Will Lerner



Here is the first paragraph of my blog entry. You are reading it, curious to see my argument. You are maybe hoping that it is going to be an interesting perspective, or at least will be a well-thought contrarian piece that can spark a genuine, intellectual argument. Alas, you are getting to the last sentence of the paragraph and are realizing something sad: my thesis is absolute horseshit and, on top of that, I’m a fairly lousy writer.

You have now invested too much time to just click away, though, and are now going to read the rest of this entry for another reason: because you feel like getting angry for a few minutes before you continue on with your day. And that’s the one thing that this entry can guarantee you: momentary rage. If you’re a normal human being, the most you’ll do is post on a link on Facebook bemoaning the fact that a person with my lack of insight has a staff job for a prominent publication. If you demonstrate hints of psychotic behavior, you’ll describe in the comment section of this website how very much you would like to kill me or that I’m gay. Or perhaps both.

We come to the first argument that I cede to you: I have not completely finished watching/reading/listening to the media I am about to criticize. But maybe I asked some friends, or read a recap written by someone who did finish it, and I’ll base what I’m writing off of that. I’ll acknowledge that there is no substitute for actually consuming a television show or novel, but amazingly, summarily dismiss that notion in the very same sentence. This lack of cohesive thought is only obvious to every single person reading this piece. Not to I.

Here we come to a point you can’t believe I’m about to make: I’m going to express my anguish that what I have just seen glimpses of is not something entirely different. A good example? Maybe I’ll say that I’m furious that Orange is the New Black isn’t a realistic portrayal of women in a correctional facility. This ignores the fact that it’s being presented as a comedy, or that it’s being run by the creator of Weeds, or that it’s based on a book and so is going to stick to the themes what’s already been written. I’m going to wish it was something else which is as valid as wishing that an apple I ate was actually a mango. 

Now we come to a paragraph severely lacking in substance. I’m going to mention how I feel about it. Again, I’m saying how I “feel” because I don’t actually “know”. I’m desperate for some extra clicks to my piece so I can keep working, because I don’t care about the audience that I get so long as I do actually have an audience. Boos, cheers, whatever.

My article has now lost all steam. I might even repeat a few points I already made because I have a minimum amount of characters I need to reach. Even though I have spent a few paragraphs dismissing the show, I have the gall to say that I don’t begrudge you if you like it. Even though I have said some pretty mean things. And now I walk away from my computer, tears in my eyes. I stare at the sun and hope to go blind.

Read a list on Business Insider, “The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide To Being a Man”. But get this, they published it without allowing me to explain some of their thoughts better. The jerks. So I wrote some additional words to go along with a few of their tips. Here we go.

“Stop talking about where you went to college.”
Even if you are asked, shake your head to indicate a refusal to answer this. If your date looks confused by your steadfast silence, you may write down the name of the college and three positive memories from your time there. After she has read the list, take back the paper and destroy it by fire. Side tip: Always keep a pad of paper, a pen, and book of matches on your person at all times.

"Always carry cash. Keep some in your front pocket."

Also carry coins and a checkbook and goods you can barter, like silks and unorthodox meats like crocodile or ox. Also keep some of these in your front pocket. Basically, credit cards are effeminate. That’s why they fit so comfortably in purses.

“Rebel from business casual. Burn your khakis and wear a suit or jeans.”

How to make a pants fire: come up with a lie so plainly obvious in its lack of honesty that it could be refuted by even the most simple-minded person you know. Upon doing so, you’ll notice your pants are starting to smoke. Then say smaller, white lies to fan the smoke, which will soon become a fire. When you wish to extinguish your pants, come clean on your deceit.

“It’s okay to trade the possibility of your 80s and 90s for more guaranteed fun in your 20s and 30s.”

We encourage you to act recklessly and without abandon. Adopt a model of behavior that indicates a disbelief you will ever grow old. Some people will say that this is selfish and irresponsible and that by playing by these rules you might not even make it out of your 20s and/or 30s. Tell them they are eggheads, and then drink and drive.

“The best public restrooms are in hotels: The St. Regis in New York, Claridge’s in London, The Fullerton in Singapore, to name a few.

Aren’t I impressive for listing extravagantly expensive hotels in major cities? Love me for my wealth. Celebrate me for my ego. I am power. Bow down before your god. Side note: Make sure the hotel has a lobby and that you feel comfortable ignoring the concierge as you parade past them to relieve yourself. Side note side note: Only paupers use fast food restaurant bathrooms.

“Never stay out after midnight three nights in a row… Unless something really good comes up on the third night.”

