March 2010 Archives

holy holy holy shit

I just added four great new Stupid Church Signs to my museum. Seriously, what is it with these people and apostrophes?

another reason i want roethlisberger gone

The NFL draft is next month, and I should be reading up on the prospects who are visiting the Steelers. Instead, I'm boning up on criminal forensics and whether the prosecution dropping their request for a sample of Ben's DNA means they have an ironclad case or none at all.

This isn't fun, and it isn't fandom. This is CSI: Pittsburgh.

let's go hatin' now

I am hardly alone in this sentiment, but I love the web. I want to marry the web and bear its children. Its adoption allowed me to move away from Redmond into the (relative) country 90 minutes away. In related news, web sales and cheap shipping allow me stay home instead of driving 45 minutes to the nearest mall. Two weeks ago, I set a personal record: two UPS trucks and two FedEx trucks arrived in one day. I am the Sasquatch of carbon footprints.

Yet like most spouses, the web comes with relatives I would just as soon not have in my life. If Metamuville ever loses broadband, I will mourn, but not for these miscreants.

The wite soopremesist—In real life, it's relatively easy for the discriminating white guy to avoid bigots. They have their circle, I have mine, and if they ever entered the latter and started shouting misspelled epithets, they would be pounded into grease stains.  This is understood by all, so a detente exists. Not so on the web, where, vastly emboldened by anonymity, they delight in spewing bile into every crevice. Because of them, I wouldn't much mind if web anonymity disappeared altogether. How about a full name and Mapquest link for every commenter, web gods?

The attention whore—This is the guy who demands your attention. You. Yours. If you're interested in, say, Steelers discussion and politely ignore a guy's implications that he'll commit suicide, he demands to know why you're ignoring him. You say you're not interested in anything that's not Steelers news. You are accused of snobbery. And as if to prove the point, you leave the discussion.

DYM154000_1_1.JPG The labelmaker—This is the guy who's incapable of constructing an argument, so he labels yours. You're a liberal. You probably voted for Bush twice. You're a fanboy. You're a hater. You're stupid. Except this person will invariably and without exception spell it "your." But hey, I'm not not judging.

The laugh track—A close cousin of the labelmaker, he too is incapable of constructing an argument, so he merely deems yours amusing. "Your so pathetic, you make me laugh," he'll write before vomiting bile. He is a curiously unmirthful fellow, despite his earlier claim.

The beaten horse corpse—Let me put it this way: if you're still making tampon jokes about the iPad, this is you.

The goose-stepping parrot—This person simply repeats what he's heard elsewhere. You can tell from the phrasing, which you see repeated a lot, despite its underlying untruth. Obama is a "socialist" "Muslim" even though he demonstrably isn't either. Clinton's troubles were "about a blowjob," even though they were about perjury. Bush's wars are "illegal," whatever that means in warfare. iPads are "just a big iTouch." Avatar "has narrative merits." (Okay, I made the last one up. No one actually says that.)

Rip Van Winkle—Confronted with an unimpeachable argument, this garden tool dismisses it as "tired" instead of refuting it.

"Um, what about the part of the second amendment that mentions gun rights in the context of a 'well-regulated militia?'"

"Oh god. Not THAT tired old argument. Get a new one."

The supreme arbiter of the universe—This guy claims veto power over reality itself. "A REAL Republican wouldn't vote for this bill," he'll write. As soon as I get to the word "REAL" in all caps, my brain switches off. When in Rome.

The crouching tiger—This is the Stank troll who reads three sentences before firing off an accusatory email, sending me back to my post to see if I really endorsed rapists.

"Sigh. You just don't understand, John."—When your arguments fail to persuade me, there are three possible interpretations: 1) your argument failed, 2) reasonable people can reasonably disagree, or...

The consensus builder—"God your stupid. Everyone knows Obama is the worst presdent we've ever had," he skillfully argues. "ROTFL so true! I cant beleive how stupid some people are!" some douche-nozzle invariably replies. The public mutual masturbation that ensues is unbefitting the Internet's standards of taste and decorum.

The absolutist—He speaks for everyone. "Everyone knows Bush stole the election," he'll say in lieu of evidence. "No one likes Chevy trucks," he declares. His apparent strategies: 1) to sneak what he wishes to be true into the short list of unassailable laws of nature, right between gravity and the speed of light, and 2) if someone falls outside the bounds of "everyone," well, just how freakishly stupid must that person be? Me, I'm neither everyone nor no one. Just like everyone never says.

seriously?

How on earth do you read yesterday's post and conclude that I'm a rapist-coddling misogynist? I shall now use smaller words, in the hopes that certain readers understand.

I said that even under the best of all possible circum—

Er, possibil—

Er, fact thingies, I dislike the guy and want him off my team. Best possible = he's innocent. One might suspect that I mean rape = the worst possible fact thingie. One might also suspect that, given that particular fact thingie, I would favor a far worse punishment. One might, but one didn't.

