In this single Web page on Yahoo
, the casual surfer can find links to stories about Kraft planning to take the orange dye out of its macaroni and cheese and Hallmark omitting the word "gay" from its "Deck the Halls" Christmas sweater, replacing it with "fun" instead.
Both of these stories contain the seeds of fine posts. Personally, I think Kraft macaroni and cheese should be dyed a deeper orange, possibly matching the color of a safety cone, as a warning to anyone who eats it in the mistaken hope that it will taste good. Taking the word "gay" off your Christmas sweater now means that Christmas sweater enthusiasts can now wear them into biker bars without worrying about being bullied. Or possibly not.
But the headline is the main story here. Kanye West, whose ego was recently misidentified by the Hubble Space Telescope as an extrasolar planet, told Ryan Seacrest that he and his main squeeze, the extravagantly breasted Kim Kardashian, were a more influential couple than President Obama and the First Lady, and went further by criticizing Michelle Obama for not posting more pics of herself in a bathing suit on Instagram.
There's nothing this column enjoys more than a sober analysis buttressed by well-researched facts, so let's examine the Kanye claim below:
KANYE WEST VS. BARACK OBAMA
KANYE WEST--Thinking about having a fighter jet flyover at his upcoming wedding
OBAMA--Thinking about sending drones instead.
OBAMA--Killed Osama bin Laden, overthrew Qaddafi, kicked Mitt Romney's ass.
KANYE WEST--Took out Taylor Swift.
ADVANTAGE--At first glance, Obama, but let's face it--he had Seal Team Six on his side. West went after Taylor Swift alone and unarmed, even though everybody knows those country girls can really throw down. Even.
MOST OUTLANDISH CLAIM MADE BY KANYE WEST--"I am god."
MOST OUTLANDISH CLAIM MADE BY BARACK OBAMA--"Yes we can."
ADVANTAGE--No evidence for either. Even.
MOST EGREGIOUS FAILURE BY BOTH MEN:
ADVANTAGE--Even, and it goes to show Obamacare wouldn't be doing any better if it was delivered by truck.
THING EACH MAN HAS DONE THAT EVERY BOY DREAMS OF DOING:
OBAMA--Became President of the United States
KANYE WEST--Screwed Beyonce
KIM KARDASHIAN VS. MICHELLE OBAMA
M.OBAMA--Concerned about nourishing all of the children in America
K. Kardashian--Built like she's capable of nourishing all the children in America.
ADVANTAGE--Kardashian. A clear example of walking the walk instead of merely talking the talk
K. KARDASHIAN--Contents of clothes closet worth more than most people's houses.
M. OBAMA--Same here
K. KARDASHIAN--Lives in splendor and has her face constantly on TV.
K. KARDASHIAN--Has child named after compass point.
K. KARDASHIAN--Instagrams pictures of her ass to the world.
M. OBAMA--Feelings on subject of flashing fanny to globe unknown.
M. OBAMA--Graduate of Harvard Law School
K. KARDASHIAN--High school grad. Skipped college to become professional shopper.
ADVANTAGE--Obama, grudgingly. I mean, what's really better-some musty old degree or having unlimited credit since you were fourteen?
CONCLUSION--West's claim proves surprisingly robust even under this intense scrutiny. What did you expect? He's a god. He's a god. He's a god. Yeesus.
Don't feel like leaving her a tip? Here's what to say
A couple in Kansas City recently left their waiter the following note
instead of the customary tip, thereby saving themselves a thrifty 20% off the normal cost of dining out: “Thank you for your service, it was excellent," the customers had written. "That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours.
The customers continued: "We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for fags. May GOD have mercy on you.”
That's fine, but what if you want to save yourself a costly tip and your server turns out not to be gay? This can happen, even here in San Diego, which prides itself on being the City of America's Finest Gay Waiters. This column is rushing to your assistance. Here are some sample notes to leave to hetero servers you wish to leave bitter, uncompensated and infuriated:
AT A HOOTERS OR A TILTED KILT: "Your courteous attention to my need for seven cold pale ales and your bemused tolerance for my subsequent order of 'a plate of loaded nachos the size of a Smart Car tire' is duly noted. However, I cannot leave you a tip because of your breasts. They are twin globes of surreal magnificence, flawless tempting orbs of unblemished complexion and truly notable size. That's why I've been staring at them for the last two hours like they had next Saturday's winning Powerball numbers printed on their creamy, heaving perfection. Unfortunately, my date has noticed my obsession with the allure of your mammaries, and informs me that if I leave you so much as the clump of pocket lint stuck in my key chain, I will not be on the receiving end of any nookie for possibly forever. Sorry."
