When it comes to temper, I’m pretty Scandinavian; I don’t really lose my temper; it takes a lot to get me to show any emotional at all, really.
But when I do? Houston, we have a problem.
And so there really aren’t many things in the world that genuinely fill me with blinding homicidal rage.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to a few:
- “Axe” Deodorant Ads: All of them – the falling angels, “double-pits-to-chesty”, the idiot skateboarders, and the worst of them all, that **c***g chocolate guy walking down the street. Yeah, I know – their target market is the young and gullible (see also: Obama 2008). But did our anscestors defeat the Nazis so that we had to endure this bilge?
- Huge, tasteless tattoos: 1992 called. Seattle wants its fashion mistakes back.
- “Girl Power”: No, not powerful girls; girls should have self-respect and be intelligent and strong and self-assured. No, it’s the attitude I saw in a set of T-shirts at a store the other day – something to the tune of “I Throw Like A Girl. Jealous?” Which, by itself, is fine – it shows a clear misunderstanding of physical and emotional development in boys and girls, but whatever. But it was part of a line of “girls rock, boys suck”-wear which, again, I don’t care so much about, except that it’s been part of a twenty-year effort to make room for empowering girls by cutting down boys. It manifests itself in schools, and it’s having a terrible effect – boys are rapidly losing interesting education; soon, they’ll be down to 40% of college students. And for the life of me, I haven’t figured out how disempowering one gender in terms of its own natural traits can “empower” the other one! Also, I’d love to see the firestorm that’d accompany a line of T-shirts reading “I think like a boy – so sorry your adolescent feminine three-dimensional spatial visualization is so inadequate”, or whatever.
- Historical Illiterates – Not all of them. But many. Especially the ones that will read or hear some reference to German history from 1933-1945, issued by, hypothetically, someone who’s studied the history, sociology, politics and language of the era in some great detail, and – no matter what the reference is to – bleat “Godwin’s Law! Godwin’s Law! Braaaaaaaawk!“. Just saying.
- The taste of energy drinks: All of them. I can only think of one from among the whole assortment – Red Bull, Monster, Monster Java, Surge, Amp, RockStar, Pimp Juice (no, I’m not making that one up), Redeye, Pr0n Sauce (OK, I made that one up), SoBe – that doesn’t taste like carbonated fruit punch. Amp Citrus tastes vaguely like lemonade – not a bad start – that’s been filtered through battery acid. It’d help if every single one of them that I’ve tried didn’t give me a splitting headache – where by “help” I mean “with my aim”.
- The “States Rights Equal Slavery” Slur – Can you imagine out much better our nation would be today, had half of the nation sought secession, and the other half opposed it over, say, the Federal Reserve, the Income Tax, or the activist interpretations of the Interstate Commerce Clause? The notion of enumerated powers, and reserving important powers to the states and The People, is a noble one, a cornerstone of true representative democracy and a key bulwark against the creeping centralism that’s been increasingly sapping this country for the past eighty years in an accelerating vortex of bureaucratic ooze. And just because the peckerwoods in half of the nation decided to stake “states rights” on a profound evil, slavery, doesn’t make the concept itself less any less vital. If you have a brain in your head, a moral bone in your body, any respect for why this nation exists as it does (as opposed to in the form of a France or a Netherlands) and the faintest sense of respect for logic. But if the majority of this country had any of the above, the Democrats would have to launch petition drives to get on the ballot, like the Greens or the Constitution Party.
- Pauly Shore – Yep. Even after all these years. Just can’t get over it.
- Mindless Petty Slander – It’s a long story.
- The Advertising Double Standard – You know the one I’m talking about; in advertising, most families show “Dad” as a bumbling, incompetent schlub whose improbably gorgeous wife seems to tolerate him (and provides the correct answer to everything, which always hinges on the product being sold). I understand it, of course – these ads are aimed at products that women tend to buy. But I wonder about this part – if you look at ads aimed at things men stereotypically buy – tools, cases of beer, work trucks – the portrayal across the gender divide is so different; in those ads, men are young, usually single, and surrounded by women whose intellectual and social capabilities are never questioned, and are indeed irrelevent beside the fact that they are hot. So what does this tell us about how the world of advertising sees the American gender psyche (a perception which had best be accurate, for them, since business stakes billions of dollars a year on these ads)? That men fantasize about being young, buff, drunk, driving big trucks, and surrounded by Selma Hayek and Sarah Chalke lookalikes, while women dream of making the men in their lives look emasculated, helpless and stupid?
- Discrimination Before The Law Against Anyone Based On Race, Religion, Politics, Ethnicity Or Affectional Orientation – Because if I didn’t say it, you just know some bobblehead would ask “So you don’t hate repression? Hmmm? Developing…”
Not a multi-part series. I think I pretty well blew the karma out of my cylinders with this post.