Tag Archive: politics

Something happens when you hit twenty. Suddenly (or perhaps not so suddenly, if you’re female) you have to invite certain people to certain events in an effort to “keep peace.”

This particular post is inspired by the same lovely woman that is allowing me to be maid of honor in her wedding, and the social trials she seems to be facing. Of course, this entire dance is probably nothing new to anyone that plans any type of party surrounding a life event, be it a wedding, a baby shower, or a funeral. There are certain people that have to be invited.
Why? Because otherwise they will make life hell for whoever the person holding the event is. It could be through harassing phone calls, gossip, badmouthing, or plain old shunning.

Now, my personal thought on all of this is: So what if they throw a fit? If they’re far enough away from you socially that you barely see them, let them cry, wail, throw things, and yell at you. What the hell are they going to do? And if they pass into harassment territory, just call the cops. That’s what they’re there for, among other civic duty-ish sorts of things. Not only can they solve murders, they can also get that one crazy bitch to stop calling you via a threat to be tossed in jail.*

The problem with my solution, however practical it may be, is that it pays no heed to politics. None at all. For my friend, though, I’m trying to take a very Tudor-esqe stance and help her out in this game of political chess and why she should play politics.

Reason #1: It’s easier.

Much like my way out of relationships that involves increasingly ignoring contact to avoid drama, this keeps fits from being thrown either outside of or even AT the wedding by someone that turns up uninvited simply to make their perceived insult known.
Downside: If invite Geoffry that squeezes your ass and insists you call him Uncle G to your wedding to keep the peace, you’re in for an evening of ass groping and awkwardness. I’m of the opinion your wedding should be a happy occasion, not something you dread because you have to make small talk with people you barely know and who really don’t give a shit about you, they just wanted an invitation because they want free food and an open bar.

Reason #2: It keeps peace with the people you DO want to invite.

This one seems to have a great deal to do with parents in most weddings. “But you HAVE to invite your Aunt’s half-sister’s uncle’s pet gold fish on your father’s side! She’ll never let us hear the end of it if you don’t!”

Downside: First off, the simple fact that people take the approach of “If you make this person miffed, they’ll take it out on me, so I’ll take it out on you and make you regret ever causing me problems by upsetting them!” is just a bloody sinister, evil way to operate. Unfortunately, it is also a very common one in many families. The simple fact that YOU are held responsible for another grown adult’s reaction to something as little as a party invitation is absurd. If you were killing their dog, maybe I could understand. But an invite? My god, don’t you people have better things to do with your lives than want to stick your nose in everyone’s lives? You don’t even know the bridal couple, but you want to be invited because you know the bride’s mother? Go fuck yourself. It’s not the mother of the bride’s wedding. The bride can invite whoever she fucking pleases.

Those of you that have had your morning or afternoon coffee may notice that reason #2 is really just a subset of reason #1. That’s how far I’m having to reach for this. I can think of no better reason other than “it’s easier to go and be awkward at YOUR OWN WEDDING than deal with the fallout of self centered children in adult bodies.

I don’t get what happened to the whole concept of politeness. I’m supposed to invite YOU to be polite, but you have no obligation to me what so ever to not act like a spoiled child if you’re not invited? And if I DO invite you, you also have no obligation to behave yourself, not grope my ass, hit on my bridesmaids, and get drunk off your ass? What the fuck is this shit?! Why do I have to be the grown up and keep a stiff upper lip against the awkward, but you can throw tantrums and act like a classless jackass?!

I don’t get it. I really don’t. I have this old fashioned notion that the idea of politeness should go both ways.

I’m just going to stop here. Not only do I have other things I need to be doing, but if I keep going, I’ll start on one of my favorite wedding pet peeves: the open bar. Let’s leave it at a short post, rather than a ten page rant, shall we?

Wait, what?

