Friday, March 07, 2008

What people like pt. II

This is the second part of the meme adapted by Samurai Frog. Now with more vehement opinions! As with yesterday, I bolded the things that get an unqualified endorsement from me.

#42 Sushi. Yes. I love sushi. In Portland, my friend Deep Blue and I used to routinely spend $100 at the better sushi restaurants. I've also had truly terrific sushi in New York. Here, the pre-packed sushi at Whole Foods is like the McDonald's hamburger of the sushi experience, but I still willingly shell out $10-$15 a box for it. Hey, I can afford it. Also: delicious.

#43 Plays. I've been to a few, but I'm not going to gush over the genre or anything. There are great masterpieces of drama, and there are tedious plays that put the "bored" in "tread the boards." It's such a broad category. This like saying "Do you enjoy books? What about entertainment? Do you like that?"

#44 Public Radio. I haven't listened to radio of any kind in many years. If someone's playing something interesting, like "This American Life" or the Click and Clack show or a funny quiz show they have on there, I'd be into it, but I don't actively seek it out.

#45 Asian Fusion Food. I don't know what this is. Is it fused with Western cuisine? Why?

#46 The Sunday New York Times. I don't care. Waste of trees, if you ask me.

#47 Arts Degrees. I have a bachelor's of arts and a master's of arts, but it's not like I think people with arts degrees are more interesting than people with science degrees or no degrees. I do value a good liberal arts education, but I'm not so naive as to think that you're not educated if you don't have that piece of paper. I knew a man who had to quit high school because he impregnated his girl friend; he got a job with a gas company, built his own house, and read Shakespeare for pleasure. People can surprise you, man.

#48 Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops. Yes, I only shop at Whole Foods. I like my food unadulterated with pesticides and human growth hormone and Chinese bear bile.

#49 Vintage. What does this mean? That I value old stuff? If it's quality, sure. if not, no.

#50 Irony. I value the art of wit and arch commentary, sure. "The Simpsons" in its heyday was the king of ironic humor. But vulgar puns are pretty sweet, too.

#51 Living by the Water. That would be nice. If I could afford a house anywhere, I wouldn't mind. One reason Paris is so incredible is the river flowing though it. Portland as well. New York, come to think of it. But it's not the final selling point for me when it comes to location. I can think of a lot of other options that I'd like just as much or more.

#52 Sarah Silverman. I do not find her attractive or amusing. I don't think making a vulgar joke and then smiley cutely is a legitimate basis for a career. And she clearly thinks she's incredibly hot. Not interested.

#53 Dogs. Come on, everyone loves dogs. That's so racist. Maybe traditionally, keeping animals as pets rather than strictly for food or for another utilitarian purpose was more of an Anglo-European experience. But this is the 21st century. I doubt that black people or Asians are adverse to dogs at any higher rate than white people.

#54 Kitchen Gadgets. I'm a very Spartan man when it comes to the kitchen. Give me two sizes of pans, two sizes of pots, a couple sharp knives, a colander, a blender, and a can opener, and I'm done. And my blender's got two settings: on and off. No need for kitchen tech.

#55 Apologies. On a personal level, I'm not interested in making apologies for anything I haven't actually done, or hearing apologies from people unless they've directly offended me. That said, however, I do think that as a symbolic gesture, apologizing for slavery and for the genocide of the Indians are both good ideas. So I guess I'm a wishy-washy white guy on this one.

#56 Lawyers. Let's see. Best friend, lawyer. Brother, lawyer. Other old friend from high school, lawyer. His wife, lawyer. Another good friend from high school, law professor. Also, at one point in my slacker youth, I took the LSAT, vaguely considering going to law school. Does this make me a lover of lawyers? I don't think so. I like my friends for what they are, not for their jobs. Indeed, I have to force myself not to opine to the Friar about his job (criminal defender), because I think it's evil. A necessary evil, perhaps, but evil nonetheless.

#57 Juno. Haven't seen it, but I hear it's good.

#58 Japan. I don't have any more interest in Japan than in other countries. I think white people who go nuts over anime and the Japanese language at the expense of other cultures and languages have some kind of unhealthy More-Orient-Than-Thou fetish. But hey, everyone's gotta have a hobby. You go, gaijin! I'm just not interested myself.

#59 Natural Medicine. No thanks. I prefer science. Good solid Western science saved my life when I was born. No herb or pressure point can take the place of surgery.

#60 Toyota Prius. I don't drive one, and I don't have faith in any one particular make or model of car, but I'm vehemently for better gas mileage and energy efficiency. I'd be in favor of legislation forcing auto makers to improve gas mileage, but this car in particular is not something I care about.

