Punda Malidadi

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Freudian Toss

Apparently, I neither want to write my Interdisciplinary Studies Final nor fly home to Germany. In the last two days, I have lost both my lecture notes and my plane ticket, and low and behold, found both of them in the garbage independently. What say you to that?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

People are getting married. I don't approve.

The mainstream Hollywood notion of romantic love is stupid. If anything, it's an instrument devised by the patriarchy-as is the bra, on an unrelated side note- to make women stay with men they're not happy with. I mean, think about it- "the happiest day of your life"? Huge multi-day wedding conventions? Blood diamond engagement rings from Sierra Leone? $10,000 events with peppercorn icecream? What a complete and utter pile of crap.

Wake up, ladies! You're selling yourself short! You're falling into a huge capitalist trap! Not that I haven't fallen and don't still continue to fall into some of them myself- after all, I still insist on shaving my legs for some undefinable reason-but at least not this one.

Let me tell you, as I so frequently do, why all of you who want to get married are stupid:

1. Your traditional wedding fantasy costs a shitload of money. A *shit*load. Go take a trip around the world, it'll get you a few months at the least.

2. Why on earth would you want to dress up like a big cupcake?

3. Why on earth would you want to sign a piece of paper that promises something that you are in no position to promise? Oh, I think you believe it *at the time*- but, love does weird things to your brain. Don't fucking sign anything! Or would you sign something when you're high on crack?

4. Scarcity makes things valuable. If you don't know for sure that someone is probably with you for a very long time- and, in the effects it has on the human brain the 7 years the average marriage lasts might as well be forever- time together isn't all that scarce. All that matters here is perceived scarcity, though- you can spend quite a bit of time together as long as you don't know that you've bought the whole goddamn cow already.

5. You have to live together. Living together is evil. Certainly, there are plusses, but they don't outweigh the minusses. For one, you never have a chance to get horny, unless one of the partners continually rejects the other one, and then that's bad for the relationship anyways. Second, you're going to eventually see all the unpleasant private things your partner does. And while that creates a very heartwarming sense of intimacy at first, let me tell you, it gets old very fast. On the other hand, if I hadn't lived with someone before, I wouldn't have permanent residency, and if I hadn't subsequently separated from him, I also wouldn't be able to get student loans. Every time I apply, I proudly check the 'separated' box. If I didn't, they would require the amount of line 167 of my parents income tax. 'But my parents live in Germany', I say. "How much more independent you think I can get?' 'We still need it', they answer. 'But the WHOLE GODDAMN FUCKING TAX SYSTEM IS DIFFERENT! THERE IS NO LINE 167!', I retort. 'We still need line 167 from your parents' income tax', they insist friendly. Can you imagine the joy I felt when I realized that my official marital status was 'separated' and that that meant I qualified as an independent adult? Words can't capture it.

6. Divorce costs a lot of money. Unless you both decide to split at the same time, one of you is inevitably going to be mad at the other one. This might lead more complacent types who aren't so worried about finding their "soulmate" (i.e., men) to just tolerate the one they're with. Wouldn't you rather know that your partner could leave you any second, and that the fact that s/he hasn't done so means that s/he really *wants* to be there?

7. If a stressful day where you have to deal with all your relatives' neuroses is your idea of the happiest day of your life, your expectations are kind of low. In fact, why don't you shoot yourself right now? 'But Catrin', you say,'I want to get married in Vegas/Mexico/the Bahamas with a close circle of friends!' 'Well', I say, 'if there's enough booze, and if you think you might just be able to get away with getting a whole bunch of gifts and then making sure there's a 'mistake' that anulls your marriage, I say go for it! In fact, I've been thinking about that myself."

8. 'But what about children', you say, 'I want to have children!'. Well, I have it on good authority that you don't actually have to be married to do that. In fact, I vividly remember having an argument with my then-best friend in grade 4 about just that. Guess what? I won. Guess what also? Her father told her to stay away from me, because I was a bad influence, and told her cousin to spend more time with her. Guess who got knocked up when she was sixteen and I was, if not innocent, at least to remain virginal for quite some time after that? Exactly. The cousin. HA! Take that for judging me! I still hate you, father of former best friend-in fact, I had a nightmare about you last night. Something about socks. It was horrific. But back on topic: Just bring up your child with your best friend. At least your best friend likely agrees that hockey is a vile and violent sport aimed at engraining mainstream masculinity schemata, and that a child should never play it, unless it's a girl.

9. Common law people get the same tax benefits. That said, since I don't believe in living together either, just get yourself an opposite gender roommate or something. Thankfully, I'm in no danger of breaking into the first tax bracket in the foreseeable future. Or ever, considering I'm doing a B.A. in International Bullshitting.

10. Just leave your options open, you eejit.

I'm a Virgin. I always have been.

Of course, some of my very closest friends among you will suspect that this is not, in fact, true.

