AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 7/23/2004 07:58:00 AM ----- BODY:

List of Grievances

In homage to Rebecca, here is a current list of the things that would prompt me to write an Angry Letter, if that weren't a complete ripoff of her idea.

1. I am never going to buy a Hyundai vehicle. Ever. Because this morning at 7:18 am, they aired a commercial in which a spokesperson speaks through a bullhorn to emphasize important points in their sales pitch, which is fine...except for the fact that they added high-pitched microphone feedback, I guess to make the bullhorn more realistic. At the end, the gag was, the bullhorn feeds back loudly, and the spokesperson says with that faux spokesperson sheepishness, "I guess I got carried away there. Heh." Does it not occur to the fine people at Hyundai that people are going to be hearing this commercial more than once? Do they have any concept of how traumatic it is to hear microphone feedback over the radio, especially at a grievously early hour of the morning? When I heard this, my knuckles went white around the steering wheel. What lobotomized circus monkey thought this commercial up? And what psychopathic assclown actually put it on the air? And furthermore, what sycophantic bucket of pus decided to give it a time slot in the early morning? I will never, ever buy a Hyundai. Ever. 2. Furthermore, even if I could fit into their cheap flimsy clothes, I would never shop at Old Navy, either. 3. Speaking of advertising--spam. I know saying spam pisses me off is like saying mosquitoes piss me off; it's not really an original statement. But, I mean, have you ever thought about the multiple dimensions of suckitude occupied by the concept of spam? Because there isn't just spam that floods your inbox, as horrible as that is. And let's talk about that for a moment. Because due to improvements in e-mail filtering, spammers now put in amazing subject lines like "catcher 9 football in pocket" to get by the filter. Or they'll send you an email for "!". Or there'll be an email with a subject line of "Where were you last night?" but the body will be something about a mortgage or free drug prescriptions for Vicodin online. The absolute worst, though, is when they open a backdoor in someone's email account (although fuck that person, anyway, for not having virus protection) and you'll get an email from someone named Donna Smith that says "PAST DUE ACCOUNT". Who are these people!?!? Who are these slimy, greasy, sneaky fuckwads sending out this motherfucking crap? Who would ever try to trick someone into opening an email? How is that going to market a product? And why do they only advertise ripoff prescription drugs, home mortgages and penis enlargement? But it gets worse. Because apparently the subject line of "seriously 10 bonghit tonight" isn't fooling too many people (and if it fools you, you deserve to get the nastiest, most deadly computer virus ever--computer Ebola, perhaps, or a virus that actually leaves your computer and beats you about the head and shoulders for all eternity), the spammers have begun putting a delightful thing called "spamware" on our computers. I promise you, this stuff is on your computer somewhere. You just don't know it, or there's some icon on your desktop you never put there and can't get rid of. This shit is what really pisses me off. Advertisers would never be allowed to break down your door, ransack your house and glue up flyers or ad posters on your living room walls over your protests. They would never be able to install something without your permission in your house that plays a little jingle every time your toilet flushes. They wouldn't be able to replace your blender with one they thought was better. That would be insulting and an invasion of privacy, not to mention trespassing. And most legitimate advertiser's wouldn't do this, either (although I'm not sure about Hyundai), because the outrage factor would overwhelm any thought the potential customer would ever have had toward buying their product. Most advertising is annoying, but most legitimate companies stop at nothing to protect their corporate image in the marketplace. They don't want you cocking your shotgun because an advertisement invaded your life. They want you opening your wallet. But these people, and I use that term loosely. They run their little bots 24 hours a day and find computers surfing the Net to hack their little bullshit advertisements into. They'll put it in a place no one but Bill Gates would know to look for it on the hard drive, and even if you do know how to find it, you can't shut it off or get rid of it. The many anti-spam programs--SpyWare and AdAware, to name the ones I use--don't prevent or get rid of everything. There are some of these nasty little beasts only a re-format will cure. So you get pop-up windows telling you your system is insecure and wanting you to install and run some "security program" that's just a tracker that sends out the fucking Batman signal for more spammers to find your computer. Or they'll replace your search tools with some bullshit thing that leads you to their little search site, which of course installs tracking cookies--boom. Batman signal again. They're a plague and a scourge. They'll overwhelm you like wolves in a forest if you let down your guard for even a second. And you're not safe if you only surf "clean" sites, either. Example: the sites I use at work are this one, Google, and industry websites. Period. End of story. And yet I have to run SpyBot on this thing every day, despite the fact that we have an internal network. And let's not even get into email. I've had every net virus and worm show up on this computer at work. Why? Unsolicited spam in my inbox. Do I open it? No. So how did I get Netsky? Who knows? Fuck these people, sideways, with a rusty pair of garden shears. 4. While I'm flipping out, let's talk about the trauma soon to be visited on the Greater Boston Area--the Democratic National Convention. I've resisted the urge to rant about this until it was actually upon us, but now I'm giving myself the green light. As I see it, there are two main problems with this convention, and they are traffic and security. You know, other than that, it'll go off without a hitch. First of all. They're closing I-93 completely between 3pm and whenever, because those are the hours of the convention. Because of course, the terrorists aren't already staying at a Boston hotel right now. They don't already have the place completely staked out. And everybody knows that the terrorists hate to get up early in the morning and have to get to a place ahead of time. Closing the main route into Boston will foil them completely. There are people in the North End being denied access to their homes. There are people who aren't going to be able to get to their place of work. And if you're familiar with Boston traffic at all, you know the rest of us would rather be given a thousand paper cuts and dunked in lemon juice than see what the other highways are going to look like. People are taking the week off from work all over the place. The commute this morning was a ghost town, because I guess most people took today off, too. So all this convention is going to do is shut down businesses all over our state's chief economic area. Which is irony richer than double-chocolate Black Forest cake when you think about the fact that the Convention was sold to us as a way to help the state economy. I won't even try to think of an analogy to describe the irony of the chief security measure during the convention turning out to be the chief factor in preventing people from escaping the city should something go wrong. Meanwhile, though, these national pundit types will flood our fair city like a flock of locusts. They will be allowed to smoke in public places. This infuriates me. Massachusetts residents, before and after the convention, will be back to being treated like kindergardeners when it comes to smoking laws, but the DNC folks can just light up. They'll, of course, be granted access to the roads the rest of us can't use, either. All while bringing grave danger down on us, our city and the Fleet Center simply by being here (you think Bostonians are unfriendly now...just you wait). Which leads me to the second problem, which is more major than, but compounded by the first. Security. The Boston Police Patrolmen's Union, despite the fact that its constituents are among the richest police officers in the country, have been trying to negotiate with Mayor Tom "Mumbles" Menino for a contract for three years. They are completely fed up, now, and have decided to picket the convention. Well, great. We have a Major National Security Event coming to town, such that it's not even safe to keep our highways open or trash cans on the street, and our front-line security force is gearing up for it by...marching around with signs?? I don't claim to know all the ins and outs of the contract situation, but fuck them. Fuck them all. Because if a single hair is harmed on the head of my beautiful city, it won't matter what the problem was with their stupid pay scale. All anyone will remember is that they were the anti-NYPD: the most self-centered, gutless, frivolous police force in the history of mankind. The satisfaction of knowing that they would shame their uniforms should anything disastrous occur, however, pales when you consider the damage wrought by such a disaster. You don't think the terrorists are gunning for Democrats and Massachusetts Liberals, too? You think there'll continue to be silence on the international insurgency front after what's occurred in Iraq? Please. 9/11 has officially NOT changed America. And so there will be another one. It's not if, but when. There'll keep on being more 9/11s until we get our heads out of our asses. Which may be never. And get this: as a punchline, John Kerry refuses to cross any picket lines because he wants to construct himself as a pro-union guy. So this entire cauldron of bullshit may be bubbling over in Boston, and there wouldn't be any point to the Convention anyway, because Kerry wouldn't show up to accept the nomination. He does that, and I'm voting for Nader.