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By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 20:10 EDT

The thing I love about living in New York City is that it often feels like, when you’re feeling low (brought down, in this case, by right wingers responding to the shooting with a double down) the city conspires to cough up a moment so bafflingly strange and wonderful that you can’t help but feel better.

Today, that happened. I was going to my spin class, and I got there a little early to set up my bike and when I arrived, the most douche-bro thing that ever happened occurred right before my eyes. In the room, all by himself, was this bro having a one-man spin class. In and of itself, not so unusual. But usually people who do that are on one of the regular bikes, but no, this guy was up on the stage on the instructor’s bike.

So I open the door and am nearly knocked down by ear-splittingly loud cheesy rap music. Now, most spin classes are loud, but this was an order of magnitude above that, closer to a Guitar Wolf concert than a spin class. I had an irrepressible urge to cover my ears. But I needed to set up my bike, so I quickly did that. This guy continued, utterly oblivious—or perhaps excited?—to have a witness. He was zipping along, pumping the air with his fist and trying to sing along. Naturally, the music shifted to the crappy Jersey Shore-style dance music they try to pass off as “house” these days.

His friend came in. They nodded the bro nod and fist bumped. I tried really hard not to laugh. I debated taping the whole thing on my phone and decided against it. The guy was guilty of being a douche bro, not murdering kittens. I didn’t want to hold him up for an object of ridicule, at least with his face attached. So instead I scurried out of the room to await the beginning of the real class in blessed silence. And as I walked out of the room, I had but one thought.

Thought I’d share.

Masculine insecurity and entitlement are a big, tangled-up mess

By Amanda Marcotte

I don’t generally shout out stock photographers by name, but Gilles DeCruyenaere deserves special note for this work of art. This horrible UCSB shooting has, I think, been something of a wake-up call to the country. Elliot Rodger was clearly out of his head in some ways, but his copious amount of writing and video-blogging made it nigh-impossible—excepting the usual denialist suspects, of course—to ignore the bizarre but strong link between entitlement and insecurity. I…


The dangerous discourse of “the friend zone”.

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 10:42 EDT

This is the first image I got when I did a stock image search for “friend zone”. The implication is clear: Women have nothing of value to say besides, “I get to suck your cock now?” In response to the Elliot Rodger shooting, I wrote a piece for the American…


The Orange Couch Does Mad Men: S7E7, “Waterloo”

By Amanda Marcotte
Monday, May 26, 2014 9:53 EDT

Last Orange Couch until next year! The seven episode half-season made it all go so quickly, almost too quickly. (Though Marc will be happy to go to bed a little earlier on Sunday nights, instead of editing clips!) Last night’s episode, as we note in the video, had a light…


Music for the end of the world

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, May 23, 2014 11:23 EDT

I’ve definitely fallen off doing Friday music posts, but I thought I would revive it here because I’m happy about this mix I made of songs that are either about the apocalypse or were apocalypse-appropriate. I made this mix for a friend’s party, and the theme was his idea. But…


Are feminists trying to upgrade butt-grabbing creeps to criminals? No.

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, May 22, 2014 13:57 EDT

 Is defending this really the hill to die on? Yesterday afternoon at TPM, I wrote a rebuttal to A.J. Delgado of the National Review arguing both that feminists have “brainwashed” women into believing consensual sex after imbibing alcohol is “rape” and her insinuation that women routinely accuse men of rape in…


Petty tyrants at Georgia high school want to ban girl from graduation for making a science joke

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:40 EDT

Oh high school graduation time. The kids are all excited and the parents are wavering between proud and anxious and everyone is so involved in the whole process that no one can spare a minute to pity the petty tyrants that infest every high school, who are losing yet another…


The Orange Couch Does Mad Men: S7E6, “The Strategy”

By Amanda Marcotte
Monday, May 19, 2014 9:45 EDT

So this is the most optimistic episode of Mad Men, possibly ever, right? As Marc and I discuss in the video, the entire episode was about the breakdown of the “traditional” nuclear family. Which was always more an aspirational ideal more than a “tradition”, per se, as is made evident…


Guns: So many people obsessing over a tool so few will ever use

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, May 16, 2014 13:55 EDT

Loud. Expensive. Useless. On a recent episode of the show Louie, there’s a hilarious scene where Louie is playing poker with his comedian buddies, and they start trying to outdo each other with masturbation jokes. At one point, Jim announces that he uses both a vibrator and a dildo to…


Trailer for new sitcom Selfie causes feelings of rage, despair, and constipation

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, May 15, 2014 11:49 EDT

Okay, this isn’t the most earth-shattering thing in the world, but this is so upsetting. I am a fan of both John Cho and Karen Gillan’s, and so I’m devastated to see that they’re going to star in an ABC sitcom called Selfie, based on Pygmalion, that looks unbelievably sexist and…