I don't blame people for being up in arms about Fred Phelps and his crazy family deciding to picket Heath Ledger's funeral because of his portrayal of a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. But for me it becomes increasingly difficult to remain incensed about something that no longer surprises me.
The world has always been chock full of all sorts of crazy. I should know, I grew up surrounded by about ten different varieties of it in my own house as a kid. At some point I started to draw a distinction between arguing with someone who might actually be convinced by what you say versus attempting to reason with a crazy person.
But at what point will my lack of surprise at craziness cross over into complacency and resignation? I've already been suspecting for the last few years that we are becoming more and more like the German citizens who lived in the 1930s and 1940s. People who grew resigned to the crazy around them to the point that sixty years later they are still eating the world's shit because they didn't take extreme enough measures to put a stop to it.
I have a new Strategic Sales Executive on my team, and few weeks ago she hosted a Webex for us. (For you non "Office Space" types, a Webex would be an audio/video conference call where the host can share his or her computer desktop with the call participants.)
When you set up a Webex you have to supply the participants a password. I usually choose a relatively neutral, innocuous sort of word like lawyer or chlamydia. Always does the trick.
Sandra (the new Strategic Sales Executive) however decided that her password for the group would be 3Jesus97. I thought that was odd. Then, when we were trying to log in to the call one of the participants said "what is the password again?" Sandra replied "3Jesus97. I guess that wasn't very politically correct of me! Giggle!"
Let us note that Sandra is based in Oklahoma. Just sayin'.
To get back at Sandra for her inappropriate behavior, the next time I hosted a Webex I made the password 3Buddah97.
No one laughed, which disappointed me a fair amount.
Playing in huge boxes was the coolest thing ever - probably even cooler than building a fort out of sofa cushions and assorted furniture. It probably still is that cool or little Trevor wouldn't be sitting all high & mighty in his box right now.
This post of Chris's reminded me of the time my mom had a new refrigerator delivered to our house. It was the summer before I started 7th grade, when I was 12. My next-door-neighbor, Jenny, was 10.
Jenny and I had been best buds in earlier years, but as we both approached adolescence we didn't hang out so much any more. Not that I didn't want to, but she and her other little friends were starting to do that tween all-girl thing where they would hang out in the bathroom for hours washing each others' hair and trying on bras and stuff. I was totally excluded. Probably a good thing too, because I'd make a hideous drag queen.
Anyway, on this particularly beautiful summer day when I was 12, I hadn't spoken with Jenny for months and months. But about 30 minutes after our new refrigerator arrived, she showed up at my door with her new best friend from down the street, Joanne. I was really happy to see her because I missed hanging out with her, and I was becoming too nerdy for anyone else to want to spend time with me.
"Hey Jenny! How are you?" I said as I opened the door. "Hi, Joanne," I added, a bit less enthusiastically.
"What's going on? Do you want to come in?"
"Did you get a new refrigerator?" Jenny asked.
"Yes, it's really nice- want to see it?"
"No. Do you still have the box?"
"Yeah, you know, the box the refrigerator came in."
"Oh, no, the delivery guys took it away with the old refrigerator."
"Oh, ok. We thought maybe we could play in it. See ya later." They turned to leave.
"You guys, wait!" I called out. "We can do something else if you want!"
"That's ok, we just wanted to see if you had the box. Talk to you soon."
I didn't think much of it at the time because I was used to that sort of thing, being the geek that I was. But tonight, after seeing Chris's post about Trevor and the Box, I came to the conclusion that my childhood ex-neighbor Jenny is a total bitch.
I am Coaster Punchman and you have just entered my world. I rule it with an iron fist, so if you're looking for First Amendment protection, you will not find it here. I have a now deceased crazy Chinese mother-in-law, and sometimes I wear Crocs around the house. I don't like flip-flops or Mormons. I'm also a cyberstalker by trade -- so I could look up all sorts of random shit about you if I wanted, but I probably won't because I'm pretty lazy.