Review: the Manliest Shirt in the Manosphere

tshirt

Review: T-Shirts for Legends(TM) T-shirt for Men born in December

Description: Black-T-shirt with the image of a silhouetted figure of a bat-winged humanoid with the following text overlaying: THE DEVIL WHISPERED IN MY EAR, “YOU’RE NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO WITHSTAND THE STORM.” TODAY I WHISPERED IN THE DEVIL’S EAR, “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE A MAN WHO WAS BORN IN DECEMBER. I AM THE STORM.”

As a man who was born in July and a man who is not a legend, I am not the targeted demographic for this particular t-shirt. Despite this, I still feel that I would be reticent to buy such a shirt, even if it were to insert my birth month into its wall of text.

“But why?” you may ask as you admire the sheer artistry this t-shirt company displays in overlaying such poetic text over someone else’s unattributed artwork. Indeed, it is difficult to resist such a t-shirt, particularly when it is being modelled by a man who appears to have just bench-pressed a small car.

Am I masculine enough to wear the same t-shirt as this walking personification of testosterone? I ask myself. I, who struggle to lift a basket of laundry?

These are difficult questions to answer, particularly when I get the sense that the model advertising this shirt will, at any moment, turn around and angrily accost me for not voting for Trump or for being a Muslim Mexican or for (trying to) carry laundry when it’s a woman’s job. Worse, mentioning that I am Canadian would only serve to increase his rage. Placating him might involve saying nice things about his tattoos, and I am not sure I could lie convincingly about that tribal tattoo on his right arm.

I should be fair and not judge a man by how he appears. He might actually be a very nice man. Although, he is wearing a shirt that declares that he just whispered his birth month into the devil’s ear earlier this morning. They say you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep, and I am not certain that I want to hang around a fellow that fraternizes so regularly with the devil that they are regularly whispering in one another’s ears like schoolchildren playing that telephone game.

Another potential hiccup with this t-shirt is the fact that it appears to be designed for men who take up two seats on the bus rather than the standard one seat. I am a rather slim man, and most definitely take up one seat on the bus. If I were to wear a shirt designed for a two-seater man, I would end up looking as though I were wearing a nightgown or the black sailcloth of a small schooner. I have not bothered to research whether the t-shirt comes in smaller sizes because I found it difficult to summon the requisite curiosity.

One great thing about black t-shirts is that, unlike white t-shirts, the consequences of spilling ketchup or barbecue sauce or chicken grease are far less noticeable. A word of caution to potential buyers, though, as black t-shirts do attract intense sunlight and make even the slightest case of dandruff very noticeable. These problems can be solved by not wearing the t-shirt on a sunny day and by using Head and Shoulders shampoo respectively.

Despite having the awesome power of the internet at my fingertips, I cannot be bothered to research whether this particular shirt is cotton. My assumption is that it is indeed cotton, perhaps mixed with some poly-whatsit-fabric and such and such. My guess is that this shirt is fairly comfortable. Judging by the model, who has not broken out into hives and is not itching himself obsessively at the moment of this snapshot, the shirt will not cause undo discomfort. It should be pointed out, however, that this model would probably look just as comfortable in a chicken-wire and steel wool blended fabric.

The designer of this t-shirt, clearly knows their way around a google image search and likely has some decent photoshop abilities. Readily noticeable in the text is the shockingly correct usage of “You’re.” Perhaps the designer had feedback after the original design’s launch, guessed the usage correctly, or heeded the advice of the grammar check on their word processing software.

Some questions remain:  Did the unattributed artist* who drew the bat-like man give his permission for the image to be used by T-Shirts for Legends ™? Does the devil put a lot of stock in birth months? Should those born in December really be giving the devil free advice on how to approach people born in that particular month? Where is the model’s neck? How much time elapsed between when the devil first whispered in the man’s ear and when he finally got back to the devil? Because you definitely lose points for taking so long to come up with comeback a day after the fact.

Conclusion: I will both recommend and discourage the purchase of this shirt. Reluctantly, I cannot recommend this shirt for my friends. First of all, none of you are “Legends” and the name of this company clearly delineates that their t-shirts are designed only for “Legends.” If you are a friend of mine and you still decide to wear this shirt, despite not being a legend, I would only ask that you do not wear it when I am around because I will look even less manly than usual beside you. If you are not a friend of mine and you decide to wear this shirt, you might lose the potential to become my friend because of how intimidated I will be by you. So, if you want to avoid having me as a friend, I highly recommend this shirt.

