|Graphic artists are LYING to you, people.|
Two weeks ago, not too many people had heard about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his 20 year fight against the government over grazing rights for his cattle business. The ensuing fight (which is an a can of worms I'll just scoot around, thanks much) turned the 67-year-old cattle rancher into a conservative folk hero and won him 15 minutes of fame in the national spotlight... which he then used to publically "wonder" whether or not slavery was such a bad deal. Oh dear. Within minutes, the same pundits who had spent the whole week defending Bundy's actions were trying their best to distance themselves from the controversy.
Then came L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who achieved the impossible by making the gossip-mongers at TMZ come across as reasonable journalists. It was TMZ that first broadcast the audiotape of the 80-year-old Sterling telling his girlfriend that she should avoid getting photographed with black celebrities. Was Sterling set up by a super-sketchy vindictive gold digger? Probably. Was he goaded into admitting his backwards beliefs on audiotape? Yeah, I'm pretty sure. Does he deserve every ounce of public shame, ridicule, and scorn that followed? You betcha.
If you're expecting some kind of deep thoughts on the topic of racism from me, you're about to be sorely disappointed. Honestly, I just don't get it. We're supposed to be a society of reasonable intelligence. If that's the case, I don't understand how hating someone for the color of their skin fits into that scheme. There is absolutely ZERO logical argument in support of a racist. None whatsoever.
If you want to hate someone, be a jerkist. (Wait, that sounds bad.) But if you were to say, "I hate this person because they're a jerk," I'd at least hear you out. You can use reasoning. You can offer supportive evidence. You could have a legitimate argument. But the color of someone's skin should matter about as much as the color of their shirt. I realize that might sound like a flowers-and-sunshine way of looking at the world, but who cares. Prejudice against anything -- race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, whatever -- is just wrong, plain and simple.
Except, of course, when I'm the one doing it.
It's truth time, people. I've been prejudiced my whole life. There, I said it. It's out in the open and I can't take it back. The ugly truth is that I harbor a deep-seated irrational hatred that knows no limits, cannot possibly be justified, and is my secret shame.
I, Shane Brown, am a species-ist.
As much as my parents taught me to love all creatures great and small, as much as I try to be a nice guy and do the right thing, as much as I realize how truly wrong it is... I hate bees. I hate the little suckers from here to there and back again. I hate them with the fiery intensity of a thousand suns. If I could snap my fingers and watch every single bee in the world drop to their death, I'd do it. Thankfully for you all, my parents were too busy teaching me how to love all creatures great and small and somehow failed to teach me how to snap my fingers. But that's another secret shame for another column. I digress, back to hatred!
The world has spent countless manhours snowing us into believing that bees are good creatures. Everywhere you turn, cartoons and company logos depict bees as our smiling little buddies giving us a wave or thumbs up. But you know and I know the real truth about bees. They're nothing but a bunch of ill-tempered workaholic polygamist squatters who build vomit-stained shantytowns in places they aren't welcome. In other words, they're no better than Cliven Bundy's cattle, trespassing on protected lands without an invite. And at least cows don't STING you.
Of course, the fact that I'm deathly allergic to bees should be looked at as nothing more than a mere coincidence. Well, I think I'm deathly allergic to them. I'm honestly not sure. The last time I was stung, I was five years old and stepped on a bumblebee nest. I took one on the top of my head and another on my index finger, and within minutes my throat was closing and I was being rushed into the ER. I haven't been stung since, and there's a chance I may have outgrown the allergy. Or there's a chance I could get stung again and die. Frankly, I don't like my day to be quite THAT interesting.
One should have priorities in life, and one of my top ones is to NOT act like a ninny in public. Get me around a bee, though, and I'm running, prancing, flailing, and fleeing -- usually simultaneously, which is NOT exactly the best way to impress random passersby. Worse yet, one of my good friends has recently made the insane choice to leave his job and become a professional beekeeper. Well, he WAS one of my good friends. At best, he is now a seasonal friend. "Wanna hang out?" "Sure thing, buddy. Just as soon as first frost strikes."
Let me guess, some of you are already crafting your rebuttal e-mails to me in your head, aren't you? "But Shane, bees pollinate our vegetation. Without them, our survival could be lost. They're nature's little helpers!" Yada yada yada. Don't care. Recent articles have been written about the mysterious die-offs of honeybee colonies happening around the world. It's a serious concern for environmental scientists. When I read these articles, the exterior Shane wears a pained expression and a ruffled brow because he's concerned about the welfare of our planet. But Interior Shane? He's rubbing his hands together in glee and cackling like a mad scientist on a bender.
To all you "woe is us, the bees are dying" people, don't worry. I've got it all worked out. I'm no ecologist, but I know one thing. Next year is 2015, and that means all will be well. I know this because last weekend, I caught "Back to the Future 2" on cable, and 2015 is the year that Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to the future. As evidenced by that thought-provoking documentary, in one year's time, we're all going to have flying cars and hoverboards and fifteen additional films in the "Jaws" canon. And if we're only one year away from self-tying shoelaces, clearly we should have the skills to mass-produce flying yet NON-stinging nano-robots capable of pollenating every plant in the world without me shrieking in horror as they fly past my face.
The worst part is that the above explanation is completely ridiculous... yet still makes more sense than raci
sm. Love your fellow man, hate your fellow bee, that's what I say. Now, if you'll excuse me, spring is coming and I have a home exterior to coat in multiple layers of poison.