Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ignorance is Bliss

I guess I haven’t done one of these in a while. The reasons why are too many and too complicated to get into, and maybe you’ll hear about them at some future time. Today, however, I’m just interested in getting a few things off my chest, so to speak. I apologize in advance for sounding a bit whiny, but it has been a long, hot summer down here on the Jersey Shore. So without further ado, some random observations:

Re “Snooki” , “The Situation,” etc. WTF? Go back to Staten Island or Long Island or whatever planet you’re from and leave the Garden State the f*ck alone. ‘Nuff said.

When did people forget how to parallel park? Every day in my neighborhood I see people needlessly taking up two perfectly good parking spots with one car because for some unknown reason they don’t pull up close to the car in front of them. What, do you think because you’ve left space that some dumbass isn’t going to hit your car? Please. I’m more likely to hit it now than I was before because you have just taken two parking spots with one ugly ass car.

And while I’m on the subject of automobile-related annoyances, who was the total moron who invented the automatic door lock that honks the horn when you use it? Yeah, like we need another random car noise. And what is it with people inflicting their (usually godawful) musical taste on entire neighborhoods when they drive by playing their car stereos at 11? Do you need attention that badly? Grow up already; we’re not impressed with your gas-guzzling Hummer.

Why do people insist on mispronouncing ethnic names? Is there something wrong with at least making some attempt to respect one’s ancestry? If I hear one more person in my family pronounce our last name “Eye-annucci” I am going to go postal. As far as I can tell, the letter “I” is never pronounced that way in either English or Italian, so I am baffled as to where this even comes from. All I know is, it needs to stop.

Which brings me to my pet peeve of the day—the idiotic way many Americans pronounce the names of foreign countries. This is nothing new, of course; I clearly remember hearing people pronounce “Vietnam” as though it rhymed with “ham.” But really, where does this “Eyeraq” and “Eyeran” thing come from? Again, there is no such pronounciaion of the letter “I” in the English language. And then there’s the way they pronounce the “a” sound; saying “rack” instead of “rock” just sounds, well, unsophisticated. Mainly because it’s incorrect.

You wanna know why they mock Americans so much in other countries? Because we constantly disrespect their language, their history, their culture. Couldn’t be bothered to learn anything about anything that goes on outside of the bubbles in which we live our lives here in the “Good ol’ U.S. of A.” Why are Americans permitted, even encouraged, to sound so ignorant without some sort of repercussion? And why do we insist upon responding to their derision by mocking the “furriners” for actually having an education? Did it ever occur to anyone that the reason we are so distrusted and detested abroad is that so many of us are such total rubes?

Newsflash: we didn’t invent the world singlehandedly, and we’re certainly not going to save it that way. I think it’s time we opened our eyes to the fact that modern society is complex, and we’re no longer the global power we once (thought we) were. We live in a complicated world, one that requires a little introspection now and then here in America. To pretend otherwise is, well, just plain ignorant.

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