Facebook, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways

I know I’ve bitched about Facebook on here before in how I think it’s for a lot of people a way to present their lives as being perfect to people that they don’t ever actually see, but I actually think it’s more insidious than that. I got a friend request from someone the other day whose first name I recognized but not the last name, clicked on it, and it was one of my ex girlfriends from some years ago. I didn’t really delve too deeply into the profile but obviously since she had a different last name she was married. For whatever reason, maybe sentimentality, I accepted the request. Then today I check my newsfeed or whatever the fuck it is and find out she just had a kid. While I’m happy she and her husband had a kid, and I’m not singling her out, it still pisses me off that Facebook basically reminds me on a regular basis what a loser I am.

Now of course it’s noone’s fault but mine that I’m a 36 year old single loser with no kids, but still, do I have to subscribe to a service to remind me of this? I dwell on it plenty w/o having it shoved in my face. I’ve contemplated just deleting my Facebook acct on several occasions for the aforementioned reasons, but I keep it because it’s the only way I keep in touch with some of my friends. With all the bullshit they add to it every day, can’t I get some kind of filter that will avoid me getting updates or friend requests that make me feel like shit? Come on Zuckerberg or whatever the hell your name is, I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.

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Boston

I sadly have become desensitized to a lot of the violent shit that goes on these days, like the whackjob who shot up all the little kids in Connecticut, but for some reason this latest thing in Boston really pisses me off. I saw that they have photos of the douchebags now. I read part of Obama’s speech today and while I don’t always agree with him, he was right. He basically made fun of these two little bitches talking about how they were cowards that thought doing this made them important.

I don’t know if these guys are muslims, anti-government guys, or just pathetic losers. Well, no matter what their beliefs they are pathetic losers. I’m so sick of these douchebags in this country or wherever that decide their life/lives suck, and instead of looking in a fucking mirror and seeing that it’s their own damn fault, they take their shit out on innocent people.

So ya know what, whoever you are. You’re a couple of worthless pussies. You killed an 8 year old kid..that make you feel like big men? You injured and killed hundreds of innocent people…proud of yourselves? And you don’t have the balls to even admit what you did. If it were up to me, I’d tie your sorry bitch asses up, take you down to the rough part of South Boston, and put signs on you saying “Hey, we’re the pussies that killed an 8 year old kid”. Unfortunately you’ll probably get caught by the police or FBI and we’ll waste time and money putting your sorry asses in jail. At least you’ll probably get put in the general population and get the shit kicked out of you every day.

As and adjunct to my former rant, I’d like to say that in cases such as the psycho that shot up the Batman theater or these guys if we catch them or any other douches where there’s incontrovertible evidence that they did the crime, we shouldn’t waste time on a trial. These are mentally defective people that need to be removed from society. I’d vote that we toss them in a cell with some really fucked up criminals and tacitly let such prisoners know that we want them dead with maximum pain and they won’t be punished for it. Putting assholes like these on trial just give them what they want…attention.

Twitter

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K, so I have a blog, facebook, an iphone 5, and I’m going to school for computers(information security), so despite the fact that I’m 36 years old, I’m not exactly a technological neophyte, but I just don’t get twitter. Granted I’m not a 15 year old so I don’t have any friends that I know of that are really on it, but still. There’s older people than me that are on twitter but they are also celebrities of some sort. Frankly, I don’t know who would read anything I posted so why bother? It’s enough for me to have friends and such that read my blog when I get around posting on it.

The sad thing is that I’d probably be pretty good at twitter if I committed to it and had people that followed me, since I have random thoughts at all times of the day that might be amusing or interesting. I actually have an account that I check maybe once a month and it’s just a few people(mostly sports related) that I might be interested in what they think about a particular event or occurance, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything on it. I have no clue how the hash tag thing works and basically I think unless you’re the aforementioned 15 year old with a lot of friends on it or the celebrity, I don’t see the point of it. If I need to tell something to one person I’ll text them, a few more people I might Facebook it, and if I just want to vent I’ll blog.

I’d love for someone to explain twitter to me and how it could enrich my life, but I just don’t see it. Like I said, I’m 36 so part of me feels old that I haven’t embraced it or learned how it works but the other part of me says I’m 36 and a nobody so who would give a fuck what I might have to say on it anyhow.

