my favorite movie reviewer on YouTube for 2020 is Chris Stuckmann

Here he takes apart the new Wonder Woman movie in a thoughtful, careful, thorough manner.

i suppose it’s why he has over 1.8 million subscribers.

1.8 million subscribers is quadruple what the LA Times’ youtube channel currently has.

the LA Times has a staff of talented, award-winning, super-connected journalists photographers and video experts

and yet one guy in his spare room,

wearing a Blockbuster Video t-shirt laps them.


are they doing everything wrong?

are they not putting their right people in front of the camera?

despite all the “young” people they’ve hired in digital, do they still not get it?

i think the main problem is the Times isn’t really used to paying attention to the audience.

Few newspapers are used to doing that.

Also: audiences change what they want.


theres this thing in the bleachers at wrigley field

what you do is you keep your cup of beer after you drink it and stack the empties as the game goes on.

eventually you might have this long snake of cups at the end of the game if you… have a close relationship with drinking.

so shout out to the Cubs social media dept for this Elf on the Shelf tribute to bleacher bums.

of which i am one. even though two old styles is all i need out there.

amber and i have the most interesting relationship. many people probably think that it revolves around my hot bod and fancy clothes.

while that may have been true at the beginning, her home cooking has been responsible for me gaining a few but she doesnt mind. far as i can tell.

but because she doesnt drink, i stopped drinking too. not that it was ever that big of a part of my life but ive maybe had four beers all year? it almost seems impossible for a man who loves Isla Vista, Hollywood and the Bleachers so much.

i hear some say that they are happy that UCSB isn’t really a party school any more. but i would disagree. i think it’s good to discover your tolerance at that age. i think it’s great to see that The Guy who can drink the most isn’t really the achievement we think it is as we’re doing that beer bong.

although i gotta say, when i was driving Uber and this Korean CEO told me that heavy drinking is part of the biz culture there, it was a little shocking.

like logically what does it prove if the CEO of Hyundai can drink a giant pitcher of a gross assortment of spirits? and how is it disgraceful if the CEO of Samsung can’t? am i really that much of a hippy dip idealist that all i care about are the quality of the crap and its price?

tell me a good story.

tell me about the hardest you ever fell in love.

blow my mind with some truism you got from a fortune cookie.

i went to a college where they were snorting ether off dirty rags and then playing Defender and Ms Pacman side by side and switching machines after each time they died. who cares how much Jager you can pound.

tell me something cool.

she me something beautiful.

sing me a song on a broken piano in the back where the kegs are.

drinking is fine, but it’s the set up, not the tale.

13 years ago i got called up to the big leagues

when i finished listing all my jobs (21!) someone DMed me and asked me which I was the most proud of.

im glad they didnt call me out in public because so many people who i used to work with are my friends on IG and i would never want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

but easily the one i am most proud of is LAist.

maybe you woulda have to have been there to understand but LAist was the bottom of the LA blogosphere at the time – in part because they didn’t pay the editor more than $100. but all these blogs that you don’t even hear about any more, including several at the LA Times were waaaay ahead of us when i was given the gig.

following Carolyn Kellogg was not so easy either. she’s a true pro. voracious reader. an intellect. and just straight up nice.

so a few of the staff bailed when they saw that i was taking over.

then there was the issue of what did i have to offer those who remained? i couldnt pay them. i couldnt even promise them that there would be an audience any time soon. and i did things so differently that some of them would predictably be upset.

for example, even though i make fun of Team Coverage when the LA news stations send all their reporters out to cover a 1″ rain storm, i sorta like Team Coverage because no one tells the same story the same way.

so if Beck is playing at some small venue and everyone is like, can i cover it can i cover it? i say you can all cover it, because id rather have 3 pieces on something theyre all passionate about then 100 pieces where everyones half assing it.

