Posts Tagged ‘news

01
Nov
12

I Love The New iPhone 5!

Yesterday I bought the Apple iPhone 5, and I must say, it’s amazing!!!

Just kidding. I still use an LG Dare.

But I really did play around with the latest iPhone recently and my life has taken a drastic turn for the worse. “Wait,” I thought to myself. “I can now watch the latest episode of the Colbert Report anywhere I go? Can life get any better?!?”

Yes, it can. If Steve Jobs’ goal was to make the world faster and easier through technology, then he failed miserably. Because when a guy like me finally decides to buy a portable Apple device, the decision itself could never be more complicated. Should I buy an iPhone, iPad, or iPod? Should I buy the newest iPhone, or settle for an older version? If I got an iPod, how many gigs of storage should I choose? I like to a type on a keyboard, so why should I even buy an iPad? Should I just kill myself right now??

“Apple iLiver: The only organ that keeps you alive long enough to buy more Apple products.”

A lot of this confusion is Apple’s own fault. They un-enthusiastically introduced a new line of iPads last week, which are a whopping 2 inches smaller than the original (this was hilariously mocked last night on Conan). Yet the announcement of this same-yet-smaller iPad still somehow created a media frenzy.

Hey, Apple. I have an idea. How about you skip the bullshit and actually unveil something worth getting excited about. You know, maybe something like one device that has the capabilities of the iPhone, iPad and iPod combined? I thought we were supposed to make life more convenient here. And while you’re at it, create some damn apps that are actually useful in real life (such as Fap App, the only app that warns you when your roommates are masturbating. Don’t ask how I thought of it).

To reiterate, I really would enjoy owning an iPhone 5. It’s just all the needless bullshit surrounding Apple I can’t stand. I mean, I can’t go onto a news site without seeing articles about the new iChair, or without hearing reviews from burnt out tech pundits who cover Apple’s every move more closely than the president’s (watch this tech writer analyze the new iPad like a zombie). Technology is cool, but too much of it is not.

The new iPhones are pretty cool, too. My more generous readers are urged to send me one in the mail.

                                                       Forbes

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31
Oct
12

Late Night Hosts Provide Hurricane Relief in the Form of Laughs

Anyone living in reality has heard of (or experienced) Hurricane Sandy’s path of destruction throughout the northeastern United States. But to the surprise of many, late night hosts and NYC residents David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon taped their Monday night episodes during the inclement weather. Despite staff shortages and the lack of a live studio audience, the two hosts peddled their one liners to the giggles of cast and crew.

In the face of an impending hurricane, Letterman and Fallon had their share of funny moments, with Fallon at one point playing to an audience of only one guy in a NY Mets hat. But the determination of these comedians to bring laughter to a struggling nation should be a reminder of comedy’s true meaning. Laughter is a momentary escape from reality, a breath of renewed life and a reminder that sometimes the best remedy to life’s problems is to step back and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Tig Notaro

This is not the first time comedians have braved tragedy under the old adage “the show must go on.” Letterman and his Late Show crew come to mind for their September 17, 2001 taping. As television reeled constant news coverage of the World Trade Center attacks, Letterman was one of the first entertainers to return to air. Similarly, NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani’s post 9/11 Saturday Night Live appearance reaffirmed to the country that it was OK to be funny again.

Similarly, stand-up comedy giant Richard Pryor revolutionized the craft by incorporating unpleasant, real life experiences into his routine. And earlier this year, comedian Tig Notaro transformed her recent tragedies, from a breast cancer diagnosis to the sudden death of her mother, into what is now being praised as a legendary stand-up routine.

Trey Parker was once quoted as saying “Either everything is OK to make fun of, or nothing is OK.” While this type of thinking, when done wrong, has gotten some comedians in trouble (see: Gilbert Gottfried, Daniel Tosh), Letterman and Fallon prove that sometimes a belly laugh is the best cure to a shitty day.

