Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow Forts and Slushballs

Every day she wakes up with a dull, thudding pain behind her eyes. She always did before, but now she feels a slight emptiness accompanying it in tow. This emptiness isn't necessarily a tragic thing for her; it's not even that disheartening. It is an emptiness she can now fill with all the possibilities available to her now; she has the freedom to fill it as she chooses.

"Maybe you should see someone," friends say to her.

"I don't think I need to."

"This isn't healthy," they insist.

"I didn't realize you were a licensed psychologist."

And so this conversations and variations of it go, ad nauseum, day in, day out for the first month or two.

She doesn't want to see a therapist even though she's suffered the worst kind of loss, as most say. She wonders, ultimately, is it really that bad? Have things really lost meaning? Has the world really stopped turning? It does feel like it, and yet it doesn't. A life that ripped her life away was ripped away from her. Torn out and crushed in the form of an out-of-control motor vehicle hitting a patch of black ice.

It was late spring. She cried on that day. She wouldn't stop crying. She clung to his clothes as a halo of blood slowly appeared behind his head lying on the street, shrieking as people tentatively began to gather around her. The only word that she managed to form amongst the screams was a choked "No" on repeat.

She doesn't cry anymore. She looks sad but usually it feels like a show. She wants to smile. She wants to express the slight relief she sometimes finds herself feeling. But it always doubles back onto the question:

What would people say?

She tries to move past it by going out to clubs and parties with friends, just like she used to in high school. She'd never been to a bar before so she decided to go with some friends. At one point when it's about 1 AM, one of her friends makes the mistake of asking her if she left him with anyone before an awkward silence falls over the table. Part of her wants to laugh at the awkwardness but she knows it's probably not a good idea so keeps her mouth pursed and lets herself look sad. The night is pretty much ruined at that point.

Summer ends and fall comes around. She uses the money she was saving and starts taking courses at a local community college, even though she's not sure what she wants to study. This doesn't bother her since she figures she now has time to figure that out.

The holidays come around. She's trapped in somber conversations with her sister and her mother after dinner at one point and when her father says they'll say a prayer for her at Mass the next morning she feigns sickness and goes home where she tries to sleep but can't for hours.

It's the new year. There's fresh-fallen snow on the ground but it's melting since it's above freezing. She stares out the window of her still-cramped apartment as she finishes her breakfast and sees a group of young people, about her age, crowded around an impressively-sized snow fort, built by some neighborhood kids the week before, some of them crawling through the small tunnel, laughing amongst themselves. She watches with muted fascination as one of the boys forms a slushball and throws it at one of the girls in the group and slightly smiles to herself as it quickly becomes an all-out battle, chaos in the form of slushballs flying through the air. The more passive youths of the group begin to back off but are continually battered by the frozen ice thrown by their companions and they try to tell the others to stop with very little result. Those retreating begin running away, pursued by their attackers until she can't see them anymore. She watches as one of the youths emerges from the snow fort, unscathed, and brushes himself off. She half-expects him to look up at her watching him, but he doesn't and leaves, following the others. She sits at her window, staring through the window at the empty street, before a slight pang of sadness hits her and she takes her dishes to the sink to rinse them off.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

John Boehner settles once and for all the pronunciation of his name

Sen. John Boehner (R-Ohio) called a press conference today to settle once and for all the pronunciation of his comically-spelled name that inevitably draws snickers from males of all ages across the country.

"I call upon all of us," Boehner said to a restless crowd in Washington D.C. earlier today, "to come together; the time for reconciliation is at hand. We must get past partisanship and recognize that it's pronounced 'BAY-ner'. Not 'boner'."

To be sure, a number of smirks were heard throughout the crowd gathered to hear the senator speak.

"Look, I've been teased about my name for as long as I can remember," Boehner continued, sternly looking across the crowd, though a hint of touching pensiveness and nostalgia seemed to cross his face. The senator faltered and stammered for a few moments, appearing as if he was attempting to stifle some tears before continuing:

"It's just not funny anymore, it's just not." He shook his head and seemed unable to continue and walked off-stage, visibly shaken.

