Conservatives seem to have a bad memory of their own behaviors.

I keep seeing this meme pop up on my Facebook wall:

republicanriotmeme

I’ve already been blocked by one die hard Conservative for daring to reply to it when they posted it and I’ll probably be blocked by a few more before I’m done.

Yes, this is technically true. Republicans didn’t riot when Obama won in 2008. They did rush out and buy a shitload of guns because they were scared shitless that Obama was going to try take away their second amendment rights — something he never even so much as tried to do in all of his time in office — but they didn’t technically riot. They did the same thing again when he was re-elected in 2012 driving gun sales to record levels in the process.

However, this meme ignores an important distinction: Obama’s wins in no way threatened the well being of white people. Unlike President-elect Trump, Obama never threatened to deport white people or ban Christians from entering the country or take away white people’s right to marry. Obama didn’t insult and denigrate his opponents constantly or talk about how he would like to punch a heckler in the mouth. He didn’t talk about imprisoning his political rivals despite the fact that a good case could have been made that George W. Bush was guilty of war crimes. In fact, he made a point of saying he wasn’t even going to look into the idea of prosecuting anyone involved in the disastrous Iraq war. He ran a campaign not based on fear, but on hope and change for the better. Whether Conservatives want to believe it or not, they faced no real threat from Obama winning other than having to live with some policies they didn’t agree with. So why would they protest in the streets?

Which isn’t to say they didn’t protest. How many years did we have to put up with Conservatives whining about how Obama wasn’t born in America so he shouldn’t be eligible to be President? Hell, there were books written on the topic and even Trump himself kept questioning Obama’s status as a citizen right up until he started campaigning. The fuckers are still screaming he’s a socialist/Muslim/dicktator/fascist/traitor every chance they get.

On social media Republicans are crying about folks using the #NotMyPresident hashtag ignoring the fact that many of them were saying the same damned thing about Obama for the past eight years. Suddenly the act of declaring Trump as “not their President” is offensive to Republican sensibilities.

Then there’s this:

WE'LL TAKE TO THE STREETS IF TRUMP DOESN'T WIN!

WE’LL TAKE TO THE STREETS IF TRUMP DOESN’T WIN!

And then this:

Why I do declare, I don't understand why people are taking to the streets in protest! We Republicans would NEVER do such a thing.

Why I do declare, I don’t understand why people are taking to the streets in protest! We Republicans would NEVER do such a thing.

There was no shortage of Conservatives threatening armed revolt if Clinton won the election. We’ll never know what would’ve happened had Clinton won, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if it were Republicans in the streets crying “Not My President” because the irrational hatred of Clinton among those folks is deep after 20 years of demonization by the Republican party. For fuck’s sake, you shiftless bastards were talking about impeaching her as soon as she took office before the election was even decided.

And don’t cry to me about how some of the protestors are rioting when this sort of shit is coming from your side of the divide:

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

I could go on and on, but you get the point. So, yes, technically the meme I posted at the top of this entry is correct. Republicans didn’t take to the streets to protest Obama’s election wins. That doesn’t mean the folks protesting Trump’s win don’t have good reasons to do so. If you honestly can’t understand why folks, particularly minorities, are upset about Trump winning then either you haven’t been paying attention or you’re just a heartless bastard.

And before you even suggest it, no, I’m not saying they should be rioting and committing crimes, but by and large most of the protests have been peaceful. Yes, some have turned violent. That happens sometimes when a lot of emotional people are gathered in public. We can’t seem to get through a national sports championship without some idiots setting shit on fire, which is an infinitely stupider reason to riot than what is motivating these folks.

At the very least, if you’re going to bitch about it then try not to be such hypocritical fucks while doing so.

It is a sad day for memes: Mr. Trololo has passed away.

The song wasn’t particularly popular back when it was released in 1976, but it eventually found fame on the Internet nearly 40 years later and now the man who sang it has passed on:

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Eduard Khil was a beloved Soviet crooner who only won sudden international stardom two years ago when a 1976 video of him singing “trololo” instead of the songs censored words became a global Internet hit.

Khil, best known as Mr. Trololo, died Monday at age 77.

He had been hospitalized in St. Petersburg since a stroke in early April that left him with severe brain damage. The stroke was the cause of his death, said Tatyana Mamedova of Petersburg-Kontsert, which organized Khils concerts.

Soviet crooner Mr Trololo dies in Russia – People Wires – MiamiHerald.com

Contrary to the claim in the article, the lyrics weren’t censored. They just didn’t really have any according to Mr. Khil himself. The had a lyric or two, but thought they were pretty bad so he just made up some vocalizations and winged it resulting in eventual Internet fame.

If you’ve never heard his rendition of “I Am Glad, ‘Cause I’m Finally Returning Back Home”, and if you’ve been on the Internet for any amount of time it’s hard to imagine how you haven’t, then here it is in all its glory:

That man could sing.

Bizarre music video of the moment: Duck Sauce’s Big Bad Wolf.

It takes a lot to surprise me these days and this video surprised the shit out of me. The song itself is not particularly interesting, but the music video will have you wondering just what particular brand of drugs they were taking when they made it.

NOTE: This is probably Not Safe For Work because it technically has depictions of nudity and sex acts in it. Technically. Kinda. You’ll have to watch it to understand it, but remember: WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN CANNOT BE UNSEEN!

Now here’s the really weird part: This video has inspired a new photo meme similar to planking. Naturally, it’s called Big Bad Wolfing. Being fad conscious people I’m sure you’ll all want to get in on it.

SEB Mailbag: Dear Unintelligent Mean Illegitimate child.

I got a refreshing change in the SEB Mailbag the other day. In place of the usual poorly worded, barely coherent ranting I usually find there was a bit of fan mail that contained a Question of Utmost Importance! This is such an unusual occurrence that I thought I should go ahead and answer it here.

So here it is:

Hi SEB, I’m here to be a pointless distraction.

I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while, as I’ve always enjoyed the well-worded approach of telling people to go fuck themselves. I’m not just sending this to shower you with praise, however.

Being a person of reasonable knowledge of things happening on the internet, you’re probably aware of the sudden and unexpected fanbase of the newest “My Little Pony” show. This being sort of an interesting topic nowadays, and because I’ve got nothing better to do, I thought I’d ask you what your opinion was on the whole thing. I noticed you didn’t mention it on your blog, so you probably don’t feel too strongly about it, but I figured I’d ask anyways. That is all.

– Your pointlessly inquisitive reader,
kripto

Hiya Kripto! I’m always happy to be showered with praise as I was a middle child growing up and was starved of attention. Which probably explains why I’ve been blogging for so long. If someone gives me the slightest bit of attention I can’t help but soak it up as much as I can.

Anyway, yes! I am very aware of the huge fan base the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic show has garnered outside of its target demographic of young girls and tweens. I am also completely baffled by it.

You see, I’m old enough to remember when the original MLP toys were introduced some 30 years ago in 1981 when I was a mere 14-years-old. Like most toy companies back then, the first thing Hasbro did was hire someone to turn it into a 30 minute advertisement cartoon series. Well, that’s not entirely true. They started with prime-time specials in ’84 and ’85, had a feature length film in ’86 (voiced by relatively big name stars like Danny DeVito no less!), and that was followed by the 30 minute ads TV series that same year. As I recall, the toy line was a huge success for Hasbro and the commercials were near impossible to escape if you were watching anything remotely kid-oriented.

Here’s an example from 1986:

I almost went into diabetic shock watching that clip. Also, why the hell are there so many people uploading vintage 1980 toy commercials to YouTube? This was just one of a ridiculous number of 80’s toy ads I was able to find, many of which were for My Little Pony.

Anyway, the original cartoon series wasn’t quite as successful as the toys and was canceled in 1987 after two seasons. There was an attempt to revive the series in 1992 with My Little Pony Tales, but it didn’t catch on and died a mercifully quick death. Sometime in the 2000’s they revived the toy line and did a number of direct-to-video animated shows that I have no idea how successful they were. You can read all about the original series and the toys over at TV Tropes if you really want to know more about it. I’ve managed to remain blissfully unaware of most of MLP’s history since the 80’s faded from view, but apparently someone couldn’t let sleeping dogs stay dead (or however the hell the expression goes) and decided it was time to revive its rotting corpse once more in October of 2010.

