Politics and the insanity we’re watching unfold on a daily basis don’t really get my blood pressure up unless it involves stuff like Confederate statues and de-platforming. It’s fascinating and often entertaining. Better yet, we’ve now got a movement.
Lots of us have gotten to know each other. So, we’ve got comradely get-togethers and that’s not something that’s going to go away. It’s way better on a Saturday than sportsball, endless commercials, and having to talk about vapid stuff like Game of Thrones. Compared to five years ago, it’s really quite an improvement that I’d never realized would happen. I feel great about what’s been accomplished thus far, and look forward to what lies ahead.
Yet, I’m still imbued with a certain rage. Some things that trigger it can probably be attributed to my own personal foibles. One of them are words. There are certain terms bandied about today that provoke visceral anger. They’re not leftist terms like “intersectional” or “owning a conversation” either. Those make me chuckle. Here’s the top of my list.
If this adjective is not being used to describe a collection at a museum, it should never, ever be employed. You do not “expertly curate” JZ’s streaming music service. I’ve even seen it used to describe the furniture installed at some gaudy mansion marketed to billionaires in LA. This made me hope that plot of Volcano, a movie I saw as a kid, would play out in real life. It was great. A volcano suddenly emerges in the middle of that vile city. Do the math. Terrific.
Well, I’ve got to deal with this one every time I go to the damn grocery store. I grow mint simply because it’s proven impossible to kill this plant. Everything else, I must purchase out of necessity. So, I can’t avoid trying to buy a loaf of bread or a pack of cheese without seeing this infuriating word plastered on everything. Are you a painter or sculptor? Perhaps you make woodcuts. OK, you’re an artist. Your work is indeed “artisanal”. Everyone else who labels it on their food product should be rounded up and put into labor facilities. Let’s call them “camps”.
On the subject of a grocery store, it’s often where I buy beer. There is no such thing as craft beer. Sewing sweaters is a craft. This does not apply to a business brewing beer according to a scientific process highly regulated by the government. “Craft” is a term often thrown at me in social situations by people with whom I’m desperately trying to get along. It takes every grain of my maturity, composure, and dissimulation to disguise my rage and the dark places to which I’m led.
I was having a “craft” beer with a good friend at an establishment he frequented. He mentioned to me that they could fill up a “growler” if I enjoyed this particular alcohol with some bizarre name like “Bret’s Ale Annihilation” with subtle hints of who-gives-a-shit. I’d spent years up to that point without a television set in a non-English speaking country. A what?- was my reply. He pointed to one. It was a jug. A simple fucking jug. Humans have been using these things since time immemorial. “So, it’s a jug, right?” was my retort. “No, it’s a growler”. Blinding fireballs of nuclear war, columns of desperate refugees, cannibalism. Such thoughts unraveled silently in my head.
This is somehow seen as a good marketing slogan. The worst instance I’ve observed was for Wendy’s ice cream. Why would anyone think that the obese, surly woman of color behind the counter plunging her diseased hand (40+ % have STDs) into a cold, sugary god-only-knows-what-chemicals-concoction makes this act a selling point for the substance? What do they expect? As my arm tingles and I slump to the floor in a confused panic, I’ll shout, “Call 911, but that hand-scoopin’ sure made it sooo good!”
Banal, blind Weimericans are tough to cope with. Yet, I trudge forward with unrelenting determination.