I'm neither a snob nor merely contrarian. That is, I don't hate everything loved by "the rabble" due to my own sense of superiority to everyone else, nor do I hate popular things just on the principle of wanting to be edgy or different. But honestly, if I didn't have anime, comic books, video games, sci-fi, fantasy, tabletop gaming, and ponies (essentially all things considered "geek culture") I would go insane. Because a lot of the time, I see what's popular, what's bringing in billions in revenue, what's getting people to stand up and pay attention, and I just think "meh". Clearly I have a taste that does not tend to align with the crowd. I don't know. It seems like it did in the 90's. Was pop culture really better in the 90's, or was I just dumber and more naive because I was a kid?
Sometimes, I wish it did, because that would make my life easier. In fact, I went through a few "trying so hard to like all the popular things" phases in life, where I would try to drink the koolaid in the form of following pop music, watching the latest blockbusters, and of course following the latest celebrity "news". But I tended to hate it, I tended to get a big "but this is not ME" feeling each time, and I stopped. So now, I have the wisdom of having come to terms with my contempt for many things everyone else seems to go all gooey for.
So here's my list of things I wish to unleash my unpopular nerdy vitriol upon (note: I'm not talking about things people have already hated to death, like Twilight):
When this company became super popular in the 90's, beating out of business thousands of small, local coffee shops, every comedian in the country mocked them. They were made fun of in South Park and Austin Powers. And yet, they're still going strong as a media sensation. Maybe, like the election of Donald Trump, all the people hating on them gave them free publicity, and humans, being a bunch of stupid apes, decided that lots of people talking about X makes X super important and worth checking out.
The main issue I have? 90% of the drinks will make you fat. Their idea of "coffee" is disgusting. It's just milk, sugar, fat, sugar, sugar, and sugar. Maybe with a little coffee added for flavoring. Sure, you can go there for black coffee or lightly sweetened tea, but the majority of the people going in there are getting over-glorified hot milkshakes. I went in there recently for a peppermint, white chocolate latte, their most popular drink of the season. But I didn't end up getting it, because holy shit, why would I get a drink that's 450 calories when I eat less than 1200 calories a day? That's more than a third of the calories I should be getting in a day. I am not jazzed about a place that mainly serves drinks that "cost" more in calories than twice what I normally spend on breakfast with an ice tea, diet coke, or plain coffee with 0-cal sweetener. Basically, the Starbucks chain made coffee, a healthy drink by itself, into an addictive drug by adding way too much milk and sugar.
And another thing about Starbucks is that they act so goddamned smug and self-righteous. They're what I call "Capitalism 2.0" like Apple, pretending they're different from other large, global monstrous corporate empires when they're anything but. You're not fucking saving the planet Starbucks, stop pretending to be.
And fuck you, I say "large, medium, and small" because this is America and we speak English. Deal with it.
9. Celebrity Butts
Britney Spears wasn't really kidding in her song "Piece of Me" when she sang,
"Don't matter if I step on the scene or shrink away to the Phillipines
They still gon' put pictures of my derriere in the magazines"
And quite literally, the media seems obsessed with the posteriors of famous females, and many famous females think everyone wants to see or cares a great deal about their ass. They go to great lengths to show their behinds in dirty "dresses", thongs sticking out, low-cut jeans, bad booty shorts, or just straight up sticking them out in nude photo shoots and posting these pictures on social media for the whole goddamn world to see.
I wouldn't mind, but the problem is then most of these same celebrity women go all faux feminist when their asses expire as ATMs, or even before. I understand the outrage when someone stole a photo that was supposed to be private and leaked it onto the internet. That's a crime, and that's wrong. But if you make a career out of showing off your back porch, don't get all indignant if people look, and not all of those people are desirable to you personally. At least actual porn stars are more honest. They don't make a living showing their bodies and then expect to be admired for their fucking minds. If you wanted to be treated with respect, act like someone worthy of respect, and that means having dignity. When celebrities act like porn stars, they should quit bitching about the general public treating them like a porn star. It doesn't exactly set a nice example for little girls, at any rate. Where's the "girl power" celebrities I liked as a kid? Who do little girls have to look up to? A bunch of whores using desperate measures to make up for a lack of talent? And why is the public so damn fascinated by them? Everyone has a bottom! Having an ass does not make you special!
8. Details of Celebrity's Lives
Like I said, I've tried to brainwash myself into caring about this kind of thing by reading the magazines, but I swear all that reading those things will do is kill brain cells. I hate the way celebrity magazines dumb down names into shortened, cutesy nicknames like the people they're talking about are in kindergarten. No, magazine, you can take the goddamn time it takes to write out "Scarlett Johansson", hearing "ScaJo" makes her sound like an 1800's old west outlaw.
They think I give a shit when a marginally famous person gets married, gets a divorce, gets coffee, goes to Target, gets on a plane, shows their ass on Instagram the fifteenth time that day, buys pants, goes to the gym, oh my God it's madness. I don't give a shit. Not even a little. Even with the handful of celebrities I actually really like and admire, I don't care what they're doing at all times. I only care about what they're doing in terms of work; when they're going to put out another creative project. I don't care if they just bought a puppy, just ran away to a private island to marry a donkey, or are reading Eat Pray Love on a beach in Miami. I really don't care what they do with their private lives. And beyond that, I think it's a bit gross and even perverted to be too obsessive and it's wrong to invade people's privacy like this. I guess paparazzi stalking is a big business though, so I can't expect to walk through a grocery checkout lane without hearing about what retired old forgotten reality star from 2007 just got married and then divorced 45 seconds later, anytime soon. Ugh.
I watched all of one episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and my thoughts were:
- This sucks.
- This is stupid.
- I hate myself for even watching this.
So I thought surely, this whole "Kardashian" thing will inevitably blow over and they'll quickly fade as a media sensation. I mean, their biggest star Kim is just another overglorified porn star who got famous for having an ass. And "having an ass" fame is not fame that typically lasts this long.
So, what the actual hell happened? They're still famous. I still see Kim's face, and occasionally other body parts, on magazine covers all the time. I don't get it. How did they manage to do what so few Hollywood Hos do and cash in on their bodies for more than a decade? Other reality show people like Paris Hilton and the cast of Jersey Shore have pretty much dead careers by now. I thought the Kardashians would end up the same way. Is it just a matter of time? Why do these people haunt my every trip to Walgreens? What is so fascinating about them? I don't get it and probably never will. I just want it to end though!
6. Social Media
When I first got into social media, it was 2006 and there was MySpace, which was trashy garbage that I used mostly to be emo and an edgy teenager, and Facebook, which was sophisticated, dignified, and at that time, only for people with invites. Fast forward almost a decade and I've left Facebook, tried Twitter but rarely ever Tweet and never really got into it, and I think every other social networking site is stupid.
Basically, all they exist for is marketing. They all just want to sucker people into posting their every stupid little detail of their lives in order to use that information for selling people things. I liked it when I felt like my MySpace page was a tool I could use for personal self-expression. Facebook, which I left MySpace for, is an overrated corporate tool. I left them when they banned me for posts I had made years ago, because those posts happened to contain politically incorrect language. If it's not a platform for self expression first and a profit-driven venture second, I want no part in it, and that's why I like HubPages. At least at the moment, HubPages gives you freedom to create. If they became too draconian in their rules or their editing, I would probably pack up my content and move it to my own website.
But as I start to see more and more censorship and commercializing focus pushing me away from sites I used to love for their creative potential, I don't see most people joining me in any kind of exodus. I feel alone in my disdain for this corporate spyware disguised as a medium for self-expression. (Oh and speaking of that, Google is not allowing me to put ads on this site for my potty mouth so if you like this article, do me a favor and click on another article by me. Not the feminism one either, that's also ad-disabled! As Eminem said, "Fuck you with the freest of speech this divided states of embarrassment will allow me to have.")
When I left a socially boozy boyfriend for a new beau who doesn't drink much at all about a year ago, I realized that I don't actually like to drink as much as I thought I did. I was just doing it to go along with the boyfriend and his friends because everyone drank, so I drank too to fit in. And I think that's a big problem with alcohol. People associate drinking with friendship too often. But you don't need it. Now, I do enjoy a glass of wine or a fruity mixed drink occasionally, but I don't feel like I need to drink to be sociable or confident at a party.
And you know how much I hate Starbucks for taking a healthy thing and making it fattening? Alcohol is ridiculously fattening. Even a light drink has a lot of calories. And if you have a high tolerance and will have to drink a lot to feel buzzed, you're going to gain weight by drinking every weekend. That's probably the real reason for the "freshman 15". The calories in alcohol are deceptive. It doesn't taste like the bottled dinner it is. But drinking every week is almost a sure-fire detriment to any fitness goals you have.
I also personally had a few bad experiences. Nothing serious or life-threatening, but I have been sick a few times. I have been embarrassed by how I acted when drunk. I have had bad hangovers where I just felt sick and nasty all day following. I don't want to do that anymore. It's not fun. I was just using alcohol as a crutch to overcome my social anxiety, and that's not how I want to live my life.
Oh but the media will never stop acting like alcohol is fun in a bottle.
4. High End Fashion
As a kid, I spent a lot of time on my grandpa's hobby farm, where he kept goats, chickens, and ducks as pets and for the birds' eggs. I ran around a lot with dogs, camped, rode my bike, rode horses. I got dirty. I got grass stained. I got up to my ass in mud. I got burs in my braid. I got skinned knees. Sunburns. You get the picture.
So, I never really understood the whole "girl's clothes" thing, and will probably never understand high heels in particular. And while I can understand paying more than $20 at Walmart for something if it means getting more practical value out of it (like a good winter coat), I especially can't understand why anyone would pay $300 or more for something like an uncomfortable, impractical, brightly-colored shoe you're only going to wear once or maybe twice. It seems like a criminal waste of money in a world where you could get really nice shoes for $50 and donate the rest of that money to a good cause. But know, you are such a damned goddess that your feet must only be ordained with the finest. Which coincidentally are virtually indistinguishable from the shoes they sell at Target. Face it, you're just paying for a brand name.
