Darwinian Motion

I want you to stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing right now and think back over the last 20 years.

How many times have you heard about kids being allergic to nuts or some shit like that?

Or how about going to visit a medical specialist for important tests and finding out that the office is a “fragrance-free zone”, and then get sent away because you committed the terrible offence of putting on goddamn deodorant when you woke up that morning?

And let’s not forget the endless parades of lawsuits seeking damages against major corporations simply because the plaintiffs lacked any common sense and used the company’s product (in ways the average person would be smart enough not to) and somehow managed to hurt themselves.

In any other species on Planet Earth, these things would result in the animal dying and being removed from the gene pool as a matter of Natural Selection – the #1 rule of evolution: that only the best and fittest examples should live to procreate, thus ensuring continuation and improvement of the species.

We humans (at least the educated type) have long championed the theory of evolution since Charles Darwin set it forth – and yet, we’re actively interfering with and preventing Darwinian processes from taking action inside our own species.

Ignoring Evolutionary actions in the bigger picture is what is leading to global overpopulation, and as we continue to re-order our society around these abnormalities – as opposed to just letting nature play itself out – we are actively damaging ourselves as a whole.

Before you call me a monster who’s in favour of eugenics, let me be clear: I’m not saying we should just stop caring for the sick or those with handicaps.

What I am saying is that we should – for the long-term survival of humanity – stop looking at the individual and start seeing how these people actually fit into our ecosystem.

By encouraging the assimilation into society of those people who would diminish the population as a whole, we are entering into a mathematical certainty where the future has greater numbers of abnormalities.

Of course, medical abnormality isn’t the only threat: stupid people present just as great a threat.

Instead of rewarding sheer stupidity with monetary gains via court settlements, we should be casting scorn at them and making these people social pariahs.

We should stop including warnings on products that any reasonably intelligent person would be able ascertain on their own.

CAUTION: THIS COFFEE IS HOT!

Really? Are you fucking kidding me? You boiled the water in order to expedite the quick release of oils from the coffee grinds, but somehow – in the 15 seconds since you poured the coffee into my cup from the carafe containing more boiling hot coffee – the liquid hasn’t magically cooled itself to room temperature or lower?

CAUTION: DO NOT STICK HANDS UNDER LAWNMOWER WHILE THE ENGINE IS RUNNING!

Wow! You mean that if I were to insert my hand into a space where there are metal blades flying around at 300 miles an hour, I’ll lose my hand or something?

Jesus H. Fucking Christ!

The people who can’t figure these things out on their own should be allowed to simply stupid themselves out of existence to keep them from spreading their mentally deficient genes in the form of children.

But no… we have to plaster everything with bright warning labels loaded with easy-to-understand typefaces and words in effort to keep Donnie Dumdum from drowning in a Porta-Potty – when we would have simply shaken our heads during generations and times gone by and accepted the fact that Donnie was too stupid to live.

As a society, we’ve taken to the assumption that every human on this planet is of the same value: that every child is a special and precious snowflake that should be coddled and protected from the natural deficiencies that Mother Nature visited upon them when, in fact, nature is simply seeking a way to balance the scales – despite humanity spending trillions of dollars to do away with any notion of a scale in the first place.

When we watch the news on television – or read about it in an issue of Time Magazine – we are confronted with scenes of suffering, hunger, sickness, and all-around strife in 2nd and 3rd world nations in Africa and the Middle East… and we’re urged by the talking heads and columnists to feel bad for these unfortunate souls because we’re better off and civilized.

The harsh reality is, of course, that what you’re seeing is a more balanced ecosystem – where the natural attrition of the physically/mentally deficient is let to go ahead with fewer impediments than would occur in our nice and comfy 1st world countries.

*

Tim Who ‘Dat?

Ontarians – from border to border, and from Hudson Bay to the Great lakes – are on the verge of going to the polls again.

How and who they vote for will shape the government of Ontario for the next 4-5 years, and that is no inconsequential responsibility: North America is pretty much three inches and a market fart away from falling back into an economic recession that will no doubt put further pressure on the unemployment safety net as thousands of workers are let go.

The province of Ontario is a very complex machine… and when a machine breaks down, you want the right tools in your hands to fix it, right?

Unfortunately, Tim Hudak is just a tool (in the most derogatory sense).

During the 2011 election campaign, Mr. Hudak has tried to paint himself with Mike Harris’ left over cans of Tremclad Rustoleum in the supposedly trendy colour of ChangeBlue™… but he’s failed to realize that colour has been out of style for more than a decade.

