I was having dinner with a couple of friends a while back. Neither one of them are American – one is from Germany, and the other, New Zealand. Someone brings up the topic of how hated Americans are all over the world, and how arrogant they find it that “Americans think they have the best country in the world”.
My only thought: so what? If I blurted “I think Heinz makes the best ketchup in the world”, would you be offended? It’s only a person’s opinion, for chrissakes. So some guy prattles on “I think Switzerland is the best country in the world”, and the most I feel is “Good for you, pal. I’m glad you’re happy where you’re at”. I wouldn’t be compelled to go off on some tangent about “You Swiss people, with your banks and your watches and your big, bad Alps, you think you’re just so ducky, don’t you?”
I think America is the best country in the world, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that I think that every other country in the world sucks; neither does it suggest that I view the people, customs, or culture of any other place with contempt. It just means I like it here. Is that so bad?
If you think this is the talk of some ignorant rube, consider that, of all the cities I’ve lived in, Berlin is my favorite. The best sunset I’ve ever seen was from the beach in Biblione, Italy. The funnest summer I can remember was in Saragosa, Spain. I’m looking forward to upcoming trips to Mexico and Northern Ireland. I love the rest of the world a whole bunch. If I live to be older than the Queen Mum and Rose Kennedy combined, I won’t get to see as much of it as I’d like (and if that’s going to be the case, I should probably put myself on a waiting list for a new liver right now). But America is home.
For all of you out there who prefer Hunt’s ketchup, I beg your pardon if I have offended you. I know how some people can get about their condiments.
An irritated Journey fan (dude, take a pill. It was just one silly word!) writes to correct me on my improper identification of one of their trite crap-ballads in a post below. It seems the song is called "Who's Crying Now", not "Who's Sorry Now". I stand corrected and apologize for any misgivings that might have resulted from my mistake.
Which reminds me of a story. Once, while I was at school up in Humboldt, a friend and I were complying with county regulations that require that each and every resident smoke pot at least twice a day. So Dave and I toke our mandated dose, and "Don't Stop Retrieving" or whatever the song is called comes on the radio, and we look at each other. A minute or so into the song, Dave exclaims "Holy smoke! This is the deepest song I have ever heard in my entire life!", and I agree with him. I suppose this might be construed as the perfect argument against the legalization of marijuana: it makes you think Journey is a really good band. Good Lord, that was frightening
Oh no, nearly one million Children in California are not insured! The editorial staff of the Daily Sleaze are "profoundly disturbed" (like we didn't know that already...)! Health officials, do something!
By seeking out and enrolling every child eligible for SCHIP and Medicaid, health officials can solve half the problem. Then they can devote their attention to the other half of uninsured children.
But Mr. Asanine Commentator-man, what about all the uninsured adults?
"Fuck 'em. They don't look as cute in the public service annoucements."
DiCaprio also complained that the Bush administration has opted out of the Kyoto Protocol, an international climate treaty with mandatory controls for industry "despite the fact that we are the biggest economy and the biggest polluter".
Sure, Leo. I'm sure the President's top aides are advising him on your recommendation at this very moment.
So, I was sifting through radio stations last night, trying to find something decent to listen to while doing the dishes (it's that time of the month already!), and I came across some barfy phone-in dedication program. I'm sure you know of them. Every radio station designed to suit the "I've surrendered to middle age and am willing to admit that I like Celine Dion" crowd in every city has one. You know, the program featuring the sensitive, caring woman with the soft voice, speaking over a background soundtrack of crashing ocean waves and seagulls, telling the whole of the town about how Angie really loves Ted and hopes he can find it in his heart to forgive her. Cue phonograph: "Who's Sorry Now" by Journey. Bleeeeech!
What I want to know is, who in the hell listens to this crap? Seriously. Does anyone out there really give a flying pooch if Ted forgives Angie? And if so, just what is wrong with them anyway? Let's be honest with each other about who really listens to this kind of garbage. I'll believe it when it goes something like this:
"Barbie, Cletus just wants you to know that he's sorry for smashing up your trailer. He's also called to ask us to tell you that he loves you, and he's willing to pay all of the medical bills, if you'll only drop the charges. We here at KBORE really hope you two lovebirds work it out." Cue phonograph: "Trashy Women" by Confederate Railroad.