AT A SPORTS BAR: "I got to admit, bro, that you took care of me while I was sitting at your bar. My glass was never empty. When I decided to buy a round of shots for those girls from the secretarial pool, you served them promptly and pointed to me as their benefactor as any good barkeep should. I didn't blame you when they sneered at my advances five minutes later, nor do I dispute your analysis that they might find someone younger, better-looking, richer and somewhat soberer more attractive than me. However, you are wearing the emblem of a professional football team that I hate. Admittedly, all professional football teams are composed of egotistical mercenaries who could beat me into pudding, and there's no rational reason to prefer one gang of overpaid thugs over another, but I can't help it. If I left you a buck you would probably buy another Raiders jersey with it. Screw you."
AT A MEXICAN RESTAURANT: "Senor, I have never had more obsequious service. You served up the cervezas icy cold and the fajitas sizzling hot. You radiate Hispanic hospitality and your apron smells most pleasantly of cilantro. However, I heard you speaking Spanish to the busboy. This is America, Senor, and we speak English. It is bad enough to have to endure listening to 'Por Espanol, marca el numero dos' every time you call the drugstore or to see the Walmart smiley face guy speaking Spanish when you go there to buy a pup tent or some towels, but when I am paying good money for a restaurant meal, I expect to be served entirely in English. I appreciate your having pictures of the food on the menu so I can point to them so I don't comically mispronounce their names, which would give you and your busboy something else to chuckle about in a language I don't understand, but that's not enough. You want a tip? Go play in a mariachi band. At least we expect them to sing in Spanish. Adios, pal."
Republican white guys--As bad as they wanna be
An official of the North Carolina Republican party was forced to resign
after appearing on the Daily Show to complain about "lazy blacks who want the government to give them everything" and reminisce fondly about the days of his youth, when it was common practice for his community to pronounce the then-acceptable term for blacks as "Nigros."
I called veteran GOP political operative Joe Redstate and asked him if that meant the Republican party was making an effort to purge itself of racists.
"Not necessary," he said. "That guy in North Carolina was the last one." You sure about that, Joe? What about notorious Republican nitwit Joe the Plumber? Just the other day, he said that what America needed was a white Republican President again.
"Sure, but my fellow Republican and fellow Joe made up for it by tweeting a picture of a burning cross
that formed the last letter in the word 'Democrat,' thus proving that Democrats are the real racists." What about the white President crack?
"Saying you want a white President just means you have a color preference for President. If I said I wanted a white car, would that make me racist?" Joe, that's not the same thing at all. What about the Republican House caucus that just shut down the government? It's overwhelmingly old white guys. Where are the black Republicans?
"It's true the House Republicans are all old white guys, but they are funky
old white guys. The whole government shutdown thing happened when the House GOP was getting crunk one Saturday afternoon with our party poodles,Michele Bachmann
and Marsha Blackburn
. Paul Ryan was on his second 40-ouncer when he jumped up on his desk and started twerking while he hollered 'We are gonna shut this government DOWN, bitches!' over and over again. The whole thing kind of steamrollered from there." It never seemed like a good idea.
"Yeah, but Republican homies are just a bunch of bangers and ballers at heart. When the House Party turns into a house party
, anything can happen, dog." You do sound different, Joe.
"Now that we kicked the last racist out of the party, we feelin' the love that's gonna start pushing our way from blacks and Mexicans." You sure about that, Joe? Last time I looked, you guys hadn't done anything about immigration and were tightening up the voting laws. And the reason you have all those seats in Congress is that you gerrymandered all the minorities out of your Congressional districts.
"Minorities are welcome in our districts, especially famous and wealthy ones. Republicans let blacks like Denzel Washington
and Mexicans like Sofia Vergara into our homes every time we switch on the TV. Don't call us racist." Sofia Vergara is Colombian, Joe
"So what? Isn't that part of Mexico? Have you checked out the funbags on her
, by the way? I mean, if all Hispanics looked like that, let 'em be bilingual all they want is what I say." She is a very attractive woman, Joe.
"Say it like a good, non-racist Republican would say it, broheem. She be one smokin' hoochie."
A news item, which appeared under the headline "First Homosexual Caveman Found." The male body – said to date back to between 2900-2500BC – was discovered buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age.
