Posts Tagged ‘humor’

“Texting” ‘Bout My Generation

So, I’m one of those nasty little Generation “Y” critters. You know the type, sickeningly and rather egotistically convinced that our generation knows how to solve the world’s age-old problems. Instead of learning how to write cursive, we learned computers, instead of etiquette we had facebook. I had an email by 11, then a cell phone at 16 and now I’m a facebook-addicted, twitter-pated, blog-posting twenty year old. And you know what? I don’t think technology’s the greatest idea, and I don’t think we’ve got solutions. I think my generation’s become a generation of cowards.

That’s right, you sneaky little Y-ers, I see you bashfully checking out my blog in your anonymous cyber-pool, ready to submit the scathing comment you’d never say to my face, or on the phone. I know, you didn’t mean to become so shy, it started out innocently enough.
First you started emailing things you were too timid to admit out loud. Then, you began “friending” that cute guy or girl in class you couldn’t work up the guts to ask out. Got to stalk the ole profile, find something to talk about rather than coming up with a topic your own. Then began the texting. You see, at least Townsend TALKED about his generation, hell he put it into song. But kids these days, they’ll just text it.

Oh, I know. It’s convenient. It’s subtle. It’s quick. You were only going to use it for when you were in class (when you really ought to be paying attention) or to send a mass invite to all your buddies for a movie tonight. And then somehow, it became easier to text rather than call.

Soon, you discover yourself forgetting exactly when is an appropriate time to use acronyms in writing and when is not. Hell, you don’t even know what an acronym is. If you don’t know, look it up, I won’t tell you. Lazy.

Now, texting has become the “safe” and less presumptuous way of conversing. After all, calling up someone of the opposite sex for the first time can be scary. Well, boo-fucking-hoo. Excuse me while I find an emoticon for the world’s smallest violin. Oh, I guess that particular gem has not yet been boiled down to its simplest, pixelated form. How’s this? 😥

I digress. This happens a lot.

My point is that this generation has become a generation of wusses. I’ve fallen prey to it, and it makes me sick. “Oh if I call him, I might seem over eager and then he won’t like me!” Well, shucks, because THAT never happens. (Seriously, in my case, never happens. Everyone loves me. I’m loveable.)

People used to have no choice but to buck up and approach people: for jobs, for friendship, for dating. It may have evolved from grunts and whacking people over the head with clubs and dragging them off to your cave to a nice “How do you do?” but now, it’s going too far. I mean, at least the whole club-and-cave thing was direct and effective. How is “poking” each other efficient? Useful? Clear?

People are afraid of each other, despite the fact that we don’t carry clubs anymore. Even though we “friend” more people than ever, we meet fewer and fewer people. People who approach you in real life are scary. We need that comforting internet mediator.

Now instead of spending time together and talking over a cup of tea or coffee like human beings, we text or chat over instant message. Why cut out all the human interaction? The confusing and comforting nuances of tone, expression, body language? Personally, I find the techno-conversation far more confusing. Sarcasm is pretty much my first language, and I judge a person’s intent not only from their words, but their face and body. Can’t do that over the net. It’s unnerving. Someone could be lying, or tired of speaking to you, but you simply cannot tell. Which just makes you more neurotic and afraid to speak to someone face to face.

We do everything through the internet, not just talking. We date online, we rent movies online, we shop online. It’s like we’re afraid of catching something. Maybe that pesky little strain of humanity that’s been holding out against the internet vaccine? Practice safe communication! Wear a cyber-condom! Hide behind that thin layer of technology and nothing can touch you. All the things you couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t say or do? You can do them without fear of reprisal with this sexy little innovation!

Guess what? Life’s about reprisal. Life’s about getting hurt, and sick, and dirty. Life’s about getting shot down, and having to understand when someone’s face belies their words. Life’s about growing a spine. This thing that taken over my generation? It’s not killing them, but it is taking away their shot at life. Maybe that’s why promiscuity’s on the rise, kids these days? They’re lonely and they want to cut through the zeros and ones and touch someone. Just to know there’s really a human on the other side.

Thieves Are Inconsiderate

Last Friday, I packed my bags and loaded up my van with dirty laundry to begin the trek home for Thanksgiving break. Little did I know I’d be back in less than 24 hours.

