This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Short Shorts

The following is a combined, edited version of two "Short Shorts" entries from my old DiaryLand blog, dated February 23 & June 21, 2004. Please keep that in mind when you read the references to the "new" program, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and to a radio commercial for a Saint Patrick's Day sale.

My surviving DiaryLand entries are fairly depleted. I'm no longer going to provide a link when I use the term "old blog." And due to various things going on behind the scenes right now, I may just schedule two or three more old posts, spaced out every two or three days, while I disappear for a bit. So even if I'm not "around" for a while, as it were, you'll still get to read some of my old shit classic material.

1) Did anyone -- other than me -- think that you were watching one of those "joke" ads, the type that Saturday Night Live likes to run (or used to... I haven't watched a new episode of SNL since Phil Hartman was on the show) the first time you saw a promo piece for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?

2) "It" finally began (for me, anyway), earlier this evening. Tonight, I heard the first radio ad of the year for a Saint Patrick's Day sale that some car dealership was touting, complete with a high-pitched, sing-songy, obviously bogus Irish brogue. (I'm waiting for local, low-budgeted TV ads -- mostly for furniture stores -- to follow.) The ad exhibited one sole bit of restraint by leaving out the term "top o'the morning to ye," but they might just as well have included it. Changing times & enlightened attitudes -- bolstered by their personified successors, the Politically Correct Police -- have successfully eradicated the "Irish cop" stereotype, as well as the "Irish drunk" stereotype (although somewhat less successfully), but these dismally-failed dialecticians are still allowed to work their dubious magic on their listeners. I wonder if "they" could get away with resurrecting the main characters of the old Amos and Andy show -- complete with their minstrel show delivery -- at whatever time of the year seemed appropriate to these hawkers, for example, Kwanzaa, or Martin Luther King Day?

3) On the subject of "acceptable racism" -- if such a thing is possible -- I remember an episode of Oprah (Hey, my then-girlfriend used to watch it... No, really!) in early 1990 when Oprah declared that the male-bashing '80s were over, and she and her show were going to clean up their collective act.

So how come it's still okay for society in general -- and not just the female members of said society -- to make all the anti-male comments I keep hearing?

I'm not talking about jokes, here. We have to make allowances for almost all kinds of humor. A lot of jokes demean someone, and that's not necessarily harmful if the joke targets someone or something in particular rather than a religion, nationality, ethnic group, etc.

No, I'm talking about comments that assume that all men are the same. Recently, in reaction to a specific comment of mine which I won't take the time to tell you about (You're welcome.), a female friend of mine made a crack about "literal-minded men." Not "literal-minded David," mind you. No. "Literal-minded men."

Being a man (and please note, I am just a man, not the representative of a stamped-out, identically-designed robotic gender), I was mildly offended.

I realize that there are some fundamentally-different characteristics of men and women that make each group act somewhat differently than the other. (And I mean "characteristics" in an emotional sense; we're not just talking about simple plumbing, here.) But please don't say "Yeah, men are from Mars, women are from Venus," 'cause I'll slap you. If you're old enough to remember Real Men Don't Eat Quiche, my take on that was similar: Some "real men" do eat quiche. Some "real men" don't. All it boils down to is whether or not the man in question likes quiche! Anything else is a moronic generalization.

If you think I'm over-reacting here (which, admittedly, is what 90% of these RantZ are about, so lighten up), try this little test: Whenever you find yourself about to make a statement about "MEN," mentally reconstruct that statement, substituting the name of any other ethnic group for "men."

  • "Latinos never ask for directions."
  • "Asians never do the dishes."
  • "Jews can't stop playing with the TV remote."
  • "African-Americans never change the toilet paper roll."
  • "Native Americans always leave the toilet seat up."
  • "All Italians are such babies whenever they get sick!"
  • "Arabs never do the laundry."
  • "Polish people never empty an ashtray."
  • "A Frenchman only buys you flowers when he's done something he feels guilty about."

