Category Archives: Rants

It’s Actually Happening: Social Media is Now Censoring Medical Professionals

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If you’ve been a proponent of free speech, you’ll agree that dark times are currently underway. Social media giants Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have deleted a livestreamed video wherein real doctors tout their successes when treating coronavirus, with one of them boldly proclaiming invariable success in treating patients who were sick with COVID-19. In addition, posts linking to the original video were deleted. According to the social media giants, these claims were classified as misinformation, and were subsequently censored.

Did you guess what medication was discussed? If you guessed hydroxycloroquine, go ahead and treat yourself to an imaginary cookie of satisfaction. The very same medicine that isn’t being given a fair shake just because it’s already been touted by Trump is now getting the doctors that prescribe it censored because their medical advice is not in line with the official stance of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Excuse me? The WHO is not even an American organization, so why are a bunch of American social media companies deferring to it when determining what constitutes sound medical advice, and what position are these same social media companies in to decide that a foreign agency’s official position overrides the advice of a trained and educated medical professional?

And, for that matter, why are they allowing a foreign organization with a suspiciously close relationship with China to determine what constitutes misinformation to be censored?

More important still: why the failure to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with a civilized western society that protects free expression in a free and open marketplace of ideas? The excuse that they are a corporate entity, exempting them from the superordinate governing principles of the progressive societies that surround them on all sides, is a rotten crutch getting ready to splinter.

I get that leftist propaganda media dislikes Trump with a burning passion, but to stem the dissemination of information about a possible treatment that could potentially save the lives of thousands just out of spite is taking it way, way too far. If hydroxycloroquine is actually saving lives and is touted by real doctors, why take any action that might prevent it from getting into the hands of people whose lives may very well depend on it?

If Twitter has any intention of being consistent in their censorship, then they can start censoring CNN:

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After all, if doctors can be censored for prescribing a drug that works against the coronavirus, why exempt CNN, who aren’t even doctors, for sharing a story that suggests that the very same drug might actually be effective?

And while we’re at it, CNN also did a story about how masks don’t have any benefit when it comes to the coronavirus. What about that story? Oh, hold on… It was actually the WHO that called masks ineffective, and CNN merely passed the information on. Oops.

But it gets worse. As Anthony Fauci admits, the reason Americans were discouraged from wearing masks in early 2020 was because there was a shortage of masks, and they wanted to be sure healthcare workers had enough. So then, is misinformation on the part of the medical community okay if someone benefits from the misinformation, that is, the medical community? And how does the medical community benefit from censoring its own? And how does the public benefit when what’s censored indicates a treatment that might save perhaps millions of lives?

Considering the WHO’s close relationship with a regime that is actively committing genocide, I doubt they can be trusted with the health of billions around the world.

Take your fake meat and shove it.

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I stood in place, neck craning at the illuminated menu. The contents of my stomach fought an uphill battle with my esophagus as I struggled to comprehend what I was beholding. As the seconds passed, my appetite decreased to the point that going to Arby’s for their attempt at a Reuben seemed like a viable alternative.

The problem? Submitted for your bemused disbelief, the Impossible Whopper:

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There is some honesty to be appreciated in the implication that it’s impossible for a Whopper with 0% beef to be considered a hamburger, but any good will that could have been fostered is offset by the fact that the Impossible Whopper is, at its core, an imitation product.

If there’s no beef present, then just what meat is being served? Is it pork? Some variety of browned poultry? No, it’s pretty much a veggie burger. Of course, if the Impossible Whopper were marketed as the fake that it is, it would find it’s way down fewer gullible throats. The imitation burger is instead a lie by omission.

Another trend that’s disturbing is that of lab-grown meat. When I sit down to a steak, I shouldn’t have to ponder whether some lab somewhere successfully synthesized the protein that supports muscle growth, or the B vitamins that upholds brain function. My expectation would be that the steak was once an animal with awareness. If this were not the case, the violation of my expectation would throw my trust in the server into serious jeopardy.

It’s obvious why they’re trying to trick us: if we knew that these imitation meat products were not the real deal, almost none of us would bother with them, except perhaps the vegans who are going so crazy by reason of their ascetic diets that they’re willing to accept look-alikes to fill the void caused by an absence of normal food. But even then, that group is so legalistic that they wouldn’t likely risk the cross-contamination that’s expected at fast-food joints. So what are these proponents of fake meat doing besides trying to trick us?

