As usual, the TV has provided me with ample reason to be angry. Advertising in particular gives ample fodder for an angry life and not big things like sexist ads of the encouragement of over-consumption. It’s the small thing that make me want to pound the responsible marketing slug’s face into some concrete until it cracks or they learn the error of their ways. I’m pretty sure the concrete would crack before one of those fuckers would change.
The object of my anger today is advertising for cleaning products. Stupid fucked-up advertising for cleaning products usually falls into one of two categories: disinfectant thingies that try to convince you that that you’re surrounded by germs and you’ll die immediately if you don’t swab/spray/soak with this product and some minor “improvement” to a traditional cleaning product that you can’t possibly exist without.
It’s actually the second sort that annoy me the most – the ad tends to show people struggling with an old mop, broom or vacuum cleaner and their life is clearly miserable. All of civilization is being held back because of this archaic device. People’s home’s are not clean enough! We are being repressed by dirt! The only thing that can save us is this… thing. Why this makes me angry is I really fucking hate having my intelligence insulted.
I can imagine the conversation at EvilFuckers International Advertising Inc when they have a new product:
Senior Executive: Billy, we’ve got an exciting new project for you!
Junior Executive: Sounds great JT! What is it?
SE: You’re developing the campaign for the new Ultima 3000 Cleanovator.
JE: Hmmm. Looks like a map.
SE: This is going to revolutionise mopping.
JE: I’m not sure mopping needs a revolution – mopping just kind of… works.
SE: That’s why this is so exciting. For you. You need to convince people they absolutely need this product. Or you’re fired. And you know what happens if you’re fired.
JE: You’ll eat my soul?
SE: Hahaahahaha. That’s why everyone loves you Jimmy, you’re funny. No, no, no. We ate your soul when you started working here. No, if we fire you we’ll eat your head.
JE: Oh, great. Well, let’s go with the Ultima 300 then. Awesome.
You can never really tell what aspect of your behaviour, your past or your appearance people will latch onto and use as your nickname. After all, it’s very rare you get to pick your own nickname – someone usually “anoints” you.
You might think my nickname at work would be Mr Angry. You’d be wrong. This video reveals all:
Essentially, when you give off the right angry vibe, people won’t fuck with you. I don’t recommend being angry around people you deal with every day – they’ll think you’re crazy and it can make holding down a job difficult.
But practice your angry vibe and you can radiate “don’t fuck with me” without actually doing anything overtly angry. People won’t be able to put their finger on exactly what they’re being cautious about, but they’ll have a strong sense that their life will be less troublesome if they leave you the fuck alone.
It’s amazing how much you can actually freak people out by being emotionless – I’ve used what I call me “ice man” expression to sterling effect more than once. One of my favourite examples was way back when I was at college. I was with a friend at a “non-college” pub which could occasionally be a dicey proposition in a country town. I made my life more difficult by letting a hairdresser friend do a wacky haircut on me that nobody local would dare get – I had a design that looked like crop circles cut into my hair.
So I was walking up to the bar and I passed a table of yobs who felt compelled to comment on my haircut. The most eloquent of this little brains trust shouted “Nice haircut, mate,” as I passed. This was actually quite threatening as their were four of them and they were all bigger than me. I was going to ignore them and continue on without acknowledging them but then I thought “No, fuck these idiots.”
I stopped, then slowly turned to face them. I stared at them for a second, expressionless, then said in a monotone: “Thanks (long pause) I’m glad you like it.”
This table of cavemen were absolutely gobsmacked. I was actually terrified of them but had managed to convince them I was totally fucking insane. The look in their faces made it apparent that they believed I’d swap my intended order at the bar for a bucket of their blood without hesitation.
Then the poet laureate of the group broke their stunned silence by stammering “No… uh, no. I, uh, really meant it. I think it’s… ummm, a good haircut.”
At this point I realised my bluff had worked but still betrayed no emotion – simply rolled my eyes and muttered “Yeah, right.”
They were real careful not to make eye contact with me for the rest of the time I was at the pub.
I have this strategy when I go on long drives – consume enough caffeine to stay alert for the trip but not so much that I’m an incoherent gibbering wreck when I get home. Being able to sleep sometime in the next 48 hours would be good too.
I got my plan half right.
So I’m safely home but twitching and drooling more than I’d like. My brain is sorta like radio slightly out of tune with a channel. Lots of static that occasionally almost forms coherent sounds that make some sort of sense. I think I’ll run around outside and chase cicadas for a while.
I’ll be heading home tomorrow so I have to start preparing myself for the long haul with a highway full of idiots. I made this video before I left home but I’ll be going through the “exercises” at the end of it again to make sure I’m ready. I find this approach works very well for me, maybe it will for you too.
So I’ve got a week at home then I’m off for my first international travel since before the terrorist attacks of 9/11. So, while I’m looking forward to the holiday in Lord of the Rings country, I’m sure the bullshit routine at airports is going to give me all sorts of angry fuel.
I’d like to wax angry for a moment about the demented bastard sibling of the driver I was getting all angrified about yesterday. Someone who sits right behind you but won’t overtake really pisses me off. Right up with them is a driver who you get stuck behind who makes it impossible to pass them.
When the road is clear the accelerate to well above the speed limit. But if there’s oncoming traffic or you’re going uphill or around a bend so it isn’t safe to pass the bastard slows right down. And then you get an overtaking lane so you think you’ll finally get past them BUT there’s another vehicle in front of them so they swing around to pass that car.
But they don’t overtake.
They keep pace with that car so both lanes are blocked. Until the overtaking lane runs out. Then they seem to wake up to the fact they were supposed to ACTUALLY FUCKING OVERTAKE WHILE THEY WERE IN THE OVERTAKING LANE. So they pass the car as the overtaking lane leaving you shit out of luck.
For ages I was unsure as to whether they were doing this shit deliberately or they were just fucking morons. So I ran one of them off the road. Purely in the name of science you understand. I dragged them from their overturned car and politely asked them what the fuck they thought they were doing. They seemed a little dazed and confused so I helped them out by slapping them repeatedly until they made sense.
They admitted they were completely unuaware of how obstructive they were being. Or they might have been asking for an ambulance. It’s hard to be sure – they were coughing up a lot of blood.
Still, at the end of the day I think I provided them with some much needed education.
There are about a million variations of drivers that piss me off on the highway. Right near the top of the list is people who use me as a pace car. They come out of nowhere and suddenly they’re on your back bumper.
And they stay there.
You speed up and they speed up. You slow down and they slow down. Apparently they love your company. That might be nice if they weren’t so fucking intrustive. I’ve got some advice for dickheads who do this:
Either back off or overtake. Don’t just sit there. My back seat is already full, I don’t want you there too.
Can’t get enough of Mr Angry? Here’s 100 videos in 15 minutes! It’s taken me just over six months to compile over 200 videos on YouTube. You’re honour, I’d like to tender this as “People’s Exhibit A” in the case of Mr Angry vs. Having a Life. Case closed. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Actually, as a tease, I’ll lead in with the video of the first 100 vids. Most of my regular will have already seen this but it’s worth a viewing for anyone who missed it.
SO here’s the follow up. Special thanks to Gruntski who has no idea he was going to play such a prominent role in my 200th video when he sent me the little piece of video you see right at the end of this piece.
It’s amazing when you think you’ve had a good drive because there were only about a dozen fuckwits on the road. Anyway, after ten hours on the road the best thing I can say about this trip is that it’s over.
I’m planning on doing a number of posts over the coming days inspired by Tom’s “Epikles” characters – one for each genus of moron I encountered on the road. But that’s ahead of me as are approximately 36 hours of my kids saying “can we open our Festivus presents yet?”
Oh and I’m going to post my 200th YouTube video as well.
