World of Crap
Stuff That Just Butters My Toast!
In this world many things annoy. Not too many, however, rise to a level of loathing best described as hatred, but occasionally there are those things that send one into an apoplectic tailspin. These are a few of my least favorite things, the Top Ten Things I Hate.
They’re not funny, they’re scary. I always imagine clowns having a dark side, lending them an air of malevolence. I’m a big a fan of anarchy (love The Three Stooges), but clowns seem to carry malice behind their façade of good humor. I also picture them as potential pedophiles, thus adding to their air of creepiness. In short, clowns are not funny. They are frightening. For those who did just fall off the turnip truck the attendant photo is of serial killer John Wayne Gacy dressed as a clown character he created. Need I say more?
The beady little eyes, the hairless tail, that sense of alien intelligence in them, knowing they’d gnaw my face off first chance they got. And it’s not just rats. I hate all members of the Rodentia order (mice, gerbils, porcupines, even the “cute” beaver). Why? They carry diseases, they’re destructive in ridiculous ways (mice and rats like to dump and run, leaving little "gifts" everywhere. Hey, do it on the paper!)Credit: Bill G. Chambers, 2011 Beavers: sure they’re cute and “industrious”, but let a beaver chaw your arm for awhile and then tell me how “cute” you think he is. The only member of this order I like is the bunny. And, recently, I think bunnies were reclassified into their own specific order (something to do with the structure of their teeth making them separate from Rodentia).
And, yeah, I know the picture at the head of this bullet is an opossum (or, “’possum” as the hillbillies say), and it is a marsupial (the only North American marsupial). But to me, with its beady eyes and hairless tail, it is nothing more than a giant rat just waiting to gnaw my face off.
8. Sarah Palinhaters
I’m not talking about people who don’t like her right-wing Credit: David Shankbone, 2010politics or her fundamentalist religious views. I’m talking about people who just plain hate Sarah Palin because she’s Sarah Palin, and they think it’s what they’re supposed to do. After the media chewed her up and spit her out in the last Presidential run I guess the public thought it was open season on Sarah. Well, guess what? It's okay not to like her politics, but it’s not okay to hate her as a person or as a woman. We, the public, don't really know her intimately. But, from what I've seen Sarah is a fine human being in my book. She is well-intentioned, and there’s probably not a malevolent bone in her body (unlike those cruddy clowns!). Plus, I’m only going to say this once – look how gorgeous Sarah is! How could you hate on that?
7. American Idol & America’s Got Talent
I don’t hate the concept, but I hate two other things. First are those idiots who waste precious air time (just so they get on TeeVee! “Mom, did you see me, I was on TeeVee!”) when even Stevie Wonder could see they have no talent at all. The self-deluded chanteuse or the smirking skater boy, both knowing they have no skills, who audition (when someone who maybe can sing or juggle 'possums gets left out) is criminal. Idol and Talent could both cut down on the number of losers who auditioned if they wouldn’t broadcast try-outs unless all the morons were edited out. They’re just giving some self-absorbed shmuck a forum for two minutes' stardom.
The second thing I hate is both shows take entirely too long to get through. Idol is worse than Talent for wasting air time. Idol can milk three contestants singing two songs each (actual time investment around 24 minutes, and that’s being charitable) for a two-hour snooze-fest. Ryan Seacrest annoys with his “We’ll find out after the break” false suspense builders. If Idol were my show I’d be a nightmare for high-paying advertisers ; all preliminary shows would only last an hour, knocked back to 30 minutes once it got down to the final four. And I’d be moving it along.
One last note and this is really just a peeve, not an outright hate point: America’s Got Talent apparently doesn’t have any grammar skills. That’s a phrase a three-year old would use. How about the more dignified “America Has Talent”?
6. TV shows that should never have seen the light of day
Television plays to the lowest common denominator. Quality programs can probably be noted on the fingers of one hand. But, there are some real head-scratchers out there, past and present, shows that one can’t understand how they even got past the pitch phase, then went on to waste airtime only to be canceled shortly after their débuts (Greg the Bunny, you know I’m talking about you). This season alone a few shows were canceled after airing just two episodes. Why bother? How about I develop a show, you pay me a buncha money, and it gets canceled because it’s lame. Even better still, pay me not to do one – the net result is the same. The waste of time and money putting on weak shows is what I hate.
5. Movies that should never have been made
This one irks me more than the TV version of the same crime because of the huge budgets and expenses involved. Any movie with the words "Police Academy" or "Porky’s" in its title (although both franchises made a pile of dough because America’s Got No Brain) should never have seen a screen. Both are examples of the dreck presented for consumption. Comedies should be funny; these weren’t. The Hangover franchise (already a huge money-maker) is treading Police Academy ground and should be nipped in the bud now before it’s too late.