According to the folks at TV Tropes, it was Lauren Faust who took on the challenge of bringing it back. In the past she’s worked on other cartoon series such as The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. This probably goes a long way to explaining why the show has attracted fans outside of its target audience as both of those shows tended to do the same. It probably doesn’t hurt that the show’s creators interact with fans on the Internet and often make references to things the fan base has come up with in the show itself.

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point after the debut of Cartoon Network there was a trend toward making cartoons that adults could watch with their kids without feeling like they were losing IQ points in the process. Many of which were good enough that some adults watched them regardless of whether their kids were fans. I know a lot of adults who are huge fans of Spongebob Squarepants and the aforementioned The Powerpuff Girls.  I have been quite fond of shows such as Courage the Cowardly Dog and Invader Zim in the past and today I’m a huge fan of Adventure Time and The Amazing Adventures of Gumball. It seems that the folks behind MLP:FiM have taken that same approach with the revival.

Again, from the folks at TV Tropes:

 The first season was helmed by Lauren Faust, a highly accomplished, Emmy Award-nominated animator — for example, she was the writer and director of The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary FriendsFriendship is Magic is her attempt to rescue the genre of girls’ cartoons by presenting a clever show with a strong and diverse cast of female characters who aren’t pre-occupied with fashion and boys. Her goal was to create an intelligent show for girls that boys and grown-ups could also watch without wanting to shoot themselves. By all accounts, she has done an admirable job of reaching that goal. Following the end of the first season, Faust stepped down as the show’s executive producer, but she will continue to work with the show as a consulting producer through production of the second season.

The show proved an overnight sensation on the internet, and even before the first season was over, it had spawned image macros and countless forum threads full of speculation and discussion; it also led to lots of males having existential crises about enjoying a “girl’s cartoon” so much. It also provides one of the best examples of Troper Critical Mass in action: one season of a show ostensibly for little girls contains hundreds upon hundreds of tropes, a Characters page, fanfics, and legitimate fanbases for every character under the sun.

So, after all of that, let’s get to your question of what I think about all of this: Personally, I’m deeply amused by it.

OK, I am a fan of at least this one pony.

I’ve not watched the new show myself for two reasons. First, I’m still deeply scarred by the endless 80’s commercials and the horrible original show. I don’t recall why I ever saw the original show, but somewhere along the way I was exposed to it and it’s probably a huge factor in why I’m so cynical today. It was exactly the kind of mindless pablum put together by a committee that had no other goal than to maximize toy sales without spawning any kind of controversy that might negatively impact the brand that I think is partially responsible for most of the FOX News fans of today. To be fair, shows like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Transformers were pretty much the same except aimed at boys.

The second reason is because I don’t want to risk becoming a fan. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that someone took one of the worst shows aimed at young girls in the 80’s and turned it into something that’s not only intelligent, but has garnered a following well beyond the group it was created for. Nor is it a concern over it being a challenge to my masculinity — I’ve been known to paint my toenails on occasion. I’m just worried my head would explode from trying to reconcile my deep cynicism over the original show with how good the new one is.

However, the fact that it’s blown up into a huge meme is what I’m deeply amused by. There’s a certain amount of incongruity with, say, seeing a MLP image macro applied to a discussion thread on Fark or some other forum that I find funny. The fact that it’s gotten big enough to get a shout out from no less than Stephen Colbert is also highly amusing. Overall I’m supportive of the meme for no reason other than I appreciate the non-conformity of it and the general weirdness it promotes. Plus it has generated a lot of fun sub-memes such as the unofficial character known as “Derpy Hooves”.

If you’d like to read more about the spread of the meme you’ll find the MLP:FiM entry at Know Your Meme right up your alley.

Meme Time: 50 Random Questions About Me.

