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I luvz da Intarwebs

...but not for the same reason I love my mother. The Intarwebs rarely gives me money (despite the importuning of Doctor Robert Mugumbedingfield, who has promised me many millions, but refuses to send cash). No, I love the 'webs because on a day when I am not yet ready to write the essay I have had rolling around in my head, but refuse to either witter on about my birthday (all this week! Memememememe!) or do the current meme making the rounds, I can shamelessly steal ideas for posts from other sites.

Like Pajiba. Good reviews, by the way. While I am more forgiving than them when it comes to my cinematic choices, they make sure that I am usually safely steered away from really awful movies until they show up on cable, when I have the freedom to yell anything I want at the screen without having a full popcorn bucket hurled at my head.

My current wholesale idea theft is from Pajiba's current comment diversion about pet peeves. The format is simple - Cinematic, Internet, and Other - but offers so much in the way of foamy-mouthed opportunities for hating. And rolling.

The commenters mostly stuck to one of each, but a few threw out a short list, and hey, it's my journal, and you're not getting your money's worth if I'm not at least a five minute read and one cut for length, so even though I only have a current couple or so for each category, I'm going to ramble on until the bile starts to short out my keyboard.

I love blogging. It's so self indulgent.

Part 1. Cinematic Pet Peeves

1. Unbelievable female behaviour: I am not a chick-flick kind of gal - there are some romantic movies that leave me delighted, but many more that leave me scratching my head and saying "who does that?!". I can't stand weak female leads who are only made whole by a man, and I think the most nausea-inducing phrase in the entire English language is "You complete me". Get a life already.

Ditto with movies where the woman is inevitably saved by a man, or plays second fiddle, or has the one immortal line "come to bed, honey" (though these days she's more likely to be completely unforgiving of the poor hero's need to save humanity, and asks for a divorce because he was too busy saving Manhattan from terrorists to take little Suzy to her Judo class). And don't even get me started on movies where the lush young starlet has to pretend she's all swoony over some gross bloated actor 40 years older than her who not only isn't attractive, but has a slight drooling problem.

In other words, I can suspend my disbelief with quite a bit of skill, but that dog won't hunt.

2. Lack of plot, coherence, and any discernable ending: Explosions do not substitute for story. It doesn't have to be much of a story, but a beginning, a middle, and an end (as my 9th Grade English teacher demanded) does help to make the two hours spent with my feet stuck to the floor by old soda go faster. If I have to check my watch for any reason other than timing my medication, you fail. Movies that fall into this category include Eragon, Happy Feet, House of the Dead, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (I know, I simply adore the play, but the movie drags).

3. Cliched dialogue: If I can recite the movie along with the characters, it's maybe a leetle too predictable. Shake it up a little; instead of the heroine saying "you complete me", have her say "Knock it off with the empty words, Bub; let's see how you are with a diaper". Or, you know, re-write all of George Lucas' scripts so it sounds like actual humans are talking. Even darling Ian McDairmid couldn't pull off some of that dialogue, and he's champion camp.

...But after all that, I usually like most movies well enough. I am looking forward to seeing I am Legend, The Mist, and a couple of others, even though most critics will probably hate them.

Part 2. The Internet, on the other hand...

1. Illiteracy: Yes, I know English is a fluid, ever-changing language. I still find it disturbing to read posts and comments with vast numbers of misspellings. I'm not as worried about typographical errors, because keyboard layout makes one vulnerable to such things, especially when one hand is slightly faster than the other, but the constant mis-use and misspelling of generally rather simple words on the 'tubes makes one look, well... illiterate. It's hard to take someone's argument seriously when they cannot make it through a sentance withot speling most the wurds bad OMGOMGWTF. Text-speak, as someone pointed out in Pajiba's comments, is for texting, when time is money. Your 'webs is freh; not to be needing the lolspeak except in cases of humour or extreme irony, kthxbai.

This is a big thing for me because both my parents are writers, and using the right word at the right time can change the entire feel of a thought. Communication is one of our shortcomings as a species; without telepathy, we are left with the words on the pages of the 'nets. Considering how often people misinterpret what is being said in text form, you'd think we would be more careful of how we write, not less. "You suck!!!!" is a poor substitute for "your point as presented seems unneccessarily antagonistic; perhaps you could explain further so I can get a better idea of whether we agree or not?", and is much more likely to devolve into flaming, which has been proven to communicate fuck all.

