Girl, Please. (A GIF Is Worth a Thousand Words)

NYC GAYS is hands-down the funniest thing I’ve seen online lately. While it helps to have some familiarity with NYC gay nightlife (he says smugly), it’s certainly not a necessity… I will tell you this: Splash is a terrible, terrible bar that appeals to out-of-towners and NYC neophytes; there are go-go dancers and the crowd skews young and cheesey. That’s my recollection, at any rate. And apparently, it’s still true, since the NYC GAYS site uses this gif under the headline When You Get Invited to Splash:

Oh, Whitney – we miss you… And I will never ever tire of this gif. Or this one.

Also, here’s How Being at Splash Makes You Feel. I am adopting this as my new catchphrase (though I’ll have to adjust the age – only slightly, yes, but I’m going to savor the next 4 1/2 years of being not 52…)

Oh for the good ol’ days…

Ross Douthat, the NYT’s resident conservative columnist, has written a book about “contemporary American Christianity” – and, if this review by Mark Oppenheimer in the paper of record is to be believed, it sounds HILARIOUS!

“Both doubters and believers have benefited from the role that institutional Christianity has traditionally played in our national life,” Mr. Douthat writes, referring to the Eisenhower era. He cites the old Christianity’s “communal role, as a driver of assimilation and a guarantor of social peace, and its prophetic role, as a curb against our national excesses and a constant reminder of our national ideals.”

Yes, the Eisenhower era. Everything was perfect then!* Let’s check in with the blacks, the Jews, the women, the gays, the Koreans, the commies and all the other non-white, non-male, non-Americans from that era and ask how things were working out for them and what Christianity was bringing to their lives.

Mr. Douthat’s portrait of mid-century religiosity is too idyllic.

Ya think? Stop it, you’re killing me! Seriously, you ought to take this act on the road…

*OK, OK, I’ll grant that the 92% tax rate on the wealthy back in the day was super-cool…

from NYTimes


People should have the freedom to do what they like with other consenting adults – but do they have to go around flaunting it? No one wants to have to see this in public. Gross.

Is there any appropriate response to this other than “Go fuck yourself”?

Someone I know recently posted this on Facebook – and it was all I could do not to immediately unfriend this person.

“Oh, Eric,” I’m sure  you’re saying, “Don’t be such a crab. In fact it might do you some good to be a little happier about your life.” WELL!

First of all, I am quite happy with certain aspects of my life. One that pops immediately into my mind is that my cat is over his recent illness and is back to his delightful and cuddly self. And I just made plans to spend two-and-a-half weeks on the Continent this fall. This is exciting and serves as a reminder that I am very lucky to have a job that gives me sufficient paid time off and pays well enough to take such a trip. This is a good thing!

But then there are components of my life which make me unhappy. Being single and pushing 50 is not exactly a bed of roses – and since being not-single generally requires input from someone other than myself, I only have a certain amount of control over making this “change.”

I think what galls me the most about the underlying idea of this “unhappy? then change” message is that somehow every aspect of one’s emotional life is controlled internally. Certainly, some of it is – but would anyone print up this noxious cartoon and hand it out to parents visiting their kids in the cancer ward? Or to workers punching out of the time-clock for the last time after being laid off from the job they’ve worked for 30 years? Or a child who just got beat up by a parent? Or the retired secretary who has to choose between taking her heart medication or buying groceries? Or the Iraqi War vet suffering from PTSD who can’t get an appointment at the VA for six months? “Oh, come on! Turn that frown upside-down! Just engage in some magical thinking and everything will be fine! And if it’s not, well, then, it’s your own fault for not changing!” Ugh. Vomit. It’s the same bullshit spewed by that horrible book The Secret.

Of course, I also take great issue with the idea that happiness is somehow the “norm”; that being sad or angry or fearful or experiencing any other “negative” feeling is somehow pathological, something to be cured or avoided. Certainly, those suffering from clinical depression or other neuroses should seek out and get treatment. But I’ve always firmly believed that, in order to experience the entire spectrum of human emotions, from despair to joy, you have to embrace them all. Suppressing or ignoring the more difficult emotions such as unhappiness, hopelessness, dread makes for an emotionally-stunted person, someone who can’t feel compassion for others – and probably can’t experience the heights of joy and happiness.

My life has seen plenty of changes, some of which I chose, some of which were chosen for me; some good, some bad; some made me happy, some made me miserable. And I have much to be happy about, though probably nearly as much to be unhappy about. And if you’re advice to me is to “change something”? Well, then, I say again – go fuck yourself.

“Roll the cameras.”

Not sure why this song popped into my head today – but pop it did. And I’ve decided I need to incorporate it into my life in one of two ways… Either this needs to be played every Monday morning as I enter my building and continue as I ride the elevator up to my office, sit down in my cube, start up my computer and log in to Facebook respond to the many highly-important emails I’ve received.

The second option would be to keep this song in reserve and have it played on my last day in the office when I retire, as I head out of the building one final time. Though since I’ll likely be making that trip in a pine box, maybe I’ll stick with option 1…