UPDATE (Feb. 11): After some reflection and input from friends, I’ve changed my choice of Tina Fey to Tatiana Maslany for the role of Robyn Doolittle. As much as I love Fey, she is considerably older than Doolittle. And Maslany does kick ass on Orphan Black.
The film rights to Robyn Doolittle’s exposé of Rob Ford, Crazy Town, were snapped up recently, prompting a guessing game on social media as to who would be cast in the adaptation. As I read the book I’m starting to assemble my own dream cast for the soon-to-be CBC miniseries, Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, sponsored by Iceberg Vodka, Steak Queen and cocaine.
My Facebook feed has been taken over by “War on Christmas” posts. Apparently, some people believe there is a movement afoot by unidentified forces to abolish Christmas. I don’t really understand what this “war” means exactly, but from what I can gather from these missives, Christmas is under attack and the only defense is to say “Merry Christmas” three times while tapping your boots together. I think. It’s really not that clear.)
My cold medication is making me envision what a war on Christmas would actually entail:
1. Someone wishes you “Happy Holidays”.
2. Get irrationally upset at the audacity of that retail clerk who failed to assume you’re a Christian.
3. Go online to find a photo of Santa or Jesus (or Santa with Jesus!). Use your Photoshop skills to affix a rallying cry of “It’s not Happy Holidays it’s Merry Christmas! Share if you agree!” over the photo. Tip: Use large fonts and numerous explanation marks to really show the world how angry you are. OR find another person’s post and share it.
4. Put on your flak helmet and celebrate the birth of baby Santa in your home/bunker. Come out in time for the inevitable “War on Easter”.
This “war on Christmas” nonsense confuses me because JUST TAKE A LOOK AROUND YOU. Christmas is freaking EVERYWHERE! If there is indeed a war, the other side is losing. Big time.
I can’t walk into a store without being assaulted with Christmas carols blasting over the PA system. And it’s the same songs over and over. (How about adding “Back Door Santa” to the mix?) There’s even a radio station that has gone full-on Christmas. (I feel so sorry for those deejays.) And every artist you can think of has put out a Christmas album, even Bob Dylan. Bob! Effing! Dylan! put out a Christmas album. (I think it’s a Christmas album. I can’t understand a word that comes out of that man’s mouth, but the CD cover says it’s a Christmas album, so I’ll leave it at that.)
And there are Christmas trees everywhere. EVERYWHERE. There’s one in my condo lobby. There’s one at my office. There’s one outside of City Hall. I’m pretty sure one has somehow made its way up my arse (which would maybe explain my prickly mood). And lights! Pretty, blinking lights, strung up everywhere, sucking up electricity.
I miss my favourite TV shows. They all go on hiatus and are replaced with Christmas specials. After repeated viewings (and a few glasses of wine) they all kind of blend into one another – a snowman comes alive and is visited by three ghosts who arrive on a sleigh led by a red-nosed reindeer, pah-rum-pah-pah-pah.
And then there’s this: NO ONE IS PREVENTING YOU FROM CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS.
You can chop down a tree, drag its corpse into your home and festoon it with garish trinkets and silver tassels. You can plop a nativity scene on your front lawn with a big old baby Jesus smack dab in the middle of it. You can also go to mass and celebrate the birth of your Christ, singing hallelujah at the top of your lungs.
You can choose from hundreds of cards that say “Merry Christmas” to send to all your friends and family. (And here’s another friendly tip: Get some cards that are blank inside and write “Merry Christmas” many times, in different typefaces, colours…even glitter! Or, better yet, buy a card where you can record your voice, so when the recipient of said card opens it up you can scare them into a heart attack with a loud and proud “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”)
“Happy Holidays” has become de rigueur this time of year. Because of the great cultural mosaic that is Toronto, there are many Canadians who do not tick the box next to Christian on their census sheets. That’s how it is. You cannot bemoan that fact while you order Ethiopian food and buy chicken tikka masala at your grocery store. You do not get to take advantage of the multicultural smorgasbord that is Toronto without respecting the fact that some cultures do not celebrate the birth of baby Jesus.