I live in one of the eight on campus apartments, which is technically off-campus but supposedly beholden to the same rules–and security –as the dorms. Now, my roommates and I locked our doors and windows, turned off the lights and all the other rigamarole that we’re supposed to do when vacating for breaks. And security is supposed to patrol and keep our residences safe when we are not there. Sure, they never really showed up the past semester, but I just figured it was because we were there, and they had things to do along the lines of busting drinkers on our oh-so-“dry” campus. But maybe they weren’t real big on patrolling the on campus apartments after all, because Saturday morning I got one of those lovely calls from Carthage that always means something’s wrong, because really unless I owe them money, they’re not keen to talk to me otherwise. Sure enough, I was informed that someone had kicked in my back door and presumably robbed my apartment, and could I please come back and see what’s missing?

Oh, goody.

So, of course, mom doesn’t want me going up to my apartment alone now, certain the thieves are lying in wait for me under my bed, (tricky thing, that, since my bed is a mattress on the floor) so we make a family outing of it, trekking back up to friggin’ Kenosha on my supposed first day off.

And of course, they did steal things from my apartment, as people who break into apartments have been known to do. I found my apartment a mess–no, not all the robbers’ faults but they certainly did not tidy up amidst their pilfering– and minus my tv, my dvd player, all my dvds, all of one of my roommate’s dvds, some of my jewelry, and a drawer from my jewelry box.

Now, I was pretty mellow throughout this whole thing until I realized they had taken the damn drawer. That really got my knickers in the proverbial knot. I mean COME ON. Sure, you’re thieves, you’re stealing whatever you think you can fence for a decent price and those bracelets my godmom gave me look like they are actually worth something, so sure, I expect those to go *poof* but the fucking DRAWER? Really? I mean if you are gonna make me buy a new jewelry box, take the damn box, but is the drawer worth anything? No. Is it at all useful to you? No. Have you already royally pissed me off by breaking into my apartment and stealing stuff that a college student, particularly this college student, cannot afford to replace? Why, yes, yes you have, you twat. But as you are robbing me blinder than the Illinois taxpayers, I expect you to take what you think you need to sell in order to get by, or what not. But the tiniest shred of decency, courtesy, or some kind of consideration wouldn’t fucking kill you!

My brother spent far more than he should have giving me that jewelry box last Christmas–it’s called GENEROSITY you pilfering bastards–and you have now wrecked that by taking ONE FREAKING DRAWER. I can’t claim the box, I can’t replace the drawer, and what MIGHT just interest you is now, every time I see the gaping hole where the drawer should be, I’m going to get angry. Again. At you. And I am going to become more determined to FIND you. The police shall not hear the end of me until I find you. It’s not about the stuff anymore. I’m hard up, but I’ll survive. It’s about the fact that you lack ANY of the respect that is necessary for me to show you anything of the same.

For instance, you took the whole DVD tower that was housing mine and my roommate’s movies, and chucked it in the dumpster out back after you had taken its contents. Were it not for security finding said DVD tower and returning it to me, that piece of furniture would not have been returned to me and once again, I am too broke to replace it. Obviously, I could just steal one from someone else, but I happen to be a decent human being. Asshole. Again, I was over the fact that you stole from me, but the unnecessary waste and loss of things that are mine are kinda making it hard to forgive and forget.

Okay, I’m done ranting at a person who will probably never read this. Of course, my parents and the security guard who were there whilst I inspected my apartment have heard all this, and were amused at my use of the term “inconsiderate thieves.” They seem to think that thieves are by nature inconsiderate, which is true. But I think some take it further than others.

I don’t like inconsiderate people. At all.

The icing on the cake is hearing all damn week, and throughout Thanksgiving with the family, “Oh, thank heavens none of you were there!” HELL. NO. Had I been there, I’d still have my stuff and there’d be some sorry-ass wannabe robbers sitting in jail. I sleep with a knife under my pillow, I have thought about exactly I’d do should someone break into my apartment (it’s to small to afford me any escape) so you know what buddy? Bring it. Home field advantage. There’s also the fact that they probably wouldn’t have broken in were it not obvious everyone was gone on break.

But I wasn’t there, and my stuff is gone, and no one has been arrested, and I have yet to find out whether or not the school will cover the cost of my losses. I mean, I get security in exchange for complying with on campus rules and those hefty tuition payments. Since security kinda failed us there (No one even knew the apartments had been broken into until some 12 hours after the fact) I guess that means I get to booze it up and burn my incense after all. But really, I don’t need this shit right now. Finals, Christmas fest and papers up the wazoo are what I have to look forward to the next three weeks. So I am no longer mellow. Oh, and if the person responsible is by some miracle reading this blog?

I want my fucking drawer back.

