Sunday, August 17, 2014

All Aboard the Amtrak

     'This is the most terribly thing that I have ever seen."  Those are the words that I just uttered as I plowed through the second half hour of a 90 minute podcast.  Of course, this was not the Big Dave and Company Podcast, because no one would ever say that about the Big Dave and Company Podcast, but it was a different one and it was a train wreck, but not an adorable train wreck like we always were.  This was just terrible.  But you have to say "terrible" as if you were Charles Barkley in order to get the same effect. 
Gillian Jacobs
So anyway, it was terrible but I was enthralled, and it was not just because the bewitching Gillian Jacobs was on it.  There was just something about it that made me unable to look away.
     Why are we like that?  What is wrong with us as humans, Company, that we just can't seem to look away from a train wreck.  Is that the state of the human condition?  Gaper's block?  Is that what we have come to?  We are at the point in humanity where the number one thing in our day is slowing down on the freeway to stare over at the other side of the median at the result of what happens when a guy in a Kia Rio decided to cut off a semi.  And then we go home and talk about it.
    But we don't just talk about it at home.  That is what is on our news.  Awful, awful things are on the news.  There is a reason why the national news reporter is always embedded with the Army unit and not Doctors Without Borders.  Because we don't care that much about the good things.  For some reason, we do not want to watch a half hour of good news and positive things at 6 PM.  We want to watch a half hour of train wrecks, blood and gore, people fighting, with a little weather and a live spot from the Dolphins' training camp and then one single, solitary good story just to remind us that we really are good as people.  That maybe we really are okay and do like puppies.  It sort of just allows us enough of a sliver of hope to believe that we aren't terrible people who are into the gore.
     We are though, and that is the problem.  Ever seen news footage of an Amtrak train crash?  It seemed like it was happening once a week during the 90s and I am sure you could YouYube the hell out of it.  What you will notice is fifty people standing around watching what it happening and three people running towards the wreckage to help someone.  And if it were happening today each of those hundred people would have their cell phone out to record what was going on.  Because that is the way we are.  We don't want to watch, but we can't turn away, and we know it.  We know that we will watch over and over those three people running towards what is left of those train cars, and someone has to provide the video.  We don't want to watch but we can't turn away.  We need the puppy parade section of the news to make remind us that we don't want to watch.  But the embedded reporter is the part that can not turn away.
     And we are getting worse, too.  Look at the video of the Hindenburg burning.  How many people are running towards that thing despite the fact that it is clearly not going to end well?  Well, no one at first because it is a fireball falling from the sky.  But once it settles there they all go, running towards it.  Way more than would be today.  There they go, full steam ahead, just like we as humanity are.  Full steam ahead towards the next Amtrack crash so we can gawk and get our sick, cheap, thrills.  All aboard!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Non-Dairy Communications

     Charter Communications is non-dairy creamer, Company.  And I can prove it.
     Little Jeffy and I have a tradition.  When we go out to eat, we always a.) pay the bill at the end of the day, b.) each drink a creamer, and c.) put something from the table down in front of the other person to eat.  For example, I grab a packet of sugar and put it in front of him and he has to eat it.  And Little Jeffy, because he is kind of a dick, finds the one little packet of Vegemite in the bottom of the jelly tray that the Australian minstrels left there last week and puts it in front of me and I have to eat that.  I know, you wish you had thought of that awesome game.  Sorry, sometimes you have to let someone else be awesome.
     Anyway, here we sit, Little Jeffy and I, at a Pizza Hut in Warsaw, Missouri.  And he finds, among the packets, the solitary packet of powered non-dairy creamer, because - as we discussed earlier - he is a dick.  So me, being a manly man and a media mogul, I eat it, fully knowing that it was going to be terrible.  And it was.  It was a little bitter but also milky and had the texture of wet drywall.  Then, for one shining moment, for one, brief, glorious, amazing moment, it was almost sickly sweet.  It was delicious.  Like cotton candy wrapped in marshmallow fluff.  And then it went back to drywall.  But it was in there, that one delicious moment, that wasn't enough to make you want to wade through the rest of the shit, but that if you knew it was coming it made the rest not quite so bad.
    So fast forward to Charter Communications, one of the giant cable companies that roams our great land preying on our desire to watch reruns of Mad About You.  A company whose ego and desire for subscribers is so large that it actually advertises on ITSELF which is the most ridiculous thing ever.  Anyway, it runs all these commercials (could you even imagine how cheap your cable bill would be if they would just kill it with all the advertisements?), and they are just about evenly split between commercials attacking Direct TV and commercials with jaunty songs that are really, just terrible.  They are catchy but lame and awful, and they air so much that in time they act like an earwig and get into your brain until such time as you just want to stab yourself, and everyone at Charter.  They very, very quickly become the drywall part of the non-dairy creamer.  You hate them.  You mute them.  You scream and scorn them.  You slog your way through their awfulness because you really like Mad About You apparently.  And then it happens.
     The commercial changes.  The one with the guys on the motorcycles is gone, and in its place is one with a noticeably diverse group of Charter operators who sing and dance, which I would guess is completely made up except for the part with the cubicles.  And it is SO FANTASTIC to have this new commercial.  You watch.  You might even sing.  You pay attention enough to see that the phone number to call has changed (also, how much is is costing them to keep getting all these phone numbers?).  It is so great.  Suddenly, you are out of the red when it comes to Charter and for a split second you consider actually subscribing even though you know they don't have service at your house. 
     You have reached that moment in the packet of non-dairy creamer when it tastes good.  And I think that we all know how the story goes from here.  I think we can extrapolate and figure out what happens.  I think that we all should also know that I have always wanted to use the word "extrapolate" in a blog post.  you like the commercial, but then it comes on approximately nine times during the half hour episode of Mad About You, and then another, oh I don't know, eleventy billion times during Bones, and all the sudden you hate it.  You have gone down the back side of the hill and are into drywall territory again.And you hate it.  But you live through it because you don't remember which version of Law & Order is on next, despite hating it.  The cycle begins again, and the only thing that keeps you going is that one sweet moment that you know is on the horizon when the commercial changes again.  It is not enough to make you want to watch the commercial - it really isn't.  But it IS just enough to get you by.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Vocabularious

     So there is this thing called Urban Dictionary.  Have you heard of this, Company?  It is a website that one can edit - Wikipedia style - where you can put all sorts of popular slang terms.  It's neat.  So, let's look at some of the recent words of the day and I am going to tell you what I think about them.  How does that sound to you?

Intern Lunch - A lunch that takes two or more hours.
What the hell is this about?  Back in the 80s, when everyone wore really skinny ties and apparently we weren't quite so uptight about everything, this was called a three martini lunch because executives took long lunches and they would drink like three martinis or something.  Because you could get all drunked up during the day apparently.  Anyway, now it is applied to interns, because one must be an intern who is so insignificant at a company that you wouldn't be missed for two hours in the middle of the day.   But bosses take these lunches too, so we can see who is doing the work in the average American company.  Also, what sort of shitty company has interns who have two free hours a day?  I could teach these companies a thing or two about how to treat an intern, especially an unpaid intern.

Hashtag Abuser - One who overuses the hashtag symbol, especially on non-Twitter or Instagram apps.
#hashtag #nofuckingshit #settlewiththehashtages #onmyfreakinggod #stopwiththehashtags #hashtagabuser

Banana Hammock - 
You know what this is.  And no one should wear one.  Not ever.  Except maybe Borat.  One should always have more of a grocery bag vibe going when concerning one's hammock.  Even in Europe.

Clink Sink Drink - While drinking an alcoholic shot, the act of clinking your glass with a partner, sinking the glass to the table, and then raising and drinking the shot.
1.) Just because it rhymes doesn't mean that it needs to be said.
2.) Yeah, there is nothing that every bartender wants to do more than wipe booze up off the table and/or bar.  Just take the shot fuck knuckle.

Sober Drunk - The feeling of being drunk with the rest of your friends while you are actually completely sober.
Why fucking bother?  That was my first thought.  But then I started thinking about this concept, and I realize that it is really pretty amazing.  So you are telling me that you can go out and essentially get shitfaced - or at least get the feeling of being shitfaced - without paying all the money and taking all the risk of being drunk in public.  AND you get to drive around when you are done?  That is the absolute best.

Bropinion - Your bro's opinion.
Enough said, but to be honest, one doesn't have to put the word bro into every situation in which it fits and in which your good male friend is involved.  I like it though.  I feel, though, like I should be wearing a hat with a really straight brim including sticker when saying it.  Very Jersey Shore in a way.

Steppin on My Dick - When someone disrespects your manhood.
I feel like this is a term that is unnecessary.  I wouldn't think that someone would step on one's dick to disrespect someone's manhood.  Can you even think about the logistics that would be involved with stepping on someone's dick?  Like, actually, physically stepping on someone's dick?  Like, how does one even go about that?  Do you just ask them nicely?  "Excuse me, can you just lie down on the ground for a minute so that I can step on your dick?"  I am not sure that would work.  You could always just like kick the guy in the back of the knees to get him down but then why not just kick the shit out of him.  Wouldn't that work just as well?  I mean, to step on his dick you would still have to sort of position him correctly.  And if you weren't wearing shoes, like if you were at the beach or something, then would you have to go obtain some form of footwear?  Can you step on a man's dick barefoot?  There are a lot of practical and ethical conflicts that would have to be sorted out.  I am thinking this needs to be done over drinks.  Clink, sink, drink.