this guy’s 15 minutes are over, Richmond

John Lewis Morgan, you are a thorn in my side.
Usually I like it when people speak their mind, I certainly enjoy doing it, but there’s a difference here–no one cares what I’m saying. Richmond is a pretty small market, and JLM seems to have made his mark. He’s actually a marginally respected journalist, and I find this appalling. RVA Mag, a more legitimate publication, calls him a “friend,” and Style Weekly even did a write up on him, lauding his success. Spewing vitriol and a singular world view, I am at a loss to find anything to like about One Way Richmond.

Presumably, OWR gets it name from the closed mindedness of its author. From the tone taken by Mr. Morgan, seemingly, anyone who isn’t paying their dues, desperately trying to be hip, belongs in the suburbs with HIV. He’s like, “hey guys, there’s only One Way here–my way or the highway! And also there’s a new Sheriff in town.” It’s about being into the music scene in RVA, having your hair cut like Oasis, and living within the city limits.


Who wore it better?

He’s got a major chip on his shoulder, and that chip is middle class and white. He decries tribute bands, Chesterfield, Henrico, Boulevard, families, Bud Light, and illiteracy. You see, those things are all associated. Sure it’s easy to hate those things, but to engender so much hatred to so many people? It suggests that you don’t know any of those people. You’re a wannabe hipster, preaching to the contrived and pretentious elite of Lamplighter. Not to mention the fact that you’re fighting a battle that you don’t want to win, because if you win, you lose. When the suburbanites come into your city trying to enrich themselves with a little culture, you bitch. If everyone thought the One Way that you want them to, you wouldn’t have anything to bitch about. And bitching is your lifeforce.

Hipsters are the people who pretend to love all blue collar things, but actually hate blue collar people. While being interviewed by Style, about his investigation into Richmond, JLM said, “Buried under a bunch of mainstream crap, which every city has now, lay an unbelievable cultured class that does things the DIY (do-it-yourself) or blue collar way – basically the right way.” You see, it’s okay to do Blue Collar things, as long as you’re well educated, don’t need to do Blue Collar things as your occupation, and like all of the same things that he does. However, if you’re a mechanic who drinks Bud Light, likes to go to The National to see The Machine, never got help for your dyslexia, and lives in Chesterfield, stay out of my city (not really)! The absolute impudence of praising the cultured class who do things the One Way that JLM thinks is right is shocking. I get it, Mr. Morgan has a major broner for Lance at Minimum Wage Recording.

I’m gonna tell you the truth. I like to DIY stuff. I like craft beer. and I see no reason to go see a tribute band. When I lived in Richmond, I got majorly annoyed at people from outta town coming in and taking my precious parking. People who attempt to conform to any particular social niche are laughable at best, and pretty terrible at their worst. I’m being honest though–I don’t want those people to change to be like me. I don’t need other people getting all interesting and trying to compete with me. I need to have my shit that I do that makes me feel like I’m a tiny bit better than other people. That’s why hipsters have gotten so weird and beardy lately… the mainstream culture is catching up with them, faster than over. I mean, shit, man. I was talking to a friend from Norway. Fucking Norway, and he said that they have the same guy there that was a his hair combed back, long on top, short on the sides. He wears sturdy denim jeans, rolled up, maybe a snazzy pair of socks, a button down shirt, and some big boots.  Oh yeah and a beard.

This is a thing.

Yeah, it’s a thing. And it’s a mainstream thing. I was in The Well the week before it closed, and I swear, the bartender called me “random girl,” because I didn’t have a beard. Btw, fuck you bartender, I’m Asian and also a girl, I’m not growing a beard in this life.

So, in conclusion, Mr. Morgan, I know you want the Token Bearded Guy to like you because you both hate the same things.

It’s not happening though. You care too much, and Lance is actually a really nice guy.

Commentary, travel

date me! I’m not A Girl Who Travels

I wouldn’t tell you to date a girl who doesn’t travel and you definitely should steer clear of A Girl Who Travels, so where does that leave you? With tons of options, actually.

You see, there are lots of girls who travel who do not ascribe to the formula of A Girl Who Travels. In fact, any legit adventurous girl will resent the fact that some asshole is trying her put her into a box. I certainly don’t enjoy being labelled. Bitch, you don’t know me. What you’re actually describing, sweetheart, is yourself, and you’re kind of a doucher. Don’t worry, I’m not just going to point fingers and call names, I’m going to explain why she’s a doucher.

