Friday, 19 April 2013

The Plague Of Life Lessons, Positive Thoughts And Other Bullshit Infecting Facebook




Simplistic, fluffy advice has always been irritating. Ever since the first humans evolved the ability of self denial, mankind has been able to continue it's losing battle against nature as it struggles to inhabit, but fail to ever find happiness in a world that is almost solely comprised of unfairness and pain. For the temporarily lucky few, they will only really feel this inevitable crushing disappointment on the eve of their death when they feel everything they've ever come to achieve torn from them by the indifferent claws of the abyss. These claws also have the added effect of not only forcing you into an existential coma where you are imprisoned helplessly alone within your own mind by the sickening grip of inescapable terror, but comes along with the inconvenient side effects of; causing you to believe in sky gods for comfort, having to plan the worst party of your life that you won't even be able to attend and at some point nearer the very end if you're very unlucky, shit yourself.


There are those though that have to go through this without even the pleasure of enjoying success and hedonism beforehand. The unfulfilled instead have to replace whatever happiness or treasures that they're missing out on in life with false sentiment and positive thinking. I can almost imagine a time long ago during the cradle stage of mankind's development where we were first able to understand both ourselves and the world around us, when the mental cot death of self comforting began. It probably happened on a warm evening on the African Savannah when an omega male was staring out over his tribe, and upon seeing the alpha male of his group take his tenth female of the day, he was filled with a primitive feeling of failure that hurt him inside, where it could not be reached. It started as a tightening in his chest, so tight that he could not breath easily. His eyes began to get wet, his hands shook and suddenly he felt very cold, but it was a coldness that was in him, one that was all locked away in his heart. A opening wound that was hidden and mysterious to him. He felt bad, but it was badness of his mind. There was no injury to treat with the healer's medicines and plants, and he found that it was only the maternal stroking and hugging that he simulated on himself that seemed to calm him. As little as it calmed him at all. Suddenly, he looked up, and somewhere far away, away from his tribe, and away from him, out far across the golden plain and the blood red sky was one of the most beautiful yellow sky-disc falls he had ever witnessed. It almost seemed that it was striking him as more beautiful in the wake of his bad feeling, and with that he smiled to himself, his chest released itself from his lungs, his breathing softened, his arms relaxed from his side, drifting down his body as if they were copying the descent of the sun which continued to burrow its way down into the earth before him, like a great fiery desert rodent. He felt good again. He looked over at the alpha once more and suddenly it didn't bother him as much, now that he was happy and relaxed. In fact suddenly nothing bothered him. He felt quite at home with himself and the way he was right now. He conjured up an idea all at once, so simple it was and yet so clever it made him feel, that he got excited that it had come to him. It was to change his entire life, and little did he know it, the lives of every other hurt person that was to follow long after his footprints had been blown from the dirt. He realised that whenever he felt bad, he could come up here and look out to the east, or failing that imagine a happy thought much like this moment in his head, and he would feel much better. He had found a way to heal the wounds which the hands could not touch.

This early man had invented positive thinking. It's official definition being - a way too conjure up a simple thought or idea in order to make yourself feel better and create a short term feedback of happiness in a situation which requires far more complex solutions and is comprised of numerous and underlying problems that the thinker is choosing to ignore. And it is for this reason that I spit on this bastard's existence and hope that his death was slow.

Positive thinking as a solution to problems has since gone on to infect many areas of life. It's been spruced up as time's gone on and repackaged in the forms of vague advice and meaningless pseudo philosophical outlooks on life, but will never be able to escape its true form, that being short term, unhelpful and usually unrealistic advice for people that have fucked up somewhere along the lines of their life, and are either too clueless or too lazy to come up with a proper solution.

Now this has started to annoy me most recently, and obviously entertained me as well, because annoying things will never fail to be interesting. The empty advice that I'm referring to could include anything from; “oh you've just got to look on the bright side”, “treat everyday like it's your last” and “love and family is all you need to be happy” - (which is particularly funny because it's usually the case that both love and family will bring you the exact opposite of happiness and so are best to be avoided at all costs).

Usually advice like this was segregated to the realm of drunken middle aged aunts or divorced parents, all the way too self improvement con artists and people who had settled down too early to start a family and had abandoned any hope of ever even attempting to follow their actual dreams in the first place.

Why have a glass half full or half empty. Have a glass full to the brim of cheap wine. 
It's always optimistic that way

These were avoidable events. You could run away from these people, lock yourself in a room and entertain yourself while ignoring that they even existed. You could even go on the internet and keep yourself busy for hours.

But then this all changed.

To get to the meat of all this, basically I'm saying that Facebook is like the modern alcoholic aunt.

The share on Facebook button might be one of the most irritating buttons ever produced by mankind, maybe even more than the big red one that has the potential to launch nuclear weapons and kill all life on the planet. When it's being used to share videos of funny animals and annoying Youtube commentators like Ray William Johnson, and other people who jump cut their way through a splurge of stolen Youtube clips, which may include the aforementioned fooney animals. All of this complimented with a script comprised of repeating exactly what happened in those Youtube clips. These situations of sharing are fine, bordering at worse on slightly annoying.

But there are many Facebook groups such as 'I don't regret the times I've wasted, just the people I've wasted them with', 'I love those moments where you just smile and think “I love life”', and to a lesser extent even the 'Islam' page.

The things they share can be as meaningless as a picture of a plant that has “life is beautiful” sprawled across it, all the way to another picture of a flower with several sentences that basically also say “life is beautiful”, or that “you're beautiful”, or that “love is beautiful”, or “animals are beautiful”, or “anthrax victims are beautiful” or some other an inspirational message about life, usually scrawled across a nice scene of natural landscape like a forest or beach or something even as small as a pwitty rose with abit of dew dripping off it.

Unfortunately, the message itself isn't quite so profound or interesting and becomes more like graffiti than a
complimentary companion to the picture, like seeing the word bastard tattooed on a newborn baby's head. It's not comforting either because these are the kind of philosophical sound bites that I've never heard successful people say, but rather my drunk aunt slurring out of her red wine soaked lips at midnight amongst a shit storm of rambling, complaining and lament. I'd be more comforted by the warning of a nuclear strike being labelled across the Early Alert System.

They're like a virus, and as soon as one person shares it, thinking it to be worth other people's time, soon everyone's shared it, and suddenly your entire Facebook feed is full to the brim with shitty advice. I don't mind how clean my Facebook feed is, because the alternative is hardly any better. Don't really want to see people dancing in a club or updating how they've just had a particularly good KFC bargain bucket. What I'm most worried about though is that people even think they're good in the first place. That it's information worth sharing and most worryingly that it's advice they'll follow and may one day quote to others in times of need.

There are several types of annoying Facebook photos, or life lesson/observation memes I guess you could call them. Some of them reflect what I've said above, that being empty statements about life, or advice about life, stemming from your attitude towards it, work and your relationships. It will be things that people think are beautiful observations about life, presented as clever or deep when they're anything but. Below I'll list some of the more popular types of this bullshit. I'll dip into a few others but they're less relevant to the overall theme and honestly are just here because I hate them too and I may as well get it all out before I go.

So if you're still here then let's get dese nuts into the guts and get going.


BLANKING IS...”

One of the first types of life lesson meme is what I like to call the “blanking is...” meme. In this there is a very basic pattern that the first sentence states something that people see as a weakness, the most popular example being crying, and then it goes on to say why it isn't a weakness through some very dodgy reinterpretation. Crying is usually described as you not being weak, but that you're so strong that you've taken in so much trauma that your body can't take it anymore. Another example is that people don't like you and will try and drag you down because they're lower than you and want to bring you down to their level. But there's an alternative twist that I know of. What if it's just that you're a shit human being. You know, like you're genuinely quite stupid and a dumbass and are criticised because you have no useful traits in the world. That's one option. But hey it's easier to deny it and claim you're a great person so lets stick with that one.

Self denial worked wonders for all those terrible talent show contestants that there seem to be a thousand of nowadays. They're not wasting their time chasing a dream which they literally aren't qualified of achieving, and instead of reviewing their lives, spend it instead blocking out constructive criticism and hiding behind a veil of undeserved self confidence. Live like them and you're life will have the illusion of progression in no time.

There. I have now settled the debate over what crying is.


