23 May, 2012

Sixteen And Useless


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Sixteen And Useless
5.23.12
This has been a difficult week. My best friend’s father died this week. Mr. K. was a great man. I have known him and his family for close to thirteen years now, and I feel very much a part of all of the K’s. I would like to say that he was like an uncle to me, but that does no justice to the closeness and importance of Mr. K. in my life. Uncles can be distant or awkwardly unaffiliated with your life. Mr. K. wasn’t that. He was a part of my life. Between an uncle and a dad like character, if there is such a thing. I could wax for quite a while on Mr. K.’s goodness, openness, happiness. But I won’t. I love him and miss him terribly. What sums up Mr. K. to me is pretty simply this. He had four sons, and yet he invited me to be treated like a fifth. I will miss him.
There isn’t much of a good way to transition away from that, is there. Let me go smoke a cigarette, shake out the tears, and get the hate going again. I’ll be right back.
There are a couple of things that really set me off. OK, there are more than a couple of things. As a matter of fact, there are more things that piss me off than there are things that I like. My like list is pretty much coffee, cigarettes, baseball, fruit snacks, my beautiful and wonderful girlfriend, and kittens. There may be one or two more. At any rate, I hate people and I hate ignorance. I also hate ignorant people who go to bat for a cause I believe in. In that way, I have to defend that idiot. That’s a terribly vexing circumstance. Here’s the story.
In 2009, MTV began airing a bullshit reality show called 16 and Pregnant. They cashed in on some broads who were sixteen years old and got knocked up. Whatever. Who cares. The logo is quite whimsical, however, with sketches on lined paper akin to doodles in the margins of notes. Oh the whimsy. After the insane popularity of the program (I hate society), the show spun off into a different program called Teen Mom. In this show, they followed four broads from the other show as they continued their ruined lives into motherhood. Four seasons later, this dribble is still on and MTV has made more pointless and useless and skill-less celebrities out of their reality show moneymakers. Remember when MTV made celebrities out of musicians? No, you probably don’t because I’m much older than you. Anyway, added to the pantheon of the Snooki and JWoww type uselessness were these four ‘women’ and trash news follows them like a coyote sniffs out carrion. The dames, whose names I couldn’t really care less about wasting the three seconds to look up, were modified along the way with tattoo and piercing mods. One of them, called Kailyn Lowry, has a Twitter account, as all useless celebrities do. (Follow me @arobertbasile and @andyonambien !) We’re going to pause here for a brief Twitter rant.
Using Twitter as a credible source really ought to stop. I watch a lot of news on TV, and whenever the reporter cites a Twitter post as breaking some dollop of useful information, I immediately discredit that info in having any semblance of credibility. We really need to stop doing that. When people are posting shit like, “OMG that salad was AMAZING!!!” we really should look at the medium with a skeptic’s eye.
So the dumb named pierced girl from the exploitative sex show posts on her Twitter. Who cares. The post said this: “Thinking about taking my lip ring out & letting it close. It’s been like 4 years & I’m kinda over it.” (This sentence is not a joke about how I’m surprised that she used the correct ‘it’s.’) Whatever. There’s not much there to get riled about. I mean it totally has been like four years, and I’m sure she’s kinda over it, you know? So she grew out of our beautiful culture. No big story there. It happens to many of us. Well, not us because I haven’t ‘grown’ out of it. But I will never judge anyone for wanting to move on to something aesthetically different. We enjoyed you while we had you, dumb named Kailyn person girl thing.
The story comes in the next two tweets. Someone responded to the young mother person dumb named girl that mother’s oughtn’t have lip rings. The article I read didn’t directly quote the responding tweet so it could have been perfectly polite, or it could have been fire and brimstone. Either way, that’s the gist. Not taking this lying down (unlike how she propelled herself to fame), Kailyn responded, “I don’t care how many tattoos & piercings someone has. That DOES NOT determine the kind of parent he/she is. Some people are so ignorant.”
You go girl. Do the kids still say that? About going? And girls? Well, regardless, bravo. I one hundred percent agree with the sentiment and am proud and glad that you stood up for the beautiful culture of body modification. This Kailyn girl mother person thing said exactly the correct thing. Modification has little to do with how a parent raises a child. My mother is modified, and I know scores others who are as well. Squeezing out a living lump from your crotch hole doesn’t demanufacture your own sense of self or aesthetic beauty. Men too. I know many fantastic fathers with stretched lobes and full sleeves. She presented her argument well without malice or hate, sparing foul language, and constructed her idea well. Some people are so ignorant, Kailyn. (I hope you meant the actual meaning of the ignorant word and not the misuse of it to mean rude; otherwise my praise is a little hollow.)
The reason I am vexed is because, even though this Kailyn weird name mommy teen TV person thing and I are in agreement and share a similar view, I hate her celebrity and her as someone whose opinion is reported upon. Sixteen and pregnant. Not only has a major cable network benefited financially from the stirringly irresponsible behavior of these little girls, it has made them individuals with a voice which carries weight. This Kailyn thing and the other ones (who all have dumb names minus Amber who incidentally tried to kill herself) are now celebrities for being irresponsible and stupid. With so much going wrong in this country socially and economically, ought we not be condemning this type of behavior instead of creating celebrity from it? Sixteen year olds getting knocked up and sapping the state dry of funds because they didn’t wear a rubber, and I can’t get disability even through a disability advocate. Is that not a little fuct up to anyone but me? I’m not a copy cat crime type of person. I don’t believe Grand Theft Auto makes people steal cars and kill each other, nor do I think that 16 and Pregnant will make sixteen year old girls get their hoo-has filled with goof juice (to quote comedian Patton Oswalt). But I do think it is putting attention in the wrong holes. (Put easy joke here.)
I’m sure if you ask an MTV executive the point of the programming, he’ll say, ‘I know the M in our name is pointless now; get off my ass. Also, we are showing kids that life that young with a baby is hard,’ or some such bullshit. I don’t buy that so much as they’ve tapped into an ATM of other people’s difficulty and they’re not at all ready to let the account go dry. It’s an interesting situation when I constantly read articles about the alleged irresponsibility of my culture, the modification culture, and media outlets choose to look at the spread legged, easy way out lunatics of Teen Pregnant Fun Hour Show Go! through a sympathetic eye of their strength and struggle. A popular argument I hear for the modification community to shut up about the difficulties we face as modified people is that it is by our own doing that we are modified, and thus our troubles were spawned by our own actions. I don’t wholly disagree. Yet, couldn’t one use the same argument for the ‘ladies’ of the Teen Statistic You’re Paying For It With Your Social Security That You’ve Earned show? No one told them to modify their uteruses with some absentee douchebag moron. Yet the sympathy is doled to them. That’s why I’m conflicted about this. I support the dumb named girl’s tweet about parents and mods, but I sure as shit don’t support her opened legged policy towards making people. Still, if someone whose opinions you don’t share makes a point with which you agree, isn’t it important to recognize that and be supportive? That seems to be a more important step than the divisive society we live in today. To me, anyway. Stay beautiful, kids. 




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