Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dear TV: You Can Go Ahead And Suck It

Dear TV,

Life is full of compromises. I get that. I learned that as a child, when I couldn't ride my scooter and my PogoBall at the same time, which meant I had to let my little brother ride one of them. And it stung, because like all children I was a psychopath.

Anyway, compromise. I get it.

But TV is not a land of compromise for anybody but people like me.

Let me just take the show "Longmire" for example. My husband and I decided to give the episodes on Netflix a whirl for the following reasons:

1. Starbuck is in it. We just finished watching "Battlestar Galactica" (my second time) and I like to pretend like being a small town sheriff's deputy in Wyoming is Kara Thrace's afterlife. One could do worse.

2. It has guns in it. We like guns.

3. My father-in-law said that besides all the "mystical Indian bullshit" (direct quote) it's a pretty good show.

4. Pretty much everything else looks stupid.

So we started watching "Longmire," and at first it seemed like a pretty well-done, basically no-nonsense police procedural set in the rural West with lots of beautiful scenery and Lou Diamond Philips having deep Indian emotions.

Then the Indian mystical bullshit started in earnest. There's an episode where a dude gets shot and Longmire just kind of watches him die and says something gruff, and then he goes and reads a fucking poem to a dying horse. I'm not kidding.

And we were like, "Oh, God. Welcome to California." Because seriously nothing is more Hollywood than making an animal's death more meaningful than a human's. Because animals are innocent and pure and don't go to war for oil like mean, complicated, shitty, humans.

Give me a fucking break.

Then we got to the "troubled veteran" stereotype. There's one in roughly every TV show or movie and "Longmire" is no exception. The guy starts out the episode or movie as a hero who's been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, and by the end of it he turns out to be batshit crazy from PTSD, and/or a murderer, rapist, drug dealer, or wife beater. And it so super sad. Because this fucked-up war, man! Y'know? I mean, what are we even doing?

Here's the thing that bothers me about you, TV:


"Arrested Development." Oh, it had such promise. I just started watching it last week and I blew through three seasons. I enjoyed most of it, but only because I had to overlook crap like the stupid, repressed conservative Christian family of George Michael's girlfriend, Ann. It wasn't even that well-done or funny. It was stereotypical and clich├ęd: Christians aren't very smart! And they don't like sex!


Now I'm watching the new season and having to sit through Halliburton jokes. Seriously? What year is this?

I tried to watch "Glee" for a while, until it turned into Planned Parenthood: The Musical. Every episode became about lesbians and condoms and Gwyneth Paltrow playing a creepy substitute singing "Do you want to touch me there?" to her students. (FWIW, no.) The show went from "don't beat gays up because that's not nice" to "EVERYBODY BE FUCKING GAY RIGHT NOW. AND HAVE SEX WITH EACH OTHER. TEENAGERS WHO DON'T HAVE SEX ARE SICK WEIRDOS. ALSO YOU PROBABLY HATE GAYS. STOP IT. STOP HATING GAYS OR ELSE."

"True Blood" is exactly the same thing, except instead of annoying gay teenagers who sing and have sex with each other, it's annoying vampires who represent gays and have sex with each other.

Even "Battlestar Galactica," like the best show ever, was basically one big thinly-veiled indictment of people who believe God has a plan for them. Those people are not only war-like but machines. So subtle. So clever.

You fail me constantly, TV. What do you have to offer me? And don't tell me to get in a time machine or find "Seventh Heaven" on DVD. Can't there be one show, one fucking single show, that is not only good and well-written and well-acted and engaging and made for adults, but also doesn't make me have to swallow bile every fifteen minutes?

Why do I have to be the one to compromise?

I have to put up with some kind of screed to watch virtually any show on TV, including all three flavors of "Law & Order" (Original, Honey BBQ, and Cool Ranch) but can you imagine if just one single show had a sympathetic character - funny and generally likeable - who was pro-life? Or mentioned without irony that he supported the NRA?

HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Can you imagine the uproar? Can you imagine the DEMANDS for apology, the sponsors pulling out, the backpedaling?

Is compromise really compromise if only one side does the compromising?

Occasionally, TV, you get it right: the Ten Commandments episode of "Arrested Development," for example. But mostly you get it super fucking wrong.

I wish you didn't suck so hard, TV, or I might watch more of you.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

My Big Mean Straight American Husband

My husband is the first man I've ever been with who wasn't a "progressive." I've traditionally dated Democrat-voting men who believe that women's empowerment comes from college degrees and non-traditional gender roles and abortions and all that wonderful shit.

Most of the guys I have dated, short or long-term, grew up in the suburbs or a city. They were artists and comedians and IT help desk dudes and musicians and wanna-be filmmakers.

Then I married a Soldier. From Mississippi.

It happened really fast. We met online, and sort of by accident. We weren't expecting our relationship to blossom into a Taylor Swift video, but it did. And it was magical and fun and surprising and great.

We've been married for almost eight months, and so far, though we've had our bumps in the road, married life is badass. We didn't engage in any baby-making activities before we got married, and we didn't cohabitate, either. We did shit more or less right. Well, righter than most.

My husband is not the type to affiliate strongly with a particular party, but he - like I - tends to vote Republican, and leans conservative to libertarian on every issue I know of. He grew up kind of a punk-rocker, but the old-school-Johnny-Ramone-America-loving hard-liquor-swilling kind. He comes from a long line of Soldiers and Confederate hell-raisers and grew up in a small town in South Mississippi where there was nothing to do but get falling-down drunk and shoot things.

He is virtually the anti-every-guy-I-ever-dated-before-him.

He is the guy feminists tell you is your worst nightmare. He is a man's man. He fixes cars and drives a pick-up truck and is obsessed with anything that has a trigger and goes "bang!" He's a self-taught expert in firearms and military history. He's strongly against turning the military into a place where more attention is paid to people's soft little feelings than national defense. He has a pull-up bar in the kitchen. He likes war movies and blowing shit up and bewbs.

And he's the best man I've ever known.

He opens the door and shuts it for me every time we get in the truck. He opens doors for me wherever we go, in fact. He lets me watch whatever I want on TV, whenever I want, and never complains. (Don't worry, I don't abuse this power... often.) He is patient with me when I'm impatient with everything. He is loving when I'm batshit crazy. He provides for me in my current underemployed state. He tells me I'm beautiful and brilliant. He reads the stuff I write. He never looks at other women. He thinks the gross things about me are "cute."

When we go to the mall (which is rare because we both hate shopping) he goes into the Bath & Bodyworks with me and obliges when I insist he smell every. single. candle.

He does the dishes when I cook without complaining. He takes out the trash and buys me Jack Reacher paperbacks and watches "Battlestar Galactica" with me and just generally treats me like I never thought I deserved to be treated, and honestly I really don't.

I try not to take advantage of this. I never, ever want to take him for granted, because I know how fortunate I am. So I do stuff for him I admittedly rarely did for any other guy: I cook for him. I do his laundry when I remember. (I'm used to doing laundry twice a month, sorry.) I bring him a beer. I take off his shoes when he's so tired that he's forgotten he's still wearing them. I give him super-awesome coconut oil back massages when he has headaches so he can go to sleep. I encourage him to do the stuff he's passionate about.

I also do other stuff I won't go into. And I enjoy it very much.

It doesn't end with me. He's fair and polite with everyone, as far as I've seen. In fact, he's usually dadgum pleasant. I'm continually amazed by how positive and jovial he is, pretty much all the time. He's only grumpy when he's hungry, and that's easy to fix.

I'm not saying every guy I've ever dated was 100% dick. I'm just saying he is by far the best for me, and by far, on paper, the man your friendly neighborhood feminist would warn you to flee from before he impregnated you against your will with a mean, gun-toting Christian baby.

