Friday, July 31, 2015

The Alaska Feels as Told in 5 Cat Memes







If a First Year Law Student Wrote Up Meek v. Drake for Homework

CASE: Meek v. Drake, 123 A.2d 456 (The Internet, 2015)1

FACTS: On June 29, 2015, plaintiff and Nicki Minaj paramour rapper Meek Mill (a.k.a. Robert Rahmeek Williams, hereinafter "Meek") released the album "Dreams Worth More Than Money," containing a track called "R.I.C.O." That track featured a guest appearance by defendant and Canadian teen TV star turned platinum MC., Drake (a.k.a. Aubrey Drake Graham, hereinafter "Drake").

On July 22, 2015, during an extended Twitter battle and later that night in concert, Meek accused Drake of failure to write his own rhymes--a grave breach of the Hip-Hop Code of Ethics and a serious allegation. Specifically, Meek claimed that Drake's one-verse contribution to "R.I.C.O." was penned not by Drake himself, but by an MC from Atlanta named Quentin Miller. 

Two days later, on July 24, 2015, Mr. Miller denied "ghost-writing" Drake's verse. But that evening, esteemed NYC radio DJ Funkmaster Flex declared on Twitter that, in fact, Meek's allegations were true, and that he had in his possession sufficient evidence to prove them. 

The following day, Drake released a track called "Charged Up" in response to Meek's allegations, to which Meek claimed he had a sur-reply prepared in the form of a track called "Beautiful Nightmare." However, when the time came for Meek to unveil the highly-anticipated sur-reply/track, it turned out to be 15 seconds of Meek screaming. Accordingly, Meek was roundly heckled a day later during the Nicki Minaj Pinkprint tour stop in Drake's hometown of Toronto.

On July 29, 2015, Drake dropped "Back to Back Freestyle," another diss track that the Internet ruled on a motion for preliminary injunction was an "absolute monster." The Internet's judgment found Meek had insufficiently responded to Drake's initial diss, and in dicta ruled against Meek's relationship with Minaj on additional claims made regarding Meek's hometown Philadelphia Phillies against Drake's hometown Toronto Blue Jays, who were intervening parties on the motion.

On July 30, 2015, Meek filed another untimely response in the form of a diss track titled "Wanna Know." The Internet was not impressed. In a per curiam order issued by Twitter, the Internet ruled Meek's track a "tree full of lemons". The following day, Drake de facto dropped the mic with an Instagram image of himself laughing hysterically.

ISSUE: Whether Meek or Drake is the lamest person in this beef.

PROCEDURAL POSTURE: This case comes before the Internet on Drake's Motion for Summary Judgment.

HELD: Drake prevailed on summary judgment before a three judge panel of the Internet composed of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

REASONING: The Internet held that Drake was the prevailing party, and that Meek was the lamest person in this beef. The primary reason for the Internet's holding was that Meek's tracks and responses were inferior to Drake's as a matter of law.

1  Source: See http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/31/drake-vs-meek-mill-feud (last visited July 31, 2015).

Plaintiff Meek Mill


Defendant Drake

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Privilege

I've written directly about race exactly twice on this blog: Once in a post called "White Privilege and The Limits of Denial," and then more recently in a post called "Why My Opinion of #BlackLivesMatter Doesn't Matter."

I'll make it an even three, because it's also inherent to white privilege to be part of a default privileged race, and not have to be conscious of my race in the way people of color are forced to be in America and around the world. So I get to just write about this issue a few times and be done with it, instead of living it every day, and that in and of itself is the essence of privilege.

But I digress.

White people get very defensive when we talk about "privilege." Someone said to me recently, "people can't help being born white or privileged. But to call them out as bad or racist because of it isn't any fairer than saying someone born into poverty chooses that and is a taker because of it. Isn't it up to us to acknowledge that we do get treated differently and it isn't right, rather than assuming that everyone is either ignorant or abuses the privileged situation purposely."

I totally agree with the part of this statement that I highlighted above. But I think the rest sort of misses the point.

In my opinion, white people inferring that they are being called racist or bad when their privilege is noted--even if they ARE being called that, and whether it's true or not--is basically just a self-punishing and defensive inference and reaction that distracts from the task at hand. That task is to listen and focus on what black people are saying and experiencing right now, instead of always turning the "conversation" back on ourselves and bristling at our own reactions and guilt.

It pains me to use the pronoun "we" and "our" here, but it's the truth. Yeah, I am white and privileged and I "feel bad" about that, but who cares? That's not really the point of the conversation. White feelings are not the point. Saying "it's not fair to call people out for privilege" is one step removed from the whole #AllLivesMatter malarkey. It's all part of the same white-centric perspective that directs us to always turn the dialogue back on ourselves, and make it all about our experiences, rather than focusing in a very direct way on what should really be happening among white people: a whole lot more listening to black people, and a whole lot less defending ourselves.

