Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Robotic Sociopaths with Good Teeth

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Despite all the clamoring for my analysis of the midterm elections, I must refrain from commentary. I must confess I’ve been studiously ignoring the political landscape for quite some time, ever since I first heard the word “caucus” back in seventh grade.

Ostensibly, we were learning about the electoral system, but I remember next to nothing except a few key terms: caucus, electoral college and delegate. They’ve had approximately the same impact on my life as the only terms I remember from a different class that year: modules and bases.

Bases, I understand (Tom Lehrer: “The book I got this problem out of wants you to do it in base eight. But don’t worry; base eight is like base ten, really. If you’re missing two fingers.”). I can even make a half-decent argument in favor of abolishing the electoral college (“tuition is too high”). The rest of the stuff is taking up space in my brain that could be put to better use, such as memorizing song lyrics (“Aaaaamaaziiiiing graaaace, something something something something…”).

Boy, do I have fond memories of that year. That is, if you define “fond” as “generating such revulsion and bitterness as to give Joseph Stalin pause.” How do I love thee, oh 1987-88? Let me count the ways: (1) braces (2) bullies (3) social ineptitude (4) no Voltron toys as gifts (5) bases and modules (6) Arrowsmith (7) dwindling LEGO collection (8) missing G.I. Joe airplane (9) sibling conflict at levels unheard of since Cain and Abel (10) the New York Yankees at their nadir (11) Small Wonder.

I have to stop there. Twenty-three years later, I simply cannot fathom why that show lasted more than three episodes. I take that back: I cannot fathom what demented mind thought up the premise for that show, then managed to find enough other demented minds to actually get that horror produced and broadcast. Others may have their favorite dates for when American popular culture jumped the shark, but in my experience it was the day I realized what utter tripe I was watching (it was about that time that my parents came up with the idea of paying us not to watch TV). There were plenty of decent other shows; what the hell was I doing wasting my time with Small Wonder? I didn’t have the answer to that, and I still don’t.

Maybe that’s why politics turns me off so much. The politicians pretend to be these likable people, when in fact they are robotic sociopaths with good teeth. Yes, that would make a great name for a band.

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Written by Thag

November 3, 2010 at 10:48 pm

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