Call Me English

A little corner of the world where I talk about what I want.

Archive for the ‘complaining’ Category

Inauguration Day

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Dear abstaining voters,
The day is here! Today is the day your man Trump takes office and starts filling in some of the many blanks over which I’ve been worrying myself stupid since the night of the election, without exaggeration one of the most frightening nights of my entire life. What’s that, you say? You didn’t vote for Trump? How could he be “your man?” Oh, won’t you allow me to explain…
See, I was never going to change the mind of anyone in my life who was planning to vote for Donald Trump anyway. I was never going to change the mind of anyone who can’t be bothered to learn the difference between socialism and communism. I was never going to change the mind of anyone who finds the echo chamber of social media an appropriate platform on which to gloat over an election result while coining charming political slurs with “tard,” “fag,” and “Jew” stirred into them. I was never going to change the mind of anyone who witnessed Trump’s malignant narcissism, his rampant sexism, his petty need to win, or his pitifully short fuse and STILL thought he belonged in the same breath as Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. And those who put imagined or desired little economic benefits (or their guns!) ahead of things like education, peace, or my rights did not by voting for Trump lose anything of any real value in their lives, just my friendship and my respect.
They’re not really the ones I’m taking an issue with today, however. It’s you.
Trump is lying through his teeth today while uttering that oath of office because of you. There are not enough loyal Democrats or Republicans in this country to outnumber those who do not participate in the process at all. And before you tell me why you didn’t vote, (didn’t have time, had work, the weather was bad, hated both candidates, the system is rigged, making a French bread pizza, and forgot…) allow me to share a little unpleasant reality with you. You don’t get to complain about your loss of health coverage or your employee protections anymore. You can no longer say you’re a supporter of LGBT rights or the rights of women or the rights of non-white people. Inequality is greater because of you. News is faker and more poisonous because of you. The world is less safe, the environment less healthy, and the economy less stable all because of you.
And you WILL be held accountable.
Although you’re not one of those “change” voters with the memory of a goldfish or a “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” who has to touch the stove more than once before he understands that it’s hot, you still saw and heard everything there was to see and hear about Trump and didn’t vote. The details were everywhere; they were unavoidable. Your apathy, your cynicism, your selfishness all came together at the right moment and led to a thorough and unquestionable repudiation of my values, the values my family raised me with. It’s impossible for me not to take that personally.
What you will need to do to make it up to me and to make it up to those other poor liberal bastards in your life who don’t even recognize their country anymore let alone feel welcome or secure in it is educate yourself and observe. Observe every single thing that Trump, his team, his fans, and his appointees do, and act when ANYONE is threatened. Write out your own beliefs on the issues the nation and the world face. Get your news from at least three different sources, every single day. (Real sources, please.) And then just close your eyes and hope to whatever or whomever you believe in that there will still be a midterm election or even an America for you to vote in by the time November 6, 2018 rolls around.

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Written by Dave

January 20, 2017 at 12:02

Posted in complaining, Politics

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Not in my backyard…

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One wonderful highlight of January 1, 2017 was the opening of the long awaited Second Avenue Subway, as finally, after the better part of a century, a second subway line has come to the east side of Manhattan.

The MTA really did an excellent job despite years of noise, construction, blasting, and hassle. The stations are spacious and clean, quiet and bright, and the art in each of them is classy, memorable, and evokes feelings about New York.

So I was really deeply disappointed to read opinions online from some in the area complaining about noise and vibration from the new stations, noise and vibrations that we have not heard or felt here DIRECTLY ABOVE the line. I’m terribly sorry that despite the $4.4 billion price tag, engineers were unable to defy the laws of physics and make a silent train. It’s this sort of NIMBY indignation that explains why we had to wait so long for decent transit in this part of the city. People should be grateful that their commutes are likely going to get easier or shorter. There’s no way that anything they may be hearing or feeling can possibly be worse than what they put up with for years during the excavation and construction.

Whiny brats.

Written by Dave

January 2, 2017 at 22:50

Rest in pieces, 2016

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2017 is just now underway here in New York.

As Robert Burns asked us, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?” Yes. Ask no more questions.