29
Oct
12

5 Horrible Things To Do During Hurricane Sandy

Figured I’d make a tasteless blog post while we still have power. Enjoy.

  1. Knock on your neighbor’s door and sarcastically ask if they need any help. Then laugh like a maniac as you turn around and disappear into the storm.
  2. After the power goes out, shine a flashlight on yourself as you do the helicopter with your penis.
  3. Eat all available rations and demand a ride to the hospital because of a severe tummy ache.
  4. Make shitty comparisons of your current situation to The Walking Dead.
  5. Complain that you can’t view any of your friends’ Halloween costumes on Instagram.
09
Oct
12

Why I Shampoo My Butthole

I recently read an interesting story by Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo. He makes an entertaining yet sound argument against “internet pagination,” or the act of cutting lengthy online articles into separate pages to increase page views for advertisers. Manjoo’s piece, along with his related story about the uselessness of double spacing after a period, lean heavily towards the rights of the internet user. Crusaders like him are fighting for internet rights all the way down to the space bar. But after some thought, I realized his stories uncovered an even darker truth about the creators of web content.

The internet is run by silly kitty cats. Everyone knows that.

See, after reading Manjoo’s articles, my first instinct was to go on my blog and see if two spaces after a period really makes a difference (it kind of does). My initial reaction was to make my own material better and easier to use in the hope of attracting more readers. Which is really quite pathetic.

Manjoo elaborates on his name’s silliness.

Manjoo gets paid for what he does, and he has followers who frequently read his material. So it would make sense for him to advocate usability. After all, he wants to keep his readers happy. Yet the plight of the blogger is a different story. I have no fan base, and my followers aren’t devastated if they miss my most recent post. They don’t give a shit – they are too busy trying to push their own material. The odds of an amateur blogger like myself getting my work noticed on the level of a Slate columnist is nil.

So we resort to petty schemes to get our work noticed. Big HD pictures, minimal text, and crazy headlines (which explains the title of this piece) are useful tactics for gaining page views.  But beyond that, a blog is just a blog. People don’t come here for earth shifting ideas or important news. They skim through WordPress Reader looking for neat pictures, and bypass any post with more than 50 characters (I’m fortunate if any reader has made it this far into my story: if so, click this link).

So congratulations, Manjoo. Not only are you funny and smart and successful, but you have followers who actually read your entire articles, making your war on pagination completely justified and my jealous ranting a bit more childish.

26
Sep
12

What it means to be “weird”

I watched TV recently and came across something strange.  Within the span of a 5 minute commercial break, I saw or heard the word “weird” three times.

Oddly enough, none of it involved Honey Boo Boo.

You, faithful reader, may be wondering what kind of significance the word weird holds within this context, but I must first introduce the culprits.  On MTV I saw a promo for a marathon of “True Life” that promised viewers the weirdest, most shocking moments of the series (though I couldn’t find the actual promo, this casting call basically sums it up).  Next was a Bud Light commercial stating that a superstition is only weird if it doesn’t work.  And lastly was a commercial for Apple’s new line of EarPods, which boldly proclaims “Ears are weird.

Being bombarded by so many weird things in one little commercial break frightened me.  “What exactly does it mean to be ‘weird?'” I thought to myself.  “Am I ‘weird’ for not knowing what it is?!?”

Which is the exact reaction these advertisers wanted from me.  These commercials set out to segment their audience: those identifying with the advertisers are cool and “in-the-know,” while everyone else is weird.  This is classic social conformity.  Think about it: viewers of the Apple commercial are surely thinking “You’re right, ears are weird.  Good thing I bought this new Apple product to fix that problem!”

“And good thing I dropped $500 on a bastardized laptop!”

But I don’t own any Apple products, I’m not that into the NFL, and I’d rather castrate myself with a rusty butter knife than ogle at the freaks on MTV’s various programs.  So does that make me weird?

