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.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

57. Pineapple on pizza

I'm willing to put most things on pizza. Any variety of meat, most vegetables, fried eggs, even the collected works of Shakespeare goat's cheese are all suitable toppings for pizza. Really, pizza is quite fair game... except for fruit. Fruit doesn't suit pizza (other than tomatoes, smart-arse. If they count as fruit, I don't even know anymore). I can't put my finger on it entirely, admittedly, but I think it has something to do with warm, squidgy fruit tasting like suffering when mixed with fried cheese and delicious ham. And yet, ham and pizza is such a ubiquitous topping. So much so that when I worked at Pizza Express, people would ask why there was no ham and pineapple pizza on offer on the menu and ask if the chef could prepare one. Of course, the chef couldn't because Pizza Express makes good pizza and doesn't keep pineapple in stock. The outrage some people expressed at this was baffling. Just get the pizza with fried egg on it, you slack-jawed pizza urchin.

Call this pizza-based elitism, but you know I'm right. Pineapple is not an authentic Italian ingredient for any pizza, but more than that, it tastes horrible. It doesn't belong with melted cheese and it definitely doesn't belong alongside cooked meat. How anyone can stomach that abomination without retching up a yellow splurge stuns me.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

56. The term "nom", "nomming" or any other ridiculous extension of it

^ Okay, this picture is so cute it warms my heart. Well, the cold, shriveled and blackened prune where my heart should probably be.

"Nom" is one of those little phrases that rears its unoriginal head all over the internet, primarily in the context of cutesy animals eating food. Adorable. Or at least, it used to be before the entire internet decided they would use the phrase more often than the word "like" punctuates their meaningless statements.

"Nom" and its variants are kind of onomatopoeic in the context of animals, so I'll let it slide there. I'd even let it slide in the case of Pac-Man, because it makes a bit more sense than"WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA". But when real people start using it to denote their eating activity, usually in the context of declarations as obnoxious as "PIZZA?! OM NOM NOM", it ceases to be endearing. Instead it becomes an annoyingly turgid and unflattering phrase. Ultimately, you are not a cute, lovable animal. Indeed, you are neither a "lolcat" or some other internet meme. You are a grown human with no concept of reality who needs to be taken to the vet to be put down.

55. People who stop on staircases

^All these people are really in the way. Inconsiderate sods.

Stairs. You know stairs. The non-moving escalators. The ones you reluctantly drag your animated corpse up whenever the lift isn't working. Yeah, you know stairs. They're pretty essential to every day life, provided you're not a lonely hermit in a bungalow. And if you are, bully for you.

Stairs are usually just about wide enough for two rows of people to use them, one row going up and the other, surprisingly, going down. So, what happens when two members of these rows recognise each other and they wish to converse? Why, they stop and talk. On the stairs. In the way of every one else who was currently using the aforementioned stairs. And so, everyone has to stop ascending or descending the stairs as Joe Knob-Gobbler and Jamina Pig-Features discuss the intricate ins and outs of just how drunk Steve Statitis got last night. It's not like you're in the way or anything, is it?

This entire debacle can be made worse, however. Specifically, on double-decker buses in London. There is nothing worse than someone waiting at the top of the bus stairs, waiting for someone to vacate the upper-deck so they can grab a seat. Think of it like this; when someone does leave their seat, they need to go downstairs. But they can't go downstairs, because you're in the way. There is barely any space for either party to get past each other because this is a narrowly confined bus. A stalemate occurs when seat-evacuee and seat-grabber can't get past each other, because the latter party thought waiting at the top of the narrow, confined, tight, uncomfortable staircase was a sensible idea. It wasn't. Wait at the bottom of the stairs like everybody else, you twunt.

Basically, it boils down to this. If you're on the stairs and you're not moving, I will rectify that by pushing you down them.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

54. Sex and the City

^ Sarah Jessica Parker (above) plays lead anti-feminist, Carrie Bradshaw.

My beef with Sex and the City is similar to that of my beef with women's magazines, albeit S&TC is probably more harmful on a global scale.

For the few of you who have mercifully managed to avoid this completely narcissistic bilge of psuedo-feminine-empowerment gone horrifically wrong, let me fill you in. Sex and the City follows the exploits of four "empowered" women who, when they're not desperately plastering their aging faces in relentless amounts of slap and wearing expensive clothes, are found in cosmopolitan settings such as cafes and bars, drinking some description of a trendy beverage and guffawing about men - whether or not a certain man likes them, whether that man is good in bed, what men mean to them, whether that man has a big penis, whether all men have penises etc. It's a bit like Loose Women, except everyone is stick thin and tied together by a poorly written narrative. Also, the lead character is played by a horse - a well made-up horse, but a horse nevertheless.

Despairingly, lead failure Carrie "I'm a God-Damn Horse" Bradshaw, tends to book-end episodes with the insipidly dim-witted weekly sex column she writes for some magazine. Now, all throughout the show, the dominant theme is that these are liberated women. These are independent women. These are women who don't need men in their lives in order to be successful. This is how the modern woman should act. And yet, any notions of "independence" are quickly quelled by Carrie regurgitating the collective desperation of her group of friends in her column. Splurging about how she wants to find the "right guy" on an almost daily basis, it becomes achingly clear that our four "modern women" all seek men in a hackneyed attempt to validate themselves. These aren't role models. These are pathetic caricatures of spoilt hags. This is a joke of progressive television. There is nothing liberating about so strongly associating female independence with self-involvement, superficiality, shallow values and flaunting money. I'm glad I'm not a woman, otherwise I'd find it personally insulting.

I could almost let this go. Almost. If it wasn't for the film Sex and the City 2. It's portrayal of the Middle East is nothing short of borderline racist. The gabby four's Western values clash with Muslim customs throughout, not in the least coming to a head (easy!) with regards to Samantha "I'm So Desperate To Prove I'm Sexuality Active" Jones being arrested for public indecency after fondling a guy's balls. Classy. But when the mischievous girl gang get saved by a bunch of veiled Muslim women, things go horrifically awry. The latter group eventually take off their "oppressive" clothing for to reveal that, underneath, they share the same fashion sense as our American girls, boasting make up and "fashionable" clothing! Because that doesn't imply that every culture secretly wishes to subvert their religious or traditional values to be a spoilt monstrosity of Western superficiality! In foolishly attempting to make a comment about Western ideals of sexual egalitarianism in comparison to say that of Islam, S&tC basically just ends up insulting a varied and widely practiced religion, ignoring the relatively progressive nature of the United Arab Emirates for ill-informed stereotypes (at least, in the context of female empowerment) and highlighting just how utterly misguided values are in the Western media and entertainment. Style does not equal empowerment, you git-wizards.

It really warms the cockles of my heart to see unanimously loved visual vomit such as Sex and the City not only proliferate stereotypes regarding gender in our own society, but also to cast aspersions on the cultural backwardness of others that it clearly has no understanding of. Wait. No, it doesn't. It repulses me.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

53. Enemies who don't understand the etiquette of mutual hatred

^ The best thing about Super Smash Bros. Brawl was finally seeing these enemies bash seven shades out of each other.
I've not made a lot of enemies in my life, nor do I intend to. I very rarely hold grudges and generally can't be bothered to invest genuine emotional energy in disliking someone as much as to even call them an "enemy". But every once in a while, you will meet someone who you simply do not click with. Not only that, but they actively offend you by their mere presence. And, granted, you offend them in a similar manner. In each other's eyes, you are nothing but a Berkosaurus Rex waiting for extinction. That's fine. You can't get along with everyone. Hopefully, you'll never run in to each other and just generally stay out of the other's life. You'll ignore one another and everything will be dandy.

But sometimes life just isn't that easy. Sometimes you're forced in to a situation where direct contact with your figure of hatred is not only obligatory, but necessary. Most of the time, this is a difficult affair where both parties try their hardest to bite and dullen sharpened tongues. After all, you don't want to make your shared acquaintances uncomfortable just because you two have some petty and nonsensical feud. That's just unfair on them.

