Feminists Insult My Intelligence

Everybody loves feminists but nobody loves feminists more than the feminists love themselves.  Unfortunately, most feminists are also highly educated and equally resistant to common sense.  This results in some dubious psychological endeavors.

Just to be clear, I do not intend to rehash accusations (such as those by Phyllis Schlafly) that assert an inability among feminists to engage in rational thought and argumentation.  I spent a long time in a Ph.D. program and learned that feminists are quite capable of high-level intellectual endeavors.  It just seems that they also have this unexplainable fear of revealing this capability in public.

So what brilliance do most people get to see instead?

If a feminist finds your opinions unworthy, she (or he) is rather likely to simply turn her (or his) back and refuse to interact with you.  Let’s review, shall we?  Feminists believe that they can convert you to their opinion merely by depriving you of the pleasure of their continued presence.

We all know how well that works.  When someone starts acting like an insufferable asshole, I’m always willing to do anything possible to get them talking to me more.  Aren’t you?

On the flipside, they’ll often start interacting with you more when you start hinting at opinions that correlate more with their own.  When they do this, they think they’re using advanced psychological techniques to move you into their corner (or something like that).  The halfway intelligent person will respond to this by toying with the unwitting feminists.  You raise their hopes, then you let them down, and raise their hopes, and let them down, and on and on and on because many feminists aren’t bright enough to realize that non-feminists can recognize their tricks.

As for me, a very old friend recently told me that no one can be her friend unless they’re a feminist.  I’m not sure whether she thought I agreed with her but it’s telling that she sprung this on me while I was in her car as she drove us through the middle of nowhere.  I complimented her on her hair instead of  answering her comment and was able to avoid being stranded.

(Contrary to popular belief, feminists do care about their appearance.)

I’ll close this ever-so happy and enlightening post with an additional message to all the feminists who might still be reading this:  I love all of you.  The world is a better place because of all the diverse opinions out there.

Blogger’s note: My opinions veered closer to feminism until I went to graduate school and met real feminists.  Suffice it to say that those women (and men) inspired me to change my ways.  Who says you can’t find moral enlightenment at a secular university?

 

Your Blog Insults My Intelligence

I would like to welcome the new bloggers who are reading this post.  I’m sure you’re all excited to start writing and build a large and loyal audience.  The thousands of you starting today all believe that you have something special to offer the blogosphere: unique insights, original jokes, or perhaps an especially poetic way of writing that will win you the adoration of people across the world.

By now, you’ve probably noticed that your blog’s traffic statistics aren’t what you had hoped for.  Since you’re searching in vain for that magic bullet that will generate the awestruck readership you desperately feel you deserve, I’d like to share a very important secret from the blogging world:

Your blog sucks.

I’ve seen your jokes before and your personal stories have been told hundreds of times by people with superior storytelling skills and writerly competence.  Of course, your tales do contain one unique element: instead of choosing a fun name for your dog, you call him Fido.

I see little reason why anyone should want to read your work, unless of course they’re reciprocating for the visits you give them.  Is that what you dreamed of?  Cashing in (minus the cash) on other people’s sense of obligation?

The trophy is clip art from Power Point.  As you can see, I'm trying to be as vapid and unoriginal as you are.

The trophy is clip art from Power Point. As you can see, I’m trying to be as vapid and unoriginal as you are.

And then there are the unfortunate people who work for WordPress and other similar companies.  The only way they can stay in business is to convince gullible saps like you that your work has value and deserves the added oomph of paid upgrades and services.

Of course, you’ll quit within a few months… after buying a year-long upgrade.  For that, I thank you.  Like people who buy a gym membership who actually use it, I benefit from the reduced costs associated with using a service that many people pay for in advance and quickly give up on.

The less you write, the less bandwidth WordPress has to pay for.  That means I get more free goodies.

I would also like to remind you that today is April Fool’s Day.  You are a brilliant writer, just like everyone else who has a blog.  You should also know that the various blogging companies make no attempt to manipulate your blogging self-esteem and/or comfort in an attempt to maximize their profits.  They exist for your happiness.