Express Yourself

A Madonna parody for any mother who has ever experienced "nursing mom guilt" while trying to "express" breast milk from her breasts:



Come on moms!
Do you believe in boobs?
'Cause I got something to say about ‘em
And it goes something like this:

Don't go for second best baby
Put your baby on the breast
You know, you know, you've got to
Make your boobs express what they feel
And how they feel is like a baby’s meal

Express yourself!

You don't need that Fenugreek
And sleep is oversold
Fancy bottles—even BPA-free
You know formula ain't free, no no
What you need is a big strong pump
To squeeze out every precious drop

Make you feel like a dairy cow
Get that suction going--never stop
[never stop]

Don't go for second best baby
Put your baby on the breast
You know, you know, you've got to
Make your boobs express what they feel
And how they feel is like a baby’s meal

Express yourself!

Bottle feeding is the way to your bed
But you must put that out of your head
Chewed up nipples are very romantic
What happens when they turn bright red?
Your baby deserves the best in life
So if the time isn't right then too bad
Second best is never enough
Just line your bra with nursing pads
[Some nursing pads]

Don't go for second best baby
Put your baby on the breast
You know, you know, you've got to
Make your boobs express what they feel
And how they feel is like a baby’s meal

Express yourself
[you've got to make your boobs]
Express themselves
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Your baby’s hungry right now, a lactation consultant can show you how
Express what you got, oh baby ready or not!






Cecil's Dream: A Comic

Some Good Feminist Advice

Hey laaaaadieees! I'm so glad this hot guy named Austin with a sexy scruffy face put my self esteem in terms my lady brain can finally understand: shopping and objectification. 

Thanks for the super comprehensible analogy provided on a pretty pink background. I feel SO much better about myself now!





Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Outrageous!

I'm totally outraged by the new format and template for online expressions of outrage. 

I just wish that people expressing outrage online over some outrageous thing would express as much (or preferably even more) outrage over another outrageous thing that I believe deserves a greater level of outrage. And I am sighing very deeply as I write this.

Why?

Because clearly, outrage is a limited and nonrenewable resource. There is so much to be outraged about right now that: (a) we might run out of the emotion; and (b) we must all constantly, publicly, and vocally organize the many things deserving of our collective outrage into some sort of bizarre outrage hierarchy.


See, it's very important that we assign the proper level of outrage to each outrageous thing. There are many, many outrageous things in the world. But they exist in a very clear, strict, established, objective, and mutually exclusive order which we must all spend a great deal of time and energy untangling. 


We also must forcefully convince one another--by any means necessary--that our particular organization of outrage is correct, and that the things we have deemed outrageous should be accorded the exact same level of outrage by others that we ourselves have assigned to that particular thing.

Then and only then can we feel that we showed someone something and taught them an important lesson: The lesson being, "the thing I'm outraged about right now is objectively more outrageous than the thing you are outraged about right now, and I just pointed out this outrage gap to you online in a very smug and clever way that must be tweeted and retweeted and repeated the world over for a minimum of 24 hours."

Outrageous! 








How to Eat Out Anywhere in Juneau in 20 Easy Steps

Eating out in Juneau is a unique experience, and everyone who lives here knows that it's also--more often than not--a primer in "what-not-to-do-from-a-food-service-perspective." 

Everyone who lives here knows this and talks about it, but until now (as far as I know), no one has blogged (in good fun, in good fun) about it. For all of its wonderful traits, our community is a bit lacking in the food service department, as I know having myself spent many of my tender years working in that industry.

I love and patronize all of our local food establishments and am grateful for their existence, BUT (you knew there was a but)--and without naming names--all too often this is what happens anytime you eat out--anywhere--in the 2,217 square miles that is The City and Borough of Juneau:

1. Enter 75% empty establishment.
2. Wait 20 minutes.
3. Look around for someone--anyone--(Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?) who (a) appears to be working; and (b) does not appear to be stoned.
4. Ask for a table and a menu.
5. Wait 20 more minutes.
6. Get a table and a menu.
7. Wait 20 more minutes.

8. Order something.
9. Wait 20 more minutes.
10. Get something that's different from what you ordered.
11. Politely send it back with arguably-not-stoned server.
12. Wait 20 more minutes.
13. Get the thing you ordered.
14. Eat the thing in 10 minutes.
15. Ask for check.
16. Wait 20 more minutes.
17. Get check.
18. Notice something wrong on check and repeat steps 15-17 above.
19. Wait 20 more minutes.
20. Finally sign your check and leave.

I'm FAR from a high maintenance eater-outer, so I find this all more amusing than anything else, really. Juneau, AK: Where you might as well say to your server: "Seat me when you want, give me what you want, charge me what you want, and take as long as you want to give it to me---because that's what's gonna happen anyway!"

Bon Appetit!

Creepy Kids Are The Creepiest

My mother was an orphan and a foster child. And sadly, I've had occasion in my professional life to work on some legal situations involving abused and neglected children. So don't take it the wrong way when I point out the obvious fact that this is one creepy-ass looking kid: 

If this little girl ever showed up on my doorstep (to be counseled or otherwise), I'd run and hide under the nearest piece of furniture and call 911 before she could kill my pet hamster with her bare hands and play a spooky dirge on the piano with two index fingers while staring vacantly into space.

And if the Facebook ad gnomes want to "WOW" me into "becom[ing] a child counselor" in "ALASKA"--for any amount of money--they probably don't want to do it with a kid who's obviously plotting to murder me in my sleep. 

Because this girl looks exactly like the type who sneaks up on you while you're innocently eating some cold leftover General Tso's chicken at midnight, and in the eerie glow of the open refrigerator, starts chanting ANNIE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (pretend her name was Annie) and then paints this on your dining room wall 666 times in the aforementioned dead hamster's blood while speaking in tongues:


I don't doubt that Annie is perfectly adorable and non-homicidal in real life (like ALL kids . . . right?!) But her class composite photo definitely includes the following classmates:









The only thing that could make Annie creepier would be if she presented herself with this doll tucked under her arm:


Lock your doors, people. This shit is downright terrifying.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bill Gates Must Have Jizzed in My Coffee

Oh come on. Don't let the title of this blog post put you off, and set your prudish discomforts aside, because this is a serious fiscal situation I'm talking about here. I just walked out of a coffee shop having paid $9.08 (nine dollars and eight cents) for this:



Actually, let me clarify:  It was $10.08 (TEN dollars and eight cents), with tip. 

Yes, I know. I have no one to blame but myself for ordering a 12 oz. soy latte with an extra shot and a splooge of sugar-free caramel syrup. (I don't think "splooge" is the official unit of measurement for those syrups, but you know what I mean. They do make that sort of splooging sound when you splooge them into your drink). 

Anyway, the teenage barista who took my order must have heard "Bill Gates' jizz" when I said "sugar free caramel," and splooged a squirt of Bill Gates' jizz into my coffee cup in order for this drink to have added up to $9.08 (nine dollars and eight cents) minus tip. 

Obviously, Bill Gates is hanging out in the back of a local coffee shop in Juneau, pulling down his 10,000 thread-count boxers, and looking at pictures of yachts and gold-plated airplane hangars while he produces his daily half gallon of the mystery syrup that results in nine dollar coffee drinks.

Yep. Bill Gates must have jizzed in my coffee. That's the only possible explanation for the price of this beverage.

Braveheart for President!

Today, The Donald sank to a new, primordial soup-level low. He had his unfrozen caveman lawyer defend him against marital rape allegations with the following 5 words of Sherlock's logic: "you can't rape your spouse."

Um ... well, yes, actually you very much CAN rape your spouse, because at least in 2015,"put a ring on it" does not automatically translate into "stick your dick in it." But who am I to argue with a lawyer? (Answer: another lawyer).

Unless of course you're in medieval Scotland and exercising the "right of prima nocta." That's where a conquering band of barbarians has first (and obvi nonconsensual) dibs on brides in the other barbarians' harem. This is what happened to fellow douche bag Mel Gibson's boo in Braveheartand it hit him right in the feels. Like enough to make him really mad and put on war paint that turned him into the doppelgänger of Willie Nelson dressed up as Papa Smurf for Halloween. 

But back to 2016. 

This is awesome news for The Donald (and America), because if The Donald vanquishes Hillary, that means he has the God given right to get it on with Bill! And that is something America simply MUST see: two rich, wizened old womanizing megalomaniacs having rough and scary sexy times ala Braveheart.

Braveheart for president!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Elisabeth Hasselbeck HAS to Be Huffing Peroxide Fumes

That's the only possible explanation for this cray cray woman's take on the arrest and subsequent death in police custody of Sandra Bland. According to Elisabeth Hasselwhatthefuck, Sandra Bland basically got what was coming to her because DUH, she could in theory have used her cigarette as a weapon against the officer who arrested her for changing lanes, as SURELY that must have happened at least once "in the history of this land."

Uh huh. Ok, whatever you say. Here are a list of things in this picture alone that you could have used as a weapon in the same situation:

1. That necklace
2. Your rock-hard skull
3. Your eyeliner pencil
4. The acidic peroxide on your head that is clearly affecting your ability to think with an IQ higher than that of a protozoa.

But of course you'd be very unlikely to end up in a situation like what happened to Sandra Bland, because shit like that doesn't generally happen to people like you "in the history of this land."

I mean, really!? I actually don't think there has ever been a stupider comment made on TV "in the history of this land," and that's really saying something. Stupid is as stupid does, and stupid just doesn't get any stupider than this. 