RELATIONSHIP OBSERVATION”


The second meme would be the “relationship observation”. The sweet things that couples do for one another that just makes them feel all bubbly inside. This could be anything from a kiss on the forehead to a romantic smack in the face during a drunken stupor when you were finally criticised about your efforts in the relationship for the thousandth time, when all you're doing is trying your hardest, when given the circumstances is impressive enough that you're giving them anything at all since they haven't shown you attention in years and then they sit on their high horse and berate you for how hard you've tried, while they pretend they've been keeping the relationship going, when the real joke is it hasn't been a relationship for longer than you can remember and now you're just two strangers getting in each others' way until finally you just can't take another second of their suffocation as they hang off you like an albatross just taking and picking and adjusting, trying to change you, and now at the end of it all you can't even remember why you loved them in the first place, but because you once tricked yourself into believing you did you wasted all your time with them and now you have no friends to turn too because you bored them all away while trying to merge your own increasingly boring life with theirs and now they've drained you, stolen your friends, your life and your voice until all you can do is strike out in your own impotentcy, and see the horror in their face as the mirage of stability is broken finally once and for all, leaving you with nothing but wasted years and a heart so broken that it's been pounded into dust that scrapes painfully at your chest cavity as it blows around in the empty void that is you, where it's been ignored all these years.

What I'm saying is, they're really fluffy and way too optimistic, and don't get into the fun, dark and dirty aspects of what happens when two people spend all their time together, and anyone who sees one of these memes and shares it is doomed for not only disappointment but also, on a less important level, to be despised by me.



RELATIONSHIP OBSERVATION (BACKGROUND TWAT EDITION)”


The third is more of a variant of the second than a stand alone meme. It's more of the same but it's the background picture and not simply the words themselves that are irritating. It'll still be the same boring pledge that someone is perfect or why they're perfect, but it'll be some “cute” guy taking a picture of himself in a mirror holding a sign at an angle with a loving message scrawled to the girl of his dreams from across the lens. Just like this...


BULLSHIT ADVERBS”


The next one is what I like call the “bullshit adverbs” meme. It's very straight forward. Basically somehow will have found a lot of nouns and then added adverbs on the end as a mindless instruction of how to carry out each task with the least thought or sense possible.


RELATIONSHIP SHOPPING LIST”


The fifth type is what I call the “relationship shopping list” meme. This is basically the relationship observation meme but written as a hope of what the relationship will hold and not observed as a consequence of it. One thing that annoys me is that for the most part it's always written as “a girl wants a guy who...”. Reading through a lot of them will start you make you terrified that possibly the girl's that write these may be asking abit much. In fact it sets any relationship up for disappointment because even if you read five of the damn things, their demands will be impossible to meet and will already have sealed your fate as a bastard. They may as well ready that “A girl wants a guy who can do a triple backflip” or “A girl wants a guy can fuck his ass with a Sopranos DVD boxset while completing Ninja Gaiden Sigma on Master Ninja difficulty and trying to argue that Peter Kay is funny”. Basically it makes you feel like you're a piece of meat being selected at a market ready to be judged as worthy for consumption or not, although in fairness that is basically what attracting the opposite sex is realistically. Anyway, it makes you feel inadequate and I can already watch porn for that.


HORSESHIT QUOTE - DUMBASS”


One of the final one's is what I like to call the “horseshit quote - Dumbass” meme. This one's very simple; it's literally just a quote. The quote will always be pointless positive thinking life lesson 101 again, so now that useless advice that you're parents or failed loved one spouted to you is now written down. There are many variations of this, but bear in mind all the quotes will most likely have never been said, nor even entertained by the person referenced as the quoter. Albert Einstein strangely has a lot of these bullshit quotes dedicated to being said by him. Not entirely sure why he's so popular, but I guess it's just a reason for people to comment below the picture stupid shit like: “not just intelligent with books but intelligent with emotions as well”, and “This be the true”. When you see the kind of geniuses liking and sharing this stuff, you can't help but get behind it all.
Einstein: 
Theoretical Physicist, Great Thinker, Science Populariser, Playboy, Rapper

Of course Einstein will never compete with anonymous, who is quickly becoming the most quoted person of all time. I'm never really sure if the person quoting it is anonymous because A) they're genuinely embarrassed that they said something that was such horseshit and it has embarrassingly been remembered so they're just anonymous to protect their own dignity or B) it's some bullshit pseudo philosophical idea that the owner of the Facebook group came up with and is using the guise of anonymous to allow his bullshit to infect the easily impressed audience, like malaria from a mosquito. At the end of it though it's still just the quoting equivalent of going to buy haemorrhoid cream for yourself at a chemist and saying it's for a friend. It's a way of getting the information out there while distancing yourself, which is a technique Salmon Rushdie should probably think to use before releasing a new book.

