Why yes, I did. But for some reason I couldn't find the key that puts TWO STUPID FUCKIN' DOTS OVER A VOWEL.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
You're going to lose that girl.
In the 1960s, women were possessions of men. This doesn't mean they weren't valued, as these two lines imply: men don't warn other men about the potential loss of a wad of lint or a corncob. "Hey, buddy," no male would ever say, "you better drive slower or you're gonna lose that clump of bird shit on your roof."
If you don't take her out tonight,
She's going to change her mind.
These two lines give us a hint as to the root of the problematic female treatment. The female is above all fickle: despite an established, long-standing relationship, if her man disappears for an hour or two she's got her thumb out by the side of the road. Since loyalty is a trait identifiable with more developed species, this pinpoints the female's position on a societal scale to just above that of a cat, since a cat would share the sentiment but not be able to mouth the words, "You're not gonna feed me? Then, buddy, I'm gonna find somebody who will."
And I will take her out tonight,
And I will treat her kind.
One can easily recognize the objectified woman in these two lines, since there is no parallel in male-dominated societies. If Google wanted to steal a valued male employee from Apple, for instance, they wouldn't threaten to take him rollerskating in their daddy's Mustang. The male requires a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to switch allegiance while the female is settling for less. "Raisinettes and a Sprite?" she chirps. "Okay, buddy -- I'll go home and pack right now."
I'll make a point
Of taking her away from you, yeah,
The way you treat her what else can I do?
Even the most clueless reader must sense the unreliability of the narrator here. On the surface he's expressing unselfishness with this offer to help the beleaguered female, but if he felt even the slightest bit of empathy this song would be about bringing sausages to Darfur. Competitiveness rather than altruism is the motivating factor for action here.
If you don't treat her right, my friend,
You're going to find her gone,
Female as object is reiterated here, though her value is again unspecified. Perhaps losing a woman is like losing your car keys, with both cases leaving the hapless male frantically checking his pockets. But perhaps it's more like a preoccupied male spotting an empty space on a bedroom shelf and realizing he hasn't seen his Kylo Ren action figure in something like six weeks.
Cause I will treat her right, and then
You'll be the lonely one.
In the end, it's the lack of female volition that is most troubling in this work. We're left with the idea that male action alone is what prompts female fidelity. She can stay or she can go, but otherwise her opinion doesn't matter. It may seem smug to congratulate ourselves on living in a more enlightened time, but if this song were written today it would certainly include a discussion of the male's qualifications, perhaps with a couplet like this:
If you don't treat her right, my friend,
Then she might mobilize,
Cause I have got a job, and then
there is my penis size.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
ROMAN HANS: Hey Steve! What are you up to?
STEVE: I'm drinking a Pepsi and welding. You?
ROMAN HANS: I'm wearing my hijab and looking at the photos I took in the Sudan. Starvation is such a downer I could really use a cappuccino. Wait -- there's a protest going by my apartment. Why don't we join them?
STEVE: Protest? Against what? Now that Trump is president everything is perfect.
ROMAN HANS: Do we have to protest against something? I'll bet when Martin Luther King led the March on Wherever he just wanted to meet chicks and show off his new shoes.
STEVE: Okay, count me in! It'll be fun: we'll paint up signs with flowers on them and then have a nice walk through the center of town. The only paint I have is from the Martha Stewart Soda Collection but I guess it'll have to do.
(FIVE MINUTES LATER)
ROMAN HANS: Wow. I'm so glad we came. As a hard-hitting photojournalist I've discovered something far more important than civil rights abuses or starvation: young people standing up and saying, "I don't know; what do you think?"
STEVE: All these protest signs are making me realize something: communication is vitally important. Like, I probably should have told someone that America needs comprehensive single-payer health care with no exclusion for pre-existing conditions.
BYSTANDER (SLAPPING HIS FOREHEAD): Why, you're absolutely right! I'll get right on it!
PHOTOGRAPHER: Come on, Kendall, concentrate! It took thirty-nine hours of work and six Reynolds Oven Bags to make that dress.
KENDALL JENNER: Okay, I'll put on my serious acting face. (THINKING TO HERSELF) I've got to take a dump. I've got to take a dump. I've got to take a dump. (She sees HOT ASIAN MAN WHO BROUGHT A CELLO TO A PROTEST.) Goodbye, patriarchal wig! Adios, capitalist lipstick! Hey, guys -- wait!
TWO RANDOM PEOPLE: Hi! We're transgender women who have never heard of North Carolina's bathroom bill.
