Where I’m @
By: Ann Brown
Now that we are out of Iraq, I can focus on the rest of the shit going wrong in America.
Specifically, how everyone is using the @ sign on keyboards. It will be our country’s next downfall.
Granted, @ carries with it some interesting global factitude (it’s called “the snail” in French, “the strudel” in Hebrew, “the dog” in Russian, “the cat” in Finnish and “the spider monkey” in German because I imagine that “the hook nosed money grubbing rabid infectious Jew dog” was too long to say in German) but a soupcon of interest isn’t gonna save its ass from my crosshairs.
It just seems….I don’t know, bullshit and entitled…. to type @ when all you have to do to type the actual word, “at”, is add one fucking letter. In fact, if you count having to hit the “shift” button before hitting the “2”, it is the same effort as writing “at”. So using “@” isn’t even a time-saver. It’s such an American fat cat thing to do. Just tweaking shit just to make it different, to make it ours. Spraying our stinky urine @ everyone. No wonder the terrorists hate us. I can barely look at us.
There is, however and happily, an antidote to our bullshit. We can reduce our language footprint and regain our humility.
The antidote is eliminating “ness” from all words. Any child can do it.
I am a new convert to this revolution, having been recently inducted by my friend Elizabeth, who must be right because she was An English Major In College. (I, an ethnology of non-western music and dance major in college, and a writer, stand in awe and reverence of English Majors In College so I capitalize Them whenever I see Them.)
Happiness. Restlessness. Horniness. The ‘ness’ is unnecessary; Elizabeth is right. In fact, ness is actually quite annoying, as well, now that I see the light and have embraced the downsized, simple abundance, way of life. “Ness” is a leech, a slacker; it catches a free ride on the back of the truly hardworking words, leaving less room for words like “justice” and “solidarity” and “bite my fat ass, you hypocritical piece of shit, Newt Gringrich”. “Ness” is the @ of words. And Newt is the “ness” of the universe.
Ness is the obsequious friend that echoes everything you say and tries to make it his own statement. You know, you say to someone at a party, “Trini Lopez? He sang, ‘Lemon Tree’, right?” and the friend chimes in on the “opez” of “Lopez” and vigorously agrees with the fact that he sang “Lemon Tree”, like he was the one all along who said it.
Or, someone asks you about your major in college and when you answer, “Ethnology of Non-Western Music and Dance Performance”, the friend says, “Oh, I was going to be an Ethnology of Non-Western Music And Dance Performance major, too, but I already knew everything about it.”
And you silently scream, oh, shut the fuck up, you unnecessary passive repeater.
So let’s just pitch it into the pile of useless shit with, I don’t know, emoticons, St. John’s Wort, Sara Lee bagels, Moroccan Hair Oil, people who say “no problemo”, scrapbookers, Nazi memorabilia collectors, suburban track mansion dwellers, the whole lot of those fucking Kardashians and all other superfluous ephemera that takes up space in the world.
Space that could be used for hating Newt, fighting Communism, and storing all my Dansko clogs.