Monday, February 24, 2014

It Sounds As If ...

Yes ... as a matter of fact there will be more images in this post
which will probably piss someone off ...

"Chivalry seems to be making the rounds, with men explaining that women like old-fashioned men who treat women like 'the weaker sex.'"



Hokay ... I want to know something:

Who are these men? Where do they come from? Are they found in the states? Or from somewhere else? On television? Fiction novels? Where? Where are they? Because I haven't ever heard of one single man - be it a friend, acquaintance or someone on the local six o'clock news - who would take the time to explain chivalry let alone in a manner which condescends to women being treated as the weaker sex.

Right off the bat, this is why I called bullshit on many of the aspects of this article: 8 Acts of Politeness That are Better than Chivalry. A better title to the piece (which advocates a whole lot of ordinary good judgment for those who don't necessarily practice it) might be "A Few Acts Of Common Sense For The Clueless."

But the "chivalry" noted in the title of the article? It's pointless. I'll even go further in stating the author ("petticoat despot") didn't know what chivalry meant when she originally wrote what she wrote.

Without looking like a complete and total condescending asshat (and to some it won't make a whit of difference, I will probably come across as that very thing) let's take a gander at a few meanings of the word "chivalry" for shits and giggles. A couple authoritative definitions might shed a little light on the subject.

The World English Dictionary, items 1 and 2, states chivalry is: 

  • the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, justice and a readiness to help the weak 
  • courteous behavior, especially towards women

    Notice neither definition denotes "weak women" nor do they imply women are the weaker sex. (Note: If courteous behavior is a crime? Then throw me in jail because I'm guilty. And if courteous behavior, especially toward women, is the same? Guilty again. Go ahead and double my incarceration.)

    Here are a few more. Per chivalry is:

    • the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor and dexterity in arms
    • the rules and customs of medieval knighthood
    • gallant warriors or gentlemen

    Again, nothing about a weaker sex.

    In the author's statement highlighted at the very top of this post, there's that "glaring" implication about "the weaker sex." Yeah, glaring to the "nth" degree. 

    So I ask: Who is making this a gender thing?

    The author. And no one else.

    When I am out in public, do I hold doors open / offer my seat / etc. to women? Damned straight I do. Just the same as I do for men, children, the elderly, ad nauseum. Why? Out of simple, pure politeness and common decency ... and especially so when there appears to be a need. Not because I'm trying to prove a point, not because I'm trying to throw implication around for my own benefit, not to stick it to feminists. And do I do those things with chivalrous intent? At times, damned straight I do ... but without giving anyone a lecture on what chivalry is and without outward ulterior motive. Again, I do it out of generosity, when there is need and because I'm a nice guy. To do so in any other manner would be disingenuous or underhanded.

    The author said it perfectly: 

    "You never know the circumstances of the people around you. You imagine them. Your imagination will probably be wrong a lot."  

    Correct. But where the author fails to catch a clue is that that very thing works both ways - she indicates men have an ulterior motive in appearing chivalrous. One more time:

    "Your imagination will probably be wrong a lot."

    Bingo. It's the assumption there is something more than simple politeness at work.

    So riddle me this: How is it the author can get away with foisting assumption on a given situation if no one else is allowed to do so? The author simply doesn't get it. It's a clear case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

    Regardless of the author's cluelessness on this point, there are excellent points in the the article as reflected by some of the piece's commenters:

    "All of these tips sum up to one overall tip: be sympathetic towards the people around you and act accordingly."

    "Gotta admit I like some things that are considered "chivalrous" but really boil down to just considerate, good manners."

    It sounds as if the only person having a problem with chivalry is the author ... who's making something of nothing. 

    .......... Ruprecht ( STOP putting words in people's mouths )

    Makes Perfect Sense


    .......... Ruprecht ( STOP )
    (Note: I need a new rubber chicken)

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

    Taco Hell, Indeed

    A long time ago ...

    It was late in the afternoon on a sunny Southern California day. We had been running around all over the place on various errands. No breakfast had been eaten that morning and, all of a sudden, we realized we were famished. We needed to stop right then and there to get something to eat and the only thing visible was a Taco Bell. Not our favorite fast food place, but it was quick and easy and we weren't going to be particular about it at that very moment.

    We got something. I remember having ordered some sort of super taco or some such. When our food arrived, we were like hyenas at a fresh kill - we tore at the wrappers to get at the food tucked within them and we scarfed that first bite as if we hadn't eaten in days.

