FML, white girl sitcoms and other things that can stay in 2011
Yes, 2012 is creeping up on us like my 32nd birthday (no need to send presents -- I will only be accepting fan letters as gifts and creepy Facebook messages of adoration from high school stalkers). Since the world is not going to be ending as some of us maybe thought it was, it's time to look at the upcoming year with a fresh set of eyes. The new year is a great time to not only make resolutions for ourselves, but to move forward with a few nice gestures that might benefit our fellow humans and, you know, make the world less crappy in general. To do my bit, I've compiled a simple list of things that should stay in 2011, which would make 2012 a less annoying place -- for all of us.
R.I.P. FML 2008-2011
10. Facebook status update ambiguity
I know, I talk about Facebook. A lot. (I live there, plus Facebook is a game I'm really good at winning.) But can we all make this deal? Can we promise not to make all 700 of our friends read status updates we post in passive-aggressive haste wherein we talk about "some people" not "knowing how to be polite" or not "knowing how to treat their exes"? It just makes you sound fourteen. And the only fourteen-year-olds you're supposed to be friends with on Facebook are your cousins, and they are too busy posting Adele lyrics to even try to be ambiguous about a hurtful break-up.
And while we're on the topic of Facebook, let's outlaw Hipstamatic snapshots of delish brunch plates. Because everyone knows real food, especially out of context, looks gross in photographs.
9. Professional sports bumming us out
I know. I'm not into any kind of organized sport that doesn't involve flags and gay people, but seriously. I have a hard time understanding how normal wage-earning humans could empathize with the NBA lock-out. Or complain over and over again about Tebow (I mean, before he realized that life is short and one must pray hard to get better). If a band I liked decided they weren't going to play any more shows until someone paid them more money, I would laugh. Then I would only listen to their pre-greed records, write a blog about how much they sucked for being such jerks about money; and find a new band to be obsessed with. It's that simple.
Besides, who is Tebow, anyway? Until he gets on stage with Rascal Flatts or fails to tip me when I'm his server at Chili's (both things John Elway once did), I do not know who he is or care to know.
8. Not-funny white women sitcoms
If there was any hope to be had for television, I certainly had it for Zooey Deschanel's New Girl. But her "I'm such a cutesy funny woman-girl, look at me, wearin' my glasses, usin' my funny voice" routine made this show almost as annoying as Whitney. Or the ten-years-too-late-but-would-still-be-irrelevant 2 Broke Girls. Below is the clip that threw me off the Deschanel fan train for good -- because her saying "ain't no thaaaaang" sounded kind of racist to me.
7. Not-funny 20- to early 30-somethings sitcoms
Have you ever tried to watch Friends re-runs? The show was mediocre then, but now it feels as bad as watching a Grace Under Fire marathon. Enter the new good ol' gang of mostly-white teenage-like adults just hangin' out at a bar (coffee shops are too '90s and everyone knows that the laptop's ubiquity has turned coffee shops into libraries for studying, nayway) called Happy Endings. It's just like Friends, but with a shittier attitude and more talk about intercourse. It's like a Yoplait Light commercial and a Bud Light commercial had an awful, snarky, unfunny baby named Penny Hartz, who, for the record, is the worst female character in the history of sitcoms.
Up All Night gets honorable mention for worst show about people hanging out, as it has somehow removed any and all of the intelligent humor that Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph and Christina Applegate were previously capable of. Arnett is supposed to be a believable stay-at-home dad, but just comes off like the maniacal DILF he once embodied as Arrested Development's GOB Bluth.
6. Steve Jobs Idolatry
Steve Jobs (and the thousands of people who have worked for Apple) changed the world as we know it. This is undisputed. But so did Geraldine Ferraro, Fred Shuttlesworth and Betty Ford, and guess what? They all died this year, too.
Days of mourning, Apple stores turned into Post-It shrines and mass Facebook profile-picture changes to variations on Jobs' famed turtleneck image after his passing were a little much. Apple undoubtedly changed the way we connect (or disconnect, depending on your view) with other humans, but remembering that other things have happened this year -- let alone the last thirty years -- should be on our collective radar. You know, like the fact that the world's first artificial organ transplant was a success and that Beyonce and Jay-Z decided it was time to conceive the world's first pop super baby.
5. Misuse of the phrase "sex scandal"
This is mostly due to media people like me, covering the same events over and over again and creating a pattern with a set of words. But when I hear the phrase "sex scandal," I think of consensual adults committing an act that is sexual in nature and somehow morally, politically or legally wrong. To me, the Penn State and Syracuse cases of sexual assault and abuse against children by persons in positions of trust were not scandals, but flat-out criminal activities. But the covering-up of such abuse by reputable institutions definitely qualifies as a scandal.
4. Blaming Denver for your personal failures and/or lack of success as an artist/promotor/etc.
I don't know if this happens in other cities, but the common grumble on social networks goes something like "Ever since I moved from Denver to (insert name of hyped costal city here) I realized how little is actually happening there."
Yeah, yeah dude. Maybe your promotions company/photography studio/consulting whatever never made it off the ground because there's no market for what you do in Denver. Or maybe there were already a million people here doing what you do. And maybe they actually just did it better, and had the drive you're missing to do it well. Whatever, don't blame this city. Spend less time "networking" and more time on your grind. Denver is possibly the easiest city to live in, because you can work at a recycled-DIY-sandwich-bicycle-coffee-weed-store and be a screen printer and live comfortably.
3. Blanket, misinformed statements about the Occupy movement
I have mixed feelings about the Occupy Movement, and I think it's more than okay to agree or disagree (unless you're that guy on Facebook who posts Occupy memes four times a day. Then you are de-friended). But if you're that person who says "Is this Occupy thingy what's making traffic slower on Lincoln and Broadway? Ugh. That stuff is mega annoying," then you're just an asshole. And an uninformed one to boot. There is no reason to be this way, considering the information out there.
Plus, you know, in America, we're still allowed to protest, for the most part, and that is something that one day may be extinct if we as a country don't stay informed. Which brings me to the next thing that should be left in 2011 --
2. Intentional disregard for world news
If you know the exact reason why Kim Kardashian and Chris Humphries split, yet the Arab Spring means nothing to you, it's time. It's time use the Internet to gather information. Don't worry, you don't even have to get caught reading wire stories from Reuters or the Associated Press, you can just check Vice daily. Even though it's a pro-Terry Richardson website, Vice carries a fair amount of accurate coverage of things happening outside of California and New York. By that I mean, the United States.
Seriously, the fact that your coffee got cold on your hour-and-a-half commute from your home to your cubicle is worth a "Fuck My Life"? I guess before the Internet came along there was no proper way to express our selfish complaints publicly other than screaming them at our dog or car stereo. Not once -- on Facebook, Twitter or otherwise -- have I seen this phrase used to express something truly worth the power in FML.
To quote my friend Olivia, "After reading about World War II (at length), I have nothing to complain about." I think that idea could apply to anyone who has the capacity to update his or her Facebook at all. Because I'm guessing if you have access to the Internet 24 hours a day for every single one of your self-absorbed complaints, there is no reason to F your L. Your L sounds pretty stress-free to me.
So let's bury FML, shall we? And promise to never complain about our mundane and exceedingly easy lives ever again on the Internet.