Friday, August 26, 2016

The Right to What?

by Jean Roberta

When I reached puberty, my father began warning me about “girls” (which in his vocabulary could mean females of any age) who “asked for trouble.” This was the kind of thing I was never supposed to do, because, presumably, if I “asked” for trouble, it would show up.

“Asking for trouble” could take a wide variety of forms: wearing clothes that were “too tight” or too revealing (all subject to the viewpoint of the observer), drinking or doing dope of any kind, swearing or discussing unladylike subjects, such as sex.

“Trouble” was equally vague, but ominous. The word always implied the righteous use of force by someone who was entitled to use it. Presumably, if I did, said or wore the wrong thing, I would lose the right to be treated with any respect. I could be grabbed, beaten, held in place, groped or raped by someone who assumed I deserved it.

Since then, there has been much discussion about rights, boundaries, respect, communication, and consent. Various analogies have been used to persuade potential rapists (masculine people) that sex must always be based on clear consent, and that it must be given each time; there is no such thing as “the kind of girl” who can always be punished or used with impunity (aside from clearly-negotiated BDSM relationships). I sometimes wonder if educational material based on a feminist concept of consent has much effect on an age-old credibility gap between those who feel entitled to dish out “trouble” (only when it is “asked for,” of course) and those who have reason to fear being seen as trouble-magnets.

A sense of entitlement can lead to all sorts of coercive behaviour. Years ago, I noticed that certain students (most of them male) felt entitled to negotiate with me for higher grades on assignments, and not to accept no for an answer. In most cases, these guys had a certain charm, and they smiled a lot. I came to suspect that their approach to me was parallel to their approach to the girls they dated, except that in each case, they were pushing for a different outcome.

For some people, “no” doesn’t sound like the end of a discussion; it sounds like a challenge. The concept of assertiveness (and guidebooks with instructions in how to practice it) probably arose in response to the sense of entitlement that goes with unequal power. The reason why assertiveness is not universally accepted is because it prevents someone else from getting what they feel entitled to have.

No one I’ve ever met has claimed to be in favour of “abuse,” however described. Of course not. That goes without saying. However, I’ve heard cringe-worthy conversations among other people of a certain age and income-level about how Group X (especially service workers in restaurants, stores, hotels and planes) should never say no to a customer, no matter what. The diner got roaring drunk and demanded to know why Grilled Rhinoceros is not on the menu? The server should apologize, and if asked, should fetch the manager to apologize again. The customer ruined an item of clothing, then brought it back to the store for a free replacement? The salesclerk should provide it, instantly. The customer is always right.

The customer is often much older and whiter than the service-provider. What a coincidence.

This attitude reminds me of the traditional heterosexual dating game, in which the Alpha or host is expected to pay for everything that costs money. Presumably, he’s not really paying for sexual service, but if he doesn’t get it, he feels entitled to complain that he has been misled, scammed, taken for a fool. Or he feels entitled to take what he thinks he has earned.

I would like to believe that a sense of entitlement is dying out of the culture at large as a sense of empathy rises like a tide. That’s what I would like. Alas, it’s not what I’m entitled to.
-------------

Thursday, August 25, 2016

God’s Gift

By Annabeth Leong

(CN: Harassment, self-harm)

“You can’t just walk around like you’re God’s gift, cuz you ain’t.”

The voice is strong and cruel enough to cut through the fog of my self-loathing and tear-soaked worry. I glance up and realize this thing has been said to me, by a guy standing on the porch of his building, just to my left off the sidewalk.

I’m too broken today, too lost and fragile, to do anything but nod mutely and keep walking, a little faster now.

I think back, replaying the last few moments and focusing on my surroundings instead of the thoughts inside my head. “Hey, beautiful,” he’d said, and I guess that must also have been directed at me, though I didn’t notice at the time.

I can piece the narrative together now. He “complimented” me, and I “ignored” him, so then he lashed out and insulted me.

Today, the insult strikes me deep. You ain’t God’s gift. You ain’t. You can’t just walk around.

I know. The cruel voice confirms what my heart was already telling me. Tears slip down my cheeks. This isn’t supposed to be a big deal. I’m supposed to walk this sort of harassment off. Maybe not even see it as harassment.

Today, I can’t. I can’t just walk around.

***

I’ve been thinking about cutting myself for about three months, toying with the thought the way I sometimes press at a scab or a bruise. It hurts, but I also can’t seem to quit that imagery.

It’s been more than a decade since I actually cut myself. I trust myself not to turn thought into action. I go to therapy. I’m so much more aware of how my brain works and what I can do about it.

Still, the thoughts have been ever-present lately. They’re wearing me down. I barely have energy to do anything. It feels like a miracle that I get dressed, that I eat. I know that not everyone can when their brain is working this way. I tell myself I’m lucky I’m so functional, that I can still work a little even though I miss all my deadlines.

I’m fighting with someone dear to me. I don’t want to share the details here, but the fight has turned nasty and impossible and deep. Nothing I do is right, no matter how hard I try to come up with something helpful. I can’t do what this person wants of me. They are telling me how hurt they are, and I feel like a villain. A villain who ought to go away. Who ain’t God’s gift to anything or anyone. Who ought to die, or at least be physically maimed. It can hurt so much when it feels like your insides don’t match your outsides. I want to hurt this body so my pain can show. You can’t just walk around.

Today, I feel so delicate, like a page that’s so old it’ll crumble if you breathe on it. I need to do something good, something safe. I ask my partner if I can meet them at the train station. I put on clothes and let myself out the door and start to walk there, partly because I’ve cried so much lately that I don’t feel I can see well enough to be a safe driver.

I try to keep it together, to look around at the world. I know it’s important for me to remember that things exist outside my brain. The sun still shines. The grass still gets overgrown. Whenever my attention slips, though, I’m back to the old, evil treadmill: Why can’t I fix things with this person? Why can’t I just do what they want? Why can’t I just be good enough? I want to hurt, I want to hurt, I want to hurt. I see the razor blade in my mind. I remember how I used it, those handful of times I crossed the line. What was going on when I did that? Was I finding courage or losing courage?

“You can’t just walk around like you’re God’s gift, cuz you ain’t.”

I know. I know. I’m so sorry. I know.

***

I’ve written essays about harassment before. I’ve written about the ways it makes me feel unsafe and exhausted. I’ve tried to explain how it isn’t a compliment even when it uses words that overlap with compliments.

But this is the worst I’ve been hurt by harassment that I can recall. This is worse than the time a guy groped and harassed me at my favorite movie theater, leaving me nervous about returning there to this day, despite knowing that’s illogical. This is worse than the time a guy interrupted me while I was trying to comfort my crying girlfriend, so he could hit on us. This is worse than the time a guy followed me with his car while I tried to run away, and I had to plunge through overgrown bushes to escape him, and then when I called the police later they asked me what I was doing walking on that road at that time of day.

The reason it hurt so badly, I think, was entitlement. Right then, I didn’t feel entitled to live, to breathe, to be in the world without being hurt. I needed a little entitlement. I needed it to be okay that I couldn’t satisfy the person I was fighting with, to see that I still deserved to exist and be loved even if I wasn’t what someone else wanted me to be.

If I had been walking around like I was God’s gift, that would have been a huge victory for me.

That insult, though… What that guy said to me was an effort to take down someone he saw as entitled. “You can’t just walk around like you’re God’s gift, cuz you ain’t.” What was I doing that seemed so entitled to him? Walking down the sidewalk? Breathing? Having breasts? Not responding to his demand for my attention?

I felt guilty, even, when I realized the insult (and the “compliment”) were for me. Had I hurt his feelings by being so lost in my depression?

I’ve learned enough now to know better than that, at least. That guy felt entitled to my attention. That was the entitlement. He said, “Hey, beautiful,” and thought I owed him something for that. I was supposed to look at him, at least, or say thank you, or somehow respond.

How dare I think I can walk past him without paying that tax of attention? Who said I had any right to get so caught up in my own thoughts that I wound up walking down the street without being available to every person around me? Who gave me the right to have my own mind, my own private problems, my misery when someone else wants me to be sexual and fun.

And I can’t help thinking these things go together a bit. I want to believe it’s okay for me to breathe, to walk, to be, to not always do what someone else wants. But I go outside, desperate and hurting, running to my partner for comfort, and get told, “You can’t just walk around like you’re God’s gift. Cuz you ain’t.”

I know.

***

(About a week after this happened to me, I found out about the new National Street Harassment Hotline. From the website:

A growing body of research shows that street harassment negatively impacts women emotionally. It can be traumatic for them, especially for survivors of sexual abuse. “Mild” street harassment can escalate into physical harassment without warning and many women and some men have an underlying fear that verbal harassment will become physical.

I would add that people of all genders can feel this way, and trans and nonbinary people can also be particularly vulnerable.

