Monday, August 10, 2015

Selfie Sticks: Gods Least Favorite Creation

Never in human history has God regretted anything more than allowing the creation of selfie sticks. That is a heavy statement if you consider the Holocaust, but as it stands He’s generally pretty disappointed with everyone involved.

There are many reasons to assume why God is so bummed out. It could be the narcissism. People have been way too concerned with themselves for quite some time now, especially since the advent of reflections in still bodies of water, but selfie sticks take it to a whole new level. Why someone feels the need to insert his or her own fat face into every single photo is beyond me. Can you imagine if all your childhood photos involved your mother or father using you as a prop? It’d be awful.

Maybe I’m off base. Maybe God isn’t bummed so much as he’s just really embarrassed. After all, an omnipotent figure is forced to see a lot of embarrassing things (ie. Japanese game shows, French people, the south), so I can imagine how red his face gets when he’s forced to watch some adult walk around Yosemite trying to get the perfect angle of his face with half dome in the background, all because he’s too lazy to ask any of the 500 other humans around him to help take his photo. Oh the humanity.

To me, selfie sticks are indicative of a larger cultural problem. This idea that nobody interacts with one another anymore is very real. People are becoming more and more reliant on technology, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except when relying on that technology removes you from all social interactions.

It’s like homeschool. Have you ever talked to someone who was homeschooled? It’s as if they have never been in a social situation. Imagine a world filled with homeschooled people walking around making every conversation uncomfortable. Not ideal.

As a “photographer”, I shudder at the thought of selfie sticks. Not so much the physical nature of them, but more the possibility that they just don’t go away, like an STI. Amiright, Kevin Bennett!?!?! Just kidding. But seriously though, Kevin, that sucks.

What’s more terrifying, is that people are just accepting the Narcisstick¬™ as if it’s a normal part of life. It’s not normal. Since when has walking around with a giant phallic metal rod with a camera on top° been normal? Even if I was the last person on the planet, and I really needed a photo of myself, I would still rather punch myself in the face, and put the selfie stick through my eye than use it for its intended purpose.

I guess more than anything, I think selfie sticks are just stupid, and only assholes use them.

ª The Narcisstick was the brain child of Annie Trujillo until I googled it and saw that somebody already owned the website. Sorry Annie.

° Outside of burning man

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

National Days of Observation: Time To Do Some Wrangling

OMG, Did you know that February 6th is National Lame Duck Day?!?! Probably not, because that’s the stupidest thing on the planet. We don’t need a day designated to remind us that ducks tell dad jokes. In fact, we don’t need most of the “National Days of Observation”.

The crux of the problem revolves around this website. . . .

It’s a catalog of every single day in the year and what National Days are associated with it. Reading through the separate days, you realize two things. There are so many reasons to celebrate, but on the contrary, there are also many reasons to burn this entire country to the ground.

Really, it just seems like this is an out of control situation that needs to be taken care of, and since I’m the self appointed arbiter of everything that is wrong in the world, I have decided to selflessly drop myself into the mix, creating a list of guidelines that should fix the issue.

1. They can’t be so broad – Most of these days are specific, like national donut day, or something like that, however some are really broad, and I think this causes confusion on a mass scale. For instance. . .

March 28th is National Something On a Stick Day. Really? What about a cat on a stick or a turd on a stick ? Is that something you’d celebrate? Because to me, that doesn’t seem like I’d want to celebrate either of those.

May is National Photograph Month – What does this even mean? Like what about child pornography? Are you saying that you celebrate child pornography?

Dec 1st is World Aids Day. Uhhhhh, so does that mean you’re giving everyone AIDS? Is it AIDS appreciation day, like you’re happy that AIDS exists? Is it AIDS Awareness Day?

A lot of these days of observations cause problems because they’re not specific enough, and it gives people free range on how to celebrate, which isn’t always a good thing.

2. One day of observation per day – Some of the days on the calendar have upwards of 8 or 9 days of observation. This can be very confusing for us normal ignoramuses’s

We need to prioritize. As a nation, we are too caught up in trying to dip our grubby little fat fingers in everything. Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, the list goes on. It’s time we take a step back and truly figure out what’s important.

We can’t have National Roast Suckling Pig Day, Free Shipping Day, Answer the Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day, International Migrants Day and Underdog Day all on the 18th of Dec.

Obviously that day goes to National Roast Suckling Pig Day, so all those other days are just going to have to go suckle it.

3. No Corporate Sponsorships – There are a handful of days that have been claimed by specific products,

Did you know that May 8th is National Have a Coke Day? Coca Cola, why are you taking over my days? I didn’t ask for this. It’s bad enough that I literally cannot go anywhere on this planet without seeing your logo somewhere. Why are you taking over my days? Why don’t you just go buy more ad space in some third world country instead?

Maybe, as an alternative for National Have a Coke Day, it should be National Have a Soda Day?

4. No Dumb Food Days – You can’t have a day of observation for soda.

5. No Days that remind us to do something that we shouldn’t need to be reminded to do – there are certain things in life that should come standard: Heated seats, ten fingers, and an inherent knowledge of how to not murder someone.  So why are there days specifically designed to remind us to do or not do something that we already should or should not be doing? Case in point. . .

