Is the Miller Lite “Man Up” series of commercials the worst ad campaign ever? Probably not. But I can’t think of one whose idiocy has irked me more off the top of my head. With football season starting up, they’re starting to attack my TV screen with greater frequency again and I am not okay with that.
Note: I’m determined not to let this expand into a more serious/academic critique of contemporary mainstream “manliness”, but I make no guarantees. (I’d love it if our boy Yayo would take up that mantle and just go H.A.M. with it, though.)
Token Smokin’ Hot Babe Bartender: “Do you care how it tastes?”
Non-Manly Drinker: “No. I don’t care how it tastes.”
Okay. #*@% you. Has anyone involved in this production ever been in a bar before?
Who orders “Light beer”? Someone who’s never ordered beer before. Someone who’s probably never even had beer before. Two kids who snuck into the bar by having one sit on the other’s shoulders while wearing sunglasses and an enormous trench coat and handing a stoned, uncaring bouncer the driver’s license he stole from his dad’s wallet. Jesse Eisenberg in Rodger Dodger.
Knowing where the commercial wants to go, this thwarts its goals entirely. The problem isn’t that this fellow is too unmanly to care about the taste of his beer. The problem is he has no idea how beer is supposed to taste. He can’t even name a single brand of beer.
This brings us to the bartender’s response, which, in any earth-bound bar, would be to inquire specifically which light beer the gentleman would prefer. (Fortunately, this bar exists in Miller-Land, where hot chicks can only get service jobs and bromosapiens reign supreme!) Her question, “Do you care how it tastes?”, is an obvious Miller Lite marketing set-up from the get-go. If he says “yes”, he gets a Miller Lite beca-
Oh don’t be silly! Of course he won’t say “yes”. He’s so unmanly! Everyone knows manliness increases proportionally with one’s concern for the taste of his beer. However, this, again, just bursts the commercial’s own bubble. Because we’re talking about light beer. Every time I see a new one of these commercials, I desperately hope the latest incarnation of Non-Manly Drinker has the wherewithal to respond: “I’m ordering light beer. Obviously, I don’t give that big a shit how it tastes.”
Miller Lite is gross.
The bartender’s put-down…
I guess what I really want to talk about here is the role of the bartenders in general. They are sexy, tough, whip-smart, independent women. And the ads want you to think that if these guys had just been manlier and ordered a Miller Lite, these bartenders would’ve been impressed. Maybe the guys would’ve even had a shot.
Now, I don’t proclaim to be some master of the female mind, but I feel very confident about what I’m going to say next.
Sexy, tough, whip-smart, independent women don’t get all tingly in their lady parts because a guy orders a Miller Lite.
I really don’t think I need to qualify that any further.
On the Non-Manly Drinker’s “defect”…
Wouldn’t it be easier if the ads just came out and said, “Don’t be a gay. Drink Miller Lite.” I mean, that’s the implication right? If you think about it, this campaign’s target demographic is guys who call people “faggot”, isn’t it?
That’s one of the most confusing aspects of these commercials. I don’t know to whom they’re trying to appeal. When the Non-Manly Drinker joins his friends at ad’s end, the group is an utter contrivance of “normal dudes”. They appear to be a reasonably attractive, successful, easy-going group. Just guys like you and me out at the bar, watching the game. They wear collars or sweaters, fashionable plaid, etc. They think lower back tattoos and dragon shirts and carry-alls are things men do not sport. On the surface, many of them could possibly fit into my own group of friends.
So how to explain their stiff mindset that Miller Lite is the definition of manliness, and their aggressive disappointment with a friend who doesn’t conform to that standard of masculinity? I literally do not know one friend of mine who thinks that way. We order pitchers of light beer because it’s cheap or because we don’t want to feel bloated while eating dinner or because it’s going to be a long night out but we’re not trying to “go hard”. If we want to drink like men, we pour whiskey in a tumbler. Or dark beer in a pint glass. At the very very least, Bud Heavy. But never would I derive a show of manliness from the consumption of light beer. It strikes me as utterly meatheaded. The only mindset to which I can attribute this attitude is one that values quantity over quality in all situations. “Watch me pound this pitcher. Sit over there and sip on your little thimble of bourbon, girlyman.” That guy is the only person to whom I can imagine this campaign appealing, yet he’s nowhere to be found. I don’t get it.
