Retro Relapse: 25 Things Manly Men Should Do On a Daily Basis

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

It is hard being a masculine manly man in an emasculated modern age where we are often times chastised for just being ourselves. I accept the challenge and thrive in uphill battles because being a masculine manly man is the essence of my entire core.

I fuel myself on the conquering and pillaging of those things that oppose my existence. And to remind myself of my mission of being myself, I do these twenty-five activities daily!

Keeping the testosterone flowing is essential for ultimate manliness and these activities certainly keep the man juice pumping through my gargantuan grizzly DNA!

1. Put a big fucking bear in a headlock and punch it in the face!

2. Take a nice hot bath in the La Brea Tar Pits then scoff at the rest of California!

3. Bench press an M1A1 Abrams tank… twice!

4. Throw a tomahawk, run passed it and catch it in your teeth!

5. Find the frozen remains of a woolly mammoth, grill the fucker and eat it like a steak – hair, tusks and all!

6. Wear a live king cobra as a belt!

7. Play football without helmets and pads on a minefield!

8. Go into the ocean, rip a sea urchin off of a rock with your bare hands and bite into it!

9. Firewalk in an active volcano – barefoot!

10. Drink a barrel of 100+ proof bourbon and chase it with a barrel of Scotch!

11. Dress like Teddy Roosevelt and wrestle a fucking moose into submission!

12. Power through a thousand pull-ups with a lit stick of dynamite as the bar!

13. Surf coast-to-coast across the Everglades on the back of an alligator!

14. Play Russian roulette with a Gatling gun!

15. Juggle multiple Smart cars! Fiat 500s if you’re feeling stronger!

16. Use an A-10 Thunderbolt II as a fucking hang glider!

17. Smoke a totem pole like a cigar!

18. Swim with piranhas and bite back until you’re the only living thing left in the water!

19. Take on ten Muay Thai boxers while handcuffed!

20. Drive cross country in a World War II motorcycle with a male lion in the sidecar!

21. Have a fencing duel using a live swordfish!

22. Tell Brock Lesnar that wrestling is fake!

23. Play chicken on a bicycle – against a rhino!

24. Build your own Thunderdome and invite Seal Team Six over for a rumble!

25. Videobomb an episode of Shark Week wearing a suit made of seal meat!

To enhance any or all of these experiences and their effects, find a way to include bacon in each activity.

*For the record: I actually cannot condone these activities and they will probably get you killed or maimed.

Retro Relapse: The Church of the Epic Beard

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I go to church. It is the church of man. It is a very exclusive place of worship. Not all who try to join this institution are allowed in. Our membership seems to be dwindling even though more and more males try to earn entry within the hallowed walls of our divine institution. Most do not understand what membership requires, however, and thus, eliminate themselves from consideration. That’s their bad, as we were once made up of great men, leaders of the world in fact.

American presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison, Rutherford B. Hayes and James Garfield had bodacious beards. President Theodore Roosevelt didn’t have a beard but he had a sweet mustache epic enough to rival any bearded naysayer. Other presidents with facial hair of some sort that rocked it at an elite level of manliness were Martin Van Buren, John Quincy Adams, Chester A. Arthur, Thomas Jefferson, James Polk, William Taft, Zachary Taylor and the father of America, George Washington.

You see, in the old days, elections were won by the man who had the most beastly and stylish facial foliage. Somewhere over the last century or so, that has been lost. It’s bullshit. I’m tired of middle-aged pretty boys and saggy-jowled old men leading my nation. And don’t you notice a trend?

As time goes on, our country gets shittier and shittier and our freedoms are being slowly wiped away. One could only theorize that this is due to the train of bitchmen that have sat in the Oval Office. Men who take their eye off of the ball every morning in order to shave off their badge of manhood. They might as well be cutting their balls off and handing them over to China.

Once John F. Kennedy became president and television became God to Americans, everyone was enamored with how handsome this pretty boy in their living room was. The thing that J.F.K. had going for him though, is that he was a good leader, so from the start, he showed that he was a very savvy dude even without a beard.

The problem is, all women wanted to bone John Fitzgerald Kennedy and thus, men patterned themselves after his style. Beards were lost and men who needed them for that extra boost of power, fell to the pressures of society. Militant feminism rose, hippies with disgusting unkempt facial hair became the norm, big business frowned upon furry faces and mankind was left with pretty clean-shaven suburbanites and smelly guys whose beards looked like road kill. Men have never been the same and America has gotten weaker.

