Monday, January 30, 2012

Zero sum? More like, zero sense

What you are about to read is wrong.

What's happened in the past decade, Laycock says, is that the culture wars have become a zero sum game. When one side wins, the other loses. 

"The conservative religious groups want to take away all the liberty of the pro-choice and gay-rights people, and the pro-choice and gay-rights people want to take away all the liberty of the conservative religious groups," he says. "Neither side seems interested in the American tradition of 'live and let live' and protect the liberty of both sides."

Still with this false-equivalency crap! When did dismissing every viewpoint equally become synonymous with critical thinking? "Oh, I don't take sides. They're all bad." Must be nice.

First off, there is no actual "culture war." Is it really a war if only one side is doing all the fighting? Especially if the bulk of said "fighting" is a bunch of loudmouths making pow-pow noises with their mouths?

Second, it's not a zero-sum exchange. One side wants to deny civil rights and legal medical procedures on religious grounds. The other side wants to keep them from doing that. That's not exactly the same thing. Hell, it's not even close to the same thing! If the pro-choice and gay-rights people get their way, no one loses anything, because there's no "liberty" to be protected in bigotry and discrimination. But if the conservative religious groups had their way, Americans would be far less free. 

Conflating the two sides is like saying liberals are hypocrites because they don't tolerate intolerance — as if being inclusive of diverse viewpoints means you have to embrace hatred. "Live and let live" doesn't mean, "live and do nothing about injustice." 

False comparisons such as Laycock's make me mad because they trivialize a very real issue. Not to mention liberty itself. No one side is all right or all wrong, but they are different. And in this case at least, one's far better than the other.

Things that count as wars on religion

The Crusades
The Spanish Inquisition
The Holocaust

What doesn't count as a war on religion

"President Obama wants to take away my right to use federal dollars to deny people medical services that make my narrow personal beliefs cry!"

"It troubles me that the government I distrust so much for its overbearing power and thirst for absolute control of the people is becoming less dominated by theological fanatics."

"We just gave civil rights to another group of people?!!"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Staying together

I smiled so big when I saw this:


When most leaders or other non-singers try to pay tribute to a song, it's usually pretty awkward. Not here, because President Obama is a badass. Not the kind of voice even I expected. Rev. Al Green said afterward that Obama "nailed it." I'd say he did. I love moments like this for reasons I can barely explain, but really I shouldn't have to.

For my tea party readers, the Apollo Theater is known for its tough crowds and the Sandman, who would yank off terrible acts with a giant cane. Even Lauryn Hill once got booed off stage.

I have a feeling, though, that Obama isn't about to be.

Mathhole

At the risk of sounding like a sexist Barbie doll, math is hard.

I’m bad at math. Really, really bad. Just yesterday, in fact, I miscalculated someone’s age by 10 years. Granted, that was unusual. But the fact remains that I do not think in optimal terms to be a math whiz. I took gifted math classes in school from 2nd grade to 5th, and struggled mightily the whole time. Even in the lower-level classes I took from there on out, my brain tubes often clogged with solidified integers. I did somehow test into algebra in 8th grade — must have been a good day — but I ultimately had to take it over in 9th grade. I eventually developed an aptitude for algebra, in the sense that if you do anything long enough, you get good at it until you stop. Still, I’ve always been a creative guy to the core. It’s probably no accident that I had to take only two math courses the entire time I was in college, both in my freshman undergraduate year, and both easy. I made C’s.

As much as I hate to be deficient in any skill, I’m most at terms with not being math-minded. I’d like to be better at it, but I’m strong enough to get by. I have plenty of friends who love math and its related fields as much as I love writing. To me, that diversity is what makes the world go round.

As it turns out, though, that’s not the case. I’m a moron and I suck.

I thought about writing a rebuttal to “Math doesn’t suck, you do” in the same tone as the piece. But I was too worried people would take it at face value, and I don’t want to come off as overly pompous. That said, I will note the grammatical error in the title; that comma should be a semicolon. Moving on.

I realize that I’m probably giving this more thought than it deserves. It’s just some rant by someone who probably thinks it’s funny to act superior and curse way too much. Still, I can’t shake it because I’ve heard it so many times by people who were being serious. Also, it’s easy to do. Here are some choice excerpts:

If you suck at math, what you really suck at is following instructions.

I’d rather suck at following instructions than have that be my defining skill.

Why is math the only discipline that has to put up with this bullshit? People gladly learn art, music, literature and geography.

I recall those disciplines having their own detractors as well — usually the superior math people.

When is the last time you wrote a haiku, asshole?

More recently than I wrote an advanced quadratic equation.

Why should you learn math? Because fuck you, that's why.

Please show your work for this answer.

Don't think elevators are awesome? Take the stairs next time, asshole. That's what people who hate math get: stairs.

I always take the stairs. It’s better exercise. I’m glad math didn’t invent those!

One of the pitfalls of being proficient in something is that it’s easy to forget it doesn’t come as naturally to others. Many educators have this problem, rendering their classes impenetrable. It’s also what makes some math whizzes, like whoever wrote this, such intolerable people. The biggest flaw of this screed is that it makes no distinction between those who piss on math and those who just don’t have the aptitude for it. It’s as if I lumped the functionally illiterate with people who can read, but brag about how it’s a waste of time.

And I object to that, because I was never one of those kids who whined, “When am I ever gonna need this?” I never brag about how I can’t cook, and I’m not proud of sucking at math. Yes, I felt stupid when I struggled at math, but that happens when an endless parade of teachers and math-savvy classmates insist that it’s the simplest, most absolute concept in the universe. I wanted to kill at math just like I did (and do) want to kill at everything, but for whatever reason I couldn’t do it. I don’t know what that makes me, but I doubt it makes me a moron. But along comes writing like this to remind me just what a useless Neanderthal I am, adrift and doodling in a world where the superior math-minded among us are making the world shake. And if I’m not a math guy, it’s my own fault, wasting my time by writing and pursuing other useless creative junk.

At least that’s what I gather from this piece...of...writing. Hmmm. Creative communication isn’t so useless after all, huh, fella? Just get better at it, because you’re making yourself look bad, asshole.

The Ian McGibboney Ron Paul Newsletter Letter

No matter how you slice it, there is absolutely no way Ron Paul looks good in the wake of his newsletter hullabaloo. Anybody trying to justify or excuse the racist content of his past publications should just quit while they’re slightly less behind.

