I have been watching this on HBO lately, because I love history like Tits and White Boy Bob love science. And after watching three of the seven episodes, I would like to say this to John Adams, Abigail Adams, George Washington and anyone and everyone who suffered and sacrificed to obtain independence from foreign powers and endeavored to create as fair and free a new nation as possible:
I am sorry.
I am sorry that we have become complacent over the course of 230-odd years since the revolution, the same way you became complacent after nearly 200 years of British settlement in the New World. Only we have your example to help us see and understand, and you and your contemporaries did not. So, when your friends said, "Our government wouldn't do something like that to us!" it was a remote possibility; we should know better.
I am sorry I meekly remove my shoes at the airport. I am sorry I continue to buy gas and pay taxes while oil companies continue to reap huge profits while receiving tax breaks and government handouts. I am sorry that people hold mani/pedi's more dear than freedom.
I am sorry that people can watch Dick Cheney snarl, "So?" in response to public opinion without us erupting into protests. I am sorry that our people are dying on foreign soil for a war based on a lie. I am sorry that a permanent underclass exists. I am sorry that liars and cheats and scoundrels are not only free from prosecution, but bailed out by our burdened taxpayers.
I am sorry our nation is on the decline and we have sold it out to foreign interests like the Chinese and various Arab and European nations, after you tried so very hard to prevent that from happening.
Also, I'm sorry that Benjamin Franklin was such an asshole, yet somehow his fat face got plunked on the $100 bill and you got diddly squat.
I have no control over upon whom I develop a crush. It's like a hormonal soup arises in my brain, and whatever male I happen to be looking at becomes the object of my fawning desire.
At least, I'd like to tell myself that, to explain away the fact I become infatuated with men that most other women do not find irresistible, yet only coolly admire the male beauty of other celebrities those other women drool over. But there is a method to my madness, and it stems either from Dilf or Thomas Dolby.
Dilf's business trip is ending none too soon, I think. Maybe we can watch a little Hot Fuzz together... I have it DVR'd. Rrrrrowrrr.
Another odd thing about my crushes: I have no real commitment to them. Above and beyond having zero interest in cheating on Dilf, when I read (as I did today) that my crush is married, I don't think to myself, "I must find Mrs. Pegg and kill her so I can add Simon to my collection of geeky lovers! Bwah Ha Ha Ha!"
Instead, I think, "Awww, how sweet. I hope they're really happy together."
I'm just not normal. Or too normal. I can't decide which.
I was going to write about something else today, but I forget what it was. Instead, I will tell you about the mysterious Fruh CTK and Darth Roker keep talking about.
<--------(incidentally, that's the picture that shows up first when you Google "Jack Fruh." Unless you don't filter out the filthiest images, in which case I don't know what you'll see.)
I can't tell you much about the man he is now, because I didn't keep in touch with him and he didn't show up to the reunion. However, I was acquainted with the adolescent Fruh, as he was a friend of mine.
I liked the Fruh. He was personable and talkative, and amusing even when he didn't intend to be. But CTK and Roker are smirking, I think, about his lack of tact and how it impacted me one autumn day in 1980-something.
As I said, I was friends with the Fruh, talked often with him both inside and out of school and on the telephone, and happened to have a study hall with him one year. That was the year he wanted access to my locker partner, my best friend from junior high with whom I had been drifting apart from since I was a "brain" and she was a "popular slut." He wanted to ask said strumpet to the Homecoming dance, and enlisted my help.
Now, I was fond of the Fruh, as I said. He wasn't bad looking (though not part of the "in" crowd, nor what they would deem "cute"), he was fun to talk too, but I knew his invitation would be met with haughty disdain or worse. I told him she was already going to the dance with somebody else. I didn't know if this was true or not, but I didn't want him to face humiliating rejection.
The Fruh bounced back from this disappointing news admirably. "Well, what about you?" he asked me. "You wouldn't be bad to go to the dance with. You have nice manners."
I have never felt sexier in my entire life.
But the Fruh and I apparently held similar feelings toward one another; warm, friendly regard, with zero physical attraction. Not repulsion, certainly, just no ... hormonal urges. So I was neither hurt nor offended. I just hope he grew out of his tendency toward unfiltered honesty.
I'm sure CTK and Roker have much more exciting Fruh stories to tell. I just remember this one vividly.
I could talk about something important, but that would upset me, so I won't. At least right now.
Instead, I came up with a question for the ages this morning at breakfast: why are smart people called "eggheads?"
