Soap Box 2.0…14: Things that bugged me in January

Another year, another list of complaints, God brain bless my ability to make a rant out of everything. I am basically McGuyver only with rants instead of chewing gums and nails.

So, this month we have things that are worse than giant pharma-companies, red carpet death-traps, pope-culture, the rules of the rant, divas and gays and marketing ideas that should have stayed hidden in Satan’s basement like originally intended. Sounds cool, right? Right.

But before we start, here’s the bedazzlement that is the newest segment of Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe with Philomena Cunk being every pupil/politician who has to do a presentation but hasn’t properly prepared for it. It’s a thing of beauty. It also fits the first soap box of the year…somehow.

1. If not even the devil wants to dance with you…

Ohio…man, Ohio. So, they recently killed a convicted murderer and rapist by experimenting with a new lethal mixture of drugs. To cut things short: it didn’t go too well and Dennis McGuire basically suffocated for roughly 15 minutes in front of his family.

Now, I am generally against the Death Penalty because apart from ethical and moral standpoints, I highly doubt that it’s a functioning means to keep people from committing crimes. But as horrible as I find the Death Penalty, letting convicted felons suffer during their last minutes on earth is even worse, it is simply barbaric and doesn’t help anyone to find peace. And to coldly claim that the criminal didn’t have the right not to suffer…well, give me a second to scream into a pillow, please.

Ok, I am back. The weirdest thing about this story though, which caught my attention before I realized that experimenting on lethal injections is like a dystopian Science Fiction novel that ends in “The Running Man” or at least reminds of that horrible scene in the otherwise cheesy cheesefest that was “The Green Mile” when the warden put a dry sponge on the head of the guy who was about to be electrocuted…before all those horrible pictures entered my mind, I stumbled over a few lines in the article that stated that Ohio tried this new combination of drugs because pharmaceutical production companies refused to sell their drugs (that usually are only lethal in combination with other drugs or in overdoses) to states that will use them for the Death Penalty.

PEOPLE! If a pharma-company doesn’t want to sell you their drugs because they think that what you do with them is evil then please stop for a second and take a look into the mirror because there is a high possibility that you are – in fact – Sauron. Seriously, when was the last time that you read something about a pharma-company that did something good for humanity out of ethical reasons? I think, it was back in the days when you couldn’t have read it because printers weren’t yet invented.

2. Red Carpet etiquette is fukken stupid

Ok, I know that most of my readers don’t read the gossip sites, so I love to talk about stuff that matters there because it is so weird and fascinating, like rituals from a different culture. One of the greatest examples happened during the Golden Globes, because it’s awards-season which means that every week there are roughly 2-3 award shows where the same people that are insanely high paid for the miniscule crap work they do get awards but also get to wear fancy clothes that they usually get from posh Designers (but not for keepers, because fancy clothes are expensive!) who in turn want their fanciness spread all over the gossip sites. And no, “fanciness” is no euphemism for anything dirty – unless you think that the PR-aspect of lending someone famous one of your designs to sell that design to needy rich people is dirty…which it kind of is.

However, Hayden Panettiere – the sassy gal from “Nashville”, “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Heroes” (the sass is great with this one) – always wanted to wear Ford – who usually picks only one true she-celebrity like she is the freaking “Avatar” (I am talking the series here, not the god-awful movie) – but Ford never offered her a dress and already had picked Naomi Watts for this year. So what did sassy Hayden do? She bought her own gown and then gushed about it on the red carpet. GASP!

Fortunately, a journalist – who took his work so serious that not even Obama’s speech at Mandela’s funeral (the one about freedom without cruelty) could fool him – called Tom Ford who immediately clarified and exposed the impostor that was sassy Hayden*.

There was an uproar in the media world – ok, the readers of the gossip site more or less agreed that it’s a somewhat free country and that sassy Hayden should be allowed to wear whatever she wants to wear and at least it wasn’t some cheap knockoff from a retailer, but gossip sites love their drama, so they run it a little more into the ground. And now, all I want to do, is become really famous, then buy a dress by a really really really famous Designer/Label and accessorize in the worst way possible, get a beehive-hairstyle, eat and work-out in a way that makes my body all bumpy and lumpy in all the wrong places and then sashay along the red carpet, proudly declaring that I love this dress by this famous Designer/Label so much because they just know how to make perfectly fitting clothes for every kind of woman whilst looking like Lumpy Space Princess.

*Ok, a day later, Ford also sent her some flowers and a card to thank her for her kind words about his designs, so that’s kind of neat. If I were him – which I am obviously not (or am I?) – I would pick her for the next big event, though, because Hayden is an awesome actress and if she loves his designs so much and actually cares about her red carpet look, then why the heck not?

3. Man, this pope surely will change every…oh wait, nevermind

When the new pope started to go all Jesus-y on rich bankers and then said something about not judging homosexuals (but evading the question whether they should get the right to get married), I kept my cynical mouth shut because I didn’t want to be a party-pooper. It has been a rough year, the retirement of the old pope was funny enough for me and if people wanted some sort of Messiah (without getting blasphemous, of course), then why not.

But secretly, I knew that this was essentially a little Mummenschanz, a nice one, admitted, and partially probably even good-natured. I believe that the new pope – or “Nepo”, as I like to call him – is a little more humble than his predecessor and I really hope that he also is a little less extreme about the whole exorcism-issue. But he is, after all, a pope and a catholic and therefore deep ingrained into an institution that is not the most open when it comes to equality amongst genders, sexual preferences and religious freedom (or non-religious freedom).

