Ben Thompson, “Badass” Author

On January 14, 2010, by AMI Staff

It’s a biblical truth that people of Mustached American descent are powerful, good looking, and have an odor that is 27 percent more pleasant – based on Nielsen data – than the average American.

Our people are also, unequivocally, a collective group of badasses.

As a result, this month we talk to author Ben Thompson, whose website BadassOfTheWeek is a favorite among horse jockies and cattle dancing enthusiasts alike.

The success of Thompson’s site spurred a best-selling book called “Badass”, and we talk to him about the book and the badass culture.

Q: Who the hell are you and why should we care?

A: My name is Ben Thompson. I wrote a book called BADASS, and run the website badassoftheweek.com. You should really only care about this if you enjoy reading about people being smashed in the face with swords or body-slammed into cattle, or if you just happen to like things that are awesome.

Q: How did you get into the whole Badass phenomenon?

A: Once upon a time I went to high school and studied history and it was so boring that I kind of wished a T-Rex would come and devour me so as to put me out of my brain-melting agony. Then I went to college and studied history and spent most of my classroom hours stabbing myself in the face repeatedly with a mechanical pencil in a somewhat-unsuccessful attempt at staying awake during lectures. I got out of school armed with a useless liberal arts degree, and in 2004 I decided to start writing the stories of great historical ass-kickers in a way that wasn’t going to make people wish they were dead. Hopefully I succeeded, if even to a minor degree.

Q: As you write about Badasses or “people of Badass descent” as they are known in Latin –– are you of the belief that the Mustached American people may constitute the most badass race of people known throughout humankind?

A: There are certainly many badass mustachioed Americans throughout history. Rollie Fingers won the Cy Young, AL MVP, World Series MVP, and drilled a couple dozen guys with pitches in his career. Ron Jeremy got busy with enough women to populate a small third-world island nation, and he did it while being more or less physically repulsive. Wilt Chamberlain was arguably the most prolific scorer of all time, and you can argue that in any possible way of defining the word “score.” Robert Goulet once played Sir Lancelot, Tom Selleck was Magnum P.I., Burt Reynolds tore ass across the country in a modified ambulance Cannonball Run, and Charles Bronson spent like five decades blasting dirtbag punks in the balls with everything from magnum revolvers to anti-tank weapons. And that’s just the twentieth century, off the top of my head, without even looking.

Q: Speaking of your collegiate experience and the great Burt Reynolds – how proud are you to have attended the same university (Florida State) as Reynolds, whose birthday on Feb. 11 we are pushing the be named a federal holiday?

A: I would say somewhere between “mega proud” and “ultra proud.” In addition to being awesome and more manly than a giant raging boner, he was also a star running back for us and is still a huge supporter of FSU athletics. I am cool with this. As a somewhat-related fun fact, my wife and I have that infamous photo of him lying naked on a bearskin rug as a refrigerator magnet in our kitchen. Feel free to draw whatever conclusions you will from that.

Q: Who is the most Badass person – man or woman – with a mustache about whom you’ve written and why?

A: I generally try to avoid superlatives as they can get tricky, so I’ll talk about a guy named Bass Reeves who I talk about in the book BADASS. Bass was a black slave living in Texas in the 1860s who punched out his “master.” A Confederate officer, by the way. (He) fled across the border into the Indian Territory, and was raised by the Seminoles. The Seminoles taught Reeves how to shoot, hunt, live off the land, and speak the languages of the Five Civilized Tribes, and after the Civil War, when the U.S. Marshals were looking for officers to help track down dangerous criminals, Bass was one of the first guys hired for the job. During his career as a badass old west gunslinger, this guy captured hundreds of murderers and bandits, killed more men in gunfights than Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, and Wild Bill Hickock. And he did it all while sporting a totally sweet cowboy ‘stache.

Q: How often do you wear Ninja masks?

A: The mask I’m wearing in the author photo is actually just a black t-shirt tied around my head in a style I read about on realultimatepower.net, but I don’t always wear ninja garb, if that’s what you’re asking. Sometimes I like to go with an old-school World War I-style British gas mask instead. If I’m feeling particularly saucy, I shake it up with either a Templar-style great helm or a motorcycle helmet with a super-dark tinted visor.

Q: Have you ever had sex while wearing the Ninja mask and was it with a man, woman, or wildabeast?

A: My wife doesn’t like it when wear the ninja mask around the house for some reason. Go figure.

Q: How far do you carry the badass thing at home with the family? Does the wife ever say, “Ben, give it a break. I’m menstruating?”

A: I must admit that I am not a particularly badass guy in my real life. I like to say that I’m more of a Plutarch than a Julius Caesar, though I strongly doubt that people will still be reading my prose two millennia from now. While I regret that I’ve never actually suplexed a Minotaur or punched someone in the face so hard that their heads exploded, I also feel like my crippling normalcy allows me to fully appreciate the deeds of those folks who go out and accomplish these towering acts of awesomeness.

Q: My understanding is that you are not of Mustached American heritage. If this is correct, why have you chosen this inferior lifestyle and how often do you dream of living the sexually adventuresome Mustached American way of life?

A: Unfortunately, I am one of the many American men who find themselves to be mustache-challenged. It’s a serious medical condition that damages men not only physically, but professionally and sexually as well. I find myself capable only of producing a sub-par soup strainer that could perhaps only best be described as an “ass-stache” or a “molestache”, and not a glorious ‘stache that would inspire awe and fear in men and women alike. I have bravely made the decision not to inflict this weak-sauce ‘stache on the public, as surely it would only serve to sully the name of Keith Hernandez-style ‘stachery in all its forms.

Q: As a bare-faced mortal, what will you do to support our people so that we will be inclined to purchase your BADASS pamphlet?

A: As I mentioned previously, I make every attempt to conceal my entire face in author photos and other images I am using to promote the book. This way, the uneducated readers of the world can see the photo and think to themselves, “wow, this guy is writing about all these badasses…he absolutely MUST have a stache beneath that ninja mask!”

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