It's been a long time since I've taken on a trite editorial in the Daily Wanker. Mostly because they're, for the large part, incredibly stupid. I'm beginning to suspect that the editors of the Wanker recruit for their commentary staff at the Special Olympics, and as we all know, it's not nice to pick on the "challenged".
With today's load of garbage, by one Angelique Chrisafi, it just has me fuming. I cannot resist....must surrender...shred insipid Wanker....edito...
Germaine Greer, the mother of modern feminism, yesterday accused Tony Blair of presenting a skewed example of marriage to the nation.
"The mother of modern feminism". She's lost my interest already, and it's only the first bloody sentence. But wait! Tony's presenting a "skewed" somethingorother! She's gonna talk shit about Tony! So, I guess I'll stay tuned.
Speaking on the unequal nature of marriage, in which women were forced to make huge sacrifices and were "bound hand and foot by their notions of what is correct in society", Ms Greer said: "The marriage of our own prime minister is an interesting case in point. That is a very weird relationship. I want to say to him, 'Leave her alone, for Christ's sake. She's 47 years old. She doesn't practise contraception because she is a Catholic. So stay off her!'
As every smart person knows, men make absolutely no sacrifices when it comes to marriage. It's all about us poor, victimized, helpless girly-whirls giving it all up for the boys. And what's with the "Your wife digs the pope, so you shouldn't get to score...ever" business?
Ms Greer, 63, a professor of English literature at Warwick University and author of the seminal 1970s work on gender politics, The Female Eunuch, said the sexual politics of the Labour party were backward.
"The Female Eunuch". Okay. Enough said. I hope I never hear from this person again.
She told an audience at the Edinburgh International Books Festival: "I find this government ridiculous. Tony Blair always has to appear in public with his wife as a pledge to his heterosexuality. We have seen that now. We have had enough of that. Now just leave her at home and let her do her job. She has an important job to do.
Keep the bitch in her place, Tony! Yeah, that's "forward" thinking. Besides, isn't Cherie like a lawyer or something?
"The sexual politics of the Labour party have always been neanderthal and always will be. At least the sexual politics of the Tories were straightforward: perverse and corrupt."
Um...okay? What's "sexual politics" anyway?
Ms Greer said: "The childcare system consists of amateurs without qualifications, it is not financed, working mothers are made to rely on au pairs who are incapable. We need to have childcare professionally licensed and paid for by the state. I urge mothers to join a mothers' union and radicalise, go on strike."
Read a friggin' history book, Greer. Nothing, nothing has ever been improved by having the state take it over. NOTHING.
Asked about teenage pregnancy, she said: "I like the idea of young women being mothers. It is easier to get down on the floor with kids if you are a kid yourself." She said it was wrong to rage against teenage mothers "as if they were ram-raiding and creating a vast crime wave."
What a complete idiot this woman is. This is the "mother of modern feminism"? Get 'em strapped to diapers and potty training as early as possible? I don't follow the logic. It seems to me, and perhaps hypocritically so, since I'm not a mother, that you have to surrender the most of your life once you have a child (explains why I'm not a mother). All that's left afterwards, especially for a young woman, is a lack of opportunity.
She had visited estates in Wales where most residents were young single mothers, and they were "happy places", but the government should remember that teenage mothers still needed to be mothered themselves.
That's exactly why they have no business having children!
She complained the government and the police were failing rape victims. "The law on rape is unworkable. We need a new law of sexual assault which deals with the gravity of different forms of assault."
Responding to Ms Greer's line on Labour's "neanderthal sexual politics", Mo Mowlam, the former cabinet minister, said: " The picture she paints of politics is the same scenario that exists in the media and in business. We still have a glass ceiling. It is cracked but it is still there. Women can get the job, but they can't break into the boys club. We have to change male attitudes and that will take a wee while."
Listen, ladies...stop whining about not being able to get into the "boys club" (duh...it's for boys!), and just go and start a "girls club". And I don't mean a sewing circle. Besides, if it's a "glass ceiling", shouldn't it be pretty easy to shatter? You can make that your club's first mission. I'll throw the first stone.
So, I've just interviewed the lovely Dawn Olsen. I thought it would be fun, since she always does these wacky interviews over at her site, and they're a total blast. As it turns out, she's not just surly and funny, but she's also a total sweetheart and a tremendous flirt. Here's the text of the interview, completely unedited, since I'm a blogger, and we don't edit and stuff. We pretty much ended up interviewing each other, and it's pasted straight from the messenger archive, so it might be hard to follow, but I trust y'all are smart enough to figure it out.
