Tag Archives: friends

Intelligence Is A Pre-Existing Condition

History was made this week with the passage of the major healthcare reform bill in Congress, which was then signed into law by President Obama.  It’s final.  It’s done.  It’s over.  There.  Can we stop fucking talking about it?  Apparently not.

Since the House of Representatives passed the bill Sunday night, my Facebook page has been bombarded with people either praising the bill as a wondrous step forward in progressive ideals, or lambasting it as a complete socialist takeover and a precursor to the ultimate destruction of everything happy.  I’m tired of reading all these people’s reactions.  I’m a young guy in my early 20s.  Most of my Facebook friends chiming in on the issue are also young people in their early 20s or younger.  If you happen to be one of those people reading this, please take to heart the following sentence:

NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT ANYTHING.

This isn’t just my opinion, either.  I’ve had to deal with it in my stand-up (which really sucks because the stuff I wrote about in this blog entry is the stuff I REALLY want to talk about onstage and be taken seriously about it).  People just don’t care what young people think because young people don’t know hardly anything.  In fact, if you’re under 25, your opinion in general simply doesn’t matter.  Gee, healthcare reform passed?  Let’s go to the Facebook feed to find out what 19-year-old TJ in Nashville thinks: “Dude, healthcare reform is bullshit—socialist takeover BADURPADURPADURP!”

First of all, any political opinion that begins with the word, “dude,” is shorthand for, “I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.” Secondly, again, no one cares what you think.  That’s why you never see young people on the news.  Wolf Blitzer is never going to say, “And now for some insight from our youth correspondent, please welcome to The Situation Room: Snooki!” C’mon.  Besides, who could honestly know more about healthcare reform than a bunch of teenagers who haven’t even started drinking yet?  Shut up.  Especially if you’re one of those teenage girls who is complaining that the healthcare bill is causing a 10% tax hike for indoor tanning salons.  Think about it: by the time you have full-blown skin cancer, you’ll have the health insurance to cover for it, so pay the extra $5 a session, you plastic carrots.

Now, that said, I’m gonna completely undermine everything I just wrote by offering my own opinion.  Hey, it’s my blog—I’ll break my own rules if I want.  If you don’t like it, go start your own blog.

I’m glad the healthcare reform bill passed.  I personally wish they still kept in the public option, but that’s beside the point—I’m glad it passed for one major reason: to help keep the private insurance companies from screwing us even more than they already are.  Because that’s all they do at this point.  They’re not interested in helping people.  They just want to make as much profit as possible, and they will go to whatever means necessary to NOT do what they are actually there to do.  Case in point: pre-existing conditions.

If you have a pre-existing condition, the insurance companies can deny you coverage.  Which is amazing to me.  These are the people who need it most, and thankfully the new healthcare bill will put an end to this (at least in children).  This problem had been getting completely out of control.  Insurance companies were denying people for having pre-existing conditions, which isn’t fair to begin with, but what made it worse was that the insurance companies then started stretching their definitions of pre-existing conditions to the point of absurdity.  Pregnant women could be denied coverage because they were pregnant.  People could be denied coverage because they were intending to adopt. (For the record, I’m not making either of those examples up.  Look it up, it’s out there.)

It’s amazing to me.  The insurance industry is the only industry I can think of that would actively think of ridiculous excuses to NOT do what they’re supposed to do.  It’s like if your house was on fire, and you called the fire department, and the guy on the other line said, “I dunno if we can come out there.  Did you own a cat?”

“Yes,” you say.
“Sorry, that falls under our list of pre-existing conditions.”
“What?!  How does owning a cat prevent you guys from putting out my fire?!”
“Well, cats are highly flammable.  We can’t help you.  Sorry.”

Regardless, that problem should hopefully start to become less severe in the coming years.  At the same time, other problems seem to be getting worse as the days go by.  Since the bill passed, many on the crazy fringe section of the folks opposed to healthcare are going BERSERK.  Death threats, acts of vandalism, rhetoric that gets more and more violent by the sentence—it’s become pandemonium.  I keep seeing more and more talk about revolution and the use of brute force including that of firearms.  There are even a few random psychos on the internet talking about assassinating President Obama—it is INSANE.

All of this stuff actually got me thinking about the gun laws in this country.  I’m not a fan of guns in the first place and I definitely think, given the way some people on the right are acting, it’s time to consider taking measures for increased gun control.  Of course, pro-gun people sometimes defend their stance by saying things like, “Guns don’t kill people.  People do.”

I know.  Especially if those people HAVE FUCKING GUNS.