Doubt

So, whenever I talk to religious folk, I am invariably told that I am either going to hell or that they will pray for me. Oooh, let’s not forget the look of pitying worry–the kind of look we reserve for the slightly mad as we humor them. Oh wait, that may be an unrelated issue.
I can’t help it, I’m a cynic. Did the whole religious upbringing in an extraordinarily Catholic family. Look up Irish Catholic and you could probably find a family portrait featuring yours truly and my few hundred relations. Seriously, we push maximum occupancy at Christmas what with roughly 90 or so people at our little holiday soiree.
So, religion. I’m afraid that I am an unrelenting skeptic without any reverence for God Almighty, at least in the myriad ways he exists to the various religions of the world. The closest thing I’ve come to accepting since my personal fall from grace is a type of paganism, but even that I must modify and simplify. I just can’t bow down and believe in the big man upstairs and all his omniscience and omnipotence. If I did, I’d probably still be vilifying his divine self for all the many evils of the world, and in particular what my brothers go through every day. I’m a forgiving sort, but if there is a god who is omnipotent, he can rot in hell because the bastard made my brothers and others like them suffer.
But I don’t believe that there is a personified omnipotent being up in the stratosphere who showers us all with his fatherly affections. Christianity just didn’t cut it for my mind. I have no problem with Christians, or Muslims or Jews or Buddhists or Rastafarians, mind you, people can believe whatever they want and I will not ask someone to change their way of thinking. Okay that’s a downright lie. Because there are people who I think should change their way of thinking and they fall under the fun little category of evangelists, proselytizers, missionaries, etc. It’s always been my motto to respect other people’s rights to their own belief, and these self-righteous think-they-know-it-alls just trample on that day by day. Look at Al Queda, look at the Spanish Inquisition, look at that sick fuck who was behind the proposed Q’uran burning in Florida.
So now you’ve got a grasp on my problem with organized religion, or at least one facet of my problem, I shall get to the point. I know, I know, a point Shannon? You haven’t had one of those in a while. Sure you’re up for it? Maybe you should take another few weeks off without blogging, you lazy fuck.
Shut up voices.
Now see, that look you are giving me via your computer screen right now? THAT’S the look.
But I digress. Last Sunday, I found myself covering an event on campus called GospelFest for the paper. Now, considering my aversion to organized religion and preaching, you’re probably surprised I volunteered to review such an event. Fact is, I like gospel music. It’s fun, a lot more fun than gregorian chants and endless Baroque pieces in simpering latin. (I sang a lot of Latin in high school, back in the ole plaid skirt days.) So off I went to GospelFest.
The music was great, the kids who did some urban praise dancing were awesome–I love dancing, having no talent for it myself I find myself constantly amazed by those who do–and the whole service was run by a charismatic and comically stereotypical MC. Yes, friends I am on dangerous grounds, but sometimes stereotypes are actually adhered to. The Pastor who led the ceremony was a loud, large African American man from Chicago, who had a booming voice and tone that you would expect to see on some revivalist televangelist show. That’s not to say he wasn’t a great speaker, he was, and the list of his achievements was impressive. But his constant calls to get on our feet and feel the spirit, the spittle flying from his mouth as he raised his palms and asked us to praise the Lord, these things didn’t move me.
When I witness a performance like his, I view it as just that: a performance. I cannot see someone summoning up that kind of zeal, zest, and genuine inspiration just because they are scheduled to. I think of religion as something that should be felt as truth, it should never be even a tiniest bit forced or false. And to see someone doing a choreographed encouragement that audience feel what they ask feels manipulative. Feeling and emotion are the easiest ways to manipulate a person and I feel that a lot of religious folk use this to their advantage. Guilt, fear, a need to belong, love, inclusion, exclusion, righteousness–these are all feelings that religious groups use for proselytizing. Call me naive, but if what you believe is true, than you shouldn’t have to use charisma and emotion to get your point across. Sincerity and plain speech should do the same. When I see religious types employing the fire-and-brimstone, hallelujah and praise the lord type of emotionally driven speaking tactics, I question whether they believe or whether they want to be believed. And so I am a cynic.
So yeah, I see a man who teaches Sunday school, directs choirs for urban kids to keep them off the streets, and is a pillar of his religious community and all I can see is possible deception and, as Salinger would say, a phony. I take a preacher and construe him as possible manipulator. I fear that which I cannot understand and doesn’t that make me a hypocrite? Maybe this skepticism means that I cannot be deceived, maybe it means that I am an independent thinker who will not be manipulated. Or maybe I really am going to hell.

