More Stuff I — UH — Dislike

hate

Last week, I mentioned that hate was strictly verboten in the 21st Century.  I was only half kidding.  Think about it!  These days, about the only thing you can hate with any certainty is Hitler.  And if we keep going along this path, someday/someone/somewhere is going to start talking about child abuse and poverty, and even Adolf might get off the hook.  Personally, I think in the future, we’re going to have to buy a license to hate, and only rich people will be able to afford it.  But until then, here are a few more things I – uh – dislike very, very much.

The New Normal – One more “New Normal” and I’m going to scream!  Normal happens, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  When I was a kid, it was “normal” to write letters to your friends — with a pen — on paper.  Since then, we’ve been through at least three “new normals,” and — like it or don’t — there are a bunch more to come.  Get used to it!

People who use “for” and “of” when they should be using “about.” — English is a precise language because we have a bunch of prepositions that do a specific job — and they’re not interchangeable.  Jack just farted.  If you are embarrassed “for” him, it means you feel sorry he accidently made a social faux pas.  If you are embarrassed “about” him, it means he’s a jerk.  And if you are embarrassed “of” him, you’re talking gibberish – go home!

Covid Excuses – “Hello!  Your call is important to us.  However, due to Covid-19, even though we’re still the same lazy bastards we always were, you can’t bitch about it.  Have a nice day!”

Age is embarrassing — Our world is awash with instructions, coaching, counselling and good old-fashioned unwanted advice about everything from surviving puberty to buying a better divorce.  However, once you hit about 60, it’s as if you just caught a disease that’s not socially acceptable — and everybody wants to avoid the subject.

“Well, you didn’t hear this from me, but I heard Marvin got 61.”
“OMG!”
”Yeah, last week.  But I don’t think they’ve told the children yet.”
“Are you sure?  I was just talking to him.  He didn’t look any different.”
“Elsie told me in strictest confidence — you know — it’s not something you just blab around the neighbourhood.”
“Yeah, that’s true, but the poor thing!  She must be so worried.  They say 61 is contagious.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that too, but it’s not like you can just go ask somebody.  I mean really … that’s – well – you know.”
“Yeah, I know.  Elsie was awfully brave telling you.  I feel so sorry for her.  Have the aches and pains started?”
“She didn’t say, and I wasn’t about to ask, but she kinda hinted that he’s been watching Wheel of Fortune.
“Oh!  That’s so-o-o bad!  You know, I’ve never told anybody this, but my parents had 61 – both of them.”
“That’s terrible.  You’d think they’d have discovered a cure by now.”

“Sorry!” – In the 21st century, this is the universal “Get Out Of Jail Free” card.  If Jack the Ripper were alive today, all he’d have to do is go on Instagram or Twitter and say he is sorry, and he’d be back on the street in a week.

Doom Scrolling – You can’t get away from it.  Every website on the planet is busy telling us just how screwed we really are.  They all want a piece of the action.  Even the Facebook kittens are wearing masks!  It’s like living in a Michael Moore documentary.

And finally:

Covid Conspiracies – Human history is a litany of stupidity, and the last few decades have produced some serious gold medals in the Idiot Olympics.  So the rhetorical question has got to be: where did all these Covid supervillains come from?  It beggars the imagination that the same people who’ve never understood basic economics, can’t agree on Climate Change and haven’t been able to figure out who’s been doing what to whom in the Middle East for over 70 years, are now somehow manipulating a pandemic to control the planet.  Puh-lease!  Maybe it’s just that the Flat Earth Society has contacted Elvis on Venus from an ancient Mayan transmitter.  He will return to Earth at the Denver Airport as The Leader Of The New World Order, and they will do battle with the Illuminati and the Freemasons in a three-way fight to force mind control facemasks on an unsuspecting public.

Now that sounds legit!

Jobs In The 21st Century

jobs

Like the elves of Middle Earth, jobs are leaving these shores and they’re not coming back.  These days, if you are a travel agent, cashier, bank teller, journalist, or in any one of the other 1,001 person-to-person professions of the 20th century – you’d better start looking over your shoulder.  In the next decade, your paycheque is going to go the way of the dinosaur.  Quite frankly, blacksmiths will have better employment opportunities than you will.  Luckily, however, economics is a survival of the fittest science, and it’s already creating a shedload of new careers.  Here’s just a small sampling of the new jobs being created in the 21st century.  The crazy thing is – for the most part — these are real.

Harassment Officer –This is the only job in history that’s totally dependent on the employee NOT doing the job.  Think about it!  If a Harassment Officer actually puts a stop to harassment in the workplace, they’re out of a job.

Social Media Consultant – Apparently, there are still people on this planet who don’t know how Facebook, Instagram and Twitter work.

Millennial Generation Expert – Yes, companies hire people to try and figure out what makes their younger employees tick.  My best guess is they wander around the office telling everybody under 30 they’re “awesome” and then, once a week, they give out trophies.

Personal Shopper – This job has been around for a while, but it still amazes me that some people hire people to buy presents for the friends and relatives they can’t be bothered going to Walmart for.

Bikini Waxer – Back in the day, personal grooming was – uh – personal. Now we get professionals in on the plot.  My question is how do these people learn their trade?  Where are the schools?

Cloud Services Specialist – I have no idea what the hell these people do.

Activist – These are the people who make a career out of being pissed off.

Grant Writer – These are the people who convince rich people to give them money to pay the people who’ve made a career out of being pissed off.

Uber Driver – Simplest job in the world.  All you have to do is go to Uber.com and sign up.  According to one person I talked to, Uber doesn’t even check to see if you actually have a car.

Influencer – We used to call these people shills. They worked carnivals and sideshows, trying to entice the local folk into spending their money on rigged games and cheap gadgets.  These days, they prowl the Internet and confine their activities to promoting perfumes and overpriced designer clothes.

Ethical Sourcing Officer – These are the people who make sure the Asian sweatshops aren’t beating the children who make those overpriced designer clothes.

Jean Ripper – I don’t know whether this is a real job or not, but somebody’s got to be ripping those overpriced designer jeans.

But my two favourites are:

Content Creator – These are the people who have YouTube channels, podcasts and — the grandmother of them all — blogs.  Yep, people actually get paid for wasting your time.

Content Reader – These are people who spend their days checking the contents of YouTube channels, podcasts and — the grandmother of them all — blogs.  Yep, people actually get paid for wasting their own time.

When the gods are changing

It’s hard to live in a time when the gods are changing, but it’s loads of fun, too.  This transitional world we live in is so full of cool it’s difficult to sort things out.  So many neat things are going on right now that I’m totally pissed I’m never going to see where they end up in 50 or 100 years.  Honestly, I haven’t completely comprehended our world since back in the 20th century.  Sometime around the Y2K scam, I started to lose track, and even though I faked it for a couple more years, the gaps in my understanding just got too big.  Now, like old underwear, there are far too many holes in my knowledge to ever claim decency again.  Fortunately, the world has gotten so large that I can just narrow my focus, avoid the stuff I don’t recognize, and keep on moving.  There are certain things that I miss from the old world, though; things that were quaint and homey and comfortable.

For example, I miss quiet contemplation on the bus.  In the olden days, people on buses used to sit there, stunned, staring straight ahead.  They read books and newspapers.  They decided what to have for dinner.  They mulled over their problems.  They carried open bags with their new possessions in them.  Sometimes, they talked to each other in that secret mono-voice reserved for private words in public places.  They looked out the windows and thought about their lovers.  Buses were romantic places.  These days, buses are full of people who stand when there are seats available and boldly declare to their invisible friends that they are indeed on the bus.

I miss babysitters, too.  I think it’s too bad that a whole generation of young people are probably going to have to resort to prostitution to pay for their music and hairstyles.  Babysitters should have been made an essential service — years ago.  They allow us to have time.  Sometimes, adults need adults only.  There’s something relaxing about having a second cup of coffee after dinner when somebody else is going to do the dishes.

Restaurants are made for love affairs because they capture time for the person you’re with.  A few years ago, the one requirement for a quiet evening like this was that the chairs in the restaurant weren’t made of plastic.  These days, however, most restaurants offer complimentary crying babies or young families eager to share their experience.  It’s difficult to have a trivial conversation when 4-year-old Kay-lee (with a K) at the next table is pffting her potatoes and going for distance.  In the olden days, a good babysitter would have saved both those marriages.

And I miss newspapers: those big Sunday thumpers that killed half a forest to make and half a morning to read.  They had complete sections that you could trade across the breakfast table.  They were big enough to fold, so you could drink your morning coffee.  They were lazy with long stories.  They had movies you wanted to see and places you wanted to go.  They had columnists from faraway Chicago and Frisco, who caused discussions and arguments, and the loser made breakfast.  And they had crossword puzzles that might take all day — even with help.  Today, news and opinion are a solitary business backlit and scrolling, rushed through on our way to somewhere else, over a breakfast we can eat with our hands.

And I don’t like “relationships.”  They’re artificial affairs.  They’re built on the premise that the squiggy feeling in the bottom of your belly has a beginning, a middle and an end.  They take too much thought and are almost corporate in their planning.  Following their path is like playing a video game where each success leads you to the next level — more difficult with bigger dangers – until, finally, it’s too familiar to play anymore.  I prefer the olden days when people had love affairs that began by accident — at places like bus stops.  They took time to unfold, over longer and longer, long evenings.  And even though they always began as separate adventures, unlike relationships, love affairs got passed back and forth so many times that they became a jungle of intertwisted experience that can never be understood separately again.

This isn’t a brave new world we live in; it’s a brilliant place, with new and exciting things going on, all the time.   And even though, most days, I can’t wait for tomorrow, I still like the feel of yesterday.