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Mountain Monsters

I’m not sure how authentic it ever was, but at this point “reality” TV is so far from being real that I’ve stopped finding the misuse of the word “reality” funny. Even the shows I kind of like (Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Storage Wars) have obviously fake and staged bits mixed in with the “reality.” TruTV has apparently built an entire network based solely on the idea of finding reality shows that were successful on another network and making them faker (just watch any given episode of their Storage Wars knock-off “Storage Hunters” sometime if you don’t believe me.)

But Destination America has gone everybody one better with Mountain Monsters. It’s a show about a bunch of “backwoods trappers” hunting mythical monsters like Ohio Grassman and Mothman. They also hunted Devil Dogs, which I was pretty sure you could just go to the store and buy, but I guess I was mistaken.

The problem is, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more inept group of “trackers” and “hunters” in my entire life. I’m no outdoors-man myself, but several members of my family would match the description of “backwoods trapper” quite nicely, and I feel vaguely offended on their behalf whenever I watch the Mountain Monsters guys. These guys stumble around the forest like a herd of elephants, loudly shouting and shining their jillion candlepower headlamps everywhere while busily stamping out any tracks that might be in the area. The fat kid doesn’t even seem to know how to handle a rifle, as he constantly walks around with his finger on the trigger, and often braces the butt in the crook of his elbow or against his ample bosom instead of, you know, firmly set against the shoulder like anybody who has ever fired an actual rifle would know to do. Hell, all the guys walk around waving their guns around, paying no heed to where the barrel is pointing or who is in front of them, breaking every rule of gun safety that every country kid learns early on. Only city folk think “hillbillies” act like this, and it’s honestly insulting to watch. Everybody I know who owns a rifle or a shotgun knows better than to handle it like these fools do.

But never mind all that. You don’t even need to know anything about real hunting and trapping to know this show is ridiculously fake. First of all, in every single episode they very nearly almost totally just miss trapping the monster! In fact, they’re usually only out there one night and they stumble across what they’re looking for every time. But of course, they never, ever actually manage to trap it, because these hardcore trappers build the most ridiculous Rube Goldberg devices possible instead of just waiting in a fucking tree stand and shooting the goddamn monster in the head, or just setting out a bunch of trusty bear traps!

My favorite example is from the Ohio Grassman episode, where they decide to dig a pit trap to catch this thousand pound, eight foot tall hominid. First, they’re supposedly miles and miles and miles from any form of civilization, and yet they somehow manage to drive in a fucking backhoe to dig their pit trap. Then, they act surprised when their pit starts filling up with water. Now, understand that it’s raining for pretty much this entire episode. Not only that, but they dig their pit right next to a river. No actual person who has spent more than ten minutes outdoors should have been surprised that this pit, dug on a floodplain literally just a few dozen feet from a river, instantly started filling up with water. But these cartoon hillbillies were!

So they dig a four foot pit to catch an eight foot hominid, and figure the mud will be enough to keep Grassman in what they’re now calling their “quicksand trap.” Holy shit, really? I’m just a little over six feet tall, and I’m pretty sure I could have easily pulled myself out of their ridiculous trap if I’d fallen in. Then of course they all wander away and nothing ever falls into the trap. Instead they find an old shack filled with grass and brush and figure this must be Grassman’s nest! After they all run around it, waving their guns around like idiots, one of them insists he saw Grassman’s butt.

And that’s it.  That’s the episode. A pit nothing ever falls into, and an unseen grassy butt. Nah, this show isn’t fake at all.

Posted in Miscellaneous.

Elevator Action II

A little bit ago, I did a long rant about elevators, and how people are fucking stupid about them. You probably thought that was all I had to say on the subject.  Hell, that’s all I thought I had to say on the subject, to be honest. But today, I have something more to add.  This time though, I am throwing down the gauntlet.

Let me give you a little background about myself. I’m a big guy. Not, like, massively huge or anything, but pretty big.  I’m 6’2″ and I weigh… well, never fucking mind what I weigh, but just speaking statistically, I feel safe wagering that it’s more than you. I’m broad shouldered and take up a good bit of space.

