Because stuff needs talking about.

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A (Flappy) Bird In the Hand…

Recently there’s been quite a lot of stuff going on; the most expensive and possibly most anti-homosexual Olympics has kicked off, Philip Seymour Hoffman has sadly departed this world, and, in the celebrity “news” section, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have split, causing a tidal wave of drool to circumnavigate the globe as Goslingites worldwide drift off into steamy daydreams.

Up there competing for valuable social media space though, and somewhat surprisingly I might add, is a rage inducing game with the addictive nature of heroin cut with pure Pringles extract. Yes it’s Flappy Bird; a largely simplistic yet inexplicably hard game where the player guides an incapable bird through a maze of varying, Mario-esque pipes with the objective being…to fly through an infinite number of pipes. It certainly seems that for the public to get hooked on a game, it has to be bird based and fucking impossible.

Another victim of bird rage.

Another victim of bird rage.


I’m happy to admit I’m a bit of a games nerd, I’ve played FIFA games for so long that the majority of real players have retired, and overdone it on Call of Duty to the point that a walk down the street often resulted in assessing objects for their camping opportunities. To cut a long, geeky story short, I expect to be pretty good at games in general, especially ones where the only input needed is to occasionally tap the screen. Surely, a game named ‘Flappy Bird’ where the key objective is, rather obviously, making a bird flap can’t provide much of a challenge to seasoned gamers?

It took me seven attempts to get through one gap, it took me another ten attempts to reach three. After twenty minutes I had managed six, and after another ten minutes it had been deleted after rage had filled my body and left me on the verge of reducing my phone, and it’s infuriatingly flappy contents, to pieces. It raises some issues too, other than how can a pixellated bird which has no ability to fly already be airborne, and also, what’s with all the pipes? No, what it really brings to light is that as a whole, the public is a massive glutton for punishment, on the basis that we can get a couple of ranty and relatable statuses out of it. We will happily put ourselves through the hardship of guiding a wholly dependent blob through a plumbing fiasco in a doomed attempt to complete an endless task, because we know we can get pissed off and vent it all over social networks and be safe in the knowledge that a load of other poor saps will be doing the same and like or share or whatever to show their agreement.
Flappy-Bird-Creator-Is-Taking-Game-App-Down-For-Good1
Such is the annoyance level of this game even the creator has had enough and deleted it from the app store. Perhaps it was the relentless internet hate directed towards his avian invention, or simply the constant trips to the bank to deposit his bulging bags of money. Whatever it is, the bird is set to no longer be the word and the world has been freed from its addictive grip, ready to move on to another equally infuriating and tweet generating time-waster.


NekNomination: Being a Lad Goes Viral

As you all have been made aware by a myriad of drunken and badly filmed videos cluttering up your Facebook news feed, a new social media craze has been doing the rounds. It is of course the online drinking game, NekNomination, where people try their best to concoct and imbibe alcoholic abominations in a bit to out-lad each other, and then NekNominate their friends to one-up their effort.

Alcohol + vest = LAD, apparently.

Alcohol + vest = LAD, apparently.


Despite the obvious glorification of booze culture, the irresponsible celebration of reckless alcohol mistreatment, and maybe worst of all the misspelling of neck to make the whole thing “cool” and edgy, my main gripe lies with the terrible promotion of lad culture across the world.

The new viral trend gives air time to those who actually value the ability to down a curdled blend of potent nastiness, an endearing trait you all must agree, in a bid to prove themselves as the next alpha male, and earn them valuable commendations in the form of Facebook likes to help them cement their position. This ability alone is obviously not enough to secure momentary, localised, internet fame though, oh no. The participant’s on screen presence is paramount to the video’s success. To ensure popularity and respect from the lad-osphere the whole video must be treated like their own private reality TV show, only like one of those hybrid reality shows where the people portray a character of themselves which they yearn to be in real life. Basically, each individual must try to be as much like a TOWIE or Geordie Shore pinnacle of manliness as possible, complete with shaved chest, terracotta fake tan, gel drenched quaffed hair, and of course the mandatory white vest and cap uniform.

What is most disappointing about the whole affair is that has been wholeheartedly accepted and enjoyed by an overwhelming number of the online community. The internet has the power to bring awareness to real, important matters, and try to bring about a change for good in an often unjust world. In this case though, the internet as a population has chosen to get behind testosterone-soaked shows of strength and celebrate wanton liver damage.

At least this guy from South Africa had the right idea and used his minute in the public eye to do something useful and worth commending rather than necking a pint with all manner of shit in it (including shit, it actually happened). Hopefully his will be the challenge accepted by others and the next internet craze will be a positive one.


Top 5 #14

Top 5 Worst Things to Have to Buy From the Shop

We all having a handy shop in walkable distance, you can avoid the hassle and distraction of a trip to the supermarket and you know it’s always there to get those essentials should you suddenly realise you’re without. Sometimes though, they can set up situations of extreme embarrassment and a walk of shame comparable to that of any post-night out Sunday morning, and here’s how:

5. Just milk

So you’re halfway through making a brew, you open the fridge and terror strikes; no milk. No worries, you can just nip to the shop in your slippers, pick some up and be back for the click before the click of the kettle. What you forgot about however was that for some reason a plastic bottle of milk has the potential to be the coldest thing on the face of the earth. So cold, that two Jean Claude Van Dammes would be needed to get the message across. So cold, that scientists could use them when liquid nitrogen just isn’t good enough. So cold, that…that, well you get the point now. Anyway, after realising halfway home your error of not bringing one of thousands of bags for life from home, all that is left is to walk as fast as possible without breaking into a full on slipper scuttle, and making it home to thaw out your frozen fingers with a well-earned cup of tea.

4. A solitary can of beer

Nothing screams desperation like apologetically placing a single can of lager on the till, disdain beating down on you from the shopkeeper’s gaze as he tars you with the alcoholic brush. Sometimes one can is all you want though, for example, it could be a work night and there’s a football match on. You could be mildly upset, but not so sad as to warrant fully drowning your spirits. There are thousands of possibilities which would necessitate in only one can being purchased but society frowns on such an act and restricts beer buying to a four can minimum. It’s your choice though, buy the solitary can that you wanted and face the judgement of all that witnessed it, or give in to peer pressure, buy the multipack and inevitably drink them all, resulting in one horrible Tuesday morning in work.

3. Munchies

It’s a well-known and widely accepted fact that indulging in certain drugs leads to an insatiable appetite for anything unhealthy and attractively packaged. The kind of food you don’t have at home unless you’ve thoroughly prepared for the night’s frivolities. Sadly, the majority of the people who are likely to partake in such a pleasure, aren’t exactly the most organised of folk and thus may not have bought in the necessary supplies to quell the dreaded munchies. This means a half-baked squinty stumble to the shop (or dream factory as it may seem at the time) is called for. Aisle upon aisle of salty and sweet treats await the plucky adventurer, anything that a ravenous reveller could ever wish for all lined up and organised for ease of purchase. There is a drawback however, and it’s not just deciding between Frazzles and salt and vinegar Chipsticks. It’s standing at the checkout, red-eyed and incredibly self-conscious while the person on the till scans through several Chomps and your buy one get one free 2 litre bottles of Fanta, trying to hold it together long enough to get back to the safety of your house with your all-important rations. It’s the realisation that everyone around you is aware of your basket of goodies and has deduced from your appearance and noxious odour that you are most likely not a diabetic crashing. No matter how subtle and inconspicuous you might try and be, in reality you might as well be walking around with a dreadlock wig on and have Bob Marley’s greatest hits playing as your own personal soundtrack. In reality, you are this guy:Stoner-Sterotype

2: Embarrassing Medicine

Yep, the title says it all really. You’ve got something wrong with you that you don’t want anyone to know about but sooner or later, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and take a trip to Boots. Getting the required humiliating product to the till is hard enough in itself, at least three in-motion scouting attempts of the aisle are necessary, obviously without lingering too long so as not to draw attention. Eventually, after hours of circling and feigned interest in the new scents of Original Source shower gel you may get your chance, a clear shot at your target. Now the object mortification is in your hand however, things have got so much worse. You are now linked to this thrush treatment, the haemorrhoid cream and you are one, a semantic union has been created between man and product, between your reddening face and the bulk buy Imodium in your hand. Yes folks, I think Martin Lawrence sums everybody’s feelings up perfectly in this video:

Luckily, shops now have the self-service option, potentially saving you huge embarrassment by avoiding the mandatory human interaction of the till. Just to make sure you don’t escape without complete humiliation at every stage of your shop visit though, the name of each product is proudly emblazoned across the screen as you bundle your shame into your bag. This wouldn’t be so bad if pharmaceutical companies had settled on normal names for the products but alas this is not the case. As one last shot to the wounded pride of the buyer, glaringly obvious and disgusting titles are flaunted to the baying crowd behind them. Titles such as Vagisil, Germaloids, and my personal favourite, Retardex. That’s right, you’re not even spared from humiliation when buying mouthwash.

