Saturday, July 10, 2010

Overrated, Part 1


1. Starbucks - If you feel the incessant daily need to wait in line 20 minutes for a four dollar cup of coffee or a glorified milkshake, then you have way too much spare time on your hands. Shouldn’t you be at work by now?

2. Cell phones - None of you are so important that you need to be reached 24/7. Cell phones make people dumber, too, and I’m convinced one of the reasons writing scores in schools continue to drop is because kids are writing like they text.

3. American Idol - Remember when music artists wrote their own songs, played a real instrument and had to actually work to become famous? American Idol has almost single-handedly destroyed both the music and television industries, pandering to the most attention-deficit music fan, who measure talent based on how well some lounge lizard can belt out a 30 year old song. To make things worse, some of the idiots who’ve appeared on the show have managed to extend their 15 minutes of fame by coming out of the closet or writing 300 page autobiographies. If you feel the desire to read about the life of someone whose fleeting fame depends on the votes of bored TV viewers, then you have even more spare time than those poor saps waiting in line at Starbucks for their four dollar coffee fix.

4. Scarface - Embraced, loved and emulated by gangstas and gangsta wannabes. How many of them have actually watched this movie? If I wanted to spend three hours in the company of an irredeemable ass, I’d hang out with my neighbor more often. And do any of you really want to dress like that?

5. Blu-Ray - How many of you got rid of your perfectly functional DVD players just so the pock-marks on Kevin Costner’s face would be more noticeable? Geez, folks, how much clearer to you need your picture anyway?

6. The “Devil Horns” hand gesture - Immortalized by heavy metal pioneer Ronnie James Dio, this once-controversial hand gesture somehow loses its meaning when you see the latest homogenized, pre-teen pop idol, Justin Beiber, do the same thing while posing for a teen-magazine pin-up.

7. James Cameron - Am I the only one who thinks the only original movie he ever made was The Terminator (and even that one was so similar to a story by sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison that the author felt the need to sue). Yeah, we ooh and awe at the spectacle Cameron gives us on a 50 foot movie screen, but try watching his movies on TV, without bone-rattling sound or 3-D glasses. Only then can you see a movie like Avatar for what it really is…Dances with Wolves in the future. And, yeah, uber-Oscar-winning Titanic was fun, but only after the ship started sinking (90 minutes into the three hour movie!).

8. Michael Jackson - Hey, were you once considered a ground-breaking musical genius, only to become a walking punchline because of your meglomaniac, baby-dangling, boy-baiting behavior? Want to be beloved once again, like you were in the 80s, and have everyone forget all the idiotic, morally questionable and borderline psychotic things you did to kill your career in the first place? The answer is simple…just die.

9. The No Child Left Behind Act - Those who champion this mandate have not likely actually read it, which presumes the only way to measure whether or not a student is learning is through high-stakes math and reading tests.

10. Television - Back in the day, when we had only three to five channels, we had trouble finding anything worth watching. Now, with Direct TV, I have over 300 channels at my disposal, but still have trouble finding anything worth watching. And even when I do, I’ve spent so much time flipping through channels that I missed anything worth seeing.

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