Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Driving: an Activity Available to All, a Skill Held by Few

Okay, seriously, fucking GUY.

There is a street on the way home that goes up a long hill. At the top of said long hill, there is a t-intersection. Both streets involved in this intersection are busy, therefore, you need to pay attention so that people don't come out of nowhere and smash the bejesus out of your vehicle, and also so you don't have to wait for three hours while the entire population of the metro-Worcester area zooms merrily by.

So I got behind a guy today who was taking his sweet ass time, leaving 3-4 carlengths between him and the vehicle in front of him, and then coming to a stop still a good distance between him and the preceding vehicle, as though at ANY MOMENT, his car could lurch forward, smashing the car in front of him to smithereens and causing his own personal vehicle to explode and level the neighborhood.

I tolerated this behavior for the majority of the hill, but once we got towards the top, I gave him a light "ondelay" beep to urge him on. He starts giving me the Italy hands, waving around like an epileptic to indicate the concept of "no need to hurry, there are multiple cars in front of me." The reason I wanted him to get the hell on with it was that, AS STATED ABOVE, you often find yourself waiting at this intersection, which is irritating and time consuming.

So of course - OF COURSE - three cars go, no problem, and Obnoxious Man inches his way towards the intersection. In the meantime, the last couple carlengths of suitable go-time go, and FORTY SEVEN MOTHERFUCKING CARS arrive, just in time for Obnoxious Man and I to wait for them to go by.

People, fucking PLEASE. If you want to take in the scenery, take a fucking walk. Ride a bike. DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN IRRITATE THE EVERLOVING SHIT OUT OF ME.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Hokay Hokay Less Have Fun

This weekend, we hit the New England sports...well, "Sports Josie and Speed Give a Crap About," trifecta. The Patriots whomped the Dolphins (to the semi-dismay of roommate and erstwhile Dolphins fan Oldboy, who refers to the Pats' tradition of having weird troubles with the Dolphins as "my SuperBowl"), the Sharks whomped the intensely loathed P-Bruins 5-2, and the Red Sox whomped the SHIT out of the Cleveland Indians to go on to the World Series. Very exciting day for all, most of all for me because a.) thanks to the New England Surge's season, I now magically understand football, and b.) I like being in the DCU Center. (There is a deep and strange pathology attached to me enjoyment of the DCU Center, and it involves an amusing array of narcissistic manifestations, to wit: I can be reasonably confident that I'll be better dressed than at LEAST 75% of the attendees; I can be reasonably confident that I will be less socially retarded than about 95% of attendees; and mostly, I feel like I own that building after years of stomping the concourse for hockey, and in my mind, ownership=confidence=power=dynamicism=hotness=I win. /creepy psychological tangent.)

In any case, I hit a trifecta of my own today, this one of a political nature, with my American Government class, my own consideration of whether I feel I am qualified to ever run for office, and a post/comment on Celia's blog, and these elements have combined for some ranting. Someday I am confident that I will be able to be passionate about things without ranting and thus validating all of Madison/Publius' fears about passion in the electorate and faction and all that DANGEROUS SCARY BAD STUFF. Sorry, Madison. I continue to disappoint.

So okay, first we have the AmGov class, with the crazy professor whose madness I promised to relay to readers of this blog (read: four people I know about). I am a political science major, which no one really understands. For clarity's sake, here's the deal: political science is a section of social science. Poli Sci deals with theory, description, analysis and prediction of political tendencies, systems and broad-base politics. In English: I study what people and nations do in their political lives and argue about it with other weird academic sorts who decided trying to understand POLITICS of all crazy things was a good plan. It also means I read a lot of Locke and Hobbes, Rousseau, Plato, etc., all the big boys, and I occasionally get to read De Tocqueville's Democracy in America, which I get inordinately psyched about...scary, really. I also sporatically take classes where we talk about the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, and I get all riled up about this because basically I think the wrong side won. I'd describe myself as a semi-Federalist...I believe the government should do something to help the lower echelons of society because - okay, watch this, because this is the part of my personality where I have adopted a variety of phrases to succinctly say what I mean - any group is only as strong as its weakest link (schoolteachers everywhere, Nike posters), but that it should be a hand up, not a handout (Australia, Britain, Canada, and countless frustrated Americans). I would much rather see a small government that can actually govern rather than a slow one that never accomplishes anything. In any case, since I have been taking this class, I've been all pissy and such about the government (more than usual, that is), particularly the bits about how basically the Constitution reads "fuck off and die, peons."

