Skip to main content

Valannin's Breviloquent Rhetoric, Take 1

Being over a month since my last post, I felt it would behoove me to write a little something this morning. Partly because I enjoy writing, and partly so the 11 people who read my invective-laced tirades would not think I had finally succumbed to my diet of rare steak, Belgian beer and cigarettes. No, I am very much alive. Corporeally, anyway. My spirit, on the other hand, is another matter. I’d probably be able to better face the soul-crushing disappointments of life if I didn’t have to deal with the gnat-like annoyances that swarm around me on a daily basis. So I’ve decided to write a series of open letters to the people and groups who need to cease and desist all efforts to make my everyday existence as miserable as possible.

Dear Apple Computers: Stop telling me how much better than my PC your little toys are. They’re not. Macintosh are to computers as Hyundais are to automobiles. In fact, by using that smarmy little hipster guy with the wrinkled clothing in your commercials, you are driving me further away from buying your glorified WebTv.

Dear New Moms: If and when I ask how old your kid is, I don’t need to hear that he’s “18 months” - just say “2”. I don’t want to analyze his horoscope, so we really don’t need to be that precise. In fact, I really don’t care. I’m just trying to be polite.

Dear Fox, USA, NBC, et al. Please get rid of that ridiculous little icon the lower right hand corner of the screen. I’m not an idiot; I know which channel I’m watching.

Dear Everyone on the Bronx River Parkway: Please drive the speed limit in the middle lane and not 35 MPH in the right lane; I’m trying to merge and your brown Buick is in my way. If you’re scared of the high speeds, then get off the parkway and stay on the service roads.

Dear Comedy Central: Please play more than 8 minutes of a program before cutting away to a commercial. And if you have to do so, please make it a commercial for something other than your own station. I’m already watching it; I need no convincing.

Dear Cablevision: Stop calling my cell phone every night to explain to me your "hot new offers." I already use your cable, internet and phone service. What else could you possibly be trying to offer me? Besides, I pay for those calls, and I will be deducting the cost of each from next month’s bill.

Dear Chase Manhattan Bank: Stop sending me credit card applications. I have received 1100 of them in the past month. I will never use your services unless you lower the APR to something a little more reasonable than what Vinnie “Six Finger” Scarpetti might charge.

Dear Daily News: I’m no Yankees fan, but please stop blaming Joe Torre for the team’s ills. He’s an American League manager, which roughly means that he does absolutely nothing. The Yankees suck because they are a collection of overpaid, over the hill, steroid monstrosities who spend more time doing Pepsi commercials than taking batting practice.

Dear Hollywood: Please stop doing remakes of classic movies, especially those that replace the original star with a black actor. Putting Cedric the “Entertainer” in Rodney Dangerfield’s role for the new “Back to School” is an insult to pretty much everyone who comprises the movie-going public. Also, can you stop adding rap music to everything? From television commercials to blockbuster movies, practically every soundtrack seems to include either a rap song based on the title of the movie or some talentless idiot named MC Fo’ Shizzle saying “Yeah, Yeah, my Niggaz” over a ten second sample of a Led Zeppelin guitar riff. Even worse are the advertising jingles attempting to rhyme an instant oatmeal product or toilet bowl cleaner with an outdated hip-hop phrase like “Word up.” There are probably 1100 other genres of music available for you to exploit; let’s give Axl Rose some work, please.

Dear Museum Builders: Can you give it a rest with them in general, already? The United States has 23 separate Holocaust museums, and over a hundred devoted to Native American Culture. I have nothing against the academic study of history and culture, but that seems to be an awful lot of scholastic space devoted to two groups with a combined population of less than 4% of the nation’s total. In fact, there are more Holocaust museums in the United States than in all of Europe and Asia combined. I’m naturally suspicious of things like this. I remember when museums were all about art, anthropology and science, and not dedicated to propagandizing a political agenda.

Dear Cartoon Network: As much as I enjoy women in plaid skirts, please stop showing 1100 hours of Japanese animation on Saturday night. Every single new anime program that is introduced is exactly like every anime program to come before it: too frenetic, too loud, and with the exact same recycled plot. Are there no American cartoonists you could showcase? Bring back G.I. Joe and put these spiky-haired, sword wielding, bug-eyed, half-demons on ice.

Dear Hillary and Bill Clinton: Just shut the fuck up already.

Dear “famous” people vociferously sounding off in the current stem-cell debate: Your area of expertise is entertainment, and nothing more. In fact, you probably got into the fields of acting, singing and athletics because your performance in school was less than stellar. Keep this rule in mind: if you’ve ever recorded the voice of a cartoon animal for a Hollywood movie, then you have no business engaging in a scientific debate. To those of us who studied, those of you who mince around on stage or play a game in uniform are nothing more than the contemporary version of the traveling minstrel. The only possible exception to this rule is Ronald Reagan.

Dear Television Producers: Is it possible that you could come up with some programs that highlight the exploits of some people other than cops, doctors, lawyers, or male heads of households who are total bloody morons? Whatever happened to the acerbic talking sportscars, bands of cigar-chomping, renegade justice-seekers driving around in a custom-painted van, or costumed superheroes who never got the hang of flying? Go look up a gentleman by the name of Stephen J. Cannell; he might be able to lend you a hand.

