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Bus Rage

From Slateís Most Annoying Ads Ever

The slogan on Greyhoundís most recent ad campaign: "Thereís a reason youíve never heard of íbus rage.í " A clever line, extolling the alleged laid-back nature of bus travel.

Two problems.

1) I myself have experienced "bus rage"óevery single time Iíve ridden a bus.

2) The ads went up just in time for the occurrence of what must be the absolute worst case of bus rage in history ó an incident in Canada in which a Greyhound passenger beheaded his seatmate with a knife and then began "hacking off pieces of the victimís body and eating them."

If you hadnít heard of bus rage before, you have now!

- 8/20/2008 2:55:58 PM | link

More fuel for eVite comments

If H.P. Lovecraft wrote Whitmanís Sampler copy.

Caramel Chew

There is a dimension ruled by a blind caramel God-King who sits on a vast, cyclopean milk-chocolate throne while his mindless, gooey followers dance to the piping of crazed flutes. It is said that there are gateways in our world that lead to this caramel hell-planet. The delectable Caramel Chew may be one such portal.

- 8/20/2008 2:52:59 PM | link

such joy is always imperilled

Two elderly LA sisters responsible for feeding and nurturing tens of thousands rats in their Pacific Palisades home. [via Boing Boing]

The response from health bureaucrats, says Scott, was apathy. ďThey basically said, ĎYeah, weíll be out there ó within the next two weeks.Ē But Scott had been on the county Public Health Department Web site, which warns that rats carry plague and typhus and can infect humans with either, through bites or fleas, or contact with their urine, feces or nests. In fact, in 2006, the department caught a rodent carrying the bubonic plague. In large red letters, the county Web site warns parents to keep children away from dead rats.

"He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it roused up its rats again and sent them forth to die in a happy town."

-Camus, La Peste

- 8/3/2008 9:31:46 AM | link

a thousand points of Parliament light

Hipsters and the [for real this time] end of Western Civilization.

We are a lost generation, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion and now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization Ė a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new.

Itís true that nobody wants to be considered a hipster and yet they are almost instantly recognizable in some sense. The most hipster-looking of my friends tend to be the most vocal in their disdain for hipsters. This isnít a critique of their fashion choices or opinions. Invariably, they are as unique as snowflakes in outlook and as bourgeois as the Best Buy catalog in hopes and dreams (i.e. a slimmer iPod, a laptop more suited to their needs, a digital record player). Still, something about this label stings.

My new boss at work sort of considers me a hipster (thereby proving itís become both a generic term of disdain, much like Yuppie, and an almost so-broad-its-undefinable label). To him, I think this means I am invertical to popular taste. If something is popular or consumed in mass, then I will consume something not so popular, not so mass. But I am indicted by this choice in that I am still a consumer, like him, and, after all, why should I think Iím better than him or anybody else? Itís just my opinion vs. his. He thinks I think Iím better b/c of my consumer choices. But to me it isnít my consumer choices that matter. Itís my ironic smirk while watching him try to peg me. Is that hipster? Probably not, but itís in a parallel alignment.

It is the reduction of self to the fashion mart/magazine/which-movie-do-you-like/junior high level that I think most targeted hipsters resent. But itís also this post-everything fascination with culture and the odd hybridization of working class and technology that seems to separate them. They *are* concerned about which movie you like and which album youíre listening to. And so, unfortunately, are you to a greater or lesser extent. This is the core problem. Weíve traded real life experiences, real artistic values, and real character for impressions of these things. Which impression of a self do you like best? The hipster signifies this to us. We have become a nation of watchers and listeners and the hipster is the ultimate wallflower. Never content to be at the center. Always in the periphery, watching, hanging out, soaking in. And so, when pointed out, they accurately attempt to become even more invisible. As Percy wouldíve said, the cycle of the vacuous self, the self-sucking vacuole, is almost always to grow so large that everything it consumes only increases its appetite while negating its definition.

Or put another way, when all the past selves have been defined in such a way as to account for any future self (i.e. heís John Wayne by way of Zach De La Rocha), thereís no where to go but by ironically playing at a self while mocking any attempts at a credible, sincere, authentic self.

- 8/2/2008 8:26:44 PM | link


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