Derp and Man Parts

July 13, 2013 § 5 Comments

“Derp” a useful technical term

I have recently become  aware of the term “derp”, a shorthand way to describe a peculiar manner of self-analysis and reflection, or lack thereof.  The term is derived from an episode of  South Park, a cartoon series involving various characters, many of whom are school children.  I am not a follower of that series, so my knowledge of it is slight.   I have learned, however, that one episode in Season 3, entitled “The Succubus” involved Mr. Derp, a replacement for the regular manager of the school cafeteria, Chef.  Mr. Derp told bad jokes, hit himself in the head with a hammer, and offered two kinds of food, yellow and white.  He responded to most questions with “I’m Mr. Derp”.

Based on this cartoon character, various devotees of the series adapted the word “derp” to mean a person who expresses an opinion and then when, over time,  is confronted with overwhelming evidence that the opinion is mistaken, reacts by repeating the original opinion with increasing frequency, enthusiasm and at higher volume.

Here is a definition of “derp” in the Urban Dictionary:

“One who, in an argument, takes a position, and when that position is destroyed by evidence and well-reasoned argument, acts as if the reasoned argument never happened, instead sticking to his original position while resorting to logical fallacies such as bad math, unwarranted assumptions, appeals to emotion, wishful thinking, false and deliberately misleading data and analysis, or ad-hominem attacks on his opponents. One who argues in bad faith.
Paul Ryan is a derp.”
Paul Krugman has applied the “derp” analysis to the economic policy gurus who continue to advise European countries to inflict austerity policies on their already-sinking economies.  Here is a link to his blog post.  I recommend it as insightful entertainment.
I have found “derp” to be a handy term to describe those who deny the reality of climate change;  the deficit alarmists who have been predicting for years that the Fed’s low interest rates would lead to run away inflation, oblivious of the fact that inflation has remained   low ; the birthers; those who claim that the Affordable Care Act will bankrupt America, despite the report of the CBO that it will reduce the deficit; and many others.  I wish it would make its way to  the  media, so that the talking heads on the Sunday talk shows would label repetitious nonsense as “derp” instead of feeling obligated to treat it with feigned respect lest they be accused of being biased.
My mother was 45 years old when I was born, a full generation older than the usual “new mother”.  There were some advantages of that circumstance, one of which was that I was raised by an old fashioned Alabama born strong woman who, regardless of whatever prejudices she was exposed to as a girl, believed that crude racial epithets were “ignorant” and not fitting for educated people.  As a young woman in the Rio Grande Valley, she and her sisters taught school in small villages on the banks of the Rio Grande River and in small towns in the Valley.  They spoke Spanish fluently and had close friends who had been their pupils. That all happened before I was born.
Until I was seven, we lived on a sheep ranch in the Texas Hill Country, near a tiny town called Utopia.  I had no other children to interact with, so my mother had an unusually strong influence on my childhood attitudes.  I absorbed a lot of her wisdom.   There were two notable exceptions:  I did not retain her absolute religious faith and , unfortunately, until I was in my 50’s, I failed to heed her belief that drinking whiskey was a bad idea.
This personal aside is included here because one thing I did treasure as a gift from my mother was her “old adages”.  She had a large store of them.  One of them was her version of “derp”.  She often said, “A fool convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”  At my age I often feel that some small detail in my life has completed a full circle, like a boomerang.  When I first heard about “derp” I had one of those moments.
Man Parts
Like all Texas liberals, I never stop missing Molly Ivans.  The closest thing to her sharp wit and deadly aim at political windbags I have found is Lisa Falkenberg, a young woman who writes opinion pieces in the Houston Chronicle.   After the recent abortion fracas in the Texas Legislature, she wrote a priceless column expressing her outrage.   Here is her column:

“It’s time for the Legislature to regulate man parts

8:55 PM

Where sex and reproduction are concerned, men and women will never be equal.

Women will always bear the brunt of the responsibility for family planning and pregnancy, which is why the folks in Austin are back at it again this week, trying to help the little women in this endeavor by protecting their health with unnecessary regulations and restricting access to constitutionally protected medical options.

Still, I can’t help but think the men of this state are worthy of some Texas-style reproductive protection as well. The Legislature’s compelling interest in restricting the reproductive rights of Texans shouldn’t stop at lady parts.

Gentlemen of Texas, it’s with sincere concern for your health and safety – and a hat tip to legislation pioneered in Oklahoma, Georgia, Illinois, Virginia and Ohio – that I hereby propose the following pro-life omnibus bill to regulate your man parts.

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to men’s reproductive health and protection of potential personhood


SECTION 1. (a) The findings indicate that:

(1) substantial medical evidence recognizes that prostate health and heart disease may be associated with erectile dysfunction.

