California Seething: Farewell to February and the Rest of the Bullshit Secular Holidays
Some of you may remember that in my last post, I embarked on a celebration of all of February’s bullshit secular holidays and got as far as Valentine’s Day. So, it turns out that I pretty much used up all the good holidays, but here’s some stuff I pulled out of my ass for the rest of the month- enjoy!
Grammy Awards- Feb 13
A Grammy is one of the greatest honors that a person can receive for excellence from an irrelevant organization in a dying industry which is desperately clinging to an outmoded business model – - right up there with Blacksmith of the Year, the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism and Knighthood. This year the theme was “Come as Your Favorite Protein-Rich Food,” but unfortunately, only Lady Gaga got the email and came as an egg. Several artists later apologized, including Justin Beiber who said that, had he known, he would have come as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crusts cut off; and Katy Perry, who said she would have come as a mouthful of Russell Brand’s spunk.
President’s Day- Feb 21
On President’s Day we celebrate our two greatest American presidents: George Washington, who wore false teeth and a wig and is still considered the most honest man in American history, and Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves (yay!) and won the Civil War sticking us forever with a bunch of inbred, backwards, Red-State, yokels in the Union (boo!) This holiday gives us an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of these great men and all the other brave leaders who’ve guided us through our darkest hours and blah, blah, blah WHO CARES?
IT’S NBA ALL STAR MOTHERFUCKING WEEKEND!!!!!
All Star Weekend is one of the most exciting spectacles of the year. It’s the most fun you can have in sports without enslaving thousands of Chinese drummers. During All Star Weekend, we celebrate everything that old white people hate about professional basketball: selfish players, flamboyant showboating, thunderous dunks, circus shots, long 3s, crazy passes, Shaq dancing — all the stuff you really want to see without the distractions of sportsmanship, dedication, teamwork or any of that other Foundation for a Better Life Values commercial crap. It’s the equivalent of having hockey players spend three days just beating the living shit out of each other without having to dick around with the puck, or NASCAR drivers spending a weekend intentionally slamming into each other to see who can create the most impressive fireballs (Daytona 500), or baseball players continuously injecting each other in the ass with steroids and lying about it to Congress — you know, just the good stuff. Three days of first-rate Sports Porn with the Slam Dunk contest as the glorious cum-shot in the middle like the creamy center of an Oreo Cookie. Awesome.
Of course, this year was rookie phenom Blake Griffin’s coming out party (in the not gay way) (not that there’s anything wrong with that) (I mean, he’s cute in an aw-shucks-boyish-but-he-actually-likes-it-rough kind of way, but I think he’s got a girlfriend so…sorry boys.) With his spectacular play this season, Griffin has single handedly turned the LA Clippers around from a bunch of pathetic hapless losers to a bunch of pathetic hapless losers that show up on SportsCenter and don’t have to give away free tickets at Foot Locker with each every purchase of $35 or more, which actually kind of sucks for me, because now I need to choose between sneakers and Clipper tickets and I kind of need the sneakers more so I don’t look quite as homeless but Blake is just sooo dreamy. But, then again, they actually show Clipper games on TV now so I can watch him from the comfort of my bed while talking on the phone and cutting out pictures of Blake to decorate my Trapper Keeper.
On All Star Saturday night, Griffin cemented his status as Superstar Athlete and Corporate Whore by leaping over the Official Vehicle of the NBA (Kia Optima- who knew?) to win the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest so he could be featured online in the Haier Play of the Day and discussed endlessly during the T-Mobile Halftime Report. I haven’t been so proud since Charles Barkley used the American flag to cover the Reebok logo on his uniform in 1992 during the gold medal ceremony so as not to jeopardize his Nike endorsement deal. Now that’s some President’s Day patriotism, bitches!
February 23- World Thinking Day
You’ve probably never heard of this holiday as it’s only celebrated by Girl Scouts, who are encouraged to do all their thinking before they enter their teens and instead observe Mindless Obedience to Unattainable Body Image Standards Day every day for the rest of their lives, hating themselves for all the Thin Mints and Samoas they wolfed down while they were thinking.
February 24- Global Irony Day
On this day we celebrate the fact that democracy and social justice are easier to come by in Egypt and Libya than Wisconsin. Maybe the Democratic Senators should be hiding out there.
February 27- Oscar Night
Ahh, The Oscars. A glamorous night for stars and star-fuckers alike. On this night, the motion picture business pulls out all the small corn nuggets of goodness from the endless stream of brown banality that sprayed out of Hollywood’s back lots (Albuquerque) the previous year, dips them in bronze and puts them on the mantelpiece of history, so they can be dusted off each year and shown on TCM during 31 Days of Oscar and otherwise be largely forgotten since nobody actually saw them in the first place (remember The English Patient? I didn’t think so.)
On this great night Hollywood’s elite get dressed to the nines so they can screw up traffic and hang out outside a suck-ass shopping mall that doesn’t even have a Cheesecake Factory and be harangued by a shrieking old crow who rips them apart with her surgically enhanced beak and spits out balls of half chewed celebrity from her Botox puffed lips into the gaping maw of her talentless daughter, Melissa.
For a short while after 9/11 an effort was made to tone down the glamour as a sobering reminder of the brutal new world we were suddenly living in. Fortunately, though, we soon realized that we’d be living forever in a hopeless state of permanent warfare, so it was time once more to ratchet up the razzle-dazzle, sprinkle a little fairy dust on the blasted terrain and party down! Much like in the 1930’s when Hollywood kept the masses docile by spoon-feeding them sugar-coated sleeping pill fantasies of champagne swilling millionaires, dancing little girls with bouncing ringlets and happy shuffling servants, the Oscars remind us that despite all the apparent evidence of our senses and credit card bills, everything’s still coming up roses (except for the roses, which don’t bloom anymore now that all the bees are dead) and the only question we need to ask of the world is “Who are you wearing?” After all, the best part of the gulf between rich and poor is how fabulous they all look from a distance.
This year, in a brave show of solidarity with the beautiful and vapid, the Academy invited Anne Hathaway and James Franco to host the Awards. This avoids any risk that there will be anything mean-spirited, inappropriate or remotely entertaining about the program — just three solid hours of seamless banality and awkward chemistry punctuated by cloying drivel, false humility, crocodile tears, and a solemn montage of dead cinematographers nobody remembers.
So, yeah, of course I watched it this year — why would even you ask? I boisterously supported True Grit in all categories – in part because it was a well-crafted, beautiful, idiosyncratic and funny reinvention of an outdated classic with post-modern sensibilities but mostly because I only saw two movies this year and I liked it better than Inception. I always pride myself on being over-confident and under-informed.
As for the irrelevant categories, since they don’t make documentaries about the Holocaust anymore, I had no idea who was going to win Best Documentary Feature and I can guarantee that the winners of Best Documentary Short were celebrating all night until they found out they’d been fired from Whole Foods for taking the weekend off to go to LA. Maybe they can make a documentary about it.
There you have it for February. That’s pretty much it for secular, bullshit holidays for a while. But don’t despair March brings March Madness — the three best weeks of the year for basketball fans, compulsive gamblers and Dick Vitale. More about that in my next post, though. For now, have a very happy Unattainable Body Image Standards Day and a very merry Global Irony Day. Let’s hope that Wisconsin Liberation Day is right around the corner.
Presidents Day featured image credit: Scott Ableman