Youth Musing: 6 Things Childhood Can’t Help But Teach You

When you were little, things were much different. So radically different in fact that you probably don’t remember it. Don’t believe me? Grab a cup of coffee and a cookie and come back. I’ll wait here.

Now that you’re back, did it even cross your mind how lucky you are to be able to reach your counter? Or, that someone didn’t yell at you, that “dinner is in three hours and you won’t be hungry if you eat that whole sleeve or Oreos?” No. You just ate fifteen Oreos without giving it a second thought.Because you’re a god damned grown-up. In adulthood the only people who attempt to control you are at you are trying to find the fastest way to get into a physical altercation.

Most of my life before I was 9 is a strange confusing blur. I know that time was formative, I just don’t know why. I can’t for the life of me remember what happened to me when I was a kid but I know that it made me who I am today. Still, despite being neurylized by the Men In Black back in 2000 I know there are some very key things that we all are taught by accident. Here’ s just a few of them.

6.) You are inferior

Remember your ex? You know, the one with the giant ego. God, he/she was such an asshole. And his/her mother didn’t help with all that coddling and babying. You and I are are so much better than your ex because someone taught us we’re actually not all that great. Either you lost a Tee-Ball game against your best friend in kindergarten, or accidentally lived a waking nightmare where you left your pants at home before getting on the school bus. Whatever the explanation we know that there’s something that makes us inherently shitty. If you disagree, you’re an asshole.

Sad toddler

Quit your bitching.

Humility is what makes relationships with other people possible. If everyone of us thought that we were all that and a bag of chips, the world would be a cut-throat, competitive place. In order to coexist happily we are required to get over ourselves. Little kids have the luxury of thinking they’re the center of the universe, but once the world crushes their spirit in one way or another the notion of their importance is dispelled. Is this a good thing? Probably not. People with a lot of confidence tend to be more successful, and make more money. That doesn’t change the fact that a certain level of self hatred is instilled in all of us from a  really early age. On a happier note…

5.) You are Loved

Sure, the thing to best recommend you is that you were the fastest sperm in your batch. For some reason people like you anyway. I mean, when was the last time you smiled at a kid? Probably the last time you made eye contact with one. We love kids. They’re enjoyable mini-humans with poop bags taped to them.

Baby coverd in poop

If this was an adult, no one would even make friendly eye-contact.

Even with their screaming in public, and lack of motor skills, we still like children. Even if you never want kids, and are stressed at the idea of having to take care of one, you still like them. They’re cute, mostly agreeable, and you can make them do anything you want. I don’t know about you but those are the qualities of my closest friends. Besides the responsibility the represent to the people taking care of them, and their incessant emotionally, children are awesome. You know it, I know it, they know it. Adults, whether by accident or on purpose end up giving a lot of their youngest counterparts a lot of positive feed back.

4.) There Aren’t Always Consequences For Your Actions

Did you just fart? I can tell. I heard it. You farted, and it was disgusting. And do you know what I’m going to do about it? Nothing, because I can’t. I can’t even see you. There’s nothing inherently wrong with farting. But I’m sure you’ve done actually wrong things that you were never punished for. We all have. And if you’re not a total fucking weirdo, the first time you got away with being a dick was in childhood.

But Nothing happened

Some times nothing will happen, even why you try to make a splash.

No matter what your blabbing parents tell you, they’re wrong. Not every bad thing you do will get you in trouble. When I was in fifth grade I won an unfair bet with a friend. She bet me ten dollars that I would end up fighting my arch rival at school before the end of the month. I didn’t, and I won the ten dollars. I felt awful for taking her money, but did it anyway. I was certain I would get caught by my parents, or teachers, or someone. It never happened. No one cared. No one even knew. I got away with something and felt completely guilty about it. It was an oddly teachable moment. I knew I’d done something wrong  when I took the money from a friend, and I had always been taught that people who did the wrong thing got in trouble. When I got away with it I learned that I could get away with a lot of shit if I just kept my mouth shut. I assume this is the age when people become serial killers. Once you know you won’t get grounded, you start torturing animals or whatever.

3.) You Will Always Be Behind

I’ve never seen Schindler’s List. It’s a massively iconic movie that got Stephen Spielberg his first Oscar win for best director, and I’m not even sure what it’s about. Who’s Schindler? What’s on that list? Is it hilarious? What would it smell like? I have no idea. That is just one thing that I am entirely unfamiliar with.

Liam Neeson Schindler's List still

Did Schindler train Batman to be a ninja!?

You can study and become a Rhode Scholar as well as a  professional athlete if you want to, but that doesn’t mean you’ll know how to change and alternator. When we’re young they tell us we can be anything we want to be. That’s only true if you stick to doing one or two things. Because no one ever told you that you can be everything you want. For a wide eyed, ambitious kid this may be disappointing, even crushing. This isn’t just a part of growing up, it’s a part of not going insane. As adults we need to learn to keep our interests focused. If you want to duel major in music and theoretical astronomical physics you’ll find out fast that you’ve spread yourself too thin. Being limited is frustrating when your first life goal was to be the moon’s first rock star in an all clone band, but the best way to amount to anything is not trying to amount to everything. So no, I’ve never seen some 1993 oscar winner but that’s okay because I’m gifted in other ways. By always being behind we learn what to be good at, and what to give up on.

2.) You are boring

Did I ever tell you guys about the time I called my internet service provider? Well I called these people, and I needed to tell them that I didn’t use as much bandwidth as they’d said in the bill. So I talked to this woman, her name was Sarah. Sarah told me she couldn’t do anything and she forwarded me to her supervisor. LeeAnne, that’s her supervisor, told me that if I just plugged the ethernet from the house directly into my lap top I would save money. Isn’t that something? I was shocked! Who would have thought things would be so easy? Isn’t that fascinating!

Meh button

This is the default emotion you’ll be getting from age 9, until you die

As soon as you grow out of being the little cute one, people stop caring about you. You no longer get a pass. Instead of being adorable by default, you now have to work in order to be liked. This change in a person’s life marks the time when your personality stops being about yourself, and starts being about what you have to offer to others. The thing being young teaches you more than anything else is that the world will make no effort to give a shit about you. This is a message many have trouble understanding, but it’s invaluable. If you want to make friends, you should take a stab at being likable, or at least have something to offer other people. Realizing you’re boring is the best motivator for being a worth while human being.

1.) Nothing Makes Sense

Movies are awesome. They are short, easy to watch and fun. They are also damaging vicious lies that destroy everything we want to be with their deceit.  Were you hoping your life would be simple, easy to follow, and have clear solutions for your problems that would come at a convenient time. Too fucking bad. Shit is not simple, it’s messy and has a terrible odor. And even when you realize that, there will still be times when you forget.

Confused toddler

“You mean to tell me that everyone poops?”

We think life will be easy to figure out because movies and books make it like a piece of cake. The kind of cake that has a happily predictable ending. If you’re lucky you get shaken of this illusion at an early age. If you’re horribly unlucky, like me you’ll be figuring this BS out until you die. People’s motivations aren’t clear, situations don’t have a clear right or wrong, and love doesn’t always result in a wedding. I enjoy movies as much as the next guy, but they are so present in our culture that they make it nearly impossible to decipher our lives. We reference things in front of us to things on-screen and vice versa. This mentality ruins lives, and the luckiest people in the western world get over it and move on. The rest of us stew over the injustice of it all and write blogs.

This post was partly inspired by the musings of a friend over at the Love and The Law blog. Your atypical law student asked some intriguing questions about our upbringings and I suggest you check out her post, here.

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I want YOU to participate in the Musing.

You may not realize this, but you’re awesome. And so am I. I believe that it is a waste for you and I to ignore this strong connection between us. Whether you’ve kept up with the Musings or not, I am looking for your input. Together I think we can make something truly beautiful. If you have ideas for a blog post and you’d like an opportunity to get help from a professional, I would be proud to work with you to develop ideas. Our minds can make magic.

If you have an idea you’d like to see blogged please send me an email at RyanBell2691@gmail.com , or post a comment below.

Fiancé Musing: 6 Things No One Tells You About Being Engaged

This past Sunday I got engaged. It’s no big deal, just further proof that I’m better than you. I appreciate the congratulations that I assume you’re bestowing on me and my future bride. We appreciate it. But, I’ve been engaged for just over 36 hours and I feel pretty well-versed in the pre-nuptial arts. I’m what you might call an expert.

I am a man. We don’t think much about weddings before its time to plan one. I knew people would eventually ask about kids or whatever, but beyond that I never knew what to expect. I thought that being engaged would be the same as being in a relationship. We already lived together, and everything so what could change? It’s just a piece of jewelry. Sure, I’ve been wrong before but never quite that wrong. I was incorrect on a level that existed deep in the marrow of my life.

Allison's Ring

I was such a fucking idiot the day before yesterday.

I hope to impart a bit of wisdom on you. If you are preparing to be engaged or currently in the pre-wedding phase you can benefit from my advice here. If you don’t benefit, you should probably re-read it just to be sure.

6.)People Will Ask You When The Wedding Is

As far as things go, this is the only thing people tell you about being engaged. You will be asked “when’s the wedding” more times than you’ve ever been asked anything in your life. You think “how’s school going?” got on your nerves, you have no idea. The first thing anyone asked us was “when’s the wedding?” It’s been asked to each of us about fifty times the past 2 days. I wish that was an exaggeration. It’s nice to have the interest, but its like they’re hypnotized robots. Their jaws go slack, eyes glazed over and they ask the one thing they’ve been programmed to ask.

Crazy eyed woman

“That’s great, but… have you set a date?”

People wanting to know is nice. I have loved ones and they are genuinely concerned with my life. They are uncreative, and that’s not so surprising since most people are. I don’t blame anyone for asking this question that will probably sound like a butter knife on a porcelain plate after a while. If you’re planning on getting married I can tell you that this question is a new part of your life and you should get over it now.

5.) You Have To Talk To Your Family

I don’t know about you, but I’m not super tight with my family. I’ve never said anything to the effect “my mom is my best friend” or “I love my uncle more than anyone else in the world.” I don’t hate my family, I’m just not attached to them the way some people are. They’re all good people, but my extended family isn’t a regular part of my life. At least, they weren’t.

Half Naked old married couple

It’s always great when we get together.

Now that I’m not just some stupid kid my aunts and uncles have a lot more interest in me. I’m working on getting better job, I finished school, and now I’m getting married. I’ve always been in the category of just a nother nephew until recently. My change in status has been a long time coming but the whole shit came to a head on collision with adulthood when I proposed. I’m now more like a real person than I’ve ever been in the eyes of my parent’s siblings. This is something that makes me very happy. I am enchanted at the idea of having new relationships with people I’ve know with people i’ve known my whole life.

If this happens to you my recommendation would be to roll with it and accept the new people. Unless they suck, in that case fuck them.

4.) Your dream Wedding Goes Directly Out The Window

When I was little kid I really wanted a horse. They seemed awesome, and you can ride them. I saw no downside. That was until I went to a barn for the first time and saw one get a boner while shitting. Things changed for me the second I came into contact with reality. It was the exact same when I proposed. It’s not like I had any set in stone ideas about what a wedding should be like. I thought it would be fancy and have flowers or something. Have you ever googled flower prices?Photographer prices? Venue or food prices? ’cause damn. Shit’s wild out there. As of right now I’ll be lucky if we don’t hold the ceremony in my back yard with catering done by Pizza Hut. Best case scenario, my fiancée will wear a dress.

Bride Shaving

She’s glowing

The problems with a dream wedding aren’t just the money, however. My engagement involved a month of planning. Even with the years that I have before the wedding, it already feels like it won’t be enough. Shit will go wrong and there is noting I can or will be able to do about it. This is the same for every wedding. Trying to plan a big ass party is hard enough, but putting some emotional weight or meaning behind it is nearly impossible. At least if you want it done perfectly. Tee ideal thing a groom or bride to be can do is to roll with the punches. Planning is hard and trying to stick to that plan cannot be done. If you want to ride an elephant down the aisle you better be prepared to settle for a St. Bernard. Even if you can pay to have the elephant flown in, there might be a scheduling conflict. Putting on the best wedding possible is hard enough, but the perfect wedding can’t be done. You will need to settle, more importantly you’ll need to be okay with that.

3.) In-Laws

People love weddings. They’re fun parties that many women prepare their whole lives for and men are allowed join in on the fun. We get so excited about it, in fact that when we hear about one we all immediately want to be involved. People try to make themselves a part of the good times. When it comes to your future in-laws this means they already see themselves as your family. Your relationship with your fiancée’s family changed immediately the day you asked her to marry you (or the day he asked you).

Annoying Mother In Law

“It was me, I farted.”

