Today I was watching British kitchen comedy Whites and was made unfeasibly happy by a scene where, when asked by his manager what a vegetarian customer can eat from their menu, the head chef replies:
“Well, maybe she can chow down on her own sense of self-importance. Tell this woman, if she wants to eat leaves and grain, she can go out in the garden and nibble on a birch tree. We’ve got a field of grass out the back, she can get down on all fours and chew away to her heart’s content with all the other cows. In the meantime, she can sit her bony ass down and eat my meat.”
There are very few things in this world that I find more pretentious than being a vegetarian. Other than being a vegan, obviously. That’s less pretentious, more just plain fucking offensive. Because, unless you suffer from a debilitating allergy to chicken drumsticks or once nearly choked to death on a pork chop, there is absolutely no reason why you should not be a carnivore.
Choosing to be a vegetarian is like choosing to only listen to Bon Iver every day for the rest of your life. Why the fuck would you do that? It’s just unnecessary and joyless. Why not just punch yourself in the face while you’re at it.
Look me dead in the eye and tell me you don’t like the taste of bacon. I DOUBLE DRAGON DARE YOU. Your pants would spontaneously combust. Are you SO terribly concerned about battery hens? What will the dolphins eat when all the tuna is gone?? Stop it. Just sit down and eat a cheeseburger.
I do, however, approve of vegetarian restaurants, because it keeps the dirty hippies away from normal eateries and dissuades steakhouses from putting things like cauliflower risotto and tempeh steak with pine nuts on their menu. I don’t want to enjoy my filet mignon next to somebody eating baked tofu with a beansprout emulsion. In fact, let’s just start segregating. Naturally, I’m going to call that vegregation. VEGREGATION. It will be like the 1960s or Nazi Germany but with more bacon-wrapped hot dogs.
I once ate a cube of tofu thinking it was feta cheese. What a mistake. My reaction was exactly this:
I’ve expressed my disdain towards the hand-crafted tack on Etsy before but that pales in comparison to the truly pretentious retail crimes being committed over at Crate & Barrel, a horrifically bourgeois catalog world of $300 espresso makers and jaunty tea light holders. You’re probably thinking, “Oh, but they have really nice stuff there.” NO. BE QUIET. It is a hateful, overbearing place brimming with materialism and everything that is wrong with modern society. They might as well rename it “Greed & Barrel.” Now, if you still feel the need to defend the C&B dinnerware that’s currently stacked in your kitchen cabinet, it’s probably because you are one half of a couple. Think about it. Every store is always swarming with hand-holding couples, ambling around the perfect displays in their Diesel jeans and Saturday afternoon beanies. Am I right? Of course.
I fucking hate Crate & Barrel, not because their glassware isn’t desirable but because it is a store designed to bully, crush and kill single people. Case in point, there has only been one instance whereby I have entered a C & B location and not wanted to gun down every asshole yuppie couple in the place. And, quelle surprise, that was when I recently shopped there with a cute date. It was only then that I could look at their array of gadgets and genuinely see their merit:
Cake Tester – “Hey cupcake, look at this! We DO make brownies every week before Grey’s Anatomy so it only makes sense to get one of these.”
Marble Mortar and Pestle – “I’ve always wanted to get a mortar and pestle so we could make homemade guacamole, what do you think?” “What an AWESOME idea! Which one is the pestle again? AHAHAHA.”
HOWEVER, as a single person, I stare blankly at the rack of utterly worthless utensils for a few minutes before finally giving in to The Rage:
Strawberry Huller – “Seriously? Were you born without opposable thumbs and cannot possibly pull the hull out of a fucking strawberry before you dip it into the creme fraiche you just bought from Whole Foods. I HOPE YOU DIE EATING THAT STRAWBERRY.”
Needless to say, I shall not be venturing into a Crate & Barrel this holiday season. And if you’re tempted to go in there, save your money. I promise you that don’t need Bamboo Toast Tongs to pick up a piece of bread and you’ll only end up wanting to stab someone with that Watermelon Knife come June.
