Things That Make Me Go WTF? o_O

I don’t consider myself a modern-day Sherlock Holmes or anything, but I am a pretty observant fellow most of the time. More often than not, it pays off. It’s always good, for example, to be acutely cognizant of things like your wife’s new hair color or the front end of a police cruiser poking out from behind a shrubbery.

Sometimes, though, I notice things that would cause serious hard-drive failures in the most advanced of cyborgs. Indeed, there are times when I take note of some peculiarity and am ultimately forced to accept the fact that logic and common sense are completely foreign concepts to some. Below is a list of a few of the more enjoyable humorous perturbing examples.

Selective Bigotry

The American Heritage Dictionary describes a bigot as “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.” Of course, the words “religion” and “race” and “politics” are all qualifiers of the leading phrase, “one’s own group”. It is important to note that there are many other sub-groups not listed, giving the subtle implication that religion, race, and political stance are the established trifecta of bigotry. Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a multitude of groups out there regularly subjected to bigotry that is neither based on race, nor religion, nor politics.

M-hm. Suddenly all the women reading this start nodding their heads.

I have many male friends who would never even think of ridiculing someone because of their race or religion, but who commonly refer to each other as “pussies” without bothering to acknowledge that the term “pussy” – used as it is to mean weak, inferior men – is a bigoted statement against all women. It says, in a passive voice, that women are just men who lack "balls". This is an outright devaluation of women that most guys don’t even realize they’re perpetuating. But perpetuate it they do, almost as if it’s hard-wired into their masculinity. It needs to stop.

Understanding that a decent portion of guys will still need some means of elevating themselves above others in their own minds (and not wanting to damage any fragile self-images) I offer up the term “wussy” or “wuss” as alternatives that shouldn’t be too difficult to switch to. There is also the option of calling another guy a “wimp” if his level of machismo doesn’t meet one’s rigid standards, however resorting to the word “bitch” places one on the shaky ground of male chauvinism.

The c-word is right out.

Misogyny can be remarkably inconspicuous to those not sensitive to it and it is every bit as terrible as the foulest racism. Fact.

UPDATE: Ugh. Et tu, Gabe & Tycho? Ah, well. No one said it would be an easy battle.

Conflicting Morality

I used to have a coworker who was a strict vegetarian and made no bones about the fact she thought eating meat was barbaric and cruel. She had a little sign in her cubicle, obtained from PETA, with a cute cartoon depiction of a pig and the words, “MEAT’S NO TREAT FOR THOSE YOU EAT.” I sort of liked that phrase and I told her as much. I admitted that it wasn’t enough to get me to stop eating bacon, but also fully confessed that the only reason I ate meat was because I didn’t have to kill it myself. (Seriously. Desert me in the jungle with nothing but a live piglet and a Bowie knife and I’d quickly become a vegan with a pet pig and a big-ass mango-slicer.)

Her animal-rights morality was commendable until I noticed a dichotomy that completely invalidated it. Namely, shoes and purse made of leather. It would seem that although my coworker’s ethics wouldn’t allow her to eat an animal’s flesh, they oddly didn’t forbid killing the animal for its skin. When presented with this conundrum, she replied that unless you wanted to buy new shoes every three months and enjoyed having sweaty feet, leather was really the only viable option (this commentary on product quality from a person who eschews chicken for tofu). At that point, it seemed silly to ask why she also needed her handbags made out of cow. It probably would have only led to her fumbling for a justification of her Max Factor mascara or something.

Side Note: For an excellent dissertation on the topic of animal rights – one of the best I’ve read – visit the blog of Auntie Pinko.

Contradictory Hygiene

I could write an entire essay on the juvenile and disgusting restroom habits of some of the grown men I work with. Seriously, I shudder to think what the bathrooms in their homes must look like.

But there was this one recent incident that, while not as offensive as finding urine and curly pubes on the toilet seat, had me scratching my head for quite some time. A man came into the restroom and entered the stall right next to mine. He commenced making a big show out of the fact that he was using one of the provided paper toilet seat-covers. I mean, it literally took him ten times longer than it should have to pull out and position his crapper condom. I know they can be complicated — punching out the center part without tearing the thing in two truly is akin to performing a delicate thoracic surgery — but he clearly wanted everyone else present to know that he had absolutely no intention of riding a public toilet bareback. Fine. But when he finished doing his doo-doo, did he saunter up next to me at the sinks and join me in a little after-BM hand sanitizing? No. No, he did not. He did, however, take a quick moment to check his hair in the mirror as he strolled by, but evidently his concern for germs only applies from the waist down. Try as I might, I cannot make sense of this.