However, it is a quote from the funniest movie I have seen in a very, very long time- 40-year old virgin.

What can I say? It is crude, it is funny, it has lots of nudity, and it seems really unscripted. Our little house was ringing with screams of laughter for the last 90 minutes or so.

Fuck those finals- I'm gonna watch it again tomorrow.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Your Mom Is Sub Zero!

So, I got myself a Super Nintendo- the last game console that didn't require people to put all other parts of their life on hold in order to learn how to play with it(Hee hee- other parts of their life).

Also, while I'm trying to analyze totalitarianism in two novels, two questions have come to my mind and won't go away:

What is the longest turd ever produced by a human being?

Is there a guinness record on it?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Just Say No

I couldn't have put it more eloquently. My regards to Mr. Bernard Shaw, speaking through Mr. Doolittle in Pygmalion:

. Why dont you marry that missus of yours? I rather draw the line at encouraging that sort of immorality.

OOLITTLE. Tell her so, Governor: tell her so. I'm willing. It's me that suffers by it. Ive no hold on her. I got to be agreeable to her. I got to give her presents. I got to buy her clothes something sinful. I'm a slave to that woman, Governor, just because I'm not her lawful husband. And she knows it too. Catch her marrying me! Take my advice, Governor: marry Eliza while shes young and dont know no better. If you dont youll be sorry for it after. If you do, she'll be sorry for it after; but better you than her, because youre a man, and shes only a woman and dont know how to be happy anyhow.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Humour Apparently Isn’t a Laughing Matter

Forever gone are the times when I labelled everything that seemed reprehensible as “gay” or "retarded", and that's the dubious acronym "P.C."'s fault. Don’t get me wrong- I think that’s a good thing. Having a descriptor for sexual orientation or a mental disorder double as a synonym for “negative” clearly does nothing to add to human understanding.

Recently, however, political correctness has invaded the realm of the funny. God forbid someone should laugh at something that is upsetting to somebody out there. If someone does, I’m certain we will all have to hear about it later- be it from an upset individual or an affronted special interest group, in person or through a letter to the editor in the Gateway. Lately, for example, it hasn’t been very fashionable to laugh at rape or sexual assault. Individuals finding humour in the likes of admittedly crude student comics must, according to the affronted, clearly not realize the gravity of these offences, and contribute to the general societal indifference to the victims’ plights.

Now, excuse me while I call a big, fat bullshit on that. Firstly, humour is, among other things, a coping mechanism. Ever notice how people laugh when they’re uncomfortable? Ever seen somebody start laughing after they’ve narrowly escaped an accident? Exactly. Secondly, almost all jokes (save puns, and sometimes even they) are, in one way or another, politically incorrect. At the very least, we laugh about stupid people. Isn’t that unfair to the ones among us who are just a bit slower than the rest? Take that to an extreme, and we laugh about the developmentally disabled. We laugh at people being cheated on, people having horrible diseases (remember the leper jokes?) and even at people dying(famous last words, anyone?). And I’m already looking forward to seeing someone- and note that that is a real, existing person- wipe out beautifully this winter trying to catch his or her bus. Humour is humanity’s way of dealing with some of life’s unpleasant aspects on a daily basis- a protection mechanism without which we’d all be sitting in the bathtub with a nice set of razorblades right now.

That said, I realize that everybody’s sense of humour has its limitations, depending on his or her personal history. If your older sister just suffered a stillbirth, you probably won’t find dead baby jokes very funny, and if you’ve grown up in Ethiopia, you might not have laughed as loudly as I did when the Blue Nile Restaurant ran out of food one night. For me, having grown up in Germany, it’s the German jokes. I find them lowly, misinformed throwbacks into the WWII era, where German is synonymous with Nazi and all my fellow citizens are callous murderers screaming at each other in Russian all day. I find my head swelling up with anger when I, for the umpteenth time, watch a Hollywood comedy where all Germans have whiteblond hair and walk around like evil robots, and the theatre around me is roaring with laughter.

A little while ago, though, I have come to realize that even though they laugh, most people don’t actually believe these stereotypes. Whenever I meet one of the few who does, I either choose to ignore that person, or, more frequently, if I deem them to be receptive, try to clear up their misconceptions in a serious conversation.
Still, even now that I’ve had said conversations with virtually all people that are close to me, most of them continue to find scenes like the one in Dodgeball - where the German team prays to David Hasselhoff before the big game- absolutely hilarious. How do I cope? Guess what: I just don't laugh. Occasionally, I also throw in the fact that David Hasselhoff had one hit in the very early nineties and hasn’t been heard of since, and console myself with the knowledge that my friends are for the most part smart, informed, open-minded people who would never buy into these clichés.

I mean, please, people, let others laugh at whatever the heck they want. Like, for example, that Canada is so boring and so insignificant in world history that most other countries haven't even bothered to make up stereotypes about it.