I apologize for the lack of posts yesterday. It was the first day of my last year of law school, and it was surprisingly busier than I expected. Even though I’m behind, I want to do a top 5 list this week.
Reckner never saw the first three seasons of Friday Night Lights. Recently, we’ve been plowing through a few episodes a night so she can proudly proclaim that she has seen every episode. The most intriguing element of this, for me, is that my opinions have grossly changed re: some characters and stayed stagnant with others. Because of this, I’m going to rank my five favorite characters on Friday Night Lights over the course of all five seasons.
There is no formula to this week’s list. Generally speaking, this list is based on the overall storyline throughout the series. Because of this, awesome characters like Smash’s mom will not be on the list. Simply put, her character was not prevalent enough or independent enough. (by that, I mean without Smash she wouldn’t have been an important character) Believe it or not, this might be the hardest list I’ve ever created.
It only took six weeks for the 2010 NFL football season to be tainted. New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley broke Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s clavicle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4wMri4nsuo&feature=related) in a totally legitimate hit during a completion to receiver Miles Austin. This was problematic for three reasons: 1) those kinds of hits are exactly the reason I watch football, 2) Tony Romo is my favorite player in the NFL (we’ll come back to this), and 3) #1 & #2 are completely incompatible. There are a few things you can glean from this video besides the fact that Tony Romo can feel pain. At the 0:20 mark you can transport into my Boston living room and see the look that was on my face at that exact moment. Immediately following that shot, you can experience an out-of-print Wade Phillips surprise face (he would be fired 15 days later). Mostly you can imagine what it is like to watch American football highlights in Brazil (sort of like if the Most Extreme Elimination Challenge hosts were from Rio de Janeiro).
He has been statistically incredible (holding more Cowboys passing records than could be efficiently listed), yet his career has been (mostly) defined by insignificant non-events (outside of that botched hold and the glorious playoff win vs. the hated Eagles). This is a strange sensation to experience when rooting for your favorite player in football, although one completely compatible with how we have been trained to consume politics and reality TV. Howard Dean or Ben F. from The Bachelorette's actual accomplishments matter much less than an ill-timed yell or an obvious trip to the Friend Zone. I suppose that Romo became my favorite player due to the fact that he is the quarterback of my favorite team and is really freaking good, and he's stayed it because he maintains confidence in the wake of events that would break weaker reality stars. Here's to Season Six of the Tony Romo Show.
Two weeks ago, two of my friends and I cruised from Raleigh to the Outer Banks. [For a more sophisticated recap CLICK HERE]. On the way down there, the spirit moved us to turn the radio up as loud as possible and listen to the most absurd 90’s rock we could find. I’d recently subscribed to Spotify, which allows you to stream any music you want for $10/month on your iPhone. I thought you all would like to see a sample of what we listened to.
(1) Pearl Jam - Alive
(2) Kid Rock - American Badass (listened to 6-7 times)
(3) Silverchair - Tomorrow
(4) Spin Doctors - Two Princes
(5) Blind Melon - No Rain
(6) Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
(7) Bush - Machinehead
(8) Counting Crows - Mr. Jones
(9) Pearl Jam - Jeremy
(10) The Cranberries - Zombie
(11) Rage Against the Machine - Bulls on Parade
This is in no way an exhaustive list of what we jammed out to, but you get the point. It was one hell of a ride.
I screwed the pooch last week on the top 5 list. I’m sorry. I got distracted rolling out the new authors and lost site of my responsibilities. Because I want a smooth transition into this week’s list, I’m just going to cut my losses and not name the first two from last week. I’m going to start anew. This week, I’m going to countdown my five favorite voices in music. Now, this doesn’t mean these are my favorite musicians. Rather, this means that I like their voices the most.
Caveat: (1) This is 100% unequivocally NOT legal advice. Trust me. I have to say that; and (2) even if this were legal advice, I’m a 3rd year associate at a small law firm and not Richard Posner. Grain of salt, people.
