"A working class hero is something to fear..."--John Lennon
"Heaven forbid you actually have fun in life."--Tony Stewart, on criticism for mentioning celebrating a win by drinking.
Just thinking about a few random things on my mind:
...Tony Stewart winning the Brickyard 400 again, of course! Damn, that was awesome. He and Kevin Harvick really put on a show toward the end. I don't think Harvick appreciated it, though. He had to work harder than Smoke, and it showed. We loved it when Stewart taunted Harvick: "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty. Come get you some of this!" And then when he was securely up front and drinking from his water bottle and driving one-handed at 200 miles an hour! "I was thirsty," he said. Loved....it. He's just so hilarious, and so wonderfully easy to read, and such a throwback to the old days of NASCAR, but in the best possible way. He got fined for saying "bullshit" on live TV, and it's absolute, well, bullshit that NASCAR called that "detrimental to stock car racing," but I appreciate the sentiment anyway. I don't mind putting up with bullshit from others for being his fan, not at all. I really don't mind that the beautiful and talented Juan Pablo Montoya came in second behind him. All our friends knew to get the hell out of the house as soon as Tony kissed the bricks so L'Ailee and I could celebrate!
...How sports can make things better for a little while. I understand and appreciate the Onion's recent piece about how sports don't always heal a tragedy. However, Tony Stewart's fans in Indiana got to experience a bit of regional pride this weekend. As a relatively old-school NASCAR fan (I may be only 33, but I've been a fan literally since I could walk), I also appreciate Smoke's technique, attitude, and, um, candor. He's such a wonderful antidote to all these clean-cut new school drivers who can't say a word without running it by a focus group. A sportswriter at Yahoo! captured pretty accurately why we love him despite the bullshit. And then there are the people in Iraq. No, winning the Asian Cup doesn't heal everything, or even most things, but their soccer team did prove that Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds could work together to make the whole country proud. We need that Brazilian soccer coach of theirs to give our administration some help!
...Maybe if I were a guy, I'd be offended by "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," which I said in my last post made me laugh. Many of the guys in my life were. I do think it was funny, but I'm not a gay or bi man. I'm a bi woman. So those aren't my stereotypes. I guess I understand now why gay and bi men sometimes miss or overlook things that offend gay and bi women. What I found particularly great was that jokes about how clueless straight guys are about gay ones and a message of tolerance towards gay men (even if it felt sort of tacked on) managed to reach a bunch of straight guys who love a dumb comedy. It was put on the hood of a NASCAR car, for cryin' out loud, and Kevin James (Larry) bellowed out "Gentleman, start your engines!" before a race. In other words, it went places that "Brokeback Mountain" just couldn't. I think that's worth something.
...How awesome the Simpsons movie is. I want to see it again. I'm still randomly quoting lines from it, just like particularly good episodes of the show. And I felt so sorry for Marge, which I don't think gives much away. Anyway, most of America saw it, right?
...Being sort of a philistine, maybe. I think the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were overhyped. I just don't get the appeal--it's like, they're okay and have some good songs, like the one I quoted above, but there have been other bands that I like way better since! When I admitted such at Yahoo! Answers yesterday, I got some hate mail, even though I wasn't rude at all, just shared my opinion. It may be a minority opinion, but I'm entitled to it.
...Speaking of Yahoo! Answers, one of my favorite contributors is the "What Should I Do? Retard". Yes, I think the name's tacky, too, but the questions are hilarious. My favorites include "My fire extinguisher's on fire, what should I do?" and "Some slickster sold me powdered water, what should I do?" You see there's a pattern. The WSIDR was born out of frustration with really stupid, really real questions like, "The condom broke, what should I do?" Well, now he has a MySpace to share his, um, wisdom, which is great, because Yahoo! Answers keeps running the WSIDR off on account of some people have no damn sense of humor.
...Cute little pandas playing together. The San Diego Zoo's doing something pretty unique. While they wait for their matriarch Bai Yun (mother of three and grandmother of six) to deliver at least one more cutie-pie cub, they're letting their little boy Mei Sheng and their little girl Su Lin play together. This is the first time an American zoo's been able to do that. Apparently "subadult", or teenage, cubs love each others' company. (And get your minds out of the gutter--they aren't sexually mature yet, which is why they can let a brother and sister play.) Mei Sheng's going to China in October for breeding, and Su Lin's turning two this week. I'm just going to have to enjoy it on their PandaCam while I can!
...How naive people can be. Didn't everyone know Aquafina and Dasani are just filtered tap water? Apparently not, which is why Aquafina supposedly needs clearer labeling. Personally, I'm sticking with my Brita filter.
...How damaging a concept "heaven" can be. Not because of the opposing concept of a "hell", but in its own right. We see that terrorism is done in hopes of becoming a "martyr" and getting rewarded in Paradise. But I see damage done in the name of the Christian Heaven that I grew up on, too. I once read about a man whose wife didn't want him riding motorcycles, and his pastor persuaded him to stop by saying there would be motorcycles in heaven. I teared up and hoped for his sake the pastor was right.
I thought of that again yesterday, when I listened to my 19-year-old cousin tell me how his former pastor tried persuading him to give up many, many, many things he loved because, after all, heaven has better things than Earth does. Though I am Pagan and believe there's probably an afterworld of some kind, I don't know for sure. All of us can only guess. It breaks my heart to hear of people forsaking the things we know about for sure, the buffet of blessings given to us on Earth, for the gossamer hope of more and better in the Afterworld. (And if you don't have blessings, you can *make* them while you're here.) It's weird, maybe, but it feels so incredibly greedy to me to ask for more, to toss aside what we have been given to enjoy in hopes that there's more behind Door #3. And talk about a minority opinion! Forget the reaction I get when I say I don't quite understand the big deal about the Beatles--say you don't understand the big deal about the Afterworld, perhaps saying "I guess I'll find out when I get there" in a cheerful tone, and people get upset! Maybe some of y'all are upset now. But there it is. This world is the only thing we have guaranteed to us--that's a philosophy I share with my L'Ailee and other atheists. So it's best to treat our lives as the precious things they are, and not some warped game show or test.
If you're still with me, I think I've posted enough links. :-)
Happy Lammas to all who celebrate!!!!