Here's a suggested pseudonym to take the heat off

THE SINGLE STATEMENT”

I don't think I really have to say more. You've seen them. They're everywhere. Just one stream of bollocks to sum up all of life's complications in one easy to swallow format. Can be administered with or without pleasant background photo.



THE REST OF THE GANG”

Then we have the rest of them, and these are just the memes that annoy me slightly. These are usually the apparently funny ones and these include the “childhood nostaligia”, “modern day observations”, “That awkward moment” memes and "sociopathic conversations". Childhood nostalgia ones are mostly annoying because they're always about glamorising being a 90s kid, as if any of the bad kids' TV made in the 90s tops any of the previous shit that has been made to sell to kids in the decades since television was created.


Modern day, and life observations, including “That awkward moment” memes are sometimes good, yet very rarely funny, but are mistaken for it on account of being relatable. This is a basic problem with all observational comedy, but good observational comedy doesn't just rely on noticing something. You start out with the observation of a subtle and usually unnoticed event that is taken for granted as normal, pick it apart and then build on it to reveal the absurdity of it. Obviously because it's on Facebook in a picture, people need the information instantly because they've got this stuff piling up on the feed and need to keep up with all the funny pictures before they're swamped or left behind in the dirt. So these memes lose that extra and I would argue integral part of observational comedy for just a statement about something boring that no one noticed they were doing, not because they're not paying attention, but because it just wasn't interesting to point out that I sit in different positions with my laptop and that cords get tangled.


Weird that people would spend their time looking at a block of text which basically states something that they've probably done that day, and worst of all, not even enjoy it.

I'll end on "Sociopathic conversations" because they're probably my favourite. They're a transcript of a conversation, sometimes on a blank background or as a phone conversation, strangely always from an Iphone conversation as if Apple is using them as advertising. The transcripts are usually of an unnamed girl and boy talking about they're relationship or a relationship that they're in, but what makes them creepy is just how extreme they are.

They're not conversations that you would ever have in real life just because of how passionate and overly reactionary they are. They look like they're being held in either a mental institute or some far off alien dimension where the standard behaviour for all it's dwellers is the reactionary demeanour of a raving southern pastor crammed into the hormonal skull of a thirteen year old kid who's just misunderstood and no one gets him.  If you ever spoke to someone who acted like this in their conversation you would end the chat and never speak to them again. I'm not even sure if it's just the characters I can label as sociopathic, because I imagine the person that wrote them isn't exactly fine.

The sad fact is that I didn't even have to bother with a spoof one of my own because they're spoofs themselves due to how ridiculous they are. They usually have a theme of crazy or inaneness running through them which you would flee from at first sight, and if you'll permit me, I will list that theme below each image:

Vandalism and aggression are both prominent here from the male.
This couple in particular are also creepy because firstly they not only listen to the radio, but it also seems to be they're only option in order to get music. 



The conversation is immediately boring as hell, I have no idea how dead a relationship needs to be in order to update someone of this stuff. I have no idea if he texts her is he's got a particularly hefty case of shits or just ate a nice pie, but I reckon the chat log would read like a psychopaths diary.
Something which also worries me personally is that he seems to have trouble understanding how colours work, unless he plans to literally scrape the red out of mouth with his serpent tongue.
I also think a more appropriate response than "mine is red" would either be "wow how fucking dull", "shut up you waste of human filth" or simply just smashing your phone against the pavement below you and screaming into the sky like a dying beast at the empty hole that you've become.
Alternatively you could just send back more wink emoticons, cause they're the equivalent of an interesting comment apparently.



Weirdly forward and obsessive. Almost planning their lives before they've even had one date. 
Also the fact she hasn't noticeably responded ever gives this one a eerie back story.


                                                                                 Can I confess something?

                                          Yeah sure !!!!!;/:?(.)(.)

