Ask Matt Labash Vol. XLI: How to hate healthily, Liechtensteinian mail-order brides, and existential wisdom
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I dream of a free USA. Unfortunately, this means the destruction of the District of Columbia and the Beltway at rush hour while Congress is in session – perhaps a Nork nuke with an Iranian 12th Imam nuclear chaser. My question: is it immoral to goad Kim-whatever into doing the necessary deed? – Joe Studd
Yes, it is immoral. Let me suggest this to you, however: If you had a red phone that buzzed straight to Whichever-Kim-We’re-On, and he crawled out from under his big pile of Michael Jackson bootlegs and empty Hennessy bottles, answered your call, and offered to push the button on your desired target, you’d rescind your request. Why? Because at heart, you’re a humanitarian? Not even close.
The reason you would decline, is because with a name like “Joe Studd,” you are clearly a good American. And if there’s one thing we good Americans enjoy doing, it’s complaining. You love to complain, because you likely have enough water and food and sufficient shelter with high-speed Internet access and therefore you have the discretionary income and leisure time that lends itself to complaining in a way that say, Haitians, don’t, since they are too busy contracting cholera and gathering enough dirt to bake into their dirt cakes for their biweekly meal.
And if there are two things Americans like complaining about, it’s Congress and rush-hour traffic. You not only hate these things because they’re worth hating. But you hate them because you need something to hate. And hating Nancy Grace and the New York Yankees and your neighbor who is cuckolding you behind your back (all of whom you should hate), just doesn’t scratch your hatred itch entirely. So in a sense, you depend on Congress and rush hour traffic to help you innocuously fill your hatred quota.
Many people say that love is all you need. And I really hate them for saying that. Because a wise friend of mine, the political black-bag artist Roger Stone, likes to say, “Hate is a stronger motivator than love.” (Stone, incidentally, is one of the most highly-motivated people I know.) So don’t wish away that which brings you so much pleasure. In your perfect world, you should hope that Congress builds a one-lane highway through the Rayburn building, with lots of stoplights, and that you have to commute on it. The traffic would be backed up to Richmond. It would take you eight hours, one way. It would eat up so much clock that your neighbor could have congress with your wife three times, and still have time left over to watch Nancy Grace and the Yankees game. And that would be the best gift Congress could give you. Because then you could complain all day long and hate with your whole heart. Which, of course, you would love.
Dear Matt, Not that you are an expert in this subject, but I still value your opinion: which country has the best mail order brides? I would really like to get the most bang for my buck! – Pryor
I’d like to help you out, my friend. You sound lonely, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. But I cannot answer this question as formulated: It’s vile, it’s piggish, and it’s demeaning to women. That might be your way, but it’s not mine. I worship women. Not as objects, because that would be objectification, which my Womyn’s Studies professor in college told me was a big no-no. So strike that. I don’t worship them. I admire them. For their grace. For their strength. And for the tolerance they display by not calling the authorities when I steal underwear from their laundry hamper for inclusion in my Worn Panties Shrine. (Which I keep strictly for sniffing purposes – I’m not some kind of pervert.)
That said, I’d forego the whole Asian bride business. It’s been overdone. And when you see a young, attractive, non-English speaking Asian woman with a dopey, middle-aged white guy, it immediately arouses suspicion that she came postmarked. Who wants their children living under that kind of a cloud? I’d go with some place a little more low-profile and less suspicious: Liechtenstein. Most people have never even met a native Liechtensteinian, if that’s what they’re even called. Probably because their country is only 61.8 square miles, with a population of merely 35,000 people.
The smallness and insignificance of this alpine microstate (they ditched their army entirely after the Austro-Prussian War), means that your bride, in all likelihood, will have a lot to prove, and thus, will overcompensate when trying to please you. I don’t have to be Dr. Drew to tell you that any truly successful marriage turns on an imbalance of power. But another upside of a Liechtensteinian mail-order bride is that her principality boasts the highest gross-domestic-product per person of any place in the world. Meaning that she is not just marrying you for money. She is likely coming to America for the right reasons: for love, a Costco card, and a fair chance of landing on her own basic-cable reality show.
If you were one of us and had a chance to ask someone of great wisdom like yourself a question, what would it be? – M. Llamo
That’s a tough one. But if I had the chance to ask myself anything, it’d probably look something like this:
What is the meaning of life?
– Name Withheld
I wouldn’t have a response, either. Not because I don’t know the correct answer. I do. But that would be like answering my own question. Which would kind of resemble talking to myself. Which would make me sound like a crazy person. And I’m not sure the world needs one more crazy person talking to himself. We already have Ed Schultz.
Matt Labash is a senior writer with the Weekly Standard magazine. His book, “Fly Fishing With Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys,” was published this spring by Simon and Schuster. Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here.