Posts Tagged 'Rage'

We’re really still doing this?

As some of you may know, I work from home most the time. I only have to commute into cesspool city once a week, and for that I am grateful every day.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have shit to complain about on that one day, though.

Significant Other and I normally catch the same train home, which leaves the station a little before 5pm. Recently, the company that runs the trains has instituted a quiet car during commuting hours in the morning and evening on weekdays. It’s only ONE CAR out of the five or six that make up the trains at this time. ONE CAR. And usually the conductor will announce it, but it’s always the same: the first car when heading in to work in the morning, and the last car when heading out in the evening. IT’S NOT THAT FUCKING HARD TO REMEMBER. Especially if you ride the same damn train and sit in the same damn seat every day.

But for some reason, on the train SO and I usually catch, there is a group of teenagers stuck in adult bodies who act like they’re still in goddamned high school. You know the people: they always have to sit in the same seats, they have to save seats for their friends, they will talk THE WHOLE HOUR RIDE HOME, and the rules do not apply to them. If I described that, would you not assume these were teenagers with no regard for others? But no; all of these people are old enough to be my fucking parents.

There is only one fucking quiet car on the train, and I like to sleep on the ride to/from work, because I’m a tired Anger Ball from raging all day. Now, the quiet car is supposed to allow for people to talk, QUIETLY (sensing a theme yet?), but nobody seems to have an indoor voice on this train. SO and I have sometimes caught the train after this one, or even the train AFTER that one, and nobody on those trains seems to have this goddamn problem. Everyone on those trains is quiet or able to talk in a whisper.

NOT THESE ASSHOLES, THOUGH. I know EVERYTHING about their fucking lives. Things that I never needed or wanted to know about ANYBODY. Breaking news: There are at LEAST four other cars you can sit in if you want to talk. GO TO ONE OF THEM, BEFORE I THROW YOU ONTO THE TRACKS.

The worst part is that if SO or I try to get the conductor involved, these people just up their teenage antics. They see us talking to the conductor or calling him/her over, and they immediately shut the fuck up. Then the conductor looks at me like I’m fucking crazy, maybe repeats the announcement that it’s the quiet car, and leaves. THEN THESE ASSHOLES START TALKING AGAIN.

Oh, and apparently sitting right next to the person you want to talk to automatically makes you gay with them or something, because these assholes sit across the aisle from one another, which means they have to talk louder to have a normal conversation.

I’m sorry, but in the fucking quiet car I should not hear your conversation over the noise of the train moving. THAT IS NOT WHAT THE QUIET CAR IS FOR. Let the people who want ACTUAL QUIET enjoy the goddamned quiet car. Don’t just continue sitting in it because those are your seats or some shit. Breaking news: We’re not in high school; there are no fucking assigned seats. GO. SOMEPLACE. ELSE.

The other thing is that on this train, there are about three stops before the first major stop, where most people, including SO and I, disembark. These assholes also get off at that stop. The moment we pull out of the station before our stop, they all stand up, and for some reason decide it’s no longer the quiet car at all. People come up from further back to stand and wait by the door and are talking to people sitting four rows away, over the tops of people who ARE STILL SLEEPING OR TRYING TO READ. BECAUSE THEIR STOP IS NOT THE NEXT ONE. I don’t know, as far as I fucking understand it, the quiet car rules are not “only if the train is in motion” or “only when you feel like being quiet”. THEY ARE FOR THE WHOLE FUCKING TRIP. SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTHS FOR TEN SECONDS. Just because your stop is next doesn’t mean it stops being the quiet car.

I’ve never seen a bunch of adults act so consistently like children. I mean, this happens every goddamned week. The people who appear to have assigned seats (I roll my eyes every time I type that, but it’s true; they sit in the same place every day and save seats for their friends. I want to barf just thinking about it) are generally tolerable, which means I can sleep through their incessant chatter. But the other day there was some asshole talking loudly on his cell phone, although luckily after an announcement from the conductor he put that shit away. I haven’t confronted anyone yet about their intolerable noise, but only because by the end of the day (we don’t have this problem in the morning when everyone is so tired they pass the fuck out) I’m so fucking frustrated from work that I’m worried I won’t be able to control my rage and ask politely but sternly. I’m worried I’ll just curl my hand into a fist and beat all these people to death. So generally I just simmer in my rage until I pass out from exhaustion and wake up just before our stop.

HOWEVER.

That does not make this shit okay, and, as with the movie theater and cell phone use thing, where I hit my limit and now I ask people immediately to put their phones away instead of giving them three strikes, I feel that I’m reaching the breaking point with this, too. The problem, though, is that the noise level is relative to where you are to the people talking. If they’re sitting behind you, they’re going to sound louder than people sitting eight rows away, even if both are speaking at the same volume. So my problem is if I want to tell one pair of assholes to shut up, suddenly I have to get up and tell forty pairs of assholes to shut up, because everyone in that car for the most part is a goddamned child who will say, “Why are you yelling at me when 38750398461 other people are talking?” Well, asshole, if you’re sitting right behind me, I can hear every detail of your pathetic life, whereas I cannot hear all the inane details of the conversation in the back of the train. THIS SEEMS OBVIOUS TO ME, but people are selfish assholes who can’t think of other people for ten goddamned seconds.

