Feminist Poetry, or If You Don't Look Good, Blame Capitalism
Perhaps, dear reader, like us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” you have a subscription to 13th Moon
, which bills itself as “a feminist literary magazine.” Housed at SUNY Albany’s renowned Department of English, 13th Moon
has everything a tin-eared feminist masquerading as a poetaster would desire.
Allow us, dear reader, to offer an example. Whilst eagerly taking in the 2003 number of 13th Moon
, one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—came across a landmark work of inept feminist balladry.
The poem, entitled “Beauty Worship Cult,” was penned by one J. Aspen Azaria. Our friends at 13th Moon
offer the following description of Ms. Azaria, to which we have affixed our own humble commentary:
J. Aspen Azaria is a writer and visual artist for more than fifteen years.
Geez. Even this first sentence is vaguely ungrammatical. We don’t mean to quibble with the prose of a long-time visual artist, but shouldn’t this read “J. Aspen Azaria has been a writer and visual artist for more than fifteen years”?
Her art and writing reflect female oppression.
Oh, brother. (Or should that be Oh, sister?) Depending on who reads her poetry, her writing can inflict male or female oppression.
J. Aspen Azaria is a native of Colorado and a single mother with two sons.
Aha! So that’s why “Aspen” is her middle name. Watch out, James “Danger” Bond; here comes J. “Aspen” Azaria!
With a bio that good, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were certainly expecting some great poetry. And we got more than our fill on pages 14 and 15 of 13th Moon
, which offers the aforementioned ballad, “Beauty Worship Cult.” As Laurence Welk might say, it goes a little something like this:
Beauty Worship Cult
How I look is important
because what I say is not
Worse than being mortal
I am woman
I give birth
to life’s imperfections
Imperfection is sin
if I cannot be perfect
I should rather be invisible
or paint on product perfect
luminosity to hypno-trip
I must divide
with my ephemeral eternal;
because my internal
intellectual under-glow radiance
is immaterial to
prescribed visions of
exalted angelic faces
of supermodel saviors
trying to keep me in line
behind the cosmetic counter
the guardian of my beauty value
I am sanctioned and separated by
depictions of my body
down casting my soul into
Enslaved to the doctrine of image
Bound to the beauty book
like some divine pronouncement
I am ordained the omnipotent
queen of beauty bounty
briefly before reality renders me
flawed and shamed
into seeking salvation in a bottle
I am made up like a mascot
my material much too mass-ive [sic]
for marriage or money manifestation
Starvation is the only purification
into skeletal sanctity
My skin-shell is my protection
is my passport
into the sacred realm of obsession
the formulated female form
Soceity’s vested interest
In woman as object
If I am not a textbook beauty
then what will save my soul
from the profane sin
of unregulated ugliness
or the condemnation of mediocrity
What am I
if I am not beautiful
As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can tell, Ms. Azaria is trying to inform us that she is unattractive. Or perhaps fat. And somehow capitalism is to blame.
We don’t want to become complicit in “the condemnation of mediocrity,” so let us offer our earnest appraisal of Ms. Azaria’s talents: We may use the word “feculent” a lot, but we can’t think of a better adjective to describe this horrendous Women’s Lib aesthetic calamity.
Although we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” did not enjoy Ms. Azaria’s attempt at poetry, we don’t want to be a bunch of spoilsports. As such, we shall pick out our favorite line from the poem: “with.”
That has a real ring to it.
Longtime readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” have no doubt recognized the fact that it has been some time since we have treated a subject to an extended excoriation. As a result, no doubt, some of our rabid fans were certainly worried that we had, as they say in Hollywood, “lost our edge.”
Where, many devotees must be wondering, has all the rancor gone—long time passing?
Well, dear reader, in today’s humble post, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aim to demonstrate that we are as wrathful and unmerciful as ever.
Accordingly, we figured that we needed a subject that fully deserved a savaging. Something really heavy-duty: You know, like Communism or, better yet, Tony Danza. We don’t want to waste our time ripping apart lightweights such as Michael Moore. If you know what we mean.
After literally minutes of careful, semi-undivided thought on this topic, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” finally honed in on an appropriate target of obloquy. For those of you who proved incapable of reading the title of today’s post, we are pleased as prideful popinjays to announce today’s subject: Women’s basketball.
Indeed, dear reader, there are so many things that collectively irk us about women’s basketball that we hardly know where to begin. First, we suppose, we ought to mention the bothersome nature of women’s basketball fans.
For some reason, such fans perceive that disliking women’s basketball is somehow deeply immoral. This, naturally, is a quizzical conclusion: Bowling connoisseurs seldom seem morally disturbed by those who don’t share their love of balls and pins.
Yet inform a women’s basketball fan that you think the sport is clumsy and unwatchable, and you’ll be the recipient of a Susan Faludi-esque lecture. Its fans are one part John Madden, one part Andrea Dworkin. And, naturally, two parts Dunkin Doughnuts.
Indeed, it seems the main reason women’s basketball exists is to allow parents of alarmingly mannish young women to feel less self-conscious about their less-than-feminine proclivities.
And for lesbians, of course.
But let us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” not forget what really upsets us about women’s basketball: The sport itself. Although many sports offer an opportunity for females to highlight their grace, power, and finesse, women’s basketball merely allows women to demonstrate their complete inability to take a jump shot. No matter how high up on the totem pole of women’s basketball you ascend, you always seem as if you’ve laid more bricks than a professional house builder.
In addition, women can’t dunk. This doesn’t make them distinctly inferior to men, of course: Some of the greatest men in human history—Winston Churchill, for example—were famous for their inability to dunk.
