Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why So Silent, Good M. S.?


Lately I’ve found it difficult to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as the case may more likely be). Friends say to me, “S., why don’t you write about Occupy? Or business school? Or more stuff about how you hate trees?” Then I say, “Oh, yeah, sure. I totally will. Good idea,” but I don’t, and I know that I won’t. I won’t because I just don’t see the point anymore.

All I wanted was to make fun of stupid things. At the very least, I figured I’d have excellent job security, what with the never-ending stream of dumb things spewed forth by mankind. I could spend a dozen lifetimes mockingnon-visible art, or critiquing films about running, or relating my harrowing adventures among the mountain folk. I thought it was destined to go on forever.

I was wrong.

What selfish joy do I get from this site, publicly wallowing in misanthropy? Satire. Satire is its own reward. It serves as a necessary reality check for thinking people. When the big, bad world throws something fucked up your way, you throw something even more fucked up right back at it. Feminists at Berkeley got you down? Lysistrata their asses. Did Transformers 2 steal three hours of your life? Respond with an off-Broadway musical biography of Michael Bay. Do you have lupus? In that case, you should probably go see a doctor, but feel free to mock Grey’s Anatomy while you do that.

The tried-and-true satiric formula has protected us against the onslaught of morons for centuries. But will it be enough to face down and make humorous the challenges of future retards? I fear it will not; in fact I believe the indispensable armor of satire is already showing cracks. Consider two of the greatest satirists of our generation: Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park. How many times have their parodies of real people and events not been true parodies at all, but rather a completely accurate recreation using animated characters? They themselves have stated that the original idea for Team America: World Police was simply to re-make Armageddon, frame-for-frame and word-for-word, using puppets instead of humans.

This is the current, low state of satire. All that is left for satirists to do is copy reality exactly, only with puppets.

This is not art. This is not creativity. This is not enough to save us.

Some time ago, I wrote this parody of Twilight, based solely on the 20-seconds-worth of clips from the film that I had seen at the time. I was so proud. I thought I had really hit the comedic nail on the head. Since then, however, I have done a terrible thing: I have actually read Twilight. Well, not exactly. I’ve read maybe 4 or 5 chapters of Twilight, and I’ve watched “Alex Reads Twilight” on YouTube. Trust me: that was enough.

I had absolutely no business parodying Twilight, not because I hadn’t actually read it, but because Twilight itself is a parody of Twilight. If a parody is a sad, inbred baby whose ears don’t line up, then Twilight is its own grandpa. It’s derivative of itself. It is a parody wrapped in a satire inside something that unfortunately is not a horrible, horrible joke that accidentally went too far and turned into a wildly popular international bestseller read ironically by the entire world.

And that, my friends, is why I find it so hard to muster the energy to practice my Three Rs (ranting, raving, and writing) these days. What’s the point? Nothing I write, no matter how absurd, exaggerated, or brazen, nothing can be as ridiculous as Twilight. For a time, I even considered retiring this site and starting a new one entitled Actual Quotations from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, which would feature absolutely nothing but actual quotations from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. No commentary at all, because what could one even say? Ms. Meyer’s work stands completely on its own. Any remarks or analysis would be superfluous, serving only to detract from the comedic purity of stupidity-in-action. In fact I only abandoned this idea once I realized that I would ultimately end up copying the entire book, word-for-word, onto such a site, because not one sentence in that magnum opus is unworthy of derision. Aside from copyright-infringement issues, I simply can’t bring myself to contribute to the spread of this monstrosity even in jest.

Maybe it’s just the Valentine’s Day blues. Maybe I just need a pale, sparkling, freezer-safe dildo (specially designed for a realistic Edward Cullen experience*) to keep me company during the long, lonely nights. Maybe I’ll be back, ready to mock displaced Amazonian tribes and the idiots who praise Injuns for “using every part of the animals they killed” (cough*bullshit*coughcough) but criticize McDonald’s for turning whole chickens into tasty(?) nuggets. Maybe things will get better.

Psych!

S. Misanthrope

P.S. I only just learned, when writing this article, that Stephenie Meyer can’t even spell her own name properly. “Stephanie” is supposed to have an “a” in it, come on! Jesus fucking Christ. Maybe not being able to write for shit is a genetic trait.

*I’m completely serious. This is a real thing. Look it up.**
**Because I can’t do it at work.***
***By which I mean I can’t Google for simulated vampire penises on my work computer, not that I couldn’t use a simulated vampire penis at work.****
****Although I also couldn’t use one at work because I don’t have one.*****
*****I’d also like to point out that vampires are *room temperature*, people. There is no reason why they would be freezing. Edward Cullen’s penis would feel exactly like your regular dildo.******
******Oh God, I just ruined dildos for everyone. I am so, so sorry. Your regular dildo probably feels nothing like Edward Cullen, unless your regular dildo is 110 years old and made of human skin and oh God, I’ve done it again. Shutting up now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

An Open Letter to People Using Instagram

Dear People Using Instagram:

Congratulations. You've done it. You've successfully become the most annoying people on Facebook.

I thought nothing on Facebook could possibly be more annoying than Spotify updates, but I was wrong. Instagram has combined the unbearable obnoxiousness of food pictures with the retinal irritation of sepia filters. It is now so easy to make your dull pictures even duller through superficial gimmicks that what used to be an easily-ignored trickle of boring images in my Facebook feed has become a torrent devouring everything in its path. What little valuable content remains is lost in the flood.

The one thing preventing this bombardment of inanity from completely destroying the internet is that little warning flag "posted via Instagram." Without that, I would never be able to safely browse pictures of adorable kittens again. I also would never be able to instantly block anyone whose updates include that phrase. But this is a frail defense against a mighty and persistent enemy. The destruction of all that is good in photography is inevitable.

I just want to know: what hater of values thought it would be a good idea to make the worst aspects of Photoshopping *even more accessible* to the common idiot? Who wakes up one day and says "I have a great idea that will empower people who have no skills or taste to produce crap at such a rate that they will completely drown out the few remaining sources of true artistry in our culture?" I hope he drowns in a flaming pit of monkey feces and that lots of pictures of it are "posted via Instagram" so I can watch the glory through every available filter that "transforms the look and feel" of the experience.

Normally I would end a letter like this by begging you people to stop ruining my life, but this time I actually don't want you to do anything. Just keep on going, because whenever you use Instagram, I make a mental (and physical) note to never again take you seriously about anything. And that is going to come in really, really handy during election season.

Affectionately yours,

S. Misanthrope

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2-1-12

If you recall, your good friend S. here isn't that into music. That said, Rush is AWESOME. Happy Rush Day, y'all.







Rock it out,

S. Misanthrope

P.S. If you somehow discovered this blog before you discovered Rush, may I recommend a personal favorite to get you started down the path to nerdy-prog-rock-dom:



P.P.S. I'd never seen this video before. I could not possibly love it more! Amazing.