Archives for: 2007
October 2nd, 2007
It's story time!!! Let's begin:
You are one of the people who bought an iPhone when they were first released. You love your new gadget and show it off to all of your friends, gloating in their stupid, non-iPhone-owning faces about how much cooler your phone is than their phone. You parade around New York using your iPhone at every opportunity in hopes of getting noticed.
Then, your world changes, it darkens. Two months after its release, Apple drops the iPhone prices $200 dollars for the 8 gig model, and removes the 4 gig model from shelves. "That's fucked," you scream! How dare they lower the prices so soon. Now every Tom, Dick, and Harriet can get an iPhone and they'll pay less than I did.
But Apple feels sorry for you, and so they offer to make amends. If you purchased your iPhone within 14 days of the price change, you get credited the difference, if not, you get a $100 Apple store credit. You are still dismayed. Even though Apple has given you money for no reason, that is not enough for you.
So you decide to sue Apple for $1 million dollars, which is a totally reasonable number considering how they have harmed you...
And let's pause there, shall we? Let's just take a quick re-read of the above and try to figure out where things went south... Dongmei Li, of Queens, New York, filed a $1 million dollar lawsuit against Apple because they lowered the price on something she had bought at a higher price? Dongmei Li, congratulations - you are a fucking douchebag, and my featured Douchebag of the Weak. You're not just a douchebag, though, you're also a jackass and several other fairly close synonyms. What the fuck is wrong with you? You paid the price that Apple set for their product and had no complaints when it was released. If they lower their prices, that fucking sucks for you. You paid to be one of the first to have an iPhone; and now you'll get to pay out the ass for a lawyer on a losing lawsuit. And Apple even already gave you $100 dollars of its money for no reason whatsoever. But that's not enough for you? I hope Apple crushes you, you fucking parasite.
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September 17th, 2007
It's been over a month since my last post and I'm sure all 4 of you who read this thing are as dismayed as I am. But fret not, because with winter and cold comes much more anger and also stupidity from other people.
Let's face it, summer is just too hot. Everyone is annoying during the summer because everyone else's fuse is short. My way of coping is to drink. A lot. All summer. And with drinking comes less internet usage, and with less internet usage comes less time for this disaster.
But it's not impossible that I will write more when I have more time available to me. We'll see. Or we won't. Either way, I haven't posted in over a month, and that's fucked, and I apologize.
04.09.35.pm, by unnecessarily angry
August 14th, 2007
The United States Department of Transportation has offered up $354 million dollars to New York City to implement Mayor Bloomberg's congestion traffic pricing scheme. As it so happens, I'm all for this stupid scheme. I don't really know why, exactly, but I think it will be a good thing. It will bring more money in to the city's coffers and it might potentially ease up some of the congestion around Manhattan. Additionally, as a wonderful bonus, it should increase car-pooling and therefore cause a decrease in pollution.
Oh, and it should cause an increase in Metro-North, LIRR, and subway ridership...
And here lies the problem with this, as I said above "stupid scheme." I am all for it, but they better put $345 million of that $354 in to improving the subways to handle the increased load. The 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 trains are already running at or over capacity at peak times, and this plan will only increase the load. And that's fucked. Going to work is already a nightmare, and now you're gonna lump in another bunch of jackasses who are pissed they can't drive anymore and who don't know their subway etiquette?
Like I said, I support Bloomberg and I think traffic reduction is needed. But not at the cost of increasing the load on the over-burdened public transportation system. Mayor Mike, I hope you've got a good solution for that.
August 8th, 2007
Barry Bonds just hit his 756th career home run. Goodbye Hammerin' Hank Aaron's record. Hello controversy. FUCK. THAT.
I am not here to talk about Barry Bonds in relation to asterisks, steroids, grand juries, Home Runs, or even baseball. I'm writing right now because watching what I saw was sickening.
Barry Bonds just hit the home run that he was waiting his entire career to hit. He stood at home plate with his fists in the air for a few seconds, and then began to round the bases. As he rounded third, his son, also wearing a #25 jersey stood at home plate waiting for him. Barry arrives at home plate.
And ignores his son.
His son goes to give him a hug, and Barry stands there, receives the hug from his son, and raises his arms in the air in his own personal triumph. This was not going to be shared with anyone, arriving at home plate. This was for Barry and Barry alone. His son hugs him, is proud of him, and Barry ignores him completely.
And I am fucking disgusted. Because that's totally fucked. That's completely fucked. That is 100% fucked.
You are the home run king (and I use the term loosely) second and a father first. I don't fucking care who you are, you don't ignore your son at that moment. You should be so proud that your son was able to be there, you should look him in the eye and give him a hug, and then if you wanna raise your fucking hands in the air to take in the atmosphere around you, to revel in the moment, go a-fucking-head. But you do it after you've hugged your son, not before.
And then, you make sure to hug your son, rather than going to start hugging your teammates, leaving your son behind. He will never tell you how much it would've meant to him, he may not even realize why he didn't think the moment was as great as it could've been, but that's why, right fucking there. Family first, Barry. What you did, on national television, a picture that will be circulated for years and decades to come, was totally fucked.
July 19th, 2007
Here's something that I don't get. Scholastic is printing 12 million copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7, to those of you who live under a rock). 12 million. They print them because they expect to sell them. Amazon has over 2 million pre-orders. Barnes and Noble another 1.3+ million pre-orders. So, literally, millions of people enjoy these books. What I don't understand is why other people, presumably people who don't read the books, work so hard at spoiling it for the millions of people who do read them. It's so supremely obnoxious, pathetic, and sad.
There are people who are going around the internets and posting spoilers to this Harry Potter book left and right in the hopes of ruining it for someone who reads the book. Are you serious? Take a step back and look at how fucking pathetic that is. You won't read a book for one of many reasons. Maybe you think it's a stupid kids book. Maybe you think of that many people like something, you have to be different and not like it. Maybe you're just a stupid fucking twatpancake. I dunno. I'm not a psychologist. But I do know this: These people who are trying to ruin other people's enjoyment, who adamantly refuse to read a book / series of books, are spending hours upon hours in their attempt to ruin other people's joy. And that's fucked.
But more than fucked, it makes me feel so incredibly sorry for these people. Do they have nothing better to do than go out and try to ruin things for kids and adults alike? These are the same people who would steal candy from a baby. They must be, because that is roughly equivalent. There is no good reason for it, except that they are so sad and miserable that the only way they can feel good about themselves is to make sure that other people can't enjoy themselves.
I have no problem if people don't like or don't want to read Harry Potter. You are not required by law to read them and if you choose not to, that's your choice. But to actively spend your time trying to take away from other people's enjoyment of reading something is just so fucking ridiculous I don't even know what to say. And this time that they spend actively going to Harry Potter fansites and reading articles about Harry Potter at blogs and news sites so that they can post their spoilers is time wasted. In the time that these people are spending, they could've read the first two Harry Potter books and decided if they wanted to continue the series. I bet 80% of them would.
And, seriously, these people are finding Harry Potter fansites, literally searching them out, to post spoilers on them. Like, really? Seriously? No joke? This is actually happening? Someone has so little to do that they can search out something that they self-profess to hate? Come the fuck on, you're pulling my leg, right?
This "internet bullying" or whatever you wanna call it is just sad. And fucked. But remember, if you're ever feeling down and sad about your life, your life could be so much worse: You could be someone who spends hours trying to spoil Harry Potter for other people.
July 18th, 2007
I have this feeling that today is gonna be one of those days...
I got up a little late this morning, and my roommate has a friend sleeping on the couch so I had to be really quiet going to the bathroom to shower. In so doing, I forgot my shaver (I use an electric which was charging in my room, bathroom has no outlet). So, I decide to shave with my Mach 3 in the shower. Which is fine, but my stubble was like 6 days long, so it hurt like hell and took a while. No problem, get out of the shower, it's 8:50. I get dressed, check the weather, and see that it's fucking pouring rain. I grab my ipod and my bag and start walking down the stairs. I put my ipod on, hit play, and 15 seconds in to the song, it craps out. Battery dead. Forgot to charge it. I get to the bottom of the stairs and see that it's raining so hard that an umbrella would be useless. So I wait 5 minutes and it lets up and I put up my umbrella and make my way to the subway. I get to the subway, and the platform is crowded from edge to wall. 10 minutes later, the 1st train comes, and goes right by without stopping. Then the next train comes. It stops. It's completely packed. About 5 people are able to get on. Then the next train comes, it's slightly less packed, a few more people get on. Finally, the 7th train comes, and I am able to get on because there is finally room / the platform has emptied enough. Now, the train, however, is stuck behind 6 other trains, and is running unbelievably slowly, so I switch for a different train and finish my commute fairly peacefully. I go to leave the subway station at union square and there are hordes of people standing by the bottom of the stairs refusing to go up because it is once again fucking pouring. No problem, trusty umbrella in hand I follow the small line of people braving the rain. I hit the button on my umbrella to open it as I'm starting my way up the stairs and...it opens about halfway and then stops, completely broken. How is it completely broken from the time I got on to the subway until the time I got off? I have no idea, I'm not a scientist. But the fact remains that it is completely broken. So now I'm getting drenched for the 2 blocks to work. I get to work soaked, and of course my office is colder today than it's been all week. And all of that in the first two hours of my day. And that's fucked.
Oh, and of course, that steam pipe that blew up? Killed subway service so it took me an hour and a half to get home.
July 13th, 2007
I work in the Union Square area. I take the subway to Union Square every morning, and take it home from Union Square every evening. Union Square Park is a lovely place to eat lunch and I enjoy sitting there and relaxing.
Ah, lunch. Yes. That's what I'm going to be talking about today.
That's right. You have not misread. I hate it. I despise it. Lunch could not possibly make me more miserable. Every single day, I am forced to go to one of the same 7 or 8 places and get subpar food. It is very draining. I frequently converse with friends and ask them what I should get for lunch because I don't have the willpower or care to think about all the shitty food around here and choose one.
And, normally, I eat a late lunch. Around 3pm. And I understand that at 3pm, certain places don't offer their full menu. Some of the delis don't serve breakfast stuff. Some of them even turn off their grill. And that's fine. At 3pm, I don't have the expectation that I'll be getting my pick.
At 1:45, however, the time that I went out for lunch today, I expect all lunch options to be available. After painstakingly deciding on what I'd like to eat, I made my way to Food Works on 19th street. "Today," I thought, "I will have a Philly cheese steak for lunch. Delicious, greasy, cheesy goodness." And so I picked up my drink, and walked over to the sandwich counter to order my lunch. It was maybe 1:55 at the latest. "I'd like a Philly cheese steak with American cheese please."
"Oh, I'm sorry, the grill's closed."
"The grill is closed for the day."
"It's not even 2 o'clock yet, are you kidding?"
But he had already walked away.
When I go for lunch at or after 3, I don't expect the grill to be open and so I don't go to Food Works to get a Philly cheese steak. It's not even worth the trip. But at 1:45, I expect you to make my fucking sandwich. At 1:45 I expect you to slap a piece of generic beef-like product on the grill with some onions and peppers til the meat turns brown. Then I expect you to throw a couple slices of American cheese on top, let it melt just a tiny bit, and flip that whole fuckin brown, cheese covered mess on to a small hero roll.
For once I had actually picked what I wanted to eat. And you're denying me? Are you fucking serious? That's completely fucked. What kind of service industry can get away with telling someone "No, we won't make you what you asked for" at a normal time to ask for that thing.
So I put my drink back, and walked out. Disgusted. Now I had to think of a new place to go, and so I figured I'd just get a slice of pizza and end the search. Get to the pizza place, and it's the one day that they have burned the shit out of the plain pizza and are out of pepperoni. What are the chances? About 100%. The pizza had decided that I was to suffer for not choosing it first. So, fuck you pizza place, off to a different deli where I picked up a lackluster sandwich which is now sitting in front of me.
I hate lunch because shit like this happens to me all the time. Because the "gourmet delis" on and around 5th avenue in this area all serve the same crappy food that is in no way "gourmet." I die a little every day trying to decide what horrible crap I'm going to shove down my throat because there is literally nothing good to eat.
In fact, the reason that I eat at 3 o'clock is that I'm so depressed at the prospect of having to wade through the shit that some people call lunch options, that I lose all motivation to go get food until it's late enough when the choices are more limited.
I don't know if this monotony is just to be expected from having worked in the same area for over 3 years, but it seems that many people are quite capable of working in one location and finding something to eat for lunch on a daily basis, so I think it must be specific to this area. And that sucks for me. Because I work here. And I'm hungry.
July 10th, 2007
I had to skip last week because I was on vacation, but I'm back with another Subway Etiquette Lesson. This week, it's time to talk about the rules (and there aren't many) between people who are seated.
These rules are similar to the rules for people who are standing, except that, obviously, you're seated.
You are sitting on the subway, following last week's rules about taking up only one seat and a person sits down next to you. For this example, you are not seated at the end of a row of seats, but rather in the middle. And we'll say you're on a bench seat, rather than the individual seats, so that it's not as clear what's your space and what isn't. So you're sitting, maybe with someone already next to you on one side, and this person sits down on your other side, and they're a bit on top of you. They are trying to subtly push you over so that they have more room. And, if there is not very much room, they are in the right. But, let's assume that there is plenty of room, and they're just an asshole.
So you've got someone sitting on top of you. What can you do? The first step in removing someone from on top of you is to move further towards them. Like when standing up and someone's leaning in to you, you lean back in to them, the same holds true for sitting. You have to lean in to them to try to express to them that they need to get the fuck off of you. [Tip #1: If someone sits down next to you and is encroaching on the little space you have, you are allowed to encroach on their space in hopes of forcing them to move over]
There is a lot more of a grey area with these rules, though. Some people seem to think that they are entitled to as much space as they can take while seated. And that is incorrect. Everyone has seen a person sitting on the subway with their legs as wide apart as possible, trying to prevent other from sitting next to them. Unfortunately, sometimes these people do not push their legs together when someone does take the space next to them.
Yesterday I got on the 6 train to go home. It was about 90º out, which means that it was probably about 150º on the subway platform. I was also carrying an extremely heavy bag with me, and so I beelined for a seat next to this two fuck faces wearing suits. A woman sat down on my other side as I sat down. These two suited douches both had their legs apart and refused to budge. I sat down, put my bag between my feet, and found, shockingly, that my foot had ended up mostly on top of the foot of the guy next to me. He pushed his foot slightly towards me, in hopes of removing my foot from him. And, that is a fair thing to do if someone's foot is on top of yours. However, in this case, the woman sitting next to me was flush against the middle pole, and I was pressed against her. there was nowhere for me to move. Additionally, the heavy bag between my feet kept my foot from moving anywhere. He pushed against me, was unable to move, and eventually very slightly adjusted himself so that I wasn't totally on top of him. These fuckers got off the train, and two women took their places, and all four of us now had plenty of room, because the women sat with their knees together. [Tip #2: Don't take up more space than you need to be comfortable. You will make yourself and those next to you uncomfortable if you try to take more space than you need, but if you take just enough, you should have a little extra space on either side of you to make you even more comfortable]
As I've said before, the seated rules are similar to the standing rules. And the name of the game is don't inconvenience other people. Take only as much space as you need, and not more than that. You're riding the fucking subway, not sitting in a limo, so there is no reason for you to stretch out or feel entitled to extra space. Everyone pays the same fare to take the same subway cars (yes, yes, senior citizens pay half-price, and a pay-per-ride ride costs different from an unlimited-ride ride depending on how many times an unlimited card has been used and if the pay-per-ride rider got their free 6th ride per $10 or not), but the fact remains, there is no designated seating, there is no luxury section, there is no first class. No person on the subway has any right to be more comfortable than any other person on the subway. If you think that you deserve more space than anyone else, that's fucked.
I'm not going to recap these rules because there are only two of them, but seriously, it's hot out, it's hotter on the platforms, don't be a fucking douchebag on the subway cars right now. Be happy that you're in a fairly well air-conditioned enclosed space that takes you where you're going and leave it at that.
July 2nd, 2007
Every Thursday night I drink at the same bar. The bar plays the same songs, serves me the same cheap beer and shots, and generally raises my mood no matter how I am feeling.
But as is often the case with places that you consider your own personal haven, these wonderful times don't always last. And so my Thursday night dive bar is slowly and surely becoming more and more crowded every week with douchebags: frat boys, i-bankers, hipsters, et. al.
So this past Thursday I'm sitting at the bar waiting for some friends (who, as it turned out, never showed up. Fuckers), but I'm sitting at the bar, drinking my beer, and these frat boys surround my general location because there was space on either side of me on the bar.
I'm mildly claustrophobic, but more than that I just don't really like people that much. In particular, I don't like fucking idiots who continually slam in to me. And this frat pack was doing just that. And, more importantly, they were deliberately doing it to try to get me to move so that they could have more space.
Interestingly, I respect that. I have no problem with making someone uncomfortable to try to get more space for yourself. I mean, yes, I was there first by a lot, so it's poorly played, but still, read my Subway Etiquette Lessons and you'll see similar things to that.
Now, and here's the thing, not only were these guys twatwaffles extraordinaire, but they also came in to a bar in New York City wearing St. Louis Cardinals jersies. Thankfully, there was no particular animosity against the Cards that night because the Mets/Cards game had been rained out. There was, however, lots and lots of general animosity because I love the mother fuckin Amazin's and last fall is not far enough away to be forgotten.
So, they tried to move me, and I did not budge. And unfortunately for them, and as it turns out, for me, I was not going to move under any circumstance. So, they eventually stopped trying to pummel me and got to the drinking.
And now, finally, we get to this week's Douchebag of the Weak. There are 4 of these jackasses, and they order shots of Jim Beam. One of them, this week's distinguished recipient, pussies out on the Beam and asks for Cuervo instead. He's wearing his grey Cardinals jersey and generally sucking at life directly behind me, while one of his friends is to my left hitting on this chick and his other two friends are to my right, one behind me, and one next to me. So, they pass this fucker his Cuervo and what does he promptly do while his friends are readying their Beams? He spills most of it on my back.
And, that, in and of itself, is not so bad. What was bad was that he then made no attempt or effort to apologize. Not even a pretense of being sorry about it. His friend to my left also took my Beam shot that I had been waiting on, and his friend to my right, seeing an extra shot of the ones he bought offers me my own Beam shot as an apology. And that's fucked.
And I said to him, "I don't need another shot, I'm already wearing one. Thanks though."
And he says back to me, "You don't have to be a dick about it, man." As if it was possible for me to be a dick about getting a shot of tequila spilled on MY FUCKING BACK.
Oh, but the dude to my left did then buy my next $2 beer on him and apologized for his friends. Also, he wasn't wearing a St. Louis jersey. So he was ok.
June 26th, 2007
Two weeks ago, I talked about standing in the aisle area. Last week, I talked about the area around the doors. Today I will continue my series of posts on rush hour etiquette by discussing seats, and in particular, the rules relating to interactions between people who are seated and people who are standing. I will have another shorter post about the rules between people seated next to eachother.
The most coveted spots on the subway are the door spots (where you get to lean against the doors; preferably the off-door, meaning the door that does not open to the platform) and, of course, the holy grail of rush hour: seats.
Let's stop right here so I can say what pisses me off the most on the subway. More than any other single thing.
[Tip #1: If you are lucky enough to get a seat during rush hour, do not try to look put out or inconvenienced if the people standing around you are closer to you than you would like.]
Ok, got that out of the way. Now, on to seat etiquette in general. The rules regarding seats are much more straightforward than the rules regarding standing/moving about the car. The rules can be broken in to 2 categories: subway cars in which there are individual seats for people to sit (like the 1, 3, and 7 trains, the A train, etc) and subway cars in which there is bench seating (new 2 trains, new 5 trains, new 6 trains).
Rules are very easy for the cars with individual seats. [Tip #2: During rush hour, take up one seat.]
Rules for the cars with bench seating are much more complex... [Tip #3: During rush hour, take up the equivalent of one seat.]
See? What'd I tell you? Much more complex.
Right now, I hope you're saying to yourself "I get that he's joking" or "That doesn't seem much more complex, what gives?"
It is in no way more complex. It is unbelievably easy. Unfortunately, it is completely unheeded, intentionally.
I get on the 6 train every day to go home from work. [Side note: I hate the fucking 6 train passionately.] The newer cars, with the bench seats, have their seating arrayed in such a way that there are either 3 or 4 seats, then a vertical bar for the people standing in the middle of the aisle area, and then either 4 or 3 seats. Always 7 seats total. The problems on these cars, and I see it every single day, arises on the side with 4 seats. What happens is one person will set against the side railing. One person will sit by the vertical bar in the aisle. And one person will seat between them and put their legs as wide as possible so as to deter anyone else from trying to sit next to them.
On the old trains, that person would be sitting on the divider between two seats, and wouldn't be there for long, because that's not very comfortable. But on the new trains, these savages run rampant taking up one and a half to two seats. Don't fucking do that during rush hour when there are 50 people standing cramped around you and you're taking two seats. Don't be that person. Because that person is a fucking douchebag. And taking up multiple seats while there are tons of tired people standing around you is fucked. There is no extra rule here, though. It's simple. Always take up one seat. You might add a corollary that during rush hour, not only should you not take more than one seat, but you should not make the seats around you unwelcoming to others. But that is not a rule. It is not required.
Here's something that is required. At least for a segment of the population. [Tip #4: If a very clearly pregnant woman gets on to your subway car, and you are male and between the ages of 11 and 60, you get the fuck up and offer her your seat. If you are female between those same ages, and not pregnant, you are encouraged to, but are not required to, give up your seat.] Essentially, and this goes beyond pregnant women, [Tip #5: If you are not particularly tired, and you see someone who clearly needs to be sitting down, give up your seat. This is never required, but it is a nice thing to do and the right thing to do.] Examples for Tip #5 might include an elderly man or woman who is having difficulty keeping his or her balance while standing; a young child; a person who is carrying an inordinately large number of bags and appears to be struggling. Any of these people would love to have a seat, so if you really don't need it, offer it up.
