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.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

32. Life

^I have moved beyond static images. Watch / listen to this whilst reading for that extra degree of interaction.

An awfully broad and nihilistic addition to the List, I know but bear with me. Your life is spent ultimately doing a bunch of things you don’t want to do for a small segment of people who somehow maintain authority over you, who in turn are doing the exact same thing for their superiors and so on and so forth. From the age of 4 until you hit 18, you are a child of the school system and the property of your parents – that’s fine and all but you always entertain the feeling, especially once you hit adolescence, that when you leave school, you can strike out on your own and make something of your life.

You eventually make it to university, which ultimately becomes an exercise in bitter social politics, badly organised departments and degrees essentially worthless in anything but name. If you actually aim to succeed, you spend a huge amount of time slogging through badly written books, writing essays that do little more than rehash and re-articulate the safe, tried and tested ideas of prior academics in order to fit the variety of arbitrary deadlines that control your life and watch as everyone else around you has all the fun. If you attempt to have some of this aforementioned fun however, you fail spectacularly and end up cementing a career in staying home and watching Jeremy Kyle without a TV licence. So, hopefully, after university, you’ll get a job and you can finally start living life on your own terms.

Wrong. Job satisfaction is a fictional concept. Instead, you will whittle away the rest of your life ticking boxes and earning enough pittance to sustain your meagre existence. Throughout these experiences, there may be small smatterings of enjoyment but these will almost always be crushed like a paper cup by the monstrous hand of reality; its Kung-fu grip perforating and crumbling the very foundations of life satisfaction.

The only time you are somewhat liberated from the shackles of education and career is retirement. But by the time you hit retirement, you’ve had to work yourself to the bone and are left unhealthy and incontinent, unable to truly enjoy your emancipation. You can barely eat the gruel you are now fed and your body continually taunts you as your mind remains perfectly intact, a prisoner of the tool it once used to make its mark on a world.

Freedom certainly isn’t free. It’s just a shame the cost is your life. But without that ‘life’, you’re unable to enjoy the freedom. It’s like paying for a toaster with the only loaf of bread you’ll ever have (or some other metaphor that is equally pretentious and poorly thought out). Or to quote Twisted Sister, “It’s a life we gotta choose and the price is our own life until it’s done”. Deep, Dee Snider. Deep.

31. Facebook relationship statuses

^ And the prize for creepiest status comment goes to Long Black Bar.

Facebook is a blessing and a curse in that it can be used to maintain contact with people you like and it can also remind you that there is absolutely no hope for humanity. One particular aspect of Facebook profiles that bothers me is that of the 'relationship status'. I don’t have a major problem with people being listed as ‘single’ or ‘in a relationship’. That's fine, if a little bit pointless / encouraging of further e-stalking. What does bother me is that those aren't the only options.

Firstly, we have 'in an open relationship' - no one cares if you and your partner are oh, so modern and confident in each other that your relationship is open to the addition of third parties or casual bits-on-the-side - the fact that you have to exert your dubious relationship arrangements on a large forum of people you (hopefully) know in the real world is creepy at best. Are you attempting to find your extras on Facebook? Even worse however is the the e-cry for attention that is 'it's complicated'. If your relationship status can only be described as ‘complicated’, why even bother putting up a status? Saying you’re ‘in a relation but it’s complicated’ is equivalent to walking up to a group of people and immediately interrupting with “OMG GUYS LAVISH ME WITH ATTENTION MY BOYFRIEND SOOOO DOESN'T GET ME”. I do not wish to lavish you with attention. Instead I wish for you to take a long walk off a very short pier. Whilst wearing concrete shoes.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

30. The overuse and non-existent profundity of the phrase 'I am'

^ This picture is effectively self-definition for skid-marks on humanity.