Delusional Drug Abuse

There is a major misconception that the Food and Drug Administration actually cares about the health of the general populace. If it were true that there was a governmental concern for the well being of the citizenry, things like Brominated Vegetable Oil and Olestra would never have been approved as food additives. So believe me when I tell you that just because a substance is legal, doesn’t mean it isn’t damaging to your health. By the same token, some bureaucrat deciding a particular chemical should be controlled for this reason or that reason doesn’t automatically make those reasons valid or even factual.

This is why my feathers get ruffled whenever some drunken clod starts shooting his mouth off about how his no good brother smokes too much pot or how his wife goes through two packs of Camels a day. As a recovering alcoholic who has come direly close to losing everything he loves to booze, I can state without stuttering that people who consume copious amounts of alcohol should refrain from vocalizing opinions about the drug use of others. It’s a person’s lawful, adult right to drink martinis until their liver looks like a wad of rancid hamburger, but a voluntary mass-consumption of one of the world’s deadliest legal substances automatically disqualifies that person from judging other peoples’ substance abuse.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the guy a couple houses over who leaves his dog chained to a tree all day is currently out haranguing a guy for wearing a fur-lined overcoat. WTF?

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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39 Responses to Things That Make Me Go WTF? o_O

  1. )V(urphy says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your 'WTF" moments. 🙂

  2. RedScylla says:

    I have a self-righteous leather shoe wearing vegetarian cousin.But what really snerked me is "The c-word is right out."Remember George Carlin? "Fuck and shit are fine, but p and c are out." Leading to such statements as, "All right, you fuckers, I'm going to tinkle." Etymologically speaking, I'm a big fan of the c-word.

  3. Auds says:

    Selective Bigotry: Although I understand the intended purpose of your irritation with calling a sub standard male "a pussy" things like this never bother me. I see these one word insults as they are, basic insults that are just part of the general language. You can't make a word an insult, using the word "wussy" would have the opposite effect of making you look like an oddball. Wuss howveer, that's pretty easily used. By the same token, just because a pussy may be a part of the female anatomy, it doesn't mean I have to take it as a personal insult, because often enough, it really isnt meant as a bigoted insult, so why am I going to trouble myself worrying over a detail? Words have many meanings, many connotations, and I'm not technical enough to worry about meaning not meant in context.
    Conflicting Morality: Nothing infuriates me more than this. In any sense. If you believe something you stick to it, you don't make it convenient, and if you do, you do not really believe it. If you really thought a dying animal was dying in agony for your human convenience you would not place the value replacing shoes over that animal. I read once “No one in the habit of eating an animal can be completely without bias in judging whether the conditions in which that animal is reared cause suffering (Pollan,313).” I guess the same goes when you're wearing leather shoes.
    Delusional Drug Abuse: I can't agree with you more. Just because it's legal doesn't make it better. Milk may be recommended by the USDA in the Food Pyramid for every child, and you may need a doctors note to get your child out of buying milk at school lunch, but the truth is generally only those of European descent and a few desert pastoralists from Africa are naturally lactose tolerant. Guess no one cares about our national melting pot of origins.

    /end rant

  4. Jay says:

    He did, however, take a quick moment to check his hair in the mirror as
    he strolled by, but evidently his concern for germs only applies from
    the waist down.Obviously one of those my-germs-on-you-not-your-germs-on-me kind of person. Gross.And there's a lot of those do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do types out there as well. The most vocal are typically hiding something.

  5. 1. There's a song in which the artists talk about taking back the pussy. With examples. ie "thanks for that ride home the other day!! That was awfully pussy of you."

  6. Budd says:

    Bigot please,
    Only white males can be bigots. There are far eviler words that the bigots have created for the other groups.

    I think I will start calling all of my white friends bigots.
    Talk to you later, my bigot.

