As someone who works for a YouTube channel, I regularly have discussions about what makes videos go viral. Video length, a quick hook, comic timing, SEO, production quality — they’re all elements of an alchemy that no one has truly figured out. And given what I’ve learned, I’m baffled by the success of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” As of today, it’s been viewed more than 336 MILLION times in the year-plus since it was published. That’s three times as many views as David After Dentist in one-third the time. And there’s no reason for it. The first 90 seconds — a full minute and a half! — are visually unappealing and sonically dull. The color scheme is flat. The hint of sexiness becomes an unfulfilled promise. Gotye’s teeth look like they belong on a large herbivore.

But my real problem is that it’s a shitty break-up song, and that’s a shame, because the musical landscape is filled with beautiful and heart-wrenching and angry songs about lost love. The first scene in High Fidelity captures the power of depressing music:

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

“Somebody That I Used to Know” doesn’t have the fatalistic angst of the Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love,” the anger of the Walkmen’s “The Rat,” the storytelling of “Maggie May,” or even the empowerment of “Since U Been Gone.” It lacks even a hint of the sadness that’s stretched across entire albums like Beck’s Sea Change, Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Ryan Adams’s Heartbreaker, and Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago. What’s Gotye’s problem in “Somebody That I Used to Know”?  Well, his ex said that they’d be friends, but then she didn’t follow through. (“I don’t even need your love / But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough.”) Boo hoo hoo, you fucking pansy.

It’s stupid, it’s whiny, and it’s a bad example. People, DO NOT TRY TO STAY FRIENDS WITH YOUR EXES. It will just make one or both of you more miserable. Gotye’s a moron and I hate his song.

Let’s go to your questions.

Foreman of Fantasy,
Fantasy first: I’m the commish of a 12-team league. We just changed our scoring system to 1 vs. All (you play every team, every week and come out with some combinations of wins and losses that adds up to 11 – neat, right?).

Eh.

Anyway, two teams just executed the following trade: Trent Richardson, Brandon Marshall, and Torrey Smith were sent over in exchange for Marshawn Lynch, Donnie Avery, Donald Brown, Aaron Hernandez, and Jeremy Maclin. A trade of such magnitude drew a lot of attention and I am seriously considering vetoing it. What say you?

What are your grounds for vetoing? It’s essentially Richardson and Marshall for  Lynch and Hernandez — everyone else in the trade is a spot start. Torrey Smith is a no-show on the road (14 FP/G at home vs. 4.3 on the road); Donnie Avery has just one game with more than 60 yards; Donald Brown is injured; and Jeremy Maclin has been boom or bust with a nagging injury (though he seems to be finally healthy after the bye week).

Obviously I can’t see the two lineups that led to this trade, but it seems to me like one team improved its receiving corps dramatically, while the other gets a workhorse running back and a relatively solid tight end. It’s obviously weighted toward the team that got the extra players, but if both sides are happy, why intervene?

Fuckin’ Obama, man.

Sex Second: More of a relationship question. Background: started an LDR with the love of my life 3.5 years ago, distance was tough, live together now so it’s much better. We joined a gym that is literally across the street from our apartment building, and I have loved going since it’s so convenient. She has not been once, despite claiming she wants to go for yoga classes. I have volunteered to go with her to get her motivated, but she still won’t go. She claims she’s tired after work or embarrassed to go since she’s not in good shape. I of course explain the logic of physical activity boosting energy in the long run and that she has to go to get in good shape to avoid embarassment, etc. Logic isn’t working.

On a woman? NO WAY!

(Sorry, ladies. It was just teed up so nicely.)

She has some self-image/confidence issues, and I’ve been happy to help her with those, but it seems to me like going to the gym for yoga or WHATEVER would not only help her self-worth but also give her more energy and generally make her a happy person. We’ve discussed it a few times and she understands what I’m saying and more or less agrees with it, but when it comes time to act, she won’t follow through.

Overweight AND obstinate? Man, you got yourself a winner.

Any advice on how to broach this subject without being annoying/beating a dead horse but get the results I think we both want?
Thanks,
Nervous Veto-er

If her self-confidence issues are so severe that she can’t WALK ACROSS THE FUCKING STREET to go to the gym even though THAT’S WHERE SHE CAN IMPROVE HER IMAGE, then it’s beyond anything that you can solve. She needs therapy and a personal trainer.

(Or getting dumped on her ass. That’d send her to the gym. But I only mention that because I’m mean.)

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Capt,
I have RG3 and Brady. Should I trade one of them? Which one? I feel like RG3 is an injury waiting to happen and don’t want to get fucked and have to pick up John Skelton or some other shithead off of waivers when RG3 goes down.

I agree with you — as much as I love watching RG3 play and want his fantasy numbers for my QBs, I can’t help but fear that he’s in much greater danger of injury than pocket passers. For that reason, I would shop RG3 ONLY if you have a glaring hole in your lineup. If you have a playoff team as is, I’d keep both QBs due to their matchups during the fantasy playoffs. If you look at weeks 14-16, Brady has HOU-SF-@JAC, while RG3 gets a slightly more favorable BAL- @CLE-@PHI. In a perfect world, you could start RG3 while Brady gets assaulted by the Texans and Niners, then put ol’ Tom back in for the cakewalk against the Jaguars for the championship.