[Tip #6: DO NOT PUT YOUR BAG OR BAGS ON THE SEAT(S) NEXT TO YOU.] There are more rules related to bags that I will get in to next week.
I'm standing on the train, surrounded by tired-looking people, and a businessman, maybe in his 50's, has his 10" wide briefcase sitting next to him, against the side railing by the doors. Then he has his legs pushed out towards the middle vertical bar. The end result is that this man and his huge, box-like briefcase are taking up 2 seats. I'm standing in front of this man, completely astounded. Everyone else on the car looks miserable standing. Finally, I pipe up "Excuse me sir, maybe if you moved your bag and slid over, other people might be able to sit down?" He responded, "Oh, oh, I'm terribly sorry, of course, absolutely." He picked up his briefcase, put it on his lap, and moved over. I offered the seat to several of the women around me who all declined, and eventually took it for myself.
The man, fortunately, was not a total douchebag. There are people on the subway who know when they are violating the rules and feel bad about it. And there are people on the subway who don't give a shit about the rules so long as they are comfortable. This guy was the former. He knew that he had violated a rule, and as soon as he was called out on it, he was genuinely apologetic. He was not put out by having to move his bag or himself and seemed more embarrassed at having been caught than anything else. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.
[Tip #7: Never hesitate to ask someone to move over if you want to sit down.]
Once again, your 7 subway etiquette tips are:
- [Tip #1: If you are lucky enough to get a seat during rush hour, do not try to look put out or inconvenienced if the people standing around you are closer to you than you would like.]
- [Tip #2: During rush hour, on trains with individual seats, take up ONLY one seat.]
- [Tip #3: During rush hour, on trains with bench seats, take up the equivalent of ONLY one seat.]
- [Tip #4: If a very clearly pregnant woman gets on to your subway car, and you are male and between the ages of 11 and 60, you get the fuck up and offer her your seat. If you are female between those same ages, and not pregnant, you are encouraged to, but not required to, give up your seat.]
- [Tip #5: If you are not particularly tired, and you see someone who clearly needs to be sitting down, give up your seat. This is never required, but it is a nice thing to do and the right thing to do.]
- [Tip #6: DO NOT PUT YOUR BAG OR BAGS ON THE SEAT(S) NEXT TO YOU.]
- [Tip #7: Never hesitate to ask someone to move over if you want to sit down.]
There are more tips to come. Sitting next to someone who's leaning on you a bit too much? Standing behind someone with a backpack? There are rules for everything and they will come in due time. Stay tuned for more tips next week and each week until I run out of shit to say or start recycling ideas. Oh, and move the fuck over so I can sit down, asswad.
June 20th, 2007
Last week, Colombia, a country best-known in the US for being a major supplier of cocaine, gave equal rights to gay couples. Or, I should say, equal to straight couples in common-law marriages.
Now, this makes me incredibly angry, because it is so thoroughly pathetic, disappointing, and embarrassing to the United States. A country that we spend millions of dollars supporting so that they can "fight the drug trade," a country that we have troops in to help fight the drug trade, a country that many might consider "third world," a predominantly Roman Catholic country has passed a law granting gay couples rights while we up here can't get our act together and treat everyone the same. And yet we call them a "third world" country. And I'm embarrassed because of it.
It is saddening and upsetting that a major world power like the United States, a country founded on the principle that all men are created equal, would be unable to extend that equality to gay men (and women). It took our country over 100 years to grant rights to African Americans. Another 50 years after that to give women rights. And another 50 years after that to actually start treating African Americans vaguely equally. And yet we don't learn from our fucking mistakes and we treat these men and women like 2nd and 3rd class citizens because of who they like to fuck? That's totally fucked. It's embarrassing to everything that the founding fathers of our country stood for.
And, yes, our country was colonized by Puritans, so maybe it is not so shocking that sexuality in this country is a hard topic to bring up, but it's the 21st century and it's time for a change. It's time that people stopped fearing sex and love and fucking and touching and each other. It's time that people started to treat everyone else as a person, no matter the color of their skin, their sexual preference/orientation, their gender, their religion, their political affiliations, their height, their weight (although America could stand to lose a few pounds), or any other statistic that can be used to divide people in to categories. There is nothing more pathetic than hating someone for no reason, and by "no reason" I mean just because they differ from you across any of the lines above or any other line that can be arbitrarily drawn.
Nothing makes me angrier than someone hating on someone else for such stupidity. I mean, seriously, what's the point? We're all alive for such a short time relative to the age of the universe, why should we make this little time we have so fuckin difficult for ourselves and everyone else around us? Why can't we all just sit back, relax, and not hate on everyone for everything under the sun.
I'm getting off-topic. America, land of the free and home of the brave, is not granting that freedom to some of the most brave Americans. Because I can not imagine how brave you must be in this day and age to admit that you are homosexual. And that makes me angry, that it should be something that does require bravery. That it isn't just a second thought "by the way, I'm a dude who fucks dudes." That it's such a big deal, and requires such bravery, is ass-fucking-backwards. And Colombia, no offense to any Colombian readers here (haha), Colombia has given gay couples rights that they deserve. Colombia is one of many countries to now offer gay couples their standard human rights.
And I'm so fucking embarrassed for the good old US of A that it makes me sick and angry. Get your fucking shit together, fuckers. Pressure your congressmen and congresswomen to push for human rights for everyone. If your religion has a problem with gay couples getting married, then at least let them have the ability to be married-in-law, if not in God's eyes. Let them have divorce and the ability to visit their partner in the hospital or in prison; let them execute the Last Will and Testament of their loved ones; let them live in this country and be an equal part of it. If you hate homosexuals because they are so vocal politically, then give them what they want, equality, and I bet they won't be in your face anymore. All they want is to be treated fairly and equally. And that shouldn't be as much to ask for as it is.
When a gay person can say "I'd be treated better in Colombia," what the fuck does that say about the US?
June 19th, 2007
Last week's Subway Etiquette Lesson discussed etiquette for deep inside a crowded rush-hour subway car. This week's will discuss the area around the doors, and flow through the doors from inside-to-outside and vice versa.
So, let's start outside and work our way in. You're standing on one of the platforms that has grey tiles with a yellow area that says "Stand Clear" (like Grand Central on the 4/5/6). The yellow area approximates where the door will be when the train pulls in. You have 2 options here. Stand directly in the middle of the yellow area, or stand right on the border. [Tip #1: Obviously, stand on the border of the yellow "Stand Clear" region]
You're on a platform that has no such markings. When the train pulls in, you move yourself so that you are standing directly in front of the doors, or you move to right on the side of the doors? Again, same thing, same tip as before. Stand aside. Stand clear. Don't be a fucking douchebag.
[Tip #2: (and this should be in extra large text, but I'm lazy) The MTA and I agree - Allow people to get off of the train before you get on the train.]
That means stand aside and let people off. That means that if one side of the two doors is still exiting and one side isn't, that you don't barrel in on the side that's not exiting. You wait for everyone to get off of the train. You do not form a U-shape with the other fuckers around the door so that people getting off are going to have to run over someone. [Tip #3: If the area directly next to the door is taken, you can stack 2-3 people deep at a 90º angle from the train. If you are not one of those three people, you stand between that set of doors and the next forward or backward set of doors, and do NOT block people from getting off of the train.]
Finally, you're waiting outside of the train, and everyone who is going to exit has exited. Now the people outside of the train have the opportunity to board the train. This can be a free-for-all. And that is fine. The faster people here will get on the train before the slower ones. But, and this is a big mistake that people make, the first people on to the train are not entitled to the best spot available. In theory, the people already on the train should've moved down the aisle between the seats and filled in all available spots; but that's not gonna happen. [Tip #4: As you enter on to the subway car, you need to move as far in as you possibly can, no matter what.] Tip #4 goes against most people's desires for where they will stand on the subway. But it is the only way for things to work properly.
For example, let's say there are people waiting to get on to a car which, after having emptied out of the people who are exiting, is kinda full. If the first or second or third person on to the car stops and tries to take the door spot, what happens behind them? Traffic jam. [Tip #5: If you are the inconsiderate asshole who stops and takes the door spot while there is still room in front of you and there are still people behind you, be prepared to be elbowed, punched, kicked, and shoved in the neck, back, legs, calves, and ankles.] Or just don't fucking do it. Because that's fucked.
By some luck, you are the last one on to the car, and you get the door spot. You lean against the door until the next stop where a lot of people are preparing to get on and a lot of people are preparing to get off as well. Here, etiquette allows you three initial options.
- [Tip #6: When the doors open, you can either step off of the train, straddle the gap between the platform and the doors, and then, when everyone is off of the train, move as deep in to the car as possible. This is the best option which causes the least traffic as a direct result of you.]
- When the doors open, you flatten yourself directly against the row of seats, achieving a similar result as above, but also slightly blocking the aisle between the seats from exiting quite as quickly. Again, when everyone has exited the train, you move in as deep as possible
- Or, when the doors open, you fully walk outside of the car, and find a spot amongst the waiting masses. This is a viable, but foolish, option. First, you are stuck jockeying for a spot to stand as soon as you get off of the train because you have to get the fuck out of the way of everyone else exiting. Then, you are stuck jockeying for a position to get back on the train. And finally, you will, invariably, end up with the worst spot to stand, if you even make it on to the train at all. And, yes, I have seen many a person step off the train to let others off, and then not make it back on to the train. And etiquette does not protect them. If you get off of the train to help others, you do so at your own peril.
Once again, your 6 subway etiquette tips are:
- [Tip #1: While waiting to get on the train, stand on the border of the yellow "Stand Clear" region or at the edge of the doors. Do not block the doors from the outside.]
- [Tip #2: The MTA and I agree - Allow people to get off of the train before you get on the train.]
- [Tip #3: While waiting to get on the train, if the area directly next to the door is taken, you can stack 2-3 people deep at a 90º angle from the train. If you are not one of those three people, you stand between that set of doors and the next forward or backward set of doors, and do NOT block people from getting off of the train.]
- [Tip #4: As you enter on to the subway car, you need to move as far in as you possibly can, no matter what.]
- [Tip #5: While getting on the train, if you are the inconsiderate asshole who stops and takes the door spot while there is still room in front of you and there are still people behind you, be prepared to be elbowed, punched, kicked, and shoved in the neck, back, legs, calves, and ankles.]
- [Tip #6: If you are standing against the door on the train, when the doors open, you can either step off of the train, straddle the gap between the platform and the doors, and then, when everyone is off of the train, move as deep in to the car as possible. This is the best option which causes the least traffic as a direct result of you.]
Don't believe me? I'll give you a few examples.
Through luck, I ended up with a door spot coming up to my stop. As I generally do, I turned around when the train was slowing down so that I was standing facing the doors and pretty close to them, prime position to get off of the train. The crowd outside of the train violated rule #s 1, 2, and 3. The had blocked off the entire area around the door, and some stupid kid (probably about 16 years old) decided to stand directly between the two opening doors and try to push his way on the second the the doors opened. Some people may let little fuckers like that do whatever they want, but I am not one of them. So, I did what I am entitled to do as per the rules above [for, each rule allows other straphangers to physically punish people who have fucked up]. As soon as the doors opened, the kid tried to push on to the train, and I began to push off of the train. Not only did I body check this kid in to the crowd, I also threw a small sucker punch to his stomach. Now, obviously, this kid was not pleased, but the beauty of the subway is that while he's yelling and screaming at me, and I'm walking away, listening to my ipod, and ignoring him, he only has like 20 seconds to bitch before the doors close, and on top of that, he has other people forcing him in to the car so that they can get on. Was it a dick move on my part to push this kid around? Shit no. He was prepared to push me out of his way, but I was more prepared. Lesson learned for him, I doubt, but hope.
