- Chris Hyatte


It’s been a’while because… well… quite frankly sitting down and giving long, thoughtful, honest advice is a lot tougher than I thought.  

See, I try very hard to give each person who summons up the balls to ask me something their “money’s worth”, so to speak.  You write to me, you deserve a well-rounded answer. 

Man, it’s oddly tough.  Thank God Flea is paying me. 

Anyway, let’s get going.  We’ll start off with an unusual change in pace.  This is an AIM chat where a guy asked me for some live & in person advice.  Call it the Live Call-In portion of the column. 

Joe: i got a quick question for the master of advice

Hyatte1com: is this something worthy of GTL?

Joe: don't know

Hyatte1com: then shoot

 Joe: should I go after the hot hippy stoner chick who's into yoga but might be a groupie and has switched majors 4 times or the 19 year old blonde exercise physiology major who works out almost everyday

Hyatte1com: why not both?

Joe: now that's a good answer

 Hyatte1com: the 19 year old who is obsessed with her own hotness will have one favorite topic, which she'll never quit talking about... can you name it?

 Joe: actually she doesn't seem to conceited.  Both of them have a ton of guy friends though.  I thought i had the hippy chick saw each other about 5 times, told me to meet her at this bar all sweet like and then about 10 minutes in there she said she wasn't ready for a relationship.  Right out of the blue

Hyatte1com: you did something to scare her away.  You made her uninterested.  She's done with you... go for the 19 yr old

Joe: must have been that let's get a pitcher idea i had.  She said she had just got out of a 4 year relationship

Hyatte1com: maybe your breathe smelled.  Maybe you had a snot in your nose

Joe: think I wasn't grooving to the music good enough

Hyatte1com: maybe so, who knows?  My impression is that she gave you a solid looksee and decided, for whatever reason, that you weren't playable.  Nothing to be offended about... don't take it too personal

Joe: Would be nice to get a straight answer.  Oh those tricky girls

Hyatte1com: let it go.  Not worth it

Joe: that's what I needed to hear

Hyatte1com: and this was totally GTL worthy.  In fact... I'm cutting and pasting it

Hyatte1com: want your name changed?

Joe: if you would

Hyatte1com: k.. pick a name then

Joe: scootermcfat

Hyatte1com: no

Joe: aw

Joe: Joe

Hyatte1com: Joe it is


Okay then, there’s a tremendous backlog of questions to get to, many of them so old that I’m SURE they were resolved already without my help, but what the hell. 


Hi, I've been a long time fan of the mop ups and I love the new column.  I'm hoping you can help out because no one else I know of has ever given me any good advice on this.  I'm 25 and have never had a girlfriend.  I'm not a bad looking guy, but being that I'm 25, don't have much experience with women (basically limited to a couple women I met online and a couple hookers) and have never had a girlfriend, I don't have much in the way of confidence with women. 

Right now I'm in grad school.  There are a lot of cute girls on campus, but NONE of them are in my major (it was the same way for undergrad ... girls don't really flock to computer-related stuff).  Its very frustrating to see kids 5 years younger than me having more success with women, despite the fact they haven't done much with their lives and still try to model themselves after Eminem.  I feel like I'm in bizarro-world, where the more retarded a guy is, the hotter his girlfriend is.  I should be pulling women here, but instead I have no idea what to do.

So far the only things I've figured out to improve the situation is to work out (since i'm fairly skinny), try to put on some muscle, and try to stop caring so much whether I get shot down or not.  I'm not sure if I'm not having any luck here (I'm in florida) because its incredibly obvious that I don't have confidence, or whether girls don't like my look (I look ethnic).

Even though its not really my thing, I tried going to clubs and bars for a while.  Occasionally I would get a number, but whenever I called I would either get the answering machine, or get brushed off.  I met a very cute girl on campus a couple weeks ago, and have gotten the answering machine 3 times and one time I talked to her briefly, but she was too busy to do anything that night and told me to call back during the week (which I did, and got the answering machine). 

