Philosophy 101, 101

What the fuck is the deal with all the memes around an imaginary college introductory philosophy class? Know what I’m talking about? Every once in a while from one of my super-religious relatives I get an email (they don’t try and fax anymore) telling the story of a noble student standing up to a pompous philosophy prof. In the tale the instructor has just said something no professor of philosophy in our universe would ever utter, like: “God does not exist. Here I will prove it with some shoddy logic or just stand here on this box and wait for God to push me off, har har.” These people obviously have tenure.

The Professor is alternately described as every bad thing a certain segment of old white people can think of: He’s an atheist. He’s a member of the ACLU. He’s gay, he’s drinking a fair-trade latte with wheat germ. And wearing a Che T-shirt. He has Sun Kill Moon tickets hanging out of his skinny jeans pocket and brews his own beer which he calls “SingleGear IPA” he has a cat named “Zune” and plays semi-pro amateur kickball. Both his ears are pierced. He was, up until very recently, on their lawn.

And then the noble student either refutes the dumbass argument in the most simplistic way possible or we skip that part and he comes down out of the audience of the lecture hall and just straight-up cold cocks him in his stupid ponytailed head with the fist-o-righteousness just like Jesus would have done. We then find out the student was Albert Einstein or a Marine named Todd or a Navy Seal or something.

Every word true

Every word true

Fortunately, the Internet has had a lot of fun with this meme, and has adjusted it appropriately:

Internet, you are my hero

Internet, you are my hero

But Internet aside, apparently enough people want to tell off/punch an imaginary philosophy professor that this has become a feature-length film starring TV’s Hercules as the asshole professor. This must be his penance for promoting paganism. We assume that his next role will combine his penchant for epic heroes and appealing to old people with a superhero action film called “The Cane Shaker.”

Also Walker Texas Ranger with a Walker

Also Walker Texas Ranger with a Walker

There is a lot of stupid here to unpack. So much stupid. But if there is anything worse than the Marine Todd, Albert Einstein and the Jesus of Hercules weirdness, it’s this turdwallop:

This shows up on someone’s FaceBook wall at least once per quarter and every time I physically restrain myself from using a quantum computer-enabled DNS attack followed by a well-placed series of hatchet blows on major fiber optic hubs in an effort to take down the Internet.

What the fuck class is this? Is this Intro to Platitudes? Do the study groups meet at Cracker Barrel in order to read off placemats? And why stop at the milk? There are radio waves, cosmic rays and subatomic particles aplenty coursing through the jar in between the solids and liquids jammed up in there. What do neutrinos represent, for instance? Skittles, maybe? There’s millions of them coursing through the jar every second completely unimpeded by matter, so maybe they could represent the persistent idiocy of humanity that makes me want to drink gasoline in order to weep flaming tears onto my laptop?

For the record, I took introduction to philosophy in college. You know what we did? We read a book of Kirkegaard so big it could be used as counterweight on a drawbridge. We talked a lot about “perception.” And I suppose the most important thing is we were forced to actually defend what we believed.

Pretty much like that, yeah

Pretty much like that, yeah

One assumes this is what’s got the inventors of Marine Todd, the writers of God’s Not Dead and the expropriators of Albert Einstein so pissed off. Not the bizarre “declaration of absolute truth” that anyone who’s ever spent any time around a philosopher knows never happens because that would preclude them getting off on their “pestering you with one trillion hypotheticals” fetish they all share.

It’s the requirement of having to explain some kind of logical underpinning to your beliefs rather than just, you know, having them because they feel good that’s got the ALL CAPS set so mad. FURIOUS, apparently. So they leave our reality and make up their own, where philosophy professors are stupid and where felony assault is a cherished outcome. That’s as close to an explanation for this phenomena as I can figure.

I have no idea what this is but people tell me it is funny. I don't have a TV.

I have no idea what this is but people tell me it is funny. I don’t have a TV.

But nothing explains the fucking jar upassedness. I will burn down the world next time I see that bullshit, I swear.

KT’s Hatesong: Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”

I’m back with another edition of “Songs KT Hates that will be stuck in everyone’s godforsaken head all week.” This week, we’ve got one that might be divisive: Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.”

I have to admit the first time I heard it, I didn’t immediately want to fling myself out of my car into oncoming traffic. It’s an insipid and annoying song, but a little catchy. I am a certified not-skinny person, and hooray, a sorta catchy song about girls with chub! Except, no.


First of all, I kind of thought this girl might be a robot for the entire video.

But then I watched again, and I guess she’s most likely human. She looks like an amalgam of all the people who bullied me in high school, right down to the doe-eyes, blonde hair, and weird Easterish dress. The video is inexplicably pastel and made to look like she’s maybe like thirteen or something (a very pink bedroom with a bright pink four-poster bed and a dollhouse?), but apparently she is 20. It doesn’t sit right with me that she’s got lyrics about dudes holding her booty at night, and then it’s all dollhouses and little girl bedrooms. Just me? Maybe it’s just me, but something freaked my brain stem out about this. I guess she’s from Nantucket, where bedrooms probably actually look like this (also they include a yacht and a pony, not pictured).

Not weird at all, totes normal.

Not weird at all, totes normal.


But here’s the first rub: Meghan Trainor isn’t fat. If she’s fat, I’m a fucking tubwhale. She may not be thin, but she isn’t even noticeably overweight. She’s what I’d consider “normal.” And that’s where it starts getting disingenuous. I said starts. Buckle the fuck up and let’s discuss.

So first off, she’s not fat. So what we’re initially given the impression of, is that media and body issues with women are at the level that a person at a normal weight has to assert that she is still just as good as someone underweight. What the fuck does this impress into the minds of real, actual overweight girls who are struggling already?

Next up we have the weird appealing-to-boys side of the lyrics. The song screams “I have what boys want.” Who the fuck cares what boys want? Why is she so desperate to appeal to boys? As Feministing wrote about this very song, “…loving yourself because dudes like what you’ve got going on is a pretty flimsy form of self-acceptance. In fact, it’s not really self-acceptance at all if it depends on other people thinking you’re hot.”

Let’s face it, the lyrics aren’t fucking body-positive at all. Telling girls they’re “perfect from the bottom to the top” and two goddamn seconds later shitting on “skinny bitches”? That’s grade-A bullshit, right there. You know that e-cards quote going around, “you can tell who the strong women are, because they’re building others up instead of tearing them down” or whatever someone like Ghandi or Abe Lincoln said? That applies here. The fact that this song can’t go without commenting on other women’s bodies to make its point? This song can go fuck itself. This isn’t what your girls should be listening to. At all.

And that’s the problem: this song is making money hand over fist because people are lining up to clamor over how positive this song is! Look, she tells us we’re perfect! No, she’s selling herself and exploiting the body image discussion for financial gain.

I don’t think I even have the strength to discuss the cultural appropriation, either. The CBC can do that for you.  “I have a Trinidadian uncle by marriage, so i’m going to appropriate an entire culture’s music and make it palatable to white people!” UGHHHHHHH.

I’m not the first one to get the douche chills from this song. I won’t be the last.

Fuck this shit, I’m out.