While LiberalRed™ is still the preferred colour of the Ontario electorate, they’ve also developed a hankering for Andrea Horwath’s truckload of LaytonOrange™ – at least in small doses.

Tim Hudak may be good at mugging for the cameras,  but he’s been overly terrible at public policy ideas – a failing that’s always terminal in a politicians’s case, and one that can make you a laughing-stock at what’s supposed to be your defining moment.

At the start of the campaign, everything was coming up roses for Timmy and his merry band of Harris leftovers because Ontarians thought that change would be nice after 8 years of Premiere Dad – and that’s bound to happen, no matter who’s been holding on to the province’s keys: people like change now and then.

Instead of always getting the pepperoni pizza, sometimes you go out on a limb and get the Hawaiian with extra pineapple.

After a week or so of glad handing voters around the province, Hudak firmly took his campaign off the rails by repeatedly saying the word “foreigners” – and in a province that only grows with the importing of landed immigrants from other countries around the world (because the Canadian birth rate is abysmal), that was just the wrong thing to focus on.

Suddenly, Tim Hudak was all about white guys – despite him looking out over Toronto sidewalks that skewed a bit more towards yellow and brown.

On top of that, the Progressive Conservative party – that’s led by Mr. Hudak – has always been the champion of big business.

So… Tim Hudak is all about rich white guys.

And yes… I’m using white guys on purpose since the PC party has never really been on board the women’s rights train – paying lip service to it when necessary, but always mumbling quietly about finding ways to outlaw abortions.

The funny thing about the “Foreigner” debacle is that, by and large, the immigrant population are the people most likely to agree with the PC platform since most of them have come from moderately- to radically conservative countries… which makes them more likely to drink the HarriBerry Blue™ Kool-Aid.

The idiocy of Hudak’s derailment is based on one glaring fact: they have no serious issues to grab the undecided voter’s attention.

Television advertisements paid for by the PC party have only harped on about taxes: Dalton McGuinty and his Fiberals are supposedly raising taxes every other week and twice on Christmas.

While it is true that taxes have gone up in Ontario, they’re not disproportionate to the rate of inflation… and there’s been a concrete need for any taxes implemented by the Liberal government over their past two mandates.

Evil Tax Number One a.k.a. The Health Care Premium: Do you have any idea how much money is needed to care for the rapidly aging Baby Boom generation?  To care for the existing senior citizens?  To battle health concerns like SARS and swine flu?  Billions of dollars… billions of dollars that can’t be completely extracted from the amount of money brought into public coffers through various levels of personal and retail taxation – so the government needed a way to continue paying for our universal health care without digging itself further into debt.

Evil Tax Number Two a.k.a. The Eco-Tax: More than a million metric tons of used electronics used to go into landfills across the province before the turn of the century, and many still do… but that’s changing under the auspices of the Ontario Stewardship (a program that was itself set in motion by the previous PC government as a way to boost their environmental credentials) – and the money that’s required to start complex recycling programs province-wide has to come from somewhere… and where better to get that money than at the point of sale for the widescreen LCD television that you will discard in the next 5 years? That way, you’ve already paid for it’s recycling long before it’s necessary… instead of the government having to dip into it’s already strained and tattered pocketbook.

Evil Tax Number Three a.k.a. The HST: I’ve already explained why the HST is a necessary evil in previous blogs, so there’s not much I can add here. At the end of the day, Ontario needed to have the HST so it’s businesses could compete with other business entities around the world in our Global Economy because other jurisdictions in Europe, Asia, the U.S., Mexico, and South America already had in place single-point or so-called “value added” tax systems that made paying corporate taxes easier and more streamlined… and therefore cheaper over the long run.

With that Evil Tax Trifecta, surely Hudak could have made a better case for lowering taxes for the masses, right?

No… he couldn’t – and didn’t.

The HST couldn’t be revoked without activating a ‘poison pill’ scenario that was inserted by Hudak’s Conservative cousins in the federal government: if the province of Ontario were to revoke the HST, it would have to pay back $4 billion dollars in equalization money that’s already been sent to majority of Ontario citizens by those four special cheques you found in your mailbox over the past year – which would immediately be added to the province’s debt load and sinking the S.S. Ontario further into the Sea Of Red Ink… and would necessitate a rise in income taxes.

The best Hudak could promise on the HST front (and to be fair, Horwath has said the same things) was a modification of items that were included on the list of items taxable under HST – mainly removing the federal portion of the taxes on heating oil and electricity bills.

I suppose that would be nice, but hardly practical since it would cause a headache for the taxation department – a department that would eventually find a way to make up the difference from some other way of taxing you.

Onto the Health Care Premium.

Has Mr. Hudak said he would do away with those?

Nope. In fact, he’s said – very quietly and far away from voters waving little blue flags – that he will keep those in place because they do what I said they did a few paragraphs upwards from this one.

At the end of the day, the only one of those three Evil Taxes that Mr. Hudak and the PCs could tamper with in any meaningful way – and the meaning wouldn’t be necessarily good – would be the Eco-Tax.

However, as I hopefully made it clear up above, that would simply be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul – letting you off the hook at the point of purchase and then raising your personal taxes to maintain funding for the recycling facilities for your disposable iPods, Blackberries, flat screen televisions, and laptops… and to also pay for the water purification plants that remove the chemicals you put down the drain every day.

Outside of he Evil Tax Trifecta, Hudak doesn’t have a platform.

Healthcare? It can be argued that Ontario’s health care system is in the best shape it’s ever been in.

Yes… there are still crowded emergency rooms at hospitals across the province, but the wait times are getting better on the whole – especially for surgeries that can change people’s lives… or let them continue their lives as whole persons.

A few years ago, I was in serious bicycle accident and I snapped my leg in three places – something that would have been seriously debilitating in decades and centuries past…. even so bad that amputation would have been considered in more primitive times.

Guess what? The accident happened just after 1 o’clock in the afternoon… and I was in surgery to have a titanium rod permanently inserted down the middle of my tibia with attending screws and other hardware required to regain structural integrity – allowing me to walk on it again within several months – at 6 o’clock in the evening on the very same day.

So, I went from mangled to mostly fixed in five hours… and I didn’t have to pay a single cent – not even for the ambulance ride.

No… our healthcare system may not be perfect, but it’s still pretty damn amazing when you consider how much it has to struggle when it comes to finances.

The Progressive Conservatives, during their last stint as the province’s controls had taken a slash n’ burn approach to healthcare – firing doctors and nurses, and closing nearly twenty hospitals across the province… which caused such systemic damage that Ontario’s healthcare system was amongst the worst in the country, and it’s only now (2011) that it’s gotten back to the top.

Hudak & Pals don’t have any where to go with education, either.

The Liberals under Dalton McGuinty have made some radical improvements to public education in Ontario.

More students are sticking it out all the way through high school, graduating with marks that they can be proud of.

Smaller class sizes have helped students get the attention they need from their teachers, which means they get the help they need if they need it – either in that same classroom, or in more specialized learning environments.

The biggest change, of course, was the implementation of full-day kindergarten for all youngsters – which had two effects: the first being that children started experiencing a constructive learning environment sooner than most other children in North America… and it eased the financial burdens of working families that would have otherwise had to pay for daycare or babysitting services.

There’s very little to complain about when it comes to Ontario’s public schools.

In fact, there’s very little for Ontarians to complain about on the whole as the province simply works.

Compared to the Mike Harris years – an era where nearly every public sector union in Ontario was on strike – that Tim Hudak clearly yearns for deeply, Ontario is firmly planted in the Garden Of Prosperity.

Yes… there are many people across the province who are out of work because of the current global financial climate that isn’t particular to Ontario.

However, there are many people who’ve either regained or retained their employment because of programs that the current Liberal government forced into being with their majority… programs that cost many billions of dollars, but had very clear and tangible results.

Sure – the bailing out of General Motors and Chrysler (now owned by Fiat) was a popularly unpopular move… but it kept those two massive companies who employed thousands of Ontarians (either directly or through companies G.M. and Chrysler depended on to build their cars and trucks) alive.

The manufacturing sector in Ontario – and the world at large – has taken a beating as money becomes tight for consumers.

Companies that face certain peril if they don’t downsize their workforce have no choice to let employees go… and this is not the fault of the Ontario government.

It’s the fault of American banks and financial institutions who squandered and pissed away more than a trillion dollars in crooked investments and other equally worthless endeavors – actions that had a ripple effect across the entire world of stock exchanges and investment banking from New York to Tokyo.

The current hard financial times facing Ontario are not something that was caused in Ontario, and is most definitely not the fault of the McGuinty Liberals.

However, Tim Hudak has done his best to blame Dalton McGuinty for it… and in the end, the blame hasn’t stuck.

Maybe because the average Ontario voter is smarter than that… and I would really hope that’s the case.

However, I think the Ontarian electorate is sticking with the Liberals because Ontario is in a better place than a lot of jurisdictions in North America – and even the world.

Dalton McGuinty goes on television and shows you all the  good things the Liberals have done over the time they’ve been in charge – most of which I’ve discussed here.

…And Tim Hudak challenges McGuinty and Horwath to a BBQ cook-off.

If that wasn’t a sign of non-existent political platform, I really don’t know what is.

No, Timmy.

No you can’t.

From The International Desk: Japan Not So Hot…

I feel I must say a few brief words today since a report has recently surfaced in regards to sexuality in The Land Of The Rising Sun.

According to many knowledged statisticians, 36% of male Japanese teens have little or no interest in sexual relations with women.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, 59% of teen girls are feeling the same way about men.

This news is shocking when you realize that Japan has the most abysmal birth rate amongst the G-8 nations… which could be seen as a good thing when you consider the very small amount of land mass that Japan actually occupies, but it’s not so good when you’re trying to maintain a population to occupy those islands.

These stats are even more shocking when you factor in Japanese animated fare like manga and anime… which are positively loaded with sexual iconography and frequently pornographic themes.

However, things get strange when you actually look at government approved pornography produced in Japan: it’s very heavily censored when distributed to Japanese citizens i.e. anything that’s between the legs is mandated to be blurred out.

I’m sorry… but doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of pornography?

If there are whole generations of kids thinking the opposite sex (or even your own sex) has nothing going on between their legs but an amorphous blur, perhaps that’s why they’re not inspired to want to get in anybody’s pants.

I mean… it’s not like the Japanese girls are unattractive! (see below)

It’s difficult to comprehend, to say the least.

Some are pointing to the fact that Japanese culture is a hyperstylized version of Western society, and as such, Japanese teens see it as their responsibility in life to start a family much later on so they can live up to the maximum productivity ethic that is pervasive in Asian cultures – much like how North American couples defer kids until their late 30s so they can accumulate personal wealth and standing before starting a family.

This sort of behavior could be falsely reinforced with the knowledge that the average Japanese citizen will live a longer life than they would in many other nations around the globe.

Whatever the reasons, the Japanese government must act quickly to get their young people hot and horny for each other again… to actively steam up a culture who’s heat has dissipated into the cold air over Mount Fuji.

If the Japanese birth rates fall any lower, the world could be in trouble!

If there are no new citizens in 20 years, who’s going to be building those Toyotas (hopefully they will have nailed down the accelerator problems by then), Nintendos, and Sony Playstations?

Newsflash: You’re Fat Because…

…you’ve made certain choices in your life.

Now, before I go on here, I’m going to exclude all those of you out there who have legitimate medical reasons for being overweight from the following discussion – there’s no reason to feel bad about your body if there’s nothing you could/can do to stop your [insert malfunctioning body part here] from making you extra-large.

Everyone else… well, you’re exactly who I’m talking to.

When you wake up every morning and look yourself in the mirror, do you loathe what you see because your body is statistically extra-large?

Guess what got you there?

You don’t know? Or, do you think you do know?

As a blogger that is always trying to be helpful, I will explain to you why you’re fat in terms that I hope you understand – but it’s going to take a very healthy dose of reality checking and honesty with yourself.

Also, this blog is somewhat aimed also at the Sally DoGooders who live in the proverbial land of milk and honey – the United States Of America – who are taking it upon themselves to sue every purveyor of delicious food in the public retail spaces of malls, plazas, and corner shops all across the land.

First, let me get straight to the facts of the matter… the complete and total truth, no matter who might want to argue:

1. McDonald’s hasn’t made one single human on this planet fat.

2. Burger King isn’t responsible for making your neighbor chubby.

3. Wendy’s had no part making that guy at work rotund around his middle section.

4. Hostess – the maker of the venerable Twinkie – can not be held accountable for shut-in video gamers being so big that they have to wear a muumuu around the house.

5. Little Debbie is not at fault for your Type II diabetes.

6. Neither Coca-Cola or Pepsi (and their Frito Lay snacks division) is on the hook for your massive stored energy deposits.

7. Hershey’s is not answerable for your pudgy fingers.

8. And finally, the local movie theater is not to blame for your adding a melted stick of butter to your popcorn.

Wait… how can that be?

