Category Archives: Humor

“Good morning” is your opinion of the morning.

When it comes to greetings, “good morning” is among the worst. To understand why, you’d have to do as I often do: analyze things more than necessary.

For one thing, it doesn’t wish well to the recipient. It hardly even acknowledges their existence outside of the very fact that the statement was directed towards them. What it does acknowledge is the time of day, and the speaker’s opinion of it.

What makes it potentially insensitive is that “good morning” doesn’t even consider the opinion of the hearer. How would you know that that person’s morning was good? What if it wasn’t? What if that person had to rush their daughter to the emergency room in the middle of the night, and after a couple suspenseful hours, discovered that she had cancer? Is it a very “good morning” for him?

Sometimes, mornings suck. Not every morning is great for everyone. I know what someone might say in response: “But I wanted them to feel appreciated, like someone is happy to see them. Is it wrong to make someone know that someone really cares about them?” If that’s what you mean to say, then say that. The main deterrent to doing so would be that it would take more words than a banal acknowledgement of the time of day. Sometimes, something that’s worth doing takes effort. Do you actually care?

Stop abusing communication with ritualistic blurbs. If you have an intent, learn to properly express it.

Sometimes, you’ll see someone at work that makes a point of saying “good morning” to whoever they deign to. There’s someone like that where I work, and he said “good morning” to me. Out of legitimate concern? No, to fish for reciprocation, because when he didn’t hear me say “good morning” right back, he started mumbling something while trudging off. To give you an idea of the kind of self-centeredness that would take, there have been god-emperors that have not felt entitled to an obligatory salutation.

By the way, when someone says “good morning” to me, I usually say “good morning” right back. Sometimes, when you respond in kind, that’s just what it takes for someone else to realize how silly they sound, and they know to feel embarrassed.

I know I sound like I’m making a big deal out of something that really isn’t one, but there was something that happened recently that got my gears grinding. One time, when it was early in the morning, I was approaching a gas station to use their restroom. As I did so, someone sitting outside spoke a loud “GOOD MORNING” at me. I suspected that she worked for the gas station, so I didn’t pay it much mind. After entering, the man behind the counter also directed a loud “GOOD MORNING” at me.

At that point, I suspected that it was made a company policy to direct insincere greetings at random strangers, and for a moment, I pondered just how glad I was that my job didn’t have me work with the general public.

But then, I tried opening the restroom door, but it was locked. There was a sign on the door saying that it was locked early in the morning for some reason.

What gives? They wish me a “good morning” with all the false enthusiasm that they can fake, but they don’t care enough about my health and well being to leave the restroom open for me? If you won’t extend to me the courtesy of using your facilities to relieve a sore bladder, then why should I care what your opinion of the morning is?

At that point, I actually considered going out back to take a leak there, but that idea was quickly decided against when I discovered a police car stationed in a nearby vacant lot, in line of sight of the back of the gas station. So, they keep the restroom locked, and an officer is ready to swoop down on anyone who would go out back? Seems like entrapment to me.

I really don’t know why so many people like telling me that the morning is to their liking. But they are welcome to their opinions, even if an opinion that is overly general and not even grammatically proper. The correct way to express the opinion would be “It is a good morning.” Upon saying this, the listener would be put in a position to ponder just what informs the speakers opinion as to what makes a morning good. Perhaps they think it’s a good morning because they don’t like rain, and it’s not raining. But, agriculturally speaking, rain is necessary and therefore good to have. A farmer might have preferred to have more rain, so their land would be more profitable. Not everyone has the same opinion.

One could say the same thing about “good afternoon” and “good evening”. It’s the same half-hearted ritualistic greeting, just different times of day. For some reason, mornings are easier to pick on. I suspect that that’s because there’s a caffeine deficit to tend to.