The other day, people are trying to pack on to the car, and this fucker stops at the door while there are still a lot of people trying to get on, violating rule #s 4 and 5. Most people go around him, so by the time I get to him, there is no where to go but straight in to his back. No problem, I don't care that this guy is a giant, I will push him forward and take the only remaining spot on the subway. But then, after the doors close, he starts leaning back and trying to take what little space I have. Fortunately, when someone is pressing you against the door, making them uncomfortable is not difficult. You put your elbow against the door, your hand straight out, and fists balled. This way, you have created an immovable object, that happens to be pressing in to their back sharply. Problem generally solved, although not with this giant fuckwad. He required more constant badgering and bumping to earn my little breathing room.
Do your homework, study this shit, and make my subway rides easier. More tips next week. Oh, and I may start drawing some pictures so you know what the fuck I'm talking about.
I could devote this entire Pors to stupid shit that authority figures, particularly school administrators, try to pass off as rules and good ideas.
Today, I've read an article about a rule so stupid, I nearly punched my computer. This isn't some "no senior prank" type of rule. This is a rule that at the very heart of it, has no purpose whatsoever.
You've heard of "No contact" sports? Well, how about "No contact" schools?
This particular school has set a ban on touching of any kind. That would include high-fiving, holding hands, hugging, and hand shakes. The claim is that "gangs" were using secret handshakes with each other to signify that they were, in fact, part of the gang. And that by banning it, it will help curb gang activity. Or something stupid like that.
Are you fucking kidding me? Where do I even start? In Vienna, Virginia, (and I'm speculating wildly here) I highly doubt that there's a serious gang problem in middle schools. Am I wrong? Fine. How about... Preventing kids from shaking hands to show they are in a gang will in no way stop them from being part of a gang. They can come up with secret codes, drawing, tattoos, clothing. In fact, these administrators, by banning physical contact, have forced all of these kids to find other ways to express these minor affiliations which are most likely more permanent than a handshake. Assuming there even is a gang problem.
But, for fuck's sake, preventing a kid from hugging his girlfriend or holding her hands? What does that teach kids? Affection for those you are close to is a bad thing?
Every time I write one of these rants, you will probably see the phrase "What does that teach kids?" or some variation of it. And if you have to ask that about a policy/rule at a school, chances are, the policy/rule is fucked and shouldn't be in place. I can't imagine who would think "Let's stop the kids from physically touching each other. That is a good idea." I am even more loathe to imagine that other people were given this idea, and they all signed off on it too. "Oh, hey, Mr. Henrickson [I just made up the name] came up with this 'No touching' thing. How great an idea is that? I totally agree."
You people are doing a great disservice to yourselves, to your students, and to your profession. You are fucking idiots. You are not teaching these kids how to learn. You are not teaching these kids a love of learning. You are not teaching these kids history or science or math or English or a foreign language or life skills.
What you are teaching these kids is twofold. First, you are teaching them how to be nitpicking little shitheads. By that, I mean that you are forcing these kids to find ways around a stupid rule. If they are in a gang, they will find something other than a secret handshake is my point. Secondly, you are teaching these kids that all touching is bad. And that is fucking ludicrous.
Touching is not always bad. In fact, it is rarely bad. It is teaching kids shit like this that causes so many frivolous sexual harassment lawsuits. It is teaching shit like this that makes kids call the cops when their parents are trying to give them a bath. It is shit like this that leads to kids being separated from their parents by social services because people don't understand where to draw the line anymore. They never learned it's ok to hug their friends and family, to high-five people after something awesome happens, to grab their girlfriend's ass. They learned that touching is inherently bad. They learned that you shouldn't touch anyone. And that's wrong. And that will cause these kids to be more sensitive to being touched than they should be. And that's fucked.
June 18th, 2007
As I've previously stated here, I don't like "blogs." So, the links on the right sidebar, they're not to blogs, but to Pors (personal online ranting spaces) that I like. As you can see, they are few and far between.
easymode - Half Chicago transplanted to Bed Stuy, half San Francisco, these guys talk about anything under the sun. Great writing styles, great insights, great voices, and always a good read.
Clublife - The angriest bouncer in the history of the world got a Pors, and this is it. I'd say he hates his job, but after reading the site, you can't help but think that he gets a bit of masochistic pleasure out of subjecting himself to the scum of the earth on a daily basis. He's angry and he doesn't hold back. And because of that, he's fuckin funny.
What can I say, it's a slow news day. And I guess this post is fucked.
June 15th, 2007
I'm trying to save transit stories for the weekly Subway Etiquette Lessons, but since this all transpired on a bus, it gets its own special posting.
This week, I am giving an award, Douchebag of the Weak, to a man who rode the M96 with me yesterday for unbelievable accomplishments in progressing the art of Douchebaggery. This man was so out of line in his actions, that I did what I find to be unbearable when other do it, and actually called him out on it, in front of everyone on the bus.
Here's the play-by-play.
I got on the bus at Madison Avenue and 96th street. It was one of those hybrid buses that frequent the M96 line. So, I tiptoe my way back to right next to the divider by the back door where I find a decent spot, not TOO crowded, but certainly not empty. As the bus gets to 5th avenue, a slew of people get on. A young blond woman, probably around 20, comes to a stop 2 standing people in front of me, and the bus is starting to really fill up. A few people later and the bus is relatively full, and that's when Senor Douchebag starts his light-footed dance towards the back of the bus. And by "light-footed dance" I mean "bull rush." The guy starts saying excuse me to a man who is to the left of the girl. Together (the guy and blond girl) were more-or-less blocking the entire aisle. But, that shouldn't have mattered, because there was nowhere to stand behind them. Nonetheless, Douchey McGhee says excuse me to this guy several times. The young blond woman, unfortunately for her, has her back to all of this and is facing the window, fairly oblivious to what's going on behind her.
Finally, the Douche decides that he has said "excuse me" just about enough, and pushes his way past this guy. And in the process slams his shoulder in to the blond woman, sending her flying almost in to the window, and certainly on top of the person seated next to where she was standing. Douchey then parks himself right in the middle of 4 people who were standing fairly close together, forcing all of them to lean out over people who are seated. On my side of the aisle were two younger guys who were completely appalled about what had just happened. As was I.
And the guy just parks himself there and stands there. And, though I was loathe to do so, no one was going to say anything to this douchebag, and so I was forced to. I took off my headphones, tapped this fucker on the shoulder, and said "Excuse me, are you going to apologize to the girl you just knocked over?"
The guy looked shocked that I was talking to him, and said, "Excuse me? What was that?"
I repeated, "Are you going to apologize to the blond girl over there who you just knocked over?"
And he gets indignant. Now, in similar situations, one might also get indignant, because it is never nice to be told how you're supposed to act by an impartial observer. But, in this case, the guy was so clearly in the wrong, that the indignant act did nothing to curb my verbal assault. He says back to me "Oh, I didn't see her. I'm disabled and that guy wasn't moving out of the way."
Another young woman, who had been chatting with her friend who was standing above and slightly behind her while she was in the seat across the aisle from me, pipes up and says "Oh, would you like my seat?"
Douchey replies "No, no, that's ok."
And I say, "So, you're not going to apologize for knocking her over?"
And he says, "Well, I didn't see her and I was just trying to get by. I don't know what you want from me." Then he mutters "I'm sorry"...TO ME. And that's fucked.
And now, I am stuck with the eternal debate. On the one hand, I want this fuckface to apologize to this girl he knocked over. On the other hand, I do not want to talk to or look at him anymore, because he's a fucking asshole. I decide that though I don't think he has sufficiently made amends, I would rather not deal with him anymore, and I put my headphones back in.
He gets off at the next stop off the back of the bus at Central Park West, and makes a big show of trying to look disabled while getting off the bus. In reality, it just looked like he was trying to fake an injury to cover for his being a douchebag, because he looked like he was walking more-or-less normally. The young blond woman got off the front of the bus, and at no point made any attempt to thank me for intervening. Which is kinda dick, but whatever, I don't fault you for not wanting to deal with it.
Now, maybe it doesn't seem that bad, what happened. And if that's the case, I haven't accurately captured just how hard this douche slammed his shoulder in to the girl. To give you some idea, the 2 guys in front of me, and the 2 girls chatting, one seated, one standing, across the aisle from me all said "That guy was an ass. You were totally right to say something."
And if you can get 4 new yorkers to agree, then that's fucked.
June 14th, 2007
I'm not really sure what happened. We were doing so well. Now the Mets have lost 9 of their last 10 games. Ice cold. And they're going in to Yankee Stadium tomorrow to face the red hot (8w in a row) Bronx Bombers.
The most startling thing, though, is that though the Yankees are playing like a first-place team, and the Mets are playing like crap, the Mets still hold a 2-game lead over Atlanta, while the Yanks have finally come back to single-digit games behind the BoSox.
A-Rod, who's hotness in April was matched by his coldness in May is back to his earlier form, with more home runs so far just under halfway through June - 6 - than he had in all of May - 5.
But I don't care about A-Rod. I am a Mets fan. I do not hate the Yankees, and I could surely rant about how fucking stupid many Mets and Yankees fans are when it comes to each other. But I'll save that for another day.
I'm here to talk about the Mets sucking it up, hard. I will give them some leeway, because there was a point during this skid when their entire starting outfield from opening day was injured. Indeed, as one player finally came back, we'd lose two more. But, that only gets you so far. Even injured teams can win a game occasionally. The Mets, at the moment, can not.
I am not worried about them. I know that they will start to win again. But right now, while they are not winning, focusing on the present is torture. Poor fielding, poor base running, poor batting, and poor pitching. How many times over the last 10 games has Jose Reyes or David Wright booted a play they make a thousand times out of a thousand on a normal day. Last night, Reyes fumbled an easy double play, making an already unmanageable 6-1 game more of a blowout. But where many times not turning the double play means still getting the out at second, Reyes couldn't hold the ball. The run scored, no outs were recorded, and a pitching change was forced.
And so Jose briefly lost concentration. I'm not going to jump all over him for that. He's not the first player to do it, and he won't be the last. But it is symptomatic of the whole team right now. They are unfocused.
I love watching baseball, in particular the Mets, and right now, I can't watch because invariably one or two players will lose focus, and the team implodes, and implodes quickly. John Maine pitched a great game the other night. Except for those back-to-back-to-back home runs he gave up in the 2nd inning.
And Willie Randolph, I love you man, but sometimes it seems like you leave your relievers in a tiny bit too long. When a more conservative manager might pull a pitcher, you leave them in for another batter or two, and it is, at least currently, coming to bite you in the ass. You can't trust in your players as much as you always do during stretches when they're questioning themselves.