Which brings us to

2. Manners, or the lack thereof: I am remarkably blessed in that I have a decent number of readers and at the same time, a remarkably sane and polite comments section. Even without the exhortation of "play nice!", we have managed to keep discussions gentle, polite, and for the most part, very considerate. If only this was the case on the rest of the 'tubes. I am not sure when the fine art of debate ceased to be valued, but it seems that it is impossible to disagree with someone on the 'net without calling them all sorts of rude names. I am continually amazed (and fascinated, as evidenced by recent posts) by the immediate descent into abuse that happens on every conceivable comment board within seconds of a topic being brought up. I've seen flame wars on etiquette sites; it's amazing.

I think the nation's blood pressure would be considerably lowered if people stopped acting like ten year olds every time they hit the 'net; yes, it may be anonymous, with no penalties for bad behaviour (outside diligently moderated sites), but you corrode a little piece of your soul every time you're rude to someone.

...and I write this knowing full well that I have a few rust deposits from my Usenet days. It's easier to be rude to someone on screen, but it still isn't right, and unless you get a real kick out of hurting people (and if so, I can't help you), it's best to phrase even the most vehement disagreement in terms you could accept coming from a total stranger. In other words, do unto others.

3. Leave Britney 'lone!!!!: And all the other celebrities, too. Yuck. The bile towards successful people (whom everyone wants to be) is conducted at such a level that I consider celebrity peccadillos minor compared to the evil that lurks in the hearts of commenters. The anonymity of the Internet is an intoxicant, and some people are mean drunks.

Part 3. Everything else, which covers a lot...

...so I'll keep it down to the three things which disturb me the most in a global but also personal sense.

1. Hypocrisy: Everyone is a hypocrite, on the Intarwebs and off. When other people do something we don't like, they must be stopped at all costs, but when it suits us to do the same thing, and someone tries to stop us, we scream about our rights being taken away. Free Speech is a biggie - and everyone forgets the Rights, as put down in the eponymous Bill, have strict limitations, and are not designed to protect only that speech which you, the average punter, feel is acceptable. Don't scream about how the terrorists must be stopped "no matter what!!!", then complain about being searched at airports. Don't yell about how the internet should be regulated, then whine about LiveJournal removing blogs with "suspect" keywords. You can't have it both ways, and demanding that all the people you don't like be rounded up and jailed will come back to bite you in the butt when someone else decides that they don't like you. If you want things to go only the way you approve, buy a small island, declare yourself an independent nation, and institute a Fascist state.

...It's the only way to be sure.

2. Unneccessary Roughness: The strangers that surround us each moment of our public day all have feelings. As we move into the Winter season that incorporates holidays from many religions (because there is no better way to spend the winter nights than in a great big happy booze-up), it will do us all good to remember that the first response to stress should be a smile and sympathy, not bitching and self-entitlement. The store is out of Wiis, and won't be getting any more before Christmas? Don't scream at the store staff; remember the Toys for Tots donation boxes and think of all those children who won't be getting anything at all - ever. No parking spaces at the mall? Don't honk at other drivers and flip them off; walk a little further and enjoy the fact that you have two legs that work and that you aren't in a wheelchair with two prosthetics and a colostomy bag. Stressed out and inflicting it on anyone who will stand still long enough? Chill the fuck out. Gentleness towards stressed-out strangers comes back to you in unexpected and wonderful ways. Anger simply adds to the sulphuric acid eating away at your soul.

When people talk about "making sure they get what's theirs" and "not letting anyone pull shit on me", it automatically translates in my head to "I am a rude bastard who will contribute nothing to the well-being of anyone else". This holiday, let Ted Logan be your guide, not Ted Kaczynski, and be excellent to each other, dammit.

3. People who cause traffic jams by driving ten miles an hour slower than everyone else in the fast lane: 'Nuff said. You make me want to channel Ted Bundy, so knock it off. 

Oops, there went my keyboard. Vitriol washes out, right?

Dave and Buster's tonight - I can't keep up the hate for long. Wheee!


( 49 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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Nov. 29th, 2007 02:04 pm (UTC)
I love reading your blog. :>

One sentence really struck me - When people talk about "making sure they get what's theirs" and "not letting anyone pull shit on me", it automatically translates in my head to "I am a rude bastard who will contribute nothing to the well-being of anyone else".

