Saturday, November 5, 2011

Things I Absolutely, Positively Hate

I'm not entirely sure if my blog has "staples" - and what I mean by "staples" are recurring features; nowadays my blog has become somewhat scatterbrained, but if anything, I like the new direction of my humourous cynicism towards my own life, because not everyone enjoys reading woes.  There's no point to living without a touch of humour, and there no point to writing if there's no point to living (considering I write what I live), and thus by default there's no point to writing without a touch of humour.  (aha, an enthymeme; Aristotle would be proud) I've digressed.  Back to my original point: I've read many blogs where recurring features such as weekly questions-and-answers or what have you are featured, and I don't think I've ever really done that, but if I had to pin down the closest I've come to creating this, I can come up with two: the first, My Drunk Blog, which in reality only exists to make my drunken ramblings "redeemable" (if that's possible), is a bit too unpredictable, a bit too problematic and a bit too despicable.

The second - and we finally get to the meat of my intended point (if you feel the need to punch me because of my verbal embellishment, do so; it's like an untamed monster that's been once again released due to the amount of academia language I've had to use for my schoolwork) - would be the Things I [adverb] Hate, which are always quite fun to write because it lets me get unabashedly heated towards the things that make my skin crawl.  In the past, I've had such posts as Things I Hate, More Things I Hate, and, most recently (and, curiously, most verbally polished; hooray for a visible progression of the quality of my writing!), Things I Really Hate.  Christ on a stick, I'm a hateful person!  Again, I'm not entirely sure I'd count this as a concrete staple to my blog (given that I don't have a scheduled time in which I post these - I think a biweekly hate would be a little bit too much), but on the flipside, I should hope that when you, my fine reader, think about my blog to yourself, one of the first things to stick out in your mind is "that Matt sure hates a lot of things - but it's so funny!  And, goodness, he's attractive."*


You might have concluded by now - well, you have had a fair bit of time to do so.. - that I'm about to launch into yet another Things I [Absolutely, Positively] Hate post, because 1. it's been a while and 2. there's only so long I can go with this internal hatred before I explode from not sharing it.  (oh, and I guess another big clue might've been the title..) You'll notice that I'm sometimes only half serious, because, recall, I base a significant amount of this on humour; even with that in mind, my troubles do come from a real place, but in some cases, just rest assured that I am not actually as worked up about it as it might seem - the magic of hyperbole!

Things I Absolutely, Positively Hate

Victims.  No, I don't mean victims to crime.  How the hell could I hate someone who's been robbed?  I'm not that bad of a person.  Many times in my life - for reasons unbeknownst to me, but I guess I'll always be trapped in this sort of cruel cycle - I've had to deal with people who, when thrust into sticky confrontations, immediately retreat from said confrontation, and through their stepping away from responsibility they assume the role of the victim and thereby push the role of the "villain" (or, in plainer, non-comic book superhero terms, the one who's "over-reacting") onto the other (or, me).  It's infuriating, because the second a person steps away from actually assuming responsibility in an issue, they assign themselves total innocence and therefore make the opposite person seem like they're a raving lunatic.  I'm hoping this makes sense.  This isn't just at a basic level of a discrepancy between to people, no; what I've spelled out can be translated to any significant hardship in life, and the moment something goes the slightest bit awry, victims curl up in defeat.  These people who constantly whine and insert themselves into victimized situations need to grow up and face the reality of the world - one can't expect for everything to get better if one traps oneself in a nest of "woe is me," and brooding in this nest won't pacify anything.  The world is tough.  Things don't work out.  Something I've learned to accept is no matter how mature you are or how positive you are in your outlook, there will always be someone around you who's still stuck in self-depreciation or who has a twisted outlook on what they do or say; that's the world.  For goodness sake, don't take solace in making yourself the victim: live up to your maturity and tackle your pitiful problems in stride.

Mature students.  I love the idea of an older person (I use the term "older" cautiously, but I mean not of the average age of a university student) returning to a post-secondary institution for a degree, but I hate it when these older people become the shining pupils in your classes and therefore make you (and the rest of your similarly aged peers) look bad.  Take for instance an older woman in one of my English classes; she answers every one of my professor's questions, and it's to the point where my professor has even made remarks like "why don't the rest of you care as much as [this person] does?"  I realize I'm coming across as a total douchebag with respect to this subheading, but recalling some people I've had this conversation with in the past, they agree with what I'm saying because they, too, have had this elusive older student upstage them.*

*I am seriously not an asshole.  It's refreshing to see someone like that still passionate about school, and I have nothing but respect; but shush already.

Participation marks in class.  What the hell is the point of allocating 10% of your final grade to participation?  I'm at the point (in my third year) where I've nearly become an entirely autonomous student; that is, I attend lectures and take notes on what my professors have said, but I make my own understandings of the material through my own learning at home both before and after receiving the framework of the critical thinking from my instructors.  That being said, I don't enjoy speaking in class - you'd think I'd advocate it, what with just explaining how I make my own ideas about things which would probably benefit others reading it, but they can suck it.  It irks me when professors, at the beginning of the semester, say "it's alright if you don't like speaking up in class, not everyone is comfortable with that" - only to implement "10% of your mark is based on your conversation in class."  What?  I even, a few weeks ago, had a professor compliment one of my papers (it set the rest of my week off to be fantastic), and whilst talking to me she said "you're really shy, and I can tell!  It's okay you don't speak in class" - only to call on me twice during the lecture.  "Matt, why don't you give us your thoughts?"  No. :(

Manufactured pop singers.  It's no secret that current popular music (and by "popular," I judge what's put on heavy rotation on the radio and what's topping the Billboard charts) is largely dominated by women - think about it: we're in the time of Gaga, Adele, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, dare I even say Ke$ha (she somehow keeps returning to that number one position..), Beyonce, and Justin Bieber.  Naturally, I'm all for Gaga (no, really?), and I love her because her sound is fresh, her image is intriguing and underneath it all she has the voice to back it up.  What bothers me is the kind of success that people like Katy Perry and Rihanna are receiving, when I would fully argue that neither is particularly a good live artist, but rather, they're heavily reliant on the manufacturing of their songs.  It bothers me that a song like "We Found Love" is able to top the Billboard 100 when a song like "The Edge of Glory" cannot (and I don't say that with a personal bias: Edge of Glory is simply a flawless pop song, and it's undeniable); it bothers me that WFL consists of perhaps ten unique lines of lyric repeated constantly; it bothers me that Rihanna touts her eleventh number one when she quite literally put in the minimal effort - as far as I'm concerned, the most shining aspect of the song is the beat, and she has nothing to do with that. And don't even get me started on Katy Perry: she is 100% a manufactured machine to spew out hit after carbon-copy hit destined to invade the public's iPod and car radio.  At the end of the day I'm not overly bothered by this; I'm able to retreat to the music I consider to be good, and as far as Lady Gaga is concerned (it's a crime she's only had three number ones..), her success is astronomical, and she'll be the one remembered in twenty years.  Katy who?

That's quite enough hate for one day.

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