Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Final Day: Clark Kent's Lunchbox vs. Pacing the Panic Room

The final day of the He Blogs, She Blogs competition has finally arrived and we have our last two contestants to tickle your funny bones and stimulate your philosophical brain juices. Yes, I said brain juices. These two bloggers always impress me because of their uncanny ability to make me laugh while also making me think about things intellectually (God DAMN them!) They each have their own unique style of writing that makes me feel a little dumber (in a good way, if that is possible) while also making me strive to be a better writer so I can feel less dumb when reading their posts. Did that make any sense? Probably not, cause I have had two glasses of wine and cleansed all day and now my head is spinning, so here are the contestants, I hope you enjoy them, excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom now...

Ron from Clark Kent's Lunchbox

When Petra first set up this contest, I thought “cool,” that was until I saw who else would be vying for the honor, an uneasiness only compounded by the questions our gracious host sent me several days later. Having recently completed a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic for a Midol addiction, I found it a difficult proposition to pen answers adequate enough to meet her readership’s venerable expectations without fighting the urge to reach for my secret stash just one more time. Thankfully, I triumphed against the temptation, opting instead for half a bottle of Scotch and a handful of Columbian Adderall which quelled the shakes long enough for me provide today’s other entry. I only hope it’s not an embarrassment to the Wise Petra or my peers.

Okay, as a guy I know the very notion is supposed to turn me instantly incredulous. “What?! Too much sex? That’s like too much money or too much football. What kind of stupid…yadda yadda, yadda.” So let’s just skip the pretenses and get to the down and dirty for a moment. After thinking long and hard about it, I kept coming back to the core issue of what actually constituted “too much sex.” To claim there is such a thing as too much sex implies the existence of some degree of balance, and to find that happy medium would require the identification of its converse, “too little sex.” Having experienced this end of the spectrum in my first marriage, I found it relatively easy to build a list of criterion for spouses to measure their love lives against. Consider this, you might be having too little sex if:

- When others ask to see a picture of your spouse you (wives) hold up your favorite two fingers, or you (husbands) show them the palm of your hand.

- When attempting to be seductive (wives) you regularly sneak roofies and Viagra into the meatloaf, and (husbands) tired of choking on meatloaf 6 nights a week you slip under the table to the dog when she’s not looking

- On the rare occasion you do have sex with your spouse, the long stints of do-it-yourself pleasure cause you to reflexively call out your own name in the throes of passion.

- You find yourself taking the tests and quizzes that your kid brings home from their high school sex-ed class, and you’re failing.

- Thinking someone else will get more use out of it, you pass all your lingerie onto your mother.

- You only perform sex in the missionary position on religious holidays, but no matter how much you pretend calling out to God, it still feels likes hell.

- Desperation leads you to view phallic-shaped produce as being for more than just something in a salad or loaf of bread.


- Your genitalia are collecting unemployment benefits.

These are bad signs to be sure but so too are the qualifiers for too much sex which include:

- Your vagina is so calloused from overuse it has the same consistency as a used catcher’s mitt.

- Your penis starts to splinter.

- You think David Duchovny and Jenna Jameson are amateurs.

- You want to move to Thailand, not for the sex trade, but so the words “Bangkok” will appear in your mailing address.

- You purchase Cialis at discounted prices offered online by Canadian health care system and carry it around in a Pez dispenser.

- You think the story lines in pornos are believable and thus find yourself confused when the pizza guy actually delivers a box with a meat lover’s supreme instead of giving you a meat lover’s supreme in your box.

- Desperation leads you to view phallic-shaped produce as being for more than just a salad or a loaf of bread.


- You’re these people

At this point, the issue was sort of like the one Goldie Locks faced. Having identified both the hot porridge and the cold porridge, deducing the porridge deemed as “just right” seemed elementary. But then it occurred to me I was forgetting an essential element: intimacy. Intimacy is for all intents and purposes, the essence of making love, establishing not only the caliber of the act itself but also the health of the relationship as a whole. Thus the real issue is not so much a matter of the amount of sex in a marriage as it is the actual quality of it based on the closeness both spouses feel. In the end, it doesn’t matter if your pubic hairs are balling up into dry tumbleweeds, or that Penthouse has requested you refrain from sending them any further home videos; if there is a lack of intimacy, that is the problem. Otherwise, frequency is all in what you have the rime for.

I’m going to assume right off the bat that this excludes porn, which, probably is a good idea given how my wife, after seeing my collection of skin flicks, burst out laughing over its Disney-esque tameness. Of course, this is the same woman who’s into “torture porn” like Hostel and the Saw series. Myself, I’m not exactly what you would call a “big fan.” Sex and severed limbs isn’t really my scene, but still, her tastes were fine by me, that is until I discovered the bloody ball-gag and power drill hidden under our bed, which may also explain why I woke up the other day in a bathtub full of ice with an incision roughly where my kidney used to be.

As evidenced by my wife, everyone has their opinions as to what constitutes a great movie, making it nearly impossible to arrive at any single consensus. Some prefer anything with subtitles on the screen, while others require a substantial body count before the credits start rolling. Even so, when it comes to categorizing preferences, automatically the easiest to point out is the dichotomy between the sexes. On one hand women are thought to be all into “chick flicks” that typically involve either well-dressed socialites slurping down martinis and commiserating about their much maligned love lives, or star-crossed, pre-pubescent teen lovers fighting fate in order to be together – oh, and one of them has to be a vampire. On the other hand, guys are pegged with only having an interest in movies containing gratuitous violence, gross-out humor, and scantily clad babes.

I have to admit, this is a perception we men tend to be guilty of perpetuating by our own volition. Take, for example, the way we run around using popular lines from those sorts of films. It’s a crime I am guilty of myself, even though I absolutely suck at it. When my buddies wonder aloud in a British accent as to whether they do or do not make me horny; or if they clench their jaw, declaring how much they love the smell of napalm in the morning, the hilarity abruptly ends in an awkward silence as soon as I recite one of my favorite lines which typically come from any film based on Nicholas Sparks novels.

Don’t get me wrong, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator and 40 Year Old Virgin are all among my favorites, but the point I’m trying to make however, is that the qualifying term “good” is subjective to the individual. For me, a good movie is one that keeps me thinking about it well after exiting the theatre. In fact I could absolutely hate it, but if the picture leaves enough of an impression that I find myself dwelling on its premises, discussing it with my wife or researching its background information, then something about it must have been too meaningful for me to just forget.

Keep in mind that, for me, forgetting is a reflex akin to breathing, so to remember something (and from a movie no less), usually means I’m being pushed either out of my routine thought pattern or into some meaningful interaction with others. And, really, how can that be bad? It’s a flimsy premise, but still, I would have to say any time you watch a movie and as a result learn something new after Google about it, start a deep conversation with your girlfriends over another round of Cosmo’s, or bond with your amigos as you laugh from quoting memorable lines, then there’s probably something about the film that could be deemed “good.”

Ryan from Pacing the Panic Room

1. What makes a great movie?

Trying to define what I think makes a truly great movie is about as hard as trying to explain why I will eat 6lbs of cheeseburgers and then roll around on the floor in pain, and still won’t let Cole throw away my super sized fries because I’m going to finish them “just as soon as I’m done being sick.”

I’m pretty sure that I hate other peoples opinions about movies, so more than anything else, I am reluctant to explain what I think is so great about a movie. In the end it doesn’t fucking matter what I think. I am not of the mindset that there are “bad” movies per se. One persons biggest piece of shit ever made, is another persons best movie ever. I will agree that there are masterpieces, and then there is mass produced drivel, films made by committee and entire scripts drafted around marketing concepts. But as long as what you’re watching entertains you to the core (even if it’s mass produced drivel), then you have witnessed something truly great. To be clear, if the escape of watching a story unfold before you completely steals you away from life, and you let go of burden and worry and sadness to take in this distraction, then it is indeed truly a great movie. No matter what anyone else thinks about it. Wouldn’t you agree?

With that said and established, the best way I can answer the question is to say: What makes a great movie, is whatever turns your screws. And perhaps an even bigger point to consider would be WHO you’re watching your movies with. If you are stuck sidled next to some egomaniacal self-proclaimed movie snob than you probably aren’t having very many “great” movie experiences. How can anyone enjoy a movie when someone is bombarding you with sighs and grief over how awful THEY think something is? They burden and cloud your experience and escape, with their code of what is super awesome and what is not. The majority of films are made for no other reason then to offer some form of silly escape and not every film made has to be Citizen fucking Kane…which I am willing to bet as much as everyone boasts of its greatness, very few people can REALLY explain why it’s great. They just know and have been taught to say that it is. It’s like assholes that say they love jazz but have no idea what they’re hearing, or for that matter even how to listen to it properly. Back on track.


There are people that passionately believe that their taste is superior and therefore an authority on the subject, and they dedicate hours and pages to the breakdowns and diatribes of why something is perfection and another is total garbage, but in the end they are just one persons opinions. And most times we tend to hate a person when they tear down the things we love, and thus classify them as pompous and know it all. UNLESS of course they are agreeing with your exact sentiments as to why something was the cream of the crop, then of course you praise and parrot around their reasons to sound insightful to your friends. Suckers. I personally tend to take recommendations from people that I respect, or find to be like-minded, and most critics are socially inept and intolerant of anyone that has a differing opinion. I don’t hang out with people like that in my real life, and certainly don’t want any advice from anyone with these traits and tendencies. So why the fuck do I want them telling me why they thought Paul Thomas Anderson makes his movies too long? I personally would joyfully, gladfully, gleefully, watch another hour or two of ANYTHING he’s made.

