A Few Minor Complaints
Someone (probably one of our former subscribers) claimed that RCR’s best stuff is informed by a very bad attitude.
I’m not sure I agree with that. Most of our posts celebrate the power of music and its ability to bring about positive change in the world. But I have to admit, if that well’s running dry, I’d rather bitch.
Here are a few things that have been driving me to distraction and the liquor store over the past few weeks:
Trumpmania. If you’re a Republican and consider yourself reasonable and somewhat progressive (is that even possible today?), then you should be very worried about Donald Trump. Just when you think he’s blown himself up by saying something incredibly racist or sexist or just plain dumb, he actually gains a little ground in the latest poll. Scorched-earth politics is grand theater – and maybe that’s The Donald’s only true intention. But the joke starts to wear a little thin as Dems struggle to find a credible candidate (and extremist whackjobs pay tribute to Trump with their random acts of violence). I’m searching through Revelations to see if there’s any mention of a blowhard with bad hair.
Slate.com. Was the Tom & Jerry cartoon racist? Are straight women ruining gay bars? Is my morning cup of coffee truly sustainable? Is it OK to shop while your cart is in line at the grocery store? Fellow Dems, this is why a numbnut like Trump continues to get traction. If I wanted someone to tell me what to think and how to act, I would’ve become a Scientologist (then I could bitch about Slate’s semi-regular smackdowns of the world’s easiest target, Tom Cruise).
Hipsters. Hey, I get it… My city’s very future probably hinges on how successful we are at attracting this much-coveted demographic. And I enjoy locally sourced food as much as the next guy. Just don’t make me grow a beard with a handlebar moustache, shave the sides of my head, stuff me in a vest, slap a trendy chapeau on my head and force me to read Infinite Jest with a monocle-like device while drinking gluten-free vodka and listening to Deer Tick. Is that too much to ask?
Unisex Bathroom Abusers. I really patted myself on the back for adapting to this whole unisex bathroom thing (or, as I like to call them, bisexual water closets). But I think women are getting the short end of this stick, because there’s still no shortage of overgrown fratboys who like to piss everywhere but in the toilet (they’d probably piss all over the seat too, but they’re too busy leaving it up for the woman waiting outside). Maybe future WCs should be equipped with a switch that irradiates all human waste in the room, including overgrown fratboys.
Skinny Suits. Take a regular suit and taper it down so the pants highlight your varicose veins and you need a couple shoehorns and a vat of Oleo to get into them. Actually, a skinny suit might look good on Alex Rodriguez, but it makes me look like I’m auditioning for the lead in Oliver. I recently saw an urban hipster wearing a skinny suit with what appeared to be skin-tight Bermuda shorts, which is a sure sign of the impending Apocalypse. If we’re going to reinvent business attire, how about bringing back the zoot suit with the reet pleat (you swing-daddys out there know what I’m talking about!).
Potholes. I know, easy target. Actually, after I wore out the front end of a perfectly good Volvo, my wife accused me of purposely driving into our city’s king-sized road craters. But I think it’s time for Akron to come up with a more aggressive resurfacing program. Hell, I’d gladly pay a gas tax if I knew the money was being used to ensure my neighborhood’s streets don’t resemble the back alleys of Benghazi (although things would have to get a lot worse for me to consider buying something that’s even easier to hate: a Humvee).
Cait and the Kardashians. Can’t these people just go away for good? Of course not, because they CRAVE OUR FRIGGIN’ ATTENTION! After Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award during the 2015 ESPYs, Bob Costas dared to describe the whole thing as a “tabloid play.” That led to the expected media backlash, with several commentators accusing Costas of being tone-deaf and insensitive. Hmmm… Bob Costas, Media Thug?? Look, I can appreciate Jenner’s longstanding gender-related challenges and her willingness to speak out on those issues. But she seems just as focused on making the transition from one reality TV show to another (and maybe generating some cash for an expected legal battle). And don’t get me started on those goddam Kardashians… At least Jenner can point to an Olympic gold medal and say that, at one point in her life, she was more than just a professional celebrity.
EDM. For those of you who have never taken a hit of Ecstasy or worked in the fashion industry, that’s an acronym for Electronic Dance Music. I’ve tried to appreciate this stuff. I really have. But every time I walk into a space that someone is trying to make fabulous with EDM, I keep expecting to be accosted by a vinyl-clad sprite named Rudi: “Sir, your feeble senses simply cannot handle the next bass drop. In fact, only the young and beautiful can hear the frequencies employed by DJ Digitar. Please take the escalator down to the lower level for elderly assistive care products.”
Convenience Stores. At the risk of sounding like Seinfeld, what’s so convenient about waiting in line while some beefy, sleeveless dude buys five coney dogs and a dozen Cash Explosion cards? Actually, you can learn a lot from even the briefest visits to the convenience store – like whether a cheap metal shelf can support several hundred pounds of high-fructose corn syrup products and a teenage couple engaged in a public sex act. Are you a fan of flash mobs? One recently visited a convenience store just down the street from my house. Unfortunately, it’s sole purpose was to trash the place, not to recreate the video to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Eh, I think I’ll take my chances over at Giant Eagle.
Home Depot. Hey man, help a brother out over here. I mean, just look at me… my collar’s white, literally. I have no idea where you hang your socket wrenches or hide your furnace filters. Don’t make me walk around this godforsaken store for another half hour looking for stuff that keeps my house from imploding. Eh, fuck it… I’ll go to West Hill Hardware instead. I might pay a little more for a roll of duct tape, but at least the guy behind the counter won’t make me feel like a piece of shit. In the meantime, I’ll leave this widget by the self-checkout scanner. Good luck figuring out where it belongs.
The folks who run The University of Akron. They’ve been a rich and bottomless source of material (here’s an item for my next list – colleges that shouldn’t have football teams). But I’ll leave the heavy lifting on this one to my friend Chris Horne over at The Devil Strip. Enjoy!
One more: the latest act of gun-related violence. Nothing even remotely amusing to share here. Once again, I feel deep sadness for these victims, their families, their friends… lives I otherwise wouldn’t know or bother to think about, which in itself is sad to consider. Just pray that the process of evolution still works, and that one day we’ll be able to claw our way out of this mess.