>>> Casual Misanthropy
By staff writer JD Rebello
June 14, 2006

Wanna hear something creepy?

I was talking with my dad tonight and he was telling me about how, according to the Greek, Hebrew, and Roman calendars, the world is supposed to end in 2012. Then we talked about how Al Gore has a new movie out where he claims if we don't fix the global warming issue, and fast—say, within the next ten years—we will have set ourselves on a course of worldwide destruction.

Now you know me. I don't buy into conspiracy theories (except for the one that claims Roger Clemens missed the first quarter of the season because he was serving a secret steroid suspension—I believe that one), but seriously, three calendars and Al Gore claim the world is going to end? That's eerie.

Maybe they're on to something. Lord knows we're a culture on the decline. Most of us are only in our late teens/early twenties, but can you remember a worse time in our lives from a social perspective than where we are right now? Politically, we're led by a fucking imbecile. Music sucks. Movies suck. And the defending Super Bowl champs are led by a quarterback who thinks it's a bright idea to drive the fastest street-legal motorcycle in the U.S. without a helmet.

“Back in the day, you'd buy a Coke, open the cap, and underneath it would say ‘You won a free coke!' Now you open the cap and what do you get? A fucking code.”

I'm only 22 years old, and even I can see that something's wrong. Obviously I'm blessed with the benefit of hindsight, but talk to people about the past, and it wasn't always like this. Christ, in the 1940s, everyone believed America would prevail and that war was justified. In the 1960s people rallied against war but because they actually believed in the cause, not to look good for the E! cameras. In the 1970s, music was headlined by Hendrix, Page, Lennon, Dylan, and Morrison. Movies like The Godfather and Taxi Driver and Deer Hunter were in theaters. In the ‘80s, everyone was on cocaine, so we'll call it a mulligan. Even in the early ‘90s, rap went mainstream, allowing people to understand the plight of urban areas. Grunge and alternative tapped into unrequited teen angst. The media became more self-aware, capitalizing on a generation that defined itself by irony. I'd say until about 1995, everything was cake.

Today? Not so much. I mean, look at our leaders. We've gone from Washington to Jefferson to Lincoln to FDR to Kennedy to, most recently, an adulterer, followed by a lying sociopath (both of which, by the way, were re-elected).

Look at us as a society. We're not smart enough to be ironic. We don't care enough about causes beyond what Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart tell us to believe. We've lost our sense of humor, but we’re still afraid to take anything seriously. Like everyone else, we're a generation constantly criticized by our elders. The worst part: they're right to be critical. The even worse part: it's just as much their fault as it is ours. Something is clearly wrong.

So what is it? What is with our society that’s sent us spiraling down the path of most resistance? Personally, I think it's the little things, the little idiosyncrasies in our daily lives that are fucking us up beyond reproach. You may think I'm grasping at straws, and you're probably right. But remember, I'm part of the fucked up. My high school graduation song was written by Vitamin C. If that doesn't tell you something, you're too well-adjusted for this column.

Coke and Pepsi Contests

Look, I don't really give a shit about Coke or Pepsi, but when I go to a vending machine and have to choose between the two, I have a pretty simple criteria: I pick the bottle that has a contest going on. You know, the “1 in 12 wins free Coke!” contests?

Here's what bugs me. Back in the day, you'd buy a Coke, open the cap, and underneath it would say “You won a free coke!” or, “Sorry, try again, shithead!” Now you open the cap and what do you get? A fucking code. So you can go to the website, plug it in, not win shit, and, AND! be placed on the company's email list since you're typically required to input that to claim your prize of nothing. I mean, does it get dicker than that? I can't imagine anything being dicker than that. Maybe I don't want to.

The American Version of The Office

Great show. Almost justifies NBC for the Joey debacle. But here's what troubles me. Every time I try to reference a scene from the show, I get this response:

Me: Oh man, there was this funny scene in The Office last night.
Douche Sniffer:
Oh, the American version?
Me:
Yeah.
Douche Sniffer:
Oh. The British version is way funnier.

Listen fuckface, I've seen both versions. The British version is funnier, I grant you. But the American version is pretty damn hilarious in its own right. I fucking hate people like this—like you're so goddamn special because you've seen a British TV show. Well excuse me, World Traveler. Didn't mean to offend you with my Americo-centricity.

These are the same jackaninnies who, when you tell them you liked a movie based on a book, will tell you the book is way better. Yeah? How long did it take you to read the book? Two weeks. Took me ninety minutes to watch the movie, assbag. That's called efficiency. Since when do we become well-rounded simply to bust someone else's balls? If you're going to read or follow the media of another part of the world, good for you. Don't be a dickbag about it.

Jetta Commercials

For starters, only chicks are allowed to drive Jettas. Can we settle that? There's nothing particularly effeminate about a Jetta, just that, well…they're for chicks. In my never-ending theory that girls are secretly plotting a world takeover, I believe girls are actually issued Jettas by Hilary Clinton and her ilk.

Anyway, the commercials I'm referring to are those “Safe Happens” ones. You know, where a bunch of yuppie cocks are discussing God knows what, then BOOM! They get sideswiped. While I'm a sucker for happy endings, I don't like being scared like that. I have a weak bladder as it is. You don't see Ford pulling a stunt like that; they offered to pay my gas until 2008. Hmm, should I buy the car that pays my gas for a year, or the car that makes me squirt poop in my underoos during the commercial break of “So You Think You Can Dance“?