Frankly, what the trains SHOULD do is make the quiet car completely quiet. No talking at all, no cell phones at all, nothing. COMPLETE SILENCE. I’m blissing out just imagining this right now. If there are FOUR (or more) other cars in which to talk, at any volume you wish, why can’t we have one for the actual adults who don’t have problems keeping their mouths shut for an hour? Let me tell you, the quiet car is ALWAYS full, too. I’m sure it would be full even if they changed the rule to complete silence. And everyone in that car would be a lot fucking happier if that were the case.

Maybe I’m expecting too much from adults. I mean, I can sit still for a long time, and I don’t have to fill silence with bullshit. But apparently few others are capable of this. I mean, these people who talk for the whole train ride aren’t ever talking about anything interesting or important. Now, look. I don’t think every single conversation has to be profound. But if you’re going to talk for an hour in the quiet car of a train, it better be fucking worthwhile and interesting, because EVERYONE IS GOING TO HEAR IT. I don’t want to hear about your kid’s little league game. I bet your fucking friend doesn’t even really want to hear about it. So shut the fuck up.

But it just blows my mind because it’s not like the entire train is a quiet train. It’s just one fucking car. And yet these people are so oblivious or inconsiderate that they just continue to do this shit every day instead of moving to another car to have their vapid conversations. Like…I just can’t wrap my brain around being that big an asshole.

You would think I’d be used to this shit by now. But people just find new ways to be bigger and bigger assholes every day. I guess once I reach my limit and snap at them all, maybe I’ll finally get a fucking hour of peace and quiet. But more likely, since their maturity level is that of teenagers, I’ll just have to deal with passive-aggressive bullshit instead. Hooray, something else to look forward to!

Time zones: a primer

Dear California,

Not everyone lives in your time zone.

I just wanted to make sure you’re aware of this.

No love,
The Anger Ball

___
Significant Other and I both deal with people who live in California for our jobs, and both of us are getting pretty fucking fed up with constantly getting things late (I don’t mean as in “late in the evening”, I mean as in “missing deadlines”). Clearly if I live on the East coast, and I decide to start work at 8 a.m. my time, I don’t expect my co-workers on the West coast to be available at that time.

HOWEVER.

If we’ve been working on the same publication, with the same schedule, for 4 years, I do expect them to know what our deadlines are (both in their time zone and in mine) and that I need things WEDNESDAY MORNING EASTERN TIME. I mean, this shouldn’t be a fucking surprise by now. It’s been the same since we started publishing. If I don’t get things in the morning IN MY TIME ZONE, they don’t get laid out on time, and then our publication doesn’t go out on time. It’s not fucking rocket science.

So someone please explain to me how, if we’ve had the same deadlines in place for 4 years and the same people on both the East and West coasts working on said publication, I’m sitting here right now WITH NOTHING TO DO ON A WEDNESDAY MORNING. Which means I’m going to have to try and somehow create extra time later in the day to compensate. Breaking news: I can’t manipulate time. I can’t create extra hours from the wasted ones that occur when things don’t get to me on time. SO NOW EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE LATE.

But why did this happen? I sign off between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time each night. That’s only 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. on the West coast. WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH THAT TIME? Answer: not what they’re supposed to be doing.

The reason this is problematic is because it’s not like, if I sign into my e-mail Wednesday morning at 8 and don’t have the things I need yet from the West coast, I’m going to get them at 9 or 10 my time. If they’re not there when I sign in, I’m probably not getting them until at LEAST noon EAST COAST TIME, if not closer to 1 p.m. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. I’m sorry, but it is. That’s 4 HOURS I have to sit around waiting, and waiting, and waiting, because the assholes on the West coast, WHO SHOULD KNOW OUR DEADLINES BY NOW, didn’t want to bother doing what they had to do yesterday in their time zone. So they might come in at 9 a.m. THEIR TIME and think “Oh, there’s still plenty of time to get this stuff sent to The Anger Ball.” BUT THERE ISN’T, BECAUSE IN MY TIME ZONE IT’S ALREADY THE AFTERNOON.

Are time zones really that hard to comprehend? I’ve never found them that challenging. Breaking news: When it’s 2 p.m. where you live, it’s not 2 p.m. EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD. You especially need to be aware of this if you’re working with people in OTHER TIME ZONES, so your co-workers do not track you down and cause you bodily harm.

This rant has been brought to you by the Earth rotating both on its axis and around the sun, the letter “T”, and FUCKING COMMON SENSE.

Nth verse, same as the first

Some of you might remember around this time last year (by that, I mean prime tennis season), how I had some complaints about tennis coverage on TV and the Internet. Well, to the surprise of nobody, the issue is the same this year.

And I just can’t fucking wrap my head around it. Yesterday, ESPN2 showed both of the women’s semifinals. Which is great. I love Schiavone, and while I’d love for Sharapova to come back, Na Li is the first Chinese person, man or woman, to make it to the finals at Roland Garros (French Open). But not one of the top four seeds made it to those semifinals for the women.

So this morning, Significant Other and I got up, wanting to watch the Nadal/Murray semifinal. On the men’s side, all four of the top seeds have made it to the semifinals, which is the first time it’s happened in twenty years or something.

