Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #038: F-Bombs Away!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #038: F-Bombs Away!

Frack. Frick. Fug. Frigging. Fenorking. Freaking. Funked-up. Boffing. Boinking. Deuced. The F-Word. The F-Bomb!

Generally speaking, these euphemisms are substitutes for the unholiest of all words,“fuck.” When you hear any of these terms — depending upon the context, of course — your brain understands them as “fuck.” Simply reading the word will send you straight to Heck, so I guess if you made it this far I owe you an apology.

Euphemisms are needless conduits to reality. They don’t work unless the real word already is in your head. Cut the cheese and say what you mean.

This past Sunday, Bill Nye The Science Guy dropped the F-Bomb (seriously; that term is far more banal than the source term) on Last Week With John Oliver something like five times in five minutes. It was hilarious, but the fact that it was just proves the word still has some power. This astonishes me, as it achieved commonplacehood a couple generations ago. Nonetheless, it persists.

We shouldn’t need these words to shock. Pick up a newspaper. Turn on the news. Take a look at your retirement fund. Think about all those people who voted for Trump. That’s the stuff that should shock you. The fact that most of the near-infinite circumlocutions truly are sophomoric shows how impotent the word fuck really is.

Yet these words continue to offend those who make the conscious decision to be offended, to show that they are superior to the riff-raff because they are better, because they think euphemisms show off that superiority. These are people who keep their noses so high in the sky they would drown in a light drizzle. They are elitists who want to delineate their moral dominance. They have no functional belief system other than their own elitism; they haunt the rosters of both the left and the right.

A week ago today, the National Review — one of the comparatively sane conservative publications — published a well-written essay by Heather Wilhelm, who probably is a very nice person with an obvious sense of humor, but who probably wouldn’t like me very much.

The piece was called “The Banality of the F-Bomb,” and she starts with several instances of the use of the word — starting with Maurice Chevalier, for which she deserves serious props. But Ms. Wilhelm establishes her moral superiority by asking “What is wrong with everyone? Have we lost our national “edit” button? (I’ll answer my own question, because the answer is obvious: Yes.)”

No. No, we haven’t. We’ve simply gone honest on your ass. We’ve accepted the fact that times change and some words that previously were unacceptable are now acceptable and other words that previously were acceptable are now unacceptable. Fuck is in common usage, but we now have the N-word to replace a previously common phrase.

Is that progress? Not really. It’s fashion. By 2076 other words will be verboten and some others will get a reprieve. Calm down; I’m not taking a position on which words should be good and which words should be bad. I’m simply pointing out the vicissitudes of history.

If a single word causes you to foam at the mouth and writhe around in an epileptic fit, that’s on you. If that word causes the overwhelming majority of people to foam at the mouth and writhe around in an epileptic fit, that’s on society.

Besides, despite common liberal philosophy words in and of themselves really are harmless. If I say the word fuck to you, you will still be the same person you were the moment before and it will be your reaction that might be childish. It’s concepts that are dangerous. I’m much more concerned about White Nationalists than I am about whether they use the N-Word itself or simply say “N-Word” as illegitimate proof that they are not racist. If they want to call me a kike, that’s fine. Forewarned is forearmed.

I agree with Ms. Wilhelm’s final observation that “Americans will get bored with using it.” Well, not bored so much as running out the fashion clock. Of course, what goes around comes around.

Euphamisers are shitheads. Is that the S-Word, or the S-Bomb? I dunno. Fuck ‘em.

• • • • •

Mr. Gold will be joining much of the Pop Culture Squad tomorrow (Friday) through Sunday at the East Coast Comicon at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Expo Center. He doesn’t make as many shows as he used to, so if you’re in the area drop by and tell him to bugger off.

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #037: Weed Prefer Reason

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #037: Weed Prefer Reason

My local newspaper (those things we used to wrap fish) says “Many Democrats view (marijuana) legalization as an opportunity to reverse some of the effects of the War on Drugs, increase state revenue and invest in urban communities. But Republicans and some Democrats believe the social costs of legalization – particularly concerns about driving under the influence, teen use and addiction – outweigh the benefits.”

