I’m a reasonable person who gets unreasonably angry at a number of things. Some of these things are trivial and stupid, while others are profoundly disturbing and fill me with deep concern along with the usual low, simmering rage. A low, simmering rage is the kind that remains just below a boil. It might piss you off, but you’ll never actually do anything about it. Still, it will be therapeutic for me and potentially entertaining for you, the reader, for me to start an on-going catalogue of the things which annoy you. I imagine many of you take issue with the same things that I do.
People who say that “stupid people should not be allowed to breed.”
I have two issues with this kind of thinking. The first one is: have you ever heard of the concept of eugenics? Yeah, it’s a pretty terrible idea. I love the movie Idiocracy, but I don’t cite it as evidence that we need to stop stupid people from breeding. It’s a work of fiction, not a manifesto. And anyway, no one has the right to tell anyone else that they can or cannot have children. No one. Overpopulation may be one of the biggest problems plaguing our species, but it is a problem without an ethical solution. There is no way to remove racial, religious, or cultural bias from the idea that certain people are less worthy of reproducing than others. And, for the record, I state this as someone who fully intends to never have any children.
However, I recognize that most times when people say this, they are being hyperbolic. I get annoyed by people complaining about “stupid people” in general. Why? Because most all people are stupid – at one point or another. This is not a matter of education, IQ, or even common sense. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone misspeaks, everyone misreads, and everyone just plain misses the point. It’s called being human. And the more you complain about stupid people, the more likely it is that you are one of them. Because who are you to decide what the minimum threshold to be considered “intelligent” is anyway? People are far more complex than we ever give them credit for, even the redneck mouth breather on the mobility scooter blocking the Lard aisle at Wal-Mart.
The problem is that when you make a mistake, you just did something stupid. When someone else makes a mistake, they are stupid. Do you see the difference between doing something and being something? One is temporary, the other is permanent. One is an action performed by a person, the other is an inherent aspect of that person’s identity. This sort of thinking is called the fundamental attribution error. It is when we falsely attribute a person’s behavior to their personality rather than to the situation. In other words, when you fuck up, it’s because you had a good reason. When someone else fucks up, it’s because he or she is an asshole. And refusing to ever give other people the benefit of the doubt just makes you an asshole. If you think stupid people – or any group of people, for that matter – should not be allowed to breed, then you are the worst kind of person.
Yes, even on Twitter. At this point, hashtags have become so obnoxious that even when they are used appropriately, they still cause me to grit my teeth and reflexively clench my fists. They have infested our language to the point where people are actually saying the word “hashtag” out loud in verbal conversations.
The fine folks at Gizmodo have already summed it up better than I can. But since this is my blog post, it is my duty as a writer to express this thought in my own words – which is the exact opposite of using a hashtag. Hashtags are pure filler. They subtract rather than add value. Hashtags are the online equivalent of laughing at your own joke.
Like “That’s what she said,” hashtags are a way for desperately unfunny people to feel like they are funny. I am determined to remove the most egregious hashtag abusers from my Facebook feed, one by one. I don’t care if Facebook finally caved into societal pressure and implemented hashtag functionality. I refuse to acknowledge them. Here is what I will acknowledge:
If you use multiple hashtags in the same post, especially if those hashtags are simple adjectives like #fun #wedding #party, you are the worst kind person.
If you use a hashtag that is basically an entire sentence, like #thisismeonmygrindyo, or #yallcantevenhandlethisrightnow, you are the worst kind of person.
If you have ever used any of the following hashtags – for any reason – you are the worst kind of person:
#tbt or #throwbackthursday
#firstworldproblems (confession: I did use this once in a tweet, and I’ve regretted it ever since)
#nbd; and, of course,
Animals are great. People are not. This is the general consensus of most people on the internet, and in addition to filling me with a low, simmering rage, it makes me rather sad. People often treat each other unethically and inhumanely. People lie and cheat and rape and kill. Every day people find new ways to make this world a horrible place to live in.
We often talk about things that make us “lose faith in humanity,” or share an uplifting story that “restores our faith in humanity.” But you can neither lose faith in the animal kingdom nor have your faith in animals restored. Animals have no ethics or morals. No matter how much we seek to ascribe human traits to them, they will never be humans, and they will never truly care what we think about them.
An animal can be cute, or fun, but it cannot substitute genuine human interaction. If you prefer the company of animals because they listen, never talk back, and never judge you, then you should take a second to realize what a narcissist you are. The only way we can become better people is by being challenged, by being judged and criticized and called out for our bullshit. An animal can do none of these things. If you give a dog food, it will love you unconditionally. But love that is not earned is love that is not worth having.
It disturbs me that Hollywood movies have no problem showing hundreds of people perishing in some kind of disaster, and no one has an issue with this, but if you don’t save that dog, Mr. Director, be prepared for a metric shitload of rage. Ask yourself, if you were in a situation where you had to choose between saving a cat and saving a child, which one would you save? I am positive that most of you, if forced to answer honestly, would choose to save a child. Intrinsically, you know to value the life of a human over that of a sub-human. But there are people who are so socially awkward, or so misanthropic, that they would genuinely choose to save the cat. These people are the worst kind of people.
Katie and I post lengthy articles on this blog. Perhaps we lack for restraint, but we do not lack for passion. So if you leave a comment on one of our posts that simply says “Tl;dr,” you are the worst kind of person.
Why are you admitting to the fact that you don’t have enough of an attention span to read a page or two of text? Better question: why are you commenting on something that you didn’t even read? “Tl;dr” is not the right acronym for you; better would be “tl;cr,” as in, “too long, couldn’t read.” Your laziness, poor comprehension skills, or combination of both are not things to be proud of. They are sources of shame and should be concealed thusly.
It’s even more pathetic when someone writes “tl;dr” after something that was only a paragraph or two in length. “Tl;dr” is an even more half-assed comment to leave than “meh,” because at least “meh” is a comment on the content of an article, and not merely a comment on the structure of that content.
Also, if you are the sort of person who puts a “tl;dr” summary after your own post, stop it. Don’t encourage the already attention-deficit internet commenters who can’t finish an entire news article before the urge to masturbate or look at pictures of cats overwhelms them. If you have something to say, then say it proudly; don’t pour your heart out and then be ashamed that you did.
The fact that I have to deal with this at all perhaps says more about me than I care to acknowledge. There is an inordinate number of people on my Facebook feed who seem to do nothing all day but post links to memes and DeviantArt pages about Disney Princesses. These are girls in their mid-to-late twenties who can’t get enough of anything Disney. Sites like BuzzFeed and Huffington Post (the Wal-Mart of the internet) are happy to oblige them. Here are the compiled search results for “disney princesses” on these three sites:
Buzzfeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/search?q=disney+princesses ~ 50 results
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/disney-princesses/1 ~ 100 results
DeviantArt: http://www.deviantart.com/?q=disney+princesses ~ 73210 results
I’ve seen more variations of “Disney Princesses dressed as ______” than I can even keep track of. Just from sampling the Facebook profile from one girl on my friends list, I was able to find links to the following Disney or Disney Princess-related content:
Of course, this particular girl represents the extreme, not the norm (she is also a self-proclaimed Wiccan and, even though she is a public school teacher, somehow has the time during the day to constantly defecate imgur links about Marvel’s Avengers, paganism, and “feminism” onto people’s news feeds). However, even though I unfollowed her months ago, I still see plenty of Disney content on my feed from other offenders. I’m fighting an uphill battle here.
There’s a particular subset of girls who spend four years in high school trying to convince people to treat them like adults, only to revert back to children as soon as they get into college. There are probably guys who do this too, but it’s more conspicuous with the ladies; having slumber parties, walking around the dormitory in pajamas, watching Disney movies, singing along to K-Pop videos on YouTube. College students in general tend to be nostalgic, but why the particular obsession with Disney?
First of all, let’s put aside the fact that Disney is a massive, soulless corporation. Any sentimental notions we have attached to their products, characters, images, etc. are the result of a monolithic marketing machine that has been churning away for nearly a century. The Disney Princess craze specifically is one that has received tremendous amounts of flak from parents and academics. It promotes an image of girls as vain, self-absorbed, materialistic, and entitled. Seriously, how big of an ego do you need to have to genuinely believe that birds are going to light on the tip of your finger while squirrels and rabbits gather around your feet? A self-proclaimed feminist with an unabashed love for Disney Princesses should probably stop calling herself a feminist.
Here are three great articles critiquing the Disney Princess mania that has swept our nation:
“One Dad’s Ill-Fated Battle Against the Princesses” – A great op-ed from a father’s perspective.
“Why Drag Queens Are Better Role Models Than Disney Princesses” – Just the title alone should be enough to hook you.
So there you have it, Part One of what will surely be an ongoing series on this site. Comment below on any of the obnoxious things I’ve mentioned, or share what things fill you with a low, simmering rage.Photo Credits: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cammyclaudia/4040724857/”>cammy♥claudia</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a> photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/dph1110/472754028/”>dherrera_96</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>