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I Hate Gamestop

In Society, Video Games on November 15, 2009 at 10:42 AM

I find that with each and every visit to Gamestop I find myself hating the establishment just a little bit more.

My disposition towards the game vendor has slowly festered to a blackened husk, and my resentment to myself only grows as I keep returning there to buy games. It’s not that they don’t have a great selection, or that their prices are too high, quite the contrary actually. Typically when I go to GameStop I leave with the product I wanted for the price that I was expecting. What makes me want to beat the employees to death with the claw end of a hammer is the goddamn INCESSENT nagging about reserving games and taking advantage of their used game selection. As time wears on I regard these two policies as affronts to humanity, though I realize my position may be seen as somewhat extremist.

I used to go to GameStop, get my games, and be content. When they first started the reservation policy it was actually convenient, no more worries about having to wait for a new shipment to come in for popular games. But now it has devolved to the point where the employees seem to be trying to harangue you into believing that it is a privilege for you to buy these games from them. That they are a rare commodity that must be “reserved” lest you miss out on the initial release. WTF is that? They are a video game retailer they should be well stocked with video games.

My rage for this reservation system began with the release of the first “Gears of War.” I had reserved the game a month prior, eager for “E-DAY” as the clever marketing advertisements painted it. I received a call from the automated Gamestop calling system telling me that my copy had arrived and it could be picked up during store hours. So I make the drive to the mall, fight my way through throngs of people, get to the store, and…. “Out of stock.” “Sorry,” they say, but I’ll have to wait for the next shipment, “come back tomorrow.”

Disheartened I made my way to Best Buy in the hopes that they might have the product I sought. Upon 5 minutes in the store I saw displays with DROVES of copies of the game. So I bought it, returned to Gamestop, patiently explained that they could fuck off, and got my reservation deposit back. Since then I have scorned the idea of reserving a game.

I’ve been jaded towards GameStop ever since, yet I keep returning to buy games from them for they are the closest video game distributor in my area and I don’t abhor the policy enough to spend more gas money.  I do refuse to reserve games however and I also refuse to buy used games since they are usually priced only 5 dollars lower than a brand spankin’ new copy. I spent five minutes one day arguing with a employee on why I wanted a new Little Big Planet and not simply a used one. I tried to laugh it off and chuckle about how I like opening the shrink wrap but I resolved to giving him an icy stare and uttering, “Just give me the new copy” between gritted teeth and a twitching cornea.

The other day I went in to pick up Uncharted 2 and when I asked the clerk “Could I got a copy of Uncharted 2?”  he responded with,

“Did you reserve it?” with the undertone that I was stupid if I didn’t.

“No,” I replied.

“…. Well we have one right here, you got lucky.”

So I kind of just gave him a “wtf” look and paid my total. I’m sure that he must say such things lest he be sodomized by the corporate entities behind the individual retail stores but I still can’t help but want to spew ulcerous fluids at such encounters. Maybe because I was such a whore once for Staples and such exchanges bring to light suppressed memories of being a puppet for those empty and tainted policies that my hatred is both internal and external. Nightmares resurfacing of dancing to the strings of some malevolent entity running the company from afar, his invisible eye ever present.

I just can’t seem to be okay with the idea of supporting a company that buys games from little kids and confused parents for a pittance of the original costs, sells them for $5 less than retail robbing the developers of money, and then creates this disillusionment that every new game NEEDS to be reserved or else the customer will miss out. I’m not even going to delve into the new gimmick of giving away special in-game features with reservations for fear of bursting into flame. I DON’T WANT YOUR STUPID SPECIAL IN-GAME BASEBALL BAT, LEFT 4 DEAD 2!

… Yes I do 😦

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Yell-O Submarine

In Society on September 27, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Prologue

You know the old saying that your mind is like a steel trap? Have you ever had the pleasure of the ole’ proverbial trap getting rusted shut? Writer’s block. I thought it didn’t exist, merely a shield to hide behind when your writing was as interesting as the latest iteration of the Saw franchise. But I’m here to tell you that it does exist. My hours of staring blankly at assignment after assignment have easily proved its existence to me. Maybe I was uninspired writing fake news articles for a journalism class. So what follows is hopefully a rebirth of mediocre, relatively obvious critics of the world as I see it.

