Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Your daily asskicking

You know what Jack Burton always says...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stamp out hunger

I'm not sure if any of you fellow citizens of the United States have tried finding the price of one standard U.S. postage stamp, but it seems that this simple question can't be answered online. You'd think that on, there'd be a big box surrounding strong, red type reading "your current standard U.S. postage is: blumpty blump cents." Sadly, their "Pricing Calculator" gives you the option of sorting out every non-standard option that isn't the simple base price. It's a perfect existential puzzle. It's sort of like going to the car dealer and hearing:

SALESMAN: Airbags cost $80 each to install.

YOU: Great. How much is the car/

SALESMAN: Also, automatic steering will be an additional $200.

YOU: Fine. How much is the car?

SALESMAN: $15 a month will get you satellite radio.

YOU: How. Much. Is. The. Car?

SALESMAN: Let's talk about seat warmers.

YOU: Let's talk about your impending funeral.

Just mad, I tells ya.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Forgive me for curbing my enthusiasm

I understand that economy stinks on ice right now, but do employers really have to take THAT big an advantage of it? Every job posting is like:

Looking for hard-working, dedicated individuals who are detail-oriented, friendly, self-starters, and can think on their feet. This position may include heavy lifting and other rigorous manual labor, so all interested applicants should be willing to dead-lift 250 lbs of hot steel every ten minutes. Also, this is a professional environment, so it is preferred that all applicants, both male and female, dress in a full tuxedo replete with top hat and monocle. This position answers to the President, Vice President, Assistant Vice President, Assistant to the Deputy, the Deputy to the Bursar, John J. Google, Cap'n Crunch, Mayor McCheese, Doctor Strange, Vlad the Impaler, and L'il Timmy. Compensation: $10 an hour

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Alternate Headline Anyone?

Ricardo Montalban, early Latino leading man, dies

or, my version:

Ricardo Montalban, early Latino leading man, now late Latino leading man

Our house...

Mandrake and I are moving to Brooklyn! We found a really awesome apartment at a very reasonable price (of course, Mango put the screws to them to lower it. Seriously, she was like a shark. A SHARK!!!) and we can't wait to move in. In honor of the occasion, I give you a song by Madness about an English family living in a cramped house somewhere (not sure how's it's applicable, but it seems this song pops up whenever folks close a real estate deal):

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

But it's gonna take money

This song reminds me of almost every morning I got up to go to school in sixth grade. I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but on WSBG in Stroudsburg, it was insanely popular and must have been played at the exact same time every day because my alarm clock almost invariably switched on in the middle of the tune. Like fucking Groundhog Day. In fact, I heard the song so much I never bothered to learn who the artist was. Turns out it's George Harrison. Weird.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Juggling chainsaws

I don't recommend looking for an apartment and a job at the same time. Especially when using for the latter. It's like a reverse search engine. It gives me perfect listings of jobs I'm either not qualified for or don't want. And it doesn't seem to have a middle ground between titles. You're either vying for "Chief Grand Marshall of Internal and External Operations for all of Eastern Pennsyltucky" or "car experience necessary." I don't like it too much.

Also, what is it with America's fascination with cliches and "buzzwords?" Are folks so bereft of imagination that as soon as some dildo concocts a cute phrase or term, everybody's using it? Right now, it's "bailout." Everybody's getting bailed out, or wants a bailout, or is asking for a bailout. "Journalists" are applying it to incongruous stories and I'm sure somewhere there's a terrible poet talking about "emotional bailout." Put these words down. They're not for you. They are, as Carlin used to say, lazy language. Like "downsizing." For awhile there, everyone and everything was being downsized (in fact, spellcheck doesn't even highlight that word). I don't mind the words themselves. What I dislike is how they exemplify the rabidly and rapidly virulent nature of pop culture. When something gets popular, it spreads like wildfire (he wrote, using a cliche) and everyone uses and misuses the phrase or word until it becomes a totally benign collection of letters. These words are the Hollywood stars of language. They wait for fame, they are wildly popular for a year or two, and then they end up burnt-out hulks at the bottom of a river somewhere. Can you imagine saying "Where's the beef" to someone today? They'd slap you in your stupid face. Because that phrase is done. It's over.

And speaking of virulent, doesn't it anger anyone else that the strongest trend in commercial advertising right now is "viral videos?" These people are actually using terminology reserved for ILLNESS as a viable marketing strategy. In essence, they want you to get infected by their campaign. When exactly did the public decide that not only would the nefarious machinations of advertising companies NOT be hidden from them, but they'd actually EMBRACE the cold, calculated indoctrination of materialism? So, now we LIKE this shit? I think it was in the book Fast Food Nation in which internal memos from the McDonalds corporation were printed illustrating their meticulously laid out plans to lure children into addiction to their product. It seems like nowadays, advertising companies are screaming from the hilltops "we're here to fuck you, folks" and we're lining up to take it.

I really really really need a job.