Making Up Is Hard To Do

« September 2010 »

Memo to Spencer Pratt, Kevin Hassett, and Bottled Water Matters: YOU ARE DUMB.

I know I didn't post a column yesterday. It's something I do a lot on Tuesdays because my Mondays are hectic. But you know, if you'd been following me on Twitter, you'd actually have gotten nearly 1,400 characters worth of original You Are Dumb comedy fucking gold. About Twitter, which makes it metacomedy, which triples its value on the black market. My point is, I'm trying to make it up to you, so that "making up" can be an incredibly tenuous theme with which to link this week's installment of IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"Divorce can be a trying, draining, and emotionally devastating experience for all involved. Despite these hardships, most individuals manage to conduct themselves with dignity and maturity. I did not –- I failed spectacularly. I horribly embarrassed the one person that meant the world to me. For my outrageous and infantile behavior, I offer Heidi my most sincere apologies." - Spencer Pratt.

This is, as the old chestnut about ten dead lawyers goes, a good start. Kudos to Pratt's new writer, although he really hasn't quite gotten the knack - "spectacularly" is at least two syllables longer than any word Pratt's addled, heat-shrunk brain could handle. But they've got the right idea - having Spencer Pratt apologize for his many crimes against humanity, common decency, the television screens of millions of Americans, and even his many crimes against the faux-celebrity gossip industry could keep his name in the news for DECADES.

But why stop there? I think we're overdue for a revival of good old-fashioned self-flagellation and hairshirtery. And Pratt's a hell of a place to start. He's the apotheosis of douche, a man that even the love child of Mother Theresa and Deanna Troi couldn't feel empathy for. Put him on Wipeout and take away the padding. It's not cruel if he volunteers willingly in order to atone for his outrageous and infantile behavior, and if you tell him it'll be filmed, he's sure to agree to it.

"So here comes the leap into ice-cold water: The biggest problem with the labor market right now is that wages are too high. As Washington again turns to government spending as a cure for unemployment, some against-the-grain thinking is in order. Economics teaches that full employment would be reached if wages adjust downward, to a level that better reflects current circumstances. At lower wages, employers would desire more workers. Labor markets generate persistent unemployment only if wages are sticky, failing to fall as demand declines. - Kevin Hassett, of the right-wing think tank the American Enterprise Institute.

That's not actually against-the-grain thinking for AEI, whose school of economics has provided the grain for the last decade of record-setting income inequality. But clearly, the gap between the robber barons and the working poor isn't large enough, so here comes Hassett to explain that we'd all have jobs if we'd all work for less money. And by "all", he means you. Not CEOs or hedge fund managers or think-tank professional ass-warts, but you schlubs making minimum wage, or even a bit above that.

Yes, instead of one person at the food bank and one person on unemployment, let's send both people to the food bank to fight over the last can of green beans so that nobody receives that horrible, laziness-inducing government unemployment money. That'll make up the jobs shortfall. Not as much as actual indentured servitude would, but, you know. Fuckin' baby steps.

This is why we need more riots in America. I mean, I'm no fan of random shit being set on fire, but this is precisely the kind of attitude that only thrives because, when it's made public, nobody sets random shit on fire. Or even semi-random shit. Roll the dice, pick a car in Hassett's driveway, and see how much ice-cold water he has on hand. Hey, look at that, it's a segue.

"We give bottled water consumers a voice to share their ideas about bottled water safety, healthy beverage choices and commitment to recycling. This coalition is a channel to communicate with fellow bottled water drinkers, lawmakers and regulators, media, and others. Please spend some time browsing the site and join us in speaking out to ensure that bottled water choice is not burdened by onerous measures such as punitive taxes or other obstacles." - Bottled Water Matters, a new bottled water industry website.

When civilization rises again, and future archaeologists dig through our rubble, few things will damn us more than the layer of compressed Aquafina bottles they'll probably deem our K-T Boundary.

I mean, I do some horrible fucking things to the planet. The stuff I use to calculate my carbon footprint has its own carbon footprint. At any given moment, I'm charging or draining up to a dozen batteries. But even I draw the line at bottled water. Here's a rule of thumb. If someone asks you why you're drinking bottled water, and the first word out of your mouth is "Well...", then you could have managed with tap. That hesitation is you rationalizing a choice you know was made out of weakness and selfishness.

And the bottled water industry knows this, which is why they've gone all Facebooky and Twittery and YouTubey to make up a bunch of "I read on the Internet that..." justifications you need to avoid changing your awful behavior. I mean, heaven forfend there be any onerous measures or other obstacles keeping Coca Cola from selling you a penny-and-a-half's worth of municipal tap water for a buck-fifty, without even bothering to add some caramel color, caffeine, and high fructose corn syrup* to it first. You must be free to choose awful things, because otherwise, awful companies would have to become less awful!

*Yes, I know, and yes, you'll be seeing something about that story soon, either here or on the food site most of you don't read.