With that in mind, I’d like to close with a song:

If you’re happy and you know it, beep beep boop
If you’re happy and you know it, beep beep boop
If you’re happy and you know it
Then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it, beep beep boop

The Bloggies Insult My Intelligence

No doubt many of you have heard of the Bloggies, arguably the most prominent blogging award there is.  I say “prominent” and not “best” because I know a thing or two about the selection process that you may not fully appreciate.

Here’s the official publicized procedure: people fill out a web form nominating blogs in all sorts of categories.  Votes are tallied and then the organizer chooses 200 random voters to decide on the finalists from a list of the top vote-getters.  The voting form asks if you’re willing to be chosen when you submit your nominations, presumably to ensure that judges don’t complain about all the work.

Just look at that face!  You don't need to keep him from complaining...

Just look at that face! You don’t need to keep him from complaining.  (Image requires no attribution.)

This year, I served as one of the ever-so-deserving 200 on the judging panel.

The organizer sent me an extra-special link to my ballot about two weeks before the voting deadline but, since I rarely check the email account that’s attached to my blog, I did not see the message until two days before the ballot was due.

Now for some math.  Each judge reviews the semifinalists for ten categories (out of 30) and there are approximately 15-20 blogs per category.  I’d estimate that it took about half of the two days to load all those blogs.  And that’s just the home page for each one.  Also transpiring during those two days: sleep, job applications, cooking, eating, the occasional potty break, bathing, and enjoying the snowflakes outside my window.  That left me with enough time to click to a second page on most of the blogs I was evaluating.

As you can see, I focused on my judging duties in accordance with the sacred trust I was given.  Diligence is key.  It’s not like I ever promised to do a good job.

Of course, other issues did come up.  Take a look at the judging instructions:

Ten categories have been randomly selected for you. For each, select up to five weblogs (or six in the Weblog of the Year category). If you encounter blogs that aren’t eligible for their category, just skip them. If you encounter a broken link, try adding “www.” to the beginning of it. I encourage you to vote in all the categories available to you, but it isn’t required. If you don’t have time to complete the whole ballot now, you may submit a partial ballot and return later to complete it.

Um… I know this may be a stretch, but shouldn’t a blogging awards site be able to provide links that will open properly?

And come to think of it, is it too much to ask that semifinalists be pre-screened for basic eligibility before I’m asked to spend my time judging?  Or, maybe the semifinalists should have been double-checked to make sure they were actually blogs.  (Granted, some of those questionable websites may have contained blogs somewhere on them.  However, if I can’t immediately locate your blog, you lose.)

Nevertheless, I thought it would be exciting to review these best-of-the-best blogs and see if I could find anything worthwhile.  And so I checked the first category: Best Australian or New Zealand Weblog.  I must admit that I learned more about that region than I could have ever imagined possible.  For instance, at least three semifinalists had blogs focusing on culturally enlightening arguments against the existence of global warming.  I say “at least three” because two nominees were in Spanish (I think) and another refused to load.

I’m not spending my time trying to decipher a foreign language because it wasn’t in the job description.  If I can’t judge the writing quality, you lose.

You never know what task will end up requiring some heavy lifting.  Fortunately, judging wasn't one of them.  (Photo credit: tunnupus)

You never know what task will end up requiring some heavy lifting. Fortunately, judging wasn’t one of them. (Photo credit: tunnupus)

Of course, I didn’t get to delve so deeply into any of these blogs… at least to the extent that something called “depth” could be discerned.  I, like most other people, happen to have a life and it’s relatively easy to figure out which blogs are crap after a very brief perusal.  I’m not giving up my potty breaks so that I can look at an extra few posts.  I’m not even giving up my potty breaks so I can search the blog for a link to archives of posts that were published during the year the blogging award is for.  I stopped hunting once it became clear that many blogs did not include such links.

And remember, I’m not 1 of 200 who are judging these categories.  I’m one of 66 or 67.  (200 judges total, but each of us only judges 1/3 of the categories.)  My voice matters big time no matter how uninformed it might be.

