A DOUCHEBAGGISH DISSERTATION (1/2009)

THIS GOES OUT TO ALL THE DOUCHEBAGS OUT THERE.

I’ve probably never seen you. Odds are you’ve never seen me. But yet I feel compelled to give you douchebags your due.

The funny thing is, you don’t even know you’re douchebags. Because if you did, you’d change your douchebaggish behavior. Even funnier: you’re so much of a douchebag that you think people who aren’t douchebags are douchebags. And that, my non-friend, is the mark of a true douchebag.

What designates a douchebag, exactly? Hard to say. As of today, no universal definition of douchebag has been agreed upon. This is evidenced by the nine red squiggles in my current Word document. It seems the programmers at Microsoft have yet to acknowledge the legitimacy of douchebag‘s place in the English language.

Which, of course, makes them a bunch of eggheaded techie douchebags.

Are you tiring of me repeating the 21st century’s preferred derogation? Well, you know what that makes you. Hint: it starts with a “douche” and ends in a “bag.”

(The author exhales a deep, practically post-coital sigh.)

There. After a baker’s dozen of uses, I’ve had my fix. For the afternoon.

***

Every so often, our zeitgeist spews out an expression that goes beyond being catchy. Saying it is downright cathartic, to the point of being addictive. Call it nicotine for the mind.

Faced with these cravings, we do what any junkie does. We feed our monkey any way we can. In the case of slang, we endow our favorite terms and expressions with versatility that defies logic.

(While filling your lungs with gibberish has yet to be linked to cancer, it has been rumored to contribute to the eroding of speech and other higher brain functions.)

During my teen years, everything was phat. Nike Air Jordans were phat. Especially when worn in tandem with a phat Starter jacket - which made you look both phat and fat simultaneously. While listening to phat music, you’d dream of driving a phat car with a phatter stereo system. This would help you attract a phat girlfriend. (Wait. That didn’t come out too phat.)

You see the pattern, though. Phat went from being a trendy description of clothing to being ubiquitous with anything halfway decent.

Yet phat had a (posh) glass ceiling. Well-coiffed businessmen in plush conference rooms weren’t complimenting each other on their phat Armani suits, or their wives’ phat Prada bags. However, many of these well-spoken, well-educated chaps are indeed disposed to dropping a certain d-word when describing, say, a socially (un)well-adjusted middle manager.


That’s what intrigues me so about the phenomenon of douchebaggery. It transcends socioeconomic status, generational gaps and IQ disparities better than Barack Obama chanting “Yes we can” on Walter White's purest "Blue" crystal meth. As a people, we will never share uniform views on health care reform, Roe vs. Wade or income tax distribution. But we’ll put aside our most bitter differences to agree Justin Bieber and Kayne Kardashian-West are douches totales.

It makes sense. Calling someone a douchebag triggers a visceral delight that lesser denigrations can’t provide. “Jerk” has a kind of civility to it, and isn’t as all-encompassing. (A World of Warcraft zealot, for instance, is too awkward to be a jerk – but is plenty geeky enough to be a douchebag.) “Tool” and “Toolbag” are the Britney Spears/David Hasselhoffs of insults - still sexy at times, but undoubtedly past their prime. And while traditional profanity is definitely satisfying, it’s not as casual. Labeling someone an @$hole, $h!thead or mother$*!%er carries a certain gravitas. Those terms can singlehandedly turn a PG-13 movie into an R-movie. Yet the stars can call each other douchebags all they want, without forcing ninth graders to have their parents accompany them to the mall cinema. Such is the absolute greatness of douchebag - along with douchedouche-nozzle, etc.

But there is one drastic drawback to liberal use of this phrase and its plethora of kissing (douching?) cousins.

***

In theory, every American male is a douchebag.

(Ironic, given the term’s genesis is rooted in a feminine hygiene product.)

Many would agree the paradigmatic douchebag is a hair-gel infused, tribal tattoo sporting, spray-tanned fellow straight out of Jersey Shore. But, as alluded to earlier in this column, those individuals tend to think more “traditional” looking guys are douchebags. Girls are attracted to both varietals, and ladies who prefer one type of males believe the opposing types are douches.

Geeks and gamers are douchebags because their heads are perpetually buried in devices, textbooks, calculators and entertainment consoles instead of female anatomy. Yet geeks & gamers think jocks are douchebags. Why? Because athletes get near-orgasmic pleasure from chucking lesser beings into lockers, and harassing people during post-gym class showers. And what could be more douchebaggish than homoerotic bullying?

Frat boys are douchebags for being frat boys. Non-frat boys are douchebags for getting off on making fun of frat boys. Republicans are douches because they support plutocratic oligarchy and/or Donald Trump. Democrats are douchenozzles because their panacea to all our problems is whining about plutocratic oligarchy and/or Donald Trump.

(You know, maybe the crew at Microsoft had a good reason for not defining “douchebag,” after all.)

At first, I was going to end this column by announcing a certain New Year’s Resolution. But because only a true douchebag would consciously abstain from using the term “douchebag,” I’ve reconsidered.

Instead, I’ll promise to revise an old bathroom stall adage. As of now, “No matter how hot she is, somebody thinks she’s a b!tch” will become “No matter how cool he is, somebody thinks he’s a douchebag.”

Are you with me? If not, then you know what you are.

FACEBOOK. THE DSM-IV OF A NEW MILLENIUM (2/2009)

I LOVED MY UNDERGRAD ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY CLASS.

Never blew off so much as one lecture. Even on Fridays, when Eau de Burnett’s Vodka radiated from my pores like carbon monoxide from a flimsy exhaust system.

No hangover would prevent me from learning sophisticated ways of categorizing my friends’ deviant behavior(s). And when one resides in a fraternity house, social aberrance is as much a fixture as are Pabst Blue Ribbon and Beast Light.

Take a college acquaintance of mine. We’ll call him Mortimer. Mort suffered from a chronic need to moon people. Especially young women within in a ten-foot radius of his scandalously hairy behind.

Unenlightened observers labeled Mort “gross” and “juvenile.” One uninformed bystander threatened to call PETA if Mort didn’t release the cat imprisoned between his hind cheeks.

Inaccurate reactions, all. Mort was, in fact, an exhibitionist. Paraphrasing from the DSM-V (the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental disorders), Mort got off on taking his pants off. In front of others.

Okay, okay, I’m exaggerating. Truth be told, Mort flaunting his hirsute caboose was just a lame cry for attention. And the more people told him things like “Dammit Mort, have you considered waxing?,” the more Mort was inclined to keep dropping trou.

Then one day, rather than feign the howls of torture victims, a few buddies and I shook our heads and said, “Mort, we’re worried you’re a pathological exhibitionist. You should seek professional help.” Now that got him to stop “Mortifying” people. At least, for an hour or two.

Needless to say, I had no trouble recalling what “Exhibitionism” was on my Ab Psyc exam. However, not every undergrad has access to real-life case studies like Mort.

But practically every college student does have is unfettered access to Facebook.

So Abnormal Psyc profs and students alike – when you reach the chapter on mental disorders, snap the textbook shut. Instead, consult the list below. It places some common psychological conditions in contexts 99.5% of today’s undergrads will understand. Immediately.

I’m not being the least bit flippant. Facebooks paint pictures of antisocial behavior with the grace of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. Just follow what’s below, and I guarantee mental disorders will be more compelling and relevant that any of you ever imagined. And so it goes:

***

EXHIBITIONISM: Yes, even virtuous young women today wear Halloween costumes and swimsuits that might convince Madonna to espouse modesty. And it’s fine if said young women occasionally photo-document said outfits online.

But if a young lady has 100’s – some have 1000’s – of photos that flaunt thongs (or lack thereof), bare midriffs, reenactments of pole, table and lap dancing, or public displays of affection that would make veteran paparazzi cringe…well, you get the idea.

