Internet “Fail” Videos

I admit, I love to watch the fail videos on YouTube.  I laugh and I laugh, I share them with friends on Facebook, I link to them in e-mails, it’s an obsession.  Just this afternoon, I spent over an hour watching “fail” videos on YouTube, when I had gone there to check out the video to Jackson Browne’s Lawyers in Love (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBHoMvq_tmY) so I can relive 1983.

I have no problem with the posting of these videos, nor with the people who make them.  I love to watch them…..that’s what annoys me.  I guarantee that you will take longer on this post than any of my other ones because you’ll end up watching all the videos.  I did, and it wasted me about an hour and 20 minutes.  Finally, I stopped because I was interrupted by a phone call.  These are funny, but it’s pathetic WHY they are funny.  They are funny because humans are inherently moronic.  These videos expose the stupidity that exists in the human species and make us see that there are really complete idiots out there.  Many of the “fails” occur because people try to do things that they just shouldn’t be doing.  They may call themselves “daredevils,” but I call them morons!

The worst things about these “fail” videos is that they are awesome time vampires.  They suck the time away, and before you know it, 3 hours have gone by.  They are like that because you have to see how unfortunate all the people in the videos are.  It makes you laugh and think “at least that didn’t happen to me.”  I’m with you on that, I like them, but it annoys me that I do.  It annoys me that I have spent hundreds of hours of my life watching these videos, but it also annoys me that people have spent thousands of hours MAKING these videos and it annoys me that these videos will never stop because people are inherently morons!  Well, I guess I’ll just sit back and watch the next guy get hit in the crotch with a bowling ball and laugh my butt off!

 

Online Classes

online 1Online classes are not for me.  I know some people love them, and thrive in them, but not me.  I am a social person.  I need the camaraderie of a class.  I need people with whom I can commiserate and complain about the workload.  I need study groups and whispers about the professor.  I need teacher-student interaction and instant gratification when I ask a question or have a comment.  I need to physically go somewhere, leave the house.  I need a classroom!

I know many people like online classes because they can complete the work in their own time, at home or when they are free and they can work independently.  A lot of people live in remote areas and can’t possibly get to a class on a regular campus or in a school.  Thank goodness I am not one of those people.  I do not work well on my own.  I am my worst distraction.  I am always looking for something else to do, rather than what I should be doing.  Any time I have been registered for an online class (and it’s been 3 times), I have not completed the class.  I never logged in when I was supposed to, nor completed the work in time.  When I asked a question of the “teacher,” I couldn’t wait hours for an e-mailed response, I gave up.  In addition, there wasn’t any interaction; it was all posting and commenting on others’ posts or watching taped lectures and viewing canned PowerPoints.  It was horrible!

online 2online 3Some companies have made their fortunes offering online courses, even full online degrees.  Some of my friends and colleagues got their degrees completely online, doing the classes in their own time.  This disturbs me, as teaching is inherently a social profession, and to get a degree from an online “university,” such as Capella or the University of Phoenix doesn’t foment that social aspect of teaching.  If anything, it stifles it!

I’m constantly amazed at the number of people I meet who got their Master’s degrees online, or who did their Bachelor’s degree online.  It’s becoming ridiculous.  It’s another way that the world is becoming less social and more hermit-like.  It’s like the family that sits around the dinner table, all on their smartphones texting and playing games.  They don’t say a word to each other, and if they want to speak to each other, there’s WhatsApp for that.  Online “universities” work the same way….they promote non-interaction.  They allow people to be by themselves and take classes with “classmates” they will never meet nor speak to in person.  I can’t do it.  I have tried it, even small 5-week classes are not my cup of tea.  I know now that I need a classroom environment and I need the interaction.  I can’t just sit home in my underwear typing away, pretending I’m in class.  I don’t understand how people can do it, and I know I can’t!

Body Lotion with Skin Whitening Formula

lotion 3While living in China, I noticed that it became increasingly difficult to find my Nivea skin lotion.  I know….what’s a burly, manly-man doing using Nivea lotion?  Well, I have dry skin just like everyone else, and I like the silky feeling it gives me when I put it on my hands and feet.  That being revealed, it was difficult to find my Nivea skin lotion in China.  It’s not because Nivea wasn’t sold in China (it was sold everywhere, even in 7-11 and the Chinese corner store), it’s because almost every lotion I was able to find in any store (even larger supermarkets and pharmacies) had something in it called “whitening formula.”

lotion 1What is “whitening formula,” you ask?  Well, it’s just that….a lotion that promotes whitening of the skin when you put it on.  I was amazed at how many of the lotions in the stores contained some form or another of this whitening formula.  Coming from the United States and Spain, where everyone wants to look like they have the perfect tan, I was confused and intrigued by this need to whiten their skin.  Here in Singapore, the regular Nivea is more available, but whitening lotions abound as well.  Why would anyone want to look paler than they are?  People of Asian descent already have pale enough skin, why would they want to amplify that “glow-in-the-dark” quality that so many have already?  Also, what was in this whitening formula, and why have I never seen it before (is it just high SPF lotion that stops tanning, or does it actually whiten the skin)?