There are people out there willing to ironically consume something gross just to say they did, but it’s a limited market. Once they’ve tried it once, they’ll move onto pig rectum subs or whatever, then what? What benefit is it to Burger King to leave something on a menu that just a few people are going to try only once? I’m not hungry enough to eat some imitation meat, and if I was starving, I have the benefit of having to choose between a bunch of things I’d rather eat, including durian.

If you can’t out-compete a fruit that smells like farts, you’ve failed.

If you think anime figurines are objectionable, what are you doing searching Amazon for them?

A few anime figures were recently removed from Amazon on the claims that they “promote child exploitation or depict children or characters resembling children in a sexually suggestive manner.” Because the figures in question do no such thing, there shouldn’t be an issue with showing you which ones were removed:

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This character is Hatsune Miku, one of the most recognizable Japanese characters. Personally, I assumed that she was an adult because she has adult characteristics (i.e. breasts, well-defined hips, etc.). But hey, I arrived at that determination using my brain and eyes. In Vocaloid lore, she’s a software character, so she wouldn’t actually have an age. Does Siri have an age, and would anyone object to finding Siri attractive?

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Notice just how much Tsumugi is expressing her sexuality by standing there, playing an electronic keyboard? She isn’t? Exactly.

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Miku again, and she looks very much grown-up in this one, too. She’s not even doing anything sexual, just dancing and singing. If you know of a place on earth that has a problem with these things, let me know about it in the comments below.

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While this one is child-like in appearance, she’s not doing anything suggestive. She doesn’t look like she’s doing anything. However, she appears to be totally down with standing there and staring with a judgemental look on her face, just like the last girlfriend I had.

This representation of the character is a “chibi”, which means she was arbitrarily made child-like, which is something the Japanese do because they like cute things. Westerners should understand this because we have Funco POPs.

Still, there might be something about this character that comes off as odd. The chained collar around the neck of this angelic character implies an intention to confine. Considering this, this particular character comes off as having the highest potential for objectionability of the bunch (speaking from a position of relative ignorance of the manga or anime that may depict her).

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So this one (grown-up) is dressed like a maid. And there are people who think about sex when they think about maid outfits. Does this make maid outfits sexual?

No, it doesn’t.

Sexuality is something that occurs in the mind. People arbitrarily find things sexual which actually don’t have anything to do with sex. For example, feet. Why feet? I don’t know, but some people see them as sexual. Also, certain food items, like ice cream and pizza. I don’t know why people sexualize those, but it’s something that happens in their minds.

It should be obvious that I’m not overly favorable toward the idea of finding a work of expression objectionable just because there exists the potential to view it a certain way. If someone did, there would be a slippery-slope effect where that person might come to the point of objecting to just about anything, regardless of what the intention of an artist may have been.

I admit that I don’t know much about the characters pictured above, aside from Miku. If the other works that these characters were featured in sexualized them in any way, it wasn’t made apparent in the figurines themselves. But even if the characters are portrayed expressing their sexuality at any point in a manga or anime they were featured in, why would that be a bad thing, provided they were expressing it in a healthy way? Sexuality is one of the most human of traits, and is a universal aspect of human life. I suspect that the real problem is that certain people have an unhealthy view of sex and sexuality.

One related problem that I can point out in fiction, including in western media, is the gender double-standard when it comes to infatuation. When it occurs with girls and women, people assume pureness of motives. But when it’s boys and men, they’re portrayed as though we should be suspicious of their intentions. In reality, the experience of limerence is equally valid for both sexes.

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As I’ve said before, if you don’t like a work of art, just don’t look at it. Not everyone has the same standard of what is objectionable, which is something that they can only decide for themselves. If you’re such a repressed person that when you see an adult anime woman singing you think “child exploitation”, what are you doing browsing anime figurines on Amazon?

By the way, I don’t actually know the ages of the characters depicted by the figurines. I went by characteristics, because that was how they were being unfairly judged by Amazon. I don’t really know much about these characters, aside from Miku. The characters were judged unfairly based on aesthetics, so I deemed their aesthetics as being what’s relevant to the discussion. If anyone wants to be nitpicky about it, fictional characters don’t actually have ages. Everything about them is arbitrarily made up, and whoever made them up can just make their ages whatever they want. That’s something to know about stuff that’s just made up.

