Daily Archives: 25 Dec 2018

A Very Alpha Christmas

Alpha SantaAh, Christmas! There are many things I like about it. Well, two: giving presents and cooking. Really: if you are past the age of 30, Christmas really ought to be about giving. And for women, it mostly is. For men, well. You know men.

My Christmas

I just want to explain what my Christmases are like. I always go to my sister’s house. And the two of us cook and otherwise wait on all the men who sit on the couch and watch sports and other “reality” shows.

(Yes, I do know that I’m a man. But socially, I’m not. It’s strange that supposed alpha men who supposedly love women so much don’t want to spend time around them. But maybe it is just that they want them for sex and otherwise, they prefer to be around each other because they are culturally stunted and the source of 90 percent of all the pain in the world.)

Compromise

But in our coming and going, it might be nice to see, I don’t know, some Christmas shows. Maybe hear some Christmas music? I’m not that fond of either. But it is certainly better than yet another football game — yet another episode of Pawn Stars (AKA: the show where bottom feeders make money off desperate people).

The truth is, I don’t much care. What does matter is that there is no compromise. It is just assumed by the men that whatever they want to watch is what will be watched. And it is just assumed that they will be waited on.

Tolerance

Truly, I’m thinking that next year, my sister and I will get a hotel room. We’ll allow the the kids to come by and let the “alpha” males conquer Christmas. If pizza parlors are open on Christmas, they should have no problem. And it will give them more man time.

Anyway, Merry Christmas! Remember the reason for the season: learning extreme tolerance.

Afterword

Later, when everything calmed down, I went into the back bedroom and watched Family Feud with my great-nephew, Hector. He apparently enjoys it and I don’t mind watching it. Steve Harvey is genuinely funny and manages to mock the contestants in a way that doesn’t embarrass me. (I suffer greatly from pena ajena.)

Hector quickly fell asleep and I continued to read and watch the show. It was very peaceful — the way Christmas should be. In addition to this very pleasant time, I got to observe something very disturbing on Family Feud.

Watermelon Man

The question was, “Name something the same size as Steve Harvey’s head.” Bear in mind that Harvey is an African American. And the white contestant buzzed-in and answered, “Watermelon.”

I’m not saying that the contestant was actively racist. But such things are the result of living in a racist society. This is the main reason that I say everyone is racist. It is the same reason that everyone knew Reagan’s “welfare queen” was black (even though she wasn’t).[1] But the contestant’s answer wasn’t far from saying, “Friday chicken!”

Steve Harvey, of course, ignored the racial aspect of it and made a big deal out of the fact that his head — No one’s head! — is as big as a watermelon. It was very funny.

Indication of Broader Racism

But the amazing thing is “watermelon” was the #2 answer with one-quarter of respondents saying it. I had originally thought that the contestant was idiosyncratic. But no. People really do associate African Americans with watermelons.

That’s not a problem, of course. But it is indicative of the subconscious racism that people hold. And it does matter when employers choose whites with felony convictions over blacks with no criminal background.

Steve Harvey: Soother of White Fragility

As a result of this, I find it outrageous that the producers of Family Feud allowed that question through. It obviously required that Harvey do a 21st century minstrel act. The fact that he is a pro that handles casual racism in a way that doesn’t upset whites doesn’t really help matters.

So my first reaction was shock and horror. But Steve Harvey’s handling of it amused and calmed me (as it was meant to). But more reflection makes it even worse.

It was still better than dealing with my alpha family members. And Hector is very sweet — especially when he’s asleep!


[1] Giving Linda Taylor the moniker “welfare queen” (which Reagan popularized but didn’t invent) was not right. And it was even worse for Reagan to use her as an excuse to cut welfare. Taylor was simply a criminal. Using her as an example of a welfare recipient is like using a human trafficker who launders money through a credit union as an example of a bank customer.

Sorry on Christmas

Frank and Grumpy SquirrelSo this is Christmas. And what have you done? Yeah, we’re all thinking it so let’s just come out and say it: John Lennon was a dick.

I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life, but I never visited people way poorer than myself to hector them about how they’ve lived their lives.

As I recall, at the time of his death, he was worth roughly a hundred million dollars — enough money that he could have used $20 bills to wipe his ass for the rest of his life, even if he had lived to be old. But this is not what I want to talk about.

An Apology

I want to apologize for being a dick myself. A lot of people have supported this website for a long time. And I’ve really let it go. I don’t post much and I take forever to answer comments. But I’m trying to change that.

An Excuse or Explanation Depending on Whether You Like Me

This neglect is not due to any animus against the site or its readers. The truth is that for the last year and a half, I haven’t been doing well. I’ve never been suicidal, but if I had had the ability to simply not exist, I would have taken it.

Brain chemistry is a strange thing. It’s weird how the whole universe changes based on your brain chemistry.

“Suddenly Everything Seems So Easy”

I keep thinking about the film As Good as it Gets. In it, Greg Kinnear’s character was a successful artist who has been violently robbed. His whole life has fallen apart. And he is going to see his estranged parents to ask for money to get back on his feet. But he has a magical evening during which he begins to draw again. So he decides not to ask for money from his parents.

Jack Nicholson thinks this is crazy, “What are you talking about? You got real problems.”

And Kinnear replies, “I know. I’m a little bit nervous. Suddenly everything seems so easy.”

Universes of the Mind

This goes along with Ken Baldwin’s experience jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, “I saw my hands leave the bridge. I knew at that moment, that I really, really messed up. Everything could have been better, I could change things. And I was falling. I couldn’t change that.”

There are lots of cheap responses to this. “Wisdom comes to some suddenly.” Or: “Suicide is a long-term solution to a short-term problem.” But for Baldwin and Kevin Hines and countless others, it isn’t necessarily an irrational choice to take their lives.

It’s just that there are two universes that they are living in. One is filled with pain. The other hope. In general, I believe the universe of hope is the more objective one — at least for the vast majority of people.

Hope

By “hope” I’m not talking about the hope that your material situation will improve. I’m talking about the hope that continuing on is worth doing at all.

For the month of September, I billed less than a thousand dollars. That’s not sustainable. But I just couldn’t face work — not even my own work. That was a very bad month, but it’s been this way for roughly a year and a half.

November and December have been better financially. I’ve been working more here and on Psychotronic Review. And I’ve even had a major breakthrough on a play that has been stalled for the last year and a half.

I’m hoping to do a better job around here. The days of having things to say but just not being able to sit down and write them seem to have passed — at least for now.

Merry Evil Christmas

So after this depressing and self-indulgent post, let me wish you a happy whatever. Now go and watch Christmas Evil (AKA: You Better Watch Out). Christmas, art, slasher film. By today’s standards, it’s hardly violent at all. But it’s fascinating. John Waters says he always played it at his Christmas parties. You’ll see why: it’s also kind of a fetish film.

Ho ho ho! And now a song that would offend most people: