Charlie's Blog: Overrated/Underrated



I think happiness is overrated. Satisfied, at peace-those would be more realistic goals.

Something is overrated when it does not live up to the hype it receives. That doesn't make it a bad thing. It just means that it does not live up to expectations because those expectations were too high. Conversely, a thing that is underrated is a pleasant surprise. It did not receive the credit it deserves. Here are some things I find overrated and underrated.


Carhartt makes good stuff, but it carries the reputation of indestructibility that is undeserved. Aside from double knee duck canvas pants, Carhartt pants last about as long as a pair of Dockers. I bought some pairs back in 2012, and they were disintegrated by the end of the decade. They were comfortable, and I did not wear them for work but just for casual wear.


I bought some Dickies pants for work back in 2005. I still have those pants and still wear them. There has been some light mending and a patch or two, but those pants have been indestructible. These would be the polyester pants they make like the 874. When it comes to work wear for actual work, you can't go wrong with Dickies.

OVERRATED: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Ever since the beginning of UFC back in the nineties, every bro on the planet has looked to BJJ as the ticket to badassery in the fighting arts and for self-defense. BJJ is fine for MMA competitions but is horrible for real world self-defense. I watched one video of a BJJ black belt who weighed 155 roll with an untrained opponent who was almost 7 foot tall and 450 pounds. The big guy owned the little guy. In another video, an untrained karate guy beat an opponent at BJJ simply by standing up. Basically, if you refuse to grapple with a BJJ guy, they can't do anything with you. Finally, who wants to roll with a dude in a filthy and dangerous parking lot with the possibility that his friends may join in the action and kick your head in? I also don't see women using BJJ for self-defense against stronger and bigger men. BJJ is a sport not a system for self-defense.


Krav Maga is my placeholder for all real world self-defense systems including those that don't carry the Krav Maga name. For me, Krav Maga is more of a philosophy than a system which allows additions, innovations, and variations as its founder, Imi Lichtenfeld envisioned it. Keyboard warriors will claim that Krav Maga doesn't work. When does an eye gouge or a kick to the groin not work? Finally, what does work? BJJ? I go with the system used by the IDF, the military, and the police around the world. 

OVERRATED: The Keurig Coffeemaker

Convenience is expensive. The Keurig is proof of this. This overpriced machine with its pricey and wasteful K-cups takes the same coffee you could brew with a Mr. Coffee and makes it easy to make a single cup without having to use a measuring spoon. That small inconvenience is all that you're skipping. Meanwhile, instant coffee is there for people who want that single cup without the expense. You will need to measure the instant coffee with the same spoon you will use to stir the cream and sugar. The Keurig exists for the stupid and the lazy.


The Chemex is a big glass bottle and a paper funnel. It is not a convenient way to make coffee, but I think it makes the most delicious cup you can get with pour over coffee. It even does a good job making cheap coffee taste good. It is also more sanitary and easier to clean than a machine.

OVERRATED: Literary fiction

I have read both Steinbeck and Hemingway. I don't see the big deal about their stories. When literature becomes "art," it means it is boring and empty. I won't say the same for works produced before the 20th century like Twain or Melville or Dumas. In those days, people just wrote stuff people wanted to read. They weren't trying to win a Nobel Prize.

UNDERRATED: Genre fiction

The biggest selling writer of the last century is Agatha Christie. She is second to the Holy Bible in terms of sales. I doubt any English professors are lecturing on her work. The same goes for Tolkien, Spillane, and L'Amour. Like it or not, genre fiction is what people want to read. People enjoy those stories. They are beloved.

OVERRATED: Arnold Schwarzenegger

This guy only made two good movies in his life playing a homicidal robot. The rest of his catalog of work pales in comparison. Yet, he is considered the king of action movies.

UNDERRATED: Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell is now getting respect for his body of outstanding work. Big Trouble in Little China is his best work, but he shined in everything else he has ever done. As far as I know, he did it all without steroids or a martial arts black belt. Kurt is the blue collar action hero for the rest of us.

OVERRATED: Sherlock Holmes

When people think of detectives, Sherlock Holmes springs immediately to mind with the pipe and the deerstalker cap. Holmes is the classic genius detective who solves cases with superior intellect. His feats are amazing, but he is not so likable as a character even with his eccentricities.


Lt. Columbo played by Peter Falk is my favorite detective. This is because he is fundamentally blue collar with the raincoat, cigar, and junky car. Columbo solves cases not by genius but by not giving up. He comes across as dumb, but he simply keeps asking questions until he gets the answers. He is also humble and down to earth. The Columbo shows are a real joy to watch.


I am talking about the classic Army style jeeps not the modern SUVs. These offroad vehicles are horrible to drive and are worthless for getting work done. They exist primarily as toys for people who go into the wilderness to flip them over and get them stuck somewhere.

UNDERRATED: Work trucks

These trucks could be Fords, Dodges, Chevys, Toyotas, Nissans, etc. The thing they have in common is plainness and utility. This is opposed to the shiny new versions of these vehicles that people drive as status symbols. Go to the parking lot at Lowe's or Home Depot to see some real work trucks. If you're worried about getting a scratch on it, it isn't a work truck.


Netflix is like the Keurig. It is convenient but expensive. You get to watch movies at your convenience unless they are on another streaming service. Otherwise, you are paying rent on entertainment with most of it not worth watching. You also need great internet. Good luck if you live in the country.


When DVDs came out, I climbed aboard. I already loved CDs, so I was a natural fit for DVDs. I like physical media especially used DVDs from the thrift store. We have a library of these videos that we watch at our convenience, and the price is less than a streaming service. DVDs are taking a hit as people move to streaming, but I think people will come back to the discs just like they have with vinyl records, cassette tapes, CDs, and physical books.

OVERRATED: Apple Macbooks

Apple is more of a cult than a company. I think they make overpriced junk products they sell to a bunch of brainwashed fools. The Macbook is the best product the company makes because you can use it for work. It costs thousands depending upon which version you get and becomes worthless in two years.

UNDERRATED: Chromebooks

Chromebooks are derided for not being real computers, but they are a fraction of the cost of a Macbook and enables you to do what most people use computers for which is going on the internet. They boot up fast and last a long time. You can get expensive and durable versions, but we had one that lasted over 7 years that was the basic plastic model made by Samsung.

OVERRATED: Disneyworld

I lived for 5 years in Orlando, Florida, and I never went to Disneyworld. I am not a kid, and I find the park ridiculous and stupid. This was before it went totally woke. Now, I wouldn't even recommend it for families. Additionally, the bulk of your time will be spent standing in line trying not to soil your pants as the wait time exceeds the capacity of your bladder and colon.


I joke that Gatorland is Redneck Disneyworld. I think they may have jazzed up the place over the years, but I remember it being a quiet place filled with snakes and gators who just sort of sat there doing nothing. There are some shows with gator wrestling, but I found that I enjoyed just looking at animals that could kill me. Gatorland began a love in me for roadside attractions that are kitschy and cheap fun.

That's it for Overrated/Underrated. I think I will have future installments of this type of thing. Be sure to tune in again, and don't fall for the hype.