The standings for the Mets and Yankees are directly opposite at the moment. Mets L10: 1-9. Yankees L10: 9-1. And that's fucked. Let's go Mets. Step it the FUCK up.
June 12th, 2007
Alright, so, here's the deal. Every so often I'm going to give some Subway Etiquette Tips. There is no official source for these, just my own head. But let's be clear, I am correct about all of these things, so you should listen up, and listen good.
I had initially planned this series of posts (and presumably this series will never end) to start outside of the subway cars and work my way inside slowly, much like your average straphanger during rush hour. But, my ride home on the subway last night was so bad, in terms of stupid shit being done all around me, that I had to bring it up. Also, let me clarify, today's tips are based on a crowded, rush-hour train. There will be separate lessons for empty trains.
Ok, so, here's my subway ride home. I get on the train at the middle door and move myself exactly half way between the middle doors and the front-most doors. [Tip #1: Moving between to halfway between the doors, or as close to halfway as you can get if someone else has already occupied that spot is the proper way to enable as many people to get on to the train as possible. Additionally, by moving in to the middle, you avoid being crushed, which will invariably happen if you try to stay near the doors] I have now reached my spot on the train, and the first jackass on the train makes her move. She, like I did, starts to move towards the middle. But then, inexplicably, stops. She is on the other side of the train, meaning that if she had moved to the middle, we would be standing back-to-back. But she has stopped about a person and a half closer to the door than I have.
And what happens? People get stuck next to her by the door, and there begins to be a pile-up of people around the doors. Everyone over there is uncomfortable and crushed together. Not me, I'm perfectly comfortable over in the middle. So, this woman who has blocked everyone in by the door? She's a fucking douchebag.
Now, we get to the next stop, and another woman gets on the train, and she pushes past this other woman and gets in behind me, back-to-back. I hate it when people push their way through the crowd, because they are obviously going to knock a whole bunch of people around. And that's really annoying. But, ok, no problem, she is inconveniencing people temporarily to give everyone more room. That's fine.
Then the trouble starts. [Tip #2: When standing in the aisle between the seats, back to back with other people, the general rule is that you should not move back past the midway point of the car. In other words, to someone facing forward, you have the left or right side of the car, but not both.] So this woman comes in and proceeds to move herself well past the halfway point, pushing me in to the people who are sitting in front of me. But she does not temporarily crush me in to these people, but rather permanently places herself past the half way point. [Tip #3: If my elbow or back are pressed against you, it means BACK THE FUCK OFF OF ME.] So I am forced to wait 'til there is a bump or pitch during the ride between station so that I can slam myself in to her and then continue leaning against her. Unlike many a person before her, she got the message quickly and moved to her side of the car. That was nice.
But the ride was hardly a few stops in, and she got off the train, to be replaced with a new fantastic douchebag who did not one, but two obnoxious things. Three, if you're picky. He comes on and slides up next to me. Gets right next to me, and then proceeds to lift not one, but both arms up to hold on to the bar. [Tip #4: Don't use two hands on the bar if there are people next to you.] And he doesn't put his hands next to each other, but as far apart as possible. This does two things, it puts his arm diagonally up over my shoulder and in front of my face. And also brings his body in such a way that it is trying to push me past the middle of the car. [Tip #5: Don't crush the people next to you, asshole.]
Many people, at this stage, commit a foul. In my situation on that subway car, there are people who move past the middle of the car so that the jackass on his/her side is no longer on top of them. [Tip #6: Do not try to placate an idiot by letting them push you around.] So I do not move over, because doing so would've required me to knock in to a man holding a baby in his lap. And, though I may be angry, I don't try to actively harm little children. However, if there had been no baby there, I still would not have moved over. In any case, I don't move over, and instead am forced to put an elbow in to this guy's ribs. [Tip #6: If my elbow, forearm, bicep, or shoulder are pressed in to your ribs or side, it means MOVE THE FUCK OVER, DICKFACE.] This guy, however, was a slow learner, so I got the distinct pleasure of keeping my elbow in his ribs for the duration of my trip until I got off of the train.
Once again, your 6 subway etiquette tips are:
- Moving between to halfway between the doors, or as close to halfway as you can get if someone else has already occupied that spot is the proper way to enable as many people to get on to the train as possible. Additionally, by moving in to the middle, you avoid being crushed, which will invariably happen if you try to stay near the doors
- When standing in the aisle between the seats, back to back with other people, the general rule is that you should not move back past the midway point of the car. In other words, to someone facing forward, you have the left or right side of the car, but not both.
- If my elbow or back are pressed against you, it means BACK THE FUCK OFF OF ME.
- Don't use two hands on the bar if there are people next to you. [Note: In general, don't use two hands on the bar, whether or not there are people around. That also applies to holding one bar in each hand and stretching yourself across the middle of the train, you obnoxious fuck.]
- Don't crush the people next to you, asshole. [Note: Unless they deserve to be crushed and you are following another one of the rules]
- If my elbow, forearm, bicep, or shoulder are pressed in to your ribs or side, it means MOVE THE FUCK OVER, DICKFACE.
If you don't pay attention and learn how to act on the subway, that's fucked. So figure out what I'm talking about, and fix it.
June 11th, 2007
An 18-yr old in Pennsylvania was arrested on felony wiretapping charges. His actions that led to that charge? Videotaping a police officer during a traffic stop of a car that he was inside of.
I'll stop right there, because there is no need to mention any more details that than. Videotaping a police officer give a ticket to a car that you are inside = felony wiretapping. I ain't pass the bar but I know a little bit. A police officer is a public figure, and what a public figure says is, technically, on the record. If something is on the record, then it would follow that recording it is entirely within the realm of the law. That would, however, only follow if police officers obeyed the law themselves. And they don't. And that's fucked. And it's especially fucked for this poor kid in Pennsylvania.
I have personally watched a police officer tackle and arrest someone who's only crime was videotaping the police officers tackling and arresting other people. The charges, in that case, were "Interfering with a police officer" or some such nonsense. Essentially, the charges were "Turn your fucking camera off, we don't like accountability." And it appears to be the same charges in the Pennsylvania case.
Suddenly, cops have this opinion that because they enforce the law, they are above the law and can't be scrutinized. Power corrupts. And across the country small-time police forces are arresting people on trumped-up, bullshit charges because they have a badge. Personal grudge? No problem, arrest the person (That case may be a bit extreme, what with the outcome and all, but the point remains the same). And the point is, there's nothing wrong with demanding that a police officer do their job legally. And there is definitely nothing wrong with videotaping a police officer. In fact, it is standard practice at protests and rallies and other stupid events like them to have lots of people ready with video cameras for when someone gets arrested so that the arrestee isn't beaten to a bloody pulp.
It comes down to cops don't want someone looking over their shoulder, because then suddenly they can't be bad cops. And people don't want bad cops, so they look over the cops' shoulders. That would be fine, except that the cops can arrest the people and the people can't arrest the cops. What can people do? Go to the CCRB (Civilian Complaint Review Board) or some similar organization? Or internal affairs? Are those effective? No. Because the cronieism between the cops and those that are supposed to objectively judge them based on the filed complaints is so out of hand that the cops rarely get any action taken against them, no matter how illegally they have acted. And that's fucked.
When you give a regular citizen all kinds of power with no restrictions, they don't enforce the law, they become the law. They can become the arresting officer, DA, judge, and jury at once if they so choose, if no one's watching.
And here's a final thought on the topic for you, the cops are videotaping the entire thing anyway. And you don't have the option of arresting them on felony wiretapping charges nor do you have the option to not consent. But they can take away your camera and film and arrest you on felony charges for taking a different viewing angle of something already on tape? That's fucked.
June 6th, 2007
Apparently there is a furor in the "blogosphere" over comments by a guy named Andrew Keen, who founded Audiocafe.com. I'm not going to get in to exactly what he said, but I am going to sound off on a topic that is similar and has long been on my radar screen.
Keen essentially says that the web is full of amateurs who are destroying or marginalizing works by professionals. Or comes close to saying that. Click on the damn link above to find out what he said, ok? Great.
Now, who the hell this guy is, I'm not really sure. I've never heard of audiocafe, and when I tried to go there, I got a 403 Forbidden error, and i've certainly never heard of him. So, I dunno if he's some jackass trying to get his name out there a bit more as a way to generate press for his upcoming (or possibly just released) book. Quite frankly, I don't care either way.
I may not agree entirely with what he says - I don't know all of what he says, and don't plan to find out, so it's a moot point - but I do agree on the premise that amateurs are destroying the internets.
BLOG. B - L - O - G.
It's short for "WebLog" and may be the single worst word in the English language. It represents, to me, the devil incarnate. Nothing makes me angrier than blogs. [PAUSE] Once again, this is not a Blog, this is a Personal Online Ranting Space (Pors) [/PAUSE] The reason I hate blogs is that people who should not be able to influence people suddenly become able to reach millions of potential readers and influence their opinions, points of view, and lives.
There are several types of evil blogs. I will start with News Blogs. Blogs that purport to report news. [Please note, I do not mean blogs on news sites like the blog on CNN.com.] The news has been headed slowly and surely down the highway of mass consumerism. Local news no longer reports on the news, but on human interest stories. Cheap gimmicks are thrown in, product placement added. Local news has, for the most part, become so sensationalized as to no longer report anything of interest. Fortunately, the world news/nightly news shows are still, more-or-less, reporting on news and news-worthy events, but even they fall in to the human interest abyss. The news, once a dignified, believable pillar of America, has become victim to TV Ratings. They don't show what people need to know anymore, they show the kinda crap that people want to see. Water-skiing squirrels and a family that got ripped off by the gas company.
But that is not the news blog, that is the news. And it is that "news" which has forced the rise of the news blog. John Doe, sitting in his home in Minnesota, suddenly becomes a news blogger. He searches for stories that should have gotten more coverage and covers them himself. He takes a journalistic tone to his writing, trying to report just the facts of the situation. But he fails. News blogs are the worst source of information possible. They are biased. They are factually incorrect. And there is no accountability. If John Doe reports a complete falsehood on his blog, he does not get fired from the blog when it comes to light that he has lied. He does not get suspended, docked pay, fined, or punished in any way. Some readers may stop reading his blog, but will all of his readers leave? No. They won't. Because they like what John has to say and how he says it. And to me, that is the death of news, more than TV Ratings driving what stories are shown on the local news. More than anything else.
And half the time, John Doe can't even write that well. I know my limitations in my writing. There are many. My vocabulary is not as large as I'd like. So what do I do? Avoid using words that I don't know the meaning of. And my knowledge is limited. I know what I've been taught, what I've read, and what I've figured out myself. And I try to avoid topics that I don't understand fully. Would it make sense for me to sound off on a Supreme Court ruling on Patent Law when I am neither a lawyer nor patent holder? Probably not. But John Doe will sound off. He read the AP article on CNN or FoxNews and has an opinion, and he'll share it with you. He will say exactly where the ruling is correct and where it is incorrect, and I'd bet that he never even read the actual ruling. And that is another reason for me to hate blogs.