Love,

the_skeptic

Yell-O Submarine

I was already down. I was taking a look at the netbook selection at my local Best Buy when my parents call. They had bought a MacBook Pro (something I had always wanted) for themselves, with a student discount because I (their son) am a student. So, thanks to me, they got what I wanted. At least now when I go home I can pretend that it’s mine. (If I can drown out the chorus of “Where’s right click?” and “so command is control?”.)

After all of this had played out I walked into Barnes and Noble, where I saw it: Glenn Beck’s new book, Arguing with Idiots. http://www.glennbeck.com/content/books/ (the reviews are particularly intriguing.) I began to think…about how anger, argument and (my personal favorite) yelling have taken the place of all logical civil discourse in the world.

Remember in the children’s movie Beethoven, when the dad told the evil scientist that he was going to “kick his butt”? Remember how powerful that outburst of anger made you feel? Do you ever feel like that when you watch Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and any other show that squares off two or more “experts” against each other about issues which the success of our country and well-being are discussed, yell at each other? How could you? They yell about health care, they yell about Obama, they yell about each other yelling about Obama and health care… and don’t get them started about Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran.

How long can this go on? Can people really continue to get their information from such clearly biased, clearly clueless windbags who were chosen for their jobs for their ability to yell rather than reason? Neither side is exempt from this by the way, left or right, blue or red or whatever stupid way you want to say it, everyone’s guilty. (Just so everyone’s clear, I’m not yelling as I type this, or hitting the keys very hard, my temperament would be “inquisitive and vexed” if this was the mood line on my MySpace page.)

George Washington had it right from the beginning. As he was giving his farewell address as the first President of the United States, he said (and I’m paraphrasing) “I’m going to retire now, but before I go, remember these words: this whole political party thing people are talking about, try not to do that, I don’t think it will work very well. Well, see ya later.”

Just remember this kids, if someone is talking about an issue and you don’t agree with them, question them, listen to them, and give them your side. Don’t raise your voice, and don’t use any wild cliché hand gestures either. Your point might just be absorbed instead of redirected toward you in the form of more yelling by the other party. Don’t believe me? Picture a microphone. When you speak with a normal tone into it, it carries your voice to others who can absorb and interpret your words. Now, if you yell into a microphone, the words get distorted, crackly, and if you yell loud enough it might just feedback, at which point the audience will cringe, cover their ears and start yelling back. Then we’re right back to the Cro-Magnon era. Right Glenn?

So TIAW loyalists, how’d I do? This is easily the most I’ve written in months. Give me your feedback…but please, don’t yell.

Selling Out

In Business, Society on September 21, 2009 at 12:29 AM

“Oh, to be employed,” I thought to myself as sat in my bed for nearly three months of this past summer doing absolutely nothing.

Well, absolutely nothing in between the many festivals and shows and Phish concerts I attended with the help of my graduation money.

Cursing my dwindling bank account, but reveling in the freedom of my schedule, I wonder if maybe I am destined to a life of hippie-dom, floating from show to show, bumming off of my parents, and scraping by in life just enough to enjoy myself, but not enough to feel like I am actually contributing to society.

Then I got a job.

For the first week I hold onto my pre-working lifestyle tightly. The night before my first day I stay up late out of protest. I watch Larry King’s senile ass like I had been for the entire summer, even though he is on at 3 a.m. and I need to be up for 8 o’ clock the next morning. The next day I nearly fall asleep during my training, and instead of going to bed earlier that night, I drink double the coffee at work the following day.

I come home for my hour lunch break. And despite my every instinct I blaze with my sister during that hour. I go back to work paranoid, out of it, and just generally dumb, but it’s worth it because I prove to the world that I’m not going to give up my life for a stupid job. I tell myself that, OK, maybe toking isn’t the best course of action when you’re trying to learn two intensive computer programs, but I still smoke two more lunch breaks after that before I finally give it up. Actually, I run out of weed.

A couple more days go by. I find myself making promises to myself that I know I wont keep. I refuse to let my newfound schedule hinder me from working out, and despite my early evening tiredness I still drag ass to the gym and do 50 minutes of cardio (plus weight training) five times a week. I look forward to my post-workout glass of wine (make that two) and a few episodes of me and my mother’s favorite show, In Treatment. Or, depending on the Netflix delivery schedule, I pour that glass of wine and curl up in bed.