As long as I can keep myself busy with school/work then I don't get too depressed about the whole thing, but as soon as there is a break in the work I of course start thinking about how boring my life is and how frustrating it is to not be getting any dates whatsoever (I haven't had a date in at least a year). 

Other than working out, I don't know how to improve my situation.  I don't have enough money to be fucking hookers on a regular basis.  I really have no idea how to approach women, how to ask them out, etc.  On a date, so long as I've had a couple drinks, I'm not too bad, its just everything before that that's a mess. 

Any advice would be much appreciated. 


Cut your hair short, dye it blonde and where nothing but white t-shirts and tan khakis.  You’ll be the Eminem of the computer world! 

This is what, my tenth advice column now?  And all of them have had at least one question asking the most mysterious question of all:  Where can I score some of that confidence shit? 

Well, you can’t buy confidence, it’s not on sale anywhere.  The closest thing to confidence is alchohol, but you have to be very careful about your dosage or you’ll end up humiliating yourself. 

You want confidence?  Fine, here’s how you get it: 

You take stock of who you are and what you’ll be doing in 5 years, more importantly, how rich you’ll be in 5 years. 

You take stock every Eminem mack daddy you see and decide what he’ll be doing in 5 years, more importantly, how rich he’ll be in 5 years. 

You take stock of all the girls flocking to those Eminem mack daddys you see and decide what they’ll be doing in 5 years, more importantly, how rich they’ll be in 5 years.  For the girls, you can throw in the number of kids these hoes will have popped out by then too.

If you’re future looks a hell of a lot better than theirs, and you carry yourself with that knowledge, then presto, you are confidence personified. 

Confident cats act like they’ve already won the girl before they buy them their first drink.  If the girl has other ideas, you simply say, “Oh?  Okay, no prob, have a good night” and move on.  

And for the love of Christ, stop getting their number.  You give them YOURS.  Just jot it down and shove it in their hand and say, “Well, I’m so and so…. Here’s my number… you’ll fall in love with me after 15 minutes, so be careful.”  Do it cool-like, because no one likes an asshole. 

You’re gonna get laid, yo… it just takes patience. 

This next question is from a guy who wants to ROCK ON!!!  He wants to BANG HIS HEAD!!  But the question is, does his partner?  Can you go another SECOND without knowing the deal? 

I'm not sure why I'm coming to you with this...I don't know how much you know about music, or being in a band or anything.  But I want an outside opinion so here it goes...

About 2 1/2 years ago myself, and a friend of mine got together to try and put together a band.  We went through the different stages of bullshit, dealing with people that weren't really interested, finding out each other's styles and what not.  And things were rolling along pretty well for the first year...then things started going wrong.  We had found a bassist [I was doing vocals, friend on lead guitars], and had met up with some other kids[guitarist and a drummer] to jam out...things seemed to be going well until my friend began to get annoyed by the fact that the other guitarist seemed to be better than he was.   

An argument at the next session lead to the drummer & guitarist parting ways with us.  This repeated itself each time we tried out another guitarist, he was either frustrated that they weren't as good as he was, or annoyed that they were better than him.  Eventually, our bassist bottomed out and skipped town on I took up learning bass, and have been progressing reasonably well.  However, since the last time we jammed with someone...around 9 months ago, he seems to find something wrong with everyone I suggest jamming with, and trying to find people through the internet, and at local music stores has been unsuccessful at best. 

And on top of that my musical tastes have broadened, while his still remain the same.  We began this both of us being heavy into Metallica, Pantera & Slayer, and some of the classic metal stuff like Van Halen, and Black Sabbath.  I got into extreme metal like Cannibal Corpse, as well as a little classical music, punk, jazz & blues...He took a strong disliking to the direction my tastes were going, but then suddenly changed his views...and while I was thrilled at first...lately it seems to me as though he's just been faking it, only taking influences from the other genres when he sees that I'm not grooving to any of the other stuff he's making, and he rarely seems to get into the basslines I come up with, or any of the new bands I try to show him.  While my heart is still in making music, the drive to continue playing with him has been fading week by week. 

The musical taste difference is irritating, but bearable if we could find some other members...but that's where I think our problems begin.  I think that we have just become a poor combination of personalities between his elitist attitude, and my binge-drinking, headbang and break shit persona...He's driven off some people, and I even had to put a beating on one of the guitarists we tried out for talking shit. 

So, what's your you think it's just the growing pains of any young guys trying to get a band together...or do you think we just don't make a good combination?  Or perhaps you think it's something I haven't even given thought to yet?  



Who’s band is this?  Yours or his? 

Are you any good?  No, seriously?  Do you see any future with this guy?  Do you see an actual career as a rock god here? 

Now, are YOU any good?  Is he?  Be honest, who is better?  Who has the vision here?  Which one of you is Diana Ross and which one of you are the Supremes?  Which of you is Ringo? 

Here’s the deal, Gregaman.  Life is too short to waste time with nonsense that won’t get you anywhere in life (Whoa… irony just tapped me on the shoulder and said “howdy”).  If this guy’s better than you, stick with him and see just how far his talent can lead you.  If you’re better thgan him, then dum,p him and find someone you can jell with.  If you’re both equal in talent, then sit down and wonder if you two are really good enough to make a career out of this.  If you see money and fame and rock godhood in this, then swallow your frustration and PLAY that funky music, white boy.   

I get the sense you two are just screwing around anyway… then keep screwing around until you’re good and ready to move on and get serious…. or beat the shit out of him.  Either way. 

This next one is about a topic is looking for advice on a topic that is rarely talked about in advice columns... 

I know you are great about love advice, But I am wondering more about the confidence advice.  

I know another daggone introvert writing you. I know you have probably heard this alot but reading through your columns I have not seen(or at least I think seen) a scenario similar to mine.  

2 Years ago I would say I was a very insecure person. I worked out because I wanted to look good for others. I would buy expensive clothes. I would be quiet at almost all social gatherings because I didn't want to be rude. I would treat everyone around to drinks or dinner. Heck, I even would stand there and hold the door open for everyone and their mother. I drank alot back then too. Well, I had alot of friends or should I say acquaintances. I would hear some people tell me I was being used by others but I didn't care because I was constantly around people who said they cared, So I was happy. Until one day I realized I was getting nowhere. I was spending so much money at bars on myself and others and treating people to all types of things(movies, dinners, et al....) and decided that I wanted to do more for me.  

Well it was a messy year after that point but I have gotten into a good groove on saving. I stopped working out, I stopped drinking, I stopped doing drugs, but I started talking more, and alot of the friends/aquaitances fell to the side(I might talk to them once every couple of months). I only kept around a few and that was because they saw I was trying to change myself and were alot more supportive. Good Friends that I didn't even realize were there. I was more forward because I started to care less and less about what people thought of me and wanted to just have fun my way.  

Now, I am kinda in a bind. My closest friends are used to the generous, quiet nice guy I was but when I am not around them I am actually confident, I don't worry about what anyone thinks and it lets me be more loose and smile alot more.  

So throughout the day I notice I am becoming Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde. At work I am talkative, nice, confident and seems to be able to draw people to me while outside of work I am always around one of my good friends where I clam up and just smile and nod alot. I know I rambled alot in there so I am going to try and edit this to make sense without taking out the major points(Believe it or not, This was alot worse). But, I am stuck on I made it over the confidence hump at work and social gatherings for work but cannot get over the hump when I am around my friends and we go out. I know my friends would support me and probably even love the more talkative me I am at work but yet I can't be myself around them. I was hoping you would maybe give me a lil advice on that.  

P.S. Please don't put my E-mail address out there because my roommate reads you also and well he is one of the friends. Just call me John or something like that, please.  

Dear Mr. Or Something Like That, (HAwr!!  Hyatte rules!) 

I’m of two trains of thought here.  The first is wondering which is the “real” you – is it the confident, talkative, regular extrovert at work or is it the quiet, reserved introvert at home?  Which skin do you feel most comfortable in? 

Believe it or not, I’m actually an introvert.  Introverts are cool.  They are mysterious.  They keep their business to themselves.  Someone, I believe it was MTV VJ Mark Goodman once said, “T’is better to stay silent and be considered a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt”.  Extroverts are chatterboxes, and their favorite topics are themselves. 

Being confident has nothing to do with whether you talk a lot or not… confidence comes from the INSIDE.  The INSIDE, DAMN YOU. 

I think you’re just naturally quiet, after all, with your friends you should be at your most relaxed.  Chill out dude, being confident is essentially being comfortable in your own skin. The hell are you so worried about? 

And no more buying rounds.   Screw those broke-ass bitches. 

Moving on, I forget what this guy was talking about, but out of nowhere he asked this question… 

As for my question; Which do you prefer, Long Cut Copenhagen, Fine cut
Copenhagen, or that nasty bourbon flavored Copenhagen?

Keep up the good work.


Fine cut… pure as a virgin’s crackhole. 

There was a time for about a few years where I jumped to Skoal for some nutty reason.  It had its benefits.  Nice, minty taste.  Easy to hawk out when you were finished.   

Funny thing about this is that while Copenhagen is probably the strongest brand of chew out there (It’s like the Camel unfilters of chew), it doesn’t burn out your mouth like other brands (Kodiac sticks out in my mind) do.  This is because they don’t put  as much chemicals in Copenhagen; it’s a mostly natural cut in those cans.  

Dear Hyatte,                   

Hello, my name is Randy. I love your advice column, I read it everyday. Anyway, I need some advice. I'm 18 years old. I've just started college, but lately my life is getting kind of boring. I don't have a car and I'm still working hard towards my license. I don't have any friends. In fact to tell you the truth I've never really had any friends before. Not in high school, kindergarden or in middle school. Sometimes I feel trapped. I have to ask my parents to take me everywhere. My Mom has a bad leg and is disabled, but usually takes me everywhere I want to go. 

My problem is that I have no life. I've been around my parents and adults all my life and really don't have that many friends. It sucks being me. When other kids were getting their license all I was doing was going online talking to people. I really don't know what to do man, my house makes me feel trapped sometimes because I don't get out enough. Like I said in the beginning I'm still working hard at getting my license. But I don't know what to do when I get it. I live in a boring town, no friends, 18 year old college student, never has had a girlfriend, black male from Detroit. I'm not that tall either and I don't think that many girls would want to date me. I'm really shy around girls. Whenever I'm talking to one I just want to end the conversation as quickly as possible because I don't know what to say.  

My Mom always tells me I'm attractive, well I'm certainly no pretty boy nigga, but I don't know if girls find me attractive. I don't have that much game or has never tried to kick it. My life consists of staying at home playing video games and going online while getting my study on. I don't watch TV that much because either there's usually nothing on or I fall asleep. I suffer from depression when I get bored.  

We had to write a paper in my english class, well it was not really a paper. Five paragraphs maximum, we were supposed to write about how we feel trapped. I feel trapped all of the time dude. I go everywhere with my Mom cuz she needs help getting around because of her bad leg, on Saturdays my Dad and I go somewhere which usually ends up boring the shit out of me. I can't lie, those car rides are hell for me.  

I don't get in trouble that much, but my Mom keeps the volume turned down low and likes to talk alot. I wish she would turn up the music man. My sister Jessica is in College and is living on campus. I'm stuck living at home for my first year. I go out to Best Buy every Friday, try to catch a movie as often as I can and go to the mall too. I don't like being around adults mostly because I've been around adults my whole life. In school I was the type of kid that was a tattle tale, got made fun of, and got called retarded. I don't know how to fight. My Mom tried to get me help.  

