The events of the last few weeks have given me something I haven’t had before: perspective. Perspective lets you step back from your current situation to see where you fit in a larger context. Perspective makes you say things like “There but for the grace of God go I” or “Life is short” or “Shit happens.” Perspective forces you to find your appropriate place in the universe. I live in Seattle for a constant dose of perspective: it’s hard to think your problems are insurmountable when you have a 15,000 foot mountain AND the mouth of the Pacific Ocean in your face.
In light of present events, and given that we just finished up election season, I’m launching my new campaign: Stop Being Stupid.
Stop Being Stupid—sounds good enough to be on a t-shirt, doesn’t it? And those three little words seem pretty simple, right? Apparently, it’s a little harder than you’d think. Take these cases:
Folks, you may not be aware but we just elected Barack Obama to his second term as president (somewhere out there, one of you is surprised). Based on the popular vote, 47% of you are pissed about this. And whether you love or hate the result, the process worked as it has worked for the last 236 years: the electoral college fulfilled its constitutional duty to our representative democracy and did what it was created to do. But based on the commentary online and on TV (though the Karl Rove moment when Fox News called Ohio was spectacular), you’d think the United States was going to become some shattered amalgamation of the Roman Empire at its fall and Cold War Russia. Like TOMORROW. You got folks talking about dictators and socialism and the end of freedom—seriously? This nation has weathered 2 impeached presidents, one who resigned, slavery, a Civil War, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Kardashians. I think we can handle universal healthcare. You think the US is just gonna crumble because we had a DEMOCRATIC election and the guy you wanted didn’t win? So the whole country is gonna just fall apart, huh?
Stop Being Stupid.
A couple weeks ago, Disney bought LucasFilm—they got all the Star Wars movies, games, action figure licenses and George Lucas’ beard for $4 billion dollars. Four. Billion. Dollars. Now, I don’t think the ink was dry on the contract before the internet exploded with geek-fueled chaos. There was a cacophony of nerd chatter about the sanctity of the franchise and Princess Leia getting her own castle and Darth Vader memes with Mickey ears. The prevailing notion was that Disney was gonna fuck up the Star Wars franchise. So I have a couple thoughts on this: first, you may know that I LOVE the Star Wars movies. I’ve bought these fuckers about 8 times—on VHS and LaserDisk and DVD and Blu-Ray and fucking ViewFinder. I’ve seen these things in the theater when they came out, then when they were re-released in the 90s and now that they’re coming out in 3D, The Boy is dragging me back. Darth Vader is my favorite villain. I’ve been trying to perfect the Jedi Mind Trick for 35 years. I LOVE the Star Wars movies. So do I think Disney is going to screw them up? How? Have you seen the prequels? If they added Donald Duck and Chip and Dale instead of fucking Jar Jar Binks and that crying ass boy, it would be an improvement. But seriously, Disney has made the greatest financial investment and corporate commitment to quality storytelling of any company in history. Its own legacy aside—and Disney’s legacy has changed the cultural fabric of the planet—Disney bought the Muppets in 2004 for $75M; then Pixar for $7.4B in 2006; Marvel in 2009 for $4B; and now LucasFilm. For a company forged on the antics of a mouse who can’t afford a shirt, the $16B listed above says more about Disney’s commitment to telling stories that become part of society than anything else. And those same people bitching about what Disney would do contributed to the $1.5B box office take that made the Avengers the third highest grossing film in history.
Stop Being Stupid.
Then there’s The Boy: a year ago, I introduced DMFRH because he was apathetic about his academics. What a difference a year makes. In this case, it actually makes none. This clown ran into a wall and broke his wrist, decided to go smashing pumpkins instead of trick-or-treating, and becomes a conscientious objector to doing his homework because he “just didn’t want to.” This cat has a teacher who ought to star in a Lifetime movie—she shows up for a parent-teacher conference in a short skirt and fishnet stockings and DMFRH can’t focus and get his assignments done. If she was my teacher, I’d have an A and a half in her class. So when Halo 4 comes out, the game comes home, but DMFRH can’t play it. Instead, the Xbox distraction becomes a toy for the Honey Badger and she uses it to build glass houses with chickens and cows named Carmelita in Minecraft while he sulks. What’s his response? To lie. Poorly. Like kindergartner-level lies.
The Boy is miserable. Because he wouldn’t Stop Being Stupid.
I think I’m going to announce my candidacy for some public office. Stop Being Stupid—Vote for Me. I can’t lose.
BTW – As soon as UPS gets their shit together, I’ll get a new hard drive and be back in business. Hopefully.
UPDATE: I forgot one: how the hell does the Director of the CIA, a highly decorated 4-star general, a man who is personally responsible for much of our success in Iraq and Afganistan–how does this individual lose his job over some Real Housewives bullshit? The Director of the CIA, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, can’t even keep an affair quiet? This dude had to hand in his resignation to the President of the United States and say the justification is because he was screwing around. This is really happening! This man is responsible for protecting thousands of assets in the field, for overseeing black ops missions and gaining information that keeps all 330 million of us safe and at no point in his relationships with Paula Broadwell did he say “And don’t say shit”? What the fuck is that? How does it get to the public? Isn’t your job to KEEP SECRETS? Isn’t that your shit? And if the CIA can fabricate a justification to invade a sovereign nation, why can’t they hide who’s fucking who?
Stop Being Stupid knows no bounds.