This Week In Forth | Weeks of October 3rd, October 10th, and October 17th
I started this post October 3rd, but through a combination of business, laziness, and narcissism, I hadn’t quite gotten around to finishing it, so if some of the references appear dated, you can think of this as more of a “month” in review. The narcissism I speak of evolves around the fact that I was losing motivation to write because I didn’t think anyone was bothering to read. However, upon further reflection I came to the conclusion that the size of the audience really shouldn’t matter. Writing as a means of therapy, as a coping mechanism and manner in which to process all the crazy that is going on around us (IE, this election season) is plenty motivation to keep typing away. I wish I could say that my recent disillusionment with the written word will be my last existential crisis for a while, but I expect to have several additional mini episodes as I reach the ultimate crisis: the 1/3 life crisis aka as my thirtieth birthday in March (I believe third life crisis to be an accurate label, as I’m fairly confident that my life expectancy is approximately 90 years of age). Now that you know that I’m dreading turning 30 and that I’m also quite possibly insane, let’s dive into what’s been going on this month.
National Boyfriend Day: It has come to my attention that October 3rd was National Boyfriend’s day. This is further evidence that Hallmark is trolling all of us and is attempting to invent as may card days as possible from which they can garner additional revenue. Before you all accuse me of hating because I don’t have a boyfriend, you have to first consider the household in which I was raised. My very own father is quite skeptical of Father’s day and doesn’t bother celebrating it because he believes that it is both a Hallmark conspiracy and a desperate attempt by disgruntled fathers who are envious of mother’s day. My father’s official position on Father’s day is that of Regina George from “Mean Girls”, that is, he believes that we should “Stop trying to make Father’s Day happen”. My father on the other hand is a staunch supporter of Mother’s Day and believes that Father’s Day will never be as awesome as Mother’s Day. I won’t say whether I am pro or anti Father’s Day, but Boyfriend’s Day is simply pushing it. At least other superfluous holidays like siblings’ day are permanent. Why celebrate someone who is here today and quite possibly gone tomorrow. That’s what Valentine’s Day is for.
Betty Shelby: Officer Betty Shelby of Tulsa Oklahoma has announced that temporary deafness caused her to shoot Terence Crutcher, who was unarmed. This is a rather bizarre excuse as deaf people serve their country well, both in the military and in law enforcement. I reject the notion that deafness somehow stymies one’s ability to serve and protect. Moreover, I have tons of deaf friends, none of whom to my knowledge have shot anyone. I sincerely hope that this rather odd explanation will not be Betty Shelby’s official legal strategy.
Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates: Between the name calling, frequent interruptions, ratchet audiences, and all other manners of foolishness, the debates have more nearly resembled Love & Hip Hop Atlanta reunion specials than an actually discourse geared toward helping Americans select the leader of the free world. I didn’t really go to kindergarten, so that’s my excuse for interrupting and not understanding how to take turns. I’m not sure what excuse the candidates and their running mates have to offer. This year’s debates have clearly hinted at the need to utilize elementary school teachers as moderates in lieu of journalists as elementary school teachers have plenty of experience telling children to stop talking out of turn.
Donald Trump Hot Mic Fiasco: Sadly, the allegations didn’t surprise me one bit. In an election cycle in which it appears that an arrested development plot-line may be coming to fruition (see season 4, in which Lindsay Bluth runs for political office with the promise of building a wall), very little can shock me. Billy Bush’s participation didn’t surprise me either, since I didn’t know who Billy Bush was until I saw a Today Show clip in which Bush appeared to be advocating for Ryan Lochte’s Rio antics.
Don’t Touch My Hair: If by the end of the year American’s don’t understand that under no
circumstances is it okay to touch a black woman’s hair, I’m convinced they never will. In fact, two amazing projects have been released this month that should serve as a reminder to us all that the hair is off limits. First, Solange released an amazing album, “A Seat at the Table” which features a track entitled “Don’t Touch My Hair”. In addition, Phoebe Robinson (who hosts a podcasts with The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams called 2 Dope Queens) released the hilarious book “You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain”. Call me naive if you want, but I truly believe that 2017 will be there year in which I experience zero unsolicited hair grabs. If not, at least I have these two great projects to take my mind off of all of the microaggressions.
Nobel Prize: It seems as if the world is debating the merits of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize win, but for some reasons nobody is talking about the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, which was pretty cool actually. Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa split the prize three ways “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines”. They created molecules that can perform tasks when energy is added. The movement of the molecules can be controlled, so in essence, the scientists have invented the world’s tiniest machines. This is a neat innovation and all, but if I were on the team, I wouldn’t be so keen on splitting. As I mentioned previously, I didn’t go to kindergarten, so I’m not great at sharing. In fact, you’d have to pull that Nobel Prize from my cold dead fingers if you wanted me to share it with two other blokes. Guess I won’t be getting a Nobel Peace Prize anytime soon.