I know what you say about dating girls you work with, but I can’t fucking help it…I’m in love with this girl. I can’t stop thinking about her, all the God damn time. I can’t concentrate on anything else. I think of stupid reasons to go visit her at work. We went out for drinks a lot over the Summer and it was the most fun I’ve had in forever. She has a second job that picks up in the Fall and the happy hour dates have almost stopped. I try to think of stupid work-related reasons to go visit her at work, I try to get her to go to lunch with me, and all other poorly thought out schemes I can think of to spend time with her.

She has a boyfriend that she lives with.

This is information you probably should have shared in the first paragraph, when you made it sound like you were dating her. But please, go on, Ted Bundy.

I realize that she is unavailable and I’m very aware that she’s probably friend-zoned me and yet I don’t care. My logic has been overwhelmed. I can’t stop thinking about her ALL THE TIME. I’ve never felt like this before. How can I just turn off these feelings? I’m drunk and I don’t know what to do.
Thanks,
Drowning In Company Ink

You can start by realizing that you’re supposedly “in love” with someone who’s not available or even interested in you. From an objective standpoint, that’s pretty fucking stupid and a complete waste of time. Love is two people, together, putting the other person’s happiness first. What you’re experiencing is some asshole version of unfulfilled desire, and it’s not worth my or your time. Get your head out of your ass.

*********

An email received on Monday:

Captain of the Cavemen,
As the commissioner of my league I find myself down a person midseason… Literally. Like, he died in his sleep.

Drag.

It also just so happens that I’m playing him, with .2 of a point lead, with Cutlerfucker to play for me, and Hanson kicking for him tonight. What exactly should the proper protocol here be? Bench Cutler? Play him and hope he tanks like he’s apt to?

It’s a fantasy football league, not the homecoming game. You don’t need any empty gestures.

Aside from my personal inner conflict, I also have to figure out what to do about the league. It’s a pay league, and we could only muster enough friends and coworkers to get up to 8 teams. Should I run his team for him? Disperse his players? Let the league as a whole vote on it? I’m at a loss here, as I’m not exactly dealing with old people and didn’t forsee this happening. Any thoughts or suggestions?

First, I’d like to point out that you’re starting Jay Cutler in an 8-team league, which is good for a chuckle even if your QB1 was on bye last week.

As for the rest of the season, arrange your dead friend’s best possible starting lineup according to the performance predictions offered by your site, but don’t make any roster changes. Next year, start the recruitment process for your league a little earlier (lower the fee if necessary).

As for sexual relations, I am divorced with a 4 year old that I have joint custody of… The woman I’m dating has met, and gets along with my kiddo very well. I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend with her, to the point of taking her to meet my family. We only met in July, and so far things have been great.

/counts on fingers

So, four months in. Got it.

Cutting to the point, she’s asked me to move in with her. I was already planning on vacating my current living quarters for something bigger to give my spawn some more space to play, so a move was inevitable. I can see things being longterm with the girlfriend, but I’ve thought that before and things went south quickly. I am in love with this female companion, but I’m not sure if this is a good play to make with a kid in tow.

You are not sure if it’s a good idea BECAUSE IT IS NOT.

If I wasn’t a parent, I’d have no qualms about moving in with her, but the kid forces me to second guess every decision I make (which is a good thing, usually because I can make some pretty terrible decisions!).
Thanks for time and brainprowess/intermediaryatude,
CJnoK’s

Your first priority needs to be your child. PERIOD. That means your life decisions revolve around him/her, as I’m sure they do. That means you need to be ONE THOUSAND PERCENT CERTAIN that this girlfriend will be in your lives — PLURAL, you and your kid’s — for years to come. Preferably the rest of your lives, but who am I kidding, you already have one divorce under your belt and people can get pretty boring. Nevertheless, err on the side of stability for your kid: get your own place with more space. If the girlfriend is still in the picture and committed to you in another year, THEN you can think about whether it’s right to live together.

**********

Hola,
FF: I think I’ve got a pretty solid team, but I have FUCKING Phillip Rivers as my QB in a league where passing TDs are 6, so it’s a bit of a premium position. It’s a dynasty league and I drafted him 4 years ago and thought last year was just an aberration. He sucks even more this year.

Anyway, one of the owners has stock-piled QBs on his team over the year: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton. He’s a diehard Packers fan and absolutely unwilling to part with A-Rod, but the other two are on the market for an RB. My RB situation is Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Mikhail (or however the fuck you spell his name) Leshoure, and Alex Green. It’s a 2 RB + 3 WR + FLEX league and I’m stacked at WR (Jordy, Megatron, Reggie, Colston, Amendola) so I think I can get away with playing a WR at FLEX if need be. So here’s my two part question:

Do I trade Jamaal/Shady for Matty Ice or Leshoure for Dalton? And if the former, Jamaal or Shady?

Get Matty Ice. In a 6-point passing TD league, you can’t settle for anything less than a top-tier pocket QB. As for Charles/McCoy, they’re essentially the same player in the same position: the most talented player on a team with a coach who refuses to use them in an intelligent manner. Personally, I think Jamaal Charles is the more talented player — he also has more touches and more yards — but McCoy plays for the better team, so the argument can go either way. But I’d trade McCoy before Charles.

Sex, sort of: Long story short, I masturbate A LOT. Usually multiple times a day. Started when I was 12. Used to mash the poor guy in the between my legs so I could do it in public when I was sitting at a table. Watch a lot of porn too. Probably addicted. Woohoo for me!

Thank you for all that information.

Anyway, I think there is something wrong with my dick. When I’m with a girl, 1 of 2 scenarios occurs. I cum too quickly, usually when getting a handjob. Or, I fail to keep it up when getting head. I haven’t had sex yet so not sure how it functions in that department.

The point of all this is to ask if compulsive masturbation over a long period of time can desensitize one’s penis, thereby rendering it less than normally responsive. And if so, is this something that can be fixed by not wanking it for an extended period of time, like 2 days (I kid, I kid!), or is my penis basically screwed?
Besos,
Geoff Bezos

We’ve been over this before, but it’s worth reiterating: if you become reliant on the visual stimulation of porn to jerk off, then your sexual encounters will likely suffer as a result. Every male reading this knows what it’s like to jerk off multiple times per day, but privacy and an internet connection can take you into troubled waters.

If your hand is a better sexual option than a vagina or a woman’s mouth — to the point that one or the other can’t even keep you hard — then you need to reform your habits. Whether that means jerking off without porn (which can be a nice change of pace) or with a looser grip (always recommended) is up to your dick, really. But frankly, if I were a virgin, I’d rather my rep be “the guy who can maintain an erection during a blowjob” than “the guy who’s super-relaxed from jerking off all the time.”

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Dearest Overlord of the Neanderthals,
Fantasy Keeper Question: Considering trading Fred Jackson, Cardinals D/ST and a WR (one of Josh Gordon, Andre Johnson, Danny Amandola) for Chris Johnson and Dolphins D/ST. I already have Seahawks D/ST and will only be able to keep (and typically start) one of the players involved in this situation due to other keepers. Playoffs in this league are weeks 13-16 and I am looking ahead to having the strongest lineup possible for that part of the season. Should I make this trade?

Fred Jackson is better than Chris Johnson, and the Cardinals D is better than the Dolphins. So no, you should NOT make your team worse and give away a quality receiver on top of that.

Not Fantasy Keeper Question: I was with my ex wife (let’s call her Athena) for 7 years (married for almost 4) before she decided she wanted a divorce. Despite my begging and pleading, she went to Home Depot and bought a DIY kit for divorce and 30 days later I was a 28 year old living with my parents again. Fast Forward 3 months…

I start dating a mutual friend of ours who happened to be a bridesmaid in our wedding. We will call her Helen. Being really good friends for six years prior, naturally things began really well. Did I mention she is in med school?

You did not.

Anyways Athena randomly bumps into me, which isn’t hard since we work at the same place,

Reason No. 11,239: Do not date your co-workers.

and says she wants to talk. I agree to meet her for lunch and she tells me she wants to undo everything and work it out.

“Great idea, insane cunt!”

I’ve been seeing them both since then trying to work through my feelings (they are both aware of the situation).

I really enjoy Helen’s personality and we have a lot of fun together. Unfortunately she is very inexperienced with the ways of the bedroom. Also, I don’t find her as attractive as Athena. Furthermore, Athena really knows how to “ring my bell” and we have so much history together. In short: Great sex or great personality. I know this makes me sound shallow and that makes me feel like less of a person, but my ex-wife is like a bad addiction that I’m not sure I want to kick. I know I can be happy with both and I can’t stand the thought of hurting and disapointing either of them.

1) Does anyone know of an example where a divorced couple actually work it out and have a happily ever after?

Yes. In Die Hard.

2) Which is crazier: walking away from great sex or walking away from a future doctor?

I’d go with (c): “getting back together with your ex-wife because the sex is good.”

3) Where can I get more information about polygamy?
Thank you,
Tired of Thinking

For fuck’s sake, listen to yourself:

  • “Whoa, it’s so crazy that my wife wanted to divorce me on a whim but suddenly wants me back the second I start dating one of her friends! Surely re-marrying her is the right course of action with no possible speed bumps in the future.”
  • “The inexperienced woman I’m dating is okay with me fucking my ex-wife. She MUST be a good long-term investment!”
  • “I’m nailing my ex-wife AND one of her bridesmaids! Can I get married to them BOTH?!?!”

Your ex-wife is a jealous, indecisive, clingy moron. Your med-school girlfriend, if she were someone with a strong sense of self-worth, would say, “You clearly have shit to work out, PEACE!” Instead, you’ve got a pair of women who might be fun to spend time with, but offer little in the way of “humans who could be good role models to your children.” I’d move to a different state and leave no forwarding address.

Okay, that’s it for this week’s mailbag. For those of you who emailed late Wednesday and early Thursday, I’ll try to get to your emails next week. Please accept this week’s episode of “Keepers” as a way to tide you over: