Craig Ferguson. You may not know him but he’s about to tell you something that’s been staring you straight in the face. I'm not sure when this aired on his show 'Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson' (I'm slow to get this stuff) but listen. Listen:
Understand this apology: I never thought when I started this blog I’d get into politics or social analysis or be trying to shed light on untold problems. A lark with one wing flapping, I am. A fop to urge on the realization that the world is a beautifully ridiculous place when it’s not scary as all fuck. I think my name, "Clarence", means light bringer. Don’t send me virgins yet. I look into my own head and it’s plenty dark in there. I don’t mean to be mean. I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I will never fan flames to make someone take up either arms, hysterics or boiling umbrage. I just want an end to negligence. I don’t want us to be stupid. We’re better than stupid.
Except a lot of times we’re not. We let the minor annoyances of our lives and the bumbling inadequacies our parents paraded for us determine way too much without ever having to actually put thought into it. The quiet desperation we all live under has become a pervading white noise driving huge contingents reasonably insane. There is a pandemic gripping this entire planet combining youth, greed, insensitivity, and the schemes of the few at the expense of the many.
This is a blog. And I’ve said before, the very word is an idiotic thing. ‘Twas a blog that caught the roving dead eye of John McCain’s presidentially-motivated political machine, a blog from a boy who has not yet lived and I can practically guarantee not loved—and this isn’t a mean thing to say; if anything, I’m compassionate toward him, but compassion seems to hurt these days—a Conservative blog about how right Sarah Palin is for the conservative world. Conservative. Preserve for the good of all. Communist. The irony. Ms. Palin would be as obscure to 99 percent of the life in this universe as before she ever stepped foot on the American Idol political stage if not for the rhetoric of, of all things, a blog. Maintained by a college kid in his mom’s basement. A blog is not something to invest a lot of thought in. If my facts here aren’t correct, please accord me the same you do your most favored Eddie Haskell-ish politican, Eddie Haskell being the model of weasely, disingenuous behavior on the old 50’s sitcom ‘Leave It To Beaver’, and accept without strain.
A Presidential campaign launched and America under the clutches of yet another annoying terrorist, all for the love of a blog (being attractive compared to Barbara Bush plus Alaskan white doesn’t strip Madam Palin of a fear-pandering agenda). So we can’t pretend stupid things don’t have power. Of course she’s not alone or even at the top of what she thinks is her own machine. Ambition is like crack and you’ll dance your dance for anybody for it. But people say President Obama is the anti-Christ. Hello, the devil wears Prada? This woman is dangerous because she represents the meteoric rise (meteor’s don’t rise; that’s a stupid expression) of stupidity. She is the deep seated dream of lowered expectations. For God’s sake, she’s a failed beauty queen—is there anything more dangerous than that?
America is great because it’s not homogeneous. Japan, China, Russia—they’re missing out on something wonderful. They’ve got a national deficiency of vitamin D: diversity. Here, though, we can gorge on it and become superhuman if we stopped being fearful long enough to truly avail. I don’t give a gnat’s ass about politics. You can call yourself a Liberal, a Republican, a Conservative, a Democrat, a Tea-bagger, a Progressive, a Pro-lifer or any number of goofy avoidances to having a true identity. I don’t give a gnat’s ass. My neighbor is an older white guy, as conservative, pro-lifey and Republican as they come. (Why has “Republican” come to mean “I’m white and I don’t like you”?) Right-to-Life bumper stickers and everything on his van. Not too politically astute. He’s one of the few white folks that live in my immediate neighborhood; a few blocks off is Porch Negro/Cletus-ville, but that’s a whole different blend of racial accord. My neighborhood’s not that bad. I can show you bad neighborhoods. He and I speak, he drags my garbage can in, I drag his, whenever I shovel snow I go along his walk too. I watch out for him because he’s getting up there in age and lives alone. Détente means I don’t talk about him behind his back, I don’t secretly want him gone, and his bumper sticker about “Choose Life” doesn’t throw me into conniption fits. Sometimes politics will creep into a casual conversation and I break things down with logic. The people who think life is precious and protest outside abortion clinics never hand out condoms or vouchers for free doctor’s visits. Life is precious, but don’t tell me that sex doesn’t scare the hell out of a lot of people. There’s jealousy on those abortion lines. But I digress.
