Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kids Think The Darndest Things

I was recently pondering my accidental use of the phrase "all intensive purposes" and feeling a little shameful. As an adult  any time that someone else picks out something that I say that is grammatically incorrect or otherwise inappropriately used I feel embarrassed. In my own small, petty way I feel inferior to them, in that moment. Even if I am technically more intelligent than someone else or if I am deeper and more thoughtful I find it upsetting for days when I expose myself and say something stupid. So this got me to thinking, have I always been like this? Have I always felt guilt or shame when I made a faux pas in the past or failed to make a logical leap to an otherwise obvious conclusion? and the answer is no.

I tried to think back on some words or ideas that escaped me and others as a child and I came up with a few.

1) When I was young I often heard this phrase uttered from another kid's lips: "What are you...Death?" Hilariously they had misheard their brother/sister/mother/father say the word "deaf" a time or two and since they had no basis for comparison, decided that the word was "death". So, in a surprising twist of fate perhaps the person calling me "deaf" was infact "death" himself.

2) As a youngster I'd often see commercials about the danger and severity of HARD ATTACKS. That's right, I was deathly afraid that my father might have a hard attack and I wouldn't be able to help him. 

3) Dandy Lions, self explanatory.

4) Every year there was a big to do about cookies. Apparently, young girls all over the world were selling Girl  Guy cookies. I could never figure out why packs of young girls would sit outside the super market and call themselves Girl guys but their cookies sure were delicious.

5) This last one is more of an anecdote of stupidity rather than a hooked on phonics fail. When I was 8 or 9 I was told that we the family were going to pick up my mother's new car. It was a 1988 Chrysler Lebaron. Just by its fake French name you can tell that the Lebaron meant business. With a whopping 100 horsepower the vehicle could scoot down the road with the prestige and elegance of a much pricier sedan. As we pulled into the lot I looked up and read the large letters that were suspended on a string in the sky, they said: USED CARS. I thought to myself "Used cars, what a strange way of saying new car!" After all, used was a term to denote something that had been USED not something that was clearly new.

As we climbed into my mother's new car which had the vague scent of cigarette smoke and ass crack I decided to ask my mother this question: "Mom, why is your new car called a used car?" What followed was an anticlimactic explanation about the difference between actually new and previously owned. I remember afterward feeling a little deflated. The illusion and triumph of something that was new had disappeared. I did not know of nor did I want to grasp the concept of "new to me". I didn't know it then but pretending to be enthusiastic about being dealt someone else's leftovers was about to become the theme for my entire life. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I fear setting standards. The problem with standards is that people expect you to be consistent. Even if you don't plan it, if you do something long enough eventually a theme begins to develop. After awhile you become that guy who does that thing. Or, if you are horribly untalented then you become that guy who does that thing terribly on a regular basis. 

If there is one thing I am not in life, it is consistent. Scholastically I have either done really well at the beginning of a semester and then abysmally by the end or I start off poorly and I am barely able to eek it out. As far as work or labor is concerned I have always done best when I have had an assigned task that I can complete and once the task is over, I take a break. An egotistical person would spit shine that admission and say that they have an all or nothing personality but a realistic person would say that they find it excruciatingly difficult to maintain an average.

So I've got a couple months blogging under my belt and I've already started falling into a niche. Originally I planned on writing a blog with an even mixture of "intelligent" ideas combined with semi humorous musings. I aspired to be some kind of textual George Carlin making you smile while I drove home some important uncovered truth about humanity. Now I find myself writing a lot of "this sucks and here's why" articles because I think that it is what people want to read. Don't get me wrong I don't feel as if I am manufacturing a product in order to win fans. I do think however that my initial flow has been stunted or altered by a perceived desire to entertain others better. As it turns out, I am a whore for attention and recognition first and a person of morals and integrity second.

This may not be a bad thing. If I was at home cooking for myself chances are that I'd just slather about 6 slices of bread with peanut butter and scarf them down. However, if I was cooking for someone else I'd go to greater lengths to make something that is tasty that required effort. Superimposing that example onto my blog, the nagging voice in the back of my head that says "people are watching" probably does make me pay more attention and try to make what I say more fluid and easier to relate to.  