#61 Bicycles. This isn't me; I can just barely ride a bicycle. I do think a culture that bikes (or walks) rather than drives as a default transportation is a healthier one. Hell, in this town, I'd settle for public transportation (there isn't any to speak of).

#62 Knowing What’s Best for Poor People. I know what's best for poor people, but only because I know what's best for everyone. Do what I say, dammit! In all seriousness, I've been guilty of this before, but only because my ex came from an extremely impoverished family. I saw firsthand the stupid decisions they made, thinking they'd save money. Not being very well educated, they were rather short-sighted when it came to financial planning. I didn't stick my nose in, mind you, I just stood aside and shook my head at it all.

#63 Expensive Sandwiches. I guess I'll bold this one, because I would prefer a nice sandwich like with foccacia and ciabatta, and avocado, and prosciutto and so forth. Well, hit my head and call me a yuppie, I guess. Sandwich chain shops like Subway turn me off. All those condiments just sitting there in vats while teenage minimum-wage servers breathe on them --- no thanks.

#64 Recycling. Yes, this is unquestionably a good idea. Yes, it uses resources and energy. Yes, it's an industrial process. So the fuck what? Use it now, and over time the tech will streamline the process. Just because something is flawed, we should utterly ignore it? What kind of attitude is that? That said, much better than recycling is reusing. This country wastes tremendous resources with its plastic forks and disposable shit. I'm the only person I know who rinses out plastic sandwich bags. It's not ruined just because it had some Cheetos in it, people. Rinse it out, let it dry, and use it again for something else. Especially if you're poor, this is a good idea. As a culture, we need to turn away from this cult of consumerism and disposal, and embrace the culture of the pioneers, who reused and reforged and repaired anywhere they could.

#65 Co-Ed Sports. I don't care about sports.

#66 Divorce. I'm against it.

#67 Standing Still at Concerts. Ha ha! White folks, dey dance like dis! [short, jerky movements above the waist] And black folks, dey dance like dis! [smooth undulation from knees to hips]

#68 Michel Gondry. I don't know who this is.

#69 Mos Def. He's okay, but I'm not much into rap, because I'm white.

#70 Difficult Breakups. What, do black people not have feelings? "See you later, bitch!" what kind of racist shit is this?

#71 Being the only white person around. No, I'm usually around other white people. See #14 in yesterday's entry.

#72 Study Abroad. Yeah, I wish I had done this. It's a great way to understand other cultures and languages when you're still young enough to change your mind. If I were obscenely wealthy, I'd start up a fund so poor students could study in other countries.

#73 Gentrification. I'm not exactly sure what this means.

#74 Oscar Parties. I don't care about the Oscars, I don't care about parties. So do the math.

#75 Threatening to Move to Canada. Nah, I'm a patriot. being a liberal, I understand that you can love your country and still be unhappy with aspects of it. Just like one can love one's family but still be exasperated at their flaws. To paraphrase Al Franken (though I'd formulated this idea on my own long before I'd read him) conservatives tend to love their country like a three year old loves his mommy. Everything she does is perfect, and anyone who criticizes mommy is bad. (But, later, if mommy does something they don't like, suddenly mommy is totally bad herself. Never did I hear the phrase "ashamed to be an American" more than in the mouths of conservatives after the last Democratic victory in the House.)

#76 Bottles of Water. No, this is wasteful and short-sighted. If you don't trust your tap water (and why the hell should you?), buy a filter for your tap and a couple of reusable sturdy camping-style bottles. It's much cheaper in the long run and you aren't littering America with your petroleum-derived crap. See #64.

#77 Musical Comedy. I don't think so.

#78 Multilingual Children. Yes, good idea. How about multilingual adults, too?

#79 Modern Furniture. I'll quote Samurai Frog's answer in toto. "I like what's comfortable. I don't care what a couch looks like as long as I can comfortably nap on it."

#80 The Idea of Soccer. I'm not interested in sports. I keep telling you that!

#81 Graduate School. If you want to go, fine. See #47 for notes on formal education.

#82 Hating Corporations. I don't hate corporations in and of themselves, but that's not what this question is really getting at anyway. What it really means, and what I hate, is the power corporations are given. I hate, in short, the governmental-industrial complex. I hate that corporations are given more power than the consumer. I hate that government limits the amount of reimbursement an individual can get from a corporation that screws him over. I hate laws that allow corporations to say no health care, to hire people for 39 hours a week so they won't have to give them benefits, to pollute with no serious repercussions. I hate American corporations than are allowed to pull up and go overseas and pay third-worlders slave wages and lay off thousands of Americans and then turn around and sell their overpriced crap back to Americans. Fuck you and everything you stand for, governmental-industrial complex.

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