As a girl who also enjoys travelling, I related to a few bits of the article, but then I was like, get me out of here! I don’t want to be associated with this drivel.

My credentials: I was a flight attendant for over 4 years and traveled additionally in my time off. I’m currently living abroad. So, not as full on as A Girl Who Travels, thankfully.

I enjoy going to the movies. Just because I’m more well traveled and interesting than you, that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

I’m polite enough that you won’t realize that I don’t want to hear you brag about your skydiving experience. Plus I’ve never been, so I might truly be interested.

You can complain about your boring job, to a point. Of course we should talk about other stuff too, but I wouldn’t have any friends if they felt they couldn’t share their mundane experiences with me.

I hate the expression that one “dances to the beat of her own drum”. What a trite phrase.

If the most important thing in life isn’t surfing, then what is??

I don’t need a guy to help me pitch a tent, etc. but I’ve learned the value of having a little extra brawn. Besides teamwork, guys are great at being delegated to.

It’s great meeting new people and, especially when you’re traveling, it’s actually more interesting if they aren’t like minded. If you’re just going around Asia to talk to other smug Western people who think they’ve stumbled upon life’s greatest secrets, you’re not really taking in the culture. You could meet people like that through your pot dealer back home.

When you’re in a new place, it’s great to have a constant–someone you love, by your side. It also makes you less vulnerable to organ traffickers.

Don’t date a stereotype.

Also, for the record, I’m married.

Girl Power-Cut


Commentary, Uncategorized

I don’t like sarcasm.

I don’t, and I tell people that, and they think I’m being sarcastic. It’s my own personal hell.

I’m not earnest either, and I’m certainly not sincere. The problem with sarcasm though, is that its users are so self-aware.

And not just self-aware, but self-aggrandizing, smug, and giving themselves a firm pat on the back.

I’m truly not sure what is worse… the actual sarcasm or the fact that people are proud of themselves for being sarcastic.

I prefer irony, which people often confuse for sarcasm, which is why when I say I don’t like sarcasm, people give me a nod, like “I get it you’re being sarcastic!” *wink*

I used to be really sarcastic, but I was an angsty teenager, so it was to be expected. For what John Haiman calls, “the crudest and least interesting form of irony,” sarcasm has a lot of nerve being so mean spirited.

Those who consider themselves sarcastic often laud themselves for what is really an underdeveloped sense of humor. According to Oscar Wilde, “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.”

I guess that still makes it a form of wit, if you really want to get points for it, but it’s not that clever, and it isn’t nice. Sarcasm is pretty obvious, and if you’re still using it in 2014 you’re going to look like a chump.

Consider this: what you consider sarcasm may actually not be. Sarcasm is clear cut–cutting remarks stating the opposite of what you mean, with generally malicious intent.

Try Irony. Better yet, be a troll.

People often complain that when their sarcasm falls on deaf (or dumb) ears, the listener just thinks they’re stupid. If you’re trolling, your goal is to make people think you’re stupid. or just weird. It allows the user to be much more creative, and there is no victim. Importantly, it isn’t clear cut. With irony, you’re saying something that you don’t mean, but not necessarily the opposite of what you mean. There should be a lot of gray area when it comes to irony. Even you shouldn’t know whether you meant what you said or not, and you should never ever ever admit that you were being ironic. That being said, a truly special bond forms, when another person can detect your ironies.

Irony has allowed me to be a lot more open to things. I don’t have to dislike things that are popular simply because they’re popular, but I don’t have to love them either. I don’t need to be critical, because I can just like things ironically.  I relish the feeling of enjoying the simple delight of the Spin Doctors’ Two Princes, a truly magnificent song, that so many others are too cool to like. I can appreciate it for what it is: a time piece, an anthem, a huge ball of energy rolled into a song. Nothing is off limits–whether I like something ironically or otherwise, I like what I like. I can appreciate and enjoy the cultural contribution and significance of Miley Cyrus. And I think that’s what it really comes down to–a recognition of the impact that these things have on society. It took me a long time to enjoy things that I couldn’t expressly relate to. But that would have been a whole lot of culture that I would have had to completely write off. I felt that to like something, I needed to identify with it, and I was afraid to identify with anything.  Now I can even listen to country music.  Shedding sarcasm, I think, went hand in hand with ridding myself of that adolescent self-consciousness.