Like my own family, my in-laws are a welcome addition into my life. I’m more than happy to have these people around. The biggest difference is that I haven’t known these people for all that long. They are totally new elements tin the close relationships that define day to day dealings. Her parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles are all a part of who my fiancée is, and now they are part of me. All of these personalities are going to collide into min in ways I have no way of predicting. My guess is that it’s going to be awful. How am I supposed to deal will all their bullshit without going completely insane?

If I could give the shortest answer possible as to how to  how to deal with in laws it would still be longer than the Bible. My solution would effectively cancel every sitcom on television. I would be the person who destroyed the foundations of network television. Alas I will never be that person. If you’re bothered by your in laws, you should probably not tell your spouse about it so they don’t get too upset. Deal with those fuckers as best you can, and try not to lose you god damned mind with those weird ass people.

2.) Advice

Are you a drug addict? If not, your loved ones probably don’t spend most of their time telling you how to live your life. Once you get engaged, all that changes.

Generic 1960s pic of a father and son scene.

“No matter what she says, it was not ‘fine’.”

I’ve been engaged since late Sunday night and since then all of my closest friends and relatives have told me the key to a lasting relationship. Or how to raise kids. Or how to iron pleated skirts. The fact of the matter is that people older than you know better than you, or they think they do. Usually experience is only as good as you are. Meaning that if you are a piece of shit no amount of experience will turn you into lemon sorbet. With that being said advice can’t hurt. Bad advice can be ignored, and good advice can be headed.

Once your friends and family start telling what to do as a married (wo)man listen to them to the best of your ability. If you feel yourself starting to drool from the mind-numbing worthlessness of their words, just smile and nod. We all learn best from experience and no amount of advice will help if we don’t have the practical knowledge to support what some uncle-in-law is telling us. if someone is spouting nonsense at you from their pie trap, ignore it. If you’re at a place in your life where what someone is telling you makes sense then take the advice. There’s no secret to this, just do your best to not get yelled at when a loved one is trying to help you.

1.) Parties

This one is almost certainly because I’m a guy, but I had no idea how many parties there would be. The day after I was engaged my future mother-in-law was asking about who I’d like to invite to the engagement party. Engagement party? Is that a thing? I asked myself as if I wasn’t stoked to hear there was going to be a party in my honor. Later that day, every friend I spoke to made it clear they wanted a party as well, for friends instead of family. I like parties as much as  the next guy but the planning for this sounds like a nightmare.

Cheers Bitches sign

Easy for you to say, you’re just a banner

I’ve never been a big party person, but I’m sure this will be fun. After all, it’s all about me. My fiancée too, I guess. But this is my blog, so lets focus on me. So I’ll probably just drink myself silly (or as i call it, performing my best talent). The parties wouldn’t be anything to worry about if it wasn’t for everything else. Not only will my family be there, but so will my in-laws. I’ll get advice from people I don’t know, and ideas for the perfect wedding. Everything that sucks about being engaged will be in my god damned face at the parties. Not just the engagement party, but the bridal shower, and the bachelor party, and the bachelorette party, and the family brunch for last minute planning, and the nuptial shindig. Through all these forced gatherings disguised as fun I see the purpose. Everyone is trying to get used to the idea that the youngest generation in their family is about to get married. That’s okay with me. And if you’re getting married it should be okay with you. If the parties bother you, you shouldn’t get married because they say more about your future life than anything else.

My fiancée is wonderful. I wouldn’t trade her for anything. No matter how hard things will get, she’s worth it. The bottom-line is that, any way you dice it, I’m very glad I proposed.

Lovely Musing: Happy Valentines Day

It’s not a very big deal to people. Most of us really only think about Valentine’s day until the week before, and some not until the morning of. And even thought it’s obviously perpetuated by gift card companies and 1-800-Flowers It is a generally nice time. It’s good to celebrate romantic love. Whether you’re single, married, swinging or stalking you should spend time with people you love today.

Here’s a few articles for your reading pleasure to mark the occasion.

5 Sketchy Facts You Didn’t Know about Valentines day (Cracked.com)

Valentine’s Day DOs and DON’Ts For Couples, Single People and The Hopelessly Confused (HuffPo)

Pornhub Comments as Valentine’s Cards (BroMyGod)

 10 Poems To Help Your Valentines Go Smoothly (BroBible)

Hope you have fun with these. Have a great Weekend.

