Friday, December 23, 2016

Airing of Grievances 2016

And thus here is my annual Airing of Grievances. Look upon them and weep! Or just feel great. Either way. We’ll all die eventually, so no big.

If you listened to my chat with Rhett, there are a couple of things I forgot about, so I’m going to start out with those.

Soap dispenser at work-
So we have this brand new building, see? Within this building we have these brand new soap dispensers that magically dispense soap without us needing to touch anything. I guess that technology has been around for a little while. But anyway, this particular dispenser continues to dispense for a second past my hand being there. This means I’m inclined to NOT take my hand away to prevent the wasting of soap. This also means that I wind up wasting a lot more soap because it never stops as long as my hand is still there. I suppose this wouldn’t be a problem for all you normals, but I simply cannot just let any errant soap go down the drain. Waste!

Walking to work-
I walk to work every day. I’m not really an environmentalist, but the work parking garage is far enough away from our actual building that I can safely say I walk to work every day. The cold walk to our big round building is a lot like that scene in Star Wars where the tractor beam is slowly pulling in the Millennium Falcon to the big round building. Also, this long walk is peak discomfort as I debate whether or not to pass other fellow trudgers. It takes a long time to pass someone while walking and you need to commit to it. I’m just surprised people can walk as slow as they do when it’s as cold as it is in the morning. More on the parking garage later.

Big careful trucks-
I get your need to be propped up in a big giant truck to establish your cromulence over others. I don’t understand your fear of the truck breaking down if you hit a bump or dip at anything beyond 5 miles an hour. How delicate is your beast? What’s the point of having the power if your precious is immobilized by an incline of a few inches? Unmanly!

“I nearly forgot!”-
I often see this phrase in books. It’s always after someone FULLY forgot something after being reminded of something. Hey, don’t try to save yourself! You forgot. Completely. Hardly a save. Just own up fully. Own up!

Parking garages-
No good reason to drive fast in parking garages. Especially since I’m usually walking at a much slower pace than most cars (although still quite briskly). Anyway, I’ve got to “cross the street” often to get out of the garage, so maybe if you’re not doing 60 to get to your precious parking spot, you’ll have less of a shot of winging me in the process. Additionally, there are fewer escape areas for pedestrians than cars. I wanna get out of there more than cars, but (and I’m mostly thinking of my work parking garage again) there is only one set of stairs to get out and it’s across several driving lane equivalents. Irresponsible!

The myth of stairs-
Of course sometimes the stairs escape isn’t even an option. Hey check this out. Next time you go to City Creek go park on one of the lower levels. Head to the elevator vestibule and push the button to call the elevator. During the eight minutes it takes for the elevator to finally arrive, observe the signage just above the elevator call button. It says “IN CASE OF FIRE USE STAIRWAY FOR EXIT. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.” Got it? Alright, now pivot your body slightly to the left. Observe the map of the parking garage. Notice that in the map legend there is an icon for stairs. Now notice the map. THERE ARE NO STAIRS IN THE GARAGE. Really? You bother to put in an icon for where the stairs would be. You bother to put a warning to take the stairs in certain conditions. You don’t bother to actually have stairs. I suppose signs are easier to build than stairs, but c’mon, man. I’m an American. I should have the stairs option. Deserved!

I’m not usually racist, but I hate pedestrians and I know I labeled myself one a bit ago. Most walk slower in front of cars. Some walk so slow that my sarcastic response yell is always “Hey! Walk slower! See if it’s possible!” Trashy!

Wide left turns-
This may sound too Costanza-ish, but we’re living in a society! This society has laws. Some think they’re extraordinary enough to break the laws in the least extraordinary ways. Stick to your lanes, ESPECIALLY when turning left. Just because you want to be in the right lane, that doesn’t mean you have a right to it. Don’t be all cool and spread wide on your left turn into the wrong lane, just because the person in front of you knows his/her place. You turn wide and you’re right in someone’s blind spot. That someone probably wants to be right where you are. Hey, also, you’re cutting off people turning right from oncoming traffic. Look, just stay in your lane. Selfish!

My car apparently starts by itself and sits there idling sometimes. Very weird.

Being used to the snow killing people-
It’s quite hilarious that we Utahns make fun of other states for closing schools and businesses whenever a single inch of snow falls. In the meantime, we crash all the time in the snow. We’re no better. We murder each other and we just congratulate each other for being used to it. Sad!

The Bachelor/Bachelorette-
Allow me to be plenty judgmental (you’ve done great so far). Honestly, I’ve never seen an episode of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, so I can’t gauge how fun it actually is to watch. Perhaps it’s the most pleasurable thing in the world, I don’t know. Regardless, I’m just amazed that such shows exist this late in society. Well sure, it’s consenting adults involved. Please keep in mind that lots of Roman gladiators were also consenting adults. I’ll bet lots of their viewers figured it was okay to observe them with that in mind. Also, I kind of assumed selling people off into relationships for money is something society would have outgrown, I dunno, a thousand years ago -- regardless of how fun it is to watch or how fun it is to make fun of.

The net gain will always be negative. Your team can’t win the championship every year. And if they do -- poseur!

I say “um” way too much. Also “like.” I need to get over both of these. Until I get myself a shock collar, please slap me when I’m excessive with these words.

Don’t complete my sentences-
You may be dealing with lots of “um”s and “like”s, but don’t finish my sentences for me. You’re obviously not my soul mate. I’m a lonely lonely man and you don’t know me. What I say will be a surprise to you. Unique!

Shish kabobs-
Hey you know what vegetables don’t need? A bone to eat them off of. I don’t want to eat these veggies and tiny pieces of meat in the order you give me. I don’t like that my food smells like gasoline. Gross!