Yay me.

Next up was “Best Designed Weblog” and, as some of you may know, I take a great interest in innovative blog design… even if my own blog’s design is on the divisive side.  I could select up to five blogs from among twenty choices.

I picked two.

Yes, only two.  A few were so seriously flawed that I can’t believe they became semifinalists on the basis of legitimate votes.  (On the other hand, I have an abiding belief that people are stupid… so maybe the votes were on the up-and-up.)  Other nominees were generic and, therefore, indistinguishable from the millions of other blogs out there.  Of course, I could have judged the blogs’ navigation but I really don’t think effective navigation is such an unusual or difficult thing that people deserve an award for doing it properly.

The person behind the Bloggies also decided to randomly assign me the “Entertainment” category as well as “Fashion or Beauty.”  I tend to think that blogs on these subjects are crap even when they’re well constructed.  So as not to hurt people’s feelings, I will not continue on that line of thought.

Okay, I lied.  If I hate your topic, you lose.  That may sound unfair but no criteria were given for the assessment of a blog’s quality.  I figured that my personal prejudices would work just fine.

The “Best Group or Community Weblog” category also focused on a special group of blogs.  I think it had more parenting blogs among the nominees than the “Best Parenting or Family Weblogs” category that I was also asked to judge.

I guess all it takes to become a semifinalist is for members of a topical blogging group to go vote for each other en masse.  Just a hypothesis…

And then there’s “Best Photography of a Weblog.”  Here’s the category’s definition:

Photoblogs and other weblogs with a focus on presenting photography.

Please note that the category name does not mean the same thing as the given definition; the category name implies that all blogs containing photography can be nominated regardless of the blog’s overall focus .  Nevertheless, I did find a couple of blogs among the nominees that deserve an award.  I saved a copy of my ballot so I could find these (and a few others from the remaining categories) again.

Yes, it took that long for me to think “hey, I’ll want to see some of these again.”

By the time I reached “Best New Weblog,” I wasn’t much in the mood to do the basic assessment of eligibility that the Bloggies’ administrator should have performed on all nominees before sending out the ballot.  It’s possible that I may have voted for a blog that wasn’t new last year.  I didn’t check.

The final two categories I judged were European blogs and blogs about politics.  Both had some keepers, especially the political category which had a good share of famous and commercial blogs whose writers surely couldn’t care less about the award.  I voted for a lot of those.

And then I must mention the blogs that were nominated for numerous categories.  Contrary to what you might believe, this thrilled me.  I thought a lot of these blogs were crap the first time I saw them, meaning that each repeat listing represented one less blog for me to look at.  Of course, I did return to those blogs when the category was design or photography or something I hadn’t considered as heavily in my original assessment… and that’s in spite of my suspicion that some of these bloggers may have found a way to stuff the ballot box.

Stuffing the ballot box wouldn’t be too difficult and I doubt the organizer (yes, it appears to be one person) is taking sufficient measures to prevent it.  If he isn’t reviewing the semifinalists’ eligibility, we can probably assume that the more time-consuming or technically savvy measures aren’t being pursued either.

Overall, I found the experience disappointing.  With the opportunity to cast up to 50 votes, I cast fewer than 25.  I follow a few blogs that outshine most of the semifinalists.

No explanation necessary, I assume.  (Image credit: Plognark)

No explanation necessary, I assume. (Image credit: Plognark)

And with that in mind, I would like to encourage all of you who were not nominated to disregard the disregarding of your work.  I can promise you that the awards do not reliably track quality and they may not even measure popularity all that well.  However, I’m sure they effectively predict an increase in traffic to the selected blogs; for that reason, I humbly request that everyone reading this post please nominate me for as many categories as possible next year.  I won’t even ask you to consider the possibility of opening some new free email accounts so you can nominate me multiple times.

