De Bland, De Bland!

« November 2007 »

Memo to Craig Wilson: YOU ARE DUMB.

After a brief sabbatical to deal with that exceptionally crazy motherfucker from yesterday, we return to the warm, smothering embrace of The Purple. Because a two-day break isn't enough to prepare me for supposed "moderate" Republicans objecting to the potential Attorney General's first torture dodge for being too vague, but accepting his second vague dodge because he padded it out to four pages. In other words, FUCK POLITICS.

And fuck Craig Wilson, while we're at it. I know The Purple* is a bastion of banality, but I'd always thought of it as a very focused, specific banality. Celebrity-obsessed, full of minutia that you don't care about but that is at the very least concerned with current and existing trivialities.

Which is why I was a bit staggered by Wildon's front-page column, The Final Word. I can only assume it's called that because it deals with topics months or years after every other columnist has weighed in, because yesterday, we learned how Wilson feels about... tattoos.

From his writing, it's impossible to tell how old Wilson is, but my best guess would be 41 going on 90. Young enough to use the term "TMI", but old enough to feel the need to explain it. Young enough to worry about "where tattoos are on the hip parade", and old enough to use the phrase "the hip parade". Old enough to have a niece of marriageable age, but close enough to mid-life crisis for an unrecognizable tattoos on her bare shoulder to trigger a mild paroxysm of introspection.

For fuck's sake, it's 2007. If you're gonna pull an Andy Rooney kids-today curmudgeon-fest over tattoos, at least have the self respect to have it be caused by something out of the ordinary, like a full-back tableau of the cast of Friends, or a white power logo on your barista's forehead. Don't let it be this. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I turned around to see a series of parallel lines, some longer than others, some dotted with little round marks. He said it was his family and then pointed out his father, mother, sister. I think there were a couple of brothers, too. A family tree of sorts, right there on the underside of his arm between his wrist and his elbow. A tattoo."

If Wilson is waiting for our collective gasp of shock, I hope he brought a book. A clerk! At a clothing store! Had a tattoo! Alert the media! Oh, wait. Wilson IS the media. I'm so happy he jumped on this "tattoos are more commonplace than ever" story less than a decade after it broke. And that the editors of The Purple thought this was important enough for front-page status.

Here's a tip for all prospective authors, no matter who you write for. Please, please, please don't pad your piece with two paragraphs about an obviously apocryphal story you "read online". The few remaining people on earth for whom stories of "foreign language tattoo/T-shirt turns out to have inappropriate translation, much to naive American's chagrin" are still entertaining already have their lifetime subscriptions to Readers Digest. And kind, professional care workers to read to them. If only Wilson had gotten this advice before it was too late.

His entire column boils down to this: "I saw a tattoo. Are tattoos still cool? I'm not cool. My niece had a tattoo, but I couldn't make out what it was. It didn't have writing. Will tattoos look stupid when people get older? I don't know." It's so mind-numbing I actually tried to figure out how it got past even the admittedly lax editing standards of The Purple, until I went back and spotted this sentence:

"Britney Spears is said to have nine." Craig Wilson is boring... LIKE A FOX. He must know by now that any article that mentions Britney Spears will get automatically published in The Purple through Pavlovian reflex. No matter how dumb it otherwise is.

*I suppose I should be putting in regular reminders that The Purple is my nickname for the Life section of the USA Today, but really, it's your own damn fault for coming in mid-week and not backtracking.