Is History Important?

Dear Old Phart,

My college roommate and I were engaged in a late night discussion on whether history is important. He argued it was and used the old bromide that “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” I countered that in this age of “fake facts” and instantaneous communication, words are not worth the paper they used to be written on.

What say you?

Yes We Were Stoned

Dear Yes We Were Stoned,

The short answer to your question is that history is important to history teachers but history teachers do not make history. Neither do history majors– unless they get a job in a field other than their major.

History is only important in a social darwinistic sense; that is, you do something based on what others have done or not done (history) that changes how both you and others act or react (making history).

For instance, let’s say you are not as smart as a history major but you inherit a large sum of money.

With this money you make investments and based upon your family legacy,  people and banks give you more money. Over time people believe that you have a history of successful investment so they start to throw ever larger sums of money at you.

Then you convince people that not only are you smarter than a history major, but you are smarter than those who write the first draft of history–journalists.

When you convince all these people how smart you are, even though you’re not, then you can become President of the United States.   Now that’s making history!

And that’s why you now find yourself living  in the Stoned Age.

Old Phart

White Privilege?

Dear Old Phart,

I am your average white guy on the 1-2-3 plan. One wife, two kids and three part-time jobs. I make $38,000 a year and am forced to buy Obamacare so my family, including my son with asthma, can have lousy health insurance. My major leisure time activity is falling asleep on the couch while watching tv and worrying about  car payments.

If I’m  lucky, my kids will be able to afford to go to community college so they can have the same sucky life I have.

I keep hearing about white privilege. When am I going to get some?

Depressed in Des Moines

Dear Depressed,

This past year basketball star LeBron James had his house spray painted with racist graffiti. After this happened he remarked: “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in American is tough.”

Some have complained that LeBron’s comments were out of place as he is, as are other black people, very successful. But let’s face it,  if you were in LeBron’s size 15 sneakers, no one would be spraying your home with racist graffiti because you are a white man. And remember the average black family makes $23,000 less than the average white family. And if your son was black, you would be worrying about his life ending prematurely at a traffic stop, or if living in the central city, by gang violence.

Now let me tell you a factoid about the Old Phart. One of my favorite cartoons appeared in the now-defunct humor magazine “The National Lampoon.” The cartoon showed a hot dog in human form with a face, arms and legs standing in front of a mail box. In his hand is a letter from the Publisher Clearinghouse Sweepstakes that says: “You may already be a weiner!”

Now to answer your question about when are you going to get some of that  white privilege.

There is white privilege even though not all white people are privileged.  And there are some privileged people who are not white.

LeBron? He’s a proud black man, worth over $400 million dollars, with multiple homes and cars.  His 12 year old son is already such a superb basketball athlete that he is drawing attention from top colleges. LeBron is a winner.

You? You may already be a weiner.

Old Phart

 

 

 

 

 

Forever Alone?

Dear Old Phart,

I’ve tried it all! Blind dates, set ups, online apps, meeting  guys at bars, at school or at work…. but I still can’t seem to find a “significant other”. What do you think is the best practice? Should I continue dating or just let it come to me? Or give up all together?

Forever Alone

Dear Forever Alone,

From your letter, and the enclosed picture of you sitting on your bed,  I can deduce three things:

  1. you have a substance abuse challenge – as shown by the empty beer bottle on your night stand with the half-smoked doobie balanced on top of it.  A less challenged person would have finished the blunt and left the beer bottle half empty.
  2. you like bad boys–as shown by the poster of the lead singer from the indie band Catastro hanging over your bed.  Stay away from him–he smells like underage teen spirit!
  3. you have a tendency towards sexual promiscuity–as shown by the fact that you are wearing an ASU t-shirt. Go Devils!

But the three character traits named above are not the root cause of your problem. In fact, they remind me of my daughter’s friends character traits–and many of them are happily married; including my daughter.

