Thursday, May 6, 2010

#22 Yoga

Ah the reason this whole things started. Yes, SYANATNL has been blogata non grata of late. Why? Because I'mNotBobby's been relatively happy, unfettered, accepting, and filled with all the joys properly attendant to the onset of Spring. But something has been eating away at I'mNotBobby, something he's been neglecting and it occurred to him on this fine morning as he was walking to the library preparing to ensconce himself in the minutiae of international trade and customs law. There they were, Columbia students. Out on the lawn. At 630 AM. On a weekday. A whole group of them. "Surely, that's a mistake," I'mNotBobby thought to himself. "Surely a proper group of ne'er-do-well undergrads are not awake at this hour for anything but a properly resented obligation." And then he saw the butts. A whole range of mountainous glutes stuffed indelicately into stretchpants and aimed skyward and noses pressed to the ground; an unholy inversion -- Yoga.

Yoga is kind of the reason I got into this business. There's something so unpleasant about it, unless you're doing it. Yoga may not be brainwashing; Yoga may not be a cult. But, as I'mNotBobby's grandfather, I'mNotSelig used to say, "If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and condescendingly tells you how awesome being a duck is and how they think you particularly would just be so much healthier and happier as a duck, then it's probably a freakin' go bring me a tall glass of Vodka, that's a good lad."

Isn't it weird how Yoga folks feel no compunction whatsoever in proselytizing? I mean, sure I complain about my back sometimes, maybe my abs aren't what they should be. But does that mean I deserve to have some glassy-eyed narcotized adept telling me how Yoga would be especially good for ME and MY problems? How it's changed their life, really, and how they couldn't imagine not getting up and greeting the sun with outstretched arms and upraised heinie? How, when they don't do it, they feel such a deep and oppressive guilt, and when they return, how good it is to be in back in their Lord's loving grace?

Listen, you want to do yoga, that's your business. Knock yourself out. I'm sure you're happy. I have no problem whatsoever with anyone doing what makes them happy so long as it doesn't impel them to convince other people that they should find the same happiness. Keep it to yourself. It is no different than Jehovah's Witnesses or Jews for Jesus. I'm sure, I have no doubt, that Jehovah makes those people feel good, healthy, whole. That they're absolutely sure that Jehovah is just the thing for what ails me. But it rightly pisses me off when they tell me that. It's simultaneously superior, condescending and just plain creepy and Yogaphiles do the exact same thing. There is no qualitative difference at all. AT. ALL.

Maybe I'm just paranoid, but would it surprise you, I mean really, in the end would it surprise you if some megalomaniacal mastermind somewhere in India or something, had a special signal that, when the time is right, they're prepared to transmit and that all these superhealthy, superflexy, superhumans' eyes are going to go all swirly and they're going to blithely and happily march over the earth slaughtering all the helpless non-organic, non-vegan, unbendy and upward-facing people in their wake? I'm not saying it's going to happen, but the brainwashy way these people act has me just a teensy bit worried...

Friday, February 19, 2010

#21 Subway Performers

[by way of explanation, I know that lots of people don't like subway performers but the amount of dirty looks I get from people when I express my exacerbation or ask them to stop makes me feel justified in including this as a proper SYANATNL topic]

So you're sitting there on the subway minding your own business and all of sudden a group of kids sets up camp in the middle of the train and turns on some godawful beats and starts breakdancing wildly kicking everyone in the shins. Or a team of trebly mexicans starts mariachi-ing in your ears. Or a group of a capelliacs inflict their insipid harmonies all over you. And you find yourself re-reading the same paragraph in your book 3 or 4 times because you can't concentrate with all this infernal racket. Or suddenly you can't remember whether Eero Saarinen was an architect or the conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra completely breaking your crossword flow.

And why? Because these people think they have the right to inflict their "culture" or "art" on you. Because at least that group of kids is not hanging out on the street getting into all sorts of god knows what. But since when are those the only two options (up to no good or imposing your breakdancing nonsense on unwitting subway riders)??? And the thing is, the really insidious thing is, that your average subway rider encourages these people. Easily half of you sit there and smile and enable them. How delightful! How artistic and wonderful! Oh what an enterprising group of talented young kids!

NO! These people are fascists. Do they give you any choice? Do they ask, before they begin whether what they're about to do is going to bother anyone, anyone who has absolutely no choice in what is about to be inflicted upon them? No, they don't. They don't care about your choice. They're fascists.

Listen, when I'm on the subway, I'm stuck there. I'm not at a club, I'm on the freaking subway. I'd prefer not to be there and the last thing in the world I need is to be forced, involuntarily forced, to consume your stupid art. I don't inflict my writing on you. (EXCUSE ME LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO NOT LIKE? KALE!) This is why I wear noise-canceling headphones: NO SPILLAGE. I make every effort to minimize in all ways possible the extent to which other people on the train are forced to deal with me and I (as we all should) expect the same. Subway performers are anathema to the whole program and need to be stopped, not encouraged. They are a blight, a pox, a vile extroverted disease. So please, what ever you do, do not encourage these people. Do not give them money or a kind look. Put on your noise-canceling headphones with an air of extreme annoyance at being forced to drown out their insipid fascism. Heck, if you're really adventurous, do as I do, and ask them if they could kindly keep it down. No one should ever be forced to consume another person's art. It offends even the most basic principles of respect and civility and you should not only be allowed to not like it, you should just plain not like it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

#20 The Dislike Button

Now I know this seems like it's right up my alley, but I don't trust the dislike button one bit. It reeks of cynicism and snark, and it may just be a significant step toward the apocalypse.

Now, as you know, I have no problem with not liking things. I like not liking things or at least support people's right to not like things without fear of being ostracized or otherwise dismissed. But the dislike button isn't about not liking things, it's about hopping on a hate-wagon.

And that makes all the difference in the world. This blog, my friends, isn't about hate. It's about not liking stuff and being able to admit that and have it be ok. And there is a yawning abyssal of space between the two.

 In fact, joining in a communal, giggling, sniggering hate-fest is what the dislike button is all about. It's not even really a dislike button. It's a hate button. People don't want to admit that (and it doesn't present the same ring of counterpoint with the "like" button that "dislike" does), but really that's what it is. It's about gleeful hissing meanness. Disliking stuff should be an expression of independence of thought and aesthetics, not "cold dissing" your friends. "Oooo, this is such a great idea. Just think of all the possibilities. We can just click dislike and then that'll totally pone (pwn?) him, awww yeah, the dislike button is the HYPE!"

No. It is not the hype. It's shallow and cowardly.

If you really dislike something, own it, explain it, spell it out honestly and without fear. Don't press a button. That's weak, petty, childish and small. You're better than that, I know you are.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

#19 Chicken Tikka Masala

So you know when you're with a bunch of people ordering Indian food and everyone's ordering their own favorite things with the intention of having the majority of the thing they like but also sharing it with everyone else and you're salivating over the possibilities and someone always insists on ordering chicken tikka masala? And so then you feel screwed, right, b/c the sharing ratio then gets all messed up because while you don't hate chicken tikka masala, you certainly aren't excited about it and the last thing you're going to do is ladle some of that radioactive pink-orange sauce onto your plate because that vinegar-sweet taste and fluorescent color infect everything else like just so much patchouli or house music. So you don't take your proportionate share of chicken tikka masala but people are helping themselves to healthy doses of the awesome spinach-whatsawhatsa you ordered and you end up totally freaking screwed.

"What do you mean you don't like chicken tikka masala? Chicken tikka masala is sooooo good.

Just try this chicken tikka masala, the chicken tikka masala from this place is some of the better chicken tikka masala. Hey, everyone, I'mNotBobby says he doesn't want any chicken tikka masala. Oh, that's so I'mNotBobby, well screw him, that just means more chicken tikka masala for US! Pass the spinach-whatsawhatsa."

End the Indian food tyranny and the next time you're with a group of people ordering , tell anyone who wants chicken tikka masala that they can go ahead and get chicken tikka masala, but they can't share with anyone else...they just have to sit there and order for themselves and eat chicken tikka masala and only chicken tikka masala. We'll see just how much they love that yogurty iridescence.

Chicken tikka masala.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

#18 Football

I don't get football. I mean I guess it's because I never played it, but there's plenty of people out there who live and die for the game who never played. Now, as a baseball fan, I know I have no leg to stand on here, complaining in subjective terms about why football's no good but judging it using my own criteria. I get that. Except that it seems pretty much OK to lambaste baseball (oh, it's so boring!), but coming out against football is tantamount to declaring openly for Al Qaeda or France or something. Flatout unamerican.

But there's nothing elegant or beautiful about it. At all. Mountains vying for position. I don't see it, I never have. How is baseball boring and football not boring? I mean honestly, can you sit there and watch every play in a football game? every referee conference? every play action incompletion? Honestly? Football's stupider. It's always the dregs of the gene pool who play it in school and don't even get me started about the pieces of bauxite who go to tailgate

parties and paint their faces and wolf down beer by the gallon and get into fights and act like complete douchebags.

Also, Super Bowl Sunday is the day with the highest rate of violence against women all year?  You really think that's a coincidence?

I'm indulging in hyperbole here because there's a double-standard at play and there's something defiant and extroverted about football fans. And god forbid you're in a sports bar and you ask them to change the channel to a nice golf tournament or tennis match, or maybe the MLB network's showing some Padres/Pirates matchup from '77.

But no, you're not allowed to not like football. Or farm shares. Or bike lanes. Or rainbows. Or the miracle of childbirth.

Yeah, there's roids in baseball, but it's freaking institutional in football. It's an angry game filled with thugs and wife-beaters. Guys literally trying to kill each other. It's perverse and evil. Football should be banned. No More Football. End the madness and play baseball 365.
Football is boring, stupid, and just plain evil.