Debate: Why Are So Many Men Such Terrible Dressers?

by John McDermott

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when a man wore a crisp white shirt and neatly tailored suit to the office simply to convey that he was of a certain means and self-respect.

But, oh, how fashion standards for men have fallen since those days. Many offices now allow male employees to stroll in dressed like they’re about to hit the skate park.

Which is, in some ways, a good thing. The loosening of arbitrary social norms is almost always worthwhile. But there’s also something to be said for putting time and effort into your appearance, and the confidence and respect that come with showing your best self to the world.

So why the hell don’t more guys dress better? To solve this mystery, MEL turns to its panel of a straight woman (Tracy Moore), a straight guy (John McDermott) and a gay man (C. Brian Smith), who find that men’s aversion to fashion is rooted in homophobia and laziness.

Brian: My grandfather once told me, “No one takes a man in shorts seriously.” So I never wore them to work.

John: I like the cut of your grandfather’s jib. There are like three acceptable scenarios for a man to wear shorts: beach, working out and temperatures above 85 degrees (and even then it’s debatable).

And his comment speaks to the larger issue, which is that fashion standards for men have decreased to embarrassing levels over the past few decades, and I hate it.

Tracy: I agree the standards may have decreased, but at a time when there is more advice and guidance than ever for men making an even minimal effort.

John: Most men don’t pay attention to that, though.

I don’t date or check out men, so I’m actually curious to hear how fashionable the male populace is.

Tracy: I see dapper, well-dressed men all the time

John: But you’re a coastal elite!

Tracy: I also see guys in beefy T-shirts and cargo shorts.

Brian: I tend to overdress, likely because I’m always nervous about looking too casual. It’s a horrible look for an adult man. Like, grow up, bro.

John: I’m with you there. And yet so many guys wear the basic bro uniform (ill-fitting jeans, generic button-down or T-shirt, baseball cap, sneakers over white socks).

Brian: Let’s say you’re going to a friend’s dinner party — is there a minimum requirement for a guy?

John: No, and that’s the problem.

Tracy: Yes, men have largely been given a pass (outside of formal events) to dress however they want, with no consequences. They often dress for maximum comfort and nothing else.

John: That wasn’t always the case, though. Used to be the only time you’d see a man in a T-shirt and jeans was when he was mowing the lawn. Perhaps I’m being precious, but I feel like something has been lost.

Brian: What would be a consequence (if there was one)?

Tracy: For the most part there is none. If a guy shows up to an event underdressed, some woman might privately push him toward dressing better, or his friends who are better-dressed might mock him.

A single guy who’s out on the scene and puts zero effort into his appearance might ruin his chances with more style-conscious women. But he still might get laid.

John: Doesn’t that double standard bother you?

Tracy: It bothers me enormously that men get to look how they look, and you don’t know what a woman “really” looks like unless you’re dating her.

John: What’s the lowest level of fashionability you’ll accept in a romantic partner?

Tracy: He has to have a sense of style I don’t find hideous. Cargo shorts and a beefy T-shirt is the main offender. Also, flip-flops.

Brian: I need a guy to dress like an adult.

John: What does that even mean nowadays, though? I wore jeans, a T-shirt and hoodie to the office today (and yesterday). I’m dressed like a middle-schooler. (See my point?)

Brian: Yeah, I didn’t say anything, but I noticed.

Tracy: But the clothes actually fit you. Style isn’t about the items themselves — it’s about design, fit and fabric. You have a style that isn’t off the rack of a Costco (sorry, Brian).

Brian: Kirkland-chic?

Tracy: Anything can be pulled off if it fits you and expresses some kind of cohesive style. It’s just usually men do nothing — absolutely nothing.

Brian: Define “cohesive style.”

Tracy: Style, like being cool, is just having some original way of putting things together on your body that works. Men could just buy clothes that fit and that would be a great fucking start!…



This Might Sound Stupid, But… Where Does All the Weight Go When I Lose It?

