All posts by xxj6xx

Why I hate Facebook, or: How did I end up with such a shit-filled feed?

Angry rant ahead, so buckle up….

I’m this close to shutting the door on Facebook in its entirety. No-one seems to give any thought to the things they share publicly anymore. Yes, going on there and telling the world (or select friends/victims) your troubles and woes goes with the territory of social media. Deep down inside, we’re all little attention whores.  We are, really…we want to draw notices to ourselves and the things we have chosen to champion and demonize. We want people to care about us, and to care about the things we care about. We want them to hate the things we hate. We want to be remembered, but not for anything more important than what we’ve thrown up all over our profiles. This has to be true, otherwise we’d all be out riding bikes and reading books and engaging our children instead of being online throwing down link after link like it was the end of the world. True, not all of us are as extreme as I have just portrayed, and yes the tragedy of myself being comparable to those very things is not lost on me. No, it’s not ironic, it’s tragic. Go look up the goddamned definition of irony. Oh wait, that would take some effort and thought, so here, let me throw a snippet down for you…

i·ro·ny

ˈīrənē/

noun

a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.

[Sorry, Alanis Morissette didn’t do the world any favors by misrepresenting irony.]

No, not everyone is as bad as all that. Some people pop on Facebook here and there, dropping little updates and info that they think others would find useful or amusing, not drowning your feed in effluvium. Then there are those bastards that live on Facebook. Some people like to keep others in the know about important news or events, kind of like an amateur version of CNN, constant updates. Then there are those that just throw whatever random shit they read today out there for all to see, not taking any time to think about whether or not it’s really worth throwing out there. Most of it’s pretty fucking horrific. I touched on it briefly in a previous post.

The world is a shit-tastic place right now. We ALL know it. We can feel it in the back of our heads and inside our chests every day. Fear-mongering, hatred, paranoia…the list may not be all that long, but it has all the best (worst) things on it. Children being molested and murdered, or killed by sheer incomprehensible negligence or indifference. People being beaten or killed for not being like the other people, whoever the hell they are. It’s like being submerged in a world that just wants to make a Sith Lord out of everyone. This is the shit that makes the news. Television, radio, newspapers and websites all need to get us to eat this wonderful shit-pie, and I get it. I understand it. And you know what? There’s a place for all that, oddly enough. Its place is on  the nightly news, in newspapers, and news media websites. [Notice the use of the word news?] If we want to know about all the horrid, malign shit going on in the world, we know where to get it. What we DON’T need is for this shit to flood our SOCIAL media websites. There’s fear a-plenty to go around out there, can there be at least one place where this shit isn’t shoved in our faces? Why do we feel the need to share this crap on Facebook? Why do we feel the need to share every horrible article and image? The only guess I have is a multiple choice guess, either:

A: These people aren’t smart enough to realize that some of the things they post are rather graphic/disgusting/disturbing, and fail to realize it may be upsetting.
B: These people are smart enough, and have a misguided notion that others want to see these kinds of things.
C: They are smart enough, but have a callous disregard towards everyone on their “friend” list. or
D: They are deliberately cruel and want others to be unsettled/disturbed either for their own enjoyment, or so that they are not the only ones suffering.

None of those options are good, and two of them are bad enough for me to seriously reconsider their inclusion in my “friends” list, assuming I even want to remain on Facebook.

I hate to think that the issue has more to do with the quality of the people in my friends list than with society as a whole, but I have to imagine that this is being done by a small percentage of Facebook users. I really only have a small sample of the national/global population to judge by, so perhaps this is more of a local phenomenon? I’m not sure. All I know is that every time I want to open Facebook, I hesitate because I know I’m going to see something horrible. It shouldn’t feel that way when you want to check in on people you like, or kind-of know.

I’ve cut people out of my life before, and when the reason is good, or at least justifiable, I don’t feel so bad about it in the end. Sometimes it’s just a thing you have to do, sever ties and move on. This is starting to feel like one of those times, only on a massive scale. Too many poeple in my feed are throwing this shit around like a pack of crazed monkeys, and I’m sick of it. I’ve lived a life inundated with negativity, and I don’t need any more fear, disgust, or hate than what life throws at me on a daily basis.