These statements suddenly sound pretty freakin' stupid, don't they? And bigoted, perhaps? Just a bit? (Except for the one about Frenchmen; I think that one's true.)

4) Whenever anybody talks about Q-Tips, there's always that disclaimer about how you should never insert anything in your ear. I realize this is mainly geared to those morons who'd slam the sumbitch in there like they were staking a vampire, but whenever I hear that warning, I always think:

"If you can't stick them in your ear, what the f**k good are they?"

5) Why do some people have those strange little dashboard compasses in their cars? Whenever I give directions to someone, it's always something like "go straight for two blocks, take a left, then go about two miles until you see a KMart on your right..." I never say "proceed in a Northeasterly direction -- at roughly 45 degrees -- for one mile, then veer South Southwest..."

Well, maybe I would if I were talking to a f**king bird...

6) Trebliet. Just sayin'.

7) Ever notice that in the movies, there's often some establishing flashback sequence before the storyline proper begins? Then, the main story itself begins, along with a title that says (for example) "ten years later," or "twenty years later."

How often have two incredibly significant and related occurrences in your life happened at such convenient intervals? Just once, I want to see a film where two such events take place, say, seventeen years apart.

I'm just saying I want to see one; I'm not definitively stating that one like that does not exist. It's just that I haven't seen it yet.

And I'm not holding my breath, Hollywood.

8) Speaking of Hollywood, you want to know what I hate about Computer-Generated Images? They're getting to be so effective, they can almost replace natural talent and beauty. For example, I am incredibly impressed by the physical skills that people like Jackie Chan and Jet Li possess. However, through the benefits of CGI, someone like myself could act in a film wherein I could not only equal, but surpass their accomplishments. It doesn't seem fair, somehow. And yes, I fully realize that movies are all about make-believe anyway. Put me in a film where I'm locked in a room with my mortal enemies (as played by Chan, Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Steven Seagal) in a fight to the death, and if the script says that I'll be the only one to emerge alive... well, that's what'll happen.

However, I'm not referring to "the movies" vs. "reality" as much as I am the viewers' perception of what is and isn't real or fake. If I were to run up a wall, for instance, it'd obviously be through the graces of CGI. Jackie Chan, however, can really do it. But nowadays, many people will look at him, too, and smugly say "CGI." And that's what I mean when I say that there's something inherently unfair about the whole thing.

People have been conditioned to look for the false, the deceptive, the "smoke and mirrors." No one seems to have faith in much any more. Don't believe me? Here's a test: The next time you're watching television in a room with at least one other person, wait until a program or commercial comes on which prominently features a young woman with eyes lovely enough to comment upon, and then say something to the effect of "Wow, she's got pretty eyes."

I almost guarantee that at least one person will assume the actress is wearing colored contacts, and say so.

9) I'm one of those people who knows a lot about a little, and a little about a lot. Therefore, friends and acquaintances often come to me to answer trivia questions, or even to settle arguments. Generally, if I don't know the answer to something (and there's a lot I admittedly don't know), I have a pretty good idea where I can find the answer (which is even easier since the invention of the internet).

A question I've been asked more than once is whether Morton Downey, Jr. (former talk show host, now deceased) was related to Robert Downey, Jr. (one helluva good actor!). I guess it's a logical question because their names are so similar.

I can't resist having a bit of fun with anyone who asks me that. "Yes," I reply. "They're brothers."

Why is that "fun," you ask? Okay, you think about it, and get back to me. (Here's a clue: If they really were brothers, what would have been their father's name?)

And finally...

10) Thought for the Day: "The only thing that cannot be successfully put off until a later time is procrastination." -- David M. Lynch

Thanks for your... Nahhhh, I'll tell you later.

2 comments:

Capris Forever said...

Wow, this is a long post. I wish I had time to read it, but I have all these capris to iron, you see.

JenB said...

This was a good one, I LOLed a lot! Hehe.

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