Tuesday, November 20, 2007

TO BRIGHTEN YOUR HOLIDAY. Courtesy of Dr. Helen, the mother of all awful-liberals yarns -- not told by one of those legendary taxi drivers, or even Alan Bromley, but in my judgment outstripping them all:
My sister and brother-in-law are D.C. area residents and wear their politics on their sleeves. I quit arguing with them some 20 years ago when they stated that Reagan was responsible for the Yellowstone Park forest fires. I realized then I could not have a rational discussion with them.

The problem I have with this stuff is that my brother-in-law starts yelling. Who wants to converse with someone who’s attracting attention from all the other diners in a restaurant. I finally decided that he doesn’t really want a reasoned conversation. He just wants to shout down anyone who disagrees with him, so why bother?
So far, so what, you may be thinking: we've seen better in any old Dr. Helen comments thread. But hang on -- the guy's just getting warmed up:
My dad is as mean as a snake. All 8 of his kids bear the scars and deal with them in different ways. The last time I saw him was 5 years ago at the rehearsal dinner for my younger brother’s wedding. He was picking on my niece, and she not being used to that treatment slapped him in the face. I told my Dad to knock it the f—k off. He took exception and we started a fistfight in the restaurant. My dad was so bent out of shape that somebody stood up to him that he didn’t show up for the wedding, and I gladly stood in for him, next to my Mom, in all of the wedding pics.

I cherish Christmas with my family: A day with the estrogen poisoned females of my clan; children yelling and grubbing for the bounty that comes with the crass commercialism of the holiday; the ever present fear that my brother, four Christmases banished from the family for alcohol related lunacy, will crash his drunken, six foot, four inch body through the front door and spray the room with lead. Ah, Christmas! I strap an Officer’s Compact Colt .45 into a pancake holster on my hip in case the door comes off its hinges at the party, pack up my hastily purchased gifts, and I wade into this thing called Christmas. Ho, ho, ho, who wouldn’t go?
And now the kicker:
Through the years of Republican bashing followed by Kumbaya sing alongs (I kid you not), I have found the best strategy is to simply keep my mouth shut.
Surely you see the genius of it. Instead of trying to seed little quotes and anecdotes throughout the story to preserve the political through-line, our author veers into seemingly unrelated tales of spectacular family violence, and at the climax, with a last sneer of contempt for the enemy, retreats into Norman Bates muteness...

Wait -- what? These paragraphs are separate anecdotes?

Well, maybe it's like Casy says -- maybe a Dr. Helen commenter ain't got a soul of his own, just a little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to every Dr. Helen commenter. Maybe the individual miseries of the poor wretches who come to Dr. Helen's door for a bowl of soup and maybe some rational emotive behavior therapy are hopeless by themselves, but together they gain stature, dignity, and hilarity.

May all of you enjoy a Thanksgiving free from fistfights, gunplay, and Kumbaya. Unless, of course, that's your idea of a good time.

UPDATE. "Guys," says commenter Craig, "that block quote from Dr. Helen is four different anecdodes from four different respondents. Don't try to mash them all up."

Admitted and addressed in the original post. (See the last three grafs.) And what's wrong with mash-ups? Larry Lessig would approve!

No comments:

Post a Comment