Monday, 11 January 2010

Things That Piss Me The Fuck Off, Part 3

The third instalment of TTPMTFO (see 24). Posted on here now because it's my blog, it's a bloggy sort of thing, and it's easier to screw with the formatting than it is on Facebook. It's also more public. I'll cross-post it across at some point for people who don't visit this site for some reason, but for now it's exclusively on here.

Off we go...

21. FOX

My hate for the American TV corporation FOX is twofold. The first point, the one that has directly caused me the most grief, is their attitude towards shows that they air. They basically have these shitty attitude and think that if a show isn't an instant ratings success then it should be scrapped immediately. Don't fucking bother with "well we've already paid for the series, so let's see how things pan out", they just kill it. Screw it if the show is actually amazing, screw it if the show has quite a loyal following who love it. Screw it if the show is actually just building up to being epic and the first couple aren't as amazing as they could be.

Family Guy got cancelled by FOX in 2001, the re-runs were sold by FOX for basically nothing to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, where it became the most watched show, was released on DVD and became one of the best-selling television series on DVD. Seeing that it was actually making a shitload of cash, FOX brought the show back in 2004, and at the start of the first episode, North by North Quahog, Peter tells the family the show is cancelled, and lists a bunch of shows that they have to make room for, saying maybe if they all get cancelled the show might be brought back. This list actually consists of 29 shows that were cancelled by FOX in the three years family guy was off the air.

Now I have no idea how good most of the shows were and I've not heard of the majority, but one of them is the more obvious Firefly. Not only one of the greatest TV shows ever, but one which FOX completely and utterly fucked over and then cancelled. The network execs decided it would be best to show the first episode halfway through the series, the first episode being the one where most of the character development is done. It then got slated by critics initially, saying that the characters seemed under-developed and weren't really introduced. Which is completely FOX's fault, not Joss Whedon's, because the first episode would have fixed all of that. It was actually insulting of FOX to their viewers, because their reason for fucking around with the order was that apparently the first episode didn't have enough action, and we're all fucking morons who don't enjoy a series unless there's explosions all over the place.

So because FOX wouldn't pay attention to Joss Whedon, who after producing massively successful shows like Buffy and Angel, probably knew what he was doing, Firefly, one of the best TV shows I've ever seen got cancelled before it even finished the first series. It probably remains the best series to be cancelled ever.

FOX have also announced now that they've cancelled Dollhouse, which I've yet to see, but I've also yet to hear from anyone that it isn't very good. My main point there would be that Joss Whedon is a bit stupid to choose FOX as the network to broadcast another series, given what happened to Firefly, but it's possible no other network was interested. To be honest, I can't be too pissed off about Dollhouse. The ratings aren't great and I haven't seen it yet, and FOX at least did it the favour of giving it a second series. They might have cancelled a good series, there but I don't think they've committed as large a sin as they did cancelling Firefly.

My second rant at FOX comes from their fucking so called "news" coverage. Most people in the UK don't watch it, but imagine, say, The Sun or The Star but marketed up to look like a broadsheet newspaper, and then put it as a TV channel. It's a fucking disgrace. I've yet to watch it and not just see ridiculously blatant sensationalist right-wing fucking propaganda the whole fucking time. They have some of the most idiotic retarded cunts on television (Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly to name two) and I have no fucking idea how these guys manage to get on TV, let alone given their own fucking shows. I could have a whole fucking rant on Bill O'Reilly, but it's easier to link to this video of him talking to Richard Dawkins and let people see for themselves what a dumbass he is. As for Glenn Beck... The Onion do that fine.

The thing is, I could accept it if they were just a bit more honest about it. Yet they're not. They continually go on about how fucking neutral and un-biased they are, when they're clearly not. Yet every single fucktarded individual who watches FOX News seems to believe that they are actually getting unbiased news coverage rather than right-wing republican drivel. Some of their US pre-election coverage was just a fucking joke, and they continue to spout bullshit about Obama's regime. Yet the tagline on their website is "Fair & Balanced" which is just completely fucking bullshit unless you're an utter moron when it comes to world news and politics. You only have to check like one other news source to see FOX News is anything other than fair and balanced.