They also sell something called a “Jingle Elf Spatula” and I promise you there are not enough swear words in the English language for me to express my opinion on that.
Dear Facebook users who write status updates starting “Dear…” to objects, companies, entities and celebrities,
PLEASE STOP IT. This was a funny writing device a few years ago but now you’ve ruined it by writing tiresome things like “Dear L.A. weather…”, “Dear DMV…” and so on. Not to burst your bubble, but those things are probably never going to read your message. And if they do, I hope it’s with a snatchy comment like “UNSUBSCRIBE” or “Take a number, asshole” just to humiliate you in front of all your Facebook friends.
I appreciate that you like to use it as a way to vent your frustrations while keeping a sense of whimsy. You know it’s not a real letter. I know it’s not a real letter. And Time Warner Cable can’t reply anyway because it doesn’t have fingers! Oh, the irony! DO YOU SEE??
It did have a good run though and so below is my “Dear…” tribute. You can get back to posting those photos of your dog now.
PS. You’re. Also. Cut. Off. From. Doing. This. Ok? Seriously.
Dear 2 hr 5 minute commute from Santa Monica to Hollywood,
Really? What the hell was that? You don’t usually take that long. I know Angelenos drive like morons in the rain but that was totally unnecessary. Was it my fault? Should I have taken a different route? Are you mad at me for some reason? I’m not judging you, I’m just trying to understand what went so horribly wrong. I think I deserve some kind of explanation, don’t you? If you’re going to waste two hours of my life, I at least want to drive past a burning car wreck with lots of sirens and lights and stretchers and people screaming and intestines stuck to the hood of an SUV. No? Fender bender then? ANYTHING?? Is Obama in town? Bomb on a bus? Cloverfield monster on a rampage in Century City? Did a new Chick-fil-A open? Any fucking reason at all will do!
…It can’t have been just the rain. It can’t!…
…Are you really not going to tell me?…
FINE. You sonofabitch. I’ll see you tomorrow.
Dear crazy homeless people,
Not meaning to offend but I have some questions: Why do you always stand outside of laundromats? Is it because it’s warmer in there? If so, I totally understand. I love going into my laundry room, it’s always super warm in there. Or is it because you miss washing your own clothes? Do you go around and push all the return coin buttons hoping to get a quarter back? I did that in my laundry room once when I was bored. I didn’t get any quarters back, so I know how you feel. You should go to Vegas and try checking all the slot machines there. Jackpot! Am I right?! HAHAHA. Do you sometimes throw your shoes in with someone else’s stuff and then take them out before the cycle finishes? Man, I bet you wish there was a laundromat sandwiched between a public library and a liquor store. Honestly, if I were you, I’d probably go sit outside an Urban Outfitters. When someone leaves they’ll probably mistake you for one of their shabby hipster friends and invite you for a chai latte at Starbucks.
Best of luck!
PS. Please stop cornering me outside of Ralph’s. I can usually only afford to buy vodka and toaster waffles so I honestly don’t have any change to give you.
Dear In-N-Out milkshake,
How are you? I miss you! Also, I was wondering: Why are you so small? I always drink you up in like two minutes and then have to eat my #2 with no onions knowing full well that you’re gone forever. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied? That’s Shakespeare, by the way. It’s okay, I know it’s hard for dairy products to get into good colleges these days. My point is that you’re way more delicious than soda and yet you’re in a smaller cup. Why are you letting them downsize you like that? And I don’t want to hear your “But I’ll get all melty at the bottom if I’m too big” excuses! Listen to me very carefully, In-N-Out shake: Those friendly people in the paper hats are trying to embarrass you in front of the Coca-Cola beverages. They’re making you look like a damn fool! Is that what you want?? IS IT? No. So rise up! Rise up against the Paper Hats and TAKE BACK THE CUP THAT IS RIGHTFULLY YOURS!
All my love,
First of all, I don’t trust foods that have no business being green. Today you’ll most likely walk into your office kitchen and be overjoyed to find a batch of cookies that some peppy bitch made with an entire bottle of green food coloring. If you saw that plate on any other day, you’d be all, “Who the hell left these mouldy rock cakes here?”
And do you really want to go to some filthy, faux-Irish pub and wait 25 minutes for an Irish Car Bomb? Why not go tomorrow night when you won’t have to wait to get served and you can projectile vomit that plate of corned beef and cabbage without getting it all over everybody’s one green shirt?
Seriously. If you need an annual holiday to remind you to go out and get wasted, you’re doing it wrong.
And admit it, you have no clue who St. Patrick was. I didn’t either until Wikipedia told me. No, he didn’t look like the Lucky Charms dude. No, he didn’t invent Guinness or the potato. And no, he wasn’t played by Mel Gibson or Liam Neeson in a movie. Like most saints, he had a bit of a crush on Jesus and he decided to tell the Irish peasants all about it. Here’s what would happen if you met St. Patrick out at Molly Malone’s tonight:
St. Patrick: Well, hello patrons!
Drunk Frat Boy: OMG, it’s St. Patty! This is so cool! Come have a beer with us!
St. Patrick: What? No, no, I’m here to tell you about Christianity.
DFB: HAHA. Good one. OH! We made green cookies! You want one?
St. Patrick: No. Gross. Listen, I’m trying to tell you about the Holy Trinity. Now, you see this three-leafed shamrock here, this represen…
DFB: I have shamrocks on my underwear! LOOK IT! They’re green! See?? AHAHAHAHA.
St. Patrick: Well, yes, that’s nice but..wow, you’re just chugging that whole pint, huh? Anyway, so there’s the Father, the Son and the Holy….WHAT THE FUCK, did you just puke on my shoes? Jesus Christ, give me strength.
JESUS: Pat!! What’s up, buddy? Let me buy you a drink. God, I love beeeeeeer! I’m going to call this one Beerdon O’Beerdy. Mmm, beer is good. Foamy. Hey barkeep! HEY! Give me a pint of Guinness. Just one! Watch this. BOOM. Now everyone in the bar has a pint of Guinness. HOW AWESOME AM I?! Let’s get super drunky now because I have to go deal with that fucking cross in a couple of weeks. UGH. So annoying. Cheers, everybody!
I’m sure we’ve all looked at a piece of minimalist modern art consisting of a blue splodge and two yellow lines on a canvas and thought, “Well, shit. I could have done that.” And the truth is, you literally could. Because 94% of modern art is completely random garbage that a retarded monkey with an eye infection and a bad case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome could have created in about five minutes.
But I’m not mad at the artists or the curators. No. The real culprits here are the over-educated gimps who write those informative little signs next to all the paintings and sculptures. They are the evil geniuses who are snickering from behind the walls as you read their blurb about a turd wrapped in barbed wire, then look at the thing and go, “Oh, yeah. I totally get it.” Case in point…
A few months ago I was at the Seattle Art Museum in Seattle and walked into a typical room of modern artistry. There were some “paint balloons thrown at the wall” canvases, a sculpture made out of veterans’ dog tags, a dude made of beer bottles. Fine. Whatevs. But over on the far side of the room was this:
I immediately thought how tacky it was to leave pieces of an unfinished art installation out in the open like that. Really, Seattle Art Museum staff? You might as well just let the janitor come in and buff the floors while people are meandering around the Monets. HOWEVER. Upon closer inspection, I see there is one of those aforementioned little signs on the wall next to it. Take a look:
Ummm, yeah. You know what else reads as a strange protest banner whose message is comprised of the reflections gathered from its surroundings? MY FACE. Right now. As I look at this collection of sticks and aluminum foil that some fuckwit pulled out of his ass and leaned against a museum wall.
