Magnificent Bastard

Saturday, August 30, 2014

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MB Endorses: Shackleford

MB Endorses: Shackleford
One month ago, a reader headed toward the Kentucky Derby asked us about appropriate footwear to wear to the event. We applauded him on his instincts to go with a pair of Santoni double monk straps — and it turns out the reason for his attendance there, an underdog named Shackleford, was pretty well shod too. He was running at 23-1 odds and finished fourth.

Turns out our reader is also Shackleford's owner, and we've enjoyed hearing reports of his subsequent success. He started the Preakness at 12-1 and won.

Next up is the Belmont this weekend and this time the odds on Shackleford are 9-2. Needless to say, we've placed our bets and will be rooting hard for the spirited front-runner. Here's to holding off Animal Kingdom and Nehro down the stretch.

MB Endorses: MAKR Ox Blood Skateboard

MAKR Ox Blood Skateboard via makr.com, $68.00
MAKR Ox Blood Skateboard via makr.com. $68.00.
Most skateboards look like they were designed by graffiti artists who ran out of buildings to deface or flunkies from the local art school. Or both.

In stark contrast is the MAKR ox blood deck, custom shaped of white walnut, hand stained, with individually numbered leather risers. Normally $80, it's 15% off — like everything else at makr.com — while owner/designer Jason Gregory is vacationing in Europe*. At just $68 for something that looks like it should cost at least a couple of hundred bucks, this is one of the best values on the whole internet.

* He left March 22, so this sale will likely be ending soon. (An MB correspondent tells us that while Mr. Gregory is on vacation, orders still ship quickly. His key chain arrived just a few days after the order was placed.)

America's Drug Dealers Lacking Sense of Romance and Adventure

America's Drug Dealers Lacking Sense of Romance and Adventure
It makes perfect sense to us that novelty clothing retailer J. Peterman is selling 19th century Gallic drug paraphernalia — who better to cultivate as your customer base than coke dealers? They've got lots of disposable income, their tastes are extravagant, and yet they're typically stuck on the same shitty corner of West Baltimore day after day. (Every thing we know about coke dealing we learned from The Wire.) They might dream of exploring out-of-the-way tapas bars in Andalucia, but who's got the time? There's a recession on and people want their coke! So they do the next best thing and buy objects imbued with history, local color, the exoticism of faraway places — like cast iron counter scales made in France in the late 1800s. Right?

Maybe not. J. Peterman has a full complement of one-of-kind antique kilo scales for sale, all of them heavily discounted. Apparently our coke dealers are such Type A killjoys they don't even have time for adventure consumerism. Come on, drug dealers, live a little! Relax for five minutes and buy an authentic Italian Cinquecento scale. You deserve it!

Ask the MB: Is Omega the Best House on Campus?

Delta House, Faber College, 1963
Delta House, Faber College, 1963
Q: I am a longtime reader, and am now college-bound. Do MBs belong to fraternities, and if so, what attributes due their frats have?
--Sam


A: Sam, it sounds like you've been reading Magnificent Bastard since before you were old enough to shave — so we're not exactly sure what college can teach you. If you're determined to go, though, and determined to join a frat, here's the best advice we can give you. It's all about the bros.

Yes, we just said bros, without any intentional irony. But it's the truth. Don't judge a house based on its physical amenities, on its reputation with the local co-eds, or even on the quality of its in-house cook.

It's college, and one way or another, you're going to get your fill of drunken sorority girls, awful malt liquor, and only slightly better ditchweed. But no matter how much time you spend chasing Alpha Chis, you're going to spend even more time hanging out with your bros for hours on end as you blow off Sociology 101 and wait for morning to turn into mid-morning so you can have that first beer of the day without feeling like a total degenerate. Find some guys whose antics you're pretty sure you will find entertaining even when you're so hungover just clicking the remote feels like performing brain surgery, and you will likely end up with an education not even poet laureates and Nobel Prize-winners could provide.

Ask the MB: Stain Removal

Ask the MB: Stain Removal
Q: I have a blue on white gingham shirt that's developed a little bit of yellowing around the collar. I obviously can't hit it with bleach, and I'd rather not replace it because it just isn't any ordinary gingham. Is there a reliable cure for this?
--John


A: While we aim for artful dishevelment, a life that produces no stains at all is a life that is being too carefully led. What we're saying is we've experimented with quite a few cleaning products over the years, and what we've found is that 2 parts Ivory liquid dishsoap combined with 3 parts OxiClean creates an unstoppable stain-fighting paste. Don't let the fact that the man who turned OxiClean into a household staple, Billy Mays, was also the man who tried to sell America spray-on grass (Green Now!) and a tie with a pocket to store your iPod in (iTie). OxiClean really does work like magic and Mays, who was always the best-laundered huckster on TV, was proof of this fact.

Ask the MB: Love Letters

The Love Letter, by Auguste Toulmouche
The Love Letter, by Auguste Toulmouche
Q: Is it MB to write love letters? With stationary and stamps and an actual pen? In this day of email, tweet/text/social mania is it romantic, or a little TTH?
--Matt


Ed. note: We've spent the past 18 months searching the bars of Pulaski looking for the Spectacular Bitch, from Quit-N-Time to T'bombs to Party Marty's. It took a little longer than we thought but we finally found her at Zielinski's. While we get her site ready, she'll be answering questions now and then in this space.

A: Dearest Matt, your instincts are good, but proceed with caution. I once ended a relationship with a man because he included the words "the pitter patter of raindrops" in a letter he posted from Sevilla. Bear in mind, should things ever go south with your lady love, a physical letter can and will be subjected to all manner of ignominy -- burning, shredding, crumpling, soaking, and brutal mockery, possibly at the hands of multiple girlfriends over bottles of wine. On the other hand, a letter can be clutched to her chest, tucked in a favorite book, sniffed, caressed, and re-read as no email could ever hope to be. Perhaps putting a pen to paper is trying too hard, but true blue Spectacular Bitches don't come easy.

Because I like you, Matt, a couple pointers:

1. Know thyself: If you are a clever writer and can guarantee that there will be no grammatical errors, proceed to the next pointer. I once ended a relationship with a man because of his dangling participles.

2. Know thy audience: Make sure you never put in writing something you wouldn't be able to say face-to-face after a few drinks. You don't want to freak her out.

3. Be brief.

4. Use proper stationery and a good pen. Don't be sloppy, but don't try to get creative either. I once ended a relationship with a man because he wrote to me on a piece of birch bark. And another because he wrote to me on a scroll. Plain correspondence cards of good stock are lovely, if you ask me.

5. Speak your truth but remember, leave the poetry to the poets.

Bonne chance, my pet. And be sure to let me know how the lucky lady responds.

SB

Ask the MB: E-Reader. Nook or Kindle?

Why not just use an iPad if you're into this sort of thing?
Why not just use an iPad if you're into this sort of thing?
Q: I'm facing a bit of a quandary and trust the opinions of the MB Gods so ... which e-reader is more MB: The Nook or the Kindle?
--Cam


A: Cam, the answer is neither. While we're like most people under 70 and have completely abandoned newspapers -- except as a great way to start a fire -- we still read actual books and always will. They meet MB principles of archaism and organic materials, and really look great on a bookshelf.

Fashion's Day After: Northern Grade

Fashion's Day After: Northern Grade
Tonight is Fashion's Night Out. For those of us who live, oh, about 1009 miles from FNO's epicenter in SoHo, we've got Fashion's Day After (aka Northern Grade), a pop-up market of Made-in-USA products that's on from noon-7PM, Saturday Sept. 11th at Architectural Antiques in Minneapolis, MN.

It's hosted by bagmaker J. W. Hulme and MB-endorsed tie guys Pierrepont Hicks, and sponsored by Red Wing and Fox River Socks.

There are also hats by Stormy Kromer, jeans by Baldwin Denim, more bags by Duluth Pack, boots by Steger Mukluks, bikes by Freeman Transport, shirts by Taylor Stitch, shoes by Russell Moccasin, canoes by Stewart River, notebooks by Doane Paper, skin care by Galen Labs, and outerwear by Fur Armor, who also sell a beaver fur can cooler, to keep your suds from freezing.

If you're within a day's drive, check it out.

MB Header Hotness

MB Header Hotness
A flood of questions (and comments) have come in regarding the new header photo. Her name is Elizabeth. She is reading an original copy of the 1945 edition of The Bounty Trilogy. She empathizes with Bligh but is more of a Fletcher Christian fan. She's drinking chardonnay. She's wearing an Alexander West shirt in purple gingham. She's only wearing an Alexander West shirt in purple gingham. It may look like all her furniture, half her wardrobe, and her entire supply of fireplace matches has been repossessed, but in truth she has everything she needs, including a date for the next eight Saturday nights. Sorry, guys.

Ask the MB: Gardening

Ask the MB: Gardening
Q: Where does gardening fall on the scale of magnificent bastardom? Specifically, the desire to dig in dirt, tend, watch, and enjoy growing your own fruits and vegetables and the occasional flowering plant (and yes, even more butch plants like arbor vitae).
--Andy


A: Gardening has some theoretical virtues. The English love it, it involves primarily natural materials, it presupposes land ownership. But we have trouble getting past the clogs, which are basically Crocs for land-lubbers. And our manicurist, who is frankly a bit of an underachiever, hates it when we come in with dirt under our fingernails. Thus we prefer agriculture on a larger, noisier scale -- anything, in short, that gives us a chance to operate a chainsaw, threshing machine, or drag harrow.

Ask the MB: Leg Crossing

Ask the MB: Leg Crossing
Q: Aspiring to become MB in all aspects of conduct, I have formulated a question for you: What is the proper way to cross your legs out in public? Ankle on knee, leg over knee, or no cross at all? Thanks!
--Ryan


A: Ryan, there is no single correct answer to this. Mark Twain was a leg-over-knee man. James Dean never crossed. Both were magnificent sitters!

We recommend that you adopt whatever position you personally find most comfortable. When you're most at ease, you're most likely to project an air of natural, casual confidence, and that's what you're after. If you do end up doing some variation on crossing, though, make sure whatever socks you're wearing cost at least as much as a neat measure of single malt. And take a yoga class every now and then.

Hot Couture is the New Haute Couture

Hot Couture is the New Haute Couture
Yesterday the New York Times profiled Rent the Runway, dubbed "A Netflix model for haute couture." A couple of thoughts:

1. As if to minimize skepticism about how a frequently mailed dress will hold up over time, co-founder Jennifer Hyman (left) models a dress that has been clearly run over by a FedEx truck and still looks great!

2. Why rent designer dresses when Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan have lightly secured houses packed with totally free dresses?

Ask the MB: Shopping at Ross Dress for Less

Actual photo from inside Ross Dress for Less
Actual photo from inside Ross Dress for Less
Q: What is your opinion on shopping at Ross? I know that 99% of the stuff there is unusable, but occasionally you can find a hidden gem. It also seems like a good place to start if you don't have much in the pocketbook.
--Cheap Bastard


A: The nearest Ross Dress For Less (from our Pulaski, WI offices) is 491 miles away in Monaca, PA, so we're not terribly familiar with the place, though highly amusing online reviews make it sound similar to a 3rd-world bazaar, only more chaotic. And a 1% success rate is not worth it if you have to interact with The Great Unwashed in search of deals on underwear and striped sport shirts.

Do what we do: build a fire, pour yourself a glass of scotch, and click through the "Sale" links on our site's home page. There are great deals to be had from the comfort of your own home. Accompanying headbuzz just a nice bonus.

Mourning an MB: World's Oldest Man Henry Allingham Dead at 113

Mourning an MB: World's Oldest Man Henry Allingham Dead at 113
Henry Allingham, who until Saturday was the world's oldest man, is dead at age 113. He battled the Krauts in the Battle of Jutland, outlived his wife and two children, and chalked up his longevity to "cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women."

He obviously wasn't smoking the right cigs, drinking the right booze, or carousing with truly wild women, because if he had been he would have died long ago. Nevertheless, we heartily applaud his commitment to the finer things in life.

Ask the MB: Swine Flu Surgical Masks

Ask the MB: Swine Flu Surgical Masks
Q: What kind of surgical mask does the MB recommend for the coming swine flu pandemic?
--Bob


A: For this kind of, uh, "in your face" accessory, simple and understated is strongly recommended. And, white or light blue go with just about anything. Please, no pig noses. This is a good opportunity for designer surgical masks, like this MB prototype, inspired by British designer Paul Smith.

The Susan Boyle Makeover

The Susan Boyle Makeover
BEFORE
Hair by: Loneliness, unemployment, hard living
Dress by: Giorgio Frump
Bracelet by: String, Chicklets

AFTER
Hair by: Christophe
Jacket by: Arthur Fonzerelli
Scarf by: Burberry
Pants by: Elegant Lesbian
Glasses by: Uhhh ... hmmmm ... we think we've discovered the reason for this whole makeover idea.

Ask the MB: Smelly House

Ask the MB: Smelly House
Q: For some reason my house has always had a slight funky smell to it, so I use those electric air fresheners to keep the smell at bay. I was wondering if there is an air freshener that the MB endorses (if he endorses them at all) since most air fresheners have a sickly flowery smell to them. Does an air freshener exist that could be considered a little more bastardly that would be appropriate?
--Jack


A: We keep telling you guys: bury your enemies' bodies under someone else's house.

