Just Vent Already!!!

offtopictimSo, yeah. It’s a pain in the ass when everything and everyone seems to be piling on you. Whether it’s a possible job position that unprofessionally doesn’t reply back to you, or the person who parked behind your garage for an entire day or even the city tow service who failed to come out and tow the damn car away, you need to vent.

Now, venting is best done in a sound proof room. But, if you can’t find a quiet place, find the complete opposite. Find a public place and just let go, with a megaphone if you can. Who knows? Maybe someone will join you and you’ll start a movement! Maybe you’ll get noticed and become a star. Or maybe you’ll get arrested for disturbing the peace. But, I guarantee you’ll feel a lot better and maybe make a friend!

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I’m So (____) About (____) on Social Media!

Whew! Time to take a break and let loose a little bit!

Yes, it’s me! Don’t be shocked. I’m going to try and work on my rants and raves a little more frequently. So, I’m taking a break from Cocktails and Movies and job hunting today to talk about why there are so many feelings on social media out there…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned lately it’s that I’m super-cynical and my ability to care is counterweighted by a high degree of apathy about what is happening in the world. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I understand that the world is both a beautiful, caring and wonderful place; and at times it can be hard, callous, destructive and possibly a little bit evil. When “disaster” strikes, people are lightning fast to share how they feel about what’s happening. Nowhere do I see this more than on social sites such as Facebook, and possibly Twitter a little bit. (But you can only “feel” something in 140 characters on Twitter, which makes it the perfect place to hang out when every gets emotional over shit.)

Shootings, Bombings & Tornadoes – Oh My God!

In the day after the Boston Bombing EVERYONE was horrified and disgusted that any human being could be capable of making a homemade bomb and detonating it in a public place, killing innocent people. Within hours, many were vocalizing their feelings on Facebook with platitudes of condolences and outrage at everyone from the President of the United States, to Czechoslovakia (incorrectly, I might add) to immigrants and the FBI about who was responsible and how sad the whole thing was. Within hours of that, those same people were sharing pictures of a cat getting angry at a dog or some other shit. Outrage having passed, these people now went on to better things like discussing who the better coach is “The Voice.” A few hours of lamenting on social media and everyone seemed to feel better about themselves for having made their feelings known.

Some say, "Oh My God!" I say "Oh My God, Cool"

Some say, “Oh My God!” I say “Oh My God, Cool”

In May, major tornadoes swept through the Oklahoma City area and destroyed many homes, businesses and took a lot of lives. As the events were happening and more and more storms took aim on homes and areas that had been devastated in the past, EVERYONE felt the need to ask for prayers for those who were being affected.

Why? Did they know someone there? Was that their property that was being swept away? AND, did posting pictures of the happy hour cocktails they were having a few hours later diminish the pleas for those prayers? As for me, I was drawn in by the deadly beauty of one of Mother Nature’s most destructive forces on Earth. (I also get just as “excited” by hurricanes and will have The Weather Channel on 24/7 during hurricane season).

Shit happens

Here’s the thing people: life sucks. Yes, it can be a beautiful and wondrous thing and someday I really hope to see that side of the coin. I see a world in which crap happens every day. Bombings happen in Syria and around the world. Yet, I don’t see the various platitudes for the people suffering there. Why? The events happening a world away are just as removed as those of the Great Plains or the East Coast.

And while all this shit happens around the world, we have become less social with each other and relying on technology to share our feelings. As a society, we have retreated to our computers and entertainment centers and have less interaction with others of our species. It’s far easier to see a story on our “newsfeed” on Facebook, summon up the appropriate feeling and then repost with that feeling without actually having to be face to face with someone. I can’t remember the last time that I had an in person conversation about anything newsworthy that didn’t include allusions to “The Voice,” or other reality show. (You can see why someone like me can turn cynical…)

I am a man who will very rarely express my feelings towards anything; something I am sure that affects a lot of my life including relationships with the opposite sex. In the larger picture it makes no difference whether I am seen as expressing my feelings about what is happening in the world. To me, it’s a waste of energy and it’s just not something I do. There isn’t a lot to be gained for my opening up to lamentation. Or outrage. Or sadness. Or happiness. Maintaining an even keel has kept me sane and a full head of hair.

So, with that I’m so blank about blank. (and no, the irony of me expressing my feelings on a blog is not lost on me).

