Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why The 1960s Was A Stupid, Stupid Decade: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

This weekend is my future father-in-law's 60th birthday party and my fiancee Ramona came up with the idea of having a 1960s theme for the occasion, sending friends and family members into hysterical excitement.

That sounds like so much fun!!

The 1960s were such a great time!!

I can dress up like Janis Joplin!!

Forgive me, but I never understood this obsession with the 1960s. What, I ask you, was so great about this decade? Everyone talks about what a great time it was. If it was so great, why did this country feel the need to transition into disco? One would think that, if the 1960s were really that wonderful, society would have quickly harkened back to their 60s ways once they saw how ridiculous the disco era was.

Take the whole "free love" concept, for example. A bunch of random people having sex with each other for an entire decade. Sounds great, right? (a bunch of my male readers are nodding right now. I can sense them.) Except for one thing: Your average 1960s woman was ugly. Seriously, have you seen the pictures? Their hair is down to their kneecaps, they wore male-looking sunglasses, and most of them didn't shave their pits.

That's wrong. So very wrong.

Then there's the whole 1960s "spirituality" thing. History records that everyone in the 1960s was so in tune with their spiritual side. In the 1960s, I'm told, the spirit was everywhere.

Translation: Everyone in the 1960s was on acid. Everyone was choosing hallucinations so as to avoid living in reality. No one wanted to see the world for what it really was. So instead, they put themselves in a drug-induced stupor, pretended they were growing as individuals and had sex with pit-haired women.

And then there's hippies. You know what hippies are? Bums. They look like bums, they dress like bums, and they don't have jobs like bums. Take today's bum, put a tye-dye shirt on him, and boom: Hippie.

Oh yeah: Flower child? Female hippie. Female bum.

And then there's the music. I'm going to tell you something that I've held inside for years and have never said until now:

I hate the Beatles.

Yeah, that's right. I said it. In fact, I'm gonna say it again.

I hate the Beatles.

Man, that feels good!! A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm a straight man, so this is the closest I think I'll get to coming out of the closet.

I mean, their songs suck, their haircuts were dorky and THEY WERE BRITISH!!!

Where's your American pride?

Plus, the band members were morons. John Lennon broke up the band for an ugly woman who wore beatnik hats, and Paul McCartney turned down a $500 million offer in the 1990s to reunite the remaining Beatles for one night because he felt that it wouldn't be right without John, who broke up the band in the first place.

Paul was probably on acid at the time.

Which would also explain why he married a woman with a prosthetic foot.

(Sorry, couldn't resist)


And now for this week's:


I went to the supermarket today wanting to buy some apple juice, and guess what I found?

One kind of apple juice.

Apple juice.

An American staple.

One kind.

You know how many varieties of green tea they had?


Nine freakin' kinds of green tea.

Green tea, people!!

Sometimes, I think this country's priorities are out of whack.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Going Through Airport Security: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Ever since Sept. 11, security at airports has tightened up. Now I'm all for increased measures to ensure my safety. It's an ugly, vicious world we live in, and America is less safe than ever before.

But let's be honest: Most of it is absurd. Why, for example, can I no longer bring a normal-sized can of shaving cream onto a flight? Is it because the cannister may actually be a bomb? Is it because the travel-sized shaving cream -- which doesn't offer enough shaving cream for me to actually shave, mind you -- is small enough that it will only kill half the people on board if filled with a deadly substance? Is that what we consider "increased safety?" We can't save everybody, but we can save some?

Last weekend, I went up to Northern California for my fiancee Ramona's alumni weekend at Stanford, and my good friends at Burbank Airport were kind enough to remind me at how annoying going through airport security can be:

Annoying Airport Security Measure # 1: Having to show your driver's license.

If you're like me, your driver's license is in your wallet. If you're also like me, your driver's license is still in the wallet as your arms are filled with carry-on bags while walking toward airport security. It is when -- and only when -- you get near the security line that you see the woman at the podium, waiting to check to make sure you are who you really are.

So you have to do the following:

Put all your stuff down.

Take out your wallet.

Rummage through your wallet.

Drop at least one or two credit cards onto the ground until your driver's license appears.

And feel the glares of the people behind you staring.

And it's not like this airport security person knows what the hell he or she is doing. They stare at the card for a good 14 seconds, not to ensure the license is real, but rather to try and convince you that they're being thorough, all while thinking:

How much longer do I have to stare at this thing to make this guy believe that I actually know what the hell I'm doing?

Yeah that's right, license-checking guy: I'm onto you.

Annoying Airport Security Measure Thing # 2: Nothing bigger than travel-sized.

I'm a man. I need man-sized toothpaste. I'm a man. I need man-sized shaving cream. I'm a man. I need man-sized deoderant.

Travel-sized items were made for women in mind.

There. I said it.

Why the hell is it no longer OK to bring regular-sized toiletries? Won't a small travel-sized amount of anthrax kill the same number of people on a plane as a regular-sized amount of anthrax? Is American air travel really safer because I can no longer bring my large 99-cent bottle of supermarket-brand shampoo?

And for that matter, what's up with travel-sized plastic bags? Why is normal sized not allowed? I used to be able to put everything in one plastic bag. Now I need five. It pisses me off.

Here's my theory:

The airline gurus got together with the plastic bag gurus and said:

Let's screw over the American public for our own personal gain.

I can feel a lot of you nodding.

Annoying Airport Security Measure # 3: Taking off your socks.

OK. Shoes? Fine. Some terrorist hid something in their shoe. I get it. It's annoying, but I'll deal.

But some of these guys -- these overzealous, police-academy-rejected security folks -- make you take off your socks as well.

It happened to me last weekend. It brought about the following exchange:

Security Lady: Sir, you need to take off your socks.

Me: Why?

Security Lady: For your safety, sir.

Me: It's gonna make me more safe for you to see my bare feet?

Security Lady: Sir, please take off your socks.

Me: Why would I hide a weapon in my socks?

Security Lady: Sir...

Me: It would poke me in the toes.

Security Lady: Sir...

Me: The rug is cold.

Security Lady: Sir...

Me: When was the last time your carpets were washed?

Security Lady: SIR!!!!

I took off my socks.

After all, I didn't want to be difficult.

And now for this week's:


Kellen Winslow of the NFL's Cleveland Browns recently had to miss a game after being hospitalized due to swollen testicles.

I say again:

Swollen testicles.


Swollen testicles.

I confess: I didn't know that was possible.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Listen To What She's Saying: The Greatest Advice For Single Men: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

I'm a listener. God put me on this Earth to listen to people. Their stories. Their jokes. Their woes. We all have purposes in life. Listening is apparently one of mine.

Originally, I was going to give a few tips to single men on how to help themselves stand out with the ladies, similar to what I did for women last week. But in writing this, I realized that while there's a lot of tips I can give guys to help them when they're out with women (Lord knows they need all the help they can get), there's one piece of advice that really stands out above the rest. If men don't do the following, any other advice is useless.

Listen to what she's saying.

Most men, when they're out with a woman, make the mistake of thinking that making eye contact with that woman is enough.

It's not.

Here's what men have to realize: Eventually, you will look at her breasts. At some point, you'll look at her butt. You can be the most enlightened heterosexual on Earth, and you'll sneak a peek at some point. It's inevitable.

Now here's another thing men don't know: Women notice every time you look. They catch every time your eyes venture downward. If you think you're being sly, you're not. Their "catching every time he undresses me with his eyes" dar is on 100 percent of the time.

So eye contact alone isn't enough. If all you got is eye contact, then every time you sneak a peek, all the woman will be thinking is that you're just pretending to make eye contact so that you can get in her pants.

And you brilliant "eye contact" plan will have failed.

What went wrong?

You didn't listen.

You didn't listen to what she was saying. You didn't respond to what she was telling you. It's not enough just to keep your eyes above her chest. You have to actually hear what she's telling you and respond in kind.

It amazes me how many men don't get this. It's not complicated. A woman just wants some acknowledgment that you're actually processing some of what she's telling you. How hard is it to understand that saying things like "Uh-huh", "Yeah", "Right", and "Totally" does not constitute listening?

All a guy has to do is say something in relation to what the woman is telling him. Regardless of the subject, all a man has to do to show he's listening is one of two things:

1) Add a comment about the subject in question. Don't worry about her agreeing or disagreeing. As long as it's related to the topic, you can say "REPUBLICANS RULE!!" to the topic of "Why Democrats Should Inherit The Earth" and you will be much farther ahead than the guy who just said "Yep".

And if you have no idea what to say to the woman, you can 2) Ask questions. Asking questions are a man's greatest safety net in relation to the opposite sex. The woman could be speaking sanskrit to you and if you just ask "How long did it take you to learn" or "Sanskrit. Why?", you will automatically stand out as "The guy who actually engaged me in conversation."

Believe me: That's gold, fellas. Because if you become the guy that the woman can talk to, you can sneak peeks at her body all night long.

Boys, heed the following wisdom: She's expecting you to look. She wouldn't be dressing up if she didn't want you to look. Honestly, if you don't look, she'll wonder if you're gay (not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you, but in this case, it's probably not the image you want).