Sometimes when I'm alone at night and thinking about you, my mind slips into a fantasy about scalping you like you're nothing but an animal, and your screams as the knife tears away at you more don't make me sad or regretful, but make me harder than I've ever been until it aches and the only way to relieve myself is to fuck you as hard as I can in your gummy, toothless mouth, which is free of teeth since I smashed them out with the back end of a rusty hammer. I then bend down to kiss you and my mouth fills with the bitter iron taste of your blood, and in disgust at what you are I spit it back into your face, stick my hand in your mouth and jack myself off with my left hand, while I beat you with my good hand, until your nothing but a lifeless lump. I then bring you up to me and fuck you in the ass, while slicing my name into your back and then when it's time to come, I pull out and sink my cock deep into your wounds, cumming into your chest cavity. I then take a dump in your mouth and wipe my ass with the loose pieces of skin that I've cut off and then leave you rotting in a ditch to be hopefully discovered by a family out walking their dogs. A family who I hope have young children with them. And the worst part is. I like it.

                                     Lol. Lets make purple xxx



This one's just strange.
It's firstly very angry and aggressive and way too over protective. But he's supposed to be characterised as really romantic and sweet, even through his rage at being flirted with.
I guess judging from what we learnt today about what girls want - Girls want both a guy who'll never cheat, but solely because he's a mental bastard.
Plus the spelling mistakes really make the love resonate more I find.


So there you go. The whole lot. From positive thinking and through every other creepy and boring aspect of Facebook's swill bucket of goodwill, relationship and life memes, we've drank from every trough, and all we found out was that it all tastes alot like shit.

Hope you enjoyed this rundown, but if you still haven't felt like you've enjoyed this or gained anything from it. Let me leave you with life lessons from the man himself.

Take it away.














30 comments:

  1. Anonymous quotes are soooh annoying, aren't they?

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    Replies
    1. As long as you never try to say anything profound or about how to make me happy, anonymous comments can be tolerated

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  2. I'm surprised Albert got any science done with all that quoting.

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    Replies
    1. In saying this, you have failed to learn Einstein's ten rules. I pity thee brother.

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  3. Here's a fluffy,positive, life affirming quote for you: 'Always keep your promise to complete stranger to review Mylo Xyloto and your life's work will be done'.

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    Replies
    1. Then I may as well kill myself now.
      Yeah I know I'm sorry it's slow, just have some other stuff to do atm that will affect my life in the long term if I don't get on with it. It's only slower than other stuff because I have to scan all the pages of the comic in and stuff.
      I haven't forgotten though, I do really want to write it and I do have all the released copies so far, but it might just be next weekish. I appreciate that you're interested anyway. Good to hear.

      Delete
    2. Complete stranger say 'thank you'.

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    3. I say thank you also

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  4. Sounds like Omega man on African Savannah discovered Cannabis.

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  5. I love soppy quotes! May the bunny rabbit of fate hop through your life spreading pink fluffy clouds of hope.

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    Replies
    1. That bunny has a lot to answer for.

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    2. Its good to see you up bright and early with the witty riposte.

      Delete
    3. Devilsadvocate. I respect that you actually have a name, but goddammit if you ever say such positive nonsense again then i will be forced to do absolutely nothing about it. Good day to you sir.

      I would prefer if you spouted racism and being bitchy about people's grammar in the future instead

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  6. Does anyone know if this is a record number of comments for one blog?

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    Replies
    1. It may very well be. But since the statistical information on the website design page doesn't let me check this easily, I will agree that it is.

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    2. I unfortunately, can disprove that it isn't. This is 2nd, the top so far is 22 on an article. Though if it keeps up at this pace who knows?

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    3. It could be the most commented article

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    4. And please don't delete any of these because you're a sore loser

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    5. Ah Bunny Rabbit of Fate says you get nowhere by cheating! (On the other hand, just bumped up your tally to 25!).

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    6. I think Bunny Rabbit of Fate is screwed if he thinks honesty is going to get him anywhere. devilsadvocate however is someone I respect.
      You bumped me twice in actual fact. You allowed me to be able to give a response which makes a comment from me look valid and not just for comment numbers. Thankyou good sir

      Delete
    7. I meant it purely in a "delivering the facts" manner, rather than competition, but yes, congratulations

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  7. Always a pleasure to oblige - 27!

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