You hear every day on the news that So And So is suing these companies for making people fat… so surely there is some merit to what they’re paying public interest law firms to make a case for… right?

No.

Not a single claim by these people can be born out in a court of law without the court itself being corrupted by social shortsightedness.

See this guy here?

Fat dude eating junk.

Not a single corporate employee or company policy is responsible for him being a fat tub of lard – and let’s be honest: he most likely doesn’t have a thyroid issue.

Nope… he’s fat because of what he’s doing in the photo i.e. stuffing his face with food that has very little (or completely zero) nutritional benefit.

As much as society would seek an easy scapegoat for it’s rising number of obesity cases, there is not a single person to blame but himself.

Look at that photo very carefully.

Do you see anybody forcing him to chow down on that massive burger? Is there a representative from The Burger Shack holding his family at gunpoint, promising him that they’ll be released without harm as soon as he consumes all those fats and carbs?

No.

Chubby McFatass there is using his own, God-given free will to consume that sandwich.

So tell me – please – why The Burger Shack, McDonald’s, or Little Debbie should be held accountable for the choices that YOU make?

Yes… the retailers make products that you feel compelled to eat – either for their taste or their affordability or both – whenever hunger strikes you, but in no way are you mandated by law to consume their wares.

You, the consumer, have every bit as much power to consume a bowl of fruit salad as you do eat a box of Chicken McNuggets and a side of delicious McDonald’s french fries.

The fact that you opt for the Mickey’s fare is completely on you.

Television advertising makes you eat it? Hmmm…. okay – let’s look at that.

Pundits would say that the commercials you see on TV up to 100x a day have brainwashed you into being constantly wanting fast food or the kind of junk offerings you find at the neighborhood convenience store.

I suppose this could be held out to be true… if there wasn’t a whole lot of other crap on TV that’s being marketed directly to you that you blissfully ignore: how many of you out there order everything you see in infomercials?

Raise your hand if you’ve compulsively ordered the Snuggie For Pets? C’mon… it’s only $9.99! Who can resist that kind of deal?

Or… how many of you ran out and bought that Head On headache reliever? You know… the stuff you apply directly to the forehead?

I’m going to wager not a lot of you did either of those things because you were smart enough to realize the products were pure crap – choosing not to waste money and hurt your pocketbook by being stupid.

Yet… you CHOOSE to eat vast amounts of fast food that you know are pure crap and are going to hurt your body in the long run.

Why is there such a disconnect between choice and result?

There is nothing simpler than what’s going on here: it’s cause and effect – one of the most basic scientific concepts.

You do one thing and you get the predicted effect – in this case, you stuff an entire 12-inch pizza in your face in a single sitting which causes the effect of you gaining a few pounds.

Of course, this is assuming you’re not a professional athlete like Michael Phelps that consumes massive amounts of calories to fuel their workout routine.

Which is the backside to this issue: your buttocks take up two seats on the airplane because you refuse to do to the physical exercise required to burn off all of those calories you consume.

You’re choosing in your life to eat a Double Big Mac, large fries, large Coke, and two apple pies – without also choosing to engage in the physical exertion necessary to scrub all of those calories and saturated fats out of your system… which leaves your body no choice at all but to store those things as fat around your middle/butt/legs/arms/neck/chin.

Sure, there are pharmaceutical alternatives to exercise… substances that will make your body burn calories at an accelerated rate, but they are no substitute for using your own muscles to naturally do what that pill does nowhere as efficiently.

And yes… there are radical surgical procedures to physically limit how much food you can eat.

But why?

Why take these pills? Why go under the surgeon’s knife?

When you can simply CHOOSE to not eat these things in such great amounts that you become the size of a small Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon?

Society needs to give it’s collective head a shake and stop trying to blame others for our choices in life.

You can not sue Burger King for your own laziness.

The fat guy you see mowing his lawn – wearing shorts and a wife beater tank top – can’t seek damages from Dairy Queen because he can’t be bothered to get on an exercise bike.

In closing, let me make this abundantly clear, in case you are still confused:

Nobody other than you can blamed.

So stop trying to take kid’s Happy Meal toys away because you think they’re what cause childhood obesity – it’s the parent’s choice to buy them the little box of fats and carbs and then let the child sit around the house all day playing video games instead of running around outside for 20 minutes.

Take some fucking responsibility for your actions in life, and leave people alone who are trying to make an honest buck.

Dear Fast Food Retailers: An Open Letter

How are you?

Everything good? Money’s okay and everything?

Great to hear it.

Your fiscal health is very important to us… your valued customers.

Remember us? How we give you money for food and the occasional toy/promotional item?

You know why we do that?

There are three reasons why we go to you and buy Big Macs by the billions – or millions and millions of Whoppers – and the golden brown french fries that go with them… oh and the drinks, pies, shakes, sundaes, or whatever the hell else we want in our meals.

Reason Number One: Your food tastes good… and you know that.

Every food item on your menu is designed, engineered, focus grouped, and test marketed solidly until you’re completely sure about that product’s cost vs. income future. (Well, Arch Deluxe and McPizzas aside).

Reason Number Two: It’s convenient.

Sometimes we’re just too busy with our lives to go all the way home and cook up a meal, or we’re just too lazy, or we feel like treating ourselves to a cooking-free meal, or any combination of the above.

Reason Number Three: It’s food we can’t have at home.

Sure… any dumbass can go down to the grocery store and buy hamburger patties, buns, condiments, a bag of frozen french fries, and a bottle of Coke, and take them home to form the basis of a meal – but it’s not going to taste as good as your Big Mac, Whopper, Baconator, or Flamethrower Burger.

We just don’t have the resources and time it takes to formulate the right combination of ingredients, spices, and preservatives to match your delicious wares.

It would be incredibly easy for you, McDonald’s, to team up with a company like Con-Agra or McCain’s to release a frozen, take home version of your french fries and even charge a marginal premium over and above what you’d make selling the same fries in one of your franchise locations – but that would make the masses have less of a craving for your beef-tallowed and special salted offerings at the local Golden Arches.

Or maybe you, Pizza Hut, could team up with the Pillsbury Dough Boy or Nestle’s Delissio Division and devise a pizza that we could come home and toss in the oven?

Maybe the ghost of Colonel Saunders would haunt the product research department over at Kraft’s Shake N’ Bake division?

No… no… no.

These things won’t happen because you want to protect your point of sale… controlled by ill-educated high school girls at computerized checkout terminals so that we have greater options, especially enforced by “Do you want fries with that?”

We as the fast food consuming public never begrudge you this… as you can tell by every purchase of an $8 ‘value’ meal.

Even when you spread out into such ‘healthy choice’ options as chicken salads and low-carb wraps – ostensibly to care for our well-being, and we’re touched that you care about us so deeply.

However…

We have to draw the line at oatmeal.

Yes… you read that correctly: oatmeal.

Stuff we have zero problem obtaining in our daily lives.

Most of us have a half-used box of Quaker Instant Oatmeal in a cupboard somewhere, our a bag of Quick Oats that can be thrown in a pot on the stove if we’re feeling so industrious as to slow cook our breakfast.

Some of us might actually like Cream Of Wheat as well… but don’t get the idea that we’ll pay for that gruel.

We honestly want to know where you get off trying to sell to us for three dollars that we can have at home for something like thirty-five cents per single-serve portion?

You put berries or other fruit in it?

Oh my goodness! Where, oh where could we get these berries and other fruits?!?!

Surely there is no other store in our neighborhood that would sell us these things in bulk… so where else could we get oatmeal with fruit in it other than the Tim Horton’s or McDonald’s just a short drive from our homes?

Why… you’ve surely developed a product that can’t be matched!

***sigh***

Honestly… what the hell are you thinking?

It’s oatmeal.

Plain, ordinary, run of the milled oats OATMEAL.

The only way that this makes sense is that the oatmeal itself is ridiculously cheap, and so easily prepared in factory machines that the profit margins are high enough to justify it’s niche status on your breakfast menu.

Who is the customer you’re marketing oatmeal at?

Old people? Rushed business types? Health Hippies? Ironic hipsters?

Your bread and butter customers want NOTHING to do with something so completely ordinary and lowly as oatmeal.

Let me repeat this unless you weren’t paying attention earlier: we can go home and have oatmeal… that we bought at a store… put in a microwave… in our home.

Please, for the love of whatever gods you believe in, stop sullying yourself in attempts to both make money and pander to whatever crowd you think is going to buy this crap.

It doesn’t suit you, Ronald… Timmy… and whomever else wants to follow suit.

We as your adoring fans expect more from you.

Now… with that said… pass the McMuffins/Crescent Sandwiches.

Yours truly,

The Public.

Things That I Don’t Understand… Vol. 2

So here again I go… down that smokey, crater-pocked, ranting road – bringing nonsense and jibber-jabber out into the bright sunlight where one would expect it to shrivel up and die like so many witches who have had houses dropped on them.

