One Year On: An Interview With Christmas Ape

The Maestro
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The Maestro

The Maestro is a mystical Canadian internet user and New England Patriots fan; when the weather is cooperative and the TV signal at his igloo is strong enough, he enjoys watching the NFL, the Ottawa Senators & REDBLACKS, and yelling into the abyss on Twitter. He is somehow allowed to teach music to high school students when he isn’t in a blind rage about sports, and is also a known connoisseur of cheap beers across the Great White North.
The Maestro
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Hard to believe it’s been exactly 365 days since the mothership went down for good. Like so many of you on that fateful day one year ago, I felt confused, angry, and pretty lost; I was very grateful for the crew here at [Door Flies Open] to welcome so many people with open arms. After five years of reading Kissing Suzy Kolber, and many more than that for many others, it was hard, initially, to see it go. After reading and re-reading Christmas Ape’s “Smell You Later Forever, KSK”, though, I think many people have come to peace with its departure, at long last.

Today is a commemorative day in our internet history, and I was very grateful to have our dear former Commander in Chief answer a few questions we had for him. Mike Tunison was unquestionably the heart and soul of KSK for almost five years as editor-in-chief, and the work he put in daily to make the old site such an incredible spot to read, comment and hang out is not lost on just about all of us who loved KSK so dearly.

Thanks, Ape, for taking the time to answer a few questions. These were pulled from some group email threads and I can’t recall who asked what, exactly, but we appreciate your answers very much all the same.

Do you stay in touch with Drew or Ufford or Kogod or the others?

It’s pretty limited. We have a group email that gets updated once every few months. That’s about it.

What was your favorite post on KSK?

They’re all my precious little snowflakes, except the many I’m ashamed of.

Do you have a favorite recurring character?

I enjoyed doing the J.T. O’Sullivan posts because they were so ridiculous and were a rare chance for me to be super flowery with language without pissing people off.

Have you heard from Otto? We miss his presence around these parts.

I have not.

Do you want to vent about UPXXXX at all?

I’ve moved on from my time there. I will say I still follow Uproxx on Twitter just to make sure I’m not missing anything important and I’m pleased to report the overwhelming majority of what they crank out is boring summations of whatever was popping on social media a few hours earlier.

Do you visit DFO at all?

I check in from time to time. I salute you for keeping Falco’s CFL beat alive, among other things. [ed. note: FUCK YEAH I HAVE PERSONAL RECOGNITION FROM AN INTERNET CELEBRITY]

Is the reporting you learned at school dead or mostly dead?

In general or as far as my career is concerned? In both cases, it’s… fine, I guess. I’m still doing reported freelance stuff.

Did you get enthused with interviewing Curt Menefee?

Uh… sure? He was kind and reasonably forthcoming for an outlet he’d probably never heard of.

Do you have another book in the works?

Not at the moment.

Will Le’Veon Bell have an AP type of return season after his ACL surgery? Put another way: #1 FF draft pick, right? RIGHT!?

As long as he steers clear of Vontaze Burfict, he’s a perfectly reasonable choice at no. 1. Though I reserve the right to pretend I never said this if you angrily confront me about it in November.

How has Pro Wrestling influenced political discourse in the last 10 years?

It’s clearly influenced the Trump campaign and it’s not like he isn’t familiar with that world. He cuts what might as well be wrestler promos constantly. Pro wrestling as a storytelling form generally cares little about continuity and neither does Trump. It does whatever works in the moment and keeps its fans happy. I mean, obviously Trump has some overlying themes that he sticks to but on minor points he’s all over the place. He contradicts himself constantly and it doesn’t really matter if you like Trump because you enjoy seeing him say Trump shit with bravado.

Do you see yourself branching out to non-Internet media?

I’m open to just about any medium so long as the job looks fun/rewarding/not-deadening. The Internet is mostly a shithole, but it’s the shithole I know. So that’s where I am for now.

Your pieces often emphasize NFL perfidy on the head trauma issue. Should fans feel guilty for watching the NFL? Do you feel the current NFL players are making an informed decision to play, given what is now known on CTE and head trauma?

To some extent, fans should feel guilt. Even if you can somehow get past the fact that the players are ruining their bodies and minds in the long run, the owners are horrible people who take public money for what is essentially a money-printing enterprise and spent years lying to those athletes. Players now are certainly better informed than they were even 10 years ago, though many were already in the league or on the pipeline at that point. For the most part players have accepted the risk to a sufficient degree that I still watch without experiencing a huge moral crisis. I think knowing players got guaranteed deals would make it easier to live with. That players can be cast aside for no reason really makes it hit home as a cynical enterprise.

What advice might you give to someone who wants to make a career (or even just a lifelong hobby) out of writing and wants to keep things fun and engaging as much as possible?

Often the idea of advancing your career and having fun can seem like opposed concepts, so I would focus more on the enjoyment of it. The more you’re chasing jobs or status the more you’re writing things you don’t believe or feel strongly about. That leads to burnout. And readers can sense when you’re not enjoying yourself. Your stuff isn’t as creative and the logic seems strained. Hopefully what you love doing will resonate will people, but that isn’t always the case. At least you won’t hate yourself.

Best of luck with everything, Ape – on behalf of everyone here at [Door Flies Open], thanks for being such a role model for the rest of us. We only hope we can make this place even a quarter as good as the old site. Enjoy a beer or bourble today with all of us around the world.  

The Maestro
The Maestro
The Maestro is a mystical Canadian internet user and New England Patriots fan; when the weather is cooperative and the TV signal at his igloo is strong enough, he enjoys watching the NFL, the Ottawa Senators & REDBLACKS, and yelling into the abyss on Twitter. He is somehow allowed to teach music to high school students when he isn't in a blind rage about sports, and is also a known connoisseur of cheap beers across the Great White North.
https://www.doorfliesopen.com/index.php/author/the-maestro/
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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Mr. Ape published my first Bronco season preview; for that I will always be grateful and will also apologize to those that read it.

http://img1.joyreactor.com/pics/post/gif-boat-fail-interview-1171813.gif

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
blaxabbath

Poor Hillary.

We need to go after Bosnia next.

Sill Bimmons
Sill Bimmons

Hey Mike, that book we discussed is still on the table. Those guys are getting old.

If the licensing deal I’m working on comes through you’ll be able to name your price.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
theeWeeBabySeamus

Gives a whole new meaning to “I’ve got wood in my face”.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Mike Evans submitted this gif as his “What I Did Over My Summer Vacation” report.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Spanky Datass
Spanky Datass

Is that a Korean ship yard? Just asking because I once had diarrhea like that in Seoul. Shittiest vacation ever.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
theeWeeBabySeamus

I never get tired of that one.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Buddy Cole's Unordinary Time!
Buddy Cole's Unordinary Time!

I liked when Ape got really drunk one year ago and answered every question way too honestly; my highlight was a takedown of Monday Morning Punter.

PFTCommenter is now hidden on a site that doesn’t even have an RSS feed, and since I refuse to support said site, he has been lost into the sands of the for me in the last year.

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

There always is his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR012eSDTIXGBI08s0ni9lQ

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
herodotus450
herodotus450

You can listen to Pardon My Take, PFTC’s podcast. Though it does, presumably, support barstool.

Kungjitsu
Kungjitsu

Bomani Jones has PFTCommenter on his radio show pretty often. The best(worst?) part is afterwards on Twitter when the freaks who hate listen to The Right Time start ranting. There are soooo many people who don’t know that it’s a joke.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Spanky Datass
Spanky Datass
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Inanimate Carbon Rod Marinelli

I actually got three of these, printed each one, and posted them in my cube at work. I didn’t even care that people didn’t get what they were.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

I’ve got my only one hanging on my fridge!

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

BrettFavresColonoscopy:
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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I’d probably be a bit nervous if my username included the word “Colonoscopy” and Kobe Bryant viewed me as a “10”.

herodotus450
herodotus450

I give this joke a
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10

Spur
Spur

I still hate read Dustin on Uproxx. But I don’t have the energy to comment on his nonsensical theories.

I really miss the Game of Thrones posts. So much fun reading and posting comments.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Oh my God. I didn’t read them often but just seeing the headlines is a treat at how insane fans are, especially once it surpassed the books. Now that it’ll conclude before the last book the theories are probably just the most batshit nonsense.

King Hippo

hate clicks STILL PAY TEH BILLS ,, ppl SHOULD REMEMBER that!!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Spur
Spur
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Unsurprised
Unsurprised

It’s unfair to the author to sequester it in the scrolling text thing:

As the day grew nigh
he said with a sigh
to remember the 31st of July
That fateful day
When they took away
Our dearly beloved KSK
But your heart need not be broken
Those saged words spoken
Because for you a door always flies open

Bloody Lethal
Bloody Lethal

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Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Who wrote that?

