>>> Bang for Your Buck
By staff writer David Nelson

December 10, 2006

Essential New Word of the Week: hanglophone (definition hint: Donnez-moi Tylenol!)

As an internet comedy writer and mentor of wayward teen gymnasts, I have a special place in my heart for stupidity. The idiotic behavior of others makes these articles so much easier to write. In fact, stupidity is pretty much the hydrogen bomb in my war against your funny bone, and I’m not afraid to drop it on a cluster of Japanese villagers.

Even though I’ll mock the stupid, I kind of identify with them. Maybe my expectations are too high, but I thought by this point in my life I would have cured cancer and/or perfected time travel. As it stands, I can barely make coffee. Accordingly, it might seem hypocritical to pick on society’s retards, but I have to think that stupidity comes in degrees, and anyone worse off than me is fair game.

In other words, I may be dumb for not knowing what the fuck a cosine is, but I can still make fun of the type of idiot who eats the breath mints that came in his pants pockets and then dies when those mints turn out to be poisonous desiccants. On the flip side, if Stephen Hawking ever wants to ridicule me, I’ll have no choice but to allow it as he’s way smarter. Also, he can unfold into a huge robotic exoskeleton that could crush me.

“Much like their overalls, or their favorite brand of chewin’ tobacco, Creationists simply refuse to change their minds.”

So, there’s a hierarchy of stupid, and I think I’ve figured out who occupies the bottom rung. Here’s a hint: They’re mostly southern, and they’re not really good at science. No, it’s not the Atlanta Falcons’ defense, it’s the creationists. The hardcore fruitcakes who are convinced that Charles Darwin was sent by the devil to spread discord, breathe fire, and stomp on puppies. Those motherfuckers fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Maybe I just haven’t been listening to enough Christian rock, but I just can’t get behind a theory that maintains all life was created by an invisible old man who lives on a cloud. Religion is just not my thing. I once asked a Catholic priest if communion wafers could be made in cool ranch flavor. He let me know, in no uncertain terms, that the body of Christ was not meant to have a delicious tangy zip.

My point is, I was willing to work alongside organized religion, but they didn’t like my idea for X-Treme Waferz™. And that’s the same kind of ignorance that’s afflicting creationists. They just can’t see the obvious truth staring them in their faces, which are probably malformed due to inbreeding. Evolution is a fact, and creation is a myth. And not even a good myth, like the Island of Amazon women who cut off their right boobs so as not to interfere with archery skills.

You want evidence? Look at the damn platypus. It’s allegedly a mammal, but it lays eggs, injects venom, and locates prey by detecting electric fields generated by muscular contractions. I could do a quadruple hit of acid, and still invent a more sensible animal, and my flying, razor-beaked dachshund would agree. There’s no way any omnipotent being created something so fucked up as the platypus.

Apart from my own platypus hatred, there is plenty of other evidence against creation. Darwinists, or as I call them, people who have read a book, can point to any number of fossils. These fossils depict life in earlier stages, and they had to come from somewhere. I don’t think God would create man in his image, and leave a bunch of meaningless fossils lying around to fuck with our heads. If he really wanted a laugh at our expense, he could have arranged it so that men peak sexually at 17, and women at 32. Oh, wait….

Have you ever really thought about why creationists object to the Theory of Evolution? Darwin himself wasn’t a bad guy. By all accounts, he believed in God, and almost never hunted Chinamen for sport. I think creationists specifically object to the idea that humans have simian ancestry. Monkeys and apes are mere creatures, so the idea is insulting to them.

I say they’re too proud. Monkeys kick ass. You can make them wear funny outfits and smoke cigars. They’re the court jesters of the animal kingdom. Moreover, gorillas are fierce and noble warriors with prominent red buttocks. Personally, I have no problem claiming an ancestry like that.

I’ve seen Planet of the Apes almost twice, and I’d much rather have monkeys in my past than in my future. Unless we’re talking about a hot ape-mistress like Helena Bonham Carter. She’s chimpan-HOT! I ask you, how many times do we need to stumble upon the toppled Statue of Liberty before we accept that monkeys aren’t so bad?

According to the bible, God created the earth and everything on it in seven days. Now, I’m willing to accept that God is a pretty diligent worker who didn’t even have the internet around to distract him, but that seems like a lot to take on for just one week. Could He have planned all the little details, like how bees would make honey, or how gamma bombs would turn scientists into incredible hulks? I don’t think so.

In order to legitimize their insane beliefs, creationists now express them in terms of “intelligent design.” To me, intelligent design is a phrase that applies to maybe 60% of the furniture you can find at Ikea. But to many, it’s the shining knight that will slay the twin dragons of evolution and natural selection.

Speaking of dragons, some creationists actually think that they’re just exaggerated depictions of what we now call dinosaurs, therefore humans and dinosaurs must have co-existed. That kind of earnest stupidity surely deserves some kind of trophy, with the sharp edges filed down to reduce the risk of an eye-pokin’.

Anyway, according to intelligent design, everything is so complex that it had to be designed by a being of greater intelligence. For example, if an archaeologist finds a statue in a field, he’d finish humping it, justifiably conclude it was designed and then reasonably seek to identify the statue's designer. He wouldn’t be justified in making the same claim if he found an irregularly shaped boulder of the same size.

Those who champion intelligent design are generally careful to avoid naming who the intelligent designer might be. After all, it’s hard to maintain an aura of pseudoscience if you’re slinging around God’s name like so many wiffleballs. But let’s be honest: I highly doubt these people are imagining a race of advanced space monsters or some crazy, six-headed elephant god from India.

Less confrontational parties on both sides sometimes try to reconcile evolution and creationism, often with hilarious results. They’ll claim “Let there be light” really refers to the Big Bang (which also happens to be my penis’ nickname, although the bible doesn’t mention that specifically). Or that each of the seven days God took to create the world is an allegorical representation of many eons. To me, this sounds a little desperate. It’s the scientific equivalent of making cereal, realizing you’ve got no milk, and using ketchup instead. Some things were just not meant to be reconciled.

You might wonder why this is even an important issue. If a group of misguided subnormals wants to believe that humanity was sculpted out of magic clay, it’s no skin off my ass, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. In parts of America, there is a powerful creationist lobby group. Alarmingly, some schools have banned the teaching of evolutionary theory. I was pissed when my school banned baseball caps, but at least that wouldn’t necessarily hurt my chances of getting on Jeopardy.

These poor kids are having their educations seriously impaired. What if one of them was destined to be a great scientist who wiped out AIDS or invented a sweet pair of rocket shoes? With such a serious educational misstep out of the gate, such a kid might find himself working the Krispy Kreme Konveyor Belt instead.

I also have a personal reason for disdaining creationists. I used to live next door to one. Maddeningly, she was a white-hot chick with an amazing body and an adorable accent. I tried everything short of tying her to railroad tracks to get her to date me. But as Abraham Lincoln once said “Straight-laced, ultra-religious creationists usually won’t date brash Jews with atheistic tendencies.” And I think he was right.

We often argued evolution vs. creation. I didn’t really care about the issue, but it gave me an excuse to talk to her, and by extension, stare at her cleavage. In one of my weaker moments, I even pretended to be swayed by her arguments. Perhaps my sudden acceptance of her ridiculous stories would be the tipping point that caused her to fall into my arms.

Naturally, that didn’t happen, and I’ve never forgiven myself for abandoning my beliefs like that. I’ve also never forgiven myself for not having a camera on hand the day she left her shutters open while changing. That itself is not the fault of creationism, but I was already carrying a grudge by then. I realized evolution must exist, because no intelligent designer would waste such a hot body on someone with such an off-putting personality.

I’ll say one thing for creationists. They might be deluded, but they sure have a lot of conviction (and, probably, convictions). Much like their overalls, or their favorite brand of chewin’ tobacco, they simply refuse to change their minds. It might be a fool’s errand to try and talk sense into any of them, but I’ll never stop trying. As a more evolved species myself, it’s the least I can do for them.

Essential New Word of the Week:

hanglophone [‘hænglofon] n

I like to travel and I like to drink. It’s fun to visit some exotic location and sample their local varieties of alcohol until you pass out. But there’s a steep price, depending on where you are, and what you drink. Having a hangover is no fun, but the misery is increased tenfold if you happen to be in a place where English is not spoken.

Maybe you’re waking up in Tokyo after a wild night of sake and karaoke. Maybe you find yourself at Oktoberfest, wondering how so much bratwurst got into your pants. Perhaps you shouldn’t have had that last shot of tequila in El Barrio. The point is, when you’re nursing a hangover, you tend to require certain things, like water, pills, a bucket….

Communicating while hung over is difficult to begin with; trying to overcome a language barrier will make you want to curl up into a ball and sob. Someone facing this kind of adversity is called a hanglophone. Things like music and mathematics are supposedly universal languages. Unfortunately, that’s not true of hangovers. If you ever become a hanglophone, use a lot of hand gestures and pray for mercy.