Follow this rule explicitly, except sometimes don’t. We hope you don’t get the vague feeling that list was written by wealthy douche bags who are less clever than they think they are.

“If riding the bus doesn’t incentivize you to improve your station in life, nothing will.”

Only disgusting poor people use busses. Never be poor. Be a man. Be a wealthy man, and if you can, be a wealthy man as a result of institutional racism. That’s the most satisfying kind.

“Time is too short to do your own laundry.”

This is more of a “stop being not wealthy” thing than a “stop being poor” thing if we’re going to spilt hairs. Either way, overspend on cleaning your clothes at a laundromat, or find a woman and explain that their gender defined role is that of home servant.

“You don’t have to like baseball, but you should understand the concept of what a pitcher’s ERA means. Approach life similarly.”

Because a pitcher’s ERA indicates how many runs they have given up, on average, over the course of 9 innings. So, the pitcher is you, and the runs are actions that you take. 9 innings represent 9 months, or 9 seasons, and sometimes they’re 9 years. The ERA indicates how many actions you have given up to take over the course of 9 harvests. Still following me? Great. The catcher is your fourth grade teacher. First base is freedom of the press. Short stop is a grilled Reuben, and center field is a board game, let’s say “Battleship”.

“Buy expensive sunglasses. Superficial? Yes, but so are the women judging you. And it tells these women you appreciate nice things and are responsible enough not to lose them.

It is beyond crucial that you try to live up to the standards of superficial people. Inner-beauty should be disregarded at all costs. You are a man, remember? You only enjoy the way the package is wrapped, not what’s inside the box. You are a man.

“Be a regular at more than one bar.”

Or, make sure the staff at least remembers you, even if you’re not frequenting it all the time. This can be done relatively quickly. Upon entering the bar you wish to be remembered in, scream your name. Plead with the bartenders and wait staff to remember you by offering them sexual favors. Bring printed copies of a headshot taken by a professional photographer (remember, don’t be poor) and glue them to the wall. Do this in the bars of the areas you spend the most time in.

“No selfies. Aspire to experience photo-worthy moments in the company of a beautiful woman.

Before taking a picture with a woman, consider her beauty. Remember, superficiality is essential. If she doesn’t conform to society’s prescribed idea of attractiveness (i.e. dangerously thin and airbrushed), then push her aside (literally) until the next woman comes along (and one will, for all women desperately crave the company of a man).

“Own a handcrafted shotgun. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Display it prominently in your mansion. Get pissy when someone asks you if you’re overcompensating for something and then get into your oversized SUV or ludicrously flashy sports car and drive away. Turn up the music to drown out their laughter and ignore your tiny, tiny penis.

“Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them.

This is because women are defined by the men in their lives. Imagine a world without men. Now stop. Go to a mirror. See how your face is lined with tears? That is because the idea of a world that isn’t dominated by men is tragically sad. Now consider this: all women live in fear that their days won’t be filled with interactions with strange men. We are their nectar.

“Find a Times New Roman in the streets and a Wingdings in the sheets. She exists.”

She should also be a Cooper Black in a car repair shop, Goudy Old Style in an office supplies store, Marker Felt in church, and a Cambria in a kitchen nook. If she’s a Comic Sans anywhere, run away and vaccinate.

“Piercings are liabilities in fights.”

And you will get into fights. Because you are a man. A MAN, DAMN IT! FIGHT ME. FIGHT ME RIGHT NOW. TAKE OFF THAT SHIRT. I AM TAKING OFF MY SHIRT. LET’S WRESTLE AND SWEAT ON EACH OTHER. ARRRRRGHGHGHGHGH.

“One girlfriend at a time is probably enough.”

Wink wink. Nudge nudge. Get all the strange you can, my dude. (We qualified that sentence with the word “probably” on purpose, bro.) Women are objects, so it’s ok to talk about them like they’re lesser than we are.

“Your ties should be rolled and placed in a sectioned tie drawer”.

How to build a sectioned tie drawer: Tell your butler or footman that you wish to have them put your neck wear in a special drawer away from the rest of your wardrobe. Have them contact a wood worker in a different country so you can have the pleasure of paying freight costs of a heavy item when they ship it to you. Never actually see the tie drawer, but take pleasure in knowing that it exists in your home, and that it exists in your home because you are wealthy.

“No-one cares if you are offended, so stop it.”

Hear that Native Americans? If you want to be men, you’ll stop protesting the Washington Redskins. It all boils down to this: because we were raised in a world that exalts us and promotes us beyond all others because of our light skin, we get furious at the idea that anything we do could ever be seen as wrong or backward. Be a man and take pleasure in our ritual of telling the people we treat like second-class citizens that their concerns are trivial.

“Ignore the boos. They usually come from the cheap seats.”
And who sits in those cheap seats? Poor people! Blech. Only listen to criticism from people in private suites or courtside seats. The opinions of the working class are unsuitable for men. Men, men. Men. Men!

Start a wine collection for your kids when they are born. Add a few cases every year without telling them. It’ll make a phenomenal gift in twenty years.
Provided, that they like wine. If they don’t, throw a fit and scream, “why?!?!” and ignore the fact that you have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a gift that’s not wanted or even practical. And then make them drink it until they get sick. That will show those ingrates. Don’t they know they’re talking to a man?

“Hookers aren’t cool, but remember, the free ones are a lot more expensive.”
Always treat women like they are hookers, is what we’re saying. We think. We don’t know. We kept reminding you to drink alcohol so much that made us want a drink so we could shut up the voices in our head that tried telling us that this list was stupid and that you shouldn’t do anything other than pursue happiness in whatever way is healthy, safe, and kind to others. Oh god. Great. Now we all just became women.

70. The Old Ceremony - Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide 

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"Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide" (MP3) via FensePost

69. Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind

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"Do It Anyway" (stream) via SoundCloud

68. Bill Ryder-Jones - If…

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"Intersect" (stream) via SoundCloud

67. The Walkmen - Heaven

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"We Can’t Be Beat" (stream) via SoundCloud

66. Freelance Whales - Diluvia

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"Aeolus" (MP3) via The Pop Cop

65. Jenny Owen Youngs - An Unwavering Band of Light

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"Pirates" (MP3) via The Ruckus

64. Husky - Forever So

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"History’s Door" (MP3) via Subpop

63. Farah Loux - FLAWS

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Full album stream (or purchase) via Farah Loux

62. Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself

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"Eyeoneye" (stream) via SoundCloud

61. Stars - The North

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"Walls" (MP3) via Hillydilly

Previously:

(100 - 91)

(90 - 81)

(80 - 71)

80. The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth

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"Cry For Judas" (MP3) via Music For Kids Who Can’t Read Good

79. Best Coast - The Only Place

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"The Only Place" (MP3) via Music Savage

78. Titus Andronicus - Local Business

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"Still Life With Hot Deuce On Silver Platter" (MP3) via Guerolitomusic

77. Antony & The Tramps - Antony & The Tramps

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Full album stream (or download for free) via Antony & The Tramps

76. The Raveonettes - Observator

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Full album stream via Rolling Stone

75. Matt & Kim - Lightning

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"Let’s Go" (stream) via SoundCloud

74. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

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"Lost" (stream) via SoundCloud

73. Band of Horses - Mirage Rock

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"Slow Cruel Hands of Time" (stream) via SoundCloud

72. A Fine Frenzy - Pines

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"They Can’t If You Don’t Let Them" (stream) via Youtube

71. Magic Trick - Ruler of the Night

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"Ruby" (MP3) via Secret Signs & Lullabies

Previously:

(100-91)

(90-81)

90. Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet on Sky

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"Watch the Corners" (stream) via Jagjaguwar

89. Eight And A Half - Eight And A Half

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"Go Ego" (stream) via SoundCloud

88. Bowerbirds - The Clearing

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"Tuck the Darkness In" (stream) via SoundCloud

87. Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It

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"Hood" (stream) via SoundCloud

86. Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden

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"Country Girl" (stream) via SoundCloud

85. Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur

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84. La Sera - Sees The Light

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"Break My Heart" (MP3) via Not Final

83. Bill Fay - Life is People

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"Be At Peace with Yourself" (stream) via SoundCloud

82. Patrick Watson - Adventures In Your Own Backyard

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"Into Giants" (MP3) via Jonk Music

81. Heartless Bastards - Arrow

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"Parted Ways" (MP3) via The Wheel’s Still in Spin


Previously:

100-91

2012 provided some truly excellent music. I’m going to share my favorites of the year like I’ve done in the past. I should mention that I’m no critic and there are many, many wonderful albums I didn’t listen to this year. Every album on this list I enjoyed to a certain extent. Here we go.

100. Dr. Dog - Be The Void

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"Lonesome" (MP3) via Austin Town Hall

99. John K. Samson - Provincial

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"When I Write My Master’s Thesis" (MP3) via John K. Samson

98. Lambchop - Mr. M

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Full Album Stream via Merge Records

97. Delta Spirit - Delta Spirit

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"California" (MP3) via All Things Go

96. Anais Mitchell - Young Man in America

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"Young Man in America" (stream) via Grooveshark

95. Jack White - Blunderbuss

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"Love Interruption" (MP3) via Lower Frequencies

94. Eric Harvey - Lake Disappointment

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Full album stream via Bandcamp

93. Nick Waterhouse - Time’s All Gone

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"Some Place" (MP3) via Aurgasm

92. Beachwood Sparks - The Tarnished Gold

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"Sparks Fly Again" (MP3) via Sub Pop

91. Miniature Tigers - Mia Pharaoh

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"Sex on the Regular" (stream) via Soundcloud

Torii Hunter’s answer as to whether he would be comfortable with a gay teammate in the clubhouse was the wrong one: “For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it’s not right,” he says. “It will be difficult and uncomfortable.”

Torii Hunter will prove to be on the wrong side of history when all is said and done. I’m hoping that other pro ball players will stand up against bigotry like this.

David Brown of Yahoo! Sports gives Hunter a pretty good reality check, so I’ll just leave you a quote from Mike Mussina who was asked the same question in 2001:

During last week’s Piazza drama, in fact, Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina was asked if he would accept a gay teammate. He replied, “I’m going to make the assumption that I already have.”

LA Times via Yahoo! Sports

This was a sterling year for movies and I managed to see many of them. I think it was an especially great year for the action genre. Aside from the ones I listed below, I enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises,The Avengers, and The Hobbit. The reason those three didn’t make my own personal top ten was they lost the game of expectations for me. Unfair but true.

Without further ado, here are my favorite films of 2012.

1. Django Unchained

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Dr. King Schultz is somewhere in my top 5 of favorite Western characters.

2. Beasts of the Southern Wild

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I saw this twice in theaters and both times got choked up toward the end. I imagine the third viewing will bear the same results. I’ve never seen a movie quite like this one before and am very excited for the careers of Behn Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar.

3. Life of Pi

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I loved the book and I loved the movie.

4. Argo

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My heart started racing right at the beginning and pretty much never let up. Remember when making fun of Ben Affleck was something that happened?

5. Silver Linings Playbook

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I had zero expectations going in, but I’ll be damned - I really thrilled to this film. Robert De Niro was exceptional.

6. Moonrise Kingdom

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I love you Wes Anderson.

7. Looper

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At the viewing I went to, there was a gentleman who kept excitedly screaming “Oh, shit!” Sir, you spoke for all of us.

8. Skyfall


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I immediately started watching other Bond films because it a lit fire. An informal, incomplete ranking of the ones I’ve seen so far:

  1. Skyfall
  2. Casino Royale
  3. Goldfinger
  4. From Russia with Love
  5. Thunderball
  6. Dr. No
  7. Quantum of Solace
  8. License to Kill

9. Lincoln

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It’s a good thing I qualified that Bond ranking list as “informal,” right? Because I’d hate you to confuse that with this punctilious arrangement I’ve labored countless hours over. Anyway. Daniel Day Lewis rocked. James Spader also rocked.

10. Cloud Atlas

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I admire the ambition behind it. Sometimes the makeup was a little silly, but overall it was a visual treat. I wish it had done better in the box office. Weirdness should be rewarded.

I also feel like it’s important to mention Zero Dark Thirty. I did see it, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else. I don’t agree with the pro-torture accusations being hurled at the filmmakers. Rather, I just have my own problems with the manner in which we killed Osama bin Laden. I think the world is a better place without him. He was less than human and responsible for a multitude of terrible things in the world. That being said, in this country the accused stand trial. We don’t summarily execute people without affording them to opportunity to defend themselves first. Also, in this country we’re supposed to value a life, no matter how awful it may be. Our constant crowing over his death worries me. We’re supposed to be responsible, intelligent, and compassionate. When you brag about killing someone it’s hard to resemble any of those traits. I’m as big a Barack Obama supporter as anyone, but I hated this part of his stump speech and I hated the cheers it received. I just wish that we had moved on quietly.

I understand my view isn’t practical, and that it might have caused chaos if we had captured him alive. I know he had to die as soon as he was within our reach. But I take no pleasure from it. And with that mindset, I just couldn’t enjoy Zero Dark Thirty that much.

Another week, another episode of Barmageddon. In this one Greg tells you about a delivery man who was angry about not getting tipped. I got to write some pee jokes, finally contributing to society.

Another week - another episode of Barmageddon written by yours truly. This week Greg tells you the scary truth behind a woman re-arranging patio furniture.