Those of us here at Disquieting Modern Trends, Inc. heartily applaud former CBS News senior correspondent-turned-conservative-nut job Bernard Goldberg’s decision to write a book titled The 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken Is #37). We believe in making long and highly subjective lists of things that we do not like and then submitting them for public approval. Plainly this will help to bring the country together, healing the rift between red and blue states and making us all realize that, whatever our differences, peanut butter is a truly outstanding example of what America is all about. And if you are one of those pathetic losers who are allergic to peanuts, then we feel sorry for you, as you have never had the sublime pleasure of consuming mass quantities of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on a very hot day with Rachel Hunter.1
Unlike Bernie, however, we believe that individuals can do only so much damage. Rather, we prefer to slander and generally deride whole groups of people. Because, let’s face it, when people get together, they can really fuck things up.
So, here they are—several categories of people who are bringing the nation to ruin.
People Who Take Classes in Improv Comedy
Here is how we see it: there are some funny people, and about five of them can be funny on the spur of the moment. Those funny people are all on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, and the rest of the funny people must forthwith be ordered to stop making sit-coms and, instead, to write for “The Daily Show.” Everyone else: give up your comedy aspirations and spend your spare time doing community service in nursing homes.
Look, we have read all about how “blogging” is changing the way Americans think and further democratizing the nation. But from what we can tell, most blogs do not resemble journalism or incisive commentary as much as they remind us of our Aunt Sadie who loved to complain about the stuffing every Thanksgiving. “Where’s the celery? What? Your mother has something against celery?” Bloggers, if no one wants to put your views in ink on paper, there is a reason. 2 Your punishment for “blogging” so much: staring at George Will’s bowtie while whistling the Nightline theme.
People Who Still Wear Birkenstocks When They Could Be Wearing Tevas
Summer is here, and it is sandal season, folks. There was a time, we suppose, when the legendarily “groovy” Birkenstock was actually the best sandal out there, molding itself to your foot and guaranteeing that Ralph Nader himself would come to your house to discuss the decline of the labor movement. But now that Tevas—part sandal, part sneaker, all comfort—have been around for at least a decade, the Birkenstock people must face facts. Both sandals make you look like a fool, but only one is truly practical. Nader, of course, only wears Florsheim.
People Who Shop at Costco
We have only recently experienced Costco, and if you haven’t had the pleasure, let us recommend that you never do so. Shopping at Costco is like an LSD trip for people who dream of lettuce. Grocery stores on horrible, mammal-mutating steroids, Costco warehouses suggest that the rest of the world is right about America. Under one roof you can buy a bag of seven-dozen peppers, a 42-inch television and a pack of irregular Fruit of-the Loom boxer-briefs. These “groceries” must be loaded out of the store in cardboard boxes hauled on the kind of dollies used for moving furniture, then loaded in the back of the armored personnel carriers that most Americans now drive rather than cars. It is an utter mystery to us why so many of us choose to live this way, and we do not believe their claims that it is all about saving money. What are people doing with packs containing 50 rolls of toilet paper? Perhaps we do not want to know.
People of the Bottled Water Industry
It was bad enough that coffee went from costing 99¢ in diners to costing $3.99 at Starbucks. But water used to be free! The evil geniuses who found a way to get Americans to spend more than a buck a pop for water could probably convince us of anything. Forget the alleged terrorists—put the Dasani people in the Guantánamo Bay prisons. Bleed them of their devious methods and use them in Iraq.
People Not in the Military Using the Abbreviation “Gitmo”
Speaking of Guantánamo Bay, since when did non-military folk use the abbreviation “Gitmo”? We have done some research on this: the abbreviation is properly spelled “GTMO,” so the whole “Gitmo” thing is both presumptuous and wrong. All civilians who use such insider Navy lingo are, essentially by definition, full of it and should be subject to ceaseless, warrantless, non-citizenlike, Patriot Act-orific interrogation at 0500.
Whoever Thought of Cross-Breeding the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle
We love dogs here at Disquieting Modern Trends, and we particularly love a mixed breed. But no dog should have to live with the indignity of being referred to as a “cockapoo.” On this we stand firm.
Californians—The Whole Lot of Them
First, there are too many of you. Do you realize how terrible that makes Rhode Island and Montana feel? Second, you are too confusing and diverse. You develop a reputation for being liberal, then you elect Schwarzenegger as governor. Plus: all those TV shows about libidinous housewife paranormal crime-scene investigators. Please stop.
The Producers of NBC’s Today Show
We don’t know about you, but there was a time when we liked to get ready for work while watching the first half hour of NBC’s morning “news” show. We seem to faintly recall Katie Couric3 and some other guy—somebody Gumbel?—interviewing world leaders, politicians and even some intelligent people about actual events that mattered to us. Today the “real news” segment of the show lasts 47 seconds before coverage of the Scott Peterson–Michael Jackson–Tom Cruise mud-wrestling match begins. We’d listen to National Public Radio instead but (a) they fired Bob Edwards, and (b) we no longer wear Birkenstocks.
Whoever Is Stealing Our Scissors
Man, are the scissors ever in the drawer where they are supposed to be? Who has the freaking scissors?! We’re serious this time: put them back!
The Current Inhabitants of the White House
Um, maybe it’s just us, but doesn’t this war seem more and more unwinnable every day? It is like an improv comedy bit that just won’t end and isn’t, you know, funny.4 At a minimum, we would like the current inhabitants of the White House to admit that Bernard Goldberg’s 37th-most execrable American, Al Franken, is better at his job (driving Bill O’Reilly crazy) than the president is at his. Then we can let Bernie Goldberg take over the war effort. Let’s see who’s screwing up America then.
NEXT: Mid-summer Edition—Why doesn’t anyone drink Kool-Aid any more?