Archives for: May 2007
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.
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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!