Tomorrow's post: the types of web surfers I hate most.

the devil went down to georgia

0305_ben_groupclub_ex_tmz_01.jpgI've had several requests for my thoughts on Ben Roethlisberger and his rape charges.

Short version: I want him gone. And among Steelers fans, I am not alone in that sentiment.

Long version: Yes, he's innocent until proven otherwise. But even assuming the best of all possible circumstances, my 28 year-old star quarterback, already being sued for rape in Nevada, saw fit to go bar-cruising for Georgia college girls, one of whom blew him in a unisex bathroom, then "hit her head." In other words, the best possible outcome is that my QB is a moron so drunk on hubris and entitlement, he put himself—and more importantly to me, his team—in this position.

And that's the Ben I know. I love his game, but god help me, he's a selfish twat. He's always milking injuries for attention. He's notorious in the Burgh for demanding special treatment and being a poor tipper. He can't compliment anyone without somehow insinuating himself. ("Santonio felt bad for dropping that first pass and then I said 'Don't worry, I'm coming back to you,' and then I did and he made a great catch just like I knew he would.") He famously wrecked his motorcycle while not wearing a helmet, despite his coach having asked him to wear one.

I find myself not exactly rushing to his defense. You will only hear "until proven guilty" come from my lips grudgingly, because in my book, he's already been convicted of being a gigantic prick. I'm finding that Steelers fans across the country feel similarly; Ben has built very little goodwill. Actually, that's a misnomer. We've wanted to love our future hall of famer. He's just been unlovable. How does a two-time Super Bowl winner build so little goodwill that he's called a "twat" and a "prick" in one short post?

Practice.

simply driving too fast

Suddenly I don't feel like such a tool.

rx for the dumpers

About Monday's post, a few readers observed a variation on "And yet women complain that they just can't find any nice guys out there."

In fairness, I haven't heard her say this. Possibly because she doesn't feel that way, possibly because she fears I would pimp-slap her.

But I can say this: the two women who've dumped me used the exact same sentence in their closing words. Word for word. Women, if you really want to mind-fuck a guy but good, here's a tip. On your way to the bars next to the state penitentiary, lay this one on him: "Thank you for treating me so wonderfully."

co-stars

I'm swamped this morning, so that means, yes, it's time for John Posts a Picture He Grabbed for Just Such an Emergency.

This photo of Stanley Tucci cracked me up.

6a00e551da4712883300e553ce3a1a8833-500wi.jpg

rx for the dumped

I've been friends with exes before, of course, but never with one who dumped me. Not until fairly recently. It is not the same.

Which is to say, it's not really a friendship. Other ex-ships are bereft of pretense and discomfort. It's what makes them special. This one, on the other hand, is beset with pretense and discomfort. Don't get me wrong; this is preferable to hating one another. It's just a sad legacy.

I had to work to get here, too. My onetime dumper (who I will not name, for reasons that will become clear) has been reintroduced into my life in phases.

Phase One - It's the Devil!
This is the initial encounter. Best dispensed with, like removing a Band Aid.

Phase Two - Really?
Now she's starting to loosen up a bit, and she tells you select bits about her life. You sadly note that none of the problems she mentions—career, housing, family, men, finances, lack of ability to pursue what she really wants to do—would even exist had she simply meant it when she said she loved you. Everything you had once hoped she would accomplish for herself remains just hope. Diminishing hope. You say nothing.

Phase Three - I don't care anymo-o-ore.

You begin to notice her exhibiting the same self-destructive behaviors that drove you nuts in the beforetime. But now you both have the luxury of it not being your problem. Where was that back when you needed it?

Phase Four - Incontinence
As a certain point, if you're lucky, the demise of your relationship shifts from tragedy to comedy. For me, it wasn't when she told me about the "asshole alcoholic" against whom she had to get a restraining order. It certainly wasn't when he brandished a knife, chased her, or ended up in jail. It wasn't even when I found out he'd done this all before, to another woman, and had served 18 months for violating that restraining order. No. That's not funny. You question your retarded ex's judgment, certainly, but it's not like you wish this upon her.

dip.jpg"He must be incredibly hot," you say.

"He's literally an underwear model," she replies. "How did you know?"

"Because people generally don't give ugly psychopaths second chances."

And then I found the preening photos of himself he'd posted online. And that's when I burst out laughing.

I erupted at the sight of him. Suddenly the ludicrousness of my history snapped into focus. "Oh. My. God. I can't believe I lost a single night's sleep wondering what I did wrong to lose her!" I laughed. Apparently she was looking for a knife-brandishing, uneducated, alcoholic, underwear-model ex-con.

What did I do wrong with her? Absolutely everything. I wasn't close, really. And thank Christ.

kind of creepy-hot

Before the Olympics are too far distant, allow me to make fun of the Canadian team's sweaters. Embarrassing enough that it looks like the sweater Colin Firth wore in Bridget Jones' Diary, but look closely at the the antlers. Including their placement.

