Slightly Late Tuesday Questions: “Tough Guy” Edition

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105 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The recent Budweiser superball ad that implied that if you like good beer, you aren’t real man got to me a lot.

    My least favorite variant is the type that assumes if you approach anything in life with the slightest bit of caution than you aren’t a real man. Somehow, real man or tought guy is come to be synonymous without foolish behavior.Report

    • Avatar Patrick says:

      The recent Budweiser superball ad that implied that if you like good beer, you aren’t real man got to me a lot.

      This bothered me a lot less because so many of the folks who like good beer crap all over folks who like Budweiser so some blowback is pretty predictable.

      It’s still stupid, but it’s predictable.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Its part of my larger grudge against what I call the Cult of the Badass. A lot of popular culture implies that any man with a sense of elegance and refinement is not a real man. It seems terribly anti-intellectual to me.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        “It seems terribly anti-intellectual to me” is probably the sort of attitude that Patrick was referring to, bruh.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        Budweiser’s in the taste profile of stuff I like.

        Not my favorite, under any circumstances, but it’s not like I hate it.

        Alcoholic wheat soda, what’s not to like?Report

      • Avatar j r says:

        A lot of popular culture implies that any man with a sense of elegance and refinement is not a real man.

        Maybe we are paying attention to different elements of popular culture. I’m noticing the ones that include James Bond, the most interesting man in the world, Barney from HIMYM, GQ and Esquire magazines, web sites like The Art of Manliness an AskMen, on and on…

        The current pop culture reality is almost the exact opposite.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott says:

        “Alcoholic wheat soda, what’s not to like?”

        Budweiser’s problem isn’t that it’s alcoholic wheat soda. The problem is that it’s among the lousiest of the alcoholic wheat sodas on the market.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog says:

        There’s no wheat in Budweiser, incidentally – it’s about 2 parts barley to 1 part rice.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        thanks for the note.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Real Men Drink Wine.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Budweiser can French-kiss my pumpkin-peach-ale-drinking [posterior], and if Budweiser finds afterwards that it tasted bad, it can gargle the flavor away with its excessively carbonated but otherwise tasteless barley pop afterwards all it likes.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        What @burt-likko said.

        That commercial didn’t irritate me so much as confuse me.

        “If you’re one of those people who care what their beer tastes like, keep walking pal. But if you’re okay with flavorless piss water that you just consume to get drunk, have we got a product for you!”Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Burt, indeed.

        The ad people were probably given conflicting missions by Budweiser. One was to create an ad that appeals to a younger audience. The other is not to alienate existing Budweiser drinkers. Attempting to do this is like trying to square a circle.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        @burt-likko @tod-kelly

        My guess is that they were playing for their existing audience rather than trying to reach a new audience.

        I once worked with a woman who said her dads attitude towards microbrews/craftbrews is that those beers were “frou frou beers” even though they are much more alcoholic than Bud. My guess is that Bud is going to play for these guys until they have to change because they don’t know how to change on their own.Report

      • Avatar j r says:

        Budweiser can French-kiss my pumpkin-peach-ale-drinking [posterior]…

        French kissing posteriors is so hot right now. It was on Girls and everything.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        And naturally, AB-InBev owns outright or has a significant minority interest in those that they mock.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Saul, the big brewers already know how to respond to the craft brew threat. Many of set up fake craft breweries like Shock Top, Blue Moon, or that long named one that begins with L. Craft beer fans know these are just fronts for the macro-brewers but a lot of people like them and say how good they are compared to Miller or Bud. Kolohe also pointed out that the macrobrewers are fighting back by buying the microbrewers.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        “My guess is that they were playing for their existing audience rather than trying to reach a new audience. ”

        That’s what most advertising is for these days, actually; customer retention. People who don’t drink Bud probably have reasons why they don’t, and those reasons aren’t likely to change because of a TV commercial, but people who *do* drink Bud need to be reminded that they’re making the right choice and should keep on doing it.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Jim, you make it sound like advertisements are nothing more than the pleas of a desperate lover telling his or her SO not to abandon him for the new person.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        To the extent that people are motivated by advertising, they’re just as likely to have their opinions swayed by the “you’ve found a winner, stick with a winner” advertisements as the “try something new! the sky’s the limit on how much better this product is than the old one you’ve grown accustomed to!” ads.

        Bud has been relying on brand loyalty for too long (or, at least, for long enough that its board has started screaming at the people whose job it is to scream at the ad people).

