If you ever find yourself typing #theatershooting, stop and ask yourself: “Do I really need to be writing this?”
What happened at the midnight Dark Knight Rises showing in Aurora, CO was horrendous and sad. But you don’t need me to tell you that. You know what else you don’t need to hear? Twitter commentary from actors and hacks.
The Huffington Post, however, has a story and slideshow dedicated to just that. You’re great, John Stamos, but I don’t give a fuck what you have to say about the shooting. Hailey Glassman? I don’t know who you are: Shut up.
Far be it from me to expect editorial discretion from HuffPo, or any kind of discretion from Hollywood personalities. But just because the attack took place at a movie doesn’t make this an issue for celebrity punditry. Yes, Barack Obama should be expected to comment. Ryan Seacrest, however vital he thinks himself to be in the national consciousness, does not need to say anything. Restraint can speak louder than comment.
I know I’m asking too much. I’ll ask anyway. Won’t someone, anyone, please, just shut the fuck up?
an open letter
Dear everyone else on the subway,
Your headphones suck. So does your taste in music, but that’s not the point. The point is that I shouldn’t know you listen to crap because I am a stranger. But I do know, because your headphones are garbage and in order for you to hear music at your desired audio strength, you have to crank your volume so goddam high that I can hear it on the other side of the goddam train car. Sometimes I can even hear your blasted techno mariachi over my own music.
It’s really bad for your hearing, you know, to listen to your music that loud all the time. Nor is it any good for society — like there isn’t enough grumbling animosity without your subjecting a closely contained cadre of commuters to your autotuned Top-40 and nü metal rubbish.
Here are a few ways you can help make this city a less miserable place to be at rush hour — and maybe save yourself some hearing loss and cred-damage in the process:
Tip 1: Press play and hold the speaker openings of your earbuds together. What you hear emanating from between them is roughly what I hear sitting across the car from you — and it’s why I keep glaring at you.
Tip 2: Steve Jobs isn’t god. Don’t use iPhone headphones. They’re better now? Sure. But still terrible. Upgrade that shit. Stat.
Tip 3: A little isolation goes a long way. You won’t need to turn up your jams so high if you can more effectively cut out background noise. Go for earbuds with some rubberiness to ’em that go a bit into the ear. If you’re really resistant to a new pair, or are a total cheapskate, try something like acoustibuds, which slip over the speaker heads and guide soundwaves more directly into your ear — so you can turn it down, for pete’s sake — and block them from escaping into the earholes of innocent bystanders.
Tip 4: Everyone on this train is judging you by your music. Just keep that in mind. Especially on the L.
Some good questions, here:
Another might be: Since when do people Google Fran Drescher?
Well, it turns out Since When is Fran Drescher Jewish? is the name of a book by Chiara Francesca Ferrari, an Assistant Professor of Communication Design at California State University that looks at the cross-Atlantic cultural translations of three major American TV exports, The Simpsons, The Sopranos and, of all things, The Nanny.
“Since when is Fran Drescher Jewish?” This was Chiara Francesca Ferrari’s reaction when she learned that Drescher’s character on the television sitcom The Nanny was meant to be a portrayal of a stereotypical Jewish-American princess. Ferrari had only seen the Italian version of the show, in which the protagonist was dubbed into an exotic, eccentric Italian-American nanny. Since When Is Fran Drescher Jewish? explores this “ventriloquism” as not only a textual and cultural transfer between languages but also as an industrial practice that helps the media industry foster identification among varying audiences around the globe.
At the heart of this study is an in-depth exploration of three shows that moved from global to local, mapping stereotypes from both sides of the Atlantic in the process. Presented in Italy, for example, Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons is no longer a belligerent, alcoholic Scotsman but instead easily becomes a primitive figure from Sardinia.
It’s pretty easy to take our prejudices for granted. Like the way I consistently offend my Japanese friend for a split second before he remembers that I grew up disdaining Jewish American Princesses. Or how mocking their accents really falls flat at a dinner table in Delhi.
At least we can count on people thinking the French are assholes. Am I right?
Sky Mall, this isn’t right. It’s one thing to sell something heinous and tacky to older folk with failing, hairy ears, but don’t tell them that an amplifier disguised as a Bluetooth headset is going to “enhance your image” or give them “a more youthful appearance.” I know you’ve got to move product, but that’s just mean. Gramps don’t know better.
Listen, old people. (OVER HERE, GUYS!) I’m telling you this for your own benefit. Bluetooth headsets make people look like assholes. Mainly because they refuse to take them off, which is basically what you’d be doing. ‘Course if you’re already an asshole, then, yeah, I guess this might “enhance” that image.
Turn down that damn rap music, ya whippersnappers, I got a call from my broker coming through.
I like this monkey.
Un-Happy new year, folks. You may have noticed a brief, unannounced NMH dematerialization in the final days of the aughts. I’ll cop. The Unhappy Mediator took a protracted tropical hiatus from virtually all things media, edged into realm of actually-happy, and as such, stymied the site’s editorial mission.
But I’m back, and to honor that mission in the nascent decade, I’d like to introduce a new rubric, Reader Appreciation, wherein we doff our post to those virtual visitors who keenly and deftly stumble upon the heart of No Happy Medium.
Without much further ado, and with the best of wishes (and a sheepish apology for half a December of neglect), the first NHM reader shout-out:
Thanks to the reader who found the site by searching “asshole with bluetooth.”
Whether you’re mountain biking at Big Sur or navigating the concrete jungle, you don’t want your bluetooth headset, mp3 earbuds and wraparounds to interfere with each other — or worse, clash. Thank god Oakley is there for the guy who’s ready to out asshole the assholes.