I will stop for a moment to discuss why this bothers me. I enjoy reading the news. I think it is interesting and important to know what is going on in the world at large and the world around me. Sometimes I like to find the more amusing stories from around the globe, and then I turn to Fark or something similar. And I do think that the internets have helped increase the flow of real news. It has made information much more easily accessible to anyone and everyone who can find a computer with internet access. But the downside is that uneducated, unprofessional, unknowledgable, unaccountable assholes are suddenly let loose on the world and reporting "news" to anyone who will read it. If you don't have a press pass or an editor, you are not reporting the news. If you try to weave your opinion in to a story while reporting it, you are not reporting the news. As much as Fox may strive to be "fair and balanced" and CNN may claim that the "liberal media bias" doesn't exist, both suffer from pre-existing political biases. CNN does generally report on conservative topics with slight scorn in its tone. FoxNews does the same about liberal topics. They both use quotations from the people that will help drive home their viewpoint under the guise adding first-hand knowledge to the news. And it is effective, albeit subtle.
But John Doe does not have to be subtle. He doesn't have to verify that a witness was a witness. He just writes what he wants and people read it as if it were real news. And that drives me crazy. A blog is opinionated, almost by definition. And the incredible thing is that people read other people's opinions, and assume that they are factual representations. And it is unbearable.
I read FoxNews and CNN and the NYTimes with an understanding that although they are trying to report the news as unbiased as possible, a bias may still exist. I read the information and read between the lines when I see a bias surface. Critical reading is required to get the news from the news. And people don't always apply that to the real news they read. So why would they apply it to news blogs?
The result is the dumbing down of America. The news is reporting crap, and the crap is being read as news. CNN's most popular stories on cnn.com aren't about world news or national news, they are sensationalistic crap about Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, human interest stories, stories about people's responses to American Idol and the Sopranos, not news.
It comes down to: Give the people what they want or give them what they should have / what they need. And slowly but surely, real news outlets are caving to the ignorant demands of the masses and giving them what they want rather than what they should know. But, in the meantime, the internet is full of people spreading more info about what people want to hear, and spending less time focusing on things that people should be paying attention to. And that's fucked.
I can't stand blogs. I don't care if you want to become a writer one day and are trying to get noticed. I don't care if you think that the world is out to get you. I don't care if you want to make a difference or become famous or get rich quick. None of that is real. That's all bullshit.
There are some blogs out there that provide information. Mark Russinovich's blog, formerly called SysInternals, is one such site. The man is an expert on Windows, Windows Programs, Windows Processes, and in general, the backbone of your PC software. His blog is misnamed, because it is not a blog at all. It is an expert in a field providing information for everyone's use. And that is fine. I have no qualms with an expert sharing knowledge with the world.
The problem comes in when someone decides that they are an expert about something when they, in fact, are not. Or when someone who is not an expert and doesn't pretend to be one is suddenly viewed as an expert by others. And it happens way too much.
Ok, I'm starting to get repetitive, so maybe I'll cut this one off here.
Is that even a word? I don't think it is. But I'm too lazy to find a more appropriate title.
Today I've got a quick update for you on one of the coolest promotions I've ever stumbled across. It's called "Beer for Bags" and the way it works is that you bring them a specified amount and type of beer, and in exchange you get a specified bag. It's really fuckin simple, actually. It's run by Crumpler Bags, which I guess is a boutique-ish bag place in the city.
I'm not big on promoting other people's shit, but this happens to be a sweet-ass deal, and I'm down with that. So, yeah, get beer, bring to Crumpler, get bag. Pretty easy, pretty sweet, new bag.
Oh, and it will be running from June 9th - 17th this year, so it's coming up real soon.
May 31st, 2007
Time Out New York has declared war on the hipster (with credit to Gawker for the link, since I don't read Time Out New York).
Man, where to start, where to start? I guess we'll start with the hilarious time line. I don't really know much about the history of hipsterdom. Truth-be-told, I don't care much about it either. But I do not like when misinformation is spread. Time Out's entry for 2007 pisses me off...
Skinny jeans, trucker hats, Costello glasses, slogan tees, PBR, Vans, All-Stars—all are declared “dead” by the media and hipsters themselves, but are still embraced by the mainstream, as well as people who look like “hipsters” but simply consider themselves cool. What’s next?"
I've worn Vans since, I dunno, 1998? 1997? Maybe 1996. I can't really remember, but I have a stock of old Vans in my closet that are all torn apart, and they're freakin old. And I drink PBR.
I wear Vans because they are comfortable and at one point in my life I wanted to skate. I was never very good with the skating thing, but the shoes are still comfortable and relatively cheap. They fit under a designation of skater, skate-punk, and general punk. When the Suicide Machines released their debut album Destruction by Definition with a song titled "The Vans Song" it was not hip. Both the song and the shoes were not hip. In fact, while I'm talking about shoes, I've never considered All-Stars to be hipster shoes either. Some hipsters may wear them, some hipsters may wear Vans, but that doesn't make them Hipster shoes and imply that anyone and everyone wearing them is a hipster. Far from it. Much like Vans, All-stars have a long-standing relationship with punk rock.
I've been drinking the PBR since my freshman year of collidge. 7 years of PBR. I don't drink PBR because it is ironic. I don't drink PBR because hipsters drink PBR. I drink PBR because it is dirt fucking cheap, but still tastes kinda good. Perhaps the prevalence of Pabst Blue Ribbon amongst hipsters and non-hipsters alike is for just those reasons. It is cheap and it tastes kinda good. At college, you could get 30 cans of PBR for 11 bux. That's not hip, that's a smart fucking consumer. Keg of PBR? $45. Again, savvy consumer.
Let me pause for a moment here, because it sounds like I am defending hipsters or hipsterdom. And to be clear, I am not. I have personally been calling for the end of hipsterdom for around 5 years. Not that it needs to end to save itself, but because hipsters are fucking douchebags, and if there are fewer of them in the world, the world will be a better place.
With that out of the way, I take major issue with the discussion that hipsterdom has co-opted every counter-culture and sub-culture before it. That's not realistic or true. According to that article, I am more-or-less a hipster or pop-hipster because I wear Vans and t-shirts and drink PBR. And that's fucking stupid.
If there is anything that I am not, it's hip. I don't like clothing, I don't think about clothing, I just put on clothing every morning and take most of it off before I go to bed at night. I don't dress to impress anyone. I own a lot of t-shirts, and I bought them because I liked them or thought they were funny. They may fall under the definition of "slogan tees," whatever the fuck that means.
My point here, and this turns out to be much less angry than I'd like, is that before you publish a diatribe calling for the end of hipsterism, you should probably learn what the fuck you're talking about. By inadvertently lumping the non-hip in with the hip, Time Out has shown that they don't have a clue what they're talking about. And if you don't have a fucking clue, even if the angle you take in your article is interesting, in the end, you just look like the fucking idiots that you are. There are few things more insulting to me than to be called a hipster. I am not one.
Time Out even offers a lovely quiz you can take to see how hip you are. Multiple choice, of course, with plenty of questions where I would not choose any of the two, three, or five options available. Come on. That's fucked. If you're gonna have me take a hipsterdom quiz, at least let me answer realistically.
May 29th, 2007
I surprised myself today. Normally I'm angry about external forces. Injustices, assholes, idiots, whatever. This weekend I realized that I had to rant about myself. Because I did something really fuckin stupid.
I am one to hold grudges. Probably not surprising, but still true. Usually, though, I hold my grudge for a little bit, and then let a mild anger simmer in the background but give up on actively hating someone or something. I realized this weekend that I was holding a grudge that I should've let go a long time ago.
I am not one to often admit mistakes. But here I was, suddenly glaringly aware of how wrong I've been. I was talking to someone who was telling me a story about a grudge they were holding, and it dawned on me that it was the stupidest thing I'd ever heard.
Through a series of unrelated coincidences, I not only got this feeling, but I was able to quickly connect it to a grudge that I myself was holding. I ran in to a friend who it turns out is working with this person who at one time was my best friend and who I now not only don't speak to, but we would both avoid each other if we were in the same room.
So I hear this story, this former friend is fresh in my mind, and suddenly I'm pissed off. I've thrown away years that should've been spent with my friend. And for what? Because I was angry at her?
I was angry at her. Once, a long, long time ago, I had an online journal. Not a blog, because blogs didn't exist then, nor did blogging software. It was a hand-coded journal. I shared the address with her because I was too much of a pussy to tell her how I felt about her, most of the time. And she went and did something that, at that time, I deemed "[un]forgivable," which was my first title for this post. And she did this thing, and I insulted the shit out of my best friend in an online post because she broke my heart. Or maybe she didn't. And it just felt that way. And I insulted other people that I was friends with too. And it turned out that a lot more people were reading my online journal than I had previously thought. And I deleted it and everything it said.
Wash away the past with the click of a mouse button.
But now, here I am, roughly 7 years later, and I've barely spoken to someone who I loved and cared about and was my best friend. And that's fucked. And that pissed me off. How fucking stubborn was I being? For what? For some teenage angsty bullshit. And, yes, the hurt that was done to me was real. But she tried to clear things up and I wouldn't let her. And now it was my turn.
And this morning, I did the [un]expected. I apologized for letting our friendship slip away. For being angry at her. For making things worse than they had to be. And for not apologizing sooner. And for avoiding her when we'd be in the same place. And for generally being an ass in regards to her.
And ya know what? She didn't totally forgive me. She said that she couldn't do that. Not yet. And ya know what made me angry about that? That it was my fuckin fault for waiting so long. And lemme tell you, for someone who rarely admits wrong-doing, it sucks to feel that way.
Also, just a quick couple of points about this place. This webpage is not a blog. I will rarely be sharing personal stories as much as opinions. This is a personal online ranting space. You can call it a Pors, I guess, if you have to shorten everything.
And secondly, while having every post titled [un]something is maybe appealing in the short term, I make no guarantees that I can keep it up forever. So don't give me shit about it if I finally give up on that.
05.02.31.pm, by unnecessarily angry
May 22nd, 2007
This past Saturday I'm sitting in my living room watching TV. There are 2 things on. Game 5 of the Buffalo Sabres / Ottawa Senators playoff series which started at 2:15pm on NBC. And the 2nd game of the Mets / Yankees series at Shea Stadium which started at 3:50pm on Fox.
A few things about me before I angry up the blood a bit more. First, Hockey is my favorite sport, followed closely by baseball. Second, I am a (NY) Rangers and Mets fan. Third, given an opportunity to watch playoff hockey not involving the Rangers and a Mets / Yankees game, I will be unable to choose which I want to watch.
So, now, let's jump back to last Saturday. Unsurprisingly, come 4 o'clock, I'm torn. I decided that since the hockey game was further along, it would get more attention, so I watched mostly hockey, jumping for commercials over to the Mets / Yankees game. And now the fun starts. Buffalo ties up the score with 45 seconds left, and the game is going to OT. I hit the channel+ button and begin watching the Mets/Yankees. The inning came to an end and I flipped back to watch the intermission recap and analysis of the hockey game only to see pre-race coverage for the Preakness. WTF? Excuse me, I was watching that...
