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Misconceptions About the US Found Across the Internet

1) Beer

I know where this comes from.  We as Americans have a tendency to export our garbage.  If you ask Europeans “What is an American beer” they will invariably say “Budweiser”.  I’m not claiming no one drinks Bud, I’ve seen it, but really it’s not as popular as people think.

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forhangovers.com

 

Ok I’ll admit there are a lot of bud lights on there.  That’s because it’s fucking hot in the US.  When I lived in Texas it routinely got to 105 out and 115 (46 c) isn’t unheard of, although that’s what the locals considered to hot to be outside.  When it’s 115 outside and your mouth is full of sand, you don’t want a challenging stout with a creamy head any more than you want to chug lukewarm hot cocoa.  You want something crisp and watery and served as close to freezing as is possible, preferably in a mug from the freezer.

The reason Europeans all think of Budweiser is because Europeans drink the hell out of Budweiser, so much so Belgians bought it so they could make it over there and save on shipping.

2) American Bread is all sweet

No it isn’t.  Idiots come over here and pick up bread that comes in a white package with primary color dots all over it and think it’s what everyone eats.

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It has 3 things going for it.  Children like it, it doesn’t go stale (it will grow mold if you try to keep it longer than a week or so) and even someone on minimum wage can afford 7 loaves of it per hour of work.

 

In short what you’re looking at is sandwich bread.  The bread that you eat when you’re not using it for a sandwich is in a different part of the store, inbetween the birthday cakes and the deli.  Just because Europeans come over here to visit and don’t figure that out, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

2) America’s Cheese isn’t Cheese

This is very similar to the sandwich bread thing.  Pasteurized (American) cheese, admittedly isn’t cheese, but again, that’s mostly for serving to children in their daily brown bag lunch.  It keeps exceptionally well and kids seem to like it.

As for the rest of the cheeses that I frequently hear Europeans describing as bland and tasteless, AGAIN, you are in the wrong part of the supermarket.  Those big 1 pound rectangular hunks of cheese you see?  Yeah we don’t eat that.  It’s a cooking ingredient, which is also why it’s found in between the eggs and butter.

Every time this comes up on the internet, I imagine some buffoon from continental europe hunkered down in a motel room with a loaf of sandwich bread, a block of cooking cheddar, and a 6 pack of bud light eating it thinking “Well this is just wretched”  Stupid Americans.

3) More Generally the Food

This is a more forgivable misunderstanding.  America is dominated by huge chain restaurants that are objectively terrible, but promise 15 minute serving times.  In the US we have a concept that is bandied about that’s called the triangle of customer service.  You’ll see different things on the triangle, and variations, but essentially the three sides are price, speed, and quality.  To be successful you have to compromise one in favor of the two that are your focus.  You can have it right now for little money, but the quality will suffer greatly.  That’s what a chain restaurant is.

The things are a recipe for basically printing money, so in a lot of smaller towns they push out the honestly good places.  Still, there is a commercial that every American I know thought was hilarious.  It’s a … you have to watch it

That’s actually how I found out that the Olive Garden was supposed to be Italian.  I always thought it was supposed to be greek because of the name.  Now that I know it’s supposed to be Italian and it’s just precooked dry noodles in sauce, it still really doesn’t make that much more sense.

That having been said there are a lot of fantastic restaurants in the US, you just have to find them.  The thing about the crappy places is they have a high profit margin and quick turn around so they have all the choice locations where you were likely to be anyway.  They’re next to the movie theatre, they’ve got sweet highway locations with massive signs that grab your attention.  They’re really easy to get sucked into.

That having been said, anyone who comes to the US and then eats at any of those places is doing themselves a genuine disservice.  As a nation of immigrants we have every kind of food you can imagine, plus some that exist nowhere else.  If you visit the US, you have to do some homework, dear reader.  First of all there is no American food.  Even uniquely American food differs from region to region.

If you get Cajun food in Louisiana you’re going to end up with a completely unique blend of spices and flavors found nowhere else in the world.  If you get Cajun food in New England you’re going to get classic French fare with seafood and extra black pepper on it.

Additionally American peasant foods are fantastic and are not to be overlooked.  Almost every state has their own version of pizza or barbecue, and some states have both.

4) Chocolate

Europeans claim American chocolate is waxy and bad.  This is because it contains less cocoa and uses edible waxes to replace some of the cocoa butter.  This is because North American chocolate is mostly made from more expensive beans raised by South American farmers, and not slaves employed by warlords in Africa, you   fucking   monsters.

5) Americans Eat Dangerous GMO Foods

No, you stupid superstitious assholes, there is nothing wrong with Genetically Modified foods.  All food you eat is GMO, it’s just that we do it in one generation rather than hundreds now.  You might as well worry about chemtrails or fluoride in the water

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Living on Minimum Wage in America

It’s been all over the internet recently, “It is impossible to live on minimum wage, as witnessed by this sample budget” supposedly from the McDonald’s training manual.

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First of all people need to understand the concept of “minimum wage”. Minimum wage is the least amount of money you can give any human being for working for you. No normal responsible adult works for minimum wage. This is a person who can’t speak English, or is “too good” to work a higher paying job that might be “gross” or I don’t know. We’re just going to pretend that someone has taken a vow of poverty or whatever and is working for minimum wage.

This is the McDonald’s sample budget.

I have some issues with that budget. Not like some that want to point out that OMG POOR PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO FREEZE, clearly the idea is that is a summer month, but you put a line there so it fits everyone. My issue is the second job. I know in my heart of hearts that’s really “Girlfriend’s paycheck” so we’re going to get rid of it. We assume this is a normal adult and being financially dependent on another person isn’t fair.

We’ll also assume for some reason the person involved wants to live this way so they aren’t going to take food stamps, section 8 housing, anything other than the massive tax benefit check they get every April for being below the poverty line and taking part in the tax system.

Keeping in with the idea that this is an adult, and not a kid working a summer job, we’ll do a mortgage. We’ll go off Cincinnati.
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/8271-Anthony-Wayne-Ave_Cincinnati_OH_45216_M42037-33666?row=2#modal_PhotoGallery

That’s a decent 3 bedroom home for $45,000. It’s no taj mahal, but our totally normal adult has taken a vow of poverty, remember? Let’s calculate the mortgage:

mortgage

Now we let our Mr. E. rent out one room for 150 a month and half of utilities. For the sake of simplicity taxwise, we’ll say our roommate pays everything in envelopes with cash in them. Our Mr. E. is too proud to accept any of the food stamps or government benefits someone only making minimum wage is entitled to, but he’s not above undeclared earnings to the government.

If we make a few other small adjustments to the budget we can make this work.

First of all a guy that works at McDonald’s can ride the bus. A bus pass costs 30 bucks a month. We’ll just get rid of that 150 dollar car payment. We’ll keep the insurance for homeowners.

I’d like to keep the health insurance down at 20, which would be for a “catastrophic” health insurance plan, but the “affordable health care act” has made those illegal, so we have to add in 100 dollars a month for a plan that will do absolutely nothing. Just money down the toilet for this guy, but if he doesn’t buy it he gets fined 700 dollars a year for not having any insurance, so he might as well go in for the health plan some salesman tricked him into buying.

We’ll also get rid of savings, as this guy’s house is his investment. He’ll be able to save more later on when he gets married and becomes a dual income household.

We’re also going to be stupid with the utilities. 100/month heating on top of a 100/month household electric bill. (at least the water is free, right?)

Also I doubled “other” to 200. That’s just for weed. Something tells me that this guy is the kind of guy who smokes a lot of weed.

This still leaves him more than 12 dollars a day to feed himself on top of the meal he gets for working at McDonald’s. One week of that alone would get him one of these http://www.samsclub.com/sams/augason-farms-30-day-food-storage-emergency-all-in-one-pail/prod5610448.ip?origin=item_page.rr1&campaign=rr&sn=ClickCP&campaign_data=164527

I mean he could just buy beans, rice, coffee, tea, eggs, bananas, milk generic corn flakes, 1 dollar banquet brand tv dinners, etc enough to last a month for about half of that, but that just isn’t wacky enough for this scenario.

bed-get

This guy still has enough to buy clothes, from the thrift store, etc.

You people are being fucking ridiculous.

A Simple Proposal

The war on terror has failed.  The reason it has failed is because the US has a war, but it is not a nation at war.  The answer to this is mandatory conscription, a 100% draft for all men and women, rich and poor, urban suburban and rural.

Terrorist bombings including 9/11, The Oklahoma bombing, and others have killed more people than all mass shootings put together.  That’s why we need to fight the fight at home.  If everyone were military trained, there wouldn’t be any more bombings, or mass shootings for that matter.

Laws are already being proposed at the federal level which would endanger families in rural areas with no timely police service for the greater safety, so why not endanger everyone’s children for the greater safety.  As it is asked in Washington D.C., what if it just saves one life?  Are young people so greedy that they can’t give two years of their life over to danger if in the final count if our actions result in just one life being saved?