May 1st – National Loyalty Day. Why is this a day? Like you shouldn’t be loyal every other day of the year? I don’t get it. Why would you need to be more loyal one day over any other day? It seems like loyalty should be a trait that you just have, and you shouldn’t have to be reminded of it.

Is there a national do masturbate in public day? Because that, like loyalty, is something that goes without saying.

6. Appropriate time lengths for observations

Do we really need the entire month of August to think about Catfish? Probably not.
Could we do with a month of celebrating Paul Bunyan instead of the usual one day on June 28th? Probably. Deciding what days to cut and what to extend is a pretty difficult job.  Here’s a quick guideline. First ask yourself, does it need a full month of celebrating? Really? Does it really need that? Are you sure? On a scale of 1-10, how sure are you? Will you die if you don’t celebrate it the entire month?

If you can answer all those questions with a “yes”, then go for it, but if you find yourself answer “no”, then maybe you should think about scaling it back a little bit.

7. Don’t tell me what I need to observe - If I personally want to observe every day as Matt’s Donut Hole Day, then that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t need you telling me how to live my life.

The bottom line is I don’t like to be told what to do, or told how to celebrate my days. The founding fathers wrote in the Constitution, “no day shall be designated for things that are dumb, but only for things that are great”. I’m pretty sure they intended for us to skip over National Battery Day and National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day so as an American, I cannot support this, and I hope that after you go see what stupid days are on your birthday, you won’t support it either.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Instagram: Justify My Selfie

On a top ten list of the worst things on the planet, Instagram selfies come in at #3, right behind reality tv, and right in front of accidentally cutting the tip of your penis off. If you laughed, you’re a terrible person because none of those things are funny, however, what is funny are people’s excuses as to why they post pictures of themselves.

Here are a couple examples of what I’m talking about.

[Happy Martin Luther King day! Hope you’re getting outside today. #ihaveadream]

When I first saw this caption I was speechless. I didn’t even know how to respond. Having had some time to think about it for a while now, I probably would have responded with, “I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means”, unless they know something about MLK’s dream that I don’t. Maybe he did dream about privileged white girls posting unnecessary photos of themselves. I don’t know. . . Anyway, just because I try not to only pick on privileged white girls, here is this little gem.

[Loving this lamb and cous cous!]

Oh really?! Please, tell me more about your dinner. I’m just dying to know what it was like. Lamb and couscous? Sounds expensive. Ralph Lauren? What style. It really looks like you were enjoying the shit out of your entire evening. Thanks for using #dinner as an excuse to upload your fat face to the Internet.

On top of idiotic people and their excuses, here’s the rest of the list of things on Instagram that are really annoying to me.

2. Ruining a perfectly good landscape – Similar to the topic above, ruining a perfectly good landscape photo with a picture of your trimmed, bearded face really chaps my thighs. It’s not like we’re not going to believe that you were there unless you put yourself in the photo. I don’t need your bleach blond hair and pearly white teeth covering what could potentially be an amazing landscape photo.

3. #blessed -

An example of the correct use for the hashtag “blessed”:

Notice that the word “blessed” is used in the photo. While it definitely is a questionable choice as far as tattoos are concerned, at least he used the hashtag correctly. Other correct examples of the hashtag would be on photos of churchy things and babies. I would also accept it if you were a rookie cop who went undercover, posing as a racing team member, in order to investigate a jewelry heist and you ended up taking an instagram photo of your street family holding hands around a picnic table, right before you went off and embarked on a dangerous mission that ended in a climactic showdown.

an example of the incorrect use of the hasthag “blessed”:

Notice how there is nothing in the photo that would indicate anyone is being blessed with anything other than the gift of herpes. I mean, unless Jesus Christ himself came down out of the heavens and took that photo, I just can’t grasp the concept that wearing a shitty pair of jeans that you could find under a tree at Pioneer Park somehow means that you’re #blessed.

4. Animals with IG accounts (TAYLOR AND RENAN) – Come on. There is nothing more humiliating than seeing that a dog’s Instagram account has more followers than you. I get it, your animal is cute and you’re popular, but don’t you have anything better to do with your time than making everyone else feel worthless? I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me.

5. Fake self-deprecation - These are similar to the #progress posts where people just post photos of their hawt bawds to show how far they’ve come in life, except usually they’re filled with sad faced emoticons complaining about how they’re feeling out of shape.

Give me a break. Why don’t you stop wasting megabytes and go choke on a hotdog.

6. Gratuitous Tagging – Look, we know your sponsors need those tags so that everyone can know who is funding your trips, but you’re really doing your sponsors and friends a disservice when you systemically tag every outdoor company on the planet. Let’s keep it civil. And by “let’s” I mean “you”. You keep it civil.

7. Challenges –  I don’t know why this is on my list because I’m still participating in the B&W challenge. Totes amazing.

