Huzzah! Huzzah! It’s Festivus time again, folks!
Can’t you just feel those frustrated, pent-up emotions in the crisp, wintery air? Yep, December 23rd is right around the corner.
Festivus isn’t all that old, at least by the standards and religious traditions that define most holidays, but who cares?! I think it’s one of the best inventions of the past 2,000 years, and it’s not just because this holiday isn’t centered around gifts or commercialism, although that’s nice. Likewise, it isn’t about The Feats of Strength or the Festivus Pole either. In fact Festivus, to me, isn’t even about its founder, the man (No. Make that THE LEGEND.), Frank Costanza, who more or less defines modern human living in the western world. And let us not forget that he also founded the “Serenity Now” style of dealing with the everyday stuff that drives us insane.
I love Festivus for one reason and one reason only:
I mean, what a wonderful, sensible way to kick off a special time of year with family and friends and blahdy-blah-blah by getting a heap of stuff that has been bothering you ALL YEAR LONG off of your chest. You automatically feel lighter and freer and even prettier, I think! My kids are still too young, but I really cannot wait until we can all sit down next to the fireplace each year as a family and unload our major gripes and complaints about this cruel world onto each other’s shoulders. (Actually, I suppose that could be Thanksgiving dinner too, but whatever.)
Anyway, enough with the nonsense. Let’s get down to it. Here, in all of its opinionated glory, is my Airing of the Grievances for the year 2013.
Read ’em and weep, people!
Adios, 2013! 1 of 14
Stupid Abs 2 of 14
Oh my God. Enough with the whole rock-hard super abs thing already. And while we're at it ... enough with the whole generic flawless, sexpot human thing as well. I'm suffocating under my own back fat over here. I'm done. 2013 really ticked me off because I thought that we might return to some of those good, old-fashioned physical characteristics that we USED to appreciate back in the day: big slabs of pork chop sideburns, roly-ploy buttery thighs, pale doughy cheeks, and bums the size of two smokehouse country hams.
People with a "little meat on their bones" used to be the sexy ones back in the 1840s, you know? So when are we coming back around to all that? Ugh. I'm through with super skinny and ridiculously gorgeous, both for men and for women. Shut the cookie cutters off already! 2013, you disappoint me!
Drivers and Their Phones 3 of 14
Oh, you poor selfish souls of 2013, driving around being morons. I am not even kidding with this one, so listen closely. If you are unlucky enough to be the person driving next to me and texting away on your phone, or going 33 MPH in the highway fast lane because you're LOL'ing with your BFF, and not thinking to yourself, "Who cares about the road or the people on it because I am all that matters in this world!" well then I really pity you. Because after I see what you're up to and pass you by, I am going to pull in front of you, roll my window down, unhitch my seat belt, hand the steering wheel to my wife, and climb up onto my Honda's roof. And then, I'm going to land on your windshield like The Furious Nightmare Bird Poop of Justice. So get ready, because here I come!
Twerking 4 of 14
Well, if nothing else, 2013 might someday be looked back upon as the year in which we lost our damn minds. People started using a dance move that was meant to be sexy, I guess, but really just ended up looking like a poor, uncomfortable lady in one of those home birth videos on YouTube. But twerking was all the rage. So hooray for us.
Hooray for us for coming up with something so weird and gross. And hooray for us for figuring out the one surefire way to make any parent, who ever has the real misfortune to witness a little twerking being done by their own child, to keel over dead the victim of a swift and instant level-8 heart attack.
Selfies 5 of 14
I suspect that just about everyone in the world has taken at least one selfie by now. Nothing wrong with that at all either, given that we are now in the daily possession of a multitude of gadgets that can snap our photo. And yet, 2013 was definitely a year that rubbed me the wrong way in terms of selfies. How many people truly believe that the rest of the world honestly wants to see hundreds or thousands of selfies of them, day after day, month after month? Seriously, y'all?
You haven't changed a smidge since your last selfie two hours ago. Do you seriously not understand? And while we're at it ... get out of the darn bathroom already, will ya? Stop being the pouty narcissist in the mirror. Some of us actually have to pee.
Internet Trolls 6 of 14
2013 was certainly a year in which internet trolls continued to make inroads towards their goal of ... well ... okay, they don't have any goals, but still. They were there. It's fascinating to me at this point to watch trillions of so-called "normal" people get so swept up in the chum and baited hooks that trolls toss onto every message board and comments section in cyber space. Whole websites run by billion-dollar companies are infested, not just with people trying to get a rise out of others, but also by the dorks who continue to try and reason or argue or discuss things with them! It's making me crazy, just witnessing it from afar!
Ignore stupidity, people. It works. Or are you just too "justifiably enraged" to turn the other cheek? Ugh. Get over yourself. Change the world, but please stop blowing hot air all over it.
Athletes Using Sports-Enhancing Drugs 7 of 14
I really thought that by 2013, with all of the dark pharmaceutical clouds hanging over pro sports, some forward-thinking entrepreneurial spirit would have come up with a whole new league just for juice heads and PED lovers! C'mon, how great would that be? Can't you just see it? Seven-hundred-foot mammoth home runs by mutant behemoths who look like they've been injected with a giant turkey baster full of weird?! Or how about kickoffs returned for 115 yards and then the guy with the football just runs through the end zone wall and keeps on blazing right out of the stadium, never to be seen or heard from again?!
Totally juiced-up athletes making a strange overwrought mockery of their chosen sports? Yeah, it's sad, but I'd watch it. And so would you.
Late-Night TV 8 of 14
2013 was the year where I totally lost any clues as to who is or was going to be hosting what on late-night TV. Things have gotten so confusing that I have more or less tuned out. I can't bear to disappoint myself by tuning in to see Letterman or Conan, who I love, only to find Leno or Fallon, who I don't. And isn't that guy from Saturday Night Live taking over a show? What about that Scottish fellow? He is actually funnier than all the rest of them combined.
Oh well, don't ask me. I've got deja vu or something. Lately I'm having weird visions of Arsenio Hall again. What is happening to me?!
Dumb Baby Names 9 of 14
2013 continued to highlight the fact that way too many people are feeling way too liberated when it comes time to honoring their newest child. Instead of putting a twist on an old favorite or picking a cool, unusual name from the past, a lot of you have done a Thelma and Louise off the edge of of Naming Canyon.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT keep slamming your innocent kids with silly names just because you think it is going to make them (or you!) stand out in a crowd. No one ever needs to be named "Pickle" or "Goldfish Pond" or "Windy Wheat" or whatever goofball name you were thinking about. Don't pull that trigger. Just use a regular ol' moniker and let the kid change his name to "Eternal Paint Chip Smorgasbord" later on, when he or she has a say in the whole thing.
Duck Dynasty Merchandise 10 of 14
2013 was the year of Duck Dynasty. So it really irks me that the guys and gals in this show managed to drop the ball when it comes to merchandising. All the selling-out that they COULD have done! I mean, everyone likes to watch a regular Joe make a mint of money and get famous, right? I know I do. But watching the Duck Dynasty people stop merchandising themselves at Chia Pets and turkey jerky and bobble heads and air fresheners and camouflage Bibles that quack when you open them up, when they could have had so much more, it makes me so mad.
I mean, why no Duck Dynasty Channel?! And what about Duck Dynasty gasoline and their own line of frozen imitation duck skillet meals? How about a theme park on a floating fake swamp in the middle of the Vegas strip? Do I have to spell it all out? Ugh, it just makes me want to weep when reality show people don't overextend their image to the far reaches of the commercial galaxy. It's un-American, Jack!
Precocious Kids 11 of 14
Enough already with the footage of tiny children playing perfectly perfect Eddie Van Halen guitar solos or tear-inducing classical piano concerts. Enough with the 3-year-olds that can sing every single word of an entire 11-minute Meatloaf song as dad sits proudly in the corner of their viral kitchen. No more babies who can shoot amazing free throws from a half block away. No more toddlers who can drive SUVs, or third-graders who write riveting books about what the afterlife looks like. PUH-LEEEEEZE!
I love kids, I really do. But 2013 was the last straw when it comes to the proliferation of precocious children, out there in the world, sucking down some kind of bizarre magic well-water until they can clog dance on the back of a moving bald eagle to the tune of 8 million hits on YouTube. I can't take it anymore. Let kids pick their noses and eat it like they are supposed to. Film that, if you have to.
Facebook Culture Snobs 12 of 14
Along the long and winding road of 2013, another thing that really yanked my chain a lot is all of these people on Facebook who like to think that they know what good music is. Give me a break. It makes me kind of ill every time I see some internet doofus complaining about how Miley Cyrus isn't "real" music or how this boy band, or that rapper, aren't nearly as good as the unknown bands that they like. It's such a feeble and pointless thing to argue.
Why fight about how one person's music (or movies, books, TV, etc.) isn't as good as another person's when in reality it all really just boils down to how much salt you like on your French fries? Plus, as a revelatory side note, please try and remember that most of the music that you really dig is donkey poo anyway.
Amazon Drones 13 of 14
Let it be known that 2013 will also go down in history as the Year of the Drone. And no, I don't mean the singer from Mumford & Sons. Now, in a lot of ways, I can sort of see governments and all being involved with drones because, let's face it, they are all a little creepy and spy-tastic. But now that Amazon.com has entered the drone game, let me just be very clear about how I feel. I. AM. FREAKED. OUT.
The idea of strange, human-less flying craft zipping around the sky is, of course, an inevitable one. The future is now, and technology demands it. But still. If I see one of these things dropping the latest Danielle Steele paperback onto my front porch, I may just hurl myself through a window and run off into the forest forever.
Parents Ruining Christmas 14 of 14
Of all the strange and disappointing things I have witnessed in 2013, none make me more upset or bummed out than the increasingly popular fad of parents telling their kids stuff like there is no Santa Claus; that the Elf on the Shelf is dumb and fake; and that most of the myths and legends associated with the holiday are actually just falsehoods and nonsense that other parents perpetuate by lying to their own offspring. To all of that, I simply say this Christmas is a time of magic and wonder and enchantment. Those are the kinds of feelings and experiences that have been around a A LOT LONGER than any of you and your newfangled cockamamie ideas about top-shelf parenting.
So when you tell your young kids that there is no Santa, remember that you are robbing them of something really cool and pure and ancient, something that will disappear on its own, organically, when the time is right. I'm serious. Don't be a hero ... Santa's already got that covered. Happy Festivus, everyone!