Some things in life serve only to induce rage. No matter how small these annoyances may be, they are never insignificant. 'Rant List' is the chronicle of one self-loathing narcissist's seemingly unending pettiness.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

47. Hindsight

^ That white is awfully grey and in hindsight, I should have really sorted the transparencies and things on this image. This was all definitely deliberate and made to fit the entry. Definitely. Yep.

Hindsight is unquestionably 20:20. Whenever you look back on your life, you become acutely aware of everything you could have improved, done better, not messed up and so on and so forth. It's a bit of a kicker, as you begin to dwell on any petty squabble you've been involved in and think of all the amazing comebacks you could have come up with. Just when they're no longer useful. "If only I could think in real time," you think to yourself as you stand humiliated by your inability to respond to the banter / fight / argument / political debate you're currently involved in.

But thinking off the cuff has its repercussions as well. In the moment, we may feel that we are being undeniably awesome. However, through hindsight, we are drop-kicked in the face by the martial-arts-strength revelation that we were actually being a massive tit. The clarity provided by hindsight is both sobering and heart-breaking in equal measure. I guess the easy thing would be to think long and hard before you speak and do but that's simply not a luxury afforded by every day existence. Guess you better stay indoors and avoid social contact and activity for the rest of your life in an attempt to avoid feeling regret about anything ever again. Although, in hindsight, that will probably turn out to be a bad idea.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

46. Oasis' "Wonderwall"

^ From left to right: James Hetfield without gelling his hair, early 1960s George Harrison with drawn on sideburns, a disgruntled chestnut and relatively unknown comedian Tom Meeten. I went to the effort to include extra pictures simply because this entry isn't funny.

This slightly follows on from my entry on people with acoustic guitars, but I feel this is enough of a peeve to merit its own entry. I'm not bereft of ideas. Honestly. I'm just lazy.

I'm not going to lie, I'm not a fan of Oasis. As much as I make myself out to be some kind of musical authority who is open-minded and enjoys a bit of everything, Oasis are a band I will never get on board with. It's especially bad because I can't put my finger on it and articulate precisely why I think they're atrocious - they just are. However, there is one song of theirs that seems to offend my senses more than any of the others. Good ol' "Wonderwall".

I don't understand why everyone loves this song. It's repetitive, it's dull, it has one of those awful Gallagher boys badly crooning over it and more than anything, it seems to be the mantra of mindless idiots everywhere. It's more of an anthem for indie drones than "Come As You Are" is for spoilt angsty children. What makes this track especially infuriating is that whenever some drunken-jawed spoonknocker whips out an acoustic guitar in a social situation, "Wonderwall" is the go-to track to inflict upon the unsuspecting crowd.

And everyone knows the words. Everyone, that is, except yours truly. Why? Because it's about as mentally stimulating in the lyrics department as Anne Widdecombe is in the crotchular vicinity. I'm not saying that lyrics need to be deep to be enjoyable - for crying out loud, I listen to Poison.* But what about "Wonderwall" is so memorable in comparison to say "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" or "Here Comes The Sun"? Is it just a matter of relative age? No, because if that was the case, we'd presumably have James Blunt songs forced down our ears... oh wait.

In short, I can't fathom how "Wonderwall" has become so ubiquitous a song. As is probably clear, my reasons for disliking it are flimsy but it bothers me that people armed with guitars refuse to think outside the box and just go for this whiny lament written by an overgrown child. I'd rather you played the worst of Blur's material, at least Damon Albarn can write good songs. Or, you know, stop playing guitar and singing in social situations where all I want to do is enjoy myself.

*Poison are deep, man. To quote the appropriately titled "I Want Action"; "I'm a sucker for a pretty face. I don't care if she's leather or lace 'cause I'm just lookin' for a little kiss." (B. Michaels, 1986:2). Having said that, Bret sort of taints the song with "If I can't have her, I'll take her and make her" (1986:2). Ooh-er, that adds an extra subtext to 'Rock of Love'.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

45. Inception and the people who think it's profound

^ Xzibit nails it once again. Word.

Wow. This is timely. It's not like this film has been out for months. I even saw it at the cinema. Whatever, e-punctuality isn't my strong point. This will contain a light spoiler or two. Nothing major, though.

Inception is an entertaining film - it has some interesting ideas and some impressive special effects. At the very least, it's certainly worth watching at least once for the pretty pictures. What it is not, however, is clever - or, more accurately, as clever as the mindless hordes who loved it think it is. Take a couple of ideas from The Matrix and execute them through a medium as wishy-washy as dreams, throw in Leonardo Decap Attack* and you've basically got Inception.

There are about forty minutes in the middle of the film that are really good viewing - the concept of dream altering has been boringly established and some kind of plot is actually kicking in. We witness the idea of a dream within a dream and the interactions between the dream levels proves an compelling concept. Once you reach two dream layers in though, stop watching. That's as good as the film will get. At this point, the film trips on its own shoe-lace and face-plants in to a pile of fresh bull excrement, getting caught up in its own nonsensically self-indulgent concepts of dreams within dreams within dreams within dreams WITHIN DREAMS WITHIN DREASFSDGDHKSANFASFDBARBARASTREISAND. It ceases to be clever because the relatively unique concept becomes convoluted in an attempt to come off as more intelligent than it could possibly be.

Then the ending. I'm not going to complain that the film was left on a cliff-hanger, that's fine. If anything, there was no way they could resolve the plot-line considering how contrived in idiocy the film had become by that point. What I can't forgive though is how such an open-ended finale gave ammunition to the relentless internet drones discussing the profundity of the film in an attempt to justify their £10 cinema ticket. People were freeze-framing the final part to (look away if you don't want a spoiler) establish if the children were real and if the spinning top looked like it might fall over. Let it go. If you have nothing better to do with your time than callously take apart the last few seconds of a film and examine whether or not the physics of the spinning top show that it might fall over, then you really need to re-evaluate your life. Do you really think the film makers thought as much about the physics of a spinning top as you did? No, because they have lives, a job, friends, family and leave their house on a daily basis. Take a page from their book and shut up about Inception.

*If anyone knows what Decap Attack is without Googling it, they get a biscuit of their choice from me.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

44. New Year's resolutions

^ Definitely relate to Calvin's logic here.

New Year's resolutions are pointless simply because there is no value in marking something as arbitrary as the beginning of the year with misguided goals and aims. A person can't just magically reinvent themselves because their calendar has gone from 2010 to 2011. Self-improvement is a gradual process that requires dedication and effort and New Year's resolutions are usually quickly forgotten half-way through January. No one sticks to them - if the resolution they had come up with was so important, they would have started acting upon it earlier, rather than waiting for such a non-event to kick-start it. Resolutions that are forced are doomed to abject failure. If you're out of shape, you'll probably remain unfit in the new year. If you drink too much, nothing about the new year is going to break that habit. If you're unadventurous, you're hardly going to become exciting as soon as the 1st of January strikes. You're still a fat, drunk, boring dolt who nobody loves (I felt that last part probably comes with the other characteristics).

I'm not against setting goals and targets for yourself. On the contrary, I actually think it's a very beneficial process that can really help in the relentless struggle of life. What I am against is the complete lack of thought that comes with New Year's resolutions, as they are only ever really done for the sake of it. The new year means nothing. There is no reason we should all eagerly eye up the clock at 11:59 and count down to the beginning of yet another year. Ultimately, nothing ever changes unless we're proactive. The beginning of the year is not a fresh start, everything remains as putrid as before. Deal with it.

In summary: My New Year's resolution is not to make any New Year's resolutions because New Year's resolutions are moot. If I want to make some semblance of a positive change in my life, I'm not going to wait around for January to get started.

P.S. Happy new year!