Google wasn't particularly helpful, offering me only this article about intellectuals vs. anti-intellectuals in general, but it does tell me that, "Egghead was defined in a 1908 letter from the midwestern poet Carl Sandburg as 'slang here for editorial writers.'" Also "high brow" and "low brow" are related concepts, all three terms (egghead included) seemingly based on the dubious assumption that hairy people are stupid and bald people are intelligent.
However, I did find this video on YouTube, which made me feel better about the whole thing:
It didn't explain anything, but it made me feel better nonetheless.
(We also celebrated the institution of the Eucharist, which took place during a Seder. Tell me again why Christians and Jews don't get along again? We've got a lot in common. Namely Jesus. As I was saying...) We got on one of three buses filled with Bolingbrook's elderly and Phillipino populations, and set off on our adventure. (Did you know I used to be a news reporter on Bolingbrook Community Television in the early 1990's? Well, I did. I used to cover the Village Board Meetings. This one time, a guy was really mad about the weeds in his property's easement, and he brought a huge smelly bug-infested haystack of them to the meeting and threw it at the mayor and the village trustees. And this other time... oh, wait, where was I...)
Yeah, we went to a bunch of neighboring churches, and some of them were pretty wacky. Especially the one in Naperville who put what I thought was a Belgian waffle but what NDP (Not Double Post) thought was a pita and what Double Post thought was a carnival elephant ear under a glass dome with a bunch of grapes. We're not quite sure what that was all about.
The mood was supposed to be somber, but on the way back we didn't quite carry that out. The Phillipino ladies kept shouting out, "Where's our cheese to go with the bread?" and "Let's stop for pizza and Diet Coke!" while DP, NDP and I discussed Charlton Heston's "Ten Commandments" movie, acting out our favorite overwrought scenes with delight.
Then NDP announced, "The only thing missing from 'The Ten Commandments' is Kirk Douglas in a loin cloth," at which point DP started impersonating Mr. Douglas with hilarious results.
I've Got My Mind on My Freedom and My Freedom on My Mind
I've been watching this on HBO, I watched this last night, and I'll watch this Saturday night. They all have something in common.
Freedom, people. And while two of those fights are long past (but pay attention to the John Adams stuff -- it's eerily applicable to today. We even have a jerk named George to fight against!), we can still fight for our energy freedom.
Maybe some people want to be pampered poodles and submit to the current crop of overlords as long as their trek to the nail salon remains unencumbered, but not me. I want to throw off the yoke of oppression and take my life back. Who's with me?
How are we gonna do it? I haven't figured that out yet.
I can't believe certain people would choose to hit me while I'm already down. For shame. I would say "no cupcakes for you," but that would be an idle threat because I haven't baked any cupcakes lately. I can only say, "no vanilla pudding for you." I hope that smarts.
Anyhoo, I must embark on an ambitious spring cleaning plan. I checked into the cost of renting a dumpster to rid myself of all material possessions; I'm feeling rather zen. However, I decided against it. One can't run away from one's problems in a dumpster, even if it does have wheels.
So, remember to keep sparkling while I'm gone! You are all the apples of my eye!
I've been driving myself crazy worrying about things like this and this. I know, old news, right?
I'm just wondering if you get to pick with whom you're detained. I don't want to be stuck with some PETA person spouting nonsense about animals all day, or one of those crazy people who believe we're all under the control of a reptilian master race wearing human suits. I better be stuck next to someone with a sense of humor, or I'm done for.
Anyways, as I board the train to crazy town, please enjoy the following banana-themed song:
I wanted to pit two Bad Music giants against one another -- specifically in the "soundtrack" category. I was wondering which you thought was the worst. However, your votes may be weighted by the appearance of a very special extra music video I found, complete with creepy clown and a young, unsullied Fergie. Try to remain as unbiased as possible as you vote between our two candidates.
Phil Collins, Against All Odds:
and Lionel Ritchie, Say You, Say Me (for SYSM):
Also, please enjoy this Fergalicious tribute to Lionel Ritchie:
Everyone's talking about the newest juicy sex scandal. I'm sure Mr. New York's political rivals are rejoicing, because they feel the morally-upright middle class citizen's brigade will be appalled at his infidelity. And, likely kinkiness.
But that's not what I heard from the morally-upright middle class citizen's brigade in my neighborhood, whom I call "Mom and Dad."
My mother is not appalled that the governor would hire a hooker, and she's not even interested in what he did with her. This isn't news anymore.
What incenses her is that he had the spare $4,500 to throw around without a thought. To her, this demonstrates a clear divide between our elected officials and us. These are not our representatives. They have no clue how we live, and what concerns us.
November's pretty bad, too, when all the leaves fall off the trees in a brown lumpy mass, and sunlight becomes scarce. But November seems to be more mopey and defensively apologetic for its dullness, as if it's saying, "I'm so sorry to disappoint you, but life isn't one long party. Fine, pretend it's December already and start decorating for Christmas. See if I care!"