Reports of riotous, collapse-inducing laughter following his spokesperson's subsequent statement because it contained the word "duty" are still coming in.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tea Party Calls Upon 3-Month Old Infant as Presidential Hopeful for 2012

In a surprise move today, Tea Party spokespeople, including newly re-elected Minnesota 6th District Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, presented their nominee hopeful for the upcoming 2012 presidential race. Three-month-old Riley Stevenson of Clarkson, Kentucky was held aloft by Bachmann at a rally earlier today being proclaimed as the fresh new face of the Tea Party. While Stevenson was still unable to give a speech, as his vocal skills have yet to develop, Bachmann assured the crowd that Stevenson was the perfect respresentative of the Tea Party for the upcoming race.

"Riley is undoubtedly what we need in Washington right now," Bachmann proclaimed into the microphone to uproarious cheers, "he is completely unsullied by the typical politics of the liberal Washington bureaucracy and his guiding vision will be the beacon of real hope and change."

"We have nothing to fear since he doesn't even know what socialism is," Bachmann added, much to the adoration of the crowd.

When asked for comment, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs sighed. "We respect and admire the tenacity and energy of this movement. As to whether this new candidate poses a threat to President Obama's chances for re-election...we don't know. We just don't know. We're hunkering down and preparing for an ugly campaign."

"That goddamn baby is the fucking end for us," Vice President Joe Biden was overheard muttering, unaware his mic was still hooked up.

Other Democratic leaders are equally concerned with this development.

"We look at it as a challenge," Senate Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement following the rally. "But this new candidate is indeed a fresh face in Washington; something that many people seem to want. He may be almost two years old by the time the 2012 primaries are wrapping up, but he still will be the newest face in the crowd. He's a real wild card, and that could present problems for us."

Riley Stevenson was unavailable for comment, as he has no conversational abilities as of yet.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Quick Admission That Will Piss People Off

Not like I've ever been opposed to doing that, especially with my opinions.

But upon being reminded of this story, I felt myself moved by the four-year-old story of Mark Daily, in spite of it since being co-opted by the vomit-inducing vulgar and buffoonish right-wing in America (e.g. Michelle Malkin). Mark Daily, an honors graduate from UCLA, a self-professed agnostic, and registered Democrat, joined the United States Army with the very deliberate notion to combat the repugnant Ba'athist regime and subsequent, partially-imported insurgency in Iraq. He wanted to make a direct difference, something that I respect as I do not have the balls to do myself. He is, for lack of a better term, a hero.

Upon re-reading this story (and Christopher Hitchens' personal account of his experience with it) I felt genuinely moved. I was able to put aside something I have quite a bit of trouble putting aside, especially when it comes to political issues: my contrarian sensibilities. I felt myself crumble. I knew I had to make an admission that in the end I've only ever said in the contrarian context. But now I say this with a straight face, without any hint of irony or a sardonic smirk. This story inspired me to say very directly that despite my intense dislike of our previous administration, and the mishandling of the regime change as well as the unnecessary lies used to justify our much-delayed and necessary intervention, I am a supporter of the United States intervention in Iraq. History may not look kindly on G.W. Bush (HA) but at the end of the day, our intervention, after over 100 years of tumultuous sectarian and religious violence occurring in Mesopotamia, should be.

Now I do feel a tad hypocritical even referencing someone for trying to make a difference when all I do is bitch and moan. That needs to be said. But I consider Mark Daily to be a figure of inspiration for me: a young man who thought for himself. He didn't blindly take the side of the party he associated himself with. He was an example of opposition to the G.W. Bush "if you're not with us you're against us" mentality of American politics today. He found his moral compass and he stood up for what he believed in. I may be co-opting his words for my own selfish reasons, but I feel, especially after for the umpteenth time seeing those simple-minded, baboonish fools on Lake Street with their crudely scrawled "No Blood For Oil" signs, Daily had the right idea with this quote from his erudite "Why I Joined" essay:

"Consider that there are 19 year old soldiers from the Midwest who have never touched a college campus or a protest who have done more to uphold the universal legitimacy of representative government and individual rights by placing themselves between Iraqi voting lines and homicidal religious fanatics."

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=46348938&blogId=186551202

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Just Don't Know About that "Hussein" Thang

Said a mongoloid geriatric twat in the rural south after asked why she wasn't voting for Barack Obama. I just wanted to make a quick note about that 31% of Republicans disbelieving in Obama's status as a non-Muslim. Having read an article on Slate.com that discussed how Republicans (and Democrats, in less, but some cases) quite effectively stick their fingers in their ears and go "la-la-la-la not listening-not listening" whenever given very clear and identifiable evidence that Obama is not a Muslim and also, more to the point, never seem to take the high road and call it like it is: complete and unadulterated shit of a bull. But no. Votes matter. And 2010 is an election year. No such luck.

Now as much as it pains me to say this and as much as I would like to have an openly atheistic president in my lifetime (and on some days just a straight up Mao-esque, anti-theistic benevolent dictator...minus, you know, the 30,000,000 deaths due to preventable starvation, slave-labor work crews, and so forth), it really doesn't matter (AT ALL) what Obama's faith is. I personally think that it would be hysterical and awesome if he just went on a sarcasm-laden tirade at a press conference saying "Ohhh yeah I'm a Muslim! Praise be to Allah and all that! I better stop eating for Ramadamadingdong or whatever it's called!" but sadly, the people of this country with the loudest voices and the lowest IQs (and the most heavy brow-bones and eyes closest together, of course) would speak out about how he CONFIRMED he was a Muslim, backed by the support of the word of the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity whilst Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Democrats like Hillary Clinton (yes I know she's not running, but she still gave a very tepid response to the Muslim accusations and please, please, PULEEEZE just remember her campaign strategies) STILL wouldn't make any real attempts to debunk an absurd myth such as this if it benefited their upcoming campaigns in any way. Cynical? Yes. Wrong? No.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lindsay Lohan: A Note on Schadenfreude

It was Sunday evening. I was at Rainbow Foods in the checkout line with my lady friend. And then I saw it, presented on the cover of Star Magazine: "Lindsay Lohan Threatens Suicide: Is on Suicide Watch" and attached to the quote "I can't go to jail!", complete with a high-def glossy photo of her face smeared with tears and over-priced make-up. So of course I broke out into raucous laughter. I heard myself say "Fuck, I hope she tries to" and with a brief moment of reflection and not very much regret I realized I meant it.

So it has come to this, Lindsay Lohan has reached complete metamorphosis: Her career reached an apex at a young age and everyone seemed to love her unconditionally as America's new adolescent sweet-heart, she landed roles in a wide variety of films, recorded an album that sold respectably, and seemed to be able to charm pretty much everyone until she slept with the wrong person (Colin Farrell). She began to become the next Michael Jackson (refer to my Michael Jackson post-mortem from 1 year ago here: http://thebaronvonsternium.blogspot.com/2009/06/king-is-dead-long-live-king.html ).

And now she has reached the point of purely becoming the next MJ. Not to compare her success to that of Jackson's (simply not possible); it is the NARRATIVE of her success. It has gotten to the point where one's head begins to collapse in on itself if one tries to figure out what else could Lindsay Lohan do. I mean short of being filmed in a gang-bang with Tucker Max, Verne Troyer, and Bill Maher. But seriously, where could she go from here? How much further could she sink from threatening suicide to avoid jail-time (THAT SHE PROBABLY DESERVES)? And most importantly, what other way COULD I react to seeing this headline besides laughing? The patent absurdity of it is jaw-dropping. Her fuck-ups pile up on one another so exponentially that the narrative of her fuck-ups becomes more compelling and entertaining than the narratives of her god-awful movies.

"Schadenfreude" is defined as finding entertainment and humor in the suffering of others. There's not many things out there more American than this (as reflected by our grossly bloated love of reality television). I think it almost goes without saying that Lindsay Lohan is the perfect representative for this principle. Some might argue that we pitiful peons and plebeians simply envy her fame and success and wealth so much that we want it to be taken away from her. This may be true, but I don't think it's simple class envy. I think we just derive absolute joy and pleasure and watching her flail and fail miserably, somewhat BECAUSE of her fame and success, but also because SHE'S NOT US and we get to WATCH her flail and fail miserably from the comfort and safety of our homes, knowing that that could never be us, since none of us are, nor will we ever be, Lindsay Lohan. Schadenfreude incarnate.