I saw this guy for like six weeks, UNTIL I DECIDED TO SAY FUCK THAT SHIT.

But I really don't know what to do. I get very bored when I'm at my house.

WHAT DA FUCK SHOULD I DO MAN????????????????? 

- Desparate 18 yr teen in Detroit. 

You should grow the fuck up and stop feeling so sorry for yourself. 


Chris, I met this kid when I was a pee-wee league baseball player and we were best friends from then (age 8) til about 21 years old.  Even though we went to different schools we always hung out.  We got drunk together, stoned together and everything else that boys do growing up.  We were real tight.  

During the school year, not as much. But during the summer we always hung out.  Once I got my liscense(i'm a few months older) we were dangerous. Lucky we aren't dead, or in jail dangerous.  I'll spare you our exploits since only we probably find them interesting.  We went to the same college together and things were cool until senior year.  We both had our own groups of friends, but we were still best friends.   

To answer some of smart asses reading this, no we were not gay.  The problem occurred when he met this one particular girl.  Now we both had girlfriends before and it never cause a problem.  But this one, well she was special to him.  She took his virginity and was pretty much a freak in the bed.  Imagine having a porn star as your first sexual girlfriend and how cool it would be to be able to do whatever/whenever you wanted with your first girl.   

That was not really the problem.  The problem was that she was controlling. Even though she was from Rhode Island , which is like a world away from us, she still didn't like it when he hung out with his old friends.  She felt uncomfortable because when he was with me and the rest of his old friends, she was the outsider. Anyway, one by one, she chased his friends away.  Either by being a bitch or just starting shit.  Its hard to explain how, but just trust me, she would always gossip with everyone and even make stuff up to get people pissed at each other.   

Basically it was just me, him and his girl left out of the group.  Then, she told him I was trying to get with her(a lie).  Like a dumbass he decides to try and kick my ass instead of just asking if it was true.  We knocked other around the house for awhile and then it was over. She admitted that she lied and I figured he would then get rid of her. I was wrong.   She got him arrested for hitting her  (i don't know if it was true, but knowing her it probably wasn't).  She did all kinds of thing that basically changed him from a chilling guy to an anal retentive hard ass that was always starting shit.   We don't talk anymore.   

My question is that after 4 years is it even worth trying to get back in touch with my friend? We were real tight, but I think he might have shown me his true colors by sucker punching me.  The underlying question would be, at my age (26), am I supposed to not look back to my childhood friends anymore and just move on? Or is there a reason to try and make things work with the people who were with you when you didn't really have anything to offer. 


Name Withheld 

You know, people aren’t supposed to keep their childhood friends long into adulthood.  Which isn’t to say there’s anything WRONG with staying close with people you grew up with, but nature sort of suggests that we grow in body AND in mind, in order for the mind to grow it needs stimulus from all sorts of new sources.  Staying with the same friend since childhood encourages stagnation, not evolution.   

What you got to witness first hand is the magical powers of the pussy.  This freak chick pretty much hypnotized your friend and made him its bitch.  When it was over, he went from easy-going, laid back dude to anal retentive hard ass… and someone you don’t like very much. 

Guess what, he would’ve changed anyway, with or without the girl.  It was just a matter of time before something triggered that personality transformation.  Is his Dad anal retentive?  If so, then it was in your friend’s genes anyway… like the blonde girl who starts growing brown hair after she hits 18, it was going to happen no matter what. 

If you don’t miss him, then forget about him.  Way I see it, he’s the one who picked the world of a ho over the word of his lifelong bestest buddy.  Seems to me that he’s the one who should call if he wants to. 

Move on and just have fond memories of the kid you grew up with.  As the saying goes:  You can never go home again. 

Here’s a question about an old friend of mine! 

also, what happened to Sean Shannon?  I stumbled back into the "IWC" a few months ago and can't believe all of what I read about him.  I was wondering if any of his Delphi meltdowns are archived anywhere.  I was actually a semi-fan of his, but a bigger fan or yours and Grahme.  I keep reading about him going crazy, but can't find any examples.  Can you help me with that? 


