Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Now THAT'S One Mean-Ass Deity

Something happened over the weekend that challenged my disbelief in a supreme being.

I had taken a little jaunt over to the east side of the state, a drive which by only the most fervent of imaginations can be described as “scenic.” I hope that’s not mistaken for disdain for Idaho – I dearly love this state – but I try to be honest with myself, and I see no point in pretending that 250 miles of sagebrush, interrupted only by the occasional Bovine-based Olfactory Weapon Proving Ground, is anything more than a test of strength and willpower; a natural buffer zone intended to dissuade all but the hardiest of road warriors from reaching mecca the enchanted land that is Eastern Idaho.

Among the things I use to combat the boredom on such treks is lots and lots of beer loud music, of course. Generally, I’m not one to listen to “classic” music, having at least some recognition that there is great new music being made, and that to be stuck listening to music from some point in one’s past (which, to anyone having taken Psychology 101, clearly indicates that one has lost hope in one's own life and future, and has accepted that one's time on this earth peaked decades ago, an assessment which is ironically self-fulfilling) is really quite sad.

At this point, I was going to state that “I’m not a music snob,” but it should be quite obvious that I am. The sad part is that I’m not even a good snob, since while I do enjoy listening to lesser known artists playing music that’s not generally heard on commercial radio stations, I’m too damn lazy I lack the ambition to consistently keep up the search for new artists. As a consequence, I find myself listening to music that's better/newer than 1980s schlock, but still falling into comfortable rotations of familiar CDs. Sort of like the faux beer snob who always drinks Fat Tire and ridicules the guy down the bar drinking Bud Light. Jesus Tap-Dancin’ Christ, I’m pathetic.

Where was I?

Oh, right … so there I was, making the return trip back to the City Of Trees, and I realized that I’d listened to all of the CDs I had brought, and I thought “well, let’s just give a listen to what’s on the ole Frequency Modulation radio airwaves.” As it happened, I found a station playing tunes I hadn’t heard in a great while, and I was truly enjoying myself, forgetting the desolate landscape, and singing along at the top of my lungs with The Who, The Talking Heads, and even Billy Joel (thank jeebus no one reads this blog, or I’d never have admitted that).

And then the heretofore denied God decided to make Her move.

“Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These)” is inarguably one of the worst songs in recording history. Insipid lyrics, repeated ad nauseum, ear-assaultingly voiced via the wailings of the ├╝ber-pretentious Annie Lennox – I have no doubt that, if there is indeed a Hell, that that will be the song playing on the elevator that takes you there.

So there I found myself – obviously being tested by this “God” character, in the middle of that barren wasteland, tested no less than Job himself. “But Dead Acorn!” you may be asking, “why didn’t you just change the station?” Well, dear readers, Dead Acorn don’t play that game. “You want a piece of me, Old Woman?” I thought to myself. “Bring it, BEYOTCH!” I screamed aloud, and upped the volume.

For over two minutes, I clinched the wheel, muscles tensed, my brow drenched in sweat, the engine straining as I pushed the pedal to the floor, as though I could outrun the brutal cacophony emanating from the rear speakers. I could picture the singer’s red crewcut – a red certainly no less horrific than the fires of Hell themselves.

And then ... I couldn’t go on. I had given all I had, and it wasn’t enough. I reached for the “off” button, ready to acknowledge Her infinite strength, Her undeniable perfection when I came upon … King Hill.

The King Hill section of I-84 is a steep, long decline that apparently removes a vehicle from the line-of-site access required for radio reception. As I descended, the demonic voice faded, and all I could hear was sweet, sweet static. Wonderful white noise. Broadband bliss, if you will.

I wasn’t sure what She was up to, but for a moment, I felt myself overwhelmed with thankfulness at Her generosity, and nearly wept as I prepared to beg forgiveness. At that moment, though, I regained some sense of rationality, and reminded myself that the last few minutes were simply a random occurrence of several negative events, and that the cessation of the most noxious of those needn’t be attributed to the existence of some invisible sky fairy.

But as I came out of the valley and began to climb back into radio reception, I recognized with horror the song playing … Old Time Rock And Roll. Bob Fucking Segar.

If She’s real, She sure is one mean old biddy.


Anonymous said...

How misogynistic. Why is it that when god's nice, he's male; but when god's a mean-ass, she's female?

The Dead Acorn said...

I'm pretty sure that I generally refer to god as female, but I'm also sure I've used "The G-Man" in a post as well. Unfortunately, I haven't gone back and tagged my posts as I said I was going to do, so I can't really go back and confirm your assertion that I use the male term for good-god posts (not sure I've ever really written one of those) and the female for bad-god posts. I assume you've done this manually, since otherwise you have no basis on which to lay upon me the rather serious allegation of misogyny. I would hate to think that I'm a sexist at some subconscious level, so if you've done the research to support the charge, I would appreciate your sharing your findings so that I can work to address my attitude.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to clarify.

