Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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I’m about a month a way from sitting in a rocking chair and shaking my fist at those damn kids

June 29, 2013

The world seems to circle back on things we’ve written about here over the past seven years, and the only thing is conjures in me is crankiness in these later days.  Only two items here…

First – Americans are upset that the government data-mines your phone calls. They get no commiserating pat on the shoulder from me. The government’s been tapping my phone since 2006. The Jackal (the codename of the NSA agent on my phone) and I have had numerous conversations, often about his difficulties with life or the state of America and its people (sometimes his interns are listening in). Avonia the Wiccan Pimp doesn’t have any sympathy either; the government’s been planting moles and informants in her various covens since the run-up to the Iraq war. So now you’re on jumping on the “oh noes theyz spyings on the shits we do – is real bad!” bandwagon?  Go tell it to a wall, because we’re not sticking around to hear you bellyache about government intrusion now that it may actually apply to you, white devil.

Second – The Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for legalizing gay marriage. Remember back in March when I was cranky about people switching their Facebook profile pics to that red equality sign just because the Supreme Court was hearing arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8?  Now’s the perfect time for the picture, but looking at my friends list it seems the same people who made that switch in March didn’t make the switch in June when the actual decision came down.  It’s like if Chicago Blackhawks fans were really hyped in April about making the Stanley Cup Playoffs and then zoned out and barely noticed when their team actually won the Stanley Cup.  Now is the time for celebratory graphics, people!  Surprisingly I haven’t seen any significant venturing into “FUCK YOU” and “COUNTER FUCK YOU” and “COUNTER COUNTER FUCK YOU” territory regarding this Supreme Court decision, which probably tells me that people will always bitch harder about fast food than actual court cases – but then again it’s only been a few days.

Yes, this wasn’t a good post. Hopefully now that this bad post has been pushed out, a better one can come later.

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Studying that doesn’t require any studying whatsoever

October 14, 2012

Here at the Failure, we’ve been leading the way when it comes to the study of bullshit, because who better than the blog of wild fabrications and outright lies to conduct such research, right? And whenever election time comes around in the US, it’s prime bullshit season.  It’s like Haley’s Comet, solar eclipses, and summer blockbuster movie season all wrapped up into a giant bullshit burrito – and everyone gets to take a bite of it.

One of the key bullshit markers we’ve identified this year was people of a Christian bent spouting off bullshit and then trying to sidestep it by declaring that what really matters (other than the truth) is what’s in their heart, or that you don’t know what really in their heart, or their heart is telling them conflicting information than the actual truth.  We haven’t found any evidence of this happening with other faiths yet, but we’d be happy to include them on the list.

Well, there’s another phrase we need to be on the lookout for: “study it out.”  This was brought to our attention through an angry old lady yelling at Chris Matthews that President Obama is a communist – and then failing to explain why she makes that claim.

Matthews: What did you mean by that?

Romney Supporter: All you have to do is study it out. Just study it out and you’ll see. You haven’t done your homework, buddy.

Matthews: What do I need to study?

Romney Supporter: He’s a communist. And those of us who are not voting for him know it.

Matthews: And what do you mean by communist?

Romney Supporter: You don’t know?

Matthews: Just tell me. Help me out here. I want to know what you mean.

Romney Supporter: Oh I know what I mean.

Matthews: Well help us out. You’re on national television.

Romney Supporter: I know I’m on national television.

Matthews: Well tell me what you mean when you just accused the guy of being a communist.

Romney Supporter: You just study it out.

Apparently this phrase just isn’t a weird turn-of-phrase by a raging old woman untethered from reality, it has its roots in the Mormon Faith, which we’ve previously identified as the needless sequel Christianity never asked for.

But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

It is sort of comforting to see that “truthiness,” as Stephen Colbert coined it, has been around for a while. We’d hate to believe this high level of bullshit was a recent phenomena. You will know what is right because it will feel right – a laughable sentiment because previous research in the Renal Failure labs has determined that your feelings don’t matter.

“Study it out” seems more insidious than the previous “what in my heart” defense because it suggests actual research and thinking being done when really you’re doing none of those things to come to your conclusion.  That’s why the woman is so indignant when asked to explain herself.  I her mind, she’s apparently done the necessary intellectual legwork and you haven’t, so fuck you she’s better than you.  Granted, it’s not hard to be smarter than Chris Matthews (who we are still waiting for someone to stab in the neck with a pencil), but even a number-one ranked team has to put in some effort to beat a team near the bottom of the standings.

So we are pleased to induct “study it out” into your Bullshit Phrase Hall of Fame, putting it right next “what’s in my heart” and “bless your heart” as phrases that denote high-level bullshittery going down. Special thanks to the Church of Latter Day Saints for providing this new term for us to use when we want to justify things when little to no evidence exists to support such selfish assertions.

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I’m just saying you should be stomped in the crotch with golf cleats

August 22, 2012

The thing about premium-grade fucktarded stupidity is that it often brings out other strains of rank fucktardedness that compliment it in ways you couldn’t fathom, like when a sommelier goes deep in the wine cellar to find the perfect wine for your dinner.

Case in point: GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin’s assertion that women can’t get pregnant if they are legitimately raped prompted a series of idiocy from Poltico.com reporter Dave Catanese on his Twitter feed.  The fact that this is on Twitter is the first sign that paint-drinking stupidity is about to happen:

Politico reporter Dave Catanese took to Twitter to defend comments made by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) about rape.

“Poor phrasing, but if you watch the intv @ToddAkin meant to convey that there’s less chance of getting pregnant if raped,” he said.

Who’s more despicable than the guy who told people that women can’t get pregnant if they are legitimately raped? The puddle of sputum that goes “well, maybe he’s got a point.”  He’d be the guy in Revolutionary France going “Hey, maybe Queen Antoinette has some bold ideas, perhaps we could use more pastries and sweets in our lives. Let’s hear her out.”  Or the guy during the Civil Rights Era in America standing up and saying “Hey, there could be legitimate reasons why black people have to sit in the back of the bus. Maybe if we stop marching we can hear them.”  In either case, the only proper response to this douchebag is a pipe wrench to the face because, as shown below, stupidity in motion not only tends to stay in motion, it snowballs.

This was Catanese’s next tweet on the topic after people told him he was being fucktarded:

“So perhaps some can agree that all rapes that are reported are not actually rapes? Or are we gonna really deny that for PC sake?”

Some people look at rape statistics and go, “Oh my god, that’s horrible.”  Dave Catanese looks at rape statistics and says “Well, they can’t all have been actual rapes.”  He’s a glass-half-full kind of guy, and then he rapes the glass.

And the stupid continues to gain speed as it slingshots around the Moon with his follow-up tweet…

“So looks like he meant to say — ‘If a woman was REALLY raped, it’s statistically less likely for her to get pregnant.’ What’s the science?”

I mean, really, we’re talking REALLY raped here, people.  We’re not talking about your garden-variety, pedestrian rape.  She’s gotta be REALLY raped where if fyou were watching you’d be like “Damn there is some pro-grade raping gone on here.”  Like we got the Citizen Kane of brutal sexual assault happening right in front of us.

This is also a lesson in strategic capitalization, where you only type in all-caps the words you want extraordinary emphasis on to really hammer home a point. In Dave Catanese’s case, it’s to express skepticism that women might actually be victims of rape.  And it obscures his “Where’s the science?” comment, which has no grip on science whatsoever because sperm and egg don’t care if the participants are willing.  So what reason do we have to doubt that Dave Catanese may one day build a rape dungeon in his basement in order to conduct his important research to answer the question he has posed?

Are we accusing Dave Catanese of having a rape dungeon?  Hey, we’re just trying to have a larger debate on the issue. That’s all. Actually, no, we’re just leading up to his next stupid Tweet…

“The left is often 1st to shut down debate as “off limits” when it deems so. Aren’t these moments supposed to open up a larger debate?”

The last refuge of those irrevocably-invested in their idiocy: “I’m just trying to open up debate/discussion on issue X.”  This always comes up late in the game when someone is backpedaling from the fucktarded shit they’ve said and subsequently made worse with even dumber defenses of their initial stupidity.  I can find no record of anyone making this argument and having it be valid.  It’s just a cue that the end is near.

Re last night: Bad idea trying to have nuanced conversation on highly charged issue on here. Did not intend to take a side. Lesson learned.

And there it is, the begrudging surrender with the wrong lesson being learned.  The sin he confesses is one of venue for his nuanced conversation – Twitter, where you can only post 140 characters at a time.  Also, that he did not intend to take a side when he stood up to declare that maybe the guy running for Senate who said that women who were being legitimately raped had natural defenses against becoming impregnated by their rapists may have had a point.  Let us place any declaration of not wanting to take sides as a blatant admission that you’re taking sides.  It’s like saying “No disrespect, but” or “I’m just saying.”  You’re telling us you’re doing the opposite of those things.

Eventually, his bosses got a hold of him and took him off the campaign beat for this Senate race, prompting Catanese to issue a memo of apology to his co-workers at Politico.  Part of that apology being:

I would never intentionally impugn a woman who has been the victim of the horrific crime of rape. My commentary on Rep. Akin’s repugnant rhetoric failed to make this clear.

Except for that whole “REALLY raped” thing you were pushing before.

Writing is hard, but you know what’s really easy? Not sticking up for an idiot who brought “legitimate rape” into the national vocabulary.  When you fail to make that point clear in your commentary, you suck at writing – which I fear is how most people get their job at Politico.com in the first place.

There’s no positive lesson here, just examples of what not to do.  And many times that’s enough.  It’s an uncertain world and maybe there’s no right answer, but you can eliminate a lot of the wrong answers by documenting the failures of others.

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Barbie’s Malibu Oncology Office

April 5, 2012

I was watching a marathon session of Maru videos when I blacked out. I awoke days later in a cardboard box with a punched train ticket to Colorado wedged between scraped and scabbed knuckles and a note stapled to my chest saying “Find the Orb.”  Obviously if I really want to know what I had done without my knowledge I would have left myself more clues, so I went back to zoning out on my computer where I found a news story about Barbie dolls, specifically that Barbie is going to have a new friend.

It appears a viral campaign on Facebook convinced Mattel to create a bald friend who lost all her hair due to cancer treatments for Barbie to… uh… I guess drive back and forth from the oncologist in her Malibu convertible.  That probably came off more glib and dismissive than we would have liked, but while we like the idea of a doll representing children who are suffering from cancer and have lost their hair we question whether Barbie is the right vehicle for such a sentiment.

“Considering Barbie and her friends are built to unrealistic body proportions, it still doesn’t do a whole lot for a girl who already has body issues,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “Yes, you can identify with Barbie’s friend’s hair loss, but she’s still going to have the size Negative-2 waist that you’ll never have, and those abnormally long and skinny legs with the dainty feet that could only be attained with cruel footbinding.”

“I guess with Cancer-Stricken Barbie you can sort of excuse her impossibly-thin body because of chemotherapy or the cancer just eating away at her,” says Samurai Cathy.  “Which then would make you wonder what sort of cancer has Barbie been fighting all these years to look so freakish.  Pancreatic?  Colon?  Maybe something in her brain screwing with her hormones?”

“That’s the exact same problem I had with the Wheelchair Becky friend for Barbie,” says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp.  “Becky and Barbie have pretty much the same toothpick legs that shouldn’t be able to maintain any weight on them, but Barbie gets to walk and Becky has to wait outside the Barbie Dream House because her wheelchair doesn’t fit through the door.  It’s not right.”

“That’s why I cut the legs off all my Barbie dolls, ” says Ninja Vicki.  “Now everyone knows Wheelchair Becky’s plight!  Except for Ken.  He had to give everyone piggyback rides. But then I had him drawn and quartered because he got mouthy, so I replaced him with Optimus Prime because he was a tractor trailer and could tow my crippled Barbies around.”

“I don’t see what the big deal is about a bald Barbie,” says Anonymous Doug.  “When I was fourteen I had like fifty bald Barbie dolls hanging naked from my basement ceiling.  Some I let keep their eyes, others not so much.”

“In retrospect, I believe Evil-Lyn suffered from liver failure because her action figure’s skin was yellow,” says Mikka, referring to the 80’s Masters of the Universe line of toys.  “That’s a brave choice, having a villain who so obviously suffered from severe jaundice.”

“But Barbie still won’t have any fattie friends, right?”  says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat.  “Well, that’s what Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake are for.  They were always on the chunky side.  And if Rainbow Brite wasn’t at least bisexual then I’d be astonished.”

