please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

My Photo
Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Trampling Out the Vintage Where the Grapes of Wrath are Stored

The Sci Fi channel is fond of running a "Twilight Zone" marathon, every Fourth of July. I appreciate this immensely, as I love that show and think it more than apropos that here, parenthetically, is what someone in programming has to say about America.
We laid here on the couch and watched it all day. After a while, it gets to you, and you start to see all things through a Twilight Zone lens. Outside, buncha fuckin' people blowin' shit up, and wandering around seeming to be contemplating violence. I have always held that the Fourth is a perfect day to commit a crime in America.

So, you could probably just get up on the roof of our house and see the fireworks at Fort Vancouver from here. They claim to be the largest fireworks display west of the Mississippi, for anyone who's counting. I don't know if this is true (I'd be very surprised if Vegas, say, didn't do it bigger), but I know from experience that one may see the damn thing from quite a ways away.

But I wanted to be in the middle of something big and weird, which is what you're supposed to do on the Fourth of July. There's that Red Lion on MLK that I've spoken of before that has a bar on its roof. Strangely, whenever I bring it up, nobody seems to have heard of it, which is too bad; it has a great view. From there, one may see not only the fireworks in Vancouver, but Oaks Park in Sellwood as well as the ones going on by the Blues Fest, downtown.
When I first encountered this particular bar, it was the Seventies and atop a hotel named The Cosmopolitan. The restaurant was then named Top O' The Cosmo, and was the first place I ever encountered the not-exactly-magical dish known as 'aspic'. Why the fuck anyone would eat clear, tasteless Jell-O and then assign it an enigmatic name like 'aspect', immediately confused me (and to a certain extent, still does).

Anyway, now it's a Red Lion, and the locals don't seem to know that it's there. Convention-goers staying at the hotel don't seem to register that there's a rooftop bar up there, either, and generally the place is empty.
The hyper-enthusiastic little guy at the front desk assured me, as of July Third, that although there was some sort of function in one of the banquet halls, the bar would be open to the public. This was not the case.

We found ourselves (with Riley and Miss Kitty in tow) amidst a crowd of people who only referred to themselves as Baby Boomers. There didn't seem to be any further descriptor attached to this designation ala "...Cat Fanciers", or "...Weight Watchers". Just a basic note about what general age category they fell into, and from there, you're on your own.
Just to add further savor to this already wonderful scenario, we (being from the wrong generation, and all) had to pay ten dollars a head to get in. It seemed to be some sort of dating event (and by that, I mean the romantic kind, not the chronological thing that they'd already done to themselves with their name), and the olds were a-shakin' it.

The ladies, we noted, did okay on the dance floor, and we further noted that men -of any age- just don't seem to know how to dance. Miss Kitty got asked to dance almost immediately, and later was told by a random gentleman that she was "constructed" well.
Looking around, I came to wonder if what we were really in the middle of was a grouping of Baby Boomer swingers. I dunno; knowing what I know of you folks, someone in this mob certainly has a sling hanging from a beam in their basement, or a "fun room" somewhere. "Who's got the coke, d'ya think?" I asked out loud, at one point.

When the fireworks finally began in Downtown, the bad novelty dance songs of recent decades theme came to a halt, and out comes the Sousa. But then...Lee Greenwood, and...Aw, fuckin' no!
"FUCK TOBY KEITH!" I was yelling toward the deejay. Thinking further about it, I yelled, "FUCK YOU, AND FUCK TOBY KEITH!" I'm sorry, but 'The Angry American' is just poison, and just has no place among the Boomers.
Well, or does it? I mean, these actually kind of struck me as Reagan Democrats, really; the kind of people who spook easy and will believe all manner of lies. In any case, for some reason, the next patriotic anthem selected by the audio technician was "Billie Jean".

And then today, on the Mercury's blog, there's a story in which this girl goes to the rodeo. There's a lot of that 'gee, there's people other than hipsters in Oregon' type generalization going on, and for the most part, it's pretty stupid. I always recommend getting out of the bubble that is Portland, and I guess that other people somehow manage to be surprised by the differences, when they do.
But things get fun in the comment section, when some guy who calls himself 'Which Way Did He Blow?' shows up and randomly starts harassing the author on what is completely another topic:

"It's good to see some of you guys getting out side of Portland so you can at least ‘check in’ with a few basic realities that are missing from your day to day “Multnomah County Marxist Utopia”. You know the globally warming world you exist in, where everyone rides bikes, marries whoever and whatever they want, all absolutes are blurred (yeah no more personal accountability or right or wrong!! Wahoo! ) and nothing anyone but President Bush does is ever wrong...they are simply misunderstood victims of intolerance and hate."

