The Blogging Affairs Desk

When It’s Good, It’s Good, When It’s BAD, It’s Better…

Last One Out, Hit The Lights!

I’m closing down The Desk.

It’s been a sweet ride.  By far, in my nearly ten years of blogging, The Blogging Affairs Desk has been my most successful attempt at shouting to the masses from my cyber-soap box.

It’s been swell.

But my domain name … whatever you wanna call it…. thing is expiring in about 30 days and WordPress makes it exceedingly difficult to re-register it.  Exceedingly.  I mean, dude, come on, I’M TRYING TO GIVE YOU MONEY!

Which is kinda the trend on this blog anyway… over the last few years.  My struggles with trying to GIVE PEOPLE MONEY have been documented far and wide.

So yeah, I figured it’s kinda time to move on to something else.  I haven’t really had much motivation to keep writing, I’ve abandoned my post over at IRdC; it was hard enough to keep THIS blog up to date, let alone churn out an article once a week for an entirely separate blog.

And I’m waist deep in training for not one, but at least TWO triathlons coming up later this year.  Couple that with work picking up, I just don’t have the time, nor the energy to sit down and churn out the quality work all my readers have come to expect from The BAD.  It’d be a disservice to put out anything less.

So yeah, with that, I’m snapping the desk lamp shut, powering down the workstation, packing up my box of shit and leaving this site to decay like unattended grapes on the vine.  Sure, I could go out with flare, like The Good Doctor did, but I hate messes, and well, my wife would be sorta pissed.

Too soon?

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my take on life as much as I enjoyed sharing it. You can still follow me on twitter, by the way, for my 140 character-at-a-time takes on life.

It’s like a condensed version of The BAD, right in your pocket.  If you’re not poor and own an iPhone.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have fifteen hours of “Parks and Recreations” saved on my DVR that need to be watched.

…Just kidding.

March 30, 2010 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Getting Older, Gonzo Journalism, Not Enough Time, Shameless Self Promotion | , , , , , | 2 Comments

TidBits: Snowed In Edition

On Friend Requests:

I have this guy I used to be best friends with growing up.  In high school we sadly parted ways.  He went with one crowd and I another – that shit is real elementary, it happens to everyone.

I literally hadn’t heard jackshit from this kid in close to almost ten years, and suddenly, as soon as I turned my Facebook account back on, I get a friend request from him.

I know what you’re thinking, or perhaps even saying to yourself:  “Who cares?”  I care.  That shit fucked me up a few different ways because one, I like to keep my “friends” on Facebook to a minimum; it keeps the News Feed clear of unneccesary crap as well as limits the amount of information about me that gets out there.  The other reason why the friend request was bothersome was because it was nothing more than just the request.  No attached note or message saying “hey what’s up, I’d love to reconnect, we had good times” or anything.  Nothing asking me about what I’m doing now-a-days, just a blank “add me” button to stare at.

I was friends with this guy for like… five or six years.  And by “friends” I mean basically sleeping over at each other’s houses every other night.  We were inseparable, we did everything and went everywhere together.  When he slipped on a patch of ice and broke his ankle as a kid, it was I who ran and got help.  And he couldn’t take two seconds to pound out one sentence to go with his request?

Maybe it’s just me.  Maybe I have a high expectation for people, or maybe I’m just a prick, but either way he should’ve/could’ve asked how I was doing in the very least.  No, what he was doing was just trying to inflate his Facebook “Friends” numbers and turn around and shit all over my News Feed.  And I ain’t havin’ that.

So I took the intiative and sent him a message telling him how I felt (by now I had received two of the same request, I had ignored the first one a few days ago) about his seemingly ambivalent approach towards me.  I was a real ball breaker, with the hopes that he won’t bother sending me another request.

Does it make me an asshole, yes.  But at the same time it saves me from two days of awkward conversations that peter out into me inevitably deleting him.  I’m just trying to save myself time and aggravation.

On Televised Violence:

I’ve been keeping half an eye turned towards Mtv’s Jersey Shore (read my review at the IRdC here), and was recently informed by my wife that a female character nicknamed (presumably by her pimp) ‘Snookie’ was physically assaulted at a bar after running her mouth – and it was caught on tape.

Of course I had to watch the footage.

If you haven’t seen the web-only footage (Mtv won’t air it, more on that in a sec), basically the diminutive skank with a love of trucker hats is standing on a bar stool and calling out some asshole who keeps stealing her and her friend’s pre-paid shots of booze.  She goes on a five minute long, insult-laden tirade on this guy, putting her hands in his face and coming within inches of assaulting him first.  The guy has enough and cracks her in the face with a straight punch.  He then (kinda) hustles out of the bar while a small army of guidos (kinda) chase him outside, where he’s met by the local constabulary.

Do I condone what happened to Snookie?  No.  Do I think she kinda asked for it?  …Maybe.

Either way, Mtv had decided that on it’s televised episode, they wouldn’t show the actual punch.  Instead, they black out the screen but give you the audio.  The audio consists of shit-talking abruptly silenced by the sound of a handclap, followed by a chorus of “ooooh”s, followed by a bunch of bleeped out cursing.  The shot comes back in with the assailant in retreat and Snookie on her side, crumpled up like a bumper after a head-on collision.

My beef is this:  Mtv won’t show a random stranger, who happens to be a dude, striking a female he didn’t know, in a public place that served alcohol.  They will however, show a promo for their other ultra-trashy reality television program “Teen Mom” where one of the teen mothers backs her baby’s daddy into a corner and slaps the shit out of him in anger.

And I’m not talking about like, one slap here.  I’m talking about taking this dude (who’s admittedly bigger than her) by the throat, slamming him into a corner, striking his chest multiple times, and then cracking him across his jowls.  Mtv has no problem airing this, let alone using it in the commercial for the next episode.

It’s a double standard.

I think it’s far worse to show domestic violence than just regular, standard violence.  I think it’s also a bad idea to show violence of any kind that’s centered around rearing a child, on a show that’s decidedly marketed towards teenage women, oppose to “Jersey Shore”‘s demographic which is conceivably slightly older in age.

Hey Mtv:  Just because it’s chick-on-dude violence doesn’t mean it’s ok to show it.  Just because the guy’s bigger than the girl doesn’t make it ok either.  That young woman on the show (Amber is her name, I watched a few eps this morning…) is psychologically unbalanced and dangerous.  You have untold amounts of footage of her crying in her car, on the phone, and in public places.  What makes you think it’s ok to air footage of her acting out in violence towards the father of her child?