But are any channels showing it? OF FUCKING COURSE NOT. Oh, the Tennis Channel is showing it, which you need to pay a ridiculous amount of money to get with your cable, because it’s a special channel. But NBC is TOTALLY going to show the NEXT semifinal between Djokovic and Federer.

FUCK EVERYONE. How are you going to show ONE of the semifinals, but not the other? Really? And, while Djokovic is certainly having the season of his life right now, and has the chance to take the World #1 ranking from Nadal if he wins against Federer, the point still stands that Nadal is currently the World #1 AND is the #1 seed at Roland Garros. And you’re really not going to fucking show his semifinal live on an accessible TV channel in the US? Are you fucking kidding me? But you’ll show both the women’s semifinals, when NONE OF THE TOP FOUR SEEDS MADE IT.

I just…I cannot fathom the logic behind this decision. Who the fuck makes these scheduling decisions, seriously? Are they on drugs? Hallucinatory drugs that don’t allow them to make logical decisions? While I tend to like women’s tennis more, only because it generally takes more strategy than hard hitting to win (which is true of most women’s sports), and Schiavone plays amazing clay court tennis, I’m pretty sure everyone knows that men’s tennis is more popular. I’m pretty sure most people, even if they’re not really into tennis, could name 2-3 men’s tennis players. I think people could probably name the Williams sisters on the women’s side, but right now I don’t think they’re even ranked in the top 10 (both have been out due to injuries), so to me that hardly counts.

So excuse me if I’m a little enraged that I can’t watch the world men’s #1 tennis player play some fucking tennis on TV. I even got up early to watch it. And not only is Nadal #1, he’s also one of the greatest, if not the greatest, clay court player of all time. AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO SHOW THIS ON TV, REALLY, UNITED STATES? Unless I pay a lot of money to have the tennis channel year-round when I SHOULDN’T NEED IT. You don’t need a special channel to watch football or basketball or baseball or even fucking golf. GOLF. Why the fuck should I need a special channel to watch tennis? Maybe it’s not as popular as football, but let me tell you that’s it’s more fucking popular than people think. The US Open tickets sell out ridiculously quickly. There are plenty of fucking tennis fans in the US. But we’re expected to pay extra to get a special channel to watch ONE OF THE FOUR MAJOR TOURNAMENTS. This isn’t some backwoods tournament that nobody knows about. It’s one of the GRAND SLAMS. It’s the only major played on CLAY. And I can’t fucking watch the SEMIFINALS on TV. SEMIFINALS ARE A PRETTY FUCKING MAJOR ROUND. It’s not like it’s the 1st round, where people generally breeze through or get crushed.

I just…I’m so enraged, I had to post about it. Poor SO is sick of hearing all my expletives as I rage about this aloud, but I just think it’s ridiculous.

And Roland Garros’ website only offers radio coverage for streaming (I shit you not. Am I in the Dark Ages?). I suppose it’s better than nothing.

But US TV coverage can suck it, because I found a place online to stream for free. SUCK ON THAT, ASSHOLES.

ETA: Argh, I just lost the live video stream I had. NOW I CAN ONLY LISTEN TO THE RADIO COVERAGE. I can’t…I can’t even believe that’s my only option.

I’m positively sure you suck!

Have you ever just had one of those fucking weeks? Where nothing seems to go right and everyone demands your attention at the same time and it’s just one damned thing after another, and the week isn’t even fucking over yet, what the hell?

That is the kind of week I’m having.

And then have you ever had someone try to tell you, when you talk to them about your shitty week, that you just need to think more positively and look on the bright side and life will be so much better! All it takes is a positive attitude!

Yeah, I had that happen, too.

It’s like the perfect fucking rage-inducing storm, right here. Some of you might have noticed me tweet, “I feel like I could stab everyone in the entire world right now, if that were possible.” It’s true. Sorry, friends, but in my fucking blind rage, I would not be able to distinguish between friend and asshole. It’s best to just stay away from me in these moments. When my rage meter is near the top, along with my patience wearing thin and people providing exactly the wrong advice, everyone near me better just find a bomb shelter, because I will explode, and my fury will not discriminate.

Because I think we can all agree that pretty much the worst thing you can say to someone who’s having a bad week is “Just think positively!” As if that’s some fucking magic cure to everything. Breaking news: It isn’t. Sometimes bad things happen, sometimes a lot of them happen at once, and I’m allowed to be fucking annoyed about it. Because I’m not saying good things NEVER HAPPEN. I’m just saying that right now, today or this week or just this moment, a lot of bad things have been happening and I’m fucking pissed. Don’t try and make me feel like it’s WRONG to feel that way. I know things are going to get better, or that good things happened in between the bad things. When I want to fucking pretend I’m floating on a rainbow, I’ll think about those positive things. But now is not that time.

