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Friday, March 31, 2006


FRIDAY'S CHILD

Why are all of those old-fashioned songs so depressing? Even though Friday's child is loving and giving, I can't feel that good about it, because Saturday's child works hard for a living, or something like that, something that implies that Saturday's child has to work extra fucking hard, without achieving all that much.

But the worst of all is "Where's your mama gone, little baby gone?" My mom sang that one a lot when I was little, and it gave me nightmares. Where's your mama gone? Is that really something one should sing to a small child? Every time she sang it (and I always remembered it as "little baby boy," which makes more sense than "little baby gone" after all) I would picture a little boy standing up in his crib, staring out the window, wondering when Mommy will return, the implication being that she never will because she's sick of her fucking kid.

Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.

So have you heard the news about my alma mater? Not only did the basketball team lose to LSU in the saddest of fashions (LSU looked fantastic, and Duke's had the problem of leaning on Williams and Reddick for scoring all year - unavoidable, maybe, but worrisome), but the Duke Men's Lacrosse team has been accused of gang raping an exotic dancer while spewing racial expletives. I'll just wait until the facts and DNA tests are back before I jump to any conclusions about that situation. I feel for the parents of the kids on the team who weren't involved, and for all of them if none of it is true.

This affords me an opportunity, though, to state that, along with lots of really funny, fantastic, smart people at Duke, I met some world-class assholes there, assholes that were so repugnant and dismissive and full of hatred for women you could hardly believe the shit that they were willing to say to your face. These are guys who would pour beer on girls' heads when they came to their fraternity parties, particularly girls they thought were ugly or fat, just to chuckle about it and deter less-than-perfect women from lingering in their midst. Sounds like the stuff of myths, I know, but the nicer guys in this shitty horde would confirm that it happened regularly. The major league dicks were a few classes ahead of me, and I once had the misfortune of speaking to one of them after I graduated from school, at some frat-boy-away-from-college house in San Francisco. The kid held court about how much his entire stuck-up scary aristocratic fuck family hated his little brother's girlfriend, a very nice, outspoken, extremely pretty, very smart Jewish girl who I knew from school. I told him I thought she was cool without adding that I thought he was one of the foulest humans I've ever encountered, and he attempted to humiliate me by chuckling loudly about me for the rest of the night. At the time, I had seriously thick skin, sociopathically thick skin, which you needed to swim in half of the macho circles at Duke at the time, so it didn't bother me. Mostly I remember being in awe of what a tremendous cocksucker the guy was.

There were great guys at Duke, many of them in fraternities, just to be clear. I had a really good time there, I never dated any assholes, I met a lot of smart people (and a lot of disconcertingly stupid ones), and thoroughly enjoyed myself. But the climate on campus at the time was a seriously fucked up mix of restrictively PC and insanely sexist. Merely defining yourself as a feminist (which I did and still do) would get you into some of the most idiotic conversations with dicks who considered themselves future masters of the universe. I remember one guy saying to me, as if it explained decades of sexism and inequality, "Someone has to be there to cut up the apples."

I have no idea what Duke is like today, and I'm sure that even when I was there, Duke wasn't cornering the market on dickheads. Dickheads are everywhere, and there's something about the college setting that awakens the raging asshole within. All I can say is, girls, keep your wits about you, stick together, and remember that if a room full of guys and girls have a great time and get drunk and naked together, the next day the guys are all studs and the girls are whoring sea donkeys. If you like crazy, reckless fun A LOT and can manage not to care what anyone thinks (don't fool yourself on this one), more power to you, but it's pretty tough to be completely immune to the idiotic spin guys will put on your good times, even when they're right there with you, egging you on.

The really great thing about getting a little older, though, is that you really, truly don't give a shit what men think of you. Then the freedom to be a raging slut is yours! Hurray!

6:39 AM

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


A STONE OF HOPE

It's been raining non-stop all day here in L.A., a good time to read Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous I Have a Dream speech. It's pretty dumb how most of us read about the civil rights movement in high school but rarely read the actual speeches of its leaders, particularly when those speeches are as beautiful as this one.

6:17 PM

Monday, March 27, 2006


DOCTOR WHAT?

As expected, the Doctor Who honkies are circling my house with flaming torches and sharpened sticks since I mentioned that the show appears to suck based on the first three episodes I saw. The fans agree that I'm a whiny moron and Doctor Who is pure genius, although it's widely agreed that this isn't apparent until the fifth episode, at which point the heavens open up and angels sing in four-part harmony, like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, only more joyously.

Oh, and I only dislike Doctor Who because I'm afraid it will make me look uncool if I admit to liking sci fi! That was my favorite letter. Congratulations, you win a free trip to my mom's attic in NC, where my extensive Star Wars Action Figure collection is housed, along with the AT-AT Walker, the Landspeeder, the Millennium Falcon, etc. It would be housed in MY house, but that would force the issue of how to split the collection with my sister, who paid for half of it (My mom didn't buy us crap unless it was our birthdays or Xmas, so we had to do odd jobs for money so we could buy the stuff we wanted. Action Figures were only $3.57 back then, sonny boy!)

My sister and I paid to see The Empire Strikes Back 15 times in the theater when it came out. We used to volunteer to rake the lawn when it didn't need raking, just so we could afford to go see Our Favorite Movie Ever again and again.

I'm sure Star Wars doesn't count as legitimate sci fi cred. But come on, I'm afraid to look uncool? Holy Christ. I play with puppets. I watch a fuckload of reality TV. I give people advice on my blog! What do I have to do around here to get a little respect, yo?

And another thing: I'm an aging hipster who's -- gasp -- bored with TV!

Maybe I am a moron (I'm certainly not ruling it out) and maybe I'll find out that Doctor Who is fantastic in a few weeks of watching (I hope it does turn out to be as good as everyone says it is), but I have to take issue with one thing: I'm not aging. Pppffft! Not remotely.

You see, I did most of my aging back in '99, when every morning I woke up and saw that terrible fish that Sylvia Plath wrote about right before offing herself. Poor girl had debilitating PMS, as it turns out! The rapid aging process I experienced back then stopped one day, and ever since then I've felt just like a 29-year-old.

See, you start to look shitty to yourself when you don't exercise. As long as you exercise, your brain produces a chemical that keeps you from noticing how old and haggard you're becoming. That's my theory about you, anyway. Personally, I'm not aging at all.

And hipster? Come on, guy. Who are you calling hip? You really need a tour of my home, don't you, so you can see the outdated, shitty, ill-fitting clothes and the beloved, openly displayed stuffed animals with your two beady little skeptical honky eyes.

Anyway, what I really mean to say is that I'm invigorated by the diversity and creativity of these insults. Look, they even got me to post to my fucking blog after a full month! Keep 'em coming, honkwiches.

8:30 PM



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me
staff writer at salon.com, co-creator of filler, author of the memoir disaster preparedness due from riverhead press in fall 2010


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