Friday, January 6, 2017

My Boss: The Hot Spanish Model

We aren't that stupid, I refuse to believe! Sorry for starting a post half way through a sentence. Poor writing, I know. It's just what I've said following every anecdote a boss has told me about an employee being fired for something they've announced on Facebook, and I've heard quite a few of those. It also follows any article I've just finished or employment seminar I've attended which divulged tales of those who have lost out on positions because of public Insta-nudes or xenophobia on the Tweetie-machine. I just can't see how someone in their twenties and thirties would be so clumsy. On another front, I was recently perusing my Facebook-purgatory I've been building for a few years now - the place where your friend requests fester until you either accept or refuse the request - and as I pondered the motives behind these fake accounts, it occurred to me that my fired colleagues weren't clumsy at all, it was just a fucking sting-operation!

Any guy would know: You open up your new friend request to discover that a gorgeous Japanese 19 year old with e-cup juggernorks wants your friendship! Your heart thumps. Your dick shifts from the left to the right. You fight the insatiable urge to thump on that dick. It's a party in porn town! But then you shovel away at the surface-pixels to find that she only has one other photo of equal boob ratio, no real status updates, four friends from different corners of the globe, none of which are your friends, you don't have any affiliation with Japan, and your name isn't Brad Pitt. You Google the photos to realise that these were her tamest snaps from an instructional video on how to use a double-ended dildo. And you wonder: Who the fuck is this, really? And what are they after exactly? Is it money? Entry to a country the rest of the world thinks is a utopia (and many do)? She's not the first, nor is she the twentieth, and I've had these questions for years. But only now have I realised it's neither of those things, it's that my boss watched lesbian porn to get that profile photo and to see if I've been running my big mouth.

You first need to understand that there is a fear campaign constantly brewing against social media platforms, and it's mainly lead by pterodactyls who bear a resemblance to the bosses who seem to want to school all of us on appropriate internet-use. The reason they tell us these tales is to manipulate us. The message is: "Post that your boss is a cunt and lose your job; it's that simple". The message is that the internet is something it isn't: simply public. But it isn't that simple at all. The internet doesn't work that way and we know that. My colleagues and I are in our twenties, which means that all of our parents were in polygamous marriages with either Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Anderson, or Bill Gates while we were just spotted-tadpoles. Our homes were like reverse Saudi Arabian families, but with social tech-nerds instead of oil-tycoons. This means that we are social media extraordinaires. Many of us learned how to fix MSN Messenger sign in issues before we learned algebra! It's in our DNA. We can tell Facebook from Twitter. The Great Privacy Panic of 2010, an uproar which lead Facebook to allow each user to personalise their privacy policies to the revelation that these companies own your information regardless of what you do, among countless other examples of hysteria, proves the omnipresence of a digital-privacy discourse in our lives.

The second thing that should be pointed out is that fakebooking is an industry in it's own right. Just ask Bieber, he lost three and a half million users last year when Instagram started filtering out it's phony-accounts; maybe with X-Pro II or Kelvin, I don't know. So, again, I simply refuse to believe!

like the book of faces!

I'm not cynical enough to swallow that we're that stupid that we'd defame the people which help us keep the lights on and food in our mouths without first sparing a thought for who will see it. But I do believe we're silly enough to think that a Spanish model - who is actually either our boss or a hired agent - wants us for our sarcastic shower-thoughts and Star Wars trailer reposts. This is the part our employers aren't telling us, how they came to see our posts. A magician doesn't reveal his tricks, the same way that a company doesn't want you to lose that Brad Pitt-complex you've been harbouring, otherwise they wouldn't be able to see your shit-talk. So, while we aren't that stupid, we are just a little, I suppose.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Predictable Male

Like most males, I like talking about sex as much as I like having it, which makes the fact that I don't play well with them even stranger. Perhaps, it's because the hunt tends to dim our wits. The less accessible it becomes, the sloppier the chase. But the real idiocy in the pursuit of the female is that we think we're invisible, and that's the part that gets me: how covert we think we are while casting a spotlight on ourselves with our own dicks.

This reveals itself in two ways we treat hot girls. To us:

Hot Girls are Rockstars
In anything they do, that's what we think. We follow them on the internet, we cheer when they play their hits, and we cry when they speak to us. But if you consider it, there are actually quite a few real rockstars out there, and some of them sound like lobotomies recorded and packaged. Likewise, there seems to be a hot girl around every corner, and many of them are unfortunately a dime a dozen. But because of our dicks, we fixate on a few and then sign up for their Facebook fan clubs. Then every photo one of these girls posts weeds out majority of their male fan-base who either "heart" it or, worse, post some jerk off comment, like they're saying something different to the four guys and one girl before them. I love the ones who comment stuff like "Where'd you get that dresser? Is that real oak or nah?" Or any comment relating to something incidental to her tits jutting out. Those guys are the self-aware. They're my people: people who appreciate the ridiculousness of this whole thing, but still crave the attention.

But photography, I get; it's voyeurism, plain and simple! But it's the witless, non-sequitur tweets with 30+ likes and comments which pretzel my mind. I'm not saying guys should want to fuck a peer-reviewed essay, they're boring, I'm just saying that not everything a beautiful girl says needs a parade. Beauty and interesting are two different things with momentary overlaps, but our penises love anything they have to say, because...well, they're rockstars, and rockstars are interesting.

But the point I'm driving at is that it's usually the same thumbnails popping up underneath these things. You don't need to be the NSA to notice that whenever some cyborg in a bikini posts something on Facebook, that the same dickdroid's name always comments underneath, you just need to be friends with the girl. Everybody can see what's goin' on, Casper! The thing about this is that if a casual observer like me can see, then the chick receiving these notifications has to at the very least suspect something.

And one last thing on this: Even if girls are rockstars and our voyeuristic tendencies are a force - and fuck me, they are - we've seen all the hits and their covers. I once saw a girl chug a bottle of beer in seven seconds while doing a handstand, and it was the hottest thing I'd seen in about five years. Why? Because I've been seeing the hand on the hip, head to the side since I was 16. I've seen the topless from behind whilst outside photo before. I've seen the upside down laying on the bed with a push up bra in a tank selfie from every girl who owns a bed. Yeah, they're rockstars, I don't disagree, but they're all playing the same tune, and the lyrics are "Like my photo now and tell me I'm beautiful, you fucking perve!"


Hot Girls are Job Openings
For any attractive girl in a relationship, there is always at least one numptie who wishes it was with him. For a sublime girl, it's a fucking platoon of them waiting on horseback over the horizon! Which means that the moment their relationship falls apart and she falls back on the market, the bids are so immediate that the intention is painfully obvious. I use to work for a phone company, we would usually have to prepare the cell towers after a break up for the rash of "Hey, long time no speak" small talk that's stampeding their way. The worst part: These hot girls know it's coming! Even worse, they sometimes even know who it's going to come from, which is an atrocity to men everywhere!

For me, this impulse to burn up the wires after someone's break up is often pervasive and tyrannical, but it's quickly discouraged by realising what I've just detailed. Putting aside the fact that it's terribly impolite, the realisation is that (1) I'm not the first and I probably won't be the last to message, and (2) I'm not going to be the pretext to a joke whose punchline is her reading a text, turning to her a friend and saying "See? Told you!" For the blatant male, that's fine. But to any dude who think he isn't being ripped apart like it's Sex and the City, you're a fool in a nice jacket.

Don't get me wrong, I would never, never, never blame a guy for swooping in quick. A week is like a month in hot girl years. Got’ta hustle! It's not even the penis masquerading as the heart which bugs me, it's the sloppiness really that makes my stomach churn. If we really were as conniving as we give ourselves credit for, the texts and calls would come before the break up and then smoothly continue after. Like with the social media patterns, it's the changes in behaviour which makes the predictable male stick out. He lacks the forethought. He has tendencies toward reaction and not pre-emption, and that laziness puts all males up for parody. Makes me ashamed to be a man.

Of course, in spite of my cynicism toward my own gender, this isn't about all men, it's just about the predictable male, not to be confused with the blatant male. The predictable male tries to act like a gentlemen while he unzips a girl's skirt, unaware that everyone else can see his hands. The blatant male, however, just asks when he can start unzipping, regardless of who's watching. While I still hate his guts, I prefer the latter guy, because at least he's not bullshitting anyone. You see, he's probably astute enough to realise that any girl by her 20s has seen all of our hits. Yeah, we have hits too! They know who they're fanboys are, and they know what "I'm sorry to hear about you and [insert name]" actually means. Now, I'm not saying that the blatant male is repulsive, I’m just saying he’s not a snotty liar. The male population has been caricatured by the predictable male, because he condescends females with tactics used on 10 year olds in MSN chatrooms and they know it. Whether subtle or forthcoming, the end-game is wrapped up in cellophane for everybody to see, so why waste time patronising one gender while disfiguring another trying to unwrap it?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Prediction by Prescription

As much as I have always loved writing and technology, the world doesn't need anymore tech blogs, the same way that tech doesn't need anymore lame social commentary. Yeah, we get it! The world will one day be filled with socially inept narcissistic wankers whose Camrys will literally fly themselves into drive thrus to pick up their Big Mac pills from evil and possibly homicidal cyborgs. Oh! And the second Back to the Future is a good film; can't forget that. But still, every fifth show or film they give ugly man-birth to either feels like a sleazy Bladerunner update or reads like a Black Mirror episode: dystopian clit-lit for luddites. But what if this is just a chicken and the egg situation? What if while we think we're predicting the future, we're actually just prescribing it?

A few days ago, people started receiving their Nike HyperAdapts: a better looking version of the self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future Part II. This release follows a PR opportunity last year to try on working prototypes identical to the ugly ones Marty McFly wore in "2015" in 1989. But arguably, these things only exist because Nike wanted a quick money shot and only really had to jerk a 27 year erection for ten seconds to get it. Which begs the question, were these things really ever the future? And are they, even?

The very biased Adidas CEO, Kasper Rorsted, criticised the shoes on the Wall Street Journal, saying that he doesn't think they are a "save-the-world product". Meanwhile, the absolutely biased Nike CEO, Park Marker Mark Parker, on CNBC compared the self-lacing technology to self-driving cars with regards to their mainstream appeal. Funnily enough, both glorified slave-drivers are correct despite being at odds: this is a virtually pointless product which has achieved nothing but make cult fanatics and nerds cum inside Nike store change rooms all over the United States, and that's not the future, nor was it ever.

Any appeal these shoes have is almost the exclusive responsibility of the writers and bean counters behind Back to the Future II, and that's a stark example of fiction creating the future while we naively thought it was prognosticating. Of course, I can't confidently say that they would never have been made. I've known a couple of nice ladies who have nightmares about internet banking and shoe laces: I call them "Nan", and anybody else who has arthritis would know what it means to bend over and tie knots. I'm sure someone would have tapped that market eventually, but it wouldn't have been Nike, and it wouldn't have been marketed this way toward...well, me: an able-bodied 26 year old. It's happening now and it's Nike making it happen because that's what someone wrote in the 80s, not the other way around.

In fact, most of the excitement we feel for the decades to come is a by-product of pop culture, and we need to appreciate how this influences the market. If something we see in the cinema appeals to us and it shows up in market-research, then whomever has the means to make it, will. It's easy money. So, to say that flying cars, pill-form meals, and artificially-intelligent sex robots are our future would be pretty accurate, but only because we've spent the last 100 plus years saying it is. By the same token, to say that space travel, robotics, portable computing, and driverless cars were always ahead of us was just a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, the next time you're watching some piece of shit fiction which is showing you how Mark Zuckerberg will be the new way to spell "big brother" or whatever other manipulative dross it's pedalling, just remember that the warning might just be the genesis.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I've Quit Clapping

This year has been a year of change for me; a shift from being man-child to acting like it's my sweet 16. Some might call that regression, I like to think of it as growth. It's been a year of soul-searching with the beam of a long-handled Maglight, reaching deep down and regurgitating the toxic artifacts of miscarried romance all over the front lawn - don't drink, kids, that's the moral, unless you want to write. But the most important thing I have done, my highest achievement for the mantel is that I've finally quit clapping, and I highly recommend it because clapping is dumber than a salad at a McDonald's.

Let me rephrase that: Clapping and applause aren't the problem, it's the applause-whores who need to tone the shit down. Please, just...enough with the clapping already! I'm beginning to think that we will clap for almost anything. I've seen people clap for someone walking onto a stage to adjust a mic-stand, I've seen clapping at editorial and staff meetings, in cinemas where none of the crew were present, fuck it, I've even heard a whole theatre applaud a Powerpoint presentation. What are we clapping for? Recycled information? The font?

I realise that society doesn't offer much in the way of non-verbal gestures of mass-appreciation for a performance or a presentation, but this is a matter of adhering to scale. An applause should be reserved for when Jimmy Page strums the last note of a five minute solo on a double-necked guitar or when volunteer firefighters fish a live stockbroker out of rubble. Unless a teacher does a backflip and breathes fire, all they deserve is for everybody to shut the fuck and act like they're paying attention for two hours. The only reason lecture slides should be applauded is because they're over! On the other end of the scale: This is the same way that a funny eulogy deserves a few solemn chuckles, or that the fall of the Soviet Union deserved parades and fireworks in lavish proportions. That's the scale in which we need to conduct ourselves. Applause at a staff meeting is akin to a light laugh at the defeat of a socialist regime which swept a continent for 60 years and an applaud as the coffin goes into the ground; one of those things deserve a stronger reaction, while the latter is not worth applauding, nor appropriate.

To add insult to injury, just when you think you can see Jim Hanson's hand up your arse, you get distracted by how robotic we are, because we don't know what enough applause sounds like either. Some things deserve one applause and that's it. This is more a problem for people like me who have worked and studied in media, and for those in more creative industries, where you spend half the time throwing ideas around as a group. Sometimes you can say just about anything and you'll get an applause, to the point where I begin to feel like I've woken up in a '90s sitcom. You pitch an idea, they clap. Idea, clap. Idea, clap. Idea, clap. Newsflash: When you pitch a possible project, it's an idea, not a completed product. I mean, how low is the bar, really? We all have ideas! A few of them are good, most of them are bad, and majority of them will never fucking happen! Ay! How about a bus, right, which is a hotel, which doesn't go very far, but floats in the sky, defying everything we know about gravity and creating a hazard for conventional aircraft? [cue roaring applause] "You're a genius," one man is heard shouting from the crowd. Five years later. NEWS REPORTER: Quincorporated CEO, Ryan Quinn, was voted out by the board today after spending over one billion dollars on a failed floating bus. 

As I mentioned though, when it comes to gestures of mass-appreciation, there is nothing you could call an immediate step down from applause, but I invite future lectures and so forth to give these alternatives a beta test:
  • Some long humming or mmmm-ing in agreement, like the group are having a conversation with the presenter. 
  • Barking or howling, like what you might hear at wrestling or at a Chris Rock show. 
  • Perhaps, music at the end of every presentation, because I suspect that people might be simply clapping to fill the awkward silence between the end and them climbing over each other for the nearest exit. 
  • Or finally, we just shut the fuck up and leave without doing anything. 
I've honestly given up on 'givin' it up' for people, and I'm already on my merry way to the promised land. I think this year I've clapped on three occasions: Once for a friend's documentary which was excellent, a lot in the span of an eight day music festival, and one time by accident - don't ask, still ashamed. Now, I'm not advocating a complete boycott, just a reset of the bar. That means only clapping for something you feel is innately worth clapping for and truly inspires that emotion in you. This, I think, will engender a domino effect, because a lot of people only clap because others are clapping, and they're probably only clapping to fill silence or to mask tears of boredom. We don't need to copy everyone; this isn't church. Tomorrow the sun is going to rise, as it will the day after that, and then the one after that, the same way that dogs will bark, people will verbalise ideas, and there will be truly awful presentations, mostly from Britney Spears - none of which aren't even worth a throat clear.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Brackets, Bullshit & "7PM"