*the artist who created the image is named Ian Hinley. He was not attributed or paid by T-Shirts for Legends(TM), because, apparently, the legends who work there are also assholes.

 

 

Book Review: The War in 2020

The War in 2020

by Ralph Peters

3 stars out of 5

This book is horrible. It has it all: a flimsy plot, racist stereotypes, hackneyed dialogue, flag-waving jingoism, gaping plot holes, and flat characterization. I’m forgetting something. Oh yeah, dumbassery. There is a whole lot of dumbassery in this book.

I know what you’re doing right now. You are looking from this review to the number of stars I gave the book and back again.

“How in tarnation can he give this pap a three star rating if it’s such a terrible book?” you’re saying as you stroke your chin.

If you’re not stroking your chin at this point, it would be a good time to start.

Anyway, to answer the question, I can give this pap a three star rating because for some stupid reason I enjoyed it. There, I said it. I enjoyed this racist chest-thumping nationalistic excuse for a book.

Other bad things that I enjoy:

– Pizza pockets (generic brand).

– Steven Seagal movies. Really? Yes. Really.

– Chad Kroeger’s beard.

– The music of Maxi Priest.

– Microwaved hot dogs.

– Reading youtube comments despite the oft-heard and wise advice to avoid them.

– Cheetos.

– King of Queens.

– The music of Kenny Rogers.

– Chick flicks.

– Reading craigslist’s missed connections.

– Roast pheasant . . . oh wait, how’d that get on the list? *laughs snootily*

Ralph Peters has some admirable skills as a writer, a flare for engaging drama, and some rather interesting ideas about how the future circa 1991 would unfold. It is worth the read just for the joy of seeing just how bizarre and beautiful his speculation was.

Anyway, this book sucks and I like it.

Book Review: Invisible Armies

Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present

by Max Boot

I was excited to read this book, the praise it had garnered and the subject matter it deals with are enough to increase the heart rate of any popular history enthusiast.

Alas, it did not take long for Mr. Max Boot to disappoint. *aside* – even the author’s name is cool: Max Boot – I had such high hopes! *aside complete* Max Boot gives a cursory examination of each period in history and deals with each area with such superficial care that I was left knitting my brows at the end of each chapter, surprised that I had reached the end of a chapter when nothing substantial had really been said. Moreover, I am by no means an historian, so the idea that I was able to discover embarrassing errors in his book is shameful. For example, in his chapter on highland warfare, Boot claims that kilts were useful for Medieval Scottish warriors who engaged in guerilla warfare. This is quite the claim, since kilts were not invented at that time. I checked his source, and it was a book about Rob Roy (you know, the late 17th early 18th century outlaw). Terrible. It seems like Mr. Boot was inspired more by the notoriously inaccurate depiction of Scots in Braveheart than by anything resembling good scholarship. His chapter on the tribes of the steppes was abysmal. Again he applied specifics of one time period to the entirety. Not only that, but he talks about the slave-soldiers employed in the Middle East as something entirely separate from the Mamluks, whose origins he is clearly unfamiliar with (hint: they were slave-soldiers). How much else has Boot gotten wrong? I would be curious to see the results of a thorough fact-check, although I would not wish that unenviable task on my worst enemy (who also somehow turned out to be a fact-checker? Weird, I know).

When it comes to modern history, Max Boot’s ideological leanings become readily apparent. He is a conservative, a shill for the US Military, and a man who is decidedly uncritical of American interventionism and imperialism. I would have had no problem reading history from this perspective if Mr. Boot offered any kind of nuanced view that offered more when it came to explanations of resistance. Unfortunately, the author is not equipped to do this. It seems to me that Mr. Boot reads his sources as lists of facts that it is his job to draw conclusions from, whereas proper historiography would recognize that the “facts”themselves can biased or constructed badly. How did this man obtain two history degrees? Why on earth is he considered an expert on anything? I realize it would be way too much to ask that the author work with a definition of terrorism that includes state terror, so I won’t even go there.

Awful.

If forced to say something positive about the book, I will concede that Max Boot is just about the coolest name this side of the Atlantic. Max Boot. The name sounds like the protagonist in some pulp fiction novel about a hard-boiled detective. Unfortunately, Max Boot is not the author of his name, just the author of this amateurish work. So props to Max Boot’s parents and none to Max Boot himself.