VOYUERISM: Guys, when the Foxy Facebook Friends referenced above plaster (nearly all of) themselves online, the urge to play cyber-peeping tom is natural. It’s like seeing a wreck on the side of the road. Your head, practically on its own accord, snaps toward the incident.

However, there’s looking – and there’s rubbernecking. And slamming on your brakes, just to get a better view, can have nasty repercussions.

Translation: probing every “pic” from Delta Delta Delta’s recent “Dirty Debutante Debauchery” mixer multiple times over, is a cry for much-needed help. For a number of things.


GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD): Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, should legally change his name to Zeus. And not only because it would make his initials ZZ, a rare feat. Bear with me.

Per legend, Zeus – CEO of Greek Gods, Inc. – gave the first girl on earth, Pandora, a magic box. He warned her never to open it, but curiosity won out. So she popped the top...and like flatulence broken in a pressurized Coach cabin, mankind’s misery diffused into the world.

“Zeus” Zuckerberg can’t hurl lightning bolts (though he’s facilitated Facebook “Apps” that allow you to virtually scratch, bite, disembowel and all but sodomize your Friends). But by virtue of the “Status Update,” aka the box where one indicates “What’s on your mind?”, he grants people the power to spread their anxiety far and wide. On impulse.

The “Status Update” box is Pandora’s box, brought to life.

So when Susie constantly writes she is “OMG freaking out OMG,” Billy is often “STRESSED as HELL!!!! WTF?!?!?!” or Janie is frequently “SO SO SO over it, it’s SO not funny,” harken back to Pandora. Because when your chronically agitated Friends chronically hit “enter” – causing you to become agitated, chronically – it’s a myth come true. And a potentially fatal blow to your present employment.

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD): Facebook is a great way to procrastinate from all forms of “work.” Homework. Housework. Needlework. Anything more productive than Poking or Tagging people for hours.

It’s healthy if Facebook distracts you from your obligations as a functional human being.

It’s not healthy if your obligations as a functional human being distract you from using Facebook.

So if you know someone who can’t go for more than fifteen minutes without having to re-read their BFF’s 25 Things About Me, check their Ex-B/F’s Relationship Status or read Courtney’s newest Note, in which she vows for the upteenth never to hook up with Tucker (or Maddox) (or Chadwick) again, seek help for them.

Or at least teach them to hit Command+H really fast. Teachers tend to frown on in-class Facebook use.

NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER (NPD): “'What's on my mind?' Of course you'd like to know. It just so happens I'm wordsmithing a kick-ass column in which I prove I can teach Abnormal Psychology more eruditely than tenured (let alone untenured) professors. Just by using Facebook! The faculty at some school – entirely of my choosing – ought to endow me with an honorary doctorate. And put me in for a Genius Grant, while they're at it. (Hear that, MacArthur Fellows?) And at no point should anyone wonder why I insist on extolling my brilliance in such a grandiose, conspicuous fashion. For I am merely a humble, virtuoso-purveyor of letters."

THESE ARE NOT THE EMO BANDS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR (4/2009)

AFI

THE FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPT of a (theoretical) conversation about a certain sub-genre of music.


MASTER: What comes to mind when you hear the term “emo music?”

GRASSHOPPER: Bands who sing happy, (expletive deleted)-ty songs about being depressed.

MASTER: Wrong.

GRASSHOPPER: Um, not wrong. What about My Chemical Romance? Panic! at the Disco? AFI?

MASTER: Nope.

GRASSHOPPER: OK, so enlighten me, o sage savant. Who plays emo music?

MASTER: Technically, there’s no such thing as emo music.

GRASSHOPPER: You’re full of (expletive deleted)! All those bands are emo.

MASTER: Funny you mention (expletive deleted). Gerald Way, My Chemical Romance’s singer, said “I think emo’s a pile of (expletive deleted).” And P! at the D’s frontman, Brendon Urie, proclaimed that “Emo is bull(expletive deleted).”

GRASSHOPPER: No (expletive deleted).

My Chemical Romance

MASTER: And Davey Havok, AFI’s vocalist, insists his band isn’t emo, either.

GRASSHOPPER: Davey Havok. Is that name a crock of (expletive deleted)?

MASTER: It’s not on his birth certificate, no.

GRASSHOPPER: Is he the guy with dark, feathered hair, with all the tats and eye makeup, whose dresses like he looted the Hot Topic store at the mall?

MASTER: Yes.

GRASSHOPPER: That’s what I thought. I’m not too big on his wife.

MASTER: I didn’t realize he was married. What’s wrong with his wife?

GRASSHOPPER: For starters, she got busted lip-syncing on SNL. And she sucked so bad at her Orange Bowl gig that the whole stadium booed.


MASTER: Actually—

GRASSHOPPER: And one night she staggered into a Mickie D’s, (expletive deleted)-faced, and wouldn’t give some guy her autograph because he wouldn’t make out with her feet.

MASTER: No, you’re thinking of—

GRASSHOPPER: I mean, what if she had corns? Or bunions? Or some kind of gnarly foot fungus—

MASTER: (Profound sigh.) Ashlee Simpson isn’t married to him.

GRASSHOPPER: Yeah she is. She even had his kid!

MASTER: No, no, no. She’s married to another guy with dark, feathered hair, a bunch of tats and eye makeup.

GRASSHOPPER: Ohhhh. I see.

MASTER: You know, Pete Wentz? Fall Out Boy’s bass player?

GRASSHOPPER: Hey—Fall Out Boy’s an emo band.

MASTER: Pete Wentz says they are.

GRASSHOPPER: Aha! But you said there was no such thing as an emo band!

MASTER: That’s right. Technically.

GRASSHOPPER: Technically, you’re full of (expletive deleted).

MASTER (shaking head): Did you not just acknowledge that Pete Wentz and Davey Havok both have penchants for tats and mascara? And dress like gothic hipsters?

GRASSHOPPER: Uh…yeah. I guess so.

MASTER: And aren’t they in bands who play similar music? And don’t both their bands look and sound like My Chemical Romance and Panic! At the Disco?

GRASSHOPPER: Yeah. So what does this have to do with—

MASTER: So if My Chemical Romance, Panic! at the Disco and AFI say they’re not emo…but they sound and look a lot like Fall Out Boy…what does that tell you?

GRASSHOPPER (eyes alight, like a victorious slot machine): ...That if you dress emo and sound emo…but insist that emo is (expletive deleted)…insecure kids will buy a (expletive deleted)-load of your records!

MASTER (pats Grasshopper on head): Now you see.

GRASSHOPPER: And only Pete Wentz thinks it’s cool to call himself emo.

MASTER: True. But remember, he’s also married to Ashlee Simpson.

GRASSHOPPER: Touché.

MASTER: Which means he probably has to make out with her corns. Or bunions.

GRASSHOPPER: The horror. The horror.

MASTER: And...he has to listen to her music. Every day.

GRASSHOPPER: Wow. Now I’m officially depressed. Like, emo kid depressed.

MASTER: You’ll be fine. Just stay away from sharp objects. And your mom’s makeup.

I LOVE THE WAY YOU LOVE TO HATE (Sept 2009)


KANYE, I'M REALLY HAPPY FOR YOU, IMMA LET YOU FINISH...

...but you caused one of the greatest meltdowns of all time. Of all time!

And for that, I cannot thank you enough.

You see, Kanye, I love the smell of meltdowns in the morning. And midmorning, noontime, teatime, bedtime, and anytime in between.

This time, your patented self-aggrandizement inspired the best Tumblr Photoshop thread I've ever seen. Not to mention the inadvertent comedy of people assuming the role of Taylor Swift's e-guardian angel. Seriously, it was priceless.

With all due respect to Kayne and Taylor Swift - and pretty much everyone else at the VMA awards - meltdowns are, unequivocally, the most redeeming aspect of pop music & the culture derived from it. Take away all the non-ironic drama, and you're more likely to find Snooki at a MENSA gathering than any substantive content.

