Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash: Bonk/Marry/Kill (election edition), Kwanzaa mascots, and the healing power of obituaries

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Matt Labash
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      Matt Labash

      Hi, welcome to “Ask Matt Labash.” I’ll be your host, Matt Labash. The idea for this column – if idea isn’t too strong a word – is that it is not a column at all. Rather, it’s a conversation. One in which I do ninety-five percent of the talking. If you did most of the talking, you’d have to watch my eyes go dead and my attention wander until it was my turn to talk again. So trust me, it’s better this way.

      For those unfamiliar with me from my day job at The Weekly Standard, I’ll give you a capsule bio by way of introduction: I have the gift of wisdom. Does that sound arrogant? I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t choose wisdom. It chose me. If I had my druthers, I’d have chosen another gift, perhaps the untold riches of Lil’ Wayne, whose teeth are made of actual diamonds, or to be the sexiest man alive, like Rachel Maddow. But wisdom is what they gave me, so wisdom is all I have to give back to you.

      This is not, you should know, a mere advice column. If you need advice, I’ll give it. But the only rule here is that there are no rules. You can ask me a question about anything that’s on your mind: current events, pop culture, media, theology, string theory, fishing tips, wicker repair. The only limits we have are those of your imagination. And those of my knowledge base. Which is considerably limited, truth be told. So try not to ask me anything that requires research. Though they tell me I have access to Google on this computer if we need it.

      If all goes according to plan, ours will not be a traditional writer/reader relationship. It’s more complex than that. I might empathize or cajole. I might educate, instruct, or inspire. I might pretend to answer your question while actually reporting you to Social Services, since you’re a dangerous person who should not have contact with children. I might tell you to climb up on my shoulders, that you’re not heavy, you’re my brother. Or I might tell you that you are heavy, and that you should hop down until you lose a few pounds. I might just sidle up behind you, put my big strong man hands on the small of your back, and whisper in your ear the words of the poet, Kenny Rogers: “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”

      To which you’ll say something like, “I can’t, I’ve got to go home and wash my hair.”
      To which I’ll say something like, “Shhh. We’ve got tonight babe, why don’t you stay?”
      Wherever this takes us, our journey begins now:

      <i>Matt Labash is a senior writer with The Weekly Standard. His first book, <a href="">Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys</a> will be published next month by Simon & Schuster.</i>

Editor’s Note: Have a question for Matt Labash? Submit it here

Note: Today being Celebrate Fayetteville day at The Daily Caller, all of this column’s questions were provided by one Ali Farnsworth from Fayetteville, Arkansas, home of Arkansas Western Gas (Go AWG!) Ask Matt similarly encourages multiple questions from readers, which he reserves the right to use individually, or to bundle for special theme days such as this one, in which we honor Fayetteville’s service to our country and their prolific gas production.

1. Bonk-Marry-Kill? (Presidential Edition): Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul?

I’d have hoped by now that readers wouldn’t take me for the sort who’d go in for coarse, vulgarian games favored by dorm-room meatheads and morning zoo DJs. But since you do, I’ll play along:

Bonk  – Being a happily married man (to a woman), I could never marry Mitt Romney. Not because gay marriage isn’t for me, or because he’s not a handsome man — though it isn’t, and he is. But because Romney, while undoubtedly a dutiful husband, seems as though he’d be frigid and remote. I like to be held, and told that I’m pretty. So I’d never marry him. Though seeing Romney with bed-head might be worth the bonking toll.

Marry – When I think “Ron Paul,” I think “tender lover.” Also, he’s a doctor, and whose parents don’t want them to marry a doctor? But the chief incentive to plight your troth to Ron Paul is that with his near fetishistic emphasis on personal liberty — he did, after all, say in debate that he opposes a border fence not because he’s against keeping Mexicans out but because he’s against keeping Americans in — you’d never have to worry about him throwing you over if you had an affair with say, Michele Bachmann. Which I just might do. I am nourished by her wolf-eyes.

Kill – I would never willingly kill anyone, except for Al Qaidans, the cast of Glee, and mean people. But purely for the sake of this game, let’s go with Newt Gingrich. You’d never want to bonk him. His head is too large, both figuratively and literally. Nor would you want to marry him, even though he has the most practice of any of the candidates. So through process of elimination, we are left with this unfortunate option. Which is probably for the best. If elected, he could very well make Alvin Toffler Secretary of the Tomorrowland.

2. Whenever I partake in illegal drugs, my friends say, with surprise, “I didn’t know you did that.” What the Daren does that mean? Should I be insulted? Have a comeback?

Clearly, you have a drug problem. Did the cautionary words of Whitney Houston (“Crack is whack”) mean nothing to you? Besides wishing to keep my body a well-oiled machine, both taut and supple like a spring-loaded jungle cat, one of the many reasons I don’t do drugs is so that I can feel superior to people who do. People like you.

Studies that I’m too busy to locate but that I suspect exist show that most people “self-medicate” because they have feelings of inferiority. So my advice is to neither be insulted, nor to have a comeback. Rather, I suggest you get new friends — stone-cold druggie friends who smoke, snort and shoot their way to ruin. Then, and only then, will you start feeling superior, and be able to shed the noxious crutch of drugs, instead channeling your energies into more positive outlets, like drinking heavily.

3. Does Kwanzaa have a holiday mascot? Maybe something like the Kwanzaa Fairy?

The problem I have with Kwanzaa is that it is unnecessarily restrictive by casting itself as an African-American holiday. This is unfair on two levels. First, African-Americans already have their fair share of special days — MLK Day, Tyler Perry film festivals, Alan Keyes Appreciation Week, etc. Second, Black Power activist Maulana Karenga founded Kwanzaa on the principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

These aren’t black or white principles, they’re people principles. I’d therefore propose that Kwanzaa become more ecumenical and seek to broaden its base by featuring as its mascot actor Michael Cera, an extremely white person, as I believe this picture demonstrates.

4. My girlfriend is a vegetarian. I, however, love the taste of almost any flesh. Any suggestions on how we can get along when cooking dinner or talking about food (which happens much of the time)?

Flesh-battered broccoli. Eat in shifts. You eat the flesh while she talks, then push the broccoli florets over to her, and let her finish them off while you talk. Successful relationships are about communication and compromise.