And this reminds us of another thing: Our dislike of women’s basketball hasn’t anything to do with misogyny. After all, we also hate women’s soccer.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are veterans of journalism, having worked in the biz for well nigh one year. Accordingly, dear reader, seldom do we happen upon a story that piques our collective interest.
Frankly, we’re just too grizzled to get excited about, say, an idiotic statement made by, say, Barbara Boxer.
Yet there was something about an article
from the Tuesday, January 25 number of the storied Durham Herald-Sun
that struck us as special. Titled “Duke Party Busted,” the piece begins with an interesting query:
What do you get when you cross a fraternity house, a kiddie pool, a few hundred students and several bottles of baby oil?
Why, that’s a darn fine question, we thought to ourselves. What could the answer be? And then we checked the article’s kicker: “Several bikini-clad coeds head for hills in freezing weather on Buchanan Blvd.”
For those of you blissfully unacquainted with the modern university student, allow us to inform you of what this all means. Well, actually, we don’t think we can do any better than Durham Police Sgt. D. Gunter, who helped break up the colloquy of Duke University undergraduates:
“Inside were several of America’s future, re-enacting a scene from the movie ‘Old School,’ where females wrestle in a pool of lubricants.”
It seems as if this fraternity fete got a bit out of hand, prompting neighbors to call the cops. Upon putting a stop to the party, the local police noticed a bevy of oil-soaked females feverishly running away.
Naturally, the cops attempted to catch the females, but the latter proved too slippery. And they certainly ran fast: They didn’t have any dignity to slow them down.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” presume that this story could incite many questions from intelligent readers. Questions such as: “How in the good Lord’s name did these fraternity guys talk a bunch of coeds at Duke University into wrestling in lubricant?” Or: “Where is their next party?”
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” as our name implies, always try to look on the bright side of things. Accordingly, we want to express our relief that these students chose to imitate the film “Old School.”
After all, what do you suppose they would have done with “The Godfather”?
We Do Not Belong at Applebee’s
It is most assuredly true that many television advertisements are irksomely atrocious.
Pretty much every car dealership, for example, boasts poorly manufactured ads that ineluctably feature the area’s soul-deadening regional accent. For some reason, one is not allowed to own an automobile dealership without possessing the most depressing drawl imaginable.
Yet surely our friends at Applebee’s
restaurants have taken the horrid advertisement cake with their abominable television spots.
First, we must note that their dimwitted slogans are almost always painfully ungrammatical. Take, for instance, “Eating Good in the Neighborhood.” Let us forget for a moment the fact that “Riblets” do not count as “eating good” under any circumstances.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have personally witnessed numerous starving Ethiopians who steadfastly refused to eat “Riblets.” They would prefer to resort to cannibalism. But we digress.
Was the internal rhyme in “Eating Good in the Neighborhood” so sublime that it makes up for this slogan’s wretched misuse of an adjective? We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t mean to be preachy, but we collectively think not.
And then, dear reader, there’s the matter of Applebee’s purloining of rock-n-roll oldies for its ads. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are steadfast opponents of rock-n-roll—to such an extent, in fact, that we howl with laughter any time someone whines about the ways in which cover versions of Led Zeppelin tunes amount to cultural calamities.
As far as we’re concerned, Led Zeppelin is to culture what Tori Spelling is to acting.
Even so, dear reader, it is very difficult not to feel bad for the Turtles, whose song “So Happy Together” Applebee’s converted into the feculent ditty: “And So There’s Steak and Shrimp, and Shrimp and Steak….” If a cover version of a rock song could be labeled treasonous, this would be it.
Naturally, a song has to be very, very bad to make us sympathize with the Turtles.
But let us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” not simply fixate on the television spots that Applebee’s runs. There’s something far more substantive about which to complain: The food.
If you head to your local Applebee’s, you will soon notice that everyone there is outrageously fat. And no wonder: The victuals for sale are nothing but deep-fried garbage. The place is kind of like a landlubber’s Red Lobster.
In fact, Applebee’s is so atrocious that if it were discovered that its staff—like the morons at Denny’s—refused to seat black patrons, it should be sued by whites
. After all, nothing beats not
eating at Applebee’s.
Reflections on the “Pottery Barn Rule”
As almost every sentient person in these here United States realizes, Colin Powell’s spell as Secretary of State has terminated. Against the wishes of Senator John Kerry and the mild-mannered objections of Senator Barbara Boxer, Powell’s replacement is all set to take over.
This has all made us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reflect on the impressive intellectual patrimony of General Powell. More specifically, it has compelled a few of our staffers—let’s just call them “Chip”—who had trekked to the local mall, to dilate on Powell’s oft-cited “Pottery Barn rule” of military affairs. Whilst a couple of junior staffers snacked on Aunt Anne’s pretzels, they could not help but ponder the significance of the “Pottery Barn rule.”
You remember the rule, dear reader: “You break it, you own it.” Very cheeky, is it not? Undoubtedly, the pithy nature of this quasi-humorous slogan has incited umpteen talking heads to cite it incessantly.
And this, dear reader, got us to thinking: How unfair that Pottery Barn
gets all this publicity! After all, as stated, the “Pottery Barn rule” would be more aptly titled the “Crate & Barrel rule”; the latter establishment is well nigh a retail obstacle course.
Accordingly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” found ourselves deeply distressed by the name of this new military law. We pined to give other American establishments the opportunity to have a clever law named after them. This, surely, would help jump-start the economy just like President Bush’s temporary-cum-permanent tax cuts did.
