One more serving of turkey

Everyone celebrates differently. For even the most jadedhipster, the holiday season invokes some sort of emotion. Theinfectious songs, ragtag Santas and holiday turkeys areunavoidable, and I’ve heard squeals of nostalgic delight slip outof the world-weariest activist. It’s a time of unfetteredconsumerism, faux human camaraderie and the occasional emotionalcollapse. For me, the holiday season is a time of hand-wringinganxiety. All of the aforementioned emotion and nostalgia piled ontop of the monotony of the day-to-day produces a state of neuroticparalysis generally culminating in explosive drunkenness andmemorable New Year’s meltdowns. It’s as if once a year all theanger and frustration I bottle away so well comes pouring out,alienating everyone in its path. And frankly, it’s been a longyear, and I’m a little tossed, so I figured why not get an earlystart. Come on over here to the mistletoe, pour that nog, andloosen your belt, because I’m calling you out. Prepare to gorgeyourself on the nearly raw carcass of the first annual RockingChair Confidential Bullshit Extravaganza.

Well, first and foremost I’m calling bullshit on you, theAmerican tragedy machine. We’re all a part of it. How many times inthe last two years did airplanes change the landscape of New Yorkand the rational consciousness of the United States? That loop ofthe Twin Towers falling will forever be burned into our collectiveimaginations. But the people in those towers were the people makingthe decisions that caused all this bloodshed. They were moreconnected to the pilots of those planes than they were to a farmerin Ohio or a housewife in Michigan. And yet the American peoplehave joined forces to create a big, patriotic consumer machine inthe name of those victims. The media has taken the cowardly routerather than examining the reasons for the world’s hostility. Theyhave clung to the B-movie metaphors stammered out by the freak showin the Whitehouse. And we were taken in by Celine Dion specials andcheap slogans on T-shirts for so long that Bush’s devious politicalagenda slipped right under our radar with its attempted creation ofa new American colony, taking more American lives and subsequentlyproducing all new tragedy to keep us glued to our sets. Does itbother anyone else how convenient the bombings in Turkey were?Suddenly, the political fiasco of Bush’s recent UK visit becamepowerful photos of two resolved world leaders, united in theirmission of bringing peace to the world, no matter how many of theircountrymen have to die for it.

Next, I’m calling bullshit on Kobe Bryant. Say it ain’t so,Kobe. You were supposed to be the smart one. I would have neverguessed I’d see you buying your wife’s loyalty and mumbling yourway out of rape. I guess at least you can flaccidly defend yourselfin a bunch of languages, and fail to convince the world of yourinnocence, not just America.

I’m calling bullshit on the Pearl District. I cannot believepeople are standing by while Portland is infused with these ugly,prefabricated urban “lofts.” It was bad enough when they were justremodeling the old industrial district in lower Northwest, but nowthey’re tearing it down and erecting these monstrosities. They’vecreated a landscape void of character and as boring as the peoplewho live in it. In 10 years, our city leaders are going to look outat their dated, poorly manufactured panorama and think, “What didwe do?” Shame on the City Council for maneuvering tax breaks forthe new residents of Old Town. The deal was tax breaks for new loftand condo buyers with the stipulation that builders includelow-income housing into their developments. I’m sorry, sweetie,last I checked a Pizza Schmizza on every third corner did notconstitute low-income housing. And $400,000 for less than athousand square feet?! This is Portland, for God’s sake, not a realcity.

I’m calling bullshit on every single person who gave me grieffor moving into Northeast Portland with accusatory words likegentrification. Northeast Portland is a working-class neighborhoodof mixed-race people looking for someplace they can afford to live.Last I checked, I fit the description. And besides, NortheastPortland has already been gentrified. There’s nothing I can do tomake it worse.

So, on that note, I’m calling bullshit on myself for moving toNortheast Portland. Next time you visit the Alberta Streetneighborhood, count the number of minority-owned business. It won’ttake you long. Prices have gone up so much in the past few yearsthat unless neighborhood business owners had bought the buildingstheir stores were in, they can’t afford the lease anymore. But,hey, it’s got health spa now, dozens of Mick Jagger look-alikes inelectro clash bands and somewhere in the range of 1,500 yogastudios, so I’m sure everyone is happy with the deal.

And finally, before you carve that bird, just a few more quickreprimands for those who deserve them.

Bullshit on Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice for grapplingfor position so publicly, unless they do it on Fear Factor. Atleast then they’ll eat more than their words.

Bullshit on Don Zimmer. You are 70 years old! DevelopAlzheimer’s or something, but don’t try to tackle athletes halfyour age. It’s just embarrassing.

Bullshit on my neighbor Pat. Quit stealing my water! You don’tthink I see that hose running into your kitchen? And put a shirton.

Bullshit on reality TV. Your time has come. You shall fall atthe hands of the mighty “OC.”

Bullshit on NPR. It’s great that the widow of McDonalds tycoonRoy Kroc left you a cash bequest of more than $200 million. Butplease stop with the Mayor McCheese jokes.

Finally, bullshit on the movie psychic. Enough with yourhilarious and supernatural reviews. When are you going to printsome nude pictures of yourself? YOU ARE JUST SO FINE!