Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Been A While...

I don't go on rants as often as I used to. The reasons as to why are many I'm sure (or not...who knows?), but I still do take notice of the occasional annoying/petty/stupid/hypocritical things people and society at large, do. And so, without further adieu, the most recent annoying things I feel are comment worthy.

-There's this radio ad I've heard several times the last few weeks for lasik surgery. As a guy who now wears glasses, I can understand how there might be a market for people who wish to have their vision permanently improved, and remove the need for wearing glasses/contacts. Now, you would think a radio ad for such a surgical procedure would go something like this: "Tired of wearing glasses/contacts? With a short surgical procedure we can restore your vision back to 20/20...permanently." There you go. An ad that tells you what the service is and what it can do for you. Short and to the pont. Clear in its intent and succinct. But that would be too simple and make too much sense, wouldn't it? You see, advertising is all fear based. Rather than show you a useful and life improving service or product, and illustrate how that product can work for you, advertisers like to instill a sense of dread in their target audience that if they don't buy this product, your life will take a turn for the worse. You will smell worse, your penis won't work right, your hair won't grow/lay flat/be wavy/be blond-red-brunette, the hair you DON'T want won't go away and keep growing, you'll get fat, you'll be too skinny and won't gain muscle weight, the car you drive isn't sexy enough, the car you drive isn't practical enough, the car you drive isn't green enough, etc., etc. So, you may or may not be asking yourself, how could you possibly freak somebody out with a lasik commercial? Like this: the commercial starts out with the sounds of what appears to be somebody breaking into a house, presumably late at night. The wife freaks out in a hushed panicky voice, and the husband fumbles around stating "I can't find my glasses!!!" The woman says "Oh my god...they're inside...the children! What about the children???" And the guy states: "I can't see a thing...where'd I leave my glasses????" The wife then states: "What are we gonna do???" Good question lady. Perhaps you could start by calling 911? So, there you go. According to the lasik people, if you don't have their procedure, you will be murdered in your bedroom by a gang of thrill kill psychopaths breaking into your home, and your kids will be either sold off into a Russian white slavery ring, or, dragged down into some sort of torture dungeon. Wow. Pretty grisly stuff, and definitely a good reason to get that lasik surgery! However, what I'm confused about is how this scenario is supposed to play out differently if the man had, in fact, already had the lasik procedure. Would it go something like this: Sound of people breaking in home. Wife to husband: "Well honey, you know what to do." Man calmly, but with a bit of pity in his voice, almost Eastwood-like, "Yep. Be back in a sec", as he knows that the evil doers who just broke into their house have no idea what they're in for...and that is some seriously vision corrected ass kicking. Man goes downstairs and the following is heard: "Oh my god...he's not wearing glasses!!! RUN!!!" Then there's the sound of what appears to be laser beams being fired. "Oh my god! His lasik corrected perfect vision is burning a hole right through my chest! Arrrrrrhhgghgghhg!!!!!" Then there's the sound of hearts exploding and sizzling flesh. "Eat hot lasik death you burglarizing evil doing pieces of filth!!!! Muwahahaha!!!! Get some! Get some!!!!" More laser vision being fired, more hearts exploding with the sound of panicky bad guys meeting a gruesome end as they die horrifying deaths. After the grotesque, but triumphant scene downstairs, the man goes back upstairs, eyeballs his wife, and states: "Poor fucks never knew what hit them...thank you lasik eye surgery center. Now give me some sugar baby..." Aaaaaand scene.

Anyway, this commercial kinda pissed me off because they basically equated wearing glasses to sacrificing the potential well being of your family...which I find reprehensible.

-I woke up this morning at 4am thinking one of a few things had happened, due to the nuclear fusion like illumination burning THROUGH the curtains of my bedroom window. 1) the apocalypse was indeed upon us and all those fundamentalists were right. Oh shit. 2) the last day of Burning Man was being celebrated in my back yard and nobody invited me. The bastards. 3) A small tactical nuke had been set off as Al Queda had determined my neighborhood was a high value target...I'm guessing due to our overly infidel adherence to maintaining our landscaping and pools. 4) The sun had just gone supernova and I had eight minutes to live...which made me contemplate there was no need to get out of my warm bed and take a leak after all. I think I could probably hold out for eight minutes. 5) The mothership had just landed outside my window, the aliens were here, and I was about to get an anal probe. Man...talk about a buzz kill. Hopefully the gray, big eyed bastards would have the decency to buy me a drink first...you now...kinda ease into it. 6) My idiot neighbor had just installed a backyard light that had the equivalent of 14 trillion candlepower. Well, it was #6. Is there any reason to illuminate your backyard with the brilliance of a Class A star? What in the hell are you trying to illuminate back there? You concerned Charlie is hiding in the tree line and are going to need to call in an air strike? Maybe you are anticipating the need to crack a chest and do a little impromptu open heart surgery next to the bbq pit at 3am? "Scalpel. Check. Chest spreader? Check. Clamp? Check? Spatula and tongs? Check. Ok. Lets save a life...and for crying out loud..keep an eye on those burgers...oh, and pass me a cold one...I'm going in." I don't really know how to finish this thought other than saying my neighbor sucks. I think that probably sums it up nicely.

-I would really like to know what goes on in peoples heads as they're driving (actual answer: nothing is going on in their heads other than the sound of waves crashing on the beach, the buzz of a solitary fly, or the sound of an EKG machine when it's flatlining...you know, that "bewwwwwwwwwwwwww" sound). I ask this question because of the following encounter: I was exiting the freeway at an over crossing. The over crossing has an unusually high crown to it, which basically means you can't see oncoming traffic to the left or right until they've crested the rise and are almost right on top of you. So, you have to be careful and really hyper vigilant as you pull into traffic. I look left and right, and left again. No oncoming cars. I start to pull into traffic by making a left turn, and, like a Scud missile screaming across the desert, came a tatted up idiot in a graphics laden Mustang. Because I was actually paying fucking attention to what I was doing, I saw the methed out tweaker maniac coming and promptly stopped my car before entering the lane. This is a crucial point I want to get across here: I stopped before entering the lane, and he was still a good 100 ft. away. So, here now is the scene: the oncoming Mustang's lane is still WIDE OPEN, I'm stopped while he was still 100 ft. away, and there is no traffic obstruction as he approached. So what does this basement dweller of Maslow's Hierarchy do as he drives by completely unencumbered by me or anybody else? Yep. He honks. Apparently this Affliction hat wearing, tattooed neck having, graphics Mustang sporting lunkhead was not the unmitigated asshole I made him out to be, but was, in fact, a theoretical physicist. I say this because the only reason I can imagine that he would have honked when there was absolutely no danger of a collision is because, in that short amount of time, he worked a quick calculation in his head and wanted to let me know that in alternate, parallel universe, we had a collision. In some alternate reality, we were no doubt having a conversation where he was trying to explain to me "Yes, he WOULD have had car insurance had he not spent his last $150 on a new tattoo and would I consider an 1/8oz of weed as fair compensation for my damage" and "Just because he was doing 65mph in a 40mph zone he doesn't see how any of this could be his fault...but he's got the hook up with a bouncer at a local strip club if I'm willing to forget this happened...". Needless to say, I greatly appreciate his desire to expand my physics loving mind into the realm of worlds just beyond the thin membrane that separates them from our own...

Then again, may be it was a congratulatory honk celebrating my professional alertness whilst behind the wheel, and how my vigilant driving posture saved us from having a collision due to his driving with his head up his ass. Maybe his honk said: "Well played my good man! Your strict adherence to actually paying attention to what your doing has paid off handsomely good sir, as your efforts prevented us from having a rather unfortunate collision due to my disgusting, self absorbed carelessness!"

Nah...I seriously doubt it...I think he was most likely just an asshole.