He can be read regularly at  Depending on what you remember of him, he’s either gotten worse or better.  He’s also come right out and said that he’s a girl trapped in a man’s body.   

I’ve always found Sean to be a pretty hot shit.  If he’s reading, (and I have a funny feeling that he is), I cordially extend him an invitation to be a guest writer of the Midnight News one week.  One big, mind numbing shot at telling everyone to fuck off one last time.  Hell Sean, you can spend 28 pages explaining why I’m the biggest loser to ever walk to planet… I won’t edit or re-write a thing.  You’ll have the entire column for yourself.  Think about it.  This is no set-up.  It would be a hoot. 

Hey Chris,

I don't date girls much or at all really.  Part of it is shyness, but I don't think that's my main problem.  I can talk to girls when I want to, I'm just not usually interested in it.  All my friends my age (i'm 23) either have girlfriends or go out frequently trying to get laid or whatever. I don't, but I feel a lot of outside pressure to.   

Everytime I see family and old friends I'm asked if I have a girlfriend and stuff.  I get asked why I don't date much and everything.  And the only reason I ever want to date is just so people will get off my back. My family seems very worried that I'm not going to get married and have kids.  I know I'm still young, but I come from a small rural Southern town, and most guys I went to high school with have indeed started families.  

So my question, I guess, is do you think I should at least start going out with girls even though I don't really care about it one way or the other.  Maybe I can find happiness or something, I don't know. Or should I just not sweat everyone else and keep on what I'm doing. Just concentrating on work and school and occasionally hanging out with friends when I have the chance.  Of course then I run the risk of dying alone and unhappy.  I'm being a little sarcastic and overdramatic there, but I'd be lying if I don't occasionally consider that possibility.   

There are couple other things about my history that may give you a clearer picture of my situation. Many people over the years have asked me if I'm gay.  I am pretty certain not, I've thought about it simply because I don't ever date girls, but I don't think that's the case.  I do watch porn and jerk off from time to time and its straight porn.  I have sexual fantasies about women.  I figure if I was gay, I'd watch gay porn and have fantasies about men, right?  

Also I'm not a virgin, I have had one serious girlfriend who I thought I was in love with.  We dated for two years and I was abusive.  Not really physically.  I never beat her, though I did on two or three occasions slap her.  I was at times very emotionally abusive.  When I got mad I was a complete asshole and showed her nothing but contempt.  I called her nasty names and basically made her feel like shit a lot. No one knows about this except for probably a few of her friends.  And I still feel guilty over my behavior to her. I ran into her a year ago and we hugged and I think everything is forgiven.  She is married with a baby and I'm really happy things are going good for her now.  I still don't totally understand my behavior then because overall most people would agree that I'm a very nice guy.  I'm friendly to everyone I come into contact with and I genuinely want people to like me.  I am still shocked by my behavior then. Sometimes I think that may play a role in my reluctance to go out with girls.  I dated a couple girls after her, but it never turned into anything serious.  And in the past two or three years I haven't dated anyone at all.  So let me know what you think of my situation.  I'm a fan of yours and I know you can give me an honest assessment.  Thanks a lot


You don’t date girls and you don’t want to date girls.  You’re perfectly happy not dating girls, but you’re not gay (at least you’re pretty sure). 

I don’t think you’re gay either.  I think you’re just scared of what girls can do.  I would suggest you go watch one gay porn video, just to see how your lap reacts.  It might surprise you.

You come from a small, rural town where everyone knows everyone else, plus if it’s Southern, then it must be Baptist—and God knows how hard Southern Baptists get over the whole “Marry and be fruitful” deal.  So while you’re just milling away, minding your own business and living your life nice and cozy, the whole town is looking at you and saying, “Dere’s sumtin’ wrong with that boy, he don’ date wimmen.”  Your family is freaking because you’re not pounding out babies with your wife at the ripe old age of 23.