Just for kicks, here is a list of things that can make my morning better:

  • Having my coffee, eggs, and toast prepared. Especially coffee.
  • My second mug of coffee.
  • Video games.
  • More coffee.
  • (redacted)
  • Another cup of coffee.
  • Catching something rare in Pokemon Go.
  • Another cup of coffee at around noon.

These would improve my view of a particular morning. Not that I’d feel obligated to share an unsolicited opinion of it. I certainly wouldn’t expect random people walking down the street to care what that opinion would be.

An image to describe 2018

The year 2018 wasn’t all bad. It’s too bad that the misinformation media is stuck on Stormy Daniels, long after she issued a confession back in January saying that the affair with Trump never happened. But hey, why would the progressive news outlets let something like facts stand in the way of their ratings trips?

If you’re one of the few people who still bother with the corporate information media, then this image describes 2018 for you pretty well:

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If you’re in the corporate media, you probably don’t read this blog, or anything that doesn’t conform to your worldview. But to the media outlet people reading this, please understand: The American public doesn’t really care about Stormy Daniels. The culture of yes-men and occupy-whatever demonstrators that you’ve surrounded yourselves with might tell you otherwise, but the American public at large, those of us who live on the surface, go to work, and live paycheck-to-paycheck, don’t care about Stormy Daniels. We don’t. It’s time to move on. It has been, for a very long time.

We’ll see what 2019 brings, but I suspect that it will be the “current year” yet again.

The McDonald’s breakfast menu is problematic.

Sometimes, you’re in the mood for a hamburger. This can happen when a McDonald’s is convenient, and you might just overlook the fact that it’s McDonald’s, and proceed to satisfy your hamburger craving.

However, sometimes this craving happens in the morning. And when that’s the case, have fun trying to get a hamburger at McDonald’s, because that’s when they have their breakfast menu going.

Who goes to McDonald’s for breakfast? Their breakfast items are gross, and any time I’ve tried them, they’ve left a sour feeling in my stomach, as though my body was telling me I’ve made a mistake. Egg McMuffins? Gross. Sausage Egg McMuffins? Grosser. They also offer bacon in their breakfast items, because orangutans love powering that stuff down their throats with a zero-minded focus.

Considering how foul the McDonald’s breakfast menu is, ignoring it is easy. The problem is, when they have their breakfast menu going, they don’t make hamburgers. So if it’s a hamburger you want, you’d have to wait.

What’s McDonald’s most famous for? Hamburgers. At one point, they’d put something like “N million hamburgers sold” on their signs. Around the time that number reached the hundreds of millions, they just changed the signs to read millions and millions sold.

Oh, hold on. The number is actually billions. My mistake.

mcdonald's billions.jpgUnbelievable.

How many hamburgers did they sell by saying “No, it’s too early in the morning. Come back when we want to make them.” I don’t know, but I suspect that the answer is close to zero.

Maybe the real problem here is that when I want a hamburger, I sometimes actually consider McDonald’s. I can do better, so why don’t I?

Heel-eaters should be banned.

I recently got a new pair of shoes. By the time I got home, I realized that I made a big mistake. I got a pair of shoes that digs into the back of my heels.

The shoes were my own size, so I didn’t make any mistake there. The shoes, while padded, still dug into the back of my heel. The shoes really did seem okay before I bought it, but its heel actually curves inward, so it digs into the achilles tendon more and more with every painful step. Eventually, the pain seems to wear off. But when I went to take my shoes off, I found blood spots on both my socks. Gross! It stung to peel them off.

Sometimes, you think you can save money by buying a cheap pair of shoes. But if you make the mistake of buying the ones that chew your heels, you find yourself buying Band-Aids and Neosporin to try to reverse the damage, and by the time you buy some of those expensive pads for your shoes, you didn’t really save money at all, did you?

The people who design these shoes have to know what they’re doing. It’s hard to imagine making shoes that damage heels any way except on purpose. After all, isn’t it easier to sew up something linearly rather than curved inward? What did these guys think they were doing when they designed these shoes with a feature that couldn’t be anything except uncomfortable?

These kinds of shoes should be banned. Why should it be considered an acceptable risk to buy a pair of shoes that have the potential of causing physical harm to the consumer? Why should the shelves at a shoe store be a minefield of misery?

It’s probably some conspiracy designed to get us to buy more shoes. After all, if we accidentally buy a terrible pair of shoes, the designers of heel-eaters might actually be banking on us not bothering to make a return, just spending more money on yet another pair of shoes. And in my case, it might actually work. I just want to get the same kind of shoes I got a few months back, and set some firecrackers off inside the heel-eaters I accidentally purchased. If I get to have some fun watching it blow up, it’s not a waste of money.

Comb your hair.

comb.pngGive it a try.

Have you ever met someone who went all out to try to impress you, but they missed something completely obvious to everyone around them? It’s likely that you met the kind of person I’m talking about; it’s the guy who memorizes facts that he learned from listicle sites and YouTube countdown videos, but something is off about him which indicates a crippling lack of self-awareness, like bad hygiene.

What I’m getting at is that you should comb your hair. If you expect me to accept that you’ve become a great intellect but can’t be bothered to spend a moment each day combing your hair, what I’m really taking away from it is that you have some misplaced priorities.

As I see it, the main people who are excused from having to comb their hair are:

  • Bald people. If you don’t have hair, you don’t have to comb it.
  • People with buzz cuts. It’s a low-maintenance hair style, and combing it doesn’t make a difference.
  • Cavemen. Cavemen make it their business to look unkempt. This sounds awesome, until you realize that cavemen don’t have video games, the internet, or smart phones.

If you have the hair of a caveman, what you’re telling the world is that you want to live like one. Living like a caveman sucks, so naturally, you’d want to avoid regressing into one. I like technology, so I don’t want to live like a caveman. I also avoid looking like a caveman so I’m not mistaken for one. If you actually do like science like so many kids pretend to, then you should want to avoid looking like someone who doesn’t.

I once met a kid who was in such a hurry to convince everyone that he’s super smart, but his hair looked like a tornado hit a loom. Nice try kid, but your hair prevents me from taking you seriously. Have you seen yourself in a mirror lately?

114.pngThis thing has better hair.

The kid had a head that seemed huge, not because his head was significantly bigger than usual, but because the rest of his body was scrawny. On top of that, his hair was such a mess that it only added to the illusion of volume. He’d stand to benefit from combing it, even if his first time would take a while.

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He’d end up looking like a cult member, but at least he wouldn’t look like a total wreck. And that brings me to my next peeve. Combing your hair is a step in the right direction, but men are expected to get a haircut more than once a year. Whether it’s done by you, a stylist, or even your mom, getting your hair done as needed shows that you care about the rest of us enough to not drag down the atmosphere with your gross head-mop.

Don’t think that just because you’re ignoring it, the rest of us will, too. We laugh at your hair, whether you know it or not.

The 5 Worst Revisions in the History of Media

By now, you’ve probably heard about the recently-announced Thundercats reboot, Thundercats Roar. If you first heard about it from me, I’m sorry. And if you grew up on the first Thundercats cartoon, I’m sorry again for what happened to it.

thundercats.jpgI did not edit this.

Seeing this travesty spurred me into making a list of the five worst revisions in the history of media, because this kind of thing really isn’t anything new. It’s a little early for Thundercats Roar to make the list, but I suspect that it would easily make an updated list of the six worst revisions in the history of media.

#5 The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The year 2000 was among the most optimistic in the history of video games. At that point, we already had Sega’s Dreamcast, and it was in that year that Sony would release its PS2. Even Microsoft wanted to get into console gaming, which it eventually would with its Xbox system. Naturally, everyone was waiting to see what Nintendo would bring, and when they revealed their Gamecube at Spaceworld 2000, they didn’t disappoint. Not only did they show their system, they also showed a short montage of game clips to demonstrate what their system was capable of.