Jack, you're on the wrong track with air fresheners. You're just covering up the smell with Glade's Fruit Explosion when you need to eliminate the smell entirely with an air purifier. Expensive, but worth it, especially if you plan on return visits from members of the fairer (and more olfactory-gifted) sex.

Ask the MB: Computer Background Images

Ask the MB: Computer Background Images
Q: What do MBs have for a desktop background on their computers?
--Don


A: A picture of either a.) their kid(s), b.) their pet(s), c.) their wife, or d.) all of the above.

Just messin' with ya! Don, we're glad to see some understand an MB communicates even with his computer's display settings. Custom or design-y backgrounds are the equivalent of over-accessorization, like simultaneously wearing a necklace, watch, earring, and ring. Focus on things that matter: time invested in choosing a picture of a sunset is better spent finding a killer pair of shoes.

(Top: Choose "None" on Windows. Bottom: Choose "Solid Colors" on Mac, preferably a neutral.)

Attack of the Twerps

Attack of the Twerps
The June issue of GQ is literally the straw that broke the camel's back. It's got Shia LeBeouf (5'2" 113 lbs.) on the cover. This on the heels of Zac Efron (5'3" 115 lbs.) on the front of the Jan/Feb issue of Details and Hayden Christensen (5'5" 133 lbs.) on the cover of the March Details.

These are men's magazines, not Boys' Life. It's probably too much to ask for this generation to find equivalents to Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, and Burt Lancaster, but Shia Freaking LeBeouf?! His latest role is Indiana Jones's sidekick; or, a slightly taller Short Round. Who's set for the July issue? That 17 year-old guy who was a runner-up on American Idol?

MB Endorses: Cedar Strip Kayak

Cedar Strip Kayak via Justin Charles, $16000.00
Cedar Strip Kayak via Justin Charles. $16000.00.
Now that the ice has finally cleared from the rivers near our Pulaski, WI offices, we're wanting to work our deltoids, triceps, backs, abdomens, and Latissimus Dorsi (lats) in this ridiculously beautiful hand-crafted cedar strip kayak. Put $8,000 down, pay an additional $8,000 upon delivery, and Justin Charles will throw in free shipping. Allow 14-16 weeks for delivery.

Please Pack Your Long Sleeves, and Then Wear Them

Please Pack Your Long Sleeves, and Then Wear Them
Last night's episode of Top Chef clearly illustrated the principle of playing to your strengths, and minimizing (or completely covering) your weaknesses. In this case, going sleeveless.

Top: Host/judge Padma Lakshmi can rock sleeveless (and a lot of other things) six ways 'til Sunday so that look works beautifully. On the other hand...

Bottom: Judge Gail Simmons from Food & Wine -- with a fairly cute face and above-average cleavage -- should call attention to those features, and not her arms, which look like they're both victims of one too many food judging competitions.

Taking Himself Way Too Seriously: Jean Touitou

Taking Himself Way Too Seriously: Jean Touitou
We're thinking of having a bonfire fueled by our A.P.C. jeans collection after reading head designer Jean Touitou's comments (and seeing his pretentious pose) in a recent issue of Details.

His way misguided thinking on drinking:

"After you're 35, it's difficult to drink unless you're running 10 miles a day. I'm not talking one dry martini every Saturday or something. I'm talking three dry martinis a night. And I don't think that's possible -- it's too much poisoning. It's not a very sexy way to talk about drinking, but that's the truth."

Whatever.

The Birth of Romance, Death of Manhood

The Birth of Romance, Death of Manhood
With the caveman movie 10,000 B. C. opening in theaters today, we were reminded of this tragic scene from probably the best caveman movie ever made, Quest for Fire. Manhood died -- or was at least seriously injured and placed into intensive care -- exactly 80,008 years ago. So don't feel bad. If you're reading this, you never had a chance.

Ask the MB

Ask the MB
Q: At 34, the lyric "I'm losing my edge to the art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties" provides background music while I check my cultural awareness. The kids are coming up from behind. That being said, where's the Hedi love? Or a gush or two for Demeulemeester? Your premature rejection of skinny has me worried. Are you losing your edge?
—Todd


A: Whoa. Forget the kids, our MBB (Magnificent Bastard Brother). With all respect due James Murphey, are you seriously ready to shit yourself with fear about losing your edge to a bunch of emos aspiring to be a poor-man's version of Flight of the Conchords? No sir!

Anyhow, skinny is still over.

Face-Melting Power

Face-Melting Power
Left: Tom Coughlin's face melting from the power of sub-zero temperatures at Lambeau Field Sunday night.

