Monday, December 31, 2012

If You're Going to Embarrass Yourself, Why Not Do It While Everyone's Watching?

We here at Bowling in the Dark are not Jets fans, but neither are we Jets detractors—except in an general way that, based on their recent accomplishments, they clearly deserve. Thus, we can objectively say that this play from late 2012 may be both the funniest and saddest things we’ve ever seen happen on a football field:

If Mark Sanchez ends his career as a Hall-of-Fame quarterback, a five-time Super Bowl MVP, the guy who solved U.S. debt crisis, and the discoverer of the cure for the common cold, Americans will still remember him as the Butt-Fumble Guy. You can’t buy that kind of publicity, even if for some weird reason you wanted to.

Sorry, Butt-Fumble Guy. Good luck in wherever town you’re playing next season. Keep your passport current, just in case.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thousands of "Maya Apocalypse" Books Now Fractionally More Worthless

With the world once again failing to get destroyed in a horrible, fiery apocalypse, tens of thousands of Maya Apocalypse–related books are now even more worthless than they were just scant days ago—something that, given how worthless they were before, is difficult to comprehend.

“Sure, we knew they were shitty before,” stated a dozen different publishing-house representatives who wished to remain anonymous, “but now they’re shitty books that won’t even sell.”

“I can’t believe how badly the Earth screwed us by not being destroyed.”

A small selection of the Maya Apocalypse books that aren’t
worth the bullshit that’s written in them.

These publishers are stumped by the difficulty of selling books about an apocalypse that nobody sensible really believed in to a reading public that wasn’t annihilated by it. “Frankly,” says one, “it’d be a lot easier to sell these books now if everybody were dead.

“Imagine trying to sell Twilight in a world where people are actually literate. That’s what we’re up against here.”

This book, on the other hand, stood
behind the daring hypothesis that almost
all of us would be alive and well today. Buy it now
while there’s still time!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Irony, Illustrated

If eccept means fail, then, yes, you have eccepted the challenge of the TAKS test.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marijuana Now Legal in Colorado, Unless it Isn't

This is what the world’s coming to. Back in my day, we didn’t
expect handouts from anyone—we had to
work for our weed.

Perhaps somewhat lost in the tumult accompanying last week’s reelection of President Barack Obama was the passage of Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana and left the entire state feeling somewhat stunned that it was more pot-friendly than Oregon.

Well, Amendment 64 sort of legalized marijuana, anyway. Marijuana—or “dope,” as it was called by cool kids a million years ago—is still illegal according to the United States government, and while we did pretty poorly in our tenth-grade Government & Law class, we’re reasonably certain that Colorado was the sixty-eleventh state admitted into the Union, and is thus in some small way affected by the United States government. So in a way that only Erwin Schrödinger—or perhaps a lesser but more thoroughly stoned physicist—could truly appreciate, marijuana use in Colorado is simultaneously legal and illegal.1

This Amendment’s passage sets up a potentially lengthy and involved showdown between the federal government and a local governor less than thrilled to be backing the new law.2 Furthermore, the amendment, having received more than 1.3 million votes of support, may fundamentally alter the age-old stereotype of marijuana users from shiftless, lazy, slacker potheads to motivated, politically involved activists who may or may not remember how they ended up in this voting booth, or why the ballot is watching them.

One place in Denver, Colorado, that sells pot.

In the twelve years since Colorado passed Amendment 20, which legalized the use of medicinal marijuana in the state, the federal government has done little to affect the drug’s expanding availability, which may have fed the public support for this year’s Amendment 64.

It remains to be seen whether the government lacks the manpower or funding to deal with the potential legal quagmire, or is simply not interested in doing so, but for the time being, Colorado is the place to be for the discerning smoking aficionado interested in breaking somewhat fewer laws than usual.

That one place in Boulder, Colorado, that doesn’t sell pot.

In a completely unrelated development, applications to the University of Colorado–Boulder have risen by 32,150% over the last six days. Experts attribute the increase to the popularity of skiing, and young people’s love of John Denver.

This photo of Boulder was taken at 4:20. We don’t know
what this means, though, because we’re pretty square.

