Posts Tagged ‘opinion

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

17
Oct
12

The Presidential Race Gets Tasty

They say you have to spend money to make money. Well, sometimes you have to be an asshole to make money.

                                                                      AP Image

Which is exactly what Pizza Put is being accused of after pulling what many reporters are calling a “PR disaster” – the pizza chain offered audience members of yesterday’s presidential debate a free life-time supply of pizza if they asked the White House hopefuls whether they preferred pepperoni or sausage on their pies. Pizza Hut promptly ended the stunt and issued an apology after a media blitz accused the chain of making a mockery of the American democratic process.

But Pizza Hut inevitably won this exchange by having their name emblazoned upon headlines across the country. After all, any publicity is good publicity.

And Pizza Hut is not the only company to cash in on the upcoming election. Cheetos commissioned artist Jason Baalman to create a giant, stupid bust of each candidate’s head made entirely out of Cheetos. And 7-Eleven is asking customers to help predict the election’s outcome by buying soda cups with either Obama or Romney’s logo.

So, as an average dude, what the hell am I supposed to think these days? I’m completely lost here. When I watch Obama speak, am I supposed to approach his proposed budget with a critical eye towards what’s best at reducing the skyrocketing deficit, or should I envision his hairline is made entirely of succulent, cheese tinged Cheetos? Should I give more of a shit about Romney’s lack of a foreign policy or his personal preference for Pizza Hut toppings? Does our country have it’s priorities straightened out?

Answer: Probably not.

                                                           Jack Dempsey/AP

Why not make the presidential debates a hot dog eating contest sponsored by Nathan’s Famous, and just have the candidate who consumes the most franks be the winner? Or let’s have Pepsi sponsor one candidate and Coke the other, and have Budweiser host the debates. You know what, let’s just let food companies advertise everywhere they want. With as much as America loves to eat, maybe some of these ad dollars could help erase the federal deficit.

15
Oct
12

Why Wealthy, Politically Active CEO’s Piss Me Off (A lot)

I’ve done some serious thinking lately and concluded that my life sucks. Not in a “I was born with elephantitis on my face” type of way, or even in a “half my family died in a tsunami and the other half became mutant freaks in a nuclear meltdown” kind of way, either. No, my life sucks in a uniquely American way, a suckiness that, in reality, doesn’t suck that badly at all. But I’ve been following the presidential election, and it always seems to reaffirm how much my life sucks. Allow me to explain:

Today I read that wealthy industrialist brothers David and Charles Koch sent letters to each of their 45,000 employees urging them to vote for Mitt Romney, because if Obama is reelected, “many of our more than 50,000 employees and contractors may suffer the consequences.” And in a similar yet even more blunt letter to his employees, real estate tycoon David Siegel stated that four more years of Obama and his proposed taxes would leave him “no choice but to reduce the size of this company,” prompting him to retire to “the Carribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree.”

“…and then I’ll slither up the walls of my lair, to a nest where an army of reptilian CEO-men are incubating in their shells, waiting to be unleashed upon humanity!”

Now I’m not going to argue taxes because I don’t know shit about them. For all I know, these guys are probably right. I simply have a beef with how they went about making their point. Moaning to their employees and taking them hostage by sending passive-aggressive memos about how they should vote for the candidates their CEO’s conveniently donated millions of dollars to. Why should I feel bad for these guys because they might have to make tough economic decisions regarding taxes and other government policies?

Let’s use me as an example. Absorb the following information with every hole in your face: I made $11,100 last year. That’s it. I am, by every definition of the word, living in poverty. If you look at the numbers, my life sucks! It sucks fantastically! I pay $380 each month for rent. Do the math! I won’t because if I see the actual numbers, I might kill myself.

Or I may pitch my life as a reality show to TLC. That seems to work, too.

But in reality, my life isn’t all that bad. I have a decent apartment, I can afford food, I have nice clothing and access to internet porn – things are fine. Money is tight and taxes don’t help, but I don’t threaten to lay off all my employees as a result. If anything, I should have the right to complain when taxes ruin my future budgetary plans, not those guys.

Griping about taxes is understandable, but holding your employees accountable for it because of their political views is not. What a petty way of collecting a few thousand extra votes, by offering your employees a rather ominous ultimatum? Maybe these CEO’s should try to look at life the way their employees do. To me, the incessant bitching of the Koch brothers and Siegel makes the outright corruption of guys like Boss Tweed look noble.

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.

01
Oct
12

Seinfeld and Friends Go for Coffee

It’s fascinating for ordinary folk like me to see celebrities just being celebrities. But that’s exactly what you get with Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s new web series that’s not so much about his vast collection of vintage cars or afternoon trips to big city diners, but more in the vein of what made his namesake series, Seinfeld, famous: anything and everything.

Moments of stubbornness involving Larry David were inevitable.

With Comedians, we get a personal look at Hollywood’s most revered comedic figures doing what they do best –  talking, thinking, dissecting, worrying, ranting, complaining, laughing. Seinfeld achieves with this web series what him and former collaborator Larry David originally had in mind for their massively successful 90’s sitcom. We see comedians outside the limelight and in real life. We witness them ponder and construct life into a joke, and we get to marvel at how incredibly quick witted these minds are.

I enjoy Comedians for exactly that reason.  It lacks the rehearsed scriptedness of an ordinary TV interview.  It’s loose, fast and unrestrained, the very atmosphere a comedian thrives in.  We get a glimpse at famous funny people doing something we rarely see: simply bullshitting.  And as much as we’d like to believe that a standup routine is a glimpse into a comedian’s soul (think Richard Pryor, Louis C.K.), Comedians presents something even more honest – living life and figuring out how to make it funny.

The only show I can compare Seinfeld’s new series to in terms of realness is Fishing with John, the long, lost “fishing” show hosted by actor John Lurie.  In each episode, John takes a celebrity friend fishing in an exotic location.  Devoid of any knowledge of how to fish (or host a television show), the episodes typically digressed into what Comedians aims to achieve – unique, honest conversations between talented people.  So honest, in fact, that awkward silences and ridiculous moments were not uncommon (see Tom Waits put a fish down his pants or Matt Dillon and Lurie dance for a good 5 minutes).

Interestingly, this is an ordinary occurrence on Fishing with John.

Overall, I think that Comedians gives it’s viewers a fresh and rare look that only someone of Jerry Seinfeld’s stature could provide.  With loads cash and Hollywood connections, Seinfeld is surely not doing this for the next great hit.  He is revisiting the idea that served as the genesis of his sitcom more than 20 years ago – that a comedian doesn’t stop working when they leave the stage.  Rather, their job has just begun.

27
Sep
12

7 lists that will change your life forever

As I’ve stated before, the internet loves lists.  So here you go, dammit – thank me later.

6 Bad Dubstep Artist Names

  1. Gertrude Sangria and the Mixers
  2. The Lazy Susans
  3. Average Penis and the Hot Beef Injections
  4. The Robotic Jelly Applicators
  5. Electric Headache
  6. Ole Lumpy and the Digital Brain Freeze

5 Worst Situations to Sneeze In

  1. While whispering “I love you” into your spouse’s ear
  2. While holding a hot cup of coffee
  3. When delivering the keynote address at an anti-sneezing rally
  4. When passing a pack of Seattle’s notorious Whooping Cough gangsters in a dark ally
  5. While driving a truck load of albino, hemophiliac babies to the blood bank on Christmas

6 Songs from the 1960’s Celebrating Freedom

  1. “Chimes of Freedom” – Bob Dylan
  2. “I Feel Free” – Cream
  3. “I’m Free” – The Rolling Stones
  4. “Freedom” – Richie Havens
  5. “Freedom” – Jimi Hendrix
  6. “All Right Now” – Free (Technically the name of the band, but suck it)

5 Ways to Become Blind

  1. Stare into the sun like a dumbass
  2. Stare at satellite photos of the sun’s surface, then gauge your eyes out with a spoon
  3. Drink some tainted moonshine, pee in an African stream, then gauge your eyes out with a spoon
  4. Watch an hour of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
  5. Fuck with Uma Thurman

4 Excuses that always work

  1. “Sorry, I have a church function to attend.”
  2. “I have explosive diarrhea.”
  3. “Tiny spiders laid eggs beneath my eyelids and they could hatch at any moment.”
  4. “I stared into the sun like a dumbass.”

5 Things You Won’t Believe Aren’t Butter (Visual List)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

2 Former NBC Today Show Hosts with eating disorders

  1. Al Roker
  2. Katie Couric
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.




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