Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Second Coming

I have been, for a good portion of my life, enamored by that amazing Yeats poem "The Second Coming". Maybe it was my upbringing in an apocalyptic cult that drives my fascination with this work, and particulary the identity of his "rough beast that slouches towards Bethlehem to be born", a monster that Yeats himself describes thusly: "a brazen winged beast which I associated with laughing, ecstatic destruction". It wasn't until lately that the face of this beast was revealed to me. And although this revelation is going to make me a nemesis of many, many people, I feel it is my civic responsibility to reveal this truth to you, no matter what the consequences. Read the first portion of the poem, and see if you can't figure it out.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity

I'm sorry but it's true. Even you can't deny it any longer. "Twilight" is the anarchy loosed upon the world, a dime novel masquerading as valid literature; a creepy, doomed relationship fiction pretending to be a love story. I try so hard to decipher it's sly power, it's thick and unyielding hold on the vulnerable minds of girls and women everywhere. Yes, I am a book snob. I will readily admit this fact. But my words here are not draped in pretentious judgement. I read and enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada. I own a copy of The DaVinci Code. I have been known to read a romance novel here and there (okay maybe just the dirty parts). The point is, even though my definition of "book" or "reading" might differ slightly from some others, I am speaking now with a full, pure heart. I am well intentioned. We need to stop this madness now, before somebody really gets hurt.

Out of pure curiousity spurred on by the mania I have witnessed around me, most disturbingly which are comments overheard and read online that were made by grown women who readily admit to getting wet at the thought of a teenage vampire, I discovered the following forum. Folks, the "blood-dimmed tide is loosed" and truly the "ceremony of innocence is drowned" while the worst are full of passionate intensity.Under the thread tile "What would you do if twilight never existed?

Exhibit A (sad beyond belief)Miss L Lady: what would you do if twilight never existed?!?! omg i think i would maybe cry.....well i dunno prob cry then die lolomg....well i guess i wouldnt even know the difference, but now that i do if they would like take it away i think i would lose it

Exhibit B (Douchebag)Eric: If twilight didn't exist then I wouldn't be able to say "Yeah I saw the movie and I actually like twilight" and girls go awwwww that's so sweet, thereby making me more attractive to them. I would have to find other means of accomplishing that

Exhibit C, your honor (Oh that our youth would know that more than two book series exist in the world)Edwards Bro: If Twilight didn't exist I'd be rereading Harry Potter for the 1000th time. Oh, and what Eric said.

Exhibit D Bella Bella Bella: If Twilight didn't exist I would not have an unhealthy addictionAnd I would be rereading Harry Potter too, probably trying to read it in Spanish or Catalan. That's what I was doing right before I discovered Twilight, haha

Exhibit E OxSherrybaby:if it never existed i wouldn't have anything to look forward to

Exhibit F MissLWord:lol glad you admit that...but your right, i do think it would attract women....loli would be so sad...i think i would be reading anne rice......since i was going to anyway .....but i wouldnt know better bcause i wouldnt know what it is.....too bad edward doesnt exist in real life.....

Exhibit G Cullen Kid: if twilight diddnt exist then i wouldnt be madly in love with fictional characters... like...EDWARD!!!!!!! =)

Exhibit H Bella Swan Forever: I would definitely cry and die as well. And if twilight never exsisted i wouldn't have a life.If twilight never ever ever existed i would kill myself if it didn't ever get published. It is one of the best book/movie ever.

Exhibit I IheartEdward Cullen: If Twilight was never made... I would be a completely different person!Seriously.. 1. I would be re-reading Harry Potter for the 10,00th time! lol2. I wouldn't be obsessed over fictional characters like Edward!3. Edward wouldn't exist 4. I would be sad5. I wouldn't be dreaming about Edward Cullen all the time!6. I wouldn't like vampires!7. I wouldn't be boring my family with my constant Twilight talk!8. I would have no reason to live!It would be a sad... boring.. world

Objection! This witness is clearly insane! Overruled.

Exhibit J MissLWord (again):pretty much life would suck as we know it if twilight didnt exist..

Exhibit K AliceX: I'd probably have spent more time rereading HP for the millionth time, instead of taking time out to read the Twilight books. Same thing with discussing stuff and all that time spent on Skype reading Twilight. I'd have just spent that time discussing HP.

Exhibit L itswhitney: hahah well i mean i guess i wouldn't know about it so i wouldn't really know the difference..but i honestly don't think i would be as happy hahah not even kidding.since i started reading twilight i have been a happier person.and i wouldn't be friends with some of the people im friends with now.i wouldn't have the most AMAZING obsession ever.and i wouldn't know about rob pattinson.ahh now that would be a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE thing.ohh and im SURE i would have a little more time on my hands that i now occupy with my obsession (:

New thread: You know you're obsessed with Twilight when...

