Mustache Monomania


Typical mustache-themed pollution found among the thriving aquatic plants in Oakland’s Lake Merritt

Baby hipster

Baby hipster

Fake mustache tolerance runs rampant

Oakland is the only city in California listed on the notorious “America’s Most Mustache Friendly Cities” report. Hence, we predictably encounter the detritus of the inexplicably still-popular parody: the fake mustache. The use of the fake mustache attempts to mock society, yet at the same time blindly follows its hackneyed fads. The paper backing shown above had been pulled from a stick-on mustache that was undoubtedly attached to the tender upper lip of an innocent toddler, who I assume was also donning a hoodie and sunglasses. This whole charade just goes to show that no toddler is truly innocent and that young Oakland parents want their kids to look like the Unabomber, or just porn stars. Either way, the babies are exhibited as the farcical caricature of well-manicured sexually mature men—the male counterpart and precursor to the immoral abomination we know as the pageant girl.


Sexy (Asian?) baby


Sexy baby parties


a.k.a. male infant

To those parents, congratulations! You have a sexy lil man as a baby! I know you reveled in launching that miniature grown-up man from your womb. America loves a sexy baby, so thank you for contributing to this perverse movement. However, if you knew that your baby was fully facial-haired in utero you would have ripped him from your loins and torn him piecemeal, shrieking like a banshee, and you probably wouldn’t have thrown a mustache-themed Lil Man party for him. What if he offers mustache rides to all the little pageant girls at the party? Try to hold back from sexualizing your stylish child. If you’re fortunate, he will eventually grow up to be the Big Man of your dreams:

Baby, full grown

Your baby, full grown

Lil Women?

Alternately, the female version of Lil Men could be Little Women, which summons images from Louisa May Alcott’s famed Victorian novel about four young girls who fussed about their hair and lamented over their poverty. Their dear mother “Marmee” tells the girls, “If Jo would only wear a fake mustache, she could get a real job and support us useless womenfolk.”

In adult society, the faux whiskers are applied in an empty, slapdash manner. Lest we forget what happens when such an unexceptional object receives high ironic status and is bandied about willy-nilly:


Woman wakes from surgery to find doctors put moustache and teardrop stickers on her face


Finally, you’re welcome for not posting any images of real babies with fake mustaches. But please, when in public, pick up your mustache-shaped litter so the ducks don’t choke to death on your self-adhesive charm.

Gentrification Mutation

Oakland natives

Oakland natives

The effects of gentrification are taking their toll on my Oakland neighborhood, with the most recent intrusion developing within the bird population. We’ve grown accustomed to our ragtag pigeons, scavenging lake gulls, and black-crowned herons who scream, cackle, and squawk into the night. Their birdy cacophony entwines with the discordant howls of the local vagrants. These birds are not the most elegant or ideal as far as fowl demographics go, but they’re OURS.

Suddenly a new feathered tourist has come to town. A fair-weather opportunist. A songbird. Turdus migratorius be his name, also known as the American Robin. His wearisome song consists of a single repetitive, maddening note that he broadcasts ad nauseum ALL NIGHT LONG. And also, ALL DAY. His tirelessness and arrogance are an affront to the local bird residents. He lazily roosts in one tree morning and night, sipping his $5 soy latte while displacing the scrounger birds who are indispensable for pecking the previous night’s vomit off the sidewalks as if it’s a delicacy. I will look into the zoning laws in this area, but I’m open to suggestions. I’m considering organizing a collective nonviolent direct action to pressure this bird out.

Sample the soundtrack:

Choose Your Stance

St. Paul the Hermit — Jusepe de Ribera

St. Paul the Hermit — Jusepe de Ribera

Functioning in densely populated areas can be a challenge for any decent human. Survival, even on a purely psychological level, depends on your approach to each interaction. Remember, you must welcome the situation no matter how dismal and destructive it seems. First commit to an attitude so that you can then focus on specific situational responses. Choose from the following:

 1. “I hate people.”

When you look up from your inevitable gaze toward the ground and see another person, at least you have already prepared your opinion of them: hatred and disgust. You despise them all equally, thus your expression never need change according to the subject at hand. No extra time is needed to form feelings or thoughts about each individual lout who passes your way. They are all scum and you are secure in knowing that.


2. “I’d rather avoid people, but I recognize that occasional exposure to them keeps me from becoming a mumbling hermit who hoards soiled napkins and tiny bits of plastic wrap.”

That weekly trip to the market might be keeping some folks from turning into Unabombers in their hovels of solitude. Shut-ins may act awkward in social situations, especially while in retail shops and public transportation vehicles, but it’s a good thing for them to air themselves out once in a while.


3. “The landlord and credit companies insist that I maintain an income, and most jobs require being around other people.”

The “objective” section of your resume claims that you love to help people! Note: all positions require that you either work around other people or that your personality does not reveal antisocial tendencies. You’ve embraced the charade just enough for you to function around others and satisfy your basic needs: food, clothing, shelter, sufficient health, friendship, transportation, mobile plan, internet, and whatever supplies your addictions.


4. “I love people. “

No one believes you, but OK.


Now that you’ve chosen a stance, we can progress to specific situations you will face on your mortal odyssey.

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