[Warning: This post is bitchy and has no point. Squirrels will ensue but not until I go through a recovery phase of Kleenex and medically necessary whiskey.]
I came back from a trip and almost immediately got sick. Damn!
Mrs. Curmudgeon claims it’s a “man cold”. (I dispute that assertion. I can and am suffering in silence. This blog post notwithstanding.) My dog claims I fell prey to “human interaction overdose”; which is always a possibility. I’m pretty sure it came from air travel.
Mostly I’m glad to be home. In no particular order my travels reminded me of the following:
- Fuck planes! If I can’t get there in my truck I shouldn’t go.
- It’s a fortunate occurrence when you fly commercially and get mildly sick (the alternate being an unholy hybrid of Ebola, Industrial Disease, and antibiotic resistant tuberculosis as developed in British NHS hospitals).
- Impalas piss me off.
- What the fuck is wrong with people?
I’ll elaborate on the last thing in the list. People are fuckin’ nuts. They’re so hyper engaged with media they’re almost a new species. Are they really that terrified of their own thoughts?
Being a bit anti-social I’ve always liked “people watching”. However, over time they increasingly act like stampeding mentally impaired Chimpanzees on crack.
There’s a cure to this. I limit my exposure to bullshit. It’s not that hard; quit Facebook, turn off the tube, go for a walk, etc… If you “unplug” from the hurly-burly you’ll notice something; life ‘aint that bad. Our media bays that it’s the dawn of the age of ultimate disaster but has anyone noticed the following:
- President Cheeto hasn’t herded gays, poets, Muslims, or stockbrokers onto cattle cars. Everyone calm the fuck down. Especially for the folks that made Sauron’s Ring and can’t sleep at night because of it; that’s your internal issues nagging you and not the actions of the Orange Menace.
- The lights are still on, gasoline is cheap, good beer is widely available. Huzzah!
- Spring is nigh.
- The DOW is soaring.
- Every plane I flew on was delayed and uncomfortable but none plunged out of the sky in a fiery faceplant of death.
- You can buy a Sausage McMuffin all day long.
It’s a great time to be alive. We’re living in a goddamn miracle (albeit one with germs). Yet when I wandered around a city I noticed that nobody goes anywhere unless accompanied by an electronic avatar bitching at them that life sucks. Who needs this? Why are we intent on comparing the real world (which has awesome things like boobies and bacon) to a non-existent, unattainable, hypothetical land of unicorn farts?
The airports play CNN on mute as if out of context images of some weird ass shit in some place I can’t pronounce is more important than the delay of my flight to Tuscon. Really? Fuck that!
Places what don’t run CNN’s “pretend news” instead mainline “pretend weather”. Do sentient adults act like regular weather is really the “horrific nuclear armed misery storm of the century”? When it snows in Boston do we have to step on our dick for a week in Arizona? It’s like life is too good and people need to carry around media devices that whisper in their ear “everything is horrible and right now the cat is home throwing up in your shoe”. It’s snow. Don’t fucking name it! Buy a shovel and hurl it into the ditch where it belongs.
I couldn’t quite get over it. I watched otherwise sane people stand around the CNN screen like that one scene from Close Encounters:
There’s a frantic and terrified Zeitgeist that anything is better than silence (and the horrific possibility of individual thought). Virtually nowhere urban is free of it.
When I’m dropping a deuce at the can in a hotel lobby is it really that important to pipe in ads for oddly named medical prescriptions? “Ask your doctor if Xleximar is right for you, side effects may include imploded torso and your eyeballs becoming cubical”. Let me crap in silence! Isn’t that a human right? The right to dump in peace should be one of the pillars of civil society.
Same for when I’m pumping gas. Is it really necessary to put a screen advertising Twix Bars on the fucking pump? I know what Twix Bars are. If I want one I’ll buy one. I realize Washington legalized pot but if you can’t figure out whether you do or do not have the munchies without a video screen; you shouldn’t be driving.
And for God’s sake who decided to simultaneously overlap the soundtrack for a Twix Bar ad on tinny speakers on the pump while overhead speakers are audio fluffers for the new Lexus? Listen up marketers. You get one audio track for pissing me off… two is too many. Also have you considered that pissing customers off is a fast track to insolvency. Ask Kmart. (At home there’s a gas station with ads on the pumps. I haven’t stopped there in years. I’ve got a huge tank and I drive past the obnoxious pumps every week. I buy fuel where they sell Twix Bars in silence… as God intended.)
At a bar the beer was stellar but the chimps were playing trivial pursuit… with a DJ. What the fuck? It sounded like a child’s birthday party and it interfered with the serious business of drinking. Men know how to shut the fuck up and drink in silence or quiet conversations. Nobody over 12 needs an 80 decibel DJ to entertain them. Nor could I easily ignore it. Crusty The Clown on the mike and his Happy Hipsters in the audience ruined my buzz. Also the southern tip of South America is “Tierra del Fuego” and not “Baja” you drooling morons.
Starbucks? Fuck off. Same ad laden soundtrack as everywhere else. Just serve me my coffee and get out of my face. As a fully adult human I don’t want a fuckin’ Frappuccino any more than I want a goddamn lollipop. I’m glad your forays into politics are pounding your bottom line. You shoulda’ known better. You’re just dancing monkeys, your coffee is served at the wrong temperature, and you’re about one minimum wage increase from being replaced by a big K-cup kiosk.
It was an entire trip where I bounced from place to place but was never free of assholes bitching at me from a TV, advertisements shoved in front of my eyes, or a goddamn preachy soundtrack. All the while I saw lemmings fire up a smartphone in any gap, no matter how small, in their endless audio/video stream.
Most of them, if they were forced at gunpoint to sit in silence and contemplate the rising of the sun, would hear for the first time their own thoughts. What would they hear? What’s so scary about it?
Yeah I don’t get out much.
Now I present Industrial Disease, by Dire Straits:
P.S. I rented an Impala. Brand new and more technology than the space shuttle. All that gadgetry did nothing but get between me and the road. It was like driving Windows 10 with wheels. I’d rather steer a dump truck! Here’s a song by Queen that will never ever apply to an Impala.