Now a few words of background. I graduated from law school in spring of 2009, fledging out into the first dip of the Great Recession, fresh off a hiring freeze at my summer post. It turned into a hiring Ice Age. I crash landed at a small shop in my neighborhood dedicated primarily to family law (divorces, child custody, alimony, etc.), personal injury work and entity formation and acquisition (business marriage/divorce).
Fast forward about two years. I’m at a happy hour with some other young lawyer types and a freshly engaged brunette asks me, “What is the one thing you see that breaks up marriages the most?”
“Dishonesty,” is the quick answer. “Dishonesty about finances. Number one enemy of marriages right now.” Clearly the never-married greenhorn litigator knows all the answers right?
The conversation [d]evolved into my best cocktail stories for a while when the brunette’s betrothed asked, “What is the most common advice you give someone getting divorced?”
This, friends and fellow Loafers readers (particularly you happily wedded ones) is it:
(1) The Internet never forgets. Mark Zuckerburg doesn’t make a living out of catching you chain-smoking Parliaments at the karaoke bar with your ex-girlfriend. Divorce lawyers kinda do. You have an e-mail account that’s worth digging through? I know a forensic IT guy. You got that DUI in college? Your spouse may not remember, but the sheriff’s Website does. The first thing I look at for every new client or new opposing party…Facebook photos. Make no mistake, if it was ever on the interwebs, it’s still out there.
(2) If you are going to cheat, don’t do it in North Carolina. Three words: Alienation of Affections. Look it up if you have time. You’ll see the occasional million-dollar jury verdict against a mistress or other side piece. And even if you’re verdict proof, better believe that’s an expensive lawsuit to get rid of. Also, North Carolina has mandatory alimony rules for folks who cheat on their spouse. If you cheat and you’re the breadwinner, you pay alimony. Throw out the rest of the rules. This isn’t a guideline. The judge has to award alimony. She HAS to. Again, that’s an expensive problem to have. Better advice, don’t cheat.
(3) Judges are human beings. Avoid litigation. Every week somebody calls the office wanting to file the mother of all lawsuits. On the other end of one of those lawsuits lies dozens of hours of lawyer meetings, day after day in court, tens of thousands of dollars, a diminished opportunity to backfill the lost earnings, and potentially years of your life. These judges are real people with real problems. Divorces, alcoholism, violent tempers, haunted pasts. Wanna roll those dice? I tell you what. Don’t do that.
Yes, this is all common sense, but I had Loafers research all of this on LexisNexis just in case.
It’s time for another installment of Reckner’s Week in Review. I gotta say, it was kind of hard finding some things to blog about this week…not a lot happening for me other than stalking Craigslist for mid-century furniture in the tri-state area. Hope you all had a great week and have a fun weekend planned!
I have mixed feelings about Kanye. While I admire his skills with picking out fabulous and over-the-top accessories (leather skinny jeans with fur vest sans shirt in February..duh), and some of his songs, a lot of times he just kind of annoys me because of the way he takes himself so damn seriously (even in leather hot pants and said fur vest.) Which was why I spit out my iced coffee this morning when I found this little gem on Gawker today. Apparently Mr. West was complaining about a slippery stage at a recent concert and then BAM, Kanye pancake on the stage. I think this is literally the least smooth thing he’s ever done and it’s saved on Youtube forever. Score one for the normal people. But if you’re looking to get rid of that fur vest, I’m your girl.
Rebecca Black drops out of school; no one cares except for every media outlet in America
Why does this person still remain relevant? This news popped up all over my damn Google reader earlier this week and it really irked me (but not as much as the news coverage of Kingston Rossdale shaving his head. HONESTLY….HONESTLY. What. The. Hell.) Okay you know what Rebecca? I don’t feel bad for you and I’m pretty sure you’re probably not even getting bullied. You have a music video, on Youtube, and Glee did your song on a show—and it was the PROM EPISODE. That’s pretty much the pinnacle of awesome in middle school and high school these days (so I hear) so you know what? Chill the eff out. Guess what I was called all of middle school on the bus? For three years? The Jolly Green Giant because I was 5’8 at the age of 12. And you know what? I turned out just fine. And I didn’t have YouTube or Glee to back me up.
Not really much to say here other than how awesome these two are. And that I’d pay really, really good money (aka probably sell an organ) to be taught how to Dougie by Sasha and Malia Obama.
Ke$ha goes hard in Raleighwood
So, even though I got mocked by a variety of people, including my boss’ tween daughters, I went to a Ke$ha concert this week. And it was actually REALLY awesome. Loafers has lots of indie/deep music tastes and always knows what’s cool in the music world. I listen to Tween pop. Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, LMFAO, Taylor Swift, Beyonce..yeah, all on my iPod. Makes for great running music. So, I got REALLY excited when I heard my girl Ke$ha was coming to town. Luckily, two friends of mine felt the same way. After polishing a bottle of Sweet Tea vodka off between the three of us to prepare and get in the Ke$ha mindset, we walked to the downtown Raleigh amphitheater and proceeded to be blown away by everything and anything that happened in that space. First of all, lots of tweens (duh) covered head to toe in glitter, jorts, fishnets and sportsbras. I was a little jealous…but also a little concerned (I’m getting old.) Did their parents KNOW this was the outfit they were wearing? Or, after they got dropped off, did they rip open a backpack, dip themselves in glitter and strip down? Either way, I felt like I was dressed like Sister Mary from my high school and WAY TOO OLD to be there. I also saw some parents who looked bewildered at the whole spectacle sheparding their kids to their lawn seats. The lights went down, the sun started setting and Ke$ha did exactly what I hoped she would do- made whiny noises, used the word “f*ck” a lot, wore a sequined leotard, shot glitter through cannons and had lots of half-naked, skinny male dancers wearing stuffed animal heads jiving their bodies to her music. And then a penis came on stage and started beating one of the dancers with its balls. So, yeah…I raise you, Bon Iver. Your move.
Missioni for Target launches Sept. 13
This has been a PSA. You’ve probably seen it all over Pinterest/Tumblr/whatever else exists, but I just wanted to triple check and keep all of Loafers’ peeps informed. I will go to blows for the blanket that’s part of the collection. Ever since I saw the ep of Rachel Zoe when she and Roger got Missoni pillows, I’ve had my eyes out for something Missoni I could add to my living room. This blanket will probably cost as much as one eye’s worth of faux lashes for RZ. God I love her.
Each of these young men is unique; each is well rounded and smart. And each will provide a different view on life. That’s why I wanted each of them to be involved in the second stage of loafersansocks. Below, you will find the pseudonym that each will write under along with a brief biography. Each brief biography should help you understand where they will be coming from and what they are interested in.
(1) The Pastor - Not actually a pastor; rather, a lawyer. The Pastor graduated from UNC in 2006 and went to the University of South Carolina for law school. You know how people describe old people as being “young at heart” — well The Pastor is “old at heart”. This guy was drinking black coffee and scotch when he was a 19-year-old sophomore. His inherent “sage-ness” provides an adequate base for cold serving people in the courtroom. As a future attorney, I understand the basic principles of being a damn good lawyer; The Pastor has all of them.
(2) Chenders - Chenders graduated from UNC in 2007. If drinking Busch Light was a sport, Chenders would be the Michael Phelps of it. I’ve seen whole kegs of Busch Light disappear under this guy’s watch. With that being said, he might be damn near the smartest person I know. Recently, I was in Washington D.C. walking around the Washington Monument when he decided to discuss how time actually works. Friends, it’s complicated. Chenders just received his Masters in Engineering from Boston University and is moving back to the Triangle to do stuff with his big ol’ brain.
(3) Yayo - One time when I was in Puerto Vallarta with this guy, we nicknamed him Amante Yayo. Frankly, I could stop the brief bio there. His nickname has nothing to do with drug use; it has everything to do with disposition. When I initially asked him to be part of the new addition to the website, he asked if he could write policy columns (that’s kind of what he does for a living). I quickly responded with a resounding “Hell no”. The people who read this site don’t care about what those booger eaters are doing in D.C. They care about funny stuff. Like cats and watching a white guy in leather overalls play George Michael’s songs on the sax in the mall.