“Happy Holidays” is not a bad thing to say. It is all-inclusive, welcoming of all cultures and traditions. “Happy Holidays” can mean “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hannukah” or “Happy Kwanza”. It can also mean “Happy New Year”, “Happy Boxing Day” or “Happy Winter Solstice”. (For atheists, it could mean “Happy Nationally Mandated Days Off!”) It’s very Canadian.
So why does it matter so much to some people? I could offer a lengthy discourse on possible xenophobia and nationalism, but I lack the energy or mental capacity to do so right now. Instead, I’ll just go and stare at all the pretty lights.
I’m breaking my self-imposed but entirely unintentional blogging hiatus to comment on this OMG Diet. I will probably start blogging again because as I get older, the more things piss me off. Instead of beleaguering my boyfriend with my rants (and because Twitter only allows for short angry missives), I’ll pour out my rage here.
To recap: Some douchey personal trainer, who has no medical or scientific background, wrote a book called Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends. In it, he gives some stupid tips to lose weight, like blowing balloons, taking cold baths and skipping breakfast. Seriously. Not making this shit up.
The sad part is, publishers are beating down his door to publish this tripe because — fuck you, young girls and common sense — this will make them a ton of money. Because there are people who want to lose a lot of weight in as little time as possible and with minimal effort, and they are desperate to try anything — except, you know, eating better and exercising — and will buy this book. They will buy it, and they will try to adhere to its crazy methodology, like chugging black coffee and shunning broccoli (seriously?). They will then tire of it because taking cold baths is not pleasurable and smoothies are very delicious. They will consign the book to the cobwebby bottom shelf of their bookcase, nestled between other stupid books about the Atkins diet and the master cleanse. But it doesn’t matter, you see, because the author and his skeezy publishers will have taken their money. Suckers!
Perhaps I’m being harsh on the guy. After all, for as long as woman have been shamed by the ladymags for their thighs and eating and whatnot, there have been weight-loss books. Lots and lots of weight-loss books. For every “How to get a flat stomach in 6 days to get a man in bed” Cosmo article, there is a fad diet that makes you drink your own pee or give up air. The author, who goes by the alias of Venice Fulton (I’ve rolled my eyes back into my head so severely they’re stuck that way and I’m now typing blindly), is just the latest in a long line of modern snake-oil salesman who claims to have the solution to quick and easy weight loss.
Here’s why the OMG Diet makes me ROTFCMAO (rolling on the floor cursing my ass off, in Internet-speak – because everybody likes acronyms!):
“Well, you just feel like you’re being raped somehow. Raped … It feels like a kind of weird — just weird, man.”
While I understand the point Depp is trying to make, he could have used another word – “violated”, for example.
Is it just me or are people increasingly using the word “raped” as an analogy to describe feelings of frustration and annoyance? For example, I once heard someone say they were “raped” by their cellphone provider. Really? Getting overcharged on your phone bill is analogous to a violent sexual assault?
I can’t imagine the psychological, emotional and physical turmoil that a rape victim goes through. Rape is a tool used to wield power, dominance and fear over a person. It is meant to diminish a person’s dignity and self-worth, to reduce them to something less than human. To have the word “rape” used in such a way as Depp has takes away its impact and its brutality, and trivializes the experiences of those who have been victimized by it.
Before you use the word “rape” to describe something you’ve gone through, ask yourself this: would a victim of rape describe her or his experience in the same way? Would they say something like, “As my vagina was being torn apart, I thought, ‘Now I know how Johnny Depp feels being in a photo shoot.'”? Or, “Getting punched in the face felt like getting hit with data roaming charges.”?
Yeah, didn’t think so.
UPDATE: Shortly after I hit the “Publish” button, I saw this: