There is a new viral video about income inequality in the United States that is making its rounds on my Facebook feed. I figured I would save myself the embarrassment of arguing on my friends' timelines and share my thoughts here. The video takes time to show visually how unequal the distribution of wealth is. Aside from the glaring mistake of interchanging the terms income and wealth, my main issue with the video is that there is no actionable point to the video. To be quite honest, I was not very surprised by the facts presented. However, I will not fault the creators if the purpose is to create awareness of a problem. My only fault would be the underlying assumption that a distribution that is closer to what American's consider "fair" is desirable, and can be achieved through a more socialist society. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but that is my takeaway.
In my eyes, the solution to the distribution problem is less government intervention and regulation. Entire books have been written about this topic, but I will choose one current issue that shows my point. Often in politics, policy is introduced to help the lower income earners, most recently with the national increase in minimum wage. Minimum wage is a law that helps those with the money and hurts those without. Think about large corporations that rely heavily on minimum wage labor (McDonalds, WalMart, etc.). When an increase in minimum wage is passed, they are relatively unaffected by this, because they have deep pockets and can afford the minimal increase in payroll. Where they ARE affected is by losing competitors. Small business owners are operating at such small margins, that they cannot afford to pay for labor at such high rates. Those considering starting a business will be deterred if they cannot afford the rate. This crushes the competition, cuts jobs and hurts lower income individuals while benefiting the large corporations. This is just one example, but there are many regulations like this, which are perfect examples of why large corporations spend millions lobbying for more laws and regulations.
To address the issue of income distribution being far from the American ideal presented in the video, I will introduce the idea of income mobility. Often political arguments around the distribution issue fail to recognize this concept, which I believe is integral in understanding income distribution in America. It is fine and dandy to compare the rich, poor and middle class but it seems like the American ideal is whether you can improve your family's life. If capitalism presents the greatest opportunities for people to move within these income "classes", then I think that is the most important argument against a more socialist society. Here
is a video that I think explains it very well. I understand it is produced by a libertarian organization, so the data may be taken with a grain of salt, but I just want to introduce the concept as part of your analysis of the video and current political rhetoric.
All things considered, infographics and videos are cool, but often emotionally charged and always need to be evaluated more closely.
Welcome to a new segment, called WYR, aka Would You Rather. Feel free to weigh in below or even suggest new WYR questions to ponder. Today's is Halloween-themed and brought to you by my good friend Derek Lemmon (@Dlemma87
):Would you rather win a free house or dress in a pumpkin costume for a week?
The choice is up to you
By: Nathan Eyre
Every now and again, a quote comes along that is so life changing you will forget the first time that you saw Fight Club. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will seem like watching Baby Einstein. Despite the fact that Disney finally admitted
to the fact that sitting your developing baby in front of a TV screen for hours is not good parenting, Baby Einstein still probably did not change your life. In fact, chances are, unless you are a Young Women’s teacher in the Mormon Church or a Cross Country runner, a quote has never come close to changing your life. The most my brain can muster when I see quotes passed on whichever social media I happen to be favoring at the moment is: “your friends are boring.” I respond with the witty, “I don’t follow any of my friends, only quasi-popular celebrities that are still small enough that they will respond to my tweets!” Aaaannndd that is when my brain gives up trying for the night and I end up writing an ode to the best quote I have ever heard in my entire life. So, if there are any people that actually enjoyed this, then I can finally tell my brain to suck it! I can do fine all by myself! In fact this brings us to what the quote is. It is all about being comfortable in your own skin.
“Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.” –Joss Whedon
So, if you suck, change. If not, don’t!
Chances are, if you pop your collar, you suck
Photo courtesy of mrebert
By: Nathan Eyre
***Editor’s note: Some lyrics have been edited to comply with the family friendly nature of this site.***4. Say Yeah by Wiz KhalifaI'm fired up, doing my same dance
They call it, Pocahontas
Doing that rain dance
There once was a time that Wiz Khalifa was something of a one hit wonder. A few years and a record label switch later, you can’t turn on the radio without hearing a song about rolling papers or however it is that people prepare marijuana to be smoked. His hit back in the day was “Say Yeah”, a techno-hip-hop beat that was fresh.
The best part about this song is at 1:26
where he says he is doing a dance that everyone calls the Pocahontas because it looks like a rain dance. Close your eyes and imagine what someone doing a rain dance would look like. Now imagine Wiz Khalifa just smashed doing this exact same dance. This image probably ranges from slight giggle to hilarious, depending on how racist you are. Either way, this line brings a smile to my face when I hear it.3. Erase Me by Kid Cudi (ft. Kanye West) The height of her shopping was writer's blocking me
I couldn't get my *poop* out anyway, I hope you die Aria!