I enjoy the Madea movies in part because I find it funny that other people find them funny. And sometimes they’re just funny. And they’re full of life lessons.

There is one caveat though:  I don’t think there’s any way to ironically like Two and a Half Men.

It’s difficult, deep in the spectrum of irony to not fall into the hipster trap, but just remember this rule: Don’t be a dick. That should cover it.

Think Sarcasm is Funny? Think Again.
You Can Kick the Sarcastic Habit
How to Live Without Irony


the truth about Neknomination

Neknomination might sound like the name of an anime convention, but it’s allegedly an up-and-coming fad in which drinking game and social media are finally intertwined. Unfortunately, it’s only gaining momentum now as a result of the media coverage of two deaths this weekend in Ireland.

I would like to express my deepest sympathies for the lost lives of Jonny Byrne and Ross Cummins. This never should have happened.

I can certainly appreciate that the families of these boys will point the finger at Neknomination as the culprit in this tragedy. I would probably do the same. However this trend as much greater societal implications–is the game really to blame?

I’m from America, where drinking games are the norm, especially amongst youths. I’ve tried to bring some old classics to Ireland before–beer pong, Kings, quarters–but they haven’t caught on, and not because they require too much drinking. The Irish have no patience for drinking games because they can generally drink more and faster without the nuisance of being told when they have to drink. Drinking games, when played correctly, can actually be a great aid in pacing oneself. If you only drink when you are required to, and not in between, you might actually stay too sober (this is what doesn’t mesh with the Irish). This generation of youths though, partly through the influence of social media, are perhaps more open to drinking games. However, a drinking game where the only challenge is drinking a lot, is no game at all.

I like board games, so it’s no wonder that I enjoy drinking games. Back in Richmond, my sister and I would often turn anything from Trivial Pursuit Junior to walking down the street into a drinking game. Yes, we made up a game to drink to while walking down the street. Things were that good. I hate to see the good name of drinking games get dragged through the mud. But drinking games are only the half of it.

The other component of this is the challenge. Although the single factor tying these Neknomination videos together might seem to be the appalling vertical camera orientation, there is supposedly more to them. Participants are being accused of cyber bullying and using peer pressure to influence the nominees to do make their videos more and more extreme. That being said, I’ve watched an assortment of the videos, and many are simply chugging brews or creating disgusting cocktails that they subsequently neck. Some of them might jump off things. But then I saw a guy in a thong crush a beer, take two vodka shots, eat a raw egg, snort a line of something, and drink what he said was piss, followed by chili sauce, then windex. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be satire, but if not, it could certainly work as such. There is certainly no conclusion, to a game in which the goal is for each to one up the last, other than death.

I would guess that the persons who nominated Jonny and Ross feel pretty terrible right now. Although there must be some peer pressuring involved, no friend wants to see you hurt yourself to complete a silly challenge. Right? The videos are supposed to be funny, but then again so is the Treadmill Fail Compilation on youtube. This is the fodder of America’s Funniest Home Videos and its modern day youtube fueled counterparts. There is also a movie called Jackass that has multiple sequels, so honestly, this is nothing new. It is worth noting that the participants are overwhelmingly male, and that men have a lot of trouble shying away from a pissing contest.

I don’t really enjoy watching videos of people doing stupid things, but I will defend to the death their right to do it. This game is stupid, but it’s not the problem. This is what our culture has become.

Here are some reminders for those who have been neknominated:
– turn your phone sideways, this way the video will take up the whole screen
– this is a video, so even though you’re supposed to be drinking alcohol, no one is going to know if it’s really just juice or water
– if you plan on drinking copious amounts of alcohol, make sure you have a buddy present (this is always a good idea)
– you don’t need to drink copious amounts of alcohol, one pint is all
– please think about the safety of the stunt before you attempt it. If you couldn’t pull it off sober, you definitely won’t be able to drunk
– don’t let anyone bully you into it, it’s not worth it
– you don’t have to do it, but if you don’t want to be called a pussy just remember this: you don’t have to make the best neknomination video ever, it just needs to be a tiny bit better than that of the person who nominated you.
– drinking so much that you have blood alcohol poisoning is not impressive, don’t make the challenge about that. Stick to 1 pint, of your drink of choice. Watching someone drink a lot doesn’t even make for a particularly interesting video
– safety first, always.

This game doesn’t have to be so extreme. For every crazy video, there’s a video that’s pretty tame. Keep it light and keep it fun.