Archive for Stupid

…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”.

…you think the fact that you like Star Wars makes you a nerd.

Posted in All, Faux Elitism, Film & TV, Illiterate, Pop Culture, Stupid Trends with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by oooranje

Once upon a time, being a ‘nerd’ was a bad thing. It meant wedgies, social exile, a dearth of party invites, and endless jokes about your intact virginity. Then, a funny thing happened. A couple self-avowed, undeniable nerds founded software companies, most notably Microsoft, and became extremely, extremely rich. So rich, in fact, that they passed the Justin Timberlake/Social Network test for ‘what’s cool’, several times over.

Suddenly, being a nerd became cool.

The trend then continued in film when comic books, long the province of acne-faced, minutiae-obsessed diehards, became the primary mine of blockbuster films. Cue pandemonium at Comic-Con, cue the Big Bang Theory, cue Gleeks and their absurd demands to be included under the nerd/geek banner (There is no world in which Glee belongs at Comic-Con in any form. Sorry).

And then the world writ large suddenly decided that the entrance requirements for nerd status had become significantly relaxed even as the social desirability of being a nerd increased. Any preference for anything vaguely brainy, scientific, or otherworldly was sufficient, never mind how spurious, ungrounded, or outright idiotic it was. Never mind that the movies now being used as evidence for nerd-dom were historically and continue to be giant, massive blockbusters. Anyone with a remotely snarky Star Wars t-shirt is now, apparently, a long-suffering nerd. Nerds unite!

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t make fun of people for decades for being passionate about their preferences in life, then claim to have been one of them all along when it apparently becomes cool to be in the club.

Moreover, being a nerd requires a certain amount of taste and specialization. Star Wars, Star Trek, and Avatar were all massive, four-quadrant movies. They were made to appeal to everyone. Liking something that everyone else likes does not make you a nerd. It doesn’t even set you apart. Being a nerd means having strange, varied, and even unpopular taste. That means Firefly, that means Cowboy Bebop, that means World of Warcraft and a dozen other things you’ve never heard of. Why? Because you’re not a nerd.

…you don’t think the Associates belong at the ODI World Cup.

Posted in All, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2011 by oooranje

Lately there has been a significant uproar because the Cricket ODI World Cup organizers have decided, after two appalling opening results, that the Associates should no longer be part of the Cricket World Cup. The reasons seem pressing and unquestionable: it is embarrassing for both sides when the differences in playing ability are so marked as to make the games feel pointless and laughable. Kenya vs. New Zealand, in particular, is emblematic of this disease. It is sad but true that the latter team, a full ICC Member, is eons superior to the former team, a qualified Associate, and this showed clearly on the cricket pitch. Clearly, this day was a debacle for cricket everywhere and should never be repeated, right?

Wrong. Consider the basic assumption that goes into the logic for excluding Associates from the ODI World Cup going forwards: that it is unseemly and demoralizing for the Associates in question for them to be so completely beaten on the international stage, and that it is, in effect, better for everyone if they are kept from such defeats. Compare this to the reality of College Basketball’s March Madness, where teams clearly hailing from lesser funding, fewer scholarship players, and less competitive leagues go up against the titans of the sport: yes, the 16-seeds are routinely obliterated, yes 20- and 30-point margins, crushing victories without question, are common and a part of the equation. But anyone who has ever seen the faces of the ‘minnows’ of college basketball – Canisius and Coppin State and Mississippi Valley State – as they enter the arena for that hopeless game, anyone who has watched them win their qualifying championship with the full awareness that they are little more than cannon fodder for the big boys, anyone who has watched them play and give everything on the court just to keep the margin low, and seen them lose with grace and even joy, that person knows how untrue the ICC’s assumption is. The truth is that, even for minnows, even for the weakest team in the tournament, there is more respect given for being on the same field and playing on an even level with the greats, even if that means a crushing defeat, than there is in winning their lower division, year in and year out, never having the opportunity to really test their limits. Even more importantly, consider the impact that a single, Cinderella-type upset has on the sport: when George Mason went on its run in 2006, the entire event became charged, tinged with magic; those whose teams had long fallen by the wayside found a common underdog to cheer for, and ratings went through the roof.

Moreover, at a time when cricket has much deeper problems in terms of finding its place in the sporting world at large, when the Olympics has just accepted the short, Twenty20 format as a trial sport and thus opened the floodgates to worldwide cricket participation, it stands to reason that limiting the participation of teams that have consistently shown their class in the shorter format is tantamount to cutting the older, one-day game off at the legs. Top-flight, elite-level cricket is not harmed by the inclusion of some weaker teams – yes, New Zealand trounced Kenya, and others will likely do the same, but the same New Zealand team will also have to play Australia next, and Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well. Excellent, Members-only cricket will also be played at this World Cup, have no fear of that.

More to the point, not all Associates have proven themselves incapable of playing with Members: It took England 49 overs and 294 runs to beat the Netherlands, in what stands out as perhaps the most gripping match of the Cup so far. When that same Netherlands team did actually beat England at Lord’s two Twenty20 World Cups ago, it galvanized the world of Associates cricket, breathing new life into their play and opening up the real possibility of upward mobility in the cricket world. More than that, the shocking upset drew eyes to the sport that would never have watched it otherwise, mine included.

And yet, now, the ICC in their wisdom have ordained that neither the morale of the Associates, nor the health of the ODI game, nor the potential excitement of fans worldwide, is more important than keeping the scorelines tight, and the social calendar for full Members even tighter. This is elitism, make no mistake, and it runs the risk of seriously harming the game. It should not be allowed to continue.

…you’re a ‘gypsy.’

Posted in All, Fashion with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by oooranje

First off, let’s be clear: in most European countries, the very term ‘gypsy’ is considered a racial slur. Traditionally it is used to refer to the semi-itinerant, semi-nomadic Roma people (who give their name to the country of Romania), but it has a derogatory context as the settled, city-dwelling Europeans have for hundreds of years turned nothing but distrust and malice towards those who did not adhere to their style of civilization. So to begin with, you probably should not be using that term.

Secondly, the sense in which you’re using the term is debatably even worse: it is the self-aware, shoulder-shrugging excuse of the habitually and unapologetically irresponsible. You can’t be on time, because you’re a ‘gypsy.’ You can’t be tied down in a relationship, because you’re a ‘gypsy.’ You can’t hold a steady job or take your studies seriously or wash your clothes because, well, you get the point. In other words, being a ‘gypsy’ accounts for all, or nearly all, of your bad traits. There’s a word for this: it’s called racism. You couldn’t do this with any other ethnic term and get away with it. Just because you’re not aware (or, again, too willfully irresponsible) to realize you’re referring to a real people when you use the term doesn’t change the fact that you are being offensive and racist. Never mind that the argument that you act a certain way because you are a certain type of person that acts that way is circular reasoning and idiotic.

The fact that you don’t want to take responsibility for your actions is sad. The fact that you’re aware of this and think you can excuse it with a racial slur is even worse. Either way, being a ‘gypsy’ doesn’t make you clever, or loveable, or interesting. It makes you a racist idiot.