If you ever receive an invite or a memo that reads "Time: 6:50PM (for a 7PM start)", you might as well just take off your watch, drop it on the ground and grind it into fragments with the heel of your shoe, because time as we know it has ceased to have any meaning! Friends know that to leave me standing around with my thumb up my arse for anything more than 20 minutes without so much as a tweet means that they'll be showing up to nobody; that's just my policy. Hell! I've been perfectly willing to use a friendship like a sacrificial lamb for the sake of saving the concept of time ever since I started penning diatribes about it a decade ago. Well, it seems the battle is only about to get harder as it has now burst forth from coffee with friends to bullshit at the office. Hmph!

Firstly, these ludicrous conference room meeting times; who do these people think they've hired? Children? And even so, time is very ages 11 and up in my eyes. I mean, if a memo says 7PM, I'll be there by 6:59, allowing me the more than lavish 10 seconds I need to take a seat and the 50 seconds I need to silently judge my coworkers. However, a friend of mine has always said that if you're not 10 minutes early, then you're late. While that isn't meant to be taken in the strictest sense, I mention it because I always thought that a 6:50 arrival for a 7 start was implied, wasn't it? I didn't think anybody needed fucking brackets and little tips on how not to be late, the same way that I don't need my boss to assist me in putting on underwear. I've been making appointments for well over a decade now, I think I have it covered, thanks! Also, if you do have employees who can't work that out on their own, then should they really be employees? When it comes to things like these anxiety-ridden brackets, employee bag checks, and CCTV in staff rooms, I've always wondered why employers don't just pop a Valium and hire people they can trust?

Secondly, and what I would imagine is most important is that it wastes a fuck tonne of everybody's time; mine and the companies. To start with, if a memo fails to include the stupid "for a 7PM start" bit on the 6:50 time, I'll probably wind up getting there at 6:40 anyway! Which then means traipsing around for 20 minutes for a meeting which will probably only go for 20 minutes! At one place I worked, I felt like I did this quite a bit. Meanwhile, I could've been doing actual work or getting things organised at home, or...anything else! But na! Na! My bossed preferred to instead pay me to sit in a quiet boardroom reading about what other guys look at during doggy style on Reddit. Now, I know that 10 minutes may seem petty to you and I, but if 20 people are attending a meeting, three hours of collective man hours have been wasted on a meeting probably about how the company wants to save money. Yeah, I have a tip on how to cut costs: Start a fucking meeting when you say it will start; no more brackets and bullshit. Meanwhile, we probably won't start till 7:05 anyway because Deborah's car got caught on the M4 again in a haze of smoke emanating from her hood worthy of a Bon Jovi concert.

It has to stop, guys! Not in ten minutes. Now! Arranging earlier times to compensate for tardiness in social circles is already absurd, but the moment we start doing this professionally means we have real problems. I have very little faith in anyone who either can't keep time or knowingly keeps people employed who can't. Lawyers, electricians, army colonels, my fucking butcher; I don't care who you are, spare a thought for time! She's suffering, she's disrespected, and yes, she's female. We need to start throwing some bodies at her, I couldn't care less who. Please, for the sake of saving time, for the sake of a boy who peers through the window wishing on Rolexs, Tag Heuers and Pebbles, can 7PM please go back to being 7PM?