Yes, this is a real commercial.

After seeing this on TV for the second time, I felt compelled to share it with all of you. At least, I figure, I won’t be alone in my rage against this company and whatever marketing “genius” came up with it.

The first time I saw this, I thought, “Oh awesome! This guy built a mousetrap-style machine that refills his drink! This should be cool.” Alas, I was disappointed, aghast, angered, etc. to find that instead, the solution to the empty drink glass is the girlfriend (wife?). What the fuck. How is this on television? Why isn’t the whole world pissed about this? I mean, the Miller Lite commercials they used to have on TV promoting the “manliness” of drinking Miller Lite (e.g. don’t be a sissy, girls’-pants-wearing light beer drinker!) seem tame and almost endearing compared to the outright misogyny of this gem. I mean, really? We haven’t moved beyond “women belong in the kitchen and/or serving my every need including thirst”? It’s 2012 for godsakes.

I mean, the idea of businesses like SportsClips thrive on the idea that women are meant to serve men both in deed and as eye candy (see also America’s favorite place to get buffalo wings and glimpses of boobies, Hooters). The problem isn’t only the proliferation of antiquated notions of what it means to be a Woman–that is, buxom, always sexy, kitchen- or service-centered, adorably dumb… the list goes on–but antiquated notions of what it means to be a Man. Commercials like this imply that part of being a man means treating all women like glorified servants and exclusively doing “manly” things like watching sports–and being unable to drag oneself away from such manly activities in order to groom oneself, because that’s for pussies. It’s not only women that should be outraged at commercials like this that appeal to undeniably sexist notions of male/female relations, likely located somewhere in the irrational amygdala.

I don’t want to suggest that we should be better than this. We are better than this and it’s about time we show it.

A Happy Thought for Sunday

After hearing that Chad Johnson head-butted his wife the other day, this makes me feel a little bit better.

Quit Crying About Your Silver Medal

10,500 athletes from 204 countries are participating in the Olympic games this year. There are 302 events in 26 sports. That means there will be 906 medal winners, give a few people for teams, etc., maybe 1,300 people total. In other words, about 12% of athletes competing will win medals. 8% will win silver or gold. 4% will win gold. (Yes, I realize the math is a little fuzzy since people can win multiple gold medals, or multiple medals, and this is not a rare occurrence (see Phelps, Raisman, etc.), so assume these numbers are extra friendly.

I am so sick and tired of watching people give their all to a race or a competition and then bitch about getting a silver medal. Do you realize you’re the second best competitor in your sport in the world and in the top 8% of people in any sport in the world? Seriously. SERIOUSLY. Stop whining.

Sure, it’s disappointing to work very hard and, if your goal is a gold medal, not to win that. I get it. You’re a competitor and you want to be the best. But don’t sulk. I’ve seen so many people sulking at this Olympic games that it blows my mind. I watched nearly every girl on the Russian gymnastics team crying through the entire competition because they weren’t in first place. I’ve seen runners crying at the finish line because they didn’t cross it first. I’ve seen Mckayla Maroney with her arms crossed on the podium because she didn’t win gold in her signature event.

But I’ve also seen men congratulating their competitors on high bar who blew their own performances out of the water to push them to second place. I’ve seen Jamaican countrymen embrace each other after winning gold and silver in the 100m dash, their smiles lighting up the entire stadium. And then I saw this:

And to all the athletes who stand on the podium with a silver medal and are disappointed, you could take a lot of lessons from this young woman. It’s okay to be disappointed that you didn’t win the gold, but don’t cry about it. You are on the medal stand. Think about how many people who trained just as hard as you and who may not possess your natural aptitude for your sport, or not to the degree you have it, and are sitting in 4th, 5th, or 10th place. If you gave it 100% and you’re in second place, that’s okay. That’s still pretty damn good. If you made a mistake and you’re still on the podium, that’s even more amazing. It means you’re so good that even on your off days, you’re number two in the world. And sure, it’s okay to wish that you had done something different, stuck a better landing, run a little more evenly, made your turn in the pool a little bit smoother, but that’s nothing to cry about. It’s called motivation.