Well, good. And here I thought that we were gonna go all day without something really important being said. I've often heard gentlemen like this one say that it's the rest of us (people like me, say) who ostensibly won't shut up about sexuality. But in my experience, they seem to be the ones who are constantly bringing it up.
Also- I love how after all these years, you're still very likely to hear the word "Marxist" come out of the mouth of a conservative. No one else ever says it, but these guys can't get enough of it.

"If you could step away from your mind numbing tunnel vision on any issue that would tend to support absolutes in people’s daily lives, and you yourselves were able to be ‘tolerant’ of the majority’s views and if you had more ‘respect’ for the results handed down by the overwhelming majority of American’s, and were more ‘accepting’ of the fact that as American’s we have the right to NOT accept a lifestyle that the majority of us are repulsed by. Then your views would have more credibility and you would be better positioned to enact the changes you seek. Until you can live up to your own high ideals of tolerance and acceptance then it’s really very difficult to take any sermon (can I say that …) you are preaching week to week here seriously."

As the late Peter Jennings once said, "I mean, it's impolite to laugh, but..." If one just sat around critiquing the language alone (sentence structure, grammar, spelling) of every one of these that you find on the internet alone, you'd have fun to last you a lifetime. But that, of course, will make you one of those elitists who thinks you are better than others, and therefore not to be listened to.
So hey; I'll just deal with his retarded assertion here. Hey fucker: when you are disgusted by there being queers in the world, you are not being harmed in any tangible way. However, the passing of discriminatory laws and indeed, public beatings do harm said queers in a very tangible way. So you can stop implying that you are being discriminated against because a number of us fail to share your viewpoint. Lots of stupid people believe lots of stupid things.

Matter of fact, the founding fathers of this country seemed to have greatly mistrusted "the tyranny of the majority", so it seems they noticed that, too. So having lots of other people on your side is no defense, either.
Liberal pieties? Yeah, we got 'em. But just like on your side, we tend to dislike our deluded visionaries and zealots, too. It's just that there seems to be no room for rational debate anymore between those who see only black n' white and those who see nothin' but gray.

I think this is the way our country's always been, too: the absolutists versus those who actually examine things. And even better, the debate will always rage between those who feel that the asking of any questions whatsoever concerning this country is immediately wrong and those who feel that even the greatest society in the world will have problems, and why not fix them and thus be even greater, which implies the need for questions to be asked in the first place so you may identify the problem.
If you're anti-question, you're automatically an idiot in my book, but what do I know? I'm firmly in the minority on that one.

Oh, by the way, dude then goes down to the gay pride parade for some reason, and is shocked to see some guy fellating a blow up doll. He is duly shocked.
He actually put it like this:

"If that’s too frightening a prospect for you, then let me ask you this: I ran into the parade of homosexuals a few weekends ago and I was hoping you could tell me how I should interpret something I witnessed during the parade and how it can be viewed as a positive thing for furthering the “agenda” and bringing over new foot soldiers in your war against America. Here is what I saw:"

And then he talks about the dude with the doll. Are there just people in the world who enjoy rage? Moreover, should I also adopt the run-on sentence as my chosen form of communication? Would that change the minds of the sacrosanct (and stop using words like that one) majority?
Let's try it. It would have to begin with an assertion, like People like you who always hate everything, moving on to ...Fuck, I can't even do it.

Anyway, he was, as I say, responding to a pretty boring post about going to a rodeo. Not that he's like most people I've met which is to say dumb, loud and proud of it and feel at all times like they're under attack and therefore must ruin even the slightest of good times with ill-placed blather about something that matters to them only because they were told to feel that way by some money-grubbing shitbag who manipulates stupid people for a living.
Hmmm. Maybe I can construct a decent run-on sentence.

And of course, plenty of people said this, but..So why did you go to the pride parade? I think they're annoying, so I don't attend them. Hell; there's lots of gay people who do not attend pride parades, so what's your excuse?
He concludes by saying:

"Before you declare that I am a right wing religious whack job …please note that I am just a normal person, a father, a husband with no specific affiliation …just a working moral barometer and a good sense of right and wrong."

Gee, why would I think that you're a whack job? Maybe it's your showing up in a comment thread about a rodeo, blabbering about some guy blowing a doll?

In any case, generally I celebrate the Fourth by gobbling a bunch of hallucinogens and looking at the lights in the sky. Nowadays, you may find me watching a bunch of people in their fifties hitting on each other, then writing a screed against dumb shits. Happy birthday, baby America.



Post a Comment

<< Home