Some things in life serve only to induce rage. No matter how small these annoyances may be, they are never insignificant. 'Rant List' is the chronicle of one self-loathing narcissist's seemingly unending pettiness.

Friday, 30 April 2010

11. Sob stories on "talent" shows

^ A lot of people point out the irony of Amanda Holden hosting a talent contest, but to them I quote Max Weber - "One need not have been Caesar in order to understand Caesar." Or in Holden's case, one need not have any modicum of discernible skill in order to be a judge on one of the most ridiculously stupid shows on television.

I know reality television is by definition meant to be bad (it wasn't always, mind - remember, when Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares was set in the UK and didn't depend on a blubbering mess of American drama queens whining about how they've let their families down? That was good telly), but shows like Britain's Got Talent or the X-Factor are probably amongst the worst offenders. The fact that they masquerade themselves as a talent contest should be enough of a hint that they're probably not worth watching - after all, any show that presents the warbling mess that is Alexandra Burke as talented probably wouldn't know what talent was if it slept with their wife and repeatedly punched them in the face. But it's as if the contestants themselves have given up the fallacy of auditioning on the merit of their own talent.

I don't know if the camera brings it out in them, but anyone who auditions for these shows always has some ridiculous story to tell, inevitably wrought with uninteresting emotion. These idiotically constructed narratives usually consist of some kind of tragic event being an adversity in this member of the public's long, arduous struggle to make it through to the show's auditioning process. Common offenders include the passing away of a close relative, an overcoming of a terrible illness, a self-indulgent affirmation of some poxy achievement or something else that occurs every day in the lives of everyone else. I couldn't care less about what happened in some emotionally-inept scrote's life prior to the audition, it bears no relevance whatsoever on whether they have any talent. Tear-stifled proclamations of "Yeah, I auditioned for the X-Factor because my brother died" aren't suddenly going to give you the vocal pipes of someone like Meatloaf (or some equally contemporary singer that the kids listen to). You're still going to give an embarrassing performance, except now you'll sully your dead brother's name in the process. Well done, you talentless sod. Now get off the stage before I push you off.

Monday, 26 April 2010

10. Street fund-raisers

^ If so-called charity muggers were at least a quarter as creative as this man, I would be destitute. Instead I'm presented with a 18 year old boil on the face of humanity, striving to make money for his gap year and not even knowing what "charity" means.

Every time I walk down Tottenham Court Road, I can guarantee being accosted by one of these false-smiled guilt-mongerers - there is literally no way to get past them. Ignore them and you're a horrible human who refuses to even acknowledge your fellow man when they reach out to you (I'm surprisingly adamant about politeness despite being a misanthrope). But, engage them and you're forced to endure five time-wasting minutes of emotion-laden verbal spew until they finally let you get a few words in edgeways - the words always inevitably being "No. I'm leaving now".

I'm not against the principle per se, contributing to charity is a worthy cause - I do it all the time*. What I am against, however, is being cornered and consequently subjected to a drawn out begging session, where the enduring message is "You're a terrible person, give us some money to help other people / animals / out of work actors and levy your social guilt, you morally bereft fadger". Also, sometimes the fund-raisers are just rude and refuse to believe that you're genuinely in a hurry or going somewhere, making you look like even more of an uncaring egoist. You stopped me on the street. Do you really think I'm wandering about aimlessly in my free-time?

Coercion techniques aside, the main problem I have is far more reasonable; donating to charity shouldn't be something you do on a whim when some student twerp starts hassling you in the streets about the dying elephants in the world. Screw the elephants (not literally, that's bestiality). When I donate to charity, I'm going to be contributing money to causes I feel personally invested in and so should you. Stop being a mindless sycophant who lets other people make their decisions for them and instead seek out a charity that you genuinely want to be a part of. For instance, I support groups for alcoholism, Type 2 diabetes and treatments for cancer of the soul - primarily because these are all organisations I will eventually come to benefit from when I'm 60, watching Jeremy Kyle Jr., drinking warm whiskey out of a pint glass balanced on my balloon-gut and eating M&Ms through a funnel. Think of the future you wish to create and help a charity based on that.

