Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I Was Right Before It Was Cool

In this moment of national discourse, you and I seem to have found some common ground on an issue I see as having paramount moral importance, so I thought it would be a good time to remind you: I was right before it was cool and if you ever try to agree with me on something again I will remind all the world what a poser you are.

Look: I get it. In a moment of reflection, you realized you needed to speak up and contribute to a growing national consensus on a specific issue. But where were you back when I was basically the only one who was smart and compassionate and with it enough to be right and being wrong was all the rage? You had no taste, that's where you were. Maybe it's because of the way you were raised or because you mistakenly think you actually have a point on some other issue or just because you made poor choices about your demographic characteristics. I don't know. The point is: you were wrong and unless you want to go back in time and change all your opinions to have matched mine always, you're hopeless. You just don't get it.

Other people might praise your individual stance on this issue with disclaimers about how they know you're usually not that with it to make sure everyone knows they're way more right than you are, but those people are also posers. I was right before they knew it was cool, because they still don't know what is right or why it's cool. They've just memorized a bunch of talking points. Pathetic.

To be honest, it's better this way. If most people weren't wrong most of the time, the whole being-right movement would just seem so unoriginal and derivative and I'd have to go be wrong about something ironically just to live with myself.

So please, can we just forget this moment where our interests could have aligned to move the nation forward? I'd like you to go back to being a walking caricature of all that is wrong with America while I go back to being extremely satisfied with myself and how cool and right I am.

I hope it never goes mainstream.

Friday, January 12, 2018

A parable (with some profanity)

"Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" senators who did not know they could still be shocked heard President Trump say yesterday during negotiations on policy for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and several other countries. Today, the president disputed those accounts, suggesting he probably used slightly different abusive language to communicate his contempt.

How do I feel about that language? Icky. But what do I think about that language? I think I see a pattern. 

Remember when Donald Trump called the White House a "real dump"?

Remember that speech he gave that speech at his inauguration talking about how crappy and rundown the United States is and how its neighborhood (among the other countries on planet earth) sucks and everywhere you look people are garbage?

Maybe I'm just bitter because I'm like two Nobel prizes short of enough points to get into the country on Trump's proposed merit-based system. I'm starting to suspect that the man has a low opinion of everyone and everything--except, of course, himself.

Maybe he just figures that there's a certain limit on the amount of quality in the world and he takes it all up?

I don't know how this story ends, but I already know the moral: everything looks like a shithole if you are a giant ass.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Calm down, America!

Is Donald Trump the worst world leader in recent memory?

Not even close.

Our research suggests that the President-Elect is: 

Less temperamental than Rodrigo Duterte!

“Judge me not with the newspaper articles they come up with everyday.
Judge me at the end of my term. If I do bad, shoot me.”

Less sleezy than Silvio Berlusconi!

"When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, 'Yes',
while the other 70% replied, 'What, again?'"

Less egoistic than Kim Jong-un!

“Suddenly, the whole country is engulfed with happiness
and the people endlessly inspired.” 

Less nativist than Robert Mugabe!

"The white man is not indigenous to Africa. Africa is for Africans. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans…
The white man is here as a second citizen. The only man you can trust is a dead white man."

Less confrontational than Mahmoud Ahmedinejad! 

"We thank God that our enemies are idiots."

Friday, February 20, 2015

Life's Little Yoga Instruction Book (part five)

"Life's Little Yoga Instruction Book" is a spiritual journey through several contorted bodily positions, plus a voice of wisdom from a land twelve and a half time zones away. 

Part Five: Child's Pose

Now that you are in child's pose, your body is fully rested. But your mind is still crazy. Your mind is still thinking of shopping lists and TV shows and old regrets. That is why you have come to yoga class. You think maybe you came for fitness? Don't be silly. Your body is fine.

All your discontent is coming from your mind. All your discontent is keeping you up at night. All of your discontent is leading to online shopping sprees and 2 a.m. browsing of Facebook. It's 2 a.m.! Your body doesn't want you to browse Facebook. Your body is ready for the world to shut up!

Close you eyes. Imagine your mind: it's a fortress where all the soldiers are on high alert. That's because you told them something important could always happen at any moment. But you were wrong. Important things don't happen any moment. Important things don't happen that often at all.

So tell the archers to ease out of their position and let their bowstrings relax. Tell the spear-men to set down their pointy sticks and throw the city gates open.

Let your exhaustion pour into the fortress. Let your exhaustion conquer you. Let your exhaustion replace the soldiers' torches with Tinkerbell nightlights and the guard dogs with teddy bears. Then lie down, O General of the fortress of hustling chaos, and go to sleep.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Life's Little Yoga Instruction Book (part four)

"Life's Little Yoga Instruction Book" is a spiritual journey through several contorted bodily positions, plus a voice of wisdom from a faraway land of the free and home of the brave. 

Part Four: Cat Pose

You don't need to be angry to arch your back. You don't need to smell the scent of some invader's urine or come home to find some stupid human has bought the wrong cat food again.

No, just let your back lift itself up because that's where it wants to be. And let your head hang down, down, because that's where it wants to be. Don't you wish you could walk into meetings this way? In your mind's eye, you can. Go back to your last meeting in cat pose. Watch yourself shift abruptly into cobra pose--then back out. Into cobra pose again!--and back out.

In cat pose, you are at once above everything and disconnected from everything. Keep your back high, your head low. Breath in or out when you want to. You're a cat. You don't need permission for anything.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Life's Little Yoga Instruction Book (part three)

"Life's Little Yoga Instruction Book" is a spiritual journey through several contorted bodily positions, plus a voice of wisdom from a faraway land where mom is not someone to mess with.

Part Three: Warrior Pose 

Breath in. Extend your arms. Reach forward and backward at the same time. This is what I expect of you, because this is like people expect of you all the time. Reach backward. Reach forward. Get out of my way, I'm driving too fast while I talk on a cell phone and I haven't been watching for my exit. Slow down: no, speed up! Look ashamed when I honk my horn at you! Look ashamed!

Now breathe out. In yoga, we find peace. If you feel at peace, if you feel centered in your own spirit, you are ready to go out into the great bumper car race with other spirits that is life. This world is like an amusement park. It costs too much, it's crowded, you spend most of your time standing in line.

So you have to learn a certain dignity. Breathe in. Soon it will be time to speak from your chest, and say the mantra my mother taught me when I was young and she took me shopping to the market. Let the air rush through you as you repeat after me:

Real price kya hai?!? Discount? Discount? 

Now breathe out. That was great. That brings back memories. When I go home, I'm going to get on the phone to customer service. I'm going to talk to them like mom would, make them wish they'd never been born.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Life's Little Yoga Instruction Book (part two)

"Life's Little Yoga Instruction Book" is a spiritual journey through several contorted bodily positions, plus a voice of wisdom from a faraway land where most of the streets have no names.

Part Two: Downward Dog

Why are you going into this pose? Get up! You are not a dog. You are better than a dog. You been to India? Take a close look at some street dog next time you go. Mangy skin, matted hair, full of fleas. Tell yourself this: I am part of the universe, but not that part. Never that part.
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