And let’s face it: if just having a positive attitude were that easy, and could fix everything, nobody would have any problems. There would be no depression or drama, because everything could be solved with a smile and a shrug. But that doesn’t fucking sound like reality, does it? Because it isn’t. General positivity may help, but it isn’t a fucking solution to anything. And some people’s brain chemistry works against them, too, so trying to just tell someone to think positively is about as helpful and offensive as telling someone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps! Like they have to try harder at life or something. Look, I may get angry a lot at the fucking annoying things people do, but I recognize that everyone is allowed to live their life as they want* and that I can’t expect people, especially people I don’t know, to live up to my standards. But telling someone to just think positively has an implication that they aren’t already doing so or aren’t doing so to your satisfaction. Even if you don’t mean it that way and think it’s actually good advice. Can we just fucking agree that if you read this blog, you’ll never tell someone to “just think positively!” again? Trust me, it’s never what someone wants, or even needs, to hear.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I would like to add a little anecdote here that just happened to me and sort of exemplifies the week I’ve been having:

My sister called me last night as I was getting ready for bed and told me she had a document she needed to read that my mom’s computer would not open. She wanted to e-mail this document to me so I could read it for her. I told her I could do it the next day, as my computer was already shut down. Out of curiosity, I asked her what type of document it was. I figured it was something that required a special program and that was why my mom’s computer couldn’t open it.

My sister told me it was a Word document. I was baffled, because my mom has a PC that at least has notepad on it or something. But it’s old and slow, so for some reason it’s just having a problem with the file. Whatever.

Anyway, I got up this morning, did some work, and around 11 my sister e-mailed me the file. I opened it and read it, then pasted what the file said into an e-mail that I sent to her so SHE could read it, too. I texted her once I did this so she knew to check her e-mail. Her reply to me was, no lie: “Mom wants you to read what the letter says to me over the phone.”

I’m sorry, have I been transported to the fucking dark ages or something? This is a digital document that was sent via e-mail that I am now supposed to read over the phone to someone? I can’t be the only one who finds that ridiculous. Plus, I’m fucking busy with work. I don’t have the time for that, and my sister doesn’t need the information right this second; it’s not something that is going to change her life this very moment. So I texted her back and said I’ll also send the e-mail to mom, but that to tell her I don’t have the time right now to read it over the phone.

I also told her that it’s time for mom to get a new computer and cable internet (she has dial up right now, which…what is even the point of that anymore?).

But that pretty much sums up my week: people making ridiculous requests for my time when I have other, more important things to do and then getting annoyed when I can’t cater to their ridiculous desires. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Yeah, not to me.

So I think my desire to stab everyone all at once is understandable. Luckily it’s impossible, so you all can sleep soundly tonight.

______
*I don’t want to get into the semantics here, about how someone living life the way they want may interfere with the way someone else wants to live their life (extreme example: someone wants to murder another person, but that other person doesn’t want to be murdered!). I just mean in the general sense, and within the rules of the society in which the person lives. So if someone wants to act like a fucking asshole all the time, as long as it’s not illegal, it’s their right even if annoys me when we’re sharing the same public space. They are able to do those jackass things, just as I am allowed to come home and blog about them.

What the fuck is going on?

Usually I try to make my titles more witty than that, but that’s the question that has been on my mind lately: What the fuck is going on? America is imploding, is part of what is going on, and it’s fucking scary. Not in the same way that what’s going on in Japan is scary. Politicians are destroying America piece by piece. And while conservatives/Republicans are mostly to blame for this (don’t worry, I’m bringing evidence in a hot second), liberals/Democrats are helping by being too polite to stand up and do anything about it.

The more I follow the news, the more I think that we need a massive overhaul. And I don’t mean by the Tea Party, which doesn’t have two fucking brain cells to rub together (“Keep government out of my personal life! Except make abortion illegal and make laws about who people can marry and I still want Medicare but keep government out of my health care!” Fuck off, all of you). I mean by the people who really want change, who realize that the Constitution, while great in many ways, is a flawed document that was never meant to remain significantly unaltered for so long. While the “founding fathers” may have had a great deal of foresight, they didn’t have 300 years’ worth of it. I mean, they had enough foresight to realize they hadn’t added everything in and put in amendments after writing the document. Yet America clings to this document like a script, at the very moment when we should be embracing its strengths and fixing its flaws.

But I don’t plan to convince many people of that, so I’ll start here instead: we need to get rid of every single politician currently in any office, anywhere. There needs to be term limits for EVERY SINGLE OFFICE, because this shit is getting ridiculous. We have senators who have been around for decades, and new senators are expected to always defer to them, thus stifling any potential for change. There are too many formalities involved and too many politicians who are enamored with the power and money they get to realize that some of these traditions are too much of a hindrance to the greater good. Not to mention that most of them are owned by corporations or lobbyists and are more interested in their kick-backs than their constituents.

Just last year, the Supreme Court said it was OK for corporations to donate to political campaigns. And many members of the public are dense enough to defend this decision! What’s to stop oil corporations from buying politicians? With millions of dollars to spend on campaigning, it wouldn’t matter who was running against these corporate candidates. And it doesn’t matter if I support clean energy or not: my point is, I don’t want someone representing me who has been bought out by any corporation. Corporations deserve certain rights, but donating to a campaign as if the company were an individual is obscene. It essentially grants the board of directors an extra vote. And last time I fucking checked, every American citizen is only entitled to ONE VOTE. Also, the argument that this upholds the First Amendment is asinine because although the people involved in corporations are individuals, and thus deserve to have uninhibited free speech when it comes to politics, a CORPORATION IS NOT A PERSON, AND THUS IS NOT ENTITLED TO AMENDMENT RIGHTS IN THIS WAY. They are NOT allowed to funnel millions of dollars into political campaigns under the First Amendment. That’s a stretch of the imagination if I’ve ever seen one.

Significant Other and I have discussed this heatedly for a long while (although we both agree, we both just get passionate about it). And we’ve come to an agreement and a solution. First, politicians should not be paid, in any way, for their service. It should be considered a volunteer position, with the public choosing who they think is the best of the volunteers (via voting). Then, expenses related to the job will be paid for by taxpayer money, as now. But there should be no salary. Lobbying should be banned. And anyone who wants to donate to a political campaign has to donate to a general campaign fund that is then SPLIT EVENLY between ALL the candidates—of every party. I don’t mean there’s a separate democratic fund and republican fund and independent fund, etc. I mean there is ONE FUND, and anyone who wants to donate does so, and then all that money is split evenly to give EVERY CANDIDATE an equal chance of getting their message across. The candidates are not allowed to use private funds to campaign. They only have whatever has been donated and split. That way, anyone truly CAN run for an office and not have to be worried about being beaten purely because their opponent had millions of dollars from a corporate backing or personal fund.

I can imagine conservatives recoiling in horror. I find this funny, because when there dares to be an intelligent candidate, like Obama, they bemoan how they want someone they could “drink a beer with,” like Bush. But Bush would never fucking drink a beer with any of those people, because he’s a fucking rich asshole. So if they really wanted someone running the country that they “could drink a beer with,” my plan would be ideal because it allows that type of person—their neighbor, friend, co-worker—to run for office. Yet people are consistently fooled by these images politicians put forth. None of them is what they seem. They have vast public relations staff to manufacture an image for them. If they’re smart, that image is close enough to the truth that it’s easy to maintain. But I can’t believe anyone EVER thought that Bush would deign to drink a beer with a blue-collar worker. You have to be truly gullible to buy that.

Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t WANT that type of person running the country. I want someone who’s a genius to run the nation. I want someone who’s so much smarter than me I can’t even imagine it. Because it’s an incredible task, a hard task, a subtle task. So I don’t want someone who can’t handle that sort of thing running the fucking country. I don’t care how much fucking money they have. And neither should anyone else. Because while money buys a lot of things, it doesn’t buy intelligence. It might make it so a fool can surround themselves with very smart people, but it doesn’t change the fact that the leader is a fool.

That being said, I believe in everyone’s right to run for office. I just won’t vote for you if I think you don’t have two brain cells to put to use. But let’s be serious: currently, not everyone can run for any office because it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars (at the least; usually millions). And then once you get there, pretty much you are just campaigning to be re-elected from the start instead of doing anything to make society better. So that’s why we need term limits for every office: Mayor, Governor, even Justice. Maybe it’s more than two terms for the latter, and maybe the terms should be six years or something, so a new president doesn’t get the chance to make a fully liberal- or conservative-leaning Supreme Court. But at the same time I don’t think these people should be allowed to preside over the court until THEY choose to leave. Because then one bad choice by a president/Congress has effects over sometimes decades. I don’t think we should have to suffer through that, even if sometimes we, as a nation, might deserve it for electing a fool president. I admit this plan is not perfect, but it’s a start.

All that aside, what else makes me think America is imploding? How about the fact that we were foolish enough to give Republicans control of the House, believing their blatant lies about “fixing things.” And then they say their primary objective is to make sure Obama is a one-term president. While I’m sure conservatives everywhere wet their pants in excitement when this was announced, I can think of two things that are more important and that Republicans promised before regaining control of the House: creating jobs and stimulating the economy. Those should be the PRIMARY GOALS. And, surprise! There is a way to do that with Obama still president. It’s called COOPERATION. I remember a time when Republicans and Democrats were able to work together to get shit done. But now one side is a bunch of uncooperative assholes and the other side is a bunch of spineless pushovers. I don’t know which is worse. Things are falling apart, and the two sides need to come together to fix it.

And then let’s turn our attention to Wisconsin and Indiana, where somehow blue-collar workers, teachers, police and firefighters—and any other group that is unionized—are somehow being demonized and declared part of the problem. That is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever been asked to swallow (spoiler alert: I won’t swallow it). The problem with America is politicians who are out for their own gain or the interests of the corporations who back them rather than looking out for their constituents. I mean, thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of protesters apparently couldn’t convince Walker that perhaps attacking unions isn’t in the people’s best interest. He went ahead and did it anyway, in many ways completely subverting democracy to do so. And a judge ordered a stay on the law, and now the attorney general is trying to appeal that. If that isn’t a blatant disregard for what the people want, I don’t know what is. Also, let me say that people arguing that a judge can’t stop the legislature have a complete and, frankly, embarrassing lack of understanding about how the government—at both the state and federal levels—is supposed to work. Breaking news: This is EXACTLY what a JUDGE is SUPPOSED TO DO. The judicial branch is supposed to keep the legislative branch in check. So if there is even a minor question of the constitutionality of the law or the process involved in passing the law, a judge is SUPPOSED to act on that. So all these people who think Judge Sumi was out of line: Please go back to elementary school and learn how the government is supposed to work. Here: I’ll help get you started.