Your real problem is that you are addicted to emotional turmoil. You love the drama of relationships instead of focusing on the stability they can bring. Sure the short term highs of felt-up, make-up, break-up are exciting but after it’s over you find yourself at the starting gate again.

Change your dating perspective from having a good time to attaining a mate for the long run. Think marathon not the 50 yard dash.

You’ll still need to attend the meet markets, but to change your outcome you’ll need to modify your mating moves so you can meet a companion who merits such a magnificent Miss from Tempe!

Old Phart

 

Einstein

 

Dear Old Phart,

I’m trying to find someone who can explain to me the meaning of Einstein’s equation E=MC². You are the smartest person I know Old Phart so if anyone can explain it to me you can.

Inquiring Mind

Dear Inquiring Mind,

Understanding this equation is not as difficult as it seems. Basically what Einstein was saying is that if you take any object (mass) and make it go really, really fast (the speed of light x the speed of light) it will turn into energy (kaboom!). Understand?

No? Ok. Let me explain it another way. Your brain is a lot smaller than Einstein’s. If you took your brain out of your skull and deposited it up your buttocks,  it would be like a bee bee rolling around in a box car.

Understand now?

Old Phart

Participation Trophies

Dear Old Phart,

My five-year old son is currently participating in a T-ball league. It’s one of those set-ups where every kid gets a trophy whether they win or lose. I think handing a kid a trophy when they lose destroys their competitive spirit and gives them a false sense of how life really works. How can I raise my child properly when all these liberal lame brains are trying to make kids feel good instead of showing them how life really works?

Teed Off

Dear Teed Off,

I have a training exercise for you and junior that will help establish the competitive atmosphere you are seeking and reinforce your parenting skills.

Instead of having him try and hit a ball from a stationary tee, balance the ball on top of your head. Then have him swing the bat at the ball as hard as he can so he can express how he really feels about dear ol’ Dad.

For Christ’s sake man, he’s just a 5 year old trying to learn a game. Whether he gets a trophy or not is not going to determine his fate for the rest of his life. What will mess him up though is having an over-competitive dickwad Dad whose parenting skills will turn the kid into a neurotic adult with multiple psychological issues.

When your youngster becomes a fully disfunctional adult  you probably will blame it on the participation trophy he received as a kid instead of the Dad who stole his childhood.

You need to get a life; just make sure it’s someone else’s besides your son’s.

Old Phart

 

Single Mom Dating

Dear Old Phart,

I am a 33 year old single mom of two. I work a full time job, get no sleep and barely have time to write this. My friends are constantly trying to fix me up and encourage me to date.  I admit that sometimes I think some male companionship would be nice, but I have no energy to pursue. What’s your advice?

Wake Me Up When You Respond

 

Wakey-Wakey Dear,

I have one word for you: lesbianism.  For the life of me, I don’t get why chicks dig dudes. Most of us are butt ugly, have hygiene challenges and sport an unfathomable obsession with games that involve balls.

Find a lovely lass who will help you with the kids, share the housework and  genuinely enjoys watching HGTV with you. Granted occasionally you will have to go to Australia (down under) but it’s no worse than eating day old spinach artichoke dip.

So forget the serving of petulant pickle and entertain a well-manicured muffin.  Why date a mate with a balding pate and back hair…just go queer my dear!

Old Phart

Does Jesus Love Me?

Dear Old Phart,

Lately I feel depressed. I have always been religious but the way my life has been going lately, I have  my doubts. Does Jesus really love me?

Questioning

Dear Questioning,

It is natural to question your faith. One can learn religion but one has to find God.

Luckily, I have an easy and reliable test to determine if Jesus loves you. Send a large sum of money to me. Preferably more than you can afford. If something good happens to you after you do this, then Jesus loves you. If your life doesn’t change, than Jesus loves me.

Old Phart

Public or Private School

Dear Old Phart,

My husband and I are debating whether we should send our child to public, charter or private school. He will be entering kindergarten next year. What are your thoughts?