Let’s examine the possible scenarios:

1) Ron Paul is directly responsible for the racism, and it reflects his exact thoughts. Well, obviously, that wouldn’t be good.

2) Ron Paul didn’t write the racist content. But he did include it in a publication with his own name in the title, which would seem to suggest that he felt it worthy of inclusion even if it didn't reflect his views. People who name things after themselves tend to make sure those things don’t sully their reputation.

3) Ron Paul didn’t adequately vet the content because he was too busy doing leader-type stuff. At best, this means he’s an irresponsible editor. Publishers are charged with ensuring their output meets certain standards of accuracy and fairness. If he didn’t have time to do that, then he should have stepped down. And considering the Washington Post reports that Paul was very hands-on in editing the material — more so than your average publisher, even — this one strikes me as a flat-out lie.

4) Ron Paul included it to attract business. This is the worst one of all. From a pure market standpoint (Paul’s favorite), one can argue that there’s a ton of money in bigotry. Paul apparently proved it, considering the financial windfall that resulted. But fanning the flames of hatred for profit is disgusting. And it’s especially disgusting if you don’t even believe it yourself. In this situation, Paul would have more integrity if he actually was racist. That’s unfortunate.

But hey, he’s against the war, so there’s that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New rules (SOTU style)

Rule #185: All we want is white beyond the Thunderdome
If you lead a push to put a more positive spin on slavery in your state’s textbooks, you lose all right to insist you’re not racist. Tea party activists in Tennessee are calling for textbook criteria that calls for “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred [to] obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens.” In other words, as Fayette County attorney and group spokesman Hal Rounds put it, the measure would combat “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the Founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.” But is it really made up? I guess that’s one less debate Tennessee students will be having. That’ll give them more time to not debate other issues.

I wonder what their music textbooks would say about Ike Turner? “He was one of the most innovative pioneers in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. He hit his biggest fame with then-wife Tina Turner in 1960. They parted ways in 1976. To explain why would be to obscure this amazing man’s monumental contributions to history.” Or, given his race, they might say instead, “Ike Turner was not a slave because we’re past that now.” Either way, it’s no wonder Tina got the hell out of Nutbush.

History isn’t supposed to be a Glamour Shot; sometimes it’s a faded daguerreotype that shows our most unflattering side. And that’s the depiction we need to see the most. Anything less is, well, whitewashing.

Rule #186-A: Time to make the POTUS
Don’t complain that President Obama’s State of the Union speech was too long. It was barely over an hour — some of the dumbest reality shows on TV last longer and have 1 percent of the substance, if that. When it comes to a president’s vision for the entire year, I think one hour is the least it deserves. Anyway, it’s Obama forcefully pushing for populist stances — I could listen to that all night long. George W. Bush’s speeches still ring in my head all these years later, so I can always use a new tune.

Rule #186-B: PR pabulum
If I can ascertain exactly what an analyst will say about the State of the Union address as soon as I see their name, then your network needs a better booking agent. Paul Begala vs. Ari Fleischer? I respect both men (to a degree), but be still my heart? I want to hear what a speech expert or a respected public figure says, not a partisan pundit. There should at least be a potential for suspense. That’s what makes it news.

Rule #186-C: Response ability
The response to the speech can no longer be written in advance. It’s bad enough that such a speech tends to be cornier than its often-corny counterpart; it’s even worse to have an up-and-coming politician recite it so painfully that you feel for him even as you roll your eyes at what he’s saying. Granted, it’s hard to follow President Obama, but at least a spontaneous speech might make the closing bit worth sitting through.

Rule #186-D: Construct the criticism
Everybody who disses this year’s speech should be able to say who exactly would be better as president and what would have been better to say. I didn’t agree with everything Obama said, but I thought his overall tone and direction were superb. Not that you’d know it from the usual contrarians, many of whom are saying Obama is any combination of terrible, embarrassing and/or a moron. Really? Because that sounds like a random reaction. When Bush was president, I mocked his speeches mercilessly - but that’s because he was a terrible public speaker with a seeming fetish for saber-rattling and torture methods. He deserved criticism for that. This year’s speech, on the other hand, is too good for the criticism it’s getting from all of the usual suspects. And that makes me wonder how genuine such sentiments are. If you can back them up, fine. If you can’t, I’ll just assume you were ready to say what you did before the president took to the lectern, and dismiss it accordingly.

Rule #186-E: Bye, partisanship
Bipartisanship needs a better definition than a Republican helping Gabrielle Giffords stand up during key moments in the speech. That’s not political cooperation; that’s being a decent human being, which should have nothing to do with affiliation. If bipartisanship is what we want, then why doesn’t Congress agree to move on some of the most embarrassingly universal issues ever to be stalled in the name of partisan turf wars? Now that would be impressive.

Rule #187: Superior oratory
Don’t tell me I can’t understand something. It makes me not want to.

Rule #188: Sorry, Charlie
Products should not be endorsed by the thing they kill. No more commercials about fish (or peanuts, or whiskers) wanting to be eaten or cut. On the other hand, if you want to invest in the best blogger-slashing knife out there, you can’t do better than the DullButterBlade 5000! Tastes great on a biscuit, too!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cracked rear view

I don't know how real God is, but Traffic Jesus is definitely out there making some signs happen.

This afternoon, having left work early because I'm sick as turd, I found myself behind an old Honda CR-V at a stoplight. It's one of those cars that exemplifies the 1980s subcompact trend — reliable, but nevertheless really showing its age. It was blue, but it's hard to tell if it started out that color. I recognized the license plate as a 1994 issue, though the faded "96" decal poking out from one corner would give that away even to the most casual Louisiana plate fan. Above the fading plate, on the rear window, was the post-apocalyptic remnants of a Bush-Cheney bumper sticker. Really, the remaining flakes mostly said "Cheney." I pegged it as being from 2000, as opposed to the tighter type of 2004 (also the '04 decals actually said '04, so that helps).

It got me thinking back to 2000, when I lacked the wisdom to not ask people why they liked the Bush-Cheney ticket. This was back when the economy was steamrolling along and 9/11 was just some number nobody ever called because nothing was ever wrong. So of course there was a lot of, "I think I deserve a tax cut" and, "Bush will be great for my stocks." I wonder if the guy in the Honda (which was already pretty old in 2000) supported Bush because he thought it would net him a new ride. I'll bet it at least crossed his mind, even if he'd never admit to it today.

