1.) I forgot that Helena's boyfriend, Jonathan, actually plays the keyboard and guitar, so if he teaches Helena to play the keyboard and hops on guitar, we're two giant steps closer to releasing our first EP, "This Is a Big Fucking Deal".
2.) I referred to Jonathan in passing as Helena's "Tandoori Boyfriend" the other day, and while I'm not saying it wasn't slightly racist, I'm also not saying it wasn't slightly hilarious. Ergo, our new band name is Joe Biden & The BFD's, featuring Tandoori Boyfriend. Plus, if No Doubt has taught us anything, it's that it's always a good idea to get an attractive Indian guy in the mix. That and I wouldn't hate if Claire's started selling bindis again.
3.) This has nothing to do with the band, but Andrew and I got into a conversation the other day about what Camryn Manheim's been up to and thanks to my TV being muted on WE all day, I now have the answer: she's on Ghost Whisperer. K. I feel better.
4.) I also totally forgot that Laura plays the violin, which means we could get some ironic fiddle action going and ain't nothin' wrong with that. I mean, it worked for The Decemberists and Arcade Fire. That and I know for a fact she can play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", which is a point of pride that I know all the words to. Ergo, we are now three steps closer to our first EP.
5.) I found an iphone app that teaches you to play the bass guitar. Best idea ever or BEST IDEA EVER? I'm going to my parent's house to borrow my car tomorrow and you bet your Biden I'm going to grab my bass as well. Although I highly doubt it's in tune anymore. And I don't know how to tune it. I guess I could put an ad on Craigslist for someone to come over and tune it for me? Although it might be kind of hard to play the it when I'm a lampshade... Choices. I'm going to stop typing my inner monologue now.
6.) Uh, just kidding, because in addition to Jennifer Love Hewitt, did you know that Jeremy London, a very bloated Jamie Kennedy, and Rachael Leigh Cook are on Ghost Whisperer? I feel like I just found a mass grave filled with 1998.
7.) Also, Rachel Leigh Cooke doesn't look that horrible with blond hair, which I find shocking and unfair because we have similar coloring, yet when I had blond hair I looked like a raging meth addict with a failed home daycare center.
If you know me at all, you know that there are four things on my bucket list:
1.) Stand in a cranberry bog
2.) Own a confederate flag bikini
3.) Have sex in a hot tub (I'm aware of the health risks, thank you, but I'd still like to go for it.)
4.) Direct and star in a training montage set to Al Corley's "Square Rooms"
I was doing some research on #2 the other night, as you do, when I came across the most perplexing bumper sticker I have ever seen in my entire life:
I just don't get it. I JUST. DON'T. GET IT. And I don't mean that in a, "Ohhh, how could anyone put something so offensive on their car??" kind of way, I mean that I literally don't understand what message that bumper sticker is trying to convey. And it's all that I think about now. It has consumed my life. It's the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the only thing I think about when I go to bed. I think about it in the shower, I think about it when I'm getting ready, I think about it when I'm riding the metro, I think about it when I'm hanging out with friends, I think about it when I'm watching TV, I think about it when I'm writing—it's completely taken over my life. Because I need to know: If you'd known what?
If I had known this. "THIS". WHAT IS THIS?! If we take away the writing, we're left with a small Battle Flag of the Confederacy in the corner of a large white plane, which is The Second Confederate Navy Ensign, or "The Stainless Banner":
So had this person know something about The Second Confederate Navy Ensign, they would have picked their own cotton? Let's just ignore that that's specifically the Stainless Banner and accept that it represents the cause of the Confederacy, right? Well, I still don't fucking get it. Because the question remains: if I had known WHAT?? Known that the South would secede from the Union? Know that they'd fail? Know that there'd be a civil war? I've been polling pretty much every single person I've come in contact with in the past week and a half, and while we've come up with some theories, I'm not really in love with any of them.