School Me

Dear School Me,

What’s that thumping noise? Oh my god it’s getting louder… Quick, take cover!  It’s a Huey attack helicopter …sh*t my Vietnam War PTSD is acting up…oh wait, I didn’t go to Vietnam.

No, that’s the sound of a modern helicopter…you’re becoming a helicopter parent. Whether you decide to send sonny boy to public or private school won’t make one whit of difference in whom your little prince  becomes.

School choice is more for the parent than the child. If you don’t send your kid to the more elite option you will be blaming the school for all his shortcomings.

The bigger problem is that you are neurotic millennial dickward parents. Your kid will grow up with huge emotional problems and no initiative because you’ll only allow him to go to scheduled play dates and structured functions.

You really want him to grow up? Let him walk to school unsupervised. Have bullies steal his lunch money. He won’t learn a thing until he has experienced a wedgie so extreme that his underwear is pulled over his head so tightly that his adolescence is delayed two years. Little Lord Fauntleroy will become so bitter at the world that he’ll grow up to become an asshole entrepreneur who rips people off, but at least  he will survive in a post Trumpian society.

If you keep babying Master Bater he’ll have no clue how to survive on his own and will end up living in your basement far longer than you want. What you don’t have a basement? So where is that muffled sound coming from…

Old Phart

Go Towards The Light

Dear Old Phart,

I have been engaged in a year-long search for spiritual enlightenment. I have studied all the world’s major religions and engaged with each of these groups. After exhaustive study, I have determined that the way of the Sufi is the chosen path for me.

My friends and relatives have mocked me and show utter disdain for my choice. Particularly bothersome has been the attitude of my wife who thinks I am joining a cult. I have tried to engage her in an intellectual discussion of my new found faith but as a former beauty pageant winner outward appearances overshadow her intellectual insight.

What should I do?

Show Me The Way

 

Dear Show Me,

There is a classic Sufi story about the mystic Nasrudin. A student happens upon Nasrudin one evening in front of his house searching for something. The student asks “what are you looking for?” Nasrudin replies, “I lost my house key.” The student asks, “where did you lose it?” Nasrudin replies “in the back yard.” “Then why are you looking in the front yard,” asks the student?” Nasrudin replies, ” because that is where the light is.”

What the story doesn’t tell is that Mrs. Nasrudin is inside the locked house getting porked by her next door neighbor. He found Nasarudin’s key in the backyard and now has easy access to Mrs. Nasrudin’s back door … if you know what I mean.

So yes, by all means, follow your chosen path and become a Sufi! As your spiritual mentor, I am interested in your journey. Please keep in touch and write to me about your experiences. Just remember to write your return address on the envelope; leave a key by the back door and always keep the front porch light on!

Old Phart

 

Picture Racism

Dear Old Phart,

There is a meme circulating on social media that shows a picture of five African American women standing in line. The women are dressed in scantily clad swimsuits. They are all different skin hues ranging from very dark to almost white. The white colored African American woman is standing in front.

I and my cohorts have  been discussing whether this picture denotes white privilege as the light colored African American woman is standing in front. The picture makes a powerful statement about diversity within a community but why did the artist place the lighter skinned woman up front?

Sensitive Soul

Dear Sensitive Soul,

First, never use the word meme. That is a made-up word coined in 1976 by a renowned English evolutionary biologist born in Nairobi.  His name was Richard Dawkins–not to be confused with the more renowned Englishman Richard Dawson,  the former host of the TV game show Family Feud.

Second, how do you know the women are African American? Maybe they are from France. Maybe they are from a country in Africa. My guess is that since they are all standing together in revealing  swimsuits, they are from the Greek island of Lesbos. The fact that you thought they were American shows you are a jingoist chowderhead.

Now, to answer your question about the pale-hued woman of African heritage who was standing in front. Sometimes a picture is just a picture.  I think what the artist was trying to say is that everyone should just lighten up.

Old Phart