Thursday, February 25, 2010


In what is surely the biggest interior design craze to sweep the nation since the breakfast nook, the MAN CAVE (best written in all caps, and preferably yelled aloud by the host of Spike TV's MANswers) has officially entered the pop culture lexicon, popping up in movies, on TV, and allll over the internet (google it!). But what is a MAN CAVE exactly??

according to wikipedia:
"A man cave is loosely a male-only space to retreat to, watch sports matches, or play video games."

the Man Cave TV show on the DIY network:
"An exclusive space to hang out in men's homes -- a refuge where they can enjoy what they love"

and of course, from I Love You, Man:
"There's no women allowed in here...This is where I jerk off."

What I find most intriguing here is the implication that a man need's his own space because the woman has claimed the entire rest of the home for herself. No sports, no video games, no loud music, no beer in the woman's territory. Is this how most marriages really work? I certainly hope not. My girlfriend, at least, is a die-hard Packers fan (I don't watch any football), she can drink most men I know under the table, and she can kick my ass at Mario Kart. I guess my question is: if a couple has such disparate interests that they need to spend significant amounts of time apart on a regular basis, can their marriage really be happy at all?

This article blows my mind:
"When Vicki and Brian Meldrum bought their first home four years ago in Cleveland, they made a pact: She could decorate and furnish the rest of the 1,110-square-foot house however she wanted, but the 15-by-10-foot finished basement was his."

Really?? Maybe I'm just being naive, but why wouldn't a married couple want their home to be a representation of both of them? Isn't the creation of such a distinct division between the husband's and wife's territory just begging for marital disaster? Apparently not, according to the psychologists interviewed in the article. Oy, and we wonder why the divorce rate among American's is so high. Sorry if I sound glib, but that's just my $.02.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Super Bowl Hates You

Another year, another Super Bowl. With the game itself even more predictable than usual (if anyone honestly thought the Colts had a chance in hell after watching the pre-game coverage, then they're far less cynical than I am), I was at least expecting to be amused by a few commercials. It's too bad they were without a doubt the weakest bunch in recent memory. Writing this less than 24 hours after the game, I could hardly remember 3 of them.

Of course, every year there are people (like this guy) who bemoan the blatant misogyny of the majority of these ads, and they are absolutely right. Advertisers anually perpetuate the idea that football is a man's domain, and during the Super Bowl woman exist solely to serve brewskis and Doritos to their men. During this sacred time for dudes, women are even susceptible to Tim Tebow telling them to "choose life." Well, he's a Heisman winner, so he must be right!

Here's the thing, though. As a man, I am equally offended by the depiction of my gender in most of these ads. Yes, they are chauvanistic, but they're actually degrading to the human race in general. In the realm of advertising, all women are sexy accessories and/or general pains in the ass, and all men are mentally deficient frat bros who would do anything for a beer. Case in point, the Bud Light Book Club spot. Man no like reading books, man like drinking beer and working out.

It's official: ad men have zero faith in humanity.
PS: Is there a male version of feminism? Masculinism, maybe? If there is, sign me up.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Vanity Fair(Skinned)

Few spaces are as difficult to infiltrate as the magazine cover. Even as print journalism is in its death throes, the magazine cover remains as exclusive as ever. Case in point: Vanity Fair's newest issue, presenting the pale, freckled faces of "New Hollywood."
New? Looks a lot like the same old Holly
wood to me, completely devoid of prominent women of color. Just today, two of these actresses were bestowed with Oscar nominations. But wasn't there another young up-and-comer nominated as well? Oh, right, she's an obese black girl, so no one wants to see her posing in a skirt with the rest of the Stepford wives. I'll assume that Zoe Saldana, the star of two of this year's biggest blockbusters, was ineligible because of her age (these gals are all under 30), but what about the drop-dead gorgeous Freida Pinto? Shareeka Epps or Zoe Kravitz? Not exactly household
names, but neither are Mia Wasikowska and Emma Stone. It seems print magazines are not becoming old-fashioned and passe because they use paper and ink, but because of their content as well.