Via ***Dave:

1. What time did you get up this morning?
6:00 a.m. That’s standard for the Monday through Friday grind until August 17th when I’ll be switching to afternoon shift. Then it’s a crap shoot.

2. How do you like your steak?
I’m sure I’m going to appall a lot of people with this answer, but I like mine medium-well. Of course when you ask for it to be medium-well there’s only about a 50/50 chance of it actually being medium-well.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Currently my favorite is Better Off Ted, but you could also say The Big Bang Theory and Doctor Who. There are very few shows I make a point of watching.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Tokyo might be fun for awhile, but I’m pretty happy with Michigan overall. My reluctance to move out of state is probably why I’m not earning as much as I have in the past.

6. What did you have for breakfast?
Haven’t had it yet, but will be grabbing a bowl of Raisin Bran and some orange juice courtesy of my employer in a moment.

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
I don’t really have a favorite. It depends on my mood.

8. What foods do you dislike?
Raw tomatoes, Asparagus, anything overly spicy.

9. Favorite Place to Eat?
I’m a big fan of Red Robin burgers, but there’s also this little Mom and Pop Italian place here in Ann Arbor called Bella Italia which I highly recommend to anyone in the area. I love their Alfredo Chicken.

10. Favorite dressing?
Ranch mostly, though I used to be really fond of Thousand Island. I like a good Italian every now and then too.

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive?
2000 Pontiac Grand Prix or a 2004 Honda Civic.

12. What are your favorite clothes?
Jeans and Hawaiian shirts or t-shirts. I’m not a snappy dresser.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
England, Japan, Hawaii, the Bahamas. All sorts of places. Alas I don’t get vacations very often and don’t have the cash it would take.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
Neither. It’s half a cup.

15. Where would you want to retire?
Hadn’t thought about it. Considering my piss-poor planning I probably won’t be able to retire.

16. Favorite time of day?
Don’t really have one. Or I should say that it varies.

17. Where were you born?
Detroit, Michigan. Which is odd as I’ve never lived in Detroit itself.

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Not a sports guy. I was born without the Male Sports Gene.

19. Who do you think will not tag you back?
No one will tag me back because I don’t plan on tagging anyone.

20. Person you expect to tag you back first?
See #19

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this?
No one in particular.

22. Bird watcher?
Not really.

23. Are you a morning person or a night person?
I’m definitely a night owl. I have a hard time getting to bed before midnight. Which is a pain when you get up at 6AM.

24. Do you have any pets?
Two black cats. Melvin and Beanie. Neither of whom get along with the other.

25. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share?
Nothing I’ve not already blogged about.

26. What did you want to be when you were little?
Santa Claus. Thought it was the coolest job ever. Barring that I wanted to be an actor or a stunt man.

27. What is your best childhood memory?
Most of what I remember from my childhood are fragments and impressions of events. Just about any Christmas morning will do along with any number of moments from summer or winter playing outdoors.

28. Are you a cat or dog person?
**Dave’s response is pretty much what I would say: I enjoy dogs, but don’t want to take pack responsibility. So definitely cats.

29. Are you married?
Yes. Well into our ninth year now.

30. Always wear your seat belt?
Without fail. I’m one of those assholes who insist you do so as well if you’re riding with me.

31. Been in a car accident?
A couple. Broke my neck in one of them (not as bad as it sounds).

32. Any pet peeves?
A few. I tend to do repetitive things by routines and I always get annoyed when the routines are interrupted by something silly. This is mostly something that occurs in my job.

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings?
Pepperoni, mushroom, ham, sausage, pretty much any meat short of anchovies. I’m a fan of Hawaiian and Mediterranean Chicken pizzas.

34. Favorite Flower?
Never thought about it. Not much for flowers myself.

35. Favorite ice cream?
Cookie Dough, Rocky Road, Moose Tracks, though sometimes I’m quite partial to a simple but rich Vanilla.

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?
I love me some Arby’s, but it’s too expensive to eat there often.

37. How many times did you fail your driver’s test?
Passed it on the first try.

38. From whom did you get your last email?
Coworker. It was notes on how her shift went last night.

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
Newegg.com, but I don’t have any credit cards.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?
Freaked out over my daughter’s decision to not come home in the fall. That was pretty spontaneous in that I hadn’t planned on it.

