[this statement is a lie]
Can it be we just passed the half-way point for 2012? I’m still writing 2011 on my checks! Nevertheless, we are now closer to 2013 than we are to 2011, the Mayans notwithstanding. It seems, therefore, appropriate to take stock in the top lies so far this year.
Top Lie #3:
What they say: That woman is curvy.
What the reality is: That woman is fat.
I’m a writer and words are my stock in trade. I don’t like to see them abused. Oh, I understand the occasional euphemism, we have plenty of them to describe overweight women — big and beautiful, plus-sized, great personality, pretty face, Rubenesque — when what we really mean is fat. (And for the men, one occasionally hears husky or stocky though these terms seem to be as dated as the gender-neutral “heavyset”.) So why do I have a problem with obese women now referring to themselves as “curvy”?
Because curvy used to mean something good! Men love curves on women: breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States with over $1 billion spent on it in 2011. That’s Billion with a capital “B” that stands for “Boob”. But the curves need be concave, ladies, not convex.
Sure, these self-proclaimed “curvy” women tell us Marilyn Monroe was a size ____ (fill in the blank with anything from 12-16), therefore justifying their word abuse. However, not only has this urban legend about Marilyn’s dress size been debunked, it doesn’t even pass the stuff-your-face-with-chocolate test. Do people honestly think that in an era where studios forced diet pills on their stars (like Judy Garland), they would allow their bombshells to get chunky? Do people honestly think that a chunky woman would be the first centerfold in Playboy?
Shall we test our new knowledge? Below are clips from two films. See if you can determine to which (if any) the word “curvy” applies.
Jayne Mansfield? Answer: Curvy!
Divine? Answer: Not curvy!
(Although, we must admit that Ms. Divine does have a pretty face and a great personality. She is, after all, big and beautiful.)
Top Lie #2:
What they say: There’s no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.
What the reality is: There’s a large difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.
Ever meet someone who, when asked to choose between 2 things, wants to appear wise and zenlike and will therefore say “Neither.. and both, grasshopper”?
They’re not fooling anyone. They are just too lazy — or too ignorant — to make a decision.
These are the same people who will tell you that there is presently no difference between the two major political parties. After all: both parties are populated by politicians, both will pander to get elected, and both take money from big business. To make the point even clearer: both are located in the United States, both are represented in Congress, and both are made up of humans.
Well, the last one I’m not so sure about, but 5 out of 6 isn’t bad.
If these political aficionados who speak of no difference between the parties were film critics, their arguments would go like this: “There is no difference between the directors John Ford and Ed Wood. After all, both worked in Hollywood, both saw action in World War II, both had four letters in their last name, both produced their respective masterpieces in the 1950s, both had their movies regularly shown on television, and both are currently dead.”
For the rest of us, the largest difference between the two parties is that a group of extreme radicals, known as the Tea Party, have taken over the Republican party. (Yes, again with the words – the Tea Party is anything but “conservative”.) Members of the Tea Party must be among the most brilliant of the American electorate. How else can they simultaneously decry religious “plots” to take over America while using “Christian values” as the means to determine policy? How else can they simultaneously worry about America turning into a police state while wanting to expand law enforcement authority to ask for “papers” at their own discretion? Seriously, you have to be some sort of genius to want to go both up and down at the same time and not see it as an inherent contradiction.
The Tea Party’s viral infection of the Republican party is exactly the reason that assumed Republican presidential nominee Governor Mitt Romney has become a walking self-contradiction. If President Obama is our nation’s first black president, maybe Gov Romney wants to be our nation’s first Schrödinger’s Cat president. In any event, when you get to this state, it’s not clear exactly what the Republicans stand for: except that if the Democrats are for it, they are against it.
For instance: Republicans appeal to their base by running on a platform that is against higher education. Why? Because Democrats are running on a platform to make higher education accessible to more people.
This isn’t a political discussion, it’s merely contradiction and all this Orwellian doublethink is turning the Republicans from the Party of Lincoln into the Party of Pee Wee Herman. (I know you are, but what am I?)
For instance: Republicans appeal to their base by running on a platform to dismantle the EPA because it is “inefficient”. Except that Republicans originally set up the EPA because government was “inefficient”.
Or this gem: Democrats proposed and passed and signed into law a comprehensive national healthcare program known as the Affordable Healthcare Act — and labeled “Obamacare” by the Republicans. However, Obamacare was closely modeled on a program set up by Gov Romney in Massachusetts. And that program used a lot of ideas of a program cooked up by the Heritage Foundation — a Republican think-tank — as a Republican alternative to the plan being proposed by the Clinton Administration. In other words, all the anger that Republicans currently have about “Obamacare” is really anger at the plan they, themselves, proposed in the 1990s — and was enacted upon by a Republican governor.
Again, we are back to water flowing uphill and downhill at the same time.
The Republicans made much of Democratic Sen John Kerry for flip-flopping during the 2004 Presidential campaign, the old “he was for it before he was against it” meme. Now they’ve done this one better: Republicans are for it while they are against it.
No difference between the parties? Please. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to nowhere to sell you.
Top Lie #1:
What they say: Apple Inc. is a good, ethical company.
What the reality is: Apple Inc. is more of a monster and savage organization than the Apple fanbois ever dreamed Microsoft could be.
Long time fans of this blog (yes, I’m speaking to both of you) know that while I acknowledge Apple for being extraordinarily successful at marketing technology, I am less than enthused about the reality behind their hype. Their marketing is designed to appeal to your inner narcissist making you believe you have the best piece of technology available when, in fact, if Apple made automobiles, they would sell you the car with the hood welded shut.
But that is relatively benign to the lie I’m writing of here. Because, just as the Tea Party seems to want things both ways, so, too, do the Apple enthusiasts. It’s long been known that Apple
enthusiasts fanbois see themselves as hipper, more unique, more discriminating, and more liberal than the average person. Doesn’t matter whether you use the metrics of computer operating systems or of smart phone operating systems.
And Apple cultivated this “we unique & special people against those of the cookie-cutter corporate culture” even before its “Think Different” campaign. This 1984 Apple commercial aired exactly once during the Super Bowl. At the time, it was a not so subtle metaphor for Apple (Bouncing Babe) vs IBM (Big Brother): The tight white tank-top and orange short shorts the woman wears in this ad makes it look as if she momentarily stepped out of her waitressing job at Hooters to save the world. (For the record, she would be labeled “curvy” in the proper sense and not Orwellian, word-abuse, Tea Party sense, though the year of the ad was 1984.)
It is not accidental that Apple invented the concept of “tech evangelist.” Their entire brilliant marketing has always been to convince a person, with a religious fervor, that they not only need an Apple product but that they need an Apple lifestyle. No other product could possible give them that. As a result, discussing technology with Apple
enthusiasts fanbois is about as easy as convincing Tea Party members that the United States is not founded on a Christian doctrine. Apple enthusiasts fanbois, who typically self-identify as liberal and environmentally conscious, simply ignore the many abuses that Apple, as a mega-corporation, levy upon:
- their retail employees,
- their customers (via book price fixing or banning a publisher’s entire catalog from the Apple store), and
- the environment (via wasteful packaging).
And we haven’t even gotten to the controversial Chinese factory issues yet.
You’d think that a corporation with the largest valuation the world has ever seen would lead a little. Just a little. But no. Is this level of exploitation really necessary when you have gajillions in the bank? Companies tend to reflect the leadership at the top. Apple was very much Steve Jobs’ company. After Apple had spectacularly re-invented the smart phone market and was rewarded for it with a stratospheric stock price that brought all kinds of riches to its shareholders, here is what Apple CEO Steve Jobs said:
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong… I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
Is that really the best use of that money? A legal thermonuclear war? Really? Especially f0r a company that (a) got a break from the Beatles to not have to change their name and (b) claimed uniqueness in many of their computer operating system ideas when they were really from Xerox. There’s a lot of innovation that $40 billion can create. (That’s Billion with a capital “B” that stands for “Boob.”) Instead Apple chose to use their $40 billion to line legal pockets and abuse the patent system.
Now, it’s true that Facebook, Yahoo, Oracle, Google, and Microsoft — to name just a few tech bellwethers — all play the same game. But the general public sees these gigacorps as the viciously ruthless players that they are. The issue isn’t whether Apple shouldn’t be competing hard for their shareholders (it should), but that their customers prefer the lifestyle myth that Apple creates which just so happens to be diametrically opposed to their supposed liberal beliefs and values.
The biggest cognitive dissonance that the average Apple
enthusiast fanboi must swallow is the utter disregard the company has for the environment. Although named after a fruit, Apple has one of the worst — if not the worst — green track records around. And this despite having Al “An Inconvenient Truth” Gore on its board.
The latest round of this environmental abuse relates to how things physically connect to Apple products. Whereas the rest of the industry uses standard microUSB connectors for tablets and smartphones, Apple has always had a proprietary dock connector. Are there good technical reasons for this? I dunno. Seems like every other manufacturer makes the microUSB work — why not the geniuses at Apple? However, Apple is finally ditching their proprietary connector for… another proprietary connector. That means that all the gear the fanboi owns that connects to an old iPod, iPhone, or iPad will not be usable with the latest generation of products and must be repurchased. And that goes beyond just cables — it includes items like speaker stations and charging cradles. Need to repurchase a bunch of new accessories? Now you know another reason why Apple is so profitable. Have to toss out a bunch of old accessories? Now you know another reason why Apple has a bad environmental record.
And this isn’t the first time that Apple wants the oxymoron of a “unique standard” for their products. Just this week, Apple said they would no longer worry about conforming to the official US standards designed to encourage green electronics. Why? Because “their design direction was no longer consistent with the… requirements.” That’s what Apple officially said. Really! If Apple’s designs require the corporation to create larger landfills, waste resources, or poison the environment — so be it. Oh sure, Apple is supposedly thinking about creating their “own” standard — there’s that word again — for green electronics. I guess there’s no such thing as an iDictionary on iPhones and iPads because otherwise Apple would know that standards are universal by definition. (Seems like all these lies are built around word abuse!) In any event, Apple is now officially pushing the lifestyle of “live for today, the planet won’t mind.”
Apple truly thinks different.
But talk about an inconvenient truth. Apple
enthusiasts fanbois must doublethink about this environmental issue as much as Tea Party members must with healthcare. (Fortunately, the fanbois know they are special geniuses and can work this out. Maybe.) One wonders what would result from a cross between two such religiously fervent groups — where Apple fanbois meet Tea Party extremists.
Listening to this clip, it appears that such a union would produce something like Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh? That should piss off both groups.
And no, Rush isn’t curvy. He’s big and beautiful.
Just like Divine.
Update (July 13, 2012): So much has happened in the past few days a brand new post was required to update this one. See you there.
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