And if you happen to be selected as a finalist, please don’t take offense at what I’ve written here.  I am a judge; you bow to me.  If you think I’m a looney or that I didn’t take the job seriously enough or that I have bad taste, I have news for you: the randomized selection of judges results in random judges and not necessarily qualified judges.  Be thankful that I’m literate above a seventh-grade level; you never know who else might have been judging your work.

Imagine the possibilities!  (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Imagine the possibilities.  (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

And be thankful that I didn’t vote by just clicking on random blogs.

Presumably…

Text Messages Insult My Intelligence

Happy new year everyone.

This holiday season, it’s important to remember all of the important people in your life and wish them the best.  Since we’re all busy, that wish may need to be conveyed through a text message instead of through a warmer and fuzzier phone call.

If you text your holiday greetings, you can even send a picture without having to buy a card.  (Photo credit: Intel Free Press)

If you text your holiday greetings, you can even send a picture without having to buy a card. (Photo credit: Intel Free Press)

I’m okay with that.  I don’t want to deal with all those repetitive phone calls.

However, please be so kind as to not send a single text message to everyone.  Believe it or not, lots of folks haven’t figured out how to reply only to the sender.  In other words, your recipients may be destined for symphonic digital torture as your friends and family reciprocate your performance of the agreed upon communication obligations… at midnight.

With that in mind, I would like to suggest a new year’s resolution: make friends who are smart enough to learn such simple technology.  You’re stuck with your family, though.

Bill Cosby Insults My Intelligence

I don't think I can do a humorous photo caption that won't offend the non-rapists reading this blog.  (Photo is in the public domain.)

I don’t think I can do a humorous photo caption that won’t offend the non-rapists reading this blog. (Photo is in the public domain.)

By now, my U.S. readers will have heard the “news” about the numerous rape allegations against Bill Cosby.  Although celebrity news usually insults my intelligence, this story is different.  After all, our country and its media held the controversy down for decades.  The delayed timing just goes to show that the American people will forgive the most horrific of sins as long as the sinner is pushing a pudding pop down their throats.  Bill Cosby is being taken down so late in life only because he can no longer stand proudly behind a towering pudding pop on TV.

So let’s shove rape allegations to the side when they mess with our fun.  Priorities matter.

It’s such a shame because this guy was admired as “America’s Dad” because of his iconic Cosby Show.  Obviously, we must now stop calling him “America’s Dad” unless he fathered enough children to have earned that designation through other means. With that in mind, I think we should now refer to him by the job he chose for his character on that famous TV show.

That’s right.  Bill Cosby is America’s Obstetrician.

Of all the medical fields he could have chosen, he picked a vagina-gazing specialty and America didn’t blink.  Never underestimate people’s willful ignorance.

Now, unfortunately, all women will suffer for his misdeeds.  So, ladies, the next time you’re spending quality time with your OB-GYN, try not to think of Bill Cosby.

Blogger’s note: I promise that the next post will be happier.  It would kind of have to be.

Empty Academics Insult My Intelligence

This week, college football fans were shocked to learn that UNC-Chapel Hill’s football players had access to sham courses so that they could remain academically eligible to  wear tight pants and throw themselves on top of unwilling victims.

Who says that athletes have nothing in common with the pleasant law-abiding citizens of fraternity row?

This was supposed to be the publicly recognized scene of the crime.  (Photo credit: yeungb)

This was supposed to be the publicly recognized scene of the crime. (Photo credit: yeungb)

This was done to help the athletes and not the school, right?  It’s not like alumni donations rise and fall with the football team’s win percentage, right?

I’m looking forward to the players’ lawsuits on this one.  They have no right to complain but I’m sure they will anyway even though they were the prime beneficiary of the university’s generosity.  What might a lawsuit look like?

“Your Honor,

I choosed Chapel Hill because they had done promised me good edjamacation. I trusted them. All they gave me is empty grades. I can’t get my edjamacation time back. I gots to learn to do a job. They stoled that from me because I play football.

Please give me ten million dollars for my brain damage.”

