Commence Curmudgeon

It’s been an exceptionally trying several months. I’ll spare you the long version; if curiosity overwhelms you I can be coaxed to reveal the Cliff’s Notes version via email. But as is often the case, more mundane matters have remained active in my frontal lobes and these are the kinds of pointless and uninteresting things that fabricate the cornerstones of our virtual communication.

It occurs to me that I owe you an apology.

  • I’ve come across a glut of “geek shame” lately, manifest in faux book covers for the upcoming Harry Potter book, eye-rolling disdain from video gamers when confronted with the reality of some new downloadable games based on German-style classics like Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne, that sort of thing. What always strikes me as ironic about all of this is that we have people who are posting on Internet forums whose primary topics are video games, Linux operating systems, iPod hacking, HDTV specifications and the like. Judging others or fearing being judged at this stage in the game? Really? You don’t think it’s a little late in the game for that particular concern to be crossing your mind, forum-monkey?
  • The Mac mini that functions as our primary household computer is starting to really annoy me. I can’t quite figure out what the issue is but it runs at a glacial pace with frequent beach-ball pauses. It’s especially apparent when trying to deal with iTunes which happens to be one of the primary apps the machine was intended to run. In terms of clock speed the mini far outpaces my aging iBook but I’ve gone to great lengths to upgrade the RAM in the iBook as high as it will allow and it doesn’t have nearly the same level of problems, even running multiple memory-hungry apps simultaneously. I know people are going to start to wonder about me after my last iPhone rant and now this, but it frustrates me that Apple’s base configurations for new computers are comically lacking in RAM. I mean, a new 1.66 GHz mini with 512 MB of RAM? What are we, neanderthals? And it costs like $250 to upgrade to a reasonable (but still not what I’d call “upgrade level”) amount of 2GB. Comparable Dell machines come standard with 1GB and allow upgrades to 2GB for $100. Listen, I get the whole “Macs cost more” meme, I really do, but this is RAM we’re talking about here. You can find 256MB sticks lying discarded on most sidewalks, so I really don’t think getting a normal amount of it should cost half as much as my system… especially when minis really aren’t supposed to be upgraded by the consumer.
  • I happened to catch an episode of the World Series of Pop Culture yesterday and one of the categories involved the bad-movie awards show The Razzies. The very next category involved the film The Breakfast Club. The announcer, after having the contestants do really well with both remarked, “It seems you know your bad movies and your good ones.” Call me a heretic, but can someone explain to me the appeal of The Breakfast Club? Or John Hughes movies in general? Look, I missed out on those during the 80s when they were I guess influencing everyone else from my generation but I’ve since been subjected to nearly all of them and I just don’t get it. They aren’t that funny, they don’t really touch some chord that strikes at the inner workings of high school life (at least not any high school I ever saw) and they all feature really whiney characters that I want to slap rather than root for. Did I just have to be there at the time or what?
  • Which reminds me: The Goonies is a terrible movie. Sorry folks, it just is, and I think it’s time we acknowledged that fact. Listen, it’s cool: I used to think that Flight of the Navigator was totally radical but I came to my senses eventually. I’m not even saying you can’t still watch it and think about how good you used to believe it was, but stop trying to convince people that there was some cinematic magic going on there. I guarantee you that at some point in the future some kid is going to post on the Internet v4.5 a dissertation on how incredible and influential The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D was back in the halcyon days of 2005. I swear to you, that’s exactly how you sound right now.
  • It’s been like National Bad Service Month for Nik and I lately. Yesterday’s gems included a pair of Target employees who couldn’t answer the yes or no question of, “Do you guys have an Arts & Crafts section?” The reason? They were out (which I can only assume means off their shift or on a break) and, instead of answering, choose instead to take the time to explain that we needed to ask someone from Home and Garden. Also at a sandwich shop I tried to order a Diet Pepsi and had the girl who was manning the register grunt and gesture as she tried to decipher my incredibly complex order because, apparently, she had never before heard or heard of the English language. At one point she mentioned something about bananas. I drank what she gave me but I was very wary of it, fearing some sort of tropical fruit-related cola incident.
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2 thoughts on “Commence Curmudgeon

  1. Don (a.k.a. Dad)

    Didn’t like “Goonies.” Liked “Breakfast Club” though, even though it definitely wasn’t my generation. I just sort of enjoyed the off-the-wall nature of it, and did find parts of it pretty funny. But then, humor is extremely subjective; I’m still trying to figure out why anyone thinks Monty Python’s “Holy Grail” is funny. I watched the entire thing and cracked a smile exactly once. Someone told me it was because I didn’t grasp British humor. Could be, I guess, but Rowan Atkinson had me in stitches in “Johnny English.”

  2. Bosslady

    John Hughes Movies are chick flicks and that is why they are so popular. What girl didn’t want Jake in Pretty in Pink? Guys probably “just aren’t that into them”.
    And on “The Goonies” front I totally disagree with you. While Goonies may never be put into the Smithsonian Film Archives, it was a very enjoyable movie. It made you lose yourself in the fantasy, and that is when you know it is a good movie. I was never thinking while watching it, that most of the things were completely unbelievable, i.e. The Girl being at the bottom of the wishing well while a guy was wishing above that he would “get” her. And that is the sign of a good movie, sure the things were unbelievable if thought completely through, but that is what fantasy does, it brings you into the movie to have empathy and feel excitement/fear for the characters and to want to root for or against them. Fantasy is meant to take you out of the “real world”, and not the show…

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