Exhibit M TwilightLover:1)sit on the computer from 0:00am to the next day 1:00am looking at twilight vids and pics 2)talk about twilight non-stop when your supposed to be drawing a complicated table in maths3)planning to watch the movie 5 times in a row4)converting everyone i know into a twilight fanatic5)join every twilight forum that looks remotely good6)compare twilight characters to friends7)use twilight quotes in normal conversation8)burst out in giggles when someone unconsciously says something to do with twilight

Exhibit NZengrenouille: 14.) Your boyfriends keep breaking up with you, because they are sick of waking up to find that you rubbed glitter lotion on them while they slept. 15.) You know through trial and error that stripper glitter products are better than any other glitter products, because they stay on you boyfriend's skin the longest.16.) You actually wrote a paper on Twilight in you religions class.

I HATE you Zengrenouille. Objection, Counsel is badgering the witness! Sustained.

Exhibit O Orchid Springs: You know you're obsessed with Twilight when...17)When you know the exact number of days, hours, and seconds till the movie comes out18) When everything on your Christmas list is somehow related to Twilight19) When you buy a keyboard so that you can learn to play Bella's Lullaby20) When you try to find something Twilight related in every song you hear21) When Edward Cullen is on your Christmas list22) When you've read Twilight more than five times23) When you strained your eyes due to reading the books too much and now you need reading glasses (True story)I could go on, but I think this is enough. xD

I hate you too Orchard Springs. You're the worst person...Object...Withdrawn.

Exhibit P Choco-cream-puffz:24.) when you watch the movie trailer 10 times a day25.) when you memorized the movie trailer 25.) when you watch sponge bob and thinks it would be better if all of them were underwater vampires

Exhibit Qjillian 27:26.) when everytime it rains you wish edward will come to your school27.) when everytime you talk to your friends you talk about how perfect edward is28.) when you spend 12 hours a day rereading the twlight series

I can't go on. The prosecution rests. I am afraid for our youth. I am afraid for the world. This beast is mad powerful, the likes the world has never seen before.

The poem concludes:

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all around it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The Second Coming is a perfect way of describing the anticipation for the Twilight movie and the insanity over this sparkly Edward Cullen blood sucking undead goth kid. Is this the new ideal man? Is it not enough for our men to be strong and kind? They now need to Sparkle in the Sun? If Todd started sparkling in the sun I'd beat him to death with a golf club. Seriously, I would freak the fuck out.

I am so tired, but rest eludes me. I am praying for "twenty centuries of stony sleep", because I don't know if I can go on living in a Twilight world. Which is truly what this is: endless dusk. A murky reality where people are lulled into believing something is tantamount to the Second Coming, when in reality its the brainchild of a bored Mormen housewife whose laughing her ass off all the way to fucking bank. God, I'll settle for one night of slumber, so for now I'm just going to treat my insomnia with a couple of sleeping pills and hope that in the morning Stephanie Meyer and all her damned sparkly, whiny creatures were just a bad, creepy dream.

P.S. I am not saying that reading or watching Twilight is in and of itself a bad thing. So please don't send me angry emails like "You're a bitch. I read Twilight and it's the greatest book ever!" I am merely commenting on the social phenomena that has unraveled before my very eyes, a phenomena that I frankly find weird and destructive.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ScholASStic Scrimmage

Todd and I watch this show every weekend called Scholastic Scrimmage. The premise is a bunch of high school nerds sit in two teams of 4 and answer questions on various topics like math, science, literature, etc. Todd and I like to play along and mercilessly mock the kids. Anyway, today we were watching it and the funniest thing I've ever seen happened. The one group of high school guys weren't quite as nerdy. Like they seemed to realize how corny the whole thing was. They ended up with a total point score of like 10 and the other team had 140, so either they weren't that smart or just weren't trying.

In the middle of the competition, the lady who reads the questions always stops and asks all the kids individually to say a couple of things about themselves. The first kid usually sets the tone for what the rest of the kids say (Bear with me here, it's worth it). For instance, the first kid will say "I'm 16 years old and I play in the marching band and I like to read" and then each kid that follows models his/her answer after what the first kid said. Like he'll say, "I'm 17 years old and I am in the math club and I also like to read". Anyway, today the most glorious thing happened. I was rolling on the floor (I really was) with peals of laughter. I am going to transcribe the entire thing for you along with descriptions of the people.

ScholASStic Scrimmage
A Play In One Act

Question Lady: Blonde, late middle-aged lady with a hairstyle reminiscent of Rose Niland from The Golden Girls, and a cat butt mouth
Ryan F.: Normal sized white kid with an afro
Tony B.: Tall guy with skin like an albino's
Ryan Y. :Teenage boy who looks like he's 40 and still playing in a garage band at his parent's house. Also, he looks like Bo Bice from American Idol
Chris: Jack Osbourne look-alive only with worse hair (yes it's possible)
Chris R.: Bespectacled kid with dumbo like ears with an effeminate quality
Frank "Jay" H. - Unfortunate looking kid with pock marks the size of craters all over his mug
Blake C. - Horribly mop-topped guy who has never been laid and probably never will be
Robert - A bespectacled mutant with hair like darth vader's helmet

Question Lady: In the first round we ask the students to tell us something about their families or about themselves. Let's begin with Northampton [high school]...Ryan?

Ryan F.: Uh...I'm Ryan and my favorite animal is a cat.

QL: [A little taken aback by the student thinking it's relevant to mention his pet] And you have a cat, or many cats?

RF: Uh I have 7, actually

QL: And are your parents happy about that?

RF: Uh mom is anyway

QL: (Talking over his last word) Terrific. Thank you. Tony?

Tony B.: (Said as a run on) Hi I'm Tony I live with my parents and my two older brothers and...I have 3 cats

QL: 3 cats? Any dogs?

Tony B.: No...just the cats. (looks away with smirk on face)

QL: Thank you. Ryan...

Ryan Y.: I'm Ryan Y. and I live with my parents and I have a brother and a sister and 2 dogs.

QL: Ok. [increasingly perplexed] And Chris?

Chris: Hello I'm Chris. I live with my mom and dad I have a brother I have 5 dogs, uh...2 emus, and some other birds and stuff (nods head a few times)

QL: (Shocked expression) The emus are outside...?

C: Yes they are (unintelligible)

QL: (Talking over) ...all the time? Even in the snow? [Disbelieving tone]

C: Yes.

QL: Uh huh. Alright. That's a very unusual...(searching for words) menagerie...Yes. Over to Palmerton [High School] ...Chris.

Now I'm going to interject here to let you know that the kids who just spoke were all stifling laughter the whole time they were talking, which led me to believe that they were making all that shit up or at least saying it to be snarky. The next team doesn't appear to be in on the joke. But it's funny, because they keep the same model for their answers. It continues:

Chris R.: Um, I live with my parents. I have a brother, Kyle, and a sister, Carrie Anna, and I have a dog...named Brindle.

QL: (sort of nasally suggestive of irritation) Thaaank you. And Jay?

Frank "Jay" Hall: Ummm...I'm Jay. I live with my parents and my little brother, Sean. Um..and I have one dog named Stormy. (Satisfied smile)

QL: Thank you. Blake?

Blake C.: Um, I'm Blake and I live with my parents and my younger sister. (Deep breath) I have two dogs (eyes roll up like he's thinking hard and he starts counting off on his hand), two cats, a pig, a couple chickens, a rabbit, and a snake...and...I think that's it (He has a completely serious expression on his face)

QL: Alright. I..I..I think you win. [Her tone indicates she believes otherwise]

BC: (giggles like a schoolgirl in his pride)

QL: And is this pig a traditional pig or is this a perhaps potbelly pig or...?

BC: (He interrupts) Potbelly

QL: Is it really...I mean er...did...were you told it was and then it grew to be a big pig or is it really stay little?

BC: We got her when she was nine so...

QL: so she is a little pig...

BC: Yeah. She's...

QL: I'm told their highly intelligent.

BC: mmm hmmm.

QL: Thank you. Robert.

Robert: (talking like he has a mouth full of marbles) namesRobertIlivewithmyparents and I have 2 dogs, a cat, and a turtle.

QL: And the...what turtle?

Robert: Turtle. (He nods his head definitively)

QL: Turtle. And the turtle's name is..?

R: Albus.

QL: Thank you. (Smiles indulgently) Let's go on toss up in Chemistry.

and Scene.

How fucking awesome is that? I am going to try and get this little clip taped and put it up on here for all your viewing pleasure if at all possible. I'm lying. I'm way too lazy for that. So I won't get your hopes up. If you want to see it that desperately you could always come over to my house. It's on my DVR and I'm pretty much planning on keeping it forever.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I had the wonderful luck while driving home today to end up behind one of those weirdos that try to tell you their life stories via bumper magnets on the back of their cars. What goes wrong in the brains of these people that results in this particular brand of dysfunction? Do you think it find its genesis in early childhood trauma or is it a genetic thing? I don't think science is advanced enough to find the answers. Yet. Either way, I had to sit behind her at a light and was therefore forced to get to know all about her and her pathetic life, and it kills me, too, because this was her diabolical plan all along. She wins. She also has a personalized license plate that reads "Momee Go". The knowledge that this license plate exists is like a virus infecting my soul. And now I know so much about this lady, this lady who I've only ever seen her mini-van and the back of her stupid head. And now I will tell you... because if I have to know, then you have to know. She's a christian, she vacations at Bethany Beach Delaware, her kid goes to The Quaker School, she owns a great dane, she loves somebody with Asperger's, her daughter takes gymnastics, and her personal child rearing philosophy is this: "Children don't care what you know, they...." I couldn't read the rest because I had snow and iceballs accumulating at the bottom of my windshield. Plus I wasn't about to get in a car accident by trying to finagle my position to see the whole statement. Which brings me to my next point.

Shouldn't there be a law against some of this? Where do we draw the line between "cutesy" and "road hazard"? It's one thing to put one magnet on your car to promote some issue or cause that you're passionate about. But this level of advertisment is clearly pathological and potentially dangerous when you consider how much time I spent looking at the back of her car and NOT looking at the road activity around me. Don't do you dare even think about blaming me. Don't you fucking dare. I'm the victim here.

Here's another disturbing "car trend" that almost got me killed. The first time I saw one, it was on this truck. I had noticed there were some kind of letter appliques on the back window. I saw a first name and then some dates underneath and it hit me: That's a memorial of sorts. I had to see the name and dates. I figured the person being memorialized must be a pretty big deal. I was morbidly curious enough to try to move into the lane next to me to see it. I don't know what happened to me but I was like hypnotized. I had to SEE it. And the deceased person being memorialized was just some random lady who was like 60 or something. Sad and all, but I didn't even know her. I almost got in an accident for THAT. I know, I'm an idiot. But it's like reading the obituaries. I don't know why I do it because I usually don't know anyone who dies. But sometimes I'll recognize a mean lunch lady or a crotchety elderly neighbor in them, so it's worth it to be able to call someone and say, "Remember Mrs. Richie? Yeah, well the bitch is dead. You heard it from me first."

I guess I'm just baffled by this phenomen of people turning their rear car window into what is basically a tombstone. Why do they do it? Why do I read it? They win.

I refuse to put anything on my car. Not even a pink breast cancer ribbon, even though I have every right to do that, all things considered. I just don't see the point of it. I think everyone that matters already knows that breast cancer is a shitty disease. And if someone doesn't know that, then I doubt a pink ribbon on the back of my car is going to change that. Seriously, the people who know what a pink ribbon symbolizes already know about breast cancer. And people who don't know a damn thing about breast cancer probably don't know what a pink ribbon even means. So I'm pretty much just preaching to the choir. Or maybe if I were to put that breast cancer magnet on my car I'm telling everyone to feel sorry for me because my sister died of breast cancer. I'd rather just have a magnet that says that. At least it's honest.

What's also distracting and downright depressing are those makeshift roadside memorials. On the Bristol ramp to 95 a little 4 year old girl named Jasta was killed by a drunk driver about 7 or 8 years ago. It really is a sad story. So now they have a giant picture of this cute, smiling little girl who's, you know, DEAD now. And every time I drive by it I have a little bit of a panic attack. And sadly, somebody keeps putting plastic flowers and stuffed animals underneath it like it's a shrine, only its actually the side of a HIGHWAY. What ends up happening is the flowers get all bent and mangled looking from the wind and rain and the teddy bears get splashed with mud by the giant wheels of tractor trailers driving by. What kind of tribute is that? Poor Jasta.

You want to hear something else I hate? When people put those stupid baseballs on their car windshields. You know the ones...the ones that look like someone threw them through the window and cracked it? It's really a sticker with half a fake baseball protuding from the side. What the fuck is the point of that? First of all nobody thinks it's real. And if anyone does think it's real, their next thought is probably "Why does this asshole drive around with a baseball stuck in the windshield?" I don't know. Is it supposed to be funny? Who's laughing? In my opinion, it's worse than when people used to stick those stupid scared Garfield dolls in their windows. But at least Garfield appealed to the children. Or better yet, terrified them.