  7. little miao says:

    I love the image of "a vegan with a pet pig and a big-ass mango-slicer" living in the jungle. I'm a vegan myself and a friend once gave me that PETA sticker becaus I like pigs. I do not wear leather. And I also don't appreciate holier-than-thou vegans who contemptuously prostelytize to the entire world. Ultimately, their "conflicting morality" says more about them than their eating choices. I find that their aggressiveness or dogmatism is always a cover for some kind of internal contradiction or insecurity. Well, I don't appreciate aggressive prostelytizers of any brand. Thanks to aggressive vegans, my friends feel an obligation to apologize to me for eating meat in my presence, or frying an egg in the apartment we share. I find it exceptionally frustrating and embarrassing.</end rant> Thanks for sharing another fascinating and beautifully articulated essay!

  8. Marque says:

    Excellently (that spelling looks totally wrong to me) – written. I agree with every single thing you wrote – well, most of it. I have ADD and can only scan – when I see all the words it makes me kind of insane. I will read it again later when my ADD drugs kick in.

  9. Well written, well thought-out, and chock full of the three big things that make me go "WTF" too. 🙂

  10. Red Pen says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post. Your observations are right on target.

  11. Kirk says:

    It looks like there was some sort of SNAFU which cut off your entire
    post, Marque. Fortunately, the whole thing made it into my e-mail box,
    so I shall repost it here for everyone else's benefit:[this is good]
    Excellently (that spelling looks totally wrong to me) – written.I agree with every single thing you wrote – well, most of it.I have ADD and can only scan – when I see all the words it makes me kind of insane.I will read it again later when my ADD drugs kick in.I, too, have ADHD. Thank heavens for hyper-focusing or I'd never get anything written!

  12. Marque says:

    Thank you, Kirk. This is one of those things that make me go WTF…why my comment freaked the hell out and did this. Why mine? What a weird thing – would only happen to me. Ugh. And, yay for hyper-focus.

  13. dewitte says:

    Interesting – I'd never thought about some of those before. Specifically the derogatory "P" word – which I don't use, but still never thought of the derogatory sense of it.

  14. sdede2 says:

    Kirk I think you missed the point with the hygiene guy. What he was really doing was protecting the toilet from getting infected by HIS dirty ass. See he was really looking out for all the rest of us.

  15. Kiss Me Cate says:

    As usual, this is fabulous. The point about leather shoe wearing vegetarians is something which has always confused me.
    The thing about guys calling eachother pussies made me laugh. You make a completely valid point, the whole macho male thing is in my opinion a bunch of crap. However I've been know to call my boyfriend a pussy in the most loving way. Saying it now sounds mean, but he knows what I'm getting at being that he is not the ego-obsessed, beer and football guy stereotype.

  16. Kirk says:

    Yeah, I suspect many women are like you and Auds and are either used to it or don't mind it. I just happened to have an epiphany about it the other day and felt sort of ashamed of myself for using the term so blithely. I'm probably being a bit over-sensitive, but better safe than sorry, I suppose.

  17. Sara says:

    I'd just like to say that "Desert me in the jungle with nothing but a live piglet and a Bowie
    knife and I’d quickly become a vegan with a pet pig and a big-ass
    mango-slicer." is a wonderful, wonderful quote.

  18. Jay says:

    Are there mangoes in the desert? I'll have to look that one up. :)But true here too. I couldn't chop a critter up for my dinner either. But I don't claim to be a vegetarian, and I'll eat a pulled pork sandwich without thinking about it. I don't think it's my God-given right or anything snarky like that, I just roll along day-by-day.Glad I'm not on the menu, I will say that. Call me a pussy. 0_0

  19. Kirk says:

    "Are there mangoes in the desert?"I don't think so. Good thing I was talking about being deserted in a jungle. 😉

  20. Jay says:

    Oh yeah. Definitely mangoes there. Big ones. Not like your smaller, drier desert variety.:P

  21. stubbie23 says:

    Things people do make me say WTF hourly. Your example made me think of two that instantly came to mind.Conflicting Morality: I had two different female friends that resided in the ranks of our local PETA conclave that would try and get me to join, and their actions are what kept me from joining (beside the fact that you can have my leather jacket once you pry it from my cold, dead fingers). They would tell me of all the horrible things that humans did to animals, and they'd have all the propaganda that PETA provided to them to prove their point. That did not bother me. However, they both wore leather, and I don't mean just shoes and a purse. I mean fringed leather jackets, boots, purses, shoes, belts, hats, etc. I would ask, "Don't your fellow PETA members get upset when they see you wear that stuff?" Their reply was always "Oh. We don't wear this stuff to meetings or rallies." I would blindly stare back at them and shudder in disbelief.Contradictory Hygiene: One of my fellow coworkers does something to one up your coworker. He goes from the stall, to the sink to BRUSH HIS TEETH, to walking out the door. Nowhere in this set of actions does he wash his hands. I try to make sure I'm not in the bathroom at the same time he is, or I throw up in my mouth a little.