Media Musing: 5 People I Feel Very Bad For

Everyone below is in an extremely unenviable position. Sure they’re all millionaires and probably smell better than you but that doesn’t make them any less sympathetic. Below are five famous people who despite their hard work and best efforts have found themselves living in a world that wants nothing to do with what they represent. Things are changing. We have iPads, and dark super hero movies. As the baby boomers begin to die off we watch the desires of western culture shift to something new and foreign to us. What will be as a people 15 years from now? While the internet shoves society forward like an unsuspecting girlfriend in front of a pool it’s impossible to see how people will react to the rapidly changing aesthetic landscape of the world.Predicting the future has always been impossible, but in the modern world even predicting the very near future is an excercise in the ridiculous. For every hard working intelligent film maker with an extensive artistic background is about 10 cats who have a combined 1 billion views on youtube. In our world trying to make it in a dynamic industry like art, film, or music is it’s own form of fortune telling because everyone who professionally makes something is on some level trying to figure out what people will like. You may be a perfectly capable determined writer who’s willing to give everything you have emotionally for a story, but sometimes people just aren’t ready for you. Or, even worse the trend that would have helped make you popular was a fad that has since passed. You could have wasted your adult life working on a manuscript, and you come to find out that people are sick of melodramatic books about supernatural teenagers. The lesson there would be twofold 1.) you should write your next book faster and, the more important lesson 2.) you can do nothing about what people want to spend money on. Trying to figure out how your artistic voice will fit into intellectual landscape can ruin your life. Here’s a few people who it already has.

5.)Anne Hathaway

There’s this rumor going around that Anne Hathaway might be quitting acting. When I first heard this my only question was “why?” She’s fantastic, I mean did you see Les Mis? Her 3 and a half minutes on screen was fantastic. Sure that movie was objectively awful, but did you see her as Catwoman? A lot of people didn’t like Dark Knight Rises, but did you see her in The Devil Wears Prada? I didn’t. But the point is that Anne Hathaway is a pretty, young, capable actress who seems to have a long career ahead of her. So why would she quit?

According to an interview with the Huffington Post Hathaway believes people “need a break” from her. Sh thinks we’ve had enough of her bull shit. In short she’s under the impression that we live in an age where the role she fills in our pop culture psyche is now obsolete. She has something to offer, but a lot people don’t give a shit. I was surprised to find that there are actually many people who find her irksome. I’m not one, but those people are hurting her career. So why do they exist? Why are there some of us who have such strong negative feelings about a fairly average actress in the american film industry.

Jennifer Lawrence giving the Finger

It always comes back to JLaw

Jennifer Lawrence is the solution to the Hathaway conundrum. In the public eye, and in filmic choices she is the polar opposite to everything that Anne Hathaway means to us. Where Hathaway is a poised elegant woman with sharp, handsome feminine features Lawrence is clumsy, down to earth, realatable young lady. Hathaway is like a modern Rita Hayworth, or Greta Garbo. She’s professional, and yet somewhat mysterious. JLaw is unlike any old movie star. She’s candid while still being endearing. And most importantly, everyone fucking love her. Everytime she opens her mouth on camera Buzzfeed looses it’s damn cool. Meanwhile AHaw needs to not only show her boobs, but mention it on national television to get noticed.

Anne isn’t what we want. We don’t want a young woman to acts exactly like Helen Mirren. Sure she’s rich, and has made some pretty big movies but she’s not as popular as Jennifer Lawrence. And, it’s all because she worked her entire life becoming skiny and being dignified when she should have practiced calling herself fat.

4.) Katy Perry

This past Sunday Katy Perry sang at ABC’s salute to The Beatles. She sang “Yesterday” and did a fantastic job. That wasn’t the headline, however. Instead people were outraged that she changed the lyrics. Just ask reddit, because they think she “murdered the song.”  And what was her crime against everyone’s favorite band from freshman year? She changed the lyrics from “she” to “he.” That’s it. She sang the song from a woman’s perspective instead of a man’s.

I think this is the first in what will be a long line of outrages at Perry. She’s only just begun to be hated.Like Hathaway, and the people below she has worked her entire life to be a marketable famous person. I imagine a 17 year old Perry seeing herself as the next Madonna or Britney Spears. All that teenage girl wanted was to be edgy yet popular. So far she has been. After all She’s he’s got a video that is on youtube’s top 10 most viewed, and this is her house. Even still, it seems like her luck is turning around.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 9.21.05 PM

That is not the face of a happy person.

