America and Soccer

18 06 2010

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again:  I do not get sports.  I’m not good at them, don’t understand them, and the single time I caught a football, I ran it into the wrong end-zone.  Fail.  Hell, I don’t even know if you hyphenate “end-zone,” kids. 

That being said, my semester abroad in England, during the last World Cup, made me seriously enjoy watching other people watch soccer.  Still don’t understand what’s going on, BUT there has to be something redeeming about a sport that makes an entire pub, teary-eyed with copious amounts of cider, ale and beer, clutch shoulders and sing warbly cockney songs while occasionally cheering or flinging crisp packets at the community television set. 

Holy shit, he's a fucking starfish!

 

Which is why it’s sad to be on this side of the pond during the current World Cup.  America, if you cannot embrace a sport beloved the world over (fucking literally, for once) that is like the Olympics but with more drinking and singing and vuvuzelas, then I do not know what to tell you except:  America, you used to be cool, man. 

But I’ve figured it out.  I know why American is so snotty about the whole thing.  It’s not that America just arbitrarily hates soccer… 

Is there this much rape in football?

It’s that we’re not good at it.  And sweet Jiminy Cricket with Rickets, does America like to be good at shit.   

Hear me out — I don’t mean we’re incapable of putting together maybe a decent national team (eventually), and I’m not saying there are not good American soccer players.  I’m saying that overall, we’ve sunk all of our energy into football.  This has not encouraged, either socially or financially, kids to be interested and engaged in soccer like they are in every other fucking place across the globe.  As a result, we are not that good at soccer.  It’s kind of like Math and Science in our schools — everyone is now handing us our ass.  The problem is, the longer we suck at it, the longer we’re going to act like dicks about it.  And the longer we act like dicks, the worse our soccer skills are going to get.  It’s a vicious cycle, loyal readers. 

Soccer looks fucking complicated.  I mean, to me, ALL sports look complicated.  But!  You can’t tell me that it’s more complicated to run into someone headlong in huge padding and helmets (REPEATEDLY) than it is to develop the fancy footwork I’ve seen as pretty necessary for controlling a soccer ball.  That shit takes finesse.  Football?  Not so much finesse as brute strength, head injuries and protective gear worthy of a bubble boy. 

Pictured: Finesse!

So instead of moping around, pissed that 1st-world countries devoid of basic bathroom facilities are kicking our asses, acting like our national past-time is as awesome (if football were that awesome, would we #1 have to have named it ‘football’ in a shady effort to borrow the glory of soccer’s original name? and #2 wouldn’t it have caught on in at least one other country by now?), let’s buck up and play nice with the rest of the globe, like forever.  I don’t want to be stuck in the country that gets invited, every 4 years, to the most awesome goddamn block party on the planet and yet keeps forgetting to RSVP. 

I want my beer.  I want my singing.  I want my fellow Americans to band together, learn something new, put the Revolutionary War behind us, and try being engaged for a change.  Isolation sucks, guys.  That’s why we’re told never to drink alone. 

We want to be the ones derping others, America

*  Pictures all courtesy of the hilarious “Up Next in Sports” site.





The South Shall Rise Again!

7 04 2010

Completely ignoring The Band’s The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, all laws of common decency and with a bewildering lack of, well, historical fucking perspective, my neighbor to the North, Virginia (Yes!  Regular Brand Virginia!  This isn’t even from the off-brand grease-stain of a state that defines “West Virginia!”  Though, to be fair, I think both states were used in Deliverance, so there’s that…) has decided that Dixie just ain’t had her day yet. 

South Set to Rise Again, Thanks go to Law-Makers and Racist Nut-Bags

Three little words that should frighten poor brown people everywhere, troops:  Confederate. History. Month.  A whole month talking about the War of Northern Agression?  Land sake’s, Scarlett.  I want the first order of business to be a geography quiz as to the location of Gettysburg (you can’t have a war of “Northern Aggression” when you’re balls deep into Pennsylvania, kids). 

Pictured: The Glorious Cause

I just want to hear the defense for this.  Honestly.  You can’t even say it’s honoring the “Civil War” because I have the irrational suspicion that something titled “Confederate History Month” is going to be a wee bit biased towards the brave boys in Gray (read: slave owners). 

Fun Fact!  North Carolina kept Lincoln off the ballot in the general election!  Oh, home state.  You kidder, you.  Anyway, I’d call for a boycott of Virginia, but those folks do make some mighty fine ham.  Instead, start learning the words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  That tends to get them Confederate boys a mite riled up.





The Tudors: Showtime’s attempt at “history”

28 03 2010

First up, I think HBO did a kick-ass job of portraying history accurately (I fucking hope it was accurate) in their show Deadwood, which is probably the greatest cowboy dialogue of our generation.  They also delight in throwing the word “cunt” around and you know how I love that kind of reckless offensiveness.  Private message to Ian McShane:  I would do filthy shit to you, cocksucker.

But meanwhile, in Showtime land, it seems the good writers and peons of the network have issued a hearty Fuck-you to any kind of historical accuracy regarding Henry VIII besides his number of wives, their hair color and number of offspring.  Also, it IS set in England, so they did technically get that right.  Well done, scripters. 

Because I am a huge British Renaissance nerd, I probably go into each show armed to the teeth with way too much fucking information.  So I’m not going to start listing the nit-picky things they fucked up like battle dates, seasonal continuity or what have you.  Seriously, it’s the HUGE, GLARING details that are way more fun to mock.  Here’s a little list I like to call: Top 3 Ways The Tudors are Fucking Up History!

3.  Everyone’s Teeth.  While it’s an over-stated and under-proved concept that everyone in Britain until, well, now, has had fucked up ideas of dentistry, there were actually a smattering of anti-tooth decay remedies available.  Of course, some of these involved alum, some involved retardedness (i.e. eating sugar to help combat mouth rot), and most people ignored them entirely.  Yet Showtime would have us believe that despite our modern concept of British teeth looking like this:

Instead, actually, Renaissance ladies looked like this:

Maybe she's really Canadian?

Suuuure, Showtime.  Thanks for playing. 

2.  Her Royal Hotness.  I do realize that beauty is a relative concept and changes over time, and of course female beauty is constantly subjected to current social conventions and concepts.  Nonetheless, Showtime has made some pretty creative casting moves, if any art from the actual time period is to be believed.

Exhibit A:

Catherine of Aragon: Sex Machine

Exhibit B:

It becomes more clear why Catholicism was disbanded...

Exhibit C:

 

There's something different here...

1.  The Royal Codpiece.  Since we’re going into the new season featuring Katherine Howard (the one who actually totally foreal cheated on him and LIKED it), I feel I should point out that there is a VAST difference in the way an audience will perceive a young woman who cheated on THIS guy:

Who wouldn't hit this?!

Vs. maybe understanding why the hell she might cheat on THIS guy:

You used to be cool, Hank.

Do we see the distinction?  One of these things is not like the others.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s necessary to portray Henry as a slothful, turkey-leg devouring sociopath… And yet.  At 6’4″ and 350 lbs, his BMI rating would have been “42” — you’re considered merely obese at a slim “30” so brother was 12 full points over that.  I’m just saying that rippling pecs were probably not part of the equation. 

Also, most modern doctors assume that he was impotent by age 45 due to the weight and ulcers on his leg.  By age 54, he had to be carried everywhere on a chair, and he died a year later “amidst the horrendous stench of his bursting leg ulcers.”  Might some of these details not contribute to our understanding of a 19-year-old young woman not wanting to bone her husband?! 

Regardless, I’m still all set to watch the new season.  I can’t lie.  I’m just so pleased that they’ve turned my MA thesis topic into a fucking soap opera.  WIN!





Diet Pill Horror Redux

13 09 2009

So, good news: I have a new fan with a hilarious site, making fun of some shit I hate the most — terrible fucking ads.  In honor of his shout-out, I’m reposting this little ditty from my old blog, a tragic little livespace on MSN that just clicking on is like going to visit grandma at the home…  As soon as you’re there, you’re just depressed at all the old things lying around, the slow speed of the place, the overpowering scent of urine. 

Anyway.  This is as true now as it was then:  Diet Pills are bad news, children.  Everyone say it with me. 

“Go take yourself, diet pills!”

I deeply hate the Lipozene commercials.  They make me physically growl at the tv when they come on.  They feature a condescending-as-fuck woman who warmly assures the audience that it’s not their fault if they’re fat — they just need to take a pill which makes you lose pounds and pounds of body fat.  Her hand gestures indicate that she may be related by blood or semen to Sarah Palin. 
 
Nevermind the subtext that this country’s obesity is tied to our bizarre lack of personal accountability for anything we do.  Nevermind that the woman is a complete cunt.  And thin.  Nevermind the obnoxious timer in the corner which gives the audience 20 minutes to call in to take advantage of the $29.95 “special” pricing.  Hell, nevermind, even, the exploitive fact-manipulation, small print and other pre-requisite bullshit one finds on most diet pill commercials.  I mean, that’s all just par for the course in modern American advertising.  Where are you, Don Draper?!  WHERE?!
 
What annoys me the MOST, that makes me just grind my teeth until my husband asks me if I’m gnawing on bamboo shoots, is this:  The fucking animated graphic they show of a pill capsule opening, then spraying it’s dietic goodness onto the obese belly of some animated hog of a human being, then the belly dissappearing as the pill spray hits it, reducing said animated belly into a perfect size six.  It’s not just patronizing, it’s laughably insane.  What horrifies me is that someone in advertising likely got PAID to do the stupid thing on powerpoint.  And it’s just such a perfect little allegory for America’s conception of pill power.  Tired and sad?  Take a pill.  It’s delicious.  Fat and ugly?  Take two!  Impotent?  Hell yes we have a pill for you!  And look — the little capsule just opens and takes all your cares away… WHEEE!!! 
 
Ugh.  As the Husband said last night (while I ground my teeth into powder), “Why don’t they just say, ‘Look!  God gave us Magic! ‘? ” 
 
Which is why I married him. 
 
 
Appendix:
I actually took diet pills once.  I’d just frantically lost my Freshman Fifte…er, THIRTY, with good old diet and exercise, and I was going on a 20-Day road trip with then-fiance, now Husband.  Where we’d have to eat at diners and from our box of food (read:  gallons of peanut butter, cheese doodles and jars of reconstituted butter… greatest. box. ever.).  Where I knew I was gonna put on the poundage again.  So, like a fool, I ordered Phentermine from Canada.  I had to fudge the details on the order form a bit…  To make myself morbidly obese, I put that I was 4″1′ and weighed 345 lbs.  I was actually 5″5′ and weighed 110.  Yeah.  I am just one big ol’ pack of lies.  Sooo, I get the phentermine (which is now illegal, as it causes one’s heart to explode), and I don’t want to tell my man I’m taking the shit, so I tell him that I ordered vitamins, that I’m taking an “Energy Boost 3000″ (because my creativity wanes, clearly, the thinner I get) every 8 hours.  Mind you, the dosage they sent me was calculated for a hefty dwarf.  Think Danny Devito’s prom date.  So I am literally and physically bouncing off the walls.  In a confined space — his truck.  For 20 days.  On the road.  No escape for either of us. 
 
On the plus side, I don’t need much sleep.  Actually I CANNOT sleep, so I do a lot of the night driving.  The culmination of the trip was my 21st birthday in Las Vegas.  We were up for 24 hours.  As I desperately tried to drown the high of the diet pills in alcohol so that I could sleep for the first time in 16 days. 
 
Then it was time to drive all the way from California to Orlando in 3 days. 
 