PLUS a lot of time in blogging, the reader will scroll down a few posts and if they see something good they’ll click, otherwise they’ll leave the site. so if i can give you a Beck review at noon, 3pm and 6pm, odds are you’ll read one of them, whereas if theres just one at noon, you might not even see it on the page if you get in at 6pm.

but on top of that, magic sometimes happens and out of the three articles one person might just emerge as a damn star. and sometimes that can be the person you least expect, aka the one you would have never assigned it to.

so what did i have to offer? a chance.

in a year and a half of breaking every rule, experimentation, love, support, and no deadlines, LAist quadrupled the LA Times’ #1 blog. a feat that was never accomplished by any other blog again after i became Blog Editor of the LA Times in late December of 2007.

and i did it with a group of beautiful humans who i dealt with honestly and openly.

i am so proud of that period of my life and i think about it all the time.

the only thing i want is for my mom to be happy

and yet this Christmas, like every Christmas she sends more packages and more gifts to us than we give to each other.

always good things.

always things i wear forever.

always things i love.

last night i went to bed early and woke up in the middle of the night somewhere around 420am. when i get four hours of sleep my body thinks thats all i want so i know im doomed for the rest of the night so i turned on the maladorian and started wrapping amber’s gifts.

even though im broke i met a guy across the river and did a favor for him. in return he told me i could purchase a laptop computer for amber at a deep discount.

believe it or not the favor was to do some SEO work for their company’s website.

but as soon as i started wrapping her gift, i hear her stumble to the bathroom and then slowly walk to the living room. i hastily hid the computer and took off my pants in front of her.

that image worked to perfection and she retreated back to slumber.

currently im reading the autobiography of ted templeman who loved jazz as a teen in the 1950s and went on to produce a slew of Doobie Brothers albums in the ’70s before producing all of Van Halen’s records and then later Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, and Joan Jett.

he starts off talking about his dad and uncles who had such a horrible life that it makes you ashamed for ever complaining about anything. i havent had an arm blown off. i havent been taken prisoner. boo hoo kris rebah didnt wanna go to the seventh grade dance with me, ted templeman’s dad had to eat spiders to stay alive and gave raw meat to a monkey to see if it would die. and if it didnt, mr templeman would eat the horrid meat.

eighth grade would be better.

and eighty-eighth grade would be better than ever.

suck it up, whiner, the next chapter will more than make up for this one.

and then i can get my momma better presents than she gets me.

here it is Christmas Eve and we tried eating tamales

but we couldnt find none

drove all the way down sunset to East LA but i guess they only sell them early in the morning.

it’s ok. everythings ok. everythings been ok. everything will be ok.

i just finished writing about all 21 jobs ive ever had. mama mia that was epic. i have been very blessed.

then on top of it are all the things that happened when i wasnt working. all the bowling i did, all the poems i wrote, all the girls whose eyes i melted into.

and then there was sports. and computers. and video games. and books. and breakdancing. and sailing.

one summer all i did was sail every day in the frigid san francisco bay.

when youre 16, shivering among white caps you dont think you’re learning lessons that will stick with you forever but thats where life is awesome.

one of the lessons i learned had to do with wind. cant do shit on a sailboat if theres no wind. likewise if theres too much wind you’re just trying not to flip over.

but lets talk about no wind because in a way thats what so many americans are dealing with right now. how do you succeed if theres no work, millions are unemployed, people cant go inside restaurants and there are all these restrictions?

the lesson i learned out there was when theres no wind, look at the bridge. check out the mountains. notice the fog crawling over the peaks. listen to the sea gulls. watch the tour boats.

basically all the things that youd not have any time to soak in: enjoy.

ive got a GF bouncing off the walls because she cant work right now. and when i say lets watch the Mandalorian together she says shhhh. she says dont tell me what to do. she says why are you posing like a super model? why are you juggling my flip flops. wait, when did you learn to juggle?

and i said, on the sailboat when there was no wind.

today i found out the saddest thing

someone i hadnt talked to in a long time called me to fill me in on something i didn’t know.

someone i had so much respect for, it turns out, lied to me, several times, strung me along, and then did something hurtful to me and others.

the person on the phone asked how should i feel about this? and then, how do you feel about this?

and because it’s Christmas Eve, and because i love the Good Book because it shows humans being humans and good people sometimes being less than good, i know how to react to this.

sometimes in the Bible, God does something that is rarely talked about. He hardens people’s hearts. meaning, the good person would normally be all sweet and honest and transparent and welcoming, but suddenly acts out of character because God wants them to.

since none of us are God it’s hard to speculate why he wants them to act cruelly, but usually it’s not about them, it’s about our reaction to that curveball. sometimes God wants to watch us do the right thing in spite of the situation.

and thats what we should do here. the right thing. and the right thing is to love this person and love all the people. especially when they’re lost.

it’s easy to be cool when everythings cool, but sometimes, i think, he wants to see if we will act ugly when ugly things come our way.

pleasantly surprise him.

life is short. surround yourself with people who act honorably around you. and when they fail, as we all do, forgive them and move on.

you have no idea what they’re going through or how badly they need a second chance. give it to them.

did something dumb


the day started out good. amber woke me up just after noon and we just stared at each other

and she said youre the hottest man alive

and i said

damn straight.

then she said, can you get out of here for a few hours today.

and i said

damn straight.

first stop was this purple church ive seen a million times.

earlier this month we saw a dead guy being examined by the coroner at the los feliz triangle. while we were there i asked the two guys looking if they were journalists. one was the other said he worked at this purple church

and you could get showers there for free.

and they were always looking for clothing donations.

who among us doesnt have a few coats we could give up, and that turned into like six bags of clothes that ended up in my trunk… for nearly three weeks.

today i finally went and they were so great. my buddy brian was there. the guy running the joint was there and as we talked i asked, hey can i get this on video, people need to know. and he was all sure.

so then i emailed that traveling youtuber living in his car because he’s been taking cold showers in Venice.

then i drove to claremont to see rob, his wife, his mother n law and his teenage son.

we all just could not stop talking because we have all been quarantining so long and they have really done a spectacular job with their trees and lights and art and gadgets.

at one point i pointed and said, why do you have this if you have that?

carrie said, thats a jacuzzi and that’s a hot tub. they’re different.

i was sent home with some fruit, berries, and a spotted aloe plant.

and also i am invited back to talk to carrie’s mom whose family was so strict that they wouldn’t let her dance. ever.

she said the first time she ever danced was at rob and carrie’s wedding.

if i only knew i was witnessing history.

on the way home i stopped by walmart and saw this Christmas tree was being sold for $0.

before i could even understand what i was seeing, a sweet young lady saw me and asked, are you going to take it?

things that are cool to do in a mercedes: blast iron maiden

things that are not cool to do in a mercedes: tell a lady driving the not a mercedes that she cannot have the free tree.

the dumb thing i did was go into the walmart looking for baseball cards

because baseball cards are not worth catching a terrible disease.

i have a friend who is the one person in LA doing the right thing

he’s keeping his ass at home.

and im not much of a gift giver, but i got the perfect gift for him and i dont want to mail it to him because it’s super rare.

and it’d dumb, so it’s hard to find and they didnt make a lot of these.

so i had to move my car for street cleaning and i figured that while i was in my car i could drive to his apartment and give it to him.

he lives in a fancy building, but it’s not fancy enough to have a doorman. a rarity in LA.

like me, he’s xbi so he knows how to read minds. so when i texted him to see if he was at home he said duh of course.  but then he added this gem.

