Thursday, September 30, 2004

stop me if you've heard this one before...

There's a very good reason why I haven't been posting. Life has changed shape lately and it no longer translates well in this medium.

Case in point - this is what passes for The Funny to me these days:

I have this friend, Rick, who is blessed with the loveliest Okie accent I've heard this side of Melly, who recently returned from Iraq where he goes by the moniker of Achmed, the Deaf Mute. He's dark-complected and looks pretty bad-ass in one of those Sheik Sheet things that they wear, so he blended in quite well. But he doesn't speak while in Iraq because of all of those pesky beheadings an' stuff.

He's been in and out of Baghdad without problems for years, but this last trip he was told he needed a special visa - that would take four weeks to process. Long story short, he had an audience with the Minister of Public Health (Rick was there on a humanitarian relief mission to set up clinics and the like) and a few other high-ranking Iraqi officials. As he's in the process of getting clearance, the Minister of Health told him something like, "Sure, we can expedite your visa...if I can use your cell phone."

He used Rick's cell phone to call in the visa.

To me, this is hilarious.

It reminds me of those commercials where the guy jumps into the gorilla cage at the zoo because he'd dropped his cell phone and the gorilla was making calls at peak hours of the day. I mentioned that to Rick who said, "The Iraqis are a very humorless people."

To me, that too was hilarious.

See what I mean? I just can't bring The Funny anymore.

Oh, one more thing I thought was funny (oh stop, Natalie - you're killing us!) was the picture of Rick/Achmed in the market. On one side of him was a huge display of heads of lettuce on what looked like wooden spikes, and on the other side of him was a rack of Baked Lays potato chips.

See? Not funny! To you, anyway.

But seriously - how freaking funny would it be to have the Iraqi Minister of Health bum your cell phone off of you? To me, that is a story for the grand kids.

I'm trying, I really am. I've simply developed this pesky habit of shutting the hell up when I have nothing meaningful to say. Didn't do it tonight, though. ()

Saturday, September 18, 2004

why i hate donald trump

I just finished watching the only episode I've seen of "The Apprentice" of this season tonight. I watched last season religiously but, by chance rather than design, I've not yet seen an episode of this season. I have to tell you I'm more than a little disgusted.

Okay, basic background - guy has immunity from being fired for being the winning project manager on the last episode. Guy sticks his neck out, saying something akin to, "I know I did a good job so I'll waive my immunity." Guy gets fired for his "stupid" decision. Waive your immunity? Have ethics and backbone and belief in your job well done? Why, that's simply not The American Way! You're fired.

This right here is what pisses me off about Corporate America. And it is just America, as having an English husband puts me in a unique position of understanding. Not just English, but someone who's worked extensively in Asia and mainland Europe.

Corporate America is fucked up.

Being ethical is frowned upon. Putting your money where your mouth is isn't something that's generally praised. Believing in yourself and standing by your record rather than blowing smoke up people's asses is an anomoly. Passing the buck? Par for the freaking course. Even the non-profit world isn't immune. It's revolting.

How many times has your integrity gotten in the way of your job? Probably quite a lot, but you get pretty good at supressing it. We have to all be totally self-serving to save our own asses, especially in this economic climate. We're not allowed to be human, or let our inner (or outer, in some cases) Bohemians breathe. Having a personality or a spark or a soul is verboten. Drone, drone, drone away, my little clones! It's the only way to garner respect!

It's disgusting. Dulcet, even tones are all that's acceptable. You can't rage and you can't wail no matter how bad things are. You can't jump and scream for the good. You can't tell it like you see it lest you be labelled a "loose cannon" or - dare I say the word? - unprofessional. Shudder to think.

What the hell is wrong with us as a people? This vibrant, wonderful country we have is reduced to...suits? Board rooms? "I understand where you're coming from and I respect your unique opinion on this pressing matter, however I'm coming from a different place and see it as such..." NO! "Hey, listen, that's completely stupid." Stop suffering fools so damn gladly!

How much better will we be when we begin to realize that's it all freaking reindeer games? You can play dress up with your ties and wing tips but at the end of the day it's totally make-believe. Having meetings about upcoming meetings? Freaking stupid!

I'll tell you about a lesson I learned the hard way. Not a lesson in how to behave or anything regarding me, but rather how integrity is "rewarded". I was in the fifth or sixth grade and our music class had a field trip to the local college symphony. Yeah, send a bunch of kids to the symphony - that's a plan. Anyway, I (like the majority of my classmates) joked through the thing about how lame it was, threw spitwads...ya know, generally what Kids That Age will do when presented with something high culture. We go back to school and in music class the next day we got a lecture about our deplorable behavior and the teacher called up about five of us that caught her attention. She raked these kids over the coals for being assholes and basically not good stewards for the school. I felt like shit for these kids, my friends, because I could think of ten other kids who were way worsely behaved than these five. I stood up and said that I had taken part in their shenanigans - thinking, okay, this is my high-water mark for integrity because I knew I was in for the beating of a lifetime when I got home (we all had detention and notes sent home) but it wasn't fair! These mini-Jesus kids were paying for my sins and that wasn't right.

I don't know what I expected - maybe the teacher or my parents would be impressed that I'd taken responsibility for a crime that had been beneath the radar of detection? - but I know what I didn't expect. I didn't expect the teacher to then turn and target me for being the biggest asshole of the group. Everyone else got to sit down and I was stood there and yelled at. I took my medicine and went home with the note (personalized, though everyone else got a photocopy of the standard "your kid was an ass" letter) and took my beating.

For standing up for what I'd done. Punished on every count for having some fucking integrity!

And that's stupid.