41. Like your job?
It’s OK. Doesn’t pay as well as I’d like (or am used to) and is far less technical than I’d prefer. In this economy, though, it’s better than a lot of stuff I could be doing.

42. Broccoli?
Sure. I particularly like it raw with ranch dressing to dip it in. Though a good steaming with butter is always nice. Maybe some cheddar poured over top.

43. What was your favorite vacation?
Disney World back when I was a teenager. Been meaning to get back there ever since.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?
My wife, Anne. We ate at Red Robbin.

45. What are you listening to right now?
The gentle woosh of the A/C here at work. Don’t tend to listen to music much outside of the car.

46. What is your favorite color?
Blue.

47. How many tattoos do you have?
None. Not that I haven’t thought about it, but I can’t decide what I’d like to have done.

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz?
None. I don’t tend to tag people with memes.

49. What time did you finish this quiz?
8:29 am

50. Coffee Drinker?
Yes, though not habitually. Mainly on the weekends at this point.

Meme Time: Are you a hardcore atheist?

You’ve seen this sort of meme before. A list of things/items/places that you’ve done/own/visited where you boldface the ones you’ve done/owned/been to see how cool/nerdy/hardcore you are. This one is on atheism from the Friendly Atheist. I’ve added my notes where I thought they’d be insightful.

  1. Participated in the Blasphemy Challenge. – I haven’t done this, though I’ve thought about it. Truth is I’ve already done so much blasphemy in my time that this wouldn’t really amount to much for me.
  2. Met at least one of the “Four Horsemen” (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) in person. – I haven’t yet, but I’d like to. I don’t think any of them read my blog.
  3. Created an atheist blog.It’s not solely about atheism, but I think I cover it enough for it to count.
  4. Used the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a religious debate with someone.
  5. Gotten offended when someone called you an agnostic.Not so much offended as annoyed.
  6. Been unable to watch Growing Pains reruns because of Kirk Cameron.Though that was true before he became an insufferable Christian snot.
  7. Own more Bibles than most Christians you know.Though most of them are packed away someplace at the moment.
  8. Have at least one Bible with your personal annotations regarding contradictions, disturbing parts, etc.I have one, but don’t know where it is at the moment.
  9. Have come out as an atheist to your family.
  10. Attended a campus or off-campus atheist gathering.
  11. Are a member of an organized atheist/Humanist/etc. organization.
  12. Had a Humanist wedding ceremony. – We had a non-religious wedding, but I don’t know if it was Humanist or not. Even so the Justice of the Peace still put a prayer into the middle of it. That annoyed me somewhat.
  13. Donated money to an atheist organization.
  14. Have a bookshelf dedicated solely to Richard Dawkins.
  15. Lost the friendship of someone you know because of your non-theism.
  16. Tried to argue or have a discussion with someone who stopped you on the street to proselytize.
  17. Hid your atheist beliefs on a first date because you didn’t want to scare him/her away.Didn’t so much hide it as not mention it. Which could be considered the same thing, though it’s hard to know me for any amount of time and not know that I’m an atheist.
  18. Own a stockpile of atheist paraphernalia (bumper stickers, buttons, shirts, etc).
  19. Attended a protest that involved religion.
  20. Attended an atheist conference.
  21. Subscribe to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel.
  22. Started an atheist group in your area or school.
  23. Successfully “de-converted” someone to atheism.Though not intentionally. I never engage with that as the intent, but I have had people tell me they deconverted in part because of talking to me.
  24. Have already made plans to donate your body to science after you die. – Haven’t yet, but been thinking about it seriously. Saves a lot of cost on a funeral.
  25. Told someone you’re an atheist only because you wanted to see the person’s reaction.
  26. Had to think twice before screaming “Oh God!” during sex.  Or you said something else in its place.
  27. Lost a job because of your atheism.
  28. Formed a bond with someone specifically because of your mutual atheism (meeting this person at a local gathering or conference doesn’t count).
  29. Have crossed “In God We Trust” off of — or put a pro-church-state-separation stamp on — dollar bills.I don’t make a habit of it, but I’ve done it a few times.
  30. Refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
  31. Said “Gesundheit!” (or nothing at all) after someone sneezed because you didn’t want to say “Bless you!”It’s not that I have a problem with saying bless you, but religious folks never fail to point out that I’m saying it despite being an atheist and then claiming it shows I really believe. So I don’t say it just to avoid the hassle.
  32. Have ever chosen not to clasp your hands together out of fear someone might think you’re praying.
  33. Have turned on Christian TV because you need something entertaining to watch.Don’t do it often, but every now and then when the mood is right it’s good for a laugh.
  34. Are a 2nd or 3rd (or more) generation atheist.
  35. Have “atheism” listed on your Facebook or dating profile — and not a euphemistic variant.
  36. Attended an atheist’s funeral (i.e. a non-religious service).
  37. Subscribe to an freethought magazine (e.g. Free Inquiry, Skeptic)
  38. Have been interviewed by a reporter because of your atheism. – Not yet at least.
  39. Written a letter-to-the-editor about an issue related to your non-belief in God.
  40. Gave a friend or acquaintance a New Atheist book as a gift.
  41. Wear pro-atheist clothing in public.
  42. Have invited Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses into your house specifically because you wanted to argue with them.
  43. Have been physically threatened (or beaten up) because you didn’t believe in God.
  44. Receive Google Alerts on “atheism” (or variants).
  45. Received fewer Christmas presents than expected because people assumed you didn’t celebrate it.
  46. Visited The Creation Museum or saw Ben Stein’s Expelled just so you could keep tabs on the “enemy.”
  47. Refuse to tell anyone what your “sign” is… because it doesn’t matter at all.
  48. Are on a mailing list for a Christian organization just so you can see what they’re up to…I’m on several including the AFA’s list.
  49. Have kept your eyes open while you watched others around you pray.All the time. I don’t bow my head or close my eyes or recite anything. I will stand up and I will hold hands if asked, but otherwise I’m silent and respectful until they’re finished.
  50. Avoid even Unitarian churches because they’re too close to religion for you.

