Tracey Kelley's short story REQUEST will be featured in LET THE EVOLUTION BEGIN, the first book from Intrepid Publishing.
Every so often, you have one of those days.
The dominos tumble down, one by one, slapping the next tile like a backseat fresh boy. Before you know it, the Evil Cloud of Grrrr consumes you.
This has happened to me a lot over the past weeks. Within minutes after one offense, there I was, a whirling dervish possessed by Chris Rock and Ellen DeGeneres spouting, “and-and ANOTHER thing!” pontificating on all matters great and small. Let’s look at the tape:
I have a strong distain for restaurants that use the animal you’re about to eat as a logo/slogan/persuasion tactic. I grew up on a farm. Piggies and cows never grinned, winked and encouraged me to eat them. It’s a perverse form of ad cannibalism and I just can’t stomach that.
That being said, the Chick-fil-A take on cows encouraging you to eat more chicken is hysterically funny.
I spit upon the RIAA suing 12-year-old girls. I got news for ya. When I was 12, I made a cassette copy of my friend’s Genesis album.
By definition, that means I never bought another piece of music again!
I pity both artist and consumer for the bone-guarding mentality of the snarling pitbull recording industry. Yet this incident should be the slap to the head that the RIAA needs: even their much touted target audience doesn’t want to buy any more Jessica Simpson. Perhaps this means the quality of artists should be increased, because, after all, once you've extorted money from a 12-year-old, who's left to nail - Grandma loaning her Johnny Mathis tape to Aunt Edna without permission? Chances are all this crying over downloading won't wash away stupidity and greed.
There's also a pail full of soured split-pea soup specifically set aside for Howard Stringer, Chairman and C.E.O. of Sony Corporation of America. In a moment of fratboy alligence delirium, he replaced Tommy Mottola (who is allowed a sliver of credit for shaping the pop music landscape, but still should be caned with bamboo for launching Mariah Carey into her own glittery stratosphere) with former NBC president Andy Lack as head Sony Music poobah.
Lack, um, lacks music industry experience. Completely. At last check, corporate television wonks had no rhythm, thus havoc will most certainly ensue.
Why do people find it interesting to announce the birthdays of dead people? Just a couple of weeks ago, I heard a d.j. say, “Today, John Ritter would have been 55.” Yes, but he died, so his former date of birth doesn’t matter to anyone but his family. Heralding the birth anniversaries of those that have passed on is like saying, “Three years ago today, I had pie. Blueberry pie.”
Just once, I’d like to see 5,000 screaming fans at the next Dave Eggers’ appearance, instead of craning to see what designer-donated blouse Cameron Diaz is wearing while she refuses to sign autographs on the red carpet. The balance of talent is weighted heavily in Eggers’ favor, but you wouldn’t know it by the sheep following Little Bo Diaz.
People who let solid metal hotel doors slam shut behind them early in the morning deserve reserved seating on the third ring of Hell.
It would be nice, on occasion, to call or visit a business and not have to choose between English and Spanish methods of communication. Corporations say they are “catering to the Hispanic customer.”
What about the Bosnian refugees? Mhungs? Laotians? Don’t they deserve buttons three through six as language options? Instead of enabling immigrants and making it harder to learn the language of their adopted land, corporations should sponsor more ESL classes, teaching translators and structure the 12 hours a day, cash under-the-table work to accommodate daily class attendance. It is possible to be a heroic capitalist. It is not unwelcoming or discriminatory or a defacement of heritage to expect those who want to make a better life in America to learn English, and assist them in doing so. But cross-promotion of all products and services in Spanish just gives a man a fish for a day.
And maybe, just maybe, more people would feel "equal" if the word "minority" was no longer used to describe a race.
I’ve tried to watch "Prime Time Glick" and laugh. Honest. But to me, it’s still just Martin Short in a fat suit. He’s been funny. This is not one of those times.
Why should we pay elected officials to run for President two-thirds of their House or Senate term? What a gig: get a six-figure salary and speaking engagement fees for one job while you publicly pander for another. It should be mandatory that a politician actually complete at least one full term of office, and then relinquish that duty, before campaigning for another. Oh, that's right: like the unanimously approved pay raises, the American populace has no say in the matter. By the way, George W. Bush, you can just sit your ass in the Oval Office until you, too, finish what you started. Or at least start mopping up the mess.
