Tag Archives: rant

It’s Like This and Like That and Like This

Christmas is over.  Time to rant.

This has bothered me all year.  Maybe even longer.  This is so dumb.  This needs to stop.

What?  I told you.  This.

I cannot STAND when someone chooses to share something that someone else has posted on social media, specifically Twitter, and just writes, “This.”  As if to say, “this is something I enjoyed/agree with/want you to see or read.”  But instead, they just write, “This.”

Guess what?  You don’t have to do that!  I know you like it.  You know how?  I have ESP.  No, actually, I know you like it because you shared it.  If you share a link without explicitly saying that you find it vile or disgusting or awful, then your endorsement is implied.  You don’t even need to say, “I liked this,” but you can.  You most certainly do not need to write “this.”

Yes, this.  That.  What you just shared.  I get it.

Of course, there is always to possibility that someone would agree with me and share this post prefaced with a “This.”  And to that I say…well played.

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She Blinded Me With Science

My sister is a biochemistry graduate student and serves as a teaching assistant for some classes.  Today, she told me about a student that argued with her over a half a point on a quiz question.  Naturally, I took the student’s side, because I’m her older brother and I’m supposed to her a hard time.  It’s my job.

She told me that in the end, the professor or lab supervisor or whoever sided with the student, so the whiner got the extra half-point.  I asked her why she marked it down in the first place, and she told me the answer was a little ambiguous, so she didn’t give full credit.  Fair enough.

Well, the professor’s reasoning for giving the student credit?  The answer was “ambiguous enough to be right.”

Um…what?

Isn’t the point of a test to give the right answers?  And in the case of science – specifically science that involves research into stuff that can, like, kill you – why is there room for ambiguity, let alone a reward for it?

This appalled me.  The whiny student didn’t surprise me; as you move along the educational ladder, the higher you go, the smarter the student, but also the more competitive and petty the student, and they all feel like everyone else is out to get them.  News flash: teachers who fail all their students don’t keep their jobs.  They don’t actually want you to fail.

No, the girl complaining over a half a point – which I was told would have been worth approximately one-ten thousandth of her overall grade for the semester, and that’s not even an exaggeration – isn’t nearly as galling as the professor saying an answer to a question ON A TEST is “ambiguous enough to be right.”

There is a lot of gray area, a lot of nuance in society these days.  That’s fine.  But it’s also fine for there to be definition, for there to be a clear difference between right and wrong.  Do you want your medical test results to be ambiguous?  When you take a pregnancy test, do you want a third option?  Why not?  One line for not pregnant, two lines for pregnant, and a shrugging stick figure for “ambiguous enough to maybe be pregnant.”  Perfect!

That professor, and any like him, do a disservice to their students – and eventually, the rest of us – when they take that approach.  If you don’t tell someone when they’re wrong, they never learn.  When I’m in charge of the world, that kind of stuff will be punishable by a lengthy prison sentence, I promise you that.

(Oh come on, it could happen.)

Get Your Motor Running

Have I ranted recently about crap I see on the road?  I have?  Good.  Here I go again.

UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT: I can’t stand motorcycles.  People on those big “hogs,” just by the posture they have to use to stay in the seat, look like they’re monarchs sitting on a throne.  No you’re not; you’re sitting on a potential fireball.  People on the faster “crotch-rocket” types don’t seem to understand that the traffic laws still apply to them.  Going way too fast and riding on the shoulder tick me off, but most of all, it’s when I’m stuck in traffic and that traffic isn’t moving, but the guy on the motorcycle who looks like he just got back from the X-Games decides he’s too cool to wait, so he goes between the other cars, between lanes, to get closer to the front of the stopped traffic.  I have two words for that guy, and they aren’t “happy birthday.”

Actually, that’s not the worst.  The worst is what I found this morning.  I arrived to work later than usual; I made a couple pit stops in the morning because I won’t have time after work.  This usually means that the number of available parking spots is reduced.  However, today was my lucky day, as I spotted an open space pretty close to the door.

Unfortunately, as I pulled up, I saw that someone had parked a very small motorcycle in the space.  NO.  CARS ONLY.

I know, I know, they’re legal, so they have to park somewhere, and I really don’t have any better ideas.  I just think it’s kind of crappy that I can’t park in a spot because someone else has decided to use like eight percent of it.  Maybe we cordon off one full spot and convert it into three motorcycle spots, and if they’re all taken, oh well, walk it up to the bike rack or something.

I say ban them.  Ban them all.

You’re Just Like Crosstown Traffic

It happened again this morning.  It happens to me multiple times per week, often on my way into work, and I cannot overstate how inexplicable and strange and, frankly, really annoying it is.

This morning, a man walked up the sidewalk, looking to cross the street, while cars were stopped at a traffic light.  He walked past one, two, three cars, got to mine, and promptly walked out in front of me as the car ahead of me began to pull away.

For some reason, pedestrians see me and my car and decide that I am the driver they are going to walk out in front of to jaywalk.  I find this peculiar, because, like I said, it happens most often in the morning, and I am not a morning person.  Random passersby don’t know that, of course, but I almost always have sunglasses on and a very dejected look on my face solely because I am awake while the clock still says “AM.”  I wouldn’t think an at-best apathetic looking man in sunglasses would appear to be the friendly type, but apparently it conveys an air of “go for it.”

If I was just sitting in traffic, I don’t think I’d even notice it, let alone care.  I’m not going anywhere, so fine, be on your way.  The problem is that they almost inevitably seem to wait until the light turns green before walking out in front of me.  So while I am initially stopped when they take those first steps out in front of me, by the time they finish what always ends up being a way-too-slow walk across my lane, the car ahead of me has long since pulled away, leaving me and the line of cars behind me to wait.

