My Kind of Woman…on Tinder and OkCupid

You know those moments, stealing a moment to yourself. Going on your phone swiping left or right on strangers based on a few vague pieces of information they’ve provided for disclosure.

Such information is inadequate in determining if this person is right for you. Humans are inherently poor communicators, and it shows up in places like Facebook comments and especially on dating sites.

Dating sites opine that they’re taking the hustle out of dating and networking, but they end up making it more competitive by removing the physical person for a couple words and some subpar headshots.

I’ve used dating applications for about two and a half years and I find myself more prejudicial than when I started. Most people swipe left based on a few criteria. A virulent strain of snobbery and preconceived notions run deep in my family so it compounds how I engage these profiles and people.

So based on no statistical data, and solely judging a couple thousand profiles, here are my sets of hyper-subjective standards that I’ve adopted during my tenure of these sites:

Snapchat’s Animal Filters

First question, why do young women use Snapchat?

Second question, why do they need to post inane photos of them using the application’s various animal filters to their profiles? You’ve seen these stupid filters before.

They give their users animal ears, dog noses and, in the absence of all rational thought, big computer-generated eyes. If you encountered these visions while you slept, you’d classify them as nightmares or a bad trip, but in the real world, they’re cute, I guess..

Actor Thomas Middleditch posts these insipid filters distorting his face on Instagram account all the time. But he’s a comedian, so he’s allowed to post this content with the agreement with his audience, “You know, this stuff is stupid right? Also, you really shouldn’t presume this shit is cute by itself and a come on to the opposite sex…”

You wouldn’t post one of those FaceApp transformations to a dating profile, so why is permitted to do the same for these filter photos?

Whenever I see a woman post such photos, I presume that I’ve given it more thought than they did…

Duck Face

Ladies, no one wants to see this photo. Ducks have big beaks, why would you want to look like them?

This is another one of those red flags I see all the time because it gives me every reason to believe that this person isn’t gonna pull the same weight intellectually with me. Either way, this is an unattractive look no matter how you shake it…

Donald Trump has done this expression before so I rest my case…

Bad Camera Angles & Conceptualized Shots

People often like me on these applications didn’t regard the photos before they uploaded them. I like funny photos. Wholesome photos. Witty photos. Stunning professional close ups.

But I can’t set aside photos with bad camera angles, low-lit, unflattering posed shots, with their tongues hanging out.

Again, there’s the presumption that if you can’t pick a decent photo of yourself, especially one that’s shot in low-light, then what does that say about you?

We’re not all George Clooney but we should market ourselves to the world with the confidence and the presentation of that man…

Excessive Tattoos

One or two small tattoos are indicative of a slaved-over, agonized decisions: what’s the best tattoo to reflect on the situations you’ve experienced for the spiritual journey across India or whatever, where’s the best place to place it/hide it.

These are decisions made about a piece of artwork that’ll be on your epidermis for the rest of your life, give a take a few painful tattoo removal sessions.

This is how the process would unfold, if I were to decide to get a tattoo (which will never happen). I can’t imagine it being much different for woman but I don’t know anything.

More often than not I see women who are covered in these damn things, which often looks like a artist who sketched all over a drunk, passed out person at a party because there wasn’t any spare paper lying around. This, I’m almost certain, is the premise of Blindspot.

Not too long ago, getting a tattoo used to signify you’re weren’t willing to be boxed in by the illogical expectations of society. You were a rebel.

Now, every chic, upscale clothing supplier uses models who are all tatted up, so the mainstream has appropriated that image into oblivion. And they’ve appropriated the appropriators.

Whenever I see too many tattoos clustered on one body part of another human, it says, at least to me, that that person has bad impulse control issues.

Guns, Flags And “Prizes”

This is low on the list because, like every young red-blooded American male, I sometimes possess a overwhelming desire to drive out to the shooting range, rent a cool looking pistol and shoot the shit out of paper targets.

(Or if you’re in the middle of the desert, like me, drive 30 minutes to nowhere and shoot the empty beer bottles people have left behind.)

Sometimes behind the privacy of a quiet room I strike a James Bond gun barrel pose in the mirror, because why not?

But, really where I take issue is when I see pictures of women posing with semi-automatic weapons is the presumption that they thought this shot was integral to their personality enough to post to a dating site.