I sit down at my computer, “Ah, tonight’s the night I will write that piece about working for This Is A Weblog. Right after I smoke this customary peace pipe for inspiration.”

I get to feelin’ pretty inspired, and at this point I have already drank 2/3rds of the glass of wine, so I decide to play a little Tetris before I write. I wake up with my laptop hot on my thighs. It is 3 a.m. I finish the wine and blink and it’s 8 a.m. I’m awoken not by my alarm clock, but by the sound of me yelling “noooo” at my alarm clock. I tell myself I will go to bed earlier that night, that sometimes we have to compromise our ideal lifestyle for work. That’s why it’s called work.

After a few more weeks of this, my 8 a.m. alarm turns into my 8:17 alarm. My Larry King Live appointment turns into YouTube clips of Charlie Rose; I can watch those at anytime, and besides Larry sucks now. My midday blaze session turns into my nightcap. My bedtime glass of wine turns into the “Can I finish this glass of wine before I pass out?” game. My weekends are no longer for partying, but for catching up on sleep. I start to see the barefoot and free version of myself from the summer slipping away. I wonder what I am becoming.

A month goes by and I get my first paycheck. I grimace when I see the hunk of taxes taken out, but grin when I take another hunk of cash out and put it toward my car savings. I buy a Man Man ticket as soon as it goes onsale without hesitation. I charge $114 on my American Eagle credit card. I even overdraft my checking account just because I want to buy a good bottle of wine. I look at myself in the mirror, adnored with a new blouse, pair of pants and red-stained teeth, and I know that I have become a corporate whore.

To Beep Or Not To Beep

In Society on August 14, 2009 at 9:12 AM

I honk my horn at other drivers probably once or twice a year. It’s a rare occurrence to say the least. Meanwhile, I know people who are constantly laying on the horn every chance they can get.

What accounts for this disparity?

Part of it is the fact I generally assume positive intent. If someone cuts in front of me or does something that impedes my driving, I try to take a second to re-live the experience from their perspective and find out if there is a rational explanation for what they did. And I reflect on the occurrence as a whole to make sure I was not the one at fault. Then I try to determine if I actually have the right to beep at them. In other words, instead of “beep first, ask questions later,” I like to decide if the situation is beepable (or ‘beepworthy’ if you will) before applying the horn.

Problem is, by the time I reach a decision, the moment has passed. Beeping too late is empty and pointless. We’ve all moved on. There’s no effect.

Those few times I do beep, is because the situation occurs slowly instead of spontaneously. And 9 times out of 10, it involves trying to get through the ‘Fast Lane’ of a toll booth.

It seems many people in our fair commonwealth forget the first part of the term: FAST. It is supposed to take less time going through the ‘Fast Lane’ than waiting for a normal toll. And don’t give me the “it’s listed for 15 mph” nonsense. We all know they can pick up on that transponder even if you’re doing a good 40.

When it comes down to it, ‘Fast Lane’ passes should be mandatory. It shouldn’t be an option anymore. Everyone should just be issued one. And the dividers between booths should be removed and we should just drive under an overpass filled with sensors like they do in New Jersey. No real need to slow down. Our goal is to keep moving and the state’s goal is to collect money quickly, so we all win.

Back to the discussion at hand: car horn honking. We should discuss, in an open forum, what makes an offense beepworthy.  What action by another driver do you find yourself consistently beeping at? Do you only beep at individuals, or at a situation as a whole? Must it be at someone because of something they do? Or do you beep at the fact that there is a hold up ahead of all of you?

I’m very curious to hear some varying points of view on this topic.

Say Uncle

In Society on August 11, 2009 at 6:26 PM

“Uncle Bill.”

Everyone seems to have one.

Well, now I’m going to be one.

At a press conference this morning my sister announced that she was indeed pregnant. Sources close to her confirm that she has been aware of this for some time now, but the information was not disclosed to the public until today.

So that means I can now discuss with you how excited I am.

Because let’s face it, what better relative role is there than the aunt/uncle?

You get to spend time with the kid. You can spoil him or her. You can take credit for stuff he or she does, but receive zero percent of the blame for foul-ups (instead just throw your sibling under the bus (which at this point in life is standard operating procedure)). You don’t have to give out money every time you see them like you will with grandkids. And while the grandparents are still around, you are less likely to be asked to babysit.