For me that sentiment always raises pity. To me it translates "You're a weak frightened person who doesn't have the strength to be gracious." And I'll admit, there's usually some irritation in there too. Ah well.
Nov. 29th, 2007 02:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)

Still, he's a non-contributing member of society. It's not always fear, sometimes it's a simple zero-sum view of the universe, where anything nice done for someone else means less for him. They also see this attitude as justification for the behaviour they wouldn't accept from others, like jumping in line and cutting people off in traffic. see: Hypocrisy.
(Deleted comment)
Re: BRAVA! - thatpotteryguy - Nov. 29th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: BRAVA! - pirategirleee - Nov. 29th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 29th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
No D&B for me. :-(
But not because of work. :-)
Because I get to teach Blackspear about hoods (Bless, Tara, they-are-not-mantles). :-)

Happy birthday early!
Nov. 29th, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
Danke. :)

Have a good time teaching hoods! When I first started in the SCA, I thought mantles were the collar thingies without hoods. It took me a while to realize there was no such thing, and they're all hoods. 8P
(no subject) - brian_murray - Nov. 29th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Nov. 29th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vom_schwarzwald - Nov. 29th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 29th, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
I can't stop laughing at your icon! That kills me! ;-)

Lessee, what did I want to add comments to?

Part 1.1. Or the alternative, you're a guy who is the only one who can save the world, and you have fifteen minutes to do so, but you gotta stop and waste 5 of those banging the hot chick.

Part 2.1 Oh, please stop me from commenting! The word is "LOSE", not "loose". You will lose your gloves if you don't put them in your pocket. If your coat is too big, then it is loose. I may start posting a tip a day... Their, they're, there... Your, you're... I'm twitching already!

Part 3.2. I am the world's best "wait in line"er (yeah, I know that sucks, but how else would you write it?). It's when people start to invade my patience by bitching, cut in front or repeatedly bump me with their shopping cart that I get hostile. Otherwise, I wait silently and for however long it takes... (I always seem to pick the slowest line, don't you?)
Nov. 29th, 2007 02:42 pm (UTC)
Part 2.1 Oh, please stop me from commenting! The word is "LOSE", not "loose". You will lose your gloves if you don't put them in your pocket. If your coat is too big, then it is loose. I may start posting a tip a day... Their, they're, there... Your, you're... I'm twitching already!

See, now I have to hate you, as you've started one of those Annoying Songs running through my head. VeggieTale's "Homophones": "Whether, whether, whether, whether, whether you like it or not - Weather, weather, weather, weather, weather is cold, warm or hot. Homophones, homophones, where the toad is towed out on the plain. Homophones, homophones, I need my kneaded biscuits plain!!"

And on, and on.... *l* Still, my Mother the grammarian would be so proud.
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Nov. 29th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - femkederoas - Nov. 29th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mistressrhi - Nov. 29th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - heatermcca - Nov. 29th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Nov. 29th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 29th, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
Yes Yes Yes!
I LOVE your general #1 and #2. I totally agree that a little kindness can go such a long way. I know it makes my day when a stranger is nice to me. I try to make it a practice. Going onto a base every morning and having stop for a security check gives me a daily opportunity to tell at least one stranger "Have a nice day!". Not saving the world in any way, but I've gotten more surprised smiles just by doing that. It makes my day. (Yes, I am a bit simple.)

Keep writing. You're stuff is great. And have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Nov. 29th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Nov. 29th, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
I often find that Parts 3.1 and 3.2 blend together this time of year, especially around shopping centers. So called "Christians" running from store to store, flying though parking lots, pushing people out of their way so that they can buy crap made by people working in near slavery conditions, for their people. I'm sorry, it's been a while sense I read the Bible, what with my fall into Atheism and such, but I'm pretty sure Jesus talked a lot more about "being excellent to one another" than he did about "getting yours."

While this time of year, everyone gets all busy and in a rush, I tend to slow down. You must run to the front, and cut me off; fine, go ahead, not a big deal. I don't know anything about you more than your not-all-that-witty vanity plate or your oppressively omnipresent "body spray", and I refuse to let someone who's name I don't know ruin my day.
Nov. 29th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
ARGH! Part 2.1 in action. I think you meant it's been a long time since you read the Bible, not sense you read it. :P

People watching at this time of year is so fascinating.

Nov. 29th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
Brit - After a last bit I saw about her, I really do feel sorry for the girl.

She was trying to back out of a parking lot and couldnt' move her car for all the cameras flashing in her face. She literally had to use the car to push them out of her way to be able to drive away.

Anyone that has to deal with that on a daily basis is bound to be a tad messed up.
Nov. 29th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
And she's still really young; heck, I wasn't even able to handle myself with any aplomb until I was in my mid-twenties at *least*.

I suppose it's a sign of my impending wrinkly-hood, but I want to *mother* the girl. Properly, with guidance, and rules and frequent use of the word "no", because she's surrounded by people who either want to punish her, or will say yes to anything in the hopes of getting free stuff. The poor girl needs some real honest mother-love.
Nov. 29th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
I'm too upbeat to rant today (good little hormones); however, I'm not so sure about "I Am Legend." I finished reading the story Monday and I just don't see how Will Smith is going to pull this off. Of course, I was a big fan of the tv version of "Wild, Wild West" and I liked him in the movie so my sense of taste is skewed.
Nov. 29th, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
I loved "Omega Man", so I'm looking forward to the update. :)
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 29th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
2.1 - I make my living as a content editor. I drive my friends nuts because I won't turn on the auto-word feature on my phone when I text them, so they get...you know...actual prose. I've returned memos to my superiors, all marked up with red pen. It is impossible for me to respect and take someone seriously if they can't communicate in proper English. Or American, even. >>

I couldn't agree with you more. I used to do the same thing in school when friends would pass me notes in class! There's a difference between dyslexia and people who just couldn't care less.
(no subject) - xntryk - Nov. 29th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 29th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
We stare at each other and in really creepy voices say "I loooove *you*, [name]". I think it's from "Pet Sematary", but I can't remember. It's great fun.

And I say this as someone who wept shamelessly through "What Dreams May Come", but the couple in WDMC were so fixated on each other that their kids were glad to kick them out of heaven - that's some screwed up family dynamic, there.

Movie relationships are so unlike real ones that Cynthia Heimel detailed several movie plots in a column once and pointed out how each "romantic" ending was a sign of an abusive or stalker relationship, and not healthy at all. :)
Nov. 29th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
Each and everyone of us makes a decision when we get out of bed in the morning to either be positive or negative. When we're always looking at the negative, that's what we will find throughout the day. When we're looking for the positive, that's what we will find. It's really all our own choice. Attitude it the only thing we really can control. We can't control what happens but we can certainly control how we react to what happens.
Nov. 29th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
...and yet, so many people claim "I just can't help it!" when called on their bad behaviour. *evil grin*
Nov. 29th, 2007 04:23 pm (UTC)
I don't misspell words, I'm just writing in a varient of early modern English.
Nov. 29th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
Depends on the words. :) I read early modern Englysshe very well, but it's still a good idea to know one's homonyms and such.
(no subject) - quodscripsi - Nov. 29th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kass_rants - Nov. 29th, 2007 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 29th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
What is this "Dave and Busters" you speak of? Why does Dave feel the need to break things?

Nov. 29th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
Dave has "House of the Dead 4", and Buster runs the skee ball. I will be playing the former until I can't lift the gun any more, then playing skee-ball until I can't roll the little tiny ball, then playing with the token-spewing machines until I have amassed enough tokens to buy something wonderfully useless at the rewards center with my bleeding stumps.

I can't wait. :)
(no subject) - duchesspadr - Nov. 29th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 29th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
I have an iron-clad personal policy: if you put the apostrophe in the wrong place on your sale advertisement, or misuse "there-their-they're" on your sign, or (ugh) misspell your own business name (Rennaisance Day Spa, anyone?), I will not patronize your business.


(I will, however, laugh at you a little in private. And wonder about your signmaker, if it's a professional sign. Because a little humor is all that gets me through the day.)
Nov. 29th, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
When I was a child and I noticed signs with spelling mistakes, my Mum told me that they did that on purpose so you'd stop in to tell them about the typo and they could sell you something.

But now I wonder if people were just stupid and my Mum was giving them too much credit.
(no subject) - duchesspadr - Nov. 29th, 2007 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 29th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
People who cause traffic jams by driving ten miles an hour slower than everyone else in the fast lane:

My eye twitched on that one. It's not just the grandpas/grandmas or the cell phone people or the very lost Yonkers that happen to go slow in the fast lane that drive me crazy, it's so many little annoyances at once.
Most of the time I can just giggle at the stupid stuff, but when I get into the car, I'm pure evil.
I do not like going slow on the beltway...at all. 55 is simply the slowest you can go, in the rain, with other cars around you, in the slow lane.
I do not like rubberneckers. If you have to slow down to 20 mph to see if there is any damage, it ain't worth lookin' at!
I don't like weavers (not the fiber arts kind. Them, I like!). I've seen people skid out before because of a weaver going 70 mph in the rain on I-66 and weaving through 7 or 8 cars before speeding off when the skidding occured.
I probably could compile a lovely little essay on the topic of "things not to do while driving" but I probably should get back to looking like I'm working.... have you seen the cartoon were Goofy becomes an aggresive driver? :-)
Nov. 29th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
...I thought that was an instructional video. Darn. 8P
(no subject) - tattycat - Nov. 29th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 29th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
Part 3.2.
Can't rememberwhere I saw this, but I have it posted at my desk so I can see it every day.

"I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

-Goethe, 1749-1832
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