But no.

These items will go on, almost like a ballad by Celine Dion, and continue to curse society as a whole for God only knows how long.

Oh well…

On with the show!

ITEM NUMBER SEVEN

Violence perpetrated by young girls.

Where did this come from?

Back in the day, girls were supposed to be the fairer sex – not the one that will shank you with a pair of scissors for talking trash on Facebook.

What is the source of this simmering anger in today’s generations of teens? Who is causing this?

Is this a product of the generational battle for women’s equality?

Is it some bizarro manifestation of penis envy?

Have girls come to the realization that the only way that they can top their male classmates physically is to go bat-shit crazy at the drop of a hat in ways that most guys would never consider?

Young men are often perplexed because they don’t know how to react if a girl gets violent with them because – despite outward appearances – boys still adhere to the ages-old mantra that females are delicate and therefor not to be roughed up.

I say screw that!

Boys, if you’re reading this, fight back!

If a girl thinks her pants are big enough to take a swing at you, and it connects, feel free to slug her back.

Equality for women works both ways – not just the positive things like bigger paychecks.

It means equal treatment, and equal treatment means that they can get a whole hearted return on all their actions – they should be perfectly ready to take any bruises that they have coming to them as a result of things they’ve done.

Call me a brutish caveman if you like, but fair is fair.

ITEM NUMBER EIGHT

12 year old girls that have cleavage that would put Barbie to shame.

Twenty-two years ago, when I was 12 years old, my female peers were flat as a lumpy board for the most part.

What is the process behind this gender acceleration?

Is it the metric tonne of growth hormone that preteens have consumed by the time puberty rolls around through various foodstuffs?

Every piece of meat… every glass of  milk… every single item that we put in our mouths that came from an animal is loaded with growth hormones – drugs that are fed to cow, pigs, and chickens to speed up their maturation so that they can be slaughtered, be milked, or lay eggs faster and be more profitable.

Society in general sees sexual activity statistics of the very young and shake their heads without taking into account that little Krystina isn’t so little anymore and is giving J-Lo and Shakira a serious run for their money.

It’s a biological certainty – hardwired into human DNA – that once girls develop the equipment, they feel the need to employ it.

All they have to do is find a male who’s reached an equivalent state of sexual maturity – and I can only presume that the genders are on equal footing since they all eat the same food.

As Sherlock Holmes would say, it’s elementary.

If you parents want to put that sexual genie back in the bottle, demand that the food you buy is organic and not modified by big corporations for a faster buck.

Assuming that this trend hasn’t already bound itself it to our DNA, the 38DD 12 year olds should thin out over time.

ITEM NUMBER NINE

Virtual copies that you never actually own.

There’s a push amongst the tech savvy to get rid of hard copies of DVDs/Blu-Ray discs/CDs in favor of virtual copies that you purchase online from Amazon or iTunes that will ‘always be there’ for you to stream whenever you feel like it.

How does this even make sense?

Do you not understand how fragile corporations are?

What happens to that $20 investment if the company you ‘purchased’ it from goes tits up?

Your movie, TV shows, music, or book will go bye-bye and you’ll have zero to show for your money.

This may seem like an odd argument coming from me – someone who likes to stay somewhere near the cutting edge of technology – but it’s firmly rooted in reality.

Have you ever experienced a service outage from an online business that you rely on?

YouTube is down for maintenance?

Getting the Fail Whale page over at Twitter?

Your internet service provider is having a bad day?

Your copy of Assassin’s Creed 2 isn’t working because Ubisoft’s  DRM servers are offline – making it so you can’t play the game you just paid $60 dollars for?

How is it even sane to trust an online company to keep your precious purchase for posterity?

Are you frakkin’ kidding me?

Hollywood, I demand that you keep pumping out hard copies of your entertainment products so that I can always access the media at any second of my life that I wish to enjoy it.

I take pride in looking at my shelf of DVDs, visually confirming at a glance that I spent my money wisely on things that I enjoy.

I don’t think that I have to explain the tactile joy of holding something that you just spent money on – a self-justification that you’re living a life that you that you’ve worked hard at.

Online digital copies are abstract thoughts – ephemeral by their very digital nature, nothing but a series of ones and zeroes residing on a server thousands of kilometers from where you live.

You don’t own it.

All you’ve done is paid someone for the privilege of maybe looking at that media item if all the various techno gods are smiling on you today.

