Sunday, April 22, 2007

A compilation of reasons why myspace sucks

I would just like to point out that myspace sucks. An assistant at work was scrolling through her page the other day, and I couldn't help but glance at it myself. I have seen it before, and it really never ceases to amaze me how incredibly phony it is.

Intrigued at the utter stupidity (and I have posted on this subject before), I checked out what others said about it. What I found was that most of the people who complained about it, complained about the software features. Tech dork stuff that I didn't and don't give a rats' ass about.

What fascinated me was the phoniness. The utter "I am so awash in the passions of life and aren't you impressed by me" that I couldn't help but be embarrassed for almost every single person who has posted all the ridiculous artwork, the music ambushing me as I arrive at a page, and utterly generic approaches taken...PeOpLe WhO CaPiTaLiZe every other letter like it's cool... Here are some of the comments I enjoyed:

've noticed a disproportionately larger amount of guys commenting on hot girls than there are girls commenting on hot guys. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it appears more common for the guys to be guilty of this. So guys listen up. Shut the fuck up. I'll repeat this in case you thought you misread me. Shut the fuck up. If you see a hot girl on MySpace, do whatever it is you were going to do with your hands and move on. Maybe if your balls have descended send her a message if you want. But there is nothing sadder than three pages or so of guys going on about how hot a girl is in a photo. It's like the sausage party that never was. The ability to comment on hot girls is not a free pass to make yourself and the rest of us sound like we're retarded. Girls don't like suck ups, and using such witty lines like "u r hottt" isn't going to do anything to boost your sex life. Click here for help on that.

This one is to girls specifically. If you say something like "contact me" at the end of your profile, don't be surprised or complain when some creepy loser who could pass for Gollum messages you. I saw a bunch of profiles where it was a hot girl who said something like "if you want a good time, contact me" and then she has a blog post complaining about people wanting to message her and add her as a friend. Well what the hell did you think was going to happen? Mr. Hot Guy to come and message you on MySpace? It's not going to happen. If you need MySpace to find a date you have bigger problems to deal with than this imaginary Mr. Right's penis size. Much bigger.

Are there stalkers on MySpace? Of course. Horny losers + Internet Connection + semi-attractive girls = trouble. I think that was the only formula I remember from Algebra.
yspace sucks. Still.

From Wonkette:
MySpace is a wonderful social networking phenomenon in which millions of retarded people regular Americans have their own atrocious blinking-ad-covered websites, each visually horrific “home page” bleating out some awful pop music and tagged with the illiterate gibberish comments (or cut-and-pasted rap lyrics) and half-naked cam-phone pictures of America’s fattest teens. It’s a place where born-again illiterate Jesus freaks, tattooed and pierced illiterate suburban kids, fake gangsta illiterate urban youth, orange-skinned horse-faced illiterate high-school dropout gals who aspire to celebrity sluthood or a career in the Army, violent illiterate psychopathic “Juggalos” and a bedeviled minority of depressed semi-literate goth & emo teens in the Midwest all come together to show us what the United States will be like once the current crop of old people dies off.


I realize that the subject of psychopaths and other types of mental illness, given the recent events in Virginia is a hot one. Suddenly I am more aware of their presence everywhere. It's like shopping for a car and seeing that same model everywhere. It isn't that there are more, you just notice it.

So I'm watching Tarantino's latest pile of crap down at the Raven theater, mildly entertained throughout most of it, but wincing, closing my eyes, and generally having difficulty with the tremendous gore and violence. While much of it is humorous, as usual, his movies don't have much more going on than that. There has been a slow downward spiral in his films since Pulp Fiction (which a friend of mine thought was an amazing classic, and I, not sophisticated enough to realize it.)

In any case, I laughed, I moaned, I had a fairly good time. The problem was that there was one other guy in the theater, and he did not say one word the entire time. After testicles flying, brains squirting, and moment after moment of exploding bodies, I became more than a little uncomfortable at the way in which he never reacted, ever. I became downright disturbed.

I finally reached a point in the movie, where the second feature started (the first was actually Rodriguez' film, and the second Tarantino) that I was so utterly creeped out by that dude that I had to leave. I glanced over my shoulder and he stared blankly ahead. Nondescript white mail, middle twenties, short brown hair and a neat, sporty jacket.

I will admit I was also bored. But I would have been a lot more likely to stay if it wasn't for the instinctive, sixth sense feeling that something was amiss....

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech massacre

April 16, 2007, we are yet again witness to another massacre by a gunman. When I say "gunman" I am repeating a term that always strikes me as odd. What, and who, is exactly a "gunman"?

I recall a science fiction book I once read about a world where robots where commonplace. Occasionally one would go crazy and attack humans. Of course, no one could ever figure out why. It was obviously something in the circuitry.

This same approach seems to belie our efforts in dealing with these massacres. We don't assume that we are dealing with the same humans, with the same behaviors, developed over millions of years, and that our means of operation are different. We assume there is something different about us. It isn't our access to weapons that make killing easier, quicker, and by extension, more prone to our impulsive behavior. It's something incurable. That happens to be very convenient to the millions of middle-aged, white men whose bodies are slowly betraying them to age and who feel more secure knowing they have the means to take anyones' life, easily. Is it about freedom or fear?

A "gunman" speaks of an unstoppable automaton, a blank, staring machine a la Arnold Schwarzenneger, who simply goes from victim to victim, slaughtering all in his way. It does seem to describe the mindset and demeanor of many of these "gunmen".

There will be a lot of people falling all over themselves in the next couple of days. Police making excuses for their slow responses (and actually, I don't blame a single one for not rushing into a massacre like a hero. I would do the same thing. Why make more victims?). The NRA will be issuing their usual claptrap. The usual stream of diarrhea will emanate from the White House. Of course, if these people had been murdered by terrorists, soldiers would be parachuting into Iran. but as long as it's just a crazy kid from China, or whatever damaged misanthrope posing online with his firearms that we can write off as a lost cause, and that there is nothing anyone could have done, the story continues. Americans being killed by Muslims, now that is worrisome. Americans being inevitably killed by people with access to firearms are an important sacrifice to the tree of liberty, whose roots must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots...or random victims...

Good thing he had a gun...

33 people dead at Virginia Tech and the gun control "debate" will be revisited. Gun freaks will be falling all over themselves trying to find some reason why

1. there is nothing we could every do to stop something like this
2. why armed college students would have been safer

It's gotten to the point where I can only sigh each time a new slaughter happens...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mad TV - Medium

Here it is...The worst actress ever...

Patricia Arquette: Worst Actress ever...

Kudos to Brent Rasmussen whose blog I found this on, called "unscrewing the inscrutible".

I have often wondered exactly how people could honestly allow this horrible acting to continue unabated, and am still waiting for a rational explanation for how, exactly, this woman is still on television.

Defensive parents

A lot of parents, like the idiot who spawned this particular thread, get defensive when challenged. But the answer to such behavior, by noted "child experts" like the one in this article is passive, and IMO guaranteed to get no results.
How should people "deal" with other people's annoying kids? How do they retaliate?
Most parents are defensive. Yes, they do get it, they know their kid is rude and either they are rude themselves and don't care about the effect that it has on you, or they've managed to avoid taking responsibility and want to live in ignorance. In other words, you'll probably be talking to a wall. But, I have found that sometimes being cagey on your part can be helpful. That is, saying something like, "Boy, my older one used to love to run up to people and burp in their faces also. In fact, he could burp the entire alphabet by the time he graduated from elementary school. The way that I got him to stop it was to...." and then give a suggestion or two. In this way you are taking the blame first (defensive folks like that — they hate to be criticized), and they just may listen. It's worth a try, but you have to be willing to take it on the chin initially.
I absolutely, positively could not disagree more. There is no nice way to say "you are an incompetent parent", or "you are an asshole". So you have the choice to either step up and confront the person, or avoid the conflict and let it happen. People who allow their kids to be rude and obnoxious are so themselves, and can even be dangerous. That being said, walking around in fear of such bullies is no way to live. Their kids will bully your kids, and their parents will bully you, unless you stand up to them. Slowly but surely we need to take this nation back from these assholes, and the more people stand up, the more they will realize THEY are the minority.

I recall a guy skiing into a ski lift line and almost knocking someone over who was in the line. Every skier knows you need to go slowly in such situations. When the guy called him on it, the rude person not only wouldn't admit it, he started getting aggressive and calling the guy an asshole. I stepped up, and with a few choice words, suddenly this jerk was outnumbered, and he backed off. That is what needs to happen with this parents. They need to be outnumbered and outgunned. But if nobody has the guts to do it, and we have "child experts" telling us their is a nice way to confront people who are raving assholes, it won't happen.

Bratty kids

In this article a reporter writes an test where a woman and a child went around being obnoxious in various places, and videotaped the reaction to it. The shocking thing is that most people do exactly what I do, which is leave. While a few people confronted the parent, there certainly wasn't enough confrontation for me...
CBS) For the second part of The Early Show series, "The Bratty Bunch," consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen wanted to see how people react to unruly children. She used hidden cameras to record child actors who behaved like brats and annoyed the people around them.

