Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Let's All Be The Same Kinda Resolute

To be honest, I make resolutions just about every Sunday.  I always have the best of intentions before the week starts.  And these two weeks of holiday time are like a really long weekend where, while you're working, it's not, like, work work.

But the only real resolution I made this long two week weekend was in service of a clever Facebook status update about how I was no longer going to be enraged when people spelled "lose" like "loose."  This was a Facebook status in which I was kidding on the square.

For some reason, this completely innocuous spelling error makes me lose my shit ("loose my shit"), and I go:

And then they do it again, and I'm all:

And it's not like I have some kind of grammar rage psychosis. My panties remain largely untwisted when people screw up the there/their/they're thing.  But just one work email about "loosing connectivity"and all I want to do is:

As I was ranting about it on Facebook, I had a moment of clarity.  This isn't isolated to lose/loose.  This is all part of my general failure to, you know, just be cool.

I'd dearly love for us all, all us fellow passengers to the grave (h/t Dickens - that's good stuff, there), to just be cool. 

There's the big stuff, like - 

You're a guy who's crazy about the V but the guy on the barstool next to you is way more into the D?  Who cares?  It's not your problem - just be cool.  There's a person with a Y chromosome who prefers to be called "she" and "her"?  What skin is it off your nose?  Be cool.  Tip your hat to the lady.  Some other lady really loves Jesus but you don't believe in anything supernatural?  The onus remains upon you to be cool (and also her - everyone needs to be cool).

And there's little stuff - 

Sometimes I want to go so much faster down Ashland Avenue than everyone else is going.  But the people have agreed that 25 is how fast we're going.  I need to be cool with that.

This morning a friend of mine put on Facebook that he thought Friends was dreadful and gave him a headache.  I FUCKING LOVE FRIENDS!  But his empirically wrong opinion about the most consistently enjoyable and re-watchable sit-com ever (that's right, bitches, I said it) in no way impacts the pleasure I get from it.  I need to be cool.

(It's probably not real cool of me to call you guys bitches... Sorry.  I'm working on this)

Head into the grocery store and the cashier isn't super polite?  You don't know what kind of a day he's having.  Be cool.

It snowed a bunch last night but you don't feel like brushing the snow off the top of your car?  Come on, man, be cool!

Whipping up some pancakes?  Make some for everyone!  Be cool!

Can't figure out how to end a blogpost?  Be cool!  Just put out the best gif from your favorite show of the year!

And be cool!  And watch You're The Worst - it's cool. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

If You're Really Really Scared, I Dunno - Maybe Get Out More?

I've been meaning to try and write this for a while since, you know, I had this whole big plan to read more and write more and eat good foods and stretch and... you know what?  Let's take a brief mo to revisit that.

I have failed miserably on all my lofty plans.  I straight up quit the last book I was reading with like 40 pages to go because I haaaaaaaaaaated it.  I'm having a drink even as I write this. But, I have been stretching near 'bout every day.  And it is straight up incroyable!  (I minored in French you know.  I'll give you a moment to wrestle with how goddamn impressive I am. )

Anyway - the stretching is working.  My back is like the back of a 30 year old.  When I drop something that requires picking up (let's be real: lots of things can just stay on the damn floor), I don't curse the gods because I can instead, ya know, pick it up.  My back!  My back!

So let's get back to the topic at hand which is Why Are So Many Americans So Damn Scared Allatime?

I was out to dinner a while back with a couple of guys I work with and whom I like a lot.  Solid dudes.   It was a nice meal.  But when I mentioned that I think kids today are nicer now than they used to be, you could have filled the Pacific with the incredulity.  "Oh my god, Megbon," they seemed to say.  "Are you the crazy? Has your mind broken? There is a handbasket and we are all in it, going to big hell!"

But, thing is, I think I'm right.  I mean, sure, let's just accept it as studied fact that my daughter is being raised exceptionally well, but surely the rest of the little rugrats she runs around with suffer from much less exceptional parenting (mais oui!  ((I minored in French)). But I remember my own sixth grade year, and shitty little boys lifting my skirt up, and nasty little girls whispering that I'd never French kissed anyone (which, oh my god, I was TWELVE! ).  And Laney's friends just seem so much cooler than I and my peers were; so much less judgmental and mean.

I inquired as to the source of my dinnermates' vast incredulity and was met with the damning evidence of YouTube videos.  Which would be damning indeed, if, you know, Family Ties or Diff'Rent Strokes or Facts of Life were documentary series (the only documentary series of the 80s that got much play was Golden Girls - shut up, it all REALLY HAPPENED).  

I tried to debate them, but the "Bitch, there was no YouTube when we were young, and if there had been, there'd've been some messed up shit on it" argument was insufficient.  So, I ordered another glass of wine and SMH (does "SMH" work in the past tense or is it only meant to indicate present judgment?  Dunno: I shook my head).

All this got me to thinking about, as per ushz, the batshit fucking insane crazy Republican party.  Because my pal, Paul, is (as he tends to be) right that it ain't just Trump*, motherfuckers.  They are a party full of people who are either genuinely terrified of black and brown people, or reaping political benefit from exploiting other people's unfounded fears of black and brown people.  Why are they so convinced that either a Muslim or a Mexican or a Black Person is coming right at 'em all the time?  Oooh - insert gif:

(I know that's not a GIF - apparently no one has gif-ed that yet.  The Internet disappoints, sigh, again).

I have a theory as to why: I think your average conservative American spends his or her real life surrounded only by other white people and spends a chunk of their virtual life consuming a steady diet of racist, xenophobic crap on the TV and the internet.  I think they have furthermore been trained, via a compounded cultural reality of over two centuries of state-sanctioned white supremacy, to believe that white safety matters more because it's for white people.  Science!

But the thing that really kills me is that when you point out to one of these dudes that when they talk about "Radical Islam" and "black on black crime" they're being kinda racist (check out Emily Post for why you say "kinda" instead of "fucking"), they tell you you're being naive.

And, you guys, they believe that!  They believe that they are clear-eyed rationalists who accept the reality that Muslims want to blow you up, Mexicans want to rape you, and black teenagers want to shoot you.  While anyone who disagrees is naught but a starry-eyed, bleeding-heart hippie who got hookworm on account of being barefoot all the time:

(There's a hookworm gif but not a "coming right for us" gif.  Honestly, Internet!  Get your priorities straight!)

And there's only one cure: GET OUT IN THE WORLD!  If you find yourselves terrified of black people or brown people or, FTLOG, young people, stop navigating the world by going from your house to your car to your lily white, middle-aged office.

The good news is that this great problem, like so many others, can be solved simply by taking a walk.  Take a walk - walk through some other neighborhood, walk downtown, walk to Walgreens to fill your blood pressure prescription.  Be in the world and you'll find it's not so scary. Young people, Black people, Latino people, Muslim people... they're just fucking people and they're not Coming Right At You.  Relax.   On the other hand: sequester yourself everyone who's not just like you and you'll end up with poopy pants.

And no one wants that!

Stop being so scared.  It's really OK out there.

*While they are really as bad as Trump, pretty sure that someone can be a Rubio supporter just cause they're kinda dumb.  But if they're on Team Trump, they're definitely Yuuuuuge Racists.