So about 26 out of 50. Not too shabby, but I suppose that means I’m not all that hardcore after all.

Let’s do a meme: Your “other” names.

Saw this on ***Dave’s blog and though it looked like fun:

1. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names):
Jay Bell

2. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad):
Clement… uh… it just occurred to me that I don’t know the names of either my paternal grandfather (he’s been dead for decades) or my step-dad’s father. How weird is that?

3. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 2 letters of your last name, first 4 letters of your first name):
Jelesl

4. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal):
Blue Otter (I think this would make a better Super Hero name myself)

5. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you live):
Troy Ann Arbor (that one doesn’t really work well at all)

6. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite alcoholic drink, optionally add “THE” to the beginning):
Red Long Island Iced Tea

7. FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name):
Lens

8. GANGSTA NAME: (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie):
Cookie Dough Sugar

9. ROCK STAR NAME: (current pet’s name, current street name):
Melvin Chelsea Circle (that one doesn’t really work either)

10. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on):
Tiger Meadowlawn

Someone at the Statesman Journal is an Internet geek.

Just look at the headline they used for Obama’s victory:


Click to embiggen!

It’s always amusing to see Internet memes show up in mainstream institutions.

Found over at Neatorama where they have images of Obama wins headlines from a bunch of different papers.

 

Time for a Quiz: What Breed of Liberal Are You?

This, of course, comes as a surprise to no one:

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

Take the quiz at www.FightConservatives.com

Pretentious List Time: 18 Things A Grown Man Should Never Have

I am a bit of a non-conformist by nature so articles like this one from Men’s Health that attempt to speak with authority on what some class of people—in this case Grown Men—should or shouldn’t have used to get my hackles up. I say “used to” because I’m finding that as I get older and more comfortable with the person that I am I have fewer insecurities that would make an article like this one threatening enough to make me angry. If anything I find them amusing. So let’s take a moment and see what I shouldn’t have now that I’m definitely a grown man and how well I stack up to the list:

1. A black eye. Unless the rim hits your face mid-dunk, your peepers should remain unblemished. You’re smart enough to talk your way out of any fight you’re going to lose.

I vaguely recall my last black eye occurring sometime in my 20’s and not from any kind of a fist fight. I’ve never been much for fisticuffs to begin with, all the fights I got into in my school years were started by someone else who wouldn’t let me walk away, so this one is easy for me. There’s been a couple of close calls over the years where it looked like I might have to defend myself, but most folks don’t tend to mess with me because they mistakenly think I’m a bad ass thanks to my beard.

2. A witty e-mail signature. Quotes and song lyrics should be heard during toasts and karaoke performances, respectively. Don’t let your electronic correspondence become the digital version of a motivational poster.

I don’t currently have a witty email signature, but only because I’ve not gotten around to it. Not sure I see a problem with this myself. Witty signatures have been part of email since it was first invented. I do keep a witty signature on my blog comments. Does that count against me?

3. An empty refrigerator. Your larder should be amply stocked, your pantry provisioned. Always aim to be ready to create an on-the-fly, three-course dinner for her…along with breakfast in bed.

I’m guessing this article is aimed at Single Grown Men and not Married Grown Men like me. Truth is Anne handles most of this task in terms of figuring out what to buy and when. My contribution consists of earning the money and going along on a semi-regular basis to provide moral support, push the cart, and ooh and ahh over the goodies we really shouldn’t be buying. Every now and then she’ll send me out solo with a list, but generally she keeps our pantry and larder as full as possible given the restrictions of our budget. If there ever was a reason that I had to take on the task full time I’m sure I’d adapt in short order, but I don’t know if I’d ever be as efficient at it as Anne is.

4. PlayStation thumb. When they’re relaxing, grown men can behave like children. But if you devolve long enough to cause calluses or button-shaped bruises, you’re assuredly missing out on life.

I play a good amount of video games myself, but I don’t have any callouses from it. I have had sore legs from sitting too long at a LAN party though. This is one of those annoying subjective statements that always bug me. If someone is happy with what they’re doing then how can you claim they’re missing out on life? It’s entirely possible they may not enjoy any of the activities that the author, Steve Calechman, thinks would make for a more fulfilling life. I always find it difficult to tell people who are happy that they aren’t living life to the fullest. Miserable people are a different story.

5. A key chain with a bottle opener. This bauble is both a gauche reminder of your college days and proof that you don’t know how to apply leverage using available, impromptu bottle openers: a lighter, the back end of a fork.

Not being a beer drinker I’ve not held a bottle that needed a bottle opener in probably 25 years and that’s the only reason I don’t have a bottle opener on my key chain. As for using impromptu bottle openers as a sign of being a “grown man”, I’ve always thought that was for people who didn’t have the brains to have a bottle opener handy when they needed one.

6. A lucky shirt. Every shirt is lucky when worn by a man who knows that the harder he works the luckier he’ll be.

That’s sure to be a motivational poster in the near future. I’ve never had a “lucky shirt” as I’ve never been particularly superstitious, but I’ve had shirts that I wore the living hell out of because they were the most comfortable ones in my wardrobe. Of all the superstitions one could have, this one is arguably rather harmless.

7. An unstamped passport.

Oh my. I’m in deep trouble. I don’t even own a passport. The only foreign country I’ve ever been to is Canada and in most Michigander’s books that doesn’t really count. I’ve not been since the laws changed that now you need a passport to go to Canada and that may eventually make me get one, but seeing as I don’t anticipate having the time or money to take a proper vacation to someplace outside the country anytime soon it’ll probably be awhile before I can be considered a True Grown Man.

8. Olympic dreams. Exceptions: curling and archery.

I’m way ahead of the game on this one. I’ve never had Olympic dreams.

9. Less than $20 in his wallet. Fiduciary nudity is negligence. A real man should always carry a business card and enough dough to pick up coffee, bagels, and the Sunday paper without whipping out the plastic.

I find this one funny for a couple of reasons. First, I rarely have any cash money in my wallet. I carry it in my front right pocket. I don’t carry money in my wallet for the same reason I don’t make my bed. I’m just going to pull it back out (mess it up) again in short order so what’s the point. My wallet carries my IDs and my plastic money (debit card) and a few random bits and bobs like insurance cards.

Secondly, since the advent of the debit card it’s actually somewhat rare that I have any cash money on me at all. At my last job I’d pull out $20 at the start of the week for use on vending machines (snacks, drinks, etc.) and that’s only because Michigan doesn’t seem to have any of those cool vending machines that’ll accept debit cards that other states have. At my current job the snacks and drinks are provided gratis so I’ve got even less reason to have cash on hand. At the moment I have $53 in my pocket because over the last weekend we renewed our membership at CostCo and my mother-in-law, who has a card based off our membership, paid me back combined with a few of the bucks left over from when I was paying for snacks at the old job some three weeks ago.

Lastly I don’t have any business cards. The last couple of jobs I’ve held, including this one, don’t provide any.

10. A name for his penis. Even if it’s a really clever name.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a name for my penis. I’ve jokingly referred to it using common euphemisms everyone knows such as “Big Jim and the Twins” or “One Eyed Willy”, but I’ve never taken the time to give it an official name. Unless you count “Dick”, though I always say that word using a small “d” so it’s not really a proper name.

11. Any beer that costs less than $20 a case. And no exception for the grand-slam 30-pack that crosses that price threshold.

I don’t drink beer at all. Where’s that put me?

12. The need to quote The Big Lebowski/ Caddyshack/Superbad. Reciting someone else’s lines reminds people that you haven’t the wit to write your own.

Sorry, but you can have my beloved movie quotes when you can pry them from my cold, dead mouth. If being grownup means I’m not allowed to toss out an appropriate movie reference on a whim then I’ll stay a Toys Backwards-R Us kid.

13. A futon. Sure, beds are for sleeping. But such a meager, slouchy spread has never, in the history of sex, inspired a woman to say, “Take me on your futon.”

I have a futon, but it is used as a couch that can be made into a bed for guests because I have a bed. Though to be honest I’ve never heard a woman say, “Take me on your bed” or any other piece of furniture I had on hand at the time. I don’t think most women are turned on by the idea of having sex on a particular type of furniture. I’m sure a good portion of them would prefer a comfy bed over a futon for sex, but in the heat of the moment quite often any old place you can manage the act will do.

14. Code words for ugly women. Actually, code words for anything.

I’m trying to think if I’ve ever had code words for anything. Short of playing Secret Agent Man when I was 12, I can’t think of a time when I used code words for anything.

15. A Nerf hoop in his living room. Keep the adolescent accoutrements where they belong: in the rec room or above the wastebasket in someone else’s office.

I’ve never had a Nerf hoop, but then I’ve never considered myself much of a basketball player. I did have anime wall scrolls in my living room for awhile in the apartment in Canton. I’ll assume that’s just as bad as a Nerf hoop.

16. A secret handshake.

Those men at the Elk’s Club are going to be pissed. This is something else I’ve never taken the time to invent or learn.

17. Drinking glasses with logos. Especially those kitschy McDonald’s Hamburglar ones.

If it holds liquid refreshment I’m not particularly choosy about what is on the glass. I grew up with a decor that my mother referred to as “early orange crate” and perhaps it’s a sign of my redneck heritage, but I’ve never had a problem with that. Matching glasses are nice and all and I try to have a set on hand for special occasions, but for day to day living I’m just fine with those kitschy McDonald’s Hamburglar glasses.

18. A recent story with the phrase “So I said to the cop…”

Another thing I’ve never had. My brushes with the law are few and very far between. They consist of the occasional auto accident—most of them someone else’s fault—and less than four speeding tickets in my entire driving career. I’ve never been arrested for anything. Probably because I’ve been too busy playing video games. No doubt Mr. Calechman would point to my lack of police interaction as a sign that I have no life.

So there you have it. Based on this scale I probably should turn in my Grown Man Club Card. Now if I can just remember where I put it.