Thursday, November 17, 2011

Quick Takes - Kitty litter and skin lamps

Han Solo, you are my coping mechanism.

Every single time I clean out the cat litter, I pretend I'm Han Solo and I just found Luke Skywalker freezing to death on the ice-planet of Hoth. I literally say to myself, out loud, "And I thought ... they smelled bad ... on the outside!" as I sift through granules of sand like the owner of the most depressing Zen garden in human history. The way we, as humans, learn to cope with awful things is fascinating. And we all do it differently too. When someone dies, every single person who knew that individual processes it in his/her own way. For the same person, you have people who secretly celebrate the death (which sounds horrible, but we all know it totally happens), and you have people who wail away like old Italian women. And you have actual wailing old Italian women too (unless that stereotype is just way off). There are people who probably love cleaning kitty litter. I'm not one of those people, but I'm sure they exist. Because for every crazy thing you can imagine, there's someone out there who's doing it. Right now. And probably enjoying it.

But even though we can rationalize that and say, "Of course there's someone out there making decorative patterns in their litter with a little wooden rake," the range of the human species is so expansive that we're continually surprised by it. Like when people found skin-lamps in Ed Gein's house. Really? You made lampshades out of human skin? You didn't think that was weird, Ed? And he didn't. And that's cool. I don't really have a problem with it (the skin lamps, not the murders ... those were bad, mmkay?). And I don't have a problem with people who have a problem with skin lamps, because, dammit, we're all genetically unique (except for those freaky identical twins), and whatever outputs that produces are just part of the human experience.

If we hate something and we have to turn it into a game to get through it (these tauntauns are making me thirsty), or if we love something everyone else thinks is weird, we don't owe it to anyone to have to explain it away. Coping is a wonderful thing. It's probably one of the things our species does best. We are incredibly resilient. I love seeing the aftermath of natural disasters, not because I like natural disasters (they are cool, just when they happen somewhere else), but because I love seeing how people cope. They're making homemade jet-skis in Bangkok right now to get through the flood waters. Homemade jet-skis! Just because they can, and because they need them, and because the alternative isn't even worth considering. That's what we do, we make "Star Wars" references and build steampunk vehicles out of empty barrels and salvaged motors, because we have an amazing capacity to move forward.

  • The biggest news of the day is obviously that the Houston Astros are headed to the AL West! Wow! After a lengthy battle to sell the team, contingent on moving the Astros to the AL West, baseball owners have officially approved the sale and the Astros will be joining the best/worst division in MLB in 2013. Congratulations, Seattle Mariners fans, you will now be following the second-worst team in the division.
  • FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who must have a weekly conference call with David Stern to discuss how to be a massive douche, is now facing calls for his resignation in the wake of his comments downplaying racism allegations in international football. Former Arsenal cult hero Emmanuel Eboue was especially critical of Blatter over Twitter, saying that the favoritism Blatter and his counterparts have shown toward Chelsea and England defender John Terry, while ostracizing the players who were allegedly abused, is pathetic and a testament to his true character. And a host of other players are calling for Blatter to step down. Of course, people like Sepp Blatter don't step down, they step on, and it's going to take more than a few angry shouts to remove him from atop the world's football association. Paging: Austin Powers.
  • Aaron Brooks has joined a handful of other NBA players to sign for a Chinese team. First they take our manufacturing industry, and now they're taking our NBA?! How dare they! Actually, maybe they can make it better and cheaper and then just sell it back to us.
  • Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving last night. Pinkel has apologized for his actions and said he will accept full responsibility, which is the NCAA way of saying, "Nothing's going to happen to me so let's all just move on. Don't you guys need to beat the Penn State horse to death a little more?"
  • Tiger Woods really let the Golfpunk community down yesterday. No swearing, no fighting, no nuclear threats, just bad, bad golf.
  • The Seattle Seahawks offensive line has lost two rookie starters to season-ending knee injuries this week, with both John Moffitt and James Carpenter going down. Hey, if things don't work out for Tim Tebow at quarterback in Denver, he could always come play on the offensive line for the Seahawks. Will we see the first-ever offensive line draw play? "And the center snaps it to ... himself! And he's off!"

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