And while on the topic of politics, if you don’t take the time to follow the issues and politicians and get out and vote, in both local and national elections, shut up. I have no interest in your opinion. People in other countries die for what you throw away.
Those who don’t take at least 15 minutes a day to read something for leisure can’t be trusted. And I’m not talking about People magazine, either.
Sort of like reading, only not: Madonna’s new children’s novel is number six on Amazon’s hit list. Who are these people?
Have I mentioned drivers using cell phones without earpieces? Trust me, from the vantage point behind you, you’re not making that single heel-of-the-hand turn as well as you think you are. And if you pop the curb and hit the fireplug, I’m gonna laugh. A lot. You’re a menace, and no one really needs to talk to you that badly. Get over yourself.
Nasty-tasting envelopes. Yeah. Those. Blech.
It irks me to watch Bill Maher smirk at his own jokes. (In fact, it irks me when any comedian does that). Flavor of the month is just that, albeit an average of 14 months in show biz years. Careful, Bill. Your shtick will get old pretty quick. Remember that HBO will keep you on about as long as Bush is office, as witnessed by Miller’s eight and a half year run during the Clinton years. Balance/counter balance. Better go vote for Dubya after all.
Then there’s the irritating post office line snaking out the door at 4:15 p.m., when every other procrastinator has arrived, and most of the clerks are taking their 20-minute break before 5:00 p.m. close. Don’t they know I have "stuff" to do?
It’s draining to hear of my friends considering adoption in other countries because the American adoption system is complicated, costly, risky and time-consuming. In six to eight months, an American couple can adopt a baby from a different land and start a family. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of children languish along the fault line that is our nation's foster care system. It's time to ask for a complete overall of DHS, so that we can have cooperative, expedient and intelligent adoptions in our own country. If we don't, our tax dollars, prisons and homeless shelters will "care" for these lost children somewhere down the line.
“Doggie Fizzle Televizzle”. And we wonder what’s wrong with the youth today.
Health insurance premiums are the primary reason I don’t feel very good. An 18% across-the-board increase in one year for the state of Iowa alone. No regard for individual health. No consideration for certain needs. No discount for the healthy person. The special interest groups of pharmaceutical and insurance companies are the white-collar Mafia. And we’re all wearing cement booties.
And speaking of mysterious suicide shots to the back of the head: if Hillary Clinton runs for President, I’m moving to Ireland. Since her only words have been “Why, no,” blink blink “I have no interest at all.”, I guess it's time for me to say slán libh.
Tracey likes to shake things up and then take the lid off. She also likes to keep the peace, especially in a safe, fuzzy place. Writer, editor, producer, yogini, ('cause yoger or yogor simply doesn't work) by day, rabid WordsWithFriends and DrawSomething! player by night. You can follow her on Twitter: @traceylkelley or @tkyogaforyou
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
9.29.03 @ 12:25a
Yeah, but any place that spells its name "chick-fil-a" is just stupid, no matter what.
I'm with you here on nearly every single point, and would like to add: people who temporarily forget that they have THREE dimensions, one of which is depth, the dimension that is periodically in my way as I run through the grocery store. And when I say "excuse me" politely, they inhale deeply, like that's gonna somehow reduce the depth of their hineys.
9.29.03 @ 12:55a
9.29.03 @ 1:33a
According to their official website, Chick-fil-A's corporate purpose is "to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A." I'm still trying to decide how I feel about that. I'm all in favor of stewardship and positive influences, but I'm uncomfortable with the showboating of their Christian roots (and there have been allegations of bias in their hiring policies). Kudos to them on the zeugma of "the first priority...has never been just to serve chicken. It's to serve a higher calling", though.
Juli, I'm with you on the 2D grocery aisle people. I think they're the same ones that pull into the parking lot in front of me and then stop right inside the entrance. When I am Overlord, this will be illegal.
9.29.03 @ 1:35a
I think you can follow the issues and the candidated and still not vote. If you don't like any of the candidates for President, then don't vote for any of them. That's a valid choice.
(Note: I'm not talking about if you're just lazy.)
And yes, I talk on my cell phone in the car without an ear piece. That's because I use my phone infrequently and I drive even less often. I'm not going to go out and spend money on an ear piece that'll I'll use 4 times a year.