But March is sadistic. It says (cue Grieg), "Come out and raise your heads, little flowers! Time to wake up, Mighty Oak! Let your buds unfurl! It's safe to come back, little birdies! That's right... c'mere mommy robin... PSYCH! Snowstorm, motherfuckers!(Cue Grieg again) AhhHAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAAHAAAA! Oh, are you cold little birdie? Too bad, so sad! AhHaHaHaaaaaaa!"
And I don't picture him with a deep, throaty, evil scientist "BwaHaHaHa" laugh, either; no, he's got a high-pitched maniacal psychopath's laugh.
You know he's laughing when you leave the house in the morning wearing your spring jacket because it's 60 degrees and sunny, only to emerge from work to find the temperature has dropped 30 degrees and you're being pelted with icy sleet.
I'm not cheerful and I can't even fake it, so let's dispense with the bullshit.
That's a picture of ÜberYounger, taking after mommy.
I don't want to pretend not to be crabby, I don't want to feel better, I don't want to talk about my "feelings."
I just want to weather the shitstorm life is raining upon not just me, but all of us. I'm not having personal problems. I'm tired of "The Man" and "The Turkeys" getting me down.
I'm not really down, though. I'm pissy and angry and itching for a fight. This, from Nick, only intensifies my mood. They're killing me slowly and I don't even get to enjoy the narcotic effects? Now I'm really mad.
I was going to complain about the ISATs, but I'll wait until next year when Elder actually takes them.
I was also going to complain about this, but it looks like it's not going to happen anyways.
So, I'll complain about this:
When people argue for deregulation, they often claim that government is inefficient compared to the wonderfully proficient world of private enterprise.
Without even addressing whether or not the government (also known as "the people") can run things well or not, I can't swallow the premise that businesses are well-run. At least the big ones. Because the bigger the company, and the more layers of (mis)management, and the greater the number of what I will call "meeting people."
"Meeting people" are also "phone call people." They are people who like to give the appearance of working, while not actually doing anything. In fact, they aren't quite sure what they should be doing, or if they could do it even if they knew what it was. This is quite terrifying to them, because they really enjoy their salaries (which tend to be mystifyingly high, because they all have MBA's, which they got to avoid getting a job straight out of college in the first place), and don't want to lose them by being exposed as a total fraud.
So, put into positions of authority by virtue of personal connections and the faulty assumption that they learned something of substance in business school, they gather their workers into meetings, trying to glean from the employees what the hell it is that their department does.
But, try as they might, they can't stay in meetings all day. So they call people. Anyone they can: vendors, consultants, underlings, whatever. This serves a similar purpose of a meeting, and has the added benefit of allowing them to avoid talking to anyone who might ask them a difficult question or require some work from them, which of course they don't know how to do.
The rest of their time is spent golfing or going to conferences.
These are the people running our corporations, and thus, our government. So maybe deregulation doesn't matter after all.
No matter what, "meeting people" will be in charge.
Pop music is filled with people singing about their troubles. An entire genre, The Blues, is dedicated to it. Pain is a powerful emotion, and powerful emotions bring out the art, right?
For the most part, I commiserate with these poor souls. Your baby done left you? Yeah, rejection sucks. You're being sent to fight and die in a war you don't believe in? Let it out, brother. Want to keep your blue suede shoes free of debris? That's understandable.
However, there are those complainers out there who should just shut the fuck up because they really don't have cause to complain. I remember discussing one such songwriter before, but I didn't have YouTube then.
So, in order to complain about his complaining, I present Andrew Gold, in all his whiny glory:
I went grocery shopping with the girls yesterday. Usually I make a list and send Dilf to the store, because as Nick will tell you, I am not well-behaved in the store. But, since I had my children with me, I refrained from using any profanity or flipping off the produce displays.
I hate the grocery store because food manufacturers and chemical companies are trying to kill me. And they don't even have the decency to hire an assassin and pay for it themselves; they want me to pay for it. That makes them worse than the mafia.
I don't know for sure they're trying to kill me, I just have a strong inkling. They list the poisons on the label, because they know very well I have no idea which chemical compounds do what. It's not like I can go to the grocery store with a consortium of chemists and lawyers to help me determine what's safe to eat and what will liquify my innards.
I wish I did have someone who could read labels for me and tell me, "Don't buy that. It's basically bleach with cherry flavoring added." But no.
Even when you buy produce, you don't know what was sprayed on it or if it was exposed to some biochemical agent. Even organics can be affected by neighboring non-organic farms. And that's if you can afford organics.