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a.k.a. Dimwit Von Numbskull: bringing shame on white people everywhere, one stupid ass comment at a time.


10 Things I'd Tell My July 26, 2015 Self

I've decided to add to the cacophony of navel-gazing internet listicles wherein people write up lists of things they would have told themselves at some other age or stage of life. 

Frankly, I think these lists are too few and far between, and much too broad in their scope. It's high time that we all write these lists EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY OF OUR LIVES, so that each of our daily regrets and insights is adequately and meticulously cataloged for posterity. 

So I'm starting today's list with yesterday, and it's called "10 Things I'd Tell My July 26, 2015 Self":

1. Don't read a list in The New York Times of ten things someone told her formerly medicated self immediately after happily, readily, and gratefully swallowing 20 mg of Prozac.

2. Don't let this happen to your hair:


3. Recycle this magazine if it ever shows up in your mailbox:


4. Skip the beet salad.

5. Don't stay up until midnight watching back-to-back episodes of "The Killer Speaks" on A&E.

6. When you finally do go to bed, charge your iPhone on another level of the house.

7. Make your kids clean up their shit hole bedrooms or finally suffer the fucking consequences once and for all.

8. Just because you biked ten miles on flat pavement without dying or being transported to the hospital in an ambulance doesn't mean you're in shape.

9. The vow you made to yourself today to quit sugar indefinitely is some next level bullshit and you know it.

10. If Taylor Swift's song "Bad Blood" comes on the radio, turn it off immediately. Otherwise that whiny skank will be singing "Now we got proooooblems, and I don't think we can sooooolve 'em" at auditory hallucination levels of clarity in your head all day long.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Why I Love It When Other Adults Discipline My Kids

It doesn't happen too often, but I really love it when other adults discipline my kids. A lot of parents take huge offense to that. They get super pissed off, indignant, and angry that any other adult or parent would dare to intervene in their child's behavior. But honestly, I think this is a really good thing, and that there's not enough of it in the world anymore. 

One of my most vivid early childhood memories is being at our local bank with my parents, and an old man who worked there told me nicely not to touch the delicate ornaments on a Christmas tree. I was mortified and cried hysterically. But my parents didn't get all pissed off at the bank guy, and tell him how dare he tell their child not to do something. The guy simply saw a kid about to break something delicate and corrected the situation. And guess what? It was fine, and the message was received.

Usually I'm pretty vigilant and I try not to let my kids get into situations where it's necessary for other adults to correct their behavior in the first place. But occasionally it happens, and it's very effective when it does. I feel lucky that my kids have other adults in their lives who can help raise them and teach them how to operate and interact in the world: parents of their friends; aunts and uncles; teachers; and even strangers. The less comfortable they are with the person, the more amenable they are to being corrected, and the more they seem to realize that they are not the center of the universe, which as I've said before is my highest parenting priority.

I feel like too many parents take ridiculous levels of umbrage to simple polite correction from other adults. I'm not talking about other adults screaming at and smacking other people's kids, obviously. I'm talking about another adult nicely telling your kid that they're being an asshole. And honestly, I think that's awesome.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shit That Seriously Just Needs to Stop

1. The following things in an airport waiting area: airplane disasters on TV; cats and yappy lap dogs; McDonalds in the hands of an entire junior high school basketball team; someone hacking up a lung and leaving tissues at their feet; anonymous farting; toddler eating a candy bar and drinking a soda.

2. Parents who treat their 7 year-old's soccer game like it's the fucking FIFA World Cup.

3. White people who keep saying #AllLivesMatter.

4. People getting shot every other day at school, work, church, grocery stores, movies, the gym, and basically any place that isn't actually a designated war zone.

5. Rich dudes getting away with rape on the daily.

6. Passive aggression in social interactions. What ever happened to active aggression? C'mon people--be direct! It's active aggression or nothing.

7. Parents treating their kid like their kid is never ever wrong and is the next Albert Einstein.

8. Media-manufactured "wars" and "feuds" between successful women that are transparently engineered and calculated to bring women down.

9. Pollen in my face.

10. Adam Levine and Maroon 5 in my ears and eyeballs.



List of Public Places You Can Go in America and Feel Confident You Won't Be Shot and Killed

1 ...

Um ... Ok ... list done now.



Friday, July 24, 2015

Further Evidence That I'm a Terrible Mother and Person

Today, crumpled in the bottom of my shit hole of a purse/bag, I discovered documentary evidence that I am--as long suspected--a terrible mother and person. Rather than retype that evidence word for word, I've captured it here in a photograph:


I don't need to tell you that I've (a) missed the six-day deadline by a considerable number of days; (b) not let anyone--much less anyone's mom--know (until now); or (c) "take[n] the time for this [allegedly] quick project."

Accordingly, I have not seen a "gratifying smile on [my] child's face when [she] open[ed] [her] very own mail," and no one to my knowledge has "[had] fun" as a result of this non-electronic chain letter.