Fuck that.

ITEM NUMBER TEN

Spending ridiculous amounts of money on your child’s first birthday party.

You do realize that 1 year old Bobby Junior is going to have zero recollection of the event, right?

I mean, other than the cute/embarrassing photos that you will take of his face covered in chocolate ice cream cake.

Exactly what are you trying to prove?

Do you think that the number of balloons, quality of the hired entertainment, and size of the cake and goody bags is somehow relevant to the amount that you love your child?

Is how much you love your offspring measured in dollars and cents?

Of course not – unless it is… in which case you really need to get yourself some therapy and perhaps give your child up for adoption.

No… the only reason you make such a big deal of his or her turning the ripe old age of 1 is so that you can stake out your position in the social hierarchy of your circle of friends and acquaintances – and not for any valid emotional experience between your and your child.

Let’s be honest here: the party is going to emotionally overwhelm little Bobby/Sally as they simply don’t yet have the faculties to process the information overload that’s on offer.

The parents that do go to these insane lengths wonder to themselves why their child – in more cases than not – is in a rotten mood and making such a fuss amongst all the faux revelry.

Do yourself a huge favor if you have a child who is going to complete their first year on this planet of ours: buy or make a cupcake and stick a candle in it – maybe even a sparkler if you want to go for some wow-factor.

Chances are that it’s going to be 1000% more of an genuine emotional bonding experience with your baby than the three-ring circus happening at the birthday party down the block.

And really… isn’t that what you want?

Life Blog: Getting Old Is For Chumps…

… And the chump is me.

We’re all doing that slow and eventual march to the grave – no matter what we prefer to think, or regardless of what ridiculous lengths we go to for the sake of being healthy

As time goes on, I’m ever more aware that this is true for me.

When I was 15, I used to unequivocally state – and was only half-kidding – that I was going to drop dead at 25 from eating the largest steak dinner ever and having the resulting heart attack while consorting with a beautiful woman.

I must report that at 25, only the beautiful woman showed up.

So now I’m circling 34 years of age… and honestly, I sometimes forget how old I am – mainly due to the fact that my age really doesn’t matter to anyone.

I’ve stopped relating age to the things that happen in my life, which is a development that was a long time overdue: I started getting gray hair when I was 13 years old – that one sure sign that The Reaper has started writing down your name.

My knees have been wearing down since I was 12 via both ‘natural’ and athletic processes – in that exact order.

Knees that grind are very unpleasant to hear internally, unpleasant to feel physically, and can really suck when it comes to endurance.

In fact, the only upside to knees that grind like a bad transmission is how easy it is to give a girl you’re dating the willies: ‘Hey… wanna feel something weird? Put your hand on my knee while I bend it.’

Works every time.

My back kills me some days after a lifetime of stress: a genetically exaggerated curvature of the spinal column, multiple athletics derived fractures (horse back riding, motorcycle riding, wrestling).

The most frequent symptom (other than overt stiffness when getting up from certain positions) is a burning pain through my left erector spinae (lumbar region back muscle) which can really suck sometimes: imagine someone trying to perform surgery on your back with a thin-edged wooden spoon and you might be able to visualize the pain.

I’ve fractured and right-out broken both legs… my left one in three places to the point where I now have a titanium rod holding it together for the rest of my life – which makes me happy that I don’t do a whole lot of flying.

My teeth are slowly chipping and crumbling away after a hard decade of drinking nothing but coffee, tea, and cola – which also gave my horrible kidney stones towards the end.

The 2nd most recent issue facing me is one that’s incredibly distracting at times: myodesopsia… or in plain terms, eye floaters.

Those of you out there who have this affliction know how insidious it is – especially if you work with computers or other high-contrast visual work. You constantly have things moving through your line of sight – you even think you see bugs on the walls if the floater is going through your peripheral vision.

For those who haven’t experienced floaters as a frequent plague, check this video and then try to imagine it happening to you.

Finally, the most recent issue for me requires an OTC treatment that is somewhat embarassing: Preparation H.

That’s kind of the sure sign that you’re aging.

I can no longer delude myself into thinking that I’m still amongst the young when there are days where I wish I had one of those funny rubber cushions you see at the drug store – you know… the O-shaped ones that look like they’re made at the same factory that issues whoopee cushions.

Add that to a litany of pre-existing gastro intestinal issues, and you don’t really have a fun time on certain days.

Not even 34 and I have a body that feels at least 43.

Yup…

The chump is definitely me.