Pop Culture Gauntlet: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn vs. Boxer Briefs

December 21, 2009 | Comments (0) | by T.R.

Welcome to Pop Culture Gauntlet, where people, places, and things from various subjects face off in a virtual cage match. As part of an ongoing series we will bring you new battles each week between randomly selected items from the Thunder Matt's PCG database. We will provide you with a brief background of both competitors. After reading, you can then vote on your choice in the poll located in the right sidebar column. Monday battles will run until 12am Thursday. Thursday battles will run until 12am Monday. Also we welcome any arguments for either competitor in our comments section. May the best man, thing, or whatever win.

Today's match: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn vs. Boxer Briefs

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Solzhenitsyn, who passed away in August of 2008, was a Russian and Soviet historian, and Nobel laureate in Literature. His prominent works, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and The Gulag Archipelago, earned him both global critical acclaim and exile from his home country. Toward the end of WWII, while serving as a commander in the Red Army, he was tried and imprisoned for inflammatory writings questioning Joseph Stalin's conduct of the war. After serving his term in a labor camp, he was permitted back into Soviet society. At this time, he conducted much of his research and writings in secrecy due to the ever-watchful eye of the KGB. In 1962, Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party at the time, permitted the publishing of A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. This sudden rise to cultural prominence only intensified the scrutiny that Solzhenitsyn suffered at the hands of the KGB. In 1974, Solzhenitsyn was stripped of his Soviet citizenship and permanently exiled from the country. After floating around Western Europe, he ventured to the United States, settling in Vermont. Here he continued his writings against Communism, favoring a return to Russian imperialism and orthodoxy. It should also be noted that while Solzhenitsyn appreciated the political liberties which democracy allowed, he remained disconcerted by the evils of popular culture and the weakening of American strenght. In other words, Solzhenitsyn would not approve of the Saloon. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Solzhenitsyn returned to the motherland, where he preached moderate nationalism and the emboldening of Russia, and decried its turn toward materialism and the crumbling of its religious foundations.

Strengths: showed great intestinal fortitude by sticking it to the KGB; survived a near-fatal bout with cancer; exposed the Gulags and the faults of Communism

Weaknesses: willingly chose to live in Vermont of all places; once described the United States as a "province of Israel"; wanted the United States to prolong the war in Vietnam

Fun Fact: His son Ignat is an acclaimed concert pianist and conductor, working primarily with the Chamer Orchestra of Philadelphia.

*information largely cribbed from Wikipedia

Boxer Briefs
For centuries, cultured men were suffered the indignity of having only two alternatives to "going commando": boxers or briefs. When a young man first graduates from diapers, he is too young to yet understand the difference between the two, and is generally at the will of his mother regarding the undergarments he will use throughout his youth. In 98% of all cases, the mother will default to white briefs, or as we refer to them, "tighty whities". In the other 2% of cases, the mother is likely deceased or too hopped up on goofers to pay any mind to the child. It is usually not until high school when a young man realizes that he has the choice to transition to boxers. But lo and behold, the 1990's gave advent to a new choice in the male intimates section at your local Target: the boxer briefs. Melding the best of both worlds, the boxer brief has both the length of boxers (which are more comfortable and desirable when undressing in front of a female) and the compact feel of the "tighty whities" (which helps to absorb those last two drops of urine so that they do not run down the leg). They afford a more confident demeanor when standing semi-nude in front of a mirror and flexing. Boxer briefs scream "I am not convinced that the testicles need to be so aerated as to necessitate boxers, yet I also do not enjoy playing World of Warcraft!" The boxer brief is simultaneously a neutral Switzerland, and the dawn of the United States of America. There have been precious few articles of clothing in the history of man that have liberated so many.

Strengths: more appealing to the ladies; "last two drops" corollary; dark colors assist in hiding unmentionable stains

Weaknesses: often more expensive than standard boxers or briefs; slight risk of decreased sperm count

Fun Fact: They suppress boners slightly better than boxers, which always helps when you're riding the city bus.