    Two bites in, I detected some sort of funk, something I felt just wasn't right with my food. I didn't immediately recognize what it was but something wasn't jake. I looked at my taco while working around a mouthful of food:

    There, staring at me from the end of my last bite, was meat and cheese, just waiting for me to take another gobble. But it was the cheese that drew my attention: On a majority of the strands there was a fine, fine "fur" of the most delicate mold you could possibly imagine. It surrounded each strand almost completely and the mold itself had started to ever-so-slightly discolor. It was causing the bright orange of the cheddar to take on a dull hue. You could see the cheese beginning to go grey overall. It wasn't anywhere near there yet, but you could see it coming.

    I immediately spit out my food, wiped all around my mouth with loads of napkins and downed copious amounts of beverage to wash out the unpleasantness.

    I vowed right then and there never to eat at a Taco Bell ever again. Unbeknownst to me (and in retrospect) this was the start of my continuing harp (which I carry on about to this very day) about using the words "always" and "never" ... because that vow was a hollow one, an untrue one I would violate years later, despite the fact I had uttered it. Despite the fact I would tell the story time and again over the months which immediately followed "The Hairy Cheese Incident" (as I've "lovingly" referred to it over the years).

    Fast forward three and half years or so: I was in Utah. The kids wanted to stop at a Taco Bell we were driving past. I involuntarily shuddered, but quickly reasoned that: 1) I hadn't been in one of the establishments for years; 2) that previous incident was an aberration which couldn't happen again, and 3) I simply needed to put on my big boy pants and suck it up no matter what my thoughts about the place were.

    Now ... understand what I've stated above: It was the better part of 4 years since I last stepped foot in a Taco Bell and it was some 700 miles distant from the one I was about to step in this time. What could possibly go wrong?

    Let it be known it wasn't a taco I had ordered this time around. It was something else entirely. Yes ... there was cheese in it, but it wasn't a taco, the very thing that could have sent me back to that terrible time all those years ago to relive the fear of that episode once again.

    But it didn't make a difference ...

    Food ordered and served, I unwrapped whatever my choice was. There, looking at me like a long, lost friend, was that familiar shredded cheese ... complete with a familiar fine fur of encroaching mold beginning to encase it. I felt my stomach lurch; I involuntarily swallowed, wrapped the concoction back up and pushed it away from me.

    Seriously: What were the chances "The Hairy Cheese Incident" could possibly rear its ugly head once more?

    But it did. And right then, I put my foot down and promised myself I would NEVER go into a Taco Bell again.

    My name is Michael and I'm here to tell you I have kept that promise to myself. For the better better part of a decade I have not gone near a Taco Bell ...

    .......... Ruprecht ( STOPped eating at Taco Bell long ago


    .......... Ruprecht ( STOP saying it again )
    STOP duplication (Translated by Bing)

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Meanwhile On A Random Saturday Night ...



    "Do you always leave the refrigerator open?"

    "Yes, I do ... especially when I find someone has left the spigot open on the blender I'm using as I attempt to make a milkshake and the milk I've poured into it is now gushing out the spigot with the force of a government sanctioned dam and, being unfamiliar with said blender and its workings, I'm desperately trying to figure out how to stop the seemingly endless flow of moo juice not only coming out the container but washing atop the counter and onto the floor causing even more of a disaster than I'm currently dealing with. I mean ... I didn't intend to leave it opened. My plan was to execute a rapid pour of milk into the blender then toss the container back to the fridge. But, again, someone may have thought it a better idea for me to put on a circus act of comedy as opposed to closing the fridge door. As a rule? No, I don't 'always leave the refrigerator door open' but escaping cold air doesn't seem to be my priority at the moment ..."

    .......... Ruprecht ( STOP leaving the spigot opened* )
    *Better yet ... how 'bout checking it to see if it's open in the first place, Michael?

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Bob 2, 1952 - 2014

    An integral part of the band Devo is lost.

    Robert Casale - commonly known as "Bob 2" - passed away. Bob's passing was a result of medical complications which unexpectedly led to heart failure Monday.

    Devo has been a favorite band of mine since high school. I erroneously mistook the band for The Cars once, comically asking on hearing My Best Friend's Girlfriend "Is this that 'Devo' band?" Little did I know at the time I would come to love the band, understand and relate to who and what they are and embrace their music. 

    Rest in peace, Bob 2.
    "For you ... it's not for me!"

    Below is a seldom seen collaboration with Devo and Neil Young featuring lots of Bob 2.

    .......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Approaching Dotage ...


    Some say that as you age you become wiser.

    Others claim it's hell getting old.

    Still others? 

    "I look forward to it."

    "I'd rather die than get old."

    "I've got a year or two on dirt."

    "I still have a lot of living left to do."

    "Just shoot me. Put me out of my misery before I become ancient beyond my years."

    There's no denying: Everything gets old. Or at least older. It's one of the constants in Life.

    Me? To the best of my memory, I've never wanted to be any older than I was at any given age. I've been content to let the advancing years come as they may. 

    Did I want to be 16 and get my driver's license? No. I knew I'd get there. 21? No. That didn't hold any special meaning for me either. I was certain I'd make it. As a kid, I remember thinking about the year 2,000 - it was a distant point in time I wasn't certain would ever become a reality.

    But, of course, it came. And I was there, of course.

    I think the only time I've ever looked forward to being a particular age was (and still is) this: When I'm old enough to sit on my front porch, pick up my cane, swing it threateningly over my head and tell those damned kids to get off my lawn. Still, though ... that's some 40 years hence ...

    Why all this talk about age? Because of a small little incident that took place last evening.

    While getting ice cream (coffee ice cream if you need to know) I broke an ice cream scooper. It wasn't the best ice cream scooper in the world by any stretch of the imagination. In fact it was rather the flimsy piece of equipment, truth be told, and it had seen quite a few years. Its paint was faded and peeling, its interior was pocked with tell tale signs of use and, as evidenced by its mid-scoop failure, it was its time.

    Interestingly, as I examined it to see if it could be fixed, I noticed it was nothing more than molded plastic with a chrome steel outer coating. The break point where it snapped from the handle was irreparable - it was too shallow to be reworked effectively. I could have gone through the motions and glued it with heavy-duty adhesive but, no matter the strength of the bond, it would eventually fail once more. The fact of the matter was the scoop's day had come and gone.

    It was a little sad. And I was sorry it happened. The tool hadn't aged well, but it put in its time and did the best it could.

    Its crooks and kinks revealed themselves and finally gave way to Time.

    Everything - everything - gets old ...

    .......... Ruprecht ( you can't STOP time )

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

    It's All About The Support

    "This commercial is ridiculous ..."


    "It's just dumb. No one cares about where you get a diamond from. It's just dumb."

    "I beg to differ. Guys remember this stuff. They appreciate any help they can get about things that sometimes cause them to get fuzzy around the edges. A perfect example is diamond selection. Sometimes we need commercials - just like this one - to help guide us along a proper path."

    "No ... no you don't ..."

    "So ... you're saying there isn't a contingent of men out there who couldn't benefit from the wisdom of this Jared's commercial? Let me tell you something: It's not simply the educational pluses within the ad itself schooling us, aiding us in our choices. There's the essential support inspiring confidence in us too, you know ..."

    "What? What are you talking about ... ?!?"

    "Those guys? Talking to John Q. Schlub about diamondality, learning him right about the do's and don'ts of a purchase, answering questions about precious stone language and lore he might not even consider? Leading him through the ins and outs? Then "worrying" over whatever rock he chooses to go with? And, finally, confirming his purchase and sending him on his way, confident he made the right choice? Chicks don't know about that stuff. They gloss over all that importantness. They see that in a commercial and think it's nothing but a bunch of hoo-ha when, in actuality, it happens each and every day ... and to their benefit. Scenarios just like the one in that commercial happen hundreds of times a day across the country ... maybe more! It's the stuff women don't think about. More so, they put it out of their minds because they're concerned only with the rock itself, not with all the back story or history which is the cornerstone of ring buying. It's what bolsters the male ego, makes us consider the implications and, later, the consequences of our actions. Knowing there are professionals who have our backs over our purchases like those dudes in the commercial? Worth its weight in gold, let me tell you ..."

    "You know there's something wrong with you, don't you?"

    "I'm tellin' you: Out of sight, out of mind, Sister. Out of sight ... out of mind ..."
    .......... Ruprecht ( guys won't STOP )

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    The Clipper!

    Edition 24, Issue 22, Zone 2 & 3, "Grumpy Ads" section ...

    "The CHP needs to enforce the speed limit on Pleasant Valley Road. If you people can't get to work on time by driving 45 then maybe you should get a different minimum wage job that is closer to your home."
    - Anonymous Author

    .......... Ruprecht ( STOP driving so fast )

    Monday, February 3, 2014

    Meanwhile ...

    ... at yet another gang initiation ... this one for the Bullet Bra Believers League ...

    .......... Ruprecht ( STOP )