Getting opinionated

Recently, it has been suggested that this space, dedicated to so-called “opinion,” is really nothing more than blatant, special-interest-pandering, blither blather, of no consequential merit whatsoever. Where are the wild accusations? The cojones-crunching low blows? The go-for-the-jugular-take-no-prisoners vigilantism? The pen-is-mightier-than-the-sword, swashbuckling renegadism?

Well, I’m sorry to say that, mostly in the interest of self-preservation, you usually won’t find them here. And truth be told, I don’t really find muck-raking waders to be all that flattering of a fit. Besides, who wants to hear some local yokel griping about, say, the conspiracy behind having to bring your clear and colored glass to the recycling center, the massive cover up behind the bike path to nowhere or the grave injustice of the $9 hamburger. There are so many better things to worry about, like whether the forests surrounding town will “regenerate” themselves this summer or if you can get in that morning bike ride before it gets too damned hot and you’re unable to see through the haze. Plus, there’s bigger fish out there working in our best interest. I mean, we wouldn’t want to put Matt Drudge out of business, would we? Who would keep tabs on Hillary’s planned takeover of the universe or the pyrotechnic calamity at Beyonce’s St. Louis show?

However, if you’re in the market for substandard drivel about little, ill-tempered French men, cautionary tales about leaving two small children unattended in a shopping cart (I swear, those things should have roll bars) or sharing in the mental anguish of parading around a downtown coffee joint with 4 feet of toilet paper hanging out the back of your pants (why didn’t anyone tell me?), then pull up a chair.

Which isn’t to say I haven’t landed myself into a little tepid water here and there, even with such trite, warmed-over, middle-of-the-road claptrap. For example, take my piece on my first foray into Hooters. Who knew the real reason to go was for the wings and friendly, downhome hospitality? It’s fun for the whole family. As for the slight to ultimate fighting aficionados everywhere (including my own brother), you can argue until you’re bleeding from your eyesockets and the veins pop out of your grotesquely large neck, but I don’t buy the whole “best athletes in the world” argument. And no, I won’t settle it in a cage match. Of course, as long as we’re re-opening old wounds here, there’s always the wrath of the Cyborgs and the hip hoppers, the swift and timely demise of the Fashion Police, the allegations of tormenting small, fluffy animals and what we will simply refer to as the “Twin Peaks” debacle. And just for the record, my mother would like all readers to know that was not her in the cheer leading uniform a few years back. Her pom poms are much bigger. (I hope hell serves ice water.)

Of course, all this begs the question: Who really gives a rat’s fat heinie about my opinion anyway? From the sort of moron who walks around in public oblivious to a train of t.p. hanging out of her pants, no less? (Kinda adds a whole new meaning to being the “butt” of the joke, doesn’t it?) I mean, I can barely spell rhetoric, let alone partake in it. That’s why such opining is best left to the professional blabbermouths, the Limbaughs, O’Reillys, Sterns and Imus’ of the world (OK, so that there, technically, is an opinion.) Besides, who would want to be lumped into the fat, old, perverted windbag category anyway? Oops, I did it again.

(Speaking of windbags, did anybody happen to see Sting during the Live Earth concert? I think I’d rather be trampled by 5,000 lumbering blue turtles than have to endure his extended “Roxanne” jam again. And don’t even get me started on the fact that that one song probably wasted more electricity than some Third World nations use in an entire year. Oh wait, there I go again, Sting-bashing. I will give him this – he looks better in a tight, black T-shirt at 85 than I could ever hope for in my lifetime. Even if he is a man.)

Anyway, as I was saying, this isn’t about turtles or pom poms or butts or any of that stuff that sells newspapers. This is about simple common decency and, as in that immortal vestige of fatherly advice, “not going looking for trouble.” Because, as those of us who stick it out there on a regular basis know, trouble has an uncanny way of finding us. (OK, sometimes we draw it a map.)

See, although once in a while it’s good to take it in the pants, for the most part, it’s much more fun to laugh about the toilet paper hanging from them.

Just my opinion.

– Missy Votel