One last reminder…

3 Percenters seizure of the Malheur NWR, Flint tap water contamination, the Gage Park stabbings, the Ohio machete attack, Brexit, the Kalamazoo shootings, the Hesston office attack, the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, stalling on Merrick Garland, the Elizabethkingia meningoseptica outbreak, the Palmetto derailment, Zika virus, “religious freedom” right to discriminate laws, Russia being Russia, The Pike County shootings, the Appling shootings, the bathroom bill, the Harambe incident, the Brock Turner scandal, the Lahore Easter bombing, Texas and Oklahoma flooding, the Istanbul airport attack, the UCLA shooting, the Pulse nightclub massacre, UN Security Council resolution 2334, West Virginia flooding, the Alton Sterling incident, the Philando Castile shooting, the Dallas sniper, the Clinton email affair, the Nice attack, the Bahamas travel warning for the United States, EgyptAir Flight 804, the Baton Rouge police shootings, the Karlov assassination, the Austin hot air balloon crash, Ellicott City floods, southern Louisiana flooding, North Korea being North Korea, the release of John Hinckley, the failed Turkish coup, the Seaside Park and Chelsea bombings, the St. Cloud stabbings, the Charlotte shooting and protests, the Brussels bombings, the Arcan Cetin shootings, Armenian-Azerbaijani clashes, every single televised debate, the JASTA veto, the Hoboken train crash, Judge Roy Moore still being a thing, Hurricane Matthew, the DNC hack, the “by the pussy” tape, the Galaxy Note 7 recall, the Dyn DDoS attack, James Comey’s fantastic timing, the Ouagadougou coffee shop attack, Anthony Weiner’s lack of any kind of self-control, the United States presidential election, Trump University, Standing Rock police actions, the Chattanooga bus crash, the Panama Papers, the Ohio State University butcher knife attack, presidential contact with Taiwan, the Rousseff impeachment, the Walter Scott mistrial, “high confidence” in Russian influence on the election to help Trump win, the Berlin Christmas market attack, the Yahoo data breach, the Chapecoense plane crash, the Alexandrov Ensemble plane crash, Apple’s “courage” to remove the headphone jack, hoverboard fires, all of Syria, Lochtegate, Colin Kaepernick making his indignation all about him, tonight’s Reina nightclub attack, and the deaths of David Bowie, Dan Haggerty, Abe Vigoda, Joe Alaskey, Antonin Scalia, George Gaynes, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Umberto Eco, Harper Lee, Andy Bathgate, George Kennedy, Bud Collins, Nancy Reagan, Joe Garagiola, Prince, Ken Howard, Garry Shandling, Patty Duke, Doris Roberts, Chyna, Morley Safer, Muhammad Ali, Kimbo Slice, Christina Grimmie, Gordie Howe, ALF, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Jo Cox, Attrell Cordes, Anton Yelchin, Bernie Worrell, Pat Summitt, Elie Wiesel, Garry Marshall, Miss Cleo, David Huddleston, Pete Fountain, Barry Jenner, John Saunders, Glenn Yarbrough, Ruby Wilson, Kenny Baker, Fyvush Finkel, John McLaughlin, Arthur Hiller, Jack Riley, Steven Hill, Juan Gabriel, Gene Wilder, Jon Polito, The Lady Chablis, Alexis Arquette, Edward Albee, W. P. Kinsella, Buckwheat Zydeco, Bill Nunn, Arnold Palmer, Shimon Peres, Kevin Meaney, Jean-Jacques Perrey, Leonard Cohen, Janet Reno, Robert Vaughn, Gwen Ifill, Andrew Sachs, Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro, Greg Lake, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Craig Sager, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Piers Sellers, Joey Boots, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and William Christopher among many others.

Okay, that’s it. No more mention of any of that.

Goodbye forever, 2016. Here’s hoping that 2017 is a reminder that we are all human beings and should all treat each other as such.

Written by Dave

January 1, 2017 at 00:49

Posted in complaining, General

Tagged with , , , ,

September 11

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I can’t believe fifteen years have gone by since that day, since the deadliest and costliest single terrorist attack of its kind on non-military targets in the history of the world, since cowardly and murderous heretics decided senseless chaos and indiscriminate killing were the only ways to redemption. I can’t believe people born after the attack are in high school now. I can’t believe there are people voting in this upcoming election, where we are still dealing with the divisive ramifications of terrorism and national security, who may be too young to remember when this event even happened.

And I know many probably mean well when they brandish the flag and loudly tell us all to “never forget.” In reality, though, what almost all people saying “never forget” need to do is… STOP.

Stop saying “never forget.”

If you are not an actual victim of this attack, if you are not the relative or friend or colleague of someone who is or was a victim of this attack, if you didn’t spend hours or days after the attack struggling to make contact with everyone you knew from the four fateful flights or from the New York or Washington areas where these murders actually occurred to be certain everyone was accounted for, please stop saying “never forget.”

You have nothing to forget.

Those this profound tragedy directly touched would like nothing more than to forget, and yet how could they ever?

