Tangent: Faith

Photo by shane, 7/30/2010, Capitola, CA:


Seriously, tourists?

All I wanted to do this weekend was relax at my local contaminated beach and catch some rays. Maybe toss the football around. I didn’t plan to actually get wet because, thanks to rotting kelp, the water’s toxic this time of year. You know, like it says right there? On that giant fucking sign?

Christ, people. My brain hurts. See what you’ve done, illiterate tourists? Not only have you most likely infected yourselves with some wicked strain of virulent flesh-eating bacteria, your stupidity has also given me a headache. Congratulations.

I try to have faith in the human race. Despite my occasional cynicism, I’d like to believe that we aren’t all going the way of the dinosaurs any time soon. I try to be optimistic, I really do.

But sometimes people make it so damn hard.

The Truth about Single Men and Discrimination

There are businesses in America that are completely off limits to unmarried, childless men. It’s not like these places have an official policy of discrimination…they just make it clear we’re not wanted.

For instance, single men without children are not welcome at Chuck E Cheese. Trust me. Even if all we’re doing is innocently sliding into a vat of rubber balls or crushing seven-year-olds at Guitar Hero, overprotective parents will be giving us the evil eye and fingering their pepper spray.

SO unfair. I enjoy animatronic, singing mice as much as any kid. And diving into a swimming pool full of rubber balls is good times, regardless of pre or post-pubescent status.

At Toys R Us, it’s the same deal. What–because I’m over 18 I can’t appreciate toys? I get upset even driving by a Toys R Us these days, picturing all the awesome plastic crap that I’ll never get to enjoy.

Listen up, parents. I don’t want to molest your snot-nosed kids. You couldn’t pay me enough. Slip me a roofie and a Viagra and I still wouldn’t touch those little bastards.

Grr. How am I ever going to improve my Dance Dance Revolution skills if I can’t hang at the ‘Cheez? One of these days I’m going to rent a windowless black van, paint a giant lollipop on the side, and cruise slowly around the Chuck E Cheese parking lot for hours just to see the looks on their faces. If they’re going to treat me like Chester the Molester, I might as well play along.

When I get rich the first thing I plan to do is buy a Bounce House and a Merry Go Round and one of those deluxe Slip ‘N Slides with the sprinkler system attached. I’ll be like Michael Jackson with all the carnival paraphernalia, except I won’t let children anywhere near my ranch.

An amusement park without kids–it’ll be the happiest place on earth.

Tangent: Consumer Sluts

By now you’re probably familiar with the concept of a “Haul Video”: some obnoxious, spoiled suburban brat purchases a shit-ton of useless crap and then posts a testimonial to YouTube bragging about her loot. Example: Forever 21 Haul

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

Could there possibly be a better example of capitalism gone awry? A haul video is what happens when a vapid teenager/socialite has absolutely nothing to contribute to society other than her weekly allowance/paycheck. Publishing one of these vids is the equivalent of announcing, “My entire value as a person consists of the money in my pocket and the Prada hanging from my arm.”

If we’re being honest, few of us are immune to the temptation that is retail therapy. At various times in our lives we’ve all been consumer sluts. (Not whores, btw–the idea of a “consumer whore” doesn’t even make sense. Whores earn. Sluts give it away.)

But the difference is that these chicks actually seem to believe that pulling out a credit card is an accomplishment that deserves to be shared with the world.

Sad. But as with most tragedies, there might just be a silver lining. In this era of financial crisis, with the government urging us to spend, is it possible that these consumer sluts are actually doing us a favor? Are they greasing the wheels of capitalism, and helping to keep our entire economy afloat?

Food for thought. Maybe I should give the haulers a break.

Just don’t expect to see “Shane’s Haul Video” any time soon.

Shane’s Haul Video:

The Truth about Rebranding

Product branding is a necessary evil. I get that. But please, public relations and marketing people, quit trying to hipsterize your brands. It’s feeble.

No one is ever going to refer to the National Geographic Channel as “Nat Geo.” It’s not happening. Let it go.

And Radio Shack, you’ll never be The Shack. Yes, “Radio Shack” was a short-sighted name choice because radio is a dying technology. But for better or worse, it’s the name you picked. You’re Radio fucking Shack. Deal.

If corporations get to arbitrarily rebrand themselves, people should be able to do the same. After all, I want to stay hip and relevant too.

From now on, call me “The Shane.” Or should I go with “S-Dog” to appeal to Gen Y?

Respect my brand. Next time you talk about me you better be all, “I saw S-Dog yesterday. He was at The Shack watching Nat Geo. Word.”

I feel more relevant already.