If all of that isn’t crazy enough, a similar thing is going down in Indiana. The ignorance and insanity is spreading like some kind of disease.

Am I the only one who finds this fucking insane? Pretty much the only thing any of us is guaranteed to have in common with someone else is that we all, at one point, had teachers of some kind. I’m not saying all teachers are great. I’m not saying unions work perfectly. I’m not saying no reform is needed (I pretty much believe that everything needs to be constantly tweaked—nothing is perfect). But demonizing these people is NOT RIGHT. Especially not when politicians are doing the demonizing. And notice that it’s only conservative politicians. So excuse me if I have a little extra venom stored up for conservatives. But it seems like they realized they can’t fix the problems they promised to, as if they got elected and suddenly realized how fucking hard fixing these things might be, and so now they’re trying to deflect the blame. Well guess what? Taking money from people like teachers and police officers, who don’t get paid all that much in the first place, is only going to make shit WORSE. Without teachers, the education system will fail. Without teachers, there will be no skilled workers. Without workers, there will be no economy. No one to produce goods or offer services. So politicians are just making everything worse by doing this. WAY TO GO, ASSHOLES.

And yet the Republicans in Wisconsin and Indiana are just blindly following their leaders (with a few exceptions) instead of using their own brains to think about this. It’s exactly that kind of blind following we DON’T NEED RIGHT NOW. We need people, Republican or Democratic, who aren’t afraid to stand up to their own and say “This is wrong.” THAT is really what we’re lacking. Breaking news: You can still consider yourself a Republican and not buy into these ideas that are truly, morally wrong. There are shades of gray with every political affiliation. Or at least there used to be. When people had brain cells.

But even moving away from this, let’s talk about how now people are attempting to thought police other people, women specifically. I’m sorry, but this is just mind blowing. And it might seem far fetched, but considering that apparently Republicans have decided another of their big goals is to de-fund Planned Parenthood, I don’t find it so hard to believe that they want to thought police women. Because let me tell you a little secret about federal funding for Planned Parenthood: it can’t be used for abortion. No, really. The Hyde Amendment was passed in 1976. Go read about it and then come back to me.

So what’s the purpose, then, of de-funding Planned Parenthood? Well, they offer a lot of services to low-income women, such as pap smears and pregnancy tests and birth control. So, frankly, de-funding Planned Parenthood is an attack on low-income women, and women in general. I don’t know what we did to piss off Republicans so much (it was probably when we insisted on being treated like people instead of property, or when we demanded the right to vote! And now we go to schools and get degrees and jobs, even if we get still paid less than men! Where do we get off thinking we deserve all of this?!), but I can’t believe that women still vote for Republicans. I can’t believe there are women out there who still identify, proudly, as conservative. My mom is one of them. Trust me that we’ve had so many fucking arguments about this I can’t even count them.

Apparently even though Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, I’m still not to be trusted with health matters involving my reproductive organs. I’m to expect and allow a bunch of rich, old, white men to interfere in that decision. People who can, inarguably, never themselves be pregnant. So excuse me if I trust my own, and every other woman’s, goddamn judgment on this matter a whole lot more than I trust politicians’. And because they know they can’t win this fight, because women have fought long and hard for these rights, they’re doing it this way instead: attacking women who can’t afford to fight. Attacking women who can’t afford much of anything. And that’s despicable.

And this is why we need an overhaul. This is why we need intelligent people to rise up and take back our government. I don’t mean by using violence or anything like that. We just need to stop voting for fools who are terrified of change. Because this is just getting depressing and ridiculous. How much longer are we going to let these assholes run our country into the ground? How much longer are we going to let them set us back, push us down? Because I’ll be honest. I’m getting to my wit’s end here.

Please tell me I’m not alone.

_____
Some links on other issues, some of which I didn’t talk about here:

Anti-choice is anti-women [STFU Conservatives, which is a Tumblr that anyone with two brain cells should be following, although this post is one they’ve reblogged from another Tumblr]

Seriously, Republicans are waging a war on women [STFU Conservatives; Wonkette, also a site worth following]

Republicans are also waging a war on the poor [Wonkette]

____

I was originally going to post a disclaimer here at the end about how I’m not saying all conservatives/republicans are insane or evil, but you know what? If you’re a sane person who happens to have conservative leanings, or is a fiscal conservative or whatever, you should be embarrassed about what these politicians are doing. You should come up with a different name for your beliefs so you’re not associated with these people.

So I’m not sorry, and I’m not posting a disclaimer. This shit is insane, and it needs to be pointed out and stopped.

Please stop abusing the hyphens

What-if we lived in a-world where people knew-how-to use hyphens-correctly? Can you-imagine how fucking-wonderful-that-world-would be? I can-barely-contain-my-excitement-at-the-thought.

Okay, I think I killed too many brain cells doing that.