The skeleton was found in a Prague suburb in the Czech Republic with its head pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic jugs, rituals only previously seen in female graves.
"From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake," said lead archaeologist Kamila Remisova Vesinova.
"Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual," she added. A Neolithic afternoon. Booga, a cave husband, has something to say to his wife, Ooga. Ooga, who is doing some cavehold chores, has her back to him as he enters the dwelling. He throws a spray of gravel at her to get her attention. Ooga, who knows that that Booga would have lobbed a full-size rock or perhaps a flaming log at her back if he had been feeling his usual affectionate self, turns around with a look of concern on her face. OOGA
: What wrong, husband? BOOGA
: It about our boy. Chooga. OOGA:
He good boy. Always help around cave. BOOGA
: (Furrowing his massive brow) Oooga, there something different about that boy. OOGA
: Him always sing. Him always dance. Him always gay. BOOGA
: Let's focus on that. Booga take boy mammoth hunt. First we do mammoth hunt dance. Jump up, hit own head with spear. Chooga says dance stupid. Wants us to learn new dance. Now before hunt, we have to do Electric Slide. OOGA
: Is good dance? BOOGA
: I like old dance! Booga the best at old dance. No one jump higher! No one hit own head with spear harder! Then we go mammoth hunt. Chooga lag. I say, "Boy, mammoth not going to stick spear into itself." Him look at me funny. Him say he looking for different career path. OOGA
: Shh! Boy coming!
(CHOOGA enters. He is a stylish young caveman. Unlike the others, he has wrapped fur around his feet) BOOGA
: What matter with your feet, boy? CHOOGA
: Aren't they fabulous? I call them shoes. Someday, everyone will wear them. The best people will have a closet full of them. BOOGA
: (Scowling) What mean best? OOGA
: (Intrigued) What mean closet? CHOOGA
: Something to keep yourself and your shoes in. But no more! Mama, Papa, there's no place for me here! I'm off! To the Village! OOGA
: What village?
CHOOGA: The one by the river. Although bathing hasn't been invented yet, the guys down there must at least fall in accidentally once in a while. The trouble with the guys in this tribe is their stench. And you're the worst, Papa. BOOGA
: I need hit you with rock, boy. OOGA:
(Taking BOOGA by the arm) No, him right. BOOGA
: (Defensively) Me work hard hunting and gathering! CHOOGA
: It's not just you, Papa. It's this fur you always wear. When was the last time you had it dry-cleaned? And you should refrigerate it in the summer. BOOGA
: What summer? For Cave God's sake, this Ice Age! CHOOGA
: That's no excuse. I'm off! So much to invent besides shoes! The well-trimmed mustache! Brunch! The runway! The catwalk! So many fashion lapses to correct before my low-life-expectancy runs out! Queer Eye for the Cave Guy! (He is shouting enthusiastically as he vanishes out the cave entrance) BOOGA
: Well, that's that. OOGA
: Where did we go wrong? BOOGA
: Your fault. I told you not to put that extra letter in his name.
My Significant Other decided we were going to a dive bar last weekend. She has a PhD and so is naturally drawn to seedy gin mills. I spent a large part of my wasted younger years working in one dive bar after another and never really felt the urge to return to one after I changed careers. Whenever I walk into a joint and see a typical dive bar crowd of unwashed tweakers, brain-dead alcoholics and bar-band groupies, I think to myself "I'm not getting paid to hang around with these people anymore. Why am I here?"
My special lady threw on a denim skirt of significant shortness in which she looks very good, so good that it is not even necessary to add "for her age,' at the end of that phrase. We don't talk about her age, because of her professed hatred for the term "middle-aged." I cling to the term myself, since not only has my sweet bird of youth long flown, but my plump pigeon of middle age is edging towards the exit as well, and it won't be too many calendar years before I can look back on my middle era nostalgically.
So we'll just say she was born in the sixties and leave it there. She tucked a tight tankish-looking top into the skirt. That clothes item barely concealed her breasts, giving her that when-worlds-collide décolletage that we guys like so much.
We were headed to Dirk's in Lemon Grove. We decided to pick a spot to eat when we got there. If you go to Lemon Grove, a municipality which features a giant sculpted lemon at one end of town with the municipal boast "The Best Climate on Earth" printed on it, don't make this mistake. I suppose they could have put "The Only Town on the Planet That Has a Mexican Restaurant That Closes at Eight O'Clock on a Saturday Night" on the giant lemon, as a fair warning to tourists, but that is a trifle long-winded.