But maybe that's crazy talk. I tend to keep vehicles until they literally say to me, "I don't want to be alive anymore," which is why I've owned only two cars in my life. My grandfather owned three cars over a 35-year span — and one of those was a work truck that overlapped his two daily drivers. Everyone in my family keeps their cars for years. The point being, I can relate if this guy is just a thrifty, non-materialistic person. That's cool. And with that, I dismissed my bit of traffic cynicism.

Just then, a big, white, older-model work truck pulled to the side of Honda Man. The driver was an older white guy. He had adorned his truck with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, which complemented the faded Howard Dean bumper sticker, as well as the liberal sentiment I didn't fully catch as the light turned green. Sometimes people surprise you.

Hindsight, on the other hand, hardly ever does.

Newt Gingrich, my hot ex

If you had told me last year that the final four Republican presidential candidates were Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, I wouldn't have believed you. Well, OK, maybe half-believed you.

Romney? Yes. He's the theoretically electable one.

Santorum? Yes. He's the pure, crazy, double-down guy.

Paul? Yes, but not as a Republican. I wonder how his supporters reconcile their both-parties-are-the-problem view with their guy running in one those parties. Maybe it's like my tea party alter ego Earl "Clem" Bob says, "Both parties suck, especially the Democrats." All you need is EVOL.

Gingrich? Hell no. In 1995, I had a hot girlfriend*. It was great for awhile, but we didn't part on the best of terms. And we haven't spoken since. It would seem silly to call her up now and ask her for a date, because that would reek of my inability to move on and look like I was really reaching for some companionship, because I can't stand that loneliness is president. You get the idea.

On the other hand, maybe if she and I talked now, there might actually turn out to be better chemistry than before. In that case, why not make it work? Forget the bad times, am I right? That childish drama belongs in another era. Time heals all wounds and all that.

But, most likely, she'd still babble about how my Hall and Oates collection is lame. And such rhetoric is as inexcusable now as it was then. So much for that.

I won't get into the kissing and the Uma Thurman comparisons. The analogy falls apart then. Fortunately.

(* — Three of them, actually, which makes this analogy even more apt.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My prediction for the Super Bowl

Saints 42, Ravens 27

Packers 35, Ravens 21

Are you serious?!!

The 49ers won’t win it 

I don’t even remotely care now that the Patriots got in

Why even bother watching?

The 49ers won't win it. 

Good enough for me. I probably still won't bother watching.

Paterno into eternity

Joe Paterno didn’t die of lung cancer. He died of heartbreak.

Regardless of what you, I or anyone else thinks about his role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, it’s indisputable that Paterno loved coaching at Penn State. It was literally his entire life. And I’m convinced he always thought he was doing what was right, even when he wasn’t. And that, in combination with his sudden, jarring downfall, was simply too much to overcome for him. Lung cancer is an evil beast, but the will to live is also a powerful force.

Paterno was a Charles Schultz type — someone so iconic and prolific in their field that it’s impossible to imagine them doing anything else. And like with Schulz, who died just hours before the publication of his final strip, forces of nature couldn’t even withstand the prospect of seeing Paterno outside his element.

We all know someone like that. For me, it was the college track coach at the University of Louisiana, Charles Lancon. He was a local high school legend, having coached from 1957 to 1989, after which he retired. And by retiring, I mean he took the helm of a Division I NCAA college program and led them to more championship trophies than the office had shelf space. He always said each passing year would be his last, but he always came back. (He didn’t do it for the money, either; as a retiree of the school system, he earned something like $9,000 per year.) And even after practice was officially over, he’d often mentor middle- and high school runners just for kicks. Few could imagine him not coaching. He died of a heart attack in 2002, in the middle of track season. It was during a rare weekend off.

I wonder sometimes if I’m going to be one of those guys. Retirement is one of those things my generation rarely considers, both because it’s a long way off and because we’re cynical about the possibility of ever doing so. Even before the economy tanked, I never saw myself as someone who would just go fishing at some point. For better or for worse, I felt like someone who would never stop. I hate to quit anything, and when I do, it’s usually because time or eligibility runs out on it.

Paterno, no doubt, would have wanted a better ending to his career and life. Far from being someone whose work killed him, it seemed to kill him not to work. Because for him, work was special and life-affirming. For all the scandal that swirled around him at the end, he made a positive difference in thousands of lives. That shouldn’t be forgotten. I hope before the end he realized it hadn’t been.

I hope that one day I can channel the passion that each of these men had and carry it with me off into a sunset many, many sunsets from now. Preferably, on my own terms.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SOPA nation?

In honor of the worldwide Internet protest against SOPA, the bill that would give businesses latitude to shut down alleged copyright infringers (in other words, virtually everybody), I will not post here today.

Crap.

Pajama pants? Parish the thought!

Anytime Louisiana is the first state to do something, it’s usually terrible. This is one of those things. A lawmaker in Caddo Parish (home of Shreveport and the saggy pants saga that led to gangs) wants to ban the wearing of pajama pants in public. This comes after someone wearing pajama pants allegedly exposed himself at Wal-Mart.

OK. Let’s scratch the surface of all the ways this is absolutely, insipidly stupid:

It’s a 24-hour department store, not your Legislator of the Year banquet. If I’m at Walgreens late at night, chances are my stomach hurts or I hit my head again. Either way, I’m coming as I am. Deal with it.

It seems like the problem with exposing genitals through pants is the genitals, not the pants. This reminds me of the time some stupid prom kid in Lafayette Parish downed five undercooked burritos and six Jagermeister shots, and then vomited while drinking at the water fountain, so the parish banned water.

What exactly constitutes pajamas? Stuff you sleep in? Because I tend to sleep in T-shirts and shorts, or (on cold days) a long-sleeved shirt and sweatpants. There are also plenty of days when I crash in jeans or even slacks I wore to work. By definition, the only thing I wear that couldn’t be considered sleepwear is the occasional tuxedo. Or nudity. Either way, it’s classy.

On second thought, don’t answer that. The author of this asinine ordinance is considering defining pajamas as anything sold in the sleepwear section of department stores. Pretty soon violators will get pulled over in Toys and hear, “License, registration and receipt.” And woe be upon you if the pants you’re wearing are hand-me-downs, or don’t come from a department store with a sleepwear section, or are on the edge of what’s considered pajama.

