Social Commentary


by Ryan Meehan

Well, we survived another Christmas.  If you work in the retail sector you know that if December 2011 is any indication of the money that we might be making in the year to come, we should all be able to return to our second jobs as prostitutes by March.  There are a few more things I’ve picked up on since my last piece that make me want to hit myself over the head with a brick.  So now that we’re devoid of all this holiday cheer, let’s head right on over to the part where we rip everything to shreds.

1)  The audacity of the bank to continue to get me to use services they offer that I have no interest in

Not pictured: The other 96% of the transaction that doesn’t matter

I am a customer of one of the biggest banks in the country.  I’ve been a customer of this particular bank at this location back when it had a different name, and whatever they were called before that, going all the way back to when I was ten years old.  When “Mystery Bank W#1” took over, all of a sudden every time I went to withdraw money from a teller I was all of a sudden being mobbed by questions about online banking, home loans, credit reviews, unnecessary information updates, and so on and so forth.  They’re essentially trying to get me to sit down with a financial advisor and do something that I have almost no desire to do.  Now I realize that it’s not the fault of the tellers.  They’re simply doing their job, and I totally understand that.  But in a disastrous economy where there are seemingly all sorts of banking institutions fighting to borrow your money, you’d think your own bank would want to do everything in their power to not piss you off so badly you’d want to take all your money out and hand it to their competitors.  Memo to upper management:  Don’t make this any harder than it has to be:  On me, and on yourself.  Most of these requests are to get me to “sit down and talk with a banker” about my financial plans, and when I’m at the bank I’m usually in a hurry so I say no.  But then, they try and get you to schedule an appointment for a banker to call you or have you come into the bank and talk with them face to face.

More than any other feature, I am offered this “online banking” option almost every time I go there.  Somewhere along the line, they must have retrieved my email address while I filled out some paperwork that I didn’t understand because it wasn’t properly explained to me.  So usually whenever I wake up in the morning, I have several emails from them regarding my online banking.  One night, I attempted to transfer some scratch from my savings account to my checking account and it didn’t work.  It kept saying “Transaction Failed” and so I gave up on it.  The next time I was at the bank, the teller said “I see you haven’t been using your online banking” and since I was tired I mistakenly said “Well, I tried to and it didn’t work”.  The second that came out of my mouth I knew I was in trouble, and she promptly responded by suggesting that I sit down with a banker to get it fixed.  An awfully clever tactic indeed, seems like a great way to get me to talk to someone I don’t want to speak with about a service I was never interested in.  I informed her that I didn’t have any time to sit down and talk with anybody about anything, and then she said “Well if we can’t get this resolved then your online banking isn’t going to work”.  Are you kidding me?  It already doesn’t work, if I don’t discuss this with someone is it going to not work more than it already doesn’t?

To everyone trying to sell goods or services at any level:  The magic number of trying to upsell items is either zero or one.  If the person is in a hurry or already appears to be pissed off, you just give them what they’re asking for and then send them on their way.  If they seem relatively normal and patient, then you get to inform them about one product or service, AND THAT’S ALL.  Nobody should have to answer more than one question about their future financial plans if they’re withdrawing forty dollars.  Give me the money and let me go to Arby’s so I can get my potato cakes.

2)  Anything regarding this television show “The Big Bang Theory” 

An insult not to our own intelligence, but the intelligence of cattle, mice, and children that can only draw pictures of cattle and mice

What a silly and predictable idea for a sitcom.  “See, these four dorks that are really smart all hang out in this same apartment, and then some really hot girl moves across the hall from them”  Sounds like yet another explosion at the cliché factory.  What’s even worse is after doing some digging on this, I found out that James Burrows had worked on the original pilot for this show.  For those of you who don’t know who James Burrows is, it might ring a bell if I mentioned that he was one of the original co-creators of “Cheers”, which in my opinion is the greatest television show of all time.  That’s criminal.  (Now, although a show about a bar may not seem like it’s that creative either, remember that it was the characters on Cheers were what made it so memorable)  Back to the Big Bang Theory, I’m pretty sure that before this show none of the male characters had much acting experience at all. The girl did, I remember at one point she was on some real family-friendly sitcom with John Ritter before God was finally like “Wait a minute, Fuck John Ritter…” and killed him.

