Miss Anthropist

When I grow up, I want to be a misanthropist. Misanthrope + philanthropist = misanthropist.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fuck you, CNN, for ruining my afternoon

I hate local news. Hate it. It’s a horrific mash-up of the disgustingly saccharine, (Wednesday’s Child specials), fear-mongering (you could die in the next five minutes! Find out how, at eleven) and soul-crushingly depressing (elderly man clubbed to death with his own cane for $1.37). I hate sports, so I have no need to watch it for that, and thanks to the magic of the Weather Channel and the interweb, I can access a forecast whenever I want.*

And, many times, CNN is no better than local news. I popped to the homepage to check current headlines (as you do). What was there to greet me? Fucking VIDEO titled “Man dies trying to save drowning dog.” No, CNN. Just no. I don’t fucking need to know that. I certainly don’t fucking need to SEE it. That’s not reporting news, that’s sensationalizing personal tragedy to feed our voyeuristic perversions. Also, it’s just a huge fucking downer. Now I’m going to think about it all day. And probably as I’m falling asleep. And probably for a few more days on and off. I don’t need that. I have enough to worry about what with the actual news of war and famine and genocide and all.

I don’t want to be one of those retards that says “Oh, I don’t like the news because it’s really sad!” That’s bullshit and there is nothing admirable about burying one’s head in the sand, or in fluffy pink clouds populated by unicorns playing with rainbows or whatever the case my be. I am the last person to excuse ignorance and, in fact, find choosing to be ignorant a far graver offense than merely being stupid. However, I don’t know that isolated incidents that have no real bearing on larger events qualify as news. I don’t think my understanding of the world around me, or what’s happening in it, is enhanced by knowing that some poor man died while trying to save some poor dog. Because while I am not one to ignore harsh realities, nor am I one of those people who lined up in high school for the midnight release of Faces of Death 29 or whatever. How is this fun? How can you feel good about yourself as a human being if this is what you find entertaining? Even if it is all just shlock bullshit, still… You know those are the people who are putting ads on Craigslist looking for someone to dismember and eat and then all the neighbors say “He was always so quiet and unassuming, how would I have had any idea?” Gee, I don’t know, maybe his sick fascination with violent death purely for entertainment’s sake might have tipped you off?

So, CNN, fuck you and your bullshit “news item.” I’m boycotting you for at least 3 hours. Take that.

*This does not stop me from slavishly viewing the weather portion when there is some sort of weather event going on. Especially snow storms, because I want to know exactly how much snow is expected and what are my chances for getting out of work. I’m still 10 and hoping for a snow day.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Tom Cruise Will Know the History of Gynecology

Apparently, silent birthing and a creepy svengali-esque relationship aren’t enough for TomKat. Now, they are hosting seminars on Katie Holmes’s pregnancy (“pregnancy”).

"It's just kind of becoming a fun game of learning. We've also been studying what happens after the birth and how to take care of the baby."

Yeah, I’m sure the swollen ankles and eventual passing of something the size of a watermelon out of her vagina is exactly what Katie considers to be a “fun game of learning.”* Fuck that pussy Trivial Pursuit bullshit.

Here’s an idea as to how to take care of the baby, Tom—how about not raising it to be a nutjob Scientologist? Not that every little kid doesn’t dream of being part of a society whose twin pillars are extortion and (bad) science fiction.

*This assumes she is actually pregnant. The jury has not yet reached a verdict.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The War on Easter

There isn’t one yet, but I’d like to start one. Easter is far and away my least favorite holiday. It’s about two things I really don’t care for: Jesus and ham. And I’d be fine with other people getting excited about a ghost and then eating the better part of a spiral-cut at 3:00 in the afternoon if it didn’t impact me. But it does. Everything is closed during Easter. So annoying. I mean I can get Chinese and go to the movies as an homage to Jewish Christmas, but at Christmas the movie options are much better. We’re not quite out of the movie studio burn-off period yet, much though I’d love to spend $9 on Rob Schneider’s latest cinematic triumph. So, Easter Sunday is the distilled essence of every other boring Sunday in their absolute purest and painfully dullest form.

(Also, since my grasp of scripture is shaky at best, I don’t really understand the whole “Good Friday” thing. I’m no theologian, but I would think the day your lord and savior bit it would be more like Bad Friday. Someone said “but that’s the day he died for our sins!” Which, okay, but still—dead.)

Seriously, though, why don’t we hear Bill O’Reilly screaming about the War on Easter? The desire of evil godless liberals like myself to remove all traces of Easter from the public consciousness? My desire to gag little school children so they can’t sing Easter carols? (Well, that’s true, but more because I don’t like kids and the sound of children singing certainly doesn’t put a song in my heart.) Oh, right, because that’s not as commercially viable as the War on Christmas and the whole War on Christianity thing is an absurd construct designed to whip up a frenzy in a semi-literate base (whose forefathers’ primary form of entertainment was singing “Don’t Make a Monkey Out of Me” while perfecting their recipe for bathtub gin) so these people will continue to vote against their own economic interests to make sure the fags and the commies don’t get them.

Of course, Easter does bring us Cadbury Mini-Eggs, so there is something to be said for that. Overall, though, I prefer the other holiday that revolves around candy and ghosts—Halloween.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I DO Want to Send You on Your Way; or, The Non-Natives Are Restless

Contrary to everything you might have come to expect about me, I took part in the immigration reform march here in DC. Even stranger, it isn’t even my first march. (It’s my third. Which, for me, makes it almost 100 since, you know, it’s me and protest rallies and marches aren’t really my scene, or so I like to think.)

I have a love-hate relationship with protests and marches. (Except for globalization protests, in which case it is all hate. You know, I’m sure now that the world has seen you dressed up as a turtle hurling invectives at a Starbucks storefront, everyone’s just going to change their mind and say “You know what, let’s just get rid of this whole globalization thing.” Then, you can use your gold card to hop a train back to suburbia and maybe pick up some patchouli at The Body Shop (but globalization is still bad!) as a reward for a job well done.) I think they can amplify a message and while the marches themselves may not be a catalyst for immediate change, they can signify a groundswell and provide, at the very least, an impetus for further engagement and activism. And now I sound like a dirty fucking hippie, the exact sort of person I’m planning on hating on in the next paragraph.

Because dirty fucking hippies, and a few other subgroups as well, are a huge part of the reason I hate protest marches. Anarchists, communists, and Green Party members are also on that list. (Not because of their views so much as the fact that they live in a world so divorced from anything resembling reality that they do and say things that can, at best, be called “counter-productive.” See the above re: turtle costumes. Nothing legitimizes a cause like appealing to the much underrepresented furry vote. Or, you know, lighting shit on fire.) Or the people who just don’t get it. I was in New York in the summer of 2004 doing some opposition work during the Republican National Convention. As such, I figured I may as well join the huge anti-war rally since I was there. So, I marched along, declining to chant things like “Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!” because, well, I can only take things so far. I ended up near some pro-Palestinian group. Now, I am not anti-Palestinian, or Israeli, but I was anti these douchebags because they kept yelling “Intifada, intifada!” which, to me, seemed a little off-message for a peace march. Then they lit shit on fire. I took that as my cue that, perhaps, I had given peace enough of a chance that day and headed to the Village to drink vast quantities of liquor.

But the dirty fucking hippies. Oh, the hippies. There is a scene in South Park where Cartman is having a bad dream, tossing and turning saying “Hippehs, hippehs everywhere! All they do is smoke weed and smell bad!” (You can always rely on Cartman for the bon mots.) And I have absolutely no problem with the former, but a huge problem with the latter. And everything else about hippies. Especially the vegan hippie in our office. (She of the definitely not cake cake fame.) She also joined the immigration reform march and I was absolutely unable to shake her. I could kind of deal with her (wrong) translations of the Spanish chants and her cooing over the adorableness of various small children. But then the drumming started. Because there is always someone in a protest march using a wooden spoon to beat on the upside-down bucket hanging from their neck by a piece of twine. Always. And when that starts, so does the hippie dancing.

You know what I’m talking about. The “let’s all be free” arm flailing, accompanied by shoulder jerks, twirling and crouching. Why do hippies crouch when they dance? It looks like they are about to give birth in some antiquated ritual. Are they attempting to get closer to the earth? Do they imagine they seem tribal, ergo more natural and less a part of the oppressive classes? Is good posture nothing more than a refuge for the bourgeoisie? I really don’t understand the crouching. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve clearly never been anywhere that involved Rusted Root. Because every shitty hippie band that forms at a liberal arts school like the one I attended does a cover of “Send Me on My Way.” And then, a few months later, Rusted Root themselves will show up on campus and even though the hippie band sucks, you can’t really hear the difference between “ohmesaywah” or whatever the hell the lyrics are supposed to be from one band to the other. But everywhere around you are the not-so-great unwashed crouching and working up a sweat, which is great since patchouli is usually their answer to the horrible scourge that is a deodorant/anti-perspirant combo.

So, that is how I spent my Monday afternoon. Informing people that I do not “woo!” or chant under any circumstances and trying to avoid getting my toes crushed by a vegan’s big old Doc Marten boots (because only meat is murder, not leather) as she full-body-heaved her way down 15th Street with an almost-beatified expression on her face. And, to be honest, it did feel good to go out for a cause I believe in, and I got some sun and a chance to get out of the office for a few hours, but I’ve fulfilled my march quota for at least the next two years. My hippie quota, on the other hand, is filled from now until eternity.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

You Too Can Have a Career as a Forensic Vagina Inspector: Call ITT Today

Yep, you read that right. Forensic vagina inspector. Now, at first, there are any number of jokes to be made here: Vivid Productions brings you CSI: Whorehouse. Jenna Haze stars as the Forensic Vagina Inspecter in Inspect Her Gadget: Enter the Fist. I can see a t-shirt (and have a pretty good idea of the guy who would wear it) turning up at body shots bonanza in Lauderdale. It is, potentially, the worst pick-up line of all time. But it is so much more than that. It is, in fact, a real job in El Salvador.

