Friday, June 15, 2012
And Now For Something Completely Different
. . . a somewhat out-of-character rant.
Notwithstanding that I have an extremely low tolerance for bullcorn, I pride myself on taking the high road. (Exhibit A: Did ya notice that I said "bullcorn" instead of something else? See, HIGH ROAD.) Before you nominate me for sainthood, allow me to clarify: my insistence on high-roadin' it is entirely (or at least a good bit) selfish. If you do it correctly, it's far more efficient and sanity-preserving than stooping, and exponentially more satisfying. How so? Here's a page from the playbook that I followed when I was president of the Junior Woman's Club:
Okay, I can see/hear that you are incredibly upset/concerned by [insert description of perceived slight/area of somewhat ridiculously nearsighted focus], and I share your feelings/concerns. In fact, I have been thinking for awhile now that we need a task force/special committee to focus on how to avoid that particular outcome in the future/tackle that particular problem going forward. And, given, your level of pique/motivation, I think that you are the right person for that task. Would you be willing to take on this role? You could select your own task force/committee, or I could suggest some names for you.
You're probably asking yourself, exactly how much bile can a human being swallow? Answer: a lot, and it's EXTREMELY bitter the first time that, through sheer force of will, you choke down the words, "OH, GET OVER YOURSELF AND YOUR PETTY PROBLEMS. WE'RE NOT CURING CANCER HERE." But here's the deal: pointing out to someone that they are petty/off-base/insert-your-own-negative-adjective-here is a one-way ticket to Escalation of Hostilities Town (population, you and some person that you really would leave as soon as take). Whereas, suggesting (ever-so-positively and politely) that THEY COULD BE PART OF THE SOLUTION is almost guaranteed to result in hemmin', hawin' and tap-dancin' of epic proportions. "You know, I may have been overreacting a bit. The status quo isn't that bad. Things are good, all in all, and - oh, you're breaking up - my boss is on the other line, the building is on fire, AND I HAVE TO GO."
See? The high road works. What do you mean that my version of taking the high road seems awfully shrewd and manipulative and more than a bit like backing someone into a corner? SCROLL TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE: I TOLD YOU UPFRONT THAT MY NOMINATION FOR SAINTHOOD WAS PREMATURE. But I do like to think that forcing people to default to their self-interests ultimately has a positive effect on the universe, because it stops the bullcorn before it really starts. And I think we can agree that the universe needs less bullcorn.
All of that being said, I do have my limits. And, increasingly over the last few weeks, I have found myself mentally mumbling, "DOWN, INNER MEAN GIRL." And, instead of some variation of the "High Road Speech," I am tempted to pull out this speech (which henceforth shall be known as "The Speech That I Really Want To Make, But I Probably Never Will, So Now I Am Blogging About It Which Is Almost As Satisfying As Making It For Realsies"):
Okay. Here's the 411. Just because I tend to shun mean girl behavior like it's f****** Hester Prynne doesn't mean that I don't SPEAK mean girl. Fun fact: I speak it fluently. Know who's better than your average mean girl? A WHIP-SMART ONE WITH A QUICK WIT AND A LARGE VOCABULARY. So, if you want to keep pushing me, then YOU BEST COME CORRECT, because if you push hard enough, I reserve the right to go ALL ANNA KENDRICK-IN-"CAMP" ON YO A**. What do you mean, you aren't familiar with "Camp"? It's a 2003 independent musical film written and directed by Todd Graff, about an upstate New York performing arts summer camp. WIKIPEDIA IT. IMDB IT, B****. AND THEN NETFLIX IT, BECAUSE YOU WILL REALLY ENJOY IT. It features a cast of largely unknown child actors - the only person anyone had really heard of was this chick from "Degrassi." No, not the ORIGINAL Degrassi, the one produced for Nickelodeon's N Network. Anyway, THAT chick is a total diva, and everyone hates her, but Anna Kendrick's character is really mousy, and follows the diva chick around like she's Jerry Garcia, and even washes out the diva chick's camp underwear in Woolite. And then it's time for the end-of-session "big show," and Diva Chick has the lead in "Company." WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF "COMPANY"? HELLO, STEPHEN SONDHEIM MUCH? See, I just slipped into Mean Girl there, but with a Broadway-appreciating Gleek accent. Anyway. Diva Chick is set to go onstage as Joanne and sing "The Ladies Who Lunch," which is kind of a song about mean girls when you think about it, and apparently Diva Chick has abused poor little Fritzi - OH, I JUST REMEMBERED THAT ANNA KENDRICK'S CHARACTER IS NAMED FRITZI! - one time too many, because FRITZI WOOLITES HER SNAPPLE. YES, that's a thing. It's like putting Visine in someone's Coke, only YOU USE WOOLITE AND YOU PUT IT IN A SNAPPLE. So she Woolites Diva Chick's Snapple, and Diva Chick throws up onstage. The camp director and the show director, who everyone calls Rummy but Fritzi never calls him that because she's too proper or something, are freaking out, and then Fritzi walks out in full-on understudy garb, and Rummy puts two and two together and accuses Fritzi of sabotaging Diva Chick's performance. AND THEN ANNA KENDRICK DELIVERS THE BEST MEAN GIRL SPEECH OF ALL TIME (and you have to say it with a TON of venom in your voice and ENUNCIATE EVERY WORD): "Oh, save the speech, Rummy. SHE'S F*****, I'M READY, AND THE G**D*** SHOW MUST GO ON. So, let's get cracking, shall we?" Seriously, YOU NEED TO RENT THIS MOVIE. Her delivery is so icy that you get chills. You really believe that this b**** is capable of murder. It's, like, way better than Sarah Michelle Gellar's performance in "Cruel Intentions," which I think you will agree was the previous high watermark in cinematic mean girl acting performances. Wait, what was the point of all of this? Oh, yeah - I am totally capable of going full-on Anna Kendrick. No, I won't Woolite your Snapple. I stopped hand-washing my delicates years ago. But I can go from zero-to-ice-b**** so fast your head will spin. JUST TRY ME.
And definitely rent "Camp." It's worth two hours of your time.
Ahhhhhhhhhh. Much better. This concludes our Rant Broadcasting Day.
Here's to the ladies who lunch--
Lounging in their caftans
And planning a brunch
On their own behalf.
Off to the gym,
Then to a fitting,
Claiming they're fat.
And looking grim,
'Cause they've been sitting
Choosing a hat.
Does anyone still wear a hat?
I'll drink to that.
And here's to the girls who play smart--
Aren't they a gas?
Rushing to their classes
In optical art,
Wishing it would pass.
Another long exhausting day,
Another thousand dollars,
A matinee, a Pinter play,
Perhaps a piece of Mahler's.
I'll drink to that.
And one for Mahler!
And here's to the girls who play wife--
Aren't they too much?
Keeping house but clutching
A copy of LIFE,
Just to keep in touch.
The ones who follow the rules,
And meet themselves at the schools,
Too busy to know that they're fools.
Aren't they a gem?
I'll drink to them!
Let's all drink to them!
And here's to the girls who just watch--
Aren't they the best?
When they get depressed,
It's a bottle of Scotch,
Plus a little jest.
Another chance to disapprove,
Another brilliant zinger,
Another reason not to move,
Another vodka stinger.
I'll drink to that.
So here's to the girls on the go--
Look into their eyes,
And you'll see what they know:
A toast to that invincible bunch,
The dinosaurs surviving the crunch.
Let's hear it for the ladies who lunch--
Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise! Rise!