Now, it wasn’t until fairly recently that I actually realized that my size can be intimidating. My self image never included “intimidating” in pretty much any capacity, so the idea that people smaller than myself (which is a fair bit of the population) might find my mere presence imposing was an alien concept.

That’s not to say I don’t realize how big I am. Trust me, nobody knows that better than I do. I generally spend a good deal of my time in public trying to take up less space because I realize what a space hog I am. I do my best to give everybody around me as much personal space as I can whenever we’re forced to be in close proximity, such as on a plane, sitting at a ten handed poker table, or, say in an elevator.

As of now, though, I’m declaring a moratorium on the whole “not using my size to my advantage or acting like I’m entitled to a certain space” thing in one specific area. If I am on the elevator, and the door opens, I will walk the fuck off the elevator as if I have the right of way.  Because god dammit, I do. If you attempt to squeeze past me so you can shave a valuable half second off your elevator boarding time, do not expect me to yield. I will not turn my shoulders to avoid hitting you, and if we do collide, I will not stop and apologize for what I would normally assume is my own clumsiness or obliviousness.  I will knock you the fuck over and walk away like you deserved it. Because frankly, you did.

I won’t run over children, because they don’t know any better.  I won’t walk directly into people who are standing a bit too close to the doors but aren’t actively trying to board at the same time that I am getting off. I won’t intentionally run into people who aren’t paying attention. And although in my head this would be hilarious, I promise I won’t charge off the elevator as soon as the door opens and start clothes-lining the hell out of everybody in sight.

But if you’re that asshole who just can’t wait to get on the elevator and who starts to board before it’s clear, you can expect to eat my shoulder. Trust me, those are not double doors. We can’t easily walk past each other. One of us is going to have to yield in order for this to work, and from now on, I can promise you that person will not be me.

Posted in Miscellaneous.

No sympathy for rapists

Dear internet: Please stop worrying about how those poor Steubenville shitheads just had their “lives ruined.” Oh jeez, I’m so sorry that when you do something incredibly illegal and wrong, you go to jail and have that as a black mark on your record forever! That’s just too bad how that works, huh?

I got me a whole bunch of pent up snarky rage (snage? Rark?) so I’ma just do a list of the most bullshit things I’m seeing people say over and over again on the ‘tubes today.


They only fingerbanged her

Oh jeez, I guess that makes it OK then! No dicks were inserted into unwilling vaginas, so nothing bad happened, huh? Oh sure, go ahead and whine about how Ohio is one of the few places in the country where “unwilling fingerbangs” are considered rape. You know what? I don’t care. Even if it’s not considered rape in many places, it’s still sexual assault, and still horribly wrong and awful and shitty and INSANELY ILLEGAL and should still result in prosecution.


Now they have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives

Let me be clear on this: I’m not sure I understand the point of sex offender registries at all. It seems to me like once you do your time in jail, that should be it. Do we make murderers register on lists and tell everybody else they killed a dude once? Pretty sure we don’t. So I’m kind of unclear on why sex offender registries exist at all.

BUT. I hate to be one of those “now is not the time” people, because usually that’s bullshit. But seriously. Now is not the fucking time. These shits haven’t even done a day in jail yet for what they did. Let’s not worry about how having to continually register as a sex offender will affect them after they do their time until after they’ve at least started to do their fucking time, I say. How about we worry about any injustice done to them AFTER they pay for the injustice they inflicted on that girl they raped, OK?  I dunno, seems reasonable to me.


You can be forced to register as a sex offender for peeing in public

Uh, OK. So? I mean, sure, that sounds dumb to me. It also sounds dubious and urban legend-y. But whatever, so what? I already said I’m pretty dubious about the concept of sex offender registries in the first place, but granted that they exist and granted that the purpose of them is to warn others that potential sex offenders are nearby, surely RAPISTS are justifiably going to be on those lists, right? So what does it fucking matter that peeing in public can also land you on those lists? Yes that seems wrong, but what the fuck does it have to do with this case? Why are you bringing this up at all? This isn’t even a case of “Now is not the time.”  It’s a case of “Why are you even fucking bringing this up, it has nothing to do with anything we’re talking about asshole.” I believe in the kinder parts of the internet they call this “derailing.”  I’ma just call it what it is, though: Stupid nonsensical douchebaggery.


These poor boys, they had such promising and bright futures, now it’s all ruined!

Yeah. BECAUSE THEY RAPED A GIRL, THAT’S WHY. Stop talking like they were walking down the street and got hit by a bus and now they can never play football again. That would be a sad situation worthy of sympathy. That’s not at all what happened. They raped somebody, now they’re going to jail for it. If their football careers are over because of that, OH FUCKING WELL. Don’t give me that “one mistake” bullshit either. It’s not like their “one mistake” was being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or trusting the wrong person, or even doing something they didn’t understand the consequences of. They assaulted a passed out girl at a party, knowing full well the entire time what they were doing and how fucking wrong it was. Then they tried to cover it up afterwards. They are not victims. Stop pretending they are.


She got blackout drunk at a party and–

SHUT UP. Seriously, you can just shut the fuck up right now. If you think that sentence is going anywhere other than to the shitsville of victim blaming, you’re an idiot. It literally does not matter how drunk she was, what she was wearing, or how many partners she’s willingly had in her young life. 100% of the blame for this situation goes to the boys who chose to stick things in her vagina without her permission. End. Of. Fucking. Story.


Fucking hell. This is awful. I’m done.

Posted in In The News.

Fuck Six Strikes

If you haven’t heard about this new “Copyright Alert System” better known as the Six Strikes program, you better educate yourself right now. The gist of it is, the usual suspects (you know, all those people with failed business models) got together and cooked up a scheme whereby they’re going to monitor your internet traffic, decide if you’re infringing their copyrights, and then send you threatening pop-up messages trying to shake you down for some cash.

No really.  This is actually happening already.  Comcast and Verizon are already starting the shake-downs, under the guise of “educating” you about copyright infringement. Yeah right, they educate you to the tune of $35 a pop for the right to argue with them about whether you did anything wrong.

It seriously looks like the MPAA and the RIAA have finally come up with a new business model! But unfortunately, it looks like this:

  1. Accuse someone of doing something wrong.
  2. Charge them $35 for the right to dispute this accusation.
  3. PROFIT!

Yeah, I can’t see a single thing wrong with this, can you? Not to mention that in order to try to catch you doing something wrong, they’ve teamed up with your ISP to snoop your internet connections. And if they decide you’ve done something wrong, they inject a pop-up into your data stream to “educate you” on how you can now pay them $35 to clear your name.

What do the ISPs get out of this? Well, for one, Comcast isn’t just an ISP or cable provider anymore. They own NBC now, so they’re also content providers and have a vested interest in this as is. And besides that, if you get your six strikes, they can start throttling your bandwidth until you get EDUCATED. And there’s nothing ISPs like better than throttling bandwidth, since they already oversubscribe everything. This way, they can add MORE customers to that already saturated pipe!

Seriously, fuck this all right to fucking hell. Let me be clear here: I think people deserve to be paid for their creative works. However, we’re not really talking about the creators here. We’re talking about giant industry conglomerates who exist solely to extract money from all sides of the “creator/consumer” equation. The RIAA fucks over artists almost as hard as they fuck over consumers, and they need to die already.

Our current copyright system is severely broken. It is completely unworkable in a digital age, and this idea that we need to save the existing system is completely insane. No, we don’t. We need to reform the system so consumers and creators can both get what they want without giant assbag bureaucracies getting in the way. We need to stop this ludicrous idea that the MPAA and the RIAA somehow deserve to be “saved” because their business models are unworkable in the digital age. NO THEY DON’T. It is entirely incumbent upon them to FIND A NEW BUSINESS MODEL or perish. That’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway.

Unfortunately, the new business model they seem to have hit upon is fucking terrible. So complain to everybody who will listen about this. This needs to DIE.