        Part of the problem is that we few, we happy few, are probably nowhere near Bud’s target audience and there probably isn’t an ad campaign out there that *COULD* get us to say “next time I go to the store, I’m going to buy a six-pack of Budweiser!”

        (There probably are ad campaigns that could get us to try the next Shock Top, though… and we might even like it until we see who makes it.)Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Old Milwaukee ads bemuse me, because it positions itself as tasting just like Budweiser (while being cheaper.)Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott says:

      Budweiser has been the official beer of the superbowl for as long as I can remember.

      I wonder if there’s a point at which that brand connection starts to hurt the superbowl. I feel like my generation is ambivalent about football, but scads of us watch the superbowl for cultural reasons–but how long is that going to last if the advertising seems to be increasingly targeted at our grandparents.

      In an increasingly splintered marketplace, the idea of having official exclusive sponsorships is an increasingly dangerous prospect.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        advertising seems to be increasingly targeted at our grandparents

        From the criticism I’ve read, the majority of the ads were targeted at a much different demographic than in years past with Bud still doing the same thing, more or less, that it’s always done.

        Is this not the case?Report

      • Avatar j r says:

        I think that you may be overestimating the number of younger folks who don’t drink Bud and only watch the Superbowl for cultural reasons. The NFL and Annheuser Busch are probably pretty safe for some time to come.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        I do kind of miss the Bud Bowl ads.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott says:

        Is this not the case?

        I dunno. None of my friends bothered to throw a superbowl party this year.

        Which is sort of my point, right? Few of us are football fans, but all of us enjoy finding an excuse to hang out, drink beer, eat chips, and vaguely pay attention to the TV. For whatever reason, none of us bothered this year.

        The question is this: can the superbowl afford to lose that chunk of the viewership? The folks that show up for the bean dip and the half-time show? My guess is: not if it wants to keep being THE Big Game.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Among spectator sports, football remains idiotically popular. Like a Thursday night game between two non-very-good teams gets better ratings than the World Series. The NFL wants to expand, because all business do, but it has no worries about the size of its existing audience.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Since most people are priced out of going to the live professional game, packaging for TV becomes critically important. The network directors have become astonishingly good at packaging the game for television. Offensive runs through their shifts and audibles and runs a play — then 30 seconds of replays from three angles, a quick shot of the concerned-looking coach on one sideline or the other (sometimes a cheerleader, for variety), 15 seconds of commentary about why the play was brilliant/stupid, speculation on why a particular personnel change is being made. Repeat. At the stadium, the thing that jumps out at you is just how much dead time the director is filling. Probably more difference in the stadium and at-home experiences for football than any of the other major sports.

        Somehow, the batter adjusting his gloves from three different angles doesn’t work the same. Baseball would be well served by doing away with that kind of nonsense. There are professional golfers whose pre-shot routine is faster than some of the baseball players, which is saying a lot.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        I can concur with what Jaybird said. From what I’ve read (I did not watch the game), the ads this year featured two games for “freemium” mobile games and those ads featured majored celebs like Kate Upton and Liam Neeson. Other ads featured Sarah Silverman. The Dove Men & Care ads were supposed to be different.

        A friend of mine called Bud’s ad “Nixionian” in that he thought it was supposed to purposefully divide and reassure people who felt that craft brews are what sissy, hipster, city boys drink.

        Mike and J-R are right on Bud and the Superbowl being safe for a long time coming. Kohole pointed out above that Bud’s parent company is very good at buying microbrews including some incredibly good ones.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        I’d say you have cause and effect reversed there. The NFL became the dominant US sport under Pete Rozelle’s watch because he realized it’s suited for television viewing more than any other sport – and moreover, has a tempo that’s suited for sponsor interruptions and thus able to be monetized with unparallelled efficiency.Report

  2. Avatar Patrick says:

    So what is your favorite or least favorite variant of a “tough guy” questions?

    It’s not really a question, but the sort of urban legend story that glorifies the use of minor violence or even assault under the badge of teaching a jerk a lesson. “The marine and the atheist college professor story” is one of those. They deeply offend me because the vast majority of folks I know who actually study physical combat are the ones least likely to use violence.

    Almost everybody who will resort to violence, absent the threat of imminent bodily harm, is acting like a completely deplorable asshole.Report

  3. Avatar j r says:

    Tough guys don’t ask questions, because real men always speak in the imperative.

    Also, real men don’t answer questions; they simply glare at you until you come to the right conclusion.Report

  4. Avatar zic says:

    That being a tough guy equates with jack-ass, darwin-award type behavior.

    Tough guys doing tough jobs (fishing, mining, logging, farming, soldiering in combat are all examples) all prepare; the put a lot of effort into understanding the dangers. Stunt guys spend months planning stunts that only take a few seconds to actually implement.

    Real tough guys are smart, they educate themselves, they plan carefully, and they don’t prove their tough while inebriated or to impress girls. Those dudes are just jack asses.Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Favorite: “Are you sure you want those wings with the Death By Habanero sauce?”

    Least favorite: “Kirk or Picard?”Report

    • Avatar Saul DeGraw says:


      Benjamin Sisko is the real answer.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        That is the correct answer @saul-degraw but how did you know it was the correct answer?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        Contrary to popular belief, I am not completely anti-Science Fiction. I am more anti the Slavish devotion that fandom seems to give without thought. Basically it seems that midnight showings have become such a thing that it is almost impossible for a SF/Fantasy/Comic Book Franchise to fail even when it is an over-bloated monstrosity like The Hobbit movies. I would be less grumpy if fans could get beyond “shut up and take my money” and finding it witty to constantly repeat their favorite quotes/scenes.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Fair enough, Saul. I am mostly surprised because it is a question I myself am only barely able to answer.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Saul, basically you are anti-fandom rather than anti-speculative fiction. You would be happier if fandom could approach speculative fiction through a more critical and high cultural lens. I am somewhat in agreement. I just think that high culture also has plenty of the “Emperor has no clothes” moments and audiences that accept things uncritically. Its just that they have less of a cultural and economic presence than fandom.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        which is why I’m so surprised that he isn’t into Game of Thrones. That’s a show that knows how to take itself at just the right level of seriousness.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        They like what they like because of antiquated cultural attitudes and perhaps the reinforcement, if not the deception, of advertising.

        I, on the other hand, like what I like because I have a refined palate and elegant taste. I don’t understand why they look down on me for that, of all things!Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Saul, basically you are anti-fandom rather than anti-speculative fiction. You would be happier if fandom could approach speculative fiction through a more critical and high cultural lens.

        But you can hardly blame fans who have an “At last! Someplace I fit in!” reaction, and then go overboard. I knew people who came to work at Bell Labs who thought they were in heaven because everyone was a geek of some sort part of the time. Well, not the secretary types, but those people were all very tolerant of geekish behavior.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Michael, during the mid-20th century fannish over reaction was more understandable because nerds and geeks were not in control of the culture or the economy. The types of entertainment that appealed to them was definitely non-maintstream entertainment for the most part. It wasn’t until the 1960s that TV and movies attempted to get science fiction right.

        These days, geeks and nerds are in firm control of culture and entertainment. The various forms of speculative fiction movies are Hollywood’s main product rather than something pushed to the margins of the industry. Conventions are big media events with heavy star presence. It is time that geeks start approaching these things with a more critical eye if they want to achieve real cultural maturirty.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        Beg pardon, but I have no IDEA what you are talking about. I mean I kinda get where Saul is coming from, when he urges folks to reject Bad Sci Fi as being, well, bad scifi (hobbit cited).

        But you? I don’t get. What does being more Critical about DS9 really mean? Is it the MRM folks who got their hands on the Ferengi Pregnancy Contract (oh, they loved that one)…?

        I don’t see the fanbase really “enjoying” the honestly terrible episodes of DS9 — oh, maybe one or two that I’d rate as “oh god why????” and someone else might call “just awful”.

        But, man, nobody liked the “Rape is Now Funny” episode.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        Tell me you meant 1950’s. Because either you’re trying to say that Dr. Who isn’t spec lit, women can’t be fans (please tell me you didn’t just say that), or you just screwed up your timelines.Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:

        That is the correct answerbut how did you know it was the correct answer?
        He Kobayashi Maru’d it.

        It was a no-win scenario, so he altered the parameters. 🙂Report

    • Avatar Kimmi says:

      Oh, the Kirk or Picard one is best when it causes a fullscale meltdown, complete with someone screaming in a monotone for 15 minutes straight, while pointing at someone.
      [Not the Instigator. Wasn’t even in the country.]Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      I wonder who women prefer; Kirk or Picard?

