samedi, février 23, 2008

Jumble, ah yeah

Perhaps if you'd consent to read this in the voice of Larry King.

*Whoever is president doesn't matter. The office itself is a corrupt entity. It will take an almost messianic character to REDUCE the power of the office. Obama spreads manure with a golden shovel, but don't pretend he's really going to change anything. Hillary is beyond any doubt the embodiment of evil, and McCain is just Bush with bigger words and a real war record.

**I've been calling the world's worst restaurant McDevil's for years. I think I was ahead of the curve on that. Do you know anyone who really eats there? How do they stay in business?

***This is how stupid I am: the power had been out at my house for two days, and when I went into the closet, I still went for the light switch. I'm on automatic pilot. Opened the fridge thrice in one day and each time had no idea why I opened it. Still haven't figured out what I wanted.  The other day a friend called to see if it was snowing up in my neck of the woods.  I looked out the window and said: "No, just foggy."  We hung up.  Then I put my glasses on.  I had to call him back and inform him that it was indeed snowing.  I should start counting how many times a day I have to pause and say: How dumb was that?

****One of my biggest faults, and I mean this seriously, is that I'm hopelessly fashionable. It is the purest idiocy. I have all these boot cut jeans, been wearing them less than a year and, as you might have guessed, they are already out. By the way, don't assume the absolute worst when I use the word "fashionable." NO ONE has EVER seen my butt crack or my boxer shorts in public.

*****Hey all you tattooed people: when you're older and your ink is all murky and blotchy, when the art looks like a mistake no matter how hip the images used to be, I promise not to make fun of you. To your face. Hey, maybe that is the true statement of the tattoo--an inspiring affirmation of wondrous Youth, proclaiming to the world: I hope to die before this screaming skull is an embarrassing indiscernible blotch.


mardi, février 19, 2008

Again with the Hate

Hate has come up before. It caused a little stir. Little being the operative word. So before launching into the realm of the taboo again, let us first clarify.

By "hate" I do not intend to imply the pejorative virulent detestation, but rather hate defined as the bile brought into the mouth as someone displays that special brand of stupidity which makes the stomach churn. When such is churned into one's mouth, one can either swallow it back, or spit it out.

I choose to spit it out. Is there a better purpose for the blogosphere?

Now, before lumping this page in with the angry screeds that populate blogs of the so-called political activists (whose activisim consists of blindly aligning themselves to one side of the argument and throwing up all over the other side without argument) please understand the following: At the heart of it all, I care only about one thing. YOU. Not some movement in which I feel invested and from which I derive my life's sense of purpose. Not some conviction that what is said here will accomplish some wide-spread social change. These are the dreams of idiots. The only way to do them justice is to mock them, where they are insignificant, and fear them where they have somehow achieved a degree of influence. As for me, I care about you as an individual. You are not someone who needs to be enlightened. My opinion is, hopefully, only there for you to care about or not.

And as long as you know I care, we can move on to the matter at hand.

I have hate in my mouth for some of you. Not all of you. Just the stomach-churningly stupid ones. During an election year, as the patience wears especially thin, partisans of all stripes arise and remind us that we need not tire of repeating: IF YOU THINK ONE OF THE CURRENT MAJOR AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTIES IS SUPERIOR TO THE OTHER, YOU ARE EITHER STUPID OR YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION. That being said, it might be of value to observe, having been privileged to associate closely and often with individuals and groups from both sides of the aisle, that LIBERAL DEMOCRATS and those who ride their coat-tails, are without any doubt the most self-righteous, self-important, smugly judgemental group on the current American landscape. Should they continue on their current course, they will equal the so called Christians left over from the 1800's who have been justifiably marginalized into the geographic confines of the bible belt.

Allow me to illustrate.

We honeymooned a the luxurious 7 Gables Inn, in Monterey, California. Staying at a bed and breakfast means sharing the table with other guests. During our stay we had the opportunity to break bread with at least four different couples, who, one might glean from the conversation, spanned the political spectrum. The only, and I repeat the ONLY couple who insulted, who in fact who went OUT OF THEIR WAY to insult people with whom they differed, were the smug liberal couple from Oregon. Of course they waited until there was no one to dispute them. (I guess I came off as one of them. and why not?) Until the conversation turned political, they were a delightful couple. Let me ask then: Why would otherwise pleasant, intelligent people want to leave such a bad taste in your mouth? I didn't want to draw a conclusion then, but as that experience has repeated itself in various forms over the course of the last twelve years (yes, I've been married that long), I have been forced into one: They are dismissive and condescending because their beliefs require them to be.