No word yet on whether Barbie will get a bipolar friend who switches between paranoid mania fits that could turn tragically violent with but a mistimed word and despondent depressive valleys that prompt her friends to take every sharp object out of her house.  Maybe little girls will have a diabetic friend for Barbie to pal around with until you stop buying the insulin accessory packs and she loses her feet.  Hey, that means Wheelchair Becky will have a new friend to sit with her outside Barbie’s handicap-inaccessible Dream House!  Another problem solved by Renal Failure!  You’re welcome.

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I’m looking forward to hookers getting workers’ compensation benefits

March 26, 2012

I’m surprised our Canadian readers – and I know we have a couple – haven’t told us about this yet, but the province of Ontario’s top court has just legalized brothels.  So right away I had to talk to my local expert on the subject of sex for money: Avonia the Wiccan Pimp.

“Does this mean you’ll be moving your operation to Canada?”  I ask.

“No, because they won’t let prostitutes solicit on the streets,” says Avonia.  “They can only do it from inside the brothel. I like working outside.”

“Which apparently is the safest place for a prostitute to work, according to the judge on the case,” I say.  “And I agree with that.  I mean, I don’t even eat food that’s sold outside.  I will make an exception if it’s sold under a tent, though. That counts as inside.”

“I’m kinda of surprised this happened in Ontario,”  says Avonia.  “I mean, it was the hookers in Vancouver, in British Columbia, who were putting together a cooperative brothel for the Olympics.”

“I can’t be surprised because I don’t know the political leanings of Canadian provinces,” says Avonia.  “Except for Alberta.  I heard that’s just Canadian Texas.”

“All of the crazy and cowboy boots, but with fewer guns,” I say.  “They could use some brothels up there.”

“I like that sex work is finally being spoken about in terms of health and safety,”  says Avonia.

“I look forward to the day where a whorehouse has one of them OSHA displays,” I say.  “Or a whore that comes with her own Material Safety Data Sheet.”

“If my job involved more regulatory paperwork instead of backhanding people, I’d be a happier pimp,” says Avonia.  “Not to say I’d like all of the backhanding taken out of my line of work, but a marked decrease would be greatly appreciated.”

I don’t know if pimps pimp-smack people in Canada. I suspect they hockey punch them.

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Winter is coming, look ridiculous

February 9, 2012

“I think I figured out why we’ve been seeing all this lazy shit like Snuggies and Forever Lazies recently,”  I say.

“Because people just can’t be buggered to put on real clothes anymore?”  says Psycho Dave.

“Somewhat, but no,”  I say.  “It’s because our worldwide financial situation is so fucked that people are going to have to forgo paying their heating bills in the winter.”

“Hmm… you may be on to something here,” says Psycho Dave.  “I see those commercials and they all yell about how cold it is and I’m like ‘well turn up the fucking heat then.’  These people seem to be in well-off homes, just nudge the thermostat up a little.  But I guess now that they’re upside down on their mortgages they have to give up heat.”

“You’d better be seeing your breath to even consider walking around your home in an adult-sized onesie,” I say.  “And your home had better be an ice fishing shack on a frozen lake.”

“So what’s the awful outfit you have to wear when they shut off the electricity to your home?”  says Psycho Dave.  “Some sort of Devo hat that has a little solar-powered angler fish light hanging from the front of it?”

“It’s not a promising sign that we’re dealing with our financial problems with hideous adult versions of children pajamas,” I say.  “What other forms of regression will be foisted upon a population of dwindling financial means? Sippy cups for your box wine?”

“That’s actually a pretty good idea,” says Psycho Dave.  “Sippy cups for your alcohol.  Get sloppy drunk without spilling your liquor of choice.  They should sell them in bars.  You can’t break a sippy cup over someone’s head, unless you got retard strength.”

“No, drink spilling is a built-in fail-safe to stop you from drinking yourself to death,”  I say.  “If you can’t keep your liquor in the glass, you can’t get it in your mouth.  And even that’s less embarrassing than wearing a fucking adult feetie pajamas.”

“Fucking feetie pajamas…”  Psycho Dave muses.  “What if you put a crotch flap on the feetie pajamas, that way you could fuck someone while still being toasty warm?”

“That’s just your Tuggie idea,”  I say.  “Your Snuggie with a dickflap invention.  Is that your grand innovation for everything?  Put a dickflap on it?”

