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A Mom’s Guide to the Oscar Best Pictures

The 2013 Oscars are over and the nominees are beginning to be released for the masses on DVD, Blu-ray and Netflix. The critics have weighed in, the film geeks have watched, and the jury has decided. But what about the world’s most beloved demographic? That’s right… Moms.

Moms aren’t like you and me. They have different wants, needs, and desires. While we might be impressed with brilliant directing, stunning cinematography, and impeccable acting, Moms demand more.

Better! Funner! rounded up nine Moms for each of the nine Best Picture nominees and asked for their exclusive reviews. For Moms, by Moms.


argoARGO (Winner) by Joyce Meyers, divorced mother of 2

Ben Affleck! Can that man get any more handsome? Am I right?? And how about that beard? Umph! Just like a lumberjack! He can chop down my bush. He can smuggle me out of an embassy, unless it’s the Embassy Suites!! Jennifer Lopez was never a good fit for him. So happy to see him with a nice girl like Jennifer Garner. Two thumbs up? No, three FINGERS up!


lincolnLincoln by Debbie McCarthy, Boston, mother of 3

If you have one movie to see this year, make it Lincoln! Like I did. When you have three kids, you just don’t have time for movies anymore. My husband and I had just one date night last year, and I chose Lincoln because I knew it would be educational for the kids. And it was!


djangoDjango Unchained by Melissa Meadows, Savannah, mother of 2

I didn’t see this movie. It’s too violent and too grotesque. Is that really necessary? All that blood and guts. Not for me. Couldn’t they have showed slavery in a different light? Why the brutality? Just to shock audiences and sell tickets? Oh, and I heard they used the n-word too.

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When a Taxi Driver says you’re Jewish, then gets pulled over

So I’m heading to Hollywood, California for a work thing. Ordered a car service to the airport because my company is paying for it. The best part about a car service is the robot-like driver who doesn’t speak a word. But this driver kicks off our 20-minute ride to the airport with, “Schwarzmann! I was expecting someone darker.”


“Schwarzmann, it’s a Jewish name from Germany. German surnames are often adjectives. Adjectives! Your ancestry had dark skin. The Jews came from North Africa after the fall of the second Roman temple…”

This anti-Semitic history lesson continued on down Route 101 to San Francisco’s airport. Now I’m not Jewish, and neither are my ancestors, but I’m on my way to Hollywood! I appreciate how he thinks I’m a Hollywood native.

And I’m not exactly sure his remarks were “anti-Semitic”. I don’t know what “Semitic” means, but I do know I’m staunchly NOT against it. Plus I’m an American, I never paid attention in Social Studies class, so maybe this history-teacher-turned-cab-driver was going to learn me something. After all, he is wearing a tie.

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Top 25 Electropop, Dreampop, and Indiepop albums of 2012

The album – not a random offering of singles, but a piece of art that should be enjoyed in one go, from start to finish. Anyone who says the album is dead should trash their iPod and buy a record player. (Subscribe to this playlist on Spotify.)

Here we go…

#25 | Savoir Adore – “Our Nature”
This Brooklyn band dubbed themselves “fantasy rock”. You had me at “fantasy”.
Favorite Tracks: Loveliest Creature, Dreamers

#24 | Niki & The Dove – “Instinct”
Swedes are the kings and queens of indie electronica.
Favorite Tracks: Tomorrow, In Our Eyes

#23 | Baby Monster – “City of Lovers”
Electropop with some soul.
Favorite Tracks: City of Lovers, The Music’s So Loud

#22 | White Blush – “White Blush EP”
Dreamy electronic sounds from LA.
Favorite Tracks: Mirror, Jolene

#21 | The Pass – “Melt”
Synthy indie rock that reminds me of MGMT.
Favorite Tracks: Halo, Will You Wait

#20 | Tokyo Denmark Sweden – “Tokyo Denmark Sweden”
Electrpop trio from Australia.
Favorite Tracks: Comets, When it Breaks


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Do Canadians have their own sense of humor?


Per capita, Canada is funniest country in the world. Sure, there may be more funny people in the US or UK, but on average, Canadians are the funniest. But let’s be honest, Canada is just the 51st state of the United States, the humor is one in the same. Vanity Fair’s January 2013 Comedy Issue investigates.

There are actually funny Canadians alive today, but all nine of them moved into the U.S.A., and once they got here they renounced their Canadian cultural heritage, the way Mick Jagger renounced of his English accent.