Tangent: Insult to Injury

Attractive people shouldn’t be allowed to work in hospitals.

You know what always makes me feel better when I’m contorted in pain, hacking and coughing and leaking bodily fluids? A hot nurse staring at me in horror while wearing rubber gloves to avoid contact with my skin.

Yup, when I’ve hit rock bottom I like to be treated like a leper by people who could be the product of a Nazi eugenics experiment. Luckily for me, my local emergency room is apparently staffed by Abercrombie & Fitch.

Ooh…and btw can you give me one of those assless smocks to wear? That final indignity would be the perfect ending to this traumatic experience.

The Truth about Random Stuff

If you drink a lot of Snapple, you’re probably absorbing a bunch of useless trivia from the inside of each cap…facts that are instantly forgotten until they somehow become relevant during an argument with your girlfriend, at which time you’ll inevitably misquote them and end up looking like an idiot.

Regardless, the below facts have all been verified. Feel free to use them to win money or piss off your significant other.

True facts:

(Tangent: why are these lists always titled “true facts”? Aren’t facts true by definition? Anyhoo.)

1. A group of ferrets is referred to as a “business.”

This may be the most awesome fact ever. I love the idea of a business run by ferrets. If my job was to dispense loans, I would SO approve a business loan for ferrets.

I wonder what type of business a bunch of ferrets would create. I’m picturing some kind of factory with ferrets in trucker hats manning (ferreting?) the assembly line while other ferrets pace around carrying clipboards and holding pencils behind their ferret-ears. Ferrets seem chill, but it would suck if ferret managers were all super hardcore, making everyone stay late and work on weekends and such. That would totally ruin my image of ferrets.

Btw, a group of goats is called a trip, according to Snapple. So there’s that.



2. Tigers have striped skin underneath their fur.

Who discovered this fact? Who’s shaving tigers? I assume the tigers are being shaved postmortem, which is some seriously pansy bullshit. If you’re determined to shave a tiger, you should have to do it rodeo style. Rope that fucker, wrestle him to the ground, and shave his ass. If you can do that, mad respect. But don’t complain if he goes all Siegfried and Roy on you.

I wouldn’t try to shave a housecat, let alone a tiger. Felines do not mess around, and will resort to ass-kickery the moment you brandish a razor. Justifiably.


3. It’s impossible to lick your own elbow.

Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try. I’ll wait.

See? A little trust, next time.


4. Between 25% to 33% of the population sneeze when they are exposed to light.

I do. That officially makes me a minority. Sweet. If I end up going to grad school, I’m all over the financial aid.

Tangent: Gay Black Female Friend

Now Accepting Applications

I’m a modern, progressive guy. I support equal rights and feminism, I listen to hip-hop. Sometimes I watch Glee.

But I’ve realized that the demographic makeup of my circle of friends does not reflect the diverse mosaic that is America. My heart may be a melting pot, but my friends look like a Klan rally.

I need some kind of grand gesture that will reveal to the world the Benetton colors of my soul.

There’s only one problem: as you’ve probably figured out, I don’t, in general, like people. So I won’t be surrounding myself with a gaggle of folks from all walks of life. I’d like to find one uber-diverse individual who covers all the bases. I’m officially in the market for a token black/gay/female friend who will help bolster my image as an open-minded citizen of the world.

You’ll be expected to hang out with me once a week, in public locations, and make a big production over how well we get along and how I accept you despite your multiple-minority status.

You won’t receive compensation, but I’ll probably buy you a beer, and you’ll enjoy my dry wit. If you’re cute and if the gay thing isn’t set in stone, we could even make out.

Feel free to submit applications via blog comment.

The Truth about Pain

I understand the function of pain, I’m just not clear on its strategy.

At some point during an injury, pain becomes redundant and pointless. The whole purpose of pain is to alert people to the fact that they need to take action, but it seems counterproductive for a person to be in so much pain that he/she is incapable of any actions other than writhing and sobbing.

Kudos, pain. Thanks to you I am aware that the water I just spilled on my crotch is scalding. Your message has been successfully delivered. You should probably take a break from causing me agony now, so that I can seek treatment.


We need a pain shutoff switch. An actual switch, not morphine or vicodin or anything else addictive and nausea-inducing. Just a lightswitch on the back of our necks that numbs us when the pain is no longer useful.

Since I watch a lot of Discovery Channel, I fully expect to someday be trapped under a collapsed structure and have to gnaw through my own arm to escape. That will suck, but it will suck far less if I can just shut down the pain and get to chewing.


Is the medical community currently working on a pain switch? And if not, why not? Pain is among the leading causes of misery in the world today.

Pain switches are the future of medicine. You heard it here first.