Well, if that’s true — and it’s right there in black-and-white, so it must be true — then Republicans and some Democrats are a bunch of idiots who have been living under a rock… and that comment embraces truthiness. It’s like these people were hiding in church until the flood receded. America’s become a different place, whether these busybodies like it or not. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #037: Weed Prefer Reason”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #034: End Game

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #034: End Game

Sup, nerds. I know I’ve been away for a tic, but you’ll forgive me right? I changed day jobs — and I’m sure you’d love to know all about that — and it put me in Austin last week. But I’m back in the saddle here in my newly upgraded Man-Cave/Actual-Adult-Office and ready to populate your brainstems with pop-culture thoughts and prayers.

I could wax poetic on Wrestlemania and the subsequent superstar shake-ups, but I’m saving that until next week. You’ve been warned. I could compare and contrast Captain Marvel to Shazam, but frankly it’d wind up being very mean to Shazam — because comparing the two flicks would be akin to comparing a fine meal at an upscale farm-to-table fast-casual restaurant… and Arby’s. I could detail my recent love affair with the binge-worthy Santa Clarita Diet but I just started season 3, and I don’t want 100 people to spoil things for me.

So, what does that leave me? Oh, how about the whole reason I have a column here in the first place? Independent comic bookery!

At the tail end of March, Unshaven Comics (my lil studio, don’t cha know) had a decent showing at the annual C2E2 comic con in our “home” city of Chicago. The con itself was plenty enjoyable. Our neighbors on both sides were fun, genial, and downright friendly. Our friends and fans came out in droves to give us well wishes and high fives. I personally minted a minor fortune (see also: gas and food money for a whopping 2 weeks, baby!) selling my PokeVengers cards. Please don’t alert The Pokemon Authority I’m making parody art. The best thing to come out our con experience though, was a sobering declaration. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #034: End Game”

My Convention Experience After Hip Surgery Was An Eye Opener

My Convention Experience After Hip Surgery Was An Eye Opener

Shari HarrisonI want to start this post by saying that I love going to Comic Conventions. They are great places to see friends and make new ones.

There is so much to do from shopping, to going to different panels, and to getting autographs from your favorite writer, artist or TV/Movie star. Some lines are longer than others. Even if you are looking for exercise and are counting steps, a Comic Con is the best place to do that for 3 days straight.

My love for Comic Cons was disrupted in a big way for me on the weekend of August 18, 2018 at TerrifiCon at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Hotel in Connecticut.

Let me explain. On July 10, 2018 I had hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and remove some bone spurs. I had to be on crutches for two months, which takes us through TerrifiCon. Bobby, my wonderful husband, rented me a motorized scooter to help me get around the huge hotel and the convention. The scooter was easy to operate. It moved at a good speed and maneuvered around corners amazingly well.

What Went Wrong?

With all the being said, I felt invisible at the Con. People were cutting in front of me, and I was afraid of running them over. I couldn’t wait on line to get an autograph from our favorite writers/artists. I felt I was in the way, and I was afraid of knocking items off their tables if I got too close. People would step in front of me so they could get ahead in the line to get an autograph. They would say that they were sorry, but they still cut in front of me. It was very frustrating and my self-esteem was as low as it could get. Bobby did all he could to make me feel better, but it was everyone else at the Con that left me frustrated and damaged.

Continue reading “My Convention Experience After Hip Surgery Was An Eye Opener”

Beat JENeration #030: I thought they said Static Dancing.

Beat JENeration #030: I thought they said Static Dancing.

As I am not from Northern California, nor am I a joiner — especially if it involves exercise cults/classes. I didn’t know Ecstatic Dancing was thing.

I was under the impression I was being dragged to something called “Static Dancing” and since I was very tired, I thought it might be a nice place to take a nap. Not that I am especially excited about the concept of a group nap —but the alternative would have been falling asleep outside on an uncomfortable folding portable chair. Plus I thought some music would be nice.

Also I had a persistent friend I don’t see nearly often enough pleading with me to come with her. (I would later learn this friend teaches Zumba — so yes, I shall be more vigilant about a full interview process next time I open myself up to others).

I should also mention we were at a high school theatre festival and I’m not really my true self around the other field trip moms. I morph into the PTA version of me — not exactly a joiner, but a do-er. In this mode I lose all ability to say no, which is why I always end up as one of the “Same Ten People” who get stuck planning and executing shit. I blame this on being a Girl Scout. They get you so young and all leadership biz gets grafted into your bones and you can’t shake it — even when you’ve embraced a rebellious streak in your teens and a general apathy for life as an adult.

Before this devolves into a therapy session, let me get to the point. I left our cozy little home base under a tree to participate in what I thought was a “Static Dance” workshop, but I entered the class to find it was actually “Ecstatic Dance.” 

Obviously, I was not amused, but I also didn’t know how to tell the pushy, smily Bay Area babe in colorful spandex leggings telling me to take off my shoes that I wasn’t staying. My Pumas went onto the pile and I slid in my socks into the middle of the shiny polished cafeteria floor.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #030: I thought they said Static Dancing.”

Beat JENeration #029: College Cheating Scandal, no freaking duh. Parents suck.

Beat JENeration #029: College Cheating Scandal, no freaking duh. Parents suck.

Considering the world is ripping apart with hatred and violence, why is the college cheating scandal is still filling up my news feed?

Granted, I work at a university, I have two kids in high school, and most of my friends have children with lofty college ambitions enrolled in high-performing prep schools. So, maybe it’s just me.

But, c’mon. To call this is a “scandal” feels a tad excessive. No freaking duh this happened!

The only surprise is that these parents paid that much money up front. Since their kids weren’t getting scholarships or hardship tuition breaks, they are forking over full asking price for four years (probably more…because bitch, please….they don’t strike me as the type to graduate on time). Plus, we should also take into consideration future bribes required to keep academic probation at bay. Ghost written term papers don’t come cheap.

But I have so many other thoughts on this whole deal. So so many. So, let’s dig in.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #029: College Cheating Scandal, no freaking duh. Parents suck.”

With Further Ado #033: Where Are All The Toys?

With Further Ado #033: Where Are All The Toys?

Captain Marvel saved the universe this [past] weekend.  She did it onscreen but her economic dominance has hushed the hatred (even if it’s just a brief respite). As you may know, this movie suffered a backlash by a bunch of Neanderthals, who took to the internet to kneecap the movie’s success.  These hateful fans didn’t like what Captain Marvel stood for…or maybe they just felt aggrieved by the currents and eddies swirling about in the never-ending flood of today’s geek culture.

Captain Marvel crushed it at the box office this weekend, posting $153 million from 4,310 theaters. Overseas, this movie raked in an incredible $302 million (including $89 million in China), which is the fifth-highest international opening weekend ever.

Does that mean it’s a great movie? Not necessarily, but everyone agrees that succeeding financially is better than the alternative. I thought it was a lot of fun.

But once we get beyond all that nonsense, I have another issue to bring up: Where are all the toys?

Why isn’t every young girl wearing a Captain Marvel shirt? Or maybe a better question is: Why aren’t all kids playing with Captain Marvel action figures and dolls?

I haven’t seen a crush of Captain Marvel merchandise on store shelves. That’s what outrages me.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #033: Where Are All The Toys?”

Beat JENeration #028: Gen X is Having a Shitty Week

Beat JENeration #028: Gen X is Having a Shitty Week

Gen X’s having kind of a shit week. The death of our generation’s quintessential teen crush, Luke Perry, was just too much, too soon. And even though that alone was all it took to break my heart, on The Facebook and in conversations with my way-too-young-and-hip-to-be-in-their-forties friends, I realized the dawning of our mortality was closing in from other angles as well.

