Posts Tagged 'facebook'

Written in the Dark: The Facebook Rant

UPDATED: 9/7/12, 4:45am

Oh yes, I’m going there. It’s time for some insightful social commentary a rant about all the annoying things you see on
.

First things first before we get started, I love Facebook as the tool it should be. It is quite simply the best way possible to keep in touch with your friends and family, whether they live near or far. For someone in my situation (for whom most of my friends and family are FAR away), it’s an essential resource to maintain contact and keep tabs on what everyone I care about is up to. Having said that, we all know that this beast sometimes brings out the worst in all of us. We all get irritated by some of the things our friends choose to reveal about themselves, whether it be via what they say, what they link to, or the pictures they choose to share. Sometimes what we reveal is intentional, sometimes it is not (most times not in the case of the things I’ll be talking about). I will of course focus on the things that make us all look stupid, selfish, immature and despicable. Obviously. WINNING.

Disclaimer: These are my reactions to general trends that I find disturbing or annoying. I’m not referring at any point to any one occurrence, so don’t try and read between the lines. These are not attacks on specific people, and I’ll be criticizing myself along the way as well. Again, I do not have any one person in mind for any of these gripes. There is no malice intended. Fo reals, yo. Everything I’ll mention I’ve seen done by several people. I’m commenting here about my own friends’ Facebook behavior, but clearly anyone who’s been on the site for an extended period of time has seen these same tropes acted out by their friends, too. I know with 100% certainty I’m not alone in feeling the way I do about some of this stuff. Also, these do not represent the totality of the things that annoy me on Facebook, but they are the ones that have stuck out the most in the 3 years I’ve had an account there.

I’m sorry I have to say all this tedious crap in advance, but we all know how sensitive some people can get when any criticism is thrown their way, especially on Facebook. So if you see something here that you do on a frequent basis, don’t take it personally. Just stop fucking doing it 🙂

Listen to this while you continue reading (cool people will get the reference);

This post began as a late night impulse. I had to go to bed early Thursday night in order to be up at 5:45am Friday to be at work by 7:00. I’m usually up pretty late, so when I try to go to bed around 11:30-12:00, I end up laying there in the dark with my mind racing, unable to sleep. Well, that night, fully formed rants about Facebook started appearing in my head. I don’t know why, but I know I couldn’t stop it. I thought it was pretty good stuff, and I knew if I didn’t start writing it down, I’d forget all of it by morning. Without so much as turning the light on near my bed, I fumbled around for the notebook I knew was on the floor nearby. I found it, grabbed a pen (I’m a writer…there’s always a pen around) and started furiously purging the thoughts from my head and onto paper.

I have literally never written anything by hand this fast. My hand was writing almost as fast as I could think, as if my subconscious had been outlining this whole thing for weeks. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. I felt like I’d taken the drug Bradley Cooper was on in Limitless. It was a case of the mind taking over the body. My fingers and palm hurt like hell when I was done, and I only got 4 hours of sleep as a result, but it was worth it. And I wrote it all lying in bed in the pitch black, between about 12:15 and 1:00. It seemed like I could see everything I was writing, as if the ink itself was glowing in dark. I didn’t want to turn the light on, because I was trying to get to sleep, but I knew if I got all this stuff out of my head I’d get tired faster. It worked. When I finally stopped writing, I was probably asleep 15 minutes later. When I woke up Friday morning and saw the notebook, I was shocked that almost all of it was legible, and shocked even more by the fact that I’d filled 4 pages, front and back. At the time, it felt like I’d written half that.

I dunno, I just think that’s a pretty cool example of the many ways and random times that writers get inspiration, and the lengths we’ll go to capture that inspiration on the all too rare occasion it comes to us with such intensity. And now those 8 handwritten pages have evolved into 5,600 typed words. I love that. I don’t think it’s my best writing – not even close, but it’s among the most satisfying things I’ve ever written, and other than the couple of scripts I’ve finished, perhaps the longest as well. I’m pretty sure it’s the longest blog post I’ve ever done (and I’ve been blogging on and off since 2002 when I started my Livejournal page using the old AOL dial-up connection), but I promise you’ll be entertained throughout, because if you spend a good amount of time on Facebook, you’ll recognize a lot of what I’m saying. If I’ve done my job well, you may also feel a certain release in having someone else say the things you’ve been thinking.


Fairly neat considering the conditions under which it was written.


A look at my process.

Without further ado, here’s everything I see on Facebook that drives me up the fuckin wall, separated into 5 separate categories, covering everything from the things we say on the site to the manner and conditions in which we access it in the real world.

THE STUFF YOU SAY

-Here it is right off the bat. The thing EVERYONE finds annoying. Basic status updates telling us what you’re currently doing. This is where a lot of people run right off the rails of relevance and into the ocean of the inane. The rule here is simple enough; the more mundane the activity, the more clever or funny you have to be when telling us about it. Specify, you say? But of course.

If you’re gonna post something as utterly boring as “Long day. Tired, going to bed”, you have to at least provide some context. Is there an interesting, unusual reason you’re so tired? If not, why are you sharing this? (<- a question that should be asked of yourself EVERY time you post something, in my opinion) Every one of your friends gets tired and goes to bed, but we don’t all need to say it, do we? Do I write, “In with the oxygen, out with the CO2” every time I fucking draw a breath? Because hearing about how tired you are is just as boring as me telling you my lungs still function. Here’s a suggestion: if you’re doing something that every other human being does every day, it’s probably not worth sharing. I mean, what reaction are you going for by posting something like that? You want someone to reply, “Ohhh, you’re going to bed tonight?! That’s awesome! I’m gonna do that, too!” Truth is, no one responds to boring crap like that, do they? No, because it isn’t interesting IN THE SLIGHTEST.

I for one don’t care if you’re going to bed. I don’t care if you’re staying up all night. I don’t care if you’re going to work, or what your hours are that day. I don’t care if you’re going to school, or what classes you have. I don’t care that you’re playing your PS3 or XBOX. And I imagine nobody else does either. In fact, if I listed all the things people DON’T care that you’re doing, we’d be here all day. Again, if you must tell us about an everyday activity, you have to spice it up. Even if it’s not an exceptional event, you have to make it SOUND exceptional in some way. Instead of saying, “I’m at Wal-Mart. They’re out of mac & cheese!”, tell us about one of the rednecks you saw while you were in there. That’s always good for a laugh. The more mundane the activity, the more clever or funny you have to be when telling us about it. Burn that into your head.

P.S. I don’t care where you are at the moment, either. Especially if I’m not going to be there with you. I’m not keeping records of my friends’ whereabouts, so just be where you are and do whatever is you went there to do. If I wanted to know where you were at all times, I’d attach a GPS locator to your fuckin ankle.

Posting songs via YouTube. We’ve all done it. But again, restraint and exceptional become the key words. I don’t need to see the video to every song you’ve listened to the whole damn day. Also, the more popular and mainstream the song, I guarantee you the less likely it is anybody clicks on it. If you show no restraint and post 3 songs every day, people will just start ignoring you. That’s simple psychology. As a result, when the time comes that you finally post a song that reflects an exceptional moment, like if you’d forgotten the correct order of the days of the week and finally discovered Rebecca Black‘s “Friday”, nobody will notice, and your sense of accomplishment will be lost. This is why you save those songs for when they matter.