Above is a picture of the most followed person on Twitter en-fucking-raged at the Grammys. That is a still of her while watching Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamaar play their mash up of “Radioactive” and “m.A.A.d. City.” The rap/rock collaboration absolutely killed, and the room full of pop stars and music producers went wild. They did basically the opposite when she performed her newest single “Dark Horse.” Sure they applauded or whatever, but couldn’t hold a candle to  Dragons and Lamaar. Her gig was accompanied with some crazy shit. She had fire,  a gigantic puppet horse, and all sorts of other things you’d expect from a single song that costs thousands of dollars to perform. In the past those sorts of displays at an award show would have gone over great. Instead a couple of dudes doing nothing other than playing music was considered the best of the night.I think she is on a downward slide in popularity. I think people want more than fire and pageantry. At this point we’ve seen it all and we want something other than the same old, same old. Katy Perry is a product of a bygone era. The saddest fact of this is that she is totally unaware of her own obsolescence.

3.) Nickelback

Nickelback is fucking terrible. They are. They are like a slight against anything good in the world. Their existence is a taunt to the mere suggestion of beauty. Never the less I pity them. Because as bad as they are, they are not the worst. Even within there genre, there are bands more terrible than them. Click here, here, or here if you don’t believe me. To many people, myself included they represent everything wrong with the music industry.They’re not so much a band as a symbol. So, yes they’re bad, just not the worst.

Have you ever heard of Hot Chelle Rae? They sound nothing like the fake hard rock of Chad Kroeger’s brain child. However, Hot Chelle Rae is the worst band on the planet. Here’s one of their songs.

0.45 seconds is long enough to know how bad this is.

I’m not the only one who has felt bad for Nickelback. Adam Tod Brown at Cracked.com seems to think they don’t deserve the violent hatred against their band. The main reason I pity them is that they are boring. They don’t make good music and bad musicians are dime a dozen. Their music is uninteresting and they are almost never in the public eye, except for when people make ad homonym attacks toward Kroeger’s stupid fucking grin. They are awful, but are they the most awful? No. So leave them alone.

2.) Cecily Strong

Chevy Chase, Colin Quinn, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, and Seth Meyers are just some of the brilliant quick-witted comedians who brought their own brand of razor sharp banter to Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. Most recently the pretty, young, capable comedienne Cecily Strong has taken a seat next to her co host to report on the news in a way that is almost as good as The Daily Show like so many before her. Now that Seth Myers is moving on to greener pastures at the Late Night show Strong will be left to host the show alone. Or, she would if everyone didn’t hate her.

Cecily Strong headshot

What the fuck are you smiling at?

Strong has been very funny in various sketches, and even had a few regular characters. However, every joke she tells on Weekend Update falls completely flat.Sometimes she tries to make up with it by appealing directly to the audience with some comment and then it just makes things worse. Every “yeah, you guys know what i’m talking about” is a twisting knife in the kidney of her career. Getting brought on full time to the cast of SNL must have been the greatest moment of her life. After riding on that high for some time she now has to deal with the reality that she might not be that funny. Honestly, my heart breaks for her because I think she is probably currently dealing with her own unpopularity. Look at it her way, plenty of other people have hosted Weekend Update by themselves but for her they need to bring in a totally new dude to sit next to her. It’s a massive slap in the face that is punctuated every time she looks at the camera and hears exactly no laughs.

1.)Any Boy Band That Isn’t One Direction

When I was too young to know what they were singing about, ‘N sync was fucking huge. Girls, and guys my age and older knew all the words to their songs and would sing butchered versions of their lyrics at recess. I imagine the same exact thing is happening right now with a One Direction song somewhere in the world. Those British kids are international super stars and just about everyone I know can at least sing a few bars from “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful.” They’re probably going to do better than ‘N sync did in the long run because they don’t have some chump change version of the Backstreet Boys to compete with for the preteen girl shrieks that fuel their group’s life force. I will not be the first person to say that there is something that separates these two groups and it is not insignificant.

 Nsync Gif

No, it’s not Justin’s frosted tips.