Want proof? Listen to your local pop station, uninterrupted, for fifteen minutes.

But before you begin, first imagine your Intelligence Quotient is a tract of land bordering the sea. A levee – Rational Thought – is what protects your IQ from a Gulf of Gibberish.

***
ACT I: When the dial settles, Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” will be playing. This is no coincidence. Using cutting-edge technology, Clear Channel ensures everyone, everywhere will hear “Love Story” when first stumbling upon a pop radio station. Anyway, as Ms. Swift warbles about works by Shakespeare and Hawthorne (whose allegorical social commentary she comprehends completely, I’m sure), the Gulf of Gibberish will become tempestuous. Accordingly, the Levee of Rational Thought will feel acute pressure.

ACT II: Next will be A Song by Lady Gaga. The actual track name is irrelevant, because the Gaga-ian oeuvre is aurally homogeneous. Or you could just say “all Gaga’s f*%#ing songs sound the exact same.” Either way, a minute or two of Gaga going gaga will cause The Levee of Rationality’s weakest parts to fissure.

ACT III: Now The Fray will enter the fray. The Fray do not own a fax machine. If they did, they would’ve gotten the memo that Train, after years of macabre conflict, was at last exiled from mass airplay. During its reign, Train’s regime scarred millions for life. Many who encountered “Drops of Jupiter” at young ages may never experience the joys of a palatable taste in music. Yet The Fray drone on and on, disregarding the atrocities of their predecessors. Meanwhile the Levee of Rationality breaches even more. Gibberish begins to deluge your IQ…

ACT IV: Then Nickelback will come on. Just one slap from any ham-fisted Nickelback track...and you are officially drowning. In a deluge. Of. Dumbness.

***
You can argue how annoying the alliteration above may be, but you can’t contest this point: Pop music is engineered to be as disposable as Huggies diapers. Which is fitting, because like Huggies, said music is chock full of turds. Thus, stinks to high heaven.

However, the extents to which people emotionally invest in the purveyors of this excrement are nothing short of golden. Case in point, recall the recent Video Music Awards.

(Which are an irony in themselves, since the “M” was amputated from MTV before some of the winning “artists” were even born. But I digress from Kanye.)
Sr. West’s latest stunt was bigger news than the award winners themselves. Had Taylor Swift not gotten Kanye'd, I doubt two Nobel Peace Prize winning Presidents would have taken interest in the VMA's. And gone on the warpath. Jimmy Carter called Kayne’s outburst “completely uncalled for.” Barack Obama got caught saying Kayne was a “jackass.” Meanwhile, Kaynegate was a top Twitter trend for days. Scores of celebrities and millions of regular folks couldn’t stop tweeting about the deed. Facebook status boxes everywhere reverberated with howls of anguish. Message boards and blogs fielded enough virtual stones to smash servers.

And people absolutely delighted in chucking them. Repeatedly. Weeks after the “incident,” Twitteratti were still spouting everything from drivel (OMG, Kayne is still such a loser) to cleverness (Yo Kanye, Imma let you finish, but J. Howard Marshall had one of the best Golddiggers of all time!) to brilliance (Kayne West is a walking episode of When Keepin It Real Goes Wrong).

You’ve got to hand it to Kanye. His musicianship is debatable, but when it comes to stoking controversy he’s a virtuoso beyond compare. Handing Kanye a mic in front of a live camera feed is like presenting Mozart with a rosined Stradivarius. The results are guaranteed to first render you speechless, then keep you talking for days.

Don’t be fooled. Kanye’s rants are anything but ad-libbed. He plays out the possible scenarios in advance, and knows damn well what he’ll say long before he barges in front of the lens. And more importantly, he knows how to articulate his thoughts in a manner that will keep haters hating – and apologists hating on the haters – for a long, long time. His recent efforts have all but guaranteed his legacy in the annals of Pop infamy, right alongside Paris's night-vision nookie and Britney going commando in Vegas.

Yet when everything is said and done, the true travesty isn’t Kayne raining on Taylor Swift’s parade. Despite what her self-appointed Praetorians might say, Ms. Swift is fine. I doubt she'll be haunted by visions of an apoplectic, sporting-sunglasses-despite-being-indoors figure swooping down upon her. No, the real atrocity is that awards including the phrases “Best” and “Music” are being bestowed upon the likes of Katy Perry, Soulja Boy and Lady Gaga. And of course, Kayne West.

Twenty years from now, I predict the music-buying public won’t be clamoring to buy the Greatest Hits collections of any of the above. But if Mr. West is shrewd enough to compile “Love to Hate: The Greatest Overreactions to My Attention-Seeking Antics"...

Well, then that would be one the greatest Pop albums of all time.

One of the greatest Pop albums of all time!

AT LEAST HANGOVERS GO AWAY (10/2009)

AMONG THE MANY SALIENT LESSONS 20th Century America can teach us, two points stand out.

ONE: At any moment a communist is liable to leap out of your Fresca can, snatch 95% of your net worth, seduce your impressionable wife and daughters with his Red rhetoric and Red man-organ, establish universal healthcare – then abscond back to the Red inferno that spawned him (asexually).

TWO: Outlawing the production, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages is perhaps the dumbest move our government has ever made.

If Prohibition didn’t inspire the maxim that good intentions pave the road to Satan & his Socialist Army, it should have. Thanks to the Nineteenth Amendment, organized crime became a lucrative, national enterprise. Meanwhile xenophobes could legally harass European immigrants, many of whose cultures valued spirited drink. The Ku Klux Klan was particularly vocal in its support of Prohibition…at least, when klansmen weren’t too busy sleeping off a drunk.

And don’t forget. If white males couldn’t find a speakeasy, they had to woo women – and worse, dance – while stone-cold sober.

Thankfully, most of Prohibition’s aftermaths aren’t what they used to be. The mafia and KKK are but husks of their former selves. And Non-Hispanic Whites like myself can legally purchase liquid courage before approaching the ladies (though the efficacy of said fuel is debatable).

However, there’s one Prohibition side-effect that, instead of floundering, has progressively gained more and more prestige over time. And with each passing year, it continues to get worse. On an exponential scale.

I’m talking, of course, about NASCAR.

Now, before most of my native North Carolina sets out to boil me in Pennzoil, allow me to make a critical distinction. I am not dissing racing as a whole.

Who I am dissing is a particular subtype of NASCAR fans.

***

At its core, auto racing is a niche sport. It’s a natural outlet for anyone interested in the inner workings of vehicles. And with the exception of NASCAR, all auto racing circuits remain that way. For instance, the Indianapolis 500 – which first took place in 1911, long before Bill France Sr. first consolidated NASCAR – still maintains a specialized fanbase. Even Danica Patrick discussing her beaver in GoDaddy ads during the Super Bowl has done nothing to change that.

Drag racing also maintains a cult following. Ditto motorcycle racing. The lone exception is stockcar racing – which traces its roots to none other than Prohibition.

Huzzah, Volstead. If there’s no “Noble Experiment,” alcohol five-oh squads don’t chase poor farmers-turned moonshine runners across the Appalachian Mountains. And maybe, just maybe, Señor France doesn’t organize these crack drivers and create a mass media juggernaut.

And, in a tantalizing alternate reality, absence of the NASCAR empire means legions of suburbanite knuckleheads aren’t (pardon the pun) "driven" to masquerade as racing diehards.

Poseurs + NASCAR = PoseuRacers.

