Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I worked late last night. It was 11:30 before I got home, and I'd been delirious long before that. At one point, while I was at Book Store, I walked past a shelf and saw this book leering at me:

I know there are women (and probably some men) who would read that and say "Tell 'em, sister!" Or maybe "sistah!" (I don't know if that's cross-cultural yet.) And I don't have a problem with feminists in general (though they are fun to get wound up), but this stuck in my craw. I started talking to myself. I had an entire dialogue in my head that turned into a political platform. Then the platform was dismantled and the materials were used to build housing for all the personalities stuck in my head.

Anyway, since I was in such a grand humor my first thought was: "Sure, sh*t would get done. Jack sh*t. Zip-sh*t." See, at this point, my mind was just playing with the language. I love a pun, and the opportunity to insert a word or twist one to reverse the meaning is just one step off that. It really tickles me. I was tickled.

My next mental step was a riff on the idea of the title, and my brain produced: "You can't get your sh*t together enough to take control, so why are you so optimistic about your chances of exercising power on the off-chance someone hands it to you?" This was clearly more confrontational, but since it was my mind confronting my mind, the conflict wasn't that intense.

Then I realized all my thoughts had asterisks* in them, and I shook those out. That shit was irritating.

What bugged me about the book was this: whatever idiot decided on that title probably doesn't dislike men--probably doesn't even consider men incapable of problem-solving. She (and I'm sure it was a she) probably thought the title was humorous and provocative, and that was enough to sway all the "You tell 'em, sistah!" thought-bots. She probably thought this would enhance the sale of the book, because controversy sells--just look at Ann "Satan's Enema" Coulter. But she couldn't possibly think that there are problems men can't solve, can she? Because if she thinks gender is a barrier that certain abilities can't pass, then she's just the other side of the coin from those who thought when women used their brains their uteruses dried up. Problems are solved by minds--not chromosomes.

I think she's just exploiting legitimate debate, and destructively arousing knee-jerk reactions like the one I had while I was zombie-walking through my late shift.

That pisses me off.

That's bullshit.

*I discovered, through an exploration of Wikipedia, that since the figure on the cover of the book has eight points it's considered an Arabic star and not an asterisk**. I like to learn things.

**When I was a kid I called these "asterixes." I still have trouble with that.


Sean said...

Asterix is also a French comic. or since it's French, I think I should word it comic french. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterix
It's somewhat funny and very political. Set in Gaul, he's resisting the tyrrany of Rome... hilarity ensues.

Jim said...

All I have to say is *** ** ***** *** *****. And nothing else.

Chadley said...

I love the Astérix comics! Stupid, drunken viking.

And what is the name of my fair street doing in random capitals on a certain New Yorker's blog comments??

Jason said...

Sean - I've seen the Asterix (sorry, Chad--Astérix) comics, but somehow I never really thought about it. Let's hear it for the restistance of Roman tyranny!

Jim - Watch your mouth you **** @#$!@ * @#@#$^&&*! Let's hear it for pointlessly altered curse words!

Chad - That street is not just yours...one of the fictional houses on your street is the place where a number of fictional characters died this week. Let's hear it for drunken vikings in France!