What Really Bugs Me
I am starting a new feature in An Ordinary Joe’s Soapbox. Every so often, I will write about what really bugs me. Here are a few things right now that are annoying me more than a quadrillion mosquitoes:
SUV and pick-up drivers on the interstate. Whenever people get behind the wheel of a SUV or a pick-up truck, they seem to have the attitude they are God’s gift to the road. They constantly tailgate behind my slower than a turtle with a bad case of constipation Toyota Yaris, and they have a sadistic desire to knock me down like Mike Tyson did to numerous “ham-and-egger” boxers during the 1980’s. I have an overwhelming urge want to yell to these wannabe Dale Earnhardts to lighten up and slow down. I will be more than happy to move to the other lane whenever possible.
Post-1990 music. For the past two decades, I have never understood the popularity of foul-mouth rappers, boy bands, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, pseudo-country singers, Justin Timberlake, and most of the winners of American Idol. Also, I dislike Lady Gaga for doing the same sort of burlesque queen schtick for Generation Y what Madonna did for Generation X. Maybe I have become a fuddy-duddy like my father — he stopped listening to music about the time when Elvis Presley first shook his pelvis. Or maybe I agree with classic rocker Bob Seger in that today’s music has no soul and now I have to turn to oldies/classic rock stations to get some real good rock ‘n’ roll. Anyway, I am absolutely convinced most of the music coming out of the radio today is nowhere as good as it was 30 or 40 years ago.
Women with tattoos. Whoever thinks women look edgy or even cute with tattoos are a few hundred etchings short of an art gallery. To me, tattooed women look like circus freaks, professional wrestlers, roller derby stars, or guests on the Jerry Springer show. Although I am no fashion and beauty expert, I want to advise women to think twice before blowing a few $100 on a tattoo. Do you really want your body to look like the graffiti you see on railroad cars?
So-called reality television. Reality TV is not a reflection of real life, nor cinema verite like the Fredrick Wiseman documentaries. Instead, it is pretty much a combination of the junk of the 1970’s, the junk of daytime television, junky prime time soap operas, and Saturday morning cartoons. One of the hottest shows on television, Dancing with the Stars, is really a hoofer’s version of the circa-1977 game show, Battle of the Network Stars, (as well as the infamous Battle of the Ts & As skit on Saturday Night Live). American Idol is little more than a clone of Star Search and the Gong Show except that it has the judge from hell, Simon Cowell; MTV’s Teen Mom is like the oversexed teen girl episodes on the Maury Povich Show without a howling studio audience.
Mating-and-dating shows like the Bachelor and the Bachelorette shamelessly ripoff classic mating-and-dating shows like the Dating Game and the Love Connection, and twentysomething fare like Jersey Shore and the Real World strike me as live action episodes of Melrose Place and even Scooby Doo, Where Are You? without the cute dog. Why people want to spend hours watching this stuff is beyond my comprehension except they are really bored or enjoy watching people make fools of themselves in exchange for their 15 minutes of fame.
The Chicago Cubs. With new ownership and a new manager, the Cubs looked like this spring they might be actual pennant contenders. However, they have becoming the usual stumbling, bumbling team that we have grown to know and ridicule. Filled with overpaid, overrated athletes and crybabies like Carlos Zambrano, the Cubs right now are playing worse than such perpetual sad sack National League franchises as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals, and the Colorado Rockies. Perhaps the Cubs, despite being one of the richest franchises in baseball and having a rabid fan base, should just disband and become a run-of-the-mill expansion team. Then, they will probably win more games than the motley crew they have now.
Remakes and sequels of hit (or semi-hit) movies and sometimes television series. Lately, it seems like every other film coming out of Hollywood that is not a comic book superhero epic or a raunchy young adult sex comedy is a remake or a sequel. With a few exceptions, such as Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, the Coen brothers’ True Grit, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II, most remakes and sequels are bad movies done primarily to cynically capitalize on people’s memories of their favorite flicks and TV shows and to (potentially) make a quick buck. I wish Hollywood would stop its obsession with remakes and sequels and make more original, challenging movies on subjects that have not been done by filmmakers before. While there is a possibility these types of movies will fail, they usually do not cost a lot to make and could become “sleeper” hits — i.e., they connect with an audience that usually does not go to the local Cineplex. Besides, such costly remakes and sequels as Speed Racer, Catwoman, Nutcracker in 3D, The Alamo, Around the World in 80 Days, All the King’s Men, Arthur, and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle are some of the all-time box office bombs.
Joe’s Maybe Memorable Quote of the Day
“If you are not bugged by bugs, then you are a bug.”