Thursday, July 31, 2008

"No Paper Today"

Can you imagine what would happen if an established, "Mainstream Media" daily newspaper were to put out a paper on Tuesday, then on Wednesday they just put the same paper out on the streets, with the new headline, "No Paper Today"? Under the headline, there would be a one or two-sentence explanation, saying something to the effect of "we're working on some interesting things" or "we're really busy with book-keeping, vacations and um, a couple of our editors have dentist appointments today," therefore there will be no paper today. "We'll be back tomorrow though. Unless tomorrow is a Saturday, in which case we'll be back in like three or four days."

There would be an outcry! People would say newspapers are dying! They're damned near dead! They're already in the grave, just bury them now!

But that doesn't happen with newspapers. Love or hate them, praise or decry them, there are at least four major newspapers in the Chicago area that are published every day, day in and day out, even on Sundays. Editors and reporters, no matter how sick they sometimes are, no matter how much stuff they are dealing with at home, no matter how much they may have drunk the night before, come in and get the job done and the next day there is a newspaper on your corner or at the newsstand at your office.

But what about bloggers, especially those who love to write on about how bloated and decrepit and behind the times newspapers are? These guys who say the future is in twittering, facebooking, "citizen journalisming" being "mobile journalists" etc.? What happens when one of these self-righteous folks goes to some "citizen journalist" conference or has a medical appointment, or can't find their pants in the morning (or afternoon or whenever they wake up and walk over to their "home office")? You know what happens? They say, "no reporting today" or their "news" section of their site will say "last updated 3 days ago" but their links to the grown-up media will still be up and they promise to be back "soon" with hard-hitting MSM criticism or earnest "reporting" on a Community Policing or Water Reclamation District meeting.  

A bunch of cowardly lions, these types are.


Will Griffey Jr. Help the Sox?

Apparently, the Chicago White Sox have made a trade today for Ken Griffey Jr. Some people are calling this a "bold" move, which it is, but I just don't see how it helps the Sox. Besides a name that everyone recognizes, what does Griffey bring to the Sox? 

He likely may take the ever-slumping Paul Konerko's spot in the lineup and he provides some needed defensive strength in the outfield, but I don't really think he provides the offensive "pop" the Sox are in desperate need of right now. So far this season he has a .245 average and 15 home runs, despite playing in one of the most homer-friendly parks in baseball, in Cincinnati. I think he would have made more sense for the Cubs rather than the Sox. While he has 600 career home runs, it was excruciating this season seeing him step up to the plate time and time again trying to get No. 600. And no matter how many home runs a player has hit in his career, the fact that he has even gotten near 600 means, geez, he's been around a long time, hasn't he?The White Sox as currently constituted are old enough -- they don't really need another veteran whose best days are behind him.

That doesn't mean it won't be exciting to see Junior in a Sox uniform. But I would have rather have seen them go after, say, Ichiro (yes, you can have some of what I'm smoking) or Grady Sizemore (sorry, I have just smoked it all!). I know this isn't fantasy baseball and Kenny Williams can't buy and drop players on a week-to-week basis. But looking to next season, they need to shore up the shortstop position, since its unlikely Cabrera will be around past this October (Pittsburgh's Jack Wilson is one I'd love to see there for the Sox) and get another solid outfielder (gosh, I wish Seattle and Cleveland were selling just for the sake of selling and Kenny Williams would momentarily lose his mind and spend a little...)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Do the Shuffle

I hope that when I inevitably adopt a new 16GB Ipod Touch my Ipod Shuffle doesn't feel left out and unloved, like a puppy when a baby joins the household, because I really think it is a brilliant invention and I don't think I could walk or jog or exer-bike or lift as much as I do these days without it providing me with my blood-pumping soundtrack. 

Last Friday I went for a little jog/walk and I didn't turn the shuffle off once I got home. Tonight I went to work out and found the shuffle was still on. Oh crap, I thought. But alas, the battery was still strong and powered my shuffle through tonight's heavy lifting workout. Amazing, especially since my Nano can barely hold a full charge more than a few hours.

Not so much luck with the used G3 Imac I bought last November. I've had to perform computer CPR on it a few times and whenever it is turned off, it loses settings and such and twice already I have lost my itunes library (backup, backup, backup. Always backup!) Last week it lost the itunes library again, so I had to re-authorize the shuffle and then go through my restored library to put together a bunch of either fast and hard or just plain hard, songs to make up my shuffle playlist (since I really only use it to run or lift along with).

