Sunday, August 8, 2010

U R Hott!

The class I enjoyed most in college was called, or at least about, ethnomethodology, which was what Dr. Harold Garfinkel called his approach to sociology. One of the key ideas, to put it very clumsily, was that the way the sociologist conducted his or her research actually told you more than the data he or she wound up compiling. Dr. Garfinkel was fascinated by what would have appeared to the naked eye to be “cuckoo” behavior — by, for instance, conducting a conversation not in a way that was traditionally coherent, but according to a predetermined set of arbitrary rules; one might, for instance, be alternately antagonistic and conciliatory, regardless of the other’s response.

Some of Dr. Garfinkel’s ideas were baffling, but nearly all of them were extremely interesting, and — dare I say it? — even fun. It was in Dr. Garfinkel’s class that I learned that the most accurate way of determining the popularity of a particular exhibit in a museum might not be to ask visitors what they’d found most interesting, but to measure the amount of wear on the carpeting in front of different exhibits.

It was in Dr. Garfinkel’s class too that I first became fascinated by transgenderism. As one who’d fallen short as a kid in many traditional tests of masculinity — I had no talent for knots or camping or fighting, and was hopeless with tools — I was intrigued by the idea of gender being largely learned, and thus subject to change.

All of which is intended to explain why, in the last few months, I’ve been fascinated by the huge incidence of transgenderism on Facebook. The transgendered seem to be the most compassionate people in the social networking cosmos. Every day, TGs write about travails ranging from dread of upcoming sexual reassignment surgery to self-loathing to the dread of being abandoned by shocked, uncomprehending spouses. Almost invariably, at least a dozen people — perfect strangers, in most cases, you’d have to assume — express their sympathy. The transgendered and those who lust after them seem constitutionally unable to punctuate, or even to spell hon, but those things render their compassion no less palpable.

There isn’t a single male-to-female transgendered person on Facebook, regardless how stubbly or misshapen or just plain foolish-looking, whom someone somewhere doesn’t find fantastically alluring. U r hott! For reasons about which I can only speculate, the somewhere typically seems to be Turkey or the Middle East. Judging from Facebook, in fact, I don’t think it would be unreasonable to suggest that Turkey is by far the kinkiest country in the solar system.

In other news, I hope you will consider joining my SAI movement, which I conceived years ago when I first encountered LOL. My thought was that only a microscopic minority of those liberally sprinkling LOL in their text messages and instant messages were actually laughing audibly. Recently, we’ve seen LOL being supplanted by LMAO or LMFAO, but once again I suspect very, very few are actually laughing their asses, much less their fucking asses, off. I submit that SAI — for smiling almost imperceptibly — is very much more accurate, and certainly more genteel than LMFAO.

Maybe I should mention that I’ll be receiving a small royalty for every appearance of SAI in digital communication. It has long been my ambition to be obscenely wealthy while I'm still young enough to enjoy it, and time is running out.

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