But by far my favorite line is that failure to do this will disappoint children the world over, as if I were the train that broke down with all the toys and dolls and good things for little boys and girls to eat before the Little Engine That Could saved the day and dragged my sorry ass over the mountain. Or like I was hungover Santa Claus who slept through Christmas and smoked crack instead of distributing presents.

For as the letter notes, "it's really not fair to all the other kids who have participated and are hoping for their letters and stickers."

OH. MY. GOD. As if I don't have enough to feel guilty about, I have now been instructed to feel guilty that some First World kids I don't even know will be horribly disappointed when they fail to receive letters and stickers they've completely forgotten about!

That said, I'll give you one clue as to my first self-assigned task for the weekend: buying 7 packs of stickers, 7 envelopes, 7 stamps and doing literally everything else this letter says to do lest I end up in the burning flames of HELL.

Watch out moms: guilt, stickers, and passive aggression are coming soon to a mailbox near you.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Hidden Dangers Of . . . Armadillo-Borne Leprosy?!

If you (or maybe just I?) type the words, "the hidden dangers of ..." into Google, here's what comes up first: "the rainbow"; "cosmetic surgery"; "cell phone radiation"; "energy drinks"; and "skinny fat."

Here's what does NOT come up: "armadillo-borne leprosy." But leave it to O.H.M. to shed some much-needed light on this little known danger.

Just check out this totally legit news story, which reports that cases of leprosy in Florida are on the rise among humans who have been "interacting" with the adorable hard-shelled mammals, and a scientist interviewed here recommends that people avoid "canoodling" with them. Only in Florida, I suspect, would this need to be explicitly stated as a warning (PLEASE DO NOT FUCK THE ARMADILLOS?) 

The struggle is real, Florida. The struggle is REAL.

But this got me thinking about all the other old-timey, obscure mammal-borne diseases that could be lurking under our very noses, such as:

--Platypus-borne scurvy
--Koala-borne gout
--Tapir-borne consumption
--Lemur-borne cholera
--Sloth-borne tuberculosis

And of course, I'd be remiss not to mention . . . Seattle-yuppie-borne polio!

We must remain vigilant to these hazards in our midst. 



Flag Logic

The confederate flag debate has come to our little hamlet of Juneau in an interesting way that reveals a logical fallacy worth observing.

First some background: An organization called Friends of the Flags flies all 50 state flags each summer along the main road in town to welcome tourists. A local small business owner--who happens to hail from the Land of Dixie--recently launched a successful campaign to replace the official Mississippi flag (which includes a confederate symbol) with that state's original magnolia flag. His effort was prompted by the Charleston church massacre and an overwhelming national consensus that the confederate flag is a symbol of America's ignominious history of slavery, racism, and white supremacy. He wanted to show visitors to Juneau that our community disavows those things.

Now a counter-effort is underway to put the official Mississippi flag back up, based on the following arguments, culled from comments in online community forums: freedom of speech; only a few people think it's racist; the business owner is taking bribes; no one should patronize his business; taking down the flag hides history; it's just a piece of fabric; who cares it's just a flag; if we're going to remove flags we should be consistent and also remove crosses because of human rights atrocities historically committed by churches. (Actually, I don't think that last point is really so crazy, since religious symbols generally don't constitutionally belong in public spaces in America anyway).

But actually, this blog post isn't about my opinion, because of course, the flag is just a proxy for the real debate: The debate that on one side says people should grow up, put on their big kid panties, and simply get over past/present injustices; and on the other says those injustices should continue to be honored and addressed in ways both symbolic and real.

So what is this blog post about then? It's about a problem in logic. 

Roughly stated, the argument for returning the flag to its rightful place on Egan Drive is essentially that a symbol of the confederacy is no big deal. Yes, there is some indignance over the flag's historical meaning and the fact that this is an official state flag being removed. But stripped down, the argument is really this: a confederate symbol is no big deal, and 200 overly sensitive people are imposing their sensitivity on everyone else.

Let's say for the sake of argument that that is true. But if that's true, and a symbol of the confederacy is really no big deal, then what's the big deal in removing it? It can't be both a big deal and no big deal. In other words, it can't be a big enough deal to launch a petition to put it back up, but no big deal to fly it in the faces of those who find it atrociously offensive.

Either it's a big deal, or it's not. The person who mounted the effort to remove the flag is being logically consistent in his position that it is--in fact--a big deal: both to take it down, and to fly it. By contrast, the people who want to put the flag back up simultaneously claim it's a very big deal to take it down, but no big deal to fly it.

Honestly, as someone who values reason above almost everything, I find myself more offended by this logical inconsistency than anything else.

