Monthly Archives: September 2011
A few weeks back this latest entry into the Hit Parade of bad ideas hit the net. It seems JC Penney’s buyer thought carrying a shirt in its on-line store that said “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother does it for me.” was cute or funny or true. I think it is a sign of what is wrong with our culture. Penney’s pulled the shirt after a well deserved avalanche of emails expressing displeasure over the sexist garment.
But we all know when you cut the head off the Hydra, two more grow back. Forever 21, that bastion of hoochie clothing, carried this shirt which proudly proclaimed the wearer to be “Allergic to Algebra”..
Well thank the Gods for whoever had the sense to tack this post-it to the shirt. It is a small, but meaningful way to rebel. This whole “dumb girl” trend reminds me of the talking Barbie Mattel carried years back. One of the phrases she would spout is “Math is hard.”
Now I’ve never been good at math. My brain just doesn’t work in a linear fashion however I did learn something important in High School. I learned I wasn’t stupid (as I thought for years and years after being called that by boys and teachers), my brain just worked differently.
I had a wonderful Pre-Algebra teacher as a Sophomore. He took the time to explain equations in different ways until I found one my brain could interpret correctly. Granted, my High School was on a mod system (like a college system) with an open campus, a different schedule each day, lecture halls and classes that were 30, 45 and 60 minutes long depending on the course. This allowed teachers to have posted office hours so kids could do homework during school and get extra help during school as well.
Society throws so many negative stereotypes at girls that it makes me gag. You need to look a certain way, have a certain color hair or a certain size breasts and don’t be too smart or boys will get all intimidated and not like you. These shirts aren’t funny, they are insulting. They aren’t carried in the boys/mens department, just the young women who are hit with the reinforcing message that they don’t have to be smart, just pretty. “Don’t worry about having a brain, you are just an ornament.”
Well what if you aren’t the kind of pretty that society says you should be? Why should women who have certain looks forgo education so that a man will “take care of them” instead of them learning to take care of themselves?
Most people know it is not OK to use racial, religious or ethnic slurs but it’s still OK to demean women, portray them as less than men and if someone points it out they are the one in the wrong. I’ve seen comments on various blogs saying the people who object to this have no sense of humor. Really? You know, I have a terrific sense of humor and this isn’t funny. I also don’t think that portraying men as emasculated worms for laughs is funny either.
I’m not a “bitch”, a “feminazi”, a “party-pooper” or a “fascist”. I am a woman. I am no better and no worse than a man. I am an intelligent individual who refuses to be the reflection of shallow society fashion. I am a woman. Deal with it.
Muni scares me. There, I said it. Aside from a school bus, I have only been on city buses a few times in my life. I would not have the slightest idea how much it costs, how it works, what a transfer is or If they even take physical money anymore. Perhaps they just take peanuts or crack.
What I do know is that MUNI is full of crazy people. MUNI also tends to run over pedestrians with increasing regularity. It is like a demented game of Frogger only with a 2 ton piece of metal and you trying to stay out of harms way when a MUNI bus drives by. Even being on the sidewalk doesn’t seem to count as a “safe zone”.
Since BART only skirts the bay, people need a way to get to other parts of the City. I was tricked onto MUNI by a friend and was in for an eye-opening experience. In addition to the law-abiding citizens on the bus, I saw a few gang-bangers having it out with some belligerent banger wanna-be’s at the stop on the sidewalk. OK, if THAT goes South, I’m not as concerned. I am concerned about the on-board fights, thefts, vandalism and of course, the crazies. I know, the crazies need transportation too but you have no way of knowing if they are harmless crazy or psychotic crazy.
Case in point, the Poodle Man of MUNI. I have no idea the name of the line I was on. I know it was over by the Metreon. I was on my way to see my friend Peanut and she brow-beat me into getting on the death bus since (a) I didn’t have my car, (b) my destination couldn’t be reached from BART and (c) it was way too far to walk.
