Shitmove Scenario: Standing in Line

With the full power of our esteemed panel of judges rested and ready for action this week, we decided to broaden the scope of our consideration.  Instead of evaluating a solo shitmove, this week we consider a common shituation.  Think of it as three shitmoves and 45 poor puns in one resounding judgment.

At the risk of insulting your intelligence, we’ll start where you stand: Waiting in line for something.

Everywhere we turn, lines.  Breakfast lines, lunch lines.  We put our names on lists waiting in line for dinner.  Movies.  The grocery store.  The post office.  Lines at bars include the bathroom, the Michelob Light tap and pickup lines.  Airports are shitty with lines, both coming and going.  Line dancing.  Traffic is one big line.  At Quizno’s, we wait in line to be told what we can and cannot order (cucumbers are for salads, numbnuts [http://shitmove.com/2011/12/31/2011-a-look-back-through-shit-colored-glasses]).  You get to know the people in line for roller coasters and at concerts.  The mere sight of a turnstile promises to net you a new friend.

The bad news is that you cannot avoid something shitty happening in this situation. The good news is that you can probably get away with that fart.

Shitum Majorum

Each of the below scenarios illustrates that, contrary to the laws of physics and lessons of our betters, you can both cross a line and stand in it at the same time.  And yup… they’re all total shitmoves.

1)      The Audible Weight Shift

We are quite surprised to realize you don’t want to be here, standing in line with us.  We would never have guessed it from the undumb and super satisfied—almost serene—look on your exceedingly attractive face.  It is only when you exhale loudly and pissily pass your weight from one leg to the other that we realize our original impression might have been a tick or two south of accurate.  While you stand there taxing your frame with the very weight it has been charged to uphold, ponder this little brain teaser:  If you think standing in line next to one of our judges tips the suck scale, try standing next to yourself.

It’s the fucking post office/ fucking Costco/ the fucking most popular lemon slushy shack on the boardwalk.  It’s a weekday at 5:30pm/ Saturday at 11am/ a Saturday afternoon in August on the East Coast.  So you tell us, dipshit: What in your 45 years of living and taking air in this efficient world makes you think there isn’t going to be a line?  We can only hope your unique mix of utter stupidity, audible body language and aggressively bad breath will not survive beyond the confines of your sweat suit.

2)      The Conspiracy Theory

We would like you to consider the prospect of being our best buddy.  See, we simply don’t know enough people already and commonly seek new camp pals while waiting in line to send a package to friends we don’t have.  Would you kindly consider wearing the other half of our “Be- Fri-“ necklace in between poorly worded theories on why the world is out to get you?

If you have ever started a sentence with a sigh while standing in line, you are a shitiot.  If you’ve ever turned toward us and launched your expert opinion on how many more people you would have staffed as the supervisor in this particular situation, you are a shitiot.  If you’ve ever turned to your poor seven-year-old child and espoused one of your most insightful lectures entitled either “I Don’t Have No Idea What’s Takin’ So Long” or “There Ain’t but the Four Cashiers Workin’,” you are a shitiot.  We have enough shit to navigate in our daily dealings without you inviting us to invented conspiracies based on your internal emotional state and your poorly formulated and filtered ideas of right and/ or wrong.

3)      The “Can I”

For the most part, our judges are simpatico with those hard-working souls on the other side of the line.  We’ve even given high fives to clerks at the DMV.  In fact, most of us are those people in real life (though we will soon slough off that mortal coil for a new fate as a full-time, full-paid shitologist).  Most of our vitriol is aimed at that rampantly idiotic and rightly maligned majority detailed in numbers 1 and 2 above.

But we do admit that there is a certain dead attitude among select customer service professionals that provokes its own judgment.  In the interest of keeping this post pithy, we will sum it up with one point, though we could easily fill volumes…

If we are next in line, having realized our objective of joining the line in the first place, and you call us to your station by asking “Can I help you?”… you are not a shitiot, you are The Shitiot (the Dostoyevsky translation was off by a couple letters).  Do you think we’d be standing in this line listening to the shitstorm spewing from these morons for 29 years if we didn’t need your help?   The question is not whether you can help us but rather how you can help us.  The proper question in this scenario  is “How can I help you?”

We need you to use your training to send our package/ scan our items/ get us a fucking lemon slushy.  We don’t need you to register your disdain for your job by asking a rhetorical question that purports to assist us.  You are not subtle; you are not bright.  We have regard for your professional function in society and if you don’t, we’re in no position to help.  We care no more about your life than you care about ours.  So let’s stick to business.  Oh yeah.  You can help.  We’re 20% sure of it.

Ixnay on the Itshay

While the dissension didn’t hold up under the majority’s methods of persuasion, there was one judge who attempted to point out that calling shit on such common occurrences as these indicated that every other judge was, in fact, the shitiot here.  But, as confirmed by a Skype session with his mother, this judge had three fingers pointing right back at him.  And, as any opposite opinion does not go unpunished, we were forced to subject said judge to a simulation of these shitty line experiences.

And so we: 1) Constructed a “shipping store” in our warehouse; 2) Kidnapped a postal employee in the wee hours of a Thursday morn using only a burlap sack and sock full of quarters; 3) Enticed Tanya, a harried but curvaceous woman who was walking down the street with a box under her arm, into our warehouse by telling her we had four free scratch lottery tickets for her if she tried our new shipping store; and 4) Avoided violating most federal and local laws in the process.

Everything went according to our best laid plans.  The postal worker thought he was in the right place due to his general fuzziness and the fact that our warehouse is painted “concrete blue”.  Tanya thought she was due for a windfall because she’d prayed on it just the night before after skimming through The Secret (which you might also know under its working title, The Wish).

So we gave our dissenting judge a single envelope to mail and placed him in line on Tanya’s “good side”.  Within 14 seconds, she proceeded to regale him with multiple and, at times, contradictory customer service insights and sighs.  After four arguments (one between Tanya’s brain and Tanya’s mouth), six burps, three “’scuse me”s, 19 “hu-unh”s, a brief interval wherein the postal worker could have sworn he left his scissors “right here”, one half of a successful transaction and 13 hours, our judge passed out from sheer exhaustion just as he was about to be welcomed with a question that started with the words “Can I…”

And not to worry, we freed our captives after erasing their memories (which went faster than normal because we didn’t have to maneuver their imaginations, which were mysteriously absent).

When we gave our boy the old smelling salts and he still hesitated before signing his agreement, we made him go out back and pick his own switch.  At which point he relented.

For those of you not born in rural Ohio, this is what a switch looks like. You use it to beat fools about the legs and buttocks.

Final Vote

100 – 0 with one recorded absence from a judge who was busy hooking up with Tanya as she shouted “I knew I was due!” in the parking lot.

Tune in next week when we consider the current state of civil rights in our fair democracy.  And for shit’s sake, “like” us on Facebook already, sign up to be in the Typo Club (both upper right of this page), follow us on Twitter @shitmoves and tell your one funny friend where to go to get his/her/its shit straight (here).

Ready, (Trend)set… Go!

Wildfire Spreads Like Shitmove!

Our 101-judge panel has been given a down week due to the controversy surrounding what has come to be known as the “Supremo Wedgie Impasse”.  There are but two of us writers here in Shitland, warily eyeing each other and the last piece of celebratory red meat from last night’s “Newt or Bust a Nut” party.  South Carolina binges are the best.  South Carolina hangovers are the worst.

In order to avoid merely sitting on our thumbs and twiddling our asses, we want to give you, our readers, a shout-out and backhanded call to action.  That’s right, dear shitmover.  Here’s a brief report that will verify your long-held conviction that you are easily one of the coolest million of seven billion people on the planet.  This post is a Cool Calling Card for you, replete with copy-and-paste proof that you both rock and roll.

If you’re reading this, you’re among the coolest choir ever to be preached to.  Shitmove.com is reaching the far corners of this round globe.  While new, it is insanely pervasive.  We address you from the upward-tipping point on the exponential curve.  Thank you for being here with us on this monumental occasion.  As our list of followers blossoms into the billions, you can proudly state that you were here first.

What mounting evidence can we cite for the claim that shitmove.com is (as we speak) hitting the biggest fan? 

As if the Professional InfoGraphic weren’t enough, peep these exhibits:

A.      Permeation of casual vernacular.  One judge was recently thrown out of his home by his wife of 10 years.  As he dodged creative projectiles (his collection of first-edition copies of Howard Hughes’ autobiography), he asked what he’d done to deserve such a fate.  The response?  “What didn’t you do?  You’re a complete shitiot!”  Well struck, sister.

B.      Inside jokiness effect.  Another of our judges was recently waiting her turn at a 4-way stop when she got waved on by a Surefire 4-Way Stop Arbiter.  She and her passenger turned to each other and rendered their judgment in perfect unison: “Shitmove!”

C.      Shitty behavior has increased tenfold since site launch, which oddly also coincides with the GOP primary season.  While it may appear that an increase in shitty behavior would go to show that shitmove.com is not being read or considered by any, let alone all, the fact is that every piece of social and political shit that drops reinforces the value of shitmove.com.  We take it as a direct compliment that so many friends want to keep us in business.  Particular thanks to Michael Moore, Newt Gingrich and ferrets, all of whom continue to exist.  Note that we do not mention anything about jugglers here.

D.      One of our email followers is listed as “Yahweh”.  No explanation needed.

And there’s more.  You can hardly Google anything without being redirected to shitmove.com.  Here are just a handful of search phrases that will yield shitmove.com as a result.  Both text and image searches.

We literally could not make this shit up:

The Obvious and Slighty Boring: “shit move”, “shitmove”, “shitmove.com”, “shit moves”.

The Curious: “rodeo”, “funny American football quotes”, “sunoco gas turnpike”, “pin up rodeo”, “turnpike sunoco new jersey”, “turnpike sunoco, new jersey”.

The Bi-Curious: “young hank williams jr”, “the complete hank williams jr”, “hank williams kids”, “hank williams jr young”, “hank williams jr accident before and after”, “hank williams jr 2012”, “hank williams jr funny”, “hank williams jr without beard”, “hank williams jr no glasses”, “living proof the hank williams jr story”, “hank williams jr before accident”.

The Hilarious: “possum male”, “pa turnpike urinals”, “breath smells like pine cones”, “mean funny quotes”, “anthro possum”, “bowling ball pin placement”, “bigassunicornsanddoublerainbowsforever.com”, “shit common motive”, “cartoon pics about jugglers”.

Finally, The Absolute Best: “FERRET ASSHOLE!” (Caps and exclamation point added by shitmove.com editorial robot staff).

We’re fairly certain that these searches will continue to yield shitmove.com thanks to this post.  We’ve got a corner on the market for “bowling ball pin placement”, “anthro possum” and “ferret asshole”.  It appears our work here is done.  But before we consider shutting down the site, give yourself a pat on the back for showing up.

And consider this: You may not be getting your due.  Sure, you read each new post, but have you gotten the street cred you deserve?  Below follows your invitation to the 2012 Ahead of the Curve Block Party.  All you have to do to earn your express VIP pass to the make out room is:

1)      Read shitmove.com daily.  Or, ok… at least weekly.  Drink every post like fine champagne that someone else paid for.  Love each like a wounded pet (unless you own a ferret).

2)      Comment on what you read.  Help steer the shit ship.

3)      Pull out select quotes to share.  Think of what you would put on a t-shirt/ mug/ bumper sticker/ magnet/ flag/ tattoo.  Oh yeah.  Shit swag on the real is en route.

4)      Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shitmovecom/284105101632722 to find exclusive commentary and other uncanny witticisms.  While you’re there, “like” us.  A lot.

5)      Follow Mr. Shit Moves (@shitmoves) on Twitter.  Not on Twitter?  Perhaps you’re not that cool after all.  How do people stay up-to-date on your latest bright ideas in 140 characters or less?  Text us your thoughts.

6)      Follow us via WordPress.  Because you can.

7)      Send an email to your friends detailing steps 1-6 above.  Lead with a catchy line like “Shitmove.com Goes for the Juggler.”  Everyone will eventually get it.  But you get it first, which makes you awesome.  Your man junk/ lady parts will soon be bronzed.  Now tell your crew to pay the shit forward.

To stave off boredom, we’ve got another list for you that breaks our fans down into unique categories in order of awesomeness (from least to most).  Which one are you?  Which do you aspire to be?

1)      The Juggler- Those ambidextrous and rabid fans who so love our November 21st post (http://shitmove.com/2011/11/21/juggling-other-molestations-of-logic-shitmove-from-the-personal-files/) they shared it with 150 of their juggle buddies in one day, made a random but extremely wise/ piercing/ devastating/ hilarious/ supremely unshitty comment only to abandon the site until such time as another zing shows up on the comment page of said post.  Come back, friends.   Share your insights!

2)      The Hank Williams, Jr.- That fan most partial to December 12th’s post (http://shitmove.com/2011/12/12/a-tale-of-two-shitiots-part-1/) who inadvertently stumbles upon shitmove.com in a search of nude photos of Hank Williams, Jr.  While they did not intend to navigate their browser into The Shit, they find themselves at home once there.

3)      The Stalker- That ghost of a reader who shows up multiple times to go through our underwear  drawer but never comments, likes, follows or interacts.  They know we take long showers but never let themselves get caught.  Just when we squint to see them, they’re in the air…

4)      The Awaiter-of-Further-Instructions- The fan that will read every post, even talk about how right/ funny/ wrong/ stupid shitmove.com is, but never navigate their browser to our site independent of a Facebook or Twitter reminder to do so.

5)       The Friend-with-Benefits- That variety of fan who prefers the casual hook up.  They call us after multiple rejections from theoretically cooler company at 1am on a Sunday morning and want to know if we’re still awake.  They do “like” us on Facebook, just not like that.  Oh, and they usually regret hooking up as soon as they come over.

6)      The Typo- This fan not only reads every post, but has also signed up for email notifications for all new posts.  They have the unique ability to prove that shitmove.com writers are not infallible robots, as they typically receive the original post with every slander, poor idea, double negative and typo included.  These are later edited out by our robot editors (we typically post when their battery packs are charging because we labor under the delusion that we’re invincible).

7)      The Tweeter- This fan reads every post and follows us @shitmoves on that Twitter machine.

8)      The Patient Zero- This fan not only loves every fucking word of every fucking post, they regularly share each post at least twice a week and put positive peer pressure on their friends to get down with the shit.  They spread the virus and are usually blood-related to or sleeping with one of our judges.

9)      The Hot-and-Heavy- This fan does all of the above.

Finally, here’s something you can copy and paste in the email/ Facebook message you are definitely going to send to all your friends right after reading this.  Be loud and proud, fool.  Feel free to sub in your own examples.

Dear Person,

Since I’ve known you, you have always followed my lead.  Because of my influence on your life, you (tried skinny jeans back when ass crackers were in style).  (You started and stopped pegging your pants.)  (You started and stopped using early-90s pop culture references.)  (You avoided voting for Ralph Nader.)  Now I’m asking you—nay telling you—to take my word for it again.  You won’t be sorry and I might even hang out with you more. 

Here’s what you must do (don’t worry, it’s so easy my idiot neighbor’s ferret can do it): Go to www.shitmove.com and read the hell out of it.  Then, without getting confused by forming your own slow opinions, click the “like” button on at least one post.    You must also go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shitmovecom/284105101632722 and “like” that page too.  Do not weary of the “like” button!  Then on to twitter.com to follow @shitmoves (https://twitter.com/#!/shitmoves).  Finally, copy and paste this message and send it to those few friends you have that actually listen to you.

