Brandon Solves the Internet: 4/22 Edition

Hey Everyone. While i’m wallowing in my own sense of defeat at the persistent end of days scenario that this stupid simulation of the world seems to be hucking us towards, I reached out for questions from my friends on Facebook so I can solve the internet for them! Take it away, my dear, dear friends!

What would this quarantine/ shelter in place look like 20 years ago when we were in high school before the rise in internet.
-Shane McKenna

Jesus, and I thought the current timeline was bleak. Twenty years ago would have put myself and Shane as sophmores in High School. The internet was there, but I wasn’t 16, yet, so there was nowhere to be. In fact, I think the main form of communication at that point was AOL Instant Messenger. I was a slothful wrestling fan who listened to heavy metal and struck out with girls all day long. My friends and I mostly sat in basements setting stuff on fire and making bombs out of low end household cleaners based loosely on an early internet version of the Anarchist Cookbook. Come to think of it, there were two very divergent paths I could have taken out of high school. I took the one that lead me to financial independence and a good life. The other path was to continue making bombs, get the first girl that would allow me pregnant, and then today i’d be at a state house protesting the government’s desire to not want me to get a heavily infectious disease. Anyway….

2000 would not have been a great time to experience this, and for reasons that are at least relatively similar to why it isn’t great to experience it now. I genuinely believe we would be getting our information on this not from the internet, but from Total Request Live. There is a very real scenario where Lance Bass is on the show telling people to stay home, and then 15 minutes later, Kid Rock comes on and says the government can’t Bawit his Daba and they definitely can’t tell him to stay at home.

Musically, we would get Toby Keith seamlessly intertwining the government not being allowed into his business with hating minorities.

We actually would have our own version of Last Dance. Survivor was a runaway freight train of a hit in 2000. It was appointment viewing and everyone was watching it. When you went to work the next day, that was the thing people were talking about. It’s easy to forget now because there is a reality tv show for everything, but back then, Survivor was kind of earth shattering in what was being watched. Since there really wasn’t streaming back then, either, you had to be at your television watching it, dissecting things, and screaming into the abyss of your living room.

2000 also had it’s version of Tiger King…sorta. There was no streaming in 2000, but Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was on television five nights a week. If you even remotely liked that show, then guess what, it was on! It only didn’t air on Saturdays and Mondays. In fact, if you take a look at the most watched shows on average of the 2000/2001 viewing year, WWTBAM was five of the 19 top rated shows for the season. It isn’t quite binge watching, but it was an always present show that people obviously thought was pretty great.

Also, not to gloat, but I still remember the first person to get the million dollars, and I do because I knew the million dollar question. The question was “Which band won the first Best Heavy Metal Album Grammy in 1989?” The answer was of course Jethro Tull.

To swing back to the point of your question, though…we would probably be even more screwed than we are now. While people are openly complaining about misinformation these days, there is still a ton of information out there. Thanks to the proliferation of the internet, and in turn the internet’s ability to distract us, more people are staying in now than would have twenty years ago. Thursday nights might have been a ghost town at the grocery store with ER on, but more people would have felt more emboldened to be out, because there would have been no way to properly convey the seriousness of this illness if people were getting their information from a newspaper. Even in 2000, print was dying.

For us, though…man, i’m not gonna lie. I never really did much back then. I personally would have probably cruised through this without much a hassle. The fact is, at 15, I was too old to be out playing with the neighbors all the time, and I was still a year away from starting my first backyard wrestling federation. I probably would have whined and groaned and bemoaned my situation every day while watching VHS tapes of Extreme Championship Wrestling I bought off eBay.

What is SEO?
-Waleed Ismail

Sexually Emaciated Omnivores. Saturated Eminem Okra. Sandal Eaters Only.

Ohhhh, the technical term? Who knows, I just write, dorks. You guys optimize me.

I have two questions: assuming Indra’s Net is infinite and therefore endless, can it have a beginning? And why do hotdogs taste so much better at a baseball game than anywhere else?
-Dave Lausch

I’ll answer the easy one first.