If you’re wondering what Spaceworld was, that was Nintendo’s own tradeshow where they marketed their own upcoming products.

You can watch the demo for yourself here, but just be warned that you might want to have your volume down:

It might not look like much by today’s standards, but at the time, it was proof that the future of gaming was going to be bright. What caught everyone’s attention in particular was this gem:

link zelda spaceworld 2000.png

At that time, I was only just starting to get into Zelda. But if that’s what The Legend of Zelda was going to look like on Gamecube, then as far as I was concerned, Nintendo had more than earned my money. I knew that I had to get a Gamecube on launch day so I’d be ready to play that game hardcore. And that’s exactly what I did.

Then, the following Spaceworld, Nintendo showed gameplay footage for Zelda on Gamecube. And it looked substantially different compared to what we had been shown the previous year. Substantially different.

zelda19ign.jpgPhoto from IGN, as though the watermark didn’t already say it.

When I first saw how The Wind Waker was going to look, I thought someone was playing a joke on me. But then, when I found out that this was how the next Zelda was really going to look, I felt betrayed.

After a little while, I decided that I was going to give it a chance. As it turned out, The Wind Waker was a pretty good game. In fact, it was among the best in the series. Too bad most gamers wouldn’t know, considering that humans are pretty superficial creatures. But can you really blame them for thinking something was going to be low quality because it looked low quality?

Nintendo really shot themselves in the foot with The Wind Waker’s artistic direction, considering that The Legend of Zelda was one game that people were looking forward to playing on Gamecube, and people had a certain image that they associated with The Legend of Zelda. Tampering with an established work can have the effect of alienating an established base, and companies can’t really count on being able to replace the existing fanbase with a new one. But, for that matter, why would they want to?

foot bullet

People buy Nintendo systems to play the games Nintendo makes. And if Nintendo stops taking their own products seriously, then gamers move on to something else. The radical artistic direction of The Wind Waker came at a terrible time for Nintendo, as it came early enough in the Gamecube’s life cycle that many gamers were still on the fence as to whether to buy one. Many gamers jumped ship in response to seeing how Nintendo was treating The Legend of Zelda, effectively turning that time in gaming into one where just about everyone and their dog owned a PS2.

Eventually, Gamecube would see a Zelda game in the style that gamers were familiar with in Twilight Princess, but by that time, the damage had been done. Sometimes, all that’s needed to make a successful game console isn’t to have the most capable hardware, but for your greatest competitor to make the biggest misstep with their own product.

#4 SD Gundam Force

If you know about anime and somehow don’t know about Gundam, please tell me how you did it. Gundam is one of the most popular and well-known anime in history, and certainly the most famous of giant mecha anime. Numerous spinoffs came about due to Gundam’s influence, even if it was far from the first mecha anime.

5c8e195c.jpgAwesome.

In fact, mecha anime were huge in Japan during WW2, when the appeal of overcoming a powerful adversary while piloting a giant machine was easy to understand. When the Gundam franchise rose to prominence, it would come to bear some massive cultural significance. Even American audiences were captivated by Gundam.

It certainly helped that Gundam was appealing on so many levels. It had the fantastic elements of space battles with giant robots, but it also had well-developed human characters and excellently-written story arcs with commentary on the costs of war.

So, what’s the most appropriate way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of an anime known for mature themes and taking its audience seriously? How about some cheap chibi CG slapstick?

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If you thought that that’s a terrible idea, you’re not alone. I did too. But it’s not like anyone behind SD Gundam Force so much cared what anyone who liked anime thought of their show as much as they acted on the understanding that they had millions of die-hard fans that would buy anything they pumped out with the Gundam name, even if the product was rectal waft.

Twenty-five years of a space opera with giant robots and mature themes? Make way for some boy in a suburb and his robot friend. I know that the Japanese are in love with cute stuff, but there are some things that you just don’t mess with.

