10 things that really annoy me right now…
Posted by silentarchimedes on May 14, 2008
In no particular order:
- NFL Rookie Pay Scale – I hate how NFL first round draft picks get sooo much money without playing a single down in the NFL. They make way more than proven veterans. For example, JaMarcus Russell, first pick of the 2007 Draft, a six-year $60 million ($30 mill guaranteed) contract… without throwing a single pass in the NFL! Meanwhile, dependable veterans can’t even find a job or have to fight like hell to get a little of the pot. Baseball and hockey have fairer systems when it comes to rookies.
- America’s Political System – It’s hard to call our system a democracy, when only candidates from the two main parties have a chance to win any political seat. Of course, you have to be somewhat rich as well. It’s also hard to realize that the lobbyists and corporations control so much of what happens in America. For example, how can anyone seriously disagree with global warming with any real logic? Even if global warming is harmless, we as humans still need to take care of the earth we are soo lucky to live on. And the whole electoral college (hear of the 2000 Presidential Campaign?) thing reaks of unfairness.
- Capitalism and Globalization – Speaking of corporations, Thomas Friedman is exactly right in The World is Flat. The Corporation is in essence a Super Human with one goal, make money at any cost… with little consequence to the well-being of society. Enron, Worldcom… Companies that do a lot for society and their employees need to be rewarded.
- Indulge, Indulge, Indulge, … Debt, Debt, Debt – Everything in America at every level is about right here, right now. So few people care about what happens to America 20, 50 or even 100 years from now. At the personal level, credit card debt is through the roof, home equity is borrowed against more than ever. At the government level, trade deficit and national debt are higher than ever (and to think that the government had a surplus just 8 years ago!)!
- Practicality vs Ideology – We have spent the past 20 years arguing about capital punishment, abortion rights, religion, democracy, gun rights, terrorism, etc etc. Meanwhile, our infrastructure is crumbling (bridges collapsing), our middle class is disappearing, the US dollar is at its lowest ever, our jails are overcrowded, our healthcare system out of control, our education system one of the worst in the industrialized countries, our population getting fatter and more sedentary. When are we going to have a strong leader that is practical and works on domestic issues for a change?! What happened to leaders like FDR and Lincoln?
- Where’s the Cable A La Carte? – First, I hate how if you want cable TV, you are stuck with whichever Cable operator is in your area. That means your choices are at the whim of the operator. When cable companies fight with individual networks (NFL Network, YES Network, etc), the consumer always loses. Second, because of this localized monopoly, we are forced to buy packages containing networks we could care less about but have to pay for. This is America, and it should always be about choice. A La Carte service should have been available a long time ago.
- SPAM – Do the people that send spam actually think people click on them? Then again, people have been known to be stupid. There’s so many things in modern life where it’s a competition to one-up each other. Spam and anti-spam software is one. Radar Detectors and Jammers is another. Terrorism and Anti-terrorism. Media and other media. Telemarketers and that No-telemarketing list you can sign up for. Junk mail and … Hmm… But email spam is the most annoying one. Can’t we all just live in peace?
- Gasoline Prices – I used to love taking random trips to Home Depot, the library or the supermarket, just to get out of the house and feel like I’m accomplishing something. Now I can’t even do that because gas is so high and it’s not worth it. Plus, the way American communities are built, it’s not like Europe, where it’s conducive to walking around and visiting your local shops.
- Reality TV and Game Shows (or the lack of Sitcoms) – I actually don’t mind reality TV that much. I have my favorites, such as The Apprentice, The Real World and Fear Factor, but for every good one, there are 20 bad ones. The Moment of Truth and Deal or No Deal are horrible. They drag it out much longer than necessary. And where do they find these people? Actually, what I really miss, are good funny sitcoms like King of Queens, Seinfeld, Frasier. I guess they are too expensive to make now and there are no more funny people on earth.
- Computers taking over the world – This one is weird because I’m in the computer industry and I use it prodigiously, but maybe that’s why it annoys me. I don’t like how I’m addicted to it, and when the occasional outage of my DSL makes me feel like the world has ended and there is nothing left to do. I miss my childhood when I went outside all the time because I was bored inside. Then Game Boy took over, then the 386, then the Internet… Sometimes technology makes you go nuts…
Ok, there are many more things that bother me, but those are right off the top of my head right now. Most of them have to do with the American way of life. When I spent 3 months last summer in Germany and Europe, I realized that American society is totally headed in the wrong direction. Unless we either get a really strong leader that unites us all and bring us Americans back to the strengths we were founded on, or us as the middle class wake up and be more responsible, we will (and already are) falling behind the rest of the world. Fareed Zakaria’s new book The Post-American World and Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat should not be taken as insults against American way of life but as a wake up call for us to regain our role as a country that the rest of the world admires and believes in.
Enough ranting for today…