10. Top 10 Underreported Stories of the Year I think this is an interesting Top 10 list idea to tackle, because “underreported” — aka not popular, not top — indicates that these stories are anything but Top 10. So I commend Time for making an intrinsically hypocritical Top 10 list that is actually surprisingly informative and insightful.
9. Top 10 Ways to Make People Believe You Are Not Drunk. Also known as “Top 10 Ways to Ineffectually Attempt to Mask All Signs of Alcoholism,” this list tries really hard to insist that no one will ever notice, despite the fact that its overall recommendation for hiding the effects of alcohol is just to sit there and do nothing for the entire night (which in turn kind of defeats the purpose of social drinking).
8. Top 10 Sweatiest Movies. It’s about time someone compiled a list like this. I commend author Kate Witteman for her gall in even making this pitch to her editor. It’s an absurd concept that actually hooks on to our collective cultural curiosity.
7. 2011 Top 10 Movies for Grownups. This one makes the list strictly because it was compiled by the AARP. And let’s face it, that’s funny. It’s not even that all of these movies focus on characters over 60 years old; they’re just “movies for grownups,” which is an incredibly absurd and ridiculously vague criterium. Even Hugo and We Bought a Zoo make the list.
Bonus: 2011 Top 10 Albums for Grownups, a list that is much more in line with “Stuff Only Mom and Dad Like.”
6. Top 10 Secretly Badass Animals. I’d never seen a Mantis Shrimp before I saw this list, let alone heard of one, but I can say with great confidence that my quality of life has vastly improved now that I have. Also, wombats. Who doesn’t love a wombat? Neither wom, nor bat, yet somehow, still incredibly — and, apparently, badass.
5. Top 10 Topical Sesame Street Characters. The fact there have been enough topical Sesame Street characters to justify the creation of Top 10 list of said characters is proof alone that despite all threats of economic collapse and nuclear fallout, the future is inherently a good thing, and we’re all going to be okay in the end.
4. Top 10 Short-Lived Celebrity Marriages. Obviously topped off by the whole Kardashian fiasco, this list is especially notable because it is indicative of the world in which we live. Future historians would be well served to examine this list to gain a better understanding of our celebrity-obsessed culture in which there have actually been enough short-lived publicity stunt marriages to garner such a list. And yet gay marriage is still such a hot-button topic…
3.Top 10 Memes. Another impressive cultural indicator. The irony here, of course, is that “Arbitrary Year-End Top 10 Lists” did not make the list of Top 10 Memes. In an even greater tragedy, neither did Admiral Ackbar.
2. Facebook’s Top Status Trends in the US. Another major hallmark by which Future Historians will judge our lives. What really gets me is that despite the fact that I pride myself as being someone whose finger remains on the pulse of Internet trends, I have no idea what “lms” or “tbh” means, even though they were apparently the most popular Facebook status trends of the year. (mumble mumble god damn kids mumble mumble off my lawn)
1. Google Zeitgeist 2011 Top 10 Google Searches. A worldwide ranking of our most popular Google searches, this is a prime cut cross section of our modern culture. Hell, it’s even hard to be disappointed that Rebecca Black tops off the list. But I’m especially impressed that the non-existent iPhone 5 made the top 10. What does it say about our culture when fictional science (science fiction?) permeates the heights of our news and obsessions? I’ll leave that one to the Future Historians.
Honorable Mention: Top 10 People Not Running for President
, because neither Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich is included.
Posted in opinion, other, prose
Tagged 2011, 2012, 99%, aarp, admiral ackbar, alcohol, American history, badass, celebrity, culture, current events, Facebook, facebook status, google, historians, history, holiday, Hugo, iphone, iphone 5, kardashian marriage, kim kardashian, list, lms, mantis shrimp, memes, michelle bachmann, mitt romney, monday, new year, news, newt gingrich, old people, rebecca black, tbh, the future, time magazine, top 10 2011, top ten, we bought a zoo, wombat
1). Bike with the flow of traffic, not against it. Sure, it’s nice to know when there’s a car coming, instead of having them sneak up from behind it, but you’re also a 180-pound guy riding two wheels on a small metal frame without a helmet. And when you terrify the driver of the car by heading straight at him and he swerves the car in panic and accidentally drives right into you, you’re still a 180-pound guy riding two wheels on a small frame without a helmet. Except now, you’re not only dead, you’re a dumbass.
1a). Biking the wrong way down the bike lane when there are (1) directional arrows painted on the pavement specifying the direction in which you are supposed to be biking, and (2) other bicycles going the correct way down the already-narrow lane — which means they are also heading straight at you and oh yeah if you swerve into the next lane to avoid them you’re going to ride straight into the headlights of an oncoming car — is, well, also pretty stupid.
2). The Idaho Stop is a wonderful new concept, wherein bicyclists adhering to state regulated traffic laws are allowed to treat Stop signs as Yield signs, and red lights as Stop signs.
Things this means: bicyclists are allowed to continue through a stop signs without making complete stops, only if they are certain there is no other traffic coming. Bicyclists are also allowed to continue through red lights, only after coming to a complete stop and making sure that there is no oncoming traffic from the cross street that currently has the green light.
Things this doesn’t mean: Whatever fuck those cars anyway man I’m on a bike dude I can totally kick your ass and blow a perpendicular path through six lanes of traffic during rush hours ’cause those stupid cars are gonna stop for me anyway and I don’t care if they have to slam on their brakes or whatever and totally get rear-ended by the guy behind them because he thought they were going ’cause I’m on a fucking bike with a fixed gear and no protection whatsoever so obviously I have the right of way and all you stupid polluting dumbass cars should stop for me anyway ’cause you’re stupid and stuff stupid cars
3). Helmets. They totally fuck up your mohawk, amirite? Just like splitting your skull open on the pavement and having your brains smeared under vulcanized Good Year tires then wiped off like road kill and tossed into a grassy ditch next to the freeway.
Totally sucks, brah.
4). There is nothing wrong a leisurely bicycle stroll on a quaint and lovely Sunday afternoon. There is everything wrong with a leisurely bicycle stroll down the middle of the designated bicycle path with no way to get around you on either side when I’m trying to get to work right now, asshole. There is even more than everything wrong with doing this on a major road without bike lanes during commuter rush hour when I’m stuck behind you and surrounded by a gazillion angry cars with blaring horns of destruction.
4.5/2). It’s okay to bike at a moderate pace. I realize that not everyone has the same incredibly toned calves that I do. And I do appreciate your efforts to keep to the right and allow me to pass you, like I did on the last block. But see how I’m stopped at a light right now? Oh — wait, no, you just blew through the light and zipped right past me. That’s okay, I’ll just pass you again on the next block, because you’re slow as hell and it’s easy for me to catch up with you. Oh, look! Here I am, stopped at yet another light like a good bicycle. Why, hello there, friend that that I have already passed twice in the last 3 blocks! How are you? Oh, nevermind, you just biked right past me and ran through another red light and caused a three-car pile-up.
And here I am, passing you again, because even when you’re endangering the lives of others, you’re still fucking slow.
5). But seriously? DON’T BE A DICK.
Posted in memoir, nonfiction, opinion, prose
Tagged bicycles, bike lanes, bikes, boston, dick, don't be a dick, list, monday, rules
From what she can tell, this is what he thinks of her:
- She’s a jackass. Joking or not, the repetition of his teasing strikes her as truth.
- She sleeps around. He is her third. She’s not sure what she did to make him think otherwise. He says he says those things because she’s beautiful so she must, you know? She doesn’t know.
- She is not a good person. Maybe it was both of their faults, but the situation allowed for a freedom she was simply not prepared to navigate. She has learned things about herself, about her true colors given the chance to go unchecked—that she pretends there are no consequences if she ignores them enough. Don’t worry, I disgust myself, she wants to say.
- She never meant well. That morning that they laid together, she thought things were turning around for the two of them. Turns out it was just hope.