March 25th, 2008
I obviously don't post here much anymore, so I was quite surprised while weeding through my hundreds of attempted spam comments to see a few genuine comments. And what wonderful comments they are... Let's read on!
My post about 59 Fifty stickers has been very popular.
Reader Dru writes: your a jackass.
Well, go fuck yourself Dru. YOU'RE a jackass. And your name is spelled Drew.
Reader Dave writes: lol. i leave the sticker on just because it pisses people like you off. Why should you care whats on a complete strangers head?
"lol"? What the fuck Dave, are you a 15 year old girl? And why should I care? Because i'm [un]necessarily angry, fuckface, that's why. Because I have to get on the subway and see these baseball hats that are being misused. Did you know that the idea behind the hat is to keep the sun out of your eyes? You probably didn't, you fucking worthless fuck. Ok, actually, you don't deserve that - Dru is way more worthless than you are.
Reader New Era writes: Your a fucking idiot. The reason the tags are left on, is so the hat can be proven authentic. With there being many cheap knock offs out there, your sticker is your way of proving authenticity. The new era hats can be QUITE expensive, so you would want people to know. Its like asking people why they want Louis Vuitton written all over there belts!
Again with the "your". General comment: DON'T READ MY FUCKING SITE IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "YOU ARE" and "YOUR". Thanks. And, "New Era", guess what, Louis Vuitton shit with the logo all over it is fucking stupid looking too. But that's not what my post was about. It's a fucking BASEBALL hat. Trying to show the world that you're money by leaving a sticker on your hat is just fucking stupid. I can think of many, many better ways to spend my cash than to try to get someone (anyone) impressed with me because my fucking hat is 59 Fifty instead of just hat.
Aj writes: Oh wow. 59 fifty's are to be styling !
Cool, thanks for stopping by Aj. The hats are fine. Some of them are nice. But the stickers...stupid.
Finally, on my post about the lack of lunch options by where i work, I got this lovely comment from Rich: You need to move. I have about 20 restaurants within 2 blocks of my office and the only reason I have trouble with lunch is that they are all SO GOOD, I have a hard time making up my mind. Italian, French, Hawaiian, Chinese, Greek, Lebonese, Persian, Japanese, Mexican, seafood, deli, Vietnamese, Korean, what don't we have? Sometimes I decide to go farther, because there are about 20 more restaurants available within 4 blocks. Oh, I by the way, I don't drive, I don't take the train or bus, I WALK to work because I live a half a block from my office. It sucks to be you. Also, I never start a sentence with "I have to..." because I don't HAVE to do shit. I have choices. Oh, God, I love my life.
Hi Rich, you are a fucking douchebag. Please to be commencing with fucking yourself. Thanks. Seriously, who gloats like that? Congratulations Rich, you're my Douchebag of the Weak
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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 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 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.