Oh yeah, and my apologies to the NICE folks in Boston.
Me: Hi Dawn, are you still around?
Dawn: just finished by Cracker review for blogcritics Dawn: damn those are painful to do
Me: What, reviews?
Dawn: music reviews
Me: Painful like "I've just been shot", or just difficult?
Dawn: difficult, a lot of work, no laziness allowed
Dawn: how are you doing?
Me: How so? I've never done one before, so I might come off stupid, but it seems to me all you've got to do is talk shit about a record.
Dawn: well, that is true you talk lots of shit
Me: I'm doing well. Getting very good at the art of looking like I'm working, while I'm really just screwing around.
Me: How about you?
Dawn: but you also have to use the proper lingo and what not
Dawn: you pegged me to a "t"
Dawn: are of looking like I doing something, when I am doing nuttin'
Me: Ah. Hopefully you don't have to limit the cussing?
Dawn: what are you SUPPOSED to be doing?
Me:Yeah - I got it pegged. You just shuffle some papers around on your desk every now and then. Mild cursing from time to time helps, since it makes you seem like you're annoyed at what you're hard at work at...
Dawn: cussing, Fuck no, man I am all over the cussing, burping, farting, scratching my ass, hefty my breasts, you name it, I am doing it
Me: Pushing papers and arguing with international bankers and Customs agents.
Dawn: cool, that sounds much more fun than what I do
Me: What's that (I mean, besides scratching yourself in interesting places)
Dawn: I am supposed to be a be an EDI specialist for a bankrupt car rental company, but I am not sure what I REALLY do.
Dawn: excuse the poor writing, I get distracted easily
Me: As long as the Big Man thinks you're doing whatever it is you're not sure that you're doing, that's all that counts.
Me: You're excused.
Dawn: thank you - so are we doing it?
Dawn: the interview I mean?
Dawn: no you and me, although you seem really cute
Me: Um, sort of. You'll have to excuse me. The last time I interviewed someone was for my high school yearbook. You know, asking cheerleaders if they had fun at camp and stuff.
Dawn: Well you lead the way darlin', I will sit back and scratch myself in interesting places and try really hard not to be boring
Me: Thanks (blush). You ARE really cute. That picture you have up at your blog is sultry as hell. I hate hot chicks like you, because I'm a jealous bitch who despises competition. Even if you are out of the game.
Me: Well, I really like your blog. It's a lot of fun. Not many people can make pubic hair seem interesting.
Dawn: Uh, thanks I think.:)
Dawn: PUBIC HAIR is very interesting, I am thinking of doing something cool with mine. Braids maybe, or dreds.
Dawn: Thanks also!
Me: Have you seen that dreadful movie "Pink Flamingos"? You could dye it green or something...
Dawn: No, I haven't but my coworker and I were thinking you could shave a message in it like the way athletes do their heads
Me: Like what kind of message?
Dawn: It's already a very interesting color, so I guess I will leave that part of it alone. How about you. Done anything interesting with your nether regions lately?
Dawn: Well she suggested a down arrow, or maybe "insert here"
Me: Um, no.
Me: At least not stuff I'm willing to share.
Dawn: but that seems so obvious though
Me: I once dated a guy who had "EXIT ONLY" tattooed at the base of his back.
Dawn: *sigh* no sharing huh? Okay
Dawn: that's direct for sure
Me: Well, I guess I'm just chicken.
Me: Either that or really boring and I'm trying to cover for it...
Dawn: I understand, not everyone feels the need to share intimate details of their bizarre, yet mundane existence, 'cept me of course!!
Dawn: Not boring!!
Me: Ha. So, you're a great liar as well!
Me: So, what else do you do for fun, besides blog? Or is there no time for stuff like that when you're a mommy?
Dawn: Fun is a relative term. I find being a mommy fun, blogging fun, driving in my car fun, drinking beer, toking up, pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.
Me: Easy to please. Like me. I think watching toast cook is fun.
Dawn: Oh yeah and having wild orgasmic sex with my wonderful husband is the most fun and tickling lily til she pees her pants (which she does when not being tickled as well)
Me: Hopefully not at the same time...
Dawn: toast cook? hmm, haven't tried that one, maybe macaroni and cheese though, it bubbles and makes a mess when cooked and ooh soo creamy
Dawn: um, no, not typically
Me: Not really (the toast thing). I'm just easily amused.