Unfortunately, the concussions and/or lack of education will prevent any UNC football players from trying this gambit. Too bad…

Stating the Obvious Insults My Intelligence

I’m not naive.  I realize that the news has to be dumbed down for a lot of people to understand it.  I know that “news entertainment” has to be created from thin air to make people click on ad-generating links.

Unfortunately, people are dumber than I thought.

I found this lovely headline today: Analysis: US Strikes Unsettle Damascus.  Did people really think the Syrians and their leaders aren’t “unsettled” when people drop bombs on their country?

So this is what passes for “analysis” these days…

This photo isn't of the airstrikes; this airplane participated in "Operation Deliberate Force."  May God have mercy on us all if the military is staging non-deliberate force in addition to its regularly scheduled excursions.  (Photo credit: US Army, public domain)

This photo isn’t of the airstrikes; this airplane participated in “Operation Deliberate Force.” May God have mercy on us all if the military is staging non-deliberate force in addition to its regularly scheduled excursions. (Photo credit: US Army, public domain)

 

Newfound Medications Insult My Intelligence

Once upon a time I was suffering from dry skin.

I couldn't find a dry skin picture that wouldn't make you vomit.  Therefore, I chose this turkey with equally crispy skin.

I couldn’t find a dry skin picture that wouldn’t make you vomit. Therefore, I chose this turkey with equally crispy skin.  (Photo credit: Leslie Johnston)

So I went to the pharmacy and was greeted with this:

The pharmacy also provides easy access to nutritional essentials.

The pharmacy provides easy access to nutritional essentials.  (Photo credit: Susan)

Farther inside the pharmacy, I saw lots of nifty pills.

You could probably hide an Everlasting Gobstopper in there.

Who says bright colors are only for children?  (Photo credit: ParentingPatch)

And then I discovered what I had intended to find.

It was perfect.

When I left home, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be so lucky.  Who would have guessed?

I found moisturizer in a container that had been newly redesigned:

It's takes an aesthetically superior bottle to tackle aesthetically inferior skin.

It takes an aesthetically superior bottle to tackle aesthetically inferior skin.

Comfortable Seating Insults My Intelligence

Ah yes, an old Austrian castle with all the amenities:

Old is beautiful.

Old is beautiful.

I can forgive the poles and chains because they bring back the whole torture aspect of the good ol’ monarchy.  And I can forgive the lovely refurbished medieval shiny pleather or wheatevertheheck material it is on those adorable chairs.

However, the glare from my camera flash on the unknown synthetic material detracts from the room as a whole.  Nevertheless, I’m sure those chairs are more comfortable than period-appropriate pieces would have been

Drama Insults My Intelligence

Uh oh.  Looks like more drama.  (Photo credit: ThatsABigIf)

Uh oh. Looks like more drama. (Photo credit: ThatsABigIf)

I remember when it was fun to chat about other people’s lives.  Now, I’ve lost my tolerance for drama.  And so today I would like to direct a few random thoughts at various people who have no clue I’m the one writing this:

I do not want to be set up with your oldest friend.   I do not want to explain the reason again, mostly because it’s something I’ve been saying to deaf ears for years and years.  Your friend is not green eggs and ham.

If you leave your underwear on the couch when you’re expecting visitors, people will see it.  The time to freak out about that was before I arrived.

If I haven’t been able to get a word in edgewise within the past 15 minutes, please assume that I haven’t been paying attention to you for at least the past 12, or 10 if I’m having a good day.  If you’ve been narrating your progress on dishwashing over the phone, you’ll need to wake me from my nap when you’re done.

I do not care if your significant other is unsatisfied with your lovemaking abilities.  As far as I’m concerned, you’re both still virgins.  Those children are aberrations.  And that’s aberrations, not abominations or abhorrations.  Buy a dictionary.

Thank you for your outdated and/or painfully obvious job search advice.  Unlike you, I’ve been reading up on the topic and consulting experts on how to proceed.  As far as I can tell, there’s no reason other than your ego that I should listen to you.  If there is a reason, please provide it in a calm and rational manner.