Last but not least, let's not forget the ever-precious "Baby on Board". Although the use of this disgusting sign peaked in the 80's and mercifully seemed to fade by the 90's, I've had a few recent sightings of it. This is alarming. I don't know if I can go on living if people start hanging this shit in their cars again. I guess what annoys me about it the most is that the sign implies that people get in car accidents on purpose. Like "I was going to ram my car into the side of you at that intersection but since I see you have a baby on board I won't". It also implies that the driver and particularly the passengers of the car are more important than the drivers and passengers in other cars. But isn't every human life precious cargo? Why is the fact that you're driving around a baby supposed to change how I feel about you and your damn car? I'll be careful no matter who is in the vehicle, because your stupid baby isn't any more important than somebody's 80 year old grandmother.

After the Baby on Board phenomenom, a whole host of other similar signs started appearing. The one I remember is "Bitch on Board". See, that's actually good to know. Seeing that sign, I would be less inclined to pass this driver aggressively. Or I might be more inclined to do that just to piss her off. A sign like that is basically an invitation to fuck with somebody.

Honestly, I try to drive carefully and respectully because I value the lives of others and sometimes my own. And I really do believe that if people stopped putting their memoirs on their vehicles there might be fewer accidents on our nation's roadways. If they really want to talk about themselves and their pathetic lives and opinions in a confessional, self indulgent way to an indifferent audience, they should just write a blog. That's what I do.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm A Good Person

I’m a Good Person
I am. I know you don't believe me because half of the shit I write about is basically complaining about everything in the entire world and how much I hate all of the people in it. But yesterday I realized that I have the capacity to be nice even to ugly, old people with dried paint all over their dried, cracked hands.

I was at the ATM in Wawa, which is where I always go to get money because they have no fee and I refuse to pay $3 to get my own damn money. Like why do the banks charge so much when they don't even have to do anything? It's an automated machine, and yes I know they have to refill it now and again, but its just ridiculous and I'm so cheap that I will actually walk away from an ATM if it charges more than $1.50 to dispense cash. Actually, it's not that I'm cheap. I'm principled.

So anyway, I finish at the ATM and this old, mangy looking man comes up to me. At first I thought he was going to stab me or cough on me or do some other foul deed, because he looked like the type. But he's like "Can you do me a favor? I have a splinter in my hand and I can't get it out." So I stood there in the middle of Wawa trying to get the splinter out of this guy's finger. It was really creepy and gross. At first I tried to do it without touching his flesh in any way. Like I had my ring finger and thumb like a pincer or a lobster claw and was trying to tweeze it out. But it then became apparent that if I were to get out of this horrible situation ever then I would have to TOUCH his hand. There was dried paint all over it. Like drips of paint as if he were painting a house a year ago and never bothered to wash his hands afterwards. So I had to hold his hand steady while I targeted the splinter and had my face all close to it and finally got it out. He wasn't even that grateful. I don't know what I expected. Maybe the whole store to be secretly watching like on TV when people get engaged and think no one is watching and then all these people break out in to applause. Yeah, I was expecting all the Wawa customers to start clapping and telling me that I was a hero and then maybe a priest to tell me that I never have to do another good deed for the rest of my life now because I just paid for my ticket to heaven. But the opposite of that happened. The guy just mumbled, "Thanks" and then went and bought a pack of cigarettes.

I guess its good to do nice things once in a while. I should do them to make up for a lot of the not good thoughts that populate my mind most of the time. For instance, the other night I was watching this show on like TLC or something about a girl who has sirenomelia, which is a genetic condition that causes a person's legs to be fused together at birth. Also, this is called Mermaid Syndrome. Anyway, this sweet little girl is a mermaid who can barely swim. Her dad and mom kept saying, "She has such a positive attitude. She's so happy despite her condition." And then her dad says "Well if she can be happy the way she is, then anybody can." And I started thinking, "You know what? I'd be pretty damn happy too if I had somebody cater to my every whim, buy me shit all the time, tell me how wonderful I was, all the while never having to worry about cleaning, paying bills, going to work, or walking around." This chick doesn't even have to walk, her dad just carts her around and she tells him "take me in the jewelry store, I want a new necklace" and then he does it. What a fucking life.

Yes, I'm terrible. But hear me out. The doctors wanted her to get her legs separated, but she said "No. This is the way I am and I want to stay this way." See, she doesn't want to walk. I don't blame her. She's only 8, but she fucking knows how awesome her life is right now. Her dad annoys me to no end. Like, who are you to say that anybody can be happy if your kid can be happy as a spoiled mermaid? What about somebody with a gun pointed at his head? What about a person who just lost her life savings at the track? What about a child starving in a crack den? What about me?

So anyway, you can think I'm going straight to a fiery hell for all I care. That's what I think. And if you ever have to take a splinter out of the body of a gross stranger in a Wawa then go ahead and judge me. But until you know how it feels to know that there isn't enough antiseptic solution in the world to make your hands clean again, leave me alone. Love!!!!!