If all you do is look, you're a pig.

If you look and listen, you're intriguing.

If you listen and don't look...


Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And now for this week's:


Our national debt is so high that the national debt clock in New York ran out of digits to record the number.

As a result, the sign will be updated to record a deficit of up to a quadrillion dollars.

Cheerful, cheerful news.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weeding Out The Nice Guys From The Players: Tips For Single Women: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

If you’re a heterosexual woman, raise your hand if you’ve said this before:

I just want to find a nice guy.

It sounds simple, but it’s not. I should know: I’m a nice guy and I have no clue where to find me. I honestly can’t tell you where guys like me hang out. All I know is that you won’t usually find us in the following places:


(Where not-so-nice guys want to get you drunk)


(Where not-so-nice guys want to grind on you…and get you drunk)

And strip clubs.

(Where not-so-nice guys get themselves drunk to have an excuse later on for any inappropriate actions)

And if you find a nice guy at these places, odds are he’s the designated driver. And bored as hell.

(Trust me, I speak from experience)

Now, what constitutes a nice guy? Many striking characteristics.

Here are three:

1) He’ll listen to what you have to say.

2) He’ll actually remember what you told him.

3) He’ll attempt to hide the fact that he’s sneaking looks at your breasts.

(He’ll fail. But at least he’ll try. It’s the effort ladies, not the result.)

Now, heterosexual women everywhere seem to have the same problem: How to determine whether the guy in front of them is a “nice guy” (someone who is truly interested in having a relationship) or someone who just wants to get in their pants and move on to the next conquest.

It’s a problem felt by women the world over. But don’t worry:

I’m here to help.

Here are three things to help you determine whether the guy across the table is serious about you:

Sex on the first date. Ladies, I do not believe it is fair that men who sleep with a woman on the first date are considered studs, while women who do the same are considered something vulgar. It’s a double standard, and we at disagree.

That said, if a guy tries to sleep with you on the first date, he’s not looking to hang around for the long term.

If a guy is really into you and sees a possible future with you, the last thing he will do is try to sleep with you on the first date. You may be rolling your eyes at me, female readers, but heed the following wisdom:

A guy does not want the future mother of his children to be someone who was willing to sleep with him after two hours. A guy considers such a woman “easy” (the nicest word I could think of). A man does not want an easy woman to be his future wife. A man wants the woman in his life to be special, different, at a higher standard.

If a guy is really into you, he will not try to sleep with you on date one. Even if he’s done it in the past with other girls, if he feels you’re special, he’ll hold off. Because sex with you will mean something more to him, and even he won’t want to jump right into it.

And his friends will make fun of him for it.

It’s just what guys do.

Calling you again. If a guy is serious about you, believe me: He will call you again. And call you soon. Even if he’s petrified of verbal or written rejection, if he thinks you’re special, he’ risk it.

It amazes me how many women who go out with a guy and don’t hear from him for weeks or months will give that guy another chance if he contacts her well after the first date. Ladies, if the guy is serious about you, he will not wait. He will get in touch with you immediately and try to lock in that second date. Because if he waits, he’ll wonder endlessly about how you feel about him, whether you like him, and whether you’re out with another guy.

He’ll agonize over it.

And his friends will make fun of him for it.

It’s just what guys do.

Doing something sweet. This is something that Cosmo won’t tell you. Right around date two or three, a guy who is really into you will attempt to do something sweet. Whether it’s buy you flowers, get you a teddy bear, or buy you a book written by an author you said you liked, he will do something like this to a) show you his caring side, and b) make him stand out from the other guys he fears you’re dating.

A guy will not make this attempt simply for sex. It requires too much thought (the men reading this blog are nodding, believe me). But he’ll try it in the hopes that you’ll think he’s special. Because he thinks you’re special.

A guy who does this…well, he may be a keeper.

By the way: Afterwards, a guy will tell his closest guy friends about this “something sweet” attempt.

They’ll make fun of him for it.

It’s just what guys do.

And now for this week’s:


Remember how a couple weeks back I pointed out that, according to my stat tracker, my blog had been read in nearly 50 countries, including Iran?

Well, my podcast partner Michael Feldman had the following to say about that:

Dude, getting read in Iran isn’t a good thing. That’s, like, not good. You could, like, be murdered. Assassins could be heading your way right now. From Iran.

Thanks Mike. Way to accentuate the positives.

He probably just wants to do the podcast himself. “Things That Matter With Mike. Just Mike.”

Yeah. Like that will draw listeners.