-Speaking of music, if more than half of your status updates are song lyrics, it’s time to give independent thought the old college try. If you focus hard enough, close your eyes and clench your butt cheeks, you’ll find that your brain is capable of coming up with its own ideas! BRAAAHM!

Spelling & Grammar. Ugh. Here’s another area I could spend a week on, so I’ll just use a few random examples that I see on a daily basis. Americans’ general state of idiocy is evident nowhere better than when we attempt to write in the language we’re supposedly fluent in. And nowhere is that moronitude (I just made that word up) more glaringly displayed than on Facebook. Umm, first up, WHY DON’T 100% OF US KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ‘YOUR’ and ‘YOU’RE’ AND ‘THEY’RE’, ‘THEIR’ and ‘THERE’?!?! This is entirely unacceptable. It’s so fucking easy, guys. If I had it my way, nobody would pass the third grade until they understood this. If you don’t understand it at age 18 or above, that’s a felony offense warranting prison time…and torture; you’ll be waterboarded until you get it right. Oh yeah, there are only 2 versions of your, and “ur” is not one of em. A monkey who juggles his own feces isn’t that stupid. Actually, a monkey who juggles his own shit would be pretty clever, wouldn’t he? Smelly, but clever.

Second, if you want to indicate a pause between two thoughts (that’s called an ellipsis by the way), it’s THREE DOTS (…), NOT SEVEN, EIGHT, FOURTEEN, etc. You don’t increase dramatic effect by adding additional dots. You just look dumb. [Insert Napoleon Dynamite “GOSH!” here]

Finally, some of the words I see misspelled on Facebook make me literally want to weep. I just want you to know how sad you make me. Then there are the people who INTENTIONALLY misspell words because it’s trendy. A perfect example of this is people who write “prolly” instead of probably. I mean, that’s fuckin retarded! There’s no easier way to describe it. If you write “prolly” on a consistent basis, you have brain damage. That’s indisputable. I shan’t comprehend that kind of Neanderthal behavior, because I refuse to appear stupid on purpose. I may seem stupid, but it’s by accident, I assure you. I’m convinced that people who abuse the English language online lose the ability to write properly when they need to in school or in a professional setting. I can show you lots of emails from work that prove this theory. If I read 10 emails at work in a day, 7 of them will have several serious spelling or grammar errors. It’s not a priority for people to appear intelligent when they write, and that’s…depressing.

-Have you seen this thing where people use “lol” as a period? You know what I mean. Someone will do this; “Washing the dishes lol” First off, why is that funny? Second, why are you using an acronymn as punctuation? Mindboggling lol

-That stupid little black heart (which appears if you type “<3”) has got to go, unless you’re a teenage girl, at which point immature shit like that is to be expected. When I see posts like this, “Dinner with the girls <3”, I want to blowtorch my eyes out.

Intentionally vague statements. This drives me nuts. If no one but you can understand the meaning of something you post, really, what’s the fucking point? You don’t come across as mysterious, you come across as someone who can’t express yourself or finish a thought. There’s nothing interesting or appealing about that. “That’s the last time!” Oh, is it? Good to know, dipshit.

-If all you do is copy/paste inspirational quotes that you yourself refuse to live by, just know that most of your friends are keenly aware of hypocritical diarrhea when they see it spewing off their computer screen.

-A little modesty would do people good when it comes to celebrating your own birthday. I have seen some of the most self-absorbed bullshit ever written on Facebook from people who can never get enough attention, who think their birthday is the most important day on the Gregorian calendar. In case you’ve forgotten, your birthday is for OTHER people to celebrate you, not for you to celebrate yourself. I’m picturing some of these people sitting at home, baking themselves a cake, blowing up balloons and putting them all around the apartment, and then anonymously setting up a surprise party for themselves.

-Stop saying “FML” (that’s ‘fuck my life’ to you noobs). Just stop it. This falls under one of two broader traits I can’t tolerate on Facebook: narcissism and self-pity. You’ll find almost all of these gripes fall under one of those two categories (a third would be plain old stupidity, a fourth would be frivolity). FML falls snugly in the self-pity column. I hate to say something as trite as “Grow up”, but please, when it comes to your self-pity on Facebook, grow up. There are literally billions of people in this world who have it worse off, who have much more serious issues to deal with than you. Nobody feels bad for you because you stepped in a puddle on your way to work, or because you have FOUR classes tomorrow and you won’t get much sleep tonight. I mean that. Literally nobody feels bad for you. That’s when you know your problem is insignificant in the larger scheme of things. This all goes back to not posting things that no one else will find relevant. Ya know what I say to your FML? F U.

-I’m updating this post during election season 2012, and I’m noticing a lot of people getting incredibly anal about what they do and don’t want their friends saying about politics on Facebook. And there are two types of people in this regard. The first is the person that doesn’t want to read other people’s political views because they perceive their friends to be ignorant or stupid when it comes to what’s actually going on in the world. I can sort of understand this, and I too get annoyed by ignorant political chatter, but you know what I do? I IGNORE it. That’s all it takes. Let that person be an ignorant boob. What difference does it make to you? On the last night of the Democratic convention, I saw someone essentially say, “If you want to post your views, you may as well unfriend me.” Really? Cuz it’s ALLLLL about you. If I want to post my political views, I should first consider, how will *insert name here* feel about me posting this? Grow up, dude.

The second type of person who wants you to “unfriend” them if you dare have something to say is the  guy or gal who simply will not tolerate dissenting opinions on their precious page. You’ve probably seen this at least once; “Before you comment on this post, if you want to disagree with me, you may as well unfriend me instead.” Are you serious? Are we that fucking sensitive that you’d rather someone not be your friend over have your political views challenged?

Political talk is often a touchy subject on any internet forum, but people seem to get especially self-righteous on Facebook. Here’s a hint, Mr. or Mrs. Neverwrong, if you have a strong opinion, but don’t want to actually discuss it in a public forum with people who are supposedly your friends, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF! I for one am willing to discuss and debate anything I post on my page, political or not. If I post a political view, it’s because I want to hear what my friends think. What kind of stupid logic is it to post something and then say, “If you also have a strong opinion on this, I have no desire to be your friend anymore.” Give me a fucking break.

So ends the political sub-rant. Stop being so damned sensitive, people. (and pretty please don’t unfriend me for saying this stuff)

I use a simple barometer when it comes to judging the relevancy of my own posts. If not a single person Likes or comments on the post (be it a picture, link, status, or video), than it wasn’t worth sharing. Whether I originally thought it was or not. If not a single person found it interesting enough to react to, I wasted my time posting it. And it’s happened to me many times, but it’s rare. That’s not being cocky, I simply put some thought into what I share. It’s not complicated. The only exception to this rule is if I post a movie review, or a link to one of my own blog posts here, in which case I’m just asking you to follow the link, not react to it on Facebook.