Everyone in the world with access to media on September 11, 2001 shared the experience of watching with utter confusion after the first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, impacted the North Tower.

“Oh, no. That looks awful. Maybe a news helicopter lost control or something.”

Everyone in the world stood and screamed and swore aloud when they saw the second plane, United Airlines Flight 175 – a nearly fully fueled Boeing 767-200 aircraft with registration number N612UA, hurtling over Staten Island and plowing into the façade of the South Tower at nearly 600 miles per hour (950 km/h).

That initial dose of almost cinematic dystopia, along with perhaps giving blood to help victims that never emerged from the rubble, digging out an old American flag to display out front, and being glued to cable news coverage for the next year, two years, fifteen years… that’s about where the shared elements of this event end.

Answering the question of “Where were you when you first found out about the attacks?” with a sheepish “I had just finished wrecking the toilet at the Starbucks in the strip mall down the street from my house” eternally disqualifies you from telling anyone never to forget. The best thing someone like that can do is keep quiet. Keep quiet and step aside and allow those whose lives really were permanently altered by this crime to do the best they can to get through this day for one more year.

The last thing the surviving victims, families, friends, and colleagues need is to be reminded of the senseless, violent, and painful manner in which their loved ones died. The last thing they need is to be bombarded on traditional media and social media with 9/11 specials and 9/11 retrospectives and, perhaps tackiest and most heartbreaking of all, 9/11 sales. (Shame on that former mattress store in Texas for ever even considering such a thing. I hope the responsible parties never earn another dollar.) Why can’t people express their respect for the losses of others by giving them space? Why can’t people honor a terrible day by doing something other than making it about themselves?

The September 11 attacks weren’t perpetrated against the suburbs or against middle America or against capitalism or against “our freedom.” They were committed against visible symbols of American hegemony abroad by the brainwashed followers of a morally bankrupt group of lunatics who wanted nothing more than to get the attention of our government. It was never meant to be a rallying cry for those who’d been longing to score political points against “others” for decades.

There is no need to say “never forget” because how could anyone involved ever forget? I just wish the people who’ve been shouting “never forget” for the last fifteen years could say with confidence that they have ever learned.

Written by Dave

September 11, 2016 at 12:35

The scourge, the cancer, of politics

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I always knew in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t be able to post here as much as I wanted. Work, life, sleep, and reality all come between my brain and this blog. Even despite all those distractions, I still love coming back and sharing my thoughts. I just have to accept and own any gap of time between posts.

What I do have a problem with, however, is how politics has so saturated our lives in this disgrace of an election cycle that it feels like there is nothing else to talk about. Politics is everywhere. Politics is divisive. Politics is tiresome, frustrating, and pointless. It rips families and friendships apart. It turns words like “compromise” and “disagreement” into displays of weakness. It is among the worst of human traits.

And it’s inescapable.

The truth is I had not planned to avoid the topic altogether. I believe in being very transparent about who I am, about what my values are, and that includes going into detail about my personal political views and what experiences I have had in my life that have informed them. I even began to post about these views one by one until life interfered. However, when you combine the relative infrequency with which I have been able to post with the relentless, nauseating coverage of this election and all its gaffes and finger-pointing and angry tweets and the occasional cold-blooded gun massacre, it has left me wanting to hide with my fingers in my ears in a fort made of pillows.

As days pass and we think not about whom we want to vote FOR but rather whom we want to vote AGAINST, whom we need to make sure stays out of office, I get to wondering if this is really the best we can do. As a world superpower almost in spite of ourselves, what we do and how we do it comes under everyone’s scrutiny the whole world over. A country that likes to pat itself on the back for how great it thinks it is and that makes a sport of “exporting democracy” to the areas of the world it self-righteously deems most in need can’t run an election without mud, without pitting relatives and friends against each other, without fighting a cold “civil” war over issues on which there will never be any true agreement.

The truth is this is not one nation, no matter how often politicians of both major political parties may say otherwise. E pluribus unum – “Out of many (things), one (thing)” – is nothing more than a rhetorical device used to force unity among several very different groups at a time when it was expedient to do so. We are maybe six or seven different nations, culturally speaking, divided by things like education, religious adherence, whether we live in cities, and whether we have an actual desire (not just a stated one) to help our fellow citizens. I wish I didn’t have to share a country with the people who espouse views that turn my stomach and make my skin crawl, but I do, and I have to make sure I am a reason people end up in political office who either change the minds of those who would take us back to the awful “good old days” or, at the very least, render their views and the hypocritical, bullying noise they spew on TV and the internet not even a little bit relevant.

My life is at stake here. All our lives are.

So until the election is over and perhaps even after, no matter what I may talk about or think about, politics will always be on my mind. I will think of it every time I get a news alert on my phone. I will think of it every time I ride the subway on my way to work. I will think of it when I foolishly dip my toes once again into the degenerate echo chamber of social media where the stubborn, sanctimonious, spineless, and stupid have a platform to spread their poison like never before. I will think of it when I wring my hands wondering what to do about a friend who almost proudly announced recently that he was intent on cutting out of his life those who believe in a lot of what I believe in. I may even still be thinking of it as I look for a place to live in Canada.

This cancer can’t be gone soon enough.

Written by Dave

July 31, 2016 at 10:52

I’m not your intended recipient

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I have seen a huge increase in the number of misdirected emails I have received. I know I have a common male first name, David, and not the rarest last name of a certain heritage, so some misdirected emails are inevitable for me. That comes with the privilege of ungooglability and being a relatively early adopter of Gmail, I suppose. My issue is that the majority of the misdirected emails I’m getting are clearly intended for the same older couple in Essex, Connecticut who don’t seem to know (or give half a crap) that the email address they’re giving to their family members, friends, place of worship, preferred women’s apparel shop, and even their boat dealer IS NOT THEIRS.

Every time I receive a wrong-number email, I always send a courtesy alert:

Hello, Mr./Ms. Innocent Goober.

I’m not the intended recipient of your email below. Please verify the email address of the person who was meant to get this message.

Kind regards,
David Notthepersonyoumeant
New York, NY

I always include New York, NY in there because that is normally the most glaring sign for people that they sent their message to the wrong party.

Sometimes I get a response; sometimes I don’t. I don’t really care if the sender responds to apologize or not. What I want him or her to do is to reach out to the goofballs who share my surname and give them a shake. Email address accuracy is important, and the technology has been around long enough that it is no longer acceptable to claim unfamiliarity with how it all works.

PS – If you’re going to send me an email that’s meant for someone else, don’t have the last name McAnally because I’m just going to make fun of you in my mind for the rest of the day…

Written by Dave

May 23, 2016 at 22:15

Posted in complaining

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Two nights at the movies

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I don’t often go to the movies… maybe once or twice a year.  And now I remember why.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy films – I love them and have a whole list I am waiting to see. I often just can’t handle the way others behave when they’re watching.

We saw Moonrise Kingdom and Ted this weekend.  Both are excellent films and worth a look, but don’t make the mistake some morons out there are making, believing these to be children’s films.  They are not.

Moonrise Kingdom is a sweetly demented tale of young love on a remote New England island from hipster man-child Wes Anderson.  Bill Murray, Edward Norton, and Bruce Willis are great.  One of my faves, Frances McDormand, is fantastic as always.  The real revelations in MK, however, are the two pre-teen leads, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.  Child actors can make or break a film like this, and both Gilman and Hayward kept the chain together brilliantly, sad though I may be that they were both born in the very late 1990s.

Ted is more than just a two-hour episode of Family Guy.  It’s Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut – one with momentum, heart, and countless knee-slapping, poo-speckled belly laughs.  Strong performances abound from Mark “y Mark” Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, and MacFarlane himself as the chauvinistic slacker of a title teddy bear.  There are great small performances/cameos from Patrick Warburton, Norah Jones, Ryan Reynolds, and Sir Patrick Stewart.  MacFarlane takes political incorrectness to another level, sprinkles in 70s and 80s film and television references, and the end result is a movie about Boston that even a couple of New Yorkers could love.

So here are some things at the movies that keep me away:

  • Cost – When the hell did prices go up to $13.50? Is this a movie or a sporting event? Not enough of that price is going to theatre cleanliness, let me just tell you.
  • Cleanliness – It seems like every seat is bruised at the movie establishments in my area. The floors are sticky, the carpets are torn up, and the thought of bed bugs possibly infesting cinemas in this city makes my skin crawl.
  • Pre-show entertainment – What law on the books states that the music played before movies has to be the worst music ever recorded?
  • Previews – They last almost half an hour now.  Play them before the lights go down if you must…
  • Patrons – No, you cannot show up five minutes before the show and expect to get a good seat.
  • Patrons – Don’t make the farmer’s blow noise in public.
  • Patrons – If you’re going to sneak in bottled soft drinks, don’t shake them up so that they explode all over the floor.
  • Patrons – Don’t use your phone for any reason, no matter how “silent,” for the duration of the film.
  • Patrons – If you must leave during the show, don’t expect to get your seat back.  When you return, you should go all the way to the front and crane your neck for the rest of the film; this is your punishment for buying that Diet Coke the size of a toilet.