The movie industry has no excuse for making The Dukes of Hazzard film, based on a spectacularly cruddy TV show (see # 6 above). The rampant trend of plumbing the depths of television for movie fodder is ridiculous and lazy (although I’m holding out for Happy Days: The Fonz in Geriatric Care). Creativity in Hollywood is at an all time low. Just to show how bad it is the last truly excellent movie I saw in a theater was Slingblade (no, Avatar wasn’t that good, although I did fork over to see it). And you know how long it’s been since Slingblade was in theaters. The film industry has the money, the time, and the talent to produce really great product. The misses, lately, though are more numerous than the hits. Some junk should just go straight to DVD (all The Flintstones movies fit this category). A nice wake-up call would be for the public to be more selective. Nah, that’s asking people to think, and Hollywood doesn’t want you to do that, or you won’t go see the newest Charlie’s Angels movie.
4. Racists and the “patriot”/militia movement
Racism comes in many guises. These days it hides in the open. The Ku Klux Klan is largely defunct. However, many supremacist groups exist to fill that void. But more insidious is the homegrown terrorism engendered by the so-called “patriot” movement in this country, because -- guess what? -- these "patriots" don't like their government! These are the jackholes who build bunkers, stock them with heavy artillery and canned goods, awaiting the final race war they’re sure is coming. Meanwhile, these pinheads do things like blow up the Federal Building in Oklahoma, and foment domestic terrorists. “Patriots” don’t believe in America, the land of the free. They believe in some mythical America that never, and should not ever have, existed: a white America, a "Christian" (preferably Protestant) America, the America of their dreams. These “patriot”/militia humps are the ones “assisting” (voluntarily) in patrolling the border between the US and Mexico, keeping illegal Mexicans from coming here and “taking our jobs”. Why not patrol the Canadian border, too, while you’re out there, home slice? Those danged Canadians keep coming down here taking our acting and singing jobs (see # 3)! The militia movement today is a thinly disguised racist movement, and “patriots” are anything but patriotic.
The other thing about Bieber that makes me actually hate him is his insufferable over-estimation of his own talent. This guy actually had the (undescended) cojones to say he is “the Kurt Cobain of his generation”. Sorry to disappoint you there, back bacon, but you’re no Kurt Cobain. You’re more like the Bobby Sherman of your generation. And I know Bobby Sherman could've whooped up on your little punk Canadian derriere pretty well.
2. Paris Hilton
Paris comes in for a special kind of hatred, not because she’s wealthy, or famous, but because she doesn’t do anything. I hate the scenesters/hipsters whose only claim to fame is high visibility. She’s not alone in this, but she is the Queen of the Scene. My beef with Paris? She hasn’t done anything to merit the attention she gets. And this woman is genuinely vacuous. My ire also extends to B-list scenesters, and to the great bottom feeders of this “celebrity” world. That would be the “celebrity” bloggers and hangers-on, people like Perez Hilton, cashing in on Paris Hilton’s dubious celebrity. Sure, she made an idiot “reality” TV show and, sure, she had a vanity-produced CD, but really, what does she do? And I defy you to tell me the Corpse Bride is not sexier than Paris Hilton!
Someone like Paris blazed this trail before Paris was even born, so even her scenesterism isn't new. In the era of the Rat Pack we had Zsa Zsa Gabor who, like Paris, was pretty much known for being known. Zsa Zsa at least got some movie parts and acted on television on occasion, but overall she just married wealthy guys and then took them to the cleaners.
1. “Top Ten” articles
The “Top Ten” article, as written by the majority on the Web, is the bane of my existence. On occasion I must conduct serious research, as many people do, and the dumbness of these articles (which are really stumbling blocks when doing searches) is infuriating. Every time I see an article such as “The Top Ten Best/Worst/Sad Songs/Date Movies/Pick-Up Lines/Ways to Meet Women/'Possums” I want to punch the author in the neck!
“Top Ten” (or “Top Five” or whatever number) articles can be really fun (“The Top 3.14 Reasons to Like Pie”). There is a particular humor site whose writers specialize in this sort of thing, and they are hilarious. But they write from a humorous perspective and aren’t pretending to be authoritative. My complaint about most “Top Ten” articles (such as the ones about pick-up lines or song listings) is they are completely subjective. One man’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” is another man’s “Welcome to the Jungle”.
The “pick-up lines” articles are useless unless you are in the third grade and your lady fair is, too. Or, if you are a grown man and the targeted woman is mentally challenged a pick-up line might work. But any real woman would laugh in your face. On the other hand, if you’re a guy and any one of the millions of juvenile pick-up lines posted on the Web actually works then you deserve the STD you’re about to get.
But the king daddy of all time bad “Top Ten” articles are the ones that function solely as advertising, articles like “Top Ten Reasons to Buy the God-Awful Brand Frammis Adjuster". Writers will waste many words extolling the virtues of a particular brand of product, rabidly declaiming its value, almost as if the writer owned stock in the God-Awful Corporation. Leave the advertising to advertisers (I drive a silver Dodge Dakota Sport Quad-cab pickup that I dearly love, but until Dodge pays me mega-bucks I will never write about how great it is).Credit: Bill G. Chambers, 2011
Some subjects lend themselves to a “Top Ten”-style format, and this is okay. For example, topics such as “Ten Most Populous Cities in the US” or anything about the natural or man-made wonders of the world probably work best in that format. I have seen many good, solid, informative articles written in this way.