Have you ever thought about how freaking hard it is to get your voice heard in this country? Congress moves so slowly and is so deathly boring that no one can listen to them for more than 5 minutes without passing out in their soup (except for freaks like me), the Presidency is a total crapshoot and does whatever the hell it feels like, we vote on Tuesdays and don't get the day off, so no one votes, the primary system is obnoxious, too far ahead of the actual election, and burns people out way too far ahead (Test this theory!: Are you ready to shoot yourself in your own personal face upon hearing the names "Rudy," "Obama," "Hillary" or "Mitt"? Okay, now...what's the date? Right. Either you're burned out or you're from Massachusetts and Mitt Romney's been giving you hives for years.). Who needs this shit? And then people make tons of money writing books with stern titles like "The Vanishing Voter." Dude, they planned it that way.

Gack. So, okay, second component, I have this great philosophy class, and I actually like it so much I'm going to tell you that my professor's name is Molly Flynn, she teaches at Assumption College in Worcester, MA, and she rules SO HARD it's tough to wrap your brain around. Worth the price of full price tutition, folks. She's just a brilliant, insightful, snarky (eeee!) woman, and she brings new life to some texts that let me tell you, I have had horrible, horrible acts of boredom done to me with in the past. The class ends at 3:20, and my next class isn't until 4, so I usually get in some good contemplative thinking while my brain is all cranked up to Mach 1 from Prof. Flynn's class. I often, because I am a narcissist (see above), think about myself, my place in the world, and my political aspirations (that just happens all the time...I could be talking about why Gordie Howe is the greatest player ever to strap on skates and then I'd be like "you know, Howe's crazy leadership juju reminds me of myself. I wonder how that will be parlayed into my political career." Embarassing, really.) and the Meaning of It All. Today I was thinking about whether I think I'd be a good political candidate and moreover a good office holder, which to me are entirely separate. (For Philo wonks and/or those who have had to read the Republic, we were doing Book VI, wherein Socrates is talking about how the Philosopher King should be the one to rule, so leadership and governance were sort of the order of the day.) I point out all the time to people that politics and government are not the same, and I think that line has gotten a little blurry.

I feel like in the end I would be a good office holder, and I know I am a good politician. I am far more concerned with the office holding, governing part of it, because I think that's where things usually get messed up. My main concern is that I love - love - power...political power, personal power, physical power, whatever, doesn't matter to me, I love it, love having it. What worries me is that so many people with a similar love do SUCH DUMB SHIT once they get ahold of a lot of it. I like to think that I'm too rational to screw up so dramatically as some of them have, but obviously these people have also thought that at some point...but maybe not. I don't know. One of the most frustrating things in this analysis for me is that I don't know what Nixon thought, before he said "if the President does it, it's legal." I don't know what Kennedy thought before the Bay of Pigs. I don't know what these men thought, and I don't know what current politicians think. I guess the bottom line is that I don't know how exceptional I am, if that makes sense...am I somehow one of the few that actually DOES have the reason and principle to stay honest, or am I just in a beginning stage from which all politicians start, destined to get all fucked up about the power they eventually gain?

