Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lessons from the Road: Don't Approach the Bison

When I was younger my mom took us to this farm in the country where goats climbed into tree houses. (I wish that sentence made me sound less like a Teva-wearing flower child, but alas…) It was a wonderful place filled with talented livestock and we ended up coming home with a bunny. To keep the story short, the chronology of Aurora Thumper’s life with us went something like this...

she came, got got fat, she ran away, our neighbors found her two days later, and we offered to let them keep her, they did. The end.

For the two days that Miss Thumper was hopping her obese bunny body around the neighborhood, she was the wildest animal that had graced our part of the city. I live in a place where deer are exotic and when a rabid raccoon falls out of a tree foaming at the mouth, my first instinct is to go over and say hi to the wittle fella. So embarking on a road trip that takes me through the wild western wilderness might as well have been a safari.

I committed to keeping a strict catalog of each animal that we saw along the way. But if the Squirrel Incident of 2001 was any indication, I have absolutely no idea how to interact with wild animals. Hind sight tells me that I have more in common with the people who lose limbs from trying to pet alligators than with Sacajawea. But the best thing about hind sight is that it allows me to look back, reflect, ponder, analyze, muse, stew, ruminate, contemplate, mull...and I digress.

My findings:

Buffalo should be left alone. They can run 30 miles per hour form a dead stop and their horns are not small. So if one sees a buffalo on the road, one should probably not get out of the car and try get a close-up of its flaring nostrils.

Prarie dogs, cute little guys who look a lot like Timone’s chubby younger siblings, should not be picked up and adopted as pets. Not unless you want to catch a modern strain of the BUBONIC PLAGUE. (Hey, modern medicine, I have a question. How the hell is this disease still around? I get that it’s affecting small, ground-dwelling rodents, but stillll. This is the twenty-first century and I, for one, like to think that I can go about my day without worrying about things like the black plague, scurvy, and getting raided by pirates.) So ignore their coquettish looks when they poke their little heads out of their holes. Don’t be fooled by their cute, furry bodies that look like they would fit perfectly in the crook of your arm. They are infected little demons just waiting for a chance to spread a global epidemic.

Six days into my trip and I’m pretty thrilled to be alive. Thrilled to not have a trampled body or a deadly bacteria growing inside of me. So there's that.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blame it on the feh, feh, feh, feh, feh, feminism

Just the other day back in 2002 I was riding in the car with my older brother and his friends and ‘Wannabe’ came on the radio. One of his friends, in a moment of epiphany and star alignment, said, “This is where all this girl power stuff started, the Spice Girls. God damnit.”

As pimple-faced freshmen in high school, these boys weren’t exactly the voice of the American male, but nonetheless, their opinions have been echoed by academics across the country. A new field of academic study is growing in popularity and notoriety; Male Studies. Apparently, us females, with all of our ‘You Go Girl’-ing and our bra burning, and our higher wage earning have been making men feel less manly. Thus they must combat this with a look into history to uncover all the great things men have done in an attempt to reaffirm their masculinity. Great things like discover new lands, fight wars, build governments from the ground up, make laws, rape, pillage, oppress marginalized groups, and star in action films.

And it’s not just the men in dusty classrooms who are feeling the pressure to grab their proverbial balls and unleash some aggression. Men are shying away from the pretty boy look and glam ideal in favor of a more dominant, husky image. Take pop culture for example, Entourage is now being played on Spike . Which can mean only one thing; the boys from Brooklyn are no longer something to be idolized. (Because lord knows anything sandwiched between episodes of CSI: New York and WWF: Smackdown is no longer in the limelight.) Vince’s chill demeanor and Drama’s tight T’s and manscaping seem a little soft. Instead the new stud on screen is Don Draper of Mad Men. Don doesn’t cry, he rarely even emotes. He says things like “Mourning is just extended self-pity,” and has extra-marital affairs. He wears suits and rules a successful, misogynistic advertising firm. Now, that is the kind of man our men should want to be.

So out with the skinny jeans, man-purses, Zac Efron-esque hair dos and dudes who are whipped by their girlfriends.

And in with the suits and ties, superiority complexes, un-sculpted facial hair, and men who know what they want.

In the words of Don Draper, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”

And in the words of Colonel Sanders, “I’m too drunk to taste this chicken.”