Pajama pants are generally as long as pants, and longer than shorts. This is one of those points I think is best described in pictures. Take a look at the pants I’m wearing right now as even as I blog-speak:

It's true I don't wear these to Target, but that's only because everyone would know how much/little I paid for them.
Now here’s a picture of me playing football in my lucky football shorts:

I'm wearing underwear, too! In PUBLIC!
And which one of these shows more skin? The pants, of course. That’s why I play football in shorts — it’s easier to grab a Powerade at the gas station without all the guff.

Can pajama pants sag? Caddo Parish hates saggy pants. Pajama pants tend not to sag, because that tends to suck when you’re sleeping. Ergo, it actually seems like wearing sleepwear out in public is something to encourage.

Community service? Really? If I got sentenced to community service for wearing pajamas in public, I’d tell everyone I slapped a cop. I have a reputation to uphold. Also, I’d show up to court wearing my pajama pants. Because I’d be tired — tired of pointless laws designed to enforce some arbitrary standard of taste by some uptight, busybody legislator who could probably stand to loosen his belt a notch once in awhile. Also, because I’ve lost weight since I last bought slacks and I don’t want the judge to think I’m Jay-Z.

Caddo Parish anagrams include “Rapid Cash OD,” “I do chaps rad” and “Sad Road, Chip.” How fitting! Pun intended.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sigh

As a kid, I would often feel down on Sunday nights, especially after exciting weekends. Much of that was having to wake up early the next morning to start the school week — but it was particularly acute following an extended holiday or some other event. That feeling faded as I got older and my life became less strictly structured, but has made a comeback in the past year or so. These past few weeks of holidays and the over-much-too-soon Saints playoff run will be tough to get over, especially without much else happening for awhile.

Oh well. Time for bed.

Next year is a long time off

The Saints' playoff suicide against the San Francisco 49ers probably angered me more than any other loss I've ever endured. And after several hours of reflection, I think I've figured out why.

It's not because the Saints started off stumbling, came back, fell behind, came back again and melted at the absolute worst time.

It's not because the 49ers seemed hellbent on playing dirty from the very beginning, or that Candlestick Park's field had evidently been hosed prior to the game.

It's not because numerous friends of mine really like the 49ers and/or hate the Saints, and like to rub the victory in my face (or that some of them insist that football is an enslavement mechanism to keep us preoccupied or some garbage).

It's not because the Saints-Packers rematch that so many awaited will not happen now.

It's not because I no longer have any interest in how the season turns out, and I now have one fewer diversion now that this stellar season is forever tainted.

It's not because I now have to wait eight months before I can think about football without sadness, for a season that may or may not even approach this one. 

It's not because I'm reminded what a lousy person I am for not immediately being able to let go of this and say how great the season was and rah rah and all that shit.

No, I think what really stings is that I saw an entire special teams' worth of punks in red uniforms do the cockiest team dance I've ever seen on the football field over and over, beginning well before they had the game in the bag. Before halftime, even. And karma was not a bitch. The dirty showboats got no comeuppance of any kind. And I learned once again that the good guys don't always win. 

I get it. I get it. Enough already.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My predictions for the Saints-49ers game

Despite being the technical favorite in the game, the New Orleans Saints leave doubt in many minds as to their ability to win on the road, on grass, outside, in slightly cool weather and against crowd noise that isn't theirs. After all, the Saints lost half of their games outdoors this season. Two. That means they won the other two. That glass is half full, if you ask this homer.

The San Francisco 49ers really make the most of their offense, riding 35 touchdowns to a 13-3 record and the No. 2 seed in the NFC. This is a testament to their vaunted defense, because that sucks. By contrast, the Saints scored 66, or 72 if you adjust for playoff inflation. Hell, the Minnesota Vikings scored 39, and they're the Vikings. Though to be fair, if the 49ers score 35 touchdowns today, that will probably be insurmountable.

But that depends on if Drew Brees once again shows up for the Saints. Brees, who has been compared to Tim Tebow, broke Dan Marino's single-season passing record this year. Marino set the record in 1984, before Tim Tebow was born. Brees had nearly broken the record in 2008, coming up 15 yards short. Tim Tebow didn't play then. 

It will take everything the 49ers' top-ranked defense can bring to halt the merciless march of the Saints' top-ranked offense. But if anyone can slow down the balanced, multi-pronged attack of Pierre Thomas, 
Darren Sproles, Tim Tebow, Chris Ivory, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Tim Tebow, Jimmy Graham and Tim Tebow, it's the San Francisco D. Led by Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, Tim Tebow Smith, Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Tim Tebow, Carlos Rogers, Dashon Goldson and Tim Tebow, the Niners' attack could Tebow like never before to keep the game close.

Alas, I think it will be too much for the 49ers. Though they most likely will hold the Saints to substantially fewer than the 45 points we've all come to expect, the Saints' underrated defense will, at worst, allow the 49er offense a normal showing, which won't be enough. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams-Tebow has promised to once again run numerous blitz schemes on San Fran quarterback Alex Aldon Justin Smith Tebow. The idea is to limit the 49ers to field goals, a scheme that involves letting the 49ers' offense on the field and giving the Saints defense busywork.

Final prediction: Saints win a close one, Tebow-Tebow.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blogger Ian's Tabatha Criticism Harangue

When my mom came to visit me for a week in Missouri in the summer of 2009, she beat me to within an inch of my life and had me tearfully begging for my dad. I mean, she exposed me to Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. Mom loves this show. I’m not sure I love my mom.

If you’ve never seen the show — lucky you — it’s about this bitch named Tabatha who bitches failing salons into submission by saying bitchy things, after which everyone says how bitchin’ she is. She also hates hugs. What a bitch.

And lest you object to my calling Tabatha a bitch, she proudly calls herself the same thing. To her, being a bitch is about being a strong, assertive and forthright woman. And apparently the entire world agrees — after being subjected to my first episode of Tabatha’s Salon Makeover, I googled “Tabatha mean” and found nothing. Well, OK, I found stuff like, “Tabatha means what she says and says what she means,” but nothing that made me feel like anyone else on this entire dirty mudball shared my opinion of her. And that’s saying something, because it’s the Internet, where I’m pretty sure you can find essays on the virtues of child molestation (knock yourself out if you want to search that — I won’t).

