by Ryan Meehan
Back to business like never before and hell bent for leather. You know the drill, let’s tear it up…
1) All of this Flash Mob Nonsense
Like all of the other things I can’t stand in past columns, there’s no useful purpose for any of this. There’s too much synchronized dancing in modern day life anymore. To make sure this wasn’t something that I just forgotten to do in my daily routine, for an entire day I kept track of how much time I spent dancing. It was zero.
Now there’s even a television show starring Howie Mandel where he wows unsuspecting mall goers and daily commuters with flashmobs. I even saw a movie with my girlfriend a few months back that ended with a scene where there was a flash mob. “Mob” isn’t a good word to use either. To me, “mob” means “gangster”, and no matter how you define the last term, it just doesn’t match up.
Does anybody think that this might ever end up being a trick? That possibly these gatherings might be a diversion for something else going on? I’m not talking about 45 people dancing like idiots so that the forty-sixth guy can thieve a newspaper, I’m talking about the forty-sixth guy agreeing to show up and also dance like an idiot only to rob the airport gift shop blind of all that overpriced luggage while the “stunned” audience stands there blown away by “Adult School Musical”.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Could you imagine if this is the next wave of terrorism? How unbelievably painful and embarrassing would it be if the next sleeper cell attack started off with twenty Bollywood looking motherfuckers in front of a Delta Airlines terminal dancing to Lady Gaga? If that ever happens as far as I’m concerned we can start bombing France the next day and we don’t even have to have a reason.
2) So Much Emphasis on “Privacy Settings” with regards to sharing information online
Recently a story came out about how the Federal Government was going to start archiving ever tweet that every user ever posted. First of all, yeah right. And second, why? Is this really crucial information? Of course not, which is precisely why you shouldn’t be worried about your online privacy. Not on the sites themselves, and not regarding the Fed either. You shouldn’t give a shit about who sees what you’re putting online. If someone who friends/follows you has a problem with it, you should just block them and not talk to them at all. The whole purpose of freedom in the first place was supposed to be the idea of saying whatever you want whenever you want. If the founding fathers knew you were thinking twice about your Facebook posts they’d never let you hear the end of it. If they weren’t rotting and being eaten by maggots, you would for sure get an earful.
Back to the government archiving tweets, there’s no way maintaining an operation like this would even be possible. Just the idea that there would be a whole sector of national security devoted to keeping track of everyone’s Twitterfeed is insane. Sure, Twitter is relatively small so storing it would likely not be an issue, but what good would it do to have all of that information on file anyway?
Another thing people are bitching about is Facebook sharing personal information with its advertisers. I honestly couldn’t care less. I don’t pay any attention to the ads in the first place so it’s not like they’re getting anything from me either way. And if I do end up getting my “online identity” stolen who cares? I’ll just get another account. In an extreme case where my real-life identity would get stolen due to Facebook, I’d just find that pencildicked Zuckerberg guy and kick him in the stomach until enough cash came out of his mouth that I could have my identity stolen every day for the rest of my life and it wouldn’t matter.
3) Dr. Drew Pinsky all over the place all of the time
Since Americans are so susceptible to watching trainwrecks when it comes to celebrities, recent demand for Dr. Drew’s Nonsense Lager is higher than ever. The line to get up to the bar in the first place is backed up all the way to the bathroom. And it’s a crying shame because Dr. Drew is a manipulative tool that makes more money when these same celebrities fall of the wagon, so what interest would he have in seeing them get sober in the first place? The obvious answer is that he doesn’t, because he’s a fraud. He’s got some nightly talk show now where he does the occasional interview but spends a majority of the time prancing around like Glenn Beck ejaculating all of his rhetoric and saying it’s his way or the highway. It’s like he’s turning into fucking Deepak Chopra.
Here’s why a lot of the recovery programs in America don’t work: They say it’s all or nothing. People like Dr. Drew hold the belief that for some reason if you are viewed by others as an addict, that there’s absolutely no such thing as moderation for the rest of your life. That’s total bullshit. Maybe the pass/fail approach doesn’t work because as soon as that person has a couple of drinks they’re considered a failure again. Look at Josh Hamilton from the Texas Rangers. A couple of months ago he went out and had a couple of drinks at a local bar and the next thing you know he’s all over the news as being an addict again. His circumstance is a little different in the sense that he’s a celebrity, but similar in the sense that when other people who’ve had substance abuse problems in the past decide to have a few drinks in a social setting their families think that they are waist deep in it after one night. Moderation is the key to everything…ask anyone who’s ever fallen asleep in a tanning bed before.
I’m a little bit biased here as I’ve never been a big fan of Dr. Drew’s on principle…he tries to be the hip psychiatrist that is in touch with the young generation but I have a hard time believing that age group is buying it. I’ve also been channel surfing and ran across that horrible piece of work he does where he follows up on those “Teen Mom” cretins and appears to be concerned. As if all of the other programs he’s involved with (Celebrity Rehab, et cetera) weren’t enough to keep him busy? Don’t you think you’re maybe turning into a workaholic, Mr. Pinksy? No? Denial is the first step! Let’s get you into treatment right away…
4) People who quote the Dos Equis Commercials on the Social Networking websites and/or in public
Why is it that the least interesting people on my friends list can’t help themselves from posting quotes from an advertising campaign featuring “The Most interesting Man in the World”? What’s so interesting about you? You’re going to microwave a Banquet TV dinner and beat off while watching the UFC tonight, there’s nothing interesting about that. Stop wasting everyone’s hard earned internets.
These are the dudes you see at the bar who walk a very narrow life path. (If you read my stuff, you might have even punched one of them this past weekend if you went to a bar to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day) They tend to be weekend warriors and after they slam a few Miller Lites they start spewing out these quotes. I’d be willing to bet the farm that if you tried to show any of these prickpouches how to do any of these activities they would be clueless. You’d drag them to a fencing event and they’d look around puzzled as hell and ask where the fucking fences are.
As for the ads themselves, they’re brilliant by beer advertisement standards. They’re clever, don’t get me wrong. They don’t rely on a lot of cheap humor and clips of girls in bikinis that would never be at one of your parties. But it’s what Freud was talking about when he defined the “ideal self”…you never really get to be the most interesting man in the world. So stop acting like it. And as an added note – I mentioned Miller Lite earlier as an example of the swill that most of these wads slam. So obviously if you’re spraying all of your “Most Interesting” lines while you’re drinking cheap beer, then it’s unacceptable because you are drinking one product and quoting advertising slogans from another brand that sells the same product. But I just want to clear one thing up – Even if you ARE drinking Dos Equis it’s still unacceptable to quote the ads out loud. These people are insufferably irritating.
5) Gamers (Video Game Culture)
Now this one I haven’t been a fan of for several years because I haven’t owned a video game system since the original NES. I’m not necessarily bagging on those who get home from work and enjoy playing thirty minutes of video game entertainment to decompress. I’m talking about those “I have no intention of getting a job, and fully intend to spend the rest of my life playing Call of Duty. Everyone else can go to hell!” No. Please don’t collect money from the government to do this. Us “book learnin’ folk” pay for that shit through the deductions from our paycheck.
Here again, if you play a few games here and there you’re not who I’m chastising. I’m specifically going after these people who get so involved that they build their entire life around it and everything else is secondary. There’s a local video game store around here whose slogan is: “Just a game? I DON’T THINK SO!!!” (I use capital letters because they scream the last half on the radio and TV commercials) It’s a perfect example of how in today’s world people refuse to believe that you can be good at something without becoming completely obsessed with it.
Another thing that pisses me off is the headsets. That’s going way too far. You need a wireless device strapped to your head to play video games now? No thanks. Shouldn’t lack of communication be the whole purpose here? You’re playing a game. When we used to play 007, the only pleasure I derived from was running around like a madman shooting everything knowing that others were also running around like madmen shooting everything. Having any sort of communication would have ruined everything altogether, and to be honest with you we probably would have given up.
