Tangent: Request

Request to asshole guys:

Please stop raping people.

Scenario: I meet a nice girl, take her out a few times, commence with the kissing, things get a little heated…and then she starts sobbing and busts out with a rape story. This is not rare, sadly.

I’m not the raping type. I don’t hang with rapists. But apparently a few douchebags are running around raping folks all bed-intruder style, and in the process they’re messing up a bunch of really nice girls in really profound ways.

Now, the fact that my sex life is negatively impacted by rape is not the tragedy here. And I’m not so narcissistic that I suspect rape is actually some grand “cockblock Shane” scheme. It’s just that I’ve never been to prison, so when it comes to rape, disappointment and sympathy happen to be the most tangible consequences for me. But the real tragedy is that the male gender is apparently rife with scumbags.

I don’t want to resent my own gender. Seriously rapists, cut it out. You’ve heard of porn, right?

Rapists, meet the Internet. I think you two are going to get along.

The Truth about Bumper Stickers

Someone please explain to me the strategy behind bumper stickers. Does anyone actually believe that these things are delivering a persuasive or compelling message?

No one has ever been enlightened via bumper sticker. No minds have been changed, no debates have been settled. All we learn from a bumper sticker is that the driver doesn’t give a damn about his vehicle’s resale value.

Apparently a bumper sticker enthusiast’s rationale goes something like this: “I have an important point to make. I feel very strongly about this point. I believe that this point would be most effectively conveyed during rush hour traffic to an audience of stressed commuters who are operating heavy machinery.”

What’s the goal, bumper sticker purchaser? Do you actually think that people are so feeble-minded that they’ll follow any instruction they read? I’d like to meet the type of person who makes decisions based on a car’s butt. “I just passed a 1968 Datsun sporting a fish-with-legs bumper sticker that cleverly satirized the iconic Jesus symbol, and it instantly became clear to me that my entire religious upbringing was a horrible lie. So long, ingrained Christian faith!”

And what about political bumper stickers? What are we supposed to extrapolate about a politician from the fact that his name is plastered all over some guy’s Pinto? Announcing to the world that Barack Obama’s voter-demographic includes a dude with crappy car and a handlebar mustache probably isn’t going to help the President’s chances for reelection. Just sayin’.

Look, I know you’re an opinionated person and you feel the need to spread your message via the written word. But there are other, slightly less obnoxious methods for spitting humorous bits of pointless nonsense into the void.

That’s what blogs are for.

Tangent: Emoticons

Most people are annoyed by emoticons. Not me. I find them fascinating.

Emoticons are shortcuts for language, and as a self-acknowledged lazy bastard, I’m all about the shortcuts. I love that it’s possible to express complex ideas with what’s essentially a notepad-doodle. Communication via cartoon. Brilliant.

But let’s be honest: the smiley-face is played. The world is ready to move above and beyond the standard cutesy emoticon set.

I want an emoticon that implies threats of violence and contains undercurrents of impotent rage. I want the ability to express seething sexual frustration with a couple strategic keystrokes. I want to send conflicting messages via emoticon. I don’t just want to send an Angry Face, I want to send a face that says, “I’m angry, but I’m also perplexed by your behavior and not entirely sure my anger is justified.”

Why aren’t the combined resources of corporate America dedicated to this cause? Come on, Google. Hook me up with an emoticon that will break up with a girlfriend for me. One that says, “I’m sorry I suck at commitment but you’ll be better off without me.” There must be a rudimentary stick figure that can convey this message.