“Not caring about things since 1973, so that you don’t have to.”
7. Shave it, don’t shave it. Wax it, don’t wax it. Even more interminable than every third guy in every bar wearing Buddy Holly glasses, short hair, and an unkempt beard, is whining about how every third guy in every bar is wearing Buddy Holly glasses, short hair, and an unkempt beard. The final, damning acknowledgment that a trend has become so ubiquitous and passé that it’s beyond comment, is when the weariness of having any opinion at all makes complete surrender enticing.
(see: Ed Hardy, selfies, being against contraception, Teslas, politicians wearing flag pins, gluten, bacon, etc.)
6. The massive imminent thread of Artificial Intelligence taking over the world. Seriously, (Rand Paul) wrack your brain (Bobby Jindahl) for a single reason (Chris Christie) that the coming of the Singularity (Marco Rubio) would not be a good thing in the long run (Scott Walker) even after our new (Jeb Bush) God-like supercomputer (Donald Trump) strips us of all our possessions and forces us (Carly Fiorina) to toil in the fields like serfs (Ben Carson) and mine precious metals (Rick Perry) for its exponential processing needs, leaving all of humanity to eat (Ted Cruz) raw turnips in our drafty yurts every night while we (Rick Santorum) rub each other’s (Mike Huckabee) stinking feet.
5. Dolts who think it’s okay to sample Nina Simone’s voice. Nina Simone’s voice is not available for you to fuck with, beats-boy! She is not your ladder to success. She does not want you on her back or hanging onto her dress. She curses your lame remix from Heaven, and thereby condemns you to eternal DJ Purgatory–a lightless, airless box which contains nothing but six-packs of vanilla pudding and endless loops of “Slip Slidin’ Away.”
4. Actually, Grandma Navy and I both really care about this. It’s Pluto, man! After a decade and three billion miles of hurtling through space, a robot snapped this humbling and awe-inspiring picture, which might as well be an affirmation of all of life, the history of humanity, the culmination of achievement, and proof they we are not completely fucked as a species. Although maybe also confirmation that we do live in an airless, freezing, uncaring vacuum and are truly alone. But, still. Totally amazing!
3. Sports. Ah, the long, bright days of mid-July when the major leagues have all gone blessedly dormant, when the hysteria has lowered to a mere rumble, when the shrill adherence to state and team and player is a haddock’s dockside gasp. A man can now walk around any major city and revel in the fact that stadiums are quiet, dives empty, traffic light, and garish team jerseys worn mainly by Eastern European tourists. One cool summer night begets another as a light breeze carries no whistles, chants, radio chatter, replays, standings, or existential despair at the condition your conditional draft pick is in. Wow, the silence. Glorious.
2. Lindsay Graham suddenly being all reasonable in the face of eight years of belligerent obstructionism and moronic pronouncements, because he thinks if he publicly slags Trump and pretends to care about immigration, it’ll make him seem more presidential and maybe buy a dozen extra votes. Sen-a-tah Gra-ham is nothing but a nose, a bad haircut, and a mason jar full of Howard Hughes’ piss. Not to mention pure Carolina cynicism. (And what’s with those glasses of white wine? Also, GODDAMN, Vince Navy thinks he may just be in love with that interviewer.)
1. The way Grandma Navy has practically been bullied into immediately accepting and being completely comfortable with, without condition, even for a short grace period of adjustment, the fact that her former decathlon hero now has cleavage. Hey, is Grandma Navy a transphobe because she still can’t get the pronouns straight? I mean, neither of us care what anyone does on their own time. Bruce wants to be a woman? Great. God bless her and we sincerely hope she’s happy. Or happier. But why do we have to act like she’s now some kind of spiritual icon? This is a woman who won a gold medal, and then did absolutely nothing of substance for decades. She made a few crappy movies, appeared on CHiPS, and then basically became a Hollywood hanger-on and infomercial shill, flogging one forgotten product after another. Her big break was to coattail onto a reviled reality show, appearing as the Republican leaning anti-father and a more or less ignored and vapid presence. This is a woman who allowed both herself and her children to be devoured by cameras for cash, wholly complicit in exposing them to a poisonous level of artifice. Now she has very publicly transitioned, an act that even to Grandma Navy looks at least partially wedded to the accompanying reality show and influx of money that comes with it. Is this really some great leap forward for the transgender community? Or is it, like everything else Jenner has done, totally self-serving? Caitlyn recently said she’d never met a trans person until the week before her surgery. How is that even possible in L.A.? What, she didn’t make a single friend or acquaintance ever, anywhere? What does that level of insulation and lack of curiosity portend? Hey, if the transgender community accepts Caitlyn as their new spokesman, it’s not for Vince Navy to speak to. But I have to think that the men and women who have actually been in the trenches for years and decades, from Miami to the West Village to West Hollywood, can’t be very happy about this totally substance-less person, armed with eight full weeks of trans experience, being tabbed as the one to define their struggle.
Despite all the legitimate gains for the trans community that Jenner’s unveiling has made and will make, isn’t it also harmful to the larger process of acceptance and equality that the press has more or less granted her untouchable status, acting as if she’s beyond reproach, instead of a bundle of flaws and delusions just like anyone else, about whom jokes can be made and confusion expressed? Am I a cynical asshole for wondering what’s going to happen five years from now, when the excitement wears off, when the blanket acceptance frays, when the psychological bill of spending a decade in front of 24-hour cameras comes due?
Speaking of which, it turns out that Caitlyn’s people basically blackmailed ESPN into giving her the Arthur Ashe award after they told Diane Sawyer’s people that Caitlyn wasn’t doing the Big Interview if she wasn’t getting any Ashe, and so Diane Sawyer’s people put pressure on the people at ESPN, who, as it turns out, were more than happy to assure Caitlyn’s people that Caitlyn was definitely a hero, plus also getting the award, since they foresaw massive ratings.
And they were right.
Meanwhile, I Am Cait debuts July 26.
Listen, you know who’s actually heroic? The guy who lives down the street from Grandma Navy who still goes by the name Big Dom most of the time, but at night sometimes becomes Nikki and gets dolled up and heads over to Peter Pan’s for a few drinks and maybe the chance to make a new friend. What Big Dom doesn’t have, is millions of reality dollars on hand to pay for the most expensive and advanced surgeries, or media reps to negotiate deals, or free Versace dresses, or Annie Liebowitz magazine covers, or the best possible therapists and medications and orchestrated PR assuring him the most cossetted transition possible. Which is probably why she is still he half the time. But you know what Big Dom does have? My respect. Because he’s a good guy who can be counted on to step up if something happens in the neighborhood, or if you just need a hand moving some boxes or working on your car. So if Dom wants to wear a dress at night, you bet I’ll swing by and help Nikki pick one out.
And so when I think about how Big Dom got stomped a few months ago by a bunch of drunks on the way home from Peter Pan’s, and when I asked what happened just shrugged like, “It’s all part of the life, baby,” I’m pretty sure I know who really deserves a hero award.
Bottom line, I didn’t much care for Bruce Jenner before, so I hereby extend the transgender community the respect they deserve by not pretending to give a shit about Caitlyn Jenner now.