Without further ado, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are therefore pleased as petulant pigs to present:
The Official “Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Variations on the “Pottery Barn Rule”:
1. The Pier-1 Imports Rule: “You Sit on It, You Break It, Since It’s Inevitably Made of Wicker.”
2. The Sharper Image Rule: “You Break It, You Pretend You Didn’t, and Then You Blame the Next Guy Who Fiddles with It.”
3. The Body Shop Rule: “You Break It, and Then You Use It for Animal Testing.”
4. The Benetton Rule: “You Break It, and Then You Caterwaul against the Death Penalty.”
5. The Marshalls Rule: “You Break It, You Buy It, But at Least It Was Cheap.”
6. The Brookstone Rule: [See The Sharper Image Rule. It’s the same.]
7. The Abercrombie & Fitch Rule: “You Break It, You Buy It, and Then You Glory in Homoerotic Kiddie Porn Advertisiing.”
8. The Orange Julius Rule: “You Go Bankrupt.”
Jon’s a Wiener
A few days ago, dear reader, the home offices of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” received a hefty package via our friends at UPS
. As brown had not done much for us lately, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were quite excited to lay eyes upon our bundle.
So, you ask, what was in the box? Well, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” received numerous review copies of various books. It’s one of the perquisites of running a “website” that receives well nigh three hits per day.
Anyway, dear reader, among the tomes was a title called Historians in Trouble: Plagiarism, Fraud, and Politics in the Ivory Tower
, by the humorously named Jon Wiener.
Mr. Wiener—or, should we say, Dr. Wiener?—is an historian at UC Irvine and a contributing editor to that most shrill of left-wing rags, The Nation
. As such, one of the junior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—was delighted to get his hands on this volume. After all, Historians in Trouble
seemed like an awfully sexy title: We can just picture Doris Kearns Goodwin with an evil look on her face, clad only in a risqué negligee. Whilst she plagiarizes another book.
We wish we could report that Prof. Wiener’s book was a winner. We wish we could report that it isn’t a slip-shod work of a ridiculous hack. We wish we could say something more clever than the book’s a real wiener. But, alas, we can’t.
In short, dear reader, Historians in Trouble
must surely be one of the most feculent pieces of “scholarship” we have read in some time. In fact, it’s so bad that Eric Alterman wouldn’t even use it for toilet paper. Alex Cockburn probably gave up after a few pages.
And what, you may be asking yourself, makes this little book such a loser? Why, we’re collectively glad you asked. The Good Doctor Wiener presents an assortment of stories of academic historians’ professional misconduct, and then forces them into fitting his patently pre-ordained conclusion.
In essence, Herr Doktor Wiener concludes that the evil American Right makes sure that niggling lapses on the part of leftist historians receive draconian punishments, whereas tremendous examples of scholarly malfeasance on the part of rightist historians obtain nothing but praise.
In order to come to this assessment, Mr. Wiener offers the most unfair potted summaries of the historians’ malfeasances in question. His accounts are more tilted than the deck of the Titanic. Although he always allows the “good guy” (i.e., left-winger) ample room to demonstrate his innocence, he never seems to get around to offering such an earnest defense of those who do not share his political proclivities. In addition, Jon “Oscar Meyer” Wiener repeatedly refers to all right-leaning magazines and journals as conservative and rightist, whilst never mentioning that The Nation
and The Progressive
aren’t exactly middle-of-the-road rags.
In the end, dear reader, Prof. Wiener comes to the conclusion that the political Right has an hold on the profession of academic history, and that this causes major problems for its practitioners.
It’s a conclusion so counterfactual that it leaves the reader baffled. History departments nationwide are riddled with professors intent on pontificating about “the hermaphroditic Other in the work of Elvis Costello,” and Mr. Wiener concludes that the Right
has too much control over American departments of history.
May we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly suggest that the good Mr. Wiener is appropriately named?
Perhaps eager gift-givers can present their loved-ones with a twofer: Jon Wiener’s Historians in Trouble
and Eric Alterman’s What Liberal Media?
They could call it the “Out-of-Touch Nation
Introducing International Q.U.E.S.T.I.O.N.
Yesterday, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” planned to be glued to our staff television screens, eagerly taking in coverage of the President’s inauguration.
And then something collectively struck us: The inauguration is boring as heck. Sure, there’s a float that looks like Spiro Agnew. Still, the television coverage was so dull that we figured we might as well check out the Food Network.
Or, worse yet, C-Span.
As such, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quartelry,” forced ourselves to stop listening to Howard Fineman rant about Dick Cheney, and tuned in C-Span 2 (this time it’s personal) instead.
And what, you may be asking yourself, did we see? Well, dear reader, we’re glad we made you ask. Our friends at C-Span 2 (this time it’s personal) were broadcasting a lackluster protest hosted by the sordid collective called International A.N.S.W.E.R
Apparently, dear reader, the acronym that serves as this radical left-wing group’s last name stands for something like “Act Now To Stop War and End Racism.” Or perhaps “A Noxious Smattering of Enthusiastic, Witless Rogues.” Or maybe “Dimwitted Buffoons Who Don’t Shower.”
Anyway, the geniuses behind International A.N.S.W.E.R. seemed to have everything necessary for a moronic protest: Placards boasting slogans that demonstrate their holders’ moral imbecility (of the “Bush & Cheney = America’s Taliban” variety), and a microphone. Oh, and lots of hemp.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” enjoyed an afternoon full of overwrought speeches by a passel of sordid college kids a few hacky-sacks short of a full deck. This, dear reader, was pure television magic.
And then it collectively struck us: Why not start our own protest organization? If International A.N.S.W.E.R. is so hell-bent on opposing the Bush-Cheney junta, who’s going to oppose them?
We don’t mean to toot our own collective horn, but we thought that these were some darn fine queries. As such, a few of the senior editors here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call them “Chip”—decided to inaugurate (if you will) our own anti-International A.N.S.W.E.R. protest cabal:
Naturally, dear reader, you want to know the hundred-dollar question: What does the Q.U.E.S.T.I.O.N. stand for? Frankly, we couldn’t come up with a good slogan. That “Q” is a real killer. Accordingly, we decided to forgo the whole “acronym” business, and tell you that Q.U.E.S.T.I.O.N. stands for “We Hate Utopian Hippies Who Carp on the Purported Sins of America Whilst Overlooking Brutal Regimes Elsewhere in the World.” It ain’t particularly catchy, but we think it’s spot on.
And what, you may be asking yourself, is International Q.U.E.S.T.I.O.N.’s mission? The group hopes to show up at every International A.N.S.W.E.R. meeting and offer an array of placards opposed to International A.N.S.W.E.R. that are equally dunderheaded. In addition, the group aims to purchase a microphone, and yell ridiculous slogans at the folks at International A.N.S.W.E.R.
To put it in tic-tac-toe form, the group will be the Norman O. Brown to their Malcolm X. Well, that really doesn’t make sense, but you see where we were going.
When they brandish posters with catchy slogans such as “Bush lied; millions died,” we’ll respond with placards that read “Shut up, you stupid trust-fund hippie.”
Exit To Nowhere
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” can’t seem to get enough of The New York Times
editorial page. With columnists as brilliant and serious as Maureen Dowd and sedate as Paul Krugman, what’s not to like?
Wednesday’s number of the Times
most assuredly presented one of the most impressively argued pieces we’ve read in some time. It’s title, “Should We Stay or Should We Go?,” offers a tip of the cap to the erstwhile rock-n-roll band the Clash, and readers will be happy to know that its arguments fully live up to this clever cultural reference.
The piece in question was penned by three think-tankers, Frederick Barton, Bathsheba Crocker, and Craig Cohen. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” enjoyed the name “Bathsheba Crocker” so much that we’ve decided to name all of our kids after her. Messrs. Barton and Crocker and Ms. Bathsheba Crocker all work for the scintillatingly titled Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
We know what you are thinking, dear reader: With a name that long and boring, this dynamic trio must certainly know what its talking about.
And indeed it does. The team of Barton, Crocker, and Cohen argue that the Iraqi people should decide when American troops should withdraw from their country via a referendum. That way, our troops can be seen more as an ameliorating force, and less of a—perish the thought!—occupying power.
In addition, we might add, this will allow Iraq to become a malignant failed state that serves as a haven for terrorism.
Some cynics out there may scoff at the learned lucubration of Team Barton, Crocker, and Cohen. Some may even laugh at the name Bathsheba Crocker—we know that we did.
But the think-tankers have a collective point: Surely the Iraqi people—and not military experts—are the best judges of the safety level of their country. The daily bombardment of propaganda from Muslim states' media outlets will only help them make a more thoughtful decision.
In short, dear reader, why allow a bunch of slack-jawed yokels with flattops in the Pentagon make decisions about Iraqi national security that an illiterate named Achmed can clearly make on his own?
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quartelry,” can’t argue with such sophisticated logic. On the contrary: We want to recommend another decision in league with the proposal of Team Barton, Crocker, and Cohen: Why allow the editors at The New York Times
to determine what arrant piffle they publish on their op-ed page?
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” think that the people of Iraq should decide.
Help Us, Our House Is Sad
Over the course of the last week, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have expatiated on various oddities associated with the so-called New Age. In short, we have been poking fun at a bunch of pseudo-spiritual hokum.
And frankly, dear reader, we simply can’t stop ourselves. A few days ago, a regular reader of this humble “weblog,” inspired by our demolition of New Age palaver, sent us the following curious advertisement:
Dr. Patrick MacManaway
Whole Earth Geomancy
working with subtle energy in the home, office and landscape
sick buildings, sad houses, geopathic stress, psychic trauma & spirits
location & creation of sacred space & labyrinths
Feng Shui services
holistic site assessments, domestic, commercial & industrial
Services throughout New England
Naturally, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were taken aback by Dr. MacManaway’s unusual ad. In fact, even the good doctor’s name seems peculiar: Although around 47 percent of the crack young staff is Irish, we have yet to meet anyone named “MacManaway.” Perhaps it’s a Scottish appellative. But, frankly, around 47 percent of the crack young staff is Scottish.
As far as we’re concerned, “MacManaway” is Gaelic for “Get that man away from me.”
Let us move on, however, from Dr. MacManaway’s name, and discuss more substantive issues. Did the good doctor earn his M.D. in “Feng Shui services”? Where did he do his residency in the “creation of sacred space & labyrinths”?
We’d guess Crete. But, hey, it’s only a guess.
This does not exhaust the peculiarities in this advertisement we wish to discuss. To put it quickly: What the heck is this chucklehead pushing?
Although we’ve seen our share of “sick buildings”—most of them house New Age shops and food co-operatives—we haven’t the vaguest idea what “sad house” is.
Perhaps it’s an abode whose garden only grows melancholy?
The Morals of a Nation
As pretty much every sentient person in these here United States of America knows, political pundits have been blathering on about the cardinal import “moral values” played in the recent presidential election. To believe the editorial page of The New York Times
—not to mention the talking heads on CNN
—most Americans will vote for Benito Mussolini, provided he’s suitably opposed to gay marriage.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” feel as if this conclusion is a wee bit overstated: Americans would never vote for Mussolini—because he was bald.