They present real facts but under a huge veil of one-sided sensationalism. Holy fuck Obama sends 30,000 troops into Afganistan? Why was he awarded a Nobel peace prize when he's doing this?! Maybe it's because he's having to send reinforcements to the troops that Bush sent in. They'll most likely be giving a ton of bullshit on how Obama isn't going to fulfil his promises on healthcare. Obama would have fulfilled his promises, had it not been for FOX News and other republicans stirring up a shitstorm over it, and forcing him into a massive compromise in congress over the healthcare reform bill.

And it's not just their political coverage is shit. Their coverage of the possibility of na water fuelled car is complete and utter nonsense (that actually uses boron as the fuel). So are a lot of their other non-political pieces. They're just sensationalist tabloid garbage dressed up as something else, so people take it far more seriously than they ever should.

I swear to god that things wouldn't be so fucked up in America with regards to their politics, gun issues, homophobia and other general idiocy if FOX News was taken off the air, or at least made to admit that it's right-wing bullshit propaganda rather than proper news. Their whole "patriotic American" shite is annoying as fuck too, but that's for another rant.

22. Wires

Not the Athlete song, I actually quite like that, but actual wires. Shit that connects one thing to another. Shit that I swear to god has a fucking unnatural ability to get tangled to hell all by itself. I don't fucking get how it does it. It's an utter pain in the arse, that I put my headphones into my pocket, with the wire straight and untangled, and when I pull it out I get this shitty mess of wire that takes five minutes to sort out. I don't get how wires fucking knot themselves in my pocket when I don't even do anything to them.

Going round the back of any TV that has various consoles and DVD players and shit plugged into it is a nightmare. If there aren't any cable-ties, just trying to remove the DVD player is a fucking endeavour because it takes ages to try and figure out which wire goes to the TV, which wire goes to which plug, and then somehow liberate them from the entire fucking mess at the back. How the fuck do they even get like that? I swear that when I plugged the shit in, I just plugged it in. I didn't think "oh yeah, this'll be fun, lets pull the wire in and out of all the other wires and tie knots and wrap it around stuff". I just plugged the shit in.

And all wires are black. You get the occasional light-grey one, but the most part they're black, and it's a fucking pain because they all look the same. It might look a bit funky to have wires round the back of the TV all colours of the rainbow, but it'd be nice to at least be able figure out which wire goes where without having to spend the time to follow it the whole fucking time.

The day everything becomes wireless, sure it'll waste a fuckton of electricity, but damn it'll be easier.

23. Shit facial hair

I don't need to name names for this one. These people should know who they are, and if they don't, other people at least will.

Piece of advice guys. If you can't grow a fucking moustache like this then don't fucking bother. If you don't shave for a week and you still end up with only twenty or so visible hairs on your top lip, then don't fucking bother. Now I'll admit there's a period between a full-fledged moustache and being clean shaved where it's going to look shit, and that's OK. What's not OK is when people are unable to actually move past that point, but still persist. Give it up, and come back to attempting to get a moustache when your balls have dropped a bit more.

I know some people might view this as being a bit hypocritical on my part, because I'm hardly the best one when it comes to shaving regularly, but at least that's just laziness on my part. I'm not going to conscious effort to grow a shitty moustache or beard, it's just that I can't be arsed shaving. Maybe I'm being naïve, but I think for the most part it doesn't look that bad unless I've really let it go. But I would like to at least set myself apart from the likes of Dangerous (I said I wouldn't name names, but fuck it, it's that bad) and people who purposefully and carefully develop and maintain utterly shitty facial hair.