Somehow in an attempt to block out an Academy Awards I wasn’t invested in, I missed the whole Selma Blair chronic illness reveal in her gorgeous Ralph & Russo gown and custom monogrammed cane. Now that I’m caught up, I see she announced her MS diagnosis back in October and in doing so told a very familiar story of doctors explaining away her 2011 flair up as exhaustion and typical postpartum / mommy / women-y problems. I have been hearing tales such as these over the past couple-few years from friends and colleagues (all female, strangely enough, hmmmmm….) who have been lugging their undiagnosed and routinely belittled illnesses in and out of doctor’s offices. Treated as if their aches, pains, and debilitating fatigue was more emotional baggage than medical reality, they are slowly driven mad questioning their ability to effectively communicate what is happening to them. If they are lucky, the gaslighting stops once they get a diagnosis that makes their once vague symptoms finally seen for what they actually are.

But as members of Generation X, we’re a cynical lot, and so it’s not surprising that the actress who won an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss in 2000 (with Sarah Michelle Gellar for Cruel Intentions — I’ll wait while you rewatch that) had to air her medical woes on GMA to highlight this disturbing issue of middle-aged properly-insured women having to go into battle over their health care.

So, now America knows, but still we can’t help being pissy — and skeptical that things are going to change — but at least we’re starting to be heard.  Maybe.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #028: Gen X is Having a Shitty Week”

Beat JENeration #025: Rules, follow them or Why I will never leave the house without wearing a bra again and why you shouldn’t either.

Beat JENeration #025: Rules, follow them or Why I will never leave the house without wearing a bra again and why you shouldn’t either.

Leaving the house without a bra on is never a good idea.

Not that I do it often, but it’s happened. And it’s just really playing with fate.

Some of you are shocked (a few of you pervs maybe even titillated,) but the moms out there know this is just a thing that happens. Motherhood is a helluva lot of personal growth bringing many joys, blah, blah, blah, but let me tell you a secret — it also makes you stop giving a shit. It’s partly because you realize what’s really important in life, but mostly it’s because you spent a great many hours showing your junk off to many, many strangers, while in the worst shape of your life. And it’s not like ridiculous pain or fear or heavy-duty drugs were the gateway to flashing your nethers to every person in scrubs (and maybe your mother-in-law too), it’s because modesty isn’t as important as getting the pregnancy over with.

“Yes baby, I want to meet you, but mostly I want you off my fucking bladder….and I want to sleep on my stomach again”.

(BTW, sleeping on your stomach is something I was never able to get back AND it’s been 16 years).

This isn’t a mommy blog, so don’t worry, I’ll wrap it up.

Long story slightly shorter, moms may seem to regain effort in their outward appearance by the time the shorties reach school-age, but fatigue is clearly a long game and when given the choice between getting yourself or your spawn out the door in a timely and presentable manner, it sometimes makes the most sense to just throw on a sweats (more than likely the stained loungewear type rather than some sort of sporty athleisure pre-meditated errand-running selection) and throw everyone in the minivan. We all know sweatshirts make bras optional in situations where you won’t be jostling around too much in public.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #025: Rules, follow them or Why I will never leave the house without wearing a bra again and why you shouldn’t either.”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #026: If I had a million dollars…

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #026: If I had a million dollars…

The other day over on the Unshaven Comics Facebook page (you DO like us, right?), I offered up a little question of the day that sparked the largest block of engagement we’d ever seen on the page. While I’d hoped that it would be some fantastic and layered comic book debate… instead it was a bit of naval gazing instead. I proposed the always-good-during-a-long-car-ride prompt: What would you do with $1,000,000? I then specified (to detract from the typical snark that might come in tow…) that the money was after all taxes were paid. So, like, you wake up tomorrow and are a million bucks richer, no strings attached. What would you do?

Well, for those that participated on our page, it was a ton of practical answers that I both understood and frowned at. Truly, my ilk have all grown up when the most common answers all revolved around paying off debt and traveling. Not that any of those answers should be frowned upon, of course. But I was more hopeful for flights of fancy.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #026: If I had a million dollars…”