In the end, though, I don’t know why everyone even goes out of their way to react to the issue.  From the uninformed teenagers to the wackaloons, they’re all wasting their time.  I wasted my time writing this, and you wasted your time reading it.  I’m sick of people talking about healthcare reform.  I’m sick of people talking about mostly anything regarding politics.  Our current political system is bullshit anyway.  It’s ruled by two parties who are wholly unintelligent, while trying to solve unbelievably complex problems.  It’s like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift playing chess:

It doesn’t matter whose side you’re on, or whose moves you think are better for America, because in the end: they’re both fucking retarded.

Until next time,

–Riley

Further Thoughts On Social Networking

I recently published a post about my motivations for deleting my Twitter account.  In that post, I mentioned that I had some bones to pick with Facebook, but I was saving them for a future entry.

Well, this is that entry.

I have a real love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I’ve talked about this a little bit in my stand-up performances.  It has its benefits, but it also has its downfalls.  Facebook is actually worse than Twitter in various ways (including those that drove me to delete my Twitter page), but I felt like I could sacrifice my Twitter profile in spite of the necessity of promoting my stand-up comedy.  Facebook, on the other hand, is a necessary evil.  I can’t not have one in this day and age.  I do love it because it makes promoting my stand-up SO much easier, and it is a good way to keep in touch with geographically distant friends.  But there are several things regarding Facebook that I feel the need to discuss.

First, my profile (the link to which can be found on the right side of this blog).  As of this writing, I have roughly 700 friends on Facebook, which is a complete lie.  I don’t have 700 friends.  Do you have 700 friends?  Who the fuck has 700 friends?  If I’m being generous, I have maybe 10 actual friends.  Who are the other 690?  I don’t know.  I couldn’t even make up 700 fake names if I tried.

I’ll tell you about something I did the other day.  Maybe you’ve experienced it, too.  I was browsing around random profiles on Facebook, and then I stumbled upon someone who only had 17 friends.  Have you ever had that moment where you find someone like that on Facebook, and your first reaction is, “What a fuckin’ loser THIS guy is!  He’s only got 17 friends?!  Hey, all 942 of my bullshit friends: look at this fuckin’ loser over here with only 17 friends!  How does he live, man?!”  How does he live?  Well, for starters: he fucking LIVES.  He’s not sitting around on Facebook all day acquiring friends.  He’s being realistic with his social circles.  If we were all realistic with our social circles, we’d all have 17 friends, too.

Of course, Facebook encourages social networking.  Whatever the hell that is.  It’s a bullshit phrase.  Social networking is basically the online equivalent of passing someone on the street and going, “Hey.”  But Facebook encourages finding new people to connect with online.  For instance, one of the features they have for finding new friends is a page called People You May Know.  Personally, I think the page should have a different name: People You’ve Never Fuckin’ Heard Of.  Because that’s all I ever get.  Every time I go to that page, I find myself asking, “Who the fuck are you people?!”  Sometimes I’ll go to the person’s profile, and it will say we have five mutual friends.  Then I’ll click on the five mutual friends and go, “Who the fuck are these people, too?!”  How can I possibly know you when I don’t know the people I know, who also know you, you know?

That’s the thing that bugs me the most about Facebook: none of us know anybody.  Everyone has hundreds of friends that they don’t talk to; that they will probably NEVER talk to.  I once got a message from a guy whom I had one or two classes with in high school.  We weren’t good friends back then, and I don’t recall us ever really talking that much.  But this guy sent me a message saying, “Hey man, you wanna get together sometime and catch up?”

And I thought, “Catch up?  Dude, we didn’t BEGIN.”  What exactly are we catching up from when we never even got started?  Let’s say, for the hell of it, that we DID end up getting together somewhere.  The moment in the conversation where I say, “Excuse me, I gotta go to the restroom,” and then run out the front door—that’s called speeding ahead.  And I call it that to keep him from catching up to me.

Facebook, like its other social networking brethren, is ridiculously addictive and time-consuming.  I spend too much time on Facebook.  I’m trying to curb my use, but it’s especially hard for me because I talk to people more on Facebook than I do elsewhere.  I know that’s kinda sad but it’s the truth, because I lead a pretty solitary existence as it is.  A lot of people spend too much time on there without realizing it.  Here’s an easy way to determine if you spend too much time on Facebook: have you ever ALMOST picked up a hitchhiker, just to have someone to talk to?  If you’ve ever had that moment, then maybe you should stop spending so much time on Facebook.

Although, to be fair, that would make a KILLER status update.

Until next time,

–Riley

The Fast-Food Calorie Counter And A Completely Unrelated Story About Porn

It was the most ironic thing.

I was recently standing in line at a fast-food joint, and this guy behind me was debating over what he was going to order.  I was too, so I initially thought nothing of it.  But then I heard him say the word, “calories,” and I began to listen more closely.  It was within seconds that I came to discover:

He was debating over what he was going to order based on the calorie counts of each menu item.

Unbelievable.

Recently, most of the major fast-food franchises have been making public the nutritional information regarding the items on their menus, as part of their ongoing quest to further health-ify their images.  Many of them have a display somewhere in the restaurant, and others will give you a sheet of paper with the data upon request.

I honestly don’t understand why fast-food restaurants are bothering with posting the nutritional facts.  The fact that we eat there in the first place ought to tell them that we obviously don’t give a SHIT about calorie counts.  That’s why we eat at fast-food joints: we don’t WANT to fuckin’ count calories!  We just want to get in, eat our shit, and go.  We already made the decision to eat here—clearly health is NOT a major concern for us.

That guy behind me in line was an idiot.  To even try to look at fast-food from a health standpoint is the absolute wrong way to go about it.  It completely misses the point.  Counting calories at a fast-food joint is like going to a porn shop to make a new friend.  Or practicing to be a suicide bomber.

That reminds me of a story, related to and apropos of nothing stated earlier in this post except for something in that last paragraph.  I’ve told this story before on my Facebook profile, but it’s been a while and it’ll be new here. (And no, this does not mean I am out of ideas to write about.  This story is definitely worth repeating.)

Downtown Nashville has a porn shop named Hustler Hollywood, named for, yes, THAT Hustler (ironically enough, located on a road ACTUALLY called Church Street—I am dead serious).  First of all, I know that most porn shops have that stigma of being nasty, grungy, icky places—and that’s true for a lot of them—but Hustler Hollywood is actually nice.  Like, REALLY nice.  It’s like a fuckin’ Macy’s in there. (Bonus local reference for Nashvillians: It’s like the Green Hills Mall of porn shops.)

As I stated before, porn shops are not the place for people to try to make friends, although there is often a community mindset.  After all, everyone is there for the exact same reason.  But it’s a reason that shows people at their most vulnerable, and everyone is aware of that, so they generally steer clear of interaction with other shoppers (which is a weird word to use in that context, but I can’t think of one better).  They just sort of give an acknowledging nod and shuffle on by.  Porn shops are not a place for conversations.

Occasionally, however, some people don’t get the memo.

I was once in the Hustler Hollywood, perusing the aisles. (No, I didn’t buy anything, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to look around.)  I started looking at the videos, when I noticed a gentleman, roughly a few years my senior, slowly gravitating in my direction.  I caught him in my peripheral vision, and without calling any attention to his advances, I casually walked over to another shelf of videos.

He followed me to the other shelf.

At this point, my mind was put on alert.  Oh shit, I thought, I think this guy’s gonna talk to me!  HE’S GONNA BREAK THE CODE! I contemplated moving into the gay porn section, just to throw him off.  But then my self-consciousness kicked in.  “What if he sees me go into the gay section, and then he thinks I’m gay?  Or even worse, what if I go into the gay section, and it turns out HE’S gay?  I’d be ganged up by all the gay!  Caught in the cornhole corner!  ABORT!” I ultimately decided to venture into the ethnic porn section, because I figured if I’m leaving him with some kind of impression, then goddamnit: might as well make him think I’m CULTURED.  Hey, I like Hispanic music, Hispanic cuisine, Hispanic art—why not Hispanic porn?

But it was all to no avail, as he finally approached me.  And in that moment, I looked up towards the heavens, into the face of God—well, actually, it was just a poster of Jenna Jameson—and accepted the fate that was inevitable.  This guy was obviously on a mission to say something to me, so I gave in, planted my feet, and took a deep breath:

“Man, I prefer girl-on-girl porn, ’cause I just can’t stand lookin’ at dudes’ penises.”

…nice to meet you, too.

That was his ice-breaker.  Not, “what kind of porn do you like?”  Not, “who’s your favorite pornstar?”  Not even a simple, “what’s up, man?”  No, this gentleman decided to introduce himself by revealing his MOST DEEPLY PERSONAL MASTURBATORY FETISH.  And then he walked away.  Now those words are going to be in my head forever.  I will never be able to un-know that fact.  And, because I will probably never cross paths with him again, I will never have the chance to find out why he chose to say THAT to me instead of something else.

Then again, if that was his most personable thought at the time, I’d be afraid to find out what his other options were.  I thought to myself, This is it.  I’ve officially seen EVERYTHING.

And then, as I headed towards the exit, I saw him holding two videos, and he was debating over which video to buy based on the girl-on-girl scene counts in each one.

Until next time,

–Riley