Do not say “I can picture him hitting his wife/children” unless there is a legitimate reason to believe he is doing so.  And if there is a legitimate reason, I’m not the person you should be sharing that information with.  Look for the folks with a big shiny badge.  They’ll be nice, I promise.

Urban Environmental Destruction Insults My Intelligence

Today I decided that I’d go for a walk around the block.  However, I soon realized that I had forgotten one very minor detail: I no longer live in a place that has blocks.  Silly me!

Here’s how my neighborhood looks:

 

Slide1

I walk around my neighborhood and it takes forever to get to an intersection, much less a traffic light.  And the streets are curved and you can forget about walking anywhere other than to your attractive neighbor’s bedroom.  Our urban counterparts like to call this an environmental catastrophe because we can’t really do public transit so easily and we use tons of gas when others could walk.

But take a closer look at my little map there.  It’s very green.  Very very green.  I don’t live in a forest, but I see trees and more trees no matter which window I look out of.  I see friendly little squirrels running around, happy and playing and breathing much more comfortably than their cousins who live among the “environmentally conscious” urbanites.

You see, those trees create this nifty little chemical called oxygen.  Maybe you’ve heard of it.  Maybe your brain even uses it on occasion.  Those trees also create something called clean spaces.  (That’s not the technical term.)  Those Asian megacities and a lot of other urban centers lack this… except for the occasional park.  That means all of that urban pollution congregates on that nifty little city block you live on.  And so you breathe it in and breathe it in as you search hopelessly for where you live because, after all, all those damn city blocks look alike.  Especially in all that smog.

Or maybe you bought a gas mask to protect your lungs from your “healthy” environment.

Maybe you should also buy some green-tinted glasses to help your eyes.  Did you know that the color assists with ocular health?  Asphalt gray doesn’t work as well.

As for me, I’ll keep my sprawl.  Give me a fuel efficient car and let me live free from the giant cloud of smoke that hovers over so many cities.  Nature can regenerate itself if you don’t destroy it with your “pro-environmentalist” zoning claptrap.

(Seriously, give me a fuel efficient car.  I gladly accept gifts.)

Brand Names Insult My Intelligence

I do not purchase clothing that prominently displays a brand name.  (On the other hand, I’d be tempted to wear an “I love Halliburton” t-shirt for the shock value.  But that’s another post…)  I am not a walking billboard and I am not stupid enough to pay for the privilege of becoming one.

Unfortunately, most people are not as wise as I am and I usually must remain silent about their mindless attire.

I’m not presumptuous enough to tell you that clothing should be art.  Since I’m less than wealthy, I see little point in plunking down over $100.00 for a designer shirt that will be shredded within a year or two.  (Those luxury goods aren’t always designed to last.  Rich people often care more about the latest fashions and they can afford to replace things more regularly.  In their minds, a shirt from 2012 has already gone out of style and belongs in the dumpster.)

Instead, I want my clothing to cover all of the necessary body parts and remain intact long enough to keep my bank account from crashing.   (Gender appropriateness is also important.)  Therefore: clearance racks!

And you thought this would be an advertisement for Wal-Mart…

This works for me because I’m a guy.  By contrast, women often like to accessorize with pretty things.  For example, a non-utilitarian purse.  They treat it like clothing and it has to match the outfit, so they often end up owning many purses.

I’ll leave the “battle of the sexes” content to the bloggers who do it better.  I’m more interested in the idiotic, and one particular design type stands out.  It’s the standard “look how special I am because I can afford an expensive brand” variety:

This demonstrates the owner's aesthetic excellence.  (Photo credit: )

This demonstrates the owner’s sense of aesthetic superiority. (Photo credit: prettycatty)

Let’s review.  You’re carrying around a container that holds cash, cards, and expensive electronics.  Why are you advertising to potential thieves that the contents might be especially valuable?  Of all the purses at the football game (note the obligatory transgression of gender stereotypes), yours now stands out as the most desirable to steal.  Brilliant!

Of course, your bag’s probably fake.  Just like you.

Funny how things work out…