9.29.03 @ 10:06a
I strenuously disagree with you, Matt, but I think we've been over this before. I think we have an obligation to vote. Voting is a responsibility, not a right.
9.29.03 @ 11:02a
But why should we be obliged to vote for someone we don't want?
Voting is you getting a chance to give your opinion. If my opinion is None of the Above, I think that's valid. I think voting for no one is a lot more responsible than voting for someone you don't really want but is the lesser of two evils.
9.29.03 @ 12:38p
I agree -- but in a roundabout way. You can vote for None of the Above.. you just have to write it in, that's all.
There are plenty of other things on the ballot that need your attention.
9.29.03 @ 12:49p
Matt, you should be glad you get to live in a country where you have the freedom not to vote. In Australia they make you vote.
9.29.03 @ 12:51p
Here's the problem, Matt - it's not a "chance to give your opinion." It's a civic duty, not a Harris poll. And if people would get active at the local level, those choices on the "big" ballot would be more acceptable.
9.29.03 @ 12:59p
Erik, I totally agree - I still go to the polls every single time and vote on most things. But if there's a set of candidates I don't like, I don't vote for any of them.
Juli, I don't think it's anyone's civic duty to vote for someone they don't want representing them.
9.29.03 @ 1:48p
No, but they don't have any right to complain if they don't vote against them.
9.29.03 @ 1:56p
Now see there's an idea! If you could cast a negative vote! Then, if you didn't really want to vote FOR someone, you could vote AGAINST someone else and have it count as a negative vote.
Damn. That's actually a really good idea.
9.29.03 @ 3:30p
Yeah. I would love to no-vote someone out of office.
9.29.03 @ 5:03p
But on a practical level, it doesn't work. Someone's got to be in the office. If all of the candidates get a vote of no confidence, what then?
9.29.03 @ 5:09p
I say we make Matt do it.
9.29.03 @ 9:47p
Matt, voting is annoying because most of the candidates are going to lie to you just to get your vote, and once they're in office they forget every promise they made. I find this interesting becasue those same politicians treat everything and everyone in their lives the same way. They promise to be faithful, or attend all your soccer games, or pay their bills on time, and in reality they are just paying lip service to get their way.
Yet we have to vote in the blind hope that someday, in some way, someone will be honest enough to at least try to live up to their promises. Think of it as gambling. You're casting a vote (placing a bet) on the honesty of that particular person. Sometimes they are way less honest then you even thought possible, but maybe, someday, one of them will be more honest than you give them credit for, and that's the gamble. Now go out and write me in for Gov. of California. I honestly don't want the job, and don't qualify for the job, but at least I'm honest.
9.30.03 @ 11:59a
I haven't seen Madonna's children's book, but it may be a perfectly wonderful choice. However, I'm certain there are writers at least as good as she is who can't get a publisher to sit up and take notice because they don't have the notoriety. In fact, we have 30 or 40 of 'em right here.
10.1.03 @ 11:53p
And we've been over that time and time again.
I haven't seen it either, but I will glance through it at the bookstore this weekend.
Matt said: "Note: I'm not talking about if you're just lazy."
But most people are. It's not easy to vote, although most have a voting stop within walking distance of where they live. Most people don't read all the candidates' positions on issues, or watch debates. Most don't read the newspaper in print or online to find out what's going on in their own neighborhood. And yet they sit and complain about things they really don't understand. It's civic irresponsibility.
By golly, those earpieces will break the bank, won't they?
After recently staying in a hotel that also hosted college soccer players from Texas A&M, I have to add that people who act like a hotel is just one giant dorm really tick me off, too. Especially when it's 7:45 am and I've only had 3 hours of sleep. I was quiet when I came in - now you just-shut-up.
10.3.03 @ 12:50a
I looked at Modonna's new book while at the bookstore today.
The book is leaden with bland writing, a condesecending attitude and the biggest case of self-promotion I have seen in some time.
For a good laugh, check out this article.
10.3.03 @ 11:50a
"Now go out and write me in for Gov. of California. I honestly don't want the job, and don't qualify for the job, but at least I'm honest."
Thank god, a viable candidate. I was going to vote for the retired meat packer, but you'll do. Ack, wait... what were you doing in 1975?