Death Bus for Blondie Variety Hour: S2 E3 – Marching Bands of Manhattan

It’s been a while but we’re back with a brand new episode of the Variety hour.

This time we talk about the recent Bud Light controversy and begin to touch on the negative implications of the outrage expressed against transgender people.

We also premier the latest Death Bus for Blondie and feature our most recent Canada Post Project release.

Listen now on Spotify or read on for the official transcript below.

Official Transcript:

And we’re back! 

I don’t really have an explanation for our weeks-long break here; We’re really flying by the seat of our pants over here at the Death Bus for Blondie Variety Hour. Our unprofessionalism is part of our charm, or at least that’s what we tell ourselves and our crack team of producers who are at the groomer’s right now. 

Before we jump into this episode’s featured cover track, let’s see what’s been going on in the news! 


Oh dear.

That one’s not very good either. 

Still upset at a beer company, too. Or is it the spokesperson?


I’m going to be honest guys there’s not a lot I’m terribly interested in discussing from what I’m seeing here because it’s so depressing and it’s bordering on annoying. 

Kids getting shot at for knocking on the wrong door. Kids getting shot at for being in the wrong driveway. Kids getting shot at, generally speaking. People mad at Budweiser for any reason that is not the poor taste of their product. Transgender sports discourse. Transgender clothing discourse.

I’m going to be extra honest here guys and say I find most people nowadays absolutely insufferable. A poke through the comments section on any recent news release will answer the why. 

I don’t exactly go out of my way to engage with most people in my life about these things lately because experience has taught me that a lot of people not only have really garbage opinions on these issues but they’re also super super set in their ways for some reason about it all, so despite the fact that they like to frame themselves as open-minded intellectuals who are concerned about the state of their society, mostly I’m just meeting people that want to bitch and moan about anything that’s popular and they want to do it in a way that validates their personal belief systems regardless of whether or not that issue impacts their life in literally any way, shape or form. 

Last weekend I had the immense displeasure of spending time with someone who I’ve known we’ll say, for my entire life or so, and they’re someone who in recent years I’ve had more and more difficulty enjoying the company of because they just have such polarizing views. It’s a particular challenge because they are someone I have to see on a semi-regular basis. I’m pretty sure we all have people like this in our lives so it seems relevant enough to bring to the forefront in today’s episode. 

Here’s the thing – it’s not that I’m disinterested in talking about important current events, especially those that may be under some sort of legislative reform or impact the health and well being of others; by all accounts I think it’s really important to keep the pressure on especially if those conversations are uncomfortable or challenging. This is how we grow and it’s the only way to work through things, so as attractive as avoidance is, it doesn’t always help.

Back to my weekend. 

Last Sunday I wanted to make more of an effort to be present and engage despite my feelings that it possibly wouldn’t end well – and the sun was out and everyone was outside, so I made a point to try and enjoy it.

The first part of the conversation quickly turned to some of the recent week’s most controversial issues, so I’ll just share with you some of the thoughts that landed on the table. 

The first was the ongoing story of Bud Light and transgender spokesperson Dylan Mulvaney. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, in brief, Dylan is a 26 year old transgender woman who recently landed a spot promoting Bud Light. 

People at large found this a gross injustice. 

Why? I just told you.

That’s literally the story.

Dylan has not harmed anybody, said anything out of line or offensive, shot at a promising athlete who accidently opened the wrong car door… they just promoted Bud Light.

As the person I was seated across was quick to mention, this casting choice was apparently done by a new head of marketing at Bud Light who happened to be a woman. This was relevant to their own position because as they’d later note, “a woman doesn’t even understand the beer market,” following, “transgender people and gays don’t even drink beer,” so, the decision to cast Dylan was only done for clicks and not to promote inclusivity or highlight the importance of respecting transgender persons of all scopes. 

No, this doesn’t mean that they were upset at all that this person did not better use this position to encourage inclusivity of trans people. That’s not the issue. 

We’ve been over this at some point before but I don’t drink anymore – most people in my family still do. Whether this allows me to have an opinion here is debatable, I suppose, but when I was a drinker my drink of choice – as a woman – was beer, so I feel warranted to comment but apparently wouldn’t make a good representative for marketing beer despite that preference – because of being a woman and all.

The person I was speaking with formerly use to bartend and manage a bar, which I mention because you would think that someone with some experience in what I’ll loosely call The Drinking Industry, would be more welcoming and understanding of the desire to expand these marketplaces to be more accommodating of a wider variety of clientele. That’s just like, smart business, I think. 

Apparently that’s just not the case because as I noted, they hold the belief that this was a stupid casting decision because transgender people just don’t drink beer. 

They just don’t! 

They also lumped gay people in with transgender people as a general whole as if to imply if you’re transgender you’re also gay and there’s a lot wrong with that line of thinking, so I just want to go on the record to say that this isn’t the case; the type of person you identify as in no way implies the sex of a person you might be attracted to. 

Two separate things and it’s best not to conflate them. 

And at this point I have to add another tidbit I learned from this person when they said, “they say things like transgender women and transgender men but no one even knows what that means because it’s never been studied”. 

This apparently is why many people are confused out of the gate by how to refer to people. Does transgender woman mean they started as a man or a woman? It’s apparently never been determined and everyone using these terms is just guessing. 

Another misstep by my opinionated friend who doesn’t understand how to use the internet or perhaps even know how to read given how incredibly misinformed they clearly are on this issue of which they have no fundamental understanding. I could get into why it’s important to have a fundamental understanding of the issues that you’re so vocally against but then we might have civil discourse and what’s the fun in that, Fox News? 

