Deadspin and How Men Became Dumb Chicks
Adam Carolla’s first, and incredibly hilarious book was called “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks.” Now some of you may have already stopped reading, since you may think you know how I am framing the story given the tip of the cap to Carolla. But I am here to say that Carolla was wrong. He should have titled the book, “In Five Years We’ll All Be Dumb Chicks.” I am not as concerned as Carolla with the increasingly politically correct tone of our culture (though I am not completely numb to it either), as I am with how eager men have been to jump to (after a healthy dose of nudging towards) culture and news that previously had been the province of only the most empty-headed women.
First They Came for Our Barber Shops
I cannot remember the first time I saw Maxim Magazine, but I know it was sometime during college (the first issue was released in 1998). I am sure some of my friends were reading it. After all it featured hot women on the covers and when targeting late teen and early twenties males that is pretty much all you needed to sell magazines in the late 90s/early 00s. But beneath that Trojan horse cover that made you want to buy Trojans was a more pernicious purpose. It was not until the stacks of Maxim magazines began piling up in my barber shop that I shoved aside the NY Daily News and Rolling Stone magazines and decide to take a peak. Of course there were airbrushed pictures of D-list starlets, but there were also lots of helpful tips on grooming, fitness, sex and other things if you wanted to become the ultimate date rapist (I think FX or Spike have optioned this as their next reality show).
So instead of reading the newspaper and discussing politics and family at the barber shop it became about learning new ways to wax your chest, smell like a sex trafficked slave working at Abercrombie and what drugs to buy to convince your girlfriend to have a threesome. This may all seem normal to you now, but there used to be a day where only insecure and/or dumb women would read magazines that turned them into insecure narcissists. But either some evil woman or brilliant marketer (or both)decided, “If our dummies cannot better themselves through harsh magazines whose only goal is to make women feel insecure and create a co-dependency with our magazine, then we will bring men down to that level.” And so it began.
Then They Came for Our Colognes
In the last several years, manscaping, spanks for men, body washes, and an assortment of other things have made men the new insecure chicks. Apparently we are no longer the confident, stable ones in the world (it’s been a solid 50,000 year run). We lack just as much confidence as any other subscriber to Cosmo. And the only thing mroe dangerous to a culture than insecure women is insecure men (we are even better at that). For God’s sake Lena Dunham is now our culture’s benchmark for confidence! I cannot even find a cologne that smells manly anymore. I used to use a cologne called Polo Crest. It had a scent that evoked wealth and oak-paneled steak houses and women loved it. Because it smelled like a man’s cologne. I went to a department store recently to find a new scent, since Polo Crest has been discontinued, and every thing I smelled felt like I was 19 years old trying to get bottle service at a club that I was not allowed into. I am not sure how exactly to describe the different scents I smelled, but they mostly just smelled fruity and sporty and immature (I feel like a sommelier right now – “This cologne is full bodied, but I’m picking up a hint of sexual assault”). Admittedly I did not try every cologne in the store, but after spritzing several samples on my wrist I started to smell like a bouquet of douche bag.
And Then They Came for Our Sports
So once we allowed the Cosmo mentality to be combined with 19 year old douchebag taste there was no stopping the runaway train. Eyebrows, chest hair, pubes – none were safe from it. Every rapper who previously rapped about shoot outs and gang bangs were now doing hooks for female teen pop stars. But then the Cosmo-Douche movement got sports in its cross hairs and nothing less than the battle for the soul of the American man began. And the American Man is losing. Badly.
Now some women studies major or other person looking to flex their tolerance credentials may tell me that I have a somewhat primitive view of masculinity. But whether its opening a jar of peanut butter, a door, a wallet at a restaurant or a can of whoop ass to a disrespectful dude (or mouthy woman) most women and bottoms would agree that having a man take the lead on some or all of those things is still one of the attractive components to men. And that is why I think we need to save sports from the Cosmo-Douche movement.
The great thing about sports (I refer to men’s sports as “sports” and women’s sports as “what the?”) is that it is still an area where the primal nature of men is allowed. Brains, braun, camaraderie and competition. All four of these things are involved in most sports and that is why people, and especially men, love them. And that is why I always get annoyed when I see new Deadspin articles floating around on my Facebook or Twitter feed.
I think it was a few years ago when I first saw a Deadspin article on my Facebook feed. I cannot remember which athlete’s penis it was discussing – perhaps Greg Oden’s or Brett Favre’s, but the bottom line was that Deadspin obviously observed a culture of sex tapes, Snoop Dogg rapping with Katy Perry and athletes wearing rimless glasses at post game conferences and thought “This is the time to finally make the Cosmo-Douche movement into the Cosmo-Douche-Sports alliance!”
Currently on Deadspin are articles about Lance Armstrong being “an asshole,” Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend (I understand the journalistic merit here) and comments Lena Dunham made about her weight. This is the site that called itself “the go-to source for athlete dong.” Maybe I am an old fashioned heterosexual man, but if I want sports news I go to ESPN and if I want to be aroused I can watch porn (preferably with women involved) or hire an au pair, but I have never had the desire to look at athlete penis or find out what Lena Dunham has to say about her body (sidenote – why in a culture obsessed with getting kid’s healthy and stopping an obesity crisis are we praising Lena Dunham for making us all look at her manatee-like frame?). But obviously Deadspin is very successful, which means that the Cosmo-Douche movement has basically won. Either we have crafted a culture of repressed gay guys who just want a snarky site full of athlete cock shots and updates on Girls or the culture now operates from the mindset of a sad reader of Cosmo as its baseline mentality. But the reality is that men were simultaneously nudged and willingly jumped to this. It is easier to indulge in the dumb and the salacious then in the real value of things. But we are all dumb chicks now – smart women, smart men, dumb men – we all lost to the underdog with the under 90 IQ. So let us repeat our new Cosmo-Douche mantra America: We all suck, we all need constant improvement and we are all looking ways to please our man or look at dick pics, so buy this magazine we are selling you nation of clueless losers. But just don’t bully anyone because that is bad.