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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don’t believe the Hype – 10 things that are grossly overrated

It’s been a while since I popped in here with a new entry, so figured best thing I could do would be piss off everyone. Joking. But not really.

The concept is simple : Here are ten things that I currently think are way overrated, and why.

Enjoy.

10. The NBA Draft Lottery. This has got to be the stupidest, next to nothing event ever. I mean it could be took care of in 2 minutes flat. Throw the eligible names in a hat. Pull one out. Thank you, turn out the lights, let’s go get a beer. But no – a month’s TV commercials, newpaper ads, then a 2 hour show – for nothing. They already have the winner in the envelope. A bunch of hype for nothing.

9. American Idol. Ok, it was novel when it came out. But at this point, I think we get it – here are some good singers singing karaoke style, shortened to strip club dance routine length, semi popular songs. Fine. But it has gotten so ugly – the first 5 or 6 shows seem to be auditions and “bad singing” – and folks act so devestaed when they cannot sing. I watched the finals this time – and they had a montage basically picking on the lame and tone deaf. Kinda dumb. ( But in fairness, I feel sorry for those folks – seems like no one wanted to hurt their feelings growing up and they blindly make fools of themselves on TV. But that is a whole different article for later, methinks. )

8. The Office of The President of The United States. Yes, you read that right. I like President Obama, most of my friends know that. I did not like George Bush, also common knowledge. But the office itself seems a lot overhyped – because in reality there is not a whole lot the Office can accomplish on it’s own. It’s more like a trophy for the winning party, and getting claims of “winning”. Am I letting G.W. off the hook for what happened under his watch? No. Am I saying Obama is a golden child who does no wrong? No. But I think we have past the days of “Great Men” as president, because we do not respect the office – rather we polarize it to the point that honestly I have no idea why anyone sane would want it.

7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ok, I am not going to bash the guy. I am not going to make fun of what I think is an honest to goodness lack of social skills. I am going to point out that no matter how big a fan you are, you have to admit it’s a damn shame he has not won in over 100 races, that his recent record is so poor he had to be voted into the All Star race ( and those were Sr. loyalists who voted him in ) . The fact is, the kid has been given a cursed future – either be as good as his Dad, and earn the fans he has, or have the loyalty of fan who are starting to admit that they are backing a driver not on his ability to win, or perform, but out of blind loyalty to his father. Which is sad – should SR. be alive, I *think* he would have retired by now – and Jr. would not have that fan base – because his Dad would hold him accountable in a way no one else seems to. I wish he would do better. I will gladly retract any criticism I have of him when he starts doing what he should do – win.

6. Fullsteam Brewery Beer. I know, I know, some folks just passed out. But I’m just calling it like I see it – of the beers I have had so far – they were between “O.K.” and “Good”. I like the guys there – have been in back and talked to the brewers a couple of times. I have taken a beer to give them , and the brewer told me through a shared friend later that “ he really liked it” – so I feel like an ass. But I think there is better, more consistent beer in the Triangle right now – and I really want them to do better. They know what they are doing – no doubt – and maybe I am not their “target customer” – but to me, the beer does not meet the hype.

5. NASCAR Drama. Now I know those left standing after number 7 are passed out, too. But seriously – it’s a little silly. I love to pick and play and joke – that is fine. But the TV announcers, the endless columns of gossip – whatever – it makes me get closer to the public opinion that NASCAR is a lot like Pro Wrestling, i.e. scripted. Hey, they wreck – cool. They want to fight? Fine. But NASCAR is to me the embodiment of Sport Racing – and if they want to remain National and increase global appeal, they have to get the pissed off redneck culture toned back down, or gone. I have to admit, I go on Youtube and watch Rally Car racing from overseas – those guys know how to race – wide open, great passing, skillful handling – and are professional. I’m even looking forward to the Indy 500 more than the Coke 600 – and it’s the driver drama bullshit that makes that so.

4. The making every holiday into a “Support the Troops” moment. Sorry, but we have plenty of historical and military themed holidays. I cannot stand that every damn holiday now has to become a “Support The Troops” Hallmark moment. And then we even gloss over some of the meaning of some of the already military holidays and change them to fit the current needs. Memorial Day? It was started as a somber day of reflection and appreciation of those who fell in battle during our darkest hour as a nation, the Civil War. It’s a day to pause, and appreciate their sacrifice, and when made a National holiday it was intended to help heal the broken bonds of the country. And guess what – it follows Armed Forces day, which is for honoring the current enrolled fighting men. Then there is Veterans Day. I particularly hate honoring those in action on a day that those who have served are to honored – to me, the active duty man owes this day to his predecessor. Christmas? Easter? Thanksgiving? Yes – it sucks to be away from your family, but hey – lots of non military folks are to. I don’t see any “ Support the Truckers this Holiday Season” commercials, or “ Keep the family of the Retail Clerk in You Hearts and Minds” on Black Friday. OK, we get it – they are fighting a war – but at least leave some of my Holidays alone.

3. The price of gold. For the last time, the US currency market is not based on the Gold Standard. It has not been since 1933 when Roosevelt took the dollar off of Gold, except for international trade. And then Nixon unilaterally cancelled all ties in 1971. Folks argue that this is a reason for our weak dollar; that I do not know. But I do know that the US Dollar is the most exchanged international currency on the planet – so it seems to me the US Dollar, no matter how weak, has replaced gold as the standard. Kind of strange, huh?

2. Earning a Degree. OK, I started school, part time, after my first son was born. I did not finish. I am now in a good job, making double what I was making then, and for my region a respectable if not insanely ludicris salary. But I know literally a hundred people who went to school, got degrees – and they are useless to them. They do not have a job, or they have a job in a field totally unrelated. Or they hated what they spent 4 , 5 or even 6 years getting a degree to do. Now, I am no fool – I know I am lucky to have what I do, and that I worked my ass off to get it – but hey – they told us in school if you did not get a degree you would end up digging ditches for a living. Know what they did not tell us? That digging ditched pays pretty fucking good .

The Number one most over hyped thing I can think of right now is:

1. Britts Donuts, Carolina Beach, NC. Jesus I get so tired of hearing about these damn things. They are good – but only right from the oil hot and fast. They are greasy, doughy knotted wads of hardened artery clogging fodder if allowed to cool. I don’t get it, past the novelty factor. When at the beach, it is inevitable that you have to get the damn things. The line is long, they smell great but lets be honest they do not taste remotely superior to any other donut in the world. And they have zero shelf life. I know I keep coming back to that, but bakeries all over the world can make a donut that tastes good in the afternoon after it was made in the middle of the night. Hey – I get it – their real business is in the tourist / novelty sector – good for them. They might know a little something P.T. barnum once said about suckers and the birthrate thereof. But reality is – don’t belive the hype. Save the time you stand in line, go get some Krispey Kremes, and enjoy an extra hour on the sands of Carolina Beach.

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