According to LiveStrong.com, whitening lotions mainly contain alpha-hydroxy acids (like the ones found in many food products).  Here’s what they have to say: “Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, occur naturally in some food products, but they can also be man-made. The most common types found in skin creams are glycolic acid, from sugar cane, and lactic acid, found in milk. Both have lightening properties. These AHAs follow a two-pronged approach to battling skin discoloration. They suppress the skin’s natural production of the pigment melanin and at the same time, their exfoliating properties speed up the skin’s renewal process to help fresh, non-pigmented skin grow” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/155358-whitening-cream-ingredients/).  So, people are actually putting acid on their skin daily to remove the pigmentation and make their skin “fairer.”  I guess a daily chemical peel will do that to you!

So, do Asian people really want to look pale?  Yes, they do.  I was talking about this one day a few years ago, while living in China, and one of my friends (who is Chinese) told me that paler skin gives the illusion that women are fair and supple.  It also means that they are well-off because they never have to go outside, they can remain inside all day and have others do their work for them.  I suppose this is why they pop their umbrellas up whenever the sun peeks through the pollution.  This is not only a phenomenon in China, whitening creams fill the markets of Japan and Korea as well.

lotion 2This same woman was called beautiful by a Chinese man later on in the year because she had “beautiful white skin and a pale complexion.”  I guess it works, but it’s so bad for the skin.  Whitening lotion is illegal to sell over the counter in the United States and many European countries because of the damage it can do to the skin.  It’s the act of putting concentrated acid on one’s skin to chemically remove the pigmentation and promote the shedding of the top, darker, layer.

For me, it’s just the annoyance of having to go from store to store before I actually found a lotion without the whitening in it!  I’m sure there are some people in Asia who just want to have soft skin that isn’t dry or flaky, and not have a pale, ghostly complexion.  I realize that stores have to stock products based on what their clients want, but stock a few pieces for those of us that are normal….and want a healthy glow!!

The Eurovision Song Competition

eurovision 1One of the strangest things I have ever come across while living in Europe is the Eurovision Song Contest.  During this competition, each country in Europe sends a representative artist to a location where they each perform and people in Europe vote on who should win.  Sounds normal enough, right?  What’s not so normal is the hype and the craziness surrounding this competition.  The contest consistently pulls in the highest ratings each year in most European countries.  It attracts more European spectators than World Cup Soccer.  Some of my former colleagues in Madrid used to bet on the competition and stay up late into the evening to watch the end to see who won.

This obsession with the European countries to constantly be at odds with each other to determine which is “best” at something is ridiculous.  European countries compete with each other in sporting events, musical competitions, television programs (they all have their own versions of the same programs) and culinary competitions.  For a continent that is supposedly stable and peaceful, this is a very confusing situation.  I will never understand why each European country feels so inferior that they need competitions like the stupid Eurovision Song Contest to make themselves feel better than the rest.

This year, Austria won the competition.  If there’s any country that deserves an inferiority complex it’s Austria.  They don’t even have their own language!  Many people in the world still confuse them with Australia.  Their entry into the competition this year was a transvestite singer who dresses as a woman, but has a full beard.  He describes himself as “2 hearts beating in the same body.”  His “alter persona” even has a backstory and fictional life.

queen 2The Austrian entry won the competition this year, not because of his talent, but because of the novelty.  I “Youtubed” his performance and, while not bad, it wasn’t really song-competition-winning material.  He has a decent voice, and you would have bet your life it was a woman singing, but it wasn’t good enough to win a competition.  His life story and his problems growing up (leading to his “feminine” persona) are what won him the votes….not his music.

This, then is where the Eurovision Song Contest fails.  It ceases to be about the actual music and it becomes more about the people, or countries they represent.  There is always some veiled political undertone that puts a damper on the competition (this year the coordinators weren’t sure what to do with the votes that came from Crimea….they eventually counted them as Ukrainian votes).  Most of all, I am perplexed by the amount of value and time the European people give to this competition.  It’s like the country that wins is best (feeding the inferiority complexes of the other European countries).  Well, I say “all hail, Austria, the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, with a transvestite with a beard!”