Here's the truth: I was probably a shitty girlfriend to some of the dudes I dated. I could be opinionated and demanding and cold. I admit it. I even punched my boyfriend in the face once. (Tequila.) But I grew up. And a lot of the assholes I went out with probably grew up, too. I am still friends with a few of them. Hell, one of them is even a very good friend.

But I was destined for someone else. And I have found the man I would have once called a misogynist to be, well, a prince. He is funny, loving, patient, intelligent, ridiculously well-read, chivalrous, and brave. He's a wonderful husband, father, son, friend, and Soldier.

I've never wondered what I did to deserve him. I didn't do anything. He is a gift. A big, mean, straight, American gift.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hey, Americans: Be More American! (A Rant)

This bald eagle's expression captures everything I am trying to convey with this blog post. You really don't even need to read it now.
WARNING: This is probably the most profanity-drenched, insulting, and offensive blog post I've ever published. It was written in a paroxysm of anger, which I have since cured with a couple rounds of hot marital sex and about nine episodes of "Arrested Development."

THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING: Especially women! If you have thin skin, or if you think the f word makes the baby Jesus cry, seriously just click away now. If you don't, and you get butt-hurt, your complaints will fall on deaf ears. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

1. I am bummed right now. Maybe clinically bummed.

2. You see, while I wasn't looking, someone replaced the United States of America with the United Dripping Twat Soccer Moms and Fucking Pansy Ass Shitheads of America.

3. Let's start with the lay-dayz. Oh, you bitches. I try to stand up for you. I spend a lot of time trying to convince the world at large that we are not a bunch of dipshits. But you make it really, really fucking hard.

4. Most of the ladies I'm addressing - the dumb-shit ones - are single and young, but some of you are married and old enough to know better. If you're single and young, I get it. I was a dumb-shit once, too. You believe dumb-shit rhetoric about the "War on Women." You think it's demeaning for a woman to be cared for by a husband (as virtually all women were from roughly forever until a few years ago) but you don't find it demeaning to be cared for by the gub'mint. You've replaced Rosie the Riveter's "We can do it!" with Sandra Fluke's "Give me free birth control!"

5. But some of you are married and have kids and you're almost worse. You spend all day saying or thinking or posting something along the lines of, "WHAT ABOUT THE CHILLLLDDREEENN?" You know what? SOMETIMES THE CHILDREN ARE BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU. When I was growing up, we played with toy guns and we shot real guns with our granddaddies and we cavorted on playgrounds made out of corrugated steel and we bounced around in cars without seatbelts and we never ever fucking ever used hand sanitizer. And you know what? We're fucking fine. 

6. But today's kids are growing up to be boring little pansies with Twitter feeds. News flash, mothers: your kid is going to have to grow up in a world that does not always sanitize its hands. And before you start mouthing about the magic of childhood and how you have to preserve that, I'd like to suggest that we had better childhoods shooting toy guns, playing in refrigerator boxes in the garage, watching non-educational television, being sometimes told to shut up and go somewhere else, and enjoying about six hours a day of relieving our own boredom than your kid does with his play dates, structured play - whatever the fuck that is - Baby Einstein DVDs, and cruelty-free, toy-weapons-free, diversity-enhanced, gender-neutral brave new world of a "childhood." Are you a mother or a facilitator? Or maybe a taxi service? Is your kid in eight extracurricular activities? Do you exist to take your kids places and buy them things? Then you SUCK. You SUCK. You are creating a generation of ASSHOLES.

7. Here's a thought: maybe sometime this year, when you're done with this season of "Downton Abbey" and you've finally pinned every last fucking DIY body scrub pin on Pinterest and put your special snowflake to bed on his Tempurpedic mattress with his iPhone 5, perhaps you could get around to making a decision based on history, facts, logic, or some other basis besides pure, stupid, dripping-twat emotion.

8. Seriously, do you literally let your vagina vote for you? Do you go into the voting booth and just drop your vag onto the screen?

