Metro-what? Tell me you’re … you’re not? Damn.

Those who know me are aware that I stand somewhat at odds with traditional masculine stereotypes in American culture. Thankfully, this story comes to us from overseas. Reuters says:

Men have become so openly affectionate with each other using mobile technology they’ve taken to signing off text messages to male friends with a kiss (x), giving rise to a new generation dubbed “Metrotextuals.”

New research from mobile phone firm T-Mobile reveals nearly a quarter of men (22 percent) regularly include a kiss on texts to their male mates, T-Mobile said in an emailed statement.

“Metrotextuality” is most widespread among 18-24 year old males with three quarters (75 percent) regularly sealing texts with a kiss and 48 percent admitting that the practice has become commonplace amongst their group of friends.

Nearly a quarter of this age group (23 percent) even appreciate an “x’ in a text exchange from people that aren’t close friends.

But it’s not just younger men that have become Metrotextuals — one in 10 men over 55 often completes a text to another male with a kiss, according to the poll.

The research also revealed there’s a certain etiquette within metrotextuality. A lower case “x” is the preferred sign-off for most (52 percent) compared to 17 percent for a bolder upper case X), with one in three sharing the love in a big way with multiple lower case kisses (xxx).

Look, it’s real simple: No, no, and no.

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A nostalgic trip back to the Heavy Metal Wars

Ah, how people need to be offended. Anyway, I found this while looking up a reference to the time Ozzy pissed on the Alamo. One Terry Watkins apparently penned this screed during Sharon Osbourne’s battle with cancer (ca. 2002-03):

One of the hottest celebrities today is the vulgar, violent and demonic Ozzy Osbourne. MTV recently launched the profanity-soaked The Osbournes family show. The Osbournes is simply filmed during Oz and family’s normal (if you could possibly call it that) daily life. No acting. . . No pretense. . . Just simply being their abnormal self. It’s just “family time with The Osbournes“. I stomached one nauseating viewing of The Osbournes (and believe me – that was one too many!). I counted 51 occurrences of the “F-word” in a little over 15 minutes (episode “Dinner with Ozzy”). Profanity and perversion is spewed by all the Oz kin – Oz, wife, teenage daughter and son. Of course, MTV “bleeps” the worse profanity out, but the actual words are easily understood. In between the onslaught of f-words, and depravity, a drug-cooked-burnt-out Ozzy staggers, mumbles, shakes and screams in a state of spaced-out, confusion. Much of the subject matter and perverse acts can not and will not be repeated in this article – but believe me – it’s sicko, sicko and sicko. . . And sicko. . .

MTV’s vulgar and vile The Osbournes is the most successful show in MTV history! It received the highest ratings of any other entertainment program on any other cable station this season. Over 8 million viewers tune in to The Osbournes. MTV’s contract to extend The Osbournes profanity-program another two years was the most expensive in MTV’s history! Over $20 million!

    “. . . men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. . .”
    John 3:19

Knowing MTV’s usual subject matter and tweenie audience the huge success of the disgusting The Osbournes is no real shocker. The more vile. . . The more vulgar. . . The more offensive. . . The more teenagers. . . will watch MTV.

Let’s just start with, Wow.

It’s really quite simple. So, it’s what, six or seven years later? The thing is that even I forget most of what I’ve posted to the web. As that comprises, literally, millions of words over the last ten or so years, I don’t think that lapse is particularly unusual. But every once in a while something pops up and I think, Did I really write that?

Here’s the problem, though: When I was a teenager, Tipper Gore and the PMRC, as well as other censors—including the consummately dishonest Bob Larson, who needed to rewrite the lyrics in order to communicate the perceived offense—demonstrated only that they hadn’t a clue what they were dealing with or talking about. And so it is with the unfortunate Mr. (Reverend? Pastor?) Watkins and the Dial-the-Truth Ministries.

Just a little hint: When your underlying premise is that teenagers are too stupid to understand things like rock and roll music, or cheap reality television, the only thing you’re going to accomplish is raising a generation of idiots.

I mean, sure, I’m occasionally embarrassed by a naîve argument about gun control, or a misconstrued argument resulting from having read a source incorrectly, but, by Christ, I can’t imagine making such a stellar fool of myself as Terry Watkins has managed.

While he even trolled Hit Parader and Circus magazine for quotes, he somehow managed to miss the one about Ozzy and Randy and Geezer watching an amazing porno featuring a well-hung man and a really exhausted-looking chicken. I mean, come on. The bane of your life hands you a gift, and you miss it? Of course, that’s part of what Watkins doesn’t get, anyway. Put something like that in front of a teenager, and he might laugh his ass off, but few and far between are those who would actually go out and fuck a chicken.

But, perhaps that’s part of the point. Watkins’ form of Christian righteousness has nothing to do with Jesus, compassion, or Christianity. Rather, it has to do with satiation of the ego. He looks at an addict and sees the Devil. Anything to denounce. Anything to vent that fury, that hatred. But, of course, he wants to seem like a good Christian, so he asks us all to pray for Sharon and the family:

IMPORTANT: Please pray for Ozzy’s wife Sharon. She has colon cancer. Pray that God would open her eyes, at this critical time, to the serious consequences of dying without the Lord Jesus Christ. What a blessing if she got saved! And what if the whole Osbourne family got wonderfully saved?

Anyone else would be embarrassed. Perhaps Mr. Watkins is. Then again, he bothered in the first place, so who am I to presume he has anything remotely resembling a sense of shame? All I know is that if I put that much effort into missing the point, I would probably be horribly embarrassed. We can only hope Mr. Watkins is so fortunate.

In the meantime, I’ll thank him for the chuckle. It’s exactly what I needed, as the clock pushes half past four or so in the morning, to put a smile on my face. Ah, nostalgia! It’s almost enough to make me pine for the Heavy Metal Wars with the PMRC.

Random Family Guy question

A random Family Guy question.

Recently I’ve been going back and watching as many of the Family Guy episodes I’ve missed as possible. And now I find myself scrambling to pick up a joke that blew right by me the first time because my viewing habit had grown, for various reasons, somewhat spotty.

I’m pulling up old episodes to find the gag, a play on words and accents that Generation X, at least, might remember from school days. The main focus of the joke is words starting with the consonant blend wh-. And it’s true, for those who have never heard the lesson before. Listen to how people say these words, and where the h occurs.

But they’ve done it with a couple other words, too:

  • 6.08 (5ACX03) — “Barely Legal”: Brian and Stewie, “Cool Whip”; Brian and Meg, “a while” and “weird”; Quagmire and two women, “whip”.
  • 7.11 (6ACX03) — “Love, Blactually”: Brian and Stewie, “ruined”.
  • 7.11 (6ACX17) — “Not All Dogs Go to Heaven”: Patrick Stewart and Stewie, “Wil Wheaton”.

Mostly, I’m curious as to how many more times they tried this bit. They ran the legs off the gag in “Barely Legal”, and one thing I adore about McFarlane and company is their ability to beat a dead horse until it’s funny. I tend to think one of the merits of Family Guy is that they learned the applicable lesson from that legendary Simpsons episode, “Cape Feare”: If you do it right, there is no such thing as doing a joke to death.

(Kudos, however, are in order for the death of Vern and Johnny—”The Vaudville Guys”—in the episode, “Saving Private Brian”, even if they did bring them back as ghosts a year later.)

Anyway, yeah. Any clues on how many episodes they’ve worked this bit into?