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Less of This Please!

Entry 1959, on 2019-01-08 at 21:16:30 (Rating 3, News)

OK, for the first post of the new year I think I should make some comments on how I think this year could be better than last. And since I am too lazy to create a list myself, and just happened to find a list of 2018 problems we don't want in 2019 on a New Zealand newspaper's site, I will select some of their ideas from various areas (because there were far too many to comment on them all).

So here's the list...

Plastic bags and straws. There are many environmental issues we should be trying to fix. Plastic bags are a problem, but are they really a big enough problem to be the real focus of so much of our attention? I don't think so, but I do think people who use less plastic bags and think they are making a significant contribution to the environment probably find it easier to justify creating a lot of atmospheric carbon on their next international flight.

Using the word "literally" wrong. Yeah, I find this really amusing, along with a few other common issues I often see with language use. In fact when I hear someone literally had their head explode after listening to a great metal song, or literally had their mouth burst into flames when they ate some chilli, I think "I would have liked to have seen that".

Hysteria over every Donald Trump tweet. I agree. This is getting a bit tedious. Surely what Trump says on Twitter should not be generating too much consternation any longer because we know he might say the exact opposite tomorrow, or just say that we are reading it wrong. Let's just move on, people.

Black face. It's 2019, not 1919. Well yes, I don't think there is a lot wrong with most of these quite innocent activities which are often seen as racist, but really, knowing the current environment of political correctness, why would you do this unless you had a really good reason to?

Climate change deniers and anti-vaccination activists. Sure. Many people are getting pretty sick of reality deniers of various types. I totally support any genuine effort to challenge the accepted norms, but anyone doing this should make sure they have some really good reason to do it, and some really good evidence on their side. Listening to the same old stuff from these denial groups is becoming tiresome.

Twitter. It's turned into a cesspit of hate. Well that really depends on who you follow, I guess. I use Twitter quite a lot, and I find it really useful. If I changed who I followed I could certainly turn it into a cesspit, but it is really what you want it to be. I do have to say here, that I enjoy a certain amount of the conflict there, but clearly it's a matter of getting a good balance.

Junk mail. Not many people would disagree with the idea that junk mail is annoying, but that's all really. It's just so easy to delete unwanted messages that I wonder why people get so upset with them. I also think there are interruptions to our real lives which are more difficult to deal with, and far greater threats to our on-line lives (malware, for example).

Over-enthusiastic whooping and cheering, at meetings, concerts or any event. We're not America and this isn't an Oprah Winfrey show. Absolutely. I hate Oprah Winfrey's and other similar shows. They are just so fake and annoying - in other words, they are so American! So please, let's not go that way here too.

Facebook chain letters, "99% of you won't share this". How right you are. I guess the challenge here is to be in the 1% but I really cannot see the appeal in these things. They do tend to be the most inane nonsense and I never share them.

The gender pay gap. Of course, I don't agree with this one, because any pay gaps which exist have very little to do with gender. Laws have existed for years stating that men and women must be paid the same amount for the same work, so if the alleged gap is due to them doing different work then we need to look at the bigger picture of how different jobs are valued, which is nothing to do with gender.

Long meetings. I don't go to meetings so this isn't a concern to me. But 90% of people would agree and the 10% who still think meetings are valuable are probably the management types who do nothing except waste their time at meetings. If they admitted meetings were pointless (which they usually are) they might as well just not turn up at work. Hey. No more managers. Great idea!

Sexual harassment. Sure, but can we draw a line somewhere so we all know where normal human interaction ends and harassment begins, because at the moment it seems to me that harassment is just anything that a person wants to define for their own personal or political purposes. It's got so silly that some people just ignore every case where harassment is claimed under the assumption that it's just another example of this hypersensitive victim culture. Since really harassment undoubtedly occurs let's just leave the word for that.

Few women in positions of power. The top job in New Zealand is prime minster and that job is currently held by a woman. There are also many other women in high ranking positions, and most of them are pretty useless too. But to be fair, most men in positions of power are also useless, so that isn't the woman's fault specifically. In realty we need less positions of power. Why should one person (man or woman) have power over another? That is the cause of many of our other issues.

IT issues. As an IT consultant myself I can understand this one. But I do have to say that, considering how many IT systems there are out there, how many interactions people have with computing devices every day (including computers, phones, tablets, etc), and how new some of the technologies we use are (the modern form of the internet itself is only 20 years old) IT issues are not as common as many people might think.

Abortion in the Crimes Act. I have commented on several occasions about how unsure I am about the subject of abortion. It seems to me that some control is required, but the idea that it should be removed from the crimes act does make some sense. Of course, there are many other "crimes" which should be seen as something where the person requires help rather than punishment.

Child poverty. Not many people would say they want to see more child poverty, but there would be considerable debate on what poverty really is, what the cause of it is (is it the person in poverty, or is it the economic system), and what to do about it where it does exist. Until some agreement is possible on these, it will probably get worse.

Kanye West rants. I've only ever heard short segments of these rants, but I do have to say that I find them quite amusing. But I would prefer it if all celebrities just shut up and made no comments about their political beliefs, because it's hard to think of many who aren't just pathetically out of touch with reality.

Rumours of a Friends reunion. It's not happening! Well I certainly hope not, because Friends just has to be the most inane drivel in the history of television. Actually I probably am indulging in a bit of hyperbole there, because there are many other terrible programs too, and there was the odd scene in Friends which was mildly funny.

Marvel superhero movies with more than 12 superheroes. Yes, please stop. Actually don't do any superhero movies at all, OK? They really might be suitable for kids and people with substandard IQs, but who would really want to watch this stuff?

Celebrities pushing weight loss products on social media. As I said above, celebrities should not be allowed to speak at all. Actually, they should just be locked up in a room somewhere until they are ready to act or sing or do whatever they do as a celebrity. Really, in most cases, they shouldn't even be allowed to do that!

More reality shows. I admit that on a few rare occasions I have got a little bit hooked on some reality shows, especially cooking competition shows which I quite like for some reason, but most are just terrible. They go on and on for weeks with nothing really happening, the sense of fake drama is just sickening, and many are just thinly veiled excuses to advertise stuff. Just stop it.

Auto-tuning. Well I guess it has it's place, and it's the end result that really matters. It seems that it has been a long time since genuine vocal skills were an important part in becoming a music celebrity, so why not help those more challenged in this area with technology. Maybe they won't sound quite as bad as they do now. Actually, it probably wouldn't help much considering the standard of the basic material.

That's probably enough for now. In general, I don't think any of those are really that important, because the real issues are much more deeply ingrained in our society, and these are really just symptoms of the deeper malaise.

So what would be the one thing from 2018 I would like to see less of in 2019? Probably politically correct BS. We could do with a lot less of that!


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