BLACK MAN WITH CORNROWS: A white person has shown up! Thank goodness. Decades of Hollywood movies have shown me that indigenous and minority communities are fun and colorful but they can't solve problems by themselves. Introduce a white person, though, and wonderful things happen. I'll bet within a week or two we have the world's best bobsled team.
POLICEMAN #1: Okay, captain, just tell me one more time: we're not firing tear gas at these kids because they have kicky signs?
POLICEMAN #2: Wow! I was worried about all these protesters because they were walking down the street carrying potentially dangerous weapons. Now that they're jumping up and down and waving their arms, though, I see no problem whatsoever.
POLICEMAN #3: Who'd have guessed that when I shot all those unarmed black people I was just thirsty? Thanks, Kendall Jenner!
BLACK MAN WITH CORNROWS: Yeah, thanks, Kendall! Now where's my bobsled?
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
"Here's the secret," I say. "You get your hair cut by a Japanese woman. They're afraid of doing something wrong so they'll barely touch your hair. They will slowly, cautiously snip away for an hour or two. Eventually their instructor will come over and say, 'That's really nice,' and because he has cocaine and a boyfriend at home he will finish the cut. That way you get an professional haircut for just a five-dollar tip."
He shoots me a look that says he's impressed, and it flashes through my brain when the woman hacks at my hair. She clearly has no idea what she's doing and she has absolutely no reluctance to impose it on every side of my head. The instructor comes over and scolds her in Japanese. He shows her how to hold the scissors and how to hold her hands, but when he leaves she proves powerless to imitate his motions so she returns to her random hacks. Five minutes later he returns and the scene repeats.
They say the earth is 98% water. I leave the salon with bald scalp making up the same percentage of my head. My German boyfriend rings me on FaceTime before I get to the subway. "Wow," he says. "It is short. It is really, really short."
Me, I'm fine with denial. "It's good. It's not too short. It looks really good."
"It is short. It is very short. I do not expect it will be that short."
"Fine," I snap. "It's a little short. Maybe it's a little short."
He notices my irritation. "I usually will not comment on how short it is, but I do not expect it. You tell me Japanese women are afraid to cut hair."
"I found one who isn't," I bark. "She wasn't afraid at all. She had a style in mind that she thought was right for me and she went for it. I think it looks really good."
"It is short," he repeats.
"It's a little short but not too short. I'll look great in three weeks when I come see you in Berlin."
He shakes his head. "I wish so," he says. "But human hair does not grow so fast."
I think about throwing my iPhone but remember that even giving it a sharp nudge means a two-hundred dollar repair bill. In Europe everybody knows how to spot an Ugly American: they're overweight, they wear multicolored coats, and every sentence that comes out of their mouths compares their new surroundings unfavorably to that Utopian homeland. "In America there's an elevator in every hotel!" "In America restaurants have catsup for your french fries!" "In America Mr. Whiskas poos wherever he wants!"
That sad cliché flies through my head but I swat it away and stomp on it. "In America when somebody gets their hair cut you tell them how nice it looks. You don't say, 'It's short! It's really short! HOLY GOD, IT'S SO GODDAMN FUCKING SHORT!' No, you say, 'Wow, that looks good! You are so handsome!' and that's the end of that."
My German Boyfriend is shocked. We've only dated for a couple of months so I'm still on my best behavior, and this is my first outburst. "Okay," he says, visibly recoiling. "It is not too short. It is a very good length."
"Thanks," I say as my anger recedes. He tried, and though it seemed a little forced I think we dodged a bullet. I realized we would have culture and language problems but hoped that with patience and heart-to-heart talks we'd get through them and our relationship would continue to grow. "I'll shampoo it tomorrow and fluff it up and it'll look really great."
He inspects it again, then says somberly, "I think you will not need shampoo."
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Now if they’d asked questions I could relate to, I’d be Stephen J. Hawking today. I came up with some examples: see if you’re better at solving these than the junk they gave you in school.
1. Carl’s nipples are two feet from his penis, and twenty-four inches apart. A leather loop passes through the rings in each piercing. What’s the minimum length of this loop?
(a) seventy-two inches
(b) Sir Isaac Newton
(c) Is Carl spherical or what?
2. Twelve men are in a bar. Three are wearing shoes, five are wearing socks, and two are wearing both. How many men are in bare feet?
(a) God, and I thought “Pajama Night” was annoying.
(c) This is why they don’t sell alcohol in Utah.
3. Al likes two hours of foreplay. Ted likes intercourse for forty-five minutes. If they have sex together how long will it last?
(a) The important thing here is that Al and Ted seek some form of counseling.
(b) two hours forty-five minutes
(c) Are you sure these guys aren’t lesbians?
4. If Sam has four inches soft and twelve inches hard, what percentage does he grow?
(c) If that’s the Sam I used to date, he thought watermelons were eight feet across.
5. Pat and Chris leave the Manhole at 2:15 a.m. Ignoring lights, they cross Melrose, then Vermont, then Hyperion. What will the policeman give them?
(a) If the Manhole is a straight bar, a friendly wave.
(b) If it’s a lesbian bar, a stern warning and a long, google-eyed look at their breasts.
(c) If it’s a gay bar and this is the LAPD, twelve jaywalking tickets and six shots of mace.
6. Arnie says “All three of us are bottoms.” Wayne says, “You’re the only bottom.” Fred says, “Wayne and I are both bottoms.” If each of them always lies or always tells the truth, how many are lying?
(b) the Japanese art of paper-folding
(c) Sigh. They’re all bottoms, aren’t they?
7. There are thirty guys in line at the Pit at 1:30. Eight are more attractive than Wayne. The doorman lets one guy enter every three minutes. Every five minutes four more guys arrive, and two are more attractive than Wayne. When will Wayne get inside?
(a) Ugly dudes ought to stay home. That’s why God invented TV.
(c) When Pat Boone stars in “Naked Boys Singing!”
8. At 8:04 on Christmas morning Pete unwraps a G. I. Joe. If it takes ten minutes to take his helmet off, eight minutes to take his shirt off, six minutes to take his boots off, and seven minutes to take his pants off, when will Joe be naked?
(b) Christmas is a time for joy and happiness. Pete should just yank Joe’s pants down right away.
(c) Don’t remind me. That was the day I discovered disappointment.
9. A troll spends three-fifths of his money on a stud. He spends half of what’s left on another stud. In all he spends eight dollars. How much money did he start with?
(a) I know why the studs keep leaving.
(b) ten dollars
(c) I wouldn’t wave at an ugly guy for less than twenty.
10. Brad is a 10, and usually sleeps with other 10’s. After every beer, though, he’ll settle for one number lower. If he gets to the bar at seven and has one drink each half-hour, when will he approach Ernest Borgnine?
(a) Ernest Borgnine? What, is Jim Varney dead?
(c) When his liver swells up like a loofah.
11. Al has two cats. He moves in with Ted, who has eight cats. If each cat eats a can of Sheba every day, how many cans will feed all the cats for a week?
(a) I could never buy cat food with a tiara on it.
(c) If these are the same guys with the two-hour foreplay, they are positively definitely lesbians.
12. If a man and a half have sex with a man and a half in a day and a half, how many men will have sex in six days?
(b) Just out of curiosity, are we talking top half or bottom half?
(c) Jeez, and I thought my boyfriend was a whore.
13. A man’s penis is twice as long as his big toe, and half as long as his feet. If the three measurements total forty-two inches long, how long is his big toe?
(a) Ohmigosh, I’m shaking like Katherine Hepburn in a massage chair.
(b) six inches
(c) This guy’s going to cause fistfights at “Barefoot Night.”
14. Black paint is $50, used toilets are $10, and a crummy sound system is $100. How much will it cost Luigi to convert his garage into a gay bar?
(a) You forgot to include how much three bad techno CDs cost.
(d) Garages are dark, cramped and disgusting. He’ll make a fortune.
15. Two gay people are sitting in the park. The little one is the big one’s son, but the big one isn’t the little one’s father. Explain.
(a) Didn’t I hear about this on “Dateline”?
(b) I don’t think these guys are really related at all.
(c) Everything’s so crazy these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if the big one had a uterus.
HOW TO SCORE:
Dress nicely. Avoid open-toed shoes. Thank anyone who says you've got a hot ass, but run when they pull out thermometers.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Everybody praises John Lewis for getting hurt while marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I would have marched twice as fast and I have bone spurs. Painful!
Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award for playing a maid in Gone With The Wind. Unbelievable! Tara was filthier than any of my hotels.
Jack Johnson knocked out a white man to become 1908 Heavyweight Champion of the World. How come now they're all, "Why can't we just get along?"
Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus and everybody acts like she was really brave. Ivana wouldn't move either, even if she wasn't carrying lots of bags with new shoes.
Harriet Tubman started the Underground Railroad. She gets a lot of credit for it but why doesn't anybody talk about all the people woken up in the middle of the night by the whistle?
They say George Washington Carver invented peanut butter. Selfish! I would have invented computers but he was all like, "I don't care about anybody else! I just want a sandwich."