So after some pretty indifferent Chinese food we were standing on Broadway, the main drag in LG, while one of us had a smoke. A well-dressed black woman, not much younger than us, approached because her car was parked next to ours. She seemed unnecessarily apprehensive. My S. O., who loves to make small talk with strangers, said "I like the headlights on your car."
Her car was a Lexus-ish looking thing with those kind of intricate, high-tech headlights that look really cool and you as a car owner are proud of until one gets broken and you find out it costs $800 to replace it.
She said "Thank you," in a nervous way. When she had gotten her door open and had slipped safely behind the wheel, she looked directly at my date and said "Don't work too hard."
I knew right away that my girl and I had been completely misjudged. My suspicions were confirmed when I spotted an actual hooker hovering about sixty feet away. We had accidentally picked the block where the professional ladies of Lemon Grove worked their trade to have dinner.
My special lady did not say anything at first, and I wasn't going to press the issue, for fear of being ordered to pursue the black woman in the Lexus so we could correct her. My girl can be a stickler for accuracy. We went down to Dirk's without mentioning it.
The band at Dirk's was the Farmers, who are the remnants of the Beat Farmers, who flirted with fame until the untimely death of their lead singer and guiding force, "Country Dick" Montana,
in 1995. They still play many of the songs from his sardonic lexicon, which includes tunes like "Gun Sale at the Church," "East County Woman,"
and "Lakeside Trailer Park."
That's why I like them.
The crowd was another matter. Lemon Grove is located in inland San Diego County, where the cowboys meet the surfers meet the Vietnamese refugees. Colorful is not nearly an adequate enough term to describe them. Most of them were older than us, or had at least acquired a crystal meth habit that made them look that way. Dimpled thighs and drooping breasts did not keep the women from squeezing into micro-minis and halter tops, nor did round little bellies and flat asses keep the guys from wearing too-tight shirts and jeans.
You could get inspiration for at least two seasons of "What Not to Wear" just from the people on the dance floor. My favorite was a man in his seventies with a knee brace on one leg and an ankle brace on the other. He was limping onto the floor for every song, twitching his shoulders rhythmically. I have never seen a truer hero of dance.
After we had ordered our drinks, my girl said "You know that lady back there thought I was a hooker, don't you?" in a tone that made it clear she was not offended by the error at all. Far from it. It was apparent that she was inordinately proud of it.
I nodded. I had been mistaken for her john, which wasn't nearly so much of a compliment, but why trash her high? If the bottom fell out of the market for college professors, she at least knew that she could lure random men into shady places for furtive sex as a career alternative. She smoothed out the skirt of shame as she gazed contentedly at the crowd. Suddenly a thought occurred to her.
"What if the cops thought I was a hooker?"
I looked at all the exposed, middle-aged girl flesh bumping and grinding on the dance floor. "No chance of that," I said. "The cops would have known right away you were just going to Dirks."
Lying amidst rubble in my skivvies? Where do I sign up?
I just had a book published and could use some publicity. I look for inspiration to the Queen of Buzz, Miley Cyrus. For those of you just emerging from the Amazon jungle after a plane crash and a decade or so spent living with a Stone Age tribe in order to survive, a little background. Miley started out as a teenager on the Disney Channel, inspiring girls with dreams of stardom and pedophiles alike by springing about dressed like a perky little prostitute,
singing songs mass-produced by Disney flacks and forcing people to remember her father, who was a one-hit wonder in the country-western market in the '80's.
Other little girls have followed the same route to notoriety, only to end up having to go into rehab or get photographed in actual acts of child abuse in order to get on the front pages of the Internet. Not Miley. I cannot remember a day in recent months that her tongue has not stuck out from the first page of AOL or Yahoo! Portals even fluffier carry a dozen Miley stories, generally short on prose and long on skin, every day.
Needless to say, I ache for this kind of notoriety. I resolve to live my day the Miley way.
I go topless. Everywhere. Mostly people don't pay attention, since I live in San Diego, the City of Bare-Chested Joggers. The people at that funeral I attended seemed disturbed, and for that I apologize. They should realize that it was the only event I had actually been invited to that day.
I twerk. Vigorously. After a few minutes, everybody watching me twerk urges me to stop, except for my chiropractor.
I try to buy some flesh-colored, skin tight two-piece dance outfits to wear at an awards show. The man at the store could have just said they didn't make them in my size. He didn't have to add, "For aesthetic reasons."
I leave my tongue hanging out of my mouth constantly. People try to force me into ambulances, on the assumption I am having a stroke.
Swinging naked on a wrecking ball makes me realize that Miley and I have different equipment where the gigantic, very cold chain meets the groin. I feel pinched, to say the least.
I lick a sledgehammer. Just once. That's plenty.
I fire off a couple of nasty tweets to Sinead O'Conner, but when she replies, we start comparing notes on the best way to shave our heads.
I end up home, popping open a cold ale like any other day. I realize that in order to live Miley, you have to be Miley. But I'm not discouraged.
Maybe Rolling Stone will call anyway.
The Udens don't look this good. But they don't just kill people in movies.
Most couples have simple things in common like taking long walks, going to movies, and enjoying sunsets. But police say Gerald and Alice Uden had one extra thing in common: spousal homicide.
The Udens had been living in rural Missouri since the early 1980s, and neighbors said they were a friendly couple and lived a quiet life. “They’re the kind of neighbors you leaned over the fence and talked about your chickens with,” neighbor Allen Bishop told KSPR-TV. But it turns out they harbored a shocking secret: according to police, the couple killed their ex-spouses and had been hiding out in a remote location for years...from Time Magazine .
What the cops aren't saying about this fun couple is whether they were involved in killing each other's spouses or they just found each other and discovered they had mutual homicidal tendencies. Since the Mrs. sent her then-hubbie to his eternal reward in 1974, and it wasn't until 1980 that the Mr. decided one wife was one too many, it seems likely that each had already dispatched a life partner before they even met and found connubial satisfaction together.
I mean, it's one thing to discover you favor the same TV shows or brand of mouthwash, but to find out that each of you had a soul-rotting secret that would destroy your future together if the cops ever found out—well, that's bedrock for marital bliss. Imagine the Udens, in the rosy glow of their hideaway home in Missouri, where they were eventually arrested after many years of contented cohabitation, discussing their first date: HE
: Well, it's been thirty years now, Snugglebottom. Do you remember when we met? SHE
: Oh, so well, Sweetums. But how fate turns! HE
: If I hadn't had that flat tire... SHE
: I would never have opened my trunk to lend you my jack. HE
: And we wouldn't have discovered that we each carried a bag of quicklime and a sturdy shovel at all times! SHE
: Then the floodgates really opened. We discovered we had so many likes and dislikes in common! HE
: Yes. I remember telling you how much I like people shutting up when I ask them to. SHE
: Yes, and when I said I like walking alone in the woods until I found a remote location with soft, spongy soil, you should have seen the twinkle in your eyes! HE
: And we both disliked the same things, too. Persistent investigators, paper trails, latent DNA evidence... SHE
: Don't forget extradition laws! And corpse dogs! HE
: When I said I hated both good cops and
bad cops, you just smiled. SHE
: That's when I knew. (They move closer together. Their lips are almost touching. Suddenly, there is an abrupt knocking at the door
: (Alarmed) Do you think...? HE
: Naw. Probably just the neighbors wanting to talk about their damn chickens again.
I am traveling in Baja Sur with my Significant Other. I constantly tell her how safe this area of Mexico is, safer probably than being back in San Diego. Usually she believes me, but as we ambled down the Calle Domingo in Los Barriles the other day, she pointed out that all of the properties on the street were gated. Even empty lots were fenced in by barbed wire.
“If it's so safe, why is everything so fenced in and locked up?” she said.
I didn't have an answer. I said something generic, like, “Well, there's problems everywhere,” and changed the subject. Later that night, and I mean much later, when we were finishing off all my cervezas Pacifico on the balcony of our hotel while hanging out with a cowboy turned commercial fisherman from Humboldt County, who was sharing some entertaining tales from his work at sea and his abused childhood, we spotted the criminal culprit of Los Barriles stampeding down the calle.
It was a cow. It was easy to see the beast had mischief on her mind. If it weren't for the barbed wire and the cattle guards (which I had noticed earlier, but had thought that they were a vestige from an earlier, more bucolic Los Barriles, but apparently the town is still as bucolic as it wants to be) she'd be hopping in everybody's front yard , chomping on everything from weeds to potted flowers to carefully planted vegetables.