Imagine looking at the parents from the Sandy Hook tragedy and telling them that compulsory military service so this never happens again just isn’t worth it? Had those teachers at VA tech or Sandy Hook had military experience, they could have prevented those tragedies when the shooter was reloading.  Not what if it just saves one person, what if it saves one whole school?

Arguably there wouldn’t be any additional casualties as the US is always going to have a standing army, the difference is that it would be more fairly distributed across socioeconomic lines, rather than as it currently is, mostly in the rural population that will already be paying in lessened safety from federal gun restrictions.  Compulsory military service will keep them from taking that hit to safety twice.

 

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at the very least they would learn how to operate their pants

 

Arguably once the sons of senators and governors are in the Armed Forces, body armor will improve, people will demand that the congress spends defense dollars more pragmatically instead of on what defense lobbyists want them to buy.  

Everyone will be safer against terrorism, shootings, and once everyone is military trained in handling weapons, there won’t be a need for further federal gun laws, which will provide for the safety of rural people who are currently being pinched, as voters in the minority voice.

The Difference Between Being Offended and Being Offensive and Why the Redskins Should Change Their Name, but Hooters Shouldn’t

Any given thing under the sun can offend someone.  Some people go out of their way to be offended by everything so they can show how sensitive they are.  This is so frequent that even Lego (ed note, yes, the company that makes the toy blocks) is constantly in the crosshairs for “being offensive”  There was even a case back in the 80’s when a man decided to hold a Dominoes pizza parlor hostage because he was so offended that he and the Noid shared a surname.  That isn’t to say that legos or the Noid are objectively offensive.

Having covered that, let’s define the word “Offensive”.  A reasonable definition of the relevant use of offensive is, “Something specifically designed as an attack or that which, in it’s nature would cause displeasure or resentment in any reasonable objective person”.

Where the Redskins come into this is the history of the word Redskin.  The word wasn’t used in pre columbian times.  It was first used by the native people who were speaking, presumably Algonquin, to differentiate themselves from the European settlers in making a collective bargaining agreement between tribes.  (See Peaux Rouges)

So it’s not offensive innately as some would claim with stories about “red skin” being a euphemism for scalps, but at the same time negro is the French word for black, and was used by the Belgians for African people.  It certainly wouldn’t be appropriate to have a team called the Washington Negros, despite how popular it would likely be among African Americans in D.C. which brings up the next point.

Just because people are not offended, doesn’t mean it’s not offensive.  It follows that if some people have a lower tolerance for being offended, that some may have higher tolerance.  This also comes with training.  Growing up a Redskins fan with the iconography and lore, it’s easy to develop a kind of cognitive dissonance.  It’s easy to think of this as simply more ridiculous political correctness gone rogue that quietly breeds resentment of the group that is ostensibly being protected.  This is a team that was renamed from the Braves by an openly racist owner, George Preston Marshall, who as legend has it changed the name to alienate native protesters who didn’t like the previous name, the Boston Braves.  Even if that isn’t true, it is still a reminder of George Preston Marshall and the last NFL team to racially integrate, not doing so until it was mandated by law.

Incidentally the baseball team the Braves originally played in Boston, where the Football team took on the baseball team’s name.  The team moved when the Red Socks supplanted them in popularity.

A lot of work was done on the Redskin’s image after the death of Marshall to try to repair the damage.  The brave was removed from the Redskins logo for 5 years, replaced by a spear.  The brave was later reinstated at the request of a native group who liked the logo.  It’s easy to like the logo too.  The brave looks calm, dignified, almost sad.

Washington-Redskins-Logo

Nothing like the logo for say, the Braves

Or you know, the indians

The point here is that the icon is fine and we need to separate the icon from the name.  The people who are offended because the team is native American themed need to get over it, as they don’t speak for everyone.  Unlike the Atlanta Braves, there is no rubber suit brave that runs out of a teepee and acts drunk on the field.  There is no tomahawk chop while the crowd imitates old western movie war cries.  There is a right way and a wrong way and if someone were to mix and match the parts they would have a completely offensive team and a completely inoffensive team.

Some would argue that making any team mascot representative of a group of people is offensive, but that doesn’t deserve to be dignified.

whiteguys

OK, maybe just a little

It’s easy to understand owner Dan Snyder’s position on the name, as there are very few 70 year old team names in the NFL, however it may be time to at least discuss a change instead of saying, “NEVER – you can use caps on that”.

It’s offensive not only because it is a reminder of a time we may not want to think about, but also because the intent was to offend, or at least disparage.

The narrative needs to open up, it won’t be done by government bullies,  Grosso is an idiot and “Redtails” is easily the worst sports team name in the NFL on at least 3 levels (not to mention they would eventually play the Packers and Twitter would implode).

The Redtails are stupid.  The Algonquins are too something.  The right name is out there, but it’s never going to come from the critics.  Without the fans admitting that the name is a problem and talking it out, there is never going to be a good name.  At least not one that will fit into the fight song:

Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Victory!
Braves on the Warpath!
Fight for old D.C.!
Run or pass and score — we want a lot more!
Beat ’em, Swamp ’em,
Touchdown! — Let the points soar!
Fight on, fight on ‘Til you have won
Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!

Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Victory!
Braves on the Warpath!
Fight for old D.C.!

Combat Zone Vs. Combat Arms Explained

The argument for women in the infantry since the lift of the ban of women in direct combat of January of this year, has mostly been that criticizing the con side as being mostly a semantic argument.  “The women are already in combat” they say, “So why not let them be combat arms”, they ask. 

This is because people don’t know what the hell they are talking about

women

This kind of thing is really what voters think the fucking problem is, and that thought process is what the problem is.  The popular argument is women are already there.  They are.  Orderlies are in a hospital too, that doesn’t mean they should do surgery.

Now if the problem the opponents of women in combat arms were claiming that women don’t have enough heart, or somehow will fall down and cry at every broken nail, then it would be an open and closed discussion.  That’s not the issue.

People watch war movies and think that combat is all about getting shot at and not being afraid or something, I don’t know what.  Most war movies are made by people who have never even handled a gun, let alone done a tour of duty.

The first thing people have to understand is that when a soldier says put the good of the Army first, they mean just that.  It probably goes even farther for the Marines, but every time I ask, someone just tells me I can’t handle the truth, and I roll my eyes and walk away.

Putting the Army first, (or the corps) doesn’t mean saving a battle buddy or don’t leave a fallen comrade, it means putting the army before self.  If that means going along with something that is better for the machine, but worse for the individual, the individual is supposed to soak it up and drive on.

When Obama told the US voters that the last combat troops were out of Iraq, and the media was filming the return of the last combat troops, my unit was camped out over an oil deposit in Iraq about a half marathon from the Iranian border.  The big difference was Obama changed our name to “Advise and Assist” troops, mainly meaning as far as I understood that we weren’t allowed to shoot first.  That put us at more risk, but the Army told us to do that, and that it was good for the Army.  That’s putting the Army first.  Jessica Lynch knowing full well and saying she didn’t deserve any combat decoration, then taking the bronze star while smiling for the cameras, while the press spun a complete soup sandwich into a case of a heroic woman, that was putting the army first.  Officers call it falling on their sword.  Enlisted guys call it taking one for the team in a more colorful way that also involves impalement.

Another example is when they set up two different physical standards for male and female soldiers.  That way the Army could play politics and let women in to get the benefits of joining the Army like the GI bill and job training.  The compromise was that women wouldn’t be allowed to serve in job roles where physical strength is part of combat.  Those series are 11, 13, and 19.

11 series are infantry.  The ability to run fast and carry lots of weight are key to combat for them.  A male soldier needs to do 42 pushups in two minutes not to be thrown out of the army for being physically deficient.  His female counterpart only needs to do 19.  That’s because male soldiers have more upper body strength than women.  A female solider also gets another 3 full minutes on the two mile run test to get a passing score.  That means a score that would be a failing score for a male would almost be a perfect score for a female, who can pass with a 9 and a half minute mile pace.

To put things in perspective that’s slower than these women are moving.

That’s the standard for someone unarmed wearing sneakers.  The infantry doesn’t fight in sneakers.  The average troop wears more than 100 pounds of gear.  That’s a female MP just currently riding in an air conditioned truck on patrol.  Infantry soldiers setting up an ambush need to carry a lot more.  I remember one where everyone was carrying about 150 pounds because they had to have food for three days, 2 gallons of water, I had to carry my full medical bag, and the other guys had to spread out the weight for the heavy machine gun ammo.  It’s a physically demanding job that requires strength and speed in a way that the women in the combat zone as MPs or truck drivers patrolling mounted just don’t require.  Also the farther the infantry gets from trucks, the longer the haul is for carrying casualties.  Women who can barely run before the 150 pounds is added aren’t going to be able to carry another 150 on top of that if they have to 2 man carry someone out.  It’s not about smeared mascara from crying, or whatever else, the physical standards to which women in the services are held just doesn’t facilitate combat operations of this type.

Combat operations that involve mounted transport are suited to women as well as men, and in all reality may be more dangerous jobs than the prohibited types.  No one thinks a woman is incapable of dying in service to country.  Most insurgents would probably rather hit a tanker truck full of diesel fuel than a bunch of sneaky infantry types moving out in the middle of the night with night vision, tanks, or artillery cannons.

The other two series are 13 which is artillery, and 19 which is armor.  13 series types have to load 100 pound rounds, by hand, as quickly as possible.  19 series types have to sometimes in hostile territory, “break track” which means they have to remove the track from the tank and replace broken sections or put a thrown track back on the machine.  The track on a tank is really heavy and no matter how much competence, courage, or heart a troop has, they can either lift it or they can’t.  If they can’t they are leaving 2 tanks as sitting ducks while another tank crew has to assist them.  That’s half the tank platoon of 4 out of commission because someone is in a job they can’t do.

It’s not like they can just wait on the side of the road to be picked up by AAA.  Also unlike the movies where tanks can jump over mountains and drive through buildings unscathed, tanks throw track all of the time.  I once in a training exercise saw the tracks of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle so completely immobilized by running over a common item that can be purchased at any hardware store in North America I wondered why the enemy even bothered trying to disable them with bombs.

The point is these three jobs women are prohibited from is because of practicality, not because of sexism about the enemy spotting their shiny eyeshadow.  The military already trains to separate standards to accommodate women.

Putting women in these roles with the current standards is going to cost US lives while bringing little to the Army.  It will be great for Hollywood who can make more nonsensical war movies where women are the heroes and no one ever has to run very fast or carry too much.

There are already two sets of standards.  How many sets of standards can the Army have before the standards are just soldier suggestions?  The Army has a history of doing what is good for the army not for some of the individuals in the Army.  When it comes to women serving, the standards are always lowered so women succeed due to political pressures.  The Army does what’s good for the Army.  The Marines on the other hand, maintain standards across the board, and women simply can’t meet them.  Changing the system to make room for the .1% who can make it out of the 16% of the army that is female is going to inevitably lead to lower standards and people will die over this.  This is not hyperbole, and it’s not an overreaction, in combat, away from support where combat arms goes, physical strength is a key component in saving lives, and women don’t have it which is why the physical standards for women in the army are half that of men’s standards.  That’s why women can be MPs and be behind the turret all up and down the street, but can’t be artillery loaders who are usually shooting from the base behind the wire.

It’s not a sports team.  They can’t be put on the bench if it doesn’t work out.  Women should be allowed in the 3 combat series when the first woman is a starter on a MLB team.  Otherwise those soldier’s blood will be on everyone’s hands, so that we can puff our chests that in the US we don’t make decisions about someone’s ability based on gender, even if science factually suggests otherwise and common sense agrees.

Why Do They Hate Us?

hate

When 9/11 happened everyone asked, “Why do they hate us?”  There was a war going and everyone was asking, what we ever did to them to make them hate us so.  Even people who knew that it was a 70 year game of chess between the Communists and the West, with the Middle Eastern people as pawns and the oil as the prize, even those people were asking.

People saw that hate and said, WHY?

That’s what people do when they see hate.  The question then is, if misogyny is really hatred, why isn’t anyone asking why?

There is some serious anger toward women in the millennial generation.  It’s an anger that isn’t there in previous generations of American men.  GenX has some casual misogyny issues; it’s true, but no true hatred of women.  In fact I’d say that true hatred of women, as the name misogyny implies, hasn’t existed before now.

Let’s make bumper stickers out of the opposition to the 3 waves of feminism, and see where the “hatred of women” is

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Clearly the undertone in this era was women don’t really think and therefore they shouldn’t vote.  Women are inferior intellectually and giving them the right to vote will take rationality out of politics.  It’s not a hatred of women, but it’s clearly a view as women as being less than a man.

stopera

The undertone here is still we can’t send women to Vietnam, because they are too weak to handle it.  There are natural disadvantages women have and we need to protect our women.  Still it’s basically the same thing, men are better than women, but there isn’t any hatred per se.

menrights

Here is the change in undertone.  On the face it appears egalitarian.  Men say, why do we need feminism, why can’t we have humanism?  What they are often thinking is, why do these bitches get special consideration in EVERYTHING?

It’s the first time any real hatred rears its head and it’s only going to get worse.  This is a new kind of gender animosity too, it’s not like the women in the 70’s chanting about gender oppression, it’s a slow quiet burn that grows into resentment.

When GenX was in school we started seeing the shift.  We grew up when playground rules were still boys will be boys.  The girls got special treatment, but the boys also got special treatment, because boys and girls are different.  No matter how much people want to believe that all gender differences are caused by role assignment by a patriarchal conspiracy, that’s not the case.  Boys brains and girls brains are different even in utero.

What we’re seeing now is the result of a whole generation of young men who have been disenfranchised by women.  The average man today grew up without a father in the household, few if any male role models in the educational system which is designed and run by women.  A system in which traditional ideas of gender roles have been abandoned.  That may not be bad in and of itself, but when it’s structured in a way that is advantageous to one sex above the other, there are going to be problems.

When boys act in traditionally male behavior such as being distracted or boisterous  they are labeled hyperactive and are medicated.  Boys are mediated for behavioral issues at five times the rate of girls.  When displaying actual symptoms of hyperactivity such as impulsivity, they are suspended or expelled.  Boys are expelled and suspended at twice the rate of girls.

With numbers like this, either boys and girls being treated the same is disadvantageous to boys, or something much bigger is going on.

There is clearly an anti-male bias in the system based on a system of false assumptions about male privilege.  For example a common complaint about women’s studies types is that boys are called on in class disproportionately during math class, and because boys “do better” in math, this is clearly because the teachers are building up the boys.  This is the kind of nonsense that appears when the world is viewed through a non-objective lens, such as feminism.  Once it’s discarded it’s easier to see the real factors in play.  Boys have a wider distribution in math skills.  The best students and the worst students are mostly boys.  If gender were removed and it was said “Teachers tend to call on average students less than gifted students and struggling students” no one would be surprised.  As for the wider distribution, boys are going to be disproportionately represented in both groups, especially the struggling group.  Teachers are being told to be more conscious of gender and in doing so are less conscious of other factors.

If there is a male privilege there is certainly a parallel female privilege, which has always existed.  In the past the female privilege was arguably not comparable, but things have changed.  Now men have to deal with a suicide rate that is 6 times higher, a homeless rate that dwarfs that of women, shorter life span, higher likelihood of being a victim of violent crime, more likely to be a victim of domestic violence, and a victim of severe domestic violence, more likely to be convicted of a crime, and serve longer sentences for similar crimes as compared to women, are underrepresented in college enrollment, are less statistically likely to graduate college once enrolled.  Men are more likely to be alcoholics, and women are more likely to engage in hypergamy  and keep half of the marital assets upon divorce.  Some people would say that marital assets are fairly distributed due to gender wage gaps, but when the numbers are fairly addressed the gender wage gap seems to shrink into low single digit numbers.  Incidentally this is why women think men “fear commitment” but men’s fear of inequitable and antiquated divorce laws that assume a woman is incapable of earning a living is a related topic, but a tangent nonetheless.

The point is there is a growing undercurrent of men who feel that women are the enemy.  They feel this because women tell them that they are enemies.  Feminists call the system “patriarchal” and declare men to be the opposition, and then are genuinely indignant when accused of misandry.  It’s this two faced nature, this opposition to the double standard when it benefits men, while supporting it when it benefits women.

Now all that aside, it’s the attitude.  Men know what they are realistically going to grow up to be.  They look at their uncles and their mother’s boyfriends and people in their socioeconomic group, and they know about what they can expect.  If he looks around and sees board members of fortune 500 companies, he’s in a very distinct minority within men in general.  if more likely he sees mechanics and factory workers, pointing out to him that he is the same gender of fortune 500 CEOs and therefore he’s privileged isn’t going to win any arguments.

Selected on a desirability scale, you get someone who knows this, but has been taught by society to keep quiet about it.  That causes a burning hatred of women that is going to surface in places like 4chan and reddit where they can hide.  They are the canaries, though. They are the lower tier men, but they are an indicator.  When the only thing holding these guys back from overt misogyny, real misogyny, not offering to lift a heavy box for a woman at work is social desirability there is a looming societal problem on the horizon.

What we need to do is stop vilifying men.  Stop vilifying male sexuality,  stop calling men the enemy.  The so called “patriarchy” certainly isn’t any better for men than it is for women, and replacing it with “matriarchy” isn’t the answer.

Stop Saying Firstworldproblems

The Twitter hashtag #firstworldproblems is very popular with people who have never been out of the first world, but the use of this hashtag really needs to stop and here’s why:

How they think they sound:  Even though my phone is broken and I am sad, I have global perspective and won’t rest until the Dali Lama is restored to his position and Tibet is free!

How they actually sound:   My phone is broken, but at least I don’t live in one of those dirty people countries where they have to stick their head in the river to drink like Portugastan or something.

The idea is to portray that the person using it is educated about the world has a global perspective and understanding they are speaking from a place of privilege.  The effect is they prove how ignorant they actually are about the world, and that they think everyone not in Western Europe or North America is basically toughing it out in a cave somewhere pounding millet into flour on a rock. 

It doesn’t matter if the definition of “Second World” is the newer one meaning an emergent market which has per capita earnings not quite up to the standards of the Western world, but is so far removed from the rest of the third world that a distinction must be made, or the older one meaning a state planned economy, or an economy under the influence of the USSR, the point is the thinking behind the first world in #firstworldproblems  is more or less the US and EU versus everyone else .  Thinking that only Westerners have access to clean water and toys that aren’t sticks is very insulting to the rest of the world.

Hans Rosling does a great job of explaining why Sweedish college students are outperformed almost 2:1 by chimpanzees in a quiz about infant mortality in third world countries.  The professors who hand out the Nobel Prize in medicine did almost as well as the chimpanzees.

If the people at the top of the heap of the scientific community in health are ignorant enough to misjudge the quality of life in third world countries more often than an illiterate ape mashing buttons, what chance is there twitter users are getting it right?

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( moving right along)

The most popular misuse of  #firstworldproblems have to do with cell phones.  This assumes that only in the first world is the cell phone a major fixture of people’s lives, despite the fact that Turkey has enough phone traffic that they have their own satellite in orbit for cellular traffic and stopped putting up phone poles in favor of cellular towers years ago.

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Iran is currently importing more than 500 kilotons a year worth of phones.  We’re not sure how many handsets that equates to, but when it’s easier to measure the import of any handheld device by adding up the gross weight of the shipping containers, and the appropriate unit of measurement for said projections is a unit usually used to measure the power of atomic warheads, it’s safe to say that that device is integral to the way of life in that country.

The world demand for cellular service is growing as fast as service can keep up and demand for blackberries in the developing world is probably the only think keeping RIM afloat

 

 

 

 

Another issue is obesity is a global epidemic and the first world does not have the monopoly on crazy food.

In Canada and the UK Pizza hut served up hot dog crust pizza.  One must choose between crust stuffed with cheese or hot dog oh ha ha ha says the internet, look at all those fatass white people.

No, the middle east says we’ll raise that.  Think a hot dog in a pizza is crazy?  Cheeseburger crust, asshole

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For those of you who won’t or can’t watch videos, this is not a little ground beef mixed in with the stuffed crust cheese either, actual little cheeseburgers that can be torn off and eaten.  It looks like the most disturbing pile of grease I’ve ever seen.  It’s one of those “Doesn’t even look good in the commercial” things.  While the first world version is essentially a pizza and a hot dog, this is a pile of don’t give a fuck.  This might be why on the list of most obese nations the mid east comes up so often.   

KFC US may have had the double down, the bacon and cheese sandwich that used chicken instead of bread, but in the Philippines they don’t have Atkins, so popular Fast food restaurant, Jollibee has a hamburger sandwiched in fried potato hash browns

China even ups the ante on regular fried chicken by soaking it in irish cream whiskey

 (china won’t let anyone corner the world in racial stereotypes in fast food either)

Perhaps this is the reason no two countries that have a McDonald’s have ever gone to war

There is a new cold war and it’s in trying to make the most disgusting food possible.

 

As usual New Zealand is trying to get in on the act to get alongside her allies, but just like the adorable flightless kiwi bird that is the symbol of their air force, they got it all wrong.   Just throwing eggs and beets on a burger isn’t going to prevent Asian aggression of insane pizzas and chicken, guys,

Too many shopping choices is another thing that often gets tagged with first world problems.  Someone is having some kind of difficulty with shopping.  Clearly in the third world everyone makes their own clothing out of burlap rice bags in Asia and wherever.
EXCEPT all of the 10 biggest shopping malls in the world are in Asia.  North America doesn’t even get a nod until #12 with the West Edmonton mall, which is technically a cheater because it’s two malls.  The US doesn’t show up until #19 with all other malls in-between also going to Asia. 

The Golden Resources mall in Beijing is so massive that it hosts over 1,000 stores.  At night when lit up it’s like looking right at the entire las vegas strip at the same time.  It’s roughly the same size as well, with 5 stories spanning 6 million total square feet, the only way to get a proper idea of its size is to see it from above on google maps. 
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The mall of America, the one famous for having a damned roller coaster inside of it is nothing.  SM City North EDSA is big enough to fit two malls of America (mall of Americas?) inside and it’s in the Philippines.   It was opened in 1985 so undoubtedly some of her famous 22 million dollar shoe collection came from this monster of a mall.
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No non-US influenced countries would have such monstrosities right?

Wrong.  Iran is currently finishing up on not one, but two malls with a combined size of 1,100,000 square KM.  To put that in perspective, that’s almost 7 times the size of the US capitol (the city not the building).

Concept art of the completed projects here
Twentysomethings have also decided that the West has a monopoly on partying.  This makes sense because based on the stage show of every lame b-list band ever, it’s safe to assume that every city thinks like it rocks like no other.  It is true we’re out ahead of the muslim nations, but the rest of the world is right in the running.

It’s not all Eastern Europeans sitting in poorly lit rooms drinking vodka straight from the bottle, either. 

Rio de Jeneiro has a little thing called Carnival.  It’s a party on such a massive scale that when they hear about Mardi Gras, they give the kind of cute appreciative snort Tiger Woods makes when he steps onto a mini golf course and sees the Par 4 sign in front of a hole with a straight shot at the cup. 

Plenty of people in the third world are getting down with alcohol.  In fact South America out drinks North America and Eastern Europe out drinks Western Europe.

People in the Western World imagine they are the only people in the world with somewhere to go in their car and can’t get there fast enough.  This is another “people in the rest of the world live in the dirt and ride oxen to the market things.”  These people have never been in a cab with an insane taxi driver in Juarez traffic.
Western cities are comparatively easy going because of traffic lights and roundabouts.

The “first world problem” isn’t traffic for sure.  It may even be how quickly traffic actually moves.  Consider that in Beijing the traffic jams sometimes last weeks.

New Delhi has its fair share of traffic problems and they are now considering installing bike lanes that allow rickshaws.  It’s easy to be stuck in NYC traffic and see a bike messenger whip by and think it’s a symptom of living in the Big Apple, but imagine being stuck in traffic for an hour and seeing a rickshaw whip by.

In fact, if you are reading this I promise you that your commute is better than it is for these Kenyans.

The West just has more availability of movies, and everything entertainment related though, right?  This is entirely untrue.  It’s only just now because of our internet infrastructure that we are getting more, and the rest of the world is quickly catching up.  Netflix is looking to expand into 43 countries, which include Mexico, Central America, Latin America and the Caribbean islands.  Soon the whole world will have to decide from thousands of movies and will be able to complain with you about the spinny thing that says that Netflix is changing resolution because your internet connection speed has changed.

China has been leading the way in pirated DVDs.  The pirated DVDs one might find on the black market are openly sold in stores throughout Asia.  They actually have movies playing in US theatres before they go to DVD.

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They tend to have thousands of titles sometimes 8 movies per disk, yet we never see tweets that say “only have enough Yuan to buy 32 movies with my allowance, but the ones I want are all on different disks #nonfirstworldproblems”  That is of course, because those tweets probably aren’t written in English and are probably on Sina Weibo.  Still it’s probably safe to say those tweets don’t exist.  Also 140 Chinese characters can say a lot more than 140 roman ones, so likely the conversation there isn’t quite as idiotic.

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Throughout the world satellite dishes are also pretty widespread and they get more channels than the legitimate western pay dishes.  In “Kurdistan” the children all watch MTV and speak English, even if only enough to sing 50 cent and Michael Jackson for the change of foreign businessmen.   

Everyone has heard of Bollywood, everyone has seen the Philippine prisons where they dance Thriller.  They have everything the west has, plus things we don’t.  In reality they have more choices than most people who are going to read this. 

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  There are a ton of tweets about things no sane person could possibly think are things that only happen in the first world.  What is the thought process of someone who thinks that it’s only a pain to wait for their nails to dry in the first world?  Do they think that in other countries women are just so poor and dumpy they don’t bother to paint their nails?

 
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In short, quit attempting to sound like someone who is aware of the world, while proving the opposite.