Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, observed in the United States of America to varying degrees and under varying names since the end of the Civil War, was officially named as such by Congress in 1967, and was moved to the last Monday in May by Congress on June 28, 1968, as part of the Uniform Holidays Bill.

There are those who object to Memorial Day’s being moved from its traditional date of observance to a Monday, believing that manipulating a day of solemn reflection simply to create a three-day weekend and an opportunity for retail sales, barbecues, and big movie grosses is disrespectful to the men and women the day is meant to celebrate.

On the other hand, having the phrase “Memorial Day Weekend” replace the singular “Memorial Day” in the national consciousness means that we may have as many as three days a year when professional athletes are ashamed to refer to one another as “warriors.”

And it’s hard not to be happy about that.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kids Really Do Have It Tougher These Days

Growing up has never been easy—or so we’ve been told by those who have tried it—but it seems like it’s a whole lot harder than it was fifteen or twenty years ago.

In addition to time-honored methods of ruining childhood such as drugs, alcohol, smoking, gym class, peer pressure, wedgies, wet willies, STDs, and good old-fashioned bullying, kids these days also have to face vicious packs of free-roaming Glee Club members, stupidity-induced epidemics such as whooping cough and Bieber Fever, predatory teachers, cyber-bullying, and, as if all this weren’t enough to make your teenagers into moody little mopes,1 today’s young people have to cope with the scourge of DINOSAUR ATTACK:

Take care of your children, folks. Make sure they don’t taste very good before they leave the house. If they survive, they’ll thank you for it.

1. Yes, we know that your teenagers are already moody little mopes. If you think you have it bad, just imagine how insufferable they’d be if listening to The Cure was still the popular thing to do.2
2. We’re not sure that listening to The Cure ever actually was the popular thing to do, except among the kids who hung out in the smoking section. But then we never really did have our finger on the pulse of popularity in our high school.3
3. Or, for that matter, at any time before or since then.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Smoking: It's Not Just for Kids Anymore!

In the event that you find yourself in a discussion with the kindly, ever-optimistic Pollyanna kind of person who chooses to believe that tobacco-company executives or marketers have souls, please feel free to use the following as Definitive and Devastating Counterargument Number 1:


We’re willing to forgive Fred and Barney for their ignorance of the dangers of smoking because, well, they lived more than two million years ago. Social attitudes were very different back then, and of course scientific research into the effects of cigarette smoke was severely limited by the ineffectiveness of woodpecker-powered x-ray machines.

Disclaimer: No wisecracking prehistoric birdlife was harmed
in the creation of this illustration.

It’s hard to believe, however, that barely fifty years ago the American public was willing to watch their kids’ beloved cartoon friends shill for cigarette companies with, as far as we can tell, nary a word of protest. Apparently, 1,200 years’ worth of lung cancer isn’t necessarily a compelling argument for a connection between smoking and death.1

A common argument is that at the time, the American public simply wasn’t aware that smoking was deadly, or even just sorta dangerous. Also common is the belief, backed by a veritable mountain range of evidence, that tobacco companies knew about the dangers of smoking and fought tooth and nail to keep the public from learning about it, a cynical act of callous deception on an almost unimaginable scale.2

With that in mind, we have to wonder what elements of 2012 Americans’ daily life will turn out to be horrifically bad for their health, revealed far too late to spare them from gruesome and painful side effects?

Meat is bad for your cholesterol.

Yep. It’ll cause skin cancer. Bank on it.

It won’t be the radiation bombarding your brain from an inch away that kills you,
but rather your toxic levels of pompous self-importance.

This one’s probably a longshot,
but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Puppies: nature’s perfect killers.

Don’t even pretend you’re surprised.

1. Cigarette smoking, according to Wikipedia, “have been attested in Central America around the 9th century in the form of reeds and smoking tubes.”
2. We haven’t actually seen these mountains of evidence for ourselves, but we can seek them out using a secret map in our possession, drawn by the Marlboro Man just days before he shit out both his lungs and died.

Sunday, May 6, 2012