(2) the state has a compelling state interest in protecting potential lives of Pre-Conceived future citizens, and also the health of men, thousands of whom regret vasectomies and later opt to reverse t

(3) unregulated vasectomies result in fewer unwanted pregnancies and, thus, thousands of fewer births per year of future taxpaying citizens of the state of Texas. They also result in fewer impoverished children and fewer inmates in the state prison system, a job-killing outcome that endangers the employment of social workers, prison guards and law enforcement officers.

(3) restricting elective vasectomies does not impose an undue burden or a substantial obstacle on a man’s reproductive rights because (a) abstinence is an effective means of birth control, according to sex education curriculum approved by the Texas State Board of Education; and (b) similar regulations restricting the reproductive rights of women have been deemed acceptable policy by the state of Texas.

(4) all sperm is sacred, given its unique contribution to potential personhood, and thus, should not be left subject to the unregulated whim of chemically induced arousal. This Act amends the Health and Safety Code by establishing Chapter 1004, to be entitled Men’s Reproductive Health, as follows:

SUBCHAPTER A: Vasectomy restrictions and informed consent

Remember the notary

Sec. 1004.001 – Not fewer than 24 hours or more than 72 hours before the vasectomy is performed, a physician whose office is located not farther than 7.3 miles from the male patient’s home (in case of emergency), shall: (a) instruct the man to provide a sample that can be used for semen analysis (b) present enlarged images of the sperm to the patient and, in a manner understandable to a layperson, give a verbal explanation of the number, unique characteristics and life-giving qualities of the sperm (c) provide a state-approved pamphlet which may or may not include medically accurate information explaining complications associated with the vasectomy procedure, difficulty of reversal, psychological trauma of abdicating pro-creative duties and the potential of an unfounded link to ear cancer

Sec. 1004.002 – If a patient chooses to go forward with the procedure, the physician must (a) obtain approval from the man’s wife or sexual partner in the form of notarized affidavit (b) ensure that the procedure takes place at an ambulatory surgical center, not in the comfort of the physician’s private office (c) attempt one more time to talk the man out of it

Sec. 1004.003 – No exceptions to the provisions in this subchapter shall be made on the basis of the man’s age, number of children, economic situation or danger to his partner in the event a child is conceived

SUBCHAPTER B: Regulation of erectile dysfunction medications

Red state, blue pill

Sec. 1004.004 – Not less than 72 hours before Viagra or any other erectile dysfunction medication is prescribed, a physician whose office is located not farther than 5.2 miles from the male patient’s pharmacy shall (a) inform the male patient about the health risks associated with erectile dysfunction (b) perform a live, real-time examination of the patient’s prostate, otherwise known as a rectal exam (c) schedule a second appointment for a separate, cardiac stress test (d) provide a verbal explanation of the side effects of the medication accompanied by a graphic video, which may or may not be medically accurate, depicting symptoms such as long-lasting, painful erections, sudden hearing loss, upset stomach, blurred vision and bad breath (e) provide a referral to a state-licensed sex therapist, who must approve any medication prescribed by the physician (f) notify patient of alternatives to medication, including celibacy and natural remedies

Sec. 1004.005 – VIOLATION (a) physician who performs any procedure or prescribes any medication in violation of this chapter engages in unprofessional conduct for which the physician’s license shall be revoked under Chapter 164 Occupations code.

Section 2. This Act takes effect on the 91st day after the legislative session.

Section 3. God Bless Texas.”


Tagged: , ,

§ 5 Responses to Derp and Man Parts

  • sid eschenbach says:

    Good one.  My favorite expression these days is “You can lead a republican to reason… but you can’t make him think!” thanks s   Sid Eschenbach Guatemala Mobile/home:4744-4941 US number:  (415) 234-8042

    >________________________________ > From: Robert Hall >To: >Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2013 8:06 PM >Subject: [New post] Derp and Man Parts > > > > >Bob Hall posted: “”Derp” a useful technical term I have recently become  aware of the term “derp”, a shorthand way to describe a peculiar manner of self-analysis and reflection, or lack thereof.  The term is derived from an episode of  South Park, a cartoon series invol” >


  • Jim Kubiak says:

    OMG… I can imagine that Molly is laughing at Lisa Falkenberg’s column. Worthy of a “Molly” Award.

    I can also imagine the Molly is fuming at the decisions of “The Ledge” as she so lovingly referred to the Texas Legislature.

    I still miss her wit and wisdom. A toast of “Jack” to Molly!


  • Bob Hall says:

    Thanks, Jim. I’m glad you share my admiration for these two valuable women.


  • davidsonchan says:

    Lisa’s column was excellent. We need more satire! Which is another way of saying we need another Molly, or at least someone with her biting sense of humor.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Derp and Man Parts at Robert Hall.


%d bloggers like this: