About four years ago, when the functional equivalent to this space was still The Realm, a few of my dedicated message board compatriots and myself got together at my apartment and had what we called a “RealmCon.” It was a great time, highlighted by watching G.I. Joe: The Movie and laughing our collective butt off at the dub-over of when Duke is hit by a poison snake javelin through the heart, and Scarlett proclaims in despair, “He’s gone into a coma,” when clearly he’s dead. (The original plot involves him dying, but after Optimus Prime’s death in the Transformers movie was not well received, Hasbro reworked the plot.)
I just ordered a three-disc set that may rival G.I. Joe The Movie in terms of overall inanity; yes, for a mere $14, I’ll receive the three Thunder in Paradise “movies” with Hulk Hogan. (The term “movie,” as indicated by the quotes, is used loosely; the final two “movies” are actually episodes spliced together into a continuous storyline.) In the tradition of the RealmCon, I really am thinking about getting people together so that we can laugh at the over-the-top babeage, the so-ridiculous-even-I-can-imitate-it voice of Thunder (the Knight Rider-esque boat that I totally dug as a kid), and bizarre technical-sounding phrases that make zero sense, such as “Full Thrust Commitment” (which I cannot find on Google and thus will likely be the first and only result for said term) and “ROC for Hyperspeed” (ROC? WTF!). This time around, too, we can have beer. I think that would be pretty hilarious; but then again, I have an unusual sense of humor.
This makes me mad: A junior high school out in Mesa, AZ is banning hugs longer than two seconds. I don’t quite get why that angers me so much, but it does. School rules sometimes go way too far and really test the boundaries of reality. I understand the need to shelter children — they’re still children, after all — from situations that may be dangerous to them or may not be appropriate in a public environment (like people making out or having really crazy, touchy-feely, pre-makeout hugs in front of everyone). But limiting hugs to two seconds? That’s not reflective of reality in the slightest. That just screws people up and teaches them that human contact is taboo, among other things. There’s nothing wrong with a good, solid, platonic hug. It’s perfectly natural and good for the soul.
This goes right up there with the insane 14-point dress code that was instituted in my middle school when I was in 7th grade, which actually forbade students from wearing shorts from October until March. Forbade them from wearing shorts. What harm, exactly, did shorts-wearing in the winter months pose to campus safety (which was the reason why we had to tuck our shirts in, which was also a pretty big stretch)? OMG! LEGS! RUNNNN FOR YOUR LIIIIIVES!!!
But back on the topic at hand — this really draws parallels with that ridiculous scare brochure I was given in 7th grade that basically said all flirting would land me expelled from school and in court. I don’t think I could have put this particular situation in Mesa any better than James did after I tweeted about it.
Good for the students who protested with a giant group hug. Show them that you don’t surrender all your human instinct when you walk through the school doors. Here’s a little support for sanity, hoping it prevails.