He nearly killed me. 
 
Lesson Learned:  Diet pills are bad.  Yes, I gained not one pound of the weight back (I think I actually lost a few more pounds), but I sent my heart rate sky-rocketing and my blood pressure has been sketchy since then.  And to this day, driving at night brings some seriously wacky flashbacks from being high as shit on phentermine and tooling across the country in a stick shift truck that I had just learned how to drive.
*  This site does not endorse magic.  Well.  Not in pill form, anyway.




Cunt Island

7 06 2009

cunt island

No, dear readers, don’t get excited — Cunt Island is not a place. Well. Not yet, anyway.

Here’s the story:

My brother and a BFF are at a Chinese luncheonette in Midtown Manhattan* and my brother, being nothing if not gracious, lets my pal and myself sit side by side in the booth while he takes the backless stool (this will be important later).

We’re nearly through with our egg rolls and obligatory ptomaine course when a swanky hipster face appears out of nowhere, condescending and serious at my brother’s shoulder, much like a poltergeist from the bitchiest part of hell. Whispery but ever-so-earnest, she says: “Excuse me, but could you pull up your jeans? My friends and I can all see your ass crack.”

What What WHAT?! Who the fuck are YOU, lady? No one out sasses the sassiest siblings in this fucking city! But she’d disappeared as quickly and mysteriously as she came, back to the black hole of banality and knitted scarves on the other side of the dining room, leaving only the scent of aging patchouli and smugness in her wake.

Then, upon locating her visually, my brother pointed out that she wasn’t even facing the offending crack! Her two little token white friends sent her over to him, making her do the, er, dirty work… meaning that they must have all had a whole conversation about my poor brother’s ass crack.**

As we’re leaving, I resist the urge to breathlessly appear at Bitchy, Itchy and Twitchy’s table and utter: “Excuse me, but could you tell me at what time the train leaves for CUNT ISLAND?”

Alas. The moment was lost.

There’s always next time…

 

*  Hilariously called, “Chef Yu” — I love it when my life makes it’s own brand of irony!!!

**  Which, for the record, is not offensive in the least, and was barely hanging out — he was wearing low-slung denim. Hey, he can’t help being fashionable! We’re talking bare top of the coin slot, max. Regardless, who the hell spends their wonton soup course idly disparaging other people’s assholes? Oh, that’s right. I was in New York.





Baby Makes a Boom Boom

19 05 2009
Kimmy: Pregnant AND classy!

Kimmy: Pregnant AND classy!

I just drove a 9-hour trip home from FL with the following in my truck:  A diaper Genie (no, there is not a magic lamp included — believe me, I asked), half a homemade pound-cake (love/thanks to mom), a wildly pregnant* best friend, Publix chicken drumettes (that poor Lizzy-the-wonder-dog spent some serious time in trying to track down after I buried them under a pile of luggage and a small statue), approximately 10,000 baby outfits**, a Transformers bag that was bafflingly used to present a baby present in, Pee-Pee Teepees, 8 lbs of food forced upon us by my ever-worrying mother, a large knife (in the mommy-to-be’s purse, to fucking cut anyone who messed with us, I assume) and a Colt .45 GUN.  That’s when you know when you’re travelling in the South — when you are carrying equal amounts of Food, Baby Things and WEAPONRY. 

Other ways to tell you’re making a Southern road trip?  The guy who serves you at Taco Bell will freak the fuck out*** when your order comes to $16.66 — loudly proclaiming: “Lordy!  I just rang up the devil’s number!”  And who was still bemoaning his poor luck with the Prince of Darkness when we left, Apocalyptic Food in hand, 15 minutes later.  Because, you know, here, the cash registers will fucking eat your soul.

Also, you just might make the poor decision to stop for gas and a restroom.  You are, after all, travelling with a heavily pregnant woman (who, for the record, only WANTED to stop 3 times the whole trip…. wonder why…).  But when you follow the blue, State-placed exit sign that clearly reads, “FOOD GAS AHEAD” you are instead suddenly plummeted into a dark place of banjos, despair and a ramshackle bait shop that sold its last tank of gas in 19-dickity-2.  Mom-to-Be was sure there would be a crusty old hobo just standing in a field, all a’ready for a fresh raping, holding a gas can and a cardboard sign, “Gas!” 

Besides the near-misses with both Lucifer and a good old-fashioned hate fucking, though, the baby shower itself was perfectly nice.  I always enjoy staying at my folks’ house, and there was a really good moment there when it was Friday night, 88 degrees, and all I had to do was sit in the pool, wait for sunset and drink my peach vodka soda.  Whatever else I may loathe about the Sunshine State, there will always be the good points, too, I grudgingly admit. 

 

* The little bastard has already managed to kick me.  While I am rather honored that I’m one of the first people he’s made physical contact with, I still can’t wait to get him back.  Perhaps I will do this by coming up with an effiminate nickname? Or maybe I’ll just let him eat whatever the dogs drop inevitably into his crib… 

** Given to us by family members who informed poor Kimmy that a) her dogs will eat her baby, b) circumsicion is not only mandatory, but will be inflicted per force if she does not give up her hippy-ass ideas of leaving the baby’s innocent wee foreskin the hell alone and c) that she should probably start dressing better if she doesn’t want her husband to leave her.  Yes.  I know — Kimmy SHOULD totally have her own blog. 

***  No, weirdly, he did not freak out that we ordered almost $17 worth of Taco Bell, which was FUCKING DELICIOUS, by the way.





Jury Doody

7 04 2009

Because God was busy killing puppies and not curing cancers, He overlooked the fact that a terrible error was made: 

I was called to serve Jury Duty.

First of all, if my loyal readers will recall, I live in Bumblefuck Nowhere, NC.  What do they even need juries for here?  Just call up Andy “I will fucking Cut you” Griffith and have him and Barney take care of it.  What is the worse crime even being committed?  Someone robbed a Biscuitville?  An aged hickory root is upsetting old lady Finklestein’s flower beds?  I mean, traffic cones being knocked over makes the evening news here, people, as does harmless, unprofane graffiti.

Additionally, I was not well with having to sit with my fellow yokels in a 50 square foot room all day.  There was the deaf guy who alternately screamed into a cell phone, under the mistaken impression that you can teach someone to drive stick shift verbally and through sheer volume alone, and maniacally dry-washed his hands to beat the band.  Among the assembled kitten-stomping masturbators and other assorted deves was the woman who insisted on gyrating her hips and emphasizing a perfunctory “Mm-HM!” in response to the WWII movie they inexplicably left on for our “entertainment”* and who noisily ate the biggest bag of popcorn I’ve ever even imagined to exist.  When we were introduced (she offered me a slimy paw full of clumpy kernels at one point, glaring as though daring me to accept them), she told me, “I soopervise reh-tarded people.”  Uh, supervise?  Are you sure they know they let you out for the day?  Also, if you are fortunate enough to work with the mentally impaired (see all my entries under “teaching career”), then is it really all right to call them “retarded”?!  Finally, I had to move my seat when a guy who looked like the sort of person who completes each evening with a good old-fashioned dog raping kept giving me the eye. 

And after 8 goddamn hours of that shit, I was awarded $12, no free lunch** and sent home without a jury being needed that particular day.  Makes you almost miss the days of a good old-school stoning.  I mean, at least justice was meted out promptly

 

*  Here, the word “entertainment” clearly means, “attempt to encourage a small portion of the population to suicide”  

**  My brother and I had a small disagreement over whether or not they would feed us.  He chortled at the very idea, sneering that I was going to Jury DUTY, not Jury Jamboree, nor Jury Vacation… (Jurmboree?  Jurcation?)  Alas, he was right again, as per some ghoulish childhood pact that has ensured his innate rightness over my younger, innate wrongness.








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