Love,

(Your name), Rockstar/ OG/ Fly Girl

You’ve Got to Say It and Spray It: Talkin’ Without Walkin’ Is a Shitmove!

So there we were, all 101 of us, hotly debating a new shitmove this weekend past (contesting whether or not receiving a “supremo” wedgie is grounds for murder), when one of our progressive-ass judges and sometime-y writers starts in on this symposium he attended on poverty.   This judge got such a major diving board just talking about it that three people sat on it and our final vote was derailed (though it must be stated that three previous votes had resulted in the deadest deadlock).  So we decided to delay the vote in favor of considering a whole new sack of more topical shit.  For this week, with minor delay and major blue balls about the wedgie issue, we consider the direct and indirect shit content of Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity, moderated by Tavis Smiley.

We asked “Was there any shit to be found on- or off-stage?”  After reviewing the footage, we’re happy to report out on our fair consensus. 

The Players 

Panelists at the Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity event were:

  • Michael “Did You See That Time I Zinged Charlton Heston Big-Time?” Moore
  • Majora “MajorAwesome” Carter
  • Cornel “Fast, Find Something to Rhyme with West ” West
  • Barbara “I’ll Support Your Strike” Ehrenreich
  • Suze “Orange” Orman
  • Vicki B. “Insert Pun Starting with ‘B’ Here” Escarra
  • Roger “Wikipedia Him” Clay, Jr. 

    "From Poverty to Prosperity" panelists. Some math: Combined speaking fees for one appearance from these experts equals roughly $150,000 dolla dolla bills, 3 - 4 times what most Americans will make this year.

 Verdict

Talkin’ without walkin’ (or drinkin’ the Kool-Aid without thinkin’ you been fool played) is most certainly a shitmove.  Because while these polemic pundits of the left of left certainly had some shit to wade through, the majority of the shit falls squarely on the 1500+ people that crammed into Lisner Auditorium at GWU (and the more than 300 souls that flooded the overflow room and the thousands that watched live or online).  And here’s the good news: For the first time in our 50+ years of evaluating shit (collectively), the bad guys in this adventure are only potential shitiots.  True to a certain version of the American form, audience members have an opportunity to manifest their own destiny by use of their brain in order to avoid the curse of our harshest judgment and attendant shame.

Shitum Minorum

As stated, panel members definitely have some shit to live down.  But if you’ve ever paid attention to anyone on either side of the political spectrum, you know better than to walk into an event like this without a 70-pound bag full of grains of salt to mix with every word and string of spittle that flies from the lips of these (mostly) media personalities. 

If you’re worried that we’re just out to dump on the panelists, allow us to preview a flavor of our finer points up front by saying that this event is an important one that deals with a topic we should all be discussing with more sincerity: 3rd-world poverty in a 1st-world nation.  This is the conversation we should to be having.  But the broader point is that individuals have a responsibility to consider this conversation as a point of departure rather than a pat conclusion.  And critical thought applies to every last sound bite. 

Most readers would abandon the shit ship right about now, anticipating a call to action that might interrupt their Herman’s Head marathon and/ or juggling practice.  But not shitmove.com readers.  Not never.

We’ll build up to the big ask.  First let’s evaluate some select points from the evening to see if they’re shitty.

One minor call to action must precede our analysis: Don’t take our word for it.  Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the first of three rebroadcasts available for free on Tavis Smiley’s PBS page.  For the sake of your attention span and making the most critical of critical points, we’re completely cherry-picking here.  The points we’re lifting from the forum are not meant to represent the entirety of the panelists’ views.  We have selected those points which seem to have gone down easy for the crowd but we feel need more stringent analysis. 

Roger Clay, Jr., President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland, made two points that were both logically bound together and more than a little frustrated.   The first was that he is “more disappointed than he thought possible” with the Presidency of Barack Obama.  Fast on the heels of this statement was another regarding his “unrealistic expectations” regarding said Presidency.  We appear to have found a link… Do not unrealistic expectations yield severe disappointments?  For a man who has kicked around for at least 66 years on this green earth (he was born when FDR was still President but probably after he stopped walking), you’d think his expectations would be more in synch with reality by now.  Optimism has nothing to do with reality.  On the contrary, it is a philosophy embraced by people who proudly and purposefully put great weight on positive outcomes and so ignore reality for roses.  Inherent in this embrace is a bitter disappointment when optimism (which offers no content, only wishes) fails.  So on this point, go figure the tears in your eyes, Mr. Clay.  You should have consulted a shitologist first.

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickled and Dimed among other non-fiction works, made many legitimate points but sounded our alarums when she said she was raised with these two major prohibitions: 1) Never cross a picket line and 2) Never vote Republican.  Let’s say that we’re in perfect, ever-loving agreement with Ms. Ehrenreich.  Even so, we agree for all the wrong reasons. 

First, a political party is not a static thing.  Consider the “Party of Lincoln” compared to today’s GOP field of circus freaks (oops, we’re getting awful close to jugglers with circus references, better watch our step).  Consider the party of Reagan compared with his avowed devotees.  Not the same over time.  Therefore, pledging allegiance to one party forever substitutes ritual and tradition for thought.

Building on this easy mark, we also want to point out that if your stated reason for believing or doing something is “That’s the way I was raised,” you fail to make a substantive critical point.  This is an “appeal to tradition” fallacy.  “The way it was is the way it should be…”  You’re not stating reasons to believe something by virtue of its merit, but rather by virtue of your fear of not being accepted at some level (by parents, peers, what have you).

So what would happen if we just accepted everything our forebears taught us without the benefit of scrutiny?  Can everyone in the audience who has a racist grandfather please raise their hands?  Simply swallowing the questionable sagacity of our elders is an impediment to true progress. 

We understand that Babs may have actually evaluated these two points and found them to pass all her critical tests.  We’re not saying she doesn’t have real reasons to uphold these teachings.  We are saying it’s shitty to cite your reason for believing something as simply being raised that way.  If your reason for believing something to be true has foundation in logic, you might want to lead with that.  The stripe of rhetoric that touts tradition as a prime influence needs to go the way of the dinosaur.

 Hot Christ.  Michael Moore’s next.  Filmmaker, bookmaker, Subway Sandwich Club Cardholder.  At one point, Mr. Moore made a direct appeal to President Obama, asking him to wake up the following morning, hold a press conference and swear off any funds from corporations, most notably Goldman Sachs.  He assured our President that at least 70% of the public would be on his side (though he ventured no guesstimate as to whether 50% of the 70% would show up to vote).  This plea received rave reviews from the audience.  

Here’s just one of the shitty things about Moore’s plea to consider: His books and movies are not free and he regularly commands speaking fees upwards of $25,000 per appearance.  Now hold on, oh philosophy wonks, we know where you’re going.  Attacking Michael Moore’s behavior has nothing to do with his argument…  that’s some “tu quoque” shit.   And it is true that even a hypocrite can make a valid argument.  But this is one of those rare cases in which the very substance of Moore’s attack on Obama can be called into question based on his lack of appreciation of its application to his own life.  It shows that he doesn’t comprehend the very charge he’s levied against Obama.  Moore’s larger point is (and has been for some time) against capitalism as a system.  And yet he offers his services for a premium in a capitalist economy. 

We’re not calling shit on Michael Moore for charging for his books, movies or appearances or even for being a capitalist when it comes to speaking fees and an anti-capitalist the rest of the time.  We’re calling shit on Michael Moore for calling shit on others who do as he does. 