Don't you dare conclude that I haven't noticed similar behavior on the other side of the fence. Believe me I have. But with nowhere near the acidity and frequency. And don't get me wrong, a vicious partisan of any party represents an equally annoying evil. But I believe with absolute certainty that my experience, which can, admittedly, represent anecdotal evidence at best, will be born out by any neutral observer.

Ann Hood writes a column for a major Newspaper. Therein, she recently described the socio-emotional turmoil that came upon her when she fell in love with a (gasp) republican, and had to face the very acrimonious reaction from the people she calls friends. "How can you stand it?" they ask. "How dare you?" they implied. I could find no such story from the other side of the fence. The only corrolary was that, the bloated Rush Limbaugh seems to have discussed it, as the article was linked to his site. Apparently, he has dated quite a few "liberal" women. My surprise was not that he dated outside of his camp, but that he dated at all. I was NOT surprised, however, to find out that never once did his friends and/or family exhibit any disbelief or disapproval of whom he might be dating. They were, astonishingly, only interested in his happiness. (If I have your story wrong, Mr. Limbaugh, forgive me. I don't have time to listen.)

It goes on and on. These are people who see a one sided mockumentary and think themselves armed to debate. These are people who get their news from the Daily show and call themselves informed. They come to me and say, "Canada is a medical paradise." And when I tell them that, having lived there for two years, I can state a hundred personally observed cases to the contrary, they assume that I pray to a statue of our dullard president every night. These are people who, having never lived anywhere but the U.S.A, and having prospered and thrived for many years, decide they have to raise children overseas. They'll say, "I want them to speak another language." Admirable. "We want to expand our horizons." God love them for it. But when you really engage them, probe their motivations, you get to the bottom of it: "The people here are crude and politically ignorant. Only in Europe can we find people equal to our level of sophistication." When I say, "people are the same everywhere. You're not going to find anything really different," they jump to the conclusion that I am one of the people they are running away from. These are people who, having long ago turned up their nose to the idea of religion, fill the void of larger meaning and sense of purpose by proselytizing people to their convictions like the missionaries they mock. These are people who, caught in rush hour traffic, rail about birth rates and global warming and SUV's, rather than just turning up the radio and enjoying life at a slower pace for a few minutes. When I point out that I don't need traffic to have a bigger meaning, they assume that I hate mother earth.

If you are assuming that because of my current theme I am a conservative wonk, you are probably one of the idiots I'm talking about. If anything, I want to purge both sides of this risible ilk. If I've chosen lefties, it is only because my experience indicated that the condescension on that side was a bigger, more venomous target.

I used to believe in a distant past where politics was about government. Because of this, I had hope for a distant future where people can differ idealistically, but still understand the wealth of common ground available. There is enough to go around. Now I don't know if either of those concepts is tenable.

When he asked "what is the difference between the two parties?" I tried to simplify it for my son. "Democrats, the left, or liberal side, believe in a stronger, more expansive government, and that government is the answer to many problems. They are necessary, and in some cases correct. Republicans, the right, or conservative side, believe in a restricted, more limited government, and that the primary responsibility lies with the individual. They are also necessary, and are in some cases correct. The two sides balance each other out, and insure that we have a government that is just, and can never rise to the level of opression."

Now I look around and see, even from what I just read, how foolish this was. Both sides are full of clubs and cliques and crazies who attach the idea of their political affiliations to a lot of ridiculous places. The result is an acrimonious bureaucratic and philosophical gridlock that opresses us all.

And yes, I hate it, and all those who propagate it. I don't expect them to change. I don't need them to see my side of it.

Because now that I've spit that out, I can go back to earnestly enjoying my prosperous life in a pet free house, in a town where the population is lower than the elevation, in a country where sitting in rush hour traffic means only that I was too stupid to avoid it.

jeudi, février 14, 2008

Wise Men

I had made a valiant effort to get my tiny municipality to do something about the deadly potholes forming and deepening on my street. All my neighbors had lodged multiple complaints. We had left messages. We talked to every official who would admit to a title. I was about to give up and give in to despair.

Then I heard about the Manger scene (the old Christmas stand-by, Mary, Joseph, animals, shepherds, ETC.) that got torn down from a state park in Northern California. Apparently, ONE very unhappy person wanted to spread their X-mas misery and lodged ONE COMPLAINT. The scene was taken down in less than 48 hours.