The only foreseeable problem that I alluded to earlier is that I self edit and shy away from topics that I may otherwise have written about freely. How can I be sure that the great majority of people are in on the joke? How do I still be edgy without being offensive? Ultimately we all believe that we should write for ourselves first and our audience second but I wonder about that. It seems to me that every band that makes it big doesn't do so until they write the one album that sounds conventional or mainstream. Or if the band starts out mainstream and then grow experimental then they lose most of their fan base. As much as I like to think I am typing out most of this crap because it is therapeutic, in reality I do want to be recognized and showered with praise and large sums of cash. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Do It To Me Generation

On the slight chance that you have not figured this out through reading my blog let me first preface this post by saying that I generally hate everything. Even things that I think that I like I eventually start hating. So please don't be surprised when I mention something that you (my loyal readers) like but I say I hate. Whenever I hate something it is typically the pompous douchiness that surrounds the concept or action not the specific action itself (well, a few things actually are lame, sorry skinny jeans) Moving right along let's get to todays topic: The do it to me generation.

As I've stated in earlier blogs we once were a species of pioneers and creativity and now we have become high tech rearrangers. To be fair, the world no longer honors mastery of skill, a unique idea or delayed gratification. Also in this day an age most of our immediate needs are met. We as people don't need to know how to fabricate engine parts for our Oldmobile out of a tin can. We don't need to build a part for our fridge or lathe a door that doesn't close correctly. The unfortunate bi-product of having everything readily available and having all of our needs met is that we become easily bored. We are easily bored because there is no challenge to fix or build something independently. Sure there is technology left to be discovered but most of that is at the end of a high tech microscope and after years of education. There are very few modest wins for an individual to conquer on a lazy sunday afternoon. 

And so is born what I would call the Do It To Me Generation. The DITMG is littered with people with no real goals because everything that could be done has already been done. There is no great insight or idea to talk about. We are no longer individuals going out and impressing on the world, rather we are unambitious observers that allow the world to impose on us while we remain motionless. 

A fellow blogger once asked "What kind of tattoo should I get?" to which I replied "A phoenix holding a Koi fish with some Japanese writing on it." He didn't get the joke. I later explained that the tattoo idea was a combination of a few tattoo cliches that have been used by millions of other "original" people.  We have indirectly backed into my first example of the do it to me generation and that is: tattoos.

Tattoos in principle are a fine idea. A lasting imprint of an image or a meaningful saying that has guided and/or inspired your life is an alright idea. However, when you don't know what tattoo you want to get and you are entertaining ideas you probably are not ready for the experience. This response these days is not uncommon. You will also find that people have unwarranted desires to pierce their face, tongue and various other body parts with seemingly no explanation. 

If it is not "alternative" tats and piercings, then it's a desire for plastic surgery. If it's not plastic surgery then, to a lesser extent we slap some spinners on a piece of shit car. The world is now inundated with two tone paint jobs, ram air hoods and racing stripes. All of these interesting and unique snowflakes will blather on for hours about the modifications they hope to get or have already gotten but once they run dry on that topic they have nothing left. I'm sure that there is one intelligent person out there reading this who has a tattoo who is thinking "I object to what you are saying." Well, I have news for you, you are running with a pack of idiots and you are the shining star minority among them. Most people who buy in do so because they are not intelligent or interesting enough to do something actually meaningful/useful with their lives.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Chance is the name of a guy who delivers melons. Unfortunately for Chance his deliveries only make it about half the time. Because of this, many people don't want to leave their melon deliveries to Chance. Due to lack of business Chance can't afford a cart or box van in order to move his melons. However, at unpredictable intervals everyone at one time relies on Chance to deliver their melons. Since chance cannot afford to turn away business he must take what he can get whenever he can get it. Unfortunately for Chance he is destined for failure because he is consistently overburdened with melons.

Chance has to hold all of the melons that he can carry at once and tries to walk them to their respective destinations. Melons as you know are unstable cargo and as such jostle about, especially at maximum capacity in Chance's arms. Every so often during transport Chance will drop a melon. We would logically assume that the melon's on the bottom of Chance's grasp would fall and smash first, but this isn't always the case. You wouldn't know it to look at him but Chance has great agility. Often times a melon that starts at the bottom of the melon pile is pushed and prodded into the middle of the pile. Sometimes, a safely secured melon residing on top of the pile will roll and jump to certain death while Chance is trying to secure a middle or bottom melon.

