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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Mysterious Munchies 

On one of my numerous trips to the Shell station on Highway 19 a couple of months ago, I came upon a delectable treat that has since taken control of my entire life: Cheddar Munchies.

Munchies (probably so named because they're the number one thing craved by stoners) is a sort of snack mix by Frito Lay, containing Rold Gold pretzels, hard slices of bagel, and some sort of Quaker's cereal, among other little goodies. They come in Classic, Traditional, Hot and Spicy, and the coup de snack, Cheddar.

Perhaps I'll never know why those evil Frito Lay bastards have unceremoniously unleashed Cheddar Munchies on an unsuspecting world (that's a lot "un"s). But they did, and the Munchies are out there. You've probably seen them a million times with the snack food in gas stations, Wal*Marts, and grocery stores. You'll continue to overlook them until finally you pick up a bag out of boredom...and suddenly you've become a slave to Frito Lay, consuming their addictive poison and buying bag after bag, shoving one tangy, cheddar powder-covered handful after another into your mouth until there is none left then attempting to fight off the urge to immediately open another bag. But it's a fruitless endeavor...Frito Lay has branded you. In those small orange bags is a substance ten times more addictive than heroin, and you cannot stop.

I'm thinking of taking a bag off to some secret lab to have them analyzed. Of course, I'd have to find a secret lab first, and that couldn't be easy, since they're secret. Maybe by chance I'll stumble upon one. Then I can truly find out what it is in Munchies that makes them so...good. Yummy cheddar, crunch, salty pretzel, sweet Quaker squares...mmmmmm....Oh, I'm sorry, what was I talking about? Oh yeah. Munchies.

I never eat anything but the Cheddar variety (I'm not yet willing to sell my soul completely to this dastardly corporation), but I often wonder is someone having similar problems with one of the other varieties...is there some guy in Ohio or somewhere whose fingers are perpetually covered in Hot & Spicy flavoring, and his pantry full of nothing but little red bags? It's a truly frightening thought. Or is it?

After all, they taste good, and what could be better than a good-tasting snack? I mean, it's certainly better than a bad-tasting snack. And I'm certainly happy when I'm feeding upon my supply of Cheddar Munchies, and will likely remain so until the FDA outlaws it. I'm starting to think if everyone ate Munchies, the world would be a better place. Munchies are abundant with carbohydrates, so everyone would forget about those dumbass "low-carb" diets, and they would actually have the energy (which you get from carbs) to go to the store and buy more of them. And if they got desperate enough, they could actually RUN to the store, contributing to the active lifestyle that carbs require and that everyone should have.

Don't mind that puncture wound on the back of your neck, or those strange green pods in your closet. Go buy a bag of Munchies. Choose your own flavor. We're all happier now....

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Oh Despair, Children Are Everywhere 

You see them everywhere in public. Usually loud, obnoxious, and very not cute. I'm referring to children...and we have entirely too many of them in the world.

First of, I am not anti-child. I don't particularly like children, but I do recognize the need for a number of them to continue the human race. But do we really need as many of them as we have? God damn, we have over 6 billion people in the world, and every one of them is not obligated to reproduce. That's right, you fanatical compulsive breeders, we are not all obligated to have children.

This is an idea that we've had crammed into our skulls since we were very small...the idea that we should all one day marry and reproduce. Marriage is a subject I'll touch on in another entry, so let's focus on reproduction. We have a gazillion and one people in this country who don't particularly like or want children, but they have them anyway because they feel that that's what is expected of them. Also, it's a chance for immortality; I guess the idea of living without a legacy is like living without a god for some people, and they just can't handle the concept. This is the primary reason why there are so many single parents and abused children in this country and indeed the whole world: Too many people are reproducing, when the job should be left to those who not only actually want to reproduce, but can financially afford it and who are willing to change their entire way of life (because believe me, you can't remain carefree once you're "domesticated"). If you absolutely love and want children, have them. After all, too much negative population growth sucks. On the other hand, if you're not sure whether or not you should have children, take my advice and for the sake of the entire world, fucking DON'T.

The biggest part of this whole rant for me, though, is the way that the child-free are viewed by society. As a person who has chosen to remain child-free for the rest of his life, I'm seen as being defective. Some even call child-free people selfish. This is bullshit in it's purest form. Pardon me, you oversexed fucksockets, but why do you insist on having children? To pass on your family name? So you won't die alone? Isn't that selfish, rather than trying to keep down the number of people on our overpopulated planet? How about when we run out of natural resources because some of you couldn't keep your genitals covered? And if abortion is outlawed, this will only get worse. Just what the world needs: More friggin' unwanted pregnancies.

On the subject of unwanted pregnancies: I can't count the number of times I've heard young, married women say "I'm pregnant now. My husband and I wanted to wait to have kids, but God had different plans". Excuse me, did your god keep your suck-ass husband from wearing a condom? If you don't like male contraceptives, fine, start taking pills, they're effective enough. Where is the law written that married people are for some reason incapable of using birth control? Apart from you damn Catholics out there, I mean.

Or here's one for those of you who actually do want children, why not adopt? There are currently FAR more children going up for adoption every year than there are parents willing to adopt them. Instead of insisting on adding your genetic material to the ever-growing pool, why not do more to take care of the people we have?