The effects of this are still felt today, as no president has had facial hair since the pre-Kennedy era. When you see someone in the political world with facial hair, the media immediately trashes them and tells them to buy a razor. All major news stations have become the political world’s version of TMZ. What they should be saying when the “Rent Is Too Damn High” guy is running for office is, “Wow! Look at this motherfucker! That’s the awesomest goddamned beard American politics has seen in a century, vote for him!”

The world wants you to think that we are a dying breed. Real men with luscious facial locks still exist and our numbers seem to be increasing because frankly, the status quo is a bunch of bullshit and we don’t care what slaves to the status quo think.

Look at professional athletes. Whenever the playoffs roll around, these dudes stop shaving until they win the championship or are eliminated by a team with better beards. Why do you think the Boston Red Sox came out of nowhere and won the World Series last year? Why did the Blackhawks dominate the NHL? In the Blackhawks case, they were even backed up by the extra power that they got from Patrick Kane’s mullet! Why did the Blackhawks lose this year in the Western Conference Finals? They had less beard and no mullet. Hell, in baseball, the best relief pitchers are the guys with insane beards. Look how dominant of a closer Brian Wilson was before he got hurt and let go by the San Francisco Giants. Wilson may have the best beard in sports history.

One thing that you’ll notice is how much fear men who don’t have beards or who can’t grow beards have for the facial-haired warrior. We live in a world and a system run by pretty boy feminist sycophants that frown at us and hold us down because they hate themselves for shaving and manscaping their genitalia in an effort to be sexually appealing to these modern wannabe Jacqueline Onassis chicks. While these dudes strive to be a really shitty caricature of Don Draper from Mad Men, they should really stop giving a fuck so much and just be more like Stan Rizzo. It’s a no brainer that Stan has become the coolest guy on the show after rejecting societal standards, just letting go and being himself.

There are guys desperate to be manlier in this world lacking manliness. I get it, that’s why I write half the shit I write. They grow beards as a form of defiance and in most cases, aren’t even sure why, it just feels right. Maybe once you get to the thirtyish mark, you really say “fuck it” and let go. You become much more confident in yourself and less dependent on other people and what they think. You realize that to be a more complete person and a better leader, you have to stop giving a shit about how you’re perceived and just take the bull by the fucking balls. No one respects a panderer. Do you think Teddy Roosevelt pandered or gave a shit what people thought about his robust mustache? No, he just went about his business, mustachioed grill forward, and never looked back.

I haven’t been fully clean-shaven since my father last made me shave when I was 16. Since then, I have had a beard of some sort and I never plan on not having one. Over the years, the more I’ve let it grow and the thicker it has become, I’ve garnered more respect from men and have received more compliments from the right kinds of women. The woman I’m seeing now introduced herself to me at a Spring Training game a few months back because she loved my beard.

For the record, a woman that is turned off by facial hair probably only dates the pretty boy type yet can’t understand why their man-children never live up to their long-term expectations. They’ll keep following that same cycle though, so if you’re smitten with one of these types of women, you should evolve and move on. Besides, within a decade they’ll be living in a small apartment full of piss-soaked cats and a couple kids from different dead beat pretty boys.

If you’re rocking a sweet beard, you’re doing alright. Don’t let the assholes of the world sway you. If you can’t grow a good one, that sucks. If you grow a shitty one that looks like a Wookiee pelt that’s been run over by a swamp buggy, clean that shit – be respectable for Christ’s sake! Speaking of which, don’t even get me started on the magic powers Jesus had because of his magnificent beard.

Also, don’t get me started on that Movember bullshit. I get that it is for a good cause or whatever but it is a bitch holiday for bitchmen to feel like they’re masculine for thirty days before they get all chicken shit after developing a third testicle. Fuck that trendy crap, support the cause and don’t make it an excuse to feel like you’re extra manly for a month. The cause you should support is the one that makes you less of a bitch.

The point is, we’re supposed to look like this. The universe didn’t bless us with this awesome feature if we weren’t supposed to showcase its glorious plumage. There is nothing wrong with proper grooming and looking nice; in fact, that is encouraged. Just don’t shave your face because someone else has told you that you’re supposed to. It’s hard to be a distinguished grizzly if you’re hairless.

Retro Relapse: Misconceptions of Manliness

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

There is a lot of division on the idea of what manliness is or what it should be.

Some people have this idea that a real manly man is a guy who is a big bearded, muscled alpha lion wearing a trucker hat made of bison jerky that surfs on top of a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 while chewing shotgun shells wrapped in raw ribeyes.

Others believe a manly man is an “evolved” species who is respectful of women’s rights, accepting of a more androgynous society and is able to do women’s work and cross the gender line.