24. Weird abbreviations and acronyms

Hard for me to get massively ranty about this one, but it does annoy me. There are certain acronyms that get used on the internet a lot, and are acceptable (LOL, ROFL, LMAO, AFK, WTF, FFS, IIRC, AFAIK, JFGI, BIAB, TTYL, etc). Most people who have been on the internet for any stretch of time generally know them. If not, they're not usually that difficult to figure out. What annoys me is when people use some really fucking obscure acronyms in conversation. It's like they've just fucking made them up on the spot for whatever reason, and they have to explain them anyway so it just takes more time than it would have done to just say the full thing in the first place.

There are two I use that I would say aren't standard. One is PSE, which stands for Post Shit Euphoria, a condition of immense good-feeling after taking a particularly huge dump. The difference is I don't ever use PSE with people who aren't extremely familiar with the term. I don't just throw in shitty acronyms left right and centre because the chances are nobody is ever going to figure that out. The other is BYTYAN, for Because You Touch Yourself At Night, which again only gets used around certain people who I know will instantly understand the acronym. I've abbreviated the title of these posts a couple of times in here, but it's pretty obvious what I mean.

The acronym shit is pretty bad too outside of IM conversations. At my work experience they caused absolute hell, because it seems the entire fucking British Nuclear Industry (BNI) revolves around them. I had BNFL, SL, SDP, ALARP, NDA, NIA, BTF, SBTC, NBTC and fuckloads more, and these were ones I was seeing on a daily basis. Some of the documents I was given, which were maybe thirty or forty pages long, and a glossary at the front defining the acronyms which ran on sometimes to three or four pages, which was fucking ridiculous. Acronyms can be useful, but FFS there's a limit to them.

25. Facebook birthdays

By this I mean how Facebook has managed to reduce birthday greetings to a mere "Happy Birthday" comment on someone's wall. Which in my opinion is pretty shitty. Facebook is useful for reminding you of when people's birthdays are, but for fucks sake guys, most of us are living in college within 200m of each other, just take ten minutes out of your day to say hi personally.

Facebook is starting in some areas to reduce interactions to the lowest possible denomination. I swear there are some people I used to chat to, and now my only fucking form of contact with them is that they occasionally like my shit on Facebook. Not even writing something basic like "lol". Just clicking a button. Is it going to be that long before we don't even get lame "Happy Birthday" wall posts, but just a status of "it's my birthday!" which people can then Like instead.

I don't care too much for cards, as I've ranted before I think they're a shitty waste of money and a pain to buy, but some sort of personal touch and effort should at least be made. If you're a lazy fucker or can't see people personally, then at least make an effort. You're fucking writing a comment on someone's wall, how fucking hard is it to try and think of something a little more personal and original than just "Happy Birthday" or "Have a great birthday". Spend fucking thirty seconds instead of five and write more than one line, make a proper fucking effort and show that you give a shit, or don't bother. If you're only doing it out of some sort of sense of obligation and you don't actually care enough to write more than four words, then just don't do anything. It's not like they'd notice your absence amongst the dozens of other messages.

I'll give credit in this department to Nick Owen and Alex O'Leary, for sending New Year's text messages that were actually personalised for me, rather than just writing Happy New Years and sending it to everyone. I didn't actually send any (except replying to people who sent me one), because I'm on pay as you go, and I'm a tight bastard, and I guess I should appreciate people who even bother to send the impersonal ones, but considering I know they're most likely on contract and have free texts and it's really not much trouble for them at all, it's hard to appreciate the gesture. Only exception to that is Muf because I wasn't expecting to get one from him and it was a nice surprise.

But yeah, I don't feel warmed by getting a message that has just been sent to everyone in their phonebook. I do feel warmed by a message that's clearly been written personally to me, it's a nice touch and it shows they care. Same applies to Facebook birthday messages. It's their fucking birthday, and you're not making a proper human effort or there wouldn't be a need to write on their wall on Facebook, so at least put some thought in it and add something more original and personal.