Now of course I know the measure of greatness applies when things steer away from story, and the discussion turns to technical achievements and attention to detail. But in the end, we aren’t really THAT interested in any of that. If we were, perhaps they would have the courtesy of actually airing the Technical Oscars that they give out each year. Don’t you think?

(*for any wives out there that want a super awesome suggestion of an amazing film to bring home or rent that will totally earn you cool points with the husband get: “Hearts of Darkness.” It’s a documentary made by Francis Ford Coppola’s wife about the making of Apocalypse Now. It’s amazing. AND a perfect example of how nobody thought during the making of that film that it would ever turn out to be considered a masterpiece or a classic. It was a complete and utter disaster from the start and almost drove her husband permanently insane.)

2. Body Piercings - awesome adornment or disgusting turn-off?

Oh what a slippery slope when you start getting personal about personal tastes, but in the effort to provide the male perspective I will try my best to answer this as honestly as possible without hurting any feelings to the punctured. First I have to say that I’m not like most men, consider me more like an older sister, a girl that still loves to fuck women, but just wants to wear pants all the time, boss you around, make fun of other girls outfits, gossip, and go shopping. I care about fashion, and what people wear, and how they wear it. So I feel like I’m overly sensitive to trends, and a HUGE turnoff for me is when people start clinging to the outdated. When people can’t let go of a decade. The death rattle for body piercing as a fashion forward trend has been shaking since Y2K was debunked as a ploy to sell bottled water and shotguns. Let me get specific (and then let me get personal). When the 90’s were winding down there was a bleed over from the youth culture lining up in droves to get anything and everything pierced with cool cold steel. The top of the millennium was the last gasps of this as hardcore trend, and it was then adopted by another generation, picked up not by counter culture youth, but by the manufactured cookie cutter image of what a “hot sexy female” should look like.

When you’re 18 years old and you want to feel unique and be exciting, the idea of sticking shit in your face, or lacing your back, or stretching your ears so they hang down as low as my ball sack; doesn’t surprise or even worry me. What freaks me out is when people are well into their adulthood and they start doing shit to feel young, or to be sexy, to fit a mold of what men “want.” Again as I said before I am not like most men. I hate fake tits, and fake tans that turn you orange, tramp stamps, bottle blondes (roots), and of course the belly piercing. “The dangler” Now before I get on a tear, I’m fine with a few things. A small petite nose piercing is all kinds of hot on the right face. A girl has to wear earrings... so yeah I get that. Have I been attracted to girls with metal in their face? Of course I have. Some people can just get away with things because they are simply gorgeous humans. There will always be exceptions. The “disgusting turn-off” (as Petra posed it) comes in when I see an ear covered from top to bottom with studs, or an eyebrow ring (bleck, sorry a ball of vomit just hit my throat and got stuck there for a second) snakebites, or tongue piercings, all of it just not sexy even a little bit. I do have to give special close attention to my hatred for the sound of a girl clicking her tongue piercing around on the back of her teeth. Its torture is only matched by the pain of listening to a person stirring macaroni & cheese... which to me sounds like someone shoving a wet sticky tongue into my ear and fucking it.

The body piercing is that thing that screams: I’m so desperate to be attractive. Feel sexy. Be unique. Look how edgy I am. Look at me, look at me, I’m appealing. I stuck this shit in my body, SO WILL YOU PLEASE LOOK AT ME. I understand the point of it. It’s the same basic concept of a good shiny lure in a creek, you use it right, and you’re going to snag yourself a perfect prize fish. A belly ring shining there on your navel draws the eyes in, and we are to then notice what a gorgeous body you have. I get it. I just don’t think it looks sexy, feels sexy, or that it’s cute, and it certainly doesn’t make you unique in any way. Pretty much anything that my tongue has the chance to come in contact with during hot dirty sex should not have metal in it. I understand that there are some women that have shoved steel thru tits and clits because they are after more intense stimulation, and the want of a good hard orgasm will drive a woman to try many many things. However in the throws of passion, if I were to stumble across a piercing, it feels like the equivalent of finding a hair in your soup, your sitting there drinking it down, and then you feel something on your tongue that just doesn’t quite belong there, and you want it out of your mouth. That’s what it felt like when I had a pierced nipple in my mouth. YUCK! Thankfully I do not have this problem as my gorgeous wife does not currently have any piercings for me to navigate. Unless of course I fail as a husband and neglect her as the temple she is, leaving her with the need to “feel” pretty and worshipped.

Did I answer your question?

Thank you all for reading all the contestants' submissions for this here little "blogdown." You may all commence voting by e-mailing me at the with your choice of a replacement for He Blogs, She Blogs - one vote per person. I know it's hard people, but better you than me. Remember to vote for the blogger that you would like to read opposite me every week, the one that makes you laugh, makes you think, and the one that makes me look thin.

Good luck to all the awesome dudes in the running - they made my YEAR for agreeing to participate and I can't WAIT to see who takes home the proverbial crown!