I’d have more to say about this show, but I was never really seriously into Gundam. That this show aired when I was considering it likely had something to do with that.

#3 Toonami: TOM 4.0

The Toonami programming block may not have been a show or a video game per se, but it was still pretty cool because it had its own host with a backstory. Originally, Toonami was hosted by Moltar, a former villain from Space Ghost. Eventually, Moltar would hand Toonami off to TOM, who would host the programming block from then on.

TOM cool.jpg

I thought TOM was pretty cool. He, along with SARA, ran the Absolution, a space vessel from which the Toonami block was broadcast. TOM immediately appealed to me, considering that it was one of my childhood dreams to broadcast my own pirate radio station (though the legality of going about it may have been a prohibiting factor). Not only that, I appreciated his somewhat sardonic tone and emphasis on heroism, which made him a dynamic and interesting character.

While the Toonami block mainly focused on anime, TOM sometimes reviewed video games. While it might not have been the main focus of Toonami, TOM’s interest in video games did flesh out his character in a way that worked surprisingly well. By indicating his preferences and how they extended beyond his career, the character of TOM became more relatable.

And it gets better, still. Not content to just sit down and throw his commentary out there, he sometimes had interactive adventures that viewers can influence the outcome of by participating in online games, as was the case for a “total immersion event” called “The Intruder”, which actually saw the destruction of part of the Absolution, and of the old TOM, necessitating his transfer to a new body.

That’s right, fan participation had a lasting effect on the history of TOM and Toonami, and it was entirely possible for participants to goof it up and have TOM pay the price. We had an effect on TOM’s character, and it made the stakes of these total immersion events even higher.

So, imagine how excited I was to learn in 2007 that TOM was going to undergo another redesign, independent of any total immersion event. Each revision of TOM became cooler than the last, and the same could be said of SARA and the Absolution. But it wasn’t until it aired that I found out what would become of TOM:

TOM4.jpg

I wasn’t happy.

I could tell you what’s wrong with this picture, but you see it. TOM’s mysterious appeal was taken away by removing his helmet. For some reason, his neck was a couple wire harness tubes that came out of his two shoulders, and somehow supported the weight of his head. Also, everything else about the new TOM looked ridiculous.

Worse yet, we didn’t get any back story about why TOM looked like this. That’s just how he showed up one day, with SARA gone, the Absolution gone, with a bunch of weird robots broadcasting from the surface of some planet. Being left to fill in the blanks, I would have guessed that TOM had an epic battle against an evil vacuum cleaner that sucked out coolness, and TOM lost pretty hard.

Fans referred to this new TOM as TOM 4.0, but it was my guess that this was how TOM looked in the distant past, meaning this new TOM wouldn’t supercede TOM 3.0 in the in-universe narrative. It was my own head-canon for his appearance, which was what I could manage without any official explanation. He was also referred to as Thomas the Tank Engine.

thomas-the-tank-engine.jpg

Even sadder still, this TOM 4.0 was the one that gave us the send-off when the Toonami block finally came to an end. TOM’s farewell speech was moving…

…To the point that I was willing to remember him for being the hero he was before, not the caricature he ended up becoming.

Eventually, Cartoon Network did make things right by bringing TOM back as TOM 3.5 on Adult Swim, and we’re currently up to TOM 5.0 on a resurrected Toonami. And it’s great to have him back.

TOM 5.pngLet the good times roll.

#2 Metroid Prime Federation Force

The Metroid franchise has historically had an excellent image. For years, the main character Samus wouldn’t so much as make a cameo appearance in a game that wasn’t excellent. In fact, the Metroid franchise is a great case study in building on the original source material. The first game was called “Metroid”, which was short for “Metro Android”, so a player could have assumed that the game was about a robot navigating an abandoned subway system. So imagine the surprise of players around the world when it was discovered that Samus was actually a woman in a power suit.

Metroid_Prime_01.jpgSex discrimination in video games means choosing to play as a strong woman.