THE THINGS YOU HAVE

-If you want to boast about making a lot of money or making a significant purchase, please consider how you’re going to come across before proceeding. Here’s a good rule of thumb; the more expensive and superficial it is, the more it comes across as bragging. Even if you truly aren’t trying to brag or show anyone up, perception is reality. I don’t know anyone who likes arrogant people. And no, posting a picture of a bunch of hundred dollar bills strewn across your bed (which I HAVE seen! MULTIPLE TIMES!) cannot be perceived as anything other than masturbatory self-congratulating. And since you’re gonna waste all that money on crap you don’t need anyway, I’m not impressed. Or jealous, which was probably your goal.

Ladies, if you got some new earrings or new shoes or a new dress that you think looks good and you want to share, that’s fine. It’s cool. I’ll throw a Like your way on that (if it actually does look good on you). However, girls or guys, I do not care to see a picture of your new 55″ plasma, because really, if I can’t come over and watch it whenever I want, what the fuck do I care that you have a new TV? Seriously, name one reason anyone but you or the people that live with you should care about that. Getting a cool new TV or other expensive item isn’t good enough, you have to let everyone else know in the hopes that they’ll tell you how awesome you are for having it. Well, that’s admirable. Congratulations.

Oh, and congrats on that new car. Do I get the spare set of keys? No? Then enjoy your new vehicle with some humility, will you please? Cocksucker.

-I wonder about people who have more than, say, 500 friends on Facebook. I think 300 or less sounds right for most people. Am I wrong? If you have 1,000 friends on Facebook, you should probably create a Public Figure page for yourself, so people can be fans instead of friends. At that point, aren’t you a local celebrity instead of just another person? Can you honestly say you know 700 people? 1,200 people? Or do you just find it too hard to say no to friend requests? I don’t get it. These are the same people who had 12,000 friends on MySpace. I guess some people like the popularity contest portion of social networking. If you were one of the cool kids in high school, you’re damn well gonna be a cool kid on the internet, too.

If you saw any one of these people on the street tomorrow, you’d recognize them? Would you know their name? Would you even know how and where you met them? There’s another good Facebook barometer. If you wouldn’t know who someone is if they were standing 3 feet in front of you, they probably aren’t your friend, in real life or on the internets.

For me, my friends list is for people I’m good friends with now, have been good friends with in the past, people I’d like to be good friends with, or people I’ve known for a very long time. Everybody on my friends list falls into one of those categories. If I met you at a club 4 years ago through mutual friends, and you remember me but I’ve forgotten you, and there’s suddenly a random friend request in my box one day, I’m gonna consider that a bit strange. I don’t need to “friend” every single person I’ve ever tangentially met. Nor would I want to. And for the love of god, just because we work together now doesn’t mean we’re friends. It’s called a friends list, not a “people I know” list. Hell, I’ve denied friend requests on Facebook from people I knew in high school precisely because I don’t want those people back in my life.

Here’s another rule of thumb for your friends list. If you wouldn’t give that person your cellphone number, they aren’t your friend.

THE WAY YOU ACT

-If you purposefully keep people on your friends list that you don’t like, you probably deserve to be miserable. Don’t say you’re sick of “all the drama” when you actively pursue it on a daily basis. Just man up (or woman up) and admit it – you’re a scandalous motherfucker who can’t function unless someone’s mad at you or you’re mad at someone else. Some people are like that! Don’t lie to yourself. Maybe if you own up to your soap opera lifestyle, you can actually start doing something to change it. We all wish you would.

-If you delete your Facebook account because you can’t handle all the drama anymore, remember it’s probably at least 50% your fault that the drama existed in the first place. But then, I suppose immaturity in real life is only amplified when you get online. And I especially love when those same people reactivate their account days later, because they can’t go on without that internet drama. Life is too boring for these people when nobody is gossiping about them or they aren’t gossiping about others. So sad.

-If, in real life, you spend more time talking about what’s happening on Facebook than what’s happening in the real world we all live in, it’s time to reevaluate your priorities. Facebook should not be the primary fuel for your conversations. Life provides plenty of ammo for that, if you’d look away from your computer screen or your stupid iPhone long enough to notice.

Similarly, if, in real life, you spend more time checking Facebook on your phone than you do interacting with the people around you (remember, those profiles you’re looking at are representations of ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS), it’s time to reevaluate your priorities. You can’t be this kind of an inconsiderate jerk with subtlety. People do notice when you pay more attention to your phone than you do to actual people. Stop posting on the walls of the people sitting right in front of you. Some of us retained the manners our parents taught us, some of us did not. The ones who did not need to be called out.

PICTURES

Pictures get their own section, even though different kinds of pictures could fall under any of the previous categories. Facebook photos are where narcissism thrives. The kinds of pictures you post reveal a lot about the size and nature of your ego. Aside from that, the truth is that probably 90% of all Facebook photos are an insult to photography.

-If the majority of your photos are you sticking your arm out and taking a picture of yourself, it’s time to find something else to take pictures of. Your camera is sick of looking at you. And I’m sick of looking at your BATHROOM via your damn mirror shots. Put it this way, the more the ratio of “self-portraits” to “pictures of you taken by others” favors the latter, the less egotistical you’ll come across. After all, it’s not your fault if other people want to take pictures of you, but it is your fault if you love nothing more than recording your own image. Some people post pictures of themselves every time they comb their hair a different way (the caption always being “New hair!”). Jesus Christmas. I don’t need to know what you look like every single goddamn day. The only people who should see what you look like every day are the people who live with you.

-If you’re an attractive woman, and you take a lot of pictures of yourself in various states of undress, I’m certainly not gonna complain. Just know that it makes you appear very shallow. Most people don’t need that kind of attention. And by the way, girls who post pictures like that have no right to ever whine about being objectified by men. You reap what you sow.

The same goes for guys who work out a lot and post pictures of themselves holding up their shirts to show off their abs. Go fuck yourself, brah. Thankfully, I don’t have a single person on my friends list who does that shit. Why? Because I don’t hang out with superficial bags of douche.

-And girls, STOP IT WITH THE DUCK FACE!!!

Baby pictures. Oh boy. One word, my lovely parent friends: moderation.

-Why does everyone think we wanna see how much snow they got? If it’s winter time, I’m not surprised that you got snow. I lived in Massachusetts for 25 years, I’ve seen snow! I know what a lot of snow looks like. I know what a medium amount of snow looks like. I know what a little snow looks like. I know what it looks like when snow covers your car. I know what it’s like when there’s snow up to your waist. I’ve LIVED it. I lived through some one of the worst blizzards and Nor’easters in New England history.

Unless you live in Arizona, we can all picture in our minds what snow looks like. Even if you live in Arizona, I can picture what snow-covered desert looks like. Flat and white. So we should probably just forgo any pictures of snow whatsoever. Agreed? Unless you used all that snow to build X-rated snowmen (seriously, click on that, that’s some funny shit), what’s so special about it?

Instagram. I won’t bore you with a tirade about not posting pictures of every friggin meal you eat, but suffice to say…the people who do bitch about it are right. If you’re gonna be an asshole and post something every time you eat (no, it doesn’t look any tastier because you added the “Hudson” filter), you have to then take your asshole-ishness to the next level and post a pic of every shit you take. Because we’re all so desperate to know how it turned out!