I always grew up with a healthy respect for the multiple-ton machines that zoom past as I wait to cross the street.  I know that if we meet, I am losing that battle, so even when I am crossing with the light at a crosswalk, I get across the street as quickly as possible.  For some reason, the people who walk in front of me are out on a morning stroll and take their grand old time completing what amounts to a 10-foot trek.  STOP DOING THAT.  I’m sorry, but if I’m walking out in front of an idling vehicle, doing something that is technically illegal, I’m not going to loiter about while I do it.

You know what else I’m not going to do?  Antagonize the driver that could flatten me in two seconds if he or she wished.  And yet, more often than you’d think, one of these clowns not only walks out in front of me, but has the audacity to wave a hand in the air, a la a driver thanking another for letting them make a turn, as if to say, “thanks, driver man, for allowing me to walk across the street illegally without being run over.”  What do you expect me to do, hit you anyway?  I had no choice, so don’t thank me.

But the worst are the people who do the “hey, hey, hold up there, buddy” hand gesture.  You’re the one breaking the law.  I am not.  Your hand is not going to stop me if I am going to hit you; all it does is maybe make my bumper contact your femur at 34.8 miles per hour instead of 35.  So put your frickin’ hand down and stop acting like you can tell me what to do.  Understand that when you do this to me, you are only making it across the street because I am allowing you to live, and that I am doing it solely because my confidence in the “your honor, he put his hand up like he was some sort of jaywalking crossing guard” defense is not high.

To some of you, I surely sound like a raving loon.  To those people I say, well, you probably should have picked up on that six months ago.  But to the rest of you, the ones who know what I’m talking about, you know you’ve had the same thoughts.  You’re not alone.  I’m here for you.

Just as soon as this guy staring at his phone finishes crossing the street.

I Wanna See You Be Brave

I’ve seen this car commercial with the surfer, Laird Hamilton, where it talks about him inventing something called “tow-in surfing,” a dozen times.  Tonight was the first time I actually listened to it.  I can’t tell you why I did, but I did.  An accident, I presume.

Anyway, the commercial calls Hamilton’s manner of surfing huge waves “courageous thinking.”

Um, what?

Look, I’m not saying that what he does is not dangerous.  There is great risk involved, and doing that kind of stuff requires a certain something that not everyone has.  I know I don’t.

But at the same time, is this really courageous thinking?  It’s closer to suicidal thinking.  More like attention-grabbing thinking.

Courageous thinking happens on the fields of war, when soldiers are making life and death decisions under enemy fire.  Courageous thinking leads to the birth of nations.  Courageous thinking breathes life into civil rights movements.

Courageous thinking does not create new ways to ride a wave, and it most certainly does not sell cars.  I know it’s just a commercial, but I feel like our society has a problem with a lack of perspective, and stuff like this exemplifies it to a T.

Laird Hamilton is a courageous man, sure.  But he’s not a courageous thinker.  Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lech Walesa…those were courageous thinkers.

Mazda?  Not on the list.

Relax, Don’t Do It

The Phillies are in a tailspin.  The Sixers are in the toilet.  The Flyers missed the playoffs.  The Eagles have a new coach and low expectations.

Philadelphia sports are in a rut.  Which means Philadelphia sports fans are being their – our?  No, their – typical bellyaching selves.

I have never been a part of this.  I love the Phillies as much as anyone, but you won’t see me taking to the comments section of every article on the team to whine and complain about how this guy should be traded or this guy should be released or this guy should be fired.  I’m all for fans caring about teams and having opinions, but it’s gotten pretty ridiculous around here lately.

Less than five years ago, the Phillies won the World Series.  Less than four years ago, they won their second straight National League pennant.  You’d think that would buy them some goodwill.  Ha!  In this town, you are only as good as your last homestand.

A couple years back, Jimmy Rollins called Philadelphia fans frontrunners.  He was roundly criticized for it, but the truth is he’s right.  Despite all the good times they’ve given us over the last half-decade, they stopped selling out as soon as their record dipped below .500.

I thought of this after reading that Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin has a torn ACL and will miss the season.  Oh no.  The sky is falling on us again; let’s go write a diatribe against something or other on an internet message board!  Message board trolls are the worst.  Just the worst.

Next time you think about acting like you know more about how to run a baseball team than the general manager, do me a favor: stop.  Get up from the computer.  Walk away.  Go see what the sun looks like or something.

Just get a life.  And let the rest of us suffer in peace.

This is the Anthem

We sing or play the national anthem before all of our sporting events in the United States.  It’s whatever; if you like it, cool; if not, I get it.  I have no problem with it, but I feel like that’s a symptom of having attended hundreds of games and just being used to it.  Standing for the national anthem is just another part of the pre-game protocol.

What I most certainly do not like is how some people make the national anthem into their own personal performance piece.  I am reminded of this tonight because TNT felt the need to show the anthem before the Golden State-Denver NBA playoff game tonight.  The anthem doesn’t usually make it onto the broadcast unless it’s a special event and there’s a big star performing.  That wasn’t the case tonight, but it was a cute story, because the anthemist was the wife of Warriors head coach Mark Jackson.

To put it politely, it was awful.  Here:

Total train wreck.  She added words!  This is not American Idol, this is the NATIONAL ANTHEM.  It’s not about you, Desiree, or anyone else who sings it.  Treat it with a little bit of respect.

Oh, and lose the shades.  You’re indoors.