Third component is Celia's blog...she wrote a post about, well, a bunch of stuff, including some disenchantenment with the current Presidental melee, and one of her friends posted a comment saying she never knew where to go for un-spun info about candidates. I posted an over-long reply about how you basically had to just research their past actions, which is an enormous pain in the ass and occasionally impossible (HOWARD DEAN, you rat bastard..."Rumsfeldian" incompetence INDEED. Don't be thinking I forgot to hate you, buster.), and...why? Americans, by and large, are not stupid people. Therefore, they HAVE to know, that a.) you cannot be for and against an issue at the same time, and b.) not everyone can fit every living American citizen's ideal picture of a candidate. So why do we demand that our candidates fit our ideals perfectly? What is that all about? Why do we pretend that there's no middle ground? Let's look at three of the most controversial (non-Iraq) issues...gay marriage, abortion and the death penalty. I know how I feel about gay marriage (everyone gets a civil union, but if you want to get married, that's your own stuff to get dealt with), but I can see how people have issues with it...however I don't think that those issues are generally LEGAL issues but rather moral and religious issues. Abortion I think needs to stay legal so that when it's necessary, as in the case of rape or incest, it will be available in a safe, sterile environment, but I personally think it's a horrifying concept, so I certainly see the grey area there. The death penalty I go back and forth on, because I'm not 100% convinced of its merits and I think the legal system metes it out unevenly, but then again, the Marine and I were just talking about the case of Osama bin Laden and to me, that's an example of where it's just clearly deserved and necessary. So we all see the grey area...without going into detail, because I have a hard time staying impartial, there is also a vast ocean of grey area on the Iraq war...when to pull out, how many people to pull out, what to do once we have pulled out, what to do if we stay there, military tactics...so why can't people just accept that not everyone has the answers? Why do we feel the need to lie in order to get into office, where it will all come out anyway? If this isn't evidence that the system is messed up big time, I don't know what is.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Yet Another Reason To Hate Home Depot Extra Super Hard

...and by "another," I mean "besides your scary megalomaniacal tendencies and often crappy prices."

Home Depot thought REAL hard and came to the conclusion that what we need is...home improvement stores JUST FOR THE LADIES! No, regrettably, I am not kidding.

Seriously? Fuck you, Home Depot. I am doing just fine without your pandering, misogynistic worldview. For your viewing pleasure, here's a list of things I can do all by my estrogen-infested self without your fucking help.

Prep walls and paint them.
Build said walls.
Install lighting fixtures.
Yes, including chandeliers.
Install panes of glass.
Build and/or install shelving.
Fix basic plumbing items, i.e. running toilets, problematic sinks.
Handle basic home wiring projects.
Operate an industrial surfacer.
Operate an industrial jigsaw.
Operate an industrial bandsaw.
Operate an industrial table saw.
Operate a chainsaw.
Operate an industrial lathe.
Operate an industrial drill press.
Use a variety of sanders.

Use a variety of home tools including drills and electric screwdrivers.
Find a stud, and know why that's important.
Speak more intelligently than probably 90% of Home Depot's employees about home heating solutions, hot water makers, windows, thermostats and insulation.
Hammer shit.
Plan and build things.
Change the oil in my car.
Change a tire.
Refill the windshield washer fluid.
Change the wiper blades.
Diagnose most problems with my car.
Change lightbulbs in my car.

There are plenty more, but I figured that all y'all at Home Depot would find those the most shocking. Just in case you missed the point, here it is, in nice small words so you understand:


Ugh, GOD. It's crap like this that makes me despair of ever attaining even the slightest measure of gender equity. And this is the most insidious kind of gender bias...the kind that's rooted in good intentions. Home Depot is clearly trying to fill the needs of a certain kind of person, but missed the mark by a mile by implicating an entire gender in their decision.

The Answer Is Always "Dan Spang."

So, the new Sharks season has begun, with all its attendant delights and horrors. Yay! Yay for hockey. Yay for hockey on a night that's not 86 degrees, like last Saturday at the season opener in Springfield. Holy cognitive dissonance, Batman, that was a trip. The Boosters took a bus up to see the game, which was at total freaking blast, but the temperature was tough to even up with the actual hockey part of the evening. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on the new season, team and DCU Center.

