Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Spike TV is dead, but we can still slam some brews and read its internal “manifesto”

Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images

The world has taken so much from bros. Abercrombie & Fitch golf shirts have left widespread distribution; butt-rock and dubstep are on life support; there hasn’t been a new Daniel Tosh special since 2011. It’s hard out there and the recent death of Spike TV, a Valhalla of nonstop bro-gramming, is only pouring salt (meant for tequila body shots) on the wounds.

This last, gasping foam from the keg of brodom will no doubt force the species to undergo an evolution, and yet the fossils they leave behind are already emerging.


Take exhibit A, the so-called “Spike TV Manifesto” unearthed by writer-producer Jordan VanDina and examined on Vice. Within the pages of this most valuable of historical documents, we get a rare look at the ethos responsible for the guy-tastic television network. It’s even worse than you’d expect.

The “unapologetic,” “testosterone-driven” document is filled with hilariously on-the-nose recommendations for how to make the early 2000s bro’s unique worldview come alive on screens across the world. Come for the picture of a helicopter whizzing away from what looks like a firebombed suburban neighborhood, stay for bile-inducing statements like “Enough is enough. You’ve been PC’d to death” next to a grinning jackass taking a sneaky photo of a woman’s butt from the side of a pool.


And don’t forget photos of a scruffy dude sinking a beer (better be domestic) and this haunting excerpt from concluding page, “Spike is Proud to Be Men”: “We’re the alpha dogs—the big swingin’ tool-belted, love-handled love machines!”


The alpha dog has grown sickly and wandered off into the woods to die, but if you listen closely, you may still hear its totally epic howls ringing out through the vacuum left by Spike’s closure, telling you to boot and rally because this beer pong isn’t going to play itself.

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.