Now the argument could be made that I am a terrible person for laughing at the suffering of others, let alone someone I've never met who's never done anything to me. Who am I to stand on my pillar of judgment? Your point of contention is understandable, but you're human like the rest of us. I know you. I know you so well that I know there is no way you could not find amusement in the suffering of others, to one degree or another, mild or severe. Schadenfreude is present in all of us, like it or not, and because of this, I think it'll be impossible for you not to hear yourself let out at least the tiniest chuckle at any of these clips:





Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Gaggle of Her Gaga-ness

What a boring, predictable, useless bag of flesh Lady Gaga is.

Whew. That felt good to say. I'll try it again:

"What a boring, predictable, useless bag of flesh Lady Gaga is."

Man. That's so satisfying. Anyway, as much as I would like to talk about Her Ladiness of Gaga-acity with a true, um, poker-face (har har), I can't help but let it dissolve into this rictus of disgust, annoyance, and perpetual enmity. And I also can't just dismiss her as useless, now can I? Not when I'm devoting a whole blog to her.

Now, there is just something about this "woman" (the lovely video that makes the quote marks seem appropriate has apparently since been debunked [more on that later], but it's still satisfying to type that way) that drives me, as the Brits say, bloody mental. It's the way she just vacantly stares into space as she's being interviewed, the apathetic and empty and incessantly lackadaisical tone of her voice, the non-answer answers she gives when asked a question, the pitiful (and tragically successful) attempts to shock everyone into complete and utter reverence to her. It's the beautiful and perfect coagulation of these elements that give me such a reaction. I guess it can best be compared to the visceral reaction I get whenever I hear that God-awful "dontchaknow" folksy perky hockey-mom cuntish voice of Sarah Palin.

And she clearly works hard at what she does. But what is she doing? Yes, she's making music, yes she has complete artistic freedom to do so, including choreographing her own videos/performances, all within the vice-like constraints of the big label system. What is this veritable mash-up of Madonna and Marilyn Manson really adding to the musical formula today? Consider these lyrics for but a moment:

I want your ugly
I want your disease
I want your everything
As long as it’s free

Um. Guess what apologists: THESE DON'T MEAN ANYTHING.

But I digress because I take less issue with her music and its contribution TO music (or lack thereof) because then I would be obligated to write a blog about every goddamn artist on KDWB right now.

Now I don't want the impression to be that I am calling her stupid. Far from it. Definitely far from it. Remember that video that showed her supposed penis? Apparently that was a prosthetic. Wait back up. She WENT OUT OF HER WAY to wear a plastic cock between her legs at a live performance, knowing FULL WELL there would be cameras? Yeah, apparently (I actually called that one when I first saw the video). But yeah, she did that. She's not stupid, like I said. She also knew full well that there would be a pretty vitriolic reaction in tabloids, internet message boards, and possibly even interviews. What'd it do? It of course helped her already meteoric skyrocketing fame. People, this is key, and I'll tell you why.

Every move and decision she makes, every comment, every outfit she dons for one of her infamous performances, every gallon of make-up she utilizes per week; all of it is meticulously and carefully and flawlessly calculated to present an image that we all gobble up. She is the master of what is known as superficial charm and essentially exhibits the majority of psychopathic traits in a human being (though I still am at least partially convinced she's an alien), including said charm, obvious intelligence, pathological egocentricity, glibness, a complete poverty to true emotions (watch any interview with her), fantastic and over-the-top behavior, and an impersonal and trivial sex-life (at least according to her). So no, she's not stupid. She's just a goddamn psychopath that has America wrapped around her finger. And this scares the shit out of me and, ipso facto, I hate her very being.

Okay obviously I don't know this. This is pure speculation, clouded by the bias that is my disdain for this creature known as Lady GooGoo...sorry, Gaga. But I beg of you to consider this point: it doesn't make it any less possible.