It’s bad enough that there’s a stigma out there that men can’t be abused by their partners, but please don’t add to it and make it seem like it’s “normal” because it’s not.  Hundreds, maybe thousands of men take physical abuse from their spouses or girl/boyfriends in silence, because they’re afraid no one will understand them.  It’s a real problem.

So next time, how about you run that same stupid PSA text from that episode of “Jersey Shore” over the next episode of “Teen Mom” ?  It’d make up for running those Kid Rock videos back in 2002.

On The Holidays:

I wish Xmas was over with already.  I have all the gifts wrapped, trees up, lights are plugged in and I’m broke.  I’m really broke.

After paying all the bills and getting the last minute items shipped out, my bank account is tapped and it’s still like, ten days before my next paycheck.  I’m thankful that I’m on vacation for the next few weeks, because I’m not even certain that I’d be able to afford to put gas in my truck right now to make the commute.

I’m exaggerating obviously, but money’s tight, and that’s no joke.  The Holidays are rough on people for different reasons; maybe you’re broke, so broke you can’t afford gifts for Xmas, maybe you’re away from family, maybe you’ve lost people this time of year?  For all the joy the tv says that this time of year is supposed to bring, there’s a lot of long faces in the crowd.

It seems too, that The Holidays get longer and longer every year.  And I’m not talking like, they start decorating the stores earlier, I’m talking about how I seem to be ready for them earlier and earlier each year.  This lends itself to me sitting in front of the tv, watching the days tick by.  When I was a kid, this would be because I couldn’t wait for Xmas to get there, because the tree would be surrounded in a wall of wrapped boxes.  As I’m an adult, it’s because I’m just ready for all this shit to be over with – I’m waiting for the day AFTER Xmas, where I can wipe my brow, look at my bank account and sigh in a little relief.

Thank god Google’s been kicking ass in the stock market, that’s all I’m gonna say.

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Getting Older, Smells Like Children, The Great Indoors, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

TidBits: Media Over-Hype Edition

Gate Crashers:

By now you’ve heard the story about The Salahis, the eager-to-be-famous gate crashers that seemingly waltzed into President Obama’s first “State Dinner” (quotes are for the fact it wasn’t ‘really’ a State Dinner.  State Dinner’s are characterized as being with other heads of state, and this dinner was attended by India’s Prime Minister, who is the head of India’s Government, but not the head of the country) uninvited.

The obvious twist in the panties comes from the (lack of) security that was breached by two witless faux-celebrity wannabes.  Pictures of the couple appeared shortly after the ceremony on their Facebook page, which begs to ask the question: What is a couple roughly my boss’s age doing with a Facebook page?  Do they stalk their high school-aged kids?

But the real head scratcher in all of this is why people, the media and politicians especially, are getting mad at the Salahis’ and not that government entity called THE SECRET SERVICE?

Since writing this, three Secret Service agents have been placed on administrative leave until findings in the lapse in security can be properly investigated, but law makers, who love a good sturdy soap box to stand on and yell into the hills from, want to place blame on both The Salahis and the president’s Social Events Secretary.

That’s like blaming the bank teller for a robbery when the security guard is fast asleep on his stool.

Hey Washington DC, yeah it’s fucked up that these two spray tanners were able to get inside the holy of holies with little more than a clever anecdote and cleavage, but don’t blame them, and don’t call for the head of some la-di-da department secretary whose sole purpose is to plan meet and greets for Mrs. Obama and the kids.  Blame the people responsible, the guys with the ear pieces, guns and black suits, whose job is to ensure fame seeking whack jobs don’t get pictures with the President and post them all over the goddamn Facebook.

Tiger Woods:

Please leave this poor multi-national bastard alone.

I don’t condone what he’s apparently done; I would never cheat on my super model wife.  Men do stupid things and though I could come up with many reasons on why he probably did what he did, I won’t.  It’s just bad voodoo and an inevitable argument with my wife when she reads this.

But let’s not forget that Tiger is a person.  Up until now he was a very private person who wasn’t the type of celebrity athlete that shows up in the pages of People or US magazine.  He’s a winner and he’s human, fucking A.

He did break the boundaries of privacy when he crashed his SUV into a tree in front of their house, obviously fleeing a psychotic wife wielding one of his golf clubs that probably costs more than my yearly salary.  He brought that shit on himself, but damn, can’t you give him a break?

Stop demonizing him, I ask.  Plenty of celebrity athletes have done dumber shit and we’ve all gone on to pretty much forget about it, unless of course you’re Pete Rose (better luck next year, coach!).  Stop playing it up like Tiger will never be the same guy ever again, or his career will suffer.  Gatorade and fucking Nike have both stated they were going to stick by Tiger no matter what, and AT&T (whom I wasn’t aware sponsored him…) has released a ‘no comment’ comment.

I can see GM pulling out under obvious reasons, though.

Adam Lambert:

If you were like the rest of America, you missed the American Music Awards, the also-ran of musical award shows that places somewhere distant behind the VMAs, Grammys, and Country Music Awards.

Though, if you had passed by while flipping from reruns of ‘The Office’ and that shitty sitcom with that guy from ‘Everyone Loves Raymond’ … you know, the guy, the tall guy?  I think he was a cop?  That guy.  Anyway, if you were like most Americans, you had no idea who Adam Lambert was until the morning after the AMAs.

Adam Lambert was a RUNNER UP in American Idol like, last year.  He’s also come out and said he’s real gay, which is not surprising in the least.  He recently released an album which could easily be confused with a Sheila Eastan LP from 1991.

The controversy started when during the AMA’s, Lambert mocked fellatio with a fellow band mate, who happened to be of the same sex (a dude), while making out with another band mate of the same sex (…also a dude) while tromping around the stage like an awesomely flamboyant peacock.  This got him tossed from the next morning’s Good Morning America appearance, where he was scheduled to sing to school kids on an outside stage, while no one wondered why these kids weren’t in school.

Mr. Lambert likes to claim that he’s being ostracized because he’s gay, and as a gay guy he’s not entitled to performing the same lewd semi-sexual acts that straight musicians are afforded while performing.  He’s quick to point out that many famous acts have been allowed to simulate straight (see also: chick-on-dude) fellatio, but as soon as a gay dude does it, it’s ‘disgusting.’

Elton John is rolling over in his still warm grave….