So I thought what anyone would think: Set up a Manger scene in one of the pot holes. The biggest of them could feature a pretty good sized group of shepherds and such. Then I'll call city hall and wail about how my right to despise religion was being infringed upon by the unholy holiness. They'd rush right out and turn the offending pothole into road. It had to work.
Of course, on the surface of it, the whole idea of the Savior of a large percentage of my countrymen at the bottom of an asphalt death trap seemed disrespectful. But his was a call to action, was it not? In his life, was he not a thorn in the side of government officials? Does his voice not cry out through the generations against oppression?

I don't know if it speaks well of me or not, but I couldn't go through with it.

I spit in one of the pot holes as I swerved around it on my bike; but the wise men from my government never came.

samedi, février 02, 2008

Insecurities Exchange (Indulge me)

We'll start with the top three descriptors, pause, and see if we have any inclination to continue.

Description #1: Short.

Response: Thanks for bringing it up.
To paraphrase a modern classic, Why don't you give me a nice deep paper cut and pour lemon juice on it? Short. Fine. How short? Actually, I don't know. I know I feel short, but don't know how my height compares to the national average. Because you see, people my height don't know our height. I wouldn't even trust my driver's license, since I estimated (read: lied) on the high side, based upon a generous guesstimate I took at a convenience store entry way on a day when I was wearing especially high heels. (And before you get your dander up, I'm talking about BOOTS here.) Would you laugh at me if I admitted to having researched the medical procedure wherein the legs are broken and shivs are inserted that lengthen the thigh bones over an excruciating span of months? I not only researched it. I considered it. I hear you already, saying: Why not just accept it? You are who you are, and fretting about it won't make you any taller. First of all, you're quoting the bible, which was written by short people who were quoting a tall person. Second, only a tall person would say that. So forget you. In a world where, statistically, tall people reproduce more, get better jobs, and are more likely to achieve fame and fortune (with the notable exception of the truly miniscule Tom Cruise--hey, I just found something to like about Tom Cruise: he's short), you'll have to indulge my total lack of enlightenment in this regard. I hate everyone taller than me. And they deserve it.

Description #2: Well Dressed.

Reponse: Yes I am.
But for those of you who have taken it a step further (and ventured to use the term OVERdressed), let me just say this. First, you know how people, on a special occasion, will put on a button up shirt, maybe a nice blazer, a little dab of gel in the hair, etc? Well, what if I want to look like that all the time? What if every day is, in a manner of speaking, a special occasion? Will you indulge me a little enlightenment in this regard? I celebrate LIFE dammit! Second, yes I am compensating for my height (see above paragraph).

Description #3: Judgemental.

Response: FOOLS!
I'm kidding. Live and let live says I. In fact, when I was a child, my parents had a wooden placard in the family room that read: Great Spirit grant that I not judge my neighbor until I've walked a mile in his moccassins. I believe I've taken this to heart. Not literally, of course: I realized early that almost nobody wears moccassins anymore. But that does not exclude me from putting myself in others' shoes. Of course, then I had to realize that the saying doesn't actually apply to shoes at all, since most people wear ugly shoes or have disgusting feet, both of which make it absolutely impossible to go near their shoes. While we're on the subject of shoes, someone needs to explain some things to me. (As for people who turn their feet into hardened flesh clogs by going shoeless, I have no desire to make even a premlinary inquiry) First, where do people get off wearing shoes with no socks? It's so unhygeinic as to be immoral. We wear socks because they can be washed. That's why they were invented. So unless you can explain to me the process you've invented that miraculously removes from your shoes the inevitable build up of skin, oils, and odour exuded by all feet, you'll have to indulge me a little righteous indignation here. Surely the sun rises on you like it rises on me. But for you he holds his nose and hopes you don't remove your shoes. Secondly, is there something in patchouli oil that makes people wear ugly shoes? I've been trying not to notice, but hippies seem to have the worst taste in footwear. Case in point: Crocs. They appear from the outside to be as uncomfortable as they are ugly. At least Birkenstocks look comfortable. And I can see where you might be commended for seeking comfort first. But is it judgemental, per se, to observe that frankly, you can have both? The product is out there. And if you can have comfort and style at the same time, and you choose not too, then what the hell is your problem? So don't go labeling me. If you can't even evaluate the footwear situation with the smallest degree of alacrity, then I say YOUR judgement is mental.

Well, let's not belabour the point. Suffice it to say: people describe other people. It is neccessary. If you love people, you do it with a degree of surgical honesty equal to your love. Even if it hurts.

Hurts so good.