It’s a bit hard to miss the “meme” that’s doing the round of blogs at them moment, a game of tag where, once tagged, you write five things that people might not know about you and then you tag five more people asking them to do the same. I’ve been tagged multiple times for this meme but I’m not going to take part for a couple of reasons (I’ve also received similar tags in the past and haven’t responded for the same reasons.)
The main reason is telling you secrets about myself would jeopardise my tissue-thin anonymity. A determined person would work out who I am pretty quickly and in fact several people online already know who I am. But let me cling to the illusion that I’m not going to get dooced tomorrow.
A secondary reason is that this is just a little too much like a chain letter for me. This is not a criticism of people who are taking part (which seems to be just about everyone in the blogosphere) but it’s a personal choice of mine not to propogate it. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone. Who am I kidding? Anyone who’s that easily offended would have dropped me like a hot potato ages ago. No fucking weenies on Team Angry!
I did actually reveal a fair bit about myself in a video a while ago. For those who want to revisit it, here it is:
I have actually done a response of sorts to the tag meme. By coincidence, I’m up to video number 199 on YouTube and I took this opportunity to do a sort of a retrospective. So here’s my psuedo-response to being tagged; five things I’ve never done on YouTube (for those who can’t watch videos there’s a transcript of sorts following the video).
One thing I’ve never done is leave a negative comment on someone else’s video. When some moron has had a go at me via comments on one of my own videos I’ve frequently let them have it with both barrels but I’ve never played the hater game on someone else’s video. And I’ve never followed an argument with a hater back to their profile or their own videos in the rare cases where haters have actually bothered to put together videos. I’ve backed up friends on their profiles and videos but I won’t chase haters. That’s just a downward spiral.
A second thing I’ve never done is I’ve never tried to have a user banned or a video banned. I’ve voiced my opinion in my own videos about what I see as despicable behaviour and I encourage others to speak out against hateful behaviour but my personal belief system doesn’t support censorship.
A third thing I’ve never done is rate someone’s video at less than 5 stars. I don’t rate every video I watch but when I can see someone’s making an effort I always give five stars. Life’s too short to not encourage people to keep trying.
A fourth thing I’ve never done is to go after any individual YouTuber. I’m almost always disappointed when someone goes after another individual and some people I really respect have done it. I’ve spoken out against types of behaviour, notably racists and haters but I’ve never gone after an individual YouTube user. I’ve gone after some very public figures but they make their living by being in the public eye and they frequently go after other people, usually people who are defenceless so they pretty much invite this sort of attack on themselves. But I don’t see the value in going after people on Youtube. No matter how many some of them deserve it. Except Mr Safety. Fuck that guy, who does he think he is?
A fifth thing I’ve never done is I’ve never regretted something I’ve done in a video or tried to retract something I’ve said or done in a video. Which is not to say I’m never wrong, just that (despite appearances to the contrary) I put a lot of thought into what I say in videos. I’m usually well aware ahead of time when I’m doing something that might offend someone. As it turns out, I’m often far more sensitive to this than most of my viewers. This goes for my blog readers too, whenever I write something that I worry will alienate people, my regular readers are cosistently astute enough to get the joke. When I know something’s in risky territory I usually go ahead because I think it’s important… or I think it’s really funny. I’m happy for them to continue to stand, flaws and all. People can either deal with that or stop watching.
By the way, this is not my “rules for life” – I’m not saying everyone should follow these guidelines, they’re mine and they won’t necessarily suit everybody. Whatever works for you, be true to that. I get asked a lot for advice and I try to give the best I can but knowing for yourself what’s important to you is the best advice I can give. What is important to you? What are the things you want to achieve? What are the things you won’t do? If you don’t have a clear idea of these things then how will you know when you succeed? If you get all these things clear in your head, You’ll find it a lot easier to go forward. You’ll still screw up, but you’ll screw up on your own terms. And that counts for a lot.