[UPDATE: 12/19/17] Same goes for women who hang the flag in their living room, which I see occasionally in photos. I love my country and the concept of checks and balances acting as counterweight to each other, just as they do. But, as the last few months has shown, I appreciate when shows of patriotism aren’t lumped into something compulsory, without consideration of the contrary. Patriotism is like love, you should feel it before you express it. Otherwise, it crosses the blurry line into nationalism.

Double for the rarer occasion when a female hunter posts a shot with the still-warm carcass of an animal they’ve killed.

I have the same reaction to that as I do whenever I see profiles of some girl snapping a shot of her taking a hit off a weed pipe, put that shit down.

Photos of Nature and Inanimate Objects

“You’re an inanimate fucking object!”

These are nice photos of the landscape from your last vacation and bedroom but I want to see what you look like.

If you’re being coy about joining a dating site, then you really shouldn’t be on a dating site…

Reposted Memes In Lieu Of Real User Photos

You’re almost or am an adult, you should really have a photo of yourself. Again, you’re on a dating site.

I really don’t want to see whatever stale meme you’ve shared on Instagram. I can always the sense the trite and ridiculous memes, by the distorted pixelation that forms around the text of images when an image has been saved or screencapped a few dozen times.

This is such a grating bush-league mistake that even OkCupid has my back on this

The good news about discovering these pet peeves about other women on these dating sites is that if you’re willing to look inward, at least to me, you have a better perception of not only myself, but also what traits you’ll seek in the companionship of others, not to mention a partner.


How to Preserve A Historic Building (In the City of Phoenix)

Circles Records and Tape Building

Note: This post wasn’t meant to reflect the destruction of any particular historic building in Phoenix, but more to comment on the predictable ebb and flow with how these scenarios always play out. Unfortunately, the hypothetical sometimes catches up to the reality.  

Several days ago the news broke that “Glasir Capital Partners” would demo a 120-year old local building. Nothing ever changes in Phoenix, so the narrative is almost beat for beat what occurred in real life. This city is so predictable.   

  • Allow land to be bought up by a developer, a building follows. The structure doesn’t break the mold, design-wise, but it’s clearly from an era when artistic expression was valued. So, this structure is at least 50 years old.
  • Building goes through decades of different store fronts and owners, but remains a beloved fixture to the local population & public.
  • Building gradually falls into disrepair, through either mismanagement, neglect or incompetence. It’s listed for sale and a out of town developer with an unlimited budget (and no personal stakes in the design) sees an opportunity to build. They buy the property, but most importantly the land it sits on…
  • Here comes the fun part where they reap the benefits, through decades of crappy, weak preservation laws in place, it’s easier for a developer/property owner to bulldoze a building than to preserve it.
    • It’s up to the building owner, who may have bought the building only for the lot potential, to submit the building for historic status with the city.
    • There’s still hardly any longterm tax incentive, with the federal funding being the mess that it is. Local bond money to preserve is paltry to nonexistent.
    • Adaptive reuse is a new concept to Phoenix. The state sponsored program has only been in effect since 2008. So, you can imagine how many local buildings are no longer with us using that date.
      • (The Newton is a triumphant success story, however, and is arguably better than the original Beefeaters concept)
    • Until recently, there was no waiting period between filling a demolition permit and carrying it out. Now it’s a 30 day waiting period. Seems so obvious, I know.
    • If a historic building is in particularly bad shape, it’s practically rubber-stamped for the wrecking ball, as is the case with the Clinton Campbell house.
  • Knocking down cool historic buildings has always been in vogue. Blame Manifest Destiny.
  • It used to be the thing to demolish significantly historic structures to build parking garages or some beige nightmare in the place of something actually unique (Al Beadle’s Mountain Bell building).
  • Not anymore! Keep in mind all they want is the land to build whatever eyesore they want to make money on.
    • As of now, cookie-cutter apartments are what’s popular. And locally they are the leading cause why local historic structures continue to disappear.
      • They could care less about the historic structure they own, the memories they contain, the stories of the people who’ve patronized it, owned it, the larger narrative of the time it was built, etc.
  • They either:
    • Bulldoze the building, name it some inappropriate, new age-y, luxurious name. There’s no semblance of what was there before in the design.
      • Cutthroat but honest.
    • If they want to fool a handful of people, they promise to save three walls and a key design trait of the original structure.
      • In their minds, this is what historic preservation entails even though it’s not.
    • Maybe give it the name of the business of what stood there before. See, they’re not heartless developers! They’re sentimental! 
  • Commission whatever local artist is willing to play ball to create an art installation that’ll go in front of this building to further the impression that the project is not just about selling crappy apartments, which it still totally is.
  • If you want to be stingy and wring an extra few million in revenue, demand that the city take on a GPLET Tax, which basically means the City operates the building for an extended period of time (but they’re also exempt from paying property taxes)!
  • Now the area is more denser, more surly (remember, this is Arizona, after all) version of Los Angeles with even less of historic record of the architecture.
    • There’s a lot of housing but not as many places to live…
  • Most people may not know your name but they know your legacy. And imagine what they think of you…