Anyway, if I’d known about this then, I probably would have called the number that day. I thought I’d leave this link here in case anyone else needs it.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Suck Wind

By Daddy X

Last week Giselle posted an effective rant about abuses at her local cemetery, citing, among other trespasses, bicycling in a graveyard. Well, I’m here to belabor those entitled bicyclists themselves.

Momma X and I live in one of the most scenic and exciting locales in the country, boasting glories such as the Golden Gate Bridge, G.G. National Recreation Area, Muir Woods, Pt. Reyes National Seashore. We serve as a gateway to the Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino wine country. Vacationers come from all over the world to enjoy a wide menu of choices. Did I mention the sophistication of San Francisco? Right across that gorgeous bridge. We are lucky to experience a mild climate without the dangers and drudgery of snow. Year-round opportunities to ride bicycles to wonderful places abound.

This is not about kids who ride bikes to school. This is not about those who commute to work or do errands on bikes. My gripes are for those to whom bicycling is more than transportation. The enthusiasts. The advocates. Thrill seekers.

You probably have the breed in your midst too. They typically dress the part. Helmets sporting assorted mirrors protruding at geeky angles. Spandex is also big (less wind resistance) especially in day-glow colors.  The bikes they ride, with all available extras, cost thousands. They strap their feet to the pedals.

The bicycle ‘community’ petitions legislators to enact rules that favor bicyclists, without regard for those who actually pay for roads through licenses and registrations. They’ve even lobbied to eliminate the law requiring bicycles to stop at stop signs and red lights. They won’t stand for license plates, so nobody can be identified if they cause an accident.

Like the local guy who mowed down a 65 year-old hiker while speeding on a trail across a one-lane footbridge. He wouldn’t even slow down and wait for the woman to get off the bridge. She was lucky the accident had been observed by witnesses or the perp would never have been charged. His defense was that he hollered “Heads up! On your right,” and that she didn’t react fast enough. The nerve!

A law recently passed requiring a car to give a three-foot clearance when overtaking a bicycle. That’s all well and good, except that most of our popular cycling roads tend to hilly and winding, so they have a double line down the middle. A line that can’t legally be crossed, because visibility is limited, given the obvious danger of going into the oncoming lane. Of course, many bicyclists don’t ride single-file or pull to the right when being passed, so a car has no choice but to in some way break the law, simply by being on the same road.

There is a phenomenon in San Francisco (and other American cities) called ‘Critical Mass’ that has been going on here for 25 years. Every last Friday of the month a huge contingency of bicyclists rides through the city at commute hours ignoring stop signs, red lights, and heavy traffic to try and further screw up the flow. They are quite successful with their efforts, requiring cars to wait for many cycles of cross-traffic signals. They won’t give an inch or separate their ranks to allow for anyone to try crossing the intersection. Bikers pound on car hoods, calling out obscenities at everyone on four wheels. Fights break out.

I could go on and on about the various transgressions of bicyclists, but I wanted to get to the deeper, more manipulative aspect: The one-issue voter.

In this area, the bicycling community votes as a block. Promise bikers something and they’ll all vote for it, no matter if a proposal is good for the community or not.

Want to develop open space areas, fill in a creek, pour more concrete anywhere? Just add public access bike paths to your proposal and it will likely pass. Developers understand this, and most ill-concieved projects now include an offer of a bike lane. Adding bicycling interests to a proposal greatly increase the chances of acceptance. 

Not that bikers necessarily get anything on completion of said project. Developers who play tricks like that also don’t keep their word. The bicycle concession either disappears or becomes greatly reduced in scope. But by then, it’s a done deal.

Suck wind, bicyclers.



Monday, August 22, 2016

Who, Me, Entitled?

Sacchi Green

I’ve been puzzling over the difference between entitlement and privilege. I’ll look up definitions shortly, but first I’ll just do a little freestyle noodling around. Because I can. I’m entitled to.

I’ve been assuming, when I thought anything about it, that entitlement originally meant the benefits of being, literally, titled. Titles signifying levels of nobility, in the sense of class, not character, carry with them certain specific entitlements, or at least they used to. Of course “Droit du Seigneur” (or, alternately, “the right of first night") springs first to mind, especially dirty minds like mine; the right of the feudal Lord to have first dibs on the brides of his underlings. While this particular entitlement may be mythical—apparently there are no firm records of it actually being done, just references to a past when it used to be done but was outlawed by one king or another. Pretty much a case of nostalgia for the good old bad old days.  