As a species, PoseuRacers are not complex. Like many people with Southern roots, they’re often a generation or two removed from farm living. They might even have family who still live in rural areas. So, technically, vestiges of the Deep South still course through a PoseuRacer’s veins. Having grown up in cushy suburbia, however, he understands that his (unpaved) street cred is lacking. Thus when a PoseuRacer enters young adulthood, he decides the acme of coolness is to engage in behaviors such as:

* Adopting an exaggerated Southern drawl, which will disappear whenever the PoseuRacer interacts with an authority figure
* Acquiring a forced taste for smokeless tobacco (a.k.a. "chew" and "dip")
* Adorning one’s bedroom wall with a "rebel flag," while failing to realize it was not the official flag of the Confederate States of America
* Being able to sing along, verbatim, with the oeuvres of Lynyrd Skynyrd and David Allan Coe – including the latter’s X-rated albums
* Espousing any and all things NASCAR

Some PoseuRacers will grow out of this callow, patronizing phase. Many, however, will continue this identity crisis throughout college, and even into adulthood.

PoseuRacers, you know who you are. Moreover, you oughta know what you ain’t.

***

Slam on brakes and pop the clutch, you say. How dare I accuse you of being a bourgeoisie bandwagoneer? Fret not, my friends. I now present you with a quick quiz that will determine if you’re NASCAR fan...or NASCAR fraud.

Ready...Set...Start yer engin’s!

1) A rear differential gives what to Kasey Kahne?
A. Extree’ horsepower
B. Differentiation among the shapes, sizes and suppleness of his Racer-Chasers’ posterior regions
C. Distribution of torque through his axle to his back wheels
D. F#*K KASEY, YEEAAAH JUUNNYYYERRRR!

2) Davey Allison & his cohort of drivers were nicknamed what?
A. Extree’ horsepower
B. The Georgia Satellites
C. The Alabama Gang
D. Co-hort? You sayin’ he was a ho-mo?

3) Dale Senior’s last win came at what track?
A. Daytona
B. Extree’ horsepower
C. Talladega
D. Hey Bo, thaayyt’s ‘Daga to you!

4) Why did Dick Trickle keep a hole in his racing helmet?
A. Extree’ horsepower
B. ‘Cawse Diiiiick Triiiiiiickle rules! Diiiiick Triiiiiickle!
C. The hole was in the crotch of his pants, duh.
D. So he could smoke cigarettes during races

5) If you were even remotely offended by the suggestion of being a PoseuRacer…
A. You are, in fact, a PoseuRacer
B. Usted es un PosueRacer
C. Tawwwk Amurrricaann!
D. Extree’ horsepower

FROM ONE NORTH CAROLINIAN, TO A-1'ERS (5/8/2012)

-->
PREFACE: I’ve already heard from people who insist this is an overly generalized & unfair indictment of all people who voted for Amendment One. These "More Enlightened A-1'ers" insist they aren’t anti-gay, but simply advocate freedom of religious expression. I think that idea, in itself, is of questionable logic, given the nature of Christianity (as far as I know, each person I've heard from has been a Christian). But I think it’s beyond assailable argument that, by voting in favor of Amendment One, you sided with thousands upon thousands of individuals who ARE openly anti-gay…thus, in the end, you are every bit as subject to the judgment below as they are.

"God damn you."

"God damn you all."

As a straight man born, raised and educated in North Carolina, the above is my reaction to those who voted in favor of Amendment One in 2012. And support HB-2 in 2016.

Because if anyone deserves the eternal wrath of a vengeful deity, it’s you. Every last one of you. Cut, copy and paste that amongst yourselves.

You see, as a non-politician, I'm not beholden to adhere to any good ol'-timey dog-whistling, in fear of alienating or dividing any potential electoral base. Which is to say, I can afford to speak the unfettered truth.

In other words I can call you out for being the ignorant, bigoted assholes you are.

At best, you’re pathologically delusional. At worst, you’re the most intolerant rabble of hypocrites this side of Mark Sanford and Newt Gingrich. No, excuse me – this side of Larry Craig, George Rekers and Ted Haggard.

Let’s throw all our cards on the table here. You voted for Amendment One because you don’t like gay people. Admit that much, and I’ll actually hold a modicum of respect for your candor. I still won’t like you, and you won’t like me. But I’ll appreciate your transparency.

But to those of you who’ll insist on hiding behind the façade of "religious freedom (to oppress and deprive)": contrary to whatever flimsy rationalization you cling to, you aren’t full of piety or morality.

You are, however, full of shit.

Now, I’m not denying that anti-gay sentiment exists in the bible. It definitely does. And as, ahh, “devout Christians,” I have no doubt every last Amendment One-er (or A-1’er, for brevity’s sake) can recite these passages by memory. For the record, the most obvious pick is Leviticus 18:22, which reads: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is a detestable sin.

But – as A-1’ers must already know, being scrupulous scholars of scripture – there’s also strict instructions against eating pork BBQ and tossing the old pigskin around! (Thou shall not eat of their (pigs’) flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you. – Leviticus 11:8)

Not to mention rules against tattoos... (Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. – Leviticus 19:28)

Or against the ladies wearing gold, pearls, or any kind of bling or racy apparel… (I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes. – 1 Timothy 2:9)

Or…last but not least…ladies uttering so much as a word in church! (The women must be silent in the assemblies: for they are not allowed to speak, but to be supportive, just as indeed the law states. – 1 Corinthians 14:34)

Plus, we’d be remiss not to recall that one of the Head Man’s 10 personal commandments is Thou Shall Not Kill. As in, no murder. Ever. And I hate to jump to conclusions, A-1’ers…but I think it’s safe to assume many of you support the death penalty. And the “Stand Your Ground” laws. And the use of our military to eliminate designated enemies. Et cetera.

(A ROAR OF OUTRAGE RISES UP FROM THE ASSEMBLED MASSES.)

Wait, wait, wait! Hold your horses! I can’t hear any of you over all this clamor and calamity! Take a deep breath, before you die of apoplexy…

…There. Much better. You, sir? What was that you were saying? Ah! That some scripture might be open for…how did you put it…a “less literal interpretation?” Or, was it a “more modern interpretation?”

You know what? I couldn’t agree more! So, by that very same logic, couldn’t we also reconsider how we interpret a passage that denounces homosexuality? A passage that also happens to categorically go against some of Christianity’s core principles? Namely, acceptance and tolerance amongst all walks of people?

“BY GOD, NO” you say? Why not? Didn’t you just acknowledge perhaps we shouldn’t take all the bible’s dictums at 100% face value?

…Hmmm. Okay, yes. I understand. You’re sick of bleeding-heart, elitist intellectual lib-tards telling you what to think. Fine. You’re entitled to your opinion.

Even if your opinion is rife with flawed logic…as well as piss-poorly concealed hatred for people whose lifestyle poses less of a threat to the “sacred institution of marriage” than NC State’s basketball team does to overtaking North Carolina and Duke’s number of National Championships in basketball…yes, you’re indeed entitled to it.

That’s part of what’s so special about America. And even more so, the state of North Carolina.

You might not know this, A-1’ers. But the Tar Heel State has historically been called “a vale of humility between two mountains of conceit.” Meaning, we’re known for being a humble, modest, non-polemical state, sandwiched between two others (South Carolina and Virginia) notorious for being the exact opposite.

Granted, we’re no angels. We’ve made our fair share of inexcusable gaffes (these being 2 of the worst in recent memory). But in terms of our overall voting and civil rights records, North Carolina is well-documented as being the most progressive Southern state. Don’t believe me? By all means, I encourage you to familiarize yourselves with our history, on your own time.

I have a feeling, however, that you won’t.

Anyhow, I’ve gone on long enough. But I’ll leave you with this food for thought, A-1’ers. As time goes on, each new generation is becoming more accepting of issues like gay marriage. Combine that with North Carolina’s (otherwise) progressive tendencies – and I fully expect our legislature to repeal this godforsaken law.

It won’t be tomorrow, or this year. But, as a 31-year-old, it will almost certainly be in my lifetime.

So savor your “victory” while it lasts, A-1’ers. For good measure, keep insisting Amendment One was meant to “protect the traditional family,” or to “preserve traditional American values,” or whatever “traditional” item you like. But in reality, only one thing triumphed today.

Your own goddamn stupidity.