The time I shit myself

I was 22. A girl I’d been close friends with before she moved away was in town and invited me for a drink with her and her new boyfriend. I meet them, have a couple beers and go home. Very unremarkable evening.

Drive home is 45 minutes through bumfucknowhere. Halfway there my stomach starts doing flips. I manage to hold on until I see a Walmart. I come screeching into the parking lot, throw open the car door; and, as I stand up, it all comes out. A river of shit. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t even eaten anything. And the beer was light beer for chrissake. I just sat back down and drove home.

For years, I had no idea what had happened. Then one night a mischievous waiter friend of mine mentioned putting Visine in customers’ drinks to give them the shits. Suddenly it clicked.

I am 99% sure my friend’s boyfriend thought his girl was making him hang out with some guy she used to fuck and put something in my drink. It was the first time a friend’s jealous boyfriend put something in my drink. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last.

My family feels like a cult

My family feels like a cult. 

Maybe it’s because I’m the eldest son. Maybe it’s because, growing up, I had a chronic health condition that kept me hooked to machines watching through a window while my siblings and the neighborhood kids played outside. Maybe it’s because my earliest memory is a near-death experience (I know, I’m so goth). Maybe it’s because my father treated his sons like shit and his daughters like their shit didn’t stink. Probably, it’s because they’re evangelical xtians, and I’m an atheist. Whatever the case, I’m the black sheep.

Anyway, ever since I ditched religion, and especially since I moved out, I’ve felt like an outsider. And the feeling has only gotten stronger with time. At first, things were awkward, but not like they are now. Back then, I had a sister living in the midwest (USA), another in the southwest, and another in the southeast a couple hours from our hometown. 

Even then, I felt like an outsider. My friends would ask me if I was adopted. And they would tell me my family gatherings gave them the creeps, because my family felt like a cult. And I felt it too. And it’s gotten worse.

Over the last few years, my entire family moved back. My eldest sister’s husband lost his job, so my mother offered her a job. A few months ago, they bought a house a mile from my parents. My youngest sister moved into our childhood home, which is about two miles from my parents. My middle sister, a month ago, moved her family into a house half a mile from my parents. I live three hours away.

When I visit, I feel like Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, entering a building whose inhabitants are all members of the same cult just watching and waiting for her to join them. Seriously: When I walk in, conversations stop, everyone just turns and stairs. The stairs are followed by forced smiles and forced conversation, fake laughter, exaggerated hospitality. When I bring my girlfriend, it’s even worse. It’s like she’s got a scarlet letter on her forehead that everybody’s too polite to say anything about. There’s the whore. I see god hasn’t answered our prayers yet.

I’ve thought about this a lot; and, honestly, I don’t think there’s any fixing it. They kind of are a cult: They’re hardcore evangelicals and a close-knit family. In What Is A Cult?,Tara Isabella Burton writes that there is no legitimate distinction between a cult and a religion and describes both as systems defined by “a cycle of power, meaning, identity, and ritual.” She cites Geertz in asserting that how we experience the world is unavoidably “mediated by the semiotic network in which we operate.” People like myself, with no strong group ties, are pretty much just half-assing it: bumbling about, picking up odds and ends along the way from which to piece together an eclectic, subconscious “semiotic network” to give our lives some semblance of meaning. People like my family have picked a group and gone all-in on its “ascription of meanings that define how [they] see [themselves], others, and the world.”1

Me walking into my parents’ house is like Toby Maguire walking into Pleasantville: We’re playing out different movies. Who’s living in gray scale and who’s living in color is another question altogether.

references

1. Burton, T.I. (2017, June 7). What is a cult? Aeon. Retrieved from https://aeon.co/essays/theres-no-sharp-distinction-between-cult-and-regular-religion.

How accurate are Scott Adams’ predictions?

Scott Adams, the cartoonist/author behind Dilbert and a host of books, likes to make predictions on his blog and Periscope. Watching his Periscope today, I thought it’d be fun to track and score those predictions based on accuracy. My plan is to update this post from time to time with new predictions and how they panned out.1

My scoring scheme is simple:
   Wrong = -1
   A wash = 0
   Right = 1

Scott often brags that he predicted the Trump presidency back when very few people took the billionaire TV-personality’s candidacy seriously. A 2018 Forbes article on Scott even linked the success of his latest book to the success of that one prediction. So let’s start our scoring there. Continue reading “How accurate are Scott Adams’ predictions?”

Why is Afroman throwing shade at Ana Kasparian?

Afroman, the poet himself, singing lyrics Simon & Garfunkel would kill for
Afroman, the faded poet himself, singing lyrics Simon & Garfunkel would kill for

I hit the Googlewebs hard today with a question I was sure every third person on this overpopulated planet must be asking: Why is Afroman throwing shade at Ana Kasparian? Continue reading “Why is Afroman throwing shade at Ana Kasparian?”

5 times Ted Cruz made us laugh

Jimmy Kimmel recently compared Ted Cruz to a Blob Fish
Jimmy Kimmel recently compared Ted Cruz to a Blob Fish

Ted Cruz: To know him is to love him. That glorious dad bod. The greasy side part. His steadfast support of a president who mercilessly mocked him before millions during televised presidential debates. That grating Warren T. Rat voice. But, most of all, we love Ted because he makes us laugh. Over the years, Ted’s delivered so many gut busters, it’s hard to keep track. Well, here are five times Ted Cruz made us laugh that will send you chortling down memory lane. Continue reading “5 times Ted Cruz made us laugh”

Is mooching immoral?

Joey the mooch
Joey the mooch

We all know a mooch: the coworker who borrows a dollar and never pays it back, the friend who invites you to a bar and then can’t pay their own tab, the first date who orders the lobster-stuffed, caviar-encrusted filet mignon and doesn’t even offer so much as a rim job in return (that bitch).

Anyway, I was recently fuming over a mooch when I thought: Why am I so pissed? I mean, I knew this motherfucker was worthless, so it’s not like what they did was a surprise. And that led me to a bigger question: Is mooching immoral? I mean, is my moral outrage even justified? Well, to answer that question, we’ll first need to cover the typology of moochery. Continue reading “Is mooching immoral?”

4 reasons why your sciency clickbait article is a steaming pile of shit

sexy writer

Someone I follow on Twitter recently shared a March 2017 New York Post article titled “Staring at boobs is just one of six easy ways men can live longer.” The article is by Andrea Downey who is a health reporter for the Sun. Her article cites some factoids about life expectancy and chromosome counts and lists “six ways a man can boost his life expectancy.” Downey’s tips include “stare at boobs”, “have lots of sex”, “get married”, “have kids”, “be responsible” and “get a ‘dad bod'”.1

Here are 4 reasons why this sciency, clickbait article is a steaming pile of shit. Continue reading “4 reasons why your sciency clickbait article is a steaming pile of shit”

Sexist creation, feminist salvation

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the denial of women as equal members of the religious body, as well as of their very humanity, is nowhere more clearly illustrated than in the first book of the Bible. Genesis 2:21-23:

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs…[from which] made he a woman…and Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.”

Here we have the biological import of woman—that of childbearing—taken from her and given to man: Man is born of the earth, and woman is born of man. The serpent then tempts Eve, and Eve tempts Adam. The disenfranchisement and vilification of woman is complete. Continue reading “Sexist creation, feminist salvation”

Did federal minimum wage laws kill American Samoa?

Tri Marine International cannery in American Samoa, 2013
Tri Marine International cannery in Atu’u, American Samoa; from GAO-14-381, p. 44

I regularly tune in to Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams’ political rants on Periscope. During a recent philippic, he mentioned in passing that federal minimum wage laws recently devastated American Samoa’s once-booming economy. He basically painted a picture of a paradise-turned-ghetto with equality-of-outcome economic policies to blame. I, of course, had to look into this claim. Here is what I found. Continue reading “Did federal minimum wage laws kill American Samoa?”

Dallas “Big Country” McCarver’s autopsy report reveals official cause of death is heart failure

Dallas McCarver modeling an OYE-branded hoodie
Dallas McCarver modeling an OYE-branded hoodie

On 28 November 2017, Florida’s District 15 medical examiner released bodybuilder Dallas “Big Country” McCarver’s autopsy report revealing his official cause of death to be “severe concentric left ventricular hypertrophy [enlarged/thickened heart] with coronary atherosclerosis [clogged arteries].” It further states contributing factors include “chronic use of exogenous steroid and non-steroid hormones.”
Continue reading “Dallas “Big Country” McCarver’s autopsy report reveals official cause of death is heart failure”