This weekend I had a few too many beers. And then I had a few too many more.
And then I noticed a big stuffed-animal dog sitting to the side of the bar, serving as a kind of mascot. And then I tried to leave with that big stuffed-animal dog. And then I got thrown out of the bar, and then my wife yelled at me, and then I threw up.
The next day, as I was bitching about my hangover and pretending not to remember that I had tried to steal a big stuffed-animal dog from a bar, my wife told me that I should learn from my mistakes and maybe not drink so much anymore.
And she was right. But not about the not drinking thing. She was joking about that (if she knows what's good for her).
Getting thrown our of the bar, I realized, was what they call a "teachable moment".
Wikipedia defines a "teachable moment" as That moment when a unique, high interest situation arises that lends itself to discussion of a particular topic. It implies "personal engagement" with issues and problems.
1. The "Notre Dame Sucks" Redundancy: University of Hawaii football coach Gary McMackin uses a gay slur to describe the University of Notre Dame's football team.
ESPN.com: Wiping away tears from his swollen-red eyes, McMackin said he's offended the gay and lesbian community and now he wants to work with them to use the incident as a "teachable moment for me and hopefully others."
2. The Henry Louis Gates Jr. Racism Kerfuffle. Self-explanatory.
3. The Obama Beer Summit Skunk-Up. Obama's "Regular Guy" approach to quelling Racism Kerfuffle serves to launch a new teachable moment, one in which beer snobs everywhere launched a thousand blogs decrying the President's choice of beverage.
4. The Mike Julianelle Big Stuffed-Animal Dog Debacle. See above.
Teachable Moments, all. So, what have we learned in the aftermath of these mistakes?
1. Everyone knows Notre Dame sucks. But don't be a bigot.
2a. Everyone knows pigs suck. But don't argue with them.
2b. Everyone knows coloreds overreact. But don't be a bigot.
3. Bud Light sucks. Drink microbrews. And don't be a bigot.
Don't drink so much. Stuffed animals are gay.
Before I continue. It would be remiss of me to ignore yet another powerful opportunity to edify the young and ignorant people of this country.
A few sentences ago I referred to African-Americans as "coloreds". That was wrong of me, for obvious reasons: it's blatantly anachronistic. But rather than attack me, let's take my mistake and learn from it. There's a valuable lesson in there: don't use an outdated vocabulary. You'll only come off like an L-7 square, Daddy-o.
Also, African-Americans don't overreact. That's Mexicans.
I'm sorry. Allow me to put my Captain Obvious hat on for a second. Now I will elide my embarrassment by extending this spectacle and getting more specific with my stereotyping, in order to teach the world to sing. It's not Mexicans that overreact and have tempers. It's all Latinos. And now you know. Isn't learning fun?
Oh, and I also called stuffed animals gay. Obviously, stuffed animals are not gay. That's ridiculous. Most of them don't even have genitals.
"Teachable Moment" is a term that needs to die, like "bromance" or "Jon and Kate Plus 8." There is no need to glorify everyday ignorance by giving it a fancy title and a redemptive motive.
It's well-known that stuffed animals are gay and that being a racist is a dick move and that Bud Light sucks. Do we really need to open these things up to discussion? I don't think so. And we certainly shouldn't allow the perpetrators of these screw-ups to wiggle out of their embarrassment by allowing them the escape-clause camouflage of Katie Couric's latest catchphrase.
Teachable Moments are the new "Get Out Of Jail Free" Cards. Done something wrong lately? No problem! Just hold a press conference and teach us, oh unbalanced hatemonger, about the underlying societal issues you raised when you "slipped-up" and called the Pope a faggot. Because God knows if there's anyone who deserves a pulpit it's the most unqualified and ignorant person in the vicinity. Not sure about you, but the last time I went to a cross burning I didn't stick around for the Grand Wizard's lecture on race-relations.
(Hitler: Let me get this straight. You're saying I shouldn't have committed genocide? Wow, I really wish we'd covered that in school. Oh well, what's done is done. But hey everybody, let's learn from this!)
All we learn from so-called teachable moments are things that we should already know from people who clearly don't know them and are looking for a way out from under their own ignorance. Like that fat ass coach in Hawaii.
Whoops, sorry about that. Slip of the tongue.
Now let's take this opportunity to learn something about obesity: don't eat so much all the time.
Let's get real here. You don't want to know about me. You want to know about "me".
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