Canadians, if you’re still reading, I mean that “51st state” thing with the utmost respect. You may be the 51st state, but you’re in America’s Top 5 comedic states. Right there with California and New York. Props!

Q: How do you get 26 Canadians out of a swimming pool?
A: Yell, “Everybody out of the pool!”

Canada is cold and dark, and so is their humor. If anything, their comedic styles are aligned with Scandinavia. The more miserable place you grow up, the funnier you are. Minnesota is funny, Florida is not. Finland is funny, France is not. Neither is French-Canada. It must be the language.

The world may not be watching, but Canadians can make other Canadians laugh. It makes sad sense that while Canadian humor entertains the native population, it will never flourish outside the country, because nobody outside of Canada feels any urgent need to read or hear about, or even be ware of, Canada.

Will Arnett, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Jim Carrey, Rick Moranis, Dave Foley, Tom Green, Lorne Michaels, Phil Hartman, Eugene Levy, Norm Macdonald, John Candy (again), Mike Meyers, Martin Short…all funny, all American. Quick – name a funny Canadian female! Other than Catherine O’Hara. Other than Samantha Bee. Leslie Nielsen? Close enough.

Canadians are, by history and temperament, the opposite of aggresive, and so, unsurpirsingly, their humor is defensive; they beat up on themselves before anybody else – i.e., Americans – can do it.

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VIDEO: Jesus Growing Up Rich

My only Christmas bit. Wrote this a couple years ago. One of my few old jokes I’m still happy with.

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Top 50 Electropop, Dreampop, and Indie Tracks of 2012

Electropop, dreampop, indiepop, dancepop, cheesepop, synthpop, 80’s revival, new new wave, new new romantics, electric music for adults, music that sounds great with a glass of wine on a couch in a loft…this is what I’m into, and 2012 was a great year for my obsession.

Here’s my Top 50 tracks of 2012… (Subscribe to the Spotify playlist)


#50 – San Francisco’s chillwave hero.

#49 – Disturbing vocals about wanting to be a cripple. Fortunately much of it is in French.

#48 – Californians loves hearing other Californians sing about California.

#47 – Swirly synthpop.

#46 – Synths, drum machines…and heavy electric guitars. Rock.

#45 – None of the band members are from Tokyo, Denmark, nor Sweden.

#44 – Great follow-up to their 2010 hit “A Real Hero” you probably heard from the movie “Drive”.

#43 – Drifting in and out, describes the sound perfectly.

#42 – Bleeps and bass. It’s SWEET.

#41 – More bands from “Drive”. More bone-shaking analogue synths.

#40 – Two Swedish chicks yelling in unison to dancepop. I love it.

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How annoying are your Facebook updates?

Most of your friends’ Facebook updates are painfully annoying. You’d unfriend them, but fear they’d be upset. And besides, you don’t know how.

Everyone on Facebook can fit into at least one of 21 different personalities. Below are the 21 different types of personalities and their typical annoying updates. Which Facebook personality are you?


The workaholic

It’s 10pm, guess I’m leaving the office EARLY tonight!

They should install a bed below my desk because I practically live at work!

This job is the only thing in my life that makes me feel important.


The jet-setter

I only got business class to Singapore and not first class. UGH!!!!!!

SFO -> JFK -> LHR -> HEL -> SAD

I never see my wife and kids, LOL!


The gym rat

Getting in a quick workout before breakfast.

I just ran 13km with Endomondo.

People certainly don’t like me for my personality, so I gotta workout everyday!


The annoying guy who wishes he was a comedian

Hey, check out my latest blog post!!

Rape, fuck, AIDS, douchebag, sucks, donkey punch, blowjobs!!!!!



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  • @StewartEestis Legit dumb question.
  • @SFGiantsGuyATX
  • @pitchfork Is this a music review or my grandmother's thoughts on nursing home soup? FFS.
  • RT @pattonoswalt: We should put banana peels around the entrance to every school and also trip wires that trigger huge custard pies t…
  • @jimbob2204 @ArchCordileone @Pontifex I want to see how many others he’s denied communion to. If it’s only one, wh…

About Better! Funner!


Better! Funner! is a blog written and curated by Phil Schwarzmann. You’ll find funny original pieces, some not-so-funny pieces, plus stuff that made Phil laugh from around them internets. Enjoy!

Buy my book! (please)


Phil’s debut humor book, “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” is out now on Gummerus Publishers.