One of my pet peeves related to grammar is hyphen usage, or the complete general ignorance of how to use hyphens correctly. I give a certain amount of leeway when it comes to these things on the Internet. The Internet is universal, so you can’t expect everyone to know every nuance of every language. So if I see a poor, abused hyphen, I’ll just cringe and move on. Frankly, even though I’m a copy editor for a living, I HATE when people have to comment on someone’s blog or another comment correcting someone’s grammar or spelling. FUCKING LET IT GO. Breaking news: In a casual setting like the Internet, it’s a fruitless argument. Sure, some people are impossible to understand because of the grievous mistakes they make, but trust me, it’s better that way. And odds are they won’t appreciate your nitpicking and you won’t educate them or change their minds. It will just turn into a flame war. LET IT GO. I do, even though some mistakes I see are just laughable.

But when it comes to my job, or business e-mails, I cannot STAND misused hyphens. What did the hyphens ever do to these people? Why do they have to be tortured like this and randomly stuck between words where they don’t belong or left out when they’re needed? PLEASE BE GENTLE WITH THEM. THEY’RE JUST TINY BITS OF PUNCTUATION. THEY CANNOT DEFEND THEMSELVES.

Now, I will admit that the rules of hyphen use are some of the most ambiguous around. But by utilizing a dictionary and a style guide, you really cannot go wrong. Some words always have hyphens in them, such as jump-start. Some words will only have hyphens when they are jointly modifying another word, like slow-witted employee. The general rule is that they should be used to avoid confusion or ambiguity. Now that can mean different things for different people. But it’s still not a hard rule to follow. While I might find the term sea-surface temperature to be ambiguous and thus need a hyphen, others might think sans hyphen—sea surface temperature—is just fine. Its presence or absence is not bothersome there. I’m talking about examples like in my opening paragraph, where the hyphens are serving no purpose and are extraordinarily annoying. STOP HARASSING MY EYES WITH UNNECESSARY HYPHENS, ASSHOLES.

For-example, you never need-a hyphen in a sentence-like-this-one. Ugh, typing that made me nauseous. I mean…I feel like anyone with even a most BASIC grasp of the English language—and this means everyone for whom it is a first language—should see why that first sentence is just vile, and it’s all because people insist on abusing the poor hyphens. If you’re not sure if a hyphen is appropriate, USE A FUCKING DICTIONARY. Sometimes they do belong in odd places (like jump-start; most people write it as one word). And there are some times you NEVER need them. You should never use them on an adverb that ends in -ly. So “perfectly laid plan” does not ever need a hyphen. STEP BACK. I SEE YOU EYEING IT. PUT THE HYPHEN DOWN.

But a little research on this can take you a long way. Most people don’t give two shits about their communication skills to even care; hell, if people can’t be bothered to type “you” instead of “u” (barf), I guess I can’t expect them to care about hyphens. But, frankly, I’d rather they NOT BE USED than be overused in the way that they often are. It verges on a felony, the way they’re abused.

I won’t get into all the time/reasons/places to use or not use hyphens, because this isn’t a copy editing blog. I’m just saying, if you have even one brain cell left, please put it to work learning how to use hyphens.

And don’t Even get me Started on random Capitalization of words. ARGH. I have to go lie down before my brain explodes.

Ho, ho, holy crap, you’re a jackass

People like to say that the holidays bring out the best in people. Goodwill toward others! Holiday spirit! Thinking of your fellow man!

Clearly those people have never gone shopping between the months of October and January.

I’m not saying the holidays aren’t nice and that some people don’t seem to be filled with good cheer around the end of the year. But after watching the umpteenth fight break out over a parking space or the last toy/game/console, it’s hard for me to believe that people, in general, are really embodying the holiday spirit. I don’t recall any holiday songs about calling someone an asshole, fist-fighting over a toy or threatening to have an employee fired. Just sayin’. Some people might be missing the point just a little. I saw a perfect example of that this weekend.

Significant Other and I made a decision this year for various reasons not to celebrate the holidays with gift giving or receiving. And let me tell you that was an excellent decision; it has helped keep my stress level around this time considerably lower than it normally is. However, my mom seems to be having a bit of a hard time with the idea that we don’t want presents, so I’ve been trying to figure out what to get her.

My mom collects unicorns, so after a couple of my ideas fell through, SO and I went to a toy store this weekend (mistake #1, I know) to see if I could find a silly unicorn thing to get for my mom. I ended up buying her the unicorn pillow pet because it’s so ugly that I thought it was kind of hysterical. I texted my sister, who sees my mom more often than I do, to tell her what I got. I paid for the unicorn and walked out of the store and got a text from my sister saying my mom had it already (which I should have known, because my mom buys herself so much unicorn stuff and pillow pets have been around for at least a year). So since we hadn’t driven off yet, I turned around and went back into the store to return the unicorn while SO went to get the car.

There were two employees working customer service and about five people in line in front of me. One of the employees was working fairly quickly through the line, but the other employee was dealing with the Women From Hell. It was a pregnant daughter and her mother, and the daughter’s toddler, who was about 4. The toddler was completely unsupervised and was walking around pulling all sorts of toys off the shelves and leaving them scattered on the floor near the entrance, and he was punching all the cardboard display cases. The pregnant daughter was too busy arguing with the employee to pay attention—she had a baby shower and got two of the same thing (because apparently her friends are too idiotic to work a baby registry) and one came “wrapped” in a bag from this toy store, so it must have come from there, but she had no receipt or proof. So the employee was trying to explain that she couldn’t do the return because she checked the woman’s registry and that item wasn’t on it. Meanwhile, the pregnant daughter’s mother (the grandmother) was happily chatting away on her cell phone, ignoring the havoc her grandson was causing around the store.