1. It’s probably too much to hope for, but if that humble sentence can someday at least momentarily boggle the mind of a reader who’s recently toked up, we’ll consider this entire blogging enterprise to be a success.
2. It might be ironic that Governor Hickenlooper has reservations about legalizing a drug that sometimes makes people do stupid shit, given that he made good money selling people beer—but we’ll leave that discussion for another day, or somebody else’s column.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Over Now. So Please, If You Would, Be Quiet.

One of these guys absolutely and definitively will—or did—ruin (or save) the
United States of America. But for some reason the lunatics on the other side decided to
reward him (or punish him) for it—whichever one makes them seem more like lunatics.

Yes, the Presidential election is over, and yes, you now get—or are stuck with—four exciting or devastating years of the President who will either save or destroy everything good left in this country, depending on which half of the population you’re willing to casually dismiss as stupid, hateful, and/or evil in order to make the world seem just the way you’ve already decided it is.

But now that it’s all settled, we have a novel suggestion:

Why don’t we all just keep quiet for a while? 

The following people could use a break:
  1. folks who are aware that your candidate is full of shit.
  2. folks who are aware that both candidates are full of shit.
  3. folks who are aware that their own candidate is full of shit.

So seethe or rejoice all you want, but for the sake of decency and whatever remains of our tattered national sanity and our ability to interact like thoughtful grown-ups,1 please do it quietly.

And please, above all, keep your opinions off the internet for a while. It’s already the world’s angriest, stupidest, most irrational place; adding political opinions absolutely does not improve matters. Ideally, we’d like to see folks voluntarily keep their political opinions off the internet forever, but we know that’s asking a lot, so we’ll accept a measly four years of silence if we can get it.

Thanks for your time. We look forward to hearing from you never again.

1. If you think we still have the ability to interact like thoughtful grown-ups, you haven’t spent much time on the internet. Trust us, you’re better off keeping it that way.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Food for Thought as you Head to the Voting Booth


“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
 —JOHN ADAMS, statesman, diplomat, Aldrin to George Washington’s Armstrong

“It is a greater thing to be a good citizen than to be a good Republican or a good Democrat.”
—GIFFORD PINCHOT, guy you’ve probably never heard of

“Political language—and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists—is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
—GEORGE ORWELL, English novelist and journalist

“Party leads to vicious, corrupt and unprofitable legislation, for the sole purpose of defeating party.
—JAMES FENIMORE COOPER, American novelist

“There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.  
—BENJAMIN DISRAELI, nineteenth-century British Prime Minister

“I find myself  . . . hoping a total end of all the unhappy divisions of mankind by party-spirit, which at best is but the madness of many for the gain of a few.
—ALEXANDER POPE, eighteenth-century English poet

“I hate all politics. I don't like either political party. One should not belong to them—one should be an individual, standing in the middle. Anyone that belongs to a party stops thinking.”  
—RAY BRADBURY, American novelist

“The old parties are husks, with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said on the vital issues of the day.”
THEODORE ROOSEVELT, twenty-sixth President of the United States of America

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
—GEORGE WASHINGTON, dollar bill guy

“I was no party man myself, and the first wish of my heart was, if parties did exist, to reconcile them.”
—GEORGE WASHINGTON, welcoming you to the Hall of Presidents

All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.”
—JOHN ARBUTHNOT, Scottish physicist, mathematician, and satirist

We would add: “. . . but not nearly fast enough.” 


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Being Right: Not Always the Same as Being Smart

When my wife is asked what it’s like being nine years younger than her husband,1 she likes to say that
 “People think he’s robbing the cradle, but actually I’m robbing the grave.”

It’s a good line and she delivers it well, with a happy, sunny bounce to her voice that rarely fails to get a laugh. It’s the kind of thing that one doesn’t expect to hear from a genuine graverobber, who in our experience tend to be generally unpleasant people.

Not the most practical way to find a date . . .
but, hey, times are tough all around.

While our age gap rarely comes up as an actual problem worth discussing, it often becomes the basis of good-natured teasing, such as when I injure an old-mannish part of me (a hip, for example) playing hockey, getting slowly out of bed, or chasing kids off our lawn; or when she struggles to identify artifacts such as LP records, typewriters, and rotary phones,2 or wants to know what life was like before automobiles.