*My existence is a charity to humanity. I fund that. Charity starts at home.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

9. Commentary on the televised political debates done via the medium of Facebook

^ The four comments were just unfunny as my silly status. Magical.
Yes, I realise the hypocrisy in me lambasting other people for sharing their nonsensical opinions on the internet, but in my defence, I'm doing it in the privacy of a blog that no one visits. I'm not on Facebook, predictably making inane commentary of the televised political debates, like the swathes of thinking-infirmed feists who not-so-secretly hope that someone will 'Like' their inability to actually concentrate on the vaguely important sham of a programme before them. Seriously, are your lives so vacuous that you have to sit poised at your laptop, ready to scribble the first "wittily observed" opinion you have regarding the television show you're watching? You're not a guest on 'Have I Got News For You' for the simple reason that you're not mentally equipped enough to do satire - it'd be like if they let a drooling chimpanzee on the panel, whose best contribution is violently pounding his fists on Paul Merton's thigh every time they ask him to caption an image (admittedly, this is gross stereotyping of chimpanzees, who are actually deceivingly clever creatures - they're certainly more cognitively evolved than the politically-focussed unintelligentsia that plague my social e-network, at least). Until you at least learn how to put your pants on without your mother awkwardly helping you (you're 21, you should have at least mastered this by now), stop clogging my not-so-precious Facebook News Feed with your poorly articulated drivel.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

8. Downloading entire band discographies for just one song

^ Look at me, I'm listening to the Manics! I'm so avant-garde and yet reassuringly mainstream at the same time. This isn't even all my Manics collection but I had a hard-drive crash and have yet to restore everything. At least I own the bloody CDs, though. That's entitlement to being a pretentious elitist.

I understand not everyone will agree with me that illegal downloading is generally a bad thing that robs artists of the money they usually deserve for their hard work - that is, provided they don't have anything to do with modern day R&B, in which case they should get nothing and like it. I'm not going to get in to that, though it is destructive and you should stop hurting the bands you love. But hell, even I’m susceptible to downloading a few tracks now and then. However, if you just want a handful of songs from a band or artist, just get those specific songs. Don’t download their entire discography. We know you only do it so that when your friends peruse your iTunes library at one of your very private (read: excruciatingly boring) gatherings, you’ll look like you have both an extensive and eclectically diverse taste in music. But you don’t. You just wanted Jeff Buckley’s cover of ‘Hallelujah’ to add to your cack-handed collection of increasingly poor quality ‘Hallelujah’ covers that you started after Alexandra Burke went to number one. I bet you even made a playlist out of all the 'Hallelujah' covers you found, like a dung-beetle assembling fecal matter. Like hell you’ve ever listened to Buckley's album Grace in full, nor do you ever intend to (your loss, by the way - I doubt you even know who Jeff Buckley is, let alone that he's dead, you coccydynia). There is no crime in liking one or two songs by an artist but you look like a tit if you have the entire Led Zeppelin discography and the only song you actually know is ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Grow some balls and be honest about your predictably undiscerning music taste.

Monday, 19 April 2010

7. People referring to their sports team of choice as "we"

^ I wanted to be topical (i.e. four months late by my standards) and make a John Terry related joke in this caption but I'm not going to lie, I'm not even sure if this is a picture of John Terry. I've no clue what he looks like nor do I care.

Like a football team? Good for you, everyone needs a hobby. Watch them play on the weekend? Good match? Wait. You did what? I was unaware you were actually a member of the team! That must be so exciting! Oh, you're not? But when you said "we scored the winning goal", you implied you were actually part of the game playing process and did something worthwhile with your sham of an existence... You didn't? Well then, the correct phrase would be "
they scored the winning goal", not "we". You did nothing, you microphallus.

N.B. Please read this entire blog in an extremely sarcastic tone of voice for full effect.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

6. Awkward conversations with people you've deliberately lost contact with

^ The 'Awkward Turtle' can not save you in one-on-one situations. You just look like you have a some kind of hand coordination deficiency.

Sometimes it’s elating to run in to someone you haven’t seen for years. Positive feelings regarding your mutually enjoyed good times come flooding back and you suddenly feel comforted and at peace with this unexpected social contact. Then about two minutes in to the inane chatter, when the initial nostalgia unceremoniously crumbles, you become abundantly aware as to why you haven’t seen this person in several years – they’re a bintcopter. The awkward conversation that ensues is possibly one of the most painful verbal exchanges of anyone’s existence, only made worse by the inevitable and crushing statement of “We should really meet up for a drink / stay in touch”. No. No, we shouldn’t. There’s a reason we lost contact. I’ve only given you my real phone number because I’m worried that if I give you a fake one and you ring me on the spot to give me yours (like the socially desperate exasperation of life that you are), our current situation will become even more awkward. I can’t handle that level of awkward, please leave me alone.