  • New DCU Center improvements = magic. I was reticent to accept the new "Charter Zone" since it was located in my old stomping grounds in section 117 (WOO SECTION FAMILY SHOUT OUT!), but they really did an unbelievable job, and the whole thing looks great. What they did was to knock out the upper part of 117 and the concession stand behind it, and made this beautiful bar and sort of social viewing balcony. They spared no expense and it totally paid off. Yay, DCU Center, city and Sharks!
  • Ditto the two new concession stands that were done over by New Catering Vendor MSG or SMG or MGS or whatever the hell...they look great, clean, and snazzy!
  • The Sharks hosted a VIP party beforehand, and I was VERY impressed with the event they put on...as I have come to expect from the Sharks and the DCU Center. The seafood buffet was wonderful (dude, there were oysters), and hopefully I don't sound like too much of an alcoholic, but it was nice to be able to get a hard-liquor-based drink. While I love beer and no beverage goes better with hockey, sometimes I just crave a G&T.
  • City Manager Michael O'Brien holds my eternal respect for a variety of things (if not his unending devotion to the phrase "bring/brings/brought to bear"...stop it, Mike) but maybe most of all for his willingness to amuse me by appearing in public wearing jeans. I have never seen anyone look so uncomfortable in denim.
  • Props to the Sharks for not going with the iron-on transfer numbers that Springfield (and I believe some other teams) used when their white jerseys didn't show up. Using white jerseys with iron-on numbers would have been the easy way out and would have fit in with their "opening night white out" concept, but using the black ones (which I like better anyway) was the classy move.
  • On the other hand, the font used to write the guys' names on their backs is effing abysmal. It's too narrow and you can't read it.
  • Thomas Greiss' pink helmet for the month of October is a great idea. He'll be playing in it this month (which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month), and then it will be auctioned off for charity. Very cool, even if the pink color is particularly Pepto-Bismol-y.
  • New announcer Erik Lindstrom is a hot shit with a funky prepped out wardrobe that I enjoy very much, and I'm glad to have him on board.

While I like many of the Sharks individually, I'm mildly nervous about the season's potential. Speed is fairly negative about it, mostly because he's a stats guy and doesn't think that by the numbers and composition we have a great chance, but I think I give more credence to scrappiness and heart, so I'm willing to give them a shot. I'm very interested to see what Setiguchi can do, and Mink and Iggulden's returns would seem to promise that we'll see them paired up on a line again this year. While I liked that line with Tomas Plihal in particular, they also did juke the third man around a bit with about the same results, so I think Mink and Iggulden are the magic.

Dan Spang, victim of WAY more taunting from me than he really earned, is on Josie Tryout since I haven't seen him actually play since 'Nam. He gets points for cutting his hair, which previously gave him a certain neandertal flair. He has been a bit of a mystery to me, as he's regarded as a superhot prospect and has NOT done much for me. I see flashes of it, but I'm not seeing "GOING UP" in neon over his head. I'm reserving judgment on him until...let's say Christmas. I don't expect him to be hitting on all eight until at least then. I will NOT, however, discontinue the Dan Spang Trivia Game, which is an amusing past time of section 108, whereby we declare the answer to all trivia questions to be "Dan Spang." It's really quite an asshole move on my part, and yet it continues to amuse. As my capacity for self-amusement is pretty much endless, I don't see the game losing its lustre any time soon. Yes, I am a sad, sad person. I've embraced it by now, so all y'all are going to have to do it too.

While I'm not 100% assured of the sheer ability of the team as a whole, I do feel that anyone starting with Thomas Greiss in the nets starts far ahead of the game. Not only is he already an accomplished goaltender, but I see flashes in him of a greatness far beyond his current level. This is one of the reasons I was thrilled when Patzold got the call to San Jose instead of Greiss...I feel that Greiss' play warrants the call more than Patzold's, but I also think Griess should be getting regular play, which he wouldn't in San Jose. I am very excited to watch him progress.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Email Behavior That Is Not Okay (Profanity-Filled Edition, Sorry Family)

Okay, can someone explain to me why it is somehow okay to send motherufucking SPAM to people you don't know and are not friends with? I tolerate this shit from my mother but that's where I draw the line because for my mom, the internet is still a little bit from the future and that's just how things are sometimes, PLUS she by some miracle manages to restrain herself from forwarding to me every single goddamn email she recieves and only sends interesting ones that she thinks I will be interested in. MY FUCKING GRANDMOTHER doesn't send me spam, and she's only had a computer for five years tops.

So anyway, let me tell you a story...a story about the fucking Booster Club. In the club leadership, there was once a special little snowflake in the shape of an extremey dim bulb, who is obnoxious, crass, and generally stupid beyond all sense and reason. Not only did this woman once opt to tell a story about her and her sorority sisters COLORING A DUDE'S BALLS PURPLE when he passed out at a party TO MY PARENTS, but she also once asked "what I was going to do" when board meetings - which non-board members are not supposed to attend - were held AT MY MOTHERFUCKING HOUSE. I am going to SIT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM AND EAT GRAPES NAKED IF I FEEL LIKE IT YOU STUPID MONGOLOID! Jesus Christ. So that covers the obnoxious and crass pretty well, how about the stupid, Br'er Josie? WELL CHILDREN, I HAPPEN TO HAVE A STORY RIGHT HERE! She had occasion to use the club email which until recently was a ghetto Hotmail process whereby you had to email different groups blah blah blah ANYWAY the key was that you had to email YOURSELF and blind CC the group so that you didn't merrily share everyone's email with everyone else. Needless to say the Special Little Dim Bulb was UTTERLY FUCKING UNABLE TO GRASP THIS CONCEPT so now I get a shit ton of FUCKING SPAM EMAIL FROM FUCKING BOOSTERS which I'm sure I don't need to tell you is ALL of the retarded variety.

So today I get an email from someone I cannot fucking stand, like, I wind up fidgeting with my hands because my ONE GUT REACTION TO HER FUCKING MEALY MOUTHING is to PUNCH her as hard and as fast as I can until the POLICE PULL ME OFF OF HER. AND of course the email is about a Visa/MasterCard scam where they call you and ask for your v-code on the back of the card. LISTEN MOTHERFUCKER, YOU MAY BE TOO STUPID TO FIGURE OUT THAT YOU SHOULDN'T BE GIVING RANDOM STRANGERS YOUR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE BUT I AM NOT SO DON'T FUCKING EMAIL ME!

And while you're at it, don't send me any fucking emails with every photo EVER TAKEN, STARTING WITH THE CRUSADES featuring a member of the armed services with messages about how liberals hate the troops, and DEFINITELY don't send me your BULLSHIT emails with eleventy fucking billion blinking motherfucking smilies and animated piles of shit!


Oh my sweet jesus. By now I figure many of you will want to avoid incurring this kind of wrath, so let me provide you with a handy list of questions you can ask yourself to make sure you're on the right path before hitting "forward."

  1. Would I write this person a personal note via email?
  2. Does this person often look at me like they are wondering what my freshly-spilt blood would taste like? (Josie Specific Version: When talking to the emailee in person, do they begin to show a distinct effort to keep their eyes focused, and/or start spastically messing with their ring and hands?)
  3. Does the email you're about to forward involve references to pop culture trivia that was hip more than 5 years ago?
  4. Has the potential forward passed hands more than eleventy billion times?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, and still want to forward your email, please unplug your computer, set it back up in your bathroom, place the tower in your bathtub, and soak away your daily aggravations. And one more thing: RANDOM PEOPLE YOU ARE NOT FRIENDS WITH ARE NOT THERE TO COMPLETE YOUR LIST OF TEN "FRIENDS" TO FUCKING FORWARD YOUR EMAIL TO SO YOU CAN AVOID GETTING HIT BY A CAR WHILE BEING DRAWN AND QUARTERED BY BADGERS. SEEING AN EMAIL ADDRESS is not permission to send whatever shitty email you want to the person it belongs to. I could not care less that you are too socially retarded to have ten friends to send your fucking forwards to -JUST SAY NO, MOTHERFUCKER! If the SHUT DOWN OF THE NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR PROJECT depended on my caring about your lack of friends, I still wouldn't give a shit. The next forwarded fucking email and I'm letting loose on your sorry ass.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The BiAnnual Behavior Modification Experiment (As Yet Unsuccessful)

Some of you have no doubt heard me talk about the Sharks Booster Club, of which, by the way I was BOOSTER OF THE YEAR last year yeah that's right bitches BOOSTER OF THE YEAR next stop Empress of the Universe, anyway one of the ways I won BOOSTER OF THE YEAR was by organizing people from both the Sharks and the Booster Club to march in the St. Patrick's Day and Columbus Day Parades. This is always a fun exercise in crowd control, because frankly it's a perfect storm of Kids Who Sit In the Back of Class and "Crack Wise" to the Dismay of Teachers Everywhere.