-Lastly, tone it down with the pictures of you and your pals partying and drinking. If you like going out several times a week, that’s your business, but again, if you don’t strike a balance in the type of pictures you post, people will only see you one way. I don’t need to see proof that you go out a lot. Goodie for you. Get drunk, get high, do irresponsible things, and then do us all a favor and keep it to yourself. I go to the movies a lot, but I don’t take pictures of myself sitting in the theater binging on my cherry icey, do I? Being an alcoholic is nothing to be proud of. It’s actually a serious problem. If the only way you can be happy is to numb yourself with drugs and alcohol, you may need professional help, not friends who encourage you to “have another.” I’ve seen friends battle this addiction, and I’d prefer not to see any others have to in the future.

THE SITE ITSELF

-There’s been a lot of media hype over the past year about people being confused by the new privacy settings. Honestly? Are you that easily vexed? This stuff couldn’t be more self-explanatory. You click on what you want to control, and then you click one of 4 simple options to determine who you want to see that part of your profile. Holy shit! Where’s the owner’s manual, Zuckerberg?

-Many people want a Dislike button in addition to the Like button. What good can come of that? You just wanna be a snarky asshole? If you don’t like something, either SAY SO if you’re that passionate about it, or shut your mouth and don’t respond at all. I don’t see why you’d potentially start an unnecessary internet flame war over some trivial item with someone who’s allegedly your friend. Come to think of it, this whole post is one giant Dislike button for me. But for the record, I don’t want a Dislike button on the site.

IN CONCLUSION

In the end, of course, you can say or post or share anything you want. I’m not gonna begrudge anyone I consider a friend for anything (well, almost anything) they post online, because my relationship with 95% of them is or has been more than just an internet correspondence. I wish more people would keep that in mind before taking things too seriously or taking offense to jokes or little jabs. I guess my thesis is that people should more carefully consider what image of themselves they want to project on Facebook (or anywhere online), and before you do any of the things I’ve listed above, think about how it’ll make you look. After all, these are your friends and family you’re sharing this stuff with. I wish people would THINK more in general. Being impulsive is not always a good trait. If all your impulsive decisions end up being bad ones in hindsight, perhaps it’s time to reconsider just how spontaneous you want to be going forward.

I’m willing to bet more than one of you finds my constant yammering about movies more than a little exasperating. But that’s what I’m passionate about, and I think passion for anything is inherently interesting, and worthy of sharing. I want to know what my friends are passionate about, and I want to know their opinions about those subjects. For example -and I know he won’t mind that I call him out- my buddy Travis (who I first met playing Call of Duty on XBOX of all places) is a self-proclaimed socialist. That, in and of itself, makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Almost all of his posts are political views that I vehemently disagree with. And despite that, I always read his opinions, if for no other reason than intellectual curiosity. I argue with him on Facebook and sometimes even while we’re playing Call of Duty together. For one, I appreciate that he actually writes in proper English (even if he doesn’t speak it very well while we’re playing XBOX), and I can comprehend what he’s trying to say. As I’ve demonstrated, that’s not always the case, is it? I want to know if and when he’ll say something I agree with (which has happened), or come up with an idea or solution to an issue that I hadn’t considered. It’s because he’s so passionate about that stuff that I continue to find it interesting. He’s never gonna convert me into a far left-winger, but I admire the fact that at least he’s honest enough to come out and say why he believes what he believes. That’s more than I can say about most Democrats, including (arguably) the President of the United States. But I would never know this stuff about my buddy if I weren’t friends with him on Facebook, so again, the pluses far outweigh the minuses. I’d much rather read him saying that taxes should go up than someone else proclaiming, “Just reheated some Chinese food! Yum! <3”

I like opinions, the more informed and fervent the better. Opinions about anything. Even if I disagree, it’s always good to know what people are thinking about. What concerns you enough that you feel all your friends should be made aware of it, too? I like knowing what you’re passionate about, because it always reveals something about you, consciously or not. I may not like people as a whole, but I remain fascinated by them. What does that say about me?

I wanna know what my friends think, much more so than what they’re doing. Unless what you’re doing is exciting or stimulating in some way, at which point, tell me all about it, show me some pictures of it, whatever. That’s cool. I don’t need to know what you’re eating for dinner, or what time you’re going to bed, or that you’ve got a test in the morning. Why? Because those events are only noteworthy to the people living them with you.

In My Own Defense

Before some simpleton finishes reading this, and then gives me the obligatory “stop whining” or “you complain too much” or “Why does everything piss you off?” routine (there’s always someone saying something like that every time I do a rant), let me spell a couple of things out. Of course, I shouldn’t have to defend myself, but I want to clear up any confusion for the ignorant. (And I’m only gonna do this once.) I often get the feeling, based on some of the reactions I get to my more, let’s call them “strongly worded” posts, that I’m being badly misunderstood, that some people think I’m too mean-spirited or I complain too much. I mean, come on. If you’ve spent any time with me in person, I would hope you know better. I have an online persona that is often very different than my actual personality. More importantly, not everything I say on here is meant to be taken seriously. Furthermore, not once have I held some stupid thing a friend has said or posted online against them in real life.

Most of the time, I try to be at least a little funny while I’m doing my bitching. Of course, whether or not I’m successful is up to the reader. I think it’s abundantly clear when I’m being dead serious (i.e. when I talk about gas prices) and when I’m simply poking fun. If you don’t like or appreciate comedians like George Carlin (my favorite stand-up comic ever, and a big influence on my humor and writing style), I’m sure I do come across as a miserable a-hole. Oh well. I won’t be changing the way I write because some people don’t get it. I have confidence in my friends, most of whom are very intelligent.

I’m willing to bet that anyone who’s known me for more than two days would testify under oath that regardless of how much turmoil may exist in my personal life, I don’t portray that when I step out of the house. I assure you, none of what I complain and joke about on here keeps me up at night. No, my nightmares occur during the day, as I bear witness to the general stupidity of mankind. Then I report that stupidity back to you in a hopefully articulate, somewhat humorous manner. It’s a wonderful cycle. It’s what Carlin did so brilliantly for decades, and it’s what I try to do in my own way. Enjoy. Or don’t. Just don’t tell me to stop complaining. Tell your fellow man to stop being dumb, inconsiderate, lazy and arrogant.

If you made it to the end, bravo and thank you. Your patronage is much appreciated. Feel free to comment and let me know some Facebook fads that drive you batty that I neglected to mention. Or tell me I complain too much, after which I’ll hire a 6’7″, 400-pound thug to come and end you.

Fun fact: the word Facebook appears 27 times in this post.

For our Recommended Listening, here’s my favorite track off of The Strokes‘ solid new album, Angles. It’s called “Taken For a Fool”:  

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Things I Find Disturbing

This one is simple enough. Just a random, bullet point list of, you guessed it, things I find disturbing. Many of these things truly do piss me off, but this isn’t a list of things that piss me off. Anger is temporary. The things I’m talking about here have become issues over time, and many of them are only getting worse. If you feel the same way about any of these things, seeing someone else bitch about them in a reasonably humorous, intelligent manner may help you cope. I’m here to help. Like George Carlin, I think I’m at my best when I’m complaining. On top of my love for writing and a desire to keep those tools sharp, it helps my general mental state to get things off my chest in this kind of forum. I’ve thought on and off about many of the following things for months, sometimes years. Don’t take this stuff too seriously, but I am serious.

