Thursday, August 21, 2008

"I'm gonna shoot me mouth off to this thing 'ere..."

In the great words of Liam Gallagher of Oasis, during a 1997 BBC Radio 1 interview with superstar DJ Steve Lamacq, "I'm gonna shoot me mouth off to this thing."

What do I mean, exactly? One never really knows. While I feel I've become more of an even-keel type of guy over the past couple of years, partly influenced by a move to a much better town, and partly influenced by a better outlook on life (thanks to a few sources; my wife,,, etc.), there are still times I observe a few things in the same day that fill me with rage. It's not the typical neurotic, tailgating, get-out-of-my-way type of rage; more of a lashing out at modern society, as well as a comparison of how easy certain folks seem to have it while living like pigs, while living a more simplistic lifestyle should be rewarded. Viewing people living like morons and being completely oblivious to most things around them makes most enlightened people pretty angry at times, especially when you have to share space and air with these morons. Why do you think I advocate smaller communities with shared values? Because it would work, that's why.

I hate hearing about the personal melodrama of others, and I try to post more about society's shortcomings and the solutions that give people like us hope every day. But occasionally, it's nice to vent. Venting is only constructive when it includes a solution to said problem, so I will try to offer up some solutions to even things out a bit.

Without further ado, here are some things that have been pissing me off lately.

