Don’t believe everything you hear about the humanities. There is still some important research being done.
jests japes jokes jollies
Do-dee-do, looking at some exercise gear on Under Armour’s website. Wait, what?
“Mineral-infused fabric”? You mean…actual minerals are, what, woven into the fabric? For what purpose? Do they rinse out in the wash? If it’s 87% polyester and 13% elastane, where are the minerals? I’m sorry, this just seems like an utterly absurd marketing gimm—
Oh! The minerals absorb and reflect “energy” and your muscles recycle it through…photosynthesis? So I basically become a perpetual motion machine? Well, I’m convinced!
After finishing graduate school and learning of the nearly comically unattainable nature of stable jobs in higher education, I struggled to find employment outside of academia. For years I took the brand of low-paying, demeaning gigs commonly tolerated by financially-strapped millennials.
The problems that permeated millennials’ early years are getting worse. It’s no wonder rates of childhood anxiety and depression are skyrocketing at record rates. I’m unsurprised the term “Late Stage Capitalism” has taken off online, unbound from its theoretical roots to become a catchall phrase for the absurdities of the system.
I’m also unsurprised, though for different reasons. I suspect references to “late-stage capitalism” have become popular because of a latent belief in sympathetic magic. Maybe if we keep invoking the phrase in a spirit of hope, the global system of buying and selling which has shrugged off everything from Marx’s pseudoscientific prophecies to endless critiques and deconstructions in academic journals will finally cough, wheeze, and expire, whereupon in the vaguely-conceived utopia that is sure to follow, rewarding jobs for MFA graduates will hang from the lowest branches like plump fruits in an orchard that stretches to the horizon in all directions. But why should we take any chances? Perhaps we can speed the process up by referring to “terminal capitalism.”
Those slang examples betray some of the show’s bad habits: Like a lot of dirtbag comedies, Letterkenny can too often over-rely on immature jokes about sexuality, particularly with pastor Glen (who’s played by the show’s director, Jacob Tierney, and I’m not sure what that says).
It also has something of an inconsistent track record on gender stereotypes: While much of the show’s comedy is rooted in finding the softness in overblown masculinity, it tends to draw women broadly, especially as sexpots. Gail, the local bartender and one of Letterkenny’s few characters of color, basically has only one characteristic — that she’s horny. To the show’s credit, later seasons make a point to calm down some of the yowling caricatures, showing the live-and-let-live tolerance that exists in this small town.
Oh, boy. It seems the brain trust at Vox has discovered the Canadian indie comedy series Letterkenny and decided to issue one of their customary explainers. I would say the point escapes her, but that would imply it was at risk of being captured in the first place, and I fear that notion won’t bear scrutiny. Let me interrupt with a little ‘splaining of my own: The show is set in rural Ontario, in the fictional town of Letterkenny, population 5,000. We here at the hermitage enjoy it for its absurd, rapid-fire dialogue, and, as one of us also hails from rural Canuckistan, we appreciate the little details for being a true-to-life representation of small-town life there. It’s not what I would call hilarious, but it’s clever and notably quotable.
Now, to be fair (to be faihrrr) to Ms. Donnelly, the show’s often-raunchy humor is largely by, and for, twenty-somethings. Lots of drinking, fighting, swearing and fornicating. Gail is indeed the most tedious character. But experienced Voxspotters could have probably already guessed the source of this excerpt because of that telltale tic—there. Did you catch it? It’s as predictable as a knee jerking under a doctor’s reflex hammer. Progressives just can’t let their gaze rest on any scene populated by more than three people without doing a quick diversity head-count and pronouncing something to be problematic. I find it especially amusing to see her fume about Glen, the barely-closeted gay pastor (and probably my favorite character). She knows he’s somehow problematic, even if she can’t quite prove it, but oh, when she does, you better believe charges will be brought. Yuk it up while you can, Glen. You can only hide behind the writer/director shield for so long.
But yes, Gail is one of the show’s few “characters of color,” though I expect Donnelly to soon be seen in public with a placard around her neck denouncing her for the wokecrime of “erasing” the substantial native population who feature in the show, led by Wayne’s sometime-girlfriend Tanis. But again, to be fair (to be faihrrr) to our intersectionality inspectors, they might not have recognized the actors as natives (or First Nations inhabitants, as they say up there), since the closest they’ve ever gotten to one is that time they scribbled Racist!!! on a Washington Redskins decal on the bumper of a truck in the parking garage. But I digress. My point is, as an American of pallor who just so happens to have spent several days in rural Canada just a couple weeks ago, I can say that one of the first things you notice when out in public is, well, the lack of black people. It’s like suddenly becoming aware of a background hum that isn’t there anymore. You walk through a big-box store and think, what seems so different here? Oh, right, it’s very, very white. There are no African-Americans, or, I suppose, African-Canadians. The ones you do meet are mostly medical students directly from Africa. What are the writers supposed to do about this? Is the show supposed to be “representative” of rural Ontario or Brooklyn? How typically Ameri-centric for our Voxling to project her country’s myopic obsession with perfectly-proportioned racial pie charts onto foreign communities, irrespective of their unique histories! Shall we add colonialism to the epithets on her placard?
