lundi, février 26, 2007

One for Each Toe

There are many more than ten, but here are the TOP ten Truths that Humans Being Have Forgotten. I hope none of them are inconvenient.

10) We cannot destroy the Earth.
Surely we can make it uglier, and smellier, (and the news/entertainment complex has gone a long way to making it stupider, as it were) but destroy it? Don't inflate your own power and significance. People are a blip on the Earth's flashdrive. She told me so over the phone a thousand years after the nuclear holocaust that never happened. I was calling her from the verdant climes of Mount St. Helens, crying and apologetic. She scoffed and said the same thing she said at the end of the last ice age: "Baby you give yourself too much credit. And by the way, get those stanky chemicals out of my river."

9) Your spouse does NOT love you by default.
Why not? Because there is no such thing as love by default. Either you have maintained yourself and the reasons he/she fell in love in the first place, or better yet, you've created an exciting matrix of new reasons for attraction and dedication. Short of these you are slapping your lover in the face. Things change, fine. And true love can withstand the sands of time. And "love existed" means that "love exists." Fair enough--and true statements all. However, if you are one of these people who let themselves go after hooking a mate and then just expect them to trudge through the thickening slosh of your sloth and decay to find the kernel of your love, then you are a scourge and a blight upon humanity that should be purged with fire.

8) Fame does not confer enlightenment.
Stop listening to Hollywood stars. Most of them have very little to say. Strike that--most of them have way too much to say. Some are intelligent. A few are insightful. But your average star's brain is so tainted with publicity and praise that they cannot think straight. This is a group whose chief talent, after acting, is divorce. Shun them as you would the know-it-all drunk hunk in the bar who thinks that because dumb drunk girls drool on him he can hold forth on the gas tax. While they are justifiably held up as the paragons of fashion, the bile and blah they spew must be ignored until they shut up and entertain us. Mark my words: The notion of the socially conscious star will be the death of Art.

7) McDonald's has the best fries.
I wish this wasn't true, because the full version reads: "...that's because they're fried in animal fat, silly!" I can't even look at a McDonald's, much less set foot in one. But I really do miss their fries. Also, In-n-Out Burger has the best shakes . . . because they have the most fat.

6) You have to burn at least as many calories as you consume.
Sorry, fatty. This is why you are fat. You are not big boned. You don't have a gland problem. There is no big secret. Simply burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight. I wanted to say you are still beautiful on the inside. But I talked to your inside, and it said "Feed me while I watch TV," which is not a beautiful thing to say. I don't know why I should feel obligated, but there has to be something nice to say here . . . ah: Forgotten Truth 6b) All humankind, regardless of weight, have the same, unlimited potential for excellence. There, feel better?

5) Adherence to your favorite tidbits of 'Eastern Spirituality' does not make you better than everyone else.
You know you think it does. In the midnight of your soul, you'll admit it. But congratulations: you found a belief system that allows you to look down your nose at "religious types" and still be on the Path to Enlightenment.

4) The Beatles are the greatest rock band in History.
Wait. No human being has forgotten that.

3) Astrology is an embarrassing joke.
"If you've ever even checked your weekly horoscope" says Astronomer magazine, "it's time to do a little research." "But what boxes will I cram people into without bogus astrological signs?" you ask. Here are at least two: People who believe in astrology and smart people. Forget the fact that even bringing it up makes you sound as if you passed your prime in the 70's. The studies that debunk it completely, almost mercilessly, are too numerous to even mention here. But here's a quickie. I often read the obviously bogus (but completely hilarious) horoscopes from the Onion in the office. More than once, true believers have uttered words to this effect: "Oh my gosh, I have an aunt who's a Libra, I should warn her." I'm not kidding.

2) The original Blues men that came out of the Mississippi Delta were the coolest people that ever lived.
Even their names can't be argued with: Muddy Waters. Son House. Johnny Shine. Robert Johnson. Watching and listening to these guys, it almost hurts to know how cool I will never be. Sadly, the degree to which these guys were cool is precisely the degree to which the average modern blues rocker in your local tavern is NOT.

1) It's your own damn fault.
"You do it to yourself," said Thom York, "and that's what really hurts." Admittedly, I myself forget this one on a daily basis. But moments after blaming cursing my wife somehow causing me to forget to repair the crack in the main line that caused the pipe to rupture and send sewage flowing into my back yard, I still say: O how the world will change when we all pull our heads out and stop blaming everything on everybody else! A good place to start would be for all people everywhere to rise up, take charge . . . and stop blaming me. For anything. Ever.

lundi, février 12, 2007

Congratulations, Chix!

I know what I said. The Dixie Chicks (a.k.a "the walking dead from Michael Jackson's Thriller") were teetering on the edge of irrelevance. Their stylist had done them an irreparable wrong. Their white trashness was testing our patience. They were following in the footsteps of the multitude who dared utter "Look how hard it is to be a rock star!" and then faded into oblivion.

Yet there they were, looking (let's not deny it) fairly radiant as they made multiple trips to the podium to accept major awards.

