponder is not an issue, and, well . . . .

Anyway, while Chigurh was a bad ass in the film, the fact that film fell flat for me caused me to leave him off.

Question 2. Despite being somewhat impractical and not really efficient, after seeing Mr. Chigurh ending people with a silenced shotgun, did you also share that "OOOOOOOO DAMMMNNN! I WANT ONE!" feeling that everyone else got?

Personally, I preferred the captive bolt pistol that he used. A little more cumbersome, perhaps, but nearly silent, required no ammo (only compressed air), and there was no bullet left behind for forensic testing.

Question 3. The ending to the movie was incredibly ambiguous and did not bring closure to the movie in a conventional way. Did this detract from the experience for you? Or did you enjoy the thought provoking musings of Tommy Lee Jones?

As mentioned, it definitely detracted. The stuff from Sheriff Bell (Jones) was fine, I guess. I didn't find it too thought-provoking, though. The dream with his dad going on ahead to start a fire and wait for Ed Tom had a "hooray for metaphors!" vibe to it.


MDC, on my last question you referred to Spurs as being the Texans of the EPL, which I kinda agree with, despite how much it hurts. This got me thinking as to other equivalent teams across the leagues, what do you think? For example, I was thinking maybe Manchester United could be the Patriots because they're always seemingly in the hunt and they're not well liked outside of their fan-bases. What teams do you think correlate and why?

It's hard to find a great correlation between Man U and an NFL team just because of the salary cap, but the Patriots analogy is solid. I think Aston Villa are the Browns of the Premier League (self-loathing fanbases, were very good a long time ago but have had only slight success since returning to the league).

Arsenal are the Green Bay Packers (successful across decades, public ownership, stability at head coach, obnoxious fans who should be shoved down a flight of stairs).

Manchester City are the Jets (decades of losing, recent hype as they pay through the nose for free agents, failure to win the league with said free agents (note: this could obviously change this season)).

Newcastle are the Raiders (black-based color scheme, psychotic fans, spending a lot of cash on players who don't really pan out).

Liverpool are the Cowboys (considered one of the "Big Four" despite no Premier League titles, previously very successful, fans pretend like past success is still relevant).

Chelsea? Dunno . . . I'm tempted to say the Giants (high profile, big market team with recent success), but that doesn't feel exactly right.

Southampton are the Jaguars (never won a title, no one knows more than a couple people who claim to be fans, and you'd barely even notice if the team was relegated).

And also, because I'm a Chelsea fan who has had much too little to cheer this season, and so is looking for whatever petty thing I can find amusement in, what did you make of Sunday's game? Are you worried about your now resurgent (tongue most definitely in cheek) London rivals?

Ugh. Sunday's game was horrendous. The loss to Man City a few weeks back was more painful, mainly because of how Spurs got absolutely robbed at the end, but Sunday was pretty disheartening as well. To go up 2-0 on Arse, only to lose by 3? If the Citeh loss was someone kicking you in the nuts while you slept, Sunday's loss was someone taking a bamboo rod to the soles of your feet. As for this weekend's match against United, the fact that Spurs are coming off such a horrid performance and likely will be without Bale leaves me less than enthused about things.

I'll admit it: I laughed at "resurgent."


Should the Texans leave Foster's contract situation on the back burner until next year as he is still a restricted free agent and under contract through next season. I personally believe that as long as they make him a promise to take care of him next year then we should worry about Mario and Myers right now as they are the more pressing issue.

My concern with putting off Foster's contract is that you have to deal with Duane Brown's contract next year, too, as well as Matt Schaub and Connor Barwin. That is going to be difficult enough on its own; throwing Foster's deal in the mix, especially if he has another Foster-esque season, is going to make things much harder. So, no, as tough as it is to deal with this offseason, I think they have to get it done. Obviously, if they can get it done and keep Mario, I'll be a much happier camper.

Also what is your favorite music/album to listen to while writing? I switch between Metal (Mastodon's The Hunter is my current jam) and stuff that helps open my mind up, experimental Pixies type stuff.

Hmm. When I'm at work, I listen to a wide variety of stuff. Lately, it's been Childish Gambino, the Temptations, and (Spurs fan and my future wife) Adele.

When I was in law school, my music listening for writing purposes was more formulaic. I'd listen to Motown or other R&B while planning my answer, then listen to rap of some sort while writing. I listened to Texas Country almost exclusively while reading/outlining.


After watching last week's episode of Archer, did you immediately check to see what Genesis 38:8 says?

I did. It was momentarily awesome, as my brother is dating an 18-year-old.

Follow up: Were you super pissed when you made it to verse 10?

Yup. Talk about bait-and-switch.

Semi-related: Is the best quote from this season the one in that episode: "I didn't think you knew what 'amenable' meant until you followed it up with 'nonplussed.'"?

That is WAY up there. Other contenders:

"Yes, ALL OF IT! You fox-eared asshole!"

"Once again, you’re faced with the classic Irishman’s dilemma: Do I eat the potato now or let it ferment so I can drink it later?"

"How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Pammy?" (WWI-era song reference FTW!)

"You drank too much." "That's a thing?"

The lockout last offseason caused me to not really follow or get deep into all the scenarios (read: bullshit) regarding the draft, free agency, etc., and instead just become an interested observer who would like to drink some high quality brews and watch to see what events unfolded. Whether it be from a high workload, reaching a different stage of life, or some other reason, I now find myself in that same exact mindset this year. I've got some good beer in the fridge, and plan to kick back and watch what the Texans do in FA and the draft. Have you found yourself pulled into (or towards) the same mindset?

As far as the Texans go, not really. I still get far too invested in the draft/free agency outcomes than is probably healthy. Your approach is generally how I handle the Indians' and Rockets' offseasons, however.

Does your wife know yet about that time with that thing, or is it still viable blackmail material?


I heard briefly on the radio and didn't bother to check it out... But apparently scientists are studying a worm that can replicate itself asexually, and does not age, making it immortal (barring any other factor but age.) In your opinion does this prove the existence of God?

How to answer this without opening a whole can of . . . well . . . you know?

Apparently, the worm in question is the planarean worm, which "demonstrate the potential to maintain telomere length during regeneration." That's both awesome and a little frightening. (I, for one, welcome our new immortal worm overlords.)

As to your question, no, I don't think it does. If anything, it would seem to cut the other way; if something has the ability to live forever and can reproduce itself asexually, then a lot of what underlies creation and procreation becomes meaningless, at least as far as that species goes. And I'll stop this answer here. To quote Jake Taylor, "let's not start a holy war now."


You mentioned in your fourth power ranking post that, when it comes to tie knots, you significantly prefer the Full Windsor over the four-in-hand. What are your views on the merits of the Half-Windsor in comparison to those of its fuller older brother?

If a half-windsor is tied well, I like it better than the four-in-hand for sure. My only problem with the half is that, invariably, it's lopsided. I like symmetry. That said, I have a couple ties that are too thick to make a full-windsor that doesn't look like an homage to mid-70s porn muff, so I will default to the half-windsor with those.

The trick on tying the half-windsor well seems to be in how you line up the sides as you wrap the wide end of the tie back around (steps 3-4 in this demo). Keep the wide end high enough up the left side of the tie (for a right-handed person) and you can keep the knot fairly balanced.


Suppose you were the CEO of a company with half a billion dollars to invest in a new product. The catch is that this product must be a fictional product from a TV show or a movie (like Pawtucket Patriot Ale from Family Guy). What product do you invest in and why?

I'd invest in the revised version of NZT that Eddie Morra tells Carl Van Loon he has created at the end of Limitless. Morra was pretty obviously able to do and creat anything he wanted while using that drug, so investing my money there would lead to a manifold return on investment. In fact, once I had that, some other products/technologies fitting the premise of your question that I would invest in would be:

1. Hoverboards
2. The replicator and holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation
3. Happy Fun Ball (for gift-giving purposes)
4. Mr. Fusion
5. Big Kahuna Burger

I want to make a drinking game to the NFL draft. Any ideas for rules?

I was going to try to create one, but I found this one online and it seems to more or less cover every contingency. You might just want to add some stuff about Mike Mayock (a) bragging about his own rankings, (b) disagreeing with a pick because of some esoteric thing that is impossible to actually quantify, and (c) trying to say any word that has at least two Ss in it.


You find a magic football that, when rubbed, makes a football genie appear. It does not give you wishes, but instead it gives you a choice between two scenarios.

1. With his magic powers he will give you 4 magic tickets that can transform themselves into tickets to any college or NFL game you wish. The tickets are infinite and can be used at will, BUT choosing this option will cost you three Dallas Cowboys and three BE-SF Super Bowl wins in the next 10 years.

2. The genie can guarantee that Texans will win the next six Super Bowls and for every Cowboy Super Bowl win, the Texans will win two. So cowboy fans can never bitch about how many more super bowls they have won, BUT you would NOT be allowed to watch, listen to, DVR, or follow any of the Texans Super Bowl victories in any way.

Make your choice. If you don't choose, all the puppies in the world die and you cannot eat BBQ for life.

Wow. Even Sophie Zawistowska didn't face a choice this difficult.

I suppose I'll take the second option. It would suck to be unable to enjoy the Texans' Super Bowl wins directly, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. At least some part of the fun of being a fan is being able to compare your team's successes to those of other teams, especially when arguing sports among friends. So, while I wouldn't be able to see the games, the wins would still exist and (I assume) I'd know that they won. Plus, while you said I couldn't follow the wins, you did not say that I couldn't read about them after the fact, so I'd know which players played well, etc. Even without that loophole, though, this seems like the better choice.


BFD, Tim, tGC, Vega and Rivers are in a Gladiator-esque battle to the death. What are the strategies of each combatant, the fatalities, and the champion. Go.

Clever. This question was posed in a different form last year, but the writer (~Jay) included me among the combatants. As I would never bet against myself, the answer was predictable. Removing me from the equation obviously changes things, at least in terms of my answer.

So, first, let's break down what we know of the combatants (which we will embellish with a healthy dose of racial and ethnic stereotyping):

Vega: Of Latin descent, meaning he's quick to anger and likely carries a blade; plays soccer weekly, so he's likely in average to above average cardio shape; an engineer who homebrews beer, so he's scientific; once wrote for DGDB&D, which makes his judgment very suspect.

Tim: Irish; a drunkard (but I repeat myself); played basketball in high school, despite his lack of height, so he's probably got a decent first step; attorney, which means that he's comfortable with not having a soul; drinks Coors Light, so he's clearly a bit of a masochist; possibly schizophrenic (see, e.g., "Scott").

BFD: Old; like, really, really old; played high school baseball against Cap Anson; filthy hippie; rumored to have once starred in an adult film with Hedy Lamarr; eschews pants.

tGC: Also old, though not as old as BFD (who, again, is very old); possibly a cyborg; outdoorsy type who likes to climb things; adaptable to hot weather; has willingly eaten Welsh food before, against suggesting that he's a cyborg incapable of taste.

Rivers: Possessed of an unruly beard-like growth on his face that might useful for hiding weapons; also has some amount of Irish blood in him, which is (of course) a weakness; amenable to underground living; thinks Pitchfork's music reviews were way better before the publication sold out.

As for the fight itself, I think the strategies would flow from what we know about them. Vega would be all about kicking (and possibly stabbing with a switchblade). Tim would be too drunk to really care how it turned out. BFD would count on the pantless factor to be his defense. tGC would come at you like a cyborg spidermonkey. Rivers would be bored by the whole affair and would mock things that other fighters said weeks ago.

The winner? I'm tempted to go with Vega, but it's impossible to bet against the cyborg spidermonkey. tGC wins, and the fatality that he delivers to BFD looks a lot like how the Alien implanted its embryo into Kane.