Plus, everyone who isn’t a gamer lives within close proximity of one of these clowns that has to hear him yelling at the screen over these stupid looking things. (Editor’s Note: Remember here that I am a huge Phil Collins fan, so by nature I’m usually pro-headset when someone is actually using it to be productive) In my case, it’s this guy upstairs. He is constantly yelling at his TV screen after midnight like he’s actually involved in real gang warfare with the these people. It’s hilarious. And by “hilarious” I mean “depressing as hell”.
One last thought for gamers: I’ve heard a lot of people through the years say “I’ve beat this game”, or “I’ve beat that game” and I couldn’t possibly disagree more. You don’t ever beat a video game, they beat you. I mean, you’re playing it, right? Then the video game won. End of story.
6) April Fool’s Day fast approaching
As you can bet, Captain Grumpus over here doesn’t think there’s anything funny about April Fool’s Day. Never have. The idea of pranks is dead. It died long ago, a short time after the whoopee cushion but a long time before 9/11. Consider this a personal warning that if there’s a prank pulled on or around me you can bet I’m not going to react in a civil manner. Will I melt your skull in an oven? Probably not. But I can definitely make the rest of your year a living hell that’s for sure.
Let’s also take a moment to distinguish the difference between a joke and a prank. A joke is something that is carefully crafted by an individual who is trying to make a valid point in a humorous manner, thus making people laugh. A joke actually evolves as a writer or comedian tweaks it to its optimum level of effectiveness after it presses or is performed. A joke, for the most part, can be a lot harder to write than one might think. Coupled of course with the fact that parallel thinking may have caused the same person to have thought of the same joke years before, therefore rendering your joke used and labeling you a plagiarist. Not so simple is it?
A prank is something very different. A prank is usually a poorly thought out handjob of a joke that is specifically designed to maliciously hurt the feelings of one (and usually only one) person. Think about it: A prank could never really work in a stand-up setting. If a comedian held up an embarrassing picture of “Dave”, an audience member (as opposed to emailing it to all of his co workers) only the people who Dave was with would get the joke. The rest of the audience would feel left out, and it would likely suck the life out of the show.
What really complicates this “holiday” is this: How are people supposed to react when something at work that does seem like a prank is actually serious? And how are we supposed to know the difference? Let’s see…
Supervisor: We’re going to have to take you off the Fullman account because we feel you’ve done a poor job, there’s a lot of errors, and we need to schedule a performance review immediately.
You: Good one, boss. Happy April Fool’s Day to you too!
Supervisor: Do you think your position here at Wellstein & Associates is some kind of joke?
You: How the fuck am I supposed to know? Last year on this very same day you convinced the secretary into telling me that my girlfriend had called from home to tell me that our ferret was dead.
Supervisor: You make an excellent point. But you’re still fired for using profanity in the workplace. You have one hour to clean out your desk.
See how this might slightly damage productivity? And don’t give me any of this shit about how I can’t take a joke. I can take jokes, write jokes, eat jokes, smoke jokes, shove jokes up my asshole and then pull them out of my ear. I don’t want to hear it.
And can’t we at least take one year off from this? You’d think that as a nation we’d be able to realize that everyone has access to a Twitter or Facebook account as well as plenty of email addresses, or at least enough social media to cause some havoc on someone who just legitimately had a bad night and has forgotten that its April 1st. Never mind all of the really serious things that could happen if a prank like this goes wrong. We need to take a break.
So that’s exactly what I’m calling for this year on April Fools Day 2012: A year off. No pranks, no bullshit. Everybody’s having a rough enough time with the economy, there’s no reason to complicate things with excessive tomfoolery. On the off chance that happens, and say I die after April 1st, 2012 but before April 1st, 2013, at least I can go in peace knowing that I wasn’t dicked around for one day by a bunch of losers that have no taste in humor and probably still think Bob and Tom is good morning radio.
Of course I’m not saying that I’m going to die, but the way this year is going…I have to say, I like my odds.
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