On Woodpiles and Ethnic Slurs

So, one thing that people often do when they are introducing themselves to an audience is they engage in a little bit of self-deprecation. This endears them to the audience and is a sort of pre-emptive strike against potential naysayers. It’s sort of a, hey, I am aware that I might have a gigantic skinny-ass head and I know that I am balding and that maybe my face is slightly less than symmetrical, but I’m okay with that. In fact, I am going to point it out to you in such a way that it is humorous and, as a bonus, makes me look humble and relatable.

But I’m not going to do that shit, because I’m a ruggedly handsome Greek god with luxurious hair.

That’s not true. I’m not actually Greek.

I suppose I have the benefit of not really being seen by anyone read this, unless they click on my tiny little avatar and deduce from it that I am a balding man with a skinny head. But, hey, I know what I look like and I still have a beautiful girlfriend.

But there was a time, there was a time that my head was not dominated so much by my scalp. As my friend would say, I used to have a forehead rather than a fivehead. I had thick dark brown hair. I was voted “best hair” in my entire school in grade twelve. That’s a true fact.

I had thick brown curly hair that grew in lovely ringlets. I was proud of my hair and often made fun of my father for his lack of hair. Karma, thine name is premature baldness.

When I used to cut grass as a summer job, my boss and I would stop twice a week at an old gas station near Hamilton’s mountain brow that had a crusty old man as its proprietor. One time, this crotchety old fart took one look at me and asked, “what happened to you, was it an African-American gentleman in a woodpile?”

Now, believe it or not, this white senior citizen who grew up in the 1930s in rural Ontario did not actually use the term “African-American gentleman.” He used another term entirely. It’s a actually fairly controversial word, this one.

I had two reactions to this. First, my young impressionable ears were filled with shock at having the n-word used so freely. Second, I was completely at a loss as to what this particular idiom meant. And so I asked him, “sir, what is the meaning of this particular idiom?”

Actually, I just looked at him blankly like he was a crazy person speaking crazy-gibberish-talk. Like, maybe I had misheard him and he had said, “what happened to you, was it a bigger good mile?” Which, of course, makes about just as much sense as the other thing. Idioms are weird like that. I mean, without some linguistic or cultural context it is difficult to understand what an idiom like “hit the sack” or “bury the hatchet” might mean.

Try to empty your mind for a moment. You’ve just come here. You’ve just learned the basics of the language and then someone tells you that they’re going to hit the sack. What do they mean? Does it mean they’re going to work out? Eat some bread? Beat up their elderly neighbour? Each of those explanations individually make more sense than “go to sleep.”

So, here I am, with this relic of the 1930s who is just looking at me smugly like he just asked some deep philosophical question. “What happened to you, an n-word in a woodpile?”

Having it repeated a second time definitely did not help me out. I stayed confused, blinking a bit than usual as I am wont to do when I am at a loss for words.

He didn’t repeat it a third time, he just explained what he meant. According to this old man, this vestige of unapologetic Canadian racism, itinerant blacks used to travel around the countryside chopping wood for people for money. So, basically, he was calling into question whether my father was indeed my father and, in fact, whether my father was a black man who had impregnated my mother in the woodpile at the back of my grandparent’s rural home.

He further explained that where he grew up, when a girl got pregnant it was very common to blame the black man in the woodpile. And then he laughed.

And then I was like, “but it was usually just her cousin, right?” And then I laughed.

But he didn’t laugh. He actually looked kind of offended.

*Incidentally, the Wikipedia entry on the “n-word in a woodpile” idiom is rather interesting in its listed theories on the origin of the phrase. Whatever its origin, it’s a racist-ass world we live in.

Book Review: Inside the Third Reich

Albert Speer was an actual, literal, piece of shit.

And, yes, I am aware I have abused the word “literal” here. But my point stands. Albert Speer was a literal walking piece of fecal matter.

I probably shouldn’t lead with my amateur armchair psychological evaluation, but what the heck? I’ll give it a try. Speer was a sociopath who entered into a mutually beneficial relationship with a psychopath.

Is it worse to do evil without recognizing it as evil or to do evil, recognize it at evil, and still do it? Ideologues consistently do evil, and they are shitty people for doing so. But a man who knows what is right and wrong and still does what is wrong is that much shittier.

Here he is, this master of details, this genius with numbers and memory and documentation, and somehow the murder of six million Jews escapes his notice? Speer was one of Hitler’s intimates. He met regularly with Goebbels, Himmler, and the rest of their Nazi ilk and somehow we’re supposed to believe that the pervading atmosphere of bloodthirsty Anti-Semitism escaped him? The sinking feeling that I got while reading Speer’s self-absorbed ramblings was that this book only serves as further fodder for Holocaust deniers. Speer never tires of explaining his genius for outmanoeuvring his political opponents, and yet it is the reader whom he is attempting to outmanoeuvre in this book.

