Friday, August 2, 2013

Graduation Speech

I hope you're ready.

Growing up, both in school and at home, I was told many of the same things you were. Perhaps faith, geography, socio-economic background, and other factors unique to each family altered the message somewhat, but I bet said message was cut from a similar cloth. The message I'm talking about is our right to self-determination. It probably wasn't dressed in that exact wording or spoken in such terms; maybe it was heavy in Americanese with a big emphasis on buzz words such as "freedom" and "liberty" and topped with fiery, patriotic cherry. Maybe it was a more ethereal, wistful tone of "follow your dreams" and "passions" if your household and upbringing fostered a more creative side. Either way, the underlying ethos is the same; go out into the world and worry only about controlling your destiny. The history books paint a picture of morality, human decency, and democratic governance being saved for all eternity when the Allied powers were victorious in WWII. Our economic engine which took off when the soldiers came home portrayed a continuous exponential growth in both wealth and opportunity under the reign of capitalism. Essentially, we were led to believe the hard work had already been done. Our military is more than capable to handle whatever current and future skirmish may come, and our economic vitality is such that any recession is but a drop in a bucket. All we need to do, is just live our lives.

Slight problem with all that; it's entirely a pile of fetid bullshit.

What our parents, teachers, and other elders growing up failed to inform us is that in totality, the generations immediately before us completely fucked our world to shit. Every place of civil unrest, overthrown regimes, or even outright war in the world today can be traced to years of foreign interference and meddling from a powerful, wealthy country like us. Every economic and widespread financial hardship to outright collapse can be traced to greed and deceit from our elders. Our environment, experiencing an appreciable rise in global temperatures and sea levels, is left to only grow more inhospitable to our species thanks to decades of neglect by our elders in spite of growing scientific study and public attention. Outside of technological advancements and innovation, often of products and utilities yet fully harnessed and yet to have reach their potential (including especially the internet), I have a hard time finding one damn thing our elders did right or have truly left for my generation as an asset. I'm serious, fucking find me one. I'll wait.

In America at least, our infrastructure is failing. Opportunistic real estate developers build shiny condo developments alongside crumbling highways and bridges first built during the 1950s with little to no sizable improvements and modifications made to them since. In America at least, we find it more important to fill private, for-profit prison and detainment centers with non-violent drug offenders and continue to wage an inept, flailing War on Drugs which in reality no better than a modern day pogrom targeting the lower socio-economic "undesirables" in our country (let's not even touch how the War on Drugs affects our international neighbors), than to actually rehabilitate those clearly afflicted with addiction. Meanwhile, wealth inequality continues to widen but most of our elders, who are still in power by the way, continue to take the fuck less given. Oh, and of course those elders who created these clusterfucks and plenty more I have yet to discuss will wipe our social security safety net clean, rendering what you and I pay into the system utterly meaningless. But hey, we commit just under $700 billion a year to our military, affording themselves and us taxpayers such luxuries as building a $34 million facility on foreign soil that will do nothing but collect dust and attract spiders, so...AMERICA, FUCK YEAH.

Globally, the problems are even worse. An entire swath of Europe is awash with angry youth resisting harsh austerity measures caused in part because of the economic collapse, but mostly at fault are the previous generations for raiding generous pension and entitlement plans. For a country like Greece, tax evasion had become an Olympic sport in of itself, yet who gets to pay? Those in our generation. The so-called "Arab Spring" we're still watching unfold produces a wide range of emotions; on one hand, I'm proud a mostly young (in age of the participants) revolution in individual countries rose up to throw oppressive regimes, but as we've already seen in Egypt, power vacuums attract unseemly figures and groups. The common thread tying issues across international boundaries together is the age group leading the charge of unrest; the youth. The power structures in place for several decades have raped and pillaged the earth, our financial system, and our societies to the point where we're left with a much smaller slice of opportunity than we were promised. Factor in decades of ever-freeing markets through globalization, and you see there are no national boundaries anymore when it comes to the shit state of affairs we get to live in. We're all in it, regardless of ethnicity and national identity, and pretending otherwise when virtually every resource is traded globally and the price of every commodity is dictated beyond localized supply and demand is ludicrous.

Perhaps the scariest thing of all is the realization which I dread to even say; despite the glaring issues in front of us, there are no easy answers. The collective effort needed to painfully yet thoroughly unfuck what's been fucked on a line-by-line basis is massive, and it some ways, said effort goes against the grain of how we have been wired to think. For the vast majority of us, engagement with the political system involves little more than tableside chatter with friends over current events, passive attention paid to various media coverage, and then checking a few boxes on a ballot come election day. Some of us may actually stump for a particular politician during an election cycle, others may take individual issues and causes to heart and become an evangelist for them. Regardless of your personal involvement, politics and being agents of change don't come close to actually defining the significant majority of citizens. Ideally, that's how it should be; any acceptable definition of The American Dream doesn't entail tirelessly running your own political and social beliefs up flagpoles. We're supposed to be carving out a life for ourselves under the guise of fulfilling whatever personal desires and goals we have to be enjoyed specifically by ourselves first and foremost. The monetary and physical cost of living doesn't exactly lend a hand, either. Once you're on your own, you have to work for a living, and to keep yourself from otherwise going insane, you have to fulfill the need for social interaction which will understandably include doing lots of things that won't directly improve the standard of living in third-world countries, or break the glass ceiling in regards to women in the workplace, or any other of the umpteen million problems in the world today. It is simply not in our innate being to spend such an exorbitant amount of time thinking and acting on the behalf of others outside of yourself.

But, that all may have to least somewhat. The "Greatest Generation" that fought in WWII and laid the basic groundwork for what good still exists today may have earned that moniker, but considering the multitude of smoldering bush fires scattered around our communities and the globe at large that could turn into blazing infernos at any moment, we millennials without question MUST become the unquestioned greatest generation to ever exist to even keep our world afloat. There is no "tweaking", "altering" or "adjusting" to our societies and culture that will do any good, as entire fucking paradigms and zeitgeists need to be overhauled. Voting every four years for the "less bad" alternative and spending a majority of the time in between captioning pictures of cats and masturbating is most likely not an option for this all to take place. It will require a much more intensive level of engagement, but unlike the shrill polemic that passes for nuanced political discourse these days, all talks have to be fruitful and informative. Even how we think about our beliefs will need to change.

So, good luck everyone. I'm in this boat with you, and while it's slowly sinking now, we have enough material to plug the existing holes and any new ones provided we don't fuck this up like the previous generations. Well, to be honest, we really don't have the room to fuck up even a little at this rate.

Like I already said; I hope you're ready.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

What We Lack

"I've been fascinated by the idea that evil is the absence of empathy" - John Connolly

After DOMA was struck down earlier last week, I couldn't help myself but turn to Twitter and other corners of the internet to see the reaction; namely, the reaction of the religious right. I'm not above enjoying in the flappy-headed, nonsensical schadenfreude which could illuminate the night skies over Siberia whenever yet another example of a long-settled culture war over a slew of social issues takes place. An array of pastors and other religious leaders, including a few politicians, didn't disappoint as the oft-repeated, always incredulous claims of "slippery slopes" leading to men marrying turtles and some utopia of rampant, schoolhouse sodomizing while everyone listens to The Culture Club were filling the pages everywhere I read. Usually, such exaggerated, vile remarks disgust me to no end; yet in light of the Supreme Court decision, combined with the ever-growing realization that the club of hard-line social conservatives only grows smaller as it becomes more frenetic, I could only smile.

I'm no more of a "gay rights advocate" as I am a "tree frog advocate" or "if a guy wants to spend a Friday night masturbating to Golden Girls reruns, let him - advocate". The concept of enacting a strict moral code over otherwise legal, consenting adults is something I will never wrap my head around, and speaking as an individual whose level of spirituality registers a "null" grade, spare me any biblical quotes since they mean squat dick and balls to me. 

The only measure of a working, functioning society that I honestly want to see is one that truly embodies empathy for those who live their lives in sometimes vastly different ways from our own without hurting or otherwise prohibiting the free will of others. Full stop. I've spoken before (sometimes at length) about particular issues, but the underlying, wanton desire of the world, or at least community I wish to be a part of, is wrapped with a bow-tie in the above sentence. When someone truly understands empathy, their view of fellow humanity and of the world around them softens. With empathy, the need for shrill polemic in our political discourse vanishes, and as goes with it a myriad of other problems we humans run into with each other.

I'm a flawed human being, and I'd be surprised if I could go a full day without at some point committing one of the seven deadly sins. Yet, at the end the day, I want everyone to find their happiness, and I only hope you wish the same for me.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Don't Feed the Animals

Sometimes, the traps you set only snare yourself.

I'll never claim to be a modern-day Lothario when it comes to my dalliances with women, nor would I profess to hold an infinite and complex understanding of them in general. I've had my conquests and subsequent failures, licked my wounds, and moved on. The hidden saving grace among the dating rat race we all run is the eventual realization, which hopefully comes to one sooner rather than later, that you, as the individual, need to rule your own kingdom. It's very easy to allow your own being, and your own ethos, to become an ambiguous mess when too great of an impetus is placed on finding  someone, regardless of the reasons behind it. Most likely, we've all been there. I have, and while it was far from my darkest hour, it still proved to be an at times frighteningly confusing period. Once you lose your true sense of self, you can no longer accurately differentiate between wants and needs. Purely external factors manipulate and alter internal desires. You simply are no longer you.

The real point is accepting your own haste and coming to terms with your own being. You don't point fingers, you don't lay blame elsewhere, and you always look inward. Otherwise, insecurities and other perceived failures only further imbrue and can unknowingly manifest themselves in some terrible, awful ways. In the downward spiral of thinking less about yourself, you also choose to see the worst in others, finds faults (real or imagined) in those around you, and bitterness and spite reign supreme. You become cynical in your pursuit of interests, calculated in your motives, and you lose the humanity which should define us. People are no longer viewed as fellow humans, but as mathematical queries from which you seek to derive a formula to solve and extract whatever value it is you want out of them.

Or, of course, you can lie to yourself, throw your hands in the air, and say "well, shit, I'm just a nice guy and women don't respect me", which some cynical, broken bastards do on a daily basis.

There's nothing more annoying than the archetypal bullshit "nice guy", barely masquerading his pent-up frustrations and budding misogyny as an "aw shucks" down-on-his-luck trope. If your intellectual study of women stopped at  the age of 16 because one-too-many girls you longed for opted for the perceived bad boy, and you aped through your college years being a wallflower and convincing yourself over and over again that you simply aren't "interesting" or "edgy" enough to be taken seriously, you very easily could become this guy. Most adult women can smell you from a mile away.

And, admit it, if you are "that guy", you're dangerous. Yes, you. Are. Not. Safe. 

Seriously, own up to it. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Your faux-nice act and pseudo-emotional attentiveness is a contrived act meant to overcompensate for your own perceived lack of manliness. You, and no one else, decided you aren't suave enough, attractive enough, or ANYTHING enough to be honest and straight up about much at all. You don't really care about her problems, her past boyfriends, and her life in general. "She", no matter how high a pedestal you try to place her on, is nothing but a prize; a mythical princess you don't wish to save but to acquire and keep as validation that you can use emotional manipulation and otherwise trick into procuring. "She" isn't a person to you. Hell, you probably think all women are beneath you. If you have honestly convinced yourself you can use smoke and mirrors to win someone over, you obviously do not hold their intellect in high esteem, right? I mean, they're just "dumb bitches", right? They just always seem to fall for the dumb jocks who treat them like shit, right? Right? Answer me, motherfucker.

You know what, don't bother. You know why women don't take you seriously? For one, acting like a lap dog isn't attractive to any woman with an IQ in the triple digits and with any self-respect. People in general actually like a confident, headstrong individual, so playing the doting "good listener" role over and over again isn't winning you any points in the "okay, this guy has his shit together and can go places" department. There's no intrigue, character, or soul there. You might as well be a piece of furniture.

Furthermore, there's enough of you out there that most women have already run afoul with someone like you before. They've had a friend in their past who sprung into action during a time of vulnerability and stress, made themselves oh-so-emotionally available, and it too perfectly segued into something more. That is, until the rug was pulled out from under them and it became clear "attentive friend" was nothing more than an opportunistic fuckface. Game, set, and match.

