This week’s listmaker: Michael Rubino. Michael is a freelance writer, contributing editor at Indianapolis Monthly magazine, and journalism instructor at IUPUI. Follow him @MARubino.
We live in a time and place where what we love defines us, and we’re not shy about it, either. The Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks! Sweater weather! My latest meal! This picture of me! Obama! Romney! (I’m just kidding: not even Republicans love that guy.)
Well, I don’t really love any of those things, and, in fact, believe that what you can’t stand is a better indicator of who you are as a person. I, for instance, hate to be alone. But, more than that, I hate to hate alone. So, please join me. Here are just a few of the Indiana-centric things I’m hating this week—ones that I’m hoping you’ll hate, too!
1) It takes a special person to find the image of Jesus in burnt toast or Lincoln’s silhouette in a pre-cancerous mole, but let’s give a nice, long slow-clap to whomever looked into the soul of Indiana gubernatorial candidate John Gregg and saw a steaming pile of Quaker Oats. Gregg, a Democrat and former Speaker of the Indiana House, channels ex-hot cereal pitchman Wilford Brimley’s mustache in a series of cloyingly folksy television spots that make Mayberry look like Sodom and Gomorrah. Gregg needs to realize that going down this celebrity lookalike road will not end well given that his Republican opponent, Mike Pence, is a dead ringer for Race Bannon of Jonny Quest fame. As a fellow Democrat, I beg of you, Mr. Gregg, stop these ads. Or, as Brimley would say, it’s the right thing to do. (Also: does Tea Party darling Richard Mourdock look like the dearly departed Leona Helmsley, or is it just me?)
2) Can we stop with the Post-Peyton Depression now? Please? Yes, Manning will go down
as one of the greatest to play the game and, in a sense, he put Indy on the map. But I hope Andrew Luck’s performance in the Colts’ 23-20 win over the Vikings on Sunday will help alleviate the knee-jerk Week 1 analysis that Irsay and company jettisoned St. Peyton too soon, and then somehow failed by picking Luck over Heisman winner Robert Griffin III. Look, there’s always going to be a gap between Manning and Luck in some people’s minds, but let’s give it a little time and hope that, in the end, it’s no bigger than the one between RG3’s two front teeth. And, while I’m on the subject, no more Luck puns, headline writers. The only time this will ever be remotely acceptable is when No. 12’s on-field heroics inspire a drag queen revue called “Luck Be A Lady Tonight.”
3) This is why we can’t have nice things, Indianapolis: According to one survey, you are the most sexually satisfied city, but another suggests you are the fattest. One step forward, two steps back—to the buffet at Gray Brothers. Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way. Maybe this is a sex-with-food deviance. Not Like Water For Chocolate kinky, though. I’m thinking this is more like Seinfeld’s George Costanza noshing on a pastrami hoagie during foreplay. That’s acceptable, I suppose. But not until another survey comes out indicating that Indianapolis also likes to sleep more than any other city will we have nailed the sleep-eat-fuck trifecta and arrived as a true metropolitan community. What happens in Sloth City stays in Sloth City!
4) Indiana University fans who ask Is it basketball season yet? must be forced to watch a recording of its football team’s 41-39 Saturday night home loss to Ball State on endless loop until IU’s regular-season tipoff against North Dakota State. And Ball State fans? Yap it up while you can: you play IU in basketball on Nov. 25.
5) With all due respect to Ken Honeywell and his well-documented distaste for Modern
Family, The Middle is the ABC show that truly deserves your hate, Hoosiers. If you haven’t caught it (and, by all means, do yourself a favor and make other plans for the sitcom’s upcoming Sept. 26th premiere), the show chronicles the lowbrow pratfalls of a dowdy but well-meaning family of five set in a fictional town in rural Indiana. Look, if I wanted to laugh at the lower-middle class struggles of folks in America’s Heartland, I would have attended the Republican National Convention. Those guys get it. Yes, The Middle’s plots are horribly sitcom-y, but it’s the show’s portrayal of Midwesterners that drives me nuts. Apparently, we all drive domestic cars from the ’90s, embrace hokey homespun platitudes, and wear lots of bad denim and plaid. Who came up with this? Those guys who did the John Gregg commercials?