Time for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag. Today, we're covering the dress, pantsless driving, bare feet, and more.
It gets tossed around a lot these days: "Ugh, working on Saturday is the worst." "Boston fans are the worst." But if we took a nationwide vote, and absolutely everything was in play, what would get the most votes for actually being The Worst? Some early favorites I thought of:
* Racism / discrimination / fundamentalism
* Roger Goodell
Those are all fine choices. You're right that "____ is the worst" has become the de facto mantra of the internet. I know this because I use it all the time. I think I've said pretty much everything is the worst, except for maybe pizza. It's blatant but effective use of hyperbole. Are snow days really the worst? No. They suck big, frosty balls, but no, they are not the worst. Here now is your list of things that really are the worst:
1. Child rape. Nothing beats it. All you have to do is string those two words together to make 99.99999 percent of the population curl into a ball of hopelessness.
2. Human enslavement / genocide. "But it did have some good qualities!" – your great uncle, commenting on Facebook.
3. War. It has all of the necessary elements for worstness. It has death. It has violence. It has chemical and nuclear attacks. It is eminently preventable, and yet it never ever stops, because too many people want to settle scores from the last war, and because the powers at BIG WAR like securing lucrative government contracts for billion-dollar fighter jets. Once you pay a billion dollars for a fighter jet, you gotta bomb SOMEONE with it, right? Why can't we all just chill out, man? [Strums acoustic guitar.]
4. Cancer. Oh look, it's an unstoppable disease that can infect any part of your body, and it kills you slowly unless doctors bombard you with radiation and/or toxic chemicals that will have you throwing up into a bucket every two minutes. And it's EVERYWHERE. It's not fair to make the worst disease the most prevalent one as well. I shouldn't have to freak out about cancer every time I get an ingrown hair on my ass. I read that one book about Henrietta Lacks, and her cancer grew so large that it blocked her urethra and she ended up dying of renal failure. Imagine dying that way. Cancer is shitty and horrible.
5. Being burned alive. It's over quickly, but still: You don't wanna burn. Please do not burn me if you see me. I freak out if I graze the roof of the toaster oven by accident. I can't even imagine that sensation all over my body.
6. Being buried alive. Still my worst fear, apart from being eaten by a giant cockroach. If I were ever buried alive WITH a giant cockroach, you would be able to hear my screams from the moon. I even freak out when people are buried alive in movies. Causes me to have a breakdown.
7. Adult rape. So prevalent, like cancer. It's horrible. They should make a vaccine for rapists. You get a shot … BOOM. You want to bake ginger snaps instead of raping people. Imagine MRAs joining up with anti-vaxxers to oppose it. We could make a perfect deportation list from it.
8. Being stung by a box jellyfish. "It is so overpoweringly painful, human victims have been known to go into shock and drown or die of heart failure before even reaching shore. Survivors can experience considerable pain for weeks and often have significant scarring where the tentacles made contact." Out of all the KILL IT WITH FIRE animals, this one tops the list.
9. Racism / Nazism. Not good! Beats being stung by a box jellyfish, but still!
10. Meth addiction. Turns you into a virtual human zombie who is willing to stab family members to death just to get your hands on a $20 bill. And that's the FUN part, before your teeth rot and you go through withdrawal and start sweating blood and stuff.
11. Starvation/dehydration. I've read enough shipwreck books to know that when you are deprived of water, your tongue turns black and hard, and you slowly go insane, hallucinating grand feasts as your muscle atrophy and your body consumes itself. This is why I avoid cruise ships.
12. Your dog dying. I just saw John Wick, so this is fresh in my mind. That was one cute dog, too. Russians are terrible people.
13. Global warming. I mean, it will kill us all sometime soon. It doesn't feel like the worst right now, but when the mountains explode and bury us in hot lava, turning the surface of Earth into a Venus-like hellscape, I think we'll all be in agreement.
14. Gregg Easterbrook. Dammit, there I go doing it again.
Where does the dress thing rank in terms of the most stupid viral phenomena in recent social-media history?
It's probably the Patient Zero of dumb internet arguments: a perfect microcosm of people flipping out over the most random, inconsequential thing possible. That's kinda why I enjoyed it so much. I saw white and gold. Other people saw black and blue, and then we fought like animals. About colors. It was perfect. If we spent more time arguing about dresses and less time arguing about land rights, THERE WOULD BE NO WARS. Humanity is at its best when it manages to distract itself from doing evil deeds.
Frankly, the biggest lesson from this whole thing is that photography and light are very, very annoying. Photography is manipulative and deceitful and is fucking with our brains. You go to a TV studio, and it looks smaller than it does on TV. You go to a beach, and it looks paler than it does in a movie. You go to a photo shoot, and the photographer spends 50 hours lighting a plastic candy bar to look like a real candy bar. Photography is evil. I don't trust people who indulge in it. They can shoot stuff at night but open the lenses to make it look like daytime. That is witchcraft. I just want the picture to look like what the thing looks like.
