Archive for July 16th, 2012

So Not Okay

on July 16, 2012 in Misc 13 Comments »

I have two subjects today. The first is brief and sweet.

In case you didn’t catch it, Michael Offut gave The Compass Master a  very intelligent review on his blog, SLC Kismet (  You’re wonderful, Michael.  And as soon as I finish reading Slipstream (it is SO good), I’ll be returning the favor.

My second subject is a rant.

Yes I know, I’m prone to rants, and this one has nothing much to do with writing and only a little something to do with action hero stuff.  See, a long time back I wrote a post here (humorous, obviously) about how action heroes might look and dress.  Usually they’re glamorous.   At the very least they’re clean and put together when out in public, unless they’ve been fighting bad guys or have just escaped from a dungeon.  And in a convoluted kind of way this leads me to the question…

When did it become okay to look, act, sound and dress like skanky brain-dead trash in public?

See, I was raised with a sense of physical self-respect.  I learned to groom before going out in public.  This meant washing up, brushing my hair, and putting on whatever cheap but clean kid clothes were in my drawer.  It was a routine that took just a few minutes and about one ounce of self-discipline.  Adults had the same routine:  they wore reasonably clean pants and shirt or a dress and spent a few minutes grooming.  They respected themselves too much to allow themselves to look like crap, and they treated other people with respect.  At least that’s how I remember the struggling middle-class world I grew up in.

OMG how things have changed.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned about this, but I believe that if you go out in public, even if it’s just to walk the dog, you don’t let tits and ass or a hairy potbelly hang out there for all the world to see.

You do not walk the dog in  mid-morning hours or stroll through the grocery store while wearing pajama bottoms because you’re too pathetically lazy assed to pull on real clothes, and you don’t wear torn spandex slut tops and bluejeans below your ass while simultaneously trash talking at the top of your voice.

You do not show up at a high school graduation ceremony dressed like you give blowjobs for $5 in alleyways, and you don’t let your kids dress like that either.  If your teens are pallbearers in a funeral, you tell them it’s not okay to wear bluejeans and a T-shirt.  If they can spend hours and big bucks dressing up for the prom, they can put on a suit for a funeral.

You do not cuss like trailer trash on speed in front of your children.  You do not treat your kids or strangers or anyone like garbage just because of the  mood you’re in.  You do not forget to teach your kids basic manners and how to be civil to others, because they want to know how to get along in this world even if you don’t.

As for tattoos:  Nobody much cares about a couple tattoos.  But when you cover your body with tattoos and then flaunt your huge flesh scribbles in public, remember what Tina Fey  said:  your body “looks like a dirt bag’s binder from 7th grade metal shop.”

Yes I know, you can do what you want with your body, and you can act rude and crude wherever you go because you’re special and deserve to do whatever you please.  You can foreswear all personal grooming for religious reasons.  You can be a hopeless slob with a heart of gold.  You can be a psychopath and look like the cover of GQ.  You can argue all you want.

But here’s the thing — I’m not talking about people who are too poor to buy a few nice items of clothing from Goodwill ($2.99 average for tops and shirts, and I should know).  I’m not talking about homeless people or blue-collar folks after an exhausting day on a dirty job, because such people are in my experience usually civil and decent and kind.

What I’m saying is what my friends and family and co-workers are saying:  where did all the dirt-ignorant rude trash people come from, why do their numbers seem to be growing, and why do they keep shoving themselves into our faces even as we go out of our ways to avoid them?