Since our little gang, i.e. the people in our row and other people not smart enough to run when we came near them with the demonic Booster Club Recruitment glint in our eyes, got involved with this stuff, the last hope of good behavior was lost. The Sharks office is a fun one, lots of young folks, and no one is "old at heart," so when you have a slightly odd event like a parade where you're sort of having a mobile hang-out session, eventually some degree of goofiness will emerge. Combine this with a group of Boosters who primarily make their presence in the DCU Center known by bellowing such delicate sentiments as "Hey 29, does your husband fight?" and taunting both opposing and home players, and it turns into sort of a cheerful kind of mayhem. It is a total effing blast, is my point. Let me explain why this year rocked by explaining last year's routine.

First of all, last year, the Sharks had been in town for about three minutes, and more importantly, the team/Booster relationship was still in the feeling-out stage. So, we told the Sharks we'd get everything set up, and decided to get some convertibles and a float to really introduce the new team with a bang. This involved borrowing two Mustang convertibles and a flatbed truck from Super Awesome Friend of a Booster, Rick Place of Putnam Ford Mercury in Putnam, CT where everyone should go RIGHT NOW to buy multiple vehicles, since Rick is an awesome dude who entrusted a bunch of nutbars with vehicles he presumably wants to sell some day. Thank you, Rick! After picking up said vehicles from said awesome dude, Speed and I split off, he to take one of the convertibles to our house and me to go to a farm that should be seriously considered for the next inevitable remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre to pick up some bales of hay. Needless to say, I also eventually needed gas, which when you are driving a diesel vehicle is easier said than done. We then proceeded to wrestle the giant and obstinate metal plates off of the sides of the truck and slap together some wooden railings to keep the wee little children from toppling off mid-parade. The next day, Speed and I showed up at the parade staging area at the ass crack of dawn and waited for everyone else to arrive.

Aaaaand arrive they did, including one person who was SHITTY drunk at ten in the effing morning. How? We went over the ground rules, which basically are as follows:

1. Don't act like a moron.
2. Don't throw candy.

(You can insert your own rant about how the litigiousness of this society has taken all the fun out of life, particularly vis a vis classic child-style fun like having candy hurled at you by strangers on a prade route. All I'm saying is that when I have my own kids I am throwing candy at them all the time so they TOUGHEN UP. I'm undecided on whether I want to force them to climb trees and skin their knees, etc.) So of course what everyone did was to throw candy at people, because between poor listening skills, poor retention skills, and general rebelliousness (and in that one notable case, drunkenness) , it was a battle lost before war was even declared. The highlight was when we passed the poor local TV stand, who of course the Sharks players WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS BUT STILL GUILTY began whipping candy up at. Good times.

This year was relatively less hectic - no float, one convertible, one pickup truck, and the Sharks' big box truck - but we continued what we have now accepted as a traditon of the Worcester Sharks being the problem children of the Worcester Parades. Speed and I just watched the coverage of the parade on the local On Demand service and this is how it went. Important note: there were two Channel 3 reporters, an older dude and a younger chick who is INADEQUATE as a replacement for Julie Tremmel who I enjoyed very much. Said younger chick spent most of the parade yelling assorted stuff at people in the parade and not talking into the microphone. I like to imagine that the older dude was trying to kill her with mind bullets, but I admit that some of my hostility is derived from the Julie Issue. So here's how it went.

1. The Sharks appear on the video, but the announcer is still TALKING to people on the route and not paying attention. Luckily for all involved, she did establish that she was a part of the Cantiani (Grand Marshal) club. NOTHING LIKE STUPID INSIDE JOKES TO SPICE UP A BROADCAST!!! She then starts talking about the Tornadoes, who went past while she was howling at Cantiani.

2. The male announcer calls the Tornadoes the local professional basketball team. The Tornadoes play baseball.

3. The Sharks gang looks pretty good, nice and festive in teal. My mother is idly waving a Sharks flag and sort of looks like she roamed onto the parade route because she got bored of watching. My father was probably a.) giving Speed "helpful" "directions" like "okay, you're going to go straight here," or b.) doing what he naturally called "in flight refueling," which is DadSpeak for stealing people's candy buckets and bringing them back to me (I was riding in the back of the truck) to get refilled.

