Opinions are like assholes, in more ways than one. There was a time when people could keep their scents to themselves and those in the immediate vicinity, but then along came social media like a megaphone for butts and suddenly everyone’s blasting their e-romas across the globe.
Horrifying simile aside, it’s not so bad until they congregate and decide to draw lines in the digital sand. We’ve all seen those little pictures pop up on our Facebook feeds making blanket statements in Impact font. Those innocuous little doodads used to make funny observations about cats and ridicule celebrities, but they’ve been twisted into beacons for gathering thousands of like-minded b-holes under one pixelated banner.
There is a silver lining, though. Their openness with everyone saves you from the awkward silence that follows the revelation that you may, in fact, hate them. But sometimes for your own sanity, you have to let people know how much they stink.
These are the assholes I’m tired of smelling.
1. “I think girls look better without make-up.”
There’s this fantastic movement going on right now to change the public perception of “beauty”. People are sick of advertisers telling them they should aspire to look like those rail-thin models when it’s neither genetically possible nor physically practical to eat nothing and have a normal job that doesn’t involve old dudes taking pictures of their semi-nudity. Slowly but surely, the public is warming to the idea that beauty can be found in imperfections. And then there’s make-up.
In a desperate attempt to escape the friend-zone, “sensitive” guys will often post something akin to, “I don’t like when girls wear make-up. I like natural beauties.” It’s a thinly-veiled plot to appear progressive and forward-thinking because chicks are into that crap. But what they’re really saying is, “I like girls who are beautiful without make-up.” Well, no shit.
Invasive surgical procedures non-withstanding, we can’t really change the face they’re born with. Until science finds a way to cherry-pick genetics (and grants me my tiger-otter-chameleon sidekick) we’re stuck working with what we’ve got. Sometimes that’s a complexion that turns heads in a rainstorm; sometimes it’s a mug only a mother could love. Begrudgingly. No matter where they fall in the Punnett square, the reality is that people just look better with make-up.
I grew up with two older sisters, so I have a pretty good idea of the stark differences between girls who are and aren’t wearing make-up. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both beautiful with and without it [Ed note: cue warm and fuzzies], but the aren’t attempting to deceive people into thinking they’re perfect. It’s just good grooming habits.
You know what happens when you wear a tank top and board shorts to a wedding? People call you a slob (unless it’s beach-themed in which case, ew). That doesn’t make them shallow. Being terrible at dressing for the occasion is your fault, not theirs for having standards for how they present themselves to the public. Appropriate make-up, like clothes, varies depending on the situation. It’s no different than putting extra time into your hair for a date or wearing your “nice” jeans to the homecoming dance.
Yes, sometimes they can overdo it. There’s no need for ravish-me red lipstick when hitting the drive-thru and mascara doesn’t help get the extra rep in at the gym; that’s just poor grooming in the opposite direction. But there’s still a method to the madness. Make-up can enhance your features and they want to keep them on display. Denying it is a disservice to the time and money they put into it.
So no more pretending girls look worse when they’re all dressed up. It doesn’t make you a good guy — it makes you a dick.
2. “Swag is for boys, class is for men.”
Pop quiz, which one of these guys is considered classy?
‘Swag’ is a buzzword that came out of nowhere in the last few years. One minute it meant a bunch of flowers, the next it’s a free goodie bag, then suddenly it’s an entire cultural movement. Problem is, when it’s taken out of context, people can use it to mean pretty much anything. Ask five different people what a ‘hipster’ is and you’ll get five different answers but the same expression of disgust. Depending on who you ask, the same can be said for swag.
In case you were wondering, it’s an abbreviation for ‘swagger’, or the general aura of confidence. What’s wrong with being confident? Sure it can be misinterpreted as arrogance, but that leans on your personal perception of whether you think said confidence is misplaced.
‘Swag’ is used a lot in urban and hip-hop culture, a polarizing demographic to say the least. If you’re not a fan, odds are the word has an immediate negative connotation for you. That’s why you ‘liked’ that picture of a suit and tie, declaring your disdain for swag and everything associated with it. Because you’re too mature for that rap nonsense, and that makes you a classy guy.
No. No it doesn’t.
You see, ‘class’ is another misunderstood buzzword; typically it denotes something that’s classical in nature or world-class, that’s why it calls up mental images of tuxedos, top hats, and all-around aristocratic refinement. But wait, isn’t that the poster child for arrogance? Don’t the excessively rich and preening overconfidence go hand in hand?
Yes. Yes they do.
Here’s the answer to that quiz of who’s classy.
Did you change your answer? That’s because you’re mildly racist. Knowing what subculture they represent changes the adjective you would use despite the fact that they’ve each been called both. The only difference between them is more associated with Black culture and the other is not. That’s what the swag vs. class thing boils down to: racism.
“Now wait just a minute,” you’re thinking. “That’s not why I dislike swag. I’m just not into the baggy shirts and the sideways hats and showy jewelry and pimped out rides that those Bla-OHMYGODIAMRACIST.” Don’t worry about it chum. I am too.
3. “Musician X died from drug overdose and millions mourned, this soldier fought for your freedom and no one went to the funeral, you should feel bad about yourself.”
I’m probably going to take some shit for this, but I think soldiers these days get way too much credit.
Here’s the thing, technology has made going to war a cakewalk compared to what it used to be. Disregard the fact that our weapons, armor, vehicles, and strategic capabilities outnumber and outclass the next ten countries combined. I’m talking about the fact that even while deployed, these guys and girls can hop on Facebook to update their status or Skype with their family. Not exactly a Saving Private Ryan situation.
I’m not trying to diminish their contribution: it takes courage to put yourself in a situation where you might have to put your life at risk, and I can’t begin to imagine the pain of losing a loved one like that. But I’m not going to sit here and pretend like that guy or girl gives a fancy f*ck about me or my right to be a cynical jerk on the Internet. They chose to be in the military. They want to be there. And if they don’t, they’re probably doing it for the money we pay them with our tax dollars.
You can’t compare that to when conscription was a regular and necessary practice — there is no comparison to be made. People had no choice but to go to war or risk losing it. There was no promise of decent pay or benefits or that your family would be taken care of if you were killed. They didn’t do it for glory or respect. They did it because it was their duty.
I’m sure there are a good many soldiers with those noble reasons and I absolutely respect that…. as long as they don’t presume to tell me how much more they’ve impacted my life than, say, Michael Jackson.
Music does something to people. It inspires them, gives them hope, provides bitter enemies with common ground. It’s universal. Everyone has a favorite musician, or at least a favorite song, and whether you’re aware of it or not, that music influenced who you became as a human being. They’re a parent of sorts in their own way. Would you shame someone for grieving for a parent and not a complete stranger? Not unless you’re a complete psychopath.
So the next time you think about to guilt tripping everyone you know with one of those images, do something useful instead. Like recruit all the commenters into kickstarting a website that provides time and dates for veteran funerals so complete strangers who do feel so inclined can pay their respects. Just a thought.
4. “I don’t care what anyone thinks about ______.”
Full disclosure, I used to say this all the time, which makes it extra infuriating.
The vengeful just-got-dumped status, the empowering I-can-do-it-on-my-own, the apathetic just-made-a-poor-life-decision status. This comes in all shapes and sizes, but they’re all stirred in the same pot in that they’re all self-delusional lies. This is the tofu of Facebook statuses.
They do serve a purpose — you can tell exactly how much they like you by commenting on them. If you’re a marginal friend and ask, “What’s wrong?” they’ll say something like, “Just some stuff. People being dumb” whereas if you’re a chosen one, they’ll spill they’re freaking guts as if everyone they know can’t read it. And if nobody responds, they’ll just keep on posting until they get one.
Because there is no one who posts on social media that doesn’t care what others think. They wouldn’t do it otherwise. Every letter on the screen is one reckless, adrenaline-fueled finger after another mashing into the keyboard of emotion, punctuated by a rush of dopamine as the message is swept away into cyberspace. The only time it’s not an intentional process is when (God forbid) you toss alcohol into the hurricane of volatile brain chemicals. Letting your subconscious Facebook is one step away from asking your mom to proofread your exe’s sexts.
It’s all a cry for help, a plea for attention. So if you’re pretty close friends with someone who simply can’t shut up about how indifferent they are, do us all a solid and call them or something. They would call you, but again, they’re pretending they don’t care. Or hoping that certain someone they don’t care about will.
Okay so I’m not that tired of reading them. In a universe dominated by bland passive-aggressive back-and-forth’s, these nuggets are the uniquely aggressively-passive spice of life.
5. “I’m sick of reading about engagements/babies on Facebook.”
Let me stop you right there.
What you may have read was “I’m sick of reading about engagements/babies on Facebook”. What I wrote was “I’m sick of reading ‘I’m sick of reading about engagements/babies on Facebook.'” Whew. I didn’t want you jumping in thinking you agreed with me when you’re actually the problem.
There are some important milestones in the average lifetime of a human being, but few are as momentous as getting engaged or having a baby. On one hand you have two people pledging their (hopefully) undying love for one another via diamonds, and on the other are two people who have decided to undertake an 18-year project to guide a tiny human being through the terrifying gauntlet we call life. Of course they’re going to post about it on Facebook. Their days of pimping their digital selves out to any acquaintance who will take a gander have long since passed.
I mean, I get it. Being single can be hard. The idea of being alone and never experiencing these aforementioned joys is a scary one. But wallowing in your isolated misery for all to see is how you stay that way. If I learned anything from Looney Tunes, it’s when a pretty bunny is a-beckoning and cooing, “Chase me, chase me!” it’s probably a trap.
Maybe this isn’t you. Maybe you’re fine with being single, but you’d rather shoot yourself in the eye with a rubber band than see one more bald-headed sperm blossom getting 200+ thumbs-ups by default. After years of diligent research and testing, there’s a finally a solution for what ails you — sack up and delete them.
Seriously, no one is forcing you to keep them around. If you really can’t find the slightest sliver of well wishes for the greatest moments of their life, news flash: they aren’t really your friend. Trust me, I’m 27 years old; if I hadn’t recently stocked my friends list with a crop of fresh young coeds, my news feed would read like an issue of Good Housekeeping: Young Adults Edition. But since I actually like my friends, instead of babies I see dozens of drunk mini-me’s of all my favorite people. And it is hilarious.
You don’t have to ‘like’ every single photo. Pick the ones that make you laugh and let them know you want to see more of their crotch-clone disguised as fast food. Because if you’re all sour grapes, by the time you get around to playing enough King-Under-the-Mountain to find the Arkenstone, you’ll have pissed off so many elves they’ll call your precious Gollum.
So please, stop posting this stuff. Because for every virtual pat-on-the-back you enjoy, there are ten people thinking, “You are the worst.”