Tempora et Mores: RAM Dump 2009
“No one needs more than 256k of RAM,” Bill Gates once famously quipped.
Turns out it’s not true—not for gig-devouring Windows-based computers and not for human beings on the downslope of 50.
I’ve decided, therefore, that I’ve really got no choice: If I want to keep my processing level reasonably high, I’ve got to convert some storage space. Which means losing some memories from 2008 and beyond.
On the chance that any of the following memories might turn out to have the slightest redeeming historical value, I’m hoping someone else will step forward to take them over. As for me, as of midnight tonight, I am purging my memory of the following (and the secretary will disavow all knowledge of my actions):
1. Michael Phelps.Let’s be honest: The 2008 Olympics were a bore, China had no business being allowed to host them, and Michael Phelps is the biggest athlebrity dork since … well, ever. In keeping with the values and mores of the Dubya era (see below), he can barely string two coherent sentences together and, even were he to read Trollope out loud, he’d still sound like a tall, idiot child with a mouth full of mashed banana. Who knows how a kid born in Baltimore wound up with a voice like a Valley Boy, though I suppose we should be grateful he didn’t take the other linguistic choice of white boys of his generation: talking like a wigger. Plus, he’s got a wicked overbite and he shaves his forearms. I’m over it.
2. Hillary Clinton was robbed.I’d be tempted to forget Hillary Clinton altogether, just because she pisses me off, but I feel the need to keep her in the memory banks as long as she’s Secretary of State. For me, it was real simple: Barack Obama’s message was “I’d really like to be president, and I have some innovative ideas that I’d put into practice if you gave me the chance.” La Clinton’s message was: “You owe me, I deserve it, and damn it, it’s my turn!” Other than not being able to control her megalomaniac husband, that’s essentially why she lost. End of story. While I’m at it, I’m purging everything leading up to last year’s Democratic convention.
3. Povia.Italian pop singer. Sort of Michael Bolton with hair, but less talented. One year he had a hit song about how cute babies are. The year after that he had a hit song about how cute pigeons are. This year he’s threatening to go to the annual Italian music festival, Sanremo, with a song about how cute ex-gays are. Povia himself was gay for seven months, he says, “on account of keeping bad company.” Now he’s cured and, what the hell, he wants to sing about it. We are not amused.
4. Soup. No special reason. I just ate way too much of it in 2008, and I don’t want to think about it for at least a year. Starting in January 2010, feel free to remind me what I’m missing and to send along your recipes. (Runners-up in this category were eggplant and rosemary.)
5. The Shrub. (RIP, Molly Ivins.) Our long national nightmare is over. Gerald Ford said it about the Nixon years; I can’t say it enough about the Dubya years. Even if Obama’s presidency turns out to be as lackluster as, say, Millard Fillmore’s, things are still bound to be better. I’m only worried that I’m probably not going to live long enough for historians to recall The Shrub as the most disastrous president of all time and/or to spit on his grave. Them, I mean. Doing the spitting. Because I’ll have forgotten all about it.
6. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bernard Madoff, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and their fellow travelers. This is more in the nature of a memory adjustment than a memory dump, but my plan is to clear away a lot of details (including competing editorials in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, each “explaining” the financial crisis in terribly convincing and mutually incompatible terms) and just “remember” that the lot of them are rotting in prison. Preferably in Texas. Preferably near Amarillo.
7. Benedictus PP. XVI. Forgetting the entirety of organized religion would, admittedly, free up a ton of space, but would then necessitate a defrag that could last most of the year. Between Catholics, Jihadists, compassionate conservatives, the Taliban, the Mormons (aka, the American Taliban), Rick Warren and his minions, Fatwas and Sharia, and all the rest, it’s difficult to know where to start. My plan, however, is to begin by forgetting not just Pope Ratz, but all that has happened in his papacy—all the way back to April 19, 2005, when 115 cardinals in Rome got it really, really wrong.
8. Celebrity chefs. I don’t want to argue that Italian television has the most irritating celebrity chefs in the world (not when people like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are in contention), but there’s this one guy, Mattia Poggi (whom one site likens to an Australian surfer) whose plucked eyebrows, masonry-strength hair gel, and maddening habit of saying “E voilà!” every three seconds are enough to make me fantasize about feeding him into the duck press. He’s the epitome of everything that went wrong with Italian boys in the 1990s: The sexiest guys in the world got metrosexualed to within an inch of their lives; they’re depilated, effete, anorexic, and vain, and they have more cosmetics in their bathroom cabinets than their sisters. Plus, Mattia is a stupid name for a boy. Anyway … my point is: Ever since Two Fat Ladies went off the air a decade ago, has any one of these egomaniacs taught you one useful thing? I seriously doubt it. I’m even going to unsubscribe from the American Public Media’s newsletter, “The Splendid Kitchen,” because Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s shameless name-dropping and “more Italian than thou” attitude have become seriously unbearable.
9. Canadian movies, especially if Denys Arcand is involved.My “Movies I Saw in 2008 That Really Sucked” list is topped by Arcand’s The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions Barbares) and Days of Darkness (L’Âge des Ténèbres). But I’ve also been forced to see such dogs as Where the Truth Lies (useful to recall, however, if you ever find yourself playing “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”), The Saddest Music in the World (not even La Rossellini could help), and any number of Canadian horror films or comedies, which are indistinguishable from one another. It’s no accident that the most over-hyped movie of the last quarter-century, Crash, was written and directed by a Canadian. Guys, you whip our asses at just about everything having to do with government, social policy, and quality of life. Couldn’t you just leave the movies to us?
10. Sarah Palin.I don’t really need to explain why, do I? Don’t worry, though: I’m definitely keeping Tina Fey.