Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Good Advice About Taking Advice

Recently my cousin Diane referred to me as the weirdest person in our family.  This gave me pause since that side of the family is a rather peculiar bunch (it comes as no surprise to frequent readers that my DNA is a bit twisted).  When we were kids, we would often dismiss criticism by saying “consider the source” meaning the person was too stupid to be speaking the truth.  However in this case, a weird person was calling me weird.  So perhaps there was some truth to Diane’s observation.  In considering this concept, I came up with a couple examples.

I had read about Miley Cyrus’ bizarre performance at the Video Music Awards in August.  I didn’t really think it was a big deal until Lady Gaga spoke out and said it was distasteful and had gone too far.  Now when Lady Gaga says that you are acting too slutty, you probably need to dial back the slutiness a few degrees.  Of course after hearing this I had to watch a video clip of in question.

No longer the slutiest  chic around!
Yeah, it’s one of those things that you click on and then you wish you never did.  And it’s like a train wreck, once you start watching, you keep watching because it is so shocking.  I now know what twerking is and really wish I didn’t.  I will say I have taken a “no twerking” pledge as a way to foster a more civil society.  And I am sad that Hanna Montana has turned into Imaho Idaho.

Then there was the time at work when a former boss (let’s call him, ah I don’t know, errr, “Joe”) burst into a meeting late and declared, “Oh that Ted Wilson over at Blair Corp is an arrogant jerk!”  I looked across the table at my co-worker Walt and we both had the same stunned reaction.  First of all, we were amazed that Joe had any understanding of the concept of arrogance since he had to buy his enormous hats on-line at the “Big and Boastful” store. And second, we hoped we never, ever, met Ted Wilson because if Joe thinks this guy is an arrogant jerk, then Ted should be locked up or maybe just shot in the head.

So I think I’m on to something here and I’ve developed these rules to guide you in responding to certain criticism you may receive:

-          If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says you are too fat, it’s time to eat more salads.
-          If Hugh Hefner says your girlfriend is too young, it’s time to get a “later-model” (and you might want to get a lawyer)
-          If Jennifer Lopez says your butt is too big, then you might want to start exercising those glutes.  The same thing applies to Sir Mix-A-Lot and I cannot lie.
-          If Lindsay Lohan says you need to sober up, it’s time for some serious rehab.  But don’t go with her!
-          If Kim Kardashian says you are a media attention whore, it’s time to lower your profile.
-          If a fashion model says that you’re too thin, it’s time to eat a sandwich and a big one at that.
-          If former Chicago Mayor Rod Blagojevich says you swear too much, then you better clean up your m!*%!* f*$*!*# mouth!
-          If Anthony Weiner says your tweets are too explicit, it’s time to close your Twitter account – and yes, get a lawyer, and a good one at that.
-          If Donald Trump says you are too egotistical, it’s time to get some humility
-          If Taylor Swift says you’ve had too many boyfriends, then it’s time to be more selective.
-          If Tiger Woods says you are “dating” too many women at the same time, then it’s time to find a hot Olympic skier to canoodle with.
-          If Danica Patrick says you drive too fast, then it’s time to back off the accelerator. (If this happened to me of course, I would ask her to give me private driving lessons).
-          If O.J. Simpson says you should treat your ex-wife better, it’s time to lighten up.
-          If Pamela Anderson says that you are showing too much cleavage, it’s time to raise your neckline.
-          If Joan Rivers criticizes your plastic surgery, it’s time for a redo.
-          If Charlie Sheen says you have a bad temper, it’s time to go to anger management class. (but again, not with him!)
-          If your cheap brother-in-law says you are too frugal, it’s time to spend more money
-          If your friend “Chatty Kathy” says you talk too much, it’s time to work on your listening skills.
-          If a cow tells you you’re stinking up the bathroom, it’s time to improve your gastric flora. (That’s what the cow says) 

So am I going to dial down the weirdness?  Am I going to start acting more “conventional”?  Am I going to abandon my philosophy that “I’m normal, it’s everyone else who’s all messed up”?  Well, I always thought that would take care of itself when I finally matured.  The only problem is that I’m running out of time.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Raising Awareness About Raising Awareness

It seems almost daily you are hearing about or seeing someone doing something to “raise awareness” about some issue.  And today I am raising awareness about people raising awareness.

I do not need to be made aware of any more information, thanks to the Internet.  I am already aware of way too many things, some of which I have no business knowing about.  For instance, thanks to Yahoo News I am alerted anytime Brittney Spears butt changes size.  This important news appears instantly on my home page when I open my browser, and of course there are photos so you can study the metamorphosis in detail. This enormous information overload sometimes causes me to forget less important data. So I can be fully aware that Jessica Simpson is having a difficult time fitting into her jeans and forget more trivial matters like my wedding anniversary.

So even though most of the causes championed by these awareness raisers are legitimate and important, I do not want these people doing stupid stunts to try to gain my attention.  Even the act of “raising awareness” is questionable.  Somebody does some inane act to draw attention to themselves and then justifies it by saying “I’m doing this to raise awareness!” You can’t criticize them without looking like a heartless bastard who doesn’t care about the good cause they are promoting.  

In addition after a person has raised awareness, he doesn’t have to do anything else.  After you have been made aware, you are expected to give time, money or both to support the cause.  When the “heavy lifting” needs to be done, Mr. Awareness can sit back and say, “Hey, I did my part.  I raised the awareness.  Now it’s all up to you.”

If you don’t believe that “raising awareness” is often misguided, here are some examples:

-         Last month this guy decided to raise awareness for his cause by walking across the country!   Of course to walk across the country, you have to walk along some busy highways.  He only made it to Colorado (traveling east) before a tractor trailer turned him into road kill.  He did succeed in raising awareness however.  Now people are very aware you should not walk along busy highways.

-         Any event that involves men walking or running in high-heeled shoes.  Guys, I don’t care what the “cause” is.  This is so wrong! Everyone is laughing at you because you look like #!*! idiots.  They are not laughing with you, they are laughing at you.  Unless your woman is providing you with hot monkey love later that night, this is never worth it.  And the chances of your wife engaging in hot monkey love after watching you make a fool of yourself by prancing around in women’s shoes are almost nil.  So next time you are asked to participate in this demeaning practice, write a check in an amount large enough to make the crazy women organizers go away.  It is a small price to pay to maintain your manhood.

-         Recently Real Housewives of Miami star Adriana de Moura did a photo shoot and video to raise awareness for a captive orca at the Miami Seaquarium.  Adriana climbed into a bathtub to simulate the tight confinement of the orca.  This is fine except Adriana is frolicking around the tub nekkid!  I know that technically the orca is nekkid also, but now suddenly my awareness has been diverted to something else. 
Naked - but not that sexy.

Now when I watched the video (for blog research purposes only), I do admit that something got raised and that I was fully aware of it.  But instead of making me want to free the orca, it made me want to jump in the bathtub with Adriana.  This would of course make
de Moura - out of the tub
 but still wet
it more crowed and uncomfortable for her which is the exact opposite of what she is trying to communicate. Unfortunately my calls to Adriana about sharing a bathtub and engaging in hot orca love have not been returned, yet.
  I am hoping this blog post will raise the awareness of Adriana to my plight.

So readers, there you have it.  I have made you aware of bogus attempts to raise your awareness.  I think my work here is done!