8. Follows for Follows - The most annoying type of comment that I see on Instagram is the “follow for follow” comment. Usually it’s abbreviated to read f4f since people can’t be bothered to spell out the entire word, but what they’re getting at is that they really really really want you to follow their account and if you follow their account, then they’ll follow you. I’m no wallstreet business tycoon, but that seems like a pretty sweet deal. Count me in.

Whenever I see one of those comments, I think, “Yeah, I’ll follow you. . . to your house so I can punch you right in the neck”, because nothing makes me want to neck punch more than reading annoying comments on Instagram. And when I say nothing, I mean nothing.

Now, before you inundate my email with love letters, I’m going to go ahead and stop you. Yes, I could just unfollow people and not read comments, but do you know what? I’m not going to. If I want to look at stupid instagram feeds and get mad and write about them, that’s my constitutional right, and I will not be subjected to criminal abuse.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Pop•Tarts: Somewhere In-between Light and Dark

I don’t really have a lot to say about this topic. I noticed it this morning while toasting a bagel and It left me kind of speechless and feeling gross. It isn’t so much about pop•tarts, because I think we can all agree that pop•tarts are dangerously delicious, but more about how bizarre it is to have a pop•tarts setting on a toaster. That’d be like having a Totinos Party Pizza setting on an oven (which would have been really convenient in college).

What might be the most unsettling is that there are no other settings. It’s as if the public only needs to know one thing; how to cook a pop•tart. . Are people really buying toasters specifically to cook pop•tarts? Are they really that daft that they would need special instructions on how to get the temperature just right? I would totally understand a “bagel” setting. That would make sense, and it would have made the toaster look a little less white trash.

As it stands, this photo just sums up America on so many different levels. Now excuse me while I go buy some pop•tarts to test this thing out.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Open Letters: The Taylor Swift Conundrum

There has been an upswing in “open letters” online, and I think it’s become a problem.

Wikipedia, the all knowing, all seeing, online dictionary of everything, defines open letter as “a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally.” While it seems like a fairly accurate statement, I’d like to modify it a little to set it more in line with what we’re talking about today. Glossing over letters addressed to a wide audience (you mean a blog?), I’d say that an open letter on the Internet addressed to an individual is “the most passive aggressive way of communicating your ideas to said individual. It’s one step below tweeting your beefs, and a far cry from a coffee shop intervention.”

In fact it’s so passive, there is a chance that the person it’s addressed to won’t even see it, and that sounds like a waste of time to me. But maybe that’s what it’s about; talking at the person in a public setting so that everyone can see how awesome you are. Though unlike Twitter, you aren’t really expecting an answer.

Researching the topic extensively, I came upon a letter from Sinead O’Conner to Miley Cyrus. In it, she basically tells Miley that she is waiting on the tracks for her own train wreck(ing ball), and that is something I think we can all agree with, but it just seems like maybe the wrong way to go about it. To me, if you really had the person’s best interests at heart, you would find a way to close that open letter and put it in the mailbox.

The only time an open letter is warranted is if you’re attacking someone’s idiotic beliefs and you want to be super condescending and sarcastic:

Dear Dick (Cheney),
I’m really happy that you’re such a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment. Obviously there is no other way to interpret it than the ability to own whatever form of firepower we want without restriction. I also notice that you support guns in schools, and I think that maybe we should take it a step further and arm the children, since it’s clear that we all just have to start looking after ourselves. Oh, really good job shooting your friend inthe face, btw. That shot was one in a million. If you’re ever in the area, I’d love to take some pointers from a professional marksman like yourself.

Anyway, so here is the conundrum that I’ve been thinking about. In this conundrum, I will refer to this person as my friend, but we all know that I’m talking about myself, however I would just feel more comfortable talking about this as if it were someone else. So, my friend has recently found himself kind of sort of enjoying Taylor Swift’s song “Shake it Off”. It’s catchy, she has a pretty good voice, etc. . . But what would happen if my friend wanted to write her a letter telling her that he appreciated her talents.

Obviously, he can’t write an open letter because that’s bizarre, so he has to stick to snail mail, and even then I would also argue that it is impossible for a grown-ass man to write any sort of letter to any sort of celebrity, telling them he appreciates their talents without sounding like an absolute crazy person. By putting pen to paper, my friend has crossed a line. I’m not sure where that line is, but I feel like it lies somewhere in between awkwardly funny and creepy, but probably closer to creepy.

I’ve been running it over in my head and I can’t even get past the first line.

You write, “Hey, I know this is weird, but. . .“ – They read, “Hey, I am insane.”
You write, “I swear I’m not crazy, but. . .“ – They read, “I am crazy”
You write, “I hope this letter finds you well. . .“ – They read, “I hope this letter finds you in a dumpster”.
You write, “Dear Celebrity. . .” – They read, “Dear future skin suit”.

My answer to my friend would be that maybe he just doesn’t write it and goes on appreciating it in secret.

Also, as I’m looking over this post, I’m not only noticing that I technically have written an open letter, but I’ve also kind of addressed it to Taylor Swift. . . so there’s that I guess.

In summary. Open letters are dumb. Knock it off.