Here’s what I’ve got in heavy rotation:
Happy Friday, everyone.
Here’s what I’ve got in heavy rotation:
Happy Friday, everyone.
…wherein Mark Judge takes a few scraps off of Stevie Nicks’ handkerchief hem dresses and tries to make a big old country quilt out of them. I imagine him taking sad little scraps of lace and flinging them at each other, wondering dazedly why they aren’t coming together. OK, enough with the tortured metaphors, let’s get to it: Mark Judge is saying feminists and conservatives don’t let guys have enough guy time. I am…skeptical of this assertion.
Male bonding without women, or what one British journalist calls “lad’s night out,” is an essential part of male well-being. Both feminists who hector men to spend every moment with them—making sure all activities are of equal time—and conservatives who argue that a man’s entire life should revolve around his family, are both presenting ideas that are harmful to men.
A.) No such feminist exists. Period. Full stop. But that’s not the part that interests me about this silliness. It’s the part that makes me defend fucking conservatives that interests me. Because B.) there is no flavor of conservative that would object to bros just hanging with bros in a totally not gay way. That is a not a thing. Even those weirdos who were getting together in stadiums to jack it to Jesus and pledging to lead their families wouldn’t have anything against bros just getting together and maybe showering together after a vigorous round of sportball.
In other words, there is literally no one in the world who has a problem with bros just hanging out with bros and maybe tenderly kissing a bro on the cheek when it gets to that really emotional part in “Rudy.”
An article in the Telegraph that revised the study noted: “Males also look after each other, the study for the journal PNAS noted. While men may do this by watching each other’s backs, for monkeys this means picking insects and fleas out of each other’s fur.”
That last detail is telling, and separates us dudes from our female counterparts. I went to an all-boys high school, and it’s noticeable how physical our friendships still are, even decades after we graduated. At reunions we tend to fall back on the age-old male expression of affection—light punches on the shoulder, a bear hug, even playful wrestling after a few beers.
Wait. I think I’ve seen this movie. I think it was called “Bros Just Being Bros 5,” and it was hot.
Last year a few of us met at our school’s homecoming game and the subject of that year’s reunion came up. We were sorting out the details—a trip to the beach—when one of the guys asked: What about wives and girlfriends? Should they be invited?
The decision was instant and near unanimous: No. All it took to make the right call was a reminder of last year’s monkeyshines: the drinking, pick-up games, late night skinny dipping in the ocean, frank talk about women and sex. We needed to pick the insects and fleas off of each other, and that was best done without girls.
I imagine so, as appealing as I find the idea of de-lousing men.
Occasionally on a lad’s night out there’s mention of who’s missing, and more than a few of them are guys whose wives won’t let them out to play with their old friends. Inevitably when we do see these men they look exhausted and stressed out. Someone needs to take their wives aside and explain that women may need decompression just as much, but as the more vocal and expressive of the sexes they probably don’t build up as much of a head of steam as we guys do. Feminists of course will take this (like everything else) the wrong way—I’m mansplaining why women don’t feel stress, etc.—but it’s actually a compliment. Women communicate their feelings to each other better than men do. They are able to talk to each other for hours, discussing not only all the things men do—politics, movies, sports—but also drill down into their emotions and feelings.
Ladies, hate to say it, but he’s got us dead to rights here. I know I’m almost never stressed. Why would I be what with all the Chardonnay parties and lingerie tickle fights I’m constantly having with my girls?
For dudes it’s not as easy. We usually let things come to a boil, leaving us to rely on each other for true relief.
Again, I’ve seen this movie.
As a writer for the Guardian put it, the lad’s night out is “just the easiest, lowest lingua franca for uncommunicative men to say they love each other while drunkenly singing along to “Wonderwall.”
Dude, the only objection to this is that “Wonderwall” was relevant about twenty years ago. Other than that, I say go for it. Sing with your bros all night long. In a totally not gay way.
Last night I made the mistake of @ting Reason Writer and enthusiastic Gamergate supporter, Cathy Young. She retweeted my innocuous tweet, sicking her followers on me. I ended up with a bunch of Reason readers/Gaters blowing up my mentions. Ms. Young never said anything particularly vile or rude to me. (She did refer to me as fauxgressive. I guess because I don’t think alt-right-sympathetic boys have a right to social media platforms so they can dogpile and harrass.) But I do think when you have a much bigger platform than the person your @ting and RTing, you have to use care. She didn’t and I have a feeling she knew she wasn’t using care. So while I won’t count that as harassment, I definitely count it as shitty. I will say, in the interest of being honest and fair, no one in my timeline was particularly abusive or rude. Just obnoxious and obtuse. But, honestly, I’m glad the little dust-up happened because it gave me a chance to organize some more thoughts on the vileness that is Gamergate.
