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Man, What the Hell?

Man, What The Hell? Toxic Mask-ulinity Edition

Plus: Disease, dystopia, and lovable, cuddly drugs.

Welcome to Man, What the Hell?, a new series delving into the stories that made us go, “Man, what the hell?”

As a dude, there is exactly one subject—and one subject only—about which I’m actually qualified to speak with any semblance of authority at all: just how absolutely dogshit stupid dudes like me are.

Dudes are truly the dumbest motherfuckers on Earth. Do you know a dude? He’s a moron. Are you a dude? Ask someone to read this blog to you slowly.

According to a new study put out this week by researchers at Middlesex University in the UK and the Mathematical Science Research Institute in Berkeley, men are not only less likely to believe they’re at serious risk from the COVID-19 pandemic (they’re actually twice as likely to die from the virus than women) but also:

Men more than women agree that wearing a face covering is shameful, not cool, a sign of weakness, and a stigma; and these gender differences also mediate gender differences in intentions to wear a face covering.

I suppose this shouldn’t come as a total surprise, considering the country’s commandude-in-chief steadfastly refusing to wear a face mask, going so far as to proclaim that “I won’t be doing it personally” during the press conference where he rolled out the CDC’s new mask-wearing guidelines. Huh! Frankly, if the president wants to prove what a big tough guy he really is, he should let Mike Pence spit down his open throat live on national television, and wash it down big gulp of Mountain Dew.

This refusal by some bonehead dudes to wear masks is, I guess, a predictably idiotic mutation of some good ol’ fashioned toxic masculinity (Fellas, is it GAY to wear a potentially life-saving mask?). It also suggests to me a total failure of imagination on the part of dudes who have proven time and again that they love to dress up in silly costumes, but only if they’re allowed to carry rocket launchers and yell about how much they hate the government.

The irony here is that, personally, I think wearing a mask is basically fine. It’s kind of annoying sometimes—my glasses fog up when I exhale, and my ears get a little sore if I wear one for too long—but not the sort of thing worth bitching about beyond those extremely mundane grievances. Sometimes I even make wearing one a fun (?) little game; I’ve started talking like Bane when I buy groceries—“You merely adopted the produce section. I was born in it, molded by it.” Checkout clerks absolutely love it, I assume. Clearly this rich inner fantasy life isn’t for everyone, but for me it takes just enough of the edge off to make our current jackpot slightly more bearable most days. And that’s really all any of us can hope for, I suppose.

I digress. The point is: Just wear the fucking mask, you selfish goofuses. Grow up, take the clown shoes off, and shut up about how “not-cool” and “weak” you think a thin layer of fabric makes look. This has nothing to do with covering your mouth, and everything to do with the fact that you’re a pissy little baby who thinks that showing off your snotty nose and chapped lips is more important than people gasping for breath from a hospital bed. Goddamn.

Now Is the Winter of Our Diss Content

It’s probably a bad sign when, in the middle of an already historic pandemic, one of the nation’s top virologists testifies before Congress that things could very likely get much worse if the U.S. doesn’t shape up (ha) and get its shit together (ha ha).

That, however, is exactly where things stand, after former Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Director Dr. Rick Bright told lawmakers on Thursday that “2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history” if something isn’t done to dramatically improve the nation’s coronavirus response.

I’m not too worried, though. According to the president, “America is getting its life back!” thanks to “VERY promising” vaccine work” and “Likewise, other solutions!”


Biden, His Time

There’s probably no “right” answer to the question of what a candidate should tell people who might not vote for them over extremely credible allegations of sexual assault. But to the extent that such a theoretical right answer could, in some far adjacent plane of reality, exist…well, whatever Joe Biden said on Thursday evening is about as far from it as possible.

“If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me,” Biden exclaimed, handing the Republicans a sizzling new talking point on a silver platter.

“I wouldn’t vote for me if I believe Tara Reade,” he continued.

Congratulations, Democrats, your handpicked political mastermind strikes again!

2,000–3,000 Feral Hogs

As the nation girds its loins for the prospect of mass meat shortages due to the skyrocketing COVID infection rates in meat processing plants, some pork producers are left trying to figure out what to do with all their excess pork.

Enter: wood chippers.

Southwest Minnesota’s Nobles County has become a mass grave for poor little piggies who grew too big, too fast to be processed for consumption, and who have instead been euthanized—thousands at a time—and fed into industrial wood chippers to aid with “composting.”

“This whole approach…began being evaluated in composting just within the last year because of African swine fever,” Minnesota Board of Animal Health Communications Director Mike Crusan told the Pioneer Press. “The pork industry nationwide was studying ways of effectively composting mass carcasses if we were to get that in the United States.”

Will our spirit of innovation never cease to amaze?

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream

Never in my wildest, William Gibson-inspired fever dreams could I have imagined our cursed, fallen world would come up with a way to combine crushing authoritarianism with a delicious summertime treat. And yet!

“We roast and then grind whole black peppercorns and make them into gelato, the Italian style,” the anonymous Ice Cream maker behind Hong Kong’s new “tear gas”-flavored dessert explained to the AP. “It’s a bit hot, but we emphasize its aftertaste, which is a sensation of irritation in the throat. It just feels like breathing in tear gas.”

The point, the nameless ice creamer explained, is to “make a flavor that reminds people that they still have to persist in the protest movement and don’t lose their passion.”

What would a uniquely American protest ice cream taste like? Sound off in the comments.


Question. Which is more likely to make you grind your teeth into bloody stubs: Wearing this shirt out in public before god and family and friends and everybody?


Forking up all 45 briquettes of high quality, Minion-stamped yayo worth around $7 million captured by the Ukrainian national Security Service the other day?

Let’s call it a draw.

The 🎶Simp Sooooon🎶

Donj’s Instagram remains one of the weirdest, worst places in all of online.


This is the energy to take with you into the weekend

Did anything make you say “man, what the hell?” this week? Perhaps out loud to a roommate, loved one, or disinterested household pet/plant? Misery loves company, so share your personal what the hells in the comments below!

(pic via New Line Productions — ssssssssmokin’)