So, here's what I'm listening to these days to get my feet moving or my blood pumping so I can lift heavy things.

*Mother -- Danzig
*Don't Stop Me Now -- Queen
*I Want It All -- Queen
*Bring The Noise (Remix) -- Public Enemy
*All You Need Is Me -- Morrissey
*Proper Education -- (It's a Dance Remix of Pink Floyd's "We Don't Need No Education")
*I Was made For Loving You -- (No, not the original, but a dance remix of the Kiss song)
*Tutto Nero -- Caterina Caselli (an Italian version of "Paint it Black")
*Tainted Love -- Gloria Jones (the original)
*I Want a Lover -- Pet Shop Boys (surprisingly, a good song to lift or do cardio to, with its dark, dirty beats)
*Heart -- Pet Shop Boys (see above comment)
*Go West -- Pet Shop Boys (a great, celebratory running song)
*Proud -- Heather Small
*Send Me An Angel -- Pepper Mashay
*Piece of Me -- Britney Spears (yeah, I said it. Britney. And it's a great nasty, lifting song.)
*Don't Start Me Down -- A mash-up of Pink V. ELO. Fun stuff.
*Spotlight -- Jennifer Hudson (Great to hear as soon as the run is over.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Capitalism Sucks Ass

On the same day that United Airlines announced that some 7,000 employees would be axed within the coming year, the company's stock skyrocketed 68 percent. Sixty-eight-freakin' percent. So that means tens of thousands of people's lives will be hurt when either they, their spouses, their parents, etc. lose their livelihood in the next year, but some other people will be happy to see their portfolios earn a few cents here and there because the company is shedding these people. 

By the way, Sun-Times Group stock rose 10 cents Tuesday, which works out to be a one-day gain of just over 30 percent. Now I'm scared.  

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Sox' Classless Act

[Above is a picture of U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, which I took from my seat in the 500 Level at Friday (18 July) night's game against the Kansas City Royals, the last time the Sox, who have now lost three consecutive games, won.]

One of the few professors at UIC I ever learned anything from, Paul Carroll, told us in one of his early morning poetry classes, not to obsess about a thought or word or words that we meant to put down on paper but had forgotten, because these things all come back to you. I remembered this lesson recently when I meant a week or two ago to blog something about the manager of the Chicago White Sox, Ozzie Guillen. At that time, Guillen, aka the Mouth of the South (Side), had one of his brilliant managerial tactics come back to bite him in the ass. As a young pitcher was in trouble while facing the Sox, Guillen vocally berated him, and heckled him from the Sox dugout. This had the effect of making the pitcher angry and giving him the impetus to reach back into his well of strength, both physical and mental, and mow down the remaining batters he had to face, resulting, ultimately, in the Sox losing that game. 

But I forgot about that and didn't want to bother thinking about the idiot Ozzie. But this week he has done it again. Guillen apparently couldn't deal with the way the otherwise abysmal Royals were manhandling the Sox this weekend and he ordered one of his young pitchers, just up from the minors, to intentionally throw at one of the Royals batters. Unlike the time last year, when the rookie pitcher he told to throw at an opposing batter disobeyed the Blizzard of Oz, only to be publicly berated by Guillen then dealt away to another team, this time the Sox player threw at the player Guillen wanted the ball to hit. Except he missed. The pitcher threw at the batter's behind but missed. Guillen went ballistic in the Sox dugout, throwing stuff, kicking stuff and acting like a spoiled brat. 

In spite of antics like this, the Sox are (just barely) in first place. His defenders and apologists say things like "Well, that's just Ozzie being Ozzie" or "he's a hard-nosed old school baseball player" or "He just acts like that to take the spotlight off his players."

Whatever their excuses, none of it washes with me. If he was smart, confident and competent, there would be no reason for Guillen to act like the idiot he likely is (need I remind everyone of the time he called in to Mike North's show on WSCR radio and unleashed a barrage of expletives live, on the air, in the morning, while listeners of all ages would be tuned in?). It's remarkable that someone like Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who has always been all about "character" guys on the Sox and Bulls, would allow Guillen to continue to act out like this, unmuzzled. 

One thing that my father used to say, when he really wanted to speak disparagingly of someone, was to say that person had "no class." Ozzie Guillen fits this to a T. He may know baseball, he may know how to handle baseball players, but he is an utterly classless individual. 