I find it disturbing that people use lyrics from rap songs as noteworthy quotes on their Facebook pages, instead of quotations from people, living or dead, who are/were actually intelligent and thought-provoking. Here’s a news flash; those lyrics are just as shallow as the ignorant morons who uttered them in their music, and you look just as ignorant by extension. This is no knock on talented musicians. There are many great lyrics in many great rap songs performed by many at least 4 or 5 great hip hop artists. I just wonder what’s going through a 20-something white girl’s mind when she writes something like, “Gettin this money, nigga. Ain’t nobody stopping me.” No, you’re just going to work, and nobody’s even trying to stop you. Let it be said that looking for insightful quotes on relationships from rappers is equally absurd, yet I’m seeing it done all the time.

In general, let’s stop holding up people like Lil’ Wayne as heroes. Aside from his accomplishments inside a recording studio, Dwayne Carter Jr. has done little that anyone should be looking up to.

-Speaking of white people and rappers, I find it disturbing how a lot of white teenagers are now casually calling each other “nigga”, like black kids in urban areas have been doing for years. I’m talking about middle class, suburban white kids, too, not white kids who happened to grow up around black kids who used the word a lot. This is ironic, because the majority of white kids who grow up with black kids wouldn’t dare use that word around them (hear Eminem use it much?). I see it happen on Facebook sometimes, and I’m hearing it a lot while playing with some of these kids on XBOX. I’m sorry, but the n-word (in any form) should not be in casual use amongst white people. Blame the absentee parents, blame subpar schooling, blame pop culture and stupid reality TV stars, blame whatever, but this kind of blatant ignorance is a gaping wound in our society. I grew up in an area where a lot of black kids called each other nigga casually. I’m half black, and I remember the one time in my life where I called another kid ‘nigga’, and I instantly regretted it and never did it again. I knew that it wasn’t part of my personality to talk like that, and I knew it wasn’t who I wanted to be. Even as a teenager, that word meant something to me, even if it didn’t to them, and actually saying it in context made me feel awful. By the way, it shouldn’t be used amongst young black kids, either, but for obvious reasons it would be a lot harder to eliminate its usage from black culture than white.

I find it disturbing the degree to which cell phones and the internet have degraded people’s ability (and apparently their desire) to use the English language. It’s bad enough that most Americans know only one language, but when they willingly abuse and abandon that one language, we all look dumber. On my own end, I’ve made a concerted effort in recent years to speak better, and I always write in proper English online (or at least acceptable English), whether it be in an email, text message or just a status update on Facebook. Is society in that big of a rush that we can’t take LESS THAN A SECOND to add an apostrophe or the extra letter or two it would take to spell a word correctly? It’s fucking ridiculous. When I speak in public amongst friends or co-workers, people will often look at me funny, which in turn makes me look at them funny. It’s now strange to many people to hear the language being spoken properly, with words containing more than one syllable. I find that disturbing, and sad.

When I write things like “LOLZ”, “O HAI”, “ZOMG” et al online, I’m doing it on purpose- to accentuate a point, not because I’m being lazy. I try to avoid lazy internet abbreviations as much as possible. There’s nothing wrong with writing casually online (to a point), but it seems to me that many people now would be incapable of writing the right way if they needed to. I’d hate to see what some people’s college papers look like. You’ll never see me write “prolly” when I mean probably, “ppl” when I mean people, “dnt” when I mean don’t, etc. And I know this is a pipe dream, but I would literally sacrifice a year of my life if it meant everybody would properly use you’re/your and there/their/they’re. I also use proper punctuation as often as I’m able. One more goddamn thing friends…when you want to use an ellipses (…), it’s only THREE (3) dots, not 2, not 5, not 7, not 14. Adding extra periods does not create suspense.

I saw someone a couple nights ago write, “Whut up?” as their status. What’s wrong with the letter “a” there? Why spell a word wrong using the same amount of letters? That is so illogical I just broke my neck from my head spinning. Is one of your cool, hip buddies gonna think less of you if you wrote, “What up?” Is anyone really gonna think to themselves, “Yo, this cat lame yo, spellin 2 wurds straight da right way. I can’t be seen wit dat dude no mo’.”

I will again ask any female reader why in the blue bombastic FUCKTARD you guys unnecessarily add letters to the end of words. You’ve all seen it. For example, “Hungry. Having some snackssssss” What the fuck do the extra s’s indicate? The number of snacks you’re having? You’re having 6 snacks? 6 bites of a snack? What? “I’m boreddddd” Well, with 5 d’s, you must be REALLY fuckin bored. You don’t see me writing, “Off to see a movieeeeee”, “Got some extra cheeseeee on that pizza”, “Heading out to the clubbbbb”, do you? Extra letters at the end of a word can serve no practical purpose. It just looks like your finger got stuck on the last letter and you were too lazy to hit backspace a few times. Stop being dumb on purpose! It’s NOT a good thing!

Please, please, please stop butchering English. It’s a beautiful, complex language. The best in the world, if I say so myself. Use it! It’ll make you smarter! You may not realize this if you spend a lot of time on the internet, but smart is better than dumb!

I am completely unapologetic about this stuff. It offends me that people CHOOSE to present themselves as stupid online. If you think me too mean or anal or self-important about this issue, a) you’re missing the point, and b) I truly don’t care. Be thankful I didn’t address the people who spell letters using num83rs.

I find it disturbing how rude people have become in everyday conversation. I can’t tell you how often I’m talking to someone at work, and someone in the vicinity who’s been listening takes it upon themselves to interrupt me (without saying ‘excuse me’ or otherwise indicating they’d like to cut in). And what makes it worse is when they try to interrupt and I keep speaking (which is my way of saying, “Wait your fucking turn”), and they just talk LOUDER over me until I can no longer be heard without yelling. This person will not be silenced, and they certainly will not wait their turn to speak. They are taking over this conversation with THEIR point, whether you like it or not. I mean, fuck you, interrupter. One, mind your own goddamn business. Two, if you have something to contribute to a conversation between two other people, simply wait until there’s a break in the conversation and THEN indicate you have something to add. Or wait until the conversation is over and then add something. We were all raised by human parents, yes? This is common courtesy. Or so I thought.

In some of these situations, it would be less rude to shut me up by kicking me in the nuts. Simply drowning me out with your own voice is not only rude, it fucking pisses me off. It’s the arrogance of it. YOU have something more important or more funny to add than whatever I’m saying, so you’re gonna outright stop me from talking to get your better, more important point heard RIGHT NOW. I guess this is a secondary example of the “now” culture we live in. We want stuff faster. We want stuff now. Information. Services. Results. Our need for immediate satisfaction has expanded from the realm of technology and seeped into our personal connections. And we’re not going to wait, even if waiting is prudent, or in this case, simply polite. You can’t offend your computer by yelling at it because it’s not giving you what you want fast enough, but you ought to realize you can offend people with a similar demand. And this is saying something coming from a misanthrope like me. If you can get me to empathize with humanity, you’ve really fucked up. When I see this happen to someone else, I get just as angry as if it were being done to me. I think I just created a new tagline in the midst of this rant. I’m creating stickers that say, “Fuck you, interrupter.”