I’m also the pioneer of Extreme Lawn Care. Does that make me weird, or just gnarly?

I equate this theory to a run-in I had last week at a coffee shop in Pittsburgh.  The barista scoffed at me when I inquired about the taste of a particular coffee brew.  She acted as if I could never possibly be as knowledgeable or trendy as her because I had never heard of some shitty type of coffee that no one drinks anyway.  Nevermind the fact that I drink coffee everyday, my lame Nike Shox and stupid haircut and absence of coffee insight would forever prevent me from being on her level.  Which is basically how these commercials made me feel – not cool or included, just a weirdo.

The point I’m trying to make here is that people today are increasingly identifying themselves by the shit they buy.  It’s no longer acceptable to buy a coffee for its caffeine or own a cellphone that simply makes calls.  The consumer culture theory is more alive and well in 2012 than it has ever been – just look at all those Apple-cult assholes or coffee shop snobs.  Consumers make a statement with every purchase they make, and judging by these commercials, everyone is watching.

So what lesson did I take away from my 5 minute television experience?  Either buy the right things, or forever be weird.

… or learn to enjoy television without experiencing the episodes of delusional paranoia that blog writers like myself suffer from. That works too.

16
Aug
12

Time.com caught amid second plagiarism scandal (sort of)

I learned two interesting facts while browsing the internet today: 1) Soliciting sex from 14-year-olds is widely regarded as illegel, and 2) Time.com recently published this blog.

Go ahead and read that blog.  Seriously, click the link and read all of it.  Savor it, take it all in, and then savor it some more.

Now go ahead and read this blog.  Notice any similarities?

Ok, for those too lazy or illiterate to read those links, I’ll sum up my point here: Time.com contributor Jon Meacham recently posted a blog explaining the importance of Mitt Romney’s upcoming vice presidential pick, and he used failed VP picks from the past like Thomas Eagleton and Sarah Palin to illustrate his point.  Now that’s all fine and dandy, except for the fact that I wrote the same damn blog all the way back in April!

I see how it is, Mr. Meacham.  What, is the internet just some vast, unregulated frontier where everyone’s ideas are at jeopardy of being stolen and manipulated?  Oh, just because you’re the executive vice president of Random House publishing, a Pulitzer Prize winning political commentator and former editor of Newsweek, you think it’s acceptable to steal some lowly blogger’s idea?

Meacham is seen here describing how to stealthily rob ideas from unemployed WordPress bloggers.

I always knew I couldn’t trust Time.  Despite its name, I learned that carrying a Time Magazine in your pocket is not a reasonable substitute for wearing a watch.  And is it simply “Time” or “Time-Life,” anyway?  And where does the “Lifetime Channel” factor into all of this??  If only they would settle on one shitty name so I could figure out which address to send all my hatemail to.

Even though it’s difficult to type while standing up, I’m not going to take this injustice sitting down.  No sir.  Think of how easy it is to catch plagiarizers with the power of the internet.  Look what they did to Jonah Lehrer – they caught that mofo redhanded.  And who is that other popular columnist that recently made headlines for plagiarism allegations?  None other than Time Magazine’s own Fareed Zakaria!

Zakaria illustrates how to massage the creative teat of anonymous internet bloggers.

That’s right people: Time Magazine has been operating under a culture of theft and lies, and I possess the half-assed evidence to prove it.  While none of my words were technically lifted verbatim by Meacham, my idea can be seen in his writing plain as day.  I’ll let Time sum up their views on idea theft from their statement released after the Zakaria controversy:

Time accepts Fareed’s apology, but what he did violates our own standards for our columnists, which is that their work must not only be factual but original; their views must not only be their own but their words as well.

Now I am no expert on copyright law, but I do know how to jump to conclusions and get angry when I feel that I’ve been slighted.  So, WordPress Nation, reread the aforementioned blogs and tell me if I am justified in feeling slighted.  And while you’re at it, be sure to rereread this blog and relish in its unique blend political commentary and witty humor.

