Monday, May 15, 2006

Celebrity Advice and Other Mutually Exclusive Items

I have a soft spot for weirdos, cranks, freaks, dopes, and the great majority of the minority of strangeness.

I have a great deal of respect for the mundane, the average, the square, the nerd, the: hey expecting highwater with those pants? sorts of people.

Apparently, I've got it exactly backwards.

You see, I don' t fit in very well with the second group. Let's call them the joiners. I don't have the mental toughness to work my whole life at the same thing. I don't have the simple piety required to enjoy the benediction of regular churchgoing. I don't have the ability to willfully suspend disbelief enough to watch television and get any enjoyment out of it; I'm always looking at it as a useful catalog of modern day affectations and avarice, but I can't bring myself to look at it as entertainment. In short, many would say, I belong with the first group: "Hey ottist, paint this!"

I don't fit in very well amongst the strange set, either. I'm not able to hide my admiration for the joiners, and that's a deal breaker with the freaks, generally. "It's my way or the highway" sounds very second group, but it's really the outlandish brigade that tolerates nothing outside its little world. The joiners just shrug their shoulders if you say you don't watch American Idol for the singing, and maybe figure you're a little odd. The freaks will picket your house if they decide your kid's habittrail keeps hamsters against their will in your house or something. When I say, against their will, I mean against the freaks' will; the hamsters seem to have no opinion other than a cetain enthusiasm for free sunflower seeds.

As I was saying, I seem to have the whole thing backwards. If the television, newspaper, movies, and radio are to be believed, I'm supposed to get my cues on how to behave from the freaks, and I'm supposed to get my cues on entertainment from the joiners.

Have you seen how celebrities, and celebrity politicians order their affairs? Taking advice from them on any topic seems about as efficacious as looking for a dowser on the Titanic after you hit the iceberg. Not. Likely. To. Be. Of. Any. Help.

And I said any topic, because you can't even ask them about their own craft. They don't even understand that, really, and it shows; How do you explain why a zillion people will line up to see an aging midget in the third iteration of an adaption of a lame television show about spies who's simultaneously publicly demanding his third or fourth or fifth wife have a baby without saying anything? They themselves really can't explain it either, so they go to the default position: I must be wonderful.

No. No you're not; you're dreadful human beings, in general -- and in particular some of you are even worse than dreadful.

Conversely, a great deal of pains are taken to inform me what the great mass of people think I should be interested in. You must like this; everybody does. I know I should be interested, but I'm not. And I'm not not interested as a sort of gesture, either; I leave it to others to say one thing and then do another. I don't secretly watch American Idol while disparaging it openly. I'm really just not interested one way or the other. If it doesn't matter enough to me to like it, why would it matter enough to hate it?

I don't go to the water and sewer commission meeting looking for entertainment. Why would I conversely pay any attention to advice given to me from someone who's never gotten up before noon in their life, and demands that their M&Ms get sorted before they eat them?

Stick to your trades, people; stick to your trades.


Ruth Anne Adams said...

Re: that midget. First wife was Mimi Rodgers; Second wife was Nicole Kidman. This mother to his spawn is not yet his wife. If they marry, the number to count shall be three. And three shall be the count of the number.

Clearly, I'm a joiner-type who always felt more like the outcasts.

Pogo said...

I'm a bit like Ruth Anne, I think. I hung around the outcasts, but was not accepted because I dressed like a joiner, went to class, and acted pretty middle class. I was not accepted by the joiners because I hung around the outcasts, listened to their wierd music, and discussed neither sports nor televsion.

In order to have any conversations at all, I learned to extrapolate about TV shows and sports what I learned from their brief TV ads, and I faked it. It seems there are but few people who wish to discuss history, crime, economics, communism, capitalism, or art. Ever. So I exist in that narrow band between outcasts and joiners.

As for Mr. Cruise. With age, he has begun to closely resemble my younger brother, who is mentally retarded. I am quite serious. When he jumped on the couch on Oprah, it was so clearly like my little brother Andy that I momentarily feared a sibling had brought him to Chicago for a visit, wound up in the audience, and he'd done what was his usual pattern: to disrupt. But Andy would never follow Father Hubbard. Too smart for that.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi, my name is Sippican, and I have been a freak among the joiners and a joiner among the freaks for 47 years.

Welcome Sippican.

What are the other eleven steps, again?

Pogo said...

Step 2. Admit that you are powerless to be either freak or joiner.

Step 3. Admit that only a Power greater than yourself can find the Third Way, betwixt freaks and joiners.

Step 4. Never join a club that would have you for a member.

Step 5. There is no Step 5, except that it proceeds directly to Step 6. Thou shalt count to six, no more, no less. Six shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be six. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou five, excepting that thou then proceed to six. Seven is right out. Once the number six, being the sixth number, be reached, then affiliate thou with both thy Freaks and thy Joiners, who being antipodean in my sight, shall instantly cause the universe to cease.