Staff List: Archnemeses

Over the years, the Bureau Staff has made a lot of enemies. Here are their favorites.

I am a very tolerant person, but amongst the small social set in my area, there is a person I can only identify as my archnemesis. I don’t see this person terribly often, but his appearance generally heralds a terrible evening to come. I will call this person Randy. Randy is a social demon. Randy is the worst. I wish I could gesture more strongly through words than just italicizing the worst, like waving my hands very, very, widely, so trust me when I say this person is really awful.

Randy does not have normal human emotions. Randy only knows social destruction — he alone can derail an entire evening and offend everyone in one sentence. Randy will single you out and make you uncomfortable. Randy is anarchy.

Every time I see Randy at a bar, or at a friend’s birthday, I hold my breath in terror as I see the words slowly spew from his terrible mouth. Probably making fun of their recently dead grandmother, or their pet’s slow death from diabetes. I’m not sure why Randy is always invited to events, much less how he obtains and sustains friendships. Doesn’t everyone feel awful around Randy? — Writer Jordan Barber


My archnemesis is, and will forever be, Ryan Reynolds. And in particular, Ryan Reynolds’s abs. Check ‘em out:

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Jesus.

You see, Scarlett Johansson and I used to have a thing. And by thing, I don’t mean like an “official” thing, but more like a spiritual one. She understood me, understood my soul, or at least she would’ve if had we ever met.

But Scarlett’s surprising marriage to Van FUCKING Wilder destroyed my perception of her. She was no longer the sexy hipster with the dry, understated wit, the girl who didn’t care that you didn’t care about her album of Tom Waits covers. No, Scarlett fell for the intolerable frat boy.

I have a hard time blaming her though. I mean, look:

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Damn.

It’s easier to be angry at Ryan Reynolds than Scarlett. Are you reading this Ryan? I hope you are, because I will hate you until the day Scarlett divorces your talentless Dane Cook look-alike ass. And hopefully that happens before the Deadpool movie comes out, because I’m actually pretty excited to see that. — Editor Kevin Nguyen


Everyone here in Seattle really likes it when the sun comes out. You can just tell. They put on their short pants and go outside and look at bright things all day. It’s basically a pagan festival except even more awkward. But I can’t help thinking, if these people love the sun so much, why do they live in Seattle?

I hate the sun. I don’t mean the big fiery orb in space, which is arguably an important part of existence. But I can’t stand being in direct sunlight for more than like two minutes. When I was a kid it gave me headaches so bad I’d throw up. Now I just get cranky and sunburned.

This one atypical preference cascades through my life, dictating opinions that paint me as a lunatic. Like, I think the worst place in the world is the beach. And whenever anyone asks why, I’m faced with a dilemma. I can give the real reason, that I want no part of the nurturing heat rays that sustain our planet, or I can try to improv something slightly less deranged. So I just end up ranting about sand for five minutes. Don’t get me wrong: sand fucking sucks, and I know that position doesn’t exactly come across as sane. It’s just easier than trying to tell someone I don’t really care for, y’know, the day.

One last thing: don’t start at me with this vampire shit. I go out when the sun’s out all the time. It just drains me. I’m much more like reverse Birdman. — Bureau Editor Nick Martens


My archnemesis revealed itself on August 26, 1997. Although that was the release date of the Star Wars: Special Editions on VHS, George Lucas’s enhancements to those films don’t represent my sworn enemy — not exactly. Rather, my nemesis revealed itself gradually, and only became apparent after repeated viewings. I began to notice differences between the Special Editions films I remembered seeing in theaters and the VHS tapes I watched at home.

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Tibanna Refinery outside of Cloud City in ESB:SE theatrical edition

For example: the BesGas Three refinery made its first appearance in the theatrical debut of the Empire Strikes Back: Special Edition. I wasn’t sure of it significance, but it was memorable enough that I missed it when it didn’t appear in my my videotapes at home. I began to wonder if something was wrong with the tapes. Had Lucas tinkered further with the films before releasing them on video?

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Missing refinery in fullscreen ESB:SE VHS edition

Surprisingly, no. As similar differences mounted, I began to understand the sinister notion that “formatted to fit your TV” conveyed. The repulsive prevalence of fullscreen movies sickened me, as did the idea of a feeble-minded public watching films with 30% of each frame stripped away. I grew more and more upset with each fullscreen movie, and eventually developed an involuntarily cringe at the sight of a non-letterbox print.

The advent of DVDs alleviated the problem, but every once in a while my friends will insist on re-watching a nostalgic videotape available only in fullscreen. In such situations, I take the less honorable path: I leave the room, and I retreat.

As long I choose not to view my archnemesis, it holds no sway over me. — Contributing Writer Tim Lehman


As a fan of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, I have suffered no shortage of embarrassments and indignities. Despite putting together an impressive ten-year streak of winning at least 50 games per season, the Mavs have earned a reputation for epic failure at times when it really matters. Many of these moments were brought about by the opposing team’s star player. There was the time in 2006 we squandered our first (and only) chance at a championship after leading the Finals 2-0 against the Dwyane Wade-led (and referee-assisted) Miami Heat. There was the time in 2005 when Kobe Bryant personally outscored the Mavs 63-62 through three quarters. But I still hold my deepest grudge against this guy:

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Not long after I began following the team, in the sixth game of the 2003 Western Conference Finals, the corpse of Steve Kerr came off the Spurs’ bench and buried four 3-pointers to kill the Mavs’ momentum and eliminate us from the playoffs. It’s bad enough that we lost at the hands of a guy who looks like he might get beat up by Ron Artest for his lunch money. But the worst part of that loss has been its lasting effect on my expectations: I expect the other team’s weakest players to exploit the Mavs and send us packing. The credo of the sports fan is supposed to be “there’s always next season.” But thanks to my archnemesis, I’ve been conditioned to think “they’re always a way we could lose.” — Contributing Writer Daniel Adler