This situation is always made one hundred times worse when one party doesn't get the position they're putting everyone else in and immediately proceeds to make rude comments at their enemy's expense. The antagonistic commentary doesn't serve to belittle their enemy however. Rather, it just cements them as an utter whore for drama whose own deluded sense of self-worth grossly overpowers their ability to use tact and self control in the interest of not placing friends in an intensely awkward situation. It's nothing but sheer karma when their target responds with nothing but civility, as the perpetrator has just made a fool of themselves in front of all their own friends. Well played, you nuclear numbskull.

If you're going to hate someone, at least learn to do it without making other people think you're a spiteful cow, eh?

52. People who claim they "get" you.

^ These guys get each other. You get me?

Friends are great. Contrary to this misanthropic slice of internet I call The List, I really quite like some people in real life. For some reason or another we click - maybe they like sarcastic humour, perhaps they enjoy the 1980s, mayhaps they're massive nerds or possibly they engage me in lengthy discussions about the pros and cons of the Manic Street Preachers' discography. Different friends have different appeals and variety is the spice of life.

Amongst these friends, there will be a small group who really understand you - more so than anyone else seems to. I could probably count the ones who "get" me on one hand. Not that I'm belittling the others, they're all lovely too. But more than anything about someone who gets you is there is both a shared thought process and an ability to put yourselves in one another's shoes with relative ease. It's sort of like empathy on another level. You don't need to explain yourself all of the time, simply because they get where you're coming from. And so it is infuriating when someone who isn't of that caliber states that they get you. Because they don't.

If you're at a stage of friendship where you need to tell the other person that you get them, that you know what makes them tick and that you comprehend their reasoning, then you're merely clutching at straws to make your friendship seem more important than it is. The problem with claiming to get someone you don't is that you will forcefully project so many relentless beliefs upon them in an attempt to validate your claim - you'll act like you know what kind of things they like, you'll be shocked and offended when they tell you otherwise, you'll constantly ask them questions that reveal how little you actually know about them and you'll continue this process of making baseless assumptions of your victim in an ill-thought out attempt to make them think you're on the same level. You're not, you're just too blinded by your own desperation for real friendship to actually spend time getting to know them.

Close friends don't need to constantly reassure each other that they're close friends. It's that simple.

N.B. I have used the word "get" so many times in this entry that the entire word is beginning to lose all sense of meaning. I'm not even sure it meant anything in the first place now.

51. Taking photos in club toilets

^ I thought it would be rude / possibly illegal to copy photos from Facebook acquaintances that exemplify my point so here is a deep and profound image that speaks volumes about the sheer futility of life in an adorable fashion.

I can't actually fathom this one. You're on a night out and, as has become almost too standard a procedure, someone has brought along a camera so you can ruthlessly document every aspect of the evening. Forget actually enjoying your night, it's far more important to show others you're having a wild night out by posing for photographs, uploading them all to Facebook and making it seem as if you live an active life and many friends. You don't and your complete obsession with visual validation on social networking sites is ridiculous. However, I'm willing to accept this happens a lot - photos of forced "good" times are standard affair. Whatevs. Cool beans.

Where things get a bit bizarre is when examining the location of the photo. Specifically, when you realise that the photo of the person on your Facebook news feed is of them in a toilet. Now, I'm ruthlessly opposed to gender stereotyping but this does seem to only ever occur with girls - mainly because if it occurred in a men's toilet, there would be a lot of... urinal usage and wang. I can understand taking photos out around the dance-floor, the bar, maybe even outside the club, but what about an area where people excrete bodily fluids and occasionally solids seems like a prime venue for photography? I don't care if there are cubicles, it's still odd.

A lot of these toilet based photos seem to involve mirrors and so I'm jumping to the possibly baseless conclusion that you want to take the "perfect" photo of yourself. Are you really so vain that you have to preen in front of your misleading reflection before you commit any image of yourself to camera? Are you that proud of your hideous fake tan, miscoloured lips, Snuffleupagus eyelashes and domestically abused hair? Just because you think you look perfect, doesn't mean anyone else does.

I think I kind of lost my train of thought there. You're grotesque and shouldn't take photos in the toilets. All of you. That'll do.