I think this genius video illustrates her, and this point, perfectly:



Wanna know the true irony? The psychopathic traits I see are probably just part of that image she so desperately wants to gloss over us all and, as much as I want to projectile vomit for admitting this, her spell has clearly worked on me if that is the case.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Looks Like The Worst Film of All Time

Okay that may be a bit of an overstatement, what with schlock, schmutz, and shit the likes of Drag Me To Hell, Dear John, and every Michael Bay joint produced post-The Rock being out there in the cinematic ether. But hear me out. This movie looks terrible. On so many levels. Watch for yourself here:



The movie itself looks patently absurd, which should be to its credit. But...am I the only one who is just thoroughly and completely sick of Michael Cera? Like...PHYSICALLY sick of him? I mean I think I might have an aneurysm if I ever see him make a face that ISN'T one of perpetual bewilderment (my theory is that the thoughts constantly running through his head are, "Oh my God how am I in movies? Seriously. They're gonna realize I have no acting talent any second now...I better keep all the exits in view..."). I mean seriously, that's the FIRST SHOT WE SEE OF HIM IN THIS TRAILER. And not only this trailer but every goddamn film he's in.

We're starting to see a scourge of comedic actors doing the same thing that Tom Cruise is frequently being accused of doing, as in "just playing Tom Cruise." In other words, Michael Cera is always simply playing Michael Cera. Every character he has EVER PLAYED, from Scott Pilgrim, to Juno's boyfriend, to Nick from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, to Evan in Superbad, to George Michael Bluth, to him actually LITERALLY playing himself in that god-awful looking faux-documentary Paper Heart. Some of these movies (or in the case of Arrested Development, TV shows) aren't bad. Some are amazing, like Superbad. And Michael Cera is funny in these films, but only because they're well written enough to suit his limited acting ability. In Superbad, for example, the only reason he's funny is because he's contrasted with Jonah Hill and placed in situations that REQUIRE him to be bewildered at what's going on around him, be it a bunch of frightening coke heads making him sing (quite awkwardly of course; how else would he?) "These Eyes" or be it the fact that a girl is paying attention to him. But just because he works in this context as a force of funny does not make HIM funny. OR charming. OR cute.

And that segues quite perfectly into a final note about how many girls I talk to think he's "so cute" because of how awkward he is. Very important question, ladies: would you sleep with him? This is not a question of is it because he's famous or not (though the fame probably DOES assist him greatly in getting laid). But really: would you ACTUALLY sleep with him? Somehow I doubt most of them would, since, typically, when a little guy as awkward as him actually talks to you at a party, what do you do? At best, you probably laugh along, but AT him, not with him. But of course I don't KNOW any of this. A girl who claims she thinks he's cute might still actually sleep with him, but I DO know one thing: that he will look completely bewildered that this is happening to him right up to the moment of climax.

COEXIST: A Brief Rant on the Dangerous Naivette

Having just returned from the very pleasant run I take down the River Road near my apartment as often as possible, I have some pent up frustration, anger, and, ultimately, sadness at something I've already expressed scorn for on multiple occasions: the Coexist bumper sticker. I can't help it. I must rant.

Now this naivete, as I've called it, is staggering to me. It can be seen as a pleasant and hopeful optimism by some, but at the end of the day, it really is just a depressing reminder of the futility of human nature and, more importantly, of the problems that lay within organized religion. Upon seeing this bumper sticker in front of me as I jogged at a semi-leisurely pace, I couldn't help but get progressively more and more angry, not only because it is a mindless, naive sentiment displayed to express more about the driver of the car than about the viewpoint itself, but also because the owner probably actually believes this. Coexistence? Of all faiths and beliefs? Really? Doesn't the very definition of a belief mean that any other conflicting belief cannot be true? How can someone believe that religions can not only coexist together, but propagate peace, brotherly love, and prosperity for all, when the following truths are present:

1.) The brutal and disgusting and REPEATED rape and torture of thousands of children at the hands of priests in the Catholic Church for who knows how long, only to be covered up, lied about, and EXPLAINED AWAY by the highest vestiges of power within their organization.