I think it’s time to start cutting.

Vanilla Porter

A friend of mine likes to say that his Friday nights consist of “porn and sadness,” and while I’d love to argue about how sadness and porn don’t generally mix, I think I can say that it should be “beer, porn, and sadness.” Since my Tuesdays are more of a Sunday given my work schedule, we’ll use that descriptor for my Tuesday nights. Now, relax dear reader…I’m not about to scar your fragile little psyche with my unholy tastes in porn, heavens no. I’m here to scar you with my unholy tastes in BEER.

Breckenridge Brewery – Vanilla Porter

One of the things I hate the most about a lot of beers is that they will quite frequently boast a flavor that draws my attention to them, only to fall short on delivering the actual flavor…and as lame as it sounds, vanilla is one of my favorite flavors/scents. Tempt me with vanilla, that’s fine and dandy, but you better make with the fucking vanilla, pal. We cool on that? Yeah? Ok.

So, if you can’t tell already, I’m disappointed in their lack of vanilla flavoring in the beer. Now, vanilla-porter-greybackthey might have used vanilla beans in the brewing process, and that’s great and all, but I can’t taste it, nor can I pick up on the smell. Now, maybe it’s because I’m a straight-from-the-bottle drinking heathen. Perhaps I should have a nice set of porter/stout glasses, and pour my beers before consuming. Actually, that part I somewhat agree with. After recent experiences at a local craft beer bar, I think a glass might actually be of great benefit. It might not help this vanilla-less beer be any more than what it is, but who knows? Maybe I should try it poured into an appropriate glass at some point in the future and see if there’s a difference, and report back. Sounds like a good plan to me, but let’s move on, shall we?

So…doesn’t taste like vanilla to me. Not as rich as some of the stouts I’ve had in the past month or so. Not bad, not great, just…..there. I hate it when I want to be impressed by a beer and then…nothing. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong. Try it yourself, I’m just some jackass spouting my opinion, yours may differ. It just didn’t really make me say “Ooh, I’m going to buy that again” or “Wow, you know what this would go well with?” It’s merely OK, and for the price you pay at the store for it, that’s not a good price for just OK. I could have bought a 12 pack of Yuengling for the same price. And on that note, I think nothing more needs be said.

This is going to date me, since no one else will.

I’m not young. I’m old enough to know better, and to explain to my kids why I choose to do it anyway. You know how that answer goes, though….age, experience, I’m your father….search your feelings…you know it to be true, ect. One of the drawbacks of being older (other than everything, goddamnit) is that you tend to have a particular, nostalgic fondness for the music during your formative years. For me, those years were the 80’s and early to mid 90’s. I tend to work around younger people, and am horrified at how culturally  stunted some kids are…it’s like they never heard any of their parent’s music, ever. Then I remember…I really hate Janice Joplin, Carol King, and most of The Doors and some (not all) of the Beatles thanks to my dumb-ass parents, since those were the artists in normal rotation, depending on who was controlling the record player at the time.

Yeah, I’m old enough to have handled and played records in a non-ironic, non-hipster, non-DJ way. You know, the old fashioned way. Hell, my first music player was a tiny 7″ record player. Admittedly, my first album was something from Sesame Street. Thankfully the tape-cassette walkman came into fashion not too long after that, and I managed to scam a bunch of tapes off of Columbia House, or whoever it was that wanted me to tape a penny to this mail in card and select a bunch of music. I did that, twice, and never paid more than two pennies for a bunch of tapes….age verification wasn’t a real big thing back then, and they really couldn’t enforce a contract with a minor. So, score some free Cars, ZZ Top, and the like.