I'll let Macklemore tell it like it is:
"I call that getting swindled and pimped / I call that getting tricked by business."
No, in my girlhood days, my dog was my best friend. I certainly didn't run around the prairie with a shiny rock at my side. And "diamonds are a girl's best friend" is flawed even as a gold-digger anthem. They're not good investments. Since most people buy brand new engagement rings, you can't get that much for any ring you pawn actually. Sorry to burst your bubble, wannabe diamond-stealing vampiresses out there.
As far as I can tell, diamonds are relatively plain rocks whose entire value comes from marketing bullshit, ie, big fat lies. In a room with pearls, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, topazes, opals, etc., diamonds look dull. They're easily replaced with fake stones that look indistinguishable from the real thing. And diamonds are mined in very bad conditions. And they're not unique. They're the cookie-cutter way to express love. Why not choose a more creative ring style that expresses something unique about you and your intended? No. DIAMONDS GIMME DIAMONDS. Diamond-mania pervades our media. And it frankly just disgusts me. I saw a tabloid the other day about how some two-bit reality star I hadn't heard of gave his beloved a diamond ring that cost 2.3 million fuckmothering dollars. Seriously? Just stop it people. Stop. I'm done. I can't anymore. I can't even.
2. Recent Sitcoms
When I was a kid, my mom had a job for a while delivering pizzas at night. She'd come home at 3am and I'd get up and watch a few of the "Nick at Nite" shows with her. This was at that time a block Nickelodeon did where they would show reruns of old sitcoms. I came to love through that practice I Love Lucy, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, and other shows in that vein.
But I haven't actually liked very many modern sitcoms. I'm not a fan of censorship but, now that the old rules about what can and can't be said on television have been thrown out, TV has just gotten gross. It makes TV less creative, because they no longer have to disguise sex in a cloak of mystery and euphemism. They no longer have to have creative, interesting plots because they can just make the same crude, stereotyped jokes over and over and play a laugh track and make all the puppets dance.
Here's a list of sitcoms I really tried to like and could not:
- Everybody Loves Raymond
- King of Queens
- Two Broke Girls
- Two and A Half Men
- Big Bang Theory
(A rant about that one is one of my most highly-trafficked articles, at least that's some justice.)
- How I Met Your Mother
I don't really know why I don't find new popular sitcoms funny or interesting. Is it the shows themselves or just me? I hate laugh tracks. I hate when all they do is throw sex and fart jokes at you. I hate misogynistic humor. My mom likes sitcoms in general and loved The Drew Carey Show and Mad About You in the 90's but she doesn't like anything on the above list. Sitcoms just seem to have failed us. I used to like Roseanne, The Nanny, Sex and the City, and The Golden Girls. But they're not making sitcoms that cater to women anymore, maybe that's the issue. I just am not seeing a lot of good writing, creative humor, or originality anymore. Which will bring me to my particular pick of number one, but first, some honorable mentions.
- Patterned leggings. Leggings are NOT PANTS and you just get what I call "Giraffe Ass Syndrome". Nobody needs attention-grabbing colorful patterns painted all over their butt. You look stupid. Just stop. Wear some jeans once in a while. Or a skirt. Remember skirts?
- Santa. I'm not lying to my future kids should I have any about an imaginary bearded man stalking them with a crazy surveillance system and exploiting slave labor to make "magical" toy deliveries. And Elf on the Shelf is just creepy. Stop it. I bought those presents, and my kids will know I am the one buying them presents. It doesn't make the holiday less magical just because you refuse to tell and maintain a lie to children.
- Energy drinks. News flash, you don't have to make it actually taste like battery acid to make people think they're getting an energy boost. Disgusting amounts of sugar in most of them. But the sugar-free versions are nothing to sing about, because without the sugar hiding their real taste, they just taste like ass.
- Axe Body Spray. It's the douchiest thing on the planet. Can't believe the company is still going strong. Why do people spend money on this? It all smells nauseating.
- Hardee's. Possibly the grossest fast food I've ever tasted. And the CEO might end up in Trump's cabinet. Ugh.
1. Family Guy
Now, I know this show was pretty good once. For a while. But at a certain point I quit watching because the show clearly ran out of ideas for comedy and tried to replace humor with horror and drama, which it fails at miserably. And the spinoff series are mostly awful. I kind of liked American Dad for a while, but there's only so many jokes one can milk out of the premise and characters until like with Family Guy, McFarlane had to basically stretch his characters' worst attributes to outrageous extremes to make them still funny.
Almost every character has this happen to them. They had Brian go from misunderstood genius to asshole who mostly only dates girls he can easily manipulate. Lois goes from reasonable but seductive housewife to increasingly desperate slut and/or horrible nag. Peter goes from average-stupid to painfully retarded. Meg goes from pitiable unpopular dork to creepy stalker. Etc. The bottom line is the show has not been good for years and refuses to die, much like The Simpsons. At least with The Simpsons I can appreciate the original first few seasons with warm nostalgic tingling feelings. I can't do that with Family Guy. All I can get out of re-watching old episodes is go "ah, well, I guess I considered this funny at the time". There are moments when the show has the potential to be very creative, but most of the time this potential remains just that.