The mirror suggests it; the scales confirm it: You have, through hardcore dedication and/or a terrible stomach virus, managed to lose some weight. But… lose it where? Where does the fat actually go? Do we digest it? Poop it out? Is it sacrificed to appease the appetites of the ancient Sumerian god of fitness, Sixx-Pak?

“Very simply speaking, our bodies are a lot like a car,” explains nutritionist and personal trainer Sean Salazar. Just like putting gas in your car, he explains, that food you’re putting into your body is used as fuel. Unlike your car, though, when you consume way more food than you need, you store it in your body as fat — i.e., excess fuel. In other words, picture a slightly clunky old sedan (or gleaming sports car, depending upon your level of self-esteem) with a bunch of bulging gas cans uselessly tied to the roof.

That’s your belly when you consistently overeat.

To get rid of that fat, says Salazar, we have to be in a “deficit,” where we consume less calories than we’re burning off. A lot less, actually: “To lose a single pound requires consuming 3,500 calories less than usual,” he explains. This means that if you reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories (that’s one bagel with cream cheese, or a Belgian waffle with syrup — or if you’re a healthier eater, five apples) per day, it’ll still take you a week to lose just one pound.

Adding exercise on top of the calorie reduction helps to burn off more calories, meaning you’ll lose more weight. Just like that car engine burns off fuel, your body heats up and burns off the stored fat as energy in a process known as ketosis. “Nothing is wasted in the body,” explains Carolyn Dean, a Medical Advisory Board Member at the Nutritional Magnesium Association. “Fat is metabolized to make glucose [a simple form of sugar], which will produce more energy.”

Once the fat has been burned up by this metabolic process, there are a handful of waste products left over. One of these is carbon dioxide, which “will exit the body through the lungs so that the body doesn’t become too acidic,” according to Salazar. Ketosis also creates heat and water as waste, which are easily dispatched: The heat is dissipated through your skin (either through the evaporation of sweat or the usual radiation of heat outwards from the body), and the water is expelled through sweat and urine.

And where does all that stuff go? The CO2 goes into the air to be breathed in by trees, and the urine, after processing, eventually makes its way back into the rivers and streams.

It’s the circle of—well, fat.


Men, You Don’t Understand How Hot Your Forearms Are

Why guys should always roll up their sleeves

Some years back, my best friend and I went through a brief but intense obsession with Supernatural, the soapy, long-running CW show in which two kind of dumb but extremely hot brothers (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki) team up to battle (and occasionally sex up) demons, ghosts and any number of other mythical baddies. The series is filmed in Vancouver, B.C., which means that wherever a given episode happens to be set, the hot hottie protagonists are pretty much always bundled in layer upon layer of denim and flannel.

As a result, much of the fun of watching the show lay in waiting for an errant flash of skin. If my bff and I did get so lucky, our prize was rarely a rippling set of abs or even a bulging bicep—typically it was nothing but an attractive forearm, modestly revealed by a rolled-up plaid sleeve.

In one blessed episode, the brothers get themselves sent to prison in order to root out a murderous cell-block spirit, and the orange jumpsuits they wear as inmates have short sleeves, revealing several inches of above-the-elbow flesh. But more often than not, it’s forearms only, flannel sleeves pushed up to show the brothers meant business. Who can say how many times one of us texted the other a screenshot accompanied only by the words, “FORE.ARMS.”?

We’re far from alone in our fervent enthusiasm for a part of the male anatomy generally deemed innocuous. Consider, for example, the highly popular subreddit r/forearmporn/, which is not in fact porn but just a bunch of guys posting photos of their forearms for the benefit of women and others who happen to enjoy pleasing, SFW masculine visuals.

So I was surprised yesterday when The New York Times asked, “Should a Man Roll Up His Sleeves?” Of course a man should roll up his sleeves, I thought. Every man should roll up his sleeves. (Except, of course, Paul Ryan, the Times’ nominal news peg, whose arms are so unappealing they should be considered a pre-existing condition.)

