Socialism and Digital Puddles

For the past several weeks, a small, full-color, slightly-dark photocopy of the above poster for the 2018 romantic comedy Overboard has hung in the DVD section of the B.F. Jones Memorial Library, Aliquippa.  I haven’t seen this movie or the original, 1987 version starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, though I have read Susan Faludi’s takedown of the original in her 1991 book Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women.

Anyway, you might have noticed that Anna Faris shows more skin (and more Photoshopping) than her male costar does; as every intelligent person living under our belovèd capitalist patriarchy knows, unsexy (as in non-media-sexy) women make advertising—particularly for entertainment-style products—repulsive and thus ineffective, weakening the economy.

Speaking of economic matters: in this movie, Faris plays (according to Professor Wikipedia) “a struggling, working-class single mother”.  So maybe you left-wing, Faludi-reading, fair-trade-coffee-enema-receiving losers should quit complaining, because America’s lower economic stratum teems with smokin’-hawt hawties.  (All right, I should give this Trump-era movie credit for keeping Faris’s character’s love interest, as seen on the poster, Mexican, instead of, say, Caucasianizing him via CGI, or hiring Christopher Plummer for last-minute reshoots.)  (Yes, almost everyone will understand the Plummer reference decades from now, assuming the Earth—I mean the Internet—still exists.)

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews


The Child in Question

October 1975:

Principal: “Let’s get to the point.  Your son beat up one of his classmates during recess yesterday.”

Tommy’s Father: “He did?”

Principal: “Yes.  The child in question, Milo Kazakis, got not one but two black eyes.”

Tommy’s Father: “Is this true, Tommy?  Did you really beat him up?”

Tommy: “Yes sir.”

Tommy’s Father: “Why’d you do it?”

Tommy: “ ’Cause he grabbed my butt.”

Principal: “You sure that’s what happened, Tommy?”

Tommy: [No response.]

Principal: “If I asked the other students there—”

Tommy: “He did it when no one was lookin’.  He’s a fag.”

Principal: “Watch your language, Tommy.”

Tommy: “Sorry, ma’am.”

Tommy’s Father: “Now, now, wait, what if this Milo kid actually is a, you know?”

Principal: “We have no proof of that.  And even if he is—”

Tommy’s Father: “Tommy doesn’t lie.  If he says this kid grabbed his butt, then that’s what really happened.  Isn’t that right, son?”

Tommy: “Yes sir.”

Tommy’s Father: “Tommy’s was just defending himself.”

Principal: “A little too much, it seems.”

Tommy’s Father: “He’s an energetic boy.”

Principal: “Right.  As for Milo—”

Tommy’s Father: “Send him to a girls’ school, ha ha.”

Tommy’s Mother: “Ha ha.”


Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews


Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #48: Why Does Peter Pan Fly?

Recess, fourth grade:

“Why does Peter Pan fly?” Tommy asked.  Pause.  “You’d fly too, if you got hit in the peter with a pan!”

Laughter from the other students.  Except Milo.

“You fag,” Tommy said.  “That joke was funny.”

“It was actually a riddle,” Milo said.

Tommy pushed him down onto the ground and commenced punching him in the face.  Their classmate Douglas cheered the loudest.

Four decades later, in traction after crashing his SUV, Douglas did not remember the beating, nor would he ever.  (Good thing for his health insurance, by the way.)  (He despised Obamacare—goddamn socialist medicine.)

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #47: My Spider-Sense Is Tinkling

His first day in fourth grade, during recess, the new kid, Milo, approached a group of several boys, the cool boys (they liked TV and hated girls), and announced “My Spider-Sense is tinkling.”  Then he sang “Spider-Man / Spider-Man / Always pees when he’s in the can.”  The boys’ leader, Tommy, picked up a rock and threw it at the fleeing Milo, missing him by a centimeter.  (The school had started teaching the metric system, prior to the national changeover that would end up never happening, inches and miles and so on serving as a vital component of American exceptionalism.)

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #46: The Planning Session’s Penultimate Intersectional Proposal

Renée made the planning session’s penultimate intersectional proposal: we should sneak socialist vegan brunch fliers into the free weekly alt-papers distributed at the gourmet coffeehouse (which attracts lots of progressive or at least not very reactionary customers, according to what her wife, a barista there, has told her) on the ground floor of the Republican law firm-slash-fossil fuel lobbyists’ skyscraper downtown.  Tanya, somewhat facetiously before offering the final proposal, suggested picturing a scantily-clad babe on the fliers to appeal to the Bernie Bros, causing Caroline to wonder whether a scantily-clad Bernie would work better.  Laughter ensued.  See, we have fun.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #45: Good Luck with That

Last week, a newbie named Hasker started trying to get us to unionize.  He said we deserved a living wage, a voice in the company’s future, all that socialist crap.  He got fired the next day—for incompetence, the company said.  I’ll bet someone informed them before I could.  Anyway, Hasker filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.  Trump’s board.  Good luck with that.  Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy my promotion to department director by buying everyone drinks tonight at Wolves Gentlemen’s Club, that great reason for working your ass off.  One lap dance would have cured Hasker for sure.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews