Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash Vol. XLI: How to hate healthily, Liechtensteinian mail-order brides, and existential wisdom

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Matt Labash
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      Matt Labash

      Hi, welcome to “Ask Matt Labash.” I’ll be your host, Matt Labash. The idea for this column – if idea isn’t too strong a word – is that it is not a column at all. Rather, it’s a conversation. One in which I do ninety-five percent of the talking. If you did most of the talking, you’d have to watch my eyes go dead and my attention wander until it was my turn to talk again. So trust me, it’s better this way.

      For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I’ll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I’d have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil’ Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.

      This is not, you should know, a mere advice column. If you need advice, I’ll give it. But the only rule here is that there are no rules. You can ask me a question about anything that’s on your mind: current events, pop culture, media, theology, string theory, fishing tips, wicker repair. The only limits we have are those of your imagination. And those of my knowledge base. Which is considerably limited, truth be told. So try not to ask me anything that requires research. Though they tell me I have access to Google on this computer if we need it.

      If all goes according to plan, ours will not be a traditional writer/reader relationship. It’s more complex than that. I might empathize or cajole. I might educate, instruct, or inspire. I might pretend to answer your question while actually reporting you to Social Services, since you’re a dangerous person who should not have contact with children. I might tell you to climb up on my shoulders, that you’re not heavy, you’re my brother. Or I might tell you that you are heavy, and that you should hop down until you lose a few pounds. I might just sidle up behind you, put my big strong man hands on the small of your back, and whisper in your ear the words of the poet, Kenny Rogers: “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”

      To which you’ll say something like, “I can’t, I’ve got to go home and wash my hair.”
      To which I’ll say something like, “Shhh. We’ve got tonight babe, why don’t you stay?”
      Wherever this takes us, our journey begins now:

      <i>Matt Labash is a senior writer with The Weekly Standard. His first book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Fishing-Darth-Vader-Evangelical/dp/1439159971">Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys</a> will be published next month by Simon & Schuster.</i>

Dear Matt, Not that you are an expert in this subject, but I still value your opinion: which country has the best mail order brides? I would really like to get the most bang for my buck! – Pryor

I’d like to help you out, my friend. You sound lonely, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. But I cannot answer this question as formulated: It’s vile, it’s piggish, and it’s demeaning to women. That might be your way, but it’s not mine. I worship women. Not as objects, because that would be objectification, which my Womyn’s Studies professor in college told me was a big no-no. So strike that. I don’t worship them. I admire them. For their grace. For their strength. And for the tolerance they display by not calling the authorities when I steal underwear from their laundry hamper for inclusion in my Worn Panties Shrine. (Which I keep strictly for sniffing purposes – I’m not some kind of pervert.)

That said, I’d forego the whole Asian bride business. It’s been overdone. And when you see a young, attractive, non-English speaking Asian woman with a dopey, middle-aged white guy, it immediately arouses suspicion that she came postmarked. Who wants their children living under that kind of a cloud? I’d go with some place a little more low-profile and less suspicious: Liechtenstein. Most people have never even met a native Liechtensteinian, if that’s what they’re even called. Probably because their country is only 61.8 square miles, with a population of merely 35,000 people.

The smallness and insignificance of this alpine microstate (they ditched their army entirely after the Austro-Prussian War), means that your bride, in all likelihood, will have a lot to prove, and thus, will overcompensate when trying to please you. I don’t have to be Dr. Drew to tell you that any truly successful marriage turns on an imbalance of power. But another upside of a Liechtensteinian mail-order bride is that her principality boasts the highest gross-domestic-product per person of any place in the world. Meaning that she is not just marrying you for money. She is likely coming to America for the right reasons: for love, a Costco card, and a fair chance of landing on her own basic-cable reality show.

If you were one of us and had a chance to ask someone of great wisdom like yourself a question, what would it be? – M. Llamo

That’s a tough one. But if I had the chance to ask myself anything, it’d probably look something like this:

Dear Matt,
What is the meaning of life?
- Name Withheld

I wouldn’t have a response, either. Not because I don’t know the correct answer. I do. But that would be like answering my own question. Which would kind of resemble talking to myself. Which would make me sound like a crazy person. And I’m not sure the world needs one more crazy person talking to himself. We already have Ed Schultz.

Matt Labash is a senior writer with the Weekly Standard magazine. His book, “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys,” was published this spring by Simon and Schuster. Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.

  • WEM

    There are 16 divorced men in my division (23 men total). All 16 without exception are looking for brides outside of the US. They don’t want a mail order bride; they want a real relationship. My co-workers are travelling to places like Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Romania, China, Russia, or Serbia. They are all looking for intelligent educated women who don’t act like Americans.

    Every one of these men lost everything after their divorces so they hope to find women without the American greed gene. I wish them good luck and happy hunting. I must remind them though at every opportunity “gooney-goo-goo”. If you’re laughing right now then you’ve seen Eddie Murphy before he was doing kids movies.

  • SargeH

    Keep it up, Matt. I always enjoy your writing. And about those S.E. Cupp rumors….

  • jakethesnake76

    Matt you forgot to tell us the website for this MOB lol man you had me rolling dude, love yer stuff , and i believe you and S.E. Cupp are the same person cause i kno you wouldn’t lie lol

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  • redass

    Does this guy draw a paycheck this crap?

    • SargeH

      Guess you didn’t inherit the humor gene.