Then there’s privilege. We’re often told these days to check our privilege. I understand that what’s meant is that we should admit that our privilege gives us un unfair advantage, and not judge others who don’t have the privilege that goes with being white, heterosexual (if in fact that’s how one identifies), male (not my problem), and having grown up in moderately comfortable circumstances, with a good education (guilty.) People with an inflated sense of entitlement tend to be that way because the privilege they may not even admit to allows them to feel worthy of the best things in life.

Moving on to actual definitions of the terms, ones source defines entitlement as:

:the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something

: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)

: a type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group.

Another source says:

1. The act or process of entitling.
2. The state of being entitled.
3. A government program that guarantees and provides benefits to a particular group: “like the Medicaid entitlement for the poor".

Hmm. I’m familiar with the governmental context for entitlement, almost always used in a negative sense, and almost always referring to government programs that benefit a particular group that is not one’s own particular group, rather like “special interests” always referring to somebody else’s interests, not the perfectly acceptable and patently justifiable interests of one’s own.

Another source has a definition of “privilege” that comes close to “entitlement”:

Privilege is a special right or advantage available only to a particular person or group of people. The term is commonly used in the context of social inequality, particularly in regard to age, disability, ethnic or racial category, gender, sexual orientation, religion and/or social class.

Further Googling turns up examples of entitlements that most would not see as negative, such as the right of a someone charged with a crime to confer with a lawyer and to be considered innocent until proven guilty (although that last part seems to be largely ignored), or the right to a publicly provided education through high school (although not necessarily as good an education as someone in a wealthier community might have.) These, along with Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security are rights codified in law, which seems to be the major difference between entitlements and privileges. It turns out that entitlement and titles of nobility are only connected in that both are written down in law, not derived from each other as I thought.

Still, “entitlement” tends to evoke a knee-jerk negative reaction, whether in a political context or a social one. Having a sense of entitlement is frowned on in others, but unrecognized in oneself. Privilege is much the same. Perspective is everything. It’s even been reported (which doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true) that some people who rail against government in general and entitlements in particular will say, in almost the same breath, “the government better keep it’s hands off my Social Security!” What’s really disturbing is that those people may be voting for the very politicians that are hell bent on getting rid of Social Security.

What’s also disturbing is the sneaking suspicion that my feeling of superiority over those people is a sign of my unexamined privilege. But at least it’s not entitlement, right?



Friday, August 19, 2016

False Sense of Entitlement

At the end of last year, all of us here at the Grip made suggestions for topics. This one actually happens to have been one of my suggestions. Yay me!
All right, so entitlement is something we’ve probably all experienced before. After all, the word technically means “the fact of having a right to something”. That could be something as simple as your weekly wage. You’re entitled to receive that as recompense for doing your job. Or something as basic as respect, which should be afforded every person until such time as they show they’re not worthy of it.
Where the trouble starts, and indeed where my inspiration came from to suggest this as a topic, is really that ever-growing bugbear, a false sense of entitlement. Truly it seems to be more rampant with every passing week.
We authors usually experience this phenomenon in the form of piracy. Folks uploading our books to pirate sites, and others taking advantage of it. There was a reasonably large furore a few months back when someone on Facebook made a public post requesting links to download books for free. That was dealt with in the way you’d expect… most people piling on and saying “yeah, we want the freez too, maaaaan”.
The occasional voice of logic and reason got in there and pointed out it was actually stealing. That these people were essentially taking the money from the authors’ pockets. To which one person replied “I think [the authors] make enough”, and to which another replied “yo, but we’re poor” (I don’t guarantee I have those quotes verbatim).
Look, in all seriousness, I don’t have a lot to add to that. People steal stuff and claim they were too poor to buy it. That might be true, but it’s one thing to ask for something and explain you’re doing so because you’re poor. It’s a whole other to be running down the street with it and yelling over your shoulder “yo, but I’m poor, man”. Doesn’t quite feel the same. And seriously, if simply being poor was the problem, I doubt they’d be stealing books rather than food or clothing.
The thing about it is, though, it’s not just books. And the other thing about it is that most humans, including authors, are totally cool with all kinds of entitled shit… until it hits home.
Comedian Bill Burr observed a few years ago that in the case of stand up comedy, people were generally happy to laugh at edgy material that poked fun at religion, race, sexual orientation etc. That is, right up until that material infringed on their particular edge. When a comedian was making fun of others, then it was jokes. Now he’s making fun of me, “he’s making statements”.
How is this relevant to the point I was heading for?
It’s not a real biggie. I have just observed many authors who moan about their books being pirated, even going as far as doing the math. That the five thousand books downloaded from that pirate site would have been worth whatever… ten thousand dollars, perhaps. Yet so many of those same authors think nothing of finding a torrent and downloading, say, the entire Breaking Bad series. For free. As pirates.
Now it’s entirely possible the production companies who make those TV series (and movies, and albums etc) DO “make enough” and won’t be destitute because of the false sense of entitlement of those particular authors. And it’s entirely possible the authors are “poor, yo”, and equally possible their situation has been caused by, or at least exacerbated by, book piracy.
But are those authors acting any less entitled than the book pirates?
Personally, I don’t think so.
It’s really important to note, of course, that I’m making no sweeping statements here. I’m not suggesting it’s all, or even a majority, of authors behaving this way. I’m simply pointing out that I know some do. Some others take a much more laissez-faire approach. They don’t think twice about downloading a TV series illegally, but by the same token turn a blind eye to those who are pirating their books. Still not an ideal setup but at least not hypocritical.
Personally, I strive to keep everything above board. I do not download from torrent sites, and I do not actively pirate anything, nor do I accept pirated items. The trouble these days is how hard it is to avoid doing it even passively. Watched a song on Youtube? Was it on the artist’s own channel, or their company’s? If not, then it was probably there illegally and the artist makes no money from it.
On the author side of things, we’ve had a hand in exacerbating this situation. Offering ten novels in a box set for 99¢ was a great idea when it would get that bundle to the top 100 on Amazon, and perhaps bestseller status on USA Today and maybe even New York Times lists. It worked then, and because of that, it became a bloated market.
And now, the general buying public gets upset if they get ten novels for 99¢ and only like three of them. “I liked less than a third of these books… it was a waste of money”.
Meantime, the ten authors are each making under 4¢ per copy sold. So yeah… they’re poor, yo.
I’m sure we’ve all noticed the cyclical nature of it all.

So I suppose the end point of all this is that I’d urge those who create items which can be pirated to be part of the change they wish to see in the world. If you don’t want people pirating your books, then don’t pirate someone else’s movie, or album, or TV series. 
Will it stop your books being pirated? Hell no. But at least you won’t be contributing to the vicious cycle, and you can sleep long hours and wake to bright sunshine and everywhere you go pretty birds will land on your shoulder and sing sweet songs to you while your excess kilos evaporate from eating magical chocolate.

* * * *

EDIT: I also forgot to mention that, among other things I've been doing lately, I've also moved into creating pre-made cover art. These are quick and painless covers from the author side of things. Pick one, tell the artist the title and author name and, as they say in Australia "wah lah"!

I've made nine covers so far, in various genres. If you'd like to check them out, come on over here ––––> https://thebookcoverdesigner.com/designers/willsin-rowe/

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Please Respect the Grieving

by Giselle Renarde


I wish I'd written this post when I was in a bad mood, because writing it now is going to destroy my good mood and I thoroughly enjoy a good mood.

As I've mentioned before, I grew up in an impoverished neighbourhood. Now I live in an affluent neighbourhood. Does that mean I'm rich? HAHAHA no. It means I moved here when the rental market was in the crapper. I got lucky.

When you transition from an area populated by poor people to one that's populated by rich people (many of them "old money"), you notice a lot of behavioural differences. I've lived here 12 years and I'm still shocked, constantly, by the arrogance and entitlement I see around me. I hope I'll always be shocked by it, because the moment I don't notice it I've become ONE OF THEM, god help me.

It's one thing for me to say people around here don't think rules apply to them--that doesn't exactly paint a picture. Let me paint you a picture. Let me use the local cemetery as my canvas.

I'm not a religious person (I'm not even a person with a religion), but I do believe we have a social responsibility to preserve the sanctity of spaces that possess a spiritual importance to a great many people.

The cemetery in my neighbourhood has a history of being used as somewhat of a public space, so you're going to find people jogging, cycling, (unicycling, practicing the bagpipes) along the pathways. I'm usually there to walk, although I often stop and say hello to a family friend whose memorial plaque is there.

For the first 130 years of this cemetery's existence, no dogs were permitted on the property. I need to restrain myself because I could easily rant about the exasperatingly entitled nature of the dog owners in my neighbourhood (who truly believe leash laws don't apply to their dogs), but despite their socio-economic heft I never imagined they'd get the cemetery to back down and changed the dog policy. As it now stands, leashed dogs are permitted within the grounds on paved pathways only.

Do you think that stops people from letting their dogs loose like this is some giant off-leash paradise? Or leading their pooches directly to convenient headstones and ENCOURAGING their pets to piss and shit all over graves?

The first time I witnessed this, I almost threw up. I was scandalized by the sheer disregard for what a final resting place represents--not just to the spirit or soul of the departed (if applicable--I don't know what goes on after death), but to the spirit AND the soul of the cemetery itself, not to mention the memory of that individual and the regard their living friends and family members still hold for them.

Is it really too much to ask people not to allow (much less encourage!) their dogs to shit on people's graves? Really?

I'm describing only the beginnings of the bad behaviour I see. A couple weeks ago it was a pair of fancy-ass cyclists in fancy-ass cycling outfits that probably cost more than I pay in rent. We're not talking about kids, here. Teenagers get a bad rap, but I don't want you thinking these were young people. The were grown-ass adults.

Anyway, I guess they're ready for a break so they hop off their bikes, smoke some pot and crank the tunes to full-blast on their awful tinny radio--all while leaning against a sign that reads: QUIET ZONE. PLEASE RESPECT THE GRIEVING.

I could go on. I could tell you about the jogger who spotted the lush green grass on one grave and decided that was the perfect place to take off his shirt and do a bunch of sit-ups. Lord Almighty, I apologize profusely any time I'm forced to step anywhere near someone's grave. Yes, I apologize to their spirit or soul or whatever it may be--out of respect. I can't imagine being the kind of person who does a goddamn exercise routine on someone's grave. You're not at the gym, asshole! This is a fucking cemetery!

Now I feel really complainy. I just see so much entitlement every time I leave the house (or look out my window) and I have this policy of being non-confrontational at the cemetery. My sisters call me a New Yorker because I'm always yelling at people on the street (it's not as crazy as it sounds--they're usually trying to run me over with their cars). I get very argumentative when I see people who lack the fundamentals of respect, but NOT losing my shit on strangers is my way of respecting the grieving.

Trust me, it ain't easy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"Fifty Ways to Be an Asshole" A song of entitlement

In the book "Assholes:  A Theory"  philospher Aaron James delineates three guidelines by which a genuine specimen of Asshole may be distinguished from his closely associated sub species - the Ass Clown and the Ass Hat, speaking specifically of the male of the species as delineated apart from the female, otherwise classified as "Bitch".

An Asshole may be identified thus:

1)  He is motivated by an entrenched (and mistaken) sense of entitlement
2)  He allows himself special advantages in his social relationships, and does so systematically.
3)  He is immunized against the complaints of others.

This is extended to Mr James sequel "Assholes:  A Theory About Donald Trump"

I've been fascinated by this election season and I've also been taking some refuge in rediscovering some of my old Paul Simon CDs.  How about this - I've written a song based on Paul Simon's hit "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover".  Everybody sing along  .  .  .

             Fifty Ways to Be an Asshole

I told my lover these elections got me down
Want to throw myself off the 9th Street Bridge and drown.
She said your only problem is the rumbling of your soul.
There must be fifty ways to be an asshole.
There must be fifty ways to be an asshole.


She said its possible if you'll just pay the price,
Man up and grow a pair.  Stop trying to be so nice.
If you really want to win the highest office in the land
you'll have to rearrange your ideas of how to be a man.
There must be fifty ways to be an asshole.

Just jump on the stump, Trump.
Just wave a big wand, Don.
Just serve it up crude, dude.
Ain't nuthin' but true.


Just pull a big flip, Mitt
Don't need to explain shit -
Just pass on the blame, James.
But tell 'em, they're free.

I told my lover I may not be the guy to do that job
Call women pigs, wear my hair red, and act up like a slob.
But it'd sure be nice to if Air Force One was my private plane.
Oh, but can you please explain
about the fifty ways to be an asshole.

She said, why don't you let me write you out a check
Say, a hundred million dollars, just take it and I'll bet
You'll surely find your troubled conscience is all set. 
               There must be -
Fifty ways to be an asshole.
Fifty ways to be an asshole.

Just get off the pot, Scott.
Just jack up the facts, Mack.
kick up a big fuss, Gus -
Just strike a low blow, Joe.
This chicken ain't free.

Just keep up the scare, Jer.
Just wind 'em up tight, Mike
Here comes the Sharknado!
Just build a big wall, Paul.
We're gonna screw 'em all.