2.) The occupation of the West Bank of fundamentalist Jews that pray for their Messiah to come to Earth (and backed by the religious right, a.k.a. the Evangelicals, of this country because they'd love to see their so-called Second Coming, who are also populated by sickening frauds and charlatans that accuse things such as the 9/11 attacks, Katrina, and the recent Haitian earthquake on the "sinful behavior" of people such as the homosexuals, the pagans, the feminists; the list goes on) and who assist the Israeli government partake in apartheid-like behavior against those living on the Gaza Strip and, as we saw last week, the massacre of Turkish civilians because they were part of a fleet of aid ships that were also associated with Muslim activists.

3.) And let's of course not forget the perpetrators of one of the most heinous crimes against the free-thinking world, al-Qaeda, a fundamentalist Muslim organization that ultimately aims to restore their own version of the Caliphate, a Muslim Empire, dominating the world, outlawing art, music, and free-thinking at any cost and at the sacrifice of any civilian, especially those who will not convert, quite possibly the greatest enemy to modern civilization as is possible, especially if they ever get their hands on apocalyptic weaponry (something the Hamas-backed government of Iran is probably aiming to attain).

4.) Or the immediate post-colonial exclusion of the Tamil people by Buddhists in Sri Lanka, as well as Buddhist-led pogroms and the assassination of the first elected president of Sri Lanka by a Buddhist priest. Or, for that matter, the Japanese Buddhist-based government (the emperor was considered "a God", remember) that in many ways was used to excuse the actions of the Japanese military against the people of Nanking, China, which included mass rape, snuff film production, medical experimentation, and other horrors rivaling those of the Holocaust.

5.) Or the Hindu-led massacres of their Muslim Indian or Buddhist Indian brethren on numerous occasions throughout history.

6.) And of course let's not forget the cults that have sprouted up throughout the United States, all of which preach discrimination (the Mormons, who, if they could excuse the lynching and murder of gays, the exclusion of blacks [since apparently God "cursed" them with dark skin], they would), ineptitude and ignorance (Scientology, with its proclamations of the evils of medication, have arguably led to the harm, and even death of people, such as John Travolta's son), and even mass suicide (People's Temple, Solar Temple, and of course, Heaven's Gate).

Coexistence? Hmm...yeah. Yeah the coexistence of religions, beliefs, and people would definitely possible if religious belief didn't, at its core, play into and validate the violent nature of humankind. This naivete is not part of the solution; it's part of the problem.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The R Word

No, this is sadly not a steamy new show on Lifetime or HBO (yes I stole that one from Jon Stewart and Lewis Black). It's the evil, repugnant, blatantly OFFENSIVE term "retarded." All I can say to anyone at this point who is taking part in utilizing this politically correct-ridden "term" are these three words: KISS MY DICK.

I should give some background. About a week ago or so, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel referred to people on the far left as "fucking retards" (something I don't fully disagree with...) Our former half-governor of Alaska/Facebook frequenter Sarah Palin was of course outraged. "How DARE Mr. Emanuel make light of MY very serious condition!" she proclaimed loudly. She of course widened the scope when speaking at the recent Tea Party Convention and expressed with disdain at the disgraceful manner in which Emanuel joked about the very people which filled that room with so little regard for all of the difficult hurdles they all have had to overcome in their lives. Okay in all seriousness, following Palin's expressed outrage and desire for Emanuel to resign, Rush Limbaugh made it a point to proclaim that Emanuel was not so off-target in his assessment of far left groups (fuck...I agree, even somewhat, with Rush Limbaugh with something...I should probably ACTUALLY go cut off my finger for that one) and THEN when Palin was called out by Chris Wallace for her spokeswoman essentially defending Rush Limbaugh while still calling for Emanuel's resignation, she simply claimed that Rush's three dozen-plus uses of the word "retard" was "satire" (what with the layers of depth and wit being expressed by that blubbery, petulant whale of a man). So of course following this series of back-and-forth deflects and defenses, the media, as usual, turned into a complete circus and essentially MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News all devoted at least one portion of their air time to discussing the ins and outs of this debate. Needless to say, it was quite retarded.

During the past week or so of this boondoggle (one of my new favorite words), the replacement term "the R word" came into usage. Now I don't know about any of you, but I don't think I've ever heard the word "retard" be turned into something akin to only those in that group being allowed to say it (though it seems most of the people utilizing this term are, well...let's just say again that it includes Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh). Insults aside, apparently the word "retarded" is now an offensive and cacophonous epithet.