PSA: Stop acting stupid about the coronavirus.

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I’ll get to the point: Stop accusing people of having the coronavirus (or COVID-19, or whatever it’s called).

I know that not everyone would be deterred by the fact that that’s tasteless and unfunny, but there’s another kicker: you can get sued. It’s defamation.

If something you might do can rightly be called “stupid”, play it safe and don’t do it.

Also, people can stop spazzing out over COVID-19 as though it’s going to be the end of the world. It’s almost identical to the common cold, something we already have. If China is taking extreme actions to limit the spread of infection, that’s nothing to concern yourself with, unless you’re in China. We know why China is trying as hard as it is to stop COVID-19; the country is practically a huge factory, and it’s trying to limit how the sick days would collectively impact productivity.

Just chill, your life is probably still boring. No zombie apocalypse, here. Just let your immune system do it’s job.

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Note for the slow: The admonition to let your immune system do its job should obviously apply to those who already caught the virus, and shouldn’t be taken to mean to be reckless and catch it. It also doesn’t mean to forgo treatment. If your white blood cells are receiving assistance from a qualified professional that knows what they’re doing, all the better.

Hey Jeep owners: We get it, we just don’t care.

Of all the drivers out there, none have exhibited unmerited smugness quite like Jeep owners. This smugness is distilled and used to print up Jeep decals telling the rest of us that we “wouldn’t understand”.

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Jeep owners, we actually do understand. Your boxy car with a tarp top was marketed with a carefully-cultivated sense of adventure, and you bought one because you want people to think you’re macho. The rest of us could have made the same purchase with as much money, but we thought better of it and decided not to.

Because they’re in such a hurry to get the rest of us to take them seriously, Jeep owners are now getting their headlights modified with “angry eyes”:

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This is when you realize that Jeep ownership is all about image. The carefully-marketed sense of adventure? Image. The numerous modifications with purely aesthetic value? Image. The many, many decals proclaiming the identity found in purchasing something mass-produced? Image, image, image.

These pubescent attempts to impress us are characteristic of a failure to develop beyond the Hot Wheels phase of automotive preference, and is further expressed with the idea that being a good driver means driving real fast and weaving through traffic (while the rest of us are wishing that the accident that takes the doofus off the road doesn’t take our own cars along with them). Little do they realize that if they wanted a car that’s effective at the whole “going fast” dealie, they’d want one with the proper specs to do so, such as aerodynamics.

Jeeps are the automotive equivalent of the guy who desperately wants to impress us, so he wears compression shirts, talks about guns at every chance, sprays himself with Axe, then wonders why the rest of us thinks he’s a poser.

Do you have a “Jeep thing” going on? Guess what? Nobody cares.

The Under Armour fad is cringey.

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It’s nothing new that people like to wear some clothing company’s logo. America today is a marketer’s wonderland when people happily accept wearing a corporate identity where any expression of individuality could have been. Worse yet, they’re paying the marketers to advertise the brand instead of the marketers paying them. But this, too, is nothing new.

If I were to wear a company’s logo, it would be because I liked the brand that the logo belonged to. If I were to project that same sensibility, I’d guess that a lot of people really like a certain kind of underwear, because I’m seeing the Under Armour logo popping up on people like an inoperable super-cancer that’s contagious. But the benefit of the doubt doesn’t apply very well to fads, so it’s more likely that a bunch of impressionable mouth-breathers saw someone else wear the logo, and instead of recognizing it as stupid, they saw yet another logo to wear.

What’s especially cringey about the Under Armour fad is that it’s about underwear. When I see someone wearing an underwear logo openly, I have a mental image of some lanky aspiring jock saying, “Hey baby, this is the brand of underwear that I wear. Wanna see?” and then a disinterested woman must cope with the trivial social inconvenience of rejecting a subtle sexual proposition from an omega male.

Underwear as we know it today was a very recent invention, and was previously only worn by women during their period to ease the effects of menstruation. Women in ancient times didn’t advertise that they were wearing panties, because not everyone had to know that they were menstruating.