Image result for mississippi state flag

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

We Need a Third Party Composed Exclusively of Supervillains

The partisan chicanery of the 2016 presidential election cycle is already wearing thin, so I propose a third party composed entirely of supervillains, all of whom would be TOTALLY amazing at being boss of 'Murica! Here's one sentence on why each of these freakazoids would make an amazing prez!* 




Darth Vader from Star Wars: Darth Vader is familiar with nepotism and familial legacy in leadership; he projects the gravitas necessary to dispense with futile diplomacy and pulverize America's enemies using the highest tech weapons available in the galaxy.

The Joker wallpaper

The Joker from Batman: The Joker is a full-blown sociopath with a great sense of humor and a knack for chemical engineering (both of which are key presidential qualities), and every time he issues an executive order through his boutonniere, he'll prompt the public to ask, "Wait, is this a joke?," and because the answer will always be yes, he's sure to keep America laughing through good times and bad.



Smeagol from Lord of the Rings: Scary, old, pale, desiccated, gravel-voiced, and obsessed with "precious" metals, Smeagol has the tenacity, fearlessness, greed, and turkey neck that have often proven necessary prerequisites to win the presidency.



Cruella Deville from 101 Dalmatians: With a two-toned head for business, dubious ties to a puppy mill, improbably high cheekbones, and eyebrows for days, Cruella is this year's quasi-electable token crazy lady who--bonus!--makes an excellent scapegoat for her fellow male chauvinist presidential supervillain hopefuls.



Lex Luthor from Superman: Lex has has been described as a "power-mad American billionaire, business magnate, gifted scientist and inventor, and philanthropist," and let's face it, you can't get any more presidential than that.



Skeletor from He-Man: Skeletor is described as a "muscular blue humanoid who seeks to conquer Castle Grayskull The White House so he can obtain its ancient secrets, which would make him unstoppable and enable him to conquer and rule Eternia  America but his incompetent henchmen's  Cabinet's stupidity always gets in the way---" Again, you can't get more presidential if you tried, unless maybe you're Lex Luthor.



Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter: Voldemort has serious leadership skills consistent with the American Dream and past presidents, as evidenced by the fact that he's a genocidal, megalomaniacal wingnut wizard supremacist preoccupied with pure-blood wizard dominance and becoming the supreme ruler of the world.



The Scary Leprechaun from Leprechaun: He may look like your worst nightmare and suffer from a serious Napoleon complex, but he packs a punch on issues like immigration reform, and his facility with gold makes him the ideal candidate to steer the country from the edge of its perpetual fiscal cliff.



Satan from The Bible: According to a small but vocal minority of tinfoil hat wearers, Satan is already running America and has been throughout most of its history; but since he's the Anti-Christ, he's exempt from term limits and we might as well re-elect him to his 89th term. 

*Images may be subject to copyright. Please send cease and desist letter.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Aksplaining

Aksplaining is a verb I think I just coined, or at least Google does not reveal its prior existence. It's the act of explaining Alaska to people outside Alaska. For example, if you live in Alaska, you often have to "Aksplain" the following things:

  • No, not everyone lives in igloos. 
  • No, polar bears do not wander into Anchorage or Juneau.
  • Yes, a meatball sandwich at Subway really costs that much.
  • No, we're not going to get killed by a bear today.
  • Um ... sea level is zero elevation.
  • No, the glacier is not dirty.
  • No, I haven't seen Sarah Palin recently.
  • Seriously, people don't use umbrellas.
  • Yes, someone shot that hot dog you're eating.
  • Yes, mail really takes that long.
  • No, it doesn't always take as long as you think it does to get here.
  • Yes, it's big.
  • Yes, there are very few people living here relative to its geographic size.
  • Yes, some people have running water.
  • Yes, some people don't have running water.
  • Yes, that is seriously the Capitol Building.
  • No, little if anything you saw on reality TV was real.
  • Yes, it snows a lot.
  • No, not last winter.
  • Yes, climate change is happening.
  • Yes, it's still often quite cold.
  • No, not always.
  • Yes, that's a wood stove.

There you have it: Life in AK, Aksplained!




O.H.M. Special Fitness Guide: Six Weeks to An Alaska Body

Week One: Buy two pairs of Dansko clogs (one black, one brown) and one pair of insulated Xtra Tuff boots. Shove all the other shoes you own all the way to the back of your closet, because you won't be needing those anymore. No, no, not there. Like, WAY further back, where the dust bunnies fuck each other's brains out and make more baby dust bunnies until there's a whole, complex 12-generation colony of dust bunnies of all shapes and sizes in and around the shoes you will never put your feet into ever again.

Week Two: Give up shaving because fuck it. Start growing thick, black hair all over your body until you look indistinguishable from a sturdy female mountain gorilla cross-bred with a Yeti. Take a selfie on your iPhone using that grainy black-and-white filter ("noir," I believe it's called?), and sell it to a Big Foot conspiracy theorist for cash.

Week Three: Get one of those bikes with fat studded tires. Ride it everywhere you go, but especially to work, where everyone will know you just rode a bike with fat studded tires to work. Get some of those cozy hand-warmer thingies. Get a giant helmet that fits over the hood of your water resistant Arcteryx jacket made of a high-tech fabric that also ends with the letter "X." Affix 800 blinking lights and reflective tape all over the bike and your body because cars. Repeat until you look like a mobile Christmas tree. All of this will only cost you slightly more than a used Subaru. Do this for two weeks until you decide that it’s easier to drive your used Subaru three miles to work, even if your driveway is the only glacier in the state that is officially advancing.

Week Four: Sign up for weekly yoga emails to remind you of that one time you went to yoga and felt even worse about yourself than usual afterwards. Each time you receive such an email, hover over "unsubscribe" without clicking because you might need this important information again very soon. Think about how your yoga mat was used once for a prenatal yoga video and was thereafter appropriated by your children as a pretend camping prop. Recall that you don't own yoga pants that aren’t pajamas, and that when you wear yoga pants and a sports bra you look like an anthropomorphized tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls. Eat cake and a caramel soy Frappuccino (TM) with an extra shot for lunch.

Week Five: Resolve to knit a sweater. While thinking about what a great hobby knitting is, recall that you don't know how to knit and are too lazy to learn, because who the fuck learns to knit anymore this isn't Little House on the Prairie. Feel inept anyway--like really SIT with your ineptitude and FEEL it. Imagine your incompetence as breath in yoga, and your lack of knitting supplies as a chakra realigning with your third eye. Then picture a knitting needle poking violently into that third eye that you don't need anyway because you already have two working real eyes and you're not a cyclops. Softly and mindlessly touch the hundreds of sweaters you already own while simultaneously thinking about which ones you can dump at a clothing swap or a consignment store. Put on the bulkiest sweater you can find. Promptly swallow three non-drowsy antihistamines without water before that sweater's fabric triggers an asthma attack.


Week Six: Remember that dust bunny nest from Week One? Reach in there and get your running sneakers. Stand on the bathroom scale and cry. Consider signing up for a road relay in Canada where they give out "bibs," because the only bib you've worn recently is made out of plastic and has a cartoon picture of a crab and butter stains on it. Tell yourself that your expired passport is the only reason you can't run a road race in Canada. Return running sneakers to the dust bunny nest in that corner just to the left of your red gladiator sandals, for they are a totem of all your failures as a human being, and God knows you don't need any more of those in your daily line of sight.

Why My Opinion of #BlackLivesMatter Doesn't Matter

I can sum that one up in two words: I'm white! 

I mean, DUH. It doesn't take a genius or a great empath of high social intelligence to figure out when it's time to STFU and listen to the people whose experience actually counts in this department, a.k.a. not me or any other white person.

Because guess what happened the only two times in my life I've ever been pulled over by the cops? They let me go both times with a warning and a smile and nothing else, and I wasn't scared for a second.

Guess how many times someone has followed me around in a store, thinking I was about to shoplift something? 

Zero.

Guess how often I've worried that I was or wasn't getting some job or getting into a school or not getting into a school because of my race? 

Ding ding ding! Also zero.

Guess when someone didn't want to rent me an apartment or sell me a house just by looking at me? 

Um . . . never!

I could go on and on, but no actually I can't, because the problem is I have no fucking idea what I'm talking about, because--HELLO---I'm white! There's a theme here, and the theme is, if you're white you kind of just need to STFU right now.

If you're white and your response to current affairs and #BlackLivesMatter is #AllLivesMatter you are living in a bubble, seriously lacking in the clue-having department, or both. If that's your first response, maybe it's time to just shut up and listen. Like seriously. Just. LISTEN.

Surrender your defensiveness, get over the "But I'm not a racist" and "But I have black friends" and "But everyone is eeeeeeequal" waah waah waah bullshit, which is so tempting for white people to engage in, myself included. And maybe just challenge yourself to listen to the people whose opinions actually matter because they live in this skin every day of their lives.

Every time I'm tempted to express an opinion, I just tell myself: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And that's all you need to do. 

It's really not that hard, and you just might learn something.

Monday, July 20, 2015

What Have I Watched Online Today?: A Pie Chart

Maroon 5 Crashed Some Weddings and I Guess That's NOT Supposed to Be My Worst Nightmare?

Regular readers of this blog know that Maroon 5 is second only to Nickelback and Nelson on my list of all-time worst musical nightmares. 

Indeed, the only thing that would make my eyes and ears bleed more profusely than watching Adam Levine croon in person from ten feet away would be watching Adam Levine croon in person from ten feet away with his entire band of random back-up L.A. hipsters at--SURPRISE!!!--MY WEDDING!!!