Should Chance arrive safely at a destination he is never thanked. In fact most customers treat Chance as though he doesn't exist. They instead lose themselves in the delusion that they willed a melon into existence. Either that or they impose a greater value on their own work and thought processes and decide that someone has delivered them a melon in honor of all of their hard work.

Conversely those who never receive their melons decide that Chance was conspiring against them all along. They claim that every time they have invested their melon deliveries to Chance that he has never come through. They look around at other people smugly eating their melons and decide that Chance has it out for them. Why else would these melon eaters look so satisfied if they weren't in on the melon smuggling secret?

Yet Chance continues on poor, lonely and with a battered ego trying his best to grab that brass ring, but just like with most people Chance is his greatest obstacle to success. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Guy Who Rocks The Block At 8 A.M.

Apparently it is theme week and as such I bring you the third installment of people that I find annoying.

Everyone knows the guy who rocks the block. He generally drives a piece of shit Nissan Sentra (otherwise known as a Nissan Sentra) and has his trunk filled with amps and bass speakers. You will recognize him first by the loud rattle of his thin trunk lid that hasn't been insulated to counteract the violent rumbling from his bass speakers. As he gets closer you will involuntarily shit your pants once or twice due the gravity of the bass pounding on your internal organs. Finally, you'll generally see a white kid age ranging from 17-25 wearing one of those over sized ball caps with a large unbent bill. He will be wearing a velour tracksuit in a soft pastel color accompanied by an array of silver necklaces. 

If you catch him at a stoplight his music of choice is something from the slim shady catalog or one of the many black artists that are a part of the same production company. Every once in a while he'll be searching for a particular track on his mix cd and accidentally come across one that he put on there for his girl. His finger will desperately try to mash the skip button but the cd takes too long to access the next track and his tough gangsta facade is ruined by accidentally blasting a verse of Plain White T's Hey There Delilah.

We all know why Guy Who Rocks The Block is doing it. He has very few friends, is obviously poor or jobless. His taste in music suggests that he is stupid and stupidity generally leads to being uncharismatic. What then can he do to get the attention of other people? Blast music loudly until others say "Where the fuck is that music coming from and why won't that obnoxious asshole turn it off? In his mind it is a win because you are paying him attention something you wouldn't otherwise have done if not for his terrible music invading your ear holes. 

Believe it or not, Guy Who Rocks The Block at 8 A.M. is a different and sometimes more evolved version of GWRTB. The 8 A.M. block rocker is usually in his 30's. He often has a Pontiac Fiero or a 1980's corvette. He has been up all night doing blow and congregating with cheap prostitutes. Now he's on his way home but he doesn't want the party to end. He puts the top down so that his Michael Bolton mullet (long in the back nothing up front) curly locks can wisp in the wind. His music of choice? anything AC/DC but it's a special treat if he can find Guns n' Roses Welcome to the Jungle or Sweet Child O' Mine.

Another version of GWRTB @8AM is a rather new development. He is in his late 20's and he has just become part of the corporate world. His salary is big enough that he can afford to make payments on a 2 year old VW jetta. Even though he has bought into the corporate world he will be damned if the man is going to keep him down. When he leaves the house in the morning he leaves his white collared shirt unbuttoned. On his feet are a pair of Airwalks skate shoes. In one hand he has his briefcase, in the other his tie and his keyless entry remote. He will eventually have to suit up and become one of the faceless zombies but right now, this is his time rebel. His music is generally something of the hardcore punk nature. Anything with simple guitar licks, pounding drum beats and lyrics about anarchy and there being no future will do. By rocking the block in the morning he is both getting himself psyched up to whore himself out for 8 hours and letting the world know that even though he is part of the system, that he's NOT PART OF THE SYSTEM!!!

Finally of course Guy who rocks the block at 8 A.M. could still be that same shit head who does it the rest of the day he just does it in the morning when people are trying to sleep because he is that pathetic. Just a note to everyone who is listening, Giant car stereos were cool in the 90's when no one had them and people were both impressed/shocked by the sounds that came out of them. These days car stereos are as pedestrian and annoying as car alarms. Please save your money and put it toward a college education. Thanks. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Guy Who Explains Things Unnecessarily

This one is sort of self explanatory but in honor of the topic, I will explain it anyway. 

Guy who explains things unnecessarily is everywhere, you could say he is everyman. To be fair, some men know their limits and eventually shut the hell up. GWETU is a close cousin to street smarts guy but is an evolved and perhaps more successful form. For all intents and purposes GEWTU might even be your own father so here's how to tell. For the rest of this blog I will refer to GWETU as "G".