4. The announcer says October is Sharktober about fourteen times, and around the eighth time, Raspy from our row appears in the bottom of the screen making the face of a recently escaped mental patient. Yes, he was the only person to do this during the entire broadcast.

5. For no reason whatsoever, the Sharks dude driving the box truck stops the truck in the middle of the street, GETS OUT OF THE TRUCK, and runs over to the side of the route to talk to someone, presumably about the solution to world hunger.

6. Suddenly, the female announcer says, "oh, they're going to throw a DumDum at us!"

7. The sounds of assault are heard, then the announcer yells "stick with hockey!" several times, with an inaudible response from the guys in the Sharks contingent.

8. The end of the Sharks group disappears as the announcer declares that "the Sharks rock."

Ah, hockey season.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Everybody Gets Oppressed by Color Day

You know, gender roles are just not that great much of the time. One of the things I most appreciate about my parents is that they managed to get out of adolescence and into adulthood without being screwed up about gender roles (and other demographic prejudices), and thus had not screwed-up-edness to indoctrinate into my brother, sister and I. Good stuff. However, once out of the enclave of hippiedom and freedom, man, you continually run into The Shit That Makes You Go "Zuh?" and it covers the range from weird to offensive.

I never know how sensitive men are to this stuff. I think in general, there is so much indoctrinated "girls like this, boys like that" crap that if you're not irked by something at least once a day, you're probably not paying attention, but I think women are more sensitive to misogyny because for a long time it simply wasn't okay to not believe the stereotypes were true. Sadly enough, I do think that women are kind of just now realizing that ass-kickery isn't just for a couple rogue women like Marie Curie and Elizabeth Blackwell, it's for anyone (and I include men in this) who feels like owning their own personal power and using it for good instead of whining. Which is great! Hooray equality! Hooray CHOICE!

Oh, except for the parts where society and in particular retail marketing people aren't really okay with that because then they can't target you on gender. One of the many awesome things about my Dad is that he bought me a toolbox when I went away to college, and when he gave it to me he said, "it's not a full tool set but it all works and it'll get what you need done." The tool set was exactly as promised...not a slick comprehensive tool inventory upon which to base one's entire do-it-yourselfing career, but a collection of screwdrivers, a little saw, some hardcore scissors, a staple gun, and some other assorted crap that is totally sufficient for a college kid. The case was grey and blue, and the handles of the tools were blue and black.

By contrast, my friend across the hall got something like this:

Now, my friend who owned this loves pink, and I am pretty sure would live INSIDE the color pink if it were somehow possible, but this does not exist because the cool chick I knew in college likes pink. It exists because Girls Like Pink is a pillar concept of marketing. I...don't like pink. I occasionally wear it, as all people SHOULD - yes I said people, get with the pink already boys, you won't be sorry - because it makes everyone's skin look great no matter what color said skin IS. No lie, people. You have to find the right variety of pink and all, but I promise you the result will be fabulous. Anyway, I wear it occasionally, just like I also wear other colors that look good on me, but I don't buy things like TOOLS because they are pink. Dear Marketing People of America; WOMEN LIKE COLORS THAT ARE NOT PINK, TOO. Love, Common Sense.

Normally, I'm too busy being aggravated by having pink thrown at me to remember that the guys get the same crap in the form of black and neon green being hurled at them. My favorite current example of this is this picture from Feministing.com.

Not sure if you can see really clearly, but yeah, those are black bath poufs. GOD FORBID YOU NEED TO APPLY YOUR AXE LATHER OF MANLINESS WITH A PINK BATH POUF. I would like to interject here that I am so, SO endlessly glad that Speed does not use Axe, because I have yet to find a scent that isn't eleventy billion times stronger than necessary and similar in scent to a frat boy. Does that make sense? I just feel like of all things your BODY WASH should not be so strong that you can use it to stun cattle. I love the black pouf though...I just imagine the store peeps opening a box with black poufs in it and going "AHA! FINALLY, something for the men."

Society is odd, isn't it?