Actually, wait, hold on a minute. We’ve already seen how racial separatism has become acceptable again under a progressive aegis — segregated university graduation ceremonies, “cultural appropriation” (separatism rebranded under a new name), etc. Is it time for forced resettlement to make a comeback? No, no, hear me out. If progressives march people out of the inner cities in order to repopulate and diversify rural communities, would that be for the greater good? We could call it “reverse gentrification,” which would actually make it doubleplusgood. As we know, when you change the word (or the branding), you change the reality. (I can’t believe I give away such good advice for free.)
Anyway, enough of that foolishness. Back to chorin’.
This tickled my absurdity funny bone. So, to recap:
• Man becomes a viral Internet sensation by holding up a sign at a football game asking for Venmo donations to help him buy Busch Light beer
• Man unexpectedly raises a million dollars, decides to donate the money to a children’s hospital
• Busch Light and Venmo, attracted by the scent of P.R., vow to match his donation
• Newspaper profile uncovers man’s former racist tweets
• Busch Light parent company slams on the brakes, throws it into reverse, disassociates itself from man while still promising to match the pledge of his tainted racist money
• Newspaper criticized by readers for offensively publishing man’s original racist tweets in the profile
• Newspaper reporter’s own racist tweet history uncovered, newspaper commences investigation
I hope you understand when I say that at this point, I’m sort of hoping for the children’s hospital to be found problematic as well. Not because I’m a black-hearted scoundrel (not entirely at least), but just because it would be the perfect harmonic resolution of this farcical chord progression. It’s all about the artistic symmetry of the thing, you see.
Now that we have established that it is, in fact, NOT fall, I am going to explain to you why it is also wrong for you to want it to be fall.
Tsk, tsk. There is unfortunately no discussion to be had with people possessed of an irrational aversion to gorgeous, cool weather and nature’s own fireworks display. We can, however, address this pernicious calendrical prescriptivism, which would have us referring to the twentieth of December as “fall.” Does that feel true to anyone’s lived experience? As a calendrical descriptivist, I seek to describe popular usage, rather than rely on astronomical “experts” to impose my views. Hence, fall began on September the first at twelve a.m. and will continue until the beginning of winter on December the first at twelve a.m. March the first, June the first, you see how this goes. Simple and intuitive.
Timpf is also wrong in saying we should not want it to be fall, and I can easily prove it. Bugs are dying by the truckload. I rest my case.
Eric Cantona has added to his long list of unique and bizarre speeches after collecting the UEFA President’s Award.
The former United forward was on stage ahead of the Champions League draw in Monaco to receive the award, which “recognises outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities”.
Dressed in a rather casual shirt, jeans and flat cap and sporting a familiarly large beard, the 53-year-old began by quoting William Shakespeare’s King Lear: “As flies to wanton boys, we are for the gods.”
The audience, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk, looked on perplexed as Cantona continued: “They will kill us for the sport.
“Soon the science will not only be able to slow down the ageing of the cells, soon the science will fix the cells to the state and so we will become eternal.
“Only accidents, crimes, wars, will still kill us but unfortunately, crimes, wars, will multiply.
“I love football. Thank you.”
Pedants delight in error, not in truth, and fall upon it like scavengers on a carcass. I have books, pre-owned—or even pre-loved, as dealers in secondhand objects are now inclined to call them—in which pedants have underlined or scored out words containing misprints, as if the search for such misprints had been their main reason for reading them in the first place. A missing apostrophe may drive a pedant into a paroxysm of pleasurable fury. With what righteous indignation may he (I imagine pedants to be mainly male) mark the page to alert future readers to this disgraceful error!
I could probably maintain a separate blog devoted entirely to documenting the tiny errors I discover in my reading. Thankfully, this has only ever been an idle thought. Most errors are neither egregious nor entertaining enough to call attention to them. One recent exception presented itself in Wallace Kaufman’s Coming Out Of The Woods: The Solitary Life Of A Maverick Naturalist, where Kaufman refers to the “plaintiff sounds of whales” in a section about animal communication. The Onion once joked about the apocalyptic consequences for humanity of dolphins developing opposable thumbs. I don’t want to think about the sort of reparations we’ll be looking at should whales discover the legal process.
Someone needs to sort all this out, because I don’t see how we can proceed unless we have someone to point to and say, “You ruined everything.”
As usual, Gary Larson foresaw this long ago.