In Kanye’s verse on this song, he is explaining some sort of pseudo relationship he had with a lady named Aria. Somehow I feel like this relationship never happened and that her name is made up, especially since he used it as a potty-infused pun to end his verse. Yeah, that is correct; when he says “die Aria” it is a play on words to sound like diarrhea. Yum!
Because explaining what hip-hop lyrics mean is so fun, this is what is happening: In their relationship she would go shopping, but at the period in time where she was shopping the most, it gave him writer’s block for his rap songs. Using poop as a rap metaphor, he was having a hard time getting raps out of his system, until he got rid of his girl Aria. Diarrhea, which rhymes with ‘die Aria’, is the opposite of not being able to poop.
Ew Kanye, not in the studio!
2. All I do is Win by DJ Khaled (ft. Ludacris, Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg)Clean as a whistle as I pull out in my Rolls Royce
Yellow bone passenger, they see it they say "oh boy"
Couldn’t have a good laugh at the rap industry without including Rick Ross. There is literally no other rapper that I dislike more. Either way, take a second to ponder the lyrical genius that decided to rhyme Rolls Royce with “oh boy”. Don’t put too much effort into your rhymes, buddy, you might hurt yourself! This kind of talent is rewarded with a pool and chain with your face on it.1. Forgot About Dre (ft. Eminem)
Starting today and tomorrow's the new
And I'm still loco enough to choke you to death with a Charleston Chew
Eminem, we all appreciate your creativity, especially when it comes to fake murder, but in all actuality this one was a big miss. When is the last time you ate a Charleston Chew, Em? Do you realize how many stores actually carry this item? I am guessing probably close to none many. To start out your night, you are going to have to spend some time finding a store that actually has Charleston Chews, then you are going to have to spend another half hour or so finding me to choke with it.
Next is where it gets sticky (ZING!). Since this candy bar is about 8 inches long
, and my knuckles look to be at LEAST 3 inches wide, so two hands gripping this candy bar is going to give you about 2 inches of choking room, which is roughly not the same size as a human neck. Even if this were to work, once he pulls on it, all it will do is stretch out and we will all have a good laugh at the expense of Marshall Mathers.
He should have said that he was loco enough to let this girl in your house!
By: Nathan Eyre
Inside of every well-dressed man lies a 19-year old itching to show his swag to the world. Swagger is exhibited in many forms, but the most common way to look fresh is by what kind of cap you are wearing. As a grown man you might not be wearing fitteds to the office or to happy-hour, but next time you hit the ball park or pull out the grill, I’ve got the most money item for you: a cap with a leather strap.
For some reason, I remember these hats as being a part of my childhood. Just like snapbacks, they went out of style quick in the early 2000’s, but now they are back. You probably won’t see high profile emcees like Mac Miller or Lupe Fiasco rocking this type of hat, which is why you need one. This is a statement, and, as with anything leather you buy, that statement is, “I am a boss.” Check out this photo
of Sir Michael Rocks from the Cool Kids. I don’t want to infringe on any copyrights so sorry I didn’t just post the photo here, but click that link! He just looks like he knows what’s up.
It may be difficult to find one of these gems, especially if you are looking for one to represent one of your favorite sports teams, but if you are anything like me you will just go with this seller
who is selling this awesome terrier leather strap cap:
By: Nathan Eyre
Seattle has had three straight days of sun AND above 70 degrees, which can only mean one thing: the Summer Train has officially arrived. Nevermind the fact this is its last stop and it got stuck in the rest of the country, it is here. Time to put away the flannel and wool and bring out the linen and cotton; we are trading long sleeves for short sleeves here.
Speaking of sleeves, let us talk about T-shirts for a minute. For sure they are a great casual look when going to the beach or playing a softball game, but if you want to look like a baller this summer, it is all about the polo shirt. Seriously, it is time to step your game up, men. And no, I am not talking about the pink American Eagle polos you used to wear in middle school.
Oh wait, you still wear them?
There are three issues to cover when deciding what type of polo you want: Color, fabric and whether to pop your collar or not. The latter is a given: pop it like you are Chris Bosh winning your first championship ring.
Black. That’s right, I said it. You need a black polo for this summer. The tendency is to think towards lighter colors to keep you cool for summer. However, man, if you want to dress like a man, you need to buy a black one. The lighter colors, like white, will wash you out and sure, it will accent you well if you already have a deep tan, but if you are anywhere near my pastiness, this will only bring out your whiteness.
