Monthly Archives: January 2011

The internet: Who’s likely to comment

The Internet by Tom NashAh the interwebs: giving pussies the ability to say things to people anonymously that they would never have the balls to say in real life since 1991.

Comment boxes/forums are a staple of most blogs and websites, this one included. Here’s a selection of some of the people you’ll find leaving their thoughts:

The critic
Did you know that if you have a computer with a connection to the internet, you automatically become a qualified music, film, TV and literary critic? You didn’t? That’s because it’s not true. Doesn’t stop people trying though…

The pointless
Similar to The Ronseal Facebook status updater, this person feels the need to inform the world that they enjoyed that Youtube video. That’s all. Nothing useful, informative or insightful, just that they ‘lol’d’. These are probably the same people that text in their opinions to current affairs programme (that’s the news, fucko). Remember, just because there is a comment box, it doesn’t mean you have to say something.

The troll (previously known as The shit-stirrer)
Got nothing to do? Fancy a giggle? Log on to the forums of your football team’s local rival or a Twilight/Justin Beiber fan site and say that they’re shit. Actually, just say it in the comment section under a Youtube video of anything subjective. Congratulations, you are a troll.

 See those passionate responses? They’re from:

The supporter
Whether you are reading the comments under a Youtube video (arguably more entertaining/depressing than any video on there), checking out responses to a question on Yahoo Answers or browsing a forum, if someone’s been trolling, you will find a post by this commenter. Usually littered with spelling mistakes and missed words, they take the bait every time and post enthusiastic essays on why {insert generic pop star name here} is the greatest thing in the universe. They never realise that the best tactic is to not rise to it and IGNORE THEM.

ThE aLtErNaTe CaPiTaLiSeR
fUcK kNoWs WhY pEoPlE dO iT- iT tAkEs An AgE tO wRiTe, LoOks RiDiCuLoUs AnD iS qUiTe DiFfIcUlT tO rEaD. sOmEtHiNg OnLy A bElL-eNd WoUld Do.

Drivers: Who to watch out for (Part Three)

Drivers by Tom Nash(For Part One, click here. For Part Two, click here)
More driver traits worth moaning about:

The anally-retentive
Usually male (but not exclusively), these are the sad cases that feel their vehicle is an extension of their personality. This is the type of person that would wash their car in the middle of winter, even after a particularly heavy snow fall. They are generally pretty well groomed themselves, so arguably their car does reflect their character; nice to look at but essentially the same as the thousands of others you can find pretty much anywhere… Yep.

The bus driver
If you were in control of a vehicle that weighed multiple tonnes and you were relied on by many to get them places safely, you’d probably take care over your driving, wouldn’t you? Yeah, well- you’d never make it as a bus driver. If they thought they could get away with hand brake turns, they’d make them on every corner. Never run for a bus- the drivers appear to be able to sense when a sprinting person is approaching the closed doors and are therefore able to choose the optimum moment to pull away. Which they will. Every fucking time.

The Highway Code denier
Whether it is their refusal to drive above 60 mph on a dual carriageway, their confusion over the right of way at a roundabout or their general refusal to take note of road signs, markings and pedestrian crossings, it is evident that this person has either never seen a copy of The Highway Code or believes that the rules are open to individual interpretation. In many ways they are similar to The kamikaze, although unlike them, this driver is oblivious to their lack of knowledge. It is an utterly petrifying experience to be a passenger in this person’s car, particularly if you have a driving license yourself- you will find yourself applying an imaginary brake in the footwell every time you think they should be. Which is constantly. Foot-ache is a given by the end of the journey.

The kid on a moped
These are pack animals, rarely found on their own. You can always hear them before you see them, thanks to their customised racing exhausts and bore kits- the sound resembles an approaching swarm of angry bees. You can tell a serious rider- they’re the ones that lean close to the handlebars to maximise their aerodynamics… On a 50cc moped. While decked out in full motorcycling regalia… On a 50cc moped. The best analogy is to think of them as a low level Pokemon- upon receiving their full driving license, they will evolve into either The arsehole(eon), The anally-retentive(eon), The boy-racer(eon) or a terrifying mix of all three(eon).

I realise not all of you will get that last bit, but fuck it- totally worth it.

Music: Levels of appreciation

Hip Hop by Tom NashThis was originally about Hip Hop music specifically, but I realised you could change the genre and artists and the points would remain the same. So, here are the six levels of music appreciation:

Level 1: Awareness of the existence of music.
Their CD collection is probably made up entirely of Now That’s What I Call Music compilations and albums by X-Factor winners (*sigh*). They tend to have their car stereo tuned to Radio One too. If they can’t sing along or dance to it, they won’t really get it. It is safe to bet that these are also the people that do that moronic ‘ooh-ooh’ thing to just about any song that plays in a nightclub.

Level 2: Appreciation of particular songs.
This person has probably downloaded a few albums, for the singles they liked and songs that remind them of their youth. They might have even bought a CD or two in their time.

A good example is those people who liked ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley a few years back, bought the album expecting more of the same, were disappointed and are now confused by this Cee-Lo Green character, as they thought he was Gnarls Barkley. Don’t even bother trying to explain who Danger Mouse is.

This is the person (if they’re in their late 20s or 30s) who knows all the words to ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain or ‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice but couldn’t name another song of theirs if they tried. Although being able to name another Vanilla Ice track isn’t necessarily a good thing… Bad example…

Level 3: Appreciation of particular artists.
At this level, the signs of elitism begin to show. They may have a few pop artists in their collection but their taste is becoming more refined. A twenty year old who just discovered the Beatles probably falls into this category, as does anyone who believes ‘this artist understands me’.

Level 4: The old school fan.
Not sure how this works with other genres but in Hip Hop you get two types: The ‘proper old school’ who bemoans all modern Hip Hop and claims the genre peaked in the late 1980s and the ‘not quite as old school’, who bemoans all modern Hip Hop and claims the genre peaked in the late 1990s. They reel off lists of artists you should be listening to, not this rubbish, and will disregard anything new without giving it a listen. I’m guessing every subculture has their own equivalent.

Level 5: The fan-boy or ‘Stan’ (in reference to the popular Eminem track).
These are the people that ceaselessly promote, defend and praise a particular artist or label’s product, particularly online. Put something negative in the comments on a My Chemical Romance Youtube video and see how quickly the hate spills forth, if you would like an example.

Now occasionally this is warranted. For example, two ‘underground’ Hip Hop labels, Rhymesayers and QN5, consistently release exceptional work. Due to this, over the last ten or so years they have built a devoted fanbase that will attack any naysayers with venom. When it’s an artist (in the loosest sense of the word) such as Ke$ha, it’s a bit harder to fathom…

Level 6: The true elitist.
This person bemoans the quality of the artists featured on the radio and praises the lyricism, skill and artistic integrity of whoever it is they listen to. They might check out Kanye West‘s new album, as it’s getting superb reviews but that’s it. If it ain’t obscure, they ain’t interested. Look through this person’s music collection and you probably won’t recognise a single name. And that’s the way they like it. Artists who get radio play are strictly off limits and if someone they previously championed becomes popular in the mainstream, they will immediately label them as ‘sell-outs’ and stop following them. People who happily listen to chart music are viewed with distain that occasionally borders on hatred.

Want an example? Have a look at how the internets reacted to the news that the ‘saviour of Rap’ Jay Electronica had signed with Jay-Z‘s label…

Education: Bachelor’s Degree mainstays (Part Three)

Students by Tom NashWhat’s that? More student-y stereotypes? You bet your red Chuck Taylors* it is!

The victim
There’s at least one in every house/flat/dormitory in every university town or campus in the world. This is the housemate that never washes up but criticises the way everyone else does it, eats other people’s food, wakes everyone else up in the middle of the night burning toast and bitches when asked for their share of bills. It is impossible to call them out on any of this behaviour too, as their default position in any argument is ‘defensive’.

They also have an unnatural talent at making everyone else out to be the arsehole. No matter how you broach the subject, you will end up looking like the bad one if you try to say anything. Best just leave them to it, they’ll learn some responsibility eventually. Or become politicians.
Continue reading

Teenagers: Lost rites of passage (Part One)

Lost Rites of Teenagers by Tom NashIn this ‘digital’ age, it is easy to get swept up in the rate at which society is adapting to, and becoming reliant on new technologies. What people are slow to notice are the certain character defining events in a young person’s life that this new technology makes void. Here are a few examples:

Ringing landlines
Now everyone’s got a mobile phone, the only reason to have a phone line in the house is so you can access the internet which, along with the introduction of instant messaging has changed the face of teenage interaction forever. Long gone are the days when the only way to contact the object of your adolescent desire was to ring their house and run the gauntlet of speaking to their family members.
Every now and then you’d get off lightly and the person you wanted to speak to would answer, saving any embarrassment or awkwardness, but more often than not, it would be a parent that picked up. Now I can’t speak on how this experience was for girls, but as most of you know, can remember or are currently experiencing, teenage boys aren’t as smooth and calculated as they like to think they are. No matter what you planned to say if her dad answered, when presented with the reality, it was impossible to stop the voice in your head reminding you that you wanted to hump this man’s daughter and he fucking knew it. Scary.
If you could get through those conversations without making a twat of yourself, you were laughing. Next time you rang they’d normally invite you over for dinner. If they didn’t…
What’s the equivalent these days? Saying hello when one of their folks walk into the background of a Skype conversation? They’re getting off too easy, I tells ya!
Knocking for people
Again thanks to mobile phones, as well as social networking and tabloid media-fuelled fear of paedophiles, everything is prearranged these days. Before mobiles, if you wanted to get a group together to loiter menacingly outside some shops or go to the park to drink shit cider and 20/20 but couldn’t get hold of certain people on the phone, you had to go to their house/flat to get them.
If you wanted to speak to the person you fancied but didn’t have their phone number, you would recruit a friend to join you for moral support and go knock for them. Again, you would run the gauntlet of family member awkwardness, but it’d always be a hell of a lot worse for them, especially if the family already knew your name. Then you’d spend the next few hours standing on their doorstep doing exactly the same as teenagers do now on Aim, Facebook, MSN, Skype and the rest; talk a lot about fuck all. But you’d do it in person. With vowels.
Keep their lives private
I realise this has been covered in a previous post but it needs reiterating.
If Facebook had existed when I was between the ages of twelve and eighteen the last thing I would’ve done is add my parents to my friend list. They know what you’re up to, they just don’t want to admit it, so why let them know explicitly by giving them access to your social life? Why hasten their disappointment in you? Can any good at all come from your mother having access to photos of you vomiting in a nightclub toilet? Or that one of you passed out on the floor with a penis drawn on your forehead?
There was once a time when your mum wouldn’t find out that you smoked weed until that time you were too stoned to hide it properly and she found it in your drawer while she was on one of her routine snoops around your room. You must’ve been stoned when you accepted the friend request too because now you’ve also given her the power to cyber-snoop! Now all she needs to do is look at what you’ve ‘liked’ on Facebook, wait till you post a ‘…was so baked last night’ status update or see you tagged in a photo with a spliff in your hand. Why do it to yourself?
That’s enough for now. Or click here for Part Two

Nightclubs: The regulars (Part Two)

(For Part One click here)
Who else do you find in every club, Tom?
I’ll tell ya:
The bouncer
Sorry, apparently I mean doorman. If they weren’t paid to be there, these fellas would probably fall into The muscle-man category. Or they’d be The hard man. It’s a pretty cushy number really; the uniform’s simple (shirt, leather jacket, shaved head, chewing-gum, scowl), you get to be rude and disrespectful to your customers and if you’re really lucky, you get to assault a few of them too! Fancy dabbling in a bit of sexual-predatoriness while you’re at work? Well, you’re in luck again! There’s literally dozens of teenage girls for you to take advantage of and best of all, they’re drunk, view you as an authority figure and (for some reason) are desperate to get inside…
The cock-blocker
These are usually (but not exclusively) the unattractive friends of the person you’ve finally managed to strike up a conversation or dance with. The most popular tactics include:
  • needless aggression- this can range from physically getting between you and your potential mate and forcing you away, to constant referrals to their friend’s ex and how fantastic or big and muscly he/she is.
  • feigning illness- usually declared once you’ve managed to get their number or a cheeky kiss. This ensures that everyone will be going home just as alone as them.

This usually continues until their friend succumbs and leaves either you or the club.

Unless someone pays attention to them, of course… Which is when you should deploy:
The wingman (or ‘They who take one for the team‘)
A good wingman (or woman indeed) will draw the cock-blocker’s attention away from you by waving something shiny in their face or more typically, feigning sexual interest. If circumstances dictate that they have to ‘seal the deal’ as it were, you must return the favour in future, wingmen can very easily turn into cock-blockers themselves…
So just remember, people: no-one can make sure you stay celibate quite like your best friends…
The old person
If it’s a woman- she’s probably with a hen party and it’s likely there’s a few more floating around somewhere. If it’s a bloke, then let’s face it… It’s creepy as fuck. They may have come with their kid for an ironic visit, but this is rarely the case. Normally leather jacket clad and unfeasibly sweaty, you either find them at the bar trying to chat up anything that stands next to them, or standing near the edge of the dance floor looking a bit rapey. Young ladies- avoid. Young men- avoid becoming them. There’s nothing cool about going clubbing in your 50s.
The personal-space invader
Whether you’re queuing at the bar or throwing some shapes on the dance floor, this is the person that always finds a way to rub an inappropriate body part on you. Any other time or place and this person would be on a register in seconds. Male personal space invaders are also found in the toilets. They’re the weirdo that tries to start a conversation with the person next to them at the urinal.
And speaking of toilets:
The bog troll
You hear them before you see them.
‘Freshen up for the punani!’
Bog trolls lurk near the sinks, fiercely guarding their stash of lollipops and cheap fragrances while handing out the most expensive paper towels in the universe. I’m not one to knock the way people make their living (…!) but £1 for a Chub-a-chup? You can fuck right off.