First off, you think ONE of the TWO women would have been keeping an eye on the kid. He was old enough to walk and run and thus could easily slip out of view, and neither of them seemed to give two shits. And the daughter was pregnant with another child. Breaking news: Maybe you should learn to parent your first child properly before popping out another.

The grandmother then got off the phone and turned to the employee, threatening to have her fired and generally being a supreme jackass, seemingly out of nowhere. From the parts of the encounter I saw, the employee was not being rude or anything, but apparently she somehow offended the grandmother by following store policy and explaining it to them in thirty different ways. Breaking news: Sorry, asshole, but the store rules can’t be rewritten just for you. Get over your sense of entitlement (and teach your fucking idiot friends how to use a registry!).

At that point I was second in line as the other employee continued to work through the other customers. And suddenly the two women behind me yelled out “Oh my god, whose kid is that?! He just went out the door!” They went running after him, and the pregnant woman turned around and walked after them like she was going for a fucking Sunday stroll when her FOUR YEAR OLD son just WALKED OUT THE FRONT DOOR and INTO THE PARKING LOT. He also walked out with a toy, although obviously he was too young to understand why that was also problematic. But I mean…this girl was PREGNANT and let her current child WALK OUT INTO THE PARKING LOT. I just…I was agape. The two women who ran out brought the kid back in and the mother FINALLY took his fucking hand and walked him back to the counter (meanwhile the grandmother was talking to the manager, who had calmed her down and was once again explaining store policy). I thought that that was the end, but as soon as the mother got back to the counter, she let go of the kid’s hand and said “Stay near mommy.”

Yeah…

…no.

Your kid just walked out into the fucking parking lot. And before that he fucking made a disastrous mess of the store. You need to put that kid in the cart and keep him in your sight AT ALL TIMES because he is TOO YOUNG TO UNDERSTAND. You can’t talk to him like he’s old enough to know why he should stay by you.

So of course as soon as the mother let his hand go, the boy immediately ran to the nearest shelf and pulled a toy down. He brought it to his mother and got her attention, but she told him no, he’s not getting a toy. So the boy THREW THE TOY ON THE GROUND and STOMPED ON IT. The mother didn’t DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS. Meanwhile the manager explained to the grandmother that if they bring the item that is actually on the registry to return, they don’t need a receipt and just need a photo ID. PROBLEM SOLVED. Although this was ALSO WHAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS SAYING TO THEM. So you think that’d be the end, right?

No.

The grandmother says “That’s fine. But I still want that employee’s name.” So the manager writes it down and writes down the store number for them, and the grandmother reminds everyone that she’s going to have that employee fired. Really? Really, jackass? Way to show some fucking holiday spirit.

Like I said, the employee, to me, didn’t seem to be rude or short with them, first of all. Second of all, even if she WAS, can you imagine the hell that the past two months (or more) have been for her, working in a toy store around the holidays? And then she has to deal with Women From Hell. On top of all the other crazy shoppers I’m sure she’s had to deal with. And working ridiculous holiday hours. HAVE A LITTLE FUCKING COMPASSION. Or, you know, DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE. Even putting all that aside, I certainly wouldn’t have blamed her for being rude to those assholes even outside of the craze of the holiday season. They would have deserved to be treated poorly. In fact I might have cheered her on had she chosen to curse the Women From Hell out. I really wish the manager hadn’t given the grandmother any information about the employee and had instead said “I’ll handle the employee, don’t worry” and then done nothing, since the employee didn’t do anything wrong. Because honestly, no one who’s just doing their job ever deserves to be treated like how the grandmother treated the employee. So why should the employee have to have a complaint lodged against her, even if she doesn’t lose her job over it? That doesn’t seem right. But that’s why I can’t work in retail. I would be fired every day because I would tell a customer like that to go fuck themselves.

And then to top it off, as the grandmother, daughter and child left the store, they stepped over one of the toys the boy had thrown on the ground. The woman behind me said “Excuse me, isn’t that yours?” and pointed to the toy. The mother looked down at the toy and then said “Oh, he’s not getting that today” and then WALKED OUT WITHOUT PICKING THE TOY UP. I just…it was one of the few that she had seen her son remove from the shelves, so it’s not like she didn’t KNOW HER SON PUT IT THERE. I can’t imagine what her house looks like if she never fucking cleans up after her child.

The toy was right at my feet, so I picked it up and put it back on the shelf, to save some employee a little bit of work. Then the two women behind me and I talked shit about the Women From Hell right before I got up to finally make my return.

So, while I’m no Scrooge, I certainly am not naive enough to think that the holiday season makes everyone pleasant and wonderful. I’ve seen some grade A assholes, and I’ve talked about a lot of them on the blog, but these women are at the top right now. But instead of getting a blue ribbon or gold medal, they get a punch in the face and forced sterilization so they can’t pop out more rude, inconsiderate assholes. Now that’s a present for everyone!


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