- Dads Who Are Drunk and Clearly Drink a Little Too Much from Time to Time
- Dads Grilling
- Dads with Porn Staches and/or Coke Bottle Glasses
- Dads Lovingly Holding Pets
- Dads Driving Boats
- Dads Reading in Armchairs, Totally Unaware a Photo Is Being Taken
- Dads Without Shirts, Despite Body Type
- Dads Deadpanning Phone Cameras
- Dads in Tuxes
- Dads Drinking Michelob Ultra
- Dads Dancing with Daughters at Weddings
- Dads Smoking Cigars
- Dads Trying to Take Selfies
- Dads Holding Their Newborn Kids
- Dads Fishing
- Dads Golfing
- Dads Wearing Paperboy Hats
If you’ve logged on recently, you might have noticed that online is bad. But in recent weeks, a sort-of-almost-maybe-kind-of-good trend has sprung up amongst the quarantined. Or at least, a trend that seems like it could be good at first glance. You’ve seen it: the no-skip album challenge, the five perfect films, whatever that Bill Clinton thing is.
These challenges offer a chance to bask in shared cultural connections and revisit some of our favorite pieces of art. They also offer a chance to stress the fuck out.
I mean, what even is a no-skip album? Like I know definitionally what those words mean, but is it an album I’ve never once skipped a song on? Or an album where I love every song? An album where I like every song enough to give it a listen? Even my favorite albums of all time get boring if I’m not in the right mood.
And is everyone else adhering to the same rules? Or should I just pick my favorite few albums and call it a day? When I first started thinking of no-skip albums my mind flew to Channel Orange, but then… I looked at the track list. And yeah, it’s got some all-time great songs. More classics than any album really has a right to, in my opinion. But then there’s the slightly underwhelming forgotten tracks too. And the interludes! If I skip an interlude, is that no longer a no-skip album?
And more importantly, what will other people think if I don’t include Channel Orange? Am I a fake Frank fan? Uncultured swine? And what if I include My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy? Am I endorsing Kanye’s misogyny and absurdist political semi-ideology?
Or what if I end up with just Springsteen, Bon Iver, Carly Rae Jepson, and Fleetwood Mac? #NoSkipAlbumsListSoWhite?
And don’t even get me started on the five perfect movies challenge. No movie is perfect, even the greatest films ever made. It’s A Wonderful Life was an easy inclusion for me, but the treatment of Annie (and other women) throughout is deeply troubling. Silence of the Lambs still takes my breath away, but at what point are gender non-conforming individuals going to stop being portrayed as deranged and dangerous?
Truthfully, the challenge lies in putting together a list that shows just how cool, cultured, intelligent, and relatable you are. You need a mix of high brow and humorous, a list that shows you’ve got love for the classics but are in touch with the times,* one that includes diversity of experience but does not include Green Book.
Ultimately, I think the problem with these challenges is that I am wildly insecure and need everyone to love and cherish me constantly. A therapist might say that’s unrealistic or self-defeating but joke’s on you, my insurance doesn’t have first-dollar mental health coverage so we’ll never truly know.
So I’ll just keep curating, desperately trying to hone my brand through my choices. As I write this, a friend has literally just tagged me in the Bill Clinton one. I think this is just albums I vibe with, right? Or is it ones I listen to after not inhaling a marijuana cigarette? My favorite jams for corporate-friendly center-left activism?
Rest assured, I’ll stress about this one a lot too.
*If you don’t have Moonlight or Get Out on your list, I don’t fuck with you anymore. Sorry, that’s the rules.
If you do #business like we do #business, you have probably seen some Ayn Rand garbage like this making the rounds:
“If you don’t come out of this quarantine with:
- A new skill
- More knowledge
- Your side hustle started
You never lacked time, you lacked discipline.”
While we here at Left on Read love shaming people for almost anything (we’re looking at you, people who cover their mouths when they laugh. Why are you covering your mouth? Do you hate joy, weirdo?), this has the empathy and spirit of Ronald Reagan throwing bags of pennies at homeless people—a true thing that did happen.
Here’s a fun bit of information: We are in a motherfucking pandemic. You know, a worldwide event during which thousands of people are dying and every single person is being forced to stay inside. In other words, it bad. This bad. During times that are, you know, this catastrophically shitty, we can just maybe have the slightest bit of empathy for people not feeling like learning how to do a VLOOKUP. I’m looking at you, “Thought Leaders.”
As we enter week five of quarantine purgatory, our bar for what constitutes success needs to be brought way the fuck down. So, if you don’t come out of this quarantine with…
- An unreasonably priced onesie
- Fifteen Instagram posts about bread
- Crippling depression and severe anxiety
- Bed sores
Congratulations! You are an amazing human genius and we are very proud of you. You did it, and we are proud of you.
I was just strolling through Instagram, as I’ve been doing almost ad nauseam for the last week, and I saw something that caught my eye: a round, rustic loaf of bread posing on a cooling rack.
My god. Did you bake that yourself?
I mean—I am truly in awe. As you mentioned in your own caption, it came out quite well. Have you always baked bread? Did you work in une boulangerie? Was your father a lowly baker, always struggling to make ends meet but deeply fulfilled to create something that he could sell at affordable prices to his beloved community? Did he show you how to bake that?
Oh. No? It’s your first time? Ah. I see. Ohhh, that’s right, you did mention that in your caption. I must have missed that. Maybe I was just distracted by that luscious golden loaf, the finest loaf of bread I’ve ever seen in my pathetic life.
Well, I just dropped in to say that I am endlessly happy for you for this loaf of bread. I’ve never seen something so perfect, certainly not 45 seconds ago when I was browsing an earlier section of my Instagram feed. I cannot wait to see the rest of the loaves of bread you bake, and have total faith that you will post every single pic of them so I can see them on my shitty, shitty, shitty Instagram feed.
The Boys Back Home: There is nothing — NOTHING — more important than the boys back home. They crave a steady flow of your content. Don’t you dare forget about the boys back home!!
Mom ❤: For your once-a-year wholesome content. Crucially, this feature also sends your mom a twice weekly DM explaining how to use Instagram and reminding her to like and share all your posts.
Bae Who Doesn’t Know They’re Bae: Only one person is allowed on this list, a repository for only your hottest pics.
I Have Done An Alcohol: hahaha guysssss I’m so young and fun (basically everyone except for your coworkers and kids who won the D.A.R.E. poster contest).
Nudes: All of your friends are on this list, it’s more of a public account feature, really. Free the nip, folks.