2083978.jpg

maybe i'm amazing

Young Darcy is scalp-deep in grad school. By text she wailed weepy, plaintive noises at me. I remember that feeling. Grad school was certainly the most transforming period of my life, but my god, did I ever hate it when I was there.

And thus did I send Darcy a huge care package of gourmet treats.

"You are amazing," read the subsequent text from her. It felt weird.

And I realized, with a jolt, that this was the first time a woman had ever directed these words at me without drips of sarcasm.

no place like home

Someone gets shot at Ohio State and suddenly this is national news? WTF? We called those days "school days."

No, the real surprise to me is that Ohio State actually conducts performance evaluations of its employees.

the difference between men and women...

...is that women do this to one another virtually. It has its merits, but literal makes for better video.

I have watched this clip at least 20 times. I'm not proud. I'm just sayin.'

fit me for my strand of pearls

Barbara Bush famously stormed out of the theatre during Silence of the Lambs. "I didn't come to a movie to see people's skin being taken off," she remarked. Fair enough, but I remember thinking Poor woman is so out-of-touch that she doesn't see how freakin' COOL this movie is.

What goes around hath come around.

18 Best Pictures later, I find that I, too, have walked out on the winner. Not that The Hurt Locker offended or surprised me. It was more or less exactly what I expected, only boring. Around the fifth "tense" bomb-defusing scene, I found my mind wandering. When my mind drifted back, it was not kind to Hurt Locker. Jesus fucking christ, this is monotonous. Haven't I already seen this scene three or five times? I realized that I didn't care if the characters blew up. I realized that I didn't know the characters' names. I thought of them in terms of their archetype. That's the Guy Who Might Snap. That's the Trailer Trash. That's the Noble Black Man. That's the Guy On His Last Tour of Duty. I wonder what Dex is doing in her crate right now? Fuck this. I'm bored.

So I left with 20 minutes or so to go.

As much as I'd like to chalk this up to my barbarabushification, I suspect something far less amusing is at work. That Kathryn Bigelow's film would win, and she for Best Director, was a fait accompli ages ago. What a story! The first female director to win those honors! Against her ex-husband, even!

And indeed it is a great story. I just wish it seemed more earned and less ordained by people who very much like to congratulate themselves for setting the trends of proper thought. (Now that's getting the most possible mileage out of their high school diplomas.) Indeed, the collective praise for the film seemingly amounts to little more than "It was directed by a woman."

But maybe, I thought, Maybe I'm just reading too much into this.

chronic_masturbator_tshirt-p235418084484278979qq9u_400.jpgAnd then it came time for the Best Director award. Expecting to see last year's winner, Danny Boyle, be the presenter as custom dictates, I moaned when the most self-congratulatory windbag of them all trotted out instead. Tonight, Barbara Steisand was delighted to tell us, the first woman director might win. (Pause so you can applaud) Or the first black director, which would be delightful too. (Pause so you can applaud) And when she opened the fateful envelope, she didn't merely announce the name. "Well, The Time Is Now," she intoned in bold title caps, thereby ensuring her own place in history as this moment is reshown. And then she announced what we already knew with certainty to such a degree, Steisand and not Boyle was presenting. Barbara Steisand, the Rosa Parks of female directors, slighted for Yentl because of her vagina and not because it sucked bilgewater.

Yentl, that is.

Enjoy your circle-jerk, Academy. You earned it. Me, I'm going to go watch Lost in Translation, by the vastly more deserving Sophia Coppola.

But one question remains: who'd you pay to take your GED test?

silence stew

Over 90% of the responses to yesterday's question about handling bigotry-blurters indicated that yes, it also happens to people whose haircuts Allie favors. I didn't really see a pattern geographically. The retorts ran the gamut from "stewing in silence" (you) to "telling the stranger you hope he dies really, really soon" (me). Amazingly, I've never been punched in the face in this particular circumstance.

I didn't employ this the other night, however, as he was a volunteer and I was there in an official capacity. I felt like my hands were rhetorically tied. It was very much like when a girlfriend's parents spew bigoted crap.

"Honey, do I have your permission to—"

"No."

"But what if I only—"

"Fuck no."

again

The dog park meeting last night hadn't broken up for three seconds before some Old White Fart with an Overdeveloped Sense of Entitlement (OWFOSE) had me trapped in a conversation, literally pinning me to the wall by blocking my escape. I'd never met him before, but man, did he ever have opinions he thought the guy who contributes nothing but wisecracks should hear. Racist opinions.

How, you might reasonably ask, do racist remarks rear their head in a community meeting about dog parks, in a five-minute conversation between strangers?

Allie says it never happens to her, which given how hermetically sealed my life is (for JUST this sort of reason, I might add), surprises me. "It must be the way you look," cheerfully offers the #1 critic of my shaved head.

I'm not buying it. So I throw it open to you. (Note to Mike and d'Andre: bigoted things I say don't count.)

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