My Least Favorite Things of 2011 — so far …

Since I’ve already waxed rhapsodic about 2011, I’ll dive right into my least favorite things of 2011 — in no particular order of course.

1) GOP candidates. See yesterday’s post, but I’ll add the Tea Party too. What a bunch of loons. First, I love how they call themselves a “grass roots movement.” Hate to break it to you folks, but it’s not a grass roots movement since it is backed by the Koch Brothers and Fox News. Also, you wear your racism on your sleeve and that’s completely despicable. We have a Black President. Get over it and grow up.

2) Graphics Interchange Format, or aka GIFs. My god I hate these things. To me, they’re the white trash of the Internet, the bratty kid of social media who picks his nose then flings his boogers at you. In my opinion, writers who rely on GIFs to tell a story or to get their point across, are lazy and shouldn’t call themselves writers. You’re a frustrated animator who couldn’t get into CalArts but are in LOVE with ALL THINGS Pixar.

To those of you who don’t know what a GIF is, it’s well, I’m not going to waste perfectly good typing on it so I’ll let webopedia.com do the heavy lifting for me:

Pronounced jiff or giff (hard g) stands for graphics interchange format, a bit-mapped graphics file format used by the World Wide WebCompuServe and many BBSs. GIF supports color and various resolutions. It also includes data compression, but because it is limited to 256 colors, it is more effective for scanned images such as illustrations rather than color photos.

In other words, this:

(you need to click on both to see what I mean)

Aaaand this one.

Make. It. Stop.

 3) Auto-tune. This audio tool from hell was invented to take the talent-free and turn them into stars. Soon, music fans will only want to hear crappy shit that’s been auto-tuned, instead of those with real talent (who also — GASP — write THEIR OWN SONGS) like Paul Weller, the Black Crowes, Los Lobos, Elvis Costello … et-ceteraaaa … et-ceteraaaa …

4) Embracing mediocrity. A society that finds the Kardashian Klan intriguing is a doomed society.

Why are these people famous? They have really nothing to offer society, or anyone beyond their property lines. I find their antics, as well as those people who find them remotely important and newsworthy, to be one of the worst traits of my fellow human beings. I hope someone will explain this whole embracing mediocrity phenom to me soon. Is it because things are so shitty everywhere and folks are that stupid that they feel the need to worship those just as stupid? Is it because they see the success of the room-temperature IQ crowd as obtainable? And, while you’re at it, please show me a Venn Diagram as to why “The Jersey Shore” and Beyonce are useful and important. It pains me to think about the level of the mind that finds any of the aforementioned people necessary for the survival of the human race.

I bet Andy Warhol is rolling over in his grave and is quite amused at how well these folks have stretched out their 15 minutes of fame.

5) Not getting invited to key parties. This needs no further explanation.

6) Being unemployed. Not a new topic for me. It’s a bone of contention for a country where the unemployment rate is hovering around 9 percent. It’s frustrating and unnecessary, but there isn’t much I can do about it except spend two months out west looking for work.

7) War. What IS it good for really?

8) The death of ________. Lots of famous folks died so far in 2011. The ones I will miss are Elizabeth Taylor, Nick Ashford, Christopher Hitchens, Al Davis, Wangari Maathai, Andy Rooney and Andrew Gold.

The ones I will really miss are Steve Jobs …

and Uncle Leo …

and Sidney Lumet.

Finally, I will miss her the most.

Thank you all for contributions, your faults and and letting us see your joy, laughter and pain.

When the sky went gray …

… You didn’t turn away/Somehow we had to stay together…

Nick Ashford died this week at the age of 70. Along with his wife Valerie Simpson, they wrote some of the finest lyrics in recent history, including “Solid” released in 1984. It was one of THE funnest songs EVER to sing along to. I have fond memories of driving the freeways of LA, singing along with my crappy radio not caring who saw, or even heard, my dulcet tones. It was probably more like screaming, but it was fun nonetheless, especially when I had a crooner-in-crime, like John Groom, singing Nick’s part.

Ashford’s death wasn’t the only notable music industry death this week. Jerry Leiber, who wrote such memorable songs as “Hound Dog,” “Stand By Me,” and “Is That All There Is?” with his writing partner Mike Stoller, died at age 78 on August 22. This morning, I watched a snippet of an interview he did for CBS back in the ’90s. The reporter asked why he and Stoller wrote mainly R&B songs, and I’m paraphrasing here, Leiber said that Black folks were nicer, cooler and easier to write for than White folks. That’s a helluva tribute.

RIP, Mr. Leiber. I doubt the music business will ever experience anyone quite like you or Mr. Ashford ever again.

Now, onto the FUN.

The East Coast was rocked by two huge-ass forces of nature this week: an earthquake and a hurricane. Having survived many an earthquake whilst living in LA, I was nonplussed about the earth shaking up things a bit. I watched the reactions of folks on Twitter and Facebook with the right amount of smugness. Sure, it’s scary, but what they experienced was nothing compared to quakes I’ve been through. It brought back memories of being semi-buried under debris right after Northridge in 1994.

Hurricanes are another matter. I’ve never experienced one–just the leftovers of the ones that mosey up the Mississippi River after unleashing their terror on the Gulf Coast. I was impressed by the preparedness by the states in the hurricane’s path.

Looks like lessons were learned after Katrina. I should fucking hope so. While we’re on the subject of music, this song is quite appropriate for Irene & her aftermath.

This site is awesome. The entries are only a few sentences, but they bring stirring and sometimes funny scenarios to mind.

What the shit is the matter with Florida? I know, I know, the answer is a long one but it has to be answered. Maybe not all at once, but something has to be said about the assfuckery that’s going on in America’s Wang. How the hell Rick Scott got elected is beyond me. Same with Marco Rubio. Both of these half-wits haven’t been paying attention to anything but their (probably) limp, tiny peens to get that what they’re proposing for the citizens of Florida is downright dangerous and stupid. Completely out of touch they both are, and if they’re considered the future of the GOP then the best solution is to pull back and nuke Florida from space. It’s the only way to be sure.

I’d take Blago over Scott any day. Sure, Blago’s a tool, but he’s OUR tool!

This is probably fake but, dammit, it’s fucking hilarious. I wish I could write funny too.

Finally….

This is probably a smart move. One wouldn’t want to be upstaged by the smart guy.