Also, you need this polo mostly for the evening anyways. Wear it with a white pair of jeans to look nice, some crisp denim and some boots to make it casual, or if it is a little chilly out, wear a white linen sport jacket over it. The best part about this polo is that it is supposed to look dressier than one you would wear just out to hit the links. You are starting to look like a man already. Heck, on casual Friday, wear it under your suit to the office.
As far as fabric, since it is summer, it might be nice to have something that breathes easy and is lighter, like a jersey cotton, but go with the polo that looks the best on you. Sometimes it is a sacrifice to look fly. As a general rule, buy the trim fit; it will show off your body’s natural V and you will not regret it. Here are a few from the Nordstrom website that I would purchase (if I had the money):
Polo Ralph Lauren, Source: Nordstrom
Original Penguin, Source: Nordstrom
Ted Baker London, Source: Nordstrom
By: Megan Adams
Even at age twenty-six, Disneyland can be the happiest place on earth. All it requires is releasing your inner child. If you don't have one, then take some kids with you. But for me, a person who has been told she has a Peter Pan complex, letting my inner child run rampant on rides intended for youngsters has never been an issue. Yes, I go on the big kid rides too. But the topic I want to address is the dark side of humanity regularly witnessed in this magical city.
Grossly obese people gnawing on turkey legs and driving electric scooters crowd the streets of Disney, skipping to the front of Indiana Jones, leaving people who have been waiting for forty-five minutes muttering, "Having a fat butt isn't a disability." Before anyone gets too upset let me say that I
have never muttered these words, and I have no doubt that some of these people have legitimate medical conditions that make maintaining a reasonable body weight difficult, and they know who they are. To the rest of you, I make no apology, but I do want to thank you.
On my recent trip to Disneyland, I saw so many Wall-E-like characters, that I became much more aware of my own rounding face and blossoming muffin top that I gained during the winter when all I did was stay in my warm apartment and eat chocolate chip cookies with hot chocolate. So because of you, people of Disney, I have finally joined a gym, and I'm going to lose that ten pounds before it turns into three hundred and I have to invest in a scooter.
The obesity epidemic oddly fascinates me. Check out the following site
for some obesity tidbits and an animated map that shows how fat america has gotten since 1985. Then get off your computer, and go for a walk or something.
By: Nathan Eyre
When I get dressed, I ask myself the following question: If the Sartorialist saw me today, would he want to take a photo of me?
According to his website, Scott “The Sartorialist” Schuman started his blog with “the idea of creating a two-way dialogue about the world of fashion and its relationship to daily life.” His photos are an awesome inspiration when creating outfits. If he takes the time to photograph you for your outfit, it is for one of two reasons: either you are boldly sporting an outfit that pushes the mold or you have a perfectly crafted outfit made of classic pieces. This is my goal in how I present myself to the world; I want to be edgy and try to uniquely bring new styles into my fashion, or I want to show that using time-tested articles I can create a dashing outfit. Either way, I am using my clothes to express and represent myself to the world. Different tastes, opinions, political ideals, etc. are unique to me and can define me as a person, but one of the most essential characteristics that needs representation in my fashion is that I am a man. This is why I have to ask myself another question. Are you dressed like a man?
My girlfriend, Lisa, has an obsession with chambray, and over our years of knowing each other she has tried and tried to get me to purchase one. The case wasn’t that I dislike chambray, but more of the fact that I was a poor college student never really allowed me to spend money on a new chambray shirt. Last summer, I finally found an acceptable one on the Gap clearance rack. A few weeks later, we were planning on going on a date and she asked me to wear the chambray shirt with some jeans I have and a fuschia/white striped bowtie that I own, along with a pair of linen cap toe oxfords. In theory this is a great outfit. When I put on the outfit, something was off. The wash of the jeans was so close to the blue of the chambray and the cut of the jeans that it looked like I was wearing cowboy boots. I thought in my mind that, yes, the Sartorialist would probably be impressed with the boldness enough to snap a photo, but I wasn’t totally comfortable with the outfit. Either way, my girlfriend had requested the outfit, so I wore it. When I got to her place we had a good laugh about how ridiculous I looked and continued on with our date. This instance, along with a few others, helped me to create this second rule of clothing: dress like a man.
Everyone has a different way that they would describe “dressing like a man”, but I do not think dressing like a man has much to do with loose jeans and tee shirts that tell us which Beer is your favorite. Dressing like a man has to do with wearing clothes that are cut for your body type and make you look professional and your age. Maturity has a lot to do with it. The most important part of this criterion for me is being comfortable and confident with what you are wearing. While I was dressed as (what was later dubbed) “The Gay Cowboy”, I was neither comfortable nor confident in my manhood.