  • New Hampshire and Massachusetts drivers: I live in a town that makes for a convenient entryway for people from NH to commute into MA to work. As such, a lot of license plates I see on the way to and from work are NH plates. And what do I see? People in pickup trucks with NH plates driving to office buildings (you're not a contractor, don't drive a pickup, moron); NH drivers tailgating people going 85MPH on the highway, people from NH and MA driving like complete morons with absolutely no sense of what's going on, on the roads; frequent cutoffs; reckless driving; I could go on. I generally follow traffic rules unless I'm pissed off, and then it's okay for me to drive that way's me, come on. Solution: Tolls for all NH drivers only, on roads leading from NH to MA. They're so proud of no state income tax yet they all want to work here? Screw 'em, make 'em pay.
  • People with babies that use them as status symbols: It's difficult for a lot of folks to even conceive, but it seems the most moronic people have no problem with that at all and end up having cute little accidents later in life. To that, I say: go live in Africa with the rest of the people who refuse to use birth control. Per George Carlin's last HBO special, I'm sick of these mommies that think there's nothing on Earth greater than having a baby, and thinking that their child is special. They're not. No one likes your children, that's why they're YOUR children. Don't treat them like an emperor, treat them with respect, don't shield them from the bullshit in life, and stop expecting everyone to worship them like you do. And beyond that, some of the mothers of young children out there are so goddamn selfish that I want to clothesline them over a cliff. These prissy little things that show their kids off, but use quaint little "parenting techniques" as a surrogate for real parenting. Makes me ill. Solution: IQ tests and mandatory education classes for all would-be parents - including illegal immigrants. If you're in this country, your kid shouldn't be rewarded just for being alive. Being alive is blind luck; staying alive, living a meaningful life, and achieving true success that benefits society is what should be rewarded.
  • Certain property managers: I can't delve too deeply into this one as it would give away my identity, but those who know me in what we jokingly call "real life" will understand exactly what I'm talking about. This applies to older men who sit on their asses all day, being paid by certain people (like me), and then treating those people like absolute garbage - as well as extorting money from said people. 'Nuff said on this one. Anyone who is reading this should avoid condos and apartment complexes managed by property managers, or at least do their research on the property manager beforehand. Reviews exist on local-type websites if you're looking to live in a certain area. Solution: Change the laws so that tenants can more easily take condo associations and property managers to court - quickly - if there's something that is clearly not right (like extortion).
  • Use of the words "douche" or "douchebag": Just when did this word make it back into the vernacular? These wanna-be toughguys who live near public transportation, don't shave (shut up, everyone - don't even say it), always have their headphones plugged in, and wear funky-colored shoes or even bowling shoes around town because they want to be "indie" or "emo" or just plain ol' "fashionable", have started using the words "douche" and "douchebag" again, like this is the goddamn 1980's. End it. The words were gone for a while and never should have returned. It's probably the worst and weakest insult ever. Solution: Ban these words from the vernacular.
  • Laundry hogs: My last town was a lot worse than this town. My last town was heavy on the Brazilian and hispanic population, and it seemed like the women who took laundry baskets filled to the brim with clothes would use all four of the machines we had at once, with piles more laundry to go, instead of showing some respect and only using two at a time. I've been living in my new town for a year and with only two washing machines for 24 units, it's still much easier to get a machine. I have to believe some of the women were doing clothes for people who didn't live in the building (at my last place). Despite some recent trouble getting a machine in my new building, the overall trend is nice: people simply don't have piles and piles of clothes, hogging the machines for the entire evening. Solution: Use cameras in the laundry room and identify laundry hogs. Ban them from using the laundry room if they are deemed laundry hogs.
  • Drivers who look at other drivers on the road: Don't look at me. I don't know you, I don't want to know you, and I don't want to make eye contact with you - man or woman. I just want to drive and be left alone, unless I hear you playing an abstract Oasis B-side or something, or driving an Alfa Romeo or brand new Benz that I like; then you might get a thumbs-up from me, and you best show your appreciation. If you're pissed at me for some reason, it's probably because I wasn't going fast enough for you. That's why roads have more than one lane, idiot; stop tailgating. Example: Last night, I'm driving the speed limit on a two-lane road and just about to come up to a left turn. Some idiot in a Subaru wagon apparently wants to go 36 instead of 35MPH, so he switches to the right lane and speeds up, but barely. I just smile as he stares at me from his car as he catches up. Then the guy can't even cut me off correctly - he ends up waiting too long to make his cut-off move and isn't going fast enough, but he wants to make the same turn as me. He ends up having to pound on his brakes and get right back behind me so he can make his left turn, the same one I'm making. What a moron. Solution: IQ tests for driver's licenses; frequent re-examination; more cops that pull over people just for driving like idiots versus just pulling people over for speeding or obviously reckless driving.