So, moving this along, a friend hooked me up with a collection of the top 100 pop hits of each year of the 80’s…1980-1989. That’s 1000 songs. More than 1000, since he felt there were some omissions that he couldn’t let slide by, which is awesome. The bad part about all this is that while I can hear a song and say “Holy shit, I loved that song”, I couldn’t tell you who the artist was or what the name of the was for over 90% of the songs that I enjoyed from that decade. I can recognize Duran Duran, The Cars, and most David Bowie songs that were popular during the 80’s. A few other bands that had a very distinct sound, or were especially big names for a while (Jackson, Madonna, Lauper) are easy as well. Everyone else….big goddamned shoulder shrug. SO….I now have the unenviable task of listening to the entire collection and rating these songs so they become part of my library. They may have all made the top 100 for that year, but that doesn’t mean I like all of them.

This is still going to take me a very long time. Wish me luck.

In the night Kitchen?

There’s a reason I named this blog Sushi and Stouts…namely because those are two of my favorite food items, all in all. Curries are also one of my all time favorite foods, but I couldn’t bring myself to break with the alliterative allure that Sushi and Stouts held over me. Having said that…

I’m not a beer connoisseur by any means. I’m a neophyte with a few decades of experience, who knows what he likes. I’ve had swill, I’ve had worse [malt liquor], and I’ve had better. I couldn’t tell you by taste whether a beer is high in hops, malt, barley, or any other ingredient in the brew. What I can tell you, however, is what I think I taste in a brew. It seems that lately everyone is all about the IPA’s and lagers. Lighter color beers are ok, there’s nothing wrong with them at all, but there’s something about a dark, rich, heavy stout (or porter) that just really appeals to me.

Breckenridge Brewery – Oatmeal Stout

First and foremost, that artwork. It’s on the bottles and the box, and it screamed “BUY ME, YOU BASTARD!” It reminded me a bit of some much older comics and books I had seen (or seen pictures of) in the past, such as Little Nemo in Slumberland, and In The Night Kitchen were the first two things that came to mind. Curiosity and nostalgia can be a strong combination for me.

So, I can’t tell you that there were any particularly strong or outstanding notes or flavors that really grabbed my attention. It was fairly smooth, and easy to drink. Almost too easy to drink, actually….not watered down or anything like that…more like you start drinking it and before you know it you’re three beers in. One of those.

So, would I recommend it? Yes, for around $9-10 for a 6 pack it’s a very nice treat for you and a friend, or just yourself over a few days. For those who imbibe on a regular basis I wouldn’t recommend it as a nightly beer, but then I wouldn’t say that about most stouts. Stouts, for me anyways, are a sometimes food. Thanks, Cookie-Monster.

Note: It took me almost a week to write this up, and when I started I was writing about the beer while drinking it. Haven’t purchased more to make this review a bit more….thorough and professional…ish? I need to learn to get it all out and done over a two night stretch, while I still have the beer handy to get my thoughts on it

Getting my feet wet…

It’s been forever. Sure, technically that’s an exaggeration, but for the past some-odd years I have kept my virtual mouth shut, which isn’t something I enjoyed. It was something I had to do. I’m not really feeling that way anymore.

I used to write everything out on Facebook, but honestly….fuck 100 million tons of Facebook. Too many people end up in your friends list that you barely care about, much less consider a friend, and most of them are so busy posting horror/tragedy stories [Baby dies in sealed car! Teen mother shows no remorse!], stories with that horrible fucking click-bait hook [X person does this, and you won’t believe…yadda yadda…], supposedly subtle but actually blatant racism, political elitism, and all other kinds of braindead bullshit that takes every bit of what I loved about the “social” totally OUT of the medium.

It’s late (for me), I’ve had some beers, and I am so out of practice, it hurts. But I have to write. I’ve got to get shit off my chest and out of my head, or I’m going to lose my mind. I have no idea what shape this endeavor is going to take, or what the end result is going to be like. All I know is that I put it off for far too long and cared way the fuck too much about what certain other people would think about what I write. And really, if I’m writing about you, chances are good I have every reason to. So buckle the fuck up, snowflake….the brakes are worn down and the headlights won’t stay on.