No I don’t. Here’s the thing: I don’t like abortion. Nobody likes abortion; it would have been another viable life on this planet, but let’s not pretend we love life. Let’s not pretend that our consciences guide us. Let’s not even go down that road. We’re primitive. What do primitives like? Food, sex, gratification, power. Did you know that mores are constructs and not handed down by God as universal law? Taken to extremes, we can say anything goes. Extremity is a fool’s route. Sex is here and will always be here and people will always be stupid about it. This leads to unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. There’s a 13 year old girl who brings her little baby to my wife’s Catholic church every Sunday. Back in high school I came up with this little saying: I have released many wrong things into this universe; I, myself, may be a wrong thing released by someone else. I was more of a twat then than I am now. Those words have stayed with me, though, because there’s truth in them. Am I telling 13 year olds to go ahead and have willy-nilly sex if we take away the spectre of pregnancy? My niece will be 13 soon. Let her have sex. Then read her obituary.
In this day and age there is absolutely zero justification for consenting adults to face unwanted pregnancy. In this day and age there is no justification for adults to think teens and other dummies are not, will not, and won’t continue to have dummy sex. Hell, let’s make birth control pills taste like Skittles and make spermicide an ingredient in Mountain Dew. The shame behind actively wanting to thwart procreation is silly. Condom commercials fight the stigma by trying too hard to be cool, which just reinforces the institutional stigma. Birth control pills are still for women who sit around drinking lattes. In this day and age there is no reason to protest abortion and every reason to make sure boys and girls, men and women, know that birth control is a necessity, not a shame. Be real, I say to my neighbor and he nods and we leave it at that. People are going to have sex. That doesn’t mean they need to get pregnant. Every sperm is not sacred.
So abortion protestors are missing golden opportunities to truly make a difference. They’re ignoring truth in favor of airy dogma. Airy because it doesn’t hold weight. Posters of aborted fetuses and the potential of damaging your soul only work if being preached to the choir. Outside the choir, you need to hit folks with truth. Not spin, not flim flam, not double handed self serving masturbation. Not saying a lot of these protestors aren’t sincere. I’m saying question your methods, question your goals. I’m saying don’t willfully blind yourselves to reality.
Don’t be taken advantage of by people whose only use for you is to use you. The Pope is not inherently holy. Most politicians you wouldn’t trust to sell you a used car. Most, not all.
What could all these words possibly have to do with Craig Ferguson?
No matter how old we are, we’re all pretending we’re youths. Cosmetic companies make up new scientific-sounding words to make vain, wrinkly women think they need to compete with hot babes. Beer commercials still want men to think there’s an inherent connection between their fermented piss and sex (outside of the get-you-drunk-and-take-advantage-of-you factor). Diet commercials engage the willing suspension of disbelief that they’ll work over the simple truth of eating less and exercising. No matter what, we want to be young. We want to consume what we want and pretend that the magic of youthful metabolism will make everything bad go away. And if it needs help going away, well, that’s what TV is for. TV is our best good friend. It is cool. It lets us sit at its table, and in sitting we know deep down that we are not geeks.
Except we are geeks. What’s more geeky than a kid? Even the ones that (we) think are cool are awkward and doofy. They’re supposed to be awkward and doofy. Compared to what? To grown ups! I say ad nauseam to family and friends that the problem with kids today is that they don’t know they’re kids. They don’t see any difference between them and us outside of size and the ability to drive, which are temporary inequities. They have the same stuff as us. They watch the same shows. Same movies. Music. My nephew has a better cellphone, TV, laptop (it’s mom’s but let’s be real) and wardrobe than me. He probably has more money in his savings account too. So why should he respect what comes out of uncle’s mouth? Granted I could punch a hole through his chest if he made me mad enough, but then there’d be tiresome legalities, and I think our kids know very well to use that fact to their advantage. And all the adults out there still clinging to the glory days of their high school cafeteria are not helping the causes of Rational Separation and Respect at all. Can we be blunt here? Kids are stupid. They’re supposed to be stupid. They’re supposed to be unformed, misshapen, smelly and somewhat soggy to the touch. When we deify youth we make the world unformed, misshapen, smelly and somewhat soggy to the touch.
You wonder why things are goofy and stupid and why pretty much everything (I’m looking at you, anything-Ashton-Kutcher-is-in) is crap?
Because advertisers are bastards. Kids are stupid. And we adults think we’re kids.
We’re so gullible.