I could never be a Cubs fan, in the same way that I could never, no matter how frustrated I get with Democrats and Liberals, become a Republican. It just ain't in me. Besides, the Sox have the nicer stadium, with the better food, nicer bathrooms, easier parking, wider seats and even though the demographics may be about the same these days, the Sox have a more blue collar, working-class feel to their supporters, which I feel more comfortable with. But in spite of all that I can't stand or just don't care for as far as the Cubs are concerned, I am genuinely envious of them when it comes to the skipper. Lou Pinella, the smart, quirky, sometimes nutty but often brilliant manager, is everything Dr. Oz isn't -- and he's got class, which Guillen will never have.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Only Yaz

For the second time in the past six days I have seen a concert given by a musical act that is best known for the hits made some 20 years ago, and those two shows have been among the best I have ever witnessed. 

Last week was the George Michael concert at the United Center and Tonight was Yaz at the Chicago Theater. Like last week's show, the Yaz crowd was older than your typical concert crowd, but whereas the George Michael crowd was given to brief bursts of energy and cheering, though they sang along with all Mr. Michael's big hits, tonight's crowd was loud and full of energetic and showered Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet with cheers, applause, shouts and screams throughout the night. Their energy was unleashed from the very beginning of the show, which the duo, known as Yazoo across the Atlantic, started with "Nobody's Diary." 

Another similarity that I found with George Michael was that I had some trepidation regarding both shows, because Michael has famously said he doesn't want to be famous, doesn't want to tour all the time, threatens to retire every couple years, but last Wednesday night in Chicago, at least, he seemed like he genuinely was happy to be there with us. Yaz has a bittersweet history, as well. Though they were only together a few years, Vince and Alison made some remarkable music, such as the seminal, timeless dance floor classics, "Situation," "Don't Go," "Didn't I Bring Your Love Down," "Only You" and "Nobody's Diary." But their breakup was not a pleasant one, and each went on to great success, Vince with Andy Bel in Erasure and Alison in her solo endeavors, and neither really looked back. Until they started talking again and decided to not only get back together for a while musically, but to tour, as well. 

That tour brought them to Chicago Monday night, July 14, and it was as if not a day had gone by since the mid-80s. The stage was very stark, just Vince on one platform, Alison on another,  no backup singers or musicians, just Vince with a couple keyboards and a laptop (I believe it was a Mac -- what else would it be?) and Alison, in a black pantsuit, with a microphone and a bottle of water and snifter of cognac on a stand nearby. 

Alison Moyet sounded like she did on those records from 20 years ago and she looked sexy as ever. Yeah, that's right, Alison Moyet, now as then, is a big, bold, beautiful, loud and lovely lady. Making her even sexier were her frequent smiles, appreciative bows to the audience and handful of hugs and kisses she shared with Vince Clarke. And yes, we did get to hear that throaty, sexy laugh of hers made famous on "Situation."

The stage background seemed as if it was taken from 80s era video games. Other times multi-colored flashing lights made it seem as though the two were on "Top of the Pops," circa 1985. 

The show lasted a little more than an hour, which was not a letdown at all, because, well, Yaz hardly has more than 70 minutes of material. The only real disappointment was that they did no songs from Moyet's solo career -- but as great as some of her solo songs are (such as "Love Resurrection," "For You Only," "All Cried Out") they don't really fit alongside the Yaz songs -- they have a different sound, and to include them may have messed with the cohesiveness of the show.

Electronic music, especially that of the 1980s, has been  criticized at times by people who don't get it, who perceive it to be cold, heartless and devoid of emotion. Yaz has proved that not to be the case and Monday night, among cheers that reverberated throughout the Chicago Theater, as people held out their hands for Alison Moyet to touch as she sang and danced, as they danced in the aisles and in their seats and Alison thanked them repeatedly and sincerely, that was confirmed.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Exclusive! Take That, MSM!

So many people, especially bloggers, seem to believe that they are riding a  wave, on the backs of the sinking mainstream media. Newspapers, magazines, the three big mainstream TV networks, are quickly fading and we are seeing a shift to the Internet as the place where people get their news. What's more, this news doesn't have to come from stuffy, biased "journalists," who must clear what they write with editors and publishers, it can come from anyone with a desire to report and access to a keyboard (or even just a phone!).