I did not have a real wedding to speak of, because my fourth worst nightmare (after Nickelback, Nelson, and Maroon 5) is being a "bride," having a "big day" in a white dress, getting rice thrown at my head, wearing diamond jewelry, and generally spending a small fortune to look like Plus-Sized Brunette Barbie with gel tip fingernails that I'm improbably expected to refrain from biting off for 12 hours.

To say that the victims  beneficiaries of Maroon 5's surprise appearance do not share my lack of enthusiasm would be an understatement. To the contrary, the brides involved have what appear to be several consecutive spontaneous orgasms in the face of Adam Levine's stubble, smoldering bedroom eyes, and signature fragrance popping up unannounced at their wedding receptions. And after momentarily considering whether to feel threatened by this sudden display of sexy male pop stars, the grooms appear pleased as well.

So I BEG of you: Take 5 minutes and 6 seconds to watch a video of what can only be described as my worst nightmare realized, in which Maroon 5 sings inspired lines from their song Sugar like "I want that red velvet/I want that sugar sweet/Don't let nobody touch it/Unless that somebody's me/I gotta be your man/There ain't no other way/'Cause girl you're hotter than a Southern California day." 

I just threw up in my mouth and experienced a waking night terror as I typed that, contemplating the strain it must have placed on these five minds to devise an extended lyrical metaphor for a Victoria's Secret Angel's (TM) vagina.

This might be real, or it might be staged. But either way, it's 5:06 of your life you will never get back, and it's worth it.





I Am Highly Offended, Today!!!

The following poster popped up in my Facebook news feed recently, and based on the context, I took it to mean that in that particular person's view, the whole country was getting its collective star-spangled panties in a twist over no biggies like psychotic, delusional white supremacists flying the confederate flag in 2015; black people dying in disproportionate numbers in police custody; and women getting raped with impunity in the good ol' U.S. of A on the daily, because apparently that stuff isn't worth being offended by in 'Murica. 

Weeeeeell . . .  I'm not sure I'm quite ready to concede that point, but I would very much like to accept the invitation of this poster and list 23 additional things I'm offended by, today!!!

1. The use of three exclamation points in this poster, where clearly not even one is called for.

2. The use of a comma in this poster where it does not belong.

3. The absence of a comma in this poster where it does belong.

4. The presence on this poster of the exact same bird I'm pretty sure I just saw flying over the Juneau recycling center not fifteen minutes ago.

5. The fact that I feel bloated and disgusting, and yet in spite (or perhaps because) of that fact, I just inhaled 1.15 oz. of Justin's all-natural maple almond butter straight from the foil packet.

6. People who refuse to respond to me within five seconds of my contacting them in any electronic medium.

7. Junk mail from anywhere, but especially insurance companies, credit card companies, and anywhere I went to school. (I mean, I feel like hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition and student loans should at least buy you a reprieve from junk mail).

8. That it's lunchtime and no one has said, "Good Job!" and patted me on my head yet today.

9. That vanity sizing is a myth of self-delusion and I am not and never will be a size 6 in any reasonable reckoning of that size, not even and especially at Banana Republic.

10. That my $472 wrinkle cream might not actually be getting rid of my wrinkles.

11. Bad grammar and the people who use it. (See also #1-3, above).

12. Donald Trump's big, orange, combed-over, douche-baggie head. 

13. Too much bluegrass music.

14. People who scream, "more cowbell!" and mean it.

15. Amateur fireworks.

16. Shitty beer.

17. Cats.

18. Cat food.

19. Cat litter.

20. People who pass you on a double-yellow line.

21. People who make you feel compelled to pass them on a double-yellow line.

22. That I must leave my desk and spend $4 to get the iced coffee I so desperately need and deserve to have magically materialize out of thin air and appear before me.

23. Literally almost every single thing about myself not otherwise covered on this list and that will still exist tomorrow.

Juneau-to-English Weather Translator

Scattered Showers: It's raining.

Intermittent Showers: It's still raining.

Isolated Showers: Wow, imagine that, it's still raining!

Rains, Heavy at Times: Where's our ark? It's really fucking raining now!

Periods of Rain in the Morning with Showers Developing Late: Don't make any plans to do anything other than stay inside and go completely crazy. Start whittling away at the inside of your house with a small chisel like you were Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption.

Rain Diminishing in the Morning then Scattered Showers in the Afternoon: Dream on, it's still raining. All. Fucking. Day.

Rain Likely: Rain definitely.

Cloudy. Chance of Rain: It's 100% going to rain. We promise!

Mostly Cloudy: Oh my God. I'm not soaking wet. Everything else still is (of course) but at least my body's not. Whoo-hoo!

Partly Cloudy: OmigodwhatdoidowhatdoidoiseethesunimcallinginsicktoworkholyshititsthesunomigodineedaplaniseethesuncouldthatreallybethesunINEEDSUNLIGHTwhatdoidowhatdoido?!?!?!?!??