But I’m a journalist, and journalists don’t just take our own opinions for granted. We investigate. So I conducted an extremely representative and scientific survey of my immediate social circle to figure out what, exactly, makes that flash of forearm so dang distracting.

It’s casual. Unlike the tank-top-clad gym bro or the shirtless Tinder dude, the man who pushes up his sleeves isn’t trying to be sexy — or, at least, he doesn’t come off that way. He just happens to be airing out his wrist region. Oh, did you notice?

I don’t know why this is so much better than short sleeves (because Lorde knows I like upper arms too), but something about the exposed forearms feels like a treat or like a nice surprise,” my friend Mary* says. “I feel extremely Victorian saying that, like, ‘Ooo look at that exposed ankle,’ except it’s 2017 and I’m talking about men’s forearms.”

The casual element also means it’s easy to ogle the male brachioradialis in a circumspect way. “I stare at them when they hold the subway pole,” Anne admits. (Way to utilize that commute time wisely.)…



This Major Organ is the Seat of Your Anger, Frustration and Irritability

by Alex Pietrowski, Staff Waking Times

We often hear of the problems associated with widespread illnesses and mental health issues like depression and anxiety, but spend a single day out in the big city or some time in rush hour traffic and it quickly becomes apparent we are also in the midst of an epidemic of irritability, frustration and anger. Some argue that mass shootings and other extreme acts of violence are not as ideologically driven as we like to believe, but instead are symptoms of a cultural inability to understand, process and escape from anger.

Strong emotions such as anger can be clues that help detect physical illnesses before they fully manifest as serious problems. Anger has long since been linked to the health of the liver and the other organs in the biliary system, which cleans toxins from the blood and aids for breaking down fats in digestion.

If the liver is not functioning properly, or the biliary system is clogged or obstructed, then this can first be recognized in a patient’s behavior as irrational anger, fits of rage, and chronic frustration and irritation.

The Role of the Liver in Maintaining Vitality

Located on the right side of the abdominal cavity above the stomach, the liver sits just below the diaphragm at the bottom of the rib cage. Working with the gallbladder to produce bile, the gnarly green-yellowish fluid consisting of waste products, cholesterol, and bile salts, the liver is also looked at as a warehouse of sorts, controlling the flow of blood to the heart.

The liver and associated organs are extremely important to overall vitality and metabolism, and when they’re over-taxed or have become stagnant, the body and mind show it in many ways. Signs may include:

  • Higher than normal levels of anger, irritability, frustration
  • Problems with eyesight
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems such as rashes and itching

liver and gallbladder

Ancient Wisdom for Peaceful Living

In the past, traditional cultures have had a completely different approach to diagnosing health, often reading emotional cues as clues to how the physical body was performing. If a person showed signs of being imbalance in favor of one emotion out of the entire human range of emotions, then a closer look at physical was required. People didn’t used to have to depend on the onset of pain before knowing that their health needed to be addressed.

“The liver is associated with wood. It stores the blood and is the home of the hun spirits. Among the seven human emotions, only anger is of an intense nature. It dries up the blood and dissipates the hun spirits. The person who understands the way of nourishing the liver, therefore, never throws fits of anger.” ~From Zhang Huang, A Compendium of Illustrated Texts (Tushu Bian), Ming Dynasty

READ: The ‘Muscle of the Soul’ may be Triggering Your Fear and Anxiety

Even the English language acknowledges the connection between anger and the detoxifying function of the liver which turns toxicity into bile which is then ejected from the body by the excretory system. Consider the dictionary definition of the word ‘bile:’

  1. 1.
    a bitter greenish-brown alkaline fluid that aids digestion and is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
  2. 2.
    anger; irritability.
    “that topic is sure to stir up plenty of bile”

As human  consciousness operates on a continuum, moving between the high-end where peace and harmony reside, and at the lower end of the spectrum where negative emotions are found, anger is representative of the lower vibrational modes, which, according to Chinese medicine is one of the 7 emotions.

“Anger, as described by TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), covers the full range of associated emotions including resentment, irritability, and frustration. An excess of rich blood makes one prone to anger. Anger will thus affect the liver, resulting in stagnation of liver qi (vital energy). This can lead to liver energy rising to the head, resulting in headaches, dizziness, and other  symptoms.” [Source]

The theory of a connection between liver health and the feelings of anger, frustration and rage has been well-documented for many generations in the sciences of TCM as well as Ayurvedic medicine, referring to blockages in the detox systems of the body as a wood deficiency in the five element theory of human health.

Regarding the wood element:

What of people whose Wood is chronically imbalanced, who can’t level out? Aside from the many problems that can arise in relationship to the liver and gall bladder, imagine the perpetual anger and frustration of those who feel blocked in all directions, to whom every interaction is a confrontation. Such people are unable to experience growth and rebirth – unable to experience springtime within; they sense growth and change happening all around them, yet are stuck inside themselves, their lives so chaotic they can’t see a direction, a plan, or even how to begin. Or imagine how it is for the person who can’t see the forest for the trees, who is so fastidious that nothing ever gets started because it’s never quite right? It’s not that one would choose to be this way; but for a person in a state of Wood imbalance, there seems only one choice – this is how it must be. [Source]…


About the Author
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for and Offgrid Outpost, a provider of storable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.
This article (This Major Organ is the Seat of Your Anger, Frustration and Irritability) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.


Does Hollywood Deserve To Die?

Resultado de imagem para images of hollywood sign

image edited by Web Investigator

By Douglas Herman

Imagine a world without Hollywood. Now imagine how that scenario will happen one day and what emotion you will feel. Let the great debate begin: Does Hollywood Deserve to Die?

“The industry hurts itself, by making so many lousy movies.” ­ Humphrey Bogart

YES!  Hollywood deserves to die.

For making so many lousy, nasty, nihilistic movies, EXPENSIVE movies glorifying and glorying in the violence, death and mayhem onscreen, AND by profiting in those shitty movies to excess, YES, Hollywood deserves to die.  Hollywood deserves to come crashing down around itself, like one of those cities in cheesy Hollywood disaster films, exactly like in those so-called Best and Worst Disaster Movies of All Time.  How epic and karmic would that be?

Harsh? Yes. All those obscenely rich and pampered Hollywood stars, and grossly overpaid film industry executives, need to scamper in terror, just like the millions of low paid (or unpaid) movie extras scampering onscreen in terror, from some computer-generated evil villain or some epic, eye-catching natural disaster.  In this case, THEY are the evil villain, they are the natural disaster, they are the militant fascists they so loudly oppose. Hollywood is a bunch of hypocritical Hannibal Lectors on steroids.

“Studio bosses are well compensated for colluding in glorifying America’s wars and demonizing its enemies,” wrote Stephen Lendman. “Supporting America’s imperial agenda is more important than the truth.” Amen, Stephen!  Imagine what an Oscar-worthy speech that simple, damning statement would be. Imagine if Stephen Spielberg or George Clooney stood up at the podium, before a live TV audience of millions, and dared to speak Lendman’s incisive words at some awards ceremony.  Never going to happen, in our lifetime, I’m sad to say.

NO! Hollywood does NOT deserve to die.

Hollywood has done MORE for the cause of peace, justice and human rights than ALL of the armies in the entire history of the world. If only more humans would watch movies with a childlike delight, with a warm box of popcorn and suspended disbelief, the whole world would soon be a much better place to live. And better movies would be made by those much better humans.

Pick ANY movie, just ONE movie at random, and you can readily see how clever Hollywood writers, directors and actors are at forging a policy of togetherness, teamwork and YES, even Love, when they battle monsters, demons and imperial Stormtroopers together.  And eventually our Hollywood heroes defeat these same monsters again and again in endless sequels so that mankind ­ and womankind and childkind too ­ can live together happily in a spirit of peace and fast food paradise forever.

YES! Hollywood deserves to die.

“I try to live with honor, even if it costs me millions of dollars and takes a long time. It’s very unusual in Hollywood.  Few people are trustworthy,” said James Cameron; “A handshake means nothing to them.”
With few exceptions, Hollywood heavyweights are dumber than a carton of condoms but less useful; more hypocritical than a pedophile priest, and more cold-blooded than a serial killer.  Hollywood heavyweights love making blood-thirsty psychopath movies, but without realizing most of the people who make them are completely psycho themselves. “Most of the successful people in Hollywood are failures as human beings,” said Marlon Brando.

NO! Hollywood does NOT deserve to die.

If humans are prone to human failure, then WHY shouldn’t Hollywood be permitted to have a few human failures too? Even extremely successful Hollywood failures are still more successful, by most human standards, than the rest of us put together. The worst failure in Hollywood has a bigger house than you and me, a better car, a bigger bank account and bigger debt load and certainly a bigger and better choice of designer drugs and sex partners than you and me. Yes, you can hold up Hollywood celebrities to HIGHER standards than yours and mine, but the average Hollywood person has ethics, even if those ethics seem somewhat skewed, contradictory and even outright absurd.  Would YOUR ethical standards stand up to constant tabloid scrutiny? Didn’t think so. Neither would mine.

YES! Hollywood deserves to die.

Imagine Hollywood, or just Brentwood, Bel Air and Beverly Hills, being destroyed by The Big One. Call it Killer Bs ­ The Movie. Now in this scenario, the predicted Big One, the ginormous earthquake every seismologist has been predicting for the past 50 ­ 100 years, finally strikes LA.  Pick your favorite actors and actresses to star in this star vehicle. Now picture one of them stuck on the 405 freeway when the freeway overpasses ALL come down on that jam-packed, rush hour freeway. Picture all that trapped and stalled traffic just as that tidal wave washes in. So far, so good, right?

In this big budget movie, Matt Damon or Will Smith is a simple tow truck operator, with a wife and two kids, living in the San Fernando Valley. But he’s stuck on that LA freeway too! Exactly where the I-10 and the 405 converge. The only thing he can think to do is The Right Thing: save people. Meanwhile some schmuck movie executive, who has a history of screwing hopeful unknown actresses and leaving them broken-hearted, is stuck in his office while the skyscraper comes tumbling down around him and his buddies, like the inexplicable collapse of the WTC-7. Who wouldn’t pay to see that scenario, right?

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What Buddhism and Dark Comedy Have in Common

What Buddhism and Dark Comedy Have in CommonPhoto by Bragg’s Untrained Eye |

Much like the Buddha, comics can be a powerful medium for communicating the unsettling truths in life.

By Julia Hirsch

Comedians worth their salt know that neuroses, awkwardness, and dissatisfaction are often the best places to plumb for material. The Buddha knew it, too, although he wasn’t doing slapstick—Buddhism’s first noble truth is an acknowledgement of life’s inevitablesuffering, from the most trifling irritation to the greatest tragedy.

Cue Christopher Kelley, a Buddhist Studies professor at Brooklyn College and the New School who explores the parallels between dark comedy and basic Buddhist tenets in talks across the country. Like Buddhism, Kelley thinks, comedy of the truth-telling sort can help us confront moments and experiences that can be painfully awkward, deeply unsettling, or outright depressing.

Thinkolio, a think tank that connects professors with the general public, is partnering with the Strand Bookstore in New York City to host an upcoming talk with Kelley, “Buddhist Realism and Dark Comedy: It’s Funny Because It’s True,” at 7 p.m. on May 5. Below, Kelley discusses the merits of dark comedy as an effective vehicle for facing what pains us the most.

What does dark comedy have in common with Buddhist philosophy?
Buddhism and dark comedy both seek to expose unsettling truths about the human condition, which we normally choose to deny—namely, old age, sickness, and death. In Buddhacarita (“Life of Buddha”), an epic poem written by the Indian monk Ashvaghosha in the 2nd-century CE, it is Prince Siddhartha’s encounters with old age, sickness, and death that lead him to seek out a solution to the problem of suffering. These encounters eventually transform him into an awakened Buddha. Like the Buddha, the comic can be a powerful medium for communicating the disquieting, shunned truths in life. In comedy—as any good comedian knows—making jokes about the human condition usually gets a big laugh. It’s funny because it’s true.