And why does Michael Moore charge for his services?  Most likely because he’s worried about funding his next project.  This is why we draw the comparison to Obama (or any politician): He too is worried about funding for his next project (getting re-elected in order to improve the country, as he sees it).  Just as Michael Moore’s worried about his next movie.   Just as we’re worried about paying rent next month.   If we start giving our labor away, we have a lot to worry about (though we’d be remiss not to point out how free shitmove.com is).  None of these concerns are shitty. 

Slightly fuzzy photo of slightly fuzzy logic.

There are other panelists we will not deal with in this post.  If we went into every point that stuck in our craw, we’d easily be here for 17 years.  And we’d be here for about 20 years if we detailed everything we felt was positive about the event (we go into great detail on our sister site, bigassunicornsanddoublerainbowsforever.com).  These critical aspects of evaluation are given as examples of filters to keep in place when listening to a panel of experts on any topic.

We do want to single out one strong moment from our favorite and extremely unshitty panelist, Majora Carter.  You better go look this chick up (MacArthur Genius, “Prophet of Local”, radio host and green activist extraordinaire).  In asking a pragmatic question, she made a brilliant point.   With sincerity and a focus on real takeaways, Ms. Carter asked what solutions were being offered for people living in poverty right now.  Though Tavis Smiley seemed to think this question was answered at least 57 times, it wasn’t (Smiley indicated programs being put in place to help those in poverty but no actual points for individual action).  We agree with Ms. Carter and wonder what practical items could be lifted from the conversation and applied by and to the multitude of people living in 3rd-world zip codes in every major city and most rural communities in America.  Some thoughts are offered below in the “What Can You Do…?” section.

Shitum Majorum

You ought to know better.  You are a shitiot if you rely on Michael Moore, Barbara Ehrenreich, Dr. Cornel West, Tavis Smiley or even President Obama to do your work for you.  They all have a position to uphold.  It is incumbent on media personalities to put pressure on issues that truly matter.  They do so imperfectly, but they are at the very least starting conversations we should be having.  And that’s what they are, conversation starters in need of critical evaluation.

Obama is in a different role, one that actually produces policy.  But consider that he has to represent a wide swath of a diverse public.  And not just because he’s power-mad and wants to get re-elected, but because it’s his station to consider what the American public wants and act accordingly (either that or the Anti-Christ thing the Tea Baggers keep harping on).  Democracy is a dangerous system if we (the public) are short-sighted, stupid and over-emotional about our decisions.  Which is why, when we attend “inspirational” events such as Remaking America, we must not leave our brains in our other pants. We need our critical reason and we need our microphones (blogs, websites).

So here’s the take home question to those 1500+ people clapping and cheering these media personalities: Where was your next dollar spent?  Don’t mumble out the side of your mouth about being anti-capitalist.  You have money and you spend it in America.  At least in the short-term, you are a capitalist.  Where does it go?  $15.95 laid down at Barnes & Noble so you can read about Michael Moore’s attack on capitalism?  $40,000 to get Tavis Smiley to speak at your next birthday party?  Interesting choices.

This isn’t some George W. Bush call to action that results in you “stimulating the economy” by going out and buying 15 things you can’t afford to pay off.  We’re talking about money you’ve already dedicated to food, clothing, etc ,etc.  Where do you spend it and how does that square with your values?

Final Vote

Eventual unanimity, 101 – 0.  But it wasn’t easy… 

Ixnay on the itshay

One brave soul refused nearly every point made and claimed that the rest of us were cynics, haters and greedy capitalists.  He further condescended by saying that while he hated the game, he loved the players.  Said judge was sent to Barnes & Noble to purchase every single panelist’s latest book on poverty with his own hard-earned cash.  When he returned ($99.21 lighter), he still had money in his capitalist bank account so we made him call the Speakers Bureau and book the three most prominent on-stage guests for his Cinco de Mayo “I Have to Celebrate Something in May” Party: Suze Orman, Michael Moore and Tavis Smiley.  Yet he refused to change his vote (though we think this was in large part due to the fact that he was distracted by all the paperwork necessary to take out a 4th mortgage on his 1992 Subaru).  We almost made him watch all of Michael Moore’s films back-to-back but decided that wasn’t going to kick-start the part of his brain labeled “For Hard Thinks Only”.

So we finally made him take all his money out of the bank and put it into a credit union, made him give his “sushi fund” to a cause of his choice, registered him to vote and signed him up for a local Habitat for Humanity build.  At long last, he relented.

Shitometer Rank

So high we broke the machine.

Keep reading.

What If Everyone Talked About Important Things All the Time but Thought That Talking Was an End in Itself?

Good news/ bad news here.  The good news is that the world would be an easier place for us all to live in, as we wouldn’t feel the tiny pinch of conscience in regard to our fellow humans and would not be compelled to act in order to help them.  The bad news is that the world wouldn’t last very long.  But (yay!) good news again: Shitmove.com would never lack subject material. 

So what can you do to prevent this shitmove from recurring? 

Start by putting your zip code and volunteer interests into this little internet machine and see what happens (http://www.serve.gov/index.asp).  It’s President Obama’s call for you to act locally to impact an issue that is important to you.  While the GOP’s rhetoric would have you going another direction, we still believe that volunteering is not a partisan issue.  You can pick anything you want.  Maybe the NRA’s having one of their “Bake and Bullet” sales and needs someone to man the AK-47.

AND/ OR

Why not cut your triple mocha triple sow-cow latte triple fuckachino habit in half and find a school to donate to in your area with all your savings?  You can find meaningful projects at www.donorschoose.org.  Better yet, call the school and ask them if they can take your donation directly so as to avoid the “off the top” fees of donorschoose.org (and The United Way, for that matter).  We’re sure the school will find the right address for you to send a check or volunteer. 

Not down with the schools (what with their labor unions and their triflin’-ass first-graders)?  What are you down with?  We see a lot of American flags and “Support the Troops” signs out there.  How about the Wounded Warrior Project (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/give-back.aspx)?  Or the 6th Branch (http://the6thbranch.org/?q=donate)?  Find it and work it out.  No excuses.  But don’t do so blindly.  Do your research.  Bring your big brain.

Lastly: Fucking vote.  Admittedly, we’re split on this one.  Half of us think it’s better if most of you don’t vote lest you select a bunch of fucking chuckleheads (though that is certainly unprecedented, 2012 Iowa Caucus-goers who managed to hang a win on Rick “Sweater Vest” Santorum).  The other half of us think if you’ve identified voting as important, you could be on a reasonable path.  And the third half of us think that if you’re reading this and ready to let shitmove.com think for you, we could certainly forward you a few tickets to punch.  So yeah.  Vote and shit.

Calling attention to the problems of unregulated markets is fine, attending symposiums is all well and good.  But don’t consider yourself outside the market and evaluate the resources you already have.  Namely your wallet, your intelligence and your vote.

If you want to change a system or call attention to an injustice, consider that revolutions do not always consist of a bazillion people storming the castle.  Sometimes they do, but not always.  Establishing your values based on evidence and ensuring your money is spent where you want to spend it is revolutionary.  It may not be as melodramatically appealing as Michael Moore on his knees, but it’s twice as effective and half as gross.  Imagine if everyone voted their values and put both money and action behind their smack rather than throwing up their hands in frustration or simply talking about important issues or endorsing a 3rd party candidate whose name they don’t even know (because the substance of the 3rd party seems to matter less than the mere existence of one, for some reason).  So go out and support community-based organizations, your child’s school, political campaigns (particularly Rick Santorum’s, as that’s money so well spent).  And ask yourself what resources you bring to your own world. 

Reading and considering and thinking and yes, even attending events such as Remaking America can stir elements of meaningful change.  But it is more than this that makes the world a stronger, more inclusive place.  It is volunteering and sharing your evaluated, realistic conclusions with your friends.  It is participating in the world in a way that best represents your vetted values.

Here’s the link to the first of three videos of Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity:  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/#top.

Alright.  That’s the last time we let Preachy McLessons steer the shit ship for the foreseeable future.  Tune in this weekend when we get back to the realness and take up the vital issue of whether “supremo” wedgies are grounds for murder.

Don’t forget to put us on blast to all your liberal and conservative friends.  They all love us, even if they don’t know it yet.  Also, every Facebook “Like” makes us feel less lonely and every Twitter follow (@shitmoves) gives the men among us “heated wood”.  The ladies are partial to email followers (it’s more discreet that way).

Proclaiming “I Don’t Watch TV” is a !Shitmove!

Verdict rendered

In case you missed or fast-forwarded our prime-time commercial, let it be known: Announcing that you “don’t watch TV” is a total shitmove.

Only the strong can resist the Vacuum of Idiocy. The rest of us will receive further instruction once service is restored.

Final vote: 85 of 100 judges agree that you are definitely a shitiot and probably a dumbass liar if you have ever volunteered this select piece of information pertaining to your TV-watching habits (or lack thereof).  Note for the record a single absence, as one judge was busy leading A Clinical Symposium on the Long-Term Impacts of Believing Everything You Read and could therefore not be bothered to sit around talking about TV.

Shitum majorum: No one cares if you watch television or not.  Full stop.  No one ever literally asks you if you watch TV.  Think about the times the topic comes up.  Invariably, it is when someone asks you if you’ve seen this show or that show or heard this line… etc, etc.  A proper, unshitty response to these questions is simply: “No, I haven’t seen that show/ heard that line.”  You need not try to score a genius point by indulging in an unsolicited slice of autobiography.  Your willingness to point out that you don’t watch TV is straight up shit because it’s evident you think there’s some kind of cache in being “above TV.”

We polled our judges and never have any one of them left a party, turned to their partner and said, “Hey, you know that girl who said she doesn’t watch TV?  She’s easily the coolest person I’ve ever met.”  Neither have they ever turned to their friend and said, “That one guy—you know, the one who wore the ironic Def Leppard t-shirt and who doesn’t watch TV?  I want to have his babies but his dick’s too big for normal TV-watching vaginas like mine.”  This includes those 15 judges who defend the spontaneous autobiographers of the world.

Your stated status as an Unwatcher nets you nothing.  It is evident that you are anxious to broadcast your personal habits because you’ve somehow arrived at a very original (and surprisingly false) conclusion: TV makes you stupid.  This is tantamount to saying you will no longer speak because you overheard a dumb conversation.  You boycott an entire medium or system on the premise that it is monolithic and somehow to be indicted in total based on one or even multiple poor examples.  (If indeed you boycott at all—most professed Unwatchers admit to a favorite show when pressed despite their apparent disdain for low-brow entertainments [almost without fail, this show ran years ago and was prematurely canceled by the Bottom Line Boys at the networks and most people probably definitely never heard of it]).  Your brief and corrupt flirtation with second-order logic would embarrass you if you could comprehend your error.  Just recognize that you don’t know what you don’t know and quit thinking altogether.  Or at least stop sharing your thinks out loud.

"Herman's Head" is exactly that kind of 10-years-dead show Unwatchers like to reference as unappreciated comic gold. But you probably never heard of it and definitely wouldn't get it.

For the sake of argument, let’s grant that TV—all of it, always—makes you stupid.  Or even that it saps your brain if you watch too much of it.  The implication in the value statement of the Unwatcher is that they are not wasting their precious time over trivial things like television shows.  They’re therefore hinting they are busy with some superior undertaking while the rest of us slobber over Grace Under Fire and According to Jim (sorry, one of our judges worked for ABC in the late 90s and early aughts).

So what is worthy of the Unwatcher’s time?  What problem are they solving while we sleep?  Do they recite Shakespeare’s sonnets aloud?  Are they engaged in long division?  Are they playing Sudoku with their left foot while applying the final touches to Rachmanioff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 behind their back?  Cross-breeding haikus with logarithms?

Obviously, these examples exaggerate.  What Unwatchers really do instead of taking the bait like the rest of us flunkies?  Cure cancer.  So you fuck off with your “Steinfeld” and “Disparate Housewifes” (I hope I got those names right, but see I don’t really watch TV…)

And don’t get it twisted.  Almost any variation of “I don’t watch  TV” is equally shitty, including but not limited to: “I don’t watch much TV,” “I don’t really watch TV,” “I only watch the Discovery Channel because I’m so fucking science-y,” “I tried to watch TV but I couldn’t find my remote under all my quadratic equations.”  And so on and so barf.

Ixnay on the itshay: 15 judges actually said that hearing a Self-Proclaimed Unwatcher self proclaim such did not hit high on their shit scale.  Among defenses offered was that some people truly do not watch TV and are not shitty for sharing this out loud.  The six judges that got behind this airtight defense were promptly subjected to a range of unsolicited opinions and information about majority judges, including in-progress novels about bee keepers, baseless criticism of jugglers and ferret owners and how to ensure you get your money’s worth at the local fast food joint (hint: soda without ice!).  At the conclusion of just four autobiographies, even the sympathetic souls of dissension were fast asleep (and therefore could not change their original votes).

Shitometer rank: While not the worst offense in the universe (we’re looking at you, ferret owners), this is easily the most common shitmove we’ve considered to date and so ranks a healthy 95% on the old Shitometer.

What if everyone stretched every conversation to include some element of brilliant, unique, unsolicited  fact about their (self) important lives?  The bad news is that communication would break down.  Instead of an actual exchange of ideas, we’d all impatiently await our turn to highlight our wise insights.  But don’t let this bum you out: The upside to no one communicating? There would be nothing worthy of communication.  Ignoring ignorance is in fact the greatest insult.

More good news: 95 of 100 conversations already qualify as completely shitty.  So not much would change.  We could all go back to watching TV.

What can you do to prevent this shitmove from recurring? There is only one solution: Tell your friends to join our cult by following shitmove.com via email (above right), Twitter (@shitmoves) and Facebook (Shitmove.com page).  Positive peer pressure through negative reinforcement, fool!

Seriously.  Sign up for the email thing—it’s a secret way to like a site what has cuss words in it.

Tune in next week when we crack the overtime whip on our crack panel of judges to weigh in on brand new shit.  You can also join the shit-storm by submitting your bright ideas to us at shitmoves@gmail.com.

And despite the fact that New Year’s resolutions are most certainly shitty, we’ll share ours with you: Shitmove merchandise is due to hit the fan in 2012.

2011: A Look Back through Shit-Colored Glasses

Or: Everyone is Entitled to One Partially-Eaten Sleeve of Peppermint Cookies

Dear 50 Million Strong and Swelling Readership-

As lead writer at shitmove.com, I must clarify my brief delay in posting.  The optimists among you may think it due to holiday travel or some other element of festivity.  The pessimists have concluded that we are trying to create scarcity in the “weak wisdom” market and therefore make our (free) product seem more attractive and slant demand in our favor.  But as is usually the case, optimism and pessimism are two sides of one idiotic coin and have no basis in the real world.

The absence is in fact due to my recovery from a serious though temporary injury.  On December 21st, at roughly 6pm, an unknown assailant sneaked all the way up behind me and brained me with a bowling pin.  I was down and out cold immediately due to the severity of the attack but am told the suspect whacked me a total of three times (with three different bowling pins) and was last seen heading east on a unicycle while balancing a plate on his or her head.

This innocent looking bowling pin scares the shit out of me now & forevermore.

But fret not over this extremely blunt (and dull) trauma!  One amateur craniotomist, my three total friends in the world (two of whom are on the payroll and one of whom is me) and 90 of 101 shitologists agree that the bludgeoning I received will have no lasting negative impact on my life.  My superior frontal gyrus is not only perfectly intact, it appears the merciless blows of the attacker resulted in increased blood flow to the area.

I know what you are all thinking: “A juggler is surely to blame for this attack.  Let’s go get ‘em!”  But slow down, oh defenders of logic and satire.  Let’s not rush to hasty generalizations.  The facts do not necessarily implicate our sure-footed brethren (if you did not know, juggling’s mostly about the footwork).

In fact, I’ll stroke you one better on the decency scale and state that I don’t care who is to blame.  If it be a juggle brother or sister who took me down like a sack of stupid potatoes, then so be it.  It is that specific time of year to bend over backwards for acts of absolution that would otherwise not deserve a shred of our time or consideration.  And so I forgive whoever it was that cracked me over the head repeatedly.  With a bowling pin.  On a unicycle.  I forgive and absolve you whoever you are or whatever database you regularly log on to.

And so we sally fucking forth into the Newest Year.  But before we do, let’s indulge ourselves in a glance over the shoulder and recall that our opinions mean everything (to us and everyone within earshot).

Time to call up your shit and show it in the light of day in order to start fresh in 2012 (which I predict to be the Year of Harmful Humor).  Trudge yours up and compare it to mine.  Do it now.

Here’s a look back at some of my personal low points during the time that fell between January 1st  and December 31st, 2011…

Customer service shit: This one’s difficult, as there was a veritable preponderance of ridiculous shit that stands out, not the least of which was being charged $1 for getting a doggie bag at a new restaurant (shit to hit the fan later on that).

Then there was the “authentic” German restaurant that smelled liked Druncle Hank’s post-cigarette breath.  The pleasant lead waiter was kind enough to interrupt his back-of-the-kitchen smoke break to register a joyful noise at my arrival just ten minutes before the grill shut down forever or for the night, whichever came first. Did I ruin his night by ordering anyway?  I did not.  In what must pass as happy relief in his life, I picked up what he was putting down by simply leaving.   Never mind the grease-stained promise of the menu.

Also this year, I went to the post office 42 times and don’t even know where to begin.

But the pithiest customer service example hails from that quality eatery found in most hometowns across America: Quizno’s Subs.

I admit to a reverence for Quizno’s superior marketing sensibilities.  I, along with two bazillion other discerning consumers, have been convinced that toasting shit makes it better.  Quizno’s niche market is everyone who wants their sub (standard) sandwich run through an oven for 35 seconds.  That is, their niche market is fucking everyone I’ve ever met.  Toasting your product is genius.  We here at shitmove.com are in fact working on a toasted version of this site.  One unfortunate judge equivocated and promptly puked his guts out after consuming a 5th of Jameson.  Other than this, no fruit so far in the undertaking, but never sleep on a shitologist.

Superior marketing sensibilities: This shit is toasted!

Despite my unabashed love for Quizno’s – or perhaps because of it – I was shocked at what took place post-toasting.  There I was in line, perfectly pacing my sub as it went through the oven.  I had my chips all picked out, my credit card in hand… I was the very image of efficient consumerism.  But then, gum in the gears.  Among selected toppings, I inadvertently ventured into a taboo area.

Before I admit to you what I did, I beg of you to go easy on me.  But I only beg once.  So here it is: I actually ordered cucumbers on my sub.  I’m really not sure how it happened.  I was making the wrong calculation, thinking only of what I wanted to eat while ordering my lunch and not about The Superior System at Quizno’s Subs.  Of course, you know the rest, but humor me as I draw you a diagram in dialogue:

Me: I’ll also have cucumbers and honey mustard.

Justine: Cucumbers are for salads.

Me: (still not getting the point, thinking Justine’s surely just jesting) I know, right?  Cucumbers on a sub?  Crazy.

Justine: (blinks twice, unamused)

Me: Wait—seriously?

Justine: (yelling over her right shoulder) Tina!  Ain’t cucumbers for salads?

Tina: (off screen, resignedly yet inarguably) Yup, cucumber’s for salads.

Justine: (looks at me, shrugs helplessly)

Me: (burning with embarrassment over having forgot this quite obvious fact of ordering at Quizno’s Deliciously Toasted Motherfucking Subs) I will give you ten whole dollars to pick up three of those cucumbers and put them on that sub.

Justine: (comprehending the gulf between right and wrong, applies honey mustard only and begins wrapping my sub)

Me: (as a pissy parting shot in a losing battle) Pretty sure cucumbers are for your customers.

<SCENE>

In this narrative, I am aware that I am the one who comes out looking shitty.  It hurts that much more.  (Note to self: For further review, consider opening a sub franchise that will allow the customer to choose from available ingredients… there appears to be niche market out there.)

Shit on the street: It would take 15 years and waste numerous future shitmoves to detail every traffic infraction of 2011, so a summary list will suffice…

1)      Getting honked at for not going on green within the first 2 milliseconds of the light turning: 14 occurrences.

2)      Having to come to a complete stop at a green light because the car in front of me is navigating the extremely tricky maneuver of turning right, therefore making it more than probable that the car behind me will tap my ass: 9 occurrences.

3)       Getting waved on at a 4-way stop when it’s not my turn: 30 occurrences.

4)      Waiting for pedestrian as he or she “fake hustles” while crossing the street against the light: 22 occurrences.

5)      Waiting for pedestrian as he or she does not “fake hustle” while crossing the street against the light: 35 occurrences.

6)      Being tailgated while traveling at a reasonable speed: 15,000 occurrences.

7)      Getting cut off: 45 occurrences.

8)      Getting cut off by a juggler: 1 major occurrence.

Shit I was accused of in 2011, some as recently as December 21st:

A)     Starting a blog that unfairly singles out certain elements of society under the guise of humor or philosophy or some other selfish motivation.

B)      Being an asshole.

C)      Having an asshole.

D)     Hatred of juggling.

E)      Being a saint.

F)      Being an asshole.

G)     Having few or no friends.

H)     Crushing a cigarette out in my neighbor’s car door with mal intent.

I)      Being so stupid I can’t follow a stupid argument that is stupid.

J)      Not being very nice.

K)     Not being very funny.

Shit I was guilty of in 2011: All of the above except letters H, I and K.  And for letter D above, the words “hatred of” should be amended to “healthy disdain for”.  What with responding to all the emails and Tweets that come my way on behalf of shitmove.com, I don’t have time to actively hate a hobby.

The penultimate shitmove that occurred in my presence in 2011: Proving that even nice people can’t avoid the occasional slip in shit, a well-intentioned and friendly co-worker “gifted” me a small sleeve of cookies in celebration of the birth of Santa Claus.

There I was at my desk, typing merrily and humming “Jingle Bells” (a-wassailing is not permitted in my place of work) when my neighbor from one floor down handed me a gift bag under a hearty “Merry Chistmas!”  Sincerely thanking him and wishing the happiest of holidays right back at him, I set the bag aside for later inspection.

The joy of the holiday season plagues me wherever I go.

When I returned to the bag at lunch, I found the gift to be in proper proportion to our casual association.  A simple sleeve of Trader Joe’s Peppermint Joe Joe Cookies stared up at me.  A small, pleasant gesture.  I decided to have one on the spot to show that I too enjoyed chocolate and peppermint gifts.

So I opened the box only to realize that I had not been the first to do so.  Contained in the sleeve of what was once nine cookies were but three.  Here is the photo I took a few minutes later (having not consumed any).

Shitmove.com is not underwritten by Trader Joe's but is open to the possibility. Either that or product placement. Quizno's, are you listening?

Now it may cross your mind that I am an asshole and this co-worker of mine probably did this on purpose to show me that he liked me only one-third as much as other people.  Without going into every detail, I calmly assure you this is not the case.  Despite the available evidence, I conduct myself as a decent human being five out of seven days a week.

