lovehate: Top Ten Pieces of General Admission Summer Concert Etiquette

  1. I know you love your 3 year old. I know I don't. There are beer, drugs, and scary-looking people at rock concerts. For the price you paid for a ticket, hire a sitter.
  2. I get that there may be a song that you don't like and so you use that opportunity to go buy a drink or hit the bathroom, but if you're putting double digits on the odometer before the first hour is up, maybe you should just stand in the concession area.
  3. Your friend does not need to know RIGHT NOW which song the band is playing, nor do I need you to scream into your cellphone for 5 minutes while standing 3 feet behind me on the lawn.
  4. This is a concert, not a ball game. I can get my own drink. I don't need beer-laden shills waddling through my view to sell suds at my seat. I'd like to watch the show!
  5. As much as I might not like, but respect your right to walk up out of nowhere and stand right in front of me on the General Admission lawn, must you light up your shitty-smelling clove cigarette when doing so?
  6. Remember the inspirational maxim "Dance like nobody's watching"? Well I AM watching, because you're 5 feet in front of me and flailing around like a spastic marionette on an amphetamine bender. How about giving it a rest during, oh, I don't know, setbreaks!
  7. You know how there are times when the band WANTS you to sing along with them... oh, that's right, you do! And you think it's EVERY WORD of EVERY SONG! If I pay you the ticket price, will you shut up for the rest of the night?
  8. Your blanket is NOT eminent domain!
  9. While I know you want to get rid of you $9 beer cans so that you don't have to step on them while getting your "groove thang" on, letting them roll into my space so that my equilibrium on a hill is threatened. Especially if you move downhill from me... I'm a big guy.
  10. I'm guessing you talked to your concert-mate on the phone earlier, on the drive over, and pre-show. While the music is playing, here's a general rule: How about a little less talking and a little more SHUT THE HELL UP!

thinglets: German "Nazi Gnomes" Portend Bleak Lawn Ornament Future?

Okay, I really just wanted to use the word "portend", but since I've started anyway, I'll continue...

In reading a recent story of an art installation of a group of Nazi saluting garden gnomes lined up like Terracotta warriors, I felt inspired to half-heartedly ponder some ethical questions surrounding the world of lawn ornaments. After all, aren't all lawn ornament really just "art installations" by the homeowner?

When some citizens and politicians decided to get behind a movement to remove the installation, prosecutors argued that while "Hitler salutes and Nazi symbols have been illegal in Germany since the end of World War II... they were allowed if they were used clearly to counter national socialist ideology." 

The basic argument promotes the idea that because they're tiny, bearded, and have wacky hats, the "Gnazis" must be a parody. Now if being slight of stature, having facial hair, or having your head bedecked like a Deadhead at a used record store, means that you are automatically a source of "parody" when matched with a gesture, there are surely going to be some lobby groups that will want to have a say on this. The Leipzig Little People for Politically Correct Lawn Ornamentation, the Bearded Brewchuggers of Berlin, and Local 2468 of the International Brotherhood of Haberdashers, will have to line up their representatives to address the National Subcommittee for Lawn Beautification and Grass Seed Regulation.
If an odd juxtaposition implies parody, what does that say for the millions of pre-pubescent cherub boys pissing in fountains on lawns all over the world? Did the creator of the sculpture want to draw our attention to the fact that our reaction would be very different if it was a life-sized John Holmes taking a leak in a golden chalice?
I suppose a lawn nativity scene during the holidays must be instant parody. After all, none of these biblical characters, in their supposed setting, could have logically been white, so the sculpture must be the artist's effort to convey a sense of western culture has perverted the true tenets of the Catholic faith.
I don't even know what the frak to make of a winged dog, but perhaps the artist is trying to point out a "jump the shark" moment in Superman lore when Krypto the Superdog joined the man of steel. Either that, or the person casting the mold was smoking up with the aforementioned record store Deadhead just before heading into work.

Does this decision by the German courts mean that all of the people I have been vilifying over the past decade for racially-insensitive lawn jockeys can now claim that it's "parody" or "satire" and only meant to expose the flaws in our racially-charged culture?

I think that if I get a lawn ornament, I'm going with the "Raise the Roof" Buddha pictured below. I'm not a Buddhist, but I'd simply like everyone to get a chuckle when they walk by and say, "Oh, look honey, that fat Asian man is holding up nothing. That's much more deep than the Atlas statue at the Hendersons."