I’m finally one of the cool kids

If you want to be popular, you usually have to be good-looking, wealthy, charismatic, famous, athletic, or have some sort of talent in the arts. I arguably possess a bit of the last one, but widespread dissemination of said talent is often needed before you can go clubbing in New York with an entourage that may or may not include current NBA stars, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and at least two former Nickelodeon starlets who are now 25-going-on-50 and totally wacked-out on cocaine.

However, there is a secret side-door for us normies into the world of the cool kids: Resembling a newly famous celebrity. Remember all the girls getting their hair straightened to look like Jennifer Aniston back in the ’90s? Teenage girls are probably dressing and styling themselves after Rihanna and Taylor Swift these days, though I wouldn’t know because I haven’t worked in a shopping mall since VCRs.

I’ve never had the good fortune to resemble a trendy famous person. I look more like Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, than I do Justin Bieber, and I can’t believe this sentence now exists.

Then, two weeks ago, things changed. British actor Peter Capaldi took over the lead role in BBC’s global phenomenon Doctor Who. Whenever a new performer steps into that iconic role, he instantly becomes the most talked about actor in Great Britain.

And what are people discussing about Mr. Capaldi? His acting? No. His eyebrows. Dude’s brows are already legendary.

I was chatting about the latest episode with a friend the other day when she stopped in mid-sentence. “Holy crap, Eric,” she said. “You got Capaldi brows!”

I immediately took to Twitter with this boast and, as if to prove my point about side-door popularity before I even thought of it, BBC picked it up and retweeted it to thousands and thousands of people. Somehow I doubt uncool kids get retweeted like that.

Here’s the photographic evidence:


Capaldi vs Baker

Capaldi vs Baker

Note: If you’d like to be in my entourage, please submit an essay explaining why you are cool enough and how many drinks you are willing to buy me. Thank you.


A bit of sad news this week: Lost amid the chatter about the Jennifer Lawrence photo-hacking scandal was the death of singer Jimi Jamison of the ’70s and ’80s pop-rock band Survivor, whose hits included  Eye of the Tiger (with a different singer), The Search is Over, I Can’t Hold Back, and High on You. Survivor never received critical recognition and, to be real, their music didn’t have much substance. However, they did know how to craft a good pop song. Regardless of their place in music history,  Jimi Jamison had a killer voice. You don’t have to like their music (which I do) to admit the guy owned serious pipes. He could have sung for Journey.

Jamison died this past Sunday at age 63. Rock on, Jimi!

49 responses to “I’m finally one of the cool kids

  • LindaGHill

    Congrats on the cool kid status. I can only dream…
    I got so sick of “Eye of the Tiger” that I stopped listening to Survivor if I could help it. Didn’t realize Jimi wasn’t the singer. I’ll have to give them another listen. 🙂

  • Eric Tonningsen

    1) She’s right! Doppelganger brows if ever there were a pair.
    2) I smiled at what yielded “…I can’t believe this sentence now exists.”
    3) Sorry, don’t do entourages. But I will buy you a drink for adding a bit of levity to my Thursday evening.

  • Kevin Brennan

    My wife’s mother dated Anton LaVey. Anton LaVey was a friend of mine. You, sir, are no Anton LaVey! 👿

  • allthoughtswork

    Eyebrows, voice, hands, and well-defined trapezius. Or go home.

    Still have a bit of a Jamison crush. Check out those eyebrows! (lust, lust, pant, pant) My favorite:

    • ericjbaker

      I thought about the trapezius once, but I’m afraid of heights.


      Hey, is this thing on?

      I almost posted the “I Can’t Hold Back” video, but there were a few too many gratuitous shots of the model’s backside. I’ve come a long way since my days as a dumbass who didn’t know what “objectification” meant.

      • allthoughtswork

        It’s strangely ironic how men these days increase their chances of seeing an actual ass the less they talk about or look at them in public. I’m a feminist but sometimes I get a glimpse of just what an obstacle course modern dudes navigate on their way to panties.

        Of course, as the wearers of the panties we think it’s just logical to expect men not to be dicks during the wooing stage but we have to remember that logic was not in fashion socially and politically until just recently in human history and different goals produce different types of logic.

        Women’s goals are equality. Men’s goals are…panties.

        • ericjbaker

          You (women) deserve not to have men act like dicks ever. Our society has come a long way in that regard, yet still so much to be done. The best I can do is be an ally.

          Your closing line cracked me up, but I hope you don’t really think that. I’m sure a lot of men want to see women achieve equality and respect and be treated with dignity because that’s a better world than the one we live in. Either that or I’m rationalizing, because the only time I see my SO’s panties anymore is when I’m folding laundry.



        • allthoughtswork

          Here’s a superpower for you: take one of her favorite pair of unmentionables, safety pin a short love letter to them, and stick them in with the others. You’re a writer, use it. There will be all kinds of…inspiration in her future.

