Author Archive

women: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em

June 27, 2008

first off, gross. aside being ridiculously heteronormative (unless it’s a woman saying it, which would likely be utterly ironic), erroneous (the speaker of this phrase can in fact live without women, future people cannot), and hilariously archaic (friggin’ erasmus of rotterdam is the genius attributed with coining this gem), its use as the world’s most annoying ‘paradox’ demands mention on the detestable phrase scene, as well as collective scorn from those who concern themselves with any sense of gender consciousness.

paradoxes are supposed to be informative. they speak to our contradictory notions of reality, truth and the good. they’re what people use to think in critical ways, helping us improve our own ethical and political ideologies in a–dare i say–“dialectical” fashion. the nihilist paradox (the statement “nothing is true” thus cannot be true) or “all Cretans are liars” are notable because they’re interesting twists in logic, forcing us to think and engage with oppositionality in varying ways.

but, erasmus, why can’t you live with women? is it because you are a bastard (really), your name reminds all of us of erasers, or because you were a g-d monk who actually never encountered women socially or sexually due to some weird religious ideal of mental and corporeal purity? other than the front made by your preposterous writing, you can live without women. you did. for at least 40 years. in a monastery. as an ordained priest. erasmus is like a guy who speaks about paris with a sigh, conflicted about its inseparable majesty and arrogance, the culture he cannot live without but the snobbery of isolated left bank-ites who produce it. but he’s never been. he heard about paris because of the effiel tower, social studies, and the da vinci code. but for us it’s even worse: not only is he speaking beyond his means, but we’re all so indebted to patriarchy that it doesn’t matter if erasmus, or any of us, have to really know women to hate them; we just do. because it makes sense… and provides a good horrible adage.

if i had a dime…

June 10, 2008

everyone has had a friend that says this; and trust me, they got it from their grandparent, or some similarly uncool/out-of-the-loop older relative: “if i had a dime for every time you/she/he/they did x, i’d a be millionaire.” aside being unimaginative, which it most definitely is, it’s inaccurate. and even aside its inaccuracy, it’s downright stupid. seriously, can someone not find a more interesting way to say “uh, hey, dude, you do that a lot,” without resorting to something so overtly trite?

but really? i mean, rely on exaggeration all you want (“that cat looks like eddie vedder” or “i just drank 38 brews and still managed to drive home after murdering that cat that looks like eddie vedder” ) but know how to use it–tastefully–and with an appropriate idea of realistic feats, use of variable measurement scales, and a sensibility of why something would be funny if amplified by 10/100/1000. or at least qualitatively more extreme.

a couple years ago i started using the “if i had a dime” phrase but in *le rĂ©sistance*… “hey brian” ; “yeah?” ; “if i had a nickel for every time you had sex with that cat that looks like eddie vedder, i’d have .65$.” not only does a person who hears such a phrase immediately try to find out how many times brian actually had sex with the cat that looks like eddie vedder (13), but you also get the added benefit of making semi-realistic a trope that has for centuries? been possessed by overalled grandparents and khaki-wearing golf-dads.

and by the way, 10 million dimes = ‘if i had a dime… millionaire’. joke’s over.