  22. Lauri says:

    Wow, Kirk, I always enjoy your essays! 🙂 So many deep thoughts, ideas, common sensicals, and always laughs!And, you even made me click on "wad of rancid hamburger"! And, I didn't even WANT to! ;)Makes me want to scale back the drinking a bit. :PI am always conscious of the conundrum presented by the fact that I refuse to buy or wear fur, but do buy and wear leather objects, and eat meat. I don't know. We all have to try our best in this life, and I drew a line, and that is where it has ended up at this time. I am trying to gradually decrease my meat consumption. Other than that….I'm happy with where I am!I bookmarked Auntie Pinko's site to check out later….right now I have guinea pig cages to clean…the kids are getting shtinky! 😉

  23. Jay says:

    I have heard that folks used to brush their teeth with urine. Before toothpaste. Maybe he's just, you know….into that.Tic-tac?

  24. Kirk says:

    I am always conscious of the conundrum presented by the fact that I
    refuse to buy or wear fur, but do buy and wear leather objects, and eat
    meat… We all have to try our best in this life, and I drew a line…Well, for me, it comes down to ethical treatment of animals. After seeing the way KFC treats chickens from the time they're born, I could no longer give them my business. There are ways to slaughter animals that are relatively humane. For my own part, I try to buy free-range chicken, organic eggs, that sort of thing.I wear leather but won't wear fur. The major difference is that much of the cheap fur on coats is made from dog (which is sort of a sacred animal to me) and the stuff that's more expensive is made from animals that are killed solely for their fur. No one eats mink, for example.

  25. devonrex says:

    it's a new world. liberalism has been so successful that it is used to justify bigotry. "i'm entitled to my opinion, and I refuse to address the larger societal implications that accompany my opinion". wtf indeed. everything used to be bad; that's not true anymore. that doesn't necessarily make everything good.

  26. SteveP says:

    I've always marvelled at the fact that if there are, for example, six stalls in a men's room, and I'm in one of them and the rest are empty, someone will inevitably come in and occupy the stall right next to mine. What's the thought process there??

  27. Kirk says:

    An excellent point, SteveP. Ever have someone then start talking to you? Very disturbing.

  28. Sol says:

    [ciò è buono]

  29. This in reference to Contadictory Hygiene. My husband is a very fastitdious man and is sickened by the many men that don't wash their hands after using public facilities. One day he was in a home improvement store in the men's room. Two men walk in together, one starts to wash his hands, to which the other man said "Hey man why you doing that? Wash 'em after ya p**s. "To which he replies, "I know where my d**k has been,it's been in my pants all day but my hands have been everywhere ." My husband came home that evening telling me he had not heard such wise words before .

  30. Jay says:

    "I know where my d**k has been,it's been in my pants all day but my hands have been everywhere ."My thoughts exactly.(Except the other way around.)

  31. Marque says:

    Jay, you are so god damn funny…"the other way around". Ha..uh..wait…you are joking, right?

  32. Jay says:

    Um….right. Yes, of course.Joking.

  33. Kirk says:

    Hmm, it would seem Gabe and Tycho have not read my blog. No surprise there, I guess. I added this link as an update in the body copy, as well. Ta.

  34. SteveP says:

    Ever have someone then start talking to you?I have been spared that indignity.But here's a good one – there was a guy I had some dealings with at work a few years back who was just a major pig. He would come to town for meetings and would sit there and eat junk food all day, punctuated by lunch breaks at McDonald's. One day I went into the men's room and there, on the floor of the stall, was a fuckin' Snickers wrapper! The first thought that came to mind was 'I guess Jim's in town'. Not 10 minutes later I ran into him in the hall. I am convinced to this day that he was the Snickers eating culprit.

  35. Lauri says:

    ROFL. Thanks to all you guys for the laughs this frigid morning while I am heading out to work at 6 am! I'll be thinking about these stories everytime I pass a men's room for the rest of my life! 😀

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