With Indra’s Net, as with anything, there is a desire to find a beginning point and an end point. It is the way of life and death. You are born and you die. In between is the important thing, and in a grander sense, what matters in the metaphor. The jewels at each vertex reflect off of each other to show the infinite possibilities of both the physical and spiritual world. And in a greater sense, Buddhism isn’t a belief system that believes in a beginning or an end, just a changing in the vessel in which your soul continues on. So in that sense, there is a beginning, be it a physical or spiritual beginning, because most dogmas acknowledge a beginning point of when their god(s) started time/created life/whatever the flying spaghetti monster people believed in. What is infinite is the end point, because of the Buddhist belief that our souls continue on far beyond our earthly vessels.

Now for the hard part. Hot dogs taste better because they ARE THE INDRA’S NET of ball park food. Hot Dogs are indelibly related to baseball due to their ease of cooking and ability to transport well in a steamer box without losing their general composition. On a spiritual level, though, the hot dogs just hit different because of the way they make you feel and the emotion that is drawn out from them both in the tangible and the abstract. Baseball fans obviously look for the deeper meaning of the sport because of it’s stitching through the fabric of America. Not to go all Terrence Mann here, but baseball is the one thing that can keep us going through the sweltering heat of the summer. Baseball reminds us of easier times, when your parents would take you to the ballpark and the players were living gods on the field. You would go home after that game and pretend to be the stars you watched on that field, which for us was Sammy Sosa, Mark Grace, and Mickey Morandini.

That feeling is unmatchable and it is represented in so many ways. The cut of grass. Fireworks in the sky. Carlton Fisk drunkenly plowing through a corn field. These senses become intensified because of the euphoric feelings of your youth. Enter the hot dog. The ultimate ballpark food. In an era where you can get any kind of food you could possibly imagine, spewed through a mind orgasm of Guy Fieri and into mini collectible helmets, the hot dog is that true feeling of summer. It’s the true feeling of baseball.

When you are eating a hot dog, life seems infinite as the possibilities are always ahead of you, the wind always at your back. You know that even if your team doesn’t win, there will be another day. There will be another day to spend the day at the ballpark with friends and family. There will be another day to enjoy the ivy or the light up scoreboard or any other imagery of your youth that idealizes what could have been and what still can be today. The hot dog represents so much more than just something to eat at the stadium on a beautiful sunny day. The hot dog tastes like a rose colored past, and an infinite future. With hot dogs, there doesn’t have to be an end. The hot dog at a baseball game makes you realize that in some form, this could go on forever. With or without you, but for generations to come. And in that hot dog is Indra’s Net, because it’s the interwoven link between the generations of fans that can theoretically go on forever.

Magnets, how do they work?
-Christina Andreasen (my wife)

From the mouths of babes

If the internet was invented by Al Gore why didn’t he call it “Al Gore Rhythms” or is that the name of his band?
-Rick Copper

There is absolutely no way that Al Gore would ever be that clever. Have you ever heard his TED Talks? He is about as interesting as a slow dripping molasses. Any band that had Al Gore in it would make the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band seem like Slayer, and would most likely be called “Al Gore and the Other Musicians In the Band He Is Currently Standing In Front Of.”

What is the best cover song of all time and why is it Devo’s cover of “Satisfaction”.
-Matt Drufke

Nothing Devo has ever done will ever merit consideration into a top anything of all time, unless we are counting “Top 10 Nickelodeon Show Theme Musicians of All Time” and even then, only Mark Mothersbaugh get’s consideration. Cover songs begin and end with only a handful of songs. Everything else is just static. Those songs are Whitney Houston’s cover of the Dolly Parton song “I Will Always Love You,” Joe Cocker doing the Beatles “With A Little Help From My Friends,” and “Hurt,” a sad song by Nine Inch Nails turned into one of the most heartbreaking songs of regret in the face of death, by the legend Johnny Cash.

Am I missing one?

Nah, I can’t be….

Am I?

Oh Wait!!!

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