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Ohmigod, I didn't realize how stupid my mommy and daddy are. I assumed that because they made a living and drove cars and cooked food they had to be intelligent, but now I discover the opposite is true. They're dumb as two piles of rocks.
When I was like three minutes old I noticed they were on their cellphones all the time -- like constantly, even when we're eating dinner -- so I waved my arms and gurgled in hopes they'd buy me one. I figured it would do really cool stuff, like let me read the news or call Anderson Cooper or check stock prices easily. I cry and shriek and wail and finally they get the hint, and I swear to God I have never been so disappointed in my entire life. These cellphones that all these adults are attached to are just little plastic pieces of shit.
This horrible little gift really opened my eyes. Believe it or not, its intellectual apogee is a game called Find The Fruit.
When daddy was on his phone I thought he had to call work or see what was up with the flooding in southeast Asia, but no. Instead he's all, like, "I need some mental stimulation. Let's see if I can press a button next to a picture of a strawberry."
Then there's a piano mode where you hit a button and it plays a plinky kiddy tune. I swear to God, another button makes drum noises for like thirty minutes. Really. That's it. Did we learn nothing from the seventies? I guess not. I'm picturing daddy at a Led Zeppelin concert yelling, "Hey, stop singing and shut off that damn guitar and let me hear from John Fucking Bonham again!"
Another button plays a recording of Mickey Mouse. A recording. First, you've got to be an idiot to want to talk to an animated character; and second, there's something wrong in your head if you don't realize the whole dialog is canned. You say something like, "I swear to God, sometimes I find it really difficult to cope," and Mickey doesn't answer, "I'm sorry to hear that; is there someone really supportive among your friends?" It doesn't deter mommy. All the time she's talking into her cellphone like there's a sentient being on the other end. I want to say, "Well, Mommy, what's Mickey up to today?" because I'm pretty sure that like yesterday and the day before he'll be all like, "Hi, this is Mickey Mouse! How many years old are you?" But I only hold up this many fingers so there ain't no chance of that.
I swear to God, this pathetic crap was the worst gift ever, and I'm not forgetting when Aunt Barbara gave me that Hello Kitty toaster cover. It truly shook me to my core. These folks are in charge of my life -- my wellbeing, my upbringing, my education -- so finding out that when times get tough they desperately need to hear a cartoon mouse squeal, "Hot diggety! It's a phone call!" and then rabbit on to nobody for the next sixty minutes makes me want to grab my rattle and hit the road.
Anyway, I decided this was a toxic situation so I came up with a plan. The next time mommy or daddy gave me a bath, I'd "accidentally" knock their phone off the side of the tub and into the water. Yes, it's a little patronizing, but I'm not exactly going to have an intellectual discussion with folks who spend half the day hitting buttons that play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Besides, this plastic piece of junk with like three LEDs and a tinny speaker can't cost more than a cappuccino so it's no biggie there. Sure, they'll probably swear and scream and order another one but if I can get them to spend five days without chatting with a nonexistent animal maybe I'll finally get some respect for them and actually think about pooping in the toilet for a change.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Being heterosexual, Roger was fascinated by me for other reasons. He saw how popular I was. He saw how -- though at fifteen I was five years younger than him -- I spent every other night going to the hottest clubs in the city with a gorgeous, adventurous female, and on the other nights I'd disappear into the dark, returning as the sun came up with a smile on my face. VWs are good cars but not quite that interesting.
I admit that I suggested we have sex. But everybody was experimental back then, so it didn't seem out of line. When he finally got into bed with me, though, I didn't realize how dangerous it would be. How I'd fall for him, and how he'd decide he was straight. How he'd fall for women, and bring them to our room, and sleep with them instead of me. How upset I would get, and how the dorm administrators would ignore my pleas to GET ME OUT.
But one night it happened. I'd pictured something on the scale of From Here To Eternity, with both of us swept away in purple passion. We'd dissolve into one flesh united by heat and sweat and spit and hours later, exhausted, we'd peel ourselves apart knowing we were eternally bonded by Love.
Instead, Roger was skeptical from the beginning. He embodied the words "cold fish." He lay there waiting to see what I'd do, while I, being younger, naturally assumed he would take charge.
We fumbled around and rubbed our bodies together. At some point I think he laughed. We ejaculated and he sneered:
That's it? he said. Gay sex is just jacking off?
I couldn't predict what was coming in the next few months, but I could see the disconnect. I could see a sexual tourist racing back to the safe cave of his heterosexuality, and I could see that love would not be simple for me.
How the hell do I know? I snapped. I've just slept with two more guys than you.