I was tripping merrily along, perusing the New York Times Magazine (an homage to which was tragically left out as a verse in Lazy Sunday) when I ran across the phrase. I had to stop. Re-read. Nope, there it was on the pages of the Grey Lady: Forensic vagina inspectors. It is in the context of a larger, much more frightening story: the criminalization of abortion in El Salvador.

The array of exceptions that tend to exist even in countries where abortion is circumscribed — rape, incest, fetal malformation, life of the mother — don't apply in El Salvador. They were rejected in the late 1990's, in a period after the country's long civil war ended. The country's penal system was revamped and its constitution was amended. Abortion is now absolutely forbidden in every possible circumstance. No exceptions.

There are other countries in the world that, like El Salvador, completely ban abortion, including Malta, Chile and Colombia. El Salvador, however, has not only a total ban on abortion but also an active law-enforcement apparatus — the police, investigators, medical spies, forensic vagina inspectors and a special division of the prosecutor's office responsible for Crimes Against Minors and Women, a unit charged with capturing, trying and incarcerating an unusual kind of criminal.

Well, at least Sam Brownback has finally found a location for his summer home, not to mention a potential second career should the whole Senate thing not work out for him. Maybe he and Tom Coburn can hang their shingle out together and revel in a world that exemplifies their vision.*

*Meanwhile my super-progressive organization is undertaking some legislative work on free speech that requires us to sit at the table with people like Grover Norquist and, truly horrifying, Tony Perkins. I think I might end up severing my tongue from biting it so hard. At the very least, I’m going need a Silkwood shower installed somewhere in the office.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Breaking Fucking News: Baghdad, Texas Shitty Places to Live

I know, I was shocked, too.

Mercer, a human resources company, released its annual quality of life/best cities survey today. Zurich topped the list. Honolulu was the highest-ranking U.S. city. So, I guess assfuck expensive=really good quality of life. This makes sense to me. Force the poor people out, keep services expensive and go from there.

Houston is the lowest-ranking US city. I have to say that I’m a bit skeptical. Texas is a terrifying place filled with terrifying people, yes. But I find it hard to believe that Houston is a worse place to live than just about anywhere in Indiana. And worse than Detroit? I’m not buying. Not to mention anywhere in Nebraska, Kansas or the Dakotas. I’m not saying that I would ever want to live in Texas, just that it could be much, much worse. Not that thumping the Bible, picketing funerals and talking about NASCAR aren’t really fun and rewarding ways to spend your time, of course. I’m just thinking that maybe, just maybe, Wichita, KS tis a far, far worse place than Houston.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bowing to the Will of the People

I suppose I should first say that I don't have a whole lot of respect for the will of the people given a) my feelings about people generally b) the 2004 election results and c) the continued, and inexplicable, popularity of American Idol.* But, I'm open to new things, at least every now and again, so here we are.

I have been asked (and not just by you, anonymous commenter) why I only focus on things that I hate. (This is not entirely true--let us not forget my ode to the Olympics.) Why don't I talk about things that I like? So, in an effort to be responsive to my readership of tens, today we are going to give that a try.

I love puppies. No, seriously. I do. So adorable with their little faces and their fluffiness and their wriggling. And when they romp around and kind of fall over? Too cute. Sometimes I cannot handle it and I go into adorableness overload (kind of like a diabetic coma only not quite as potentially lethal). Once, someone asked me to choose what kind of puppy I thought was the cutest, and I totally couldn't do it. Talk about Sophie's Choice! I mean, golden retrievers are just the cuddliest little balls of fluff, but wee tiny beagle puppies are soooooo precious! OMG, so the darlingest! Puppies are the best. Way better than kitties.

And that, dear readers, is why I tend to stick with things that fill me with rage. I do like things, really, and I'm not entirely devoid of feelings or kindness. I just find bitching about things a lot more entertaining and a lot more cathartic. Not that there is a moratorium on things that I like, it's just that I decided to finally try my hand and this whole "web logging" thing (so new-fangled! I hope the New York Times does some features on blogs soon, otherwise they might fall behind the cutting edge) with the view that I'd, as I say in my "About Me" section, use this as a forum for bitching.

*Yes, I've watched it. Yes, I've even been entertained by it. But for some reason, I don't see 20 million people rushing to fill an auditorium for a mediocre high school talent contest, which is essentially what American Idol is, but they all slavishly watch (three times a week) what they probably would mock in a dingy karaoke bar, even though that one chick who shows up every Wednesday totally rocks "Love Shack" every time and it's awesome and she could make it! She could!

So, basically, I'm bemused by the continued juggernaut that is American Idol, even though I don't find it offensive or anything. Well, most of the time.