Cover your asses! Learn finger pointing! Never speak your mind or be anything more than a mindless child from "The Wall". Featureless, exacting. That's the only way to get ahead in life.

The kids in "The Wall" ended up in a meat grinder. I'm not meat grinder material. Neither are you, if you'd believe it and live it.

I get so pissed, I really do. Take a fucking joke. Make a fucking joke. Don't be That Guy.

Every job I've held has thrust me in the position of being "the funny one". I'm not the funniest person I've ever come across - but you're not allowed to be funny, are you? There's no laughter out there in Corporate Land. People don't know how to take me - I get that, "You're so funny!" thing all the time. No, I'm not that funny - I just take the time for some fucking levity. You can do it, too.

You're not allowed to own responsibility. That falls on the guy with the least seniority or the lowest rank. Everyone's ass is covered, everyone is interchangeable. I don't pretend that I see it any more clearly than you do, but I've decided to be the cog that runs counter-clockwise. I have to. Someone has to. And, typically, Corporate America doesn't allow that - I'll stand up in our shared music class and take my whoopin' for all of us. You can all go sit down now - I'll take it from here.

Doesn't that make you sick? That you have to check your heart and personality at the door? In my life of working - which, admittedly, is only about fifteen years now - I've met exactly one person who is who they is and does what they does. That one person is Andy and I've never even worked with him. Everyone else I've come across acts like they're at a fucking funeral for how guarded and limited they are with their mind. This is why I sleep with him. Cuz he's awesome.

Who the fuck are we? What are we playing at? We're stifled at every turn. Any little deviation from the Norm is frowned upon as counter-culture. That ain't counter-culture - that is culture. Heart, spirit - why are these notable traits? You're remarkable if you show either - and that's not right. We all have them - why are we so ashamed of showing them?

I'm not necessarily an anarchist, but I think that some fundamental changes need to be made. Where are the creative, lateral-though solutions people? They sure as shit ain't sitting in a board room with a silk tie and tassles on their shoes. They're not allowed.

Lighten the fuck up. If someone says, "I stand by my convictions and my record and my ability" do not fucking scapegoat them. Applaud them! Shout their names from the mountain tops! That's awesome and it's brilliant and it's something we should all strive for.

Sorry for the rant - but honestly! ()

Monday, September 13, 2004

holy crap - is that the time?!?

Why didn't anyone tell me I haven't updated since 1974? Outrageous! It's because I now have a sharply-honed internal crap editor that gives me pause every time I start to blog. It says, "Do you really think people want to read about that? I certainly think not." So I say, "Screw you, internal crap editor. You know why you're so stupid? Because you're internal, and have no power over editing my external crap! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to play the Sims or watch Family Guy, or the same time!"

Where have I been? Short story - I was sick but now I'm well, I have an expansion pack for my Sims on the cusp of the new release, I was almost forced into Gay one day, I suffered an extreme sun poisoning (which is only marginally related to the Gay thing), and I now work with someone who used the word "jigaboo". Nothing that really needs expanding on, I shouldn't think.

Wait a internal crap editor isn't bleeping at me...could it be? Alas, I think those might be some good stories to share! Except for the being sick one - that's just whiney. The Sims stuff means nothing to anyone but me. The Gay sun poisoning one is a bit risque (can you get Gay sun poisoning? Why do I keep capitalizing the word "gay", anyway?). So that leaves "jigaboo".

Meh, that's not a very good story either. Where's my crap editor, anyway? Looks like he's out for the night so here ya go - the jigaboo story. (Or the "J" story if this is a really terrible slur and I offend anyone.)

Okay, I didn't really know this word before. I mean, I knew it was in context of a black person and I figured it wasn't very nice but I didn't know what it really meant. Hell, it sounds like the name of a dance to me - I don't "get" a lot of racial slurs and have to be told that they're offensive. So anyway, I'm talking about (what else) helping Africa and she pops out with a clunker worthy of Prince Phillip. She says, "I don't mind helping if they're not just a bunch of jigaboos."


"You know. Lazy blacks."

Ah, okay.

No, wait. What?

"You know what I mean. People who sit around waiting for a hand out."

Ah, like the Haitians.

Aw crap - now I'm doing it!

Seriously though? That word just doesn't fly. I don't know what it really is supposed to mean but a racial slur is kind of like porn - I know it when it makes my stomach twist up in knots. (In the case of porn, the stomach twisting happens in a good way.) But for real. That word? No way.

I've started my own counter-attack on the office.

You know those Eritreans? They smell like cotton candy.

Angolans? They only have six toes!

Hispanics? They're really tacky when they hit on you!

Okay, so that one's true. Come on guys - the hairnets and the mamasitas? That's bad enough. But why do you suck your teeth? THAT! Now that is something I just don't get. Why don't we come up with a word that means "Hispanic teeth sucker"? Wait, that doesn't sound right - it sounds like someone who sucks Hispanic teeth that, while technically true, sounds kinda icky out of context.

Missed me?

Thank you for your absense, internal crap editor. Thank you straight to hell. ()

Friday, September 03, 2004

this just in

Oh my GOD, people! There's genocide in Sudan the size of Texas...and it's headed straight for Florida.

Whoops - sorry about that. My two worlds collided for a moment. But wouldn't it be nice to be able to do that? Just roll all of your concerns up into one? I'd lose a lot less sleep that way.

(Call me, ya bastard. Not that you have time to read blogs or anything, but I'm sure that come hell or high water, you'll still be technorating your own ass.)

My lack of updates is solely down to the fact that I am too lazy to update the date on the comment script. That, and because I like to be described as "consistently inconsistent". ()