I am my parents. I am my brother. I am the teacher who failed me. I am your best friend in primary school. I am the scar on my forehead. I am the collection of CDs adorning my shelf. I am your fellow man. I am your disgruntled post-man. I am everyone. I am sticking with you. I am what I am. I am everywhere. I am a camera. I am Iron Man. I am the winter of your discontent. I am the most important thing about parliament. I am Bootsy Collins. I am proud of my Parliament joke. I am appalling advertising campaigns. I am a man, not a disco ball. I'm the man. I am a robot sent from the future. I am incontinent. I am the internet. I am in your base, shooting your dudes. I am this blog. I am half human, half robot and half kangaroo. I am setting us up the bomb. I am the law. I am watching you whilst you sleep. I am Grover. I am so omniscient that if there were to be two omnisciences, I would be both of them. I am shipping up to Boston. I am a rock. I am because we are. I am eighteen. I am not okay (I promise). I am a vagabond. I am (I'm me). I am broken. I am the Hitcher. I am the hell outta here. I am the warlock. I am legend - out for blood.

I am wholly unable to define myself and realise who I am as a human being without a variety of soulless marketing campaigns nonsensically trying to define me through a mix of "touching" moments and terrible music. I am enraged by the lack of creativity in modern day advertising. I am hitting the keys on my keyboard really hard right now. I am going to need a new keyboard.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

29. People who are more socially awkward than me

^ I just looked at around twenty of these 'Socially Awkward Penguin' things and was able to relate to at least 19.3. Oh dear.
Like any nerd exposed to the outside world, I spend a lot of my time fumbling through conversations with people I have no real desire to talk to but am forced to thanks to the constraints of social etiquette. That's fine though. Whilst I rarely initiate the conversation, I've managed to get this 'small talk' thing down to an art - a greeting, ask how they are in a the manner of an 80s sitcom character ("What's shakin'?" and "How's it hanging, brosef?" are two such colloquialisms that help me fit in) and exchange general banal pleasantries before finally making polite excuses and scurrying away from further interaction. Because most people are far more adept than me at communicating with one another, any degree of awkwardness in the conversation is made up for by the other person's understanding of the communicative process. It's not a great conversation, but it's functional. However, I've met people who are worse at these inane exchanges than me and let me tell you, what ensues is not pleasant. (You will be able to tell who I am in this example through my use of bodacious vernacular).

"Hey man, what's shakin'?"
"Not a lot."
"This is the point where you reciprocate the question, you potato."

If you don't have the rudimentary skills to even return the question "How are you?", you should not be allowed to converse with other people. You should stay in your room, watching television shows online and vicariously living through the cast of How I Met Your Mother until you learn how to be around real people.

Shockingly, this can be made worse. There is a specific breed of the socially awkward that are blind to their own conduct and appear, as if from nowhere, at the most inopportune moments. They are poised for inaction, ready to harass you with statements that stop conversations dead in their tracks. These Surprise-Awks (look, I'm not good at naming things) will join you in a group situation, interrupt what you're saying and then proceed to talk only to you, ignoring the other members of the conversation. They pull you away from your friends and force you to interact with them whilst everyone else continues the discussion you were once part of. Eventually, your forced private exchange will die out and you will return to the larger discussion at whole - only for you to say something and the Surprise-Awk to drop another comment meant exclusively for your ears, thus destroying any fluidity of group debate. It's pretty simple; if you can't engage with more than one person at once, don't attempt to. Stop ruining one of my few moments of sociality with your ridiculously unhelpful comments about nothing.

28. People who say 'arks' instead of 'ask'

^ These are arks. Are you a particularly big fan of them or something?

Honestly, I don't even know what to say about this one. Whatever semblance of logic behind saying 'arks' instead of 'ask' eludes me. And yet, it only ever occurs with the word 'ask' - I've never heard someone say 'tarks' instead of 'task'. You can't just rearrange and add more letters to a word, that destroys the function of language. Rest assured, if you say 'arks', you're responsible for lowering the country's collective IQ. I hope you're proud of yourself, you arks.*

*The joke here is that 'arks' sounds a little bit like 'arse'. I'm trying to provide you with humour that you'd be able to understand.