Things that make me mad
A lot of people like to make bullshit social media accounts where they can meet other people who enjoy similar things. There's last.fm, for people who enjoy manipulating their listening habits in order to appear cool; there's goodreads, for people who enjoy pretending to read weighty tomes and trendy novels; and there's probably other sites I'm too uncool to know about. All of these sites work on the principle of expressing your likes.
I have a better idea. Why don't we just use our web presences to say what we fucking hate, what fucking annoys us, and then we'll let people be friends with us based on that information. I like it. Maybe we can call this service FuckYouBook. Mine is the first page in this network.
The things that bother me, with reasons, are as follows:
- People who say "Hitler wasn't even German! He was Austrian!" Guess what, dawg? Germans are an ethnic group, Germany is a country. Austrians are just as much Germans as people living in Germany, even if their country has a different name. Austrians, if you don't like me saying that, explain why you liked it so much until you lost two World Wars fighting alongside Germany.
- People who think they are power users because they use Android. Ooh, you can put widgets on your home screen? Boy, you're a fucking hacker. Wait, no. You're not. Android is basically the modern incarnation of whatever phony shit was run on those old vTech toy computers that cost 50 bucks in 1995 at Toys R Us. Even a DOS user was 100,000 times the power use you are.
- People who call male pop musicians "rockers." I've never actually hard this term applied to anyone who rocks, only contestants on American Idol who play something grandma hasn't heard before.
- People who say "acrosst." It's across.
- People who criticize other people for using words that aren't in the dictionary. See above. If the sounds coming out of your mouth mean something to another person, that's language, and they're every fucking bit as good as those sounds that are codified in a dictionary. Doesn't mean they ain't grating, tho.
- People who say rap isn't music. Pretty sure the way vocals are delivered has no bearing on whether something is music. In almost every case the person making this statement has a deep-rooted fear of anything non-white.
- People who get on your case if you say you don't like a kind of music. Like I don't care for much rap, see, so people say I'm ignorant and narrow-minded because maybe they think it's something racist. It's not (see above). Strangely, nobody really would get on your case if you said you didn't like country, or industrial music, or grindcore, and if you said you didn't like sacred harp music, they'd probably just stare. I'd punch you, though.
- People who say they like every kind of music. If you haven't heard a kind of music that you don't like, you haven't heard enough kinds of music. You also probably don't really like music that much if it's all equally good to you.
- People who don't use an apostrophe and an s after a name or word that ends with S. If you think something like "Hey, that's Otis' car!" sounds and looks more right than "Hey, that's Otis's car!", you're wrong, possibly deaf, and possibly retarded. But absolutely, certainly wrong.
- Pronouncing kindergarten as 'kindygarden.' No, god damnit!
- Shortened URLs. There are many times where these are okay. However, I also see many people who have no length restraints use them, and I also see people put them in text where a hyperlink would be even easier and better. If you can shorten a URL but can't create a hyperlink, you might need to brush up on some skillz, dawg.
- Putting an @ in front of people's usernames when you don't need to. Seriously, this just makes you look like a fucking retard, or maybe somebody who wants to show they've used twitter, which is the same thing, basically.
- The Samsung Galaxy commercial that shows an office worker preparing a report on his phone... while sitting at a desktop.
- The Library of Congress's decision to archive all tweets. This was announced around the time Yahoo took Geocities offline. The LoC made no effort to archive that, despite its historical importance both as a snapshot of the 90s and the early internet, and the fact that even a few geocities pages likely contained more interesting information than gigabytes of tweets about peoples' breakfasts. And if you still don't dislike the Library of Congress enough, and you know a little about how libraries work, read Thomas Mann's excellent essay "What's Going on at the Library of Congress?" (PDF).
- Celebrating American Independence Day on July 4. So a bunch of rich dudes got together to make clear in writing what farmers pronounced in iron and blood months earlier at Lexington and Concord? I support celebrating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord as American Independence day for two reasons. It privileges action over deed, and it privileges small farmers over the rich landholding pricks that were the "Founders." Not that national independence is something worth celebrating.
- 12 hour time. 24 hour time is superior in every way unless you can't count past 12.
- Putting the dollar sign after the figure, not before. 30$ looks so wrong.
- "Beautiful" as an adjective for software Seriously, shut the fuck up already. If you use a piece of software entirely or mainly because it's "beautiful" or "gorgeous," you're a fucking idiot and a hipster.
- People who whine about how software looks and think they're contributing by posting mock-ups of redesigns on their blog.
- Videos in Flash format. It is the 2010s. Stop this. Do your part to kill Flash. Don't just bitch about it, but make it so your users don't need it.
- State and national park quarters. Seriously, quarters were so much cooler when there was just one design, and then for major events there were slight redesigns (like the rad 1976 bicentennial quarter). Now every fucking time I touch a quarter it's some new design I never saw before and I have to figure out what the fuck I'm looking at.
- People who think you need to eat several types of food at one meal. As if bacon or scrambled eggs aren't enough work on their own, some people would have you cook both -- and more besides -- for a single meal. Not me. I will tell you that it is easier and better for your stomach to eat only one simple food at each meal. And I will be right.
- Ampersands in typed English.
- People who don't drop foreign or archaic characters from words that are reliably entrenched in the English language. It's cafe, not café; facade, not façade; and naive, not naïve. And never write encyclopædia.
- People who use Outlook's high priority flag. What a fucking insult the high priority flag is! By setting it, you are presuming that your mail is more important than the other email I get, and you're presuming that I won't read it unless it comes with a shitty red exclamation mark.
- People who say encryption doesn't matter because somebody could torture you for the key. Don't bother locking your door when you leave in the morning -- a thief could just bulldoze it open.
- Adults who call snowmobiles, etc., "toys." Grow up.
- People who think vi and Unix are synonyms for vim and Linux.
- People who spit in public. I don't want to walk on your bodily fluids, prick.
- Veterans. Because I routinely hear them say things like "we fought for your right to free speech" in the same breath as "if you say something about politics I don't like, I'll beat the shit out of you."
- People who believe voting is a neutral act. This often expresses itself as being told to vote by people or institutions who otherwise would never advocate or editorialize politically. "I can't tell you who to vote for, but do vote." The trouble is, voting means endorsing the capitalist system and surrendering your other political options -- hardly a neutral act, eh? In this light it is no surprise that the media and huge corporations push voting in general far more heavily than they push voting for any specific candidate.
- People who believe they are radicals while complaining only about "late capitalism" or "neoliberal capitalism." Fine, so you don't like neoliberalism. But why not go ahead and admit the inverse? Admit that you're ok with capitalism when it has slightly different features, such as when more proletarians are exploited in the industrial sector or when the same exploitation is softened slightly by government social programs. Meanwhile, quit your radical pretensions. Real radicals are against capitalism regardless of the presence or absence of some superficial characteristics.
- People who use "reactionary" as a synonym for hasty or impatient. Not that language can't change, but just know that "reactionary" has until recently had a very different meaning.
- People who are strongly against the death penalty but fine with prisons. If you are concerned that an innocent person might be executed, shouldn't you also be worried that the same innocent person might spend the rest of their life in some small concrete cell, cut off from the world, subjected to unimaginable mental and physical abuse? Yes, you should. Similarly, if you're one of the people that says "I'm against the death penalty -- besides, life in prison is way worse," then you're one sick son of a gun. For my part, however I feel about capital punishment or life in prison, I don't believe in the false dichotomy where one is better, or worse, or more effective at deterring crime. Both are fucked up reactions to problems that have already happened.