And how is this show in syndication already? Didn’t the rule used to be a show had to have at least a hundred episodes before it went into syndication?  That must have changed somewhere along the line probably around the same time they were syndicating “That 70’s Show” was also an awful program as well.  As for “Big Bang”, we don’t need an entire show dedicated to the fact that socially inept people (nerds) have a hard time talking to women. You can walk into any high school chemistry class in America and see plenty of examples of that (Editor’s Note – Due to a shortage in funding for education, this may legally make you obligated to finish teaching the class)

3)  People complaining about not having a “White Christmas”

A car accident that might or might not be a result of road conditions caused by the weather

I really hope Bing Crosby is happy.  Because he’s turned everyone thirty years older than myself into someone that has to have a “white” Christmas.  There’s this bullshit idea that for some reason if it doesn’t snow that Christmas can’t be special, which is a huge steaming load.  The last time I checked, it was “Car accidents bad, good weather good” and when there’s any change in stuff like that I expect you guys to alert me of it.  Do you really want snow on Christmas so desperately that you’re willing to risk everybody’s safety just so “it’s pretty outside”?  I bet Christmas in central Florida is a lot nicer than it is here.  I bet it’s 65 degrees and sunny, not to mention all of the elderly people have likely migrated north to go spend the holidays with their family so it decreases your odds that you’re going to get T-boned by some geezer with 76/20 vision when you’re on your way to the gas station to pick up milk.

This also might not have been caused by snow

What’s the deal, now we can’t appreciate nice weather anymore?  Personally, I think that between inventing the internet and the whole global warming thing that Al Gore is one pretty swell dude.

Look, you’re only lying to yourself at this point. I am 100% sure that this accident was the result of YOUR White Christmas"

This is another disturbing trend that’s been developing since whenever we got so cozy to the point where we decided that we needed everything to help “put us in the mood”.  If you’re really hardcore, you should be able to deliver the dick on a pile of aluminum cans.  Don’t get me wrong, I like everything to be clean and pristine too, but the universe doesn’t owe you ambience of any sort.  Bing Crosby can piss right off.  However, you may be able to create your own ambience, as evidenced in our next abomination:

4)  The DVDs they sell at the grocery stores that play a video clip of a fireplace burning wood

How boring do you have to be as a person and/or unskilled at entertaining the guests in your home that you would need to purchase a film roll of a log on fire?  And if you do purchase it, it’s not like it’s going to be a conversation starter.  The only things that anyone would say to you if you bought one of those probably wouldn’t be positive:  “So, I see you can’t afford to have a real fireplace put in…what’s it like to be that poor?” or “Hey, do you have any of those Twilight movies we could watch instead?”

The good news about these things is they’re only about three dollars.  The bad news is just about everything else about it.  And the embarrassment when you’d have to actually pick one of these things up and set them on the counter so that you could purchase it?  My God, I’d rather carry as many boxes of tampons as would fit in my mouth, drop them on the counter and yell “I HAVE A LITTLE PEE PEE!!!”  You’re buying log footage, you have to take a serious personal evaluation of your life after you do something like that.  It’s not something you can just walk away from, and if it is you have no soul.  I don’t really have a whole lot else to say about this one, it’s just too depressing.

5)  Fraternities and Sororities

It’s interesting how the autosize on this website always seems to make the photograph I hate the most press the largest

Since I’ve been out of a major university for quite some time, on the surface this would seem like a pretty boring thing to bitch about.  But it’s never ceased to amaze me about how fraternities and sororities are protected from almost every type of illegal activity known to man.  Fraternities nowadays do all sorts of shit that prison inmates could only dream about yet face almost no repercussions for their actions whatsoever.  If you need any additional proof that this is the case, click here:  That’s from just a couple weeks ago.

And by the way, how come when it’s a bunch of white people that congregate in one place and form a secret society, it’s called a fraternity or a sorority, yet when it’s a bunch of minorities that congregate in one place and form a secret society, it’s called a gang.  Aren’t they all just gangs?  Both seem to have such an affinity for sexual assault and wearing baseball caps, I say we just assume “The Hell with it” and call them all gangs.  What difference does it really make?  And while I’m at it, fuck Animal House:  That movie sucks.

There probably was a time where fraternities did focus very much on academic excellence first and social gatherings second, but that time is long gone.  If you’re a guy in a fraternity and you come up to me sharing that fact, I’m not going to be super impressed and look at you as if you’re better than me.  In fact, it’s going to make me think less of you because I’ll know you’re in a frat which instantly provides me with the following two facts:  That you can’t fight by yourself and you don’t know where to purchase a weapon.  And by the theory of transitivity, either or both of those things make you a pussy so we really have no reason to talk to each other.

