Archive for the 'Visual Aids' Category

Relevant to my interests

I know I’ve become a slacker blogger lately. Don’t worry, plenty of shit is still making me angry. I’ll get around to it.

In the meantime, I thought you all might enjoy this comic.

Now, off to climb Mount Angry.

George Carlin: The original anger ball

I’ve always been a fan of George Carlin, which should be a surprise to exactly zero people. I never got to see him live, and I haven’t seen all his specials or anything, but I like his comedy and I think he makes a lot of valid points.

So last week, Significant Other and I sat down with our instant Netflix and decided to watch one of his specials, George Carlin: It’s Bad For Ya. I don’t know why I never thought of it earlier, but as we were watching this special, I realized that George Carlin was the original anger ball.

Now, I’m not trying to claim to be as funny or as insightful as he was. I’m just saying that he is like my forefather in this endeavor to use logic to point out the bullshit that runs rampant in society.

It was during this bit that I had the realization, although it’s really the whole special that led to the light bulb going off in my head:

I think this pretty much sums up how I feel about people. It’s not just that they’re boring. It’s the stupid bullshit that gets overwhelming. But instead of just putting up with it or buying into it, I decided to start this blog to vent my frustration.

And of course we all know how I feel about Special Snowflakes. I think that’s essentially what this bit was getting at near the end with the “you’re the last winner!” bullshit.

This one isn’t from the same special, but for those of you that remember my rant against the “Protect the unborn” bumper sticker, you’ll know why this had to be included.

So thanks, George Carlin, for being the original anger ball. You make it a lot easier for me to think maybe I’m not crazy; maybe everyone else is.

Parking is apparently a task for geniuses

Since we moved out of cesspool city, Significant Other now has to commute every day for work. There is a bus nearby, but the tickets are kind of outrageous, so in the morning I drive her to the train (so we don’t have to pay parking, although with gas prices what they are it might be cheaper now), and I pick her up in the evening.

We have a pretty good system down for the most part. In the evening I get to the train station about 5-10 minutes before the train. I don’t park in a spot; there is enough space near the train platform for cars to wait near the curb and still allow other cars to pass by. That’s important because once people get off the train, cars are zipping past to exit the parking lot, and you never know when the person you’re waiting for will appear. So if you have two brain cells to rub together, you know you don’t want to block the aisle and cause a traffic jam if you’re not one of the first cars to leave.

On a normal day, it will look something like this:

I only have paint to work with. That + my crappy art skills produces this.

What the parking lot looks like when everyone is intelligent.

Here’s a legend: the ovals are cars waiting, the rest is the parking lot, with driving aisles marked by the arrows. Each aisle of parked cars in the lot is buffered by a giant planter with little trees in it, and people often park in front of those. Even with cars on either side of the aisle in this way, there is plenty of space for other cars to drive through. IT IS HARMONIOUS WHEN EVERYONE IS INTELLIGENT. We wait for our friends/significant others to get off the train and then we all drive off into the sunset happy as can be because nobody was a dumbass.

However, that situation is rare, really. Because now that it’s cold and dark when we’re all waiting at the train station at 5:45, people will often leave their cars running as they wait. I can sympathize, because it can get pretty fucking cold. But these assholes will also LEAVE THEIR HEADLIGHTS ON, which is not fucking necessary. Ever.

If I weren't blinded by your headlights, I would be giving you a dirty look.

You don’t need to illuminate the parking lot or the car in front of you or shine your obnoxious lights into my eyes for 10 minutes while we wait for the train. The parking lot already has lights. If there are any monsters or serial killers, you will see them coming. And the odds of them going after your car when they have so many others to choose from is pretty slim, anyway. JUST TURN YOUR FUCKING HEADLIGHTS OFF. I don’t know if people just don’t understand how cars work or what. Breaking news: You can keep your car running in order to stay warm and TURN THE HEADLIGHTS OFF at the same time. Amazing!

But even this qualifies as a minor annoyance. I can usually shift in the driver’s seat somehow so that I’m not blinded by the headlights, and I only have to wait for Significant Other for about 10 minutes, and then we can leave the idiots behind. And since I spend most of my days away from people now, I can put up with this minor annoyance even if it happens every day without blowing a gasket that often.

However, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I encountered a driver so idiotic that I had to document it here. I still think about it sometimes and it’s been like three weeks. This person clearly did not have two brain cells to rub together and should under no circumstances be allowed behind the wheel of a car.

SO’s office closed early on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but I’m pretty sure so did everyone else’s, so I was expecting the train station to be crowded with cars when I got there, because it’s not only commuters but people who are traveling for the holiday. So when I pulled up for the 5:10 train, the parking lot was full, and there was a line of cars waiting at the curb and well into the first aisle.

This is the beginning of the idiocy.

As you can see in my beautifully illustrated depiction of this event, I decided I didn’t want to be waiting for SO halfway down the first aisle where she would never see me. So I decided to back up and go down a different aisle so I could park on the curb in front of the front car, where there was still plenty of space and I wouldn’t cause a ridiculous and unnecessary traffic jam.

It's too bad only ideas, and not the intelligence required to execute those ideas, are contagious.

Unfortunately, the SUV I was momentarily stuck behind in the first aisle thought my idea was BRILLIANT. Which…in and of itself isn’t a terrible thing; it was a pretty good idea. This way my car would be visible to SO and I wouldn’t be preventing people from backing out of their parking spots. BECAUSE SOMETIMES I THINK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE AND NOT INCONVENIENCING THEM. The problem, as you can guess from the caption, is that the driver of this dumb SUV apparently didn’t realize why I had moved. This was what their brain came up with:

That is a terrible idea, asshole.

Clearly my wonderful illustrations aren’t to scale, but I made sure to do it in such a way that you can easily see that by parking where they did, the SUV blocked the way for any cars that might need to get through. And since there were still 10 minutes for the train, there were still other cars coming to wait for passengers. I don’t know what this asshole was thinking. It hurts my brain to even try and rationalize this decision. Why didn’t they just pull the rest of the way up to be in front of the planter, like a semi-intelligent person would do, thus freeing the aisle? Maybe they just wanted to be close to me again (maybe my intelligence attracted them like a moth to a light). Talk about taking a pretty good idea and fucking ruining it with ignorance. This is a perfect example. I had two reasons, already outlined, for choosing to move my car. This person clearly only had ONE reason: they wanted to make sure they would be seen by whomever they were waiting for. I mean, you have to be pretty fucking oblivious to not think “Gee, I’m in a parking lot. Maybe I shouldn’t block the way out with my PARKED CAR.”

The way this person parked, I could easily make eye contact, and you better believe that I did. I looked right at them and mouthed “What the hell are you doing?” before I started my car and moved it forward until there would be a way for a moving car to navigate around the two of us. BUT THAT SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN NECESSARY. If this person had fucking thought about someone other than themselves, they would have realized they had just made one of the stupidest decisions anyone on the planet has ever made. Even thinking back on it now and looking at my fairly accurate illustration of the event is making me have conniptions and killing precious brain cells.

And let me tell you, the person this driver was waiting for, unsurprisingly, was NOT the first person off the train. Luckily there are numerous aisles for exiting, but that still doesn’t excuse or justify being a fucking dumbass and blocking a potential exit route. And I’m not talking about how it might be dangerous if there’s an emergency or something. I’m just talking about common fucking courtesy. It just makes it easier for everyone if every possible exit route is available, especially with the number of cars that need to get to the highway from the parking lot. So take your fucking head our of your ass and realize that your stupidity is causing a problem.

Of all the stupid things I’ve seen people do in parking lots, this is by far the most egregious. Hopefully I never run into this person again. If I do, I’ll be sure to keep all my decent ideas to myself so they aren’t tempted to ruin them with their blatant idiocy.

That is the exact opposite of what you mean

Breaking news: Specific words have specific meanings.

I know, I know, I just shattered your world. But I’m not sorry. Because this bullshit has got to stop.

You know what I don’t find amusing? When I am told one thing by someone when they mean the opposite. Everyone has probably heard someone rant about the usage of literally vs. figuratively, so I’m not going to talk about that here (at least right now). But I have a prime example of something even stupider.

Anyone who knows me (and now even people who don’t!) knows that the only sport I give a shit about is tennis. It’s the sport that I grew up playing with my dad, grandfather and grandmother. I played on the team in middle school, high school and college. I watch every Grand Slam I can. I go to the US Open as often as possible. I’ve even been to Wimbledon once. I love this sport.

When Significant Other and I moved, we decided to ditch cable, because let’s face it: It’s fucking expensive and most shows you can watch on Hulu and most movies you can get from Netflix. So why pay $100/month for channels we’re never going to watch? It doesn’t make sense.

For those who don’t know, Wimbledon is going on right now. And the semifinals were yesterday and today and the finals are this weekend. Today, I wanted to watch the matches instead of just seeing the live scores, but NBC owns the airing rights in the U.S. to, I believe, all the Grand Slams. WORST IDEA EVER. Here’s why:

So much lying!

Lies, lies and more lies

They are liars.

You may wonder what exactly is wrong with this image. Well, lucky for you I’m here to fucking break it down. First off, Wimbledon takes place in England, which is FIVE HOURS AHEAD of the U.S. Often the matches start in the late morning/early afternoon U.K. time.

Do you see the problem yet? No? Let me break it down even further.

I took this screencap today around 11AM U.S. time. After the first men’s semifinal match had concluded and the second semifinal match was about to start. But NBC says their “live” stream schedule is 12-5 Eastern Time.

HOW IS THAT LIVE?! Breaking news: It isn’t live if it’s shown on a fucking delay, assholes. That is the exact opposite of the meaning of “live”. At first I thought maybe there had to be a delay to account for transmitting the signal across the ocean, but that’s bullshit. Today, the first semifinal match started at 8AM ET time (1PM at Wimbledon). But NBC wasn’t offering “live” streaming until 12PM (5PM at Wimbledon).

Hm. That’s an interesting use of the word live.

Then I thought, maybe they’ll be showing the second semifinal live, even though they’d be picking it up after the start. So I checked around 1PM (at the same time watching the live score update on Wimbledon’s website, so I knew that they were in the third set at this point). Lo and behold, NBC is showing the second set, which had ended about 30 minutes earlier, and for which I ALREADY KNEW THE RESULT. What the fuck?

THAT IS NOT WHAT “LIVE” MEANS. YOU ARE SHOWING THE VIDEO ON A DELAY. YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYONE.*

Now, I can understand why people sometimes use a word incorrectly. It still drives me crazy, but I certainly do not have impeccable grammar in conversation, so I don’t expect other people to (although that is slightly different than using a word incorrectly, but my point is I’m not as much of a stickler during conversation). But a corporation like NBC should be able to invest in a fucking dictionary in order to figure this shit out. Hell, they don’t even need to BUY a dictionary now. There are multiple websites that serve as dictionaries! So NBC is pretty much just a bunch of fucking liars and/or lazy assholes at this point. I clicked on their video link expecting to see LIVE VIDEO, and instead it was a set behind the action. A WHOLE SET. Not even like two or three games, which could be chalked up to an unavoidable delay because of distance. But this is just NBC being a bunch of assholes. Or, if for some reason their five-hour delay really is unavoidable (HA, try to convince me of THAT), they should MAKE THAT CLEAR. Because right now they just come across as liars or idiots, or both.

But aside from the fact that they are using the wrong word, they also need to get with reality. Breaking news: It is 2010. There is no excuse to 1) be lying about “live” video and 2) purposely delay your coverage just to be assholes to people who do not have cable. This actually doesn’t make me want to purchase cable and it certainly does not endear NBC to me. SO THERE IS NO FUCKING POINT TO THIS STRATEGY, except to make me glad that I don’t pay for NBC anymore.

I’m tempted to purchase a pocket dictionary and send it to NBCSport’s office. Although I wonder if anyone there would even know what it was or how to use it.

*Okay, maybe they’re fooling really stupid people, but that hardly counts.

EDIT: Oh look, The New York Times agrees with me! SUCK ON THAT, NBC!

Nice try, you lying assholes

Today, friends, we are going to talk about advertisements I see on public transportation. Well, really, we’re going to talk about one ad in particular that pisses me off every fucking time I see it, because they’re trying to capitalize on controversy to sound like they’re being really generous.

The ad is a lie!

Hint: None of those is an alternative to abortion

If you will look to the right, you will see the ad in question. Sorry for the blurry photo, but I was standing at the time and also trying not to get too many people in the photo. I cut out the phone numbers because they are not relevant to my rant, but otherwise this photo is unaltered. If you can’t read it, it says:

FREE ABORTION ALTERNATIVES

  • FREE Confidential Options Counseling
  • FREE Pregnancy Tests
  • FREE Ultrasounds

Doesn’t that sound generous? All of these abortion alternatives are being offered for FREE!!!! It’s so wonderful!