I noted that while we Americans often fence in our livestock to keep them from roaming wherever, the Mexican practice is to let them roam wherever, but fence in the places you don't want them to roam. This isn't necessarily a defective practice. It takes less fence.
My S.O. told a tale from her summer ranching in Oregon. One of the cows in her charge learned to tiptoe over the cattle guard at her place of employment. As soon as the rancher observed this, he cursed and said he'd have to sell that beast, because one the cow learned how to get past the cattle guard, she would not only keep doing so, but would teach the other cows how to as well.
This sort of reverse Darwinism, culling the most intelligent members of the herd and its natural leaders as well, is fine for cows, but we should probably refrain from doing it ourselves. Often we can't resist, however, and pick our leaders from the thick-skinned and loud-mouthed, who trip over themselves to tell us what we want to hear. "Why would you want to go over the cattle guard?" is what these guys would say, if they were cows. "We're the best herd in the best pasture. Those other cows out there could be dangerous. They don't moo our language. What we need is a bigger, better cattle guard to keep them out."
"That makes sense," we say to ourselves, as we huddle with the rest of the herd. "They're right about us being the best cows, so they must be right about those other cows." So we get rounded up and milked for tax money by politicians who think like cows in favor of cattle guards, instead of finding the leaders who can help us step carefully over the barriers of the unknowable future.
But if you want to learn to step carefully on your own, a good place to practice is Los Barriles.
Possible VP nominee in the giant HDTV age
A few months ago my Significant Other bought a gigantic HD TV. The thing is seriously, almost as big as a hockey goal. It dominates the living room like cheese dominates the American sandwich menu, rectangular and omnipresent. When it is turned off, it resembles nothing so much as the monolith from 2001—A Space Odyssey. When it is on, it plunges you into the world of giant HDTV whether you want to go there or not.
The first thing you notice about giant HDTV is that most television shows are still made for regular TV, or at least regular HDTV. In giant HDTV, for example, it is quite easy to see the pale pink guy lipstick that all action heroes wear. Elaborately fake wounds or painted-on black eyes look like elaborately fake wounds or painted-on black eyes, not like real injuries. That handsome news anchor is revealed as a scary old guy with dyed hair, his browned face crevassed with the wrinkles caused by years of maintaining his made-for-the-camera tan. On regular TV, he only looks old enough to be the perky weathergirl's father. On giant HDTV, he looks old enough to be her much more remote ancestor, possibly risen from the grave, not for zombie or horror purposes but just to segue over to her chirping about an approaching cold front.
And that chirpy weathergirl is skinny. Giant HDTV cameras, unlike regular TV cameras, do not add pounds. This is possibly the most startling thing about the technology, if you are used to watching regular TV. Men, those gorgeous TV bombshells , the objects of your faraway lusts, no longer make you think to yourself "My God, look at that unnaturally sumptuous creature who would inspire me to unrestrained, crazed desire if she were wearing that barely-there dress and standing next to me." Instead you'll be thinking "My God, girl, go get a sandwich, and don't forget the bacon and extra mayo." One of my S.O.'s favorite series features two female leads that I thought were two of the most attractive women on the screen, an opinion that I carefully concealed from her in the interests of household harmony. No danger of that now, as I realize the two of them put together weigh maybe 175 pounds.
Giant HDTV is no doubt the wave of the future, so we'll adjust. In some ways, it will be better. TV actresses will be able to eat more than a couple slices of cucumber a day. If guys want to wear lipstick, they'll have Matt Damon and Channing Tatum for role models. I predict, however, that it is going to turn politics upside down.
Ever since the popularization of TV, Presidential elections have generally gone to the better-looking candidate. The last Presidential contest between two fully bald guys was in 1956. In 1960, Kennedy's mane outshone Nixon's greased-down, receding locks. In '64, the ugly guy did win, but the loser had to wear huge glasses and threaten us with World War III in order to be defeated. In '68, the Dems found someone less attractive than Nixon and lost; in '72 they went back to a bald guy and were spanked again. In '76, they ran a candidate with a full head of hair and won. In '80, the desperate Republicans pulled out all the stops. They went full-blown B movie star and kept him in office through '88, when Bush One was fortunate enough to have the Democrats nominate Snoopy to run against him.
Not so in '92, when the elder Bush's yes-I'm-handsome-but-I-keep-my-testicles-in-a-trust-fund Waspiness was no match for the huggable serial womanizer from Arkansas who felt your pain, and possibly your breasts. Knowing they were doomed to lose, the Repubs nominated a Viagra spokesperson in '96.