Gabby Douglas: Incredible Olympian, Adorable Human, Great Hair

This is Gabby Douglas.  She is an adorable human being.  She is also a powerhouse Olympian who just won the GOLD MEDAL in all-around women’s gymnastics.  Thus, she’s kind of a big deal.

OLYMPIC GOLD, PEOPLE.

A lot of people are excited that she won the gold medal, and I am definitely among them.  I love seeing an American take home the gold, but what is even more special about this particular victory is that Gabby Douglas is the first black athlete to win gold at the Olympics for gymnastics.  She will be getting a whole bunch of endorsements in the coming months and years, and she deserves it.

What doesn’t she deserve?  Being criticized for her hair.

Apparently, her hair has become an issue.

As many bloggers, tweeters, writers, and people that don’t matter have weighed in – her hair doesn’t matter at all.  She matters a lot.  Her hair, however, is of no consequence.  In fact, no Olympian’s hair is really of any consequence.  Olympians usually have the hair of people mid-workout… You know, ’cause they’re in the middle of playing sports.

Here are examples of other Olympian’s hair:

Shawn Johnson, Olympian

So, is this hair fine?  It seems fine to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nastia Liukin, Olympian

And, is her hair okay?

 

 

 

 

 

 

My point is, I’m pretty sure her hair look fine.  She’s pretty sure too.  Here’s what she said, “What’s wrong with my hair?” (Great question.) “I’m like, ‘I just made history and people are focused on my hair?’ It can be bald or short; it doesn’t matter about my hair.” Her advice to anyone who thinks it’s worth debating? “Nothing is going to change. I’m going to wear my hair like this during beam and bar finals. You might as well just stop talking about it,” she said.

She so darn impressive.  Shut up about her hair.

When I see this picture, I am simply stunned.  I am certainly not thinking about her hair.

Dude. That’s impressive.

Say all you want, this Olympian will be laughing all the way to the bank.

2012 Olympic Drinking Games

Making the Olympics even more fun. You’re welcome.

Drink once if any of the following happens:

  • Interviewer asks athlete “How does it feel to win X medal?”
  • Athlete sets world record
  • Athlete sets Olympic record
  • The USA wins an event
  • The host country, Great Britain, wins an event
  • NBC has a fluff feature
  • Fan cam shows an athlete’s parents/family
  • Fan cam shows a celebrity
  • NBC shows an ad for tomorrow’s Today Show
  • An athlete in a post-event interview says they feel “blessed”
  • An athlete in a post-event interview says they are “speechless” or any variation thereof
  • Announcers call event “unbelievable”
  • Announcers call event “incredible”
  • Announcers call event “amazing”
  • Athlete cries during medal ceremony
  • Announcers suck Michael Phelps’ proverbial dick

 

 

Finish your drink if:

  • An athlete gets injured mid-event and must drop out

 

Finish two consecutive drinks if:

  • NBC screws up and spoils a result not yet shown on TV

NBC, you’re sucking up the Olympics like your primetime schedule.

There are lots of things I like about NBC. Brian Williams is awesome. Richard Engel is super badass. They hired Howard freaking Stern as a judge on America’s Got Talent. Bob Costas pretty much got Jerry Sandusky to confess on the air. Those are pretty awesome things.

HOWEVER. They are sucking up their coverage of the Olympics.

  • Why did I never get to see ANY footage of American men or anyone else on the rings for the men’s gymnastics events?

    Apparently, this wasn’t worth showing.

  • Why did they completely cut Gabby Douglas’s and Aly Raisman’s routines on the balance beam (purportedly Raisman’s best event after the floor routine) in primetime coverage? Yet they showed the two Russians and the Chinese woman in their rotation…
  • Every single interview goes essentially thusly: How is it winning [insert level medal here]? How does that make you feel? To which everyone responds in some variation of “It’s overwhelming; I can’t put it into words.” And if I hear the Today show hosts ask one more kid if they slept with their medal under their pillow last night, I will strangle all of them, even though I kind of love Savannah Guthrie.
  • Only showing major events in primetime kind of sucks because it’s too easy to spoil it for yourself… *frowns at Twitter.*
  • NBC can’t even keep their own spoilers under control: see Missy Franklin’s first gold medal:
  • Moments before airing Missy Franklin’s tape-delayed Olympic victory in the 100-meter backstroke, NBC ran a promo for Tuesday’s edition of “Today” that said this:

They’re waiting for NBC to show the missing balance beam routines, too.

“When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with.”
The network had yet to show Franklin’s win when it ran the “Today” teaser that included this photograph of the teen sensation standing on the medal stand with the gold draped around her neck.

  • Local coverage of the Olympics is nonsense. It’s like a giant masturbation fest for local news sportscasters who are all running amuck in London. I feel awful for Londoners; I felt particularly awful when our local sportscaster thought it’d be hilarious to ask everyone in the vicinity of Big Ben what time it was in an effort to get them to look at the giant clock. That’s worth a fork in my eye.
  • NBC decided it made more sense to cut a tribute to the victims of London’s 2005 terrorist bombings. They showed a clip of Ryan Seacrest’s interview with ass kissing of Michael Phelps instead.
  • Ryan Seacrest. Enough said.

    NBC: sucking up the Olympics since 1964.

It isn’t “Just a Game” Anymore.

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past year, you likely understand the myriad meanings of the name “Jerry Sandusky.” If you have been under a rock, here is the short version. Sandusky, a former assistant coach at Penn State University set up a charity for at-risk kids and used Penn State property to run his charity camp–what would become a virtual pipeline for prospective victims. Recently, Sandusky was convicted on over forty counts of child sexual abuse–including child rape–perpetrated over roughly fifteen years.

Penn State University conducted their own investigation with ex-FBI director Louis Freeh. According to his report, university officials, including beloved head coach Joe Paterno, former Penn State president Graham Spanier, VP Gary Schultz, and AD Tim Curley, knowingly and purposefully concealed Sandusky’s crimes from authorities in order to save face for their football program. In other words, Paterno and Co.’s resistance to reporting Sandusky allowed him to prey on young boys for a decade or so.

Everyone can agree that Jerry Sandusky’s actions were those of an unabashedly evil man. The presumed grey area  arises when considering the actions of university officials, including Joe Paterno. After the shocking details of the Freeh report, there was a public outcry to remove Paterno’s statue from in front of Beaver Stadium.

For those of you who aren’t rabid college football fans like us, here’s the background: Paterno coached Penn State for over forty years. This man was considered a living legend (or, in some people’s estimation, a living saint). He was praised for his leadership of young men on and off the football field. Paterno and his family donated a large sum to the university for a library which was consequently named after him. The Big Ten Football Championship Trophy, among other distinguished college football awards, bore his name.

In 2001, Penn State installed a large bronze statue of Paterno in front of their stadium, which portrayed paterno, pointing to the sky, and leading a group of players, presumably onto the field. A nearby wall reads, “Joseph Vincent Paterno: Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.”

Amidst the Penn State scandal, there have been repeated calls for removal of the statue, which, under the direction of President Rodney Erickson, took place this morning. This, however, only happened after groups had been camped out to “protect” the statue from vandals late last week.

Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Yes, it was really a statue that needed protecting in this whole affair.

Joe Paterno was a great football coach. I think Penn State’s record speaks for itself. Joe Paterno, however, was not a saint. He was, as is now obvious, a conflicted man who, it seems, wanted to do well by his school, whether that meant donating money to the library or protecting his football program from a sex abuse scandal that will, ultimately, likely destroy it precisely because of his cover up.

The issue here is not Paterno’s legacy as a coach, but his actions as a man that were judged before he was done living.

We do this a lot now. It’s not just Joe Paterno or the college football world who decided to “call the game” at halftime and canonize Paterno as some sort of living saint. It is, admittedly, difficult to judge a body of work when you don’t have the entire body of work in front of you. This is why we should perhaps wait to praise living men as if there were something more than men. We are looking for living heroes. We are a society grasping for something real, someone to look up to, and when we think we find them, we treat them as superhuman. We feel as if we need a real life Batman, Superman, Spiderman. We are too quick to elevate men to the status of gods before they have a chance to show us that they deserve it.

To make another football comparison, take the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In order to be inducted, there is a five-year waiting period from the time a coach or player retires from the game. This is not even waived if a prospective inductee dies during the waiting period. This is one thing the Hall of Fame does right, amidst much criticism. It’s hard to judge someone’s body of work as a coach or a player when you’re too close to it; it’s called bias. It’s human and normal, but it does cause us to overlook shortcomings that might otherwise be a call for concern on some level. Often it’s small, but imagine if the college football world had stuck to a five year waiting period after Paterno’s retirement before building what amounts to a shrine to the man outside his home turf.

Imagine the absence of the absurd fiasco of seemingly-heartless Penn State students and others who took to the streets after Paterno was fired for his complicity in Sandusky’s years of abuse.

Imagine that changing the names of multiple awards for excellent in college football was not necessary.

Imagine the absence of Penn State students and fans “protecting” the statue of a man who failed to protect innocent children because he put the reputation of his football program before their safety.

We are too eager to live history in the present. We want to memorialize, categorize, archive, and canonize people and things before they have a chance to pass out of the now and into the then. It’s hard to judge history as it happens; maybe we should withhold public praise of individual historical actors before we have a chance to see what they’ve done as a whole.
We don’t call the winner at halftime of a football game. We shouldn’t have called Paterno a saint before we had a comprehensive view of his life. What we can say about Paterno is that he was a good coach. He did some good things for PSU. He was also a conflicted and imperfect man who made a heinous mistake, a morally-reprehensible decision. We should not white wash history by acting as if what Joe Paterno did or failed to do doesn’t matter. Leave him in the record books. Leave his name on the library. Let these be a testament to his achievements. But don’t continue to venerate the man as some sort of saint; maintaining a statute that calls him a “humanitarian” when he failed so egregiously by some of our society’s most innocent, our children, is a gross fallacy. And it is painfully obvious, judging by the statue’s group of “protectors,” that leaving the statue in place would only facilitate this white-washing.

Penn State and college football in general need to remember this gross and tragic failure to stand up for what is right. The NCAA appears to agree, and will announce Penn State’s sanctions at 9 AM Eastern tomorrow–sanctions that are expected to include a multi-year scholarship reduction, a multi-year bowl ban, and an unprecedented $30-60 million fine to be put “toward an endowment for children’s causes.” We need to remember that football is a game, and there are more important things than winning or losing. It’s not how you play the game; it’s how you live your life. Joe Paterno’s statue should be replaced with a permanent reminder of Sandusky’s victims. It doesn’t have to be a statue of a child. It just has to be a symbol that reminds us all that football is a game, but life is not, and it’s the decisions we make off the field that will come to define our legacy.

This post was co-written by a couple of college football fanatics: Kate and her boyfriend, Jon.

6 More Signs You’re Not a “Bad Ass”

Of course, there are more signs.
  1. You’re wearing a blue tooth.  You look crazy, not bad ass.  If you are currently driving a vehicle, then a bluetooth is understandable.  If you’re standing in line somewhere, or walking down the street, maybe just use your cell phone like a normal person.  Bad asses don’t need fancy gadgets.  Fancy gadgets hope bad asses will use them.
  2. You use pick-up lines.  Bad asses don’t need pick-up lines; they just know how to get laid.  And they do.
  3. You think Guinness is yucky, and you have other weak ass drinking habits.  Bad asses drink intense, bad ass drinks.  That means whiskey, gin, heavy beer, and generally German/Irish ales.  There is no light beer.  There is no need for Long Islands, or whatever else comes in a fish bowl.  Bad asses are fine without frills.
  4. You can’t drive stick shift.  Why can’t you?  C’mon.  This one is a given.
  5. Your masculinity is challenged and/or you feel uncomfortable wearing pink, going to the opera, shopping, cleaning yourself, etc…*  Man or woman, you need to be self-assured to be bad ass.  Plus, bad asses can appreciate a beautiful piece of art, taking care of themselves, and high-culture.  They’re not animals!
  6. You think a Hummer is more bad ass than a Prius.  Wrong.  A true bad ass knows that driving a Prius is way more bad ass than driving a Hummer.  Hummer’s are wasteful, and bad asses are economical in all they do.  They don’t want to expend a bunch of useless or unnecessary energy to get something done.  Why would they want to drive something that did?  Also, a bad ass realizes that driving a Hummer tells other people that you are self-conscious about your “size.”  Bad asses are definitely not worried about “size;” they’re good.
Bonus list for dudes only! Read below:
  1. You can’t grow a beard… Um, bad asses are at least able to do so.  Most of them shave twice a day.
  2. Every chick that won’t sleep with you becomes a “bitch.”  Bad asses can handle rejection, though it rarely happens.  Still, when and if it does, a bad ass knows that only little bitches think every woman is a bitch.
  3. You’ve hit a chick.  Sean Connery is the only bad ass who has done this.  It’s still not really okay.
  4. You’re straight, and gay dudes make you nervous.  Again, bad asses aren’t worried about what other people are doing.  Also, gay dudes are not attracted to every other dude.  Deal with it.
 

*This was re-worded for clarity.  We agree that bad asses can maintain their bad ass status whilst attending the opera.  In fact, we think many bad asses can appreciate the opera.  They’re too awesome not to.

5 Signs You’re Not Really a “Bad Ass”

Don is a bad ass.  He’s a Vietnam Veteran who snowmobiles, is not capable of drinking so much he could be drunk, has beaten up multiple jerks, loves him some jager, never does yard work without bleeding and never seems to notice that he’s bleeding, and he’s also a pretty ballin’ cook.  Boom.  Bad ass.

Kate is bad ass because she will cut you with her words, take you down analytically, drink another bottle of the cheap red, laugh at your stupidity, charm you into wanting to date her, and then she’ll cut you down again.  Oh, and she’s in a PhD program at 22.

Patty is a bad ass because she could kick your ass, drink you under the table, hem anything, clean anything, fix a lot of things, she has 7.32 jobs, and she’ll do it all wearing a pencil skirt and heels.

You probably are not a bad ass.  Bad asses are awesome.  They chop down trees, build houses, fix cars, beat up dudes who are assholes, don’t flinch when they bleed, and aren’t afraid of getting a little dirty to get it done (regardless of the it).

Urban dictionary defines bad ass a number of ways, but my favorite snippets are:

Badass:

  1. Ultra-cool motherfucker.
  2. The badass is an uncommon man of supreme style. He does what he wants, when he wants, where he wants. You won’t find him on facebook, myspace, msn, et cetera because he is probably out being cool somewhere.
  3. Awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority.
  4. “Sam Elliott’s mustache = badass.”
  5. Infinitely cool, über awesome, hardcore to the extreme.  “Say what you will about Bruce Lee or Chuck Noris, Tsutomu Yamaguchi is, hands down, the most badass example of a badass ever to walk the earth: Tsutomu Yamaguchi was the only known survivor of BOTH atomic blasts. He died at age 93 on January 6, 2010.”  There is NOTHING more bad ass than that.
There are a lot of people, mostly dudes, who claim to be bad ass, but most of them aren’t.  If you think you are a bad ass, read the following carefully.
5 Signs You’re Not Really a “Bad Ass”
  1. You are wearing a polo shirt, and it’s not a uniform.  First of all, bad asses don’t really wear uniforms.  Second of all, polos are for English guys, and frat boys.  If you’re English, we’ll allow a polo if you wore it while playing polo.  If you are a frat boy, shut up, you’re not a bad ass.
  2. The sight of blood makes you feel nauseated.  A true bad ass in not bothered in the slightest by blood.  A true bad ass usually doesn’t notice their own, but will come to the aid of others who bleed.
  3. You can’t fix or even identify what’s wrong with your car/fridge/sink/motorcycle/computer.  Bad asses fix shit.  If you cannot fix anything, you’re not bad ass.
  4. You can’t do mental math.  Math is bad ass.
  5. You don’t know how to throw a punch.  Punching is a big part of being a bad ass.  Fighting is important.
There are many other signs, so proceed claiming to be a bad ass carefully.

