Sunday, December 05, 2004

Shockin' Awesome

I'd like everyone to start saying "shockin' awesome" as an interjection of hyperbolic radness, please. As in:
Q: How was the show last night?
A: Shockin' awesome!
Q: Hey, you wanna go have some mulled cider with me?
A: Shockin' awesome! Let's go!

I just think it's time to reclaim, that's all. I was at a party last night to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day, and the hosts thoughtfully hung up WWII propaganda posters and provided a cooler full of Kamikazes for us to drink. And there was a model of a Mitsubishi Zero attached to the cooler and Ian informed us that, in actuality, Kamikaze attacks didn't start until after Pearl Harbor, but that Mitsubishi Zeros did indeed fly on that mission. I thought a Mitsubishi Zero was a car, because Billy Bragg sings: "I look like Robert De Niro, I drive a Mitsubishi Zero" in his song "Sexuality." So we were all like, well, it's a car NOW, they had to reclaim. Which led us to a in-very-bad-taste conversation about other reclamations, like the volkswagen and the gas chamber. I'm KIDDING about the gas chamber, people. It was a short lived German export that they pulled off the market once they learned that 'gas chamber' in English means 'gas chamber.' Like how they had to pull the Chevy Nova out of South America because 'no va' means 'doesn't go' in Spanish. (Apocryphal anecdote alert!) Anyway.

So, in keeping with the theme, Josh and I amused ourselves by standing at the door and yelling "SURPRISE" any time anyone walked into the party. We were like, "is this going to get old?" No fucking way. Hours of amusement. So we were all discussing the amount of time that can elapse before you can make jokes about a national tragedy. It's been a good long time since Pearl Harbor, and they already made a dreadful movie about it, so we figured it was fine to crack jokes about interning any Japanese party-attendees.

But throwing a 9/11 party and yelling SURPRISE at people would probably be in bad taste -- at least until 2050 or so, when the hipsters of the mid-21st century throw a party and put pro-Bush posters on the wall as a joke and serve Afghan hors d'oeuvres. (that's pronounced "Whore derves" and not "horses ovaries." My mom always called 'em "horses ovaries," which is probably how I ended up as a hardcore vegetarian).

But I was lying in bed last night thinking about the whole reclamation thing -- how the queer community reappropriated 'queer' and hipjews have reclaimed 'heeb' and those rappers (and Paris Hilton) rock the n-word and I decided that we need to reclaim the worst parts of the past four years -- for a long time after 9/11 when our then so-called-Prez was using the whole "Let's roll" thing, my answer was NO, YOU FUCKER, LET'S ROCK. As in, I don't want to roll with your whole invading Afghanistan and eradicating civil liberties and justifying racial profiling -- I want to rock out hard to show you I'm not afraid of your scare tactics and I don't agree with your policies. Let's roll? No. Let's ROCK. Let's be pro-active, let's activate, let's fuck shit up (I heart King Missile).

MAN. We tried to activate and we tried to fuck shit up and somehow Bush got re-elected. Michael Moore won an award for "biggest boat rocker" at Big in 04 and he made this rad speech about how you don't give up when the ball's at the 3 yard line (i think that's a football reference, but i'm not sure) and how we still need to fight the good fight and stay involved. And people booed him, which was a mindfuck, but I still felt a little frisson of like, "YEAH! LET'S STAY FUCKING ANGRY AND KEEP ON MAKING ANGRY ART!" And thus, in the midst of my desire to create angry art, I'd like to start by proposing the reclamation of "shock and awe." I'd like to reappropriate it with a little twist, tweaking it away from its near-Biblical-connotations into the more comfortable level of almost-expletive interjection.
"Shock and awe" + "Fuckin' awesome" = SHOCKIN' AWESOME.

Use it with impunity and glee, friends. Impunity and glee.

Because the events of recent history have already added lots of expressions to our vernacular:
One can now use 'red state' and 'blue state' as adjectives, eg: I went to a party last night and it was shockin' awesome, it was a total blue state crowd. ... The Board of Directors is so red state, they're never going to allow domestic partners to receive health benefits
One can refer to members of the last Cabinet as verbs, eg: My mom Ashcrofted me last night when I got home and demanded to know who I was with and what we were doing. ... I can't believe they planned that whole thing without telling me, I felt totally Powel'ed. ... My office building has been totally Ridge'd, they don't let anyone in without three forms of ID.
Shockin' awesome.

Rock on.

No comments: