Archive for the Technology Category

…you think your instagram ‘art’ is special or unique.

Posted in All, Illiterate, Inconsiderate & Rude, Pop Culture, Stupid Trends, Technology with tags , , , , , on April 14, 2013 by oooranje

First off, Instagram is a fine app, it does fine things, it’s fun and nice and all of that. I have no beef with the app.

But I am sick to the point of bursting with tepid, uninspired and poorly-framed pictures of a) your room b) your food c) random boring everyday implements or d) sunsets.

The reality is two-fold: one, basic stuff like framing still matters a lot in making photographs interesting, appealing, or, dare I say it, worthwhile. This doesn’t mean you need a big complicated camera to take a good picture, it means you need to have a sense of perspective and an understanding of how the lens you’re using works to set up the shot you’re going for. You can’t just throw a lens up against something and call it art, no matter how many filters you apply. And no, setting something to black and white and colorizing one part of the picture is not art either, it’s kitsch at this point. Spielberg did it to great effect in ’94, Ikea has sold pictures based on it for decades, and now you are just Mr./Ms./Mrs./Mz. Original for coming up with it in 2013.

Second: iPhones have great cameras. Androids are pretty solid too. They do some really cool stuff, like, oh, expose for things like sunsets well. So hey, great, you no longer need to worry about exposure (as much) to take a picture that is more or less easily viewable and true to the way you perceived the setting. This does NOT suddenly make you the Ansel Adams of sunsets, and it for sure doesn’t mean that any shitty foreground with a decent sunset behind it is ‘art.’ Again, no matter what filter you put on it.

So whatever, share away, put your bland photos on your boring tumblr, it’s all good. I’d prefer you not take a dozen pictures of your shrimp scampi at the table next to me with the flash on while coming up with hashtags in your head, but it probably beats listening to you trying to make conversation, so I’ll tolerate that as well. But for the love of god, do not destroy things while you make your shitty art. It’s not ok, it’s not forgivable, and it’s neither relevant nor interesting. Oh, and one more thing. It’s not special.

…because you check in constantly on FourSquare/Places.

Posted in All, Faux Elitism, Inconsiderate & Rude, Pop Culture, Stupid Trends, Technology with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2011 by oooranje

Beyond being a classic example of the internet making it easier for stalkers/spies/shadowy government agencies to follow your every move, if you are one of these individuals who is convinced that what the world needs now is to know exactly where you are every 5 minutes, you are wrong.

I can understand the appeal of checking off a litany of boxes (I play Borderlands compulsively, after all), and I guess I can understand the appeal of making all of life an interactive video game, but why post the results on facebook/twitter/whatever? I don’t need to know you just went to the Hard Rock Cafe any more than I need to know you just set the new high score on Tetris, or to see a picture of the massive shit you just took. It’s just not interesting.

This would of course be different if you were in an interesting place, like, oh, I don’t know, the moon, or the ISS, or Antarctica, but you’re not. You’re at the Spearmint Rhino in Vegas, or the Starbucks down the road, or at the gym. Pressing information, I know. Downright breaking news.

But ok, I guess, I don’t have to go out of my way to read this stuff. After all, I don’t have to visit your profile page or twitter feed. But oh wait, it also clogs the hell out of my newsfeed, to the point where I miss genuinely important stuff like the latest video of your stupid brainless kid crapping himself, or hipstamatic photos of your awful, yawn-inducing Ikea-decorated apartment, or your reaction to Jersey Shore.

Oh right, that stuff sucks too.  I guess there’s just one antidote to your mind-numbing updates.

“Unfriend”.

…your performance car has an automatic transmission.

Posted in All, Inconsiderate & Rude, Stupid Trends, Technology with tags , , on December 11, 2010 by oooranje

So let’s get this straight: you ass-kissed, back-stabbed, and slept your way to the middle just so you could afford the lease on the newest, greatest, most ostentatious vehicle your feeble mind could conceive of (more often than not, this is a Ford Mustang), the one with the horsepower, oomph, wow factor, hemi, and most thrust per dollar (yeah, we know, that’s what she said, you douchebag). You got this thing painted the loudest color you could think of without seeming too effeminate (usually electric blue with grey racing stripes), and you installed the most thumping bass you could find at Radio Shack, all so people could know: only the best for you.

Oh, and you got this car with the full complement of douche options with an automatic transmission.

To explain how stupid this is, consider the concept of buying a Stradivarius (a top-notch violin, for those keeping score) and then playing it through an autotuner.

Yeah. It completely and utterly defeats the purpose of going top-notch. You might as well have a Honda Civic because for all of the thousands of dollars you’ve just spent on that automobile, you’re doing the exact same thing: jamming your stupid foot against the stupid pedal as hard as you can in hopes this makes you impressive. What’s up, it doesn’t.

By the way, this is also why the American version of Top Gear fundamentally doesn’t work: most of the audience doesn’t know how to shift gears. Seriously.

…you drive a Prius and/or ‘luxury hybrid.’

Posted in All, Fashion, Faux Elitism, Inconsiderate & Rude, Stupid Trends, Technology on October 20, 2009 by oooranje

I’m all for saving the environment, and I’m all for intelligent business decisions, so I have no issue with Toyota marketing the ugly-as-sin potato-bug-like Prius as a luxury item in order to up their revenue, but seeing as the luxury hybrid has becpme the status symbol of the illogically sanctimonious, yet otherwise inordinately wasteful chic class, something needs to be said.

There are two distinct groupings of luxury hybrid owners: Prius owners and then the various other ‘uses just enough alternate energy to qualify for the carpool lane’ drivers. The former is obnoxious from the get-go, perhaps because Toyota decided early on to pick a name with an awkard plural for its car: is it ‘Prii’ or ‘Priuses’? Neither sounds right, which (and I know this is petty, believe me) only adds to the strange belief that this group of drivers appears to have that they, and they alone, are making a positive difference for the world. Why? Because the simple fact that you can’t pluralize ‘Prius’ suggests that each is one of a kind, which is of course patently untrue. This point would be spurious and nit-picking were it not for the fact that the entire attitude surrounding the Prius fits with this idea so perfectly – who would have believed that anyone would get so wrapped up in an automobile delivered to you by the makers of the Camry and the Tercel, both about as run-of-the-mill 1990s vehicles as you could dream up? Think of your stereotypical first beater, I challenge you, not yours specifically, but when someone talks about their first car – what comes to mind? If it doesn’t look at least a bit like one of the million faded-red, sputtering Camrys (another awkward plural!) out on the streets circa 1998, then we clearly did not grow up in the same hemisphere.

But no! The Prius – and therefore the Prius driver – is different! This is a new model car that reflects individuality, social conscience, and the first indications of the ‘Yes we Can’ mania that swept the nation last November. The Prius driver, in theory, drinks fair-trade coffee, doesn’t wear sweatshop clothing, and attends brutal community art shows of his own free will in order to support local artists at least once every 3 months. Never mind that very few Prius drivers do any of the above, other than drive the Prius – given how they talk about themselves and their vehicle, you’d think they just authored and executed the very first nonviolent protest while discovering cold fusion. Apparently the vehicle titles should come with Nobel Peace Prize attached.

Not to say the Prius doesn’t work – the latest generation apparently gets an estimated highway mileage of 50 mpg + (some estimates over 60), but the fact that saving gas alone is enough, in the minds of Prius owners, to elevate them to sainthood (though they are certainly not ascetics) underscores a fundamental flaw in American environmental thinking: mpgs alone won’t save the planet. Consider that many of these same Prius drivers are bottled-water fanatics, each having their own brand of choice, never mind how pricey or illlogical (Dasani is owned by Coca Cola, folks. Seriously), and then consider the amount of plastic used in the process. Even assuming they recycle their bottles 75% of the time, which most would admit is a generous estimate, this means a bottle or more is wasted every day – ending up in landfills or the ocean. Not to mention that a number of the more high-end Prius drivers also either own or at least fly on private airplanes – why worry about your footprint next to that carbon mountain? Ultimately, truly making a difference involves a lifestyle change, not just buying a trendy new ‘green’ car.

As for the various other luxury hyrbids on the market, I will simply share an office conversation I had the misfortune to overhear: ‘Can I just tell you, my husband didn’t want me to get the hybrid model of my SUV because it was more expensive, but now, in this economy, I’m so glad I did. I tell him all the time, ‘aren’t you glad I got the hybrid?’ It gets nineteen miles per gallon…’

My stick shift Jetta gets mid-30s. And no, I don’t think that makes me special.