In addition, we are slightly confused by the notion that the majority of Americans are a collection of budding Norman Vincent Peales. We don’t want to come across as a bunch of cynics, but we find this conclusion farfetched.
Allow us, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” to demonstrate our point.
Recently, a junior editor here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—searched the “personal ads” in the pages of his local newspaper. Just for research purposes, of course; “Chip” gets more women than Michael Dukakis.
Anyway, a section curiously titled “Variations” contained a few advertisements that do much to describe the moral fervor of sundry Americans. Below you’ll find a sampling, to which we have affixed our own humble commentary:
Seeks married WF, 35-50, for afternoon encounters. Must be clean, discreet, D/D-free.
Indeed, discretion is a very good quality to possess—if you’re game on cheating on your hubby with a married man. We haven’t any idea why this WM requires a married woman who is Dungeons & Dragons-free. Doesn’t he like nerdy chicks?
Married WM, ISO, [sic] married/SWF, whose sexual needs and wants are unfulfilled at home like mine, and would like a friend, lover and confident [sic], who enjoys pleasing a woman, very discrete.
It seems as if everyone is discreet these days! May we be so bold as to suggest that this fellow would be better off finding an English tutor, who would fulfill all of his grammatical needs and wants?
Two Women at Once
Married male, 55, would like to try to satisfy two women at the same time. Looking for someone very discreet because my wife wouldn’t understand.
This poor sod has such a heartless wife; she simply doesn’t sympathize with his desire to satisfy two adulterers at the same time. What a wench.
Is it just we, or does it strike you, dear reader, as if this guy has taken out a “personal ad” that smacks a bit of “wishful thinking”?
MWM for Masculine Men
Married WM, 40+, good-looking, in shape, looking for a bud to get together with on a regular basis. You must be masculine, clean and have a place. Open to servicing you.
We know what you’re thinking, dear reader: He doesn’t want someone discreet? What’s he thinking?
Are you one of the 43% of married woman [sic] in an unfulfilled marriage? WM with same problem seeks mutually beneficial situation, H/W-proportionate, N/S, 30-55. Let’s meet for coffee.
Where did this fellow get his statistics? Oddly, his “43% of married woman [sic]” statistic doesn’t have a footnote attached to it. Since we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are collectively height/weight-proportionate (except for Ted: He’s a real fatty), we guess we’ll meet this guy for coffee and find out.
As long-time readers of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” no doubt realize, we have been serving up a festival of tepid humor every weekday for a goodly amount of time. Throughout our history, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have excoriated a congeries of menaces to society: Suicide bombing, feminism, &c.
In fact, as some regular readers have noted, we have offered commentary on a wide variety of topics on a very regular basis. This has led such readers to send us an e-missive with a question such as: “How do you guys do it? How do you manage to find material to carp on? Don’t you ever feel uninspired?”
To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Good questions, those. Before we undertake an answer, however, let us clear up a few minor matters.
First, about 47 percent of the crack young staff is of the female persuasion, and, as such, dislikes references to them as “you guys.” They didn’t attend years of women’s studies classes to be addressed as fellahs. You dolts.
In addition, the question “How do you manage to find material to carp on?” ends in a preposition, which is a grammatical no-no. Sure, it isn’t that awful—if you’re writing for a second-rate rag such as The New York Times
. But heck, this is “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”! This is the land of the Marauding Marsupials, for crying out loud! You could at least show some respect to the three people who read this drivel and write like a human being.
We mean, geez: Composing sentences that end in prepositions—what is the world coming to?
But anyway, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” collectively digress. If we recall correctly, we were nattering on about what Peter Cetera calls our inspiration.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” feel as if there is a better way of examining this question: Instead of focusing on the days in which we can’t come up with humorous material (like, for instance, today), why not mention the times when, as our New Age friends would say, the Great Spirit Bear is on our side?
Sometimes, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” appear to have a direct line to the Glorious Gods of Comedy. It’s like we’re magically transformed into young men and women as funny as Richard Pryor, Woody Allen, Bob Saget, and the cast of “Small Wonder.” You know, all the comedy legends.
On those days, dear reader, there’s something electric in the air. It is, to borrow a phrase that Thomas Dolby borrowed from everyone else, poetry in motion.
Only it’s prose, and it’s not moving.
In a recent post, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have dilated on the ridiculousness of New Age mysticism. In fact, we had enjoyed our fill of ridiculous pseudo-spiritual drivel.
It seems, dear reader, that New Age hokum, however, is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s the Energizer Bunny of the Orient.
For instance, take a gander at an advertisement we saw in the January 2005 number of the non-award-winning publication Wisdom of the Heavens, Earth, Body, Mind & Soul
A series of guided meditation attunements that create a permanent connection for you with the Ascended Masters, who will work with your Higher Self in your etheric background assisting you in the releasement [sic] of programs, belief systems, and soul patterning that separate you from the Source.
We know what you are thinking: Boy, the genius behind “Lightarian Rays” sure has a talent for marketing! He can certainly craft a fetching slogan. Move over, “Coke Is It”; “A series of guided meditation attunements that create a permanent…” has come to town!
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were somewhat suspicious about this advertisement, and the woman behind it, one Pamela M. Edmunds
, who bills herself as a “Lightarian Ray Practitioner and Teacher.”
Never mind the hippie-esque palaver about connecting with the “Ascended Masters,” or the garbage about working with your “Higher Self” (which, we presume, is simply oneself with high-heel shoes).
