Friday, August 6, 2004


Today, we inaugurate the latest in a seemingly endless string of Friday gimmicks designed to ease the tired brain of your weary columnist: BAD CALL FRIDAY. Where I go through and single out individuals in the world who have, perhaps, shown poor judgment, or made a... BAD CALL.
Like whoever lets Dubya out of his fucking cage and allows him to open his mouth. While signing into law the spending of four. Hundred. Billion. Dollars, ol' cottonmouth told Pentagon officials: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." This is the guy that gets to sign the four hundred billion dollar checks, folks.
It's not even a traditional Dubya fuckup! Look at the sentence... it's deliberately employing that politician-speak rhetorical device where rhythms are repeated. The ending with "and so are we" twice is a classic speech thing. It's just horrendously misapplied. A professional speechwriter would have caught that, which means a professional writer didn't script Bush's speech, which means they're letting him make up his own words. During an election year, no less. What were they thinking? Putting Bush in charge of his own mouth is always a... BAD CALL.
Moving to the other end of the political spectrum, we look at sex columnist Dan Savage. I like Dan Savage, I really do, but he's been doing this long enough to know not to submit a paragraph like the following, from this past Wednesday's column, to his editor:
"But there's always a catch: I've never actually seen an extremely beautiful goth girl myself--most of them seem to have weight problems, which has always struck me as strangely contradictory. From the neck up, the look cultivated by goth girls seems to say, 'Oh, we despair of this world and long for the sweet embrace of death!' From the neck down, their look seems to say, 'I'll take the bacon cheeseburger, two orders of fries, and a Diet Coke, please.'"
Dan, Dan, Dan. Why would you do this? Are you feeling tired? About to go on vacation? Trying to fill your next two columns with angry e-mails denouncing you for being an insensitive prick? You gotta know you're gonna get letters when you say something like that. You always get letters when you say something like that. I know this, and I -never- get letters.
Plus, fat jokes? Making fun of goth chicks for being fat is like making fun of Dubya for his receding hairline. It may be technically true in certain cases, but come on. That's not where you go. You make fun of goths for treating unhappiness like a lifestyle choice. You make fun of goths for being in front of you in line at Hot Topic when all you want is a goddamn Brak T-shirt. You make fun of goths for still thinking Trent Reznor had something to say. You make fun of goth nerds who do live-action vampire roleplaying and then tell you about everything that happened to their characters the next day. Making fun of goths for being overweight is just a... BAD CALL.
Of course, as bad calls go, you can't get much worse than Joe Brown, city council chairman, Memphis, Tennessee. Hey, look! It's Tennessee again! Didn't you just try to lynch an atheist a few days ago, Tennessee? You've got to pace yourself. At this rate, you'll be too stupided out to do anything retarded in November and December. You don't sprint during a marathon, son.
Joe Brown was in City Hall a few days ago when seven Iraqis came to visit. They had an appointment with a city councilman. They'd been brought in by the United States government, and were touring the country to learn how our form of government works. And, to be fair, they got an accurate picture from Joe Brown, who, in a triumph of local control over federal mandates, refused to let those damn dirty Iraqis in the building.
In fact, in a move that I think really exemplifies the concept of "Southern Hospitality", he threatened to evacuate the building and call the bomb squad if they set foot in City Hall, and said, "We don't know exactly what's going on. Who knows about the delegation, and has the FBI been informed? We must secure and protect all the employees in that building." It's ironic, really, that someone named Joe Brown would have an irrational fear and hatred of people who share the trait embodied by his OWN FUCKING LAST NAME.
And that, my friends, is why Memphis is famous for GRACEland. What better way to show graciousness and willingness to help the people we've allegedly liberated than to have a screaming, Anne Jacobsen-style panic fit when they come for a visit. Brown has since been forced to apologize, but even by the lower standards I set for Tennessee in general, I'm afraid Joe Brown made a.... BAD CALL.