This ain’t no Disney movie

No one likes an armchair quarterback. The amateur know-it-all. The person who is convinced that he knows how to do something better than a person who has spent years attaining specialized education and training, someone who has toiled for years in his career to learn the ins and outs of his area of expertise.

I don’t pay a visit to my doctor and then say “listen, Doc, I was googling the symptoms and it seems to me that you’ve got this diagnosis completely wrong. And not only that, but I just feel it’s the wrong diagnosis.”  Continue reading “This ain’t no Disney movie”

You Lie, Mervis!

If you live in the DC area, you’ve no doubt heard the overly-dramatic voice of Ronnie Mervis on the radio urging you to buy your woman’s love with one of his expensive diamonds. Milking his South African accent for all it’s worth, despite having lived in the US for decades, Ronnie implores customers to spend the average price of $8700 for a diamond engagement ring in order to show how much you love your lady in the most shallow and commercial way possible.  Continue reading “You Lie, Mervis!”

Can Everyone Please Just Chill the Hell Out?

We live in an era of outrage. And frankly I’m tired of it. You might say that I’m outraged by all the outrage. Everyone is pissed off about something all the time, and everyone is constantly telling each other that they should be pissed off, too. Righteous indignation is the new normal. The internet is the perfect medium for spreading outrage. Twitter is tailor-made for angry people with short attention spans with its 140-character outrage nuggets.  Continue reading “Can Everyone Please Just Chill the Hell Out?”

The machines have already taken over

The 1984 film Terminator, and its subsequent sequels, explores a dystopian world in which the machines have become our masters. Sadly, that world is no longer one of science fiction. While the nightmarish scenario of a single-minded T-800 Terminator cyborg relentlessly pursuing its pre-programmed prey (Sarah Connor? I’ll be back) has thankfully not come to fruition, we have indeed become slaves to our machines in many ways.  Continue reading “The machines have already taken over”

How Soon is Now?

At risk of sounding curmudgeonly, the world is speeding up and I don’t like it.

Our human ancestors walked out of Africa, and eventually walked all over the entire planet. Or built boats and floated to the parts they couldn’t reach on foot. Granted, it wasn’t one continuous trip, it took millenia. But they were in no particular hurry. Those bipedal hominids’ feet were made for walking. And that’s just what they did. Today we express surprise when someone walks a 10K race for charity. Yet our earliest ancestors did nothing but walk. They had no alternative. Continue reading “How Soon is Now?”

Some thoughts on sexism, xenophobia and the media

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. And I’ve been thinking about the sexism that is still pervasive all around us. One of the most visible examples I’ve seen in recent news headlines is the way the media are covering the so called “jihadi brides” story. Which is both sexist and xenophobic. If you’re not familiar, here’s one particularly egregious example from the British press. “Desperate women” who are “besotted” with love for handsome jihadi fighters are flooding the internet with marriage proposals in their desire to marry a potential martyr. It’s nauseating. Continue reading “Some thoughts on sexism, xenophobia and the media”

But do they teach humility?

It’s been a while since I posted a rant. I guess I’m fortunate that nothing has fired me up lately. But yesterday I was confronted by such a blatant display of smug self-righteousness that I had to write about it.

I was sitting on the Metro, commuting to work. My normal routine. The typical commuter is silent, anti-social, lost in our own introspection before the start of our workdays. Suddenly a group of college girls gets on the train. They were holding cups of coffee, which annoyed me, because scofflaws of the Metro rules (no food or drink!) always annoy me, but coffee in particular is especially egregious. If the train makes a sudden stop and you dump your scalding extra-venti cup of decaf-soy-mocha-choco-caramel-pumpkin spice-2000 calories of over-sweetened glop onto my lap, we’re going to have us some issues.  Continue reading “But do they teach humility?”

You know what? F*#@ Columbus

Hooray, it’s time again to celebrate the man who got lost, washed ashore on a land that had already been inhabited for tens of thousands of years, claimed it for his financier, the King of Spain, enslaved its inhabitants, left behind smallpox and syphilis, never really figured out whether he was in Asia or not, and was such an inept and brutal governor that he was jailed by his King. Continue reading “You know what? F*#@ Columbus”