Except for one tiny problem: THOSE ARE NOT ALTERNATIVES TO ABORTION. ARGH.

This ad seriously gives me an aneurysm every time I see it because it is just A FUCKING LIE. I know they did it on purpose to take advantage of people who are pregnant and conflicted about it and to also take advantage of the abortion “controversy” to try and make it seem like they are really generous, offering all these ALTERNATIVES for FREE. I just can’t even believe they’re allowed to put such a blatantly false advertisement out in public.

For those of you still unclear on my qualm, let’s go to Merriam-Webster to get the definition of “alternative”:

Main Entry: 2alternative
Function: noun
Date: 1624

1 a : a proposition or situation offering a choice between two or more things only one of which may be chosen b : an opportunity for deciding between two or more courses or propositions
2 a : one of two or more things, courses, or propositions to be chosen b : something which can be chosen instead <the only alternative to intervention>
3 : alternative rock music

synonyms see choice

That is copied and pasted right from the fucking dictionary website. Now, I like to think most the people reading this have at least two fucking brain cells to rub together, but I’m sure there’s at least one person who still fails to see the problem. So I made a handy flow chart to illustrate:

You're doing it right

As you can see, you have two choices once you are pregnant

If you are pregnant, you only have TWO FUCKING CHOICES. And that is to either to have a baby or to terminate the pregnancy. If you decide to abort, that’s the end of your choices at the moment. If you decide to have the baby, you can then decide to KEEP the baby or put it up for adoption. So now with this wonderful flow chart I created, and the definition of “alternative” provided by Merriam-Webster, any idiot can see that this advertisement is a fucking joke. But let’s break it down even further:

  • FREE Pregnancy Tests

The organization that created this advertisement clearly has no fucking idea of what parallel options or alternatives are. To them, an alternative to abortion is a pregnancy test! That’s interesting, because most women I know don’t think about getting an abortion at all unless they already know they are pregnant. So if you already know you’re fucking pregnant, why would you need a pregnancy test, free or otherwise? YOU ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THE PREGNANCY. A PREGNANCY TEST IS NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO ABORTION. Jeeze, this one alone is giving me a conniption, it’s just so obviously fucking stupid. Who in their right mind would read that and think this was a good deal? Unless there are women out there who go around constantly thinking about abortions even if they aren’t pregnant, in which case my message to them is: Seek mental help immediately.

  • FREE Ultrasounds

Again, I think it’s pretty obvious that this is not an alternative to abortion. The choice is not “Hm, do I get an abortion or do I get an ultrasound?” It’s “DO I FUCKING HAVE THIS BABY OR NOT?” An ultrasound is irrelevant to that choice. It’s something you get done once you’ve decided to have the baby, or if you go to one of those fucking terrible clinics that make you have an ultrasound before you get an abortion to try and guilt you into keeping a baby you don’t want (but they’ll be damned if they help you out once you have the kid they made you feel guilty for wanting to abort! I don’t even know how those fucking places are allowed to exist, but I digress). It’s once again fucking painfully obvious that this organization is basically going to coerce you into having the baby whether you actually want it or not. Which brings me to the final bullet point:

  • FREE Confidential Options Counseling

Normally, I would say this is a good and beneficial service, because choosing to have a child or not is a big, life-altering decision, and if you are at all uncertain you definitely should talk to someone about it. BUT this organization has made it painfully obvious in less than 100 words on their advertisement that they don’t know anything about “options”. Their goal is to make you keep that baby no matter what, and I’ll bet anything their “counselors” don’t even talk about abortion as a viable option, but rather as a terrible crime. So they can take this “options counseling” and shove it up their fucking stupid asses, because it’s bullshit. If  they’re headlining this advertisement with a false statement that is not backed up by the information listed, I wouldn’t fucking trust these assholes to spell my name correctly, nonetheless try and counsel me on a major life decision.

So, let’s recap:

You're doing it wrong

You are doing it so, so wrong

Abortion, Ultrasound, Pregnancy Test and Counseling are NOT alternatives for one another. They are not alternatives for one another by any definition of the word “alternative” on any fucking planet in the universe. Next time you want to be ignorant, try to make it more subtle, because this is just painfully stupid.


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