This guy looked like he escaped from the mental ward, covered himself in as many cotton balls as he could find as a disguise and then went on a hunt for every dirty, stuffed poodle in the area. He tied them on his body, stuffed them into plastic garbage bags and into the pockets of his ratty coat. He would alternate between barking and talking to himself and others. He would proclaim in a booming voice, how Willie Brown put a chip in his head and now the aliens can track him. Why Willie Brown cared enough to chip him like a Bichon Frise is beyond me. He then started holding forth on how alien poodles can battle German Sheppards, grey aliens and Bruce Willis and win.
“OK, crazy dude. You need some meds. Badly. I feel sorry that you are left to wander the streets, without medication, food or a bed like a nice mental hospital could provide you with. I remember the time when then Governor Reagan cut the majority of mental health funding in the State. This resulted in the majority of the non-uber violent crazies being tossed out on the streets. The majority of these people migrated to Hollywood or San Francisco. They still do.
I started wondering where the Poodle Man got all the cotton balls or all the stuffed poodles. Obviously a flickering porch light of sanity still burns somewhere. He had to seek out and acquire specific types of stuffed dogs which shows the ability to form a plan and execute on it. Sure, it’s a bat-shit crazy plan but a plan none the less. At least he wasn’t violent. There are those kinds of crazies out there as well and I was without my mace or handy PVC knee-whackin’ pipe.
What would I like to see? I would like to see mentally ill people get the help they need in a safe, clean hospital. I would like to see violent criminals and crazies locked up in a cage. I would like the citizens of this City to be able to travel without fear of violence or death. But most of all I would like to see a death match between a miniature, alien poodle named Strawberry and Bruce Willis. I’m betting on the poodle.
I know, I know, I owe you a whack-a-doodle Wednesday post but I am buried. Buried in unpacking boxes, memorizing lines for a show, work and a few new writing projects. I don’t even have time to change my mind most of the time. Then I sat down to my laptop, decided to read the paper, which was really the Chronicle on-line and was diverted.
You see, my attention was grabbed with a headline that proclaimed the next “new thing”, a phenom called “Chubby Bunny”. I pictured obese rabbits, lounging in pastoral splendor but rabbits have nothing to do with this. It seems the point of this “game” (and I use that word loosely) is to see how many marshmallows you can stuff into your mouth and still say “Chubby Bunny”.
No, really, people do this. I’m not making this up! If you think the worst thing your kid can do is getting knocked up or selling crack, you have yet to meet the horrors of Chubby Bunny. Pay attention parents. It starts out all sweet and innocent and full of unicorn sparkles. Just picture a circle of cherub faced children sitting around with a big of marshmallows. One at a time each child pops a marshmallow into their mouth and says “Chubby Bunny”. Each time the bag is passed, you insert another marshmallow into your gob. If you can’t say “Chubby Bunny”, you are eliminated. If you chew or swallow the marshmallows, you are eliminated. If you regurgitate fluffy white marshmallow pieces on your friends, you are eliminated. Pretty innocuous, right?
It sure is until someone dies! Yup, there have been two verified Chubby Bunny fatalities. One was a 12-year-old girl named Casey who suffocated while playing this at an after-school fair. The game was suppose to be supervised but the teacher had stepped away before the start of the contest to speak with the janitor for 10 minutes. Kids being kids decided to start playing without him. Casey quickly choked on a marshmallow lodged in her throat. The other fatality was a grown woman, 32-year-old Janet. She was in a Chubby Bunny contest and suffocated in the same manner. Getting those sticky marshmallows stuck in your throat is a hazard.
Who would have thought that marshmallows could kill you? Me. This is how I figured this out. Peeps are evil. Peeps are made of processed marshmallows therefore marshmallows are evil. I just love the nonsensical, simplistic flow of my logic. It’s almost like a Michelle Bachmann rally. Hmmmm, I have an idea! “HEY Extreme Whack-A-Doodles! Ever heard of Chubby Bunny? It’s a wholesome game full of family values. You might want to give it a go at your next cross burning… I mean gathering!”
Why did this game even get started? Is it because the economy is in the toilet and we are in denial? Instead of standing on-line for government cheese, have we been driven to stuffing chemical-filled “food” into our mouths as a form of entertainment? If so, I weep for our country. We have way too much time on our hands.