And to whom and for what might these blankets provide comfort and protection? Well, here’s an idea. How about you give them to some poor, homeless idiot sleeping on the rainy streets of Seattle? Perhaps he can put them to “quizzical use” as an elaborate turban. Or a Twister mat. Or a FUCKING EMERGENCY BLANKET.
By “Kuri is a master of slippery meanings,” I’m pretty sure the writer is actually saying, “Hi, guys. Looks like I’ve pulled the short straw with Krrrazy Kuri again. Ugh. What a a dickhole. I bet he’s snorting horse tranquilizer off a hooker right now. Anyhoo, this is basically just some sticks and blankets haphazardly leaned up against a wall and doesn’t mean jack shit but I’m being paid pretty well for this so I have to ascribe it some sort of artsy fartsy metaphorical depth and ask stupid questions that will make it seem like you’ve objectively interpreted its meaning all on your own. YAY! Are you ready? Here we go!!”
My point is that you could put pretty much anything in a museum and call it ART if all you need to do is give it some verbosely pretentious description that shoves your face up against it and screams, “It’s ART. Look at it! Do you see the meaning now? AAAAAARRRT.”
I have no doubt that if I placed a half-empty Starbucks coffee cup in the middle of that museum floor, at least 12 people would stop to look at it and some woman would turn to her fiancee and say, “Oh Mark, look at this. Such thoughtful use of negative space as a commentary on modern society. The murky, over-caffeinated depths of corporate America are dominating this vessel, this tabula rasa if you will, with an addiction that is getting colder and less fulfilling as time goes by. But what of the empty space above? The memory of liberty and the American Dream, now simply a missed opportunity. What could have been the whipped cream of happiness is now merely rancid vapor. What a brilliant piece.”
IS IT THOUGH?
In conclusion, forget the splodges, sticks and little signs. This is what true ART looks like…isn’t it beautiful?
There are certain moments in your life that thrust you into jaded adulthood: Discovering that Santa Claus isn’t real. Being rejected for the 87th time. Realizing that your parents are not very smart. Watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Should we be mad at the people behind these betrayals? Or should we be mad at Hollywood and its media minions for leading us astray? I’m choosing the latter because it’s completely irrational and passive aggressive. It also allows me to write about how the entertainment industry is full of money-grabbing whores trying to sell you lies made of life-affirming schmaltz and rainbow puppy dreams. Don’t believe me?
Case Study #1: “Fuckin’ Perfect” by Pink
I like Pink. She’s a rock star with her rock moves and I appreciate her ballsy attitude. However, I have some serious issues with her new song, “Fuckin’ Perfect.”
Pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel
Like you’re less than fuckin’ perfect
Well, that’s very nice of you to say, Pink. But that’s sort of an unrealistic statement to make when you don’t really know wha…
PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE, if you ever ever feel like you’re nothing
You’re fuckin’ perfect to me
Are you done now? Listen, I hate to burst your bubble here but I’m not quite as awesome as you’ve apparently been told. Seriously. We don’t know each other that well. Maybe I’m a raging asshole who sets small dogs on fire and throws shards of glass at children. Maybe I sell Roofies to creepy frat boys. Maybe I’m morbidly obese and smell like McDonald’s beef patties. Maybe I’m currently forging an elaborate plan to assassinate the President. Maybe I talk during movies. Maybe I had sex with your husband Carey Hart in the alley behind Soho House last night (congrats on the baby, btw!). Okay, none of that is true, but still…YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE, PINK. Think about it. Am I still “fuckin’ perfect” to you? I’m just saying, you should raise your standards a little.
Case Study #2: Serendipity
I used to be convinced that, if I tried hard enough, I could turn my life into a romantic comedy. Not like a shitty Ryan Reynolds rom-com but a true story of unstoppable forces, witty banter and problems that can be solved by standing outside with a boom box playing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. If Los Angeles is a cluttered wasteland, I am WALL-E, collecting sporks and moving trash around until EVE lands. There are probably Twilight-obsessed 13-year-olds who have a more grounded sense of romance.
Anyways, the John Cusack/Kate Beckinsale movie Serendipity somehow became the keystone of my hopelessly romantic belief system. It might be a mediocre film but all I heard was a lot of people talking about passion, destiny, faith, hot chocolate and finding your matching glove. Check this out:
In case you haven’t seen the movie, he ends up with Kate Beckinsale and it’s all rather lovely.
And it has since become apparent to me that Serendipity is about as realistic as Hot Tub Time Machine.
In retrospect, I should have known that basing my entire romantic philosophy on a movie starring Jeremy “Ari from Entourage” Piven was a bad idea.
“Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Rather, it’s a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan.”
IS IT THOUGH?
Or is life what happens to you while John Cusack is making millions of dollars by peddling vicious lies about boom boxes and soul-mates? Shame on you, John Cusack. When the apocalypse strikes in 2012, do not bother coming to pick me up in your family sedan. I’ll take the bus.
Case Study #3: Oprah Winfrey
I have some pretty strong evidence to suggest that Oprah Winfrey is far more than just a talk show host. She’s a role model, a philanthropist and a cult-leading, fame-hungry demon who wants to suck the soul right out of your body. You’re lucky that I, as a British person, am immune to her brain-washing mind powers and can see the truth behind her ratings-grabbing publicity stunts…
Remember that woman who had her face eaten off by a chimp? Oprah did that and framed the chimp. Remember when Tom Cruise went batshit crazy on the couch? Oprah had cast some kind of voodoo spell on him. And spiked his coffee with a potent combo of Ecstasy, LSD and crystal meth. Poor Tom did not see the O-Train coming.
The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa? Sure, during the day it’s all smiles and iPads but at night every single one of those girls is shackled and marched down into the filthy underground sweatshop where they are forced to knit plus-sized sweater sets and write articles about herbs for O Magazine.
Still not convinced? Items on her recent “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list included:
- Sequin-covered UGG boots
- Chicken pies
- A tin of popcorn that retails for $135
- Lycra jeans
- The album Illuminations by Josh Groban
- A limited-edition 25th anniversary ‘Oprah’ watch worth $2,475
Do you see it now? Oprah Winfrey is trying to make you look like an asshole. DO NOT TRUST HER.
So this is my Grumpy Blogging Hat (GBH). As you can see, I’m not really a hat person. My head is too small or too narrow or too oddly Pterodactyl-shaped for hats. However, I enjoy the irony of blogging about tacky/pretentious nonsense whilst wearing a furry snow hat in my Los Angeles apartment. Does it serve any useful function? Absolutely not. Will I be wearing it at The Abbey next weekend? Survey says, “Hell no.” Does wearing it trap me in a kind of downward irony-spiral that makes me want to blog about how wearing pointless hipster accessories to be ironic is actually tackier than just being genuinely tacky? OF COURSE IT DOES. But that post is for another day. Back to the GBH…
Sure, it might come in handy if I ever decide to become an Alaska State Trooper or produce a stage version of the movie Fargo. But in the meantime, I will wear it to blog simply because it conveys the kind of curmudgeonly “fuck-off” disdain for the outside world that I’m all about. And who really needs full hearing and peripheral vision anyway?
So, in conclusion, anything that does not fall into one of these categories probably isn’t going to register on my radar while I’m wearing the Grumpy Blogging Hat:
a) In my direct line of sight
b) A pint of chocolate milk
c) Minka Kelly
d) Minka Kelly drinking a pint of chocolate milk in my direct line of sight
In fact, it’s less of a hat, more of a knitted attitude of disinterest. A hermit helmet, if you will. It’s like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, except you can still totally see me and I look like a jackass. WIN!