Category Archives: WTF

Dear Facebook: Fuck You

Facebook keeps blocking me for making friend requests. Of course, I know hardly anyone who is called my friend on that site, and the reality is that it exists for two purposes:

1. Keep fools occupied with baby pictures and cheesy inspirational sayings

2. Businesses trying to separate the former from their money.

I fit into category number two.

But who cares? There’s an easy way to reject a friend request. Reject it. Big deal. The truth is that Facebook was created by a college dropout screwup who had to buy himself a wife to have someone who would pay him any attention. The site needs to hire someone with actual social skills to form rational policies.

Until then:

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WTF Meets Huh?

I was raised by fundamentalists, and while I saved myself from that nonsense–with the help of the writings of Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and Stephen Jay Gould–I still remember how such people think. That being said, this is bizarre, even for them:

Without the label, would you have realized that Wounded on the Battlefield was an anti-masturbation public service announcement from the Mormons?

But more than that, what kind of army are we seeing? I get the Yugoslavian SKS. It’s a good carbine, though it’s ten-round magazine is passé these days. But what is the story with the guy shooting a Marlin 60? It’s a good firearm, too, but it’s a .22 Long Rifle shooter.

O.K., so perhaps I don’t understand fundamentalists as much as I thought. I almost said that I’m not that much in touch with them, but the puns will have to wait till this article is over.

Let the puns begin.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: The Social Edition

I’ve run across two articles about absurdity in my wanderings on the Internet recently.

The first was on The Huffington Post, but be warned, the video plays automatically. Some tosser by the name of Wayne Goss suggests that men should consider wearing a bit of makeup to improve their appearance.

DCF 1.0

WTF?

As Hamlet says to Ophelia in Act III, scene i, right after his most famous speech, “I have heard of your paintings too, well enough; God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another.” I’ve always regarded makeup as a silly thing, something akin to the obsession over hub caps that some have, but if you’re into that, be my guest. However, when Goss recommends makeup for men, what he is doing is hoping to burden half the population with a waste of time.

800px-Kennedy_Nixon_Debat_(1960)

Now I understand that when anyone is going on video, makeup is likely going to be necessary, given the artificial lighting, though not much would have rescued Nixon, other than getting Mayor Daley to change his mind. But in real life, I want real life.

Except it seems that real life doesn’t feel as real any more as it once did:

Apparently, there are men these days–perhaps the ones who are walking about wearing makeup–who find virtual women worthy of a relationship. Or, in the case of Love Plus, virtual teenage girls. The characters are exactly what is to be expected from something generated by a computer–whiny, demanding, and formulaic. Why anyone would want to date Miss Vista is something beyond my understanding, though science fiction has been predicting this sort of thing for a long time.

Well, to quote J. B. S. Haldane,

I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.

And for now, this is the only universe that we have. Still, I’ll be the man without makeup interacting with what in the Land of Oz are referred to as meat people.

Boycott Christmas

The American Family Association is calling for a boycott of companies such as RadioShack in the belief that said commercial enterprises are not celebrating Christmas sufficiently.

Old_radioshack_logo

What is it that RadioShack specifically has done to annoy the fundamentalists? The company is advertising holiday deals, rather than calling them Christmas sales.

OMGs. TEOTWAWKI. The sky is falling.

Oh, please.

RadioShack–and every other company on the AFA list–is a business trying to make money. It seeks to separate people from their cash, regardless of whether those people are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, or miscellaneous. (Blessed be the miscellaneous.) If the company’s advertising division decides that selling holiday merchandise will bring in more sales than selling only Christmas schlock, who cares? That’s not a War on Christmas. It’s a marketing decision.

In fact, this whole “War on Christmas” business indicates the weakness of the fundamentalist position. If your religious beliefs are dependent on everyone around you conforming to the same cultural attitudes and behaviors that you practice, you have weak beliefs. If you need your neighbor to agree with your Merry Christmas, you aren’t too certain about your own acceptance of the saying.

I am glad for you to possess whatever beliefs give meaning to your life. I have plenty of my own. But pluralism is the essence of freedom. A strong religion doesn’t need the endorsement of government to thrive. If we all do things and think things in exactly the same way, we live in a dull world. The fact that each one of us is free to our own decisions about matters of faith and meaning fits into the overall freedom of a democratic society. It also gives opportunities for new solutions to emerge, ones that a conformist society wouldn’t come up with.

But there’s another problem with the AFA’s boycott. Do they really want us to believe that this guy

225px-AdamSmith

is the true meaning of Christmas? (That’s Adam Smith, in case you’ve only heard about him on the radio.) I thought that the real point of Christmas was a birth that most certainly did not happen on the 25th of December in the year 1 A.D. The marketing decisions of corporations have nothing to do with the practice of a particular religion.

Besides, we ought to be aware by now that Christmas is a combination of Saturnalia and Yule, both pagan holidays. And what could be better than buying the work of a genuine heathen to give as gifts this season?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in Milk?

According to NPR this morning (22 May 2013) and to a petition reported in the Federal Register, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation want to be allowed to put aspartame in milk. Apparently, the Associated Cow Squeezers of America are concerned that children aren’t choosing milk over juice or water in their school meals.

Now I have nothing against schools teaching a healthy diet. I do observe that what constitutes such a diet changes over time, depending on which industry association funded what studies. But the fact that putting an artificial sweetener into milk to manipulate the choices of children is even being proposed is an example of how deeply screwed up this nation is.

Shopping for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Observations from today’s trip to the store:

1. Anyone who can get through a shopping experience without cussing must be heavily medicated.

2. Why does dishwasher detergent come with a safety seal?

Titanic II?

Wandering about Twitter today (26 February 2013), I see that some billionaire by the name of Clive Palmer has plans to rebuild the Titanic. I have to admit to mixed feelings about this, especially having written about the ship before, but I do have to wonder something: Will Palmer also build a Carpathia II and a Californian II?

Whas dat?

Dear readers, I’ve encountered a puzzlement. You know that I’m fascinated by firearms both old and new. I’d like to think that I’ve learned a few things, but then along come something like this:

and I’m at a loss. It’s described here as a flare gun, but it clearly doesn’t launch anything. The comments suggest that the user would hold it up and let it smoke. If so, why not a much simpler device? At this site, it’s described as being rare, and in all snarkiness, I can see why.

Anyone have any idea as to its intended use and how it functioned?

WTF Is Genetic

The other day, I ran across a report that is funnier than it should be. Read this article and then we’ll discuss.

So this knucklehead was cleaning his 9mm and accidentally fired off a round through his television, through his wall, through his neighbor’s window, ultimately leaving a dent in the neighbor’s fridge.

But that’s not what’s funny. Go read again.

Did you see it?

Yup, the investigating officer operates under the name of Outhouse. I’m sure he pronounces it “Ooth-oose” or some such, but seriously, hasn’t there come a generation in that family that figures a respelling or a new moniker is in order?

You Just Don’t Do That!

Today on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, the second hour had a discussion about eighty-eight American books that the Library of Congress believes have been influential in who we are. The discussion itself was interesting, even though the librarian, Mark Dimunation, kept using the word, impact, when he meant to say “influence” or “effect.” But that’s not what drove me to the keyboard today. Near the end of the segment, one of the guests said the following:

“It’s like cutting your own hair. You just don’t do that.”

This is an example of synchronicity, I suppose. Today happened to be the day that I had set aside for doing exactly what the guest said I don’t do.

Yes, I cut my own hair. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t waste time on such a trivial matter on this weblog, but hearing that remark brought up a thought about our culture.

Some five years ago, the last time I went into a hair salon, I sat in the chair and allowed some apparent child to run a razor with a guide comb over my head. That cost me $15 plus a tip. It occurred to me that I could do the same thing. After a trip to the local big box store for a $30 razor, guide combs, and scissors kit, I have done what the talking head believes to be the impossible or undesirable.

To be sure, I favor an easy style and don’t care about being stylish. It works for me. Thirty dollars in five years and counting is a price that I can live with. But that’s not the main point.

What matters the most to me is that too many people have an attitude that they cannot do things for themselves. We used to be a country that valued self-sufficiency. Now, we have “experts” who tell us what we can’t do, and no one on the program even reacts. I want control over my own life. When I went to hair salons (barber shops being hard to find), no matter how many times I told the child what I wanted, she wouldn’t comply. Cutting it myself means I get exactly what I want and what I deserve. It’s a test of my ability to do for myself. It’s a reflection of the fact that your opinion about my hair is none of my business.

It’s the American thing to do.