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A Festivus Miracle: I Am Updating This Blog

December 23, 2013

Some people try to decorate these, which only shows they don't understand the true meaning of the holiday.“Update” might be a stretch. I am going to type a string of unrelated thoughts and then hit the publish button.

Today is the day to air grievances, but I don’t have any. This is a lie. I have a lot of grievances. A LOT. But who cares, really? No one, that’s who. I’ve got my problems; you’ve got your problems. Let’s all shut the hell up about them.

Other things people should shut up about:

1. The Sound of Music.
2. The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood.
3. How The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood is a desecration.
4. Also, Love Actually.

I am serious about #4. Love Actually was released ten years ago and for the last nine years, no one has had anything new to say about it. You don’t hear me still talking about the Rocky movies, do you? Well, all right, yes, I still talk about the Rocky movies. But the Rocky movies contain all of life’s lessons, so it makes sense to bring them up once in a while. See also, The Karate Kid movies, except for the one with Hilary Swank, which was a desecration.

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Now I’m going to talk about a story that’s been in the news recently, but I’m not going to do any research on it so I might get a few of the minor details wrong. However, if you leave me a comment saying, “ACTUALLY WHAT HAPPENED WAS … ” I will ban you from ever commenting again. Don’t test me on this, people. It is Festivus and I am not kidding around.

Recently, the vice-principal (maybe) at a local Catholic high school married his partner, and shortly thereafter he was either fired or forced to resign his position (unclear) for violating his employment contract wherein he agreed to follow Catholic doctrine, and current Catholic doctrine considers gay marriage and says, “uh, PASS.” The somewhat odd part of the story is that it was no secret that he was gay, which apparently also violates his employment contract, but it was only when he married that the Archbishop got his cassock all in a bunch. The good part of the story is that a lot of the students both at his school and at other local Catholic high schools gathered at the Archdiocese to protest his firing and to skip class.

So, a couple of things. First, I’m not identifying the vice-principal by name because despite the fact that the story has been in the news for the past week, he’s made no public statements or appearances. He seems to want his privacy, at least for the time being, and I respect that, unlike, for example, every news outlet everywhere. Also, I don’t remember his name. Second, I love that the students are protesting because it’s one small sign that the world is heading in the right direction. I couldn’t help but think what would have happened if, when I were in high school, one of our teachers had been fired for being gay. I’m positive there would have been no protests, and I assume the primary reaction would have been, “yes, he should have been fired,” followed closely by “eh.” Then again, “eh” might have been first seeing as how I went to public school and apathy was our best thing.

And thinking about what my high school class’s reaction would have been reminds me of my senior year Social Studies class, where teams of two would debate various topics. I only remember two debates, the first being the one regarding whether the legal drinking age should be lowered to 18, in which Carrie and Rose argued in favor (i.e., they read to the class the “Pro” side of the article posing the same question straight out of U.S. News and World Report) and I and Min Jae argued against (by reading the “Con” side of the same article). And the other debate I remember was whether or not gay people should have the same civil rights as straight people. Arguing in favor of equality were Oscar and Martin, and their argument was as follows: “they’re human beings.” Not only was that their whole argument, it was also the only thing they said during the entire debate, although they said it, like, 25 times, so you know they were serious about winning. And for some reason, they pronounced “human beings” as “human be-uns,” though I have no idea if that was significant to their position. Arguing against equality were Will and Keith, and their main point was, “I don’t want some dude kissing on me.” I will now provide you with the official transcript of the debate.

The Gay Rights Debate
Mr. Robertson’s Social Studies Class, Seattle, Washington, 1981

Will: Okay, okay. So they shouldn’t have rights because if they have rights they can get a job where you have a job and what if you’re at work and some dude comes up and starts kissing on you!

Oscar: But they should have rights because they are human be-uns.

Will: You want some dude kissing on you?

Oscar: They’re human be-uns.

Will: So you don’t care if some dude is kissing on you.

Oscar: No, I didn’t say that, but they’re human be-uns.

Mr. Robertson: Let’s hear the Pro side.

Martin: Gay people should have rights because they are human be-uns.