Adam Lambert, you miss the point: People aren’t outraged that you thrust your crotch into another dude’s face in front of a live audience which was broadcasted into dozens of homes, no, that’s not the controversy.  If you want to flaunt how gay you are, and make it seem like it’s cooler than the next Harold and Kumar movie, that’s fine, because gay people have been doing that shit since the early 1980s.

What we’re really pissed about is your lack of talent.  Dude, you suck.  Your voice sucks, your music sucks, your production sucks, you suck, suck, suck.  The irony that you think people are upset at you for ‘sucking’ is enough to make me pop a stitch.

The next time you tour, please bring along that monotone celestial that sings the Ricky Martin songs.  You know the guy, he’s released two more albums than you?

December 7, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Hate, Why Am I Watching This?, World Wide Events | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reviewed: Modern Warfare 2

Kazakhstan: a hellish frozen tundra that would easily be confused with some other planet rather than a former communist bloc satellite country of the Soviet Union.

But alas, being a member of the super secret and elite Task Force 141, you don’t exactly get to pick and choose which locales “they” send you to.  You might be freezing your ass off in the Permafrost today, sweating it on in the narrow funnels of death that make up the shantytowns of Rio.

Infinity Ward’s beyond-anticipated “Modern Warfare 2” dropped this week, and I finally got my hands on it, though not my own copy.  No, for my own, I’m apparently going to have to wait for Xmas.

“Ang, I need to know, are you going to get me Modern Warfare for Xmas?  Cuz if you’re not, I’m just going to go and buy it – right now” I said with half a foot out the door, pointed in the general direction of the mall.  At 28 years old, I don’t get excited for new games like I used to when I was a seldom-bathing college kid eight years ago, but when a massive game, one you’ve been dying for since this time LAST YEAR finally hits the streets, it’s like a crack fiend finding a lonely rock in the bottom of his pocket after going dry for a few hours.

“Yeah, I am going to get it for you,” my wife says from next to a cutting board where she’s working some cucumbers into the evening’s meal.

“Ok, well, would you be interested in getting it for me NOW… and you know, it can be an early Xmas gift?”

“No,” she chops into the cuke hard with finality.  “I imagine it’s going to be such a pain in the ass to get that game for you around the holidays that I refuse to have you go and get it for yourself, no.”

I frown.

“Or, ok, you can get it, or I can get it right now … but you can’t play it til Xmas.”

Ah, the bitch!

Though, procuring the game will be easier than she knows.  After a month and a half after any major game’s release there’s going to be plenty of used copies in circulation, thanks to the numerous fanboys who consume a hot game like “Modern Warfare 2” in its entirety a few short hours after purchase and move on like a pack of locusts.  Hell, I would imagine now, even after a few short days since its release there’s bound to be a used copy at the local GameStop.

However, I don’t know if I can last that long – “til Xmas”, ugh.

But fortunately for me, a guy I work with has a cooler wife than I, who let him go and get it, and he brought it into work so at lunch we could all crowd around the giant tv in our lounge and watch the Suburbs of Washington DC get pulverized by Russian regular army.

As you can tell, MW2 takes its queues from mostly war fantasy, oppose to the earlier incarnations of the “Call of Duty” franchise which were mostly settled in and around historically-accurate World War 2.  The trend to break away from the oversaturated WW2 shooter market started in 2007 with Infinity Ward’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” where the franchise went for a more current events-type look and feel.  Between the two games, MW and MW2, there was “COD5: World at War” which borrowed heavily from MW’s graphic’s engine to bring players familiar with the franchise back to WW2 with an updated look.

And that brings us to the technical aspects of MW2:  It doesn’t look much different from MW in the aspect that the surroundings and people all share the same rendering.  Sure, character outfits have changed and you’re engaging Brazilians oppose to Arabs in some respects, but the character movements and interactions don’t fall far from the original MW tree.

However, along with the storyline what does get an improvement is the arsenal of weaponry that’s available to the player, along with the ability to double fist small arms (an ability that was grossly missing from the first MW, but can be found in just about every other shooter available).  The old standby’s like the M4 and Kalashnikov are present, but sniper rifles with attached thermal imaging scopes to old clunky side-by-side shotguns are at the player’s disposal as well.

The storyline is a lot darker and slightly more convoluted as well.  Early on, like in all “Call of Duty” games (the Modern Warfare titles still apply, even though the COD has been largely dropped) you’re introduced to your playable character, and brought to a shoot house, or tactical assault mock-up, where pop-up targets present themselves for engagement.  Your sure-footedness in this section will allow the game CPU to suggest a level in which to start the campaign.

An interesting twist that Infinity Ward brings with the latest chapter of Modern Warfare is the addition of civilians.  In previous shooters the player is encouraged to shoot at just about anything that moves with little in the way of consequence.  Hell, hit one of your own guys and he stumbles, but picks himself up and carries on with the mission.  Maybe says something smart about your aim (or lack there of), or in the very least identifies himself as a friendly.

But no more, as I found out after laying down an entire magazine of digitized 5.56mm from my tricked out M4 in the shoot house; in the earliest of stages of the game you can fail by blasting a steel cut out of a little booger-picker holding an ice cream cone.  This game-play element introduces us more hardened virtual trigger pullers to the real-life aspect of Rules of Engagement.

But in the actual mission game-play of the campaign, whacking a civilian has little to do with you failing.  I mean, don’t go targeting them, but if one or two civvies get in the way, well… didn’t they know there was a gun fight outside?

One of the more disturbing and darkest parts of the game happens earlier on as well.  As a member of Task Force 141, you infiltrate an underground Russian crime ring and stage a massacre at a local Russian airport.  Infinity Ward gives you the option of skipping out of this early mission with a disclaimer that says something to the effect of “hey, this is going to get real nasty” but I wonder who among us is going to skip?  And doesn’t that disclaimer only entice the gamer into seeing what all the fuss is all about anyway?

I consider myself to be an avid gamer where nothing really upsets me as long as it’s pixilated- many  video game hookers from Liberty City  have fallen to my sociopathic tendencies.  However, selecting the “play thru” option and being forced to march ankle deep through politically-inspired civilian carnage blackened my soul.  You have the option of not firing a single round into the crowds of people scurrying for their lives, but just to watch the event unfold made me want to put the controller down and walk away for a bit.

Parents with kids who have, up until this point managed to convince you that Rated ‘M’ games are ok for them to play after school, be cautioned.

The question that seems to get asked more and more frequently regarding violent video games is “how far can they go, and are they willing to go that far?”  I’d hope to think that Infinity Ward has reached the wall.