Plus, when it comes to more than traveling around, whispering in politician’s ears about the poor and capitalism and abortion and greed and the loss of faith, the pope is not really that much of a practical guy. He’s like every self-righteous youth who thinks that they have it all figured out but never really DO anything about anything– except, there are a lot more people actually listening to the pope’s polemic prayers.

He reminds me a little of Ron Paul, who had some awesome modern views on hot topics during his US-presidential campaign but, after all, was a conservative and therefore harboured quite some views on very serious topics that were dubious at best.

It’s always nice to think that a new “elected” leader of something will do better than his predecessor but as with pretty much every single newly elected or “elected” leader of something (is it an election if the smoke-monster from “Lost” announces the choice?) – if it were so easy to do better than we wouldn’t live in the world that we live in and I mean that with all the self-righteousness that I could gather.

4. The art of the rant

I like to rant and I do it a lot. I mean, here on my blog, it happens once a month but at work, I am like a dangerously tense wire-trap that can go off any second if someone just mentions the wrong trigger word. However, I have certain, very subjective rules for ranting and only recently realized that they have very good reasons.

1. You can rant about the most asinine things

2. If you do rant about the most asinine things, be entertaining or bore someone else with that dull crap.

Ok, this sounds inherently douchy on first glance but let me explain.

Now, if someone rants about politics or religion, society or the sad state that humanity is in, you don’t have to be entertaining (even though I appreciate it a lot if you are nevertheless) but as soon as I (I will now switch to first person because it is a subjective thing) get my knickers in a bunch about something like the fashion industry or hipsters or people on bikes that don’t look where they are going – I better be at least somewhat entertaining whilst complaining about them because otherwise I appear like a cynical asshole (something that I probably am but I sure don’t want to wear that on my sleeve everyday!).

Because, it is absolutely okay to be annoyed by young people that think they are cool because they wear ugly sweaters and go to weird art shows where the drinks are served on naked fat guys but it is pretty weird to get actually angry about things that are not really bad (well, except for the naked fat guys because that’s probably pretty humiliating, so I might get angry over that but not over the ugly Cosby-sweaters).

I am not saying that I never get angry about stupid stuff but if I want to write about it or tell my friends about it, I usually try to elevate it a little with a good knock-knock and/or dick-joke because apart from making myself unhappy if I can’t take such things with a little bit of humor, I also start to be the sort of person that no one really wants to hang out with because they poop all over the party as if the fat guys served sugar-free haribo gummy-bears (click the link, it’s a plethora of great reviews). It’s just a miserable way of  living and is no fun (unless you write a one-dimensional character for a sitcom and/or comedy).

Also: I obviously fail at my own rules every other week day hour because I am unstable at best.

5. Maybe 3D-Baby

Technology is cool. Medicine is cool. Babies are cool…I guess, I don’t know, I try to stay away from them. But when cool things meet marketing-ideas, everything usually goes to hell.

Recently at work, the guys we share our office with (a graphic design firm that is darn good) talked about the possibilities of 3D-printers and somehow their boss had the idea that it would probably be genius to offer 3D-prints for fetuses with an ultrasound for all the right measurements.

My reaction back then was just as it is right now – babies look hella weird before and even shortly after they are born and if I ever get pregnant, I will probably not have a memorandum that my kid once looked like Gollum’s little sibling.

You know what, I changed my mind. Please don’t be my baby. Be someone else’s baby and haunt their dreams, please.

Oh, and the best part of this offer is, that there are apparently people out there that don’t give two shits about their babies’ 3D-models (because hey, it is kind of creepy, like a somewhat less sinister lab of horrors but still sinister enough to lose a couple of friends over the fetus-display in the kitchen) but would love to get a print of a celebrity-baby like – and this is so far the only offer – North West aka the Kanye West/Kim Kardashian-kid. Yes please, I’d like the cell-clumps of someone else’s kid printed out for a few hundred bucks, so I can put it on display in my home. It’s a great conversation starter!

You know, we live in wondrous times with great discoveries and inventions that make living in this day and age incredibly fascinating. But then something like this happens and we are in a weird British comedy series that parodies current events with a bleak future outlook on society.

6. Who is this “the gays” and why does he love all the divas?

I have nothing against divas or popsingers whose songs are awesome in discos. I really like female popstars that glam it up. But why do they keep saying that “the Gays” are loving them? It’s not – and you can gasp in shocked surprise now – that just because a guy is homosexual, it means that he likes all the things that other homosexual guys apparently like as well (which usually is the typical Barbara Streisand-musical with lots of glitter). Maybe I am lucky to know a lot more gay guys that have different interests, passions and tastes in music but it seriously bothers me that after decades of dealing with stereotypes about homosexuals (the same goes for lesbians – not all are totes into lumberjack-shirts, KD Lang and Marlene Dietrich, Y’all), the disco-queen is still the go-to image for a lot of heterosexual women.

The queen of the gays? So, who is the queen of the heterosexuals ?I hope, it’s not Sarah Palin, that would be gross.

And yes I kinda get what they mean, all those divas and popsingers when they talk about “the Gays” but that actually makes it even worse. Because they obviously are not saying that all homosexual men love them but that the disco-queens love them. They basically claim that all their fans are a sort of heightened stereotype from old comedies, the one “I wish I had a gay friend” with feather boas and a high-pitched voice, who loves to hear girl’s sex-stories (why would he, though?) and chooses the perfect outfit for his female BFF for a night out. It’s basically like saying “all the heterosexual men love me” when you are a giant piece of bacon glazed with beer. Stop it, it’s stupid.

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