In the spirit of the season, I loved my gift in spite of the inexplicably missing six cookies.  It so roundly sums up my opinion on (socially) mandatory office gift giving: Six in one direction, a half dozen in the other.

The ultimate shitmove that occurred in my presence in 2011: There are 8 hours left to go on the biggest party night of the year.  I’m sure something will come up.

But why’s everything gotta be so shitty all the time?  What am I complaining about?  Didn’t anything good happen in 2011?  Indeed it did.  I read some good books, saw some good movies.  I won the lottery twice even though I don’t play.  And I did some good of my own, volunteering at numerous community sites and continuing my work on behalf of our shared community to combat HIV, violence, poverty and abuse.   But I run that shit on the other website: superunicornsandbigassrainbowsforever.com.  A place for everything and everything in its place.

However, I would be remiss if I did not point out the latent hope present even in a pile of shit.  That partially-eaten sleeve of cookies up there?  The other part was uneaten and it was… All.  Fucking.  Mine.

Don’t forget to follow on Twitter @shitmoves, get your shit emailed straight to you (upper right corner of page) and tune in next week when we go back to our crack panel of judges for verdicts on all stripe of shit.

A Tale of Two Shitiots Part Two: A Lesson in Not-So-Subtle Subtext from Professor Gingrich

Q:  Is Newt’s pants-tent premature?  Or can he punch his shitastic ticket all the way to the top of the Grand Old Party pile? (insert disturbing visual here although Michele Bachmann might be ok in the right light and taken from the right angle and also if she got that crazy look off her face and parted her hair on the other side)

A: If he keeps slinging that slab of red meat around, there’s no stopping him.  Be on your mounted guard, Oh Canada.  Our silver maned, triple-chinned, indicted, sanctioned, convicted, (totally) straight-talking former professor has appetite enough to conquer more than one fair democracy.  And we’re dead serious—we’ll totally elect this imp.

Now what in the world did Professor Gingrich say that left the liberals unable to have gay sex for the better part of a week and a half?

Mr. President, is that you?

To quote, “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them that works.  So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday.  They have no habit of staying all day.  They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash.’  Unless it’s illegal.”  In a later clarification, he reified his points, stating that if poor children could learn a little about sweat equity, they wouldn’t have to become “a pimp or a prostitute or a drug dealer.” He went on to make some sound points about the stupidity of child labor laws.

Final vote:  With perfect attendance and perfect agreement, a swift 101-0 ruling has shined the shit light on Professor Newt.  This is key, as not even the judges on our panel who cried when Kenneth Starr ceased to command more payment than a couple of hot dogs and a can of Diet Rite in exchange for a speaking appearance were fooled by Newt’s unsubtle supplication to the red meaters of America.  Nary an idiot on our panel could keep a straight face long enough to defend this shitmove.

Shitum majorum: A common point made against Newt in regard to these comments is that he’s attacking poor people (with an “and-one” slap at unions and the overpaid janitors of the world).  This has some merit, but more important is his motive for making these comments.  Professor Gingrich said what he did to indict poor people, not to help them or even start a dialogue about helping them.  He’s winking and nudging the Tea Baggers here.  This is not an earth-shattering realization.  And while they can’t say it until after they’re dead, it certainly is no surprise to Newt or his handlers.   It’s exactly the kind of “real America” versus the “lazy urban poor” statement that earns high marks among erstwhile birthers.

Let’s dissect: He’s not talking about all poor people—he’s talking about the urban poor.  His imagery of pimps and prostitutes does not call up the slumping roofs of country poverty.  It does not evoke the poorer acreage of, say, eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.  Or rural poor in Tennessee.  Take words he uses such as  “neighborhoods” “pimps” and “prostitutes”.  You’re thinking of cornfields and poor country folk, right?

We would love to see someone argue that this is what Newt meant when talking about poor people.  Since we don’t anticipate that debate, we’ll proceed.

Good Old Professor Newt is taking us to school again.  A refreshingly honest modern day lesson in socio-economic reality from a man who last taught… um… not social anthropology… what was it again?  Oh yeah, history. From a man who last taught history in 1978.   For those who may not recall hearing about the bold achievements of Newt’s meteoric teaching career, please note his sterling academic portfolio from the 1970s (before he became a career politician in 1979), when he taught (gasp) young minds (gasp) history at the last bastion for rational thought, WEST GEORGIA UNIVERSITY—oops, I mean WEST GEORGIA COLLEGE.  Other alumni include Barry Evans, who pitched (oddly, not so brilliantly) for the San Diego Padres from 1978 – 1981, when they won a total of 14 games.

And here’s the real shit-kicker: If Newt were actually interested in talking about problems that plague the poor, we could take some of his comments as a point of departure for a more nuanced conversation.  We could discuss how to provide viable job opportunity to some of the most impoverished demographics in these United States (while slashing social programs, of course because tax cuts and job creators and the flag and the troops).  We might even get into a conversation about work-study programs at the high school level that aim to instill pride while engaging students in the upkeep of their school.  But The Good Professor is not interested in this.  Never was.

And, Mr. Speaker-Who-Tendered-Your-Weak-Ass-Resignation-When-Your-Own-Party-Backed-You-into-a-Corner-After-You-Garnered-a-Fuckload-of-Attention-for-Having-Turned-the-Republican-Party-All-the-Way-the-Fuck-Around-then-Squandered-it-with-Shitmoves-and-Ethics-Sanctions-and-Who-Now-Would-Do-Anything-for-That-Same-Hijacked-Party-to-Embrace-You-Once-Again, you know exactly what you’re doing.  You understand utility.  You’ve changed your stance on global warming to appeal to a similar element in the Republican Party: the one that disdains science.  You pander and you may not have to pay the price until the general election.

Newt’s words are not offered as a conversation starter.  Rather they are given as a conclusion.  “Kids in the poorest neighborhoods… have no example of showing up on Monday,” could be the start of a meaningful dialogue.  But it’s not presented this way.  Rather, it is offered as nothing more than a sound bite on the tip of a raw hamburger so that lesser fools can chomp on it, swish the swill around in their mouths and prepare to spit it out as “tough love” the moment you or anyone with sense tries to level the playing field with logic.  Of course, after they scream at liberals and anyone else who doesn’t agree with their internal emotional state, Newt’s taking the long bet that these shitiots will find their way to the ballot box and vote his ticket before gouging out their own eyes at the site of two men shopping for candles at their local mall.

And so we rule that 1) using the word poor to designate geography rather than economic status and 2) doing so for the purpose of energizing the most radical and ridiculous elements of your party are absolute and irrevocable shitmoves.

Oh, Tea Party.  You complete our political landscape with your relentless rabidity, your poor math and amazing ability to make demands while shrinking into obscurity.  It’s a curious thing, too: For all the vitriol aimed at President Obama from the Tea Party, they have succeeded in ensuring a pissed-off left will show up in droves in the coming election.  They can’t recall their own Rovian lessons in election politicking.  But that’s not all:  they are also part of a Republican machinery that has trotted out two career politicians and respective turds in Mitt “The Shiznit” Romney and our own darling, Newt “I Must be Dreaming” Gingrich.  How hung is their horse in this race?  Who is their horse?  Michele “Spare the L, Add the N” Bachmann’s poll numbers look as droopy as you imagine Rick Santorum’s scrotum to be.  Rick Perry appears ready to tackle the ump after his kid was called out at first (as he’s under the false impression that the ump was “outing” his kid).  One of our judges saw Herman Cain sexually advancing on himself in a mirror.  This is the second weakest slate of slobs and bores we’ve ever gotten it half hard-in-hand for (James A. Garfield, John Sherman and James G. Blaine were nothing to write home about).

Is this what the sum total of indignation from the “Keep the Change” crowd looks like?  Wow.  Nothing short of suck city.  And the result of these fools battling it out for second place?  All candidates must grovel at the feet of emotional infants.  They must aim squarely at middle America and so treat them as fools based on a gross summation of their less thoughtful elements.  This following a veritable motherfucking mandate in 2010.

