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I’m Loathin’: Elizabeth Hasselbeck February 6, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Loathin'.
Tags: , , ,
6 comments

I give you the devil (who may or may not wear Prada, I don’t know):

Elizabeth Hasselbeck in her true form.

Elizabeth Hasselbeck in her true form.

When Elizabeth and I first met, she affected me the way that she probably affected most women: I fell in lust.  I was in a whirlwind love affair with all the women on The View.  Wow, thought I, these ladies are funny!  And they’re smart!  Elizabeth’s really pretty!  (I was 12 when The View first started; it wasn’t like was going to have any major epiphanies.  Get off me.)

Even as I watched The View in high school, I still found myself drawn to Elizabeth.  She was nice to the guests and rather charming, and I enjoyed how she expressed her differing viewpoints with Meredith, Starr, Joy, and Barbara in a way that preserved everyone’s dignity.  I admired her backbone and poise.

Then Meredith left for the Morning Show, and Barbara brought on Rosie O’Donnell.  

This was problematic.

See, I loved Rosie long before I loved Elizabeth.  The Rosie O’Donnell Show used to come on television right after I got home from school.  I distinctly remember watching Rosie and then turning over to The Nanny before Mom would get home and make me start my homework.  It was almost as if Rosie was my dirty little secret; she and I spent an hour together every weekday afternoon with no one the wiser.  She was my special favorite. 

So thus, in one fell swoop, Elizabeth lost her position on top of my daytime television pedestal.  It’s almost as if she knew, because right after Rosie joined the show (and began give-aways, which is the only reason The View still has a live audience) she became a total and complete gremlin.  No longer was dialogue civilized; Elizabeth turned Hot Topics into a vicious personal attack every single day.  It didn’t matter what kind of interference Barbara Walters interfered, or what concessions My Darling Rosie tried to make.  Elizabeth just became more and more vicious.  

I began to dislike Elizabeth. 

She and I were on the outs.  Our strained relationship finally imploded when she and Rosie had a fight on air that lasted a full uncensored 5 minutes.  Rosie tried to talk reasonably with Elizabeth, and Elizabeth went bat crap insane.  Their feuding drove Rosie off the show.  This made me sad. 

I now hated Elizabeth.

You’d think that would set Elizabeth straight again, and she would go back to her charming, aw-shucks-you-guys ways.  You’d think she’d abandon her defensive ways, but no.  She’s just morphed into a less composed Ann Coulter, or a Rush Limbaugh with smaller breasts.  In other words, she’s nuttier than a fruitcake.  I have come to loathe Elizabeth Hasselbeck so completely, so thoroughly, that I became nauseous while defacing her picture and threw up a little bit in my mouth.  

There are many reasons I hate Elizabeth.  First off, she’s completely and totally unwilling to compromise.  She refuses to acknowledge anyone else’s opposing viewpoints; she automatically supposes that her extreme right-ism is the only answer.  She is physically incapable of saying, “okay, I can see where you are coming from, but I think XYZ.”  It’s like any sort of mediation would melt her tongue straight off.  Instead, she doggedly stands by any conservative stance, even if it is completely ridiculous, and conversely, she attacks any liberal stance, even if it has merit.  It’s almost like she’s retarded.

To boot, she cannot hold a constructive debate.  She’s like kid in your elementary school class who told you that you were wrong, and when you asked why, it was because you were stupid.  When someone counters one of her points, she just beats a dead horse.  She will RETURN TO THE REBUTTED POINT AND SAY THE SAME THING OVER AGAIN.  It’s like listening to a broken record–that is, if the record had a high, screechy voice and might actually fly over a table at you during commercial break.

I could, possibly, forgive all of that.  Maybe.  But here’s the thing that sends me over the edge:  all she does is yell.  YELL.  CONSTANTLY.  I’M ELIZABETH AND EVERY TIME YOU DISAGREE WITH ME I’M GOING TO SPEAK AT YOU IN ALL CAPS.  Not only does she make stupid arguments (not stupid debate), she has to SCREAM them at you.  She’s three episodes away from putting her hands over her ears and yelling I CAN’T HEAR YOU over and over in Joy’s face.  

The thing is, I can respect her (begrudgingly) for wanting to stand up for what she believes in, but the way she does it gives conservatism a bad rap.  I’m moderate with conservative leanings, so I can gel with some of what she says on air.  It’s the way she does it, though, that’s so irritating.  I’m sure that moderate conservatives everywhere must wish she would shut her pie hole; every time Elizabeth brings up a subject for debate, she slaughters it so thoroughly that it becomes unrecognizable.  It’s a problem, especially because the press she generates for conservatives is wholly negative.  I’m waiting for her to get her own show on FOX NEWS, where this sort of behavior is tolerated AND propagated.  

And the worst part?  She. Keeps. Reproducing.

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Because I’m A Selective Listener November 21, 2008

Posted by A. Robinson in Bus Songs, Crazy Magnet.
Tags: , , , ,
3 comments

About three weeks ago this area of the country had its first cold snap, which prompted the trees to change colors and the locals to fish out their bulky–though toasty–outerwear.  I’ve been living here for four years, but I’m still not accustomed to the winter weather, so where many people were donning sweatshirts, I had on my sub-zero Columbia.  

Cold snaps are particularly problematic for someone who catches the bus in the morning.  Its always much colder at 7:00 or 8:00, so if you’re not careful, the weather can take you by surprise.  This particular morning happened to be below freezing at 7:00 a.m. with the wind chill, so I was particularly proud of my forethought.  I swung my truck into a prime space in the Walmart* parking lot and trudged over to the bus stop to hitch a ride onto campus.  