What would Goodell / the NFL's reaction to racist acts by fans at an NFL stadium be like, a la European soccer? Also, isn't it kind of shocking that this type of thing doesn't happen in the NFL, given the types who frequent these games?
It really is shocking. Say what you will about America, but at least we don't have big PSAs around our stadiums that say, "For the love of God, try not to be racist." It's almost heartwarming, in a way!
Not that our fans aren't racist. It's just that our racism isn't ORGANIZED. Our racism is much more spontaneous and less choreographed. You have to get Sully in the cheap seats at Gillette real drunk before he starts tossing around the n-bombs. He's not gonna try to smuggle a bunch of bananas into the stadium with his buddies. Only Europeans are that methodical in their discrimination. Also, we have a lot more minorities here in the U.S. A bunch of rowdy Bulgarian fans can scream out racist shit at home games because there are NO black Bulgarians in the stands ready to shoot them a dirty look. You pull that shit at an NFL stadium, and someone will step to you.
Anyway, a mass display of racism at an NFL game would probably result in season tickets being revoked (then quietly reinstated a week later), and Roger Goodell threatening big fines if the team in question can't get a handle on its home crowd (and then quietly letting it slide a week later). And then we'd get lots of PSAs and stuff, with Eli Manning getting paid in free Starburst to tell me that racism is bad.
What would happen if TMZ dropped the Dez Bryant tape at like 2 a.m. EST? Does the Schefter / Glazer crowd have their phone ringers on while they sleep every night? Nobody does that. So do they have assistants that have to wake them up? Or maybe they don't sleep.
I profiled Glazer for GQ, and he pretty much doesn't sleep, so he'd be on it quickly. All of these guys probably sleep with the phone on by the nightstand, and then tell friends and family that they are "on call," like breaking hot Dez Bryant news is akin to being an emergency cardiothoracic surgeon.
That video, by the way, probably doesn't even exist. It's telling that this supposed video has been around for two years or so, only to become a thing for a 24-hour news cycle, only to then die out again. That's how randomly your news sausage is made. I'm sure Dez was at home when this all broke and was like, "Hey, they should have suspended me for punching that baby ages ago!"
If humanity was suddenly given the ability to pick one person to bring back from the dead, who would we choose? We will assume that no religious or biblical figures can be picked, and no saving it for a future death: The person picked gets to resume their life at the height of his or her notoriety, and humanity has 30 days to decide. Let's also assume the president would form a team of world leaders and scientists and would make the decision.
If you were on that panel, who would you vote for? Would you pick a classical genius like Da Vinci or a more modern figure like Einstein or Steve Jobs? Or do you bring back one of the founding fathers to set the record straight on social issues? I bet that some executive from AEG would try to argue for Michael Jackson since he is still contractually obligated for 50 shows in London. Personally, I would vote Rodney Dangerfield, because you know his material about the afterlife would be tremendous.
So I can't vote for Jesus? If I can't vote for Jesus (and he'd be the runaway winner if eligible), then I'd probably vote for Hitler, so we could kill him properly this time around:
HITLER: Mein God! I'm back! Time to bring the white race together and finish what I started!
WORLD: Not so fast, amigo! [PEW PEW PEW!]
I think we would all enjoy that. Seriously though, I'd probably submit this ballot:
1. JFK. I wanted to put Abraham Lincoln here, but Lincoln is from so deep into the past that explaining the future to him would take a really, really long time. There's no risk of that with JFK. He'd get the future right away. He'd be on Tinder banging randoms within the first hour. Oh, and he'd be a beacon of hope and assuage some of the lingering national grief from his assassination. But really, I just want to watch him pop painkillers and date actresses.
2. MLK. The sad thing is that red staters would instantly try to discredit Zombie MLK and lump him in with opportunists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. "Sigh, he comes ol' MLK doing the dream shit again! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT ABOUT RACE SMDH."
3. Lincoln. Again, he'd be very confused.
4. Jimi Hendrix. No real social benefit to his return, but such good tunes! I'm bringing him back instead of John Lennon, because John Lennon would refuse a reunion tour with Paul, just to be a bastard. With Yoko still alive, there's really no benefit to Lennon coming back.
5. Steve Jobs. Maybe he could finally get the Stocks app off of my fucking phone.
6. Elvis. Remember: Elvis may have died due to constipation and a massively impacted bowel. So if he comes back again, the man needs fiber, and lots of it. Also, guard his toilet.
7. Heath Ledger. Provided he agrees to do 10 more movies as the Joker. Otherwise, back in the plot he goes.
8. Korey Stringer. Selfish choice on my end. Still an upgrade over Phil Loadholt.
No matter what, we couldn't leave this to a fan vote, because half of America would probably vote for Chris Kyle.
What hypothetical event could elevate a regular guy into the fame stratosphere high enough to be invited to host Saturday Night Live that same month? I first thought some major heroic act like saving someone famous or catching bin Laden (while alive), but I concluded it would take winning Warren Buffet's billion dollars for picking a perfect NCAA bracket.
They wouldn't give you the SNL hosting gig for that. You'd have to jump in front of a bullet meant for the president. Or you'd have to be the guy who makes first contact with the aliens. First you meet the aliens, and then you become super famous, then you do Oprah, then you do SNL (with 90 minutes of painfully drawn-out horny-alien sketches), then you get your book deal, then you feel used by the MACHINE, and then you die bitter and alone when your fame has ebbed and you don't feel as if you ever got proper credit for reaching out to the Zorfians. You also probably become an alkie. This is why, if I ever meet aliens, I'm just gonna keep it to myself. This'll be just between me and Horb from the Geephoxx Nebula. THE REST OF YOU WOULD JUST ARGUE ABOUT A DRESS.
If I were to drive indefinitely with no pants on (but wearing a T-shirt, sweatshirt, polo shirt, etc.), how long until someone notices, and more importantly, how long until I get arrested?
If you don't have to stop for gas, you could probably drive forever without interruption. No one at eye level can see your cock through the window. The only people who could tell are truckers as they drive past you, and what trucker is gonna rat you out for that? The trucker already has a hooker he kidnapped and threw into the cab. He's not drawing attention to himself. He'll let you live.
The only thing preventing you from driving from coast to coast while commando is children. Most kids today are pacified with screens during long car trips. But if they aren't otherwise occupied, children will gladly stare out the window at other drivers. They don't give a shit about decorum. On the school bus, we used to stare at other cars and yell at the drivers all the time. One time I got up in the aisle and screamed at a BMW driver, "Fuck you, you BMW rich bitch!" and then I mooned her. And then one kid screamed out, "Hey, that's my mom!"
So anyway, a kid might see you driving your dick out, and then you've got problems. Don't attempt to drive pantsless on a school day.
So, let's suppose (heaven forbid) that right before the NCAA tourney, the undefeated Kentucky basketball team is involved in a plane crash and no one survives. How would history view this team? Would they be viewed as the greatest team of all time, given that people who die in their prime are often looked upon with rose-tinted glasses? Would this deter future recruits from attending UK, fearing some kind of curse, or would they rush en masse to fill the void of no scholarship players? Would Kentucky forbid its teams from flying in the future? How many times would those announcing the NCAA tournament feel obligated to mention the event?
Well, Calipari's policy is already one and done, so these freshmen would just be done a bit sooner than expected.
Seriously though, they would still play the tournament (as always: MONEY), and maybe use the time slot for UK's first-round game to stage a memorial service, and then give the 16-seed a ceremonial bye. Everyone would get black armbands and maybe a matching jersey patch. ESPN would let you submit an honorary digital bracket that only has Kentucky advancing, and you could brag about doing it on Twitter using the hashtag #WeAreAllWildcats. Jim Nantz would talk in his Serious Voice all tournament long. It would be really sad and shitty, and no one's heart would be in it.
I assume Kentucky's basketball program itself would be just fine in the aftermath. I'm sure plenty of players would want to come to the school and help fill the void. Then maybe they could lure back Rick Pitino with free waitress blowjobs and a new Armani wardrobe. They would be a sentimental favorite in the 2016 tournament while fielding a team of 37 McDonald's All-Americans.
And then there would be bar arguments forever. That would be the greatest tragedy of this whole thing. Please God, don't let me get stuck in a bar arguing about the legacy of the dead Kentucky team.
Given that porn has evolved (?) to include some truly terrifying subgenres for which there's obviously a market, is it safe to say that everyone now has a fetish of some sort? Is there anybody left who goes to PornHub solely to watch standard missionary porn?
Oh, sure. I think there are people who surf around looking for different people in different outfits, and that's enough to satisfy their urges. Porn does have a stultifying effect on the libido, though. The late Greg Giraldo had a joke about watching porn and being like, "This is boring! All they're doing is fucking!" And it's true. The more you watch, the likely it is you go deeper into the rabbithole.
I watched porn as a kid, and I remember that it gave me completely unrealistic expectations for sex, especially first-time sex. No one ever sits down and explains to you that you will be bad at sex the first time, because people are bad at everything the first time. (Or, if they did tell me, I ignored them because I didn't want it to be true.) And that's with OLD porn. I can't imagine the average amount of knockwurst-insertion porn the average teenager in 2015 sees before finally getting laid. It's gotta warp your mind. As always, I fear for the children.
Anyway, I think that some people have deep fetishes, and other people don't, and maybe porn offers more avenues to explore those fetishes (or not; a lot of that shit gets redundant with ball shots and butt shots), but it doesn't automatically create more of them. There's usually a reason behind a fetish. Like, Dad beat you with a shoe when you were a kid, so now you're a foot fetishist. Pretty sure that's how it works! I KNOW BRAINS.
I'm a high school teacher and required to both give a midterm exam and proctor other teacher's exams. I've noticed an inordinate number of students who take off their shoes while taking their tests. What other times in their life does this pass as appropriate behavior? Should I require them to keep their shoes on during the assessment? Wouldn't I be doing them a favor in protecting the room from their anxiety-laced foot smog?
I say let it go. Taking tests is fucking horrible. My kid has to take some kind of mandatory college-skills-assessment test this week. They test the kids for hours a day, all week long. Maybe two weeks. She's in third grade. They even WARN parents about the test, like, "Hey, this test will destroy your kid, so make sure they eat a good breakfast." If the girl needs to take her shoes off to trudge through this fucking thing, then it's fine by me. They should hand out free gum.
I remember taking tests and doing virtually anything possible at my desk to liven up the process. I would stare out the window. I would click my pen. If I had on flip flops, I would slip them on and off. Anything to avoid actually putting pencil to paper. I stand with the shoeless masses.
Which is worse? Being the person at the table who gets their food last at a restaurant, or getting it first and having to wait?
Getting it last, because the person waiting will always be polite, and insist that I eat, so I can take a courtesy bite of food (not at all satisfying) while he waits and not feel guilty. But if I'm the last to get my food, and there's a noticeable lag between the first set of entrees arriving and my own, then I want to kill everyone in the restaurant. If all the entrees can't fit on one serving tray, there better be another runner right behind the last one with the tray carrying my food. There's better be a damn royal litter to escort the steak to my table, with 10 men in gold shackles on either side of the carriage, apologizing profusely for the delay. The entrees all need to be served simultaneously so that I can dig in and not look up for a solid three minutes.
I would love to see a limit on the number of foul balls allowed in baseball. Say, the fifth foul ball during an at-bat is an out. That would limit at-bats to a maximum of 10 pitches, save wear and tear on arms, and keep the game moving. Thoughts?
I'd keep it the way it is. That's part of the STRATEGERY of baseball. You get some fat dude to foul off 90 pitches in a row, wear out the starter, and then shell his ass. Also, even though it's agony to watch a guy foul off a lot of pitches late in the game, that's part of the suspense buildup. Although I guess it would also be suspenseful to have a foul count on the dude as well. No more hacking off good fastballs, amigo. Now you gotta lay some fucking wood!
I'm much more into limiting pickoff attempts. Those are the ones that crush your will to live.
Email of the week!
Back in October, I was still clinging to the hope of a Jets resurgence, so I went out to my local bar to watch the Thursday-night Jets-Patriots game. The game was actually close enough to make it worth watching, and as the Jets drove down the field for what we believed was the game winning TD/field goal, we even started talking about how this was going to be the game that turned the season around and saved Rex Ryan's job. Of course they lost on a blocked field goal.
Drunk and dejected, I returned home where my girlfriend was asleep in our bed. I quietly hung up my Jets hoodie in the closet and went into the living room to read sad Jets tweets in my underwear. After about 10 minutes, I started to smell something spicy in the air. Since we live in a largely Afro-Caribbean neighborhood (and I was drunk), I just assumed someone was cooking something (at midnight, right outside out window).
A few more minutes go by, and now my eyes are burning. I also noticed that maybe it was a little hazy in the room but figured my glasses were just really smudged and I was too drunk and lazy to clean them. Finally, my girlfriend runs out of the bedroom coughing and asks if something is burning. For some reason, I said, "I don't think so. Let me brush my teeth first." Which I did. I then finally started to investigate the potential fire situation. As it turns out, I had left the closet light on, which shouldn't have been a problem, except it was a bare bulb, and it was right up against a pile of towels, which were all on fire. The smoke had been pouring into the bedroom and basically choking my girlfriend in her sleep. I grabbed the pile of flaming towels with my bare hands (heroic) and hurled them into the bathtub where I extinguished them with the shower head.
We had to sleep on the kitchen floor for a week, and the house still smells like burnt towel. Fuck the Jets.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin. He's also a correspondent for GQ. Follow him on Twitter @drewmagary and email him at email@example.com. You can also order Drew's book, Someone Could Get Hurt, through his homepage.
Image by Sam Woolley.
The Concourse is Deadspin's home for culture/food/whatever coverage. Follow us on Twitter.