Ixnay on the itshay: No one had much to say on the shitless side of things.  We used the normal floor time afforded the ixnayers to draw a giant mural of a manacled Newt being led via dog chain and collar by Sarah Palin. One judge brought homemade lemonade and we all sat around sipping it and looking the mural and going, “Ahhh…”

What if everyone who ran for President pandered to the lowest common denominator?

They’d get elected twice in a row if they happen to be running in the years 2000 and 2004.  Oh, and they’d be Yale men from Texas or Georgia West College boys from Pennsylvania.  That and reasonable social initiatives would be reset to mid-50s levels, filthy rich people would get filthier and richer, friends of the administration would run silly little agencies like FEMA, other friends of the administration who run companies starting with “H” and having 4 syllables would be exempt from The Clean Air and Water Acts that were put in place by that hippie Dick Nixon, the White House would put out a Christmas album called “Greatest Hits of Inductive Reasoning wherein Dick Cheney Shakes His Tambourine” and the country would be at least partially fucked up for at least four score and seven years (Yes—we got in a “Party of Lincoln” slam!).

To close out our two-part series, just remember kids: Both Hank Williams Comma Jr and Newt “Kiss and Teletubby” Gingrich position themselves as “straight-shooters” who “tell it like it is”.  Sometimes they actually avoid stepping in shit, but don’t be fooled: they’re invariably headed to the shit-mobile to gorge.  Please note: one of the two plays country gee-tar on the radio; the other is running for President of the United Fucking States.  It’s hard to tell which is the sideshow.

A Tale of Two Shitiots Part 1

A Tale of Two Shitiots: Newt Gingrich and Hank Williams, Jr

Part One

Newt Gingrich has popped a pants-tent in recent polls, gaining ground in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida.  Even female Democrats are lining up to touch tips with him, hinting at salacious secrets in the wings.

Gigglebox Gingrich gives poor kids the what-for

Hank Williams, Jr (aka Druncle Hank), has recently added “Ingenious Political Punditry on Any Fox Affiliate and The View” to his long list of accomplishments, which include buying guns and not barfing for four days consecutive in the summer of 1987 (he was asleep for three of them).

Despite their respective successful passes at politics of late, both men have come under fire for certain “harsh truth” comments they’ve made.  Hanky even lost his Monday night football gig, which has driven us all to the internet to get our fix of hootin’ and a-hollerin’.

The recent comments made by these fine gentleman aim at America in general but their specific targets are not the same.  Williams has focused his vitriol on President Obama, while Newt’s reserved a substantial amount of his for the poor (with a particular emphasis on poor children).

Our judges suffered these two fools ungladly this week in order to determine whether or not their recent comments can be judged shitmoves.

For the first part of our two-part series, we will train our expert eyes on Druncle Hank.

Purveyor of fine analogies

Now what the heck’d that boy say that’s got people all twisted up?  In October, appearing via satellite on the hard-hitting children’s cartoon Fox & Friends, Mr. Williams seemed particularly eager to lambast the PR golf game played between House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and President Obama.   Parting his mighty beard, Williams staved off a burp long enough to point out that the match was “like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.”  For those of you who aren’t aware, Benjamin Netanyahu is the once and current Prime Minister of Israel and Adolf Hitler was an artist most famous for his master work entitled “How to Massacre 6 Million Jews While Possessing Only Your Left Nut.”  Williams went on to say that Obama and Vice President Biden were “the 3 stooges” (both of them) and “the enemy” before unplugging his mic to take his hourly mid-morning break (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mid-morning+break).

For the purpose of this post, we are evaluating only the analogy Druncle Hank made about the golf game, due to the fact that it was this comment that made reasonable people everywhere go home and kick their dogs.  The other assorted mumblings elicited more laughs than rage (thank you, Fox & Friends, for your consistent contribution to arts, culture and society).

Final vote:  By a vote of 90-10, this analogy was not rated a shitmove.  Let the record reflect one judge who was otherwise occupied at the time of the vote (singing “All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight” in the parking lot while simultaneously weeping and “tail-piping” his Chevy 4X4 is what we mean when we say “otherwise occupied”).

Shitum majorum: No matter how cool or coarse or on-point or stupid you think Hank Williams, Jr is, he simply did not compare Obama to Hitler.  You can disagree with him or want to have his babies.  Your opinions and emotions about Druncle Hank have nothing to do with your analysis of his analogy.

Let’s walk through it.  Williams makes the point that it is bullshit for Obama and Boehner to play golf.  Everyone knows they don’t agree, they are not friends, they don’t even play well together… so taking a weekend golf game for the purpose of appearing amiable sucks according to Williams.  His analogy succeeds if it positions two figures who are known not to agree with each on the same golf course (while beaming shit-eating grins).  He comes up with Hitler and Netanyahu, two men who would not get along if they met and probably wouldn’t last a stroke without murdering each other.  Fair enough.  Analogy successful.  Was it insightful?  Maybe, but that’s beside the point.  Just because the names Obama and Hitler show up in close proximity to each other doesn’t mean a comparison has been made.  And we (most of us) have the ability to know the difference by virtue of our brains.

Reason goes everywhere. It cannot be suspended just because you don’t like the verdict it renders.  It should be applied equally to all matters independent of your prejudice.  In fact, it should be used to determine what you are for and against in the world.  It is an odd but not uncommon shitmove to adopt your views prior to evaluating them.  Whether by inheritance or other outside pressures, you cannot substitute crap-ass emotionalism for reason.  The world would not progress if we did not apply right and critical logic.  The sleep of reason produces monsters and mofos.

Despite the 17 wood ticks living in his beard, you must evaluate Hank Williams, Jr evenly or risk becoming a shitiot yourself.

 
It is always a shitmove to put your rationality on pause.  It is steadfast and not to be subjected to your flights of fancy.  So whether you were conceived under the hypnotic strains of “A Country Boy Can Survive” or absorb all your knowledge of the world from “This American Life,” the standard by which you judge Hank Williams, Jr should remain the same.

We can argue with Druncle Hank about a number of other things.  We can take him to task for his graceless wit and hellacious charm.  We can criticize him for launching an assault on three of our five basic senses: hearing, sight and smell.  But to be in the right, we must use a consistent metric for all matters and admit what it reveals.

Ixnay on the itshay: Ten judges ruled Williams’ analogy a shitmove.  Their huffy and muddled points involved a flurry of offense over the fact that the name Hitler was used in any analogy.  They tried to make the case that doing so was so inflammatory that reason could and should be reasonably suspended.  They blatantly refused to listen to the statement as issued by Williams, claiming that he must be wrong simply because his beard both looks and smells like a dead hooker’s merkin.  One judge’s head exploded after she made the analogy that defending Williams was like going down on Hitler.  (Note to shitmove staff: find replacement judge for next week and clean unused brains off the conference room wall).  The rest of the judges were rewarded with a lifetime subscription to Gretchen Carlson’s Nude Scratch-and-Sniff Pic of the Day Club.

You know you want it!

What if everyone made sensible analogies?  Holy shit.  We didn’t think about the consequences of our verdict.  If everyone made sensible analogies all the time, crybabies would only be able to cry about having nothing to cry about.  And those tears hurt the worstest.

Shitometer rank: N/A, though the chicken bone in Williams’s beard ranks in the 99th percentile.

Tune in for “A Tale of 2 Shitiots: Part II” due out mid-week wherein we take on intellectual giant and former revisionist history professor Newt Gingrich.  Until then, you know what to do to be the coolest ferret in the den: “like” this page, follow via email (upper right of this page), catch us on Twitter @shitmoves and send us your shit to shitmoves@gmail.com.

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