We Meet Again, Game of Thrones…

Game of Thrones just dropped one of the first teasers for the new season. When it returns in about a month I, for one, am dreading its return.

For about three months of the year a fraction of social media are damned to repeatedly bear witness to the fans on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr gush about the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

Its author, George R.R Martin, seems like a very nice, intelligent man but he’s unleashed an evil on the world.

I’ve never seen such a fervor for a series whenever a new episode airs. The shows air on Sunday and then by the end of the week, I’ve seen every headline that’s spoiled any every major plot point from the show.

And this happens for thirteen weeks.

And it’s as annoying as hell.

I don’t know why Jon Snow is special or the purpose he serves, but I know was an inert, dead popsicle at the end of one season and he was revived a couple of episodes later. Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.59.12 AM

I know there was a character named Hodor who died literally holding the door.Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.45.41 AM

Cute-as-a-button Maisie Williams’ Arya Stark (whose father Ned Stark was decapitated) was blind for awhile but assassins trained her but now her sight’s restored and she kicks a lot of ass. Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 11.49.38 AM

Last season essentially ended with this big battle called the ‘Battle of the Bastards,’ which Jon Snow actively participated in (or led). There’s a lot of extras and stuntmen on horses and a bunch of CGI people got either stabbed, decapitated. It was probably a lot of fun to shoot.

And Sansa Stark finally got revenge on that asshole Ramsay Bolton, when she sicked a bunch of dogs on him. Oh and Cercei was crowned on the Throne, I guess…

I shouldn’t know this much for a show I only watched the pilot for about four years ago.

One of the principles joys I take from long-form television is the prospect of where the stories will unfold and how they will affect characters that we know, and hopefully love.

I watch shows for the characters and the actors portraying these people, as pretentious as that sounds. Television series are a constantly evolving machine, with the pilot both serving as Mission Statement of the stories its creators what to tell, as well as an indicator to the audience what’s to follow.

Game of Thrones’ fans repeatedly betray the spirit of that principle by never shutting up about the show. And it’s subsequently muted any desire to eventually catch up with this show and essentially any show like it.

For a couple of years, I’ve repeated invited people with the query for them to pitch ‘Game of Thrones’ to me, why I should watch, and every one who I talked to never gave me more than a succinct, “Just watch it, dude! You won’t regret it!”

With the show’s enormous big budget, it’s turned me off these kind of big, event shows, despite if they have artistic merit of not. I haven’t watched The Crown, The Walking Dead and House of Cards based of these hipster principles and standards. They are noisy and not in the good, technical way.

I’m not ruling out the possibility that I pick up watching Game of Thrones in five years, when everyone’s moved on to other zeitgeists, but with the prospect that HBO wants to keep the gravy train running with spinoffs for the foreseeable future, it might be even longer than that.

There are better more smaller struggling shows that can use my attention and devotion.

It’s loud and crowded in the other fandom boat.

The Hearts and Souls of TV Viewers Were Not Asking for This…

roseanne tv show barr

I don’t pretend to understand or believe to speak for all Americans. Yet, I have it on good authority, just don’t ask on whose, that no one asked for a reboot of Roseanne.

With all due respect to Roseanne Barr, no one’s given a shit about her show since it went off the air in 1996 or whatever.

See? Her show means so little to my mental facilities that I can’t be bothered to look up a date when it left the airwaves

Following in the tradition of the reboots of Ironside, Coach, Bionic Woman, Charlie’s Angels, MacGyver, Uncle Buck, and goddamned American Idol comes yet another show that validates the theory that television executives have no idea what the viewing public wants for programming.