Public Bathroom Stalls that are Too Small

stalls 3I am a little shy when it comes to going to the bathroom in a public place.  I am totally a stall man.  I never use the urinal (or, worse, the large trough that exists in some bathrooms).  First of all, I don’t need some other guy staring at my “manhood” while I’m peeing next to him.  I also don’t usually whip it out of the open fly in my shorts, I like to open the entire button and fly, and pull them down a little bit to allow for a more “unfettered” experience.  Therefore, I only use the stalls when I’m in a public restroom.

stalls 1I am also a very large man.  I have written about my size many times before.  For this reason, I even find it hard to use the stalls in many public bathrooms.  There are some bathrooms that have such a small stall that I find it difficult to believe that even normal-sized people could fit in the there to “do their business.”  These stalls are about 3 feet wide and 4-5 feet deep.  It makes for a tiny fit.  Sometimes I’ll enter a bathroom stall in a public bathroom and I have to move all the way in, straddling the toilet bowl, just to get the door to close behind me.  Or, I will move to the side and flatten myself against the stall’s wall so I can push the door past my large frame.  This makes for a very messy scene because many of these stalls are not kept in the most clean condition and straddling the bowl or flattening my body against the wall might cause some of the “uncleanliness” to rub off on me.  Needless to say I jump in the shower the minute I get home, or the laundry gets done instantly.

stalls 2Recently I have begun to use the handicapped toilet (if they have one).  Since these stalls need to be able to fit a wheelchair in them, they are larger than the other stalls (often twice the size) and they have doors that open outward so I don’t have to flatten or straddle when I close the door.  Also, coming from China, the handicapped toilet was often the only one that had a regular “western-style” toilet, and not a squatter hole-in-the-floor.  I do realize I’m only using it for peeing, but the sweet sound of the tinkling water and the metal bars to hold on to make it like a first class seat on a flight across the Pacific!  But, a Chinese hole in the floor with a door to keep it private will do in a pinch.  Unfortunately many of them don’t have doors, or even walls around them.  In that case I just hold it in and wait until a more “civilized” bathroom can be found.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop using the stalls and switch to the urinals.  I’m just not comfortable peeing while standing next to another guy.  Unfortunately, this leads to other problems when the stalls are too small for my large frame.  Why can’t someone make a bathroom stall for the “full-figured” man!?  I guess I’ll just have to be “handicapped” and use the larger stalls when possible.  We all know I’m slightly mentally handicapped anyway (haha)!!

Chinese "hole-in-the-floor" toilet.

Chinese “hole-in-the-floor” toilet.

 

People Who Can’t Make Change

Twice today I was confronted with a person who works in retail that couldn’t make change.  I tried to make it easier for them, and give them an amount that would necessitate fewer bills and coins, but all I succeeded in doing was confusing them

First, at a restaurant, the bill came to $18.  I only had $10 bills, so I gave him 2 of them, but I also included $3 in coins.  Thus, making it easy for him to give me $5 back.  You would have thought I asked him to calculate the national debt because of the confused look he gave me when I gave him the $3.  He stared at me for a second, having already rung up $20 and been told by his cash register that he needed to give me $2.  I had to physically explain to him how to make change for $23.  It took a good minute before he finally understood and gave me my $5.

Then, after 2 very good movies, I caught a taxi home.  The ride came to $16.50.  After being told by the driver that he only takes cash (many taxis in Singapore will let you pay with credit or ATM cards), I decided to make life easier for him as well.  I only had a $50 bill.  I gave him (once again including coins to make it easier) $52, making the change amount $35.50.  Any 2nd grader can tell you that (although with the new common core they’d have to draw out number lines and find the answer in the most convoluted way possible).  When I gave it to him, the response was, “no, it’s $16.50.”  “I know, this way you don’t have to give me too many bills,” I said.  Once again…..the desperate look of confusion is what I saw.  He started counting out coins.  “No, just give me 3 tens, a five and 50 cents,” I said.  You would have thought I was speaking Swiss German to the guy, he had no idea what I was telling him.  Finally, I gave up, took back the $2 coins and let him make change for the $50.  Now I’m stuck with more coins, whereas I was trying to get rid of them in the first place.

It irks me to no end when people who deal with money on a daily basis are complete math morons!  This is basic math, people, what the hell are you doing working with money if you can’t do basic math?!?!  I think employers need to screen their applicant a lot more closely than they are, because they’re probably losing money with the pool of idiots they’ve hired!