Normally the 7:00 route is fairly empty, but today I happened to have one of the on-again, off-again bus-taking Walmartians to keep me company.  I had seen this woman at the stop before, but normally she was busy either a) smoking up a storm or 2) chatting with her fellow, equally odd Walmartian co-workers.  The last time I’d been privvy to their conversation they’d been discussing how her neighbor had been kicked out of her apartment complex for attacking the landlord; with this in mind, I nodded a polite “hello” and sent her a reserved smile, keeping my fingers crossed that I’d done just enough to meet decorum without inviting further conversation. 

Pah.  Some luck.  

Not five seconds after I’d arranged my backpack and lunchbox on the ground, this woman pulled out a pack of cigarettes and started to drum up conversation.  I didn’t expect much; she certainly look like she’d been “rode hard and put up wet,” so to speak.  She was in her late 50s as best I could guess, average height, a little round around the middle.  Her hair was long enough to reach past her lower back despite the fact it was pulled back in a scrunchii that looked like she’d had it since 1993.  The cheap, Crayola yellow she’d decided to dip her head in made her smoker’s complexion look even more pasty, and the constant punishment she’d inflicted on her poor, defenseless hair made it look more like hay than anything else.  I could tell that she’d put effort into her appearance, though–she certainly hadn’t neglected make-up.  I didn’t ask her name–still don’t know it–so for the sake of the story, we’ll call her “Blondie.”  

I discreetly moved myself and my pile out of her smoke trail as she began to complain about how late the bus was running. 

“Man, don’t he know I’m freezing out here?” she railed.  “This bus driver is always late.  He’s supposed to be here at 7:30, and it’s already done 7:35.  The old bus driver, he wasn’t never late.”

“Oh,” I respond.  The Red bus’ driver is actually quite delightful.  Unlike his counterparts, he actually waits for latecomers and doesn’t leave you in a cloud of natural gas fumes if you happen to have waited in your car to keep warm.  He’s always friendly, and usually quite nice to talk to.  I’d been riding his buses off and on for four years, so I felt morally obligated to defend his honor.  At least a little.  “Sometimes he runs a little late on the first route because he has to get out of the depot.”

Of course, the Blonde Bombshell cuts no slack, continuing on about how cold she is.  I notice she’s wearing nothing more than a thin, purple hoodie and say as much.  

“Well, I’d be wearing my coat if I had it,” she responds.  She’s clearly getting agitated now; her voice has more than the usual amount of edge to it.  “I used to have a green coat, but it got holes in the pocket so I threw it away.  Then I got a pink one, but it’s dirty, so I can’t wear it.”

Hrm.  Problematic, this.  I start to realize that this woman is fully prepared to divulge much more information that I’m willing to listen to.  I respond with sympathy, and make a show of putting on my backpack, hoping she’ll take it as a signal that our conversation is over.  

She doesn’t. 

“I would wash (pronounced WAR-sh) my jacket, but the machines at the place where I rent (not “apartment,” not “complex”) are broke.”  

I politely suggest taking her jacket to the cleaners, mentioning that it’s better for it than the warshing machine anyway.  Blondie will have none of it, and tells me that dry cleaning is a waste of money.  Apparently she visited a cleaners, and when they told her the price, she turned right around and walked out.  Fine, I think, this woman obviously gets minimum wage.  Cleaners can be outrageous–perhaps she has a point.  

“I went to the laundromat too, and they wanted to charge me $1.75 a load!  I couldn’t believe it!  That’s just way too expensive,” she says.  I start to interject, but Blondie cuts me off.  “It’s no good though.  There’s a sign on the door [to the warshroom, I assume] that says the machines will be fixed soon, but it’s been two weeks and they ain’t done nothing about it.”  

TWO WEEKS?!  I’m sure my jaw dropped and my eyes got wide.  Talk about airing your dirty laundry!  Har-dee-har-har.   

“Well,” I reply, forgetting the caution I normally exert when dealing with CRAZY PEOPLE, “It seems to me that’s not too much to pay for clean clothes.”

“Did you not hear me?!” This woman–whom I’d never spoken to before five minutes ago–has started to YELL at me.  “You weren’t paying to attention to anything I was saying!”  She’s now making eye contact, a sure sign of aggression in animals, children, and Walmartians.

Oh.  EXCUSE ME.  Not only is some stranger yelling at me, she’s falsely accusing me of not actively participating in a conversation that I politely tried to end numerous times.  At this point, I’ve crossed the line from being mildly annoyed to just plain pissed.  

“Excuse me, ma’am,” I respond, drawing myself up straight, returning her stare.  “I heard every word you said.  $1.75.  See?  I caught that.  I’m just saying that it’s not too much to pay for clean underwear.”  We stare at each other for a few seconds, and she looks away.  Ha!  Point for me. 

If you take nothing else from this post, remember this:  If you don’t win that dominance-establishing staring match with animals, children, or Walmartians, they will tear you apart.  You have to sacrifice manners for survival.

I clearly am the bigger dog, but this doesn’t convince Blondie to shut up.  She moves on to another story, telling me about how her daughter helped her get a job at Walmart, but then was fired.  That’s why she rides the bus now, she says.  Her daugher’s (lousy, no good, jerk of a) husband won’t let her drive mama to work at 11:00 p.m. at night. 

“I never did like him, not at all,” she finishes defiantly as the bus pulls up.  As I wait behind her to get on, the bus driver and I share an eye roll.  What a nut job, I say to him without words.  

As she sits down in the seat behind him so she can chat with a new victim, he responds with a glance:  Oh, I TOTALLY KNOW.