See, guy? Your inherent dishonesty is the problem. The "jerk" you despise, displaying swagger and pretty much everything you believe you don't have and can't flaunt yourself? At least, for the most part, he's least more honest than you are. If you don't want to hear another sob story about an asshole ex-boyfriend from someone you like, you can tell her so. Don't want to go to Bed Bath & Beyond to help a romantic interest buy a new set of bath towels? Then don't go. It's actually pretty simple; don't do or say shit you don't want nor mean. Live your goddamn life and try, at least once, to stop worrying about made-up bullshit. You'll be better for it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Artistically Autistic

I've seen Drive twice; once in the theaters when it came out, and recently again via instant streaming on Netflix during a boring weeknight. I had mildly high expectations going into my first viewing; the early reviews painted a picture of a throwback Western film archetype ( a "man with no name" basically) thrown into a crime/mobster flick. At the time, I had no real opinion of Ryan Gosling either way; I did "like" him in Half Nelson and Lars and the Real Girl, yet neither his respective characters in each, or the films themselves left an indelible mark. In fact, the only role of his I can remember leaving any effect was his creepily obsessive "Noah" in The Notebook, but there was enough uneasiness to go around in that movie where blaming his character would only be the beginning. 

Anyways, the best description I can give for my initial reaction to Drive after leaving that movie theater two years ago was of the feeling of just being awakened. There is a dream-like quality to Nicolas Winding Refn's film, as everything about the opening sequence to the score forces you to think of the setting as taking place in a different era, yet that gets compounded by the film's glacial pace and ridiculously slow dialogue, so your consciousness can't help but keep digging into farthest depths of whatever neural ether binge your own mind can allow given the few clues you're given about the characters and their motives. I wasn't so much watching Drive and observing the characters and storyline in a passive sense as I would with most films; I was imagining what the characters were really saying and where the story would ultimately go. While this proved to be a fun mental exercise, the few "action" scenes were especially jarring, and not just for their graphic quality. When Gosling's "Driver" character went into ass-kicking mode, I'd jolt back in reality and then ultimately become somewhat disappointed with the realization that the last twenty minutes or so the film had completely washed over me because I had been too busy thinking the film as opposed to actually watching it. By the time the closing credits rolled, I thought I had just watched a decent film, but I wasn't really sure. Not a single line of dialogue actually stuck, nor did any particular character.

I figured I'd give it another go a couple weeks ago and watch Drive again, under a "this time, no bullshit" premise. Instead of letting my mind wander to fill in the gaps of a slow, plodding film, I'd turn the creative part of my brain off and just observe it as is. Great plan, I thought. Now I'll get it.

Well...yeah, I sort of get "it". See, there really is nothing to "get" in Drive. It really is the most linear and simplistic "crime" film I have seen in some time, and it probably is a better viewing experience to allow yourself to get lost in the moody score and brooding nothingness that fills half of the run time than literally sit on the edge of your seat trying to wring out every drop of actual substance from the script. I didn't jump off my seat after my second viewing thinking it was the suckiest pile of suck to ever suck or anything, as I enjoyed it for what it is, but I was a bit embarrassed I had to watch it again to realize just, and to the point the whole thing was. In fact, it's really hard to write about Drive unless you're a cinefile of the highest order. I'm not, but usually I can blab about movies for a significant length of time. Not this one, at least in discussing the film's merits in the strictest sense.

In fact, the only real takeaway I have, is wondering whether or not Drive is the biggest endorsement of the omega male to grace the silver screen. Even in this role, Gosling still carries the same boyish looks and naive sense about him, despite bashing someone's head in at one point with the fervor of a man who is in no way boyish or naive about the world. In this film, our omega male lead character is presented in such a slightly awkward-yet-nice-boy-you-can-take-home way, devoid of any threatening or totally off-putting weirdness which usually gets ascribed to those who like to do things their own way, I can't help but think maybe the underlying moral to the film is as a fuck you to alpha males. Or not. I'm clearly thinking again.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

To be perfectly honest, I was a shit soccer player.

I wasn't great at the other sports I played as a youngster either, but a part of me enjoyed soccer the most, if only for the belief it hid my relative lack of skill better than the others. Twenty two players on one field at the same time creates a hodgepodge of colors and noise roaming in all directions, and unlike the constant stop-lineup-and-start of football (or American football, for any international folks), soccer presents a fluid yet seemingly nonlinear picture to a random viewer. In other words, I could somewhat hide.