(4) BrittOn - This guy is the most creative person I know. And I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to offer. BrittOn, unlike many of us, is actually pursuing his dreams. He’s a genius by nature, and a writer by training. He’s currently working on some pieces for both movies and books. Recently, I was asked by a friend who was the most likely to be a billionaire. We all turned our heads to BrittOn and said, “Yup”. BrittOn is also the only person I know who has 46 brothers and sisters and owns jetskis. The latter is really the only reason I’m friends with him.
(5) Sir Lucious [looooo-shush] - Sir Lucious was recently named one of the most of the most beautiful people on Capitol Hill, which would be fine if I had actually seen this guy shower more than five times in college. But I guess people change. This guy has a critical eye. I don’t mean that in a bad way. He listens to music, he watches movies, sports and TV and he has an opinion. Lucious, like me, generally has visceral reactions to stuff like this and states his opinion bluntly. After, he does damage control to ensure that his point is valid. You’ll probably see some of that on here.
I hope you all enjoy reading stuff from these guys. I can’t speak highly enough about the talent and intelligence of each. The contributions of these guys combined with Reckner’s weekly posts, I think, shifts this blog from elementary-minded to, potentially, middle-school minded. I look forward to hearing your feedback.
Earlier this week, I mentioned that there would be a big announcement re: the format and content of this blog. Here’s the good news for the loyal readers: there will continue to be the same type of material that is posted on a daily basis.
However, there will be some new content. The new content stems from two “things”. First, I love all things Bill Simmons. His columns and podcasts are great. And his new website, Grantland, is a ton of fun to read. In my mind, he and the writers who contribute touch on just about all the good stuff there is to touch on. What I like most is that it seems like a group of friends just come up with stuff they like talking about and put it into writing and publish it on a website.
Cue the second “thing”.
I consider myself a pretty lucky guy. When I was a freshman in college, I befriended a gaggle of renaissance men. We all lived in the same dorm or had some connection to each other through someone who did live in this dorm. We’ve remained friends, and we all see each other often and talk on the phone even more often. I consider many of these guys very strong writers, too. Because of this, I extended an invitation to five of them to begin writing for this blog. In short, I told them to write about stuff they care about that would be entertaining to read. It’s a pretty simple directive; we’ll see where it goes.
So with all this being said, the folks who follow this blog for pictures of leather chairs and videos of people being morons — please keep following. I will make sure that there’s plenty more of that. I do, however, know that a lot of folks who read this blog want more writing and more substance. Substance can be used loosely here because most of the new writing won’t be serious — at all. And here’s my answer to those calls.
There won’t be a schedule for these postings. I told my friends to e-mail me their submissions whenever they wanted. As soon as I get the goods, I will put them up. It’s a simple concept, and I hope it works out and that you all enjoy it. Tomorrow, at some point, I will make formal introductions to the five new writers. I’ll likely use some sort of pseudonym for each, but I’ll give you enough details so that you know what the deal is with each person.
In the past, I’ve hated on various forms of technology. For whatever reason, my affinity for technology more closely mirrors that of a retired grandfather than a 20-something law student. With that being said, I made a bold move this week. I bought a Kindle. This weekend, I was in the Outer Banks with some friends. Two of them had Kindles and were showing me the various advantages of owning one. Simply put, I was floored. Combine this with my unprecedented love for all things Amazon, I immediately ordered one. Yesterday, I got this gem in the mail. I immediately subscribed to the local newspaper, which comes at 7 am every morning through the Whispernet software. Then, I downloaded “Friday Night Lights” by H.G. Bissinger.
My initial aversion stemmed from the fact that I enjoy having a paper product in my hand while reading. This was quickly quashed when I realized the ease and convenience of the Kindle.
For those like me, don’t fear this magic reading machine; embrace it. It’s a steal compared the iPad, and you can read it glare-free in the sunlight.
Sorry I’ve been so slack on Reckner’s Week in Review lately. Life has been crazy and I had to get my bachelorette on this weekend, so Week in Review was put on the back burner. I hope you’ll forgive me. Here’s a quick rundown on what I was watching/doing/being snarky about last week.
Jersey Shore returns
I’m not going to lie, I was not looking forward to watching this crew destroy the beautiful city that I was lucky enough to study abroad in for several months in college. Florence, Italy is a lovely place that played a huge role in world history. I didn’t want one of those global historical moments to include the first time Snooki wears a neck brace. Or the first and ONLY time JWoww forgets to put on “bronzer” (aka tanning spray..don’t even try to pass that one on us JWoww.) However, I was pleasantly amused by the first episode of the new season. Mostly due to Deena, aka blast in a glass. The girl is ridiculous. And I love it. She kind of sexually assaulted Pauly D in the first ep, which was pretty impressive considering he’s at least three feet taller than her. The Situation is terrible, per usual and SUCH A CREEPER. And I’m pretty sure he’s gay given his penchant for bedazzled sneaker laces. I’m looking forward to seeing “Single Sammy” morph back into “Ron’s punching bag” in a few short episodes. I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts on this season throughout the year.
Suri’s burn book makes me laugh-cry
Loafers’ sister turned me on to this lovely blog. (Surisburnbook.tumblr.com) It’s the best blog that’s happened to me since KateMiddletonfortheWin.tumblr.com. (Shout out to PartiallyCommitted for finding it!) I miss the snarky Kate comments- apparently after the Royal Wedding the site couldn’t go on. Seriously? I could have made at least 30 pictures with funny comments on them based on their Canada trip alone! They met JLO! Are you KIDDING ME? Anyways, this blog is perhaps even funnier and definitely more of the moment. Whoever writes this blog is hilarious and kinda sick and I kinda want to be them. Current favorite quote from the blog: “My hair smells like citrus and money…and not just regular money…Euros.” Check it out- you won’t regret it.
Kardashian wedding invitation is released; surprises no one
The Kardashians both horrify and amuse me. Probably more horrify, but I’m not gonna lie, I kind of want to be friends with Khloe. She seems like she’s pretty cool, plus she would make me feel really small. Anyways, I’ve been keeping up with (see what I did there..) the wedding updates for Kim and Kris’s upcoming nuptials. Their wedding invitation suite was released last week and it wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be- which makes me question whether or not they still retain a teeny bit of taste behind those huge false eyelashes. But then I read more about them. The invitations apparently arrived in their own boxes and were embellished with “hundreds of jet black hematite crystals.” Ugh. Barf. I can’t wait to judge more on this wedding—I have visions of black feathers, Swarovski EVERYTHING and mom-ager Kris trying to steal the show more than once. I hope they wheel baby Mason in a mini Hummer decorated with Louis Vuitton symbols pulled by French bulldogs or else I’m going to be underwhelmed.
Loafers and Reckner have their moment in the spotlight
Sorry to bring the cool factor down on this blog again, but it was pretty awesome to be featured on Style Me Pretty last week. I OBSESSED over weddings on that blog throughout our 15-month engagement (that’s a lot of wedding perusing, y’all) and saved about 1.3 million pictures from it to use with our vendors. It felt great to have the hard work, and beautiful moments, captured on one of my favorite websites out there. Huge moment! K, no more wedding talk.
Comic Sans is sick of your shit talking
This post on McSweeneys is rip-roaringly funny and you need to read it. Now.
I joined Pinterest and I’m addicted
A website devoted to pretty pictures of home interiors, weddings, cute animals, and food? Are you real right now? I’m not really good at social media, but I’m super into this site and can’t wait to learn more about it. The “pin it” button is on heavy rotation on my Macbook and I’m praying I get more followers because it’s kind of depressing to see “Your pin was shared with 20 followers” when you live with someone that gets more than 150 comments on his blog at times.
Four of my favorite words in the English language, all wrapped into one savory morsel: Cheddar Bacon Ranch Bread. Holy. Caloriefest of Awesome. Worth it? I don’t want to find out.
I finished the summer associate program at the law firm I worked for this summer last Thursday and took the MPRE on Friday morning. My last year of law school doesn’t start until next Friday so I now have the opportunity to catch up so much of what I’ve neglected while celebrating the nuptials and working this summer. One of those important activities is listening to albums that I simply haven’t listened to yet. Today, while writing some final thank you notes and catching up on some reading, I listened to two great albums. I suggest you check each out — if you haven’t already.