Acerbic Social Critic
One of my favorite literary characters refers to himself as an “Acerbic Social Critic.” He hates everything and everybody and back in the 1980’s when he was relevant, he had much to say about how messed up culture was. But it was that phrase, “Acerbic Social Critic” that has stuck with me through the years (I first heard him say it in 1982). On occasion, I have used it to describe myself, but in true Ian Sholes tradition, I don’t like to do so because then I have to explain it to people who are too lazy to use a dictionary, or in today’s world, Google it.
That said, the hardest thing for me to accept today is how many people can look me straight in the eye and tell me that what is going on in our culture is okay.
It’s not. It’s flat-out bizarre and, if you happen to actually be an Acerbic Social Critic, hilarious to the point of wanting to use a ball peen hammer to hit myself over the head with until pussy hats and Karassians come spilling out and ease the cognitive disconnect that tries to make all of these things make sense, when in fact, they don’t.
This started to short circuit in my own head yesterday when I realized in the middle of a serious discussion about exotic dancing that at one point our entire legal and judicial system spent days arguing over whether or not a woman’s breasts had to be completely covered by the pasty or just the very tip of the nipple. Can the G-string be made of dental floss or does it have to be nylon?
If that isn’t bad enough, an entire District Court Panel was required to adjudicate in keeping with precedent whether a legal adult, who is old enough to go to college, join the military and be trained to launch ballistic missiles with hundreds of thousands of megatons of explosive firepower AND shoot a gun, are able to don the pasty and g-string and dance, a minimum of eighteen inches above and three feet away from creepy old dudes (if I can assume their gender) who are there because every other relationship in their life is f****ed up to the point of needing to convince themselves that it’s them and not their Benjamin’s in which the 18-year-olds are really interested.
All while the Government of the entire freaking country is paralyzed over some beer drinking adolescents all of whom were at rich white prep schools, which my school would have beat the living crap out of just because they were rich white kids at a fancy school and we weren’t… well, we weren’t rich and fancy. It was Utah for f**k’s sake, so… Anyway, the whole government and news industry is basically shut down over the multiple orgasms they’re having at the idea that once upon a time s**t happened.
But how can we let under-21’s dance naked (except for pasties and a g-string), an activity that we KNOW causes human sex trafficking and drug crime if we really believe that #MeToo has to be the dominant and overriding position of everything we do?
And now if you dare say anything about anybody you get labeled a troublemaker and in the land of the free and home of free speech, you cannot say anything that might trigger somebody or cause anybody – except white cisgendered men – offense.
See what happens when you start thinking too much about how incredibly stupid our culture has become?
Sure, there’s all the political bull and don’t even get me started about Hollywood planning a remake of “A Few Good Men.” Why? Because (a) Hollywood wouldn’t recognize a new idea if it hit them over the head with the aforementioned ball peen hammer and (b) Obviously the original with Tom cruise wasn’t “good enough” for today’s unsophisticated audience because there weren’t enough things blowing up or heads exploding.
It even has infected our Sports, where “replay” has become the laughing stock of thinking fans while at the same time becoming entrenched in the methodology of the game. everything is reviewable except the mistakes – usually obvious – by the officials running the game. That’s off-limits in the quest to “get it right,” because we don’t want officials changing the outcome of a game, but we also can’t correct their mistakes because that would be “bad” for the game.
At what point do we collectively rise up and say “Enough, already?”
It’s not just us, though. In the Balkans, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia held a referendum last week to see if they should change their name. Why? Because (a) most people – including the people in the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, don’t call the tiny Balkan powder keg country, the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. They just call it “Macedonia.”
This, in turn, has upset the Greeks. I’m not kidding. They – the Greeks – are furious over it. It was they, in fact, who demanded that it be called the FYROM in the first place. Why? Because THEY have a province named “Macedonia” and it might look like the FYROM is horning in on their – the Greeks – cultural history from 2000+ years ago. You know… when it was part of the freaking ancient Greek Empire run by a Macedonian named Alexander. The Great.
Maybe you’ve heard of him?
The FYROMians even removed a statue of Alexander the Great – a natural born Macedonian – from their airport because said statue “offended” the Greeks, who are basically ready to get into a fistfight with anybody who thinks that might be unambiguously doltish. Which is the very sort of thing about which Plato would have said, “The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort.”
Oh, wait… he DID say that… not that it matters to the modern Greeks who would rather be offended over what the FYROMians call themselves than the fact that their own corrupt government has no business being in NATO and who almost singlehanded brought down the European Union in the first place. “Physician, heal thyself,” yet another Greek, Aeschylus, once wrote.
But don’t tell a Greek that today. They’re too busy hating their neighbor for what they call themselves…