Underwear is marketed as heavily as it is today because marketers want you to spend more money on it than you otherwise would, and if the logo on that underwear becomes trendy, that means more people spending more money. The fact is, humanity has done just fine without underwear for nearly the entirety of its history. It does nothing for modesty, because the clothing that one would otherwise wear would have sufficed. No, people didn’t go without underwear while wearing a kilt because of some tradition, it’s because underwear was a rarity a few centuries ago. And yes, this means that just about everyone pictured in old paintings weren’t wearing underwear.

1200px-Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouched.jpgThe meaning behind the Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile has finally been decoded: she loves the breeze when going commando. Either that, or she’s happy about something. Get a life.

People in the past certainly didn’t have Under Armour, and for that matter, wearing corporate logos wasn’t considered trendy, either. That’s one of those things that goes to show that people in the past weren’t as stupid as they’re sometimes assumed to be.

When people wear an underwear logo on their shirt, they have no idea how much the rest of us are laughing at them for it, regardless of how self-important the underwear company is. Under Armour is an underwear company; stop taking them so seriously.

Books Are On the Way Out (But Reading is Thriving)

old books mildew.jpgPictured: Old media collecting mildew

New media is consistently vilified as contributing to the stupidity of users and is presented as a sort of Pied Piper, hypnotically leading children away from books. Currently, the target is cell phones, and in times past they went after television and video games for the same reason.

But let’s take a step back and look at things critically: books are far from ideal as a form of media. When one considers their inefficiency, it’s easy to see just how great it is that they’re on the way out. They’re cumbersome to carry about, especially in quantity. A trip to the library is inconvenient, and the library charges a fee if they don’t get books back on time. A trip to the bookstore can quickly get expensive if you buy books new, and if you go for used books, you risk purchasing a book blighted by mildew which, if it slips your attention, can damage your entire collection. In light of all this, and the existence of alternatives, books have become impractical.

Those who would disagree with me might bemoan how difficult it is to get children interested in reading, imagining the days in which children would happily take a trip to the library. Their main motivation appears to be a quaint rustic feeling that comes with doing anything unsophisticated. But the fact is, cell phones and visual media are the reality of the present time, and it’s better to prepare children for the world that is, rather than some notion of what someone would prefer it to be.

Fast fact: reading is thriving. There is more reading today than there ever has been, and this is because it’s more efficient to get reading to people than at any other point in history. And here is the device instrumental to this reading revolution:

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That is a cell phone. Say “Hi”. It’s a wunderkind when it comes to reading. How so? Assuming the average size of a Kindle book being 2631 KB (source), 256 GB of storage on one of these can hold 102,027 books. A 1 TB MicroSD card increases that amount to 510,139. This is comparable to the most generous estimates of the size of the Library of Alexandria. And you can fit it into your pocket.

What’s that? Your cell phone doesn’t have that kind of storage? That’s okay, because you still have access to a boundless ether of literature if your cell phone (like most) has a simple program called a “browser”. You can use it to browse the internet and read countless pages filled with news articles, research papers, stories, discussion threads, advice columns, encyclopedia pages, and on and on.

While those desperate to justify their fix of outdated media may turn to public schools as champions of books, that’s not going to help them very much, as schools are increasingly turning to tablets for education. And why not, considering the ubiquitous use of screened devices in the adult world? Again, the idea is to prepare children for the real world, which involves familiarizing them with devices that are actually used in workplaces, both today and in the years to come.

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The fact is, books, textbooks, and libraries are on the way out. I, for one, welcome tablets as their academic replacement, as I have memories of continually lugging heavy textbooks about at the insistence of teachers and professors, in spite of infrequently needing to actually use them, which I understand to have been a typical college experience. Having to carry a small, glowing display screen that fits in my pocket is an excellent alternative to a bunch of cumbersome, expensive books.

One might ask, “Okay then, what if your phone breaks? Where are your books, then?” The answer is, I still have them. The books on a person’s phone or tablet are associated with the account that purchased them, so if a person loses their tablet or decides to buy a new one, their previous collection is available on their new device. To most of us, this is pretty obvious, but evidently not to the person who had to ask this question, which really goes to show how poor a job that person is doing keeping up. While the rest of us have access to a boundless sea of ethereal literature in our pockets, they’ve been assuming us to be senseless just because they don’t comprehend what we’re doing.