But think for a minute, of all the Web sites and blogs that publish "news" and look at the source of the news. The overwhelming majority of the "news" on most Web sites and blogs was generated by an engine of the evil, out of touch, mainstream media, whether it be a newspaper or magazine or major network. Take, for instance, sites such as Chicagoist, Gaper's Block, Second City Cop, or even one I like a lot, the Beachwood Reporter. Now  imagine what those sites would look like if there was no Sun-Times, Tribune, Daily Herald or Crain's for them to pilfer from -- they would have nothing. There'd be the odd interview or band feature on Chicagoist, there'd be a hell of a lot of bitching and pissing and moaning and blaming at SCC, the Beachwood would be empty, because newspapers are all that site really bitches and moans about, and a host of other "news" collecting sites would be barren, because these online pickpockets (thank you Mr. Steinberg for that phrase) would have nothing to pickpocket. There would be no comments, because they wouldn't have news stories to copy and paste and then run comments about. Other sites, such as the take your cease and desist order and shove it Chicago's Daily News would be running the same old irrelevant feature stories from college "interns," meaningless crime stories, dictation from CAPS meetings and university-generated releases on some study, calling it all "news." 

Pardon me for a second for protecting my domain here, but I got perturbed today when, as they do from time to time, one of these sites posted a video from YouTube of a bullet hole in a hotel window and called it an "exclusive." Then, when it was inevitably picked up by the Trib/WGN/CLTV/Sun-Times and the rest of the city's legitimate media, the same site howled about how the slow, overpaid, dying major media were relying on Web sites and "citizen journalists" like them to do their work for them. What utter bullshit.  

Newspapers may be dying, but it's not because of single-issue, incredibly biased, I'll post when I can spare the time bloggers and citizen journalists. It's because they can't figure out a way to keep their advertisers. The idea that these folks puff up their chests and bang their drums when they get what they think to be an "exclusive" is a joke, as well. You post a video from YouTube before anyone else does and that's an "exclusive"? Where's the interview with the guy who was staying in the hotel room when the bullet whizzed by him and his wife and child -- Kevin Allen, who is not even classified as a "reporter" at the Sun-Times (it's a union thing) was somehow able to track the guy down and talk to him, and not merely copy and paste a video and shout, "Take that Daley! Take that, stupid Media!" The hardworking people I work with break exclusives and scoops many times an hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Though I admire the enormous, challenging endeavor he has undertaken, Geoff Dougherty's claim, which he made in the Chicago Reader earlier this year, that his Web site (whose columns and stories are updated every few days, except on holidays, when there is an even greater distance between fresh content) "regularly scoops the Tribune and Sun-Times on matters of citywide importance," is, oh, how do I say it ... crap. 

If people who have Web sites and blogs want to play reporter, well, then, do the work, don't waste time on irrelevant crap, keep your opinions (especially of yourself) to yourself and when you make a good play, as the sports commentators often say, act like you've done it before. And when someone else starts to report on something you previously reported on, take a little pleasure in the fact that you beat them, but then shut up and keep working on what's next. 

And if you believe so fervently that newspapers are lazy, out of touch, old, dying, worthless, politically biased and soon to part of some great big media scrap heap, then stop pilfering from them to generate your own damned news. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

iphone phrenzy

I am not a luddite, nor do I fear technology. In fact, I sometimes embrace it. I mean, I am blogging, am I not? And I love apple. I have never owned a computer that was not an apple -- from my II LC (which I bought from a guy who advertised it in the Chicago Reader -- pre craigslist, kids!), to my blueberry ibook, to my G3 white ibook, to my current desktop G4. I didn't care to learn about computers when I was in high school, was slightly less disinterested in college, but once I saw what apples could do and how easily and intuitive the work was on their computers, I was hooked. 

I love the Mac V. PC commercials, have owned three ipods and read mac magazines like they are softcore porn (hardcore porn, to me, is stuff like Metropolitan Home and Elle Decor -- yeah, expose that brick! let's see you match the window treatments to the carpeting!) and troll the Web sites for new product rumors (were it not for the auto fill-in function, I'd have carpal tunnel from typing in 'ipod touch price drop' so often). I don't think I would care at all or at least not so much, about designing flyers and posters, making stationery, making music playlists and compilation CDs, or blogging, if I had to do any of it on a non-apple computer.