It’s the perfect blend of benefits and responsibilities (heavy on the former, light on the latter).

… So this is where I thought I’d search for the most famous ‘Uncles’ in history and comment on the list and we’d all delight in a good time… Unfortunately, my searches yielded no such list. The best result I came across was Uncle Sam.

Speaking of which, do you know the origin of that iconic character? According to Wikipedia:

A businessman from Troy, New York, Samuel Wilson provided the army with beef in barrels during the War of 1812. The barrels were prominently labelled “U.S.” for the United States, but it was joking said that the letters stood for “Uncle Sam.” Soon, Uncle Sam was used as shorthand for the federal government.

The man himself looked nothing like the gaunt, steely-eyed patrician of popular lore. The Abe Lincoln look, along with that fantastic star-spangled outfit, was a product of political cartoonists like Thomas Nast.

Interesting, no?

I Love America.

Okay, enough of that. Any Uncle’s or Aunt’s out there? Have any advice? Anecdotes? Thoughts at all?

Leave ’em all in the comments below.

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Do Not Go Gently Into That Average Evening

In Society on May 31, 2009 at 12:39 PM
Are you there god? It’s me, the_skeptic.
Well it finally happened today. I realized that despite my best efforts, I’m getting old. While I can find some solace in the fact that my generation aging right along with me, it’s just not enough. I’ll tell you where I realized it. I was at the mall, in Spencer’s, looking at the t-shirts. And among all the profane, smutty, and death metal t-shirts was a section dedicated to icons of the 90s. Ninja Turtles, Super Mario, Pokemon, Power Rangers it was all there, staring right back at me. I had to ask myself, “Who are they marketing these to?”. I know that me and my whole generation know of these icons, but to the younger kids, they are hip and trendy, things that harken back to a simpler time. I now ask myself, “Will I be able to tell this younger generation of my greatest accomplishment in life, completing all 96 levels in Super Mario World on all three files.” Or will these young whippersnappers in their cool shirts just look at me and say “Tell me another one you geezer”.
I could have brushed off the incident at the mall as my mind overreacting a bit. But no, there’s more. On my way home from the mall I was flipping through the stations on the radio dial, and heard a talking head saying he was going to spin Kid Rock’s “Only God Knows Why”. On WPYX, Albany’s finest CLASSIC ROCK station. Now a band from my youth is in with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rush, Journey and Aerosmith, the perpetual radio geezer trifecta from hell.
But the horror didn’t end there. I thought about the car I was sitting in. A 1998 Toyota 4Runner, with 176,000 miles on it. I think it’s a nice car, but then you think about it, its 11 years old. Now it’s a car you see at crappy little dealerships on every street corner with ads like “Good Winter Driver!!!” emblazoned on it and the salesmen is willing to throw in his youngest daughter in with the deal just to get the rusty bucket out of his sight.
CD Players now belong in the Smithsonian rather than in every kids backpack, VCRs seem like some weird internet abbrevation that no one knows the true meaning to, and let’s face facts 90s kids Pogs really weren’t as cool as we all thought they were.
But fear not, there is still hope for us as we slowy retire into the real world. Only we know the true joy of an episode of “Rocko’s Modern Life” brings (the_skeptic has them all on DVD tee-hee) , the primal rage of conducting a fatality on your opponent in Mortal Kombat II, and that is just fine with me. Let us be a generation that can keep up with the times, but never forgets where our roots lie. It’s time to accept that we are getting older, so the next time you have a “mall moment” like I did, don’t think “damn I’m getting old”, think “I’m gonna buy this shirt and proclaim to the world…TURTLES DON’T DO DRUGS!!! http://www.spencersonline.com/product/mutant_ninjat_turtles/

Are you there God? It’s me, the_skeptic.

Well it finally happened today. I realized that despite my best efforts, I’m getting old. While I can find some solace in the fact that my generation is aging right along with me, it’s just not enough. I’ll tell you where I realized it. I was at the mall, in Spencer’s, looking at the t-shirts. And among all the profane, smutty, and death metal t-shirts was a section dedicated to icons of the 90’s. Ninja Turtles, Super Mario, Pokemon, Power Rangers; they were all there, staring right back at me.

I had to ask myself, “Who are they marketing these to?” I know that me and my whole generation know of these icons, but to the younger kids, they are hip and trendy things that harken back to a simpler time. I now ask myself, “Will I be able to tell this younger generation of my greatest accomplishment in life: completing all 96 levels in Super Mario World on all three files?” Or will these young whippersnappers in their cool shirts just look at me and say, “Tell me another one you geezer.”

I could have brushed off the incident at the mall as my mind overreacting a bit. But no, there’s more. On my way home from the mall I was flipping through the stations on the radio dial, and heard a talking head saying he was going to spin Kid Rock’s “Only God Knows Why,” on WPYX, Albany’s finest CLASSIC ROCK station. Now a band from my youth is in with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rush, Journey and Aerosmith; the perpetual radio geezer trifecta from hell.

But the horror didn’t end there. I thought about the car I was sitting in. A 1998 Toyota 4Runner, with 176,000 miles on it. I think it’s a nice car, but then you think about it, it’s 11 years old. Now it’s a car you see at crappy little dealerships on every street corner with ads like “Good Winter Driver!!!” emblazoned on it and the salesmen is willing to throw his youngest daughter in with the deal just to get the rusty bucket out of his sight.

CD Players now belong in the Smithsonian rather than in every kid’s backpack, VCRs seem like some weird internet abbrevation that no one knows the true meaning of, and let’s face facts, ‘Pogs‘ really weren’t as cool as we all thought they were.

But fear not, there is still hope for us as we slowy retire into the real world. Only we know the true joy of an episode of Rocko’s Modern Life brings (the_skeptic has them all on DVD, tee-hee), or the primal rage of conducting a fatality on your opponent in Mortal Kombat II, and that is just fine with me. Let us be a generation that can keep up with the times, but never forget where our roots lie. It’s time to accept that we are getting older.

So the next time you have a “mall moment” like I did, don’t think “damn I’m getting old,” think “I’m gonna buy this shirt and proclaim to the world…TURTLES DON’T DO DRUGS!!!

TMNT.jpg

People Suck

In Society on May 26, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Elaine: I will never understand people.
Jerry: They’re the worst.

Something struck me the other day: People suck.

While I’ve known this fact for a long time it is good to see that I’m slowly bringing others down with me. My lovely girlfriend, we’ll call her Mrs. X, is getting the same bitter temperament that I have had for quite sometime. Yesterday we pulled into a local convenience store for a beverage when one of the local hillbillies decked out in full Harley-Davidson garb lighting up a Marb red commented on her car, and what nice shape it was in. Once out of earshot, Mrs. X leaned in an said to me, “Did I just get hit on because of my car?” (a 1991 Toyota Camry mind you). I had to say yes. And that hurt me. I ask you: isn’t there be a 6 tooth minimum when trying to hit on a girl? And I answer: a resounding ‘Yes.’

But, the incident has inspired me. I have come up with 4 (I like even numbers) things that I hate about people.

1. Courtesy (or lack thereof)

People have no sense of what common courtesy is anymore. Taking screaming brats into a nice restaurant, texting/talking on the phone in unacceptable situations (toll booths, drive throughs, etc), not waving when you let them pull out in front of you, acknowledging you when you hold a door et al. The little things. It’s a big world out there folks, don’t think that it all revolves around you.

2. Driving

The rules of the road aren’t what they used to be. I have already covered a few of these in the previous section but it deserves a part of the list all for itself. Have you ever played this tug of war? You and another motorist arrive at the same parking space but you got there noticeably sooner. The other person take this as a challenge and bangs through the gears to get into the space. It’s a parking lot, not the NHRA Nationals folks.

Also: not using blinkers, leaving high beams on, driving too slow, tailgating, drifting within lanes, stupid vanity license plates. People always seem to know just how to get your blood boiling on the road and it’s almost inescapable. At one point I got so frustrated with a woman who couldn’t operate her blinkers correctly I accused her of being a whale and her flippers were the cause of the problem. When my girlfriend pointed out how callous I was, I admitted maybe it wasn’t her flippers…it was the big horn coming out of the front of her face, that Narwhal.

3. The Internet

People on the Internet are the worst (this blog excluded obviously). Particularly on YouTube, ESPN.com, and AOL.com. Really, anywhere that someone who sits in their dimly lit house all day waiting to start an unnecessary argument can find you.