          Gradually do the same thing with her socks, her food, her hairbrush, her coat pocket, the steering wheel, a shoe. Use notes with inside jokes and shared memories, heart stickers, tiny scented votive candles, mini candy bars, (don’t do the last two in the car), ribbons of her favorite color tied in bows around things (this can serve as a kinky segue later), and other little gestures that you can sneak around without breaking the bank. Do it no more than once a day.

          When her birthday approaches, put little numbers on them counting down from 10 so she knows something good is coming and then make the final gift something you do with her rather than a material thing.

          Women want to know they are on your mind, that you are devoting your life to them steadily–which is how THEY show love. Everybody wants to get how they give. Women do lists of little things for their guys every day, then grow resentful when it goes unnoticed or worse, becomes rote and expected. Have you met my parents?

          That is why the old adage is true about women giving the same number of points to a love note as a diamond necklace. Both constitute one event in her world. She measures by attention, he measures by nekkidness. Think of these little gestures as coins dropped in the Un-Panty Bank.

          Now, go put those eyebrows to work.

          WARNING: Never, ever bring up the little gifts you’ve given in a fight. She will cancel them all out in her mind as a manipulation and you will have to start all over from zero.

        • allthoughtswork

          This video reminds me of this comment thread.

        • ericjbaker

          Funny and well done. 6 and a half minutes is an eternity on YouTube, yet she managed to keep it bouncing along.

  • Jill Weatherholt

    I definitely see the resemblance, Eric…minus the wrinkles.
    I wasn’t a fan of the song Eye of the Tiger, but I did enjoy Survivor’s other music…takes me back to my early college days.

  • Richard Leonard

    Flea is an Aussie! An Aussie just got mentioned by a cool kid in the USA! Whoo-hoo! You have no idea how exciting that is.

  • ilovegeekology101

    They are aggressive eyebrows. Pretty sure you could take off bottle tops with those things.

  • nrhatch

    Don’t let your recent Twitter fame rush to your head and spoil you! You don’t want to end up like Jennifer Lawrence. :mrgreen:

  • katecrimmins

    You look like a “much younger version” minus all the eye bags and wrinkles! Isn’t it a hoot how things come into vogue and then go out again? Your brows are here to stay!

  • rain2rainbows

    So many wonderful phrases in this article, like the episode. Your Capaldic eyebrows are a thing of temporary internet fame glory and I am so happy to have contributed in any way to this.

    Rock on with those angry eyebrows my friend! Rock on!

  • Hollis Hildebrand-Mills

    Eric, is that really true about you, Twitter, the BBC and the similar eyebrows to the new Dr. Who? Very cool indeed. I am honored to know you!!! You will be the next media phenomenon to be sure, like Weird Al Yankovic said “Now all these newspapers are spilling their blood all over me.” ( meaning the Wall Street Journal.) You too, could be more than just a scenester. And Weird Al is in his fifties. Ok, so go!

  • Arkenaten

    I’m surprised they didn’t pick up on the bloodshot eyes?
    You should have drunk a lot more tequila before the selfie – or used your not inconsiderable artist talents to Doctor the shot?
    63! Sheesh that’s just way too young.

    • ericjbaker

      Either that or they thought the bloodshot look suited him. He is supposed to be the “unpredictable” doctor. I’m not sure that connects, but I tried. I’m afraid I don’t drink the kinds of booze that cause the sotted appearance. Belgian ale and the occasional scotch on the rocks.

      Re; Jimi Jamison. Yes, only 63. Apparently he had performed very recently and seemed to be in fine voice.

  • fictionalpenguin

    You could open bottles with those things.

  • nrhatch

    Have you seen “20 Feet from Stardom?” ~ we watched it last night and I expect you would enjoy it.

  • L. Marie

    I wish I could say I was cool enough to hang out with you. But my eyebrows are rather thin.
    I am impressed with your resemblance to Peter Capaldi though. Good on you!
    I also like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

    • ericjbaker

      No, I want thin eyebrowed people around so they don’t attract attention away from me!


      There was more to that conversation… my friend also said my personality matched the new Doc: Prickly and opinionated, but kind of funny at the same time. That’s one of the awesomest things about DW, how the change is the norm. What other program is able to swap out actors without hurting the show? I’d say it even helps this show by keeping things fresh.

  • brickhousechick

    Congratulations on your new-found coolness! That is some awesome picture! Don’t ever trip those eyebrows! 🙂

  • Janna G. Noelle

    Congrats on your naturally appealing eyebrows. I do a fair bit of tweezing and shaping of mine to make them such as they are, for the person I’m told my brows resemble is granddad – not what most women want to hear.

  • ericjbaker

    Hahaha! Unless you’re granddad was Divine. Her brows were epic.

    Pretty soon some skinny-browed star will come along, and then I’ll come crashing back down to Earth. Luckily, the drop will be measured in inches.

  • livelytwist

    I know a famous cool person! Yay! 🙂

  • kriskkaria

    You’re definitely rocking the new Doctor Who eyebrows!

  • Amanda Shaffer

    But the question remains – can you swear like Capaldi?

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