The gif above would not be possible for any One Direction music video. Other than their superior 21st century fashion sense good old 1D doesn’t dance. They have the same boyish charm and impossibly immature yet endearing good looks as every other harmonizing all male singing group but they just sort of walk around on stage. No choreographed moves, no complicated steps, nothing resembling a concept of rhythm being understood through body movements. The only choreography seems to come from their awareness that no part of a stage should be entirely empty for too long.

http://www.etonline.com/music/135737_One_Direction_On_Why_They_Won_t_Dance/

I feel bad for their competitors because, Harry Stiles and company got lucky. Who would have thought that people who don’t dance could be popular. Girls love dancers, so they shouldn’t love One Direction. The flaw in this logic is that they do. There’s no way anyone was going to see that coming. It’s sad to think that there were thousands of kids learning to dance, working out, and trying to sing just to be the next Chris Kirkpatrick. Now they don’t even have that. Handsome in-shape dudes aren’t easy to be bummed about but they’re still people who are living in a world that will hate them if they try to follow their dreams.

Positive Musing: 4 Things That Don’t Annoy Me

Do I come off as a little harsh to you? Is it hard to stomach my biting wit and brilliant criticism? Here’s something I know. Life isn’t about being a hater. People who use words like “hater” may annoy you but there’s no reason to be a dick, right now. I’m going to start a new column on the blog that is devoted to things that aren’t terrible. I think that our entire lives should end with us being more open-minded and kind than we’ve ever been before. We should grow in our openness. As human beings in a developed world full of new ideas and inventions a willingness to accept new ideas should be our greatest asset in the coming years. Pet peeves should be obstacles for us to over come, not quirks that define us. There are a lot of people with pet peeves, and they suck. Whatever annoys you, know that it’s something wrong with you more often than not. Don’t blame people others when you’re annoyed. It’s your fault. Your annoyance is a character defect, not a world defect. With that in mind, here’s a few things that don’t bother me.

4.) Selfies

My girlfriend’s fourteen year old niece spends most of her day taking photos of her own damn face all christing day. She’ll stop , mid stride, and take a quick pic of herself and caption it “In the kitchen, not baking, lol.” She really loves the look of her own image, and apparently other people “like” it too. What is the most poignant part of this entire social media transaction? I could not give less of a shit.

Ryan Bell Firefly granola bar

I’ve been known to indulge in pictures of myself

The criticism of selfies is always shaded with this idea that it is A.) new, and B.) specific to the current generation.  I don’t think there is anything inherent in the modern zeitgeist to say that people born after 1985 love their own forearms to be in images of their faces. Instead I think selfies are very much entwined with human nature. We like looking at ourselves, that explains mirrors. As people, in general, we think that look on our faces is god damned important. Is that something to be ashamed of? Should we hide, chagrined about our own genetic solipsism? No. Fuck that. If you look cute Snapchat that shit to a bestie. If you like the way the light is hitting a leaf, make sure your adorable nose makes it into the shot.

People who get mad at other’s taking pictures of themselves are wasting their time. If you feel good about yourself put it on Instagram. Who cares if it upsets your lonely hipster ex? You broke up with her, right? There’s this anti-selfie culture that poses as intellectual. You aren’t smarter just because you refuse to take pictures of yourself. You aren’t even less selfish. If you do nothing but obsess over what other people do wrong, you’re way worse than the people you’re railing against. Don’t let people like this keep you down. It’s a fun fad, and there is absolutely no harm so fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.

3.) Pictures of Food

Much like the anti-selfie crowd people who are against pictures of food on social media see themselves as intellectually elite. They are the ones who see foolish Facebook rubes and know better than to follow their absurd example. the question is, why? Why do you give a fuck if you see someone’s duck l’orange under a Mayfair filter? Are you so petty and useless that you need to worry about pictures someone else took?

Instagram meal and recieve concussion

This person would say “Yes.”

“But, they’re the ones who are petty and useless for putting up such useless pictures.” Sure, there’s no logical point in going to a fancy restaurant and posting pictures of your food to Twitter, but so what? It’s fun. Plenty of short sided bored women have said there is no point to sports, but that doesn’t mean they are actually useless. People like sports and just because they’re never going to cure cancer or eliminate poverty, doesn’t mean they don’t serve a purpose. Entertainment is just as worth while as science and mathematics, in many ways. Think about. Tons of civilizations did just fine without knowing even the most basic algebra, but none went without music.   Same goes with every form of entertainment. We need things that our fun.