Now Sarah Palin, who parades her baby with Down's Syndrome around like it's a goddamn retarded trophy (or, more accurately, a retarded shield), has done something quite genius in its simplicity (or possibly, its retardedness, a new word for Oxford, thank you). She has gotten the cameras not only to remain swiveled on her until it's appropriate to announce she's running in 2012, she has gotten both sides to cater to her narcissism and essentially create some sort of new exclusivity of use of the word retarded or retard. Rush Limbaugh (after facing criticism) and Chris Wallace alike, as well as other people taking part in this discussion on cable news, have allowed themselves to get suckered into using this idiotic "safe way" of saying "retarded." This shouldn't even be a discussion at all. But Sarah Palin has done something remarkable. Not only has she created this inane discussion and caused it to get transformed into a "valid topic" she has done something much more insidious: she has dominated the use of language itself. She has essentially told us through the media that it isn't okay to say the word "retarded." She has used her status as a mother of a retarded infant to define what is and what is NOT appropriate to say. This is disturbing when this happens, especially when it's a word in common usage that has no other real alternative and isn't offensive to begin with (and please spare me if the only retort to that is saying that certain racial epithets "used to be acceptable"; this is a very different situation). When people do this and proclaim something is offensive when it really is not, it dilutes ACTUAL discussion about things that ACTUALLY matter. It distracts us from real issues, pretty much the only strategy a lot of conservatives have right now. It retards discourse, so to speak.

Like I said, what Sarah Palin has done is pretty crafty. I don't believe I really have any reason to be cynical enough to think that usage of the term "R word" will stick in the long run, but I wouldn't be surprised if something so, well, retarded happened, considering one of the grandest offenses in mainstream America today is to be un-PC. Now I know you don't call someone who actually IS retarded a retard in the context of insult (even though it's doubtful they could wrap their heads around it anyway), but come on. Retarded is just a word and well, frankly, IT'S A WORD OF COMMON USAGE. To call something "retarded" in order to classify it as stupid is NOT OFFENSIVE. "Retarded" means "slowed or delayed" and "to make slow, impeded, or hindered" and "stupid, obtuse, or ineffective." To call someone retarded or a retard is to say that their intelligence can be applied to any of these things. In other words, stupid people are retarded. "Actual" retarded people have something called "Down's Syndrome."

So in closing, I say this to the opposition: proclaim from the rooftops that things are retarded. Pronounce a car running a red light and getting side-swiped to be driven by a retard. Pontificate that the so-called "humor" of Two and a Half Men was written by retards. Profess the notion that the blogger with the inflated sense of self-worth is a retarded gas-bag. And most importantly whenever you see Sarah Palin on television and especially when you hear that nails-on-a-blackboard folksy drivel that spills from her mouth, promulgate the fact that she is, at her core, nothing more than a retarded stewardess.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What women are really saying about us

So I've noticed something about women.

It's the way you talk about us, the more brutish sex as I've taken to referring to myself and male compatriots as. And not in that mentally stunted "Sex in the City" or Lifetime Channel kind of way that involves bitching about commitment while eating a pint of Haagen Daaz. The only generalization I am confident enough to make about all of you is the way YOU imitate how WE speak. Almost like you all have this subconscious connection or something (like a bunch of dancers all menstruate at the same time, a real phenomenon I could not make up; I'm not that smart). But it's like you're all unique individuals until you hear us males speak; it's like your thoughts just automatically shift to this notion. I swear, EVERY FUCKING GIRL I KNOW imitates us in the same trogloditic way, like we're busy smashing rocks together when we're not out eating slabs of raw meat and clubbing wenches over the head before we have our way with them. According to you it's like we're all just *TALKING LIKE DIS ALL DA FUCKIN' TIME* (and you always seem to make us swear more than we normally do...well that part is pretty accurate, at least if you're talking about me...but I digress). And the best part is that every girl I've talked to about this always says the same thing, whether serious or in jest: "That's how you sound!" I somehow doubt this.