Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Fine Art of Snobbery

Fear not, loyal readers, I have come to teach you. No longer will you wallow in the unthinking happiness of the masses. Now, you can experience the special level of preciousness and discontent exclusive to the snob.

You can be a snob about anything you want. Today's guide is a starting point. Feel free to take these pointers and apply them to your life.

SNL: In order to be a SNL snob, observe the following rules:
1. Never refer to it as "Saturday Night Live." Insiders call it "SNL."
2. Whenever there is a lull in conversation, loudly proclaim, "SNL hasn't been funny since 1979. The original cast was the ONLY cast." You should make this pronunciation even if you personally were born in 1983 and think that the Bass-O-Matic is a sonar fishing device.
3. Never actually watch the show. If you do, you might discover that it's been getting pretty funny over the past few years, and then where will you be? Just another pathetic loser enjoying something. Blech.

Nascar: When someone uses the word "Nascar" in a sentence non-ironically, shudder delicately and call for a moistened towel with which to cool your fevered brow. If you can do this while wearing a caftan and clutching a glass of a delicate, oak-aged Chardonnay, you get extra points.

Twilight: When you hear people talk about the Twilight series of books, ostentatiously remove the Joyce Carol Oates novel you keep in your unisex tote for just such an occasion. Soon enough, you will be in the state of despairing malaise Ms. Oates inspires in all of her readers.

Reality TV: See SNL rules. If you genuinely cannot name two Kardashian siblings, give yourself extra points.

Movies: If someone confides in you that the latest Transformers movie is really good, shriek in horror and whip DVD's of independent films at him or her until he or she is either dead or tasteful.

Larry the Cable Guy: If someone says "Git -r- done!" in your presence, you should angrily stalk to the corner of the room, put on your iPod, and listen to Prairie Home Companion until the rash fades.

Tea: When someone asks you if you want some tea, never, ever say yes. Say something like, "I'd love some monkey-picked Oolong," or "Do you have any South African Roobios with rose hips?" When your friend stammers something about Lipton and white sugar, smile gently and remove your emergency tea kit. (What do you mean, you don't have one? You get one right now. I don't care if you don't drink tea, just do it.) Tea is today's coffee: you cannot simply accept or refuse.

With these lessons, you will be well on your way to snobbery. Come and join me, I welcome you.

It's getting kind of lonely, with just me and Joyce.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I am fascinated by the concept of Karma. In several Eastern religions (Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh), Karma replaces faith in deity as a driving force of belief. Karma at its most basic level is a belief in cause and effect; that our thoughts, words, and deeds produce positive or negative results as a direct function of how we exercise our free will.

I love this. Perhaps it's just me, but I've noticed that, over my lifetime, there has been a concerted effort made to avoid natural consequences of choice. In the name of positive self-esteem, for example, we award every student a trophy or ribbon, proclaiming that "we're all winners!" So, children never learn that the natural consequence of not practicing is that you won't win.

The Karmic consequences of this trend have produced a generation of self-centered, entitled, judgmental, close-minded brats. (I'm not talking about you. You're wonderful.) Seriously, though many young people are wonderful and thoughtful and sweet, there are many, many more out there so completely dedicated to the cult of self that I fear for the future.

Which brings us to today's topic: Megan Fox.

For those of you who have better things to do than follow the minutiae of second-rate-actresses-turned-paparazzi-fodder, Megan Fox is the new "it" girl. Her plan seems to be to copy Angelina Jolie, except without the talent. Ms. Fox is known for proclaiming her own unconventionality in blunt, even vulgar terms, the way someone would do if no one had ever told her that being pretty doesn't make you interesting.

Ms. Fox shot to "superstardom" by being eye candy in the Transformers movie, then followed it up with Transformers 2. A bold move. Even bolder, though, were the interviews she gave while promoting the film, in which she insulted director Michael Bay and essentially every actor he's ever directed and every film he's ever made. Nice. Her implication in these interviews was clearly that she's an undiscovered talent, waiting for the right director to see beyond her pretty face.

Ms. Fox should have known that Karma would catch her in the end. Her new movie, Jennifer's Body, is bombing at the box office; speculation is that she is the reason. She hosted the season opener of SNL Saturday night, to extraordinarily lackluster reviews.

Poor Ms. Fox. I won't laugh at her plight. Karma doesn't favor those who look on others' misfortune with glee.

That wasn't a laugh. I've got a cold.

Hee. Cough. Hee hee.