I have my alarm set to wake me up to NPR, so usually I arise to the dulcet tones of some public radio smoothie telling me about the volatile political situation in central Andorra, or Joanne Silberner* updating me about new gonorrhea treatments. This morning, though, I was jarred awake by a special editorial supporting "intelligent design"...by WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY.
Jesus, NPR! Don't you read Town Hall? You're supposed to be a hotbed of crazy liberals! Don't make me listen to Bill "Ahhhhr" Buckley misuse three-dollar words in an attempt to tell a joke that isn't funny! That's like being woken up by a cranky elderly relative farting in your face.
*: Please note: last night, I was unable to remember the name of one of my friends. I am frequently unable to remember the name of people I have met even on multiple occasions. I would probably forget my father's name if it wasn't the same as mine. But I remembered the name of NPR's chief medical science correspondent without even trying.
1. Cute neologisms for "asshole", like "asshat" and "ass clown". I don't know where these came from, though given their rapid proliferation on the internet, my guess is: geeks), but they get on my nerves. At first I thought they were meant to be a less offensive sort of faux-cursing, but you know what? The operant offense in "asshole" doesn't come from "hole"; it comes from "ass". This is why the phrase "your father is digging a hole in the back yard" is less offensive than the phrase "your father can stick it up his ass sideways". We already have a perfectly serviceable ass-related term for a jerk, and that word is "asshole". "Asshat" and "ass clown" not only replace a much better, stronger, and more offensive word, they're not only trendy and cute, but they also don't make any sense. "Asshole" is effective because it compares the recipient to a small and generally offensive body part from which shit emanates. "Ass clown" is not effective because it makes no sense. What is an ass clown? A clown whose repertoire centers around his ass? A clown that comes out of someone's ass? A clown who looks like an ass? "Asshat" has similar problems. I assume its origin is in the fine threat to make someone "wear his ass for a hat" -- that's terrific, vivid and nasty-sounding. But "asshat" as an insulting term doesn't work if that's its origin, because its implication is "person who has received a brutal smackdown", while its common use is "jerk". I think it's used because it sounds like "asshole", but it's just not as effective, damn it. More to the point, these are most often used, I think, by people who think the words "hat" and "clown" are just inherently funny, but they're wrong. Only the words "robot" and "monkey" are inherently funny.
2. The claim, either personally or societally, that certain things are inevitable and nothing can be done about them, when in fact they are things that happen because they are made to happen. The most common manifestation of this is in economics, where laissez-faire wonks defend this or that heinous social consequence by saying "well, that's just the market at work, there's nothing you can do about it", when, in fact, 'the market' is not some magical preternatural thing that long predated the arrival of humanity on earth and will be here long after the sun sputters out. 'The market' is a thing, made by people, which operates according to decisions that people conceive and execute, and while one can always make the argument that one shouldn't interfere with its workings (although, of course, it doesn't run without people), one can't make the argument that one can't. The personal version of this is a variant of the statement "well, that's just the way I am, and you can't change the way people are". Although everyone's been guilty of this, myself included, it's nonsense. Of course you can change the way you are. People do it all the time. If you don't want to change the way you are, fine; but don't claim it's impossible.
3. White women especially, but anyone generally, wearing fuzzy blue Kangols. Seriously, cut that shit out.
Good to know.
If I were a guy who has to go to work after providing a banal recap of his weekend, I'd...
Tinker with a script!
Watch TV that skipped!
Telephone my girlfriend and get all relationshipped!
Play Catan 'til five!
Almost not survive!
Lose all fuckin' four games, wonder why I'm still alive!
Hang out with some friends!
Eat some Mexican!
Wonder why my sports teams never seem to goddamn win!
And how, musically put, was your weekend?