Friday, June 01, 2007


Yesterday’s events just illustrate the random cruelty that is inherent in the workings of the National Spelling Bee: You can memorize all the words your brain will hold, you can drill to the dawn, you can prep and rehearse and meditate and pray to the Dark Lord Satan all you want — but if you somehow psych yourself out, or if you get that one word you didn’t come across in your studies and you don’t guess right when you take a swing at it, you’re just as fucked as the kid who left the second “r” out of “quarterback” in your school-level bee. ('Sup, Shane?)

It’s especially bad for the repeaters like my boy Samir Patel, the kids who climbed that steep and crevasse-riddled mountain more than once, only to crap out at the
Big Show. Again. So much is luck — you’re sitting there onstage, watching kids miss on words you could totally spell shitcanned on Boone’s, and when you get up there, you get socked with something you’ve never heard of. Them’s the breaks, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

And I don’t much like
this kid who won — his fave subject is math, which he says he likes better than reading and spelling and word stuff in general, and that spelling is “just memorization.” Maybe it is to YOU, robot boy, but if you’d drawn a word you hadn’t memorized, you’d have no hope of figuring it out on your own — you got lucky, you little homeschooled shit, as does everyone who wins, to some extent, so why don’t you stop playin like it was easy? Get some social skills, JESUS.

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