It’s Over: Stop Pretending to be Surprised in Your Selfies

Selfies are dumb. They really are. Every time you take a photo of yourself, it’s stupid. I know for a fact, because I’ve taken pictures of myself. They always look dumb. The reason selfies look so dumb is because you can’t really take a decent photo of a person at sub-arm’s length.

But whatever, right? Everyone takes pictures of themselves now, so it’s not really that big of a deal. Yes, 100% of all selfies ever taken are terrible. But they’re here to stay. So as awful as literally every single selfie is, there is an increasingly large subset of selfies that are even more terrible. Those are the “candid” selfie.

Somewhere along the way, in the early days of selfism, someone looked at the photo they had just taken of themselves and thought “That looks shitty!” Rather than delete, they tried to improve upon it. It’s too obvious that a selfie is a selfie, and really, selfies are narcissistic as fuck. Who wants to look self-absorbed? Nobody! So this crafty selfier decided to look slightly to the left, as if someone had just said their name. It looked candid! A genuine, fabricated moment was born right then and there. But more than just a moment was born that day, my friends. An entire movement emerged from that one narcissist who pretended someone else was taking the photo.

Now almost every selfie is a game of deception, where the picture taker strikes some sort of pose to make it seem like they aren’t actually taking the photo. In spite of all the clear evidence to the contrary, people will do their best to look surprised, or pensive, or caught up in spontaneous mirth. Anything to make their staged self-photo look like a candid moment, perhaps captured by a friend with a keen eye for “the moment.”

The problem is, these selfies might try to act like candids, but they end up looking even worse than a normal, self-aware self-portrait. It’s insulting to the intelligence of everyone looking at your dumb photo to think that we’re tricked into believing something crazy just happened in whatever direction you’re looking at. You took the photo! Why would you take the photo just as something distracted you? You wouldn’t. You would be distracted.

Someday we’ll have the technology so that tiny drones can fly around us and catch us in moments of spontaneity. The profile picture of the future will no longer have a shoulder at such an angle as to give away the secret of who is taking the photo. Nor will people need to stand in front of their bathroom mirrors and look into their phones to see the reflection of themselves looking into their phones. But until the time such selfiebots populate the very air around us, posing as though the picture you’re taking of yourself is catching you unawares is a practice that needs to stop.

World Cup Socccccccccccccceerrrrr!

soccer

It’s World Cup time again and you know what that means? Yes, you guessed it, Americans will pretend to care about soccer for a little while.

Soccer is the world’s favorite sport, yet it hasn’t really taken hold in the United States. But that doesn’t stop Americans from pretending that they care about it every time some major soccer event comes along.

Keep an eye out on your social network feeds for people talking about how they enjoy “real football.” It’s important to read the words “real football” with a sneering condescension, because people who pretend to like soccer love to pretend American football is somehow inferior.

I don’t like football, but I like soccer less. Americans love football, but soccer, not so much. This gives soccer a sort of outsider appeal to people who don’t like any sports. You can go somewhere and start talking about soccer and people will take your word for it. “Yeah, yeah. That was a goal, I guess.” Sometimes you just want to be a sports expert, like at a bar or something, and if no one else knows or cares what you’re talking about, they won’t question you.

A lot of people in love with Europe and its sensibilities also love soccer, because they think Europeans are onto something we uncouth Americans are just to stupid to understand. When I see someone wearing a silly little scarf with the name of a soccer team on it, talking about red cards or cleats or whatever stupid soccer term is relevant, it’s like an “I don’t want to hang out with you” indicator, like how a neck tattoo is a “this person has weed on them right now” indicator.

Soccer is certainly more popular now than it was ten years ago, but I question how enthusiastic people in America are toward the sport itself. It seems to me that people only pretend to like soccer because they dislike all the other sports. Soccer is a sport played by communists and underfed citizens of totalitarian states. When you support soccer, you turn your back on freedom.

I’m not saying people should like football or baseball more than they already do. Football is insanely popular, and it’s really dumb. What I am saying is Americans need to stop pretending to enjoy the world’s most popular, dumb sport for babies and just be true to themselves and admit that they don’t like sports at all. By proclaiming yourself a fan of soccer, you’re already all but admitting you don’t like sports, so take the next step and just drop the whole facade.

It’s Over: ‘Murica

US_Flag_BacklitIt’s Over is this thing where I declare something is over. I am the authority in charge and my decisions are final. I am judge, jury, and executioner.

Guns and trucks and foods that are made up of other foods. Like a steak sandwich that is bacon in between two steaks, deep fried and drizzled in bourbon. To me, all of those things sound like the fucking best time, but when people are presented with such blue-collar fare, they comment as such:

Murica!

‘merica!

Murrrrica!

That has to stop. It’s so stupid. The point of saying “murica” is to conjure forth the spirit of a flag waving super patriot who does all the things Ugly Americans do. But really it just makes the person using it seem like a humorless elitist prick. Awesome shit is just awesome, why does it have to be negative? Have you ever shot a gun? How about a bunch of them, in the same day, possibly while drinking beers? That is just good old fashioned fun. When someone says “Murica,” it’s the equivalent of telling a creative person they have too much time on their hands. Really, what the person is saying is “I am boring and lame, but I think that society probably looks down on what you do, so I will draw attention to that with a quick, overused quip, hoping it distracts from how one dimensional I am.”

Because it has become the favorite cliche of the Daily Show set when describing a set of behaviors they don’t agree with, I am therefore declaring “Murica,” as a pejorative, over.

 

Maine Magazine, Put Quotes Around “Maine,” Please

My problem with Maine magazine is that it purports to represent Maine’s culture. In reality it completely ignores or views with condescending wonder the actual people who live and have lived in Maine for years.

It’s as though the people responsible for the publication arrived in Maine on 8 foot-high stilts. They surveyed the landscape and fell in love with it, being so vast and unfamiliar to eyes accustomed to the sights of populous suburbs and towns where all the intersections have traffic lights. From atop their stilts, they didn’t notice the nearly 1.4 million people moving about, and they never bothered to look down.

So they began building a culture, shoring it up on stilts equally high, and claimed this new food-fusion and Bean boot Maine to be the way life should be, and put together a very nicely assembled magazine to celebrate their new, novel way of life.

The magazine isn’t really for Mainers, obviously. It’s for people “from away,” from more populous Northeastern states like Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

When the magazine highlights the owner of a trendy business hot-spot, usually located less than an hour outside the protective, civilized borders of greater Portland, the lede will be something like “When so-and-so left their law firm in Greenwich, CT, they never looked back.”

“We just decided we wanted to live a simpler life,” the former lawyer said, “so we traded in the beemer for a Subaru Outback and opened up Castellos,” an all gluten-free eatery specializing in dishes sourced from locally grown kale.

There are three pages each issue dedicated to showing photos of people who look like people I’ve never seen in my whole life in Maine enjoying “Maine.” Photos from charity balls or wine tastings, men in playful bowties, their unkempt hair just so, women with scarves during all seasons and style of dress.

The magazine celebrates a “Maine” that is largely an invention of Maine magazine. It’s a trendy, food-fetishistic ouroboros, devouring itself atop a perfectly weathered picnic table, with stoneware place settings.

Maine magazine isn’t for Mainers, which is fine. It seems to be doing quite well for itself. It’s a travel magazine for people who want to experience a sanitized, whitewashed Maine, just as any travel magazine. But it’s incorrect to say that Maine magazine represents the “culture, people, locations, food” of Maine, as they do in the tagline on their site. That’s why I believe Maine magazine should change its title to “Maine” magazine.

 

What Big Trap Doesn’t Want You to Know

Skull_and_crossbones

Skull_and_crossbonesIn your home, or the home of your neighbors or friends, there might be a device with untested, potentially lethal implications. This common, household item is found in homes across the world and exists only for one purpose: to kill.

What is this common, deadly device?

The simple mousetrap.

While there haven’t been any studies linking human mortality or sickness (yet) to mousetraps, rodent studies have shown the devices to be lethal. Exposure to just one mousetrap caused rodents to be either killed or terribly maimed just seconds after exposure. Yes, seconds. They’re that deadly.

And yet we allow these devices in our HOMES?mousetrap

There is no regulation of these devices, nor is anyone funding studies into their lethality in humans. This has to stop! Until studies can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that mousetraps are 100% safe for humans, do we REALLY want these in our homes?

Let’s tell those clowns in Washington that we want action. We DEMAND legislation banning these devices of death until further research proves once and for all that they are safe for humans.

 

Introducing Sethpo: The Seth Expo

Badges for the 2014 PAX Prime in Seattle, WA, sold out in just over an hour. I wrote about it for IGN.com, a very important video game website I am mentioning so you’ll be impressed. The $35 single-day badges and the $110 four-day badges were gone in record time.

Similarly, the badges for PAX East, the convention in Boston I’ve attended three years running, also sold out in record time last year, although not nearly as quickly as those for Prime.

I really enjoy PAX and its cosplayers and panels and Street Pass opportunities, and I feel like everyone who loves gaming should be able to go to their nearest PAX and throw down on some nerd shit. But I also feel like I should get paid, too.

Which is why I’m announcing Sethpo: The Seth Expo. Sethpo will be held at my house over Columbus Day Weekend, which coincidentally falls on the same weekend as my birthday.

Sethpo will be an inclusive event for gamers of all shapes, sizes, colors, beliefs, orientations, genders, and platforms to get together, at my house, and enjoy a weekend of total immersion in gaming culture.

Come, play Mario Kart 8 with your friends, provided the television isn’t already claimed. Share Street Pass and trade Pokemon in the “kitchen lounge,” where dinner will also be served.*

*dinner is only served to members of my household, convention goers will need to provide their own food

If the weather is nice, enjoy the crisp autumn air of Maine while my son gives a talk on Craftmine, the game he’s developing using Scratch, the programming platform for kids developed by MIT.

My other son will be there, as well, to answer questions you might have about Borderlands (he loves it!), Minecraft, or predators and their relative threat to humans.

Sethpo strives to be a safe, inclusive place for all gamers to hang. Please make sure you are out of the house by 8, though, because that is bedtime and kids hate bedtime.

Three-day passes are $50, individual days are $20 each.