I had to wait for the comments on the above-linked HuffPo piece before I realized anyone agreed with me about Tabatha. She has many, many fans, including my mom. I’m told that her tart “quips” are in the service of good, and that the people she berates and belittles not only deserve it, but ask for it. I’m told it’s a TV show, and she makes for great TV. None of that has ever kept me from watching to punch something three minutes into an episode.

My problem with Tabatha (and anyone else like her) is not that they’re trying to make things better, or that they’re forthright and honest — it’s that they’re cruel in the process. There’s an old saw that you have to be an asshole to get things done — that’s my least-favorite saying ever, right up there with “the good must suffer for the bad” and “boo hoo.” It’s bad enough to be that way, but celebrating it is even worse.

I can’t stand when people pat themselves on the back for how blunt, straight-shooting, common-sensical, no-nonsense and honest they are. Those aren’t bad qualities in and of themselves, but not if they’re substitutes for empathy and tact. And in those cases, they usually are.

Tabatha insists she’s doing someone a favor by telling them their sweater is ugly. Just seems mean to me. It’s one thing if someone asks and really wants an answer, but I get the sense that she isn’t referring to that situation. Does she really think someone wearing said sweater hasn’t considered the fact that it might be tacky at least? And even if they haven’t, are they on the edge of their seats hoping almighty Tabatha B. Coffey offers her opinion, er, incontrovertible fact about it?

Tabatha can justify her bitchiness all she wants, but to me embracing the label is less about celebrating forthright feminism than it is an excuse to wallow in cruelty, rudeness and narcissism. One the image problems feminism has is that it’s often defined as all-or-nothing — either you’re a man-pleasing doormat or you’re a ferocious, brutally frank bitch. And what does that pair of extremes accomplish apart from justifying every sexist dismissal of women?

(And, no, I wouldn’t feel differently if Tabatha were a man. I hate when men act this way as well. Bullying is bullying.)

Gender equality is an awesome thing. Women being hailed for being as obnoxious as the jerkiest men is not. There’s definitely some middle ground to be had on the whole tiger/doormat issue. Can we — men and women alike — please find it? I’m tired of Tabatha being held up as a feminine icon. There are so many better examples, none of whom deserve or need to embrace the label “bitch” in the way Tabatha does. Meredith Brooks comes to mind. She’s also a lover, child and mother at least.

I hope this blog hasn’t been too blunt. Or bitchy.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Marvel over this masterpiece of DC influence


I understand how a political point can taint a piece of entertainment. When you long to be entertained, you generally aren’t looking for a debate. You don’t even have to disagree with the point; for me, a heavy-handed liberal point is just as cringeworthy as a conservative one. Sometimes it doesn’t take an overt statement; it could be something a creator or director says in an interview that retroactively ruins a body of work.

But if you’re offended by everything out there — including the nefarious notion that oil pollution is bad — then the problem probably lies with you. If you see everything as political, then you will inevitably bristle at the goofiest things. In his article, Wagner definitely suffers from an acute case of the goofy bristles.

Wagner is not mad that comic books are too political; he says they’re too liberal. So clearly he thinks it would be OK if they were more conservative. Judging by his piece, Wagner defines conservatism as America, apple pie, heroes and fluffy bunny Red Dawn dollar bills — and any deviation from that is practically treasonous. In this universe, Superman wouldn’t diss the mall as a temple for those who worship their credit cards; he’d stand for the American way by being a mall cop. (Presumably, Clark Kent would be a macho-mannered journalist for Fox News.) Instead of making a throwaway jab at SUVs, Black Canary would deny global warming. Would Green Arrow appeal to the rich and give up on the poor?

I suppose all that would be pleasing to Wagner. But would it be any good? Not a chance. The problem with most conservative entertainment is that it’s more about delivering a polemic message than actually being entertaining. That’s actually the problem with plenty of liberal entertainment too, though what Wagner cites hardly falls under that category. It seems logical that Aquaman would have a problem with oil spills for reasons that have nothing to do with his love for Al Franken books. Indeed, that particular example seems as timely and compelling as a comic book can get right now. And isn’t that the point?

I guess it isn’t, because everyone knows only conservatives buy comic books, unlike liberals, who hate money.

But of course I would think all that, coming from New York City like all those liberal comic artists. Oh wait, no. I’m from south Louisiana. Does not compute! Much like everything Wagner says.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Legally mandated Tim Tebow post

I don’t have a problem with Tim Tebow. I do have a problem with the cult of personality that’s sprung up around him. Now that the Broncos won a close game in overtime with a long touchdown pass after squandering a big lead, I expect that to get worse in the week ahead.

*Checks Facebook and Twitter*

Oh, wait. It already has.

I’m still trying to figure out why Tebow is such a — forgive me — god to a lot of people. Is it because he’s a rookie making a splash? Can’t be that. He’s not a rookie, and Cam Newton and Andy Dalton are much better in terms of pure quarterback mechanics and adapting to complex pro offensive schemes. Is it because of Tebow’s oft-stated faith? A lot of less-heralded pro athletes are the same way. Is it because he got off to a red-hot start? That makes sense, but doesn’t explain why Denver fans were so eager to have him replace Kyle Orton in the first place.

Maybe it’s just a case of right place, right time, right culture war. Who knows?

In any case, Iike I said, Tebow himself doesn’t bother me. He’s probably likable enough on a personal level, and he’s just doing what he does, like we all do. And as obnoxious as it is, Tebow’s religious grandstanding seems to be earnest, at least.

But please, fans and media, I’m begging you, please stop.

The fact that Tebow threw for 316 yards has nothing to do with John 3:16 any more than Ben Roethlisberger’s No. 7 represents God’s holy day (though Big Ben did seem to rest on that final Sunday series). Yes, 316 passing yards is impressive, but it’s a bronze medal next to Drew Brees and Matt Stafford this weekend. If Jesus was telling us anything through Tebow’s yardage, it’s that he’s willing to limit his chosen player to make an obscure reference to a Bible passage that needs about as much introduction as Mark Hamill at a Star Wars convention.

Also, there’s a difference between dissing Tebow the man and complaining about the media over-saturation of a young, more-lucky-than-good quarterback. It’s understandable that Tebow dominates the front page of every sports site in the hours after a thrilling overtime playoff victory. But you can barely tell that’s the reason, because he’s been the top story all year long. And that does no justice to what a compelling year this has been for pro football.

