Friday, May 1, 2009

A Little Friday Rant

It's been a long, tiring week, and today I can just feel my general annoyance with the world bubbling. It doesn't help that I feel like I'm surrounded by stupidity. Between the ridiculousness of this swine flu thing and the stupid bigotry of some people, I'm just exhausted.

Here are the things stuck in the proverbial craw today:

1. The Swine Flu: Is it just me or are we all overreacting a little here? What makes the whole thing even more annoying is that it becomes an opportunity for seemingly (or supposedly) educated people to become complete and total morons. Here at work, I have heard the most ridiculous stuff coming out of the mouths of COLLEGE EDUCATED people -- stuff like, "Oh, I wouldn't go to the Mexican restaurant for lunch today. You don't want to get swine flu" and "Well, you know, all these Mexican students are always going to Mexico for visits. I bet one of them brings it back." To once again quote my new favorite recurring character on SNL: "Bitch, please!"

2. Homophobia: Nowhere does the ignorance of others bother me more than right here. I overheard a teacher today in the lounge ranting and raving about "Every time you turn on the tv, you hear about Iowa allowing same sex marriage or Vermont. I'm so sick of it! It's so disgusting to see these people on tv getting married and kissing." Now, right here, I could really go on a profanity-laced rant, but I won't. (And oh, I really, really want to!) Instead, I will simply shake my head in profound disgust. Here's what I don't get about these people . . . why the f**k do you care? I get so annoyed with people who have certain rights and priveleges who then turn around and want to deny those same rights and priveleges to others. I also bristle at the argument that same sex marriage "destroys" marriage. How?? To me, it strengtens the sanctity of marriage because it allows more people to make that pledge to one another. Just because I drew the "lucky" sexual preference card, I have more rights than someone else? That doesn't make sense to me. Same sex marriage is not taking anything away from anyone; it's allowing for a subgroup of our population to enjoy the same privelege another subgroup enjoys -- to say to the world, "Hey, this is the person I love and want to spend the rest of my life with!" How can that be wrong? And if the sight of two men or two women showing that love is so "disgusting" to you, then don't freakin' look.

3. College Rivalries: Okay, a little background information here. I went to Knox College. I teach in Monmouth, home of Monmouth College. Knox and Monmouth are rivals. I guess that's a big deal. Personally, I've never really gotten all that into that whole thing. Don't get me wrong: I love Knox and value the time I spent there, but my love and devotion to my alma mater doesn't mean that I then turn around and "hate" other schools out of that love and devotion. I am part of a faculty that is full of Monmouth College graduates, and there are times when their anti-Knox rhetoric just, well, just gets me down. Last night we had our drama and speech banquet, and at the end, the seniors all stood and told what their future plans were. One of my students is going to Knox, and I commented how happy I was about that. (He's the first kid I've been able to successfully shepherd to Knox, and it's such a perfect fit! I hadn't lobbied him particularly hard and had been encouraging of him as he looked at other schools even though I knew Knox was the perfect school for him.) After a couple of other kids shared their plans, another student took the mic and said, "I'm going to Monmouth College because Knox sucks." WTF? Since I started teaching here, never have the words "Monmouth sucks" escaped my lips. It's just gauche! (And I should also point out that my student who is going to Knox did not apply to Monmouth, so it's not like I "stole" him.) I chalked that incident off to youth. Well, then today in the teachers' lounge, the Knox student's name came up and someone asked where he was going. Someone said, "Knox," and the other teacher's response was to roll her eyes and say, "Well, they can have him." (She has always kind of had a grudge against this kid, which is another long story) I mean, seriously? Is this rivalry that important? Sigh!

Okay, so I'm going to go try to spend some time outdoors and shake off all this ridiculousness. It's First Friday, which means free Packinghouse cinnamon rolls (for those who know Galesburg enough to know why that might be a lure to head downtown tonight).


Danielle Mari said...

I'm with you on all of it... except of course that Monmouth does suck.
Though I love that rivalry because my Grandpa went to Monmouth and my dad went to Knox, so it was always a really fun and silly running gag in our family. We mostly took it out on my Grandpa's door to the garage. My first year as I was going off to Knox, my Grandpa posted a big "MONMOUTH" bumper sticker for me to see as I walked in. Of course, Dad and I went to the Knox bookstore and found an even bigger KNOX sticker. By the end of my fourth year, the door was full of progressively larger and tackier stickers.

NICKI said...

Well obviously I must disagree with Danielle because she's in OSU country now, and I'm a Nittany Lion...

...but in reality I am wondering (again) if you are able to read my thoughts:
#1 A girl who sits a cubical away from me lives with a guy who (probably) has the swine flu. His sister, who he visited last weekend, is a confirmed case in NY. He wasn't feeling well, so he had blood taken on Monday. But he only "probably" has it because the CDC has not tested his blood - the state of MD doesn't want confirmed cases in the state. So how freakin' crazy is that? Sure, it's totally out of proportion - he is feeling fine today and returned to work after a few doses of antibiotics - but at least there should be some scruples in the government...

#2 I cannot wait until same sex marriage is a non-issue, so we can focus on other matters - like getting Ticketmaster not to charge $20 additional dollars per ticket. Unfortunately, if I had to choose a focus, it would have to be on civil rights, but this makes me angry because we should as a society be past all this exclusion nonsense.

#3 PSU loyalists annoy me. (I hate when people tell me "we" won a football game. As if "we" did something other than sit on our butts and drink beer). On the other hand, this did not stop me from shamelessly promoting my Penn State ties while I was searching for a job. I figure I paid $60K for that piece of paper, I better make it worthwhile! I am a total hypocrite.

Jen said...

And here I was thinking California had a monopoly on stupidity. The swine flu thing is CRAZY at my kids' school, and people I know who are otherwise intelligent people seem to be jumping to all the wrong conclusions based on fear. However, the purchase of hand sanitizer is going to be its own little economic stimulus package based on what I've seen around here.

The rest of what would be my "people are stupid" rant is too particular (and too long) to go into here. I'll just say that I'm constantly amazed at the ability of grown people to act like either two-year-olds or as if they are auditioning for reality television.