This satirical article was originally published at

In recent years, people seem to have become less tolerant of ideas that contradict their own opinions and even worse, we have become less accepting of the people who hold those ideas. I wrote this piece to highlight this growing pattern in hopes of combatting it.

There are only two kinds of people in the world, those who like Barry Manilow and the other miserable, joyless morons for whom life has no meaning or purpose.

What I’ve learned over the years is that it is easy to define and completely understand a person by any single factor, say their race, religion, height, weight, hair color, accent, politics, or whether they prefer Burger King to McDonalds. Despite the fact that I have always believed I knew everything that I needed to know about people by the shoes they wear, I have finally settled on the ultimate litmus test of character being whether or not someone loves the music of Barry Manilow.

Given that most people under 40 don’t know who he is, that leaves two entire generations hopeless. Sorry. Not sorry!

You see, knowing that someone doesn’t love Barry Manilow makes clear that they don’t have good taste, good judgment, good rhythm, or good sense. More importantly, the moral character of someone who doesn’t love the sound of my favorite aging lounge singer is clear: bad. They all have bad character and represent an evil influence that must be purged from society. They need to be shamed, scorned, ostracized and avoided.

Never mind that my DNA is 99.9 percent identical to people who share no known common ancestry with me, if they don’t like Barry Manilow, I will strictly follow this five-point plan for dealing with them going forward—and this goes for family, too—especially family:

  1. Unfriend on Facebook: My first and most important act will be to actively seek out everyone who I can find that doesn’t like Barry Manilow (I will carefully review all music posts on Facebook) and immediately unfriend them. I only want to see posts on Facebook that support my view that “Mandy” is the greatest song ever. EVER!
  2. Hate on Twitter: Because Twitter is a bit more anonymous, I will not unfollow Manilow haters, I will hate them. I will hate on everything they post. I will stay up late at night waiting for Neil Diamond fans to post about how much they love, just love “Sweet Caroline” and I will go at them with both barrels. That ignorant, so-called “taste” in music can’t be tolerated on Twitter. I will hate the haters into submission. Someone’s got to do it.
  3. Apply Rules 1 or 2 to All Other Social Media: Of course, it goes without saying that I will apply rules 1 or 2 to all social media accounts. I reserve the right to be somewhat arbitrary, sometimes applying rule 1 on Instagram and rule 2 at other times. I know that is controversial, but don’t give me any grief about it. If you do give me grief, I will instantly assume that you are a non-Manilow-fan and you will be in big, big trouble with me.
  4. Avoid in Life: This one could get tricky at times, but I will avoid ever being in the presence of someone who doesn’t share my love of “Copacabana.” This may be difficult every night as my wife of 28 years has been seduced by Neil Diamond and his ilk, but I will definitely sleep with my back to her so she can feel the hate coming through the covers in her direction. Of course, it goes without saying, that I will never attend another family reunion, church meeting, or community event where a non-Manilow-fan will be present.
  5. Seek Support: I will seek out like-minded individuals wherever I can find them, swap meets, chat rooms, drive in movies, senior centers—wherever. We will get together ostensibly to talk about how great Barry Manilow is. We’ll play his music in the background. Some weeks we’ll just have “I made it through the rain” play on an endless loop. But mostly, we’ll talk about all of the bad people who don’t like Barry Manilow. We’ll make up shorthand names for them like, Nonilows or Manipans, and develop our own code words and phrases to use so we can insult people without their even knowing! It will be awesome. After every meeting, formal or informal, we’ll be able to leave knowing how superior we are to all of the Nonilows and Manipans out there!

I’m excited to get started. Watch your posts on Facebook, I’m following you! One slip and you’re gone! Of course, you won’t slip because you’re reading my post. You’ll be awesome, humming “I write the songs” everywhere you go.

As you read these instructions, it is my genuine hope that you will consider what you can do instead to show greater kindness toward those who are different.