9. Luckily, there are also plenty of stupid men. Take, for example, the fucking retarded push for more gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. Spearheaded by hysterical snatches such as Piers Morgan, women of both genders saturated the media with ridiculous, unfounded vagina monologues about how big, black, scary, and bad guns are. Great American statesman and thinker Vince Neil of Motley Crue was one of many celebrities who tweeted "FUCK YOU" to all of us who "put guns before children." The problem isn't our culture or our lack of moral fiber (see the "Arrested Development" episode about the Ten Commandments) or broken families or the welfare state or mental illness or a sensationalist media or parents who've replaced driving kids around with raising them. No. The problem is guns. Guns guns guns guns guns fucking guns. And if you don't believe that you hate all children and want them to die and therefore you fucking deserve to die, you cold-hearted piece of shit. (Think I'm exaggerating? Google "Stephen King + guns" or "Jim Carrey + guns.")

10. This is the kind of mindless, purely emotional bullshit that passes for thought among about half of Americans and makes the rest of us want to rip out our hair and run into the street screaming. It completely disregards all evidence, common sense, and critical thought. It is pure emotion. It is a nation of vaginas screaming to be heard.

11. I'm running out of constructive ways to express and direct my anger, frustration, and overall bewilderment at what's happening to this country. Facebook just makes me angrier, because of the Facebook stand-off. You know what I'm talkin': the tolerance war with all the friends who disagree with you. You don't want to delete their dumb asses and reinforce the stereotype that conservatives can't handle other people's opinions, and they can't delete you and reinforce your theory that liberals aren't sweet and lovable beacons of good will, like Care Bears, but with ironic beards.

12. Meanwhile we've all forgotten that the whole point of Facebook is to connect and interact with FRIENDS. Not people you've never or barely met who only interact with you to tell you how wrongity-wrong-wrong you are. I am pretty sure I'm not a malignant narcissist who can't handle it when people disagree. It's just, there are certain people who only disagree. Why are we "friends?" Facebook is not America. We don't have to coexist.

13. So we just keep putting up with each other. And it's dumb. But nobody wants to be the asshole.

14. Anyway. Back to my original point. We need to do something. I know it's important to spread the word, to educate, and social media is a great way to do that. But we have to do more. (Believe me, I'm aware of the irony that this is a blog post about getting off the Internet and doing stuff.) Is tyranny going to be brought down by Facebook? I just... don't think so. Maybe I'm wrong. But I think it's going to take action.

15. So what should that action be? What can we do? I'm not totally sure, exactly. I mean, you can write and call your representatives. I guess that matters? You can join protests if you're into that.

16. Here's the problem: we're relying on the government to control itself. Seriously. That's what we're doing. We're waiting for somebody from within to magically fix everything. You guys, Ted Cruz is awesome and shit, but he's not Benjamin Franklin riding a Pegasus and emanating Truth from his butthole. He's just a Senator. And how often do they live up to the hype?

17. What if the colonists had just sat around in their comfortable houses watching "Celebrity Apprentice" and waiting for King George to be held accountable by his own government? We'd be eating crisps in front of the telly. We wouldn't have the Bill of Rights. We wouldn't have the Second Amendment. We'd have Parliament, and an economy based entirely on Posh Spice.

18. The most important thing we can do is exercise the freedoms we believe in. The Second Amendment is the freedom that ensures, in a worst case scenario, that we get to keep all the others. I'm starting to understand the concept that every citizen should be a soldier, because if you're not a soldier, you're a subject.

19. To that end, I've recently embarked on my personal odyssey of becoming more comfortable with rifles. It's my little way of becoming more self-sufficient, another baby step towards citizen soldier-hood. Rifles are effective, fun to shoot, and best of all, every time you fire a big scary black "assault rifle," Dianne Feinstein gets an ingrown pube.

20. Okay, that was funny, but I don't want to leave you with that visual.

21. So here's a better one: George Washington wearing a Reagan/Bush '84 T-shirt and riding a giant bald eagle over the Grand Canyon while firing a Thompson submachine gun into the air and singing "America the Beautiful."

22. You're welcome.