Archive for January, 2012


Super Bitch

Last night’s Floor 12 II conversation featured a segment on superpowers. You know, that clichéd conversation about what superpowers you’d like to have. The results were typical: Invisibility. Flight. Teleportation. Time travel.

One of the most interesting superpowers – and one which I certainly would not want – is that of mind-reading.  I don’t know about you guys, but my mind is one foul, foul place. If the same is true of other people, then there’s a lot of shit that I don’t want to know in peoples’ heads.

Now, what would be an awesome power is the exact opposite of mind-reading. That is, the ability to force someone to hear what you’re thinking. Telepathy, in other words.

Let me just clarify a few things:

1. The person you’re speaking to would be unaware of who the thought came from unless you told them. They’d hear the thought in their heads coming from an external source, but would be unable to distinguish who the external source is.

2. Because this isn’t mind-reading, it only works in one direction. You can’t listen in on other peoples’ thoughts. You can only insert your own into their minds.

Despite the limitations that come with caveat #2, think of all the practical applications!

  • You could haunt your enemies.
  • You’d be a hell of a lot better at Euchre.
  • You’d send way fewer text messages.

And… um…

Well there’s not much more, really. Except for one all-important thing:

 

The ability to call people out with impunity.

Look, everyone needs to be called out every now and then. On occasion, everyone goes a little too far with a joke, or unintentionally says something hurtful, or otherwise acts like a prick. I’m certainly guilty from time to time. And when someone does this, they need to be called out. A very simple “You’re being a dick” generally does the trick.

No one likes being called out. It’s not pleasant. It’s embarrassing to be called out in front of a group of people. It’s damaging to one’s pride. Nevertheless it’s necessary from time to time to keep our egos in check.

The problem is that it’s not socially acceptable to call out a stranger. You can call out your friends, since in the end they’ll understand that you’re calling them out for their own good. But calling out a stranger meets with hostility and tends to create conflict.

That’s why telepathy would be so awesome.

I was sitting in lecture about two hours ago when this woman (let’s call her a bitch) was telling a friend a story in that nasally tone of voice that bitches tend to use. WHILE THE PROFESSOR WAS TALKING.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the tale she wove was a truly epic tale about getting “absolutely fucked” on the weekend and “misplacing $300”. She woke up in a hotel room with two guys (but don’t worry, nothing happened), and then proceeded to brutally dump her boyfriend over the phone. At the end of her story she declared “Yeah… I’m a fucking bitch.”

 

Now wouldn’t it be nice if at that moment I could have just telepathically said something simple like “Then shut the fuck up, you fucking bitch.”

Harsh. But deservedly so. Some people just need to be called out.

 

Of course, there are other ways to deal with such bitches, but that’ll be next week’s topic.

 

Screw The Rules, I Have Green Hair

Today I looked at my Facebook wall and saw that someone I’m acquainted with posted a photo of themselves. Not an unusual thing.

What was unusual is that her hair was green. And not just any green, but this horrendous pale greyish-green thing. In my opinion it looked god-awful. But my opinion isn’t what’s important here. What’s important is that she has received no less than 22 likes on it thus far. No wait, that was four hours ago. She’s up to 28 now.

In addition to these 28 likes, 20 people have also commented on this photo. The comments are, without exception, positive ones. They range from “OMMYGOD! so cute.” to “awesomeeeeeeee” to “CAN YOU GET ANY HOTTER” to “if Katy Perry and Niki Minaj had a kid <3” (Yes, to the best of my knowledge, that last one was intended as a compliment).

Interestingly, 17 out of the 20 comments were posted by females, as were 23 of the 28 likes.

If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s these two things:

1. Greyish-green hair does not look good.

2. Women are bitches.

Clearly something is amiss here. 28 likes on a photo of an otherwise vaguely attractive girl with greyish-green hair just doesn’t make sense. I have come up with three possibilities:

A) I’m wrong about greyish-green hair being unattractive.

B) I’m wrong about women being bitches.

C) I’m not wrong as all. Instead, these 23 girls are taking bitchiness to a whole new level by liking a picture which they know to be unattractive and complementing the girl whilst internally taking great pleasure in the fact that she has made all the other girls look better by comparison.

This sounds to me like the PERFECT opportunity to test out this poll feature that I’ve just this moment discovered.

NOW VOTEVOTEVOTEVOTE.

This is where it’d be nice to have a readership of 10,000. I have a feeling that this sample size might be on the small side. Ah well.

SOPA

Funny how quickly the world changes. A mere decade ago, something like SOPA appearing in the US Congress would have been unthinkable.

SOPA, for those of you who are unaware, is the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill being debated in US Congress at the moment. If enacted, it would give the US Department of Justice vast and sweeping powers to crack down on those who commit copyright infringement online. That’s the basic gist of it. If you want more detail, you can always check out the Wikipedia article.

Wikipedia, incidentally, has just pulled off an absolutely brilliant move. If you’re reading this the day it was published (January 18th) you’ll find that you’re completely unable to access Wikipedia’s English language site, except for the article on SOPA, and a few key related articles. How brilliant is that? The Internet is absolutely abuzz with SOPA talk today, and the vast majority of it is because of Wikipedia. People go to Wikipedia to look something up, find out that it’s down, and then end up reading the SOPA article and becoming outraged. Now that’s how you mobilize public opinion. Bravo, Wikimedia.

Anyhow, as with any controversial piece of legislation, you have supporters and detractors. The detractors are generally people like you and me – the scrubs who go around the Internet, benefiting from copyright infringement. The supporters are generally people in the entertainment industry. You know, the ones who we’re stealing from on a daily basis when we download music, use pirated software, or watch certain videos on Youtube.

I’m not like a lot of the detractors in that I can actually see where the supporters are coming from.

Copyright infringement is wrong. Piracy is wrong. When we do these things, as we do on a daily basis, we are stealing. Make no mistake about that. So, at least in theory, SOPA is a good thing in that regard, as it’ll crack down on us scumbags.

But on the other hand, I’m a realist. If SOPA goes through, despite the fact that I’m not an American citizen, my life will be negatively impacted by it. For example, I’m a Calgary Flames fan. This means that I like to watch Calgary Flames games. The problem is that I live in Toronto, where the Toronto Maple Leafs occupy most of the TV’s airtime. Only about 15-20 Flames games are broadcast in Toronto per year out of an 82 game season. In order to see the others, I have two options. First, I could subscribe to Gamecentre Live for $130 per year and watch every Flames game from my PC. Second, I could use online streams for free. I’ll give you three guesses as to which option I choose.

Under SOPA however, the sites that I use to locate streams (which are American) as well as the people streaming the games (who are often American) would be subject to prosecution. In short, that means no more Flames hockey for me, which leaves me an unhappy man. Watching Flames hockey also tends to leave me an unhappy man, but that’s a whole other subject.

On the bright side, I doubt SOPA will pass. While I’m by no means an expert on American politics, conventional wisdom and common sense make it unlikely that this bill will become an act. Public opinion is against it, and it’s an election year. Whether or not Congressmen keep their jobs into 2013 will depend largely on their opinions on the Affordable Care Act and SOPA. They won’t push it through. If they defy conventional wisdom (which, to be fair, American politicians often do), then it’ll end up in the courts, where a long legal battle will ensue over whether or not it’s constitutional. But I doubt it’ll reach that point. High profile legislation + low public support + election year = failure.

Those are my thoughts, anyhow. I’d love to hear yours.