Top Ten Words Looked Up On Merriam-Webster Online:

1. Pretentious
2. Ubiquitous
3. Love
4. Cynical
5. Apathetic
6. Conundrum
7. Albeit
8. Ambiguous
9. Integrity
10. Affect/Effect

Source/Sauce (depending on what corner of the internet you’re from):

This is utterly strange to me. I have known at least eight of those words since I was maybe thirteen. Ubiquitous I had to double-check the definition on, but I at least had a vague idea. The affect/effect difference I had bludgeoned into me at fifteen. Albeit I use a good deal, though sometimes I mangle the spelling terribly and have to look it up in my spell check.

Here’s my thing: As many thirteen year olds as are in the internet, I don’t think they could make those the top words all on their own. That means older folk are looking them up too. Now, I realize I was a weird kid that read too much, but SERIOUSLY?

What the hell is going on here?

Yes, yes, complaining about education going to hell in a hand basket with a cheeseburger and side of fries is not new, but this managed to significantly freak me out. I consider most of those common vocabulary words. One of my favorite insults is calling folk with an overblown sense of entitlement/their own importance a “pretentious prick,” part because it’s true, part because alliteration is fun. While some of these can be explained by assholes like me using them in forum conversations to demonstrate a point, (Ex: integrity, love.
“Integrity is defined by Merriam-Webster Online as having ‘firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.’ You cannot claim you have integrity, as framed by the chivalric code, and then tell a woman she deserves to suffer whatever happens to her because she ‘got out of the kitchen.'” Yes, I’m that jerk.) , a lot of them cannot be as easily.

This bothers me a good deal, probably because my train of thought goes like this:

“If you don’t read enough to know those words at least by context clues, if not the formal definition, then you have little exposure to any world other than your own. You also have little exposure to any viewpoints other than your own and those people you keep close to you. Therefore, you probably don’t exercise your mind by trying to see from someone different’s perspective that often and are unaccustomed to thinking that deeply because you have never had to, which means you are painfully easy to manipulate. Wow. No wonder Bush got elected twice then those same people complained endlessly about him, and people are surprised when Obama hasn’t fulfilled his campaign promises– Not only do they blindly believe what they are told, they cannot see from any viewpoint other than the one they are taught by the people around them from birth so they cannot put themselves in anyone’s shoes to see WHY something isn’t working or isn’t a good idea. No wonder we’re all doomed if we have to depend on the common person’s vote. They can be easily manipulated into voting however the politicians want because they cannot think for themselves.” Long and winding train of thought, probably not entirely sound in reasoning, but I don’t think it’s too much of a leap.

Suddenly, I think I have found the answer to the rampant bipartisanship in America. I’m terrified. You know what, how about we scale back all those shiny earmarks and use the money that is currently going to politician’s pet projects for something else. Hey, let’s dock the salaries of professional athletes too, if we need some extra cash. Let’s pay teachers a better wage. Let’s get kids exposed to a variety of books, cultures, movies. Let’s get teachers that will discuss all of those things, the biases involved, why those biases exist, and how to see past them as well as our OWN biases. Let’s get rid of that textbook monopoly they’ve got running in Texas. And most importantly, present all academic points of view and keep parents, their biases, their religions, their prejudices the HELL out of their kids’ education. Or, of course, we can take the easier, cheaper way out to shore up our failing schools, but that one requires parenting. Ready?

Make your kids read a goddamn book instead of blowing people up in Halo. It doesn’t matter if it’s books, comic books (try Maus by Art Spiegelman on for size if you’re worried about comics being valid literature), fantasy, romance, I don’t care. Have them read maybe ten minutes a day to start, then work their way up to a half hour or so. Start with picture books. Eventually they’ll get from there through Twilight or Harry Potter and start craving something bigger and more adult. And for god’s sake, let your kid read what they want. Nothing will kill your desire to read faster than your every choice being shot down by someone who “knows best.” Guide gently if you must, but for the most part, leave them alone.

Please, please, don’t let the film Idiocracy become reality. I know I’m a freak and over reacting, but damn if it doesn’t seem like there are distant warning knells that it is possible.

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