The social experiment began on a New York City bus when a boy kicked the seat of the lady sitting in front of him. The pretend mother ignored his behavior. Immediately, the woman asks him to stop. When he doesn't, she gets up and moves.

"I was thinking I was very glad I wasn't on an airplane and this was only going to be lasting about 20 minutes or so," she told Koeppen.

Another woman looked ready to explode but changed her seat instead of losing her temper. Another passenger scolded the boy.

"How many times do I have to ask you to stop kicking me?" she asked him.

When that didn't work, she simply glared at him.

"I was really disappointed at the parent not helping to discipline the kid," she said.

In her book, "Raising Respectful Children In a Disrespectful World," Jill Rigby says too many parents are tolerating bad behavior and they're creating a generation of "aristobrats."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rude kids

The following blog links a NY times article but then points out, as I have previously, that there isn't some kind of legitimate excuse for rude kids. The fact is that rude adults make rude kids, and the whole sense of entitlement with which so many of us walk through life creates this sense of entitlement in children. They don't respect strangers, and they think their kids should walk all over you too....

"The problem that I see with this theory? There are a lot of plainly rude parents out there raising rude kids. It’s not always about attention to the kids or overindulging. It’s about how the adults who are parents treat others in the presence of their children.

Teaching your kids to pick up their clothes and make polite conversation is fine, but if they don’t see US doing it, why should they?"


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

There is nothing worse than bad parents.

On a flight to Florida recently I had the opportunity to watch numerous parents interact with their children. Although I did see a few good parents who talked intelligently and respectfully to their kids. Most did not speak to their children at all and as a result had very little ability to guide or control the kids.

The couple sitting next to me had an 18 month old child who was able to say only about 10 words. He was a cute kid and was having great time pushing buttons. After the plane had taken off, the child began to scream. The mother immediately grabbed the child, looked him in the eye, and in a forceful whisper said, "LISTEN TO ME, LISTEN TO ME" The child stopped screaming and looked at his mother. In a stern whisper the mother demanded, "There will be no screaming on this flight. There are many people on this plane and it is not nice to scream. There will be NO screaming on this flight." Although the child couldn’t even speak, the mother spoke to him as if he was able to carry on normal conversation. She then asked her child, "Do you understand?" Holding him tightly she repeated, "Do you understand?" The child said in a high tone, "uuhhh." Which was clearly a "yes". The kid did not scream or cry for the rest of the flight!

Unfortunately most of the other parents on the flight simply did not talk to their children. When a child began to cry most parents would pick up the baby and shake it up and down. Sometimes these parents would repeatedly rub the child’s forehead and face. I am not sure what value shaking or rubbing has other than to distract the child so that it will forget what it was crying about. In the seats in front of me, I had to watch fat sweating parents pass their child back and forth, shaking and rubbing him over and over; the child cried for over an hour without the parents ever making an attempt to talk to the kid about what was bothering him or to help him solve his problems.

There were three kids about 8-12 years old sitting behind me, and they just kept fighting. As the fights escalated the parents would yell, "shut up" or "stop it", but they never asked the kids what they were fighting about or why they were fighting. Nor did they intervene to settle the escalating problems. Finally I couldn’t take it. I turned around and asked , "Are you guys gonna fight the whole trip?" They were terrified and could not look me in the eye. I really wanted an answer, so I just stared at them and asked again. Still none of them answered or looked up. I went back to my paper and the kids didn’t make a peep for the rest of the flight. If they were fighting about something real they would have answered, but the fighting was probably just some game which they quickly stopped playing after they saw it was bothering others.


The author of this post should be amazed that the idiot parent who was the cause of this didn't suddenly become outraged and start berating him or her. It isn't the bad behavior that is so shocking, as much as the outrageous defense of bad behavior by people who honestly believe if they act angry enough, people will allow them to act this way.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

By the way

I would just like to mention that Glen Beck sucks ass.

Ellison interview

In November 2006, Beck drew criticism on Keith Olbermann's Countdown for a part of his interview with then Congressman-Elect Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress in which he said "What I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies'"[11] Olbermann named Beck the winner of the "Worst Person in the World" award for his comments,[12] while Ellison shrugged the incident off. "It's just shock TV", he said. "Some pundits think they have to ask the most outrageous questions."[13] On Jan. 9, 2007, at the Television Critics Association's semiannual press tour, Beck spoke with contrition about his comment to Ellison about what he felt like saying. Beck said it was "Quite possibly the poorest-worded question of all time. That might come from my lack of intelligence."


Yet another crappy parent...