From day-to-day anxiety to existential dread, how can comic relief be an effective antidote for dealing with our messy afflictions?
The Buddha diagnosed the root cause of human suffering (dukkha) as our own compulsive tendency to cling to unreal ideas about ourselves and the world we inhabit. I think dark comedy offers a kind of disruptive therapy for our anxieties about life by using humor to reveal the profound incongruence between the way we think the world should be and the way the world actually is. A lot of research has been dedicated to understanding why we laugh. One such theory says that we laugh at incongruence itself. We find humor in these moments, be they as simple and absurd as a throng of clowns spilling out of a tiny car or, as I would argue, the disconnect between our idealizations and the way things really are.

Dark comics like Louis C. K. explore this juncture in their stand-up acts when they make jokes about the certainty of death. In a show he performed at the Beacon Theater in 2011, Louis told the audience that it was a statistical fact that one of them would most certainly die within the next year. Everyone laughed at his “joke” because nobody really believes that they’ll be the statistical fatality. We laugh at dark jokes because the reality of things doesn’t quite square with our own perceptions about ourselves and the world. Intellectually, I know that I’ll die some day, but I don’t really believe that I’ll be that statistic. Except I very well could be!…



Here’s All the Exercise Advice That Requires No Exercise

Illustration by Carly Jean Andrews

After all, working out can kill you

As a native son of L.A., I have a complicated relationship with exercise. Growing up in a city notorious for its driving culture, I, like most of my fellow purebreds, prefer to drive as little as one block rather than to walk the same distance. On the other hand, everyone here looks like they’ve just left the gym — a sort of citywide form of peer pressure to be in the best possible shape at all times.

So when I come across a study or article that tells me do less with my body, I can’t help but grin like a comic-book villain. And believe it or not, there are a lot of these kinds of studies out there. More than you would ever think, actually. Here are my six favorites:

1. Last week, TheNew York Times published an article that explained “Why You Shouldn’t Walk on Escalators.” Though walking on an escalator hardly counts as exercise, the author’s insistence on not even doing that made laziness endorphins flood my body. In an experiment done in 2015 at New York City’s Penn Station during the morning rush, researchers found that standing on both sides of an escalator reduced congestion by about 30 percent. Better yet, the “time in system” — or how long it took to stand in line to reach an escalator and then ride it — dropped sharply when everyone stood (not walked), according to a blog post by the researchers.

2. In 2015, Forbes published a piece that detailed the injury risks associated with high-intensity weights and nonstop pace workouts such as CrossFit. This makes sense considering that CrossFit’s founder, Greg Glassman, was quoted in a 2005 New York Times story as admitting “it can kill you.” At Vox, Julia Belluz cited several studies that “have revealed alarming trauma rates” among CrossFit athletes. “Of the 132 people who responded to the survey, 97 (or nearly three-quarters) reported getting hurt during CrossFit training, and most injuries involved the shoulders and spine. These respondents reported a total of 186 injuries; nine led to surgeries.” The obvious answer to these problems: Don’t do CrossFit.

3. Also in 2015, the Times covered a study that suggested frequent exercise causes “profound changes in cardiac physiology and structure.” These changes can mimic heart damage, with cardiac cells often becoming “leaky” after strenuous workouts or events, releasing proteins into the bloodstream that, in other circumstances, could indicate a heart attack. Again, my takeaway: No exercise = no heart attack.

4. In 2011, British researchers set out to study the heart health of a group of fit older athletes. The results, published a few weeks ago in The Journal of Applied Physiology, were rather disquieting. None of the younger athletes (or better still, the older nonathletes) had fibrosis in their hearts. But half of the older lifelong athletes showed some heart muscle scarring. The affected men were, in each case, those who’d trained the longest and hardest. In other words: Spending years exercising strenuously or completing more marathons was associated with a greater likelihood of heart damage…