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You are currently browsing the Stupidity In Society blog archives for January, 2009.

Jan

14

Our Culture Peaked 2-3 Decades Ago

By admin

Have you noticed that nothing cool is coming out of our culture these days? It’s almost as if we have run out of creativity. The newest thing is reality TV shows, and even those are starting to get old. Lets face it they were never really that good. The winner of the first Survivor was an openly homosexual man who insisted on walking naked in front of everyone (while being filmed) and credited his win towards being sneaky, underhanded, dishonest, and the best liar. What a great testament to our modern culture, huh?

Then there is American Idol. Certainly some great singers have made the finals over the years. But how many of them have inspired you to go out and purchase their CD’s? My guess is none. Why not? Probably because none of them are different enough to make any real mark on our cultural landscape. Somehow they are just another singer and there is nothing innovative about their music. Oh sure – it’s fun to watch the competition, but when the season is done you are pretty much done with the contestants.

Contrast this back to twenty years ago, say 1979. Think about the TV shows Midnight Express (with Wolfman Jack) and Don Kirshners Rock Concert (which came on right afterwards on Friday Nights). Remember Saturday Night Live when it was actually good? We all used to plan our weekends around it. Have you even dared to watch it lately? Probably not, because it has gotten so bad that it’s embarrassing.

What about kid’s toys? Certainly technology will have improved on those, right? One would think. After all, by now we are all supposed to be driving flying cars. But if you compare today’s video games with the old Atari system and even the first Pong game, there is something missing. I remember the little handheld football and basketball electronic blip games -those were great. Today’s Nintendo DS units with all their technology don’t have anywhere near the interest that those things did.

Oh sure we have really trick cell phones now. To say nothing of the internet, portable email devices, and every other way to make sure you are never away from work that you can think of. And I am a big fan of those things. But what have they added to our culture, really?

Movies are not getting any better despite incredible advances in technology. Even when a good movie is made they cannot sell it unless they use cheesy tactics to attract the masses of brain-dead idiots. Music is only getting worse, as evidenced by the fact that classic rock stations are the most popular places on the radio dial. Literature by it’s definition is a thing of the past and art isn’t far behind.

I really cannot think of one single aspect of modern society that has improved in the last twenty years, with the notable exception of communications. And it’s arguable that the communication advancements we have made are actually a large contributor to the degradation of our culture.

Papa Riah

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Jan

13

Stop Sign Protocol

By admin

 

When you arrive at a stop sign at the same time as another vehicle, you know how to handle it, right? Or are you one of those knuckleheads that are inspiring this post? It’s supposed to be real simple. At least that’s how they make it sound on the DMV written test. Whoever gets there first goes first and if you get there at the same time the person on the right goes first. That should solve everything, right?

Not quite. The DMV left out a lot of interesting situations that happen in real life. No doubt some of them appear during the DMV driving portion of the test, exposing the written test inadequacies. Lets look at a few of them.

Situation 1: Both Drivers Wanting to Do the Same Thing

There was a movie (it might have been L.A. Story with Steve Martin, then again maybe not) where four cars all got to a stop-sign intersection at the same time. They all waited for somebody else to go then finally they all decided to go at the same time, which caused them all to stop again and wait, and then finally all decide to be the one to go again. This process repeated until they all collided in the middle. It was hilarious and it makes you wonder why you have never seen this in real life. We have all certainly experienced the beginning of this with at least one other driver occasionally.

Why didn’t we get into an accident? Because at some point one driver insisted on stopping until the other went. However it’s possible for both drivers to get this resolve and frantically keep waving at the other until they both concede at the same time. I’m sure this scenario has resulted in at least some accidents, but the odds are way against it. Too many possible other variables which involve one person conceding first.

Situation 2: Three or More Cars Arrive at the Same Time

When three or more cars get to the intersection all at once, the rules of the road change slightly. Whichever car goes gives the green light to any car going the exact opposite way from the other side, regardless of when they arrived. This is because you are not impending anyone and everyone expects you to go. If you sit there like a dolt insisting on waiting your turn, you screw things up.

Situation 3: Pedestrians

Pedestrians really throw a kink in the works. It’s normal for at least one driver not to see them at first, and therefore not understand why another car is not acting in turn. This is another time when you can go out of turn – when the car whose real turn it is happens to be is stuck waiting for pedestrians. If the pedestrians do not affect your route, you can and should go. Not doing so makes you an idiot who messes things up.

It can be difficult being a pedestrian in these situations as well. I have this issue when jogging sometimes. I generally try and start getting across when nobody is at the stop signs. The problem I have with some idiots is that if they get the notion that I want across, they will stop and insist on waiting for me (when I just want them to go and get out of the way). This is really awkward when other drivers come up who do not want to wait for me and it puts me in a bad position. So my plan is usually to fake out all drivers and show no signs of my actual intentions – as it just works better for me.

As a matter of fact this is often something you have to do while driving as well, but that is a topic for another day. Suffice it for now to say that you often have to disguise your intended actions in traffic situations. This is because if the idiots get wind of it they will do things to make it difficult for you, whether they intend to or not. Driving is the ultimate game of avoiding and outsmarting idiots.

Papa Riah

Jan

8

Flyers on Windshields

By admin

How do you feel when you leave a store, walk back to your car, and find a flyer on your windshield? Happy and eager to read the flyer? Or annoyed at being inconvenienced with it? My guess is the latter. You have just been burdened with a piece of trash that you are now responsible for disposing of. In fact in today’s society you are responsible for making sure it gets recycled properly.

Perhaps you have even been so annoyed that you let it make a litterbug out of you, pulling it off your windshield and letting it flutter to the pavement on the parking lot. Doesn’t that make you want to sort of hurry up and speed away at that point? You are now a fugitive attempting to make a getaway! Didn’t plan on that when running to the store for milk did you?

Somehow, you have now committed a crime – one which you probably think you are justified in, as the real blame goes to the company distributing those stupid flyers. Doesn’t it? Truth be told, the judge will probably not see it that way. What the company did was legal. What you did was not. They did not commit an intentional act of littering. You did. They are allowed to advertise in this manner and you are responsible for properly dealing with the literature you received.

Have you ever not even noticed it until after you started driving away? This happens sometimes with the smaller ones. That can really be annoying, especially if it creates a blind spot. As a matter of fact I have (on occasion) not noticed large ones until after I was on the road and suddenly had to deal with a rather hazardous blind spot on my front windshield. Note that this is also illegal – for me, not the company who just made a criminal out of me while I wasn’t looking.

The most tempting way to deal with this situation is – you guessed it – by turning on your windshield wipers. Been there, done that! It doesn’t always work. In fact sometimes this only repositions the flyer in a place that creates an even larger blindspot and you may be forced to pull over and deal with it. How embarrassing! If by some miracle you are able to free it with the windshield wiper, you are now littering on the highway – a much more serious offense than littering in the parking lot and it could end up costing you $500. Or worse, it could fly off and land on the windshield of some total idiot behind you and cause a traffic accident.

If that happens, how do you feel about going to the furniture store sale?

What are these companies thinking with this kind of marketing? How can it possibly work? Are we are such dolts that we will remember a sale at the cleaners and not remember that it nearly got us arrested or killed finding out about it?

And what about these kids they hire to distribute the flyers. They aren’t exactly the kind of people I would choose for handling delicate equipment on my car. I wonder how many windshield wiper arms have been broken in this process. I wonder how many kids who broke windshield wipers were stupid enough to still leave the flyer afterwards. I wonder how many people who had this happen to them were too stupid to even put two and two together and figure out how their car was damaged.

Papa Riah