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

I’m watching Last Chance U on Netflix. Seems interesting so far.

Bloody Lethal
Bloody Lethal

I just recently took down Stranger Things on Netflix. I recommend it. Also I recommend you watch it late at night with all the lights off.

http://66.media.tumblr.com/5245b45fb792814ce04f1d7d5c4b42c5/tumblr_inline_ni9efvlozd1s75an9.gif

Another thing to watch is Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Extremely pleasant movie.

King Hippo

I have not been to [redacted] since several weeks before the 31st of said year, so this is late FOAR ME, but tis ok because I am not very sentimental, a fact that has irritated more than a few members of my family.

But HUZZAH FOAR APE! Moving on is a healthy thing, yo.

blaxabbath

Redacted? But the name is used to HONOR the candy!

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laserguru

I left the day Ape wrote “Smell you Later KSK.”

I dropped my final komment and have not returned to any of their sites.

I got your page views right here!

ballsofsteelandfury

Me too. Have not returned.

Only to look up old posts and be disappointed at how they’ve been butchered.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I went to see if the anal fisting gifs were still there, but once they closed that thread I have NOT RETURNED.

http://www.gifbin.com/bin/122009/1260367140_boat-swing-fail.gif

Bloody Lethal
Bloody Lethal

I still go to Uproxx to read Vince on Filmdrunk… I am sorry.

http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7w4xuRfPy1qf5ifco1_500.gif

Bloody Lethal
Bloody Lethal
Unsurprised
Unsurprised

I do too.

I used to also read Dan Seitz at Gamma Squad, but it’s just not the same anymore. And sometimes Danger Guerrero still has some crazy shit to write.

Kungjitsu
Kungjitsu

What’s Filmdrunk? Do you mean Uproxxxxxx!!!!!xxxxx Moviez!!1?

Kungjitsu
Kungjitsu

#Branding

Sep

No doubt. FilmDrunk is how I found KSK after all, so I still check in on Vince. I tried to read a post by someone else (don’t remember who) but it was awful.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

When does Reverend Lovejoy get his equal time?
http://thumbnails116.imagebam.com/49775/138045497742762.jpg?nc

BrettFavresColonoscopy

This is what we in journalism call a good get

/is not in journalism

Spur
Spur

In Ape we trust. Thanks for all the great articles and the sense of community you brought many of us.

blaxabbath

“Thank you for having me here to [DFO]. You know, I built this community.”

-Donald Trump

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Unsurprised
Unsurprised

That’s so much funnier. And I love the first one.

Enrico Pallazzo

JT O’Sullivan was legit but the most underrated KSKharacter was and always will be Derek From Muncie.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Unsurprised
Unsurprised
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Don T

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Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Great call.

Senor Weaselo

Did anyone ask if we had permission for Moosemas Gorilla or is DTZM getting sued for that?

/Although I guess ask Matt Groening?

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I own the future rights to the holiday.

Unsurprised
Unsurprised

Permissible derivative work

laserguru

But have you tried my egg rolls, Ape?!?

Great stuff folks. It does feel like a certain amount of “full circle” has been attained.

If you’re checking the comments Mike, I’m the one who asked about anal!

Also thanks for everything. All the love and respect in the world.

ballsofsteelandfury

Which reminds me. That question never got answered, did it?

laserguru

It remains unanswerable to this day.

herodotus450
herodotus450

/Quickly brushes all the “Hanukah Homo Habilis” jokes under the couch next to the Allied Biscuit box

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

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Doktor Zymm

Awesome stuff! Sounds like everything is going well, so we can go ahead and call this a happy anniversary, sorta.

Also, just cause I’m nitpicky, wasn’t this a leap year, so it would be 366 days ago?

Porky Prime
Porky Prime

Baker’s year.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Unsurprised
Unsurprised
Sharkbait

Clearly the good Doktor is a stickler Meeseeks.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

A year is 365.24 days. The leap year is a human contrivance for the sake of calendar printers.

Sharkbait

DOWN WITH BIG CALENDAR!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

– Danny Woodhead, preparing to paint his living room

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

THAT is fucking funny.

Don T

Computers laugh at the printers, but they are puppets just the same.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Some day the strings will be cut and we shall become the puppets.

http://media2.s-nbcnews.com/j/ap/2e7b8867-6b68-40a9-af93-43c3bf06e8f0.grid-6×2.jpg

Doktor Zymm