The bilge fills up, you gotta pump it out:
Reading about Simone Biles’ balance-beam bronze medal last week in The New York Times: “When her score popped up on the leaderboard, she shook her head in agreement.” No, NYT, you shake your head in disagreement, you nod your head in agreement! I just sat there, nodding my head in bewilderment.
Speaking of Biles: I’m not sure we should put her on the Wheaties box for sidelining herself. But to the jagbags who called her “Simone Bails,” I shard one message, on Facebook:
Please tell me the analogous moment in your life, where after nearly a decade of unprecedented, dignified and inspiring achievement—as you endured national attention over your molestation by a trainer and carried whatever other baggage saddled on a young Black woman in a traditionally white sport—you were injured, lost your supreme confidence in front of a billion people and decided not to risk your very life by going ahead anyway. I’m sure there’s a perfectly analogous period in your career as a State Farm agent, in which you bravely persevered where Simone Biles did not. And I’m looking forward to hearing all about it, Bob!
I’ve written here about “usephemisms“—euphemisms that lubricate social life. But other euphemisms are truly disingenuous. Douchephemisms. I was on a college visit with my soccer-playing daughter, and the guides gave us a tour of a training facility dedicated to “the Olympic sports” at the school—men’s and women’s basketball, golf, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, softball, baseball, volleyball and hockey. A wonderful, gleaming, state-of-the-art facility dedicated just to the Olympic sports! It sounded so totally awesome, until I ascertained that there was a twin facility, exactly as big and gleaming and wonderful—just for the football players.
“Ted Lasso is just what we needed right now,” a Facebook friend opined. I like Ted Lasso as much as the next jamoke, but anyone whose needs right now are fulfilled by a TV show should call their needs something else.
The other day I actually said the words in my head, “I am doom-scrolling again.”
I meant to type “hootsuite.com” into the search bar, but I hit return before it auto-filled, so now Google thinks I was scouring the internet for “ho.”
My daughter hates me when I see a woman of any age with those asinine pre-purchased ripped-up jeans and I mutter, “Cannon.” Which my daughter knows is shorthand for, “How about that, she must have just been shot out of a cannon today, and look how well she’s holding up!” OK, I’m an old asshole. But seriously: How long is this terrible style going to last? Doesn’t it seem about five years past its expire date? I mean, we wore jam-shorts and painter’s hats in high school, but they were out by college. The running shoes with the toes have pretty much finished their 5K. But we’ve been dealing with the war-torn dungarees for at least a decade now, and far from abating, this trend only seems to be exaggerating itself, and spreading like the Delta virus from the young and fit to the old and gross. Next, it’ll leap genders, and men will be wearing these tattered trousers, and we’ll be in for another decade of shabby chic decadence.
Got a PR pitch last week about a “serial entrepreneur” named Johnwick Nathan (doesn’t that term give you the absolute creeps?), whose latest gambit seems to be in the mental health arena. The publicist wrote: “It’s enough that the patients of Harbor Health Integrated Care live in a truly home-like environment, but exceptional achievements are rewarded in an absolutely unique way here. Johnwick Nathan gives the outstanding patient his own personal luxury brand-named sports car for a night out with a steak dinner included. If that’s not motivating, I don’t know what is.”
My initial questions included, “What are ‘exceptional achievements,’ in rehabilitation and recovery, what does it mean to be the ‘the outstanding patient,’ what kind of car are we talking about here, and what if the patient is a vegetarian?”
No response yet, but I’ll keep you posted.