When you think of strong, independent women in video games, who do you think of first? Many gamers say Lara Croft, but Lara is about as fanservicey as it gets. On the other hand, you see Samus kicking butt, and because she wears a full-body power suit, her appearance won’t be a distraction and her deeds speak for her.

When we found out that Metroid would be a first-person shooter made by an American company (Retro Studios), we were skeptical. But not only did Metroid Prime turn out great, it went beyond expectations.

Things started to go downhill when Nintendo teamed up with Team Ninja to deliver Metroid: Other M. Other M did a lot to flesh out the character of Samus, and what we discovered was that our imaginations were far kinder to Samus than those who wrote for her. Not only that, Other M was plagued by a number of flaws. While it was okay for a video game, it was far below what many of us considered a Metroid game. Nintendo blamed Team Ninja for how the game turned out, and Team Ninja blamed Nintendo. In any case, it seemed like Nintendo thought that players weren’t interested in a new Metroid game, because we wouldn’t see another for a while.

And when we did, we thought that Nintendo lost their minds.

metroid prime federation force samus metroids

When Metroid Prime Federation Force was announced, I was not happy, and I was quite vocal about it.

And, without question, I was right to be upset. After all, when the Metroid franchise has been built a certain way and with a certain image, that’s what an experienced Metroid player comes to expect from it. Metroid games starred Samus as the main character, who independently explored alien landscapes and space stations, and found that the titular metroids were somehow involved.

So then, interested in a Metroid game where Samus is put aside? No? Well, how about if it starred some faceless, personality-free Federation troopers? Still no? Well how about if we make it a mission-based affair with emphasis on multiplayer, because we all know how well that worked out for Metroid Prime 2? Still not interested? Well how about we make it a low-polygon atrocity done in the chibi art style? Why does it seem like you’re having a stroke?

I honestly have no idea how Metroid Prime Federation Force made it all the way to production without having the vast majority of the people involved calling it a stupid idea that totally should never have been considered, or how it happened to a franchise that is otherwise known for exceptional quality. What I do know is that the game was intended to stoke interest in the upcoming Metroid Prime 4.

If anyone from Nintendo is reading this, I hope you’ve discovered by now that this is not how you do it.

Finding this game’s connection to Metroid Prime 4 can’t be done unless players make it all the way to a secret ending, where Sylux sneaks onto a Federation facility and hatches a Metroid egg. We didn’t need an entire game to build up to that, and that game didn’t have to be terrible.

Now you don’t have to play the game.

Eventually, I decided to give this game a try, several months after it was released, after finding it on clearance at Gamestop. Even going in with lowered expectations, I was still disappointed. It’s almost as though the developers knew that everyone decided that they were going to hate their game before it was even released, and they gave up trying.

That would have been a pretty solid choice if it came with the decision not to release the game at all. But they did, and it stands as a stain on one of the finest franchises in gaming.

We got this far on the list. But before getting to number one, let’s get some dishonorable mentions out of the way.

Dishonorable mention: Tom & Jerry Kids Show

Tom-and-Jerry-Kids---sunglasses.jpg

The original Tom and Jerry was intended for kids already, so one can wonder what the idea was behind making the Tom & Jerry Kids Show. Until you realize that this show was born in a marketing meeting in an attempt to make an old franchise appeal to a younger audience, replacing an audience that was seen as losing interest in it.

Here’s an idea for cartoon execs: If you think kids aren’t interested in Tom and Jerry anymore, just make a different cartoon.

Dishonorable Mention: A Pup Named Scooby-Doo

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Another attempt at revising an old franchise to make it more palatable for a younger audience. The biggest problem in this case was that Scooby-Doo was never interesting.

Okay, we’re on to number one. You probably already know what it is.

#1 Teen Titans Go!

I admit that when Teen Titans aired on Cartoon Network in the mid-2000s, I was a bit skeptical. I saw its artistic direction as being a little odd. But when I gave it a chance, it grew on me. Not only did these superheroes kick some butt, as you would expect, but seeing how these character’s personalities interacted with each other when they weren’t fighting conveyed strong characterization which made the action scenes seem like there was even more at stake.

teen titans.pngWhat a great cartoon looks like.

The balance of conflict, drama, and levity was just right. The result was one of the best superhero shows that I’ve ever seen, right up there with Batman: the Animated Series. If you haven’t seen the Teen Titans cartoon from the mid-2000s, you’re missing out!

When fans found out that the Teen Titans were making a comeback, they were excited. Then they found out what they were doing with them.

Vlcsnap-2014-10-10-07h19m55s124.pngSomeone out there got rich by ruining your favorite brand.

Heh, that’s a good one. Now, show us the real one.

Wait… That’s the real Teen Titans Go? That’s what they’re really going with? How… How did this happen?

The team behind Teen Titans Go is fully aware that legions of Teen Titans fans hate the product that they produce. While you’d imagine that this would be followed by profuse apologies, it’s instead the explanation for numerous episodes that take passive-aggressive jabs towards fans of the previous Teen Titans show. When you criticize them, you’re only adding fuel to the dumpster fire.

Contrary to our own better judgement, Teen Titans Go actually became Cartoon Network’s highest-rated cartoon. This would seem an anomaly until you realize that CN pretty much dumped Teen Titans Go onto every available time slot in the US, and ran frequent marathons of it. This might seem counterproductive, but the low production values of TTG indicates low production cost, which makes it low risk programming that benefits from the strength of brand recognition. Which also does a lot to explain the new Thundercats cartoon.

You can complain to CN, but it’s not going to do any good. Cartoon Network isn’t going to care what you think unless you buy their toys. What’s that? You don’t want to reward mediocrity? Then you’re not the target audience.

And who is the target audience? Kids. And that’s a problem. Cartoon Network is feeding into the notion that it’s acceptable to present children with inferior products. While this is used as an excuse to coast along with a minimum of effort, it backfires in the long run by the principle that you reap what you sow.

Children weaned on inferior products think it’s acceptable to produce inferior products. For examples, look up children’s artwork.

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Bad children’s artwork (from Pixshark.com)

Have you ever seen children’s artwork that actually looked good? Me neither. And there’s a reason why this happens: because children have a terrible cultural frame of reference. They see adults producing terrible artwork, so they think it’s okay for their own artwork to be terrible, as well.

Teen-Titans-Go-press-TBS-2017-billboard-1548Bad grown-up artwork, presented unedited

Cartoonists, step it up. If children are drawing better than you, it’s time to consider doing something else for a living.

What is it about Arby’s food that makes it so terrible?

Arby’s is an enigma of food. No one expects high quality from fast food, but there’s something about Arby’s that makes it consistently disappointing every single visit.

Take their roast beef sandwich, for instance. As far as I can tell, it’s not made of anything I don’t like. Thinly-sliced roast beef on a toasted, buttery bun? Sounds great, right? Yet, when your order arrives in your hands, you know you’ve made a mistake. The roast beef is a strange kind of grey that roast beef is not supposed to be, and the bun itself limps as though it were on its way to the unemployment office.

In an effort to salvage the meal, one takes it to the condiments bar so the sandwich at least doesn’t taste the way it smells. When you see that the condiments are dispensed by pumps that likely weren’t cleaned for 12 days, you contemplate just throwing your sandwich away, and accept the fact that you lost the few dollars you spent on your sandwich. But after a moment, you cave in and choose between condiments.

You can’t win.

You see “Horsey Sauce”, and think “horseradish”. Unless you’re a quivering wussie, you like horseradish and give the Horsey Sauce a try. But you notice that there’s something wrong when it comes out all creamy. If you ignore this visual warning, you discover that this Horsey Sauce tastes like a concoction of mayonnaise with horseradish flavoring.