I’m not against reboots. My rule of thumb when justifying reboots to existing properties is simple:

  • Did the original show tell relevant stories and are they still so?
  • Are the creative team interested in why these personalities clicked or how the original concept and stories still applicable to society?
  • Will there be smart, thoughtful writing for the characters and audience?
  • Do a good chunk of people still think about the source show and revisit it?
  • If so, is it because of the first three reasons…
  • Are the special features on the DVD box sets anymore hefty than “Subtitles and Interactive Menus”…

Of those counts, the Roseanne reboot only checks one of those boxes. Based on my limited knowledge of Roseanne, the series was about the lower to middle class. You might know them as poor people.

There’ll always be members and families within society who are barely or not even getting by, whether that’s by their own choice or because some stupid politician believes a living wage or social safety nets only benefit parasitic moochers.

You can tell a lot of stories about poor people because some things on this planet (at least for the time being) will always be around.

Roseanne will air on ABC. The reboot is on shaky creative ground since ABC airs already a show about poor people: The Middle.

(A funny thing about the ABC’s half-hour comedy lineup is that it’s almost entirely made up of different cultural and ethnic families…) 

So why does this reboot exist again? Oh right, because new things are scary and not conducive to generating revenue! Of course!

Embedded below is the trailer of the rebooted Ironside from several years ago. I howled at it in 2013 and I still at howl it now. There’s so many hilariously miscalculated images and concepts that it’s staggering to think of the amount of people who could have stopped it yet never did.

Dear Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson…

I can’t fucking believe I have to say this again, but celebrities shouldn’t get to be president.

Being the Motherfucking President of the United States isn’t a fucking joke, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I know you’re reading this.

In my first post on this blog I posited that celebrities who ran for president, with no experience in public office or service are sideshows, that the news media in-turn re-frames their candidacy as serious viable candidates.

Well, I’ve opened this field up to include wrestlers, which I honestly thought didn’t need stating.

If you’re listening, Dwayne, and I know you read my stuff: You don’t want to be the President.

It’s how you get Donald J. Trump, former reality show host of The Apprentice, one time wrestler, as the President of the United States.

It’s a lot of work and you wouldn’t be able to schedule your 5,000 calorie a day diet to maintain your ripped physique. People would call you far worse than a “candy ass.

You’ll be working 18-2o hour work days.

You won’t have your trailer to fallback to when the director calls cut for lunch. Because the President of the United States never gets a fucking lunch break.

If you haven’t noticed already, but I’ve hot-linked any instance of President of the United States  (see?) in this text to the Wikipedia page for the office. Because like I said, this job isn’t a fucking joke.

It’s a lot of responsibilities, if you can’t tell already.

You may be wondering what stick’s up my ass and why I’m such a stickler for formalities but it’s simple: I’ve seen Mike Judge’s Idiocracy and it could be our future, if it isn’t already…

I saw this film about a decade ago and it’s psychologically scarred me for life, because it could happen…

Here’s a quick recap if you haven’t seen this film, Dwayne: Society devolves in 500 years time, when the stupid outnumber the smart and they can’t figure out that sports drinks are no substitute for watering crops and that towing cables won’t save a structurally decaying skyscraper.

Oh, and a former porn-star/wrestler, named Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho (Terry Crews) is the President of the United States.

And in case you can’t tell already, people in this speculative-future name their children after soda and junk food. I told you this film is fucking bananas and I’ve barely scratched the surface…

In closing, Dwayne, please don’t file the paperwork to run for president in 2020. Because people might take you seriously.

And we can’t lower the bar for eligibility anymore than we collectively already have for Trump. The office and the people deserve better than that, even if they don’t think they do…

Time to Pull Out a Dictionary, M’kay?

Your life happens in phases.

When the grass is greener, you find amusement from crude double entendres, of related images compiled in a certain way to create something else entirely, usually something vaguely sexual. But, then you wake up one day, you realize everyone does it and they’re significantly less clever than they think.

In other words, the marketing team behind the Baywatch film poster are a bunch of bro-morons.

In case you can’t already tell, they arranged the beach balls and rescue board on the poster so that they resemble an erect penis and testicles.

Or as they probably phrased it in the pitch meeting, “How about we shape the beachballs and surfboard into a cock ‘n’ balls, brah?”  Ho ho.

I can’t remember when this crude innuendo-based marketing got popular, but it hasn’t been long. Maybe in the last three or four years. Coincidentally, this is also when a generation of Millennials hit their twenties and, fresh from the fraternities, probably hitched it at a prestigious advertising house.

The only example that springs immediately to mind is, “Rock Out With Your Glock Out,” which Google tells me belongs to the 2010 “comedy” Cop Out. The theory almost holds.