The one thing I could do very well in a generalized, unspecific sense was run around. I wasn't exceptionally fast, per se, but I could float around a field near or at my top speed for long periods of time without collapsing in a pool of my own vomit, which counts for something; that something being selected as a central midfielder which I played at almost every level of youth soccer I participated in, up through high school. I wasn't especially creative, and could barely use my left foot for anything other than short passes and as a source of constant self-loathing and critique, but goddamn it, I could run up and down the pitch and sure look like I knew what the fuck I was doing. 

Aside from being a shit soccer player, I also had the added value of finding ways to injure myself every other week. I gave up basketball during middle school because my left knee started to feel like jello. I had to put baseball down for a couple years after a shoulder injury on my glove hand made it virtually impossible to lift my left arm above chest level; a particularly cumbersome problem as a centerfielder which also made the whole "swing a baseball bat" thing kinda difficult. At least soccer put less strain on my knee once it began to heal and didn't require much use of my arms; but I was still brittle. After completing my freshman year on the JV soccer team, I felt as if I were using the body of a nearly deceased octogenarian. For the next few months, I moved about during school and elsewhere with the grace of a heavily tranquilized rhinoceros needing hip replacement surgery. Eventually the aches and pains subsided, and finding myself in surprisingly good spirits and awash with optimism, I thought I could make a run at the varsity team the following season. Two practices in during my sophomore year, while in the middle of running an otherwise mundane drill, I felt my left knee start to act up again. Didn't think anything of it since the pain was far from excruciating, yet mere moments later, in full sprint after the ball, I brushed paths with a teammate and our knees collided. You can see where this is was my left knee that ended up buckling against his. The odd thing was, I don't remember the pain so much as vitriolic anger; not at the teammate for the collision, or at my ailing, utterly useless body parts. I was just...pissed. At everything. I hobbled towards the sidelines and I'm pretty sure I told our coach to "fuck off" when he gave a half-assed "you okay?" as I passed by. I do remember he didn't talk to me the rest of the day, which I could understand after having a 15 year old trying to make your team tell you to go screw, but I really didn't care. 

While the injury wasn't as serious as the cartilage tear I suffered a couple years before, it was a severe sprain that served a main course of required inactivity for a few weeks, which meant there was no way I could make varsity that year. More importantly, I found my desire to get back and playing waning by the day. I was done. I made a cursory attempt to play on the baseball team the following year, but mostly rode the bench as a few years removed the sport robbed me of my timing at the plate. In retrospect, I really didn't give a shit and have few memories from that team.

It was over.

While the benefits of playing youth sports are numerous, I share this because the hidden cruelty about my time playing competitive athletics is that the day I hung up my soccer cleats for good ended up being almost the exact point in time whatever innocence and youthful naivety I had was gone. Over the course of the next few months during that fateful sophomore year, a couple best friends of mine were killed and I lost my virginity; a bizarre one-two-three punch and kick combination that damn near changed me overnight. Neither of these things made me a "man", as becoming a man is decision one makes in regards to accepting and dealing with real responsibilities as opposed to simply "experiencing things"; yet, there's no doubt I was no longer the same person. The version of me that glided across a soccer field never once seriously thought about mortality or anything particularly serious outside of "where I should go to score a joint afterwards," nor did I have goddamn clue how to express or carry my own sexuality. For the first 15 years of my life, girls were pretty things with different anatomical parts that I didn't really understand well, nor did I have a strong desire at the time to learn more (outside of a couple early romantic interests, I was borderline asexual, really). Yet, in the aftermath of losing dear friends, something hormonal clicked where different gears starting turning; perhaps it was the materialization of some hasty carpe diem wave I rode during a time of significant emotional distress and upheaval, or it just took a few months before my 16th birthday to realize I had a penis. I really don't know; it was a fucked up time in my life.

Either way, it is funny, and sad at the same time, that giving up soccer so clearly represents a clear end to a certain part of my life. A certain part which was largely carefree, oblivious, and unrepentant. That "me" never wanted to take over the world or embodied any serious ambitions because I didn't know the world enough, nor cared to know it enough. I was just a kid. 

Recently, I had a random dream where I was back playing soccer on the JV team, yet I knew of the trauma and changes that would soon come. It took place during a game, and during the latter stages of it, our team draws a penalty kick and I'm asked to take it. The dream then momentarily becomes a montage of friends long gone and early sexual experiences, I assume this was supposed to be going through my head as I place the ball and approach the kick during "the game". Eventually, this dream then snaps back to me standing mere yards in front of the opposing goalie, and after standing there for what feels like eternity, my dream-self mutters "Carly" (one of my friends who would pass away during my sophomore year) out loud, before blasting the  ball into the lower right-hand corner of the net. There's no celebration with teammates however right after, nor is there anyone else on the pitch; the second I score, it's just me out there as everyone has magically disappeared. The dream more or less ends with me sauntering off the field, as I think even my dream-self knows this moment is complete bullshit. My alarm clock wakes me shortly after, and my non-dream, actual real self starts my day as normal. I choose not to really think about it much, because to conflate the pre- and post-soccer self into some feelgood nonsense seems almost like another tragedy on its own. Since that time and through today, I may dedicate things to those who have moved on, but not then. That version of me I want encapsulated and sheltered from the ills of the world and the now-realized faults of my current being. He was free, and I don't want anybody or anything to touch him. I don't want to burden him with loss, heartache, regret...anything. Let these things be the cross I bear today; I want to leave him be.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Madness Continues

There have been more eloquent and erudite persons than I who have spoken and/or written at length about the polarization of our political and social climate, thanks in part to the rise of cable news networks, increased influence of interest groups, etc. I can attempt to rehash those points, but I won't, as I would only serve to boil them down to a tasteless mush of vague anger considering the steaming pile of fetid bullshit I've read over the past few minutes. Hey, at least I can admit the times when my mind isn't exactly as clear and astute as desired.

It's probably of no surprise that after the reelection of ZOMG PRESIDENT MULLAH BLACKENSTEIN FROM KENYA, the cantankerous, bed-wetting assholes of the far right became even more delirious. After all, Dick Morris and other retards at Fox News were all but promising a Romney landslide just mere days prior. LANDSLIDE! Yeah! Fuck that pussy Nate Silver using math and shit to come up with a "predictive model", whatever liberal and homosexual thing that must be, that ended up almost being 100% accurate. GOD! GUNS! AMERICA! Well, that dust settled a long time ago, and being the sensible people they are, they've clearly decided to reject the plain reality that they've lost not only the election, but more importantly the culture war, and just go off the derrrp end for once and all.

Recently, Family Research Council senior asshole, erm, excuse me, "fellow" Pat Fagan shit his pants over a very old Supreme Court ruling which overturned a Massachusetts law once banning the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people. 

It’s not the contraception, everybody thinks it’s about contraception, but what this court case said was young people have the right to engage in sex outside of marriage. Society never gave young people that right, functioning societies don’t do that, they stop it, they punish it, they corral people, they shame people, they do whatever. The institution for the expression of sexuality is marriage and all societies always shepherded young people there, what the Supreme Court said was forget that shepherding, you can’t block that, that’s not to be done.

 I'll give you a few minutes to try and interpret that meandering block of goosefuckery, and if you can manage to read it more than once without having to fight a strong urge to start gnawing your own arm off, you're a better person than I. I'm used to seeing religious zealots of all kinds try, and ultimately fail, to explain their own morality as a necessity to be accepted by everyone, but to bring up a case about access to contraception from 1972 and argue against it so vehemently in the year 2013 only tells me this belligerent jackass must be just BRIMMING with other fantastic Puritan-esque views on sexuality. I'm sure he must be a blast to hang out with; perhaps we can get together and bitch about the heathen state of affairs in popular television, and maybe order some Shirley Temples at a bar and make impish conjectures about the OB/GYN bills of passing females. Deep down, it probably bothers him women are allowed to vote, drive, and all that "modern" stuff.

Of course, you must know in their impotent rage, maniacal conservatives would also attack gay people too, because, well, that's what they do. Dontchaknow, every time two consenting adults do something in the privacy of their own home, it affects EVERYBODY?? When my two gay neighbors have sex, the stock market crashes, my dog dies, and my car immediately bursts into flames. Sex between a man and a woman, however, when it's only for the purpose of procreation of course, saves cancerous kittens worldwide. Or something.

Some radio harpy Linda Harvey decided to throw her hat into the "let's shit on gays" ring with this deliciously batshit rant.

"I can’t tell you how many sad tales I’ve heard from people who’ve seen the destructive effects of homosexual behavior in the life of a son, a daughter, a brother or a sister. The first battleground of ideas is one’s own mind. We need to equip our kids to stand firm in their convictions and know how to defend them."

"Equip our kids" with what, exactly? Is there anti-gay weaponry out on the market I'm unaware of? Claymores that blow the homo out of you? An electromagnetic pulse gun that can stop any buttsex happening within a five mile radius? What in the fucking hell are you talking about? I understand as a radio host, you sort of have to fill the air time with words, but it helps when said words actually make sense. Seriously. Try that sometime.

And, actually using slavery to try and force a hamfisted analogy into whatever "let's protect the kids from them damn gays" revolt you're leading is utterly beyond comprehension. But, hey, maybe that's her thing; using historical struggles and heinous events to try and build gravitas around whatever hackneyed or utterly bogus conquest she goes on in daily life. "Much like how the roughly 1,000,000 who died at Treblinka deserved a better fate, I deserve a free macchiato refill at Starbucks!" "I can't believe Elizabeth Hasslebeck might be leaving The View! We can't let 8,000 more Bosnians be marched through the woods and endure another Srebrenica Massacre!!'

Good grief. Take a Xanax and fuck off, lady.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Foodie Orgasms

I like food. Good food. And, I especially love great food. I like to think I have a diverse palette, and a nearly unbounded willingness to try new things. I'll even admit to sometimes talking for a little too long about a new restaurant or particular cuisine I tried recently to some poor, nice-because-s/he-has-to-be coworker around the water cooler.

Yet, if I see another up close, soft focus picture of a plate of food on Instagram, I will stick my head into a gas oven.

I fully understand and accept that at its core, social media's raison d'ĂȘtre is to serve as a vehicle for everyone's innate narcissism and create circle jerks over how awesome someone is, and I'm just as guilty of this in my own ways, but shit is now getting just straight silly. My generation's reliance on the internet as a means to carve out a certain niche for themselves only results in literally NOTHING unique, or particularly idiosyncratic, as millions shout over one another creating an echo chamber of oblique, chaotic uniformity. Like, for instance, the hundreds pictures uploaded somewhere of pork dumplings in steamer baskets in the amount of time it took me to pick my nose just now. Wow, you like dim sum. What a fearless culinary trailblazer and precious snowflake you are.

All that said, the foodie craze, which has long been brewing for over a decade now, is not a bad thing. At all. The internet in general homogenizes certain fringes into the mainstream, thus opening the eyes of the masses to certain "alternatives" in anything from news coverage, music, medicine (not that the anti-vaccine crowd and hypocondriacs feverishly diagnosing themselves off of WebMD is an exemplary footnote to the wonders of humankind. We sure love to ignore professionals because "I read this thing once off a webpage..."), and of course food, just to name a few. I could easily write a more long-winded post on our food production in this country, but I'll eschew that in favor of simply saying this; it is unquestionably a GOOD thing we, as a general society, take more interest in what we put in our bodies, and how it gets to our plate in the first place. I can easily wax poetic on sustainable methods in agriculture and fishing, the importance of seasonality, organic foods, all that. These are all things absolutely worth the awareness and attention paid to them.

But, again, while I'm happy you may be making more of an effort to eat healthier and expand your diet, I don't really care to see it every fucking time you post an update to one of your feeds on the goddamn 'net. Really, it's charming that by Wednesday night you've already shown us your eighth meal of the week in pictoral form including a blurb of the ingredients, because, let's face it, absolutely no one on this earth honestly had any fucking goddamn idea that you can put bean sprouts in your pho. Fascinating! What next, are you going to tell me in excruciating detail that tomorrow night's ceviche has seafood in it? And it's marinated in a citrus juice such as, say, lemon? GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!

Jesus. Do enjoy your food and try as much as you can. But, if you get the urge to whip out your phone the second the server puts the plate down on your table, please shove it firmly up your ass instead. The ensuing picture you upload on Instagram of your colon I will find light years more interesting.