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hope we are not reading into the ad too much to suggest this frightening conclusion: “Lightarian Rays” sounds a heck of a lot like “Light Aryan Race.”
As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are concerned, Ms. Pamela M. Edmunds (who could be Dr. Pamela M. Edmunds, if she spent a sufficient amount of time in “Lightarian Rays” medical school) is offering a spiritual tour for budding Nazis.
So, dear reader, if you know a despicable racist who desperately requires “assisting” with “the releasement [sic] of programs, belief systems, and soul patterning” (and, quite frankly, who doesn’t?), Ms. Edmunds is clearly the woman to call.
Do you, dear reader, yearn to feel alienated from your fellow man? (Or, as our feminist friends would put it, your fellow phallocratic oppressor?) If so, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly suggest you turn on your radio.
Right about now you must be saying to yourselves: Why would turning on our radios serve to estrange us from fellow humanoids? To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: Trust us—one quick perusal of the dial will compel the intelligent man (or semi-intelligent woman) to conclude that there is little sentient life on this planet. And that Billy Joel sucks.
First off, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are not even going to waste much time dilating on the horrors of AM radio. Pretty much every AM radio station offers unendurable political chat shows. On such programs, mellifluous hosts trade barbs with like-minded out-of-work auto-repairmen, as if listeners are dying to hear the rigorous political analysis of a guy named Clem.
Those few AM stations that don’t broadcast talk shows appear to offer endless loops of the song “Volare.”
And then, dear reader, there’s the FM garbage. First, the intelligent listener should note that any music of actual aesthetic quality—classical, jazz—is quarantined over at the low end of the dial. We wouldn’t want Schubert getting in the way of our Hootie and the Blowfish, now would we?
In addition, most classical stations offer endless versions of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Gustav Holtz’s The Planets. In short, they present classical music for people who only like the classical music that is played in cartoons. As if this weren’t irksome enough, such stations only appear to have funeral homes and crematoriums as sponsors. As such, after hearing Adagio for Strings for the umpteenth time, one is reminded that most of his fellow listeners are moribund.
Things are even worse in the jazz realm, since most stations play so-called “smooth jazz,” which is, oddly enough, neither smooth nor jazz.
If one pines to hear anything of even middling quality, one must endure the patent indignities of NPR (National Palestinian Radio). In between Hugo Wolf tracks, NPR proffers news stories honing in on the evils of America, and the charms of “Prairie Home Companion.”
This leaves us, dear reader, with the unendurable pop and rock “music” that sullies the rest of the FM dial. As far as we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are concerned, enjoying rock-n-roll should qualify one for spading or neutering. Perhaps both.
And don’t even get us started about “rap.”
Serenity Vibration Healing?
On a number of occasions, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have used this space to dilate on the inanities of New Age mysticism. Whether it be so-called “Radical Honesty
,” inane horoscopes
, or urine therapy
, we’ve concluded that these pseudo-spiritual ideas are, at the very best, one crystal short of a full deck.
After we took a gander in a New Age magazine at an advertisement for something called Serenity Vibration Healing, however, we were compelled to recognize something else about our touchy-feely friends: Oftentimes, they appear to leave the New Age remedies they are pushing intentionally vague, so that their dunderheaded audience doesn’t realize the degree to which their self-touted panaceas are nothing but charlatanry.
Don’t believe us? Well, then, Mr. and Mrs. Skeptic, take a look at the following description of “Serenity Vibration Healing
SERENITY VIBRATION HEALING
and Enlightenment Technique
LEVEL ONE Course
Instructed by Christine Regnier
The Serenity Vibration Healing and Enlightenment Technique is an ancient tool that unlocks hidden pathways to Mastery Profiles, which once unveiled, will anchor you to the path you planned with the Creator for this lifetime.
Begin unveiling forgotten gifts that have awaited this time of expansion. Vanquish random inner-dialog [sic] and enhance your clarity by releasing ancient shackles that have held you in bondage, blocking you from an abundance of love, vitality and prosperity.
Now, can anyone on God’s green earth—excuse us, the Creator’s green earth—tell us what any
of these sentences mean? For a therapy so interested in “Enlightenment,” this program appears to be surprisingly nebulous.
For instance, dear reader, take another gander at what may be the most lackluster sentence in the bunch: “Begin unveiling forgotten gifts that have awaited this time of expansion.” Even by the—very, very low—standards of New Age prose, this is awful. What the heck is “this time of expansion”? Is that some sort of fat joke?
Just in case you did not find this description suitably confusing, the folks behind “Serenity Vibration Healing” have helpfully offered a list of goals for the technique. We have listed some of them below, to which we have affixed our own humble commentary:
Connect to your God Self at a cosmic level, within the Divinity Core.
Have you started to notice that our New Age friends routinely offer Entirely Meaningless Capitalization?
Discover the Sacred Temple within you and accelerate your path to mastery and remembering.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t believe that we have an inner sacred temple (or Sacred Temple). We haven’t put on that much weight?
Learn to roll back in time to initiate healing at the instant of brokenness.
Hmmm. If we have read this correctly, our New Age friends are claiming that they are in possession of a time machine.
Learn how to heal yourself, clients and the people you love.
An odd order, that. Why would we care so much about “clients”? Perhaps “Serenity Vibration Healing” is meant for prostitutes? Or, worse still, hairdressers?
Learn how to remove curses, wedges, alien genetics, non-serving covenants and vows, karma, past trauma, brokenness from rape/molest [sic] and past life events that are affecting this incarnation.
Oh, thank God! We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been dying to rid ourselves of “alien genetics” for years now. Finally, someone has answered our prayers!