The alternatives aren’t much better. There’s ketchup, but fast food places can hardly be trusted to avoid adding sugar to their ketchup. There’s also Arby’s Sauce, which seems like a mixture of ketchup and BBQ sauce. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it has a kind of artificial tang to it as though it were chemically flavored.

You could try something other than a roast beef sandwich, such as a cheddar roast beef sandwich. The prospect of an onion bun sounds great, until you see that the onion bits are like thin shavings, and it’s like some imitation onion flavoring was sprayed directly onto the bun. Something about it just ain’t right. And do I have to say anything about the cheese? It’s cheese in the same sense that the nacho dip from the gas station is cheese, except without what little personality that the nacho dip has.

If you’re one of those knuckle-draggers that thinks bacon makes everything taste better, Arby’s swings low enough to have something for you. Also, you’re wrong. Bacon was never a big screaming deal to begin with, so give it a rest. And while you’re at it, don’t make a fad out of steak, either. I like steak, so do me a favor and don’t make it the official food of mouth-breathers.

Arby’s has the worst sides. You have the choice between grease and greasier. Paprika usually isn’t so bad, but the curly fries are so drenched in it, that it’s actually unappetizing. I don’t know anyone who actually likes those curly fries, so I have no idea why Arby’s boasts about their gross curly fries every chance they get. At one point, they offered regular french fries on their menu. Not ideal, but I went for that because it was better than the alternatives (aside from deciding to eat somewhere else, which would be a great choice). But after a short while of that, Arby’s took the regular french fries from the menu. Were they trying to spite me, or what?

If you think your arteries are evil and must be destroyed, Arby’s potato cakes (hash browns) are a flavorless and insipid way to go about it. If you were to get these (don’t), get a bunch of napkins. Then set it on top of several layers of napkins to see how many layers the grease soaks through. The answer: a lot. I once smooshed one of these potato cakes between two layers of several napkins each, and they’d still soak through. Why does Arby’s offer these hash browns as a side? What kind of sense does that make?

It actually seems as though the sodas from the fountains are the healthiest things on their menu. Consider the implications of that. But if you’re feeling like a lousy food connoisseur, Arby’s sometimes offers a french dip and swiss, which is like one of their roast beef sandwiches, with a different bun, swiss cheese (maybe), and onion dipping sauce. Then, for one moment of sad delusion, you can convince yourself of a vapid sense of culture for eating an imitation gourmet item at a fast food joint. As you sit there with your flimsy pseudo-french sandwich at Arby’s, you can ponder just where your life went wrong. Then you can use your fountain soda to wash down the pills the doctor gave you to make you happy.

About a month ago, David Hogg (yes, that guy) took shots at Arby’s because he objected to the fact that they advertised on a Fox News program where the host was critical of him. Because, you know, we live in an age where if you take issue with how someone expresses their protected freedom of expression, you snipe their income.

David-Hogg.jpgA face you can trust in journalism.

I’m not fond of either of them, so if Arby’s and David Hogg were to go at it until there were only one of them standing, I’d feel better regardless of the outcome.

You might be asking, “If you hate Arby’s so much, why do you still eat there?” I really don’t know how it keeps happening. Oftentimes, I’m on the road and want something to eat, and Arby’s is there as a better alternative to McDonald’s and Burger King, and enough time has passed for me to forget how much I disliked it before that I actually consider it. It’s like Arby’s has carved out a niche by taking advantage of that weird kind of amnesia. It’s almost clever enough to be admirable. Just not quite.

Humanity has a mind that enables it to contemplate the mysteries of the cosmos. The math, science, literature, and technology available to us are the culmination of thousands of years of critical thinking. And as fascinating as all of this is, the zenith of human achievement is yet to be seen, as we make more discoveries that are each collectively waiting to be found. And yet, we still sometimes accidentally visit Arby’s.

Why do we do this to ourselves?