21
Jul
12

The Dark Knight Rises: A mediocre review

Like many people, I saw “The Dark Knight” and thought it (and by “it” I mean Heath Ledger) was awesome.  So I skipped out on some sleep Thursday night in favor of experiencing the greatest cinematic event in recent memory, the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

OK, I must make note of one fact before continuing with this review.  There is something about Mr. Nolan’s movies that automatically lose my attention.  The preachy monologues, constant scene shifts, overbearing score, insane attention to plot details…  Watching movies like the Batman series, The Prestige and Inception are so cluttered and overstimulating to me that paying attention for the entire film is a downright task.

For those too lazy to go see the film: picture people looking worried for 164 minutes

Films like this usually trigger my ADHD, and the Dark Knight Rises was no exception.  My mind began to wonder at about the time Bruce Wayne decides to come out of retirement, which undoubtedly costed me some vital plots points.  But fuck it: this is the mediocre review, and the shit that goes on in my brain is far more interesting than discussing Alfred’s weird man-crush on a dude that dresses up as a bat for shits and giggles.

38 minutes and 43 seconds in:

I began to think about names for my future son, and concluded that Vincent would make a pretty badass kid.  Vincent is a masculine name; no 8 year old punk will mess with my boy Vincent in the school yard.  But what about Victor?  Vic has a nice ring to it and still sounds badass.  People would call Vincent Vinny, and I don’t like that – too stereotypical pizza slinger.  Or would they mostly call him Vince if he specified it upon meeting new acquaintances?  Should I avoid all this muddle and name him Vic instead?  Hmmm… How about Vincenzo?  This dilemma continues in my brain for nearly 5 minutes.

53 minutes and 19 seconds in:

Someone two rows away pulls out their phone and its bright screen catches my attention.  This careless patron reminded me of a blog I read about a journalist who used his iPad screen to illuminate the face of an inconsiderate texter during a movie.  What balls that guy had.  Would I have done something that clever?  Probably not.  I would have most likely shifted around and grumbled under my breath…  But who the hell brings an iPad to a movie theater?  Who the hell can afford an iPad?  Or even needs one?  You know what, fuck that pretentious, sport jacking wearing journalist for even blogging about his passive-aggressive victories in the first place!  This mind-rant lasted a few minutes as Batman got his ass stomped by Bane.

1 Hour, 40 minutes and 53 seconds:

I begin to fall asleep.  My head slumps to the side and startles me awake.  I guiltily look around the theater hoping to find other sleeping patrons, but everyone is wide awake.  How can that be – it’s almost 2 in the morning, for balls’ sake!  And this dark theater is killing me.  What is it about a dark room combined with a glowing screen that puts me right to sleep?  Maybe that’s why moths fly towards light bulbs at night.  There’s something comforting about that warm, radiant glow…  Maybe I should pull a Strange Brew  and unleash a jar of moths into the theater so I can get a refund for this shitty movie…  Ahh Strange Brew… What ever happened to Rick Moranis….??

My last thought before drifting back to sleep

Approx. 2 hours and 25 minutes in:

A loud explosion wakes me up.  I had slept through a sizable chunk of the movie and Gotham City had fallen into complete chaos at this point.  So I sat expressionless as the epic climax to the batman series drew to a close, and a few people in the theater clapped while the others sauntered to the exit.  As I walk down the lighted staircase, I begin to ask myself what other product would I pay $12 for and get so little use of out of, choosing to sleep instead enjoying my purchase?  Is that why Hollywood is showing decline?  Are idiots like me choosing to save their money by watching movies at home, at their own leisure?  But more importantly, it was at this moment, walking out of the theater and thinking about my thinner wallet, that I realized I probably need medication to manage my attention deficit.

I give Nolan’s final installment of the Dark Knight series a B-




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