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Category Archives: fun with stereotypes

I don’t know how many people from Chicago (a dozen?) I’ve met who are ready to GET INTO FISTICUFFS about how much more AWESOME their city is than New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. Seriously Chicago has the best pizza AND burritos AND tacos AND sushi AND midgets AND beer AND teleportation modules AND meth-hookers, did you know?

And not even precious Barry could get them an Olympics.


There’s a reason you’re called Second City, dudes. But buck up: you’ll always have the Cubs!

P.S. Not that I care, but I hope it’s Rio. Because it would be SEXY.

Hey, you know what’s fun?! Esquire‘s list of the 75 albums that every man should own. If by fun you mean shooting yourself in the face with semen. Which clearly, I do. Let us learn what it’s like to be a man from Esquire.

The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses
Brit pop’s platonic ideal.
Because when I think of manliness, I think of the British.

Lust for Life, Iggy Pop
In 1977 Iggy ran off to West Berlin with David Bowie to record an album so juiced with spleen that even cruise-line commercials can’t make it sound safe.
Because to be a man is to experience sodomy at least once.

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, Pavement
Makes you shout and rant and cry and it surprises you and challenges you and angers you and brings you to your knees. Then it makes you hit play again.
Because there is no greater and more truthful document of the emotional struggles of American men than a glib singer jabbering nonsense about cutting your hair and beefing with grunge.

The Headphone Masterpiece, Cody Chessnut
Thirty-six R&B songs recorded on a four-track at home. Makes you wish the lo-fi approach wasn’t almost exclusively embraced by sad white kids.
Because affirmative action is a good thing! I swear! I voted for Barack Obama!

MTV Unplugged in New York, Nirvana
It’s the last time a huge band recorded a surprising album.
Because it’s important to be sad.

Woke on a Whaleheart, Bill Callahan
Because we’re all just like a bee that “tries to find purchase in a turning spoke from Memphis to Potomac never giving up hope.”
Because…I’m sorry, I can’t even figure out why this is necessary.

The Velvet Underground & Nico, Velvet Underground
Makes you think that a woman’s voice could do any rock band good. Lou Reed’s heroin-addled musical lifeblood, for so long dependent on grit and experimentation, is chastened and made beautiful.
Oh really? This is the first lady you have included in your list, guys.

Workin’ Together, Ike & Tina Turner
Because they never did anything nice… and easy. They only did it nice… and rough.
Oh look the second lady, who was beat a lot.

The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, Explosions in the Sky
Words sometimes mess things up, fumbling, mumbling, and sometimes we need to be reminded what four super-earnest guys can do with some guitars and drums when they really care about what they leave behind. Chuck Klosterman once wrote that listening to Explosions in the Sky could make hanging drywall seem transcendental, and he was right. Make this record your soaring soundtrack to just about anything you might do – driving through snowy fields, playing with your kids after dinner, putting ink into the copy machine – and you’ll feel capable of achieving something powerful and beautiful at the same time.
Did you really need to write all that? Just say Friday Night Lights, the end.

Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair
Liz Phair can make you feel ashamed to be a man. And to want to make it up to her.
Because it’s okay to listen to girls talk sometimes, only if you want to bone her. (This is the third and final album on the list featuring a lead female singer, FYI).

Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder can make magic in minutes, but this complex double album took him two years to produce. Gritty, funky, and lush.
Because I like soul music, really! So long as it sounds polite and polished even though I will call it “gritty” and “funky.”

Grace, Jeff Buckley
Because I am TORTURED, won’t you SAAAAAVVVE ME??!??!! Zach Braff.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like my dick grew an inch.

Let’s make fun of America’s Unhappiest Cities, based on broad stereotype:

1. Portland, Oregon
Reasons to be unhappy: it’s too wet to wear birkenstocks; all the men look like Colin Meloy or Ben Gibbard (redundant)

2. St. Louis, Missouri
Reasons to be unhappy: could only afford one-half of the McDonald’s arch, which is the only thing anybody knows about St. Louis

3. New Orleans, Louisiana
Reasons to be unhappy: well, erm, uh…

4. Detroit, Michigan
Reasons to be unhappy: no one can afford to buy a car anymore; Motown was FIFTY years ago

5. Cleveland, Ohio
Reasons to be unhappy: Drew Carey

6. Jacksonville, Florida
Reasons to be unhappy: Florida

7. Las Vegas, Nevada
Reasons to be unhappy: neon; no one has money to gamble; casinos based on better cities remind Las Vegas that it sucks

8. Nashville/Davidson, Tennessee
Reasons to be unhappy: modern country music is fucking bullshit, you assholes

9. Cincinnati, Ohio
Reasons to be unhappy: doesn’t even have a Drew Carey; people actually have to go to Kentucky to get there

10. Atlanta, Georgia
Reasons to be unhappy: shitty sports teams; Jonathan Krohn

11. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Reasons to be unhappy: IT IS SO FUCKING COLD YOU GUYS

12. Sacramento, California
Reasons to be unhappy: let’s say California’s major cities are the Jacksons; Sacramento is clearly Rebbie

13. Kansas City, Missouri
Reasons to be unhappy: not even named after the state they’re in; the Royals

14. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Reasons to be unhappy: internalized homophobia

15. Memphis, Tennessee
Reasons to be unhappy: every other building in Memphis is a rundown shack, seriously

16. Indianapolis, Indiana
Reasons to be unhappy: they built the Motor Speedway and imported Peyton Manning because they needed more rednecks

17. Louisville, Kentucky
Reasons to be unhappy: you can’t really LOVE a horse, unless you wanna be like that one dude who tried and died, on camera

18. Tucson, Arizona
Reasons to be unhappy: Arizona.

19. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reasons to be unhappy: the Replacements are overrated; St. Paul is widely thought of as the prettier one

20. Seattle, Washington
Reasons to be unhappy: truthbombed by Courtney Love (“Don’t you get embarrassed that Seattle is famous for grunge, cappucino, and heroin?”)