Dawn: Where do you live?
Me: In a trashy suberb of L.A. But I like it. It's the closest thing to a hometown I've ever had. You guys live in Cleveland, right?
Me: I suddenly feel bad for having talked trash about Cleveland, 'cause you guys are such nice folks.
Dawn: sadly, yes, but I am planning on kidnapping the family and hoofing it to LA soon
Me: Are you from Cleveland originally?
Dawn: no, originally Florida, then WVA, then Cleveland, but I wonder consider myself a Cleveland if forced to admit it.
Me: You guys were out in L.A. a while back, right? Did you like it?
Dawn: I love LA (sound like a damn Randy Newman song) and Eric is from there so we really dig it.
Dawn: more my kind of place than Cleveland
Dawn: I used to live in D.C. for a while, but I HATED that
Me: Yeah, L.A. is great. I really like it here. The weather alone is enough.
Dawn: are you from there?
Me: I only visited D.C. once, but we only did the tourist stuff, so I didn't get to know much of the city. What did you hate about it? I mean besides the drugs, the gangs, the crime, the litter, the violence, and the politicians?
Me: Nah. My dad was in the Air Force. I've lived all over. When people ask me where I'm from, I just say "Earth".
Dawn: The people, mostly the people. It is a town full of people who aren't from there and they all seem to hate each other. BUT, I made some of the best friends there and my sister and many other family members are close by. I guess the whole Beltway attitude got on my nerves. Not a friendly town.
Dawn: Earth is an excellent answer. An Air Force kid huh? How old are you?
Me: I've pretty much gotten that vibe from a lot of cities on the East coast.
Me: 29. Slowly being dragged to 30, kicking and screaming the whole way.
Dawn: Yep, it's true. There are exceptions though and those people are fabulous.
Dawn: Midwesterners can be totally lame though as well.
Dawn: when will you be 30?
Me: I suppose you can find that's true everywhere. I've met buttheads and sweet people in every place I've ever lived.
Me: Except Boston. Those folks are almost exclusively snobby assholes. And I hate their accents.
Dawn: you are absolutely correct. sweeping generalizations are pointless
Dawn: I can't disagree in GENERAL, but a lot of cool people on the web are from Boston, so you know
Me: And they're not very nice, either. Anybody who makes them - like me! - is bound to be proven wrong.
Me: Yeah, I know there are a few bloggers from Boston, and they seem great. I just like bitching about the place because my ex-boyfriend and his snobby-ass family are from there, and I lived there as a kid and people were not very nice. I was in third grade, and even those kids were snobs.
Dawn: Well it's always easy to derive hate from personal experiences :)
Me: That's true.
Me: So, since you're a mommy, I have a question for you.
Dawn: sure thing
Me: I've been getting these venomous e-mails from this presumably really, really bored housewife mommy-type, who got all bent out of shape because I had links to a few fake porn sites on the blog. She gave me the whole "my children could have been reading!" line. So it got me to thinking, I mean, why is it that parents seem to think that their kids spying a bit of sex is like, the worst fucking thing they could see?
Dawn: Because they have personal issues with sex. I have always felt that if the worst thing my kids do is grow up thinking sex is a wonderful thing, then I must have done a pretty good job. Explain sex in plain terms, teach responsibility and for crissakes don't make them embarrassed or ashamed of how they feel or their bodies. We are a bunch of damn nudists in our house so we have no problems with naked people.
Dawn: that said, porn is a really lame way to learn about sex, I am finding it boring since I have started my um, er, research on the subject.
Dawn: a good erotic book is much better, and a couple of old playboys or playgirls
Me: I guess that's a good answer. I suppose porn being their first experience might cheapen the whole thing. I was just amazed at how angry this woman was. I mean, she was sending e-mails for over a week! Dozens of them. I kept telling her that her damn kids shouldn't be reading blogs anyway. A lot of us cover adult topics.
Dawn: Some mom's need to get laid more and get wigged out less.
Me: And it's funny how the porn stuff bothered her, but the articles about people getting killed, corrupt politicians, etc. didn't seem to phase her or what those sorts of things might do to her impressionable children.
Dawn: Tell her to be more aware of what her children are doing and be involved in their lives and less concerned with sending you trite filled emails
Me: Agreed. Maybe I should have asked her "where's Mr. Uptight? Doesn't he service your engine enough?"
Dawn: Yes the motto "make love not war" was repeated often when I was growing up
Me: I wouldn't be surprised if her kids were off beating the crap out of the neighborhood wimps and looking at REAL porn while she was distracted by lecturing me.
Dawn: you have a valid point
Me: She even offered to help me "find Christ", which was funny since I never knew I lost him. What about you? Do you get any interesting hate mail?
Dawn: Oh. My. Gawd.
Me: So, is that the Dawn Olsen way of saying "yes"?
Dawn: Not too much, most of the hate I get is in the form of nasty comments of posts suggesting I am a lowlife
Me: That's ridiculous. It's the self-righteous and smug that get me the most, the "morally superior to thou" type.
Dawn: I made fun of gunnuts via Charleton Heston and you would have thought I raped someone's grandmother with a bagel toaster or something. I MEAN JEEBUS H. TAPDANCING CHRIST
Dawn: Alzheimers isn't funny perse, but what the F? Right Wing freaks need to calm the F down.
Dawn: you know?
Dawn: or is it me?
Me: No, I agree. I'm pretty conservative, but I think that a lot of the wingers need to chill out and take it down a notch. I think there's a bit of hypocrisy to their outrage sometimes. But the same goes for the extreme left. Now there's a group that could use a sense of humor.
Me: Plus, I think that people need to be more opened to listening to people with ideas different from their own. Which is why blogging is so great.
Dawn: Both need to chill out - I am about being happy and trying to make life a little less depressing.
Dawn: I have a tendency to get really down, so I have to try very hard. Criticism hurts me a lot, and I react with anger.
Me: And you certainly do! I don't think I've ever visited your site and not left with an evil grin.
Me: Ah, thick skin, Olsen!!!
Dawn: I want to kill people who criticize me with my bare hands. Eat them alive. Force my fist throught their skulls.
Me: If it's constructive, it can only help. If it's not, then the person who wrote it is shit and not worth your emotions anyway.
Dawn: Then give them a big hug and kiss
Dawn: tear 'em down and then build them up.
Dawn:http://www.thespoonsexperience.com/ Dawn: I may kick his ass!
Me:I don't doubt that you could. I don't read that one too much.
Dawn: well I believe this would be the 2nd time he fucked with me. I have a lot of rage. Are you in a loving relationship?
Me: Only with my stuffed animal collection.
Dawn: Do they communicate their needs to you, do they support your in your endeavors, are they there for you when the chips are down?
Me: But...not...like...THAT. I mean, we don't have orgies or anything.
Me: Yes, and the best part is, they're great listeners, since they can't talk!
Dawn: that is probably for the best, I hate getting fur in my mouth.
Dawn: So what do you look like?
Dawn: and pictures?
Me: Ha ha ha ha!
Me: Do you remember the Partridge Family?
Me: I look like Lori, except my eyes are green instead of blue, and I don't have anorexia like she did.
Dawn: You mean Susan Dey?
Dawn: OOOOH, baby baby!!
Dawn: No pics though?
Me: Naw. I'm the most unphotogenic human that has ever lived. I can't remember the last picture I saw of myself where I didn't come out looking like a slightlier ugly version of the Elephan Man.
Dawn: Sure, whatever, you just don't want all us truly ugly girls to feel worse. Thank you. It will not go unappreciated!!
Me: On that lovely note, I'm going to have to take off. It's lunch, I'm hungry and I need a cigarette before I start killing people around here myself. It was great talking to you though. Please take care of yourself and your beautiful family!
Dawn: You too and give the stuffed animals a big hug!!!!
Me: And you're the farthest thing from ugly I've seen in a while, babe!
Me: Take care!
Dawn: you too!!
Well, thanks to this thing called "life", and in between, trying to squeeze in that dastardly thing known as "a job"...or something...hell. These things have left no time for this ditty called a "blog" (though I'm sure his mother calls him something nicer to his face). However, I did manage to put in a part in the latest episode of "Dude, Where's My Railway".
Now, I've begged Mr. Briffa to consider the alternative "Happy Ending", which is much more popular in Hollywood, and goes something like this:
INT. OFFICE. DAY.
Holy shit! Look at the cans on that bimbo!
Oh, ain't it just, like, you know, groovy that you noticed and all, Mr. Byers. They cost me a fortune.
They do "it".
So far, Mr. Briffa hasn't returned my calls. But Mr. Spielburg has...hmmm?