Things I’ve Learned About Living

1. Get a Penguin suit. Use it for tummy tobogganing.
2. Record the penguin expeditions for posterity.
3.3 is a mystical number in pretty much every culture.
4. If it’s sunny, go lie out in it in a peaceful place and just try to find a balance.
5. Sneak up on your friends as frequently as possible.
6. Go to karaoke with friends or family. If you’re good, bask in it. If you’re bad, make the world suffer with you. Or just sing Baby Got Back. It’s a classic.
7. Yes, things are easier for prettier people. Life’s tough all over.
8. Climb trees. You are never too old, and the people pointing are just jealous.
9. Embarrassment is something to be beaten black and blue and buried. It is never a reason to chicken out.
10. Question everything. Always.
11. Just because it works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will or can for you. Never let a persuasive person convince you their way is best, when you know damn well your way works just as well.
12. NEVER try to change a person. Change has to come from within.
13. That being said, don’t let others change who you are without your permission.
14. Kindness is more important than pride.
15. Hugging is good for the soul.
16. A little bitchiness now and then is also good for the soul.
17. Don’t mistake having a backbone for being a bitch. Don’t mistake being a bitch for a completely bad thing.
18. Go with your gut. Think about it thoroughly, but your mind can change. The gut will never go away.
19. Don’t get married too young.
20. Don’t assume that failed relationships are someone’s fault.
21. The meek generally don’t inherit anything.
22. If you are constantly picking battles, people will generally laugh at your war.
23. Forgiveness is essential, both because it makes you a better person and is necessary in any relationship, but also because we all have to forgive ourselves at some point.
24. Don’t be rude. Unless someone is REALLY asking for it. Then it’s cathartic.
25. Fathers can also be best friends.
26. Taking yourself seriously isn’t funny. Laughing at yourself is far more entertaining.
27. Blog posts are a way of procrastinating.
28. Procrastinating is healthy is small doses. I never do it in small doses.
29. Everyone is fighting their own private battle.
30. But that doesn’t mean they get to be a bitch about it.
31. Take long walks at night. Full moons are the best.
32. When walking in the woods, ditch the path.
33. Drive with the windows down and your music blaring.
34. Never let me park your car.
35. Read things on thequotationspage.com. You’ll feel wiser.
36. Money IS important, but only at a very basic level.
37. Be aware of double standards. Especially your own.
38. If you’re bored and you have a computer, go to mylifeisaverage.com. Search for ideas on ridiculous things to do.
39. Love is far more important than pride, but pride should not be a victim of love.
40. Everyone has their own stupid tv show they love to watch, and their own awful book they like to read.
41. Twilight really is an awful book.
42. Sexual innuendos have their time and place.
43. Sexual innuendos are generally far funnier when out of their time and place.
44. If you are easily offended, you will spend most of your life angry and sad.
45. PMS is not an excuse to act like a jerk. It is an excuse to eat tons of chocolate.
46. Be ridiculous. You’ll have more interesting friends.
47. Go to bad horror movies strictly to mock them.
48. Don’t hedge your words worrying you will offend someone. You’ll carry around more regret than you realize.
49. Play pranks.
50. Do NOT fake a heart attack on your ten year old daughter. She will plan revenge.
51. Romantic comedies and romance movies generally display unhealthy relationship. They should thus be mocked with all the energy you can muster.
52. People’s language really has deteriorated.
53. The far right is annoying.
54. The far left is annoying.
55. Sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in. More often, you have to take a deep breath and endure.
56. Nobody feels like the popular, pretty, funny one.
57. I do not need another person to complete me.
58. Black hair dye does not come out. At least it hasn’t yet.
59. Reading extensively is the best way to develop a good vocabulary.
60. Ignore people who use hyperbole.
61. Everyone uses hyperbole.
62. A little cleavage can get you a free drink, a discount, but it also gets you 70 cents to a man’s dollar, and a hand wrapped tightly around your pepper spray on dark streets.
63. “isms” of any kind should be well-researched, well thought-out but little adhered to.
64. Movies about homosexuality will be boycotted by religious sects. Jackass will be made into a 3-D feature.
65. Buy flowers for yourself.
66. Humiliation is harder to forgive than pain.
67. Tea eases headaches, sore throat, and anxiety. It should be steeped properly.
68. My autistic brother might just be happier than I am.
69. I found out what 69 means in high school. According to the movie Everything Is Illuminated, it is also called a premium year for lesbians.
70. If it’s truly POURING rain, remove your shirt and go running in it. Bring friends.
71. Okay, I’m out of shit to list.