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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sort of Political, Sort of

One of the major cultural differences between the French and the United Statesians [sic] is what subjects are considered taboo. One of the things that I love about le francais is that you can openly ask what someone pays in rent, what their political beliefs are, and in some instances, how much their salary is without any weird vibes coming out of nowhere or the feeling that an argument may be lurking just around the corner. I think one of the main reasons that it's ok to talk about political views is that the French recognize that politics is a spectrum, with the vast majority of people falling somewhere in the middle. Since everyone falls in a gray area, it's acceptable to clarify where exactly everyone stands in a rational way without the words "no fuck YOUR mother" ever coming into play.

The US of A, on the other hand, really struggles to compartmentalize opinions. You're either liberal or conservative, feminist or chauvinist, Huffington supporter or O'Reilly lover, and while there are voices of reason out there, all too often they're overshadowed by crazy, irrational jerks. What I particularly love to see is when one side goes so far to the extreme that they actually garner support for their opponent (i.e. people who compare Bush to Hitler...wtf?). Today while doing research I came across The Largest Set of Liberal-Baiting Merchandise on the Net. You don't even have to click that link to know that it's going to be ridiculous. This piece is probably my favorite:

not only because it disses any and everyone who speaks Arabic but also because it comes in baby bib and dog t-shirt form, the two best mediums for spreading a message like this. I like the picture above because a polo shirt is versatile and can go anywhere you want to offend an enormous chunk of the population. Other personal favorites include this bumper sticker:Who knew grand-children was hyphenated?

Double click on that and you'll find a trucker hat featuring Kerry on the flag of the Jolly Roger wearing an eye patch above a pirate cross of potentially poisoned catsup bottles. I feel like that's the kind of thing I would see if I did acid.

And finally:

I have always thought that tolerance is for pussies.


My main concern with this crap isn't really that it goes against what I believe, but rather that it doesn't even make sense. I have no idea why you would ever ask someone about their CONSERVATIVE grand-children or how a correlation between John Kerry and pirates exists. I cannot imagine that this stuff appeals to anyone, much like this shirt from the other side, found here:

What does that even mean? Am I not supposed to bag my groceries because the triceratops is extinct? Why does the person modeling this shirt have such a veiny arm? Is it because he pays homage to the Mesozoic era by refusing both paper and plastic? I'm so bewildered.

Or these shirts, found here:

Who thought this was a good idea? Why does Rumsfeld look like he's about to touch boobies? Where did they get that enormous gun? I mean, that's like comically big. I imagine that whoever drew this works at rodeos and has the unique ability to catch pies in his/her pants.

Or this:
Is this a lesson in anatomy? Or perhaps chiaroscuro drawing? Why is Jesus so pixilated? Would Jesus use a dot matrix printer? Is that what I'm supposed to understand from this picture?

As my grandmother once said, "Nobody likes a truckload of nonsense." I wish I had that on a t-shirt.

6 Comments:

At 12:28 PM, Blogger muse said...

"it's acceptable to clarify where exactly everyone stands in a rational way without the words "no fuck YOUR mother" ever coming into play."

ROTFLMAO!!!

I love your writing style and your outlook on things! LOL

It's so true (what you wrote), though. Why is conversation such a perilous endeavour?

I met a guy who said that he was raising his daughters to be smart, strong, equal to anyone, yet not feminists.

I could have gone on a diatribe (how dare you put down feminists, blablabla), but instead I simply asked "Could this be a question of definitions? Here is what _I_ mean by feminism - equal rights, equal responsibilities towards society -... what do _you_ mean?" And we found out that indeed, it was merely a question of semantics, and had a nice chat.

The whole clear-cut Us Vs. Them thing is so ridiculous. In certain (well, most) ways, I'm very liberal/socialist. In certain other ways, I'm closer to a "center" point of view. I'm full of nuances, and I presume that most other people are too... no?

There is some common ground to be found with most people. Simply dismissing a whole category of people because of a rigid label just seems like a waste (of opportunities for learning, growth, or at least a decent conversation now and then).

But anyhoo. You put it so much better! Thanks! ;)

 
At 1:10 PM, Anonymous MonoCerdo said...

I bet Jesus would use a dot-matrix printer. Jesus is old skool. Just ask his CONSERVATIVE grand-children.

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Smoove D said...

This whole country is a truck load of nonsense.

 
At 4:32 PM, Anonymous grammar monster said...

This is the blog for which I am looking!

 
At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, that Polo shirt might only be clever in an A&F way, but I would wear it were I not too cheap to buy it, nor too stupid to steal off the internet.
"it's funny because it's true" - anyone wearing that shirt is probably an infidel, in some sense.

grandchildren should not be. www.vhemt.org

pirates are people who commit crimes at sea. they are tried by congress, not in a court of law. If kerry was a war hero in america... he probably commiited some crimes from another country's point of view. makes good ketchup though.
mmmmmmm acid. reminds me of calculus class. the snozberries do in fact taste like snozberries. (tautology)

i did hear "i am intolerant of intolerant people" which is delicious.

enormous gun... touching boobies? no idea. sounds like a master p video.

 
At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Recently, I introduced an American friend to a British friend the other night and she (the American) said "Hi I'm Beth, sorry about Bush". The British guy was not only taken aback, but asked me later why on Earth she said that. I explained that I think it's because we (Americans) get so much abuse these days about our president that she was avoiding any potential confrontation by stating her side straight away. He honestly couldn't believe that anyone would be so sensitive about their nationality that they would apologize for their country in the first 3 seconds of conversation!

I agree wholeheartedly. Unsolicited political comments of any sort are incredibly boring and make people uncomfortable so views should only be posited when asked. Then, if there's any disagreement, well - they asked... Most people don't give a crap what other people think about politics and it's awfully naive and vain to assume that they do!

However, I must disagree that there's any harm in the goods mentioned above - by all means let those who want to badge themselves so readily do so. It will make it easier for me to avoid them!

 

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