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The Sun Is An A**hole

The Sun can just suck it.

Damn you, Sun. You sexy siren bitch!

Damn you, Sun. You sexy siren bitch!

Don’t get me wrong, without the sun I wouldn’t be here, at my desk, wracking my brain for ideas and typing away. My parents wouldn’t go to Florida for two months every year to get away from the Michigan Winter. Without the sun, we’d all be wearing Ugg boots (and Ugg hats, Ugg coats, Ugg underwear) and big mittens. Horses would never have evolved and we’d be riding Tauntauns (and you thought they smelled bad on the outside). And the bikini (you know the one with the mini triangle top bra and way-too-high-cut bottoms that no women whose daddy loved them would wear) would never have ever been invented. Face it, without the sun, the Earth would have been consigned as a mining planet for hardcore alien criminals from the planet Reticulon IV… Continue reading

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Enough of the “Gates!”

I was watching the ‘news’ yesterday, while sitting at my desk. I know, I know. I have to stop. One, there is no ‘news’ anymore and two, it sucks. Not the ‘news.’ The people spewing it from their blow holes. The exaggeration, the moral outrage, the inability to articulate a logical though without interjecting personal feelings into informing the public of the day’s events…

But that’s not what bugged me about it. Like all ‘news’ organizations today, all the ‘news’ channels churned up something about nothing and made huge you-should-be-angy mountains out of non-existent mole hills. Rather than talk about the inauguration, a celebration of peaceful American power transfer (in this case, it didn’t transfer far) that should resonate to the whole world, every news organization was all abuzz about Beyonce’s lip-syncing to a pre-recorded version (HER recording, by the way) of the Star Spangled Banner and came up with quaint little story headings for it: “Beyonce-gate,” “Anthem-gate,” and “lip-gate.” Each news organization even had little graphics for their horribly unoriginal headline writing.

Witness the extent that the ‘news’ organizations in this country have fallen to the ranks of junior high school, muck-racking, boiler room pamphlets: This same day, a certain Secretary of State was testifying before both branches of Congress about a terrorist attack, record cold swept through the country, causing deaths and accidents (even to those who are STILL homeless and without power because of Hurricane Sandy), and Congress was also deciding on whether to raise the debt ceiling limit. My disgust for what ‘news’ organizations have become is a topic for another post. Believe me, I’ll have more than 1500 words for that article!

But, why must everything be a ‘-gate’ when something is considered a scandal? The word was meant to convey a far-reaching scandal. It was born after the Watergate scandal of the 1970’s break-in at the Watergate Complex where the Democratic Party had its headquarters (which makes me wish that the break-in had occurred at the Big Fucking Scandal Complex instead). We’ve had so many ‘-gates,’ they don’t mean anything more and the addition of ‘-gate’ just makes the organization using it look like a bunch of old idiots. You’d think that with a rush in this society to try to seem young and hip, they’d find a better way to mean “newsworthy item that may or may not be a scandal, but we’re going to shove it down your throat anyway, because our viewers are big, dumb idiots who don’t  know any better.”

Since 1972 (during the Watergate break-in), there have been over 150 different ‘newsworthy’ events that have been dubbed a ‘-gate’ by news organizations. A sampling:

Tigergate – Tiger Woods’ infidelities led the press to call Tiger’s boning of other women a scandal, heightening the titillation, rather than just calling the whole thing a guy who got caught cheating.

Bountygate – New Orleans players were given bonuses to hurt other players. Cronkite would probably have called it rule breaking.

Slutgate – Rush Limbaugh’s comments that a young woman was a “slut” caused a stir. We would have just led Rush back into his pen and shut the GATE.

Nipplegate – the Super Bowl half-time malfunction, if that’s what you believe. Except no one saw it (there was a big metal pasty) and you couldn’t see it unless you stopped it and played it back slowly. Which is what every news organization and outraged citizen did for days on end.

As you can see, using ‘-gate’ doesn’t make it any more serious than if you called what it really was: a major fuck up where someone got caught doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing. It’s time to retire the ‘-gate’ add-on and exercise our minds a little and replace it with something that doesn’t add unneeded weight to a story that wouldn’t have been worth the back page of a newspaper 10 years ago.

That is all for today.

 

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THE thoughts and happenings of Tim Barley