Editor’s note: This is another in my series of monthly musings on the news, published on the Sunday following the last Saturday of each month, except when it’s not.
© 2013 Tom Pfeifer
Current as of Nov. 30, 2013
My Shorter Oxford English Dictionary devotes four pages in small print to “self” as a modifier. There’s self-absorbed, self-admired, self-boasting, self-deluding, self-indulgence, self-flattery, and self-love. There is also self-censorship and self-restraint, but those conditions are rare and are soon to be relegated to the archaic pile.
Given that, it was only a matter of time before Oxford Dictionaries chose “selfie” as its word of the year.
But as self-centered as you all are, some of you are just better at it. In fact, some of you are so egomaniacal that you deserve an award. So, without further ado, here are my November 2013 Selfie Awards.
Our first Selfie falls in the “Guns Don’t Kill, That’s Why We Have a Pig Problem” category and is presented to the hunters who let pigs go feral so they would have something to shoot. There’s just one problem. Pigs are destructive and elusive creatures and don’t like to be shot. Now I like bacon as much as the next man, but if it’s running wild instead of having its fat running off my fingers, it’s a wasted boar. Texas takes the pork with 5 million wild pigs. But other states from Florida to Virginia are also battling the beasts – and losing.
A University of Georgia study estimated the rampaging porkers caused $81 million in agricultural damage in 2011. They also attack humans, cannily going for the femoral artery. It’s a deadly food fight.
The appropriately named Charlie Killmaster is a Georgia Department of Natural Resources deer and feral hog biologist. He’s among those who would award hunters a Selfie.
“I think they’re selfish. I think they just don’t care,” Killmaster told The Washington Post.
Well done, pig hunters.
Our second Selfie is awarded to dog owners who don’t curb their pets. Those dogs may not hunt, but they do poop.
They met their match, however, in a Massachusetts town where people are so intelligent their brains apparently grow on trees. Tired of stepping in non-elusive dog doo, one Braintree condo complex manager defeated the self-centered dog bores by requiring a cheek swab from resident pooches. Before obtaining the canine saliva, condo manager Barbara Kansky would call the offending dog owner only to be told: “Prove it.” Now she can, and the poop population has dropped precipitously.
Liz Cheney, the non-gay daughter of the former vice president, receives a Selfie for challenging sitting U.S. senator and fellow Republican Mike Enzi for not being conservative enough. Note that Enzi has been endorsed by none other than conservative firebrand Rand Paul. No matter. Liz’s hoggish ambition has fragmented not only her own family but Wyoming as a whole. Even Democrats, who would normally rejoice at such piggish behavior, are aghast.
“To see old bonds being ripped (is) something you hate to see happen,” former Democratic governor Mike Sullivan told the media.
As far as the family goes, Liz’s lesbian baby sister, Mary Cheney, and Mary’s wife, Heather Poe, have publicly bashed the candidate for her stance against gay marriage. Liz is a hypocrite, Mary says, for supporting her privately but bashing her lifestyle publicly. Dick Cheney – remember him? He was vice president. – says Mary is confusing Liz’s unconditional sibling love with a long-held conviction.
Even though Liz’s challenge may be a greased pig, one should not be surprised at her candidacy. Nearly everyone hunts in Wyoming.
But we reserve our Selfie of the Month for none other than that wonderfully wacky, crack-smoking, high-on-the-hog mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. Despite a history of public drunkenness, a profanity-laced video of him threatening to kill Mike Tyson, and much other crazy behavior including miming drunk driving during a city council meeting, Ford refuses to resign. Pretty much the entire Toronto political establishment has called on Ford to step aside. In a pig’s eye, he told them. He’s up for re-election on Oct. 27, 2014, and wants the voters to decide if they want to keep their piggish politician in power.
City mothers and fathers are on the hunt for a replacement. Candidates must be self-confident selfies who can bring home the bacon and fill the piggy bank.
Are you up for the job? Just picture it.
Associated Press. “Mystery dog poop can be tracked to the pup.” The Washington Post. 27 November 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/2013/11/27/a9d1680a-5767-11e3-835d-e7173847c7cc_story.html
Barrineau, Trey. “‘Selfie’ named word of the year for 2013.” USA Today. 19 November 2013. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2013/11/18/selfie-named-word-of-the-year-2013/3634727/
Fears, Darryl. “Virginia acts to reduce population of wild pigs, the ‘most invasive animal’ in U.S.” The Washington Post. 24 November 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/virginia-acts-to-reduce-population-of-wild-pigs-the-most-invasive-animal-in-us/2013/11/24/aa4077ca-52b9-11e3-9e2c-e1d01116fd98_story.html
Moloney, Paul. City Hall Bureau reporter. “Rob Ford and Doug Ford plan comeback on YouTube.” Toronto Star. 29 November 2013. http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2013/11/29/rob_ford_and_doug_ford_plan_comeback_on_youtube.html
Sullivan, Sean, and Tumulty, Karen. Alice Crites contributed. “Liz Cheney’s campaign challenge, family strife ‘bruising’ Wyoming Republicans.” The Washington Post. 23 November 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/liz-cheneys-campaign-challenge-family-strife-bruising-wyoming-republicans/2013/11/23/88f6ec42-539b-11e3-a7f0-b790929232e1_story.html