Strange Experience

So I went grocery shopping today, then as I was coming out with my cart of food and such, and someone was driving by that kinda seemed like I might know them but honestly I don’t pay attention to that kinda stuff. So I go to my car and am transferring my stuff from the cart to the car and someone pulls up that I didn’t immediately recognize. Turns out it was my ex gf’s sister. This is the same girl that told me I was a horrible person when we were going thru the crazy break up that has been amply documented in past posts. The really odd part of it was that she was actually nice…said she saw me walking out of the store and wanted to say hi. It really kinda took me aback due to some of the horrible things she and I said to each other when she was texting me to tell me what an asshole I was.

I don’t know, it just seemed odd to me. I’ve been lucky enough not to actually run into my ex personally despite the fact that it’s a small town, but I certainly wouldn’t seek out or try to be nice to anyone in her family. I’d probably run the other direction. Like I said, just a weird experience.

Television and Mad Men

So, the season premiere of Mad Men happened Sunday night. I DVRed it and watched it later that night. We’ll get into my thoughts on it later, but I’m glad it’s back. First, let me explain my television viewing habits: I rarely if ever watch network tv, I watch a lot of the History, Discovery channels and all their offshoots. I usually don’t sit down planning to watch something; I just check my block of channels and can usually find something interesting to watch. I have at the moment 4 shows that I actually keep up with and will religiously watch: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Homeland. I’ve watched other shows like Dexter in the past, but those four are my go to shows. Now I realize that makes me a bit of a tv snob since at least the first two are critically acclaimed but not actually watched by nearly as many people as many other shows.

Anyway, Mad Men is back after a fairly long hiatus. It at one time was my favorite show on television and I’d still highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys intelligent, well written, and well shot tv shows. But I have to say, I was more than a bit underwhelmed by the two hour premiere. In the past there’s been many episodes of Mad Men or the other shows I’ve mentioned where the time flew by and I was sad when they ended. Sunday night I actually caught myself looking at the DVR to see how much longer was left. It still looks great, has some great characters, and had some good scenes, but nothing that reached out and grabbed me.

Of course the one thing about Mad Men is that it’s one of those shows that’s often paced a bit slow, and even more often takes a few episodes to really get going, which is why those with short attention spans often can’t get into it. So I’m not going to stop watching it, I just hope that the next episode grabs me.

As I was thinking about why I wasn’t that impressed with the first new episode of a show I love, I came up with two theories: one being that after it having been gone so long and in the interim and me watching shows like Homeland and Game of Thrones which are far less understated and more conventionally “exciting” that my palate wasn’t quite prepared for the pacing of Mad Men immediately. This could very likely be the case so I’m hoping that I’ll get back into the world of it by the next episode.

My other theory was that Matt Weiner, the creator/showrunner, has a bit fallen prey to what I call the “David Chase” syndrome. David Chase if you don’t know him, was the creator/showrunner of the Sopranos, arguably one of the best, most influential shows of the past 20 years. I loved and still love the Sopranos, but towards the later seasons, Chase had the reputation of getting a bit full of himself. His vision of his show was the interactions of a family plus the psychiatric stuff, with the fact that it was a Mafia family being somewhat secondary. He reportedly didn’t like the fact that fans of the show focused on the violence and organized crime parts of the show, or even that they rooted for Tony, a complete psychopath.

There would be episodes composed entirely of Tony having a dream and his issues with his dead mother, or him in a coma dream where he was just a salesman at a convention, where it almost seemed like Chase was thumbing his nose at the people who didn’t “get” his artistic view of the show. Then there was the famous ending of the show *spoiler alert* where the family was all together in a diner and all of a sudden the screen just went black, so suddenly that people actually thought their cable might have gone out. But no, his ending was just a fade to black with no resolution, and since then in interviews he’s hinted one way or another as to what happened almost playfully. Many fans and critics actually took this lack of resolution as his ultimate fuck you to the fans who glorified in the violence of the show but didn’t get “his” vision.

Now I don’t know a lot about Matt Weiner, other than watching every episode of his show, and hearing some about his negotiations with his network, AMC, but I kinda get the idea that he might be in the David Chase mold of showrunners. As in he has his vision of the show and where it’s going to go, and doesn’t really care what other people think. There’s definitely been some Tony Soprano dream-like episodes of Mad Men over the last few seasons, and I get the feeling that Weiner considers his show more art than entertainment at times. So while I generally love the show, there may be times where I just don’t get his vision for an episode here and there.

The first episode of this season was certainly well crafted, written, acted, and shot, and I can appreciate that, but I found it ultimately unsatisfying, even boring at times. As I’ve said, I don’t know if that was because I have gotten used to more action and suspense filled shows and need to ease back into Mad Men, or if I just didn’t get Weiner’s vision in this particular episode. I’ll certainly be watching next week and I’m sure the rest of the season, I just hope that it really grabs me at some point as all previous seasons have.