I'll eat more crow: I had wrongfully assumed that their collective IQ wouldn't add up to the weight of the short one. But their deft Simpsons reference indicates an astute cultural awareness. It looked on the surface like a twelve-year-old flouting the high road and throwing it in the face of her teachers who all got it wrong when she was flunking out of fourth grade. But think about it. Fellow cross over artist Homer Simpson's musical career was legitimized and validated by Grammy as well. Of course, he crossed over from the Hilarious Drunken Overweight Dumb-Ass with a Heart of Gold category into Barbershop, but it doesn't take a Dixie Chick to percieve the layers in her allusion.

Gone were the cross-eyed fiddler and the chubby white trash girl from Shitewater, Texas. Gone were the retarded alt-country "you go girl" anthems. Forgotten, the low-class gyno-posturing. Far behind us the shameless pub hounds lapping up the free press given to anyone who hates the president. The Chicks rose above it all, no apologies (not even for holding a knife to Stevie Nicks' throat and forcing their nauseating version of "Landslide" on the world), and proved to their critics that as long as the world needs Art, and artists willing to be all up in yo grill saying, loud and clear, "We have never heard the word DECORUM!" they will have a place. They've bloomed. They've matured. And they've got a long, important career in front of them. I was wrong.

One question remains: Now that you are, in your own words, not "Country" artists anymore, are you going to drop the "Dixie" facade and just be Chicks?

vendredi, février 02, 2007


Someone recently asked me about my "turn-ons."

A crushing sense of being out of touch decended as I realized: I had no idea how to address the issue.

What, you mean like, things that I find arousing in people? Tricks played by the opposite sex that I fall for? Kinks? The question itself became a turn off, because I instantly thought of Hitler saying: "I really like it when prostitutes urinate on me." For the first time, that little factoid wasn't just interesting dinner conversation. It made me queezy.
By the way, how do we even know that? How is it that History preserves that kind of information? I know for a fact that Hitler was never on the Dating Game, and the Real World was still a few years away when they put his brain in cold storage next to Walt Disney's frozen head. (Assuming they were two separate people. You don't need a tinfoil hat to accept the strong possibility that the Final Solution entailed a well thought out second life as a "creative genius." Come to think of it, the day they thaw out Disney/Hitler's head, the four horsemen of the apocalypse will be in place. Walt Disney, Paris Hilton, Rosie O'Donnel, The Trump of Kenny Rogers summons you forth! The time of purification is at hand!)

Where was I?

Oh yeah. So there I was, a little queezy, and suddenly fearful, trying to wrap my head around the definition of a "turn-on." Once I got past the Hitler problem, my first attempt just made me feel shallow. Things I generally enjoy about the opposite sex: Flanks. Firm, taught, smooth flanks. In fact firm everything. Basically anyone over twenty who lacks an extensive exercise regime is out. Sadly, as waistlines fall and shirt hemlines rise, the fashion world seems dedicated to revealing love handles along with the butt cracks. It's a conspiracy to keep the full figured woman from making a comeback. "I'm big boned!" Oh yeah? I've never seen bones oozing over a belt like that. "Child bearing hips?" Is that what they call those things that bloop out from under your shirt? Never has a flat stomach been such a necessity: either you flout the trend or advertise that you don't know what crunches are. It all came crashing down into my own hips recently when I lifted up my shirt to show off my super sexy appendix scar, and my good friend Tom had the gaul to point out that I had a "muffin top." I was even wearing MAN pants. (Girl pants and man pants now have the same oppressive sexiness. I have to fold the waistline of my undergarments down to keep up.) I didn't want to believe him. But there it was, a little extra flesh protruding over the low slung waistline. Not one of the principle cast of Lost has anything resembling this. How can I go on? I am by no means overweight. But honestly, that muffin top is a turn off. Even more so when you see it on yourself.

Wait--I was supposed to be talking about turn ON's. You see how hard this is?

OK. Let's get past the initial, biochemically involuntary need for brick house hotness. There has to be more to it than that, right? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing a turn-on should be something that excites and captivates beyond the insidious nether regions. So I start thinking: Literature--if you read, understand, and can intelligently talk about Great Books, that really gets my dander up. Housekeeping--yeah, keep a place clean and I'm halfway to heaven. Seriously, who doesn't get excited over a bathroom that is both springtime fresh, and winter white? What could be better? And Sushi--I love to watch a woman enjoy the world's greatest cuisine. Mostly because it usually means that I'm enjoying it with her. This might be the one place where the brick house standards can truly be left aside. I'll eat sushi with anyone. Or alone. Come to think of it, you can leave the hot girls at home, because that leaves more for me. I don't care how sexy you are, I don't want you horning in on the Dragon Roll. Just thinking about it makes me hungry. I mean, food and sex should never, I mean NEVER go together; but Sushi is a sensual experience.
Where did that idea come from, by the way? Food and Sex. It's difficult to think of a more disgusting combination. People used to talk about that "hot" scene in the otherwise forgettable "9 and 1/2 Weeks." The thought of two people taking food out of the fridge and making each other all sticky in the kitchen nauseated me. It's messy enough as it is. Just the image of someone putting any kind of syrup on any part of me almost makes me throw up a little in my mouth. And dairy products!? Don't even get me started.

I give up. I don't understand the turn-on proposition.

And I'm sure the person in question was sorry she asked.