20 Things I Wish I Could Ask on a First Date

I wish I could ask a lot of questions on first dates, rather than finding this information out later and when it’s far too late.  There are simply too many guessing games when you begin dating, and being able to interrogate each other would really help.  Perhaps online dating is better in the sense that you know certain things ahead of time…  That said, here are the 20 questions I most wish I could ask on first dates and get truthful answers:
  1. Do you live with your parents?  If yes, why?   If this person is over 24, they better have a real damn good reason for living with mama and papa.
  2. How many people have you slept with?  Were you careful or careless?  You gotta avoid the dirty ones.  Plus, the bigger the number, the lower the standards.  Why so many?  Why so few?  This question teaches you so much.
  3. Do you have any STDs/STIs?  DEAL BREAKER
  4. Are you pro-gay rights? And, does anything about the LGBT community make you uncomfortable?   I could not be more pro-gay.  I need someone who is comfortable with and supportive of all things LGBT.
  5. How much time do you actually spend playing video games/watching sports/”Intervention”/”Entourage”/some other obsession?  Know thy enemy.  In this case, you just want to know what you are competing with for their time.  If they regularly stay up all night to watch this or play that, you should get to know now.
  6. Are you an asshole/douchebag/shithead/dick/jerkface?  DEAL BREAKER
  7. Are you afraid of the outdoors, the country, nature and all things rural?  I’m a country girl.  I like camping.  I like hiking in the woods.  I like trees and hills and lakes and rivers.  City slickers beware.
  8. What’s really more important: sex or love?  Compare priorities prior.
  9. Do you enjoy dancing foolishly, or do you feel foolish dancing?  I am not afraid of looking like a weirdo, are you?
  10. Do you fight fair?  Ladies and gentlemen shouldn’t be dating people who go crazy by saying and doing awful things to their partners when they fight.  It is not cool to call each other hurtful names, to throw low-blows, to hit (whether wall or person), to break things, to intimidate, and to lie.  Settle down.  Everyone bickers.
  11. Do you love, hate, mock, or feel ashamed about “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Harry Potter,” “MST3K,” “Angel,” and other amazing, nerdy things?  Again, I am a nerd.  Deal with it.
  12. Would you kill a spider for me?  How scared are you?
  13. Do you make enough money to pay for dinner half the time?  If not, you need a new job.  I’m not looking for a rich person, but I do want to be able to expect that you’ll pay for at least half of our dates.  I’ll pay the other half, obviously.
  14. How often do you read books – not magazines, papers, or blogs?  I read a little of all, but a lot of the book things.  Compatibility is important, y’all.
  15. How often do you brush your teeth and floss?  My chompers are important, and so is your breath.
  16. Is your mom a bitch?   I ask this because it scares me when people think this about their mamas; unless of course, their mom is just especially awful, then they have a point.
  17. Do you have any children?  DEAL BREAKER
  18. Who is god to you?  I gotta watch out for the crazies!
  19. What are the main differences between men and women?  Watch out for sexist answers!
  20. How big is it?  …  No, not that; I meant your ego.