I was referring to this post in particular being misogynistic; not to you being a misogynistic individual.

The good god/bad god comment was more of a reference to a general type of thinking and speaking that I've observed in society {and also noticed in this post}. It was not intended to indicate that all of your previous posts were misogynistic.

The Dead Acorn said...

Hmm. While I'm with you on misogyny in our society in general, I'm not sure how you draw that conclusion for this particular post, since to make a comparison between he-god/she-god references, once must have at least one he-god reference. I like to use the she-god phraseology (is that a word?) because god is almost always referred to as a male, and I like to remind myself not to accept traditional rhetoric as true. Also, to poke the misogynists in the ribs.

But while acknowledging that misogyny exists in our general society ... still, it's not wrong for me to interpret your comment on this particular blog post as ... a comment on this particular blog post, right?

Anonymous said...

My comment on this particular blog post was directed toward this particular blog post; it was also a comment regarding general observations I have made of society.

And while you might assume that one cannot draw a good god/bad god reference from this post alone, due to the absence of a male 'good god', I disagree. One doesn't need such a comparison within in the same blog post to draw this conclusion.

My logic is that while you have placed a female in a position that (judging by your comments) you believe to be a positive one - the 'god' position - a position that is considered by most to be a one of power and authority, you have managed, at the same time, to make the female in said powerful position a villain (she's a 'mean-ass').

I will use the fairy tale "Snow White" as an example. The queen in this story was also in a powerful position; she was the queen, and also the wife of Snow White's father. This places her in a position not only of power over Snow White, but also over everyone in the land. Despite the fact that there is no clear presence of a good man in this tale (Snow White's father died), one is still able to discern that while the female was indeed placed in an elavated position as queen, the indication is that this is a bad thing - women should not be in positions of power because they are vain, jealous, ambitious, and murderous; therefore any power they are afforded will subsequently be abused.

There are many such examples of negative female archetypes. Not only in fairy tales, but also in classic literature. Very, very seldom in fairy tales and classic literature do you find a male villain. The men in these stories are quite often absent. We are still able to quite easily conclude, however, that it was the intent of the author(s) to portray women as the 'bad guys'.

Niamh B said...

Interesting arguement there. Never noticed that about the fairytales, but then women are the heroines in these stories too... snow white, sleeping beauty (having said that, they do get saved by men) Bluebeard is the one with a clearcut male baddie that I can think of.
I liked the image of the Bovine based olfactory weapon proving ground. The battle of wills in the car was most heroic too... though you could've just turned over the station, I'm glad you didn't as we wouldn't have got this lovely bit of entertainment from it!

Anonymous said...

Of course those girls were heroines! Of course they were rescued by nameless, rich, handsome princes at the last minute with only a kiss! These were the young and beautiful (not to mention gullible and easily controlled) women! And since they knew their place, these young women were far preferable to those ugly old middle-aged wicked witch step mothers!

Niamh B said...

Yes, there's very little a kiss can't cure.
Maybe fairytales are for men, what beauty magazines are for women ... creating a unrealistic false promise - a dashing brave hero that men have to live up to, in front of each other as much as for women. Thus Machismo, war etc.. and maybe it's cos it's ingrained at such a young age that the manly stereotype is such a tough one to break out of.
But yeah, a good kiss will fix most problems.

The Dead Acorn said...

Despite the lack of evidence of misogyny in this post (my intent on using "She" when referring to god is an attempt to challenge the assumptions we make about god, not to assign the bad things god does to the female version. I don't believe there is a god, but I'll credit any good things done to her as well in future posts), I'm flattered that my writing is being discussed on a level with the classics.

Kirsten said...

Wow on the post turning into discussion of gender of non-existent God and misogyny. Going to go practice witchcraft and become a lesbian now.

The Dead Acorn said...

hehehe it's the awesome power of teh intertubez! Don't try to fight it.

Domestic Oub said...

If it's any consolation DA, I assummed you used the she-god thing in the way you intended...


Otherwise this entire discussion is way too much for my tired brain. If I could only remember something from my Feminist Politics course from college I might be able to contribute. Sadly all I can remember is that the lecturer had a beard.

Anonymous said...

The mere fact that you refer to a female deity as a 'god' instead of a 'goddess' speaks for itself.

Domestic Oub said...

It was quite a nice beard.

amber said...

I was going to take issue with this "1980's schlock" comment... with... the Cure, Joy Division, Psychadelic Furs, etc. Sorry Acorn... but then I looked it up and we have bands formed in 1976, 1976, and 1977. Dammit. At least they were truly reaching their pinnacle in the 80's!