1.) My original theory was that it's an anti-Confederate bumper sticker. I thought it meant like, had I known there would be a giant civil war that would give birth to generations of bitter, racist redneck assholes, I would have picked my own cotton. Because if I had I picked my own cotton, there would have never been slavery, and if there had never been slavery, there would have never been a war, and if there had never been a war, the Confederacy would have never existed, and had the Confederacy never existed, we wouldn't have bitter, racist redneck assholes today. There are two problems with this theory, however. First, there's just something about the phrase "picked my own cotton" that doesn't feel terribly sympathetic. I feel like it's a pretty good rule of thumb in general that:
Also, the bumper sticker is sold on a scary, southern, I-listen-to-a-lot-of-3-Doors-Down-and-might-bring-a-gun-to-my-school-and-just-let-it-all-wash-over-me website. They sell a lot of intense-looking gun accessories, scopes, silencers, knives, bullets, and absurdly racist novelties. My personal favorite is the pack of five "FEMA Gold'n Tickets".
The front says: "Bearer of this ticket is entitled to one free house, a hot tub, a 60" plasma TV, your choice of a Volvo or BMW(may be preowned), a lifetime supply of food, all hair care products, lots O' Bling Bling, 2 voter registration cards, and grants holder permission to bitch about not git'n what they should be git'n from the govenrment. Offer Void to Republicans, Taxpayers or Any Other Productive Members of Society."
And the back: "This Ticket Will Allow The Bearer To Move To The Front Of The Welfare Line And To Get A Free Bottle Of Mad Dog 20/20 Anywhere That is Accepted!"
...OOOF. It's not not flagrantly racist. Not quite as good, but still pretty enjoyable is the Headlines From the Year 2029 poster, featuring: "Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they can now photograph a woman with her mouth shut." HA HA, sexism.
My point being, this doesn't really seem like a website that would sell anti-Confederate anything.
2.) My parents' theory is that it's re: "uppity black people", if you will. (And I won't, but I will temporarily for the sake of sussing this out.) Like, if I had known that the slaves would be freed and become so uppity, I would have picked my own cotton. Or conversely, you could look at it in a "FEMA Gold'n Ticket" kind of way and interpret it as, if I had known that one day the slaves would be free and all our tax money would go to supporting them, I would have picked my own cotton. I mean, it works, but I'm not like, "OHHHHH, duh," you know? It doesn't click. I need it to click. (And again, I stress that my parents and I don't agree with any of this, we're just trying to get my life back.)
3.) Piggybacking off the UBP theory, what if it's an Obama thing? If you dissociate this from the rebel flag and assume that the rebel flag is only there to let us know that WARNING: shit's about to get rull racist, it could be like, if I had known that one day the slaves would be free and one of them would become the President, I would have picked my own cotton? Again, it works, but I don't think it's the winner. Mostly because rednecks aren't terribly well-versed in the art of subtlety:
4.) I was really banking on Laura having the answer because she was a history major, and in my mind that means she has the answer to everything. Her best guess was, if I had known that the South would lose and it would be a giant hot-mess, I would have picked my own cotton. And...yeah, I guess. But again, it doesn't quite hit the spot.
So then I took a page from my own book and decided to do what I did when I couldn't figure out what "hit the switch" meant in Dr. Dre's "Xxplosive": I emailed a webmaster.
To whom it may concern:
I'm putting together a care package for my brother who's fighting overseas in Afghanistan and I just want to clarify the meaning of one of your bumper stickers. Can you tell me what: "If I had known this, I would have picked my own cotton," means? We are from South Carolina and he has lots of Southern pride, so I just want to be sure the guys over there will like it. Again my email is email@example.com.
And to my shock, those assholes totally didn't email me back! Which doesn't make sense because that email had everything: a brother overseas, The Troops, Afghanistan, South Carolina, Southern pride, "over there", God bless!—COME ON! So basically my well-crafted email to a small Internet boutique owner failed miserably, whereas the email I sent to Dr. Dre's webmaster in 2002 saying, "Hi, Meg here. I'm a big Dre. Dre fan, but I can't figure out what 'hit the switch' means and it's driving me crazy. Please advise," actually got results. There is just so much I don't understand in this world...
So I'm turning to you, Internetz. What the hell does that bumper sticker mean?! Crack the code and I'll give you a free SOLD OUT Sorr About the Bag tote bag. Good luck and God speed. In the mean time, I'll be researching something I can actually wrap my head around—cranberry bogs and hot tubs.