culture

Dear America: A List of Things You Do That Piss Me Off

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Fuck your McMansions and your second and third mortgages.
Fuck your wage slavery.
Fuck your increasing consumer debt loads.
Fuck your jingoistic revisionist history.
Fuck your ghettoized immigrant neighborhoods.
Fuck all you middle class junkies.
Fuck all you blue blooded lay about millionaires.
Fuck all you rednecks with your GEDs and cro-magnon ideas.
Fuck the corporate rulers and their brand name identities.
Fuck the empty promises of health and prosperity.
Fuck plastic surgeons getting rich off of vanity.
Fuck your six pack abs and your tribal tattoos.
Fuck your cheap sex worn like fashion accessories.
Fuck your middle management jargon and your economic waste.
Fuck your nuclear families and your relationship status.
Fuck your parents and grandparents who made this mess.
Fuck you for not cleaning up after them.
Fuck your children because they won't clean up after you.
Fuck the Machiavellian politicians you elect out of fear.
Fuck Hollywood and New York and the creative elite driving the landfill of culture.
Fuck you for buying what they're selling.
Fuck your television and your laptop and your ipod and your cell phone.
Fuck your gym membership and your organic whole foods grocery store.
Fuck your faddish obsessions with overpaid celebrity assholes.
Fuck your corporate Lawyers and for profit hostpitals.
Fuck your incompetent inability to stop using gasoline
Fuck your sociopathic children decked out in the latest brand names.
Fuck all the hippies and their fashionable consumerist rebellions.
Fuck all the hipsters for being narrow minded sheep.
Fuck the boneheads in the military for being tools of the empire.
Fuck all the rest of us for watching them die on TV.
Fuck the chickenhawks in congress with their boners for new weapons.
Fuck the insurance company yes men who get rich by betting on fear.
Fuck people in pickup trucks with American flag bumper stickers.
Fuck pro-life activists for their ignorant fascism.

Don't Cry for Me Arizona

I, like many of my fellow Arizonans, have become increasingly concerned about a serious problem in our state. More and more "people" are struggling with the twin problems of not knowing who they are or where they come from. The problem has grown to such epic proportions that many Arizonans now suspect that even non-Arizonans are suffering from the problem. Things have become so so bad that today when we walk down the street in Tucson, we are forced to wonder: if I asked this person passing me for their name and place of birth, would they be able to provide me with convincing proof that what they said was true?

The answer, all too often, is no.

Naturally, this lack of government issue identification that so many of us are suffering from is a source of serious anxiety for all of our fellow citizens. Certain half-measures have been proposed, of course, such as the current legislation demanding that people carry proof of citizenship and requiring presidential candidates to produce their birth certificates, but these, frankly, do not go far enough to quiet the anxieties of so many hard working Arizonans.

I propose a new approach to the issue that should completely eliminate the anxiety for all those who suffer from it. The solution? A simple motto that all Arizonans can adopt and display with pride: Will Have Identification To Examine, or WHITE for short.

The WHITE project is a simple plan to alleviate the anxiety of Arizonans concerned that other people around them don't have any Identification. Under my plan, all persons in the state with identification would be required to wear a button, t-shirt, or windbreaker at all times displaying the comforting phrase "Don't Worry, Arizona: WHITE person" to inform any and all passers by that they are WHITE and if asked will have identification to examine.

The Geek Mindset

This is a response to yesterday's geek article from JF Quackenbush, because there are some things I want to clarify on this subject, but this article can also be read on its own.

A couple days ago, I was in a comic book store, talking to the owner. It came out that he was too embarrassed the read comics on the subway. He didn't want to be seen in public with them. Keep in mind, this is a man who has spent decades of his life, most of his professional career, selling comic books. And he was still on some level ashamed of his association with them.

The truth is, I sympathize with the people who want to reclaim the word "geek". What these people are really saying is that they shouldn't feel ashamed for reading comic books, or science fiction, or playing role playing games, or video games, or programming computers, or the other myriad markers of so-called "geek culture". As Quackenbush said, they were probably made fun of as kids for these things, and so their insecurities about them are deeply buried in their psychological development. They are trying to overcome these insecurities, and so say "No, it's okay to like these things." And, of course it's okay to like these things. You should not be ashamed for being who you are.

Problems arise when insecurity causes a kind of overreaction, and "geeks" start thinking they're actually better than other people because they like these things. This is why Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons looks down his nose on other people and makes fun of them. Because he feels so deeply insecure about himself that condescension becomes self-deluding overcompensation. I think that J's real point (or at least mine) is that people like CBG aren't losers because they like comic books or whatever, they're losers because they're socially maladjusted wrecks, and escaping into comics is a way that they deal with that.

Not that there's anything wrong with escapism per se. It is not the affection for escapism that makes a loser a loser, it's simply another symptom of a larger problem.

My original problem with the geek label was that using it is just another form of separating one group of people from other people and saying that this group is weird and different and must hang together because of that. Fuck that whole mindset. I like comic books, and science fiction and fantasy, and cartoons and computer programming. I don't feel that this makes me weird or different and there's absolutely no reason I should, anymore than someone who like mystery novels or knitting or, I don't know, butterfly collecting, should feel that they are weird or different because of their hobbies and interests. The whole concept that people who like these things are different and weird is a very recent phenomenon, dating back maybe 60 years or so tops. In many other cultures you still have to explain what a geek is, because it's such an odd concept.

So perhaps having the definition of the word "geek" expand to include people who like Twitter or Facebook is actually a good thing if only because it dilutes the term and moves towards its eventual abolition. After all, if everyone is a geek then no one is a geek.