YouTube made me realize that no one is accepting of anything in this world anymore. AOL.com commentators can take the simplest article and turn it into the most torrid maelstrom of hate, religion and politics that you will ever see. ESPN isn’t that far behind.

You may say, well these people are just trying to seem crazy to make their point heard. I realize that, but at what point does arguing what Bible verse points out that Democrats are the anti-Christ seem a little bit juvenile?

4. Inside the Box

Remember that phrase “think outside the box”? Guess what, it’s actually a really good sentiment to live by. People in today’s world don’t strive to try new things. “Aerosmith is the best band ever I don’t care what you say and I’ll never listen to anything else.” “Spiderman is way better than Batman.” “Kix are better than Cheerios.”

You name it, someone has passed premature judgement on it. People strive to classify every single facet of their lives. Endless ranking, rating, and competing. Can’t we all just try and do something different?

I realize that this is only a small sampling of reasons why people suck. Please leave comments and add to this list. A wise man once said “Yes we can…find the root cause of human annoyance and stupidity.” –Barack Obama and the_skeptic.

Movin’ On Up

In Society on May 14, 2009 at 12:34 AM

So, I’m moving. It’s just changing apartments within the same complex but it’s still a big deal. Anytime you relocate all of your Earthly possessions, I consider it a big deal.  This has lead me to reflect on the idea of moving in general and I’ve compiled a list of the top 3 and bottom 3 aspects of the process.

TOP 3:

1. You get a mulligan on your interior decoration decisions – Sick of that poster you put up? Wish you didn’t have to creak your neck to see your TV. Moving gives you the chance to start fresh with a new room layout and a new look.

2. It gives you a chance to clean – Mostly dusting. My computer, TV, and game consoles all need a good wipe down. As does my bureau and other furniture. And I’m not gonna move something that’s dirty obviously. Perfect chance to finally clean everything.

3. Junk is eliminated (only take what you need to the next place) – All that crap in my drawers will finally hit the bricks. You can’t move a full desk, so instead I go through and trash most everything. I follow my patented golden rule (or as I call it, ‘the prime directive’) that anyone who has ever worked with me knows: WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!

BOTTOM 3:

1. It requires (sometimes strenuous) physical labor – I’m not exactly a model of physical fitness, as anyone who goes to Applebees with me can tell. (I can house a Triple Chocolate Meltdown in a minute flat.) So anything that involves, lifting, carrying, stair climbing, walking, moving, kinetic energy of any kind, sorta cramps my style.

2. Stuff gets lost in the shuffle – Whatever happened to my set of weights that I had in my old house in Reading? I still don’t know. It somehow never made it to Maine with us. Which might explain why I’m not into fitness anymore. I paid good money for those weights and I certainly am not gonna do it again!

3. You have to change your mailing address… on… everything… – Kill me now. My bank. Work. Driver’s license. Credit cards. Any and all online accounts. Everything has to change over and, of course, I’ll forget something and either lose mail or get it way too late.

How about you? Anything I missed? Anything about moving that you particularly love or hate? Any good stories? Share them in the comments.

Fake Guns: Menace to Society?

In Society on April 26, 2009 at 6:33 AM

A few days ago I was with some friends when a somewhat troubling notion struck me, though it is easiest explained by relating the actual events of the day.

So on this day me, my friend Jack, and my friend Angela were driving to the jolly ol’ land of taco bell. While driving, my friend Jack (in the passenger seat) stretched his hand out the window and formed a fake gun with his hand, tracking someone walking on the sidewalk and shouting “bang!”. Now this was simplistically funny to me but my friend Angela seemed to think that it was a terrible idea, one that would involve the fuzz (police) to become irate with us.

Comparing our two different reactions surprised me somewhat, it was one of the first instances where I realized a child-like action looks very very bad as an adult. In all probability we could’ve got picked up by the cops and had our intents questioned given the slew of school shootings that have taken place. Which is both ridiculous and somehow not surprising.

We live in a society that is scared of many things, and because there are so many people doing so many things, childish actions like these will most likely catch some activists eye and cause them to start propagating their concerns  all over the place like a loose fire hose thrashing about. I don’t know whether to be pissed off or to just accept the state of our society, because although such fear is ridiculous, it isn’t completely unfounded.

So do you think if you were driving in a car and someone started pointing their fingers at people and saying “bang”  you would be amused? Or might you be taken aback?