But it is all just fantasy, as are the missions with the Army Rangers that center on the aforementioned attack on DC.  The intensity of the house-to-house fighting was truly the most thrilling game-play experience I’ve had in a long while.  As implausible as an attack launched by the Federated States of Russia seems, the plot device does ring of certain truisms; stolen technological hardware allows the Russians to jam our NORAD satellites and cloak their advance towards our seaboards.

But then there’s a fair share of military fantasy as well:  Super Secret Special Forces globetrotting in denim jeans and load-bearing vests, shooting their way through civilian-lined neighborhoods.

The game is challenging and goes beyond the mindless trigger pulling.  Whole missions hinge sometimes on just one shot, while others are a frantic and deadly cat-and-mouse chase over shantytown roof tops as a militia of Brazilian Irregulars advance on you – and you’re unarmed.

Unfortunately we don’t have an Xbox Live account here at the office, so I can’t personally comment on the online play.  When I interviewed a few co-workers who have already purchased and played the game online, the general consensus orbited between ‘dope’ and ‘fucking awesome.’

While “Modern Warfare 2” doesn’t break any new grounds visually, it’s an inspired and above average offering for a genre that’s easy to write off as spent.  What MW2 manages to do is up the ante for shooters further, at the same time toeing the line of what is considered acceptable for battle-hardened gamers (and good taste), while featuring content that goes well above and beyond my long awaited expectations.

November 14, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Blogging Couple, Getting Older, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , | 1 Comment

Fat Fucks

Recently I was someplace, maybe I was in my truck or in Ang’s car, and saw what appeared to be two medium sized dogs fighting inside a pair of oversized sweat pants.  These pants were making their way slowly down the street, as the dog on the left seemed to be getting the upper hand on the dog to the right, and then the tables would turn, and the dog on the right would over take the dog on the left.
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Then I realized that I was not watching two medium-sized dogs fighting while trapped in a pair of sweats; I was watching a morbidly obese woman saunter down the thoroughfare, presumably towards her next feeding.

I gagged a little, yeah.

You don’t have to watch the news or hear the health warnings to realize that our country is literally crumbling under its own weight for the last thirty sum-odd years.  Obesity has been the plague of our nation the way starvation plagues Somalia, and economical instability plagues Russia.  Every country has its problems and I assume that being a nation of rollie-pollie’s sure as hell beats a nation run by tribal war lords.

It used to be that girth was a sign of wealth; the fatter you were the more money you had to spend on luxuries such as food and drink.  Look at King Henry Tudor, he weighed in at over 400lbs by the time he died of a collapsed lung and gout.  Sure, some of his weight came from sustaining a jousting injury, but back then, what did you do if you were stuck in bed all day besides eat huge turkey legs and fuck the shit out of virgin maids?henry_viii

Our country, despite its rocky fiscal 2008, has been living high off the hog since World War 2, and it shows.  Progressively, every generation since the Greatest Generation, has gotten a little bit fatter.  I don’t have numbers to support this, but be rest assured its likely true.  Why?  Because Grampy Hank didn’t have a fucking Xbox waiting for him at home every day after school.  He had a little something called “Chores.”

Kids today (as I shake my fist from my porch) are not nearly as physically active as anyone who’s 25 or older today were.  This is largely due to school budgets chopping after school sports and the advent of social internet media.  Instead of going down to the park to hang out, chase girls, climb on shit, kids as young as 11 or 12 are going right home from school, logging on to their Myspaces, Facebooks, and Twitters, and doing what kids for generations have been doing after school – gossiping with their friends about school bullshit, minus the healthy dosages of Vitamin D and the basic physical activity of simply loitering.
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It’s a shitty state of affairs when while watching Sunday afternoon football I see an ad urging kids to play outdoors for a minimum of 60 minutes a day.  Holy Hot Fuck.

Ang and I are not planning on having kids, but let’s say we were – I’d absolutely refuse to allow my children to come home from school and log on to a glowing screen.  Fuck that.  Unless that kid has a project or paper due the next day, his ass is changing out of his “school clothes” into his “play clothes” and running around the yard, street, vacant lot, whatever until dinner’s ready, which will consist of steamed vegetables,  chicken, rice and protein shakes for everyone.

And this brings up my next topic:  The Fat Tax.

You might’ve heard of the Fat Tax or “Sins Tax” in passing recently, but the idea is hardly new.  The Fat Tax would increase the amount of money individual consumers would be paying on sugary foods or foods deemed to have little-to-no nutritional value.

To say I’m for this tax would be obvious, although I can see its drawbacks plainly.  First, who the hell is in favor of a tax on ANYTHING, especially in our slowly recovering economy.  Secondly, it’s widely known that the biggest purchasers of “bad-for-you-foods” are people in the lowest income brackets.  Why?  Because like an addictive drug, you craft your ware to be cheap and addictive to keep uneducated people and their spending dollars from straying away; you set your hooks deep with flavorful concoctions manufactured and sold at little cost.

Why do you think McDonald’s has a dollar menu?  You can feed a family of four dinner tonight for as little as fifteen dollars.fat-kits-eating-mcdonalds

Not to knock McDonald’s, as I’m a shareholder; I know its hypocrisy, however I want to make money on the backs of the dumb and poor too.

Another argument against the Fat Tax is that “good food” is also “expensive food.”  This line of reasoning isn’t baseless, as anyone who wanders into a Whole Foods will tell you.  You want organically grown brussel sprouts?  That’ll be 1.99 a lb, oppose to the “regular” sprouts, which are .99 cents a pound.

“What the hell is the difference?”  I asked my wife one day while grocery shopping.

“The organic ones don’t use harmful pesticides,” she explained.  Oh, but, … I mean, if we wash these spouts in the sink after we buy them, aren’t they just as good?

I didn’t bother asking that question, but to me it seems clear:  There’s already a “tax” on good-for-you foods, why not tax the bad-for-you-foods too?

Soda is a big one.  I heard a proposal the other day that suggested a penny an ounce tax on sugary-sodas, meaning, that 20 ouncer you get out of the machine at lunch time would cost you twenty cents more.  It might not seem like a big deal, hell, what’s an extra quarter going into the machine going to cost you, that’s less than a postage stamp.  But think of it over time, and think of it on a macro scale, where out of 265 million US Citizens, over 85% of us consume sugary beverages every day, multiple times a day.

Right next to kicking fast food, kicking soda was the worst.  When I committed to my diet and weight loss plan at the beginning of the year I immediately took notice of the withdrawal symptoms I was having as little as 48 hours without a carbonated caffeine drink.  I was irritable, sweaty, panicked, shaky and dry-mouthed.  No matter how much water I would drink, I was still thirsty.

