The Robot Warrior

redwallMan is least himself when talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

– Oscar Wilde

I think I need a new job. I just got written up for shitty customer service. Again. I think it’s even less my fault than it was the last time. I was making drinks, and some lady told me that her latte was supposed to be iced. The order said hot, but I remade it anyway. Then she complained that I showed attitude in correcting a mistake that wasn’t even mine. There was also something about me taking a sip of it and saying that it tasted fine to me, but I didn’t do that in front of her. I think I set the latte by the espresso machine and took a drink while I was remaking it, remarking to no one in particular that it still tasted pretty good. My memory of the whole thing is a little fuzzy, but I guarantee that I didn’t do it to taunt her. So essentially, I took the heat because somebody else fucked up and I let my true feelings show. Oh, what a wonderful world.

We also have new management in my store. I’m not going to go into detail there, as that would be unprofessional, and anyway, it’s generally a bad idea to go whining about your job in a public forum, even when it’s an anonymous blog that some of your Facebook friends read. So I’ll just say that we have new management and that they may or may not do things the same way the old management did. And I may or may not be looking for another job. That’s all.

I have a thing or two to say about Michael Sam. As of Monday, he is signed up to be on the practice team for the Dallas Cowboys, making him technically the first openly gay man in the NFL. This is a milestone, but something smells fishy to me. Chris Rock once said that if say, his test scores are lower than a white dude’s, it would be wrong to give him a job or whatever over the other dude, “but if there’s a tie, fuck him”. Because he’s white, he’ll figure it out. See, affirmative action is about the acknowledgment that nothing is 100% merit-based. There is a symbolic value in seeing people who are like you on the field/in office/on TV/wherever. And there are biases in our system so deeply engrained that most of us can’t see them that are designed to prevent anyone who doesn’t make people feel comfortable from making it that far. So if a gay player performs as well as a straight player but the straight player makes the team, I am prepared to go ahead and call that homophobia. Because the straight guy had a head start.

Because I am not in the best of moods these days, I should talk about things that aren’t so shitty. I saw a movie last weekend that I think deserves more attention, a 2006 family film called Penelope that stars Christina Ricci as a blue blood girl who is born with a pig’s nose. It basically aims to be a modern-day fairy tale, and while it doesn’t completely succeed, it was a lot better than its 53% Tomatometer suggests. The big problem with it is that it expects us to believe that prospective suitors would be so repulsed by Penelope’s deformity that they would run screaming from the room. Then again, the film itself acknowledges this by having other characters basically shrug and say, “She has a weird nose, so what?” I think what worked about the film is that it didn’t pretend that all Penelope needed was a man to make her complete (not even a man who is played by James McAvoy) and approached the subject of learning to love yourself and your body with more subtlety than expected. The lesson isn’t so much that you can feel proud of your appearance even if you’re not conventionally attractive, but that you’re probably not that ugly to begin with. Also, Peter Dinklage is in it. With an eyepatch.

When I was a kid, there were three things that I spent most of my time doing: playing computer games, watching TV/movies, or reading. Problem was, that’s not enough to occupy all of my time. My social life has never been where I’ve wanted it to be, and if I had to find the root of it, I guess it would be my need to attach myself to a routine, even if it’s not exactly what I want. Whenever I ate lunch, I would pop in a VHS tape and watch one of the several dozen or more movies we had lying around. Not surprisingly, I saw a lot of them quite a few times. I’ve seen Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Clue more times than I can count. At least two of those are endlessly rewatchable, but that’s not the point. I get very anxious when crashing at a friend’s place because it upsets my sense of rhythm. I’m probably not the only person who has that problem. It’s still a problem.

I haven’t missed an episode of The Daily Show in years. I love Jon Stewart, but I do get tired of him returning to the same old jokes about how deep dish pizza is not real pizza and stuff like that. (Other running jokes, like the Lindsay Graham/Southern belle impression, never get old.) I don’t know what it would take to get me to stop watching. (And in case anyone is wondering, no, I don’t have Asperger’s. There’s a really good animated movie on Netflix about a dude with Asperger’s called Mary and Max. Check it out.) I don’t know what it would take to get my life where I want it to be. I just hope I get there before I die.

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