Now, if we could only scrape up $495 for the session…
About a fortnight ago, dear reader, a correspondent from our Boston (MA) office sent us an interesting flyer. Put up by the Neighborhood Access Group (whose acronym is, appropriately enough, NAG), this poster reads as follows:
Hate Brick Sidewalks?
Tired of Falling, Tripping or Being Vibrated to Death in Your Wheelchair?
The more people who come to this hearing of the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board about the inaccessible brick sidewalk on Huntington Avenue, the more likely the city will be forced to redo it.
Let’s persuade the board to regulate brick sidewalks!
The bottom of said flyer announces that this important meeting of the minds took place on Monday, January 3rd.
Naturally, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” thought to ourselves: Darn! We missed the hearing!
And this is a real bummer, because we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” collectively can’t stand brick sidewalks. In fact, we hate them almost as much as we detest igloos and porridge.
In order to help out NAG and destroy the hegemonic oppression of brick sidewalks, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” decided to write the following missive to the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board:
To: Massachusetts Architectural Access Board
From: The Crack Young Staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”
Dear Sir or Madam (as the case may be),
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” recently found out about your organization through a flyer posted by the fittingly-named group NAG. In fact, before we saw said flyer, we had no idea that tax money was used to support a Massachusetts Architectural Access Board. We can only say that it is a great use of funds.
Anyway, we are writing to you because we, like the manifold members of NAG, hate brick sidewalks. We are collectively tired of falling, tripping or being vibrated to death in our wheelchairs. Actually, those of us who have been vibrated to death are particularly irked.
As such, we humbly beseech you to destroy all brick sidewalks in Massachusetts, and replace them with cobblestones. That ought to fix things.
Steal This Truth
As diligent readers of our humble “weblog” must know, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are always busy caterwauling about the small—though learned—audience we have. Although we have come up with many cockamamie schemes to increase our readership, we have never taken a collective look in the mirror. To put it more plainly, we never asked ourselves a potentially painful question: Do we suck?
The answer to this question, dear reader, appears to be, for lack of a better word, yes. After literally seconds of soul-searching, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” decided that we needed to hone our skills.
But how to do it? We wondered about this at length, until a correspondent from our Cambridge (MA) office sent us the Winter 2005 catalogue of The Cambridge Center for Adult Education
. On page nine of said publication, dear reader, we happened upon a class
that seems to have been made for us.
It’s title is “Humorous Writing,” and it will be taught by one Michael Koran. (Because, hey, nothing’s funny like the Koran.) Mr. Koran, who boasts his M.A. from the University of Chicago in the catalogue, offers the following synopsis of his adult education course, to which we have affixed our own humble commentary:
We will read aloud essays from the hilarious newspaper The Onion in order to learn how to write and publish hilarious stories and essays.
Hmmm. We wonder if Mr. Koran will also offer instruction to his students on the hilarious topic of word repetition, in order to make sure that the hilarious essays the class pens are especially hilarious. Also, is “essays” really the mot juste
for the columns that appear in The Onion
? Why not the less foreboding “monographs”?
We’ll steal every trick humorous writers like Dave Barry have, such as irony, sarcasm, cynicism, exaggeration, goofiness and truth.
Oh, dear. Mr. Koran aims to steal Dave Barry’s truth. That’s just not right. Sure, he can borrow his exaggeration, and perhaps even purloin his goofiness. But truth, that’s just another matter altogether. Unfortunately, as Mr. Koran doesn’t appear to possess any sense of irony, sarcasm, or cynicism, we suppose that the only way Dave Barry can get back at him is to rip off his goofiness.
Naturally, dear reader, with such a fetching course description, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were itching to take the class. Until we took a gander at the price: $154.
Geez. For that kind of cash, we’ll steal Dave Barry’s truth on our own.
The Crack Young Staff Makes It Big-Time?
As regular readers of our humble musings no doubt realize, “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” isn’t exactly the most popular destination on Al Gore’s World-Wide Web. Sure, we have our own collection of readers—some of whom have never even committed a felony. Yet, in comparison to some other “weblogs,” “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is very humble indeed.
A few days ago, however, a senior editor here at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”—let’s just call him “Chip”—stumbled upon a column in the venerable Boston Globe
that was rather interesting. Penned by the eminently reasonable Cathy Young, the piece, entitled “Looking for Glimmers of Hope,” contained the following sentence:
With a few exceptions, most bloggers preach to the converted and offer knee-jerk defenses of their own side.
We know what you are thinking, dear reader: Cathy Young must be reading “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly”! Isn’t that exciting? We mean, come on: Ms. Young is a contributing editor at Reason
magazine, the libertarian periodical that never
preaches to the converted! To have Ms. Young among our converted knee-jerks of readers is really exciting!
After all, who preaches to the converted more effectively than we? Who offers hackneyed knee-jerk defenses more than we?
We’re so ridiculously partisan that we’d even apologize for McCarthy. Heck, we’d even apologize for Eugene McCarthy.
We think Osama bin Laden was set up. Sure, we can’t prove it exactly, but we’re so nakedly partisan—and so naked—that we don’t have to prove anything. And our knuckle-dragging readers surely agree with everything we say.
We sincerely hope that our disgraceful partisanship will one day land us gigs at Reason
magazine, where we can argue in favor of large tax increases and a greater role for government in the 21st century. After all, given Reason
’s non-partisan calling, we’re sure they’d love such articles.
How Do We Do It?
As dutiful visitors to Al Gore’s World-Wide Web no doubt realize, things have returned to normal throughout the “blogosphere.” Although sundry “webloggers” gave themselves a holiday break from “weblogging,” they have mostly returned, in order to share with their reader(s) uninteresting factoids about their drab, miserable lives.
Loyal fans of this “weblog,” however, have most assuredly realized that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” didn’t take such a holiday hiatus. Rather, we blithely continued to offer our routine animadversions on all and sundry.
This has probably led manifold readers of our humble “weblog” to wonder: How does the crack young staff do it? How does it manage to present us with mediocre humor every weekday, regardless of Kwanzaa?
Well, dear reader, we’re glad we made you ask. We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have so many answers to these queries that we hardly know where to begin. How about at the beginning?
First, we simply have to mention our tireless dedication. Once we find a new set of Goodyears for our staff Honda Civics, we suppose we will have to mention our “tired dedication.”
Anyway, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” compel our unpaid interns to spend literally days each day in order to offer you, dear reader, the most charming product possible. In fact, we fabricate all kinds of tall tales in order to fool our interns into working for free. Some of these dolts actually believe that “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” serves as a pipeline to The New Yorker
In addition, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must mention our sincere commitment to the purity of the “weblog.” We would never sully our delightful posts with commercials and product placements.
We must also thank Gatorade, the fine beverage that keeps us all going. Man, what we wouldn’t give to Be Like Mike.
But mostly, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” must attribute our painstaking, incessant work to you, the three or four readers who rush out of bed and check our “weblog,” even if it’s the holiday season and you are currently stuck in a correctional facility. As some excruciatingly talented songstress once crooned, you are the wings beneath our wind.
The Lil’ One Isn’t So Lil’
Americans are, for lack of a better word, fat. With the exception of college-aged gals—who are too busy vomiting to be heavy—pretty much every citizen (and illegal alien) in these here United States has the body of John Goodman.
As we have been instructed by countless fitness gurus and exercise shysters, we Americans are essentially one Pringle away from a massive aneurysm. It appears as if a lifestyle according to which changing the television channels on a remote control counts as “exercise” isn’t conducive to well-being. Who would have thunk it?
Pretty soon, that Al Roker fat-guy surgery will be a rite of passage for all Americans.
Now we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” aren’t dilating on the obesity problem in America in order to suck up to sniggering Europeans, who are only too delighted to hear that we are not as slim and trim as they. Far from it. Americans may be a bit hefty, but the French aren’t exactly experts in the world of personal hygiene. So, before our European friends pat themselves on the back for their comparative slenderness, they ought to realize that it is difficult to consider yourself impressively cosmopolitan without taking a shower now and again.
Anway, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” bring this subject up in the first place because one Jamie Stengle of the Associated Press
has offered an interesting story about it. The article’s title pretty much says it all: “Obesity Sharply Up Among the Very Young: Epidemic Affects 2- to 5-Year-Olds.” It argues:
The obesity epidemic is reaching down to the playpen: More than 10 percent of US children ages 2 to 5 are overweight, the American Heart Association reported yesterday.
In an effort to utter the most unintelligible comment on this fact, Dr. Robert H. Eckel, president-elect of the American Heart Association, declared:
"These statistics are not anything but alarming."
Thanks, good doctor. You are not anything but inarticulate.
This story made us wonder, dear reader: Why are so many toddlers in the good ole’ US of A so darn hefty? Has Gerbers come up with cookie-dough flavored baby food? Is this all the result of McDonalds new McTeething campaign?
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would like to answer these questions, but we just heard the ice-cream truck go by, and we’re going to head outside and gorge ourselves instead.
We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are not huge fans of McDonalds. Our dislike of this eatery hasn’t much to do with a deep-seated concern for the survival of distinct local cultures, the evils of eating meat, or the measly salaries offered to fast-food employees. Rather, we think that it sucks. The food is, for lack of a better word, bad.
Accordingly, dear reader, we are not particularly heartbroken when we hear that our friends on the radical Left—and some on the Right—take issue with McDonalds. We figure that someone has to punch this squalid franchise in the McRibs.
Like most people who inhabit planet earth, however, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” would like to think that we know the proper limits of demonstrating disapproval. We figure that it is far more effective and reasonable, say, to rail on the feculent victuals for sale at McDonalds than, say, to take the actor who plays Mayor McCheese hostage. Call us crazy, but that’s the way we see it.
Well, dear reader, it seems as if some of our friends in France do not feel the same way. The following bizarre tale was reported in the weekly version of The Daily Telegraph
FRENCH PELT MCDONALDS WITH OCTOPUS
Armed with high-pressure hose and a bucket of octopi, hundreds of protesters in the Mediterranean French town of Sete pelted a McDonalds restaurant with the seafood at the weekend.
Up to 500 people gathered on the banks of the Sete canal across from the fast-food outlet, yelling anti-junk-food slogans across the water as police barred them from reaching the restaurant itself.
Aiming the hose across the water, they catapulted fresh octopi—a local delicacy, known here as the “
pouffre”—towards the town’s first McDonalds, which had been set to open that day.
If we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” were in charge of the French branches of McDonalds, we’d come up with a deep-fried dish called McOctopus, just to spite these moronic protesters. We have the distinct impression that our French pals would be livid to see their homegrown delicacy slathered in copious amounts of McDonalds not-so-special “special sauce.”
The article left us wondering exactly what “anti-junk-food slogans” are. Are they anything like the following:
“You’re way right away—provided that ‘you’re way’ means ‘lousy food’”
“Would you like to Supersize that McDyspepsia?”
“Colonel Sanders was a slave-owner”
“McDonalds makes me Grimace”
“Colonel Sanders had a terrible sense of fashion”?