It’s winter and I’m cranky. So, instead of writing the gorgeous prose that you and I both know I’m wont to do, I’m just over here waving my crooked finger like an angry old man. I’m Fifty Shades of Gripe. Shouting at you meddling kids.
But, look. It’s fine to have a caustic side. You can make a good living just swirling a glass filled with your own backwash. Simon Cowell, Tony Kornheiser, this dreamcrushing old hag —
— they’re all professionally cranky. So I’m moving to join their ranks today. Behold! A list of things that are played out like a Phil Collins track on Lite FM.
Yes, bacon is delicious.
But, dude, cool it. It’s not as if bacon just got out of rehab or off parole. It’s not like bacon just lost fifty pounds and paid off its credit card debt. Bacon is not having some kind of awakening. You’re not getting a second look at bacon. Bacon is just being bacon. Same guy he’s always been.
The sudden urge to celebrate bacon’s every move strikes me as forced, like the inexplicably trendy “You Go Girl” feminism of the late 1990s. Like bacon is some kind of underdog in the fight of its life.
Answer these questions to identify whether you like bacon:
Q1) Are you Jewish or Muslim? [IF YES = go to Q1a, IF NO = go to Q2]
Q1a) Do you follow your religion’s antiquated food restrictions? [IF YES = does not like bacon, IF NO = go to Q2]
Q2) Do you have a mouth? [IF YES = likes bacon, IF NO = dead in a few days so who cares]
Guys, liking bacon is hard wired. It’s nature. It doesn’t make you unique or special or funny. Do you need to constantly harp on how much you like bacon?
Bacon cupcakes. Bacon flavored vodka. Bacon wrapped No. 2 Pencils. Bacon cards. Bacon clothing. Enough already. Who are you? Benjamin Buford Blue’s terrestrial business partner?
It’s over the top. It’s just too fucking much. I mean, everyone likes pizza, right? But do you see a bunch of defensive losers wearing pizza advocacy shirts? Of course not. Because pizza has enough self-confidence to just kind of ball out and be like “Whatever bro, take me as I am.”
So, yeah, bacon’s great, but I’m throwing a flag. The excessive celebration of bacon has to stop. Bacon has been delicious for centuries. Let’s stop treating it like it’s some novel innovation.
Making fun of women’s basketball
It’s May, and it’s too early to know who’s going to be in the pennant race, so you and your boys are enjoying open windows, grilled meat, flip flops, and inconsequential baseball. It’s a great day. At commercial break, the TV shows an ad for the upcoming Mercury vs. Storm game. Suddenly, there are more snickers than Halloween on a Saturday.
I don’t get it.
Are we still doing this? We’re still making WNBA jokes? It’s been 16 years. The WNBA already has its learner’s permit and lost its virginity. Sixteen years and dudes are still cracking the exact same jokes as when Seinfeld went off-air. Coincidentally, the only jokes that are still funny after 16 years originated on Seinfeld.
I’ve tried to understand the rationale for hating on women’s basketball. At its best, women’s basketball encourages young women to play, understand, and enjoy the sport (which pays dividends when your wives, girlfriends, and daughters would rather go to a game than to the ballet). At its worst, women’s basketball is irrelevant and easily ignored. There’s really no rational reason to be so salty about it. So what’s with the animosity, fellas?
Ohhhhh. I get it. You think — and I know because I’ve heard this 300 times — that because the women’s basketball team at your college practiced against a squad of five dudes and couldn’t even beat them, that they all stink. You’re upset because here are these women who are not that good at something you love, and they’re getting publicity and a paycheck to do it. You’re upset because you might be better than some of these women, and how are they playing professionally and you’re not? You’re upset because you got cut junior year. Because your wife earns more than you. Because you don’t know if you’re saving enough for retirement. Because your son is as unathletic and unremarkable as you are. Because your hairline is receding and it takes you three days to recover from a workout. But, come on, WOMEN’S BASKETBALL IS A JOKE! They’re not even physical in the paint! The passing is terrible! And it moves too slowly! How can a transition play take more than four seconds?! They’re all just a bunch of ugly, hulking lesbians. Life would be so much better if you fucking women would just leave the hard stuff — dunking, crisp passing, posterizing, pleasing a woman — to a real man.
Whoa. That escalated quickly. Take a deep breath. Let’s unpack that.
You’re a little irrational and emotional right now, but I’m just going to explain something. Sue Bird is not the reason your son won’t make the varsity team. Thinking you could school Skylar Diggins won’t get your finances in order.
Life is hard, bro. I can’t help you with that. That’s on you. But these jokes about women’s basketball are clearly a red herring. You’re impotent, aren’t you? It’s OK. It happens to lots of guys.
Wedding / Engagement Photos
While we’re on the subject of emasculating things, let’s briefly chat about your engagement photos.
I have to ask you and your beloved some questions. Was that your first time wearing khakis on the beach or is that something you guys regularly do? And that shot where you are pretending to laugh like lovers do — what was so funny? Because I’m guessing it wasn’t actually funny. I’m guessing you knew a camera was on you and wanted to look like you were having a gay old time.
I know your big day is your big day, and I don’t mean to shit all over it. I’m sure you had a lovely time and it was really special for you. But it feels like every week, my Facebook feed blows up with the same album. Lovers on the beach. Lovers holding hands. Just the girls! Now, just the guys! The bride staring into her flowers. The groom getting his buttoneer pinned to his lapel. The rings in focus with the rest of the bridal suite in a haze. Now, 1-2-3, everybody jump! Show the world how much fun you’re having in this very natural photoshoot.
If all you want is to have beautiful, perfect photos that catch you looking your best, then you’ve succeeded. The pictures look amazing — no doubt — but what do they actually capture? Is that really how things are with you and your boo? Or is that just Option C from your photographer’s cost estimate?
Because they are so formulaic and posey and routine, the photos don’t look like you. They look like anyone and everyone else. And if that’s the case, then why not save a whole lot of money on your photographer and just Photoshop your face on someone else’s head?
Look, we’re all grappling with our narcissism. It’s fine — it’s why I have a blog. Your thing is wanting to look flawless. But I would just argue this.
There’s nothing intimate about perfection. It’s cold, distant, and unrealistic. It’s boring and flavorless. It’s the opposite of what I’d hope a momentous personal occasion would be.
If we’d all stop trying so hard to be picture perfect, we might actually be special.