I find it disturbing how uncreative Hollywood is at naming their movies lately. Do I really have to go to a ticket window next month to see the new Liam Neeson movie and say, “Can I have one for Unknown?” Honestly.


“Mr. Neeson, what’s your new movie called?”

“Unknown.”

“You don’t know?”

“No, it’s called Unknown.”

“Ohhhhhkay.”

I find it disturbing that Tom Brady‘s hair is still being compared to Justin Bieber‘s by some people. Maybe you idiots haven’t noticed, but Brady’s hair doesn’t look like it was glued to his fucking face in a swirly pattern. Bieber’s hair looks like the hair you put on a Lego person. It looks like it’s one piece that pops on and off. He’s probably got a buzz cut underneath and just pops the vortex hairpiece on when he goes out in public.


These two look similar how?

Tom Brady does NOT look like this:


This is an example of people blindly picking up on pop culture references. Friends, if you hear someone say something, and upon review it doesn’t make any sense, you don’t have to say it anymore. K?

I find it disturbing that fans can’t enter a “Be An NFL Ref For A Day” contest. I want to throw yellow flags as hard as I can, make goofy hand signals and dramatic announcements about “illegal hands to the face” in front of 65,000 people. That looks like fun.

I find it disturbing that within hours of the Tucson shootings last weekend, vile left-wing a-holes like Michael Moore, Paul Krugman and pretty much everybody on MSNBC had the audacity to claim that supposedly heated political rhetoric from Sarah Palin and the Tea Party this past election created the atmosphere for the shootings to take place. Ignored was the fact that the shooter appeared to have left political leanings, and that regardless of his political views, he’s a fucking lunatic, who wasn’t inspired to violence by Sarah frickin Palin or anyone else. Kudos to President Obama for not jumping on that bandwagon when he made his first remarks about the shootings. And shame on the liberals who jumped to conclusions, claiming it was hate coming from the right that induces violence like this. Thankfully, within days, ALL of these people looked like complete fucking morons and disgusting hypocrites, when Michelle Malkin posted THIS on her website, a play-by-play on virtually every act of violence and political hate speech displayed by the left over the past 10 years. You could not find a more brilliant, slap-in-the-face rebuttal to the ignorant, baseless finger pointing by dishonest people like Moore. And I’m not normally a big Malkin fan. She’s much farther right than I am, but everything in her piece is sourced and factual. I thank her and her staff for doing that research so fast, and I can only imagine it was done because she was as angry as I was that people would try to play politics with such a tragedy.

I thought Bill O’Reilly was brilliant in his analysis, and you can watch that video HERE (couldn’t get the embed to work).

I find it disturbing that Arnold Schwarzenegger just came out and claimed that his tenure as California governor cost him $200 million in lost income and personal expenses. Meanwhile, during this time, California went how many billions more into debt? Not the wisest thing to say in public, Ahnuld. Oh woe is not you.

-Lastly, I find it disturbing that I have to wait until 2012 to see all the amazing movies that are coming out in 2012. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

“Life’s a bitch, naw betta yet a dumb broad/ I bet I could fuck the world and make it cum hard” – Lil’ Weezy!, from his seminal song “Gonorrhea” (Ladies, next time you wanna use an inspirational Lil’ Wayne quote, keep in mind what he really thinks of women)

Large with Extra Cheese: #10

Welcome to my new and improved blog, Biggie’s Place. The name is a reference to the oft-used nickname of the apartment in Natick, Mass that my friends and I lived in from September ’05 to October ’06 when I left for L.A. In an effort to make my Facebook page less cluttered with my random and frequent opinions, and because I’ve had a lot of various topics on my mind recently, I felt it was time to bring back my semi-regular column, Large with Extra Cheese. I’ll also be going back to the more random, any topic any time blog entries that were a staple of my writing for several years, most of which was done on the blog section of my MySpace page. I hadn’t logged on to MySpace in literally months, and when I did a couple of weeks ago, the site looked completely different, and they’ve made the blog section a very small part of what you can do on the site, so as if there were any doubt before, I’m officially done writing on my old MySpace blog. I’ll have to dig through the impossible-to-navigate blog section to find the old posts that I’m particularly proud of before deleting my MySpace page entirely, but that will take a while. I absolutely hate what it looks like now, and I couldn’t even figure out how to edit the blog layout, so yeah…MySpace is dead to me, but I had fun writing on there for almost 4 years, and I think some of my best stuff was in some of those posts.

I’ve been working on this WordPress page on and off for about a year now, and since I was inspired to start writing again recently, I spent a good 3-4 hours last night getting the layout to the way I want it. Although it’s not perfect and there are surely modifications to come, this is basically what you’ll be seeing going forward, and I’m glad to say I now have my own site. You can bookmark it if you like, subscribe, “Like” it (though I wish I could figure out how to integrate the Like to Facebook link), anyone can add comments, and it even has the Facebook/email/etc. share buttons. So spread the word if you like or agree with what I have to say. Or even if you don’t. Some of the best debate stems from people who vehemently disagree. And I finally have my tags, which is something I’d been praying MySpace would integrate for years. AND…I can write the entries in Word and upload them directly to WordPress with formatting intact, which is awesome good times. So welcome, and without further ado, here’s what’s been grinding my gears this week.

“The Red Sox are now the Yankees.” No, they’re not.

In the past week, the Red Sox have spent close to $300 million on contracts for two players, Adrian Gonzalez (a reported 7-year, $154 million extension on top of his $6.5 million 2011 salary, and a 7-year, $142 million deal for free agent Carl Crawford), reminding many of the 2009 offseason, when the Yankees spent more than $400 million on contracts for CC Sabathia ($161 million), Mark Teixeira ($180 million) and A.J. Burnett ($85 million). This has prompted many critics, both in and outside of Boston, to proclaim that the Red Sox can no longer complain about the Yankees’ spending, and that any World Series the Red Sox win are just as “bought” as the Yanks’ 2009 championship.

As happy as I am at my team acquiring two excellent players who are both still in their prime, I admit I’m conflicted on what I think of all this spending. Crawford and Gonzalez should both be earning their megasalaries until at least 2015, and I actually think Gonzalez will earn his for the entirety of his deal, based on his position and skill set. However, I’ve said for years that if I were a Yankee fan, I’d be ashamed at what my team had to spend to win division titles and 1 World Series, regardless of whether or not they were turning a profit as an organization. Do I feel that way now as a Red Sox fan? Do I feel bad for the majority of MLB teams who can’t spend anything near what the AL East powerhouses do? Yes and no. No, because like other sports, some teams will never sign big name free agents, whether there’s a salary cap in place or not. For example, the Buffalo Bills have no better chance of getting a blue chip free agent in his prime than the Pittsburgh Pirates do, even if they could match the offers of a team from Boston, New York, L.A. or Miami. At the same time, I don’t like that every free agent in baseball is presumed to be going to the Red Sox or Yankees. There IS something wrong with that, and as a Red Sox fan I do feel a little guilty, but still not as guilty as I believe Yankees fans should.

