Sunday, May 03, 2009

'The agoraphobics will hold their annual convention in Times Square...'

Every once in a while comes a deluge of headlines that drip with unintentional humor and/or irony. We appear to be in the middle of such a deluge right now. Here are two of my favorites from the past week:

"
Christians More Likely to Support Torture."
(Based on the Pew Poll, which found exactly that. Is there really anything more to say?)

"Wedding Off for Craigslist Murder Suspect."
(Based, one assumes, on the future wife's desire not to be married to a serial killer. You think it could've been the reporte
d discovery of a dead woman's panties in the guy's apartment that changed her mind?)*

And the other day I saw one that I'm kicking myself for not bookmarking or otherwise preserving somehow, because I can't seem to dig it up now. But it went something like so:

"First U.S. death fans fears of pandemic."

I grant you, a death is a death. Especially when it's a child (which in this case it was, in Texas). But do the words "first death" and "pandemic" really belong in the same sentence?

Speaking of unintentional humor, my local ABC affiliate mentioned something about a meeting being held by the Na
tional Association of Black Accountants. The National Association of Black Accountants? Do numbers add up differently for people of color? Sigh.

I understand that there was a time when black accountants (and professionals of all types) must have felt rather uncomfortable and isolated in many corporate cultures, and those pressures and anxieties led to a desire for kinship, commiseration. I also know all of the arguments about positive role models. But come on. This is why I can't watch the Columbus Day Parade, with its endless procession of banners upholding Italian pride. Italian pride? In what? Name one thing Da Vinci provably invented because he was Italian. Can anyone demonstrate that the vowel at the end of Joe D's surname had anything to do with a single hit he collected during the famous streak? Regardless, what bearing do those achievements have on me, or you, or anyone besides the person who achieved them? I don't understand why we keep looking for new ways to separate ourselves from everyone else, or why we keep reinforcing the old ways. (Another thing I noticed back in the days when I could still stomach the parade was a conspicuous absence of banners that mentioned names like Gotti, Capone, and Genovese. I guess when we're throwing parades, those folks aren't Italian anymore, huh?)

More to the point, I'm always moved to wonder, Are we really that weak in and of ourselves? Which is why I say: UPHOLD THE SELF. The true, individual Self, disconnected from anything and everyone else. From my point of view, it shouldn't matter where you came from, or what gene pool produced you. Not only that, but you should refuse to be identified with your so-called forebears, even when such identification is foist on you. You're you and that's that. To me, anything less represents a surrender of Self, not a celebration of it.

If the National Association of Black Accountants was really committed to whatever cause brought about its founding, it should declare at its annual convention next month that it's disbanding because it no longer serves a purpose...or better yet, that it's disbanding in the name of brotherhood and common sense. Now there's an idea worthy of a parade.

* I know, I'm rushing to judgment based on media hoopla, which is something I always say we shouldn't do. But mostly I'm being playful here. I'm talking about the headlines, not so much the stories behind them.

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

"Christians More Likely to Support Torture."

That's priceless, Steve.

The "Wedding Off for the Craiglist Murder Suspect" has been getting my attention too. (Ya think?)

And yes, the ethnic pride parades and speeches grate on me too, I admit. Avoid those like a plague.

(Love the Capone pic and caption. Charming. :)

Elizabeth said...

Speaking of eye-catching headlines (though not in a humorous way this time), see this one:

Merck Makes Phony Peer-Review Journal