Speer has a few things going for him: he is charming, cultured, intelligent, and detail-oriented. He uses his charm to dress up his lies with enough truth, enough detail, that the reader is lulled into a false sense of security. Speer is a genius here – he knew that no one would believe that he reached such a high level in the Nazi government without some dirt and blood on his hands. So, rather than claiming complete ignorance or feigning innocence, he confesses a sort of limited responsibility. He, the good Nazi, had tried to reason with Hitler, he had tried to stop abuses against the prisoners in the factories, but he had not done enough. He had circumvented Hitler’s orders to save German infrastructure and factories. He was astounded when he finally learned the extent of the abuses against the Jews, if only he had done more to educate himself. His mistake was to be willfully blind. Now he is the contrite criminal, bowing and scraping to please the reader just as fervently as he bowed and scraped for Hitler. He comes out as a sort of tragic anti-hero, the man who did too little, the Nazi with a conscience who got lost in details, the criminal with a tear in his eye. He is none of these things. The entire book is a testament to his ability to manipulate.

Speer extended the war by two to three years, if his testimony about his own role as Minister of Armaments is to believed. In extending the war, he also extended the number of murders in the death camps. What a piece of shit.

Speer knew. He had heard Hitler’s speeches. He had read the newspapers. He regularly talked with Goebbels and he worked closely with Himmler. He dined with Hitler and spent a significant amount of time with him. He clearly liked Hitler. Furthermore, despite his protestations, it is abundant from his writing that he still likes him. Speer, a man who could account for every single ball bearing, could not account for what would happen to the Jews he evicted from Berlin? He could, and he did. A personal correspondence revealed in 2004 reveals that he knew what was happening. Documentation found in 2005 by Berlin historian, Susanne Williams, shows that far from being the “good Nazi”, Speer was a driving force behind the Final Solution. The May 1943 report, with extensive notes from Speer in its margins, refers to a “Prof Speer special programme.” The intent of this programme was to expand the capabilities of Auschwitz to become a death camp.

It is clear that Speer killed the Jews twice. Once he killed them in the concentration camps with a few strokes of his pen, his indifference, and his own active participation. Then the arrogant Speer killed them again by denying what he had done in a cowardly attempt to save his own life and legacy. These lies he told only serve as fodder for other Germans to claim ignorance. After all, if Hitler’s second didn’t know, then how could the average citizen? These lies also serve those who would seek to exculpate Nazism from its crimes, the Holocaust deniers.

Martin Kitchen put it very well in his biography of Speer:

It was [Speer] who evicted and expropriated the Jews of Berlin—an audacious crime that had no basis in law and which made thousands of Jewish families homeless—and he who engineered their deportation—of which he later disclaimed all knowledge. It was he who, working closely with [Heinrich] Himmler’s SS, played a key role in the creation of the Nazi concentration-camp system, initially to provide stone for his building projects, later to make arms. The building of crematoria at Auschwitz was “Professor Speer’s special program.” Not only did Speer know what lay in store for the Jews in the camps: he was one of the key individuals who made the genocide possible.

His own anti-Semitic outbursts may have been less crude than [those of] other leading Nazis, but his empire employed millions of slave laborers, thousands of whom were deliberately worked to death. Speer lied about almost every aspect of his role in the Third Reich. But the biggest lie was that he had tried to prevent its worst excesses. Speer had been closer to Hitler, and had more opportunities to stop him, than anybody else. He never even tried.

So what kind of rating do you give a book that has fed the propagation of such a big lie, the idea that so many Germans readily latched onto, that they had no idea what was going on?

I give it 4 stars for readability and interest.

I give it 3 stars as a book of historical importance, with the caveat that any reader should triple check anything that Speer claims.

And I give it 1 star because Speer was a shithead who loved Hitler and murdered Jews. The 1 star wins here, because historical truth and ethics and all that.

10 Reasons that Millennials are the Worst Generation of all the Generations that Have Ever Existed Since the Dawn of Life

How about those Millenials with their techno-screens, basement apartments, and participation medals? Here are ten reasons that Millennials are the worst generation of all the generations that have existed since the dawn of life.

  1. Millennials are the most selfish generation of all time because they take selfies. If you look closely, the word self is right there at the beginning of the word selfie. In fact, if you were especially clever you would realize that all you have to do is take the E off the end of the word selfie add the letters S and H (as in “sh, you entitled millennial, you are not allowed to speak”) and you get the word “selfish.” Coincidence? I think not. If you look up the etymology of the word selfie, you will find that there is not a whole lot of information that you didn’t already know about it beyond the fact that it came into parlance sometime between 2002 to 2005. Why does the word selfie suck so much? Because it is a made-up word and made-up words are bad. Language should be static or at least glacially dynamic so that shit words like selfie do not get adopted. Furthermore, back in the day, if you wanted a picture of yourself you had to spend hours and hours gazing at the mirror and getting the proper proportions while you penciled in the lines. Then you had to mix your pigments just right as you gazed even more deeply into the mirror. Then, of course, you had to paint the whole thing. What do millennials even know about that painstaking process? They just lift up their techno-phones and clickety click them and then post the results on their snapograms.
  2. Millennials are terrible because they received plastic participation medals. A day does not go by without some entitled millennial posting up a picture of themselves brandishing a plastic medal they received for participating in a track and field day back in the nineties. Unfortunately, due to the sugary cereals they consumed as children, millennials cannot differentiate between plastic medals that say “participant” and metal medals that say “1st” Millennials think they are winners by virtue of the fact that they received cheap medals and ribbons that acknowledged that they were present at an event and took part in it. They are oblivious to the idea that when they raced or competed in sports, there were other millennials who were faster and/or better than them. Basically, participation prizes create individuals who cannot calculate ordinal numbers. Try this sometime: go up to a millennial and ask them what they did first that day. They will squirm and frown and look utterly confused because they have absolutely no conception of what first, second, and third are. Why? Participation prizes.
  3. Millennials have too much self-esteem because their parents and teachers all told them they were special. Coddling children by telling them that they have value and deserve to be treated fairly is the worst thing you can do for them. It does not prepare them for the realities of the workplace, where they find out that they do not deserve to be treated fairly and that they have very little value. Parents and teachers really should have taken a page out of the play-books of your average Dickensian villain by telling the children that they are worthless and that no one will ever love them because they are just dirty gutter urchins. This way, when millennials do arrive in a workplace and are given an actual wage instead of a bowl of gruel, they will have the tears of gratitude in their eyes that being paid an actual wage warrants. In the immortal words of Mr. Bumble from Oliver Twist: “What have paupers to do with soul or spirit either? It’s quite enough that we let ‘em have bodies.”
  4. Millennials are entitled brats. Millennials are constantly whining and moaning about “making fair wages,” “the high cost of living,” “inflated housing markets,” and “being treated decently in the workplace.” You never saw previous generations demonstrating for these sorts of things. If you examine history closely, you will see that corporations and business owners (peace be upon them) have always acted in the best interests of their employees without any other motivation than the sheer goodness of their big capitalist hearts. Where do Millennials get off wanting to have jobs and homes like their parents had? Previous generations were happy just to have LSD trips or start large-scale land wars. Not Millennials. They want all the opportunities and low cost of living that their parents and grandparents had without the requisite privilege. That’s too bad, because the previous generations earned those things by being born into it. It was sort of a birthright they were entitled to. Millennials, on the other hand, have no birthright beyond mockery for being snowflakes.
  5. Millennials are responsible for terrible music. While previous generations are responsible for rock gods such as David Cassidy and Milli Vanilli, Millennials have only ever produced aural dissonance. Where is this generation’s equivalent to disco? When will they produce their Herman’s Hermits or their Baycity Rollers? Half past never, that’s when.
  6. Millennials are horrible people because of technology. With all their bloggerating, snapgramming, instachatting, and faceskypering, Millennials have no idea what it means to talk with another human being using their mouth-gums to reach the other person’s ear-parts while their face-peepers are looking straight at one another. If you do try to speak to a Millennial directly in their face-parts, they will mumble something about personal space and then wander off to make a tweeter post about you. Prior to the invention of the internet, all communication was carried out in a face to face manner with conversational topics only ever ranging from the meaning of life and treasured memories. Prior to the advent of the internet, which only millennials use, telephones, the radio, and television were all seen as benign influencers that would have no ill effects whatsoever.
  7. Millennials are the worst because they use strange text speak. From LOL (Loser Old Ladies) to LMAO (Lets Make Adults Obey) to BRB (Be Rebellious Boys) and BTW (Bad Teen Way), Millennials use initialism to try to get their unscrupulous meanings past other generations. Furthermore, the continued degradation of the English language is under assault by the millennial tendency to use shortforms, to make up words, and to not write things in the manner in which an academic essay is written. So, for example, rather than saying “Thou art beautiful, I will tarry here until that glorious day upon which I will see thee again” a Millennial will type “U r a QT. CU l8er.”
  8. Millennials are oversensitive little snowflakes. Boo hoo hoo, something homophobic, sexist, or racist was said. It’s not like homophobia, sexism, or racism are real problems in our world today. No other generation was ever offended by that kind of thing. If they were, they would have started social movements to oppose it. Language has no power. For example, if I am a judge and I call a woman “muffin” or “cupcake” because I believe she is an object, those words have absolutely no power over her unless she gives them power. So when I, as a judge, tell her that she was not actually assaulted or that if she were, it was because her clothes did not utilize enough fabric, she knows that I am doing it as an impartial judge who speaks his mind despite the current climate of political correctness. What is with Millennials and yapping on and on about respecting everyone? Gross.
  9. Millennials like avocado toast, or something. If only young persons would stop buying avocado toast and expensive coffee, they could afford to be millionaires. Learn how to budget, ya goons.
  10. Millennials are young. What really sticks in a lot of people’s collective craws about millennials is just how young they are. Millennials do not have nearly as much experience at life in comparison to the previous generations. They walk around with all their youthful skin and vibrant energy and full heads of hair like they are sooo young with sooo much to look forward to. Well, I have news for you, Millennials, Boomers and Generation X are working hard together to ensure that your future is nothing but one environmental crises after the other. How about that for excitement?