1: Toilet Roll

Here we are then, number one. I know this should have been number two for the cheap lolz but it has been deemed in certain circumstance as the most embarrassing product to have to buy at the shop, and here’s why. There will be times in everyone’s lives where a collision between saving money and logical thinking will occur. On multiple occasions you will have bought into unnecessary buy one get one free offers, two for five pounds on multipacks of Coke when one was awkward to carry anyway, or enough bulk buy packets of crisps to sustain a small army, albeit a very unhealthy one. Toilet roll falls into this category far too often, giving customers fifty per cent extra free on a regular basis and as result creating huge, whole redwood sized packs for the buyer to struggle home with. But what if all you wanted from the shop was toilet roll? What if you had all of a sudden realised you were running out and nipped to the shop to top up? Then the decision becomes harder to make, buy the smaller, more discreet pack, or save those precious pennies and look like a man proudly parading around the fact that he is in imminent need of the toilet? Maybe I’ve thought too far into this, but when I see I person walking down the street with a 24 pack of Andrex under their arm and nothing else, I can’t help but think that that person has got some serious business to attend to. I mean, what situation can result in needing to buy a gargantuan amount of toilet roll in one go and nothing else? Does this person not need any sustenance of some kind? Some Lucozade at least wouldn’t go a miss. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me who feels massively embarrassed advertising to the world what my immediate plans are when I get home, but now after reading this you’ll all be converted and stop signifying your impending toilet trip to all that you meet. All I can say is, you’re welcome.

Agree with this list? Got anything else to add? Leave a comment and let us know what would have made your top 5.


The Dance Floor Dilemma

It has become the general consensus of the masses that the best way to spend evenings and weekends nowadays is to consume excessive amounts of alcohol and then document the subsequent embarrassing antics on a variety of social networking sites.  As more and more of the population began to celebrate the ways of ‘the binge’ so the need for bigger and better dens of hedonism appeared until, after years of evolution, the nightclub was born and reigned supreme as the ultimate stage for man’s inebriated desires; sex, drugs, and music.

I have no complaints, I love to over-indulge, lose whatever trace of dignity I had left, and commit the following day to hugging the toilet and bed rest.  The issue I do wish to raise though is a by-product of the three desires, the issue is with dancing.

I know I am not alone here in my dance-floor phobia. There are always a small number of us lingering on the outskirts of the grinding fracas as if paralysed by the malaise caused by Usher and the like.  There will always be a few left dutifully holding drinks and bags while our friends are having the best time of their lives soundtracked by Rihanna.  For us, as the minority, things will never change; Liquid aren’t all of a sudden going to splash out on a few pool tables to keep us entertained, just like Tiger Tiger will never set aside a little section for people who have no interest in Shit-Pop or dancing but have somehow been talked into going there.  So, what are the options?

You drink.  You drink with your friends and when they all head off to tear it up you drink some more.  You prop up the bar alone for so long that it actually begins to seem like a good idea to attempt conversations with the endless stream of customers who are being normal and heading back to the dance floor.  There is an obvious problem with this method of avoidance however and you’ll generally start to notice it about an hour in, after consuming twice as much alcohol as your party and commanding a wide berth around you wherever you stumble.  Although, if you manage to lumber your way through the mêlée without barging the innocents to the ground and as a result being ejected from the club, you may find yourself in a position to finally let loose and bust some moves, safe in the knowledge that you will have no recollection of the event ten minutes later, let alone the next day.  A kind warning though, the camera never lies, and Facebook never forgets.

I hate being this guy...nearly as much as dancing.

I hate being this guy…nearly as much as dancing.

Option two, you pretend to dance and have a good time.  As sickening as this might seem to my fellow sufferers, it can be done and gets your persistent friends off your case for at least a few songs.  It’s all about strategic positioning and a bit of acting.  Remain on the outskirts of your group, out of the lines of sight and don’t do anything interesting enough to draw attention.  Standing and swaying slightly is perfectly acceptable.  When someone looks your way, just close your eyes and pull a stupid pose or throw your hands in the air, or some other ridiculous signal of enjoyment to mask the self-loathing you are feeling and convince society that you are obeying the social norms.

If you find yourself in a situation where option two is not possible, like when on a microscopic, holding cell, abomination of a dance floor, you might have to resort to the football fan style, aggressive sing along.  In this situation every song is your favourite song.  Your friends may be shocked at how much you love each rehash of generic pop-dance but believe me, in this scenario you do.  Here, vigour is the key.  Eyes closed, fists clenched, hand in the air to make it that much more meaningful, and most importantly, feet firmly planted on the ground.  No one’s going to make this guy dance, he’s far too into it!  The downside of this, apart from the small piece of your soul that dies with every feigned love of painfully bad music, is that you do look like you are trying to act out an impromptu (and very low budget) music video.  All you need is a camera crew and a wind machine, in reality; the closest you’re going to get is a shaky iPhone recording and a plethora of anonymous dance floor farts.

The last option requires the least effort but perhaps comes at the highest price.  This option is to just accept your position on the fringe of the populous and watch as the hedonistic dance of humanity plays out with a vomit-smattered backdrop. Here you can really appreciate the most appealing aspects of modern life; girls with trowel loads of terracotta fakeness sliding off their faces, men being drawn to the most flesh on display as if their penis was some kind of inebriated, sexual dowsing rod. Bear witness as alcohol fuelled mankind degenerates to primal instincts and urges, and grunt and fight and grind their way through a sea of testosterone and pheromones.  And as you struggle to take in this recession into Neanderthal behaviour, as your belief in the modern human slowly ebbs away like the contents of the numerous discarded bottles that litter the floor, realise that you are exactly the same as them, you with your beer in one hand and smart phone in the other, and your eye on the girls who also believe they are superior to the writhing crowd.  This is the inevitable conclusion that will be reached if you just stand and watch and like it or not, it is the truth.  I mean look at you, you’re in a fucking night club for god’s sake!

 


Top 5 #10

 

Annoying Facebook Stuff

It’s not easy battling with Facebook addiction as we all well know, but it would be nice if while we we’re all indulging in our obsession, we didn’t have to put up with these annoyances.

5. Pictures of Feet:  Every Sunday Facebook finds itself flooded with floor-bound photos.  As the hangover takes its toll and I try to numb the pain with seeing how hammered everyone else was and subsequently how hungover they now will be, all I am greeted with is circle after circle of shoes.  The only thing I can hope for is for a number of people of people to have gone bowling just to breathe some originality into the monotony of heels.

4. Pictures of Jumping in the Air on the Beach:  Having already touched upon this topic in a previous Top 5 complainy list, you can see that obviously something which is dear to my heart.  As well as the obvious annoyance of the whole ‘Oh my God look how crazy I am and how much fun I have’ thing, the other part of these pictures which really grind my gears is the fact that every person involved in the jumping will then use this as their profile picture.  By choosing this picture, are we to think that you want to be seen as just a generic crowd?  As someone who is afraid to differ from their friends and also the millions of other fun-lovers who jump up and down on beaches.  Of course the person you really need to feel sorry for is the person taking the photo, they have to suffer the humiliation and loneliness of being the only person without a bullshit, pseudo-wild, organized fun profile picture.

Piss off.

3. Friend Collecting:  It seems to me that Facebook or any other social networking site has made the world regress to primary school age where people feel it necessary to count the number of friends they have and therefore judge their popularity on that.  Befriending people like estranged family members, mate’s mate’s mates, and people you’ve seen around the village is just not acceptable.  Don’t let yourself become an accessory to their stats-based happiness.

2. Fishing for Interest:  “I’ve had the worst day ever”, “Some people are just dickheads”.  Do these kind of status’ sound familiar?  And are you always intrigued to know what is going on?  Well stop, and take your hands off away from the keys. Don’t let yourself get suckered in by these ambiguous chunks of lexical bait.  If people have news that they believe is worthy of posting then say it, don’t try to raise your self-importance levels by drawing in the unwitting.  We know your game now people, and it ain’t gonna fly!

1. Life Commentary:  The worst of the worst.  The people who post every little moment of their life on Facebook, I don’t care if you’ve just got out of bed, or how nice your breakfast was, or how busy the bus might be, or what you’re having for dinner, I don’t care!  Why would anyone actually think this online daily log of normalcy would be of interest to anyone?  Have these people had their ego fed through numerous ‘pokes’ and ‘likes’ so much that they feel the lowly common folk on Facebook are desperately impatient as to what their TV schedule for the night will be?  But the worst part of it is, the really sickening part is that I sit there, reading all these tedious statuses, with hatred growing inside me, mainly at the person for wasting my precious brain space with their rubbish, but also at the knowledge that I will carry on reading, about how boring work is, about sandwiches, about whether, and about fucking TV, until I’m desperate for an ambiguous status eluding to something remotely interesting happening in someone’s life! It’s just a big circle of loathing.

So there’s my list, yes I am aware that I’m publicising this on Facebook so feel free to treat it as boring, irrelevant or self-inflating bullshit.  If you like it, make sure you add me as a friend, subscribe to the blog, like all my profile pictures, and say “What’s up hun? x” whenever I post some whiny attempt at a conversation starter.