Some people, think that a manly man is an Aston Martin driving guy wearing one of his four dozen tailored suits and a watch that costs about as much as the vintage wine collection he has just to impress girls half his age.

Many believe a manly man is a dominating douchebag that conquers women and bullies the betas into doing his bidding.

The fact of the matter is, all of these are wrong. Although the first one does sound pretty badass, right?

Manliness can’t be summed up in a style or a hobby. It certainly isn’t defined by a political or social ideal. It’s not the car you drive, the clothes you wear or some non-prescription monocle that makes you feel like the gentlemen of yore. It certainly isn’t the food you eat, the heavy things you lift or the washboard abs you are striving either to get or to maintain. It’s not the Mossberg 500 in your closet, the heavy bag in your garage or the $1200 bicycle parked next to your hand-crafted canoe. It’s not the 20 mile hike you did or that time you went camping in bear country. It isn’t even the mustache wax you bought after having to “man up” and go into the beauty supply store to buy it.

It is none of these things.

Manliness isn’t some quantifiable physical thing or activity. Despite the nine bottles of whiskey you drank last week and the hair it put on your chest, you have not been magically transformed into the pillar of manliness. You are just a fuzzy drunkard. Granted, a fuzzy drunkard can still be a man but it is not some sort of prerequisite. A man is much more than all of these things and he is none of these things.

It is time for males, especially those wanting to be men, to come to terms with the fact that manliness has nothing to do with these exoteric things. Manliness is something that comes from the mind, the spirit and the heart. It’s a philosophy of life and being – not triceps, beards, paleo diets, crossfit or fancy hats. It is an attitude, a way to carry oneself. It is the way one handles situations and crises and constantly moves forward. It sure as shit isn’t about creating some ultimate ideal masculine persona. At its core, it is about substance and application. Real men already know this. False men may be a bit confused and not following along very well.

I feel the need to write this because I’ve been writing about manly issues since starting this website. At times, posts I’ve written have been misperceived and misrepresented by those with agendas or ideas of their own – people who can’t see the big picture and cherry pick for what they want to get out of my writing. I’m not sour about it but I at least wanted to clear the air and be straightforward about where I’m coming from.

While I pick on men who can’t handle ribbing or handle their alcohol or text like girls, it’s all in good fun and none of it should be taken too seriously. While I countdown manly movies and post reviews of manly grooming products and recipes for manly meals, it in no way means that you are less of a man for not embracing the lifestyle I’m selling here. And none of it will make you more of a man just for participating and taking my advice or recommendations. It may help at boosting your confidence to manly levels but unless you understand that real manliness has nothing to do with any of it, it won’t make you a true man.

My goal is not to sell a persona. My goal with what I write is to entertain and to help those who can read between the lines and truly see what I’m getting at. Most of the feedback that I have gotten has shown me that several things I’ve put out there have been pretty effective. Yes, I am a dick at times but that’s my personality. I’m a sarcastic and snarky guy and I’m not going to apologize for it. However, sometimes that may make my words seem like they are coming from a place that is mean spirited. Maybe that adds fuel to the fire of the hardcore male rights activists on one hand and the angry militant feminists on the other. Unlike them however, I, and most true men, don’t live in those extremes. We don’t have time for it.

I post the reviews, the recipes, the grooming stuff and everything else because it is stuff I find badass. You might disagree and that’s fine. When I talk about a manly movie, it doesn’t mean that my assessment of it is some sort of law. I am no expert, I’m just a guy with a lot of opinions and ideas that writes about them.

However, guys like feeling badass and looking badass. It builds confidence and security. The same way lipstick, heels and Gucci bags make women feel more confident and badass. I’m not saying that we are stuck in specific gender roles defined by old societal standards but for most people, they typically embrace the generalized image of their gender. Because of that, there is nothing wrong with enhancing that and boosting confidence and embracing whatever it is that makes you feel awesome. What I positively review or talk about, is what makes me feel awesome. It makes a lot of other men and often times the women that love them, feel confident and secure too.

There are various qualities that make a man. To name some, there is respect, loyalty, courage, honor and an overall sense of doing the right thing. No one is perfect and we all falter. There are times where I don’t necessarily do the right thing or make the best decision. I’m human, I have faults but the fact that I can see that in myself and know where I slipped up, means that I am moving in the right direction. The way to keep moving forward, is to recognize your flaws and do what you can to improve them and to rectify the mistakes that you may still have the opportunity to fix or alter. You can’t control the world but you can control how you respond to it and interact with it.

The thing is, everything I’ve said above also pertains to women. The goal here is to be better human beings. Whether you are a man or a woman makes no difference. I feel like this should all be common sense but many people seem to be ignorant of these universal truths.

This brings me to the whole concept of gender roles. Who really gives a shit about all that? Sure, there are things men are traditionally better at, as there are things that women are traditionally better at. That doesn’t mean that these things are limited to the gender that tradition dictates must fill that role. Many men nowadays shuttle the kids around, cook all the meals and clean house. Many women work corporate jobs or even manual labor jobs and excel at it. This is a much different world than it was even fifty years ago. Props to the guys who have evolved enough to handle these tasks and extra props for them having to most likely put up with their male friends giving them shit for it. But guys rib each other and I am guilty of it too. Having thick skin is another manly quality. Not giving a shit what other people think, is one of the best manly qualities.

How manliness is perceived in the physical sense is really in the eye of the beholder; it’s all subjective. In many instances, it is also cultural. However, despite the flannel shirts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, 50 caliber rifles, monster truck tires, lumberjack competitions, weightlifting and smoked rib roasts, manliness is something inside of your core. Manliness is a product of who you are and how you carry yourself. All this other stuff is just window dressing. But feel free to soak up the window dressing.

Top 30 Comic Series That Aren’t Marvel or DC

Marvel and DC have the comic book market pretty much on lockdown. They are the Coke and Pepsi of their industry and probably always will be. That being said, there are a ridiculous amount of great comic books out there that don’t fall under the Marvel and DC banner. This is a list of my thirty favorite comic books series put out by the smaller and more independent comic book publishers.

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2. Cerebus
3. Maus
4. Hellboy
5. Bone
6. The Walking Dead
7. Love & Rockets
8. The Fade Out
9. Star Wars (the Dark Horse era)
10. Madman
11. Spawn
12. Hawaiian Dick
13. Kill Or Be Killed
14. The Wicked Righteous
15. It Came Out On a Wednesday
16. Hack/Slash
17. Fatale
18. The Umbrella Academy
19. Red Sonja
20. Wolverton: Thief of Impossible Objects
21. Vampirella
22. Scud, the Disposable Assassin
23. Jawbreakers
24. The Maxx
25. Iron Sights
26. Feast Or Famine
27. Doctor Who (IDW era)
28. Tokyo Ghost
29. Cyberfrog
30. Black Hammer

Retro Relapse: The Magic of Monaco

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

There is something pretty special about the Monaco Grand Prix.

To start is it’s name. It is named after its hosting country Monaco, the beautiful sovereign city-state located on the French Riviera – surrounded by France and near the Italian border.

It isn’t like all the other Formula 1 races that are named after large and well-known hosting countries; some notables being the British Grand Prix, the Spanish Grand Prix, the Chinese Grand Prix, the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Australian Grand Prix, the United States Grand Prix and so on. No, the Monaco Grand Prix is unique in its distinction – it is a tiny nation and known across the world by racing fans of all social and economic backgrounds almost entirely because of this race.

There are a lot of insanely beautiful circuits throughout the entire Formula 1 calendar but something about Monaco sets it apart. There is an added level of mystique and beauty. There is a greater degree of pageantry that sets the bar at a height that other places can’t seem to reach. Between the waterfront littered with luxurious yachts and the old European architecture that creates majestic looking canyon walls next to the lightning fast Formula 1 cars weaving between them, there is just a little something extra special about this world-renowned race.

The Monaco Grand Prix is Formula 1 at it’s most prestigious level. Monaco is the sport at its absolute best and is the highlight of the season from year-to-year. It has been the standard bearer for the sport going as far back as 1929. It is also considered one of the world’s greatest races and is on a level similar to that of Le Mans.

In fact, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is the only race that I’d rank above it. However, Le Mans is a different type of motorsport. Formula 1 is the pinnacle of auto racing and with Monaco being the pinnacle of Formula 1, you can’t not respect and appreciate it.

For those who have never watched this truly amazing race, it will be on this weekend. This year’s Monaco Grand Prix should be one for the ages, as Lewis Hamilton is going for his fifth straight win, as Mercedes has dominated the sport this season. Also, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel is still arguably the greatest driver since Michael Schumacher and he will most likely be at his best this weekend. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen will turn up the heat, as both are still top level drivers and have a lot to prove due to their misfortune so far this season.

Formula 1 is the greatest motorsport in the world and possibly the greatest sport in the world. This weekend we are once again treated to the best this sport has to offer. Grab some real champagne, not that sparkling wine crap, and eat about five pounds of Gruyèrs and croissants because it will be a special day that we only get once a year.

Retro Relapse: Top 50 Slasher Films of All-Time

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

*2019 Notes: Years have passed since I wrote and compiled this list for a different website, so the order in my head has changed somewhat and there are probably other films I’d add. Maybe I’ll re-order it and expand it in the near future.