Even when I’m playing games on my cell phone, it’s helping me to be a smarter person. I’ve been playing an RPG that challenges players to work with limited resources over a long period of time, so that getting a single character to the point of being adequate could take as long as months. While playing this game, I’ve planned out my moves months in advance using careful calculations on a spreadsheet. My planning paid off when I barely unlocked a rare character within a strict time limit. This kind of care when it comes to resource management is something that a person can learn from if they’re not that great at managing their finances. Even those farming games that we’ve been making fun of can be played well with some careful planning. It’s too bad it’s much easier to assume that someone on their phone is playing some vapid bird-flinging simulator with all the depth of a puddle of rainwater.

So, to summarize: If you want a book, you have to take a trip to the store or the library for it. After that, you have to carry the cumbersome thing around with you if you want to have it wherever you go. Also, the library will want it back, and will charge you a fee if you don’t return it within a time limit, and in a condition that’s to their liking. However…

You can store hundreds of thousands of books on cell phones, not that that’s even necessary because these same phones have a browser that grants access to boundless information, whether a person is at home, sitting on a park bench, at a supermarket, or on a lunchbreak. Also, you can look at bright, colorful pictures on them, and even set one as your background. And you can ask some of them questions (verbally) and get answers (verbally). Also, movies and games. Also, navigation. Also, photography. Also, a bunch of other features so numerous that I don’t feel like listing them all.

In a sense, it’s like the old choice between beef jerky and celery. Most people would go for the sweet tasty delicious beef, and enjoy every bit of the experience. It’s one of life’s easy choices. However, there are a few who would go for the celery. They’d be more bitter for the experience, and afterwards stew over how much happier the people are who went for the beef jerky. So it is with technology: the people who embrace it get to benefit from how much better it makes their lives, while those who refuse get to savor whatever vacuous platitude that prevents them from being happy.

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Books have had an important place in history, what with the invention of the printing press expediting the propagation of ideas. However, for the propagation of ideas, books and the printing press have long-since become obsolete. The obsolescence of old media may make people feel like they are being left behind, but the reality of the matter is that they are only doing it to themselves.

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Book Review: Men’s Society: a Guide

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When you think of a self-improvement guide on how to be more manly, what do you think of? You’d probably think it would include, among other things, a few useful how-tos on tasks like jump-starting a car. Maybe you’d think to find an outline on an exercise regimen. You might even expect something philosophical to get you to consider what you stand for and how strongly.

If you’re expecting anything as useful from Men’s Society: a Guide, then you’re already set up for disappointment. Like it or not, there is a new kind of manliness in town; a kind that is obsessed with image and with defining your identity with what you buy, rather than your character.

Men’s Society: a Guide comes to us from menssociety.com, and it largely reads as an advertisement for items featured on their online store. I mean, their website, because their online store is their top page. The commercial agenda screams “ethics” as loudly as some energy scam kiosk right inside the doors of a grocery chain.

Let’s keep it real here: real manliness came to be because the traits associated with it were what was necessary for men to get by in times when resources were limited. Real men are strong, smart, skilled, nimble, adaptive, and strong of character. The new form of manliness that’s obsessed with an outward show of old-timey rusticness is nothing more than a sham that was crafted to get people to spend money on things.

Where does Men’s Society fit in the scheme of things? To find out, let’s look at the topics discussed in this book, one at a time:

  • Grooming – a few fundamentals and a list of grooming supplies for you to buy
  • Drinking – a list of alcoholic beverages for you to buy
  • Style – a few staples of outward appearance for you to buy
  • Culture – a list of books, films, and other media for you to buy
  • Travel – a few pointers about getting from one place to another, so you can continue buying things somewhere else
  • Manners – the part of the book that was rushed because it’s not intrinsically conductive to you buying things

Whether it’s consumption of media or consumption of products, the main point of this book, again and again, is consume, consume, consume. The commercialization of manliness weakens manliness in the same way that the commercialization of Christmas led to the weakening of the Christian identity. Commercialization is nothing more than a means to an end, that being to line the pocketbooks of a few with leafy greens at the expense of the rest of us. To the entrepreneur enriched by this endeavor, any identity weakened in the process is considered an acceptable expense.

The authors of Men’s Society are British, so the perspective of this book is from that of a British man. There are a few points in this book that indicates that real manliness in the UK is in serious trouble.

For one thing, there is a section in this book on how to survive a flight. Fast fact: surviving a flight is easy. Flight is considered the safest way to travel, and it’s no mistake that nearly everyone who attempts flight survives the experience. All there is to surviving a flight is to sit down and not make too much noise. Do it right, and none of the other passengers will have much reason to throw you out a window.

There is a paragraph that discourages manspreading. Non-ironically. It opens with this gem:

MANSPREADING

This is a derogatory term that you don’t want used to describe you.

Sorry, Men’s Society, “manspreading” is a verb, not a noun. You have failed.

And it gets worse, as three pages later, the book includes a similar section on mainsplaining. Again, non-ironically. The term “mansplaining” was obviously invented in a cynical effort to shut down productive conversation because feminists can’t stand being proven wrong. A willingness to hold water for the intersectional agenda is a sign of weakness and isn’t a trait of one qualified to teach manliness.

When the advice isn’t bad or geared towards marketing, it’s usually lazy. One can imagine that a book packed with advice on men’s style would include at least a few informative pages about hats. Instead, there’s a short paragraph at the end of a chapter which says little more than that it’s acceptable to wear baseball hats and “street-style go-tos” (whatever those are), and that if you were to wear any other style of hat, “you’re a bold man.”

Really? That’s all that Men’s Society has to say about hats? What a cheap cop-out. There’s a lot more to say about hats, but I suspect that the brevity to this section is owed to the fact that I found no hats in their online store (but two pages of shaving products and three pages of haircare products). I imagine that they’d have more to say about the style of a derby or the protection of a bucket hat if those were products in their online store.

This is a bit of an aside, but Men’s Society has an obvious obsession with mint tin kits. I get it, pocket-sized kits are awesome. But here’s the thing: you don’t need to buy them. Mint tin kits are packed with cheap items that would usually set a person back just a few dollars altogether if one would construct them themselves.

Men’s Society understands the profit behind giving some trial-size products their own label then selling them for 25 British pounds (about $30), and here’s an example of one from their website:

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Yes, a beard removal kit. They think so little of your ability to accomplish the task with the items you have on-hand that they put together a kit designed to assist you toward that end.

Speaking of shaving, people can stop patting themselves on the back for using a razor to shave, as though that were any kind of accomplishment. Technology should be embraced as an expression of how adaptive and nimble men are, not shunned for that smug glow of superiority that comes with refusing to keep up. I use electricity to shave because I’m not a luddite.

You don’t have to pay piles of money for mint tin kits. You can make one of your own. Assembling one for yourself shows ingenuity and is rewarding when you finish one up. It’s so simple, I can give you a short guide right here:

  1. Procure a mint tin. An Altoid’s tin would work.
  2. Throw out those suspiciously non-Kosher Altoids mints and wash the mint smell from the tin. (Is there pork in them, or something?)
  3. Put what you want in them, whatever would reasonably fit. Fishing hooks, band-aids, twine, it’s up to you.
  4. That’s it. You now have a mint tin kit, and didn’t pay someone $30 to do it for you.

While we’re at it, here’s an article on how to make mint tin kits on Art of Manliness, a much better page on manliness than Men’s Society.

Part of the book that I found myself sometimes liking was the “Don’t Be That Guy” sections, which added a little bit of humor to an otherwise commercial experience. A couple of my favorites include “Don’t Be That Guy: You know, the guy with longer hair who thinks he’s Kurt Cobain?” and “You know, the guy who leaves the top four buttons of his shirt unbuttoned?” However, these are short blurbs in what is otherwise a paid advertisement (one that the reader paid for, not the marketer).

As it is, Men’s Society: a Guide could be more appropriately called, “Men’s Society: A Buyer’s Guide”. It’s written with the expectation that if you’d pay for a book to tell you how to be manly, then it can suggest a bunch of other things for you to buy, leading you down a deep rabbit hole of continual spending in a vain attempt to find identity. And that’s assuming that you’d want a bunch of posh blokes telling you how to be manly. Men’s Society brings to mind the words of an Asian proverb:

“The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.”
-Confucius

The time has come to give this book it’s score. Men’s Society: a Guide gets a score of Don’t Be That Guy out of ten.

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Because the Don’t Be That Guy sections make up around 1% of this book, that comes to 0.1 out of 10.

Why do people laugh at activists?

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It’s likely that, at some point, you’ve run into an activist. You know who I mean; it’s the kind of person who makes a point of identifying as a feminist, a desegregationist, or any of a variety of flavors of activism currently promoted by Tumblr.

Because they understand no setting as too inappropriate, they’ll work the conversation into activism, and drive themselves into a fit as they labor the points they’re trying to make about the issues that they perceive as being a matter of life-or-death. The people around them will try to keep their distance, and once they tire themselves out, they’ll retreat to their base of operations (their mother’s basement) where they’ll work out their next scheme to save the people of the world from themselves.

But you don’t actually have to meet an activist to see signs of cringe. In fact, it’s a snap to see those signs of cringe outside of people’s houses, usually in three different languages, because apparently inclusiveness means being poly-lingual just to read a platitude that does nothing more than express a feeling.

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Even on social media, it’s easy to find an activist meltdown, and it provides an opportunity to watch it happen from a safe distance. If you’re like most people, whenever you see activism, you laugh, cringe, watch in fascination, or at least keep a safe distance. But did you ever wonder why?

Why do people laugh at activists?

When one hears their stated causes, they seem just. They want equality between the races. They want sex discrimination to be illegal. They oppose religious discrimination in the workplace. Their causes are like this, and most people wouldn’t argue against any of these things.

But here’s the deal: These kinds of discrimination are already illegal. If your employer discriminates against you because of your biological sex, for example, you could take them to court. If you could demonstrate that it happened, it would be an open-and-shut case.

Also, if there were any people out there that were sincere about their racist, sexist, or otherwise discriminatory views, they are afraid to be up front about it. This is because they know that their views would make them an outlier, and they’d quickly become a pariah if they were to come forward with them.

When you consider all these things, do you know what they collectively mean? If you need to be brought to the finish line, I’ll tell you:

We’ve won.

Equality of virtually any kind exists throughout the civilized world, and is actively enforced by the strength of the law. The major civil rights battles have already long-since come to their conclusion.

Yet, the activists of today still continue to complain. They continue to fight against their own imaginary enemies in an obvious effort to look good in doing so. Even though all the major civil rights battles have already been won, they continue to live in the past, as though they’ve never been properly informed of the reality that the civilized world has been living in for decades. Because of this, people have a hard time taking activists seriously.

In the sixties, people took to the streets in protest of various injustices. They also spent a lot of time getting high. But eventually, they won.

In the seventies, people continued to protest injustices and they got high. But they won.

In the eighties, people took it easy, listened to cassettes, and got high. Because they won.

In the nineties, people listened to CDs and got high. Because we’ve long-since won.

In the 2000s, people listened to music on their iPods, and a few of them listened to music on Zunes. Needless to say, they also got high. People accepted that the major social justice battles concluded decades ago, and things were generally nice. Those victories would probably have come much sooner if people spent less time getting high. We still don’t have the cure to cancer, by the way. I’m just sayin’.

In the 2010s, things stopped being nice when a bunch of Social Justice Warriors appeared on the scene, bent on chasing down the boogeymen that they themselves imagined. People laugh at their stupidity and also get high.

While the rest of us laugh, play, work, and enjoy life, activists work themselves into temper tantrums. They’re missing out on the good things of life so they can savor the cynical sense of satisfaction that comes with fighting a battle that doesn’t even need to be fought. That is both hilarious and sad.

While the rest of us work for college educations, meaningful jobs, and take home paychecks that allow us to afford decent-size homes, cars, families, beer and many other good things that we appreciate, activists are on a mission to achieve a greater level of cynicism and misery. Eventually, they’ll have to look back on what they’ve accomplished over the course of what would come to be the most regrettable years of their lives, and come to the realization that they haven’t really accomplished anything, except maybe pick up a criminal record. Maybe they’ll also realize that everyone else has been laughing at them, cringing at them, or even egging them on as one would an ignorant source of amusement.

One could make the case that humans are well-conditioned to having enemies. In light of this, it’s understandable how, in a lack of a major long-term conflict, a person can still regress into a form of tribalism. We see this all the time in how many people identify themselves with what media they consume, the cell phone they own, their brand of automobile, their fashion choices, and so on. Ironically, the many fad activists that we see today exercise the same in-group thinking of the kind that they accuse other people of practicing. Psychological projection provides a tidy explanation for this behavior.

You know what’s better than activism? Here’s a list:

  • Having sex
  • Watching anime
  • Being great at your job
  • Being great at someone else’s job
  • Driving a car that doesn’t need restarted each time it comes to a stop
  • Performing a benchmark of reps in a workout in one go
  • Playing video games
  • Whiskey

The list could be amended, but the idea is that anything that’s either fun or meaningful belongs on it. Activism does not, not just because the list was constructed specifically to exclude it, but because the trendy form of fad activism that accomplishes nothing really isn’t about having fun, and a pretense of meaningfulness doesn’t satisfy the condition of being actually meaningful.

I know it seems like I’m laboring the point that there are better, more awesome things to do than make yourself miserable for the non-existent returns of activism, but that’s what it really comes down to. Suppose you were given the choice between a pack of beef jerky and a bowl of celery. If you’re like most people, you’d go for the beef jerky. It’s tasty, while the celery is not. It’s one of the obvious choices in life. However, there are people out there that would choose the celery, thinking themselves better than the plebs that go for the tasty beef. As they munch away at the green, bitter limpness, they stew in resentment towards those that are happier because they chose the beef jerky.

We chose right, my friends. We chose the beef jerky. Not only that, we chose the prettier women, went for the jobs that paid better, and live in homes that aren’t parked outside Walmart. When it comes down to it, living happier begins with choosing to live happier.

You know what else can make someone happy? Schadenfreude. And for a steady supply of that, we have activists. So, if activism is your thing, you’re giving the rest of us something to laugh about.

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Not that it would be to your own benefit, of course.

Expensive Tech as Fashion

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Apple is attempting to market AirPods as fashionable. I get the idea that fashion is supposed to be intrinsically difficult to figure out, because I’m having a hard time comprehending how fashionable it is to look like white plastic solidified while oozing out of someone’s ears. It’s like the earwax of nightmares. Gross.

The audio industry has long been a scary place. To start with, there’s “ordinary” headphones that a person can easily find for something like $20 at places like Target, then there’s the stuff of elites which can set a person back something like $300, which supposedly offer a superior audio experience. When a person is considering dropping all that cash on a single piece of tech, they’d want to be sure they’re getting their money’s worth, so they start doing some research to find which pair of headphones are right for them.

Then they’d find out that there’s many, many different varieties of elite headphones that each cost tons of money, and they’d have to do more research than they thought. They might attempt web searches to narrow things down, and find some blogs making direct comparisons between headphones on the market. Can we trust their opinions? When we see their pages littered with Amazon affiliate links for these products, it becomes apparent that these are for-profit blogs, and their opinions may be largely informed by what brings in the greater ad revenue for them.

The audio industry is intimidating, but lately, it’s gotten worse. The Beats brand of headphones has previously been marketed using endorsements by Dr. Dre as Beats By Dre. Since then, the Beats line has dropped the Dre endorsement, and was purchased by Apple, a company that already had a reputation for producing questionably expensive luxury tech.

That’s not to say that they’re no longer into the idea of celebrity endorsements for Beats, as the Beats brand has been endorsed by a number of celebrities, with even a special edition commemorating an endorsement by Justin Bieber. What sets these headphones apart from other headphones in the Beats line? Their color. That’s pretty much it.

These headphones are pricey, so one would imagine that they are some high-quality headphones. Instead, they are panned by audiophiles everywhere. The high price of these headphones is driven by the force of the demand generated by celebrity endorsements. The audio industry has found yet another way to liberate people from piles and piles of cash: with the words of people that are rich and famous.

And now, people are wearing Beats headphones and even AirPods with the belief that doing so would make them more fashionable. With tech companies standing to profit, I wouldn’t expect them to discourage this, but I’ve been noticing an increasing trend in the audio industry of encouraging style over producing a quality product, which provides another obstacle to avoid having spent hundreds of dollars on an inferior product.

I admit that if I were to spend a lot of money on something, I’d have a desire for it to look appealing. But when someone places undue importance on fashion when purchasing headphones, they just look like a sucker that caved in to marketing.