Tuesday, December 06, 2005
We Don't Need No Education
I have three kids. This means there are things I cannot do anymore, like go places. Or buy things for myself. Or experience hope or joy. Sometimes I can't feel the warmth of the sun, as though I am bathed in a constant shade of my own making, severed from the world and it's most basic sensory experience by the self-inflicted guillotine sentence of parenthood.

I do know all the words to every song by the Wiggles ever, though. So there are some benefits.

I also can't stay up as late as I used to all the time. Sometimes it's just a result of exhaustion. If you don't have kids, try this: wake up in the morning and start screaming. I mean really, really loud, ugly, Linkin Park screaming. Do that nonstop every hour that you're awake. You will pass out once or twice from the outgoing oxygen as you shout, but that's normal. Just make sure that when you recover, you immediately resume screaming.

Remember: all day. Now let's see how chipper you are around 10 pm.

I'm not complaining necessarily because parenthood is voluntary. Well, in our case the first one was. Mrs. Pops and I haven't been alone in a room together since our wedding night, so I'm not even clear how she got pregnant the second or third time. She says I had sperm samples harvested and that she was artificially inseminated. Funny I don't really remember that, but she assures me that the doctor--whom I also don't remember--says that's a normal after-effect of the anaesthesia. That doesn't explain why my second and third kids are half Chinese, though.

So let's recap: a) cut off from grown-up human society and b) oh so very sleepy.

These are the reasons I don't get to watch Saturday Night Live anymore.

I also don't watch it because that show is designed to entertain people between the ages of 14 and 22. Period. They turn the entire cast over every 6-8 years, they say for creative reasons, but really it's to purposely alienate older viewers and allow teenagers at co-ed slumber parties all over America to learn about politics and what a Frank Sinatra impression looks like from a whole new cast. And that will be their cast and the rest of us can go fuck ourselves.

As if I didn't already have enough motivation to hate hate hate SNL, I found out today via a local newspaper column that on last week's "Weekend Update" segment, Riverside got mentioned.

Wow, how exciting! What could they possibly have said about us?! If they mentioned us by name on "Weekend Update", a segment devoted to celebrating things with dignity and sincerity, why, it must only be a boon, a blessing, a bailiwick.

Actually I'm not really sure what a "bailiwick" is. Is that even a word? It sounds like a word. It makes me think of "bulwark", but I don't think it's the same thing. You know what? Pretend I didn't say that.

Here's the joke taken from the official show transcript:

POEHLER -- "A new survey reveals that Seattle is the nation's most literate city, followed by Minneapolis and Washington. While once again, the least literate city is Reevarsyde, Kaleefermia."

Ahahahahaha! So very very funny.

A couple of points:

1) Amy Poehler must die. I know odds are she probably didn't actually write that particular joke. It could just have easily been Tina Fey who was assigned that one. Just so you know it's nothing personal against Ms. Poehler, I would have marked Tina Fey for death had she been the one to read it. True justice would require me to determine who did write that joke and kill them, but I don't really have that kind of time. Plus, remember: I tire easily.

2) LIES!

The joke was built around the results of this particular study. As you can see, Riverside is clearly not last.

At the top of the list of "most literate" (a dubious category for quantification) are cities like Seattle and Minneapolis, places where there's nothing to do BUT sit around and read books. Entire populations driven indoors by the weather and the fact that there is a better than 50/50 chance that should they go outside, they will be eaten by a bear.

I'll have you all know we killed off all our bears about 100 years ago, not to mention a thousand other species of various animals now extinct. It's called civilization. The freeway had to go somewhere. We put our bears in natural history museums and on our flags where they belong.

What intrigues me is that the SNL people went out of their way to belittle my community when the reference to us wasn't even warranted. On the rankings of 69 cities, Riverside actually finished 59th. Ten spaces up from the bottom, bitches! That's higher than local brethren cities (and this is true) Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana (the Orange County seat, ranked 62nd) and Anaheim.

So the punchline isn't that people in Riverside can't read. It's that people in Southern California can't read. Eat that, SNL! Do your homework!

The fact that they chose us to single out is curious, though. Being 100% honest with you people, I'm a little... well, "proud" isn't the right word. Not by a longshot. More like... pleased. We aren't just a regional joke anymore; we're a national punchline.

Our little town is growing up.

OK, Amy Poehler can live.

For now.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.1



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