This phenomenon is exactly the kind of thing that could eventually lead to a massive backlash, which won’t be fair to Tebow. It also doesn’t make the best case for God’s sense of selection, which seems to favor gimmicky quarterbacks and world leaders of highly questionable acumen.

I want to root for a team because I like them or hate them less than their opponent, not hope they lose because I’m literally nauseated from hearing about them so much.

God.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Forgive this rare moment of self-indulgence

I made this timeline banner for Facebook. But I thought I'd share it here as well for those of you who aren't my friends there. You're the lucky ones, because only here will you get the story (or at least the time) behind each sliver. Will your luck never stop?

Clearly, my life has followed a traditional trajectory. Clearly.
Top row, from left:
• Christmas 1982. Try not to notice that I'm still in diapers.
• Christmas 1984. I'm assuming the jeans aren't hiding a diaper.
• Kindergarten graduation, 1986. I still have that weird hand tic.
• Performing, 1990. I was picked out of an assembly of my entire school to be clownish. I got to wag my tongue at my teacher. Consequence-free for once. There were comments about the length of my tongue. Cough.
• Ready for the year-end band recital, 1991. This was as dressy as I got then. It took me 20 years to like this picture.
• Ready for 8th grade prom, 1994. I went with my first-ever girlfriend. This marked the first time that I'm aware of that I wore a tie. It came with the shirt, which we bought at Wal-Mart. During that same shopping trip, I bought a pair of sandals I still occasionally wear to this day.
• Thanksgiving 1996. Tight as a rubber band. Note the Cool 96.5 T-shirt. My favorite station of all time, it would suddenly go defunct two months later.
• Hope, Arkansas, 2005. Took a bunch of pictures at the Bill Clinton Museum for this blog but never used them. Fun trip, though.
• Movie set, 2011: I'm portraying a football player for a film that shot in Lafayette. I didn't choose the number 40; it chose me.

Middle row, from left:
• Brother's birthday, 1984. I think Heathcliff wants to lick me. 
• Third grade collage, 1988. That was a good year for self-portraits, apparently. Oh yeah ... I've never mentioned here that I won an award for another self-portrait I did in second grade. Well, I did.
• Playing football in Springfield, 2008. I believe this was an incomplete pass. My intended receiver insists he caught it. Let's go with his recollection. The Saints lost embarrassingly badly to the Panthers that day.
• My name as it appeared on my Missouri driver's license, 2007. Always preferred it to Louisiana's current design. (Note to stalkers: I DO NOT LIVE AT THAT ADDRESS, OR EVEN IN THAT STATE, ANYMORE. If you want my current address, there's probably an easier way to find it.)
• Assuming the normal position, 1983. 

Bottom row, from left:
• Clowning around/being myself in Jackson Square, New Orleans, 2011. The hair is a direct result of wind and nothing deliberate.
• Butte La Rose, 1990. My uncle's girlfriend brought a hammock to our camp and my cousins, brother and I took turns posing in it. Note my L.A. Gears, the only shoes I ever bought for the license-plate tags. 
• Lafayette, Louisiana, 2012. Note the Brady/Bieber dream hair and the oh-so-macho bat. Oh yeah.

The worst thing ever

After conducting an interview this afternoon, I drove back to my office from the opposite direction than I’m used to taking. The turn into the building (a left) is pretty close to the interstate, and I almost always overshoot it as a result. That means I have to take the next left turn and turn around on a narrow driveway. I have to do this because the bank two buildings down from where I work, despite appearances to the contrary, does not connect with the building next door (which does share access with ours). As I turned around, I bemoaned this deceptive arrangement. 

“This is the most jacked-up thing ever,” I said to myself. “Well, except maybe for the Holocaust. And many, many other things in between.” 

Life’s all about perspective.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Occupy Tebow: The Best of 2011


Well, another year has gone by. Years from now, someone old and crotchety (probably me) will say, "They don't make years like that anymore." Let's hope not.

Not Right About Anything went into hyperdrive in 2011. In fact, I wrote so much that I had to divide this year's best-of collection into three separate pieces just to keep it manageable. That's one section for each city I lived in during 2011, which can best be described as a hobo year. Sure, I could have saved time and raised my standards ... yep, I could have done that. 

Anyway, enjoy. Again. Because it's old stuff.

Best of 2011 - My weird, transitory year

Book 3 of 3!
Farewell Springfield / Travel Travails

“Older, more conservative Ozarks lifers see San Fran, New York and other metropoli as exactly what Springfield shouldn’t be, epicenters of corruption, vice and crime. Younger generations are more likely to see those places as culturally vibrant hubs, and want Springfield to adopt their best characteristics. And given that young professionals are the future of Springfield’s economic machine, city officials must take heed of what they want.”

“So I got a long-overdue workout, a natural ice pack for my ankle and a chance to vent about how terrible everything is to someone who understands. And that's how God works. And that's why I'm agnostic.”

“So the point of all of this is, ONE TOILET. Put ONE TOILET on U.S. 71!!”

Me / Unemployment Lines

I wasn't asked to do anything stupid here. Nobody ever has to ask.
“I told myself at the time that I want to make a difference somehow. I’m still trying to figure out how, but the pursuit keeps me going. I hope that, whenever and however I go, I’ll be remembered for something substantial that I did in life. I don’t ever want to be ‘just another’ anything.”


“1989: Didn't get valentines. My teacher's policy was that if you didn't bring any, you didn't get any (I wonder if this was her romantic policy as well). Somebody signed their valentines ‘Guess Who?’ This fueled intense speculation that ‘Who’ was me, which my repeated denials did not help. And no, it wasn't me. I was too burned out from The Legend of Zelda and George Bush to be clever.”

“Those of you who are regular readers of this blog already know how awesome I am. But for those of you who don't, or who want to know more, here's what you should know about me.”

“Get things done (verb) — 1) The appearance of getting things done, irrespective of whether such is actually the case; 2) Concentrating on superfluous decisions in lieu of less-sexy yet lasting change; 3) A cue for students to bend over, because here it comes again; 4) (Archaic) The act of getting things done.”

“Personally, I love a woman who has a variety of interests and opinions, whether or not I share them. Likewise, anyone who passes through my picky filter will love me for who I am, not what I can give them. I don’t need someone to complete me or train me, and I’m not interested in doing the same to her.”

“Americans like to talk about self-sufficiency, which I support 100 percent. But I think there are two types of people in America: those who enjoy making money and those who do it to get by. Plenty of both types abound, but I suspect there are much more of the second than the first. Almost everybody has or knows someone who has hung up their pursuits because they don’t pay the bills, and taken on full-time work that speaks to nothing of their interests and character. What does that do to a person over time?”

“At some point early in my life, a well-meaning relative on my dad's side of the family gave me a wonderful and useful gift. One that scarred me for most of my childhood.”

My first Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Not my last.
“A Snooki will always be more popular than an Ian McGibboney, because she’s more appealing on a visceral level. Just like you don’t have to turn on your brain to enjoy a football game, you pretty much have to shut off your mind to watch (or, sweet Jesus, read) Snooki. And people like to turn their brains off. If you gave most people the option of Snooki’s book or this single blog to read on the beach this Saturday afternoon, which do you think would emerge the victor?”

“On the surface, it appears to be an ordinary, well-worn notebook. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the most enduring reminder of an era of Ian. And not because it contains notes or homework or other pointless junk, because it doesn’t — indeed, there isn’t one page of this notebook that contains anything productive. No, this volume was all about something much better. Wasting time. And boy, was I efficient at it!”

“As a small child, I often envisioned what I would look like when I was older. Glasses were a must, because my grandfather wore them and I wanted to be him. I also figured I’d wear a suit and tie. Basically, I’d be Clark Kent in Superman III, played by Christopher Reeve, then 31. Well, at least I got the mild-mannered journalist part right.”

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become far pickier about what makes a true friend. It’s not that I’m being discriminatory by any means; it’s more of a subconscious thing I think we all do. When you’re a kid, your best friend could be the boy who sits next to you in the lunch line. Because your friendship pool is so small and you tend to share the same experiences, it’s faster friendship. Middle and high school are more exotic because you meet peers from other neighborhoods. That’s laughable to me now, but it was a big deal then.”

“What bothers me, though, is when someone tries to say, ‘it's nothing personal’ as a consolation. If something makes my life harder, I will have a hard time brushing that off, no matter how little it matters to the person offering the expression. As Americans, we're accustomed to being a number. We're told not to get too disappointed if things don't work out the way we want, because we're just one person-slash-cog in the grand scheme of things.”

“I just found these photos of the 1973 Butte La Rose flood.”

“I’m all for overcoming adversity, but that’s rarely the point of generational comparisons. Usually, it’s just to deride kids for not appreciating their situation. Or for being slackers or having other bad traits that didn’t exist before the Beatles. But most of all, such points are wrong. Always.”

Diarrhea (5/30)
“This might seem weird to those of you who frequent this blog, but I’ve never kept a sustained journal or diary.”


“Finally, I went back to the women’s Dillard’s, convinced that was the correct store. A cute sales clerk approached me and asked if she could help me. ‘No thank you, I’m just looking for my car,’ I replied. ‘Well, look for it with this Prada fragrance sample,’ she said. ‘It makes a great Father’s Day gift. Keep it in mind, OK?’ Note to Dillard’s: she didn’t tackle me or shove a clipboard in my face. Clearly, Sears is winning the aggression competition.”

“My elementary-school bus driver had died on June 20 at the age of 86. It made me want to cry. Milton Jolivette Sr. wasn’t my first or last bus driver. But he drove me around more than anyone else did, except for my parents and grandparents. Maybe.”

“Not merely content to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, I made up my own fictitious, benevolent deity: the Toy Boy.”

“Ever since moving to Baton Rouge, I’ve been asked approximately 95,134 times why I don’t drink alcohol. Pretty remarkable, given that I’ve had about only 250 conversations so far. But that’s to be expected.”

The weird thing is, this was just a normal photograph.
“Every young person imagines at some point what their home will look like when they’re adults. This mental picture is influenced by the dwellings you inhabit and visit, available technology and your own ridiculous fantasies. Now that I’ve lived in a few places (including two swingin’ bachelor pads), I can look back on the difference between youthful imagination and the future (which, as many an ’80s commercial assured us, is now).”

“‘How likely are they to call?’ I asked. ‘Someone would have to die,’ he replied. We laughed. His best friend died that night in an accident.”

“Anyway, I finally got the hubcap back on and one of the guys even pumped my last tire with his leftover pump time. I asked them if they wanted any change, because we’d spent about $16 at this point between us. ‘For what?’ he laughed. ‘Listen, man, you and I, we help each other out. If people did that more often, this world would be a better place.’ They then got in their truck and drove off.”

"’It appears that Ian set up a utilities account with us a month ago.’ ‘What? That's not right!’ ‘Yep. It appears we sent him a letter with his name and account number and everything.’ ‘Well, what shall we do?’ ‘Close it out, of course!’ ‘Shall we notify him?’ ‘He'll become aware of it in three months when we shut off his power in the middle of the afternoon.’"

Movie stardom

 It's "Tom Brady: The Numerically Inaccurate Movie." Based on a true story!
“OK, that’s a stretch. But it’s not a stretch to say that I spent my Friday evening playing football for a scene in a movie. A movie with a director and actors and cameras and everything. Yes, I portrayed a football player. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be acting and that sounds exactly like my real life. Just roll with it.”

“Battling an ominously overcast sky, our second shoot went much faster than Friday's, wrapping up in a mere hour and a half. Once again, I wore number 40 as the football gods intended. As you might expect, there was some attrition and turnover among teams from one day to the next. Technically, that made me a veteran. In that capacity, I hyped up my team by shouting, ‘THERE'S NO TOMORROW, GUYS! LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD!’ Just like I'd said yesterday.”

Secrets to happiness 

“That time you had to sit in a corner and do busywork because you chased a girl on the playground in 3rd grade doesn’t count against your credit rating.”

“This summer will mark 20 years since Jeffrey Dahmer’s had any chance of touching your chocolate.”

And now, a moment of silence for the dearly departed in 2011:

My high school ID lanyard / key ring twirler (1997-2011)

Monday, January 02, 2012

Best of 2011 - Spotlight on society

Book 2 of 3!
Despot deposit box

"Perhaps this can be a learning experience for me, and a teachable moment for society. What is the appropriate way to cope with the violent death of someone so deserving of our contempt? How can we as Americans uphold our basic values and civil principles in the aftermath of much-sought bloodshed? Osama’s death won’t bring any victims back, but can it bring back our moral compass? Or will we become as belligerent as we were after 9/11? Is there a middle ground?"

