2012 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #14: Birthdays on Facebook.

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Again, as with most of my posts, before you judge, let me get to my angle.  You’ll see the hidden horror.  At the very end of this post, you’ll see why this is on my mind right now.

First off, I love getting Facebook messages on my birthday.  Who doesn’t?  It’s an amazing feeling.  It’s so nice and warm and ticklish to get little “happy birthday” notices throughout your day of birth.  Plus, it’s fun to give them to friends as well.  It lets you throw little fun memory nuggets, catch up with some you haven’t seen in a while, or just let those closest know that you remembered…

But wait…  You didn’t actually remember, did you?

See.  That’s the point.  I understand Facebook alerting you to casual friends birthdays and expressing some good wishes, but now people are using it as a crutch to remember their close friends and families birthdays as well.  Test:  How many of your true friends’ birthdays do you actually remember now?  This is much like when the cell phone became commonplace, and you forgot everyone’s actual phone numbers.  Seriously.  Tell me your best friend’s phone number by heart right now without looking at your phone.  I bet you can’t, and why would you?  Because it’s so easy to just look on your phone and find their name.  But that’s what’s happening to birthdays now.  People are not caring about remembering, because Facebook will remember for them.  And that just sucks.

Birthdays should be a little more special.  Birthdays come once a freaking year.  I understand that for most of your acquaintances you shouldn’t have to remember, let Facebook help you out there.  But for those close to you, don’t let Facebook take this over too.  I constantly hear that people wish their moms, dads, sisters, and brothers happy birthday solely on Facebook now.  Many don’t even call anymore.  They type 14 simple keystrokes, and yep, feel like that’s a decent job.  That’s pathetic.  It’s yet another example of “what brings us closer, pushes us further away.”  And I don’t like it.

And one additional point about Facebook birthday greetings.  More of some advice really.  When you get numerous generic “happy birthday” statements on your wall, it’s pretty difficult to distinguish one from another.  Weird that ten of them are from people you’re really close to, and then the next ten are from people you barely even know.  And yet they all say the exact same thing — “happy birthday”.  They blend together.  How can you tell who from who?  Come on, there’s practically zero thought with that greeting now.  At least change the adjective, or add something endearing.  Even adding a single additional word will make it unique.  Trust me.

Sigh…  I dunno.  I know it seems small, but it just feels like one of those things that Facebook is taking over yet again.  I love birthdays.  They’re fun.  They’re once a damn year.  Don’t let Facebook absorb them too.

On that note.  It is actually my mother’s birthday today.  She lives a few states away so I can’t go in person, so I think I’ll do the next best thing and instead of wishing her a measly greeting on Facebook,

I’LL ACTUALLY CALL HER AND WISH HER A HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

 

2012 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #13: Benefit Concerts.

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You’re probably thinking, what???  How in the HELL is a benefit concert horrifying?!  They do so much good!  Yes.  They do.  They really do.  That is most DEFINITELY not up for debate.  But for me, they’re also a mixed bag of emotions.  And one of these emotions is horror.  Bear with me on this one and you’ll see where I’m coming from.

Benefit concerts are always amazing.  They are always the “show of the year.”  They do what almost no other promoter in the world ever could.  They put together a literal who’s-who of music and Hollywood, side-by-side for an extravagant night of awesome.  Obviously this is on my mind right now because of last night’s 12/12/12 show.  It was amazing.  Where the hell else are you going to see Bruce Springsteen OPEN, and Roger Freaking Waters sing a duet with Eddie Vedder (which was my personal highlight because I’m the world’s largest Pink Floyd fan, as well as an enormous Eddie Vedder fan) all within the first hour!  On the same show you’ve got The Rolling Stones, The Who, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Chris Martin, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, and I mean the list goes on and on…  It’s a musical dream.

But between these musical acts, we’re confronted with the interstitials.  This is where things start to get muddled.  It’s a combination of Hollywood actors hamming it up, trying to be funny, along with footage of the disaster filled with gut-wrenchingly sad stories.  That combo just doesn’t work for me, ever.  But it’s here that my brain always starts to work in overdrive a little more.  It’s here where I start to find the horror.  So basically here’s how I see it.

The only reason a benefit concert exists in the first place… is for a horrific disaster to happen.

So as a music fan, if I want to see Michael Stipe come out of retirement to sing Losing My Religion, people have to die.  If I want to see Adam Sandler and Paul Shaffer do a wacky song together on stage, numerous homes have to be destroyed.  I’m not blaming the singers nor the actors at all.  In fact, bless their souls for doing it.  But there’s just something really messed up about the basic fact that destruction has to take place in order for these one-of-a-kind situations to occur.  And I have a hard time separating the fun from the reality.

Look, I know it’s the only way many Americans will give money.  They feed on pop culture.  Unless the destruction is right in front of their face, they act like it doesn’t happen.  Sometimes you have to shove a lineup of incredible singers and famous actors in front of them to pay attention.  But that’s additionally more sadness to me.  They won’t just give on their own?  We have to essentially “bribe” people with performances in order to get them to help their fellow man?  I’m not throwing stones at humanity, I’m just looking at what we’ve become.  And sadly, I kind of know why we’re becoming jaded like this.  Which leads me to my last point…

The number of benefit concerts are growing.  More disasters are happening.  For every Hurricane Sandy, there’s a Hurricane Katrina.  For every tsunami, there’s an earthquake.  Maybe we’re being clouded by the awesome musical acts, but slowly, there have been more and more musical benefits… simply because there’s been more horrific events.  And guess what?  In the next few years, there’s probably going to be a lot more.  This is the horror — our world feels like it’s slowly ending with all these catastrophic events.  And somehow we’re blinded to it, because we love hearing Comfortably Numb sung by Eddie Vedder.

Damn, that was a good show though.

Can’t wait for the next horrific disaster so maybe Led Zeppelin will reunite.

2012 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #12: Gangnam Style.

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Okay, I get it.  It’s a catchy song.  It’s a catchy dance.  It’s a fun little diversion.  But is it really deserving of the most viewed YouTube video of all time?  Think about that one.

Of…  All…  Time…

Now here is where the mental flexing needs to begin.  How did this odd little number explode in a way that very few things on Earth ever have?  Sure, K-Pop is big right now, but is it really this big???  I mean, it’s got a fun little techno beat, but I could show you hundreds of others that are exactly like it, or far better.  Okay fine, he dances around like a jockey and looks silly, but is watching a Korean man mince around in sunglasses really worthy of all this hoopla?  I’m seriously confused.  My head hurts…

This is where the “horror” aspect of this comes in to play.  It shows itself in the utter randomness of it all.  Nothing is more terrifying to me than things with no rhyme nor reason.  The most terrifying killers seemingly have no reason behind their killings at all.  The most terrifying situations are the ones where you’re constantly searching for the reasons why.  That’s Gangnam Style to me.  It’s success is so completely and utterly random that it makes me question everything else in life too.  Why am I here?  Where do I go when I die?  What are the consequences of my actions?  How is Gangnam Style the most popular video of all time?

It’s questions like these that make you reevaluate your life and go seeking for answers that, somehow, you now know will never come.  All thanks for Gangnam Style.  So thank you, Gangnam Style.  Thank you for making me question my reality.

I hope you’re happy, Psy.  You strange little Korean bastard.

2012 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #11: The Stomach Flu.

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Yes, my apologies for putting this post up a day late, but well, I was completely down for the count yesterday.  It was an utterly awful experience of the most incredible proportions.  I will save you from the grisly details, but let’s just say, writing a blog post just wasn’t in the cards.

And yet, since I know I’m not the only one that’s dealt with the stomach flu this year, since it appears to be on the rise lately, I figure it works as an entry into my 2012 Horror Advent Calendar.

So here you go, stomach flu.  Enjoy your day on my calendar, you prick.

2012 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #10: Electronic “Art”.

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You’ve more than likely seen this new trend of electronic “art” somewhere.  Lately, it seems to be popping up pretty much everywhere you look.  Even the focus of one of the new Windows 8 ads (seen above) focuses directly on it.  And man, do I hate it.  To me, this is one of my largest complaints, not to mention one of the most horrifying trends, of the past year.  It may seem simple, and a complete non-issue for many, but I’m here to explain why this growing practice of electronic “art” is something to fear.

First, I know that art comes in many forms.  Art has no boundaries.  The entire point of art is that art doesn’t need a point.  It can be anything, and thus, can be created with anything.  While there are some really incredible artistic computer programs that let you create on a computer in unique ways that can’t be emulated elsewhere, these types of programs aren’t what I’m talking about.  I’m mainly talking about programs that seek to REPLACE traditional art forms, especially for children.  So yes, before anyone nay-says my argument for these reasons, let me first explain upfront that I get all that.  I’m mainly talking about these replacement “programs” and here’s the thing about this new mode of art… it’s castrating creativity.  Instead of enhancing the experience to a whole new arena, it’s detracting from it, taking the nuances out, and in essence taking ingenuity down with it.  Stay with me.  You’ll understand.

Creativity has no boundaries.  Creating art with pencils, paints, or any other media, is something tangible, something visceral, and something experienced with numerous senses.  But when you try to translate these specific experiences to the uniform setup of a computer screen, or some other electronic/non-visceral form, it’s takes many of those senses away.  Art is as much about touch, smell, and sound as it is simply with sight.  When swathing a hand (or fake paintbrush) across a flat, slick screen, do you really think the same amount of creativity is going to come out than when you feel the paint as you spread it with your brush.  Or when you smell the oils as you squeeze them from their tubes.  Or even as you hear your brush strokes across the canvas.   Art is meant to be experienced in many ways, shapes, and forms.  This is how creativity bursts out.  But when you eliminate all these additional aspects, and bring it to a more sterile environment, creativity will diminish.  It just will.  No matter how much you try to emulate a specific tangible art form in a digital arena, the best parts will be left out, and so will the best creativity.  And everyone suffers.

Art is about making a mess.  Spill some paint.  Get eraser shavings everywhere.  Splash, splatter, and go nuts.  But when you don’t even have this opportunity to make a mess, everything becomes generic and uniform.  I’m sure you’ve noticed that with many art forms lately, it’s felt flat.  A lot of it has felt “the same.”  I firmly believe these new digital art trends are aiding in that.  I’m not saying that there’s no good art out there, because there most definitely is.  But I am saying that numerous new artists are learning in too sterile of an environment now and they just aren’t using the same senses and full extent of their abilities anymore.  And it’s sad to me to watch.

Look, art is what defines a culture.  If sterility is what society seems to want, then this is your first step, world.  If you take art, and essentially castrate it, like electronic “art” does, then this will be your outcome.

So quit it with the digital emulations Crayola, stick with making actual crayons.

 

2012 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #9: Chris Brown… Again.

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Sometimes on rare occasion a horror is so awful that it actually requires two day of tirades.  Yes, today I’m listing Chris Brown again as one of the truest horrors of 2012.

Continuing my thoughts from yesterday, let me add this…  Anyone who beats his girlfriend, is utterly non-apologetic about it, and then tattoos her beaten face onto his own neck to essentially brag about all the publicity it got him, belongs in a special category of Hell.

Oh, and yes, they’re back together again.  So maybe Rihanna deserves a small spot in here too, simply for her complete stupidity.

Additionally, after I put up my post yesterday, I saw this Onion article that was posted a few days ago.  I had not seen this until after I had already posted mine, but what it shows is that obviously the pure and utter hatred for this guy is definitely in the ether.

I will leave you with this article.  Bless you Onion for nailing it right on the head.

I Honestly Don’t Understand How Anyone Could Support Chris Brown.
By Chris Brown.

 

2012 HORROR ADVENT CALENDAR – DAY #8: Chris Brown Exists.

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He beats women.

Do I need to go on?  Okay, I will…  He’s a complete misogynist.  He has zero respect for anyone but himself.  He’s a walking timebomb.  He’s a complete goddamn prick in every way imaginable.  Basically, this waste of space is one giant piece of human shit.

And yet, it shows that if you have a good single, people don’t seem to care.

THAT, my friends, is horror.