"G" fancies himself an intellectual but he lacks what true intellectuals possess and that is important, useful information or in depth knowledge on any topic. "G" does however have plenty of information you already know/don't care about and he is particularly interested in proving his knowledge with or without your consent. 

Me: Hey "G" can you pass me that DVD?
G: DVD eh, so you want the ol' digital versatile disc or the ol' digital video disc.
Me: sure.
G: Ya know, before DVD's  we used to use VHS tapes.
Me: VHS huh, do you know what that stands for?
G: Nope, but, they did become the predominant form of taped movies edging out betamax back in the day. Heck, some believe it was a superior device, god bless advertisin'. But that was before they had all this new technology. Sheese, you can't even buy a regular light bulb anymore.
Me: Tell me about it.
G: Hey, didja know that the double yew besides the number on a light bulb means watts?
Me: Um, sure.
G: Hmm... all of this chatter has made me hungry could you make me a sammich?
Me: Sure what kind?
G: How's bout peanut butter.
Me: Ok
G: You gotta be careful when you make a peanut butter sammich. You gotta spread the PB smoothly so that both pieces have an even coat, not too thick, not too thin. Say, did you know contrary to popular belief that peanuts don't grow in trees? in fact they grow from a plant underground, thus the name Planters Peanuts.
Me: Really.
G: Indubitably!

This exchange could go on for hours. No indication of boredom, disinterest or annoyance can combat "G" when he is on a roll. You only hope in dismantling the conversation is cutting "G" off before he somehow integrates the thing he is explaining into a past life experience or a memory about a particular friend/family member with whom he had a bad experience. If this happens then you better get some popcorn because "G" is libel to continue explaining things unnecessarily until one of you falls asleep.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fuck The Like Button

90% of my Facebook activities revolve around poking my father. It should come as no surprise that I do not like Facebook. I don't dislike it for the same trendy reasons that the wannabe misanthropists do it. I don't dislike it because I am counter culture. I don't dislike it because it is primarily a tool for stupid people to congregate and exchange ideas. I simply reject it because of its premise and that premise is to share your life experiences with your friends and family. As a misanthrope with no money, how many friends could I really have and how valuable could a tool like Facebook be toward serving my needs? If anything, Facebook only exposes and shares my secrets with people that I don't really like, secrets that I probably wouldn't have talked about if I didn't feel obligated.  

As I've said before however, the only thing worse than acquainting yourself with a piece of technology or service that you don't like is being left behind by society. So I've bought in to a certain degree I'm not trying to pad my friends list or push a religious/political/environmental agenda but I will send you some gifts in farmville and take a survey from time to time. If you are a loyal Facebook user the only thing I ask of you is that use the "like" button with discretion. 

When I pen a status update I think about it and I try to be clever or interesting. Below is an example of a recent one:

"I'm thinking about starting a company that sells equipment to help older cats live healthier more active lives. I'm going to call it: Feline Aids."

Granted this status may not tickle your funny bone and I understand that. I don't expect everyone on my list to like everything that I say. However, I will then see someone else's status like this:

"Just bought some batteries" 

This status gets 4 "likes" and a discussion about what kind of batteries/what size are your favorites ensues. I don't want to call people outright dumb so I'll have to do it indirectly. What the Fuck people? I know that thinking on any level is difficult but you are presenting and supporting the idea that you are an idiot by "liking" and engaging in these topics. If you are making these status updates you should be ashamed. Unless you are posting on Facebook to let your brother/sister know that you have walked their dog which you are babysitting then there is no reason to report it. The only thing you are saying to sane intelligent people when you make a useless comment is "I am boring and useless but I want attention because I am narcissistic." If you are "liking" and replying to these useless status updates you are saying "I am an idiot who doesn't have thoughts. Thankfully you've mentioned batteries, batteries are something that even an idiot has been acquainted with in life. As an idiot, I will now talk about batteries and praise you for bringing up the topic."

If you see something you don't understand, work to understand it. Inquire, ask questions. Being passive is a disease. Sure this entire commentary is fueled by jealousy but that's beside the point. It's hard enough for me to maintain the facade that I support the human race as it is please don't make it more difficult by liking the fact that some dumbass ate a cookie.