Eat Food and Don’t Stare Into the Sun

Not too long ago, a report surfaced of a breatharian couple who claims to be able to survive on nothing but “the cosmic energy of the universe.” Any food they do eat, they insist, is just to enjoy the taste or to simply accede to social conventions. “Oh, this bit of celery? I’m only eating it because I’m at this raging party and it’s really the thing to do in such a situation.”

A bite of carrot here, a grape there, perhaps some stock to quell that intense craving people tend to have for vegetable broth. As the woman in this couple explains: “humans can easily be without food – as long as they are connected to the energy that exists in all things and through breathing.”

Breatharians often practice sungazing as well. This is, well, this is just as it sounds: gazing into the sun purposely. The idea is that the energy of the sun will be absorbed directly through the face-peepers. You know, cutting out that pesky middleman, plant-based life. I do recall being told more than once as a child not to stare at the sun. Even as a child I was a little insulted to have to be told this – that someone considered me the kind of kid who would become partially blind before realizing that the burning light entering my retinas was perhaps unhealthy for them hurt my young feelings.

You want to sign the card for Jim?”

“Sure, what happened to Jim?”

“Oh, Jim? He went partially blind.”

“Oh man, that’s terrible, what happened?”

“Sun-gazing.”

“What?”

“He stared directly into the sun for an hour and then burnt his retinas to shit.”

“Oh . . . like, on purpose? Someone didn’t set him facing the sun with that device thingy from a Clockwork Orange as some kind of sadistic method of torture?”

“No, he was trying to absorb the sun’s energy. He deliberately stared directly into the sun.”

“Uuuh, I mean, if he’s partially blind he can’t read whether I signed the card or not, right?”

“I suppose, but . . .”

“Gotta go.”

Now, my hope is that every single person who reads this will have already independently come to the conclusion that both breatharianism and sun-gazing have reset the barometer of human stupidity to an entirely new level. This is the level of stupidity that can result in blindness or starvation but without the sympathy that these tragedies normally entail.

But how is it that we don’t hear about more breatharians and sun-gazers dying from a lack of water/food or going blind respectively? Surely, if people believed in breatharianism and were actually practicing it, they would die from a lack of nutrients. In the same way, if there were actual sun-gazers, they would be losing their burnt out retinas quicker than they could find braindead recruits to follow their foolish activity.

I believe the answer can be placed squarely on one constant of the human condition: our never-ending capacity for self-deception. If any of the practitioners of these two mad exercises sincerely believes that they only absorb nutrients through breathing in the energy of the universe or staring directly into the sun, it is only because they are lying to themselves and everyone else. In the same way an alcoholic underestimates the number of times they have had a social drink or a gambling addict underestimates how far under they are, a breatharian will not accurately estimate the number of drops of water and bits of food they’ve had and a sun-gazer will not correctly estimate how long they have gazed at the sun.