Do I like how much money the Red Sox have spent recently, despite the talent we’ve gotten and how potent our 2011 lineup should be? No, but a lot of it, unfortunately is a necessity, and a lot of that necessity is based on what the Yankees are doing and can do, which apparently makes the Sox guilty by association. I think the Yankees would have a $200 million payroll no matter what division they were in, and the Red Sox would not spend $150 million+ if the Yanks were not in their division. I hate that we’re paying John Lackey $18 million a year, and the Josh Beckett extension looks pretty foolish at the moment. I’m concerned that we’ll be paying Carl Crawford, whose most valuable asset is his legs, $20.2 million at age 34, 35 and 36 when he probably can’t steal 40+ bases anymore and still won’t have big money power numbers. But unfortunately, the Sox have to add those extra couple of unreasonable years, because if they don’t, the Yankees will. That’s a fact. And now the list of big spenders extends to the Phillies, Angels, Cubs and Mets as well. Bad contracts are not exclusive to baseball, but the numbers are the biggest in baseball, so these huge deals get put under a bigger microscope.

Now, let’s do some more payroll math. This offseason, the Red Sox had almost $40 million come OFF the books before these signings (Mike Lowell‘s $12 million, Adrian Beltre’s $9 million, Victor Martinez‘ $7.5 milion and the last year of paying off Julio Lugo‘s horrible deal). In 2011 they will still be under the luxury tax, and will still spend almost $40 million less in payroll than the Yankees. They may have their highest payroll ever, but we won’t be spending anywhere near $200 million anytime soon. And keep in mind that in 2012, we’ll have David Ortiz, J.D. Drew, Jason Varitek and probably Tim Wakefield saying goodbye to Boston, which will free up about $35 million more, or in Yankee terms, just a little more than 1 year of A-Rod money. This year, the Yankees MIGHT lose Andy Pettitte, and will make Derek Jeter take a $4 or 5 million pay cut. If they add Cliff Lee (whose offers, if they’re to be believed, are approaching $25 million a year), their payroll will easily exceed what it was in 2010. Look, I’m not making excuses. The Red Sox are spending obscene amounts of money, and I wish they didn’t have to. That said, I refuse to accept the premise that we’re the “same” as the Yankees. That’s simple-minded and ignorant.

Speaking of wild spending, watching the Yankees pursue Cliff Lee has been nothing short of hilarious, because it clearly demonstrates that Lee does not want to go there. Ironically, the Red Sox signings have actually increased the Yanks’ desire to get him (really, they NEED him to help combat a Sox lineup that now has 5 lefties or switch hitters), which makes life good for Lee as they continue upping their offers. If you’re a Yankees fan, how does it feel to know that your team has to grossly overspend to get the players they want? They’re having to offer Lee 7 years to have a chance at him (in a rational world, he’d only get 4 or 5), which means they’ll be paying him more than $20 million at age 39. And because they have a reputation for overspending, they can’t get anybody for reasonable money, even if that player would accept reasonable money to go somewhere else. Cliff Lee does not want to be a Yankee and be in New York for the next 6 or 7 years, but if the Yankees end up offering, 10, 20, 30 million more than the Rangers are willing to go, at a certain point you can’t turn that down if you have any common sense. Then again, he’ll lose that extra money to New York’s absurd, myriad state taxes, which I’m hearing is something the Rangers are trying to get through to him. A wise move by Nolan Ryan and his team. This was supposedly exactly what happened with CC Sabathia, who only agreed to become a Yankee after they offered him the biggest contract ever for a pitcher. Now Sabathia is trying to woo Lee to New York, but mostly because they’ve been close friends since their Cleveland days. Sabathia may like it there now (his paycheck and the World Series ring will have that effect), but he wasn’t thrilled about it at the time, and no one else was offering anything close to what New York did. Cliff Lee is from Arkansas and still lives there full time. All things being equal, he’d rather stay with the Rangers. (He seemed to brush if off at the time, but one wonders if Yankees fans SPITTING ON HIS WIFE would affect his decision in any way.) But again, it’s a matter of how high the Yankees will go, and at a certain point it may become irresistible. If they get him, like all their other mercenary free agents, they’ll do a press conference and Lee will say how proud he is to be a Yankee, how much he’s always respected and admired the organization, yadda yadda crapola, and it’ll all be bullshit. You think A.J. Burnett wants to be in New York? No, but the idiots offered him $85 million.

On the flipside, the Sox’s biggest acquisition, Adrian Gonzalez, has repeatedly and credibly said that he’s been a fan of the Red Sox since he was a kid, and that if he couldn’t stay with the Padres, Boston was his preferred destination. The Red Sox have to overpay some guys simply because they’re competing with the Yankees. Does any of this matter when both teams are paying more than one player above $20 million a year? Maybe not, but I’m making the case there is STILL a difference between the Red Sox spending and the Yankees’ spending.

LINKS

-I was browsing one of my favorite blog sites Friday, The Daily Beast, when I came across THIS article, by one Ben Crair, who uses the release of The Fighter as a basis to proclaim there have been too many “Boston movies” recently. Needless to say, that set me off instantly. Basically, he says he’s tired of seeing the same kind of people with the same accents, from the same neighborhoods, Fenway Park/Red Sox references, etc. He even vaguely tried to pull the “Boston is racist” card. I considered writing a lengthy response to him, but there’s no point trying to educate that kind of ignorance. My counter is this; so we should go back to the 80’s and 90’s when 95% of the movies out of Hollywood take place in Los Angeles and New York? I don’t fucking think so. Now, I’ve been saying for years that I want more movies set in and around Boston, but that I also wanted them to take place outside of South Boston, and that they didn’t need to prominently feature Irish Catholic characters. Those of us from the area know just how diverse it is now, and you could realistically set almost any kind of story there. I’ve also been saying that it’s okay to shoot a movie in Boston and not have all your actors use Boston accents. In these senses, Mr. Crair and I agree. And no, you don’t have to have characters talking about the Sawx or Fenway Park, but anyone from Massachusetts will tell you that conversations about our sports teams find their way into everyday conversation no matter what’s going on around us, and seeing people in the backgrounds of Boston-set movies wearing jersey t-shirts is accurate to the area, not just shameless promotion. I could list dozens of clichés that relate to L.A. and NYC-based films, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue shooting good movies there.

The primary reason more movies have been set in Boston over the past few years is because of the tax incentives Massachusetts recently passed. This is the same reason a lot of films are being shot in New Mexico, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. I don’t even know where I’m going with this except to say it’s a GOOD thing some of Hollywood’s best movies are being shot outside of the L.A./NYC. I love that M. Night Shyamalan shot his movies in and around Philadelphia, that Robert Rodriguez does all his stuff in Austin, Texas. I love that The Next Three Days took place in Pittsburgh. I love that Christopher Nolan shoots his Batmovies in Chicago. A variety of scenery, locations, and culture is a good thing in art, and definitely in visual arts like cinema. I suppose it’s no coincidence that Crair is from New York. His whole argument just sounds bitter. He whines about seeing Boston too much, but admits that Good Will Hunting, The Departed, Mystic River, The Town and The Fighter are all very good movies. But like I said, I’m also getting tired of some Boston clichés, but that doesn’t mean other kinds of stories can’t be shot in the city. That’s precisely what I hope to do as a filmmaker.