“This is staged, is what I’m saying. Not necessarily that the people are complicit in it, or that they aren’t truly upset that the man they’re conditioned to worshiping suddenly dropped dead, but they’re definitely hamming it up here. And considering what consequences no doubt loom if don’t show sufficient sadness, I can’t blame them for overcompensating.”


Guest madness 

“I mean, honestly, why bring up politics and society at a tragic time like this? We should be mourning the victims and prayin’ and helplessly blubberin’ and whatnot. That’s the right way to honor the lives of the fallen. Everything else is just nitpickin’.”

“Obama’s only been president for a little over two years, and already he’s failed to accomplish everything he said he’d do in his first term. How lame is that?”

A little one-on-one

“While trudging through more than a foot of snow on Super Bowl Sunday, I noticed one set of footprints. But I don’t remember you carrying me. Were you too busy blessing Texas?” “Nope, I was messing with Texas that whole week. George W. Bush did NOTHING after I did that. What a pansy.”

“There’s no point in being right if you’re boring everyone in the room. And if you write dissertations for a newspaper or blog crowd, then you’re doing worse than being boring; you’re actually turning off people. Today’s Republicans push the most wretched ideas, but they sell them so well. You know why? Because they make it seem more fun. They say, 'You can be with us and laugh and enjoy your freedom, or you can side with them and feel guilty and outraged all the time and take everything deadly seriously for the rest of your life.' That’s the problem with the Democratic Party especially; they have the political and moral high ground, but they won’t let themselves appeal to the people in quite the same way. Instead, they let right-wing pundits and entertainers trash them and everything they stand for.”

“You died one day after John Belushi. Did that piss you off?” “Is John Belushi money?” “No.” “Then, no.”

Society

“What I don’t think a tip should be is a guilt tax. Most servers insist it’s a customer’s duty to tip, because that’s what makes up most of their salary. Which is true, because most U.S. restaurants get away with paying obscenely low training wages. Therein lies the rub — that sucks.”

“Marlboro Miles now have to be jogged.”

“I don't buy that people want justice in cases like this — what they want is revenge. The bad guy to go down in flames. And when they don't get it, they wonder where the system went wrong. They wonder how this overblown TV show they're watching didn't deliver the satisfying ending they craved from the beginning. If justice were the issue, the decision wouldn't evoke such anger and self-righteousness one way or the other.”

“Few religions have much empirical basis, and some have facets that can be dismissed right off the bat. But no one will ever discover that the key to a harmonious society is to lie, cheat, steal and kill.”

“Think about it: you spend the first several of your most formative years learning exactly what letters are and how to write them. You even have to buy special tablets with dotted lines to make sure you get those capital A’s exactly right so children in China don’t starve or something. And while I had relatively little trouble learning my letters in school — my bigger issue was writing sufficienly large letters to look right in those massive rules — I still looked at my brother’s cursive workbook and went, ‘Wha?’”

“The genuises at National Review Online have come up with Halloween costume ideas to annoy liberals. In the spirit of fair balancedness, here are some costume ideas for liberals to fright back (get it?!!)”

“Tim Tebow Halloween: Everybody in the neighborhood can’t stop talking about you, but it takes you forever to get around because the Tebowing pose isn’t conducive to canvassing streets. By the time you arrive, you’re over. Which is just fine with you, because you probably think Halloween is the devil or something.”

“As mad as people are at Wall Street today, the fact is that it is a massive, corporate institution employing millions of people with a variety of viewpoints. It’s like screaming at some kid working in a Wal-Mart in Arizona and expecting Wal-Mart to change its predatory retail ways. Productive protesting is about direct confrontation with the power, not declaring political war on an idea. That doesn’t work any more than it does on an actual battlefield.”

“Sex, to me, is like food — fun, but kind of boring to talk about. Also, I’m extremely picky in my tastes and think sharing my experiences with both gets you closer to me than you want to be. Also, I’m a gentleman. I don’t eat/kiss and tell.”

Pop culture

“Why wouldn’t it occur to old Marty or Jennifer that, hey, isn’t today the day we visited ourselves 30 years ago? And why wouldn’t 2015 Doc be hanging out with 2015 Marty? It’s not like the destiny question comes into play at that point...”

“Few things in movies alienate me faster than some scene that everyone enjoys but I immediately think, ‘I hate this person. I know I’m not supposed to, but I do.’”

“Every close-up of Edward lasts 37 minutes. Jacob never wears a shirt, because why would he? Bella’s angsty angst shines through even when she isn’t in the same country as the scene unreeling. In the name of love, lust and emotional conflict, amen.”

“The new Footloose is as a good a remake as I've ever seen. Frankly, I was expecting either an identical movie with cruddier music, or a ‘High School Musical’-type campfest. This flick is neither.”

Murrikan Futbol


“About the only time you ever see obscure football numbers like 48 on the field.”

“A 15-yard penalty will be assessed for excessive dreadlocks.”

"Paterno is the lightning rod because people know who he is. And because he has farther to fall. A friend of mine described his firing as ‘a drop in the bucket,’ and I agree. At worst, there was a concerted effort to suppress these incidents. If that’s true, it doesn’t start or end with one person."

“At one point we stopped by a party tent, where a mutual friend gave me one of her extra tickets. So now I had two seats to the game. I hadn’t had this much luck since the time my sister’s high school chorus performed in Branson, and I got a free ticket from a parent. But in both cases, I’d already bought a ticket, so I don’t how how lucky you could consider this. I could just stop buying tickets altogether, but life never works out that way.”

“Nutrition has improved since the 1930s, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s come close to being as tall as 8-foot, 11-inch Robert Wadlow. And if someone ever does, it’s still worth noting because it doesn’t happen very often.”

Memes

Sometimes there’s nothing more fun than burning out Twitter and Facebook memes. Here are some I turned into blogs this year:


Bonus from 12/28: #describeyoursexlifewithavideogametitle

Pitfall
Circus Atari
Super Breakout (not really, but funny)
Duck Hunt
Wii Fit Plus
World Class Track Meet
Burger Time
Plaque Attack
Canyon Bomber