      My assumptions would be that tough guys go for kirk, and chicks go for Picard; better chance he’ll be coming home at the end of the day for dinner.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Dated Kirk, Married Picard, woke up with Dax.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        [Googles Dax. Sees images.]

        Wait, waking up next to Dax is a bad thing?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I couldn’t come up with a punchline. The setup was just too good to just leave there, though.

        Woke up with Quark? (Eh… iffy.)
        Woke up with Odo? (I’ve got a 12 part slashfic involving this scenario!)
        Woke up with Archer? (Scott Bakula is dreamy, though.)
        Woke up with Janeway? (I could see this getting an “uncool” that Dax wouldn’t because of the whole symbiote thing)
        Woke up with Mal Reynolds?

        Quick! Call Schilling!Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        Women prefer The Doctor over the lot of them.
        (Doctor Who really deserves its place in Television History.
        One of the first programs to really actively try and manage to acquire a female audience).Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        woke up with Data.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        I am more of a Major Kira guy myself.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        woke up with Data.

        I’ve got an 6-part slashfic dealing with this one.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        Yes, waking up next to a 7th generation creature is VERY creepy.

        The punchline is obviously “Vulcan Love Slave” (memorializing one of the earlier fanfics, and one that actually got mentioned on DS9.).Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Terry Farrell (who played Dax) was on “Becker” for most of its run. Becker is one of those truly solid but sadly forgotten sitcoms. Like “Two Guys and a Girl*” and “The Drew Carey Show.”

        * – and a Pizza Place, for the first couple of seasons. Then no more pizza place. And eventually, it really became about three guys and three girls. There must be something magical about the number six, because “Friends” and “Living Single.” Even “How I Met Your Mother” played on six, except with an empty seat for the mother.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        R. loved Becker.

        I watched several episodes late night, when insomnia and no cable meant I watched whatever was on in syndication between midnight and 2. I liked it, but don’t remember it that well.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        oh, oh god. No, the actual punchline is Woke Up With Keiko.
        (I’ll leave the obvious nickname for someone else to scoop).Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I don’t know who 90% of those characters are.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Rule of six, though, let’s see:

        Barney, Wojo, Harris, Fish, Dietrich, Yemana.
        Rieger, Banta, Elaine, Latka, Louie, Rev. Jim.
        Bilko, Hensh, Rocco, Grover, Ritzik, Col Hall.
        Rob, Laura, Buddy, Sally, Mel, …? Alan Brady wasn’t in enough episodes to work here.
        Mary, Rhoda, Phyllis, Lou, Murray, Ted.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Sam, Dianne, Coach, Carla, Norm, Cliff
        Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer, Jerry’s Girlfriend of the Week, other recurring character (e.g. Neuman, Mr. Peterman)Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Harry, Christine, Dan, Bull, Roz, MacReport

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        @mike-schilling and @kolohe I think the Rule of Six mostly applies to “shows in which young city-dwellers go around sleeping with each other and others” shows. May go further than that, but that’s what I was thinking of. And all I can think of are those three and a half examples. It’s just interesting to me that one that explicitly started out with three characters ended with six like the others.

        @chris That was my impression until I watched it (well, listened to it mostly) all the way through. I’m not going to call it one of the greats, but it’s been unduly forgotten.Report

      • Avatar Anne says:

        Give me Spock or Data any day….not sure what that says about me though @jaybird is on to something – waking up next to DaxReport

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        tvtropes does a good breakdown of the “five man band”, which consists of the leader, the rival, the big guy, the smart guy, and the heart. There’s sometimes a Sixth Ranger who doesn’t get as much air time or whose character doesn’t serve a central role.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        I wonder to what degree this is limited by economics and not storytelling.Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        Tod, there seems to be a built-in cap in the number of characters you can tell a story about. Even in books, the Faramirs only get so much opportunity to be fleshed out.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi says:

        Oh, so Becker was the reason we got Dax as starship captain?
        *eyeroll* While Terry wasn’t the worst person on DS9, she wasn’t exactly fun to work with, or so I’m told.

        It’s more of a “what makes a good story” than economics. Three people is too small to form a party (disagreements get vicious, and you have a pivot person), and more than five makes the whole thing unwieldy. If D&D got nothing else right, they got that right.

        If you wind up with more than about six characters, the “default characterization” gets harder too. (Star Trek gets to cheat, because they have basic Racial Characterizations — so both Quark and Worf can fall into the role of “traditionalist”, while having entirely different characterizations).Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        While Terry wasn’t the worst person on DS9, she wasn’t exactly fun to work with, or so I’m told.