6)  The cable company constantly calling me trying to hawk home phone service

The sharpest picture of a dinosaur ever taken

About every two weeks, my cable provider calls me trying to get me to sign up for their home phone service.  Since the popularity of cell phones has skyrocketed, landline telephone use is essentially useless unless you own a business, and even then it’s still a hassle.  Most small business owners would rather do everything from a mobile phone anyway, yet these assholes at the cable company still believe that in 2011 there are people out there who need a landline service to get by.  A few months ago, I answered one of these phone calls and sat there and listened to the whole schpiel.  The goal of course was to back them into a corner by explaining that I already have two cell phones to begin with, so there would be no legitimate reason for me to have a landline ever.  But even after I informed her that I had plenty of devices by which to be contacted, she still had this on the backburner to say to me:  “Well, you might need a third line if for some reason both of those phones don’t work”.

As Seth Knappen would say "Now it smells like the acrid stench of assholes and the abuse of prvilege"

That’s where I pretty much snapped.  Let’s break this down:  If you have two phones (which I do) the odds that both of them might stop working at the same time are very low.  And if by some wild occurrence they do both stop working at the same time, there’s a relatively high percentage chance that it’s due to some major weather event that will not only knock out both of my cell phone providers’ towers but also anything that’s happening underground as well.  And if that is the case, more likely than not anybody that I might be trying to get a hold of is also going to be buried under something where they can’t get cell phone service either, and 911 is going to be so flooded with calls, complaints, and Morse code signals that your third attempt at calling them isn’t going to be handled promptly.  I guess what I’m saying is, under any of those circumstances that third line isn’t going to do you any good.

Now I’m sure the woman who called me was just doing her job and trying to get as many people to activate home phone service as possible because that’s how she gets paid.  But since it’s not my fault she chose that line of work, I told her that what she was doing wasn’t a real job and that she should quit.  Hopefully, it changed her mind and led her to choose a different career path, but I probably just ruined her day.  Shit happens.  What I don’t think these people understand is the fact that if landline service costs you anything more than nothing, it’s a complete rip-off.  You could shove the best $1.95 a month landline service in front of me, and my brain will immediately fast forward to the part where I ask myself “Why do I need another goddamned phone to be ringing???”

The moral of the story is just try to not be a shithead.

Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.



  • You are the man.

    The “white christmas” thing resonates in ways you can’t even imagine.

    Who the fuck needs a DVD about a burning log? A local TV station here has been running that for at least the last 12 hours.

  • The channel is log burning? Good lord…Can they sell advertising?


    P.S. DO they sell advertising?

  • I agree with you 100% on Frat’s. I think they are a sad way to pay for friends.

    On the subject of The Big Bang Theory, I wasn’t a fan of the show at all until recently. I had watched a few episodes randomly and found the formula to be pretty uninteresting. Then a month ago I started watching the reruns on TBS and jumped in at Season 2/3. I realized that there was a pretty solid story buried under all of the “science” talk and that the science talk was just another vessel to deliver a story about friendship and love. They do a good job showing some struggles in life with social situations etc. and once I embraced that my views on the show changed drastically. TBS finished up through the 4th season and has started over at season 1 and I now am able to see why I didn’t like the show when I first watched it. The first season is way too much centered around “awkward nerd who loves pretty girl” but without really showing why. They just took a loose premise and ran with it, which really underserved the overarching idea. It wasn’t till Season 2 and 3 that they really dipped into character depth I can see exactly why you are turned off by the show. I am enjoying it now, but it really got off to a bland/rough start.

    Anyway, good write up Meehan.

  • That’s funny man. I actually have checks for my Chase account that still say Washington Mutual on them. I don’t care enough to change it, and I’ve grandfathered my free checking and savings accounts, and don’t feel the need to change a thing!

    I was actually hoping for a white Christmas. Not because I think it’s cool on Christmas, but because I was hoping for some snow in the mountains for some snowboarding this year… It’s been a drought out here this winter!

    I actually got talked into getting a land line. The only reason I did it, was because it actually lowered my bill by $5 a month. I still haven’t bought a phone to plug into the jack, but I’m saving $5 a month!!!

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