“Yeah it is,”  says Psycho Dave.  “There should be dickflaps on everything.  Even if it’s for women because if a dick’s not coming out, one can certainly be going in.”

I’m not sure what an increase of dickflaps would be indicative of, but I find them less objectionable than the Hoodie Footie.

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Side effects may include whipping it out for dudes and being horrible at blackjack

February 3, 2011

Illness and laziness and general life crap have kept me from my blogging duties.  After Saturday’s birthday of improv and beer, (where I rocked the house at my improv show and then celebrated afterward with pint after pint of Guinness) my body has been rebelling with coughing fits that I can feel in my back and a lack of appetite that has drained me to the point where I am actually getting the requisite eight hours of sleep a night that doctors are always recommending.  Since then I’ve been self-medicating with DayQuil, NyQuil, and Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup because I know full well the doctor can’t give me anything stronger or better for what ails me, just things that are more expensive.

You never know with pills… like with that guy from France who is suing GlaxoSmithKline because his Parkinson’s meds allegedly transformed him from a loving father and husband into a “gay sex addict” with a gambling addiction.

Didier Jambart, a married father-of-two who says he has attempted suicide three times, claims he became addicted to Internet gambling, losing the family’s savings and stealing to feed his habit.

He also became a compulsive gay sex addict and began exposing himself on the Internet and cross-dressing. His risky sexual encounters led to him being raped, his lawyers said.

The behaviour stopped when he stopped taking the drugs in 2005 but by then he had been demoted in his defence ministry job and was suffering from psychological trauma resulting from his addictions, his lawyers said.

“What was the name of this wonder drug?”  says Tina the Lesbian, aka T. Lesbian.  “GayBetItAll?   I think I’d rather take Ambien.  I’ll take sleep-eating over exposing myself on the Internet any day.”

“So what does this pill do to gay hedonist gambling addicts?”  says Mikka.  “Does it turn them into agoraphobic heterosexuals who think Monopoly is sinful?”

“I’m glad Michael J. Fox didn’t get into this stuff,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “We need him to fight the good fight for stem cell research so I can grow a new liver because the one I got keeps begging me to let it die.”

“There’s already a drug that makes you bad at poker and gets you to take off your clothes at inopportune times,” says Ninja Vicki.  “It’s called tequila and it makes me a wonderful dancer.”

“The guy’s only asking for $610,000 in damages,”  says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat.  “Obviously he didn’t lose that much money or self-respect during those lost years of random homo sex and shitty online poker playing.”

“I’m glad he got to keep his job at the defence ministry after being a gay whore gambling addict for so long,”  says Samurai Cathy.  “I once lost a job because I had a case of pneumonia.  This guy’s exposing himself on the Internet and being a security risk and he only gets demoted.  Viva La France for their workers’ rights laws!”

“I’ve gotten loopy off percasets before but not to the point where I’m trolling for illicit encounters and blowing all my money at the craps table,”  says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp.  “I think the worst thing I did on pain pills was let a bitch slide for not having my money.  The goddess surely was smiling on that wayward whore the day after my wisdom teeth were pulled.”

We’ve kept this information about the gay gambler pill from The Wheatleys because we don’t want them to be afraid of medicine.  Sean and Lucia are dumber than sputum, but at least they’ll go to the doctor when sick.  We don’t want them becoming one of those Christian Science couples because if they say something so stupid that it causes me to have a stroke, I want them calling 911, not trying to pray away the sudden hemorrhage in my brain.

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You couldn’t end the world on a Monday?

January 6, 2011

There’s a Christian group saying that they figured out through the Bible when God is scheduled to start ending the world, that date being May 21, 2011.  Yeah, on a Saturday, so I’m betting the bars might be crowded on Friday night the 20th.  That’s why the Renal Failure players are drinking it up now: so we can beat the rush and suss out where on the lunacy scale we should file this.

“So the Rapture kicks things off on the 21st of May, claims the crazy guy on the radio who figured this out,”  says Tina the Lesbian, better known as T. Lesbian here in The Eleven, which is what we’re calling 2011, because it’s superfly dope, y’all.  “So all the believers get brought up to heaven while the rest of us stay here for a period of torment that the crazy guy says will conclude with the end of everything sometime in October.  Well, it’s good I know ahead of time how to plan my apocalypse.  I’m a busy lesbian.  I’ve got important lesbian things to do.”

“At least we get one last summer in,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “Ladies, now is not the time to go soft on your weight-loss plans to get that beach body you wanted to get.  You want to look nice and firm for when you slip on that string bikini and slide into the gaping maw of Hell.  Lucifer hates your backfat.”

“Well, at least I’ll get a few months of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in before the end of days,”  says Mikka, accepting that this might be the the last video game he plays before history ends (but at least he’ll be playing as a hot redhead with rocket boots).  “However, that means I’ll only get a month with the new Mortal Kombat game.  Sorry, MK, should have scheduled around the apocalypse better.”

“What’s the point of telling people that the end is near?”  says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat, who if he were a god – and he is because he’s a cat – that he’d keep Armageddon a secret and hit Earth with it like he was pouncing on an unsuspecting bird or squirrel.  “So that people can repent now and sneak into Heaven under the wire?  Is that all it takes to get into Heaven?  Pulling an all-nighter of virtuous belief after decades of vice and hedonism?  I’ve seen vo-tech schools with more picky admissions standards than what’s supposed to be Final Paradise for your unworthy soul.”

“Maybe they’re not asking for people to repent to be saved,”  says Samurai Cathy, whose Shinto faith doesn’t include an Armageddon or anything else resembling a Michael Bay movie.  “Maybe they’re just being cocky, convinced that they’ll be Raptured and everyone else won’t and so they have to get their smack-talking in now before they disappear from the physical realm.”

Ninja Vicki likes this quote from the story…

“If May 21 passes and I’m still here, that means I wasn’t saved. Does that mean God’s word is inaccurate or untrue? Not at all,” (Allison) Warden said.

“Well, if no one else gets Raptured either it means you were totally fucking wrong or God didn’t see fit to let a single human being into Heaven,” says Ninja Vicki. “And it completely sucks for you because your ass believed in all this bullshit and you still didn’t get Raptured.”

“Everyone thinks history ends with them, and they’re always wrong,”  says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp, whose pagan religion also doesn’t have an end-of-the-world scenario, probably because if The Goddess was going to snuff out all life on Earth eventually they wouldn’t worship her for pulling such a dick move.  “And furthermore, why does God need to hide puzzles in the Bible about the most catastrophic thing ever?  I will not pray to The Riddler, I’m sorry.  I have invoked the name of Durga, the multi-armed Hindu goddess who rides a tiger, in times of need but may I be spiritually bitchslapped if I ever pray to the damn Riddler.”

“Tag Larkin will be the last man standing when the world ends,”  proclaims Tag Larkin, who we’ve always suspected would bring about the end of the reality.  “And from the void, Tag Larkin will bring forth a new universe, full of Tag Larkin and tallboys of Schlitz and leather-bound valkyries of lust who live only for the hard-pumping  that Tag Larkin bestows upon them whenever Tag Larkin isn’t cockwhipping galaxies into existence.”

I’d like to know what kind of deity selects a hard date on the calendar thousands of years in advance to destroy existence.  Why does God need to schedule anything?  The end of all life does not need to be treated like a freakin’ wedding date.

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Our relationship depends on you throwing your dreams away and making less money than I do

December 6, 2010

This recent article in the New York Times got our attention just as many articles of the New York Times do: with how inane it is.  Even its title feels like a jarring slap to the intellect: “Keeping Romance Alive in the Age of Female Empowerment.”  Apparently men have issues when their women make more money than them and have more successful careers, as seen in this later part of the article.

Bernard Prieur, a psychoanalyst and author of “Money in Couples,” says men who earn less than their partners struggle with two insecurities: “They feel socially and personally vulnerable. Socially, they go against millennia of beliefs and stereotypes that see them as the breadwinner. And the success of their partner also often gives them a feeling of personal failure,” Mr. Prieur said in the November issue of the French magazine Marie-Claire.

The author of this piece, after using an obligatory Sex and the City example to introduce her exploration of modern relationships, opens the article with this question:  “Is female empowerment killing romance?”

That made the women of the group almost spit up their happy hour cocktails.

“Yes, that’s the pressing question, isn’t it?”  says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp, who does make more money at pimping than her husband Arawn does at running their local Wiccan shop.  “Not whether centuries of traditions and gender expectations are outdated and irrelevant, but whether women having the same opportunities and success that men have enjoyed since the dawn of humanity is the real culprit behind the supposed decline of romance.”

“Oh, and this dreck was written by a woman too,”  says Tina the Lesbian, shaking her head.  “Damn you Lance Patriarchy and your devious methods of getting women to work against their own best interests on such a regular basis!”

This particular quote gets Ninja Vicki’s metaphorical goat (though we suspect she probably stole the metaphorical goat from someone)…

“It is amazing how even many liberal-minded men end up having sexual and emotional difficulties being with more obviously successful women,” said Sasha Havlicek, the 35-year-old chief executive of a London research group. A high-flying friend of hers resorted to ritually feigning helplessness with her partner to promote his sense of masculinity.

“Maybe it’s because I’m a ninja, but feigning helplessness to boost someone’s fragile ego sounds really insulting,”  says Ninja Vicki.  “If I’m feigning helplessness, it’s because I’m laying a trap not because I want some guy who can’t handle making less money than me not to feel bad about not meeting some outdated expectation of masculinity.”

“Hey, maybe this article has a point,”  says Samurai Cathy.  “Ninja Vicki is a successful thief and murderer, maybe that’s the real reason she doesn’t get dates and not because she’s an awful human being with more personal issues than Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, Party of Five, and My So Called Life merging together to create some sort of Weepy Drama Voltron.”

“Bitch, I will fucking cut you!”

As Ninja Vicki and Samurai Cathy take their ensuing screaming match and inevitable sword fight outside the bar, we see what the men of Renal Failure think of the article.

“Samurai Cathy makes more than me,”  says Mikka.  “And I’m cool with that, mainly because pretty much everyone makes more than me in their jobs.  I’d need to date an entry-level crack whore to find a woman who makes less money than me.”

“Hell, I like it when a broad makes more than me,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “It means she’s got nicer stuff and can pay for her own damn dinner.  Also it probably means she’s on some really good birth control so I can stop wasting money on condoms and get back to fucking like we used to do in the 1970’s before AIDS scared the shit out of everyone.”

“Cats don’t have this issue, thus proving we are the superior creature,”  says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat.  He makes more than his wife Marlie, who is a stay-at-home drunk.  “These men aren’t upset that their woman makes more than them, they’re upset at what other people think about it and they take it out on the person who had nothing to do with it, the successful woman in question.  If something is bothering a cat, they go to the source of their problem and take care of it.  Cats don’t do this transference bullshit.”

“No one is more successful than Tag Larkin,”  says Tag Larkin.  We try to point out that many people make more money at their jobs than the 8.85 an hour he makes at Chickensian Dystopia, but Tag Larkin will have none of it.  “Tag Larkin has redefined success, among other terms.  Like ‘compromise’ and ‘tactful’ and ‘felonious assault.'”

“Maybe it’s not that men are necessarily turned off by successful women but it’s more that we don’t even think we have a shot at a woman if she makes more than we do,”  I say.  “Like the Sex and the City example she gives is Miranda saying she’s a stewardess instead of a lawyer and the dude she’s dating saying he’s a doctor instead of a guy who’s a shoe salesman.  Maybe that’s what should have been the focus: do successful women date men who are not nearly as successful or do they only want men who make as much or more than them?  It’s certainly a more interesting focal point than ‘Is female empowerment killing romance?’ whether the point is true or not.'”

And apparently by the time I make my statement the cops are pulling into the parking lot to break up Ninja Vicki and Samurai Cathy’s fight.  Well, mainly they’re just asking Cathy why she’s in a parking lot with a sword because like a good ninja Vicki is not there; she disappeared as soon as she heard the sirens.  Luckily Cathy won’t be getting arrested because she has a carry permit for her sword.  There’s a female cop out on the scene.  Maybe I should ask her if she would date a man who made less money than her… but I don’t want to get tased so early in the week.

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I was better off sniffing glue from a paper bag than reading the New York Times today

August 13, 2010

I think people read newspapers or watch the news on TV solely to feel emotions in a setting where they are comfortable having them.  People died in a flood, oh I feel sad.  Our sports won again, yay I feel happy.  Politicians are dumb, rawr I am angry.  Little easy to open packets of emotions that really have no bearing on your daily life that you can feel on your own without having to involve another person that you know.

I say this because it’s clear that the purpose of American news is definitely not to inform people.  My latest evidence comes from a recent New York Times article by Matt Bai about Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).  At first glance, it appears just to be another fluff piece, par for the course in the NY Times, but this section stands out:

Mr. Ryan, as you may have heard, is the Republican star of the moment. A 40-year-old from southeastern Wisconsin serving his sixth term in the House, Mr. Ryan has been getting a lot of attention for his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” an unusually austere proposal to vanquish the federal debt by, among other things, partly dismantling Social Security and Medicare as they currently exist.

Republicans admire the boldness of Mr. Ryan’s vision, even if his proposals are a little too bleak for the campaign trail. “He’s not saying the world’s going to be full of butterscotch sundaes,” is how Jeb Bush described the plan to me recently. “He’s saying: ‘Eat your broccoli. And then maybe you don’t get to eat at all for a few days. You don’t get steak — ever.’ ”

And at no point in the rest of the article does Bai attempt to elaborate on the details of what sounds like the worst plan ever.  You can’t just throw out a line like that and just drop it.  I don’t care if the world won’t be full of butterscotch sundaes but I’d like to get in at least two or three decent meals a day, depending on when I wake up and what I have planned.  How good of a plan could this Road Map be if it invokes the metaphor of people being deprived of food for a few days?  This sounds like a plan that should in no way, shape, or form even be considered.

Imagine I came up with a plan and someone described it to you like this: “On Monday, you carve your name into your flesh with a rusty penknife for a bowl of imitation All-Bran with no milk.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday all you eat is butter out of another man’s asshole.  And Friday you get a raw brick of Ramen noodles and skull-fucked by a thoroughbred.”  Wouldn’t you want someone to elaborate on why this horrific plan involves all these horrible things?  Wouldn’t you want to know why a race horse is going to fuck you in eye socket, even in a metaphorical sense? And wouldn’t you want to know why this plan is supposedly making me so popular that some dumb twat in the New York Times is committing the journalistic equivalent of tonguing my taint?

But no, Matt Bai doesn’t bother telling us the merits of such a plan, or if the contents of said plan are even true.  He bails out on his responsibility to actually inform his readers about something with this cop-out:

Let’s leave aside for now the debate over the viability of the road map, which, as a practical matter, doesn’t stand a chance of being enacted as is, anyway. The more pertinent question is whether Mr. Ryan is the kind of guy who just wants to make a point — or whether his road map represents the starting point in what could be a serious negotiation about entitlements and spending.

If I penned an article in the New York Times centered around my plan to fix global warming by building a giant robot cat to push the earth further away from the sun and I wrote “Let’s leave aside for now the debate over the viability of this giant robot cat plan, which, as a practical matter doesn’t stand a chance of being enacted as is,”  you’d tell me to go fuck myself for wasting your damn time.  As well you should.

So this Road Map that is getting Paul Ryan all this glowing attention, which is making Matt Bai write this article in the first place, is just escapist political fantasy?  Like it’s the Twilight Saga except with less vampires and shirtless men and more tax cuts for the rich and cat food for grandma?  Or is Matt Bai trying to tell us that this is a modern version of “A Modest Proposal?”  Is Paul Ryan trying to be ironic in coming up with a plan that even his political ally explains in the bleak terms of forced starvation?  See, you can’t do irony if you’re actually saying things you believe, and we’ve been given no indication from Matt Bai that Paul Ryan doesn’t believe what his Road Map says (in fact, it lines up with his party’s platform perfectly).   Maybe if the reporter writing the story did his fucking job instead of being a stenographer jerking off to the erotic bipartisan dreams that somehow get him hard I’d know the answer, but thanks to Matt Bai I’m now dumber than when I woke up this afternoon and thought it would be a great idea to take a bath with a plugged-in toaster in my hands.

Oh, and as it turns out, Paul Ryan’s roadmap actually lets rich people eat steak all the damn time while the rest of us making less than $100K a year don’t even get handfuls of millet (in fact, it looks like we lose the millet we didn’t have to begin with). Why did I have to go elsewhere to learn this? Why couldn’t I have found the same article?

For this abortion of words, Matt Bai should be forced to not eat for a few days.  Not because we would delight in his hunger pains but because we can’t trust him to use a fork without hurting himself or others.

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