First off the bat I want to say that I have as much interest in the Hillary vs. Bernie war as I did in the Hillary vs. Obama war, in that I have none. If you searched my heart, you’d probably find that I’m excited about the idea of having our first woman president. That being said, I will happily and enthusiastically pull the lever for Sanders should he be the nominee. But to reiterate I have no dog in this fight. None. Not even in a teeny, tiny adorable dog of indeterminate species.
However, I wanted to weigh in Gloria Steinem’s recent comment about millennial women going “where the boys are.” I don’t know exactly how she meant that. I don’t know why she said that. Whatever her intention, I thought the comments were clumsy and hamfisted and came across as condescending and…bad. That being said, I’m still a huge Steinem fan, I’m happy she has since walked back the comment and I really really like Jill Filipovic’s take on what’s going on with Bernie vs. Hillary and the coolness factor. I think it’s an incredibly insightful.
*I don’t think young women who vote for Bernie are hos. I think they’re bright and well-meaning and entitled to vote for their candidate of choice without being condescended to. BUT COME ON I HAD TO MAKE THAT JOKE.
Folks, I’m pleased to announce that last night a bunch of wild horses got into a fight with a bunch of big cats and defeated them, despite the fact that the most famous wild horse is super old.
The other day I had an enormous craving for something brothy and Asian and noodly, so I made some chicken noodle soup with an Asian spin. I sauteed some minced green onions, lots of fresh minced ginger and several cloves of garlic in oil, then added carrots, shredded chicken and chicken broth. I also added some soy sauce and a little brown sugar. I added some napa cabbage towards the end of the cooking time and finished the soup with more freshly-grated ginger, some chili oil and some fresh, chopped basil. I served it over hot cooked pasta with some Sriracha and fresh lime juice. It was…fine but it tasted very one-note for reasons that are still beyond me. (Sort of just chicken noodle with a bit of ginger in it.) Can any of you figure out why it was so meh, because honestly I’m still stumped and it’s bugging the crap out of me.
This clip sums up my feelings about last night’s Cruz victory.
My inaugural post was a post about much I love Bridesmaids and how I didn’t think women would truly achieve parity with men in the genre of comedy if we weren’t allowed to be gross and stupid. Well, apparently I’m not the only one out there who thinks that because it’s never been a better time to be a gross idiot woman. Bridesmaids was just the beginning. Now if we want to watch women behave like disgusting morons we have Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, Another Period (where women get to act like old-fashioned gross idiots in fancy dresses!), and now…Idiotsitter. Which I don’t want to to overhype it by saying is the best show ever made. But it did feature two women in tuxes taking a dead bloody coyote in a tux to a funeral so it might actually be the best show ever made. I don’t know. I just know it’s a great time for women in comedy and it’s a great time to be alive. Please watch Idiotsitter.
Acculturated’s Mark Judge may be jerking off here, but I have a feeling his penis remains flaccid and his heart just isn’t into it. Because this is one of the laziest “pussification of American” posts I’ve ever read. I think he just wrote a series of words and didn’t particularly care what order they were in or what message they conveyed, ultimately. It’s just sad word-jizz.
Rubio was caught hanging out in a park after hours, a misdemeanor.
Hanging out in a park? After hours? Literally the most manly, badass thing I’ve ever heard of. GO ON.
The episode was a seemingly small political blip, but it inadvertently points to another problem: We need to stop trying to prevent our boys and men from being boys and men. We need to let them feel passion and lust and adventurousness and act on it. We need to let them get in trouble, drive fast cars, and chase girls. The dark and dangerous part of them—us—that does these things is also the place that can call forth great leadership.
I agree with him here. Washington Post has no business stopping boys from feeling passion and lust and being adventurous. It also has no business stopping them from getting into trouble, driving fast cars and chasing girls. Another thing Washington Post has no business doing is assuming that only boys feel passion, lust, adventurousness and enjoy driving fast cars and chasing folks. It’s almost like Washington Post has these terrifically sexist, anachronistic, exaggeratedly bifurcated ideas about gender that no sane person (or paper) should have.
The Rubio “story” in the Post reveals how our culture has become uncomfortable with male behavior.
On one hand there are the liberals who seem to celebrate any kind of sexual expression except heterosexual manhood, which they aim to deride and ultimately destroy.
This is true and also why there’s nothing for heterosexual men to masturbate on the internet. Or on Cinemax. Or the Playboy Channel. Or in Hustler. Or Redbook. There’s literally nothing out there that celebrates male sexuality.
Both left and right attempt to do the same thing: stamp out the shadow. The shadow is an idea from Jungian psychology. It represents the subconscious, as well as the darker aspects of our personalities. The shadow can be our lust, violence, depression, and anger. But it is also the seat of creativity.
Today I learned only men are creative.