All that being said, am I alone in thinking, as I read all about the madness surrounding the release of the new iphone, "Um, you people are getting excited and waiting in line for hours and hours for ... a phone?"  Maybe it's because I am at an age where I remember when just about every cool technological, computer-based thing became available to the general public (CD players, DVD players, cell phones, mp3 players, for instance) that part of me still thinks all this is way cool and any day now we will have our jet packs, but I am pretty sure I can survive a week or two (and would even look forward to) living without the cell, the computer, the e-mail, the news and blog updates, et al. I get technology, I like it, most of the time, I know my way around it, but it all should help our lives, not drive them. It's like that old Roman saying, "I eat to live; I do not live to eat." I think technology should make our lives easier, but we shouldn't complicate our lives in order to make a place for the technology. Then again, I just paraphrased an ancient Roman saying -- that could explain why I might be a little out of touch. 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Taking Us to The Edge of Heaven


That's not only the title of one of George Michael's songs, it describes the experience of seeing him in concert. Even though it was still winter when I waited outside the United Center to buy my tickets to his July 9 show in Chicago, I managed not to lose the tickets in the interim and last night got to see him, a show that I have waited some 20 years for.

Wham! was one of my favourite acts of the 80s, and while their musical career was short-lived, George Michael on his own exceeded that legacy by leaps and bounds. Some of Wham's songs, like "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go," don't really play well these days, being a slice of the 80s, but musically I think some of their work holds up, as George showed last night. 

The show started off slowly, and I was unsure if he would completely turn his back on the Wham! cannon, but those fears that there would be no Wham! were quickly allayed when he made "I'm Your Man," a fun-filled, energetic romp, and while I was in the 300-level and most around me remained seated, I had to get up and dance -- this was a song I had never heard George Michael sing live, and since many times over the past 20 or so years I had turned up the volume and sang along at home or in the car, or selected it on the jukebox during a late night excursion to a Pilsen burrito joint while I was at UIC, or have requested it at Planet Earth, I felt that this was a dance that I had waited two decades to have. 

After which I sat down. That's the type of show it was. George interspersed his upbeat numbers with ballads and just slower stuff, and the crowd, who were not as young as they used to be, would (after the one song that I nearly was alone in dancing to) would get up for a song, dance and sing along, then sit down, which was, I have to say, nice. The rest periods were nice and gave us time to recoup until the next song that had to be danced to ("Too Funky," "Freedom 90," "Everything She Wants," "Outside"). He did not sing "Wake Me Up," which just could have been because the song is all high notes, which he doesn't hit as well these days (though he can still hold a note pretty well) and "Shoot the Dog," which was disappointing because besides being a funky tune is political, and perhaps could have led to his talking politics with us. (His asides were pretty tame, aside from the predictable "This is the sound of Chicago!" as he held his microphone out and encouraged the crowd to scream, he said "girls" can marry "girls" now, as "boys" can marry "boys," before saying, amid the already begun music for the song, "Amazing," that "this is for Kenny" (Goss, his boyfriend). Before singing "Flawless," he said that "this is possibly the gayest song I have ever done. But you don't mind, do you? You like boys who like boys." Nice touch, seeking the approval of the masses. Odd, too. But then, the crowd was a bit odd, I thought, and fascinating demographically.  Of the people who filled 3/4 of the United Center, some 80 percent, possibly more, had to be women. And the median age of the concert goers probably was 40-something. I'm actually fascinated by the demographics. I would have loved to have seen a chart of where the concertgoers lived, their ages, marital status, all that. I don't want to be all Kathy Griffin and shout "where were the gays?!" but it was strange to see a crowd that looked like they were there to see Oprah (aside from the fact that I saw hardly any black people, which was a true disappointment). But damn if these gals (most of them -- there were a few realllly old ones there) didn't scream and dance and shout for George Michael. 

George (not that I'm on a first-name basis with him, but Michael isn't his real surname) wore what is his concert tour uniform of black jeans, black shirt, black suit jacket, with his shades and a couple necklaces, it seemed (the Jumbotron helped), but for such a dour outfit, he really poured his energy into the performance and in contrast to things he has said publicly about not wanting to perform live again, he genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself. His second encore was a rousing, gospel-like (as were a few of his songs) rendition of "Freedom 90" and the show ended with him and the crowd all singing the words, "Freedom, freedom..." 

I really wasn't a George Michael fanatic before, but seeing him in concert has given me more admiration for him as a performer and respect for him as a musician. It's been many years that the thought would occasionally creep into my head that "Gee, it would have been cool to see Wham!" or "Man, George Michael has a great stage presence -- he must put on a hell of a show. If he toured here, I'd go in a second." Well, George Michael's "25 Live" show was worth every penny and well worth the wait.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The World's Oldest Profession

Recently at work, the phrase "the world's oldest profession" came up in a story that related to prostitution. Besides the fact that using such a phrase connotes some sort of Victorian imagery of gentlemen and "ladies of the night," that whitewashes the abuse, drug addiction and crime that are part of the real world of prostitution, I hate this cliche because it's a cliche that really isn't true. 

The cliche supposes that prostitution was around before ancient and prehistoric people could figure out any other possible endeavor they wanted to do for a living. I have no doubt at all that back in some cave a million or so years ago, some guy [it's always the guys] wanted to have sex and someone else [a layyyyydeyyyy?] didn't, or before she agreed to [if she wasn't just clubbed over the head by her suitor] thought for a second and said, "what's in it for me"? This also supposes that there was money to be exchanged, and while humans today are different in many ways from humans millions of years ago, I have no doubts that given the option, a bunch of prehistoric sorts sitting around the cave saying, "OK, guys, we need to invent something of value we can give to one another in exchange for goods or services -- we can make it out of stone or metal and put our faces on it and some birds or other animals and if one of us wants that leg of buffalo the other guy has, I can give him a handful of this ... what should we call it ... 'money' for his trouble." At which point of of the other guys in the cave most likely said, "Or we can have more sex." I'm thinking the cavemen went for the sex before the money. So, without money, there's no prostitution, right?

If you're a biblical sort, and think the world began with two humans, a man and a woman, who had dominion over everything, obviously the first profession, was farming, even if all they did was pick fruit off of trees. According to the bible, though, since Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they didn't have to work, but as soon as they took that damned apple, they were cast out and instantly realized they were naked and they were shameful, not hungry, so they reached for something to cover themselves up with. So, biblically, it would seem that the tailors and clothiers were the world's first profession, likely soon followed up by farming. 

People way back when, bible folk or not, needed to eat, clothe themselves and have shelter. I mean, who's thinking of sex if they are starving, cold or homeless? (OK, I know. Men.) So in terms of things you need to do, it seems sex, and sex for money, had to be at least fourth or fifth on the list of jobs. [Let's see now, World's Oldest Profession -- tailor; then farmer, then hunter, then contractor, then carpenter, then thief, because you know there had to be some thievery going on.]

If you think of what prehistoric people etched on the walls of their caves, you had hunters, farmers, and the animals they hunted. No sex or prostitutes, (until those naughty Pompeiians!) 

As far as doing things that weren't absolutely necessary in order to live, unlike hunting and gathering, you could say the first activity humans engaged in was that cave etching/drawing. So, as far as chosen professions go, it would seem that journalism is the world's oldest profession. [Insert punchline here].

Thursday, July 3, 2008

These Shirts Suck

This evening, as I was strolling the aisles of my local Jewel picking up some bronze die pasta, a bottle of chardonnay and a jar of artichoke-garlic-pesto spread for the whole wheat French bread in my basket, I saw a woman waiting at the butcher's counter, wearing a T-shirt that said, among other things, "FUCK PATRIARCHY." Yeah, you tell 'em, sister.

Once I got in line, I noticed that the woman in front of me was wearing a shirt that said, on the back, "Simon Says Fuck You!" Nice, very nice. I suppose you're also making a, um, statement with your shirt? When I was finally able to get my stuff on the belt and moving, I looked to see whom the impatient person was who was reaching over my stuff to grab the little separator thingy so she could start putting her stuff on the line (even though there was less than a foot of so of space between where my stuff ended and the end of the belt, but hey, I guess she had things to do, places to go) and it was, can you believe, the "FUCK PATRIARCHY" gal. I was sandwiched between a couple potty mouth-T-shirt wearing morons! Lucky me!

How do I know these ladies (oh wait, is that a patriarchal term -- 'lady'? If it is, well, I don't care) are morons? Because they dress like morons. They are both adults, seemingly well into their 30s, but damn it, they've got to make a statement with their shirts, and they don't care if there are little kids around in the grocery store (I really believe they should have been thrown out -- it's not like you have a right to be in a grocery store if you wear shirts with curse words on them) or if they wind up looking like idiots. I know, I said only a few sentences ago, they were morons. Well, potentially they are both idiots and morons.

You know, there was a time when I would have worn a shirt that said "Fuck" on it (especially if it preceeded the word "Reagan") but then I turned 23 or 25 and realized if you don't also have the rage to accompany said shirt, you really just look kind of silly and trashy. 

Congratulations to these two women, though. You're both really sticking it to the man with your clothing choices. Either that or you're showing us that you refuse to age gracefully.