Now, while at no point did this person say that women as a whole don’t drink beer, nor have they ever had any issue at all with women often being the focal cast of many beer advertisements despite that, presumably, most women still only drink wine by their assumption, and any woman buying beer at the store is probably only buying it for their husband, I guess. The topic of women in general and drinking beer has only come to the table in light of a tansgender woman supporting the brand, now what does that tell you? 

It has nothing to do with the beer or the ad, but the person itself. The problem isn’t allowing or encouraging transgender or LGBTQ+ person to enjoy beer, the problem is drawing attention to the existence of them in our tight knit society. 

See, at least here in Canada and the United States, women are free to enter bars now and enjoy whatever drink they choose from the menu. Many men even encourage this because, hey, they might meet someone this way who can tolerate their drunk ass. But this wasn’t always the case and in many parts of the world still isn’t. But imagine the uproar American or Canadian men would face if they began to bar women from… bar women from bars. 

Now that would be a story. 

And the men would ultimately lose this battle because many other men would come to the defense of the women they hope to one day meet in these bars. 

Simply, it is easier for people right now to make transgender people the focus of their arguments because they know they’re outnumbered. Which on a fundamental level is really, really sad and says a lot about people in general who find themselves on that side of the fence. Looking at you, Kid Rock. 

It’s like when you’re in 3rd grade and one of the kids is a little different so you and your more popular 3rd grade friends make fun of them because you enjoy the feeling of superiority and you haven’t yet learned why that’s a poor character trait. 

But Dylan here is 26 and not in 3rd grade and neither are most of the 18+ population who can legally drink and want to discuss this right now.

My conversationalist friend was quick to point out this same fact when they said, “transgender people only make up a small percentage of the population, so why are you even trying to include them in”… the sale and enjoyment of beer. This again is apparently a poor business decision by the marketing exec who makes a living marketing this product which has now been headline news for the greater part of the last two weeks.

Remember we’re just talking about drinking Bud Light here but I want to pause for a moment to consider the impact this thinking has on all other avenues. At what point does it stop becoming about enjoying beer and does it start becoming about playing socce— oh. Oh they don’t like that either. 

Okay at what point does it stop becoming about enjoying beer and playing soccer and does it become about dressing in their preferred style of – oh. Oh they don’t want transgender women to wear sports bras right now either even though they require the support given by such pieces of clothing. 

Okay, bad examples.

At what point does it stop becoming about drinking a beer while playing with a soccer ball while wearing a sports bra and does it become about… shopping in a grocery store, going to a bar, going to school, getting a job, applying for a house, obtaining medicine, acquiring a family doctor, getting an abor— 

Shit. Guys. We’ve been so busy talking about the woman drinking a Bud Light that we forgot that women are literally risking death because they can’t access safe abortions in many states right now.

When I started to write this episode I was going to touch on some of those other things I mentioned at the top of the episode but I’m starting to get the feeling that I could really get into this whole Dylan drinking a Bud Light thing and how it has incredibly far-reaching implications on the world as a whole for like, a while and this script is already 4 pages long. 

So I just have a couple quick questions.

Would it have been less controversial if Dylan Mulvaney was promoting a can of Coca Cola instead of a Bud Light? 

Would it have been less controversial if Nike hired a transgender woman to promote a t-shirt instead of a sports bra? 

Would it be less controversial if a transgender woman wanted to join the ballet instead of play basketball or football or hockey or wrestling and so on? 

And why is it more controversial everytime we’re discussing transgender women instead of transgender men? 

They’re largely left out of all of these headlines. 

The whole sports thing I could and probably will spend an entire episode on in a future iteration of this podcast because surprise – I’m a woman who grew up playing sports, even super masculine sports like hockey and I believe that makes me warranted in the conversation – but for the sake of everyone’s short attention spans I’m going to wrap up today’s episode with this thought that I keep circling whenever any of these issues hit the mainstream news. 

Men need to stop using their perceived understanding of women and women’s rights and freedoms to exercise their bigotry, transphobia or racism. 

There are a whole lot of men out there today that are vocally expressing how wrong it is for transgender people to join women’s leagues specifically and they say that it discredits women’s sports. Women’s sports which they have in no way supported until the issue of transgender persons playing them has entered the scope of the conversation. 

There are a whole lot of men who are upset that a transgender woman would be chosen to model a sports bra when they’ve otherwise had absolutely no opinion on women’s fashion – oh wait, except to say that it looks slutty when I woman is victimized for wearing certain pieces – and oh my god that’s a whole other issue that’ll have to be saved for another episode… 

And there are a whole lot of men who are literally going into beer stores right now to trash Bud Light cans because they have poor impulse control and are simply transphobic. 

It has nothing to do with the beer. It has everything to do with Dylan being openly transgender. 

Imagine for a second how many LGBTQ+ people before this partnership became public have just been casually enjoying their beers of choice and literally no one was any wiser and no one cared because it didn’t affect them in any way, shape, or form. 

And in knowing that, as you prepare to open your beer-foaming mouths for an unwelcomed rebuttal – ask yourself what you’re really mad about and please for the love of God look up what the terms transgender woman and transgender man mean because they have been widely talked about, determined, studied and defined. 

Today’s cover song feature is Marching Bands of Manhattan off of Plans. I’ve been meaning to tackle this one for a while because I knew I could do something kinda fun with it. It’s a more aggressive take on the song where I’ve upped the energy and pushed the chorus with some heavy distorted guitars. 

Afterwards, stick around for the latest of my Canada Post Project recordings with a sort of silly pop-punk infused take on “Recycled Air.” 

And then be sure to come back next time on the variety show when we fine tune this conversation a little and I tell you some of the other fun tidbits I learned from my weekend house guest. 

Here’s Marching Bands of Manhattan. 

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