Keith: What kind of rights?

Mr. Robertson [mentally updating resume]: Freedom from discrimination in housing, the workplace, in general.

Keith: So they could live next door to me?

Mr. Robertson [wondering why he didn't become a CPA instead of a teacher]: Yes.

Keith: Naaaaah.

Mr. Robertson [considering a life of crime]: Can you elaborate?

Keith: Naaaaah.

Will: What if you’re at your house, right? And someone’s knocking on the door. And you open the door and there’s your gay neighbor. And he starts kissing on you!

Martin: But they’re human be-uns!

Deanna [whispering to me]: Not green be-uns!

Will: Kissing on you!

Martin: But … human be-uns!

Deanna [whispering to me]: Not Lima be-uns!

Mr. Robertson [talking to me instead of Deanna because all half-Asian teenage girls are the same person, evidently]: Would you like to share your insights with the class?

Deanna [whispering to me]: HUMAN be-uns.

Me: HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Mr. Robertson [talking to me sternly]: Are you finding this amusing?

Me: YES! Aren’t you?

And that’s how I got sent to the Vice-Principal’s office.

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That seems like enough typing. It’s Festivus, everyone. Go eat some beef.

11 Comments
  1. December 23, 2013 9:46 AM

    That reminds me. I think I can make be-uns in my crock pot while I’m on vacation.

     
     
    How short is your vacation? Alternate question: how hard are your beans? Alternate question if these are human be-uns: how large is your crock pot?

  2. December 23, 2013 9:52 AM

    I’m super tired of Love Actually too. I’ve seen it once or twice, and that was enough. Most of it sucks. And I say this as someone who loves Martin Freeman, who has the STUPIDEST part in that movie. Oh wait, you said to shut about the movie and I’m talking about it. Whatever, that’s my Festivus complaint.

    I was happy about the Catholic school story too. And also that gay marriage is legal in Utah (for the time-being).

     
     
    I think Love Actually is okay, but I agree that once or twice is enough. And now, discussion of it has entered the realm of, “if you don’t love it unreservedly, then you obviously don’t understand it,” which is always a tiresome position.

    I have to say, I was pretty surprised about Utah. Maybe in their march forward, they can next stop saying “cool beans.”

  3. December 23, 2013 10:57 AM

    You posted! It truly is a Festivus miracle!

    When I was in high school, if a teacher had been fired for being gay, s/he would have just disappeared with no explanation. At least none that would be said out loud. Never mind the two female gym teachers who lived together – apparently that was okay as long as no one talked about it.

    The college (now university) that I graduated from has taken a neutral position on the current bill before our state legislature, to change to state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Many other institutions of higher learning have come out against this bill, as have many politicians (if only because it is a waste of time because we already have a law like that on the books). Many students and alumni have risen up in protest, but the school will not budge. No one will say, but I’m guessing the issue is some big donors may take their money elsewhere.

    I took Debate and Argumentation in high school. Being an introvert, I did not do well. We were required to volunteer at an interscholastic debate. I was a timer, and I managed to screw that up because, my god, those things were boring.

     
     
    I always thought Mr. Robertson was gay, but that might be because he wore a lot of sweater vests. I also thought my math teacher was gay because he would make semi-inappropriate remarks to female students such as, “you know the rules, eyes open, mouths shut,” then glancing at our chests, “bodies forward,” but it was always so unconvincing.

    We didn’t have actual debate classes or any kind of competition with other schools aside from athletic. Our teachers figured if they got us to age 16 before we dropped out, then they’d done their job. I can’t say they were entirely wrong; see, for example, above official transcript.

  4. Marius permalink
    December 23, 2013 12:13 PM

    I’ve never seen Love Actually, and aside from this new Pope seeming to actually be a compassionate human be-un (as opposed to the previous stand-ins for Emperor Palpatine) I try to ignore what the Catholic church does. As for the Sound of Music thing, I don’t quite understand why people got their panties in such a bunch over it. It’s a play, and different people play Maria all over the country all the time, besides as much as I love Julie Andrews, she’s a bit old to play the part, so everyone just STFU about it, already.

    Or something. ;-)

    Merry X-Mas, your flurriousness!!

     
     
    Because I’ve never seen the Julie Andrews version of The Sound of Music (and have no intention of ever doing so, although I don’t rule out it happening accidentally), I wouldn’t care if someone made an all barking dog version of it (which I would watch, by the way, and on purpose). But the Carrie Underwood thing was weird because people started complaining about it WEEKS in advance and then for another week afterward and just when it died down, the Julie Andrews movie was shown on TV last night, which started the whole thing up again. In related news, I now really want to see an all dog version of the play. Make it happen, Hollywood.

    Merry Christmas to you as well. Meerkat.

  5. Marius permalink
    December 23, 2013 12:14 PM

    Dammit! I need to proofread my comments better before I post. That should say ‘and different people play Maria…’ #grrr

     
     
    I faxed it for you but in then future try to word better i am busy you now.

  6. Corrie permalink
    December 23, 2013 3:23 PM

    You posted something! It feels like Christmas…oh wait…

    Speaking of high school, I had an English teacher that was single AND pregnant. Then she got canned because she wasn’t married. I often wondered if the guy who helped get her pregnant was fired from his job.

     
     
    Now that you mention it, it seems like a lot of my grade school teachers were pregnant but never junior high or high school teachers. Being around kids aged 12 to 17 must be nature’s birth control.

  7. December 24, 2013 5:21 AM

    My middle school science teacher (unmarried) disappeared for a semester and then returned, a mother. We were not permitted to see her pregnant, but having a single mother for a teacher was apparently ok.

    She is the one who taught the whole class how to remember the difference between horizontal and vertical lines – whores lie down, and virgins stand up. I still say this to myself when I’m trying to remember which is which.

     
     
    That is my favorite new mnemonic. It makes my way of remembering that horizontal is like the horizon seem so pedestrian. (Previously, my favorite mnemonic was BAFITTC, which stands for battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass, and trespass to chattels, because being just a string of letters, it is the most useless mnemonic ever.)

  8. December 24, 2013 5:37 AM

    Oh, my Gosh, you are so funny. You may not post much, but when you do you are so worth reading. May other bloggers take note!

     
     
    Oh, what a nice thing to say. I’m glad you like this post because it’s probably going to be at the top of the page for the next three or four months.

  9. December 24, 2013 6:49 AM

    I see a pole but no dancing so I’m confused. But I will happily consume beef and raise a glass to your mirthitude.

     
     
    There’s no dancing on Festivus unless it’s used as an example of how others have disappointed you. Also, there’s no drinking on Festivus. Alcohol interferes with the feats of strength.

  10. December 25, 2013 4:08 PM

    That’s as close to a heart-warming Christmas story as I have read this holiday season!

    There were two teachers rumored to be gay: one of them supposedly ‘came out’ in class when mocked by some students years ago. He was one of the most terrifying and feared teachers in the school–fortunately, he was an English teacher so I did well in his class, but even then I did actually have to ‘sweat’ now and then to earn my grades. He also smoked in the teacher’s bathroom and sometimes smelled of smoke when teaching class (this was after smoking had been strictly banned on all school campuses in the state). No one dared confront him, even the principal.

    Love the Julie Andrews version, had it memorized as a kid, didn’t see the most recent version.

     
     
    The season has been rather devoid of feel-good stories, now that you mention it. Fortunately, there are always cat videos and Cute Overload.

    We didn’t have any teachers we were afraid of and, for the most part, they weren’t afraid of us (though that’s probably because they had lost the will to live years earlier), but it was always hilarious when we had substitute teachers because they were often TERRIFIED. I remember one who tried to write on the chalkboard without ever turning his back on us. Not sure what he thought we would do to him if he did.

  11. bex permalink
    January 12, 2014 8:38 PM

    The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes was in Love Actually..well, Andrew Lincoln was. I never knew that.

     
     
    I have no idea if that’s one person or two different people. Then again, I watched the Golden Globes last night and I hadn’t heard of half of those shows and actors. Apparently, Netflix has original programming now? Ha. I predict that next year Vimeo videos will be eligible.

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