Here's a email from a friend on the same topic...

you can expand it to friends with poorly behaved children who come to your house too. We have one set of friends that we’ve artfully managed to not have their children over for two years (we always find a reason to meet elsewhere) because the last time they were over, their oldest son tried to ride my dog like a horse, complete with an attempt to jump off the couch on to our dog's back! When I said to him that he couldn’t do that in my house (nicely, I might add), his dad (hubbie's childhood friend) got huffy and said that his son was too young to understand that type of rule. Here’s the kicker – at the time, the son was FOUR.

By the way, I will mention, yet again, that I have the necessary experience to judge whether parents are crappy or not without being one. I taught middle school and high school for ten years, which is actually 30 years of parent experience in the real world. I see how your kid acts without you around. That says a lot more about you than you could possibly know.

And to the anonymous blogger who complained about me not pointing out original text in the text; I thought it was obvious that it was not original based upon the fact that there was a link, standing alone, that led to the blog from which the quote came. As it is rather obvious that the blogger was the owner of the blog, I have deleted it and will make certain that I neither mention, link, or read your blog again.

I've had people take my writing, give me credit, but not post my link. I'd rather have my link any day on a post. But whatever. I thought the guys blog was pretty boring anyway.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

tale of two families

Monday, April 02, 2007

Obnoxious kids and rude parents part two

A restaurant owner takes on obnoxious kids...

March 22, 2007 — Have you ever found yourself counting the seconds until your check arrives at a restaurant? Not because the food, service or ambience were lacking, but because someone's child was running laps around the place, hiding under the tables, and practicing his dinosaur roar at ear-splitting volume.

Or maybe you've been on the other side, out to a family meal with the kids, proud of their behavior — which in any other situation might be called exemplary — only to be berated by a fellow diner who believes that children "should be seen and not heard"?

The moment probably doesn't rank among your top ten dining experiences. Whether they're well-behaved kids bored of waiting for their grilled cheese to arrive or poor-mannered brats hell-bent on ruining a meal for everyone within screaming distance, the friction created by kids in restaurants is something many of us have experienced.

In one Chicago community these tensions reached a boiling point when Dan McCauley, owner of a local cafe, A Taste of Heaven, decided he had had enough of children using his establishment as a playground.

Heaven and Hell

One afternoon, McCauley said, he caught a pair of kids scaling the walls of his restaurant while their parents sat nearby. As the group was leaving, McCauley confronted Julie, one of the supervising mothers, and told her that she and her children were no longer welcome in the cafe.

"I was so shocked," said Julie, who out of concern for the children's anonymity asked that her last name not be used. "It made me feel like I was in the second grade, having my knuckles whacked or something."


Notice the response was not "I my god, I am so sorry that I appeared so rude. How embarrassing. I promise this will never happen again". The answer was all about this woman, and her feelings, and that makes sense considering how self-centered her behavior was beforehand.

The following morning McCauley posted a sign on the front door, thinking it would be a simple solution. It read: "Children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices when coming to A Taste of Heaven"

To his astonishment, the sign quickly provoked a strong response within the community. "We had like 50 or 60 phone calls," McCauley said. "People stating that they were really offended, and they would never step foot in here again, which really surprised me." A local newspaper even wrote that a group of concerned parents was going to boycott the cafe.


The owner here has been vindicated internationally, and the groundswell of support continues to grow. The fact is that people are tired of being subjected to bad parenting and the results of them. I should mention that as I former high school and middle school teacher, I am far more qualified than the average parent give an opinion about what constitutes a good parent and a bad one. While many people are of the opinion that their ability to give birth gives them the god-given ability to parent, the fact remains that incompetent parents, like incompetent people, don't know they are incompetent, and in fact believe exactly the opposite.

The same skill set that is required to have consideration for others is the same skill set required to realize you are being inconsiderate. More importantly, just like the middle schoolers I taught, who wanted the benefit of being an adult without the responsibility, today's parents often want the privilege of being a parent without the responsibility.

This shocking conclusion is readily apparent at literally dozens of restaurants and open spaces literally blocks away from where you sit as we speak. Starbucks has become romper room. Any place that sells pizza is automatically a bad bet, and even upscale restaurants aren't immune to the scourge of bad parents with obnoxious kids.

This is, of course, a fabulous opportunity for anyone with capital to swoop in and make some cash. Just like a bar, people could have a safe, sane and relatively quiet place to sip coffee or eat lunch, without children charging up and down the aisles and screaming. You read it here first.

Don't expect anyone to develop any sac about this in the meantime. Just like any real societal change, it will take years for the pushback to be felt. After all, how long did it take for people to stand up to smokers?