  • Drivers who look at runners/cyclists/anything with legs on the road: It's just tasteless. If you're going to stare at a woman just because she's wearing some little sports bra and spandex outfit while running, as if you've never seen that before, do it with some class and don't whip your head around. Get a glimpse and move on. What do you think is going to happen? She's going to see you looking at her and say "oooh, you're cute, I'm gonna hop in the car with you and let you take me back home - my husband's there but life is just one big porno movie, so he won't mind!". Yeah, right. Get over yourself. It particularly pisses me off when men in pickup trucks or illegal immigrants do this. These women want nothing to do with you while you're filthy from dirt and construction equipment all day. I can't even talk about idiots that beep at women on the road, like we're in Europe or Mexico or something. Solution: Tear the eyes out of anyone caught staring.
  • People who stare at women (or men) with lustful eyes in front of other people, in professional or social environments: This is even worse than the point above. Men who see some hot young thing in an office, walking down a long hallway, and they just stare at her the entire time. Disgusting, what do you think that's going to accomplish? Especially for a married guy. You know why those sexual harassment trainings don't work? Because you can't change idiocy via quaint little training sessions, that's why. I would actually like to see women report on this and get people fired who do this. When I walk down the hallway, I don't care who's coming my way, I don't look at anyone in the eyes. Screw 'em. Unless I know them, then I say hello, and I expect a hello back (if you don't say hello back when someone says hi to you, you need to be shot or you need your hearing checked; preferably the former). Solution: Try to get people fired for sexual harassment if they're caught doing this, or trip them in the hallway when you see them doing it. They won't notice - their focus is on how they'd like to get laid, not your foot casually reaching over to trip them.
  • Women who want your attention just because they think they're hot shit: Most women that are usually the best looking ones in the room are used to getting what they want. Guys will flock to them and talk to them and offer them drinks if they're in a bar. But sometimes you catch one of these insecure nitwits when no one is showering attention on her. Once, I'm out with a buddy, and this chick - who's with another guy - is drunk and waiting for yet another drink so she can be taken advantage of later in the night - nice life you lead, moron. We're both waiting for drinks at a busy part of the bar and I refuse to look over at her; in fact, I'm talking to the guy next to me who eventually bought me a shot - a good kid, that kid - because he knew that I rule. Anyway, she says something to me but I pretend not to hear her. I look over and say, "excuse me?", and she says, "how long do I have to stare at you before you notice me?" So I just look at her blankly and say, "another five minutes oughta do it." That was the end of that. I don't like people staring at me. Go away. I'm married and want nothing to do with you, and you're with your boyfriend anyway; you make me sick. Solution: Just do what I do and don't give them the time of day. If they're hitting on a guy like you, or especially a guy like me who probably looks like one of the least approachable people on the planet even in the best of social situations, they're just looking for an ego boost and/or free drinks.
  • Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: THEY'RE THE SAME PERSON (but I'd still like to kill them both). Brilliant idea, Disney: make double the money off half the people. Kinda like their sweatshops in Asia (ba-dum, cha!). Solution: Tell Billy Ray to stop whoring out his daughter - twice over.
  • People with loud, annoying voices in cubicles: Not only is this behavior reserved for those oblivious to what's happening around them, it's just unnecessary and makes a day in a cubicle that much worse. There's one woman by me that just doesn't know well enough to keep her mouth shut. It's really strange and grating because she has a child's voice - literally the voice of a five year-old - and she's probably in her late 20s. She sounds like a kid when she speaks and she can't keep the volume down. I may have to throw a muzzle on her next time I see her. Solution: Shut the f**k up and go away.
  • TMZ: I still watch TV, but really only Family Guy and Seinfeld these days, along with other shows I illegally download. Occasionally, I'll be flipping through all 19 channels we have (yes, I'm proud of this), and I see on Fox that the new episode of TMZ is on. It's a show about a bunch of low-life journalism dropouts who follow celebrities around and think they're rebels for challenging people like Robert Downey, Jr., to talk about his drug days or poking fun at Mel Gibson for spouting off about Jews during his drunk driving arrest. While I'm all for taking annoying, egomaniacal Hollywood stars down a peg or two, the method here is faulty. The show panders to losers who do nothing but watch TV all day, because between shots of celebrities who eventually blow up or just ignore the TMZ staff member, they show the whole staff in the TMZ office gathered around and talking about the things they see in the tabloids, adding their own cute little input to a particularly unflattering photo or the like. That's it; that's the whole show: A bunch of low-lifes from LA following people around and then talking about what's in the tabloids (Britney's big stomach; some celebrity who has a pet) and criticizing them with the same shallow insults that the American public loves to hear from Simon on American Idol. All this does is make the viewer feel better about his or her sorry existence. TMZ is the embodiment of all that is wrong with television and society. Solution: Rupert, please stop showing this on your network, along with about half the crap you currently show. In fact, just make the network a full 24 hours of Seinfeld, Family Guy, and The Simpsons. If anything, your ratings will increase.
  • Search engines that suggest searches for you as you type: This is becoming increasingly common; Google, YouTube, and MiniNova all employ this technique now. I understand they're only trying to be helpful, but can't you even trust the idiot on the other end of the computer who's actually typing in a search to do their own searching? Do we really need you suggesting searches for us on top of prioritizing the results by who's giving you the most advertising dollars? Solution: Just stop it.
  • People: They all bother me. Just go away. Solution: Let me go live on a farm with about ten guns, but without worrying about money. There are like five people that could go with me, the rest of you can screw.

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