Posted in In The News.

Please learn to internet!

This post is about restaurants. Or, more specifically, how terrible restaurant websites are.

This isn’t rocket science.  We all pretty much had basic HTML figured out by 1998 or so, and building basic static websites hasn’t changed a ton since then. You don’t need to be fancy, I don’t want Flash intros or ridiculous, useless landing pages. There’s really only four things I need from a restaurant website. Here they are:

Hours of operation

The other night, I wanted to go to this wing place I’d heard about. It was about 6 PM and I wasn’t particularly hungry yet, but I anticipated I’d be hungry in a few hours. So naturally I went to their website to see how late they’d be open. I looked and looked and looked and could not find their hours listed anywhere on their site. I challenged a few friends to find out how late this place was open, and one of them eventually tracked the info down–on Google+. Seriously! The info wasn’t even on their Facebook page–I know, because I actually looked. The only place on the internet that could tell me how late this place stayed open was Google+. At least it’s good for something, I guess.

It’s appalling how many restaurant websites fail at this most basic level. If I don’t know when you’re open, I can’t very well eat at your restaurant. It’s simple,  essentially unchanging information that would literally take you about four seconds to code in HTML and stick it somewhere on your front page. There’s absolutely no excuse not to have this info front and center on your damn website!


You’d think this would be obvious. And to be fair, most restaurant websites do include a menu somewhere.  But it’s usually just a PDF scan of their actual physical menu. Please, restaurateurs, STOP doing this! PDF files are huge and annoying and absolutely ill-suited for this purpose. Hire a friggin’ high school kid to do an actual HTML version of your menu! This shouldn’t be too hard and you can probably get one to do it for free if you promise to give him/her a reference. If you’re worried about all that hassle of having to get someone to change the website every time you add or remove an item from your menu… don’t be. It will take way less time than printing out new physical menus. There’s absolutely no excuse for not having an up-to-date, fully HTML menu on your website.  None.


If I’m going to come eat at your restaurant, I have to know where it is. A simple address is all you need. If you like, include a map too. Google maps makes this stupid easy, so again, hire a high school kid to figure this out for you. You don’t need directions like this: “Take exit 225 and turn left, then right on Chambers and we’re a half mile ahead on your right!”  Seriously, nobody gives directions that way anymore. Just give me the address.

Online ordering

This really only applies to restaurants that offer delivery. I don’t care about ordering online if I’m going to your restaurant to sit down and eat. But if you’re bringing the food to me, you will have about a 10,000% better chance of getting my business if you have online ordering. And seriously, it’s 2013. You should have this by now. I’m sure there’s people out there offering turnkey solutions for this, so go buy one and hook it into your website.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you are thinking “I don’t understand technology and don’t want to hire that high school kid you keep talking about to do any of this crap.  I’ll just put my phone number on the website, and people can just call if they need to know when we’re open or what food we have!”

Fuck you. Seriously, fuck you hard. And fuck your stupid goddamn phone number, too. Yes, I’m sure there are people who only go to your website to find your phone number so they can call you. I know people like that, so I know they exist. I’m not like that. And believe it or not, I’m not that unusual. When I see a business website that has no useful information except for a prominently displayed phone number and an exhortation to “call us for information!” I get super, super irritated. You might as well not have a website if all you’re going to put on it is your phone number.

If the choice is between calling you to find out when you’re open or just not going to your restaurant, I will choose to not go your restaurant. Every. Time. I will not call you for any reason. The internet exists so I don’t have to call businesses anymore! If I can’t figure out when you’re open, I won’t call to find out, you’ll just lose my business.  If I can’t figure out what you sell or what your prices are, I won’t call to find out, you’ll just lose my business. If I can’t figure out where you are… well, you get the picture, right? And delivery places? I decided a few years ago that I’m done with calling you, too. So if you don’t have online ordering, well, you don’t get my business either.

There you go. Four things you can do to make your restaurant website not suck. Get to it!

Posted in Miscellaneous.