Creepy Clowns: Recently, the news has been riddled with stories of incidents and threats concerning creepy clowns. I must admit that I take issue with the term “creepy clowns”. I find it redundant, since all clowns are creepy. All clowns are invasive. All clowns are terrible. Even the ones that wish to bring you joy but hold fast to the misguided notion that they can accomplish this by donning ghastly outfits, over-sized shoes and frightening wigs and makeup. Especially the ones who wish to bring you joy, because they’ve wasted good time and resources that could have been invested in legitimate joy producing activities. My sister and I have always been afraid of clowns. As children, whenever we saw one, we would slowly back away, and grab our parent’s hand. My father would try to help the clowns understand that we weren’t having it, but the clowns always seemed to be insistent on getting acquainted in hopes of converting us to clown lovers. What many don’t realize is that you can’t chuckle and juggle away a fear of clowns. I’m not the problem, clowns are the problem. They caused the problem by being the absolute worst. One of my father’s friends actually offered to dress up as a clown for my sister’s birthday barbecue. My father asked her kindly to refrain from doing so. Unfortunately, she ignored his request. This made things very awkward, because it clouded our perception of her even when she was out of the suit. Things were never the same.
Ford Bronco to Return: Ford will be releasing a line of Broncos in 2018. I’m going to cry too soon on this. I still associate Ford Broncos with the high speed chase of OJ Simpson. Perhaps that is what Ford has in mind. Perhaps they are wishing to profit from the momentum of the success of “The People vs OJ Simpson”.
Delta Airlines: It is reported that a Delta Airlines flight crew nearly put a passenger’s health in jeopardy by refusing to believe that a young black female who volunteered to provide medical aid was in fact a doctor. I’d just like to announce to Delta Airlines and the rest of the world that black women are doctors, scientists, astronauts, lawyers, teachers, Engineers, and virtually any other career you can think of. We’re out here spreading our black girl magic just about everywhere, so please don’t reject our pixie dust; it just might save a life.
Trip to Mars: Elon Musk is moving forward with plans to initiate trips to mars that could kick off as soon as 2024. Initial prices are estimated to be $500k, and should drop to $170k for the second round of trips. This seems a bit backwards. I feel as if the maiden voyage should be deeply discounted since there is probably a bit of uncertainty as to whether travelers will come back alive. Musk predicts that 10k flights (plus additional flights for supplies) will be required in order to create a sustainable colony of a million residents. If Musk is looking for a shortlist of individuals he should tap in order to help establish his colony, I’m here to help. I’d be more than happy to assemble a list of potential residents. I would probably add the majority of congress to this list. We definitely need a large quantity of out of touch career politicians, if we ever wish to reach the goal of making Mars great again.
Fragrant Coconut Oil and Flagrant Grammatical Errors: A teacher sent a note home to a student’s mother requesting that the mother refrain from using coconut oil in her daughter’s hair. The teacher originally claimed that other children were complaining about the odor, but recent reports state that the children were in fact not complaining. Cultural insensitivity notwithstanding, I was quite concerned about the spelling and grammar, or the lack thereof in the teacher’s note. My recommendation is that the teacher stop worrying about hair products and instead refocus the energy on more pertinent topics such as phonics and learning how to utilize modern word processor features such as spelling and grammar check. Read more here.
Awful Parody Videos and Poverty Voluntourism: Recently, the world was granted a particularly terrible parody of Justin Timberlake’s “Bringing Sexy Back” entitled “Bringing Missions Back”. The video features white female Christian missionaries from Luket Ministries in Oklahoma, and is rife with cultural appropriation and stereotypical and insulting depictions of life in Uganda. It is sure to be the next party anthem of the “White Savior” movement. And unlike the hilarious parody Instagram account @barbiesavior, Luket ministries appears to be serious as a heart attack. In an era in which Christian missions often manifest as poverty tourism and the opportunity to upload pictures of a cute kid from a foreign country to one’s Facebook page, this is definitely not a good look. I sincerely hope that the ministry takes the opportunity to read the feedback they’e received, research some of the information and resources they’ve been provided, and use this as a learning experience. The original video was taken offline, but TMS Ruge uploaded a version with annotations for view:
World Series: While it would be cool for Cleveland to sweep two sports, I’m going to have to honor my late grandfather (paternal) and go with the Cubs on this one. Given the circumstances, I suppose I could be happy either way since my beloved braves (who are leaving me…more to come on this topic soon) weren’t even part of the conversation this year.