Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don Henley Was Right...

"The more I know, the less I understand."

Those words, proferred by Don Henley in his pathos-heavy "End of The Innocence" album, definitely apply these days. However, his use thereof concerned, if memory serves, divorce and love in the song "The Last Worthless Evening." For me, these words apply to the increasing stupidity of America as a nation, and, in tandem, my inability to believe we manage great strides in achieving new degrees of stupidity each day. And thereafter, the two paths diverge; in fact, contrary to Mr. Henley's last worthless evening, mine would be watching The Jerry Springer Show sandwiched by two Montel Williams shows, all of which focus on sex-change children born from interracial marriages. That wouldn't simply be worthless; that would be enough to inspire me to throw myself from a tall, tall building.

Several items formed the impetus for my observation regarding our increased stupidity; the first was this, a story about a Randolph College field trip. Randolph College is located in Lynchburg, Virginia; the class, entitled "American Consumption," observes various facets of American culture and then, subject by subject, observes each facet by taking a field trip. This particular field trip, however, brought the students to the Chicken Ranch.

For those not in the know, the Chicken Ranch isn't a food establishment -- it's a whorehouse.

I'm not exactly sure how, if I was a parent of a student on the trip, I'd react; however, unless Randolph College is a free educational experience, I'd be seriously pissed. I have no moral opposition to prostitution per se. It's legal in Nevada, so even if some of the students wanted a very up-close-and-personal look at some of the employees of the Chicken Ranch, so be it. But I'd gravely question why I was sending my child to a school that would encourage students to take a peek behind the curtain. In other words, are we actually going to start encouraging the youth of society to consider stripping and/or legalized prostitution as viable sources of income? I recall a story in which a Florida high-school guidance counselor was fired because he encouraged women in a soon-to-be graduating class several years ago to consider stripping, and that incredible lapse in judgement was nothing compared to an administration official okaying a trip to see hookers. If my son or daughter was dumb enough to be enrolled at Randolph College, I think I'd tell people he or she was actually clinically retarded and was a refuse collector in Wichita rather than admit he or she was attending a college that sent students to a whorehouse. I would lie about where he or she was going to school not to protect his or her self-esteem, but (sic) my reputation.

Again, to reiterate, I have nothing against the ho's ;-) It just seems like this is another example of our culture slowly but surely inching closer to Idiocracy. It's one thing to hear about one adult's dumb decision when it comes to a bunch of kids; it's another when institutions of higher learning seemingly are managed, if one can call it that, by a bunch of shitheads.

Next up on the Asshat agenda is a story of unrequited love, loyalty, sadness, and's the story of a Spanish taxi driver by the name of Jordi Bassas Puigdollers. Mr. Puigdollers -- Pug for short -- is a life-long, obsessive Debbie Gibson fan. Not only has he started up a Debbie Gibson fan club, he's traveled all over the place to see her concerts, attended her personal appearances, and has recently followed her to her hotels and visited her home. So it's, of course, no surprise that Ms. Gibson, aka Washed-Up-No-Talent-Hack, filed a restraining order against Pug. What's even more interesting is that he's been barred from being within 100 yards of her, except at concerts.

First of all, how much money is this guy making as a cab-driver to be able to follow Debbie Gibson all over the country? Second, if she was able to get a restraining order, why is this shitbird still permitted to attend her concerts? Third, if you were going to throw your life away stalking someone, wouldn't you try and stalk someone that was a) attractive; b) talented; c) worth stalking; and d) not lame? If you're a loser and opt to head to the US to stalk someone, don't follow Pug's example; make it someone interesting. Some good choices are Carmen Electra (duh), Stephen Hawking (it's not like he's going to be able to run away and hide behind the gates of his mansion) or James Caan (it worked for Kathy Bates).

Personally, if I were Ms. Gibson (aka Washed-Up-No-Talent-Hack), I'd be thrilled someone actually gave a shit that I was still alive and not doing dinner-theater in Lincoln, Nebraska. Granted, I'm not being entirely fair to Ms. Gibson; I'm sure she's a nice person and doesn't deserve to be called a Washed-Up-No-Talent-Hack. However, um -- she's washed up, she doesn't have any more talent than those six-year-old beauty pageant contestants (think Jon Benet Ramsey, only alive) and she's being stalked by someone who might very well possess more talent than she does. But it's creepy -- who wants to be stalked by a taxi driver halfway around the world named Puigdollers? To me, that sounds like something you find growing on your undercarriage, if you know what I mean. Plus, every time I think "obsessed taxi driver," I think DeNiro in the mohawk putting bullets into anything moving -- Harvey Keitel, etc. -- and John Hinckley Junior (and that whole Jodie Foster/Ronald Reagan thing). Now I'm sure Pug didn't stop to think of the company he's keeping, but short of Jeffrey Dahmer, are those names -- Travis Bickle and John Hinckly Jr. -- the kind of people you would aspire to be among? No, unless your name is Pug and you think Debbie Gibson is worth stalking.

In short, stupid people stalking worthless former celebrities says a lot about where we're headed as a culture, if not at the very least where we are. Yikes.

However, if we really want to understand just how fucked up and moronic we've become as a nation, we need look no further than Commerce City, Colorado, the home of Joseph Manzanares. Congratulations are in order for Mr. Manzanares and his girlfriend, who -- four years ago -- had a child (Editor's Note: Mr. Manzanares is currently 19 years old, which would make him 15 at the time he fathered his -- presumably -- first child. Lovely). Unfortunately, Mr. Manzanares and his girlfriend disagree on one very important topic: the gang in which the child will be raised.

Apparently, Mr. Manzanares is a member of a gang called the "Westside Ballers" and his girlfriend is a member of the Crips (Does anyone else sense an imminent "West Side Story" fanfare about to break out?).

Beyond the main problem, ie that these clearly moronic individuals successfully procreated, what makes it even worse is that Mr. Manzanares got so irritated about his child's eventual gang choice that he confronted his girlfriend -- at her job at Hollywood Video -- and threatened her. So he was sentenced to a year of probation for the threats (as well as knocking over some movie posters and a computer).

One can only hope that, years from now, the happy couple will likely be celebrating their lives together at the tender of age of 42 as great grandparents and will recall how silly they behaved in their youth as they fought over the Crips, the Bloods, the Westside Ballers and the LA Kings. And then they'll go out for a rumble on the West Siyeeeeed in the SPC and they'll both, sadly, be killed in the skirmish with the cops.

Nothing beats a storybook ending, except maybe a good Jerry Springer Show brawl as the credits roll.

This should be a lesson to us: two people whose combined IQ's are below 100 should not be permitted to procreate. If the Supreme Court says it's okay to execute people who are clinically mentally disabled, why should those who are marginal idiots be allowed on the streets? If the statement "Smart people have smart children" is true, it would follow that empty-headed half-wits from the middle of nowhere are going to breed kids that're dumber than rocks.

And we wonder why they're tearing down libraries to build overcrowded prisons.

The more I know, the less I understand.


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