The army of flaky, neurotic, poorly-raised children are descending upon us, and we really need to do something about their ever-increasing number. All of this because too many people compulsively reproduce. Please, don't think of the children, think of the people.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

When Enthusiasm Yields to Ergonomics 

One of my normal daily activities (being a diehard car enthusiast) is to look at pictures of nice cars and try to memorize every little detail. Today the vehicles of choice were vintage sports cars. After admiring multiple examples of numerous models, I started to notice something rather alarming: Sports cars, like people, mature. And when they mature, they get dull. Mind-numbingly fucking dull.

One of the first examples I noticed was the Jaguar XK100-series sports cars. When the XK120 was released in 1948, it was a simple yet elegant sportster, setting numerous top speed records at the time. Although it was pure in line and precise in construction, it also had a mean little mother of an engine that was quite capable of the rambunctious driving that sports cars are occasionally subjected to. Then something bad happened, and that bad came in the form of refinement.

Refinement is the enemy of the sports car. Once automakers decide to boost sales by making their sports cars more civilized and comfortable (it typically doesn't boost sales, but I'll get to that in a minute), the car loses its essence and becomes bland. Gone is the personality and spirit of the original car, replaced with that of a docile, pussified grocery getter in a slightly bloated caricature of the same car. Jaguar did this with their subsequent XK140 and XK150 models...but luckily, the later models were still great cars and still managed to capture some of the 120s. Not all models are so lucky.

Let's continue with another of Jaguar's creations: The XKE. Launched in 1961, the XKE came in the form of a sleek drophead roadster and a stunning hatchback coupe. Equipped with simple yet tasteful interior appointments and a lusty 3.8 liter inline six, this is absolutely one of the most awesome sports cars ever made. But slowly things started to change...at first for the better. A 4.2 liter model was introduced in 1964, and apart from the increased displacement it featured more supportive seats, synchromesh in all gears, and several smaller upgrades. But 1966 is when things started to go downhill. This was the year the 2+2 coupe was introduced. Insert hissing and booing here.

Just as Ford did with the 1958 Thunderbird and so many other automakers have done since, Jaguar decided to add rear seats to boost sales and the make their cars practical. Sports cars are never practical, but apparently automakers were just as clueless then as they are now. Jaguar said the car was for the "family man who doesn't want to lose the feel of a sports car". Bullshit! If he wants to keep driving sports cars, he shouldn't have polluted the world with his goddamn crotch fruit. If you want to contribute to overpopulation, you shouldn't have a good time doing it.

Whoops...I'm getting off-topic. Anyway, The XKE continued downhill with the series 2 and 3 models, and even the introduction of a 5.3 liter V12 engine in 1971 couldn't make the now heavy and bloated Jaguar perform anything like the early 3.8 cars. Shameful.

A few other quick examples of this: The Ford Mustang, the 1993 Mazda RX-7, the 1984 Corvette, the 1993 Toyota Supra, the Triumph TR series, the 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse and the Toyota MR2.

Notice that the Japanese seem to be the worst in this trend. I'm not sure what that says about the Japanese, but it sure can't be good. Maybe they just like being sick twisted people. Then again, I guess tentacle-rape hentai is proof enough of that.

Back to the sales aspect that I briefly mentioned earlier: Note that almost all of these cars had sales drop off after their "refinement", and most of them have stopped production (the Mustang and Corvette being the exceptions). The original Mazda RX-7 was one of the best selling cars of all time in the USA, but how often do you see '93 or later models? Almost never.

The worst example of this, though, is the one I'm saving for last: The Z. The 1970 Datsun 240Z was introduced as a cheap, simple, fun sports car. The subsequent changes to 260Z (1974) and 280Z (1975) did little to tarnish this image, as the feel of the original car remained mostly intact. The 280ZX was introduced in 1978, a much heavier car with (you know it had to happen) an available back seat. However, even the 280ZX remained simple enough to be a fun sports car. The 1984 Nissan 300ZX was more of the same, but then the slap to the enthusiasts' collective face came with the 1990 300ZX...an ugly, slow, bloated pig of a car. The car enjoyed lukewarm sales figures until Nissan put it out of it's misery in 1996. The car was recently revived in the form of the 350Z, a nimble but bland performance car with only paint colors and the option of a heated steering wheel keeping keeping every one of them from looking identical. Screw Nissan and their boring-ass 350Z.

Whether or not some of these cars perform better (such as the Supra and the 350Z) is irrelevant: Performance numbers aren't what makes a car fun to drive, ask any Mini Cooper enthusiast. The essence of a sports car is a delicate thing, and it's easy to destroy through refinement. Thanks to the villainous principle of pussification, the true sports car is all but completely dead.

The First Post 

Welcome to my crappy blog.

In this, I will piss and moan about everything that I get worked up over enough to piss and moan about, and everyone else can read it. Maybe you'll agree with my sentiments, maybe you won't. Maybe I'll make you laugh. Maybe I'll make you angry. Maybe I'll just bore the hell out of you. But no matter what, I'm going to post it, since I'm such a nice guy and want to enlighten the world with my vast knowledge. Oh yeah, and I'm modest too.

Now for my disclaimer: I am responsible for everything printed here, since these are my thoughts after all. I am not responsible if you take offense, since these are my opinions and no one is forcing you to read them. Moreover, fuck you. I will not retract any statement, no matter who is offended by it, unless I have a change of heart, which is a rare thing for me. Should you read one of my postings and suddenly become overcome with meningitis, kuru, explosive diarrhea, or zombie brain rot, don't blame it on me. These are not symptoms consistent with reading my blog, or any other, I would hope. Void where prohibited. All entries must be postmarked with the blood of Richard Simmons.

With all that out of the way, sit back and and at least attempt to enjoy yourself.

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