Welcome to Your World. Here we’ll look at what’s happened on this fine planet since last we met. Warning: you may not agree with my slant on things, you may even get pissed but, hey, that’s my job.

It’s the New Year so let’s check some new laws, what’ya say? Hundreds of new laws took effect at midnight on January 1, 1998, including one in California that allows audiologists to remove earwax from a patient before administering hearing tests. See, they were in this terrible, huge, end-of-the-world-type argument with the state because they were not permitted to do this, only doctors were; yet they felt it interfered with the tests. Finally, (big sigh) the issue is over. And what an important, important issue it was. As the co-chairwoman of the California Academy of Audiology said, “People were saying, ‘Oh, this is about turf wars,’ but we’re not asking to take anything away from the doctors.” We’re talking about ear wax, people! Earwax!!! Buy a Q-tip you dumbasses! In Oklahoma drivers have to prove they can read. For the first time! They’ve never had to do this before?! Indiana became the 25th state to bar gay marriages, while New Hampshire is extending civil rights protections to gays in jobs, housing and public places. I don’t think I have to tell you which ass-backwards state is in the Bible belt. In San Joaquin, California, a law was passed to name “San Joaquin soil” the official state dirt, and in Massachusetts “The Great State of Massachusetts” was officially named that state’s official glee club song. Still, the most asinine new law came on January 7 when the Los Angeles City Council banned the use of gas-powered leaf-blowers. The ban was originally approved 13 months ago but was held up while the geniuses at police headquarters figured out how they would enforce it. I don’t think “primadonnas” is a strong enough word to describe the supporters of this ban, but it’s all I could come up with. The supporters were led by former “Mission Impossible” television star Peter Graves. I thought he was dead. I guess just his career is. Anyway, he thinks they’re too noisy and contribute to pollution. Yeah, sure they do, Peter, just like your four cars and the excessive amount of make-up and hairspray you use to keep your ratty, sagging, wrinkled ass in shape in case anyone’s ever incredibly desperate for a story and decides to take a picture of you, you old bastard! Man, to think that L.A. is run so well that their only problem is leaf blowers. Wow.

Answer this question for me: if you go to a lake and you know there are alligators in this lake, do you go swimming? Of course you don’t. That was easy enough, huh? Not for the pinhead who went canoeing in a lake outside the Ocala (Florida) forest and decided to hop in for a swim. I’m sure one of his drunken buddies dared him to dive in and take a leak or something. Well, conforming to Idiot Rule 1.1, “If you dare me I will do it,” he jumped in and managed to get his neck lodged in the mouth of an alligator. Whoops! I don’t know if it’s lucky or not, but he got free. He broke free and now he’s fine and showing his scars to everyone on his “Why wild animals should die” talk show tour. He was quoted from his hospital bed as saying, “I don’t think gators that big should be allowed in state parks.” Hey, jackass! Guess what? When people go to state parks, do you know what they want to see? No, not guys with beer-bellies splashing around in lakes, you silly boy. They want to see—are you ready for this—animals! Nature! Big creatures that can only be seen in state parks. You want to splash around in water? Go to your local library and research pools. That’s p-o-o-l-s. I’d explain but it gets really complicated.

Oh, Diana, oh why oh why did you leave us? Frankly, I couldn’t care less that she’s gone but if she were still here we wouldn’t have ridiculous things like selling tickets to her gravesite. Listen, I feel bad for her sons and family and all, but this is just stupid. On Monday, January 5, Princess Diana’s estate started taking telephone sales of tickets to view her grave during a two-month period later this year. More than 220 telephone lines were set up to handle the bookings of the more than 150,000 tickets. Minutes after they were opened, the lines were jammed with people dying (sorry, I couldn’t pass it up) to see Diana’s grave. A maximum of 2,500 visitors a day will be allowed to the Spencer family’s estate to see the grave. OK, actually they won’t be allowed to walk right up to the grave, but who cares as long as they can see it, right? Um, yeah, well, so what if you can’t technically see it? How about if you can see the memorial, just not the actual gravesite? OK, great. Oh, and what if you were, say, hundreds of feet away, separated by a lake? Still going? So let’s get this straight: 2,500 people a day for 60 days are going to pay $15.60 ($8.20 for children/$11.50 for senior citizens) to walk up to the edge of a lake to look over at the island where Diana is buried. Are you absolutely shitting me?!!! I don’t know what they’re doing to those poor bastards in England but that’s gotta stop. Really, that’s just not fair to take advantage of people like that. Oh, wait, I forgot, they did throw in the added bonus of a stable block converted into a museum about Diana’s life, including family photos and film footage. Great, just what I want to do: walk through horseshit looking at pictures of a dead chick. My idea of fun. Message to the English: Come to America! We won’t put mind-altering chemicals in your water! Correction: unless you live near Graceland we won’t put mind-altering chemicals in your water!