At the turn of the century election, you couldn't say Bush was really better-looking than Gore but then you can't say he really won, either. Bush Junior tacked on victory 2 over our current, equine-faced Secretary of State. In '08, John McCain knew he was hopelessly outgunned, looks-wise, by the slick young black guy from Chicago who played hoops with his shirt off. He fought back valiantly, like you would expect from any war hero, by selecting as his VP nominee someone who looked snappy in a short skirt. Unfortunately for him, she didn't think very snappy in a long interview, so they lost. Mitt Romney had the edge in Obama in looks the last time around, but chose to go the Goldwater route of losing by consistently refusing to say anything that made sense.
Which brings us to the current day. These predictions are based on how the crop of candidates for 2016 appear on giant HDTV. Lipstick is obvious on HDTV, as I have pointed out. So are toupees. Good-bye, Rand Paul. People have pointed out that Ted Cruz looks like a weasel. He doesn't look any less weaselly in giant hi-def. He's out. Rick Perry may look attractively weather-worn on regular TV, but on giant HDTV it's easy to see those ravines in his cheeks are deep enough to have sagebrush growing in the shade at the bottom of them. Out.
HDTV doesn't add pounds, but it doesn't subtract enough to make Chris Christie the nominee. Your HDTV prediction for the Republican candidate in 2016—Marco Rubio!
That's bad news for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee. There's only so much plastic surgery you can have before you start looking like Joan Rivers and that's still not younger than Marco Rubio. Hillary's going to have to go McCain's way, and add some sex appeal at the bottom of the ticket.
I hear Channing Tatum's available.
This guy, like all guys, thinks he looks smooth.
The Style issue of the New Yorker got wadded into my mailbox last week, as it does once every year. This is never enjoyable for me. First, it means I will not get another magazine for two weeks, as the effort the New Yorker staff puts into birthing the Style issue means they get a week off afterwards to go drinking in Manhattan. Secondly, it means I can just read the opinion column and skip right to the movie reviews in the back, pausing only at the intervening pages if they have cartoons on them, so the magazine gives me much less than my usual two hours or so of entertainment.
This is because I don't care about style. I know enormous advances are made in style every day. If fashion were science, these leaps forward would probably be the equivalent of building a Chinese restaurant in orbit or being able to squeeze yourself a fresh cup of Higg's Bosons for breakfast, but they mean nothing to me. I'm a guy.
It's women that are in touch with fashion, even women that have just thrown on a pair of sweatpants, flip-flops and a Hello Kitty blouse so they can blend into the rest of the crowd at Wal-Mart. My girlfriend has a pair of shoes that cost as much as a low-end used car. I cannot tell the difference between them and the many other pairs of shoes she owns which, after wearing them out for the night, will result in her feet throbbing with so much pain she won't even consider having sex after we get home, but I am told there is a difference, even if only other women can tell what it is. Other women recognize the shoes and admire them, although I suspect that admiration, expressed or unexpressed, is often just a coded form of blood-curdling hatred, because the girls tend to roll that way.
On the other hand, we men don't need fashion because we think we look good already. This is a near-universal male hallucination. It is not confined to men who pretend that in this age of Google Glass that razors and scissors have yet to be invented or guys that wear shorts cut off so dramatically that the pockets hang out, exposing the outlines of their car keys, drug stash or spare bullets to the world, especially when they're sitting in a lawn chair. No, we all suffer from it. I'm no exception. On an average day, meaning I'm not going to a wedding or a funeral or pretending to work at my day job, I throw on a t-shirt with the name of the small Mexican fishing village where I wish I was instead of here printed on it, along with a plain pair of cargo shorts or jeans.
I avoid patterned pants because I don't wish to be mistaken for a golfer.
This 150 peso t-shirt serves the same function for me as the twelve-hundred dollar shoes do for my Significant Other. Other men who fish look at it and ask "You've been to Loreto?" I smugly reply yes, and they walk away as jealous as if they had found out I was a backstage bra adjuster for the Victoria's Secret models.
And I think I look fine. While my special lady, already an exquisite natural beauty, spends forty-five minutes on hair and makeup before we step out, I am free to flip idly through various college football games that I care nothing about on her monstrous HDTV. When she finally asks "Are you ready?" I begin my grooming chore, which consists of looking in the mirror to make sure I don't have any cilantro stuck to my teeth.
And I seldom do. I'm good to go.