But this raises a larger issue. Can't we just want to be safe? I know quite a few people who drive without wearing a seatbelt. Listen, dick, you're not badass. Put a fucking seat belt on. I know you went to Driver’s Ed like me. And, like me, you had to sit and watch those movies where they peel someone's bloody rectum off the pavement because he didn't wear a seat belt. Herein lies part of the problem. Our mentality toward safety education is bent on scaring the shite out of you.

Take drinking. Everything we've been taught since fifth grade is that drinking will fuck your shit up. So what happens? You go to high school or college, you drink a beer. Nothing bad happens and you realize it was all bullshit. Now, since you have no concept of binge drinking because all you've ever been taught is that the slightest alcohol will turn you into Christian Slater on New Year's Eve, you decide it's OK to drink a shitload. Boom! Liver disease. Drunk driving accidents. Banging fat chicks.

The Gay Marriage Debate

Who gives a rat's dicksack? Gay marriage affects about 80% of the country. Can't we discuss more pressing issues like the phony war in Iraq or those tissues covered in lotion. Great, just what I need, a used Kleenex. Christ, Bush, you insecure faggot.

James Blunt

“You're beautiful…you're beautiful…you're beautiful…it's true.” I saw something on TV Land once listing the greatest TV moments of all time. The Beatles performing on Ed Sullivan was something like, #4. I'm not comparing James Blunt to the Beatles, because, well, then I'd have to eat my own ass. But instead of allowing for something great like that to happen again, we take something that's relatively popular and saturate the ever loving shit out of it, so not only does the song—already bereft of quality and meaning (it's a lame pop tune designed to make fat chicks feel OK about themselves)—become overplayed, but it removes any novelty it once had.

I can't think of a single music act that has hit the scene since 2000 that would cause any kind of mass stir if it went on Leno or Letterman. And if you mention American Idol to me, I'll make you eat your own heart.

Back to James Blunt. It's gotten to the point where if I'm listening to the radio and I don't hear that song, I think something's wrong. Like the terror alert level's been raised or some shit. It's like walking into a bar and not hearing that ” Como como gasolina” song. Is something wrong? Why aren't you playing that song? Should I go to the market and buy water and supplies?

The WNBA

I actually once tried to watch a WNBA game because I thought it would make for a funny column. I decided it was too painful and my readers aren't worth it.

Here's what I don't understand. I have a decent amount of friends. And a majority of them follow sports. Not one has ever even watched a WNBA game. In fact, I polled 200 people and asked them if they know whether or not Boston had a WNBA team. 196 said Boston has a WNBA team (answer: Boston does not).

Now, like the rest of my polls, this is unscientific and in fact, completely fictitious. But the fact remains, nobody watches this shit, and yet we're going on over a decade of 54-42 scores and 7-foot black chicks with horse thighs plodding up and down a court. Isn't the regular NBA enough of a chore to sit through?

And don't give me that equality in sports horseshit. How come nobody cries when the male side of gymnastics, figure skating, and tennis is ignored? Can't we just accept that men have baseball, basketball, football and hockey, and women have gymnastics, tennis, and figure skating? Those are all real sports. Women need to pick their battles…and get back in the kitchen. (Don't get pissy, you had to see that coming!)

The Blue Collar Comedy Tour

These guys aren't funny! I'm supposed to guffaw because Ron White said “tater” ? Where the fuck are our standards? Comedy is about channeling our anger and sadness into something positive, and challenging the system. It's not about being a brain-dead imbecile relying on archaic stereotypes to get through to an ignorant audience.

For starters, who let Jeff Foxworthy have a career again? He was washed up when I was in junior high, for Christ's sake. What's next? The triumphant return of Brett Butler? I actually suffered through a Ron White special the other night and it sucked even worse than I could imagine. It's all conservative propaganda and drinking humor. Isn't that what FOX News is for? Hey, speaking of FOX…

FOX News

Now, I work at a newspaper that is continually criticized for being too liberal. Whenever I ask someone why it's too liberal, they don't have an answer. Know why? BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE DON'T EVEN READ THE FUCKING THING!

Here's some dickfat to chew on: the media is supposed to be liberal! The media's job is to provide a critique of society by exposing every aspect of it politically, socially, and culturally to the masses. It is supposed to promote change, just as can be ascertained by the historic definition of liberalism, as defined by Thomas Jefferson…but who the fuck is he?

Do you realize how boring a conservative news outlet would be? About as boring as Iranian porn. That's why when you do get a conservative news outlet, like, say, FOX News, you get retarded bullshit like Bill O'Reilly screaming at a black gay transsexual Al-Qaeda sympathizer for 45 minutes.

FOX News isn't moving us forward. It's not even moving us backward. It's doing the worst possible thing. It's standing still. And that's what we're doing. Standing still, waiting for things to get better. For us to have faith in our leaders. For people to become famous for bettering society as opposed to winning a contrived FOX talent show. For our music and movies to become more focused on artistic merit than commerce. I mean, shit, a sequel to Garfield: The Movie?

Maybe things aren't getting worse, but they aren't getting any better. And that's just as deflating. Even worse, we're running out of time.

2012. Save the date.

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