But I got through it, and after about two weeks I could care less about soda.  Now if I split a Coke with Ang… a real Coke, mind you… I can feel my teeth buzz, dare I say, throb from the high sugar concentration.  I can’t believe I used to pound a 12 pack or more a day of that stuff.
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Let’s go back to that fat woman I described a little while ago:  No one gets that big, America, no one.  Sure, some people are just big people, whether it’s genetics or glandular diseases or by some means that can’t be controlled.  Hell, my Uncle David weighs in at over 300lbs, however, he’s also 6’7 and built like a bank vault door.

No, that woman walking down the street in the shock-loaded elastic waist sweats, with the visible dark stain running down the middle of her back because she was exerting herself beyond her normal means by having to move her vast body a short distance, did that shit to herself.  She’s likely poor, under educated, and had parents that didn’t care about her enough to prepare her a home-cooked meal once in a while.  Instead she never learned to take care of herself and figured that why should I learn to cook when the fine people at McDonalds (ticker: MCD) will cook for me, and it’s only pennies a day…

With the likelihood that government provided health care will go national it’s unlikely that she’s even insurable with a private company, so as a tax payer I’m going to be paying for the eventual quadruple by-pass surgery she’ll require to jumpstart her car battery-sized-and-colored heart sooner or later, plus the inevitable fee the fire department will charge for knocking down a wall to her apartment to extract her via crane and sling.

Tax it, tax Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, Lays Potato Chips, anything delicious and would cause a reasonable person to vegetate on the couch in front of an episode of “Two and a Half Men” and stuff their faces uncontrollably for hours on end.  But turn around and give tax break incentives to those of us who are spending money on joining a gym (tax incentives would work like a Subway Card, Jared:  You’d have to get the card punched by a gym employee min. once a week, and turn that card in with your tax paper work) or buying healthier foods.  Make smoking cessation programs tax-free or put tax credit incentives on those as well.  Consider it a rebate on the cost of the program if completed successfully.story2

How about age restrictions on fast food?  Or how about just not letting them stay open 24/7?  Unless you work third shift as a cab driver, why the hell are you going to Taco Bell at 4 am when Last Call was three and a half hours ago?

Ride a bike to and from work more than once a week for a month?  You get a government issued gas card for 50 bucks.

The point I’m trying to make is, yeah, tax the shit we don’t need, but how about throwing a bone to those of us who have already been keeping a healthy lifestyle?  Positive reinforcement works just as good as negative.

September 23, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Getting Older, Out and About, Shameless Self Promotion, Smells Like Children, The Great Indoors, Those Crazy Politicians | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Recycling, At Least As Far As Ideas, Is A Bad Idea

Pretty soon all my readers, both of you, will think I’ve gone anti-green.

This isn’t true.  I’m very green.  Well not very, but I like to think I am, because it’s trendy.  And I’m a slut for trends.

Speaking of sluts, the cable channel Vh1 has been recycling the same fucking show for at least the better part of this decade.  It’s suddenly become apparent to me that the suits over at Viacom need to pull the plug on this feeble, wheezing genre of reality dating slop.

Typically, something so mind-numbingly abysmal hardly makes it on to my radar at all.  But “Megan Wants a Millionaire”, Vh1’s latest offering on it’s spin off of a spin off of a spin off of reality television which debuted two weeks ago, has to be the craggiest of the rockiest of bottoms for the music channel that still features music (some where?) within it’s programming.

For those of you new to the game, Vh1 started rolling out with these types of shows where skinny stripper chicks and off-season MMA fighter guys compete for the affections of a “celebrity” (quotes because it’s often that the celebrity in question is some washed up has been.  I’m sure that Vh1 will likely start looking to Pittsburgh Pirates junk ball middle relievers from the late 1990s for it’s next go around of shows) and are slowly whittled away through a process of elimination where those cast aside are “sent home” either for poor performance during the days events or some sort of social faux pas made on a date or something or other.

It’s all very trite, indeed.

Regardless, Megan, of “Megan Wants a Millionare” is a conventionally shameless whore, poured into a tight dress and fed lines off screen by her handlers.  She was a runner up on another Vh1 reality dating programme, as well as a runner up on two other Vh1 programmes, “Charm School” and the truth-in-advertising and aptly named “I Love Money”.  Her biggest claim to fame before landing her own show was being pulled about by her hair and beaten by a coke-and-champagne-fueled Sharon Osborne on a reunion episode of “Charm School.”

Like all of Vh1’s programming as of late, there’s very little mystery of what’s going to happen from one minute to the next, as pretty much everything has been laid out before hand by carefully staging events, and then going back and editing them a certain way.  Guy/Girl A doesn’t like Guy/Girl B, fight ensues, someone bleeds, someone’s sent home.  Or Guy/Girl A gets too drunk on all the free booze just left out on tables all over the property, passes out face down on lawn, shits self, wears shit-stained garment to elimination, is eliminated in shit stained garment.

The only real redeeming aspect of this show, if any at all, is the host of fresh meat allowed to trot on screen for their obligatory five minutes of fame before being cast asunder by a 20-something woman with the thought capacity of this jug of protein powder on my desk next to me.

These guys are losers.

But that’s again, something that Vh1 has carefully planned out for all of it’s shows.  At it’s very foundation the show has to cast losers with the ulterior motive that appearing on this show, or any of Vh1’s shows, will some how lead to fame and fortune.  But as history has taught us over the years, no one really gains anything from appearing on these shows, except maybe a shot at getting their own show, where the process begets itself all over again (A quick aside:  One of the contestants from “I Love NY” ended up dating and I think proposing to singer Jennifer Hudson.  But other than that, not one of them, even the white girl who spat on the black girl, has landed their own sitcom yet.).

But the male suitors of “Megan Wants a Millionare” are the very epitome of loserdom.  Set aside the fact that each of these twenty guys are absolutely cool with the primary reason that Bret Michael’s thrown away cum dumpster is only interested in them for their money, they are the high school nerd-who-grew-up-and-invented-something-simple-but-genius-and-made-billions-from-it stereotype.  Each of the contestants is in fact a millionaire to some degree, whether it’s self made (there’s a plumber with his own business) to inherited (two trust fund kids, one of which doesn’t even have his inheritance yet).  As each contestant is paraded in front of the screen to give some awkward commentary on the happenings in the house, their name flashes along with their net worth.

These guys are millionaires, yes, but only just barely, which allows the show to lose the tiny bit of credibility it was holding on to.  Most of the contestants are hovering around 1-2 million dollars, net worth, which is likely non-liquid.  It’s investments, or assets such as property or shares in businesses.

Hell, looking at my Charles Schwab account online, technically I could’ve applied to be on this show….

Also, there’s been a trend lately with Vh1 where with the non-celebrity main characters, they tend to bring in “help” in the form of some adviser who helps guide the object of everyone’s affection along their path to finding “true love” or a record deal or media exposure, whatever.  This worked rather well with “Daisy of Love” where former Mtv VJ Rikki Rachtman acted somewhat as a coach for Daisy (full disclosure:  I dig Rachtman’s style).  However on “Megan” not only do they have some upper crust tuxedo wearing butler who larks about doing voice overs on all the action like it were play-by-play for a cricket match, but Megan’s brought in two other blonde strippers to give her emotional guidance and support.

“Blonde Leading The Blonde” was the best joke I could come up with before we went to press, sorry.

Seriously, these two “best friends” stand dumbly to the side as Megan goes about her business in a squeaky falsetto of feigned excitement.  They usually have a bored expression on their faces which only mimics that of the audience as we sit and watch Megan make nerds and mamas boys bend to her will like some high school jock.

Again, I don’t know why I, or anyone would watch this or any other show like it.  There’s nothing redeeming about the programme.  Not one thing.  I literally get dumber for watching it.  And to be honest, I haven’t even been able to watch a full episode of the season premiere for this article and I forgot the square root of 144.  I get about half way through and my brain starts to poke me behind my eyeballs.  It says:  “Hey buddy, seriously, turn it to something else, or I’m packing my shit and leaving.”  He says this with a little hat on, holding a suit case, with an unlit stump of a cigar pushed into the corner of his brain mouth.

So I turn it over to ESPN 2 and watch billiard trick shots until the bleeding from my nose stops.

August 7, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Hate, The Great Indoors, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , , | 2 Comments

Independence Day Debrief

For the second year in a row I had to work over Independence Day, and the irony doesn’t escape me.  Working over Labor Day makes sense for two reasons:  The name and the fact that seldom have I worked in a field where it was afforded to employees to take that day off.

But Independence Day, the day that we celebrate our independence as a Nation, or from an alien scourge if you’re Will Smith, Jeff Goldbloom or what’s-his-face, Bill Pullman?  Bill Paxton? -has eluded me twice now.

As you’ve previously read, I view most modern celebrations of Independence Day as Ebenezer Scrooge views Xmas; with carefully placed disdain and contempt for those celebrating.  I’m not going to get back into it, I’ve exhausted the subject, but to me there’s more focus on Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest than there is Thomas Jefferson drafting the Declaration of Independence on July the 4th.

So what’d I do all day as my friends partied, drank, went to parades, etc?  I worked.  I worked at my office, because it was my turn to pull the weekend duty.  I had been off for two weeks, and I had somewhat planned (after the fact) that coming back on a holiday weekend wouldn’t be a bad way to calmly enter the waters around my job.  Little in the way were supervisors and bosses and company presidents to ask me how the move went, how my little trip to Connecticut went, etc etc.

So come Saturday the 4th, I was up early and in my office, sitting in front of a screen banging out five or six pages of the fiction I’ve been slowly working on over the last few months.  A phone call here, a buzz at the front door there, and the overwhelming sense that a huge party was going on around me and not only was I not invited, but politely asked not to attend.

What made matters worse, my wife Ang was spending her second Independence Day in a row alone as well, although she was able to escape up the road from our new house to the pond-side cottage and, as she put it “inject some cancer under her skin.”

Christ, even as I write this, I can smell someone’s grill going… Jesus, that smells awesome.

About noon time I broke out of my office, complete with a view of the harbor, and made myself a turkey sandwich and went to my little room and watched like four hours of The History Channel’s run of “The Revolution” a marathon of hour-long shows detailing the fight of colonists against the British Regular Army.  For a channel that’s been dropping the ball lately (attention History Channel execs, no one gives a shit about Ice Road Truckers, or loggers, or fucking whiney professor-types running across Africa) they were the only ones to get it right today.

By five-ish, I decided to go out for a run.  Because I’m at work, I can’t drink, play with explosives, fire any of my guns off into the air, gamble…- I can’t do anything fun.  It’s like I’m on a Fun-Diet when I’m here over a holiday.  But nothing says I can’t go for a run through town, right?

So I gear up: an UnderArmour long sleeve pull over and running shorts, my iPod and my Nikes, and take off.

Now, my office is located in a gay neighborhood.  That is to say, it’s not a bad neighborhood, it’s just gay.  As in, homosexual.  As in, two shirtless gym-buffed dudes holding hands and whispering to each other about their favorite style of nipple rings.  Being that I’m not gay, but easily confused as one because I keep a short head of hair and I’m in good shape, I tend to get a lot of cat calls and whistles as I pound the pavement during this time of year.

I don’t care.  I’ve never had a problem with the gays; do whatever it is you need to do to get off, that’s been my mantra.  If sex with another guy or kissing another girl or sitting on a cake and farting into it get you off, than by-golly, do your thing.  It’s what our Founding Father’s fought for in a round about way, and what better way to celebrate that than on Independence Day?

But when I’m crossing over to my fourth mile under a hot sun with little shade, and I’ve been listening to nothing less than angry thrash metal, I can be a bit temperamental.  Add into the fact that I’m weaving in and out of a circus of colorful people who have no idea how to move in a crowd because they’re collectively tourist bovine, all while pushing up a 25% incline.

So this guy, a gay guy, a fabulously-gay gay in a pedicab sees me working up this hill, drenched in sweat, shining, grunting, let your imagination run wild, starts staring at me, to the point where I actually notice I’m being raped with his eyes, I get a little pissed.  Just because you have an exuberant style and are surrounded by others like you, and it’s a holiday weekend, does not give you the excuse to be rude to others.  I’m not meat for you to fantasize about while you lube up, asshole.

So as I get closer and he’s staring me down from behind giant faux-Prada sunglasses (and I know the difference, ask Ang), breathlessly (which added to his fantasy, I’m sure) I say “take a picture, it’ll last longer,” to which he gasps in a stereotypical way, then produces a tiny silver digital camera and snaps a picture of me as I’m running ahead of him.

What a fucking asshole.

I pull in through the gated lot of my work and take a long walk to cool off.

Later in the evening, after a lackluster dinner of ribs and salad, I head back into the office.  Ang doesn’t feel like making the twenty minute drive out to my work to watch fireworks with me, and I don’t blame her.  To drive twenty minutes out, only to have to sit through two hours of traffic to get back home, is hardly worth it.  So, alone, I sit in this office looking out the window at a fireworks display that barely holds my interest for more than ten minutes.

I conclude that fireworks have hardly been improved upon in the last twenty-five years.  The firework displays I watched as a kid, ooh’d and ahh’d about back then are the same boring displays I see now as a jaded adult.  Slow, painfully slow explosions and bright lights over a dark sky make the throngs of people below my window in captured astonishment seem like a group of cavemen who have just discovered fire.

I don’t want to sound like the Grinch Who Shit on Your 4th of July Picnic, but people, it’s just colored phosphorus.  Its lame, I’m sorry.  I’m sure there are things I take pleasure in that you will find equally lame.  But really, you clap like a retard at loud noises and bright lights.  Think about that.

I turned away from the fireworks out of my window and started writing this article, in a bad mood because everyone I cared about was not with me and they probably had easy access to alcohol and/or grilled meats.  I, on the other hand, am kicking myself for not extending my vacation by three measly days.

Now, someone bring me ice cream, lest I perish.

July 5, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Out and About, People I Hate, Shameless Self Promotion, The Great Indoors, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Gamer Wife

“Gamer Girls” don’t really exist.  That is, they exist the same way hot lesbians exist; in some sort of false reality brought to us by television, the internet or just in the male fantasy psyche.  Girls and video games go together like sharks and kittens:  two things that naturally don’t go together, but when brought together are adversarial to their very cores.

That’s not to say girls don’t play video games, they do, but the gaming industry doesn’t exactly cater to them the same way they cater to the other gender, because the industry isn’t seeing the same amount of dollars spent.  True, when all a game publisher puts out is military-style shooters and games gratifyingly glorifying high crimes, you’re not going to see the female demographic bother to waste their money, at least, the majority.

But publisher and the industry make half-assed at best attempts to reach the female market at an earlier stage, with titles like “Barbie’s Day Out at The Mall” and other such suckage.  Ok, let’s say that a young girl is remotely interested in the above shallow attempt to get them involved in gaming.  So what happenens when she matures and is looking for another game to break into?  No self respecting 16 year old is going to drive Barbie around in her pink convertable without giving serious consideration to driving that bitch off an overpass.

This is the state of gaming for young women.

***

I don’t remember how it happened exactly, but lately my wife uses my Xbox 360 more than I do.

Actually, I do remember what happened and how it happened:  About two months ago, on a whim I bought “Fable 2” because I was bored and had a bunch of games I didn’t play anymore, and wanted new games.  So I went down to the local GameStop with this handful of lime green cases and handed them over, and with the resulting store credit bought “Far Cry 2” and “Fable 2.”

Sequels starting with the letter F aside, one night while button mashing in Fable, my wife Ang, who typically looked at me playing video games in the least as a huge waste of time and at the most out right ignoring her, spoke softly from over my shoulder:

“Do you think you could show me how to play that?”

I don’t know what hooked her, whether it was the bright game animation, the colorful magic, the story itself or the fact that you had a loyal puppy following you around throughout the game, but within 15 minutes of showing her what to do, and another hour or so of Co-Op play, she pretty much had the game down cold.

She was hooked, like many of us gamers tend to get when we come across a really good game we can fall in love with.  I’d come home from being away at work and she’d still be plugging away in Albion from her spot on her upholstered chair, the ferret gnawing on a piece of velcro at her feet, her eyes glazed over reflecting the flickers of light from the screen as she sent fireball after fireball after trolls, banshees and balverines.  When she wasn’t glued to the game play she was researching tips, cheats and walkthrus on Fable-Wiki and other sites she discovered.

What happened to my wife?  How did she become a gamer?

I thought she was fully engulfed, but it was becoming apparent that Fable was getting stale, even as she diddled with the downloadble content.  She tried halfheartedly to go into other games, but nothing held her interest.  This is where I step in.

I don’t want to use this article to toot my own horn or anything, but Ang isn’t a pro-level gamer – yet.  She still asks me for help with difficult finger-gymnastic-like movements or platformer puzzles.  Often as she’s playing I’m sitting at my desk in front of my computer, half contemptuous/half envious that she’s hogging the damn Xbox, but I let it slide, giving her advice and pointing out things she might’ve missed, whether they’re doors or treasure, etc.

I went back to GameStop the other day with the idea I wanted a new shooter and to get Ang a new button masher (this genre seems to be her favorite, as she has shown very little interest in FSPs, Sandboxes, or any other style of games.).  For myself I got Battlefield: Bad Company because I hear there’s going to be a sequel soon and after doing some research I found that the first Bad Company got decent reviews, and for Ang I got her Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy.

LSW2TOT is a combination of things my wife loves: button mashing action, immense replay value, cutesy characters and the first three Star Wars.  I’m surprised it took my this long to turn her on to the game series.

The game has just about everything she likes and from my standpoint, it’s a fun easy going game with clever cut scenes that stay true to the films but ad lib their own little touches which makes it just different enough for a veteran Star Wars geek to get something new out of the game.

So as we speak, my wife right now is probably planted in front of the television, clutching her white controller, using a cartoonish Lego Wookie to rip the arms off of an equally silly looking Stormtrooper.  How long will it be before she has her own gamertag and we have to get another 360 and systemlink them?

June 12, 2009 Posted by | Blogging Couple, Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Love, Shameless Self Promotion, The Great Indoors, Why Am I Watching This? | , , | 1 Comment

The Divided

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that President Obama’s appointment of Judge Sonia Sotomayor would result in the first Hispanic to be seated in the Highest Court in The Land, if confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  While the barrios are a flush with pride, the appointment of Judge Sotomayor has rubbed some white Americans the wrong way, as would the aspect of any person of color reaching a professional zenith would.

The problem that most of the mouthier Americans who happened to call into the morning sports talk radio programme I happened to tune into (right, because to sharpen my political views, I tune into Sports Talk Radio….) brought up the point that the only thing that separates Ms. Sotomayor from the pack of other deservedly appropriate judges is the simple fact that she’s 1) Hispanic and 2) a woman.

I tend to agree, but only part way; I agree that she is a woman, and possibly Hispanic, but I doubt that these are the reasons why Mr. Obama has gone to appoint her to the Supreme Court.

The real reason is that she probably has a liberal slant to help off set the conservative Roberts Court.

But the simple fact that white America has become so quick to pull the anti-Race Card as it were, is telling of a strange racial self conscience that hasn’t been fully realized until Mr. Obama was elected president back in November.  This polarization has laid dormant since the Civil Right movement, and not since then have we seen such segregation out in the open.  A few examples:

In this latest incarnation of Vh1’s “Charm School with Ricki Lake” there’s pretty much two cliques:  Girls from “Real Chance at Love” which are predominantly African American, and girls from “Rock of Love Bus” which are mostly (99%) white.  The terms “ghetto” and “trash” get heaved around liberally by both factions.

Also, McDonald’s fast food advertising has been somewhat black-centric in the last year for some reason.  The last time I checked, everyone, except maybe Eskimos love fast food; Big Macs know no color barrier.  But Mickey D’s seems to be only targeting Urban Dwellers, age 19-34 with their radio and television ads.

This isn’t to say you don’t see/hear white people in Golden Arches ads, but check out their website’s employment opportunity section, and you’ll be greeted by a jolly-looking black management type and a plethora of multi-cultural employee stand ins, all grinning earnestly because they’re being paid to have their pictures taken together, oppose to the inner-city-style work force you’re bound to find at any urban McDonald’s morning shift whom barely acknowledge each other as people, lest a bullet target for after work.

Even the radio and tv ads are not aimed at me, a late-20s white guy, but some “hip, smooth, has-every-Common-album-on-vinyl” black guy.  Whether it be some silky lounge music or just straight up be-bop hip-hop about two all beef patties, I’m obviously not the targeted demographic any more.  Apparently McDonald’s thinks that white people are too busy running each other over to get to the pull up at Sonic and are looking to do further damage to the arteries of the American Black.

And hence, we are divided peoples again.  Everything Abraham Lincoln, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr fought so hard for, wiped away in a fearful bitterness fueled by biased fast food and brain damaging television programming.  The very root of our country’s psyche has been eviscerated for a viewing medical procedure audience and systematically dissected in a matter of catchy jingles and fake tits barely contained in bras meant for breast tissue twice as small as what’s being crammed into them.

I’d be concerned, but concern requires surprise, and that I hardly am.

May 27, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Hate, Those Crazy Politicians | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Hobo On The Corner of 59th St Had a Sandwich Board Sign That Read: @ Everyone: THE END IS NEAR!!

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Twitter, the micro-blogging site that keeps the kids tapping on their keyboards and smart phones while you try to have a civilized dinner for once.  Twitter is the fastest growing web-application-based program on the internet as of the time I write this article (Sunday evening), meaning that by the time I post it sometime tomorrow afternoon people will be pretty much over it.

If you’re part of that 2/3rds collective that still has no clue what Twitter is, but frustratingly keep hearing about it in every news media outlet, let me explain it to you:  You get to update your friends and “followers” with “tweets” or 140-character-or-less posts on the Twitter site.  When you post one of these “micro-blogs” everyone who has been following you will be notified of the update telling them that you’re waiting for your laundry to finish up in the dryer, or doing other fascinating things in your mundane life.

I don’t Twitter; I see no need to Tweet the banal ins and outs of my day-to-day life because I already do this for the most part on my Facebook page.  This brings me to my next point, which is Twitter is essentially a status update for people without a Facebook page, or want to update their going-ons without all the hassle of setting up some ridiculous social networking site-page.

My other gripe with Twitter is that it’s a flashy “of the moment” kind of fad that I can see Dave Navarro commenting on in the next “I Love the 00s” episode.  At 140 characters, is there enough room to really get the point across that you’re out of bread or that the line at DMV is too long?

I did hear a report recently that a heart surgeon tweeted one of his open heart surgeries.  Awesome… as I’m lying on my back with my chest open and heart in a stainless steel dish next to me, the surgeon is busy bending over his keyboard instead of my slowly cooling body.

Oprah is now Tweeting too.  Great, so now my mom can be more thoroughly brainwashed.

Twitter is a lazy way to get attention and be inundated with ridiculous advertisements should you decide to “follow” a particular commercial brand or product.  My comrade in blogging arms, Hokie recently wrote about his falling out with a local brewery that he had been following on Twitter, after the company tracked him down and DEMANDED he follow them.  What came were a bunch of lame ads.

In a culture where we digitally record our favorite television shows just so we can fast forward over the commercials, we are now volunteering to be bombarded with ads from our favorite places to shop.

And maybe that’s just the ticket that companies and advertisers alike have been looking for.  Commercials On Demand.  Instead of making viewers of whatever sit through three and a half minutes of ads that we don’t care about (local used auto dealers, heavy flow maxi pads) we could curtail what ads we are subjected to by just clicking on the brands that we favor the most.

I have done this on my Facebook page, where I have become a “fan” of different brands, stores, etc, and I receive regular “status updates” from these pages which are, in fact, basically ads.  I found this to be very irksome at first, however I’ve grown to accept it.  I clicked on those items and to be associated with them, I pay the price:  which is being bombarded by daily updates from fucking Banana Republic and Outback Steak House.

But back to the topic at hand:  I hate Twitter, and I feel like its one more step in the direction of the Fall of Man.  Text messaging has crippled civilization, socked the art of conversation in the mouth, and kicked polite etiquette down a set of stairs.  How soul crushingly annoying is it to be with another human being in the same space, an in mid conversation, the faint sound of a buzzing cuts through the air, they stop mid-sentence to dig into their pocket, and return a text message on the fly.

I’m just as guilty as the next guy, because I do the same thing.  I resent my dependency on connectivity to everyone at all times, and my inner Luddite dies a little more when I follow through with ignoring of my wife, therapist, co-worker, mom, whoever  for a few seconds to send a babble of short words or phrases through the air via cellular stream.  I need to work on this; but like I said, since about the age of 16 I’ve been addicted to being connected.

This week, starting on Monday is “Digital Detox” Week, which is leading up to Earth Day next Sunday I think.  I’m not sure on those dates, and my caseworker, …er… fact checker is out of the office for some goddamn reason, but it’s a week where we can unplug ourselves from technology in order to reconnect with a life less complicated.  As granola as it sounds, it wouldn’t be the worst idea for certain people to try to get back to a life before Blackberrys, high speed internet downloads, online poker tournaments and “sexting” your high school-aged next door neighbor.

…Wait, what am I saying?  You know how many hits to my site I’d lose?!  Jesus!

Anyway, forget I said anything….

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Hate, The Great Indoors | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment