6. FAT, CIGAR-SMOKING OLDER MEN SHOULDN’T WEAR SUNDRESSES
I was able to live for roughly two generations without being exposed to the word “transphobia,” but last week I wasn’t so lucky. An ad for telephone giant Sprint likened AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile to a paunchy middle-aged man wearing a magenta sundress with white polka dots—something that only “makes sense if you don’t think about it.” The ad “deeply disturbed” a, uh, eh, a “spokesperson” for the “transgendered community,” and the horrifyingly insensitive advertisement was summarily cut like an unwanted schween in a hasty gender-reassignment surgery.
5. TO KILL A PERFORMANCE OF MOCKINGBIRD
I haven’t read Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird, nor have I seen the film version starring Gregory Peck, but from what I can gather, the general message is that it’s a bad thing to lynch black people—am I right? Well, students at Morgan High School in McConnelsville, OH, won’t get to hear that message—meaning there’s a clear and present danger that they will immediately take to the streets and start lynching black people—because the play contains the word “nigger” and its performance was canceled. Imagine how many times those young, eager thespians said the word in rehearsals, only to be robbed of their constitutional right to say it out there in front of the footlights. It all seems very tragic and counterproductive, but maybe there’s an upside—if society has reached the point where you can’t even produce a play because it contains that word, perhaps what Harper Lee was trying to accomplish is a fait accompli, and it would be wise to stop beating kids over the head with these antiquated and ultimately divisive theatrical fables.
4. FATHER OF “THE SITUATION” UPS THE DOUCHE ANTE
The owner of what are perhaps the world’s most famous abdominal muscles, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino from MTV’s Jersey Shore is an oily, juiced-up, eyebrow-plucking, meatball douchebag Staten Island goombah, but that’s his right. Still, I believe it is impossible for any sentient being to watch this clip of him attempting to roast Donald Trump without in some way wishing permanent physical harm upon him. Yet his father, Frank “The Confrontation” Sorrentino, has performed a miracle—he’s made me feel bad for his son. Apparently Frank is unemployed, estranged from little Mikey, and furious that his greasily squiggly nouveau riche tadpole refuses to float him the denaro to pay for his medical insurance. He has taken to YouTube whimpering about his bad childhood as well as his bad child. “I put my fucking balls on the line for you a hundred fucking times when you couldn’t,” Frank admonishes his over-gelled and tanned-to-a-crisp young seedlin’. The next time Frank Sorrentino puts his balls on the line, would someone please chop them off?
3. ILLITERATE GARBAGE-TRUCK DRIVERS BRISTLE AT BEING CALLED ILLITERATE
At an April 19 meeting of Lexington, KY’s Environmental Quality Committee, a GPS instructor named Richard Miller seemed to suggest that three of the city’s garbage-truck drivers might have trouble learning the new GPS system because they’re “illiterate.” This led to immediate outrage—not because the city employs illiterate workers or the educational system generates illiterate adults, but because he called them illiterate. Last Thursday, the Lexington City Council voted to launch an investigation into Miller’s shameful remark. A Division of Solid Waste representative said that the city’s trash-truckers were “very offended and very upset” and claimed that he told Mayor Jim Gray “if we do have some that are illiterate, it’s not everybody’s business.” Mayor Gray, who is gay, said he understood the heartache and discrimination that accompanies membership in a despised minority. A writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader felt the need to add that “Many of the city’s garbage truck drivers are African-American.” Mind you, no one denied they were illiterate. They merely didn’t like that they were called it. At press time, it remains unclear whether the word’s meaning was explained to them or not.
2. “SEXY MALE REALTORS FOR BREAST CANCER” CALENDAR IS SEXIST
In an indignant May 12 letter to Mobile, AL’s Press-Register, an outraged, upset, horrified, offended, and justice-seeking woman snorted at the fact that a previous edition of the paper ran an ad seeking “sexy male realtors” to pose for a local calendar to raise money for female breast-cancer research. She claimed she was “both shocked and saddened”—both!—at “this inappropriate and sexist manner of raising breast cancer awareness.” Although breast cancer is horrible, I am forced to speculate whether it’s worse than being forced to spend time with the woman who wrote that letter.
1. OPRAH’S AUSSIE FANS GRIPE ABOUT FREE DIAMOND PENDANTS
Last December Oprah Winfrey flew down to Australia and dazzled a live audience of 6,000 sunburned crocodile-wrestlers with, I don’t know, her announcement that a galaxy was being renamed after her or something. Each audience member was handed a gift certificate to claim a free, limited-edition diamond pendant on a white gold chain. After nearly a six-month wait, the pendants are finally arriving, and the audience members are none too happy with them. In newspaper interviews and a Facebook group devoted to Winfrey’s visit, they are griping that the free pendant “looks like a cheap piece of costume jewelry” and that the diamonds are “small” and “tiny.” One wrote that “The necklace is pretty pathetic and a huge disappointment!...Not a classy keepsake at all!!!” Did I mention that these pendants were FREE? Have you ever seen a bigger group of disgruntled, abo-bashing C-words in your life? I usually prefer Aussies to Oprah Winfrey, but I’m afraid I’ll have to take her side in this controversy. This has only happened once before in history—when she drove Phil Donahue off network TV.
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