I’m not talking about illiterate, boorish behavior or crudity and sexism. Men who celebrate pornography or pick fights for no reason are burdened with too much shadow;
Guys, celebrate your totes hetero sexuality…but not too much…not in a porny way!
Yes, in earlier eras we were less healthy, less sensitive, and tolerated some awful behavior. But we were also a stronger and more self-assured people.
This comment almost deserves its own post. Helmut Monotreme writes:
Mark is right. Of course we should let boys be boys. Testing limits is part of what adolescence is all about. Can we really trust the motivations of someone who has never sinned? Never tested the boundaries of manners of civilization, of sanity itself? Can we really trust the judgement of someone who in their impressionable youth was never irresistibly compelled after reading ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ to equal or better the drug intake of Hunter S Thompson? Who never acted upon their most outrageous barbaric impulses? Whose coming of age can we call complete if they have never regained consciousness in a moonlit clearing or seedy motel room covered in blood and vomit on a pile of fresh carcasses of uncertain origin? Who among us has never taken a hostage? Never smuggled a ton and a half of black tar heroin over the Arizona border near Nogales on a moonless night? Never engaged the services of a prostitute? Never stabbed a pimp? Never tasted the lifeblood of another human in anger? Is there a man jack of you that can really admit to never giving in to the temptation to build a pile of skulls of their enemies and their families and their women and children and pets and livestock? What kind of pale and bloodless mockery of life is one lived without testing the limits of civilized behavior?
Could comic book nerds explain something to me: How is there even a "VS" re: Batman/Superman. Superman has SUPERPOWERS;Batman does not.
— bspencer (@vacuumslayer) January 25, 2016
This is hardly an original opinion but I think casting can make or break a film. This means you should never, ever cast Keanu Reeves in a historical drama. It also means you should never ever cast Ben Affleck in the role of Batman. I’ve seen him utter one line in Batman vs. Superman and I’m already Rifftraxing him in my head. He is…a horrible choice to play Batman. I just…don’t even, as the kids don’t say anymore.
In fact, I'm fairly certain Affleck's Batman will have only one superpower: making me hate Batman.
— bspencer (@vacuumslayer) January 25, 2016
So here’s my question: If not Bale (the best Batman, obviously), who should play Batman? Ideas?
— bspencer (@vacuumslayer) January 25, 2016
Here’s a little pop culture round-up for your reading pleasure:
Ex Machina: It takes skill to make a movie that is almost entirely comprised of two people having conversations and not have it be ponderous and boring. So I think it’s safe to say that that Ex Machina‘s director, Alex Garland, is quite skilled. I think the film’s strength is its creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere. It’s an atmosphere that so pervades every second of the film, it’s almost as if it’s a fifth character. (There are only 5 characters in Ex, and there are rarely more than two people in any given scene, which–again– makes the film feel intimate to the point of claustrophobic.) If you haven’t seen it yet, the film is about an uber-rich search engine creator, who is–oh yeah–on the side creating robots that are apparently sentient. Ex may be about how we treat sentient robot life. (Is it ethical to keep robots who long to be human and captive, not just physically captive but captive to our whims?) But that’s all just background noise for me. What really stuck with me were the film’s gorgeous sets, near-perfect pacing and smothering, creepy atmosphere. I do have one complaint, however: it makes the prospect of enjoying extraordinary lifelike sex robots look pretty goddamn dicey, so I’m going to assume Alex Garland is on Team Feminist Bonerkill and ding him for that. Also, all the ‘bots had small breasts, which I’m fairly sure is unconstitutional. Another ding for Garland. But, still, if you can overlook these gross oversights, “Ex Machina” is a lovely film well worth your time.
Baskets: Continuing in the tradition of Louie and The Comedians (now cancelled), FX is offering up another quiet comedy, Louie C.K.-produced, Baskets. It stars Zach Galifanakis as man who–for reasons not revealed–desperately wants to be a clown. To that end he attends a clown college in France, despite the fact that he doesn’t speak a word of French. This works precisely as well as you might imagine, so he ends up moving back to his hometown, with his jerky, green card-seeking girlfriend in tow. Back in Bakersfield we meet his mother, twin brother and the woman who–as the insurance agent handling the case of his wrecked scooter–squires him around town while he tries to get his life together. Yes, as I mentioned, it’s quiet. It’s also absurd, surreal and hilarious. I’m not quite sure why but this scene actually had me yelling at the television (in confused delight):
It could be that Baskets just happens to scratch a very particular comedy itch I have. Or it could just be a great show. One thing is for sure: I will never not pronounce the word “clown” “cloon.”
Gillian Anderson: Recently I learned that Mulder “was a more pivotal character than Scully.” This twitter thread where mensplain away the disparity in Anderson’s and Duchovny’s salaries is a thing of perfect, ethereal beauty.