        Her departure from Becker was allegedly due to this. At least, that’s the studio’s story. Her story had something to do with unionization.

        (SPOILER) The way they deal with her departure, right after a cliffhanger in which Reggie and Becker finally slept together after years of Sam-and-Dianning, was pretty priceless. She was so horrified and disgusted by sleeping with Becker she had to leave the country, never to be seen from or heard again.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        “I wonder to what degree this is limited by economics and not storytelling.”

        My wild-a** guess is that it’s the economics of storytelling. To continue on what Pinky says above,a good chunk of TV episodic storytelling involves an A plot, a B plot, and a C plot, generally in decreasing order of time commitment. These plots generally rotate through an ensemble cast to balance the screen time – which in turn is (generally) correlated with time on the set. (Sci-fi shows alter these economics somewhat due to make-up requirements)

        The larger the ensemble, the larger the logistic headache to get all the actors on the set(s) at the appointed time. HBO works around this (sometimes) by filming an entire season all at once, but most network TV still films only a few weeks before airing, and so is still in production as the first episodes of the season are airing.

        Anything with kids won’t have a few or all of them on for a couple of episodes so they don’t break the cap on their hours. But even Doctor Who writes at least one episode a season to give the actor playing the Doctor a production cycle off (ditto for a different episode for the companion actor)

        (there’s still a storytelling limit though. Any plot, almost by definition, has to have at least 2 actors – so 3 plots = 6 actors. Networks sitcoms are still (about) 22 minutes of airtime, thus a full 6 ensemble cast is already at only an average of 3 minutes 40 seconds of screen time per main actor. You start squeezing more people in, you really start to compress the timeline)Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      “How much bacon do you want?”

      “None, I’m not really a bacon fan.”

      “We didn’t ask whether you want bacon, we asked how much. Possible answers include ‘a shit ton,’ ‘enough to give an elephant a heart attack,’ and ‘all of it.'”Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

        Ron Swanson: Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait…wait. I worry what you just heard was: Give me a lot of bacon and eggs. What I said was: Give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Do you understand?

        Parks and Recreation, “Indianapolis”, Episode 306, February 24, 2011Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        Baconing the question.Report

  6. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I find I dislike being asked about what kind of firearms I own, which out here where I live now is comparable to the question about what “church home” I’d found in Tennessee. I don’t think I need to own a firearm to be a man or even to be a tough guy. And while I can imagine dire, emergency situations in which were a firearm handy I would be grateful for having it, I can just as easily imagine dire, emergency situations in which the firearm did more harm than good (particularly given that I am not professionally trained in their use); as well as dire, emergency situations in which the firearm would not be available. The implication that I am somehow less of a man or have failed to adequately provide security to my wife (ignoring the implication that it is the man’s duty to somehow secure the woman’s physical well-being) by not stocking my house with more weapons than there are appendages in the home available to wield them is irritating to me.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      +1 @burt-likko on both the firearm and church home fronts.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi says:

      *snort* The person I know with the most guns and the most inclination to use them keeps them WELL OUTSIDE THE HOUSE. In fact, keeps most of them on the other side of the Mississippi…

      Double Dare you to tell them about the bunker you own in Utah, the one packed full of guns and ammo…Report

  7. Avatar Pinky says:

    “they are almost always guys”

    You’ve never seen a woman play the childbirth card?Report

    • Avatar dhex says:

      more mommy than thou.

      the sheer amount of dickery about breastfeeding is the worst thing people can put new moms through. just awful.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        My wife breastfed, and is glad she did. But man, the lactivists make me want to bottlefeed our next one out of spite. The people at the hospital – where she had worked for three years – were actually the worst of all, reducing her to tears when she had difficulty with it. When she complained, they basically dismissed it because women and hormones and you know how that goes. When she came back to work after three months, she raised it again. At which point they basically said “You’re still upset about that? Good lord. Besides, you are successfully breastfeeding, so your child is better off for it and you’re welcome.”Report

      • Avatar dhex says:

        there’s some people we don’t talk to anymore because of their attitudes on this particular subject.

        then again there’s some we don’t talk to because we refused to be around their “delayed vaccination” kids.

        the venn overlap between the two is vast.