“I am always home but I am not, under any circumstance, opening my door and going outside, if you’re thinking of dropping something off. I won’t do it. I don’t go downstairs. I don’t go in the elevator. I don’t go outside. If you want to drop something off, you can do it after the vaccine. Until then you will not see me.”

unfortunately for him that only makes me want to learn how to scale tall buildings, rent a drone, or fly my helicopter to his roof and rappel to his window and scare the crap outta him.

but i respect his decision. everyone should be this cautious. if we had been, we’d be back out at clubs making out with strangers again by now.

instead we’re watching netflix and not chillin.

someone complimenting my review of old jobs asked

“yo tony, why are you doing all of this on IG instead of on your blog?”

and the answer is easy: because it’s harder on IG.

you have a finite number of characters on an instagram caption, and you can only put 10 pics in there.

also people don’t like reading long captions.

also you get no SEO juice.

also you can’t link.

therefore it’s a bigger challenge, which i don’t shy away from. some of my favorite gigs were tough challenges. who celebrates after beating children in a backyard basketball game? isn’t it more of a success when you win at something where you were the underdog?

likewise, i love all these people who have all these opinions about things who either never kicked ass at those things or dont do them at all. for example, do you have any idea how many people told me that blogs mean this that or the other — when they never had a blog?

or people who said LAist should be this way or the LA Times should be this way or omg the Academy should never do that on it’s Twitter.

and this is from people who have never done anything in blogging or social.

so yes, if you tell me something is impossible to do on Facebook or “no way can you get hits on the weekend.” not only am i gonna do it but imma get so many hits on a weekend ON facebook that either you will shut the hell up

or never doubt me again.

be the exception to every rule.

do epic shit on instagram.

break the rules for the sake of breaking them AND so others can see that limitations are all in our minds, placed in there not by he who loves us, but the adversary.

i have seen too many teams, people, and things, that have been written off to the scrap yard, come back to kick ass.

be the next one they sleep on.

then tell your story everywhere.

why you should never give one flying fuck


of all the musical geniuses that ever lived, many consider Beethoven to be THE ONE.

it came easy to Mozart. are you a genius if it was literally a gift from God?

Hell No.

you’re a genius if Despite the obstacles in your life or your surroundings you are able to overcome

and still create miracles.

above we see an image of Beethoven writing music. things are scratched out, corrections are being made, editing.

bro’s working. crafting. weeding out the riff raff. changing direction midstream.

heres Wolfgang Amadeus

everythings nice, tight, polite. very few notes. maybe a reminder to the conductor or musician, but basically it came from God’s heart and through Mozart’s fingers.

while I love both of their music, to me, Beethoven should be admired more because he shows that a strong work ethic and intention and commitment can create art that will last forever.

you might like Mozart more, fine. But most of us agree they were both giants in their field and life is so much better with them than without them.

enter Leo Tolstoy, a writer who dominated my higher education at the College of Creative Studies at UCSB. our college was supposed to be the cream of the crop. the most talented artists, musicians and writers. and who did the Lit professors fawn over? The Russians. and the top dog, by far was Count Lev Nikolayevich or Лев Николаевич Толстой if you’re nasty.

we read his short stories his long stories. we read his diaries and his newspaper columns. we read his letters and his poems. you could not get through CCS back when i did without a huge amount of knowledge and respect for the most famous man in Russia during the 19th century.

one day Tolstoy was chatting it up with the legendary Russian composer Tchaikovsky when Leo dropped a bomb: he didn’t think Ludwig Van was talented.

Pyotr Ilyich was shocked. And ran home and wrote down exactly how shocked he was and how he was suddenly struggling with how he felt about the writer.

So you can be the great Ludwig Van Beethoven. Toiling at your keyboard. Going deaf. Are deaf. And some asswipe says you aint got it.

But worse, this asswipe is the most important mind for generations. Professors across the sea a century after his death are going to be holding up his works as Untouchable Legend.

he’s the one who says you aint shit. to a peer of yours. to a rival. to a friend.

so, yes Virginia, someone is going to talk shit about your blog, or your boyfriend or your favorite band or about you.

let them.

as elvis costello said, let them talk let them talk let them all talk.

Jesus was nailed to a cross after he healed the sick and fed the hungry.

of course people are gonna misunderstand and mistrust you too.

keep your head down and never stop making that joyful noise.