Archive - 2010

January 8th

Walking And Talking At The Same Time

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Memo to Poe, David Anderegg, and Tim Williams: YOU ARE DUMB.

How is this even possible? Eight days into 2010, and not only do I already have three small things I want to talk about, a good solid two of them are from this year. Even though any fears that I would eventually run out of material vanished ages ago, it's still sort of a relief that people are still stupid enough for me to regularly feature SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAYS.

OK, so I watch a lot of Food Network. And Food Network loves to show cooking competitions. I mean, really loves it. I'd be worried about them, psychologically, if they weren't a business pursuing an audience that clearly, desperately, needs to see people making cakes that look like kid's movie characters seven fucking days a week. Anyway, in order to make sure that audience knows Food Network is there for them, they've been running an ad highlighting all their competitions. And therein lies the problem.

Because the ad uses a Poe song. A Poe song I would never have heard otherwise. And that Poe song includes some lyrics. And those lyrics are...

"Hey everybody when you walk the walk / You gotta back it all up, can you talk the talk?"

Now, that would be a suitable lyric appropriate for the braggadocio and swagger involved in, you know, four people seeing who can cook monkfish the best. Except for one tiny, tiny little detail. That is NOT how the relationship between walking and talking works, Poe! What the fuck is wrong with you? If you can walk the walk, you don't need to back it up by talking the talk. You got it backwards. And for no good reason, either. I mean, "walk" and "talk" rhyme. And have the same number of syllables. It's kind of how walking the walk and talking the talk got associated in the first place.

And Food Network? Given that Poe fucked it up in the first place, did you really need to compound the error? Were there no other songs about fighting, competing, and winning available to you? Or did you mean to imply that all the people on your cooking shows are incredibly competent individuals with a complete inability to brag about it? Because I watch your channel a lot, and I've gotta tell you, that's not actually true.

And speaking of the power of four-letter words, Dr. David Anderegg can fuck... offf. You see, in the New York Times, Dr. Anderegg suggested that it would be better for America if we abandoned the terms "geek" and "nerd". Which is precisely the kind of well-intentioned stupidity that makes intellectuals look bad.

Anderegg's reasoning, which I'm sure isn't influenced at all by a lifetime living with a name that sounds like a Swedish stereotype ordering breakfast, is that America has a profound anti-science, anti-math, and anti-intellectual streak, and that the terms "geek" and "nerd", no matter the attempts to reclaim them, are used in a derogatory fashion in order to perpetuate those attitudes.

Anderegg may be a psychologist, but he's certainly no linguist. If the well-intentioned people stop using "nerd" and "geek" because it's got an anti-intellectual context, who'll be left saying them? The morons with shitty intentions who created the anti-intellectual context in the first place. That's not how you take away a word's power. And not how you reverse America's anti-intellectual mindset.

And speaking of America's anti-intellectual mindset, it's not caused by stupid people calling smart people names. It's caused by there being so goddamned many stupid people that the only way we can maintain our national self-esteem in the face of our nosediving average IQ is to pretend that it's a good thing. Case in point, Tim Williams of Covington, Louisiana, who got in a bit of trouble when motorists saw him driving around with a twelve-year-old girl, bound and gagged with duct tape, in the front seat of his pickup truck.

The reason he is only in a bit of trouble, and not in an epic shitload of trouble, is because the girl was his daughter, and the whole thing was a prank.

OK, seriously. At this point, I have no choice but to demand a national foundation to provide at least two tiers of cable, basic and one-better-than-basic, to every single American. Especially in the South. Especially in Louisiana. The Lambert Free Cable Act of 2010 would first insure that motherfuckers like Tim Williams would be much too busy watching real housewives, or desperate housewives, (or, if I can get enough funding to throw in a couple free PPV movies a month, horny housewives) to think "Hey, I know, let's duct-tape the daughter and go for a drive!"

And second, assuming the free cable includes Comedy Central, maybe they'll watch enough of that to realize that duct-taping your daughter and going for a drive ISN'T ACTUALLY FUNNY. I know that most of their programming isn't actually helpful in that regard, but they did cancel Jeff Dunham's show, so unlikelier things have happened. It won't be cheap, but it's a lot easier than waiting for all these pigfuckers to step over the line out of boredom. Free cable. Because America is too stupid to know what fun is.