        but even the hospital we used had a day shift and a night shift of nurses that hated each other and a lactation consultation team that i swear was made up entirely of caricatures. the end result was suffering on my wife’s part and pointless hunger and distress on my kid’s part.

        no gain, no benefit, no nothing. congratulations, jackasses.

        gave them third degree burns on the press ganey, to be sure.Report

  8. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I once rented a room in a house where one of the roommates was a very macho former autoworker and I, at one point, said something about having a cat back home who I was fond of and he got sort of blustery and said: “Come on, dude! You’re a guy!! You don’t like cats!!” For some reason, that struck me as very funny.Report

  9. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Two things about Times Square, which I know only from visits with my parents as a kid and the movie with Tim Curry about the teen runaways who form a new wave band, but wasn’t it known for the grindhouse theaters? I know there are people who love those movies, and I enjoy them myself- so the chance of seeing like three in a row in a theater full of screaming rowdies and then do the same the next night next door? Doesn’t sound too bad. The other thing is New York really isn’t all that culturally relevant anymore, so people might sort of associate the old Times Square with a time in which New Yorkers created all this amazing art and music and culture and overlook all the people who got mugged.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi says:

      For all I like to joke about it, there are still places in BOSWASH where you can get mugged on a yearly basis (they seriously sell insurance and help getting back on your feet).

      Mugging isn’t “oh my god, you just got shot!!!” I know people who have been mugged repeatedly in DC (back when DC was a WAY scarier place).Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


      I don’t know how you can say that NYC isn’t relevant anymore. It is still where you need to be to be seen as “making it” in the theatre world in the United States for the most part. The art world scene is still strongly there as are publishing and TV. Plus the NYC is really expensive meme is showing that it is still a desirable place to live.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. says:

        Yeah, it’s not dead- still a media city- but even there, it’s hard for me to compare that ten year or so period where nearly all the art, music, and video that utterly transformed American (and world) culture reverberating down to today was being created and innovated in New York with… Broadway mega musicals and “Girls”… ya know? I mean, no, it’s not nothing- but I think the cultural significance of New York looks a lot larger in New York now and it was not always that way.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:


        There is also this essay:

        This goes for beyond music. I’ve seen people complain about cities and areas are being homogenized in all sorts of ways and calling it Brooklynization.

        NYC is still pretty big if this is a complaint.

        I admit to being an NYC partisan.

        We have the best pizza and really the only good bagels in the United States.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. says:

        I will grant the pizza and the bagels are the best. But, I have to point out that the article is complaining about the popularity of “generic, mushy, apolitical, featureless” music, which it calls “Brooklynish” as shorthand for all those things!

        I feel like people talk about “Brooklyn” like they talk about Saturday Night Live- as something that irritates them but they tolerate because it used to be good in the 70s and the young people who like it don’t know any better!Report

  10. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I’m a little confused by this question.

    I guess it depends on how we define “tough”. Some people proudly tell ‘tough guy’ stories and wear them as badges of honor because overcoming obstacles is generally laudable. Synonyms for tough can include resilient, strong, persistent, hard-to-break. Generally speaking, those are positive traits. The problem becomes when exaggerated versions of these traits become what is sought after.

    Looking at it from a different angle — and one you should be able to understand Saul — is that the best stories involve conflict. If I tell you about the time I rode the subway and nothing happened, that story would suck. If I tell you about the time I rode the subway and someone tried to mug me, I’ve got your attention.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      “…and one you should be able to understand Saul…”

      Oy, that came out infinitely worse than I meant it. I didn’t mean to imply that you couldn’t understand the other angles. What I meant is that, as someone who is trained in the arts — particularly playwriting and acting — I would think that what makes a good story would be right in your wheelhouse. My apologies for the pisspoor phrasing.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        Nice cover story, Kazzy, but we all know your talk about “angles” was a coded reference to Jews controlling the New York diamond trade.Report

  11. Avatar Damon says:

    Yah I thought this was funny.

    I was in NYC about a year ago with my actress friend and she was bemoaning something similar. She said that there were no more “characters” on the streets. And when we got back home, she said, “I go all the way to Manhattan and back only to find one crazy person on the DC Metro.”

    Yeah, sorry, most people like to live in a city where “characters” and “edginess” not things you experience often. Getting yelled at by delusional street folk daily? Not the quality of life I want. 🙂Report

  12. Avatar Pinky says:

    My new favorite tough guy question: “What did you do in the war, Brian Williams?”Report