Sometimes I despair at the state of the world, how the world prefers instant gratification as opposed to properly set-up jokes and payoffs. But, really all I ask of the world is that they think before they speak. They might even like what they say.

Groucho Marx was the master of the double entendres. Watch any compilation of his comedic work. Even if you’ve seen Duck Soup half a dozen times, his punchlines always land yet are never obvious.

Let’s Make Double Entendres Great Again.

Dear Cable News Directors…

Angela Rye through discourse convincing Joe Walsh he's a bigot. a

You’ve had your fun with the talking-head roundtable “discussions” on your 24-hr news networks. Now it’s time for them to die, screaming in agony.

To put it another way, just because you can create three splitscreens appear on a television screen, doesn’t mean that you should. People say that the world doesn’t need any more lawyers, I disagree.

What society really don’t need anymore of is political commentators. Especially paid political commentators. What does a political commentator do when they’re not yelling at a screen, of an avatar who is not really there, anyway? Jet-ski? Read a book?

And this isn’t a partisan issue.

Nothing ever gets resolved on these damn segments and everyone will continue not to communicate with each other long after. Can you readily admit any such segment on CNN or HLN where five random people yell at each other for 12 minutes has ever accomplished anything?

Tucker Carlson hasn’t changed for as long as he’s been known to political junkies on TV for past 20 years. And surely he will continue act smug and drown out any fool with belligerence, just as sure as the sun will rise and set everyday, for the next 20 years, too. Same goes for Ed Schultz, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow and every other talking head to appear on cable news.

One of the best moments of television ever, wasn’t from The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, but when whatever EP or scheduler foolishly booked Jon Stewart to appear on CNN’s talk-news debate show Crossfire in late 2004. They expected him to play nice-nice with political hacks/pundits Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. He did not.

I’ve never such an elegant takedown done on the fly. Stewart charms and disarms when he tells the two that their show is hurting America and public discourse. Even when his delivery is couched in a joke, there’s a uncomfortable truth beneath the surface.

Judging the clip alone, Begala and Carlson genuinely believe their show, in which pundits from the Left and Right yell at each other for 30 minutes for spectator sport soothes the partisan divide in this country.

A few months later Crossfire was off the air. Sometimes two events are automatically associated with another, despite no causation of such. But, in this case, I truly believe CNN looked themselves in the mirror and got an icky, clammy feeling come over them.

Just as Mark Burnett is eventually gonna have to answer to Jesus for accidentally elevating Donald Trump’s specter to President of the United States through The Apprentice, Ted Turner is gonna have to do the same for creating CNN, the first 24-hour news network with all the time for information and news, but still wound up with less of it…

Six Impossible News Articles Before Breakfast

Last week, I kept seeing news items about rumors of various famous people contemplating running in the 2020 Presidential Election. Oprah Winfrey was rumored to run one day and the next Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, was thinking the same.

Celebrities are always in hot-water for expressing a political stance (A policy, I personally don’t understand, but that’s a blog post for another day.) but when some of them run for public office, people are suddenly perfectly okay with it.

With all due respect to Ms. Winfrey and Mr. Igor, I don’t want them to run for president.

As an adult, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s term as the freakin’ Governor of California may have ruined celebrities holding public office for me. I loved the surreal concept of his election when I was 12 years old, but eventually you realize there are enough adolescents voting in this country as it is.

I’m not through and through opposed to this idea (Look no further than Senator Al Franken), I hold onto the promise of democracy in electing the best people for the job, who aren’t necessarily celebrities. Again, Al Franken.

Truth be Told, I look at celebrities deciding to run for office as a sideshow. It really is.

Fame is a dangerous amplifier of visibility and a conflation with comprehension of complex issues. And being famous gives you a headline every time you speak. Someone like Donald Trump is a dangerous testament to the power of the uniquely ignorant speaking to his own.

Furthermore, if you’re famous, you effectively steal the limelight, and votes, from candidates of more competent merit. Jeb Bush dropped out because he couldn’t compete with Trump’s cable news coverage. Trump may or may not hate CNN but they were the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

I’m a traditional guy. America is a grassroots nation. It’s in our DNA. There’s a man or woman out there, with a few thousand in donations and a handful of true believers, driving around in 10-year old SUV, getting votes by going door to door and wearing out the rubber on their shoes.

That’s more irresistible than ever in a nation blinded by the haze of hysterical partisanship and money.