I love slasher films. As a kid, it was probably my favorite sub genre of film, with horror being my favorite genre overall.

Sure, my mum hated the fact that I watched horror movies and she wouldn’t rent them for me but she also knew that I was just going to watch them somehow, whether at a friends house after school or a cousin’s house over the weekend. It was cool then though, because parents weren’t total pussies and didn’t hover over our every move like these modern kids have to deal with. This is also why these modern kids are afraid of their own shadow. My generation was the last great generation because an R rating didn’t mean crap and it was never actually enforced at the theater or video rental store.

Moral of the story, we all turned out just fine.

I was lucky enough to grow up in the heyday of slasher films. I saw pretty much everything I had access to.

In my 35 years on this planet, these are the ones I consider the very best.

1. Black Christmas (1974)
2. Halloween (1978)
3. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
4. Psycho (1960)
5. StageFright
6. Sleepaway Camp
7. Suspiria
8. Friday the 13th (1980)
9. The Burning
10. A Nightmare On Elm Street III: Dream Warriors
11. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
12. American Psycho
13. Blood Rage
14. Alice, Sweet Alice
15. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
16. Child’s Play
17. Twitch of the Death Nerve
18. Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter
19. My Bloody Valentine (1981)
20. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
21. A Nightmare On Elm Street IV: The Dream Master
22. Halloween II (1981)
23. The Funhouse
24. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
25. Deep Red
26. Peeping Tom
27. Maniac (1980)
28. Friday the 13th Part 2
29. The Initiation
30. The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
31. Child’s Play 3
32. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
33. The Prowler
34. Terror Train
35. Scream
36. Torso
37. Freddy vs. Jason
38. Silent Night, Deadly Night
39. House of 1,000 Corpses
40. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
41. Friday the 13th Part III
42. A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
43. Child’s Play 2
44. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III
45. Jason X
46. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
47. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
48. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
49. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
50. Hatchet

Retro Relapse: The 50 Manliest Men In Hollywood History

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

*2019 Notes: Years have passed since I wrote and compiled this list for a different website, so the order in my head has changed somewhat and there are probably other names I’d add. Maybe I’ll do a Top 100 list as a followup at some point. But for now, this appears as it did in 2015.

Hollywood pretty much sucks in general these days. It is a land of mostly shitty people, sissy bitch men and really atrocious films not catered to a masculine audience.

In the old days, there were a lot of manly men who graced the screen and gave dudes some bad ass motherfuckers to look up to. They were tough as nails, took no shit and would bitchslap any obstacle and look cool as fuck doing it.

Sure, we got cool guys like Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and then there’s those dudes from “The Expendables” series. Ultimately though, the days of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen and Lee Van Cleef are pretty much gone. Eastwood is some old dude that directs more than he kicks on-screen ass but I still respect him. We just don’t have many masculine heroes anymore and unrealistic superheroes don’t count. Besides, Tony Stark may be funny but he’s generally a cock and more of a playboy than a man’s man.

Some modern actors are on this list but they pale in comparison to the men of yesteryear, which is why the older actors dominate here.

While compiling this, I got up to about 150 people I was considering but wanted to narrow it down to fifty. If your favorite is missing, know that they were probably considered.

So without further ado, here are the fifty manliest men in Hollywood history!

1. Clint Eastwood
2. John Wayne
3. Paul Newman
4. Steve McQueen
5. Robert Redford
6. Jack Nicholson
7. Charles Bronson
8. Charlton Heston
9. Bruce Lee
10. Humphrey Bogart
11. Lee Van Cleef
12. Robert Mitchum
13. Henry Fonda
14. Daniel Day-Lewis
15. Orson Welles
16. Gregory Peck
17. Marlon Brando
18. Morgan Freeman
19. James Earl Jones
20. Kirk Douglas
21. Sean Connery
22. James Cagney
23. Liam Neeson
24. Robert De Niro
25. Sylvester Stallone
26. Mel Gibson
27. Yul Brynner
29. Eli Wallach
30. Harrison Ford
31. Lee Marvin
32. James Coburn
33. Denzel Washington
34. Klaus Kinski
35. Daniel Craig
36. James Dean
37. Kurt Russell
38. Samuel Jackson
39. Arnold Schwarzenegger
40. Gary Cooper
41. Christopher Walken
42. Chuck Norris
43. George Clooney
44. Russell Crowe
45. Robert Vaughn
46. Richard Roundtree
47. Jack Palance
48. Al Pacino
49. Idris Elba
50. Bruce Willis