5. Anthropology


^ If only Anthropology was like a campy '60s comic book. Picture taken from a brilliantly enlightening blog here

There are many problems with Anthropology. At the heart of it is a hugely fascinating discipline. Unfortunately, the surrounding body is a carcinogenic obese man, whose already vulnerable lifestyle is exacerbated by an unstable collection of lipids and white blood cells unrelentingly clogging the arteries to his heart and squeezing what little life remains out of it. Yeah. One of its key issues is that anthropologists, as a rule, can't write. In a 70 page ramble about the sociality behind collections, the author will only have one real point. This singular point will be alluded to multiple times throughout the diatribe, but it won't be until the final paragraph that they will just come out and say what they're actually thinking - in this specific case, that collections are a replacement for sexual satisfaction and are effectively masturbatory aids (yes, this is a genuine academic paper). Amidst the badly articulated
verbal spews however are lengthy disseminations about how predictable and insignificant humanity is, showing that we - despite our own notions of having free will and extreme intelligence - can be ruthlessly dissected to the point where people become nothing more than objects bound and pushed about by a variety of almost nonsensical social constructs. Consequently, in studying Anthropology, you become acutely aware of how meaningless a human's general existence is - especially when that general existence is spent studying Anthropology.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

4. Emmerdale

Not only is Emmerdale primarily a soap about old people, it’s about old people in the countryside. I spent most of my teens in the countryside, I already know how mind-numbingly dull it is. I don’t need to wallow away what is left of my already worthless life watching people with beards sit and get fat - I'm already doing that myself, I can just look in the mirror and not waste money on a TV licence.

3. Woman's life-style magazines

^ A disheartening amount of effort went in to making this picture. Equally, I could have used a photo of Kerry Katona but I didn't want to risk the Google Image Search.

For some reason we have an issue of Cosmopolitan in our toilet (probably the best place for it, thinking about it) and the amount of vapid articles it contains is utterly shocking. Firstly, their particular feature about what men talk about on their "lads only" excursions to the pub was just one of the most misguided stereotyping sessions I’ve ever read. I understand that not everyone goes to the pub to discuss the intricate details of Led Zeppelin's discography (although they really should) but their proliferation of the myth of all men as drunken Neanderthals who only discuss tits when grouped together was plain unreasonable. But that’s not where my main complaint lies - I'm remarkably indifferent about my gender being stereotyped.

What bothers me far more are the pathetically obvious attempts to warp the perceptions of women who are in an unfortunate enough situation to look to this text-based trash for guidance. Features such as “WAYS TO MAKE A MAN FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU!!” and “TIPS FOR BLOW-HIS-MIND SEX” scream of the overly present attitude of “Quick! Attach yourself to some man before you die alone, miserable and a cat-lady!” that has come to embody the female-orientated media. I might be completely off the track, but aren't women's magazines meant to be an exercise in empowerment? What exactly is empowering about further perpetuating the idea that a woman needs a man in order to be considered a "real" or successful person? I'm all for finding contentment in relationships, but these magazines pervade desperation and misinformation rather than even attempt to provide genuine advice. I realise I'm starting to sound like a feminist, but the ridiculous stance these magazines take is rather disgusting.

BONUS: Fifty pence to whoever spots the typo in the above cover. Answers on a post card to;

Sam K
This Isn't A Real Address
London
PO Box You're A Tool If You Read This Far

2. Alan Carr

^ Image shamelessly stolen from www.newcidcosmetics.com - anyone using Alan Carr to sell their goods must be desperate.

We get it Alan, you’re gay. It's the 21st century, no one actually cares and those who do are probably just repressed or in denial. But in the process of shoving your sexuality down our throats (if Alan Carr had used a phrase like that, he'd also be pouting and saying "oo-er" right now), you're painfully unfunny. Your “risqué-homosexual" - or for simplicity's sake, 'riskgay' - act has done nothing but belittle the sexual orientation that you continue to moronically misrepresent at every given opportunity.

1. Amateur photographers with ideas above their station

^This image clearly portrays the futility of life's rat-race, providing impeccable visual insight through the talentless eyes of an irreverent moron. (Click to enlarge)

In purchasing a professional quality camera, you do not suddenly acquire photographic skill or even the slightest appreciation for aesthetic value. I don't want to see incredibly high resolution photos of your lunch or a bunch of "friends" (I use this word in the loosest sense because I'm sure the subjects of your photo are aware that you're a pretentious spanner), sitting nonchalant in a corridor because they haven't noticed that you're taking a picture of them - which, by the way, doesn't capture their 'natural poses' but rather serves to make you look like a creepy stalker. And I especially do not want to see these aforementioned photos uploaded on to Facebook accompanied by a watermark and the URL to your poxy website where you attempt to peddle your non-existent talents to misguided fools.