Rants and Ramblings

I’m on spring break now, which while it’s nice not having to worry about classes for the week, more makes me sad since I can remember when spring break actually meant something. I still have a bit of work to keep me busy during the day but I’m bored as all hell tonight. I don’t know if it has something to do with the fact that I live alone and am alone so much, or if it’s just how my mind works, but sometimes I just get a feeling I can best describe as malaise. It’s not just being bored, it’s being bored to the point where anything I can think of doing sounds boring too. So, I figured I might as well try to kill some time by writing for a few.

Right now I have Chopped on the Food Network on in the background. I actually like the show but it reminded me of something that annoys the hell out of me: commercials. Chopped is one of those shows that does the cliffhanger commercial break before they eliminate someone etc. Obviously if it’s a show like Mad Men that I actually follow I’ll DVR it and fast foward through the commercials, but on a night like tonight where I’m just flipping, I’m forced to watch them. I think maybe I’m one of those people that tends to notice annoying or stupid things more than other people: obviously a great talent to have.

I think it was watching a lot of the NCAA basketball tourney that pushed me over the edge, because they not only have mandated tv timeouts but towards the end of games they go to commercial practically everytime someone is fouled and whenever a coach calls a timeout, which is a lot. I’ve realized that I despise most commercials. Now I understand that the reason that I’m getting to watch the NCAA’s or whatever show for free is that there are commercials and that they are a necessary evil. I just hate the fact that people that get paid millions upon millions of dollars per year..ie…the advertising firms, can’t come up with something even mildly clever and non insulting to my intelligence 75% of the time.

Granted, and not to sound arrogant, I realize that I’m more intelligent than a large amount of people in this country, and that I also have a tendency to get annoyed by things that others don’t notice, but seriously. Whether it’s the fact that most commercials portray men as bumbling idiots, or all groups of people together are apparently legally mandated to include a minority, or that every 4th commercial is for an insurance company that’s trying to tell me what great people they are and how they are going to improve my life, I can barely take it anymore.

Quick(or not so quick sidebar): I know I’ve bitched about insurance company commercials before but I feel the need to get deeper into that. As far as insurance companies go, we are either legally mandated to buy your product..ie…car insurance, or we buy it for peace of mind as in life or homeowner or other types of insurance. In turn, you bank on the fact that your customers will pay you more than you will ever have to actually pay out to them in claims. You’re a business, and from the fact that five or six insurance companies can afford to buy huge amounts of advertising time during big sporting events and primetime shows, you’re apparently raking in the cash. So quit trying to make out like you’re some charity made up of great people that just want to help your customers and that our lives will be better if we have an AllStateFarmGeico insurance policy. You’re looking to make money, not unlike any other business, but Starbucks doesn’t try to convince me that they are making my coffee to make my life better.

Insurance company ads are about as disingenuous as beer commercials where they basically imply that you have to have Bud or Miller or whatever beer at your party to have a good time, yet in tiny words at the bottom of the ad they tell you to drink responsibly. They don’t want you to drink responsibly, they could care less as long as you buy their product. They probably would prefer you don’t headon a family while driving drunk, but outside of that, they are responsible for as many deaths as cigarette companies, yet noone is up in arms at Anheuser Busch or Coors. I looked this up one time, because with people who have been shot suing gun companies, I was surprised that an alcohol company had never been sued for a drunk driving death. But apparently the alcohol lobby is strong, because it’s never happened.

But, despite the fact that the hypocrisy of these various industries’ ads, the ones that bother me the most are the ones that just flat out insult my intelligence. Every now and then you’ll see a clever ad campaign, but most of them are just mind numbingly stupid. Whether it’s the myriad of commercials that imply or flat out show that all men are apparently morons, or the commercials for a product that you’ve never heard of that do nothing to tell you what that product is, to the GoDaddy commercials that imply if you log onto their website that you’ll see Danica Patrick naked, just ugh. And then you have the pharmaceutical commercials for drugs for things that most people don’t really want to know about..ie…ED, problems with pissing, herpes, etc. And of course the government mandate that they tell you all the possible side effects that invariably sound worse than whatever was wrong with you in the first place.

Anyway, I could rant about this all night long but I’ll stop now. I’d just like to say that if your job is to get paid a shitload of money to come up with an ad campaign, earn your freaking money and don’t act like EVERY person in this country is a drooling moron.