I was about to say you HATE women, but I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here and downshifting it to being scared of them. 

Here’s your problem, you see your friends all married and settled down and looking at the next 30-50 years doing the same thing in the same house in the same town with the same neighbors.  You see no upward mobility, you see them stuck right smack dab in a rut.  You see roots sprouting from their toes and into the ground while their new wife is busy clipping their wings s they can’t fly.  You resent that, you’re scared of that.  You want to fly, brother.  Fly to something better than small town USA. 

That girlfriend you did have, and abused, gave you a taste of “married life” for two years, you resented her so much and carried so much anger in you towards her that you made it very easy for her to leave you… the fact that she took two years doing so frustrated you even more. 

I also get the feeling that maybe something happened to you as a child (although technically, you still are one.).  Examine your childhood.  What did your mother do to your dad to make him so miserable?  Am I even close here? 

Toss in a little self-loathing too… what the hell.  If you hate yourself, how can anyone else expect to love you? 

 Now I’m talking out of my ass and making some wild assumptions, so here’s what I’d do if I were you:  Move out.  Leave the town.  Move to a more happening place where no one gives a shit if you have Roman Orgies with farm animals if that’s what gets your socks off.  Spread those wings and fly, brother.  Find happiness and satisfaction for yourself first, THEN, ONLY IF YOU WANT, go sniffing around for a girlfriend.   

Or stay in town and stay alone and die alone.  Just don’t automatically assume that to die alone automatically means that you’re going to die unhappy.  Bullshit, bullshit, BULLSHIT.  We all die alone, it’s the most private thing we do.  No one dies with you, that’s a plane you board all by yourself. 

You know, everything I just said might be bullshit.  You might just have a very low sex drive.  You don’t get horny much is all.  Perfectly natural. 

Fuck everyone else and what they think.  Do whatever you need to do to be happy.  It’s your life, you get to live it 24 hours a day, everyone else has their own lives to manage, tell them to stop sweating yours and get back to dealing with theirs, dammit. 

Thank you. 

We wrap up with a question from a Canadian about something VERY American… plus it’s a complete change of pace. 

Hello Hyatte, 

Feel free to edit this, it runs pretty long. And an apology in advance for the abundance of rhetorical questions, I'm trying to keep in line with the "we ask, you answer format". 

I am a Teaching Assistant for an Introduction to Theatre class (for first years) here at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. 

In one of the tutorials that I lead, there is one girl who is from the States. I've had coffee with her a few times, I've found out that she's a massage therapist, and she's absolutely wonderful to talk to. 

So . . . 

Ha ha, thought you were getting another dating question, weren't you? 

Anyway, she's from Oakland, and there is a high school near there that's apparently the number one rated high school for football in the world. Unfortunately, I can't be bothered to remember the name of it, mainly 'cos I don't care about high school football. 

However, she's mentioned how people down in the U.S. have paused to ask her about that football team whenever she tells them where she's from. 

My question is: what is this American obsession with football, so much so that not only are the pros, semi-pros, and university/college athletes worshipped, but so that also a bunch of 16/17 year-olds are treated like royalty, with people from around the country following their every game, noting every statistic, and generally devoting more time to a bunch of 'roided up teenagers than to their own children? 

I could make the same argument for baseball (this girl's the biggest A's booster in the world), and cheerleading, where desperate, stupid mothers kill off the competition so their daughters can gain a spot, but those two things don't draw tens of thousands of fans for the regular season. 

Why football? Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking it. Up here in Canada (I'm sorry, the CFL is a joke, even to us) I've recently started to get into football on Sundays. It's fun to watch and fun to play, but I'm just not understanding this mass hysteria that permeates down to the layers of children. 

Does this have something to do with the media telling you what to do and what to like? Is it the parents out in Buttfuck, Idaho who have nothing better to do than make a day out of three hours of watching an oblong ball go back and forth over 100 yards? 

Come to think of it, why this obsession over all sports? Football, baseball, basketball, it's like there's nothing else in the world except sports for these people. I mean, you've had movies based on high school football (Varsity Blues among others) and little league baseball (Bad News Bears among others), and the main selling points of these movies is not that they're coming-of-age stories set in the heartland, but that you get to see some kids playing football and baseball! 

Why don't the legitimate arts get this sort of attention? Is it because there's no home team to root for? I guess Willy Loman is just too much of a grey-area character for people to get behind. "He's not from Boise, I'll make sure Idaho won't support him! Arthur Miller be damned! . . . y'all!" 

The ancient Romans believed in bread and circuses. As long as the people were fed and entertained, they wouldn't care what was going on around them, even as Rome was turning to shit. I wonder if America's going through the same thing. 

Sorry for rambling, I'll cut myself off there. 



Why is America Football Crazy?  Oh there are so MANY reasons. 

First and foremost, because it’s OUR sport.  Baseball used to be all about Americana, but then Japan swiped it, and Cuba.  Suddenly it’s global.  Us Americans are very greedy, we like things we built to stay with us.   

Now Football is also global, but everyone else calls it Soccer.  Yeah, a bunch of skinny white boys in shorts running around kicking a ball.  If we want to see people run around nonstop, we’d go watch a Marathon. 

Football is a fast game where monstrous black men slam into other monstrous black men.  It’s violent, brutal, and action packed.  Unlike, say, baseball, there is rarely a dull moment in a football game.  Every play counts, the Quarterback has four tries to get the ball ten yards down a field, and this is with anywhere from four to seven very angry giants doing whatever they can to rip his head clean off.  Plus, the game is played only one day a week, sixteen weeks a year, unlike say basketball which plays well over a hundred games in the regular season, most of them meaningless.  Most NBA players cheerfully admit that they really start earning their money during the playoffs. 

In Football, every game counts, each and every one. 

Plus, there’s betting.  Betting both illegal and legal.  Very cool.  This is bigger with College football.  Hell, they’ll never admit it, but the schedule for college football AND basketball is designed specifically for gamblers, because that’s where the money is for them. 

Did I mention that football is played on Sundays?  The one day most people have off?  It’s the only sport which does this, schedules games around the typical fan’s convienence.  For this generosity, we forgive them for Monday Night Football, which is only there to put some extra money in the NFL’s pocket. 

Football is also the grand unifier.  It gives most men from every walk of life something to talk about.  Sports are the ultimate ice-breaker and it’s something everyone can relate to.  That’s why High School Football is what defines some small towns.  It’s more fun than church, and it’s played on a Friday night, so there’s plenty of sex and booze available after the game. 

Something can also be said for the fact that pro football players are the lowest paid professional athletes in America.  No one is screaming about salary caps in football.  With stricter trading laws, no one owner can go ahead and buy a dream team every year.  This is why when football players go out on strike, we tend to sympathize with them more than when those NBA millionaires go on strike and cry about those evil rat jap owners. 

So that’s why America loves football, because it’s ours.  It’s greatness lies in it’s violence, where every play is a battle, where every gain is hard won.  Football is War. 

But unlike the real thing, a Football war takes place once a week and ends within three hours. 

As for your question about why the legitimate arts not getting this attention?  Because neither Hollywood NOR Broadway know how to cater to the god damn working man.  All they know how to do is to find an excuse to get the wife and kids out of the house for a few fucking hours while football is on.  And Broadway?  Those fags couldn’t write a compelling play if their lives depended on it.  If we wanted to see grown men sing show tunes then Tommy Tune would be bigger than Elvis.  Besides, we’re expected to dress up for a night of theater… who the fuck wants to wear ties on Sundays? 

I’m done.  It took three weeks to pop this mess.  I’ll get some more in next week and start banging these out with more regularity.  I promise.   

I need more questions to answer.  Get cracking, people.  I won’t take so long to answer them next time. 

This is Hyatte  


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