IN REVIEW

-The Red Sox get an A for the Adrian Gonzalez trade-and-sign, and a B for the Carl Crawford deal. Points off for Crawford because 7 years is too long, and he is not a $20 million player. But you give them some benefit of the doubt because they simply weren’t gonna get him for a reasonable price.

Since I post my movie reviews straight to Facebook through the Flixster Movies app, here are a few music suggestions for ya…

Kanye West‘s new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is really damn good. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, though West is a complete douchebag, he is also a true artist. And he’s one of the few mainstream rappers who can ably rap about real issues and not just party song after club song after party song. An excellent example of this on the new album is my favorite song off it, “So Appalled” which is truly exceptional. It’s got one of those dark, pounding, moody beats that I prefer in rap, no real hook, and 5 verses (each by a different artist) , which reminded me a lot of old school Wu Tang (which is perfect given that RZA is one of the guest artists). There’s even a Dark Knight reference in Jay-Z‘s verse! A perfect example of what I referred to earlier comes from Kanye’s verse, where he goes;

“Niggas be writin bullshit like they gotta work/ Niggas goin through real shit, man they outta work/ That’s why another goddamn dance track gotta hurt/ That’s why I’d rather spit somethin that got a purp”

Just a great fuckin track, easily one of the best rap songs of the year. Other highlights from the album include “Power”, “Runaway”, “Monster” and “Blame Game.”

I’m also going through the new albums from N.E.R.D., the omnipresent Nicki Minaj (the track “Roman’s Revenge” with Eminem is awesome), and Kings of Leon, but I have to listen to em more than once before giving a general opinion. As always I welcome your music suggestions, particularly for indie stuff I’m not normally exposed to in my cave here in Myrtle Beach. I haven’t heard the entire new T.I. album (No Mercy), but the song “That’s All She Wrote”, also with Eminem, is excellent. It’s been a damn good comeback year for Mr. Marshall Mathers.

-While we’re on the topic of music suggestions, Chris, one of my friends in L.A., recently suggested I check out a band called Austrian Death Machine, which makes songs based off of Arnold Schwarzenegger one-liners. LOL, you read that right. Some of the names of their songs include “Get to the Choppa”, “Who Is Your Daddy, and What Does He Do?” and “I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, And Your Motorcycle.” I checked them out, and…they’re damn good! Not only is it hilarious listening to a guy rage scream “It’s not a tumor!” in a heavy metal song, but the songs are actually pretty damn good (and feature some sick guitar solos). Check it;

– Remaining 2010 movies I MUST see before putting together the Biggie nominations; Alice in Wonderland, The Fighter, 127 Hours, Black Swan, Fair Game, The King’s Speech, The Company Men, The Way Back, Buried, Winter’s Bone, Blue Valentine, Never Let Me Go, True Grit, Tron Legacy. Unfortunately, I’m gonna have to wait for a few of these to come out on Netflix, since some have already come and gone or definitely won’t open here. Grrr. I give the Myrtle Beach area’s ability to acquire smaller movies a D.

-I was flipping through HBO channels one day last week and happened upon It’s Complicated, the Nancy Meyers-directed romcom from last year with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. I didn’t see it in theaters and was curious about it, so I watched about 45 minutes before I had to leave for work. I tried to follow the story, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how annoyingly pretentious it all was. There was absolutely NOTHING I could relate to in the film. I’m not sure there was a single non-white person in the entire movie (there may have been one black guy picking cotton serving drinks in the background of a scene at some fancy restaurant). This is the epitome of hypocritical Hollywood elitism. The title of this movie should be It’s Awesome to Be Rich and White in California. I mean holy shit. The whole movie is just a bunch of well-off white people having relationship issues while doing things rich white people do. Oh whoa is them! Should Alec Baldwin fuck his hot, 20-something trophy wife, or go back to his rich, older ex-wife?

I wondered who the audience was for this movie, but it somehow grossed more than $120 million in the U.S. And then I read that the damn thing cost $85 million to make. WHY?! I give writer-director Nancy Meyers‘ grip on reality an F. Meyers is considered one of Hollywood’s elite female directors, yet given her resume (The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, What [White] Women Want, The Parent Trap), it seems she’s never seen a black, Asian or Latino person, despite living in Southern California. But, I guess you gotta write what you know, and she knows a lot of rich white people. Good for her. I guess.

And now comes a report that another whitewashed romantic comedy, James L. BrooksHow Do You Know, had a $120 million production budget. WHAT!?! How the fuck does a romantic comedy cost $120 million? To put that in perspective, Gladiator cost $105 million. A Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson romantic comedy cost more than Saving Private Ryan. Holy shit. You’d think for all that money they could afford a better title.


THIS cost $120 million. There better be an alien invasion in the middle of this movie.

-Finally, switching gears a little bit, I’d like to give an A+ to girls who know how to look good when the weather turns cold. Seriously, in my view, girls who can rock the tight pants and boots combo are just as attractive as a girl in short shorts and a tanktop during the summer. But that’s me. Ladies, you’re killin it this winter. Keep up the good work.

OH, HAI!

-I’m late to the Olivia Wilde bandwagon, but she was finally in something I’ve seen (The Next Three Days), and she wears a superhot little outfit in Tron Legacy, so…OH HAI, Olivia Wilde;


She’s moderately talented, too. So there’s that.

I label attractive women under one of three primary categories; beautiful, hot, or cute. One is not necessarily better than another, but there are differences. Olivia is just plain beautiful.

-And because it’s been awhile, here’s another pic of my current It Girl, Katy Perry. Damn you, Russell Brand.


She wears latex like I eat cheese; as if our lives depended on it.

Katy Perry…is hot. But because of her persona, she’s got some cute sprinkled in there, too. Probably 80% hot, 20% cute.

Quote of the Week

“Whether by the sword or the slow decay of time, Aragorn will die. And there will be no comfort for you, no comfort to ease the pain of his passing. He will come to death an image of the splendor of the kings of men, in glory, undimmed before the breaking of the world. But you, my daughter, you will linger on in darkness and in doubt, as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Here you will dwell, bound to your grief under the fading trees, until all the world has changed and the long years of your life are utterly spent.” – Hugo Weaving as Elrond in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

I know it’s random, but I was listening to some of Howard Shore‘s Lord of the Rings score this week (the Complete Recordings versions, which are a must have for fans), and you can’t help but picture scenes from the movies while listening to the music, and I was thinking about this scene in particular from The Two Towers, and about how much I love that Elrond speech. Long story short, the quality of the language in the specific line I bolded is stunning. Whenever I’m writing, and I think of how something could or should be better, and whether or not I’m capable of truly great writing, I often instinctively think of that line, as if saying to myself, Remember, THIS is what you’re aspiring to accomplish. THIS is great writing. In fact, it may be the single most beautifully written sentence I’ve ever heard (and I say heard because of how amazingly Weaving delivers it). If you can’t place the quote in context, just watch this clip on the Tube [Arwen’s Fate, “Evenstar”]. There are no perfect films, but that is a perfect scene, and it’s as good as it gets with regards to dialogue.


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