Right: Nazi Arnold Toht's face melting from the power of The Ark.

New Magnificent Bastard Rule: Never attend a sporting event when game-time temperature < 10° F.

The World Series That Was Over Before It Started

The World Series That Was Over Before It Started
This was an epic mismatch. The Colorado Rockies really had no chance against the Red Sox, not because of the talent discrepancy, but because of the logo discrepancy.

Red Sox logo: Bold, traditional, timeless.

Rockies logo: Bland, flat, purple. Looks like it could do double-duty as a generic drain cleaner privately branded by Costco. We'll call it Clog Remover.

Ask the MB

Ask the MB
Q: A woman in my office who normally dresses quite nicely was wearing a holiday sweater today.

And so, I have several questions:

1.) Would a Magnificent Bastard be caught dead dating a holiday sweater-wearing woman?

A: Remember that old Star Trek episode -- appropriately called "The Man Trap" -- where Bones thought he was in lust with a vaguely hot older woman named Nancy, but it turned out "she" was actually a homicidal, hideous shape-shifting Salt Creature from the planet M113? You catching our drift here, doc?

2.) Which is uglier? The Halloween sweater or the Christmas sweater?
A: After 12 rounds, our 3-judge staff rules this a split decision.

3.) What is the male equivalent to holiday sweater? The thing that should be avoided at all costs.
A: That's an easy one: the Tazmanian Devil Halloween tie. ($15).

Fan Quality Dooms Jacksonville's Chances

Fan Quality Dooms Jacksonville's Chances
We realize we're a day late on this news, but it occurs to us the reason why Jacksonville lost its upset bid against the Colts on Monday night wasn't because its starting quarterback got knocked out of the game, or because Indianapolis is a better team. No, it was all due to the extreme toolbaggery of the Jacksonville Jaguar fans. Thing 1 sports a cause bracelet, while Thing 2 -- presumably an adult male -- eats out a foam vagina.

Ask the MB

Ask the MB
Q: Any pointers for bastard-worthy Halloween costumes? And I don't necessarily mean best-in-show stuff here, just a good (and basically last minute) get up. In case it matters, the party is at a country club.
—Ben


A: Ben, if it's at a country club, we recommend going as any character from Caddyshack: Ty Webb, Al Czervik, Carl Spackler, or Spaulding Smails will do nicely. Just make sure your date goes as Lacey Underall (if she doesn't have that Fila outfit, at least have her go braless please).

For everybody else out there, your question has given us an opportunity to do one of our favorite things: create a pseudo-scientific chart.


magnificent bastard halloween costume guide

Mayday! Mayday!

Separated at birth? Gyro pilot from 'Road Warrior' and Mystery?
Separated at birth? Gyro pilot from 'Road Warrior' and Mystery?
"Mystery," the host of VH1's car-crashingly bad reality show The Pickup Artist often sports flying goggles as part of his brand. Yet this look was originally adopted by another pickup artist: the gyro pilot from The Road Warrior. And even though it was a small, rather beat up machine, he actually piloted an aircraft of some type.

(Incidentally, the hard-to-look-away-from show in question is on VH1 Mondays at 9PM ET.)

Does bin Laden Read Magnificent Bastard?

Does bin Laden Read Magnificent Bastard?
While the New York Times's Maureen Dowd hilariously mocks Osama bin Laden's new-look beard, suggesting it's a fake one "left over from Woody Allen's Bananas," it's clear he's spending as much time refining his style as he is plotting the next terrorist attack. We're not crazy about the obviously Just For Men-enhanced look, but if a cave-dwelling jihadist cares about his appearance, shouldn't you, too?

Three Cheer(leaders) for Mike Nolan

Three Cheer(leaders) for Mike Nolan
You know what those three cheerleaders in the current Magnificent Bastard header image are so excited about? San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Nolan slowly winning the battle with the NFL to wear a suit on the sidelines. Fashion writer Richard Torregrossa documents his struggle in today's San Francisco Chronicle. The NFL and Reebok apparently would rather have their coaches look like heart-attack-in-waiting Eagles coach Andy Reid (below).

POURCAST

BETA

Southside (MB-Bastardized)

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 sugar cube (or half teaspoon simple sugar)
  • soda water (if desired)

Place the sugar cube at the bottom of a lowball glass, add the fresh lemon juice, and mash with the back of a spoon. Fill two-thirds with ice and the gin and stir for at least 30 seconds. Add soda water, if desired, and give a quick stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge.


In-Depth Southside (MB-Bastardized) Coverage:

Ask the MB: Spring Cocktail Guide

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