Thursday, February 25, 2010

No cussin', mo' 'tussin

The California Assembly has passed a resolution declaring the first week of March "Cuss Free Week." It's only a ceremonial resolution, so the Assembly continues its fine work of doing absolutely nothing and letting the state go to hell.

The obvious problem with this: California has enormous problems and the Assembly should probably be focused on those. But that's not my problem. My problem is the name: "Cuss Free Week?" It's not called cussing, it's called cursing. The word has always been "cursing." Are we, the citizens of California, children? No. Are we old men from Tennessee who lost their ability to pronounce the letter "R" in The War? Statistically, at least a few of us must be. You are great Americans. Thank you for your sacrifice. Anyway, the word "cussing" is a vile assault on the chastity of the good Lady English.

My next question: if the sponsor of this bill is handing out penalty jars, who's going to collect them? The state, I presume. And as we know from watching television and listening to frothing maniacs, the establishment of new revenue streams for failing governments is an evil tantamount to kitten rape. So I'd really like the tastefully-named Mr. Anthony Portantino to make his intentions clear vis-a-vis the jars. And who's supposed to collect The Governator's jar? Would he just empty it into his own pocket, or should he turn it in to the Treasury? Are there forms to fill out when making such a deposit? Don't the families with change jars at home need these forms? If they have their own private change jars which the parents of unruly children collect, is that a form of tax evasion? These questions need to be resolved! Ideally with hundreds of hours of pointless debate. The fact that I even need to raise these issues demonstrates how bush-league our state legislators are. I guarantee that the U.S. Congress would get at least 8 months of drawn-out debates, eye-rolling cable news sound bites and bitter recriminations out of this. Do better, California. With all the advancements in technology, civil engineering and social science you've provided the world, you should be able to push the envelope when it comes to legislative gridlock. Yes, we can.

Finally, I would like to address the supposed originator of this whole "Don't Cuss" business: "a Southern California teen whose creation of a "no cussing" school club sparked an international movement". Just what is your problem, buddy? Was adolescence such a breeze that you decided to give yourself a handicap and found this club to guarantee you'd never get laid until grad school? Life is full of actual challenges. You don't need to pile them on. Similarly, the world is full of actual problems. Every quarter wrung from the mouths of decent frustrated people could have gone to Haitian earthquake relief. Every time you set up a "curse jar" (C-U-R-S-E) you're basically punching a homeless Haitian baby in the face. You monster. McKay Hatch, pictured above, claims to be "the most cyberbullied kid in the world." I don't know how this is quantified, but I'm pretty sure the preceding paragraph counts towards it.


I haven't talked about music for a while. This happens because nobody I know shares my musical tastes, and heaps scorn on them wherever possible. To be fair, I bring it on myself with all the metal. Today co-worker challenged me to name a metal song that expresses positive feelings. I was actually prepared to answer, because I've been loving one song in particular that I'd describe as practically joyful. But my preparation was for naught, because the name of that song is "Death by Fire." You try convincing somebody that anything called "Death by Fire" is happy and something they want to be associated with. Particularly if that somebody is a witch--unlikely in this case, but something I always consider. I just had to hunker for the rest of the conversation as it turned to mockery of everything I love.

"Death by Fire" isn't a single and there's no good version of it on Youtube, so I'll share Therefore I Am's latest single instead. Like all music, it's better the louder you play it. What, that's not how your Simon and Garfunkel records work? Well, maybe they should. Paul Simon is like four feet tall and he could use some amplification. And while we're on the subject, ATTENTION ALL INDIE BANDS: I'm sick of your fucking whispers and mumbles. If you've got something to say, speak up and tell the whole class. If not, walk your ass back home in your tight little jeans. The grown-ups are trying to have fun.

You probably hated that and didn't make it past 40 seconds. It's okay. Just know that I don't blame you. You haven't developed a taste for it. Metal (and this is not particularly metal--if anything, it's closer to punk) is like dark, strong coffee. It's an acquired taste, and largely grown in the mountains of Colombia. It's better with some cream? This was not my finest simile. I love the drama and the intensity of this music. You may not like the way that guy sings, but clearly strong emotions are attached to what he's singing. That's really what I'm after. I don't think that music is cool, or should be cool. Maybe a musician is cool, but his product (in most instances) shouldn't be. He should be killing himself onstage and going for every ounce of expression in his recordings. Because honestly, if you aren't so fired up about the creative process that you'll decapitate small animals with your teeth to defend it, what are you doing? Nothin'. You might as well join up with a traveling petting zoo to hock your musical wares in a more appropriate venue to a more appropriate audience.

Let me conclude this highly controversial musical interlude (I know I've blown a lot of minds. Be strong) by stating something we can all agree on: Fuck James Blunt. This no-talent falsetto crooner needs to hop the slow boat back to England, so he'll have plenty of time to mull over his various aural crimes before facing the swift justice of the Protectorate. James, I was not having a bad day. But now I am, and it's because of you. No! No, you can't win me over with flattery. Telling me I'm beautiful doesn't lower my blood pressure or drain my hatred for your newest album: The Sounds of Date Rape. I really like the picture at right because it's clearly all Hulk can do to keep from punching this pale scrawny dude in the face. There is a terrible symmetry in the image. Those arms are like a gun in a stage play: you know they have to go off sooner or later. This relationship isn't working and in a way, it's both of our faults. In a more accurate way, it's your fault. There's a lot of musical talent across the pond. See if you can find some.

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