Apparently what I (and presumably many others as well) missed, was that NBC said "We're going to be moving our coverage over to Versus." So, I sat there, dumbfounded as to where the hockey went. It would not occur to me that they would simply turn off the coverage on one channel and two minutes later pick up the coverage on another channel. And, oh yes, there was a two-minute delay. But, I didn't know any of that, so I went to my computer and pulled up the box score so that at least I would know the final score. And I sat there and watched baseball. Happily, might I add, because I do love a good Mets / Yankees game.
A few commercial breaks later I'm starting to flip out there. There is overtime playoff hockey afoot, but I didn't know where it was. On a whim, I decided to turn to Versus. Maybe, I thought, they would put the game here. And sure enough, there it was. Daniel Alfredsson had his arms in the air, his teammates were mobbing him, the Ottawa Senators were going to the Stanley Cup finals, and I had not seen the goal or the overtime. And that's fucked.
But there's more to it. For, you see, the Playoff game ended at 5:14pm, and the main event at the Preakness wasn't scheduled to start until 6:09pm. So, instead of running playoff hockey overtime for 14 minutes of their Preakness coverage, they started their Preakness coverage early (at the end of the 3rd period) with barely an announcement as to where the game went. There was no reason for that. There was no reason to deprive people of watching the game. There are plenty of people around the country who don't get VS, but most of them get NBC. What were they supposed to do if they wanted to watch hockey instead of horse racing? You can't do that. It's total nonsense and unfathomable. In the spring of 1994, that wouldn't have happened. But 13 years later, the NHL is such a weak draw that things like that do happen, and that doesn't just make me angry, it makes me sad. It makes me sad to see that one of the most beautiful displays of athleticism and team work is so downtrodden now that it is broadcast on a network that no one had heard of before it picked up hockey. And, many people still have not heard of it even now that it does have hockey. I've already ranted about this, though, so I'm not going to again, but it's a fucking disgrace.
And there's still more. NBC broadcasts in HD and that HD channel is available to most viewers with HD capable cable boxes or satellites. Versus also broadcasts in HD, but I have yet to meet someone who has VS HD as a channel available to them. So, if I had figured out quickly enough where the game was, I wouldn't have been able to watch it in HD anymore. A small complaint, maybe, but hockey is a sport that is meant to be seen in HD. It looks so much better, it's mind-blowing.
The Mets beat the Yankees 10-7 that game. David Wright hit 2-run home runs in his first 2 at-bats before getting intentionally walked his next 3 times to the plate. That wasn't so bad.
May 21st, 2007
I don't know what's happened to this country, but I don't like it. You know who's getting arrested these days? A lot of people. You know what they're getting arrested for? A lot of things.
But, I'm gonna talk about one subset of each of those questions. You know who's getting arrested these days? High school seniors. You know what they're getting arrested for? Senior pranks.
It's that time of year again. High school seniors across the country are getting ready to don their caps and gowns and celebrate their freedom from high school. Many of them have been accepted to, and plan to attend, colleges all across the country. But they are still kids, even if they are now 17 or 18, and they lack the judgment that an older person might have. And because of this they plan "senior pranks." They're thinking "We'll go down in history for this one!" and unfortunately for them, that is true. I say unfortunately, because they didn't think that "going down in history" would pan out quite how it will.
These kids pull off a prank. It's rarely that creative, more often slightly destructive, and always disruptive. But that is the point of a senior prank. And in days past (and occasionally still now), the school would laugh and everyone would have a good time with it and see it in the light that it should be cast.
But now there is a problem with the senior prank.
And it's not the kids, it's the adults and how they overreact to everything. Not that these kids are innocent -- they're fucking idiots. Not that the idea behind a senior prank is stupid, nor that getting caught doing so is stupid, although it's not smart, but the kids are idiots because they should see the climate around them and that most schools now will not react how they should and used to, but will react swiftly, mercilessly, and utterly irresponsibly. Seriously, it's just meant to be a prank. Clean it up, and charge the kids the cleanup costs, but it's ridiculous to bring in law enforcement and to possibly not let these kids graduate. They're just trying to have fun and celebrate their graduation. It is an error in judgment or a lack of judgment, but it is hardly a crime.
The crime, if anything, is that it used to be a standard thing, senior pranks, and now a "prank" will quickly escalate in to an arrest. It's irresponsible of the schools, the administrators, the teachers, and maybe even the police to let that happen. Their job is to teach these kids, prepare them for life, and set them on the right path. By putting them in jail for a prank or having the prank appear on their permanent record, they're putting them on the wrong path. Make them pay for the damages, that's fine, but let them graduate and go on with their lives rather than having to deal with legal bullshit which will destroy them.
It's sickening and stupid that these places that are supposed to help kids are letting them get arrested and then pressing charges against them for, what, a few hundred, maybe a couple thousand dollars? These schools and administrators and teachers, people whose job it is to help students are suddenly shirking their responsibilities and are turning against those that have been put in their charge. And that's fucked. The prank is a school-related happening. If you want to give them an in-school suspension, do it. If you want to fine them, do it. If you want to disallow them from walking during graduation, I think that is heartless and cold, but it's still fine. But to have them arrested or to expel them when they are hours away from graduating, is beyond unfair. It is completely [un]reasonable.
As if to illustrate my point further, here's another prime example.
May 17th, 2007
The NY Mets organization is trying to fuck with me. They've tested my patience, tested my faith, and then rewarded me for my pains.
As I posted yesterday, the Mets got beat up 10-1 on Tuesday night. I was unfortunate enough to be in the crowd for the game. At least, part of the game. I broke a time-honored tradition of mine, which is to never leave a game early. It was a combination of factors. The 6-run 6th inning, the lack of run production by the Mets, the generally poor pitching by the Mets, and some back spasms that I'd been having all day. It was enough. I left after the bottom of the 6th, which I never do. I don't believe in leaving early from a game, because I think that if you've paid for it, you should sit through it, and that you should never give up on the team you've paid to support. But sometimes it's more than I can handle, I guess.
So, as a show of good faith, I decided to go to Wednesday night's game. I had several friends who were going to come, but one by one they checked the forecast and decided that they changed their minds. No matter, I have one die-hard friend who I knew would come, and so we went to Shea. It was raining when I got there around 6:30, and I saw that they were offering Picnic Area seats for the same price as Upper Deck seats. We always sit Upper Deck, but Picnic Area was too good to pass up, so we bought a pair of tickets. My friend got there around 7:10, which would've been the game start time, but already, the game was delayed because of rain. No problem, I thought, it seemed to be letting up, and we'd get the game started soon enough. The forecast called for the rain to be letting up around 8pm anyway.
My willful ignorance here was foolish. My friend's was as well. The rain did not let up, but got progressively heavier. We sat underneath the bleachers and watched the rain steadily get heavier and heavier as the time ticked by. We grabbed a beer each, started drinking them, turned around, and they had already closed the bar under the bleachers.
At this point, it was about 7:45. We should have left. But the Mets should've announced what the hell was going on.
And here's where the annoyance begin. We're getting somewhat soaked; we're sheltered, but restless; we want to watch a ball game from our bleacher seats, which we are not even allowed to sit on while it is raining. The Mets should have announced something. "We will wait as long as necessary to get this game under way" would've been nice. It was certainly true. But the Mets and Shea Stadium hung us all out to dry... They simply let us sit there. Because they made no announcement, there was no guarantee that we would get refunds for our tickets. If they play the game, chances are we don't get our money back. That's aggravating. Time ticks by and we wander around the stadium to the gate nearest the subway. It is now 8:30, the game has been delayed an hour 20 minutes. That's manageable and the rain seems to be letting up. We look in to the outfield and they have let some fans on to the bleachers to sit and wait. We debate "should we leave, or stay?" "We came to watch a game, let's stay."
So we wander back to the bleachers, load up on more snacks and beers, and sit down. The grounds crew is standing around the tarp, things are looking good for a 9:15 or so start. But the grounds crew doesn't remove the tarp. They just stand there. For 20 minutes, they stand there. Then they leave the field. At this point, it's 9:15. We could've left 45 minutes earlier. But, no, maybe just a quick delay, final instructions. Then it starts to pour again. They clear the bleachers, and we give up. We know they're going to play this game, but we can't wait any more. As we're walking out of the stadium at 9:25 they announce over the loud speaker that the game is expected to start at 10:15. FUCK THAT. We hopped the subway and went home.
But that is not the whole story. The story here is the Mets, the Cubs, Shea Stadium, and the MLB scheduling office conspiring, in a way, to fuck the fans. The story goes like this:
- The Mets and Cubs had one more game scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 1pm. Then the Cubs were to travel home to Chicago where they would open a series Friday afternoon against the White Sox. And that's where the problems start. Cubs vs. White Sox is nearly as meaningful as Mets vs. Yankees. Thus, there is no way in hell that the Cubs will reschedule the Friday game, even just to push it back to Friday night.
- The Cubs set Thursday afternoon as their "travel day" and more or less refused to compromise. If they had simply run a straight double-header, maybe even push the start time of the first game to noon, they could've been out by 6, maybe 7 o'clock. But they didn't want to compromise their travel time, so that was out of the question. That left the Cubs and Mets and Shea and MLB executives sitting inside, sheltered, deciding that the fans could wait, because if the game is played, fuck the fans, they don't get their money back, and we don't have a scheduling problem. So they rain delayed the start of the game 3 hours and 7 minutes. The first pitch came at 10:17 to the few remaining fans. By the time the Mets had put away the Cubs in convincing fashion, 8-1, it was Thursday, and the teams had barely 12 hours to sleep, and get back to the ballpark for the opening pitch.
And what do the Mets offer to those ticket holders who gave up? and even to those who stayed? We can mail them our ticket stubs and get comparable tickets to the Twins series in June? FUCK YOU. That's a fucking insult. Not that I could make it to a game if they had rescheduled it for this evening, but they're not even trying to be fair to the fans here, and it was clear from the start. An announcement early on could've saved me several hours of sitting and waiting to find out I wouldn't get my money back or get to watch the game. And that's fucked. That's not customer service, that's customer disservice.
So, what do they do, after 2 days of pissing me off? They hold a "2nd Chance" ticket lottery for the Mets/Yankees series this weekend, and I win the chance to buy tickets. Suddenly I've got 3 tickets to the Mets/Yankees game on Friday, and another three for the game on Sunday. Is that fair? How can I stay angry when I've got the most coveted tickets a Mets fan can get during the regular season. They're just fucking with me for the fun of it. Let's Go Mets!
May 16th, 2007
After some initial difficulties, I have finally restored the website and now with a shiny, new URL: www.unnecessarilyangry.com.
But, what good would it be if I posted something that wasn't angry?
I went to the Mets vs. Cubs game last night at Shea. Look up the box score yourself, I'm not going to link it. I'm a huge Mets fan. So, I'm sitting there watching a 3-1 game, and Scott Schoeneweis is pitching with the bases loaded and one out. TO FUCKING ALFONSO SORIANO. Schoen, I like you man, but Willie, you gotta take his ass outta that situation, and pronto.
But I was proved wrong. Schoen got Soriano to weakly pop out to short left. That's fine. Willie, I still think you should've taken him out. Now it's Schoen vs. Aramis Ramirez who is off to a somewhat slow start this year. That's not surprising, because he is on the Cubs, and therefore is more-or-less doomed to failure. But, not last night. Last night he hit the shit out of the ball over the left-field fence and up in to the stands. Grand slam. a manageable 3-1 game starts on its way to becoming a 10-1 blowout. I like Willie Randolph. A lot. I think he's a great manager most of the time, but there are some times when he trusts in his guys more than in his gut. Or, if not his gut, than the gut of every other person in the freakin stadium. Last night was one of those times. Schoen has no business pitching to those two guys, and he got burned because of it. I'm not going to suggest who I think should have been in there instead, because I'm not sure that any of the Mets pitchers, with the stuff they brought last night, could've done much better, but I just don't think after Schoen's last appearance, that he should've been in there to face that, and then the stadium-wide boos upon his departure.
Which brings me to the topic of booing. As a NY Sports fan, it is our right, nay, duty, to boo our own teams, right? WRONG. Now, I can understand booing someone on the home team. If the highest paid player on your team is not showing up night after night, and then running his mouth to the media, boo him, he deserves it. If a player is playing so poorly over a long stretch of time, then maybe you can boo him after a particularly bad play, but excessive booing, believe it or not, doesn't help.
Take Marek Malik of the Rangers. During the PLAYOFFS, a large number of jackasses at Madison Square Garden decided that it would be a good idea to continue harassing Malik because of bad plays he makes. And, unfortunately for Marek, a lot of the mistakes he makes are very very visible, because they are large, and lead to big goals for the opposition. What gets lost is his positional play and the plays he does make, which are many. In fact, even I booed him on occasion at MSG during the regular season. But NOT IN THE PLAYOFFS. There is no place in professional sports for booing a player on the home team in the playoffs. He was so shaken up in Game 3 of the Buffalo series this year by the boos on his first shift, he could barely handle the puck. So, now, not only have you demoralized him, but you're affecting his play on the ice, and for what? For you to be an asshole? If you pay money to watch a team that you want to win, then during the playoffs, you don't fuckin boo them. That's just stupid shit. I mean, STUPID.
But the Rangers fans got it right in the end. At the end of Game 6 vs. the Sabres, the World's Most Famous Arena was as loud as it had been for the entire series. For 5 minutes, both before and after the final buzzer, Rangers fans showed themselves to be classier than they did when Malik first got on the ice in Game 3. It was moving, it was appropriate, and it was what NY Fans should be like. It was NY sports fans at their collective best.
One last item for today, check out my friends at SaveTheApple.com. They're fighting to make sure that the Home Run Apple at Shea Stadium becomes the Home Run Apple at Citi Field. I fully support the cause and couldn't agree more. Let's Go Mets! Let's Go Rangers!
April 27th, 2007
I'm not particularly fashionable. Just not my thing. I don't really understand when colors "clash" and when they don't. Nor do I care much about that shit. But I do know what I like and what I don't like.
Here's something I don't like. I have nothing against hats or caps or head coverings or whatever you happen to like to call them. I do, however, HATE shit like this.
I'm standing on the subway and this kid is wearing his brand new baseball hat. Or maybe it's not so new. Dunno. It looks new, because he has chosen to leave the gold sticker on the brim of the hat. And we'll pause for a moment as people say "That's hip-hop, man. That's how people wear their hats now." And I'll say "That's stupid shit."
I don't understand why someone would want the world to know that their hat is An Authentic New Era hat, size 7 and 3/8ths, from the 59-Fifty collection. Should that mean something special to me? Because it doesn't. As it turns out, it's just a hat. It's not something that a little gold sticker is going to make special. It's not like a little gold sticker is suddenly going to impress the ladies, or the fellas, or whoever the hell you think you're trying to impress. All it does, is make it look like you're too stupid to take the sticker off of your new hat.
Baseball hats are meant to shield the sun out of your fucking eyes, not impress people. If you don't want to bend the brim, that's fine, I can understand that, it's a comfort thing, it's how you like to wear your hat. I like to bend my brim, but I'm not gonna hate on someone who doesn't. But I just can't comprehend what would possess someone to think that a gold sticker will, in any way, make their hat cooler or hipper or tougher or... I don't know, I can't think of why someone would do that. Do you leave the sticker on your t-shirt that says "(M)" for Medium? No? Then take that stupid shit off of your fucking hat.
April 26th, 2007
My list of complaints about the Versus network is long and all-encompassing regarding their NHL coverage.
It's a real kick in the face to the NHL that the games are broadcast on Vs. Vs, the home of such other great sports as WEC - World Extreme Cagefighting, PBR (no, not the beer, the bull-riding), the NLL (indoor lacrosse), and Hunting and Fishing. If I have to see another WEC commercial during a hockey game, I may have to get a brick to throw at the TV. It's just absurd.
Meanwhile, ESPN, the former partner of the NHL, is promoting sports like Arena Football and MLL Lacrosse like they're real sports (and, to be fair, compared to the rest of the Vs lineup, they are). The NHL is a joke at the moment because it is on a network that, before the NHL came to it, no one had heard of. In fact, there are still plenty of people who haven't heard of it. It's disgraceful. They've allowed the NHL to become a weirdo sport that can be stuck on a channel with other crap.
I'd rather see the NHL make a deal with ESPN giving them the games FOR FREE than take another cent from Vs. Even Fox, with all of it's stupid gimmicks (glowing puck, anyone?), had much better coverage than Vs and people could see the games, because everyone has Fox. Bettman's trying to "grow" the league? Well, here's a thought, maybe you should start by putting it somewhere that people will see it.
And then, as if just the concept of being on Vs wasn't enough, the coverage is horrendous. The announcers are third- and fourth-rate, the camera work is appalling, and the producers obviously don't know how to broadcast a hockey game. To put anything over the ice while the puck is in play, a graphic, anything, is unacceptable. And this is the network that for the first 5-6 months that they had hockey put the SCORE on the bottom covering the ice.
But what really put it in perspective for me is when Vs was broadcasting the TSN or CBC feeds of the late-night games last round.
CBC and TSN have their cameras zoomed out a bit. You can see the whole offensive zone while the players are there. It was wonderful to watch. So there's a bit of extra crowd on the top and bottom of the screen. That just means that the score isn't covering anything important. Meanwhile, Vs has zoomed in so far that oftentimes the camera man loses track of the puck. Hockey's not an easy sport to watch on TV, but if the puck's not on the screen, it's impossible. You can't follow something that's not there.
The announcers sit there and promote Vs and their sponsors during the play-by-play. It's an art, play-by-play announcing, and it's an art that gets tainted when they're forced to pitch products and sponsors rather than tell you what's going on in the game. And, one last thing, ENOUGH WITH THE ADJECTIVES and SYNONYMS. I don't need you to find new words to describe things that are happening in the game. You can use the same words over and over again. It's not going to make me lose interest, I promise. I don't care if someone "feathered a pass towards the cage." You can say that he "threw it on net" instead and then tell me something else in the time it took you to think of a different way to say that.
And now, I'm forced to watch the Vs coverage for Games 1 and 4 of the Rangers-Sabres 2nd round playoff series? And some of you who aren't so lucky as to get MSG will have to watch it for all of the games besides 3 and 6? It's a slap in the face. Hockey fans deserve better than this shit, and Hockey deserves better too.
April 13th, 2007
As it turns out, there's not much going on at the moment. I have a few complaints that I'm working on, but they're just not there yet. I've been too preoccupied watching the Rangers clinch the playoffs and then win their first game against Atlanta, and watching the Mets begin another great season.
I'm a New Yorker. I like NY teams. When they're doing well it's great entertainment and is fun to watch. It keeps me busy, so I have less to be pissed off about.
Sure, I could rant about how slow and worthless Marek Malik is, but he's actually been playing a decent positional game and enough other people have already written about him.
In any case, I haven't given up on this experiment just yet, so keep tuning in.
April 2nd, 2007
I get back to NY from a trip and pick up my bag at baggage claim. The plane landed 20 minutes early, so the airport/airline compensated by making sure the bags didn't make it to the carousel until the time they would've had we landed on time. But, that's fine, I don't mind stretching my legs out after sitting for a few hours on a cramped crappy plane. Hell, I don't even mind that they didn't serve a snack, but offered to sell me a bag of potato chips for $3 or a bottle of water for $2. That's fine, I won't ever fly that airline again if I can help it.
What got to me was that I got my bag, and the "zipper sliders" (thanks wikipedia, I'm gonna call them "zips") that close the main compartment, as well as my lock, had been ripped off, leaving me with a useless bag. If I was to open the zipper to get anything out of my bag, I would never be able to close it again. That's a bit aggravating. I've traveled with this same bag and same lock dozens of times, and it's never been a problem. So I find the "Baggage Services" area, which is, of course, hidden away in a corner where you will have trouble finding it, and I go in to complain. Normally, I don't like to complain about stupid shit like this, but when you destroy my only one of something, forcing me to buy a new one, that usually pisses me off enough to make an exception.
Everyone, after getting off of a flight of more than 3 hours or so, is tired, and I was no exception. Waking up early, checking out of the hotel, the trip to the airport, getting through baggage check and security. It's exhausting. And then you're stuck sitting in a metal box for a few hours as your muscles and mind atrophy. So I went in and put my bag on the counter and show the woman the problem (that they ripped off two zips and the lock) and she says "oh, see over there (she points to a sign), we don't cover any problems with the zipper." Don't cover any problems with the zipper? Your fucking airline has just rendered my only piece of luggage entirely useless and you counter that you don't cover problems with the zipper? Ok, go fuck yourself. I happened to have a previous problem with my bag. The bottom of the bag is a hard-ish shell and had 2 runners along the bottom so that the bag sits nicely on the floor. One of those happened to have been destroyed on a previous flight, so I said "well, what about this? you've destroyed my bag and rendered it useless" and she said that they couldn't help with that either. They could ONLY help if my bag had been RIPPED. RIPPED? Are you fucking serious? They RIPPED the fucking lock and two zips right off, but that doesn't fuckin count? The best she could offer me was "I'm sorry." Yeah, I'm sorry too, twat-face. I'm sorry that you're fuckin useless and your job and life is useless. I really appreciate your fucking sympathy, though. That makes me feel loads better about having to buy new luggage. Jackass.
And yes I know it's not that woman's fault, but so what? She's "sorry" that my shit's fucked up? That's fucked.
March 28th, 2007
So here's the deal... here's "how this shit works", if you will:
I'm going to see someone doing something stupid or I'm going to see something moronic, and then I'm gonna tell you about it.
Seems pretty simple, right?
Yeah, I thought so too.
I might rant about literally anything from some jackass on the subway (of which there are many, and thus a never-ending source of things to say) to a stupid tv commercial to a bad restaurant and lots of other things that I haven't yet thought of. The point is, well, there is no point; that's the point. No one and nothing is safe from my anger. Run and hide, bitches.
[Oh, and sometimes it may seem like I have tourette's, but I assure you, I do not.]
08.24.15.pm, by unnecessarily angry
Hi. We haven't been introduced. I'm [un]necessarily angry. And I'm pissed off.
05.05.11.pm, by unnecessarily angry