The whole point of this post is to introduce you to a series of writings I hope to do, where I will write more specifically about ways to better dress like a man. There are all sorts of ways to dress trendy and try to snag the attention of fashion bloggers, but I want to jot down a few pointers on how to better dress like a man, man.
By: Megan Adams
According to Hindu legend, there once was an evil king named Hiranyakashyap (pronounce that, if you can) who wanted everyone to worship only him. To King Hiranyakashyap’s utter dismay, his son Prahlad did not worship his father, but was devoted to Lord Krishna. As punishment, the king ordered his equally evil sister, Holika, who was known for walking through flames without being burned, to carry Prahlad through fire. Unfortunately for Holika, the gods rewarded Prahlad’s devotion by protecting him amidst the flames while Holika burned to a crisp.
Holi, short for Holika, is a Hindu holiday celebrating the passing of winter into spring and the triumph of good over evil. In India, one day of the celebration involves a large bonfire where locals shout insults at Holika, and children play pranks in honor of Krishna, who happened to be a little prankster himself.
The legend of Holika, as well as the Holi celebration varies between Indian regions. In Barsana, for instance, men come from the land of Krishna wearing extra padding, knowing that upon their arrival, they will receive a beating from the Barsanan women, who have armed themselves with sticks. The men are not allowed to retaliate, and some of them will be captured and made to dance around in women’s clothing. I’m not sure why the men keep going to Barsana, but, as a woman, I find the whole ordeal rather amusing. However, the Holi tradition that most concerns me today is the Festival of Colors where the Indians drench one another with colored water as Krishna once did with gopis, or cow-herding girls, for his own amusement.
Holi in Southern India is more subdued, while the holiday in the north involves singing Bollywood Holi songs, dancing, colors, and drinking thandai, a drink made of milk and various seeds and spices, laced with bhang, an intoxicating substance derived from the female cannabis plant. Now if that isn’t the recipe for a good party, I don’t know what is.
Given this description, I’m convinced celebrating Holi in India would be a one-of-a-kind experience, but in Salt Lake City, locals get a small taste of the celebration with a small-scale Festival of Colors. Naturally I couldn’t resist the festival. I paid my entrance fee, I ate my Indian food, and I bought my Indian bag to replace my nasty yellow hobo, stained from airport restroom water it soaked up when I leaned against the counter to wash my hands while flying either to or from San Francisco; I can’t remember which. Ironically, I had purchased a new leather purse that trip, but I foolishly took my hand off it while riding the BART, and I walked right off the train without my brand new purse, still in its H&M bag with its freshly printed receipt. I was sad for two days.
But we were talking about the Festival of Colors.
I can think of few instances in which it is socially acceptable to throw crap in a complete stranger’s face or smear something in that stranger’s hair or clothing, but the Festival of Colors is one of those glorious times. Before the countdown to the throwing of colors even begins, people will toss vibrant powders in the air, on people’s clothes, and in the faces of the random people surrounding them, and the victims cheer gleefully, their sole desire to become more colorful than their neighbor. A band plays rock and roll and sings over and over again the words Prahlad chanted while Holika carried him into the flames:
Hare Krishna; hare Krishna/
Krishna, Krishna; hare, hare/
Hare Rama; hare Rama/
Rama, Rama; hare, hare!
Then the band counts down from ten, and the intense color flinging begins. I aimed most of my color at my friend, but I threw color into the air and at strangers, and I rubbed blue powder into this guy’s hair who kept throwing color at me, hoping I would retaliate, so, of course, I obliged. I inhaled powder, I swallowed powder, I cried the powder from my bloodshot eyes, and then I cheered and begged for more. I sang “Hare Krishna!” with the band, and I danced and shouted and let hippies smear yellow dust in my hair – all this without the aid of thandai and bhang.
Afterwards my friend and I grabbed a pizza from Papa Murphy’s, where our colorful faces were the envy of all those who had missed the festival. We ate our pizza and watched a movie back at my apartment, reluctant to wash away the colors, leaving powder all over my leather couch. When I finally did shower that night, I watched the colors mix into a dark green pool at my feet and travel in a little stream to the drain. I couldn’t get all of the color off my left hand, which retained faint purple blotches for the next couple of days, a fact which made me glad.
By: Nathan Eyre
My financial advisor, MySpace, called me up this week to tell me that there is a company that I should not be investing in: Facebook. There was a time when I had an account on both platforms, and the newer company won out. FB is on its way out, with Twitter on its heels. By now, you probably have a twitter account and follow the regular funny/cool accounts that most people follow (Shaq, Conan, HumbleBrag). However, there are other people on Twitter that you need to be following. Your life will be greatly enhanced if you can follow the suggested people on Twitter (don’t actually follow them, that is called stalking #outdatedtwitterjoke ). 10. @ItsBrube Who is he?
Brube is an older gentleman with a penchant for appearing in Trale Lewous’ Skittles videos (seen at the end of this video
, amongst others). I have no idea how Nathan Barnatt found this guy, but his presence always enhances Trale’s performance. Why should I follow him?
At first, I was under the impression that Barnatt actually controlled this account, but I am convinced that it really is Brube in all of his hilarity. His mundane lifeless tweets lack grammar (intentional?), and that always brightens my day. Top tweets:
How does this next set of tweets tickle your funny bone?
Cons: No real drawbacks to following Brube, as he does not update regularly, unless you are a grammar Nazi with an imperceptible sense of humor.
Who is he? Wiz Khalifa is a hip-hop performer from the Pittsburg, PA area. Jump starting his career with a set of fly mixtapes, he has now taken over the limelight in the hip-hop industry. With a penchant(okay, I know I am using that word twice, but just know that I was using the word “pendant” here before I proofread this) for smoking marijuana, which makes him relatable to all teens, pre-teens, and post-teens in the country.
Why should I follow him? If you are entertained by constant stream of Instagram photos of weed and those that smoke it, look no further. There really should be no reason why I love seeing his tweets so much, but I think that it has something to do with the fact that I have never touched marijuana in my life. Enough psychoanalysis, I just love his tweets.
Wiz is very proud of his skills. Typical cocky rapper.
Three days later, showing off again.
Apparently no one believed him, because he DEFINITELY proved his point with that last photo. Also, had to put in the following tweet because you know he’s a baller when he gives his fiancée a rock like THIS:
He is known to tweet a lot when he is high, so your feed will be full of indecipherable tweets every other night. Unless you are awake at 3am every night, it should not be a problem. I Also Love How Every Word He Tweets Is Capitalized. 8. @iamstevienelson Who is she?
Hilarious actress and co-creator of the hilarious YouTube duo, Live Prude Girls
, who have the funniest set of videos to hit YouTube since “Is my roommate gay?”
. Why should I follow her?
She is the queen of hashtags. It is that simple. Without the hashtags, she is just a regular tweeter that I might suggest following, but probably would not make any top 10 list. Think Blake Griffin; he’s a great player, and you for sure would want him on your team, but he is nothing too special until you add his ferocious dunking ability. Blake owns the rim, Stevie owns the hashtag. Top tweets:
See, she always adds some kind of slick remark cutting down either herself or the person about whom she is tweeting. Isn’t that what life is all about anyway: making fun of everything, no matter what?
Cons: Just be careful with your ego. When I started following her, she followed me back, which made me feel great about myself. Yet, some weeks later, she had stopped following me. So be careful, she is very picky #wasireallynotthatfunny #yesyesiwas.
Who is he? Every once in a while, you come across someone whose aura so boldly states, “I am a man” that you actually gain a few chest hairs from shaking their hand. Hopefully it is a guy you have met, and hopefully you are a guy as well, otherwise you have some plucking to do. At any rate, I had the pleasant experience to work as an intern for the Bill of Rights Institute, where the President, Tony Woodlief, was such a man.
Why should I follow him? This man has a bold, libertarian, educated sense of humor. Every tweet makes me feel like we are sharing a laugh in an airport lounge over a glass of scotch, en route to a conference where Tony is the keynote speaker. I am not sure if he actually does much speaking, but this is how I imagine myself when reading these tweets. At any rate, follow him: he is funny.
‘Nuff said. Cons:
If you tend to take yourself too seriously, politically, you may be a little upset by some of his limited government views. If you are such a person, maybe you should work to pass legislation that would censor such twitter accounts. Actually, don’t, it was a derisive joke. 6. @nickrutherford Who is he?
Another YouTube sensation, you may recognize him from a short cameo
on NBC’s The Office, or if you are more internet savvy, you will recognize his work with Southern California sketch group Good Neighbor
, or his most recent work Theater of Life
. Why should I follow him?
Just a freakin witty guy. If you are one that typically enjoys joyous bouts of firm laughter (think Hagrid-style), then you should follow him. Top tweets:
Or, check out this next one, it makes me laugh EVERY SINGLE TIME:
Cons: A little bit of a potty mouth and some potty humor. Especially if you describe “potty” as “sexual jokes/innuendos”.
Turns out that it takes quite a bit of time to write articles. Especially when you have to go digging for old hilarious tweets. Anyway, this is the first in a two-part series, so check back later in the month to find out who the best people to follow on Twitter are!