Your humble author, ca. 1895.

The age gap does seem to be a bit harder on me, though, not just because I’m more elderly and thus an easier, slower target, but also because, frankly, I’m not too bright.

Some years ago—I won’t say exactly how many—Some Gal turned twenty-five. She was in a funk for much longer than I had learned to expect her to be down about anything,3 so finally I asked what was eating her. Clearly (in hindsight) upset about having rushed through the first five years of her twenties, she answered with a slump in her shoulders and voice:

“I’m halfway to thirty.”

My immediate response—the mathematical part of my brain obviously moving much faster than the part that doles out common sense—was:

“What are you talking about? You’re halfway to fifty.”

I suspect that by the time I live this down, she’ll be halfway to ninety. Maybe older than that, since I’m dimwitted enough to have put it in writing so it’ll be harder to forget.

1. In case you’re struggling to keep up, my wife’s husband is me. While we tend to use the first-person plural here at Bowling in the Dark, referring to our wife’s husband as “us” would be be confusing at best, and at worst might inadvertently generate discussion about polygamy and the constitutional definition of marriage, and I/we/Gaia are particularly interested in not having that discussion here.
2. I’m making a lot of this up because she’s probably not going to read this.
3. Probably twenty or thirty minutes. She’s pretty upbeat.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bowling in the Dark's Endorsement for President of the United States:

Montgomery Brewster, pitcher, Hackensack Bulls


A platform we can get behind:

 “I wanna thank you for coming out today . . . to see to it that neither my opponents nor me win the election. I wanna ask the question:
Q. Whos buying the booze?  
A: [Montgomery Brewster.]

Q: Who’s buying the food? 
A: [Montgomery Brewster.]

Q: And whos trying to buy your vote? 
A: [Technically everybody, but also Montgomery Brewster.]

Q: And who you’re gonna vote for? 
A: None of the above! 

Q: Say it again! 
A: None of the above! 

Q: Let me hear it one more time! 
A: None of the above! 

Yeah, sure, we’ve all heard that one before.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Nike Takes a Courageous Stance Against Certain Kinds of Cheating

Tiger Woods, professional golfer

Tiger Woods, immediately after bombarded
by gamma radiation.

Moral misstep: slept with a woman who was not his wife, and then—having decided that that was pretty awesome—went on to sleep with five, nine, eleven, or 121 others, depending on which disgusting internet source you choose to believe.

Marketability: while his popularity may not be what it once was,1 he’s still a well-known and much-discussed athlete in what is inexplicably one of the world’s most popular sports. While he’s not playing up to his usual standards of late, he has the potential to continue to golf at a very high level for the next five to twenty-five years, making him a huge boon for any company with the right amount of moral fiber to stick with him through a few thousand minor marital indiscretions.

Nike’s stance: Everything’s swell. The Tiger Woods Center at Nike’s headquarters remains, as you may have guessed, named after Tiger Woods.

Kobe Bryant, shooting guard, Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)

Kobe Bryant, having briefly forgotten that the name
that matters to him is the one on the
back of the jersey.

Moral misstep: accused of rape by nineteen-year-old Katelyn Faber; while the charges were dropped after Faber refused to testify, Bryant later publicly stated that while he “truly believe[s] this encounter . . . was consensual,” he “now understand[s] how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.” So viewed in the best possible light, he had sex with a woman who was not his wife. Given the competition in this category, one single adulterous affair seems positively quaint, but it’s still not a particularly decent thing to do.

Marketability: remains active as the most popular player on the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the NBA’s most popular teams, with potential to make Nike oodles of money for at least another four to six years.

Nike’s stance: no problems here.

Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL)

Moral misstep: accused of sexual assault in 2008; no charges filed. Accused of sexual assault in 2010; no charges filed. After the second accusation, he served four games of a six-game suspension and lost his Fathead endorsement. A spokesman for the company stated at the time, “We named our company Fathead, not Fat Asshole.”2

Marketability: Two-time super Bowl champion, marquee quarterback on one of the absurdly popular and marketable NFL’s most popular and marketable teams. While his career may not last more than another five to six years or two to three allegations, even mediocre players and backups  sell jerseys.

Nike’s stance: Are we under oath, here? No? Then what he may have done would have been bad, and we’re definitely going to cut him loose any day now. Honest.

Lance Armstrong: cyclist, seven-time Tour de France winner

Have you ever spent a lifetime sitting on a bicycle
seat? Trust us, you’d look this grouchy too.

Moral Misstep: despite his repeated and strenuous statements to the contrary, Lance Armstrong may well turn out to have been something of a cheater in the otherwise squeaky-clean world of competitive cycling. He joins the very brief list of cyclists who have tested positive, admitted to doping, or been sanctioned for doping that includes—and is absolutely, almost definitely, probably limited to—barely-known racers such as Marco Pantani, Jan Ullrich, Roland Meier, Alex Zuille, Laurent Dufaux, Abraham Olano, Richard Virenque, Bjarne Riis, Christophe Moreau, Roberto Heras, Richard Virenque, Francisco Mancebo, Igor González, Óscar Sevilla, Raimondas Rumsas, Levi Leipheimer, Alexandre Vinokourov, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Michael Rasmussen, Floyd Landis, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Mikel Astarloza, Bernhard Kohl, Christian Vande Velde, Fränk Schleck, Tadej Valjavec, and Tyler Hamilton.3

Marketability: one of the best-known figures in the world when it comes to providing emotional, physical, and financial support to survivors of cancer, a disease that has to some degree, directly or indirectly, affected pretty much every person on Earth. Ever. On the other hand, he’s retired, and he participated in a sport that nobody in Nike’s U.S. demographic gave a shit about before Lance Armstrong came along.

Nike’s stance: Screw you, Lance Armstrong.

In the past, Nike has cut ties with sports figures such as Marion Jones (for her alleged and later admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs), the late Joe Paterno (who, of course, technically didn’t do anything but also, of course, didn’t do anything), and Michael Vick (who was coincidentally reinstated with Nike once he’d become popular again).

We’re not going to say that Nike should have maintained its ties with Lance Armstrong, regardless of whether the doping charges against him were (or are) ever proved or definitively disproved—that’s completely up to them. And we’re not saying that Armstrong’s admirable work with his foundation gives him a pass if he is, in fact, a big fat blood doper—although this raises the interesting question of whether it’s better to be a great guy in your sport but a turd in your personal life, or the reverse.
We’re simply a little disappointed that the message we’re all getting from Nike here seems to be “if you’re gonna get caught cheating, it’d better be on your wife.”4

1. Except perhaps in the limited circles in which he was always apparently popular—after all, ladies, he’s single now. Rawr.
2. No, of course we made that up.
3. The part about these guys being “barely known” is just us being sarcastic. While we recognize only a handful of their names, all of them have finished in the top ten of the Tour de France at least once in the last fifteen years.
4. We realize that Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t fit the “cheater” theme here, as he was not married when he was accused of sexual assault. Twice. He does, however, still have a valid place in this piece, thanks to its overarching theme of “pro athletes who are definitely or at least probably dicks.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why We Like Sir Alec Guinness

Yeah, sure, Alec Guinness played Colonel Nicholson in Bridge on the River Kwai, Jamessir Bensonmum in Murder by Death, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Only Reason Americans Under Forty Remember Alec Guinness, and his name is an anagram for genuine class. But as if that weren’t enough already, here’s another great reason to like him:

In case you haven’t spotted it, check out the t-shirt he’s wearing under his Jedi robes.

It’s an obvious connection to make, of course, given his last name,1 of course, and he’s probably not the first movie star to enjoy a drink—assuming there was any available, what with Oliver Reed being alive at the time. But the possibility that he had that same t-shirt on while the cameras were rolling makes Alec Guinness—not to mention Obi-wan Kenobi—just that much cooler.

1. Alec Guinness’s last name, for those of you who aren’t keeping up, is “Guinness.”

Monday, October 1, 2012

Panda Alert Systems Save Lives

Your neighborhood could be next. Are you prepared?

Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru didn’t want to spend the money on
a Panda Alert System, and look what happened to them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Would Jesus Drive? Because Apparently That's a Real Question These Days.

It’d be very easy to speculate on, criticize, and/or try to measure the toxic levels of smug self-importance it takes to compare one’s driving habits to Jesus Christ—and on top of that, to pridefully broadcast it on one’s own license plate. We’re going to avoid taking the easy route, though, and do our level best to take the question at face value.

So, seriously, what would Jesus drive?

To this driver (see above), the answer is clearly that Jesus would drive a hybrid car.1 We have no problem with electric cars; in general we like nifty technology, environmental friendliness, and an unquantifiable feeling that we’re Doing Something Good, and electric cars are often chock full of all three.

(Our only real beef with electric cars is their sneaky, ninja-style quietness. One of our neighbors drives one, and several times as we’ve walked obliviously across our parking lot, watching seagulls or thinking about dinosaurs,2 he’s crept around the corner on little cat wheels and could easily have crushed us to death before we heard him coming. Fortunately, he’s a very nice guy, and is also probably worried about what hitting a grown and slightly overweight man would do to his silly little car’s papier-mâché body frame.)

It’s safe to assume, though, that its potential value in vehicular homicide is not the number-one reason people drive hybrid cars—in all likelihood it’s no higher than fourth or fifth. The main reason folks drive hybrid or electric cars, just like Jesus did, is that they hate pollution and want to save the Earth.

We’re big fans of that too, for sure, and the prevailing logic is that electric cars spit out less polluting exhaust than gas-powered cars. But we’re not convinced that driving an electric car quite qualifies as a Christlike level of Earth-friendliness—after all, doesn’t 54% of U.S. electricity come from coal, a big fat gross pollutant?3

The coal-powered bicycle has done little to combat
China’s air-pollution problems.

Another 20% of U.S. electricity comes from nuclear power,4 so in a very unscientific way we could estimate that about 20% of an electric car’s power comes from nuclear power. The great thing about nuclear power is that it pollutes the Earth much, much less than coal power and is totally safe . . . except for the occasional horrifying disaster that does Earth-unfriendly damage to thousands upon thousands of square miles of plants, soil, water, and animals.5

Coal dust or radioactive contamination?
We love having options.
Contaminated water also counts as pollution, in our book.6

Don’t get us wrong. This is not to say that folks who drive electric or hybrid cars are bad people, or are doing a bad thing. They’re very likely bad in just about the exact same ratio as the regular population, and hybrid cars and their drivers are, on the whole, awfully swell, especially when they’re not sneaking up to kill us.

We merely believe that if you have the gall to compare yourself to Jesus Christ based on your driving habits, you might want to limit yourself to one of the driving options that Jesus might actually have had.

Option A.

Option B.

Is that too much to ask?

1. It’s possible that the driver is trying to tell us that Jesus would drive a Toyota, but we don’t believe that’s the case. If Jesus were to forgo an electric car, we’re positive He’d buy American.
2. We did both of these things quite a bit while playing youth soccer, since they were way more fun than playing youth soccer.
3. These folks say yes.
4. According to these folks.
5. Also humans, who are considered to be important to Jesus, and often to environmentalists.
6. One of the more chilling passages we’ve read in our six minutes of research refers to the Japanese government’s “inability to control the spread of radioactive material into the nation’s food.”

Sunday, September 16, 2012

NFL Broadcaster Cliché Bingo 2

A week or two after we posted our initial NFL Broadcaster Cliché Bingo card it occurred to us that, having created only one card, we had doomed our legions of bingo-crazy readers to play against each other using the exact same phrases. Folks would be filling out all the same spaces at the very same time, with only minor variations based on deafness, channel-flipping, or bathroom breaks, so virtually every bingo game would end in a tie.

While it’s heartwarming to think that such an oversight might inadvertently foster a sense of teamwork and cooperation among our readers—and, eventually, among football fans and then people of all creeds and colors from all walks of life—we think it’s a bit silly to even bother playing a game you have virtually no chance of winning. 

That’d basically be like playing for the 2008 Detroit Lions, and nobody deserves that—except maybe for the 2011 Indianapolis Colts.

Don’t be like those losers.1 Be a winner—pick up a bingo card, find a game on TV, and kick some ass, bingo-player style.

. . . okay, we admit that we don’t have any idea how playing bingo could possibly have anything to do with the notion of “kicking ass.” But we’re willing to admit that it’s probably technically possible, and we’re sure you’ll do your best. Go get ’em, Sport.


1. That is, coordinated, strong, famous, and rich.

Previously published on December 10, 2011. Bowling in the Dark has gone green, proudly recycling old crappy content and turning it into fresh new crappy content that looks pretty much the same. Please show your support by rereading, or, alternatively, sending us a ton of money.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Vocabulary Lesson: Magic vs. Magick

Magic (no k) amazes.
Magic is one of the human race’s oldest institutions, older still than Paul Bunyan, Saint Nick, Young Earth creationism, or the yeti. Magic can be entertaining or terrifying, beloved or distrusted, but is just as undeniably a fundamental and tangible part of daily human life as the yeti.

Magic (no k) makes you laugh.

The uninitiated, then, may be a big confused by the difference between magic and magick, or even magicks, the latter spellings having gradually returned to the popular vernacular over the last several decades. The answer is fairly simple, believe it or not—serious practitioners of real magic(k) prefer to use the (k) to differentiate what they do from the kind of magic( ) that might better be described as stage magic or simply parlor tricks.

Magic, minus charisma,
looks like this.
Well-known acts like David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, Penn & Teller, or Criss Angel,1
then, perform magic. Magic is an act (albeit a very skilled one), a deft mix of distraction, showmanship, sleight-of-hand, and misdirection that combine to give the impression that otherworldly powers are on display when really it’s all just humbug. The practitioners know that magic is fake, but when it’s done right, it can have a powerful effect on the imaginations of its witnesses.

Magick, unlike magic, is to be taken very, very seriously.

Magick, on the other hand, was described by noted British occultist Aleister Crowley as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” It can seem to the uninitiated to be mysterious, deadly serious, and sometimes dark, and while it’s exceedingly difficult to find credible witnesses to incidents of magick, it nevertheless has a powerful effect on the imaginations of its practitioners.

In other words, if it’s fake, but you can actually see it happening, that’s magic. If it’s 100% real, but totally made up: magick.

You wanna see magic? Pull my finger.

1. Assuming any of these folks are still performing, that is. We don’t really pay much attention.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

NFL Broadcaster Cliché Bingo

Do you find yourself with no legitimate reason to continue watching your favorite football team more than five or ten minutes after the opening kickoff? (Colts, Jaguars, Dolphins, Browns, Panthers, Rams, Jets, Seahawks, and Cardinals fans, we’re looking at you.)

Don’t lose hope yet, and by all means don’t get off the couch and try to live a productive life. You can use your local team’s broadcast—assuming it hasn’t been blacked out in your area thanks to lack of interest—to have fun the way old ladies at the local church do. Except you get to do it on your couch, with a beer in your hand!1

1. We do not intend to imply that all old ladies play bingo, or that all bingo players are old or even ladies, or that all churches play or even allow bingo. We merely intend to imply that you are a fat, lazy drunk.

Previously published on November 7, 2011.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Freddie Mercury

“I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend.” 
—Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury, the dynamic lead singer of the band Queen, would have been sixty-six years old today.

An argument about who deserves to be named the greatest rock-and-roll singer of all time could go on for months or years—decades, maybe—with very knowledgeable people bringing up worthy names such as Robert Plant, Chris Cornell, Bono, that one guy from Simon & Garfunkel, Paul McCartney, Janis Joplin, Peter Gabriel, John Lennon, Tiny Tim,1 that other guy from Simon and Garfunkel, Chrissy Hynde, Bruce Springsteen, Pat Benatar,2 or Roger Daltrey.

They’d all be wrong, though. The answer is Freddie Mercury.

1. Not really. Just wanted to see if you were still paying attention.
2. Okay, it’s debatable whether Pat Benatar belongs in the discussion of all time greatest rock and roll voices. We admit that in part we’re trying to stave off complaints about a lack of female representation on this list that has come more or less from the top of our heads, but, to be fair, Pat Benatar is still a heck of a singer. Maybe even better than Tiny Tim.