Racism – where would life be without it? Right in the dumper, I think. Why, it would ruin the careers of many people for starters – David Duke, Louis Farrakhan, Marge Schott, Spike Lee – and then it might do something horrible like (gasp) make us all take a look at ourselves and see what the hell is really going on. I’m sure you remember the Letrell Sprewell incident that occurred late last year. It seems Sprewell, a member of the Golden State Warriors, and his coach, P.J. Carlisimo, had some problems. These problems persisted until Sprewell was driven to physically assaulting Carlisimo, punching and choking him. Almost immediately the race card was played. People started talking: “The only reason he’s being punished is because he’s black and the coach is white.” “What if it had been a white player choking a black coach?” And then the real assholes showed up. Charles Barkley tried to rally support for Sprewell by threatening to boycott the NBA if Sprewell was suspended or reprimanded. Barkley later recanted his threat, probably around the time he woke-up and smelt the damn coffee. Not to be outdone, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown voiced his position on the matter by stating that he doesn’t like white coaches yelling at black players. He then said, “Some people deserve to be choked!” I agree, Mayor Brown, and your dumb ass should be first in line. Look, what Sprewell did was wrong. Period. In fact, if he weren’t a sports star and was caught choking someone, say, in a nightclub, he would be in jail right now. Instead, he has been suspended from basketball for one year, “unfairly” confined to his million-plus dollar home and lifestyle. In the following weeks, every sports broadcaster and star had to pitch in their two cents. Even former stars like ex-Miami Dolphin running back Mercuri Morris had his say. In a Sunday morning news show, Morris voiced his total opposition to the punishment of Sprewell. He said, “This punishment is too harsh. It’s all relative. It all depends on what you’re used to and where you’re from.” He then went into some mindless babble about how some people are basically used to this violence, that they see it everyday, and they were simply making an example out of Sprewell. I don’t know where they found Morris, I hadn’t heard of him in 20 years, but his backward thinking and weak attempts to rationalize Sprewell’s actions were sickening. Racism continues to enlarge the divide between us. There are now efforts to change the names of schools bearing the names of confederate leaders and people who owned slaves. Conversely, in Riverside, California, parents are fighting a plan to name a new high school after Martin Luther King, Jr., claiming it would be branded a black school and hurt graduates’ college chances. In mid-January, Goodyear was forced to remove a commercial from Peruvian television. The commercial depicted a black man and Hispanic man standing in front of tires. The black man points at the Hispanic’s fat stomach and laughs. The Hispanic then points at the black man’s lips and laughs. University of Texas Professor Lino Graglia is under fire from administrators for speaking against affirmative action in his classes. University of Florida President John Lombardi was nearly fired for making a comment at a holiday party. Lombardi said of the new chancellor of the State University System, “He’s an ‘Oreo.’” Now, before you make up your mind about any of the above issues, think twice about them. Play the devil’s advocate. Should those schools be closed? It’s obviously painful to black people to know the school their child attends is named for someone who owned slaves. Then again, this name removal would include George Washington, one of the greatest men ever to have lived. And certainly naming a school after M.L.K., Jr. wouldn’t hurt students’ collegiate chances. Or would it? The tire commercial is funny as hell. It’s hilarious and I wish I could have seen it. Then again, I’m white. I’m not a fan of affirmative action and I think it’s veiled racism, but is it fair to slam it in a classroom setting? Is it fair for a professor to say those things knowing his students are captive? And, although Lombardi’s comment is racist, does it affect his ability to successfully run a university?

In late-breaking news: O.J. Simpson, you are the dumbest man alive. You got away with murder. You’re playing golf. You have your kids. You have your life. How amazingly stupid you must be to grant a live, unrehearsed interview and bring this back up. I haven’t heard your name in six months and now you drag it up from the bottom. Do you think you’re helping your case? Did you go back and watch your interview? Did you read the transcript like I did? You floundered like a guilty man. Going back and correcting yourself, making sure answers from one question jived with later answers and changing your tune numerous times. Go ahead and appeal your civil trial. It will be sickening but sweet for everyone to again talk about how you got away with it. How so much evidence was presented against you. How people have been convicted on half of the evidence they had on you. About the bloodstains, the shoes, your inability to account for time…it will all be brought back and you’ll be in shit deeper than you ever have. Anonymity is for you, my friend; dwell in it.

Until next time, this is the end of Your World.

Back to February/March '98 Issue