For the faint of heart, the week in bastards/jerks/assholes part five carries its title in French, if google translate can be trusted. Me, I never got much further than je suis très malade on a final day in Paris in 1993 after my amis left the country with me holding the hotel bill.
As anyone who follows this blog knows, we define asshole as a behavior not a person and not one person but two. Taibbi and his entrants make several attempts to define the state,
a big part of being an asshole is total self-absorption/indifference to surrounding people, a characteristic that very often manifests itself in taking for fucking ever to order food in line at fast food joints, or exit a subway car, or give a simple and prompt answer to a logistically important letter or phone call… Some people couldn’t even put this idea into words, and just had to e-scream about it, like the writer from South Dakota who talked about the lady who “spent five minutes writing a check in front of me at the grocery store: Asshole!”
Another candidate, a reality-show producer from Los Angeles . . . summed this idea [as follows]: An asshole , , , has “… an entirely self-centered worldview – nothing that happens outside of an asshole's personal sphere actually matters. This is totally wide-ranging: assholes use this mindset in traffic, in business, in personal relationships. Everyone else is a side character in the asshole's epic life story. (A side note: should an outside event pierce the asshole's bubble, it immediately becomes the most IMPORTANT CRISIS EVER).”
Thanks to Taibbi for keeping the search for the perfect definition alive.
Picking up her SAG best actress award for Black Swan, Natalie Portman spoke earnestly of the lessons learned from her parents "who taught me to work my hardest and never be an asshole. It’s never acceptable.”
Slate reports on a lamentable lack of freedom of speech in Germany where you can be fined for calling someone an "ass" or flipping them off in traffic.
In an extreme version of the swear jar, a regional German politician has been slapped with a hefty $2,060 or 50 days behind bars for allegedly calling an anti-immigrant author an "ass." Lefty pol Helmut Manz, 43, is said to have uttered the oath during a protest against author and former Bundesbank official Thilo Sarrazin, who has just published an incendiary book railing against Muslim immigrants. Sarrazin heard about Manz' slanderous screed, and filed a legal complaint.
That's it for the week in assholes. Join us next week for more of the same.