I wanted to buy fruit for my children. It's difficult at this time of year, because the citrus season is ending and the spring fruits aren't in season yet. So, we got some bananas. "Look!" cried Elder, sighting a display, "Apples that taste like grapes!" What in holy hell is that??? Then, I went to the canned fruit, looking for some packed in juice. I know there used to be tons of options, but now they're all packed in "heavy syrup." Heavy Syrup! I am not paying you motherfuckers for sugar -- nay, not even sugar, CORN SYRUP! I wish I could shove one of those cans up someone's ass, sideways.
I didn't watch "The Brady Bunch" much when I was growing up, because it was in reruns when I was little, and those reruns reran on a local UHF station (if you don't know what that means, kids, ask your parents. Or grandparents.), and since my mom didn't want an unsightly antenna on top of our roof, we only got the VHF channels on our TV.
However, it is impossible to escape pop culture in our society, so I am familiar with the show and its famous theme song. And it bothers me. Both the show and the song.
First off, Carol is "a lovely lady" and Mike is "Mr. Brady" in the song, as if she didn't have a name until she married him. Now, I'm not invested in keeping or not keeping names; frankly, it didn't matter much to me one way or the other. I use Dilf's last name, although I never did change it at the Social Security office, but that's due to my twin hatreds of paperwork and authority figures. But for some reason, her anonymity until Brady swept in to give her an identity again bothers me.
But the stupid name thing is nothing compared to the fact that both of these people had three children with their previous spouses, so they must've been married for quite some time to these people who are never spoken of again, as if they never existed. Nobody missed his mom or her dad? Do we even know what happened to them?
Also, what does Mrs. Brady do? As I said, I wasn't a fan of the show, so maybe they explain at some point. But Alice seems to do everything but give Mr. Brady a blow job. What does she do? She must've had a job to support three girls on her own, prior to her rescue by Mike Brady.
Cuntzilla is enraging me lately because she is ruining my righteous indignation against the evil credit card companies and mortgage industry and all the rest of the corporate giants keeping us in indentured servitude, like the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath were permanently indebted to The Company Store.
Because for every person falling under the wheels of the oppressive economy right now for reasons they can't control, like a health crisis or job layoff, there is a Cuntzilla who richly deserves, yet doesn't learn from, her predicament.
My brother and Cuntzilla declared bankruptcy earlier this year, allowing them to keep their house. They were buried under credit card debt, and even now pay more to their creditors per month under their bankruptcy settlement than Dilf and I ever owed in minimum payments when our credit cards were at their highest. And we felt nervous about it, and took steps to fix the situation.
But Cuntzilla? She is acting as if the bankruptcy awarded her a get out of jail free card. And my dumbass brother follows right along.
They're back to going out to dinner, getting beauty treatments (well, Cuntzilla is. Not that it helps much), going on trips -- then getting socked with overdraft fees when they need new tires for their car, because they need to pay cash for everything now. Never mind if it's actually in the account or not.
But worse than that is Cuntzilla's willingness to lie in order to get the luxuries she feels she so richly deserved. Like, trying to con my mother into buying my niece expensive shoes she doesn't need, claiming "her feet are too wide to fit into normal shoes." Because her current dress shoes, Cuntzilla feels, don't do the dresses my mom bought her justice.
Gee, thanks for the dresses, lady. Now make with the shoes. But not those cheap-o shoes your trashy daughter (me) makes do with; I want the good stuff. My friends look at that sort of thing. As do I. Did you notice my Kate Spade purse? What, no??? Everyone else does. Peasant.
Anyway, it's not that I or everyone else in the world doesn't like stuff. Even if you think you don't like stuff, you like stuff. Even St. Francis of Assisi liked animals and Nativity scenes. But what ticks me off is when you expect to have things handed to you, rather than work for them. Give something to the world, get something back from the world -- it's that simple.
It's difficult to tell whether complaints or ideas won out in yesterday's voting, with write-in candidates for "boobs" and Satan's nitpicky whining confusing things. But I think complaining won by a hair. If not, feel free to complain. I certainly am.
Americans seem to think being spoiled is not only cute, but a life goal.
From shriveled human husk Hugh Hefner parading his pampered pets on television, to "Bridezillas" shrieking and stomping about their "perfect" weddings, to the ridiculous excesses on Cribs, we can look upon the faces of decadence in either horror or admiration. Guess which one most people pick?
It's no secret that many people focus not on what they bring to the world, but what they can take from it. To quote the little plastic soldier in "Toy Story," "Where is your honor, dirt bag?"
This brings me to the personal source of my complaint, Cuntzilla.
I'm tired right now... I'll explain in the morning.