26. Glory Football Supporters

People who support the likes of Man Utd or Arsenal, but don't actually live fucking anywhere near the team. I know people who support Man Utd who have never even fucking been to Manchester, which is a joke.

Now in principle I don't have a huge amount against this. There is the unwritten law that you should support a local football team, but there's no reason why this has to be the case. However, it is fucking annoying when you get people supporting United who have lived in London all their lives. You have Chelsea and Arsenal, among other Premiership teams, go support one of those instead. If you live in Cumbria, fine, because there's no fucking team up there so you're free to support who you like, but fuck off if you live in London, because there's loads.

The whole fucking reason that the MLS in America sucks so much is not so much that most Americans don't care about "soccer", but as much down to the fact that the ones that do don't follow the MLS. They whore out instead and support one of the big European teams. Which I guess they're entitled to do, but it's still a shitty thing for their own sport. The only exception I shall make to this is for Terdish, who probably won't read this, but she supports Bolton. Which is damn commendable for someone living across the Atlantic because a lot of the cheap Americans who support the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea won't even know who Bolton are.

Anyway, if you support a team that isn't local to you, then fine. You're allowed to, I'm not going to hate you for it. What you're not fucking allowed to do though, is gloat. Unless you've supported that team since before they were good (eg someone who has supported Man City for the last 10 years but comes from Wales) then you forfeit any right to gloat to me when your team wins. If you're going to be a glory supporter, you shouldn't be allowed to rub that glory in other people's faces, because it's a fucking dick move. You only support them because they were good when you chose to pick a team, and they happen to still be good now.

I could arbitrarily change my team to Barcelona if I wanted to, and rub that in the face of every stinking Man Utd fan who isn't from Manchester. I won't, but the point is I could if I wanted to, and I'd only be basically doing the same thing they've done. It's like gloating that you beat someone at something when you only won because you cheated. You're just being a complete and utter cock.

27. In-Jokes With People Who Aren't 'In'

It's so annoyingly frequent that people make in-jokes about shit, when nobody present is actually in on the joke. It should be a slappable offence, because it really shouldn't ever happen. In-jokes are a bit annoying to start with, because it sucks for everyone else if two people piss themselves laughing and the rest of the group doesn't get it. What's just dumb though is making the joke when nobody is around to get it. To be in a one-to-one conversation with me, to make an in-joke and then when I'm like "what?" to be like "oh, it's just an in-joke I have with so and so". There's no fucking reason that should happen, ever. I don't get why the hell people even fucking do it.

Am I meant to figure out the random obscure joke myself? Am I meant to find the shitty humour it's based on funny? Because in-jokes almost always suck. 99% of the time they're a "You had to be there" moment and even when explained they're not that funny except to those involved. "You had to be there" being the most-used excuse for people telling anecdotes that didn't quite result in the raucous laughter that the person was hoping for, so basically that the anecdote is a bit shit. The are some good in-jokes that are funny to outsiders too, but most are shit.

28. The Supermarket Situation In Cambridge

I hate shopping in general, but above all food shopping in Cambridge drives me insane. In the town I live in, Ormskirk, we have a decent-sized M&S Food, a decent-sized Tesco Express, and a huge Morrisons. And another supermarket that changes all the time and I forget what it is now. My town is not that big, but it has three sizeable supermarkets and one huge one, all comfortably within walking distance of my house. Cambridge on the other hand has maybe one decent-sized one. Just the one in the centre. One supermarket, and it's tiny and it's cramped and it's a fucking Sainsbury's.

There is the ASDA and Tescos, but they're both fucking miles out of town, so walking to them takes ages, meaning you only go if you need to buy a lot of stuff, meaning you definitely need to take a taxi back because you can't carry it all. Or cycle, but trying to cycle back on massively busy roads while laden with shopping bags is suidice. I've tried. The Tesco is pretty good for the trek, but it is miles away. The ASDA is closer, but still miles, and I don't shop at ASDA on the principle that they're a subsidiary of WalMart, one of the most evil companies in the world.

So really the only proper option is the Sainsbury's. Maybe the Co-op but they're pretty shitty supermarkets and it doesn't have everything I want. Oh yeah, and the M&S Food, but it's not that great for choice (as everything is M&S's own), and I'm a fucking student and can't afford to spend a small fortune on individual meals. So Sainsbury's it is, because it's the only one within walking distance with proper selection and in my price range. It's cramped to fuck. The design of the actual layout is just broken. If you want to change aisles you can only do it on one side, because there's checkouts on the other side, and unless the store is completely empty there are too many people in the way to actually get through.

Because it's like the only real accessible supermarket, it's almost always fucking busy. To a ridiculous extent. Even the Morrisons in Ormskirk on Christmas Eve wasn't as busy as Sainsbury's in Cambridge is like all the time. And people have those damn baskets that you pull behind you, which are fucking awesome at blocking up aisles and just generally being in the fucking way the whole damn time.

I've been to Sainsbury's a few times when it's quiet, and it's awesome. I can do my shopping and pay for stuff and don't have to queue for ages and wait for people to get out of the fucking way when they're being slow and dense. The dumb thing is, that it's impossible to predict when it's not busy aside from early in the morning and while I'm at lectures. I've been there at 4pm on a Friday, when I expected it to be packed, and it was pretty quiet. By the same margin I've been at 10pm on a Tuesday and it's been busy as fuck and I have no fucking idea why.

Hopefully some supermarket chain (Tescos plx) can buy what used to be Borders, because that place is huge and you might actually be able to get a proper fucking supermarket in there, instead of a shitty cramped one.

29. People Who Bum Their iPhones

This got touched in the comments with the iPhone shit last time, but to quote Marcus Brigstock: "You just bought one. You didn't invent it."

Fact is people can buy iPhones no problem. I don't care. I just care when they continually get them out, mess with them, and point out all of these shitty apps and games for them that are utterly useless and unoriginal. Am I the only one that has acknowledged the existence of tilt sensors since before the iPhone? All of these fucking tilt games on the iPhone are pretty much identical to half of the stuff in WarioWare: Twisted, which came out for the GBA in 2004. It's by no means new, and I completely don't give a shit.

People should stop being so fucking retarded and utterly besotted by gimmicky features like a touch screen and a tilt sensor. Especially tilt sensors, because for the most part they're not that fucking useful. My phone has the same sort of tilt stuff as an iPhone, and all it uses for is detecting how I'm holding it to change the screen orientation, which could just as easily be replaced by a button function somewhere.

In short people who have iPhones and iTouches should fucking realise that yeah, they're shiny, and yeah, they can do stuff, but also that nobody else fucking cares because they're not actually that fucking good.

30. Error Reports

Whoever invented the whole "DO YOU WANT TO SUBMIT AN ERROR REPORT?!?!" bullshit should be incarcerated. Someone who had the idea that the best thing to do when people are already pissed off that something has crashed, is to just add extra shit to piss them off.

Who the fuck actually ever bothers submitting error reports, seriously? And who, out of the people that do, has ever actually had whatever issue it was fixed. What poor fuckers have to go through all the error reports and hex code to fix these shit? Does anyone ever even do anything with them?

They're such a fucking waste of time, and they're utterly annoying when shit crashes and just something rubbing it in your face and wasting extra time. I've even had to force-close programs I've coded myself in C++ and it still asks me if I want to submit a fucking error report.

There should be something you can do, like you can for most things, of a "don't ask me again". I mean, aside from the faff of submitting one, why the fuck would I want to submit an error report sometimes and not other times? Why the hell can't I just set it to always submit them or never submit them? Would it be that fucking hard to get it to never ask me?

Fuck you Microsoft and leave me alone with your damn pestering when stuff crashes on me. Not the right time for it.

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