What the F—?
One could rant for months on pricks, idiots, jerkoffs, assholes, dumbasses, ignoramuses, loozahs, freaks, and the like. But that’s what keeps Dennis Miller on TV.
In fact, it’s easy to get mad these days. At just about everything and anyone, for any reason at all.
Maybe it’s too easy.
Maybe cynicism and anger are getting the best of us. These days, if everything isn’t stick-thin-high-cheekboned-off-the-shoulder-teased just-so good enough for an Oscar perfect, we don’t want it. We want our money free of charge, we want our internet lightning fast, we want our movies louder and bigger and better, we want our planes and trains to run perfectly, we want our news sanitized for our protection, our medicines have to work 100% of the time, we want the punishment to always fit the crime, we want our children always smiling, we want a world where no one dies and everything has a happy ending. And when we don’t get it, we whine like children.
This country was built on hard work and freedom and for some reason we ended up with bitchiness and repression. How the hell did that happen?
Let me tell you something. We’re really lucky this species evolved past the middle ages, when we were living in mud huts dying of the plague, rolling in our own filth, giving money to people so inbred that walking in a straight line was a challenge, when the church ruled with an iron fist and kept people poor and stupid and those who had the courage to not believe everything the ruling class said had really nice things done to them like disembowelment and quartering and burning.
A buck fifty for ATM fees?! Outrage! Call Congress! Let’s pass a law! Screw the cure for AIDS, dammit, I shouldn’t have to pay more than ten cents to touch my own money! Disembowel the bankers!
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but technology comes at a price. The whole marketing ploy behind the computer age was that finally, after all these years of slaving away, things would finally be perfect. Your food will be cooked to perfection, your kitchen spotless, your car will be indestructible and when you hit someone going 90 miles an hour, it’ll magically morph into a big fluffy feather pillow and save your life. Your computer and all the other little computers that we trust to run everything flawlessly will finally free you up to do important things like watch television; an equally perfect medium that must cater to all and please everyone at all times. And the best perk of all about computers? We won’t have to do ANYTHING. We can vegetate safely in front of the TV while our world runs itself.
But even the Almighty Windows 98 has bugs, doesn’t it? Nothing, no matter how perfect it may seem, ever is. We got used to Space Shuttles going into space until one blew up eight people into a million pieces right there on national TV. Expecting perfection will inevitably bite you in the ass. And these days I’m convinced we do. We want it all, we want it perfect, and to top it off, we want it now or we’re gonna throw a temper tantrum. How else to explain our complete lack of journalistic “standards”? Sure, it took two years to break the Watergate story, but when it broke, it was right. No rumors, no innuendo, nothing blown out of proportion. Woodward and Bernstein got it so fucking right it scared the shit out of us and blew out a couple of fascists. If people took the time to take shit on the right way we’d probably succeed at it.
Change is never immediate. Riots are. That why we have so freaking many of them. We like bombs. We like guns. We have them and like them and use them because that way rather than having to think about shit any more we can destroy what we don’t like and let someone else pay for/blame something else for our impulsivity. Go ahead! Shoot that fucker behind the counter! Since anger is now a clinically diagnosed “problem”, odds are you won’t have to go to jail for beating the shit out (or shooting) your wife because she didn’t make your meat loaf with bread crumbs like you always have it. You just go to counseling and they tell you you’re a victim of “road rage,” “job stress,” “midlife crisis,” or whatever the fuck they want to call it.
We get worked up about it because we’re left with no choice. We expect so much from our technology that when it doesn’t work to our personal satisfaction we get mad and break shit, often other human beings, for something that nine times out of ten they have nothing to do with. Then because of our untamed rage we end up in psychotherapy that the health care system won’t pay for. So we get mad at that and have to pay a buck fifty every time we withdraw a hundred bucks to go to the shrink once a week. No wonder people are aggravated.
How is it that we find new ways daily to complain about our kids growing up as spoiled brats? What we should do is look at ourselves and how petty we are and how pissed we get over stuff that is, in the grand scheme of things, completely insignificant. No wonder our kids are brats. We’re brats. Someone didn’t get my fast food order right. I want red lipstick that doesn’t come off when I kiss. My coffee is too hot. Sob.
So WHAT if some guy cuts you off or some old lady acts mean in line for lotto tickets. Guess what. Nasty old people were nasty when they were young and they’re nasty now. Stupid people have always gotten in decent people’s way. That’s no reason to kill them or get angry at them. They’re just doing their jobs. They are there to pester you. Trust me on this. Whatever created this big blue marble obviously had a sick sense of humor and put stupid motherfuckers here specifically for the purpose of bothering us. If you get the joke, laugh once and get over it. When you get angry at people who are idiots; whether they know they are or not, you give them the satisfaction of knowing they did their job. Killing the idiots would be easy. Ignoring them is more difficult, unfortunately.
But maybe if your ATM card charges go up or the for the 29th time this month, don’t blame the bank — they have to make more money. Why not refuse to get another ATM card? Society survived just fine without them for what… 500 years? My card died about two months ago, I didn’t get another one. I survive. I cash checks and get my money from an actual human being. It takes the same amount of time, and plus, you get some human contact. Most of the time the tellers are in bitchy moods, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
You don’t like how you can’t sign onto AOL? My mother complains every day. Does she change services? No? Why? She won’t learn to use internet mail. Will she take a computer class? No. Why not? Because she can call me at work every time something goes wrong with the printer or she has to type a letter and can’t “OPEN” a file even though there’s a little fucking picture at the top of the screen with a folder OPENING and a fucking ARROW pointing OPEN, she doesn’t get it.
Am I pissed about this? You better believe it. Does it all come back to Bill Gates’ completely unfriendly user interface? Hell yes! It all comes back to Bill Gates! We may not be able to ignore technology or shirk it (Unabomb, anyone?), but we can stop thinking of it as a miracle cure to all our problems.
I’m not making a bit of sense, am I? In fact, this whole thing has just turned into a pissed-off rant despite my best intentions. Yeah, I’m bitter. I’m brutally cynical. Sure, we’re all gonna die. By bomb or by cancer, by natural death or by car wreck, by falling jet parts or by carjacking like my best friend, so help me we’re all gonna die and hopefully go out kicking and screaming and yelling until Dr. Kevorkian comes to take us to the Great Beyond. I hope I do. I hope I go out like my great grandfather; 92 years old, drinking a fifth of Jim Beam a week and smoking 2 packs a day and spewing forth every thought from his bigoted, angry, bitter mind until the day he died.
Don’t sit back and let the assholes run things. Be an asshole. Then YOU can run things!