Dear civilians involved with the 9/11 attacks: It’s a terrible thing that you lost loved ones; so did I. But that doesn’t give you any right or authority to dictate policy, question procedure, or instigate investigations into the events preceding the attacks, the subsequent clean-up of the site, or any future development plans that the owners of the property or the city of New York might be considering. 40 years later, and no one really knows who killed Kennedy; do you think the government really gives a shit if your husband’s left hipbone was recovered? If you want to grieve, then go light some candles in the park or something; the rest of the country is trying valiantly to move forward. And stop telling me that the firefighters are “heroes.” They’re not. They were merely doing their job, which just happens to involve dashing into burning debris. The hot dog vendor on Church Street who crawled on his hands and knees through the flaming rubble to rescue a woman trapped under a fallen doorframe is a hero. Basically, if you receive a paycheck for your actions, then your actions are not heroic.

Dear Cell Phone Companies: I have an idea. Instead of figuring out new and exciting ways for the Proles to get access to every conceivable manner of entertainment on their mobile phones, how about steering your Research and Development staff in the direction of securing simple phone service. I don’t want to use my phone to take pictures, download music, screen movie trailers, surf the web, send emails, broadcast last night’s episode of Lost, play Mario Kart, or chart my route through the Strait of Gibraltar. I would, however, like to use it to make a fucking phone call that doesn’t cut off after four minutes of conversation and doesn’t sound like I’m talking while inside a hollow aluminum tube. Why don’t you work on that?

Dear Senator Barack Obama: I’m sure you’re a pretty smart guy, but no one in America is going to cast a Presidential vote for someone named “Obama.” You could single-handedly solve this country’s immigration, social security, energy and foreign policy crises, but until you change your name to something that sounds less like either a radical terrorist or a Star Wars bounty hunter, you will have no political future. People who run this country have names like “George,” “John,” “William,” “Thomas,” and “James.” Take a tip from history and stay off Oprah.

And finally:

Dear Carlos Beltran: In the future, if it’s ever the bottom of the ninth inning in game 7 of the National League Championship Series, and there are two outs with the bases loaded, and your team is down by two runs, you should probably swing at the 3-2 pitch. I’m just saying…


Anonymous said…
Wow! You pretty much nailed them all. Personally, I would have added the Christmas commercials that come out the day after Halloween to the list, but Wow!

Don't you just think that is alot of repressed annoyance though?? Get a hobby, get laid, go excercise...whatever. But if you are going to be as informed as you are, don't waste it on complaining.
Moni said…
There he is!!!!! There's our Val, wading through the b.s. called life. I'm so glad you made an appearance.

I can't savour everything you've writted just now, but I will...I will.

Valannin said…
Anonymous commenter: I do have a hobby, it's Complaining. I also enjoy Lamenting, Dissenting, Remonstrating, and on the rare occasion, Denouncing.

I also enjoy long walks on the beach and candlelit dinners. Nothing says romance like wandering around in the sand and eating in the dark.

Hugs right back, Moni...
Scott said…
Yo! Good to see you back. I disagree about the firefighters though. They may get paid for what they do, but it is heroic nonetheless to stay in a burning building that is likely to come down. It would give me pause. In fact, I would say that going into a burning building for a living is heroic all on its own. The fact that one is paid is irrelevant. We all get paid for what we do, but it's what we choose to do that differentiates us. The equal argument taking the opposite tack would be to say that a contract killer is not depraved for committing murder, because, of course, he was paid for it.
Anonymous said…
no one in America is going to cast a Presidential vote for someone named “Obama.” hmmmmm

Popular posts from this blog

All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions (W. B. Yeats)

Something occurred to me as I was having a conversation with a friend today, (she’s definitely one of the Outcast by the way), when she mentioned that I wasn’t very “open-minded.” The phrase “open-minded” is perhaps the most aggravating and deceptive American axioms ever invented. Why? Because it’s a trap. The only reason people see others as not “open-minded” is because they are not in agreement about a particular subject. If someone says, “I don’t think the U.S. ever put a man on the moon,” I’d disagree, because there’s tons of evidence to the contrary. But then I’d be met with the dreaded “you need to be more open-minded!” Well, shouldn’t they have the same level of open-mindedness? Of course not. Because in their lexicon, “open-minded” means “believing any old bit of nonsense as long as it goes against tradition.” Cold, hard facts scare these people, so they hide behind the gilded shield of “opinions.”

To be honest, I don’t believe there are any such things as opinions. There are f…

Reason # 1147 To Enroll Your Kids In Private School

Here's a brief story I'd like to relate while it's still fresh in my mind; typically, my articles are 3-4 pages, and quite frankly, it's far too hot to create such a magnum opus tonight. So, I offer you an ultra-condensed version of a disturbing event which took place this past Friday.
Actually, to set the stage, we have to go back to the previous Friday, when the Superintendent of our District happened to be visiting our school. To explain why he was there, I'd have to go over the one-page cap I've set for myself for this article, so suffice it to say that he was trying to do in late May what he should have been doing all year long – namely, his job.
While he is visiting, a student decides it would be a real hoot to throw a glass bottle out of a third-floor classroom window. And since the universe is not without a sense of humor, the bottle travels along a trajectory which terminates at the windshield of a brand-new car parked on the street outside. A car t…