My biggest problem with movement against people taking pictures of food is that there is a subtle filter of sexism as well as agism. Where we stand now in human history it’s safe to say cultures have always had a problem with “kids these days.” Prejudice against young people is nothing new, and it’s been harmless for the most part. You grow out of being a kid, and grow into talking shit on the newest even douchier generation. Prejudice against women is something more damaging, however. And face it, when you pictured someone taking pictures of their dinner it wasn’t a dude. If you can find it within yourself to not give a shit about photos of nice looking food you’d be doing women in general a favor. And who knows? Maybe you could even enjoy how pretty the knife work on those strawberries.

2.) Political Correctness

The average racist will tell you that we live in a world of “political correctness gone mad.” It’s just crazy. You can’t even say anything anymore without needing to apologize publicly. We’re like little Victorian lords and ladies who need to be so prim and proper or we’ll be fired for “behavior unbecoming of an auto salesman,” or whatever. I’m sorry salesperson

Political Correctness Einstein

See?!? Einstein agrees!

Let me be very clear, if you are a in a social position where society tells you you’re supposed to be politically correct then the practice has nothing to do with you. Using phrases like “Korean American” instead of “Chinese or something” is kind. It’s the nice thing to do. Being PC isn’t pointless, it’s about manners. You remember those things they taught you in kindergarten? Things like “please,” “excuse me,” and “I don’t think they like ‘colored’ anymore” are code words for “I’m a decent person.” Just because you don’t understand doesn’t you get a pass on not being a dick.

Not being PC can hurt people, it hurts in a way you cannot identify with if you’ve never been offended in that way. White people who don’t get why they can’t say the N word don’t need to get it. They just need to not say it. “But black people say it all the time!” Fuck you. You aren’t allowed to say certain words if you were born a certain race, gender, or orientation. That’s the way it is. “But my gay friend lets me call him a fag.” Fine but don’t let yourself think that you get some pass in your next tweet, or comment in an article about the Winter Olympics being held in Russia. Being offended is a genuine emotion, not a tool to make you feel guilty. I know some people do use it as a way to make you feel bad on someone else behalf (the old, “hey don’t say that, my cousin has dyslexia”) but there are  people who actually get offended, and for them the casual jokes you make actually hurt. Political correctness is another way of saying “kindness.” So don’t be a jerk. It’s gay, not queer, black, not negro, and latino, not “portuh ricken.” If you don’t like it, it’s because you’re an asshole.

1.) YOLO

Drake was on SNL the other day, apologizing for popularizing this phrase. It was a funny joke, whose humor was not lost on me. I understand that a lot of people are off put by the popularity of such a nonsensical and odd phrase. I’m even confused I mean, is it a word or a complete scene or what? You do only live once, but Drake didn’t break that news to us, neither did drunk sorority girls. I mean, YOLO is just some nonsense that idiots to wast our time.

Yolo Faith in Humanity

Wait, really? Faith in humanity? Like if YOLO was an acceptable word on a scrabble rip off app, then we as a species and genus would be doomed. No homos or sapiens to come after us. That’s pretty fucking grim. We survived dark ages, wooly mammoths, and the entire twentieth century, but the acronym “You Only Live Once” will be our entire undoing. Is that for real? No, of course not. It’s hyperbole. But it’s a very odd way to use humorous exaggeration. What is “faith in humanity,” how do you quantify hope for our entire race? If it’s measured by our ability to avoid silly phrases, then sure that faith could be lost or restored that flippantly. But if it’s based on our ability to preserve the planet, while still being kind to one another and ending wars whenever we’re able along with getting plenty of exercise and eating right but still producing plenty of art, then I don’t see what YOLO has to do with that.

YOLO is an acronym that rhymes with a lot of words, so it’s great for music, especially rap. It’s a short word that’s fun to say. Sure, it makes a dumb tattoo. It’s just a fad though, and it isn’t hurting anyone. A tattoo of troll toy would be pretty awful too. People take fads to extremes all the time, and there’s nothing wrong with them. They just want to be accepted. People who want to be accepted shouldn’t be hated, but pitied. Don’t rail against those who are saying thing that annoy you. Feel bad for them. Those poor people who trade personalities for catchphrases shouldn’t be pariahs, they’re simply pathetic. You’re choice with something pathetic should be to do something to make them less sad, or just ignore it. Don’t say “fuck those people,” just forget them. Your anger only makes you as pathetic as they are.