YouTube not freezing vid window-
So when you watch something on YouTube, why doesn’t the video window freeze in place so I can glance at all the comments, descriptions and related videos while I’m actually watching the video? In order to do that I need to bring the same video up on a different device and hold them up to each other. Inefficient!

Studio head critiquing-
New term! Maybe it will catch on! If you consider yourself a film, TV, book or music critic, don’t take the job of the studio head in considering what the masses should think of a piece of art or media. Just tell me what YOU think. It’s not your job to assume what I may think. That’s just for rotten, old, out of touch businessmen to do. Don’t be them, especially when you don’t need to.

School presentation critiquing-
Another new term! Hey if you’re a critic, or even just a person who thinks about things, don’t look for the symbolism in a work and THEN use that to determine how you THINK you might feel about it. You’re likely doing that to appear smart rather than letting the film or whatever speak to you organically. It works or it doesn’t. Once you determine that, figure out why. Don’t just look for stuff because you’re treating your film watching or whatever media event as an assignment.

People who tweet everything-
I’ve only got so much time, so make it worth it. We’re all celebrities now with stuff to say, so be courteous to the populace. This goes with other social media as well. If you spew a lot, maybe take the time to suck in a lot. Responsibility!

Kids everywhere-
When I was a kid there weren’t so many kids everywhere. Also, now they randomly dart out a lot more than they used to. They’re just everywhere now. Too many kids now. Unfair!

People who occupy too much space-
This goes far beyond mere obesity. This also involves people who simply aren’t mindful of the space they take up. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe they’re too mindful to the point that they use broad gestures and loud voices to annex more space than they deserve. Not cool, loud space-taking people. You’re literally wastes of space. I’m sick of you bumping into me because you’re too jovial to watch where you’re boisterously shambling. Not good!

“White Christmas” by The Drifters-
Annoying version of the song. It tries much to hard to being grating (and succeeds). Lousy!

White Christmas the movie-
Bing Crosby helps that old general by bringing in all these entertainers from the big city AND a bunch of army guys from the old army platoon to put on a show. The cost of bringing that big throng into town just to take up space in the hotel pretty much prevented any other possible hotel-goers. Bing Crosby should have just given that money right to the general and then maybe some decent Vermont vacationers could have stayed in the hotel without it being booked. Also, the whole movie is way more of an army movie than a Christmas movie. War machine!

Love Actually-
Am I really supposed to believe that the school Christmas pageant is December 24th? What kind of nightmare are you Brits living in if you have school responsibilities a mere couple of hours before Christmas Day? Zero stars!

Reading aloud-
Hey, if you need to read anything aloud, don’t be a drama queen when you come to a word or name you’ve never seen before. No need to call it out. Chances are it uses at least some of the same 26 letters you’ve been using for the past forever and they still make the same sounds. Pretend you’re way back in first grade and sound out each letter one after the other. It’s called reading and you can do it. Literacy!

This is kind of like mansplaining, but it’s when women are patronizing to ME. Vexing!

New complaint department-
So apparently, we’re just a territory of Russia now. That sucks enough, but what REALLY bugs me is that I don’t even know who to complain to about it. Our government? NATO? The League of Nations? Perhaps I need to DM PEOTUS directly. I only have one shot before I get blocked though, so I guess I better chart out the complaint now. Also, it’s been pointed out to me that it’s just really annoying that this is the weird way the Cold War ends. Terrifying!

Say at work there’s this metal arm that’s above my desk and it’s sparking and every few minutes it randomly punches me in the face. Say I put in a request to get the malfunctioning robot arm removed. That’s usually when the response back is something like “I dunno. Could you explain how the money to remove this item would be a good return on investment for the rest of the company?” Business!

Email is stupid. Especially when it doesn’t send because your outbox is full. It’s very very troubling how many times this has happened to me. Outlook needs to actually send me a message telling me I’m not sending messages. Embarrassing!

I don’t think work is its own reward. Progress is something else entirely. We’ve innovated enough that nearly all of our needs are taken care of automatically. That leaves us to look busy to justify our own survival. We build things just to throw them away so that cash flows through society’s pipes. Some say hard work and fierce competition is what causes progress. That probably applies to a few, but lots of us are just trying not to die. Let’s just survive. We can cut the work week down to a few hours. Everyone can use the extra time to take up painting. And yes, I understand that if everybody suddenly became a painter that there would be a huge demand for painting supplies. Fine. Everybody work a few more minutes to get some painting supplies. Renaissance!

Life as a game-
We’ve really gotten used to thinking of life itself as a game. We use terms like “getting ahead” and “winners and losers” to describe how well we’re doing at living. It’s very American to say that winning is the only thing. We keep track of all our events and all our battles, but in the end it’s just about a bunch of numbers. We consider people who work service jobs as unsuccessful even though we require their services for our own survival. What if we grew up a little bit and determined that playtime is over? The allegory of the game is done and the meaning of life isn’t to win, but to help each other out as long as we’re here? Maybe we’d all come out on top. Winning!

Dark matter-
I read today that there are probably 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe. I also read that 95% of the universe is dark matter. The universe is vast. It’s dark. It’s very real. I think my biggest grievance is that the times I’m completely overcome with fear are also the times that have the most reality to them -- the most truth. Grievance is normal. It’s not the new normal. It’s the eternal normal. Our little bit of warm light is the anomaly. It’s the fun, distracting mutation. Keep up with the distractions. We can all use the sheen of smiles in the midst of oblivion. Happy Festivus, everyone!


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